Tag Archives: protein

Sambazon Smoothie

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I was at Whole Foods today rambling around in search of a decent snack yesterday, and I happened upon a lovely discovery – Sambazon acai berry CHOCOLATE protein smoothie. It’s got chocolate, soy AND hemp protein, chocolate, acai berry, and oh, did I mention chocolate?

Yeah… I, uh, apparently really wanted chocolate.

But seriously, the smoothie is a fantastic balance of macronutrients and tastes amazing. Oh, and of course, it’s VEGAN. They even specifically point out in the ingredient list that it’s vegan protein they’re using. Way to go Sambazon!

Vegan Active

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Phew! Long time no blog!

Don’t worry, dear readers, I haven’t just been slacking off! This vegan’s been damn busy. To catch y’all up, the past few weeks have been filled with:

A trip to the L.A. zoo! Look for a post on my take on zoos soon!

He came right up to the glass!

Dance show! Lots and lots of dance show! I had five hours of rehearsal a day and then three two-hour-long performances!

Larissa (right) and I in our crazy animal print hip hop costumes 🙂

Figuring out what in the world I’ll be doing this summer! (Still working on this one…)

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Romping around with coyotes!

Sedona, one of the beautiful Waystation coyotes!

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Traipsing around Santa Monica and Venice Beach 🙂

My friend Carson. He's pretty awesome.

my shadow!

my friends meet the wind 😉

Of course, being active means I’ve gotta have the fuel to do all of this – and a lot of that fuel comes in the form of protein. The question of protein has become almost cliche in the vegan community – how many of you have already stopped keeping count of how many times you’ve been asked how you get protein?

Well, for all you new vegans and those who are just plain curious, here’s my answer!

Vegan Protein

Okay, let’s talk biochem for a minute. What exactly is “protein?” Well, protein is a macromolecule composed of building blocks that are called “amino acids.” There are twenty of them; some of them our body can make, some of them our body can’t, and those are called “essential amino acids.” Really, as long as you eat a balanced diet, you’ll be fine on all twenty.

Nutritionally speaking, 1 oz protein = 7 g of protein. A balanced diet should have at least 50 g (about 7 oz) of protein a day, though I get at least 70 g (10 oz).

Wanna know how? Here are the conversions for the proteins I usually go for:

1 oz protein =

– 1.5 oz extra firm tofu

– 1/8 block tempeh

– 1/4 c shelled edamame

– 2.5 slices tofurky

– 3 meatless meatballs (TJ!)

– 2 Tb nutritional yeast

– 1/2 Tb nut butter (okay, if you want to be super neurotic it’s 2 Tb, which counts for 1 oz protein and som fat nutrients, but if you want to be a normal person just go with 1/2 Tb)

– 1/4 c most beans (again, if you want to be neurotic 1/2 c counts as 1 protein and some starch nutrients, but for sanity’s sake just go with 1/4 c)

Do you have a favorite form of vegan protein?

Choices and Leftovers

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Today I had a choice.

My mom was driving me back from my FIRST PROFESSIONAL MASSAGE EVER (I realized that before today never had anyone massaged my little toe.) and asked what I wanted to do about dinner. I had the choice of either going home and, because of the mindset I’ve slipped into, finagling a calorically insufficient dinner, or I could do that recovery thing and request a trip to Vegadeli and order a way more nutritionally complete dinner whose preparation I had no control over.

I chose Vegadeli.

Feel free to applaud. 😉 The part of me that remembers it’s worth taking care of me, even in the small decisions, certainly is.

The Vegadeli run was totally worth it! Given how many times my mom’s been there to pick up tonsillectomy recovery-appropriate foods (Vegadeli’s got a smoothie bar), the owner apparently knows who I am now and said she was glad to see I’m feeling better!

I ordered Buddha’s Feast, described as “rice, veggies, kale, and tofu,” and it TOTALLY exceeded my expectations. The dish was AMAZING. Talk about a balanced pallet! As soon as the plate was set on the table, I was struck by the red and green and brown and orange and even purple! I was also pretty happy that I was fairly sure my taste buds could pick up on each of the ingredients that went into the dish. I taste a try-it-myself recipe coming…

Speaking of recipes, I think it’s time I gave y’all one!

Tofu, Quinoa and Winter Vegetable Melange

I made this for dinner last night. It was a first-time-try and I’d say it was a success! I cheated a little bit on the recipe – it’s not completely from scratch. My mom had made Trader Joe’s quinoa-vegetable melange for lunch and I used some of the leftovers from the fridge to make this dish.

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So, here’s what you’re going to need:

about 4 oz extra-firm tofu

1/3 c Trader Joe’s butternut squash soup (the kind that comes in a big rectangular carton)

1.5 c Trader Joe’s quinoa melange

Here’s whatcha do:

Prepare the quinoa melange according to instructions so that it’s about half-done. If you have more time, prepare it so that it’s cooked completely and stick it in the fridge for a few hours.

Next, get out a sauce pan and warm up the butternut squash soup on low heat. While that’s endothermizing itself (endothermizing is totally a word, right?), press your tofu between paper towels so that you get most of the excess moisture out – more tofu juice going out means more butternut squash soup going in.

Once that’s done, cut your tofu into little cubes and stick it in the warm butternut squash soup. Shake, toss, stir – whatever your preferred method of locomotion – just move your tofu around in the soup so that it’s completely covered. Turn up the heat a bit, while your at it. After about three minutes, move your tofu around some more so that it cooks more evenly.

 

Once your tofu’s been cooking for about five minutes, throw in your quinoa melange and stir.

Turn down the heat again and cover the sauce pan with a lid. Let the whole thing sit on low heat for about three minutes.

Move to your container of choice and enjoy!

Here’s what mine looked like:

I particularly loved how high-protein this dish was. It was pretty tasty, too. 🙂

How have you spiced up leftovers recently?