Saturday, January 24, 2015

Recipe for Raw Creamy Broccoli Soup

Today, I decided that soup was a perfect lunch choice.   The following recipe was adapted from "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Eating Raw". 

Raw Creamy Broccoli Soup 

3 cups of Broccoli florets
1 1/2 cups water
2 TB. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup raw cashews
1/2 cup celery
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1 TB. nama shoyu
2 TB. nutritional yeast
1/8 tsp. salt
1 clove garlic
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper

Putting all of the ingredients in the Vitamix, I blended for about one minute.  Water can be added to reach desired consistency.  The recipe states that cauliflower may be used in the place of broccoli for a creamier soup.  May be served warm from the blender or at room temperature.  It says this makes 6 cups but mine did not.  I did not add any extra water so it made a little under 3 cups.  I ate half and will save the other half for later.  I really enjoyed the spicy flavor.   

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Hemp Milk (from scratch)

(Recipe used from Thrive by Brendan Brazier)

Hemp Milk

3 1/2 cups water
1 cup hemp seeds
2 tbsp agave nectar

In blender, combine all ingredients.  Keep refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.

*Chocolate Hemp Milk
Follow recipe above and then add 2 tbsp cacao nibs for 100% raw.  (Cacao does contain caffeine.  I use the cacao powder, rather than the nibs.) Blend all ingredients.

I'm posting this recipe because I had fallen into buying convenience items such as Blue Diamond unsweetened Almond Milk.  There is nothing wrong with that but my goal for 2015 is to return to more of my "raw" vegan diet.  In years past, I ate about 90% raw.  Over the last several years I have added many of the new vegan foods and snacks into my diet.  I've also added pounds and new blood pressure meds.  So, for 2015, my goal is to eat more raw vegan, a little more each week.  In the past, I made almond milk with the nut bag.  These seems much easier and if you are on a busy schedule, consider adding this recipe for Hemp Milk.  If you have a different recipe, I'd love to hear about it.  Have a great week!

** 1/24/15  Update on the hemp milk... I have been using it now for several weeks rather than purchasing Blue Diamond Unsweetened Almond Milk and I'm SOLD.  It has a creamy consistency all week long in the fridge.  I also increased the water to 4 cups to 1 cup of hemp seed since I use it in my smoothie where I add a couple of Brazil nuts and almonds.  If you haven't tried it, I think you will enjoy it.  The agave could also be adjusted to your preference and vanilla bean could be added, too.  :-)

Friday, November 28, 2014

Southern Vegan Cornbread

Southern Vegan Cornbread

With Thanksgiving in our rear-view mirror, I was reminded how much we all enjoyed our Southern Vegan Cornbread.  It is a recipe that I have made for most of my life and always shared on holidays with my family.  It is one they always expect and request.  Many years ago, it was found on the Quaker Corn Meal box but over the years the recipe was changed and is now listed as Easy Corn Bread but it is not the original recipe that I used previously.  The later one increased the flour and decreased the cornmeal.  I took the old recipe that I have made for years and veganized it.  We had it for yesterday's Thanksgiving lunch and it was enjoyed by all.  Here is a copy for you:

1 cup organic all purpose flour
1 cup organic yellow corn meal
1/4 cup organic sugar
2 teaspoons aluminum free baking powder
1/2 teaspoons salt 
1 cup almond milk  plus 2 Tablespoons
1/4 cup canola oil (or oil of choice)
1 tsp egg replacer

Heat oven to 400 degrees.  Grease an 8 inch pan for thicker cornbread or use a 9 by 13 inch pan for thin cornbread.  Stir all dry ingredients together, then make a little hole in the dry ingredients and add the liquid ingredients.   Stir until all ingredients are moist.  Bake 25 minutes or until cornbread is light golden brown and a toothpick goes in and is removed clean.  Great warm, right out of the oven! 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Hint of Cinnamon Waffles

This morning, I made waffles using Isa Chandra Moskowitz's Perfect Pancakes (which is in her book Vegan Brunch) with my grandson. They were the best waffles I've had in a long, long time. He was so proud of his creation and even though he is a picky eater, these were gone in a flash. 

I know that every time I make a recipe from one of Isa's books, I'm going to love it.  This time, as always, my 3 1/2 year old grandson and I made a fabulous recipe. Reviewing her waffle recipe on the next page, I noted she added a little more oil for waffles so I increased the oil by one tablespoon. Otherwise, the recipe was just like the original other than the milk was almond, rather than soy or rice.  If you want to make an excellent waffle, here is Isa's recipe with the oil quantity change and my additional notes in parenthesis:

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour ( I used Bob Red Mill's organic)
2 teaspoons baking powder (I used aluminum-free)
1/2 teaspoon salt  (I used pink Himalayan salt)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons canola oil (I used 3 tablespoons of canola/olive oil combo)
1/3 cup water
1 and 1/4 cup almond milk (I used unsweetened Blue Diamond)
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

(I used coconut cooking spray on the waffle iron)

I mixed all of the dry ingredients, then added all of the liquid ingredients in the middle and stirred until most of the lumps were gone. (Isa noted that "a few lumps in the batter are just fine.") I used an electric waffle iron and the batter was thin because in Isa's recipe you have the choice of using 1 to 1 and 1/4 cup rice or soy milk.  I wanted the waffles to be light so I used the higher amount and they were a huge success.  

If you love these waffles as much as I do, I would suggest you buy at least one of Isa's cookbooks right away.  They are fabulous and you can never go wrong with her recipes!!

I normally take a photo... I'll take one the next time BEFORE we eat them and insert it later.  Enjoy! :-)

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Vegan Makeup - Everyday Minerals - Cruelty Free

Everyday Minerals

Several years ago, (2011), I was looking for a cruelty-free makeup that would not breakout my sensitive mature skin.  I found Everyday Minerals online and ordered their sample kits to try out base shades.  I went crazy over their products and have been using them ever since.  Even though I am older, my skin breaks out with many of the liquid products.  I have tried several of the vegan liquid foundation brands but always come back to my favorite, that never breaks out my skin and seems to improve the color and texture, even when I am not wearing it.  

They have products for young and old, but my main focus was to find a product that keeps me looking as close to natural as possible, balancing my skin tones.  I turned 60 this year, but I have taken good care of my skin by moisturizing it several times a day.  Even though you do your best, your skin naturally ages and picks up dark spots of red tones.  We all are different, but a great foundation will even out the skin tones and compliment your skin.

Several things that I've learned using this product is that if you are older, you do not want to use the base or shadows with sparkle, iridescent colors, because this emphasizes wrinkles. For example, if I wear their eye shadow, I will apply it first, before the base product, with the goal of not leaving the iridescent color on top.  The second thing I've learned is to choose at least two shades of base color... preferably three, to "paint" your face because your face naturally is not a two dimensional flat color.    With the lightest shade, I work around my nose and eyes, (it can be used as a natural eye shadow), then use the next shade for most of my face and then add the darkest shade around the edges of my face.  Using three colors that are very close in shades will give you a natural looking face, making it look three dimensional.  Now, I am not a cosmetic specialist.  However, I do love art and I know from working with color that you have to shade items.  My experience with this makeup is to choose three base colors, close in shade, and work your natural paint brush on your face.  

Not only do I love this makeup company and their fabulous brushes, but it is vegan and cruelty-free!!! It is a win-win.  Here is more information on Everyday Minerals.  I order directly from the company and they ship quickly.  I usually have my order within the week.  

Friday, July 11, 2014

Vegan for Life - Great book choice!

I have been a vegan for a while now and recently visited my doctor's office for blood work.  I was pleased to hear that all of my many tested levels fell into the "normal" range.  At sixty years young, I was very pleased and I attribute this to my vegan diet because prior to being vegan, I had higher cholesterol and sugar levels... among other things. So, feeling happy with my health and wanting to make sure I keep it that way, I decided to purchase a vegan nutritional book. I am extremely pleased with my purchase so I wanted to share the book with you.  It is titled:  Vegan For Life.

Just to share a few tidbits of information from the book, the nutritionists Jack Norris and Virginia Messina, reminded me that peanuts are legumes and have more in common with foods like beans, peas, lentils, and soy foods, than nuts.  They are botanically legumes.  As I was reading the book it suggested that you have 3 to 4 servings of legumes to meet your protein goal and it reminded me that 2 tsp of peanut butter would fit the bill for at least one serving.  Of course, this was a tiny bit of information out of the entire book but another great guide was a protein content chart with selected vegan foods to guide your day. These two authors spoke of being appauled at the discovery of factory farming beginning in the fifties which guided their life into being vegan.  If you would like to read a few reviews or sample from this book, click on the link above for a sneak peak. It will be a great reference book to have on your vegan book shelf.  Great find!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Sweet and Salty

Today, I'm going to share more vegan grocery items that appeal to your sweet and salty taste buds.  The Enjoy Life dark chocolate boomCHOCOboom is a great chocolate bar.  It is also gluten free. They had three different flavors; I purchased the dark chocolate. Usually, I purchase the Endangered Species chocolate and have a few of those on hand, however, this week I found this new bar and it was delicious.... so I thought I would share it with you as my "sweet" for today.  

Under the "salty" category,  I found and tried Late July's Classic Saltine.  It is exactly as the title states and reminds you of the old fashion saltines I grew up eating, as a kid.  They are crisp and tasty with a little sea salt for flavor.  I ate mine with a little garlic and jalapeno pepper vegan (cheese) spread.  So good!!

Both of these items I found in my local Publix grocery store.  Yummy!  If you have not tried either one, you may want to swing by and pick up your sweet and salty for this week, vegan style.