1/31/2011

Experimenting.


Yesterday, I was very close to some vegan store, I have never been to, so I decided, since I'm in the area, I should go there, explore and maybe buy something I have never tried before.
Yes, I totally explored and bought:
- Soy yogurt (Mango and black cherry - mmm!). Honestly, I remember trying soy yogurt about a year ago (accidentally) and I totally hated it. But I spoke to the lady who works at that store and she said that commercial company's (whose production you can buy at the regular stores) usually don't pay so much attention to the taste, just ingredients, so I took the risk and yum! absolutely love it!
- Vegan cheese (yes, we also have our own cheese and it melts! LOL). and it was on sale, so I decided to give it a try too. I must admit that I haven't tried it yet but probably tonight or tomorrow I'll use it for dinner. I'll let you know how does it taste.
- Seitan. well, here is a challenge. it is somewhat like tempeh or tofu. it replaces beef (funny, I can't even imagine the taste of it because I haven't had beef in about 10 years for sure). but anyways, I came home and looked at the package and realized, I have no clue how to make it! so, I explored internet and other vegan blogs and found few recipes. So, probably tonight, I'll try to make that.
- Almond milk. So far, MY FAVORITE!! Way much better than soy milk, coconut milk and rice milk. it is absolutely my favorite! Love it! It has this super-mild and soft taste. Cons for this is that this milk has only 1 g of protein, which means, it's not as valuable as, for example, soy milk which has exact amount of protein as cow's milk.

Anyways, my shopping trip went well. Since next weekend I'll be in the area, I think, I'll try to go there again and explore more new things.

Love being a vegan! It shows me so many food options, I didn't even knew exist! Amazing!

Have a great last day of January!
Heidi

1/27/2011

1.5 years

Time is flying. Indeed.
For 1.5 years I haven't been in Latvia. I haven't seen my family, my friends, my country.
There is slight amount of sadness within me today.

Regardless, I am happy and glad that, even though without people I love, I am here. And everyday I am one step closer to my dreams and my goals.

Love,
Heidi

1/25/2011

Winter.

I hate winter. In general.
Only exception is when I snowboard. But those are just couple days a year, so all other time, I hate it.
But today... I don't know, it is different. Something has changed. Within me. Today it's snowing, I'm listening to slow music and drinking chamomile tea and I just enjoy that it is winter.
Truly beautiful!

Whole Wheat Vegan Cinnamon Buns

Yes, I have such a sweet tooth and I love baking. I love process of baking cakes, cookies. Because the best part after I have put everything in the oven is to lick the bowl. I loved it when I was a kid, every time when grandma was baking something, I was the first one to clean the bowl.
Anyways, since I'm a vegan now and most of pastry out there is for non-vegans, I'm experimenting and making my own delicious stuff. These cinnamon buns came out very tasty, even kids love them. Honestly, I was surprised that they liked it because they're made out of whole wheat flour, which is more healthier than white flour. Anyways, here is the recipe:


Ingredients:
Dough:
3/4 cup non-dairy milk
1 packet active dry yeast
3 cups whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 cup raw sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce

Filling:
4 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon unsweetened applesauce

Icing:
1 cup confectioners sugar
1 tablespoon non-dairy milk (plain or vanilla)

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350F. Spray cooking spray on cake pan and set aside. Gently warm 3/4 cup non-dairy milk. It can't be too hot and too cold, little bit warmer than room temperature. Take milk off the stove and sprinkle yeast into non-dairy milk and stir until it dissolves, about 5-7 min. Set it aside. Mix 2 cups of flour, raw sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt in a big bowl. Add applesauce and yeast mixture, stirring with spatula to combine. Add in another 1/2 cup flour, stir to combine. Sprinkle remaining flour on cutting board or table. Knead dough in the flour and out it aside for about 20-25 min until it grows twice as big. While dough is "growing", prepare filling, mixing all ingredients (applesauce, cinnamon and brown sugar)together. When it has grown, use rolling pin to roll dough out into large, thin rectangle. Now spread the filling around the dough, covering all of it. Tightly and gently roll the dough up. Use sharp knife or pizza-cutter to cut off 6 rolls and place rolls into cake pan, leaving at least 3 inch distance between them (because they will grow a little bit). Bake for about 25-30 min or until golden brown.
Meanwhile, prepare icing by mixing non-dairy milk with sugar, stir it until it becomes thick kind of glaze without sugar chunks. After taking buns out of the oven, spread icing over hot buns. Let it cool-down for at least 30 min.

Enjoy!
I love them. Yum!

Roasted red pepper hummus.

I must admit, this was my first time making hummus and it turned out very good. It's actually very funny how my taste buds have changed over the time. About a year ago I didn't even knew what hummus is and now I use it almost every single day. Yum! For those, who (the same as I didn't) know what hummus is, I can tell that it is a spread or a dip made out of chickpeas/garbanzo beans. I usually eat it with pita or corn chips or dip veggies, as carrots or cucumbers in it.


Ingredients:
1 can (15 oz) of chickpeas/garbanzo beans
1/3 cup tahini
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 cup roasted red peppers
2 small cut of jalapeno's pepper (optional)

Preparation:
Combine beans, tahini, lemon juice, and olive oil in a food processor and blend until smooth consistency. Add roasted peppers, garlic and jalapeno pepper (optional) and blend until desired consistency. I added jalapeno pepper because I like more spicy foods, but it taste good without it too.

Hope you'll enjoy it!

1/23/2011

Being vegan.

So... officially, it's been 2 months since I'm vegan. Hurray for me! :)
I must admit that it's easy some days, harder other days. But I have found a lot of substitutes, so it's not that hard. Especially, vegan mint-chocolate chip ice cream...mmm... the BEST guilty pleasure in the world!


Anyways, I was wondering, looking through recipes online and on other vegan blogs, I'm considering to post recipes on my blog. Maybe it will help other newbie-vegans make delicious and healthy foods. And my friends could also see that I don't eat just lettuce (even though, I love plain salads too).

Anyways, when I'll have little bit more time on my hands, I'll post my first recipe!
Have a wonderful Sunday,
Heidi

1/16/2011

First.

First of all, Happy New Year everyone!

Secondly, as everyone, I have made few New Year's resolutions:
• Read more books
• Cook more and reveal new foods
• Reveal new bands and kinds of music
• Take better care of my health
• Be the best student in my class
• Be good daughter, granddaughter, friend and person in general

There are few more, but I'll keep those to myself. When I'll achieve them, I'll share those with all of you.

Have a great Sunday, my friends,
Heidi