Hashbrown Casserole, Banana Bread & Energy Balls

In an effort to post more regularly and avoid posts like last time (gigantic list of things) here are just a few things I wanted to share this week.

I’m training for my 10K race more regularly now. The weather is being ridiculous so honestly it’s a challenge to get out there. Yesterday I went out in the pouring rain for a quick 5K, but I do think there will be some scrambling towards the end to train harder before the race day at the end of May.

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Lots of dodging puddles and a little bit of running

To compliment the training, postponed or not, I found a fantastic energy ball recipe! Chia Peanut Butter Protein Balls – they are super easy to make and so yummy, I actually just treat them like little dessert balls. Medjool dates, peanut butter, protein powder, and chia seeds in a food processor then you roll them into little balls, couldn’t be easier. I still haven’t purchased a large container of protein powder, I’ve just been buying samples but this one I used for the balls was really tasty. The recipe recommends using non flavoured powder, but this one was French vanilla and I wouldn’t have it any other way! Think peanut butter and delicious vanilla in a little ball – perfection. I actually didn’t have enough chia seeds so I also used hemp hearts which were a totally adequate addition.

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Maybe not much to look at, so you’ll just have to trust me that they really taste like little bites of heaven.

I also thought it might be interesting (or not?) to post a picture of my fridge, fully stocked. I thought of it because before going vegetarian and then vegan, I thought UM what do those people even eat??? So after going grocery shopping, I took a picture so I could show you that I eat lots!

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As you can see I have (what I believe) is a healthy mix of whole foods like veggies and fruits, but also some processed foods like Vegenaise. Not just Vegenaise but also their chipotle dip which is freaking delicious, nice and spicy. The yellow container is chickpea salad, the green contains whole wheat banana pancake mix – with dairy free chocolate chips YUM. I also enjoy the entire shelf that is just green vegetables; spinach, there’s a cucumber squeezed in there, asparagus, celery, kale, and somewhere there’s broccoli. Many of those things will be put into a particular recipes, but something like broccoli or celery I would just eat on its own.

That Becel is vegan Becel, which I am so glad they produce – it tastes exactly like regular Becel. There’s also Daiya shredded cheddar as well, and two things of Almond Breeze. Oh and orange juice and hummus. Basically these are the items that I always have/want to be in my fridge. OJ comes in really handy for lots of smoothies, so does almond milk. Hm what else…oh there’s mushrooms at the top for mushroom fajitas. That’s really it, that’s what my fridge usually looks like after I’ve shopped for the week. My pantry is full of canned beans, lentils, some pasta, pickles, vegetable stock, rice, quinoa, nutritional yeast, coconut milk, and several kinds of oils plus pretty standard baking ingredients.

Another interesting refrigerated item, not pictured here, is Chao Slices made by Field Roast. They are basically way better than any cheese slice I’ve tasted. I recently bought the Tomato Cayenne flavour and it makes the most delicious grilled ‘cheese’ ever.

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I eat that chickpea salad pretty much every week, it’s amazing. I’m also a big lover of dill pickles, and I find they are a perfect addition to any grilled cheese. It looks, feels, smells, tastes just like the grilled cheeses of my youth. I love how easy it is! Now to be totally honest, it’s not easy all around – these slices were expensive. As in for 10 slices, it was almost 10 dollars. But I’m hopeful that as more people buy vegan items and the demand grows, the prices can eventually come down.

The last two things I made this week turned out so well. I was nervous about both of them, so I was really relieved that they were even edible. Hash brown casserole is one of my favourite things that my mom makes, but that recipe includes dairy. I found this casserole recipe on Pinterest (my favourite thing right now) and it looked like a promising and healthier alternative. It tastes different, but definitely really good.

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Kale and chickpeas make this healthy…ish. Other than that it’s just potatoes and onions and garlic. The sauce was easier to make than I thought although it was a lot of ingredients, but it was worth it because it’s got a very cheesy taste and texture. There’s lots of nutritional yeast in the sauce which is apparently a very nutritious thing for anyone but especially for vegans because it’s full of B12 and protein 🙂

Last but definitely not least, vegan chocolate chip banana bread! The one thing I’ve learned so far about vegan baking is that things mostly taste the same as their dairy-and-egg-containing counterparts, but they are much more dense usually. This banana bread tasted amazing but is very dense. To me that means it’s really healthy to eat it for breakfast, so yay. The egg replacement is chia seeds mixed with water, which does create kind of an eggy consistency, it’s pretty cool.

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That’s it for this week! I’m really happy with the way all of these recipes turned out, I believe I’ll make them all again which is how you know they were actually good 🙂

L.

 

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