Yup I said 'cheese' this time. As opposed to the 'cheeze' I normally make. Like I state on my page, front and center, "sometimes vegan, always healthy." That means- some days or weeks, or months, I am what some say, a 'vegan'. Which is cool. However, I am not that way all the time. I am ever changing. I do not like to title myself as anything. Except for well, one thing. "Healthy." I am that. and always will be. I'm not a stick. And I do not care. I like to eat- yes. I know this, don't worry, no new information here! But I do enjoy healthy food. Yes- everything is a choice! I choose to eat this way. If someone else chooses to eat non-healthily, fine! But thats not for me. And I'm doing everything in my power to persuade people to eat this way. But, I can only share information, no preacher here. People will do- what they want. I get it. I just hope people get it soon, how important this is. For health purposes, not about being the skinniest person. For me it's about feeling great and living a really long time. And being happy during all of it. Right?! I mean don't you agree! Ok whatever moving on to food people! FOOD! :) that good ole healthy stuff, I like to bring your recipes of that happen in my kitchen!
So a few new things on the menu tonight. Inspired by all sorts of things! Well first of all. I've been wanting broccoli & cheese soup. Hince the title of this post ;) But unfortunately- still not feeling like soup. Here in L.a., it's just not so cold. :/ Almost 90 degrees today actually. Very unfortunate! I'm ready for the cold! It's almost November after all!
BUT- I decided to make stuffed mushrooms, Broccoli & cheese style! Yes you read that right, Stuffed broccoli and cheese portabello mushrooms. So freakin' good! ayeeeee! So easy also!
Mhm. So heres how it all works out.
OG Broccoli Florets
OG shredded cheese
Whole wheat Bread crumbs
Olive oil spray.
Line a pan with aluminum foil. Place portabello mushrooms on pan. Spray mushrooms with olive oil spray lightly.
Place chopped up broccoli in mushrooms, top with cheeses, and bread crumbs. Put in preheated oven at 400 degrees, for 10-15 minutes, until all cheese is melted! and thats it! so easy.
Now for a little something sweet. ;)
pumpkin brownie cakes.
So it's basically two different recipes, combined in one. And turns out their amazing. You could just make pumpkin cakes, or brownies, or you could make pumpkin brownie cakes ;) I kindaaaa don't get it , when people say they don't like chocolate + pumpkin together. But oh well, to each his own right!. Right. Cause I do. and I made this, and I hope you make it and put your swing on it ;) and enjoy! It was pretty much SUPER simple. so if you like cooking/baking, you should try this. Loving it.
Recipe: Cause I think it should come before the pictures;)
Pumpkin Cake- either bottom or top layer, up to you. I find it doesn't matter. Looks better when pumpkin is on bottom, I suppose, but it all tastes the same. And I love mismatch things.
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
2 tbsp chia seeds
1-2 tsps cinnamon/nutmeg/pumpkin pie spice
3-4 tbsp Sugar free maple syrup
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce
3 tbsp warm water
Brownies-whether solo or with these bad boy pumpkin cakes. mhmm.
4 tbsp whole wheat flour
7 tbsp cacao
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1 egg white
1/2 cup raw sugar
3 tbsp coconut oil
3 tbsp pumpkin puree
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup warm water
How strong you must be, to let go.
Noone knows the strength you endure, unless they too, have been in that position. Knowing someone, loving someone, saying goodbye to that someone. All of these things life gives us, and we have to some how accept it.
I was going through old things in my house earlier. After a cleaning rant I went on. Going through old papers, trying to sort out what to throw away. I found 2 things. A flowery pearl piece that once was on a yellow cardigan. And a note, I printed out from the internet, of a message someone sent me via facebook. A very long time ago. Both pieces in the same bag. Related to the same topic. I suppose now, I have no fear to talk about such personal things, because now I know my journey, could possibly support someone else's, in their hard time.
I moved to California when I was 18. May of 2005 actually. I got into a school in L.a., which would start in August. I was excited yes- but mainly, I wanted to leave my hometown in Georgia, very badly. As quick as possible actually. I used school as an excuse to be excited about going somewhere different. But the majority of it was me just wanting to leave all that was there in my hometown. This feeling of sadness, and loss. And the somewhat emotionless, person I had began to turn into.
I will say- no matter what life throws at you, it's never anything we can't handle. We always have options. It's our choice to follow our destiny. We always know what is right, I believe that to the end. People who are homeless, people who do drugs, hit others, kill people, etc. These people have made that choice. Unless. yes, they are mentally unstable and have no capability of making choices- etc. BUT, the people who are in a bad position- made a choice, prior to that state, that led them there. Thats why making choices, are so important for us. Right now, not tomorrow. That goes for everything. Including food, and alcohol. But as I always go off on tangents, so sorry. Let me get back to what I was saying. I turned into that emotionless being, because I was suffering. Suffering from losing my father, to a ridiculous,vicious, cancer. For the longest time, I ignored the fact, that he was gone. Pretended like it was just vacation, and he'd be back. Since I wasn't living where he used to, it was easier to believe that. Cause I couldn't see if he was home or not anyway.
Losing my dad, was pretty much the hardest part of life that has happened to me yet. But the fact of the matter is, I continued on. I had a terrible, awful, thing happen to me. I was angry, I was sad- I didn't eat- I ate too much. I became frustrated with everyone in my family who already saw this coming, how could I be so blind? It was unexpected after all. I didn't prepare for this. How was everyone else so prepared? Knowing it was a chance. I had every ounce of optimism in my dad, to survive. This invincible man, who used to carry me when I was a baby. Wait for me at the top of the drive way- in the most embarrassing car he could find. Silliest business man there was. How could he go.
He may have left this world, physically, but it's true. His soul is still here. And the memories in my mind of him- will never be taken away from me. And we will meet again- and be together. Strength is what you gain. From letting go. I feel like Mrs. Lancelot somehow. This iron woman of sorts. Knowing I hold this information in my mind. Life would be a huge jerk, to take the people you live to love- away from you forever, and I just don't find that true.
As a whole- this message I wanted to write and share with all of you- is that terrible, things happen to us. I know. As I sit here and look at my dresser, which has that piece off of my yellow cardigan I wore at my dads funeral. I remember how I stood up that day and spoke, of how much I loved him. I had strength. Strong love he gave me, I showed for him. And I as I re-read this note, from a girl telling me how much she admired me, and I was one of her role models, for finishing my senior year in high school, after this happened. I feel proud. Knowing, I made a choice. I made the choice, to not stay in my hometown, even though I was entirely sad and depressed. I left and began to find new beginnings, just like he wanted me to do. And I know he is proud of me for finding out about how to take care of myself, and helping others, take care of themselves.
I love you guys.
Be strong! Smile. Your amazing.
So I know I love posting these lovely, time taking, recipes. And of course, in hopes of you all making them yourself. Sparking an interest in you- to motivate you to create your own sort of recipe, etc. The creativity continues... But- being realistic. We can't always make stuff. I know, believe me, it even happens to me. If your not prepared- it can be very frustrating! I'm an actress- and on the go to auditions all the time. Before work. Thankfully my work serves food, vegan food, the best actually ;) Besides the point- We all need a snack with us, or to eat our breakfast wrapped up in a paper towel. Main point is- you must be prepared! Always have something with you- because if not, those times when your beyond hungry and have no options around, are no good. I am trying to help you avoid those times!
So here are some of my favorite go to's when I'm on the road- again. ;) or even at home, but you truly just wanna grab something sit down and relax. I get it. This happens to me rarely- but indeed, it does happen. Some days get the best of us, and we just want it to be put on the table for us. Pretty sure thats why they invented 'the restaurant' back in the day. ;) Thankful for that idea! Sometimes all we have is a pot and a pan and even a toaster. Gotta make the most of what you have!
Let's start with breakfast
This used to be a very difficult time for me. When first becoming vegan. I couldn't figure out a meal for the life of me! But I since then have created lots of recipes for 'breakfast'. Which you can make if you have a little bit more time on your hands in the morning. Tofu Scrambles, Pancakes or Waffles, Vegan Sausages, and Banana French Toast. But again- for the on the go morning person. Here are a few recipes- and non recipes. Let's face it- when your on the go, sometimes, it's easier to just grab a protein bar, or have some cereal. I'm not on of those people who like to make a protein bar, I don't trust myself that it would be good :/ But there are tons of recipes out there- and if you think you could, you should go for it! ;) Otherwise, here are my favorite brands of products as well.
*PureFit Protein Bars
*Nature's Path Organic Cereal topped with Blueberries +1 tbsp chia seeds
*Ezkiel Bread or Natures Path Vegan Waffles -topped with Almond butter or Peanut Butter if you prefer.
+ Sliced banana + sprinkle of cinnamon and chia seeds. (my favorite breakfast.)
+ Sprinkle with 1 tbsp chia seeds -I do this with everything! Chia seeds are awesome.
+ Also really good if you top with fresh blueberries.
*Green Smoothies -you know I have a million recipes for these!
*Muffins -you could make these when you do have time and then have left overs for a bit :)
*Yogurt with berries or nuts
*Oatmeal with berries or nuts
and for the Non Vegan-
All of the answers up there would equally be ok for you- as well as not worrying about whether or not the product is vegan. BUT I will say, no matter what you are carnivore, herbivore- look at the labels when it comes to packaged food. Always strive for Organic, and always read ingredients to make sure that it is only Whole wheat. It will say Whole - before the word wheat, any time referring to wheat. If it just says wheat, or unbleached wheat- still not 100%! There are products out there that are 100% also! So look for them! Kashi and Nature's Path are really good brands when it comes to being %100 Whole.
Ezekiel Tortilla with Black Beans and egg whites +salsa
English Muffin with veg. sausage + egg whites + salsa
Egg white scramble with spinach and onions.
French Toast with Ezekiel Bread
Almonds!!!! I love Trader Joe's for packing individual sized raw almond packs. I take one with me in my car.
Apple or any fruit.
Whole Wheat pita with Hummus
Banana with almond butter
Sweet Potato- Slice up a sweet potato, then cut pieces into 4's. Cook in boiling water for about 10-15 m. Strain, Serve in bowl, Ketchup or Cashew Cheeze for dipping.
Lunch and/or Dinner
*Tacos - Simply the easiest , Just cook black beans with spices. Warm Corn tortillas, top with cilantro, salsa, avocado and cashew cheeze.
*Burrito- Same as the taco! Just use Ezekiel tortilla; If you like rice in your burrito's usually, then try quinoa. It's very fast to cook!
*Veg Burger or Sandwich- My usual go to- All you need is 2 pieces of Ezekiel Bread ,Bun or Pita. Hummus or Cashew Cheeze to add as spread. Avocado, Cilantro, Veg patty (I like Vegan Boca Burgers) Spinach, Carrots, Sprouts.
*Basic 3 meal.- Meaning a green, a grain, a protein. + sauce. I would say if time is not on your side, then quinoa is the best grain choice, it's very fast to cook. Plus just make a lot when you do, store it in your fridge and it'll be ready next time you want some! I like to do shredded kale with Black Beans and quinoa, topped with cashew cheeze.
*Salad. -Any bed of greens topped with as many veggies as you'd like! Black Beans are real good on salads! +cashew cheeze
*Tofu stir fry- Can be very fast. Grill Tofu with Bragg's amino acids. Steam Broccoli and Kale. Drain, add together. Really good!
If you have any questions about this- please leave a comment, I'd be happy to answer :)
So theres this little thing called- obsessed. And you could say, I am a bit over pumpkin. But hey, at least I acknowledge it and admit it- and take action on my issue. Which is to create the ultimate delicious recipes for all treats containing pumpkin!
As you know in my previous post earlier last week, I made pumpkin donuts. Well- last night- the same exciting thing happened again. Except this time, I did a little something different with the icing.
Weirdly enough, I'm not a super big fan of sweets. I actually much rather prefer salty. So when it comes to icing, I don't actually use as much 'sugar' as your supposed to- I just want to let you know this first hand, because if you do indeed like a good icing, by all means go ahead and make it the right way ;) Mine is on the thinner side- less sweet, just the way I like :P
So the how to part:
(Right way): 1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
1/2 cup confectioners sugar
4 tbsp almond milk
1 tbsp joseph's sugar free maple syrup
a few sprinkles of cinnamon
1 1/2 tbsp cacao powder
and voi la! Chocolate Icing Folks! There ya have it!
Theres such little things in life that are such huge deals to me. I'm easily pleased :) and amused for that matter. With colors, and food, and inspired by people and words, just the smallest things, can make my day. Or give me a realization of need of change in my life, or a push to do something. I do like that about me. I know I don't have it all- ever. So I'm constantly trying to change, and evolve, and become a better person. I love being around people who make you want to be a better person, don't you? It's funny, cause even just today at work. I was talking with this girl who is a customer, but also a friend, we connected since were both originally from the south. ;) But I told my co-worker after she left, it's amazing how some people, just simply make you want to be a better person. Don't you see- were all examples to one another. If someone is rude to you- your reaction is either to be nice back and wish them well, or be even meaner back to them. Theres that point in our lives where we really have to chose, who we are and how we go about situations. I understand there have been times in my life when I was wrong, and I didn't admit to that. And thats disappointing to me because I am ashamed of not owning up to my faults. When it was clearly there.
Our prides, we hold so dear. But seeing inside someones vulnerable soul has so much more beauty. Seeing someones truth. Is a blessing. Cause were all good people. Deep down. I truly believe it. I know we are. I know some of us become tainted as we grow up, and chose to live a lifestyle we think suits us and the personality we've created. But it's ever changing. Your not always going to be the same person, unless you want to be. Sometimes I don't like how I am, sometimes I do. But the whole percentage of the time, we need to really trust who we are and love ourselves completely. If we can remember this I'm sure were destined to love so much more and have more compassion and kindness for others.
Well now I know that's no way to leave you- with just words of wisdom ;) And you know , no post is a good post, unless there is recipe. Since this post is inspired by my southern friend. I would like to share with you my southern dish I made the other night. Well the night before I started my cleanse that is. I had been really wanting to make cauliflower mashed potatoes. Like reaaaal bad. So I went to buy cauliflower. And guess what I found. OMG. Purple cauliflower.
Amazing right? It's ridiculous!
So as you can see- I made some purple cauliflower mashed potatoes. I thought when I bought it, how cool would this look! But of course through cooking, the color is a bit lost :( so it was more like lavender cauliflower mashed potatoes. Regardless. For being colorful carb-less 'mashed potatoes' they were good!
Accompanied with the cauli-mash, were vegan faux chicken nuggets and steamed rainbow chard. as well as one other thing. Oh right, cornbread. Yeah. your gonna be so surprised when I tell you what I did to this cornbread. Like some of you already know, I'm a healthy nut. I like to convert everything unhealthy- into healthy. It's kind of like my passion, my drive! So when anything calls for sugar, it first off- annoys me. Then I get un-annoyed and realize it's time to make my own recipe out of this. So I always do. Thats what I've done here!
purple cauliflower mash:
1 head of purple cauliflower
1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
1/4 cup water
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp oregano
1/4 teaspoon sea salt (optional)
black pepper (to your liking)
2 tsp whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons water
Directions: Cook cauliflower in boiling water until very soft. Then put in colander to drain. When cauliflower is cool enough, get excess water out of it. Then put it in the food processor.
In another sauce pan combine all sauce ingredients except for the flour. Stir all ingredients first at a boil, then add in the flour. It should get thick from that. Then your set, add the sauce to the mashed cauliflower, stir it up and you have cauliflower mashed potatoes! Yes it's that easy.
-2 tbsp chia seeds
6 tbsp water ( chia egg)
-1 cup whole wheat flour
-1 cup cornmeal
-2 tbsp. Joseph's sugar free maple syrup
-2 tbsp. organic sugar
-4 tsp. baking powder
-3/4 tsp salt
-1 cup unsweetened almond milk
-1/4 cup apple sauce
+ cayenne pepper or chopped jalapenos, if you like it spicy!
if you've never tried it this way, you must!
Preheat oven to 425
Spray a baking pan
Mix all wet ingredients and also dry separately
Then combine and mix together
Place mixture in pan
Cook for 15-20 minutes!
and try not to go crazy as they're cooking as I did ! Oh my goodness, it smells soooooo good. I love the smell of anything corn! But cornbread. Yikes! Well thats it for tonight my loves! Hope you are inspired to jump into your kitchen and get to cookin'!