Top 9 Posts of 2013

2013 has been a big year for One Small Vegan. And for me. It’s amazing to see things slowly building up for One Small Vegan and I probably wouldn’t be on my way to being a holistic nutritionist if it wasn’t for the blog!

This blog is continually a work in progress, and I don’t always have as much time to devote to it as I would like, but I am continually thankful for it. And for you! While One Small Vegan is my means of sharing my passion for healthy plant-based eating and living, it wouldn’t be nearly as fun or rewarding if it wasn’t for all of you wonderful readers. I’m hugely thankful for all of your support through 2013. YOU are the reason I’ve continued this blog, through some tough personal times and major changes, and plenty of times when I just didn’t feel like posting. I am truly grateful for each and every view, like, comment, pin, share, etc.

THANK YOU!!!

Anyway, I thought I’d share with you the Top 9 Posts on One Small Vegan from this past year. Some of these are favourites of mine as well!

Top 9 Posts 2013 title

  1. Basic No-Mayo Coleslaw
  2. Frozen Greens Cubes
  3. Baked Vegetable Spring Rolls
  4. Lemon Coconut Energy Bites
  5. Dark Chocolate S’mores Brownies
  6. Butternut Squash Black Bean Burritos
  7. Nacho Cheez White Bean Spread
  8. Blueberry Oatmeal Scones
  9. Easy Hot & Sour Refrigerator Pickles

That’s it for 2013. I hope everyone has a safe and happy New Years! For me, tonight will be a low-key one spent with my favourite little man, my 4-year-old nephew. Then tomorrow is a big family brunch.

See you in 2014!

Have you tried any of the Top 9 Recipes? Which would you like to try?

What are you doing for New Years?

Is there anything you’d like to see more of on One Small Vegan in 2014 (original recipes, recipe reviews, restaurant reviews, product reviews, beauty tips…)?

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Christmas Recap

It is so hard to believe that Christmas has already come and gone! I hope that everyone had a wonderful Christmas (or holidays) filled with family, friends, and lots of delicious vegan food!

With a Christmas tree upstairs, I don’t do a tree in my place, but I did do a bit of decorating for the first time. 

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So glad I remembered where I’d tucked away these snowflakes that my late Grandma made years ago! 🙂

I’m officially done one third of my Natural Nutrition program and enjoying a nice break from my studies. Which gave me time to sneak in a couple days of baking before Christmas Day. The week before, I’d made these Peppermint Bark Raw Brownies to share at work.

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Monday, Jem and I had our annual Christmas Baking Day. We like to turn on some Christmas music and make a few different goodies at once, mostly to share with family and friends over the holidays. Since I made the switch to vegan, Jem is lovely enough to let all our choices be vegan. This year we choose to make Thin Mint Cookies, Pumpkin Blondies,  Chocolate Chai Shortbread, and Coconut Sugar Cookies (from Vegan Food Gifts). (The links will take you to the original recipe, but I did make some changes, which I will share with you in later posts.)

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(Please ignore the non-vegan red sprinkles on Jem’s cookies.)

And Christmas Eve I baked a Cranberry Chocolate Chip Banana Bread (this one, but with fresh cranberries added), and Christmas morning I baked fresh Herb Drop Biscuits. These were my contribution to my family’s Christmas brunch.

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I’m feeling completely spoiled from Christmas! This is all the vegan/cooking/baking-related stuff I was lucky enough to receive.

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Can you detect any themes? Seems as though my family has figured out that if I get kitchen stuff and Lush stuff, I will be a super happy camper!

Not sure if I’ll have another post for you before the end of 2013, so just in case I miss it: have a very Happy New Year! See you in 2014!

P.S. – I am so excited about my new Crockpot, but have never used one before. Does anyone have any favourite or tried-and-true vegan slow-cooker recipes they’d like to share?

Also, I’d love to hear about your favourite moment or favourite gift from this year’s holidays!

My Most Made Recipes

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Vegan MoFo 2013 – Post #12

I don’t have a lot of time today for a post, as I should be spending the day studying for a test I have tomorrow, so I thought I’d just share with you some of the recipes I’ve posted about that I actually make repeatedly. The number is actually pretty small. There are just always so many new and interesting recipes to try that I find it difficult to repeat past ones, even when I really loved them. The ones that I do repeat are usually the ones that were really quick and easy, in addition to tasty.

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I make these Chickpea Flour Omelettes all the time! They are quick, easy, very filling, and easily adaptable to whatever vegetables I have on hand. My favourite fillings include spinach, peppers, something spicy like pickled jalapeños or red pepper flakes, and a bit of Daiya Cheese.

And for a variation, I’ve made these Vegan Scrambled ‘Eggs’ a few times since I discovered them.

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I’ve been making these Easy Hot & Sour Refrigerator Pickles on and off all summer long and they always disappear very quickly! I mostly just eat them as snacks.

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It isn’t a recipe, but I am pretty much obsessed with falafel salads and wraps. (Seriously, search my blog for ‘falafel’ and you’ll see one pop up on almost every What I Ate Wednesday post.) I used to use Casbah Falafel mix, but now I’ve been using the Baked Falafel Burgers from Veggie Burgers Every Which Way. Staples in my falafel salads are cucumbers, peppers, either hummus or tahini sauce, and (lately) Sriracha.

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These Wheat-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies from Veganomicon are a big hit with my family and I. I love the texture and taste from the oat flour and the recipe is really easy. The small batch means you won’t be taking cookies in and out of the oven for hours, and you won’t have too many leftovers to tempt you in the following days.

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This Lower-Fat Chocolate Chip Banana Bread from Veganomicon has been repeated quite a few times in our household, and is a big hit with omnivores and vegan (just me) alike. You can also see it here, with the addition of raspberries!

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This Basic No-Mayo Coleslaw is (in my humble opinion) crunchy, tangy, coleslaw perfection. I make this quite a lot, both for myself and as a contribution to family dinners. My mom and sister have also requested the recipe and made it a few times! 🙂 I find it seriously addictive, in a good way, and it never lasts long.

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And last, but certainly not least is my Avocado Toast with Balsamic Vinegar. Sometimes the simplest things are the best. I make this all the time, at all times of day, and I always thoroughly enjoy it! Hearty crunchy whole grain bread (I prefer Silver Hills), rich creamy avocado, tangy balsamic vinegar and lemon juice, and a punch of spice from the black pepper! Yum yum yum. I think I know what I’m having for lunch today.

What I Ate Wednesday #138

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Vegan MoFo 2013 #6 & What I Ate Wednesday #138

IMG_3558Falafel Salad – Green leaf lettuce, broccoli sprouts, yellow pepper, cucumber, lemon juice, Sriracha, falafel burger, and hummus.

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A baked potato with hummus, Sriracha, yellow pepper, broccoli sprouts, and Daiya cheddar. With a Field Roast Frankfurter.

IMG_3595Quinoa, lime juice, Vega Antioxidant Oil, pickled jalapeños, cucumber, and yellow pepper.

IMG_3596Part of a raspberry lime mini-loaf with almonds and walnuts.

IMG_3605Chocolate Blueberry Oats – I made these as overnight oats, but really didn’t like them cold, so I warmed them up a bit. Just oats, chia seeds, blueberries, cocoa powder, and unsweetened almond milk.

IMG_3607Toasted Silver Hills Squirelly Bread with avocado, lemon dill hummus, Sriracha, broccoli sprouts, and spinach.

You May Also Enjoy:
What I Ate Wednesday #137
What I Ate Wednesday #109: Salad Love 
What I Ate Wednesday #136: Vegan In Victoria
What I Ate Wednesday #130

Gorilla Food, Take 2

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Vegan MoFo 2013 – Post #3

I don’t have much time for a full post today, so I just thought I’d share this meal with you that I had at Gorilla Food recently.

This was my second time enjoying a meal from Gorilla Food, an organic raw vegan cafe in downtown Vancouver. You can read about the last time HERE.

My lunch was the Mini Gorilla salad (it also comes in a larger size) with a BC Blue smoothie and a Gorilla Biscuit for dessert.

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The Mini Gorilla – “A combo salad packed with delish and nourishing leafy greens, veggies, chill almonds, sunny-pate, olives, sprouts, avocado, almond, super-food dressing.”
I absolutely loved this salad! It is super fresh and just has so much going on: lots of great textures and flavour. I really enjoyed the addition of sun-dried olives, which I’d never tried before. So good!

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Gorilla Biscuit – This is a raw cookie, consisting of a nutty layer, a chocolate layer, and coconut on top. This was the first treat I’ve tried from Gorilla Food, and I was really impressed by the texture of the cookie part. The combo of the three layers made for a perfect little dessert.
BC Blue smoothie – That’s my (awesome recycled paper) smoothie cup that the cookie is sitting on. This is a simple smoothie, but oh so good! Very fresh and refreshing!

If you’re in the Vancouver area, you should definitely check out Gorilla Food. And if it’s a nice day, I highly recommend taking your food the few blocks down to the waterfront. 🙂 Or, if you’re not in the area, Aaron Ash, the man behind Gorilla Food, also has a cookbook of the same name that includes recipes for almost everything on the menu, plus more.

You May Also Enjoy:
My Birthday Part 2: Wild Rice
Raw Vegan High Tea at Indigo Food Cafe
Lemon Coconut Energy Bites
Vega Chocolate Macaroons

What I Ate Wednesday #137

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Vegan MoFo 2013 – Post #2

It’s time for What I Ate Wednesday #137! Enjoy!

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Quinoa, zucchini, avocado, and Cajun seasoning.

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Quinoa, green lentils, carrots, zucchini, and taco seasoning.

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A Spicy Vegan Chili Burger on a whole wheat bun with Daiya Jack Wedge, hummus, Sriracha, and green leaf lettuce. With my Basic No-Mayo Coleslaw.

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Green leaf lettuce, cucumber, red pepper, fresh ground pepper, balsamic vinaigrette, and a crumbled veggie burger.

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Toasted Silver Hills Squirelly Bread with avocado tossed in lemon juice, hummus, Sriracha, green leaf lettuce, and a crumbled mini Spicy Vegan Chili Burger. With a side of cucumber with fresh ground black pepper.

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Cooked short grain brown rice, defrosted frozen blueberries, coconut sugar, cinnamon, unsweetened almond milk. Warmed up.

You May Also Enjoy:
What I Ate Wednesday #136 – Vegan In Victoria
What I Ate Wednesday #130
What I Ate Wednesday #121

Guest Post: How Does Being Vegan Keep You Looking Young?

I’ve got something a little different for you today. Well actually, Alicia does. She’s written an article just for you.

Alicia is a freelance writer for 12 Palms Rehab. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, cooking healthy meals, and blogging about health, tech and communication. Her work has been published by Her Fitness Hut, Examiner.com, and Ask Miss A. She blogs over at MarCom Land.

I’ll be back next week for the start of Vegan MoFo 2013! I’m also starting my Natural Nutrition program next week, so I’m not sure how much time I’ll have to devote to Vegan MoFo, but I’m going to try. I didn’t prepare at all last year and was surprised when I actually made it to 20 posts. This year, rather than trying to create and post 20 new recipes, I’m going to focus on posting reviews & photos for other peoples’ recipes I’ve tried and enjoyed. Anyone else participating in Vegan MoFo this year?

Happy reading!

How Does Being Vegan Keep You Looking Young?

Celebrities like Jared Leto, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Portia de Rossi have sworn that their ageless appearance has not been caused by botox or surgery, but is instead the result of a vegan diet. While it’s pretty clear that some of Hollywood’s elite are lying through their laser-whitened teeth, they are not wrong in their claims that being vegan enhances a youthful face.

In proof, the aging process hasn’t solely stopped for celebrities. Regular ole’ people have proven that a vegan lifestyle can do just as much for your wrinkles and health as the fanciest doctor in Los Angeles. Just last year, the Daily Mail shed light on a 70-year old woman from Florida who appears at least 20 years younger than her stated age, after having switch to a vegetarian lifestyle in the 50s and finally turning to a pure, raw vegan diet 27 years ago. Her husband, who has not followed in her nuts, veggies, seeds and fruits path, looks every bit his 70+ years and struggles with diabetes and high blood pressure. His wife, you might note, does not even take the occasional aspirin.

So what is it about a vegan diet that really leads to that undamaged appearance? Let’s consider the most obvious benefit to veganism; namely, weight loss. After all, a 220-pound 28-year old woman looks a lot older than a 130-pound lady of the same age. The diet’s obvious caloric deficit and nutrient rich benefits often lead to a loss of excess weight.

The other major contribution to vegans’ physical appearance is glowing, blemish-free skin. This particular diet’s emphasis on nuts, fruits and vegetables leads to an abundant increase in Vitamin A and E intake, which naturally improves skin health. Not only does this make vegans’ skin appear baby-smooth, but it diminishes wrinkles and tends to cease any future acne breakouts. Nothing screams youthful beauty like a soft, wrinkle-free face! Plus, a study showed that people eating a plant-based diet often feel better rested due to increased sleep quality; perhaps the lack of circles under your eyes are also contributing to that baby-face appearance.

As if weight loss and good skin weren’t giving those vegan eaters enough of a head start on aging backwards, plant-based diets have also proven to increase hair and nail strength, growth and appearance.

But the benefits don’t just stop at looking good. Vegans also tend to live longer! That’s right, people eating vegan are at a drastically diminished risk for ailments common to the aging populations. The natural increase in fruits, vegetables and healthy grains eaten on a vegan diet lead to a much lower intake of saturated fats and cholesterol, and higher consumption of complex carbohydrates, dietary fibre and minerals; these changes are what give vegans lesser risk for obesity, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, gallstones, hypertension and diverticulosis.

Naturally, a lack of these illnesses combined with the natural increase in energy caused by this diet guides vegans to continue engaging in the exercises of their youthful years, such as dancing, hiking, or cycling. And it should not be news to anyone that the more actively you live life, the younger you appear!

So clearly, whatever bacon topped, deep-fried cheese snack vegans are missing out on, they are more than making up for it by not only looking twice as young as everyone else their age, but living longer while they do it!