July 12, 2013/ Morgan
Have you ever had bubble tea? It’s a super fun drink that you can find at some Thai restaurants, speciality shops and tea houses. I, personally, love it! It’s a flavored tea with yummy squishy tapioca balls in it. You suck them up through a big fat straw and chew on them. I KNOW, if you haven’t had it, it sounds crazy. But when you try it you may find that you’re totally in love, if not obsessed with it!
I love going out for it but I have come to a few roadblocks recently. One: I was getting my regular and the lady told me that their non-dairy creamer stuff isn’t vegan. But before the other person working there had told me it was. Ugh. Well, I shouldn’t be drinking that crap anyway. I was looking at a few things of it in the store and it is full of fully hydrogenated palm oil. Which is basically pure POISON. Speaking of that stuff – it’s also in the powered mixes that they use in the drinks. Man, forget that. I can make it at home. And for a heck of a lot cheaper I found out. And without that death powder. Hooray!
That’s not me! It’s the Mr. (hahhaha)
There are tons of potential flavor combinations but I decided to start with lychee! It’s a super yummy sweet fruit that you can get in cans at your local Asian markets (or large grocery stores.) If you’re SUPER LUCKY you can find them fresh. I never have.
This is my new favorite treat on nice summer days. I have a ton of flavor combination ideas and I can’t wait to share those recipes with you too!
If you want to make this but don’t want to go out and find the tapioca pearls or you think that might be too WEIRD you can just make the tea base and serve it over ice! It’s super delicious even without the bubbles!
Lychees in light syrup – if you can find them in water grab that instead!
Lychee in syrup! Weird looking, maybe, but tasty!
Let’s talk purchasing this stuff, shall we? I found the things that I needed at my local Asian market. You will need to buy tapioca pearls, bubble tea straws (they are really large so you can get the boba up the straw!) and lychee fruit there. If you can’t find these things or don’t have an Asian market close by you can always purchase online. I like Nuts.com because they list the ingredients. You can also buy the straws from them. Make sure you get tapioca pearls that are very simple and without unfamiliar chemicals and such. Make sure they are not “quick cooking boba” as they won’t work for this recipe. I know it sounds a bit complex right now but it’s not, and it’s really worth it!
Dry tapioca pearls. These are black ones but you can find multicolored ones as well!
What the tapioca pearls (or boba!) look like when they are cooked. Kind of jelly like!
makes 3-4 servings
If you think that you will only have 1-2 servings within a 12 hour time period then feel free to halve the recipe. The bobas will turn hard and chewy as they sit so it is best to use them within 12 hours of cooking.
- 1/2 cup tapioca pearls (bobas)
- 4 cups water
- 1/2 cup sugar + 1/2 cup water
Heat the 4 cups of water in a medium saucepan until boiling. Add the tapioca pearls and stir for the first minute. Let cook uncovered for 15 minutes total.
After 15 minutes take the pan off the heat and cover. Let sit for an additional 15 minutes.
While the pearls are sitting make the simple syrup. Combine 1/2 cup sugar with 1/2 cup water in a very small sauce pan. Bring to a boil over high heat and stir until the sugar is disolved. Take off the heat and let cool.
Once the 15 minutes is up strain the pearls and pour into a heat proof storage container (I prefer glass.) Pour the simple syrup over them and make sure they are completely submerged. Let the tapioca pearls come to room temperature before refrigerating. Refrigerate until ready to use. Try to use them within 12 hours or they will become hard and unpleasant.
makes 1 LARGE serving (double, triple or quadruple this recipe as necessary!)
- 1/2 cup canned lychee fruit in light syrup, drained
- 1 bag of tea (black, rooibos or green tea works great)
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup soy milk (or almond milk)
- 3 Tablespoons prepared tapioca pearls, strained from syrup (see recipe above on making boba!)
- 1-2 teaspoons simple syrup (that the bobas are stored in)
- ice if desired
Heat up the 1/2 cup water to just a simmer (or microwave for 1 minute) and add the tea bag of your choice. Let the tea steep for 5-10 minutes, depending on how strong you like your tea.
Meanwhile blend the lychee fruit and soy milk together until smooth. This works best with a high speed blender but I managed just fine with my immersion blender so use what you’ve got!
Add the prepared tapioca pearls to the bottom of your glass and pour the lychee fruit mix over it. Add in the steeped tea (remove the bag first, of course!) and ice if desired. I usually taste it at this point and add some of the simple syrup that the tapioca pearls are stored in. Just a bit will do. Drink up, eat up, and enjoy!
July 12, 2013/ Morgan/
You might have heard before in my previous Ranch Dressing recipe that I’m not much of a salad person. I’m working on that! I actually went out to a place with some AMAZING vegan salads. Something about someone else making a salad for you makes it very tempting. Also the fact that it was covered in some tasty vegan ranch made it hard to resist. I kept thinking about that salad. It was addictive. Honestly, part of that is how much fat is in the dressing and… ahem.. cough… croutons. That kind of just makes eating a salad nul and void!
So I quickly realized that if I was going to eat a salad I needed to eat it at home. That’s fine. And while I’m at it I was going to jazz up the ranch. Here is where I decided to make a fabulous jalapeno ranch. And my friends, it is fabulous. When I got the recipe just right I could NOT STOP EATING IT. On everything. Potatoes, salad, raw veggies, a spoon, my fingers… yeah I ate my way through the first batch in just 24 hours. Yum!
Oh ranch… what savory food can’t you be poured on?
I even ate a salad for breakfast with this on it. And I felt good about it! This dressing is low calorie but super full of flavor. It’s okay to pour a lot on your food. Go ahead and try NOT to.
Get your summer produce out and get ready to eat it up with this dressing! You can make it into a thicker dip but using less soy milk. Start with a couple of tablespoons and increase until it is to your desired thickness.
- 1 cup mashed silken tofu
- 1/2 cup soy milk (or your favorite non dairy milk)
- 2 green onions, green parts only
- 2 Tablespoons pickled jalapenos
- 2 Tablespoons chopped cilantro
- 1 clove garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon dry dill
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
Blend everything together until smooth. Store in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. (If it lasts that long!)
Nutritional information per serving : Serving size: 1/4 cup
24 calories, 1g total fat, 0mg cholesterol, 2g carbohydrates, 0.5g fiber, 1.2g sugar, 2g protein
July 11, 2013/ Morgan/
When I first heard about people putting hummus on potatoes I thought “yall are weirdos!” and went on my merry way. Then I kept hearing about it. Then I had some hummus in my fridge and some cold baked potatoes. Snack attack took over and I smeared some hummus on with a bit of that crazy hungry face (ya know the one when you haven’t eaten for way too many hours?) I ate it. It was amazing. The rest is history. Or is it the future? Maybe it’s the future because there are a lot of hummus recipes to create to fuel my potato snack craziness.
I am growing some artichokes in my garden right now. Well, more like I am growing some tiny little plants that are promising one day to turn into some artichokes. The problem is that I live in an apartment that we may be moving out of before the artichokes grow up. That’s sad. At least you can still get some great artichoke hearts in a can or frozen if you’re lucky!
I’m also growing some basil in my garden and in my kitchen and those are doing very well thank you very much. Well sure some have holes from the bugs but I can pick enough for a pesto or hummus when I need to. Gardening is amazing, isn’t it? I’ve only recently become a plant person. I think it has something to do with me having a child. I’m confident enough to keep a little human safe and growing so now I can move on to harder things like plants. (ha!) And being vegan makes me feel so much more interested in things going on around me like the safety of my foods. I’m happy growing them for my family when I can.
The canned artichoke hearts that I used just blended right into the hummus making a very creamy spread. I was surprised really!
Oh yeah and so it’s oil and tahini free! I know, there was a time where I too believed that it wasn’t hummus without tahini. If you feel more comfortable you can call this Artichoke Basil Chickpea Spread. But I’m not doin it! Hummus doesn’t need or tahini to be delicious. Plus now I can eat as much as I want and I want a lot. Consider that, kids!
(oil and tahini free!)
- 1 can chickpeas/garbanzo beans, drained
- 1 can artichoke hearts, drained
- 1 cup packed basil
- 2 cloves garlic
- pinch of red pepper flakes
- juice 1 lemon
- 1/4-1/3 cup water
- salt and pepper to taste
Add everything but the salt to your food processor or blender. Blend away until it is nice and smooth. Add your salt to taste now. Enjoy as a sandwich spread, dip, or just eat it on cold potatoes when you’re starving like I do!
Nutritional information per serving : Serving size: 1/4 cup
47 calories, 0.4g total fat, 0mg cholesterol, 8.9g carbohydrates, 2.5g fiber, 0.4g sugar, 1.6g protein
July 05, 2013/ Morgan/
Now I know what you’re thinking – I think – anyway I’m betting that you’re thinking at least this: you’re eating cucumbers on a baked potato!? It’s in the salsa? Are you mad woman? Does Morgan (that’s ME) eat on the sidewalk or something? (Maybe!)
The answers are: yes, yes, yes, yes (oh wait I said maybe… maybe!)
Anyway so hey it’s summer! Cucumbers are cool and refreshing. They belong in things that are cool and refreshing – like a good salsa. I’m a bit salsa obsessed. Especially because it goes so well with my other obsession: potatoes.
I’ll tell ya about the potato thing later but just trust me when I say that potatoes are the best food ever. French fries, hash browns, baked potatoes, chips, potato salad, mashed potatoes… see what I mean? I love potatoes. And Dr. McDougall does too so I’m feeling great and looking thinner than ever on my super high potato diet. Take that and chew it!
I went through this big quart jar in about 2 days. That’s how obsessed I was feeling. It’s SO LOW in calories that you can eat a ton. A ton I tell ya. Pour it over everything. And it couldn’t be any easier – blend and eat. I love simple vegan food.
Hey so go make some quick! If you hate cilantro just.. well.. erm. I guess you can leave it out. Add some other good fresh herbs in if you dare! What about be crazy and go for some mint? Now I’ve got to try that!
- 1 cup sliced cucumber
- 1 pound tomatillos, chopped
- 1 cup cilantro
- 1-2 jalapenos (depending on how brave ya are!)
- 4 green onions
- 3 cloves garlic
- juice 1/2 lime
- 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon salt
Blend everything together until nice and smooth. Eat on everything – chips, baked potatoes, burritos, scrambles, pitas, etc.
Nutritional information per serving : Serving size: 1/2 cup (that’s a huge serving!)
21 calories, 0.3g total fat, 0mg cholesterol, 4.5g carbohydrates, 1g fiber, 0.1g sugar, 0.8g protein
July 03, 2013/ Morgan/