June 2, 2014
We make a drink at work called “The MD.” It’s high in vitamin C and contains spirulina to help boost the immune system. Of course, one of the most frequently asked questions I get is, “What is Spirulina?” Usually, I give a vague answer. It is a blue-green algae that is chock full of vitamins and nutrients. Aside from that, I really don’t know where to start. It is like trying to explain why spinach is good for you; sure it is high in iron, but there are many other reasons to eat it. (Spirulina is actually more nutritious than Spinach anyway.) So much it would be pretty silly to just belt out all of its vitamins. So I’ve decided to break it all down here.
Hi, there! We are spirulina!
What the heck is Spirulina
Spirulina is a “sea vegetable,” a popular term to make algae and seaweed seem less “freaky.” Spirulina comes from the Arthrospira genus, one of the earliest living organisms to grow on earth. Although there are many different species, the ones cultivated for food are Arthrospira platensis and Arthrospira maxima. It was previously thought that Spirulina was part of the Spirulina genus, due to the similarity of the shape. Dispite the change of genus, the name sticks when it comes to its common name. The name Spirulina derives from the spiral shape of the organism when viewed under a microscope. Spirulina’s native romping grounds are Africa, Asia, Central and South America.
Spirulina’s taste can be difficult for people to articulate. Some people love the strong taste, me being one of them. And some people find it overwhelming. It can be pretty hard to eat more than one teaspoon to a tablespoon in one sitting. But keep in mind, one brand of spirulina tastes different from another. Think of it like any form of produce, it will taste different depending on the conditions it needs to grow in.
May 7, 2014
I was so excited about this new recipes I posted it RIGHT AWAY. Yup no tweaking, nothing. I had to post it as soon as I could. I pretty much only eat raw foods for breakfast. I don’t like heavy foods in the morning, especially since I don’t have much time to digest before exercising. I’ve been getting bored of smoothies and chia pudding, so I wanted to go back to classic cereal.
I’ve seen a few raw recipes for buckwheat cereal, so I figured I would give it a try. But as most people know, raw foods can be expensive. I always hate tossing the almond pulp from making almond milk. So I figured I would try and make it a binding agent for the cereal. It worked really well.
April 26, 2014
I am super excited about sharing this recipe. I first tried a black sesame latte at Paris Baguette, which probably was not even close to being vegan or healthy, but it came in a cute little cup (I just had to share via Instagram!) Their website gives no calories, no amounts of sugar, and no ingredients. Which is a pain. My local HMart has a few sesame soy milk boxes that I like snacking on, but corn syrup and oils are added to the milk.
April 16, 2014
I got a text from my sister this morning saying that I should make a dish for Easter dinner. My Grandma, like every Grandma, has little to no perception of vegan eating. So I spent my morning googling “easter vegan recipes” while sipping my new smoothie. I think I settled on a chickpea and cauliflower roast, which I will report back on.
But I am missing the whole point of this post- it is this smoothie. I bought a whole bunch of tea powders from Season with Spice, which I will post a review of them later on. One mix I love using in shakes is the Peppermint Chai. Most experiments with the powders have been at work. Almost all have been tasty when blending the tea powders with almond milk and protein powder. But sometimes I don’t want to use protein powder, as I feel like they make my tummy bloat. This shake is pretty simple, and is filling.
April 3, 2014
One of the most disappointing moment for some vegans is trying to get a hot creamy drink. Sure if you go to a coffee shop they almost always have soy milk (heck even almond milk sometimes!) but you might not be able to advance past a simple latte. See, most baristas are unaware of all the ingredients in their mixes. Although I read that Starbuck’s tea lattes are vegan, most smaller shops use powders that have whey in it.
Although I find that some chai tea mixes by Tazo (used at Starbucks) and Zhena’s Tea, they tend to be very sweet. In fact I have to mix them with unsweetened almond milk, and still find them to be too sweet. Not to mention, they are technically not vegan as they contain honey. I then go on a frenzy of making the perfect vegan chai teas. Most have resulted in being dumped in my kitchen sink.
April 2, 2014
This recipe is in heavy rotation in this house. It might take awhile to chop everything up in small pieces, but I always seem to have the ingredients around. In fact I always make sure I have a large can of crushed tomatoes in the cabinet, and alphabet pasta just incase. I always start with a carrot, a stalk of celery, and onion, then work with what veggies I have in the fridge. Did I use half of a turnip? I’ll chop it up. Broccoli stalks? I’ll chop it up.
The recipe started from How It All Vegan from their “kids” section. I made alterations to the recipe, and tweaked it so many times that I can’t even remember fully what the whole recipe was. I have the entire recipe memorized, which made writing down the recipe a little daunting. I always just add as much stock as I need, usually dependent on how much veggies I chop.
March 28, 2014
I love creamy hot drinks. Hot Chocolate? Chai? Lattes? Yes to all please. But sadly the less I try to consume dairy, the harder it is to find new drinks. Sure, most coffee shops carry soy milk, and occasionally almond milk, but if you aren’t getting a standard latte, dairy sneaks in easily. Most sweet drinks use powder mixes that not only contain whey, but also a big list of mystery ingredients. So I decided to make a collection of vegan sweet drinks to experiment with. Not only is it cheaper to make these drinks at home, you also have total control of what goes into them.
We start this series with a Korean Sweet Potato Latte. It technically isn’t a latte since it contains no espresso, but that doesn’t stop people from calling a green tea latte a green tea latte (so why stop there?). In fact, there are many Asian flavored lattes that usually contain no espresso. In Korea this drink can be found all over, but it reaching international drinkers via Holly’s Coffee.
March 6, 2014
My friend Ian has a problem- Tom Collins. Every time he orders it, it never gets made right. I suggested one night that we go to a bar in Philadelphia called The Farmer’s Cabinet. It is a throwback speakeasy that has an impressive list of cocktails. I suggested we go there, since I figured if there was going to be a bar who knew how to make a Tom Collins, it would be this. We all drank this yummy bubbly concoction, and loved it. Alexa asked why Ian never made it himself, and his response was “it is too complicated to make at home.”
I beg to differ!
This is actually pretty easy, though I might suggest to make or prep a few things ahead of time. All a Tom Collins is composed of is gin, sugar, lemon, and fizz. So it is basically a spiked-fizzy-lemon-aid. It is such a great drink since it is so simple, yet steeped in such a rich history. Wikipedia has a lot of fun information on the drink, talking about how it changed over the years. Being a history nerd, I loves it. Continue reading
March 4, 2014
I don’t mind recipes that require a lot of time, but have little work. I find it nice to prepare a meal, and have an hour or so to clean up, or prepare upcoming lunches (and still have time to sit around and check emails). So from time to time I try and dabble in casseroles. I picked this dish for our withdrawal diet. At the time we introduced soy, but still couldn’t have any wheat.
This recipe was adapted by a curry cauliflower-fennel toss, but most of those spices were removed. The flavor is most emphasized by balsamic vinegar. Gourmet balsamic vinegars are becoming very popular, and I have two locals stores that make their very own. I HIGHLY recommend using a higher end vinegar. I used a white orange balsamic vinegar for the one featured in the photo. Continue reading
January 31, 2014
One of my daily morning rituals is having a cup of apple cider tonic. The habit started when my husband wanted to use apple cider vinegar to help clear out his sinuses. There are lots of claims of what apple cider vinegar can do for you, some make sense, while others are a little outlandish.
Vegans should try having a glass of apple cider vinegar tonic every morning since it helps increase the absorption of calcium. Apple cider vinegar is high in acetic acid, which can increase the body’s ability to absorb vital minerals. Some other most substantial health claims of apple cider vinegar are improved digestion, increased reception to insulin, weight control, and help cleaning sinuses.
I stick to Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar since they keep the mother. This means that the bacteria that helped turn apple juice into vinegar are still in there. Think of it like that poop-gurt that Jamie Lee Curtis keeps trying to sell you. Although the bacteria cultures are different, the effect is similar.
I usually make a simple drink using just water, vinegar, and a sweetener (honey, agave, or stevia) But it came become boring. A simple remedy is just to use iced tea instead. But I woke up one morning and decided to try a little more. I brewed a big pitcher of iced yerba mate, and squeezed some limes in there. The result was amazing.