A Very Vegan Thanksgiving

Happy holidays! Can you believe Thanksgiving is next week already? Where did the year go??

What are you all thankful for? I’m thankful for my family, my friends, my health and I’m also thankful for my decision to go vegan nearly 8 years ago.

I remember my very first vegan Thanksgiving. It was so depressing because I had just learned some disappointing truths about food, as I was studying at Bauman College getting my Nutrition Educator certification at the time. I had no idea what to eat as everything seemed wrong. Flash forward to this Thanksgiving, and I couldn’t be more excited!! There are SO many wonderful options for the holidays, so fear not; even if it’s your first vegan holiday! You got this!

You may be wondering what I’ll be having for Thanksgiving, and I’m happy to share! This year, we will be joining some family for an intimate gathering of vegan and non-vegan festive foods. Our host is vegan-friendly, and will be preparing some yummy options for us including mac ‘n’ cheese, Brussels sprouts, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes and more! It’s always such a treat when I can go somewhere for the holidays and not have to bring an entire meal for myself!

I will be contributing some additional dishes though, using some delicious recipes I’ve collected. I love experimenting with new recipes and sharing them with family and friends.

My menu includes the following:

First, our protein will come from a delicious lentil loaf, and I’ll be trying The Simple Veganista’s Ultimate Lentil Loaf.

(that’s her photo below, not mine, but isn’t it lovely?)

Secondly, I’ll be making a butternut squash casserole from Oh She Glows.

For dessert, I wanted to share this decadent sweet potato chocolate pudding, which is also from Oh She Glows, as I made this last week on a whim, and LOVED it!! It’s from her newer cookbook, Oh She Glows Everyday.

(this is my photo)

I’m tellin’ ya–you wouldn’t even know there were sweet potatoes in there, and when you top it with some coconut whipped cream, OMG. Which reminds me, Trader Joe’s just brought in their own coconut whipped cream!!! Get it while you can!!!

If you need more recipes, here are some excellent links with tons to choose from:

Oh She Glows: http://ohsheglows.com/categories/recipes-2/holiday/holiday-thanksgiving/

Minimalist Baker: https://minimalistbaker.com/vegan-thanksgiving-recipe-roundup/

Buzzfeed: https://www.buzzfeed.com/whitneyjefferson/101-vegan-thanksgiving-recipes?utm_term=.hyz5DZNMg#.wunkQxYXv

Please consider leaving turkeys off your plate, as there are obviously so many other delicious cruelty-free choices!

Wild Turkey

Consider some of these amazing facts about turkeys:

  • Turkeys are intelligent and form strong social bonds with their family and flock mates, sometimes traveling in the wild with groups of 200 or more.
  • Turkeys are very affectionate; rather similar to dogs.
  • Individual turkeys have unique voices. This is how turkeys recognise each other.
  • Three hundred million turkeys are killed in the U.S. each year, many for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Wishing you and your family a very happy and healthy Thanksgiving! Give thanks to all the goodness in your life, even if you only acknowledge one thing!

If you want personalized help going plant based, please reach out! I’m passionate about changing the world; one meal at a time! The future is vegan!!

Pressing Tofu

Hello, my tofu-loving veg-heads!

First off, I bet none of you reading loves tofu as much as my 18 month old daughter. She seriously goes crazy for it!! …right out of the package! …and this is how I used to go crazy for it too, until I started pressing it!

Truth be told, I got my tofu press (pictured above) as a gift an embarrassingly long time ago, and it had been living in my cupboard until recently. I feel silly that a devoted vegan such as myself has just gotten on the Tofu Express, lol! Get it? 😉

So, why should you press tofu? Well, tofu is packed with water, and then it’s packed in water. So much water will naturally dilute any flavor, and this, my friends, guaranteed, is why many people say they “hate” tofu, or that the flavor is bland or boring. When you press the water out, you allow much more room for FLAVOR!! Many tofu recipes you will find instruct you to drain the tofu, cut it into cubes or slices and then cook it, and they are missing the one crucial step of SEASONING it! You don’t find recipes for beef or chicken without some seasoning instructions, so you have to show the same kind of love to tofu!!

You can marinade it the same way you would anything else, with your favorite herbs, spices and liquid seasonings such as tamari, teriyaki, or your fave veggie broth.

You can press your tofu by using a tofu press (like the one you see pictured) or you can use the “book & plate” method. Take a plate and line it with paper towels or a clean kitchen towel. Place the tofu block on the paper towels and put another layer on top of the tofu. Put another plate or a cutting board on top of the paper towels and then weigh it down with heavy books or anything else heavy that would do. You’d want to press it for at least 30 minutes, if not overnight.

If you do cook with tofu regularly though, it may be worth it to invest in the tofu press. 😉

How many of you already press your tofu? What’s your favorite way to cook it? Share below, if you feel inclined! Definitely share some yummy recipes, if you have them!

Happy pressing!

 

 

 

Tasty Vegan Toddler Breakfast Ideas

Kids can be picky little buggers, can’t they? They may love something one day (or at one meal), and then turn their nose up at the same food the next time it’s on their plate. Thankfully, in the plant based world, there are a whole host of foods you can experiment with, and no animals will need to be harmed in the process!

My 18 month old daughter Alana is a pretty good eater, but I do wish I could get even more veggies into her! She does eat plenty by themselves, but others need to be skillfully hidden in things like smoothies or pasta sauces. 😉

Here are a few breakfast ideas and informal recipes that hopefully you can try with your mini plant eater! The recipes are just recommendations, so feel free to play around with them and make them your own by omitting or adding in ingredients your kiddo likes! Lord knows they’ve all got their minds made up about foods they will touch and foods they won’t! 🙂

  1. Avocado Toast sprinkled with a teensy pinch of sea salt and hemp seeds paired with pinto beans, apple slices and clementines (pictured above, and currently what Alana is really into). I use Ezekiel 4:9 sprouted bread.
  2. Kid-Friendly Green Smoothie:
    • 1/4 cup almond milk
    • 1/4 frozen banana
    • 1/2 tsp. almond or peanut butter
    • 1/4 tsp. ground flaxmeal or chia seeds
    • A few fresh spinach leaves
    • A dash of cinnamon
  3. Chia Seed Porridge:
    • 2 cups almond milk
    • 1/2 cup chia seeds
    • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
    • 2 tbsp. coconut nectar or pure maple syrup
    • Blend or whisk all ingredients except the chia. Once blended, add everything to a glass jar along with the chia seeds. Shake well, and place in the fridge for 30 min-overnight. Serve with fresh fruit or shredded coconut!
  4. Waffles (pictured below)-I like Van’s frozen waffles since I don’t own a waffle iron and I always sucked at making my own waffles anyway!! Van’s are great because they are gluten free. I serve it with a little peanut butter, a side of fruit and avocado slices. I serve avos (or “dado”, as Alana calls them) with pretty much every meal since Alana repeatedly asks for them. Would I really deprive an avocado lover their fave food? Of course not! I’m not a momster! 😉
  5. Oatmeal-either rolled or steel cut, you can’t go wrong with oats…well, unless your kids hates them, ha ha! I like making steel cut oats in my rice cooker, since I can set it and walk away:
    • 1 cup steel cut oats
    • 2.5 cups water
    • Pinch of sea salt
    • I use a Zojirushi rice cooker and set it on the “porridge” setting and it takes about 30 minutes. You can also soak your oats overnight, and hit start first thing in the morning. This speeds up the process just a tiny bit, but def, hit start right when you roll out of bed, so by the time you get to the kitchen, your oats are waiting for you.
    • Serve with maple syrup, fresh fruit, nuts, seeds, nut butter…the topping options are truly endless!
  6. Tofu Scramble–you know your kid is a vegan if she passionately motions that she wants tofu the minute she sees you take it out of the fridge! This would be my daughter!
    • 1/4 block organic, firm tofu, crumbled
    • 1/2 tsp. olive oil
    • 1 tsp. tamari
    • 1 tsp. nutritional yeast
    • 1/4 tsp. turmeric powder
    • Any veggies you want to add: onions, bell peppers, spinach, etc.
    • Heat a small frying pan, and when hot, add your oil. If using onions, add chopped onions and cook down for about 5 minutes until soft.
    • Add any additional veggies.
    • Add in your crumbled tofu.
    • Sprinkle with turmeric, then nutritional yeast. Add the tamari. Scramble.
    • It only takes about 2-3 minutes for the tofu to cook. Serve with any of your kids faves: avocado, tomatoes, beans, salsa!

I have to that feeding my kid is one of my favorite things about being a mom. It’s one area I don’t stress about. Believe me (and as you probably already know, if you’re a parent), there are plenty of other areas to stress about! Food should be fun, full of love, and experimental at this stage. Some days your kids will gobble everything on their plates, and other days, they won’t touch anything you try. IT’S OKAY. You’re doing great by making healthy options available to them! Keep up the good work, and if you need additional reinforcements, remember to reach out to me for help!

With love and joy in my heart from being of service to you, I wish you delicious mornings to follow!

Yours in health,

Dori (Alana’s mama)

 

Delicious Vegan Cheeses (alternatives to Daiya)

So, you may have recently read that Daiya cheese was acquired for a LOT of money ($352.5 million CD or $406 million US) by Otsuka; a pharmaceutical company. You can read more about the acquisition here.

Many vegans (myself included) are outraged, shocked and disappointed, as not only does it kinda suck to support BIG PHARMA, but Otsuka also tests on animals. So. Not. Cool. You can read more about the reasons a petition was created to oppose the acquisition due to Otsuka’s animal testing here.

Personally, I am so bummed, as Daiya was a staple in our household. I want to be supportive of their decision, but if they knowingly SOLD OUT to a company that causes harm to animals, sadly, I don’t think I will ethically be able to support them anymore. I get that there is another viewpoint; that the bigger the company, the farther they can take the product, and the more mainstream it can be. Daiya seemed (to me) to be doing pretty okay on its own! I’ve seen it in pretty much every conventional market (but then again, I’m in hippy-dippy southern California). I have seen it in other places as well, but I get it; it could go even farther–but the animal testing thing just makes me cringe and breaks my heart!

Well, thankfully, if you agree that animal testing is not okay, and want to support more ethical companies, here are a few alternatives you can try! Just want to note that I’m focusing on the ones that offer shredded cheese options. There are more companies that make beautiful, plant-based cheeses, I wanted to present some alternatives to shredded Daiya cheese here.

Follow Your Heart

 

Talk about an ethical company! I love Follow Your Heart so much!! First off, they started in Canoga Park, CA, which is my home town! Second, they’ve been in business for 45 years!!! Their philosophy is that “all people deserve access to healthy food, that we should have compassion for all living things, and that we have a responsibility to be good stewards of the environment.” Not only do they make shreds, but they make block cheeses, too! They have many soy-free options now (they didn’t always), that include mozzarella, cheddar, pepper jack and gouda! Yum!

So Delicious  

Now, I haven’t tried the shredded cheese by So Delicious, but IMO, everything they touch turns to gold. I have never been disappointed by any of their products. If you have tried it (or any of the products I’m mentioning, please let us know what you think!!)

Parmela Creamery 

Parmela Creamery  has an entire line of shredded, hard cheeses, meltable and nacho cheeses. They are artisanal and believe in the traditional ways of cheesemaking. They also believe in sustainability. Again, I don’t have much experience with this product. I have only tried their cheeses once or twice, but I plan on incorporating them more, as I’ve seen them appearing on more grocery shelves.

Trader Joe’s 

Ah yes, let’s not forget about our beloved Trader Joe’s vegan mozz! I don’t know why they don’t carry more vegan varieties. In all honesty, this cheese is good, but A LITTLE GOES A LONG WAY. It’s very “melty”, and you truly only need a little sprinkle for it to give you what you’re after. Also, I wish canola oil was not the second ingredient, but meh, use it sparingly. Here are the list of ingredients:

Water, Canola Oil, Cornstarch, Vegetable Glycerin, Arrowroot Starch, Tricalcium Phosphate, Pea Protein, Salt, Natural Vegan Flavors, Rie Maltodextrin, Latic Acid (Non-Dairy), Sumflower Lecithin, Xanthan Gum, Annatto (color), Powdered Cellulose (To Prevent Caking).

What can I say. I love Trader’s and the fact that they’ve been adding more and more vegan staples to their shelves recently! Nutritional yeast, kombucha, cacao nibs?!?! You da bomb TJ’s!!

So, there ya have it! Some ethical alternatives to Daiya, and dairy cheese, in general. …and hey, look, I am not about bad mouthing, or putting negative energy out there, and I do hope for the best for Daiya and what they hope to accomplish with Otsuka, but I do believe in putting your money where you mouth is. If you have strong ethical values, like a lot of vegan animal lovers I know, it’s important to believe that your choices matter, and that you truly do vote with your dollar.

Have you tasted any of these? What are your favorites? Do you have any to add to this list?

Are you looking to make the switch to a dairy free (aka cheese free) lifestyle? I’m here to support you! I know cheese is hard to think about giving up, but once you weigh all the positive health benefits, it’s hard to argue why you need to eat it. While we are on the subject, check out Dr. Neal Barnard’s new book on the subject, The Cheese Trap! It’s an interesting read!! Also, you can always contact me to speak more about weeding cheese out of your life for good!

Much love, cheeseheads! xo Dori

Get Real Get Healthy – Online Workshop!

grgh

 

IF YOU TRULY WANT TO ACHIEVE HEALTH, YOU’VE GOT TO GET REAL WITH YOURSELF!

Coming this January: GET REAL GET HEALTHY, an online workshop!

Let’s GET REAL. It takes some commitment to get healthy, and it also takes getting real! Are you ready to finally lose weight and keep it off, have more energy than you know what to do with, know how to shop smarter and eat cleaner? Let’s get to the bottom of your road blocks and get you healthy once and for all. Once you take a real look inside, you can move past anything that’s holding you back and achieve sustainable health!!!

This workshop be done via Facebook, in a private group and will be a safe space for you to come to terms with any issues that may be holding you back from optimal health! Some issues may include time management, emotional eating, or having an on-going unhealthy relationship with food. We will discuss everything and support one another, and you’ll have access to me and my expert advice for an entire month!

The workshop will feature the following:

  • Live videos on health related topics
  • Live cooking demos
  • Group discussions
  • Goal setting
  • Journaling
  • Special guests
  • Easy, applicable ways to achieve sustainable health

Dates: Jan 2-Jan 31 / Cost: $75 

Sign up here: https://www.paypal.me/healingthrufood/75

This is the perfect way to start 2017!! …and heck, it would even make a great gift for anyone on your list that wants to get healthy! You can totally sign up a friend or family member to join you on your journey!!

Even though this workshop will be online, space will be limited to a small amount of people, because I want to keep it somewhat intimate. Sign up NOW to secure your spot and know that once you get through the holidays, you’ve already committed to your plan of action to start the new year off as healthy as possible!! Go YOU!

Once you’ve signed up, please email at healingthrufood@gmail.com with:

  • Your full name
  • Your name on Facebook (if it’s different)
  • Your best email address

I’ll email everyone closer to the date via MailChimp with more details!

I look forward to being your guide on this journey, and I’m confident you’ll learn a ton, but I’m also excited to get to know you and learn from YOU!

See you healthy peeps in January!!!

Yours in health,

Dori

RAWsberry Cheesecake – Raw Vegan Raspberry Cheesecake

img_1442

For those of you who follow me on Instagram and Facebook, you’ll remember that I told you that making a raw vegan cheesecake was on my goals list. Not only was this recipe super easy, it was so delicious! I totally recommend investing in a spring-form pan, which you can easily purchase from Amazon for about $13.

I served this to some friends who came over for brunch, so it was my first time to try it, along with them! I always get a little nervous about these things, don’t you? Like, “here’s something I’ve never made, and it’s our only dessert, so I hope it doesn’t suck.” I *have* made things that suck (if anyone at Lotus is reading, how about that fiery chocolate pudding, lol!!) as I am not perfect and we all have kitchen fails once in a while. …but this, this did NOT suck. This was vegan cheesecake heaven. Light, not too sweet, not too dense, creamy, tangy, and just…you have to make it! Promise me you will!!

img_1443

RAWSberry Cheesecake (Raw Vegan Raspberry Cheesecake)

Ingredients:
Crust:
1/2 cup raw almonds
1/2 cup soft Medjool dates
¼ tsp. sea salt

Filling:
1 ½ cups raw cashews, soaked for at least 5 hours, overnight is best
Juice of 2 lemons
1 tsp. alcohol-free vanilla extract
1/3 cup virgin, raw coconut oil, melted
1/3 cup coconut nectar
1 cup fresh, organic raspberries (thaw completely if using frozen)

Directions:
1. Place nuts, dates and sea salt in a food processor and pulse to chop until they are to your desired fineness (process a finer crust longer than a chunky one). Test the crust by spooning out a small amount of mixture and rolling it in your hands. If the ingredients hold together, your crust is perfect. Scoop out crust mixture in a 7” spring-form pan and press firmly, making sure that the edges are well packed and that the base even throughout.
2. Warm coconut oil and coconut nectar in a small saucepan on low heat until liquid. Whisk to combine.
3. in your food processor or a high powered blender (such a VitaMix) place all filling ingredients (except raspberries) and blend on high until very smooth (this make take a couple minutes, so be patient).
4. Pour about 2/3 (you don’t have to be exact–hard to mess up this recipe) of the mixture out onto the crust and smooth with a spatula. Add the raspberries to the remaining filling and blend on high until smooth. Pour onto the first layer of filling. Place in freezer until solid.
5. To serve, remove from freezer 30 minutes prior to eating. Run a smooth, sharp knife under hot water and cut into slices. Serve on its own, or with fresh fruit. Store leftovers in the freezer.

For more delicious and guilt-free recipes such as these, or for personalized coaching, contact me! I look forward to being of service to you!

 

Vegan Ayurvedic Recipes

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of doing a food demo in an Ayurvedic Immersion class that was taught by Travis Eliot at Santa Monica Yoga. I received my 200 hour yoga teacher training with he and his amazing wife, Lauren Eckstrom last year. I admit, I don’t have extensive knowledge in Ayurveda, but I do find it very interesting! I have seen a couple of Ayurvedic practitioners in the past, and have even tried diet recommendations to help with the issues I went to see these people for. I believe in the power of Ayurveda. Heck, it’s *only* 5,000 years old. 😉

So, when it came to the food demo, I was a tad limited, since I would not have access to a kitchen. Travis originally asked if I would be willing to make kitchari, which is a sort of porridge, and it would have been awesome, but alas, no stove.

I chose two foods that I could do with minimal cooking requirements; Golden Turmeric Milk and Ayurvedic Bliss Balls. All these required were my Vitamix blender and my food processor!

I thought I would share these recipes with you, so you would have the chance to experience some of the healing benefits in these foods. They call for the use of some pretty healing and delicious spices; cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, turmeric and saffron. Before I get into the recipes, I want to share with you the benefits of these particular spices. I am a nutrition educator, after all! 😉

Spices

 

Cardamom:

  • Known as the “Queen of Spices”
  • Good for detox, digestion, and is considered an antioxidant
  • Mentioned in the Vedic texts as antidepressant
  • One of the most expensive spices next to vanilla and saffron

Cinnamon:

  • 2 types of cinnamon on the market: Ceylon & Cassia – Cassia is most common and cheaper, Ceylon is “true” cinnamon, and more expensive
  • Antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, anti-cancer, lowers blood sugar
  • Has been shown to help with HIV
  • Cinnamon pacifies Vata and Kapha doshas, but it may aggravate Pitta dosha if taken in excess.  It has a sweet, pungent, and bitter taste, it is heating, and has a pungent vipak or aftertaste

Ginger:

  • Excellent for digestion, nausea, motion sickness, morning sickness
  • There is an ayurvedic sutra (verse) that says that everyone should eat fresh ginger just before lunch and dinner to enhance digestion.

Turmeric:

  • Antiinflammatory-natural Ibuprofen
  • Antioxidant / anti-cancer
  • Every traditional Indian bride is layered in turmeric paste before her wedding to create that special glow!!
  • Used in Ayurveda to balance vata, pitta, and kapha, though in excess, it can aggravate pitta and vata.

Saffron:

  • Most expensive spice on the market (roughly $8 per oz.)
  • Dried stigma of Crocus plant
  • Helps pacify all three doshas. It improves immunity, increases energy, helps fight phlegm and respiratory disorders, improves vision and reduces inflammation. Its tonic can lower cholesterol, improve digestion and help treat spleen ailments, insomnia, impotency, premenstrual syndrome and neurodegenerative disorders.

Now, here’s what you can make with all of the above!! Enjoy!

Golden Milk 1

Golden Turmeric Milk – traditionally, this recipe uses ghee (clarified butter), and is served warm. My version is vegan and sort of a “cheater” easy version that can be served warm or cold

  • 2 cups almond milk
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 tsp freshly grated ginger
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom
  • 1 tbsp pure maple syrup (or you can use coconut nectar or stevia, if trying to avoid sugar)

Blend all ingredients well in your blender. Serve cold, or warm gently in a small pot over the stove to enjoy warm.

Ayurvedic Bliss Balls – bliss balls are amazing because you can pretty much add in or remove any ingredient that doesn’t work for you, and since they are raw, the proportions do not have to be exact. Play around and create your favorite version!

  • 1 C dry coconut flakes
  • 1/4 C raw almonds
  • 1/4 C raw sesame seeds
  • 1/4 C raw sunflower seeds
  • 1 C Medjool dates, pitted
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 5-6 saffron strands

Process all ingredients in your food processor and roll into bite sized balls. Can store in the fridge for 1 week.

For more information on Ayurveda, you can contact Travis, although, his focus is on teaching yoga and teacher trainings. He is definitely an expert though! Another amazing resource and friend of mine is Dr. Aunna Pourang, who is an Ayurvedic MD!!! Check her out here.

For nutrition coaching and more super healthy and easy recipes, contact me! As always, I’m happy to be of service to you!!

Golden Milk

Clean Homemade Sunscreen

Sunblock

Happy summer, all!

Let’s chat about sun protection! Well, for starters, my DIY version is technically sunBLOCK, not sunSCREEN, since it contains the mineral zinc oxide (other sunblocks may contain titanium). Sunblocks protect against UVA and UVB rays. Sunscreens contain chemicals that absorb UV radiation and reduce the amount that reaches the skin.

Most sunscreens contain toxic ingredients that can disrupt endocrine function and may actually promote skin cancer growth and free radical damage. Uh, oh, right? According to the FDA, in the years since sunscreen use began, skin cancer rates have actually risen!

Sunblocks physically prevent UV radiation from reaching the skin. Sunscreens tend to be transparent and are invisible when applied, whereas sunblocks are thicker (whiter) and remain visible when applied and are more difficult to wash off than sunscreens. The appeal of sunscreens is the fact that they blend more into the skin, while sunblocks do not.

So, most of you know, I have an infant, who is now 16 months old, and we live in sunny southern California. I dug around through tons of articles trying to find a safe option for my baby, and most products are not recommended for children until 6 months of age, and even after that, there are only a handful of “safe” products to choose from. I was torn, since I like to go outside with my baby, but didn’t want to risk exposing her to harmful sun rays with no protection, so I just made my own.

The secret ingredient is NON-nano zinc oxide. There’s a lot of info out there on nano vs. non-nano, and here’s the difference: A nano particle will enter the blood stream, but a non-nano will not. For that reason, non-nano is safer. Chemical sunscreens will enter the bloodstream, so that is why they are not preferred–unless you like being at risk for skin cancer. 🙁

So, why not give this safe version a try! It’s so easy, and you can feel good about using it on your skin, and your whole family’s skin! Please always check with your pediatrician and do what feels right for you and your baby regarding skin care and sun exposure.

HOMEMADE SUNSCREEN 

  • 1 tbsp. pomegranate oil
  • 3/4 cup virgin, organic coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp. non-nano zinc oxide powder
  • 2 tbsp. shea butter
  • Small glass jar
  1. Combine all ingredients except zinc oxide in a jar.
  2. Place a saucepan with a bit of water on stove over medium/low heat.
  3. Place jar in saucepan and stir contents until ingredients start to melt.
  4. Once all ingredients are combined, add in zinc oxide and stir well. Store in a cool place.

*You can add 10 drops of essential oil to your sunblock, if desired, but do not use citrus scents as these actually increase UV damage.

Also, it may tend to melt at super hot temperatures, so store in a cool place.

For more tips and tricks on how to live a healthier life, or for one on one coaching, contact me! I’m happy to be of service to you and your family!

sunblock2

Living in a Multivore Household (including a kick-ass vegan enchilada recipe)

Maternity4
Photographed by Rebecca Coursey



Hi-my name is Dori, and I live in a multivore household. What’s that, you ask? Well, that just means that I’m a vegan (herbivore), and my husband, Joey is well, not a vegan (he’s an omnivore…well, more of a carnivore actually, lol). Little baby Alana is vegan as of right now because she doesn’t have a choice, but when she can make her own decisions about what to eat, I will do my best to educate her on what being an omnivore means and let her choose for herself.

I admit, living with a meat-eater has its challenges. First off, ethically, it took me a while to accept and to accept him as he made his choice to start including animals again (see, my husband was vegan when I met him, albeit, for a really short amount of time–maybe so I would go out with him, ha ha ha–kidding!). In his defense, he *is* from Texas, ha ha, the land of BBQ. I love him dearly and cannot and would not expect him to succumb to my way of eating. That’s not what marriage is; it’s about acceptance and compromise. It’s not about you conforming or making your spouse conform to your belief system, as much as you may want them to.

So, what do you do when you have a baby together and you want to feed this kid? Well…you talk about things openly, for starters. My husband has always respected the fact that I wanted to have a vegan pregnancy and raise a vegan child. See this awesome interview I just did about my vegan pregnancy here. 

Right now, as our daughter consumes nothing but mama’s milk, we have no issues, and when we introduce food in 3 months, the foods that are recommended to start with are naturally vegan anyway (avocado, banana, sweet potato, peas, etc.–yay!). I have a few friends who live in multivore households, and they somehow make it work. I intend to as well. I look to my vegan community for support and answers to questions on what they would do or how they would handle certain situations.

So, how do we get by?

“Veganizing” recipes is one way we get through our day-to-day. I make many foods and just prepare vegan versions of them (subbing things like meat/poultry, eggs, milk and cheese with vegan counterparts such as almond milk, Beyond Meat, or Daiya cheese).

Also, my husband eats what he wants, and I eat what I want. During the day, when he goes to work, I have no idea what he consumes, but my guess is, it ain’t all salads and meat substitutes. I stopped asking what he had for lunch because I usually don’t want to know, ha ha!

We try to respect each other’s choices. I used to have a rule about “no meat in the house”, and I still do not prefer storing animal products (although, we do have eggs, cheese and sometimes fish in our home), but he may bring in something very rarely that he enjoys. 99% of the time, he eats vegan while at home. He would never expect me to cook animal flesh for him. If he’d like animal products, he’s responsible for purchasing and preparing them, for the most part.

We always cook vegan when having company over for dinner. This has never been an issue. In  fact, Joey has never once asked me to cook animals for guests. We love hosting, and I love cooking, and Joey is sweet and eats whatever I make on these (now, rare) occasions.

Another way we get along is going to restaurants that have foods for us both. Living in LA, there are a multitude of delicious plant-based restaurants, and I have pretty much tried them all. At one point, that’s all we did was go to strictly vegan restaurants, which I know bothered my husband. There is only so much kale a man can take, ya know? Thankfully, LA also provides plenty of “regular” restaurants with vegan options–more and more each day! So, going out has gotten a lot more interesting and fun for us both.

Luckily, it’s pretty easy to veganize most recipes, and so I wanted to include one of my husband’s favorite meals here: enchiladas! I think my vegan version is beyond just acceptable as an alternative, but also pretty darn good, and I’m hoping one day in the not too distant future, my daughter will enjoy them too.

2016-07-11 18.17.39-1

VEGAN BLACK BEAN & CHEESE ENCHILADAS (inspired by Oh She Glows)

For Filling:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 15-oz can organic black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 8-12 corn tortillas (how ever many fit in your casserole dish)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. I use a cast iron skillet to make my enchiladas, but you can use a regular 8×12 baking dish, as well.

2. Add the onion and garlic and saute for about 5 minutes, until the onion is translucent. Season with salt and pepper.

4. Add the black beans. Raise the heat to medium high and cook for a few minutes.

5. Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in 1/2 cup enchilada sauce (see recipe below).

6. Spread 1 cup enchilada sauce evenly over the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Scoop filling into each tortilla.  Roll up the tortilla and place seam side down in the baking dish. Spread the remaining enchilada sauce over the tortillas. If you have leftover filling, scoop it on top of the enchiladas.

7. Sprinkle your Daiya chedder lovingly over the top of enchiladas.

8. Bake the enchiladas uncovered, for about 20 minutes, until the sauce is a deep red color, cheese is melted, and the enchiladas are heated through.

For Enchilada Sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons vegan butter or extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons gluten-free all-purpose flour (I use coconut flour)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 scant cup (8 ounces) tomato paste (or you can use an 8 oz can of plain tomato sauce)
  • 1 1/2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon pink Himalayan sea salt or other fine sea salt
  1. In a medium pot, melt the butter over medium heat or add the oil and increase heat to medium.
  2. Stir in the flour until a paste forms (depending on your type of flour, it may be thicker or thinner).
  3. Stir in the chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, onion powder, and cayenne pepper until combined. Cook for a couple minutes over medium heat until fragrant.
  4. Stir in the tomato paste (or sauce) followed by the broth. Whisk until smooth.
  5. Bring to a simmer over low-medium heat. Stir in salt to taste and continue simmering until thickened for about 5 minutes, or longer if desired.

Are you living in a multivore household? What are some of your tips and tricks to keep the peace? Also, if you’re vegan, would you consider dating or marrying someone who was not vegan and why? Chime in!

For personalized nutrition or food coaching, contact me! I’ll give you a complimentary 30 minute phone consultation so we can chat about your goals and come up with your plan!!! Can’t wait to hear from you!

Vegan Meringues Made with Aquafaba (chickpea brine!)

Chickpea Brine

So, have you ever heard of aquafaba? I hadn’t either up until a couple of days ago, when my mom forwarded me an article about it. It turns out, it’s very handy as a vegan egg white substitute! …and it’s the water you typically discard from your can of chickpeas! I suppose “aquafaba” sounds a lot sexier than “chickpea water” or “bean water”, but it makes sense: aqua (water) faba (bean). So, as you may have guessed, I had to try this; immediately. I actually took a trip to Trader Joe’s today specifically for a couple cans of chickpeas (I like to make my own hummus as well, and needed to make that, too–win/win!).

I was also thrilled to be able to break out my KitchenAid mixer to make these meringues! I like, NEVER use the thing. It just sits there looking all pretty and fancy on my counter.

Okay, so this recipe couldn’t be any easier! It was so fun, too!! I hope you’ll give it a try!

VEGAN MERINGUES

Meringue2

  • 6 tbsp chickpea brine (water from canned chickpeas–room temperature)
  • 3/4 cup fine sugar (I used organic cane, but you can probably try it with xylitol or other sugar alcohols to keep them sugar free–please don’t use Splenda or any other artificial sweeteners)
  • 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp vanilla
  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
  2. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Add chickpea brine and cream of tartar to bowl of stand mixer and mix on medium speed for about 1-2 minutes until it starts to get foamy.
  4. While it’s mixing, add sugar and mix until it dissolves completely.
  5. Add in salt.
  6. As your mixture becomes thicker, drizzle in your vanilla.
  7. Continue mixing until it looks glossy and stiff peaks form. This should take about 7-12 minutes.
  8. Scoop out about a tbsp of your meringue and drop onto your cookie sheet (you can get fancy and use a pastry bag, but I don’t have one).
  9. Bake for 45 min, and then shut oven off. DO NOT OPEN OVEN. Leave the cookies in the oven for an hour to dry out.
  10. Remove from oven and let cool before storing in airtight container.

Meringue3

Also, big thanks to my daughter, Alana for napping and then “allowing” me to play in the kitchen today! She’s an excellent sous chef!

AlanaMeringue