Esquire Theme by Matthew Buchanan
Social icons by Tim van Damme

09

Oct

I want to share another all natural vegan beauty recipe (looks like the food and non-food recipes are neck to neck :) ), this one to add some minty freshness to your hair. You can also use essential oils on your hair, but since my hair is naturally oily, I opted for a spritz instead. I may use a few drops of peppermint (for stimulation), tea tree (for dandruff), or rosemary (good for hair overall) to coconut oil hair massages, but this is better for day to day.
Minty Fresh Herbal Hair Spritz
*Handful of mint leaves (also good for the hair are rosemary or basil)
*Oh wait, there are no more ingredients!
*But some instruments needed are coffee filters, thread, and a colander or strainer, and finally an empty sprayer (found in the cleaning isle of grocery stores) 
——————————————————————————
1) Boil water (enough to just cover the leaves since you want a more concentrated spritz) 
2) Remove from heat and get leaves. Since we have a mint plant outside, I used ones from the garden. To make the end spritz cleaner, I stuffed the leaves in coffee filters, wrapped with string to close, and placed in the pot. This way you don’t have mint leaves in your hair! (Not such a bad thing for a nature lover, but I’ll opt for the fragrance rather than the shrubbery). 
3) Cover and let steep for a few hours. I left mine overnight.
4) Now line the colander with a coffee filter and strain the spritzer into the sprayer.
5) In the shower, after cleaning your hair, wring out all the water from your hair. Spritz with this herbal potion for a subtle fragrance and herbal stimulation to the scalp (mint stimulates the scalp and thus is healthy for hair growth). I plan to try out rosemary and basil next, though mint has the nicest fragrance. You won’t rinse this spritz from your hair, but leave it on, and towel dry, since your hair will get more saturation that way.  

I want to share another all natural vegan beauty recipe (looks like the food and non-food recipes are neck to neck :) ), this one to add some minty freshness to your hair. You can also use essential oils on your hair, but since my hair is naturally oily, I opted for a spritz instead. I may use a few drops of peppermint (for stimulation), tea tree (for dandruff), or rosemary (good for hair overall) to coconut oil hair massages, but this is better for day to day.

Minty Fresh Herbal Hair Spritz

*Handful of mint leaves (also good for the hair are rosemary or basil)

*Oh wait, there are no more ingredients!

*But some instruments needed are coffee filters, thread, and a colander or strainer, and finally an empty sprayer (found in the cleaning isle of grocery stores)

——————————————————————————

1) Boil water (enough to just cover the leaves since you want a more concentrated spritz) 

2) Remove from heat and get leaves. Since we have a mint plant outside, I used ones from the garden. To make the end spritz cleaner, I stuffed the leaves in coffee filters, wrapped with string to close, and placed in the pot. This way you don’t have mint leaves in your hair! (Not such a bad thing for a nature lover, but I’ll opt for the fragrance rather than the shrubbery). 

3) Cover and let steep for a few hours. I left mine overnight.

4) Now line the colander with a coffee filter and strain the spritzer into the sprayer.

5) In the shower, after cleaning your hair, wring out all the water from your hair. Spritz with this herbal potion for a subtle fragrance and herbal stimulation to the scalp (mint stimulates the scalp and thus is healthy for hair growth). I plan to try out rosemary and basil next, though mint has the nicest fragrance. You won’t rinse this spritz from your hair, but leave it on, and towel dry, since your hair will get more saturation that way.  

20

Sep

Customizable Baked Chocolate Buckwheat for One
I wanted to incorporate the deep flavor and moist texture of buckwheat groats, one of my favorite grains, into baking (buckwheat, like quinoa and soy, is also one of the few complete vegan proteins). However, buckwheat flour just didn’t do it for me: The end result wasn’t as fluffy as whole wheat pastry flour or as voluminously satisfying as a bowl of creamy buckwheat groats.
The solution: Soaked, blended, and baked buckwheat! I think I was inspired by Indian recipes like idli and these Baked Oatmeal recipes by a very creative vegan blogger who specializes in healthy vegan desserts that would tempt omnivores and vegans alike. You just have to soak the buckwheat or grain of choice in water overnight, which requires barely any extra effort, just the thought of early prep, for a much heavier, moister dish than using flour.
I do use whole wheat pastry flour for fluffy desserts for parties, but I like this better day to day because it’s texture is more satisfyingly filling and moist, plus the nutrition of buckwheat. 
*a little less than 1/4 c. roasted buckwheat groats (kasha) 
*1/2 tbsp. flaxmeal for Omegas
*1/2 c. water or non-dairy milk
*1 tbsp. extra virgin coconut oil or nut butter
*1 1/2 tbsp. sweetener (I used 18 drops of Sweetleaf Stevia) 
*1/16 tsp. salt
*1/4 tsp. vanilla
*1/2 tsp. cocoa (I used the rich Hershey’s Special Dark)
*1/4 overripe banana
*handful of chocolate chips
—————————————————————————————
1) Soak a little less than 1/4 c. buckwheat in 1/2 c. water so the grain can expand and blend easily tomorrow.  
2) The next morning, add rest of ingredients minus the chocolate chips and blend away. Add chocolate chips. 
3) Bake at 415 degrees for 30 min. in 2 c. glass container lined with oiled foil.
Play around with different fruits and nuts (if you don’t add cocoa powder, you can decrease the sweetener) like frozen blueberries for blueberry baked buckwheat or chocolate chips and no cocoa for chocolate chip baked buckwheat. Double chocolate baked buckwheat (with chocolate chips and powder) has been my breakfast of choice for the past few days.  

Customizable Baked Chocolate Buckwheat for One

I wanted to incorporate the deep flavor and moist texture of buckwheat groats, one of my favorite grains, into baking (buckwheat, like quinoa and soy, is also one of the few complete vegan proteins). However, buckwheat flour just didn’t do it for me: The end result wasn’t as fluffy as whole wheat pastry flour or as voluminously satisfying as a bowl of creamy buckwheat groats.

The solution: Soaked, blended, and baked buckwheat! I think I was inspired by Indian recipes like idli and these Baked Oatmeal recipes by a very creative vegan blogger who specializes in healthy vegan desserts that would tempt omnivores and vegans alike. You just have to soak the buckwheat or grain of choice in water overnight, which requires barely any extra effort, just the thought of early prep, for a much heavier, moister dish than using flour.

I do use whole wheat pastry flour for fluffy desserts for parties, but I like this better day to day because it’s texture is more satisfyingly filling and moist, plus the nutrition of buckwheat. 

*a little less than 1/4 c. roasted buckwheat groats (kasha) 

*1/2 tbsp. flaxmeal for Omegas

*1/2 c. water or non-dairy milk

*1 tbsp. extra virgin coconut oil or nut butter

*1 1/2 tbsp. sweetener (I used 18 drops of Sweetleaf Stevia)

*1/16 tsp. salt

*1/4 tsp. vanilla

*1/2 tsp. cocoa (I used the rich Hershey’s Special Dark)

*1/4 overripe banana

*handful of chocolate chips

—————————————————————————————

1) Soak a little less than 1/4 c. buckwheat in 1/2 c. water so the grain can expand and blend easily tomorrow.  

2) The next morning, add rest of ingredients minus the chocolate chips and blend away. Add chocolate chips. 

3) Bake at 415 degrees for 30 min. in 2 c. glass container lined with oiled foil.

Play around with different fruits and nuts (if you don’t add cocoa powder, you can decrease the sweetener) like frozen blueberries for blueberry baked buckwheat or chocolate chips and no cocoa for chocolate chip baked buckwheat. Double chocolate baked buckwheat (with chocolate chips and powder) has been my breakfast of choice for the past few days.  

18

Sep

The Only Beauty Oils A Vegan Needs

So I know this is a recipe blog, but I’m going to keep rolling from my earlier skin post. Plus, these recommendations are all natural and vegan, just like all my recipes.

Jojoba Oil

Just add a few drops to your normal facial moisturizer for true hydration. You may be thinking, “Oil to my face? Sounds like a recipe for breakouts, not beauty!” However, I promise that the opposite is true: Because jojoba oil is the closest oil to our body’s natural sebum, it actually balances oil production, while still providing moisture, making it the perfect face oil. I first learned about jojoba oil here, a site with great skin care tips (like squeaky clean actually means dried out, so refrain from face scrubbing: a thin film of oil is on the scalp and skin is healthy) and great reviews, especially the all natural remedies category.

I also use a few drops of this oil rubbed on my palm to smooth wild child hair.

Extra Virgin Coconut Oil

You’ll find random bottles of coconut oil scattered throughout my home: in the bathroom, kitchen, my room, etc. Here are some ways I use the oil:

1) All natural body lotion right after the shower. In the winter, the coconut oil may be hard. My solution for this is to blast it with a few puffs from a hairdryer (which I don’t really use to dry my hair). However, be careful: You want the oil just barely beginning to melt, not scorching; always test the heat very carefully with the tip of your finger using common sense.

2) Lip gloss

3) Massage oil, especially for the feet and hair. When massaging the scalp, I just take a dime sized amount, rub it in my palms, and work it in circles with my fingertips into my scalp. I then brush my hair, and finish with a final massage. Since I have naturally oily hair, I try not to use a lot of oil, but feel free to use more for a deep conditioner and leave it on overnight (with a towel over your pillowcase). I would use coconut oil for smoothing my hair in the daytime, but the oil does harden in colder temperatures when left in the hair, so I prefer jojoba oil for this.  

I also sometimes rub the oil on my feet and hands before sleeping and put socks on for overnight moisturizing.

4) Obviously, I cook with coconut oil, too (not the same bottle, though :)).

Do buy organic extravirgin coconut oil. I’m not saying this to be snooty: Regular coconut oil doesn’t have the same moisturizing and health properties. The real thing smells like a Mounds Bar and tastes heavenly.      

12

Sep

Seeing as this is a vegan recipe blog, how surprised would you be if I asked you to rub vegetable juice all over your face? Not too surpised I hope.
I used to cut small pieces of an aloe vera plant and rub the insides of the leaf on my face, but I recently discovered aloe vera juice at Whole Foods and it makes the process simpler, less messy, and the juice is more consistently stocked in stores than the plant. (Make sure you buy a juice without added chemicals; Lakewood brand just had aloe and a little lime juice).
Just wash and dry your face as usual, and then take a little bit of aloe juice in your palm and glide over your face. My skin, which is on the sensitive side, really drinks up this juice and calms down. Follow with moisturizer, since aloe juice isn’t too moisturizing on its own, but more balancing (with a Ph level close to our own skin) and soothing.     

Seeing as this is a vegan recipe blog, how surprised would you be if I asked you to rub vegetable juice all over your face? Not too surpised I hope.

I used to cut small pieces of an aloe vera plant and rub the insides of the leaf on my face, but I recently discovered aloe vera juice at Whole Foods and it makes the process simpler, less messy, and the juice is more consistently stocked in stores than the plant. (Make sure you buy a juice without added chemicals; Lakewood brand just had aloe and a little lime juice).

Just wash and dry your face as usual, and then take a little bit of aloe juice in your palm and glide over your face. My skin, which is on the sensitive side, really drinks up this juice and calms down. Follow with moisturizer, since aloe juice isn’t too moisturizing on its own, but more balancing (with a Ph level close to our own skin) and soothing.     

02

Sep

Endless Inspiration Salad Dressing

Simply mix Vegenaise, an egg and dairy free mayonnaise, with your favorite chutney or dip for endless inspirations on salad dressing. My number one favorite such salad dressing is vegan honey mustard, with equal parts Vegenaise and dijon mustard, with sweetener such as agave nectar to taste: tastes just like the traditional rich and creamy honey mustard I used to eat and goes great on sandwiches, salads, fries, and um, pretty much anything.

Cilantro Salad Dressing

Just mix cilantro chutney with equal parts Vegenaise, and perhaps a little sweetener to taste. Sometimes I add a little blended Mori Nu tofu. Here’s the recipe for the chutney, which I asked my mom for.

Simple Cilantro Chutney

2 c. chopped and double rinsed cilantro

1/2 tsp. salt

1 chile pepper (omitted in my version)

juice of 1 lemon

few tbsp. water to blend or less

1 tsp. oil

Simply blend (a blog theme) in a food processor. So fresh and herby!

01

Sep

So in my About Page, when I said that animals are on the guest list, not menu, I wasn’t kidding! Just check out these night time visitors who love to stop by at our house. They’re a real god-send because I hate wasting food, so when anything goes a little sour, gets burnt, etc., it becomes a loving dish for the “coonies.”  

31

Aug

Quinoa Chocolate Pudding
This is a variation of the earlier quinoa berry pudding. Satisfies the chocoholic in me.
*1/4 c. quinoa cooked in 1 1/4 c. water
*1/16 tsp. salt
*sweetener to taste (I used 10 drops of SweetLeaf SteviaClear)
*1 tsp. cocoa powder or more
*1/4 box of Mori-Nu tofu
*1/3 frozen overripe banana
*Extracts (I used coconut extract; you can use vanilla) 
*1 tbsp. nut butter of choice (optional)
—————————————————————————-
1) Cook well rinsed quinoa in water, salt, and sweetener. Bring water to boil and cook covered for 20 min. on low heat. Add cocoa.
2) Let cool and blend away with all ingredients.
4) Enjoy warm or cooled and garnished with your favorite toppings, perhaps sliced strawberries or other fruit or nuts. If you let it sit or cool, it does thicken…if you can wait that long!

Quinoa Chocolate Pudding

This is a variation of the earlier quinoa berry pudding. Satisfies the chocoholic in me.

*1/4 c. quinoa cooked in 1 1/4 c. water

*1/16 tsp. salt

*sweetener to taste (I used 10 drops of SweetLeaf SteviaClear)

*1 tsp. cocoa powder or more

*1/4 box of Mori-Nu tofu

*1/3 frozen overripe banana

*Extracts (I used coconut extract; you can use vanilla)

*1 tbsp. nut butter of choice (optional)

—————————————————————————-

1) Cook well rinsed quinoa in water, salt, and sweetener. Bring water to boil and cook covered for 20 min. on low heat. Add cocoa.

2) Let cool and blend away with all ingredients.

4) Enjoy warm or cooled and garnished with your favorite toppings, perhaps sliced strawberries or other fruit or nuts. If you let it sit or cool, it does thicken…if you can wait that long!

This is a product review of one of my favorite products, SunButter Sunflower Seed Spread, like peanut butter, but made out of sunflower seeds. It’s fun to eat different types of nuts, and you can get all the nutrients of sunflower seeds in this butter spread. You can use it anywhere that you would use peanut butter…pasta sauces, spreads, dips, puddings, or porridges. My favorite: straight out of the tub in spoonfuls as a snack.  

This is a product review of one of my favorite products, SunButter Sunflower Seed Spread, like peanut butter, but made out of sunflower seeds. It’s fun to eat different types of nuts, and you can get all the nutrients of sunflower seeds in this butter spread. You can use it anywhere that you would use peanut butter…pasta sauces, spreads, dips, puddings, or porridges. My favorite: straight out of the tub in spoonfuls as a snack.  

30

Aug

Customizable Quinoa Berry Pudding
*1/4 c. quinoa cooked in 1 1/4 c. water
*1/16 tsp. salt
*sweetener to taste (I used SweetLeaf SteviaClear)
*1/4 box of Mori-Nu tofu
*1/4 c. frozen berries
*1/4 frozen overripe banana
*1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
*1 tbsp. extra virgin coconut oil (optional)
—————————————————————————-
1) Cook well rinsed quinoa in water, salt, and sweetener. Bring water to boil and cook covered for 20 min. on low heat.
2) Let cool and blend away! 
3) Add chocolate chips pre-blending for chocolate chip quinoa berry pudding or melted chocolate chips for chocolate quinoa berry pudding.
4) Play with using your favorite whole grain and frozen fruit combination. Enjoy warm or cooled.
5) Garnish with shredded coconut or nuts.

Customizable Quinoa Berry Pudding

*1/4 c. quinoa cooked in 1 1/4 c. water

*1/16 tsp. salt

*sweetener to taste (I used SweetLeaf SteviaClear)

*1/4 box of Mori-Nu tofu

*1/4 c. frozen berries

*1/4 frozen overripe banana

*1/4 tsp. vanilla extract

*1 tbsp. extra virgin coconut oil (optional)

—————————————————————————-

1) Cook well rinsed quinoa in water, salt, and sweetener. Bring water to boil and cook covered for 20 min. on low heat.

2) Let cool and blend away! 

3) Add chocolate chips pre-blending for chocolate chip quinoa berry pudding or melted chocolate chips for chocolate quinoa berry pudding.

4) Play with using your favorite whole grain and frozen fruit combination. Enjoy warm or cooled.

5) Garnish with shredded coconut or nuts.