Brooklyn Vegan

Happy Friday! Funny Stuff...

I had something else planned for today's post, but my ubercool friend, one of my favorite people, Kelly Brogan, sent me this hysterical video last night and I had to share it.  Don't be offended, it's too funny to!  Just laugh, and find more laughs throughout the weekend.  It's good for you!

Happy Friday! Baby Bar is getting her name;)

Love Life and Lollipops- Baby Bar

 

This weekend we have Baby Bar's baby naming.  It's a Jewish ceremony where they do some prayers and then we all eat.  Kinda like many of the other Jewish ceremonies.  It'll be really nice to have the whole family in the same place and a ton of catered vegan food;)

I'm not so religious, but traditional and these events are such nice reminders of the deep history we come from.  Baby Bar was named after my father's father (Ben) and Avital was named after my mother's grandfather (Abraham).  It's nice to have a little piece of them with us in spirit if not in body.  Celebrating this culture is important to keeping it alive.

It's supposed to be a gorgeous weekend and I'm psyched to spend it at my parents' house hanging by the pool and picking shells off the beach with Avi before the hubbub of the party.

What're you're plans for the weekend?  Any special events in your lives going on?  Or just a relaxing, sun-drenched weekend for you and yours?

xo

Spaghetti Squash hold the Spaghetti

Love Life and Lollipops- Vegan Pesto Spaghetti Squash and Beans

A couple weekends ago, we headed out to the beach on the later side of a Friday afternoon.  It was way too late to get to the house and first start preparing dinner, so we met my in-laws out at Serafina for dinner.  Generally I try to avoid too much Italian food as I always feel heavy and bloated after.  It seems to be the easy go to with family since there's something to please everyone.  I was tired and didn't want to start searching for other options, so agreed to go.

And I have to say I was very pleasantly surprised with the menu!  There were a number of options for me (which is rare when we eat out at a non-vegetarian restaurant).  I'm usually stuck with the one vegan option.  I'm not picky, so it works out okay most of the time, but it's a real treat to have options;)

I decided to stay away from the pasta and fried eggplant, zucchini, whathaveyou to attempt a lighter dinner.  I ordered the spaghetti squash and I totally fell in love.

I'm a serious squash girl as you can see in this recipe, or this one, or this one, or a ton more on this blog.  That said I historically would pass right by the spaghetti squash every time I saw it in the market.  I thought it was boring and watery and blah.  I entirely overlooked the fact that is was a perfect carrier for other bold flavors.

Furthermore, it's supereasy to cook making it an amazing family dinner option.

I bought myself some prepared pesto and beans and frozen limas and poof, dinner was served.

Here's how I did it:

Ingredients:

  • 1 spaghetti squash
  • store bought pesto (vegan of course)
  • 1 can of (Eden brand) cannellini beans
  • 1 can of (Eden brand) northern beans
  • frozen lima beans
  • juice of half of a lemon
  • sea salt
  • (and although I forgot them on the counter) toasted pine nuts (as many as you like...a few tablespoons will do)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cut the squash in half and remove the seeds.
  3. Place the squash cut side down in a baking tray and add 2-3 cups of water to the bottom of the pan until it is covered in water.
  4. Cook the squash until fork tender (apx. 35-45 min).
  5. When finished, remove the squash and flip it cut side up to start to cool.
  6. Meanwhile, rinse the beans and defrost the limas (by running all 3 under hot water in a colander).
  7. When it's cool enough to touch start to scrape out the meat with a fork (scrape it width wise, not length wise).
  8. Place a portion of squash on a plate.
  9. Add a couple tablespoons of pesto, a heaping spoon of the beans, a sprinkle of sea salt, and pine nuts.
  10. Serve immediately and savor.

(Oh and I served this with cinnamon sautéed sweet potatoes and carrots.)

Brownies (Healthy and Delicious: vegan and refined sugar and flour free!)

Love Life and Lollipops- Vegan Brownies

These brownies are totally vegan and guilt-free! I posted the pic above on my twitter recently and got a number of requests for the recipe, so here it is:

Ingredients:

  • 2 c whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 c organic cocoa powder (I like Dagoba)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tbsp flax meal
  • 1 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
  • 2 c brown rice syrup
  • 1 c almond milk (I make my own;), but you can totally buy it)
  • 1 c coconut oil (I melt mine in hot water to measure it)
  • 1 tbsp organic vanilla extract
  • 1/4 c maple syrup
  • 1 c chopped walnuts
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Prep 2 muffin tins with liners or grease them with some coconut oil.
  3. Mix the flour, cocoa, baking powder, sea salt, flax meal, and xanthan gum in a bowl until combined.
  4. In a separate bowl combine the rice syrup, milk, oil, vanilla, and maple syrup.
  5. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and combine until just mixed.
  6. Add the walnuts and mix in.
  7. Fill the muffin tins 3/4 full (should make 21).
  8. Bake for 30 min until a knife comes out dry through.
  9. Let cool for 10 min or until they are not too hot to move then transfer them to a cooling rack to cool the rest of the way.

These are a big hit in my house and totally guilt free!  I don't feel badly letting Avital indulge.  It can get dangerous though as I can over indulge too;)

Fresh Nut Mylk

Love Life and Lollipops- Fresh Nut Mylk

Since I got my Vitamix (yay!) I've been making so many new things that I couldn't have (as well) before and one of my family's favorites is all of the different nut mylks I've been making.  Almond, cashew, brazilian, walnut.  All yum!

My sister, Liza, asked me this morning for the recipe, so I figured I should probably share it with you all!

Here's how I make them:

You'll need:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of nuts (soaked overnight in a glass jar or glass or bowl covered with a breathable cloth like a cheese cloth)
  • 2 cups of filtered water
  • 2-4 dates (depending on how sweet you like it)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
  • 1-1 teaspoon organic vanilla extract
  1. Rinse the soaked nuts and place them in the Vitamix.
  2. Pit and add the dates.
  3. Add the cinnamon and vanilla if desired.
  4. Add the water.
  5. Blend on high for 2-3 minutes until totally smooth.
  6. Place the nut milk bag in a large beaker or jug with the top of the bag flipped over the top to secure it.
  7. Pour the blended nuts into the bag and close up the top.
  8. Squeeze down the bag to "milk" it and strain through the liquid.  Keep doing this until all the liquid is released.
  9. And voila! Fresh nut mylk.

It's like nothing else.  Fresh.  Bright.  Delicious.

Oh, and remember to store it in glass, it's safest and preserves the freshness best!

Vegan Split Pea Soup

Love Life and Lollipops- Vegan Split Pea Soup

The other afternoon, it was too cold to run out to the market with the baby, so dinner turned into a: whatever I can concoct from what's in my fridge.  Luckily, this fabulous split pea soup came about and it's definitely making it on my list of go to's.

Here's how I did it:

Ingredients-

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 chopped vidalia onion
  • 4 chopped carrots
  • 4 cloves of minced garlic
  • 1 cup yellow split peas
  • 1 carton of no chicken stock
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  1. In a large pot heat the olive oil over med/high heat.
  2. Saute the onion and carrot until they start to soften (5-10 min).
  3. Add the garlic, salt, and turmeric.
  4. Cook together for 1-2 min
  5. Add the split peas and the stock.
  6. Bring to a boil and then down to a rolling simmer.
  7. Cook for 45 min until the split peas start to dissolve adding water as needed.  Cook until desired consistency (peas will dissolve more and more over time and you can add as much water as you like.
  8. Serve with some garlic bread or even better garlic fried brown rice!

Btw, I'm making it again tonight!

Shachar, Tacos, and Babies

Love Life and Lollipops- The Taco Truck tacos and Shachar

My gorgeous friend Shachar just had her twin babies last weekend and I'm totally in love.  They are edible and she's already a superb mama.  It was a real struggle for her (as it is for so many of us) and I wanted to take a second to honor her and her journey.

Just a week or so ago I went to visit her while she waited for those babies to arrive.  We chatted adventures in baby waiting (no fun!), ate some tacos (she and her husband are owners of The Taco Truck...I wrote about them here...you have to go try, it's UH-mazing, and they have a shop now too in Hoboken), and waited.

And now they're here!  I can't wait to mush and spoil them.

PS- don't forget to got for me in the Circle of Moms Top 25 Vegan and Vegetarian Bloggers here.

Fig Food Co. Beans

Love Life and Lollipops- Fig Food Co. Beans

Let me start by saying I love living in Brooklyn!  I'm constantly coming across new products and businesses in the area that I'm impressed by and psyched to incorporate in my life, kitchen, whathaveyou.

Juggling my way through the market today, Bar nursing in her sling, pushing the stroller with groceries in it (it might as well serve some purpose!), I stumbled upon a brand of beans sold in a box!  You may have read this post where I rant a bit about bpa's lining our canned goods and how important it is to be supercareful of where our food comes from and how it's packaged.

I'm pretty vigilant about soaking my own beans and pressure cooking them for dinner almost every night, but for certain things like hummus or when dinner burns while I'm nursing, or the rare occasion where I refuse to order in again and haven't had time to soak or cook beans, prepared ones come in super handy.

Fig Food Co. sells beans (and apparently soups too) in boxes!  Yay!  I snagged me a bunch of them and am now prepared for whatever my days will bring me!