Cake Batter Everything

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Thanks to this recipe for cake batter butter, I discovered that vegan butter extract exists, and started going a little overboard making all things cake batter.

Then I decided to make a raspberry cake batter smoothie.

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It’s basically two cups nondairy milk, a scoop of vanilla protein powder (I use Vega Essentials), 1/3 cup frozen raspberries, one banana, 1/2 tsp vegan butter extract, 1/2 tsp almond extract, and 2 tsp vanilla extract. I also added in some vegan sprinkles, So Delicious coco whip to make it creamier (about 1/3 cup in the smoothie, and more for the topping), and drank it out of a fun straw. If you make the nut butter, you can also add a tablespoon or two into the blender.

Enjoy!

PS: If you like vegan, gluten free, soy free, and protein packed waffles, check out the new Fitquick birthday cake flavor…I haven’t tried it yet but I love their stuff and can’t wait until I can!

 

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Happy Vegan Month of Food (MoFo)! Post #1 My favorite Breakfasts!

Hi everyone! I’m very excited to be participating in Vegan MoFo 2015!

Though I’m in the last few weeks leading up to finishing my undergraduate degree and things are pretty intense over here, I’m going to try to post as much as I can. In case you are not aware, the prompts provided by MoFo this year are as follows:

THE LIST:

1 Rise and Shine! It’s MoFo time! Tell us about your breakfast.
2 Recreate a meal from your childhood.
3 Quick, easy and delicious.
4 Tell us about a weird food combo that you love.
5 Best sandwich ever.
6 Re-create a restaurant meal.
7 Make / eat some thing inspired by a book or film.
8 Reach out! Make a new vegan friend & tell us about it.
9 Most retro recipe.
10 Something blue.
11 Focus on a nutrient
12 Tell us about your favourite cookbook!
13 It’s kitchen tour time!
14 Share something vegan (and delicious, duh!) with a non-vegan.
15 OMG, Barack Obama is coming over because he knows you make awesome vegan food! What are you going to make?
16 What’s your favorite late summer food?
17 Make (or eat!) a traditional local dish.
18 Honor a human or non human animal who inspires your veganism.
19 Lunch on the go.
20 Veganize an old family recipe.
21 Autumn equinox eats.
22 Make a dish using all seasonal produce.
23 Fusion Challenge!
24 What [insert well known personwould eat if they were vegan.
25 Share your favorite cuisine.
26 It’s cold and rainy and there’s a snow drift outside your door! What are you going to make using the ingredients you have?
27 Favorite herb or spice?
28 Tacos VS Burritos. Where do you stand on this important issue?
29 What would you bring on a vegan road trip?
30 What three endless food supplies would you take if you were going to be stranded on an island? (Imagine your nutritional needs have been met, these are a bonus!)

This year I am planning a mix of educational posts about different ingredients, creating new recipes, sharing others’ recipes and products, making cute drawings and writing about food, etc.

If you want to know more about the Vegan Month of Food, click here. Also, check out my Instagram @Laurahasheart for some additional posts.

Anyhow! I want to highlight three breakfasts I’ve really been digging lately.

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The first is this this oatmeal with mango mousse and raspberries. This is surprising because I’ve always been grossed out by oatmeal. But, in this recipe, you cook off most of the liquid and it becomes chewy and not as mushy and gross-to-me texture-wise. The mousse is seriously amazing! The full recipe can be found in the Thrive Energy Cookbook by Brendan Brazier. Here is the link to the book on amazon. Note: I actually live in a state (RI) where making money off of referring people to Amazon is not allowed. I am just linking to Amazon because it’s the easiest source to link people to when showcasing books. (What book isn’t on Amazon, anyways?) I get no benefits from doing so.

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Next up, is a perfect Fall breakfast sandwich recipe, which you can find the recipe to here! It’s called the Jack-O-Pumpkin breakfast sandwich. I take a gluten free/vegan English muffin and toast it. While that is happening, I mix up the pumpkin butter and fry the vegan/gluten free sausage (Sol brand is my favorite right now), and make the easy pumpkin butter. When the muffins are toasted, I turn the toaster oven to broil and stick a slice of Daiya Cheddar on one slice of the muffin and put it in for a few minutes until it melts. When the sausage is cooked, I fry up a few mushroom slices. Then I assemble everything together with some fresh baby spinach. It requires a bit of dancing around the kitchen and being mindful of where things are in the cooking process at all times or else it could end in a slight disaster! For those less experienced, I recommend making the pumpkin butter in advance before you start it all!

IMG_4975Finally, I need to rave about FitQuick waffle mix, which can be bought at veganproteins.com! When I had to go gluten free, I was really sad at first because I didn’t know if I’d ever have a vegan waffle as good as I had before. When I decided I needed more protein in my breakfasts to fuel Crossfit, and I actually had some money to spend (being a broke college student sucks sometimes!) I had to try this. I decided to go with the vanilla flavor, but there are lots of other options, even a savory pizza one! They cook in my waffle iron so perfectly and are quite tasty! I love them pretty plain with a tablespoon of Olivio Coconut Spread (an amazing accidentally vegan product I found recently!) and a tablespoon of maple syrup. I pair it with a side of Sol vegan/gluten free sausage.

That’s it for today! Enjoy, and let me know some of your gluten free/vegan breakfast recipes! Also let me know if you try any of this food and let me know how you like it!

Done with the semester! Woohoo! A Black Forest Cake Smoothie recipe to celebrate!

Hi everyone!

I’m super excited. Yesterday I finished all my work for the term at college. I have one class this summer, and two classes in the Fall before I complete my Bachelor of Science degree in Organizational and Community Studies and Psychology (It’s a bit of a mouthful, I know!) Since I am so close, I will be walking with my class at College Unbound this May 30! I’m so excited. In two weeks I will be giving a special presentation on my journey towards this achievement and feeding people delicious vegan treats!

Anyhow, I think I’ve created the most delicious vegan protein smoothie ever!! It’s a Black Forest Cake Smoothie! For a long time as a child, my brother would request black forest cake every birthday. It was his favorite, and sometimes difficult to find. Last week, this obsession of his randomly popped into my mind, and I realized what a great smoothie it’d be!

Here is the recipe (feel free to add stuff/substitute as desired):

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Vegan Black Forest Cake Protein Smoothie (Gluten free):

Ingredients:

  • 1-2 scoops (depending on serving size) vegan chocolate protein powder (I used Vega One)
  •  3 tbsp Glutino Brownie Mix (or other gluten free and vegan cake or brownie mix, I like Glutino because it has mini chocolate chips in it!)
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp almond extract
  • 1/2 cup organic, vegan, gluten free cherry pie filling
  • 1 1/2 cups of your favorite vegan non dairy milk (I used almond milk, but coconut milk from a can would be even more amazing!)
  • Handful of baby spinach (optional)

Directions:

  1. In a blender, blend everything together until smooth.
  2. Serve in a cup. If you use a small straw, some of the chocolate chips from the brownie mix may get stuck inside, so beware.
  3. Enjoy, it’s delicious!!

I’m so happy that I’m so close to being done with school and have a bit of a break! I am looking forward to posting here a bit more frequently!!

Happy Birthday to me! Banana costumes and a birthday-worthy waffle recipe!

For my 30th birthday, which happens to be today, I had a bunch of fun stuff planned. The biggest thing was my run last weekend, in which I lived up to my blog’s name, and ran in a banana suit in the Providence (RI) Monster Dash 5k. I made a PR by about 2 minutes and it was soooo fun running in this costume:

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10435985_10100231982422689_6184586216801925680_nIt was a big hit with kids, especially. When I ran through the large crowd of people cheering us on, so many kids along the way would exclaim “there goes the banana!” And many of them put their little hands out to catch a high five from me as I ran past them…it was so cute. I waved to several of them, and even had a trifecta of 3 little kids put their hands out all at once that made me feel like I was a celebrity working the crowd. Haha. So that was cool, and I also plan to use this banana suit for more things for this blog, to make it funnier. You’ll see what is in store for it soon!

This morning, I made birthday cake waffles. I had some left over chocolate sauce from my candy apples and some strawberry syrup left from the strawberry frosted donut recipe that I put on top. Yum.

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BIRTHDAY Cake Vegan Waffles

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Immaculate yellow cake mix (found in my local Target in the baking section)
  • 1 cup vegan bisquick mix (read labels)
  • 1-2 scoops vanilla vegan protein powder (optional)
  • 2 tbsp melted Earth Balance
  • 1 tbsp applesauce
  • 1 ½ cup vanilla almond milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp almond extract
  • ¼ cup vegan non-pareille sprinkles (read label, I was able to find one without the confectioner’s glaze that’s in most sprinkles at my regular local grocery store, and instead has carnauba wax.

Directions:

Mix all ingredients together and follow waffle iron’s directions to cook them. Makes about 5 waffles depending on your maker.

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The batter

Tonight my family is making me a vegan vanilla cake, with raspberry filling and chocolate buttercream. I am making vegan crockpot buffalo ranch lasagna from this recipe for my dinner. I will share pictures later in a new post, maybe.

Also, I got three new cookbooks for my birthday present:

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So far I have looked in Chloe’s book the most, and I was seriously drooling after that. I will be cooking out of these for awhile in the next few weeks I think, so get ready for me sharing some reviews and pictures! 🙂

Vegan Mofo Day 27: Soup, Sandwich, and Salad Saturday: Salad tips

So far this Saturday theme has been all about soups and sandwiches, like my recipe for Jackfruit Chicken Noodle Soup, California Club Sandwich with Nori Bac’non, and Easy Creamy Tomato Soup with Basil Grilled Cheese. Today, I’m going to finally address some salads.

I have been trying to eat a salad almost daily for a meal for over a year now. At first, I figured I’d just put as many vegetables as I could possibly chop and cram into a large bowl with not much else, but there was so much chewing involved that I ended up eating it for over an hour. That wasn’t too fun.

Eventually I started getting the hang of it. To make a good meal salad, you typically need more than veggies. Although protein isn’t as big a deal as people make it out to be, we still need a minimum amount each day at least. That can be hard if you eat one meal a day without any substantial source of it.

For a long time I was obsessed with Boca Chick’n patties on my salads. I’d cook them in the oven, cut them up and toss them in. Nowadays, not so much. They’re a bit expensive and I’m not really a fan of them for other reasons as well. Sometimes I will get them as a treat, though or if they’re on sale.

Here’s a few salads I have made in the past:

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This is I believe the Thanksgiving salad I had blogged about awhile back.

IMG_1348Here is the Burrito Explosion salad, also made awhile back.

Anyways, I think I’ve developed a bit of a formula for the perfect meal salad. It requires a delicate balance of textures and ingredients.

I’ve composed a little menu of different types of ingredients and things you can choose from to create the perfect salad. Each heading has the explanation of how many you should include…

The Base (2-3 cups)-Greens of some type:

  • Spinach
  • Lettuce
  • Mixed spring greens
  • Kale
  • Cabbage

(You get the idea, you can mix say, 1 cup of spinach with 2 cups of romaine, or any other combination you desire here)

The Protein- Usually soft (1-2 servings):

  • Some type of your favorite veggie burger, chopped up
  • Beans of any type
  • Edamame
  • Roasted chickpeas
  • Seitan
  • Marinated and grilled tofu (or even plain tofu)
  • Tempeh
  • Tofurky slices
  • Gardein Products
  • Any other meat substitutes, like Beyond Meat

The crunchy element (1-3 things):

  • Cucumbers
  • Celery
  • Carrot rounds
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Croutons
  • Crunchy Tortillas
  • Potato chips (yes, I’ve done this!)
  • Crispy fried vegetables like onions (or I like these crispy fried red pepper strips that I get in the salad supplies in the grocery store)
  • Wontons or crispy lo mein noodles
  • Water chestnuts
  • Pickles

Other optional additions:

  • Baby corn
  • Regular corn
  • Tomatoes
  • Roasted butternut squash
  • Pumpkin
  • Dried Cranberries, raisins, or other dried fruit, like goji berries or whatever
  • Red onion
  • Olives
  • Beets
  • Fresh Salsa
  • Vegan Cottage Cheese (my recipe can be found here)
  • Basically anything you desire and think up!

The Smooth (dressing):

I try to base the dressing I select on the rest of the ingredients I have used. If it has a certain area of the world associated with the flavors, I will try to honor that. For example, maybe a salad with spinach and napa cabbage, tofu, sesame seeds, water chestnuts, wontons, and baby corn with have an Asian Ginger Sesame dressing. Or a salad with romaine, black beans, tortillas, carrots, red onion, and salsa will have a spicy South American style dressing, maybe by combining salsa with vegan sour cream and some hot sauce, even.

Avocados are also a great thing to add if you don’t want to add dressing, or if you want to make a dressing with them!

Here’s a good big list of no oil dressings you can make yourself that are easy and I’ve tried many of them. I really liked E2 Basics recipe for a long time…

I also wanted to share two of my favorite salads I have made through other vegan blogs that seem to fit my expectations:

Donut Salad from Bake And Destroy

Aloha Salad from Healthy Happy Life

There ya go! What are some of your favorite salad ingredients? Tell me in the comments.

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Vegan New England Style “Lobstah” salad made from hearts of palm and 7 days of new smoothie recipes to share!

Hello everybody, 

I did this thing this past week that I was going to blog about. Unfortunately I got a new laptop and when I transferred all the pictures I had  from my phone to my laptop, (including the ones I needed to make the blog entry) some of them got lost in the shuffle. I tried a new smoothie recipe every day of the week, and wanted to talk about them. Instead, lacking pictures, I will post the links to the recipes I used at the end of this entry.

I do however have a picture for the recipe I am about to share!

Growing up in the New England area of the East Coast United States, lobster salads have always been a thing. They’re also usually kind of a big treat. Today I was inspired by that, and wanted to make a vegan version. This is truly “lobstah” as Bostonians and Rhode Islanders would say, but is free from any cruelty towards the real sea creatures.

I used hearts of palm as the main “meat,” and some sun-dried tomatoes as well to give color, flavor, and texture. There is a mix of seafood-y spices, lemon juice, and other seasonings, and the mix of vegenaise and vegan sour cream makes a delightfully creamy dressing for it.

New England Vegan Hearts of Palm “Lobstah” Salad

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Ingredients:

  • 2 cans salad chopped hearts of palm, drained, placed in a food processor and pulsed a few times to further chop them
  • 1/2 cup julienned cut sun dried tomatoes (the kind that comes in a bag, not packed in oil. I’d actually recommend soaking these in warm water for an hour or until a bit softer prior to including them in the salad because I didn’t and some were chewier and a bit tough when I ate them…soaking would solve that problem, but is probably optional)
  • 1 tsp kelp granules
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp dill
  • 1/4 tsp old bay seasoning
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper (use less if placing on top of greens instead of on bread)
  • 1/4 tsp white pepper
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup vegenaise
  • 1/2 cup vegan sour cream (I used tofutti)

Directions:

  1. Place chopped, drained, and processed hearts of palm in a mixing bowl or other large container.
  2. Add sun-dried tomatoes and stir.
  3. Add spices and take a spoon to mix them into the chopped hearts of palm and sun-dried tomatoes. Make sure they are evenly coated.
  4. Add lemon juice, vegenaise, and sour cream and stir. 
  5. Serve in a bun with some crunchy lettuce, or on top of salad greens with whatever other toppings you desire.
  6. Enjoy!

 

So there is that! Now as promised, here is the list and links to the smoothies I made each day last week:

  1. Raspberry Lime Zinger from Oh She Glows *Second place in my favorites!
  2. Pumpkin Chai from The Sweet Life
  3. Key Lime Pie Green Smoothie from Healthful Pursuit
  4. Pina Colada Smoothie from Foodie with Family
  5. Orange Creamsicle Smoothie (also from The Sweet Life) *My favorite one I tried!
  6. Chocolate Strawberry Almond Protein Smoothie from The Healthy Family and Home
  7. Chamomile Strawberry Quinoa Smoothie from Apron and Sneakers *Runner up for favorite 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

Peppermint Patty Green Smoothie!

ImageI’m pretty sure this is not too unique of a recipe or idea. But I made it myself and it was so good (and simple!) that I wanted to share it here (though I already shared it on the Banana Curl, Vegan Girl Facebook page).

Recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup vanilla almond milk
  • 1 whole banana (broken up into smaller chunks)
  • 3 mint leaves
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1 tbsp raw cacao powder
  • 1 tbsp vegan unflavored protein powder
  • Liquid stevia to taste
  • Peppermint extract (just a tiny amount, probably less than 1/8 tsp)
  • Ice (2 handfuls but use whatever amount you want)

Directions:

Blend all ingredients in a full size blender. Depending on your blender’s strength and other factors, you may need to scrape down the sides halfway through blending. 

Enjoy!