Did You Know?

Did you know??
Although using avocados and bananas are all the buzz now to get soft and shiny hair, all it will get you is a messy kitchen and bathroom. These products are great to help your hair for one day, but the proteins in them are way too big for your hair to absorb. And unless you are going to use them each day (yikes!), then you should head to a beauty supply store and check out some Vegan products that use "hydrolyzed" proteins - proteins from avocados and bananas that actually are small enough to help your hair.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Butternut Squash Bisque


It's unseasonally warm here in New England, but that doesn't mean it's not vegan soup weather!  We've been feeling particularly French lately (I'm not sure if it's listening to Coeur De Pirate or our recent venture to Quebec), but it's been an interesting opportunity to veganize some traditional French dishes.  This butternut squash bisque traditionally calls for thick, fatty heavy cream, but this recipe substitutes an unsweetened vegan cream (if you can get your hands on Mimicream--do it!) for it, making the dish safe for your tastebuds!  The mild sweetness of butternut squash is offset by the chives and croutons, which makes this a nice, savoury winter soup-- thick and creamy.  And amazingly, this soup is actually low-fat!

1 medium white onion, chopped
1 cup finely chopped celery
1 fresh sage leaf, finely chopped
1/2 tsp fresh chopped chives
1/2 tsp fresh crushed rosemary
1 tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp black ground pepper
1 medium butternut squash, peeled and cubed
2 1/2 cups veggie stock
3/4 cup non-dairy creamer (I use mimicream when I can-- if not, Silk's creamer isn't bad, but I have yet to find it unsweetened.  You can always use unsweetened almond milk and steam it down for a while)
Croutons for garnish

In a large saucepan over medium, sauté the onion, celery, thyme, rosemary, and sage in the olive oil for 7 minutes or until the vegetables turn tender.

Add butternut squash, herbs, and veggie stock to the saucepan and bring the soup to a simmer.

Reduce the heat slightly, cover, and simmer the soup for 20 minutes or until the squash is tender.

Puree the soup in a blender (this will literally take 5-10 seconds if the squash is tender), and add cream and garnish with croutons and chives.

Caloric Info
Servings 4
Total Fat: 6.5 grams
Sat Fat: 0.6 grams
Polyunsat. Fat 0.3 grams
Monosat. Fat: 4.0 grams
Cholesterol: 0 grams
Sodium: 631.0 mg
Potassium: 319.8 mg
Carbs: 13.7 grams
Dietary Fiber: 2.5 grams
Sugar: 1.3 grams
Protein: 1.0 grams

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Cranberry Orange Bread


If there is one thing I love about the holiday season, particulary in New England, it's cranberries. They appear in a multitude of baked goods during the winter, but none are so perfectly matched as cranberries and oranges in this delectable Cranberry Orange Bread, adapted from the Joy of Vegan Baking.

1 tbsp ground flax seed
3 tbsp water
1/4 non-dairy butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp orange extract
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 1/4 c fresh squeezed orange juice
1 1/4 c vanilla almond milk (or any other non-dairy milk)
4 c all-purpose flour
1 c sugar
4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 c cranberries (adjust proportions to your liking)
sugar (for sprinkling)

Mix flax seed and water, combine thoroughly. Stir in melted (and coolled) butter, orange juice, milk, and extracts.
In a separate bowl, sift together all dry ingredients in order shown. Stir in liquid mixture until just combined. Add in cranberries, and walnuts, if desired.
Pour into greased mini-loaf pans (makes about 6), sprinkle with sugar (or cinnamon sugar) and bake for 35-45 minutes at 350 degrees.*

These loaves do freeze well, and make great gifts in seasonal loaf pans. They are also a great breakfast bread, and can be baked at same temperature in cupcake/muffin pans for 18-25 minutes if desired.

Happy holidays!

* If your batter seems too thick, add a little more milk and orange juice. You want it to be noticably reacting (i.e. the batter seems to be bubbling a bit, and tastes a little tart) but not dough-like, and not quite liquid either. If it's too thin, add in a bit more flour.

Caloric Info
Servings 18
Total Fat: 2.5 grams
Sat Fat: 0.6 grams
Polyunsat. Fat 0.8 grams
Monosat. Fat: 0.6 grams
Cholesterol: 0 grams
Sodium: 99.0 mg
Potassium: 197.0 mg
Carbs: 35.9 grams
Dietary Fiber: 1.4 grams
Sugar: 13.0 grams
Protein: 3.2 grams

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Quick & Easy Homemade Hot Cocoa


Once it gets cold up here, I get addicted to Hot Cocoa. I replace my morning coffee with it, drink it when I'm cold, and when I get home from work. I love it, but it definitely doesn't love me - and I'm uncomfortable with the amount of white sugar that is contained in those happy little packages.

So, here it is: Really quick and easy hot cocoa you can make with stuff you already have in your house, and no added white sugar at all. Rest easier, waist line!

1 c vanilla almond milk, or favourite non-dairy milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp chocolate extract (or you can sub in Caramel, Mint, Coffee, Raspberry, Orange...)
1-2 tbsp agave nectar
1/4 c cocoa powder

In a small saucepan, heat the almond milk and agave nectar. Add in extracts, and whisk. Add in cocoa powder slowly, whisking to remove clumps and continue to heat until desired temperature. Taste and adjust agave if necessary. Then pour in a mug, top with Rice Whip and chocolate shavings. Bam!- Hot Cocoa in five minutes, and infinitely better than a packet of store-bought.