Recipes, Uncategorized

Lily’s Favorite Chili

Lily's Favorite Chili Award | Vegan Living by Danielle
Won the “Most Creative” category at a Chili Cook-Off!

Ingredients: 

  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, cubed
  • 1 (28 oz) can of ground peeled tomatoes
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, finely diced (optional for spice lovers)
  • 1 cup dry quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp oregano
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp of cayenne (optional for spice lovers)
  • 1 (15.5 oz) can kidney beans, drained
  • 1 bunch of kale, stems removed

Directions:

    1. Place olive oil, garlic and diced onion on low in a crockpot.
    2. Cut up the sweet potatoes.
    3. Add sweet potatoes, tomatoes, quinoa, water, jalapeno pepper (if desired), and all the spices to the crockpot.
    4. Rip or cut kale leaves to bite sized pieces.
    5. Stir occasionally.
    6. Once the quinoa grains have opened, add kidney beans and kale.
    7. Stir occasionally.
    8. Ready to serve when the sweet potatoes are soft (approx. 8 hours).
    9. Serve warm and enjoy!

This recipe is a good one to meal prep! Cooled chili can be separated into freezable Tupperware containers and kept frozen until they are ready to be eaten. For this, and almost all recipes, I recommend leaving the peel on and just washing all veggies well. The peel contains a lot of the nutrients, and we wouldn’t want to waste all that goodness by throwing it out!

Recipes, Uncategorized

Mexican Quinoa Salad

Vegan Mexican Quinoa | Vegan Living by Danielle

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup dry quinoa
  • 2 cups vegetable stock (or water with 1 tsp cumin and 1/2 tsp pepper)
  • 1 can of corn, drained
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes (with jalapeños if you like spicy!), drained
  • 1 can of your favorite beans (chickpeas, kidney, or black beans), drained
  • 1 can of olives, halved
  • 1 small zucchini, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 red onion, diced
  • 1/2 lime, juiced (approx. 1 Tbsp of juice)
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup salsa
  • 2 Tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped (1 Tbsp dried cilantro)
  • 1 avocado (optional)

Directions:

  1. Put dry quinoa and stock, or water and spices, in large sauce pan over high heat.
  2. Reduce heat to medium-low when the pot is boiling and cover.
  3. Let quinoa cook for a total of approximately 15 minutes, or until all kernels are open and fluffy. Stirring is not necessary or recommended. Best results come when the lid is left on during the whole cooking process.
  4. Once quinoa is thoroughly cooked, move it to a bowl. Refrigerate to cool if desired to serve salad cold.
  5. While the quinoa is cooking and cooling, prepare remaining ingredients.
  6. Combine ingredients in a small bowl and mix well.
  7. Combine quinoa with remaining ingredients and mix well.
  8. Serve cool or warm and enjoy!
  9. Option to top each serving with sliced avocado and a whole, fresh cilantro leaf.
Recipes, Uncategorized

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad | Vegan Living by Danielle

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup dry quinoa
  • 2 cups vegetable stock (could substitute water, but stock is much more flavorful; low-sodium stock highly recommended)
  • 1/8 cup fresh parsley, chopped or 1/2 Tbsp dried parsley flakes
  • 1/2 cup red onion (about 1/4 of a larger onion), chopped
  • 1/2 can chickpeas, drained
  • 1 med cucumber with the seeds removed, diced
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • juice of 1/2 lemon (roughly 1 1/2 Tbsps)
  • juice of 1/4 lime (roughly 1/2 Tbsp)
  • 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 3/4 tsp black pepper
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup kalamata, green, or black olives (optional – depending on your taste), halved

Directions:

  1. Put dry quinoa and stock in large sauce pan over high heat.
  2. Reduce heat to medium-low when the pot is boiling and cover.
  3. Let quinoa cook for a total of approximately 15 minutes, or until all kernels are open and fluffy. Stirring is not necessary or recommended. Best results come when the lid is left on during the whole cooking process.
  4. Once quinoa is thoroughly cooked, move it to a bowl and refrigerate to cool.
  5. While the quinoa is cooking and cooling, prepare remaining ingredients, and mix in a bowl.
  6. When quinoa has cooled, combine quinoa with remaining ingredients and mix well.
  7. Serve cool and enjoy!

 

It is the season for barbecues, picnics, and grad parties. I highly recommend doubling this recipe to bring to these events! It is definitely a real crowd pleaser. Also, quinoa and chickpeas have a good amount of protein for you, so it’s definitely a good thing to bring with you to picnics to be sure there is a vegan option for you that has a substantial amount of protein.

I like to take a bit of it with me as my lunch, or serve a few scoops on the side of dinner!

Lifestyle Tips, Uncategorized

How to Go Vegan

Hi everyone!

I’ve found that many people I talk to about my vegan lifestyle say that they unsuccessfully have tried going vegan starting from a diet that includes meat and other animal products. A drastic change like that is not sustainable.

Here’s a secret…transitioning your diet to 100% vegan does not need to happen in one night! If you try to cut out 100% of animal products in one shot, you are more likely to become overwhelmed by the change, be unsuccessful at sustaining the change in diet, and actually suffer from withdrawals from the certain foods. (Yes, animal products can be addicting. Read about it here and here.)

Here are some suggested steps to help you ease into a 100% vegan diet:

  1. Try a few vegetarian or vegan recipes a few times a week. I recommend not going too far off from foods you normally eat, and avoid too many products that are substitutions. Many people make the mistake of expecting veggie burgers, chik’n nuggets, and plant-based cheese to taste exactly like the real thing.
  2. Dedicate one day a week to going completely meatless. Increase the number of meatless days as time goes on. Do so with caution, if you reintroduce meat after abstaining for a long period of time, it could lead you to gastric distress.
  3. Another option to begin the transition to vegetarianism is to start by eliminating all but one type of meat, like chicken or fish.
  4. Once you’ve cut meat out of your diet, eliminate dairy. If necessary, you can allow yourself one dairy product like cheese or milk, or only allow yourself this dairy product on a certain day of the week. I also advise caution with reintroducing dairy after abstaining for a long period of time, as this could could lead you to gastric distress. (Let’s be real, should your food really cause you to get sick if you haven’t been eating it for long periods of time?!)
  5. At this stage, you will find that eliminating eggs will be relatively easy compared to the other foods.
  6. After removing eggs, you can focus on avoiding other foods that are commonly forgotten like honey, gelatin, whey, casein, lard, some red food coloring (cochineal, carminic acid, or carmine), some sugars, and some confectioner’s glaze just to name a few! When in doubt, Google! Also, check my post on some of my favorite Vegan Lifestyle Apps for some really useful apps.

My point is, go easy on yourself! Make this lifestyle change work for you. Don’t get caught up in labels and making extreme changes. Little changes add up over time and will make a difference for the animals or environment no matter how small!

How to Go Vegan | Vegan Living by Danielle

xo,

Danielle