Saturday, August 30, 2014

Joe Valo Is My Soulmate

I could write over a million reasons why I love Joe and why I believe he is my soulmate, however, the love he and I have is beyond priceless. Words can only express and project so much. One thing is certain, we have something special and that something continues to grow more each and everyday.
The yoke of inauspicious stars, that shine effortlessly through the day and the night. Shakespeare once said "What's in a name, that which we call rose, by any other name would smell as sweet." The good and pleasurable things that life brings are unexpected and unpredictable. A plethora of euphoria that is controlled by light and lasts all through the night. Love is never rough, never rude, never crude, nor should it hurt, but it can prick like a thorn.
Read my love story here.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Happy Burger Day: Veggie Burgers

 Today is "Happy Burger Day" so I decided to share with you some veggie burgers that I have prepared. As a lacto-ovo vegetarian (occasional vegan), it's only appropriate. I love making them, so I am always getting creative. Until the next time. Enjoy friends!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

National Pancake Day: Cinnamon Swirl Pancakes

Today is "National Pancake Day". When it comes to making fluffy, delicious pancakes, the key ingredient is using almond milk (and if you suffer from an allergy, use soy milk) instead of eggs and vegan butter instead of dairy butter. Adding some carbonation into the mix is always good, as well. I like to use Zevia's Cream Soda simply because it's a healthier alternative to many.
To create a very flavorful yet yummy cinnamon sauce, try using ground cinnamon mixed with stevia, vegan butter, and almond milk. If you suffer from a nut allergy, just use soy milk. The glaze should always be sweet, but not sickening sweet to the level where it overpowers the dish. Daiya Cream Cheese, vegan butter, and stevia always works great. Add some coconut cream for a creamier texture.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Baked Gourmet Macaroni & Cheese

Continuing "National Macaroni & Cheese Day" with my signature Gourmet Baked Macaroni & Cheese. Aside from making your pasta from scratch, a tip to make this cheesy dish delicious is to use sharp cheddar cheese instead of regular cheddar cheese and to use plain Greek Yogurt as a substitute for Milk. Also use vegan butter like Earth Balance instead of regular butter or oil. Also, before baking, you only want to boil your pasta until it is soft, not al dente.

National Mac n' Cheese Day: French Macaroni & Cheese

French Macaroni & Cheese with Muenster Cheese, Havarti Cheese, Brie Cheese, and Greek Yogurt (plain/unsweetened) cooked with Earth Balance Butter.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

MTV 2014 VMAs

MTV hosts an award show every year to honor the greatest talent in popular music. With an array of categories and awards, recipients are honored for their contributions to music. I am not a psychic, so I cannot predict who will win, however, I do have quite a few that I can see taking home the moon man. So, who do I think will win a VMA?

Video Of The Year
Wrecking Ball by Miley Cyrus

Best Male Video
All Of Me by John Legend

Best Female Video
Dark Horse by Katy Perry featuring Juicy J

Artist To Watch
Stay With Me by Sam Smith

Best Pop Video
Fancy by Iggy Azalea featuring Charlie XCX

Best Rock Video
Until It's Gone by Linkin Park

Best Hip Hop Video
Berzerk by Eminem

MTV Clubland Award
Turn Down For What by Lil Jon featuring DJ Snake (Check out my interview with Lil Jon here)

Best Collaboration
Timber by Pitbull featuring Kesha

Best Direction
Turn Down For What by Lil Jon featuring DJ Snake (If you haven't read my interview with Lil Jon, you can by clicking here)

Best Choreography
Love Never Felt So Good by Michael Jackson and Justin Timberlake (RIP Michael Jackson)

Best Visual Effects
Turn Down For What by Lil Jon featuring DJ Snake (Don't forget to check out my exclusive interview with Lil Jon here)

Best Art Direction
Turn Down For What by Lil Jon featuring DJ Snake

Best Editing
Pretty Hurts by Beyoncé

Best Cinematography
City Of Angels by Thirty Seconds To Mars

Best Video With A Social Message
Pretty Hurts by Beyoncé

Best Lyric Video
Really Don't Care by Demi Lovato featuring Cheryl Lloyd

I am looking forward to watching Nicki Minaj perform her latest hit Anaconda, along with the other talented artists tonight. Are you going to watch? If so, tune into the 31st Annual MTV Video Music Awards tonight on MTV at 9 PM EST (6 PM PST).

Thursday, August 21, 2014

National Spumoni Day: Spumoni Cheesecake

Today is "National Spumoni Day". Spumoni is simply a traditional Italian dessert that consists of three flavors such as pistachio (green), cherry (red), and vanilla (white) to mimic the colors of the Italian flag. Often containing fruits and nuts, it is popular amongst Italians all around the world.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Food Talk: Exclusive Interview with Gardein

When it comes to enjoying amazing vegetarian food, gardein is definitely one of the best there is. In fact, it is a personal favorite of mine. Recently, I had the chance to speak with the CEO and founder of Gardein, Yves Potvin about the brand. Here is what he had to say...

(Q) Tell me a little more about the gardein brand...
gardein (garden + protein) is a sustainable protein brand that creates deliciously meaty foods made from plants. We offer mouthwatering products that are good for you and good for the planet. Our product line-up includes 23 different products, ranging from beefless tips, golden fishless filets, as well as, awarding winning favorites such as seven grain crispy tenders and crispy chick’n sliders, and a selection of limited edition holiday items (Turk’y Holiday Roast stuffed with Wild Rice and Cranberries with traditional gravy). Breakfast, lunch and dinner are covered for anyone who wants to incorporate great tasting, plant-based protein into their diet.

(Q) Behind every great product lies a major source of influence. What inspired you to create this plant-protein brand?
I was inspired to create healthier, sustainable versions of foods people love to eat that offer real meat-like taste and texture I’ve always believed that plant protein should be at the center of every plate. It shouldn’t have to feel like a sacrifice to swap meatless options into your diet. We launched gardein in 2009 and have since become the fastest growing brand in the category. My goal is to continue developing new convenient and versatile plant-based proteins to feed the rising demand for healthier meat options. I feel it has never been easier to make the change in your diet for better health and a better environment.

(Q) It is evident that Gardein is made from plants, but is gardein free of genetically modified organisms (or GMOs)?
Yes, the soy protein and wheat in all our products are non-GMO We are currently enrolled with the Non-GMO Project and hope to be 100% non-gmo in the near future.

(Q) I absolutely love the 'Beefless Tips' however; everything I have tried by gardein has been fantastic. What are your current best sellers?
We love hearing that you love gardein! Of course we make delicious beefless items, but we’re so much more. We currently offer 23 products and to date, some of our most popular items are: the gardein golden fishless filet, which is our newest product, but already a fan favorite. It’s a cholesterol free, great-tasting protein that is rich in flavor and texture and provides 32 mg of EPA and DHA Omega-3 fatty acids. The gardein seven grain crispy tenders which provide a good source of protein with 8g per serving, no trans-fat and are ready in only 10 minutes! The gardein mandarin orange crispy chick’n is another favorite and a good source of protein with 17g per serving. It also comes with a sweet and tangy sauce. The gardein crispy chick’n sliders are perfect as a snack or meal, each meat-free slider comes with a bun and delivers 11g of protein and only 190 calories per serving. In addition this Item won Better Homes & Gardens Magazine Best New Product of 2014 as voted by consumers. The gardein ultimate beefless burger is ready in as little as 8 minutes and this beefless burger is made with 65% less fat than a beef burger.

(Q) Talking about the health benefits, what are the benefits of eating Gardein?
Eating meatless, even just one day a week, is the simplest way to improve your overall health. gardein has less fat than traditional proteins and no cholesterol, which can reduce the risk of obesity, cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. gardein also provides a good source of protein and fiber.

(Q) How do you flavor your products? I have to ask, the yeast extract that you use in your products, is it MSG or non-MSG?
While we won’t give away the secret to how we create such tasty treats, we can say confidently that there is no MSG in our product and we use non-MSG yeast extract to enhance gardein’s flavor. I was trained as a traditional French chef and understand that flavor is everything. Over the past 30 years, I have dedicated my career specifically to perfecting the taste and texture of plant-based foods.

(Q) Is it true that if you eat one less meat burger, it's like taking your car off the road for 320 miles? And if an entire family of 4 stops eating red meat for a week, it's like taking the car off the road for 3 months? Tell me a little more about these statistical facts...
Yes! gardein is making the world a better place, one meatless meal at a time. Many people don’t know that cutting back on meat just one day of the week, while beneficial to your health, has a drastic impact on the environment. One of the biggest environmental impacts of a meat-eating diet is the depletion of natural resources, specifically the consumption of large amounts of water for livestock production. Today, with more than 17 billion livestock in the world, that’s about triple the number of people, raising these animals requires huge amounts of water! Most of the water is used to irrigate the grains and hay to feed these animals – it can take up to 15 times as much water to raise animals compared to farming plants for food supply. Also, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations recently published a report stating that the livestock sector generates more greenhouse gas emissions than transportation.

(Q) What is your stance on animal cruelty?
We believe all animals deserve to be treated in a humane and compassionate manner. We support and applaud the efforts of the multitude of organizations bringing awareness and affecting policy change including PETA, HSUS, Mercy for Animals and Sea Shepherd.

(Q) I think a lot of your fans (like myself) want to know what products you are going to be coming out with next. The question remains, what is next for Gardein?
You’ll have to wait and see! We are always developing new protein innovations, new flavors and new categories to meet consumer’s culinary preferences. I can’t tell you what will be next, but I can tell you they will be tasty!

(Q) For those people considering the vegetarian or vegan eating lifestyle, what advice do you have for them?
Today, eating better for you protein is easier than ever. We suggest incorporating meat options, such as plant-based proteins, like gardein, into your diet slowly. Try eliminating meat once a week for Meatless Monday. Another great way to cut back on meat is to swap out the meat from your favorite meal with a plant-based options. Our website offers great meatless recipes that deliver tasty and filling meals.
For more information about gardein, please visit today.