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Author Archives: laceythevegan

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Originally posted on the taste space :

This is the story of a picnic that didn’t happen, twice.

We had full intentions of getting together with friends, having a picnic together on the island.  However, after a weather forecast of 100% rain, the plans were abandoned. Rob and I stayed at home and relished in a relaxing afternoon together.

Together, we still continued with our picnic menu: Quinoa Salad with Sweet Potatoes and Dried Iranian Limes. I figured a grain salad would travel well but may not be too picnic-friendly (who was going to bring plates?) so I thought it would be neat to stuff it into a wrap. Rice paper rolls for company and kale wraps for me! I figured a tahini dipping sauce would bring this over the edge, so we plunged forward with our ornate plans.

Ottolenghi called this a quinoa salad, but really it is a quinoa-basmati-wild rice salad. The mix of…

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Some pre MoFo Pictures.

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Picture post

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Veggie breakfast sandwich.
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Veggie breakfast burrito topped with vegan chili
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Random breakfast: quinoa, tomatoes, onions, cactus, corn and zucchini. This was immediately doused in hot sauce. Because hot sauce goes on everything.
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An extremely dark picture of a pumpkin sandwich cookie with butter cream.
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Milagro silver tequila margarita from Rose Pepper
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Ribbon zucchini salad
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Originally posted on the taste space :

The summer is winding down and this will be the last of my Raw Thursdays. Not because I won’t be cooking, or uncooking raw foods. Because I feel I like be concentrating a bit more on work and three posts a week seems better for now.

One reason why I started adding an extra raw recipe each week was because I wanted to highlight how easy and tasty they can be. Indeed, I have posted raw recipes even when it hasn’t been a Thursday post. Summer just brings out the best raw cuisine.

However, I know not everyone likes raw. I feel bad for my buddies in Vancouver. Whenever I visit, I drag them to yet another raw restaurant. My experiences seem to be better than theirs, despite being at the same restaurant. The first time, my friend was sick afterwards…. Me? I went back a second time and enjoyed…

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Originally posted on the taste space :

This weekend boasts both the Polish Festival and the Ukrainian festival.

For those keeping score. Rob = Polish. Me = Ukrainian and German.

As a bonus, both sets of our parents will be coming to Toronto to check out the festivals. I mean, they are coming to see us.

How will we manage? Which one to attend? They are reasonably close to each other, so we’ll likely hit up both festivals. The question is who will win the pierogi contest? OK, forget pierogi, I am more interested in kasha these days.

Nothing says more Eastern European than beets and dill, especially with kasha!

Kasha is buckwheat that has been hulled and roasted. As such, it is a darker brown than raw buckwheat. Kasha can be tricky to cook as it can absorb lots of water and turn into mush. Here, I opted to toast it in the oven…

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Chili Spiced Seitan Recipe

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I’ve experimented with seitan several times, but never consistently. I keep telling myself I must be doing something wrong to end up with such lackluster seitan. I mean, I LOVE wheat…so you’d think seitan would be my thing. But it’s just not. I want to like it though, so I’m experimenting. Seitan has a lot of protein and not very many carbohydrates and very little fat. I’m also using myfitnesspal.com to track my calorie consumption because I’m trying to be a healthier person. I love that I can create recipes and then plug them in to see what I’m eating. That’s the only tough part about eating clean-no labels to really tell you what kind of nutritional value you’re taking in! I like knowing what I’m taking in…it keeps me in check. I created a seitan recipe this weekend that’s ‘log’ seitan if you will. It’s baked and sliceable–I even cut some up lunch meat style. My approach this time was to use way more spices than any recipe I’ve seen. I wanted seitan that was flavorful without needing anything to be added to it. I wanted seitan that non-vegans might actually eat and not say ‘this is weird.’

Recipe:
Preheat the oven to 325 and get out a baking sheet and some foil.

Mix your dry ingredients:
2 1/2 c vital wheat gluten
1/2 c nutritional yeast
1 T paprika
1 T granulated garlic (better than fresh in this recipe)
1 T onion powder
1 T ancho chili powder

In a blender combine:
1/2 c cooked lentils
1 T Sambal Oelek (I don’t even buy sriracha anymore!!)
2 T Bragg’s Amino Acids
2 T low sodium Tamari
1.5 T Genmai (brown rice and soy) miso
1 3/4 c water
Blend until the lentils are pureed. Add your liquid ingredients to your dry ingredients and stir with a bamboo or wooden spoon until combined. Turn sticky mixture out onto a large piece of foil and form a log shape. Bake for 90 minutes, flipping the seitan log over once half way through. Unwrap log and allow to cool on a wire rack. This keeps the outside of your seitan from getting soft via condensation that forms within the foil while your seitan cools. This is okay to store in the fridge for a week or you may separate out individual portions and freeze them. A couple of notes:
fee free to swap out spices, but use the same amounts for maximum flavor. the same goes for beans and even the miso; you could make this italian style by swapping spices and using white beans-you could even swap the braggs and miso out for wine. Just keep the dry and wet ingredient amounts the way they are. Let me know if you come up with something great!
Makes 10 servings Nutritional information below:
159 Calories
12 Carbohydrates
1 gram of fat
27 grams of protein

This entire recipe:
1587 calories
115 carbohydrates
10 grams of fat
274 grams of protein (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

p.s. seitan ain’t pretty y’all, no pictures, but I’ll post some photographs of my lunch today which is quinoa, seitan, raw broccoli and fat free homemade green goddess dressing.
In case you haven’t noticed…I am on a huge high protein, eat clean, no sugar, very little oil kick. I have been trying to kick my ass into gear and get healthy for quite a while now, and I lose motivation quickly. Oddly enough, having less spending money and the adoption of a stray dog my husband found has pushed me to be more driven about fitness and eating healthier. I turn 30 this year, and I want to get on track before my metabolism really starts to slow down. I’m still young and I can still take control. Do you guys want to see my new dog? OF COURSE YOU DO! Those that follow me on instagram have already seen my sweet boy.

That’s not the best picture, but there will be many more to come.
Wes and I moved into a house with a fenced in back yard about 7 months ago, and I’ve been begging him to let us adopt a dog since we have a play area outside. He kept saying no and giving very valid reasons, so I let go of the idea. Then he called last week saying a stray had been hanging out around his work for a month or so, and that it had almost gotten hit, so he was bringing him home. He’s about 4 and extremely well behaved. No barking, no jumping, no messing with the cats, no using the bathroom inside (we already had a doggy door installed-what luck!). This dog is wonderful. We haven’t named him yet, but we’re definitely in love! This is the second animal we’ve taken in over the course of the last two weeks. It really makes me mad that people abandon their animals (like literally..come drop them off) in my neighborhood because we have a reputation for being animal lovers and we have a few groups that rescue animals. Ugh. We took in a sweet kitten about 2 weeks ago that didn’t make it…he was only 8 weeks old and in shock from a dislocated leg. Heart breaking. I have a feeling Wes and I will soon be involved with East CAN to start fostering animals until they can have homes because it’s just unbearable seeing so many obviously (once) well taken care of animals being deserted.

Red Panda Launch Party

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One of my besties, Amanda from Red Panda had a launch party for her new fashion blog recently. Since I love parties, I volunteered to help make food for the party. Below is a spread of what we did.
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The only store bought thing that was served were the above Black/White Cookies

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Ranch dip with carrots, celery, broccoli and pita chips.

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Funfetti dip. Yeah, I know.

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we served this with cinnamon graham cracker sticks, teddy grahams, and animal crackers. This was a huge hit.

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Cheese plate, because cheese was easy for people to just snag and eat.

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These were the most time consuming thing to make labor wise. These are strawberries filled with lightly sweetened cream cheese with almond extract. When there were exactly five left to do, the pastry bag had just about had it, and the tip popped out. That was fun.

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Fruit skewers…melon, pineapple, strawberries.

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These were the favorites, and they will definitely be something I make again for parties. These are pinwheels. The ones on the left have cream cheese, finely chopped broccoli, artichokes, carrots and a little ranch dressing powder mixed in with the cream cheese. On the right are cream cheese, feta and dried cranberry pinwheels.

I’m glad we were able to keep the snacks vegetarian, even if they were dairy product heavy.

Salty Vanilla Almond Butter

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Let me start out by saying nut butters do not photograph well. At all. So I give up.

This weekend I wanted some almond butter, but I really don’t like any of the commercial varieties except for Trader Joe’s roasted almond flax seed butter, but TJs isn’t close. Ok, ok, so I like Justin’s and Artisana too but I’m not spending that kind of money when I have almonds at home (or in general) and a banging food processor. This was basically free almond butter to me since the almonds were leftover from a previous recipe.

Salty Vanilla Almond Butter

1 c raw almonds

1/4 t sea salt

1/2 t vanilla

1 T raw coconut oil

2 T maple syrup

3 T filtered water (you may omit this, but I like how it thins the almond butter out just a bit and reduces the fat content in this nut butter enough that you’re not getting 12 fat grams in a Tablespoon)

Toast your almonds at 350 for about 7 minutes, until they darken and become fragrant. Allow them to cool down enough for you to handle them, then toss them in the food processor and either pulse or process them until they’re a fine powder. If you have a good food processor, you can just turn it on high for a minute or two and they’ll break down to the just before nut butter phase, into a finely minced almond mixture. With the food processor still running, add coconut oil, salt, vanilla and maple syrup. Within a minute or so, your almond mixture should be looking less like almond dust and more like almond butter. Slowly add in water until the nut butter is smooth and creamy but not watery or thin. Store in the fridge for up to a week. Makes about 3/4 of a cup of almond butter. 

I’ve been digging this on plain rice cakes, in oatmeal, with bananas, and, recently, in some banana soft serve. Salty almond banana ice cream? YES PLEASE. 

So please, don’t judge me for not having a picture, just trust me that this is delicious and that I can’t take a flattering photograph of the nut butter alone. 

 

Nutritional info below, I calculated this using a serving size of 1 Tablespoon on My Fitness Pal.

Per Serving:
Calories: 72
Carbs: 4
Fat: 6
Protein: 2

Pizza Bella (Raw Portobello Pizza)

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Originally posted on the taste space :

Are you tired of wraps and salads but still want to pack in your veggies?

Enter Pizza Bella: a raw portobello mushroom pizza.

Since our move, Rob and I have lost easy access to a barbecue but that hasn’t stopped me from enjoying portobello mushrooms. I still adore grilled portobello bliss but variety is the spice of life. With my leftover cocktail sauce from the Raw King Oyster “Calamari”, I knew I wanted to use it towards pizza on a fungi.

In fact, my idea for this came from my visit to Houston, where I had a similar meal from Pat Greer’s Kitchen (see Ashley’s Pizza Bella review here). Everyone keeps reminding me that Houston is America’s fattest city and they only eat meat. I protest, you can find healthy take-away foods, even in Houston: you just need to know where to look. When I had my interview…

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Indulgence.

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One side of the bar at Holland House.

This is a drink I recreated. It has gin, st. germain, strawberries, mint, and lemon juice. EXTREMELY refreshing.

White Chocolate Bread Pudding. After this post, I should be done posting my back log of sinful pictures. I’ve been eating clean and I feel so great about it that even seeing pictures like this don’t make me want sugar…well, not enough to go eat something sweet anyways!

Right after I got back from Tampa, my friend Annie and I used the 60 ounce margarita glass to make a giant sangria. Peaches and oranges soaked in rum, white wine, and diet seven up. I absolutely love the shirt Annie has on here!

This past weekend, on the 15th, we had a Quinceanera for Kayla (in the red). She was 23, don’t worry guys, haha. It was just a fun theme. This is the dress she chose to wear. It’s pretty perfect, don’t you think? Next to Kayla is Sloane.

The birthday girl requested red velvet cake. I made a sheet cake, a 9 inch round cake, and a dozen cupcakes. The icing I used was white chocolate cream cheese.

Check out the alcohol we had BEFORE guests arrived with their own. This is serious preparation guys. Besides alcohol I brought a huge thing of spicy hummus and i chopped up lots of raw cucumbers, zucchini and yellow squash for dipping.

Before Kayla’s party, my beautiful friend Sloane, who just had her baby came over. Okay, I’ll take this opportunity to show off her new baby briefly. Little Loreli (calling her Eli!) is so gorgeous. She’s a month old now.

So Sloane got out of her house to hang out with friends for the first time since she had Eli. Before going to Kayla’s birthday party, we had to get her an adult beverage. I had my usual bourbon and hefeweizen, and Sloane started off with a shot of tequila (1800) and corona with lime. This was the beginning of tequila and corona day. HA!

And I’ll close with one more cute kid picture, of my niece Kylie. She’s going to be a handful, I can already tell.

From here on out…clean eating and Happy Herbivore tester pictures will be posted. :)

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