Recipes

Hearty Vegan Pumpkin Soup with Pepita Cream Recipe

Now that temperatures are just starting to dip below the 80s here in California, I’ve been getting excited for soup season. I’ve been particularly pining for pumpkin soup to meal prep for work, but noticed that all the recipes I’d found weren’t nearly hearty (read: starch filled) enough to get me through the day.

So, I came up with my own! I wanted to add as much starch, protein, and fiber as possible while staying true to pumpkin soup flavor & texture, so I decided to add my favorite secret soup ingredient: chickpeas. Not only do they pump up the nutrition, but they make the soup really creamy.

This experiment once again confirmed my conviction that chickpeas are magical, and can and should be added to just about everything. (Including oatmeal–it’s good, I swear!)

Oh, and I whipped up a cream to top the soup with that looks and tastes fancy, but is super easy.

Did I mention this recipe takes only takes 20 minutes to make, and a serving (1/3 of it, about ~400 cals) has 19 grams of fiber and 24 grams of protein?!

Serves 3

Soup Ingredients:

  • 2 – 15 oz cans pumpkin puree
  • 2 – 15oz cans chickpeas
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, roughly chopped
  • 4 big cloves garlic
  • 2 cups unsweetened non-dairy milk (preferably light canned coconut milk)
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 tsp ginger powder
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vegan chicken bouillon (optional)
  • Salt to taste
  • Topping ideas: cranberries, pumpkin seeds, roasted chickpeas

Directions:

  1. Sauté onions and garlic until onions are translucent.
  2. Combine all ingredients in blender, and blend until smooth.
  3. Heat the soup on the stove or microwave when ready to serve.
  4. Add toppings, and enjoy!

 

Pepita Cream Ingredients (optional):

  • 1/4c dry roasted pumpkin seeds
  • 1/4c raw cashews
  • 1/2c water

Directions:

  1. Blend all ingredients until smooth. Add more water, 1 tbsp at a time, if desired for thinner consistency.

Bonus: it can also double as a creamy pumpkin pasta sauce.

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Videos

How to Reduce Stress | 7 Natural Science-supported Remedies

7 natural stress remedies

Today, I have something a little bit different for you: 7 natural ways to reduce your stress using foods and herbs, based on scientific studies. Stress is a major reason for overeating and weight gain, and causes all sorts of bad health effects, both physical and mental. So if you’re stressed, reducing it could help you reach your health & appearance goals!

In the video, I go over the remedies and what types of stressors and stress symptoms they help with, how to use them, and briefly cover studies supporting them. In the post below, I list specific supplements/foods, dosages, how long they should take to work, and link the studies.

(Subscribe to my Youtube Channel!)

Unfortunately, many supplements don’t actually contain what they say they do. So I researched independent lab tests for supplements to make sure they contain the proper dose of the active ingredient, are free of toxins, and have the most bang for your buck!

For the food and teas, I’ve researched the best ones and linked my favorites. I also include my recommended dose for everything if applicable, based on the linked studies and others. And, I found a few combo products (linked at the bottom) that contain multiple remedies in one!

All of these remedies are supported by placebo-controlled studies in humans. (All studies linked below are in humans, and all but one are placebo-controlled). Studies done in rodents also support these remedies.

Tulsi from my garden 🙂

1) Lemon balm:

Studies: 1 | 2

2) Tea

  • Black tea
  • In the study they drank 4 cups a day for 6 weeks, but I imagine less would help too
  • Green tea & matcha
  • Anywhere from 1-5 cups a day is helpful–the more the better (unless the added caffeine causes you stress)
  • Available as a supplement: L theanine (or a smaller dose)
  • Taking as little as 40mg is helpful, but you start to get extra benefits around 200mg (larger dose link). Take one to two 200mg capsules a day, will likely start working within a week.

Studies: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4

3) Dark chocolate

A lot of chocolate is high in heavy metals (particularly cadmium), so I researched brands that have the most flavonols and the least heavy metals!

  • Chocolate bars (anything by this brand is good!)
  • Cacao nibs (I LOVE these in smoothie bowls, as a healthy chocolate chip replacement, etc.)
  • Cacao powder
  • Can be taken right before a stressful event to help (studies found good effects with 280 cals/50g of a dark chocolate bar, but you would likely need less when using cacao powder or nibs since they contain more flavanols)

Studies: 1 | 2

4) Ashwagandha

  • Available as a supplement
  • Recommend taking 1 of these capsules per day (do NOT recommend taking higher doses), can expect to see good effects in at most 4 weeks (they will almost certainly start sooner though!)

Studies: 1 | 2

5) Rhodiola Rosea

  • Available as a supplement
  • Recommend taking 1-2 capsules a day, can expect to see benefits in 2 weeks or less

Studies: 1 | 2 | 3

6) Holy Basi (Tulsi)

  • Available as tea
  • Available as a supplement
  • Recommend taking 1 capsule per day, can expect to see benefits by 6 weeks or less

Studies: 1 | 2 | 3

7) Probiotics

  • This probiotic contains 5+ strains mentioned as helpful
  • Take 1 per day, expect to see benefits in 8 weeks or less
  • Can take non-dairy kefir or yogurt as well

Studies: 1 | 2 | 3

 

Combo products:

  • Supplement that contains ashwagandha & L-theanine
  • Supplement that contains lemon balm, ashwagandha, rhodiola rosea, and L-theanine (also contains other herbs though)

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Happy de-stressing,

Recipes

Decadent Vegan Strawberry Shortcake Recipe

Vegan Strawberry Shortcake

I finally got my hands on the new Reddi-wip vegan whipped cream, and for my first time trying it, I wanted to make something a bit extravagant where whipped cream is a key ingredient: so I went with strawberry shortcake. My fiancé found a nonvegan recipe online, and we made it vegan and changed the method to make it easier—and it has turned out amazing every time! It’s now our go-to when we want a fun brunch.

We’ve also served it to nonvegan friends with rave reviews!

Vegan strawberry shortcake

Makes about 16 shortcakes

Ingredients

Shortcake

  • 4 cups flour
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 5 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 cups vegan butter (for dough)*
  • 1/4-1/2 cup vegan butter (for pan & topping)
  • 1 1/4c vegan heavy cream, half and half, or coconut cream

Toppings

  • 2 pints strawberries
  • ½ cup sugar
  • Vegan whipped cream

*Our favorite vegan butter is Miyokos, and we add a bit of extra heavy cream to make up for it being a bit less wet than most vegan butters. Depending on the brand you use, you may need to add more heavy cream or non-dairy milk to make the dough smooth and moist enough.

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. Slice strawberries to your desired size, crushing some of them if you prefer more juice rather than whole strawberry pieces. Mix with 1/2 cup of sugar, and set aside while you make the dough to let it produce strawberry syrup.

Make the shortcakes:

  1. Stir flour, 3 tablespoons sugar, baking powder, and salt in a mixing bowl. Add 3/4 cup of softened butter, and use your hands to rub it into the dry ingredients. Add 1 1/4 cups cream, and mix to a soft dough. Add more cream (or nondairy milk) as necessary to achieve a smooth ball of dough with no cracks.
  2. Knead the dough for 1-2 minutes in the bowl, then roll it to about 1/2-inch thickness. Using a biscuit cutter or jar (mine was about a 3″ diameter), cut an even number of rounds.
  3. Use some of the remaining butter to grease a baking sheet. Lay the rounds out on the sheet, leaving some space between them. Melt remaining butter, and brush it evenly on top of the rounds.
  4. Bake for 8 to 12 minutes, or until golden brown. Make sure not to brown the bottoms beyond a golden light brown color.
  5. Serve warm. Top shortcakes with strawberries and whipped cream, and enjoy!

I would love your feedback if you try it! I would also love to see your posts–if you make it and tag me @veganmiche on Instagram, I’ll share your post! 🙂

 

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Check ins

I’ve Started Designing Vegan-Themed Merch!

Hey guys!

Long time, no see. I’ve been working on a bunch of recipes to start posting here (currently tweaking and refining), so hopefully you’ll be seeing more of me.

In the meantime, I’ve been working on something else too. I realized I’ve had a problem: good vegan merch is hard to come by. It always takes a lot of digging to find decent vegan T shirts and workout tanks, and they’re usually really overpriced. So I decided I’d try to help fix the problem myself by making my own!

As of yesterday I’ve been uploading my own designs (mostly vegan themed) to Redbubble, where people can buy them as shirts, stickers, mugs, totes, pillows, phone and laptop cases, pretty much everything. The prices still aren’t as low as I’d like them (and they vary wildly by shirt style), even though I lowered the default markup (aka I lowered the percent of money I get), but it’s better than most stuff I’ve seen. I’m planning to upload a ton more, and I’m sure I’ll learn as I go, so stay tuned!

So, if you’re interested in vegan swag and want to help support a poor vegan grad student, check out my brand new shop! (Also linked in the menu bar above)

And if you have any suggestions, let me know–I’d love to take custom requests 🙂

Click here for the shirt above

Click here for the bag above