Tag Archives: vegetarian

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…

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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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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

*Exclusive* Our BEST Vegan Baked Macaroni & Cheese Recipe, Secrets Shared!

20 Mar

This is THE most asked for dish in our home by family and friends.  Dairy-free.  Lactose-free.  Perfect for those with a dairy allergy and miss cheese!  The closest thing to the REAL THING and many believe, BETTER than the BEST Macaroni and Cheese they have had.  Seriously. 

I am revealing my secret family recipe… I’m taking a deep breath here, so give it a shot and give me your feedback!

This is completely, 100% my recipe and considered to be  VEGAN COMFORT FOOD.  If you are looking for a healthy low-fat alternative, stop reading now.  I wouldn’t recommend eating this every day if you are planning on losing some pounds however this is the BEST dish for everyone, regardless of their eating preferences.

*AWESOME for the kids to pop in a lunch box (heated thermos) for school lunch… this has nominated me to BEST MOM OF THE YEAR on several occasions 😉

I do not measure when I make this dish however I will give you my best estimates.

TryitVegan Mac and cheese pasta

Choose whatever pasta you like however we prefer this brand and shape for this particular dish.

Try it Vegan Baked Macaroni & Cheese with Bread Crumbs Ingredients

Try it Vegan Baked Macaroni & Cheese with Bread Crumbs Ingredients

Ingredients for 5-6 people:

1 lb. pasta

10-12 oz. almond milk (unsweetened)

Follow Your Heart Vegan Gourmet Cheddar Cheese block

1 brick of Earth Balance

1-2 cups of bread crumbs or panko breadcrumbs (we like a lot)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350.  Start water for pasta.

Cook pasta al dente

Cook pasta al dente

In a medium pot, add milk and entire block of Vegan Cheddar and stir until melted on medium heat.

Melt Vegan Cheddar in Almond Milk

Melt Vegan Cheddar in Almond Milk

Make sure that the pasta is cooked al dente so drain it a couple of minutes prior to their recommended cook time.  Grease your baking dish lightly with the Earth Balance vegan butter and melt the remaining 7 tbsp or so.  (This can be cut in half, the full stick of “butter” isn’t needed however I did say that we love bread crumbs, yes?)  In a medium bowl, mix bread crumbs with completely melted Earth Balance adding more crumbs if wanted/needed.

Mix bread crumbs with melted vegan butter

Mix bread crumbs with melted vegan butter

Once pasta is ready, drain and toss into baking dish.

Pour Vegan Cheese over drained pasta

Pour Vegan Cheese over drained pasta

Pour cheese directly on top and mix until evenly distributed.  spread bread crumb mixture on top.  Bake in oven for 30 minutes covered for the first 20 and uncovered for the last 10 for the bread crumbs to slightly brown.

Try it Vegan Baked Mac and Cheese with Bread crumbs

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~

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.)

  • Product Details

    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~

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 😉

Vegan, Simple, Fast and Delish! KID APPROVED Jason Wrobel’s Cilantro Lime Pesto Pasta is a MUST TRY!

8 Jan

20130108_185640

“Dinner is ready!!!!!”

Have you ever heard a child SCREAM because his entire meal is green and they decide that, due to color, it will not taste good?  (Let’s not kid ourselves, children aren’t the only ones)

After an absolute dinner FAIL the other night, my guilty conscious went recipe hunting and landed on Jason Wrobel’s recipe for Cilantro Lime Pesto Pasta.  (Jason is a Vegan cook and also has the Cooking Channel’s, “How to Live to 100” a new, humorous but educational show that just aired for the first time Sunday.  Check it out, it’s worth it!)

20130108_183652

Dinner was served in record timing due to the fact that the recipe is filed under the category of “easy” so even a non-cook can’t mess it up. (Ahem)  I made my signature “No less than 15 ingredient salad” and you see the end result which I was pretty proud of.  My one son, on the other hand, gave me an expression that I will do my best to imitate…

20130108_185526

“Really???  Green pasta?  Oh no… are those…(dun dun dunnnnnn) OLIVES??  Great, another Mom dinner fail”

(Ironic Mommy side note:  Even when we make zucchini pasta, it isn’t as “green” as this dish.  Not that it should matter but if only this kid KNEW what he ate at times!”)

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I was hoping that this would at least make up for my last disaster and not only did it, it far EXCEEDED the expectations of everyone.  What a DELICIOUS spin on pesto!  My only addition were some roasted organic cherry tomatoes that I threw in the oven while the pasta cooked to add some more color.  It was like winning the lottery you guys, I had five very happy FULL people and I was redeemed!  “Mmmmm’s” and “ohmygodthisissogood” came from the (full) mouth’s of babes so with that said, I recommend for you to TRY IT!

 

(No animals were injured, hurt (or eaten 🙂  ) during this cell phone photo shoot.  This Jersey girl likes her leopard, what do you want me to say.)

So what do you need?

  • olive oil
  • pasta (we used a lb instead of 8oz. with the remaining amounts of ingredients)
  • 1 cup black olives, pitted and quartered
  • 1/2 red pepper, diced
  • 1/4 raw pumpkin seeds
  • 2 1/2 cups fresh basil leaves, tightly packed
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, preferably cold pressed
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts, plus more for garnish
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons nama shoyu or tamari (oops, I did forget this one)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • hemp seeds, for garnish (and this one)

Directions

Make the pasta according to directions.  Original directions called for a tablespoon of olive oil in the boiling water which I chose to skip.  Once al dente, drain and empty into a mixing bowl where you want to add the olives, red bell peppers and pumpkin seeds and mix well.

Easy pesto:  Grab your Vitamixer/blender or food processor and put basil, olive oil, cilantro, pine nuts, lime juice, garlic, nama shoyu, salt, pepper and cayeene and blend.  Combine the pasta with pesto and mix well.  Serve with a sprinkle of hemp seeds, black olives and pine nuts.  I also roasted some cherry tomatoes and added them for more color.

To view the original recipe click here

Apple Match Stick Fries: Reducing the risk of some cancers, cardiovascular disease, asthma and diabetes

7 Jan

20130107_094003

This morning I posted a link on Twitter that speaks of the great health benefits of apples (HERE)  Thanks to my mandoline, we have found some creative  ways to make snacking on an apple a bit more appealing to even those who insisted that they didn’t like apples.  
 
With much more focus on eating smaller meals with healthy snacks twice a day, apples are a great go-to for all ages.  With over 7000 different varieties around the world, there are at least a handful that will make your mouth water.  (For an apple directory, try HERE)
 
Cardiovascular disease and cancer are the two top killers in North America, choose apples for preventative measure considering they are loaded with phytonutrients (plant nutrients) that are known to reduce the risk of some cancers, cardiovascular disease, asthma and diabetes.  (http://www.nutritionj.com/content/3/1/5)
 
Give your palate a treat, pick some apples the next time you are out and make a point of including an apple once a day in your diet, however you choose to slice, dice or bite it 😉  Your body will thank you!
 
Try it!
-M

 

 
 
 
 
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