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- Welcome to My Vegan Pantry-Part 3
The ultimate list of goodies every vegan should have in their kitchen Hey Y'all! I'm back with my third install for the vegan pantry series. If you haven't had a chance to check out part 1 and part 2 be sure and go take a look. Here I'm going to talk about beans and legumes. Show of hands, Who remembers the Beans, Beans, They are Good for Your Heart Chant? No one! Aw come on! That was one of the funniest and grossest things we used to sing out on the playground. Especially if one of our friends was suffering from a particularly bad case of flatulence at the time. So for the sake of prosperity, 'cause the next generation needs this to be a part of their lives too;-) Here it goes... Beans, beans, they're good for your heart. The more you eat 'em, the more you fart. Now you could just stop there, like most of us did when we were kids. After all this was the funniest part. Or you could add the final piece which says... The more you fart, the better you feel. So eat your beans with every meal. As gross as this chant may sound, it actually describes some key benefits to consuming beans and I'll tell you why. Beans are actually really good for your heart. They help lower cholesterol, protect against heart disease and high blood pressure because of their high levels of soluble fiber. Beyond this, beans are a wonderful source of that supposedly elusive protein that non-vegans are always harping about. Here's a bonus; beans can help in balancing the weight scale in your favor too. How so? Since beans are high in protein, they can keep you feeling fuller longer so you may actually eat less than you normally would. Plus they are a low-fat food source, which can prevent you from putting more padding around your middle or wherever you carry your extra baggage. See for yourself here. Farting does, in fact, make you feel better. One of the most natural, but publicly embarrassing aspects of life actually demonstrates that your digestive system is working at its optimal best. Expelling gas relieves bloating and can also alert you if something you ate doesn't sit well with you. So the next time you let one rip, give your digestive tract a thumbs up. If you happen to be in the vicinity of others, please remember your manners, though. Farts are gaseous waste being eliminated from your body after all. It's not like your neighbors are walking through a field of fragrant roses when you let out a toot. It's more like inhaling the stench from the inside of a garbage truck! Now that we've got flatulence covered, let's move on. But If you really want to explore this topic more click here. If you haven't noticed, I'll point out the fact that, thus far, I haven't said much in regards to legumes A.K.A. pulses because they essentially hold many of the same benefits as beans. Want to know why? Drum roll, please...Because they are practically the same thing; with a few variations, of course. Beans and Peas are actually the mature form of legumes. Check this link out for a great explanation on what makes a bean, a bean and a legume, a legume. They definitely break it down into layman terms for those of us, like me, that want to know what's what. A word of warning before you proceed: This post is long enough as it is, so I'm not going into all the health benefits for each and every bean or legume listed below. I only have so much time in my day. For real, my brain cells and yours would be completely fried if I did that. You'll just have to roll up your sleeves and do your own research on this one. Sorry! Alrighty then, now that all that is covered here is your wonderfully beneficial, flatulence inducing list of beans and legumes you should have available to enhance your culinary delights. Beans and Legumes Garbanzo Beans- Better known as Chickpeas, Garbanzos should definitely be in your culinary arsenal. They are great in soups, salads, and versatile enough to be used as the main component in none other than, vegan tuna salad. Let's not forget either that they are the key ingredient in hummus. Oh, and if you haven't already, try roasting some for a quick go to snack. Mmmm, YUM! Oh yeah, for those of you that have gluten sensitivities or just prefer to not eat gluten-rich foods you can also turn these babies into a Gluten-free flour. So be sure to buy your chickpeas in canned and dried form. I highly recommend having both in stock, so you can take advantage of all their possibilities. I prefer keeping the canned for a quick go to for everyday meal prep and the dried beans for those emergencies where we find ourselves stuck at home for a significant period of time.** Even though I'm bound to, sooner or later, I've yet to make chickpea flour. **(Side Note:This is a good idea for all the beans and legumes on this list amongst other things throughout this blog. Just keep that in mind.) Lentils- They come in red, green, yellow, brown and black varieties. Lentils are a staple in Indian cuisine and can also be used in salads, soups, and stews. I mainly use them when making my meat alternatives because I don't particularly care for their texture, but that's just one of my many quirks. I have a hard time finding these canned, so it does add a little more prep time since you're going to need to cook them first. You're looking at 15-20 minutes additional time added to whatever your going to use them in. Consider yourself forewarned. Tempeh- A cousin of tofu, tempeh is made by the fermentation process of soybeans. The final process produces a brick-like cake that is then sliced or chopped and then cooked however your heart desires. It is chock full of goodness too. It's high in protein, a good source of fiber, and is a prebiotic powerhouse. Did I mention tempeh's a great source of magnesium and other vitamins and minerals too? If you have a soy allergy, no need to mark tempeh off the list entirely; there are some soy-free versions of tempeh on the market for you to try. As far as taste, you will either love it or hate it. If you've never tried it, however, it's worth giving it a shot at least once. It might just turn out to be a new fav. Tofu-Let's see, you've got regular, firm, extra firm, extra-extra firm, and silken. There are so many varieties of tofu it could make one's head spin; the versatility is just as bad. Or good, depending on how you look at it. Tofu comes from the processing of soybeans to make soy milk and then is curdled and pressed into blocks. This process is similar to that of making dairy cheese but instead of getting cheese curds, you get bean curds. Unless you have a soy-related allergy, there is absolutely no reason why you shouldn't have tofu stuffed in your fridge and freezer somewhere. Tofu doesn't taste like much on it's own, but if you add the right herbs and spices, you can make practically anything with it; like breakfast scramble, sweet-and-sour tofu and tofu nuggets to name a few. My recommendation; buy some and try some. If you're like my husband and the texture is not to your liking, you can still make use of the silken and firm varieties as ingredients in several different recipes. That's how I typically use tofu when I'm making something for the whole fam and not just myself. Black Beans- OMG, I swear it feels like I use at least one can of black beans every day! I don't think I would survive without these being in my kitchen. Pure exaggeration on my part, but in all seriousness, I have used black beans in every meal of the day: breakfast, lunch, dinner, and even dessert. Black bean brownies are the BOMB! I love, love, love black beans. Navy Beans A.K.A Boston Beans- If you were a fan of baked beans growing up, these are the beans in the dish you cherished as a kid. Boston baked beans were a common staple at family cookouts when I was a child and what I always gravitated towards. That sweet and tangy, smokey flavor always drew me in. Though time has past, bake beans are still one of my all-time favs, but homemade and vegan is how I like 'em these days. In Fact, I think I might whip up some bake beans and vegan hot dogs tonight for dinner just for old time's sake. Cannellini Beans (White Kidney Beans)- You know what? As I am writing this, I just realized that I have never eaten cannellini beans just for the sake of eating them. Come to think of it, the only time I use them is as an ingredient in making some of the vegan "meats" we eat. I have been eating these beans for a year or so and I seriously have no clue of what they taste like on their own. WOW! I'm going to have to check out some recipes that use cannellini beans as a main component. I would assume they taste just like the red kidney beans, maybe milder, but I could be wrong. I will definitely let you know what I find out. Red Kidney Beans- We make heavy use of these beans on those cold autumnal and winter days when chili is on the menu. Chili and oyster crackers. I never knew why they were called oyster crackers. Do you know why? It's just weird! Anyway, my husband loves him some chili. Which is great because I leave all the chili making up to him. Mama needs a day off from cooking every now and then you know. Pinto Beans- If you have ever eaten traditional refried beans, you've eaten pintos. There is so much more that you can use these beans for though. The internet is full of great recipes. Salads, stews, soups, enchiladas; You name it! All of which are yummy and filling so don't forget to grab some on your next run to the grocery store. Great Northern Beans- these beans are great cooked in stews. Great in soup. They're great with roasted broccoli and vegan bacon too. Great Northern's are great on those cold winter days when you need a great hardy meal. You know, something that will stick to your ribs. Ooh, and do not forget the cornbread! Fried cornbread a.k.a hoecakes/ johnny cakes are great with Great Northern Beans. There are so many great ways to eat these beans! I am positive you will have a great time exploring with them in the kitchen. (Hahahahaha, I had a great time with this one!) Edamame-Say Hello to Junior! Edamame are young soybeans and make a wonderful snack option for those mad dashes from the house to make it to your kids' ballet, basketball, martial arts, or soccer practices. Not to mention play dates! If you're the busy, on the go type, Edamame is the bean for you! UNLESS, you have any issues with eating soy, in which case you should steer clear of these. Otherwise, roast 'em, season 'em and eat 'em. Enjoy! Soybeans- I can honestly say that I have never cooked with true, mature soybeans before but that doesn't mean you can't give it a go. it's on my bucket list, hence, the reason why soybeans have made the cut. Now since soybeans originated in Asia, you can probably guess that they are prevalent in Asian cooking. Indian and Chinese to be specific. Mung Beans- These tiny beans are great for sprouting. Which makes them great for several different Asian recipes that call for sprouts. Think stir fry, fried rice, Lo Mein! I love adding bean sprouts to either of these dishes. Yum! But do not go and try to put mung bean sprouts on your sandwiches though. That is a totally different sprout. Alfalfa sprouts to be exact. Anyhoo, mung beans can be used for more than just sprouting. Try them in curry, Daal, soups, and even burgers. The possibilities are endless. Adzuki Beans- curried, hummused (is hummused a word? It's a rhetorical question! I already know the answer, but I'm going to use my made up word and several others regardless if you like it or not so naa! ), burgered, tempehed, souped, brownied, stewed, and sprouted. These uncommonly used beans are amazingly useful in so many ways. I for one plan on trying a brownie recipe or two with these babies. I will let you know what I think of them after I give it a go. Cranberry Beans (Borlotti Beans)- Aren't these beans pretty? I can picture a glass jar of these on an open shelf in the kitchen. Add some rustic wooden bowls, some cranberry colored textiles, a bit of gold (gotta have the bling!) and a touch of greenery and voila, your kitchen is decorated for the winter holiday season. Or you could simply whip up a pot of soup or dip or whatever. Either way;-) Lima Beans-Lima beans, Slime-a beans. Yuck! They're not slimy, but they are nast-E! To me anyway. I don't know what it is about them that I do not like. I just know that I don't like them. That's reason enough for me not to eat them or cook them for that matter. Some people use them in soups, but I cannot even bring myself to do that. Sorry, but you are going to have to give them a try on your own to determine if these are a keeper. Obviously, I am not going to be any help with this one. Black-Eyed Peas- I hate, abhor, DESPISE Black-Eyed Peas! That is the primary reason that they are at the very bottom of my list. I would have left them off the list altogether, but my darling husband thinks that these puke inducing beans are fan-freaking-tastic. But ever since I was a kid being forced to sit at the table until I ate everything on my plate, black-eyed peas and I have been enemies. To this day I do not cook or eat them. The only thing I have ever done with black eyed peas is use them in my kids' messy play bins and for other educational activities. Nope, I will only eat these upon penalty of death so if you want to take part and eat them, be my guest, just don't ever expect me to do the same. You are on your own! PHEW! You made it to the end of this post. You deserve a huge pat on the back. I want to give a big THANKS for sticking with me through this one Vegan Fam. It was long, wasn't it? Just blame it on my desire to provide you with a thorough list of options for your consideration. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and we'll converse. Chrissy M.
- Welcome to The Vegan Star Chronicles!
Welcome! Hey there, I'm so excited you're here! got a little juicy secret to tell you too. Want to hear it? I hope you said yes. Did you say yes? Fantastic! I just knew you would. You and I are going to get along great, I can tell. I've Okay, now lean in, and I'll whisper it in your ear. Come on. Closer. Closer! OK, here it goes... ( I period) (period) (exclamation point) AM VEGAN , maybe all caps isn't much of a whisper and maybe, just , what I had to tell you wasn't much of a secret for that matter, but OMG, I'm ! That's right, I've finally jumped into the proverbial vegan pool with both feet, and I must say I am enjoying the cool, refreshing, conscious lifting dip. If you want to join me on my journey of veganism and learn the ins and outs of being the only vegan in the house, read reviews on some of the vegan recipes I've tried, try out some of my own good eats, explore and learn about some great products I've come across or to just laugh hysterically at my Vegan gaffes, then please join me at Alright MAYBE Vegan The Vegan . I look forward to your visit and hope we become fast friends. Star Chronicles See you soon. Chrissy M. P.S. Don't forget to check out my section for a mix of daily tips, motivational quotes, and just plain old-fashioned food for thought on staying the course and living your best vegan life. Bits of Positivity Click here
- The Vegan Star Chronicles-A Vegan Food and Lifestyle Blog
Practical Ways to Living Your Best Vegan Life! FEATURED POST I WANT TO SEE EVERYTHING I WANT TO SEE EVERYTHING WANT MORE OF THIS VEGAN AWESOMENESS? Subscribe and you'll never have to worry about missing a new post. Ever! Subscribe Thanks for subscribing! What's Been On My Mind My Vegan Pantry My Go-To Vegan Recipes My Top 10 Vegan Products ABOUT ME Hi Ya'll, I'm Chrissy M., the quirky creator behind The Vegan Star Chronicles. These days I wear many hats; wife, mother, educator, and now... vegan blogger ? If you're looking for tips and tricks on joining the vegan family, recipes and reviews, info on some great vegan products, or just a bit of vegan motivation and positivity then you've come to the right place. to my blog. extraordinaire Welcome You might be surprised to know, I never thought I would become Vegan, but here I am at a point in my life that has taken decades to cultivate. I've finally found my happy place. Here's my story ... FOLLOW ME The Vegan Star Chronicles Follow On Pinterest > theveganstarchronicles