Tag Archives: Vegan

Wake Up to the Smell of Delicious – Crock Pot Oatmeal

It’s Monday morning and usually I am cowering in the corner dreading facing the day.  However, on this lovely Monday morning I’m having a healthy, hearty and delicious breakfast while I sit, type and procrastinate getting dressed for work. I don’t mean to post about breakfast two days in a row but this was just too good not to share. Plus you have the rest of the work week to try it!

Disclaimer – I have no idea if it is actually a lovely Monday – I have not checked the weather nor have I been outside.  It snowed here yesterday, snowed.  It is almost freaking April 1st!

We’ve been talking about making crock pot oatmeal for about a week.  So last night we made a bet on the UNC v. South Carolina women’s basketball game.  Loser makes the crock pot oatmeal…not that it is hard…we’re just not very motivated evening people.  Even though South Carolina lost, we made the oatmeal together.  Weekday breakfast for me is usually on the go and not very healthy and sometimes non-existent.  As you may have gathered from yesterday’s post, Lisa is a smoothie kind of girl…drinks them every day…It’s just not my thing.  Getting up extra early to prepare a well-balanced breakfast is also not my thing…and let’s be honest – we all have a little snooze button in us…So this crock pot oatmeal is genius. I don’t know who the first person to this was but I’m sure they enjoyed an extra 15 minutes of sleep as well.

The batch we made last night was TheYummyLife.com’s Overnight, Slow Cook, Banana and Coconut Milk Steel-Cut Oatmeal – long in title but pretty straight forward ingredients.  We, of course, always tweak slightly so those comments are in red.

2 medium ripe bananas, sliced (approx. 2 cups)
2 (14 oz) cans light coconut milk* (we substituted one can with a can size full of regular rice milk)
1/2 cup water
1 cup steel-cut oats
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1-1/2 tablespoons butter, cut into 5-6 pieces, optional (omit or substitute margarine for lactose-free, vegan) (Earth Balance)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon ground flax-seed
1/4 teaspoon salt
Optional garnishes: additional sliced bananas, chopped macadamia nuts or walnuts, toasted coconut, maple syrup, additional brown sugar, additional coconut milk or butter

Coat inside of 3-1/2 quart (or larger) slow cooker with cooking spray. Add all ingredients (except optional toppings) to slow cooker. Stir, cover, and cook on low for 7 hours. Spoon oatmeal into bowls; add optional toppings, if desired. Store leftovers in refrigerator. Freezes well.

Recipe can be doubled in 6-quart or larger slow cooker. Increase cooking time 1 hour.

*Find coconut milk in the Asian aisle of your grocery store.

We have a rather large slow cooker so you’ll notice on Yummy Life that there are directions for setting up a double boiler in your slow cooker.  We made our oatmeal this way and it worked perfectly!


Oh crap, it’s after 7:00 AM!

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It’s the Freakin’ Vegan Weekend! I’m about to have me some BREAKFAST!

Hungry?!? Good, because this is one Big Vegan Breakfast blog post! And if you’re reading the title in any other way than to the tune of R. Kelly’s Ignition (Remix), you’re doing it wrong.  So read it again, correctly!

One of the last meal’s of the day we mastered in our house was breakfast.  I’m not sure why – There is just so much more to life than a kale smoothie (my LMS would probably disagree).  As a kid I remember looking forward to the weekend – no more pencils, no more books, no more teacher’s dirty looks – at least for two days…And Saturday morning cartoons.  I woke up early to start my binge watching and didn’t stop until something for grown ups came on at noon which if I remember correctly was a poor quality local weekend news show.  My breakfast of choice then was cereal or Jiffy muffins.  Super healthy, right?

Looking back, I guess it’s better that I really didn’t like what the big Southern breakfast consisted of anyway – eggs, meat products and dairy – OH My!  As a vegan though, I welcome a big breakfast and so do my taste buds!  When Lisa and I have the weekend off at the same time we always make a good homemade breakfast. Last summer one of our friend’s brought us some Adluh stone ground grits straight from Columbia, South Carolina.  Of course, we needed something to go with those grits –

1. Biscuits

Now there is nothing quite like a homemade biscuit.  Check out this recipe from the Minimalist Baker.  These biscuits will make you wonder what you’ve been doing with your life because it was empty before they came!

  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (we sub 1 cup with home ground flour, so our biscuits are slightly nutty)
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp sea salt
  • 4 Tbsp non-dairy, unsalted butter (I use Earth Balance)
  • 1 cup unsweetened PLAIN almond milk + 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice (We use rice milk)
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. Mix dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
  3. Add cold butter and use fingers or a pastry cutter to combine the two until only small pieces remain and it looks like sand. Work quickly so the butter doesn’t get too warm.
  4. Make a well in the dry ingredients and, using a wooden spoon, stir gently while pourIMG_4099ing in the almond milk mixture 1/4 cup at a time. You may not need all of it. Stir until just slightly combined – it will be sticky.
  5. Turn onto a lightly floured surface, dust the top with a bit of flour and then very gently turn the dough over on itself 5-6 times – hardly kneading.
  6. Form into a 1-inch thick disc, handling as little as possible.
  7. Use a 1-inch thick dough cutter or a similar-shape object with sharp edges (such as a cocktail shaker) and push straight down through the dough, then slightly twist. Repeat and place biscuits on a baking sheet in two rows, making sure they just touch – this will help them rise uniformly. Gently reform the dough and cut out one or two more biscuits – you should have 7-8.
  8. Next brush the tops with a bit more of melted non-dairy butter and gently press a small divot in the center using two fingers. This will also help them rise evenly, so the middle won’t form a dome.
  9. Bake in a 450 degree oven for 10-15 minutes or until fluffy and slightly golden brown. Serve immediately. Let remaining biscuits cool completely before storing them in an airtight container or bag.


2. Vegan Tempeh Facon

I hated bacon as a meat eater…even the smell of it grossed me out…especially first thing in the morning.  Then entered tempeh facon. I’ve been making this item the longest.  It started as a fix for Lisa’s love of BLTs. The LunchBoxBunch.com‘s recipe is very easy to make – Of course, over time I’ve taken some liberties with the recipe and they have thus far worked out! This is a great recipe that can be altered to the type of tempeh bacon you want.  I prefer to have a very strong maple flavor and I’m a heat wimp so I can’t take more than a sprinkle of cayenne. I’ve added my notes in red.

Tip: I always double this recipe still using only 1 pack of tempeh.  I like the extra flavoring and I don’t feel like I’m stretching the mixture to make it work. 

Tip:  Steam your tempeh before making this recipe. I just take the tempeh out and cut it to fit in my steam basket, then steam for 10 minutes or so – just until it gets soft and looks a little expanded. It cuts some of the bitterness but if you love tempeh you probably didn’t notice anyway.  For a more technical approach check out – Vegansaurus!

Tempeh Bacon, Vegan Facon
makes about 1/2 cup
*a nice stack for 1-2 sandwiches


5 ounces tempeh (2/3 a standard 8 ounce pack)
1-2 Tbsp maple or agave syrup (Always use 2)
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp cumin
a dash of cayenne
1 tsp liquid smoke (opt’l) (Never used, never missed)
1 tsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp thick black pepper (More like 1/8 to a 1/4)
for pan: 2 tsp olive oil (Use a non stick pan and don’t use oil in pan)
*if you don’t have liquid smoke use these BBQ spice combos
(garlic, pepper, paprika and onion) (Never use this option either)


1. Very thinly slice the tempeh.IMG_4106

2. As thin as you can slice it without it falling apart

3. Combine all ingredients in a shallow dish.

4. Soak tempeh in marinade for 1-2 minutes.

5. Turn saute pan on high, add 1-2 tsp olive oil. Lay the tempeh flat on skillet. One layer only. Drizzle a bit of excess marinade onto skillet-it should be sizzling a lot now.

6. Allow to cook for 1 minute, then flip. Allow to cook for another minute on other side-or until both sides are crisp and browned.

7. Lay cooked tempeh on parchment paper to cool. Sprinkle with black pepper and thick sea(Drizzling extra marinade is key in my opinion salt to taste. (I never add pepper and sea salt)

8. For a crisper tempeh bacon, do not pour excess marinade in skillet, and allow all liquid to steam off of pan while cooking.

3. Grits

This is not something I’ve always loved.  Growing up I was not fond of grits unless they were loaded with cheddar cheese and butter. However, this past summer my friend Dianne brought us some Adluh grits up from South Carolina.  We started making grits to accompany our tempeh bacon and couldn’t stop.  Locally we pick up a back of Bob’s Red Mill Corn Grits.  I’m not going t post directions because we just follow directions on the bag then add salt, pepper, nutritional yeast and occasionally some Daiya cheese. We also like to just put the slices of tempeh bacon right on top.


4. Tofu Scramble by Happy Herbivore

IMG_4104Lastly, scramble up some tofu and veggies for a nice egg substitute. It strikes me as strange to say substitute or replacement but I’m a former omnivore so my first encounter with dishes was not as a vegan.  You may not be able to tell but our Happy Herbivore cookbook has seen some meals.

This is something my LMS prepares.  We don’t have it that often but when we do it is delicious!


1 pound extra-firm tofu
3 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
½ tsp turmeric
½ tsp cumin
½ tsp salt

Drain excess water off of tofu and place it in the center of a non-stick or greased skillet.Using a spatula, break tofu up into thick cubes. Cook over medium-high heat for 3-4 minutes, until the tofu release its water. Add remaining ingredients, stirring to combine. Continue to cook and stir for another 5-10 minutes, breaking tofu chunks into smaller pieces so the consistency resembles scrambled eggs. Add a splash of non-dairy milk or lemon juice if the tofu starts to dry out or stick to the skillet. Once the tofu has the right consistency, is yellow in color and is thoroughly warm, add additional salt and pepper to taste and serve.


I think this vegan breakfast proves that no matter how you were raised, where you’re from, or where you end up – compassion is possible and anything can be veganized!


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Vegan Valentine’s Day Menu

Schedule a last-minute Valentine’s date with a vegan girl or gal you met last night?  Need a last-minute menu for your vegan Valentine?  Just realized you really want to go vegan today because your heart is so filled with love?  Well have I got a menu for you!

Tonight’s Valentine’s menu stars two new favorites from and inspired by Jason Wrobel’s vegan special on the Cooking Channel – Cilantro Lime Pesto Pasta and Chocolate Avocado Pudding. Last night I did some prep work for my Valentine’s dinner – mostly so preparing dinner didn’t take the whole evening and partly because I wanted to post pictures.

Cilantro Lime Pesto Pasta




  •  1 tablespoons olive oil
  • One 8-ounce box regular or gluten-free angel hair pasta
  • 1 cup black olives, pitted and quartered, plus more for  garnish
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/4 cup raw  pumpkin seeds


  •  2 1/2 cups fresh basil leaves, tightly packed, plus more for garnish
  • 3/4 cup  extra-virgin olive oil, preferably cold pressed
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts, plus more for garnish
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon minced  garlic
  • 2 teaspoons nama  shoyu or  tamari
  • 1/2 teaspoon  sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Pinch  cayenne pepper
  • Hemp seeds, for garnish


For the pasta: Bring a large pot of filtered water to a rapid boil. Add the olive oil and pasta to the water. Return to a boil. Cook uncovered until al dente, 6 to 10 minutes. Drain in a colander. Transfer the pasta to a large mixing bowl and fold in the olives, bell peppers and pumpkin seeds. Mix well to combine and set aside.  For the pesto: Place the basil, olive oil, cilantro, pine nuts, lime juice, garlic, nama shoyu, salt, pepper and cayenne in a food processor. Process until semi-smooth, with a little bit of a chunky texture. Combine the noodles and pesto sauce with your hands and mix vigorously. Top with a sprinkle of hemp seeds, the reserved black olives, basil and pine nuts.


The above recipe is straight from the cooking channel website – you can click the title and it will take you straight there.  The recipe is perfect as is but because I am me and we all have different tastes – I modify!

Notes and Modifications:

  1. This is a perfect dish for those trying to please non vegans
  2. I don’t add the cayenne (personal preference)
  3. Olives are frowned upon in half of my house so I skip the olives.
  4. Additional vegetables are nice – mushrooms, zucchini, squash, whatever you fancy!
  5. I like to put the entire pasta dish in a small pot just to heat up the pesto – not cook it.  Then Serve!

Chocolate Avocado Pudding

IMG_1831 IMG_1830 IMG_1833

So Jason Wrobel made an amazing Chocolate Avocado Pudding on his special How to Live to 100 but when i started gathering ingredients I did not have hemp seeds on hand and was impatient to try an avocado pudding…so I stumbled upon a Five Minute Avocado Chocolate pudding on Kirbie’s Cravings.  The recipe on Kirbie’s Cravings is not vegan but with a simple modification from nonfat milk to non dairy milk of your choice – Vegan magic is made!


1 ripe small or medium avocado 1/4 cup cocoa powder 1/3 cup raw agave nectar 1/4 cup Almond/Soy/Coconut Milk


Blend all ingredients into a blender until smooth and creamy. You may need to add more agave nectar depending on the size of your avocado. It’s ready to eat immediately or you can also refrigerate.

Notes and Modifications:

  1. You can easily use Jason Wrobel’s recipe to make your own milk
  2. Top with coconut shreds, nuts, blueberries, etc.
  3. Add a teaspoon of vanilla to enhance chocolate flavor or use vanilla flavored milk
  4. This dessert will quickly become a staple

Have a wonderful Valentine’s Day and I hope you are spending it with the one or ones you love!

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Happy Blogiversary

I started this blog on the 2nd day of 2012…my intention was to chronicle the lengths I would go to and my attempts to pay off my law school loans because I was sure it was going to be comical…and I was sure that I’d have tons of time to work extra gigs and such…but turns out that there aren’t that many hours in a day…I did try my hand at being a part-time process-server, a recreation assistant for seniors and even some personal assistant work…I played the lottery…entered sweepstakes contests…filled out store surveys offering cash prizes but to no avail…so I quickly grew bored with my personal tragedies…and moved on to the fun things in life-like – vegan food, music and sharing life’s little moments…the name “Vegan Though You’re Not” really came from an angsty place…a friend was really negative about my choice to go vegan and it really frosted my vegan cookies…so my blog was reborn!  I’m not sure that friend even knows the blog exists or that I was even bothered by her words…and that’s OK because I think the blog has surpassed its angst ridden ways…hopefully it has improved my creative writing skills which have been sorely lacking the last few years due to that four-year stint using only legalese…I wouldn’t say I am the world’s most consistent blogger…vowing to do better will do me no good…it will serve to only ensure that I stop blogging all together…so I resolve to be happy with what I’ve created!

One milestone – I did get almost 200 hits one day because Chely Wright retweeted a post I wrote…my first celebrity retweet too!


I look forward to sharing more…Thank you for reading…

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On Cobbler…

One thing people tend to obsess over when the word vegan is mentioned is – giving up something or that they’ll have to miss out on something…but what you learn after going vegan is that it is not about loss but about gaining…a new perspective on things – exploring options – living a new way – retraining the brain…Also the word “Can’t” comes up – “Oh, you can’t eat butter” or “oh, you can’t eat eggs.” – Not exactly true, I’m still capable of eating those things, I just choose not to…I’ve had to retrain myself to not say can’t as well…still sometimes there is a noticeable pause…as I almost spit out the word can’t and then rephrase…so instead of focusing on loss, choose cobbler — or something else new!

In my backyard there is a tree which turns out to be a mulberry tree – I’ve always heard mulberry bush but this is definitely a tree…dropping many berries in my backyard subsequently attracting many birds and turning the soles of our shoes purple…so we decided to make something with this delicious backyard surprise!  I actually did not participate in the berry harvesting myself.  I was also the only one hesitant to use these berries for fear that I may hallucinate and/or die…I was not interested in either scenario…

Clean berries from the backyard – mostly bug free!

5-6 Cups of berries is actually a lot…many berries contributed to our cobbler…fresh strawberries, frozen blueberries, frozen berry mix…I’ve made this cobbler a few times now – and every berry ratio works…don’t be scared to mix your berries up or just use one berry…the choice is yours!  This recipe is easy – will please any sweet tooth veg or not!

Click here to  link to the recipe – Berry Cobbler 

Berry mixture:

  • 5-6 cups fresh or frozen berries (blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, or a mixture of these)
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar

    Mixture of fresh, frozen and straight off the tree berries…Because using one berry is never enough!


  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup fortified soymilk or rice milk

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Spread berries in a 9 x 9-inch baking dish. Mix in flour and sugar. Place oven until hot, about 15 minutes.

To prepare topping, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Add milk and stir until batter is smooth.

Spread evenly over hot berries (don’t worry if they’re not completely covered), then bake until golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes.

 Recipe from Healthy Eating for Life for Cancer by Vesanto Melina, M.S., R.D.


Ta-da! Finished product complete with Trader Joe’s vanilla soy cream and mint fresh mint.

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Super Bowl BBQ Sauce

One of my favorite condiments is – BBQ Sauce – I put it on burgers, dip fries in it, drizzle a little on baked beans…I just love the sweet and tangy flavor…I used BBQ sauce to cover up the taste of meat for most of my life…I made this realization when I was making my transition to a plant-based diet…It was the sauces and spreads that I really had the taste for – not what I was dipping in it (with the exception of french fries)!  Don’t you just love a good Ah-Ha! moment!  So when Super Bowl Sunday rolled around yes, I’ve been slack on posting) I knew I wanted BBQ sauce on something – but BBQ  sauce on what?…I didn’t just want a veggie burger…the wheels were really turning…you’ll just have to trust me on that…and I had just discovered Pinterest around this time so I was dying to find things to pin…meanwhile, LV was working on perfecting her baked tofu…Finally, I knew what Super Bowl Sunday needed – BBQ tofu sandwiches with coleslaw. I Googled and I Googled some more until I found…Kathy’s Smoky, Sticky, Sweet BBQ Sauce…so I think this actually was my first Pinterest pin…or second. Kathy’s Smoky, Sticky, Sweet BBQ Sauce
vegan, makes about 1 1/2 cups

4 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
3 Tbsp Black strap Molasses
2 1/2 Tbsp agave syrup
1 tsp lime or lemon juice
2 tsp Liquid Smoke (Did not use either time I’ve made the sauce)
*I like Colgin brand. It says it’s vegan on the bottle
2 tsp olive oil
1 tsp spicy mustard
2 tsp soy sauce
3 tbsp organic tomato paste
1 1/2 Tbsp Arrowroot Powder
*thickens the sauce like corn starch
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp cumin
1 Tbsp ketchup
1 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp cayenne (adjust for heat)

I’d like to point out that this sauce is vegan – and also point out that finding a BBQ sauce recipe and making it vegan is not at all difficult…As personal taste always plays a role in these types of things, I made a few tweaks to the recipe…I’ve made this sauce a couple of times so I’ve learned some lessons too.  Also don’t be alarmed by the number of ingredients…seems like like a lot but after you purchase what you need…you’ll have plenty to make many batches of BBQ sauce.

Not Pictured: Tomato Paste, Cayenne Pepper and Lime Juice

Easiest Directions Ever:
Combine all liquid ingredients in a bowl. Stir in the remaining ingredients one at a time. Make sure to add the arrowroot powder slowly to avoid clumping.

It looks like BBQ sauce, it smells like BBQ sauce, it tastes like BBQ sauce - It must be BBQ sauce!!!

Lessons Learned:

  1. 1/4 tsp of cayenne goes a long way (The second batch I used an 1/8 tsp)
  2. If you don’t need the smoky flavor – you don’t have to add it.
  3. 1 tsp of pepper is too much for my taste (The second batch I used 1/2 tsp or less)
  4. The sauce doesn’t really need the arrowroot powder or cornstarch
  5. To thin it – substitute tomato sauce in place of the tomato paste
  6. Tofu and BBQ sauce are an amazing combo!

    Baked BBQ Tofu sandwich with Slaw


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Vegan Though You’re Not…

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When I decided to go vegan it’s not a decision that I took lightly…I had always flirted with vegetarianism through my natural likes and dislikes of certain foods…but I had to spend time thinking about what it meant for me to become a vegan…what beliefs I hold…was it the right thing for me physically, socially, ethically and mentally…and how that all fit together…because if I am making a lifestyle change it has to be something believe in…

So what do I believe in?

I believe in the circle of life…in science…in progress…in God…in evolution… And the realization that I came to was all of  those things afford me choice…and even free will…and none mandates me to eat animals…I don’t have a primal urge to go kill my food…any primal instinct in my lineage is long gone…I do believe that humans are omnivores based on certain functions that the human body performs and the need for a few vitamins that aren’t reliably found in plant based foods…whether that was an initial design or an adaptation based on necessity – I’ll leave that to the scientists… but just because my body can digest animal products doesn’t mean it has to do so…I do not live in an area or a time period that vegetation is scarce…there are plenty of fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes, spices and even supplements – to give me what I need nutritionally and don’t include hormones or chemicals…It is true that I enjoy food for more than just substance to keep my body functioning…I’ve always known food as a social activity with friends and family, an experiment in taste, and an edible art form… and I was given a brain and two hands to combine all of these wonderful things into something nutritious and delicious…so what I’m given is a choice…to choose not to eat living things…and I make that choice not with vanity, hate or judgment but with an open mind and a loving heart…

They say you shouldn’t talk about religion, money or politics in social situations…apparently dietary choice should be added to the list…in discussing my choice I’ve been given support from close friends and family even if they have little understanding of what it means…and I’ve been asked, “Why?” with innocence and disgust and one friend even seemed a little angry.  Some people may find it different…strange…weird…whatever adjective you want to use for not being status quo…so their reactions are probably how they respond to change and differing opinions in general…I get this…I do…And realize that it isn’t me or veganism that is the problem – It’s their attitude…I don’t feel judgmental about people who choose not to be vegan because it is so personal…so to those who are a little judgy…I say…even though you’re not vegan, I am going to be and I am still me. 

I do tend to sound a little proud when I talk about the foods I’ve learned to make…but that’s because I am…  

To me becoming vegan is an adventure every day…it’s not a burden…nor does it leave me hungry like your average quick fix diet…I’m still learning, growing and building my vegan foundation…I’m not being forced into it nor would I ever force or guilt someone into veganism…and if you’re worried about my B-12 consumption, I take a supplement…and if you wonder what I’ll wear…well there is a wonderful world of clothing out there that is sans animal product and by-product…and then there is the realization that there are some things that are out of my control and all I can do is my part…

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