Simple Baked Vegan Cheesecake

Hiii. How about this baked vegan cheesecake, huh!? It is so amazingly soft and surprises anyone who tries it that it’s completely dairy free. This recipe is simple, sweet, and versatile since you can add any fun additions to the recipe that you want! Hang in there for the recipe below!

baked vegan cheesecake

Let’s just pretend I wasn’t on a hiatus for…oh I don’t know…TWO MONTHS. Since then, I feel like everything has changed, and yet nothing at all. I’ve been focusing on my happiness and the forms of media I take in, and it’s helped my mindset stay (more or less) out of the negatives. It’s crazy how you mindlessly take in media from Instagram, people you hang around, Youtube, etc… Then before you know it you’re led to think one way or another, view yourself one way, have opinions about the actions of others, and just generally feel negative. I know so many of us are guilty of mindlessly scrolling Instagram out of boredom, and all of a sudden you feel like you aren’t fit enough, don’t look good enough, need to do x y and z to be better. It’s just horrid…but often times I just don’t know how to fill my time.

Nick’s been magnificent about helping me find ways to immerse my mind. I get bored so easily so finding something that totally grabs my attention and keeps me busy is difficult. But I’ve been getting into more video games, trying to color more, distracting myself by doing my hair or makeup when I feel sad, etc. I’ve been playing Nintendo Switch games (particularly Splatoon!) and I’ve recently been playing a lot of Pokemon Sun on the 3ds that Nick got me in the Spring. It’s crazy how something viewed as “lazy” is actually the most positive and re-energizing thing for me lately. Video games are so innocent and so uplifting in small doses, and it’s been great.

In the times between, I’ve been staying busy with recipe development work for companies and improving my photography skills. Nick has so much camera knowledge and it’s been fun learning things from him and putting them to the test in my photoshoots. It makes me feel great :) Learning is always fun and I hope that I always have things to learn in my life. I’ve also just been baking for fun because, of course I have. Baking will always and forever be a part of me. I’ve been trying to tackle veganizing recipes that have always scared me since going vegan. One of the biggest on the list for me: cheesecake.

It took me a couple tries, but I finally got it right! I love this recipe and it’s easy to add variations. For example, I made an oreo version by adding oreos to the batter. I also made a caramel version by drizzling a vegan caramel on top. You could swirl cookie dough into the batter, add strawberries on top, swirl peanut butter on top before baking, you name it! I’m so happy I have a go-to up my sleeve now for parties and events. My coworkers and Nick absolutely loved this recipe the times I brought it into work. People weren’t sure how it could possibly be dairy free and vegan. Which is always a good thing if you ask me.

Try this out and let me know what you think!! What variation of cheesecake would you make first!?

Simple Baked Vegan Cheesecake

Serves: 12

Crust

  • Graham pie crust (this one is vegan/no honey)

Filling

  • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked
  • 1, 13.5 oz can coconut milk (chilled, top part only)
  • 1 package tofutti vegan cream cheese (8 oz)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 TBSP cornstarch
  • 2 TBSP flour (Optional)

Before baking, soak the cashews in water for at least 4 hours. Strain before using. Alternatively if you’re in a crunch for time, you can boil the cashews for 15-20 and strain before using.

Preheat the oven to 325 F. In a food processor or blender, simply blend all of the filling ingredients. You want to use only the thick, top portion of the coconut cream and dispose of the water layer at the bottom. Chilling in the fridge is what makes this separation occur. Blend for 2-3 minutes until very very thick and creamy.

Pour the filling into the pie crust and bake at 325 F for 70-80 minutes. Remove from the oven and let sit at room temperature to cool for at least one hour. Place in the fridge overnight to fully set. Then cut into 12 slices and enjoy!

Variations

For an oreo cheesecake, use this crust and swirl 3 crushed oreos into the cheesecake filling before baking.

For a caramel cheesecake, bake as normal. Then pour a vegan caramel on top while it is sitting at room temperature. To make a simple caramel, melt together 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup earth balance vegan butter, and up to 2 TBSP almond milk until the perfect consistency is reached.

 

 


Learn healthy, plant-based eating in 6 weeks from me.




New Glasses and My First Century Ride!

Hiii guys! It’s been a while since I sat down and wrote a blog post. I haven’t gotten much time to myself so finding peace and quiet to write is difficult. I have been trying to video record big events, so this post will be supported a bit by those videos :)

I recently shared my new eyeglasses! I was a little hesitant to try them out, but I’ve really been wanting clear glasses frames so I figured I’d give it a go. I like to get my eyeglasses online from glassesshop.com because they don’t require a prescription to be forwarded to them, as long as you know your prescription. Which I do! I also love this site since they have so many options and they always have some sort of sale going on. I figure – if I don’t like a set, I don’t really lose much and can try again since frames can be as cheap as $13!! They also don’t feel cheap and I haven’t had any break. It’s great. I saw right now they have a BOGO sale with code “BSGOGO” – that’s when I like to get two pairs at once! I’m not sure how long it lasts though. I think they code “GSHOT50” will always give 50% off a pair without the sale ending. I know they also have prescription sunglasses, but I haven’t tried any of them out before.

Take a look at the pair I got on Youtube here :) I feel fanccyyyy. I got the pair called “Alice Oval – Crystal” if you want to get these! I like getting new glasses because I feel like it’s always the start of a new era hahaha. Just me or?

If you watch the second half of that video, I recorded that right before my first century bike ride! 100 miles :o I sit here now, the day after the century, sore all over with a foggy brain. I apologize for any crazy typos or grammar. I’m sure this is riddled with them from my brain fog. I think the weirdest thing I could’ve never even anticipated feeling after the ride is…my esophagus is sore??? Not going to lie, I am mildly concerned about it. It hurts to swallow and kind of feels like something lodged in my airway. But I’ll see what happens with time. I’m assuming its just from exerting energy for 8 hours straight with a minimum heart rate of 160. Check out this video for all my immediate post-ride thoughts. Glorious robe, wet hair, and all.

It feels amazing to set out and do a goal I made a year ago. Ride a 100 mile century bike ride. It was brutal, hot, my whole body was on fire by mile 60, and I felt every.single.mile.after. At 96 miles, a combination of direct sun (I’m dealing with the extreme burn today!) and constant hills cut my ride short; I began to black out. I did everything in my power; I just couldn’t keep my heart rate or body temperature down. I’m not kidding when I say I couldn’t EVER get my heart rate below 160. Not good at all – the goal was to maintain around 130. Ironic enough I pulled over at a church graveyard hahah. Whether I made the 100 mile marker or not, I was washed over by extreme emotion at the end. I couldn’t hold back tears. I always think back to my younger self, who was embarrassed to run the mile in middle school because she couldn’t make the 16 minute cut off. So unhealthy, self-conscious, and self-defeating. I still can’t believe what I pushed myself to achieve, all while managing my fibromyalgia in recent years. I’m going to try again next year  NOT in the smack dab middle of the Georgia summer and with less hills.

I think this was a great learning experience. You have to start somewhere, right? Considering my longest ride before this day was 55 miles…in shade…less hills…I’m so proud. I never could’ve imagined doing something like this. I feel like challenges like these are mostly mindset, and that, I for sure conquered. The self-defeating second nature I was born with was not going to take over. While that tries to slip up in my day to day, challenges like these remind me that it’s all about what you believe you can do, then doing it. You can do anything. Unless…the sun physically puts you in a dangerous place. But I sure as heck tried. And I did the best I could with the circumstances. I was giggling to myself during the ride because from my 23 and me results, I am scientifically made better for sprints and short bursts of energy as opposed to marathons or long durations of exercise. So I was giggling like…why did I choose to do this ahahah. I’m not MADE for this. But it’s just so fun :p

I’m…going back into recovery mode of just laying around for the rest of the day until work tomorrow. People keep telling me to spin out today and it’ll help the soreness be diminished in the following days but I don’t knowwww.. I’m still having muscle spasms and locking joints, so I just need to return to baseline I think. Here’s a photo drop!

Food that I packed. I thought it would be perfect or one packet too many…but it wasn’t. I found some fruits + pickles for sodium + pretzels at the rest stops I was able to snag (a lot of the supplied foods weren’t vegan :/) but even that extra fruit wasn’t enough. Really awful cramps from lack of electrolytes.

Immediately after stopping at 96 and sitting incase I dropped to the ground unconscious. You can see the dehydration in my face.

After sitting a bit and my mom arriving to rescue me hahaha. I felt happy, sad, loopy, and just overwhelmed by emotions and senses.

My number. I feel like 1s, 3s, and 0s follow me so I thought it was freaky I got 131. The salt crystals on my face are cool. #science

Walking into the post-ride restaurant, the sun burn set in. No wonder I was overheated.


Learn healthy, plant-based eating in 6 weeks from me.




All Eyes On… [9]

All Eyes On: where apparently this time I just really really want chickpeas.

these mini lemon rosemary cakes. so moist!

this layered mocha cake. ugh gimme.

these Korean braised lotus roots. perfection.

creamy lemon pepper chickpeas. interesting!

these general tso’s chickpeas. genius.

this Moroccan chickpea quinoa power salad. looks so fresh

this mushroom and chickpea marsala. i have a chickpea problem.

these copycat Cinnamon Snail donuts. infamous.

this vegan sweetened condensed milk. im so impressed.

this cashew-based vegan alfredo sauce. she thiqq.

or this nut-free vegan alfredo. i can’t pick just one.

[ this is everything I currently have my eyes on. leave any links you’re currently loving, below! ]


Learn healthy, plant-based eating in 6 weeks from me.




Slow Cooker Thai Red Curry (v, gf)

You know those days when you just canNOT be bothered to think about food, cooking food, finding food, anything essential? Because other things come first? yesyesyesyesys you know what I mean. When you’re wanting to just order junk food and go hard on something less-than-healthy. This slow cooker thai red curry will save the day. This recipe just requires tossing everything in a slow cooker and FORGETTING about it until dinner time. It is so simple, gluten free, healthy, and vegan!

This recipe came in so vital during a busy weekend. I can’t believe how flavorful it ended up being, by doing nothing?? It seemed even better the day after since the curry thickened more overnight in the fridge.

What’s your favorite type of curry? When I go to a thai restaurant, I love getting massaman curry or yellow curry, but to be honest all curries are my favorite curry. Any and every. My only reservation with eating at thai restaurants is although they can be easily vegan-izable, a lot will still use a chicken broth instead of a veggie broth…and I have trust issues. So mastering it at home is fantastic. :)

Try out this slow cooker thai red curry and see for yourself how simple and healthy it is!

Slow Cooker Thai Red Curry

Serves: 4

  • 1/2 cup dry chickpeas, hydrated (or use 1 can chickpeas, drained)
  • 1 can full fat coconut milk
  • 1 can fire roasted tomatoes (drain out liquid first)
  • 2 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 3 carrots, sliced
  • 2 tsp coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup thai red curry paste (I used this)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ginger
  • dash of salt
  • 2 cups spinach
  • 1 cup rice, dry

Toss everything except for the spinach and rice into the slow cooker. Set to slow cook for 4-5 hours. Right before serving, stir in spinach.

Cook 1 cup of rice and serve the curry over the rice. Enjoy!!


Learn healthy, plant-based eating in 6 weeks from me.




Vegan Cheezy Taco Pasta

I’ve done it. I’ve evolved into my final form: mad scientist vegan chef, lvl 96. This is what I’m going to call…#vegan Hamburger Helper, cheezy taco version. Aka nacho taco pasta bake? I’m not entirely sure but you get it. And like…I know hamburger helper is the crappiest crap to ever exist. BUT IT’S SO GOOD. AND THIS IS SO GOOD. AND BASICALLY life is amazing. I’m just sitting here in awe wondering how it’s totally vegan and dairy free.

Life has been calming down a bit now and it feels good. :) Getting into a rhythm at the new house and finding the new normal. Now that things are settling, I’m shifting all my focus towards training for my century bike ride in a few months. I’m struggling since I don’t have a “go-to” group of cycling friends anymore…and it’s a little frustrating that my training depends on other people’s free time. But Nick has been a champ and picking up riding AND riding the same distances as me right away. Things can’t always be as high volume as I’d like…but that’s fine. This weekend, I had zeroooo long ride….which is kind of a bummer. But I think my brain needed it for mental health to just chill for a weekend.

Has anyone ever done a century? I heard that this one is relatively flat, so I’m trying not to worry too much. But I know 1 of 2 things is going to do me in. 1) any hills or 2) forgetting to EAT ENOUGH. I keep getting advice to remember to eat during the ride even when you don’t feel hungry. I alwayssss forget that. I’m also mildly worried that I won’t have anyone to draft off of…but I’m hoping I can just leech off someone random hahaha..ahah….ha….forreal.

So, FOOD!! I made this vegan cheezy taco pasta after a long ride with Nick for us to chow down on. We went innnnnn. It was just right – protein, carbs, comfort fooooodd… Try it out and let me know what you think! Nick said it’s sure to fool any meat eater that they’re eating beef pasta, even though it’s vegan. I love this so much. Enjoy!

vegan taco pasta

Vegan Cheezy Taco Pasta

Serves: 6

First, cook the pasta according to directions on the package. In a large skillet, add the onion, mushrooms, vegan butter, and beefless crumbles. Cook on a medium heat for 4-5 minutes until the veggies are softened, then add the taco seasoning, salsa, enchilada sauce, vegan nacho cheese, nutritional yeast, and the cooked pasta. Mix to incorporate.

Essentially you’re donezo but you can top with a little shredded vegan cheese if you’d like, then put in the oven at 375F an extra 5-10 mins to melt the cheese on top. Enjoy!!


Learn healthy, plant-based eating in 6 weeks from me.




I tried a Barre Class!

I’ve gone to a lot of group fitness classes before…but it’s been a long time. And I’ve certainly never tried a Barre class!!! I had such a great experience this weekend trying out Barre for the first time!

When I first got into healthy living and trying to lose weight, I found it easiest and most efficient for me to attend group classes. I used to attend classes at my school gym or I’d go to classes at LA Fitness. But currently, I am not a member of a gym. After I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, I’ve stuck to riding my bike since it’s low impact. I have light weights at home; I tell myself I’ll do home workouts for strength but….I never do. I just can’t get the motivation to do strength stuff at home. But I neeeeeed to. Working on full-body fitness is so important.

I found this website called CourseHorse where you can search for and book classes local to your city. This is anything from professional courses, gardening courses, acting classes, and more. The wide array is amazing! They are currently still in beta mode for Atlanta and are adding more classes often, but I was still able to hunt down a ton of fitness classes in Atlanta.

I knew if I was going to sign up for a class, I wanted to try something new and out of my comfort zone. I saw things like spin classes and boot camps, but I’m used to things like that and really wanted to branch out. One class that caught my eye was Cardio Barre at the Body Bar Group Fitness Studio. I have neeeever tried barre. I honestly had no idea what to expect! When I search online, I see everything from ladies in ballet uniforms to people in shorts doing planks. I figured I’d take the leap and just find out in person.

The class was SO much fun! If you haven’t tried a barre class, you should!! When I showed up, I quickly realized shorts were a bad idea. Everyone else had on yoga pants (not ballet clothes at least ahah)…since a lot of what we did was a mix of core moves, yoga, and barre. My shorts could be revealing at times, but whatever. Now I know, ha. The instructor as well as the other people in the class were so nice and welcoming. We did circuits of moves like squats, pulse lunges, planks, and muscle-tightening moves like tricep kickback pulses. When you think of the phrase “sculpt and tone”…this is what those moves cater to. The bar part of the class was the hardest! It had me soo sore the next day and I’m honestly surprised I was challenged so much. We like….Stood on our tip toes, squatted down, and clenched a soft ball in between our thighs. Then pulsed. TALK ABOUT BURN. I never think my legs can get tired since I cycle so much, but this hit all the tiny muscles that don’t get used. I will be returning!

CourseHorse has so many unique classes for low drop-in prices that I want to try out. Pilates would be fun to try, and I am super interested in a glass blowing class I found on the site.

Have you ever done barre?! I will definitely be returning and hopefully getting back that strength I lost from my worst peak of fibromyalgia over a year ago! :D So happy I found it.


Learn healthy, plant-based eating in 6 weeks from me.