vegan – Thoughts By Natalie Style, motherhood, wellness + life. Thu, 12 May 2016 17:01:00 +0000 en-US hourly 1 How To Make An Açaí Bowl At Home Tue, 14 Apr 2015 12:00:21 +0000 Have you ever had an açaí bowl? They are a pretty big deal down here in San Diego, and truly one of my favorite meals in the summertime when the sun is out and the temperatures are high. It’s cool and refreshing and (bonus) super healthy. While I’m pretty lazy and tend to go out for my açaí bowls, they’re actually super easy to make at home if you think ahead and shop for ingredients when you’re out running errands. Below is the simple starter recipe I shared with Glitter Guide last week, but feel free to experiment with different mix-ins and toppings to create your perfect bowl :) INGREDIENTS 2 Sambazon Açaí packs (found in the freezer section at Whole Foods or local health food store) 1 banana 1/2 cup coconut or almond milk Handful of spinach (optional—though I promise you won’t taste it!) Toppings: sliced banana, berries, granola and/or shredded coconut DIRECTIONS Blend açaí packs, banana and coconut milk (and spinach, if you desire) in a blender until smooth. The mixture will be thick, but add extra milk as needed to ensure everything is completely blended. Split into two bowls and top with sliced banana, granola and coconut.]]> 0 Almond Milk Iced Latte Tue, 31 Mar 2015 21:24:18 +0000 Oh, how I love my coffee beverages! That’s no secret to anyone who has been reading here for a while. And while I adore getting out of the house to grab coffee with a friend, baby life isn’t always conducive to swinging by a coffee shop for an afternoon treat. Thus, I’ve been trying to re-create my favorites at home, which is both more convenient and also a lot cheaper. Win-Win. Recently I discovered a way to make an almond milk iced latte that tastes just like the one they make at Peet’s. I use the small cup setting on my Nespresso Inissia for the espresso shot, and I use the Aeroccino on the cold setting for the milk so I can get a tiny bit of foam. Here’s how I do it… ALMOND MILK ICED LATTE – 1 shot espresso (if using Nespresso, use the small cup setting) – 1 cup cold foamy almond milk (just fill the Aeroccino to the “max” line) – Handful of ice Make the espresso shot and start the milk on the cold setting using the Aeroccino. Add a couple of dollops of foam to the bottom of a glass, then add ice to […]]]> 4 Roasted Buddha Bowl Tue, 23 Dec 2014 21:30:50 +0000 Below is a recipe I adapted from my favorite vegan blogger, Oh She Glows, that Brian and I have been having for dinner at least once a week. It’s simple, nourishing and makes excellent lunchtime leftovers. One thing is for sure, with all of the sweets and treats we’re enjoying this week, I know we’ll be eating a lot of this after the gluttony of the holidays is over :) INGREDIENTS Broccoli (enough to cover a baking sheet) 1 can chickpeas Brown rice (I use the frozen kind from Trader Joe’s) Trader Joe’s goddess dressing Salt and pepper PREPARATION Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and pull out two baking sheets—one for the broccoli and one for the chickpeas. If you’re making the rice in a pot, get that started. (If you’re using the frozen rice, just wait to heat it until you’re nearly done roasting the broccoli and chickpeas.) Coat the broccoli in olive oil and generously add salt and pepper. Drain and rinse the chickpeas and dry off with paper towels. Put them on the baking sheet and cover with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast both the broccoli and chickpeas for 25-30 minutes, shaking the pans a […]]]> 5 The Best Vegetable Soup Mon, 24 Nov 2014 13:00:58 +0000 I’m a serious lover of vegetable soup, especially this time of year when it’s cooler in the evenings and I want to get a boost of antioxidants at the end of the day. This recipe is adapted from Love and Lemons, and is so easy I can guarantee I’ll be making it all winter. Below is my easy version of the recipe, thanks to Trader Joe’s shortcuts. I love it with toasty sourdough for dipping—or even in a sourdough bread bowl. Enjoy! INGREDIENTS 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 container Trader Joe’s mirepoix Salt & pepper 2 packages Trader Joe’s cubed butternut squash 2-3 zucchini, cubed 4 cloves of garlic, chopped 2 teaspoons dried oregano a few pinches of red chile flakes 1/4 cup white wine 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar 1 14.5-oz. can diced tomatoes with its juice 4 (or more) cups veggie broth 1 can chickpeas, drained & rinsed Handful of chopped kale Sourdough bread for dipping or sourdough bread bowl (optional) PREPARATION Chop all veggies and have them ready to go. Heat a large pot over medium heat and add the olive oil. Add the mirepoix, salt and pepper and cook until translucent. Add the sweet potatoes, zucchini, garlic, […]]]> 4 Ina Garten’s Panzanella Salad Thu, 08 May 2014 12:00:50 +0000 Lately, the idea of salads is absolutely unappealing. The texture of lettuce feels strange, and it just doesn’t have the same appeal as it used to pre-pregnancy. Thankfully, lettuce is not a requirement for salad, which led me to the discovery of the freshest, tastiest salad I’ve had in a long time: Panzanella. What is it exactly? Essentially, it’s a toasted bread salad, featuring all kinds of fresh, chopped vegetables like heirloom tomatoes, cucumbers, and bell peppers. Add some capers, basil, and a tasty champagne vinaigrette, and you’d be eating exactly what you’re looking at here. Do yourself a favor and make this for lunch or dinner or even as a side to some grilled fish—there’s enough bread in there to hide the taste of vegetables—and fill you up—but tons of bright, nourishing nutrients too! Panzanella Recipe by Ina Garten Ingredients 3 tablespoons good olive oil 1 small French bread or boule, cut into 1-inch cubes (6 cups) 1 teaspoon kosher salt 2 large, ripe tomatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes 1 hothouse cucumber, unpeeled, seeded, and sliced 1/2-inch thick 1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes 1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes 1/2 […]]]> 1 Finding My Food Happy Place Mon, 28 Apr 2014 13:00:33 +0000 I was first a vegetarian when I was little, though it didn’t last long. My dad loves to remind me that I changed my mind about it while we were out to dinner at a steak house. Ha! That being said, meat was never a super important thing for me. I of course ate it regularly (I recall my mom making a seriously delicious slow-cooker beef stew), but easily could go without and never really craved it. My next experiment with vegetarian eating was done with all the wrong motives. In an effort to control and restrict during my struggle with anorexia, I used all of the sound science behind vegan eating to justifying barely eating. The principles were true, but my mind and body we’re not healthy enough to handle such a big dietary change, and of course when I finally found my way to my healing journey, I welcomed animal products as a source of calories and essential protein to help me get back on track and to a healthy weight. Fast forward to 2009 when I have no money and am working as an intern at a church in Malibu. I quickly learned that canned beans were […]]]> 19 Black Bean and Quinoa Veggie Burgers with Baked Sweet Potato Fries Tue, 11 Mar 2014 14:03:51 +0000 Last night, I finally got around to doing something I’ve been wanting to try for months: homemade veggie burgers. Though there are so many great store-bought options out there these days, I’ve always felt determined to find a perfect homemade recipe that I can make myself, and even make in bulk and freeze for later. For me, the perfect veggie burger is grain, bean and/or nut based, and, of course, holds together well. This is the first recipe I’ve tried in my search for the perfect veggie burger, so stay tuned for more in the future. THE VERDICT: This one was delicious, but sort of smooshed out of our burger buns when we were eating it, so that’s a bit of a problem for me. While I plan to keep searching for a better recipe, I won’t be tossing this out the window by any means. Really solid contender, for sure! Black Bean and Quinoa Burgers Recipe via Love and Lemons // Serves 4 1-2 teaspoons olive oil 1 medium shallot, chopped 2 garlic cloves, chopped 2 teaspoons each of cumin & coriander Pinch of cayenne 1 tablespoon vegan worcestershire (or soy sauce or tamari) 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar 1 […]]]> 14 Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie Thu, 26 Sep 2013 12:00:02 +0000 Last week I made Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie—an old favorite that I hadn’t made in a long, long time. It is absolutely heavenly, and certainly a go-to recipe for fall. The original version of this recipe (made with meat) is from Gluten Free Goddess, and the version below is 100% vegan. Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie Adapted from Gluten Free Goddess INGREDIENTS 3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and diced Sea salt and ground pepper, to taste A dash of nutmeg A drizzle of fruity olive oil, to taste 2 cans vegan chili (I always use Trader Joe’s veggie chili) 1 onion, roughly chopped 4 cloves of garlic, chopped 4 small to medium zucchini, trimmed, cut into pieces 1 14-oz can artichoke hearts, drained and cut up 1 14-oz can fire roasted tomatoes with green chiles, drained 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar 1 teaspoon dried thyme 1 teaspoon dried basil 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon Sea salt and ground pepper, to taste Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Place the sweet potatoes in a pot of fresh salted water and bring to a boil. Cook until under fork tender and mashable. Meanwhile, saute onions and garlic; stir and cook for five minutes or until the onions […]]]> 4 Gwyneth’s Avocado Toast Fri, 06 Sep 2013 12:00:00 +0000 I was first introduced to avocado toast by my friend and roommate at the time, Rebecca. With the abundance of avocados we have down here in San Diego, it’s crazy that I’d never attempted to make it before, but I’m so thankful that she let me in on this simple and glorious breakfast option. Over the years, I’ve developed several versions of the original recipe, which is just toast, smashed avocado, salt and pepper. I’ve added in dried basil, sprinkled on some Trader Joe’s Everyday Seasoning, and at times added a tomato on top. But the recipe I discovered in Gwyneth Paltrow’s newest cookbook, It’s All Good, is one I’d never thought to create on my own… Avocado ToastRecipe via It’s All Good Toast Ripe avocado Vegenaise (I use the soy free version) Crushed red pepper flakes Lemon slice, for a fresh squeeze of juice Salt and pepper to taste Start by slathering some Vegenaise on your toast, then top with sliced avocado (usually about half of an avocado per slice of toast). Sprinkle salt and pepper over the avocado, then finish it off with a squeeze of lemon juice and a dash of red pepper flakes on the top. […]]]> 12 Homemade Açaí Bowl Wed, 21 Aug 2013 12:00:00 +0000 If there is one food item you can be sure to find in restaurants in San Diego, it’s açaí bowls. For those of you who haven’t heard of them, they’re basically a thick smoothie (made from açaí puree), topped with granola, fruit and usually coconut. There is really nothing quite as refreshing and nourishing for breakfast—plus, I’ve been craving them like crazy lately—so of course I knew I needed to try making it at home! Below is the recipe I used to make the bowl shown above—which is already a breakfast favorite in the Borton household. Homemade Açaí BowlServes 2 2 Sambazon Organic Unsweetened Açaí packs 1 banana 1/2 cup coconut milk Handful of spinach (optional) Sliced banana, granola and coconut for toppings Blend açaí packs, banana and coconut milk (and optional spinach) in a blender until smooth (the mixture will be thick, but add extra milk as needed to make sure it’s all blended smoothly). Split into two bowls and top with banana, granola and coconut. Have you ever tried an açaí bowl? Would you make it at home? P.S. Two other smoothie and granola bowl ideas!]]> 3