Friday, October 7, 2011

More Cooking Tips!

You know what?  I just can't get enough of great cooking tips and tricks especially when they are vegan.    Here are a few tips from  Hope they help you make something yummy as we move into the weekend.  Take care of yourself and enjoy!

vegan cooking tips

What is a vegan alternative for eggs to use in making cakes etc. and in what quantity?
Eggs in a recipe act as either a binder, thickener, or leavener. There are numerous egg substitutions depending on what you are trying to achieve with the replacement. For instance, in veggie burgers or casseroles, you would want a "binding" or "thickening" effect, so you could add arrowroot, cornstarch, flour, oats, or breadcrumbs to reach your desired consistency. However, when trying to substitute eggs in baking, it can be a bit trickier. When making cookies, breads, and baked goods you can use applesauce, pureed bananas, pureed dates, or Ener-G Egg Replacer when you need the "binding" properties of eggs. To achieve the "thickening" qualities of eggs in pie fillings or custards, I use agar-agar, kudzu, arrowroot, cornstarch, or flour.
Here are a few basic suggestions for substituting one egg:
  • 1/4 C. Mori-Nu silken style, firm or extra firm tofu, pureed until smooth
  • 1/4 C. applesauce or pureed bananas + 1/2 t. baking powder
  • 1 T. cornstarch or flour whisked with 1 T. water
  • 1 T. finely ground flax seeds + 3 T. water blended in a blender until frothy, and let rest 30 min. - 1 hour
  • 1 1/2 t. Ener-G Egg Replacer whisked with 2 T. water
Try experimenting with these, some work better in some recipes than others; for example, use the flax seed or powder replacements in a chocolate cookie recipe so that your cookies don't have a fruit taste, and use the fruit-based replacements in a banana bread or oatmeal cookie recipe.

To see the rest of the article click here.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Southern Veg Mamma? You Bet!

Today I decided to share because I had one of those lightbulb moments "Lady O" always talks about.  While talking to my very talented sister, whom I know is the best makeup artist in the world, I realized that we have two very different paths.  Now most folks may say "well of course, you guys are two different people!"  But for the first time I see that she is the career mom and I am at home mom.  Now secretly, I have always wanted to be the career mom because that's shows people one's worth.  "Wow! She works, and cooks and cleans, and takes care of the house, and leaps tall buildings in a single bound!" Well, not really, but you get the point.  Supermoms are our heroes, they do it all and when they fall or breakdown, it's o.k.  they are entitled to.  On the other hand, the at home mom, be it stay at home, homeschool, or work at home, may not always get the same love.  Oh, and don't have a degree or even an advanced degree and choose to be at home,  that's just downright lazy!  Now we all know that's not true, but because our foremothers fought for the right to work and have equal opportunities why oh why would a woman want to go back to being at home?  For some of us, our calling is to be at home, our passion is our family and in talking to my sister I realized,  my family is my passion.  I get a kick out of organizing and motivating my kids and husband.  I cherish my morning walks and gardening with a naked 2 year old in the summer.  Hearing my son whine about doing his math drills?  Not a problem,  we have a list of objectives and drills that has helped him up his speed to 100 problems in 5 minutes.  I get a buzz from watching my family grow and no other outside job has given me that rush.
My sister on the other hand loves her makeup artistry.  She draws eyes in her spare time with elaborate makeup colors.  She has picture upon picture of her work plastered on Facebook and without that passion in her life, she doesn't feel that she is the best mother she can be.  I honor that, I respect that, and the reason I can is because in my prayer and meditation I've finally realized that God's infinite wisdom knows who to place where.  The problems surface when we all want to be placed in the same box as everyone else.  As we all know, it doesn't work that way.  Some of us are country mice, some of us city mice.  Some of us career mom's, some of us at home mom's.  No matter the choice, it's all good.  Southern Vegetarian Living suits me just fine!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Gluten Free? No Problem!

Hey there Southern Veg Folks!  Here at Southern Vegetarian Chronicles, we are always looking for ways to better serve our readers.  I know some of you may not only be vegetarian/vegan but also gluten free.  So, I asked my Twitter friend Patricia Biesen, (I meet some of the coolest people there:-) to help me by writing up a little survival guide for folks who are making the switch to gluten free living.  Enjoy!

A Gluten-Free Vegan Survival Guide
 No meat AND no wheat? What to eat? A lot actually.

Instead of Bread

§  Try a baked sweet potato with a drizzle of coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil and a sprinkle of nutritional yeast flakes.
§  Most gluten-free breads actually contain eggs so I recommend making your own. I like Perfectly Elizabeth’s muffin mixes. To replace eggs, use a few tablespoons of well-soaked flax seeds
§  Try your own panini (grilled sandwich) with two big slices of grilled eggplant.
§  Wrap it up. Instead of wheat-based tortillas use big lettuce or red cabbage leaves to make nutrient dense wraps.

Pasta Schmasta

§  Many Asian marts carry noodles made of out of sea vegetables like kelp. Shirataki makes noodles out of tofu; talk about high protein!
§  If you have a Saladacco spiral slicer you can make lovely raw noodles out of zucchini and if you don’t, just slice your zucchini very, very thin.
§  Nature’s own “bisgetti” is from the autumnal spaghetti squash. Just roast and top with your favorite marina sauce. Add nutritional yeast flakes as your vegan Parmesan cheese.

You knew it was coming: The “protein question!”
Where do you get your protein? You will have to avoid seitan (wheat gluten), which does have a lot of protein, but you have a plethora of foods to chose from: tofu, tempeh, sea vegetables, quinoa, nuts, seeds, lentils and dark green veggies. Athletes can add soy, hemp or pea protein powders to smoothies and shakes.

Do you speak “allergese”? When shopping it is important to know what to avoid
Ingredients that indicate the presence of wheat: modified food starch, gelatinized starch, hydrolyzed vegetable protein, soy sauce, vegetable gum, vegetable starch and my personal favorite “natural” flavorings.

I hate to repeat the obvious, but some are not obvious. Foods that often contain wheat are: most breads, cakes, pastries, cookies, bread crumbs, pasta, couscous, cereals, kamut, crackers, enriched flour, bran, bran germ, malt, starch, gluten, semolina, bulgur, vital gluten, durum, graham flour, whole wheat flour, spelt, cracker meal and farina.

Don’t forget to share your knowledge
Invite your fellow gluten-free vegans to a potluck. Hosting dinners is another way to not only “eat safe,” but also educate others on how delicious your diet truly is. If they don’t like raw vegan chocolate cheesecake, they may be beyond your help!

Patricia Biesen is a holistic health coach and graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. She specializes in helping clients with food allergies find delicious alternatives. She writes ChicagoNow’s Eclectic Eating Chicago and The Eclectic Body.  You can drop her an e-mail @


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