Category Archives: Vegan Meals

Veganized versions of favorites and just some intuitive, yummy surprise experiments

Coconut Curried Chickpeas

Not even two weeks ago we were getting warm, sunny, beautiful weather. For the past week though- cold and rainy. What more do you want on cold, rainy days than to cozy up in a fluffy blanket with a warm bowl of something delicious? And a book, of course. In my endeavor to make something hot and yummy, I rummaged through the cupboards to see what I could whip up.

Curry? Check!

Coconut milk? Check!

Chickpeas? Perfect!

And so it began- my experiment with making anything curried. Now I’m certainly no expert, and this is relatively mild in comparison to the curries I’ve tried that are made by others who actually know what they’re doing, but it’s still delicious and hit the spot for me on a chilly day.

chickkypeasWhat will you need?

  • 1 green bell pepper, diced or julienned
  • about a 1/2 dry pint of white button or baby bella mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • a big handful of baby or 2 regular sized carrots, diced
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic, or about 2 cloves
  • 1 13.5 oz can or about 1.5-2 cups of chickpeas (if you’re using bagged, make sure to soak and blanche them first!)
  • 1/2 of a 13.5 can of coconut milk (shake if you’re using full fat, or skim the cream off before shaking, whatever you desire)
  • 2 tbsp curry powder (I prefer without ginger, and I used a Jamaican style)
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • and the secret ingredient- a pinch (less than a 1/4 tsp) of cinnamon!
  • optional- a few shakes of red pepper flakes or hot chili powder to your taste

First things first, you might want to make a  big ol’ pot of basmati rice. If you’re doing this, start it before you start making the chickpeas so they’ll finish at the same time.

For the chickpeas, start by heating up a 12″ saute pan or any relatively shallow pot. Heat up the pan over medium high heat and add your coconut oil and salt. Once you hear the salt begin to sizzle, add all of your veggies, chickpeas, and your garlic. Saute them until the edges of the onions just begin to go translucent. If your onions are browning, turn the heat down a little- we don’t want any caramel action in here. Once your onions begin to go translucent, add your coconut milk, curry powder, cinnamon, and chili or red pepper flakes. Stir it all together and let it simmer until the liquid reduces to half.

Serve over basmati rice with whatever veggies your heart desires.




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A Tofu Scramble and Thoughts on Confidence

Being a woman, and having female friends, our confidence is something that is relatively easy to shatter, and like trust; it can take a very long time to earn it back again. We can break our own confidence, or it can break at the will of another’s harsh words; simply a look by another, or worse, just by seeing someone walk by. I don’t even mean confidence about only our physical appearance. Society has shaped itself into something that has made every one of us very vulnerable and what we look like, do, or believe is only okay upon receiving the approval of the majority.

Knowing this fact, how many days do you look in the mirror and throw on an outfit that you might like, but are worried someone else might think you look ridiculous? You try a new hair do out, you like it, but you’re afraid you just “can’t pull it off”, you don’t want to wear make-up, or you do want to wear make-up one day; but decide against it because of how other people might react to this different facade? Have you ever stood in front of the mirror in your 2 piece swimsuit and thought for a second “wow I actually look pretty hot!” but decided against wearing it? What about all that “embarrassing” music you have in your ipod? Don’t want people to see it? Collect something that you don’t want people to “judge”

We’re always second guessing ourselves! Maybe it was a cruel ex who never thought we looked good enough, maybe it was a parent that was just a little too hard on us, maybe we got picked on in school, maybe one friend (as much as we claim to appreciate it) is a little too brutal in their honesty. We can even blame it on the media; dictating what’s cool to do, wear, listen to, watch, speak like, look like, weigh, and what’s not. Where do you think these fad diets come from? It’s all some bologna to get you to fit the cookie cutter mold we’ve been trained to look up to. Everyone in their own shape and size is beautiful in their own way, some are naturally very thin, and some are heavier.

Regardless of whom or what may have kicked our confidence out at the back of the knees; upon talking to several women in recent weeks and realizing just how low our confidence is as a whole, I think it’s time to really sit back and think about why we look upon ourselves with such disapproval, and think of reasons why we shouldn’t. Confidence isn’t really something that just happens. Think of it like getting over a bad break-up. Can you get over someone if you don’t try? No, you can’t. You cry, and you cry, and you cry some more, but if you’re only thinking about how much you miss your S.O., then how on earth are you ever going to get over them? You need to think of why you broke up, and why you’ll be okay. You have to think of what you can do. That’s how confidence works. Why is it gone? Why did I let go of it? Don’t I deserve to have it back?

My confidence didn’t used to be what it is today, and it will continue to grow and change. Life is rough, and I’ve had my years in the toilet; everyone has their tough patches. There was a time when I would see my reflection and feel nauseous at what I saw, because of my weight, my face; I would look and see not only my physical appearance, but what a “loser” I thought I was. One day I realized how my being so hard on myself would influence the most important person in my life: my little sister. If I keep doing this to myself, will she pick up on my traits? Will she feel so terrible about herself if it’s okay for me? That day, I forced myself to strip down in front of a full length mirror and say ten things that were beautiful about myself. 5 physical, and 5 personality. I think the first day I did this I was up until 4 in the morning with nothing to say to myself. I forced myself to keep doing this until I started to believe it. In the morning while getting ready I would finally not have to think about it, and a compliment to myself would pop into my head. I encourage you all to try this, male or female. No one has to know that you’re doing this so don’t feel embarrassed… I know it feels silly but I really think this helped to pick me up from a very unhappy place.

I think it’s fair to say that we all have at least one outside person in our lives that tells us how beautiful or handsome we are. I can say this because I already know that we are all beautiful people; inside and out. I was lucky in finding a boy that really opened my eyes to this, and helped to really BELIEVE what I had been telling myself since I was 16 years old: “you are beautiful”, and this means something to me, because he actually knows and believes this, pure and simple.

I’m here writing this to you all right now to be to you; what his eyes are to me.

You’re all on this journey, and we’re all on different levels. We need to learn to accept ourselves and better ourselves on a deeper level than looking like whichever celebrity. I am hoping that you are doing this to please yourself and no one else. I hope that envisioning your final “product” isn’t the only thing keeping you going; because I know that every single one of us deserves to truly love every single facet of ourselves, in progress or not. The journey is the part that really matters, I want you all to sit back and think about what you’re telling yourself to motivate you through this ride: You are already beautiful, and you deserve to be happier.

You hold all the power in the world to make yourself beautiful, and all it takes is the confidence to see it in your own reflection.

Now: On to the food!

Today we have a Tofu Scramble


I normally don’t like tofu unless it’s marinated to taste like something else. I hate using it in frostings and dessert recipes. I don’t like it in smoothies. To me, it just tastes like mushy beans. Tofu scramble is the main exception for me.

In my pre-vegan days, eggs were my favorite food (that weren’t ice cream.) They’re versatile! They’re filling! They’re delicious! But those days are over, and I have no choice but to try to make tofu taste as amazing as possible- and that’s where this tofu scramble comes in.

The goods (This is how much I use to feed just myself):

  • 1/3 cup of extra firm tofu, drained and pressed, then crumbled
  • 1/2 medium green bell pepper, diced or julienne
  • 3 button mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • a small handful of seitan crumbles or slices
  • 1 tsp curry powder (make sure it doesn’t have ginger! if you don’t have this, just use cumin, coriander, turmeric- about 1/4 tsp each.)
  • a healthy pinch of sea salt (I like to use celtic grey salt)
  • a few cranks of fresh black pepper
  • 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 3 tbsp of water or veggie/mushroom broth
  • 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper (optional!)

First things first, heat up your non-stick skillet. Add your olive oil and start to saute your onions and garlic with the salt, pepper, red pepper, and curry.


Once your onions start to become translucent, add your mushrooms. They’ll only start to brown on the edges when you want to add your water/broth, seitan, and your tofu. If you don’t like your peppers raw, you can add them in now, but I like to save them for last so they’re nice and crunchy.


Once the liquid is almost cooked off, add your nutritional yeast and turn off the heat. Mix it in so that the yeast becomes smooth, but you don’t want to keep it hot for too long so as to prevent the vitamin B12 from denaturing. Once that’s all mixed in, toss in your peppers if you haven’t already and eat up!


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Welcome! And a Falafel Recipe!

I’ve been sitting on this post before making it live for almost a month now, but it’s time that I actually bite the bullet and do what I’ve set out to do- create a web presence to make me feel more productive while I’m in between jobs. What I want to do with this blog is rant and rave about what healthy living means to me, happenings and goings on in my daily life, and my deepest love- food. I’ll get straight to the point today and dive right into a favorite of many: falafel with tahini sauce. To those who don’t like falafel: keep trying it until you love it, because it’s magical. Writing down my recipes is going to prove to be a bit of a challenge. I never measure anything. Even when baking I’ll add more as I go along and I’m big on taste testing. It’ll be a learning adventure for everyone! The measurements here are approximate, but maybe I’ll be able to help you become more “instinctual” with cooking. Apologies for my photography, it’s a subject I’m not exactly up to par in yet. We all have to start somewhere!

Anyway, on to the falafel. It blows my mind how anyone could be apathetic towards or actively dislike something so delicious.  



What you’ll need:

For the falafel:

  • 1 bag of dried garbanzo beans/chick peas (or you can use 2 cans)
  • 2-3 tbsp of flour (I used whole wheat- to make gluten free use garbanzo flour)
  • 1-2 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • about 3/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1-2 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 medium red onion, diced (I used yellow, it was fine, red is just more authentic.)
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • chili powder (optional, to taste. I usedabout a half teaspoon.)
  • 1/4 of a medium jalapeno, diced (optional. if you like the heat but want to turn it down, remove the seeds and ribs. Always use gloves or a plastic bag        on your hands when handling jalapenos!)

For the tahini sauce:

  • 1/4 cup tahini paste
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 fresh lemon
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt

To make the falafel: If you’re using dried chickpeas, soak them overnight in cold water. Make sure to submerge them in enough water to give them room to double in size and pop them in the fridge. You can allow them to sprout, just be sure to change the water twice a day to prevent bacterial growth. They should be sprouted by the second or third day. After you’ve allowed them to soak, boil them for about 90 minutes or until they’re tender all the way through. Once they’re soft, drain and rinse the beans, then allow them to cool.

Now you canned folks can join the party:

Add all ingredients to a food processor, or if you’re like me and don’t have one: a big bowl. If you’re lucky enough to have a food processor, pulse the ingredients and scrape down the sides to chop up all the chickpeas. If you’re using the old-fashioned bowl method, just take a potato masher and have at it until all the ingredients are mashed together to form a consistency that will hold itself together in patty form. Once all of your ingredients are of a chunky-paste consistency, it’s on to the patty formation. I find making flat patties about two inches across gives the best results for pan frying or crisping in the oven, but do whatever your falafel-loving heart desires. This recipe makes around 2 dozen patties, so to store them- place patties in a single layer on a cookie sheet and freeze before frying, then transfer them into airtight containers. When you’re ready to eat them, just put the frozen patties directly on the skillet- no thaw time required.

To pan-fry, get your non-stick skillet nice and hot over medium-medium high heat, then drizzle about a tablespoon of olive oil. Let it heat up, then gently (and lovingly) add your patties and fry them until they’re a nice, deep golden brown- about 6 minutes. Flip them over and give the other side the same amount of love. 

To make your tahini sauce, add equal parts of tahini paste and water. Add your sea salt and the juice of one lemon and whisk it all together until it’s a yogurt texture. The color will lighten up once you incorporate the water into the tahini paste. Taste test and if you need more salt, add a little.

Once your falafels are golden and your tahini is ready, you can put them on top of some steamed kale tossed with your tahini sauce like I did; you can put them on a slider bun with avocado, tahini sauce, tomato, and lettuce; you can put them in a pita; or you can just eat them as they are. Be creative and enjoy them!

**After making this recipe once, I wanted to try something a little different. I switched out the flour and replaced it with milled chia seeds for some extra omega 3’s, and I changed the olive oil for coconut oil. There results are delicious, and I would definitely recommend giving it a try if you’re feeling you need some healthy justification for eating falafels 🙂


Filed under Meals, Vegan Meals, Vegetarian Meals