#ThankfulThursday - Experience

Thursday, January 29, 2015



Today, I am thankful for experience.

Last night, I went to a concert with a friend of mine. I went to a few concerts this past summer, but this one was unlike those in that it was all general admission, no seats, and a packed crowd. Malaika and I were so close to the stage, and that was an amazing experience, but the energy of the crowd so so drunk that it was almost hard to enjoy. People were taking photos and videos through the whole concert, and I spent a lot of my time in total confusion as to how you could pay money to be somewhere you want to be but spend the time completely through the lens of your phone's camera.

Let's take this back in time for a second. Josh took me to a Puscifer concert a couple of years ago, and the band had requested that cell phone use be banned during the show. Literally, the security guards were watching for cell phones being used and taking them away. I was outraged. Today, however, I'm mortified by the memory of how mad I was at this. Honestly, I still believe we should have the choice. I'm all for snapping a few pictures and getting back into the music, but that STILL takes out of the present moment.

So I used last night as a reminder of this. I did take a few pictures to remember the moment, and I also took one video of the chorus of a song I adore. The rest of the time? I was singing, dancing, and living in the shared experience of a crowd listening to live music by some very talented musicians. Until less-than-sober girls got pushy and started chatting with their friends during the performance of the man they had come to see--yet another thing I don't understand. Am I just too old for that kind of thing? Probably. The bass was a killer. ;o)

All in all, the experience was one I won't forget. It was a lesson to remember to live in the moment, be present, and enjoy what's in front of you. Experience gives you perspective. allows you to grow, and becomes a part of you. Experience is LIFE. So live it! Don't spend it behind your phone. Get out there and EXPERIENCE things. <3

Hugs and love to you.

#WheatlessWednesday - No-Bake PB&J Pie

Wednesday, January 28, 2015


Today's recipe is for an amazing pie. Dana over at Minimalist Baker is INCREDIBLE. If you're not following her on Twitter, go do so. She comes up with the coolest stuff, and I'm always so excited to try out her recipes. This one was no exception, and it got RAVE reviews. :) We took this to a party this weekend and the whole pie was gone. And it was cut into before I even took a good photo of it. Haha! Anyway, Husband and I made this our own by using our own pie crust recipe. I didn't want to bother finding GF and vegan graham crackers when what we use for crust is sooooo good already. :) Plus, this is called a no-bake pie, so I wasn't about to bake anything. Haha! Enjoy!




Ingredients:

Crust:

  • 1 cup dates, pitted
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • Pinch of sea salt
Pie:
  • 2 cans coconut cream, chilled overnight (about 8 hours)
  • 1 1/2 cups dates, pitted
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tbsp warm water
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • Pinch of salt (if PB isn't salted)
Fruit spread:
  • 1 lb organic strawberries, tops cut off, fresh or frozen
  • 3 tbsp orange juice
  • 1 tsp chia seeds
Directions:
  1. Add crust ingredients (dates, walnuts, oats, coconut oil, honey, and salt) to food processor and blend until mixed. The consistency should be sticky so you can press it down in the pan to make the pie crust. More dates or walnuts might be needed to achieve the desired result.
  2. Press pie crust into pie dish or 8x8 pan and put in fridge to chill.
  3. Add strawberries and orange juice to saucepan on medium heat until bubbly. Reduce to low and let simmer so it thickens. Use wooden spoon to break fruit down into a jelly-like consistency. Turn off heat, add chia seeds, stir, and let cool before refrigerating.
  4. Make a date paste by adding dates, coconut oil, and water to food processor and blending until smooth. This was tricky, as there isn't a lot to work with in the food processor, so keep scraping the sides and get it nice and smooth.
  5. Remove cans of coconut cream from fridge and carefully scoop out the hardened, separated part at the top into a large mixing bowl. Set aside liquid, as we won't need it for this recipe.
  6. Use beater to make coconut cream fluffy until stiff peaks form. Then add date paste and peanut butter and beat until mixed well.
  7. Put pie filling into pie crust and chill for 1 hour before serving.
  8. Serve pie with fruit spread on top or on the side for individual preference.
Kind of a lot of work, but so worth it! Go forth and make this wonderful treat! If you make it, let Dana know. Tweet it or Instagram it and hashtag it #minimalistbaker. :) We all really enjoyed it, but I'd suggest not eating TOO much of it. Almost every ingredient has a high fat content, but it's so rich, creamy, and tasty that a little will do to satisfy your sweet tooth. Yum! 

Eat your fruits and veggies, kids.

#TradeInTuesday - Eggs

Tuesday, January 27, 2015



Today's trade-in is EGGS!

When you're thinking about becoming vegan, some things really stand out. Meat is obvious, and then your mind drifts to dairy--cheese, milk, yogurt. They're all things we'll cover here eventually. But today is all about eggs. 

Eggs are a breakfast staple in lots of places, but when you go vegan, you eliminate them from your diet. Does that mean that you can't enjoy things  that are usually made with eggs? Of course not. We can make our own versions of dishes that usually call for eggs, and there are many options! :) 


One of my favorite substitutes is the flax egg. If you bake a lot like I do, this one comes in handy! Any time the recipe calls for an egg, just add 1 tbsp ground flax and 2.5 tbsp water. Let that sit for 5 minutes before adding to your recipe. Easy peasy. :) 

Egg Replacements

If you don't have flax meal on hand, you can check out this really simple chart to replace eggs in your baked goods. A lot of vegan baked goods recipes have the egg taken out of the equation, so they've done the replacement for you. Bananas and applesauce are sure bets. :)


Or you can buy egg replacer from the store. Ener-G makes a product (one I've never used, so I can't attest to its quality or accuracy at replacing eggs) you can add to your recipe instead of eggs. If you try this, let me know! :) 


But that's just for a whole egg. What about just the yolk? There's a product for that, too! Check out The Vegg's Vegan Egg Yolk for this (another product I have yet to try but have seen good reviews for). I know I miss that toast-and-egg-yolk combo, so this might be something I'll have to try someday. :) 




But what if you want dishes like omelets, egg salad, or French toast? Good question. We have an answer! ChooseVeg.com has a seriously drool-worthy list of recipes you can try that substitutes tofu for the eggs. And I know that probably sounds gross to you, but don't knock it 'til you try it. :) 


Egg-less tofu omelet from Post Punk Kitchen

Lots of options!! You can still eat all of your favorite dishes, but this way, they're cruelty-free while being delicious. :) Share your favorite vegan recipes that call for eggs below, and have a great day!!

Eat your fruits and veggies, kids.

#MeatlessMonday - Chocolate Smoothie

Monday, January 26, 2015


I make smoothies a lot. Just about every day. They're a staple in my diet because they're quick, simple, filling, and delicious. I also love to make them because I use Shakeology now. A month ago or so, I signed up to be a Beachbody coach because I loved the whole 21-Day Fix program so much. There will be a new group challenge coming February 2nd, so let me know if you want to join us! :)

Here's a recipe I make almost on the daily. I make it for breakfast or lunch most days.

Chocolate Smoothie



Ingredients:

  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 3/4 cup almond milk
  • 1 scoop Shakeology (vegan chocolate--or any vegan chocolate protein powder)
  • 1 tbsp walnuts
  • 6 ice cubes
Directions:
  • Put all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth.
  • Enjoy!
Feel free to customize! This is a base recipe to use however you'd like. Make it a green smoothie by adding 1-2 cups of spinach or kale. Leave out the walnuts completely or replace them with a different nut/nut butter. Add some raspberries or strawberries to make it a PB&J smoothie. Don't have chocolate protein powder? Leave that out too or add the protein powder flavor you DO have. It's totally flexible. :) 

Eat your fruits and veggies, kids.
*Links in this post are referral codes.

#ThankfulThursday - Friends

Thursday, January 22, 2015


Today, I want to thank my friends.

I'm going through some weird stuff. Like, weird stuff. It all feels like nothing major but something so significant at the same time. I can tell I'm in some bizarre shift right now. Things are changing, and I have a lot of choices to make. And one day, a Thankful Thursday post will be about my voice and being able to pick and choose things to make these changes, but today, I want to thank the people who are my sounding board so I can make those choices wisely.

Because y'all rock.

Like, seriously.

I think some seriously strange things! And you guys listen to it, gently remind me that I'm not crazy, and then help me figure out where to go after that. Things happen in my life and I need advice about how to approach things. People come and go, feelings get hurt, and time certainly heals wounds, but friends who lend ears and hearts speed up that process. When my feelings, thoughts, or ideas are validated, my world feels like it's on solid ground. 

And for that, I thank you.

My poor husband is the best of them all. I say "poor" because he has to answer the truly off-the-wall questions that come out of my mouth. Some days, I'm not sure whose brain is in my head because the stuff I think up astonishes even ME. But he listens, answers, and carefully gives explanations to these things. Or he'll ask questions back that help me think out solutions to my mysteries so I do it on my own. More things to think about. Yay! But it really does help. :) 

I could name names here, but you know who you are. Whether we talk on a daily basis, visit only when you're in town, chat solely online, or have dinner together monthly, you're very special to me. I don't want to live this life alone, and you're there for me, guiding me, aiding me, soothing me, and keeping me grounded and sane. And I'm so touched when you think of me when I'm not around you, when we're not in contact at the moment. <3

If I could explain how blessed I am to have such positive, inspiring, spiritually rich, and joyful friends, I would. I can put it into words, but they'll never fully give you the extent of it all. I'm lucky. So, so lucky in this life. I have a great family, but you're the incredible family I chose, the people who choose, in turn, to stick by me. I learn new things from you every day, and I can only hope to spread some peace and joy in your lives as well. 

My journey is always changing. It's fluid, constantly moving along, fluctuating in ways I'm unaware of sometimes. But it's a path that's lit with the lights of my friends, and I have some friends who shine SO bright! Please keep shining your light. Keep it sparkly and full of life and energy. Know that you are loved by me and countless others. Because you're amazing and I love you. <3

Thank you.


#WheatlessWednesday - Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

Wednesday, January 21, 2015



You guys. I always have a lot of bananas. I put bananas in smoothies, I freeze them to make ice cream, and I make a lot of banana bread. Like, seriously. Inviting me to a party? Plan on having some banana bread. I buy too many bananas so I don't run out, but I end up having more than I need, so when they start to turn super brown, I make bread. And I have a neat Twinkie pan, so they make mini loaves.


Aren't those the cutest?? Well, go thank Monique at Ambitious Kitchen. She has some incredible recipes!! And I found this one and loved it. :) You don't have to have a Twinkie pan. You can put them in a normal 9x9 pan if you want, but these also bake up nicely as muffins. It's still all very delicious. :)

(adapted from Ambitious Kitchen)

Ingredients:
  • 2 1/4 cups oat flour (you can grind rolled oats)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3 ripe bananas
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 1/3 cup Bee Free Honee
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/3 cup non-dairy chocolate chips
  • Nonstick spray
Directions:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350. Spray your pan of choice (Twinkie pan, cupcake pan, 9x9 pan) with nonstick spray.
  2. Add oat flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and salt to a bowl. Mix well.
  3. Add bananas, applesauce, honee, and vanilla to blender and blend until smooth.
  4. Pour banana mixture into the bowl with the dry ingredients and mix until it's a batter.
  5. Fold in chocolate chips.
  6. Put batter in your pan of choice and bake for 20 minutes.
  7. Let cool for 15 minutes and then enjoy!
Feel free to try some other mix-ins. Maybe some walnuts, raisins, dried cranberries, etc. You can switch out honee for maple syrup or agave too. Or leave out the chocolate chips for regular banana bread. Perhaps you leave out a banana or two and add pumpkin instead. The options are endless. YUM! :) 

Eat your fruits and veggies, kids.

#TradeInTuesday - Cheese Pt. 2

Tuesday, January 20, 2015


Today's trade-in is CHEESE!

There are so many options, so we're going to break this down into two posts. You can either buy pre-made vegan "cheeses" that come shredded, in slices, in blocks, etc., or make "cheese" at home with vegan ingredients. Today, we're going to go through the homemade choices. These are usually plant-based versions that use nuts to create a cheesy consistency for sauces, dips, or toppings. Click the links for more info, recipes, and awesomeness from the blogs they originally came from. I've changed a few things according to how Husband makes stuff, but check out the originals too. Love them!

Mac and Cheese Sauce
(from Detoxinista)

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups raw cashews
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 clove garlic
  • pinch of turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp Dijon or yellow mustard
Directions:
  1. Put everything in a high-powered blender and blend until smooth.
  2. If you don't have a high-powered blender, add cashews to food processor and process until almost a nut butter consistency. Then add remaining ingredients and process until smooth.

Brazil Nut Parmesan
(from One Green Planet)

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup whole, raw Brazil nuts
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • Pinch sea salt
Directions:
  1. Add all ingredients to a food processor. Blend until mixture clumps slightly.
  2. Store in refrigerator.

Lasagna Ricotta
(from Oh She Glows)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked in water for 30 mins or overnight, drained, and rinsed
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup vegetable broth or water (or more as needed)
  • 1.5 cups fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast 
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
Directions:
  1. In a food processor, add your garlic and process until finely chopped. 
  2. Then add the rest of the ingredients and process until smooth.

See? Lots of yummy options! I promise you won't miss real cheese if you give these a shot. :) Let me know if you do try any of them, and send me your favorite recipes so we can give them a shout-out over here. In the meantime, click those links above and check out those awesome vegan/G-F blogs for their incredible recipes. :) 


Eat your fruits and veggies, kids.

#MeatlessMonday - Guacamole

Monday, January 19, 2015



I make some super simple guacamole, but I always get compliments on it. Since I'm not a big 'chunks in food' person, I use minimal ingredients, and it makes a smooth dip for your chip. :) But there are lots of things you can add to play around with it, so I'll note those below.

Guacamole

Ingredients
  • 4 avocados
  • 1/2 - 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 - 2 tsp lemon juice
Directions:
  1. Scoop out the inside of the avocado, discard the pits, and mash.
  2. Add garlic powder and lemon juice. Mix well.
  3. ENJOY!
Seriously easy, right? But it's totally delicious. I'd suggest adding some salsa or diced tomatoes, sliced black olives, jalapenos, a pinch of salt, lime juice in place of the lemon, etc. The possibilities are endless. Serve with corn tortilla chips or veggies and enjoy. :)

Eat your fruits and veggies, kids.

#ThankfulThursday - Pets

Thursday, January 15, 2015


If you know me, you've probably seen this photo. It's the "epic puppy photo bomb" picture. In the foreground is Max, but you can see Titan behind him with his tongue sticking out. How freaking cute!

I remember taking the photo, but I don't remember taking it with the purpose of capturing the photo bomb moment. That was one of those happy accidents in life. And today, my heart is heavy while remembering the loss of one of those happy accidents in life.

You see, if you know me, you'll also know that Max passed away early last year. A year ago today, to be exact.

This dog was incredible. He might have been smart, but we'll never know. He wasn't exactly dumb, but learning how to do stuff we asked him to do wasn't high on his list. :) He certainly knew how to give the puppy-dog eyes so he'd get snuggles and treats though. I mean, who wouldn't cuddle the heck out of that dog? Seriously.

He loved eating cat poop and nibbling on our ears. He loved his brother a lot as well. But he loved us so much too, and I loved the heck out of him. I still do, but it's different now, naturally. He was just a lover. Friendly to everyone (except for Josh and me if we ever came home too late--we'd never hear the end of that). A true inspiration. I mean, he'd been given up as a seriously young puppy to a pound. Who knows what could have happened to him? But he rolled with the punches and ended up a happy dog with us.

Until he got sick.

Honestly, I don't want to spend much time thinking about those final few days. Today, I want to celebrate his happy little life. Today, I want to look back and remember how sweet this dog was, how kind and loving he was. Because he was. Always.

We'd wake up in the morning and find him stretched out between the two of us--sometimes perpendicular to us, forming the horizontal line in a human/dog H in bed. If I'd been working too long, he'd come up behind me and put his paws on my back, reminding me that we all need to take breaks every now and then.

Which is something I need to remember to this day. Luckily, his brother, Titan, has taken over that duty. :)

Everything there is to learn about love and kindness can be found in our pets. That's the moral of this story. I'm blessed with animals who are sweet, kind, and caring (at least they are to me... LOL). I look to them when I need to remember that things aren't always what they seem, that my worth isn't based upon success or beauty, that I can make someone's day with a kind word or gesture. I'm alive, so every moment is full of choice. They choose their own happiness and do whatever floats their boat.

My dogs play when they feel like it, nap when the mood strikes, and eat when they're hungry. Me? I work, work, work. Then I stress out, try to sleep, and then wake up at 1:30 in the morning because I remember that I didn't do (fill in the blank) last night, so I have to get up and do it right now or the whole world will end.

NOT.

Meanwhile, my dogs are sleeping soundly. The only thing that wakes them up at night is the occasional midnight bathroom break. Sure, their feathers get ruffled when someone knocks on the door and that doesn't bother me, but we all have certain things that set us off, right? :) The point is that they live simpler, easier lives. Which they should, considering that they live shorter lives. They take advantage of the time they're given.

No, they don't have to work or anything like that. I get that. I'm not saying that we should all give up and nap all day because we feel like it. I'm just saying that we should take a page out of their books and at least take some time for ourselves. That's all.

And today, I'm doing that. I'll be working today, but I won't be checking social media, my phone, or my e-mail. Why? Because I can. Because I'm choosing me today. I'm choosing life--real life--today. I'm going to kick butt at work, probably take a nap, and snuggle some puppies before Husband gets home. And if that's not how the day goes (because we all know that things can change at the drop of a hat), then I'll roll with the punches, just like Max would have.


#WheatlessWednesday - #GlutenFree #Vegan Banana/Squash Bread

Wednesday, January 14, 2015



It's winter--the perfect time for squash recipes. My husband wanted to cook a butternut squash, so I decided that it was a great time to make some bread (recipe from the Minimalist Baker - love that blog! Go follow!) out of our leftovers the next day. And what a fabulous idea that was! Mmmmm.


Looks good, right? It's soooo delicious, best when it's still warm from the oven, and a good-size loaf. One piece is a yummy breakfast, but you'll probably want more. :) 


Yummy yummy! The crusty part on the outside reminds you that you're eating bread, which (for someone who is vegan and gluten-free--like me) isn't inside the walls of normal anymore. Maybe that makes this bread extra scrumptious to me, but I'd like to think that EVERYONE would love this bread. I bet no one would even know that there are no animal products or wheat flour in sight!


End piece! Who loves the end pieces? Normally, I don't. But that one was seriously amazing. I'll be making this again for sure. :) 

Click above for original recipe from Minimalist Baker

Ingredients:
  • 2 large, ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1 flax egg: 1 tbsp flaxseed meal + 2.5 tbsp water
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup turbinado/raw cane sugar
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 3.5 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • dash nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup almond milk
  • 1 1/4 cup almond meal
  • 1 1/4 cup gluten-free flour 
  • 1 1/4 cup gluten-free oats
  • 1/2 cup + 1 tbsp butternut squash puree
Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 and grease or spray a loaf pan with nonstick spray. I line my loaf pan with tin foil and spray that.
  2. In the bowl with the mashed bananas, add flax egg through almond milk and mix until well combined.
  3. Add gluten-free flour, almond meal, and gluten-free oats and stir.
  4. Pour half of the batter into the loaf pan. Then add butternut squash puree to the remaining batter and stir. Add that to the loaf pan and use a spoon or knife to gently swirl.
  5. Bake for 1 hour 15 minutes or until golden brown and a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.
  6. Let set in the pan for 5-10 minutes. Then move to a wire rack and let cool completely. 
You can substitute the almond milk for soy or rice milk, and feel free to switch out the butternut squash with pumpkin puree. I would perhaps add some chopped walnuts to this or even some non-dairy chocolate chips. Who knows!? :)

Eat your fruits and veggies, kids.

#TradeInTuesday - Cheese Pt. 1

Tuesday, January 13, 2015


Today's trade-in is CHEESE!

There are so many options, so we're going to break this down into two posts. You can either buy pre-made vegan cheeses that come shredded, in slices, in blocks, etc., or make "cheese" at home with vegan ingredients. Today, we're going to go through the pre-made choices. We use these sparingly, as they're not truly part of the plant-based diet we try to keep at home, but if we need cheese, we go with non-dairy versions.



This is the brand we use when we make anything that needs "cheese." We use the cheddar in some mac and cheese recipes, and we use mozzarella for pizza and lasagna. The shredded "cheeses" are the best we've tried as far as similarity to the real thing goes. It melts like real cheese too. And they don't just sell shredded. They have other products as well.



You can still have cheese and crackers or make sandwiches with slices of swiss. Easy peasy. :) Of course, they don't taste JUST like the real thing, but I haven't had real cheese in a year and a half, so to me, this is cheese. :) 

There are other brands and kinds of vegan "cheeses" you can check out as well: Tofutti, Go Veggie, Follow Your Heart, Heidi Ho.

Another good thing to remember is that nutritional yeast actually has a cheesy flavor. You can add it to sauces, sprinkle it on popcorn, or try something new. We use the Bragg brand.



Have you tried any of these? Are there others you love? Let me know!


#MeatlessMonday - "Chicken" Noodle Soup

Monday, January 12, 2015



This is one of those home-cooked meals I've missed since becoming vegan. My mom used to make huge pots of it on cold winter nights when I was growing up, and there's something so soothing about having that for dinner. Which means I tasked Husband with figuring out how to make a version I could eat. And he won that game for sure! Here's what he came up with.


"Chicken" Noodle Soup



Ingredients:

  • 1 bag Beyond Meat grilled "chicken" strips
  • 8 oz rice pasta
  • 32 oz vegetable broth
  • 1/2 head of celery, chopped
  • 4-5 carrots, chopped
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp garlic
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • 2 tsp basil
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste
  • Water to thin out if needed
Directions:
  1. Defrost, cook, and cut "chicken" strips into bite-sized pieces. 
  2. Add carrots, celery, and broth to a pot, bring it to a boil, add seasonings, and reduce to simmer until veggies are almost to your liking. 
  3. Add "chicken" and pasta, bring back to a boil for two minutes, remove from the heat, and cover.
  4. Let sit for 10-15 minutes or until the pasta is soft. Then it's ready to serve!
Note: We made a double batch of this (because Husband *always* cooks for an army even though it's just the two of us. So I halved things to make it all a more normal size. It still might be a lot, but it's delicious. However, you might want to eat it up within a day or two. Rice noodles get soft and break up easily. Enjoy!

Eat your fruits and veggies, kids


#ThankfulThursday - Take A Deep Breath

Thursday, January 8, 2015


Welcome to the first Thankful Thursday!! I don't have a full plan about what this day will be, and that's because I'd rather let it flow. I'll likely show you updates of the Gratitude Chain I'm working on this year and talk about some tips and tricks to stay positive and full of thankfulness. <3

Today's Thankful Thursday is a reminder to be grateful for everything you have even if you aren't feeling your best. I had a semi-sleepless night with a lot of anxiety and a sick dog, but I'm still here, still alive, and still kicking. :) I may feel overwhelmed, but I have so much to be thankful for. I'm blessed in this life, truly, so I give thanks to the universe for reminding me that I'm never given more than I can handle, even if it seems like my world is crashing down on me.

Last night was a huge reminder to just take a deep breath, listen to my body, and remember that everything is okay.

Everything is always okay. <3








Gratitude Chain
We're on day 8, but day 8 isn't over yet, so I have seven links on my chain. :)


Have you been working on yours? It's a fun thing you can do with your kids every night. :) Let me know! #GratitudeChain

All my love and hugs,

#WheatlessWednesday - Pancakes

Wednesday, January 7, 2015



Welcome to the first Wheatless Wednesday on the blog! As you probably already know, I live the gluten-free/vegan lifestyle. Choosing just one of those things is a big commitment in some parts of our world. Opting for both can seem worse than an uphill battle. But I promise it's not! I eat this way every day, and everything I consume is delicious. Follow me and I'll show you the ways to eat while still feeling like you're not missing out. :)

With over a year and a half of this lifestyle change under my belt, I'm getting good at substituting ingredients in recipes when I need to. So I'll either provide you with awesome GF/V recipes we've enjoyed OR I'll take recipes that need substitutions and show you how to make your favorites gluten-free and scrumptious. It's just like Meatless Monday, but instead of trading in meat, we're opting out of wheat. :) Easy peasy.

And if you pay attention, you'll notice that Meatless Monday recipes are also wheat-free and Wheatless Wednesday recipes are also vegan. TA-DA!

If you're anything like me, you love breakfast foods. I love pancakes, waffles, oatmeal, cereal, french toast, etc. And when you switch from the standard American diet to a gluten-free/vegan one, you have to make a few changes and substitutions to make your old recipes. Pancakes are one of those things that need some different ingredients to make work. But rest assured--your pancakes will still be delicious! And so much better for you. :)


original recipe here

Ingredients:
  • 1 large banana, mashed
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk (or other non-dairy milk)
  • 1 1/4 cup ground oats (or 1 cup GF all-purpose flour)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil 
  • 2 tsp maple syrup as topping

Directions:

  1. Whisk mashed banana, vanilla extract, and almond milk together. Set aside.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix ground oats, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon together.
  3. Add the dry ingredients into the wet. Mix until just combined. 
  4. Add coconut oil to a non-stick pan or griddle medium heat.
  5. Ladle a quarter cup of the batter to the pan. Flip when it's bubbly. Cook about two minutes on each side.
  6. Top with maple syrup.
We usually double the recipe and make more than we need. You can also add mix-ins to the batter. Try chopped nuts or non-dairy chocolate chips. Try adding fruit to the mix or putting sliced bananas on top of the pancakes before you eat them. Sooo good. :) Enjoy!

Eat your fruits and veggies, kids.

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