I am new to the vegan scene, and really new to cooking my own food so becoming vegan can be a little confusing for me. I thought that it would be the simplest thing in the world. Just eat veggies and throw in some protein powder shakes, right? Well, if you do any kind of grocery shopping for convenience, canned or frozen goods, you will see that almost everything processed has added chemicals, flour, milk or eggs in it. Man! Too many labels to read, so to simplify, I am trying to cook and eat as naturally as I can. No processed foods here. For me, it is a radical change and something that I have to train myself to think about.
I printed out the chart below as an easy reminder of what I can use as an egg substitute in baking and cooking. My husband thinks that I won’t be able to stick with this because I have been a junk-food junkie and drive-through dolly most of my life. If I don’t count high blood pressure, I am lucky to have no major health problems with my here-to-fore crappy diet.
For some reason, my eyes have been instantly pried open to the cruelty of animals in the factory farming biz. I can no longer deny the facts or be a part of this hideous system. In fact, I feel so, so sad at the thought of all of the tortured animals that have died on my behalf. That were murdered just so that I can eat them. Or animals that have lived tortured and shortened lives just so that I can steal their milk and eggs. It’s sick. I used to believe the ads about “Happy cows” and “cage free” chickens. But, now I know that it is all just phony advertisements. Did you know that “cage free” means simply that. The reality is that they are not in tight little cages, but in a huge cage. The chickens are kept in filthy overcrowded buildings and still have their beaks burned off? The bottom line is: How can I say that I love animals and then blindly participate in factory farming cruelty?
Speaking of advertisements, have you seen the Fairlife commercials where the lovely family that supposedly own the Fairlife Farms are drinking milk that is supposed to be better for you with only half the sugar added to the chocolate milk? I actually bought some chocolate milk for my niece and grand-niece. Steph, Tat’s mom tasted it and immediately said that this stuff has Sucralose in it. I checked the label and was surprised that they would tout the milk as healthy and then add chemicals to it. When you read the label, you will see that the other half of the sweeteners are both Acesulfame K and Sucralose. So, let’s see…half the sugar and better for us?! Now I wonder if that cute little family in the commercials is related at all or are they all just actors too? That was all before I decided that dairy farming, even under “humane” conditions is nuts.
Anyway, back on point- Eggs: I’ve become slightly obsessed about eggs and what to use for a substitute in cooking and baking. I mean eggs and milk are in practically EVEYTHING that is store-bought. This little chart covers a lot of substitutes that I have yet to try. But I will – starting today as soon as my husband is up and off to work. THEN I can make some kitchen noise on my day off. Looking forward to making up a new batch of grilled veggies and some yummy homemade bread. Will post the results soon.
Today, I micro-waved several sweet potatoes and was thinking wistfully, “Man! I would LOVE a sweet potato pie!” But all of those calories and sugar of a traditional pie would not love me back, that’s for sure. Then I figured that I should try to make a version of the filling that tastes good and is actually good for you. It turned out beautifully if I may say so myself.
Sweet Potato Pie Stand-in
- 1 large sweet potato
- 3 tablespoons sun butter (or raw cashew butter)
- about 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 1/2 tsp Stevia
- 1 tsp cinamon
- 1/2 tsp ginger
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- garnish with nut/fruit mixture
- Microwave sweet potatoes for 8 -10 minutes until soft. Let cool, peel and cut into cubes.
- Put all ingredients except trail mix into the food processor and whirl until smooth and creamy.
- Put nut/fruit trail mix into a small bowl along with a little maple syrup. Microwave for about 20 seconds and top the sweet potato desert. The syrup makes the fruit look a little plump and glazed. It’s really pretty and makes a nice addition to the pie filling.
I recently bought a huge bag of Brussels sprouts and made soup with half of them. I LOVE Brussels sprouts when quartered and cooked in soup. Since the sprouts taste a little like cabbage to me, I wondered if I could use up the rest of the bag in a stir fry. I also had on hand a block of firm tofu and some edamame spaghetti noodles. I combined them all and it turned out delicious! Continue reading “Stir Fried Brussels Sprouts with Tofu and Edamame Noodles”
Let me start this post with, “I HATE mushrooms!” so, you may ask, why cook some? Well, it all started with a post from the Crunchy Radish about shiitake mushrooms and how they taste just like bacon when fried. Really? Because I love the taste of bacon, but I no longer love the idea of killing an animal for me to eat. So, I happily pinned her recipe to my Pinterest board to save for when I had time to try it out.
Well, I tried it. And I learned. Fried Shiitake mushrooms do not, under any circumstances taste like bacon. Sorry, but no. Continue reading “Fried Shiitake Mushrooms with Onions, Potatoes and Turnips”
It’s cold and snowy this weekend, so I really feel like cooking yummy comfort food. What better meal than a hot, hearty stew?
This vegan stew is great when served with your favorite flat bread or crackers. Moroccan flavors are hot and spicy! So, if you don’t like your food to be too hot, just cut the spice amounts in half. The stew turns out just as good and flavorful. Speaking of spices, the spices used in this dish are full of antioxidants which has to be good, right?
The fresh baby spinach leaves? Well, that’s not a part of the traditional Harira recipe. I like spinach and it’s nutrition packed so I throw it in just about everything, but of course, if you are not a fan of spinach don’t add any to the stew. Continue reading “Harira: Moroccan Chickpea Stew with Lentils and Rice”
Today, I ran across a post on making dark orange chocolate spread by Thom and his vegan recipes.
The recipe called for “salt flakes”. I had never heard of this so I had to look it up. THEN I ran across this post by Hannah Klinger. It is full of info about finishing salts. This opens a new world for me and I thought that you would find it interesting as well.
Since I am still learning about cooking with plant based foods I have been noodling around on the web looking for information. I just discovered this looooong list of replacements from Vim Life. It’s really useful and contains so much information that I’m excited to pass it along to you. For instance, I never thought of using rolled oats as a soup thickener, did you? Brill!
Below, is the categories to be found in their post. Really interesting and a good read. Click the colorful “Replacements” box to go there.
I’ll say it right up front. A lot of people, including my husband, say that they don’t like split pea soup. BUT they’ve never even tasted it! Les won’t taste it because it looks mushy and kind of, well, a pea-soup green. Plus, he hates canned peas. Well so do I! I’m telling you, split pea soup has gotten a bum rap and I also want you to know, it does not taste anything like those yucky canned peas. If you like other dried beans and legumes, then I am confident that you will like this split-pea soup recipe.
Continue reading “How to Make Split Pea Soup”