Hi all, happy Tuesday! 🙂
My page was well overdue for a guest post, can you believe it’s been almost two years since my last with Cissy Lala on Vegan Parenting + Banana Coconut Dark Chocolate Chip Muffins?! I definitely had to change that.
I am here up share with you all a blog and individual I know you’re going to love, Carolyn of Carolyn’s Pantry. I asked her to tell us a bit about her plant based journey, and to share an easy vegan recipe with you all (you’re going to love it)!
Carolyn and I collaborated, and I did a guest blog post in her site as well with a little get to know me type interview + my chickpea chocolate chip cooke recipe. You can find my feature here. Hello hello! My name is Carolyn Vinnicombe and I’m the author of Carolyn’s Pantry, my wellness blog where I share feel-good vegan recipes and wellness tips for feeling amazing and living your happiest, healthiest life. I passionately believe that anyone can cook and that the simplest recipes are always the best. Everything on my blog is about making delicious healthy food accessible, no matter how busy you are. My recipes are made with basic ingredients found in almost any kitchen and can be made in minutes with minimal dishes required. They’re 100% plant-based, gluten-free, and made without refined sugar.
I grew up in California and lived my childhood on good food and lots of long hikes with my family. I was a very picky eater who hated her vegetables and had a major sweet tooth. I never thought much about what I ate until my family made a very major life move. When I was about 7 in 1998, my parents put everything they had towards buying a struggling brand they believed in: Dr. McDougall’s Right Foods. All the sudden, cookbooks about plant-based eating entered our home and recipe testing for things like plant-based soup cups started happening on a daily basis in our kitchen. I loved learning how a single ingredient could change a whole dish and began to understand that wow – there really is a connection between what we eat and how we feel. Was I then a perfect vegan girl from that day forward? Ehhh not really J A universal truth in this world is that anything your parents tell you to do is automatically something you’re hell-bent on not doing. Plant-based eating was my family’s new thing, not mine. I was a very wise teenager, thank you very much, and I was going to eat how I wanted.
Those eating habits, however, were not so great and I didn’t feel so great either. As college student, I still had acne, stomach issues, some extra baby weight, and generally low energy. The crazy thing is that you start to think that feeling this way is normal! I went to my doctors and they told me that the symptoms I was feeling were completely normal and nothing to worry about. What?! What finally changed me was when I decided that I was tired of feeling this “normal” way and wanted to change my life. I started researching holistic, natural approaches to diet and lifestyle and opened up everything from Dr. McDougall’s books I’d grown up with to Kris Carr and the China Study. The difference this time was that I actually started practicing the lessons I’d learned (crazy – I know!).
Day by day, I slowly started eating more greens in my day, cutting out sugar, eliminating meat and dairy, and making my meals at home with whole foods and day by day, I started to feel better. My stomach was happy, my skin was clear, and suddenly I didn’t need my two grande coffees to get through the work day. I felt absolutely amazing and loved how my taste buds appreciated these fantastic, nourishing foods.
I challenged myself to start making original recipes at home and soon found that I was pretty good at it – my family, boyfriend, and friends loved my foods and couldn’t believe how easy they were to make. Enough friends asked me to send them recipes and cooking tips that I decided to start a blog and share with not just them but everyone!
Health is an ongoing journey and the most fun part of it is that it allows you to keep on learning. I am not a nutritionist or a doctor, but I did find easy-to-make foods that made me feel fabulous. Cooking these foods brings me so much fun and happiness – I hope you all try them and feel them change your lives as well!
If you would like to see more of Carolyn, you can find her here:
- 1 medium sweet potato
- 2 15oz cans chickpeas, drained
- 1 handful fresh cilantro
- Juice of 2 lemons
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 1 tablespoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 2 tablespoons olive oil*
- A dash of sea salt
- Preheat your oven to 375*F
- Start by roughly chopping and steaming the sweet potato (skin on or off – whatever you prefer) until you can stick a fork through 1 piece. Next, Put the sweet potato in a food processor and blend until the large chunks are gone.
- Add the rest of your ingredients into the food processor and try to scoop the blended sweet potato from the bottom of the processor and put them on top of the other ingredients. You just want the blades to be able to access them. Blend until most of the chunks are gone and the cilantro leaves are cut up, but be sure to stop before you have a hummus consistency! Depending on the food processor you’re using, you might have to stop the machine and stir the ingredients around to be sure that everything is getting blended.
- Get ready to make some falafel! Grab a baking sheet and line it with parchment paper, Use a large spoon or – better yet – an ice cream scooper and grab enough dough to make falafel balls that are about an inch in diameter. Place the balls at least 1 inch apart on the baking sheet and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes. Cool and serve! This makes about 18-24 falafels. Keep them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. They go with everything!