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vegan snacks

How to Plan Vegan School Lunch for Kids (VIDEO)

If you're new to vegan life, the easiest way to transition your kids to vegan school lunches, is by veganizing (make a vegan version) some of the meals they're already enjoying.

Think about it like this.... if your kids love turkey sandwiches - start experimenting with vegan deli slices (I like the Field Roast brand) and use vegan mayo (Just Mayo is a good brand), lettuce, tomato & mustard to make their favorite sandwich vegan. Also, check the ingredients on the bread to ensure that it's vegan (no milk, eggs or butter). 

Try not to overthink it. You want to keep weekly lunches simple for you and delicious for them. :-)

I have an easy formula for making simple and delicious daily lunches....

Main entree + Fruit/Vegetable + Treat/Junk Food + Drink =                                                Vegan School Lunch

I talk about making school lunches and even show you how I put one together for my boys in this video...

Main entree - sandwich (peanut butter and jelly is a great option), burrito, taco, wrap (one with hummus, red bell pepper, lettuce & tomato is an easy option) or leftover soup from dinner in a Thermos

This is a pic of my youngest son, Brandon's lunch from when he was about 6

This is a pic of my youngest son, Brandon's lunch from when he was about 6

Fruit and/or Vegetable - any whole fruit that you have on hand - berries, banana, apple, pineapple, etc. Mini salads with lettuce, tomato, carrot & cucumber served with balsamic vinaigrette or any vegetable and hummus.  If you have older kids, a fruit and vegetable is probably a good idea because they eat more. Smaller kids should get one or the other so they don't waste food.

Treat/Junk Food - Don't skip out on the treat because kids love trading snacks! I know I used to back in the day. Plus, I think it's important for some of their food to look familiar.

Vegan junk food options mentioned in the video: Oreos, plain Lay's potato chips Earth Balance vegan cheddar popcorn, Late July chips (not all of their products are vegan; check the ingredients)
Clif Bar (not all of their products are vegan; check the ingredients) and Stacy's pita chips (not sure if all of their products are vegan; check the ingredients)

There are so many healthy junk food options out there! You can also check out PETA's accidental vegan list for some familiar (not healthy) snack options 

Drink - Water is best but I used to give my boys an organic juice box one week out of the week. You can also send your kids to school with almond or coconut milk (they even sell chocolate flavored versions of these) in a Thermos or drink box.

Remember to keep it simple, get the kids involved and have fun!!

 

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Buffalo Cauliflower Recipe (VIDEO) Family-Friendly & Vegan

While Eric and I were in L.A. back in May, we had buffalo cauliflower for the first time at Sage Organic Bistro in Culver City (beautiful restaurant!). He couldn't stop talking about the buffalo cauliflower!

I procrastinated for a while at making a version for him at home, so guess what he said?

He would eat regular chicken if I didn't make it. Ha! He knew exactly what to say to get me going.

He play too much! *side eye* lol

Anywho, I've made this several times and it's amazing! Eric and the boys love it, too!

I think often it's not the meat that we're craving but it's the sauce that is drenched on that meat.

This is a more compassionate and healthier alternative than chicken wings. I haven't tried it with BBQ sauce (or any other sauce) but I'm sure it would be just as good if you're looking for variety.

Quick notes:

*I know the picture looks crispy but the cauliflower is NOT. Don't get me wrong, the texture is great, but you'll probably have to deep fry it to truly get a crunchy texture. I haven't fried it yet, but I would assume you need to double the batter if you decide to.

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*I'm surprised the boys love it so much...being that it's spicy. I notice Texas Pete hot sauce is milder than Frank's RedHot in this recipe, so you can experiment with that if the babies (your kids) are eating it.

Let me know what you think once you make it! Tag me your picture on Facebook or Instagram

Song playing while I baked: Freddie Jackson- "Have You Ever Loved Somebody"

Recipe adapted from The Lean Clean Eating Machine & MindBodyGreen

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~*~FULL RECIPE AND VIDEO BELOW ~*~

Buffalo Cauliflower

by Brown Vegan

Prep Time: 10

Cook Time: 40

Ingredients (Serves 4)

  • 1 large head of cauliflower, broken into bite sized pieces
  • ½ cup rice or all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup hot sauce
  • 1 tbsp vegan margarine, melted (Earth Balance is a good brand)

Instructions

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

In a large bowl, mix together flour, salt, garlic powder and water.

Mix in cauliflower, being sure that all the pieces are coated.

Place cauliflower on a baking sheet in a single layer (use parchment paper or oil to prevent it from sticking).

Roast in the oven for 15 minutes.

In a small bowl, mix together the hot sauce and margarine.

Transfer the cauliflower to a large bowl.

Pour on the sauce, being sure to coat all the cauliflower pieces.

Place the cauliflower back on the baking sheet and roast for 18-25 more minutes.

Let it cool for 10 minutes and serve with vegan ranch dressing.

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Want Chips? Eat This Instead

I wanted a bag of chips...plain Lay's potato chips to be more specific. I almost hopped in our van to get some, but stopped to think about what I really wanted.

I really just wanted a salty, crispy snack.

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I made some kale chips instead. #progress I'm a firm believer in replacing food/ingredients instead of saying that you can't eat it anymore. I know that may sound funny because I don't eat meat, dairy or eggs, but that's different because I avoid those for ethical reasons.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not completely giving up chips (in fact I had some for lunch a few weeks ago lol), but I do want to be more intentional about the food decisions I make. Instead of hopping in the van and going to Wawa for a bag, I took a moment and considered if there's an alternative.

About these kale chips

They're crispy, slightly salty (add more if you need to) and so delicious. Another bonus to making your own kale chips, is that you'll save money because the ones in the store are usually $6-$8. No ma'am.

Elijah and I ate the whole batch (you know he's my picky eater) and I had to make more for everyone else.

Update me when you try the recipe!

Take a trip down memory line with me. Check out this old video with Brandon stuffing his face with kale chips. Ha! This was like my second YouTube video ever.

 

What food have you replaced recently?

Simple Kale Chips

by Brown Vegan

Keywords: bake vegan

Ingredients

  • 2 bunches of curly kale, washed, de-stemed and cut into bite size pieces
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon nutritional yeast (optional)

Instructions

Preheat oven at 350º

In a large bowl, toss kale with olive oil and salt until evenly coated.

Spread a 1/3 of the kale on a baking sheet in a single layer, being sure not to overcrowd the pan.

Roast for about 10 minutes (or until crispy), checking to make sure it doesn't burn.

Repeat with the remaining kale (a 1/3 at a time) and sprinkle with nutritional yeast.

Enjoy!

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Chocolate Frozen Pops Recipe

My boys love playing in the kitchen. Measuring ingredients, pouring and of course testing whatever you're making. It's such an awesome way for us to spend quality time together.

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I know it's cold outside but we made chocolate pops the other day. It hit my chocolate craving spot! Even though there's canned coconut milk in this recipe, I didn't taste it much (the boys agreed).

I got the idea for this recipe from Daphne Oz after seeing it in her cookbook a while ago. I think she used honey (which isn't vegan) instead of maple syrup and salt. I didn't think salt was necessary.

When you make it, let me know if you taste the coconut or whether or not you used salt.

Chocolate Frozen Pop

by Brown Vegan

Prep Time: 5 mins active 5 hours inactive

Ingredients (9 small pops)

  • 14 oz canned coconut milk, unsweetened (I use full fat)
  • ¼ cup all-natural maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • ¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • (9) 3 oz Dixie cups
  • 9 small popsicle sticks

Instructions

In a blender, mix together the coconut milk, maple syrup, cocoa powder & vanilla.

Pour the mixture into each cup and place into the freezer.

Freeze for about 1 ½ hours, then add in the sticks.

Continue freezing overnight or for about 5 hours.

When you’re ready to eat, rip the paper cup off of the chocolate pop and enjoy!

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Currently Reading: The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz

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