Our Favorite, Dairy-Free “Cheese” Sauce

Hello everyone,

I hope that you are having an incredible weekend!  It is cold and rainy here in San Diego, which means it’s the perfect time for a warm meal….maybe Mac and cheese?!

Here is a recipe for our favorite, dairy-free (and warm) “cheese” sauce.  This recipe was originally found on a blog called Vegan Yumminess and we have modified it slightly.  I hope that you enjoy it.

Dairy-Free Cheese Sauce

IMG_2499

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup chopped yellow potatoes
  • 1/4 cup chopped carrots
  • 1/3 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 3/4 cup water (use the warm water from the pot of boiled veggies)
  • 1/2 cup raw cashews
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/8 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • a few drops of Sriracha (optional, this will kick up the spice!)

Directions:

  1. Wash and chop veggies.
  2. Bring a medium to large pot of water to a boil.  Add the chopped potatoes, carrots and onions.  Cook for about 10 minutes or until vegetables are soft enough to blend.
  3. In the meantime, put the remaining ingredients into a blender or Vitamix.
  4. When the veggies are done, drain the water (leaving 3/4 cup water to add to the blender).
  5. Add the soft veggies and water to the blender or Vitamix.
  6. Blend all of the ingredients until smooth.
  7. Pour the warm sauce over pasta for Mac and cheese or use it as a sauce for baked potatoes.  The sauce is also great for dipping veggies or on a sandwich.
  8. Enjoy…and make sure to tag me on Instagram if you make this recipe :). I would love to see your creations.

 

6 Household Items That May Not Be Vegan

Hello everyone,

I hope that you had a wonderful holiday season and are enjoying 2019!

It has been awhile since I have written a blog and have some big things coming up in the following year.  For today, I wanted to kick off my blogging year with some information about daily use items (and some food) that may not be vegan.

Non vegan items.png

Sometimes I think the most difficult part of going vegan isn’t the food but is switching out all of the items in your home that contain animal products.

Here are just a few of our every day items that may contain animal products:

Razors: most razors have a lubricating strip above the blade that contains lanolin or glycerin (lanolin is a wool byproduct that comes from sheep while glycerin can also be derived from animals. I prefer to use Preserve Razors. They are vegan and are made from recycled yogurt cups. 

Lipstick: red lipstick often contains cochineal, which is made from crushed beetles. Tallow, which is made from rendering animal fat, is also found in many cosmetics. The animals used to make tallow come from sources such as labs, slaughterhouses, zoos and even roadkill! I try to find vegan lipsticks from Beauty Counter, Arbonne, or Elf Cosmetics.

White sugar: the refining process for white sugar often comes from bone char, a granular material from animal ashes.

Beer: beer and wine both can contain Isinglass, a chemical found in fish bladders. It is best to buy products that say “vegan” on the label.

Supplements/medication/vitamins: be careful to read the ingredients on these items. They often contain dairy and gelatin.

Nail polish: nail polish often contains guanine, which is made from ground-up fish scales. It is also found in cleaning products, fragrances, hair conditioners and skin care products.

PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT IF YOU HAVE ANY RECOMMENDATIONS FOR ANY OF THE ABOVE ITEMS.

Also, please make sure to contact me if you need any help with the transition process ❤

How Going Vegan Has Improved My Health

Hello everyone,
Happy Wellness Wednesday!
I just realized today that it has been almost two years since I went vegan. Honestly, it has been one of the best decisions I have ever made. Here are some of the health transformations that I have had since making the switch:
 
I healed from Lyme disease.
 
I no longer need to take thyroid medication (which I had been on for almost 17 years!).
 
My skin has improved greatly.
 
My bloating has decreased and my digestion has improved.
 
My asthma is gone.
 
I have a ton of energy!
 
My joints no longer hurt.
 
My periods are no longer debilitating.
 
I look forward to cooking (before I went vegan I couldn’t even boil water!) and love that I have found passion in my life!
 
There is absolutely no turning back!!! I cannot wait to see what my vegan future holds…
Have you had any health transformations since going vegan?  
I would love to hear them!
Or are you ready to make the vegan transition for your health?  I am here to help you anytime you are ready!

Can ONE person make a difference?

Hello everyone, I hope that you had a wonderful weekend.

I spent my Saturday night volunteering with Anonymous for the Voiceless, showing the truth behind factory farming and having peaceful conversations with onlookers (for more information on this, please read my blog post on volunteering).

This was an interesting evening, because we encountered a group of around 300 high school students who were in the area for a convention.  For the most part, the boys turned away or had some nasty comments to make, while the girls completely absorbed themselves in the footage and felt the animals’ suffering (this is not a judgment statement against boys and girls, but I do think that at this age, they are completely different with their emotions.  That is a subject for another time…).

During the night, there was one, young girl who totally touched my heart.  She was mainly watching the footage of how dairy cows are treated, how baby cows are taken away from their moms and are killed (footage that I cannot seem to get out of head even today!).  She couldn’t stop crying and you could see the pain in her eyes.  She completely got it and was asking questions about how to become vegan.  And then she said something that really startled me, “If I become vegan, what does it matter?  I am only one person!  What difference will it make?”

I think this may be the reason why many people don’t change what they are doing, whether it is recycling, going vegan, not using straws, composting, etc.  Can one person really make a difference?!

IMG_2916

First of all, imagine if everyone thought like this!  Imagine the people who have made a huge impact (like Martin Luther King Jr., Albert Einstein, Oprah!) thinking that there was no point to trying because they were only ONE person.

Second of all, even ONE person who goes vegan can make an impact on this world.  In just one year of being vegan a person can save 365 animals, 10,957 square feet of forest, 16,436 pounds of grain, and 401,766 gallons of water!!!  That is huge!  In addition, if that one vegan encourages 100 other people to go vegan, think of the impact that will have on the planet, their health and the animals who get to live.

ONE person can and WILL absolutely make a difference.  Do not ever sell yourself short because you don’t think that what you do matters.  Every action we take has an effect on this planet (good or bad) and we have to choose wisely.

I actually think it’s pretty cool that what we choose to feed our bodies can affect so much of this world.  I find it empowering ❤

 

Do you want to see how much of an impact you have made on this planet by being vegan?  Head over to vegan calculator to check your statistics!

Garlicky Rosemary Potato Soup

Hello everyone and happy Friday!

This is an old recipe but is still one of our favorites.  It is delicious, comforting and is perfect for those upcoming Fall evenings.

We found this recipe in The No Meat Athlete Cookbook and it has quickly become one of our favorites.  It’s easy to make and is incredibly filling.  Enjoy it with a warm piece of vegan toast 🙂

Garlicky Rosemary Potato Soup (The No Meat Athlete Cookbook)

Serves 4-6

IMG_8306

Ingredients: 

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (Optional. Or use ¼ cup/120 ml of the broth listed below)
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped fine
  • 1 celery rib, chopped fine
  • 8 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves stripped and minced
  • 2 pounds waxy potatoes, such as Yukon Gold, peeled and diced
  • One 15-ounce can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper, plus more to taste
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • ¼ cup Cashew Cream: 1 cup raw cashews, soaked in hot water for 1 hour, then drained, 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice, ½ teaspoon salt, ½ to 1 cup water….blended together Click here for quick demo on how to make Cashew Cream
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

 

Directions: 

  • Place a medium stockpot over medium-high heat.  Add the oil, then add the onion, celery, garlic, and rosemary.  Cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes.  Add the potatoes, beans, bay leaf, and ¼ teaspoon pepper and stir to combine.  Add the broth, increase the heat to high, and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and cook until the potatoes are tender, about 30 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in cashew cream.  (If you prefer a smooth texture, puree half the soup in a blender).
  • Add ¼ teaspoon salt and season with more pepper. Discard the bay leaf before serving.

 

Click here to purchase your own copy of The No Meat Athlete Cookbook.

What do vegans eat?!

You have decided that you are ready to go vegan, you’ve found your “why”, you have studied all of the benefits, but now you are wondering…..what do vegans eat????

The short answer is that vegans eat everything that non vegans eat!  They just happen to do so without including animal products of any kind 🙂

Unknown-1

Let me explain with a little bit longer of an answer…..

A vegan diet is one that doesn’t consist of any animal products: meat, dairy, eggs, fish or honey.  And depending on your “why”, you may eat differently than other vegans.  If your reason for going vegan is strictly for the animals, then you may go the vegan junk food route in which there is literally a vegan version of everything: vegan sausage, vegan ice cream, vegan burgers, vegan pizza, vegan fish, vegan chicken nuggets, so and on and so on.  However, if are transitioning to a vegan diet for health reasons, then you may stick with a whole food plant based version: vegetables, fruit, legumes, and grains.

IMG_8713

For fun, imagine going grocery shopping.  All you have to do is avoid animal products.  What’s left?  Everything else! And the options are endless: fruits, veggies, beans, lentils, potatoes, herbs, tofu, seitan, tempeh, rice, plant based milks, plant based ice creams, vegan meats, vegan cheese, nuts and seeds……

To show you how easy it can be, let me take you through a typical day of eating for me:

Breakfast: oatmeal with fruit, hemp seeds and a green tea

Lunch:  a giant salad with lettuce, red cabbage, peas, sauerkraut, cucumber, tofu, pumpkin seeds, bell pepper, avocado, and miso/lemon dressing

(you absolutely don’t have to eat salads, but I enjoy them!)

Snack: a giant smoothie (which will sometimes include a plant based protein powder)

Dinner: pasta, vegan sausage, veggies and marinara sauce, chickpea salad sandwich, potato soup, Mac and cheese or a baked sweet potato

Dessert: if I have dessert it’ll often be fruit or “nice cream”

The trick to switching to a vegan diet is to not complicate things and to try to make it fun!  This should be something that you are excited and are empowered to try.  And if you get stuck, there are tons of resources on the Internet.  Go to Pinterest and type in “vegan” __________________ (pizza, Mac and cheese, sausage, burger, etc).  You will find a recipe for anything that your heart desires.

Best of luck and please remember that I am always here for you if you have any questions or if you need support ❤