A,B,C,Vegan http://www.abcvegan.com Teaching the basics of this crazy, awesome, vegan lifestyle Mon, 27 Jun 2016 20:21:47 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.4.10 Fresh picked strawberry (vegan) ice cream! http://www.abcvegan.com/fresh-picked-strawberry-vegan-ice-cream/ Mon, 27 Jun 2016 20:16:38 +0000 http://www.abcvegan.com/?p=2912 I know, it’s been ages and ages since I’ve posted. But this recipe blew me and got me motivated to write, because you *must* try it ASAP! Perfect for summer, with fresh picked strawberries, and the best, creamiest vegan ice cream I have made so far, after numerous other trials. Not only that, it’s SO easy, no heating and waiting, just put everything into your Vitamix and go. WIN!

Recipe base thanks to Rebecca and the amazing people in the Vegan Meringues facebook group – check it out! Sooooo many incredible things to experiment with.

Fresh Strawberry (vegan) Ice Cream

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 6 hours

Yield: 2 pints

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup raw cashews
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup melted refined coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup room temperature unsweetened soy milk
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup ( or rice syrup )
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup room temperature aquafaba ( liquid from a can of chickpeas or other beans )
  • 1/2 cup strawberry puree ( fresh or frozen strawberries - though I recommend fresh picked! - blended or mashed )
  • 1/2 cup chopped strawberries

Instructions

  1. Add all ingredients except chopped strawberries into a Vitamix or other similar blender.
  2. Blend for at least 2 minutes, or until your mixture is completely smooth.
  3. Churn in your ice cream maker until the mixture has the consistency of soft serve ice cream.
  4. Add chopped strawberries, churn until mixed in.
  5. Freeze for a few hours or overnight.
  6. And the last, hardest, instruction, from Rebecca's original post:
  7. Don't eat it all at once, or you will die from fat overload! :-) Moderation in all things. :D :D :D ...seriously... good luck with this one. I just wanted to drink the mix first, and then eat it straight out of the ice cream maker once churned!!

Notes

http://www.abcvegan.com/fresh-picked-strawberry-vegan-ice-cream/

Fresh strawberry vegan ice cream

Nom nom nom nom nom

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GIVEAWAY: Crossroads Cookbook!! Plus – Warm Kale Artichoke Dip (!) http://www.abcvegan.com/giveaway-crossroads-cookbook-plus-warm-kale-artichoke-dip/ http://www.abcvegan.com/giveaway-crossroads-cookbook-plus-warm-kale-artichoke-dip/#comments Fri, 09 Oct 2015 17:05:01 +0000 http://www.abcvegan.com/?p=2724 When I got the chance to see a copy of the new Crossroads cookbook, I typed “YES PLEASE!!” as fast as possible – and now you have a chance to win a copy as well! Crossroads is a fine dining vegan establishment in LA, and this book is *gorgeous* and everything I would expect from these chefs. If you want to make a fancy vegan meal – this will be your go-to for recipes and ideas. 

I love the philosophy expressed in the preface:

Crossroads has a convivial energy and serves wonderful food that one would expect from an upscale restaurant – with the only different being that no animal products are used to prepare it. There are no obvious vegan cues, and most guests don’t even make the connection that the menu is plant-based; they just know the restaurant is comfortable and the food is satisfying and delicious. Crossroads is defined not by what’s missing, but by what it is.

This is my general approach to food, and I love seeing it represented so successfully here. The recipes and photos in this book are making me drool…. :) Starting with a unique twist on spinach-artichoke dip – KALE artichoke dip :D – that they have generously agreed to let me share. 

Warm Kale and Artichoke Dip  at Crossroads by Chef Tal Ronnen, Executive Chef Scot Jones & Executive Pastry Chef Serafina Magnussen.

Excerpted from Crossroads by Tal Ronnen with Scot Jones (Artisan Books). Copyright © 2015. Photographs by Lisa Romerein

Read on below for the recipe, but first – how do you win?? :D Comment below with your favorite “fancy” vegan recipe idea. Share this post on facebook, like my facebook page and/or subscribe to my mailing list for additional entries, and leave a separate comment for each telling me that you did so. Winner will be picked randomly from the comments. U.S. entrants only please. Contest closes 11:59PM EST, Thursday, October 15th. Good luck!!

Excerpted from Crossroads by Tal Ronnen with Scot Jones (Artisan Books). Copyright © 2015. Photographs by Lisa Romerein

Excerpted from Crossroads by Tal Ronnen with Scot Jones (Artisan Books). Copyright © 2015. Photographs by Lisa Romerein

Warm Kale and Artichoke Dip

Recipe excerpted from Crossroads by Tal Ronnen with Scot Jones (Artisan Books). Copyright © 2015. Photographs by Lisa Romerein

Makes 4 cups

That retro classic, spinach and artichoke dip laden with cream cheese and sour cream, is transformed into a contemporary version that is still rich and creamy but allows the vegetables to shine. Kale’s chewy texture and peppery kick make it a bold stand-in for spinach. When sautéing the artichokes, take care not to let them brown; you want the dip to keep its beautiful pale color. The cashew cream needs to be prepared a day in advance, so plan accordingly. Serve with Harissa Potato Chips, Lentil Crackers, or raw vegetables, or try putting it on baked potatoes or using it as a filling for stuffed pasta, such as cappellacci (page 197).

8 large artichoke hearts (see Note) or two 15-ounce cans artichoke hearts in water
2 tablespoons Earth Balance butter stick
2 shallots, minced
½ cup dry white wine
½ cup dry sherry
1 cup Cashew Cream (page 264)
1 cup Vegetable Stock (page 268) or store-bought stock
½ cup nutritional yeast flakes (see note)
2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
6 cups baby kale, coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Smoked paprika, for garnish

1. If using fresh artichoke hearts, bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the artichoke hearts and blanch for 10 minutes, or until slightly tender; a paring knife should slide in easily. Drain the hearts and plunge into an ice bath to “shock” them—i.e., stop the cooking and cool them quickly. Drain and coarsely chop. If using canned artichokes, simply drain and chop.

2. Put a large deep sauté pan over medium heat and add the butter substitute. When it has melted, add the shallots, garlic, and artichoke hearts and cook, stirring, until the vegetables are soft, 6 to 8 minutes.

3. Add the wine and sherry and cook for 1 minute to evaporate some of the alcohol. Add the cashew cream, stock, nutritional yeast flakes, and thyme, reduce the heat to medium-low, and gently simmer until thick, 35 to 40 minutes; stir occasionally to make sure the cream mixture doesn’t stick and burn on the bottom of the pan.

4. Fold in the kale a few handfuls at a time and continue to simmer until the kale is soft and the artichokes have broken down slightly, about 10 minutes. Season with the salt and pepper. (The dip will keep for up to 3 days covered in the refrigerator. To serve, reheat over medium-low heat, stirring often.)

5. If the dip appears too thick, add a couple of tablespoons of stock or water.

6. Spoon the dip into a serving bowl, dust with smoked paprika, and serve with the potato chips, crackers, or sliced raw vegetables.

Artichoke Hearts

To prepare artichoke hearts, fill a large bowl halfway with water. Squeeze in the juice of 2 lemons, and toss the lemon halves into the water too. Working with one artichoke at a time, use a vegetable peeler to trim the tough outer part of the stem. Using a chef’s knife, cut off the top 1 inch of the artichoke crown and then snap off or cut off all of the remaining leaves. Run a paring knife around the base of the artichoke to remove any tough green parts or bits of leaves. Cut the artichoke in half. Using a sharp spoon or a melon baller, scoop out the spiky purple center leaves and fuzzy choke inside and discard. Transfer the prepared artichoke hearts to the lemon water as you work, to keep them from oxidizing and turning brown.

Nutritional Yeast Flakes

Nutritional yeast may not sound like the most appetizing ingredient, but it has a cheesy, nutty, savory quality that gives any dish extra oomph. Just a tablespoon or two adds a creamy, salty richness to dips, soups, and sauces. Look for nutritional yeast flakes in the supplement section of the market or health food store. Be sure to select flakes instead of granules, which will deliver a bit of texture to whatever you add them to.

Cashew Cream

Makes 3 cups

Cashew cream, made from soaking raw cashews and blending them with water, is an indispensable part of my vegan cooking. It stands in for heavy cream in a variety of ways—in the batter for Hearts of Palm Calamari and as a base for Spinach Cream Sauce among others. The cream is at its best when used for cooking; it thickens up even faster than heavy cream and adds richness. You will never miss dairy if you use cashew cream.

It’s essential to use raw cashews to make the cream; the raw nuts have little flavor of their own but provide a fatty creaminess. Roasted cashews taste too strong and won’t blend as well.

Making cashew cream requires planning ahead, since you have to soak the cashews for at least 12 hours. Use only filtered water; the impurities in tap water will add a grayish tinge to the final product. The cream keeps for up to 4 days in the refrigerator and can be frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw it in the refrigerator, at room temperature, or in a large bowl of warm water. The cream will separate upon defrosting, so give it a whirl in a blender to re-emulsify.

2 cups whole raw cashews, rinsed
Filtered water

1. Put the cashews in a bowl and pour in enough cold filtered water to cover. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 12 hours, or up to 1 day.

2. Drain the cashews in a colander and rinse with cold water. Transfer the cashews to a blender, preferably a Vitamix, and pour in enough cold filtered water to cover them by 1 inch, about 3 cups. Blend on high for 2 to 3 minutes, until very smooth and creamy without any trace of graininess. The cashew cream should be smooth on the palate; add more water if necessary. If you’re not using a heavy-duty blender, you may need to strain the cashew cream through a fine-mesh sieve to get rid of any grittiness.

3. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use. It will thicken as it sits, so blend with ½ cup or so filtered water if needed to reach the desired consistency. It can also be frozen; see the headnote.

Variation

Makes 2 cups

1. To make thick cashew cream, reduce the amount of water in the blender so that it just covers the cashews, about 2 cups.

Vegetable Stock

Makes about 1 gallon

A flavorful stock is one of the fundamentals of cooking. A good stock should enhance, rather than overwhelm, whatever sauce or dish you make with it. Every layer of flavor creates the sum of the parts, so the goal with making stock is versatility. This vegetable stock has a fairly neutral flavor that works in all kinds of preparations. The recipe couldn’t be easier—chop up some vegetables, cover with water, and simmer—you’re done.

The majority of commercial brands of vegetable stock are too dark in color and overly salty and/or sweet. If you’re pressed for time and must use a prepared stock, More Than Gourmet is our favorite. It has no artificial anything and contains no MSG or excess sodium.

2 celery stalks, quartered
2 fennel bulbs, coarsely chopped
2 leeks, trimmed, halved lengthwise, and washed
2 carrots, halved
1 onion, halved
4 garlic cloves, smashed
2 bay leaves
2 teaspoons whole black peppercorns
12 fresh flat-leaf parsley sprigs
6 fresh thyme sprigs
1 teaspoon kosher salt
About 1 gallon cold filtered water

1. Combine the vegetables, bay leaves, peppercorns, herb sprigs, and salt in a large stockpot and add enough cold filtered water to cover. Slowly bring to a boil over medium heat, then reduce the heat to low and gently simmer, uncovered, for 45 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the stock steep and settle for 10 minutes.

2. Strain the stock through a fine-mesh sieve into another pot; discard the solids. Place the pot in a sink full of ice water and stir to cool the stock down quickly. The stock can be covered and refrigerated for up to 1 week or frozen for up to 1 month.

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Plant-Strong Acrobats and GIVEAWAY: Sunwarrior Protein! http://www.abcvegan.com/plant-strong-acrobats-and-giveaway-sunwarrior-protein/ http://www.abcvegan.com/plant-strong-acrobats-and-giveaway-sunwarrior-protein/#comments Thu, 01 Oct 2015 13:03:38 +0000 http://www.abcvegan.com/?p=2679 Exciting post today! I have been working with Sunwarrior to showcase plant strong athletes, and to give you the opportunity to win your very own Sunwarrior starter pack! Check out the details at the end of the post for how to win. :)

Acro yoga snowflake. I love this photo!! This looks pretty and we're smiling, but it's actually SO hard and a little painful. :D

I love this photo!! Doesn’t Charles look bad-ass?! Called “half snowflake”, it’s pretty & we’re smiling, but it’s really SO hard & a bit painful. :D
And it’s fun to be playing at being Sunwarrior models. :) :)

As you travel down the road of – or even just towards – being vegan, the question “but how do you get your protein?” becomes one you hear every day. I love being the living embodiment of the fact that the question is unnecessary, and of how clear it is that a plant-based diet can give you everything you need. As an acro yogi, rock climber, and pole dancer, I have muscles entirely built *after* I went vegan, and I recruited some of my veg acrobat friends to show you guys the strength in our practice – no meat necessary. :)

Acro yoga L-sit - Why L sit in the gym when we can just do it on each other??

Why L-sit on the ground when we can do it on each other??

The answer to where we get our protein is that eating a whole foods, plant-based diet will more than fulfill an average person’s daily needs, with beans, whole grains, leafy greens, nuts, seeds, etc. (More details in my Protein Primer!) However, strength training athletes looking to build muscle might want a little extra boost, just like non-veg athletes, so this is where we look to vegan protein powders to help us out.

Girl power!! #ladybase action. We have to be strong as flyers, but basing requires even more muscle. :)

Girl power!! #ladybase action, flying / basing “star”. We have to be strong as flyers, but basing requires even more muscle. :)

One of my regular acro partners (also veg but unfortunately not able to be pictured) practically lives on Sunwarrior, so when I had the opportunity to write this post, it was a no brainer! As Charles (holding me up below) says, “It is refreshing to have such quality plant based nutrition. In a market dominated with whey, SunWarrior has my full support.” And “18 grams of protein!! Yea baby!” :D I would add that my favorite part is that this is accomplished with whole foods – no isolates of any kind included in their ingredients.

Flying high in "high bird". Strong and solid. :)

Flying high in “high bird”. Strong and solid. :)

Lindsey (#ladybase below) says that “Sunwarrior products make great fuel for acro yoga!” and adds that “It’s the best tasting protein powder I’ve tried. And I’ve tried a bunch.” :D We all remarked on the lack of chalkiness – blends up easily to be totally smooth and refreshing, without even needing the blender ball.

Double rainbow! ...wait no, double "whale". :D

Double rainbow! …wait no… double “whale”. :D
#ladybase action AND #whenbasesfly, all in one picture. :)

The other great thing about Sunwarrior is the price. Ari (holding Lindsey up, below) says, “I really enjoy having a vegan option at most grocery stores that is both affordable and more delicious than the other brands I’ve tried.”

Look how happy Ari looks basing "high throne"! The joy we feel in our successes and our community - this is why I love acro.

Look how happy Ari looks basing “high throne”! The joy we feel in our successes and our community – this is why I love acro.

Needless to say we got a workout doing this photo shoot, and because they had generously provided us all with the same sample packs you have the chance to win, we all went home and fueled (and rehydrated!) with Sunwarrior after. :D

"Double side star" - happy and content. :)

“Double side star” – happy and content. :)

Soooo…how can you win?! :D Oh, and *what* exactly are you winning?? A Sunwarrior starter pack consisting of a bright blue blender bottle (my new favorite!), and:

  • Warrior Blend Protein (Chocolate and Vanilla)
  • Classic Protein (Vanilla)
  • Classic Plus Protein (Chocolate and Vanilla)
  • Supergreens (Natural and Peppermint)
  • Liquid Light
  • Vitamin Mineral Rush

To win, go check out Sunwarrior here, and then return here and comment with both what current product you’d most like to try (and maybe buy some while you’re there! :D ), as well as what flavor you’d love to see added!  Share on facebook, like my facebook page and/or subscribe to my mailing list for additional entries, and leave a separate comment for each telling me that you did so. Winner will be picked randomly from the comments. U.S. entrants only please. Contest closes 11:59PM EST, Thursday, October 8th. Good luck!!

And now, more pics, because they’re too awesome not to share. :) All pics by the amazing Nadya Serova. Please thank her for me!!

"Warrior", for Sunwarrior :)

“Warrior”, for Sunwarrior. Because duh. :)

Yes, that would be the boys holding us standing IN THEIR HANDS. :D ("Foot-to-hand")

Yes, that would be the boys holding us standing IN THEIR HANDS. :D
(“Foot-to-hand”)

#whenbasesfly - "flag"

#whenbasesfly – “flag”

Charles being awesome in a beautiful forearm stand...

Charles being awesome in a beautiful forearm stand…

...and Lindsey likewise, looking beautiful in titibasana. :)

…and Lindsey likewise, looking beautiful in titibasana. :)

Charles shows us the importance of spotting, while Lindsey flies standing foot-to-hand #flyerslivesmatter

Charles shows us the importance of spotting, while Lindsey flies standing foot-to-hand
#flyerslivesmatter

Ahhhh... pretty. Breathe. Enjoy. :) ("Back bird")

Ahhhh… pretty. Breathe. Enjoy. :)
(“Back bird”)

Yaaay! The end!! :D ("Couch")

Yaaay! The end!! :D
(“Couch”, with Charles in shoulder stand)

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GIVEAWAY! The Good Karma Diet, by Victoria Moran http://www.abcvegan.com/giveaway-the-good-karma-diet-by-victoria-moran/ http://www.abcvegan.com/giveaway-the-good-karma-diet-by-victoria-moran/#comments Thu, 11 Jun 2015 12:42:08 +0000 http://www.abcvegan.com/?p=2625 If you are interested in a plant-based diet, whether it’s the basic details of how, or the reasons why, or what that even really means, I couldn’t recommend a better resource (other than here of course :D ) than Victoria Moran. Besides being the founder of the Main Street Vegan Academy for Vegan Lifestyle Coaches of which I am a graduate (go here if you are interested in a little coaching help! :) ), she is a prolific and beautiful writer. Her last book, Main Street Vegan, contains practical and patient tips, and encourages jumping in where you are, and never judges for not necessarily being ready to go 100%.  Victoria has just released a new book, The Good Karma Diet, which focuses not only on why this vegan way of eating is good for you physically, but also mentally and for your karmic slate in the world, while also providing a long list of practical tips on little ways to make this lifestyle easier, even healthier or just more joyful.

Check out below for an except on the idea of eating raw – something I don’t talk about much but has definite benefits if done right, and I know no one better than Victoria to explain how to do it in a sustainable manner.  And following that, a recipe for raw Pie in the Sky – nom nom nom nom nom!

After enjoying the deliciousness enter to win a giveaway of the full book by letting me know in the comments if you’ve seen this diet show up karmically in your life and how, or if you’re still dreaming about going plant-based, what one thing can I do to help share the karma?  :)  Also share on facebook and/or twitter and leave a separate comment for each letting me know you’ve done so for extra entries. Entries will close in one week, Wednesday June 17th at midnight EST.  Good luck!!

The Good Karma Diet vegan book cover

 

When my daughter, Adair, was a tween and teen, we devoted two weeks every summer to

eating only raw food: fruits, salads, crudités, and sprouts; dressings, dips, pâtés, and cheeses

made from nuts and seeds; vegetable juices and creamy smoothies. When a friend asked her

why we did it, she said, “Because everyone deserves to be gorgeous at least two weeks a

year.” She was talking about the clear eyes, luminous skin, and well-known “glow” that

come from eating fresh, raw foods.

But wait a minute: everyone deserves to be gorgeous all year long, every day and

every decade. This is what happens with Good Karma dining, upgraded with lots of color

(much of it green) and fresh foods that have never seen a processing plant or a cooking pot.

Impressive results show up quickly: weight loss, plenty of steady energy, a rested look so

people ask if you’ve been on vacation. You’re eating foods that grew. Foods that are, for

the most part, in season, so they nourish you right now. Foods with vivid colors that don’t

start with “FDC#.”

The phytochemicals and overall nutrient density of greens, berries, fresh juices, and

other unheated plant foods can take you light years beyond a typical, mostly cooked diet

that includes lots of packaged and convenience foods, even when you’re eating vegan or

close to it. (People who’ve tried that and didn’t like it can try this and see what happens.)

The color and liveliness of raw food has long appealed to me. I recall an incident,

only a couple of years into being vegan. I was in my kitchen making dinner and some prep-

ahead dishes for later in the week. They represented the monochromatic fare nearly

everyone with an interest in natural foods was eating back then: brown rice and brown

bread, lentil soup and onion soup, walnut loaf and wheat germ cutlets. My husband called

and asked what I was doing. I replied, “Killing food – uh, I mean, cooking food.” With a

slip deserving of Dr. Freud, I’d stated where my heart was in terms of bodily sustenance,

although I didn’t know what to do with this information.

I was aware even then that there were people who ate mostly raw, but they were the

ascetics of the vegetarian world. They ate fruit for breakfast and that was all. Undressed

salad and nuts for lunch. More salad – lots of sprouts! – and maybe a baked potato for

dinner. If they were going all out, they’d put some avocado on the potato. I don’t know

about you, but when I think of the culinary good life, that isn’t it.

It would be years later, when clever raw chefs began to create actual cuisine from

uncooked fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds, that I seriously looked at “raw” as something

that might be for me. I soon realized that for many people, myself included, an all-raw diet,

even a delicious one, can be too restrictive. And other than for a short cleanse, the whole

thing can seem bizarre, with the wheat grass and Himalayan berries and recipes that begin:

“Break a young Thai coconut with your machete.” Besides, from November to May, raw is

just plain cold. As a result, lots of folks dabble in it, but most of them give it up. I’m here to

rescue the dabblers and suggest that you eat a veritable cornucopia of uncooked vegetables

and fruits, especially in warm weather, and the very best cooked foods, too. It’s about color

and comfort, about living foods and living life.

The sweet spot for wellbeing comes from finding the ideal balance of bright,

brilliant foods just as they come from the orchard and garden, while allowing for cooked

foods, as well, with their variety, leeway in social situations, warmth in the winter, and

some comforting nutrient insurance.

Beans and whole grains are rich in certain minerals, amino acids, and B vitamins

that can be tricky to get with all raw food; and a few phytonutrients – the lycopene in

tomatoes, for instance — are actually more accessible when you eat the food cooked.

Grounding cooked dishes provide staying power and needed calories that fruits and

vegetables don’t always have, and that you don’t want to get from an excess of high-fat

foods – nuts, seeds, avocado – even though these are highly beneficial in moderation.

An appreciation of raw foods, but without taking any vows or signing any pledges,

qualifies as person as a “raw enthusiast.” That’s the category into which I put myself and to

which I extend you a cordial invitation. It’s easy to be enthusiastic about raw foods because

eating them gives you a huge vitality boost. And once you recover from the “palate

perversion” most of us developed from eating greasy foods and too-sweet sweets, the flavor

burst from a perfect peach or a savory salad can be borderline orgasmic.

Excerpted from THE GOOD KARMA DIET: Eat Gently, Feel Amazing, Age in Slow Motion by Victoria Moran, with the permission of Tarcher/Penguin, a division of Penguin Random House. Copyright © 2015.

Pie in the sky slice

 

Pie in the Sky

Crust Ingredients:

1 cup pitted dates (if too dry, soak in warm water 20 minutes and

drain)
1 cup raw hazelnuts, pecans, or walnuts, soaked 4-6 hours,

rinsed and drained

Optional:

Replace 1/2 cup nuts with 1/2 cup unsulphured, unsweetened, dry

shredded coconut

Filling Ingredients:

2 medium ripe avocados

2 teaspoons vanilla extract or 1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla bean

1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest

2/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

1/3 cup maple syrup or 1⁄2 cup pitted dates

1 cup raw cashews, soaked 4 hours, rinsed and drained

Toppings:

1 cup berries (raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, strawberries,

etc.)

2 cups seasonal fruit slices (apples, peaches, pears, plums,

cherries, etc.)

Loving Preparation:

1. Combine dates and nuts (and coconut if using) in a food

processor until a ball forms. Nuts should be chunky.

2. Cover a 7 or 8-inch pie dish with plastic wrap and press the

date-nut mixture evenly into the pan. Refrigerate while preparing

the filling.

3. Pure the avocados, vanilla, lemon juice, lemon zest, and

sweetener in a food processor until creamy. Add the cashews and

continue to blend until creamy.

4. Pour or scoop the filling mixture into the prepared crust. Wiggle

and whack the dish on the countertop to spread the filling evenly.

5. Freeze for 4 hours or overnight. Remove plastic wrap and place

on a serving dish before decorating.

6. Before serving, decorate with toppings, piling the fruit high.

7. This delicacy thaws quickly, so it can be served frozen, half-

frozen, or completely thawed as a custard pie.

Makes one 7 or 8-inch pie

Excerpted from THE GOOD KARMA DIET: Eat Gently, Feel Amazing, Age in Slow Motion by Victoria Moran, with the permission of Tarcher/Penguin, a division of Penguin Random House. Copyright © 2015.

Photo and recipe by Doris Fin, CCHP, AADP.

Pie in the sky raw vegan

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Vegan Chocolate Chip Meringues – A Childhood Favorite Recreated http://www.abcvegan.com/vegan-chocolate-chip-meringues-a-childhood-favorite-recreated/ Sat, 06 Jun 2015 00:41:37 +0000 http://www.abcvegan.com/?p=2614 Have you heard about the magic that is aquafaba?? If not, oh dear reader, you must stop everything and read this immediately. Seriously. It’s the wonder that is changing everything in the vegan baking world.

Bold words I know, but the magic that people are recreating with this one ingredient is incredible. Vanilla chai macarons with vanilla bean cream,  chocolate chip cookies and even vegan Lucky Charms!

So what IS aquafaba? Aside from my new favoritest thing ever? It’s so simple you’re not going to believe it.

Chickpea brine.

Yep.

Yes, I know it sounds terrible. But trust me. It’s amazing. It’s incredible what you can do with it! Just the water from a can of chickpeas, so you also probably have it in your kitchen on a pretty regular basis. No extra cost and amazing vegan teats – what could be better??

For me, the absolute magic is in recreating THE recipe from my childhood. The one I made at least once a month. The one my friends asked for for their Bar and Bat Mitzvah presents. I never thought I would be able to have them again, but using aquafaba recreates them absolutely perfectly. SO HAPPY.

Check out the recipe below and then let me know – what’s *your* vegan holy grail?  What is that elusive item that you want to recreate?  And how can I help you make it happen??  :D

Chocolate Chip Meringue Cookies

A combination of my childhood recipe, and the instructions from the Vegan Meringue facebook page

  • Liquid from one can of chickpeas (approximately 3/4 cup)
  • 2/3 C white sugar
  • 1 C chocolate chips (or more, depending on your preference for chip:cookie ratio!
  • 1/8 t salt
  • 1/4 t cream of tartar
  • 1/2 t vanilla
  1. Preheat oven to 250.
  2. Beat the chickpea liquid (aquafaba) with salt and cream of tartar until stiff but not dry. This means you should have peaks that hold their shape when you turned on their side or upside down.
  3. Gradually beat in the sugar, checking for any grittiness, and beating until none remains.
  4. Fold in vanilla and chocolate chips.
  5. Drop from spoon onto wax paper covered cookie sheets into ~1 1/2 inch round blobs. Bake for approximately 1 hour, or until very light brown.  You want them to be totally dry, with no outside stickiness remaining.
  6. To remove cookies from sheet, peel wax paper from sheet immediately, and gently pull off cookies.
  7. Let cool on a cooling rack to room temperature, and then store in an air tight container.
  8. Enjoy!!

 

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Go Jump Off a Bridge! http://www.abcvegan.com/go-jump-off-a-bridge/ Sun, 27 Jul 2014 01:52:17 +0000 http://www.abcvegan.com/?p=2167 …no.  Really.  :D

I called my brother the other day and said words I never thought would come out of my mouth: “I’m turning into you – I went bungee jumping last week!”

Streets closed for us?? We must be important!

Streets closed for us??
We must be important!

How did this happen?  And why should you care?  The story starts in 2012, when I first visited WDS: The World Domination Summit.  I wasn’t really sure why I went to WDS in 2012.  A friend told me about it, I signed up for ticket info, tickets sold out in something like 11 minutes, so within 11 minutes I was caught up in the frenzy and bought a ticket thinking, “Eh, I can always sell it later.”  But I didn’t.  And instead I ended up with 1000 other dreamers at an opening party that closed the street down. Little did I know that WDS would forever change my life.  If I’m lucky, this story will bring a little of that WDS magic into your world as well.

 WDS centers on an unusual question:

How do we live a remarkable life in a conventional world?

This.

This.

It answers with three words: Community, adventure, service. And WDS attendees embody them all.

Service – to quote Chris Guillebeau, the organizer of the conference: “World domination is ultimately about world service.”  The inspiration to serve others at WDS is off the charts.  Between the volunteers who run one of the smoothest events I’ve ever attended while going out of their way to welcome everyone, and the other attendees who are busy making a difference in their corner of the world, to the incredible stories each speaker tells, I come home wanting to do everything I can for you, my community, my readers. I hope to bring you even a little of the joy veganism brings me, the health, the vitality, the compassion, the energy – and also to make a better world for the animals that are the other force behind my passion for this lifestyle.

When did I become someone who would earn the right to wear a "Dangerous Sports Club" shirt?

When did I become someone who would earn the right to wear a “Dangerous Sports Club” shirt?

Adventure – Guinness world records two years running, Bollywood dance parties that take over an entire city block, and a unicycling bagpiper with a Darth Vader helmet… all these have happened at WDS.  Chris described it as “making an active choice to live adventurously.”  Well… I jumped off a bridge.  Definitely an active choice to have one of my biggest adventures so far!

But the biggest… the biggest is community.

I haven’t met anyone that can truly put into words how special the WDS community is, but everyone knows it without actually saying a word.  There’s an understanding: if you’re there, you’re awesome.  In a theatre of 2500 people this year, I don’t think I could find one rotten egg.  Sometimes it’s still scary to go up and start a conversation with a stranger, but then you remember “Hey, they’re here, they’re awesome, we just have to find what our personal connection is,” and you say Hi and ask “What’s awesome today?”  “What’s exciting you right now?” “What adventure have you had recently?” – there’s no “What do you do?” here.  Everyone cuts to the chase immediately  – you get to know people on a real level, and everyone has a story worth hearing.

WDS 2014 Plummet at the Summit with ImpossibleHQ

Jumpers after – we survived!!
Photo by Joel at ImpossibleHQ

And that was really the thing with jumping off the bridge.  Well, one of the things.  :)  The people I jumped with.  Those people became my core friends for the weekend this year.  There’s something about sharing that fear, tackling that adventure, that makes you fast friends.  That gives you a face in a big scary crowd of 2500 absolutely wonderful people to recognize and say, “Hey, I jumped off a bridge with you!”

But that wasn’t the only community of the weekend.  There was my crew from last year, my fast and best friends of WDS, who stuck together again this year and added a few new peeps from the jumper crew. :)  We took such a great pic of our reunion at the pre-opening party party that we made it on the big screen at the main event!

Friends. :) Credit to Armosa Studios

Friends. :)
Credit to Armosa Studios

And then there was The Great Namaste.  For two years in a row, we’ve broken a world record at WDS.  This year it was for the World’s Longest Yoga Chain.  In terms of adrenaline – totally the opposite of jumping off a bridge.  Calm, peaceful morning with some basic yoga poses.  In terms of numbers – instead of an intimate group of ~20 people on a bridge in the middle of nowhere, 808 people – plus volunteers and crew! – in the middle of Pioneer Courthouse square smack in the middle of downtown Portland.  But in terms of community – oh so very much the same.  The entire event was about community – about what is possible when you work together to accomplish a goal.  And the feeling of “OM”ing with 808 people… chills.  I meditated while we held one of the poses, and was struck by the power of my feeling of grounding, connectedness, and absolute gratitude for the power of this group.

Overheard view of 808 yoga mats - can you see the image created??

Overheard view of 808 yoga mats –
can you see the image created??
Credit to Armosa Studios

So in 2012, with that powerful community behind me, this life was born.  Before that first WDS weekend I had this blog, but the business… the business was still a pipe dream.  But that year Chris made an investment in us.  He entrusted each attendee with $100 – cash – and a charge to use it to make an investment ourselves – in a project, someone else… whatever felt right to us in this world, following the WDS guiding themes of community, service, adventure.  He made it clear with his words and with that trust that he believed in each of us to do something amazing – and he lit a fire in me to live up to that trust, and to finally start believing in myself.  To live the ideals of community, service, adventure every day.  I came home, quit my job, bought this domain with that $100, and the rest is history!

The moment that changed my life

The moment that changed my life

I jumped off a different bridge that first year.  Somehow looking back quitting my good, comfortable, reliable job with people I really love seems way crazier (but way less scary!) then actually jumping off a bridge.  But WDS dared me to take that leap. I took that dare.  WDS pushed me out of my comfort zone to a new and better version of myself.

Two days before this year’s jump I would have told you “I would never. I’m not someone who jumps off a bridge.” But in my Rockstar Coaching Mastermind program with Jacob at Sensophy we’ve been discussing the idea of self-limiting beliefs – what do you believe about yourself that holds you back? – and I decided it was time to conquer one of those. And you know what the funny thing is?  Once you conquer one… it’s a lot easier to conquer the rest.

It IS possible

It IS possible.

Ever since jumping off that bridge I think “I can’t” or “I don’t” or “I’m not that person” and then I look down at my ImpossibleHQ bracelet (also earned from jumping off the bridge), and think “Oh.  But I can.  I do.  I am.”  Self-limiting beliefs seem to mean very little these days – I’ve proven they’re not true, and I want to keep proving it.

Two years almost to the day after coming home from my first WDS and quitting my job, I finally have a successful business that I’m proud of and allows me to do work every day that makes me happy and brings joy to other people in this world.  I *help* other people in this world.  Writing those words feels surreal and I want to pinch myself, or delete them before I jinx it.  But here I am.  It’s true.

 Do it . Every day.

Do it . Every day.

That business led me to give a talk last night at a local community gathering in someone’s home, a cooking demo that I was not as prepared for as I wanted to be.

“I don’t know how to give a speech off the cuff, what am I doing?!?!”
   – my thoughts beforehand

But I remembered some of the lessons I’ve learned at WDS:
Be willing to fail.
Everyone is new at something until they’re not.
It’s easier to act your way into a new way of thinking, than to think your way into a new way of acting.
Be present. Show up.

So I showed up and gave the demo, and it was the best talk I’ve given yet.  With no script, no outline, no talking points – I just *talked*.  I told jokes, I had anecdotes, I asked questions, got the crowd involved… and everyone loved it.  Everyone loved it, learned a lot, and enjoyed the food, but most importantly, those people left less afraid of stepping into the kitchen and cooking healthy whole foods for themselves.

And that’s what it’s all about.  Jumping off a bridge or stepping into the kitchen – taking something intimidating, and doing it anyways.  Last night I walked up to that house thinking, “Why am I doing this, I hate this, this sucks, I’m scared…”  Now it seems silly that I was so terrified.  But I was.

But yet I took a breath, pictured jumping off a bridge…

And I rang the doorbell.

_________________________________________________________________________

If you’ve enjoyed this post, I would love to talk to you more and help you face your own fears or hangups, to go deeper with you on how to build your own healthy, joyful life.  In the spirit of WDS I am currently offering coaching sessions free of charge to a limited number of people, and I would love you to be one of them!  Please comment below or contact me at abcvegan@gmail.com if you would like to set up a time to talk.  :)

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Chili! Super fast, super easy, super delicious http://www.abcvegan.com/chili-super-fast-super-easy-super-delicious/ http://www.abcvegan.com/chili-super-fast-super-easy-super-delicious/#comments Fri, 20 Jun 2014 13:21:52 +0000 http://www.abcvegan.com/?p=2136 This chili tastes like you’ve slaved all day over a hot stove – and who wants to do that in the middle of the heat of summer??  But yet somehow chili and cornbread… seems like the perfect summer meal.  So here’s a way to enjoy that deliciousness, without too much of the heat of the kitchen.  :)

vegetarian chili and cornbread

Image thanks to Creative Commons.
Original here.

Chili! Super fast, super easy, super delicious

Ingredients

  • 2 ~16 oz jars salsa ( My favorite option so far - 1 Wegman’s pineapple, 1 Wegman’s peach mango )
  • 15.5 oz can light red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 15.5 oz can dark kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can water
  • 1 zucchini, chopped into bite size pieces ( optional, feel free to add / substitute other veggies as well! )
  • 1 T chili powder
  • 1 T paprika
  • 1 t cumin
  • 1 t garlic powder
  • 1 square unsweetened baking chocolate
  • 1 T Turbinado
  • 1 t sea salt

Instructions

  1. Combine in order over medium-high heat and bring just to the beginning of a boil.
  2. Lower to simmer over medium-low heat for 1/2 an hour, stirring occasionally to avoid sticking to the bottom.
  3. Cover for an additional half hour, stirring occasionally.
  4. Remove from heat.
  5. Serve with vegan sour cream and cornbread and enjoy!
http://www.abcvegan.com/chili-super-fast-super-easy-super-delicious/

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GIVEAWAY and Product Review: Fresh, low calorie, no fat, DELICIOUS salad dressing? Yes: Terrapin Ridge http://www.abcvegan.com/giveaway-and-product-review-fresh-low-oil-low-sodium-delicious-salad-dressing-yes-terrapin-ridge/ http://www.abcvegan.com/giveaway-and-product-review-fresh-low-oil-low-sodium-delicious-salad-dressing-yes-terrapin-ridge/#comments Fri, 13 Jun 2014 12:28:59 +0000 http://www.abcvegan.com/?p=2041 I was given the opportunity (and you will have the same if you enter the giveaway below! :) ) recently to sample Terrapin Ridge dressings and sauces, and WOW.  It’s a bold statement, but I might have to say they are the best packaged dressings I have ever had.  I can’t figure out how they taste so amazingly fresh in a bottle.  And with new flavors like Toasted Sesame & Ginger vinaigrette and Garlic & Herb vinaigrette they are exactly what I’m looking for on my salad.  Plus they have no oil and only 10 calories per tablespoon.  With most dressings having 10-15 grams of fat per serving (usually 2 tablespoons), I can’t recommend these dressings highly enough as a welcome addition to the market and my plate.

I was also sent a sampling of their Roasted Pineapple & Habanero sauce.  I haven’t gotten a chance to try it yet, but I gave some to my official omni taste tester, and he declared it “one of the most delicious things I’ve ever eaten,” with a good kick for those who like spice.  So… that sounds alright.  :D

Terrapin Ridge dressings

So good!!!

They have been generous enough to offer the same sample box I received to one lucky reader.  The box includes 2 each of each of these dressings: Toasted Sesame & Ginger Vinaigrette, Garlic & Herb Vinaigrette, and Dijon Mustard Vinaigrette, and 2 bottles of the Roasted Pineapple and Habanero sauce.  To enter, simply comment below with your suggestion for what flavor you would like to see them create next!  For bonus entries, sign up for my mailing list to receive your free protein primer and/or like me on facebook (both easy to do over there in the right sidebar —-> ), and comment below (in separate comments for each) telling me that you did so.  A winner will be picked randomly at 9 AM on Wednesday, June 18th, and notified by the email used below for commenting, and will have 48 hours to claim their prize. Good luck!!!  U.S. residents only please. Congratulations to Terri!!

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Perfect for your Memorial Day BBQs – Vegan, low sodium, gluten free “Pulled” Jackfruit Tacos! http://www.abcvegan.com/perfect-for-your-memorial-day-bbqs-vegan-low-sodium-gluten-free-pulled-jackfruit-tacos/ http://www.abcvegan.com/perfect-for-your-memorial-day-bbqs-vegan-low-sodium-gluten-free-pulled-jackfruit-tacos/#comments Fri, 23 May 2014 13:23:53 +0000 http://www.abcvegan.com/?p=2091 Jackfruit!!  Do you know about jackfruit?!  You MUST know about jackfruit.  It is the perfect 100% whole food meat substitute.  The very first time I had it I was truly skeptical that I hadn’t accidentally been served chicken.  But it’s simply a fruit (as I described in my first post on it!) that amazingly happens to have the texture of pulled chicken or pork.  Craziness.

This makes it the perfect base for many dishes.  The obvious one is BBQ pulled “pork”, and while it’s the one that the interwebs are full of, I had to try my hand at it too for my first time playing with jackfruit.  And I’m so glad I did!  It was so good I made it again 2 days later.  Bonus: it’s vegan, low sodium (not always easy with BBQ sauce), and gluten free.  If you’re not worried about gluten free you can serve this on a bun and have the perfect Memorial Day sandwich.

So now’s your chance to play!  Try out my recipe below, and then experiment yourself!  I would love to hear in the comments what other interesting creations you can come up with.  I will definitely be continuing to experiment as well.  I’ve already tried out this jackfruit “tuna” melt, and it’s incredible.  What else have you heard about or tried out yourself?

low sodium pulled jackfruit tacos

1, 2, 3 – delicious! :D

“Pulled” Jackfruit Tacos!

Notes: Make sure to look for green jackfruit in brine! Ripe jackfruit in syrup will be sweet and appropriate for dessert, not a savory dish.

Also, to make this low sodium, check the sodium content on the different jackfruit brands. I found one that was low but some are extremely high. The one I found is pictured below the recipe so you know what to look for. :)

Ingredients

  • 2 cans green jackfruit in brine
  • 1 t onion powder
  • 2 t garlic powder
  • 1 t allspice
  • 1 t chili powder
  • 1 1/2 t paprika
  • 1 t salt free seasoning (I use Frontier salt free seasoning blend )
  • 3/4 C no-salt ketchup
  • 1/4 C maple syrup
  • 2 t apple cider vinegar
  • 2 t liquid smoke
  • kale
  • avocado
  • corn tortillas

Instructions

  1. Drain the jackfruit and rinse.
  2. Chop the solid tips off and set aside. Use your fingers to "pull" the stringy part of each piece of fruit and add to a large bowl. Mince the solid pieces you chopped off, and add to the bowl.
  3. Add all dry spices, and let marinate for about half an hour.
  4. Add all wet ingredients, and let marinate for another half an hour.
  5. Heat a medium saute pan over medium heat, and add a few tablespoons of water.
  6. When the water has very fine bubbles, the pan should be hot enough. Add the jackfruit mixture, and sauté for approximately 10 minutes to allow the sauce to thicken. Make sure not to burn; adjust heat as necessary. Remove from heat.
  7. Meanwhile heat a large sauté pan over medium/medium-low heat, and do the same thing with heating water to sauté in. While pan is heating, rip the kale leaves off the stems and chop into bite-size pieces. When the 2nd pan is hot, add the kale and sauté for just a minute or two to allow to wilt. Remove from heat.
  8. Cut avocados open and scoop out the flesh.
  9. Assemble tacos: heat tortillas briefly if desired, then layer with BBQ mixture and kale. Serve with avocado (and coleslaw if desired!) on the side.
  10. Enjoy!!
http://www.abcvegan.com/perfect-for-your-memorial-day-bbqs-vegan-low-sodium-gluten-free-pulled-jackfruit-tacos/

Low sodium jackfruit brand

Low sodium jackfruit brand

 

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CHOCOLATE GIVEAWAY! Product Review: Salazon Chocolate http://www.abcvegan.com/chocolate-giveaway-product-review-salazon-chocolate/ http://www.abcvegan.com/chocolate-giveaway-product-review-salazon-chocolate/#comments Fri, 16 May 2014 13:05:25 +0000 http://www.abcvegan.com/?p=2031 This one is for all my chocolate lovers!  I was lucky enough to get to taste Salazon Chocolate‘s bars at Natural Products Expo, and now I get to pass that fun onto you.  They have generously supplied a pack of 4 bars for one incredibly lucky reader!  Read on for the details of that giveaway.  But first, why should you want to win?  Well, because chocolate.  Duh.  :)

Mmmmm, chocolate.... :)

Mmmmm, chocolate…. :)

Why else?  Salazon chocolates are a local line of sea salt chocolate bars, which wins my heart already.  I am a huge fan of sea salted chocolate, and they do it perfectly.  Their sea salt and pepper variety is absolutely my favorite version of that flavor I’ve had.  All dark chocolate, all of the flavors are vegan except one (caramel), so there are lots to choose from, including original options like crushed coffee, coconut, and cayenne! I have a pack of 4 flavors to giveaway: original sea salt, sea salt & coffee, sea salt & sugar, and sea salt & pepper.  To enter, simply comment below with your suggestion for what flavor you would like to see next!  For bonus entries, sign up for my mailing list to receive your free protein primer and/or like me on facebook (both easy to do over there in the right sidebar —-> ), and comment below (in separate comments for each) telling me that you did so.  A winner will be picked randomly on Wednesday, May 21st, and notified by the email used below for commenting, and will have 48 hours to claim their prize.  Good luck!!!  U.S. residents only please.   Congratulations to Troy!!

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