Tag Archives: vegan

What the Blazes!

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Good morning oh lovely readers! To cope with my most recent bout of insomnia, I decided to update you all on some of the adventures that I had yesterday. I actually went Black Friday shopping! No, I was not one of those get-up-at-some-ungodly-hour-o’-clock, stand-in-line-forever, race-around-with-coupons-like-a-mad-woman kind of shoppers. My friends and I spent most of our time meandering around bookstores at a leisurely pace, keeping an eye out for deals but not stressing about it too much. It was lovely.

Along the way, we stopped for lunch at a pizza place called Blazes Pizza. I know, what the blazes was I doing in a pizza place?! Getting vegan pizza, that’s what! Blazes has a vegan cheese option, as well as lots of yummy vegetables to load onto your pie. My friend Kim and I just split a simple pie, though. We each also got a blood orange lemonade. Both were absolutely delicious.

 

This was also an opportunity for me to introduce my friends the wonder that is Daiya, since the vegan cheese of choice was Daiya mozzarella. The cruelty-free choice was a success! Kim said that she actually forgot she wasn’t eating “real” cheese, and that Daiya tasted like a delectable version of “some pretentious cheese.” My friend Jimmy, a pizza connoisseur, declared that he was impressed. That’s a BIG DEAL – Jimmy’s serious about his pizza.

So, all in all, Blazes Pizza is a definite must-visit for any vegans craving a pizza pie fix. One word, my friends: yum.

1-2-3 Barbeque Mushrooms

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Last night, I discovered a blissfully simple way to make delicious mushrooms: barbecue sauce.

Now, I realize that my “barbeque mushrooms” don’t exactly do justice to the true art of barbecuing vegetables, but hey, it was easy and they tasted yummy. Good enough for me.

The ingredients? It’s a 1-2-3-pow! for this dish:

1. 1 c baby portobello mushrooms

2. 2 tsp vegetable oil

3. 3 Tb of your favorite barbecue sauce

The directions? Super easy. Toss the mushrooms in the vegetable oil (have fun throwing them around!), then add in the barbecue sauce and coat the mushrooms in that. Put it all in a pan and sear on high for about five minutes, stirring occasionally.

Plate, and enjoy!

These are especially nummy served with a Thanksgiving yam! Mmmm 🙂

Polenta

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So, I recently discovered polenta. And mushrooms. I know, a vegan who didn’t like mushrooms? Insanity. It’s okay, though. I’m making up for it 🙂

Anyhoo, my friend chef Barbara recently made an AWESOME polenta dish that I wanted to share with y’all. The ingredients? Blissfully simple.

1. uncooked polenta

2. your favorite meltable vegan cheese

3. kale

4. your favorite roasted red pepper sauce

The directions? Also super simple. Great for college cooking!

  1. In a large pot, boil the polenta. Basically, prepare as directed by the package.
  2. When the polenta has started to thicken, stir in about 1 cup of vegan cheese for every 1.5 cups of cooked polenta you’re making. I know. Math time.
  3. In a separate, microwave-safe bowl, heat up the red pepper sauce.
  4. Chop up the kale, stick it in another microwave-safe bowl, and heat for about 1 minute for every 1 cup of kale. (If I were being fancy, I would tell you to “wilt” the kale – but hey, you’re using a microwave. Not exactly iron chef-ing it here.)
  5. Plating time! For a single serving, put about about 1/3 c red pepper sauce onto your plate, add about 1 cup of your polenta, and top with 1/2 c kale.
  6. Lick lips hungrily. Enjoy!

 

This is how Vegalicious plates theirs!

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?