Wednesday, June 30, 2010

When I became a Vegetarian and a Vegan

So. I thought I would tell a little story about when I became a vegetarian and the ripe age of 13. Its a pretty life changing event. I think becoming a Vegetarian has directed the course of my whole life. but more on that in a minute.
So...In the 8th grade I had been my usual self. Eating what I was fixed, and not really thinking about food. First, one of my friends became a vegetarian(although later he gave into peer pressure and ate meat again because he was the first of our kind and people didn't know what to think), and later my cousin, and then my best friend Kasey became a vegetarian. All of this kind of rubbed off on me. I'm sure I was like everyone else I meet now who doesn't know anything about vegetarianism ("WHAT DO YOU EAT!!!? WHERE do you get your protien? Ewww...soymilk is gross. But plants have feelings too!), but I don't honestly remember. However, (this is the best part) one Thanksgiving, we were at my grandparents house eating away on Turkey and one of the says we were there, I got a plate of Turkey, was halfway to the dining room, looked at it, was kind of disgusted with myself, and told my mom, "I want to be a vegetarian", to which she replied, "Cool! I've always wanted someone to be a vegetarian with me!" (well, she probably didn't say that verbatim, but you get the point). So I gave disposed of my plate of Turkey somehow and was a vegetarian from then on. 
It was then that I started to be conscious of what I ate. I don't remember it being hard, because I was disgusted be meat at that point. I don't think my dad or my brother(who is still a carnivorous environment hater) liked it to much. But oh well! So I was a vegetarian for 3 more years until my Sophomore year in high school....(to be continued)

Sunday, June 27, 2010

A week of cooking.

So..I was at my Aunt and Uncles house all week cooking delicious vegan food for them.

I made a Vegan Lasagna out of Veganomicon with our CSA Spinach. (by the way, use lots and LOTS of spinach if you like lots of veggies in your food. (and who doesn't?) Plus, this whole Lasagna thing let me use nutritional yeast for the first time. It was absolutely amazing, and my non-vegan family loved it.

Then, on Tuesday I headed to a place in boulder called VG Burger, where they have all vegan  organic food. Some Quinoa Thai bowl and a Chai Chocolate shake with Oreos. yummy.

Next a avocado rice soup.

Then the best part. Banana bread.


yep. It was great. Here’s the recipe.

3 Banana’s

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 c. applesauce

2 big tablespoons molasses

2 cups all purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon salt

chopped walnuts/chocolate chips/almonds to taste


Mash the bananas well in a large bowl. Add applesauce oil and molasses and mix well. Add dry ingredients and mix until combined. Fold in walnuts. Pour into greased 9x5 bread pan. Bake 45-55 minutes or until a knife comes out clean. (ours was still a little extra moist in the center, but that's just the way I love banana bread.)

To remove from pan, run your knife between the bread and the pan and invert 


banana bread kinfe skills So that it falls out of the pan. You might have to tap the bottom of the pan. Then, set on a rack to cool. (like above)

Thursday, June 17, 2010

What do Vegans Eat for Breakfast?

Well...Now that you ask.
  • Toast with Veg. Butter/Jelly/Peanut Butter
  • Cereal with Soy milk(or other milks)
  • Tofu Scrambles (the equivalent of scrambled eggs)
  • Fruit!
  • Bagels (some kinds are vegan but not all of them) with soy cream cheese
  • Hot Cereals(malt-o-meal/oatmeal)
  • Grits
  • Granola over Soy Yogurt
  • and on and on and on
Which proves...that it isn't hard to eat like a vegan. :)

Rice Noodles?

So. This was my dinner from last night. It was rice-noodles with basil, mint, cucumbers, sprouts, lettuce, and a jalapeno/soy sauce/brown sugar sauce. I took the recipe out of Vegetarian Times from June 2008 (yes...I keep my magazines around for a while.)
The reason that I'm not posting the recipe is that it wasn't to great. eh. better luck next time.
See that beautiful dish on the cover. That was supposed to be it. However, during June in Colorado you cat get mangoes that aren't disgusting and aren't from Thailand. I think I'll pass on produce that has come thousands of miles. But up in a 3 Nut Chocolate Tart for sometime this week...

Monday, June 14, 2010

Milk Replacements and some general kitchen wisdom

There are a TON of milks out there that can be used to replace milk in whatever you need it for. Soy milk(watch out, some contain milk by-products…lame) Almond, Hemp,Rice….

Soy Milk- my favorite, its the only kind I use. If you don’t like the taste at first, because I didn’t either, eat it in your cereal, and gradually work up to drinking it plain. I’ve never had a problem with it in recipes(plus, Fruit Loops are 100x better with soymilk). Use it in just about anything, just make sure to use the unsweetened/unflavored kind in your recipes.

Every brand is different, so you might like one over the other. Store brands are usually cheaper, and they don’t really make much of a difference to me, so i buy whatever is cheapest that day.

Rice Milk- Is very sweet and very light. It wasn’t my favorite but i did like it. Because of it’s sweetness it works well in deserts and not in savory or salty dishes.  Good if your allergic to soy.

Hemp Milk- I’ve never tried it, but all I know is that it is expensive….I’ll try it out sometime

Almond Milk/Cashew Milk- I can’t say I’ve tried this either, but I’ve heard that it has a pretty creamy consistency like soymilk and is good for rich things like smoothies.

Cereal is easy to eat as a vegan with fake milks- not only are a ton a cereals vegan(even the sugary ones like Froot Loops and Captain Crunch) but I personally think they all taste better with soymilk.


There are vegan butters out there- my favorite is Earth Balance. Mostly because they sell it at King Soopers for I can pretty much get it wherever I am. In recipes, use equal amounts of applesauce or you can use vegetable oils also. I always use applesauce when baking sweets or things like that. I use Earth Balance for everything else cooking wise (toast[it tastes great by itself], homemade tortillas, whatever else you use butter for)

and….that's it. For now.

Egg Replacers

You can pretty much veganize(yes, that is a word) everything with egg-replacers if you are incredibly lazy and can’t look up a vegan recipe.

Some possible options are:

  • 1 Tbsp ground Flax seeds plus 3 Tbsp water (this works well in baked things)
  • Ener-G Egg Replacer (one egg=1 tsp powder + 2 tbsp water). One of these boxes will last you forever and it costs less then 7 dollars. It works well in cookies and in crispy things like crusts.
  • 1/2 to 1 banana per egg. As long as you don't mind a little banana flavor, then it works well. It is good in things like breads, and already fruity things. usually you wont even taste the banana.
  • Tofu. GASP! that disgusting white soy stuff?!(NOTTT) Use 1/4 cup pureed in a mixer per egg. you can use it in quiches and breakfast scrambles. Although I would recommend looking up a recipe for that one. 
  • Applesauce – 1/4 cup per egg
  • OR I’ve heard of these, but never used them
  • 1 egg = 2 Tbsp. potato starch
    1 egg = 1/4 cup mashed potatoes
    1 egg = 1/4 cup canned pumpkin or squash
    1 egg = 1/4 cup puréed prunes

    with these, make sure to use 1/2 tsp baking powder for extra lightness

    OR I've heard about these also for things that bind

    tomato paste, potato starch, arrowroot powder, whole wheat flour, mashed potatoes, mashed sweet potatoes, instant potato flakes, or 1/4 cup tofu puréed with 1 Tbsp. flour

    See? there is no way you need eggs in anything…



    Banananana Ice Cream Sandwiches

    Just assume that everything I make is vegan. Right now. Just do it. There is no way I'm putting 'Vegan' in front of everything I write. 

    What a mess. This is how my kitchen looks after one insane batch of cookie making with friends. Messy cooks are good cooks right?
    Okay, so hero is the recipe.
    Bananananana Cookies
    • 1/2 cup applesauce
    • 1 cup of turbanido sugar
    • 1 tsp. Ener-G egg replacer plus 2 tbsp water (or one more banana, or  1 Tbsp Flax Seeds plus 3 Tbsp water for extra Omega-3 goodness!)
    • 1 cup of mashed bananas (about 2 ½ large bananas)
    • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
    • 2 cups of flour (actually, more like 3, because i just kept adding handfuls until it looks like cookie dough instead of banana bread)
    • pinch of salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
    • 1/2 teaspoon of ground mace or nutmeg
    • 1/2 teaspoon of ground cloves
    • walnuts to taste
    1 Preheat the oven to 350°F. Mix the applesauce and sugar together until blended. Add the Ener-G/"egg" and continue to mix.
    2 In a bowl, mix the mashed bananas and baking soda. Let sit for 2 minutes. The baking soda will react with the acid in the bananas and make them rise. (Isn't that cool!!!?)
    3 Mix the banana mixture into the applesauce/sugar mixture.
    4 Mix together the flour, salt, and spices and sift into the applesauce/sugar and banana mixture and mix until just combined. If the batter is really thin at this point, keep adding flour until it looks like cookie dough. It will be different for everyone
    5 Fold into the batter the walnuts if using. Drop in dollops onto greased baking sheet. Bake for 11-13 minutes or until nicely golden brown. Let cool on wire racks. Make sure to take these cookies off the pan right away to prevent sticking and losing any banana goodness.
    Makes about 24 large cookies.
    “Banananana Ice Cream”
    • 1 bunch large banana’s (or however big a batch you want to make, 1 bunch of 5 or 6 worked for all the ice cream plus using 3 for the cookies)
    1 THE NIGHT BEFORE- Unwrap every banana and place in separate plastic bags  (reuse your bags! I used newspaper bags) and then place in the freezer overnight
    2 THE NEXT DAY- Using a food processer or a blender, mash up the bananas until mostly smooth. It should look like ice cream!
    3 Put in a medium bowl and place in the freezer until you are ready to make sandwiches

    1. Take 2 cookies and put them on a plate
    2. Put ice cream on top (2 to 3 spoonfuls worked well)
    3. Sandwich together
    4. Eat.


    Cookies. Cake. Burgers. Fries. Veggies. Kabobs. Pot roast. Coffee creamer. Can all these things be vegan. Yes.
    Can a teenager have enough sense to make informed decisions that will have a direct impact on the environment?
    Enough said.
    I'm a teenager from Colorado who is out to change a couple of stereotypes. Like being eliminating animal products is hard, expensive and/or tasteless. Nope! Its quite the opposite. Check in for recipies, stories about people disbelieving my veganism, and ideas for your escapades into meat-free food.