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Archive for the ‘nom noms’ Category

sham-rock n’roll!

happy (early) st. patrick’s day, little leprechauns! lexi and i try our best to avoid mcdonald’s like the plauge. but every year around this time, those golden arches threaten to pull us in with those tempting shamrock shakes. oooh yum!

this season, we decided to steer clear of mickey d’s and have concocted a festive treat of our own! with a dash of invigorating peppermint, this perfectly healthy “milkshake” makes for a delicious breakfast smoothie and an awesome alternative treat to the questionable fast food classic.

you need:

~1 large banana

~1 cup vanilla almond milk (or soy milk)

~1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract

~1/2 teaspoon agave nectar (you can use honey or maple syrup or any natural sweetener you’d like!)

~4 or 5 fresh mint leaves

here’s how:

add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth.  pour in to serving cups and freeze for 30 minutes, stirring every ten minutes or so.  top with a fresh mint leaf and serve.

(makes 2 servings)

xo. lexi and lo

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Dear Diary,

Today is the 23rd day of being vegan! We can’t believe we made it! We’ve definitely never cooked so much in our lives, or purchased so much produce. There have been disasters (Lexi’s sister still isn’t speaking to her after that tofu scramble incident. “Not tasty” is a grave understatement) and there have been amazing successes (Hello, curry! Who knew you were so delicious?!).  There have been some haters (“Wait, you’re not eating cheeeeesseee???? what’s wrong with you???) and some awesome friends whose dinner invites have mentioned “a vegan option for those crazy people who are into that”. Essentially, just like anything new, there are ups and downs, you question your choices, feel frustrated when you screw up, then (hopefully) realize that it’s all a learning process and you give yourself a break.

Every week there’s been something new to learn and take away from completely changing our diets. It’s been so interesting to learn so much from food.  At the beginning, the things we learned were specific and physical.  Discovering how to get through the day without feeling too hungry, not accidentally eating junk food constantly, and how in the world to cook black-eyed peas. This week, as those specific things are becoming more second nature, the lesson of the week is a little less tangible. The negative feelings and feelings of “missing out” are waning, and that spot is being replaced with something so positive. Unapologetic is in the name of our blog, right? Okay, so we’re not going to apologize when we say that today, on day 23, we’re feeling the love. Love, as in, we feel like we’re loving our bodies by feeding them things that are healthy. When we look at an avocado,we feel like it’s pretty magical. Kale? Magic central. Giant glass of cold water? Bowl full of ripe tomatoes? We love you. Perhaps we’ve lost our minds. The lack of cheese has driven us mad. We prefer to think that all of this insanely healthy food has shown us that eating vegan isn’t really about going without, but about giving yourself more of the foods that your body loves. It’s like we’re saying “Hey, bod! I really love the hell out of you!” with every bite. For us, eating vegan was about finding this kind of positive feeling, even if we didn’t know specifically how it would happen. For you, it could be something else entirely. The main thing to take away, for us at least, is to do something good for yourself, something that makes you feel beautiful inside and out. You’re pretty special, and we could all use the love.

xo

Lexi & Lo

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happy valentine’s day! i hope you’re enjoying breakfast in bed, or making wild plans for tonight or just sitting at your desk drinking coffee and eating candy hearts…ahem…

valentine’s day is a silly little holiday that we just love to pieces. it’s not x-mas, it’s not your birthday, but you do get to tell people you love them more than usual, eat candy, and wear obnoxious amounts of pink and red if you so desire. what better way to celebrate a holiday this carefree and fun than with a tea party?

our tea party was somewhere between British high tea and a tea party you might have had when you were 5 years old, with all of your dolls and stuffed animals.  it was delightful, fun, and covered in sugar- just the way we like our valentine’s day to be. we had sugar cookies and banana bread, that we shared a few days ago, and tried these little pies in jars that we saw on ourbestbites. they were so tasty, but the next time around we may not use so much filling.  they turned out to be a pretty delicious mess, as you can see!

xoxoxoxo cutiepies! we love you to bits.

lo & lexi

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gimme some sugar!

cookies say i love you, plain and simple. don’t you agree? cookies also say “i’m probably not vegan”. boo! our month of being vegan was a potential valentine’s day bummer in the sweets department.  well don’t worry, my little sugar cookies. we figured out a way to turn that sugar-loving frown upside-down with tasty cookies and light, fluffy frosting- all vegan friendly of course. so, get to the store, grab these simple ingredients and whip up some love for the sweeties in your life. nom nom nom.

note: we have discovered that vegan cooking and vegan baking are very different adventures (more on that later in the week in our next vegan diary entry) so we’ve had a lot to learn. by the end of the month we hope to be constructing our very own vegan baking recipes, but are having lots of fun learning from the brainy bakers we’ve come across so far!

enjoy!

xoxo lo & lexi

SUGAR COOKIES (recipe from my ancient Betty Crocker cookbook)

you need:

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 cup vegan butter-substitute or margarine, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
“1 egg”- 1 tablespoon ground flax seed mixed with 3 tablespoons water.
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cream of tartar

to do:

1. mix powdered sugar, butter, vanilla, almond extract and egg in large bowl. stir in remaining ingredients except granulated sugar. cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours.
2. heat oven to 375ºF. lightly grease cookie sheet.
3. divide dough in half. roll each half 1/4 inch thick on lightly floured surface. cut into desired shapes with cookie cutters or get crazy and cut them out yourself with a very sharp knife. place on cookie sheet.
4. bake 7 to 8 minutes or until edges are light brown. remove from cookie sheet. cool on wire rack.

VEGAN VANILLA FROSTING: (found in Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World: 75 Dairy-Free Recipes for Cupcakes that Rule from the people over at Post Punk Kitchen)

you need:
1/2 cup nonhydrogenated shortening
1/2 cup nonhydrogenated margarine
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted if clumpy
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 cup plain soy milk or soy creamer

to do:

1. beat the shortening and margarine together until well combined and fluffy. add the sugar and beat for about 3 more minutes.
2. add the vanilla and soy milk, and beat for another 5 to 7 minutes until fluffy.

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we’ve all been there. you buy a bunch of bananas, with the intention of eating one a day like the healthy little person that you are. somehow, 5 days pass and you haven’t touched the bananas, and now they are sitting on top of your fridge, looking sad and brown. but wait! don’t toss ’em! make bread!

i found this recipe from an old Betty Crocker cookbook that my mom gave me, and just substituted out the non-vegan ingredients to make this work for our month of veganism.

note: heart shaped pans will not make your bread taste better, but may make you happier. it’s worth a shot, no?

you need:

1 1/4 cups sugar

1/2 cup  butter substitute,  like Earth Balance brand.)

2 “eggs” ( one egg= 1 tablespoon ground flax seed mixed with  3 tablespoons of water)

1 1/2 cups mashed very ripe bananas (3 to 4 medium)

1/2 cup almond or soy milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cups  all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

2 loaf pans, 8 1/2×4 1/2×2 1/2 inches, or 1 loaf pan, 9x5x3 inches

to do:

1. before you preheat, move oven rack to low position so that tops of pans will be in center of oven. heat oven to 350°F. grease bottoms only of 2 loaf pans, 8 1/2×4 1/2×2 1/2 inches, or 1 loaf pan, 9x5x3 inches.

2. mix sugar and “butter”.

3. stir in “eggs” until well mixed. beat until the mix is nice and smooth.

4. stir in flour, baking soda and salt just until moistened. if you want to add nuts at this point, go for it!

5. pour into pans.

6. bake 8-inch loaves about 1 hour, 9-inch loaf about 1 1/4 hours, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean

7. cool 10 minutes
enjoy!

xoxo lo&lexi

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the vegan diaries: day 7

week one of our vegan challenge is under our belts and despite a small slip up (an isolated cheeto incident that shall never be mentioned again), we are pretty proud of ourselves!

this past week we struggled with the fact that being a junk food vegan is waaaaay too easy.  french fries, “chicken” nuggets, black bean burgers, chips, cookies, pizza,  ice cream…yes, all of these things can be vegan! not only is vegan junk food so much more tempting than a bowl full of steamed veggies, but its much easier to grab on the go. being a health conscious vegan takes a little forethought and a pinch of preparation. and thus, we discovered batch cooking.

up until now, we considered batch cooking to be a little like a unicorn. we had heard rumors. legends and myths of highly organized, obscenely healthy people with unnaturally focused and lengthy attention spans preparing a weeks worth of delicious homemade meals in one go! sounds ideal, but could we be those unicorns?

so we swapped recipe ideas, made our grocery lists, and devoted our Sunday evening to our kitchens. as it turns out, batch cooking is super relaxing, really efficient, and fills your home with the yummiest smells!  below we share our 3 favorite recipes that we’ll be feeding on all week! xo, Lexi and Lo.

1 cup frozen corn, thawed

1 3/4 cup cornmeal

1 3/4 cup flour (preferably whole wheat flour)

2 cups unsweetened almond milk

4 tablespoon ground flax

1/2 tablespoon salt

1/2 cup honey

2 tablespoons baking powder

preheat oven to 350 degrees. combine all the dry ingredients in a medium mixing bowl. in a separate bowl, combine all the wet ingredients and then add to dry ingredients. mix well. grease muffin pan with a light brushing of vegan butter (we like earth balance) and then fill in with mixture. bake for 12-15 minutes or until the muffins are golden brown.

2 cups dried black beans

5 cups veggie stock

1 medium onion, chopped

1 bell pepper, seeded and chopped

1 cup frozen corn

1/2 fresh jalapeno, seeded and chopped

2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 tablespoon nutritional yeast

thoroughly rinse the beans and soak overnight (or 6 to 8 hours prior to cooking). drain and rinse and proceed with recipe.

heat a large pot over medium heat. add 2 tablespoons water, onion, bell pepper, corn, jalapeno, and garlic. saute, stirring frequently, until the onion becomes translucent (about 10 minutes). add in cumin during the last few minutes of sauteing. add beans and veggie stock. bring soup to a boil, lower to a simmer and cook, uncovered, for 2 hours (or until beans are tender). stir in nutritional yeast during the last ten minutes. soup will keep up to 5 days refrigerated.

 marinated tofu

14 oz package of firm tofu

3/4 cup balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons dijon mustard

1 teaspoon dried oregano

drain and lightly press tofu. in a small mixing bowl, combine balsamic vinegar with dijon mustard and dried oregano. pour over tofu in an oven safe dish and let marinate for half an hour. preheat oven to 350 degrees. bake tofu for 1 hour. serve with steamed veggies over brown rice or quinoa.

here’s a bonus recipe that puts that marinated tofu to (very delicious) use!

“chicken” salad

marinated tofu from above recipe

1/4 cup raw cashew pieces

1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

pinch of salt

squeeze of lemon

cube marinated tofu in to bite size pieces.  soak cashew pieces until soft and then drain. combine cashew pieces, vinegar, salt, and lemon in a food processor and blend until smooth.  combine with tofu pieces (add chopped celery and onion, if desired) and season to taste.

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this is something we’re a little obsessed with. kale and red cabbage are insanely good for you, and this salad is so light, tasty, and takes under 9 minutes to make. maybe even 8 minutes. we highly recommend making a lot of this, as it keeps well for a couple of days, and who doesn’t love leftovers? make it now and you can munch on it all weekend long! throw it into a sandwich instead of something sad and boring like lettuce! let us know what you think, and if you make modifications of your own, we’d love to hear about it.

xoxo

you need:

half of a red cabbage (or 3 cups) chopped

2 or 3 big stalks of kale (or 3 cups) chopped up. note: just cut the leafy parts of the stalk and chop that up.

2 or 3 tablespoons of red onion

1/4 cup of raisins

2 tablespoons of sunflower seeds

2 tablespoons of dijon mustard

2 tablespoons of olive oil

2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar

salt and pepper ( a dash of each)

to do:

1. throw all chopped veggies and raisins and sunflower seeds into a bowl

2. in a separate bowl, make the dressing by whisking the mustard, oil, vinegar, salt and pepper together

3. toss veggie mix with dressing and serve

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