ūüφ- Delicious Raw Overnight Oatmeal

Oatmeal

My kids LOVE oatmeal. ¬†They eat it cooked and uncooked. ¬†Just like that. Nothing added! ¬†When I grew up, oatmeal and ‘PAP’ (something like corn grits/polenta). Every morning we would get a nice, steaming bowl of porridge. ¬†Of course, we would put sugar, cow’s milk and sometimes butter on it. ¬†It tasted like heaven! ¬†Now, as an enlightened adult, I don’t have sugar, cow’s milk or butter in the house. ¬†How am I going to eat my oatmeal if I can’t put those things on it?? Well, SO many things I have come to learn, make a delicious bowl of Oatmeal. I don’t have time to mention more than just this one‚Ķ…

To save time in the mornings and to cut down on the amount of time my stove is on and because it’s so crazy hot in CA, I decided to soak the oats (I used Coach’s Oats)¬†in¬†Almond Milk¬†overnight. I also soaked some dried figs in water for blending to go with the oats.

Come this morning, first thing the girls say to me, like every morning is “I’m hungry. What are we gonna eat?” I was ready for that question. Today we try Raw Oatmeal! Let’s give it a go and see what they think!

Please do keep in mind that even though I really try to remember to sort of measure things out, I honestly just eyeball everything.  Please adjust to your taste and family size….

 

ūüφ- Delicious Raw Overnight Oatmeal

 

1 Cup oatmeal*

2 Cups Water/Almond Milk or other Milk

Frozen/Fresh Raspberries, Blueberries, Strawberries or any other fruit at hand

Nuts – I like roasted, unsalted Pecans

Shredded Coconut

Figs soaked overnight and pureed

For a visually stimulating breakfast, layer the ingredients into a clear glass or bowl starting with the ¬†Oatmeal and finish off with a dollop of fig puree and some Coconut Shreds. if you’re in a hurry, mix all the ingredients together into a beautiful mess and enjoy!

*¬†For Gluten-Free Oatmeal, make sure the package says it’s GF!

Kids loved it and so did I!

 

Native Foods Cafe

Last night was the second time I’ve had food from Native Foods and it is awesome! Everything is vegan and everything is delicious! Sesame kale macro bowl, Oklahoma bacon cheeseburger, Soul bowl-yum! And there’s a kids’ menu with the standard fare, but it’s all vegan! The only dessert we’ve had is the oatmeal cream pie and it is truly decadent. And you can order online for pick-up (especially great for those of us who hate the phone!) If you’re lucky enough to live in Southern California, Chicago, Portland, or Boulder, check out this restaurant immediately!

-Abby

Nori Summer Salad

ūüφ – How crazy is it that my last post was in JULY?? Downright shameful I say! It would seem that I have some catching up to do! Cleaning too mind you, as I type I see the dust rubbing off the letters on my keyboard…. good ol’ technology, if these were the days of pen and paper one thing is for sure, my ink would be a dried up mess! ¬†Anyhow, while I was slightly absent on this side of Cyberspace I was rather active in my house and in the kitchen. I tell you, there certainly is no shortcut for eating healthy. It takes a whole lot of time and energy to throw together interesting, tasty and supremely healthy meals that every member of the family can enjoy…. and it is no joke my friends with a 1 and a 2 year old running around. Sometimes I get REALLY overwhelmed by the need to constantly having to re-invent the home menu. I was brought up to cook with what we had at hand. ¬†We had a little vegetable garden with not too much to choose from so come mealtime, you take a handful of this, a pinch of that, a scoop of this and so forth…. this is what I call Freestyle Cooking. This is also in my case a recipe for monotonous cooking. Anybody else identify with this? I feel like everything I make always ends up tasting more or less the same?? Not cool! ¬†So lately I’ve been more adventurous and this recipe is what happened! My awesome friend and co-blogger Abby made me the Nori Wrap recipe from Alicia Silverstone’s book The Kind Diet. I fell head over heels in love with¬†NORI!! I found myself buying 50 sheets of it at Wholefoods and using it in every way possible.

This little salad here was created after I had a semi-meltdown. Same stupid flavors frequenting my tastebuds day in and day out makes Naómi a dangerous girl. Time to pull out the Nori and spruce up the old salad!

Nori Summer Salad

‚ÄĘ ¬†¬ľ Red Onion, finely chopped
‚ÄĘ ¬†1 ¬Ĺ Pint Cherry Tomatoes, halved or 4/5 Tomatoes diced
‚ÄĘ ¬†1 Ripe Avacado, chopped
‚ÄĘ ¬†1 Can of Garbanzo Beans, rinsed and drained (Rinsing reduces the sodium content)¬†alternatively soak and boil ’em yourself!
‚ÄĘ ¬†1 head of Romaine Lettuce cut into strips
‚ÄĘ ¬†2 tbsp Ume Plum Vinegar (Not a train smash if you don’t have this, but it does give it a nice oomph!)
‚ÄĘ ¬†5-10 Sheets of Nori, cut into small strips (I cut along the perforated lines using my kitchen scissors, stack ’em on top¬†of each other to cut slivers)
‚ÄĘ ¬†Salt to taste (Ume Vinegar is already salty!)
‚ÄĘ ¬†Freshly ground Black Pepper to taste

Toss it all together. THAT IS IT! Enjoy!

I have been reading up a storm lately!

I’ve been reading cookbooks, books on nutrition, and even a little bit of fiction! I just got Vegan Cooking for Carnivores by Roberto Martin from the library-he is Ellen & Portia’s chef and even though I haven’t made anything from it yet, a lot of recipes look good, especially the homemade ravioli, the faux pho, and the chocolate chip magic bars. ¬†Awhile back I took out My Father’s Daughter by Gwyneth Paltrow and there are a lot of vegan recipes-the oatmeal raisin cookies and kale fried rice are excellent! ¬†Colleen Patrick-Goudreau’s 30 Day Vegan Challenge is very informative, especially if you’re first starting out eating vegan. ¬†I’ve also been rereading The Kind Diet by Alicia Silverstone and The Engine 2 Diet by Rip Esselstyn. ¬†There are some great recipes in those as well as a lot of ¬†vegan nutrition information. ¬†Alicia’s Hearty Pinto Bean Stew is one of my staples (I serve it with Gwyneth’s kale fried rice!) and Rip’s Jane’s Jammin’ Burritos are delicious. ¬†And if you have kids, Karen Le Billon’s French Kids Eat Everything might make you want to move to Paris!

-Abby

Kale Brown Rice Casserole

This is a very simple yet delicious and nutritious casserole!

2 c. cooked brown rice
2 tsp. oil
I onion, sliced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 c. cauliflower, cut into bite size pieces
3 c. chopped cabbage
3 c. chopped kale
15 oz. diced tomatoes
3/4 c. Daiya cheese, shredded (any flavor)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Saute onion and garlic in oil over medium heat in a large skillet until onion caramelizes a bit, about 10 minutes. Add cauliflower, cabbage, and kale to the onion mixture and saute also for about 10 minutes, until cauliflower is soft. Season with salt and pepper.  Layer rice on the bottom of a prepared casserole dish. Then layer the tomatoes. Then layer the veg mixture and top with the shredded cheese. Bake uncovered for 12 minutes or until cheese melts.

Let me introduce myself…

I grew up in the beautiful state of Ohio, went to college in North Carolina, and moved to Los Angeles where I now live with my husband and son. In recent years whenever I ate meat, I thought, “Why am I eating this?” I ate it because it was there. It was when my friend, Naomi, told me she had gone vegan that I thought, “Wow, you can do that?” ¬†So I started educating myself on the topic and became vegan myself about a year ago. My son was one at the time and he became vegan, too. We became vegan because it’s the right thing to do for your body and for the planet, plain and simple!

-Abby

ūüφ – Let me introduce myself…

ūüφ – I am one of the contributors of this blog. ¬†This is my Red Shoe. I will use my sign each time I post something!

I hail from the Beautiful South Africa and am currently living in Los Angeles. I live here with my wonderful husband and two little girls, and it is with my oldest that my Vegan story begins…..

I was roughly 3 months pregnant at the time when I was watching a show on television of which Alicia Silverstone was one of the guests. She was discussing Veganism and her book, The Kind Diet. ¬†Me being very much a carnivore at this point was like, What?? Why?? Having nothing better to do, I sat and watched and listened. Okay, you can bake a cake WITHOUT eggs? Never knew that. Cool. So why do we use them then? Interesting…. It genuinely made sense to me. Then they aired some clips from Food, Inc. They had me. Hook, Line and Sinker. Mission accomplished. I felt compelled to TRY to go at least one month without eating ANY animal products. I ordered the book and when it arrived I finished reading it in a day. A DAY! You don’t know me, but I tell you, this was a fast read for me. I usually take ages to read a book. Granted there are Recipes in the book, but I READ each and every one of them. This was all new to me. I had so much to learn. I had No idea exactly HOW much I was going to learn. That was January 2010. Now I have two children who I am raising Vegan. I’m learning everyday still. The way I look and think about food has changed so much. I’m super happy about having made the change. It has been a tough experience for so many reasons!

I have found that Veganism is one of THOSE topics. The ones you avoid like the Plague…. Religion, Politics and Sports. It’s especially important to be tactful about it and choosing the right moments to mention this to others. Actions speak louder that words in some cases. Don’t convince, Influence!

Thanks for visiting!

ūüφ – Na√≥mi

Cacao – What’s not to love?

ūüφ ¬†– I have lately been craving Chocolate again. ¬†Anything with chocolate. Oh boy, I tell you, right now I would dip EVERYTHING in chocolate and devour it! Lucky or unlucky for me, all I have is Cacao Powder. I usually keep some of Amy’s Chocolate Cake in the freezer for days like this. In my opinion, it’s a must-have, but now I don’t-have:) I like it so much I cut a slice and eat it frozen! Grrr, I really have no intention on eating the Cacao Powder as is, so I’m gonna have to just settle for nothing or come up with something…. Thought I would share some info I came across about the Nutritional benefits of this sexy and much desired Nut. Indeed, it is truly a Nut and not a bean!

Nutritional Value

Cacao powder contains several minerals including calcium, copper, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium and zinc. All of these minerals are found in greater quantities in cacao powder than either cocoa butter or cocoa liquor.(1) Cacao solids also contain 230 mg of caffeine and 2057 mg of theobromine per 100g, which are mostly absent from the other components of the cacao bean.(2)

Flavonoids

Cacao powder is rich in flavonoids, a type of phenolic. The amount of flavonoids depends on the amount of processing and manufacturing the cocoa powder undergoes, but cocoa powder can contain up to 10% its weight in flavonoids.(1) Flavanols are one of six compounds further classified as flavonoids. Flavanols, which are also found in fruits and vegetables, are linked to certain health benefits linked to coronary heart disease and stroke. The topic of how flavanols benefit cardiovascular health is still under debate. It has been suggested that the flavanols may take part in mechanisms such as nitric oxide and antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antiplatelet effects.(3) Benefiting these mechanisms may improve endothelial function, lipid levels, blood pressure and insulin resistance.(3)

References

1. ¬†a b¬†Steinberg, F.M.; Bearden, M.M., Keen, C.L. (February 2003). Cacoa and Chocolate Flavonoids: Implications for Cardiovascular Health¬†103. pp. 215‚Äď223.

2. USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 24, (2011)

3. a b¬†Corti, R.; Flammer, A.J., Hollenberg, N.K. (2009).¬†Cacoa and¬†Cardiovascular Health.¬†Circulation. Contemporary Reviews in Cardiovascular Medicine¬†119: 1433‚Äď1441.¬†DOI:10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.108.827022. Retrieved November 9, 2011.

Veganpalooza

There’s a great online event happening right now (July 11-15) and it’s free! veganpalooza.com is the place to be to learn more about the vegan movement. The event features many leading vegan educators, such as Rory Freedman, Kathy Freston, and Rip Esselstyn. I just listened to Julieanna Hever discuss plant-based nutrition. You can either call in on your phone or listen to the conferences on your computer. ¬†Now I just have to schedule my days around listening to the conferences!

Toddler Muffins

Here’s a recipe for mini muffins that I make for my toddler.¬† I use those fruit & veg puree pouches (I use Happy Tot) to get even more fruit and veg into my boy and it’s easier than pureeing a bunch of vegetables!¬† Enjoy!

 

 

2 c. whole wheat flour

1 T. ground flax seeds

1 t. baking soda

1/4 c. melted Earth Balance

1/2 c. applesauce or mashed bananas

1/4 c. agave (or other natural sweetener)

2 c. pureed vegetables (I use several of the Happy Tot pouches)

1 t. vanilla

1 t. cinnamon

1 t. nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and prepare a mini muffin tin.

Mix together flour, flax seeds, and baking soda in medium bowl.  Set aside.  In a large bowl mix together the melted Earth Balance, applesauce or mashed bananas, agave, pureed veg, vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg.  Pour dry mixture into wet ingredients and mix well.  Fill muffin tins with batter and bake for 18 minutes.  Makes approximately 30 mini muffins.