Summertime Strawberry Lavender Lemonade Cooler

Image

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup frozen strawberries
  • 2 lemons worth of lemon juice
  • 1 cup water
  • Liquid stevia, to taste
  • Lavender extract, to taste (can find on Amazon, I bought mine at Sur la Table)

Directions:

Blend together, enjoy.

 

 

 

Advertisements

How running as a vegan might save my life somehow.

Okay, I have to try to write this out fast because I need to be on time to a job interview (!!!)

Good thing I already have it mostly formed in my head.

This isn’t a food post as usual. But, it has a lot to do with my life story, my interests, my path to a better life, health, and wellbeing which all fits into why I started and continue with this blog. Plus, most of my followers are people who I care about deeply, and it will hopefully make them happy to see me write about this!

It also relates to my most popular post ever, which was also not about food (go figure?!) that you can read here.

Anyways, I have been feeling horrible mentally lately. My mind is often telling me I am unable to make important decisions, motivate myself to get out of bed, do anything important, and that I am basically crap, even though I know deep down I am not and am much more capable than I feel, which is the most frustrating part. It may be my old friend depression returning, but it may be something else as well, because recently my doctor told me my thyroid test came back abnormal, and I have to get it rechecked soon. That would be nice if I actually had a hormonal reason for this misery, although I remain quite doubtful.

However, despite all the negativity creeping into my life these days, I am still plugging along at many things I hold dear to me now and somehow managing to convince myself I have to do them to feel better, or just do them regardless even if I do not feel better.

One of these things I have been keeping up with is running.

I may have mentioned somewhere that you have read that I could never really run, even as a child. I had completely given up on the idea long, long ago that I would ever be able to run at all, even if I was almost late to somewhere I had to walk more than 5 minutes to get to and being late would get me in trouble. It was especially evident in school when I had to run whatever they make you do for the physical fitness testing, I often felt I tasted blood in my throat after running for about 5 minutes.

This was seriously something I thought was impossible. But a year ago, apparently I set out to do just that. While I still can’t run 30 minutes straight which is my goal eventually, I am well on my way. I am registered for a 5k in mid August, and it is going to happen by then, I know this.

How do I know? I started the couch to 5k program on my phone a few days before I graduated from my community college on May 16. Today I just finished week 5, day 2 of the program. At first, it was easy, even with my long-held beliefs and self doubt about being able to do this. Week 5, day 2 of the program I am using is as follows:

5 minute warm-up

5 minute run

3 minute walk

8(!!!!!!) minute run

4 minute walk

5 minute run

5 minute cool-down

Before I started this run my mood was hopeless, and as I began to walk the warm-up, I was telling myself I was not going to be able to do it, especially the eight minute run.  But as soon as the buzzer went off to start the 8 minutes, something somehow changed! I was telling myself “here we go, you can get through this!” Then, before I knew it, it told me I had five minutes left. And since I had just finished running for 5 minutes successfully about six minutes ago, it triggered even more positive self talk! For a short second a negative thought crept in, reminding myself I still had to run another five minutes after I got to walk for four minutes after this (would I even finish these eight minutes?) but it quickly returned to all this self praise as my legs kept moving regardless. I told myself “I am really going to do this!) and as the buzzer went off telling me to start walking for four minutes, I was crying tears of joy.

Then I ran for another five minutes and cooled down and finished the work out, like a pro (gotta tell myself that! haha).

This run was exactly what I needed. Running is saving my life, I believe, because when I am most down on myself and feel like giving up, I am able to run. And in my mind, it was something I had previously deemed impossible. Yet, when I am feeling
my worst, I prove to myself I can do the impossible.

Here is a picture of me shortly after. It was hard to force myself to smile because I was fighting back some proud tears, which actually I have had lately more than I realize…

 

post run

 

 

 

Peter Piper Picked a (vegan) Jalapeno Popper Pizza Recipe! with cornmeal cream cheese stuffed crust! a lot of alliteration here!

Well now…

With Vegan Pizza Day coming up at the end of the month (June 28 to be exact- rsvp to the facebook event!) I wanted to provide you with a kickass, blow your mind, original recipe for a unique vegan pizza for this occasion.

Today I tested out my idea. I was worried it would not go as planned, but it came out flawless.

Image It has a cornmeal crust made from this recipe, a cauliflower white sauce, sliced jalapenos, daiya cheddar, cream cheese stuffed crust, and a sprinkling of whole wheat breadcrumbs.

Here is the recipe. I have taken lots of pictures throughout the pizza making process to explain what I did a bit better.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cornmeal crust (recipe here)–I let it rise for a half an hour, but it was a hot day so I can’t be sure how long it’ll take you exactly. You will also want a bit of extra cornmeal and flour for when you roll out the crust

For the sauce:

  • 1 cup cauliflower florets
  • 1 cup unflavored almond milk
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • Sprinkle of white pepper
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 tbsp miso (I used chickpea miso)
  • 1 tsp arrowroot powder
  • 1 tsp lemon juice

For the rest of the pizza:

  • 4 jalapeno peppers, chopped into slices
  • Daiya cheddar cheese shreds
  • 1 tub plain vegan cream cheese (I used Go Veggie! brand)
  • 2 tbsp whole wheat breadcrumbs

Directions:

  1. Make the dough according to recipe.
  2. Let rise and make the sauce.

To make the sauce:

  1. Steam cauliflower until soft, about 5 minutes.
  2. Place cauliflower and all other ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
  3. Place into a saucepan, and on medium heat, whisk frequently until bubbling and thickened a bit.

To assemble and cook the pizza:

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. Roll out the dough into a large circle. You will want to use extra flour/cornmeal on the surface and on the rolling pin to prevent sticking.
  3. Mix/stir up the vegan cream cheese until thick with a knife if it is separated as mine was.
  4. Using a tablespoon, place little dollops of the cream cheese a short distance away from the edge of the crust (see pictures below for a good idea of what I mean here).
  5. Then fold over the edges of the crust around it, pinching to secure slightly.
  6. Place about 2/3 cup or whatever you need of the sauce. You may need the whole batch, or you may need less, depending on how big your crust is. I used 2/3 cup.
  7. Sprinkle Daiya cheddar shreds around the top, use as much or as little as you like. I used about 1/2 cup.
  8. Place sliced jalapeno slices on top of the cheese.
  9. Sprinkle two tablespoons of whole wheat breadcrumbs.
  10. Bake 12-15 minutes in oven.
  11. Eat! And enjoy, because it’s pretty amazing if I dare say myself.

 

ImageA detailed picture of how I stuffed and folded the crust.

Image

After being baked and half eaten, a detail of the stuffed crustImage

A picture of a scrumptious baked slice

So there you have it! Hopefully I will be able to dream up some other ridiculous and amazing vegan pizza recipes this month, but we shall see. I do not know how I can top this one! haha