back at it again.

Here’s the thing.

I’ve been thinking about starting up Hippiefig again for a while now.

Hippiefig began as a health food blog that my boyfriend and I collaborated on in the summer before our senior year. We were finally done studying for SATs and were in for a more relaxed school year (besides college applications and decisions, no big deal…)

Really not much has changed since we have gone away to college, except that I’m now stuck in a cramped dorm room with 2 other girls, and dorm rules permit nothing but crappy microwaves and mini fridges to somehow keep us fed with good food.

Since coming to college (and declaring two majors: public health and theatre) I have learned my way around the dining halls, the overpriced markets, and everywhere in between. I may or may not have had to sneak a rice cooker into my room to accommodate my plant-based wishes, but it has all been worth it. I’ve learned to cook potatoes, lentils, quinoa, and pasta in my rice cooker, and it has been an enjoyable (and 99.99% successful) journey so far! Note to self: red lentils in the rice cooker will turn to mush before you can even eat them.

I may not be the most refined college chef out there (yet) but I have so much to share for other college vegans and anybody else who is curious about this lifestyle. Eating a whole foods, plant based diet is so rewarding for your overall physical health (and I’ve even found it becoming a spiritual aspect in my life as I’ve learned more and more about the ethical and environmental aspects of veganism and what I am doing to help our earth). My goal through these blog posts is to inspire others, provide support, and demonstrate just how easy and rewarding this lifestyle can be for anybody who is willing to try it.

I will be posting much more soon! Until then, here are some photos of me and Mother Earth. I fall in love with her a little more every single day!

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Hello!

Whoa, long time, no blog post!

Senior year has hit… and unfortunately that means that I’ve had to put the thing I enjoy the most (making recipes, taking photographs, and sharing them here!) to the side. Funny how that works. I have been the assistant stage manager of a show for the past 2 months so that has occupied my hours of good sunlight after school almost every day. Now that the show has opened, my hope is that I can get back into the swing of things and begin posting recipes more regularly again!

On a more fun note, Mark and I also had our homecoming and we celebrated Mark’s 18th birthday since we’ve last posted anything! Though school is always very work intensive, it has been a very good few months so far!

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Today was quite an awesome treat. My family’s story was featured on Happy Herbivore! After my mom, a doctor, had a heart attack, and the reality of our serious family history of heart disease became clear, we jumped into this new lifestyle with open arms.

Lindsay Nixon’s blog and cookbooks were some of the best sources my family turned to in order to find easy, delicious meals during our initial diet and lifestyle switch. I especially love her dessert recipes because they are typically the healthiest versions of any treats that I can find!

I’m so excited to welcome all of the new visitors and followers I have had today. My heart is so happy knowing so many people are committed to lifelong health and happiness through a plant-based diet!

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I have tons of new recipes that I have been stockpiling, including healthy pop tarts, a cheesy pasta sauce, and baked falafel! I can’t wait to share these with you very soon!

Have a great week,

Jenna 🙂

Vegan Cinnamon-Sugar Pretzels

Sometimes, being vegan means missing out admittedly-unhealthy-but-delicious-nonetheless foods. It seems like every time I go to the mall, the smell of soft, cinnamon-sugar pretzels waft through the air, just tempting me to give in and buy one. I never have, and now that I’ve put together this remarkable treat, I never will have to! I present to you: vegan cinnamon-sugar pretzels! I’ll admit, these things aren’t the same as eating a plate of greens, but they don’t hurt for a treat every once in a while. Better yet, they require very little ingredients and, though they can’t be put together within minutes, the steps are very simple.

First, prepare the ingredients for the pretzel dough. This will require combining active dry yeast with warm water, salt, cinnamon, and maple syrup. Once the yeast has been activated, the mixture will be bubbly. Begin adding 1 cup of flour at a time to the bowl, mixing each time. Begin kneading it the dough. Once the dough is elastic and smooth, knead for about 5 more minutes.

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Next, place the ball of dough in a bowl that has been greased with a small amount of olive oil. Cover the bowl with a damp towel and place in a warm spot for about 1 hour, until the dough has expanded to about twice its original size. Using a knife, cut the dough into 8 separate sections–1 for each pretzel–and begin rolling and twisting the pretzels into their desirable shape.

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Now, for the signature “pretzel taste,” bring a pot of water and baking soda to a boil. Place each pretzel in the baking soda bath for about 30 seconds, and then remove from the water. This process is, in my opinion, crucial for making pretzels that brown and harden on the outside, leaving a chewy bread on the inside.

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Finally, add a mixture of equal parts sugar and cinnamon atop each pretzel. Sprinkle generously and then move onto a greased baking sheet (parchment paper will not work for these pretzels–the bottom of each pretzel would stick to the paper while baking).

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Place baking pan in the oven at 450°F for about 12 minutes, until perfectly browned on the outside.

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These pretzels are amazing right out of the oven. They’re sticky, sweet, and reminiscent of a perfect cinnamon roll on a Sunday morning. Enjoy these without the guilt of mall-bought pretzels. They can be customized any way you want to fit your preferences! Or, try cutting the dough into small bite-sized pieces, for tiny pretzel appetizers for a party, event, or night at home. Enjoy!


Vegan Cinnamon-Sugar Pretzels

Yield: 8 pretzels


Ingredients:

  • 2 1/4 teaspoons instant dry yeast
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 10 cups water (for baking soda bath)
  • 2/3 cups baking soda (for baking soda bath)
  • 3 tablespoons Cinnamon (for topping)
  • 3 tablespoons (for topping)

Directions:

  1. Combine yeast, maple syrup, salt, cinnamon, and warm water in a bowl for about 5 minutes, until yeast has activated (the mixture will be bubbly)
  2. Add 1 cup of flour at a time to the mixture at a time, mixing until the dough has combined
  3. Place the dough on a cutting board that has been sprinkled with flour. Knead the dough until it is elastic and smooth, then continue for an additional 5 minutes
  4. Place the dough in a bowl, greased lightly with olive oil, and cover with a damp towel. Place in a warm area for 1 hour, until the dough has doubled in size
  5. Cut the dough out into 8 separate pieces on a cutting board. Carefully roll each piece of dough, about the width of a cutting board, and then twist into desired pretzel shape
  6. Bring a pot of water and baking soda to a boil. Place each pretzel in the water for 30 seconds
  7. Create a cinnamon-sugar mixture and sprinkle atop each pretzel, then transfer pretzels onto a greased baking sheet
  8. Let pretzels bake in the oven for about 12 minutes in an oven, preheated at 450°F. Watch carefully: the pretzels will be done baking when they are golden-brown on the outside
  9. Let cool for about 5-10 minutes before serving

 

 

Vegan Eats on the Road: Palo Alto, California

Jenna here! This week my family went on a college road trip up through California. Right before we visited Stanford, we pulled over in a small shopping center to use Happy Cow, an extremely helpful guide for vegans and vegetarians hoping to find fitting restaurants while on vacation or in an unfamiliar area. I instantly saw great reviews about Calafia, a local, organic restaurant with an entire vegan and vegetarian menu. To our surprise, we were already in the right location! We walked into the restaurant and were immediately seated and given the special menu.

I ordered the vegan panini, which was packed with zucchini, spinach, a hummus-like spread, and a tomato jam. I was quite surprised by the tomato jam, because it turned the savory panini into something much more sweet, almost reminiscent of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. I particularly enjoyed the bread, which was quite crispy and fitting for a panini.

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The salad that came with the panini was also amazing. I typically don’t enjoy salad dressing–weird, I know–and eat salads plain, but this dressing, which was lemony and sweet, tasted great over the spicy arugula.

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My parents ordered two dishes to split. One of the dishes was the Dragon Noodle Bowl, which included firm tofu, onions, broccoli, and an almond base. The broth of this noodle bowl was perfectly warm and spicy–it would definitely help with a cold! I am still a bit scared to try tofu, but my parents said it was perfectly cooked and had a comforting texture similar to cheese.

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Finally, my parents split the Vegan Love Fest Pizza, which was topped with the same hummus-like spread that was in my sandwich, onions, olives and jalapeños, and radicchio. I loved the crust on this pizza, which was thin and crispy. It was definitely not a “traditional” pizza, which was a surprising plus because we didn’t feel stuffed or grossed out after finishing off the pizza.

Overall, my family’s experience at Calafia was very positive. The meals were each large servings and all of the food was extremely tasty. I especially appreciated the fact that the ingredients were clean and that the restaurant clearly makes an effort to support local farmers in California and provide its customers with the healthiest food possible. If you are ever in Palo Alto and are looking for some satisfying plant-based foods, be sure to check Calafia out!

Vegan Cranberry Chocolate Cowboy Cookies

Cowboy cookies are an instant reminder of childhood with their chewy texture and perfect blend of sweet and salty flavors. Sometimes, you just have to spend a night relaxing, watching movies, and enjoying a batch of warm, right-out-of-the-oven cookies. Tonight was one of those nights.

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These cookies are very easy to make and are a hit with everyone. The batter only takes minutes to assemble, filled great ingredients like rolled oats and oat flour and creates a delicious treat that children and adults can all enjoy.

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Once the dough is filled with the special ingredients–dried cranberries and chocolate chips–that make these cookies so unique and tasty, they are rolled out into balls on a cookie pan lined with parchment paper and then placed in an oven at 350°F for about 20 minutes, or until golden brown.

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These cookies expand plenty once they are in the oven, so be sure to leave room between each cookie! Once they have been taken out of the oven and left to cool for about 10 minutes, they are ready to serve. The addition of homemade oat flour in this recipe can certainly be replaced with all purpose flour, but it is a major contributor to the taste of these cookies, which have a slightly nutty flavor that compliments the other spices perfectly. Treat yourself to something sweet and enjoy a perfect batch of Cranberry Chocolate Cowboy Cookies!


Cranberry Chocolate Cowboy Cookies


Ingredients:

  • 1 cup oat flour
  • 1 2/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 4 tablespoons water + 3 teaspoons Ener-G Egg Replacer, whisked
  • 1 cup Earth Balance Buttery Spread
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup semisweet, dairy free chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Combine oat flour, all purpose flour, Earth Balance Buttery Spread, vanilla extract brown sugar, and white sugar in a bowl. Whisk water and Energ-G Egg Replacer until frothy and add to bowl. Using an electric hand mixer, whisk the ingredients together until smooth
  2.  Add baking powder, baking soda, salt and oats into mixture and continue whisking ingredients
  3. Place cranberries and chocolate chips into the mixture, carefully folding them into the batter until well distributed throughout dough
  4. Place 1 inch balls of dough onto 2 separate cookie pans lined with parchment paper, pressing down slightly so that they are somewhat flat and leaving about 1/2 inch of space between each cookie
  5. Place cookies in the oven, preheated at 350°F, for about 20 minutes or until golden brown
  6. Let cool for about 10 minutes before serving