Live Like a Vegan King on $50 a Week – Day 6 Recap

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I feel like I’ve been waiting forever for the next episode of this YouTube series. Basically, this guy (who’s an omnivore) takes on a challenge to eat vegan on a budget of $50 for a week. He’s come up with some pretty creative dishes so far.

In this episode, he and a friend make sweet potato gnocchi, with a sauce using leftover ingredients from previous dishes.

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What potato gnocchi looks like

If you don’t know what gnocchi is (pronounced n(y)ok-ee or noh-kee, naw-kee), this is what Wikipedia says:

Gnocchi are various thick, soft dough dumplings that may be made from semolina, ordinary wheat flour, egg, cheese, potato, breadcrumbs, cornmeal, or similar ingredients, with or without flavourings of herbs, vegetables, or sweet things like cocoa or prunes…  Gnocchi is usually eaten as a replacement for pasta as a first course, but it can also be served as a contorno to some dishes.

The dish originates from Italy.

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Here’s how they made gnocchi from sweet potatoes:

  • roast an entire sweet potato whole at 400F for 45 mins
  • add a sprinkle of salt to extract the moisture
  • add flour gradually (looks to be about 1/4 cup) and fold in gently
  • to test for flavor, make one gnocchi by forming a ball with two spoons
  • add to boiling water until it rises to the surface (3 mins)
  • taste gnocchi and adjust seasoning on sweet potato-flour mixture if necessary
  • form balls and cook the remaining gnocchi

The sauce they added the gnocchi to had a mixture of:

  • chickpeas
  • leftover mac and cheese sauce
  • leftover ramen stock
  • black beans
  • lemon
  • salt and pepper

I was hoping there would have been more dishes, but I thought this video was pretty cool. I’ve never made gnocchi before or thought it could be made with sweet potato, but now I’d like to try making it. Looking forward to the final episode 🙂

3 different things you can make with just bananas and oatmeal

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Bananas and oatmeal / oat flour are kind of a magical combination.

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I’ve discovered three completely different things you can make with just these two ingredients. But first, let’s talk about the nutritional value of oatmeal. According to Authority Nutrition:

Oats are among the world’s healthiest grains.

They are a good source of many vitamins, minerals and unique plant compounds.

Oats also contain large amounts of unique soluble fibers called beta-glucans, which provide numerous health benefits.

These include lower cholesterol, reduced blood sugar and insulin responses, relieved constipation and improved immune function.

In addition to all this, oats are also very filling, and may reduce appetite and help you eat fewer calories.

You don’t even need any added sugar if your bananas are ripe enough, so your blood sugar won’t spike as much as eating conventional pastries.

Muffins

Ingredients (makes about 5 muffins):

  • 4 medium ripe bananas
  • 2 cups oat flour

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Mash bananas with a fork or potato masher, or blend in a food processor.
  3. Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl until combined.
  4. Thoroughly grease a muffin tin, or use muffin liners.
  5. Evenly distribute batter into muffin tin.
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into a muffin comes out clean.

Cookies

Ingredients (makes 6 cookies):

  • 1 ripe medium banana
  • 1 cup oat flour (ground up oatmeal)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mash up the banana with a fork.
  3. Add in the oat flour and mix until well combined.
  4. Optional: Add in dried fruit, nuts, cacao nibs, or anything your heart desires. I added a scoop of pea protein powder, one chopped up date, and some crushed up walnuts.
  5. Put onto a lightly greased cookie sheet or parchment paper and bake for 10-15 minutes or until firm.

You can eat these for breakfast!

Pancakes

Ingredients (makes 3 pancakes):

  • 1 medium ripe banana
  • 1 cup of oat flour (ground up oatmeal)
  • A few tablespoons of milk of your choice

Directions:

  1. Put everything in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Add enough liquid so that it’s not super thick.
  2. Heat up a lightly oiled frying pan to medium heat.
  3. Add spoonfuls of pancake batter into the pan to make 3 pancakes.
  4. Flip when bubbles start to form on the top.

Jazz it up

You can customize these up with whatever you have lying around in your kitchen, like:

  • dried fruit
  • cinnamon
  • protein powder
  • crushed up nuts
  • cacao nibs
  • chocolate chips
  • chia seeds

The world is your oyster!

 

Brothers Green Eats – Live Like a Vegan King on $50 a Week Video Series Recap

I came across this Live Like a Vegan King on $50 a Week video series the other day and I HAD to write about it. The videos are co-created by these 2 brothers whose channel is called Brothers Green Eats, and they do all sorts of really creative cooking videos that are kind of no-frills.

One of them (Mike) took on a challenge to eat vegan for a week while only spending $50 on groceries. I was blown away and inspired by his creativity and resourcefulness. I recommend you watch it, but also here’s a summary of all the things he made:

Day 1

  • Zucchini oat muffins with chocolate
  • Vegetable fried rice

The recipes for these are in the video description!

Day 2

  • Vegan burger with:
    • beet ketchup
    • purple cabbage and carrot slaw
    • a home-made bun
    • a black bean, rice, and sweet potato patty
  • Banana slices dipped in chocolate and frozen

He used aluminum foil to shape the bun and patty into circles, which I thought was brilliant.

Day 3

  • Pan pizza with:
    • beet ketchup (instead of tomato sauce)
    • sauteed caramelized onions
    • pieces of the leftover burger patty from Day 2
  • Ramen with:
    • home-made ramen noodles (you need a noodle maker)
    • broth made with soy sauce, grated apple, coconut cream and leftover veggie scraps that he saved from the previous days of cooking
    • scrambled/fried tofu
    • zucchini, carrot, raddish

Day 4

  • Chickpea pancakes with a caramelized banana and apple sauce. He said these were the favorite dish he made out of everything in the series.

Pancake recipe

I wrote down the recipe because I want to try and make them, but there aren’t any measurements for the batter.

Pancake batter:

  • Oat flour
  • Baking powder
  • Coconut cream
  • Chickpeas
  • Grated ginger
  • Salt
  • Almond milk

Caramelized banana and apple sauce:

  • 1 banana
  • a squeeze lemon juice
  • 1/2 apple
  • liquid from the coconut milk can (not the cream part)

Directions:

  • Fry the bananas until browned
  • Put everything in the food processor and process until it becomes smooth
  • Put pancake batter on frying pan to form pancakes and cook for 3-4 mins per side

Day 5

  • Chickpea pancakes (using leftover batter from the previous day) this time made savory with sauteed cabbage and onion
  • Vegan mac and cheese
  • Coconut Almond Banana Ice Cream

Mac and cheese recipe

Again there aren’t any measurements because he was able to just eyeball everything:

“Cheese” sauce:

  1. Boil potato, onion and carrot until soft. DON’T THROW OUT THE WATER. Strain and blend in a food processor or blender with grated ginger, coconut cream, salt and pepper. Make sure you add enough salt. The carrot turns the sauce a cheesy orange color!
  2. Boil pasta noodles in the water from the previous step, but leave the noodles slightly undercooked so they soak up the sauce.
  3. Sautee some zucchini, radish, and purple cabbage.
  4. Toss everything together.

Coconut almond banana ice cream recipe

  1. Put frozen banana, coconut cream, and almond milk in a food processor and blend until smooth.
  2. Grate some chocolate on top

Some tips I learned about cooking frugally:

  • Never buy light coconut milk — it’s the same price as regular coconut milk but just contains more water and less coconut milk. You can buy full-fat coconut milk and thin it out with water instead.
  • You can try sweetening foods with grated apple instead of normal sweeteners
  • If you don’t have enough lemon juice, try adding the rind for more lemon flavor
  • You can make all kinds of sauces with blended up veggies

The entire series isn’t out yet, as of writing they have only released day 5. I’ll try to keep updating this when 6 and 7 come out.

Recipe: Not Coco-Roons

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I came across Coco-Roons in the grocery store the other day and decided to try them. They’re raw, vegan, organic, sweetened with maple syrup, and have just a few ingredients. I love how they taste — very coconut-y and just a little bit sweet. I only plan on having one or two per day though, since they’re still a source of added sugar.

Anyway, as I was eating one, I checked out the ingredients and noticed there weren’t very many, so I thought, I could make this! After all, they’re almost $1 each.

Ingredients (makes 3)

  • 5 tablespoons unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 2 tablespoons almond meal flour
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon melted coconut oil
  • a tiny pinch of salt

Directions:

  1. Grind up the shredded coconut in a blender or nut & spice mill until it becomes a powder. I used my Nutribullet.
  2. Mix all the ingredients together
  3. Roll into balls, or press into a mini muffin tin to shape them

Nutritional Information:

Calories: 96 (the real ones have 80 — I don’t know how!)
Carbs: 5g
Fat: 8g
Protein: 2g

Healthy, lazy snacks with minimal effort (vegan)

I’m all about planning my meals, but sometimes life throws you a curve ball or maybe you don’t want to plan every snack. These are some of my go-tos for when I’m on the hunt for something to munch on between meals.

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Frozen berry “cereal”

I got this idea from Laura Miller (Raw Vegan Not Gross). Basically you dump some frozen berries in a bowl and add non-dairy milk and eat it like cereal. It’s just as easy as eating cereal but full of antioxidant goodness.

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Frozen grapes

Whenever I buy grapes, I pluck them all off the branch and put half in a ziplock bag in the freezer. They’re so refreshing.

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Spicy, savory pineapple

I love pineapples in any form, but a savory way to eat them is to sprinkle them with lime, salt, and cayenne pepper. The cayenne makes it spicy but also is a metabolism-booster!

Dates dipped in Nut Butter

This is great if you’re craving something sweet — essentially you take a date and dip it in a jar of nut butter (or put the nut butter in a bowl first if you wanna be civilized).

Avocado with lemon and salt

I like making this at work in the afternoon when I’m hungry between lunch and dinner. The fat in avocado is so satisfying and it takes like 2 seconds to make this.

What are your favorite quick, easy and healthy snacks?! Tell me, I want to know!