My sister goes vegan part 2

I went Vegan!

 

 

The end of Lent is approaching, and I have so many great vegan experiences to share!

Here’s a basic idea of what I ate most days.

Breakfast: plain oatmeal with honey and natural peanut butter added.

 Lunch: Brown rice, lots of veggies, piece of fruit.

 Dinner:  Different almost every night.  I had so much fun trying vegan recipes.

 

Here are some go to recipes that I never would have discovered if I hadn’t been trying to eat Vegan.  I used these recipes almost every week, and they were so delicious that I’ll definitely keep making them!

 

 

1.http://www.100daysofrealfood.com/2011/09/28/recipe-easy-split-pea-soup/

This recipe is so easy, and makes great leftovers!  Even my non-veggie loving husband LOVED this.  I just substituted the chicken stock for vegetable stock. Mmmmmmmm!  It has such a great rich flavor, and adding sriracha sauce made it nice and spicy! 🙂

 

2. Vegan Burritos.  In the past I always pile TONS of cheese on my mexican food… but what really surprised me is how much I like my burritios with absolutely no dairy or meat!  At first I thought, there would be nothing left but condiments… but now I think burritos just taste so crisp and fresh this way, I think I prefer it!

 

You could make this with most anything you like, but we used: whole wheat tortillas or pita, black beans, brown rice, avacado/guacamole, tomatoes, salsa, and cilantro.

 

3. http://allrecipes.com/recipe/vegan-broccoli-soup/

I actually only made this soup once, but it was really good!  I was surprised to see how well the cashews worked as an ingredient!

 

4.Salad.

I used to hate salad, but now I love it!  Seriously.  I had so much fun experimenting with different salads.  I found out that a good dressing makes all the difference to me, and I really only like home made dressings. A favorite go-to dressing was this one:

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/emeril-lagasse/simple-balsamic-vinaigrette-recipe/index.html

I used honey instead of sugar.

 

5.  Tofu stir fry:  I used organic tofu (and we only did this once in a while, b/c of the risks of eating soy.  I would fry the tofu in olive oil and then just mix it with a bag of frozen veggies.  Much better than it sounds. 😉

 

 

Of course, some recipes were a definite flop.  I found that recipes that are usually based on a meat were a big disappointment… vegan mushroom stroganoff for example… not so great without the beef!  The recipe used cornstarch (ew!) to give it thickness, and it was barely edible.

 

 

As to my original posed questions…..

 

Here are some of my pre-Vegan thoughts that I hope to explore:

 

1. Will learning to say “no,” to my food impulses give me strength in other areas of my life?

I think so!  Its hard to evaluate your own self-control, but it definitely gave me more confidence in my own “power.”  I usually don’t tell myself “no,” when it comes to food.  Doing so over and over again, made me feel like I have more control over my choices in life.  Definitely a confidence booster.  It reminded me of a CS Lewis quote: “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. ”

2. Will not having the option of emotional junk food eating help me to grow as a person?  Will I turn to prayer or meditation, or will I replace my cravings with some other temporary pacifier?

I have to be honest here, and tell you that it did not.  I totally caved to my weaknesses, and just found vegan junk food to indulge in.  Surprisingly enough oreos are vegan… its a terrible terrible thing!!!!  I really admire people who have actually been able to give up all the bad stuff entirely… I’ll take any advice you have to offer. 😉

 

3. Will I feel any different physically from eating Vegan?  Will I have more energy?

Its really hard to say.  I’d like to think so… but could be a placebo effect sort of thing.  I did always feel extra great when I juiced though.  I got super into making green juice (with things like cucumber, celery, kale, and apple)… and every time I drink it I feel a little bit like super woman.  Not to mention I can’t get over how pretty it looks in a glass! (Green IS my favorite color.)

 

4. What will I do when eating over at someone’s house (I’m shy and don’t see myself liking to explain all this to people)?

I guess I don’t have much of a social life, b/c this really wasn’t a big problem lol.  It was slightly awkward at my Baptist in-laws, who wanted an explanation of why you would do lent, and didn’t quite understand… but we only had the conversation once.

 

5.  Will I find good Vegan options at restaurants?

YES!  Oh my gosh, the asian vegan food was amazing!  I tried things I never would have tried before, and let me tell you, it was some of the best food I’ve ever had!  Thai, Vietnamese, and Indian restaurants have great Vegan options… I only wish I knew how to cook it myself!

 

6.Will this change the way I eat or view food permanently?

For sure.  I realized that I can go without meat pretty easily.  I used to see myself as a big meat eater (I even craved rare steaks), but now the idea of eating meat kind of grosses me out… makes me thing of gnawing on muscles.  (Sorry I know thats gross!)

 

7.Is there any (affordable) AND tasty way to drink coffee with cream as a vegan (this is crucial to my happiness 😉 ).

No.  This is the one thing that was really really hard for me.  Coffee is NOT the same without milk!!!   I just hate stealing the milk from those baby cows… but its so good….. still not sure what to do about this.

 

8.  How am I ever going to give up Diet Coke????!!!!! Blurg!

Things are looking bleak in this area. Wah Wah Wah.

 

9..  And of course every girl’s constant question…. will I lose weight? lol.

No… I think it was those darn oreos.

 

In conclusion.. as Miley Cyrus would say… going vegan was “pretty cool.”  You should try it too!

 

Much love,

NeverContrary’s sister ❤

When you only have time for the cheap and easy ones

I love to make candy. When I am in a tight spot I kind of cheat. My students can’t tell that I cheated and they think I am amazing because I made them candy.

Here is how to make super fast and easy candy to impress those in your life that need a little extra lovin’.

Step One:

Go to your local craft store. If you are going to say already that you don’t have time to go to the craft store, then your life is sad. The craft store is a magical place that always smells like christmas and has sparkly things. Everyone has time to go.

Step Two:

Purchase a candy mold. I have many different molds. Flowers, hearts, little thank you bars, and smiley faces. I used the smiley faces this weekend.

Step Three:

Choose on of the many flavors of their candy melts. I happen to love the vanilla and it comes in every color. But for today I did chocolate mint.

Are my photo skills blowing your mind yet?

Step Four:

Pour the candy melts into a bowl and put them in the microwave. Heat for 30 seconds at a time. After 30 seconds stir and repeat until fully melted. That means all liquidy and not hard. Is liquidy a word?

*Note this is not melted yet*

Step Five:

Scoop into your mold. My mold this time was for lollipops, so I also added lollipop sticks. Well my daughter added them. Don’t worry I threw away the ones she chewed on.

Are you drooling yet? No, me neither I don’t like chocolate. That’s why I make it and give it away.

Step Six:

Pop them in the freezer for a few minutes. Once they harden enjoy!

 

Look he is smiling at you. Maybe he wants to be friends. Until you eat him. Then he will be pissed. Or dead. But was he really alive to begin with? Damn lollipop, you have me questioning life and death. Just shut up and look pretty until I eat you.

 

Oh it is so on.

Has anyone tasted to new dum dum suckers lately?

They are not the wonderful suckers I once loved as a child.

 

They have all new flavors. Carmel, Cotton Candy, Strawberry Creme, Strawberry Watermelon, Blueberry, mango. And I can assure you they are awful. They have very little flavor and after a few moments they taste burnt.

What has become of my beloved treat?

The only logical explanation of course is aliens. Aliens have taken over american candy are slowly subduing us into a stupor. They are stealing all the good candy for themselves and leaving us with crap. Why? WHY?

Isn’t is obvious? They are super pissed that we won the planet of the year in last years Miss Planet Universe Pageant.

Be warned aliens I am onto you. Sure I let you into our movies and tv shows, but I draw the line at candy. And I fight dirty. So watch you back.

Mountain Dew Cake

I sold my first cake!

I love to bake. Even in high school I can remember practicing my recipes and bringing them to school for all my friends to eat. Now, I bake and bring it to my students, give it to my wife’s co-workers, or to my family. I would keep them at home and eat them, but I don’t really like sweets. Yes, just another thing I am contrary about.

I sold a mountain dew cake. It is a lemon/lime cake that is very rich and creamy. The recipe was given to me by my good friend Jessie Brown. She has graciously given me permission to share it with you!

Mountain Dew Cake

Mountain Dew Cake:

I cup of butter

2 cups of sugar

4 large eggs

3/4 cup of mountain dew

1/4 cup of lemon and lime juice

zest from 1 lemon and 2 limes ( separate into 2 piles, one for buttercream)

1 1/2 teaspoons lemon extract

2 3/4 cups all purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1. Beat Butter on medium for 30 seconds

2. Add sugar and lemon, lime zest. Beat on medium- high until light and fluffy.

3. Add eggs one at a time, Scrape sides of bowl in between additions.

4. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Add to mixer bowl. Turn on low for 5 seconds.

5. Add the mountain dew, lemon/lime juice, and lemon extract.

6 Bake for 20-25 min ( 18-20 for cupcakes)

Mountain Dew Butter Cream:

1 cup butter

4-5 cups powdered sugar

2 tablespoons mountain dew

Juices from half of 1 lemon and half of 1 lime

Lemon and Lime Zest

1 teaspoon of lemon extract

neon green food coloring

1. sift powdered sugar into a bowl or onto parchment

2. Beat butter until creamy

3. Add half of the sugar

4. Add the mountain dew, zest, and lemon extract

5. Add food coloring

6. Gradually add remaining sugar

Enjoy!

Mountain Dew Cake