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Easy Vegan Breakfast Ideas

Sometimes it is hard to get ready in the morning and still eat breakfast…but it doesn’t have to be! Breakfast is one of my favorite meals and coming up with some easy meals that are quick has been a lot of fun. Some may have some prep to do the day before but they are easy to throw together, easy to prep and easy to take with you to work, school or wherever!

Peanut Butter Banana Toast
This one seems a little blah but with the addition of agave it is amazing! I just toasted some bread, spread on peanut butter then chop up some bananas. You could stop here but then I just add some agave and it becomes something a little more special. The sweetness of the agave blends well with the creaminess of the peanut butter. It’s one of my favorite things to have for breakfast. You could also use an English muffin (vegan of course) instead of toast. I also like to use powdered peanut butter as well.




Smoothies
I love something that is super portable, easy to change up and packed full of nutrition. Breakfast smoothies are the way to go! There are so many great recipes everywhere and I suggest trying them all. Some may seem really weird but once you actually try them they are so good. My favorite recipe is really easy and takes little to no time at all to blend up.

1 Cup Ice
½ Cup Yogurt (I use coconut yogurt)
½ Cup Rolled Oats
1 Cup Coconut Water
½ Cup Frozen Raspberries (I use strawberries because I am not a fan of raspberries)
1 Banana
1 Tablespoon Agave or Maple Syrup
It’s easiest to start with your liquids on the bottom so add your yogurt, coconut water and agave. Then add your ice, oats, frozen fruit and banana. Start slow then add speed when blending. You want it to be creamy and delicious. Play around with ingredients or add more. Sometimes I add a vegan protein powder.


Breakfast Quinoa
This one will take a little more prep the day before but it’s totally worth it! The night before I cook some quinoa for dinner and I save about a cup for breakfast. When breakfast time comes I pour almond or coconut milk over the quinoa and top with whatever fruit I have. Apples are my favorite because they add texture and crunch. I always add some cinnamon for extra flavor. You can even warm it up in the microwave for a warm cereal! It’s super filling and easy to transport in a mason jar.



Chia Pudding
This is another one that will take a little prep the night before. I usually make a pretty good sized jar of this every Sunday so I can have some throughout the week. It’s not only a great breakfast but it also makes a wonderful snack. It’s the easiest thing in the world to make and you can mix and match what you add to it. I will sometimes use vanilla almond milk or sometimes just unsweetened. I top it with any fruit I happen to have, shredded coconut is a favorite and nuts!

Chia Pudding
2 Cups Almond or Coconut Milk
½ Cup Chia Seeds
½ tsp. Vanilla (I skip this if my milk is flavored)
3 T.-1/4 Cup Sweetener (maple syrup is great!)
Mix this all up in a container and leave in the fridge overnight. I will stir mine every hour or so for the first couple of hours. It really helps to keep all the chia seeds from settling on the bottom.   



Vegan Yogurt
I love yogurt and when I found some vegan alternatives I was pretty happy. My favorite brands are Kite Hill, Silk and So Delicious. They are all pretty easy to find (Walmart carries Silk and So Delicious!) and taste amazing. The peach Kite Hill is a favorite in my house.






Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Nice Cream
Who says you can’t have ice cream for breakfast! Since nice cream is made from bananas I consider it the perfect breakfast meal. Plus you can change it up so it never gets boring. This recipe is my favorite and really hits the spot. I take a few frozen bananas and I put them in my food processor. I blend them up nice and smooth then I add my other ingredients. For this one I added peanut butter and chopped up vegan chocolate chips. Once everything is blended together you can eat it. I would suggest not blending too much or you will warm up the frozen bananas too much then you have banana soup. Yuck.


What are some of your favorite breakfast foods?

How College Vegans Do Thanksgiving



Thanksgiving is a wonderful time of year to celebrate with friends, family, and delicious food! I did not get to go home and see my family this year, but I did get to spend the day with my amazing friends. We live on a college campus with very limited resources, but we ended up having an AMAZING feast. The party consisted of two vegans, one vegetarian, and four omnivores, but all of us made everything vegan. I am very blessed to have open-minded friends. In the words of them, “We don’t care what you guys make, we just want food!”  


I must say, this ended up being the best Thanksgiving dinner I have ever had. Even when I was not vegan, the dinners did not compare to this one. Everyone else raved about the food as well and said it was a delightful meal. These are all recipes that you can easily look up online and recreate for any parties you may be going to or hosting. The best part is that they are all guilt-free because no animals were harmed in the process of this feast J




We had delicious mac & cheese, lemon roasted brussel sprouts, green bean casserole, stuffing, chunky mashed potatoes, and mashed butternut squash. My friend also made a tofurkey all by herself! It was made of tofu, lots of spices, and stuffed with a flavorful vegan stuffing and mushrooms. For our decadent desserts, we first had a life-changing brown sugar glazed sweet potato bake with vegan marshmallows. I definitely went back for seconds (and thirds!) of that! My friends also made homemade apple pie, pumpkin pie, and banana bread that took me straight back to my childhood. Finally, we had jelly rolls that were made just by buying store-bought crescent rolls and rolling some Crofters strawberry and blackberry jelly into them before baking them in the oven. These were so simple, yet a crowd favorite! I would highly recommend making these rolls for any party or upcoming holiday to share with your friends and family.

I am so glad that we got to have this delicious food without harming our plant and our animal friends. It was also fun to share with my friends how vegan food can be just as tasty as non-vegan food. We were all in a food coma by the end of the night!



In the end, though, the food should not be the most important part of Thanksgiving. I was just happy to spend the day with beautiful people. We played games, watched Christmas movies, listened to music, and shared what we were thankful for that day. My friend and I also ended the night with a super long walk around campus because we needed to digest the enormous amount of food we consumed, haha :D

What did you do for Thanksgiving? Did you bring a vegan or vegetarian dish to share with your loved ones? Tell me in the comments below, I love to hear from your guys. <3

Compassionate, Delicious Thanksgiving Options Part 2





A lot of people think that when you make these lifestyle changes you have to stop eating these things when in reality, there are alternatives that taste exactly the same. You do not have to give ANYTHING up or cut anything out of your diet because there are copious amounts of alternatives and you won’t know the difference! This was a wonderful way to show people that this lifestyle is easy regardless of the myths. Even in smaller stores, there were so many options that are expanding!






(photos by Danielle)

For Thanksgiving Day appetizers, we bought the Pepperidge farm party bread. We also got Toasted crackers in two flavors: savory onion and sesame. To top the cheese and crackers, we got some Chao cheese, which is imported from Greece. This product tastes exactly like dairy cheese and is wonderful for people who are unable to eat dairy or want to be healthier. It is pricey but I usually but it on sale for special occasions. For other snacks, there were pickles, black olives, and green Manzanilla olives. Also, I wanted some dips that can go with the bread and crackers for a colorful addition to the table. I got the Carrot Cashew dip, which is vegetarian. For a vegan option as well, I got the Trader Joe's Beet Garlic dip and I was so excited when I found this because I had been looking for this for months!






Dinner was exciting because of the Gardein holiday roast, which comes with a stuffing and two gravy packets. I also made more Pepperidge Farm stuffing made with Pacifics vegetable broth and I sauteed some celery, onion, salt, pepper, and I Can’t Believe It's Not Butters Vegan spread! We also had Simply Organic vegan gravy because we needed extra. My grandma brought over some other vegetables. We normally have mashed white potato but this year we switched it up and made sweet potato, green beans, and corn. I also got the Cranberry sauce with orange relish from Trader Joe's.





(photos by Danielle)


Desert was great because the the pie we usually get from Sara Lee is vegan and all these years we had no idea that the one we were already buying just happened to be vegan! Sara Lees Blueberry pie was amazing and my family has always loved these pies! Another Pie we got was the Marie Callender's cherry crumble pie, which is another one we had no idea was vegan all these years. We also got Wholly Wholesome’s Pumpkin Pie and that was really one of the only substitutions we had to make. We found a dairy free version, which is great because you can enjoy all the same flavors. Another delicious dairy free option at the table was the SO delicious coconut whip! Overall, it was a wonderful day and some of my family has changed their lifestyles or is at least interested in it and asked me how to do it!


Have a wonderful break, take it easy, and spend your time off with positive people who uplift you.

-Danielle

To Bee or Not To Bee



My first dilemma when choosing to go vegan was what the heck to do with my leather jackets, my purses and shoes and boots? The majority of them are leather, something I had never given a moment's thought to in the past. For the first six months or so, I steadfastly refused to wear any of them. I sold my leather jackets, and I put my purses away. The only thing I continued to use was my shoes because I simply can't afford to go out and buy vegan shoes.

I make my own face cream. The recipe I've been using for quite some time contains beeswax, and I still have a small bagful of it in my pantry. I've been smearing beeswax (along with a few other ingredients) all over my face morning and night for quite a long time now. It's a great face cream, perfect consistency, smells great, feels wonderful. I make my own lip balm as well – and you guessed it – also full of beeswax. Those bees are quite brilliant, really. It's a wonderful thing beeswax is - not to mention honey. I've replaced my honey on bread addiction with maple syrup on bread which suits me just fine, but honey is amazing. I decided long ago, however, that the bees work hard to make the honey and I have no business taking it.



A few months back, I took the beeswax out of my pantry and went to throw it out and then something occurred to me; how incredibly wasteful is that? Not only was I feeling guilty about using the beeswax (which the bees need a whole lot more than I do), but now I was going to throw it into the garbage. That struck me as a greater wrong than using up what I had left. So I made some more face cream, and I made some more lip balm, and when that small bag runs out I'll look for an alternative because there definitely are some alternatives.

I've decided that instead of feeling guilty about my shoes and boots, I'll wear them until they can't be worn anymore and then I'll buy vegan alternatives. I'm on the fence about my purses. I've tried unsuccessfully to sell them. I have three, and they're full on leather. I'm leaning towards donating them when I'm able to purchase an alternative. In the meantime, I have leather purses.

I sway back and forth on whether or not that's hypocritical. Some will say it is (I'm waiting for the comments!). For me, though, the waste seems worse. I'm not in a position to replace everything all at once and so why waste things I've already got? The wasting seems like more of a disservice to the animals those products came from than getting as much use out of them as I can and then moving forward from there. Eventually I won't own any animal products and that's the goal. I'm trying hard (not easy for me) to approach life with a more minimalist attitude which ties everything together; less buying and more using up of what I already have. Waste not, want not....

Gwen

Quick & Easy Vegan Oven Baked Pizza Grilled Cheese.




Hi Everyone. I hope November is faring well for all of you, and Happy Thanksgiving! This is another spur of the moment recipe. It came together super quick, and is another very "spoonie-friendly" recipe. It also would be great for those nights where you just don't want to stand at the stove for forever. This would be a great recipe for your kids to get involved in, too! 

This would go well with salad, soup, or with some roasted vegetables, or some other side dish that you cook in the oven. You could start your other food, and then add the grilled cheeses to the oven during the last bit of cooking.

These sandwiches turn out super well in the oven! The bread has such a light and fluffy inner texture; compared to the "traditional" way of making a grilled cheese. Meanwhile, the outside has the typical crispy and savory deliciousness. 

It's a twist on pizza, and instead of the sauce being incorporated in the sandwich, you dip pieces of it into the sauce. The sauce is really optional, if you want to just have them plain, that's completely fine too! I'm all about flexibility with my recipes. I thought it was truly amazing and yummy. I hope you enjoy this, let me know what you all think! Peace, love, and veggies--Dawn

You will need: cast iron, or other oven safe pans that can accommodate 4 sandwiches (a cast iron pan seems to give the best result for this), spatula/turner, a cutting board to assemble the sandwiches on (you could also use a plate, if need be), and a butter knife.



Makes: 4 sandwiches. Prep time: 5 minutes. Cooking time: 20 minutes. This serves four people, unless you're like me, and want two sandwiches!

Ingredients (I used vegan versions of everything):

*8 slices bread; white, wheat, or whatever your preference
*One bag of Daiya mozzarella shreds or your favorite vegan cheese
*Vegan butter, for spreading, about 2 tablespoons, use more or less to your liking
*Approximately one cup of your favorite pasta or pizza sauce, for dipping
*Cooking spray
Optional: a small amount of veggies of your choosing, this will make it more like "pizza." You could use olives, canned mushrooms, peppers, whatever you care for!

Directions:

1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Put the pans in the oven to start heating up. If you are using a pan that isn't non-stick, spray the pan well with cooking spray before placing it in the oven. The pan needs to be hot, so that the sandwich will start to sear and crisp up.

2. Start assembling your sandwiches: Place four slices of bread on your cutting board. Put about one-eighth of the bag of cheese, or one slice of cheese, on each slice of bread. If you are using veggies, place a small amount of them on top of the layer of cheese. You don't want to use too much, or the sandwich will not stick together. Then top with another eighth of the bag of cheese, or one more slices of cheese. Top with the remaining slice of bread.

3. Using your knife, cover the top slice of bread of each sandwich, with approximately 1/4 tbsp. vegan butter. 

4. When the oven is preheated, very carefully, place the sandwiches vegan butter side down in the pan(s).

5. With one hand holding the top slice of bread down, cover each slice of bread with about 1/4 tbsp of the remaining spread.

6. Bake for 10 minutes, or until the cheese is starting to melt, and the bread is crisping up.

7. With care, Turn the sandwiches over, and bake for another 10 minutes, or until the bread is starting to brown, and it's heated through. 

8. When they have just a few minutes left, warm your sauce in the microwave.

9. Cut the grilled cheese as desired into halves, or quarters, and serve with the heated sauce.


Cardamom Hot Chocolate and Coconut Yoghurt



With Thanksgiving upon us, there are plenty of ways to bring about the spirit of Thanksgiving. Now, plenty of people are against Thanksgiving ( or as I call it, Turkey Massacre Day!) but, some of the best vegan food can be made this year. Here is a simple hot chocolate recipe with a twist!

Famous Cardamom Hot Chocolate

Ingredients:
  1. coco powder
  2. cardamom 
  3. cinnamon 
  4. coconut sugar (or any sugar of your liking)
  5. hot water
  6. nondairy milk 
  7. coconut whip (optional)
  8. cinnamon stick (optional)
Directions:
  1. warm equal parts nondairy milk and water in a pan on a stove (to make servings for two I use about a cup of each)
  2. mix equal parts coco powder and sugar together in a cup of your liking (to make a serving for two I use about 3 tablespoons of each) and whisk together with a dash of cardamom and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon 
  3. gently mix the spices into the warm water and milk mixture. Do not boil. 
  4. top with coconut whip (optional) and add in a cinnamon stick 
  5. enjoy!

Coconut Yoghurt:

Ingredients:

  1. a can of coconut milk
  2. vegan probiotics
  3. vanilla bean powder (optional)
  4. jelly of your choice (optional)
  5. berries (optional)
  6. granola (optional)
  7. wooden spoon
  8. cheesecloth
  9. rubber bands
Directions:

  1. mix together a can of coconut milk and vegan probiotics in a bowl ( I use about 6 probiotic capsules for one can of coconut milk).
  2. cover with a cloth and rubber bands
  3. store in a dark but not wet corner for about 24-48 hours
  4. flavor with jelly, granola, vanilla bean powder, and berries
  5. enjoy! 
  6. store in the fridge for up to a week 


How Far Does Veganism Go?




I have pets. I have a large dog; my daughter has a tiny dog, and we also have a cat. I constantly see the argument online debating whether or not it's ok to feed pets a meat based diet when one is vegan. This discussion almost always ends in heated arguments that go on for days. There are the vegans who make damned sure that their pets are vegan too and there are those who are more relaxed about the whole thing and recognize that making a cat vegan is most definitely on the extreme end of the spectrum.

I have a vegan dog; this is entirely for health reasons and the dog has been vegan longer than I have. He suffers from itchy skin and constantly has ear infections. A vegan diet was suggested to me to help alleviate allergies. I tried it and he has shown significant improvement. A ton of research has taught me that a dog can be vegan and live a healthy, nutritionally balanced life. My cat, however, is most definitely not a vegan. This cat was deathly ill a year or so ago with a bladder blockage and his life hung in the balance for a day or so. He now eats exclusively canned food, and while I have read every argument that a cat can be vegan (and I'm really not convinced) I am not messing with the diet of this cat in any way, shape or form. I go to the pet store every week or so and pick up six cans of chicken stew cat food. His illness was very scary and very expensive, and since his diet change he's been healthy (knock on wood).



I frequently see arguments against horseback riding, service animals, backyard chickens etc. I'm always amazed at the degree of anger in these arguments. I've learned that anger really won't convince anybody of anything. It is the best way to completely lose your audience and make yourself look foolish in the process. If a person has a horse, or has two or three pet chickens, and lives a vegan lifestyle in other respects, is kind and compassionate to animals then why berate that person? Why not applaud them and encourage them to do as much as they can? Every lit bit helps and is a step in the right direction.

I prefer the vegan philosophy that says something about doing the least amount of harm. I think, that in this day and age, it's near impossible to live a completely vegan lifestyle – although I suppose if you never take any pharmaceuticals and only have herbivore pets it's possible. Kudos to those people, but as long as I have this cat he will eat chicken in his food. If for any reason, my dog appeared to be failing in his health then I would switch him back to his old food in a heartbeat. Does it bother me? Yes it does – quite a lot. I don't like buying the cat food, but he is a cat. That is what cats do. And if I choose to have a cat then I need to treat him as best as I can and respect what he is, and if that includes a dish of “chicken stew” to maintain his health, then chicken stew it is. Yes, it is a conflict, and I struggle with it, but I had him before I went vegan and if I choose to “own” a pet then I also choose to do my best for him.

Gwen

Compassionate, Delicious Thanksgiving Options (Part 1)


For many people, the holidays can be more stressful than relaxing because running around buying food and preparing it can be hectic. Fortunately, I am extremely grateful to have such a supportive family, even if they mix up some terms on what is allergen friendly or not. I am exceptionally pleased with everything I found so far and we haven’t even gotten everything yet!


(photos by Danielle)

Some people will think that if you are vegan or vegetarian, it automatically means you are gluten free, eat a lot of salad, or have to eat bland. Also, some people think vegan and vegetarian are the same thing. It is always good to inform people what you can have at the table because there are SO many misconceptions. I know I am ALWAYS one to make sure that when I have guests, there is something for people to eat (I am very considerate of those things). With the technology and resources we have to learn about these such as the internet, there is no excuse for someone not to be able to have at least one thing at the table because there are so many allergy free options at stores these days. We even had such a challenge deciding on what vegan turkey to buy because there were five different kinds...we are coming far!!

Fortunately, I know a good amount about nutrition and have taken cooking classes so I know how to combat these problems we could encounter. I am in great health now, exercise regularly, have a normal BMI, and I have never felt better and more energetic. I completely resolved my stomach problems and my dad also told me I helped lower his A1C and he isn’t even fully transitioned diet-wise! However, our table includes people with cancer, diabetes, heart problems, and acid reflux...so we are in dire need of a healthier Thanksgiving this year. I know what you are probably thinking...that it will be insanely difficult. If you are on a path to better health but nobody else in your life is focused on wellness it may seem challenging. Think again because guess what? Wegmans delivers on the allergy free and dietary restriction friendly choices! The best part is, I have not even made my Trader Joes run yet with my mom!


First thing we did was look at what we normally buy and see how much we needed to change. This was EASY. We bought the same stuffing, olives, pickles, bread, and crackers that we already do. The pies we normally buy don’t have animal products in them, other than we had to buy a different pumpkin pie. My dad had been eager to have a blueberry pie and we found one this year! Sara Lee’s do not use animal product in this pie and it's the same with cherry and apple pies. If you can't find these there is also Marie Callender's and Mrs. Smith’s. Always be sure to double check the ingredients, especially if you are not only avoiding these ingredients for ethical reasons, but allergy reasons as well. The only thing for dessert we had to change was the pie, but we went to Wegmans so this was completely a non-issue. Also, there are many dairy free whips out there to top pies with. :)

Now, about the turkey...my family got a really small turkey because we also got our first Gardein turkey. I have seen phenomenal reviews on this and I can not wait to try it next week! I keep hearing about how many of these products taste EXACTLY the same as the non-vegan versions. I will update on how it all was!

(photos by Danielle)

For gravy this year….the Gardein turkey comes with 2 packets and then we also got Simply Organic. The only other thing was the Pepperidge Farm products we always use like the bread and stuffing are already vegan..this goes to show that you unknowingly eat these things all the time. We are using vegetable broth this year and a dairy free butter.


(photos by Danielle)

We still have a few more things we need to pick up from some local stores. I will update in about a week on how amazing everything was. We will have a rice blend and probably a green bean casserole. We are going to also pick up some rolls, potatoes, cranberry sauce, vegan egg nog, and many other delicious items for the table. If Trader Joe's has any more interesting items that I can’t resist, they may also make it to the table as well! We still have not decided what our third desert is going to be.

I hope everyone's Thanksgiving is a positive, loving day surrounded by supportive loved ones that accept you.
-Danielle