Cannellini Bean Soup and Cucumber-Tomato Salad

It would be wrong to assume that vegan food is somehow more complicated in its preparation than the regular omnivore grub. Enter this simple cannellini bean soup: it’s quick, easy, filling, and oh so heartwarming – a perfect comfort food, I think! And if you pair it with a really simple cucumber-tomato salad as an appetizer, you’ve got a perfect late summer meal! Recently I was on a quest to create a dinner that would consist of simple and quick to prepare soup and salad. The idea of a bean soup with not a lot of other ingredients had been following me for a while: I like a side of braised white beans at Zoe’s Kitchen, but they add a bit too much oil in their preparation, plus I really wanted to recreate them as a stand-alone entree soup. While this cannellini bean soup doesn’t taste exactly like the beans … Read the rest of the post

Week 5 of Marathon Training. Also: Our Adventures at the Alligator Farm in Summerdale, AL!

I know what you’re thinking: marathon training, alligator farm in Alabama, and vegan food? How can these coexist in a single blog post? Here’s my answer: it’s possible! I’m a vegan who’s training for a marathon, and I’m also fascinated by big, magnificent creatures that coexist next to us humans on this planet!  It’s hard to believe that I’m already five weeks into my marathon training! The good news: the way my training has been going so far gives me confidence that I’ll be strong and ready to go when the big day comes (November 10th in Pensacola, Fla). I’ve been slowly cranking up my weekly mileage peaking at about 35 miles this week – which is nothing to some seasoned runners out there, but kind of a big deal for me because just about a couple months ago I was running only 10-15 miles a week. The running wisdom … Read the rest of the post

Delicious Vegan Eats: Greek Moussaka with Lentils That’s Beyond All of Your Expectations!

Have you ever had a good Greek moussaka? If yes, I’m sure you appreciated how smoothly all of the ingredients come together. What about a vegan version? Today I’m sharing a recipe for a vegan moussaka with a lentil-based sauce that makes me confident to say that I’ve perfected this dish over the years. Wanna have a bite? Greek cuisine has always been near and dear to my heart. I can’t say that I’ve made a lot of Greek dishes at home, but I’ve definitely had my share at Greek restaurants! Things got a little more complicated once I switched to a vegan diet, and going to my once favorite Greek places got kind of boring since fully vegan options were few and far between. What can a vegan girl do if she wants to keep eating delicious Greek moussaka? Make it at home, of course! But first, for the … Read the rest of the post

Week 4 of Marathon Training. Are All Runners Smug?

Today on the agenda: discovering the reasons why some runners come off as smug to other people, why it’s counterproductive, and how we can avoid being perceived as smug. Another Monday has rolled around – and this means that it’s time to share how my training went in the fourth week of my marathon prep. Before you start yawning and rolling your eyes (‘Who cares?!’), let me say that in today’s post I’ll be focusing on more than just me, myself, and I! Okay, first thing first. The training was fine. I even managed to do a good track workout with a couple other runners on Wednesday (more on it in this post), and there were three HIIT (high intensity interval training) gym sessions – two of them I did by myself, and one with a group of like-minded friends from my gym on Saturday. My Sunday morning long run, … Read the rest of the post

Oatmeal-Banana Pancakes with Quick Blueberry-Peach Compote

Let’s agree: pancakes are the ultimate breakfast comfort food. Not many other breakfast dishes can compare with pancakes in versatility: they can be big, they can be small, they can be topped with maple syrup or honey or bananas or chocolate syrup, they can have chunks of fruit or chocolate/butterscotch/peanut butter chips baked into them – and that’s even before we dig into all the varieties of pancake batter! For a lot of us, homemade pancakes have always been made from some kind of boxed pancake mix with eggs+butter+milk, etc. – unless you felt adventurous on a Saturday morning and decided to experiment with making them from scratch. I’ve always preferred to make everything from scratch, but honestly, pancakes were never on the list of things that I routinely made for breakfast. However, Rob had always loved them (and waffles) as a weekend breakfast option, so every now and then … Read the rest of the post

How to Go Veg without Going Crazy: Article 4. Why Going Meat and Dairy Free is Better for Us.

Okay, I finally decided to get into the hottest subject that concerns both pro- and anti-veg people: is it better for us humans to ditch animal foods, namely meat and dairy, and if so, what are the reasons? There is so much info about this all over the internet that if you start digging, you might get easily confused and frustrated. Especially if you are very new to the idea of living meat and dairy free. There are plenty of individuals, groups, and organizations that seem so passionate about the subject that when they shower newcomers with information,  they scare them away with their enthusiasm (Those guys are crazy! Salad-eating freaks! Anyone giving up animal products must be going insane!). I know, I know. Yes, it’s easy to get carried away when you truly believe that your way of living is the only right way to go, and everybody should … Read the rest of the post

My (Almost) First Track Workout, and a Swamp Monster Breakfast Smoothie!

Today on the agenda: a track workout I did this morning, and my favorite vegan breakfast smoothie recipe! You know that feeling when you complete something you didn’t know you were strong enough to do? And the feeling of accomplishment that immediately follows? Well, that’s just what I feel today! Here are my immediate reasons: – got up early: at 4:50 am to be exact, long before the sunrise! – left the house when the sun still wasn’t up, and ran towards my gym (1.2 mi) to – meet up with a couple local runners; – ran with them towards our high school track (1.1 mi) to do a quite grueling but very satisfying running workout of 8 by 400 m ( 400 meters of hard running followed by 400 meters recovery jog; repeat eight times – 4 miles total); – ran back to the gym (1.1 mi) and got … Read the rest of the post

Week 3 of Marathon Training. Our Surprising Vegan Experience in Pensacola, Fla.

Today’s post is about vegan-friendly restaurant scene in Pensacola, Fla (the site of my upcoming marathon!), and my running in week 3 of marathon training. It’s Monday again! I’m amazed at how fast time goes by these days! It must be all the fun that I’m having with my blog, right? It’s hard to believe that I’m starting the fourth week of my marathon training plan as well as the fourth week of running this blog… but that’s exactly what’s happening. All right, back to the subject. So how was my running in week three? I’m glad to be getting more confident that I’m on the right path! The runs are getting more steady and more enjoyable: on my Sunday morning long run I tapped into that lovely ‘runner’s high’ state by the end and decided to go for another mile and a half on top of the originally intended distance. … Read the rest of the post

Guilt-Free Baking: Banana Nut Bread

Ahhh, who doesn’t love baked goods? Especially those that are rich in flavor, comforting, and don’t require a degree in culinary arts to make? Lo and behold today’s leading character – my Banana Nut Bread! Baking, baking, baking… When I was growing up, my mom was the Queen on Baked Goods not just in our family, but for all of our friends and relatives. I myself didn’t discover the joys of baking until a couple years ago, and – that’s right – I never looked back… There were a  few times in the past months when I had to bake a new item/batch/recipe as soon as the previous one was gone, and I could operate in that mode for weeks… And then I switched to a vegan diet. Ta da! Before I did any research, I was worried that I’d never get to bake anything again… But I decided to be stoic, especially since … Read the rest of the post

How To Go Veg Without Going Crazy: Article 3. Scientists and the Whole Food Plant-Based Diet.

I’ve always been very interested in nutrition and how it affects our wellbeing, and the more I read up on the subject, the more evidence I found suggesting that ditching animal-derived foods and consuming lots of unprocessed, “whole” plant-based foods can make a drastic change in how we feel and perform. Practice shows that in many cases, low-fat whole-food plant-based (WFPB) diet can even prevent and reverse certain diseases! In today’s post, I’d like to talk about the scientists and doctors who have been studying nutrition for decades, both in theory and in practice. They were able to determine the goodness of WFPB diet through many years of scientific research and medical practice. Oftentimes, their views on nutrition made them quite unpopular among their more mainstream scientific peers, but that never discouraged them to continue on their own path in search of truth. And truth is exactly what they found … Read the rest of the post