Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Vegan Dinner: Marinated Vegetable Skewers


Happy Hump Day! One more day and we are off to CANADA....aye? So excited! I've been to Canada once when I was little to visit Niagara Falls but this is the first time visiting since I've grown up. Be sure to check out the next post when I get back...it's gonna be a good one.

Dinner was simple...some marinated skewers cooked in the oven and fresh corn on the side. For the first time I used Gardein "Beef" Tips. My verdict? I enjoy the "Chicken Tenders" from the brand much more but the dish was still very tasty. I'm warning you though...watch the skewers! I must've poked myself at least 5 times. Zero fun.


Ingredients:

-8 wooden skewers

-2 red skin potatoes (cut into large chunks, see picture above)

-1/2 red onion

-Gardein Beefless Tips (3 pieces for each skewer)

-2 cups of organic cherry tomatoes

-12 small heads of broccoli

-2 yellow squash

-1 zucchini

-1 cup of peeled organic garlic (about 4 pieces each skewer)

-1 portion of my Sweet Thai Chili Sauce

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees, set aside a non stick pan and cover with tin foil

2. Take each skewer and evenly distribute vegetables like so: zuchinni, tomato, onion, garlic, 2 meats, garlic, squash, broccoli, tomato, potato, meat

3. After filling 8 skewers, marinate each with Thai Sauce using a baster

4. Cover with tin foil and cook for 15 minutes

5. Keep checking the dish and once the potatoes are cooked through you're done! Serve with fresh corn and couscous

Enjoy!

-Joanna

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Celebrity Celery: Which Vegan Celeb did I Stalk this Week?


Michael Clarke Duncan

Thank you, thank you, thank you! Finally a fitness celebrity steps up to prove all the skeptics wrong. Michael Clarke Duncan (the seriously HUGE guy from the movie The Green Mile) has recently appeared in a PETA ad promoting a Vegetarian lifestyle stating he too is Vegan. He even makes a shout out to the men and women who only think muscle is built from meat protein. Duncan, who is 51 and dating ex-Apprentice Omarosa, became concerned with his health and as a result turned to a plate-based diet 3 years ago. He is so satisfied with the results he wants to spread the word.

He states in the video below, "The best thing about being a vegetarian for me, number one is I know I'm not harming any animals. The number two thing is increased strength. I'm a lot stronger than I was when I was eating meat."

Shawn Bannon who works for PETA states the actor was his favorite interview since working for the animal-friendly company. Yay for Shawn too!



I think this picture says it all. He's definitely saying, "Eat your veggies or I'll kick your ass." I'll keep stalking this one!

 

Enjoy!

-Joanna

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Vegan Dinner: Butternut Squash Chickpea Cakes


Yay it’s Saturday! Ah I love Saturdays…relaxing, going to a movie with Hubs and playing with the pups.

Hubs and I recently went to the scenic state of Virginia for a lil’ mini vacation. I had the opportunity to view the union of my highschool bestie Kristi and her love John and the ceremony could not have been more beautiful—they’re own vows, on top of a mountain, on the hill of winery as the sun was setting. Absolutely gorgeous!! Virginia really IS for lovers.



 Above is a picture of us at happy hour….everyone loves a good happy hour! Before the ceremony, when the invitations arrived at our home we had the chance to choose a vegetarian option for our dinner during the reception. (ya know…choose one 1. Steak 2. Chicken 3. Vegetarian). It’s always a mystery what the “Vegetarian” plate will be. Little did we know it would be DELICIOUS! The plate arrived and it was a huge grilled Chickpea cake with a creamy sauce drizzled on top, served with asparagus and mashed potatoes. Once again I’m inspired and thinking “I could totally make this”. When we got home I opened my trusty Skinny Bitch Cookbook and there it was, titled Curried Chickpea Cakes, page 191. I made a few adjustments to make it my own, naturally. Not bad right?



Ingredients:

-1 can of organic chickpeas (15 oz), drained

-equal parts butternut squash, cut into small squares

-3 scallions, sliced and diced

-1/2 cup of coconut milk

-2 tsp of organic evaporated cane sugar

-2 “eggs” of Ener-G egg replacer

-2/3 organic breadcrumbs, set aside extra for later

-1 tsp of salt

-1/2 tsp of nutmeg

-1 tsp curry powder

-1/2 tsp cumin

-2 tbsp of sesame oil

Directons:

1.       Start with the butternut squash. Add water to a large pot and heat on high until boiling. Add squash, reduce heat to med-high and cook 10 minutes or until squash becomes soft

2.       Mash with a hand-masher until all lumps are gone and mixture is smooth

3.       In a microwave safe dish cook chickpeas 3 minutes or until soft. Mash with a handmasher and combine to squash

4.       Add remaining ingredients except sesame oil (Note: Be sure to stir the egg replacer and water first then let it settle in a separate cup before combining to the mix)

5.       Heat sesame oil in a large skillet on med-high heat

6.       With the cake mixture, use your hands to make 2 x 2 inch balls and form them into cakes. Add some breadcrumbs and then place in skillet, 3-4 at a time (Note: If cakes start to fall apart, add more Ener-G Egg Replacer to the mixture)

7.       Cook both sides  about 4 minutes until brown and set aside. Repeat until mixture is gone and you're done!

Enjoy!

-Joanna

My son and I May 2013, Photo by Nedas Notions

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Vegan Breakfast: Grilled Veggie Hashbrowns


Busy morning? No excuse! I had a busy morning too. Hubs was feeling under the weather so I whipped these up in about 15 minutes. All you need is some fresh vegetables (any will do), organic olive oil and some potatoes.



Ingredients:

-3 red skinned potatoes, peeled and shredded (I used a cheese grater)

(no time? skip the potatoes and use Cascadian Farms Organic Hashbrowns)

-3 tbsp of organic olive oil

-4 baby bella mushrooms, sliced

-1/4 of a red onion, diced

-1/4 of a green pepper, seeded and diced

-salt and pepper as needed

Directions:

1.       Heat  2 tbsp of oil in a large skillet under med-high heat
2.       Add potatoes and cook for 4 minutes
3.       Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a small/medium skillet under medium heat (continue to cook potatoes until lightly browned and crispy on both sides)
4.       Add onion and peppers and cook 4-6 minutes, until onions begin to caramelize and peppers begin to soften
5.       Add mushrooms, cook another 2 minutes
6.       Combine vegetables to hashbrowns, add salt and pepper to taste, serve with organic ketchup

Enjoy!

-Joanna

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Vegan Breakfast: Arbonne Mixed Berry Smoothie


A great way to start the morning. This smoothie made me full until lunchtime. The secret ingredient is Arbonne Vanilla Protein Powder. This stuff is amazing…22 grams of plant-based protein per serving, no soy, gluten-free and best of all….Vegan Certified!



Contact me if you interested in purchasing…Arbonne offers two flavors—chocolate and vanilla. View my profile here for contact information.


Ingredients:

-2 cups of frozen mixed fruit blend from Publix (peaches, mango, pineapple, grapes, and strawberries)

-1 ½ cups of Bolthouse Green Goddess juice

-1 packet of Arbonne Vanilla Protein Powder

-2 tbsp of flax seed

Directions:

Blend and you're done!

Enjoy!

-Joanna

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Celebrity Celery: Which Famous Vegan did I Stalk this Week?


Ellen Degeneres

Ah Ellen....a woman so effortlessly funny and intelligent it's not fair she's also a millionaire! She's the first celebrity vegan I've read about and I'm already hooked to her side of the vegan story.

Ellen and her wife, Portia De Rossi, have been living a vegan lifestyle since 2008 shortly after viewing the movie Earthlings. She states in this article, "We are just both very happy. It feels like such a compassionate choice. We are such animal lovers, why stop short of cows and chickens? It didn't make any sense." I just love when celebrities use their status for the greater good. Keep it up famous folks...because we're listening.

You go girls!!



Enjoy!

-Joanna

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Vegan Dinner: Drunken Noodles in a Cashew-Shiitake Broth


After scrolling through the latest Shape Issue (April 2012) during my lunch break today I came across this dish listed as the Recipe of the Month.


One of my favorite chefs Chloe Coscarelli has released a new cookbook titled Chloe's Kitchen and this recipe is listed inside. I did what I always do when I'm inspired...I ripped out the ad, brought it home and made it myself. The best part? I have the recipe for you! This soup has such a flavorful broth you'd have no idea you made it yourself! It's definitely restaurant qaulity.




Ingredients:

-1 10-ounce package of dried Udon noodles

-1/4 cup of roasted cashews, chopped

-2 tbsp of organic olive oil

-3/4 cup of dried shiitake mushrooms, chopped

-3 scallions, sliced

-4 garlic cloves, minced

-1 tbsp ginger, minced

-1 jalapeno, chopped finely, no seeds

-5 cups organic vegetable broth

-1 tbsp of rice vinegar

-1 tbsp of sesame oil

-4 tsp of cilantro



Directions:

1. Cook the noodles as directed on the packaging and set aside for later

2. Pour olive oil into a large pot and heat under med-high heat

3. Add the shiitake mushrooms and scallions, cook 5 minutes

4. Mix in seasonings--garlic, ginger, jalapeno, and cayenne. Cook 2 minutes

5. Add broth and continue to heat until the soup is boiling, then add noodles and reduce heat to low

6. Let the soup simmer for about 10 minutes

7. Add the vinegar and sesame oil, then extra salt (if needed)

8. Top each serving with cashews and cilantro and you're done!

Enjoy!

-Joanna