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http://www.youtube.com/v/dBnniua6-oM?fs=1&hl=en_US

 

I just got finished with watching this 90 minute lecture on sugar. I implore you to at least take a peek at it. It will change the way you look at food.

The takeaway: Sugar, doesn’t matter what kind, is a toxin and is polluting my system. Fructose is metabolized like Ethanol (read: fructose attacks your body in almost the same way as alcohol)

In other news, I apologize for getting off the blogging wagon. I want to get back to it and hope to in the coming year! Hello changes for 2011!! There is a lot of new stuff I want to cover on the blog, and on a new blog I have decided to start that will be very near and dear to my heart. All to come soon!

Ciao!

Quinoa Pancakes

Good Morning!

This morning I was craving something bread related. Over the last several days since giving up gluten, I haven’t really had any cravings (more on that in a second). But, this morning, while reading food blogs, I couldn’t resist making some pancakes. This is what you do on a Thursday morning when you have no job! Hey, I’m not complaining. In a couple of weeks. I will be getting up early to do baking shifts at 6am!

Back to the food. I have a quick pancake recipe that I use when I don’t want to get elaborate. It has 4 ingredients, takes about 10 seconds to whip up, and you are sitting down to vegan pancakes in no time. Here is how it all went down..

Quinoa Pancakes for 1

1/3 c. Quinoa Flour (if you don’t want gluten-free, I have used Whole wheat pastry flour and all-purpose as well!)

1/3 c.+1 TBSP Non-dairy milk (I used Trader Joe’s whole grain milk)

3/4 t. Baking Powder

1/2 t. Vanilla Extract

Pinch of salt, optional

Place non-stick pan over medium heat. Meanwhile, mix together flour, baking powder, and salt. Add milk and vanilla extract. Whisk together. The batter will be viscous, but if it’s too thick add a little extra milk. Pour batter into pan. This batter doesn’t bubble like most pancake batters, so flip when the pancake takes on a darker yellow color and more solid texture. Flip and cook an additional 30 seconds to 1 minute. Remove and repeat steps until batter is gone. Top with fresh fruit, maple syrup, vegan whipped cream, or pumpkin butter. Enjoy!

The Verdict

These pancakes aren’t perfect, they turned out a bit dry, but were super airy and light. It is a work in progress, but next time I would probably lessen the baking powder, maybe add some vegan yogurt in lieu of some liquid and possibly add a pinch of xantham gum (though I don’t know if it would have an effect, must experiment). Notice I did not add sweetener. I seldom add sweetener to my pancakes because my toppings usually take care of that, but if you desire, adding a bit of cane sugar or agave would moisten up the end result. As you can see, it is a work in progress! I will be back with a better recipe for these puppies soon!

And now, an update on my gluten-free progress…

I have noticed a huge difference in my cravings for baked goods. Surprisingly, I haven’t really had any. It has sucked a bit to figure out what I can and can’t eat. Being gluten-free and vegan has its drawbacks initially, but I have had a lot of fun finding recipes that work for me. The other drawback is living with people who are neither gluten-free nor vegan and being the main cook in the house! I have been quite intimidated in coming up with recipes that will not only satisfy the omnivorous tastes, but also the desire for bread, pasta, and baked goodies! I have made, but failed to properly picture, split pea soup with gluten-free cornbread, black bean and sweet potato tacos, grilled vegetable no-quesodillas, and salads with homemade “honey” mustard dressing.

I love a cooking challenge, so be assured you will be seeing some more creative recipes that suit many different tastes, all the while being healthy, vegan, and gluten-free! I am excited to see what comes out of my kitchen, I hope you are too!

A bit on the photography…My camera has decided to hate me, so I will have to figure something out right quick in order to get some pictures up! Sorry for the lack of professional looking shots!

Blog Hiatus: Ended!

Good Evening!

I have decided to come back to the blog after a bit of time away. Life has been very busy, but I have blogged the last few months over here. In May, my (ex) boyfriend and I set off on a few month trip across the USA. It was a lot of fun, full of delicious vegan food, snacks, and touristy things! I mention food and snacks because I definitely had a lot of it! Almost three months and 14,500 miles in the car was quite the adventure, but I fell off the wagon in terms of health, for sure! I ran infrequently on the trip, and ate sour patch kids all the time. Not good for the body!

I have been avoiding coming back to the blog, but I can avoid it no longer! After a few recent life changes, I am committing myself to ME! My boyfriend and I recently split, I am moving back to Seattle, and I am starting back at my job as a vegan cook. The last few months of my life have been exciting, happy, sad, stressful, surprising, and about every other adjective one could use. As a result, my commitment to my health, wellness, and body have not been at the top of my list. BIG mistake! I have felt ‘off’ for the past few months. I am ready to get back to it. 

The reason for this post is to break my unintended blog hiatus and come back with a fresh, new outlook from here on in! In addition to all the other external things in my life, I have continued to have stomach issues. They began last year as I trained for my half-marathon, but have recently resurfaced with a vengeance. I originally thought it was a side effect of my anemia (genetic, not caused by veganism), but the more I listened to my body, I realize that it may come from my eating habits. I have always had a sensitivity to gluten products. I have the usual unsavory side affects from consuming too many glutenous products like breads, pastas, and sweets. Even if I eat a little, I feel overly full and bloated. This blog will serve as documentation of my switch to a gluten-free and mostly sugar-free diet to see if I can alleviate some of these issues. I am tired of feeling sick every time I eat food! As a person that loves all sorts of food, it is a hard commitment to make, but for health and wellness, I feel it necessary to try it and see how it goes. 

As a person with multiple family members suffering from celiac disease, I understand the impact diet has on our bodies. I have been tested for celiac sprue and was negative. This does not necessarily mean that I am not celiac, nor does it mean I don’t have a gluten sensitivity, and so I am going to attempt to figure it out myself! I strive to feel the best I can feel and be the best I can be. Cheezy? Yes. But, ultimately this is my goal. I want to get back to feeling well.

So, in order to do this, I will be mainly avoiding processed foods, all gluten and most sugars/sweeteners. My diet will consist of fresh, whole foods. This is the diet with which I feel best. By whole foods, I mean fruits, vegetables, pulses (beans, lentils, legumes), and grains (rice, quinoa, millet, etc). This is the diet that I believe everyone should eat for optimum health and wellness. I hope to document my daily eats, along with recipes (of course!), pictures, and information on healthy eating. 

The blog is called the Green Bite for a reason. This way of eating is better for the planet, not to mention your body! And bonus points, avoiding processed foods eliminates a lot of packaging that usually goes straight to a land fill or into the ocean! That is what I call being Green! 

I understand this post is a bit long and scattered, but its hard coming back after being gone since January… Is it seriously October?! I hope you continue to follow me through the next few changes in my life, my diet, and my health! In the coming month I will be heading back to Seattle, starting back to work as a vegan cook, and did I mention a quick trip to Chicago to see Oprah and the Chicago Diner? Well, that too! Stay tuned!

Meyer Lemon Cupcakes

Afternoon!

Since the weather has been rather dreary, I have taken to the kitchen. There is something magical about cooking up a storm, all the while watching a storm dump inches of snow outside the kitchen window. I felt like cooking something fun. And what is more fun than some lovely cupcakes? Cookies are so typical, but cupcakes, how can you eat one without a smile??

I must have tried to channel warmer days when I decided on a lemon cupcake.. These little cakes had a slow summer evening written all over them.. Ah, only a few more months! Meyer lemons took center stage, their sweet-tart taste and lovely color accented the tops of these beauties.

I cannot share the recipe because I loosely based it upon a recipe from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World, but I will tell you that I used Meyer lemons(duh!) and instead of a butter cream frosting, I made a cream cheese frosting, adding lemon zest, a bit of lemon extract, and tons of powdered sugar!

Healthy, these are not, but they are so small and cute, I am thinking you’d do better to have a cupcake than a giant slice of cake. At least with a cupcake you feel satisfied with just one! And for just a taster, I made cute mini cupcakes. I topped them all with slices of Meyer lemon, rind and all, and when you bite into the cupcake be sure to include the fresh lemon slice, it is amazing!  Enjoy!

Hello!

It has been quite a while. (Sorry, Alva!)I have no excuse, but to say absolute laziness has taken over, and I haven’t taken any pictures of the food I’ve made. Believe me when I say I have made some awesome food. Soups, cookies, stews, bread… All sorts of yum. To be honest, I have thought a lot about the blog, and thought a lot about taking more pictures, and making more blog-worthy food, but thinking and doing are two very different things! But tonight’s dinner was delicious, and to give myself just one more reason to procrastinate on other things, I will blog about it.

Tonight’s dinner featured my two favorite things, well three actually.. no four, yes four of my favorite things: Sweet Potatoes, Black Beans, hot peppers, and cornbread. The last one was accompanying our meal, but still..

Black beans and Sweet Potatoes make the most wonderful combination. I invite you to create new ways to use these together. I have put them in everything, usually with a southwestern twist, but they have found their way into burritos filling, enchiladas, soups, stews, casseroles… I wish I could tell you the list goes on, but it stops there.. Believe you me I am thinking of ways to put them into just about anything.

I guess my love of black beans and sweet potatoes goes back to when I was first learning to cook vegetarian and a pan of sweet potato-black bean enchiladas made my family swoon. For the record, I am the only known vegan in my family, and I am also the cook of the family. So when I decided to go veg, so did my family (at least when I am doing the cooking). I have tried all sorts of recipes on them, some great, some not so hot.. But those enchiladas were and continue to be the most requested meal I make. So, in order to mix it up a bit, I like to take that combo to different degrees. Tonight I feature them in a soul-satisfying chili.

We recently received quite a winter snow storm, and soup was definitely on my mind. Something to warm the belly after a long day of play. But with winter storms comes icy roads, crazy drivers, and low visibility… Translation: Gotta work with what I got. Luckily, I had made a huge batch of black beans earlier and I always keeps sweet potatoes on hand. So Chili was born.

Sweet Potato-Black Bean Chili

1 purple onion, diced

1 carrot, chopped

2 celery sticks, chopped

2 medium sweet potatoes, chopped

3 cloves garlic, or more to taste, minced

1-2 dried chili peppers, to taste, minced

5-6 cups vegetable stock

4 cups black beans, or 3 cans, drained and rinsed

2 cans diced tomatoes, with liquid

1 TBSP cumin

1 tsp Cayenne

1-5 shakes liquid smoke, optional, to taste

Salt and Pepper, to taste

Garnish with a dollops of Tofutti sour cream and chives

In a large soup pot, saute onions in a bit of oil or veg broth until translucent. Add carrots, celery, sweet potato, garlic and chili pepper, heat, stirring occasionally, until carrots lose some crispness, about 5-7 minutes. Add vegetable stock, tomatoes, black beans, cayenne, cumin, stir to combine and cover. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Let the pot simmer for about 45 minutes or longer. Really it can be 30 minutes, but I like to have all the flavors combine and allow the beans and potatoes to give off some starch and thicken the sauce a bit. In the last 20 or so minutes add liquid smoke. This gives it a bbq flavor and just another level of depth. If you do allow it to simmer for a while, make sure to add more stock or water if it becomes too thick. The chili is done when the sweet potatoes are soft and the broth is a bit thicker. Serve with sour cream and some skillet cornbread. YUM! This recipe makes a big ol’ pot of chili, enough for dinner, and then leftovers(x2).. OR, invite over some friends and enjoy it together. But, This recipe is even better the next day!

A note about Cornbread:

I love cornbread. It is my favorite, and whenever I make it, I can’t stop eating it. Tonight I make skillet cornbread by using my go-to cornbread recipe, which is the consistency of pancake or cake batter, and pouring it into a piping hot cast iron skillet. I heated the skillet in the oven while it was preheating to 425 and then I melted 1/2 TBSP earth balance in said mini iron skillet. Placed it back in the oven to make sure it was good and hot, then took it out, poured the batter in, and put it right back in the oven. The hot skillet creates a crust on the bottom of the cornbread so it is crunchy and delicious, much like a really thin crouton layer.. Always a welcome surprise.

This recipe is satisfying and healthy to boot.. I leave you with that! Stay warm!

30 Days.

Hello!

I cannot believe it has been almost a month since my last post. I couldn’t tell you where the time has gone. I miss blogging, and I am back. Unfortunately, my camera has not captured much of what has been made in my kitchen as of late, but trust me, yummy holiday fare is on its way. But for today, I will share an episode of “30 Days” with you. I thought it fitting as it has been about 30 days since my last post…This episode is from the show “30 Days” that Morgan Spurlock (of Super Size Me fame) created. I stumbled upon this episode that follows a hunter as he lives with a vegan family for 30 days. It shows a transformation of thought from a person who only looks at animals as something needing a side-dish to a person who not only cares for animals, but learns to consider himself an animal activist. I thought it was a really great show. I hardly watch television, and it is pretty out of the ordinary for me to actually like something that has been on TV, but this made me cry. It made me realize how vital it is that we all speak our truth for the animals. Please watch the show. As a vegan, it gives me hope, but if you are not veg*n, I encourage you to watch the show with an open mind and heart, and let me know what you think! I would love to start a dialogue! And I promise, I will be back with food!

Watch Me!

Cranberry Pumpkin Muffins

MoFO

Hello!

Sorry for the brief hiatus. I know I should’ve posted, but life sometimes gets in the way and blogging falls second. I am back for the last day of MOFO with some seasonal cranberry-pumpkin muffins with NO fat added! Sweet! I love muffins, but HATE them when they taste like cupcakes minus the frosting. Call me crazy, but I like my muffin to taste delicious, but not like dessert. For this recipe, I was inspired by the first sightings of cranberries at Trader Joe’s, and of course pumpkins! This recipe is fast, coming together in less than 15 minutes, with a cook time of about 15-20 minutes. Perfect for a quick brunch, or something to munch on while heading to work. Or, if you are like me, anytime of the day, because I can’t stop eating these!

Cranberry Pumpkin Muffins

Cranberry-Pumpkin Muffins

1 1/2 cups flour (I used whole wheat)

2/3 cup rolled oats

1 tsp Baking Soda

2 tsp Baking Powder

pinch of salt

2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 nutmeg

1/2 evaporated cane juice

1/2 agave nectar (amber)

1/2 cup applesauce (I used my pearsauce)

1/2 cup pumpkin puree (Not pumpkin pie puree)

1/8 cup non-dairy milk

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup fresh cranberries

1/4 cup granola, optional

Pre-heat oven to 350*F

In a large bowl combine flour, oats, baking soda, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Next, add applesauce, pumpkin, sugar, agave, milk and vanilla extract to dry ingredients. Stir until just combined, if the batter doesn’t come together, try adding a bit more milk to the mix! The batter should be thick, but not dry. Add, cranberries and stir to combine. Spoon into greased muffin tin, or paper liners. If desired, sprinkle granola on top of muffins before baking. This adds a nice, sweet crunch to the top! Bake for 15-20 minutes or until muffins have firmed up, and a toothpick comes out clean!

Inside of the Muffin

These muffins are super moist and have all the flavors of Fall! It’s a muffin you don’t feel guilty eating, and something you want to share with friends and family! Oh and I know I said I had a mean cookie recipe to share, but that’ll be next week! Happy Halloween!!

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