Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Vegan Dinner: Masala "Hurricane" Curry

Ok so Tropical Storm Isaac is set to hit near Pensacola soon...our office is now closed and I have off work for the day.

Yes! Time to cook! Naturally I thought dinner should be something spicy, creamy and "hurricane-y". Of course curry is the best choice. So here it is...


-1 Jar (25.5 oz) of Dave's Gourmet Masala Marinara Pasta Sauce 

(this sauce is great to use as your base and can be found at Publix)

-1 Can (13.66 oz) of Organic Thai Kitchen Unsweetened Coconut Milk

-2 tbsp of Thai Red Curry Paste 

(want more spice? add more paste...too spicy? add more coconut milk)

-1 large potato, skinned and chopped

-2 cups broccoli, chopped

-1 1/2 cups carrot, chopped

-2 cups cauliflower, chopped

-1 zucchini, chopped (2 cups)

-1 can Organic Garbanzo Beans, drained

-Basmati Rice, cooked


1. Heat a large pot on the stove and set to medium heat

2. Add masala sauce, coconut milk and curry paste. Determine desired spice before adding any vegetables

3. Chopped your veggies while the sauce begins to cook

4. Add potato, broccoli, carrot, cauliflower, zucchini and then the beans

5. Cover the pot and cook for a total of 35 minutes (20 at med heat and 15 at med-low heat). Stir occasionally to avoid sticking

6. Serve over Basmati Rice and you're done!



Monday, August 13, 2012

Vegan Side: Clementine Sauce

I'm inspired once again! During my lunch break at work I came across this little gem in Good Housekeeping. An article titled, "Fun ways to cook with...Fresh Citrus".

Hmm...I currently didn't know of any fun ways to cook with citrus so I thought I'd give it a try. 

Later on that day I couldn't seem to locate the tangerines at the grocery store. Most people would ask someone for help...but I just grabbed a bag of clementines and figured "what the heck it will taste just as good". And it did! So easy to make and it goes great on top of grilled veggies.


-3 clementines, peeled and separated into segments

-1 1/2 cups clementine juice (this took almost the whole bag but it's worth the time)

-1 tsp. evaporated cane sugar

-1/8 tsp. red chili flakes

-4 tbsp. vegan butter (Earth Balance)

-1/4 tsp. salt

-Pepper, as needed


1. Place juice, sugar and chili flakes in a medium skillet, bring to a boil over high heat

2. Allow juice to reduce to half then turn heat to low

3. Add butter, salt and pepper

4. Remove the sauce from heat and add the segmented clementines

Lesson learned...fresh citrus IS fun to cook with!



Sunday, August 12, 2012

Hair Products: What to Buy?

Looking for something not tested on animals but also affordable? Check out some of these products I'm a big fan of and use everyday.

Arbonne is a company that's been around since 1980 and produces botanically based products that are "Pure, Safe and Beneficial". All the products are Vegan-Certified, contain no animal by-products, no Formaldehyde-donating preservatives nor Parabens.

Arbonne Body Cleanser, Shampoo and Conditioner

Other than hair care products, Arbonne offers nutrition and weight loss products that are also Vegan-Certified, Gluten-free and contain no artificial colors, flavors or sweeteners. Click here to learn how the company reduces it's Carbon Footprint.

Another company I'm a big fan of is Joico because of their strong commitment to No Animal Testing. Wondering how they test the safety of their products? The company uses safe, raw materials during development and if needed the patch test is completed on human volunteers under a physician's supervision. Click here to learn more about the company's Eco-mmitment.

Joico's Shampoo, Conditioner and Styling Oil

Since I'm covering the topic of hair care products I'd like to make a shout out to a dear friend who is also my hairstylist, Rebecca Taylor.  She is extremely talented and is well known in the biz for her editorial work. Check out her video below to get a glimpse of her talent in action.



Thursday, August 9, 2012

Vegan Dinner: Fried Bean Quesadillas

I had to give myself a big pat on the back for this one....DELICIOUS. Mucho delicioso. I've been longing for a cheesy quesadilla. This dish satisfied my craving and then some.

End of the Line is a local vegan place in Downtown Pensacola. They make their own cheese and sell it to customers for an affordable price ($5.00 for a small order and $10.00 for a large). The base of the cheese is crushed cashews...who knew? I called Thursday and it was ready to go the next day. Pepperjack and Gouda...I was so excited! The first dish that came to my mind was some homemade quesadillas. So here it is folks...all fresh ingredients and bangin'!


-7 corn tortillas

-1 15 oz. can of organic pinto beans (low sodium)

-1 15 oz. can of organic black beans (low sodium)

- 1 tbsp. minced garlic

-2 tsp chili flakes

-1 tsp cayenne pepper

-1/2 tsp salt

-1/2 tsp pepper

-1/2 green pepper, chopped

-1 jalapeno, chopped (with seeds)

-1 roma tomato, chopped

-1 3.8 oz can of black olives

-1 bunch of fresh cilantro

-extra virgin olive oil (as needed to keep tortillas from sticking)

-vegan sour cream (as needed, Tofutti brand)

-Vegan Pepperjack Cheese (as needed, grated)


1. Add pinto beans and blacks beans into large pot, heat to medium

2. Add garlic, chili flakes, cayenne, salt and pepper

3. Cover, turn heat to low-medium and cook for 10 minutes

4. Drain the excess liquid and set aside

5. Combine tomatoes, green pepper, jalapeno and olives into a large bowl

6. Heat large skillet to med heat with 1/2 tbsp of olive oil (just barely enough to grill the tortillas)

7. Add 1 tortilla, scoop 1/3 cup of beans onto tortilla, scoop 1/3 cup of the toppings onto the beans, sprinkle with vegan cheese and cilantro (do this rather quickly so you don't burn the tortilla)

8. With a spatula, turn 1 side of the tortilla onto the other side (creating a half moon shape, see photo)

9. Cook another 30 seconds then remove and set aside

10. Repeat 6 more times (there will be enough beans and toppings for 7 large quesadillas)



Friday, August 3, 2012

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

Betty White

She's 90 years old and at the top of her career. How does she have the energy? Oh she's vegan by the way. Do I need to say more? Freakin' 90!

Her diet and comedy career aside she is most appreciated for her animal activism.

According to a recent GW Today article, White stated during an interview at George Washington University’s Lisner Auditorium, "I have to stay in show business to pay for my animal business". 

Among many other things, White creates awareness for all zoos in order to save animals on the brink of extinction. She went on to say she supports "providing a home for those who’ve lost theirs—often because of humans who steal away their native habitats".

She recently released a book titled Betty & Friends: My Life at the Zoo. 

This lil' lady is my hero. And she's funny too. You go girl!



(photos courtesy of Crushable.com, andersoncooper.com and nbclosangeles.com)