All Hallow’s Eve, an Avocado as Big as My Hand, and the Zombie Apocalypse

I have a confession to make: I adore the holiday season. For me, it stretches out from All Hallow’s Eve and doesn’t end till Julefrokost (for those of you who weren’t born into a deep Danish heritage, that’s a Yule-time luncheon that involves course after course of food sandwiching shot after shot of snaps. YIKES. But I digress…). If you know me, you know that the #1 most important thing in my life is and always will be family – that’s what makes the holidays so magical – but after family? Well, naming my two favorite things is pretty simple: food and (since I can’t say “food” again) fitness.

You are what you eat. And my Jack O’ Lantern ate a, um, little Jack O’ Lantern. Can you be a cannibal AND a vegan? My pumpkin apparently thinks so…

You are what you eat. And my Jack O’ Lantern ate a, um, little Jack O’ Lantern. Can you be a cannibal AND a vegan? My pumpkin apparently thinks so…

You Are What You Eat
I love fall foods. I love fall colors. I love fall foods bursting with fall colors. Can you blame me? We, sadly, had absolutely zero trick-or-treaters knocking on our door this year, but that didn’t keep us from celebrating All Hallow’s Eve in style. The house was decked in cobwebs, windows tossed open with haunted-house sounds spilling into the neighborhood, and pumpkins properly carved and glowing. And on the menu? For days before, during, and after Hallowe’en, I packed our bellies full of autumnal oranges, yellows, and deep, dark greens.

Here is one of the plant-based dishes that even managed to win over my husband’s carnivorous heart this past week. I really wanted to create a meal that incorporated the best of all worlds – steaming, roasting, and plain ol’ raw goodness.

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Steamy, roast-y, and raw, oh my! Roasted sweet potatoes, golden beets, and garlic drizzled in coconut oil, steamed broccolini with Nantes carrots, and a massive half of an avocado, all topped with freshly cracked black pepper and pink Himalyan salt.

Oh, did I mention that the avocado was as big as my hand? I mean, literally. We probably could have just eaten the avocado and been sufficiently satisfied. In fact, I’m still dreaming of that avocado. Sigh.

Brains, Brains, BRAAAAINS
I might be more intelligent about the types of food I eat, and the portions, than I was in my younger days. But that doesn’t mean I’m not still infatuated with the pure unadulterated act of grubbing. I’m not in the slightest bit ashamed. How do I counteract my insatiable appetite? Three words: moving my body. Wellness is a near-spiritual dance between what you put into your body and what you do with your body. So I keep moving. And in true spooky fashion, the best workout I had last week was surviving a zombie apocalypse, of course. Who else can boast that (besides the other ten fierce ladies I meet every Saturday for boot camp)?

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I’m not usually one for giving out free advertising, but trainer Jason at the 24 Hour Fitness in Costa Mesa is a keeper. Even with that ridiculous psychotic clown wig.

Not only was this wicked-awesome weekend warrior session decorated with the creepiest of cut-outs, the obstacle-course-style workout kept us on our toes. Medicine ball slams, kettle bell sumo squats, barbell presses, up-downs (which some folks call “burpies”?!), stair runs, and way more insanity than I have time to dive into right now. All the while, zombies nipping at our heels (well, a red-wigged motivator rather, but you get the picture). The point is, the course kept us moving and our trainer kept us focused on our cores.

And most importantly, the energy I burned balanced out the energy I consumed rather nicely, don’t you think? Just take a look at my stats below.

Oh, no big deal. Just killing 937 calories by rocking the zombie apocalypse. How was YOUR Saturday morning?

Oh, no big deal. Just killing 937 calories by rocking the zombie apocalypse. How was YOUR Saturday morning?

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[Recipe] Vegan Apple Chai Protein Pancakes

Like every other red-blooded human I know, I crave pancakes. Every day, if I’m going to be honest. But ESPECIALLY on the weekends. I blame YOU, Mom!

Well, well, well. I’m finally back from my latest adventure in geekdom (visiting family, Disney World, and of course, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando, FL). If you want to peruse my nerdiness, just check out ladyapplesauce on Instagram (that’s me!) It was the exact nerdcation I was craving and provided tons of bonding time with my Mom, which I was in desperate need of.

I know that I promised a green smoothie post waaaaaaaay before I started traveling. And I have EVERY intention of sitting down and actually writing one today. But, heck, I’m a Pisces and I’m easily distracted — plus, it’s Monday and I’m severely missing the weekend already. And so, in honor of Sunday mornings and lazy afternoons and cat-cuddling and too much coffee, I feel like posting about PANCAKES.

Pancakes rule. Mostly when someone else cooks them for me. Because I’m not that good at pancakes. I blame my griddle (but it’s a really awesome cast-iron griddle). I blame my spatula (but it’s a really awesome thin, metal, Cutco spatula that costs way more than spatulas really should). And I blame my ingredients (but they’re really awesome, organic, vegan, and who are we kidding?! I know the problem with pancakes is ME). It might be a patience thing — maybe I don’t let the griddle heat properly. Or maybe the first two pancakes are always embarrassing in everyone’s batches and it’s just that no one really talks about it. But I always end up scarfing down those first two disasters before anyone can see them. It just makes me feel like a bad, bad, fat, fat cook.

Regardless, I still love pancakes. I love making them. I love making them for people I love. I love making them for just me. I love eating them. I love eating A LOT of them. I love smothering them in maple syrup or agave nectar and Earth Balance and fruit and cinnamon and… damn, now I really want pancakes. So I was getting at a point. Right. Since I started seriously training at the gym, several months before the wedding, I have deprived myself of pancakes. Yeah, sure, I could make them and attempt to eat only one and feel really good about myself — but when I start, I can’t really stop, and I easily consume 2000+ calories of pure pancake awesomeness.  Which is fine if I didn’t really feel like eating ANYTHING ELSE for the rest of the day. And thus, I needed a solution that could combine the miracle of pancakes with my strict, self-imposed fitness goals. I scoured the interwebz and found these little gems. I modified them to what I had available in my pantry (because after all the adventuretimes, I am one broke little vegan…) Here is the result:

Aaaaand, here are the mostly usual (some not-so-usual) suspects.

Aaaaand, here are the mostly usual (some not-so-usual) suspects.

Vegan Apple Chai Protein Pancakes
(Makes about 3 – 4, depending on how big you dig ’em!)

  • 1 scoop Vega One Nutritional Shake powder (I used the Vanilla Chai flavor!)
  • 3 tbsp. organic spelt flour (of course, you could use any flour you like; to make this gluten-free, try Bob’s Red Mill All Purpose GF Baking Flour, or a combo of rice and coconut flours would be good, too.)
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 Stevia packets
  • A big pinch of pumpkin pie spice: it’s a combination of cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, ginger, clove, and lemon peel
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened organic applesauce
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup of fruit (for this batch, I chopped up apples, but you could use blueberries, strawberries, what have you!)
  • About 1 cup of water, give or take
  • Oil or vegan butter for the griddle (I’m really into coconut oil spray, at the mo…)
  • Toppings! More fruit, maple syrup, agave nectar, more vegan butter, coconut oil, it’s up to you. DUH.

To prepare:

  • Heat your griddle to medium-low and grab your ingredients, two bowls, a whisk, a wooden spoon, a thin, metal spatula, and a soup ladle.
  • Combine dry ingredients in one bowl; I use a whisk for this.
  • In a separate bowl, mix together applesauce and vanilla.
  • Add the applesauce/vanilla mixture into the dry ingredients; it won’t be super moist.
  • Slowly add the water into the batter; just a little at a time until you reach your own desired consistency (depending on whether you like super thick or thin pancakes — more water = thinner batter.)
  • Use a wooden spoon to fold your fruit into the batter.
  • Add a light coating of oil to your griddle; like I mentioned before, I am seriously pancake-challenged, but I would assume you do the drop-of-water test on the griddle (when it sizzles, it’s hot enough). Medium-low is the way to go!
  • Using the soup ladle (I love this trick!) scoop your batter onto the griddle; using the back of the ladle, you can kind of smooth out the circle of batter to make your pancakes a bit more even.
  • Just like non-protein pancakes, keep your eye on them; when the little bubbles start to pop on the outer rim of the pancake, it usually means it’s time to flip.
  • Repeat until your batter is no more! And don’t forget to top with your favorite fixins. I didn’t really need to add anything to these except for a touch of Earth Balance, though my husband loved them with lots of maple syrup. Now that I’m thinking about it, to further boost the protein packed power punch, you could add organic peanut butter or raw almond butter — I bet that would be DELICIOUS.

NOM NOM NOM ❤

Hello, there!

Cruelty-free emu feather earrings, vegan eats and sweets, sustainable beer, found feathers in bouquets… our wedding was pretty rad, guys.

Friends and family have been begging me (for what feels like forever) to start a blog. My response? But I already have Instagram! And Facebook! And Twitter! WHAT MORE DO YOU WANT FROM ME?! Apparently, micro-blogging recipes and other nonsense was not enough. And thus, it is finally official: The Lady Applesauce is alive and well. You’re welcome, interwebz.

Not much fluff here in my first post, because I’m already struggling to wrap my brain around this thing. So you’ve got a photo up there — that’s me. I just married my favorite human. He rules. I’m vegan (he’s not). Our wedding was totally vegan (because he loves me). That ruled, too.

I’m turning 31 years old this upcoming Monday. Pretty stoked to have been around this long. We live in the ‘burbs of Southern California (and we also love the film The ‘Burbs starring Tom Hanks… if you dig that, we’ll get along just fine).

We’ve got three cats and they are all girls (I’ll probably post about them a lot). Iggy (12) is an American bobtail; Bijou (8) is a Burmese; and Eleanor “Ellie Bellie Radar Trash Bao Rels Sausage Fatty McFat Fat HoboCat” (2) is your typical stripe-y alley cat who refuses to ever shut up. All are rescues. And they are, clearly, the lights of our lives.

That’s Ellie. She’s ridiculous. Most of the time she’s farting and talking up a storm. Sometimes her tongue hangs out. She always smells like fish (however, we do not feed her fish).

My family is the most important thing to me on this planet (besides the planet itself, which is equally important). I’m psychotically health conscious, I work out like a fiend, I try to be incredibly ecologically aware, I write and edit for a living, and I cook for my soul. I’ve been vegetarian for 18 years and vegan on-and-off for eight (and yes, in the midst of all of that, there have been times when I’ve called myself pescetarian; and even when I ate fish, it was hard, because I care a lot about them… but that’s another post altogether).

Oh, and I talk A LOT. Non-stop chatty. Words, words, words. With that being said, I’ll probably cut this off now before I bore you before I even begin.

IN SHORT: I’m going to to use this blog to post vegan recipes, photos of food I’ve made, healthy tips I’m learning about at the mo, and there will probably be plenty of other life stuff thrown into the mix.

xo
ladyapplesauce

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