Almost-Vegan Cinnamon Rolls

Who doesn’t love cinnamon rolls on a cold morning? Add a cup of tea or coffee and it’s a nice breakfast before heading out of the house. It’s also great as an evening snack.

These cinnamon rolls are mouth-watering, bouncing around the house for joy deliciousness that will have you craving more. (Trust me, I keep wishing I make more than one batch) You can also add anything inside them too like cut apples, chocolate chips, etc. The imaginations are endless for these yummy goodness that melt in your mouth.

I used my friend, Kitty’s, recipes for bread dough and icing to make them. It is beyond epic. Seriously.

Ingredients:

For the bread:

  • 2 and 1/2 cups warm water
  • 1 Tbsp yeast
  • 1/4 cup of sugar to a half cup depending on how sweet you want your bread to be.
  • 2 tsp Salt
  • 5-6 Cups of Flour

For the Icing:

  • Powdered sugar 2 Cups
  • Vanilla 1 Tbsp
  • Soy milk your choice about 1/3 of a cup, adding in not enough is much better than too much trust me. (Also wonderful with unsweetened almond milk for less calories!)
  • Coconut oil raw unrefined organic virgin 1/4 cup

For the filling:

  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened (To make it vegan or vegetarian, using vegan butter such as from here: Vegan Butter)
  • 1 tsp of ground cinnamon
  • Optional: Few handfulls of Chocolate chips (Or carob chips works too!)

Directions:

To make the dough, follow Kitty’s Bread Dough recipe. This will have the possibility of making up to three batches of rolls. Near the end of the two hour rising time, take a small bowl and add the filling into it. Mi it all together till the cinnamon is of a thick but wet consistency. After removing the dough from the bowl,  cut off about 1/3 of the dough. Take your rolling pin and roll it out in a rectangle as much as possible. Use extra flour if necessary as the dough will be a bit sticky still.

Once the dough is rolled out, take your filling and spread it over the top side of the dough. It might be a bit thin but that is okay. Then if you like, you can add apple pieces or chocolate/carob chips on top of the filling. Also, pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees.

Then take the far side of the dough and begin rolling it towards you. It might be a bit messy but that makes it more fun. Once the dough is rolled up, take out a pan (square or circular, your choice) and spray it with non-stick spray. Take a sharp knife and start cutting the dough roll about 1/2 inch to an inch wide and set the roll in the pan. Once all the rolls are in the pan, you can add more chocolate chips or apple pieces to the top area an pushing them in with your finger.

When your oven is fully pre-heated, put the rolls in the oven for about 20 minutes (give or take a few minutes depending on how good your oven is at cooking. I had to add a couple minutes). After it cooking till the top has a light brownness to it, remove from the oven and set on the stove to cool for about 10 minutes if you can wait that long. I know I had trouble as the smell was so good, it made my mouth water.

While waiting, begin making the icing such as Kitty’s Icing recipe. Once your rolls have cooled down, drizzle the icing on top before serving. It comes out amazing!

 

Kitty’s Icing Recipe

Hey everyone! Here’s another recipe for icing! My friend, Kitty, created it and I’m sharing it with all of you wonderful people. Check out her facebook group Vegan Beginners for more yummy vegan recipes.

I love using this for my cinnamon rolls. Granted I find that it’s easier to mix if you melt the coconut oil down a little bit. Otherwise it’s a little bit clumpy. Might also want to try using a little less than 1/3 cup of soymilk too unless your making a large batch of cinnamon rolls.

 

Ingredients:

  • Powdered sugar 2 Cups
  • Vanilla 1 Tbsp
  • Soy milk your choice about 1/3 of a cup, adding in not enough is much better than too much trust me. (Also wonderful with unsweetened almond milk for less calories!)
  • Coconut oil raw unrefined organic virgin 1/4 cup

Directions:

Add all ingredients into a small bowl. Then mix slowly. While your mixing it, add the soy milk till you get a good consistency of icing.

 

Kitty’s Bread Recipe

Hi everyone! I know it has been awhile but things have been pretty busy here. I do have a few recipes for you all. My friend, Kitty, gave me permission to post these up as these are from her. You can check out her facebook group, Vegan Beginners, where she has even more vegan recipes!

 

Kitty’s Bread Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 2 and 1/2 cups warm water
  • 1 Tbsp yeast
  • 1/4 cup of sugar to a half cup depending on how sweet you want your bread to be.
  • 2 tsp Salt
  • 5-6 Cups of Flour

Directions:

Have two bowls ready first of all. Then bring out your ingredients. I find it makes the recipe go a bit smoother if I just bring everything that I need out. Then as I go along I run less of a risk of forgetting some key ingredient. Measure out your flour first in your other bowl first. Then you have no great rush to measure when your yeast activates.

I then grab my measuring cups and take one bowl and put the two and a half cups of warm water into the bowl. Then I measure out the yeast and the sugar and add them to the warm water and stir. Wait until your yeast activates. If you leave it alone it begins to make this strange formation in the bowl. If that grows then your yeast should be active and I normally wait until it has covered the top of the water in the bowl. Then I add the salt.

Once at this point I then add in almost all of the flour save for what might be seen as about a cups worth in the bowl. Stir in the flour with the sugary water until a soft dough forms. It is sticky and this is why you leave about a cup worth of flour at the bottom of the other bowl. Keep adding and kneading gently until it is mostly absorbed the loose flour and has a nice smooth texture. It doesn’t have to be perfect.

Once you have this ball of dough put it back into a bowl and cover it and wait two hours until it doubles in size. Somewhere warm. Once it has doubled then you take it out of the bowl and cut it into two halves and taking one half begin to roll it out with a rolling pin. Do this gently and once you have a semi rectangular shape roll it onto itself and tuck in the ends. Before you put the dough onto the sheet make sure you have covered the surface with some hemp oil or an oil of your choice. Then place them each on a separate baking sheet. Allow to rise another two hours in a warm room.

Heat your oven to 350 degrees or 180 Celsius works as well. Bake for twenty minutes or until the loaves sound hollow. The loaves in the picture i made a bit more special. I added in green olives in sunflower oil with sundried tomato fillings. Added Pine nuts and basil and baked it inside. I hope you try this and I hope you find it as easy as i do.

Note for electric mixers (Like kitchenaid/etc): Add the water, sugar and yeast into the bowl of your mixer. Attach the dough hook. Once the yeast makes it’s formation in the sugary water, add the salt and then the flour. Stir at number 2 or another low speed. Once dough forms and is “kneaded”, can let it rest for the two hours and continue following the instructions.

 

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I usually use my electric mixer to mix all the ingredients and let it rise in the bowl for the two hours. It rises a lot! I usually have enough for either two long loafs of bread or if I use bread pans, two small loafs and some dough for cinnamon rolls!

Either way, this bread is delicious!

Strawberry, Banana, Pineapple Smoothie

Ingredients:
1/2 can of Pineapple chunks
1 cup Ice
Approx 1/2 cup of Pineapple juice
1/3 to 1/2 cup of Strawberry Kefir
2 Medium Bananas

Directions:

  1. Crush ice in blender. (It’s okay if there are some ice chunks. It will get blended.)
  2. Add in all ingredients into blender.
  3. Blend until smooth and pour into glasses.

Makes approximately 2 servings.

Notes: If bananas are not ripe, add 2 tsp of honey or agave into blender with ingredients. Then sweeten to taste.

Cucumber-Tomato Veggie Wrap

Ingredients:
1/4 to 1/2 english cucumber
2 TBS Garlic Hummus
1 Spinach wrap
5 to 7 Spinach leaves
1 Plum Tomato
Sprinkle of Grated Parmesan cheese
1 to 2 TBS of Light Balsamic Vinaigrette

Directions:

  1. Take 1 Spinach wrap and lay it flat.
  2. Spread garlic hummus on one side.
  3. Then spread the spinach leaves on the hummus.
  4. Once that part is done, slice up the cucumber and add it on top of the spinach.
  5. Slice the plum tomato in thin slices then add it on top of the cucumber.
  6. Sprinkle the grated parmesan cheese  and drizzle the balsamic vinaigrette on top before folding the wrap.
  7. Enjoy!

For a vegan option: Replace the cheese with pine nuts that are finely chopped.And can add herbs for a different flavor.

Mini Strawberry Pie with Easy Pie Crust

Hey everyone! I know it’s been awhile but I have come back with another delicious recipe for you all.

I love different kinds of fruits from bananas to strawberries to watermelon and then some. Had a bunch of strawberries on hand and some ingredients to make pie crust! So why not make some yummy strawberry mini pies?

A friend gave me her recipe on how to make easy pie crust and it tastes wonderful and so easy to make. You can find her on Facebook in the Vegan group: Vegan Beginners along with other recipes! If you have an electric mixer, it is a lot easier to mix but if not, no worries.

Easy Pie Crust
Ingredients:
 2 cups of flour
1 1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup pure veg. butter spread plus two tablespoons more
2 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp cold water (Or can use light coconut milk but will need some extra to add when mixing)

Directions:
Combine flour sugar salt in a large bowl then cut in the pure spread until it is crumbly. Takes a few minutes. In a separate bowl whisk together the oil and water. Add to the rest of the bowl with all the ingredients in it. Then mix together with a small fork at first then get your hands in there and start to mix together kneading lightly until it becomes a ball. Keep grabbing the bits of left over flour in the bowl until it is all mixed in. Then wrap with plastic and wait for thirty minutes to chill.

*If your using an electric mixer, just follow the directions above and not mix by hand or need to use a fork. Just attach your dough hook to the mixer and let that mix it together. While mixing, you’ll need to add a bit more of the coconut milk so that the ingredients will be moist enough to form into a dough.

**You can also use the crust to make veggie or meat pies!

Mini Strawberry Pies
I used the above pie crust and used muffin tins. I suggest using large muffin tins to get more strawberries and other ingredients in better.

Strawberry Mini Pie with Tumeric Vegan Ice Cream

Strawberry Mini Pie with Turmeric Vegan Ice Cream

Ingredients:
1 Package of clean and halved strawberries (Can use more if using larger tins or making large quantities)
1/8 cup Agave Nectar (More or less to taste)

Directions:
Clean and cut the strawberries into halves (with tops removed). Then store in a container and add agave nectar before mixing and partially mashing them. You want to have some partially whole halves for the pies. Cover the container and cool in the fridge for a few hours or overnight till cold and the strawberries soak up the nectar and have a lot of juice. Preheat oven for 400 degrees. Then take your pie crusts and fit them into the muffin tins for the amount of strawberry pies you want. Using a spoon (or small soup ladle), pour the strawberry mix into the uncooked pie crusts. Using some of the left over dough, make a quilt-type pattern on top before putting into the oven. Cook for about 15-20 minutes then let cool a bit. Add some ice cream (Like coconut!) and enjoy!

Mini Strawberry Pie In Oven

Mini Strawberry Pie in Oven

Something to remember when stressed.

I received this from the facebook group “Quotes about anything & Everything.” I thought it’d be good to share with you all. :)

A psychologist walked around a room while teaching stress management to an audience. As she raised a glass of water, everyone expected they’d be asked the “half empty or half full” question. Instead, with a smile on her face, she inquired: “How heavy is this glass of water?”Answers called out ranged from 8 oz. to 20 oz.

She replied, “The absolute weight doesn’t matter. It depends on how long I hold it. If I hold it for a minute, it’s not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I’ll have an ache in my arm. If I hold it for a day, my arm will feel numb and paralyzed. In each case, the weight of the glass doesn’t change, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes.” She continued, “The stresses and worries in life are like that glass of water. Think about them for a while and nothing happens. Think about them a bit longer and they begin to hurt. And if you think about them all day long, you will feel paralyzed – incapable of doing anything.”

It’s important to remember to let go of your stresses. As early in the evening as you can, put all your burdens down. Don’t carry them through the evening and into the night. Remember to put the glass down!

Going Vegetarian: In the Beginning

I have been a meat eater for most of my life. Why the sudden change? I’m beginning to find meat boring for the most part. Though I am also tired of feeling ill off and on too not to mention I want to lose weight and feel healthier. So why not make a change for the better?

I know not everyone will be able to go vegetarian or vegan even due to health concerns but it’s really up to you and/or your doctor to do what you need to do to feel healthier.

Do I miss meat? Some yes. I miss being able to eat vienna sausages, ham, and chicken. I love a lot of these things with chinese sauces to make asian meals but now that I am going vegetarian, I won’t be able to eat those but I can have tofu at least and eggs too. This is one of the difficult craves I have to overcome.

The Cravings
I do still crave sweets and some chicken meals. Like I mentioned above, I love having vienna sausages, ham, and chicken. These things helped keep me feeling full and tasted good but now I have to work to change all of this. I am looking at ways to overcome it by drinking more water or tea (the water, even filtered, tastes disgusting here), having fruit smoothies (small amounts) as breakfast or as a snack, and preparing vegetables to eat with hummus. Sometimes I might have crackers or fruit with peanut butter but these have been my snacks so far. Hopefully soon those cravings for meat will go away.

Something to help me with my meat craving has been using meat-less meat. There’s a variety of brands out there, I just use Morning Star as it tastes very good.
This has been a big help for me transitioning. I do still crave meats but at least with this, it isn’t as bad really.

Mornign Star Farms Logo

Results So Far
Overall, since I’ve begun since Ash Wednesday, I have lost about 1/4 pound in weight. Deffinitely good results though do wish sometimes I could lose more but think starting out slowly is best. I’m also finding healthier recipes to make and try out as well as choosing healthier options too.

I am also finding out that since I’ve stopped having aspartame in my diet, I have reduced the amount of dizzy spells I used to have too. THAT is a huge plus for me too.  Definitely a good result.

Daily Prompt: Mentor Me

Daily Prompt: Mentor Me.

There’s a lot of people who have helped me to become who I am today. Some have helped me artistically, career-wise, being more patient, and even eating well. Though I have to say these people, my wonderful friends, have been my mentors. Many of them have been with me since first or second grade and others I’ve met later and we’ve stayed friends for years. To these wonderful and inspiring people, I hope they know how much they mean to me and how I think they are more than mentors but hero’s in their own right.

Some of these heroes are teachers, soon to be health professionals, writers, artists, and other professionals. They mean so much to me and have helped me to be who I am today. They have helped me to learn about a wide range of things and to even help myself more too. I have learned to be more patient and calmer (though still have a long way to go on those at times) and to be healthier.

As of right now, I have decided to go vegetarian as it is very helpful. I admit, I actually feel better inside. Like poisons, that were inside, are slowly leaving. Granted I am still overweight but it will take time and patience to lose it, I know I am on my way to do so.

I have also worked hard to be better at writing and art. It has taken awhile and in some things there’s still more work to be done but I am getting there definitely. My web design classes I have gotten all A’s on projects, etc. My graphic design classes have been B level but when I have designed things for freelance work, clients have been very happy with what I have given them. My writing classes have ranged from A- to a B. (Seriously, how could anyone get an A- in Writing 300 at UB? It’s almost unheard of!)

So to these hero’s who have helped me so much, I thank you from my heart. You mean the world to me and I know I can’t express it more so and sometimes not as much as I should but you should know that I appreciate everything you all have done for me and to help me to become better.

Daily Prompt: All About Me

Daily Prompt: All About Me.

Explain why you chose your blog’s title and what it means to you.

I wanted to create a blog detailing my journey in becoming healthier and making a lifestyle change. This is something I have tried numerous times with various diets but each time, when heavy stresses arose, I would end up falling off and going back to my old ways. So I figured why not try this and work on making it stick?

I’m tired of my issues with my health going downhill and not being able to lose the weight I need (let alone the needed motivation) so for the things I have learned in the past and from others, I’m chronicling my journey with it’s ups and downs and sharing it for the world to see. This way even though it may be a difficult path, there is support and new ideas can always help me to advance farther on it. It also gives tips, recipes, and more for others who are interested or who may be struggling themselves to give them hope and ideas on changing their lives for the better.