Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Sketch-free Vegan STUDENT Eating 201 - Lunch

Last year I would have the exact same thing for lunch every single day. A salad with quinoa/sweet potato, a piece of fruit and rice cakes or g/f bread with nut butter...but if you care that your lunches are interesting, here are some tried and true options that are super yums and super healthy too.

Option #1: "Colourful and Healthful"

Super Salad

There's nothing like a fresh salad for lunch...can I get an amen? There's so many different veggies and fruits you can mix in and you feel like such a nutty health nut after you eat it!

Keep in mind though that vegetables are not the highest in calories so if you eat a salad of only lettuce and carrot shavings with just a wee bit of dressing you probably won't have enough energy to stay awake and energized for the rest of the day.

To give your salads that extra energy boost add in high calorie items like dried fruit (cranberries, raisins, chopped apricots), fresh fruit (berries, orange segments, diced apple), avocado (can you say healthy fats?), nuts (almonds or walnuts that have been soaked overnight) and seeds (pumpkin seeds are cheap and give a nice texture).

Now what to use for dressing??

Buying dressing from a bottle can get expensive so here are some options that are just as good and will save you money in the long run:

- Salsa from a jar
- A dollop of hummus (I love that word...dollop)
- Raw Sauerkraut (It's scary if you've never made it before and laughable if you have. Check out Yum Universe's site for instructions on how to make it. You should consider adding this to your diet especially if you have stomach issues)
- Tahini (Mix a little lemon juice, salt and pepper to your tahini and you've got dressing!)

Here's a super salad with mixed greens, red cabbage, shredded carrot, almonds and crans drizzled with a dijon mustard dressing made by Jac.


Option #2: "It's cold outside and I'm feeling asian-ish..."

Miso Soup with "Asian Ingredients"

I hope I didn't offend anyone by saying "Asian Ingredients" ha! But you can't just put frozen peas and macaroni noodles in your miso soup. It's gotta be asian inspired! Am I right??

So all you really need for miso soup is white miso paste which you can buy for pretty cheap and you've got soup for a long while! Just boil the water and add in a spoonful of miso paste and it will slowly dissolve into a broth. Next just add in your asian ingredients!

So in my version I put kelp that I soaked and sliced thinly and chopped shiitake mushrooms which were previously dried. The mushrooms were a much needed "meat type item" for the soup and the thinly sliced kelp was sort of like seaweed-y noodles.

Oh yeah and about this "kelp" business. You can buy it dried at basically any health food store and you just have to soak it for a couple minutes before you add it to the soup. It has essential minerals like iodine which a lot of people seem to be low in. It's also a great addition to your diet if you have a sluggish thyroid. (fun fact?)

So what else could you add to your miso soup? Oh I dunno...maybe....

-Tofu cubes
-Tempeh (we prefer this over tofu...less sketchy)
-Other kind of seaweed...like wakame
-Green onions
-Baby bok choy
-Soba noodles
-Brown or wild rice
-Handful of greens like spinach or arugula
-Edamame beans

The soup got pretty cloudy so I had to wait until the cloudiness sunk to the bottom.

Ok the colour is pretty ugly...it's hard photographing soup ok!

Anyways, this one is alot more visually appealing..

Option #3: "Filling and fun to make"


Ok has anyone ever been to Urban Herbivore? It's a vegetarian restaurant in Toronto and you can build your own salad or "bowl" which consists of  either black rice or quinoa on the bottom and whatever you want on top drizzled with dressing and a crunchy topping. I decided to make my own "bowl" out of simpler, more economical ingredients. I used millet for the grain (probably the cheapest gluten-free grain besides rice) and topped it with roasted sweet potato, avocado, salsa, green peas and raw sauerkraut. Topped with a dressing made with raw carrots, hemp seeds, lemon juice and salt all blended up.

Perfect lunch!

If you missed Breakfast, which you should never do ;) Click HERE

Watch out for next week's post:

Sketch-free Vegan STUDENT Eating 301 - Dinner

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Freebie Recipe from our E-book - Sweet Carrot Ginger Probiotic Soda

So this is one of our favourite recipes from our e-book "Inner Ecology Cookbook" which uses only ingredients approved by the Body Ecology Diet. If you have had trouble with your digestive system this is a great book to check out.

I've bought the "Zukay" brand probiotic drinks in the past and they were always pretty good. I knew that I was drinking something healthy, I could basically FEEL the beneficial bacteria jumping about. I tried to recreate the drink at home and it totally worked! I'd say it's even fizzier than the Zukay drinks. If that makes sense....The one I made is a bit tangier because of the apple. And if you are avoiding fruit...good news! The probiotic bacteria eat up the sugar while in the fermentation process.

So all you need is:

3 large carrots
1 apple
1/3 of a cucumber (crucial! I tried making it with no cucumber and it didn't ferment)
2 inch piece of ginger (about the size of a golf ball)
2 cups of water
1/4 tsp sea salt
The powder from 1 probiotic capsule

Either juice the veggies and fruit through a juicer and then add the water OR if you don't have a juicer you can blend them together with the water in a blender and then squeeze though a cheesecloth or nut milk bag. Add the salt and probiotic powder. Pour into a clean mason jar and close the lid firmly. Let it sit at room temperature for 48 hours or until significantly fizzy. Refrigerate and enjoy the bubbly!

Check out more fizz-tastic recipes in our e-book HERE!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Sketch-free Vegan STUDENT Eating 101 - Breakfast

Hi everyone! Jenn here to show you how to eat vegan on a student's budget. Even though I'm not starting school until January I still feel like I'm in student mode since I'm living on my own in a student house and sharing a kitchen with 7 people. Oh lord. Any way, let's get on with the food!

So I'll separate these posts into 4 categories:

Dinner and
Snack Attack!

And just bear in mind that not everyday can be perfectly balanced with the right amount of greens, fruit, grains, protein and fat sources. I have some days where I eat a lot of grains and some days where I eat a lot of fruit and some days where I don't really keep track. I however always try to get greens in even if it means mixing green powder with some water in a desperate attempt to down those greens! One other thing I should mention now that I'm on the topic of water. Drink a glass of water first thing in the morning. It's just what you need to rehydrate yourself after sleeping all night. I have the glass beside my bed the night before and just drink it right when I wake up. 

Ok so what are some economical, nutrient dense, energizing breakfast options? 

Option #1: "Super Healthy"

Green Smoothie

It's a classic vegan staple! And it's so simple. Just fruit (fresh/frozen), handful of greens (or green powder) and water. So simple. 

It's funny, Jac and I just don't agree on what the best smoothie texture is. I like mine thick and creamy and jac likes hers a bit more like a slushie. So she puts ice in hers but I don't. It's all about what your preference is. 

If you like your smoothies creamy I suggest using half frozen fruit and half fresh fruit.

So for a perfect creamy smoothie I suggest the following fruits:

Frozen: Banana, Mango, Pear, Papaya or Avocado. These will give your smoothie an "ice creamy" texture.

Fresh: Oranges, Grapefruit, Berries, Pineapple, Kiwi

I usually add in another fresh banana just because.

Next add in a great big handful of greens. Some good options are Kale, Spinach, Arugula, Swiss Chard or a scoop of green powder. 

Next add in as much water as you desire depending on how thick you like it. Blend. and Voila!

The great thing about green smoothies is that you get your greens in early in the day. So if you don't have time to make a salad you feel better about just grabbing a few bananas, some oranges and a carrot as your lunch. That's whole food eating at it's best....

Now onto:

Option #2: "Comfort"

Buckwheat-meal with Bananas

This is soooo good. Really great for people who like a hot bowl of something in the morning, especially in the winter. Although I mostly have smoothies in the morning, I like to have a bowl of buckwheat once in a while to change it up. 

So all it is is a 1/2 cup of buckwheat groats simmered with 1 1/2 cups of water until absorbed (about 20 minutes). Mix in some cinnamon and chopped banana on top. So yums! And buckwheat is actually a fruit so it combines well with the bananas. Mix in a bit of coconut sugar or maple syrup for extra sweetness. You could also soak the buckwheat overnight and just heat it up in the morning in the oven for a couple minutes. 

I just love the texture of the buckwheat. It's a little chewy, sort of comparable to barley. It's especially good with coconut sugar mixed in.

Buckwheat groats are a little hard to find but if you live in Canada you can order buckwheat groats online at well.ca and it's free shipping! Also you can use coupon code "sketchfreevegancoupon: for 10$ off. 

Option #3: "I feel like ice cream..." 


This is the best thing since...pancake mix! Ok maybe a bit better than that. All you need is a ripe avocado and some type of frozen fruit. Scoop the avocado into your magic bullet or high speed blender and add a bit of water (so that you can easily blend it without shaking it constantly, all you magic bulleters out there know what I mean). Add in your frozen fruit such as banana, strawberry, mango, or whatever! This is also a good vehicle for any powders or concoctions you've been meaning to take like maca, vitamin C, ashwaganda, protein powder or just leave it as is! You could also add in carob powder, avocado's best friend! Blend it all up and you've got a super yums ice creamy treat for breakfast.

This one is made with frozen banana and pineapple. So yummy!

Sketch-free Vegan STUDENT Eating 201 - Lunch 

Coming soon to a blog near you!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Mishaps and Failed Photos Galore

We thought it would be hilarious to post some of our recipes that didn't quite make the cut to the blog. We were just looking through our photo library at some of the shameful photos we took of our failed recipes. It was quite funny though. Hope this makes some of you laugh!

This was our VERY FIRST recipe we ever did. Raw Falafels. Not really sure why we didn't post it....

I think this was a kale curry dish...??

Our very first attempt at pancakes....and taking pictures in the sunlight...

We made this mango-kale salad at night so the lighting wasn't the best. Good salad though!

Don't really remember what this was..Some sort of tempeh stew??

These were pretty good! We couldn't post them because we didn't write down the ingredients. These were Socca Cheez Sticks.

The filling here is alot of onions, celery and garlic blended up. I rolled up the nori and dehydrated it. But it ended up tasting like thanksgiving stuffing. Not the best thing ever.

Quinoa milk...

Blurry picture of "Mock Chicken Salad" made w/ zucchinni. I thought it was good but Jac said the dressing looked icky. I suppose so....

Carrot quinoa-meal. Blaaaaand.

Almond flour pound cake. It tasted pretty good but we just couldn't get a good enough shot!

Hahaha! These were a production! They were supposed to be strawberry chia jelly tarts w/ fresh strawberries at the bottom. Jac decided to add mint to the filling and we all know that mint and berries don't mix.

Asian cucumber-y salad? The colours were kinda ugly.

These were passable, a bit crumbly. Banana Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars.

Haha! Can you guess what this is?? It's supposed to be a zucchini pakora. Shame.

I was actually going to post this but Jac said no :P It's coconut-basil pesto. 

Jac made these mini raw cheesecakes and put them in the freezer. I for some reason though they were cinnamon and put apples on top. Apparently they were lemon. Sorry!!

Failed lemon-poppy seed muffins. Too crumbly.

The beginnings of banana-oatmeal cookies w/ no sugar. They needed the sugar. 
No recipe today! But now you all know our secret failed attempts!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Madagascar Pink Sticky Rice w/ Vanilla Bean and Raspberries

So this recipe was made in the summer and we just never got around to posting it! We received a generous helping of rice samples from "Lotus Foods" and we were especially intrigued by the "Madagascar Pink Rice". A lady I worked with is from the Philippines and she was talking about a sweet sticky rice dessert she makes with coconut milk and mango. I didn't have any mango, but I had raspberries and vanilla bean! There is such a HUGE difference between vanilla extract and vanilla bean. If I'm making something vanilla flavoured now, it's gotta be with vanilla bean. Try it in your next vanilla concoction, you'll see.

2 cups cooked rice
1 can coconut milk
2 tbsp syrup (agave or maple)
pinch of salt
1 vanilla bean pod

Combine all ingredients in a pot. Bring to a boil and then simmer until thick and creamy (about 15 minutes). Spoon into glasses and top w/ raspberries and shredded coconut. Let chill before serving.

Sticky Rice in it's natural habitat

Juicy berries!

Check out that creamy texture!


Friday, September 9, 2011

Easy Peachy Dressing + A Sneak Peek

It's the end of summer :( I can't believe it's over! I feel like I didn't really have a real summer. Mainly because I was working the whole time. But now I'm rollin' in the benjamins! (Or should I say Queen Elizabeths?) Any way. There was a peach on our counter and we haven't been eating as much salad as we should this summer, so we made a peach salad! Are you happy now peach? Geez!

Easy Peach Dressing:

1 medium peach
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp olive oil
Sea salt

Whiz together in a blender. That's it! Drizzle over a salad of your choice. And don't forget the pecans!

Dive into the Peachy

We also have something else to show you! Some preview pics for our new e-book! I just want to explain the first picture you see because it's made with a crazy ingredient...wild rice flour! We were sent wild rice from Goose Valley and we were feeling kinda crazy one morning so we made a Canadian inspired pancake recipe using the wild rice ground into a fine flour. And they were actually really good! They tasted like a morning in cottage country. I hope you enjoy the pics!

Just wanted to show the pretty packaging of Goose Valley!

Woodsy Wild Rice Pancakes with Black Cherry Blueberry Sauce

Creamy Carob Fudge

All Canadian Gingersnaps

Baghetti and Beet-Balls

Toasted Coconut-Cocoa Cashews

Cocoa Pancakes with Peanut Butter Sauce

Pistachio-Orange Coffee Shop Cookies

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Chocolate-Beet Ice Cream + Matcha Milkshake + Madre Labs Review

The kind people at iherb asked us if we would sample and review one of their products, amongst them this fantastic new product: Madre Lab's Coco Cardio, has definitely won our hearts. The ingredients are simple: Cocoa powder, Beet Juice powder and Hibiscus powder. These all combine to create a deep and earthy cocoa flavour. I've actually never tasted anything like it before. And if you like the taste of beets, you will like this product! Jac isn't soo fond of the beet taste, hey you either love em or you don't right? Well thankfully I do because beets contain so many nutrients, just the colour itself is enough to convince you how healthy they are for you.

1 can full fat coconut milk
1/3 cup cocoa cardio
1/3 cup water
1 tsp agar agar
2 packets stevia
1 tbsp agave nectar

Combine the agar agar and the water in a small pot and boil until it becomes a thick, jelly consistency. Add all ingredients to blender, including agar agar jelly and blend until smooth. Churn in an ice cream machine or freeze in a container and just stir every so often. Top w/ cacao nibs!

Topped w/ cacao nibs

Next on the menu is Midori Green Powder which includes "Matcha" green tea powder and Wasabi. Crazy right? But if you add just a little of this stuff to your morning banana smoothie, it turns it into a Matcha Milkshake that is creamy, simple, and super healthy! I like my smoothies sort of milkshake-like and Jac likes hers icy. This is one of the ONLY things we don't have in common. If you like your smoothies more icy, then add a couple cubes of ice, but this is really meant to be a milkshake. Since the Midori Greens have matcha powder, I've been adding it to smoothies because it actually tastes good! Not just thinking it'll add to my daily green intake. The matcha actually over powers the green taste!

2 frozen bananas, sliced
Enough water to almost cover bananas
1 tsp midori greens

Creamy Dreamy Sunny Yummy

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Avocado Cream Berry Crunch Parfait

So Jac and I are big time South Park fans and thought it would be hilarious to make a "Mint Berry Crunch" parfait. Here's a link if you don't know the power of the crunch:

So no one told us mint + berry is not the best. Jac said it tasted more like a toothpaste parfait. That must be the secret to his powers, driving people away with bad flavour combining ;). So we made it again in a more simple way with just plain ol' avocado cream and strawberries and you know what? It was deelish!

6-7 strawberries, stemmed
1 tbsp coconut sugar

To start, let berries and sugar sit together in a bowl until the juices are released and it's a jammy sort of texture and taste.

Avocado Cream:
1 avocado
1-2 tbsp agave nectar
1/4 tsp vanilla extract

Whiz together in food processor until totally smooth.

Layer cream, berries and granola/coconut on top of each other in little glasses. Sprinkle with granola or coconut or whatever you please!

So we are both moving to Toronto for school for the year and will probably not be able to keep doing elaborate recipes like we've been doing all summer. We think it will be a nice change to do more student-friendly simple recipes that are still exciting and yummy! So expect more recipes like this Avocado Cream Berry Parfait and more everyday eats. Happy September everyone!