Vegan Tips Video

I found this video on Youtube a while ago and I thought it was really cool. This guys gives some tips for people becoming vegan. It is a hard transition and if you don’t do it right and be careful with it you could end up giving up and going back to regular eating or have health consequences. I would recommend to anyone trying to decide weither to become a vegan or not to follow rules and plans such as this one to give you a guide and make sure that you go through the transition correctly and make it last and worth all your efforts.

There are many different ways that you can go from regular eating to vegan eating. First off I would go vegetarian for a week or so. Take out meat first to let your body get used to the changes. Than after that week I would move on to a full vegan diet. This will make it an easier transition on your body. What I noticed is that for the first little bit I was a lot hungrier and munchy during the day. Eventually I got used to the different foods and my body adjusted. I would make sure that you have a lot of peanut butter at hand and just be smart. Hope these tips help! Happy Cooking!

 

Squash

So one of my new favorite discoveries in the world of food is squash, more specifically the spaghetti squash. This squash is not only delicious but it is super fun to eat and prepare. I would recommend this squash to everybody. There are endless possibilities for cooking it and making it. You can eat it plain or add it to other things and create a bigger meal with more options. Its a really great staple for a vegan kitchen epically. I use it in place of spaghetti on cold days, I really like it and I would totally recommend it. It may sound scary, but its totally worth it. If you’ve never seen a spaghetti squash before this is what it will look like if you pick it up from the store.
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Once you are ready to cook it, you cut it into two halves and put it on a pan so you can put it in the oven. I usually cook it on 350 for around 45 minutes and that works wonderfully. If you so desire you can spray butter, or another seasoning on top of the squash. Things like a little bit of salsa or something would be good to put on it too before putting it in the oven.

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After you are done with cooking it, the fun part starts. If you’ve wondered why they call the spaghetti squash what they do, you’re about to find out. It is the coolest thing ever and it really entertains me much more than it should. You take the squash and run a for along the inside part of it and that kind of peels the squash that you will eat and it will look like this:

cooked spaghetti squash

It is so cool! It just falls apart when you start peeling it off. You can peel the squash off until you reach the shell or outer part. It’s super easy and there is actually a lot of food there, just one half of one is more than enough for a meal for me.

Once you have it done there are many different things that you can do with it. You can put spaghetti sauce on it and make a healthier and more delicious spaghetti. You can spray butter and seasonings and eat it like that. Another option is to mix in things like green peppers, put everything back in the shell and cook it for about 10 more minutes. That is beyond deleicious. Well, I’ve introduced you to my new food love, use the information wisely. Happy Cooking!

Eating Out- At Home

Everybody loves to go out and have amazing restaurant food, am I right? Although sadly, if you’re as broke as I am, eating out can’t exactly be an every day thing. Wither its to save money, or impress guests with a restaurant style copy cat meal, it’s always been a dream to be able to have your favourite restaurant food at home. Well while looking around the internet I have collected many copy cat restaurant recipes so you can have your favourite foods, but at home. Which is amazing, and a big time, and money, saver. So here are a couple of recipes that copy and tell you how to make your favourite restaurant meals in the comfort of your own home. These are just the beginning few, I will periodically add more as I find some more, so send me a shoutout if you want something specific!

1. Panera- Broccoli and Cheese Soup In a Bread Bowl

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Omg, I was psyched when I found this recipe, because this is my number one favourite food, ever. Perfect comfort food, espically now that the weather is getting colder. This is awesome and this recipe was actually tweeted by Panera themselves, so it’s pretty darn good. I got this recipe from  http://www.budgetsavvydiva.com/2012/05/copy-cat-panera-bread-broccoli-cheese-soup-recipe/. They have a great site and the recipe is really easy to follow and they have a great printable form so you can save it for future use. Here is the basic outline of the recipe:

Ingredients
  • ½ medium onion, chopped
  • ¼ cup melted butter
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 2 cups half-and-half ( or skim milk)
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • ½ pound fresh broccoli ( florets only)
  • 1 cup carrots, julienne
  • ¼ teaspoon of salt
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 8 ounces grated cheddar cheese
Instructions
  1. Saute onions in a little butter in a small pan – set aside.
  2. In a large stockpot ( I accidentally used a medium-size pan) – melt butter. Add flour and mix for 3 minutes.
  3. Slowly add half- half – mixing the entire time.
  4. Slowly add chicken stock- mixing the entire time.
  5. Let simmer on low for 20 minutes.
  6. Add broccoli, carrots; onions and cook on low for 25 minutes.
  7. Season with salt, pepper; nutmeg.
  8. Place soup in a blender or use an immersion blender and puree.
  9. Heat soup over low heat and add cheese and mix till melted.
  10. Serve ( hopefully in a bread bowl) and Enjoy :)

This is a pretty advances recipe, but it’s not too hard to follow. It will take a little bit of time and it might be a bit intense for a simple bowl of soup for you, but I personally think it is very well worth it. I mean its Panera 😛

If you are like me and want a bread bowl for it too, I found a recipe on a different site, http://www.food.com/recipe/homemade-bread-bowls-495386, that you can totally check out and make that along with it. If your gunna have your cake, you might as well eat it too! I know this sounds like an amazing Saturday afternoon homemade meal.

2. Starbucks Frappuccino

I can’t be the only one out there with an unhealthy Starbucks and coffee addiction right? I would save soooo much money if I just made all my coffee needs at home with my parents food. Well luckily you can!! Yayyyy. So I found this fabulous recipe, this is for a Carmel frapp, but you can easily substitute different ingredients for a different flavor, and even make your own and make your millions selling homemade coffee. I got this recipe from the lovely blog, Mrs. Scales’ Recipes n’ Things, its  a wonderful blog that I really enjoyed.

This version is skinny and gluten free, but yet again you can substitute any ingredients to totally make it your own. So for example I would use soy milk instead of regular milk for the vegan side of it.

Very low calorie version of the Starbucks favorite.. gluten free to boot

 Ingredients:

3 cups ice cubes (3 big handfuls of cubed ice, not crushed ice) 1 cup cold strong coffee, previously brewed and chilled 1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or your favorite milk) sugar-free sweetener (Splenda, or your favorite), to taste… I used 4 or 5 packets of splenda cuz i like sweet. 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, optional 2 tablespoons fat free whipped topping, for garnishing 1 tablespoon sugar free caramel sauce for garnishing

Directions:

  1. Combine first 5 ingredients in the canister of a blender  and blend until smooth, creamy, fluffy, frothy, and combined, less than 1 minute. Taste, and if necessary, adjust with a splash more coffee,  milk, dash of sweetener, or a few ice cubes.
  2. Garnish with whipped topping and caramel sauce. Serve immediately.

Tip – Make the full batch and place un-garnished extra portion of  frappuccino in a freezer-safe mug. Later on, simply let it unthaw a bit, either 30 minutes at room temp or about 1 minute in the microwave.
Recipe as seen on averie cooks.

The full recipe, a good 24+ ounces, is essentially calorie-free, until garnishing.
3 cups ice cubes = 0 calories
1 cup of strong cold coffee = 0 calories
1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk = 15 calories for 24+ ounces (almost negligible over the big batch)
sugarfree sweetener (white stevia powder, liquid vanilla stevia drops, Splenda, or your favorite) = 0 calories
optional vanilla extract = o calories
Garnish with 2 tablespoons fat free whipped topping = 5 calories
Garnish with 1 tablespoon sugarfree caramel sauce = 45 calories
= Grand total of 50 calories

These are just a few copy cat recipes and over time I will be trying out and making more of them, but for now I will leave you with these. I really liked these and hopefully you enjoy them too c: If you want me to find any specific copy cat recipe just give me a shout out! Happy Cooking!

Get Excited About Salads

Hi, all! So if you’re anything like me, you get easily bored with having the same foods over and over again, and after a while you need to change things up a little bit. I try to be a really healthy eater, in hopes that it will help. So I try my best to think of creative healthy meals. The first one that comes to your mind is salad, right? Well, salad isn’t exactly the most exciting food out there though, and that leads many people to cringe at it’s name. Simply lettuce, cheese, chicken, and a dressing of your choice isn’t exactly a new and exciting meal that will also fill you up. So my new challenge was to find new and exciting salads to mix up meal time and make it more satisfying. And of course, my recipes will be geared towards vegans, but you can always change and adapt them.

The first thing that you can do is choose some of your favourite fruits and vegetables that you enjoy and don’t mind eating. So make a list of those and than you can go off of that and see what different combinations you can make. Here is my list:

    • Cucumbers
    • Avocado
    • Carrotts
    • Corn
    • Tomato
    • Strawberries
    • Raspberries
    • Apples
    • Broccoli
    • Squash

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It can just be something as simple as that, and than you can look at combinations. There are many things that go into making a perfect salad. Not every salad has to have lettuce in it! If you’re worn out on that green leafy plant, than switch to another one that your not sick of! Soon that will wear off. You can go through your list and look for combinations that you think would be good. Some ones that I would recommend are:

  • Corn, Avocado, Tomato
  • Cucumber, Avocado, Tomato, Squash
  • Lettuce, Strawberries, Apples
  • Tomato, Squash, Cucumber, Corn

As you can see the combinations are really endless, everybody’s preferences will be different, so you might have to experiment and do a little bit of a trial and error thing. Another thing that you want to keep in mind is filling you up and getting enough protein so you are full. Now if you eat meat, than by all means add some bacon sprinkles, chicken, ham, and than if you eat dairy add some blue cheese, mozerella cheese, whatever hits your fancy, go for it! There is a lot of protein in many fruits and vegetables such as broccoli (4.6g per cup) and Corn (5g per cup). If you really want to make sure that you stay full all day long, which I admit is sometimes very hard, espically around 3pm. One thing you could do to add protein is add some potatoes. Those are pretty good for you and filling. You can cook and cut a full potato in smaller pieces, or you can buy frozen ones that are pre cut. You can also add some nuts like soy beans or peanuts that add a cool flavor to things and some crunchy textures.

Lastly you think about the dressing. For salads such like these, I usually lean towards using a greek dressing, those are my new addiction and they tend to taste and go along great with salads such as these but it might be a flavor that many people don’t like. You could also go for an Italian or another more clear and lighter dressing. I would tend to lean away from more creamy dressings like ranch or honey mustard, but that’s just my preference. So go through your cupboards and experiment on creating new and fun salads so you can look forward to lunch this week! I’d love to hear any of your new recipes and try them out myself too, so feel free to comment on your favourite salad recipe, and happy cooking! c:

Mediterranean-chopped-salad

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The Great Gatsby

So a little while ago, I went to the theaters and went to see The Great Gatsby, and I fell in love with the movie and the story immediately. It was a wonderful movie, so many twists and turns, eternal love beyond all measures of time and social restrictions, and of course, it starred Leo DiCaprio, so you gotta love it. I decided to begin reading the book, when life calmed down a little bit. Since I have come to the conclusion that my life will never calm down, I might as well jump into the book now. Although I am only a little into it, I decided I’d post about my beginning thoughts when first reading it. So far, I really enjoy the book, and totally understand why it was such a popular hit and classic. I really enjoy the writing style of it, as a narrative of Nick. The characters are absolutely loveable and relatable also. I really enjoy it so far, and am really excited to continue reading it and finishing it. One thing that I was amazed by, while reading the book, is that the movie expertly follows the book. I think the writers, at least in what I have read so far, have quoted the book almost exactly and followed it beautifully, so hopefully I can keep reading and finish this book. So far so good. Happy Booking, all!

New Cookie Recipe

TGIT? Happy Thursday! Well tomorrow is one of my friends birthdays and I had a free night, so I wanted to make her cookies! I decided to rummage through my cupboards and see if I could remix a recipe that I already have to make them a little bit more exciting. I am Begining to realize that I really do probably make a lot of cookies o: I think I may have a problem. Let me for warn you that I don’t usually eat them, I prefer baking 100% to eating, so no worries there. Well onto the recipe!

2 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1/2 Teaspoon of salt
1/2 cup of butter/margarine
1/2 cup of shortening
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 Teaspoon vanilla
1 12 oz package of chocolate chips or 2 cups
1/2 cup of peanut butter
1/2 cup oatmeal
1 cup of chopped pretzels

In a mixer you mix together the margarine and butter first. Than you add in the brown sugar and granulated sugar and mix that in with the butter. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix those all together. Add the rest of the dry ingredients minus the peanut butter, chocolate chips, and pretzels.

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One those are all mixed together you can add the peanut butter and mix together. Mix well and make sure that the peanut butter blends in well with the rest of the mixture. I use an electric mixer to mix and that usually works amazingly, I love it.

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After I mixed all of those ingredients together. Than I added the chocolate chips and pretzels and stirred them together with a plastic spoon so they don’t break up. Make sure you stir them well together and that they really mix together so they don’t fall apart.

When your done you can put them in the oven at 375 degrees and bake them for around 10-15 minutes. These I thought turned amazingly good and hopefully my friend’ll like em. This is actually a spin off of a Betty Crocker recipe, and I added some small changes. I have gotten good reviews so far and they look pretty good! So have a go at em guys! And happy Cooking! c:

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Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

Everybody loves a good Recess Peanut Butter Cup, am I right? Personally those are my favourite candies of all time, I can never pass em down. So while we had a lot of them sitting around the house, I decided to see if I could find a good recipe to make them into a cookie. Part of my motivation might also be the fact my mother wanted me to make cookies for a school function, but that’s besides the point. So off to pinterest I went! And I found this amazing blog with many other peanut butter cup or other candy recipies that you should all totally check out and make, and than send to me ;). This recipe —-> caught my eye and I decided to go ahead and make it! These are super easy and super fun to make, and they are delicious!

The recipe is as shone here:

Ingredients
•1/2 Cup Creamy Peanut Butter (JIF is best)
•1/2 Cup Butter, Softened (just let it sit on the counter for a bit, do NOT microwave)
•1/2 Cup White Sugar
•1/2 Cup Light Brown Sugar
•1 Teaspoon Whole Milk
•1 Large Egg
•1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla
•1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda
•1/2 Teaspoon Baking Powder
•1/2 Teaspoon Salt
•1 1/4 Cup All Purpose Flour
•1/4 Cup Chocolate Chips
•1/2 Cup Peanut Butter Cups, chopped

Instructions
1.Heat the oven to 350.
2.In a large bowl combine the sugars, peanut butter, egg, milk and vanilla. Mix until smooth and well incorporated.
3.In a smaller bowl mix the dry ingredients with a whisk. This will allow even distribution in the cookies so they bake up perfect.
4.Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix together. Do not over mix.
5.Using a wooden spoon, mix in the chocolate chips and Peanut Butter Cups.
6.Scoop onto a baking sheet and bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes.
7.Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a minute before moving them to a cooling rack.

These cookies turned out very soft and fluffy and you could taste the peanut butter very well, but they were still fabulous and it wasn’t too overpowering, if it is possible that peanut butter can be too overpowering. For the cookies that I made I used the unwrapped mini peanut butter cups and cut them into foruths and mixed them in the dough with about half of a bag of mini chocolate chips. From what I could tell one bag of the mini cups were enough for the whole batch, and most of the cookies if not all, had some peanut butter cup in them. The batch makes about two pans of smaller cookies I believe it was close to two dozen give or take a few. These were AMAZING cookies and I would totally add to the list of recipies for y’all to try. Thank you again to Oh, Sweet Basil, for the amazing recipe and the great blog! Happy Cooking!