Tag Archives: vegan

Vegan Tomato Tortilla Soup

Before I became an ‘excarnivore’ I loved making chicken tortilla soup.  It is sad eating out because I can never order tortilla soup anymore because it is ALWAYS made with chicken and often chicken broth.  I made this recipe for the first time tonight and it was delicious.  I followed the recipe in The China Study Cookbook, but made a few modifications for my taste and preference.

Makes 4-6 servings, total prep and cook time 20-30 minutes

  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 jalapeño, diced (seeds optional)
  • 2/3 cup celery, diced
  • 1 1/2 cups corn
  • 1 can diced tomatoes with chilies
  • 25 oz tomato sauce
  • 16 oz vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1-2 soft tortillas sliced  (optional with coconut oil)
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • salt, optional 
  1. In a large soup pot, sauté onion, garlic, jalapeño, and celery in 1/4 cup of water until onions are soft.
  2. Add corn, can of tomatoes with chilies, tomato sauce, and vegetable broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. Two options for step 3.  If you want crispy tortilla strips fry them in a pan with coconut oil.  Tortilla strips will be a garnish. If you don’t want the oil reserve the tortillas to add in step 4.
  4. Add oregano, basil, rosemary, thyme, (tortillas if keeping them soft instead of fried in step 3), cilantro (reserve small amount for garnish), and lime juice.  Simmer for 2 minutes.  Optional season with salt (I didn’t add salt to mine, be sure to taste first because salt may be in your canned/bottled ingredients).
  5. Serve garnished with cilantro, avocado, and tortilla strips if fried. ¡Buen Provecho!

Vegan Tomato Tortilla Soup

 

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Rice Cake Snacks

So I have fallen back in love with rice cakes lately.  I always enjoyed them growing up and impulsively bought some at Whole Foods recently.  The brand I bought, Lundberg, offsets 100% of the electricity used to manufacture their products with renewable energy.  How awesome is that?  I also love that their organic brown rice cakes  have only two ingredients: organic whole grain brown rice and sea salt. I also have a new obsession with coconut manna and these two pair perfectly!  Coconut manna is usually hard at room temperature so to make it spreadable I warm the jar in warm water on the stove.  Don’t bring the water to a boil though!

Rice cake, coconut manna, raw cacao nibs

  • One organic brown rice cake
  • 2 T coconut manna
  • Pinch of raw cacao nibs

rice cake, coconut manna, almond pulp

  • One organic brown rice cake
  • 2 T coconut manna
  • 4 T raw almond pulp (leftover from making homemade almond milk, alternatively chop almonds)
  • (pictured with a glass of homemade vanilla almond milk topped with a pinch of coconut sugar)

rice cake, peanut butter, coconut manna

  • One organic brown rice cake
  • 2-3 T peanut butter
  • 1 T coconut manna

I hope you guys enjoy these ideas!  They make a for a healthy breakfast or post workout snack filled with protein!

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“As far as eating is concerned, humans are the most stupid animals on the planet. We kill billions of wild animals to protect the animals that we eat. We are destroying our environment to feed to the animals we eat. We spend more time, money and resources fattening up the animals that we eat, than we do feeding humans who are dying of hunger. The greatest irony is that after all the expenses of raising these animals, we eat them; and they kill us slowly… And rather than recognize this madness, we torture and murder millions of animals trying to find cures to diseases caused by eating animals in the first place.” -Mike Anderson

“As far as eati…

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Food for Thought

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If you were alone on a deserted island with a pig, would you eat the pig or starve to death?

Hmm. If you were not alone, living on a planet with 7 billion people, had access to unlimited fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans, and other healthy foods and know animals suffer and die horrible deaths so you could eat them when you don’t need to eat them to survive, would you continue to eat them? The difference between our questions is that your scenario will never happen and mine is the choice you face right now. Which do you believe is worth answering? -Andrew Kirschner

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Raw Lemonade

The time will come when men such as I will look upon the murder of animals as they now look upon the murder of men. -Leonardo Da Vinci

I hope you all are having a fun Memorial Day Weekend.  We didn’t really do anything special this weekend since I am busy studying for the CPA exam, and my boyfriend worked on Saturday.  Today I made lemonade for the first time after some inspiration from a vegan gal I follow on Instagram.  This is the classic summer drink, and I made it with raw agave nectar instead of the usual processed, refined sugar.  Raw agave nectar is an all-natural sugar replacement made from the juice of the weber blue agave plant.  You can use agave nectar as a sugar replacement in all recipes.  My bottle suggests you use 1/2 to 2/3 cups of agave nectar per 1 cup sugar in recipes.  Raw agave should be selected over pasteurized agave so that the enzymes aren’t killed and will aid in digestion.  Other benefits of agave nectar are that it has a low glycemic index, and it even helps with calcium absorption.

Ingredients

  • 3-4 lemons
  • 4 tablespoons raw agave nectar
  • 4 cups water
  • ice
  • optional, several fresh mint leaves
  1. Juice/squeeze 3 1/2 lemons.  Pour the lemon juice in a pitcher.
  2. Add the water and raw agave nectar to the pitcher.  Whisk the ingredients to blend.
  3. If it is to your taste preference add ice to fill up the pitcher.  Also add the slices from the remaining 1/2 lemon to the pitcher.
  4. Optional, add fresh mint leaves for a nice twist!

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Peanut Coconut Butter Banana Sandwich

What kind of messed up, brainwashed society are we living in where exploitation and killing are considered “normal” and compassion and non-violence are considered “extreme”?

A grown up twist on the peanut butter and banana sandwich.  This can be a breakfast, lunch, or healthy dessert!

  • bread/toast
  • banana
  • coconut and peanut spread (peanut butter, coconut oil, and agave)
  • cinnamon

Toast your favorite type of bread.  Then spread Earth Balance coconut & peanut spread, or you can make it yourself!  Mix peanut butter, coconut oil, and agave.  Add a sliced banana, and sprinkle with cinnamon.  Talk about easy and delicious 🙂

Coconut peanut and banana sandwich

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Baked Tofu Salad

“Give your dog or cat respect, patience, understanding, and love.  And if you just change to one vegetarian day a week, that’s a wonderful step that will save animal lives.  It means you have chosen something kind instead of something cruel.”- Ingrid Newkirk

I like the quote above because I think that is a good challenge that everyone can and should do.  Maybe make it “Meatless Monday” and make a conscious effort to avoid meat and animal products.  I’m thinking about challenging myself to follow a vegan diet one day a week.

So I had this delicious salad at the Village Bakery and Cafe in Athens, Ohio.  This salad can be easily replicated so I thought I’d pass it along.

  • spring mix of salad
  • sprouts
  • baked tofu
  • apple slices
  • avocado
  • almonds
  • homemade feta and dill salad dressing (vegan with a different type of salad dressing)
  • garnish with orange slices

Spring mix, sprouts, baked tofu, almonds, avocado, orange, dill and feta dressing

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“Natural Flavors”

natural flavor

“Natural Flavors”

You may have noticed the use of the term “natural flavors” in processed and packaged foods if you look at the ingredient’s list (which you should!!)  Well “natural flavors” are not as innocent as it may sound.  Foods that are labeled organic, vegetarian, or vegan do not have to follow that label for “natural flavors”.  “Natural flavors” can be derived from plant or animal “matter”.  So your organic vegan soup, cookie, or whatever could contain animal products disguised in the form of “natural flavor”. MSG, aspartame, and bugs are all considered “natural flavors” and “natural colors” that can be found in your food.  I recommend that you read the article above and eliminate foods that have “natural flavors” from your diet whenever possible.

Below is an excerpt from two articles that FoodBabe wrote about “natural flavors” too.  If you haven’t read her blog before I highly recommend you check it out too!  She investigates what is really in our food, and she provides some recipes along the way.

“The natural and artificial chemicals that flavor manufactures engineer are contributing to what David Kessler (former head of the FDA) calls a “food carnival” in your mouth. The inability to stop eating because the flavors they have synthesized trick your mind into wanting more and more. They don’t want you to have the full essence of the strawberry – they want you to only experience the best 1 millionth part of the taste – so you get “addicted” and keep having to go back for more and more, searching continuously for gratification – eating more of that product which in turns fills Big Food Companies pockets. The Big Food Companies are “hijacking” your taste buds one by one.

Most of us know artificial flavors derived from petroleum aren’t good for us, but the with the words “natural flavor” food chemists and companies can put whatever they want in your food that is “generally regarded as safe” including excitotoxins. Natural flavor can legally contain natural occurring “glutamate” bi-products like MSG – which are known excitotoxins. These excitotoxins are some of the chemicals that cause your taste buds to experience irresistibility when it comes to food. Ever wonder why you can’t just eat one chip? Or one cookie? Or why you remember a taste of a product so distinctly and crave uncontrollably? Excitotoxins can be to blame. Excitotoxins overexcite your cells literally until they die or are damaged causing “injury” and “incapacitating” you with disease. When consumed over time, excitotoxins can cause nerve disorders resulting a myriad of diseases from stroke to Alzheimer’s to Parkinson’s. And lots of other side effects too – like obesity, migraines, fatigue and depression.”

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My lunch between classes

So I have a little break between my classes today.  I am at one of my favorite local coffee houses.  I am enjoying my (free) large iced vanilla latte thanks to my rewards card.  The salad is made from shagbark black beans, spelt berries, corn, red cabbage, cilantro, carrots, red onions, cumin, sea salt, and pepper.  It is delish!  Just thought I’d share.

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Hot and Sour Soup

In fact, if one person is unkind to an animal it is considered to be cruelty, but where a lot of people are unkind to animals, especially in the name of commerce, the cruelty is condoned and, once large sums of money are at stake, will be defended to the last by otherwise intelligent people. –Ruth Harrison

As my final semester of college (or at least as an undergraduate) comes near an end I have been really busy lately.  On top of final exams, assignments, and presentations I am preparing to move several states away.  So I am trying to squeeze in posts when I can!

As I have said before, I love making soups because they provide multiple meals.  Soups are usually better the next day anyway!  So I decided to make this soup on the first 80 degree day of the year, which was probably not good planning.

As a note, the color of my soup is a little different than when you order it at a Chinese restaurant because I added the egg too early because I didn’t follow the recipe (oops!).  So make sure to add the egg once the soup is nice and hot. I also kept adding more chili sauce because I like it spicy! Plus, I used “hot n spicy” pre-seasoned tofu, and restaurants usually use plain tofu. So the orange seasonings dissolved in the soup.

Ingredients

  • dried mushrooms –any combination of padi straw, shitake, cloud ears, lily buds (I did 1/2 oz dried padi and 1 oz dried shitake based on what I could find in my small town)
  • 32 oz vegetable broth
  • 1 T sesame oil
  • 2-3 T chili sauce (I did about 5 in mine)
  • 1 T rice vinegar
  • 1 T soy sauce
  • 6 oz hot ‘n spicy smoked tofu cut into tiny squares
  • 1 beaten egg (vegan without!)
  • 8 oz sliced bamboo shoots
  • 3 oz sliced water chestnuts
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 2 ladles of residual water after soaking the mushrooms
  • salt and pepper
  1.  Soak the mushrooms in water for about 30 minutes.
  2. While the mushrooms are soaking, make the broth.  Mix the vegetable broth, sesame oil, chili sauce, rice vinegar, and soy sauce.  Salt and pepper to taste, and modify broth to taste.  Heat the broth.
  3. Add bamboo shoots, water chestnuts, and mushrooms.  Add 2 ladles of water from the soaked mushrooms for additional flavor.
  4. Simmer for about 20 minutes.  Gradually pour beaten egg into simmering soup while constantly stirring. Add green onions.
  5. Optional garnish of additional green onions.

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