Salty Vegan

Bloglovin – Find me so I can find you!

By October 10, 2015 General, Random Rants

I just joined Bloglovin and I’m feeling a little excited about it! I’m hoping to use it to connect with other bloggers that have similar interests.

If you like what you see here or you think your blog is something that I would enjoy then follow my blog with Bloglovin so I can follow you back! How else are we gonna stalk each other?

(Yes, you caught me! I was singing, “If you like Pina Coladas… and getting caught in the rain…” at the same time as I was typing “If you like what you see here”. How did you know?!?)

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HA HA! SeaWorld!

By October 9, 2015 General, Random Rants
seaworldwild

I just gotta say… HA HA SeaWorld! Muhahaha!

Now if we can just find a way to get these jackasses to release the orcas they already have to coastal sanctuaries.

seaworldnews

Some of you might be saying, “Why are you so happy that this beloved theme park is being punished like this? They take good care of the animals in their parks, don’t they? After all, SeaWorld is even doubling the tank size for these creatures. Nothing but the best for SeaWorld inhabitants!”

This is the way I thought before watching, Earthlings with Joaquin Phoenix. I have since read and learned a lot about orcas. These beautiful creatures are so emotionally complex and intelligent that it’s mind blowing! I sincerely believe that orcas are a far more advanced species than human beings, we are just to stupid to realize and/or admit this. SIDE NOTE: Did you catch the irony in that statement? 😉

I don’t even know where to start when ranting about orcas. How about we start with family? Orca families stay together FOREVER. Yes, I said forever! Thats what a “pod” is, it’s a family of anywhere from 5 to 100 orcas. There is no putting Mom in the nursing home while the children move to other states to live separate lives. OK, I admit it, I added that last sentence in hopes that my children can take a hint. 😛

Orcas talk to each other. Yes, I said TALK! Just because we don’t speak “Orca” doesn’t make it not true. Orcas plan. Orcas trouble shoot. Orcas problem solve. The living techniques, hunting strategies, family raising, etc. vary from pod to pod. The list goes on and on about what orcas are capable of.

Did you know that each pod of orcas has it’s own language that is understood only by them? In other words, if you took an orca from a pod in the Arctic Ocean and dropped him off in a pod of orcas from the Pacific Ocean it would be the equivalent of you being dropped off in (insert language you don’t know here) speaking nation.

Some people call orcas killer whales, but this statement speaks for itself: No orca has ever killed a human being in the wild. NEVER, EVER.

Orcas have killed people in captivity, quite a few times, in fact. I would be trying to kill my captor also if someone ripped me away from the only family I had ever known and loved, kept me in cell the size of a closet for my entire life and forced me to perform petty, stupid tricks for the entertainment of huge, loud, strange crowds of human beings. Yeah… I’m talking to you SeaWorld. Is this really any different than the human slave trade?

For more information go to SeaWorld of Hurt and if you haven’t watched Blackfish yet, DO IT! Blackfish is also available on Netflix.

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Barley Maple Pecan Granola Clusters – Vegan AND Chunky!

By September 20, 2015 Breakfast, General, Snacks
barleygranolamain

If I have any of this granola in the house, it vanishes the minute the grand kids show up! I like to package it in separate 1/2 cup servings just to keep myself from sitting down and eating a whole jar of it in one sitting. I always throw a bag in my purse for when I am away from home and start to get hungry. It’s also great to throw on top of your cereal, oatmeal and ice cream.

First thing you need to do is preheat your oven to 300F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

barleygranoladry

Then in a large bowl, toss together all of your dry ingredients. Add olive oil and mix again. Set aside. Tip: You can use any type of nut that you like in these clusters. It doesn’t have to be pecans, that just happens to be one of my favorites. The granola reminds me of pecan pie when I use the pecans.

Combine maple syrup, barley malt syrup and brown sugar in a small pot over medium heat. Stir constantly until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and add vanilla extract.

barleygranolawet

Pour the sugar mixture over the granola mixture and stir thoroughly. You need to move fast. The barley malt is thick and sticky it starts to harden back up pretty quickly.

I have heard that you can substitute brown rice syrup for the barley malt syrup, but I can’t seem to find brown rice syrup in my area. NOTE TO SELF: Order some brown rice syrup online and give it a try.

You can also leave the syrup out all together, but BE WARNED, the syrup is what makes the granola chunky. 

barleygranolapan

Press the granola into the prepared baking sheet. Try to get it as level as possible so that it cooks evenly. Bake for 30 minutes, turning the pan halfway through the cooking time.

Let cool, break apart into smaller clumps and enjoy! You can store this in glass jars or portion it out into single serving bags, Just remember to let it cool completely before storing or the condensation will make the granola soggy.

Vegan Barley Maple Pecan Granola Clusters
Serves 12
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
30 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. 3 cups rolled oats
  2. 3/4 cup almond flour
  3. 1 cup pecans, chopped
  4. 3 tbsp flax seed, ground
  5. 1/2 cup brown sugar
  6. 1/4 cup barley malt syrup
  7. 1/4 cup 100% maple syrup
  8. 1/4 cup olive oil
  9. 1 tsp vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 300F. Line 9x13 baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, mix oats, almond flour, flax seed and pecans. Add olive oil and mix again.
  3. Combine maple syrup, barley malt syrup and brown sugar in a small pot over medium heat. Stir constantly until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and add vanilla extract.
  4. Pour the sugar mixture over the granola mixture and stir thoroughly.
  5. Press into prepared baking pan, flattening the top so it is even.
  6. Bake for 30 minutes, turning the pan halfway through the cooking time.
  7. Let cool. Then break apart large chunks.
Salty Vegan http://saltyvegan.com/

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How to roast and freeze garlic

By September 20, 2015 General, Staples
roastedgarlicmain

I love the taste of roasted garlic, but I hate the extra time it takes to actually roast it. That makes it the perfect candidate to prepare a large batch in advance, freeze it and pull out the exact amount you want whenever you need it. 

The first thing to do is preheat your oven to 375F.

roastedgarliccut

Then get your cutting board and a sharp knife out. Don’t peel or take apart your garlic heads. Turn each garlic head on its side and slice off about 1/4″ to 1/2″ of the top. Just enough to expose all of the individual garlic cloves.

Cut a piece of aluminum foil that will be large enough to wrap completely around all of your garlic heads. Place your garlic heads cut side up in the center of your tinfoil and generously drizzle with olive oil. (If you are roasting more than 3 garlic heads at a time, I would suggest separating them into batches of 3, using a separate piece of tinfoil for each set of 3 or less garlic heads.)

roastedgarlicoil

Wrap the foil around all of the garlic heads, completely covering them. Place the wrapped garlic heads on a baking sheet. TIP: Take a second piece of aluminum foil and wrap the garlic heads again. This way you can throw them in the oven without a pan and feel secure that if there is a small leak in the foil, it won’t make a mess in your oven.

Bake until the garlic heads feel soft when you squeeze them, about 50 minutes.

roastedgarlicdone

Allow them to cool, then simply squeeze the cloves out of the paper husks from the end that you cut off earlier. Mash the garlic cloves and they are now ready to use or freeze for later use. (They are pretty much mashed already from just squeezing them out of the paper husks.)

To freeze, place the mashed garlic cloves in a small freezer bag and seal the bag after removing any air. Flatten the contents to a thin layer before freezing, so you can easily just break off a chunk whenever you need it. Don’t forget to mark the contents and date on the freezer bag.

You can also use ice cube trays for freezing if you like to have more control over the exact portion you are using. You can find lots of cool, different sized trays from your local dollar store, online stores, and you can even use candy molds from the candy making section of your local hobby/craft stores. You can calculate how much each cube holds by measuring and adding water to a empty cube in the tray. After freezing your roasted garlic cubes, pop them out of a tray into a freezer bag. Mark the bag with the contents, the date, and how much each cube equals. Example: 1 cube = 2 tsp.

cubetrays

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Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret from executive producer Leonardo DiCaprio

By September 19, 2015 General, Random Rants
cowspiracymain

A special shout out goes to the new documentary, “Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret” that is streaming exclusively on Netflix right now! If you haven’t watched it yet, DO IT! Recommend it your environmentally conscious non-vegan friends! 

Like we really needed another reason to love Leonardo DiCaprio? Yet, still, here we are, with another reason to love Leonardo DiCaprio. I am always excited whenever I see a celebrity name attached to something that promotes veganism. I DON’T care if the celebrity is not a vegan, I DON’T care if the celebrity is a vegan that breaks vegan rules. I DO care that when a celebrity promotes a vegan lifestyle, it is heard by millions of people. It’s all about exposure, baby! Let the not-so-perfect vegan celebrities spread the word and us regular-folk can teach the newbies what really matters when they get here!

cowspiracycover

I just watched Cowspiracy last night and was reminded once again why choosing a vegan lifestyle is the most important thing we can do for our children and our grandchildren. If we don’t make these changes and soon, there wont be a planet left for the future generations to enjoy.

What I liked most about this documentary was that it did not focus on animal cruelty and the torture that factory farm animals have to endure before they end up on someone’s dinner plate. What this means: That this film will be viewed by MORE people. It can be viewed by families with children. It will be accepted by a much broader audience.

Ok, Ok, Now that I said that OUT LOUD, I can just FEEL my inbox filling up with hate mail from vegans that want to give every single meat-eating human being a hand-held individual tour of factory farms and slaughterhouses at their worst.

And to be honest, I secretly wish that watching the documentary Earthlings with Joaquin Phoenix with toothpicks used to hold the viewers eyes open was an law-enforced requirement before being able to even step one foot into any establishment that sells or uses animals for food, clothing, experiments or entertainment. (Yes, I’m talking about you, McDonalds, Wal-Mart and SeaWorld.)

BUT, I am being realistic in my knowing that will never happen. At least not in my lifetime.

I think about how I became a vegan. I grew up eating meat, drinking milk, riding horses, and going to the circus every year. I never questioned it. It was the norm. I grew up in the countryside. I was surrounded by farms. I saw these farm animals every day. They were happy. What was wrong with any of this?

Needless to say, I was getting fatter and unhealthier with each passing year. I hopped from diet to diet trying to change this, but failed miserably on each one. Then one day I watched Veducated on Netflix and thought, I can try that!

Now, to “go vegan” takes a lot of research, which I did do. And all I could say was, “What the hell?!?” How could I have not known what was happening in these factory farms and slaughter houses? I mean, really? Have you ever seen Glass Walls by Paul McCartney?

I might have became a vegan for my health but I stayed a vegan for the animals. My point is, I don’t care HOW people are exposed to the vegan lifestyle in the first place, I just want them EXPOSED!

Now back to Cowspiracy:

SPOILER ALERT: I already mentioned that I am vegan for the animals, right? So, my favorite part of the film was when Kip Andersen is leaving a backyard farm after seeing that unlucky duck get “humanely” slaughtered. Kip is driving in his old trusty van, “Super -Blue”, talking about and dreading that he has a future interview set up to film the same thing happen to a equally unlucky chicken. Kip says, “I don’t know how I could possibly go through another slaughter…” I can FEEL what Kip was feeling. I’m choking back my own tears and I can feel the dread and the horror of it. :(

In the very next scene, actually the same scene, you can see Kip smiling and he continues his sentence, “…so I didn’t.” He says this as he is driving and he reaches his hand down to pet a chicken sitting in the passenger seat next to him.

cowspiracychicken

I actually chuckled out loud and stood up from my couch and did a happy dance in the middle of my living room when I saw this! GO KIP! Kip Andersen has officially made it on to my Christmas card list. :)

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Dried Bread Crumbs

By September 14, 2015 General, Staples
breadcrumbmain

Vegan bread is expensive when it’s store bought and is time intensive if homemade. I don’t dare throw any of it away! Whenever I have leftover bread that I know is not going to be eaten, like loaf end pieces, extra hot dog & hamburger buns etc., I make bread crumbs.

I use all parts of the extra bread. I use the crusts, the heals, the end pieces, wheat, white, rye, whatever kind it is, if it is bread, I use it.

It’s extremely easy and it is so convenient always having a bag of ready made bread crumbs sitting in the freezer, waiting to be pulled out whenever a recipe calls for them. If you want to have that same luxury, here is what you have to do…

breadcrumbtore

Tear your bread scraps into smaller pieces and fill your food processor up to halfway with the pieces.

Run your food processor on high until your bread crumbs are the desired size that you like to use. It would also be easy to add some of your favorite herbs and seasoning at this point if you wanted too.

breadcrumbshred

Dump these bread crumbs on a baking sheet. Spread them out as even as possible without pressing them down. I usually spread them out with my hand first. Then I shake the pan softly a few times, to get them to even out.

breadcrumbbake

Bake in the oven at 200F for as long as it takes your bread crumbs to dry out. This time varies greatly depending on how moist your bread is and how thick you have them on your baking sheet. My last batch took 30 minutes to dry out.

Don’t turn the oven temperature up any higher. Remember that the point is to dry them, not to actually bake them.

Once the bread crumbs have cooled you can move them to a freezer bag. Mark the date the bread crumbs were prepared on the bag and store them in the freezer to get the maximum life out of them.

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Easy Peasy Vegan TVP Tacos

By September 13, 2015 General, Main Dishes
tvptacomain

This is not a recipe. It’s just what we had for dinner last night and I think it’s so good and so easy, that it’s worth mentioning. It’s great for a lazy weekend meal.

I always make enough to have leftovers, because tacos are just as good on the second day as they are on the first day. In fact these pictures I took are from the leftovers that I am eating for lunch today. I normally would have black olives on them too, but the olives were all gobbled up last night. :(

tvptacotop

I make the taco un-meat by reconstituting some TVP (textured vegetable protein) I just add 2 cups boiling vegetable broth with 2 cups TVP. I then add 2 store bought taco seasoning packagings to the TVP and stir until it’s combined. Let the mixture sit for 10 minutes to absorb all of the vegetable broth. It’s that easy!

Serve the taco seasoned TVP with flour tortillas, corn tortillas, refried beans, Spanish rice, vegan cheddar shreds, vegan sour cream, avocado, lettuce, tomato, onions, black olives, hot sauce, salsa, or whatever your favorite taco fillings are!

tvptacoside

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Corn Fritters – Deep Fried AND Vegan!

By September 13, 2015 General, Side Dishes
frittersmain

Deep Fried Corn Fritters. Did you all hear that? I said “Deep Fried” For those of you watching your weight, cholesterol, fat intake, or anything else like that, run away NOW. Run fast! 

I did squeeze some flax seed and almond milk in this. And I always use Hodgson Mill 50/50 flour in this recipe, that’s why my batter is so dark. 50/50 flour is half 100% stone-ground wheat flour and half all-purpose unbleached white flour.

This recipe does call for 2 flax seed eggs. Get that started first so it can be gelling up.

Then mix all your dry ingredients.

frittersdry

Add your corn and mix again. You can use whatever corn you prefer. Frozen, canned or fresh, just make sure it is thawed and drained.

Then add your milk and flax seed eggs.

fritterswet

When you are dropping the batter balls in your oil, don’t make them to big. They expand a lot and if they are to big they don’t get done on the inside. I usually only drop about 4 or 5 balls in oil at one time.

This batter is also very thin and sticky. I use 2 small spoons when I’m dropping my batter in the grease. One spoon is to scoop the batter out of the bowl. The other spoon is to push the batter off the first spoon into the oil. 

Drain on paper towels before serving.

Vegan Corn Fritters - Deep Fried
Serves 6
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 tbsp flax seed, ground
  2. 1/4 cup water
  3. 3/4 cup flour
  4. 2 tsp baking powder
  5. 1 tsp sugar
  6. 1 tsp salt
  7. 1 tsp pepper
  8. 1/2 tsp paprika
  9. 1/2 cup almond milk, unsweetened
  10. 2 cups frozen corn, thawed and drained
  11. oil for frying
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl, mix flax seed and water. Let sit for 5 minutes.
  2. In a large bowl, combine all dry ingredients. Add almond milk and flax seed mixture to dry ingredients. Stir until combined. Then stir in corn.
  3. Heat about 1 inch of oil in a small pan. Carefully drop teaspoon size balls of batter into the hot oil. Fry on each side until golden brown.
  4. Drain on paper towels.
Salty Vegan http://saltyvegan.com/
frittersdone

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How to make a flax seed egg

By September 13, 2015 General, Staples
flaxeggmain

I have seen this done on many sites and blogs and it seems to be a little different ratio of flax to water everywhere I look. But, who cares about them? I’m going to tell you how I make a flax egg! This is what I use for my recipes.

When I see that a recipe calls for a flax seed egg, I make it first and set it in the refrigerator until I am ready to use it. The colder it gets, the more sticky, gooey and egg-like it gets.

flaxeggunmixed

If you need more than 1 flax egg, make them all in the same bowl. There is no need to make or keep them separate from each other.

Flax Seed Egg
Yields 1
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Prep Time
5 min
Prep Time
5 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 tbsp flax seed, ground
  2. 2 tbsp water
Instructions
  1. Add ground flax seed and water to a small bowl and stir. Let sit for a minimum of 5 minutes to thicken, preferably in the refrigerator.
Salty Vegan http://saltyvegan.com/
flaxeggmixed

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Almond & Banana Iced Mocha Smoothie – Dairy Free

By September 13, 2015 Breakfast, General, Smoothies
mochamain

This is my all time favorite go to smoothie that I like to whip up in the morning when I need a quick breakfast AND a caffeine fix.

It requires some prep work to be done in advance, but it’s pretty simple and worth it if you are like me and want to have this smoothie available to you on a moments notice.

mochadone

I always have a bag of frozen coffee cubes and frozen bananas in my freezer. I like my smoothies cold, thick, and full of nutrients. When you freeze as many of your smoothie ingredients as you can, you end up with a nice thick malt-like smoothie.

To make the frozen coffee cubes, freeze a batch of your favorite brewed coffee in an ice cube tray, the stronger the coffee, the better. If you need help freezing banana pieces, I have you covered with this step-by-step tutorial… How to freeze bananas for smoothies

Almond & Banana Iced Mocha Smoothie - Vegan
Serves 1
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Prep Time
5 min
Prep Time
5 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 medium banana, peeled, sliced & frozen
  2. 1 cup coffee, frozen (about 8 standard size cubes)
  3. 1 cup almond milk, unsweetened
  4. 1 tbsp almond butter
  5. 1 1/2 tbsp cocoa powder, unsweetened
  6. 1 tbsp agave nectar
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients in blender. Blend until smooth.
Salty Vegan http://saltyvegan.com/

mochatop

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