Chickpeas- “The New Chicken”

Chicken… SO last season. Chickpeas are where it’s at, people.

Ok so I actually just think meat is yucky, and I love chickpeas, and I wish everyone else loved them as much as I do.

Saturday night, a friend came over, and we made the Chickpea Taco recipe that I found on Happy Herbivore. I omitted the Tamari, but kept everything else pretty much the same.

These babies were delicious. We threw them in a taco shell with some lettuce and *bam*, vegan dinner right there.

My friend has eaten with me enough to know that I like to take pictures of everything, but I might have been pushing it when I grabbed his plate, stuck it in the light box, and snapped a few shots. (I realized I didn’t have a picture of the finished product!!) Hehe :) But doesn’t it look good?

 

I also whipped up some black bean soup! I saw this Weight Watchers Recipe on Eating Bird Food‘s blog. I did some tweaking (so now it’s vegan!), and here’s what I ended up using:

Vegan Black Bean Soup (adapted from this WW recipe)

  • 2 cups black beans
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup vegetable broth (I used the kind that is supposed to taste like chicken)
  • 1 med onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp cilantro (I didn’t have fresh cilantro, so I just used the dried stuff)
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp lime juice (I just use the concentrate stuff)
  • dash of chili powder
  • black pepper to taste

Dice your onion and cook it in a skillet with the garlic and olive oil, until it’s nice and tender. In a pot, bring the water and broth to a boil and add in your beans. Add in all the spices + cooked onions, and let simmer for 10-15 minutes. Let cool, slightly and then throw it into a blender or food processor (or vita mix, hehe) and puree until almost smooth. I like to leave it a little bit chunky. (I actually pureed it, and then added a few more beans, for maximum chunkiness.) I then topped it with tortilla strips. So tasty.

 

So we ended up with a pretty good [Vegan] Mexican themed dinner.

This meal was followed by an epic night of dancing at the Girl Talk concert. Fun stuff :)

 

What was the best meal you had this weekend?

<3 Liz

Coffee, Couscous, and Cereal Loaded Granola!

Due to a series of fortunate events, I haven’t been getting my sleep the last few days :)

Thank goodness for the package that arrived yesterday! Look what came in the mail!

 


Kara @ Food Baby sent me this! That Starbucks gift card is DEFINITELY going to help keep me going today! (Not sure why the picture is sort of fuzzy. Sorry.)

 

Dinner last night was a classic vegan favorite:

I’m pretty sure I could eat this vegan mac ‘n cheese every single day.

 

I attempted making my own granola last night. I wanted to try adding cereal to the classic oats + nuts mix. Here’s what I used:

Cereal Loaded Granola

  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1 1/2 cups puffed rice (I like the Kashi kind)
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup agave or maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup chopped almonds (I took whole almonds and smashed them with my measuring cup, because I’m lazy classy like that)
  • 1/4 cup fiber one

 

Note to self… don’t add the chocolate until AFTER you bake it. (As soon as I tossed them in, I realized it.)

How did it turn out?

After baking it at 350 for about 20 minutes, it turned out crispy, crunchy, and not too sweet. The chocolate burned a little (as I expected) so next time I’ll be smart and add it in AFTER I bake everything else. I like adding in the cereal, because it gives it a lot of volume. Yum! This shall be making an appearance on a breakfast in the near future…

 

Now, for a favor. I need some suggestions for vegetarian recipes that are… “meat-eater friendly”… something that wouldn’t get a “where’s the meat?” question… feel free to include a link in your comment!

 

<3 Liz

It Ain’t Pretty… But it Sure is Tasty…

Sometimes it’s the simple things. One of my favorite dinners this week is pictured below:

 

Yep, it’s just some butternut squash. Sliced, salted and baked. It may not look pretty, but it sure was tasty. It’s like sweet potato fries… but healthier! Seriously, if you have not tried this yet, what are you waiting for?! Get off your computer. Go buy a bnut squash, and make it. Then tell me how much you adore me it. ;)

 

I also powered up my day with a Green Smoothie.

This was 1/3 banana, some soymilk, truvia and a whole lotta spinach! So yummy! You really can’t taste the spinach, and I just love the color of this! What’s your favorite Green Monster combination?

 

Have you been eating any ugly-tasty foods lately?

 

<3 Liz

Veggin’ Out- A Veggie Burger Attempt

I really wanted a veggie burger. And I really didn’t want a frozen patty thawed in the microwave. I also had some left over kidney beans that had been chillin’ in the fridge for a few days, and it was about time they got used up. I know I’ve seen some great recipes for veggie burgers in the blogosphere but for some reason, I couldn’t find any that looked easy enough for me, so I decided to just attempt my own. Here’s what I threw together:

Homemade Veggie Burgers (Makes 1 large burger)

  • 1/3 cup kidney beans
  • 1/4 cup choppeed green bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp garlic salt
  • 3 tbsp egg whites (approx 1 egg white)
  • 1/4 cup oats

I mashed the beans with a fork, and mixed in the egg whites in the bowl. Then I diced up the onion and pepper in the food processor until it was nice and finely chopped. I then mixed the veggies with the bean-y mixture, and added the oats until it made a nice paste. I shaped the goo into a burger and then cooked it on a skillet over medium heat. (I melted about a tsp of Smart Balance in the skillet first.)

Honestly, the burger didn’t totally stick together as planned. But after I flipped it once, I kind of smooshed it back into a burger shape, and then it stuck pretty well. Maybe I just flipped it too soon? Not sure. I didn’t have any buns, but that’s ok. Veggie burgers are GREAT over… more veggies!

I cooked some onion, zucchini and peppers in a little more Smart Balance, and then topped it all off with the veggie burger.

Yummm delicious!

After dinner, I was doing some blog reading, and Keepin’ The Faith reminded me that it was national peanut butter day!!! I can’t believe I almost let the day pass me by! Clearly, this called for some homemade PB action!

I tossed 1 1/2 cups of roasted peanuts into the Vita-mix, added a bit of vegetable oil, a dash lot of salt and a splash of vanilla. It turned out to the the perfect balance between creamy and crunchy. I like my peanut butter to be spreadable, but I also like a crunch!

Two questions for today:

1. What’s your favorite kind of veggie burger? Black bean? Straight up veggies? Any brands or recipes you recommend?

2. Did you celebrate National Peanut Butter Day, yesterday?

<3 Liz

Don’t Give in to Vegetable Corruption

It makes me sad when I see a poor innocent vegetable turned into a nutritional bomb. Example: Fried Zucchini. I LOVE zucchini. But deep fried and breaded? Come on people. We’re missing the point. That’s why I like to faux fry Zucchini, HG style. My recipe is slightly different (and vegan) so I shall post it below.

Faux Fried Zucchini

  • 1 medium Zucchini
  • 1/4 cup almond milk (or any other liquid really)
  • 1/2 cup fiber one
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp garlic salt
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • Ketchup

 

Slice up your zucchini into rounds (I don’t bother peeling it) and soak it in the almond milk. In a food processor, grind up your fiber one with all the spices until you have a breadcrumb consistency. Dip the soaked zucchini (shake off the excess liquid) and coat it in your “breadcrumbs” and then place on a lined baking sheet. Bake at 400 for ~15 minutes or until crispy. (Be careful- there is a fine line between not cooked and burned.) Then dunk in loads of ketchup.

Yummm veggies with a kick of fiber :)

This is probably my favorite way to eat zucchini. Crispy, tasty, and covered in ketchup ;)

Have you ever tried a faux frying trick?

 

The rest of my recent eats have been pretty standard. Thanks to my inevitable food rut groove I’ve been practically overdosing on veggies & hummus as well as banana soft serve.

As for the weekend, I went out on Friday & Saturday, but my drink of choice was:

Yum…. sorry about the blurry picture. Who needs beer when you’ve got Kombucha? ;) (Despite my initial reaction, I’ve grown to love this stuff!)

What’s your favorite thing to drink when you go out? I’m not much of a drinker, so I usually take some sort of tea with me :)

 

Happy Monday!

<3 Liz

Crazy Chocolate Coconut Cupcakes

Most of the time… I like to make things that are healthy

Most of the time… I like to eat mostly plant based things

Most of the time… I like to cut calorie corners

But sometimes… I want bake something full of calories, eggs, and deliciousness. ;) Enter… Chocolate Brownie Cupcakes from Jessica @ How Sweet It Is

When I saw these, I knew I HAD to try them. And I wasn’t tweaking. I was following Jessica’s recipe verbatim. I didn’t want to risk a recipe fail.



These looked divine. They actually filled up a muffin tray AND I had batter left over to make about 1/2 dozen mini cupcakes. The batter was so delicious, it’s a miracle that any of it made it into the oven…

So then I tried to make the frosting that Jessica suggested… but something went horribly wrong, and it just wasn’t working for me. No idea what I did wrong. But I went into experiment mode. I couldn’t fail at this point.

Then I created quite possibly my best frosting ever. By accident. But here’s what it ended up being:

Coconut Cream Frosting

  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup softened margarine (or butter, or whatever you prefer)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

Beat the margarine until it’s nice and soft, then slowly beat in the powdered sugar. Once that’s nice and combined, stir in your melted coconut oil and vanilla. It’ll be a little tricky to get the coconut oil blended in there, but just keep stirring. You’ll have a smooth (slightly runny frosting.) Once your cupcakes are cooled, ice away, and then sprinkle the shredded coconut on top. The best part is, if you let them sit for awhile (like overnight) the frosting “sets” like a magic shell :) It’s delicious!

I know what you’re thinking. Um, there’s room on that plate for a 3rd cupcake. Yeah, I know. And there was a third one on the plate, but walking from the kitchen to the light box, I tripped, and that one was not a survivor. It landed icing down on the carpet. Oops. But these two lucky cakes made it to the photoshoot!

What do you like to put on your cupcakes? I don’t normally like vanilla frosting much, so I normally vote for chocolate, but I think coconut might be my new favorite ;)

<3 Liz

Yes I’m a Vegetarian. Yes I Get Enough Protein

I’m not going to go on a rant about how many times I get asked “But how do you get enough protein?” Because I know I get enough protein.

Exhibit A:

A while back, in my vegan days, I tried Katie’s brownie batter protein pancakes, and they were quite delicious! This morning, I was craving something similar, but I decided to explore what my non-vegan options were… mostly, because I had some egg whites in the fridge that needed to be used up ;) I came across this recipe from the Fitnessista and it looked perfect! Of course, I did some tweak-age, to satisfy a sudden peanut butter craving. Here’s where things landed:

Peanut-y Protein Pancakes

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 scoops vanilla protein powder (I like the designer whey stuff)
  • 1 egg white (I use egg beaters)
  • 1/4 cup light soymilk
  • 2 tbsp peanut flour
  • 3/4 t baking powder
  • pinch sea salt
  • 1/2 t vanilla stevia (or vanilla + stevia!)

I let my skillet heat up (on med heat) and sprayed it with a little non-stick spray. Then I whisked all my ingredients together until I had a smooth batter. I poured half of it into the skillet to make a 4″ size pancake. (Anything larger, and I can’t flip it.) It cooked pretty quick, and then I cooked the rest of the batter. So I had two large pancakes.

Look how perfect those turned out! Now I have to admit, these were a little dry. I’m not sure if I messed something up, or maybe I shouldn’t have tried peanut butter flour. However, I topped it with about 1/3 of a banana, and some sugar free pancake syrup, and they were perfect.

Curious about the nutritional information on these babies? Ok fine, Here you go. That’s before adding topping, but hello! That’s 43g of protein in 250 calories! Who says vegetarians don’t get enough protein ;)

I do want to figure out a way to make them a little more moist. Any ideas on this? Maybe if I added some canned pumpkin or some applesauce?

Have you ever tried protein pancakes? Do you eat a lot of protein in the morning? I usually try to get at least 15g in, to keep me full before lunch!

Maybe next time someone asks me where I get my protein, I’ll say pancakes ;)

<3 Liz

But Those Bars Are So Small…

First off, let me say I love them. Luna bars, Larabars, Fiber one bars, Pure bars, name your bar, I’ll probably like it. However, I only eat them like once a month. Why? Because they’re so dang small! Three bites and BAM snack time is over. Um, not cool snack bars, not cool.

So naturally. I had to fix this.

I started with Katie’s basic fudge baby recipe. Then I started thinking of ingredients to make it more… voluminous. That’s when I grabbed a box of Fiber One and a box of Kashi’s Whole Grain Puffs. Here’s how things ended up:

Giant Cereal Bars

  • 1/4 cup cashews
  • 1/2 cup dates (pitted)
  • 1/4 cup fiber one
  • Dash of salt
  • Drop of vanilla (I used vanilla stevia to make it a touch sweeter)
  • 1/2 cup Kashi Whole Grain Rice Puffs

Put the cashews, dates, fiber one, salt and vanilla in to your food processor (or Vita!) and blend until it gets to a stiff dough-y consistency.Scoop it out of the blender/processor and drop it on to wax paper. Divide it into three blobs of dough. (That’s the technical term: blob.) You might have to knead it a little bit if it’s not soft, and then just gently knead in the kashi puffs. I kind of rolled mine in the puffs, since the puffs need to kind of stick to the dates. It’s a little tricky at first, and it helps if your dough is a little warm. (Heat from your hands should do the trick.) Once you’re done, you’ll have a slab that’s about twice the size of a larabar.

Since I was feeling super fancy, I melted an Adora calcium disk on top, making it “chocolate covered” Hehe.

See the nutritional stats of a traditional Cashew Cookie Larabar (here)

Check out my Cashew Bar Stats (here) (That’s right, mine have ~80 less calories less and are about twice the size. Yay for more snackage!)

How do you feel about bars? Love ‘em? Hate ‘em? Can’t get enough of them?

Help! Food Rut!

Ok confession. A lot of times I eat the same breakfast, lunch and dinner for multiple days in a row. No joke. I know, I know, that’s SO lame! And it drives me crazy because there are so many recipes I want to try. (I’m currently drying to try this Corn Chowder from How the Cookie Crumbles!) Ok so part of my excuse is that since I live alone, I eat a lot of leftovers. (So things like the Mexican Mess I posted about last time, made a few appearances on my plate as leftovers.)

Lately, breakfast has been:

Chocolate Overnight Oats

I’m in need of some new overnight oats recipes! Anyone got some they wanna share? No joke, I ate these for like a week straight.

 


Today I switched it up a LITTLE bit, because for some reason, I wasn’t craving chocolate. (Weird, I know.)

This was some greek yogurt mixed with vanilla stevia, some blueberries, and some fiber one cereal. Delish!

 

So who has some new breakfast ideas for me? I’d LOVE to try some new versions of oatmeal/overnight oats! Now that I’m no longer an oatmeal version, I’m ready to try some new stuff ;)

 

Do you get in a food rut? Or do you like to switch it up?

 

<3 Liz

Lighten Up!

I finally caught up with the rest of the blog world, and made a light box! (Thank you, (Never)Homemaker!)

Check it out!

It was a fun afternoon project, and it made today’s eats look as delicious as they were!

Lunch: TJ’s chopped veggies, topped with garlic hummus

And for dinner, I decided to bust out the rice cooker my brother and sister-in-law got my for christmas, and whip up the recipe below:

 

Mexican Mess (sorry, I couldn’t think of a good name for this, and it does sort of look like a mess)

  • 1/4 cup long grain brown rice
  • 3/4 cup bell peppers (I used all three colors!)
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1/2 cup black beans
  • 1 tsp lime juice
  • black pepper
  • garlic salt
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast

I just cooked the rice in the rice cooker, while I sauted the onion and peppers in a skillet (sprayed with a little olive oil) with lime juice, black pepper, and garlic salt. Then once the rice was basically cooked, I tossed in the peppers and beans, and let them all sit in the cooker for a bit. Then I took it out and topped it with nutritional yeast, for an extra vitamin/protein boost! This was SO delicious and easy to make!

 

Anyone got any photo taking tips they want to share? I’m hoping to get a basic version of Photoshop soon, so I can play around with editing!

 

I hope you’re all having a fantastic weekend!

<3 Liz