Showing posts with label Food. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Food. Show all posts

Monday, October 1, 2018

First Dinner of October 2018

If you are a regular reader of my blog, you will know that I am always innovative in the kitchen and if you know me already, you know how much I love to cook. Tonight is no exception. As today is the first day of October, I decided to treat myself to a classic yet amplified version of the classic veggie burger utilizing organic baby arugula, red onion, and homemade thousand island dressing (which consists of buttermilk, a little bit of mayonnaise and some ketchup) on a homemade sweet pineapple roll which I toasted using only butter.

The veggie burgers were beer battered with butter before I placed them on the other side of the bun, which was also toasted. I wanted something a little extra to this vegetarian comfort food so I took the liberties of adding some classic veggie bacon which was also beer battered in butter.

Amazing right?

And that is not all. To cheese it up, I used mozzarella and butter in a hot pan followed by a teaspoon of cream to melt the cheese down before drenching both the bacon and burger in it (the cheese that is). I added some of the cheese to the bottom bun for good measure and to make it that much more appealing. Who doesn't love cheese?

I didn't add anything else to the veggie burgers, but did enjoy them with Perrier mineral water. This is 100% vegetarian. You could create a vegan version of this using plant-based cheese and sauces instead of dairy.

Monday, May 9, 2016

The Jackfruit Company

The Jackfruit Company's BBQ Jackfruit in a simple
sandwich I created using vegan bread, avocado,
romaine lettuce and vegenaise.
Although I have been a vegan for a little over a month and love it, I am "silent" on the issue, as I may make a few suggestions to my family and friends sporadically, I will never push my views let alone how I choose to eat, on them. Will I continue eating vegan? I am seriously considering it. Before eating vegan, I was a vegetarian for over 10 years. This excludes the vegetarian binges I would have in my early teens into my early 20's.
 
Recently, when shopping at Whole Foods, I discovered an amazing vegan addition on the shelf, The Jackfruit Company BBQ Jackfruit. It comes pre-packaged and prepared, so all you have to do is break the seal and you are good to go. When reading the ingredients in the store, I was modestly impressed with the idea that this mock meat alternative was, in fact, made of jackfruit.
 
As you may or may not be aware, jackfruit is quite healthy and filled with an array of vitamins such as B1, B6, and C. It is also quite high in potassium and in magnesium. The seeds themselves are very rich in protein.
 
This incredible BBQ Jackfruit tomato-based blend consists of both sweet and savory with a hint of tangy spice and smoky mesquite. Made with young jackfruit, this amazing mock meat alternative includes: tomato paste, light brown sugar, vinegar, sunflower oil, onion, garlic, salt, natural flavor, red chili powder, ground black pepper, and ground white pepper.
 
Would I recommend this amazing mock meat alternative? Absolutely. Would I ever eat it again? Absolutely.
 
The Jackfruit Company offers four unique flavors. These flavors include: BBQ, Tex-Mex, Teriyaki and Curry. For more information, visit the official website today.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Earth Day: How a vegan diet can help save the planet

Vegan food haul from Whole Foods.
A vegan is someone who does not consume any animal products let alone any bi-products. A vegan does not eat meat or fish, as a vegan does not consume dairy, eggs and honey. Instead, a vegan consumes only plant-based foods. Although this eating lifestyle has proved to be effective in terms of improving one's health, there is scientific evidence that eating vegan can also help save our planet.
 

Did you know that the production of meat is the leading cause of climate change? According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, this fact was shared in the Livestock Long Shadow. Animal agriculture is the number one source of carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide and methane. These greenhouse gasses are responsible for over 50% of climate change according to World Watch. And according to PETA, if every American alone would skip one carnivore meal and ate plant-based food instead, it would be like taking half a million cars off the road. Factory farming causes more pollution than every single plane, ship, train and automobile in the world today. So, what does this do? It poisons our planet. The UN suggests eating a vegan diet will ultimately destroy the effects of climate change.

The production of meat is the #1 cause of water waste. Did you know that? Now, this is water that could be used to save the planet, as it has been scientifically proven that 70% of the earth's fresh water is used for agriculture of both plants and animals. Did you know that it takes over 2,000 gallons (2,400 gallons to be exact) to produce just one pound of meat? It only takes 25 gallons of water to produce a pound of wheat. According to PETA you would save more water by not eating a pound of meat than you would by not showering for six months. The facts are real. By going vegan you will simply conserve water.

Water pollution is simply contamination of our water. Everything from harsh chemicals to bacterial pathogens to even physical changes can cause pollution to our oceans, our lakes, our rivers, our streams and our aquifers. This form of pollution can also affect our groundwater producing toxins that spread. And according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), animal agriculture is the number one cause of water pollution. More so than raw sewage, trash, ammonia, phosphates and even heavy metals from motor vehicles. The ultimate cesspool of desolation and 400 dead zones alone have already been identified. You may ask, how so? It's simple, the feces from animals are flowing into the water and as a result, contaminating it and poisoning it. Water pollution also causes species endangerment and has caused birth defects in fish and other sentient beings who live under the sea. And according to the Raleigh News & Observer, in 1995 millions of gallons of waste from pigs killed 10 million fish alone in a single spill. As a result, almost 400,000 acres of land was forced to close.

Animal agriculture also depends on the rain forest and because of this, they must use over 50 square feet (55 square feet to be exact) for every single meal. As a result, this causes deforestation. Keep in mind, this is just for cattle to graze. Millions upon millions of trees have been destroyed to feed these responsive and innocent beings. According to PETA, the rain forest is entered every six seconds only to be cut down for factory farming. So, if you do the math that is over 14,000 of acres a day to create room for farmed animals. That is nearly 80% of the land deforested to feed innocent animals who will only die for your food source. For all of the food you feed to these animals, you could feed to your loved ones and even starving children around the world.

The beefless tips.
An amazing meat alternative by
Gardein.

If you have clothes to wear, a roof over your head and food to eat, you are still richer than over 70% of the planet. Choosing a vegan eating lifestyle would help destroy the concept of world hunger. Over 70% of grains grown is fed to animals only for those animals to be used as food source later. If you think about what an animal consumes and how they are treated, those who consume them later are very prone to what they have had to endure, including disease. Any pathogens including fecal coliform and other disease transfers to human beings. You can still obtain sufficient micro and macro nutrients from eating a plant-based diet. In fact, they would just increase. Consuming meat can cause an array of problematic health issues. If you think about it, animals are innocent beings and should never have to suffer for food, as humans should not want to ever put them into their mouth. Some of you may ask about where vegans get sources of B-12. We get our B-12 from fortified foods such as mock meats, non-
dairy milk and cereal as well as nutritional yeasts. According to National Center of Biotechnology Information, the B-12 present in meat comes from waste, bacteria and feces. 

Instead, you can enjoy your favorite carnivore classics as plant-based mock meat choices which are healthier and taste amazing. According to Yves Potvin, the CEO and founder of 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 provides a good source of protein and fiber." With that said, you can find my list of vegan and vegetarian alternatives here.


Eating a vegan diet will not only improve and help your health, it will do much more including protecting and saving our planet. If you don't believe me, you can consider the research I have shared with you. Veganism has a plethora of benefits and is a step further in evolution. Although I am a vegetarian, I have been a vegan for a month now and I enjoy it. Do your part this Earth Day and enjoy the benefits of being healthy and happy by eating plant-based foods. Happy Earth Day!

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Cheesy Vegan Penne Pasta

Cheesy Vegan Penne Pasta
As a lacto-ovo vegetarian, I am discovering a lot of creative new ways to cook some of those timeless dishes without the carnivore classic in them. Kind of like the bun without the hot dog, only with a veggie dog in between the bun. As there are so many alternatives to meat (which you can find here) there are alternatives to those dishes that possess them too. And although I am a vegetarian, where I enjoy dairy, eggs and honey, I find myself really intrigued by vegan eating. In fact, there are times where I will go on what I refer to as 'vegan binges' and I will eat vegan for months. Is it hard to be a vegan? Absolutely not. It is just a matter of not worrying about what you eat, but only finding good food to enjoy that is not only meat-free, but free of dairy, eggs and honey.
 
Recently, in the kitchen I decided to create a very creamy yet cheesy vegan penne pasta. Most penne is vegetarian; however, not all of it is vegan. A good vegan penne can be homemade and rustic, as it can be found in a lot of grocery stores. Whole Foods for instance. So, how do you make cheesy vegan penne pasta?
 
First and foremost, you are going to want to add water into your pan followed by your favorite herbs and spices. The secret to any amazing pasta is to season the water in the pan before actually cooking the pasta. Of course adding more herbs and spices is an option later. I have been doing this for years and will continue for the rest of my life.
 
For this particular dish, I favor simplicity. What I added to the water only consists of salt, pepper and oil. That's it. No more, no less. You can add whatever you would like. If you are searching for that epic heat, you can add a little cayenne pepper and jalapeno. If you are looking to transform your cheesy vegan penne into a classic Italian dish, you can add some basil and oregano. You can do a lot, but for this dish I decided to keep it simple.
 
In a separate bowl, you want to create a base. This is where the magic happens. You are going to want to add one cup of unsweetened Silk Coconut Milk followed by two tablespoons of Earth Balance's vegan butter. You are also going to want to add some Sari Foods Nutritional Yeast Flakes followed by a little more salt. In my quest in making an outstanding cheesy vegan penne pasta, I added some vegan protein powder by Purely Inspired. This added a great balance of taste, creating a fusion of flavor. Blend everything together and sit the bowl aside.
 
Keeping an eye on your pasta, continue letting it cook until you have reached your desired texture. If you love your pasta al dente, it is key to test the pasta every few minutes. Once finished, strain the penne and place it directly into a separate bowl. Add the ingredients from the bowl. Mix generously.

Take a plastic or styrofoam plate, add some aluminum foil and place the penne on to it so it. Why? Because doing this will keep it's heat locked into place, so it won't get cold.
 
For more nutrition, you can add more of the nutritional yeast flakes. I will say this, adding more to the dish sort of dries it out, but is great for vegan athletes who are looking for more nutrients in their cheesy hot bite. Although the dish will lose it's creamy texture, the taste will remain the same.
 
Enjoy!
 


Friday, July 31, 2015

Pittsburgh: Veggie Burger

Pittsburgh is one of the most underrated cities in the world today. Home to over 2 million residents, according to the CSA it is the 20th largest city in the United States. Although it is known as the steel city, it is also known for it's bridges and it's architecture. In fact, the city is filled with art. Pittsburgh is also known for it's sports teams. What you don't realize, however; is that the steel city offers some of the best cuisine you will ever experience.
 
As a vegetarian, it can be quite complicated trying to find great vegetarian food, but believe it or not, it does exist. But the question remains, can you find a veggie burger here? Absolutely. Don't believe me? Just click here now.

Monday, April 6, 2015

5 Amazing Vegetarian Substitutes For Bacon

As a vegetarian of many years, I am always discovering new alternatives to some of the greatest carnivore classics. Whether it be chicken or fish or beef, etc. And in this case, bacon. So, is it possible to enjoy bacon while not eating it? Absolutely. In fact, continue reading as I share with you 5 amazing vegetarian substitutes for bacon.

5. Lightlife Smoky Tempeh Strips. The reality is that not all amazing things are actually the real thing and this fantastic Lightlife addition is proof. Not only are the Smoky Tempeh Strips delicious, they are GMO free too.

4. May Wah Healthy Vegetarian Bacon. May Wah offers quite a few delicious vegetarian alternatives, however; when it comes to creating faux bacon they know exactly what they are doing. This bacon alternative is also non GMO.

3. Yves Meatless Canadian Bacon. Out of the many vegetarian substitutes for bacon I have tried, I definitely think that this one is a winner. This is "Facon" at it's finest. This amazing Yves addition is free of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs).

2. Lightlife Smart Bacon. You just can't get any better than this wonderful Lightlife addition. Not only is Smart Bacon the perfect alternative to real bacon, it's better tasting too. This healthy yet delectable bacon substitute is also GMO-free.

1. Turtle Island Foods Smoky Maple Bacon Tempeh. Brought to you by the creators of Tofurky, this vegetarian substitute for bacon is the best alternative around. This incredible Turtle Island Foods additon is not only delicious, it's also free of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs).

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Vegetarian Recipes: Facon

Bacon is popular pork speciality around the world. As a vegetarian, I find myself discovering new ways to recreate this carnivore classic. And in my quest, I found various ways to make facon involving some of my favorite herbs and vegetables.

As a foodie, I am always in the kitchen. Whether it is trying a new recipe that I found on Yahoo! Shine or simply creating my own. In this case, I decided to create and try a new facon recipe.

For this facon recipe, you will need the following ingredients:

1 Cup of Dried Adzuki Beans (You can also use soy beans and/or mung beans)

1 Cup of Raw Buckwheat Groats

3 Tablespoons of Coconut Oil

3 Tablespoons of Grade B Maple Syrup

2 Tablespoons of Soy Sauce

2 Tablespoons of Nutritional Yeast

2 Tablespoons of Garlic Powder

2 Tablespoons of Onion Powder

2 Tablespoons of Paprika

2 Tablespoons of Black Pepper

2 Tablespoons of Kosher Salt

2 Tablespoons of Brown Sugar

1 Tablespoon of Tomato Paste

1 Tablespoon of Dry Mustard

1 Tablespoon of Molasses

1 Tablespoon of Apple Cider

First and foremost, it is key to soak the Adzuki beans with the Buckwheat groats in the same bowl. You don't need to season water, as fresh water works perfectly. The key is soaking them until they become relatively soft, but not mushy. Soak for 3-4 hours.

Once the beans and the groats have soaked, you want to drain them. It is key to make sure they are fully drained because the water will create a lot of mush (which is what you want to avoid).

As you continue, you want to add and combine all of your ingredients that are remaining into the same bowl with the Adzuki beans and Buckwheat groats. Blend until it forms a paste-like consistency. The texture should not be slimy nor should it be mushy.

Preheat the oven to 350F degrees.

In order to create amazing Facon, it is key to use a flat pan. If you don't have one, use a baking sheet or a pan that has somewhat of a flatter service. You will also need baking paper and before you apply your mixture, you are going to want to add a little more oil. For this particular recipe, I love using coconut oil.

Now you are going to want to start spreading the entire mixture out onto the flat pan. You want to spread it out thin. After you are done spreading this all out, you want to bake for 15 minutes. It is important to check sporadically. You want the top to be dry and/or brown, but not burnt.

Are you having fun yet? Once 15 minutes have lapsed, you want to cool for about 15-20 minutes. As you continue, it is important to remove the pan from the baking paper and lay on a flat surface. When I created my facon, I chopped it into 20 pieces, however; some people like to cut more and sometimes even less.

Congratulations! Your facon is done. And although it is done, it will still be a little soft. This is normal. You will want to take your pieces and put them in an airtight container and put them in the fridge or freezer. I like to take half of the facon and store it in the freezer, with the other half remaining in the fridge.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Splendid Chef Garlic Press


When Tomoson offered the opportunity to try a garlic press, I have to admit that I was really interested simply because I have been searching for a good one for the longest time. And recently, it was great to have the chance to try Splendid Chef's Garlic Press. So, what did I think?



PROS

What I found so amazing about this garlic press is the fact that it is not only easy to use, but it makes everything a lot more efficient and as a result, it is as effective if you do it the traditional way. You don't have to chop anything, peel anything, and worry about cleaning up really anything unless you want to clean up the garlic press after use.
This garlic press is made with the highest quality of stainless steel, which is quite impressive. Especially if you are looking for a product that will never fall apart and last a long time. There is nothing better than a strong and durable product that really works. It is also quite easy to wash and even works in the dishwasher.

CONS
If you are suffer from an allergy to stainless steel, you are obviously not going to be interested in this garlic press.
This is amazing for garlic, but if you try to press other herbs and vegetables such as Ginger and Turmeric root, you may have a tough time doing so.
Splendid Chef's Garlic Press is available at Amazon for $12.99. With a 68% off savings from the original price of $39.99, this is an incredible deal. Would I use this garlic press again? Yes. Would I recommend this garlic press to a friend? Absolutely. For more information about this garlic press, simply visit Amazon right now.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

BakeItFun Silicone Baking Mat



I have worked with an array of silicone baking mats, but to be honest, this is the first one that I have worked with in my home. Needless to say, it has been an experience getting to try BakeItFun's Silicone Baking Mat. So, what did I think?


PROS
The half sheet baking mat measures 16.7"x11". This perfect to not only roll out dough, but for making cookies, crackers, and more. You can use this product not only in the oven, but the dishwasher, freezer, and even microwave. It is also modestly easy to store and wash, as well.
When it comes to quality, the silicone in this product is premium food grade. The strong fibreglass mesh covers the silicone, so your baking experience is always good because the heat production is effective.
What I found ultimately amazing about this fun baking mat was the fact it was so incredibly durable. The quality is really good for the value. Plus, you can use it many times. Anything reusable is always a good thing.
The ruler is a special bonus to this baking mat. It makes baking so incredibly easy, that it becomes so much fun. I think when BakeItFun created this product, they had a vision in mind. They wanted baking to be fun. This is a great product to use with the kids.
This sheet is free of BPA (or Bisphenol A). As you may or may not be aware, BPA is used often to coat the inside of metal products. Although it is not said to be deadly or even unsafe, there have been studies conducted that prove it is a concern later on in life. Kind of like GMOs.
Not only is it German food grade safe, it is FDA safe, as well.
The eBook that comes with this product is fantastic and gives you a lot of great ideas.

CONS
Evidently if you are allergic to silicone or suffer a reaction from silicone, you are not going to find this product appealing at all.
Although this product is reusable, after you use this product 2,000 times, it is pretty much done. This is definitely a con for most silicone baking mats.
When it comes to temperature, you can only use this in temperatures that are 450 F degrees or lower, with -40 F degrees being the lowest. If you are thinking of using the broiler with this sheet, think again. Why? Because it will melt.
You can find BakeItFun's Silicone Baking Mat at Amazon for $11.99. Originally $47.99, one can not only love, but appreciate the 75% off savings. Would I recommend this baking mat to a friend? Yes. Would I use this product again? Absolutely. In fact, I just used it 10 minutes ago. For more information about BakeitFun's Silicone Baking Mat, simply visit Amazon right now.

Monday, March 23, 2015

The GrillJunkie Burger-A-Day Cookbook


As a lacto ovo vegetarian, I am always finding ways to execute the carnivore classics into my lifestyle. Meaning: I truly embrace the alternative concept of substituting meat, poultry, and fish for plant-based protein. Recently, I discovered the GrillJunkie Guy website which offers an array of recipes. As you can see from this website, a lot of the recipes are not vegetarian. Then, in my quest for searching "veggie burgers" I discovered the GrillJunkie Burger-A-Day cookbook by Arnie Tomaino. So, what did I think?

This cookbook offers an array of recipes that cater to individual protein selections, including vegetarian, plant-based protein. My personal favorite recipes from the GrillJunkie Burger-A-Day cookbook are definitely the Smoked Portobello Mushroom Burger, the Chick Pea and Curry Burger, and the Spicy Bean Black Burger. I have tried every single recipe and just find them fantastic. This cookbook also offers a recipe on how to create a basic veggie burger, which is great for those just getting started.
The amount of options are endless. When looking at the basic beef burger recipes, as well as, the chicken, bison, lamb, etc. I envisioned various ways to substitute the main source of protein for plant-based protein. The possibilities are extremely endless.
Aside from the many recipes, this cookbook also features a "recipe a day" incentive which allows you to try something new, everyday. If you can't decide what to prepare, just choose a recipe or go in chronological order. What I found interesting about this cookbook is the fact that you are provided with a variety of grilling tips & tricks, as you are provided with other recipes which include everything from side dishes to desserts.
The GrillJunkie Burger-A-Day Cookbook is available for $17.96 at Amazon. Would I recommend this cookbook to a friend? Yes. Especially those burger lovers that are looking to enjoy an endless selection of recipes. For you, will never get bored. For more information about the GrillJunkie Burger A Day Cookbook, simply visit Amazon right now.

Friday, March 20, 2015

National Ravioli Day: Sundried Tomato Raviolis

 
 
Today is "National Ravioli Day" so I decided to share with you my homemade Sundried Tomato Raviolis with Sundried Tomatoes, Ricotta, Mascarpone, Buffalo Mozzarella, Parsley, and Salt & Pepper.
 


Monday, February 9, 2015

Red Velvet Rose Cake from Neiman Marcus

Although my amazing boo, Joseph Valo III bought me this cake for my birthday, I wanted to share this simply because this is one of the perfect gifts I would recommend to give for Valentine's Day.
 
 
 
I love everything about this cake. Not only does it look absolutely beautiful, as the white, pink, and red icing are well blended to create depth and mimic roses, but this cake tastes incredible. The cake itself is flavorful and provides the palate with something to be desired.
 
Another thing that I loved about this cake is that the icing is sweet, but not sickening sweet to the level that it is overpowering or complicates the cake. It is a nice buttercream with a hint of cream cheese, which is perfect because it allows you to enjoy the flavor of the cake too. My cat actually attempted to eat this cake believe or not.
 
 
 
Check out a full image of this cake on my Instagram too. For more information about this incredibly beautiful yet delicious cake, simply click here right now.

Friday, January 30, 2015

5 Veggie Burger Substitutes You Need To Check Out

Veggie burgers are basically meatless burgers that do not contain any meat, as well as, eggs or dairy. A majority of the time, they are executed with vegetables. As a vegetarian of many years, I have to tell you, I am always trying new vegetarian alternatives that echo the classic hamburger. So, what are the best veggie burger substitutes?

1. Lightlife Backyard Grill'n Burgers. When it comes to veggie burgers, the key is not only the ingredients, but the flavor itself. Not only is this veggie burger the closest alternative to the real thing, it is free of genetically modified organisms (or GMOs) too.

2. Amy's All American Veggie Burger. This meat-free delectable proves that it is not only healthy, but incredibly delicious too. If you are searching for an organic option that is both non-GMO and vegan, this one is perfect for you.

3. Gardein The Ultimate Beefless Burger. Some of the best meat alternatives are those that taste great, but resemble the classic. Not only is this burger super healthy, but it tastes absolutely delicious. This veggie burger is also GMO-free and vegan.

4. Organic Sunshine Burgers Quarter Pounder Original. Are the best things in life really free or are they natural? Using only whole-food ingredients, this healthy vegetarian option proves why it is one of the best meatless options around. Did I mention that it is non-GMO?

5. Follow Your Heart Burger. If something is created to embody or resemble the real thing, then it should also taste like it too. This meat-free specialty is not only deliciously healthy, it is free of genetically modified organisms (or GMOs) and is vegan.

8 Easy Snack Ideas For Watching The Super Bowl

Nachos
The Super Bowl is perhaps the biggest day in sports of the year. As everyone gathers at homes watching the big game on the big screen, swearing and pointing at the tube wondering why their favorite quarterback intercepted, it is important to be freshly stocked with snacks and booze to cater to those watching it.

You can't quite seem to come up with any snack ideas, as you do not have a menu planned. So, what do you do? Relax, I have made it relatively easy for you considering I am a huge foodie and love the Super Bowl. So, what are some easy snack ideas for watching the Super Bowl?

Nachos Whether you want to do the traditional Mexican style nachos which consist of tortilla chips, hamburger (and if you are a vegetarian any hamburger alternative will work), seasoning, lettuce, tomato, onion, Monterey jack cheddar, black olives, jalapeño peppers, salsa, sour cream, and guacamole or if you want to change them up a notch and try something different like Italian nachos where you use mozzarella and parmesan cheese and sausage instead of hamburger and cheddar, you could do that too. Please note that if you do decide to do Italian nachos, do not make the mistake of adding cilantro, sour cream, and guacamole. Instead use basil, Alfredo sauce, and olive oil.

Mini Cupcakes The Super Bowl is approaching us and as it gets closer, so does the demand for great company and even greater food. One of the best things you can make for any Super Bowl party is definitely mini cupcakes. It is also a lot of fun to decorate these too. Not only are these a lot of fun to make, but everyone who eats them loves them. Last year, I went crazy making about a hundred different varieties of mini cupcakes. I noticed that before the Superbowl was over, I would say five remained out of the many I made. I could not believe it.

Club Sandwiches When you think of a club sandwich...you think of bacon, lettuce, tomato, with your choice of meat, cheese, veggies, condiments, and of course bread. No Super Bowl party is complete without club sandwiches. Every single time I have made these; everyone went crazy and basically ate them all. They are also so diverse, as you can switch them up and change them. Whether you want to make a ham club or a turkey club or even a chicken club, this sandwich is as classic as it gets. If you are vegetarian like myself, you cannot go wrong with making an egg club and using a bacon alternative in place of the bacon. I also love to add extra cheese and use a lot of great veggies too. If you can't think of a great snack idea, you cannot go wrong with this choice.
Funnel Cake Fries


Funnel Cake Fries What do you get when you combine flour, milk, water, granulated sugar, baking powder, vanilla extract, confectioners sugar (or powdered sugar), oil, and a little bit of salt? Funnel Cake Fries. Instead of milk, I used almond milk and for my oil of choice, I chose almond oil. In a large bowl, simply combine all of your ingredients. The consistency should be thick, but not pasty or dry. It should also not be watery. In a fryer, heat your oil of choice for 375 degrees. It's key to cover the spout before placing your batter into the fryer. Fry for about 1-2 minutes. If you like your fries a little crispier, fry them for about 3 minutes. Do not go over 3 though. Place them onto paper towels, garnish with the powdered sugar, and serve. And for all of those vegans, use apple cider vinegar or soy milk as a substitute for eggs. 



Kale Chips Believe it or not, there are many people who are dieting during this time of year and even though some have a "cheat" day, they will not embrace it during Super Bowl. One of the best snacks you can serve at any Super Bowl party is Kale chips. Guess what? They are quite possibly one of the easiest things to prepare. Kale, seasoning, salt, and pepper. Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees and you are good to go. Whether you are dieting or simply looking for a healthier alternative to the traditional potato chip, Kale chips are the way to go.

Brownie Bites Every Super Bowl party needs something sweet. Every Superbowl party needs something fun. Brownie bites are basically small brownies made using a mini muffin pan. They are not only quick and easy, but incredibly delicious too. Also, once you eat one, you will find yourself wanting a second and even a third, fourth, fifth, etc. I made these last year and they were so popular that they were gone before the Super Bowl was over. Also, the best part of making these is decorating them to coordinate with your favorite football team.

Sliders Miniature burgers always do well at Super Bowl parties. When I had a Super Bowl party last year, I had a lot of fun making these and what I noticed was as soon as I put them out for everyone, they were gone before the Superbowl was over. Whether you want to make the traditional cheeseburger or a chicken club. Whether you want to make a BLT or a fish slider, these are absolutely perfect for any Super Bowl party. If you are creating a slider option for a vegetarian, you cannot go wrong with creating egg salad or using a meat alternative. 
Cheese Balls


Deep Fried Cheese Balls There are so many great fried delectables that are not only easy to prepare, but great to enjoy during any party, especially a Super Bowl party. I noticed out of the many I have made, deep fried cheese balls are always the most popular. They are very easy to make and believe it or not, very quick too. All you need is basically your choice of cheese, flour, egg (and if you are a vegan, liquid tofu and apple cider vinegar), and salt & pepper. Prepare your batter. Then, start your fryer and let it preheat as you form small shaped balls of cheese before dipping them into the batter. As you can see, they are simple yet delicious.

Since my Steelers are not playing, I guess I will watch anyway. Enjoy these easy yet incredibly snack ideas while watching the Super Bowl with your family and friends today because I know that I will.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

5 Grilling Tips You Need To Know When Cooking Vegetarian Alternatives

As a vegetarian, I have discovered that it can be quite complicated to embrace my inner grill master. In fact, I have had to mess up several times in order to grill effectively. With a wide-range, variety of vegetarian substitutes; grilling should never be as confusing as solving physics conjecture, for anyone wanting a veggie burger or a veggie dog. So, what are 5 grilling tips you should know if you are grilling a vegetarian alternative?

1. Use Coconut Oil. As one of the healthiest oils in the world today, this works as an amazing base for your vegetarian substitute. Whether you want to enjoy a classic veggie burger or even a kabob with veggie sausage, coconut oil will prevent your food from burning.

2. Use Cedar Planks. I discovered that when you a rich wood to grill a vegetarian substitute, the flavor is more flavorful and robust, then if you would use charcoal. Flavors will not meld properly if they are cooked incorrectly.

3. Use Variety. When it comes to grilling any kind of meat or chicken alternative, you will want to use a variety of mixed vegetables into the mix. With everything from onions and bell peppers to squash and mushrooms and much more, the options are endless.

4. Use Grill Baskets. Every vegetable on the planet is different and therefore; needs to be prepared differently. In order to grill effectively, I highly suggest using these the next time you grill any veggies.

5. Use Salt. Sure, it is important to season your food with your favorite spices, however; without salt you are left with nothing more than tasteless food. When you grill your vegetarian substitutes, along with your vegetables they lose flavor naturally, so in order to bring that flavor back to life it is key to use salt.

The Best Vegan Restaurants of 2015 in Pittsburgh

Recently, I had the chance to contribute an amazingly buzzworthy article to AXS about vegan food. Although I am a lacto-ovo vegetarian (occasional vegan) I am always discovering new vegan eateries all over the place. And believe it or not, some of the best vegan eats are in the steel city. The next time you visit the burgh, you may want to check out 5 of my favorite vegan joints. So, what are they? Just click here to find out.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

National Cheese Lovers Day: Fromage Brie




Today is 'National Cheese Day' and as you are aware, there are probably about a thousand different types of cheese that exist in the world today, with one of them being Brie.
 
Whether you are looking to take something simple to a party, picnic, or food event or simply wanting to enjoy something special at the dinner, you cannot go wrong with Fromage, Brie. Add some crackers and enjoy.

Monday, December 1, 2014

National Pie Day: December 1st 2014

 
Not only does today mark the first of December, it is also "National Pie Day". So, what is your favorite pie? I love all pie, but I think right now I have garnered an obsession with Lemon Meringue. It's just soooooo good.
 

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Quorn Chik'n Cutlets with Cranberry & Goat Cheese


Well, it is official, Fall is here and this Thursday, Thanksgiving will magically appear. If you are uncertain what to serve to the vegetarian guests this year, you may want to consider Quorn's Chik'n Cutlets with Cranberry & Goat Cheese. 


I am not a fan of goat cheese all that much. In fact, if I had to choose my least favorite cheese, goat cheese would definitely be at the top. I have to admit though that I do enjoy it when paired with sweeter elements such vanilla, figs, apricots, pineapple, and cranberries. Yes, cranberries. In fact, when I first tried this amazing Quorn addition, I guess you could say that I found myself grabbing quite a few after I discovered how incredibly flavorful it actually was.


The flavors in this entree simply work. You can cook this in the oven and/or microwave. Personally, I love the oven for this fantastic entree simply because the food is crunchier and still has that robust, acquired flavor which is great. If you are searching for a good vegetarian meal to enjoy or to serve this holiday season, you simply cannot go wrong with this one.