Author Archives for Nicole Arciello

About Nicole Arciello

Hey there, I'm Nicole! I'm here to show you that a vegan lifestyle is attainable and sustainable!

5-Minute Muesli

This is my go-to breakfast most mornings when I am running short on time. Which is most mornings!

It’s not really muesli, it’s more like overnight oats.

But not overnight at all!

Just mix the oats, chia seed and almond milk, let rest for 5 minutes in the fridge to allow the chia to interact with the almond milk to soften the oats. Then add your own toppings:

  • Dried fruit
  • Shredded coconut
  • Fresh fruit
  • Nut butters
  • Nuts
  • Cacao Nibs
  • Chocolate Chips
  • Flax seed
  • Hemp Seed
  • Endless possibilites!

With no planning you can make a quick, healthy whole food breakfast that can be the same, but different every day. (And Yes! this can be warmed up, but I eat it COLD!)

I tried this out in a hands-on session with my Introduction to Vegan Cooking class students and they loved it!

Let me know if you try it and love it too in the comments! Happy Cooking!

5-Minute Muesli

This is my quick breakfast most mornings. I love it because it is fast, healthy, and filling! The combination of the chia with the oats and the 5-minute fridge time help soften the oats quick so you don’t have to do this the night before. I hope you like it as much as I do!
Prep Time5 mins
Total Time5 mins
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Keyword: quick breakfast, vegan
Servings: 1

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup organic oats
  • 1 tbs organic chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup organic almond milk

Toppings

  • Almond butter or nut butter of choice
  • Cocoa nibs
  • Banana
  • Other ideas: shredded coconut dried fruit, fresh fruit, nuts, chocolate chips!

Instructions

  • In a small bowl combine the oats, chia, and almond milk. Place the bowl in the refrigerator for 5 minutes. 
  • Take your muesli out of the fridge and top with your favorite toppings.
  • This can also be made an a small wide-mouth mason jar. Put the topping on top and toss in your travel bag or bring it to work!

Video

Notes

  • Yes, you can let this rest more than 5 minutes. The longer, the more oat-pudding (overnight oaty) like it will be. 
  • You can heat it up in the microwave if you would like to eat it warm.
  • Don’t forget to let me know if you try it in the comments and be sure to share your topping creations too!

Vegan Irish Soda Bread

I was obsessed last March with making this bread for something festive for the St. Patrick’s Day holiday. I texted many of my friends a simple text:

“Have you eaten Irish Soda Bread before?”

Most of them said, “No, why?”

Guess what, they didn’t get to be testers. The ones who answered “Yes” did, and we had a hit!

And guess what again, I never had it either. That’s why I needed testers!

So I bring you this, almost too late, but there is still time! Even if it’s next year.

It’s super easy.

So grab some green beer, or some vegan Baileys, (or a shamrock shake – vegan, of course) and have a magically delicious day!

Vegan Irish Soda Bread

Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: Irish
Keyword: holiday, soda bread, St. Patrick’s Day
Servings: 8
Author: Nicole Arciello

Ingredients

  • cooking spray
  • 1 cup unsweetened soymilk
  • 2 tsp cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp flax seed milled
  • 3 tbsp water
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 tbsp vegan butter Earth Balance
  • 1/2 cup raisins

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Spray an 8″ round pan with cooking spray. 
    In a measuring cup combine soymilk with vinegar and set aside. 
    In a small bowl combine the flax seed with the water, whisk and set aside.
    In a large bowl whisk together flour, sugar, baking soda, salt.  Cut butter small and add to flour mixture using a pastry cutter or fingers to incorporate the butter into the dry ingredients until a coarse meal forms.
    Make a well in the center and add milk mixture and flax/water mixture.  Give it a few stirs and then add the raisins.  Mix until it comes together.  
    With floured hands turn dough out onto a floured surface and knead a few times until it holds together and it isn’t sticky.  You can add a bit more flour if needed.  
    Place into the prepared pan and flatten a bit with your fingertips.  The dough probably won’t reach the sides of the pan until it bakes up. 
    Place the pan into the over and bake about 40 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean and the bread is nice and golden brown.
    Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes and then remove from pan.  You can serve this hot or at room temperature.  Store leftovers in a plastic bag on the counter.  

Notes

Tried the recipe?  Let me know what you think in the comments!  
 
Happy Cooking! 

Gluten-Free Vegan Oat Pancakes

You don’t always need to go out and buy fancy gluten-free flours to make a some great gluten-free food.  Just grab your food processor or blender, and wiz up some oats from your cabinet and you have a great GF flour to make these pancakes in a pinch!  It’s a lifesaver when you remember last minute that one of your brunch guests is gluten-free!

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These pancakes are:

Gluten-Free!

Easy!

Delicious!

Super Nutritious!

Gluten-Free Vegan Oat Pancakes

You don’t always need to go out and buy fancy gluten-free flours to make a some great gluten-free food. Just grab your food processor or blender and wiz up some oats from your cabinet and you have a great GF flour to make these pancakes in a pinch! It’s a lifesaver when you remember last minute that one of your brunch guests is gluten-free!  
Author: Nicole Arciello

Ingredients

  • 1 cup oat flour
  • 2 tbsp corn starch
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp flax seed, milled
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 cup non-dairy milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup oats

Instructions

  • In a large bowl combine oat flour, corn starch, sugar, flaxseed, baking powder and salt. Make a well in the center and add milk and vanilla. Mix together. Stir in oats and let batter rest 5 minutes.
    While batter is resting heat non-stick pan over medium heat. If your pan needs it, you can add a light layer of cooking spray. Use a large cookie scoop or ¼ cup measuring cup to scoop batter into the pan.
    Let cook until bubbles for on the top and the pancakes look like they are firming up around the edges, about 4-5 minutes. Gently flip and cook another 4 minutes. Transfer to a plate and repeat until all pancakes are cooked!  

The Culinary Journey Begins

Food is my passion. And my obsession.

For over ten years, my vegan culinary journey slowly developed as I spent more and more time learning and practicing. I studied cookbooks, watched videos, tried flavor combinations. I cooked and tasted, tasted and cooked.  I studied with home cooks and professional restaurant cooks along the way too!

sweet potato nachos

I blogged about food and animal advocacy and even had one of my original recipes published in the Daily Gazette right next to recipes by chefs from local big-name restaurants!

Like everything else, it took time, patience and determination (which is easy when you are obsessed!).  I wanted to make the best no-one-would-ever-believe-this-is-vegan dishes and baked goods.

And I did!  I opened a vegan bakery, made custom order cakes and other awesome vegan baked goods, created new menu items for Little Anthony’s pizzeria in Albany, NY (vegan pepperoni and sausage!) and even held a vegan pop-up brunch featuring breakfast pizza!  I was living the vegan dream!

While all of this was going on, I was approached about teaching vegan cooking classes at two local libraries.  (The calls came in the same week!)  I said, “Yes!” An opportunity to talk to a large group of people about vegan cooking (it’s my passion you know!), and be able to prepare it live, walking them through the steps giving tips along the way? 

I couldn’t think of a reason to say no!

I had to come up with some easy recipes with simple cooking techniques.  It was just as important as the food tasting great.  It was a fact that people were interested in a vegan lifestyle, but not everyone has time to cook.  It was so intimidating to people.  And I had to change that.

I started out just adapting recipes that I have in my ever-growing cookbook collection, making them easier by finding sometimes ready-made store-bought shortcuts and making substitutions for easy-to-find ingredients all the while sticking to my personal goal of real, whole food cooking.

The results were amazing!  People were coming up to me after class saying, “Yes, I can do this!”

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And you know what?  Eighty-seven people registered and showed up at that first cooking class at the William K Sanford Library.  87!

And you know what else?  It was that evening that I realized that I found my calling.  I had to show the world that a vegan lifestyle is attainable and sustainable!

And…

Vegan cooking can really change the world!

I have since closed the bakery,  but I am still creating menu items, and recipes that you will find here.

You can find my cooking classes at two local school district’s continuing education departments and you can host your own private cooking party or class where I come to your house to cook and teach you and your friends and family.  I also offer one-on-one vegan cooking coaching too!

Here YOUR vegan culinary journey will begin too. I’ll be sharing great vegan food with easy-to-follow recipes, teaching easy techniques and shortcuts along the way.

Vegan food is awesome food.

Vegan cooking is happy cooking.

And the vegan life is easier than you have ever expected.

You will love it!  You can do it!  The sky’s the limit!

Every day, in every way, for the animals!

Nicole <3

Go Vegan and Get Healthy in 2019!

Copy of Go Vegan
Hi Everyone!  
 
I hope this post finds you well!  As the new year approaches and the craziness of the holiday season winds down, we are all getting ready to focus a little bit more on ourselves and our heath!
 

2019 is all about wellness! 

 
In fact, 2018 was much about wellness for me, too!  I began to eat even more consciously with a focus on whole foods to provide my body with the nutrition it needs. The results were amazing!  I rid myself of tiredness, acid re-flux and extra pounds.  I gained energy and clarity of the body and mind!  This passion for wellness led to the development of the Healthy Bowls and Smoothies class in the fall of 2018.  It was a way to further share my love of real, healthy food with you all.  Of course the Introduction to Vegan Cooking series is still focused on real food as well! 
 

There is so much to look forward to and to be thankful for in the new year! 

 I’m offering cooking classes this year in TWO local school districts and I’m also beginning my journey into Yoga Teacher Training next month!  
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Enrollment is open for South Colonie Continuing Education! Click here to register.  
 
Introduction to Vegan Cooking will be held Monday evenings March 4th – 25th from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm.  ***UPDATE: THIS CLASS IS FULL!***
  Vegan Cooking: Healthy Bowls and Smoothies will be held Monday, April 15th from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm.
 
Class sizes are limited, be sure to enroll soon! (You DO NOT have to be a resident of the school district to enroll!)
 
 
***Coming Soon: Healthy Bowls and Smoothies at Shenendehowa School District!   
 
 
 
I will update as other classes in other locations take shape. And as always, feel free to comment or email me with any questions about cooking, eating or being vegan.  I’m always here to help!
 
Wishing you all health and happiness in the New Year!
  Can’t wait to get cooking!
 
Every day, in every way, for the animals!
Nicole <3