I am a little late posting day 14. One of my cats had to have emergency surgery and I spent most of the end of last week worrying about him or following him around the house after he came home. Hopefully, he will be better in a few days!
This week's theme is Free-from - meaning free from nuts, gluten, or any food that should be avoided in your meal planning. My husband, Steve, has a sensitive to gluten, so I am starting to learn the ways of gluten-free baking. I made this cookie especially for him! He loves nuts in cookies and LOVES white chocolate chips, so I thought this would be a winning combo!
Click here for the recipes!
The first week of Vegan MoFo is almost gone, but not before we talk about the "Anti-Vegan." Today's theme is all about the "where do you get your protein" or "I could never give up cheese" comments. My first thought, well that is easy....I can just pop a Beyond Meat burger on the grill and melt some Follow Your Heart American cheese over it.
But then I started to think, why do I instantly just go to finding an animal meat substitute?
I didn't give animal meat because I stopped like the taste. I did it because there are more compassionate ways of eating and living. I am writing a guide to more conscious living, and I even talk about changing the food mindset. Yet, I instantly went directly to a meat substitute because it is so ingrained in our culture that you have to have meat for every meal.
Not eating certain foods can be a challenge if you limit your mindset with thinking about what you are “giving up.” In reality if you transition to a vegan diet, you only stop eating four things - animal meat, eggs, dairy, and honey. When changing your diet, you can start by replacing your favorite meals with a vegan alternative. But there are so many more ways in which you can get all of the protein and nutrients you need. I usually use some type of vegetable, nut, tofu, or tempeh to highlight the hardiness I am craving. Beans and lentils can become burgers, tofu and tempeh can create bacon, chickpeas can be turned in a tuna-less salad, and cashews and cauliflower can make a creamy cheese sauce. There are so many creative ways in which you can highlight the flavor of vegetables and make them the star of the dish!
Even I have to be mindful about stepping outside of my comfort zone and not just going with the normal flow of thinking.
Today is day 5 of the Vegan Month of Food! I strayed from the daily themes for today's post.
The theme was to cook from your favorite vegan cookbook. How do you choose just one??
I have so many vegan cookbooks, and new ones seem to be coming out each week.
Plus I tend to use cookbooks as inspiration and not always follow the recipes. I like to learn about different techniques and flavor profiles. So, for today's post, here is my favorite meal that I have made in the past week. It is bowl packed full of flavor and protein that I made for Steve as a celebration and recovery meal after his 20-mile race event around Mt. Saint Helens.
Isn't it pretty?! Under all of the veggie goodness is brown rice. The veggies are roasted butternut squash, roasted zucchini, roasted carrots, roasted Brussels sprouts, and kale. I also sliced and cooked some of the new Beyond Meat Sweet Italian Sausage for extra protein (and because they taste incredible!).
I topped it with a dijon sauce that pulled together using sunflower seeds, dijon mustard, lemon juice, garlic powder, a little bit of olive oil, and water - it was so good over all of the veggies! And the sauce complemented the sausage (I was first afraid it was going to clash with the sweet Italian flavor) perfectly. It was actually the second sauce I made that day. The first sauce, which was supposed to have been a miso gravy, didn't turn out so well. But that is OK because it gave me a chance to make the delicious dijon sauce. I am still playing around with the exact measurements (because I never measure anything) and then I will share the recipe!
Don't forget to check out what others are posting for Vegan MoFo using the hashtags #veganmofo2018 and #veganmofo18 on Instagram and Twitter. Plus you can follow along on Vegan MoFo's account!
It is Day 3 of Vegan MoFo! Today's theme is to make something for an inspirational leader or world leader. Several people came to mind including Martin Luther King, Jr., Cesar Chavez, Jane Goodall, and even Cory Booker! I would love to cook and share a meal with any one of them.
Jane Goodall's work and activism have always been a huge inspiration to me. She recognized, early on in her work, about animal emotions, feelings, and empathy. I would love to sit down to share a meal and talk to her for hours.
With that in mind, I think this Mini Lemon Cookie Tart would be a perfect way to end the meal. I didn't create this recipe, but I took different recipes and combined them into one fabulous dessert!
Recipes I used:
I made the cookies in a small muffin/tart that has removable disc bottoms. The cookies were a little tricky since they are they fluff up, but I was able to press them back into the mold halfway through the baking time. I pressed them into a little cup shape before baking and then pressed them back down halfway through the bake. I wish I would have used parchment paper or sprayed the pan because most of them stuck!
After the cookies cooled, I filled them with about 1 teaspoon of lemon filling and piped on the meringue using a pastry bag. Then, I pulled out my little kitchen torch and browned the meringue.
They were sweet, tart, and a little sassy...kind of like me!
It is time for the 2018 Vegan Month of Food! This is my third year participating, and I have enjoyed each year more than the last. First, thank you for making your way to VegfulLife and following me through Vegan MoFo. For the MoFo challenge, I will be following a mixture of the daily and weekly prompts and also coming up with my own themes.
I have always enjoyed cooking and baking but found, since becoming a vegan, that I am now much more creative in the kitchen. I completed the Rouxbe Professional Plant-Based Certification in 2016, and I just finished the Essential Vegan Desserts with Fran Costigan (it was a summer of sweets for sure!). My goal for MoFo is to show how creative you can be in the kitchen, but not have to spend hours cooking.
Cooking is not only my comfort zone and my escape from everyday hassles, but it is also my creative outlet. I love experimenting with new flavors and cooking techniques. But I also enjoy cooking simple meals that make my family happy. Earlier this year, my husband found he has a gluten sensitivity, so I have been learning the ways of gluten-free cooking and baking. It is pretty simple, but I haven't mastered a gluten-free loaf of bread yet! Most of what you will find this month will be gluten-free, but not everything. You will also see my southern roots coming through in my cooking. For me, you can't go wrong with a good bowl of comfort food or Tex-Mex.
Here is a sneak peek of what I have in store for you this month -
I hope you will enjoy what I have in store and please feel free to browse around the website. I am also blogging a book as my thesis project for my Master of Arts in Humane Education degree. Only 3 more months until I graduate! The book is under the Conscious Living Tips tab. There I go more into depth on how humans, non-human animals, the environment, and are cultural are all connected.
Let me know what you think! You can also follow along on Instagram!
As I sit here and write this ash is falling, a thick blanket of smoke has settled in above, and it smells as though I am in the middle of a heavy campfire. Wildfires broke out in the Columbia River Gorge, about 40 miles east of my home, over Labor Day weekend. The fires were reportedly started by teenagers playing with fireworks and smoke bombs along the Eagle Creek Trail. It has grown to more 10,000 acres in just a few days. Residents near the fire are evacuating and hoping they have homes to return to once this fire is out. Wildlife is fleeing in order to seek safety. Individuals are risking their lives fighting this blaze day and night.
Today's Vegan MoFo theme is Silly Food! And of course, I made vegan sausage cheese balls. This recipe can fall under several themes for this week - food memories, silly food, and family traditions. Before my vegan days, my brother and I would make these every Thanksgiving and Christmas.
I still try to make these once a year using the Betty Crocker recipe (the recipe we used when I was a kid) that I veganized.
Rainbow week is continuing and today’s theme is all about making your food look black & white. Hot chocolate seemed like an easy thing to make today! But it also carries an important message. Chocolate is big business for many companies and several countries. The majority of cacao beans are grown in Western Africa, Asia, and Latin America, with more than 70% being grown in the Western African countries of Ghana and the Ivory Coast.
Today's theme is supposed to be about a rare color. Meaning, what color do you rarely eat?
I really couldn't think of a color, other than black, that I don't eat very often. I try to make sure I cook with a variety of colors or snack on fruits and veggies of all colors. So I am being a rebel and going off theme today!
I made lemon pepper tofu with roasted vegetables. Air-fried lemon pepper tofu has quickly become one of my favorite meals. I love the way the lemon shines through in this recipe. It is tangy, fresh, and full of flavor.