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Sexy Summer Pasta Salad Recipe! (with Photos)

31 May

Need a dish to bring to a summer BBQ or have a party that needs a dish that will “WOW!” everyone?  You will LOVE this and after one bite, they will love YOU!

This is by far, a favorite request and it’s versatile so have fun adding more ingredients!  If you are new to Try it Vegan, note that we LOVE to eat with our eyes first so that is why there is a rainbow of colors in this salad.

Sometimes there are some dishes that require some extra love and this is one of them so plan accordingly and plan to make this the night prior to let all of the flavors marinate or if you don’t have time, make extra because it is AWESOME the next day like some other dishes.

For the record, the hot dog is vegan 🙂

tiv close up hot dog sexy pasta

Tiv Sexy Summer Ingred

20130531_135517 Tiv sliced veggies TiV sexy salad food prep Tiv sexy salad dressing

20130531_143726

Ingredient Suggestions for Pasta Salad:

(I didn’t measure this time around but offer suggestions below)

  • small jar of artichoke hearts in oil (2 cups chopped)
  • sun-dried tomatoes in oil (about 10 or 1/2-3/4 cup chopped)
  • 2 small cucumbers diced
  • 1 zucchini diced
  • 1/2 small jar of roasted red peppers or 1/2-3/4 cup chopped
  • red, yellow and orange small sweet peppers (2 of each color or 1/2 of bell peppers) chopped
  • cup of sliced cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 1/4-1/2 cup of diced red onion
  • 1 pound of pasta

(broccoli florets cut small make a great addition to this salad along with black olives, not shown)

Dressing:

(*****if making a day ahead, make half of the dressing, mix all ingredients and allow the flavors to set overnight.  Prior to serving, make and add the second half)

  • 1 1/3 cup of olive oil
  • 2/3 cup red vinegar
  • 2 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp dried parsley
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper (or to taste)
  • 2 avacados
  • 2 cloves of garlic

Cook pasta according to package directions, rinse with cold water.  Add all ingredients in large bowl.  In a Vitamix or blender, add half of the dressing ingredients (or all if you will serve immediately) and blend until smooth.  Pour over vegetables and pasta and chill prior to serving.

tiv hot dog sexy pasta

Try it! 🙂

No Judgement. No Pressure. It’s not About a Title or a Label, it’s Simply Encouragement to Try it… Vegan

1 May

This post explains our “mission”, who we are and will hopefully show you that we are not your typical Vegan blog.

No one wants to be pressured into anything.  Sometimes it’s important to develop a curiosity.  Other times, it just feels right to give it a try.  That’s how we started… simply wanting to Try it…Vegan.

Like many people, when I heard the term “Vegan”, a certain stereotypical image would come to mind.  I will admit that I had  thought that you had to be a certain type of person, like certain activities, dress a certain way or even, become an activist.  For some, it may in fact be important to live up to that stereotype or to to take on that title but that is not what  Try it Vegan is about. Continue to read here

Kale and Quinoa Salad (The Beautiful Skin, Hair & Nail Salad)

16 Apr

Don’t believe it?  Try it.  We didn’t believe it either and as a thirty something year old, I bought kale for the first time a few years ago after reading about other people’s experiences with clearing up acne and having hair with luster and shine.  I wanted and needed those same results and that’s exactly what I got!  If you have dry, dull hair or problem skin (cystic acne or otherwise), read on…

 Unlike many of you, I didn’t grow up eating kale.  Honestly, a few years ago I had to Google kale to see what it looked like!   If you have never had it before, there are many ways of consuming kale: steaming, baking or using a dehydrator for kale chips, raw and of course, making smoothies and juicing.  (Stay with me here, don’t lose me if any of those ideas horrify you at first glance.)  

Once heat is used to cook anything, vital nutrients are lost.  In this case, we encourage you to focus on eating it raw to get the most benefits from your food.  Remember, the darker the green, the better it is for you!

TiV Kale Quinoa salad closeThis is an incredibly simple salad:

  • kale
  • cooked quinoa  (great if you have leftovers, throw it on a salad!)
  • red onion sliced thin
  • sunflower seeds (seasoned or not, play around with the seed and nut aisle and treat yourself to various flavored or spicy nuts or seeds for a little topping on a salad or throw on some raw for extra benefits)

If you enjoy dressing, go for itIf someone were to have told me years ago that I would a) eat kale b) add kale to a smoothie or c) eat a salad without dressing I would have thought they were off their tree.  Clinically insane.  Not a chance years ago. (I was a nose scruncher back then when it came to anything remotely healthy, let alone vegetables.  Yes, now eating a vegan diet, funny, right?)

Now, if I add anything, it is simply squeezing some lemon juice from 1/2 a lemon on top and massaging it in.  If you have tahini, I recommend mixing up tahini, water and some lemon and salt to make a great little dressing to drizzle on top which is absolutely delish’ too!

If you have a favorite dressing then use that, we don’t care- as long as you take the first step and eat the leaves, that’s all we wish for you! 🙂

If you have never eaten kale before, let us offer some recommendations:

  • Chop it up into small pieces or thin strips and add to a salad with greens that you are used to especially if you are used to eating light green or white lettuce such as an iceberg (which is nearly all water!)
  • Try adding some leaves to your fruit smoothie (ex.  frozen strawberries, banana, almond milk and ice cubes) and yes, you will watch it turn green but I promise you if you can get over the color, the taste surprises everyone!  Add some raspberries to make the color more of a vibrant purple for added nutrition and to appease the eye if you like 🙂
  • Massage your kale!  I know it sounds weird but by ripping up the leaves into smaller pieces (remove the stem) and once in a bowl, squeeze some lemon on top (salt and pepper too if you like) and use your hands and rub all of the leaves.  You will notice that the leaves become softer and a more vibrant green
  • Experiment with different kinds!  There are different types of leaves and colors and of course, try and stick with the organic.

Pay attention for 24 hours – 2 weeks:

  • You will notice that you will be more regular because you are consuming fiber which is like Earth’s toothbrush and it sweeps out all of the built up “gook” in your system.  This is a good thing and you will notice that you will feel, what we describe as, “lighter”.
  • If you have dry, limp hair especially you will see some awesome benefits with your hair gaining luster and shine but it takes a couple of weeks and consuming the kale daily.
  • If you already have great skin, you will notice a healthy glow.  For those that have issues with their skin, as I did, I’m so excited for you to see real results!  Remember, I have nothing to benefit from you eating it but YOU surely do and there is nothing to lose!
  • Expect people noticing.  From personal experience I can assure you, get ready for compliments because those around you WILL notice and often times, it will be their observations and compliments that will bring it to your attention.  Enjoy the spotlight 🙂

TiV Kale Quinoa Salad

You have to eat, right?  Why not TRY IT!  It certainly can’t hurt, only help 🙂

Vegetable Lasagna with Tofu Ricotta Cheese Vegan Recipe (with 20+ photos)

12 Apr

This is the best tasting lasagna that we have made to date so if you are looking for a healthy, low fat, lower in calories and zero cholesterol meal, here you go!  If you are in the mood for comfort food without the “I’m so sick” feeling afterwards or the “I’m so full I’m going to bust a button”, you found the right dish.

(No worries, the meat eaters love this– we are confident you will too!)  Save this recipe for the next time you are in the mood for Italian and let me know how it turned out, your opinion is welcomed, as always 🙂 )

The photographs show you the process and I have the ingredients, directions and suggestions below.

These ingredients are all you need to make this Lasagna.

These ingredients are all you need to make this Lasagna.

Drain and wring out the water from the tofu

Drain and wring out the water from the tofu

Prepare the vegetables and heat the sauce

Prepare the vegetables and heat the sauce

Making tofu ricotta is easier than you may think and has been known to pleasantly surprise many

Making tofu ricotta is easier than you may think and has been known to pleasantly surprise many

Super Simple.  Layer the sauce, lasagna noodles, tofu cheese and zucchini.  Repeat 2 more times

Super Simple. Layer the sauce, lasagna noodles, tofu cheese and zucchini. Repeat 2 more times

Continue the layering process until you run out of ingredients

Continue the layering process until you run out of ingredients

Vegetable lasagna is served!

Vegetable lasagna is served!

This should take you about an hour and a half to make so if you don’t have the time, hold off until you do 🙂

Try it Vegan’s Vegetable Lasagna with Tofu “Ricotta Cheese” Vegan Recipe

6-8 Servings

Ingredients you need:

  • Cooking spray or oil to coat the baking dish (we used the typical 9 x 13)
  • 1 box No Boil Lasagne noodles
  • 1 -2 packages of tofu 14 oz (we use firm) drained  ( **We used 1 this time but the kids reminded me that we usually use 2.  It’s good either way just remember to double ALL of the ingredients to make the tofu ricotta.)
  • 2-3 jars (24 oz each) of Marinara sauce (we ended up needing 1/2 of a 3rd jar this time but we like a lot of sauce)
  • 3 bell peppers diced(we prefer red, orange and yellow)
  • 2 large zucchini sliced thin (we like our mandolin for this as we mentioned previously here about playing with your food)
  • 2 large carrots grated fine
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast  (gives a cheese taste- if you haven’t had it before, it’s a great ingredient to have!)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic (dry) powder or granules
  • salt (we don’t use a lot normally but recommend at least 1/4- 1/2 tsp here)
  • pepper

Instructions:

  1. First things first, drain the water from your tofu.  There are many methods to do this such as wrapping it in paper towels, place on a plate, cover with another plate and put something heavy on top for 20 minutes, changing the towels until at least once.  We didn’t have the 20 minutes so we wrapped the tofu in a towel and wrung it out over the sink.
  2. Heat oven to 350 F/ 177 C and spray your baking pan lightly.
  3. Empty tofu into a bowl and add nutritional yeast, garlic and salt and pepper
  4. Heat Marinara sauce in a pot and simmer
  5. Prepare vegetables by dicing peppers, grating carrots and slicing zucchini.  If you don’t have a mandolin you can dice the zucchini up instead. (I didn’t have one until a few years ago and literally use it every single day- I recommend it!)
  6. Add the peppers and carrots to the sauce and simmer for 5-10 minutes (we did it in five minutes with our limited time)
  7. Coat the bottom of the dish with some sauce.  Next, place lasagne noodles in one layer on top.  Sprinkle 1/3 of the tofu “Ricotta cheese” on top.  Cover with some zucchini.  Top with sauce.  Repeat #7 two times and finally, add a last topping of sauce for the top.
  8. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for around 50 minutes
  9. Serve and enjoy!

Suggestions:

There are so many variations of vegetables that can be used so if you have other ingredients in your refrigerator, use them!  It’s a great place to hide vegetables, Moms and Dads.

Food processors speed up the process if you don’t have time… it’s worth the investment!

You can always sprinkle on some Daiya, soy or rice cheese on top 🙂

Serve with a simple salad (serve the salad first 😉

Try it!  That’s what we are all about…

Mo’s Vegan Lentil Sloppy Joe Recipe (with 15+ Pictures) (Sloppy but Scrumptious)

11 Apr

Sloppy Joes are an American comfort food that are just as enjoyable without the meat and some of us may argue, better!  If you have kids or other loved ones that think that they don’t like lentils plain, this is a great way to make a fun meal that is full of protein and good nutrition. 

You don’t have to be labeled a “Vegan or Vegetarian” to make this and it’s a great way of cutting out the cholesterol for at least one meal.

High in Fiber and Protein, Low in Fat, Sodium & ZERO Cholesterol. 

(Meat eaters or anyone interested in calories, fat, etc…Check out the nutrition information below)

TiV Sloppy Mo Joe final 2You have several options with this recipe so play around with it!

  • Instead of lentils, we also enjoy using soy meatless crumbles or TVP (Textured Vegetable Protein).  I just wanted to share with you a recipe for once that is without it because so many of us have lentils in a jar or bag somewhere in our pantries.  Another option is doing half and half which gives a nice texture.
  • You can totally cheat and use a can or a packet for the spices and/or sauce, of course.  We always have these simple spices & ingredients in and it doesn’t take long to throw it all together.
  • Instead of a roll you can always serve this plain, as a side dish or over rice.

This is the healthier of my Sloppy Mo, err, Sloppy Joe recipes… Enjoy!

TiV Sloppy Mo Joe ingredients

Here is what you need at a glance…

TiV Sloppy Mo Joe Lentils and carrots

TiV Sloppy Mo Joe Bell Peppers

2 cloves of garlic, cumin, coriander

Put lentils and water in pot on high

Once boiling, add carrot

Misto with olive oil or grapeseed oil, add onions and bell peppers

Add salt, cumin, coriander, & chili pepper

Worcestershire sauce and agave or sweetener of your choice

Some tomato sauce and a sprinkle of oregano are optional- more suggestions included

TiV Sloppy Mo Joe ready

What you need for 4-6 servings:

  • 1 cup lentils dry (rinse well and make sure there aren’t any stones)
  • 1 carrot diced (if organic, wash and leave the skins on… your body will thank you)
  • 2 1/4 cups of water  (*I don’t use a lot of salt.  If you normally salt water, go for it)
  • olive oil, grape seed oil or water
  • 1 cup of diced onion
  • 1 cup of diced bell pepper (we used red and yellow and snuck in some green sweet Italian pepper)
  • 2 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1 1/2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp of brown sugar OR 1 tbsp of agave OR both  (or sweetener of your choice) (see my note below)
  • 1-3 tsp salt  (I just use 1 tsp-I am not a huge fan of salt but most people I speak with are so taste before you add)
  • 3/4 tsp cumin
  • 3/4 tsp corriander
  • 3/4 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp oregano (optional)
  • 1 cup of tomato sauce OR 4-5 oz of tomato paste and 1 1/4 cups of water OR (I’m cringing saying this but if you don’t have either, ketchup.  Not my first choice but the kids love it.  This time we used the tomato paste and water)

Directions:

TiV Sloppy Mo Joe final close up1.  Pour 2 1/4 cups of water into pot with 1 cup of lentils and bring to a boil.  Once boiling add chopped carrot, mix and simmer for 20-30 minutes until tender, mixing it at times.  Drain any excess water.

2.  In medium to large pan, add a small amount of water or olive oil and heat on medium.  Add onions and peppers and cool on medium low until the onions are translucent.  Add garlic and cook until fragrant.

3.  Add lentils to pan and combine Worcestershire sauce, salt, spices and sweetener of choice.  (**If you are are not used to using sugar and prefer to steer clear of too sweet, use the agave.  If you are used to foods with a lot of salt and/or sugar/sweeteners I would just use the tbsp of brown sugar.  I chose to use the tbsp of agave which was nice for me but added a teaspoon of brown sugar for the kids :()

4.  Add 4-5 oz. of tomato paste and 1 1/4 cups of water or 1 cup of tomato sauce.   (Adding a teaspoon of oregano is optional)

5.  Simmer until thickened and soft (liquid evaporated) but it should not be mush.

6.  Eat as is or add to hamburger bun/ roll of your choice.

I was curious about the nutritional content when it came to ground beef vs. lentils since I used to eat mine with ground beef years ago.  If you’d like to see for yourself what the facts are WITHOUT the other ingredients.

Beef:  Ground, Cooked 85% lean meat/ 15% fat  VS.  Lentils, TiV Sloppy Mo Joecooked/boiled without salt

    • Serving Size:  Beef:  LESS THAN 1/2 cup (3 oz.)   vs.  Lentils 1 full cup  (7.5 oz.)  (You would have to double the amount of Beef or cut the lentils in half to make this even on a kaiser roll.  I’m going to double the beef considering that would still be less than what a restaurant would serve)
    • Calories:  Beef (6oz) 408,  Calories from Fat 220 (> than half)  VS.  Lentils 1 Cup/ 7.5 oz  230 , Calories from Fat  12

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No Eggs? No Worries. How to Bake WITHOUT EGGS. 11 Photos with Instructions

25 Mar

One common question we get is “How do you bake without eggs and still have it taste good?”  This is the exact process we used for our Vegan Banana Muffins

Whether you choose not to eat eggs or are panicked because you started a baking process and are without eggs, this is a great way of replacing them in a healthy way.

To replace one egg:
1 tablespoon ground flaxseeds
3 tablespoons warm water

Just so you know, flax seed may be kept in a sealed tight container in the refrigerator, just like eggs, but lucky for you, they stay fresh MUCH longer!  Also, it is MUCH LESS expensive than buying eggs at the store or raising your own chickens.  😉

TiV Keep Flax Seeds in your Refrigerator Sealed

We don’t use eggs so this is the perfect spot for us to keep our flax!

Pour Flax Seeds in Coffee Grinder or High Powered Blender

Pour Flax Seeds in Coffee Grinder or High Powered Blender

Ground Flax Meal.  If some seeds don't grind, no worries, it gives your dish some character ;)

Ground Flax Meal. If some seeds don’t grind, no worries, it gives your dish some character 😉

Here is a close up of the Flax Meal which can also be purchased already ground up in stores.

Here is a close up of the Flax Meal which can also be purchased already ground up in stores.

Scoop out one full TBSP of Flax Meal

Scoop out one full TBSP of Flax Meal

Dump Flax Meal in Small Bowl

Dump Flax Meal in Small Bowl

Measure 3 TBSP of WARM water

Measure 3 TBSP of WARM water

Pour warm water into bowl with flax mixture

Pour warm water into bowl with flax mixture

Grab whisk, fork or mini blender

Grab whisk, fork or mini blender

Blend until the mixture thickens

Blend until the mixture thickens

Flax mixture is ready when it thickens into an egg-like consistency

Flax mixture is ready when it thickens into an egg-like consistency

Oh Yes I Did. The BEST(vegan) Banana Muffins You Will Ever Smell and Taste. EVER.

25 Mar
Check out our new Sexy Summer Pasta Saladgreat for parties and BBQ’s or our Vegan Enchiladas plus more meal ideas!

UPDATE 3/25/13

This, by far, has become our most popular treat.  We have updated it with “How to” links and photos so you can see just how easy it is thanks to many of your requests!

One of the biggest surprises that we had once we adopted a vegan diet, was how DELISH baking can be without the use of eggs and dairy butter.  Shocked is an understatement.  I’ve always enjoyed baking and I remember on a few occasions not having eggs and so I put on my best pout and had to wait until the following day to purchase them.  IF ONLY I KNEW THAT I COULD BAKE WITHOUT EGGS!

Whether you are Vegan or not (if if you aren’t, oh, we’ve got to chat 😉 I promise you that you will be pleasantly surprised!

I also have a secret that I will share with you… I HATE bananas.  I just… can’t.  It’s NOT for a lack of trying, I can assure you… (I’m big on trying everything once, hence my “Try it Vegan”)  After adopting a vegan diet I did a bunch of reading up on fruits and of course, the incredible nutritional benefits of bananas could not be ignored so I found out that I can DRINK a banana in a smoothie now and of course, make banana muffins which are on the sweeter side.

So what are the magic ingredients if I don’t use eggs OR fat?  (That’s right… fat-free, Baby)

  • Flax seeds and a coffee grinder, or flax meal  (Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it)  You keep them in the fridge, just like you did eggs but the great part is flax seeds/meal stay MUCH longer.  **see how to make an egg substitute below
  • Apple sauce instead of oil (I’m not a HUGE fan of using oil so I am one that likes to use apple sauce whether I make some in the vitamixer or I twist the lid off of a jar)
  • Whole Wheat pastry flour instead of unbleached all purpose although if you don’t have it, it’s not the end of the world
  • Almond or Hemp milk is my favorite to bake with

The only recipe that I absolutely love to use as a guide is below but I always use the above changes and some super-duper ripe bananas 🙂

The one complaint that I seem to have is no matter how many batches I make there never seems to be enough.  The kids inhale them and yes, they freeze well too!

Enjoy!

Ingredients:  (Try and go organic as much as possible)

2 super ripe (brown) mashed bananas (

1/3 cup (2.6 oz) unsweetened applesauce

2/3 cup vegan sugar

2 egg substitutes (click HERE to view how we make ours)

1/4 cup almond milk or milk of your choice

1 2/3 cup flour (we prefer whole wheat pastry)

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 baking powder

cinnamon to taste (we like 1 tsp)

(My teenage son is demonstrating how simple it all is!)

Make your Flax Seed Egg Substitute

Make your Flax Seed Egg Substitute

(Click HERE to see, step by step, how to make it)

The browner the banana, the sweeter.  Add all the wet ingredients down to and including the milk.

The browner the banana, the sweeter. Add all the wet ingredients down to and including the milk.

Mix Flax (Egg-less) mixture, sugar, applesauce, milk and bananas

Mix Flax (Egg-less) mixture, sugar, applesauce, milk and bananas

Measure flour and additional dry ingredients

Measure flour and additional dry ingredients

Add the rest of the dry ingredients to the wet mixture but don't over mix it too high of a setting

Add the rest of the dry ingredients to the wet mixture but don’t over mix it too high of a setting

Scrape down the sides to get every bit of goodness mixed up

Scrape down the sides to get every bit of goodness mixed up

Batter should be nice and thick like a cookie batter.

Batter should be nice and thick like a cookie batter.

Pour into pan of your choice

Pour into pan of your choice

Bake at 350 degrees 13-15 minutes for mini muffins and 17-20 minutes for regular muffins

Bake at 350 degrees 13-15 minutes for mini muffins and 17-20 minutes for regular muffins.  We doubled our recipe yielding the amount shown.

The BEST most MOIST Vegan Banana Muffins you will ever have!

Voila! The BEST most MOIST Vegan Banana Muffins you will ever have!

http://vegweb.com/recipes/best-ever-no-fat-banana-bread

To replace one egg:
1 tablespoon ground flaxseeds
3 tablespoons warm water (or other liquid)

Stir together until thick and gelatinous.

You can also use whole flaxseeds:

1 tablespoon whole flaxseeds
4 tablespoons warm water (or other liquid)

Process seeds in a blender to a fine meal, add liquid and blend well.

You can make a bigger batch by increasing the ingredient amounts. Store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Try it!
M

Crazy Carrot Wednesday- 20 Carrot Recipes to Try!

27 Feb

A rainbow of carrotsIn my quest of having the family get in the habit of trying new foods, I bought some purple, orange and golden yellow carrots.  If anything, it was worth seeing the expression on their faces that made it all worth it!

I happen to need to eat with my eyes first so the more color on our plates, the happier I am that we are serving a nutritional plate of goodness for each of us.  If you can’t find purple and yellow carrots at the store, keep an eye out for one day that they may have them in the future.  In the meantime, if you haven’t eaten many carrots lately, I’m sure you will be successful in finding a recipe or three that you and whoever you are cooking for, will love!

Fun carrot facts:

  • Carrots were not originally orange.  Back in the day they were purple or red with thin roots
  • What’s up, Doc?  Maybe Bugs Bunny was on to something since the first carrots were grown for medicine
  • Research shows that colorful carrots may help prevent heart disease and cancer & reduce cholesterol
  • Eat/drink too many orange carrots and you WILL take on an orange/yellow pigment in your skin (called Carotenemia) because of beta carotene, a form of Vitamin A in the carrots

Question:  Are carrots better for you eaten raw or cooked?

No one loves a glass of fresh carrot juice better than I (although, I will admit, I will stick with drinking orange carrots since the purple carrots have a slight peppery taste and the yellow are a bit sweet and mild).  I happen to eat half of my meals raw each day because there are many nutrients that are lost when cooked one way or another.  However, there are exceptions to the rule when it comes to eating and being able to process certain foods.  (So the answer is both!)

colorcarrotstryitveganPicture bubble wrap for a moment:  when it comes to nutrition and eating certain foods, there are a ton of nutrients that are inside the item but you have to pop all the nutrients out.  This is one reason why it is SO important to chew your food well which most of us are very guilty of NOT doing.  50-100 chews per bite is what is recommended to ensure that you break down the food and make it accessible for your body to absorb the nutrients.  This is why juicing is a great thing from a nutritional perspective because it pops all the “bubbles” releasing the nutritional benefits (especially kale!)

  • Research has shown that when you eat a raw carrot, only 3% of the entire beta-carotene (Vitamin A) is released.
  • Falcarinol is a substance found in carrots that has been found to reduce the risk of cancer (cancer cells grow more slowly when exposed to it)
  • When boiling or steaming whole carrots, you lose 30% of falcarinol
  • When boiling or steaming pre-cut, small carrots the loss is higher at 60%.
  • Boiled/steamed carrots are easier to digest and preserved antioxidants (carotenoids) rather than frying.

Ok, now that you know more than you thought that you would ever want to know about this common (or not so common) root veggie, go on out and try some of these awesome ways to enjoy this nutritious wonder!

(Common sense input:  if honey is called for, substitute with agave or other sweetener.  Butter, use earth balance.  Etc)

  1. Fresh squeezed carrot juice  (can be as addicting as cigarettes?)
  2. Roasted Carrot Soup
  3. Carrot salad
  4. Roasted carrots
  5. Carrot muffins (using earth balance as opposed to butter/margarine)
  6. Hummus and veggie wrap
  7. Vegetable sushi
  8. Potted carrots (great idea for the kids!!!  with a vegan ranch dip)
  9. Simple carrot fries
  10. Moroccan Carrot Dip
  11. Marsala glazed carrots with hazelnuts
  12. Carrot cake cupcakes
  13. Marmalade Candied Carrots 
  14. Roasted Vegetables with Pecan Gremolata
  15. Carrot cake oatmeal
  16. Carrot pancakes
  17. Lunch Box carrot slaw with apples and vegan yoghurt
  18. Carrot, Avocado and orange salad
  19. Marinated dill carrots
  20. Brown sugar sweet overload carrots

Enjoy 😉  TiV

Checking for broken needles in their hamburger? Seriously.

8 Feb

Injection-NeedleRecently, I was involved in a meeting with an executive at a large food (including meat) distributor and his attempt to brag and impress us with his company turned out appalling me even more, not that I needed to be.  (In his defense, he didn’t know that I didn’t eat meat…until later)  If you are on the fence about chowing down that steak or burger, let me share with you just a tiny glimpse of exactly what is in your meat- it just may surprise you.

Radiation and Needles…

The meeting was on an entirely different topic when all of a sudden, this gentleman’s face lit up.  “One thing that we take great pride on is that we go the extra step and x-ray all of our meat AFTER all of the other processes and not every company does that.”  (At that point, he really had my attention.  Most of us have heard that ammonia is often used on meats as well as radiation to kill bacteria and if you would like a refresher, this is incredibly eye opening:  Nuclear Lunch Link )

“Often these guys, out their on the farms, jam those (antibiotic) needles in those hard butts and the needles break off and (nodding his head) you can imagine how many times broken bits of metal from the needles are in the meat.  We have our quality standards…”

Have you ever heard how x-rays are to be avoided unless absolutely necessary?  Cancer and fertility issues are overly common and we don’t need to make matters worse by having an x-ray cocktail EVERY time we have a meal, right?  (This is an article on how x-rays effect both of those things, if you need it  HERE)

I ended up blocking out the rest of what he said after he made a comment how pigs are dirty animals.  He pretty much stopped talking around the moment when he said something to the effect of, “If only you knew all the things that are in the meat…” and I replied with, “You don’t have to convince me, I’m the vegan of the group.” 

Ever see someone who realized that they may have said too much?  Yep, me too.

I started eliminating  meat from my diet once I learned about the health aspects and how FILTHY slaughter houses/farms are and one thing that is clear is that the animals are NOT dirty by themselves but the conditions that they live (and die)  in are.  (You and I would never cook our foods in a public bathroom because that is disgusting, right?  But the food prior to being served is prepared in a facility much dirtier.)  Funny how some people in the food industry want people to believe that the food that they consume comes from Old Mcdonald’s farm and the pigs are rolling around in the mud being sloppy.  Nothing could be further from the truth and I wish that I stumbled across this information when I was younger.  My hope is that someone generates enough curiosity to start learning, for themselves and those whom they are responsible for, exactly what they are eating and the consequences (health-wise and environmentally) for doing so.

Vegan Cheesy Enchiladas Recipe- treat yourself to Mexican tonight!

31 Jan

tryitvegan enchiladas with quacamoleThis is a fairly simple recipe and a family favorite!  Loaded with protein and no cholesterol, there is a ton of flavor and  great textures, this is sure to please! The cheese sauce also makes an incredible dip for nachos, chips, vegetables plus don’t forget Super Bowl and, of course,  perfect for this dish.

 

When we first introduced a Vegan diet in our house, this was one of my “best sellers” for the kids and DH.  Hook, line and sinker, they LOVED it and it has since become a monthly dish.  We don’t serve it with any other side dish since it is incredibly filling and we keep it fairly simple but you can go crazy with the toppings!

Sadly, leftovers normally sit in the fridge until it’s time to clean it out however with this dish, it is a different story 😉  (I’m actually looking forward to lunch tomorrow, nom!)  The recipe serves 5-6 people.  Enjoy and let me know your thoughts!

What you need:

  • 12 tortillas
  • 3 cans of beans of your choice (we used kidney, pinto and black beans, 14 1/2 oz. cans each)
  • 2 cans of enchilada sauce (15 oz. each)
  • 2 cups chopped onions
  • Salsa (fresh is best, we grabbed some pre made at Whole Foods)
  • Guacamole (see above)

tryitvegan enchiladas insideCheese sauce:

  • 2 cups of water
  • 1/2 cup unbleached flour
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp mustard (ground)
  • 2 tbsp vegan margarine (earth balance) (can be omitted if you are watching calorie intake)

Extra topping suggestions that we skipped but you may like:

  • vegan sour cream
  • chopped cilantro
  • chopped olives
  • shredded vegan cheese

Start cheese sauce on the stove (medium heat) by adding flour, nutritional yeast, salt & garlic powder into a small pot and stir or whisk in the water and continue to do so until it is thick (6-8 minutes).  Take off of stove top and stir in mustard and earth balance, if using.  Pour some into a bowl for later (1/4-1/2 cup to drizzle on before serving)
tryitvegan enchiladesIn large pot on medium heat, pour 1 1/2 cans of the enchilada  sauce, beans, 1/2 cup of salsa and onions and mix together.  Pour remaining enchilada sauce on the bottom of of your pan.  Place tortillas in pan, coating the bottom with sauce and spoon mixture into tortilla, roll up and place in pan side by side.  Continue until all 12 are wrapped.  Pour vegan cheese mixture on top and pop in the oven (350) for 35 minutes.

Use a spatula (wooden works too) and serve with a scoop of guacamole and salsa.  Drizzle some of the remaining cheese sauce on top.

Margarita, anyone?  😉

So… Try it!

~M~

tryitvegan enchiladas vegan     tryitvegan enchiladas close up

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