Monday, March 21, 2011

Bastardized Raw Cinnamon Rolls

Since I've been making my own almond milk, I've got a lot of the leftover pulp sitting around waiting to be used up. Today I decided to try making these raw cinnamon rolls, even though they're supposed to contain dates and raisins, which I can't have. I had a bunch of almond pulp, ground flax seeds and dates sitting around waiting to be used, so I made the recipe as indicated, using the dates, for my roommate to try out. Before adding the dates, though, I removed a some of the "batter" to make my own mini roll, which I filled and iced with almond butter instead of the date and cashew mixtures. I used a little bit of xylitol as a sweetener, and I'm sure stevia would work just as well if that's what you prefer to use. The result was nothing to write home about, but it took care of my cinnamon craving and helped me pack in a healthy dose of flaxseeds and almonds. Plus, it was just nice to have something new, since I've been getting a bit tired of my old standbys.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Carob Milk and Homemade Almond Milk

I've been drinking unsweetened almond milk since I've gone on this diet, using it every day in my breakfast porridge, in smoothies, creamed spinach, and what-have-you. I love the stuff, so much that I'm starting to experiment with making my own. I thought it would take some working out to get it right, but it's amazingly simple to make. Here's how:

Soak 1 part raw almonds in water overnight, just as you would dried beans.
Rinse almonds and place in blender (I used an immersion blender, so I put them in a tall glass)
Add 3 parts water
Blend for a minute or two
Drain the milk with a fine sieve - all the recipes I've seen have said to use cheesecloth or a "nut milk bag," but I had neither and this worked fine for me. I just made sure to press out the excess milk from the pulp with the back of a spoon.

And that's it! Most recipes will call for a date or some sweetener, but that's completely optional and is only there for the taste. You could add some stevia or xylitol if you wanted, but I just kept mine plain. You'll be left with the pulp of the almonds once you're finished, and I'm currently working on what I'll be doing with mine. I mixed a small into my porridge this morning, which was alright, but I'm going to try some more interesting recipes with it.

As for the almond milk - you can drink it as is, but being unsweetened it won't taste too great. I've gotten really into having nice cold glasses of carob milk. I can't stop, really. I just fill up a glass with the milk and vigorously stir a few teaspoons of unsweetened carob powder into it. The carob powder is naturally kind of sweet, so unlike chocolate you won't need to add any sweetener.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Dahl with Greens and Quinoa

The other day I made a batch of this dahl from the Melomeals blog, with yellow split peas and the collard greens I've been trying to use up for what seems like forever. I didn't have all the spices on hand, and those I did have were pre-ground, but it still tasted awesome. I ate it over quinoa instead of rice, and it provided me with a good number of meals for the week. A great way to get in more garlic, ginger and greens. Next I'm going to try something along the lines of this lentil dish made with spinach from I know that yellow split peas are a bit starchier than other legumes, so perhaps people concerned about that might do better using lentils or perhaps green split peas instead.

Sunshine Burgers

I've been avoiding all pre-packaged foods like frozen veggie burgers as part of this diet because they usually contain some kind of processed soy protein, sugar, egg ingredient, flour, or what-have-you. I rarely ever bought pre-made veggie burgers in the first place because I prefer making my own, but I usually use bread crumbs in the recipe and my food takes enough effort to prepare already without me making veggie burgers. I'm really glad I checked out the ingredients on Sunshine burgers though, because they seem great for this diet. They do have some brown rice in them, but should be fine to have if you're not still at the very first stage of the diet. I'm still not really even sure if brown rice shouldn't be included in small amounts in the early stages of the diet, but I've been staying away from it just to be safe.

In any case, here are the ingredients for the Southwestern flavor as listed: organic ground raw sunflower seeds, organic brown rice, organic carrots, organic black beans, organic bell peppers, organic cilantro, organic jalapeƱo peppers, organic ground cumin seeds, organic onion and sea salt.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Website Recommendation

I've been looking through this website, Affairs of Living, for new recipes to try out. Lots of interesting looking bread recipes, I haven't even gotten on to looking at the rest! This is a really useful site because all the recipes are labeled whether they are gluten free, vegan, anti-candida diet, etc., and many fall under all those categories.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Baked Falafel

I've gone a bit chickpea crazy lately, made a big batch of them and have been using them to make the chickpea salad listed below, as well as to try my hand at homemade falafel. I don't know why I never bothered making falafel from scratch before, since it's one of my favorite foods, but anyways, now that I have, I will never go back to the boxed kind again! I used this recipe (which includes a tahini sauce) and substituted chickpea flour for the whole wheat flour, and unsweetened soy yogurt for the yogurt in the sauce. I had some doubt about baking these, since deep-frying is such an integral part of making falafel, but I was very pleasantly surprised. The patties I made stuck together so much better than any sort of fried falafel I've ever made before, and they made for a nice non-crumbly finger food. The tahini sauce was alright, but as a vegan I've gotten used to having hummus with my falafel and I think I prefer it that way. I will definitely be making these again and again.

And I almost forgot, if you haven't made or tried cilantro sauce on falafel before, you should! Just blend together a bunch of cilantro, some garlic, a hot green pepper (optional), a squeeze of lemon juice and some oil in a food processor, and drizzle it onto your falafel. Play with your own measurements, I've never measured when making it and it's pretty flexible.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Curried Chickpea Salad - something different

This one's a bit different from the standard bean/legume salads I've been eating pretty regularly for the past several weeks. I used the curry variation of this recipe for chickpea salad (without raisins), and instead of jarred vegan mayonnaise I used 1/4 a recipe of this homemade mayo. It's basically just like the vegan mayo recipe I've made a few times from How It All Vegan, except calls for olive oil instead of canola. I didn't quite use all the oil called for, and mine set up just fine. Using the olive oil gives it a slight tinge of green, but that's not really noticeable once you mix it into the salad. I used plain unsweetened soy milk in mine, and I'd imagine that almond milk would work the same, although I have not tried it myself.

After I gobbled up that first batch, I used some of my remaining chickpeas to make the salad again without the curry. Not adding the raisins made it slightly bitter, so this time I added a diced up orange pepper to balance out the flavor, and a generous dash of celery seed. I've just realized the recipe I posed calls for black salt - I didn't use any and it was fine, although now I'm intrigued!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Black Bean Salad

I've gotten into the habit of keeping bean or lentil salads in the fridge at all times, because they're easy to make and really handy to have around. I make a big pot of beans, use about 2/3 in a salad and reserve the remaining 1/3 for use in other recipes. I generally use the same "recipe" for any bean salad, which involves soaking some diced onion in a shallow pool of apple cider vinegar, adding a chopped bell pepper, then tossing in some olive or hempseed oil, sea salt, herbs of choice, maybe some celery, and finally the beans. Switching up the beans and the herbs allows for some variety so it doesn't get too boring eating bean salad all the time.

For my black bean salad I soaked some diced onion in the vinegar for about 10 minutes, added some orange bell pepper, poured in some olive and hempseed oils, and then sprinkled in some cayenne, sea salt and a couple teaspoons of cumin powder. Then I tossed in the black beans (about 4 cups) and a couple handfuls of chopped cilantro.

I was concerned that the Mexican flavors might go weirdly with the apple cider vinegar, but it tasted alright to me. You could always just use lemon juice instead, I just didn't because I use lots of lemons in other foods and am trying to use more apple cider vinegar in my cooking.

As for the cilantro, I find that it's one of the few relatively affordable herbs available at this time of year, provided you buy a gigantic bundle. I used about a quarter of my cilantro in this recipe, and the rest I'll be using to make cilantro pesto with almonds, basically the basil cilantro pesto from Veganomicon without the pricey basil.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Soba Noodles with Roasted Vegetables

I had a really nice dinner tonight, and it was very simple too. I got some vegetables to roast, and decided to throw a sweet potato in there since It's been a month since I started this diet and I think a few bites of sweet potato here and there should be okay to add back in. So I roasted some eggplant, a sweet potato, red pepper and garlic, which I served over 100% buckwheat soba noodles tossed in oregano and sauteed red onion with canned artichoke hearts. I hated these buckwheat noodles when I first bought them, not least because they were something like $7 for a small bag but also because they taste like buckwheat. They're a special kind of soba noodle I've only seen in one health food store - regular soba noodles are made with both buckwheat and regular flour, so they're not allowed on the diet. Another problem with the pure buckwheat ones is that they have a habit of sticking together in a giant clump. But I'm starting to like them, partially because I've gotten used to the taste, and also because they have a beautiful dark mauve color, which looked really pretty with the red and orange veggies I had tonight. Maybe tomorrow I will have some of my leftover vegetables with regular cooked buckwheat instead of the noodles, and see if my tastes have adapted enough to tolerate the stuff. Really though, the dish was very pretty, and if I had a camera I'd take a picture. Maybe by the time some desperate candida-dieting vegan stumbles upon this blog a couple years from now, I'll have added photos! Until then, you'll have to make it yourself to see.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Sunflower Seed Sushi

For dinner tonight I made these "sushi" rolls from the Vegetarian Times magazine. They're like your regular vegetable and avocado rolls, but with ground soaked sunflower seeds standing in for the glutenous rice. I stuffed mine with avocado, yellow pepper, carrot and steamed asparagus. I don't have a sushi mat so I did without, and they came out a little fat but still pretty good for someone who has only ever made sushi once before.

I did like the sunflower seed "rice," but I wasn't crazy about the final product. I think it was the collards that did it for me. The raw and chewy leaves really overpowered the nori, so I'll try making them again without the collards and just serve immediately to keep the rolls from getting soggy without them. I served them with a simple soup made with sauteed minced garlic and kale, vegetable broth, water and dark miso.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Recipe Suggestions

I spent a little time today looking through some recipes, mostly thinking about what I'd make if I could eat xyz and not be on this diet. I did, however, find some things I'd like to make sometime that are doable on the anti-candida diet.

Red Lentil Thai Chili - from the Post Punk Kitchen blog, would have to be made without sweet potatoes, or much later on into the diet if you want to follow the recipe exactly. I'd just serve it with quinoa.

Other recipes I want to try are from the cookbook Veganomicon. The recipes might even be online somewhere if you search for them, since I'm aware not everyone owns this cookbook. I haven't tried any of these, but I hope to soon!

Chickpeas Romesco (p.123) - would have to leave out the sugar and red wine vinegar, maybe sub apple cider vinegar instead?

Manzana Chili Verde (p.171) - without the potatoes, which I've never put in chili anyways so I won't be too sad to leave them out.

Spinach Linguine with Basil-Cilantro Pesto and Artichokes (p.191) - Okay, so this is probably an annoying suggestion because pasta is a no-go, but I want to try making this with quinoa pasta or perhaps some brown rice pasta, which I'm considering adding into my diet soon in moderate amounts. Hopefully I can find artichoke hearts in oil without vinegar/brine? If not I may have to steam my own and alter the flavor a little bit.

I'm sure there are other recipes in this and other books that can be adapted for the anti-candida diet, but preparing absolutely all my food entirely from scratch is getting a bit tiring, so I'm trying to keep it simple instead of trying out too many exciting recipes.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Lemon Ginger Tea

I've always been a big fan of making this tea in the evening, when I want a nice caffeine-free mug of something hot. A few nights ago I made some, thinking I'd need to add some xylitol to balance the sharp flavors of the lemon and ginger, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that it was delicious without any sweetener at all! Not only did I get to drink my favorite tea, but I also got a great boost in confidence about my progress on this diet. It used to be that I couldn't fathom the thought of drinking unsweetened tea, perhaps the result of too much time spent in the south. Now, I am able to enjoy the most pungently flavored tea without adding any sugar. I'm taking this as a sure sign that my taste buds are coming back to life, and my addiction to sugar is subsiding. Lastly, I should note that this is an ideal tea to drink because of the digestive benefits of ginger. Great to have after a meal.

To make it, just wash and slice up a whole lemon, and about a small thumb's worth of fresh ginger (peeled and sliced thinly). Boil lemon and ginger in about 3 cups of water for a few minutes, strain and drink.

Basic Lentil Salad

I've been keeping to this diet pretty well by making lots of relatively simple salads, switching around my main ingredients each time so I get a bit of variety. On any given day I'll have two different salads in the fridge, which I'll have with some steamed vegetables to make a nice and colorful meal. I have started making this lentil salad, which is really tasty and also really simple.

After I've soaked some green lentils overnight (2 cups maybe), I cook, drain and rinse them. While they're cooking, I dice up half a red onion and let it soak in a generous splash of apple cider vinegar, in the bottom of the big tupperware container I plan to store the salad in. I chop up half a green pepper, maybe some yellow pepper if I have some, and a small handful of parsley. All of that goes into the container as well. I pour in a splash of hempseed oil (or olive) and mix everything around, and finally I add in the cooked lentils once they've cooled a bit. I usually keep some cooked chickpeas sitting around in the fridge, so I'll toss a handful of those in too if I have them. Mix it all up, stick it in the fridge, and let the flavors combine. An easy and tasty salad you can make with just about any kind of bean!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Less Boring Asparagus

I've been having steamed asparagus every day with coconut oil, and although it's good, I'm getting a bit bored with it. Today I steamed the asparagus as usual, and while that was going I sauteed some minced garlic in olive oil. Then I added my asparagus into the pan, and seasoned it with nutritional yeast and a generous sprinkling of dried oregano (since oregano's supposed to be great for battling candida). The grapevine has told me that nutritional yeast is okay despite being yeast - if you have information contrary to this, or know anything more about the issue, please let me know!

This dish is a little more interesting with some buckwheat noodles thrown in, but I prefer to go without as my daily asparagus portions are designed to make sure I keep my diet mostly veggie-oriented.

Apple Quinoa Porridge

I'm starting to get really excited about enjoying foods without any added sugar or sweeteners. When I started on this diet, I allotted to myself one small packet of xylitol per day, rationed out between my morning porridge and my green tea. Lately I haven't been using any (although I'm still not crazy about the unsweetened green tea). Since I've been almost 3 weeks on the diet, I decided to have 1/4 a granny smith apple this morning. I had a serving of leftover quinoa in the fridge, so I poured some unsweetened almond milk over it, and added two decent sized spoonfuls of raw almond butter. Popped that in the microwave for a minute and a half, then added the granny smith, chopped up, and some cinnamon. Delicious! The almond butter really helps give it some flavor and make it a nice filling breakfast.

Quinoa Confetti Salad

I found some unsweetened soy yogurt recently and decided that I was going to splurge and get it even though there's a trace amount of sugar in it. I used it to make this salad:

Essentially I just mixed together 2 cups of cooked quinoa, a shredded carrot, a julienned orange pepper, half a red onion, one chopped stalk of celery, 3/4 cup cooked chickpeas, a few dashes of dried dill, a handful of chopped parsley, and a sprinkle of dried kelp. I mixed in about 1/3 cup of my unsweetened soy yogurt. Then I ate it topped with diced avocado, with some sauteed garlicky kale. It was pretty tasty and very colorful. I'd recommend not adding too much of the yogurt at once because it will get soaked into the salad when it sits in the fridge. Just a little bit will do, and you can add a little more with each serving. The kelp was interesting but not really essential - some sea salt would do just fine, or no salt at all if you've cut salt out completely.

Thursday, February 3, 2011


The ultimate vegan student food. I assume most vegans have an ingrained knowledge of how to make dahl, but here's my loose recipe. It's probably completely inauthentic, but I think it's tasty and filling enough.

First I soak some red lentils for a few hours. When I'm ready to start prepping, I dice an onion and 2-3 cloves of garlic and saute it in 2 Tbsp olive oil on medium heat. Sometimes I add some diced green pepper. Next I add a dollop of red curry paste, which I've found really works better than the mad assortment of random Indian spices I used to use (note: I have no idea how to make proper Indian food). Once I've stirred that in and let it sizzle for a moment, I add my lentils (1 part lentils to 2 parts vegetable broth - usually I'll make about a cup of lentils). Then I cover the pot, turn the heat down to low, and let it simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring every now and then.

Often I will just eat this as is, but if I'm feeling less lazy I'll eat it over some quinoa with some chopped parsley on top, maybe with some garbanzos mixed in. I also prefer to serve this with some steamed greens of some variety, because red lentils are just so ugly and beige looking when they're alone on the plate.

Red Curry

It's currently freezing outside, and has been snowing for a few days. As I'm unable to eat the foods I usually make to warm up - oatmeal, baked potatoes, coffee, milky tea - it's been a bit difficult. That's why I'm so happy I can eat red curry. As I was unable to find any curry paste without salt, this is the one food I've been eating that does have some added salt in it. Making my own curry paste just seems too tall an order what with all the other food preparation I have to do for this diet.

You will need:
1 onion, chopped
Some garlic cloves
Assorted chopped vegetables
A handful or two of cooked garbanzo beans
Red curry paste
1 can coconut milk

Again, this is quite a loose "recipe." To make this dish I simply wash and chop whatever vegetables I have on hand. My favorite ones to use are broccoli, cauliflower, baby bok choi, bell peppers, and zucchini. Of course I love adding a cut up baked yam at the end, but those are still not allowed! I dice an onion and fry it in 2+ Tbsp olive oil with a few cloves of minced garlic. I use a small wok, but any wok or large pot will do. I add the veggies and saute for a couple minutes on medium-high heat, then spoon in the red curry paste. I usually use half a 110g jar per 400g can of coconut milk, but it's really a matter of personal taste, and different brands will have different suggestions printed on the label. Be sure to spread the paste around in the oil and let it sizzle in the oil for a minute while you open up your can of coconut milk. Slowly stir in the coconut milk, and turn the heat down to low. Mix in garbanzos. Cover and let the veggies finish cooking by steaming in the coconut milk for 5-10 minutes. Serve over steamed quinoa.

Note: you're supposed to add about a Tbsp of sugar into the mix to get the flavor right, but obviously the candida diet forbids that. I have found that it's okay without the added sugar, although it does lack a little something. I suppose you could use xylitol if necessary, but I haven't bothered trying that. Instead I sprinkle in some cinnamon just to give it a bit of a different flavor.

Progress Report

I have been on this dang diet for 2 weeks now and am getting the hang of things. I've kept up with the amaranth and quinoa, using both to make porridge in the mornings (with almonds, pumpkin seeds, cinnamon, almond milk, and a small amount of xylitol), and using some quinoa where I would usually have rice. I tried adding kasha into the mix, but the flavor was much too overpowering for me so it's hiding in the back of the cupboard for now. I've been eating lots of steamed broccoli, cauliflower and asparagus with coconut oil. I have made the occasional red curry, and am currently experimenting with making cookies, but mostly I have been keeping it simple, partly out of laziness and partly out of a concern that I might accidentally eat something traif if I go too wild and get too complicated. Mostly I just keep some salads (tabbouleh, lentil salad) and dahl in the fridge so I always have something at my disposal. Rinsing, soaking, and cooking so many ingredients before actually using them to prepare a dish is quite frustrating, but I am getting the hang of it. Thank goodness I am a graduate student, so I spend most of my time reading at home anyways and can sit around waiting for things to soak and cook. I have been getting the occasional (but also extremely difficult to bear) sugar cravings, which make me incapable of thinking about anything but cake and donuts, which is unusual because I've never had much of a sweet tooth. Otherwise, though, I am enjoying the minimalist diet, and have found that my sense of taste is improving. Food is becoming bearable without any salt, my dear old friend and always my greatest vice. Whereas I used to douse things in hot sauce, now even mildly spicy foods seem much much hotter than they did before. All in all, it is an interesting exercise in healthy living. Do miss the alcohol though.

Saturday, January 22, 2011


I doubt many vegans need to be told how to make hummus. I usually don't make my own, but most of the storebought brands seem to have added salt and such in them, plus I had just made a giant pot of chickpeas, so I tried this out. In my food processor I blended about 3 Tbsp tahini with the juice of one lemon, blending until it was frothy and completely mixed together. Then I added 3 cloves of garlic (probably too much) and blended them in, adding the chickpeas in handful by handful. I used what would maybe be equal to 3/4 of a can.When it was all blended, I scooped it into a bowl, sprinkled some dill on top, and used it as a dip for sliced peppers and celery. A pretty good snack.

Broccoli Celery Soup

Yesterday I made some lackluster but decent and healthy soup. Just chopped up an onion, some garlic, the stalk of a large head of broccoli, and some pieces of celery. Sauteed them in some olive oil before simmering them in about 11/2-2 cups of vegetable stock. I cooked them until they were tender, let the pot cool, then used my immersion blender to puree it all. Definitely not a glamorous soup, but it was a new way of eating a large helping of vegetables without any added salt or starches or anything.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Quinoa Tabbouleh

Settling into the realization that I will be eating lots and lots of cold salads in the weeks to come, I decided to make a large batch of tabbouleh, substituting the traditional bulgur with candida-diet-safe quinoa. This will be my lunch along with a large helping of steamed broccoli.

As with my amaranth, I decided to cook up a large batch of quinoa so that I will be able to assemble various dishes quickly and easily. I took about two cups of cooked quinoa and placed it in a bowl, adding half a diced onion, two large crushed cloves of garlic, three extremely generous handfuls of parlsey (chopped), the juice of one lemon, and a generous drizzle of hempseed oil. Olive oil is the more traditional choice for this salad, but I am trying to mix up my oils a bit. Normally I would add a handful of chopped mint, but as I did not have any I decided to go for some dill. I mixed this all together and put it in the fridge for later snacking. The last ingredient I did not add is chopped fresh tomatoes, which I prefer to add just before eating so that they are fresh. Other things that can be added to this salad (and should, I just didn't have them on hand) are diced cucumber, scallions, and chickpeas. Diced up avocado is also a nice addition.

I got the idea to make quinoa tabbouleh from this blog, which is one of my favorite vegan blogs. She has several other salads on her site that I intend to try, although I tend to leave out the fat free aspect and pour on the oils.

Day 1 Breakfast: Gruel

It is day one. I woke up and took the pills from the cleansing kit I bought, along with a big glass of water, then waited 30 minutes before eating as the instructions indicated. Then I heated up some amaranth I cooked last night, to make a porridge.

This "recipe" is quite loose, because I don't often measure things. Last night I cooked about a cup of dry amaranth (similar to quinoa, a seed that is cooked and eaten as a grain) and put it in the fridge so that I will have it on hand for the next couple days. This morning I simply heated it up with some unsweetened almond milk and a dollop of macadamia nut butter. I sweetened it with half a packet of Xylitol, which is apparently acceptable to use on the candida diet. Ideally I would eat this with blueberries, but I am waiting to see if I can find some within my price range! Why is it that only the most expensive fruits are allowed on this diet?

Now that I have eaten that I will go and make myself some green tea. Not the worst breakfast in the world.


This blog is for anyone who is looking to go on the candida diet, but faces the added difficulty of being a vegan. When I started looking up information and recipes about following the so-called candida diet as a vegan, I was surprised at how little I found, so to any vegans out there attempting to do this, you are not alone!

I'm a 23 year old female and have been vegan for over 8 years now. I've had pretty bad eczema for about 5 years, and as seems all too common I have received the barest help from dermatologists. I have become very frustrated with topical treatment of a condition that clearly goes beyond the surface of my skin. For the past few months I have been looking into dietary causes for my eczema, thinking that maybe an intolerance to gluten or soy could be the culprit. Eliminating these foods from my diet, however, brought no changes at all. Of course, this dietary angle makes things difficult for me as a vegan, because everyone I talk to immediately wants to link my skin problems with my veganism. People seem unwilling to acknowledge how diverse vegan diets can be, instead choosing to lump them all together under one broad and misleading label of "vegan," as though we vegans all eat exactly the same things! I have varied my diet and nutrient intake significantly with no changes in my eczema. The only thing that helps is not eating at all, which we all know is not a viable permanent solution. For this reason I am convinced that it is not what I am NOT eating, but something that I AM eating that makes my condition ever worse.

I am very hopeful that doing a candida cleanse and following the accompanying diet will help alleviate my skin problems, as well as some other minor health problems I have noticed. However, my unsuccessful experiences with other dietary regimens tempers my hope slightly, so I am trying not to have excessive expectations of this diet. In any case, I will post my recipes here and any developments I may notice in my general health. Hopefully this will work for me, but if it does not, I would be glad to know that reading about my experience could help another lone vegan have better success!