Why am I vegan – series introduction

Sorry for the long pause in blog posts, but a recent promotion to sous chef has made me work a lot more, leaving even less time to think of delicious new recipes to share with you guys. I just need to get into a new habit with these extended work hours and i promise i will become more consistent. And thus creating  greater and better content as well, sounds perfect to me.

Today i thought it would be interesting for you to get more insight in the thoughts that have surrounded my transition from being meat eater and meat lover to being vegan. I want you to see what changed my mindset, hopefully this will give a better understanding of why one would chose to make such a dramatic change in their life. Maybe even inspire others to make the same transition as me. I hope you enjoy my becoming vegan story. This is my introduction and my story of becoming a vegan. I will follow up with 3 post explaining more in depth, the driving factors behind my choice. Today i will introduce you to the journey i was on, and hopefully give you some inspiration on what to read and what to watch if you want to enlighten yourself on the topic.  

I have always been interested in health, and so i have done a lot of research over the years trying to understand how we could prevent diseases through our diet. It was just a natural interest of mine. One of my favorite shows back then was a show called “The Food Hospital” where a nutritionist and a doctor helped people with chronic conditions to find relief through their diets. The results they produced were amazing, and this connection between health and food was something that i kept with me. It really made an impact, and to this day i am still convinced that the best we can do for ourselves and our health is to find a diet that is right for us.

This is where the trouble for me began. Because of the jungle of information available on what a healthy diet is, i was at a loss. It was overwhelming and confusing. I often confused weightloss-focused diets with being healthy, and that is certainly not always the case. I have tried so many different diets and i never stuck with them for more than a month. Because that is what they were, a diet. I wanted to do them but i was never able to keep doing it. I cheated, or ate things i knew were bad for me even though they technically were okay for the specific diet. This time around i am older and wiser and I now understand the fact that because my body was missing calories and was running on fat, it craved carbs which lead me to binging on sugar infested processed foods. Not good and not sustainable.

I always thought of eating fruits and vegetables as being healthy, this is after all where we get almost all of our nutrients from. So no matter what diet i was on, i always cooked with a lot of veggies, but i was still on diets all the time. One day i was just tired of restricting the amounts of food i ate and worrying about my diet. So i went online and watched a bit of youtube to console myself. This is where i stumbled on Bonnyrebeccas channel. I watched a couple of videos of hers and fell in love with the way she consumed food and her relationship with food. She was making, healthy and delicious vegan food and eating a lot of it. And this just sounded amazing to me. She was advocating a vegan, high carb low fat diet, the absolute opposite to the biggest diet craze at the moment, the paleo diet. Inspired by her, I started cutting out many of the animal products i ate, amped up the amounts of vegetables and legumes i was eating and also started feeling a lot better. I was still eating a couple of animal products occasionally, but vegetables and fruit were the main parts of my diet. For some reason i was not fully prepared and committed to going vegan even though i knew that it was better for me. I knew it was because i could feel how it affected my body when i ate animal products. I just could not find the motivation.

When i look back at the beginning of going vegan, i was falling straight back into old habits, and so i was destined to fail once again. I was binging on shitty foods, and feeling bad when i was hungry because I was not comfortable with eating more than I did when i was not vegan. All of this i had done on other diets before and i knew they were bad signs.  Well this time i managed to change it. One of the first days i was looking for excuses to eat something that came from an animal. So i clicked on Bonnyrebeccas video: “5 reasons you shouldn’t go vegan” because i was looking for all the downsides to veganism to give me a good reason to quit. That is not what i got, instead i was introduced to all the aspects that veganism has to offer. It is not just health, and especially not just a diet. It is a lifestyle. This video changed how i approach this change. It also changed how i see my diet. It inspired me to made it my lifestyle as well. The two factors, besides health and wellbeing, which were the catalysts in making veganism a lifestyle for me were the animals and the environment. As i said from the start, this is a series, I am going to cover all three of those topics, but in different posts. This way you will get an in depth  insight into what motivated me to go fully vegan.

Hope you enjoyed or maybe even found it inspiring or helpful, let me know what you think and what your thought on veganism are. I am looking very much forward to making another one of these soon.

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Crispy oat and cocao cookies with sweet peanut butter topping // Vegan

Sometimes you just want a little something special for your sweet tooth. Today i found some vegan chocolate chip cookies at a health shop in town, and they were so good! But looking at the ingredients i realised, i could make something like this myself. So i did. I went straight home with an idea in my mind of the product i knew i wanted to end up with. So i tried and tried, and ended up making these bad boys.A simple yet fantastic recipe, for a crispy and chewy cookie with the taste of cocoa, coconut and oats. If i must confess, we ate the entire portion within a couple of hours. IMG_20170303_164532.jpg

I decided to use dates both for flavour, sweetness and an added nutritional boost to the cookies. I really like the chewiness that it added and the caramel-like aftertaste. All i all i am really proud of how these turned out. It is one of those simple recipes that just taste like a lot of work. Definitely something worth trying out, you will not regret, i promise.

But i have to say, the peanut butter topping is the deal breaker. It elevates the cookie by adding another layer. Something else, a combination of cocoa, oat and peanut butter. Together a safe combination of flavours, what could go wrong?

Now let us go on to the recipe!

Cocoa and oat cookies with sweet peanut butter topping

Ingredients for 15 cookies:

  • 3 dl Oats
  • 3 tbsp Coconutflour
  • 1/2 dl Almonds
  • 6 Fresh dates(or dried, but then they need to be soaked in water)
  • 1 tbsp Maple sirup
  • 3 tbsp Plant based milk(I used oat milk)

Topping

  • 1 tbsp Peanut butter (Depending on how you would like your topping you choose crunchy or creamy)
  • 1 tbsp Plant milk
  • 1/2 tsk Maple sirup

Preheat the oven to 180 celcius.

Blend all the ingredients for the cookies together until you have an even mixture. You should be able to form the dough to little balls, if that is not possible, add more milk. Then make cookies, approximately 4 cm in diameter and 1/2 to 1 cm tall. Place the cookies on baking paper and pop in the oven for 13 to 15 minutes.

When the 15 minutes are over, take out the cookies and let them cool. The topping is made by heating the milk and just stirring until the mixture is even. The topping should be added shortly before serving to keep them as fresh as possible. Serve and enjoy!

Hope you will enjoy these lovely little snacks, i definitely did.

Vegan dahl – What i ate for dinner, dahl tacos

If you want to make me happy, serve me up a plate of dahl. I love the spices and how flavorful, but yet simple this lovely dish is. I have made it at least once every month since i moved by myself with my boyfriend six month ago. We always loved it, but for some reason, yesterday  i got the spontaneous idea to take my dahl to the next level. I want dahl tacos! I just thought that a crispy outside would do wonders for this creamy, healthy and delicious dish. But let us not stop there. Why not also add in some greens. This was part of the thought process which lead me to making this for dinner.

I love making up new recipes in my head and then trying it out. Sometimes it does not work, the flavors are just not always that interesting. Sometimes it just comes out looking bland in colours and textures. But this one hits the spot for me. I even added some baked potatoes which i chopped up and topped my tacos with. This works as an added source of vitamins and minerals and made the dish just have another dimension of flavours.

This joy of experimenting with your food is something i hope everybody obtains at some point in their lives. It is truly amazing to watch your very own dish come together on a plate. Not everybody is born with the skill and understanding of flavors to be comfortable with this kind of cooking. I personally spent hours and hours in a kitchen as a child, and that is how i learned to work with spices and different ingredients. That is also what sparked my joy for cooking. And i sincerely hope that you will challenge yourself in the kitchen, and overtime build up some sort of understanding when it comes to cooking. Learning to cook is, in my opinion, the only way you are able to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Otherwise you are always going to rely on others to cook for you, and you will never make any dietary changes, since you are not able to take charge of these changes yourself. So please, do yourself the biggest favor ever, and learn how to cook. When you learn to cook properly, you will start to love just being in the kitche. We all have different cooking styles, you just need to find yours to figure out how to love providing yourself with nutrient dense and healthy foods.

Now i want to show you this delicious and easy way to cook a filling meal based around the lovely indian dish dahl and the mexican taco. Some things just match, even though they may not seem amazing together, trust me on this one. You will love it. This portion of dahl is enough to feed two people for two days, we like to eat is as tacos one night and with rice and naan bread the other night. Here it is, my vegan dahl tacos with spinach, rice, sweet potatoes and corn:

Vegan dahl tacos

Ingredients for dahl

  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tbsp grated fresh ginger
  • 3 tsk curry
  • 1,5 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tsp ground koriander
  • 1 tsp cardamom
  • 1 tsp chili flakes
  • 6 dl vegetable broth
  • 200 g red lentils
  • 1 brown onion
  • 1/2 squash qut into cubes
  • 1 bell pepper cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1/2 eggplant cut into cubes
  • 2 cans of chopped tomatoes

Extras

  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • baby spinach
  • 1 can of corn
  • taco shells or tortilla wraps

Turn on the oven at 200 celsius and put the halved sweet potatoes on a baking sheet. They need to get between 30 to 40 minutes, so it is going to be done with the rest. Heat up a large non stick pot or pan on medium heat. Fry garlic and ginger in a splash of water for about a minute. Then throw in the curry, cumin, coriander, cardamom and chili flakes as well as the onion, squash and eggplant.  Fry that up for a minute as well, before adding the vegetable broth and chopped tomatoes. Now you put the rice on the stove.Now let all of it cook 25 to 30 minutes or until the dahl has thickened and the rice and potatoes are done. Cut the potatoes into small cube and you are done cooking. Plate it all up and now you just need to assemble your tacos or burritos if you prefer those. I put spinach at the bottom of mine, then rice, dahl,  potatoes and top it of with some of the corn.

I love this combination. The spicy dahl and the sweetness of the potatoes just compliment each other in a lovely way. I hope you will give dahl as much love as i have given it. Enjoy your vegan, oil free and healthy dinner.

Fast, easy and simple snack -cocoa or licorice covered dates

When it comes to snacking, dates are an absolute favorite of mine. Not only is this little piece of heavenly fruit delicious, it also packs a bunch of health benefits. The high amounts of fiber helps with your digestion, and the supply of magnesium is a helping hand in the fight against high blood pressure and strokes. Be aware of the high amount of sugar though, as with all food items, dates should be enjoyed in moderation. If you want to learn more take a look at this website: Health benefits of dates No wonder why this sweet little thing has become such a popular health snack.

I enjoy my dates in a lot of different variations, raw, in protein balls, and as a sweetener in general. Although the recipe i am sharing with you today, has to be the most rewarding and impressive of all, especially when you compare it to how little time it takes to whip this together. you need two minutes tops, and since you only need supplies which can be bought dry and therefore stores for long periodes of time, you can have everything ready in your kitchen cabinets for unexpected guests – or just a treat for yourself. I bring you two versions of my powder covered dates.

What you will need –

version 1 – cacao dates:

  1. 100 g Dates (dried or fresh – whichever you prefer)
  2. 1 tbsp Unswetened cacao powder

Roll the dates in cacao powder and you are done! It is that easy! It will leave your guests in awe that something so simple can be so delicious. Fool proof right?

Version 2 – licorice dates:

  1. 100g Dates
  2. 2 tbs powdered licorice root
  3. 1 tbs raw licorice powder

Combine and voila! Obviusly this is a more risky choice compared to the cacao, but in my opinion it is very well worth it.

Hope you enjoy this impressivly fast and enjoyable snack. On a last note i want to thank you for reading.