End of our Vegan Fast and our car got stolen on our cross country trip home

Hi Everyone! This is going to be a short blog posting. Travis and I had our car stolen a few days ago, from Oakland, CA. To make the long story short, over $15,000 of our things were in the car (we are moving back home to VA). ¬† My violin, all of my jewelry, all of our winter clothes, all of the shoes we own (except the sneakers we had on our feet) and so on and so forth. You can only imagine how stressful it has been. Thank goodness we have a great insurance company and we are hoping to get back the money’s worth of things stolen from us. They found the car, but everything was out of it. Come to find out, a crack-addict stole it and sold everything for crack. Then he smoked the crack in the car and also peed all over everything. Violated doesn’t even begin to express how we feel. We feel very blessed to have our health, each other, and our loving family to go home to, but it has been stressful. God has a reason for all of this and we realize that. Counting our blessings is one of the top priorities on our list everyday.

Yesterday was the last day of our 30 day Vegan fast and I must say, WE FEEL GREAT! I have committed to not eating dairy again and also no meat at all, except maybe an occasional fish here and there (like a few times a month). I feel the best I have ever felt! Vegan food is by far the most tastiest food in the world. As far as Travis goes, he is not making any promises he says, but he won’t eat dairy, meat (other than seafood), and we plan to eat all organic and non-processed foods. Eating clean is the way to go! “Eat to Live, Don’t Live to Eat”

Sorry the blog is so short, I just have a lot to do. Itemizing everything and getting everything ready to hit the road tomorrow (in our rental car) is keeping me busy! Hope everyone is doing well ūüôā Travis will make sure to blog about Big Sur and San Fran with tons of pictures to come! Cheers!

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Day 16, 17, 18, and 19,

I apologize to all of our blog followers, We have been moving and haven’t been able to keep up with the blog. ¬†We were dealing with packing, moving company, and another sewage overflow. ¬†It is so amazing to free ourselves … Continue reading

Day 15: WE ARE MOVING BACK TO THE EAST COAST SOON!

San Diego has been such a great experience. We have really enjoyed each other and the amazing scenery. God has surely blessed us in many ways and we are so very fortunate to have this experience under our belts. With that being said… I’M SO EXCITED WE ARE MOVING HOME TO VIRGINIA BEACH! My Mommy and I have such a close relationship and being close to her means more than words can express. I can’t wait for her to wrap her arms around me! There are tons of people I can’t wait to see, but she is at the top of my list! Such a special relationship we have. Travis and I are THRILLED to go on this 20 day cross country trip and have so many stops to make. We will make sure to keep everyone updated on what we do and where go! So exciting!

 

We had a yard sale today and sold about $600 in stuff! It’s such an amazing feeling to purge and just get rid of things. It was a long day, but we were so thrilled to get rid of things and just move forward: )

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Day 15 has been great. We are feeling wonderful and life couldn’t get any better. We thank Jesus for everything in our lives and look forward to our new chapters coming up soon! Yay! ¬† … : )

Day:14: Leftovers, vegan pizza, and lots of fun!

We chalked up a W for thanksgiving (my football team and our cooking).  It does not matter if you are vegan or an extreme carnivore, the day after thanksgiving is characterized by a smorgasbord of leftovers!

Shelby spent the night and I woke her and Danielle up to the sound of the Vitamix blender roaring at full throttle.  This is a great way to get everyone up and going in the morning!  However I might have woken some of the neighbors up as well.  Heck, everyone deserves to get an early start to the day!

So after a delicious smoothie we were off to the beach.  The waves were pretty good as they were the day before.  I would call it about 6 to 8 foot at Blacks Beach with some 10 foot clean up sets.

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Blacks Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in the world! It also happens to be one of the best beach breaks in the world.  The only catch is you have to walk down a very steep cliff for 20 minutes to get there.  They also have a road for the cautious which is also very steep.  After walking down, surfing, and then walking back up, we were all pretty hungry.

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We decided to go to our friend Kevin’s restaurant in La Jolla. ¬†It’s called Extreme Pizza.¬†¬†We had the Pandoras box. ¬†It has¬†spinach, artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes, feta, garlic, fresh basil, oregano and mozzarella (tomato sauce upon request, no charge). ¬†We substituted soy cheese for the feta and mozzarella and added tomato sauce and it was the best pizza I have ever eaten in my life! ¬†Better than all of the pizzas that I have had with regular cheese on them. ¬†All of the ingredients tasted so fresh and powerful. ¬†If your in La Jolla check it out-¬†LaJolla.extremepizza.com

Kevin has an aeroponics system on his patio that grows a lot of the vegetables that he uses as ingredients on his pizzas.

For all of you that have never seen an aeroponic systems before, check it out…

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It is like hydroponics but instead of having a tray that the plants sit in and the water and nutrients ebb and flows, the plants are planted up the tower and their roots are all growing down the center cylinder.  A pump then brings the water and nutrients up from the reservoir to the top of the tower and drips it down on the roots.  It can be operated nearly maintenance free with timers.  All you have to do is add water and nutrients. Very cool.  It is a great way to conserve space as well.

We were excited about dinner all day.  We knew we had a lot of yummy leftovers to work with.  Danielle pan fried some toast with a little olive oil.  Then she heated up the potatoes, carrots, onions, and turkey-less roast, and put it over the toast.  Finally she poured the heated up gravy over it all for a fantastic, southern style, open-faced sandwich.  My mouth is watering right now just thinking about it.  I bet yours is too! We gobbled it down with out saving room for desert, but then we ate pumpkin pie.

I know that Danielle already talked about the pumpkin pie.  However, words can not do this recipe justice.  I love pie!  I would put money on the fact that anybody who knows their pie and tried some of this pie would fall in love.  Imagine regular pumpkin pie, only with way more significant flavors.  We talked earlier about how ginger helps the assimilation of nutrients in our bodies.  It also is believed in Ayurvedic circles that it creates a strong synergy with all the nutrients it is combined with.  In other words it makes the nutrients work together to create something bigger than themselves.  I think it also creates a synergy of ingredients and the way that they taste.   I could taste each ingredient as I euphorically dissected the flavors of this amazing new pumpkin pie.  Each so distinct and rich.  Thank you Danielle!  You shall forever cook our pies!  I am a happy man!  Chalk up another W!

Day 13: OUR VERY FIRST MEAT-LESS AND NON DAIRY THANKSGIVING!

Wow! I don’t even know where to start! This was our very first Thanksgiving being away from family in Virginia Beach. We woke up and counted our blessings. So thankful for many things. God has been beyond amazing to us this year. It was a great day and we made the most out of it! It began with volunteering at our church in San Diego, Horizon, with the homeless people. It was an amazing experience. Being with the needy on Thanksgiving is a tradition for us now and we really felt great helping others.¬†

After church, we came home and I began cooking up our Thanksgiving meal. Turkey-less roast from Trader Joes. It was the most interesting looking thing I have ever seen! Here is the box..

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I am not going to lie, Travis and I felt very nervous about this, but we wanted to try it out! We are all about being open minded… so we bought it! I cut up carrots, potatoes, and celery and through some seasonings in with it and this is what it looked like before going into the oven…

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I put it in the oven for 60 minutes and then began making the CLEAN GREEN BEAN CASSEROLE. Wow! I found this website at: 

http://detoxinista.com/2012/11/clean-green-bean-casserole-vegan-paleo/

Let me tell you… it was unbelievable how long the process took to make it ( I am so use to making the processed, bad for you, green bean casserole out cans and throwing it in the oven )… this bad boy took me about 45 minutes to just prepare to be put into the oven, but let me tell you, it was worth it!!!! Here is the recipe:

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Clean Green Bean Casserole (Vegan, Paleo)
Author: Detoxinista.com
Prep time:  1 hour
Cook time:  30 mins
Total time:  1 hour 30 mins 
Serves: 9-12
 Featuring fresh green beans and caramelized onions, this homemade green bean casserole is just about as clean as it gets. Rather than relying on a cream-based soup, it’s held together by a creamy puree of parsnips and mushrooms! The caramelized onion topping still delivers the buttery onion flavor that we all love, without the deep-fried grease and flour to go along with it. All of our favorite flavors covered, without the heavy food-coma to follow!
Ingredients
  • 1 yellow onion, sliced thinly
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil, or butter
  • 2 cups parsnips, chopped
  • 10 oz. mushrooms, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¬ľ cup nutritional yeast
  • 1¬Ĺ cups water
  • 1¬Ĺ teaspoons fine sea salt
  • 1 lb. fresh green beans
Instructions
  1. Melt a pat of coconut oil, or butter, in a large skillet and add the sliced onions. Saute gently over medium-low heat for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally until caramelized. Use a splash of water, as needed, to prevent sticking. Once the onions are tender and golden in color, remove from heat and set aside in a bowl for later.
  2. While the onions are cooking, you’ll have plenty of time to steam the parsnips. Fit a steamer basket into a saucepan, and fill with one inch of water. Add the 2 cups of chopped parsnips, and bring the water to boil over high heat. Cover and reduce the heat to low, steaming for about 8 minutes, or until the parsnips are easily pierced with a fork. Transfer the steamed parsnips to your blender container, and set it aside.
  3. Using the same steamer basket and saucepan, break the pound of fresh green beans into one-inch pieces, and toss them into the steamer basket. Bring to a boil, then cover and steam for 6-8 minutes, until the green beans are bright green with a bit of crunch. Transfer the cooked green beans to an 8″ x 8″ glass baking dish.
  4. *Note: At this point, cook the green beans to be as tender as you like‚Äď if you prefer them softer, steam them longer. The baking process later will not make them any more tender, so this is your chance to achieve the texture you like.
  5. Once the onions have finished caramelizing, you can use the same pan to saute the mushrooms and garlic. Melt another pat of coconut oil or butter, and saute the garlic for about 3 minutes, then add the mushrooms. Cook for about 6 minutes, until liquid is released from the mushrooms.
  6. Spread half of the mushroom mixture into the baking dish of green beans, and pour the other half of the mixture, along with any liquid, into the blender container with the steamed parsnips.
  7. Into that blender container, add 1¬Ĺ cups water, 1¬Ĺ teaspoons sea salt and ¬ľ cup of nutritional yeast to the cooked parsnips and mushrooms. Blend until smooth and creamy. (This mixture may be a bit salty to taste at this point, but keep in mind that it will be diluted when it‚Äôs poured over a pound of green beans!)
  8. Pour the creamy sauce over the green beans and mushrooms in the glass baking dish, and stir to coat well. (You may very well have more sauce than you need for this recipe‚Äď I only used about 1¬Ĺ cups to coat the vegetables well. Save the rest for a future dish!)
  9. Smooth the creamy vegetable mixture with a spatula, and top with the caramelized onions to finish.
  10. *At this point, you could cover the dish and store it in the fridge until you’re ready to heat and serve.
  11. When you’re ready to bake, preheat your oven to 350F and bake uncovered for about 30 minutes, until bubbly. Serve warm and enjoy!

I followed everything word for word in this recipe, except I cut it in half because it was just Travis, me, and our friend Shelby. It ended up being wonderful! I highly suggest it! It is so fresh tasting and everything in it that I used was organic and fresh out of the garden this week! Amazing stuff! The nutritional yeast really made it creamy and it made me feel satisfied all the way. 

Here is the table before we ate…

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Shelby, our friend, came over for dinner and was a bit scared ( just like we were ) to try a full Vegan meal for Thanksgiving. WE ALL LOVED IT! I couldn’t believe how good it was.The gravy was exquisite! I am a huge homemade gravy gal, I need to figure out how to make it homemade. It came in the Trader Joe’s set. Not only was it flavorful, but it was HEALTHY AND DELICIOUS! I am the first to tell if something did not turn out well. I must say, I am still in complete shock about it all. We were just super excited…

Then it was time for PUMPKIN PIE…

I found the recipe from here: http://vegetarian.about.com/od/desertrecipes/r/tofupumpkinpie.htm

THIS IS BY FAR THE BEST PUMPKIN PIE WE HAVE EVER HAD!! I switched a few things up because it was suggested in one of the reviews… it turned out perfect!!! Here it is…

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FABULOUS Vegan Pumpkin Pie:

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 pound silken (soft) tofu
  • 1 16 ounce can pumpkin puree
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tbsp molasses
  • 1 pre-made¬†pie crust

Preparation:

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine all ingredients, except for pie crust, in a food process or blender and process until smooth. Pour into pie crust.

Bake for one hour.

Chill before serving and top with whipped cream or non-dairy whipped cream if desired.

This is what I changed: I added 2 tbps of honey and used firm tofu drained. I also used a total of 30 oz of plain organic pumpkin in the can. The honey gave it just enough kick to remove the soy after taste. I also added two tbsp of cornstarch to the mix. I placed all of my ingredients into my blender on liquify to make it completely smooth. 

 

TRAVIS WAS SO SHOKED! This is his favorite pie, this time of year. He gives it 5 stars! I highly suggest trying it out : )

We had a great Thanksgiving, missed family and friends back home so so much, but it will be one we remember forever… a Thanksgiving made of compassion, love, and a VEGAN meal : )

 

Day 11: HELLO JUICE! : )

Travis and I are feeling WONDERFUL today! It is very interesting because my monthly lady time has been less painful than ever this month! I know for a fact this is from our recent change in diet. This excites me more than I can even explain! Food truly is a medicine. 

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We started juicing today! Juicing has always been something we have loved, but just got around to doing it today. I juiced 3 apples … mmm it was super tasty. Then we juiced 8 carrots and it was so tasty. I love how juicing makes me feel! If you haven’t seen “Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead”… I HIGHLY SUGGEST WATCHING IT. Changes your mindset in so many ways!

There really aren’t any recipes to share with you as of now, but I just wanted to let you guys know we went to the local Farmer’s Market here in San Diego this evening and WOW! There is a vegan stand that sets up every week and they have so many amazing homemade dishes! They let us try the “Chick’n Dumplings” and I cannot even put into words how it tasted. I REALLY THOUGHT THERE WAS CHICKEN IN THEM! Now, my Mom’s side of the family is from North Carolina… so I am a MAJOR southern food type gal. THIS DISH WAS SO AMAZING I DON’T HAVE TO EAT REAL CHICKEN AND DUMPLINGS EVER AGAIN ( that is if I can figure out this recipe ). We bought a serving and went home to devour it! Travis said something that made me laugh so hard! I don’t know if anyone remembers this, but there was a Cambell’s Chicken Noodle Soup commercial back in the day that was so cute. It was a family and everyone was getting soup out of a bowl and it went to the little boy and he said “I didn’t know there was chicken in this soup!”. Haha… Travis said that and we just laughed so hard! It felt really good to support local Vegan’s. Travis was so pumped up after trying it he said to the man “YOU ARE CHANGING THE WORLD!” ¬† I love this man.

So after going to the farmer’s market, we assessed how much we spent on everything. About $50 for a weeks worth of veggies and fruit… I MUST SAY THIS IS NOT EXPENSIVE! So many people think that eating this way is expensive. It really isn’t. It almost seems like its an excuse.

I found this quote and thought I’d end this blog with it… Goodnight all : )

 

The beef industry has contributed to more American deaths than all the wars of this century, all natural disasters, and all automobile accidents combined.¬† If beef is your idea of “real food for real people” you’d better live real close to a real good hospital.¬† ~Neal Barnard

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 ‚Äúcheese‚ÄĚ.

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 sugar, dairy, 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 ‚Äúcheese‚ÄĚ recipes ‚Äď some simple, some elaborate ‚Äď with nutritional yeast as the key ingredient. Check out Angela‚Äôs¬†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‚Äôs nothing wrong with the standard¬†kale chip recipe. But, nutritional yeast takes kale chips to a whole new level ‚Äď 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.

Day 7: Nutritarian has a nice ring to it!

Travis and I have gotten through 7 days of this VEGAN ¬†CHALLENGE! We are feeling really good and very optimistic about it! I was sent the following and I wanted to share: It’s from Dr. Fuhrman’s website (he is an amazing nutritionalist that was in the movie Fat, Sick , and nearly dead: we watched it tonight!)

What is a Nutritarian?

Simply put, a nutritarian is a person who strives for more micronutrients per calorie in their diet-style. A nutritarian understands that food has powerful disease-protecting and therapeutic effects and seeks to consume a broad array of micronutrients via their food choices. It is not sufficient to merely avoid fats, consume foods with a low glycemic index, lower the intake of animal products, or eat a diet of mostly raw foods. A truly healthy diet must be micronutrient rich and the micronutrient richness must be adjusted to meet individual needs. The foods with the highest micronutrient per calorie scores are green vegetables, colorful vegetables, and fresh fruits. For optimal health and to combat disease, it is necessary to consume enough of these foods that deliver the highest concentration of nutrients.

A nutritarian is a person whose food choices are influenced by nutritional quality.

Now this sounds like something we really like! Why not evaluate what types of foods you are putting into your body?! I want to live a long and healthy life and eating healthy is a HUGE step towards that goal.

So, we woke up really early for an appointment we had. Travis threw together a fast Acai Bowl that was ASTONISHING! I sure love my husband so much and I’m super impressed with his skills in the kitchen! Here is his Acai Bowl Recipe:

Travis’ Acai Bowl Recipe:

2 Packets of Organic Sambazon Acai Berry and Guarana Smoothie Packets(run them under warm water for a couple minutes, if frozen, to loosen)

1 ripe banana

1/2 cup of organic apple juice

1/2 cup of frozen strawberries (blueberries are the best, but we were out of them)

1 tablespoon of honey

Organic Granola.

He threw it all in the Vitamix and hit the frozen smoothie setting… then we put the granola on top. Words can’t even describe how delicious this was! Acai berry is so high in antioxidants and the taste is wonderful.

We knew we would be gone for awhile, so I grabbed some of my homemade trail mix (see recipe below) and an apple for the road.

Danielle’s Homemade Trail Mix:

3 cups of roasted almonds

1 cup of dried organic cranberries

1 cup of semi-sweet vegan chocolates

1/2-1 cup of organic sunflower seeds

Toss together. SO GOOD!

After our errands, we came home and I was super hungry. I threw together a pasta, spinach, garlic, and tomato sauce dish. It was very simple, but very tasty!

Travis and I decided to make dinner together, so I worked on the butternut squash and he worked on the Jalapeno and Cilantro Hummus.

Since we made hummus the other day and it turned out so amazing, I suggested he use the Tahini paste that we have so much of. So he did, and it turned out horrible. I guess the Tahini paste wasn’t called for in this recipe. I felt a bit guilty for suggesting it, but Travis is always so sweet and just kept trying to make it better. Needless to say, I won’t post that recipe until we perfect it! It’s all about working towards the same goal: eating healthy and tasty food, right? I decided to make a butternut squash bake and it turned out great!

Danielle’s Butternut Squash Bake:

3 cups of chopped butternut squash (large chunks)

4 tablespoons of water

2-3 tablespoons of honey

1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Put the squash in a 8×8 dish and add the water.

Once the oven is preheated, put the dish in for 20 minutes (uncovered)

Remove and add the honey, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Put back in the oven for 20 more minutes.

*Make sure to check every 10 minutes throughout cooking and stir the squash to ensure they are getting fully cooked.

THIS WAS WONDERFUL! Sweet, but hearty and healthy!

Travis and I were pretty bummed out about the turnout of the hummus, but he still ate some with corn chips. I tried, but couldn’t stomach it… so we threw together a quick green smoothie with Basil! The basil was Travis’ idea and it turned out DELISH! Here is the recipe:

Travis and Danielle’s Basil and Spinach Smoothie Treat:

1/2 cup organic basil

2 cups of organic spinach

4 clementines

1 orange

1 tablespoon of organic orange juice concentrate

We just put the Frozen Smoothie setting on the VITAMIX and let that bad boy do the job! It was VERY basil-ish, but after the first few sips, it was so good. Travis loved it!

Since we have been so into documentaries lately, we wanted to watch the one many people have been talking about: Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead. If you haven’t seen it, DO IT! It is truly an amazing story and some really good points and statistics. Travis and Bella looked so cute cuddling on the couch, I had to take a picture…

 

After the movie, we ended up falling to sleep pretty early because this is the first Friday night that we didn’t have to run our hot dog cart company, since we sold it on Weds. ¬†I have noticed that we have been sleeping a lot better and I don’t feel nearly as bloated as I use to, while eating meats and dairy. I know for a fact this has to do with our new challenge of eating Vegan. I can’t wait to see what the days ahead bring. We are leaving for our up the coast and cross country trip in 2 weeks! I think it will be very interesting to see how well we do with traveling and trying to eat this healthy. We are always up for new challenges and look forward to it!

Thank you for reading.

Day 6: We are really enjoying this!

Last night was officially our last night selling hot dogs! We sold our hot dog cart company to a great couple who we believe will do well with the business. ¬†And it was an absolute burden lifter. ¬†It was so difficult cooking bacon, hot dogs, and sausages, with cream cheese and shredded cheese for hours and selling something that we really no longer believed in. ¬†What we were doing was supporting the problem. ¬†Now it will be a lot easier to concentrate on this very enjoyable and challenging adventure we have set out on. ¬†Ok lets get to the food… Before preparing breakfast (not cooking) I looked at our meal planner and realized that the peaches and cream recipe was not going to be the one. The bananas were ripe and I had to use at least one. ¬†So now, with all of my experience with the vitamix, I felt comfortable throwing my own recipe together. ¬†This is what I came up with.

Travis’ all fruit Smoothie

1 perfectly ripe banana peeled

1 orange peeled

1 clementine peeled

1 1/2 cups of organic mixed berries (frozen)

Directions:  Put a half cup of water in blender, add all ingedients, no ice because of frozen berries, and then hit the smoothie setting, which is probably about a 4 on the variable speed setting if you do not have the new machine.

It was nothing short of magical.  And believe it or not, we are still eating almond butter and honey on organic whole wheat flax seed bread, and it still tastes amazing!  We have more left still! We made a lot the first day!

After breakfast we showered and went to run some errands.  After shopping for a while we were hungry again.  We stumbled on a restaurant called true foods.  We figured we would give it a try.  We ordered a teriyaki tofu and asian vegetable bowl with organic whole wheat rice.  It was extremely yummy!  It even showed up my tofu bowl!  However I assured myself and Danielle that if I had the organic whole wheat rice that my bowl would have been as good or better.  Regardless, this restaurant gets two thumbs up from us!  They had a herb garden on wheels at the door!

We went home and worked on getting rid of some things and selling others to prepare us for our move and trip across country. ¬†We are both getting really excited! I also ate some left overs from last night to hold me over. ¬† After a couple hours, wouldn’t ya know- we were hungry again. ¬†So we decided to try a different variation on the tortilla soup. ¬†It is and was as follows.

Vegan Tortilla Soup1 yellow or zucchini squash, cut in large chunks
1 carrot, scrubbed and cut in large chunks
1 stalk celery, cut in large chunks
1 fresh tomato, or 1/2 can diced tomatoes
1/4 fresh onion
1/2 bell pepper or 3 small bell peppers
1 garlic clove or 1 T fresh minced garlic
1 wedge cabbage
1 handful fresh cilantro
1 vegetable boullion cube or 1 T vegetable boullion powder
3 cups boiling water (I did this in a teapot)
1 T taco seasoning1/2 can corn
1/2 can black beans (drained)
1 cup tortilla chips

Place all ingredients except last three in Vita-Mix. Secure lid and turn machine on Low, then increase to High. Run for 3-4 minutes until steam escapes through lid opening. Reduce speed to Low. Remove lid and drop in corn, black beans, and chips. Run for an additional 10 seconds. Serve immediately. Makes about 8 servings.

It turned out a bit frothy, but tasted good!  We have yet to perfect this dish.  We have decided that we will go back and find the vitamix salesperson and watch them make it again.  The frothiness might have been the result of using broth instead of bullion.  Next time we will use bullion.  Nevertheless we both slurped up every drop from our bowl, and we have a lot left over.
Danielle had a headache this morning and had to take some Ibruprofen. ¬†Rene, our health counselor and Danielle’s step mom, advised us that this is a normal withdraw symptom. ¬†Her and Skip, Danielle’s dad told us we need to drink plenty of water. ¬†We have always done this, but I think that with the current state of detoxification of our bodies we need to drink even more! ¬†After all nobody has ever overdosed on water.
We watched a throw back surf flick- called SHELTER. Highly recommended. We watched another great documentary tonight on Netflix called FOOD MATTERS.  It was excellent.  We gave it five stars.  Netflix is so much better that T.V.
Thanks for following us on our journey!  Tomorrow  morning I am going to make an acai bowl!
Good night!