Meet Lauren. She’s not a full-time vegetarian, but she knows how to eat like one with this nice and simple meatless menu. Don’t forget to send in yours!
Hometown: Los Angeles
My Dietary Leanings: I was a vegetarian for about two years, then earlier this year swung the other way and tried the paleo diet for a while. Now I’m swinging back to a diet that’s meat-selective. So lots of fruits and veggies, some fish and lean white meat, limited dairy and occasional red meat (I have weakness for bacon…). I’ve always baked a lot but I’ve been doing less of that and trying to be healthier when I do.
My favorite vegetable: Asparagus! So versatile.
Breakfast: Homemade banana bread with nuts & raisins, and applesauce instead of butter, made on the weekend, with a smear of almond butter.
Lunch: Spinach salad (spinach, strawberries, avocado, tomatoes, pine nuts, red onion) and a side of roasted chickpeas. This recipe has some nice photos of the process. You can use whatever spices you want and make it in big batches for the week.
Pre-workout Snack: Handful of nuts & dried cranberries
Dinner: Vegan flatbread and fruit salad made with whatever fruit is in the kitchen. To make the flatbread: 1) brush a raw pizza crust with olive oil and bake until golden brown. 2) Once cooled somewhat, spread with hummus or baba ganoush (eggplant hummus). 3) Top with roasted or raw veggies.My most recent version included roasted eggplant, onions, and sundried tomatoes, and sauteed kale.
Dessert: Couple strawberries drizzled with a little honey (they were tart!) and a couple squares of dark chocolate. I got samples from a friend who works here and they make such good stuff!
Thanks for including the chickpea roasting link, Lauren! Also, as a chocolate fiend, I’m very curious about your friend’s company… Has anyone tried these (I just looked and they appear to be vegan)—or do you know of other great vegan chocolates? We still love our Wei of Chocolate, but always up for testing others. :)
You probably could have predicted this one, yeah? It’s almost V-day, and whether or not you think that holiday is a Hallmark sham, we can all get behind 1) love, 2) the delicious organic chocolates from Wei of Chocolate, and 3) the bewitching blends (including new perfumes!) from Lotus Wei. So this week we have a double deal from these two very special companies.
Here’s how it works: Get a 15% site-wide discount on any of the delicious, flower-essence infused, meditative chocolates from Wei of Chocolate. Nom nom nom.
Promo code, as always: NMDL. Deal lasts till next Thursday, February 9, at midnight.
Now, in keeping with our new tradition: If you have tried the chocolates and/or scents from either of these lines, please include your own little review in the comments!
If you have no idea what we’re talking about, as in “what the heck are flower essences, and why would they be in chocolate or anything else?” please go back to previous posts like this one and this one or this one, just to name a few. We’re obviously huge fans.
Have a love-filled weekend.
Did meditation just get a whole lot easier? Well, maybe in a baby-steps kinda way!
See, last week we told you about a new obsession with flower essence brand Lotus Wei. But today, being that it’s Monday and all, we want to talk about sister company Wei of Chocolate. See, founder Lisa Reinhardt uses delicious vegan dark chocolate as the delivery mechanism for the same powerful flower essences used in the Lotus Wei sprays and serums.
Just to clarify: These essences, which are tasteless and odorless, are believed to work on the body’s subtle energy meridians. So the chocolates don’t taste like actual flowers but they do come in an exciting variety of flavors like citrus, chili, mocha and chai tea. Yummy.
In the same way that the scented potions serve as tool to help us slow down and smell the roses, so to speak, so too do these tastey chocolates give us a moment of pause in our busy lives. Or as it says on the company site to “savor the space between two thoughts.”
A meditation teacher who spent several years traveling in Asia, Reinhardt realized that us fast-paced North Americans needed a little help to tap into our chill zone. That’s when the idea of using chocolate as the device to calm the mind was born—if only for the few moments it takes for one of them to melt on your tongue. Kinda genius, no? Especially since we now know how many other health benefits dark chocolate comes with.
Our favorite flavors are probably the citrus and mocha and the one for relaxation, but they all have a special something we love. Are you a chocolate nut in need of relaxation? Maybe Wei’s the way… (Sorry I couldn’t resist that super dorky impulse.)
Image via Wei of Chocolate
It was not easy picking a winner for this challenge, we’ll tell you that much. Here’s why we went with Cecille Nguyen-O’Keven of San Rafael, California:
1. Chocolate mousse is delicious.
2. This recipe sounds easy.
3. Avocado is always a great idea, but especially in a dessert.
Cecille is going to get a bunch of free treats from So Delicious (yum! yay!), and we’ve pasted her recipe below.
But check this out: Since there were so many good recipes, and because the point of the challenge wasn’t to make people vegan per se but just to encourage people to try delicious meatless food, we’re going to post a vegan recipe every Monday. Think of it as our little contribution to the Meatless Monday movement. (And keep those recipes coming!)
Now without further ado….
Raw Chocolate Mousse
1/2 c pitted dates (soaked**)
1/2 c raw agave nectar
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 medium avocados, mashed (trust me)
1/2 c organic carob powder
1/4 c organic cocoa powder
1/2 c water
Place dates, agave nectar, and vanilla extract into food processor. Process until smooth. Add avocado and powders. Process until incorporated and creamy. You may need to stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula in order to incorporate all the powder. Add water. Process until smooth. Serve at room temperature or chilled. Store in a sealed container. This will keep in the fridge for 2-3 days (if it’s not eaten before then) or in the freezer for 14 days (fudgesicles, anyone?). Bon Appétit!
**Soaking dates is a raw foodie trick! Put them in cold water for 1-6 hours or overnight if you have time.
Thanks to everyone who participated, and we’re excited about starting this new tradition—are you?
Apropos of nothing, here’s a recipe for something that can make things that suck a lot, suck a little bit less: Dark chocolate and coconut dipped frozen bananas, which I just made from scratch.
Instead of coconut, you can use crushed-up corn flakes, peanuts, rice krispies, or whatever else you think is tasty and have lying around.
1. Slice up a banana or two or three, put them on a tray, and throw them in the freezer. You’re not freezing them at this point, you’re just making sure they don’t brown or get mushy while you prep the rest.
2. Now you need to melt your chocolate. I’m not a microwave person but if you are, you can put dark chocolate chips or chunks in a bowl and throw them in there. Check it every minute, for up to three. Or do it the old-fashioned way in a double-boiler or a makeshift-double-boiler. This is important: DO NOT LET ANY WATER GET IN THE CHOCOLATE. (I had to throw out two batches of chocolate before I figured this out, hence the all caps.) Water toughens melted chocolate, which makes it a real bitch for dipping. Another quick thing: Chocolate tends to hold its shape even when melted, so it may look solid but if you stir it, you’ll find it’s gooey. So keep an eye on it.
3. Put shredded unsweetened coconut (or substitute) onto a plate.
4. Remove your bananas from the freezer and start dipping. Coat each piece in chocolate, roll it in your flakes, then put it back on the tray. You may need to reheat the chocolate halfway through if it gets thick.
5. Once you’re done with all the pieces, throw the tray back in the freezer. Once they’ve frozen, you can put them in a ziplock. I found that taking them out of the freezer 10 minutes before I want one is the perfect amount of time to get it unfrozen enough to taste great, but still kinda icey.
Annnd voila. Do you have any three- or four-ingredient desserts to share?