It’s recipe week, my dudes! This weekend I got the lovely opportunity to fly home to San Francisco to see my family for a few days and celebrate my dad’s birthday. In lieu of birthday celebrations I’m bringing out my TOP SECRET WEAPON: the best vegan chocolate cake you will ever have. I would not lie to you, guys, this cake has been described by many as: fluffy, moist, decadent, life-changing, and “the best chocolate cake I’ve ever had”. Now that I’ve sufficiently raised your expectations to the point at which you might actually be disappointed no matter how good this cake is, here’s the recipe. Taste the magic.
Disclaimer: This beauteous recipe was conceived by my friend, Jenna Jayasinghe. I just modified it a bit. Her blog is below.
((**=see note below))
For Chocolate Cake:
2 ½ cups + 2 tablespoons cake flour
2 ½ cups + 2 tablespoons white sugar
1 cup + 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 tablespoon baking soda
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
1 ½ teaspoons salt
¾ cup neutral oil (I used canola, but you could use coconut, vegetable, etc.)
3 tablespoons ground flaxseed + 6 tablespoons water (mix the flax and water and set in the fridge for about 15 minutes or until it gets a sticky, egg like consistency)
1 ½ cups unsweetened almond milk + 1 tablespoon white vinegar (mix the milk and vinegar and set aside for 5 minutes before adding into the bowl)
2 ¼ teaspoons vanilla extract
1 ½ cups boiling water
Chocolate coconut cream frosting (premade or homemade--homemade requires 24 hours of chilling coconut milk):
Premade: SoDelicious coconut whipped topping (you can find it here: http://sodeliciousdairyfree.com/products/coconut-milk-frozen-desserts/cocowhip-original)*
Coconut cream (recipe below)
¼ cup cocoa powder
Powdered sugar to taste
*Homemade coconut cream: To make your own you’ll need one can of full fat coconut milk (I find that the brand Thai Kitchen works the best). Let it sit in the fridge for a full 24 hours before making the frosting. Once chilled, scoop out the solidified cream on top and leave the water on the bottom of the can alone (use it to make a smoothie or something). Because of this, the frosting needs to stay relatively chilled.
1. Preheat oven to 350º
2. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt and set aside
3. Beat the oil, flax egg, almond milk mixture, and vanilla until combined (~1 min)
4. Gradually stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until combined (be careful not to over mix)
5. Add in boiling water (batter will be very thin)
6. Spray 3 9-inch pans with nonstick spray and fill with batter evenly. Bake for about 22-25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean
7. Let cool completely before frosting.
`1. Place coconut cream into a chilled mixing bowl and with an electric mixer, beat for about 2 minutes to expand.
2. Add in cocoa powder and beat until combined
3. Add in powdered sugar to taste (I used about 5 tablespoons)
4. Let chill in the freezer for 15 minutes before frosting the cake
Junior Foods and Nutrition Major
‘Tis the season...for apple cider, finally breaking out the sweater collection, and pumpkin spice everything under the sun. For some of you, Halloween probably doesn’t mean much more than watching a few scary movies and (maybe) attempting to throw together a last minute costume, but for others, Halloween entails extravagant parties full of creative costumes, on-point decorations, and lots and lots of FOOD! As with any holiday, it can be hard to balance wanting to be a crowd-pleaser while still keeping your cool, having fun, and staying healthy. Here are some of my tips for a successfully spooky Halloween:
1: Meal Prep
Ah, meal prep, how I love you.
Sadly, as a freshman in college living on campus, meal prep is not as practical (R.I.P. beloved roasted vegetables and chicken), but if you have the means, I highly suggest it, as it reduces a lot of stress around meals. Especially in October, when midterms are in full-swing and there are fall activities galore, the last thing anyone wants to do is divert time away from studying and socializing to put together extravagant meals. Prepping food once a week to keep stored in the fridge for easy on-the-go meals saves so much time and effort. I recommend roasting up your favorite vegetables, prepping your favorite protein source, and maybe trying a side dish or snack recipe or two to keep your meals exciting. My favorite meal prep options are sweet potatoes, roasted zucchini and squash, turmeric spiced chicken, and fun-flavored hummus to put on everything!
2. Get Outside
Fall is such a beautiful time of year, so take advantage of it by getting outside, unplugging from social media, opting for outdoor events and festivities, and putting your stressful tasks and obligations aside for a few moments each day. Taking some time outdoors to refresh and recharge can give you the energy you need to attack your to-do list and channel your productivity into all your fall projects!
3. Sleep...as much as you’re able to!
I always emphasize how vital sleep is to well-being, boosting your mood, and maintaining an optimum energy level throughout the day, but let’s be honest...8+ hours of sleep a night is not a reality for everyone. Especially with all of the Halloween festivities going on, late nights tend to be pretty common this time of year. Try prioritizing late-night events and then choose one or two days to stay out late. One night of less-than-optimal sleep is far better than being sleep deprived every day during the middle of the semester or missing out on all the things you were looking forward to doing.
4. Make Your Party Food Palatable (and Healthy!)
Fall activities are not the best places to find healthy food options, but you can put your own healthy spin on your favorite party foods while still keeping them appetizing for your guests. If you’re having your own fall get-together, here are some tasty and festive recipes you can try:
2. Pumpkin Hummus
3. Pumpkin Spice Freezer Fudge
4. Cinnamon Roasted Chickpeas
5. Have Fun, Stay Safe, and Make Some Memories
So while this may seem like three tips instead of one, they go hand in hand. Making sure that you’re spending time with people you trust (especially on late nights) ensures that you not only have a great time, but also don’t get yourself into a dangerous situation without a loyal friend by your side. Whether that means assigning a designated driver for Halloween night, staying away from places/people you know will lead to trouble, or simply deciding to forgo the party scene altogether and have a low-key Halloween night with your closest friends, it’s all about looking out for number one (AKA your health and safety). At the end of the night, make sure you’re taking care yourself in every way possible...and having a good time in the process!
I hope that you all have a healthy and happy Halloween full of great memories, great friends, and great food! Now excuse me as I go scout around eBay for a kale costume...
Freshman Foods and Nutrition Major
Hello my healthy homies!
Thought I would share with y'all today a little guide on how to make my favorite breakfast of all time…
The sweet potato bowl.
Now being the health nut and nutrition nerd that I am, I have to first give you some background on why exactly this breakfast is freaking amazing (besides that it involves sweet potatoes, which automatically makes it amazing).
First of all, sweet potatoes in themselves are full of nutrients that our body loves...vitamin A, beta-carotene, vitamin C, manganese, carbohydrates, and even tryptophan (that stuff in turkey that is notorious for making you "sleepy") which helps to elevate your mood.
Not to mention that even more nutrients are added on from yogurt (packed with protein and digestive enzymes and bacteria), nut butters (full of healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals), and berries (antioxidants for the win).
So there you have it, this breakfast is pretty much the best.
Now enough of my sweet potato praise, how do you actually make the perfect bowl?
Step 1: Pick Your Potato
I personally just go with a good old-fashioned yam (often synonymous with sweet potato and orange-ish in color), but you could do absolutely any kind of sweet potato, it's all up to you. You could even mix it up and use a purple sweet potato, which are very pretty I must say.
There are numerous ways of cooking the potato: you can bake them whole, roast them, slice them up and sprinkle them with cinnamon, steam them, or simply microwave them (disclaimer: I almost always end up microwaving them in their skin for about 5 minutes...it's just so much quicker). Microwaving is perfect if you NEED that damn potato bowl ASAP but of course roasting is probably a more wholesome way of cooking it. Meal prep some sweet potatoes on Sunday so you can make sweet potato bowls all day long!
Step 2: Choose Your Yogurt
Any type of yogurt will do; use what you like: Greek, non-fat, low-fat, whole milk, Sheep's milk, goat milk, non-dairy...the options are endless.
Although, I do recommend the more natural brands of yogurt, as you will get more nutrients from milk that has been produced by more humanely raised animals that feed on grass. Also, look out for sketchy ingredients...try to find a yogurt that is hella simple! My go to is Siggi's...more protein than sugar in each container, made from wholesome ingredients, and from grass-fed cows. Perfect.
Step 3: Berry It
I'm sorry my puns are cringe-worthy.
But seriously, don't be afraid to add all the berries you want. People nowadays often avoid sugars to the point of avoiding fruit, but I can assure you the antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals found in fruits (especially berries) make them worth adding to your meals.
Blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries...they're all full of antioxidants to keep your immune system strong, fiber to fill you up and help ease your digestive system, and have even shown to have anti-cancer and anti-aging properties
So yes, I'll have all the berries please, thank you.
Step 4: Go Nuts with Nut Butter
Nut butter honestly makes the bowl.
If you haven't tried nut butter and sweet potatoes together, you're missing out.
Of course you can go with classic peanut butter or almond butter, but there are so many other options, such as cashew butter, walnut butter, sunflower seed butter, or even tahini or coconut butter.
Ultimately, I try to look for nut butters that have as few ingredients as possible, because nut butters that live up to their names (butters made out of nuts) just make me feel satisfied as a consumer. Here's a few of my favorites:
Artisana Organics cashew butter...ingredients: raw organic cashews.
Once Again almond butter...ingredients: organic unblanched almonds.
Step 5: Enjoy!
There you have it: the perfect sweet potato breakfast bowl built just how you like it. If you try it out, let me know, and if you need more breakfast inspiration, make sure to follow me on Instagram @kaceyrunsonkale. I have had my share of sweet potato bowls!
Pictured: organic sweet potato (yam), Siggi's mixed berry and acai yogurt, organic blackberries, and Artisana Organic cashew butter...and my favorite cold brew!
Freshmen. San Diego State University
A few weeks ago, Kelsey Peterson spoke at our SNO meeting. Not only is she is an incredibly accomplished and knowledgeable registered dietitian with both a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science from CSU Long Beach, but she is very personable and open to answering our questions about the field ahead of us. Her presentation peaked my interest particularly because she has a private practice in addition to being a registered dietitian/nutrition therapist at Nutrition Instincts in Sorrento Valley, and she focuses all of her work around the principle of “Intuitive Eating”.
Eating intuitively in a sense is being at peace with food, and a big part of this is that you reject the “diet mentality” (the idea that you should restrict yourself to limited types of food, or ignore your hunger in order to lose weight quickly). Eating intuitively plays a huge role in rehabilitation from eating disorders, which is why it is so intertwined with Kelsey’s work. On the whole, girls statistically are more likely to develop eating disorders, though it is only known that “a growing consensus suggests that a range of biological, psychological, and sociocultural factors come together to spark an eating disorder” (nationaleatingdisorders.org), and some people forget that it is in fact a mental illness and should be treated as such. Not to compare myself to people suffering from severe eating disorders or victimize myself, but I know I struggled with my weight and constantly compared myself to others growing up which led me to develop many forms of disordered eating throughout my life. I definitely learned that food and mental health absolutely go hand-in-hand.
It’s taken me from as long as I can remember until now to get to a comfortable place with food so I for one know you can’t just flip a switch and be able to eat intuitively. One of the best things to do, first of all, is know that you are not alone. There’s literally always someone who is either going through the same thing, or who you can talk to even if they’re not. I love my parents, but when I was younger I often felt like they didn’t understand what I was going through at all, so I found friends who had similar experiences and we started trying to work it out together.
Kelsey also mentioned a book that she said changed her life, entitled Intuitive Eating by Elyse Resch and Evelyn Tribole. I did some research on the philosophy of intuitive eating and I realized that those practices were heavily correlated with a lot of things I struggled with, and it was something I hadn't known about before she came to our meeting! I know a lot of people obsessively avoid carbs, or limit their calories to dangerous levels, without understanding the damage that a lack of certain foods will cause. Carbs power everything in our bodies and regulate blood glucose levels, and we need enough calories to get through the day, not to mention any extra exercise we may be doing. A diet lacking in essential nutrients like natural sugars or fats is one that could cause low thyroid function, low serotonin levels, stunted growth, etc. This is only the tip of the iceberg of eating disorders. There is a spectrum and every disorder is valid. This is why eating intuitively is so important and so intriguing to me. I’ve linked a page that outlines 10 steps of intuitive eating. I highly recommend giving them a read.
Buy the book:https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/intuitive-eating-evelyn-tribole/1125544905?ean=9781250004048&pcta=n&st=PLA&sid=BNB_DRS_Core+Shopping+Textbooks_00000000&2sid=Google_&sourceId=PLGoP245&k_clickid=3x245
Steps of Intuitive Eating:http://www.intuitive eating.org/10-principles-of-intuitive-eating/
Get the down-low on Kelsey!: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kelsey-peterson-ms-rd-10695254
Junior. Foods and Nutrition major at SDSU.
Hello hello hello!
This week I bring you not one, but two recipes to add to your recipe radar: chickpea almond butter cookies and sweet potato brownies. The best part? They are only made from whole food ingredients and taste absolutely amazing! Not to mention that they require minimal ingredients and time (what every college student wants to hear!).
I could go on forever about my undying love for real food or I could just give you the recipes...so here they are!
Chickpea Almond Butter Cookies
Adapted from Further Food: https://www.furtherfood.com/recipe/chickpea-peanut-butter-cookies/
1 can chickpeas
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup + 2 tbsp almond butter
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
3/4 cup Enjoy Life brand mini chocolate chips
1 scoop protein powder of choice (I used collagen peptides)
Sweet Potato Fudge Brownies
Adapted from the Big Man's World: https://thebigmansworld.com/2015/11/27/4-ingredient-flourless-sweet-potato-brownies-paleo-vegan-gluten-free/
1 cup mashed sweet potato
1/2 cup natural almond butter (I used Once Again brand...one ingredient: almonds!)
2 tbsp pure maple syrup
1/4 cup cacao powder
Enjoy Life brand mini chocolate chips (for topping)
1 scoop protein powder of choice (I used collagen peptides)
I hope you enjoy these super nutrient-dense and freakin' delicious dessert recipes! The great thing about real foods is that they nourish our bodies in so many ways while still being extremely flavorful and satisfying. I'll take chickpeas and sweet potatoes and almond butter over modified corn starch and high fructose corn syrup any day.
Freshman at SDSU. Foods and Nutrition Major.
WELCOME BACK, IT’S RECIPE WEEK, LADIES AND GENTS.
Ok, last week I wrote a little blog post about myself and introductions, this week I’m coming at you live with some super tasty recipes for your favorite day of the week. That’s right: TACO TUESDAY. Now I know it’s Saturday and you may not be thinking about Tuesday yet, but you’re definitely thinking about tacos (or at least you should be), so why not be prepared?? Here are some recipes I adapted so they’re super easy and most of the stuff you can get at Trader Joe’s #BlessTheTJsOnCollegeAve
Recipe #1 - Healthy Re-Imagined Lettuce Wrapped Tacos
(given the stamp of approval by my roommates)
These are modeled after the flavors in a popular Korean meat dish called “Bulgogi”. I’m not Korean, but my mom would occasionally serve Bulgogi for dinner growing up and let me tell you, it’s incredible. Now that I’m vegan though, I have to find alternate routes to get those lovely flavors, thus, a re-imagined korean-style “taco”.
What you’ll need for the taco filling:
3 C Brown rice
2 C sliced Shiitake mushrooms
2 C Crimini mushrooms
½ C sliced sweet mini peppers
½ C raw coconut aminos (← major key alert)
3 garlic cloves, minced (or about a tablespoon of pre-minced garlic)
1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
What you’ll need for the saaauuucceeee:
¼ cup raw coconut aminos
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1 Tbsp agave nectar
1 Tsp Yuzu hot chili oil
1 Tsp toasted sesame oil
What you’ll need for the wrap:
1 head of Romaine lettuce, washed and separated
Broccoli slaw aka “jullenned” broccoli and carrot strips (for topping)
1 - Put 3 cups of rice and 6 cups of water in a pan, let cook until done.
2 - Place sliced mushrooms and peppers in a bowl with coconut aminos, garlic and chili oil, set aside to marinate
3 - In another bowl, stir together aminos, tomato paste, chili oil, agave and sesame oil until well combined.
4 - pour contents of the bowl into a pan over medium/high heat, stir occasionally until all the veggies are cooked to your liking (veggies should be soft, mushrooms should get a little darker)
5 - Pour contents of the pan back into the bowl (keep or drain the liquid, it’s good flavor so I recommend saving it to pour over any tacs that are not moist enough!)
6 - Fill a romaine leaf with brown rice, mushroom pepper mixture, top with broccoli slaw and sauce.
ET VOILA delicious, slightly abstract tacos :)
Recipe adapted from http://www.onegreenplanet.org/vegan-recipe/mushroom-bulgogi-lettuce-wraps/
If you’re looking for a more traditional taco, I recommend using this recipe for Quinoa “taco meat” https://minimalistbaker.com/quinoa-taco-meat/ and adding black beans, mango salsa, and avocado! Simple, yummy, eco-friendly :)
And with that, you’re ready to impress all your friends for Taco Tuesday!! Get cookin’!!!
Junior. Foods and Nutrition Major.
ABOUT THE SNO BLOG:
The goal of this blog is to present nutrition facts and advice in a fun and interesting way! We want to get our members involved in a healthy lifestyle as well as share articles that shine a light on nutrition and health.