Top Recipes of 2014 & Reflections on the New Year

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Here it is, 2015.  Where does the time go?

It doesn’t seem possible that the first full week of 2015 is halfway over.  That makes me a little late with the ever-popular recipe roundup (everyone does it!), but there are a few recipes that get consistent views here at QV, and I’d like to shine the spotlight on them as a big Happy New Year and thank you to all of you who come by this blog and give these dishes a try.

2014 recipe roundup vega;n

5) Healthy Pumpkin Muffins with Nuts & Seeds  — Seasonal fall flavors with crunchy walnuts and pumpkin seeds.  Whole grain, oil-free, low sugar and delicious!

4) Italian Easter Cookies with Anise — The quintessential Italian cookie for any celebration, not just Easter!

3) English Muffins (No Oil!) — Oil-free, crunchy-on-the-outside, chewy-on-the-inside English muffins made with whole grain flour.

2) Veggie Potato Hash with Kale — Mix and match your favorite veggies in this free-form hash that makes a great breakfast or dinner.

1) Potato Leek Soup with Coconut Milk — A vegan (and healthier!) makeover of butter-and-cream-laden canned soup, using coconut milk to make it creamy.

Thanks everyone for your support in 2014-here’s to a great 2015 and beyond!

2014 was quite a year in QV land, and not just for food.  I did a lot of new things, some of which I’d been meaning to do for a while and others that took a leap of faith to tackle.  Perhaps the most memorable was attending my first Vegetarian Summerfest, where I met such plant-based rock stars as T. Colin Campbell, Fran Costigan, Dr. Michael Greger, Jill Nussinow, Christy Morgan, Mark Reinfeld, Chef AJ, John Pierre and Neal Barnard.  I also got a chance to see a screening of the spectacular film Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret as well as attend a host of amazing educational sessions and food demos.

Several months later, I set up a table at Albany VegFest and spent the day talking with people about plant-based diets in an effort to promote my newly-launched wellness consulting business.  This was, of course, made possible by the Bauman College Nutrition Consultant program, which I started in June of 2013 and just finished in November.  It’s part of the reason why things have been quiet around here for so long-the program is intense and involves a lot of studying and homework all crammed into a short period of time.  While it’s not vegan (alas), it does focus heavily on eating whole plant foods and using natural remedies along with diet to help control and prevent common diseases.

Starting that program-and sticking with it-was a big deal for me.  I had tried other college programs in the past for careers I thought I was interested in, only to discover that I couldn’t handle the atmosphere of “traditional” higher education.  .For years I searched here and there, half-heartedly at best, until I stumbled upon the Certificate in Plant-Based Nutrition course from the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies.  Though it was only a 6-week program with three mini-courses, it fascinated me.  I knew I had to find a program that would go deeper and give me more information that I could use to help people regain their health through a plant-based diet.

Enter Bauman College.  It took me a while to find a program I was happy with that 1) focused on plant-based foods and 2) stayed grounded in science and reliable information as much as possible.  Some programs I came across seemed to go off into a sort of uncomfortable nebulous place that covered topics I don’t personally believe in, but the Bauman program, for the most part, stayed solid.  So I signed up, launched myself into it, and didn’t stop until I was done.  Which, given my track record with college, was pretty amazing.

Now here I am all these months later, looking at 2015 as the year to take Quantum Vegan from a simple food blog to a full-fledged wellness consulting business.  There are still some kinks to work out, as there are with any business, so I’m trying to take it one step at a time.  It’s exciting (and a bit scary) to finally have a career I can see myself sticking with for the long haul.  I’m looking forward to helping people make the transition to plant-based eating and to offer support for those just starting out or who need to get back on track.  (If you’re one of them, I’d love to hear from you!)

That, ladies and gents, is my outlook for 2015!  Keeping it positive, keeping it plant-based and looking forward to whatever God has in store for me.  How about you?  What are your plans for the coming year?

About The Author

Sam has been a vegan since summer of 2009 and has spent the subsequent years experimenting with all manner of vegan food. She holds a Certificate in Plant-Based Nutrition from the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies and is a graduate of the Bauman College Nutrition Consultant Program. She is a member of Toastmasters International and currently serves as Vice President Membership of the Capital View Toastmasters club. When she's not blogging or cooking, Sam likes to read, play silly card games and knit socks.

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