Sunday, September 8, 2013

Vegan Cupcakes FOUND

As I wandered down the busy streets of Greensboro on First Friday- I found my eyes drifting down the way to Cheesecakes by Alex wishing I was able to indulge my hormonal cravings with the dairy goodness wafting out the doors of that little store. Julia kept playing the temptress and my vegan conscience was truly being tested. We stopped in Just Be and looked around a bit, but my dessert craving mouth was watering at the stupidest of things like oreos or store-bought-brownie-bites. I had to get out of there...we stopped at the train tracks where a little convertible almost got squashed by the passing train. It was actually quite scary. The lights started flashing and the gate actually came down on the car and she couldn't move it backward- she was freaked, debated getting out, but her car was about 4 feet away from the train and she was fine.

After several antique stores, and the LOVELY garden behind Jules Antiques that had me believing I was in Italy somewhere drinking vino while painting some gorgeous city-scape, We landed our feet in Civic Threads. My long time friend William works there and we started catching up... as we talked my nose picked up a scent- peanut butter? No...chocolate?...BOTH? Talking continues, I catch a glimpse of cupcakes...oh no. Then William announces, "Oh hey, did you try to Vegan cupcakes? You totally should check em out, they are awesome!" I was already gone, b-line to the table- do you know how hard it is to find a vegan pastry in this town? (probably a good thing it's so hard!!)

Julia says, "Ew Vegan cupcakes? I don't want one of those. That sounds gross." I laugh, "but you just said they look good!" I pick one up and tell her she's splitting it with me! (She liked it, I knew she would!!) I start a conversation with the baker, asking about some of her ingredient choices. She then goes on to say, "Some people come into the shop and say, 'I was going to get one of those cupcakes, they look so good, but then I saw they were vegan.' I think, really? You are so closed minded to not try something that you think looks good just because it says Vegan on it!" I laugh and look straight at Julia.

This beautiful veganite-baker sells her cupcakes at Geeksboro. Check em out!

Friday, August 9, 2013

Quinoa Veggie Sushi

OK. I eat Sushi like two or three times a week. I LOVE it. I also eat rice paper wraps (Vietnamese spring rolls) probably once a week (recipe to come!) People have been asking for my Quinoa Sushi Recipe so here it is. SORRY no pictures :( I completely forgot!
The first time you make sushi it take like 45 minutes! But when you get the hang of it you can make it in about 20. 
If you are a T25 Vegan-Challenger, this is a great meal for us. We can get our protein and our necessary nutrients from this meal. It's hard for me to put a calorie intake on here, because it completely depends on what ingredients you put as your filling. Just be sure not to make your quinoa layer too thick!


  • 2 cups quinoa 
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 T sugar
  • 1 t salt
  • 1/3 cup + 2 T rice vinegar
  • 4-6 sheets of nori (dried seaweed) 
  • 1/2 t ginger
  • 1 t sesame seeds 
  • Light Soy Sauce (for dipping)
Internal Herb Options:
  • Cilantro 
  • Mint
  • Chili Pepper
Internal Veggie options:
  • Cucumber slivers
  • Carrot Shavings
  • Avocado (this and the quinoa are your protein source-vegan style.)
  • Sauteed broccoli crowns
  • Red pepper slivers
  • Finely chopped kale (I put kale in EVERYTHING. It's my favorite superfood)
Internal FRUIT options: (if you're feeling adventurous)
  • Lightly fried plantains 
  • Cherry Tomatoes 


This is the Ginger Sesame mix my mom gave me for Christmas. It's my GO TO spice mi
This is not my picture, it's a google rep! But example of now to line up the veggies.

  1. Mix 2 tablespoons rice vinegar, 1 T sugar and 2 teaspoons salt until sugar and salt dissolve.
  2. Place the quinoa in a pot and add about 4 cups of salted water. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer until quinoa is practically see-through (do NOT use red Quinoa, not the correct texture.) Drain quinoa, then stir vinegar mixture into hot quinoa, tossing to mix. Set aside.
  3. Cut up Veggies into long slivers. (I go with whatever I have in the fridge, honestly.)
  4. Place nori on top of a bamboo sushi rolling mat (You can buy these at target or walmart of the grocery store. The first time I did this, I didn't have a mat so I use a seran wrapped, stiff, placemat!.) Spread (COMPLETELY CHILLED) quinoa onto the nori, leaving a 1/2 margin all around. (you might have to put in freezer for a few mins after cooking to be sure it's not hot anymore.)
  5. Sprinkle red chili pepper, chopped cilantro, and ginger-sesame on top of quinoa. Press the quinoa into the nori for even thickness and consistency.
  6. Veggie time!! Even align the veggies lengthwise in the middle of the of quinoa. Roll sushi tightly, then here is the tricky part, you have to use a VERY sharp knife to cut through the nori! At this point you have your roll with the quinoa on the INSIDE and the nori on the OUTSIDE; cut crosswise into bite size pieces.
So my favorite combo is:
  • Cucumber
  • Avocado
  • Carrot
  • Broccoli
It's hard to take "in the process pictures" because your hands get really sticky from rolling the sushi. This is the only one i took. It's red pepper, avocado, carrot, cucumber.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Tofu Tacos

This is an adapted version of the "Fish Tacos" in T25.


(in bowl mix)
1 t olive oil
2 Squeezed Limes
1 t Cayenne pepper
1 t Chili pepper
1 T corn starch
Cut tofu into 1/2 inch tiny cubes, roll them in the bowl of lime sauce and put into frying pan. It's optional whether you put olive oil in the pan, if you really don't want oil you can spritz some more lime juice in there, but they cook better with about 1 t of olive oil heated in the pan.

(in bowl mix)
1-2 squeezed Limes
a "few drops" of agave nectar (I can't use honey as a vegan, but that if you DO eat honey, you can totally use that.)
a "dash" of salt

Thinly cut cabbage into "slaw slivers," as I tend to call them, and toss into frying pan. Heat the cabbage enough to soften the texture a bit while still leaving a "crunch.

MANGO (this is what MADE the tacos)
Red Onions
***(optional, my dad put 10 calorie salsa on his to add a little extra kick)***

These are all wrapped up in little corn tortillas. The band I use is 45 C a piece, so I ate 3 Tacos the calorie total came out to about 350 calories.

**the yellower the corn tortillas the "chalkier" the texture so you need to make sure to wrap them in very damp paper towels and place in microwave for 45 seconds!!***

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Mango and Black Bean Salad

This is a delicious and almost entirely raw food meal (and most def VEGAN.)

For the Salad:
3 Ripe Mangos
2 Cups (fresh) Pineapple (or two cans)
1 English Cucumber (or 2 seeded regular cukes)
1 finely chopped Red Pepper
1/4 C Cilantro
Handful of chopped Fresh Mint
2-4 finely sliced Green Onions
1 can Black Bean (drained and rinsed)
1 almost ripe Avocado (want it to be a little firm so it doesn't get mushy in the salad)
A few small-cut Kale leaves
1 cup Quinoa (remember 2 cups water to 1 cup Quinoa, place both in pan, bring to boil, remove from heat and cover.)

***Optional: Strawberries, Kiwi, or Papaya all could be added.

Mix ingredients in bowl, add dressing, mix again, and voila!! Heat up a few corn tortillas and you've got it made, feeds 4.

Salad dressing:

3-4 TBL Olive Oil
2 TBL Honey (or Maple Syrup for Vegans)
4 squeezed Limes, juice
2 TBL Tarragon Wine Vinegar 
Pinch of salt
*1 TBL Chili Powder (sounds like a lot, but when you mix it with the sweet fruit it subdues the level)

Monday, May 6, 2013

Red Curry Tofu

My mother is known for her amazing curry. When I say "known for", I mean it's literally a taste you will never forget, it will remain in your immediate food memory for the rest of your life.  You'll compare all other currys to it, you will request it every time you come over, it will become your birthday wish dinner, it will be your answer to the "if you could only eat one meal before you die what would it be?" question  you'll crave it when you're PMSing (ok maybe that's only me...) POINT IS, it's glorious. I don't have her recipe, and to be honest I'm not sure if I want it- might take away some of the magic- but I wanted to make my first attempt at this tasteful dish.

Now she does a yellow curry, I wanted to do a tomato based curry (blaze my own trail!) 

Here is my recipe I put together: though I added lots of spices as it was simmering so the measurements might be a little off. I combined two different sauce recipe concepts together- sorta followed an outline, but it's a matter of taste (Spicy vs. sweeter.) 



  • 2 full packages of Tofu
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 head cauliflower 
  • 1 cup snap peas, chopped

  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon 
  • handful fresh basil 
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1/2 can vegetable broth
  • 2-3 Tbsp. minced fresh lemongrass
  • 1/4 cup green onion, minced
  • 1 tsp ginger, grated
  • 4-5 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 4 Tbls tomato paste
  • 1 tbls paprika
  • 2 Tbls chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/4 cup Cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1-2 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 2 squeezed limes (juice)
  • 2 Tbls curry powder (yellow)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • add chili sauce for spice (if needed)

  1. Cut up cauliflower and place in boiling water, soften and let simmer for about 20 minutes.
  2. Cut up Tofu in cubes, bake (BAKE at 400) for about 10 minutes on both sides. Just lightly brown them, just for texture.
  3. Combine all the sauce ingredients into food processor (Basil, Coconut milk, Vegetable broth, lemongrass, green onion, ginger, garlic, cayenne pepper, tomato paste, paprika, chili powder, cumin, cilantro, drown sugar, lime juice, curry powder, salt) pureed into a creamy sauce.
  4. Combine tofu and cauliflower with the sauce in wok on high. Bring to boil, then reduce temperature. Add bell pepper and snap peas and cinnamon. Allow to simmer for 30 minutes.
  5. Cook Sushi Rice (because it's extra sticky!) 2 cups rice, 2.5 cups water. Bring to boil then allow to simmer for 20 minutes.
  6. Warm up naan for 2 minutes at 400 in oven. 

This fed Juan and I PLUS I have enough for a couple more meals (LOVE curry leftovers, they get better every day.) I'll probably get four more full meals out of the leftovers :)

Friday, May 3, 2013

Bikram Yoga

I'm so behind in posts. I've been meaning to update for months, but work has been kicking my butt the past few weeks.
                 I.E. Today in one of my fifth grade classes I gave a speech on "legacy" (which I'm convinced fell on deaf ears..) Tried to explain that teachers feel things too! I said, "sometimes I think you guys forget we're human too and we get worn down too. The difference is teachers can't just decide we're not gonna do our work anymore, or we're gonna be rude or jerks because we didn't get our way- we have to keep up a positive attitude and push forward. You make it very difficult to do that sometimes. Just keep in mind, we get frustrated and hurt and tired too, and there is only so much disrespect a person can take before they start to lose all respect for you...." One of the girls started crying and ran up to me after class and said she thought I was talking about her and that she's maybe one kid was listening. She said, "I want to be remembered for good things not for being disrespectful." One victory at a time...

That being said, I want to update on my Greensboro activities- like I said I would on this blog!

                                                                  Bikram Yoga. 

  1. What:  26 postures that systematically work every part of the body, to give all the internal organs, all the veins, all the ligaments, and all the muscles everything they need to maintain optimum health and maximum function. 
    1. Translation? You sweat all your toxins out of your body while balancing the heck out of your body!
  2. What to Expect: You enter into a mirrored room and lay your mat on the floor. There can be anywhere from 25-55 people there. The heat is set to 106 degrees and you start sweating profusely about 3 minutes into your time int the room. The instructor will begin to call out the poses. It last 1.5 hours (which is incredibly long!) The hardest part about this type of yoga is the slipperiness of your skin- it was difficult to hold positions because my feet would roll off my soaking wet skin. 
  3. Important facts: 
    1. Seriously Hydrate for the the WHOLE DAY leading up to going. (The first time i went I made the mistake of hydrating only DURING instead of BEFORE and I got a stomach ache.)
    2. They don't like you to leave to use the bathroom so make sure you pee before you go in...
    3. Don't eat junk food or heavy foods before you go, it will weigh you down (i'm not kidding!!)
    4. Bring your own mat if you can, because you sweat all over it and if you care about germs at all you won't want to use another person's mat
    5. Don't wear any rings or jewelry! 
    6. BRING WATER and a towel 
    7. WEAR LITTLE CLOTHING you will not want layers, the bare min is best, most girls wear spandex shorts and sports bras (or a tank top in my case.)
  4. Price: Grouponed this gem, the groupon reappears about four times a year and it's an unlimited month for $26 (though I think it's $36 now...)
  5. Location: West Market right between the Sheetz and the Nazareth resteraunt (that I'm dying to try!)
  6. Watch Kumare: This documentary is amazing and extremely entertaining.  This class will put you in an entirely different mindset if you watch that movie. HIGHLY reccommend.
    Here's a Trailer- you can find it on Netflix.

All in all it was a good workout, you burn a TON of calories and feel AMAZING the next day. During the actual class I felt kinda awful, the heat messed with my head and I didn't much care for the feeling. (Plus the girls in front of me were SICK at the poses and I felt completely ridiculous..ok not the one lady in the leopard print romper uni-tard, she was pretty terrible.I don't plan on ever going back (since that month) because the last time I went it gave me a migraine. The next day you feel like a whole new person! BUT it's not worth a migraine for me.


Friday, February 1, 2013

Quinoa Salad

There are many protein options for vegans, one of my favorite is quinoa.
This is my favorite quinoa salad recipe:

2 cups Quinoa
2 cups of Water
Two cucumbers (I prefer English, b/c they are crispier.)
Small box of Cherry Tomatoes
Three Shallots
2 Tbs Olive Oil
One Lemon
2 Tbs of the following fresh herbs (I never measure these out, I kinda just eyeball it.)
  • Parsley
  • Mint
  • Cilantro
Step 1: Make quinoa (cup to cup ratio with water), you can follow your box for this: Me? I just eyeball when I feel like it's about done (10-15 mins on the stove top)

Step 2: Chop up cucumbers and seed the tomatoes (I cut these in fourths)

Step 3: Chop up your herbs ( I forgot to buy mint, so this picture is missing that ingredient.)
Again, I eyeball the amount. Harris Teeter has the Mint and Cilantro for $2.09, generously boxed up- lasts a few meals.

Step 4: pour the warm quinoa into the cucumber/tomato bowl, mix in the herbs and shallots, add one FULL lemon and 2 Tbs Olive Oil. DONE.

The addition I make to this salad was pan fried tofu, just cuz I had it left over from the night before.

If you're a Carnivore, like this one, you might add shredded chicken to this mix (boiled, shredded, soaked in lemon and cilantro then added to the salad.)