Black Bean Tortilla Pizza

Vegan Pizza Cutter

This pizza is easy, quick, lower in calories than traditional pizza, high in protein and delicious! Great for the whole family (kids could assemble their own) and you could definitely customize the toppings to whatever you like. But the following is my personal favourite:

1 whole wheat tortilla
Pizza sauce
Chopped red onion
Chopped red pepper
Frozen corn kernels, thawed
Canned black beans, rinsed and drained
Daiya cheddar style shreds

Bake at 350F for approximately 10 minutes (keep an eye on it to make sure it doesn’t burn) and then top with cilantro, hot sauce, salsa or whatever your heart desires! One pizza will feed 1-2 people, though I always eat a whole one myself ūüôā

-Kirsten Mitchell

Black Bean Pizza

Grilled Chickpea Salad Sandwich

chickpea-salad-sandwich

Healthy vegan comfort food anyone?  

Yes please!  This grilled chickpea sandwich is protein packed and reminiscent of the grilled cheese sandwiches I loved in my youth. Chickpeas are also extremely high in fiber.. two cups of them contain the total recommended daily value. Conveniently, canned beans seem to have about the same nutritional benefits as dried beans you soak and cook yourself (HERE is a video by Dr. Michael Greger explaining.)

Grilled Chickpea Salad Sandwichchickpea salad sandwich

Ingredients:

  • 1 can chickpeas drained and rinsed
  • 1 Tbsp sriracha
  • 3 Tbsp vegan mayo ( I used Vegenaise)
  • 3 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 stalk of celery diced
  • 2-3 green onions chopped
  • Ezekial bread or whole grain bread of choice
  • Vegan margarine ( I used Earth Balance)

Instructions:

Mash chickpeas with sriracha and then add the vegan mayo, nutritional yeast and salt.  Mix and then stir in celery and green oezekialnions. Make sandwiches, grill and enjoy!

I used Ezekial bread to up the protein content.  Two slices contains 8 grams of protein.

 

If you haven’t tried it, I would definitely recommend it!

5 Quick Power Packed Breakfasts

Carrot-Cake-Baked-Oatmeal

We’ve all heard it hundreds of times….breakfast is important! ¬†

I think the reason a lot of us skip it is because we are pressed for time, bored with the usual options or have failed to plan ahead. ¬†Here are five recipes that will hopefully not only have you eating breakfast everyday, but loving it too. It’s my favourite meal of the day!

You will notice that these are all of the sweet/fruity category, as I tend to gravitate to towards fruit in the morning and generally I have found savoury breakfasts to be more time consuming. ¬†The first three are quick and easy to make in the morning, and the last two you need to make the night before. ¬†Also I would strongly encourage investing in a high speed blender…I use mine multiple times daily and it really makes getting all those fruits and vegetable into your diet a breeze.

Nice-Cream

Mixed Berry Nice Cream

The simplest of them all! ¬†Nice Cream is literally frozen bananas (they must be ripe!) blended with a splash or two of non-dairy milk and the add ins of your choosing. ¬†Here I ¬†have used 1 banana with 1/2 C of frozen mixed berries and topped with sliced almonds. But you can add whatever you want….cocoa powder, peanut butter, different mixed fruit…the possibilities are endless. Just throw it in the blender and you have breakfast in seconds.

Pumpkin-Spice-Breakfast-Bowl

Pumpkin Spice Protein Smoothie Bowl

A variation on nice cream is the smoothie bowl. ¬†Same concept, different texture, and you can get a bit fancier ūüôā ¬†Again you can play around with it but this is one of my favourite versions:

  • 1 1/2 ripe frozen bananas
  • 1/2 C canned pumpkin
  • 3/4 C non dairy milk ( I used unsweetened almond milk)
  • 1 scoop of vanilla or unflavoured vegan protein powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp allspice

Add all ingredients to a high speed blender and blend until smooth. Top with raw pumpkin seeds. granola and unsweetened coconut.  Recipe adapted from Pumpkin Pie Smoothie Bowl.

Protein-Pudding

Chocolate Protein Pudding

  • 1 package of soft tofu
  • 2 ripe bananas (not frozen)
  • 1 Tbsp almond butter
  • 2 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • 2 Tbsp chia seeds
  • 2 Tbsp maple syrup
  • Fresh fruit

Combine all ingredients in a high speed blender and voila… chocolate, high protein deliciousness. Top with fresh fruit. This makes a couple of ¬†servings and the pudding keeps well in the fridge.

Chia-Pudding

Chia Pudding

The basic ratio for chia pudding is 3 Tbsp of chia seeds to 1 C of non dairy milk.  After that you can add what you want.  Here I have combined the chia seeds with 2 tsp of maple syrup and a 1/2 tsp of vanilla.  Whisk all ingredients together and refrigerate over night.  I find that if you can whisk again a couple of hours into the cooling process it helps to get the consistency really smooth and lump free.  In the morning layer with whatever fruits and nuts you like.  Here I have added raspberries and granola.

Carrot-Cake-Baked-Oatmeal

Heavenly Carrot Cake Baked Oatmeal

I love oatmeal and baked oatmeal was a revelation for me. ¬†I can now make a big batch and just throw a serving in the microwave in the morning. This recipe is from Oh She Glows¬†and is amazing…I could eat in for breakfast, lunch and dinner with this meal on hand! ¬†It does contain maple syrup but I have made it both with and without it and it tastes good both ways so if you are looking to reduce sugar in your diet try it without.

ENJOY!

Kirsten

Fast Against Slaughter 2015

World-Day-for-Farmed-Animals-Fast

On October 2, 2015 I participated in the Fast Against Slaughter for the first time.  

Oct 2 is World Day for Farmed Animals , and on this day tens of thousands of people take the pledge to fast in support of the billions of farm animals that are slaughtered each year.

Each day approximately 160 millions of animals are slaughtered  for food.  Before slaughter they are denied food and water for several hours or even several days.  They are scared and starving.  Through a voluntary sacrifice of food the hope is to bring an awareness to the plight of these animals and to experience a fraction of what they go through.

This was my first water only fast.  I have done juice cleanses before, but this was a whole new ball game. The fast could be anywhere between 8-36 hours, but my goal was 24.  I actually decided to do this at the very last minute.  I was already in the middle of the Wild Rose D-tox and I really wanted to do a heavy leg workout the day of the fast so I was questioning whether it was a good idea.  Basically I was making excuses. But at zero hour (literally midnight on Oct 1) I ate my last meal and committed to the fast.

IMG_3732I woke up hungry, like I do every morning, drank some black coffee ( I am actually not sure if this was allowed) and guzzled some water and got on with it. And for the most part I felt ok.  Hungry but ok.  Hunger pangs come in waves, and I found if I kept myself busy I could ignore them and they would pass.  I felt pretty good up until the last 8 hours or so and then I got shakey, headachey and was grinding my teeth. But I sucked it up, went to a movie, drank a ton of water and  made it the full 24 hours!  What kept me going was knowing that I was only experiencing a small part of what millions of farm animals experience each day and that I had a TOMORROW.  They do not.

This was a surprisingly emotional experience for me. I felt really connected to both the animals the I was fasting for and also to the amazing community of people who participated in this fast. ¬†Any time I felt like bailing I was encouraged and supported by fellow vegans ( and non vegans too). ¬†And to the naysayers out there who say that this fast is pointless because it doesn’t actually save any animals I would like to quote an 11 year old boy doing the fast who said “We have a 2 minute silence for the soldiers who have died for us every year but the 2 minute silent doesn’t bring them back. ¬†Fasting today is our way of paying respect to the animals.”

I will definitely be participating again next year and I hope many of you will join me. You can find more information about the fast at www.dayforanimals.org.

Kirsten

 

 

My Favorite High Protein Vegan Products

Woman-Flexing-Arm-Muscle

There are so many high protein vegan products on the shelves it can be hard to choose which ones to try first, so today I’m sharing my favorites to give you all a place to start!¬†

When I first became vegan my weight fluctuated a lot because I was eating too many processed foods. If it was vegan, I ate it, regardless of the amount of sugar, white flour, chemicals or bad fats in it. I soon realized that simple, clean and unprocessed was the way to go and these days I mainly stick to a diet of fruits, vegetables, legumes and seeds. But there are some amazing high protein vegan products out there that I use to supplement my diet. These are my favorites!

Field Roast:

Field Roast High Protein Vegan Product

Until I discovered Field Roast I had never found a veggie dog or sausage that I liked. These I love! The Smoked Apple Sage is my favorite but they also come in Italian and Mexican Chipotle. Each sausage is 240 calories and has 11 g of carbs and 26 g of protein. They come fully cooked and I often chop one up and toss it in a salad to get an extra protein and flavor boost. Field Roast also makes a host of other great products which you can check out at www.fieldroast.com. Apparently their Vegan Chao Cheese is amazing (unfortunately not yet available in Canada).

Simply Protein Chips:

Simply Protein Chips: High Protein Vegan Product

 

Finally a high protein, vegan, savory snack! With 15 grams of protein and just 140 calories you can’t go wrong with these. ¬†Available in BBQ Tomato (my fav), Spicy Chili, Herb, and Sea Salt and Cracked Pepper.

Gardein Turk’y Cutlet:

Gardein Turk'y Cutlet: High Protein Vegan Product

Gardein really is the gold standard when it comes to vegan meat substitutes. I honestly don’t know how they do it, but this cutlet tastes like a turkey cutlet…but better! ¬†Kids love it and I am sure you could fool a few meat eaters with it too. I actually served this as my protein last Christmas dinner and it was a huge hit. Two cutlets are 260 calories with 19 grams of carbs and 22 grams of protein.

Special K Protein Cereal:

Special K Protein Cereal: High Protein Vegan Product

Ok, I’m not proud of this, but I have basically had a bowl of cereal every night before I go to bed for the last 20 years of my life. ¬†Not while this is NOT a habit I would recommend, if you have a cereal weakness like me, I think Special K protein is your best bet. A 1 C serving has 190 calories, 33 grams of carbs and 10 grams of protein. I find it very satisfying so I usually have a smaller portion than that. It has a very slightly sweet vanilla flavor that is good on it’s own or with added fruit.

These are my favorites…what are yours? ¬†I would love to hear about what products you sexy fit vegans love!

Kirsten ūüôā

Cover photograph courtesy of espnW

 

Mung Bean Fettuccine with Roasted Tomatoes and Red Peppers

Vegan Protein Pasta: mung bean fettuccine

An addition to your vegan diet plan that seems almost too good to be true!

Aside from being super high in calories and carbs I generally find pasta to be boring and bloating. ¬†Needless to say, I rarely eat it! About the only time I have it is when it is the only vegan option at a restaurant. ¬†So I was intrigued when I saw Ella’s Instagram post about mung bean pasta….was this a noodle I could get on board with?

Mung bean pasta is high in fiber, low in carbs, is gluten free, and has approximately 24 grams of protein per serving… AND I like it! ¬†The flavour is very mild, the texture is firm and best of of all it didn’t give me that heavy, bloated feeling that I get from traditional noodles (and most substitutes). This recipe is quick and easy, and the great thing about roasting tomatoes is that even if they weren’t that flavourful to begin with, they will be after roasting.
IMG_2536-2

  • 2 pints cherry tomatoes halved
  • 2 red peppers sliced
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp garlic cloves minced
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 tsp fresh thyme
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • Gluten free mung bean pasta
  • Fresh basil chopped

Preheat oven to 350F (325F convection).  Drizzle a little olive oil on two baking sheets and spread.  Mix 3 Tbsp of olive oil, garlic, red pepper flakes, thyme and salt  together in a small bowl.  Add 1 Tbsp of balsamic to each baking sheet and spread.  Add peppers and tomatoes (cut side up) to baking sheets and spoon olive oil dressing over top.  Roast for 30 minutes and toss with cooked pasta (you may want to add a little more olive oil, salt and pepper). Top with chopped basil.

For more easy, high-protein, easy vegan recipes make sure to follow me on Instagram!

Adapted from www.almostvegancookingschool.com

 

 

 

 

Hello all you Sexy Fit Vegans!

Kirsten Going Vegan Story

“After 11 years of being a vegetarian I watched a documentary called Vegucated and I realized I could no longer stick my head in the sand.”

Hello everyone!                         IMG_1672

I have done a couple of posts here already but I thought I would formally introduce myself and share my story with you all.  My name is Kirsten Mitchell and I am thrilled to be part of the Sexy Fit Vegan family.  I am a 44 year old mother of two, and while I am neither a chef nor a fitness professional I am very passionate about both food and exercise.

I became a vegetarian in 2002 but was hesitant to switch to vegan because I was uneducated regarding the horrors of the dairy industry and I believed that I needed dairy for protein. ¬†After 11 years of being a vegetarian I watched a documentary called Vegucated and I realized I could no longer stick my head in the sand. ¬†If I truly considered myself an animal lover (which I do) then vegan was the only way to go. ¬†Along with this dietary change also came a change in my activity. For many years I had been a runner…running 5 days a week and racing often (from a mile to the marathon) and while I was physically fit, my body was just not looking the way I wanted it to. ¬†So at around the the same time I put down the dairy, I picked up the weights. ¬†Magic happened! Now after two years of being vegan I am stronger and in the best shape of my life. ¬†And more importantly, I feel great! ¬†I truly believe that a vegan diet and a balanced exercise schedule that includes cardio, strength training, balance and stretching is the fountain of youth!

IMG_0936-22013 vs today

Now my passion is creating protein forward recipes that can fuel the athlete in all of us.  It is very easy to become a junk food vegan (believe me, I had a phase where my major food group was Oreos) so it is my hope that I will be able to give you all some helpful exercise tips and recipes to add to your Vegan repertoire.  You can also find me on Instagram @veganfueledfitness.

Thank you Ella for this opportunity and I look forward to spreading the vegan love:)

Kirsten

 

Easy Vegan Recipe: No Bake Gluten Free Protein Bars

vegan cacao nibs

These healthy vegan bars have a chewy brownie crust, a thick peanut butter layer and a chocolate drizzle and hemp seed topping.  They are an easy vegan recipe to make, and at 16 grams of protein per bar they are power packed and delicious!  For those of you with nut allergies the peanut butter could easily be swapped out for almond butter.  Recipe adapted from thefitchen.com.

IMG_1762

Crust:
1 1/2 C GF oat flour
12 dried apricots chopped
1/4 cocoa powder
1/4 brown rice syrup
1 Tbsp coconut oil melted

Peanut Butter Layer:
1 C GF oat flour
1/2 C GF rolled oats
1/2 C vegan protein powder (chocolate or unflavoured)
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 Tbsp chia seeds
1 1/2 Tbsp hemp seeds
1/2 C peanut or almond butter
1 flax egg (1 Tbsp flax mixed with 3 Tbsp water)
1/4 C agave
1/2 C almond or coconut milk (I used unsweetened chocolate almond milk)
2 Tbsp coconut oil, melted

Topping:
1/4 C vegan chocolate chips, melted
hemp seeds

Grease an 8×8 baking dish with coconut oil.
Combine flax and water in a small bowl and set aside.
Add all the ingredients for the crust into a food processor and process until a crumbly dough is formed.  Transfer into the baking dish and press downs firmly until you have an even layer.
In a large bowl combine oat flour, rolled oats, protein powder, salt, chia seeds and hemp seeds.  Add agave, peanut butter, milk, flax egg and coconut oil.  Mix until just combined and then transfer to the food processor.  Process until well combined, adding a splash of milk if necessary.  Mixture will be thick and sticky.
Spread peanut butter layer over crust until even and smooth. Refrigerate for 1 hour then drizzle with melted chocolate and hemp seeds. Return to the fridge for another hour. Enjoy!
Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks or they freeze really well too.

Check out the original recipe HERE. 

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Buying Cruelty Free Made Easy

Cruelty Cutter

Buying cruelty free beauty products can be a confusing business. For many years I have being using certain products thinking that were cruelty free but they are in fact not. A company may state in black and white that they do not test on animals but this may mean:
a) The final product may not be tested on animals, but the ingredients within the product may be.
b) Product is not tested on animals unless required by law to do so. In reality what this means is that any product being sold in China will be tested on animals because the law requires it.
c) Product is not tested on animals but is owned by a parent company who does. A good example of this is MAC who started off as a cruelty free company, but is now owned by Estee Lauder.
d)Cruelty free.
Confusing right? To help sort all of this out I recently downloaded an app called Cruelty Cutter.

IMG_2087

Cruelty Cutter allows you to scan an item, from a large range of products (cosmetics, household cleaners, condoms and more!) and have an immediate response about it’s animal testing status. And the app purchase helps raise funds for Beagle Freedom Project a not-for profit organization that is dedicated to freeing beagles and other animals from testing labs. It’s a win, win!

In my search for cruelty free products I came across a company called Just The Goods and I ordered the following products: vegan face wash for normal/sensitive skin, vegan cleansing toner for dry skin, vegan facial scrub for most skin types and vegan deodorant in citrus blend.

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The cost of these products was very reasonable. The cleanser and the toner were $6 each, the deodorant $8.50 and the scrub, which I bought in a sample size was $3. And they are great! The cleanser is foamy, creamy and soothing. The toner is fresh but not too astringent. And the scrub, while more aggressive than I am used to, certainly made my skin very smooth. But for me the star of the show is the deodorant! I have never found any deodorant (cruelty free or not) that works as well as an anti-perspirant for me. But this one does! It’s citrusy and fresh and the essential oils last throughout the day and a tough workout!

Checkout www.justthegoods.net

Detox Carrot Soup

Detox-Carrot-Soup

Did you, like many of us, over indulge a bit over the holidays? Feel the need for a reboot with a clean eating detox?

I know that sometimes the temptation in January is to go the extreme with a juice cleanse or a super strict diet plan, and while those can have their time and place, they can also be incredibly hard to stick with and therefore many people get frustrated and go back to lousy eating habits again.  In my opinion the best, and most sustainable, reset you can do is pack your diet with fresh vegetables and cut out the things that are triggers for you. For me it is sugar and wine, for someone else it might be bread and and potato chips.

This soup is great for this time of year because it is easy, healthy, warming and satisfying.  The recipe itself is incredibly simple, but you could definitley punch it up with different spices if you like e.g., cumin, fresh ginger or a pinch of cayenne would be a good combo. Also if you want to up your greens intake feel free to throw in a couple of handfuls  of spinach at the end.

Detox Carrot Soup

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  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 6 carrots peeled and chopped
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 2 potatoes peeled and diced
  • 4 C vegetable stock
  • 1/2-1 1/2 tsp salt
  • Black pepper to taste

Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over a medium low heat.  Add carrots, garlic and onion and cook for 5 minutes.  Stir in the potatoes, reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 5 minutes.  Pour in broth and bring to a boil, then reduce heat , cover, and allow soup to simmer for 20-25 minutes until vegetables are tender.

Allow soup to cool a bit and then puree in batches in a blender.  Reheat, season with salt and pepper (depending on the vegetable broth you use you may need a little, or a lot, of salt) and serve.  Top with vegan sour cream and green onions if desired.

Enjoy!

– Kirsten