Saturday, January 28, 2012

In Honor of Football

I'm not a fan of football,  in fact I find it pretty boring to watch on T.V.  BUT I don't mind it as long as I am surrounded by good food and good people :) Jason, (who is not a vegan- or necessarily vegetarian for that matter) loves when I make this. He insists it tastes better than the real thing for sure!  I am posting this recipe in honor of the Superbowl coming up because it's a healthier option than eating meat, and to help save the chicks of course!



That's a whole lot of YUM


Vegan HOT Wings
Served with:
Cool Ranch and Sweet Potato Fries

Ingredients:
  • 1/2 c flour
  • 1 tsp chili Powder
  • 1tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 8 oz vegan ""wings" (seitan, vegan chick'n strips, or extra firm tofu)*
  • 1/4 c vegan butter or margarine *
  • 1-2 tbs coconut oil 
  • 1/4 c hot sauce * 
Method:
  1. Combine flour, chili powder, garlic powder, and paprika in a medium sized bowl.
  2. Coat "wings" in flour mixture and refrigerate for 1 hour- or as long as it takes for you to prep the fries and get 'em going :)
  3. Heat coconut oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Cook "wings" for about 15 minutes.
  4. Heat margarine and hot sauce separately on low until warm. Stir together.
  5. Coat the cooked "wings" with the hot sauce/margarine mixture and TA-DA!

product shot

* For the "wings" I have used Upton's Naturals Seitan from Food Fantasies as well as tofu. I prefer the seitan as far as texture goes. You just have to be careful not to let it crumble when you are cooking it! BOTH taste great though :)
*For margarine/butter I use Smart Balance Light 
* For hot sauce I use Franks Hot Sauce

Cool Ranch Dip

Ingredients:
  • 1 c vegan mayonnaise* 
  • 2-3 tbs milk substitute*
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tsp parsley
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
Method:
  1. Combine all ingredients and refrigerate for 1 hour. BAM. Pure epicness.
* For mayo I used Earth Balance from Food Fantasies
*For milk sub I always use unsweetened almond milk. Also, if you want it to be more of a dip, only use 2 tbs. If you want to use it as a dressing rather than a dip, use 3 tbs!

Sweet Potato Fries

Ingredients:

  • sweet potatoes-- as many as your little <3 would like
  • olive oil
  • sea salt
  • pepper
  • corn starch (optional)*
Method:
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees
  2. Slice sweet potatoes into desired size. 
  3. Spread evenly onto a baking pan. Sparingly drizzle with oil and mix 'em up using your hands.
  4. Season with the salt and pepper.
  5. Bake for 15 minutes, then flip 'em over and bake another 10-15 minutes. TA-DA
*If you want your fries CRISPY you will need the corn starch and follow this the recipe at the blog The Art of Doing Stuff. I have made them this way and they def turned out bomb---although there is a lot more prep time to consider. 

Well, I'm about to head out for a 1.5-2hr run considering the sun is actually out :) And the temps are above freezing-- I don't think I know what state I live in anymore... 

Hope you all have a FANTASTIC weekend!
-Em

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

New Job At My Old Home


I have been surrounded by water for as long as I can remember. My parents have lived on Lake Springfield since they moved here from the little Long Island, NY when I was just a baby. I was in swimming lessons by age 2. The only thing I remember wanting to do as a kid involved water. I loved to spend countless hours on the lake, at my grandparents pool, or the IBYC pool here in town. ALL my birthday parties were pool parties. All my mom had to do was mention the words "swim team" and the rest was history.

That's me, doing what I did best swimming at Millikin University

The pool- My home away from home. 

Somehow after 25 years of swimming I still like it. Right now I find myself trying to make it to masters swimming as often as my schedule permits, which is what I did this past weekend. Typically we can get in 4,000yards in one workout. I've also found myself at the pool more often for other reasons, my new job! Say hello to SUSA's newest coach. Having a blast coaching some 7-12 year olds =) Brings back so many good memories from when I swam for SUSA.

Why do the weekends always have to fly by? Had a great time with Jason here and went out for some "cheat" food. We both are big fans of Xochimilco on the west side. The veggie fajitas sans sour cream, rice, and cheese is absolutely vegan and delicious. Someone wanted something extra. He would kill me for posting this pic...But seriously, I don't see the point of this blog if I can't post pics of what's happening in my life!

A cute boy partaking in the Mexican tradition of 
chips, salsa, and margaritas. I will stick with my corona


Sunday we watched football (at least I tried really hard to) while I made vegan wings and sweet potato fries for Jason. Recently made some of Lexi's Chicken Salad that I found on her blog. This recipe turned our great, thanks girl! Close friend Emily Z came over last night for some black bean pancakes (sounds weird, I know, but very good). So yes, been doing lots of cooking lately and will be posting some more recipes very soon! 


Saturday, January 21, 2012

Cauliflower Recipe

Another post already... go me! The boyfriend, Jason, is on his way down from Chicago as I type. He didn't end up leaving yesterday because of a major snowstorm up north, so I have some time to blog. Yesterday was the regular morning run(one below zero... my GOD)  with my regular gals, Patty and Kari. Followed that up with my work day and an easy swim workout ( one mile) at the Fit Club pool. Not sure why I even bothered but it felt good to stretch out the arms nonetheless. My friend Amber came over for dinner and wine. I made some Manchurian roasted cauliflower, brown rice & peas, and we shared a baked sweet potato topped with pecans. I will post the cauli recipe at the end of this entry and... YES! It was Delicious!


Manchurian Roasted Cauliflower

Manchurian Roasted Cauliflower
1 good cauliflower
2 Tbs olive oil
1 Tbs Coconut Oil
Sea salt and pepper
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1 x 400g (15 oz) tin of chopped tomatoes OR tomato sauce
Glug of red wine vinegar
Glug of balsamic vinegar
2 or 3 teaspoons of sugar
3 fat cloves of garlic, finely chopped
Chilli powder to taste- I prefer spicy!

Preheat the oven to 400 F. Core, trim and break the cauliflower into florets of even-ish size. Try not to eat it raw like I do before arranging in a single layer in a baking dish. Toss with 2 tablespoons of oil, 1 teaspoon of salt and loads of pepper and roast, turning twice, for 30 minutes.

Fry the onion and garlic in the coconut oil until soft. Add the tomatoes, juice and all, followed by a glug of each vinegar, the sugar and some salt. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 10-15 minutes, until reduced to about a cup. Puree if you like (I did). Stir in the roasted cauliflower and TA-DA!
Made it to CrossFit Instinct this morning for a workout. I feel like I did something to my knee (nothing serious) on the kettle bell swings because I immediately felt it on the run! Rolled it out afterward and it already feels better. Matt, one of the coaches, feels like I am doing too much and should try cutting back on running while I am doing CrossFit because of the pounding. Um- not a chance Matt! besides... when I run I don't "pound" :) I decided to stop at Food Fantasies on my way home and see pick up some Chlorella.


 I have done quiet a bit of research on it lately and originally was aware of it from Brendan Brazier's  Book the Thrive diet. Brazier is a pro triathlete who promotes a plant-based diet.  From what I understand,  Chlorella provides all of the dietary-essential amino acids in excellent ratios and more than 20 vitamins and minerals (iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium, phosphorous, pro-vitamin A, vitamins C, B1, B2, B2, B5, B6, B12, E and K, biotin, inositol, folic acid, plus vitamins C, E and K). It also keeps your body's PH in check and fight's against cancer. I found a lot of info from the following websites:
http://www.herbwisdom.com/herb-chlorella.html
http://www.naturalnews.com/008527.html
http://www.brendanbrazier.com/vega/index.html


I put 1tsp in my breakfast protien smoothie and it made it look like this:


If anyone out there uses this product I would love to hear what you think about it! The chick at Food Fantasies told me she uses spirulina instead because it tastes better. From what I understand a lot of their benefits overlap. 
In other news... logged onto the USA triathlon site to renew my membership and was congratulated for qualifying for the USAT Age Group National Championship Triathlon in Vermont. Being new to tri's, I have no idea what kind of achievement that is, but I will just pretend it's a big one :) Well, that's all I've got for today. The remainder of my weekend will most likely include rest, cheat meals, beers, masters swimming, and Jason. 
Cheers,
Em


Thursday, January 19, 2012

Crazy Weather.... and Noodles.

Greetings to any readers! This is my first ever blog and I'm pretty excited to share it with you. I plan on using it to share my love for vegan  food, and other little ramblings. My goal is to post weekly... I will try my best! If you know me personally you know that a few of my obsessions include triathlons, Miki (my pomeranian), vegan food, and as of lately.....crossfit! As it is winter, I have decided to switch things up a bit by trying out Crossfit Instinct located at Golds Gym in Springfield. I was skeptical at first being an endurance athlete, but it is definitely an amazing workout and FUN!
Crossfit Instinct, Springfield, IL

 Made it to the crossfit gym for a workout yesterday and made dinner with good friend, Ari. I made one of my favorite dishes I call "Crazy Sesame Noodles". I am posting the recipe below. Ari brought over a bottle of yellow tail.... which goes nicely with anything and was definitely finished.





Vegan Crazy Sesame Noodles

Ingredients:
1 Medium spaghetti squash*
1/4 cup Bragg's amino acids (if you want it to be gluten free), or soy sauce 
2 Tbs tahini
2 Tbs almond butter
1 Tbs brown rice vinegar
1 Tbs lemon juice
1 Tbs sesame oil
hot sauce to taste
1 cup red cabbage, shredded
1 1/2 cup carrots, shredded
1 cup green onion, sliced
1 Tbs toasted sesame seeds

Method
1.Preheat oven to 400. Slice spaghetti squash into halves. Place open side down onto a baking sheet and bake for 30-40 minutes. 
2. While spaghetti squash is cooking in a large bowl whisk together the next 7 ingredients. 
3. When spaghetti squash is done, use a fork to scrape out the "noodles" into a bowl. Coat the noodles with the soy mixture and add in the vegetables. 
4. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve!
*This recipe works well with any type of noodle. I've also made it with rice noodles. 

Running this week has been tough due to the dropping temps. Monday it was a high of 60 degrees (what, in January!?)... and on Wednesday I woke up to a windchill of 6 degrees. Typically I roll out of bed at 4:30AM and am on my way by 4:45 to meet a couple gals who live about 2 miles from me. We typically get in a good 5-6 miles. The only problem with it being cold is that the 2 miles I run to meet them are out in the open wind.... unbearable! I have been driving to meet them in the mornings to run in a wooded area pretty sheltered from the wind- which is great. It also means I have to cut running by about a mile every day in order to get to work on time. I'm okay with it... no races until April anyway! Jason is visiting this weekend so we might try to get in a long run on Saturday. If not I will probably get in about 22 miles at the end of the week.  I've been enjoying my new runners and an awesome pair of mittens I got at the running center recently. No more cold paws! Have a good weekend.
-Em