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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!

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!!!

The Honest Truth – Dr. Oz’s 3 Day Detox Cleanse

9 Mar

I have read many reviews, and researched a lot about Dr. Oz’s 3 Day Detox Cleanse, and over the past three days, participated in it myself.  Most reviews I have seen about this have mostly positive things to say, and I am going to give you the honest truth, my own personal and humble opinion about this detoxing cleanse. ((I am not a doctor, physician, psychic, psychologist, etc. I do not want to offend anyone, just gonna be blunt)).

For my review, I’m gonna start with an overall review, then go through my experience day by day ((by day… by day…)).

Getting straight to the point, I would rate it a 6 out of 10, great beginner’s cleanse, and great cleanse that would definitely benefit a person who is very toxicated ((maybe a smoker? meat-eater? junk-food junkie? fast fooder? pesticide/herbicide eater? coffee addict? any other kind of addict? etc.)), and I would definitely recommend this to you.  However, if you’re a vegetarian or vegan who already eats most of the foods on the shopping list Dr. Oz provides, and stays away from a lot of processed foods, this cleanse may not effect you much, and you probably need a more extreme cleanse to rid you of your toxins ((again, I am not a doctor, this is just my personal opinion)).

 

***EDIT:  I forgot to mention, Dr. Oz does not even give a before or after guidance for getting ready for this cleanse, and how and what to eat to ease out of this cleanse and keep your body as clean a can be.  That slightly bothered me.***

 

So Dr. Oz provides you with a simple sheet that outlines your cleanse itinerary and shopping list.  Morning detox tea, breakfast, lunch, snack, and dinner smoothies, with supplements in between, ending with a detox bath.  The smoothies generally contain ingredients with tons of vitamins and minerals, great brain food, and tons of fiber, to understand the cleanse in more detail, watch Dr. Oz’s video.  It is meant to detox and reset your body.

My experience:

Day 1:
Started with the tea…

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This tea is supposed to be green tea bag, lemon slice and a tsp of stevia… WHAT!? Ok so first of all, I definitely did NOT use stevia because personally stevia is just creepy, I don’t care how natural or raw or anything it claims to be, I’m not buying it, so I used a tsp of organic agave nectar or honey.  If you think stevia is safe, by all means go for it, but I definitely do not recommend it, especially if you’re detoxing.

After the tea, I drank the first breakfast smoothie.  It was delicious, mmm and I love the richness the almond butter gave it, very filling too.  The most important part of the detox came shortly after… elimination.  I am just going to keep this G-rated, the elimination occurred in every type of matter, solid, liquid, and then gas for the rest of the day.  Just being honest, there’s nothing to be ashamed of, it’s a detox.

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As for the omega 3, multivitamin, and probiotic… I did not take an omega 3, I did take a multivitamin each day which game me a little energy boost, and I’m leery on pill-form probiotics, so i added a tiny bit of almond yogurt to the second smoothie, I’m not too worried about this.

So then once i felt hungry a couple hours later I made the green lunch smoothie… I peeled the cucumbers, and made sure I really packed the pineapple to be one FULL cup to ensure it would help balance the bitterness of the vegetables, and it came out delicious.

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Not my favorite smoothie ever, but definitely palateable.  My favorite ingredient in it was definitely the coconut oil.  I used this one…
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It was thick and waxy, soooo delicious, also helped balance the flavors in the smoothie.  This smoothie was HUGE, heavy, and very filling.

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There was still more in the blender that I had to finish up…

Snack smoothie, I just made the breakfast smoothie again, but with blueberries instead of raspberries, because I don’t really enjoy feeling the raspberry seeds when I’m drinking it.

I was getting pretty hungry again around 8pm, and halfway through the dinner smoothie felt extremely full and bloated, by 9pm I got the rest of it down, pretty spicy, but good taste.

Overall throughout the day I did not feel tired, I didn’t get a headache, did get hungry before each smoothie, full afterward.  The detox bath before bed was very relaxing, I have not taken a bath since I was about 8 or 9 years old so it was a little weird for me.  I passed out quickly afterward.

Day 2:

Very hungry when I woke up… same routine: tea, breakfast, elimination.  This day there was only solid elimination… phew.  By lunch and snack I was feeling hungrier than the day before.

No tiredness, no headache, very full again after the dinner smoothie.  I was cooking macaroni for my son, and to test their cooked-ness, I accidentally ate two before realizing I wasn’t supposed to eat anything!!!  IT FELT SO GREAT TO CHEW!!!

Anywho, very relaxed again after the detox bath, went right to sleep contemplating if this cleanse is right for me…

Day 3:

Very hungry again when I woke up… same thing: tea, breakfast, elimination.  Very hungry for lunch, ate the lunch smoothie… but I just wasn’t feeling all of the detox symptoms the first day, and these foods and smoothies are all things that I normally eat anyway, and I was “eliminating” at the same time as usual anyway, and just not feelin’ this cleanse.

So on top of that, and also in desperate need of chewing on something I had frozen leftover thai coconut soup, and broke the detox!! ::crowd gasps:: hahahaha

Honestly, whatever… haha.  I think my body is cleansed and reset enough.  I felt my normal self the whole time, so I will probably look for a better cleanse more fit to my needs and try it out in another few months to eliminate air, water, etc. pollution toxins, just a great purifying cleanse.  PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT, ESPECIALLY IF YOU HAVE ANY CLEANSE SUGGESTIONS!!! I’d really appreciate it, thanks.

Anyways, definitely do this cleanse if you think it will work for you.  I’m sure Dr. Oz knows what he’s talking about.  Thanks for reading, and good luck and have fun cleansing!

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