Vegan Eats Roundup: Back to School Edition

Vegan Eats Roundup: Back to School Edition

Back to school, back to busy season! My goodness it’s been just over a week and I already am feeling all the feels for this fall. Excitement, stress, uncertainty, and gratitude for opportunity! Between being a full time graduate student, TA, and rewatch assistant, it’s been a 10-day whirlwind and we’re just getting started.

I thought I’d do a recent eats recap for ya. I was doing them weekly for a while, but have sort of transitioned to bi-weekly, just because most of the time I’m lazy and forget to take pics and/or because I usually eat some variation of pb&j for most lunches during the school year (hey, it packs well and tastes delicious, don’t judge me). So here we go! Hope this inspires some yummy plant-based food ideas for you.

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Cauliflower Steak with Herb & Hummus Sauce and Hazelnuts

Cauliflower Steak with Herb &  Hummus Sauce and Hazelnuts

I love cauliflower; it’s one of my favorite vegetables. I’d even go so far as putting in my top three most loved vegetables, alongside sweet potatoes and romaine. And lucky for my tastebuds, cauliflower is finally having the moment I’ve always believed it deserves, and I’ve been trying it in every shape and form I can get my hands on. However, I realized last week I’d not yet made a Cauliflower ‘steak’ before, and then when whole heads of cauliflower went on sale when I was at the stores a few hours later, I decided to give it a try, and the Cauliflower steak with Herb & hummus sauce was born.

Vegan Cauliflower Steak with Herb & Hummus Sauce and Hazelnuts

The result was an interesting and different veggie-packed dish that I will make again and again. Now, obviously, a cauliflower steak is nothing like a beef steak and I am by no means trying to fool anyone there.

Easy vegan Cauliflower Steak with Herb & Hummus Sauce and Hazelnuts

Rather, I think this is a fun way to eat veggie and should be enjoyed in its own entity (I feel the same way about rice vs cauliflower rice – just different foods completely, so I don’t compare or replace them with one another, but enjoy them for what they are). I went with a rather simple preparation for the cauliflower. Just a bit of high-heat oil, salt, and pepper.

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How Studying Nutrition Changed The Way I Eat

How Studying Nutrition Changed The Way I Eat

Back in the day, I got my master’s degree in human nutrition from Columbia University. It was an intense, interesting, and rewarding experience: one that left me hungry (no pun intended) to learn more about the field. A pivotal experience, my MS in human nutrition instilled an insatiable scientific curiosity in me, and is probably why I’m on the path I am on today.

I chose to study nutrition because I was always fascinated in how the foods we use to fuel our body have the power to impact our health. For many, many, years, however, I wanted to be a doctor. However, when I was shadowing physicians, I realized many lacked nutrition education and training.

Which totally is not their fault – most medical schools have minimal time/curriculum devoted to nutrition. But when I learned about this reality, I wanted to ensure I’d have a solid foundation of nutrition (outside the nutrition minor I got while at NYU) in addition to a medical degree. And so, I enrolled at Columbia prior to going to med school.

Obviously, I’ve gone a none-medical route since, but since I’ve studied the topic, I occasionally get asked questions about nutrition, specific ingredients, my diet, and how I think others should eat.

So I thought it may be interested to list out how I’ve changed my diet since studying nutrition. Below are 12 ways studying nutrition morphed how I eat and how I think about food and health in general.

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What I’ve Been Eating Lately (Vegan)

What I’ve Been Eating Lately (Vegan)

Hey hey it’s time for another recent eats roundup. Here are some yummy recent vegan things I’ve been munchin’ on. I hope it inspires some yumminess in your life!

Bananas + Justin’s Chocolate Hazelnut Butter

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After eyeing up Justin’s Chocolate Hazelnut Butter for a long time, I finally snatched it when it was on sale at Whole Foods for $7.99. Yes, still a splurge. But I have been itchin’ to try for so long!

It did NOT disappoint. It’s so good on bananas. Actually it’s pretty much good on everything (I’ve tried ice cream, toast, and apples too), but especially bananas. Obsessed. A worthy splurge IMO!

BANACHOS.

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You know it. Recipe here, video here.

Butter Lettuce Salads

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Every since I was little, I’ve loved butter lettuce. I can eat a whole head or bag of it in one sitting, easy. Goes down like nothin’.

I love the delicate yet crunchy and refreshing leaves. Have really been loving salads with Bibb or butter lettuce, nuts, and fresh peaches. Lately I’ve been rotating between Trader Joe’s Green Goddess and Panera Poppyseed dressing. And sometimes, I mix them. YOLO.

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Everything You Need to Know about Cancer and French Fries

Everything You Need to Know about Cancer and French Fries

By now, you’ve probably come across an article on your social feed about how French fries or fried potatoes in general are causing cancer. If not, congrats. The blissfully ignorant state of not knowing about the potential harm of over consuming fried potatoes means your life is probably less anxiety-ridden than my own (oh, and sorry for bursting that bubble of cozy comfort with this post. Feel free to stop reading right now if you’d like).

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Anyways, I’ve gotten a lot of Qs about this topic, so I thought I’d address it here. As a potato-finatic and food tox and food safety enthusiast, this issue hits close to home and is one I wanted to examine for myself. This topic actually came up in food tox before I saw it trending all over social media, so I was happy to have a solid grip on the science before all the media hype surrounding it.

So, let’s dive into the nitty starchy gritty: potatoes, French fries, and acrylamide: what you need to know about the risks, and how to minimize your own.

Ps: I had been pausing blogging, not by choice, but out of circumstance, as when I tried to transfer hosting sites, my site was kind of MIA from the internet for over a week…talk about anxiety-inducing. Oy.

Anyways, now that I’ve got my site back, I’m going to work with a different company on transferring the site (because I’ve got bigger and better things planned) and in the meantime keep chugging along here.

So what’s the risk? Are my potatoes and grains giving me cancer?

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Acrylamide does not appear to be of concern in raw foods themselves; it seems to be formed when certain starchy foods are cooked at high temps.

So the risk does not lie necessarily in the potatoes or grains per se, so don’t think you have to instantly ban potatoes from your household. The risk is actually from the acrylamide that develops upon high heat cooking of the potatoes (usually above 250°F).

What is acrylamide?

Easy Baked Cripsy Sweet Potato Wedges with Almond Butter

Acrylamide is a chemical compound found in a lot of industrial production. It’s also found in cigarette smoke. It’s also in many foods, including canned black olives, potato chips, French fries, dark browned toast, coffee, prune juice, and some breakfast cereals.

Acrylamide can also form in some foods as a result of the amino acid asparagine being heated to high temperatures in the presence of certain sugars. This is what happens when potatoes are fried in hot oil. Potatoes happen to have high levels of asparagine, hence the recent concern about french fries, acrylamide and cancer.

Baking and roasting can also lead to acrylamide formation. Generally speaking, the longer and hotter the cooking method, the more acrylamide is likely to form. Boiling and steaming do not typically lead to acrylamide formation.

Continue reading “Everything You Need to Know about Cancer and French Fries”

An Update on the Future of this Site

An Update on the Future of this Site

Helllooooo my friends! How’ve you been? I feel like a terrible person for going MIA yet again for a month. I was in wifi/reception-less Alaska for 9-10 days, then working on a host transfer, which got messed up multiple times. Oof. I couldn’t even access my page for well over a week. Talk about stressful!

But I’m back and wanted to address a few things. First, you may notice things here look a tiny bit different. That’s on purpose. And know that this design/feel is temporary. I’m working with a new company to transfer to a bigger, badder hosting site and make the website much more user-friendly because…

I want to expand this space. More than recipes/random life updates/recaps/musings. I want it to be a reliable, approaching resource for all things health, nutrition, climate change, sustainability, and vegan lifestyle. With tidbits of my own life tossed in, of course.

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The truth is I started this blog a long time ago. I’ve learned and grown so much since then both in my knowledge of nutrition/sustainability/cooking, AND in my knowledge of online content creation.

And I haven’t been proud of some of the stuff on the site. I want to be proud of every.single.thing. I post. That means better recipes, more responsible science-based posts, and more of my life/emotions. I want to leave it all out on the table for you guys. I love connecting with others via the internet, so let’s be friends :-)/

Videos will also be launching soon, so stay tuned for that.

Nutella-Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies Vegan

As always, if you have any questions, ideas, or requests, please leave a comment below or HMU on Insta. I LOVE hearing from you.

Stay #blessed fam~

-Katherine

 

 

What You Need To Know about Vitamin B-12, Especially if You’re Vegan

What You Need To Know about Vitamin B-12, Especially if You’re Vegan

It’s funny. When people find out you’re vegan or vegetarian, suddenly everyone and their mother becomes your nutritionist, wondering if you get enough protein, if you take supplements and get enough Vitamin B-12, and if you’re malnourished and falling over yet, etc.

No one bats at eye or comments at people who sustain themselves off pizza, burgers, fries, and chips, but so many feel entitled to scrutinize the nutrient-content of plant-based diets.

But I digress. This post is about the main nutrient of concern for vegetarians and vegans. No, it’s not protein (which in fact, most people over-consume). It’s Vitamin B-12. If you’re vegetarian, vegan, pescatarian, have chronic bowel issues, and/or are over the age of 50, you should assess and consider if you are getting enough vitamin B-12.

nutritional yeast

I don’t very often flex my MS in nutrition muscles on the blog. I always intend to, but I find my brain so exhausted of academic/science writing from school that much of the time the blog is filled with recipe and lifestyle posts because those are fun and relaxing to write.

But I really do want to make an effort to communicate more nutrition info here on kbaked.com. Let me know if you like this kind of content and/or what other topics you’d like to see covered! Without further adieu…here’s what you need to know about Vitamin B-12.

What is Vitamin B-12?

Vitamin B-12 (also known as cobalamin) is a water-soluble vitamin and was the last vitamin discovered. It’s found in various forms, including cyanocobalamin (often found in supplements and fortified food), as well as methylcoablamin (a methylated form) found in animal products.

Cyanocobalamin needs to me methylated for your body to make use of it. Both are well-absorbed, and it’s currently unknown if there’s a “better” or more bioavailable form to consume.

Continue reading “What You Need To Know about Vitamin B-12, Especially if You’re Vegan”

Easy Homemade Chia Jam

Easy Homemade Chia Jam

I love me a PB&J. Or an almond butter and J. Both are wonderful. And something I feel I appreciate more as an adult than as a child. Anyone else? Okay, maybe just me.

Easy Homemade Chia Jam

While I’m a nut butter fiend, I also appreciate a scrumptious jam or jelly. The issue, I find, with many at the store is that they’re so darn sweet.

Chia Jam Recipe

I’m all about desserts, but when it comes to breakfast foods like yogurt, jams, and oatmeals, I’m very turned off but overly sweet things. Hence, I seek out sweetened-with-only-fruit jams (Crofter’s Organic is my favorite brand, and Trader Joe’s has some good options, as well) or I make my own homemade chia jam.

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Chia seed jam is the easiest thing ever. All you do is add chopped up fruit, chia seeds, and a hint of lemon juice if you’re feeling fancy. If you want to up the sweetness factor, go ahead and add a tablespoon or two of sugar, honey, or syrup.

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Update and Eats Lately

Update and Eats Lately

Hello! How are you? I’ve been MIA for a while, even though I promised not to drop off the blog space no matter what.

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Well, here’s what happened: I ended up getting screwed over a bunch by a management company and got my keys September 12 even though I paid all September rent up-front. Then I moved in finally and got sick. Long story short there was a serious mold issue in the unit that the management refused to take care of and I proceeded to couch surf for about 5 weeks while in a legal battle trying to break my lease and move.

Eventually, everything settled. I lost some money, endured a TON of stress, and was reminded just how harsh and unforgiving renting in NYC can be. I had a lot of low points, tears, and was at times completely and utterly overwhelmed.

I know many people have it far worse than I did and face housing insecurity on a daily basis, but to me, figuring out where I was sleeping on a nightly basis, half-resting on couches through nights filled with tossing and turning, and trying to stay on top of my health, legal battles, and full-time grad program proved wearing.

The hardest part for me was that Millie was in Wisconsin for 9 weeks while I tried to resolve things. It was so so hard to be away from my rock. She is my joy and I really questioned if I truly wanted to do this. Honestly, I still do sometimes, but that’s another story.

On top of that, my mom’s health is really not in a good place, so I felt an additional layer of stress from that.

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I have emerged from the whole situation a bit wiser and more wrinkled (from stress lol) but relocated to New Jersey (view from Jersey City above) to a mold-free apartment with my doggo back at my side and feel marginally better about life and much more appreciative of what I have.

I’m going back to a regular posting schedule now that I’m settled and have some projects on my horizon. I’ll spare you promises about frequency of posting since I failed you last time I did.Screen Shot 2017-11-30 at 7.04.41 AM.png

On a lighter note, I thought I’d share some eats lately. These are all random but hopefully may give you some mealtime and snack inspiration. Hope you enjoy!

Baked Pumpkin with Sea Salt

And a dash of cumin and cayenne pepper. I bought my first ever sugar pumpkin to make a pumpkin pie from scratch on Thanksgiving and ate the leftover cooked pumpkin which triggered a new appreciation of the fruit.

I feel like we (at least I personally) often forget that pumpkins are another squash you can eat. And now I feel like I should make up for lost time. So roasted pumpkin has been a thing lately.

To cook I just halved the pumpkin and roasted at 425 for about 45 minutes until it was soft.

Pumpkin Oatmeal Waffles

To make these I googled “pumpkin vegan waffles,” found this recipe, and replaced the flour with oat flour since that’s what I had (and also I love the texture and flavor of oat flour). Paired with pecans and real maple syrup.

Van Leeuwan Ice Cream

The best non-dairy. The above is “one scoop” peanut butter cherry bon bon and “one scoop” cookie crumble strawberry jam. I use quotes because each scoop was like 8 scoops.

So rich. Left me very very full lol.

Vegan Halo Top

Okay hear me out on this one. I have long disapproved if Halo Top’s marketing strategies and am a fan of eating full-fat full-sugar over artistical ‘light’ versions when a craving hits.

That said, I was curious when vegan Halo Top hit the shelves and bought a few under the impression that I would be reimbursed to review it for a Spoon post. The post fell through, but I ended up liking the Halo Top a whole lot more than I thought I would. Not as ice cream, but more as a substitute for cool whip, which is really more what it tastes and feels like to my palate.

I’m going to write a full review on them later today which I will link here when it’s finished. But yeah, I kinda dig it lol.

Whole Me Snacks

This brand sent some samples and HOLY yum. It’s like a chewy granola top muffin. My favorite flavors are almond coconut and cinnamon banana chip. DELISH plain, dipped in almond milk, or in yogurt. I’m obsessed. You can get them on Amazon and probably in some health food stores.

(Please note for strict vegans some flavors do contain honey).

Thanksgiving Dinner

What do vegans eat on Thanksgiving you ask? All of the sides, of course! I made two kinds of sweet potatoes, soy ginger glazed shishitto peppers, vegan stuffing (which turned it SO good), roasted delicata squash with pecans and pomegranate seeds, a green salad, rolls, baked tempeh, Lemon broccoli salad, and of course….

Pumpkin Pie from Scratch

Using a sugar pumpkin. I adapted this recipe and it turned out fab. I made half with regular crust for my mom and half with walnut-date crust for me, since regular pie crust does not and never has done anything for my taste buds and I much prefer other kinds of crusts, like graham, cookie, or nut crusts.

Muraski Sweet Potatoes

Anyone else love these purple-on-the-outside, white-on-the-inside potatoes from Tjs?! To me they taste like chestnuts and this potato gal can’t get enough.

Also I’m p sure they are the potato behind this emoji: 🍠🍠🍠🍠

Banana Bread Oatmeal Bites

I made these on Vegan Bites (which is back, btw! Now on Thursday nights) and they’ve been a good easy snack lately. Will post recipe later today/ this week.

Salted Chocolate PB Cup Brownies

Same caption as above lol.

Delicata Squash

Roasted with a drizzle of olive oil, maple syrup, salt and pepper and served with pecans and pomegranate perils.

That’s all for now but I will share more soon! Sorry for the CRAPPY quality phone pics. My phone is on it’s way out and barely works.

If you read this, I’d appreciate if you commented and said hello! And let me know what kind of content you like seeing (day in the life, recipes, nutrition/health).

Signing off for now; I’ve got recipes to post and homework to do. Missed y’all!! Now go eat something yummy for me. 🤗

Vegan Oatmeal Apple Cinnamon Rolls with Coconut Vanilla Yogurt Icing & Walnuts

Vegan Oatmeal Apple Cinnamon Rolls with Coconut Vanilla Yogurt Icing & Walnuts

CINNAMON. ROLLS.

Vegan Oatmeal Apple Cinnamon Rolls via Kbaked

Is there anything like ’em? No. There is not. When you’re craving a cinnamon roll, absolutely nothing else will do.Vegan Cinnamon ROlls - Apple Oatmeal Cinnamon

Which is why after craving them like cray for several days in a row, I decided to make some. Now I’m simultaneously #satisfied, and eager to make some more cinnamon roll variations (my friend suggested carrot cake…genius?! yes).

Yummy Vegan Oatmeal Apple Cinnamon Rolls - Kbaked

Me being me, I decided to tweak classic cinnamon rolls and put my own lil twist on ’em. I used oat flour because I wanted something not junky tasting (tho I do love a junky cinnamon roll sometimes…just was more in the mood for hearty/substantial/I really love the texture/flavor of oat flour in baking).

Vegan Oatmeal Apple Cinnamon Rolls - Kbaked

Then, for the filling, I used apple sauce + cinnamon + a wee bit of non-dairy butter (tho you could even skip the non-dairy butter).

Vegan Oatmeal Apple Cinnamon Rolls - Kbaked

For icing, I used vanilla coconut yogurt. This was actually because I was out of powdered sugar and too lazy and cheap to buy more at the moment so I opted for yogurt. And you know what? IT WAS AMAZING. Happy accident AF. Tangy, sweet, vanilla-…it was like a shortcut, less intense cream cheese icing. 10/10 would reccomend.

kbaked Vegan Oatmeal Apple Cinnamon Rolls

You should make these cinnamon rolls if you are looking for something satisfying, not junky, and different fr breakfast. If you are looking for a classic, more junky, Cinnabon-esque cinnamon roll, this recipe probably isn’t what you want right now.  If you want to make cream cheese icing or other icing, be my guest. Either way, get rockin’ and rollin’.

Vegan Oatmeal Apple Cinnamon Rolls_Kbaked

Vegan Oatmeal Apple Cinnamon Rolls with Coconut Vanilla Yogurt Icing & Walnuts

Prep Time:  30 minutes, plus 6-8 for proofing
Cook Time: 20-40 minutes
Servings: about 4 small cinnamon rolls

Ingredients:

  • 2 teaspoons yeast
  • 3/4 cup almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon melted non-dairy butter
  • 1/2 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup oat flour (can sub AP or whole-wheat flour if desired)
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour or whole-wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 tablespoon sugar

For Filling:

  • 1/3 cup apple sauce
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon non-dairy butter (I like Earth Balance)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup sugar

For Icing:

  • 1 container coconut or soy milk vanilla yogurt (I like So Delicious, Soyo, Silk, and Stony Field’s Brands)

For garnish:

  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts

Method:

  1. Warm almond milk in a bowl to about 110 F. The milk should be warm, but not boiling.
  2. Add yeast and allow to bloom, about 10 minutes.
  3. Add sugar, salt and vanilla. Mix
  4. Add flours, 1/2 cup at a time, folding gently into the butter mixture.
  5. Allow dough to rise until doubled in size, roughly 6-8 hours.
  6. When dough has risen, roll out into a rectangle, about 1/4th inch thick.
  7. Coat dough rectangle with apple sauce, and then add 1 1/2 tablespoons butter, cubed.
  8. Combine sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over apple sauce.
  9. Roll dough into one log. Use a knife to cut into fourths.
  10. Place fourths/rolls into well-oiled pan and bake for 30-40 minutes until golden and fragrant.
  11. Remove from oven and drizzle with yogurt. Top with chopped nuts, if desired.