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2 ingredient smoothie and book update

27 Jan

When I was a kid, I hated anything bitter. Grapefruit was the breakfast antithesis of all that is good in my chubby little world- sugar coated crunchies and custard filled donuts. Now as an adult my palette has changed quite a bit and bitter foods, like tahini and grapefruit, have come to hold a special place in my heart.

This simple, two ingredient smoothie has become a breakfast mainstay and I have to say, it’s truly awesome, even if reveling in the flavor of grapefruit makes me feel like like I’m getting on in years. Meh. Grapefruit’s good for the health, no? The late, great Jack LaLanne would certainly approve.



Kris’ Awesome Anti-Aging, OMG-I-AM-Aging 2 Ingredient Breakfast Smoothie

1 red grapefruit
1/2 a ripe banana, frozen

Segment the grapefruit, being mindful not to put your eye out. Place grapefruit and any additional juice from fruit rinds into a blender. Add the banana, chopped into chunks. Process until smooth. Add sweetener if desired, but know it will debit points from your geriatric street cred. 😉

And now, in other news…

The final touches have been made on the manuscript and it is off to the printers! My upcoming book Have Your Cake and Vegan Too is available for presale on Amazon! It features 50 vegan cake recipes, including some yummy gluten-free options and FULL COLOR PHOTOS! As fun as it is to presale books you’re anticipating, don’t forget that super cool vegan owned stores like Cosmos Vegan Shoppe will be carrying the book once it’s released. Our target release date is April 1st, no joke.

I have been working on a lot of really cool new things for nom! nom! nom! blog. The site is undergoing a complete redesign that will make it much more dynamic. In addition, the content and the ways I share said content will be changing. nom! nom! nom! will be growing from a blog to a very full and robust site. It’s still a couple of weeks out until the new site is up, but know that a change is comin’- and it’s going to be rad!

winner, winner, chickpea dinner!

23 Nov

When there are lots of things going on in your life at the same time, the first thing to usually go is a good meal plan. Quick fixes and faux meat tend to fill the gaps and I always can always feel it. It makes me sluggish and just feel icky, frankly.

We’re mid-move and I’m trying hard to not let that happen this time and it’s going much better than expected, thanks to my lovely rice/pressure cooker and some help from a bottle- Original Yumm! Sauce from Cafe Yumm! Yumm Sauce is an indescribable, tangy, cheezy sauce that makes everything delicious. Jess even made her own version of it (with links to other adaptations!), so you can try it, too!

yay! crappy cell phone pic!

Quinoa in the cooker, chickpeas from a can, some chopped up zucchini and carrots sticks on top and a drizzle of sauce on top- perfect, delicious and nutritious. Spot on when you need good food, fast and ready in about 15 minutes, with leftovers.

What satisfying eats do you enjoy when you’re short on time?

tips for healthy baking (that still tastes good)

10 Nov

So… I didn’t MoFo yesterday. Oops.

Today, I want to discuss baking and health. I get enormously frustrated when people say to me, “Oh, you’re a vegan baker? Your stuff must be really healthy.”

Uh, no, actually. It’s not.

And then I have to try to explain to them that while it’s not full of animal ingredients and white sugar and bleached flour, it’s still full of fat and sugar and white flour. Plenty of vegans make things super healthy but, for better or worse, I’m not one of them, at least not when it comes to my books. My objective is to make things taste as “normal” as possible. I don’t want an omni to be able to tell the difference and I don’t want a vegan or someone with food allergies to feel like they are eating anything less than.

That said, sometimes it pays to clean up your act a little bit. I tend to bake way too much quite a bit and because I don’t like not baking, I have to mix it up in order to keep us healthy. It’s no secret that the recipes in my cookbooks are sometimes foods. But because I have a particular taste pallate, I don’t want my baking to taste too healthy. Where’s the fun in that?

Here are some of my tips to help you make your baked goods healthier without sacrificing flavor.

1. If a recipe calls for sugar, use a little! Even if I’m cutting the sugar content siginifcantly or are substituting a liquid, I always add a little bit of regular sugar (I use evaporated cane juice) to a recipe. Granulated sugar breaks down differently than liquid and greatly contributes to the mouthfeel of a baked good, which is the most important consideration when healthifying any recipe. Keeping a bit of sugar in there helps retain that mouthfeel, ensuring your muffins won’t be mealy like a biscuit.

2. Always use a little bit of fat. Substitute applesauce or whatever to your heart’s content, but always use at least 1-2 tablespoons of fat. Fat-free baked goods have a rubbery texture. Fat is also important to help you feel satiated, so you don’t end up eating 3 muffins instead of just 1. Oops.

3. Blend your flours. Even when baking healthier, I always do a blend of whole wheat and white flour. This goes back to mouthfeel. Whole wheat flour is grittier and more dense. It also absorbs more liquid, so you may need to add an additional tablespoon or two of liquid when substituting flours. I usually do a mixture of white flour, whole wheat and some ground oats when I’m baking for my health. This creases the fiber and protein of the baked good without it tasting like I’m eating something that came from a 1960s co-op bakery.

3. A little sprinkle (of sugar) goes a long way. I tend to cut back significantly on the sugar content in my baked goods but often, although the texture is okay, they just don’t taste that sweet on their own. I love to add a sprinkle of coarse sugar to the top of whatever I’m baking (typically muffins or cookies). This sugar doesn’t dissolve into the baked good and is then immediately available to your tongue when eating, ensure your get that desired sweetness without ingesting a mass of sugar.

4. Mix it up. It’s amazing how far a sprinkle of chocolate chips, some berries, lemon zest or a teaspoon of ginger can take a recipe. Extracts are great, too, to help create a pronounced flavor without adding calorie-heavy ingredients.

5. Don’t forgo the topping. Find a lesser-evil if something you’re making is usually really decadent. If you feel deprived you will go to the other end of the spectrum and then binge on super unhealthy things. Trust me, I’ve been there. If a recipe calls for fatty frosting, add a light glaze. Create a fruit compote to top it off. Just because you’re making things healthier doesn’t mean you have to be without.

What things to do you do to help make a recipe healthier?

it’s greeeeeeeen

24 Aug

{Thanks for your participation in my poll below! I think it stands that I’ll be playing around with cheesecake!}

While I love to talk about food and about all of the delicious vegan feasts we enjoy, I can get tired of the questions. You know the kind, where the inquirer doesn’t actually care what the answer is, they just have to ask in that pointed way, to try and make a spectacle of you.

What are you eating?”

Most people are decent when it comes to the workplace lunch room, but I do work with a couple of these people. The people who stop their conversation when I pull out my lunch to start inspecting what I’ve brought. The people who would never be willing to try the bites I offer up, but can’t help playing 20 questions to figure out what’s in it and how I made it, all while turning up their noses. The people who complain that I never bring in any cake and then won’t even try it when it’s sitting on the lunchroom table.

Whew. Apparently I needed to vent.

Anyway, those questions get old. However, there are some things I eat that I love to rub back in these people’s faces.

The greeen smoothie is alive and well in our home. I often have one for breakfast and pour them into a Mason jar so I can take it to work and enjoy it at my desk, in lieu of morning coffee. But in the world of Hot Pocket breakfast sandwiches and frozen bagel sticks piped full of cream cheese (can they produce more disgusting things?), this Hulk-inspired drink never fails to turn heads.

And you know what, while I tire of having my quinoa/salad/hummus wrap/tofu lunch selections dissected, I never tire of sucking down a delicious green smoothie and detailing all of the ingredients. I think it’s because to many people it’s the most revolting thing I consume at work yet it’s probably the most dessert-like (next to the cake they won’t touch). It’s amazing how badly we judge books by their covers.

When did green become such a bad thing?

Green Meanies Smoothie

3 full kale leaves, with stems, washed*
1 inch square patch of wheat grass, washed*
1-2 handfuls of spinach, washed
1 frozen banana
1 cup orange juice
1/2 cup frozen strawberries
1 tbsp. coconut oil

Place ingredients in order listed into the container of a high power blender (tear the kale a bit). Process on high for 1 minute, scraping down the inside of the container if necessary.

Serves 2.

*If you don’t have a high powered blender (Vita-Mix or BlendTec), I recommend removing the kale stems and omitting the wheat grass.