The Vegan Kitchen

http://thevegankitchenblog.blogspot.com/

The Vegan Kitchen is my blog of recipes for vegan cooking and baking. I am a vegan, homeschooling mom. I write these recipes in my spare time and test them with the help of my son.

What health changes have you experienced from becoming vegetarian or vegan?

I've been vegan for a decade (vegetarian for the 5 years directly preceding) so it takes some thinking to answer that. I used to get really unpleasant headaches (think migraine type, just not diagnosed) which stopped after I went vegan and ditched dairy for good. My hair and nails both grow really quickly, more so than before I went vegan, which is great when I accidentally damage a nail -- less waiting for it to grow back!

Do you expect your kids to be vegetarian or vegan?

Absolutely! If I don't think something is healthy or ethical enough that I would eat/wear/use it, why would I force it on my child? My son is vegan and has been since birth (yes, breastfeeding your child is vegan!). Not only is he a happy, healthy, intelligent child, he also has a really good understanding of how and why we make healthy, plant-based food choices. How many kids ask for broccoli as a snack?

What's one of your favorite foods you've discovered by being vegetarian or vegan?

One of the great things about being vegan is definitely how easy it is to find new foods to try; there is a seemingly endless variety of delicious plant based foods! Right now I am really enamored with almond meal. It is funny how something so simple can make such a huge difference in baking!

If you had to get dinner for your family at a fast food restaurant tonight, which would you choose and what would you order?

Meredith Hopkins

I choose Chipotle every time. My family can get food there that is vegan, delicious, reasonably nutritious. We go for burrito bowls (or tacos) with rice, black beans, veggies, and guacamole! They also have fresh iced tea which is definitely a nice addition to the meal.
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What's your favorite muffin recipe?

Meredith Hopkins

My go-to muffin has always been banana nut! I love the way these muffins taste and smell, plus they help me use up bananas that have been sitting too long and gone soft. I always add chocolate chips, making these muffins a special treat!
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Please share a link to a photo of a great birthday cake you made or bought.

Meredith Hopkins

I made this cake for my Grandmother's birthday gathering last weekend. Normally I do a lot of decorating for birthday cakes, like the lighthouse cake I made for my mom a few years ago with a handmade lighthouse that actually lit or the Assateague island cake I made for my son with beach, ocean, forest, and ponies. This time I didn't do any elaborate decoration because for a family gathering a simple, homemade cake has a certain elegance to it, especially when you plan to eat outside in the heat! My Red Tea Layer Cake with Rose Frosting is not only vegan but also free of many allergens I needed to avoid for various relatives including: dairy, egg, nuts, peanuts, coconut, and soy (so long as the oil in the cake is safe and palm oil is used rather than crisco for the frosting). The rose frosting is light, fluffy, and not only tastes delicious but also smells wonderful! http://thevegankitchenblog.blogspot.com/2012/05/red-tea-layer-cake-with-rose-frosting.html
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From peach pies and berry cobbler to lemon shortcake and watermelon popsicles, fruity desserts are perfect for summer. Please share your favorite fruit-based dessert, and include a link to the recipe and photo.

Meredith Hopkins

I absolutely love this delicious peach sorbet! It is vegan, gluten free, dairy free, and ridiculously easy to make. Plus, you can make it any time of year because it uses frozen peaches. Freeze your own fresh ones during peach season or buy already frozen peaches year round! http://thevegankitchenblog.blogspot.com/2011/02/peach-sorbet.html
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How do you make sure your vegetarian child gets enough protein?

Meredith Hopkins

If your child eats a variety of foods you shouldn't be worried. Plant foods that are high in protein or have particularly high quality protein include: nuts, seeds, legumes (beans, peanuts), whole grains (rice, wheat, quinoa), kale, collard greens, potatoes. My 6 year old son is vegan (like me) and has been since he was born (yes, I breastfed him as a baby, human milk is for human babies). He's a very healthy kid, both trim and strong, with tons of energy and no health issues. He eats lots of veggies, fruit, legumes, nuts, and grains. One of his favorite foods is a peanut butter & jelly sandwich. If you would like to be sure about protein intake, find out from your pediatrician how many grams of protein per day your child needs based on age, height, and weight, and then keep track of the nutritional values of each food your child eats for at least several days to see how much protein he/she eats in a typical day.
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