Saturday, 31 March 2012

OMG Cupcakes

Today's post is short and sweet... but not too sweet. Not too raw either.

Last week, Amanda and I made the best baked cupcakes ever. They were chocolate banana with peanut butter frosting with pretzels on top. We adapted it from this recipe. I made a ton of these and thought I'd have too many left over. They were gone within 2 days. I advise you to make them ASAP and prove to skeptics how incredible vegan baked goods are. Or ya know... just eat them all yourself.

Chocolate Banana Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting
makes about 12 cupcakes with extra frosting
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 cup raw sugar
  • 5 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/4 cup cocoa
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup non-dairy milk
Preheat oven at 350 degrees. In large sized bowl, stir together sugar, coconut oil, vanilla, and mashed bananas. In medium sized bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. A little at a time, stir in flour mixture and almond milk into the sugar mixture until smooth. Place batter evenly into lined cupcake pan, and bake for 12-15 minutes.
Peanut Butter Frosting
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup agave/honey/maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 3 tablespoons almond milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Simply whisk it all together! Feel free to add more or less of anything to get desired consistency and taste. Frost the cupcakes and top with pretzel pieces. WOOT.

Friday, 30 March 2012

The Post

Hey my darlings, I'm sorry I haven't posted in FOREVER. I've been preoccupied, but mostly lazy and forgetful. Today's post is just a plethora of photos and things I've been doing/eating for the last weeks. Enjoy. Regular scheduling will return shortly.

First: I made the ultimate sundaes with friends. Avec les sparklers.

They were obviously ridiculously good. I don't even remember what we put on them but it looks like figs, chocolate sauce, and peanut butter? It was a food party. We also made some amazing Thai noodles and sweet and sour tofu... thinking about it now makes my mouth water. Mmm...

I've been eating a lot of raw pasta lately because my dear friend Eva bought me a Spirooli. I usually make it with a nut butter and garlic sauce, or avocado. Here's some recipe ideas. I pretty much always use zucchini for the noodles. Carrots work as well but zucchini has the perfect texture and colour. I've used bell peppers in the past. Any wide vegetable will work. Get creative!

Another thing I've been making a lot for dinner is raw wraps. In seaweed sheets or rice paper. I have always loved burritos and anything else in a wrap. Something about it being packed with good stuff, picking it up in your hands and taking a big bite =) Normally I put in a mix of any or all of the following: carrots, avocado, bell pepper, corn, onion, tomato, zucchini, lettuce, sprouts... and probably a bunch of other stuff. I use the same kinds of sauces I'd put on pasta. Actually - in this picture I HAVE pasta in the wrap. I know - it's gettin' wild up in here.

Look at that sexy avocado... goodness me. 

My mom has been making tons of fresh juice lately in our Jack La Lanne Juicer. I'm a smoothie person myself because I love the fiber, and you take that out when you juice. Having said that, fresh juice is AWESOME! Make it. It's delicious and the since you DO take out the fiber, the nutrients enter your blood within like 15 minutes. Crazy. Juice definitely has it's benefits - it's great for fasting, detoxing and nourishing nutrient deficient individuals. Juicing has saved lives! 

And here's a smoothie I've been making after my workouts these past few days. We don't have any greens so for ONCE my smoothies are actually a pretty colour. It matches my pink glass straw =) It's a blend of a banana, kiwi, protein powder, coconut milk, hemp seeds, and strawberries. 

Okay... coming to a close soon - I made some more chocolate. Of course. For the first time it's TOTALLY RAW! In the past I've only been able to use cocoa because we didn't HAVE cacao. Now we do =) I can never leave things be so I also added mesquite, goji berries, coconut and jungle peanuts. Greg called it chocolate brittle.

ALRIGHT THE LAST THING. Mad Men premiered again after an 18 month hiatus! If you watch the TV show, you will understand the importance of this event, if you don't watch it - you should. It's an awesome show, not only for the sets, costumes and 60's era feel, but for the human drama as well. It's smart and different. 

Anyways, we made vegan White Russians - oh so 60's - and I made raw finger food... dates and nut butter with toothpicks. I suppose any small food with a toothpick in it could be vintage finger food, right? The drinks and snacks were great, and the show's premiere was like seeing a friend after 1 year and a half.

I will post a baked cupcake recipe tomorrow, and some links to recipes in this post! 
That's all for now, folks.

Friday, 23 March 2012

day dreams,flowers & bees

Today was lovely, and it's not over yet.

I woke up, went to class, and when I returned home I had a quick workout. Then I noticed the sun was shining brightly outside so I decided I'd spend the afternoon in our yard. I put lemon juice in my hair - it makes it lighter - and with green smoothie (and glass straw!) in hand, I went out.

There's something very special and wonderful about eating raw plants in nature; because nature IS raw plants! This is why I love drinking green smoothies outside. You feel extraordinarily connected to the planet and all it includes. As I walked around in the sun rays, sipping my elixir, I noticed the first signs of spring.

Tiny flowers and leaves were bright and blooming everywhere you looked. 

Even in winter, you still see the smallest signs of life and determination. The thought went through my head many times that nothing is ever totally dead. There isn't such a thing as absolute death. 

Life is infinite. 

Everything is just recycled again and again, becoming something new each time, but never completely ending. Because how could you judge when something ends? It doesn't disappear. It's cells are simply re-arranged. Quite a lovely fact about this world we get to participate in. 

Our kale never stopped growing once all year. It defied the temperatures, storms and wind. What a champ. Guess what's in my smoothie today. Kale. 

I noticed the bees busily getting pollen from all the flowers, like a group of relentless workers. I laid down beside them to watch them go about their day's labour. I must have laid there listening to my music and watching them, fascinated, for over an hour. The sun continued to shine.

Then I noticed that apparently my smoothie wasn't finished! The last of it was being devoured by several hungry creatures behind me. I felt great that we could share our food, and not worry about anything but staying warm and getting enough nutrients together. 

Everybody gets some love.

Whadda cutie.

I then proceeded to dance around like a wood elf for another hour or so. When you get a sunny and WARM day here, you don't waste it inside if you have a choice. At least I don't. Finally I went back inside and had a lovely bath, washing the lemon, leaves, moss and twigs out of my hair. I think I brought half the nature in our yard back inside with me. 

Now I'm writing this, and soon my friends will be here. We're gonna relax and light incense in the Zen Den tonight. Looking forward to it. That's all for now! Tomorrow I'll share ANOTHER killer cupcake recipe and one for zucchini pasta. Nom.

Namaste, my friends - Have a beautiful day!

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

something special: dark chocolate cake

Today is my brother's girlfriend's birthday. He planned out a whole lovely evening for her, which included a decadent, healthy chocolate cake for two that he asked me to make for them.

I'm not gonna lie - I tasted it while I was making it to make sure it was good. It is SO good. You should make this... soon. I made up the recipe as I was going so I have written it here as close to what I did as possible. In any case you will end up with a double chocolate vegan cake made with love so it can't be a bad thing.

It's safe to say I won my bro some brownie points tonight... or cake points. Happy Birthday, Marcella!

Today I stayed home from school because I didn't feel well in the morning. I really don't know what's up lately. I basically never get sick since I've been vegan and yet in the past two months I've now gotten TWO colds. Hmph.

Ah well, it gave me some much needed time to get my thoughts together for a paper in my history of sexuality course. Fascinating stuff! I love history (we need to know our past in order to understand our present, and predict our future). When you think about it, sexuality is a fundamental factor in everything humans do.

What are all organisms all about? Food and sex. Respectively, they keep us alive and allow us to pass along our genes to continue the survival and evolution of our species. Pretty simple rules for a very complicated world. Ultimately, all we need to look at to understand human behaviour are the driving forces of food and sex. This is why I think my history of sexuality course is so interesting and important. Sorry... I got a little off topic. Back to mini birthday cakes. 

It's super moist and super chocolatey so be prepared for bliss. You'll have left over cake and icing.

Double Chocolate Mini Cake: serves 2

3/4 cup vegan milk
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
3/4 cup cane sugar/brown sugar
1/2 cup veg oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract 

3/4 cup whole wheat/oat/almond flour
3/4 cup cocoa/cacao 
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt 
1/4 tsp cayenne
1 tsp cinnamon
A wee bit of honey/agave/maple syrup, if desired

1/4 cup tofu
1/2 cup cashew butter
1/3 cup raw powdered sugar
1/4 veg oil/vegan butter
1/2 cup non-dairy milk
Vanilla seeds from 1 pod
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup agave/honey/maple syrup
1/8-1/4 cup booze (I used maple whiskey) 
1/2 bar melted dark chocolate
1/3 cup cocoa 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. To make the cake, mix ingredients from first list together and let sit for 5 minutes. Sift in the rest of the ingredients and stir until smooth. Taste it to make sure it's to your liking.
Pour evenly into two 9 inch cake pans lined with foil. The batter should be pretty shallow in both; that's because you're going to be making 4 layers. Bake for about 10-15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. 
While they're baking, make the icing. Blend all the ingredients together until smooth. It should taste like the best freaking chocolate icing ever. Set aside.

When done baking, let the cakes sit out in the pans for 10 minutes. Then take them out and use a giant cookie cutter (big circle) to cut out 4 cake circles - 2 from each cake. Put the bottom layer onto something you can easily transfer it with later. Then frost each layer and finally the top and sides. Hurraw! 

I had to decorate mine with goji berries. You know me.

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

funky monkeys

I'm rocking out to some great - albeit weird - music right now and I don't wanna stop playing it so my writing will be pretty brief; since I can't concentrate on listening to music and pay attention to what I'm writing at the same time! All you need to know, is that these are delicious and possess magical properties.

They are frozen banana slices covered in raw dark chocolate, then rolled in coconut chunks, goji berries, and raw jungle peanuts. NOM! Who couldn't love that? Anyway, you can change up the mix however you want. Don't like (or have) goji berries? Use another dried berry... or no berry at all. Use different kinds of nuts too. If you're allergic to coconut - put something else on.

I called them funky monkeys because monkeys eat bananas... and they're funky because they're covered in chocolate, berries and nuts! Plus, it hopefully got your attention. Something magical and delicious happens when you let them thaw for about 30 minutes after taking them out of the freezer. The bananas get the consistency of ice cream - they melt and become all gooey and sweeter. So be patient and let them soften a little before chowing down, it's worth it. 

Funky Monkeys: makes... however many you want! 

1/2 recipe for raw chocolate (or you can use a melted dark chocolate bar)
3 bananas
1/2 cup mix of goji berries, coconut chunks and peanuts

Peel and slice the bananas. Dip/cover in the chocolate and then roll in the nut/coconut/berry mix. Put them on wax paper on a tray and stick in the freezer for 1-2 hours. When they're frozen, take them out and wait 30 minutes or so, until you see the bananas start to "melt". Devour. 

NOTE: If you have left-over chocolate... well yeah. I don't consider this a problem so nevermind.  

Monday, 19 March 2012

we got coconut oil in da house

First of all: update on my fast. I had to end it early because I had school today. However, things look good for the 21 day fast I'd like to do in a month! Because on my 2nd day I felt good. Tired and a little weak, yes; but mentally I felt like I could surely go a long time. I didn't even particularly want to eat...

Very different from the 1st day - I was just hungry and doubting if I wanted to do this; which usually happens on the first day of any fast/cleanse, but after that it's easy. Anyhoo - SOON.

Moving on. Today we got our package from Upaya Naturals! It was a big, heavy brown box that contained treasure. Treasure, meaning a gallon of Tropic's Best raw virgin coconut oil, Sunfood cacao powder, and Strawesome glass straws! YAAAAY. 

You will be seeing some more raw chocolate very soon =) Speaking of chocolate... care for some pudding? I made some last night for my parents and I, since we had 3 avocados that were VERY ripe and screaming to be used in pudding. They got their wishes. Here's the recipe

I was late for class because I was taking photos! But when I got to campus I learned my lecture was cancelled anyway... So I ended up talking for two hours with my friend who happened to be there until my next class. Things have a way of working out.

Saturday, 17 March 2012

water fast: day 1 & cupcakes for st. pattie's!

Wow. I slept for about 15 hours. I am a sleep-o-holic anyway, but I could have easily slept more. The only reason I actually got up was to say hi to my friends who came over, and give them some of these:

They're Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes with Maple Whiskey Vanilla Frosting. Everyone is saying they're delicious so I advise you to make them TODAY. It is Saint Patrick's Day =)

Obviously I didn't eat any today, but I did have one yesterday and can tell you they're awesome. Super moist,  chocolaty with just a HINT of excellent beer. Guinness is a family favourite here.

I've seen this recipe a lot for St. Pattie's, but never a vegan one. So here ya go! Enjoy.

Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes with Vanilla Whiskey Frosting: makes about 20 cupcakes 

1 bottle of Guinness Extra Stout (other kinds are NOT vegan)
2 sticks vegan butter
3/4 cup cocoa 
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups raw sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cayenne
1 tsp instant coffee powder
1 tsp salt
2 Tb ground flax mixed with 4 Tb water 
1/2 cup vegan yogurt (or use non-dairy milk)

1/2 package tofu
1/2 cup vegan butter
1/2 cup raw powdered sugar
1 cup non-dairy milk
Vanilla seeds from 1 pod
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup agave/honey/maple syrup (if desired)
1/4 cup whiskey 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift all dry ingredients together, set aside. Melt butter and beer together, then stir in the rest of the wet ingredients. Mix the dry and wet ingredients together until just combined and pour into cupcakes molds, or a cupcake pan lined with papers/vegetable oil. Bake for about 20 minutes. 

While they're baking, make the frosting: blend all ingredients together in blender until smooth and thick. I fiddled with mine a lot and so ended up with a lot extra. If your frosting is too thick - add more whiskey, non-dairy milk, or liquid sweetener. If it's too thick, add more powdered sugar, tofu or vegan butter. Keep in fridge until the cupcakes are ready to decorate. 

Pipe the frosting onto each cupcake and decorate with green sparkles for St. Pattie's! =)

Now, you probably care a lot more about Chocolate Beer Cupcakes than hearing about my water fast; but I'll talk more anyway. Today is good so far, it's the first day so nothing much happens in terms of detox. I feel a bit hungry but not uncomfortably so. I've dranken a quart of water, I'll probably drink another before I go to sleep. Actually, now that I'm typing this, I realize I'm thirsty!

water fast

Hey guys. I think Blogger changed Canadian blogs from .com to .ca, which is cool but it means I lose all my likes, shares, tweets and StumbleUpon submissions... hmph!

This weekend I will be doing a 3-5 day water fast; the duration depends on results and how my body reacts. I made sure to have no plans (besides homework, sigh) and Tuesday I don't have class or work. Thus Monday is the only day I'll have to worry about being active. If I don't feel up to fasting after Sunday then I'll stop. But I think I can handle it. We'll see.

Fasting has been done for as long as humans have been around. Our ancient ancestors "fasted" all the time unwillingly simply because food wasn't around everyday! And later on when people had food available daily, they chose to fast for many reasons. For thousands of years it has been one of the most therapeutic medicines. It is healing, detoxifying, spiritually-enlightening, and emotionally-reconnecting.

Think of important spiritual, medicinal and humanistic proponents - Hippocrates, Plato, Aristotle, Gandhi, Buddha, Mohammad, Jesus, Moses, and many more - they all promoted fasting for several different reasons. Fasting is encouraged in nearly every major religion in the world. Not only because it allows the body to heal itself and detoxify, but also because emotionally and spiritually you are re-awakened and are able to focus on what is really significant (besides eating).

I won't delve deeper into the health benefits right now because there's simply too much to say! Research for yourself, I recommend it. There are many excellent sources of information on the subject available online and in your library =)

I will give daily posts about how I'm feeling, how my body is reacting, and what I'm doing. I'll also provide a little more general info about water fasting. WHY am I doing this? Well, I need to cleanse. My diet has been pretty random lately (as has my sleep schedule). This will reset my digestive system and my circadian rhythms.

Also, I've been feeling out of touch with my Self lately. I have not really meditated in several weeks; and I generally just feel unconscious. I am not excited about anything even though there's many things I SHOULD be excited about. Finally, I'm not passionate about FOOD lately! I view this as a sign I need to take a break from eating; not only to remind myself how wonderful food is and be grateful for it, but also because it shows me my body wants to take a break from eating too.

Time to do some spring cleaning.

Well, that's about it. Please give me your thoughts, advice and support while I complete this! 
Maybe you wanna do it with me? Yeeeeees?

this also best choice to make beef bourguignon if you are have party