I love making new friends. One of the things I probably like least about living in L.A. is that it's so hard to meet nice, normal, even-keeled people here. Thanks to The Boyfriend, I met a great group of guys right away after moving here, but that's not really gonna help a girl with a boyfriend out too much. I've tried to set them up on dates, and even set one of them up twice (Sorry, Matt. I promise in the future not to set you up with anymore girls with either prescription drug addictions or daddy issues, but I can't promise I'll never try to set you up again, because I just adore you and want you to meet someone nice who makes you happy.)
I do have a small tight-knit group of girls here in L.A. that I hold near and dear, but where I'm going with this, is that in the last three months, I have made some very good girl friends through this blog, and to be honest, I'm not sure that was something I was expecting.
Take for example my friend Elizabeth. She's gorgeous, smart, funny and has already made a huge impact on my life by showing that it's easy to go meat and animal product free. Her blog, I Can't Believe It's Not Dead, is adorable. If she lived in L.A., I'm sure we'd be hanging out all the time. I'm not at the "labels" stage of my eating habits yet, I'm exploring a new and healthy way of eating that's good for myself, the planet and the animals. But I honestly don't know if I'll ever call myself a "vegan." I don't trust myself not to screw up every once and a while, and people ask a lot of questions when you tell them you are eating a certain way. I also don't want people to say things like, "Oh, you're one of those now..." like someone did the other day. I also just don't like labels period. And I don't want to be stereotyped. I'm blonde enough already, okay?
On my own, however, I have stopped buying anything animal, and now have things like soy yogurt and almond milk in the fridge, which are both totally delicious and completely acceptable replacements.) But will I eat ice cream again? I'm sure I will. SO don't judge, okay?
I've also been making this transition easier by making large batches of pasta and quinoa salads on Sunday, and separating them into smaller containers for my lunches during the week. I'm a freak who could eat the same thing everyday, so this works out well for me.
I am loving how this whole blog thing can lead you to people you never would have met in real life...similar to the way you have all found your way here! And now that you are, I'm so glad you have stayed long enough to at least read this long-winded post, written by some random girl in a little city called L.A. Like the other day, on the super cute blog Peanut Butter and Jenny, there was a guest post from Averie, of Love Veggies, Yoga, Running. And Chocolate., so now I read her blog! And Averie had a post I read on Saturday where she made her Raw Vegan Apple Crumble, which is what I've made for today's Meatless Monday post. So thank you, Averie, for inspiring my post, and thank you Elizabeth, for inspiring my life in more ways than one.
Barbecue "Chicken" Pizza
Pre-made Cornmeal Crust, or other pizza crust of your choice
Crimini mushrooms, sliced
Fake "Chicken" slices
Vegan CheesePre-heat oven to 425 degrees, or whatever temperature your crust calls for. Place crust on a baking sheet. Spread a thin layer of barbecue sauce over the crust. Arrange mushrooms and fake "chicken." Top with chopped cilantro, thinly sliced red onion, and green onions. Top entire pizza with shredded vegan cheese, or regular cheese if you prefer. Follow Your Heart brand mozzarella works well. You can put it in the freezer for a while before shredding to make it easier. Also, try spraying your grater with non-stick spray, and the "cheese" won't stick to it! (This works for a block of regular cheese too!)
Bake the pizza for 15 minutes, (or as long as your crust tells you to). Remove from oven and serve!
Raw Vegan Apple Crumble from Averie, of Love Veggies, Yoga, Running. And Chocolate.
You can find Averie's original post here.
1/2 C. Dry Oats
1/3 C. Almond Meal
3 Medjool Dates (remove pits!)
1 Large Apple
2 Tbs. Brown Sugar
1 Tbs. Cinnamon (you may want less if you have a smaller apple, mine was little, and I think next time I'll either use a little less cinnamon, or a bigger apple)
2 Tbs. Agave
2 Tbs. Brown Sugar
1/4 C. Dry Oats
2 Tbs. Agave
Extra apple slices and dry oats, for garnishing.To start, blend 1/2 C. dry oats in a blender for the crust. Make sure they become powder-like. Then add, 1/3 C. almond meal, and the 3 pitted medjool dates. Press into the bottom of a container, or as I did, into a parfait glass. Reserve a tablespoon or two of the crust in the blender for the crumb topping.
Next, dice and peel the apple, and mix in a bowl with 2 tbs. brown sugar, and 1 tbs. cinnamon (to taste), and 2 tbs. agave syrup. Top the crust with the apple mixture.
Add 2 tbs. brown sugar, 1/4 C. dry oats and 2 tbs. agave to the remaining crust mixture in the blender. Blend until crumbly, and then sprinkle over apples.
Garnish with more oats and apple slices. Averie said to wait 24-48 hours if possible to eat this, but she said you could eat immediately if you want. I waited a day, and it was delish! I could not believe it wasn't cooked! This tastes just like the apple crisp I used to make with a Paula Deen amount of butter. Thanks for the recipe and advice, Averie!