Posts tagged as:

vegan

I’ll be up front about this blog post: I have some weird eating habits. I’m pretty picky about food, and being a vegan in college is not without its challenges. However, I’ve learned to adapt: the dining hall here does offer a good salad bar and fruit, which is right up my alley, and I cook a lot in my room as well. Over the years, I’ve had such gadgets as a blender, crock pot, microwave, dehydrator, and spiralizer in my dorm room at various points, and I’ve used them all.  Here’s a rundown of the details:
Blender: Good for smoothies, obviously. Bananas, oatmeal, soymilk, and strawberries are all things I like to work with. I’ve also made soup before, which was an interesting process.
Crock pot: I’ve mostly used it for making beans and lentils. Dried beans are cheap, a good source of protein, and easier to cook than you think. Basically just turn it on and let it go.  I’ve also made my own yogurt. Don’t believe me? Check it out: http://funkyfoodallergies.blogspot.com/2009/02/allergen-free-yogurt-recipe.html
Microwave: The holy grail of dorm cooking. I don’t even think I need to explain the necessity of this. I like to steam vegetables in my microwave (yeah, I’m the jerk who nukes broccoli at the expense of my whole dorm floor; DEAL WITH IT), but you can also use it to make pizza rolls if that’s more your thing.
Dehydrator: Yeah, I’m a hippy. A dehydrator just removes water from food at a really slow rate, so you can make things like banana chips and dried fruit. I’ve made sweet potato chips before, too, which was pretty rad. http://livingfree.aubreecherie.com/2011/04/raw-crispy-sweet-potato-chips/
Spiralizer: Did I mention I was a hippy? I also like to do things like make noodles out of zucchinis, and a spiralizer helps you do just that. They’re also super healthy for you – mix em with a little store bought pasta sauce and give it a try.
Now, I realize about 90% of people aren’t as crazy as I am, but even if you aren’t, you can step out of your comfort zone with these tips. Happy dorm cooking!

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So maybe you’ve heard that I’m a dietetics major. And perhaps you’ve heard whispers that I’m a vegan health nut as well. Both true, and to top it off, I love to be in the kitchen making all kinds of crazy stuff.

And since I’ve been home for the summer (read: I have a kitchen and free time) I’ve been trying all kinds of recipes. Mostly from Pinterest. Okay, 100% from Pinterest. But I always add my own spin on things!

Here’s some pictures of what I’ve been whipping up lately:

Dehydrated Cauliflower Crisps – you may think that using a dehydrator is something only crazy hippies do. Well, although I take no offense to being called a crazy hippie, dehydrating is definitely hitting the mainstream. I chopped up some cauliflower and added some nutritional yeast (a type of yeast that is fortified with vitamins needed in a vegan diet, like B12… it sort of tastes cheesy somehow. You’ll find it in a lot of recipes that are going for a “cheeezy” taste without using a bunch of processed cheese substitutes) and they turned out lovely!

Carrot Cake Bites – these involved the food processor, a sort of blender-like device that grinds up and combines food. It’s good for making dough and pesto as well. Anyway! Carrots, dates, coconut, and some spices got whirred up and then molded into balls. They weren’t overly sweet, but they had a nice carrot cake vibe to them. Good and good for ya!

Raw Cucumber/Mango Sushi – another food processor item. Instead of using rice in my rolls, I tossed parsnips, cashews, vinegar, and soy sauce in the ol’ processor and diced it until it was the consistency of rice. Turned out to be a pretty good substitute! Then I just rolled it up in nori paper with some slices of mango and cucumber.

Dehydrated Zucchini Chips – these are being dehydrated as I type this! Just zucchini sliced thin and layed out on the rack. Hope they turn out well! I’ll probably make some sort of dip for them as well. Hmmmm….

I’ve really been enjoying trying out some “high raw” food recipes and busting out the dehydrator this summer (although I do eat cooked veggies/grains/beans and bread, too!). It’s a great chance to try some fun and flavorful recipes that are a bit off the beaten path. So, if you have a dehydrator or food processor or juicer or any other contraption in your kitchen that’s just collecting dust, I encourage you to find some recipes and make use of it! (Hint: Pinterest. Pinterest for everything.)

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Ladies and gentlemen, I’m pleased to announce that it’s time for another restaurant review. And a favorable review I shall give! Although no restaurant has yet uprooted PuraVegan from the number one spot in my heart, I now have a very exciting close second: Frida’s Deli! I’ve been meaning to try this place for a while now, but somehow it either slipped from my time or agenda. I finally found the time to go a few weeks ago, and I’ve already been back twice. It’s that good.

Frida’s is a 100% vegetarian deli, and their menu caters easily to vegans, raw foodists, and gluten-free as well. Their main staples are hot and cold sandwiches (their veggie burger was awarded “Best Non Beef Burger” by the Riverfront Times, by the way), but they also offer soups, smoothies, and juices. You can order straight from the menu, but they do made-to-order requests as well!

And the best part? (Besides the food, natch) They compost and recycle almost everything in the restaurant, and they carry local and organic products when available. Music to my ears! And the chopped kale salad isn’t anything to sneeze at either. It’s suuuuper close to Fontbonne, too!

(622 N and South Rd, right off Delmar!)

Raw vegan sunflower tacos on lettuce!

Chopped marinated kale salad!

Mushroom walnut burger with sprouts!

Takin’ shots of celery juice. I’m about dat life.

PS – I don’t work here, and I didn’t receive any compensation for this rave review. I really just like it that much. Now go try some kale salad.

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Have I mentioned my favorite restaurant ever in the whole entire world is right here in St. Louis? I haven’t? Well, consider it mentioned. PuraVegan is indeed my favorite restaurant ever, and if you know me at all you won’t be surprised that they serve mostly raw, 100% vegan, über-healthy food.

But before you stop reading and head to McDonald’s, hold up a second. It’s actually tasty food, too! And I’ve brought several friends and family members (even my carnivore father) along for a meal and they hold up my opinion. I’m personally a fan of the stellar raw noodles they make from zucchini, yellow squash, and sweet potatoes, but they also have great raw deserts, wraps, salads – even burgers.

So if you’d like to dabble in raw/vegan food with limited effort on your part, head on down to PuraVegan! I think you’ll be glad you did.

Their website: http://www.puravegan.com

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Students writing for Real Life at Fontbonne are paid a small fee for each post by the university.