Tag Archives: soy-free

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I love YUKI. Most people don’t know who the heck she is, and I don’t blame most western readers! YUKI is a singer from Japan, and I fell in love with her lead vocals in the band Judy and Mary. I pretty much love all projects and collaborations that YUKI does including a duet with Chara, an album with some B-52 members, and her superband Mean Machine. And if you click on any of those links- sorry for the low quality videos. The songs are pretty old, 13-15 years old, plus Japan doesn’t really like using YouTube as a way to promote music videos.

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My love for YUKI got stronger as I got older because of her bold personality. She is creative, spunky, cute, and sexy all into one. Then as she went solo, she got married, had children, and snag about it all. She seemed grounded, and still continues to sing even with children, which isn’t that common on Asian countries. She has released lots of photograph books, novels, and drawings that show she really does more than just music. Oh her music videos are visually awesome!

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I picture YUKI being a pretty traditional Mom. So I imagine her making homemade Japanese style curry from scratch. She would probably use Beyond Meat Chicken-free Strips since she friggin loaded, and because she just doesn’t have time to make her own seitan. If you want you can use a curry packet, I found that some of the Japanese curry packets are actually vegan, but still read the backs before buying. I find Japanese foods love to sneak in bonito flakes at any given chance! Also check thetonkatsu sauce when buying it in a store.  The brand I bought was vegan, but there weren’t any others to compare ingredients to. Making this curry at home isn’t that much extra work. All you need to do cook a roux in another small pot, adding maybe like 5 extra minutes to the cook time.

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YUKI would be a little fun so I think she would shape her rice into animals for her kids. This isn’t very hard, and I was even able to do it with brown rice! Just try and get a short grained brown rice, and I got sticky results using this method. Remember- steaming the rice afterwards is key and you will want to let the rice start way before you start the curry so it can cool down to comfortably shape it. Oh! And don’t forget to wet your hands, otherwise all the rice will stick to your hands. I used nori sheets and kitchen shears to cut out facial features. This makes the rice characters cute, and the nori melts in the curry, giving you some extra vitamins and much needed iodine. 

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storefront

Sweet Freedom

1424 South Street Philadelphia, PA 19146
577 haddon Avenue Collingswood, NJ 08108
1039 W. Lancaster Ave Bryn Mawr, PA 19010
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I first came to Sweet Freedom because I friend told me about a vegan bakery in Philadelphia. I went in and got a root beer float cupcake and a oatmeal cookie sandwich. My husband and I scarfed down our snacks and as we left I saw a big “yes, all food is gluten-free.” I had no clue at the time! I shouldn’t of been so surprised that the food was going to be so delicious. I knew before hand that they were on the show Cupcake Wars (season 2 episode 8). In fact Sweet Freedom is the most dietary friendly bakery I’ve ever seem. It is soy-free, corn-free, dairy-free, egg-free, vegan, refined sugar-free, peanut-free, and gluten-free.

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I think I would be lying if all the desserts were totally undetectable of being so allergy friendly. Some foods work better than others, and some are kind-of awesome as their own product. For example their “cake balls” are my favorite. They go by many different names, cake truffles, cake pops, whatever you want. From the non-vegan cake pops I’ve eaten in the past, they weren’t that great, in fact they tasted like undercooked cake in my opinion. But Sweet Freedom’s cake balls aren’t too sweet, and much drier (in a good way). I can safely say that I prefer their cake balls over traditional ones.

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Their biggest selling point is their cupcakes but they dapple in lots of other desserts. They have cobbler bars, cookies, cookie sandwiches, bars, sweet breads, donuts, and even eclairs. All of these desserts can be found at all three of their locations. They started out in Philadelphia, and then expanded into Collingswood New Jersey. At the new location they decided to give juices, smoothies, and ice cream a try. Then they opened another location in Bryn Mawr Pennsylvania where they seem to carry the same things as the Collingswood location.

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So what do I recommend getting? Well, if you want to get a cupcake, I suggest their root beer float. But any of their cupcakes are pretty awesome, though I much prefer their chocolate frosting over their vanilla. I love their facon-bacon topped donuts, and their magic bars. Any of their cake balls are awesome as well.

I would say to skip their juice or smoothie if you go to their Collingswood or Bryn Mawr locations. They have always been hit or miss for me. It isn’t something they make frequently so I found that not all people working there make it with the same consistency. But I do recommend picking up one of their lattes or hot chocolates. They are very rich. I personally ask for half creamer, half coconut milk to make it not too rich.

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And let’s talk about their ice cream! I love this stuff. They don’t serve it as plain ice cream you would scoop into a bowl. They instead make them into ice cream sandwiches and ice cream pops. They are both amazing. They ice cream is fairly light, making a great reward for a hot day. You can focus on the ice cream flavors with the pops, like with their fruit flavors such as peach or strawberry. But their ice cream sandwiches are pretty much to die for. I am unsure how many of their locations offer the ice cream, but I know their Collingswood location does.

Their newest addition to the stores are gluten-free and yeast-free breads. I am not too wild about them, but some loafs would make a great bread option for sandwiches. They also carry some breads that are hard to find vegan versions of like Challah bread. And if you aren’t into the sweets, they usually make a tomato pie once a day that is pretty tasty as well.

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Which location is the best? Well, the Collingswood duh! It has ice cream! Okay, so each place has their own strong points. The Collingswood location is a little nice since it is slower and you can get a little bit more privacy. As mentioned, they have coffee, smoothies, juices, and ice cream. They will also appear at the Collingswood Farmer’s Market. I have sadly not been to the Bryn Mawr location, but from what I understand carried many of the same foods as the Collingswood location.

The Philadelphia location, from what I understand, mostly just does the baked goods. They may offer coffee, and the last time I checked doesn’t do the juice, smoothies, or ice cream. This location is pretty busy and you will probably see a bunch of people coming in and out. There is more seating as this location compared to their Collingswood location.

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Overall I can say this is one of my favorite bakeries. I am aware if I bake a cake at home, it probably will be like more universally accepted as “cake like.” But I am not restricting the type of sugar I use or not excluding gluten. But I think their baked goods are sweet but have something light and addictive about them.

I think overall what I like about their baked goods is that I always feel great afterwards. I never feel “super horrible” after eating a chocolate cake, but I do feel a little sluggish. With Sweet Freedom’s sweets, I barely feel like I ate anything in the same way I feel after eating a piece of fruit. I love buying their agave sodas and a cookie sandwich and sneaking them into the movie theater. Much better than popcorn!

Who would I recommend checking this place out? Health food nuts who want great sweets and people who don’t like things too sweet will love this place! The owner does a great job taking complex flavors from the various flours and making them work with the featured flavor of the dessert. I may love this place, but I know that it isn’t for sugar junkies. If you dream cupcake is light fluffy and half frosting then turn around and bake something at home.


asksnanswers

Alexa is working toward a vegetarian diet, and is loaded with questions. Jennifer’s got answers. We talk about anything as long as it is vegan. Are tattoos vegan? How do I politely not eat Thanksgiving dinner? How do I order without pissing off the waitress? We know you are dying to ask!

asksalexaI hear that soy is both good and bad? Which is true? I know a few people have told me that since I’ve been diagnosed with hypothyroid I should lay off the soy. Why is that?

There are two main reasons why people avoid soy. One reason is allergies. This is a VERY good reason to avoid soy. There is only a small percentage of people who actually have a soy allergy, even though it is one of the more common food allergies. Soy allergies are commonly an allergy that children grow out of. What makes it so scary is that there are many soy by products in our processed foods. As mentioned in the non-soy proteins post, there are lots of replacements for soy based products, even things like tofu and soy sauce.

The second murkier area for avoiding soybeans is the presence of phytoestrogens. Phytoestrogens are “dietary estrogens” because they are not made by the body, only plants produce them. When most people hear this they automatically assume it effects you estrogen levels and it is more complicated than that.

It is worth noting that soy isn’t the only food that contains phytoestrogens. In fact, nuts and seed oils have more phytoestrogens than soy products. Other foods that include phytoestrogens would be grains and cereals, legumes, and meats (what do you think cows and chickens are eating? Remember your are what you eat.). There are lots of foods we eat everyday with phytoestrogens and no one makes a stink about it, like flax seed (which has more phytoestrogens than soy), sesame seeds, coffee, apples, carrots, rice, and lots more.

Why do plants produce phytoestrogens? Well it is part of their defense systems, and protects them mostly from fungi. But since plants have been producing these estrogens for so long, humans and animals have evolved with them. That means we kind-of use these estrogens in our body too. But it is hard to pin point what makes phytoestrogens good or bad because of synthetic estrogens that are used in cosmetics. But there has been observations that phytoestrogen has helped regulate cholesterol and bone density in post-menopause. It has even been linked to the prevention of many different diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, brain function disorders, and osteoporosis.

So what about hypothyroidism and soy? Some people believe that phytoestrogen interferes with the absorption of hormones in the medication. But after reading through lots of medical journals, most say the effect is minimal. Still concerned? Guidelines that I read said to wait 4 hours to eat soy after taking any medication. That’s all you need to do. So it is probably good thing to eat soy for dinner or lunch, and just exclude it from your breakfast plans (if you take your medication in the morning).

I see men say they don’t eat soy because of the phytoestrogen, actually they say because of the estrogen. Phytoestrogen isn’t the same as estrogen. Studies have shown there is no effect on men from soy consumption. So shriveled testicles, no decreased semen samples, nothing. The frustrating thing about hearing men say this is that there is actual estrogen in milk and meat products.

Overall, all studies that find adverse effects of soy tended to be small studies, or studies performed on other animals. I wouldn’t be too concerned about phytoestrogen levels in soy, and it certainly shouldn’t discourage you from going vegan. As mentioned there is phytoestrogens in meats, most likely since cows and pigs are eating lots grains and soy, which have the plant-based hormone. There is also actual estrogen in milks and meats from animals, which is more likely to have more of an effect on your body than the phytoestrogens.


Every week I almost always make a batch of cookies. Why? They travel easily for my husband’s lunches. I mean, I eat them sometimes as well. Truthfully, sometimes making cookies at home isn’t necessarily cheaper than buying them in stores, but most of the time they are. So I decided to review some cookie recipes that were available online. I keep in mind when they should be eaten (aka how sweet and decadent they are) and how well they kept.

If any of you guys have tried these cookies with different results PLEASE SHARE! There are lots of variables to baking so hearing other people’s baking results help figure out how to get the correct results. Everyone- start baking!

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Chai Spice Snickerdoodles

I had to alter this recipe a little. I forgot I never replaced my cardamon and therefore used a mixed garam masala instead for the snickerdoodle sugar mix. They still turned out delicious. I can’t image the cookies tasting that much different if I used the exact spice measurements given in the recipe.

These cookies are pretty darn sweet and fall under the dessert category. They were crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. They tasted great as a nice little snacks. But sadly I didn’t store them properly and some of them got stale. The best thing to do with them is to dunk the stale cookies in chai tea. Yeah, chai cookies in chai tea. It is amazing.

Bottom Line: Super sweet & Yummy

Quinoa Gingersnap Cookies

I always like when I find gluten-free recipes that don’t just use an all purpose mix. There is something nice to have control over every ingredient used. So I was a little happy to make these cookies, but was a little skeptical. Why? She only uses quinoa flour, which can have a specific aftertaste.

The cookies come together rather quickly, about 15 minutes, with a quick clean up. I skipped the rolled sugar outside, but it would definitely add a nice quality to the cookies. I also used only a small amount of brown sugar, using mostly just white. I think it worked out fine since I ended up using blackstrap molasses over normal molasses, which has much more of a bite.

The end result? Pretty awesome. They still had a little bit of a quinoa taste, and the blackstrap molasses definitely had a specific taste as well. But I felt pretty confident handing these cookies to my husband for his lunch. Five cookies have 12% calcium for the day and 10% iron. Not too bad honestly for unfortified cookies.

Bottom Line: Not bad, pretty nutritious

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

I am a little torn on these cookies. They are yummy, but cookie? I mean isn’t that a stretch? They are so fluffy and puffy they feel a little bit more like muffin tops than cookies. I am a little torn, they are delicious but I feel lied to that they are put into a cookie category.

They were great but there are two things I wish she suggested. One is be careful about overheating the butter, I didn’t put much thought into it and mixed in the chocolate chips, which melted into the batter. I got a cool marbling effect instead. No big deal. Second thing is that these cookies probably taste better the next day. Toss them in a bag or a well sealed container overnight, and they get even more moist. I’m not complaining.

Bottom Line: Puffy Cookies, which isn’t bad?

Lemon Crinkle Cookies

These cookies tasted amazing. The ingredients list is so short that I was a little afraid about how they would turn out. Answer: Fabulous, they turned out fabulous! They are soft, crumbly, delicate, and very lemony. Which makes them amazing, but didn’t fit the bill as “daily cookies for lunch.” I am planning on making these for my yearly Christmas cookies.

The only problem is the step where she makes you roll the cookie dough in powder sugar. I am conflicted since I didn’t get any “crinkle” effect on the cookie. I think the dough absorbed too much of the powdered sugar and the dough color wasn’t nearly dark enough to register. But it did give a little bit of a crusty outside, probably from the sugar melting? I would probably skip this step.

Bottom Line: Nice dessert cookie

Healthy Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies

I think this cookie goes into the “it’s too healthy for a dessert category.” The recipe uses banana, peanut butter, rolled oats, and apple sauce to make the bulk of these cookies. The end result isn’t a tasty cookie. The nuts in the cookie gets soft and taste out of place. The cookies also didn’t have a normal texture as other cookies. They weren’t soft, pillowy, or crunchy. Instead they had a kind-of rubber feel when bitting into them.

The cookies aren’t nearly sweet enough, which makes me feel like they should been playing up savory flavors. Instead of chocolate chips maybe have some sun-dried tomatoes. Maybe chopped herbs, etc. I think that is my biggest complaint about “healthy” snacks, people are trying to cut down on sugar. By all means, I think things are usually too sweet, but not these cookies. They might of been better if I used normally sweetened mainstream peanut butter, but I can’t image by that much.

Bottom Line: Texture stinks, not sweet enough.

Teff Almond Butter Cookies

Man talk about recipe flop. Well, I have two theories about what happened. The obvious one is that I used teff not teff flour. My local store special ordered the wrong thing and I felt bad and thought I could grind it down into a flour myself. I didn’t do that great of a job.

The second theory is that I made them on a hot day and the almond butter and oil just were too much. I am thinking that if I maybe put the dough in the refrigerator for a few minutes the oils would of melted slower and made a more solid cookie.

But the cookies TASTE pretty good, which might motivate me to try the recipe again. Might being the key word because these cookies are expensive. Each ingredient is a big dent in the bank, which is a bummer because as mentioned the cookies were flat but tasty.

Bottom Line: Tasted great, not ruling them out yet as a flop


asksnanswers

Alexa is working toward a vegetarian diet, and is loaded with questions. Jennifer’s got answers. We talk about anything as long as it is vegan. Are tattoos vegan? How do I politely not eat Thanksgiving dinner? How do I order without pissing off the waitress? We know you are dying to ask!

asksalexaI’m currently on a diet that limits my soy intake – what are some good soy substitutions (tofu, tempeh, etc.)?

Although I have some beef against some of the anti-soy people out there, I am fully aware some people simply can’t have it. Most of the time it is allergies, but I’ve heard some people say it isn’t the greatest for people how have thyroid issues. But if anyone gives a reason that they don’t eat soy because of the “estrogen” in it, I call them out on it. There is actual estrogen in meat and dairy, and soy has a component that looks like estrogen and sometimes our body reads it.

That being said let’s talk about replacements! Well, there are some basic soy products that people are making substitutes for, so if you still want to partake in them, you can buy soy-free counter parts.

Miso: Many people are using other beans in miso to make them gluten-free and soy-free. They tend to be on the higher end of the price spectrum so keep that in mind. One is a chickpea barley miso from South River and another chickpea miso by Miso Master (this one you will most likely find in stores!)

Tofu: If you are feeling a little adventurous in the kitchen, you can make a soy-free tofu. There are two methods, one is chickpea tofu (or also called Burmese Tofu) and the other uses lentils. It is a little work, but it could fill in the desire for tofu. No major companies make this yet. Try out this recipe using besan or this video for Burmese Tofu and this other that shows you how to use lentils.

There is also a hemp tofu by Tempt. The company is pretty big, but I personally have yet to see their hemp tofu in stores. Take a look around next time you are in a grocery store though!

Tempeh: There are a few places that are now making a soy free tempeh. If you know how to make tempeh, it isn’t hard to omit soy all together. You can use other grains and beans in place of soy. BUT if you are lucky enough there are two companies that make black bean tempeh, Smiling Hara Tempeh (local to North and South Carolina) and Lalibela Farm (which is local to Maine). Take a look at your grocery aisle though, just in case there other companies I don’t know about!

Soy Sauce: Although soy sauce isn’t high in protein, you may still want to have some. A lot of people really like coconut aminos. It pretty much uses the same process as soy sauce only with coconuts.

Faux Products: A lot fake products use soy, but there is almost always a soy-free alternative. For example faux mayo, margarine, faux cheese, etc. Just flip to the back and quickly check, but most of the time they have “soy-free” on the front. They will probably not be as high in protein as their soy counterparts.

So what about other sources of protein? Where else can you get more protein? Well, getting your 10% of protein of your day isn’t hard, but it can be harder if you are trying to get more for weight training. I find myself using protein powders in my shake after a workout for an extra boost. So the need for protein can be a real concern. So where can you get it?

Protein Powders

I’ve mentioned protein powders in the Should I Use Protein Powders question. The three main protein powders out there that are vegan and aren’t soy are pea protein, brown rice protein, and hemp protein. Each has their own flavor and texture profiles. Because of this there are lots of blends out there. I like to shop around, going to vitamin shops, independent health food stores, and major chains so I keep prices in the back of my head. Also keep in mind not all powders are equal. Read ingredients and make sure you can read and understand most of them. I personally find Vega to the tastiest, but Sunwarrior is pretty tasty as well. Again, search around and figure out what you like. 

A cool thing that you can do is mix in protein powders in other foods. For example you can stir some powder in your chia pudding, pancakes (or any other baked good really), parfaits, oatmeals, mashed potatoes, burgers, ice creams, lattes, lentils, soups, pretty much anything. If you are interested in boosting your proteins with powders, I suggest sticking to “pure” one ingredient protein powders and getting unflavored. Seems boring but it will work with sweet and savory.

Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and seeds can be great for extra protein. What makes them particularly great is that you get some nice healthy dose of healthy fats as well, which will help you absorb vitamins from your veggies (yup, you still need fat!) What makes nuts and seeds so great is that there is a lot of variety. Some commons “nuts” are peanuts, cashews, pecans, walnuts, and almonds. But since a lot of people have allergies, you can usually use some sort of seed instead like sunflower seeds, hemp seeds, flax seeds, chia seeds, or pumpkin seeds. 

Then take it a little further. Lots of seeds and nuts can be made into milks. You can make them at home with a blender and a nut bag, or you can buy them pre-made in a grocery store. They also make many other products like nut butters, yogurts, and nut cheeses (which you can also make at home). Flax, hemp, and chia seeds are particularly great because they are high in omega-3 fatty acids, and have a thickening quality. So if you add a tablespoon to your shake, you can get a nice texture to it.

Lentils & Beans

This is honestly where I get 80% most of my protein. Heck even most protein powders use beans (hello soy and pea protein!) They are cheap and well established in many different cuisines. How you buy them is up to you. You can buy them dried, canned, or frozen. I personally try to buy them dried and freeze any extra to save the most amount of money.

But what can you use beans and lentils in? Well some answers will be obvious, a side, chilis, soups, baked beans, tacos, burritos, rice and beans. You can make your own vegan bean burgers, which there are MANY different styles out there. In the same vain, there are many baked falafel recipes that are low in fat. There are lots of casseroles that use beans, which can vary from tex mex, to greek, so you have lots to play with. Some recipes use beans in pasta, tossed with the pasta, or sometimes blended up in a sauce. You can even make little bean balls to make spaghetti and bean balls. Once you start to look around, you will find the possibilities are endless.

There are also various bean flours that you can work into other recipes. For example if you are making a baked falafel, instead of using whole wheat flour you can use besan, a chickpea based flour. There is even a recipe for a vegan omelette using besan! There are tons of other bean flours that you can sneak into recipes where flour is used. I would stick to more savory recipes. If you sneak them into desserts you will probably have to add more sugar to mask the flavor, and you don’t want to have to do that.

And don’t overlook lentils! They are a little tricky to incorporate since they tend to be a little more “fluid” than beans. They are smaller and tend to be found in soups since they are so fast to cook in comparison. They are great to sub in a recipe that uses ground beef since of their small texture. But if you are a fan of Indian food, you will find lots of “dal” recipes, or recipes that use lentils.

And FINALLY you have your young beans. That would include green beans, edamame (soy), peas (pod peas, snow peas, snap peas), lima beans, fava beans, and cranberry beans. Some of these beans are not as common are hard to find fresh (for example you will most like find fava, pod peas, lima, and edamame frozen) while some are you see all the time (green beans and pea varieties). These fresh beans tend to have less proteins than their dried counterparts. But if view them as a sub for a veggie side, it’s just added protein.

Dark Leafy Greens

Pound for pound leafy greens have more protein in them than meats. Find that hard to believe? Well, it isn’t once you see how much a pound of greens is compared to a pound of meat. I get the issues with keeping greens, they take up lots of space, and sometimes it is hard to think of what to cook with them. I think I would get sick of kale if I steamed it everyday. Some quick ways to get your servings is tossing a handful in your shake every morning. You honestly don’t taste it.

There are lots of dark greens you can incorporate in your diet. The common ones are kale, chard, spinach, and collard greens. The shame is that there are lots more, you just might not find them. For example beet greens are PACKED with nutrition. Bok choy, gai lan (chinese broccoli), tatsoi, and yu choy are great in stir fries. Fans of Italian food might be familiar with broccoli rabe. Mizuna or mustard greens is yet another green that isn’t talked about much. Where do you find half of these rare greens? Farmer markets are great and so are CSAs (mine serves tatsoi and a mix of asian greens). But you can also check out an Asian supermarket, as they tend to have some.

You can use greens in almost any type of dish. Many people make a side dish from them, but you can put them in chilis, stir fries, soups, pastas, or burgers. If you are a snacker, you can make kale chips which usually have an added bonus of nuts in the coating for protein! If you have some greens that are going bad, just juice those motherfuckers! Don’t have a juicer? You can make a green juice from a blender and a strainer. This method is a great way to see if you want to buy a juicer in the end as well. A lot of people like to use collard greens as a wrap. Which is pretty handy for lunches. 

Quinoa

You would think quinoa is a miracle food by how some vegans describe it. Yes, it is a complete protein, and yes it is high is protein compared to rice. BUT, I don’t find it as handy as beans. It has all the issues of rice and grains but none of the good qualities culinary wise. It cooks in small pieces just like grains, but isn’t sticky like them so it is harder to include in recipes like burgers. You can also make it into a flour but has an aftertaste so you can’t add too much of it to a recipe. Yes, quinoa has it’s limits.

But I wouldn’t dismiss it. If you are trying to get a lot of protein in a diet, it is a great replacement for most grains. Technically quinoa isn’t a grain (it’s actually more closely related to beets, spinach, tumbleweeds and amaranth) but it often treated as so in cooking. There are lots of recipes out there for quinoa, ranging from quinoa “mac and cheese” to chilis. A common vegan option is kale and quinoa bowls. I personally like to cook both quinoa and rice and mix them together as a side in dishes or in a recipe.

Seitan

Oh wheat meat! You are so misunderstood. Most people going into a vegan diet accuse of seitan of being totally fake, and only trying to be similar to meat. Well, seitan has been discovered hundreds of years ago in China. You can make it easily by washing flour over and over again till the starches wash away, and you are left with 100% pure gluten protein. Some people find it problematic if they think gluten is bad for the body. There isn’t provable evidence yet that gluten is bad for everyone, but some people are allergic or have trouble digesting it. I don’t eat it often, but I think eating it once a week is perfectly fine. If you are concerned make sure you pay attention to how you feel after eating it.

Seitan is pretty easy to find. You can find it canned in Asian food markets as mock duck (or whatever the else you may possibly want). These are cheap, but I tend to be cautious about them. Read labels and use your own judgement. You can find seitan frozen or in the refrigerator section of most supermarkets. They can be pretty pricey though. So what do you do? Make your own.

Yes making your own seitan is really easy, especially since you can buy vital wheat gluten. There are lots of methods, baking it into logs, boiling it broth, pressure cooker, mixing in tofu, or beans. Possibilities are endless. Some of my favorite tutorials include Vegan Metal Chefs video, which reassures you that you can’t mess it up. Freeze what you don’t use in a recipe, and you are covered for awhile.

Beyond Meat & Fake Meats

I am going to suggest something that is unpopular- fake meats. Half of the vegan community love it and think they are great, and the other half think it is sacrilegious and poison to the body. I personally think they aren’t ideal but not as bad as what everyone makes them out to be.

Now most people think fake foods are made from soy, and that is not entirely true. My favorite company Beyond Meat uses pea protein to build up their “meats”. They try and be as open as they can be without revealing their secret techniques. They have chicken strips, beef crumbles, and now burgers. They are available at Target and Whole Foods (though I suggest Target since their prices are cheaper) and usually they have some sort of coupon on their site.

Field Roast is another brand of soy free fake meats. But basically you’ll just need to take a look around when you go shopping. There are lots of different brands out there and depending on where you live you will have different options available.

Another bonus is that many of these foods have added vitamins that you need in your diet. Examples? Sometimes companies add calcium, vitamin B12, iron, etc to help mimic the nutritional value of meats. This concept also extends to some milks, yogurts, etc. Keep in mind the two brands Field Roast and Beyond Meat might not actually do this.

Alternative Pastas

There are lots of gluten-free and soy-free pastas coming on the market. Well, correction, I don’t know many or any soy based pastas… yet. But there many different types out there. There are black bean noodles, which boasts 25 grams of protein per serving. That company makes even more noodle type such as adzuki and soy bean. I personally like to use quinoa pasta from time to time, though the protein isn’t as high as the black bean noodles, 4 grams of protein per serving.

That being said regular old pasta can be fairly high in protein. Normal run of the mill pasta can have 7 grams of protein per serving, which is pretty dang good. If you pair it off with lentil, beans, kale, or some other source of protein you can reach you protein goals fairly easily.

Everything Else

Okay so as we mentioned in the How much protein do I need post, pretty much everything has protein. And although I am not saying you should just eat whatever you want, just don’t forget to count all the protein in all your food. If you are having a chickpea salad sandwich, I would count up the protein in the veggies, the vegan mayo, and the bread! Yes, all of that. I think you might be surprised how much of that protein comes from other foods.

Anyone else have a vegan high protein food that I forgot to mention?


turmeric0

One weekend reading I featuring a link to Superfood lattes. The one that really caught my eye was the Turmeric Vanilla latte. When I made it, I thought it was alright. I wasn’t jumping through hoops for it. I think I didn’t like the accompanying powder spices in the drink, as they didn’t dissolve all the way.

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But I did think that sweet potato would add a nice complimentary flavor to the drink. The chestnut-like flavors from a Korean sweet potato would work wonders with turmeric. And I was correct. The flesh from the root help rounded out the powdered spice, and give a smooth texture to the latte.

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So why bother with turmeric? I like naturally healing foods, but I don’t talk about them often. I worry that people will misinterpret the strength of food, and over estimate them. Ignoring medical problems isn’t cool.

That being said, turmeric has a buttload of medical cures. But most people praise it’s ability to decrease inflammation. In fact, I kept putting in a teaspoon of turmeric into my shakes when my legs were hurting me from standing too long at my old job. I just wish I made this latte back then because it tastes much better than my shakes.

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This is the best time of the year for this latte. Most of us are coming to an end to the winter season, and all the snow is melting. This latte is bright and cheery just like the spring. I recommend using sweet potatoes with white flesh to keep the yellow glow. But orange fleshed sweet potatoes will taste just as amazing, and give an equally pretty and vibrant color.

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I just came home from my trip to Sebring Florida for my Nanna and Pappy’s 60th Wedding Anniversary. And I have to point out, when the average American cuts out meat and dairy from their diet, they are stuck with carbs and sugar! As all vegans do, my husband and I packed a lot of clif bars and snacks, and I was shocked how close we were to eating all of them. Oddly I think it would of been easier to go vegan for the trip if we didn’t have to spend it was family. Then we could of had free reign over restaurants and breakfast.

But when I came home I scarfed down lots of proteins as I didn’t really eat what I normally would during the trip. Then decided I would go on a detox afterwards. And man, did I really need a detox. I am a little hesitant to talk about detox or cleanses, since they have earned themselves a bad rep. I am not really a fan of extreme cleanses where you juice all day or drink lemon water. I prefer cleanses that involving eating more whole foods. In fact my most common detox is a smoothie cleanse, drinking smoothies and soups throughout the day. I like this approach because I don’t deprive my body of calories and fiber that keeps me full. I usually add salads after a few days, and transition into raw foods.

I’ve mentioned my detox diet in the past. I posted an recipe for a Kimchi Detox Soup, which I am thinking I should make pretty soon.

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Well, this smoothie was like a slice of summer in all this cold weather. I used cantaloupe that I got from my CSA during the summer. The cantaloupe was so ripe it was pretty mushy, and didn’t really taste great by itself. Freezing it was a perfect decision, as it was just the texture I needed for a smoothie. 

I use to drink juiced carrot, cantaloupe, and orange all the time. So I thought that carrot would give a great flavor to the smoothie. It is only a small amount but it gives depth to the flavor. It also helps with the body of the smoothie, preventing too much a slushy texture. Plus, you are adding a veggie to your breakfast! You can also add a handful of green to the smoothie, it will just not be such a pretty color.

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Oh man! I am so excited to be back! Our host had too many sites on their server, which is why our page was taking so long to load. So for one week the site was locked, and we couldn’t make any changes, but it was still viewable. Then we had to spend another week with the site being 100% down. It was awful and I was itching all week to work on the site. 

But now the site is back up, and everyone can see our new link buttons on the side, and our big ass blog directory! But first let me share this super easy recipe.

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This recipe I’ve been holding on to for awhile now. It just seemed a little boring. I mean sloppy joes? With lentils? I mean don’t all vegans know about this? Surely?! Well, I gave some leftovers to my husband for work and everyone at his work commented on how clever it was. Sometimes when you are drenched in a subculture, you forget what is or isn’t common.

So even though this dish isn’t something uncommon with vegan blogs, I think it can still reach others to give inspiration. The recipe is also really non-vegan friendly- meaning if you are a non-vegan and you making something for your vegan guests, this is a great option. Quinoa and lentils are pretty frequently used in recipes, and the only “hard” work is reading the buns ingredients to make sure there aren’t any eggs or milk in them (which milk is often added to pre-made breads!) I used sprouted buns, but they taste best with the cheap fluffy white buns.

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Can I first point out that I got a new camera? I am very excited. I majored in film and video in college so I love total control. I didn’t get that with an iPhone. There is so much joy in zooming in knowing the quality will be just the same, and being able to focus on whatever you want. The photos speak for themselves really.

I was so excited when I finally got the memory card for my camera that I started snapping away. This dinner wasn’t originally something I was planning on posting, but I think it turned out pretty good. I am hesitant to post some pasta recipes since they are so simple. But a lot of thought was put into which ingredients to use. So I ended up with something that was powerful in flavor.

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kimadztaco1

I’ve been terrible at posting lately! I’ve been busy. There has been some exciting news, as my mother is moving from Utah, all the was across the country, back to the east coast in New Jersey. It has been almost a decade of her living a 4 hour flight away, so it should be an interesting change. She is already planning embroidery and sewing projects with me. 

I started to write this post last night and I had the hardest time. I am currently doing a detox, which I like to do them from time to time. I haven’t done one in awhile since I have been eating so well. Writing this entry is hard since I see the photos and want to pull out the leftovers. It is a little painful. 

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