Posts Tagged ‘vegan’
Sushi Night
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If I were a superhero, my kryptonite might be vegetable sushi rolls, and here’s why. 1: I can’t get enough of them. 2: When I go out for sushi, I can ring up quite a tab. Between the sake and the Sapporo and the massive quantities of sushi necessary to soak the two of them up,  I’m looking at a pretty expensive endeavor. On the upside, my ability to consume massive quantities of sushi enables me to use economies of scale to my advantage. For a modest set-up cost, I picked up a sushi-making kit, miso soup mix, nori, and sushi rice (all at World Market!). To date, I have made sushi 3 times and still have enough rice and nori for more. I also bought a delicious bottle of sake, but that barely made it through the first sushi night. For anyone who eats sushi a couple of times a month, I highly reccomend investing in these tools and taking some time to learn how to roll your own. I’ve included a great link below my veggie roll ingredients.
Nicole’s Veggie Roll
1/2 c. sushi rice, cooked
2 stalks of asparagus, lightly steamed
thinly sliced avocado
cucumbers, cut into thin straws
Coconut Rice
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Some of my friends have a huge problem with coconut, and some of my friends are crazy. Some of my friends fall into the venn diagram space where they are both crazy and have an issue with coconut. While I am not one to imply that correlation suggests causation, it makes me wonder sometimes. I am obsessed with coconut. Even though it’s horrible for the environment, I love the smell of banana boat suntan lotion. It reminds me of a Vegas pool in the summertime. I know that coconuts are full of fat, so I try to limit them in my diet as I am trying to lose another 10 pounds. However, I had some flaked coconut left over from the grrl scout cookie experiment, and I was trying to come up with a good way to use both that and the can of coconut milk that has been camped out in my pantry for what seems like months. I decided that if you can use vegetable broth to flavor rice, there’s no reason why you can’t use coconut milk as well. For this recipe, I use a blend of white and brown rice, so that you get the health benefits of the brown rice combined with some of the lighter texture of the white. I thought about calling it “Doesn’t Matter if You’re Brown or White”, because I just saw Captain Eo at Disneyland. However, we’ll just stick with Vegan Coconut Rice, because I am writing this much too early on a Saturday morning for such puns and games.
 

This makes a delicious side dish. I enjoyed it with tofu curry, but I imagine it going well with any number of spicy Thai or Indian dishes. I imagine that one could also throw in a little agave syrup and omit the peas and put together an impressive little dessert.

Vegan Coconut Rice

  • 1/2 c. white rice
  • 1/2 c. brown rice
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/4 of an onion
  • 1/2 can of coconut milk
  • toasted coconut flakes
  • handful of frozen peas

1. Heat the olive oil in a pan and cook the onion for 3-5 minutes. You’ll need something deep enough to simmer the rice in.
2. Pour in the dry rice. Stir and heat until the rice is toasted. This is just like making a risotto, so please feel free to do your best Gordon Ramsey impression.
3. Add 1/4 a can of coconut milk and enough water to make 2 cups. Allow the mixture to come to a low boil and cook until the rice is firm and almost all liquid is gone.
4. Add another cup of coconut milk and 1/4 c. peas. Simmer on medium until most of the new liquid is evaporated. You should get a creamy consistency, just like a risotto.

New Order
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I know that you know this by now, but I really do love vegan pancakes. At this point, any variation on my classic pancake recipe is merely gratuitous, but I’m just finding so many different ways to make them.  I love experimenting in my kitchen. Sometimes it works out really well for me, and sometimes it’s a bit of a disaster. I had never seen a recipe for blue corn pancakes before, but I did see them mentioned in the Skinny Bitch meal plan in the back of the book. So I decided, hey, this must be something that vegans eat. When I saw the blue corn flour in the Whole Foods bulk section, I realized that I had an opportunity to give them a try without necessarily committing to an entire pound of flour. It was like a test drive, or one of those boys who just wants to be friends in the beginning. I had a low stakes way of trying my hand at blue corn pancakes. I realize that the picture may make these little guys look unappetizing, but that’s either a function of my very poor photography or just the fact that they are slightly blue. Either way, I still need to get a better camera than the one on my i-phone. I made these pancakes, very appropriately, one Monday morning. Thus, the punny name.

Blue Monday Pancakes
  • 5/8 c. blue corn flour
  • 1 tsp. agave (because it goes better with the blue corn)
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tbsp. egg replacer
  • 1 tbsp. water
  • 3/4 c. of almond milk
  • a healthy dash of cinnamon
  1.  
  2. Pour the flour, agave, baking powder, salt, egg replacer into a bowl. Add the almond milk and water and mix until blended. 
  3. Add a dash of cinnamon.
  4. Spray the bottom of a frying pan (or pancake griddle if you are lucky) with nonstick spray and heat the pan to medium-high. The heat is very important if you want a golden brown pancake.
  5. Pour your batter and cook each pancake for about a minute, or until bubbles form at the top and the batter begins to firm. Flip and cook for another minute until golden brown on both sides. 

8 pancakes at 41 calories each

What a Lush
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This picture pretty much sums up my sophmore year of college.
Cigarette, jet black hair, drink in my hand, and some weird ribbon-y bow on my head.  No wonder why I felt like crap all the time. Anyway, I lifted this picture from Facebook, because today we are talking about Lush.
This is my second tango with veganism, and one of my resolutions is to focus on cleansing my entire life of animal products. In order to make that a reality, I had to start with my bathroom. I was doing pretty well with vegan shampoo, conditioner, and shaving cream, but I just couldn’t get behind the tea tree oil cleanser that I bought at Trader Joes. I have very sensitive, easily irritated skin, and it usually left my face way too dry. I knew that I needed a new cleanser, and I knew that I needed to go to Lush.
Lush is a company that makes fresh, organic, hand-made cosmetic products. While I have been there before for bath bombs and gifts, I had never really taken a look at their skin-care line until just this week. They helpfully label all of their vegan products, which was great. Instead of everything coming neatly packaged in 5 layers of cellophane, they treat a lot of their products like bulk bins, and they will cut off or scoop out however much you need. For example, I bought half a pound of cleanser and it came packaged in a clear plastic container with a cute little label.
The salesgirl there was very helpful as I explained my needs, and pointed me towards their Angels on Bare Skin, which is a clay-based cleanser. It has almonds to exfoliate as well as rose and lavender to balance out the skin. You basically scoop a little bit of this dry clay into your hand, mix it with a little bit of water, and rub it all over your face before rinsing. She suggested that I follow it up with their rose water toner, and I (always the sucker) bought both. I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how smooth and soft my skin is after cleansing, and a definitely see some of my redness going away. The only downside is that it doesn’t seem to be any good at deep-cleansing. They have a black charcoal clay as well, and I might try that one next time. Apparently my $15 supply is supposed to last about a month, but I don’t think I’ve been going through it that quickly, even though I use it twice a day.
Veganism is sometimes a double-edged sword. On the one hand, your body starts to detoxify itself and that’s great. On the other hand, all of the toxins and crap that used to reside in your body seems to rise to the surface and manifest itself in clogged pores. I was reading up on fasting and found out that a very common side effect is seeing your skin break out. The article reccomended daily exfoliating, which I am obviously doing with my new cleanser. I need to keep reminding myself that it’s only temporary until my body flushes everything out. In the meantime, I’m putting a lot of faith in Lush and we will see what happens.