halivegan

Pancakes!

My parents were never big on eating breakfast during the week when I was growing up (really, they still aren’t - I think they run on coffee). Even so, I have some great memories of family breakfasts when I was a kid. When we did have breakfast on the weekend, I always loved my mom’s buttermilk pancakes. Now that I’m vegan those aren’t an option, but I love making these fluffy vegan pancakes instead!



Fluffy Vegan Pancakes
(makes about nine)

Ingredients

1 cup flour (for gluten free, use Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free All Purpose Baking Flour)
1 flax egg (1 tbsp ground flax, 3 tbsp water)
¾-1 cup nondairy milk, depending on how thin you like your pancakes (Use 2/3-¾ if using gluten free flour)
2 tbsp oil or melted margarine
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
scant ¼ tsp salt

Directions
- Mix up the flax egg in a small bowl and set aside.
- Combine the dry ingredients in a medium bowl, and wet ingredients in a small bowl or measuring cup.
- Form a well in the dry ingredients and pour wet ingredients in. Whisk to combine.
- Spoon batter into a pan over medium heat. Flip the pancakes when the edges are dry and bubbles pop on the surface of the pancake.
- Eat with syrup and fresh fruit. Enjoy!

Notes: You can store any uneaten pancakes in the freezer. The best way to reheat them is to put them in a dry pan over medium heat or in a toaster; the microwave will leave them floppy. Also try mixing things into the batter - I like to add blueberries or chopped bananas and nuts!

Nutritional info is for one pancake if you make nine, using ¾ cups soy milk and all purpose flour.

Tips for Flying While Vegan

Hello Internet people!

As you know, I was traveling this Wednesday. I spent about fourteen hours in airports and airplanes all together. Because my family has always been pretty spread out across North America, I’ve done trips like this at least twice a year, often three times, for the past six years, as well as flying a fair amount before that.

When you’re an omnivore, airports and airplanes have a wide variety of options for food. There are less as a lacto-ovo vegetarian, but generally still a fair amount. When you get to veganism though, it can be pretty difficult. Because of the vast amount of time I’ve spent in airports, I’ve worked out a bit of a system to get me through them - here are my tips!

First: pack for your destination, but pack for the flight and airports too!

Pack food. More and more often, airports will have decent vegan snacks like Luna bars, Kind bars, dried fruits and nuts, etc. This is great if you’re caught without anything, but if you’re a college student like me, or on any sort of budget, the $6 price tag on that single serving bag of trail mix can be a little hard to swallow. When I’m going to be spending all day in transit I like to pack protein bars like a Simply bar to keep me full, as well as granola bars and almonds for snacks.

Pack Drinks.“But Katrina,” you may ask, “How can I pack drinks when I can’t take more than three ounces of fluid through security?” You might not be able to take though a travel mug full of tea, but you can take through a travel mug and tea bags, which is just as good. In my experience, anywhere that has hot water will fill up your mug for free. They’ll also give you cold tap water, so make sure to bring an empty water bottle too, as well as some water flavouring packets if you like those. Just as above, you can buy these things inside, but it’s nice to save the $3 you’d have to pay for a plastic bottle of water.

Plan Ahead. For example, on the trip to Cayman I knew I was going to have a four hour layover in the Miami airport, from 5:00 to 9:00. Since I was flying internationally I couldn’t pack any real food with me, and I was going to need dinner. I went on the airport website and figured out which terminal I was coming in at, which I’d be leaving through, and what options there were for food between them. (For those interested, the best option I found in the Miami airport was Au Bon Pain, for vegetable soup and a garden salad)

I love wandering around airports, but not when I’m super hungry and craving something more substantial than a granola bar or a piece of fruit. It also really sucks when you settle on a sad looking side salad and fries from a fast food place only to find a restaurant that makes custom sandwiches and salads around the corner.

Flight food.Sometimes longer flights will have a meal service. If yours does, make sure to specify that you need a vegan meal either when booking your flight or by calling the airline. If your flight has snack boxes and other food for purchase and you want to buy something other than Pringles, try to get a seat closer to the front of the plane. Often the veggie sandwich or salad will be sold out by the time they reach the back of the plane, and then you’re stuck with those Pringles.

Also beware that what seems vegan from the description might not be, so ask if you can read the package before you buy something if you’re able too. Snack boxes often don’t have the nutritional information for what’s inside in them, and it can be really hit or miss. This Christmas when I was flying on United, I bought the savory snack box (Tortilla Chips, Mild Salsa, Granola Bar, Fruit & Nut Mix, Dark Chocolate Covered Pretzel), thinking that at least half of the things would be vegan. Only the tortilla chips were completely vegan. I picked the yogurt covered raisins out of the fruit and nut mix, but I know that doesn’t work for some people. The salsa, granola bar, and pretzel all had non-removeable milk ingredients though. Ick.

Explore! My final tip is less vegan specific, but possibly more rewarding for vegans if you’re like me and get super excited when you find a new vegan treat. If you have some times between your flights, explore the little souvenir shops and specialty boutiques around the airport. My first flight stopped in Chicago, which is quite possibly my new favourite airport, and I found a Vosges chocolate outlet! You never know what cool things you’ll stumble upon.

Those are my tips! Do you have any tips for traveling while vegan?

Pete's and Sobeys

This week I didn’t end up buying anything at the Farmer’s market, but I did get some goodies at Pete’s and Sobeys! First, the healthy:

Romaine lettuce, mango, blackberries, bananas, yellow beans, and tomatoes, all from Pete’s. The blackberries were 4 for $5.00!

Then, the not so healthy:

(Sorry for the sideways picture, but I can’t flip the image right now!)
Ruffle bar (pretty much vegan Mounds, raspberry coconut stuff covered in dark chocolate), mint Oreo holiday treats, Tofurky tempeh fake bacon, Yves vegan grounds and breakfast sausage, Canada Dry cranberry ginger ale, and Earth Balance in stick form. All from Sobeys, excluding the Ruffle bar and tempeh bacon.

Overall, pretty content. I was really excited to find the sticks of EB, because that makes it so much easier to measure for cookies and other baked goods. Also, I know it’s Christmas when the cranberry ginger ale comes out.

2

It’s been a while since I’ve shared a recipe with you lovely people. Here’s proof that eating vegan does not mean that you need fancy ingredients, long cooking times, or any more effort than omnivorous eating. This meal is so basic, so yummy, and can still be considered healthy eating! The cooked mushrooms make this more filling than just having vegetables. I hear people go on about the “meaty” texture of mushrooms sometimes, but I just eat them because I think they’re delicious.

Recipe: Quick and Super Easy Fajitas

Ingredients
- 1 small to medium onion (depending on how much you like)
- 1 bell pepper, whatever color you like
- 3 medium portabella mushroom caps
- ½-1 tbsp olive oil
- salt, pepper, seasonings
- ½ an avocado
- salsa
- 2 whole wheat tortillas

Instructions
- Prep the veggies: peel and take the ends off of the onion, rinse and core the bell pepper, wipe off the mushrooms. (I realize that a mushroom is not a vegetable, but saying “veggies and mushrooms” just seems silly. And time consuming.)
- Put the oil in a medium-large pan over medium heat.
- Cut up all the veggies. I sliced the bell pepper and mushrooms into thin strips and the onion into eighths.
- Add the onions to the pan, stirring constantly.
- Once the onions start to brown, add the bell pepper, still stirring. Let cook for a few minutes before adding the mushrooms, and continuing to stir.
- After the mushrooms have been in for a minute or so, add salt, pepper, and seasonings to taste. I like to use taco seasoning.
- Cook until the mushrooms are soft and delicious looking. Take the pan off of the heat.
- Slice up the avocado and split between the two tortillas, then add the veggies.
- Top with salsa, roll up, and enjoy!
Serves two.

Caribbean Black Bean Soup

I absolutely love black beans. I like them in soup, I like them in burritos, I like them in salads, I like them plain with rice. This soup is probably my favourite way to eat them though. My mom started making it before I went vegan (or vegetarian for that matter) and I’ve always enjoyed it! If you need a hearty soup to please both vegans and omnivores and all in between, this is it.

The secret to what makes this soup so awesome is a lot of things, but mostly the spice sachet and the roasted corn. Letting the beans cook with the sachet is what makes this Caribbean style. If you don’t have whole spices, you can sprinkle in a little bit of the ground versions, though if you’re in Halifax you should be able to get all of these in the bulk spice section at Planet Organic to the best of my knowledge. Roasting the corn rather than just steaming or boiling it also adds a nice smoky sweet flavour, though even a bit of frozen corn kernels would work if that’s all you’ve got. If you have fresh corn and no grill, I recommend cooking it in the oven for 30 minutes at 350˚F. Just put the cobs on the rack, no pan, in the husk. Now, onto the recipes!

Spice Mix
Ingredients
½ tsp whole allspice
½ tsp peppercorns
Small stick of cinnamon
Scotch bonnet pepper

Directions
- Use a mortar and pestle, a mallet, or a hammer (my favourite) to gently crush the allspice and pepper corns. You could probably even put them in a plastic baggy and use a heavy textbook and some pressure to crush them a bit. Get creative!
- Put all the ingredients in a tea ball. If you don’t have a tea ball, put them in a piece of cheese cloth or a coffee filter and tie with clean string.

Caribbean Black Bean Soup
(makes about 8 cups)

Ingredients
16 oz bag dried black beans
½ small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic
1 14oz. can diced tomatoes
¼-½ can Rotel diced tomatoes with chiles
1 scotch bonnet
1-2 cups vegetable broth
3-5 cups water
(you want somewhere between 5/6 cups of broth and water combined, maybe a little more or less depending on how thick you like it)
½ tbsp dried basil
1 cob roasted corn
Spice sachet

Directions
- Soak beans over night according to package directions, or for at least eight hours. Drain and rinse beans.
- In a large pot, combine four cups of water, one cup of vegetable broth, soaked beans, onion, garlic, and the spice sachet. Bring to a boil, stir, and reduce heat to simmer. Cover and let cook for about an hour.
- Add the tomatoes and about a quarter of a can of Rotel. Add up to half of the can depending on your taste. Cook for another one to two hours or until the beans are tender and the soup has thickened, stirring and checking every half hour.
- If the soup is too thick, add more broth or water to taste. After the beans are done, remove the spice sachet and blend about a third the soup. You can use an immersion blender or a regular blender. I don’t recommended a magic bullet because the heat makes it hard to open once you get it shut, but it’s possible.
- Cut the kernels off of one cob of roasted corn, break them apart if too many stick together, and then stir into the soup. If you’d like, serve with a little salsa or Tofutti Sour Supreme on top!
- Eat a lot. Enjoy :)

4

As a child, I thought I didn’t like carrot cake. I really loved the PJ Funny Bunny books though, so not liking something with carrots in it made me a little sad. It took me a long time to realize that what I didn’t like was the cream cheese frosting people tend to put on it. Many people seem to enjoy it, and I’ve seen quite a few vegan recipe for it made with Tofutti Better than Cream Cheese, but I’m happy to eat these muffins without any of that.

I’ve included the nutritional information for the muffins made with oil or with extra apple sauce if you’re looking for something lower in fat. These muffins are only good for about three days at room temperature, so make sure to eat them quickly! You could also try freezing them, but I haven’t gotten a chance to try that yet.

Ingredients
½ cup oatmeal
¾ cup flour
¼ cup brown sugar
1 tsp baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
½ to 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
½+1/8 cup nondairy milk (5 oz)
1/8 cup applesauce
1.5 tbsp oil (or additional applesauce)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup shredded carrots

Directions
- Preheat the oven to 400˚F, and grease six spaces in a muffin tin.
- Peel and grate carrots.
- Blend the oats in a food processor or blender until they turn mostly into flour. A few unblended pieces aren’t a big deal.
- Mix together the oats, flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and pumpkin pie spice. In a separate bowl (I just used the measuring cup I’d measured the milk in) combine nondairy milk, apple sauce, oil, and vanilla. Pour the wet mix into the dry, stir to combine, and then fold in the carrots.
- Pour the batter into the greased spaces in the muffin tin and bake for about twenty five minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the muffin comes out clean.

Nutritional information is for one muffin if you make six. Enjoy!

Hey fellow halivegans (and those who just think veganism is interesting).

This week has some exciting things coming up! I have a new vegan product to review and some yummy pictures to share. Sadly my Pete’s and farmer’s market posts are going to be very infrequent for the next little while, as Halifax is having a bus strike right now and the hour walk to the farmer’s market is not appealing in the slightest. Instead, I’ll try to do more “look at this delicious vegan food I’m eating” posts to keep things interesting around here =]

Hey out there!

May has been a pretty good month for me and the blog. I’ve finally gotten into what I think is a decent posting routine, I’ve cooked up some yummy things, and I’ve gotten a lot of new followers! (Thanks by the way!)

Tomorrow I’m leaving Halifax for six weeks to visit my parents in the Cayman Islands. I’ll definitely still be blogging, though it might be a little less frequently. Still, there will be a lot of new recipes and reviews. While I’m there I’m going to be doing a week of raw veganism, making some yummy ice creams and sorbets, telling you about some of the coolest vegan friendly places in Cayman, and eating a lot of delicious island food. Get excited people =]

Berry Lime Cupcakes: vanilla cake with mixed berry filling and lime buttercream

I was finally successful in making my berry lime cupcakes! These turned out great, with just the right about of sweetness. Non-vegans didn’t believe these were vegan, which I consider to be some of the highest praise from people who think vegan means “I eat tofu and grass”.

Also, I finally have a buttercream recipe for you! Yay! And there’s a recipe for the berry filling! More yays! And assembly instructions!! … can you tell that I’m a little excited about these?

Lime Buttercream
(adapted from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World)

Ingredients
¼ cup Earth Balance
¼ cup vegetable shortening
2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
zest and juice of two small limes, like key limes, or one regular lime

Directions
- Mix together Earth Balance and shortening in a medium bowl with a hand mixer until well combined.
- Add powdered sugar to the margarine shortening blend in 4-6 additions (1/3-½ cup at a time), adding a bit of the lime juice after every sugar addition.
- Once all the sugar and juice have been added, blend for 3-5 more minutes.
- Fold in zest and use or refrigerate immediately.

Berry Filling
Ingredients
1.5 cups frozen berries
1-2 tbsp sugar
½ tbsp corn starch mixed with 1 tbsp cold water (optional)

Directions
- Add frozen berries to a small pot over medium high heat, then stir and toss until completely thawed. Mix with a wooden spoon that you don’t mind having a permanent purple-y hew.
- Turn stove down to medium low. Add 1 tbps sugar, stir until dissolved, and taste for sweetness. The cake and the buttercream are pretty sweet, so don’t worry if the filling is a little bit on the tart side, but not too tart.
- If using, drizzle in the cornstarch mixture while stirring constantly. The corn starch will cut down on some of the cooking time, but that’s about it. Stir mixture until it coats a spoon and doesn’t drip or run together when you drag a finger through it (meaning the filling on the back of the spoon; keep your fingers out of the pot!)
- Let cool slightly then use in the cupcake, or cool completely and store in a glass container in the fridge until you’re ready to use it.

Berry Lime Cupcakes
You will need:
12 vanilla cupcakes
~¼ cup berry filling
~2/3 of the lime butter cream
small, sharp knife (I like a grapefruit knife)
piping bag with a star tip OR frosting spatula OR a butter knife

Assembly
- Let cupcakes cool. Using a small, sharp knife, cut a small circle in the top of each cupcake, about half an inch into the cake. Remove the piece from the center of each cake, cut in half, and save the top. After adding the filling, you’ll use this piece to cover the hole, so try to keep it by the cupcake you cut it off of.
- Add about 1 tsp of berry filling to each of the cupcakes using a spoon or piping bag if you’d like to be fancy (just make sure you have a large tip on if you use a piping bag to the berry seeds and skins don’t get stuck). Cover with the cake top.
- Time for frosting! Generally, I just spread some frosting on top with a butter knife, or you could use a special frosting spatula. For fancier cupcakes, put some of the lime buttercream into a piping bag with a medium star tip. Starting at the outside, pipe a spiral of frosting onto the top of each cupcake.

Trying out raw veganism

For the past four days, I’ve been eating “raw vegan”, which is really just what it sounds like  - eating all uncooked vegan food. This means that on top of not eating animal products, I haven’t had any cooked foods, grains, or legumes either. I guess what I’ve been doing is a modified raw vegan, because I’ve still had balsamic vinegar and olive oil, but that’s it*.

So, I’ve been eating a ton of fruit, a fair amount of vegetables, and raw nuts and seeds. I’ve also been having some type of raw food bar for the past three days. Here are some of the things I’ve eaten (for those who follow my personal blog as well, sorry for the repeat pictures!):

Raw ice creams - a banana and other fruit blended and put in an ice cream maker
The first was strawberry banana. This had an awesome texture and was supper delicious!


The second was mango mixed berry banana. It wasn’t as amazing as the strawberry banana, and I didn’t leave it in long enough, but it was still pretty fantastic!

Food bars

“Raw Revolution” Chocolate Raspberry and Cashew Agave. The chocolate raspberry was waaaaay better, but I forgot to take a picture. The Cashew Agave wasn’t too bad though.

“Pure” Wild Blueberry and Walnut Brownie. The Wild Blueberry was incredible, but the Walnut brownie had to much of a fake health food brownie taste to me.


Salads
I had to go out to a restaurant yesterday, so I had a mixed greens salad with tomatoes, cucumber, and bell peppers and balsamic vinaigrette. It wasn’t really photo worthy. I also made myself a bruschetta salad on Tuesday though, with roma tomatoes, rosemary, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, and olive oil.

Juices
My parents have an awesome juicer, and I’ve made a few cool juices since starting this.
One was watermelon, apple and lime.


My favourite though was carrots, apples, spinach, berries, and half a lime. It tasted like a berry limeade!

That’s about all of the exciting things so far. Hopefully I’ll be making a raw cheesecake in the next few days, so I’ll be sure to tell you all about it!


*With one other possible exception - is tea considered raw vegan?

3

I go through phases where I’m really into exercise, and then I’m really not. Right now, I’m really into it, and trying to increase my muscle mass. Extra protein is really important for doing that, so I’ve been paying special attention to eating more protein than usual. These peanut banana oat bars aren’t a massive source of protein, but the oats and peanut butter have a decent amount. I saw a non-vegan version of this recipe on tumblr, but I’m not sure where it came from. If you know, tell me so I can credit the person who came up with it!

Ingredient notes: I used plain soy milk for the nutrition information. I also had to use half quick cooking and half large rolled oats because that’s what I had, and they were still yummy.

Ingredients:
1.5 cups quick cooking oats
¼ cup packed light brown sugar
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ cup non-dairy milk
1 flax egg (1tbsp ground flax in 3 tbsp water)
1 ripe banana
¼ cup creamy peanut butter

Directions
- Set oven to 350 F and grease an 8 x 8 baking dish. I lined mine with foil and then sprayed it with baking Pam.
- Mix the flax egg and set aside. Peel and mash the banana.
- Mix together oats, sugar, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon in a medium bowl.
- Add the vanilla, milk, and flax egg. Stir together. The mixture might seem a little too wet at this point, but don’t worry.
- Add the banana and peanut butter. Once combined, pour into the baking dish, pat down to even thickness, and bake for 20 minutes for soft bars, 25 for harder bars.
- Take out of the oven, let cool for five minutes in the dish, then remove and cut into nine bars. Nutrition facts are for one bar.

Next time, I’m going try adding some sunflower seeds and dried cranberries. For a milder tasting bar, or if you’re allergic to nuts, try using a different nut or seed butter, like sunflower seed butter. To increase the protein, try adding a scoop of vegan protein powder, and increasing the non-dairy milk by one or two tablespoons.

Enjoy! =]

2

I have four older siblings. Each of my siblings has an average of 3.3 children, and a spouse. When my parents and I go to visit them in Texas, saying it’s a full house is an understatement. One of the most fun meals to make for everyone, in my opinion, is breakfast. The average breakfast there consists of biscuits with sausage gravy, scrambled eggs, and hash browns. For me, this means biscuits and hash browns! When I make a breakfast hash for myself now, I try to add a little more protein by chopping up some vegan sausages in it.

Ingredients
- one medium potato, washed and diced
- 1/3 cup chopped bell pepper
- ¼ cup chopped onion
- 4 vegan breakfast sausages, chopped (like the kind by Yves)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- pepper, Italian season, or whatever other spices you like.

Directions
- Heat a medium/large pan over medium heat, and add the olive oil.
- Chop all of the ingredients. Feel free to peel the potato, but I like the skin, so I leave it on.
- Microwave the diced potatoes in a covered bowl for about a minute and a half to two minutes. (This step probably isn’t necessary, but I like that it I don’t have to worry about burning the outsides while waiting for the centers to cook)
- Add the onion to the pan and cook, stirring until translucent.
- Add the potatoes, stirring to combine, and then leaving for a few minutes until the potatoes just start to brown on the side touching the pan.
- Flip the potatoes, stir in the green peppers, and let sit again. Sprinkle with pepper and any other seasonings you like.
- Flip the potatoes again. They should be brown on a few sides now and getting a little crispy around the edges.
- Add the sausages, and continue to cook until the sausages and potatoes reach your desired doneness.

Serves two portions! Nutrition stats are for half the recipe. Serve with salsa or ketchup.

Day 5: Could use some ideas.

Today wasn’t bad at all. I had three home made meals and a good amount of fresh snacks. Still, my brain is in a rut, and I’m running out of ideas of what to make myself without relying on processed foods. Maybe tomorrow I’ll run down to Planet Organic and get some TVP and make shepherd’s pie. Would you all count TVP as processed?

Breakfast: Oatmeal (oats, water, pumpkin pie spice, sultanas, walnuts, salt, molasses) and orange juice
Lunch: Soup and apple juice
Snack: apple and green tea
Dinner: Spaghetti with portabella mushrooms sauteed in red wine, broccoli, peas, and olive oil (and probably ½ a teaspoon of cracked pepper. I’m kind of addicted to the pepper mill)
Snack: Strawberries

I feel like I’m eating the same meals over and over again - some variation on pasta or soup. I do like both of those things a lot, so I don’t really have a problem with it, but writing down my meals makes it feel a lot more repetitious than it normally would have. I usually make my shepherd’s pie with Yve’s veggie grounds, but the ingredients list in that stuff is definitely too long for this challenge. Hopefully TVP will make a good replacement?

So I end this with some questions: How processed would you consider TVP? What are some fun vegan low processed meals I could make?

Day 2: Always harder than Day 1.

Today wasn’t difficult in that I couldn’t think of things to eat. Today was difficult in that I forgot that I was doing a challenge! I know, go me. Anyway, here’s what I ate today:

Breakfast: Oatmeal (oats, water, dried cranberries, walnuts, cinnamon, a pinch of salt, and molasses)
Lunch: Soup with Italian bread (pictured below) and a small cup of fresh pressed apple juice

6:30 meal: tall soy latte with cinnamon and raw sugar, maple bagel with peanut butter
10:00 meal: Spaghetti with spinach-portabella-tomato sauce and Italian bread.

The maple bagel definitely wouldn’t have been acceptable (or the Kraft peanut butter for that matter). I’m sure that sucker was loaded with preservatives. It was a little scary how easy it was to grab something so processed and not even consider it. I suppose it wasn’t as processed and preservative laden as Mr. Noodles, but still. Hopefully tomorrow I’ll remember I’m doing a challenge! Wish me luck!

Mmmm. Dinner!

Today wasn’t too difficult, but the first day of anything isn’t that bad, right? Hopefully the next few days go just as well!

Breakfast: Blueberry pancakes with (processed, unfortunately) syrup
Lunch: Soup (recipe to come) and Italian bread
Snack: Gala apple
Dinner: Spaghetti with peas, broccoli, and portabella mushrooms tossed with salt, pepper, and olive oil (photographed), garlic bread, and red sauce.

Not proud of the processed syrup, but I totally forgot that pancakes need syrup and syrup comes out of a bottle. Not sure what else to put on them though, so I’ll have to work on that. The soup mix came out of a bag, but doesn’t really count as processed as far as I’m concerned right now. Dinner involved Earth Balance, wine, and bottled tomato sauce, but those things are also on the “okay for now list”. All in all a pretty good day =]

Back after a long hiatus

Sorry for randomly leaving the Internet everyone. I got caught up in exams, then being back in Cayman with family, and then learning how to be a functioning student again. Anyway, I’m here now!

In order to formally get back into blogging and being healthy, for the next week I’m cutting way back on the amount of processed food I eat. No granola bars, no packaged cookies, no soda, no crackers, as well as a lot of other things! All in all, not a bad decision for most of us. How long I’ll last is undetermined at the moment, but I’m hoping that a week of strict no-processed-food eating will push me to make more interesting food choices and get back into preparing more of my own food. Also, hopefully I’ll have some cool recipes to share with you!

There are a few exceptions to this. I’ll still allow myself certain packaged foods, listed below, because the alternatives are more expensive, less available, or they are not processed to an extent I find unreasonable (for example, I buy a packaged mix of beans and grains for soup, which is processed by way of being in a bag, but is not loaded with sodium or preservatives).

Packaged/processed products I will still be consuming: vegetable stock, bread, pasta, packaged soup mix, canned beans, canned tomatoes, tomato sauce, tea, soy milk, chocolate chips, Earth Balance, hummus, olive oil, vinegar, wine, coffee/espresso, and fruit juice*.

*I might add to this list as I realize other things that are too difficult to not get processed/packaged.

Each day for the next week, I’ll post about my challenges and triumphs while eating a less processed diet, and hopefully a few recipes too! I’ll post later today about what I’ve eaten so far, and how the first day goes.