Food, Yarn, & Stuff

Posts Tagged ‘Vegetarianism

I saw this recipe popped up the other day for me.

Tofurkey Italian Sausage and Rice Recipie (Vegan) | My Mind In Bytes.

I had just tried Tofurkey Italian Sausage for the first time a day or so before.  I’ll have to post the full recipe – but I ‘veganized’ an recipe for stuffed zucchini, and used some Tofurkey Italian Sausage that I had in the fridge in lieu of the ‘traditional’ italian sausage that the recipe called for.  I had also seen it used on a Vegan Zombie episode when he made pizza rolls.  This stuff is really good!  I have to admit – I’m only a partial fan of the Tofurkey brand, at least so far.  And I was really pleasantly surprised at how good this sausage tasted!  The seasoning was right on, just a touch of spice – I would imagine that this sausage and rice recipe would hit the spot!  I’ll be adding it to my “to try” list!



I admit, I’m a fan of The Pioneer Woman – even though she’s definitely not of the vegan persuasion.  I love her writing and her blog is fun to read.  And then there’s her recipe site Tasty Kitchen.  I was afraid that my switch to vegan food meant that I should delete this ‘favorite’ from my web browser.  But, the other day the featured recipe was vegan!  So, I decided to re-visit this recipe site and was happy to find this…

Vegan | Tasty Kitchen: A Happy Recipe Community!

She has a “Special Dietary Needs” option which includes vegan… yay!!  So, now I’m slowly making my way through the recipes and adding ones I’d like to try to my recipe box.  I’m excited that I can still be a part of the Tasty Kitchen community even though I’m no longer partaking in the meat and dairy part!

Thank you Pioneer Woman for including ‘us’ in your community!

This is one of my new favorites!  I was upset to read that my favorite “non-dairy” creamer isn’t vegan (and is actually quite the chemical cocktail really.)  While I’ll probably keep it on hand for coffee emergencies (and travel when I can’t keep a refrigerator with me).  If someone who reads this knows of a powdered creamer (preferably French Vanilla flavor) that is vegan – please comment or contact me and let me know!

So Delicious Creamer - French Vanilla (image from So Delicious website)

I tried this once at the ‘very beginning’ of my vegan journey.  I have a hard time with liquid creamers in my coffee.  I feel like I usually need to use far more than the suggested serving in order to get the flavor that I get from a serving of the powdered stuff that I was used to.  That’s not really the case with the So Delicious Coconut Milk Creamer.  I’ll admit that I haven’t tried the original flavor, but I think that’s because I like my coffee sweet.  So, I enjoy having a flavored creamer.  The French Vanilla is definitely at the top of my favorites list.  It has a nice vanilla flavor, and it’s sweet without being too sweet.

I just bought the Hazelnut flavor to try – and I’ll try it (and post a review) in a few days once my vanilla is all gone.  I also bought their Original Flavor Coconut Milk to try when I’m done with the 1/2 gallon of Almond Milk that’s in my fridge right now.

I think So Delicious is a brand that is doing an amazing job at making non-dairy items to replace those that most omnivores are used to.  So, whether you’re vegan or have a dairy allergy or just would rather avoid dairy – give these a try!  They’re widely available, and Whole Foods has a good selection of products in both dairy and frozen, a bit more limited at “traditional” grocery stores.

I give this creamer an A+!

Last Friday I was able to pick up our first bunch of veggies from our CSA share at Green Earth Institute.

CSA Veggies - July 8th, 2011

This week’s haul included Garlic Scapes, Scallions, Bok Choy (it’s related but not actually Bok Choy), Kale, Sage, Peas, Summer Squash, Beets, Radishes, and Lettuce.  To tell you the truth – I had never heard of garlic scapes or the ‘bok choy’ relative before.  And, I’m trying to be mindful and use as much of these veggies as possible!  This is on top of the 3 heads of romaine that I harvested from our own garden on Friday.  Here’s how I used them this week:


For lunch we had a nice big salad with home-grown romaine, beet greens, a little bit of radish (2 of the small ones), carrots, sugar snap peas, and garbonzo beans.


I had planned to make a stir fry Saturday night, but it didn’t work out – so that’s going to be dinner on Sunday!  I’ll use some of the garlic scapes, bok choy, maybe some summer squash, some sugar snap peas, a bag of frozen stir-fry veggies, some baked teriyaki tofu, and chow mein noodles.

I’m probably only missing 3 of these top 10 – and that’s just because I haven’t tried them yet!  The link below will take you to the article that talks about the nutritional (and yum) benefits of these items.  I’m just going to mention my experience with each here.

Top 10 Foods For Transitioning Vegans | Vegan Mainstream

Daiya Vegan CheeseI found this one pretty early on!  This is definitely a favorite of mine! Because I must say, I’m a cheese lover.  Again, I thought cheese would be the hardest thing to give up (and it still is, mostly because it’s in everything when you go out to eat!)

Quinoa – this is one of my 3.  I have a box of this in my pantry.  I have yet to actually try cooking it though.  I’m not sure why?  Maybe I’ve just been waiting for just the right recipe to try it with.

Hummus.  I LOVE hummus!  It’s one of my favorite snack items, I tend to buy it instead of making it myself though.  So I tend not to get it that often.  I should put the ingredients for that on my shopping list though!

Kale – another of my 3.  But, that being said – I just got a bunch of kale from our CSA pickup this week.  So, I’m going to be forced to give it a try!

Nutritional yeast.  I haven’t done too much with this yet, but I do have a container of it.  The last time I used it was last week actually in my No Recipe Required Spaghetti.  I added it to the marinara sauce to add a little ‘cheesy’ flavor.  The husband still added some grated parmesan to his bowl, but I thought it added a nice little salty, nutty flavor to the sauce.  It also made it look just a bit creamier.

Chia seeds – and here’s the 3rd.  I hadn’t ever heard of these.  But, on my last grocery trip to Whole Foods, I was in the baking aisle and looking at all the Bob’s Red Mill items and I saw these.  I remembered seeing them listed here.  I didn’t  buy them, this time.  Maybe next time!

Almond milk.  I add almond milk to my “LOVE” category!  I remember trying soy milk when it first started becoming available, and thought it wasn’t too bad – especially the vanilla and chocolate flavored versions.  But since then, I’ve gotten to know and love almond milk.  My brand favorite is Trader Joe’s – and their price is reasonable too!  I also have some raw almonds, and when I saw how relatively easy it is to make almond milk yourself, I’m going to give it a try… eventually!

Protein powder.  This is in the category of “I know of it, but I’m bad about using it”!  Even in the past, I’ve bought protein powder for myself, but I tend to forget to use it!  This is something that I should probably start to get to know better, as I’m still working on getting the kids to eat their legumes!  This way I can sneak some protein into the things that they will eat (like marinara sauce)!

Tofu.  I’m a tofu fan!  I have been for a long time!  However, I’m still working at becoming a skilled ‘user’ of tofu.  I love it when I order it at restaurants, but I can’t ever seem to get it to come out like that at home!  It’s usually mushy – and therefore the husband and kids just aren’t fans.  I usually have to buy the baked varieties from Trader Joe’s and just use those in my meals.

Coconut milk ice cream.  I’m glad I found this one early on.  Ice cream is right up there along with cheese on “things I wasn’t sure I’d be able to live without.”  And, while sorbet and frozen fruit bars are nice on a hot day… there’s just something about a nice creamy bowl of ice cream that hits the spot some days!  Coconut milk ice cream really hits the spot!

Thanks to the folks at Galaxy Foods – I got to try their Chive & Garlic Dairy Free Cream Cheese.  And, while the kids are still fans of the plain version (if they put anything at all on a bagel).  The husband and I have found a new love!

Galaxy Foods Dairy Free Chive & Garlic Cream Cheese

This cream cheese is just awesome!  It’s got a nice garlic flavor with little pieces of chive – but it’s not overwhelming at all!  It’s smooth and creamy just like the plain version but with the nice savory flavor.  I’m going to look up some recipes that usually call for regular cream cheese and try these as an alternative!  (I’ll be sure to post the results!)

This is definitely an A+ in my book!  Now, I just wish they made a larger tub!

Needless heart surgery? Houston doctor argues that a plant-based diet works better than a bypass – 2011-Jul-08 – CultureMap Houston

This article centers in on my reasoning for going vegan – health.  I had a check-up this year, and while the doctor said my cholesterol levels were excellent, I figure, why not take the worry about that out of the equation!  I had lost about 50 pounds over the last two years through killing myself at the gym every day, and counting my calories.  But, when I bruised a vertebrae in my back during a work out and couldn’t run daily or do all the things I had been doing at the gym I started to get lazy.  I started to lose track of my calories – but I wasn’t gaining weight… yet.  Eventually, my lack of activity caught up with my eating, and I gained back about 30 pounds.  Since going vegan, I still haven’t gotten back to a regular workout routine, but I’ve lost close to 10 pounds just by making healthier choices.  While I probably do still eat too much ‘processed’ vegan food – I think processed vegan food is probably still better than processed non-vegan food, which tends to be full of chemicals.

I’m not to the raw stage yet – although there is a lot that is appealing about a raw diet.  I’m still working on getting my family to accept new meals and alternatives to their favorites, especially the kids, but me too!  I just wish there were more vegan/raw restaurants in our area of suburbia so that the husband and kids could try new things that are made by people who actually know what they’re doing in the kitchen – and have cooked that way for many years!

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