Food

9
Oct
2018

Currently Loving: So Delicious Dairy-Free Yogurt Alternatives (With Cultures!)

I was vegetarian for the majority of my life, so dairy was, by far, the hardest part of my transition to veganism (at least, when it came to the food I purchase and eat). Switching away from cow’s milk wasn’t too difficult (coconut and oat and soy, oh my!), but cheese and YOGURT were daily staples of mine that took awhile to find great replacements for. Years later, I can say that through a lot of trial and error, I ultimately found what I like! I am so excited to talk to you guys about one of my favorite food brands, a brand that made my transition a little bit easier: So Delicious!

so delicious dairy free yogurt

So Delicious is a dairy alternative brand offering a plethora of products which are widely available at mainstream grocery stores. I am a fan of their frozen desserts, CocoWhip (I eat it with strawberries for a healthier dessert option), and most of all: their yogurt alternatives. Coconut-based, gluten-free, vegan, and containing live and active cultures, So Delicious yogurt alternatives are not only incredibly thoughtful and healthy, but they also do live up to their name!

Their yogurts are a perfect balance of tanginess and sweetness, with the creamy texture I look for in a non dairy yogurt. They have 13 flavors to choose from: some faves are their pineapple brûlée, vanilla, strawberry banana, key lime (my husband’s favorite) and blueberry. (I haven’t tried this personally yet, but I’ve also seen foodie bloggers making yogurt bowls with the So Delicious unsweetened option, stacking on tons of toppings like berries and coconut shreds and cacao.). The yogurts are available in single serve sizes, or, in some flavors, in big ol’ 24 ounce tubs. I typically grab the single serves, plus one tub of vanilla which I use to make chia yogurt bowls for my mornings. I hope you’ll give So Delicious a try and let me know what you think. You can click here to find a store near you that carries their products. If you find one you love, or a yogurt bowl with toppings that you think I need to know about, send it my way, I would love to see! Xoxo

 

26
Jun
2018

C-Section Recovery | Feat: GRUBHUB

Hi guys!  It is my first time back to the blog after having baby River (I LOVE HIM!!!! AND I STILL CAN’T BELIEVE HE’S HERE!!!) via my planned c-section.  I chose to have a c-section for a variety of reasons, both medical and emotional, which I will get into at a later date.  I was not naive– I knew that the recovery would be challenging at times, as it is a major abdominal surgery.  I wanted to plan a few weeks after River’s birth to do absolutely nothing– no cleaning, no driving (that one is a hard rule from the doctor), no cooking (don’t have to tell me twice! haha!). If you find yourself in the position where you’re having a c-section, my main advice would be:

  • Bring bunch of DVDs to the hospital. Matt and I went through the entire first season of Homeland.
  • Walk as soon as possible. You’ll feel like hell, but do it anyway. Prevents blood clots and will speed up your recovery.
  • Have a support system.  Matt did not leave the hospital once in all 4 days we were there, and I was so thankful.  You’ll need help getting around/walking the halls, and also emotional support when you’re so tired and sore but need to be hand-expressed so your baby can get some colostrum… It hurts, and I was glad to have my husband there advocating for me and my desires while I was in a weakened state.
  • TAKE THE PAIN MEDS for goodness sake.  I am very resistant to medication in general– if it isn’t 100% necessary, chances are I’ll choose to skip it and power through on my own.  Not in this case. You’re going to want to feel OK enough to really bond with your baby and move around.
  • Get a bunch of high fiber snacks for the hospital and for your home in the weeks following the surgery. TRUST ME.

Back to the “no driving and no cooking” thing. I was so excited to find that Grubhub delivers healthy, plant based food from my favorite places without huge fees tacked onto it. We used them while we were in the hospital (chances are, your hospital won’t provide food for your partner– only you.  Plus, it isn’t exactly a vegan mecca over there…), and then many times once we had returned home.  For instance, Grubhub rescued me this morning when Matt had to run out for a meeting, River ended up being attached to my breast for about 2 hours (he’s currently cluster feeding, probably a growth spurt), and I was STARVING.  FYI: Breastfeeding makes you hungrier than pregnancy! You burn up to 1000 calories per day doing it, so you need to make sure you are feeding yourself enough. But I digress.

It took 2 minutes to jump on Grubhub, order a “You’re So Vegan” breakfast bowl (pictured above… ain’t it pretty?) from one of my favorite restaurants, Dream Cafe– and 25 minutes later, it was here!

Grubhub is generously offering my readers $9 off their first order (yay!) if you use this link: https://grhb.me/2tczTLx

Check them out and let me know what you think!

grubhub

29
May
2018

Veestro… Just Heat, Eat, and Love!

You guys.  Baby River will be here in 9 DAYS!!!!!!  I feel like I’ve been pregnant forever, and it’s so unreal to me that I almost have him with me now!

We are starting to prepare the house/ourselves for the “4th trimester,” that crazy month or so following birth where mom’s hormones are running wild, you are trying to get the hang of sleeping/breastfeeding/your new normal, and things are just HECTIC.  There have been infant CPR classes to take, cloth diapers to pre-wash, baby swings to assemble, and finances to sort out.  But one of the easiest things I’ve done to prepare for the 4th trimester has been stocking up on frozen meals from Veestro so that we don’t have to even think about what we are going to eat during that time… But we DO know it’s going to be plant-based deliciousness that takes barely any time to heat up!

Veestro offers chef-prepared, preservative-free, organic meals at a super reasonable price. They have lots of options to tailor their meals to you: gluten-free meals, weight-loss meals, money-saving meal packs, and cleanses, for instance.  Personally, my favorite way to order is just off of their a la carte menu so that I can get my very favorites and try new things and mix it all up the way I want to.  Some of my favorites: baked mac n cheez, the lentil meatloaf, and their gluten-free omelet primavera. Their breakfast scrambles are really good, too… My husband loves those.  (He wants me to be sure and let y’all know that his very favorite meal has been the mushroom stroganoff!)

Check out Veestro, and let me know what you think!  There has truly never been an easier way to eat plant-based, chef-prepared, restaurant-quality meals at home, affordably.

 

 

 

 

1
Mar
2018

Recipe: Vegan Quesadillas! (In collaboration with Dani from Little Mixico)

Background:

Dani Rios is a (non-vegan) foodie & style blogger + YouTuber from Dallas, whom I’ve only met a handful of times.  What I can immediately tell about Dani: she is high energy, super sweet, and loves food!  She recently texted me to let me know that she’s “veggie curious” but afraid of giving up cheese (sound familiar??) and wondered if I’d like to get together and make something cheesy-but-vegan…And of course, I jumped at the chance!  If you know me, you know I’m always eager to improve my culinary skills (it’s an uphill battle, guys), and some easy-but-delicious vegan quesadillas sounded like just the thing.

Ingredients (we got all for about $25-$30, and this can feed several people and/or make for multiple dinners):

  1. Tortillas (Most are vegan! But check on the back to just make sure there is no dairy listed in ingredients.)
  2. Vegan Butter (I recommend Earth Balance)
  3. Olive Oil
  4. Beyond Meat Chicken-Free Strips
  5. Red & green bell pepper (sliced)
  6. Onion (sliced and/or diced)
  7. Garlic (minced)
  8. Vegan Cheese (we recommend Follow Your Heart brand; we used cheddar and pepper jack, but it is also great with provolone; experiment with combos! Either shredded or sliced works.)
  9. Red pepper flakes
  10. Chili powder
  11. White wine vinegar
  12. OPTIONAL: salsa; avocados/lime/seasonings for guacamole; and/or vegan sour cream

Instructions:

  1. Heat olive oil in a large, non-stick pan over medium-high; add the chicken-free strips and cook for 1 minute or so
  2. Add a splash of vinegar, onion, garlic, bell peppers, red pepper flakes and chili powder.  Stir and sauté for about 4 more minutes. Remove from heat.
  3. Coat another non-stick pan in vegan butter.  Place one tortilla in the pan over medium-high. Sprinkle shredded cheese evenly over the tortilla, or place slices evenly.
  4. Once cheese begins to melt, layer some of the veggie and chicken mixture over the cheese.
  5. Top with a second tortilla. Cook until golden brown on both sides, or for approximately 2-3 minutes on each side.
  6. Remove quesadilla from pan, and repeat with remaining ingredients.
  7. Cut each quesadilla into triangles with a pizza cutter; serve hot.

vegan quesadillas

vegan quesadillas

vegan quesadillas

vegan quesadillas

vegan quesadillas

vegan quesadillas

photos by Manny Rodriguez

 

(Recipe was massively inspired by my friend Jessica Hoar‘s Instagram story!)

 

Link to Dani’s YouTube vid (step-by-step making of the vegan quesadilla)

30
Jan
2018

Green Chef | Vegan Meal Kit!

Martha Stewart, I am not.  But as it turns out,  I can read & follow directions (especially when given the pre-measured ingredients) with the best of them!   

I’m talking about Green Chef, an organic, gluten-free meal kit delivery service.  This is how it works:

  1. You select which meal plan option you’d like (cough cough VEGAN cough), as well as how many people you plan on feeding (i.e.: Two people? A family of four?).  Pick your subscription plan and which day you’d like your deliveries, and VOILA — they come delivered to your doorstep like magic!
  2. Once they arrive, you put on your cutesy “kiss the chef” apron and get to cookin’!  Each meal only takes about half an hour, and the directions/recipes are pretty much foolproof.  
  3. Pat yourself on the back and eat your delicious, beautiful meal!  

The menu and recipes change every single week, and are truly restaurant-quality.  

As amazing as Green Chef is, they are not the only meal kit company out there. There are, however, several things that set them apart from the rest and make them my personal preferred service:

  • Green Chef is the first USDA-certified meal kit company, and they serve more organic ingredients than any other company in the industry.  So you’re getting organic ingredients with no GMOs, synthetic pesticides, antibiotics, growth hormones, or steroids. Just healthy and pure, REAL food.
  • Green Chef is also the first meal kit company to receive Gluten-Free certification through the Gluten Intolerance Group’s Gluten-Free Food Service program.
  • The menu is simply better than other services I’ve used.  The options are always flavorful, filling, and delicious… i have literally not had a single meal from them where I was left feeling “meh.”  My fiancé even went as far as saying that one of our meals, the Kung Pao Cauliflower dish, was “the best meal he’s had in YEARS” (!!!!!!!)  He has been SO impressed, which is so important to me since he is in the process of going 100% plant-based.

This past week, I made 3 new Green Chef meals, all of which I loved:  Roasted Sweet Potato Bowl; Portabello Steak; and Kung Pao Cauliflower.  I’ll attach photos below, but excuse the lack of photographic evidence for the cauliflower; my husband seriously gobbled it up before I could even get my camera out!  Sigh.

portabello mushroom steak green chef vegan

vegan meal green chef

green chef sweet potato bowl vegan meal

sweet potato bowl vegan meal green chef

All in all, I am addicted to Green Chef.  You’ll see them a lot from me moving forward, not only because it is an easy and cost-effective way to feed my little fam with plant-based, organic, gluten-free goodness, but ALSO because this service is actually teaching me how to cook!  I am such a novice, but the Green Chef really breaks the preparation and execution of these recipes down to where I can actually grasp what I need to do, and is getting me familiar with my kitchen it’s accoutrements. I am so excited about them, and I know that you will be, too!

Click below to get started.  Go to “menu” and select Vegangreen chef logo

 

 

*This post is done in collaboration with Green Chef.  All opinions are my own.

 

20
Jul
2017

vegan dog food (featuring v-dog): is it animal cruelty? is it healthy? and just… why???

Hey guys!  I have been waiting patiently for July (the first ever #VeganDog month!) to talk to you about my dogs’ diet.  I am excited because I really believe in this diet for my fur kids, and have seen their health improve with my own eyes… But I’m also a tad nervous because I know that for every open-minded “oh wow, thats cool, I’m so interested to hear how dogs thrive on a plant-based diet,” there’s a judgmental “you’re abusing your dogs by forcing your belief system on them.”

So–  let me get this out of the way: I did not decide to make my dogs go vegan simply because I am vegan.  HELL no. I love my babies. And as strict and passionate a vegan as I am, I would feed my dogs meat in a heartbeat if I thought they’d be unhealthy without it.  Without hesitation.

I was suspicious of store brand dog food way before even becoming vegan myself.  Did you know that dog food may legally contain “4-D” meat: meat from dead, dying, diseased and disabled animals? Typically, these dog food brands also include mill floor sweepings (which they call “grain”) cheap fillers like corn (that are often contaminated with high levels of pesticides and have thereby been deemed illegal to feed humans).  Think about it, you guys… Would YOU eat this stuff? If not, why would you feed it to your best friend who depends on you for survival?

I was vegan for almost a year and a half before I put my dogs on a veggie diet. I spent that year and a half slowly and thoroughly researching the history of vegan dogs, the teeth and nutritional history of dogs, the current state of the dog food industry and the ingredients of the so-called healthy dog food brands I had bought in the past. I kept on hearing about V-Dog, a family-owned, American, plant-based dog food company, so I decided to check it out. And now we are hooked!

Why I love V-Dog:

  1. It’s healthy!  24% pea protein, L-Carnitine, Taurine, and vitamins. No fillers, only fresh and wholesome ingredients like peas, lentils, brown rice, and quinoa. I mean… I would eat this stuff.
  2. It’s easy!  I have a subscription, so every month I get 4 bags of kibble and a bag of bones delivered to my doorstep. Zero thought is put into it… Yay!
  3. It’s made in the USA, which is always my preference. Also, eco-friendly, sustainable packaging!
  4. My dogs THRIVE on V-Dog.  Most of my friends’ dogs are overweight (in fact, over 40% of dogs are overweight, and this shortens their lifespan substantially), but my dogs are lean and fit.  My pitbull used to have super watery eyes (allergies) and ever since being on V-dog, its completely gone away.  EVERY veterinarian I’ve ever come into contact with demands to know what I feed them to keep them so lean and shiny with healthy teeth (literally, this happened this morning when I took my youngest baby to get some shots), and they are shocked when I tell them that it’s vegan dog food.  ***IMPORTANT NOTE!!!!! It is important to remember that vets have had little to NO nutritional training, whatsoever. So if your vet throws shade at your dog’s vegan diet, it’s always good to listen to a professional, but my advice is to take it with a grain of salt and do your own research.

Oh!  Before I forget, be sure and check out these Top 5 Vegan Dog Myths and Facts.  This page drove me to do a lot of my own digging and eventually get on board with the concept of a plant-based diet for my dogs.

Alright, y’all.  If nothing else, I urge you to simply CONSIDER what you are feeding your beloved animals.  We owe them that much.  Do 5 minutes of research.

As usual, please let me know of any questions you have about V-Dog, vegan dog food in general, or whatever else.  I am here to help!

 

7
Jun
2017

vegan love apparel + my favorite avocado toast recipe

On my not-so-good-at-adulting days, I sleep in until it’s 10 minutes before my first appointment and then rush out in a crazed state without eating breakfast.  On good days, I wake up about 30 minutes to an hour beforehand, make a decent breakfast (my trainers at Fit180 would be proud!  It’s all about the metabolism, people!).  On the BEST days, I wear a cutesy shirt and bring some of said breakfast to my fiancé in bed.  Today was one of those days!

[The Top]

“You’re the avocado to my toast” … Could this tank by Vegan Love Apparel get any more perfect? I love comfy, soft tanks to wear around the house.  If you know me, you know that I am loud and proud about my plant-based lifestyle, and I love supporting animal-loving clothing companies.  Vegan Love Apparel has something for everyone.  Major bonus: their materials are eco-friendly!  If you are a fellow earth-lover, check them out HERE.

[The Toast]

  1. Put wheat toast in oven at 350 until crispy
  2. Mash up an avocado half (per piece of toast) and spread it on toast
  3. Apply a layer of washed and peeled chickpeas atop the avocado
  4. In a zig zagging motion, throw on some Sriracha

That’s it!  Trust me, you’ll LOVE it.  Optional: top with nutritional yeast or salt & pepper.

__________

VEGAN LOVE APPAREL for threads!

Check out:  Avocado Toast 5 Ways by Gluten Free Vegan Pantry