Category Archives: (Mostly) Vegan Eats

Chocolate covered blueberries (or cherries)

This is for all you chocolate lovers who want to treat yourself with guilt free morsels of goodness. I present to you my favorite sweet treat, chocolate covered blueberries. These are not your typical store bought, packed with preservatives, sugar-loaded blueberries. These delicious little nuggets burst will natural blueberry flavor and satisfy any chocolate cravings without inundating your taste buds with sweetness. You will be pleased to know that they have only 4 ingredients and no added sweeteners.


chocolate blueberries
Organic frozen blueberries (or cherries)
Organic coconut oil
Organic dark cocoa
Cinnamon

***You can sweeten the chocolate with maple syrup or honey, but I find that the berries are a perfect natural sweetener***


Mix equal parts coconut oil and cocoa and add a healthy dash of cinnamon, stir until well mixed.
Pour blueberries into a bowl and drizzle a tsp of chocolate at a time over them, stirring constantly. The chocolate hardens almost immediately so stir as soon as you pour the chocolate. Keep drizzling and stirring until all of the berries are completely coated.

I usually make a small jar of the chocolate and keep it in the pantry for when I have a craving for these. Make sure not to store somewhere cold or it will harden.

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Mint Chocolate Chip Shake

i am cool

This mint chocolate chip shake is inspired by Cafe Gratitude’s “I Am Cool” shake. While in Oakland last month, my sister-in-law took me to get one, and I knew then it would be a recipe I had to recreate. It was just too good not to and a total throwback to my pre-vegan days when I could easily and singlehandedly eat a carton of mint chocolate chip ice cream . This one is a spinoff from the ingredients used in the CG original, but it’s still vegan, easy to make, with minty chocolate-y deliciousness.

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  • I large frozen banana
  • 1/3 can coconut milk
  • 1 C almond milk
  • 3-4 TBS chia seeds
  • Several sprigs fresh mint (add to achieve desired minty-ness)
  • Pinch of himalayan sea salt
  • Ice cubes
  • Raw cacao nibs

Combine all ingredients except for the cacao nibs in a high speed blender and blend until desired consistency is reach. Add cacao nibs and blend for a few seconds longer.

*I usually don’t follow recipes, so play around with the ingredient amounts until you’ve reached a flavor that works for you*

Curried Lentil, Squash, and Apple Stew

Curried Lentil, Squash, and Apple Stew

From Chloe’s Kitchen

curry

SERVES 6

Infused with curry spices and chock full of wilted spinach, butternut squash, and sweet chunks of apple, this unique lentil stew is fragrant and flavorful beyond belief.

2 TBLS olive oil (or coconut oil)

1 onion, diced

1 carrot, peeled and diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1TSP grated fresh ginger

1.5 TSP sea salt

1/5 C dried lentils

2.5 C vegetable broth

3 C peeled butternut squash (or sweet potato), 1/2″ cubes

1 large unpeeled apple, diced

5 oz baby spinach

In a large pot, heat oil over medium-high heat, and saute` onions and carrots until almost soft. Add garlic, ginger, curry, and salt, and let cook a few more minutes until fragrant. Stir in lentils, broth, and tomato paste. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer for 25 minutes. Add squash and apples, cover, and simmer for another 25 minutes, or until vegetables and lentils are tender. Uncover and stir in spinach until wilted. Add salt to taste and serve.

Spicy Vegan Chili

Spicy Vegan Chili

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1 large onion (diced)

5  celery sticks (diced)

2 carrots (diced)

3 garlic cloves (minced

15 oz black beans (cooked or can)

15 oz kidney beans (cooked or can)

15 oz diced tomatoes (fresh or canned)

2tbls tomato paste

1 ear of corn (or a small can)

2 tsp himalayan sea salt

2 tsp ground black pepper

3 tbls cumin

3 tbls chili powder

1 tsp cayenne pepper

2 tbls coconut oil

Sautee onions, celery, and carrots until soft in oil. Add garlic, salt, pepper, cumin, and chili powder for another minute. Add mixure to a crock pot with beans tomato paste, and tomatoes. Add cayenne pepper to taste. Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 6 hours. Add corn and season to taste with salt/pepper, cook 15 more minutes. Garnish with chopped olives and scallion onions (optional vegan sour cream). Serve over brown rice or quinoa.

Going Vegan

People often comment on my pictures on Instagram about my diet and what I eat. About a year and a half ago I decided to give up meat and dairy and to follow a vegan diet. I wasn’t the kind of person who made a gradual change, the kind that would first give up meat, and then cheese, and then…ice cream….what, no ice cream?! I made the decision to go from someone whose staple ingredient in every meal was cheese, and whose love for ice cream was so strong no evening was complete (or satisfying) without it, to overnight swearing off meat, cheese, dairy, and all animal by products.  So why, you might ask, would I change my diet so drastically and give up some of my favorite foods? And the answer is not simple or concrete, but the reasons are many.

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The first reason came from ahimsa, meaning non-violence, and is the first of the yamas or ethical values in the eight limb path of yoga philosophy. I felt that I wasn’t being true to myself or to my yoga practice as I so blatantly violated one of the yamas. Another reason I felt compelled to become a vegan is because according to the blood type diet that encourages eating right for your blood type (I’m blood type A+), meat and dairy are not beneficial to my physical and spiritual wellbeing. The last reason is largely tied to the first, and has to do with how inhumane and disgusting the meat industry is in the United States. I watched too many movies (Food, Inc…..yuck) and youtube clips of factory farms to choke down chicken wings or hamburgers in ignorant bliss. I was no long ignorant and eating meat was anything but blissful. I’m a believer that the food we eat should nourish our bodies, but should also bring us pleasure and passion. I want to reiterate that this was a personal choice to change an eating habit that was affecting my practice. I certainly don’t expect every person who practices yoga to stop eating meat, or that you’re not a true yogi if you enjoy eating Parmesan. I especially don’t believe that guilt should in any way result from what we eat. I will neverjudge what other people eat or believe about food, and would hope that others would allow me to eat how I please also without passing judgement. Eat what you want, but ENJOY it! I am not a strict vegan, some days I crave fish, so I eat it. Sometimes I want a cookie made with eggs and butter, and trust me, there’s no hand quicker than mine in the cookie jar. Being vegan is a guideline that I live by day to day, but I never prohibit myself from trying something that I really want.

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Craving cheese was the greatest mental challenge I had to overcome when I made to switch to being vegan.  Surprisingly,  after a few months I soon found that I no longer craved it. I started to feel lighter in my body, mind, and in my yoga practice. I now have more energy, better sleep patterns, and perfect blood pressure. I experiment with my food, create delicious alternatives to meats and dairy (think mushrooms, nuts, and coconut cream and oil), and shamelessly depend on my go-to vegan cookbook Chloe’s Kitchen by Chloe Coscarelli for mouthwatering recipes. I also  gather incredible vegan recipes from PinterestFood 52, and from friends and family. I hope you enjoy some of the recipes I post here, or at least become mindful that there are healthy, nutritious alternative to meat and animal byproducts that are heavenly to taste.

thai peanut butter cups