Food Allergy Challenge

Food allergies are not the funnest of things. When born with them, you never get to experience some of the foods that most of us would consider a part of our childhood. I couldn’t even imagine if I was allergic to nuts, with my peanut and almond butter addiction.

When you find yourself allergic to food, what is happening is your body mistaking the compounds of the food (most commonly, the proteins) in what you eat as something harmful instead of nutritious. It doesn’t break down or digest and sometimes causes auto immune reactions like swelling and rashes, or even inability to breathe.

I am very lucky to only have the pollen allergy everyone seems to get, but my dear friend Bryce is a whole different story. He has quite a bit to work with as far as his diet goes and he hasn’t always been able to enjoy some of the things most kids do. So that’s where I need you guys to come in.

Please comment with a recipe or a link to one that fits his dietary needs. Be creative with it, and have fun with it guys. This post is for his parents, who are some of the best and nicest people I have ever had the pleasure of meeting . Anything from a full on recipe to some grocery tips for Bryce. And remember, he’s a kid so he’ll probably enjoy an allergy free mac n cheeze better than some fancy five-star dish.

Here are his allergies:

-Sesame seeds

And please pass this post around. I’m not asking this so I can get more hits on this site. This post is dedicated to Bryce so that he can enjoy the deliciousness of awesome, flavorful food just like anyone else. ‘

Thank you everyone for your support

-Andrew “VegMuffinMan” Morrison-

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My New Adventure: Eating Clean

With all of the new diets and crazes out there, people seem to be loosing and gaining the same pounds over and over again. Its craziness I tell you! Craaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaziness!! Not to mention, people are practically killing themselves over it, whether it be to feel a lot better, or you just want to have that beach body. I hate to be that person to say “you got it all wrong” but well……you got it all wrong.

First off, lets look at what most of you guys are doing these days. You focus on calories and only that. A teaspoon of sugar has about 15 calories, right? You can work that off by jogging on a treadmill for two minutes. Piece of cake, right? Wrong. Empty white sugar is processed in your body as something that has no intent of nourishing you. It spikes your blood levels and are linked to things like immune suppression (a fancy word meaning your body can’t fight off diseases as easily). It also says it’s “natural”, but so are most drugs. Is all-natural, good old fashioned tobacco good for your health too? I’m not here to give you a talk about sugar or drugs. Lets save that for another post. What I am here to tell you about is something totally different.

I’m here to tell you about eating clean. Eating better. Eating for your health. You don’t want to hear me talk about being healthy and just want that beach body? Fine. Go find some magic pill that lets you eat anything in sight and gives you what you want. Go ahead. See where that gets ya. But let me tell you something right now. A healthy body IS a beautiful body!!! Your muscles grow when you can function right. And when can they function right? When you are frickin HEALTHY!!!!

Its like a car. Fill it with the wrong fuel, it won’t run. I don’t care how many magic pills you throw in that gas tank. It’s not gonna run right, if you don’t put the right stuff in it! If you are expecting me to tell you otherwise, you can just click out of this page right now.

(I wonder what they’ve got under the hood)

OK. Enough of my ranting. Time to tell you what I discovered to be the best thing that ever happened to this seventeen year old vegan (and no, you don’t even have to be vegan to do this). It’s something I’d like to call eating clean. I didn’t invent the word. Tons of people do it! You know those movie stars you see on the big screen? Angelina Jolie? Halle Berry? They all eat super healthy, whether you know it or not. Tosca Reno’s has many books on it, which I would definitely pick up a copy if I were you. She explains a lot better than I do.

(This is the book I have. It helps a LOT!)

    So now that I’ve told you who does it and what it isn’t, let me tell you what it is. Eating clean is nothing more than eating things your body actually needs. If you can’t pronounce it, don’t kill your body with it. Now with that said, there is a chart Mrs.Tosca made to help me out a bit.

What to do:

  • Eat More- eat six small meals a day (usually three hours apart)
  • Eat breakfast everyday, within an hour of rising ( this jumpstarts that metabolism from the 6-12 hours you don’t eat at night)
  • Eat a combination of lean protein and complex carbs at each meal
  • Drink two to three liters of water each day
  • Carry a cooler packed with Clean foods each day (I use grocery bags. You want to keep food with you so you don’t find yourself three hours later with nothing healthy to eat, and turn to the junk)
  • Depend on fresh fruits and vegetables for fiber, vitamins, nutrients and enzymes.
  • Adhere to proper portion size.

What to Avoid:

  • Avoid all over-processed foods, particularly white flour and sugar
  • Avoid chemically charged foods
  • Avoid foods containing preservatives(if you can’t pronounce it, don’t eat it)
  • Avoid artificial sugars
  • Avoid artificial foods (such as processed cheese)
  • Avoid saturated and trans fats (go for poly or mono saturated. Omega-3 baby!)
  • Avoid sugar-loaded beverages, including colas and juices (a lot of juices have added sugar so watch out!)
  • Avoid (or do your best to limit) alcohol intake.
  • Avoid all calorie-dense foods containing little or no nutritional value (Tosca Reno calls these “Anti-Foods”)
  • Avoid super-sizing your meal

And that’s it! If you really want to get a head start, add a bit of flax seed to your diet. But that’s for another post.
This thing will not magically make you skinny within a week. If you are wanting something that has “INSTANT WEIGHT LOSS” written all over it, go click on a Google ad or something. You won’t loose that belly instantly, but you will as quickly as naturally possible.

Om Nom Nom

    The key? Stick with it. If you REALLY want to get yourself healthy, get your health right, or just plain want to look better like the rest of us, just keep on going. I promise you, this thing will change your entire outlook on eating. And like I said, go pick up a “Eating Clean” book or a “Clean Eating” magazine if you need a bit of help on your journey. It sounds bland now, but I promise you will love what you see. I started about four days ago, and my skin is already starting to clear up. So. Will you join me?

If you have a Clean Eating story, or an awesome recipe, post it or a link to it in the comments please!

Health Freax Unite!

-Andrew “VegMuffinMan” Morrison-

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The End’s Beginning

My posts have been getting less and less due to my schedule recently and the Veganomicon Project has been brought to a stand still. I know many of you emailed me and sent me messages implying that you were so looking forward to my reviews on the many recipes Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero has to offer, my with my life containing a full time job and college prep, I am sorry to say that my project must come to a close. That is not to say i won’t review a few recipes here and there. I absolutely will! I just can’t promise i will complete the book any time soon.

The recipes in the book are delicious though and if you are a vegan or even vegan-curious and don’t own a copy, at least pick it up. Maybe jot down a recipe or two from it at the book store that look appealing and try them out. They really are worth looking at. Some have a bit to be desired and there are quite a few errors in the typing of the book, but all in all the tastes are phenomenal!

My Favorites:

Blueberry Corn Pancakes!

Eggplant-Potato Moussaka with Pine Nut Cream!

Seitan with Mushrooms and Spinach!

And of course….

Vanilla Ice Cream!

          When working through the book, I did cook more than a reviewed. I wish I would have done so but dim lighting and the old “meh. I’ll do it later.” or “I’ll remake the recipe another time” tended to cut me short. My reviews were not the greatest, but a true successor of blogging through the book was the lovely couple at . They are true champions and if I hadn’t attempted this thing, I wouldn’t have the true appreciation I have for them today. So Joey…Cassie…huge kudos to the both of you and congratulations on your success! (and on finding a rough skinned newt).

As far as my experience, I learned a heck of a lot from this thing! Before going vegan, I barely knew the very basics of cooking and had never stepped foot in a kitchen unless it was to lick the buttery, eggy cookie dough bowl on the counter. With this book, I have learned about grains I never knew existed and techniques have give me a whole new outlook on cooking.

Yeah, I gained about 20 pounds trying to cram a week’s worth of food into a day but it was fun. So now I’m back to my skinny self and ready to take on any challenge my kitchen has to offer. Look out world! Andrew’s back in the kitchen!

Health Freax Unite!

-Andrew “VegMuffinMan” Morrison-

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Tofu Florentine

Florentine dishes happen to be some of my favorites. You take a normal “egg”-like dish, throw in some healthy spinach, throw it all on bread, and finish it off with a delicious sauce,usually some sort of hollidaise, thou a “cheeze” sauce takes the place here. Plus broiled tofu over eggs and makes it that much better.

The Tofu Florentine (pg. 72) was a bit…well…bland in my opinion. The cheezy sauce pretty much pulled the weight for all the flavor in this dish and it was a bit disappointing. The recipe said to put everything over either the diner homefries, an english muffin, or a piece of bread. I had no english muffins or potatoes, so went straight to some Ezekiel 4:9 bread. Maybe next time i’ll go with the homefries and a few more seasonings.

What is your favorite breakfast “egg” dish?

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Florentine-Loving Health Freax Unite!

-Andrew “VegMuffinMan” Morrison-

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Beanball Sub

When you have more beanballs than you do spaghetti, what do you do? Make yourself a delicious sammich! That’s what!

The Beanball Sub (pg. 99) was a very good use of leftover sauce and beanballs from the spaghetti and beanballs and leftover pine nut cream from the eggplant-potato moussaka. Good, because I had plenty of both!

As far as flavor, these things were pretty awesome! It tastes kind of weird before the oven due to the pine nut cream being kind of gross when its raw. Once this baby hits the oven, though, you are in for one awesome flavor combination. Mine was especially good due to the amazing cinnamon-spiked marinara in the moussaka. I know its weird, but it tasted amazing.

I wouldn’t serve this to a non-vegan though. You can really taste the difference between this and it’s meaty cousin. But I thought it was delicious!

I didn’t have any hoagie rolls, so I used a slice of Ezekiel 4:9 bread.


What creative things do you do with random leftovers?

I will put most of my posts on my Twitter or Facebook, so go follow me for updates!

Beanball Sammich-Loving Health Freax Unite!

-Andrew “VegMuffinMan” Morrison-

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Eggplant-Potato Moussaka with Pine Nut Cream

What the heck is a Moussaka? I have never heard of this in my life. Apparently it is made all over the world as a layered dish involving tomatoes, eggplant, and some kind of meat. This vegan recipe doesn’t involve any meat, but it may be the best dish I have ever tried!!

The Eggplant-Potato Moussaka with Pine Nut Cream (pg. 164) may be my new favorite food! That’s how much i liked it! Its layer after layer of roasted eggplant, zucchini, and potato, bread crumbs and tomato sauce. Then it’s topped with a smooth cream made from tofu and pine nuts!

Now the cream sounds kind of weird and it tastes gross raw, but once  cooked it adds a kind of ricotta feel to this lasagna-type dish. But thats not the weirdest part. That tomato sauce that’s all throughout it is actually spiked with cinnamon. CINNAMON!!! But as weird a flavor combination as that is, this is the best tomato sauce i’ve ever tried!

But this thing is like one big amazing lasagna. Plus its just a bunch of veggies, so you can eat as much of it as you want!

As strange as the combinations in this dish are, it came out in about an hour and a half as the best dish i’ve ever eaten! Go veganomicon!


What is your absolute favorite dish? Recipe links are welcomed!

I will put most of my posts on my Twitter or Facebook, so go follow me for updates!

Moussaka-Devouring Health Freax Unite!

-Andrew “VegMuffinMan” Morrison-

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Spaghetti and Beanballs

Spaghetti is an all time American classic. It goes right up there with pizza and veggie burgers. So when I found a page with veganified meatballs, I got kind of excited!!!

The Spaghetti and Beanballs (pg. 189) were very simple to make and tasted delicious! Just mix, knead, and bake the beanballs and it takes about the time it does to boil the pasta. That’s it! No fancy smancy cooking stuff kneaded.

I will admit, these taste nothing like traditional meatballs. But they taste better, in my opinion! Maybe its just because I like kidney beans. But these went great with the spaghetti. I’ll be making this one quite a bit in the future.

What are your favorite vegan classics? Links are appreciated!

I will put most of my posts on my Twitter or Facebook, so go follow me for updates!

Bean-Balled Health Freax Unite!

-Andrew “VegMuffinMan” Morrison-

Posted in Noodles & Risotto, Pasta, Veganomicon Project | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Vanilla Yogurt Pound Cake

Traditional pound cakes get their name from the pound of eggs, pound of sugar, pound of flour, and pound of butter thrown into them. Just a slice of this deadly concoction may cost you your life. Luckily, veganism to the rescue!!

The Vanilla Yogurt Pound  Cake(pg. 254)  doesn’t have a pound of anything that i know of, and uses a bunch of yogurt to fill in for those eggs. You also throw in quite a bit of tofu and soy milk into the mix for more soy creamy goodness

It also smells amazing. Vanilla and citrus zest kind of blend together into a beautiful aroma that just fills the whole kitchen. This tastes a lot like a traditional pound cake too, but is a bit more moist and flavorful. Plus if you sub the oil for applesauce, you have yourself a fat free alternative and can feel great about going for seconds!

I topped mine with yogurt and oranges !

What do you put on your pound cake, or do you prefer it by itself?

I will put most of my posts on my Twitter or Facebook, so go follow me for updates!

Not-A-Pound Cake Eating Health Freax Unite!

-Andrew “VegMuffinMan” Morrison-

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Pasta Della California

Everything seems to go good with avocado in my opinion, though i seem to hate it by itself. But this dish is no exception to my love for it. In a garlicy pasta? Oh yeah. That’s a true Californian dish!

The Pasta Della California (pg. 192) is probably one of my favorite dishes so far! You just make a garlicy spinach and wine sauce that is quick enough to make that it can be done by the time you finish boiling your pasta!

There are so many different fresh textures and flavors, its like a party in your mouth! Broccoli was a nice touch and kind of added a bit of something to actually bite into. And this thing take 8 cloves of garlic! EIGHT!!! But wow is it quick and good!

I guess anything with a ton of avocado and garlic can be called “Della California”, but this would probably take the cake as my favorite way to combine the two.

What is your favorite quick, yet delicious week-night meal?

I will put most of my posts on my Twitter or Facebook, so go follow me for updates!

California-Pasta Eating Health Freax Unite!

-Andrew “VegMuffinMan” Morrison-

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Seitan Cutlets

I love me some wheat meat! Seitan is probably one of my favorite vegan meats, and it’s so much better home made. Plus you can use it just about anywhere to veganize your favorite meat recipe!

The Seitan Cutlets (pg. 132) where incredibly simple and delicious! They were chewy and meaty and just over all an incredible version of seitan. Its a bit denser than the Simple Seitan i made earlier, but i think i like it that way. Maybe if i could find some way to make this stuff a bit tougher and less chewy, and i’d be good to go.

All you pretty much do is knead some wheat gluten dough and bake it in a 9×13 with some flavoring liquid. That’s it! I saved my liquid and reused it a couple of times for more seitan and even as a broth substitute!

Top it with a some marinara sauce and pine nut cream and you’ve just made the perfect seitan parmesan!!!

What is your favorite use for seitan?

I will put most of my posts on my Twitter or Facebook, so go follow me for updates!

Non-Chicken Noming Health Freax Unite!

-Andrew “VegMuffinMan” Morrison-


Posted in Mix and Match, Tempeh/Tofu/Seitan, Veganomicon Project | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment