I know what you’re thinking: Ask Angela? What happened to my Friday FAQs?! I decided to do a little name change for this series. My alternate title contender was “Ask Angela and I’ll try my very best not to steer you toward an epic cooking fail”. Lol. But that title proved to be a little long. 😉 Semantics aside, it’s business as usual over here! Although I gotta say the above photo has always made me chuckle…I don’t think there’s ever been a time outside of that photoshoot when you would’ve caught me casually lounging in bed with breakfast while working away on my computer. It seemed like a fun idea at the time, though!
Anyway, there were some great questions that came in over the last week and I’m excited to share them with you below. Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!
Q1. Hi Angela! One of my goals for 2018 is to eat more plant-based foods as part of my daily routine. That got me thinking…can you share the plant-based foods that you tend to eat every single day? I think this would help me since I’m low on time as a new mom and would also help me to include more “plant-based regulars” on my grocery list each week.
Hi Kayla, what a fun idea! I’d love to share. There are many foods that I eat every single day, and you’re so right about it saving time when things are busy. Some of the foods I tend to reach for every day are:
Leafy greens: I try to eat leafy greens in some form every day, whether they’re thrown into a smoothie or sautéed with garlic, pink salt, and olive oil as a savoury snack or side.
Raw walnuts: I love grabbing a couple handfuls of walnuts when I’m rushing out the door! They’re a great, filling go-to snack on the run.
Grapefruit: The immune-boosting benefits of grapefruit make them a daily go-to for me in the wintertime.
Avocado: I enjoy at least one large avocado every single day…#obsessed. But with three avocado-loving family members in the house these days, our supply tends to run out quickly!
Flax wraps: I eat one of Wrap it Up Raw’s raw flax wraps every day for lunch. I’ll roll one up with mashed avocado, sauerkraut, pink salt, hemp hearts, and any leftover roasted veggies I have on hand. It takes 2 minutes to make, and I love how rich in fibre, healthy fats, and protein these wraps are.
Sauerkraut: I love to add sauerkraut to my wraps or salads for a crunchy, tangy boost. It’s also great for the digestive system.
Seasonal produce: We try our best to eat with the seasons, so in the winter I stock up on winter squash, citrus, kale, sweet potatoes, brussels sprouts, parsnips, beets, etc.
Almond butter: I’d love to say that I always have a supply of my favourite homemade almond butter on hand, but I try to stock a few quick store-bought alternatives in the pantry since life is so busy these days. My go-to brand is Whole Foods 365 roasted almond butter. If my blood sugar is running low and I have no time to prepare food, I’ll often grab a big spoonful of it for a quick boost. Arlo seems to take after me because now when he sees the jar come out of the pantry, he’ll scream until I give him some too. (And then proceeds to use it mostly as a face and body butter instead!)
Lentils: Lentils are a super cheap source of protein and fibre and are a staple in our house. I love throwing them into soups and pasta or on top of salads or wraps.
Matcha green tea powder and/or organic coffee: Hello, antioxidants! I make a matcha tea or French press coffee every single day without fail. Nothing (nothing!) can get in the way of this daily ritual. Now if only it were still warm when I finally get to drinking it….
Dark chocolate: I always, always have some chocolate after dinner. #YOLO! My favourite bar is Green and Blacks Organic 85%.
Beet chips: I’m in a major beet chip phase right now that I don’t see ending anytime soon!! I love Hardbite’s Drop’n Mad Lightly Salted Beets Chips. They’re one of my favourite splurges as of late.
As an added bonus, many of these foods are great for my skin and will give it a boost from the inside out (deep-fried beets aside, perhaps, lol)! Also keep in mind that this list will change with the seasons…maybe I can do an update in the spring or summer. I hope it gives you a few ideas for your next grocery shop. Good luck with your goals!
Q2. I would like to make your Fail-Proof Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes with Salted Buttercream for a vegan family member but won’t have time to prepare them the day of, or even the day before. Would the cupcakes freeze well, do you think? Thank you!
Hey Natalie, Yes, the cupcakes freeze quite well! I suggest cooling the cupcakes fully before wrapping them up. If I’m storing them for more than a few days, I like to tightly wrap each individual cupcake in plastic wrap and then place all of them in an airtight container or freezer bag. Stored this way, they should be fine in the freezer for 4 to 6 weeks or so. To thaw, simply pop them into the fridge overnight, or place them on the counter for a faster option.
Q3. Hi Angela, I’m so looking forward to making your Vegan Brownies and have a question about the recipe instructions. Should I melt the Earth Balance Buttery Spread before I measure it for my batter?
Hey Dena, This is a great question! I always measure vegan butter, coconut oil, cacao butter, coconut butter, etc. from solid unless otherwise specified. Another thing to look out for is how it’s indicated in my ingredient list:
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
When the “melted” instruction comes after the ingredient (in this case after coconut oil), it means to measure the coconut oil from a solid state/room temperature and melt it after measuring.
1/3 cup melted cacao butter
Rarely will I ask you to measure butter substitutes from a melted state, but you might spot this instruction here and there depending on the recipe. The above example is asking you to melt the cacao butter first and then measure out 1/3 cup.
These are things you’re probably already aware of, but it’s always nice to point them out from time to time in case others are wondering the same thing. Thanks so much for clarifying!
Q4. I’m making your Next Level Vegan Enchiladas tomorrow night for a family gathering! Do you think regular sprouted spelt flour would work instead of white spelt flour in the Enchilada Sauce? Thanks in advance!
Hey Rita, You can absolutely use whole-grain spelt flour, but I might suggest sifting it first to get the larger spelt grains/flecks out of it. I also think other flour alternatives could work, but you may need to play with the amounts a little to achieve your desired consistency.
“Another toddler snack idea is to mix puréed fruit and veggies with yogurt (I use whole milk yogurt but I’m sure a vegan yogurt would work as well) and drip/drizzle it on a baking sheet that’s oiled or lined with a silicone baking mat. Then I freeze the yogurt/fruit drops on the sheet for a few hours before transferring them to a jar to keep in the freezer. My toddler of 18 months loves these.”
What a GREAT idea!! Thanks Stephanie! I’ll be trying this for sure, especially as Arlo is cutting a gazillion teeth right now. Too bad I can’t give these to him in the middle of the night. 😉 I may try it with my Super Thick Coconut Yogurt as I have some frozen coconut meat to use up. Thanks for sharing!