Better Than Starbucks – Vegan Green Tea Protein Latte!!! ((Iced or Hot))

21 Aug

It has be soooooo long since my last post!  This summer has been crazy – trip to Vermont, car recalled for passenger airbag, spending time with family, my sister is now engaged ((CONGRATULATIONS!!!!)) and I became a maid of honor!!!, trip to Lancaster, studying for the FE exam, and now my sweet little two year old son has dropped my iphone into the pool ((it survived, works, but remains turned off in a container of rice until further notice)) ::I’m a survivor plays in the background:: haha I think it will be okay.

So… I have not gained much weight post-baby, but since I’ve stopped breastfeeding (a year ago) I have gained a couple pounds but feel my body is just much softer than before…. hahahaha awkward!  Now that my sister is engaged as well, I just want my body to be healthier and get back into shape AND have more energy.

I have been searching and searching for a vegan protein powder, and my only absolute requirements were that it NOT contain stevia or any other sugar replacement, and also that there be at least a small amount of iron in it ((I’ve been slightly fatigued lately and I’m hoping this helps)).  After days of research I found plenty of vegan protein powder options ((just google it)), however almost ALL of them contain stevia ((usually the flavored ones)), so I began searching for natural and unflavored ones.  Lo and behold there are plenty on the market including an unflavored version of Garden of Life RAW Protein, and Sunwarrior.  However, because I reeaaalllyy wanted some iron in it, I went ahead with the Sunwarrior Classic Protein Powder – Raw Vegan and Natural.

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GREAT PURCHASE!  It’s slightly expensive, but I had a $25 Amazon gift card, and the shipping was free.   The best part is, there’s no sugar, and 3mg IRON!!! ((20% daily value)) yesssss. The only ingredient in it is “Whole Brown Rice Protein” – perfect.  I’ve been using it for about a week, almost everyday and I feel great, have tons of energy to exercise, clean, study, etc.

I usually mix it with bananas and cocoa (soon to follow will be the best vegan protein hot chocolate – or milkshake – ever), but today I switched it up and made a Vegan Green Tea Protein Latte.  To make a green tea latte like they have at Starbucks (which is never vegan because there is milk powder already in their green tea powder) you must have some Matcha Green Tea.  I got this kind at Whole Foods, by the Republic of Tea – it works really great for making green tea lattes, cupcakes, frosting, ice cream, etc.  I actually made some vegan cupcakes the other day with it that came out delicious.

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Sometimes you just want like a nice thick hot chocolate or latte, I’m so smoothie and milkshaked out from this summer.  A nice warm drink usually is more pleasing to the taste buds and satisfying to the stomach, especially in the morning.  So here is the recipe for this delicious vegan, and very filling, protein latte…

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Servings: 1 large mug – one person

Calories:  about 200

Ingredients:
1 scoop Sunwarrior Protein Powder
1 tsp matcha powder (or more to taste – mine was not too powerful)
1/2 banana
1 1/2 cups Unsweetened Almond Milk
2 tsp Agave syrup (more or less to taste)

Directions:  Heat up the almond milk on the stove, remove from heat just before it boils.  Add all ingredients to the blender.  The blender will create the great froth you get from a latte.

Yummmmm.  So satisfying.  I will follow up with the best vegan protein hot chocolate ever, and hopefully not neglect this poor blog anymore!  Thanks for reading!

Vegan Super B Brownies – ((Black Beans and Beets!))

23 May

THESE ARE AMAZING.  So I have tried many a vegan brownie/cake/dessert/anything baked recipe, and many times things come out great, but most of the time my family just complains that the “real” versions are better.   However, after making this recipe that I found on Pinterest ((and tweeked to be my own)), it was completely eaten in less than 24 hours, and my mom even said it was better than the Martha Stewart Chocolate Cake that my family is obsessed with.

That said… in a month I have already made three batches of these brownies, including on Mother’s Day.  The beans and beets add tons of nutrition as well as smoothness, and honestly, you would never even know they were in these brownies AND you would never know these brownies are vegan.  I’m salivating just writing about them right now…

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They are so incredibly moist and rich.  I made them with a Vegan Chocolate Mousse on top as a frosting, with NO ADDED SUGAR, and the only ingredients being coconut milk, dates, cocoa powder, and a dash of vanilla. ((NOTE: be sure to strain after blending the dates to get an extra smooth chocolate mousse… mmmm))

First, make the black bean and beet puree…
1 small can black beans
1 medium/large beet
It should look like this:
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INGREDIENTS:

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup black bean and beet puree ((if you have a lot extra, make another batch))
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tbsp vanilla
1/2 cup organic sugar
3/4 cup unbleached flour
1 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt

DIRECTIONS:

1)  Prepare an 8X8 baking dish by coating lightly with olive oil, and then coating with cocoa powder or sugar.  Create a cooking bath by filling a large saucepan with water and boiling, and placing another small bowl on top of the water.  Place the chocolate chips in the small bowl to melt them without burning.

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2)  While those are heating up and melting, whisk all wet ingredients together ((bean/beet puree, olive oil, vanilla)), and all dry ingredients together separately ((sugar, flour, baking powder, salt, cocoa)), then add the dry ingredients to the wet and whisk together until well mixed.

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3)  Finally, add the melted chocolate from the hot water bath into the mixture and whisk until completely mixed.  Add this mixture into the prepared baking dish.  Chill the mixture in the refrigerator for a half hour.  Preheat your oven to 350 while waiting.
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Lookin’ goooood.  Bake for about 25-30 minutes, then let it rest out of the oven for about ten minutes before serving.

Delish.  Please try this recipe, it definitely will not disappoint!

Easy Mother’s Day DIY – Vanilla Coconut Salt Scrub

10 May

So it’s almost Mother’s Day, and of course you want to get your mom something special, but she either already has everything or you have no idea what to get her…. tada! HOMEMADE VANILLA COCONUT SALT SCRUB!!!

This will only take about ten minutes and will last your mother or grandmother a long time and she will love it.  It also smells amazing, will exfoliate, moisturize, soothe, and be something your mom can actually use.   Anyone can make this, too!  Even if you’re a dad, make this with your kids for your wife or mother, she will appreciate it.

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Ingredients:
16 oz. Epsom Salt
3/4 cup Coconut Oil ((I use the thick virgin coconut oil and melt it a little))
1 tbsp. Vanilla Extract

That’s it!  Mix them all together, and put them into one or two mason jars, depending on the size or amount of mothers you are giving this too.  Cut a small square of fabric and fasten it into the mason jar for an extra cute motherly touch.

Hope you enjoy making this, and that mothers all over are pleased and enjoy their day.  They deserve it!  Happy Mother’s Day!!!!!

Asian Invasion Vegan Potstickers

1 May

It has been sooo long since I have posted on here… Son’s birthday, sister’s birthday, stomach flu up to wazoo, home repairs, two different zoo visits, etc… etc… etc… my son is now 2!!!!  The new two year old tantrums have opened a whole new world of parenting… here is his homemade white cake and buttercream frosting robot cake I made for his birthday in April, sort of homely looking but chock full of love:
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I have been cooking up a storm, so many recipes to come.  First of all, I absolutely adore wrapped up Asian foods such as dumplings, wontons, potstickers, springs rolls, etc…etc… so I have created a vegan filling which can go in any of these wrappers. YES!!!

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Servings:   about 56 potstickers ((6-12 people, depending on if it’s a side or main dish))

Ingredients:

sesame oil
1 small cabbage sliced thin
3 grated carrots
1″ minced ginger
1 small onion or shallot
2-3 cloves minced garlic
tamari
vegan wonton or gyoza wraps
water
patience and love

Directions:


1)
Sautee the cabbage, carrots, ginger, onion, and garlic in a splash of sesame oil until all ingredients become soft ((about 5-7 minutes)) then add a splash of tamari, mix in, take off heat, and allow to cool.

2) Place a small spoonful onto each wonton wrapper ((so it doesn’t rip or spill out)), dip finger in a little water and rub along corners of wrapper, fold over and seal.  My first test-potsticker turned into more of a spring roll shape – sticky situation.

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3)  Heat up some sesame oil in a pan on medium-high heat.  Pan sear the potstickers until golden brown on each side ((as shown below)).  You will definitely have to do this in groups.

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4)  Once golden brown add a splash of water and small splash of tamari and cover with lid to steam the potstickers a little bit until all liquid evaporates.

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READY TO SERVE!  These are delicious dipped in a tamari or soy sauce, sweet and sour sauce, or in my case a little bit of apricot preserves ((like heathy sweet and sour sauce)). Enjoy any day of the week, freeze them, make them for a party, great any time of the year etc…

Vegan Indian-Chinese Sweet Chili Garlic Potatoes

5 Apr

        Happy Spring!!!  Happy Easter!!!  It has been so long since I posted anything, March was a very busy month…  But after going to a delicious vegetarian Indian buffet with amazing food, my favorite option there were these amazing potatoes that had no name, but had a sweet tomatoey sauce and flavor, very hearty and flavorful with snowpeas as well.  I was sooo obsessed with these potatoes that when I got home, I was determined to find a recipe and recreate them.

     However, on my search to find this potato recipe, I found out 1) They are Indo-Chinese, not just Indian, and 2) All of the recipes had SO MANY ingredients… like over 15… SO I recreated my own version which was absolutely delectable.

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       I meshed a bunch of the recipes I found together, and got the sauce down to MUCH fewer ingredients that anyone can easily whip together with things they already have in their cabinet/fridge.

Serves: 4-6 people

Ingredients:

4 medium-sized potatoes
2 cloves garlic
2 tsp tomato sauce
1 tbsp cornstarch
red chilli powder to taste
salt to taste
1.5 tbsp peanut or canola oil

~ 3 cups broccoli
little splash canola oil

Sauce:
1.5 tbsp tomato sauce
3 tsp white vinegar
4 cloves garlic ((minced))
2.5 tbsp honey
0.5 tbsp oil

Directions:
1)
  Peel and cut potatoes into finger-like slices.  TWO OPTIONS HERE:  Option 1)  Combine potatoes, garlic, tomato sauce, chili powder, salt, and oil in a ziploc bag and shake until well blended.  Heat oven to 200, and lay potatoes on baking sheet, cooking for 35-40 minutes, flipping over potatoes halfway through.  Option 2)  Combine potatoes, garlic, tomato sauce, chili powder, salt, and cornstarch in a ziploc bag and shake until well blended.  Deep fry or sautee until potatoes turn golden brown in oil.

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2)  In the meantime, sautee the broccoli in a little bit of oil on medium-low heat until slightly softened and bright green, then remove from heat.

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3)  Also in the meantime, combine all sauce ingredients into a bowl, whisk together until completely combined.  Taste for salt and chilli heat.

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4)  Add sauce to a sautee pan on medium heat, then add potatoes and mix together well, next add the broccoli, mix together and its done.

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        I tried to make a “healthier” version of this recipe by sauteing the potatoes, but feel free to bake if you have more time, or deep fry, and create as much sauce as you like for these potatoes.  Also, snowpeas, green beans, or any other favorite vegetable you have can substitute for the broccoli.

Hope you try this out and enjoy!!!

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