Day 12: An arsenal fruit

Today was a great day.  We woke up to a very potent and tasty juice. Ill call it..

Danielle’s Ginger Carrot Apple Juice

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4 carrots

3 apples

a chunk of ginger root the size of an egg.

Directions:  Put all ingredients into the juicer and enjoy!

Wooooooooooooow!!!!!!!!   This drink was strong.  I had a buzz after drinking it.  It had enough zing in it to knock down a horse!  It was a great way to start off the day.

Ginger is one of the healthiest foods on this planet!  I did some research on Ayurveda a while back which is an ancient Indian health and healing science.  It literally means in sanskrit “the science of life.”  They regard ginger as one of the most important foods in health and healing.  They still use it in everyday life very extensively.  They use it to treat ailments and illnesses as well as for preventative health.  Hear are some stats on Ginger taken from the following website…

http://foodmatters.tv/articles-1/10-healing-benefits-of-ginger

10 Terrific Benefits of Ginger


1. Haven’t been feeling hungry? Eat fresh ginger just before lunch to stoke a dull appetite and fire up the digestive juices.

2. Ginger improves the absorption and assimilation of essential nutrients in the body.

3. Ginger clears the ‘microcirculatory channels’ of the body, including the pesky sinuses that tend to flare up from time to time.

4. Feeling airsick or nauseous? Chew on ginger, preferably tossed in a little honey.

5. Can’t stop the toot-a-thon? Gas—oops—guess what?! Ginger helps reduce flatulence!

6. Tummy moaning and groaning under cramps? Munch on ginger.

7. Reeling under joint pain? Ginger, with its anti-inflammatory properties—can bring relief. Float some ginger essential oil into your bath to help aching muscles and joints.

8. Got a surgery done? Chewing ginger post-operation can help overcome nausea.

9. Stir up some ginger tea to get rid of throat and nose congestion. And when there’s a nip in the air, the warming benefits of this tasty tea are even greater!

10. Bedroom blues? Try adding a gingery punch to a bowl of soup. (Pss…the Ayurvedic texts credit ginger with aphrodisiac properties)

3 Ways to Use Ginger

1. Ginger & Herb Rice

Cook basmati rice. When you take the lid off the pan, quickly stir in finely chopped garlic, ginger, green chillies and fresh cilantro leaves—the burst of flavor and fragrance will drive your senses crazy with desire!

2. Ginger In Your Juice

‘Grate’ idea: grate some ginger root and put it in your juicer, along with carrots and apples and a little lemon juice. Totally yummy, and of course, so good for you!

3. Gingery Dessert

Even a smidgen of grated ginger on your vanilla pana cotta or strawberry sorbet can wake up the flavor!

The coolest characteristic is that it makes your body absorb the nutrients of everything else more efficiently.  I use to be apart of a network marketing company that sold a Juice that was formulated based on Ayurvedic principles.  Ginger was a key component for this reason and many others.  It also has strong anti-oxidant properties.  It is one of those foods that you can just taste the extreme nutrition.

For lunch Danielle heated up some bread that we bought from the Farmers market yesterday.  It was basically two thick homemade flour tortillas with a spinach curry in the middle.  It made for a great lunch, especially dipped in the nutritional garlic dressing!  Mmmm mmmmm!

We nibbled on some grapes and I ate some more mac and sweet potato “cheese.”  However we where still hungry when we went to Costco today.  It was awful!  It is like going through the gauntlet!  Samples, Samples, Samples!! Every where you look.  Not one vegan sample!  They had Creme puffs, chicken bowls, chicken egg roll lookin’ things, milk chocolate peanut butter cups, triple layer dip, cheese and crackers, mac and cheese, green been casserole, french onion dip, etc.  But the worst one was the cinnamon rolls!  I could smell them almost the whole time we were in there!  It wasn’t just Costco either!  Trader Joes was giving out whole slices of pumpkin pie.  My Favorite!

Oh well I enjoy exercising my will power and being healthy!  We got some more groceries today as well that I am pretty excited about!  Among them, a three pound bag of organic frozen berries, a four pound bag of frozen organic peaches, more acai, and more granola.  Breakfast is going to be good the next couple of days!

For dinner we made brussels sprouts!  Here is the recipe we used from the following website…

http://bomphenom.com/2012/11/20/nutty-roasted-brussel-sprouts/

Nutty Roasted Brussel Sprouts

Prep time: 10 minutes
Ready in: 1 hour
Serves 4 as a side dish

1 pound whole brussel sprouts
1 medium red onion (about 1½ cups)
4 ounces raw pecan halves (about ¾ cup)
2 teaspoons sea salt
½ teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
2 tablespoons olive oil

Preheat oven to 425°F.

Rinse brussel sprouts, trim the ends, slice in half and place in a single layer in a casserole dish.
Slice the onion into wedges and add to the brussel sprouts along with the pecans.

Sprinkle the spices and nutritional yeast evenly over the dish and drizzle with olive oil. Mix the ingredients together using a spoon or spatula, return them to an even layer in the dish, and pop it in the oven.

Roast for 45 minutes, checking and mixing the ingredients every 15 minutes.

When it’s time, remove the dish from oven, let cool for at least 5 minutes then serve.

Enjoy!

We did not use any nuts.  And it still turned out amazing!

Tomorrow’s smoothie is going to  be magical!  I am going to go to bed now so I can wake up and make it! Good night.

 

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Day 10: A world of possibilities

So many people think that becoming a vegan, even just cutting out meat from ones diet, drastically reduces the amount of options that you have when choosing what you are going to eat.   I think that this is a terrible misconception.  The truth is that there are so many fruits, vegetables, nuts, berries, roots, and other whole foods that you and I have never even heard of.  The abundance of natural food on earth is incredible!  In becoming vegan, Danielle and I have exercised our creativity when it comes to cooking and thus diversified what we are consuming.  The variety of food that we’re eating has increased so dramatically!  We are having so much fun exploring all of these wonderful foods that we only dabbled in or did not even know existed before.

So yesterday we ate Oatmeal Cranberry pancakes again.  If you have been following our blogs then you have already seen that recipe.  We already told you how good they taste. Our eating them again is testament too that.

For Lunch and dinner we ate my new favorite dish.  I had a feeling it was going to be fantastic, so when Danielle was putting the recipe together she said I’ll just double it for 4 servings.  I said why don’t we quadruple that sucker!  Thats just what we did!

Whole-Wheat Macaroni & Sweet Potato Cheese

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of cooked noodles (according to package instructions)
  • 1/2 baked sweet potato
  • 1/4 tsp mustard
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • Dash of salt
  • Dash of freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tbsp of nutritional yeast and 1/2 tbsp of olive oil for crust

In a medium-sized bowl combine the sweet potato half, juice of half a lemon, mustard, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, olive oil and salt and pepper. Mix until thoroughly combined.

Fold 1 cup of cooked noodles into the sweet potato “cheese”.

Place the mixture into a serving-size baking dish.

Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of nutritional yeast over the dish and drizzle with 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil. This will allow the top to crisp while cooking.

Bake in the oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes, or until the top begins to brown. Serve and enjoy!

It tasted like normal Macaroni and cheese, but with way more distinct flavors.  If I were to eat as much regular Mac n cheese as I did this, I would have had to sit on the couch for an hour afterwards.  Danielle and I both felt great!   I heated up some today and it was just as marvelous!

We found out today that our apartment managers are going to release us from the lease early because of all of the issues that we have had.  I am not going to get into all of that, but this definitely means that we will commence on our expedition across the country in about 10 days!  We are getting so excited!  It will include but is not limited to…

Big Sur

Santa Cruz

San Francisco

Wine tasting in Napa

Yosemite if the weather permits

Hiking in Utah

Josh Garrels concert in Boulder Colorado

honky tonk with Paul Secord

we are bringing our Vitamix and our juicer!

Stay tuned!

We will absolutely keep you guys posted on that!

Day 9… I AM IN LOVE WITH NUTRITIONAL YEAST!!!

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Wow! I can’t even begin to explain my feelings for nutritional yeast. Its SO AMAZING! Thank goodness we have been introduced to this delicious and healthy goodness. Honestly, I don’t have to ever have cheese again! Not only does adding nutritional yeast to things make it healthy because of the B12 in it, but it also makes it creamy!!! Mmmm! I highly suggest buying some ASAP because your life is about to change!!!!

Here are details about it from Wikipedia.com:

Nutritional yeast is a deactivated yeast, often a strain of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, which is sold commercially as a food product. It’s sold in the form of flakes or as a yellow powder similar in texture to cornmeal, and can be found in the bulk aisle of most natural food stores. It is popular with vegans and vegetarians and may be used as an ingredient in recipes or as a condiment.[1]

It is a source of protein and vitamins, especially the B-complex vitamins, and is a complete protein. It is also naturally low in fat and sodium and is free of sugardairy, and gluten. Sometimes nutritional yeast is fortified with Vitamin B12.

Nutritional yeast has a strong flavor that is described as nutty, cheesy, or creamy, which makes it popular as an ingredient in cheese substitutes. It is often used by vegans in place of cheese. It can be used in many recipes in place of cheese, such as mashed and fried potatoes, as well as put into scrambled tofu as a substitute for scrambled eggs. Another popular use is as a topping for popcorn. Some movie theaters offer it along with salt orcayenne pepper as a popcorn condiment.[2]

In Australia it is sometimes sold as “savoury yeast flakes.” In New Zealand, it has long been known as Brufax. In the United States it is sometimes referred to as “nooch”, or “yeshi,” an Ethiopian name meaning “for a thousand”. Though “nutritional yeast” usually refers to commercial products, inadequately fed prisoners of war have used “home-grown” yeast to prevent vitamin deficiency.[3] Nutritional yeast is different from yeast extract, which has a very strong flavour and comes in the form of a dark brown paste.

I also found a wonderful website about how to use it in 20 different ways! Check this out!!

 

Taking an odd ingredient and finding even more unusual uses for it.

It’s not so much that the following uses are particularly unusual, but rather that nutritional yeast itself is an odd ingredient. It’s gaining popularity among foodies for its cheesy taste and nutritional benefits, but it still has a way to go in terms of becoming the pantry staple it’s meant to be. Nutritional yeast (nooch) is one of the only non-animal sources of vitamin B-12. It only takes 1/2-1 tbsp of nutritional yeast to get the daily requirement for B-12. Nutritional yeast is also an excellent source of iron, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, chromium, selenium, and other minerals as well as 18 amino acids, protein, folic acid, biotin, and other vitamins.

And don’t worry about the yeast fermenting in your gut. It’s deactivated, so it will not give you the bloat. This is what distinguishes it from Brewer’s Yeast, which has not been deactivated.

Pop Corn

As if popcorn couldn’t get any more addicting, nooch had to get involved. Sprinkle the powder along with a drizzle olive oil and a dash of sea salt onto popcorn just popped for a cheesy touch. Add other spices, such as garlic powder, dried thyme or dried rosemary for an even more gourmet experience.

Pizza

Skip cheese and sprinkle a light layer of nutritional yeast onto pizza just after it leaves the oven. Cheese is hard to digest, especially when cooked, but that doesn’t mean you have to cede the taste completely. If you top a pizza with diverse textures and flavors, such as a robust marinara sauce, roasted vegetables and nutritional yeast, the cheese component is unnecessary.

Vegan Cheese Sauce

The food blog world is bursting with vegan “cheese” recipes – some simple, some elaborate – with nutritional yeast as the key ingredient. Check out Angela’s Low-Fat Vegan Cheeze Sauce on her blog Oh She Glows for a 5-ingredient approach. Head over to Epicurian Vegan for aheartier vegan cheese sauce that gets some extra bulk from cashews.

Bread Crumbs

Replace bread crumbs with nutritional yeast in any mixture requiring holding power. This cuts down on the carbs and adds an extra bite. Try using nutritional yeast to hold together veggie burgers or any other patty that would normally require bread crumbs.

Kale Chips

There’s nothing wrong with the standard kale chip recipe. But, nutritional yeast takes kale chips to a whole new level – a level that merits obsession and daily consumption. Try your hand at the Spicy & Cheesy Kale Chipspresented by the blog Eating Bird Food.

Macaroni & Cheese

We’ve already given macaroni and cheese a serious makeover, and nutritional yeast was an crucial player in this feat. Not only is this recipevegan, but thanks to nooch, it offers cheesy comfort to a creamy, sweet potato base.

Pasta

Skip the grated parmesan and sprinkle nutritional yeast atop warm pasta along with some garlic powder and a drizzle of olive oil. The combination of flavors makes for a dish that doesn’t miss a thing.

Mashed Potatoes

Stir nooch into mashed potatoes, not only saving calories by nixing cheese but also cutting down on the sodium. Indeed, mashed potatoes can be healthy.

Bean Dip

Emily Malone of the blog Daily Garnish makes a fabulous bean dip using nutritional yeast. If serving this at a party, no one would even be able to tell its vegan.

Roasted Vegetables

One of my favorite go-to meals is roasted vegetables topped with shredded cheese. On days I’d like to skip the cheese and opt for a healthier alternative, I stir nutritional yeast into the finished vegetables instead. When warmed by the vegetables, the yeast smoothens out and creates a creamy sauce with help from the vegetable juices and oils.

Roasted Nuts

Roast nuts that have been tossed in some nutritional yeast. The roasted flavor will be augmented and the nuts will have a slightly cheesy coating on the skin.

Onion Rings

Nutritional yeast has been showing up in onion ring recipes, and for good reason. It helps to increase the nutritional benefit of onion ring batter and adds an edge to each bite. Make the baked fat-free onion rings featured on vegan blog My Whole Deal.

Sauce Thickener

Much like flour and butter are used to thicken a sauce, nutritional yeast can replace the flour to do the same thing.

Gravy

Keeping your health on track during the holidays is all about cutting corners in small ways. Nutritional yeast can redefine gravy. Bring thissimple recipe to the table and the cheer will only heighten.

Salad Dressing

Sneak in your B12 quota is by adding a tablespoon of nutritional yeast to a homemade salad dressing like the Hollyhock Salad Dressing, which you can find on A Passionate Plate blog.

French Fries

Want some added nutrition, crisp, and kick to a homemade version of baked French fries? Drizzle olive oil over cut root vegetables and then toss them in a few tablespoons of nutritional yeast. The flavor is out of this world.

Creamy Cooked Greens

Cooked spinach pairs well with cream and cheese, but you can replace those heavier add-ins with a tablespoon or two of nutritional yeast and then watch as the bare spinach suddenly becomes decadently creamy and bold in flavor.

Vegan Quiche

Experiment with this No-Soy Vegan Quiche recipe from blog Triumph Wellness. It’s the perfect example of where just a little bit of nooch makes a big difference.

Dog Food

Dogs need their vitamin B12 too, especially if your dog is on a plant-based diet. Mix some nutritional yeast in your furry friend’s nibbles and he or she will benefit in a major way.

Baby Formula

If a baby is using formula in place of breast feeding, it is recommended to add nutritional yeast to the infant formula.  Nutritional yeast provides B12, iron and folic acid, which are essential to growth.

 

Travis and I are in the process of trying everything on this website! It was so helpful and I can’t wait to explore more amazing ideas with this oh so tasty amazing-ness.

 

The dressing I made the other night, Nutri Garlic, was out of this world! We have a whole jar left and I just add it in with our veggies… I am convinced that Nutritional Yeast is a miracle from God. Amen.

It’s only just begun…

     

Hi there! Hope you are having a fabulous day… we have had quite an interesting one. First of all, this is our first EVER blog, so please bare with me on getting to know how to work it. Travis and I own and operate a hot dog cart company in San Diego, CA. We work 25 hours a week and enjoy the rest of our time off with each other in sunny California! It has been such an amazing summer and we feel super blessed! Last night we didn’t work because they were calling for lightening (in San Diego? Haha thats what I thought too) so we stayed home and decided to watch a few documentaries on Net Flix. If you have any extra time on your hands and are ready to be extremely freaked out…. watch the following…

1. The Gerson Miracle

2. Forks Over Knives

3. Food, INC.

Needless to say, we are ready to start eating 100% healthy! My stepmom is a health counselor and I have known for awhile now all of the issues with meats, cheese, and all other GMO’s, etc… I guess I have just tried to dodge it! Well, we are ready now! (if you watch the 3 movies above, you will understand…)

We are members of Costco and we have been wanting to get the VITAMIX for a long time now, so we went and splurged today. It is an expensive machine, but worth it in the long run. We plan on going on a 30 day VEGAN fast…starting today!

The first thing we decided to make was apple and carrot juice. Instead of waiting and finding a recipe, we anxiously just threw them into the VITAMIX. Not exactly the best idea, but we have time to learn. Then I decided to go out on a whim and make a spicy carrot soup! Ehh… not the best either, but getting there. I then got the urge to throw almonds in the VITAMIX and make almond butter! BEST IDEA YET! It is absolutely AMAZING! So easy to make and so fresh and smooth. Mmmm. I highly suggest making this homemade. Oh! I didn’t mention that we decided to throw out all of our foods that were on the GMO list and all of our meat and dairy. Luckily, we were in dire need of going grocery shopping, so it wasn’t as bad as it could have been. We gave our 22 year old neighbors the food and they were excited, so at least it went to good use! Okay, back to the Vitamix… so yeah… we are now currently making “Not-So-Cheese” Pasta. It is like a macaroni and cheese dish, but with roasted red peppers, almonds, and some other non-dairy ingredients. I will post it below so you can check it out!

We made a meal plan for the week, wish us the best! I will make sure to keep blogging and keeping everyone up to date with how we are feeling and doing along the way… 🙂

Dietary Interest:  low fatgluten-freelow cholesterolno added sugarvegan,vegetarian

Difficulty:

Intermediate

Total Time:

20 Minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (240 ml) water
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup (50 g) canned pimento, drained OR roasted red pepper
  • 2/3 cup (70 g) whole raw almonds
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1/4 cup (30 g) nutritional yeast
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt

Directions

  1. Place all ingredients into the Vitamix container in the order listed and secure lid.
  2. Select Variable 1.
  3. Turn machine on and slowly increase speed to Variable 10, then to High.
  4. Blend for 3 minutes or until heavy steam escapes from the vented lid.

This vegan “cheese” sauce is perfect as a nacho dip or served over macaroni.

Here is the strawberry-lime sorbet recipe Travis made for dessert! SO TASTY!!! I highly suggest it! He cut the recipe in half, so here is the version for 2 people.

Recipe for Strawberry-Lime Sorbet

1/2 cup filtered water

1/8 cup of natural sugar

1/4 of a lime peeled

1 pound frozen organic strawberries

Add all ingredients.  Blend until smooth. Eat immediately.