Sunday, August 27, 2017

Raw Vegan Strawberry Cheesecake

Hey scholars!

I have been on a mission to make vegan desserts. One of my favorites is cheesecake- chocolate, cherry, strawberry, etc. I have had vegan cheesecake and it was good, but the ingredients were disturbing and it was highly processed. I prefer to stay away from high processed foods, especially desserts. I like to indulge, so if I make them myself and keep them raw, I can have a bit more dessert when I want. Here is the recipe for the cheesecake I made. 



Ingredients:

Crust

1 cup almonds
10 Medjool dates, pitted
1 TBSP coconut oil
1 TBSP cacao powder

Filling

1 cup cashews
2 cups strawberries
3 TBSP lemon juice
1/8 tsp vanilla extract
4 TBSP coconut oil

Directions:

Making the crust

Pulse almonds in food processor until they are coarsely ground
Add dates, oil, and powder
Pulse until the mixture is sticky

Press the crust into the bottom of a spring form pan
Place in the freezer

Making the filling

Put the cashews, berries, lemon juice, oil, and vanilla into a blender
Blend until smooth
Pour mixture over the crust 
Put back into freezer
Freeze at least 4 hours or overnight

Enjoy! 


Tuesday, August 22, 2017

2nd Vegan-versary

Hey scholars,

As of 17 August, I have been a vegan for two years! Time does fly. I decided to discuss the ten lessons I have learned on my journey thus far.

1. Make sure that you research and arm yourself with as much knowledge as you can. While I went vegan the day after watching the documentary, Forks Over Knives, I do not recommend this to anyone. I would suggest gradually becoming a vegan. Begin with adding more fruits and vegetables to your meals and snacks, frozen and fresh. The first big step is eliminating meats and poultry and finding substitutes, for example beefless crumbles and chick’n strips, so that you may still enjoy your favorite meals. Next, omit dairy products. There are many great nut based or soy based milks on the market as well as vegan cheeses, butters/spreads, and eggs.

2. Make sure that your kitchen is equipped with the necessary tools. You do not have all top of the line appliances. There are great appliances that are affordable and will do what you need them to do. Trust me, making your own orange juice is so much better than store bought orange juice. Trust me on this.

3. Follow vegan bloggers/vloggers around the internet. There are great articles and videos of how to become a vegan to making great juices, smoothies, meals, and desserts. Bonus: many take into consideration laziness and budgeting.

4. Try to understand who you are. Why are you wanting to be a vegan? While I am not entirely ready to open up about my journey because it a doozy, I will say, I have clarity as to why I am a vegan and am okay with my lifestyle.

5. Be strong. You may be faced with opposition from family and friends who probably will not understand, but remain firm and talk to them. If they do not come around, understand that it is not your job to make them understand your choices. As long as they respect you and give you the space you need to live your life, Carry On!

6. Think of it as a lifestyle of abundance rather than eliminating and pushing away food. Vegan food is soul food. It feeds and nourishes your soul.

7. Do not be afraid to reach out to support groups. This is only if you want to. Be aware of the angry vegan community. Unfortunately, we share a planet with perfect people who are so perfect that they can cower behind technology and drag people for filth for being an imperfect being. Real talk, there are amazing people out there who will embrace you and encourage you and understand that your decisions are your to make, but sometimes you may need to bend an ear or lean on a shoulder from time to time.

8. Be open to trying new foods. Be open to cooking new foods and veganizing your favorite foods. There are so many brands of foods from breakfast to lunch and dinner as well as desserts. While I love the convenience of such brands, I find that I love coming up with my own foods and I thoroughly enjoy the process

9. Be gentle with yourself. This is not a lifestyle where you are seeking perfection. If you stumble. Remind yourself that you are human and trying to find a balance that fits you. Do not try to be someone else’s version of what you should be. I follow many vegan profile across social media platforms for inspiration. What I do not do is try to live up to what they do. Find what works for you and what make you happy. Be comfortable with your choices.

10. Have fun. This is a lifestyle and at the end of the day, you should enjoy the choices you make. You only have one life to live. Enjoy it while you can.


Here’s to many more years of living, loving, learning, growing, laughing, and enjoying life! Be great! Cheers!

Monday, August 21, 2017

Veganized: Taco Bell's Chili Chilito

Hey scholars!

Many people think that veganism means missing out on great food. I beg to differ. I see it as a lifestyle of abundance and creativity. Sure there are foods that I miss, so I veganize them. Prior to becoming a vegan two years ago, I really did not hit up fast food joints too much. This is not to say that there were not menu items that I indulged in; I did! One of those items were Taco Bell's chili cheese burrito or chili chilito. My brother and I used to bash these mofos!! So naturally, trying my hand at veganizing these things is a challenge I accept. Here it goes...



Ingredients:

1 bag Beyond Meat Beef Crumbles
1 yellow onion, diced
4 tbsp chili powder
pinch sea salt
2 tsp cayenne powder
1.5 cups water
1 tbsp arrowroot powder with 2 tbsp water
1 can refried beans
1 (15 oz) can tomato paste
1 bag vegan shredded cheddar cheese
flour tortillas
taco sauce, I used Taco Bell's sauce

Directions:

In a large skillet on medium heat, cook the crumbles according to the package with the onions
Add the chili powder, salt, and cayenne pepper
Slowly stir in the water, mixing the seasonings well
In a small bowl, mix together the arrowroot powder and water; pour into the skillet
Add the tomato paste and refried beans
Stir until everything is well mixed
Slowly add in the cheese and keep folding until it is melted (yes, vegan cheese melts!)
Turn the heat down to low-medium and allow the chili to simmer for 8-10 minutes; stirring occasionally so nothing sticks to the bottom
Heat the tortillas to soften



Plating:

I can show you better than I can tell you





Enjoy!!!

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Matcha Lemonade

Hey scholars!

I have been introduced to this drink through a popular coffee chain I shall not name; it is the same one responsible for those unicorn drinks. Yeah, that one. I love matcha and will pretty much try something if it has matcha in it as long as it is vegan. This coffee chain's matcha lemonade is good, amazing even, but it is way too sweet. Not to fear, this delicious drink is easy to make. I will not front, I took a really easy route. I used organic Honest Lemonade, rather than make my own. I will sometime in the future though since I prefer to not buy bottled juices.  

Ingredients:

12-14 ounces Lemonade
1.5 tsp Matcha powder

Directions:

Place ice in a jar that can be covered with a lid
Add lemonade
Add matcha
Secure top
Shake until powder is dissolved 

Add lemon slices, if you like

Enjoy!



Thursday, August 17, 2017

Key Lime Cups

Hey scholars!

Sometimes recipes come to me as a result of needing to get rid of stuff in the kitchen. I try my hardest to not waste any food. This morning, I walked past my metal shelves and saw that the avocados needed to be used and consumed soon. As soon as I got home, I raided the refrigerator and cabinets to conjure up a recipe. I already have guacamole made and I am not craving the “Tastes Like Tuna Spread.” I am looking around and notice that the limes need to be used up, and the agave nectar has been neglected as of late.  So, I decided to make something sweet. Here are the ingredients and directions for key lime cups.



Ingredients:

2 avocados
4-6 limes or 10-12 key limes (I used regular limes)
½ agave nectar
½ tsp vanilla extract
½ cup coconut oil
dash of sea salt
unsweetened, shredded coconut flakes for topping (optional)
whipped coconut cream

Directions:

Place everything but the flakes in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.

Pour the mixture into small glasses or bowls, cover, and place in the fridge or freezer for at least an hour to set.

When you are ready, remove for fridge or freezer, and top with coconut cream and flakes, if you’re so inclined.




Enjoy!!!

20 Things About Me

Hey scholars! I did this post back in July 2015, so I thought that I would update it.  1. I am a vegan. A strict vegan. When I first sta...