Yesterday I made a pesto, instead of pine nuts I used walnuts and cashews (i made 2 kinds) and instead of parmesan cheese I used nutritional yeast. I felt like I a true vegan plant eater when I made that purchase. I wonder if there are any omnivores who have that in their kitchen?
"What the eff is nutritional yeast? Can't I just use baker's yeast?" are things I said to myself when I ran across this ingredient in just about every other vegan recipe I looked at. Well, here's the lowdown on the interesting stuff: It is grown on molasses and then harvested, washed and then dried with heat. Since it is heated it is inactive, so it's nothing live baker's yeast since it can't make breads and baked goods rise, and also baker's yeast is harvested from beer. Nutritional yeast is, well, packed with nutrition. It has b-vitamins, folic acid, selenium, zinc and protein. It's also gluten free, has no fat and no added sugars or preservatives. It is used as a flavor enhancer and has a nutty, cheesy flavor.
Ok, enough nutrition lessons. Back to food. The pesto came ok descent. I am an avid pesto lover, and I definitely missed the parm cheese. I also need a better food processor since using my blender required me to use more liquid and left the pesto a little runny and coarse. My next purchase will be a food processor.
Today I experimented with chocolate and made vegan, sugar-free chocolate and it was oh so delicious! And easy, if you have all the ingredients. Here's the how:
6 tablespoons of cacao butter
2 tablespoons of coconut oil
3 tablespoons of agave (but i used 1 tablespoon of agave and about 18 drops of stevia)
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
pinch of sea salt
1/2 cup of raw cacao powder
First I melted the cacao butter and the coconut oil in a double boiler (You can fill a larger pot with some water and place a smaller pot inside to create a double boiler effect). Once melted place in a medium bowl and add sweetener vanilla and salt and whisk thoroughly. Lastly add the cacao powder and whisk until smooth. You can transfer into chocolate molds, or since I don't have any, I just lined 9x5 loaf pan with wax paper and pour the mixture in that. Place in the freezer for 2 hours until set, then take out of the mold, break into chunks and store in the refrigerator for a week or the freezer for a month.
Mine came out like really dark chocolate or semi-sweet baking chocolate. Next time I will add more stevia to sweeten it up a little more. not bad for my first chocolate making experience though!
Recipe from Practically Raw by Amber Shea Crawley
Tonight I made my mom and I some out-of-this-world black bean burgers courtesy of my friend Emily. These were vegan (but not raw) and gluten free, and also so easy to make! Here's the skinny:
1 can of black beans
2 tablespoons of ketchup
1 tablespoon of mustard
1/2 cup of quick oats ground to a coarse flour
1 tablespoon of garlic powder
1 tablespoon of onion powder
Mix everything together and then mash it up. Make into burger patties and place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes, flip and continue baking for a few more mins until done.
I threw mine on a gluten free bun and topped it with ketchup, mustard, sweet vidalia onion, avocado, and sauerkraut. My food coach suggested I try to have fermented veggies with every meal for the probiotics since I know I have an issue with candida.
To end this blog post, I am going to share with you a video my friend Anja from Germany shared with me. My nickname at hippocrates was "Hippie". One day I had expressed to everyone during a support group session how stressed out I am about searching for a job this fall. I don't want to work a job simply because it pays money, I choose my jobs because they sound like an adventure (and granted some of those jobs sucked, but I made sure I found something better), but the jobs I like usually don't pay well, or anything at all. But now everything has changed. For the rest of my life I will be looking over my shoulder to see if cancer has caught up with me and that means lots of doctors appointments, forever. So this means I pay attention to jobs that offer financial security, and hopefully health insurance (and if not, thankfully the Affordable Care Act will, well, make it affordable for people like me!) This totally sucks because now I have been thinking of working of the federal government or other blah jobs simply because of the benefits and job security it would provide me. I think I would be miserable being a federal drone, but maybe my perception isn't correct and maybe I would like it. That's what I keep telling myself. "How do you know you won't like it?" plays over and over in my head. The things is, I need to work a job where I know I am contributing to society, helping it in someway. I'm not sure the federal route will give that satisfaction So here I am, the battle between doing the "responsible thing" or continuing to be who I am, the battle between the pantsuit and the hippie. So this video I am posting really spoke to me.
What would your job be if money didn't matter?