“Coming A Veg” Series and Liebster Awards

One of my fellow bloggers, Terri, has a blog called Bacon is NOT an Herb: Exploring Vegetarianism in Pennsyltucky. Her blog features some great recipes and stories about being vegetarian in Central PA, and I really enjoy reading her posts. She started a monthly series called ‘Coming A Veg’ to share stories about how and why different people became vegan or vegetarian. I wrote a post for her series, and it’s up on her blog today. Check it out! She’s looking for other vegans and vegetarians to share their stories as well, so if you’re interested in writing a post, find out more here, and get writing!

I’m also a bit delayed in posting about this, but another fellow blogger, Anne from An Unrefined Vegan, very kindly awarded me a Liebster Award. Thank you Anne! I really enjoy following your blog and all of your recipes! Anne, also has a second blog called Dough, Dirt, and Dye. Readers, if you haven’t checked out her blogs, definitely take a look! I’m frequently inspired (and hungry) after reading her posts!

So this is how the Liebster Award works:

I’d like to extend a Liebster Award to some of my fellow food bloggers. Here are my picks:

Rachel in Veganland: I’ve really been enjoying Rachel’s blog recently with her recipe posts that always look really tasty, and her thoughts on the politics of veganism. Check out this post!

Frugal Feeding: I enjoy following the posts on Frugal Feeding, and many just happen to be vegan or easily veganized! I really like his writing style, and the recipes always look so yummy!

Savory Simple: Her photos of food are always beautiful! Not all of the recipes on Savory Simple are vegetarian, but many of the posts are vegan, or easily veganized. These, for instance, are on my list of recipes to try…a simple vegan snack, that looks really tasty!

roughseasinthemed: She shares her experiences living in Gibralter and Spain, with some vegetarian recipes as well. Check out her take on Baked Beans on Toast in response to my post! I appreciate her taking the time to share her recipe with me!

Luminous Vegans: She describes herself as an “abolitionist vegan, liberal, atheist, nerd, knitter”, what more can I say? I always enjoy browsing her recipes and the great photos that go along with them!

Thanks again to Annie from An Unrefined Vegan and Terri from Bacon is Not an Herb! Check out their blogs if you haven’t!

 

Vegan Breakfast Month – Odd n’ Ends Breakfast Tips

My vegan breakfast themed month is nearing an end. Hopefully some of the recipes I’ve posted have given you some inspiration for new vegan breakfast options. I’ll wrap up the theme with a few odds n’ ends vegan breakfast tips that didn’t seem worthy of a entire blog post individually.

Pancakes:

I didn’t include a pancake recipe in the breakfast month, because vegan pancake recipes are pretty abundant and easy to find. I like making regular pancakes from scratch as well as various flavors like banana, apple oatmeal, etc. It’s pretty easy and quick to make pancakes from scratch, but if you want them even quicker, try out Cherrybrook Kitchen’s vegan pancake and waffle mix. It really can’t get much easier, and they turn out pretty well.

 

For veganizing baked goods recipes, I usually just switch out Ener-G Egg Replacer powder for the eggs, soy or almond milk for the milk, agave for honey, and Earth Balance vegan butter for butter or margarine. Most of the time recipes can be easily veganized using these or other substitutes.

Soy or Coconut Yogurt Parfait:

Making a parfait out of soy or coconut yogurt, some defrosted frozen berries, and your favorite granola is a simple and satisfying vegan breakfast. I like to pack this up to take to work with me. I put the frozen berries in with the yogurt. They keep it cold and are mostly defrosted by the time I get to work. Keep the granola in a separate container so it doesn’t get soggy. I’ll also sometimes eat this as a dessert when I want something sweet, but don’t want to eat something more sugary like ice cream or cookies.

Bagels:

Bagels are easy to grab on the go or take with you. If you haven’t already tried Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese, it’s definitely worth a try. It can also be used in dessert recipes that call for cream cheese. The best bagels, in my opinion, come from NYC. If you live in New York or are here for a visit, I would recommend getting a bagel at Ess-a-Bagel. They have the best bagels I’ve ever had, and they also offer a variety of tofu cream cheeses including scallion, vegetable, raisin walnut, herb, and others. Another good bagel place is Russ & Daughters. It’s a small little store that was packed when I went, but they are surprisingly efficient. We were in and out really quickly. They also offer tofu cream cheese in plain, scallion, and vegetable.

Smoothies:

I’ve lost count of how many blenders I’ve broken trying to make smoothies, but they are tasty and a good way to start the day. My biggest tip is to use frozen fruit, and no ice. The frozen fruit won’t break your blender and won’t dilute the taste of the smoothie like ice will. Play with your favorite fruit or veggie combinations, add some soy or almond milk or some soy or coconut yogurt, a little peanut butter or almond butter, and throw in some vegan protein powders like hemp or soy protein for an extra boost. I would strongly advise not using pea protein. It just doesn’t taste very good, and it’s very dominant and difficult to mask.

Hot Cereals:

Oatmeal is a great staple for a vegan breakfast, but you can also branch out and try other hot cereals like cream of wheat, grits, rice, and other mixed grain cereals. Add some nuts, a little brown sugar or maple syrup, some raisins, and you have a filling and fairly healthy vegan breakfast.

Granola Bars:

If you need something quick that’s easy to take with you, a vegan granola bar is a good choice. There are two brands that I like, NuGo Organic and Pro Bar. These are also great to pack on a trip where vegan options might be limited. If you need a quick snack because you can’t find any vegan options, they’re great to have on hand.

Animal Free App

I recently found a handy (and free!) app called Animal Free. It lists ingredients that are vegan and ingredients that are derived from animal products. It also gives you information about why the ingredient is or isn’t vegan. I’ve been vegetarian/vegan for years now, but I definitely don’t have all the lesser known ingredients memorized. Honestly, it seems like it could make eating nearly impossible to have to check foods for all of these ingredients. There’s no way I could remember all of them!

Some I already know, like the semi-grotesque Carmine (Carminic Acid, Cochineal, Natural Red 4): “Red pigment from the crushed female cochineal insect. It takes a million corpses to make a kilogram of carminic acid, the more purified form of cochineal extract. Used in cosmetics, shampoos, red apple sauce, and other foods (including red lollipops and food coloring). May cause allergic reaction.” Don’t believe me? It’s true. It’s always puzzled me why even non-vegans would want to wear or eat crushed up beetles, but my guess is most people just don’t know that’s what they’re doing.

It can be difficult especially for a new vegan to try to decipher labels to figure out if something is vegan or not. This app is a good challenge for seasoned vegans to learn more ingredients and a great resource for people who are becoming vegan, thinking about it, or just want to be more informed about what’s in their food, beetles and all.

Welcome to The Vegan Kat!

Clever vegan blog names are a hot commodity these days. I must have gone through about 20 names that I liked only to realize there was already a vegan blog with that name… which leads me to a second realization. There are a lot of vegan blogs and there aren’t even that many vegans! Either we must be growing in number, or we all like to blog… both good things! So, since we’re such a clever bunch, I opted with simplicity. I’m a vegan and my name is Kathryn. Some of my friends call me Kat for short. Welcome to The Vegan Kat!

I’ve been a vegan for about three years now, but haven’t eaten meat in nine years. It’s always funny the kind of responses I get when I first tell people I’m vegan. There are a few that are typical:

  • I could never do that. It sounds hard, and I like meat.
  • Don’t you ever just crave a hamburger?
  • I could never give up cheese.
  • Vay-gun!? What’s a vay-gun?
  • What do you eat??

With these types of responses, it can sometimes be hard to even tell people you’re vegan. Understanding about veganism is growing, but there are still a lot of misconceptions out there. That’s why I decided to start this blog. My main goal is to show people (vegan and non-vegan alike) that being a vegan isn’t so hard after all. I’d like to share some of my easy, but tasty recipes with you, talk about traveling vegan, share restaurants and food that I like, and hear your experiences and ideas as well.

So again, welcome! I hope this turns into a thriving blog and community!