New Giveaway: Enter to Win 6 Organic, Gluten-Free, Raw Vegan Energy Bars by Juti Organics

Hi all! Guess what? I’ve got another exciting giveaway for you starting today! This time, the prize is – as you can tell from the title – six organic, gluten-free, raw vegan energy bars by Juti Organics. Juti bars got on my map recently after I was contacted by a representative of O2X Summit Challenges – a mountain running race series taking place in Vermont, Maine, New Hampshire and New York. O2X series focuses on setting up uphill race courses with only naturally occurring obstacles – no artificial ice-filled pools or burning fences, just the beauty of nature and lung-burning altitude ascents. O2X Challenge has partnered with Juti Organics to promote the idea of fueling with all-natural food that’s also gentle on the environment. The word ‘Juti’ means ‘energy’ in Sanskrit. The idea of creating Juti bars came to Matt Zembruski a few years ago after he tried his mom’s … Read the rest of the post

Banana Snickerdoodle Cookies (a.k.a. Snickerdoodle Munchkins)

What’s a girl to do when she gets a craving for a simple vegan cookie with a subtle banana flavor, but all recipes she sees on Pinterest are not exactly what she wants? Get to experimenting, of course! This happened to me a few weeks ago: I decided to make a batch of snickerdoodle cookies – classic American cookies that are coated in cinnamon sugar before baking – but couldn’t find a recipe I liked. Most search results brought up recipes with at least some oil or margarine, and as you know, I try to stay away from those things if I can. So I decided to mix the ingredients that I already had on hand, guided by a thought, ‘How bad can it possibly turn out?’ I used a few tips from some of the recipes I found. One of those tips didn’t work out exactly as planned: the … Read the rest of the post

Carbohydrates or Fat: Which One Makes Us Pack On the Weight?

Ever since I developed an interest for nutrition, I’ve had so much contradictory information pass through my brain that I’m surprised that my head hasn’t yet exploded. Fat doesn’t make us fat, carbohydrates do! – Carbs are good, eat more of them for more energy! – Olive oil is good for your heart! – Cut out all oil for better health! These days, it’s easy for an average person to get confused while trying to figure out what type of eating behavior is the healthiest. For as long as I remember, I’ve always had a notion in my mind that eating lots of carbohydrates (breads, pasta, potatoes, etc.) could make me gain weight. The proponents of low-carb diets said that all of the carbohydrates we consume turn into sugar, and sugar then turns into fat in our bodies. Early in my twenties, I even tried the famous Atkins diet for a month but soon quit after my … Read the rest of the post

Vegan Kitchen Simplified Series. How to Replace Butter and Eggs in Baked Goods and not End Up with Cardboard.

Welcome to the third episode of Vegan Kitchen Simplified series! Today we are going to talk about vegan baking. I’ve always been a huge fan of homemade baked goods thanks to my mom: she used to bake delicious (but not vegan) treats all the time when I was little. As I got older, I embraced baking at home myself but rarely tried to experiment with unfamiliar recipes. Once I became vegan, a whole new world of amazing vegan baking opened up to me. I was surprised to find out that vegan baked goods could be not only much healthier than their conventional versions, but also quite delicious! I mean, why do people even bother baking with butter and eggs if the same desserts can be successfully made without them?! What Butter and Eggs Do in Baking, and How We Can Replace Them Here’s the deal: butter/margarine/shortening and eggs are widely used in conventional, non-vegan … Read the rest of the post

Easy-Peasy Vegan Waffles from Scratch – Get Your Breakfast on in No Time!

When it comes to breakfast in my house, we usually go pretty low-key during the week – overnight oats, a slice of toast or a bagel usually do the job. Once the weekends roll around, it’s a different story – bring on the fancy breakfast! Does this mean I want spend a lot of time making it? Nope: Most Saturday mornings Rob and I do a 7 am boot camp with a group of friends, so we are starving by the time we get home. The quicker I can throw something together that still feels like a nice weekend-y breakfast, the better! Enter my Easy-Peasy Vegan Waffles – no eggs/milk/oil, etc., but a whole lotta flavor! You may think that waffles from scratch are quite an elaborate undertaking, but trust me: these waffles can be put together in no time! Only 10-12 minutes pass between the moment when I start putting … Read the rest of the post

Why Low-Carb Diets Have It Wrong

Have you noticed that in the past few years low-carbohydrate diets have become very popular? We can open just about any popular health-related magazine and see recipes and articles targeted to the followers of low-carb lifestyle. We often hear about this or that celebrity dropping lots of weight on a strict Atkins diet. TV shows invite ‘experts’ that give you advice on how to cut more carbohydrates out of your diet: I recently saw a bit on Today show where their guest suggested replacing pizza crust with a grilled chicken breast (!) – yep, just pile all of your pizza toppings and cheese on a piece of meat on your way to those skinny jeans! And yet, the obesity levels in the US alone are at their all-time high, and we are even more sick than we’ve ever been. What’s going on? When it comes to health and wellbeing, our priorities have undergone a … Read the rest of the post

Triple Lentil and Cauliflower Soup with Rice

Earlier this week, Rob and I were returning home late at night after a day trip. This was just a few hours before the entire Gulf Coast area was hit with an ice storm, so the temperature outside was rapidly dropping. Rob said that he wanted to have some warm soup for lunch the following day. I was surprised by his request because he hardly ever eats soup for lunch, let alone specifically asks for it. I promised him to make some kind of soup by lunchtime the following day but realized that we didn’t have a lot of groceries at home since we skipped our usual grocery trip on the weekend. When I took a look around the house, I found just enough ingredients to make this soup. It turned out to be delicious and easy to make, and it was certainly a perfect lunch and dinner for us … Read the rest of the post

Bruschetta Pasta – the Quickest Dinner Recipe I’ve Ever Made (A Great Dinner Before a Running Race Too!)

We’ve all been there: after a long, busy day making an elaborate, time-consuming meal sometimes is the last thing we want to do. This is when a dish like today’s vegan bruschetta pasta comes in very handy. Not only is it easy to make, it’s also light and filling, and can be easily prepared with no oil! To say that this recipe for bruschetta pasta is quick to make is an understatement. I mean, cooking the sauce takes less time than boiling the spaghetti! Actually, even ‘cooking’ is too loud of a word here: diced tomatoes just get warmed up in the pan and then are taken off the heat right away. The inspiration for this dish came to me one day when I was trying to recreate Capellini Pomodoro from Olive Garden at home – it used to be one of my favorite dishes there, but I’m not sure if they … Read the rest of the post

White Potatoes – A Nutritional Powerhouse That’s Seriously Underrated. Plus: Why Potatoes Are Not Fattening.

I never get tired saying that potatoes are one my favorite vegetables: I cook them at home a few times a week, plus I’ve featured a number of recipes with potatoes on this blog. White potatoes were a big part of my menu while I was training for a marathon last November, and later during my running streak that lasted from Thanksgiving till New Year’s Day. So whenever I hear someone declaring that a white potato is a starch-laden vegetable with hardly any nutritional benefits that will make us all fat and devoid of energy, I shake my head with disappointment at yet another expert who didn’t do their basic homework. Carbohydrates have gotten a lot of bad rap lately. New low-carb diets keep popping up every day with claims of turning us into slender, energetic machines if only we stop consuming all carbs altogether. And yet our society is growing fatter and unhealthier year by … Read the rest of the post

Easy Breakfast: Overnight Oats, Served 4 Ways (Chocolate, Pumpkin, Swamp Monster-Style, and Plain).

Overnight oats for breakfast have been all the rage in the blogosphere lately, and it’s no wonder: they make for a delicious, filling vegan breakfast that takes very little effort to make. Just soak the oats overnight in your favorite non-dairy milk, add a few ingredients in the morning, and voilà! I’ll tell you a secret, however: I’ve been eating this stuff for literally half of my life, since middle school, long before overnight oats became trendy. To this day this is my default breakfast for the mornings I don’t feel like making anything complicated. Today I’ll share with you four delicious ways I love making  overnight oats, and a few tips on getting them just right. Clockwise from to left: Pumpkin Oats, Plain Oats, Chocolate Oats, Swamp Monster Oats When I first started making overnight oats for breakfast before school, I used the same combination of ingredients: rolled oats soaked in water, walnuts, raisins, … Read the rest of the post