Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Puttanesca Tofu Scramble

Sooo if you are new to tofu, or think that it's not your thing... think again. This is absolutely delicious, and incidentally it looks actually very much like scrambled eggs so YAY for a great substitute for breakfast. I first found this recipe in one of Isa Chandra Moskowitz's books... I think maybe Vegan with a Vengeance? Either way, the recipe is available on her website: NOM! 

Whip this up with a side of toast, fruit salad and a big, big cup of coffee. Hallelujah! 

Monday, May 21, 2018

Vegan, Gluten Free Pizza Dough

I cannot tell you what a saving grace this has been for me, it's so quick and delicious that I sometimes can't believe that I'm able to eat it and not get sick! It's also my solution to when I have a leftover can or portion of coconut milk that I didn't need for a recipe (I haaaate wasting canned coconut milk). 

I first was using a paleo Naan recipe from MyHeartBeets but I've really went wild with it to make it fit whatever my purpose is. I don't follow the portions of tapioca and almond flour anymore, I just add some of each until I get the density that I want. For pizza crusts, I add A TON more almond flour and tapioca so that I get a thick, dense batter. 

Essentially the recipe is:
Coconut Milk + Tapioca Flour + Almond Flour + Salt 
You can modify from there: Add some garlic, Thyme, Rosemary, Parsley, Cajun Spice, whatever floats your boat! 

I cook it same as in the original directions (So basically like a pancake) and then let them cool before storing in the fridge (or freezer) until I need them. Then you just reheat in the microwave (The hotter you get it, the more floppy it will be) and then use it as a wrap or gyro bread, personal pan pizza crust, etc. 

The crust was pretty floppy but I could still pick up the slices easily, or eat with a fork (but that's how I like my crust anyways). 

Here I added some Earth Balance and garlic powder, sprinkled some Mozzarella and Parmesan cheese on top and microwaved for 2 minutes to make a "white pizza" - YUM! And also a good way to use up the last of my shredded cheese. I'm sure it would be just as delicious with vegan cheese as well - and I'm definitely going to experiment with that in the future. 

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Some Favorite Products

Alright self, since your brain is kind of 50/50 lately with all the stress you have going on, I'm here to document some super awesome items that are both vegan AND gluten free (which is not always easy to find).

Awesome AP flour:

This stuff is legit dope, I bought it as Costco so I think that it was maybe 13 dollars for a 5 lb bag (which is GREAT SAVINGS especially in the gluten free realm). I used this for my batter for the Toffalo wings and it worked beautifully. I'll definitely be keeping this in stock for when I don't have the time to make my ATK (Americna Test Kitchen) AP blend recipe from scratch. 

Also is lacking in other high allergy foods and is made in an allergy free facility! BAZINGA! 

I also am on the hunt for some delicious, creamy vegan condiments and I have to say, I struck gold on the first try- Veganaise. 

This is an oldie buy a goodie in the vegan community - I literally can't taste the difference from the real thing and YASSSS it's gluten free! KEEPER! 

Friday, May 18, 2018

The Best Buff Tofu Wings

I've been using this recipe for ages but I wanted to give it the lime light for a second for two reasons:

One, it was one of the first recipes that I tried way back when that made me realize how possible and enjoyable it would be to be vegan.

Two, recently, it was the catalyst to some hardcore bullying that I received that rather took me off guard.

First off, if anyone is interested in having their minds blown and is digging some buffalo sauce: Here ya go. Now mind you, this recipe is in no way a healthy example of a vegan diet but damn, does it hit the spot! If you need some greasy, hot wing goodness - this is your jam.

Look at this majestic pile of battered and fried, hot sauced deliciousness. I cannot even begin to describe how much this satisfied my craving. This recipe is definitely a keeper for life. 

Here I made a salad out of cabbage, carrots, the Toffalo wings and, if I had had time I would have made some sort of mock bleu cheese dressing. Instead I just put a wee dab of Veganaise for a dip and called it a day. It was really great! I'd love to revisit this and make this buff salad fancier in the future. 

Joni Mari is a vegan goddess and I have loved all the recipes created by her that I've made. If you're new to veganism and/or just want some decadent, delish vegan noms - please check out her blog at

Remember! Cheekans are for snuggling, not snacking! UNTIL NEXT TIME, MY VEGERINOS! 

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Increase Wisdom, Decrease Gluten

I was going back through my blog from 2012 and, while it was an incredible trip down memory lane, there was plenty of cringe-worthy stuff to go through.

First off, I didn't realize HOW MUCH GLUTEN I was consuming on the daily... breads, pasta, seitan (hello pure gluten), veggie burgers, pretzels, bagels, oh my god. No wonder I would wake up feeling fine and by the end of the day I looked like I was 6 months pregnant. I would literally cry on the way home from work because I was so bloated and miserable (and in pain!) without any understanding of why I was feeling that way! It wouldn't be until November of 2014 and a trip to the emergency department before I discovered that gluten and I just weren't meant to be. Looking back it makes sense, I was tired all the time, I slept A LOT, I was depressed, and I had the GI habits of a donkey.

After discovering my pretty significant gluten intolerance (I have never been formally tested for Celiac's Disease and honestly, I don't have any of the hallmark signs), I took a hiatus from my veggie ways and went back to meat, meat and more meat. It was my crutch.. eggs were my only binder for breads.. dairy was safe. But that too made me feel like shit.

It wasn't until I took a step back and breathed, got myself aligned mentally and spiritually, that I could look outwardly at what I was doing with my diet and health and truly improve upon it.

I discovered my love for all things hippie, natural, and pagan. I discovered my keen interest in astrology, yoga, crystals, meditation. Oh my god, meditation - it is the purest and best thing you can do for yourself. Once I took on a more simplistic way of life, it seemed second nature to apply that to my eating habits. Another cringe-worthy moment from my past was how much processed vegan products I was using, trying to mimic a meat-eaters diet with vegan junk.

Sure it was animal free, but it was still highly processed and not real food.

Then it dawned on me... the simpler the better. Some of my favorite foods are naturally vegan/vegetarian.

  • Chips and Guacamole 
  • Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches
  • Lentil Soup
  • Rice and Beans 
  • Cheese Nachos 
  • Popcorn
  • Oatmeal
  • Baked Potatoes (any type of potatoes for that matter)
  • Salads
I could go on and on...

Not only are these things veg in their natural state, but they're so much more affordable than all of the vegan fake-meats that I was buying. And they sure as hell taste a lot better!

I will always be curious to try new products and will buy them, even if they're a major fail (hello vegan nacho cheese- I'm looking at you!), but time and time again I'm realizing that homemade and simple is the way to go.

For dinner I had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, some Brussels sprouts dipped in hummus. I'm completely satisfied, I feel good, no animals were harmed in the making of my dinner, and I am not farting myself into the next galaxy. All wins in my opinion.

So through my time, I hope to collaborate an arsenal of simple, affordable, and gluten-free vegan recipes to keep me satisfied and my conscience clear, and hopefully I will have the time to share my recipes here with all you lovelies! (If anyone's listening, that is).

Monday, May 14, 2018

Really Terrible Cheeze

WOW! How has it only been four years since I was blogging on here? That's just mind-blowing!! Four years ago I was still married, living in another city, everything was different. That life is completely unrecognizable to me now.

So anyways, before I get onto the main topic, which is the really, really terrible vegan cheeze I tried, here are the bullet points to bring you up to date.

  • I got divorced
  • I moved out on my own in Pittsburgh and did this for about 2 years
  • I dated a huge jerkwad
  • I got sick of said jerkwad, quit my job and moved back home to Ohio to be near my family
  • I worked at OSU - The James for a time (only part-time though)
  • I got another job that is full-time, I still get to work in oncology, great benefits, easy commute, AH-MAH-ZANG
  • I have a boyfriend who I am quite fond of, and he is NOT a jerkwad 
  • I went from being Vegan to Gluten Free to Paleo to Gluten Free again
  • I ate a huge rack of ribs while simultaneously contracting norovirus, which caused me to be violently ill for 24 hours and it took me two weeks to fully recover. 
  • Due to the Garcia Effect, I now can't even stand the thought of any meat and have come full circle.. back to Vegetarian.. mostly Vegan. 
What a ride man, what a ride. 

Like I said, unrecognizable. 

AND NOW, onto the point of the post. I like to keep track of various vegetarian and vegan products that I try so that, due to my incredibly terrible memory, I don't repeat buy something that I very much disliked. 

I am not doing this to dissuade anyone, these are my personal preferences and I just want to share what I thought. I really hate to be negative about ANY vegan or vegetarian product because good on them for making products that are meat and/or animal free! But at the same time, oh my- what... did I just eat. 

(I forgot to take a picture of the actual product before I put it down the garbage disposal- sorry!)

I got this tub of Heidi Ho cheese because it looked like nacho cheese... but it wasn't... like nacho cheese. At all. Purchased at Whole Foods for 5-7 bucks (I forget, and frankly it varies from location to location) with the hopes of topping my baked potatoes and tortilla chips with this bad boy but wow. I was both averse to flavor and texture. The flavor was bland, tasted like pureed vegetables, and I could pick up on a starchy texture as if it were made out of potatoes. The smell was off-putting too, like.. vegetable soup... I tried to make the best of it by mixing it with salsa and heating it (Like velveeta, ya know?) and I could barely choke it down. 

I love the idea of it, it's made out of vegetables, nuts and chia seeds and avoids being made out of a bunch of artificial funky products- the people on Shark Tank apparently loved it because that's how this company got it's start- but it's just not for me. Too gelatinous and vegetable-y. (Says the veggie eater, hah!) 

I have more vegan cheeses to try and report back on, but this one was a big, fat no for me! Luckily I have a fantastic nacho cheeze recipe that I can make (if I ever get around to cooking again, that is). 

On a positive note, I tried a new veggie burger that was being sold at Costco and it was SO FREAKING GOOD! The only downside is that it has egg whites in it, so it's vegetarian and not vegan. It tastes like Dr. Preager's California burgers, yummmm....

I took this picture from google pics because I got over-zealous with my recycling and pitched the box before I could take a picture of my own. 

As I was googling for an image of this, I kept seeing articles about Costco selling tons of VEGAN burgers and I just discovered that this same company sells a vegan burger at Costco as well!! Must have been in the freezer section, I'll have to give it a try next! In the meantime, these veggie burgers are flippen' delicious! 


Anyhoo, that's all from this Veggie Eater!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Kefir, Kefir, Kefir

Move over yogurt, I have a new love in my life- and it's name is Kefir. 

Not to be confused with Kiefer, but wow can I not get through talking about Kefir without breaking out in that lady's accent!! Anyways, I digress... Let's move on.

Time to make some Kiefah! Gotta talk about my boyfwieeeenndddd.... 

Alright, seriously, here we go: 

Kefir is a fermented food which I'm all about these days. It's made by placing kefir grains in milk and then left out at room temperature until it thickens and takes on a consistency similar to thin yogurt.  Yogurt drinks/smoothies are pretty popular now so this fits right in with that. Also, did I mention how EASY it is to make this? Even easier than making yogurt!  

I drink it for the probiotics, same as with yogurt, but if you'd like to hear about some of the other benefits, lookie here. I'm super shocked that I haven't tried this stuff sooner! If you don't have access to kefir grains or want to give it a try before committing to making it yourself, you can find kefir (flavored or unflavored) at most grocery stores and for sure at your local health food store or co-op.

If you wanna be adventurous please continue reading: 

Everyone, please meet Kefir.

I think they look like cottage cheese. They're kind of spongy and wow do these puppies grow after a few ferments! The grains will continue to grow and multiply so when you get overwhelmed with the amount you have, give some away to friends!

To prepare your kefir grains for fermentation, simply toss the grains in a clean mason jar, top with milk, give it a stir, and then cover with cheese cloth.

I cover with the cheese cloth and then put the ring back on the jar to hold it in place. Then you just leave it out on your counter for 24-48 hours until the liquid thickens.

Oh well, you can't really tell from this photo but, it's thick and barely moving when I tilt it. Trust me.

You'll need to drain the kefir grains out so you'll want to get a mesh sieve and put it over a bowl. I just pour it into the sieve and then stir to remove most of the milk product from the grains. This is secretly my favorite part because I like seeing how much the grains have grown in just a day or so! I'ma nerd, I know.

Here you can better see it, sometimes it gets bubbly like this..

Then I just pour it into a glass with some honey and vanilla extract- instant vanilla smoothie!

Step by step: 

  1. Put kefir grains in clean mason jar
  2. Cover with any cow's milk (organic is best, I use pasteurized and they grow well, any fat content works)
  3. Stir with clean spoon to disperse grains
  4. Cover opening of jar with cheese cloth
  5. Secure cheese cloth with rubber band or canning ring 
  6. Set out of the way on a counter for 24-48 hours
  7. You'll know kefir is done when it has a pleasant tangy smell and is thickened 
  8. Strain kefir grains out using sieve, repeat steps
Important things to know:
  1. It's very important that the milk be at room temperature and be exposed to air for it to ferment in a decent amount of time. 
  2. If you want to slow down fermentation, cover the grains with milk, put a lid on it, and then put it in the fridge. The cooler temperature slows down the fermentation but they'll still have milk for food while you're taking a break! I've left my grains in the fridge for up to a week before I have to feed them again. 
  3. You have to make sure your kefir grains have food or they will die. They're kind of like having a pet. 
  4. Kefir grains are very resilient but extreme heat WILL KILL THEM!! 

After you've been making kefir a while, you may build up a surplus if you don't drink it everyday or perhaps don't know what all you can do with it. Here are some ideas:
  • Smoothies, (Der, but you can do vanilla or fruit or CHOCOLATE or PEANUT BUTTER *blows into a paper bag* You get the drift, experiment!) 
  • Overnight oats (Just replace the yogurt and milk with allll kefir baby) 
  • The most amazing waffles you will ever eat
  • Salad dressings (Such as these)
  • Soaking your flours or grains if you're into that sorta thing
  • Also, this is on my list: Banana Bread
  • Adding to soups, stir into cereal, whatever dude

So anyways, that's the schpeal on my new love.

But let's not forget an old love of mine....

The cutest little nugget I have ever seen.