This week has been totally amazeballs. I picnicked for dinner not once, but twice in Central Park with the foxy hus. AND I’ve hit up a class at Core Fusion every day since Sunday. (Nothing like yuppie scumming on my $40 unlimited week-long pass!).
So pretty much all week I’ve been craving french toast for some odd reason. Random, I know. So without eggs, and a little gluten intolerance thang, I thought I’d experiment with a gluten-free, vegan version of it. And hey, why not make it soy-free too.
I’ll admit that I haven’t had too many experiences with vegan, allergen-free baked goods. The ones I’ve had have been good, but I hadn’t made any myself. I mean, I’m pretty skeptical that anything can be sweet and delish without all the “good stuff.”
Banana French Toast Casserole
Gluten-free, vegan, soy-free
- 6 slices of sprouted grain bread (I used Ezekiel)
- about 1c unsweetened vanilla almond milk (any other milk could probably be substituted)
- super-ripe bananas (I used 3)
- 1/4c maple syrup
- vanilla extract (2 tbsp)
- Oil a square oven-safe dish.
- Cut the bread into cubes and sprinkle in the dish.
- Mash bananas.
- Mix in almond milk, maple syrup, vanilla, and cinnamon.
- Pour liquid mixture evenly over the bread cubes. You may want to add more almond milk to get the desired consistency.
- You can now pop this in the oven right now. 20 minutes at 375 and it will be allergen-free perfection. I do, however, recommend letting the casserole hang out in the fridge overnight to let the bread soak everything up (yum!). Prior to baking it, I’ll drizzle a little more maple syrup and cinnamon on top.
I was pretty hungry around 11. I usually have oatmeal in the morning (in addition to banana) and for some reason I didn’t today. So around that time, I did this:
Om-nom-nom-nom: oats, splash of almond milk, glob of almond butter, nuked apple, cinnamon, flax/hemp/chia seeds. Sooo tasty (and vegan)!
Oatmeal like this usually keeps me full for a good 3-4 hours… but since it seems I’m a ravenous beastie today, I was hungry again around 1. Lunch Part Deux:
A deconstructed burrito of sorts: brown rice, tomatoes, onions, garlic, and red bean mash-up. Vegan again! Score!
So far, the Vegan 4 A Day Challenge (created by Eating Journey and Silly Tater Tot) is going swimmingly. For someone who is always either thinking about food or eating food, I find that I don’t have to put too much more effort into eating vegan – just focus a little differently.
I plan to have some carrots and hummus for a snack this afternoon, and some sort of giant salad for dinner. Oh, and that workout is still going to happen today… at some point
I woke up this morning and after realizing that my breakfast was vegan, I decided to make the rest of my day vegan too – in honor of the Vegan 4 A Day Challenge I learned about at Silly Tater Tot and Eating Journey.
So far, I’ve had a shot of wheatgrass, a carrot/mango smoothie (yum), a banana, a spoonful of almond butter, and some yerba mate tea.
Carrot/mango smoothie was just organic carrot juice and some frozen mango blended together. It was really, really refreshing. I think I may do this in the morning more often.
Lovely lil wheatgrass shot.
Naner (I scarfed the AB before I could take a pic. I assure you, it was nothing exciting… just your standard almond goo on a spoon).
Yerba in the travel mug.
So there’s breakfast. It’s not unlike my usual breakfast. While I consider myself an omnivore, I rarely eat meat. I’m pretty picky about it and only buy it from my Farmer’s Market… maybe monthly. The vast majority of my meals are vegetarian. In fact, in honor of world vegetarian month, I ate completely vegetarian for the month of October (read about it here, or here, or even here). I eager to see what hurdles I run into (or not) when veganizing all the rest of my meals. I’ll keep you posted!
- Did Pilates Abs On-Demand for Whittle My Middle last night.
- Will fit in another workout later this afternoon… probably a new On-Demand video I haven’t tried yet…
I’m not talking about that feeling you get after eating too much dessert when you’re out…
I try to be a sensible cook and consumer. I belong to a CSA which gives me fresh, local, seasonal produce that goes right from the farm to my kitchen table. I try to supplement that with whole grains and other produce from the Farmer’s Market… or organic from the supermarket when I’m in a pinch. I went veg for the month of October… now I’m eating only conscious meat (that can be traced to an actual farm and farmer). That said, I’m not perfect.
There are plenty of times when I veer from my master plan – often more than I’d care to admit. I know why I feel this impending sense of guilt sometimes… I really want my values to align. At least, I think so.
I’ve read some related books recently… Michael Pollan‘s Omnivore’s Dilemma and In Defense of Food. I’m currently reading through Animal, Vegetable, Miracle and have a few other related books coming up on the horizon. The other day I read this article in the New Yorker. Today, Jonathan Safran Foer was even on Ellen! Watch the video here on Huffington Post. It’s pretty easy to see why a preoccupation with conscious consumption can be… well, completely consuming.
Whether you’re omni/veggie/vegan, what are your beliefs about food? Is it a meal to you, or is it more?
I got a few cucumbers from last week’s CSA pick-up. I turned to How to cook Everything Vegetarian (Mark Bittman) for some suggestions. I settled on this one because I thought it seemed fresh and summery, and (more importantly) I already had all of the ingredients.
Cucumber Salad with Soy and Ginger (vegan)
from How to Cook Everything Vegetarian by Mark Bittman
The instructions are pretty basic. Chop up the cucumbers (you may need to seed/salt them). Mix everything together and serve.
I made this dish on Friday, and let it hang out in the fridge. I sent it to work with husby on Monday. He reported back on Monday night that it had become quite pickled over those few days (I should have expected this). Despite that, he likes pickled things and thought it was very tasty. I, however, do not like pickled thing so I would eat this immediately.
I may make this dish again, but I think I’ll try other Bittman recipes with cucumbers first. I’ll also remember to take a picture next time!
I’ve been on a recent vegetarian/vegan restaurant kick lately. Raw Soul is a raw vegan joint on 145th Street in Harlem. It’s a fairly small space – very warm and friendly atmosphere. We ordered at the counter (I got the pesto pizza, husbo got the lasagna and we split a lemonade). My pesto pizza was out-of-this world. The raw crust was light and crunchy. The pesto was very flavorful, yet not too oily, and the veggie toppings were piled on high. While I did not try the lasagna, husbo gave a great review. I’m looking forward to heading back there to try the rest of the menu!
In addition to a lovely restaurant, Raw Soul also offers educational classes on raw food preparation, Chef course, meal delivery, and wellness literature. If you are in NYC, Raw Soul is worth a trip to Harlem.
If you’ve never eaten at a vegan restaurant, I recommend trying. My favorite part is that I feel satisfied and light when I leave – not sleepy, stuffed, and heavy (as in many other restaurants). I find that the food in vegan restaurants is always super fresh (not questionable as in other spots sometimes) and I get to sample things that I don’t necessarily have the time or know-how to prepare myself.