Wednesday, February 1, 2012

My Kitchen

I became a vegan overnight, but not without a lot of research and consideration. I read several books, did months of internet research, and watched tons of videos as well as movies about using food as medicine and the impact of the typical western diet.

The photo below reminds me of myself as a kid. During grade school and most of junior high I was teased daily about my weight. 

Unfortunately, the word “vegan” seems to automatically carry a stigma. Many individuals picture some pale skinny hippy type, but as with most stereotyped things vegan bodies run the gamut from athletic to overweight.
Below are some vegan faces most of the public knows.

The first two questions I get are, “What do you eat? How do you get enough protein?  First of all, there are lots of things to eat that are delicious on a whole foods plant based diet and secondly, we do not need as much protein as the American diet prescribes. According to Doctor John McDougall, overemphasizing protein causes  Bone loss, osteoporisis, kidney damage, kidney stones, immune dysfunction, arthritis, cancer promotion, low-energy, and overall poor health.”  Furthermore, in the largest human study ever done (The China Study by T. Colin Campbell and his colleagues), shows that animal protein specifically, demonstrates the ability to turn cancer on in our genes. This information is also available in the movie forks over knives.

Next, I want to clear up some myths about food combining. It was once thought that things like beans and rice needed to be eaten together to make a perfect protein. This is not true. Protein is also found in most fruits and vegetables. It is very easy to get protein without animals.

Below is a list of foods I regularly get protein from:

Beans: Pinto, garbanzo, black, kidney (my faves)
Hummus (usually made of garbanzo beans)
Peanut butter
Almond butter
All nuts and seeds (Nuts contain good fats so eat sparingly)

Another question that comes up is where do you get calcium? From what I have found, dairy does not seem to be the best place to get calcium due to the acidic state it causes your body to be in. This acidic state leaches calcium from our bones to alkalize the body. This is why there is a greater instance of osteoporosis in places that use large amounts of dairy. Regions that do not typically use dairy products have almost no occurrences.

Here are great places to get calcium:

Greens: turnip greens, mustard greens, collard greens, kale, romaine lettuce, celery, broccoli, fennel, cabbage, summer squash, green beans, Brussels sprouts, asparagus, and crimini mushrooms.
Beans: black beans, pinto beans, kidney beans, white beans, black-eyed peas, or baked beans. (A note about beans and gas: If you soak your dry beans in water with some vinegar or lemon juice overnight prior to cooking it will eliminate gas.)
Herbs and spices: basil, thyme, dill weed, cinnamon, peppermint leaves, garlic, oregano, rosemary, and parsley.
Other foods: More good sources of calcium include salmon, tofu, oranges, almonds, sesame seeds, blackstrap molasses, and sea vegetables. And don’t forget about calcium-fortified foods such as cereals and orange juice.

Vitamin B12

If you are a vegan you have got to get this vitamin in a fortified food or a supplement. We do not eat enough dirt these days to get it and Vitamin B12 is extremely important. You can get it in most milk alternatives as well as nutritional yeast.

Now for the fun part, which is the food of course. Here are some photos of my pantry and refrigerator.

Below: In my pantry I keep a variety of soy, nut, and seed milks, brown rice, pastas, beans, butters and rices. The coconut oils and butters I use in my raw desserts. I use no refined sugars. For sweetening I use dates, raw agave, raw honey, and pure maple syrup. These too are sugars but they are low glycemic and don't give you that sugar spike and crash. They are recognizable and metabolized by the body unlike simple sugars including white sugar and high fructose corn syrup which can actually simulate hunger.

I always have an abundance of healthy snacks like nuts and dried fruit so I can grab something on the go. It helps me stay away from temptations and unhealthy choices outside of my home.

   My refrigerator is about 80% fresh fruits and vegetables. You see Earth Balance, a butter substitute. This is a good one because it has an understandable and relatively short list of ingredients. It contains no unwanted preservatives or trans fats.

On the stove (when not in use) I store other produce which is better unrefrigerated like tomatoes, avocados, and bananas.

There is no need to do this overnight like I did. There are plenty of ways to transition or even just add a day or two of animal free foods. It is never too late to add more fruits and vegetables :)

Here are some of the things I like to make regularly.

Mashed potatoes with hearty gravy


Grilled and raw salad

Creamy pasta

Minestrone soup

Burger and fries


Fusion salad with apple and orange side


Breakfast scramble

Apple pie


Amanda's Pizza Recipe

The big trick to this tasting amazing is using fresh organic ingredients. Especially when choosing the veggies!

- 1 Trader Joe’s Pizza Crust or other brand
- 3 to 4 TBSP of any organic marinara you like
- ½ tsp Garlic Powder
- 15 Fresh basil leaves
- 1 cup crimini, white or potabella mushrooms sliced
- 1 cup black or kalamata olives sliced
- 1 small or a half of a bell pepper sliced thin green, yellow, or red
- 1 thinly sliced tomato
- 1 small thinly sliced red onion
- ½ tsp oregano dry or fresh
- ½ tsp thyme dry or fresh
- Vegan mozzarella cheese ( Whole foods has all available vegan cheeses Daiya, Teese, Soy Station, Cheezly) or mix 1/4 block crumbled tofu with 1 tsp garlic powder, 1/4 tsp Italian seasoning, 1/8 tsp salt and sprinkle over pizza. (more like a feta style cheese!)

-Any other topping you like can be added. Other veggies I like to add are spinach, zucchini, thin sliced garlic, and artichoke hearts

- Preheat oven to 450
- Prepare crust according to directions on package for best results use a nonstick pizza pan and make sure the crust is of even thickness.
-Spoon and spread sauce over the crust evenly
-Add a thin layer of cheese and sprinkle with the garlic powder
- Lay whole basil leaves evenly over pizza
-Cover with mushrooms, olives, peppers, onion, and tomatoes
- Sprinkle with oregano and thyme

Bake for 10 to 15 minutes
Let pizza set up for 5 minutes once out of the oven
Cut and serve with green salad!


Below are some great resources on diet, health, and recipes!

Further reading:


Earthlings - Free online

Forks Over Knives – Streaming on netflix

Cook Books:

Blogs and sites:

I hope this post has been helpful information for you. Thanks for reading! 


  1. I wish my fridge looked like this! Come share some recipes on my link up or your Valentine post!Love all your photos! & info. Hope all is well! xo Theresa @
    PS I'll have to try your pizza! Start a food recipe swap in the forum it would be fun! Lita is 100% vegetarian too!

  2. Hey There! How are you? What is my link up? Fill me in! I'd love to share!