Saturday, April 7, 2012
It's been said before and I'll say it again--being vegan is a LIFESTYLE and not just a diet. Some people will try Veganism just to lose a little weight. It doesn't work like that people! You need to do your homework first and find out what works best for you and commit to healthy eating and healthy living..forever.
Non-vegetarians say the same bull over and over--"I could never be vegan...I need protein". What? That makes absolutely no sense. Yes you get protein from meat and dairy, but you can get just as much or even more protein practicing a plant based diet. There are arguments both ways but I'm on the plant side. To start your research you must read The China Study and Forks Over Knives. These books changed my life. If you're not much of reader and prefer the movie versions try the Forks Over Knives DVD.
I'll return to my topic of supplements. The only thing lacking in a plant based diet is the Vitamin B12. Vegetarians run the risk of feeling tired, weak, constipated and even depressed if there is a lack of Vitamin B12. There is a simple solution--1000mcg of B12 each day. One little pink pill is all it takes. I buy a brand from the Vitamin Shoppe and the bottle includes 100 lozenges for around $9.00. To read more facts about B12 check out the website I used for more information.
I also take a Vegetarian digestive aid. Enzymes are what break down your carbs, fats and proteins so your body can absorb the food's nutrients. So I take a digestive supplement to boost the breakdown process and as a result my body is able to absorb additional nutrients. I purchase a bottle of 250 tablets for about $11.00.
Last but certainly not least is Flax Oil. Everyone knows Omega 3 fatty acids are essential in any diet. Some people use Fish Oil...vegans use Flax Oil. Why? Because nowadays many of the fish used to create Fish Oil is contaminated. Haven't you heard the warnings from health shows telling you to limit your fish intake? And pregnant women shouldn't eat fish at all because of the mercury? Gross! And scary! I'll take the Flax...thanks. The negative side is that the body must work a little harder to break down Flax Oil vs. Fish Oil. However, this process is boosted with the help of supplement #2 the Vegetarian Digestive Aid. I purchase a bottle of 250 soft gels and it runs around $14.00. To read about both sides check out the website I used for more information.
So these are the 3 I take. I hope this was helpful. Have a great weekend!
Thursday, April 5, 2012
Happy Thursday! Tomorrow is Good Friday so today is my last day of the work week--nice! Yesterday was a good day at the office. For my co-worker's birthday our whole department went to a Mexican restaurant for lunch. I was so happy that I could eat there. I get all ala carte items at Mexican restaurants....black beans, salsa, tortilla chips, Mexican rice and all the hot sauce I want. I don't enjoy eating at most places because they don't offer anything to vegetarians--except a salad. It's usually a really boring salad too. I'm lucky to work with a group of people who always consider my vegan diet when deciding what or where to eat.
What's on the menu tonight? Stuffed Shells! Yum! This healthy dish is so easy to make and I cut the preparation time in half by purchasing egg-free pasta shells and organic marinara sauce (I can't always make everything from scratch).
-Extra virgin olive oil
-5 cloves of garlic, minced
-3 baby bella mushrooms
-1 portion of Tofu Ricotta (view the recipe here)
-1 cup of nutritional yeast (add to the tofu ricotta recipe)
-3 handfuls of spinach
-1/2 tbsp of basil
-1/2 tbsp of oregano
-1 box of Ronzoni Jumbo Shells
-1 1/2 cups of Emeril's Homestyle Organic Marinara
-1 roma tomato, sliced into small pieces
-1/4 cup of kalamata olives
-Salt and pepper as needed
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Boil a large pot of water and cook shells as directed on the box (subtract a few minutes to ensure it's al dente...I did 10 minutes)
2. Put shells to the side for later
3. In a large skillet, heat 2 tbsp of oil and combine the garlic and mushrooms to cook for 2 minutes. Then add spinach and cook for another 2 minutes. Turn off heat.
|Spinach, Mushroom and Garlic|
5. In a 9 x 12 glass dish, scoop a small spoonful of the ricotta mixture into each shell and repeat until pan is full
6. Top with marinara, sliced tomato and olives
7. Cover pan with tinfoil and cook for 20 minutes and you're done!
Monday, April 2, 2012
Good morning and happy Monday! I hope you had a wonderful weekend. Hubs and I went out to eat twice this weekend which is something we rarely do living a vegan lifestyle. Restaurants in our area do not offer a lot of healthy options, but we were lucky enough to find a great Thai place for Friday's dinner and an Indian place for Sunday's lunch. Thank goodness I cook at home as much as I do because otherwise this lifestyle would be much more challenging.
Saturday I picked up a new hobby--golf! Hubs loves to golf and has been going to the course every weekend now that the weather is beautiful almost everyday. I didn't take any action shots just yet because I'm still learning but managed to take a shot while being a passenger in the truck on the way to the course.
I shot 5 on a par 3 my first hole ever! Craig was proud but I still wasn't sure exactly what I had accomplished. I learn very quickly so was able to pick up the basics after just a few hours. It was fun--I had a Bloody Mary and got some sun too! Bonus!
We made this smoothie Saturday morning to fuel our long day at the course.
-4 1/2 cups of ice
-1/4 cup of Pomegranate juice
-3/4 cup of Acai Superfood juice (see picture below)
-1 organic banana
-1 pear (cut in half remove seeds and stem)
-2 handfuls of spinach
-2 tbsp of flax seed
1. Pulse ice first in blender 3-4 times to break up
2. Add all juices, then fruits, and top with the flax
3. Blend well and you're done!
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Hola! Another Spanish dish is coming your way courtesy of Vegan WifeStyle. The sauce is made from scratch and so are the refried beans. This may take some time but the recipe includes tons of leftovers (6 large enchiladas) and it is worth the wait.
-6 soft flour tortillas
-1 can organic pinto beans
-1 can organic black beans
-1 can organic fire roasted tomatoes
-1 can organic tomato paste
-1 tbsp of red pepper flakes
-1/2 cup of organic vegetable broth
-1/2 tsp of All Spice
-3 cloves of garlic, minced
-1 green pepper, chopped
-1 cup of mushrooms, chopped
-1 pinch of cinnamon
-1/2 fresh squeezed lime
-1 tsp garlic powder
-1 tsp seasoning salt
-1 organic zucchini
-1 cup carrots, chopped
1. Drain both cans of beans and combine to a medium saucepan on medium, cover and heat while preparing the other ingredients. Also preheat oven to 375 degrees
2. Add the roasted tomatoes, tomato paste, jalapeno, red pepper, broth, allspice and minced garlic to a food processor and blend
3. When beans seem soft and heated, mash with a hand masher 1-2 minutes. Combine with mushrooms, zuchini, carrots, salt, garlic powder, lime juice, green pepper and cinnamon to the beans
4. Grease a large baking dish. Pour a little sauce to cover the bottom of the pan
5. Fill each tortilla with a large spoonful of the bean mixture, wrap and place in baking dish. Repeat 5 more times. Add the remaining sauce over top
6. Cover with tin foil and cook for 20-25 minutes, tortillas should start to brown. Sprinkle a little vegan cheese on top and you're done!
Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Here is a recipe I used last night and it was served with Seven Grain Crispy Fingers from the company Gardein (see picture below). This quick dish takes about 10 minutes to make. I also have enough leftover for my lunch today.
-1 cup of dry orzo pasta
-1/2 cup of baby bella mushrooms, chopped
-1 roma tomato, chopped (about 3/4 cup)
-1/2 cup of kalamata olives
-3/4 cup of broccoli, chopped
-3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
-1 tbsp of balsamic vinegar
-1 tbsp of red wine vinegar
-1 tsp of garlic powder
-1 tsp of fresh basil
-salt and pepper to taste
1. Cook orzo as directed on the box. However, cook a few minutes less than instructed to keep the pasta "al dente" which is the perfect texture for pasta salad
2. Combine mushrooms, tomato, olives and broccoli to a large bowl
3. Combine oil, vinegars, garlic, basil, salt and pepper to a separate bowl
4. Add cooked rice to the dry mixture. Then add dressing. Lightly toss and you're done!
Friday, March 23, 2012
Happy Friday everyone! Woohoo it's almost the weekend. Just 8 more hours of work and I'm hittin' the beach first thing tomorrow morning! I made these last night because I was craving italian food. I made the dish a little different by using multi grain bread and adding kalamata olives.
Printer Friendly Recipe Here
-2 large roma tomatoes, chopped
-2 cloves of garlic, minced
-1 tbsp of organic olive oil, and extra to drizzle later
-1 teaspoon of balsamic vinegar
-2 tbsp of fresh basil, chopped
-1/2 baguette of Multi Grain French Bread (about 14 pieces)
-1/2 cup of kalamata olives, chopped
-Salt and Pepper as needed
1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees
2. Slice bread into 14 pieces, about 1 inch thick and place on greased baking pan
3. Toast bread for 3 minutes to lightly toast
4. Add tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, vinegar, basil, olives, salt and pepper to a large bowl
5. Toss and use a spoon to add 1 1/2 tbsp of bruschetta to each piece of bread
6. Drizzle olive oil over all the slices (about 2 tbsp total)
7. Place in oven for 4 minutes to toast and you're done!
Monday, March 19, 2012
Try this smoothie if you're not ready for my recipes including tofu. This one is full of fruit, and only fruit.
-1 1/2 bananas
-2 cups of frozen blueberries
-1 cup of Amazon OJ with Acai
-1 4oz. container of O'Soy Strawberry yogurt
-1 cup of frozen blueberries
-2 1/2 cups of strawberries
-1 cup of ice
1. Chop ice first in a blender
2. Add remaining ingredients, blend and enjoy!
Sunday, March 18, 2012
Aye Caramba! This guacamole tastes so fresh and is perfect with spicy salsa and some baked tortilla chips. You'll spend about 10 minutes in the kitchen whipping this up. Keep in mind, when shopping for avocados look for ones that are turning from a dark green color to almost black. Squeeze them and if they are slightly soft they're ready to be made into a dip. If you purchase bright green avocados they will be too tough in texture.
-2 avocados, peeled
-1 roma tomato
-1 clove of garlic
-half of a lime, cut into fours
-1/4 tsp of cumin
-1/2 tsp of cilantro
-salt and pepper as needed
1. Peel avocados and cut off stem of the jalapeno
2. Combine all ingredients to a large bowl and mix with a fork (I like mine a little chunky)
3. Squeeze fresh lime juice on top and you're done!
Friday, March 16, 2012
My first uploaded Seitan recipe to go with my “Green” theme this week! I know I know, it’s not an Irish dish. But it has a lot of green ingredients so I thought it was appropriate. Seitan is a great meat substitute for Asian inspired dishes. All the flavors work so well together.
-1 Large Head of Lettuce (I used Romaine because it has a good “taco” shape for the wraps)
-1 box of Seitan (see pic below)
-1 serving of my Thai sauce (see the recipe here)
-2 cups of broccoli, chopped
-2 cups of shredded carrot
-1/4 cup of fresh scallions, chopped
-2 tbsp of vegetable oil
-fried rice noodles, as needed
-sesame seeds, as needed
2. Add Seitan and cook 2 minutes
3. Then Broccoli, cook 5 minutes until bright green and still firm
4. Next the carrots, cook another 2 minutes until bright orange and still slightly firm
5. Add more oil if needed, just a touch
6. Add my sauce and cook 1 minute then top with scallions
7. Scoop desired amount of mix to romaine “taco”, top off with noodles and sesame seeds and you’re done!
Thursday, March 15, 2012
MmMmm Zucchini Bread! I hope you enjoy my next “Green” dish for the week to celebrate the holiday. This is the healthiest version I could come up with. It came out so moist with a hint of sweetness—and I added my secret ingredient. Instead of using an egg substitute that can make the bread a bit dry I substituted organic applesauce. Keep in mind it will have to cook longer in the oven than other breads because the applesauce will make the texture mushy if it’s not cooked correctly. The recipe serves 10…or 1 hungry husband and 2 pups :-)
-1 ½ cups of King Arthur’s Organic Whole Wheat Flour
-1/2 cup of Organic Evaporated Cane Sugar (add more if needed)
-1/4 tsp baking soda
-1/2 tsp baking powder
-1/4 tsp salt
-2 tsp cinnamon
-2 large organic zucchinis
-1 small container of organic apple sauce (4 ounces)
-1/4 cup of vegetable oil
-1 ½ tsp of vanilla extract
-1/4 cup of walnuts, crushed
2. Mix flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon in a large mixing bowl
3. Peel the zucchinis and cut into small pieces. With a hand masher, do as best you can to slightly mash up the zucchini (similar with the “Nana” Nut Mini Muffins)
4. Mix zucchini, apple sauce, vegetable oil and vanilla in a separate bowl. Mix well and add to flour bowl
5. Add crushed walnuts
6. Bake for at least 45 minutes, or until you can stick a knife into the bread and it comes out clean. You may have to cook a little longer because of the applesauce. Keep checking every 5 minutes after the initial baking time to ensure it becomes the right consistency. Trust me it’s worth the wait!
Monday, March 12, 2012
Going with my green theme this week I made Seitan Lettuce Wraps! I'll be posting the recipe soon, but first I wanted to give you the sauce I created to top off the dish.
-1 tbsp of red pepper flakes (feel free to use 1/2 for less spice...these are spicy!)
-1/2 cup of rice vinegar
-3/4 cup of evaporated cane sugar
-1/2 cup of water
-3 tbsp of fish sauce
-4 cloves of garlic, minced
-2 1/2 tbsp of corn starch
-fresh lime juice (I used half of one)
-3 tbsp of less sodium soy sauce
1. Add red pepper, vinegar, sugar, fish sauce, garlic, soy sauce and lime juice to a small saucepan. Heat at medium heat to combine all flavors (*you will add this to the Seitan later)
2. Add water and corn starch in a separate bowl and mix until corn starch is completely dissolved into the water, then add to the sauce pan
3. Allow 3-4 minutes for sauce to thicken
3. Taste the sauce before adding it to any dish. Remember you're the chef--if you think it needs to be more sweet add more sugar. If you think it's not spicy enough add more chili flakes. If you don't taste any salt add more soy sauce. If you prefer the sauce to be thicker, add more corn starch
Now it's ready to add to any Asian inspired dish. Yum Yum
The countdown to St. Patrick's Day is on and I'm giving you my second "Green" recipe for the week! These vegan doughnuts are delicious and take about 15 minutes to make. I would invest in a doughnut pan (see picture below) to make this dish. They're inexpensive and make the process so much easier.
Printer Friendly Version Here
-1 cup of King Arthur's Whole Wheat Flour
-1 cup of King Arthur's All Purpose Flour
-1/2 cup of evaporated cane sugar
-2 teaspoons of baking powder
-1 "egg" of Ener-G Egg Replacer
-3/4 cup of Almond Milk
-1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
-1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
-1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg
-green food coloring, as needed
-4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
-2 cups of vegan chocolate chips
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees
2. In a large bowl add flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and nutmeg
3. In another bowl combine egg replacer, milk, vanilla, and olive oil. Once mixed combine with flour mixture
4. Grease donut pan, then add desired green food coloring to doughnut batter
5. Fill each hole 2/3 way with batter
6. Bake for 7-9 minutes (once you can stick a toothpick in and it comes out clean, it's done)
7.Allow doughnuts to cool and put chocolate chips in microwave safe dish for a 1 minute 30 seconds
8. Mix chocolate with a fork. Take each doughnut and dunk just the top into the chocolate. Repeat with all doughnuts and then you're done!
Sunday, March 11, 2012
Happy St. Patrick's Day!! Well actually the holiday is a week away but I'm celebrating early. I'll be uploading "Green" vegan recipes all week long in honor of St. Patrick. The first is my St. Patrick's Day Pesto which is inspired from vegan chef Chloe Coscarelli, although I have changed a few things and made it my own. See my Today Show Post for the original recipe. The "secret ingredient" in this recipe is Avocado which is where the creaminess comes from. Best of all it's dairy free!
Printer Friendly Recipe Here
-1/3 cup of sunflower seeds
-6 cloves of garlic
-3 tbsp of lemon juice
-1 handful of fresh basil (or 1 cup of chopped basil)
-1 handful of fresh baby spinach
-1 cup of olive oil (add more if needed)
-2 avocados, peeled and pitted
-salt and pepper as needed
-Spaghetti (or any pasta of your choice)
1. Heat a large pot of water, add a teaspoon of salt and once it starts boiling, add spaghetti (this recipe matches perfectly with 8 oz. of pasta)
2. Cook spaghetti about 8 minutes or until al dente, then set aside for later
3. Add seeds, garlic, basil, spinach, oil, and avocados to a food processor and pulse until well blended and creamy
(If you don't have a food processor yet I recommend the KitchenAid KFP715WH 7-Cup Food Processor)
4. Add to pasta, coat evenly and you're done!