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!

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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 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.

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.