Monday, July 21, 2014

Bourbon Salted Caramel Boozy Milkshake

Now that we've settled into our new home (helllooooo Rocky Mountains), I'm doing my favorite thing: exploring new neighborhoods, restaurants, bars, shops, yoga studios, and workout tribes.I have a lot of catching up to do on this blog and a ton to share. But before I get back on that train, let's talk about Boozy Milkshakes.

They call out my name from bar and dessert menus. And since I'm dairy challenged (and keep a plant-based diet) I have serious FOMO. So being an awful baker, when I heard the Recipe Redux theme this month was liquor-based, I headed to the blender instead of the oven.

The result was ridiculously good. Like I-want-to-eat-this-every-night good. Like "I can't believe this has 15 grams of protein and 2 servings of greens" good. Like I-should-start-my-own-healthier-boozy-milkshake-food-truck good. Anyone in?
Yes, I said healthier. Not going to shout from the rooftop that this is "healthy." It's a delicious dessert, that's a little lower in sugar, higher in protein and has more greens than any other milkshake you'll find. It's dairy-, gluten- and soy-free if you're interested.

Bourbon Salted Caramel Boozy Milkshake 
Salted Caramel Sauce
  • 1 cup coconut milk (the kind in a can, not lite)
  • 1 cup cane sugar
  • 2 Tbsp bourbon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
1 Milkshake
  •  3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 3/4 cup vanilla non-dairy ice cream (I used NadaMoo from Whole Foods)
  • 1 serving Vega Protein Smoothie Viva Vanilla 
  • 1 Tbsp Salted Caramel Sauce
  • 1-2 ounces Bourbon (depends on how boozy you want)
  1. To make the salted caramel sauce, mix coconut milk and cane sugar together over low heat until the sugar dissolves. Simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally (we're not going for burnt caramel here). Add sea salt, bourbon and vanilla extract an simmer for 5 more minutes.  Take off heat and store. 
  2. Blend milkshake ingredients together. 
  3. Enjoy!
How do you use liquors will cooking and baking?

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Elizabeth Cooks: Mushroom Veggie Burgers

By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by The Mushroom Council and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.
Confession: My first time making a veggie burger at home was a month ago. By itself, not a ridiculous statement, but when you take into account that I became vegetarian at age 12, and have been almost entirely plant-based for the past 6 years, that's a little astounding.

Don't get me wrong-I LOVE veggie burgers. I consider it my duty to try ALL the veggie burgers (and their accompanying fries) to determine which restaurant has the very best veggie burger. (Currently it's a tie between Worthy Burger in Vermont and The Plant in SF).

But for some reason, I've never mustered up the energy to DIY veggie burgers at home. What a shame. It wasn't until I got Brendan Brazier's Thrive Energy Cookbook that I finally decided it was time to give it a go. It was suprisingly easier than expected, and while the texture left something to be desired (because I left out a crucial ingredient), it was a solid first step.

 Mushrooms add a lovely unami (meat-like) taste to most vegetarian dishes, which is why they make a great addition to this dish. I used fresh shiitake, for no reason other than I'd never seen fresh shiitake before and thought "why not??"

Mushroom Veggie Burgers
  • 1/2 cup fresh shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cups cooked barley
  • 2 cups white beans
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast\
  • 1 Tbsp pickle juice
  • 1 Tbsp Trader Joe's 21 Season Salute
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp pepper 
1. Slice shiitake mushrooms and saute for 10 minutes in olive oil
2. In a food processor combine beans, barley and mushrooms and pulse until a thick crumb

3. Combine beans, barley and mushroom mix with spices with your hands in a large mixing bowl
4. Spread parchament paper onto a baking sheet
5. Using your hands, form 10 patties and place onto baking sheet
6. Bake at 400F for 30 minutes or until brown
7. Serve on a bun with your favorite condiments, alongside salad or fries!

Do you have a favorite way to use mushrooms in vegetarian meals to replace meat? Enter Mushroom Council's Swap It or Top It contest with that recipe for a chance to win $5000! Entering is wicked easy--just start here.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Recipe Redux: Matcha Protein Smoothie

I'm a matcha smoothie-aholic. The rich smooth concentrated taste of green tea, the caffeine boost and the bright green color. It's not a cheap smoothie addition, but it does provide an extra hit of antioxidants and vitamins to my morning smoothie. Yes, it's not a traditional way to eat matcha (usually in a beautiful tea ceremony, but it also sneaks into green tea ice cream and soba noodles because it's so versatile) but I love it.

This smoothie is one of my favorite ways to rebuild muscle post-Harvard Stadiums with November Project. Note: when you're buying matcha--make extra sure it's the finely ground loose powder--not tea bags full of unground matcha tea leaves.

Matcha Protein Smoothie
Blend and Serve! the perfect post-workout drink to push yourself to be better

Want more tea-riffic recipes? Check out these:

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Ladies you need to know: Shupe's Soups and Healthy Roots Meg

Seeing people I work alongside shine and thrive makes me oh so happy! I feel so grateful to be surrounded by a community of talented, inspiring and just plain remarkable people.

These two ladies just redid their website and you simply must check them out:

Morgan Shupe: Shupe's Soups
 Morgan's food is one of the many reasons I wish I lived in Vancouver. Vega HQ is pretty baller, but it wouldn't be the same without the epic salad bar, soup and entrees this girl whips up single-handedly every day. If you've ever checked out a Vega recipe, there's a high likelihood that Morgan created it. Not only are her recipes delicious, but she's super fun, has wicked cool tattoos and loves cats.

Morgan cooks, lifts and has sick tattoos. get to know her.

If you've ever had tummy troubles, Meg's your gal. As a nutritionist, she focuses not on one specific nutrition paradigm, but on working with her clients to make them feel their best in their body. She's passionate about healthy food systems and is making huge positive changes in the Toronto area. Check out her blog for inspiring lifestyle articles and delicious recipes!

Still bored with the internet? Don't forget about 75toGo and Fitness Leash!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Get in the Know: 75toGo

If you've could look in my inbox, you'd realize I'm a compulsive email list subscriber. I find a website or blog that I like and instantly add myself to their newsletter. This happens to be how I stay semi-on-top of what's going on in the world. But while I learn a lot from these various website and blogs, it can be quite overwhelming, and with the same compulsion I add myself to lists, I also send the same emails to Trash. While I have been better about unsubscribing lately, there are some newsletters and blogs that I will never not read.

75toGo is my new favorite. Run and curated by my friend Kevin Liu, 75toGo delivers longform articles to the 25-year-old trying to survive their next 75 years. How great is that??

While the main focus is on health and fitness issues (which I appreciate), they also talk a lot about food, fashion and living the good life. The thing I appreciate oh so much (and is sadly lacking in most content) is their dedication to research. If you've ever worked with me, you know that high-quality writing + research to support it = makes me keep on keepin' on. 

Plus, although most their articles are dripping with information (hello 2000 word essays), and completely worth devoting 5 minutes of your life too, if those 5 minutes would be better spent elsewhere, you can digest a quick and dirty synopsis.

I suggest you start here: The Best Coconut Water and Will Lifting Heavy Weights Make Me Bulky?, then add this one to the top of your "Awesome websites to subscribe to" list. I sure have.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Recipe Redux: Chickpea Quinoa Patties--Gluten-free, Vegan


I am probably the world's worst plant-based eater/cook in that I've never made a homemade veggie burger. Never. They are my restaurant staples (mostly because of fries, let's be real), and I see drool-worthy recipes floating all over the internet. Making a veggie burger is on my 2014 goals.

I took a step in that direction with a falafel-esque chickpea quinoa patty. WHAT HAVE I BEEN HOLDING OUT FOR?? These are seriously good. PLUS they keep for at least a week in your fridge, and pack fantastically. 1 hour on a Sunday and you have lunches for the entire week. That is something I completely support.

Warning: you're going to want to put this dill sauce on everything. I may or may not have eating a spoonful right out of the jar one day. It's out of control. Again, what have I been doing with my life that cashew sauces have not been made more often??? 

Chickpea Quinoa Patties
Makes 10 patties (ie lunch for 2 people for 5 days)
1 cup dry quinoa
1 can (15 oz) chickpeas
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp curry powder
sea salt and pepper to taste

1. Cook quinoa in 2 cups water for 15 minutes.
2. Preheat oven to 450
3. In a food processor, puree all ingredients
4. Shape into 10 patties and lay on a parchament paper baking sheet
5. Cook for 15 minutes.

Cashew Dill Sauce
1 cup raw cashews
1 cup water
1/2 tsp capers
1 tsp fresh dill
Juice of 1 lemon
3 cloves garlic
sea salt and pepper to taste

1. While the patties are cooking, puree cashews and water in a food processor until silky smooth
2. add in additional ingredients and puree some more
Tip: If you can't find fresh dill (i couldn't) these freeze-dried herbs from Litehouse are fantastic!! Nope--they didn't pay me to plug, i'm just newly obsessed. I also love Love Beets. I mean, come on!

Grab a pita, slice up some cucumbers, beets and pickled banana pepper. Put the patty in the pita, and slather it with cashew dill sauce. Add avocado slices to kick it up a notch. Be prepared to have your world rocked!!

Note: They are also delicious unassembled. The possibilites are endless!


Tuesday, March 11, 2014


This won't be the last time I say it, but I work with a remarkable group of individuals.  People that inspire me, that push me, that laugh with me, that hold me accountable. So when Bridgette encouraged  me to join the Vega Education Team's March Meditation challenge, I was like yes please!

See, I've gotten quite ADD in the last 5 years (yes, this is a self-diagnosis). Combination of more screens, wayyyyy too much time on said screens/social media, more work and constant multitasking means my brain never shuts up. Even when doing yoga my mind is rattling off to-do/to-text/to-tweet/to-talk lists. It's quite distracting. I've known about, and wanted to reap the benefits of meditation for quite some time. I'm all about mindfulness, especially around food, but I realized I need to practice what I preach by incorporating mindfulness into more areas of my life.
Look I'm even back to Journaling! (that's another post)
The thing I've had to keep front and center this month is that meditation is a practice. You're not going to be able to turn on beach sounds, sit down, and let your mind go blank. Nope, not happening. That takes practice. and it'll never be perfect.

So to help, I've enlisted the aid of two rad apps: Head Space and Stop. Breathe. Think. (there will probably be more apps, but these are the two i've tried and loved so far). 

Head Space 10 minute guided meditation by a wonderful British man. Get some (Head space that is...)

Stop. Breathe. Think. So what if it was created for teenagers. My brain is sometimes like a teenagers. I LOVE that you input your mood, your physical state and then emotions to generate a customized meditation. and the app is FREE!! (adorable cartoons of your brain don't hurt either)

11 days in, and I'm loving it. The animals love it too
"What, you're not on the floor just to pet me???"

If you follow me on twitter or instagram, you'll see EVEN MORE #MindfulMarch Madness. Get excited. 
You'll probably want to check out these too:

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Nasoya Giveaway Winner

and the winner of the Nasoya Giveaway is...

Deirdre who entered on twitter! I'll be in touch with you shortly! Thank you to all that entered and to Nasoya for providing the giveaway.

In Other News:
This week is National Eating Disorder Awareness week. Everyone knows someone, so get in the know. NEDA has all the resources you need for more information, ways to spread the word and how to get help. Check it out!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Nasoya Tofu Fried Rice + Giveaway [Gluten-free, vegan]

"How do you get enough protein" is question every plant-based eater dreads. The idea of protein wasting due to a vegetarian diet is just archaic. Every diet needs variety, and we'd all benefit from getting more beans, legumes, nuts, seeds and organic soy in our life. Extra-firm organic soy is always on my grocery list, so I was thrilled that Nasoya asked me to try their new TofuPlus products. Done.

Black soybean extra firm tofu is my favorite. Naturally rich in protein and antioxidants, TofuPlus is fortified with B vitamins (including B12), vitamin D, zinc and calcium. And it's organic and Non-GMO Project Verified (the only way I eat soy-but I'm not going to get into that soy or not debate now. Read my opinion here). Add that to the fridge next to day-old brown rice, and an easy weeknight meal is made.

Vegan Fried Rice
1 block extra-firm tofu (I used Nasoya Black soybean extra firm tofu )
2 cups brown rice (day old at least)
2 cups veggies (frozen, fresh, whatever you like)
1 tsp ginger (dried or fresh minced)
3 cloves garlic (minced)
2 TBSP tamari (or soy sauce)
1 tsp maple syrup
Juice of 1 lemon 
Sriracha (I recommend JoJo's)

Coconut or hot sesame oil

1. Press tofu and cube. Lightly fry in coconut oil.
2. Mix together garlic, ginger, tamari, maple syrup, lemon and sriracha (as hot as you want). 
3. Add rice and veggies to saute pan with fried tofu.
4. Pour stir-fry sauce over all.
5. Cook for 5-10 minutes until everything is hot and rice starts to become crispy.
6. Enjoy! (more sriracha always an option)

And now the best part! I have 2 coupons for FREE Nasoya Tofu to giveaway. Here are the details:
  • Giveaway open from 2/18 until 5pm 2/25/2014
  • Open to all US residents 
  • 1 entry by leaving a comment on your favorite way to eat tofu
  • 1 entry by following me on twitter (@ElizabethEats) and tweeting "Enter to win @Nasoya #TofuPlus via @ElizabethEats #giveaway"
Good luck! 

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

#OneChange with Vega

I dropped the ball on posting about New Year's Resolutions. As you can probably guess, I'm not a big fan of them. They are short-term and leave you destined for failure. PLUS they are usually in the form of crash/fad diets that I just can't get behind.

I believe that health is a continuum. There is no such thing as a "perfect" diet or exercise plan or perfect eater. If we all just take small steps towards improvement, we are doing what we need to do to live our best life. Plus there's a lot more to health than just nutrition and fitness. Hello sleep, mood regulation, and stress management!

At Vega we just launched our #OneChange campaign, to show what small steps can make a difference.

I am definitely a Serial Snacker. And I know i feel so much better when I snack consistently with something that has protein and fat vs grazing on carbs all day long.This Blueberry Lemon Tart Smoothie is my new favorite thing and I've been alternating between this just-add-fruit-dipper and nut butter with fruit for my afternoon snack. Why not find out your eating profile today to defeat your dietary kryptonite?

Are there any goals that you set for 2014?

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Superfood Pistachio Pairings: Dark Chocolate + Dragon Fruit + Wine

I received free pistachio samples from the Pistachio Health Institute mentioned in this post. By posting this pairing I am entering a contest sponsored by Pistachio Health Institute and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.
Love me some pistachios. Alongside garlic butter popcorn, these were a reliable movie-time snack growing up. Since I'm a Serial Snacker (those tummy rumbles never stop) I continue to reach for these as a nut that forces you to eat mindfully. The extra step of having to unshell in-shell pistachios forces me to slow down, and pay attention to what i'm eating.  

When I want a sweet weeknight treat, but want a variety of flavors (especially along the sweet/salty axis), I reach for this simple pairing

Wine + Cacao Nib Dark Chocolate + Dragon Fruit + In-shell Pistachio

I'm no wine connoisseur so i'm not even going to talk about that. 

But dark chocolate, dragon fruit and pistachios? Let me wax poetic. 

Dark Chocolate
Antioxidants are cool, but mostly I'm all about taste when it comes to chocolate. the darker the better, add in some vanilla, cacao nibs and a good cause and I'm sold. 

Dragon Fruit
Tropical fruit that resembles a hot pink alien? Sign me up. Dragonfruit is native to Central and South America, found mostly in Asian and Caribbean markets here in the states. That is until Navitas Naturals started drying Dragon Fruit and selling it as a delicious snack. Vitamin C, magnesium, fiber and even a bit of protein. Superfood status obtained. 

Besides being crunchy, but smooth, salty but sweet, pistachios are also hidden sources of fiber and B vitamins. You get way more than a handful as a serving with in-shell pistachios. 1 serving=49 in-shell pistachios (I'm totally cool if you just round up to 50).  

How would you pair pistachios?

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Recipe Redux: Gluten-Free Vegan Pizza

Something I love about Recipe Redux is that, besides getting me to post on da blog, it also challenges me to get creative in the kitchen. This month's theme was pizza--something that has never been made in my kitchen. My mom used to make an amazing spinach deepcrust pizza, but I'm very much of the camp that pizza is better just eaten out and enjoyed. I prefer my crust super thin and made in a woodfired oven. Loaded with veggies, sans cheese. BUT i'd heard marvelous things about Bob's Red Mill Gluten-Free Pizza mix, and decided to risk it and make pizza myself. I added in a bean puree under the sauce for a little extra protein, and kept it dairy-free. It made a great dinner/future lunches paired with a spinach salad. Delicious, filling and pretty healthy!

Pizza (gluten-free, vegan)

  1. Make pizza crust according to directions on mix.
  2. If your mushrooms and garlic arn't sliced and diced yet, get on that
  3. Sautee garlic in olive oil
  4. Puree garlic, beans, basil and salt in a food processor
  5. Spread bean puree on pizza crust
  6. top with pizza sauce. (if you've never had Rao's pasta or pizza sauce--DO IT NOW. It's expensive but holy yum)
  7. Cover with Daiya cheese and mushrooms
  8. Bake (according to directions)
  9. Eat with your favorite salad!
Eat the pizza. ditch the diet. and join me in celebrating Healthy Weight Week in 2014! (sign the declaration of independance from diets ASAP).

Note: None of these companies gave me free product or paid to be listed here. I just really really love them.

Want more pizza? Here's your RD approved list:

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Fitness Leash

I feel incredible lucky to work alongside some of the brightest, inspirational and innovative people in the world. I am lucky to call the dietitians at Marci RD Nutrition and each and every Vegatopian not just coworkers but friends.I love that both my personal life and work help me stick to my motto:
So today I want to talk about my friend Andrea, who is a kickass personal trainer in Vancouver, BC, who is bringing her recipes, workouts, challenges and love of tea to the world.

photo by Collin McDougall
She and her husband Greg (plus their two rescued pups-Pedro and Oakley) started Fitness Leash in 2013 to share their passion for fitness, health and wellness while supporting a cause they deeply believe in-rescue animals. For every training session (whether it's private or bootcamp or HIIT) they donate part of the proceeds to local animal shelters for food.

So take a moment out of your busy Tuesday to make your health a little better while helping out a pup in need! You're going to want to follow fitnessleash on instagram for daily workouts and check out the blog ASAP!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Gingerbread Cookies--Vegan, Gluten-Free, Low Sugar

Disclosure: I received free samples from Cumberland Packing Corp., maker of Monk Fruit In The Raw. By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by Cumberland Packing Corp. and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.
While I don't treat not "white-sugar coating it" like a religion, I do love playing around with alternative forms of sweetener--stevia, molasses, maple syrup, honey, and coconut palm nectar. And now I have a new, natural no calorie sweetener to add to my arsenal--Monk Fruit!

I've seen Monk Fruit at the last couple of natural product expos I've been to. I seriously think it's about to surpass both agave and stevia in terms of use, just a heads up! For manufacturers looking for a sweet, natural taste, without the calories or scary refining or artificial sweeteners, this could be the answer.

This is Monk Fruit in the wild

Thanks to Monk Fruit in the Raw, I was sent a baker's bag to experiment with. 

Using this handy dandy recipe converter and tips,  I decided to substitute all the white sugar in a regular gingerbread cookie with Monk Fruit in the Raw. Don't worry--there's still plenty of molasses in them. They recommend to just substitute half--because sugar adds volume, moisture and texture, not just sweetness--but I decided to be a rebel.

A rebel who isn't a very good baker, but these actually turned out perfectly. They even rose! (a miracle in my house). I don't have a rolling pin (since i don't bake) so I improvised.
 The only cookie cutters I had were hearts. Not quite the men I was thinking, but at least they weren't inappropriate...
 Gingerbread Cookies--Vegan, Gluten-free, Low sugar
Makes 8 servings
  • 1 1/3 c GF Flour (I love Bob's Red Mill All Purpose GF Flour)
  • 2/3 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 in fresh ginger, minced
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 c molasses
  • 1/4 c coconut oil
  • 1/4 c Monk Fruit in the Raw
  • 2 T Almond Milk Eggnog (yes I went there)
Mix ingredients, and then put in the fridge at least 1 hour, best overnight. Roll out on parchment paper, cut into adorable shapes, and cook at 350 for 8 minutes. Best dipped into said almond milk eggnog. 


Want more monkfruit? Check these out!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Crockpot Crumble

The crockpot is the most undervalued, underused, misunderstood of all the kitchen gadgets. Without the inherent sexiness of a Vitamix, novelness of a nano-ceramic wok or even the commonness of a pot or pan it always gets overlooked. I GET YOU CROCKPOT. Be my friend?

I use my crockpot on the weekly. Thankfully my mother set a good example--7 layer dips, veggies and roasts came from the crockpot at home. But it wasn't used too often. Once I got over my irrational fear of "it's going to burn the house down even though it's proven not to" the crockpot became a lifesaver.

Usually what happens is I buy lentils/splitbeans/dried beans from the bulk bins. Toss them in with some sweet potatoes/potatoes/carrots/parsnips/squash, add some spices, let it do it's thing for 4-6 hours, add greens and eat.

But for this month's Recipe Redux challenge, I decided to up my game and make a dessert/breakfast. Yes you can totally eat this either or. In Boston we have an abundance of delicious apples. Usually i just slather them with PB, but they make a pretty sweet dessert too.

Crockpot Apple Crumble

  • 1 lb apples (any variety except golden delicious)
  • 1 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat or gluten-free flour
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup maple sugar
  • salt
  • cinnamon
  • nutmeg
  1. Slice apples and toss them with salt, cinnamon and maple sugar
  2. Spray crockpot with olive oil spray
  3. Put apples in crockpot
  4. Make crisp by mixing oats, flour, oile and maple syrup
  5. top apples with crisp
  6. Turn crockpot on low
  7. Let it work it's magic for 6 hours
  8. Enjoy! (with almond milk, with non-dairy ice cream, with yogurt, whatever! morn and night)

Whole Foods has a list of delicious crockpot recipes, as does the amazing Oh My Veggies (including breakfasts and desserts. I kid you not) For more recipes, click on the links below