Vegan Sour Cream

One of my favorite things to eat are burritos and quesadillas. I don’t exactly follow the “authentic” recipe (Hello, Vegan!) but what I make tastes damn good. One thing I love is sour cream. I could eat that shit with a spoon in my pre-Vegan days. Fortunately for me, all is not lost. There IS an excellent substitute. Here is is:

Vegan Sour Cream

  • 1 block Extra Firm Silken Tofu
  • 1 tsp Sugar
  • 1 tsp Lemon Juice
  • 2 tsps Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Light Tasting Olive Oil
  • 1/2 tsp Salt, or to taste

Blend together until it has the texture of…. Sour Cream. Enjoy!

Sent from the iPad of Nobody.

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Observations and Coconut Curry

i’ve been contemplating the new recipes i could possibly try this week (Friday is payday, so that means GROCERY SHOPPING!) and i realized that all the recipes i add to my “to try” list have one thing in common… it’s not your standard Vegan fare. in fact, i would go so far as to say i practically specialize in Vegan Comfort Food. i have a family of 4 to feed… (me, hubs, and 2 kids) i need the food that i cook to be delicious. i need the food that i cook to be filling. i need the food that i cook to be meat-a-saurus friendly. the dishes that i’ve been collecting over the last few months aren’t light salads or tiny sandwiches bursting with greens… no, they’re big hearty stews, meatballs and loaves that mimick meat as much as i could manage with a can of beans, and side dishes and desserts that reflect their non-vegan counterparts in near perfect symmetry.

i’m still not great at it… i don’t trust myself to cook for a non-vegan and know that they’ll love it. i still experiment and fail pretty regularly. before becoming a vegan i spent minimal time in the kitchen. i hated working with food- raw meat, especially.  now that i don’t have to worry about raw meat, i feel like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders. i feel free. i feel like i was meant to be a vegan, but i just checked the dates, and i’ve only been vegan for 4 months.

4 months? that’s it??? i’ve learned so much about food in my journey. i’ve learned so much about ingredients and different cooking methods, that i feel like i’ve been piling it in for years. cooking isn’t as difficult as i thought it was… vegan cooking is way easier than pulling out all the meat-n-dairy stops. i’ve collected more recipes than i ever did before. my little cookbook/binder full of printed out recipes is bursting with possibility.

i love my food. and for the first time, i don’t mind screwing it up. [too much] because i know i can [and don’t mind having to] go back later and try again.

anyways, that’s been on my mind lately, and i just wanted to share it with you. if you want something a little more solid than observations from this blog post, never fear… i have a recipe for you to try.

i’ve found that limiting oneself to a specific style of cooking not only hampers your culinary creativity, but sometimes the food just gets boring. as a result, i’ve been experimenting with cuisine from all over the world. stir fry is my go-to quick meal. spaghetti and “meat” balls is a belly filler. “meat” loaf is my favorite comfort food. (and is my whole family’s favorite food!)

one type of food i’ve never tried is Indian food. i don’t care for spicy foods, so i’ve always avoided it like the plague. my new motto in life is “Open Mind, Open Heart”. Ignorance is NOT bliss. how do i know i don’t like it if i’ve never tried it before???

enter Coconut Curry with Chickpeas and Cauliflower.

now, i’m not sure what a traditional curry is supposed to taste like, but in the end it doesn’t really matter how traditional the dish is- only that it tastes really good. and by golly this dish tastes awesome. 

one of my favorite recipe sites is GoDairyFree.org. it’s chock full of recipes and tips for living a diary free life style. normally when i try a new recipe, i cook it exactly the way the original recipe tells me to, then i tweak it over the course of the next couple times i make it. this? didn’t need any tweaking. it was the perfect blend of spicy and creamy just as it was. the more of it we ate, the more of it we wanted. i should also state that my husband hates cauliflower, and he’s the one who ate the lion’s share of the curry. 😉 so without further ado, head on over to Go Dairy Free, and click the link below for the recipe for

Coconut-Curry with Chickpeas and Cauliflower

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.

Why Dairy is BAD For You

dairy is bad for you, and that is why i stopped consuming it.

“but…CALCIUM! we need calcium!” NO. not from dairy, you don’t. in fact, diets rich in animal protein begin to neutralize any calcium that you ingest at the same time rendering eating dairy just for the calcium pointless. one of the ingredients in all dairy foods, casien, is linked to prostate, breast, and ovarian cancer. also linked to dairy consumption is Heart Disease and Osteoporosis.

a blog i love, Eat, Drink & Be Vegan, very clearly outlines in THIS blog post all the best reasons NOT to eat dairy. the first 6 (reasons 7-12) are the ones that should seal the deal for you too. just check it out, even if you have no intentions of listening to me. i know not everybody will, just like there are still smokers out there, despite the fact that it’s been PROVEN to kill you.

Dairy products, when more than 5% of your diet, have been proven to increase your risk for Cancer, Osteoporosis, and Heart Disease. the FDA won’t tell you that because they make too much money on animal products. if you need further proof, watch the documentary Forks Over Knives. (it’s on Netflix instant streaming) you’ll get it.

Hummm Hummus?

i admit, i don’t think i’ve ever tried hummus before. not really… i’m pretty sure i’ve taken at least one bite, but i expected it to be gross, therefore i thought it was, and i remember it as being gross. or maybe the specific type i tried really was gross? regardless, i’ve always had this preconceived notion in my brain that hummus was icky.

yesterday i took the kids up to see their grandma, and in a non-vegan household, the vegan-eats are few- especially in a home that actually produces a dozen of farm-fresh eggs each day. (can you say Hobby Farm?)

when lunch time came around, the kids enjoyed grilled cheese sandwiches on non-vegan bread, and i was left saying “oh, i’m fine thanks”. then my mother in law broke out a tub of hummus and some pita chips. i gave it a try (okay, i wasn’t okay. i was starving.) and fell in love. it was wholly unexpected. the stuff i tried was Roasted Red Pepper Hummus, and if you know me at all, you know i hate bell peppers.

my new mission is to create hummus. i’m missing a couple key ingredients (mainly Tahini) but i plan on hitting up the grocery store for exciting things like fresh dill, lemon and peppers to mix into a couple different attempts at hummus. i already have the chickpeas and the carrots ready for dipping.

i’ll let you know how it goes.

Snacks of the Season

ever since i made Oh She Glows’ Pumpkin Gingerbread with Spiced Buttercream Frosting, i haven’t been able to get it out of my mind. after i halved the amount of salt and added in a handful of raisins, i’ve been craving that stuff with a passion. i think having that piece of delicious vegan goodness melt in my mouth kicked off a craving for winter appropriate snacks.

yesterday, i downed two mugs of honey-sweetened peppermint tea. that’s not amazing for me since i’ve loved that ever since i was a child, but it really hit the spot. today while grocery shopping, i couldn’t resist buying a small half-gallon of apple cider at the grocery store. i’m currently on my second heated mug. how can you blame me, when hot drinks are the only thing keeping my fingers from falling off with the winter chill having taken up permanent residence?

but enough about winter drinkage, my big question lately has been “what do i snack on?”

i love to snack. now that my meals are vegan and have less calories than my previous meat and carb packed fare, i get to snack without too much guilt. the problem i’m running into is what to snack on. i used to eat a wedge of laughing cow cheese with crackers. string cheese. yogurt. chocolate.

no more dairy, says i.

my snacking has changed dramatically to accomodate my change in diet.

today, my snack of choice was a mug of apple cider and a slice of whole wheat bread (okay, i had two slices) slathered with apple butter. oh, the fall goodness. it wasn’t the same as gingerbread and frosting, but it definitely filled the hollow spot in my belly.

another snack of mine is dates. when i first started my vegan way of eating, i went through an entire bag of dates in 2 weeks. my favorite way to eat them is stuffed with some kind of nut… at first it was peanuts, then almonds, then cashews. then- i found the pecans. pecan stuffed dates is absolutely one of the most delicious, satisfying snacks i’ve ever had. NOM.

i have more recipes for exciting things like Pumpkin Spice Sticky Bread and Pumpkin Butter saved on my computer, but until i get around to making them, all i have for you is a picture of toast.

The Difference In Dishes

since becoming Vegan, i’ve had to seriously re-think the food we eat. (duh) i have been the main provider of all things food-realated in our home for over 9 years now. that means i go grocery shopping, plan meals, and provide snacks. nutrition falls to me to make sure everybody is eating properly, and i take my job seriously. i’ve scoured the web for good Vegan recipes (a run down of my favorite sites will come in a later post) and i’ve had remarkable success with finding delicious, savory, filling, and nutritional foods.

i expected the change in cooking styles. i expected the work involved in the recipes, and i expected the introduction to new things.

what i didn’t expect, was how much cleaner everything is.

i’ve cooked for meat & cheese eaters for nearly 10 years. the dishes were the thing i dreaded most about cooking elaborate meals. the scrubbing of stuck on gunk, the charred grease and even the possible bacteria on dishes that held raw meat always put me off from cooking.

the meals i’ve been preparing from scratch at home all require a ton of ingredients. cooking dinner requires bowls, cups, spoons, knives, frying pans, pots and casserole dishes… sometimes all at once. you’d expect the clean up to be horrific.

it’s not.

aside from the sheer number of dishes to do, everything rinses off really, really easily.

a pan that i used in the past to cook scrambled eggs took more muscle than an entire load of dishes from one of my vegan recipes.

now apply that knowledge to your guts….

it’s fairly common knowledge that meat and processed foods build up in your guts. i’ve always known that, but never paid much attention to it… after all, millions of people eat meat and dairy products every day of their lives with no long-term ill effects. after making the simple observation of how easy it is to clean my post-cooking dishes, i am appalled at the difference.

if i wasn’t convinced before that a Vegan diet is healthier for you, i sure as hell am now.

*cheers* to a cleaner digestive system.

easier on my arm come dishes time, too.

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