Movin’ On Up!

8 Aug

Thanks to all of the success and wonderful subscribers that we’ve had, it is time for Adventures with Veggies to move on up to bigger and brighter things! Our blog has been given a new coat of paint and a new name, as well as a new address – but we are still posting healthy vegan recipes, stories, and tips! I am so grateful for all of the support that I’ve had here and I hope that you will join us at our new home, The Singin’ Vegan.

The Singin' Vegan

 

Thank you, and I hope to see you soon!

And the Winner Is….

7 Aug

It’s time to announce the winner of our SlimKicker Digital Scale Giveaway! We got some great ideas for creative physical challenges that SlimKicker could use for their app. After some careful consideration, they chose the idea submitted by georgina070886!! Here’s what Georgina came up with:

Georgina will be receiving this Ozeri Epicurean Digital Kitchen Scale and her suggestion may be featured in the Challenges section of the SlimKicker App. Georgina – please contact me using the email address in the “About” section of the blog so that I can help you claim your prize. CONGRATULATIONS!!

Thank you to everyone that participated…keep your eyes open for more contests and giveaways!

Homemade Vegan Strawberry Banana Ice Cream and Giveaway Update!

28 Jul YUM!

I will admit, before becoming vegan, I had an addiction to ice cream. Even as I transitioned and discovered all of the yummy alternatives to dairy ice cream, I would keep a constant stock in my freezer. For the past month or so, I have really been focusing on reducing all of the extra sugar and processed items from my diet, as well as exercising daily in preparation for my trip to Puerto Rico tomorrow, so the ice cream has not made it home with me. That doesn’t mean that I’m not still craving it! To ease my cravings in a healthy way, I came up with this quick and easy recipe – and it did NOT disappoint! You don’t need an ice cream maker – I did this all in my food processor (a strong blender would work, too).

 

Homemade Vegan Strawberry Banana Ice Cream

Makes about 2 servings

Ingredients:

1 frozen banana, cut into small slices

3 or 4 large half frozen strawberries

approx. 1/2 cup of non-dairy milk (I used almond milk)

Process:

1. If your strawberries are completely frozen (mine were), submerge them in a bowl of warm water – they didn’t process well in a completely frozen state.

2. Chop up banana pieces in a food processor/blender – you will have tons of tiny banana pieces.

3. Add half-defrosted strawberries and a small amount of almond milk and process – as the fruit processes, continue to add in the milk to the desired consistency. Here’s what mine looked like:

Ice cream in food processor

4. To get more of a soft serve consistency, stick the ice cream in the freezer for about 10-15 minutes before serving.

5. Add a pretty garnish and enjoy!

YUM!

You can definitely vary this recipe by adding different fruit combos, making sure that the banana is the base. I LOVE the strawberry/banana combo (remember my healthy breakfast shake?), but I am excited to try mango, raspberry, and maybe even blueberry! Like the shake, you could also add a spoonful of cocoa, or even use chocolate non-dairy milk for a different taste. Go nuts!

Giveaway Update:

The SlimKicker Kitchen Scale Giveaway has ended! The people at SlimKicker will look over the entries to pick their favorite challenge idea, and I will post the winner as soon as I can! I will be leaving for Puerto Rico early tomorrow morning, so the announcement may have to wait until Thursday night when we get back….can’t wait to try all of the fresh fruits and veggies that they have there! Adios!  =)

Our resort in San Juan – La Concha

Awww, Shucks…Now You’ve Made Me Blush!

22 Jul

I have only been at this blogging thing for a short time now – I write two blogs, this one and a blog about my adventures as a music educator. Both are just starting out, with around 10 posts each, and each has very modest statistics. So, I was pleasantly surprised when Facetious Firecracker (freakin’ hilarious blog – go read it now!!) nominated Adventures with Veggies for the “One Lovely Blog Award” and the “Sunshine Award” – THANK YOU!

Of course, there are rules that go along with these things! Check it out:

One Lovely Blog Award

  • Rules are as follows:
    • Link back to the blogger who nominated you
    • Paste the award image on your blog
    • Tell 7 Facts About Yourself
    • Nominate 15 other blogs that you would like to give the award to.
    • Contact the bloggers that you have chosen and let them know about the award.

Here are my facts:

  1. I hate roller coasters. In fact, I hate all things that give me that feeling of your stomach jumping into your throat. Not cool.
  2. I can’t swim. I grew up in a place where I didn’t have to know how and just never got around to learning. If you threw me in the deep end of a pool, there’s a 50/50 chance that I wouldn’t make it!
  3. My entire apartment could be in shambles, but I cannot stand to have a dirty kitchen. I will often neglect other chores to make sure that the dishes are done and all of my food and cabinets are organized.
  4. I WILL NOT do laundry if it’s raining. My reasoning is that I should not have to pay to dry my clothes (I have to go to a laundromat) for them to just get wet again when I walk outside! Weird, I know.
  5. I did not make my first lasagna until after I became a vegan – weird because of my Italian heritage (half). I liked it just as much, if not better than regular lasagna!
  6. I have to sleep with something over me at night, even if it’s just a sheet over one of my limbs. When I get warm, the first part of me to come out from the blanket is a my feet!
  7. I have been singing since before I can remember. My very first solo song that I sang in front of an audience was “The Rainbow Connection” from the Muppets at my Kindergarten end-of-the-year assembly. Awesome song, even now!

The Sunshine Award

  • Rules are as follows:
    • Include the award’s logo in a post or on your blog. 
    • Answer 10 questions about yourself.
    • Nominate other fabulous bloggers.
    • Link your nominees to this post and comment on their blogs, letting them know they have been nominated.
    • Share the love and link the person who nominated you.

Here are my questions/answers:

What is your favorite childhood memory? Playing games with my two sisters – we didn’t need board games or cards, we kept ourselves amused with our own made up world in which we got to be Disney movie characters!

What is a real fear you have? Failure. I have nightmares about forgetting something at school, screwing up concerts, letting people in my life down – it’s definitely one of the biggest fears that I have.

How would you describe yourself? Hmmm. I am a vegan music educator that enjoys working out, eating, cooking, reading, and staying in for a quiet night at home. When I am with people that I know, I am outgoing but I get a bit introverted when I am around large groups of strangers.

What countries have you lived in? Just this one! I have visited Costa Rica but that’s about it! I would love to go to Europe (Italy and Spain mainly) when I get the chance.

What is your style? I feel like I have two – my “teacher style” and my “Julie style.”

What is your favorite breakfast food? The vegan Bike Shop Special from Satellite Cafe in Philadelphia

What are some of your hobbies? Singing, playing the piano, blogging, cooking, reading, yoga, running

If you could tell people anything, what would be the most important thing to say? Stay positive – I always try to find the brighter side of things, and keeping that sort of attitude has helped me through a lot of not-so-great situations.

What is one of your passions? Music – it has been a lifelong passion. I built my career around music and I love that I get to call teaching music my job!

What is the one truth you have learned? You’re never given more than you can handle. It may seem that things are horrible and impossible, but they will always look up. You will always find a way, and there is always a silver lining.

Because I blog about two very different topics, my 15 nominations will be a bit all over the place as far as genre. I have also taken Facetious Firecracker’s lead and combined my nominations – all of these blogs have influenced me in some way, and deserve to receive both rewards. In no particular order, they are:

Once again, thank you for the honor! Thank you, also, to the bloggers mentioned above – keep writing and posting that awesome material of yours!

Who are your favorite bloggers? Name some in the comments section below!

App Review: SlimKicker and Digital Kitchen Scale GIVEAWAY!

20 Jul Ozeri Epicurean Digital Kitchen Scale

Thanks to my plant-based diet, my energy level has been through the roof! Before my diet change, I didn’t have the energy or the drive to exercise. I would come home, nap, eat, and sit around. Now, I wake up with no caffeine or sugar and start my day energized – sometimes I even exercise twice a day!

Along with getting in better shape overall, my long-term goal is to run a 5K (I ran my first full mile without stopping on Wednesday – super excited). In order to keep myself on track and motivated, I have been trying out different fitness apps that I can use on my phone. I came across an app called SlimKicker that not only tracks your exercise sessions, but also lets you track your meals/calories and gives you challenges to work towards to gain points. The more points you rack up, the closer you get to your reward – and YOU get to pick what you will reward yourself with. To keep you motivated, you can upload a picture of your reward (whether it’s that new pair of shoes you’ve been eyeing, or a book you’ve been dying to read) and they will remind you to reward yourself when you reach your goal. It’s colorful, easy to use, and really helpful when it comes to seeing your progress. They even have recipe ideas! SlimKicker is available for Apple and Android phones and is FREE! Take a look at the different areas of the app:

First, you have your personal profile page.

Profile Page

Your profile page shows everything involved in the app – points, rewards, and achievements. Your leaderboard shows how you rank among your friends.

The Diet page lets you log your food and you gain points by eating healthy calories like fruits, vegetables and whole grains.

On the the Body page, you can log your weight, set a weight loss goal, and log your exercise in order to gain points toward your rewards. They have a great selection of exercise types that even calculate the calories you burned for you!

That brings us to the Challenge page and the topic of our GIVEAWAY! SlimKicker encourages its users to complete challenges, like giving up soda for a week or eating a salad a day, to earn points towards their chosen reward.

GIVEAWAY!

SlimKicker needs YOUR help to come up with some fun and creative ideas for their Challenges. To enter, leave your suggestion for a new diet or fitness challenge in the comment section of this post – try to keep it to a sentence or two. The contest will run for exactly one week – at that time, SlimKicker will choose their favorite idea and it will be announced in a post.

The winner will receive this Ozeri Epicurean Digital Kitchen Scale:

Ozeri Epicurean Digital Kitchen Scale

Pretty sweet, huh? So leave me your best ideas for a fitness or diet challenge in the comments below – you can only enter once, so be as creative as possible! Contest ends 8:00pm EST on Friday, July 27th.

Good Luck!

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Red Potatoes

18 Jul Roasted Brussels sprouts with red potatoes

Most children love hot dogs and hamburgers….I didn’t. A lot of children hate Brussels sprouts and other green veggies….I didn’t! I was one of those rare kids that loved veggies and snubbed chicken wings and steaks. Looking back, perhaps that was the start of my journey!

I liked them when I was younger, but lately I have gained an even bigger appreciation for the little green

Brussels Sprouts

veggies that pack a punch – Brussels sprouts. These little guys are part of the cruciferous vegetable family, along with broccoli, kale, collard greens, and even wasabi! Brussels sprouts are super high in Vitamin C and Vitamin K, and also contain a chemical called sulforaphane, which is believed to have cancer fighting properties. Many warn against boiling the sprouts – cooking them in this manner can reduce the cancer fighting chemicals.

My absolute favorite way to cook Brussels sprouts is to roast them. I have tried roasting them with lemon, with onions, and other various veggies, but I always seem to prefer them with just a bit of oil, salt and pepper. Normally, I boil some baby red potatoes to go with them, but I did not want an excuse to slather something in Earth Balance, so I decided to roast them along with the little green guys. I made sure to chop the potatoes into tiny pieces so that they would cook at the same time as the sprouts. When everything was done, a little squeeze of lemon finished off the dish perfectly!

If you are looking for a great little meal that uses one pan and packs a cancer-fighting punch, give these little guys a try – you won’t be disappointed!

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Red Potatoes

Makes 2-4 servings, depending on it if it’s a main or side dish

Ingredients:

1 lb bag of Brussels sprouts

4 red creamer  potatoes (you could always use 2 small regular red potatoes)

2 TB vegetable oil

Salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes to taste

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Wash Brussels sprouts; make sure to cut off any remaining parts of the stem that may still be attached to the sprouts. Once they have been prepped, cut each sprout in half lengthwise.

2. Wash all of the potatoes and chop them into very small pieces. Try not to make them bigger than half the size of the sprouts, otherwise they will not be fully cooked at the same time as the Brussels sprouts.

3. Throw all of the vegetables into a long baking pan – they should all be able to touch the bottom surface of the pan for better roasting. Add the vegetable oil and seasonings to taste. Toss until all of the veggies are coated.

Before roasting

4. Put the pan into the oven for 15-20 minutes, stirring halfway through. Depending on the size of your vegetables, you may need to leave them in for a few minutes more. They are done when they are no longer crunchy and have a nice brown color to them.

Look at that color!

5. Serve with a squeeze of lemon on top and a side salad – enjoy!

Roasted Brussels sprouts with red potatoes

For those that want to cut down on the oil, start with less and work your way up to the 2TB only if you need to. The salad pictured contains tomatoes, cucumbers and radishes tossed with a little sesame oil and topped with raw sesame seeds.

This is a simple, one pan dish for a night when you just don’t have time to stay next to the stove. I always get a couple of things done while this is cooking! Easy, delicious, and healthy – what more could you ask for?

What is your favorite Brussels sprouts dish? Share your ideas in the comments section!

Tropical Green Smoothie

17 Jul Tropical Green Smoothie

I don’t know about you, but I’m HOT! I don’t feel like doing anything, cooking anything, or even eating anything thanks to the near 100 degree temperatures here in PA. Thankfully, I have a blender and some fresh fruits and veggies, so I decided to drink my lunch!

Ingredients in the blender

Tropical Green Smoothie

Makes 1 extra large smoothie or 2 medium smoothies

Ingredients:

1 banana

1 large kale leaf

1/2 ripe mango

2 rings of fresh pineapple

4 frozen strawberries

1-2 TB ground flaxseeds

1/2-1 cup water

Directions:

1. Place all of the solid ingredients in the blender, waiting until the end to add the water. If you like your smoothies thicker, add less. If you like them a bit runnier, add more water. Blend, and enjoy!

You can always use fresh strawberries instead of frozen and just add a couple of ice cubes in to make it colder – I just happened to have some sitting in the freezer. This smoothie has a wonderful tropical taste with a great green color! Plus, you have a serving of veggies and numerous servings of fruit all in one chilled glass! If you are looking to beat the heat in a healthy way, give this tasty smoothie a try!

Tropical Green Smoothie

What is your favorite healthy, warm weather smoothie? Share your recipes and ideas in the comments!

 

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