I have to admit, I was a little intimidated by Brittney and Julie's blog. Being the exact opposite of vegan (I'm as carnivorous as a T-rex) I wasn't sure what to expect. But I was pleasantly surprised! I'd always wondered what kinds of foods vegans ate and if they could even eat anything "normal". I was completely blown away at the variety of recipes on the blog. Who knew you could make that many dishes without using any animal products.
I do have to say one thing about this blog. These girls are dedicated. I've never even considered how difficult living a vegan lifestyle can be. But after reading this blog, I have new found respect for the time, research and dedication it takes. We aren't just talking about cutting out meat. That would be relatively easy, but animal products are in everything. It takes a lot of work to learn to live and cook without them.
I chose to share two recipes. The Baked Bananas with Chocolate I made because I've been on a bit of a banana kick lately. I must be low on potassium or it could be that this recipe pared bananas with melted chocolate and chopped nuts. I also added some strawberries in for good measure. It was fabulous!
The second recipe I made was a Pita stuffed with summer veggies, quinoa and guacamole. My hubby has diverticulitis thanks to the intestinal problems he brought home after two years in the Philippines so we always eat a high fiber diet. He had a flare up and we spent a night in the ER last week, so we are taking the high fiber diet very seriously right now. Not only did this fit that bill, but it tasted great! It was so good that I made a second batch to save for lunch the next day.
**I did substitute what I had available for the vegan items. For the original recipes click on the links above.**
Baked Bananas and Chocolate
1-2 Tbsp. flour
3 Tbsp. chocolate chips
2 Tbsp. milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 Tbsp. peanuts, processed in the food processor briefly, or chopped finely
1 Tbsp. shredded, unsweetened coconut, for garnish
1/4 cup chopped fresh strawberries
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Peel the bananas and slice off the tips; cut in half the long way, then slice each half in half to make 4 long slices.
Pour the flour onto a plate and dredge the banana pieces in it. Line a baking sheet with parchment and place the dredged banana on. Bake in the oven for 8 minutes, flip, then bake another 6 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare the chocolate sauce. In a double boiler or in the microwave, combine the chocolate, vanilla, milk, and peanut pieces. Stir to combine.
When the bananas are done, carefully move them to a serving plate then drizzle with the chocolate sauce, garnish with the coconut flakes and strawberries and serve.
Summer Vegetable Saute
Serves about 4
2 medium zucchini, diced
2 tsp kosher salt
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 red or yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 ears corn, kernels sliced off (I used frozen corn)
1 large tomato
1 Tbsp fresh basil, minced
1⁄2 to 1 cup drained and rinsed black beans, depending on how much you want.
1/4 to 1/2 cup cooked quinoa (depending on how much you want)
1 avocado, diced
To help drain the water from the zucchini, place in a colander and set over a bowl. Sprinkle with salt; toss and let stand 20 minutes.
Transfer zucchini to a kitchen towel and pat dry before cooking.
In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and sauté 3 to 5 minutes until soft.
Add zucchini and corn. Saute 6 to 7 minutes until vegetables are almost tender.
Add diced tomato; sauté 2 to 3 minutes until softened and zucchini is tender.
Add basil and saute for 1 minute.
Add black beans and quinoa and allow everything to get heated.
Remove from heat, add the avocado and stuff inside a pita or roll up in a whole wheat tortilla. This can be enjoyed hot, or put in the fridge and enjoyed cold later.