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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 🙂

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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…

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

A touch of citrus for dinner: Mandarin Orange Chick’n (Gardein) & Cauliflower with Garlicy-Lemon Zested Crumbs

27 Jan

TryitVegan Gardein orange chickenAfter nearly a week m.i.a. with a virus, it is safe to say that food was not something I was preparing, let alone, eating.  I have to admit, I had not been to the store in a week and didn’t know what was left in the fridge so my first night back in the kitchen and it was a fairly quick fix!

~The vegan chicken that may be too much like the real thing~

I was not prepared for everyone to enjoy this as much as they did and the boys, who still do eat meat at times when getting food from out of the home, enjoyed this chick’n the most *wink!  I’m thinking it was the texture… so if you have any meat eaters, give this a try!  Normally, I would serve this with some brown rice, which we were out of tonight, so some vegetable pasta did the trick and some awesome cauliflower (never saw those two words together?  Yeah, neither had I before tonight.)  My taste buds are still a little bit off or actually, missing all together so the texture may have been a little too real for me but after this past week,

TryitVegan Delish Cauliflower ingredients organic bread crumbs garlic lemon zest olive oil parsleyI’m not the most reliable when it comes to food tasting when not all senses are working up to full throttle.

TryitVegan cooliflour with breadcrumbs zestThe kids went back for seconds and, in addition, my eleven year old finished off my plate so… totally kid & omnivore approved 😉

The cauliflower dish is a must make next time you grab a head of it and I would guess that you would turn some “cauli-haters” into “cauli-lovers” this way.

Within 30 minutes you will be able to have dinner on the table so a quick fix as well!

Here’s the deal…

TryitVegan Gardein mandarin orange crispy chicken

For the chick’n dish, grab a bag (or two) of the Gardein Mandarin Orange Crispy Chick’n in the freezer section of your supermarket.  I popped the contents on a pan and baked for 17 minutes on 425 and heated the sauces (which are in bags) in a mug of hot water.

For color, I grabbed a couple of bell peppers (red and yellow- organic, go crazy!) and heated them (1/2 a pepper each) on medium low heat with simply some water so they don’t stick to the pan.

 

If you are making the cauliflower side, you need to prepare it by washing and cutting it into small florets and they will need more time in the oven (425 for 20 minutes or until slight coloring/browning).  Great part is you can have them both in there together.

What you need (we served 5 with no leftovers): (organic if you can… go crazy!)

  • cauliflower head cut into florets
  • Olive oil (1/8- 1/4  cup plus 2 tbsp on the side)
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup of bread crumbs (I did 1/2 cup with 1/4 cup olive oil and would half it next time)
  • organic lemon -zest of entire lemon
  • one garlic clove minced
  • parsley
  • salt & pepper

Toss the cauliflower with olive oil, salt and pepper and spread out on a baking sheet, cooking for 20 minutes on 425 or until slightly browned (toss/flip halfway through).  While baking, grab a pan, heat on medium and warm remaining olive oil.  Include bread crumbs and mix until slightly browned (2 minutes) then add lemon zest, garlic, salt and pepper until fragrant.  Chop up a tbsp of parsley and toss it in, empty into bowl and once the cauliflower is done, sprinkle on.

Our final meal looked something like this:  (thanks to finding the idea for the recipe here)

  Tryitvegan dinner Gardein mandarin orange chicken with delish cauliflower garlic lemon bread crumb style copy TryitVegan Gardein mandorine orange chicken  TryitVegan cooliflour with breadcrumbs

Try it!

~M~

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Veggie Burger must try- Qrunch quinoa burgers win favorite vegan fast food!

18 Jan

Try it Vegan Qrunch BurgersIf you are anything like me, you have had your fair share of horrible veggie burgers.  Trying to find a good tasting burger without meat and dairy ingredients can prove to be difficult at times so when you find a delish’ one, it’s a reason to spread the good news!  We have a winner!

Gluten-free     Soy-free     Dairy-free     Corn-free     Wheat-free     Egg-free     Nut-free     Low Sodium

Toaster-Ready in Minutes!

I have the boxes resting near the toaster for a reason, by the way.  I was in need for some fast food and that’s exactly what the freezer is for!  I had picked these up on my last shopping trip at Wegmann’s and figured to give them a good ol’ try, today being that day.  The cooking instructions on the box give two options:  toaster oven or regular oven.  I skipped both suggestions and stuck it IN MY TOASTER twice and within minutes, lunch was ready and really good!  (When hunger is a level 10, my patience drops to a level 1 however, I would like to clarify that, on normal days, I tend to use our regular oven for everything.)

Try it Vegan Qrunch LunchUnlike my Greek Cypriot hubby, bread isn’t a necessary item in my diet so you see my burger with romaine lettuce in place of a bun.  I sliced up some Roma tomatoes and a swipe of Veganaise Grape Seed oil spread plus added a side of vegetarian stuffed grape leaves.

The Spicy Italian definitely has a kick so I wouldn’t start the little kids off with that, try their regular ones instead.  (The teenage daughter loved the spicy Italian one though)  This is also lunchbox worthy for the kids at school.   The texture is crunchy on the outside and it doesn’t fall apart like so many other veggie burgers you and we have tried in the past.  The Nutrition facts are surprisingly not bad, for fast food, either!  Have a look for yourself:

Nutrition Facts:  1 burger

  • Calories 190 (Calories from Fat 100)
  • Total Fat 11g (Saturated Fat 3.5g, Trans Fat 0g)
  • Cholesterol 0 mg
  • Sodium 150 mg
  • Total Carbohydrate 20g (Dietary Fiber 2g)
  • Sugars 0g
  • Protein 4g

Try it Vegan Qrunch inside FXIngredients are impressive compared to most of what is available:

  • Organic Millet
  • Organic Quinoa
  • Organic Coconut Oil
  • Organic Onion
  • Organic Carrots
  • Organic Broccoli
  • Organic Spinach
  • Arrowroot Starch
  • Organic Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Organic Psyllium Seed Powder
  • Sea Salt
  • Organic Garlic
  • Non-GMO Canola Oil

This one is a keeper- Try it!

~M~

Warning: these resources have been known to breed Vegans, read with caution

16 Jan

Breeding Vegans?    No worries, I’m not contagious so you can’t catch the Vegivirus but you just may WANT TO after watching and reading these books and movies.

Oct. 2009 “Do you know of any books that I can read?  What movie do you recommend that is educational but won’t leave me bringing up my last meal?  Are there any magazines?”

I had my share of questions and it’s kind of ironic that I am asked often the same questions that I had back in the day.  The great thing to know is that there are so many more resources today than there were a few months ago compared to years ago.  Let me ask you:

  • Have you ever wondered where your food comes from?
  • If there was a way of eating that resulted in you having beautiful skin, energy and a maintained healthy weight, would you be curious to at least learn of it to see if you would even want to try it?
  • Did you ever wonder exactly what “Vegan” means exactly but didn’t want to be intimidated into “doing it” or “becoming one”?

One morning back in October of 2009 I had a day like many people do, having milk in my cereal, cheese on my burger and enjoyed my bacon extra crispy.  I had to stop at the local Costco to pick up some dinner and as “luck” or “destiny” had it, I spotted Alicia Silverstone on the cover of some book called, The Kind Diet.  I always adored her and the title of the book wasn’t the “IN YOUR FACE” type of a diet book so I picked it up and went about my shopping.  That night I read nearly the entire book and I felt as if someone had lifted a veil from my eyes.

In a very gentle way, Alicia gave me enough information to eliminate meat from my diet forever.   That, my friends, was the beginning of a new chapter in my life I was NOT expecting.

IF THAT MORNING, someone would have told me that the last time I ate meat would be then, I would say that you are OFF YOUR TREE.  I had NO INTEREST in becoming a Vegan prior.  Neither did my teenage daughter who at the time, was 12  when she read the book and hasn’t touched meat since.

I also had never made the effort to learn more about where my food was coming from and I’ve got to tell you, once you know, you look at food entirely in a different way.

PLEASE don’t take my word for it!!  I’m not trying to convince you.  I’m trying to lead you to some information so that you can make your own decision but at least know about what you are putting into your body and where it is coming from.  You may be surprised to find out why you or someone you love may have some issues like digestive issues, colitis, acne, bloating, excess phlegm, excess weight, diabetes or even heart disease JUST TO NAME A FEW.

Some of the more memorable books that opened my eyes:  (More educational than recipe books…I will be posting my recipe book recommendations soon although a few of these do have some.)

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    Skinny Bitch by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin

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    Skinny Bitch in the Kitch: Kick-Ass Solutions for Hungry Girls Who Want to Stop Cooking Crap (and Start Looking… by Kim Barnouin and Rory Freedman

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    Skinny Bitch: Ultimate Everyday Cookbook: Crazy Delicious Recipes that Are Good to the Earth and Great for Your… by Kim Barnouin

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    The Kind Diet: A Simple Guide to Feeling Great, Losing Weight, and Saving the Planet by Alicia Silverstone and Neal D. Barnard

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    The China Study: The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted And the Startling Implications for Diet… by T. Colin Campbell, Thomas M. Campbell II, Howard Lyman and John Robbins ( not the easiest ready but stay on it!  This book made one of the impacts on me, don’t skip it!)

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    The Engine 2 Diet: The Texas Firefighter’s 28-Day Save-Your-Life Plan that Lowers Cholesterol and Burns Away the… by Rip Esselstyn

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    Diet for a New America by John Robbins

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    MAD COWBOY: Plain Truth from the Cattle Rancher Who Won’t Eat Meat by Howard F. Lyman and Glen Merzer

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    Eat to Live: The Amazing Nutrient-Rich Program for Fast and Sustained Weight Loss, Revised Edition by Joel Fuhrman

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    Eat for Health: Lose Weight, Keep It Off, Look Younger, Live Longer (2 Volume Set) by Joel Fuhrman

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    Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living by Alisa Marie Fleming

I LOVE these magazines:

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    Vegnews

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    Vegetarian Times

  • ****Brand new Vegan Magazine is called Laika Magazine, check it out at laikamagazine.com  Very well done!

Some movies to get you started that aren’t going to make you lose your lunch:

  • Forks Over Knives
  • Food, Inc.
  • Vegucated

Movie that is incredibly good but hold the popcorn… it’s powerful and is a Vegan breeder for sure.  I don’t think anyone can go back to eating meat after watching this in all honesty.

  • Earthlings

After all is said and done, it’s your choice entirely, right?  No one can force you to watch, read or learn.  Don’t do it for anyone but yourself.  At least you will be able to say, yes, I read the books and saw the movies and finally, I made the decision to do _____ for me.  Best wishes and as always, I encourage you to…

Try it!

~M~

This dip was a slam dunk! Southwestern Spiced Sweet Potato Fries with Chili-Cilantro Sour Cream

15 Jan

Look no further, you have found an AWESOME dip that is a MUST try!  Collar is popped, this wife and Momma gets a ten thumbs up, yeah Baby!  I have been wanting to make this since I came across the recipe and chose to make it as an appetizer for the family to munch on.

Excuse my lack of photography skills!

Excuse my lack of photography skills!

Just pull out your phone or pencil and old-school shopping list because I’m going to start off with listing the ingredients and you WILL want to make this over the next few days.  It’s OMNIVORE & KID APPROVED and I would imagine a great dip for veggies or shh, chips.  (Oh come on, like you don’t crave them every so often… healthy or not!)

Ok, shopping list… are you ready?  You will need:

  • 2 large sweet potatoes, cut in large matchsticks
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp chile powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 cup vegan sour cream (I used Tofutti)  (now for the dip)
  • 1 -2 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 -4 tsp sweet chili sauce (I liked it with more)
  • 1 small garlic clove minced
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 heaping tbsp chopped cilantro

I used the food processor to make the fries uniform in size which obviously helps with the cooking time and obviously, cuts back on prep time.

Southwestern Spiced Sweet Potato Fries

Preheat oven to 425.  Toss potatoes and olive oil in a large bowl.  Combine salt, cumin, chile powder, paprika, pepper and cayenne in a small ball and then add spices to potatoes and toss to coat.  Arrange on baking sheet and back 12-15 minutes, then toss and bake for ten minutes.  (The last ten minutes I put the convection oven on).  Remove and dip away!

Chili-Cilantro Sour Cream

Combine everything but the cilantro in a bowl and whisk together, add cilantro and mix.

Whether you are a party of one or need a dish for a party, this is a great alternative to the  others.  The original recipe may be found at food52.com which is one of my go-to places to find some delish dishes!

Try it!

-M

Vegan Diner Classic: Scrambled Eggs, Garlic Chive Home Fries and Bacon

11 Jan

IMG00022-20101115-1003

One of the biggest favorites at the local diner is your traditional scrambled eggs with home fries, bacon and toast.  We went ahead and recreated this classic American breakfast and found it to be…well, surprisingly better than the original.  When we first started consuming a vegan diet, the comfort foods were necessary in making a smooth transition and before our taste buds were completely converted over, we were thrilled with the tofu scramble and surprisingly, the bacon-style tempeh.

Scrambled Tofu Recipe:

  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 block firm tofu, drained and pressed
  • 2 tbsp grape seed or other oil
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tbsp Bragg Liquid Aminos or soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric

Once oil is heated add onion & tofu and cook for a few minutes. Add remaining ingredients and mix well, breaking up the tofu into smaller pieces, about 5 minutes more.

Bacon Tempeh      tempeh_smoky_201210

We enjoy Light Life’s “Fakin Bacon” but there are other brands that are crunchier, also in the refrigerated section of your “faux meats”.  Add some oil to the pan and heat for a few minutes on each side, super easy and very tasty!

Garlic & Chive Home Fries  (we had a craving for mashed… keep them in bits if you prefer 😉

  • 2 large potatoes peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1/2 cup sweet onion diced
  • 2 tbsp Earth Balance Vegan  butter
  • 1 tbsp of olive oil or Vegan butter
  • 1 tsp finely chopped chives
  • 1/2-1 tsp minced garlic
  • salt & pepper to taste

Boil the potatoes in salted water until soft, 8-10 minutes, drain water.  Add oil or butter to pan and cook onions until transparent, add garlic for 1 minute.  Toss potatoes, chives and a dash of salt and pepper to your liking, mixing well.

Pop some bread in the toaster, finish it off with your favorite cup of Joe & don’t forget to tip your waitress 😉

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