Tag Archives: Vegan Baking

Oh Hello!

Hey friends, remember me?!

I know I haven’t posted in awhile, but that’s because I’ve been busy trying to enjoy the last days of summer (while refusing to believe it’s almost over), and more importantly, because I really haven’t had much to say.

I’ve been in the kitchen cooking up some really great dishes. There have been a few that I’ve come up with on my own and hope to re-create for blog post purposes, but the majority of them have been based on recipes I found online. I’m not one for “photo dump” posts, but I want to share these recipes with you guys, since they were big hits in my house.

Dessert theme, clearly.

Dessert theme, clearly.

Clockwise from the top left:
1. Vegan Oreo Pancakes: Reminded me more of an Almond Joy (it uses shredded coconut) and is awesome. Definitely a “dessert for breakfast” type pancake.
2. Flourless Chickpea Chocolate Chip Blondies: I know, chickpeas in your dessert? It sounds weird, but is absolutely delicious. It’s vegan so you can eat the entire thing raw if you want (and it’s gluten free)! I need to make these again ASAP.
3. Peach & Blueberry Spiced Muffins: I’ve had a surplus of blueberries and peaches from my CSA box, and this was the perfect way to use some. The spices added a nice hint of almost-Fall, with fresh summer fruits.
4. Agave Lime Tofu with Asian Slaw and Chipotle Sweet Potato Mash: First time using The Conscious Cook cookbook I’ve had forever – SO awesome and easy to make.

Aside from cooking and eating, I wish I could say that I’ve been running and crushing marathon training with my ankle issue far behind me. Unfortunately that isn’t the case. I took a full week off per my doctor’s suggestion, and seemed okay when I started back up for that first week. I was a little achy and sore in places, but it wasn’t unbearable. I assumed that I would just have to run through the discomfort, and eventually things would start to feel better. I started the second week after seeing the doctor with a decent 6 mile run, and followed it up the next day with a 4 miler that just didn’t feel good. I woke up the following morning barely able to walk, and extremely frustrated. I saw my podiatrist that afternoon, and he really didn’t have any suggestions for me. He told me to come back in a month, and if the pain was still there, I’d be sent for an MRI. Nothing like a non-answer to make you feel better! I haven’t run since then (it’s been a week), and to be honest, I’m kind of lost. Do I wait until the pain is completely gone from walking (it is now), and try to run again? Do I wait longer before trying to run? I need to find someone with answers, or at least suggestions! I’ve had a few suggestions to go to a chiropractor and get some ART done, so I think that is next on my to-do list. I’m still planning to run (or walk, if I have to) the 10k and half marathon for the Disneyland Dumbo Dare at the end of the month, but I’m undecided if I’ll still run the Richmond Marathon. I may drop down to the half, or defer to next year. I’m so thankful that this particular race at least provides those options!

At least I have this sweet all-sport Picky Bars water bottle to keep me company!

At least I have this sweet all-sport Picky Bars water bottle to keep me company!

Even though I haven’t been running, I’ve been trying to stay in shape. I also figured if I couldn’t run, it would be the perfect opportunity to try and get myself a 6-pack, and increase my overall strength (LOL on the 6-pack). I’ve been participating in Kat’s August Core Focus, and adding in my own variations (hello Pinterest). I’ve also come up with some decent arm workouts that use only your body weight and 5-10lb. dumbbells. Maybe I’ll share it in a fun little graphic one of these days. I’ve done a few biking sessions at the gym, have done yoga almost every single day, and have a swim planned for tomorrow — first time back in the pool in at least a year… wonder how many yards I can do!

The biggest thing I’ve been doing during this whole “situation” is trying to stay positive, which I think I’ve actually been pretty successful at. In the past, as soon as I felt a twinge of discomfort or had a bad run I would immediately freak out and become a ball of misery. Recently I’ve come to terms with the fact that I may not run a fall marathon, but there are marathons all over the country every single weekend, and my health is more important.

Have you ever dealt with a non-injury, injury (or as I’m calling it, a “situation”)?
Any great non-running cross training things I should try?

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Filed under Food Blogging, Running, Vegetarian/Vegan

Cupcakes and Animals

Ever since trying Serial Baker’s delicious vegan cupcakes and then making some vegan cookies myself, I’ve been looking to try more vegan baking (whether made by me, or someone else!). So, when I saw that Sweet Avenue bake shop, a vegan bakery in Rutherford was hosting an event this past Saturday, I had to check it out… especially since it was to help raise funds for an animal shelter!

The fiancé and I headed up to Rutherford with plans to later head into the city to go to a show at Upright Citizen’s Brigade and enjoy dinner in the city. The event, Cupcakefest, was to help raise money for an animal shelter in Bloomfield. We joked that if they had adoptable cats or dogs at the event, we’d probably come home with a carful. Thankfully they didn’t have any animals actually there, otherwise our family would have grown Sunday! But as it turns out, our family grew on Monday, when we picked up a 5 week old kitten from a friend’s who found him under their deck! We thought it was only appropriate to name him Fry, one of the other characters in Futurama, to match our other cat, Leela. Hopefully they’ll get along just like the characters in the show!

He's barely bigger than my hand!

After checking out the vendors, we headed down the street to the bakery to pick up some cupcakes. I decided to try their Oreo cupcake, and the fiancé went with the “Green Lantern” cupcake – it even came with a plastic ring! They were the perfect size (not too big, but not too small) and they had filling, which is my favorite part about cupcakes. Oh, and they were really good! The fiancé turned to me and said “wait, are ALL of their baked goods vegan?” I love when people are impressed by things like that. I always enjoy when someone who bemoans something (i.e. vegan or  vegetarian lifestyles, certain cuisines, etc.), then they unknowingly try it, and really like it. Not that my fiancé is one of those people – he’ll try anything.

Green Lantern themed cupcake

I’m looking forward to a summer filled with cupcakes (my birthday is soon, so we know lots of cupcakes will be involved), and also trying some more vegan baking (either made by me, or others)! And now that we’re a family of four things should be interesting!

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Filed under Cupcakes, Vegetarian/Vegan

Vegan Baking

I’ve known many a vegan in my life, and even more vegetarians. Up until recently, however, I hadn’t ever experienced vegan baking. A good friend of mine was once a vegan herself and just so happens to be the delicious mastermind behind Serial Baker. So, every now and then she makes vegan treats since she has quite a few friends that are vegans. After sampling yet another amazing cupcake from her (recipe and drool-worthy pictures here), I decided to give vegan baking a try.

I don’t remember how I stumbled upon this recipe from Namely Marly, but I was excited to see that I had almost all of the ingredients on hand. I had been given a generously sized jar of Tropical Tradition’s Coconut Oil awhile back to sample, and was pleased to see the recipe called for coconut oil. It had never occured to me that coconut oil is a great substitue for butter because of it’s not quite liquid, not quite solid state. Using the coconut oil as well as some apple sauce made the cookies super moist and chewy, which happens to be my favorite qualities of a good cookie.

Now that I’m aware of coconut oil’s versatility, I’m looking forward to incorporating it more into my baking. Though I do really need to work on my presentation. These cookies blobbed together, as do most of my cookies. I realize that it isn’t always about looks (taste is much more important), but I do want my baked goods to look pretty, too! I suppose that will come with practice, and I certainly haven’t made enough cookies in my life to even think for a second I’ve had practice. I’m also hoping some new baking and cookie sheets will help do the trick (along with all of the other awesome kitchen gadgets on my wedding registry).

So what’s the bottom line here? Vegan baking can be absolutely delicious (for all you skeptics out there), coconut oil is awesome, and you should go make these cookies. Okay, so that was more than one line.

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Filed under Baking, Vegetarian/Vegan