Vegan Pizza

i’ve heard people say “i can’t be vegan, because i’d miss pizza too much”. that, my friends, is a lot of horse shit. vegan pizza is AMAZING. it’s delicious, and it’s no more difficult to make than a standard pizza.

you can make your own pizza crust, but i’m no baker. anything involving yeast scares the shit out of me, so i just buy a pre-made pizza crust. there are tons of cheap options- all you have to do is check the list of ingredients to make sure they don’t contain eggs. vegan jarred pizza sauce is easy to find too- i use Great Value (hello Walmart!) because it’s cheap. if you use another brand, just make sure they don’t include cheese in the sauce. i also use Daiya cheese, and lemme tell you that shit is GOOD. once it’s melted, you can’t tell the difference between it and “real” cheese. oh hey, added bonus- it won’t give you CANCER!

the toppings are my favorite part of pizza… my husband and i really load it on. i prefer artichoke hearts, mushrooms, sweet onion, tomatoes, sauteed spinach and garlic, and well, whatever we just happened to have on hand.

the sky’s the limit really.

pizza is a lame excuse to not be a vegan, because the vegan pizzas i make, are better than the non-vegan pizzas i used to make.

for real.

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Workout Schedule 2012

below, you see the exercise schedule i made for myself. i bravely said “i will follow this religiously until i am happy with my body!” or at least until after i go to the beach with a rockin’ bod. so far it’s not worked out quite as i envisioned. (imagine that) it seems that the only time i can gather the will to actually do some exercise is in the morning, before my body has had a chance to wake up and consider the shit i’m about to throw at it. i know. i’m shocked too. but hey, something is better than nothing, right? i may not be doing my exercises at night, or the daily stuff i have scheduled out, but for the past few days i’ve actually managed to go through my quick, toning routine. i’m sore as hell from it too… my shoulders hurt from the pushups, my ass aches from the squats, and my abdominal muscles are screaming from the sit ups. it feels AWESOME. (surprisingly, no sarcasm accompanied that last sentence) at the moment i’m happy slowly dipping my toes in the pool, rather than diving straight into the workout water. i’m incredibly sore just doing the small amount of exercise i AM doing, i couldn’t imagine how much i’d be hurting if i actually did all that i wanted to do. i’m not sure what my next step will be… maybe the weekly stuff? maybe just my nightly stuff? i dunno. right now i’m doing enough to break a sweat, get a little sore, and suck air like a 90 year old emphysema patient. that’s good enough- for now.

Every Day

7:30 am

1 Yoga Stretch
25 Push Ups
25 Jump Squats
40 Sit Ups
1 Yoga Stretch

8:30 pm (or directly after kids go to bed)

1 Yoga Stretch
25 Push Ups
25 Jump Squats
40 Sit Ups
1 Yoga Stretch

Weekly

Monday
P90X Cardio

Tuesday
45 Minute Yoga

Wednesday
FREE

Thursday
P90X Cardio

Friday
45 Minute Yoga

Saturday
P90X Plyo or Yoga

Sunday
FREE

GET OFF YOUR BUTT AND JUST DO IT! 

New Year’s Resolution

i don’t like Tofu. on the few occasions i or my husband have made it, i’ve grudgingly choked it down and covertly let everyone else eat the left overs. i’ve never had Tofu made by someone professional… meaning, in a restaurant setting, made by someone else, that other people have declared to be a good example of cooked Tofu.

every time i’ve made it, i haven’t been able to get rid of that faint plastic-y taste that seems to accompany every form of Tofu available to me. i don’t like the texture… that weird spongy texture that you never find in any natural foods. it just freaks me out. i’ve tried Tempeh and didn’t like it either. it tasted just like Tofu, except with a different weird unnatural texture. i haven’t given up on Tempeh yet, i still have a few recipes to try that make me think it might be possible to like it.

Tofu, on the other hand, is just icky.

which brings me to my New Year’s Resolution.

i am going to find a recipe in which i actually like Tofu in.

i’m not going to give up. i want to like Tofu.

i have a few recipes for a Tofu Scramble (the vegan version of scrambled eggs) and a few different stir frys. worst comes to worst, i’ll make a Tofu Chocolate Pudding. you can’t really go wrong with chocolate, IMO. although i wouldn’t put it past Tofu to ruin it. :0/

New Year’s Resolution 2012

♦I WILL FIND A WAY TO LIKE TOFU♦

Terra Vegan Rex

this week i totally junked out by spending too much time in the kitchen making chocolate chip cookies, pumpkin spice gingerbread and pumpkin spice pancakes. it was worth every bite, though. well, maybe not the extra fluff around my waist line. won’t be doing THAT again for a while!. I LOVE BEING VEGAN. the one thing i love the most about being vegan is that even when i’m at my worst (nutritionally) i’m still better than your average American is on a regular basis. i still consume less calories and more healthy stuff when i’m splurging than your average meat and dairy filled meal. i love it. it gives me an excuse to feel good about myself, even when i’m being bad. of course, now i need to add some toning up to my daily regime… i’m starting to get a little fluffy. *sigh* so much for weight loss just by switching to a vegan diet, eh?

okay, so i’m not completely vegan… i still eat fish. but NO dairy. NO land-dwelling animal products. what does this make me? hmmmm… i know! i’ll invent a new word. i’m a TERRA VEGAN REX.

yes.

World, meet the Terra Vegan Rex. a person who follows a vegan diet by not eating any land dwelling animal food products, but still occasionally eats seafood. nom.

Totally Addicted

I have an addiction .

I can’t help it.

I don’t want to help it… except to maybe help feed it  a little more.

Yes, I admit it. I’m addicted to Hummus.

It sounds stupid, but seriously. I can’t get enough of Hummus, or chickpeas in general. I think that chickpeas are actually a natural form of crack cocaine, except without that whole “killing you eventually” thing.

We’re members of Sam’s Club, so we get our Hummus in gihugic tubs that cost the same as the tiny tubs you get at the grocery store. ↓my favorite hummus↓

 

in my younger years (meaning less than a year ago) i would turn my nose up at the idea of eating hummus. it sounds so… yuppy.

but then one day came along when i was visiting my mother in law, and the only thing she had to eat that was actually vegan, was a few mushy onions, sprouting potatoes, a tub of hummus, and a bag of pita chips. you can guess what i had for lunch that day… a hint: it wasn’t the potatoes or the onions. to this day, i am still nursing a full blown hummus addiction.

it’s 10 in the morning right now, and i finished my breakfast about an hour ago. what did i eat for breakfast? a tortilla salad wrap.

i spread a generous spoonful of hummus on the bottom of the wrap, lined up 3 split grape tomatoes, some chopped celery, topped it with chopped romaine lettuce, a generous helping of sliced dill pickles, and sprinkled it all with raw pine nuts. then i wrapped it all up like a tasty little birthday gift and chowed down. i read a book at the table while i took my vitamins and thoroughly enjoyed my non-conventional breakfast. i do this almost every morning. like i said- i’m addicted.

hummus is awesome.

Sweet Potato Quinoa Casserole

originally, this recipe was supposed to be cakes… but before i even stuck it in the oven, i knew it wouldn’t work out. i added a few more things, changed this and that and voila! i had a casserole. i didn’t know if it would turn out, but my 9 year old declared it “Awesome!”. so here you go!

 

Sweet Potato Quinoa Casserole
Oven Temp: 375 degrees

  • 1 ¾ Cups Quinoa
  • 2 Cups Water
  • 1 Vegetable Bouillion Cube
  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 2 Sweet Small-Medium Sweet Potatoes – Peeled and Grated
  • 1 Onion – Diced
  • 2 Handfuls Fresh Baby Spinach – Chopped
  • 2 Garlic Cloves – Diced
  • 1 tsp Coriander
  • ½ tsp Cumin
  • ½ tsp Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • ½ tsp Pepper
  • 1 tbsp Parsley Flakes
  • ½ Cup Whole Wheat Flour (or another flour of your choice- Garbanzo or another bean flour might be nice)
  • 1 tbsp Ground Flax
    2 tbsp Ground Flax
  • 5 tbsp Water
  • ½ Cup Your Favorite Bread Crumbs (I used Panko)

Step 1: Boil the Quinoa with the bouillion and 2 Cups water until the water is absorbed. This will take about 20 minutes. When done set aside until needed, occasionally fluffing with a fork to keep loose. Move on to Step 2 while it’s boiling.

Step 2: Sautee onion and grated sweet potatoes (i had to use a hand cheese grater for the sweet potato) until onion is translucent and sweet potato is softer. This will take about 10-15 minutes.

Step 3: Add Garlic, Spinach, and seasonings to the Sweet Potato mixture. Sautee for another 5 minutes.

Step 4:
In a large mixing bowl, combine the Vegetable mixture, Quinoa, and Flour. Mix well.

Step 5: In a separate, small mixing bowl combine 2 tbsps flax seed and 5 tbsps water. whisk, then let set up for 3-5 minutes so it can gel up a bit.

Step 6: Add Flax gel and 1 tbsp flax to the rest of the ingredients and mix well.

Step 7: At this point, i used a Pyrex Pie dish to bake my casserole in. It came out rather nice, but I’m sure you can use a small square casserole dish as well. it would probably work neatly in individual ramekins too, if you have them. Grease your baking dish of choice (i use spray Olive Oil to grease my dish) and pour your casserole mixture into the pan. press it down to even out the surface, then sprinkle the bread crumbs on top evenly.

Step 8: Bake at 375 degrees for about 30 minutes, or until the bread crumbs are nice and browned.

Italian Bean Balls

2 cans Dark Red Kidney Beans, drained and rinsed
1 vegetable bouillion cube
1 small onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, diced
1 carrot, grated
1/2 apple, peeled & grated
1 tbsp olive oil
1/3 cup finely chopped walnuts
1/3 cup oat flour (i processed some whole oats to make the flour)
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1 tbsp italian seasoning blend (i use Tones)
1 tbsp basil
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tbsp milled flax
1 flax egg

boil the kidney beans in water with the vegetable bouillion cube for about 10 minutes, just to soften them up a bit and infuse a little bit more flavor into them. when done, drain all the water out and mash them up with a potato masher. you don’t have to get too fine a mash- chunks are okay.

add the olive oil to a pan, and sautee the garlic and onion until tender and translucent. then add the grated carrot and apple. season to taste with the salt and pepper, then set aside.

if you’re like me and your walnuts are whole, then process them with a food processor. (or, if you don’t have one, use a blender. i used a Ninja)  also process the oats to make the oat flour, and the bread crumbs. (i had to use two toasted whole wheat thin bagels to make my bread crumbs) mix together the walnuts, oats, breadcrumbs, 1tbsp of flax, basil and italian seasoning.

preheat your oven to 375.

in a mixing bowl, combine the mashed kidney beans and the vegetable mix. then add the bread crumb/flour mixture and combine well, using your hands if you have to.

in a separate, small bowl make your flax egg. to do this, just add 1tbsp of milled flax to 3 tbsps of warm water, and whisk together. let it sit for 3-5 minutes so the mixture has time to gel up.

add the flax egg into your bean ball “dough” and combine, be sure to mix well.

roll into little balls, about 1 inch across, onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. don’t let the sides touch, but you can get them as close together as possible so you don’t have to use more than one pan. i was able to fit 54 bean balls on one pan. (6 vertical, 9 horizontal)

bake  in the oven for approximately 20 minutes. serve on top of your favorite spaghetti.

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