Welcome to the Sweet Life!

Welcome to the Sweet Life!

• Adventures in a Vegan Kitchen
• Eating out in Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal
• Organic, Natural & Vegan products

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

First day of School - Banana Muffins

Last night was my first class at IHN (Institute for Holistic Nutrition).
I have been excited to start this program for months and last night was the beginning of my journey.
I already have a good understanding of how nutrition works. As I transitioned into a vegan lifestyle I read a lot of books and studies on the topic, but this program will open my eyes to a whole world of information I haven't even considered.

In my excitement yesterday, I made Banana Muffins to take as a snack. Class is from 6:00 - 9:30 so smart snacking is necessary.

I used my go to banana loaf recipe and just poured it in muffin pan instead:

4 organic ripe bananas
1/3 cup olive oil
1/2 sugar (cane or palm, I used palm this time and they are less sweet)
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg replacer (I use a flax/chia seed mixture with water)
1/3 cup non-dairy milk
1 1/2 cup of flour (I used 1 cup whole wheat & 1/2 cup white)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder

Optional additions
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/3 cup chocolate chips
1 tbsp cinnamon plus a dusting on top of the muffins without nuts

Heat oven to 350°.
Mash bananas and mix in sugar, vanilla, oil and non-dairy milk.
Add egg replacer to mixture and stir.
Add baking powder and baking soda followed by flour in two batches, and any additional items.
Pour into loaf pan, muffin tin, or even donut pan (cooking times will very depending on the size and shape you choose.

Muffins took 18 minutes. Donuts took 13 minutes.

Made 6 muffins and 3 donuts.

Delicious study snack for school.
Have a sweet day!

Friday, 9 September 2011

TGIF Pancakes

I woke up this morning excited it was Friday, odd though because usually that means a weekend ahead of fun things, no work, sleep, relaxing, whatever, I actually have 24 hours of work ahead of me this "weekend" so I don't know what I was so excited about, Yes I like my job so that helps but I've only worked 1 in the last 6 days (thanks to the long weekend) so I guess i'm getting used to doing nothing...

One of my first thoughts of the day was to go for a run because just yesterday I realized I don't run as much as I'd like to. Then another thought fought it's way into my head "you should make pancakes for breakfast...it is Friday after all" and so that's what I did.

My pancake recipe:

1 cup flour
2 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
2 tbsp sugar (I used palm/coconut)
1 egg replacer

Mix the above dry ingredients together.

1 cup non-dairy milk (I used half rice and half almond)
1 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp olive oil

Mix the above dry ingredients together.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir until you have a smooth batter.
Pour into a heated (possibly oiled) frying pan. Makes 4 - 8 pancakes depending on the size you pour.
Top with maple syrup, jam, peanut butter - anything you want.

These turned out good, but I've made better. I'm on a mission to make them fluffier. Anyone have suggestions?

To go along with, or should I say, balance out my sugar loaded breakfast, I made a cacao wheatgrass smoothie.

I figured the antioxidants in the cacao and the chlorophyll in the wheatgrass ought to combat the sweet mess it accompanied.

Did you know: Just one teaspoon of wheatgrass powder (approx 4 grams) has the equivalent nutritional value as a whole spinach salad (approx 50 grams).

My smoothie contained:
1 tsp of wheatgrass powder
1 cup of rice milk
1 tbsp or raw cacao powder
1 tbsp of vega choc-a-lot
1 tbsp almond butter

Now I'm too full to go for my run, but there's always tomorrow...

Have a sweet day!

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Pesto Pasta Salad

I absolutely love this time of year. As sad as I am to see summer go, fall is such a beautiful season and sweaters, scarfs and warm hearty meals are just around the corner.
Fall sunsets are stunning. This was earlier this week.

So it's been awhile since my last post, I really haven't had much time in the kitchen in the last month so there wasn't much to post, but I will be blogging more regularly in the future. Next week I start school, I'm attending a 2 year, part-time course for Holistic Nutrition, so as I'm learning about food, minerals and vitamins my posts will have more content about what I'm learning.

Today I made a Pesto Pasta Salad with basil from my garden.
Here's how I did it:

3/4 cup basil leaves
1/4 cup kale leaves
3 cloves of garlic
1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 cup pine nuts
1/3 cup parsley
1/4 tsp sea salt

Mix in a food processor until desired consistency, should be like a paste.
Coat on any type of pasta, today I chose whole wheat fusili.

My garden is pretty much done for the year, all that's left are some tomatoes still ripening and there are a few cucumbers ready to be picked. The watermelon has stopped growing so it must be done too. 

Yesterday I picked this eggplant, and I have two batches of kale that are thriving in this weather.
For a first time garden, it was a success but next year there will need to be an additional bed to accommodate some of the bigger plants that were crowded this year,

Have a sweet day!