Showing posts with label Vegan. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Vegan. Show all posts

Friday, April 12, 2019

Black Smoothie

After a long day at the office, I decided that I wanted some food bliss. I was craving a smoothie, especially something cold so I took the liberty of heading to my kitchen to make one of the most amazing smoothies I have ever consumed, the black smoothie. You are probably wondering "what on earth is a black smoothie?" as it is quite a rarity in the world of healthy drinks. A black smoothie is basically a mixture of only few fruits and ingredients, with the main ingredient being activated charcoal. 

So, I basically added fresh golden pineapple to my Cuisinart blender followed by golden mango and peaches. Then, I added some activated charcoal followed by some sea buckthorn berries, organic sugar cane juice, Vita Coco coconut water and some ice. 


This smoothie totally exceeds in my expectations, as it is extremely delicious. It is also modestly filling and gives me a much needed boost. The black smoothie is truly one I think I will make more often. 

Activated charcoal is not absorbed by the body, so it basically traps and eliminates all toxins in your body. This powerful antioxidant basically grabs the bad molecules in our bodies, traps them and eliminates them. 

Incredible right? 


Activated charcoal is extremely beneficial to health, as the benefits are endless. It is great for those of you with stomach and gut issues, including those of you with digestive and gas issues. It is amazing for those of you who suffer from kidney issues including those of you who suffer from kidney stones. It lowers cholesterol levels and is great if you have high cholesterol. It helps with those of you who suffer from potent and strong body odor. Another great use is insomnia, as this powerful holy grail can help you get more sleep at night. It helps those of you who suffer from any skin issues such as acne, eczema and psoriasis. And it also helps to whiten your teeth. 

Some people actually consume activated charcoal if they intend to get drunk, as most believe this cult-classic staple is great for hangover prevention. Personally, I've never tried this as I don't drink often. And as you may or may not already be aware, it is used in hospitals for people who have overdosed on drugs and/or poisons, as it works to attack and eliminate them in the body. Additionally, activated charcoal helps work as a natural water filter and works to remove fluoride and various forms of bacteria. 

Although I am not vegan (at least at the moment, I currently identify as vegetarian) I have been eating vegan for about three days and this smoothie is a great addition to virtually any vegan and/or raw vegan diet. It is also great for fruitarians also. 

Friday, February 16, 2018

A great plant-based blueberry smoothie

Today I made a plant-based smoothie with blueberries, blackberries, Vita Coco coconut water, Silk coconut milk and NOW Foods coconut sugar. I am going to drink this before I workout today. I already tasted some and it truly epitomizes "amazing" in every sense of the word.

Ideally, it is the perfect pre and post workout drink and great for not just vegetarians and vegans, but anyone looking to enjoy something healthy and filling during and after your workout. 

When it comes to working out, I cannot eat before I workout, as it makes me feel a little nauseous. And when I work out, it is usually on an empty stomach or I'll drink one liter of Vita Coco coconut water. Sometimes just bottled water. 

I am open to ideas on what drinks I should make and try. I think tomorrow I will try a different drink. Maybe something with bananas in it. What do you think? 

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Love Goodly celebrates anniversary by donating 100% proceeds to Farm Sanctuary

Love Goodly is a world-renowned subscription service that delivers eco-friendly, cruelty-free and vegan products directly to your door. Also offering both GMO-free and non-toxic essentials, Love Goodly has everything from beauty to accessories to snacks and more. And the best part is, everything supports a cause. Love Goodly recently teamed up with the Hurraw! lip balm brand for a limited-edition lip balm. And in keeping with their do-good fashion, Love Goodly is donating 100% of all proceeds from the exclusive Hurraw! lip balm to Farm Sanctuary, one of Love Goodly's long-time cause partners.

“The collaboration was a natural choice – since Hurraw! makes the most amazing vegan and raw lip balm, along with supporting Farm Sanctuary like we do, so it’s a win-win," co-founder, Katie Bogue Miller told me.

Hurraw! also shared, “Farm Sanctuary and Love Goodly are great working examples of how to effectively introduce cruelty-free and vegan lifestyle choices into the mainstream. In the past 10 years, we've seen a wave of companies and organizations not simply capitalizing on a trend, but pushing a positive agenda because they believe in common goals for the future. What's not to like about that!?"

As you may or may not be already aware, Hurraw! lip balms are poured individually with only premium ingredients that are organic, vegan, and raw. This eco-friendly and cruelty-free balm is available now and will also be available in Love Goodly's specially curated anniversary box coming up in August and September.

Featuring a deliciously decadent 'choco' and 'mint' flavor, this eco-luxe balm is available now for only $4.29. For more information about the Hurraw! Choco Mint lip balm, visit Love Goodly today. A helping hand is truly one of the most powerful things you can do especially if it is towards a great cause like this one. #LoveGoodlyxHurraw

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

Exclusive interview with Justine and Katie of LOVE GOODLY

The amazing founders of LOVE
GOODLY, Justine and Katie.
LOVE GOODLY is one of the hottest subscription boxes right now. It features an array of healthy and natural as well as eco-friendly and cruelty-free products sent directly to your door. Everything is non-toxic, vegan and free of GMOs. And the best part is, every single purchase from the store supports a cause. What started out as a simple plan, LOVE GOODLY turned into one of the best ideas in the world today. Recently, I had the opportunity to speak with the creators of this amazing subscription box, Justine Lassoff and Katie Bogue Miller. Here is what they had to tell me...

(Q) Hello Katie and Justine. How are you? Tell me a little more about LOVE GOODLY...

Justine and Katie: We are doing great.

Justine: Katie and I co-founded LOVE GOODLY, a subscription box service and e-commerce boutique for discovering the best healthy, natural products delivered to your door.

Katie: From non-toxic, cruelty free beauty, to stylish eco accessories, wellness and healthy snacks, every purchase on our site always supports a cause.

(Q) Creativity is definitely in your forte. LOVE GOODLY is such an inspiring subscription service. I have to ask, what inspired you to create LOVE GOODLY?

Katie: We wanted to do something we are passionate about while making a difference. We help women discover amazing products that are better for them and better for the environment, and with each purchase we give back to a cause. Plus everything in our boxes and website store is always cruelty free, vegan and non toxic. We love discovering new brands!

Justine: Having worked together at our last company LovingEco, where I was co-founder and Katie head of merchandising, we already had the experience and great connections with some of the best brands in the industry. After LovingEco was acquired a year after launching, it was a natural evolution to start LOVE GOODLY where we can bring the best brands right to women’s doorstep.

(Q) Is it true that every product included in the LOVE GOODLY subscription is non toxic and free of genetically modified organisms (GMOs)?

Katie: Yes! We have 12 values that we measure all of our products and brands to if applicable. We try everything, vet everything before we offer it to our customers. We have very high standards for what we out in our body and what goes into our body.

(Q) I am so impressed with your philanthropic efforts. I have to ask, is it true that 5% of every purchase from the LOVE GOODLY store supports a cause? Tell me a little more about this...

Justine: Yes absolutely, 5% from all box sales and shop sales go to one of our two charity partners Farm Sanctuary and Cure Cervical Cancer. We really stand behind these charities and work closely with them. Farm Sanctuary promotes compassionate living while exposing the horrors of factory farming while Cure Cervical Cancer is on the ground in third world countries training doctors how to detect and prevent cervical cancer to women in need. We are impressed daily with our partners.

(Q) You recently curated with the iconic actress Alicia Silverstone for a special Earth Day box. Tell me a little more about this...

Katie: We have always admired Alicia Silverstone as the leader of the kind movement, and a strong health advocate. Personally, as a longtime vegan woman and now mom, she has been an inspiration. Alicia is also a passionate supporter of Farm Sanctuary. We are honored to have her guest curate our April/May box for Earth Month where she has selected some of her favorite vegan products.

(Q) What is your stance on animal cruelty?

Justine: Of course it should not be tolerated. We like to give a voice to the voiceless and speak up for animals.

(Q) For all of those eco-friendly enthusiasts including cruelty-free lovers reading this interview - what would you like them to know? What is next for LOVE GOODLY?

Katie: Stay tuned, we are launching a lower priced box to make our subscription accessible to even more people, but we will still feature the same full-size, eco and cruelty free products.

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!
 


Tuesday, December 22, 2015

One of many reasons to love Whole Foods

One of the reasons I love Whole Foods.
I love shopping at Whole Foods for an array of reasons. One of the reasons that I love shopping at Whole Foods is because you can find everything there. It's an amazing place and my favorite place to shop for food.

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.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

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.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

First Person: How I Lost 10 Pounds In 1 Week

Everyone stresses shedding those extra pounds, no matter what time of year it is. Whether it is after the holidays or in early spring, it is a huge goal for most people who are looking to not only look better, but feel better too.

With all of the endless diet crazes that range from incorporating healthy eating into an active lifestyle or fasting until the next binge, it's hard to tell which diets actually work and shed off the extra inches.

As a 34 year old woman, I recently found myself losing weight and although I could not believe that my method worked, I was not shocked. The reality is, our body needs certain things in order to speed up the process, but how did I lose 10 pounds in 1 week?

For my diet - I stuck with a vegan diet that consisted of cabbage soup, kale chips, kosher dill pickles, and tofu. I used no butter or margarine and relied heavily on olive oil, kosher salt, and pepper. I also substituted butter for Earth Balance butter, as it is vegan. Instead of having three huge meals, I would also have 8 meals that ranged from medium to small.

The key to really losing weight is to drinking nothing, but water. I would drink at least ten, 16 oz. water bottles a day. The amount increased as I worked out. Some days I would have a gallon. It is so important to keep hydrated. Avoid anything such as diet sodas or anything with artificial sugars. Every other day, I would drink a can of Zevia soda and would have a glass of Silk's Coconut/Almond Blend.

Often times I find myself snacking on something after 5 pm, however; with this diet I did not eat anything after 5 pm. Instead, I would substitute any cravings with one kosher pickle and more water. If I were hungry, I would eat something vegan with no carbs, as well as, no calories.

For my exercise - I would go to the gym for at least 1 hour, every day. Sometimes I would go twice. There are no days off. I would do at least 20-30 minutes of cardio followed by muscle confusion strength training, working almost every area of the body at once. Each day, I would change course and speed.

On some of the days, I would stay longer at the gym and often times, train full contact boxing and Muay Thai. I would also shadow box and do a lot of cardio/cross training workouts outside of the gym such as cycling, running/jogging, and even swimming. In fact, instead of driving or riding a bus or even catching a carpool, I would substitute that form of transportation by riding my bicycle or walking. Every single time I would drink a lot and made sure that I kept myself hydrated.

For my supplements - What people don't realize is the combination of drinking a lot of water and working out is great, however; what makes the weight loss amazing and practically instantaneous is taking supplements to support it.

Although everyone is different, for this particular diet I took Raspberry Ketone, Sibu Beauty's Sea Buckthorn supplement, Mexican Wild Yam, and believe it or not, NeoCell's Collagen supplement. If I felt like I needed more energy, I would take a caffeine pill and/or have a glass of Click's Espresso Protein which I would use Silk's Coconut/Almond Blend as the source. Although the protein is whey and non-vegan, taking just one glass a week shocked my body in fat burning mode.

After a week, I was 10 pounds lighter. Not only did I drop the pounds, I lost inches and of course, clothing sizes. It is the best feeling in the world, when you start feeling the loss and seeing the results that follow. They don't call it a diet (die-it) for no reason. Stick with this plan and you will start seeing results in due time. Just please do not go crazy and consult your doctor before doing it.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Vegetarian Thanksgiving: How To Prepare A Tofurky Roast

Well, it is official, the holidays are here. As we grasp the realization that in a few days we will be celebrating Thanksgiving and before you know it, Christmas and the New Year, it has become a tradition to prepare a Tofurky Roast. In fact, one of my favorite things to make during the holidays is definitely this amazing Tofurky addition. So, how do you prepare a Tofurky Roast?

First and foremost, it is very important that you remove the roast from the plastic casing before cooking. I also recommend thawing it out, as it makes it a lot easier to work with. Also, before cooking the Tofurky Roast it is important to preheat the oven for 350 degrees F. I love to just drizzle the entire roast with olive oil, as well as, salt & pepper. 


It is key to thaw the Tofurky Gravy, however, if it is mushy, just apply it all over the Tofurky Roast before baking it. Almost like a plaster of paris for food. Why? Because this will create a very flavorful yet natural crust. 

Before placing the Tofurky Roast inside of an aluminium foil or in glass casserole dish, you are going to want to add your vegetables, along with any type of homemade baste you want to create. To create the baste, all you really need are - carrots, onion, olive oil, fresh sage, and salt & pepper. You can also add various vegetables such as chopped carrots and onions to increase the flavor.

Cover the Tofurky Roast with aluminium foil or a dish cover. Cook for about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Check sporadically. Then cook for an additional 10-15 minutes uncovered. 

There is stuffing inside of the roast, however, you can make your own stuffing (or dressing) to compliment your dish using bread, butter (I love Earth Balance's vegan butter best), onion, celery, rosemary, parsley, thyme, and salt & pepper.

If you want, you can actually prepare the stuffing while the Tofurky Roast is cooking, so than you can cook it with the Tofurky Roast. Even though there is stuffing (or dressing) inside of this amazing Tofurky addition, the homemade stuffing compliments the dish incredibly. 


If you are cooking it with other dishes, it is key to cook at least an hour to two hours prior to the last dish cooking, so it's ready in time. If you are eating with "meat-eaters" (this usually happens with me because my mother, stepfather, soon-to-be mother-in-law, sister, sister-in-law, etc. all eat meat) place the Tofurky Roast in the oven an hour before the actual main entree is done.

When you serve the Tofurky Roast, it is very important to make sure it is cooked inside. Although this is made from tofu, it is important that it is cooked all of the way through. As it sets, you can begin to serve when you start your meal. Happy Holidays!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

World Vegan Day: Emmy's Organics

Emmy’s Organics is one of the best brands I have recently discovered. Emmy’s Organics is not only vegan and gluten-free, but they are free of genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

Emmy’s Super Cereal ($6.49 a box)
+ Sweet Buckwheat (I wasn't sure if I was going to love this one, but I did. It has a very naturally sweet flavor that is somewhat acquired in a good way.)
+ Apricot Vanilla (I really enjoyed this cereal, but was kind of disappointed in a sense where I couldn't taste the apricots that much in it. Definitely good.)
+ Blueberry Cashew (I really enjoyed this cereal. The flavors go great together. The cashew really balances the blueberry, which I enjoyed. This is great with Almond Milk.)
+ Cacao Coconut (This is my favorite. I loved this one with Coconut Milk. Everything from the flavor to the texture, etc.)

Emmy’s Macaroons ($2.95 a bag)
+ Chai Spice (I really enjoyed this macaroon. It reminds me of healthy carrot cake, yet you can really taste the natural flavors.)
+ Lemon Ginger (To be honest, I wasn't sure what to expect because when it comes to combining these two flavors together, I always find myself thinking of the pickled ginger that you get when eating sushi to cleanse your palette. Needless to say, this macaroon was incredibly delicious and is my favorite of the bunch.)
+ Coconut Vanilla (This is one of greatest raw-vegan macaroons I have enjoyed yet. It tastes even more amazing when enjoying Coconut Milk on the side.)
+ Dark Cacao (Absolutely delicious. They have a mild flavor which I love. When drinking Coconut Milk, they seem to taste even better.)
+ Chocolate Chip (To be honest, I wasn't sure I was going to love this flavor, but I did. A healthy chocolate chip cookie that has the perfect balance of sweetness.)

Friday, October 31, 2014

National Caramel Apple Day: Green Apple Cupcakes with Caramel Cream Frosting


Although today is officially Halloween, it is also a day to honor both candy and caramel apples. I decided that today, for "National Caramel Apple Day" I would share my Green Apple Cupcakes with Caramel Cream Frosting recipe. It is very important that you have the following ingredients…
 
4 cups Unbleached All-Purpose Flour or Whole-Wheat Pastry Flour (you can use Almond Flour)
2 cups Granulated Sugar (you can use Stevia)
3 teaspoons Baking Soda
2 teaspoons Salt
2 cups Silk’s Very Vanilla Soy Milk (if you are allergic, just use Silk’s Vanilla Almond Milk)
1 cup Coconut Oil
2-3 tablespoons Green Food Coloring

3 tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar
3 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
 
For the frosting, you want to make sure you have the following ingredients…

cups non-dairy, non-hydrogenated butter (I used Earth Balance)
1 cup Silk’s Vanilla Coconut Milk
3 cups Confectioners’ Sugar
1 cup Brown Sugar
2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract 
 
Let’s Bake!
 
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare your batter by combining flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt. As you continue you want to  fold in the remaining ingredients. So you want to add oil, milk, food coloring, vinegar, vanilla, and mix until thoroughly combined. 
 
Once you continue, it is important to get a cupcake pan ready. Whether you want to make mini cupcakes or large cupcakes. Bake for about 15-17 minutes. 
 
Once you have accomplished this, let the cake cook for an additional 5 minutes. 
As you can continue, let the cupcakes set for 5 to 10 minutes before transporting it onto a plate and then, onto a cooling rack, rounded-sides up. Set it aside.
 
Let’s Frost!
 
I used my KitchenAid mixer to make the frosting.  It is important to combine all of the ingredients, except the confectioners’ sugar (or powdered sugar), vanilla, and soy milk into the mixer and mix until it is smooth and begins to fluff. With the mixer on low speed, add confectioners’ sugar and fluff for another few minutes. Add vanilla followed by the milk. 
 
Once all ingredients are well-combined, beat on high until frosting is light and fluffy for about 5 minutes. Add 1 or 2 tablespoons more milk to achieve the consistency are you hoping to achieve. 
 
Take your cupcakes and start to apply the vegan frosting. You an pipe this because of the consistency of it. Decorate the cupcakes however you choose. Keep them simple or add various toppers and/or fondants. 
 
Guess what?! You’re done! Congratulations! You have just made the Green Apple Cupcakes with Caramel Cream Frosting.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Coupons: $1.00 off any (1) Silk half gallon (Expires: 10/31/14)


When it comes to saving money, I think there is no one on earth who would object to doing it. In fact, one of the greatest coupons I discovered recently is $1.00 off any (1) Silk half gallon.
 
Silk is embraces the vegan concept and what I love most about them is that they are free of genetically modified ingredients (or GMOs). With everything from Soy Milk to Almond Milk to Coconut Milk to even Coconut/Almond Blend and more, it is not only incredibly healthy, but delicious much more so. In fact, I love using Silk in just about everything including my cooking.
 
I am currently obsessed with Silk's Original Coconut Milk and from what I hear, it's on sale virtually everywhere. Imagine how much money you would save by using this coupon on top of sale.
 
This coupon is available until Wednesday, October 1st, however, it expires on Friday, October 31st 2014 (Halloween). To redeem your coupon of $1.00 savings on any Silk half gallon, simply click here or click the banner below...
$1.00 off any One (1) Silk Half Gallon

Monday, September 15, 2014

Chai Carrot Cupcakes with Caramel Cream Frosting

National Cupcake Week starts today, September 15th 2014 (which is Monday) and lasts until September 21st (Sunday) 2014. This is more of a British holiday than an American holiday, however, I thought it would be fun to embrace it considering I love cupcakes and quite a few of you who read my blog are British.
 
To start National Cupcake Week, I decided to share one of my favorite cupcake recipes: Chai Carrot Cupcakes with Caramel Cream Frosting. It is incredibly perfect for the season approaching us, Fall. Are you ready to make these delicious cupcakes? First and foremost, you want to make sure you have the following ingredients… 
 
4 cups Unbleached All-Purpose Flour or Whole-Wheat Pastry Flour (if you prefer more natural, you can use Almond Flour)
 2 cups Granulated Sugar (if you prefer more natural, you can use Truvia or Stevia)
 3 teaspoons Baking Soda
 2 teaspoons Salt
2 teaspoons Cinnamon
2 teaspoons Nutmeg
2 cups Silk Very Vanilla Soy Milk (if you are allergic, just use Silk’s Vanilla Almond or Coconut Milk)
 1 cup Coconut Oil
3-4 TAZO Chai Tea Bags
 3 tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar
 3 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
1/2 teaspoon Cardamom
1/2 teaspoon Cloves
1/2 teaspoon of Ginger
1 pinch of Black Pepper  

For the frosting, you want to make sure you have the following ingredients…
 2 cup non-dairy, non-hydrogenated butter (I used Earth Balance)
1 cup non-dairy, cream cheese (I used Follow Your Heart)
3 cups Confectioners’ Sugar
 2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
2 tablespoons Silk Very Vanilla Soy Milk (if you are allergic, just use Silk’s Vanilla Almond Milk or Coconut Milk)
 

Let’s Bake!
 
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare your batter by combining flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt. As you continue you want to  fold in the remaining ingredients. So you want to add oil, milk, spices (cinnamon, clove, cardamom, ginger, i.e.), vinegar, vanilla, and mix until thoroughly combined.
 
As you prepare your batter, it is important to start creating your Chai tea. I love to do this on the stovetop, however; a microwave works efficiently if you are pressed for time. If you are making your tea on the stovetop, you are going to want to boil it and then use medium heat for about 5 minutes. Cool for 10. Add into the batter and mix again. 
 
Once you continue, it is important to prepare your cupcake pan and get everything ready for the oven. 
 
Let the cupcakes cook for about 20 to 25 minutes. 
 
Once 20-25 minutes have lapsed, you want to transport them onto a plate and then, onto a cooling rack. Set them aside. 

 Let’s Frost! 
 
I used my KitchenAid mixer to make the frosting. It is important to combine all of the ingredients, except the confectioners’ sugar (or powdered sugar), vanilla, and milk into the mixer and mix until it is smooth and begins to fluff. With the mixer on low speed, add confectioners’ sugar and fluff for another few minutes. Add vanilla followed by the milk. 

Once all ingredients are well-combined, beat on high until frosting is light and fluffy for about 5 minutes. Add 1 or 2 tablespoons more milk to achieve the consistency are you hoping to achieve. 
 
Take your cake and start to apply the vegan frosting. You an pipe this because of the consistency of it. Decorate the cupcakes however you choose. I like to keep things modestly simple because the simplicity of the icing and it’s unique flavor is brought out from the cake itself and not the other way around. 
 
Guess what?! You’re done! Congratulations! You have just made Chai Carrot Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting.

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 www.gardein.com today.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Soda Talk: Exclusive Interview with Zevia

Zevia is a naturally sweetened soda that has no sugar, no calories, and no artificial sweeteners. It is vegan, kosher, and gluten-free. Zevia is not only one of the greatest additions to ever grace the shelves of our local supermarket, it is one of my favorite sodas ever. Recently, I had the opportunity to speak with Paddy Spence, the CEO of Zevia. Here is what he had to say...

(Q) Hello Paddy. How are you? Great to speak with you. You are the brains behind this amazing brand.
Hey Sarah. I am doing great, thank you. I am so excited to be able to get on the phone today. How long have you been familiar with Zevia?

(Q) I first discovered Zevia when I was searching for the perfect soda alternative that was not only love in calories, but low in carbohydrates. I wanted something that was not sweetened with artificial ingredients such as Aspartame or Splenda. I noticed that when I would drink anything that was labeled diet, I would feel awkward, as if there were side effects to the sugar alternatives. Then, one day I took a stroll to my local supermarket to discover Zevia and ever since, I have been a big fan of the brand. The first flavor I tried was the Ginger Root Beer, which is one of my personal favorites right now. I was thinking to myself "this is so amazing, I have to contact the individual who created this soda."
That is so awesome.

(Q) There is so much that I find amazing about this soda. It's very low in carbohydrates, but there is still enough carbs to give you energy, as well, but the fact that it doesn't have the Aspartame or any of the sugar alternatives in it, is a huge plus for me. As much as I don't believe in brand or product belittling, I think it's evident that am not a fan of Aspartame.
I think, like you, that a lot of Americans are finding out that they are uncomfortable with Aspartame. We don't even know how much we are taking in because there are so many foods and beverages with Aspartame in them. In fact, a lot more than we can expect. That is one of the big benefits of having Zevia. From a no-sugar stand point, Zevia does not include Aspartame.

(Q) Stevia vs. Aspartame, the sweet dirty truth. It's evident that Stevia is natural and Aspartame is lab created. I wanted to ask you Paddy, what are the benefits and concerns of consuming both of these?
I think when it comes to Aspartame, it's less about having that one can of diet coke. Is that one can going to impact you? It's more about the quantity that one person is consuming. When you think about it, if you were to drink four cans of diet coke a day, over the course of one year, you are getting something like a kilo of Aspartame. So, huge quantities and I think that is where people really get concerned. The various health impacts that you see, whether it is concern over weight gain, etc. Recently, there was a big study that the University of Iowa conducted on menopausal women and they found that for folks who are consuming two cans or more of diet soda a day, there is an increase in cardiac arrest and stroke. So, things like that are important because this study consisted of thousands of people. So, pretty reliable data and I think that is where people are really getting concerned.

(Q) Wow, very interesting. There are a lot of problematic health issues when consuming this ingredient. I just want to say that I love the fact that you don't use this ingredient in your soda.
Well, thank you. I really appreciate that.

(Q) I have to ask, I notice that you use monk fruit in Zevia. Can you tell me a little more about this fruit?
Monk fruit is a fruit that is cultivated in parts of Asia and specifically parts of China and Thailand and like Stevia, it is a plant-based source of a sweetening ingredient that is 200 times as sweet as sugar with no calories. It is a really fantastic natural sweetener. It's a great compliment or accompliment to Stevia, so we use Stevia which is our primary sweetening ingredient which provides about 80% of our sweetening power and about 12% comes from the Monk Fruit and about 3% of Erythritol which is a sugar alcohol. So, it's really the unique blend of those three sweeteners that allows us to get a really nice, sweet product without the after taste.

(Q) That is amazing. And you know, there is no after taste which I was going to tell you, I absolutely love. When you drink other brands (and I won't mention any names) that do include Aspartame. You can definitely taste "it" and it isn't pleasant or something you want to taste.
Absolutely.

(Q) Now I have a question, Zevia is a gluten-free which I absolutely love. I also love the fact that it is kosher, however; is it vegan-friendly? Is it free of genetically modified organisms (or GMOs)?
It is vegan and it is also non-GMO. Actually, if you look on our can, we have the vegan logo, the gluten-free logo, and the kosher logo. We are currently going through the non-GMO verfication process, so we are excited about that. We have been at it for a while, as there is a lot of documentation, etc. We are making great progress so we can use the logo and put on the can that we are non-GMO verified.

(Q) That is amazing. You know, I definitely wish you luck in that journey. It is definitely hard to brand a product like this, however; once everyone discovers what it is all about, it is definitely going to get recognized for what it is. It's already out there on the shelves. I mean, I discovered it and I am sure there are millions upon millions of people discovering this amazing soda as we talk about it. I must confess, I am a huge fan and I drink it religiously. It's like my favorite soda. Now, I have to ask you, what are your most popular flavors right now? Tell me a little more about your best sellers...
Well, the Cola is still our biggest seller, but we are really a variety in the brand. We currently have 15 flavors. Ginger Ale, Cream Soda, and Ginger Root Beer would be the next three, most popular. What is interesting is our fruit flavors are also extremely popular. There are some regional aspects to soda, as well. Dr. Zevia is very popular in Texas. With Dr. Pepper being born in Texas, Dr. Zevia is popular there. If you go into a retail store in Texas, there is a soda section and then there is a Dr. Pepper section. It's incredibly popular. Mountain Dew was born in the Southeast, so there are a lot of Mountain Dew drinkers in the Carolinas and in Tenessee, so that is an area where our Mountain Zevia sells really well. So, it's really neat to see regional pockets of preference. In the Northeast, it is a huge Ginger Ale market. People in New England particularly love Ginger Ale, so we sell a ton of that there. In addition to Ginger Root Beer and Cola, Ginger Ale and Cream Soda are our top sellers right now.

(Q) That is amazing. I have tried every single one of them and they are so amazing. You know, I really love the fruit sodas too. And they actually taste better than any diet fruit soda out there.
Excellent!

(Q) For all of those health enthusiasts and soda lovers that will read this interview, what would you like them to know? What is next for Zevia?
That is a great question. Well, one of the things that is next for us is getting out there into all of the locations where people buy soda. Today, you can find Zevia hidden in your natural products retail store and then in the supermarket and depending where you live, you may find us in Target or Costco, but there are a lot of places that sell soda where we traditionally haven't sold our product. Particularly places like convenience stores, restaurants, stadiums, etc. Starting this year, we became the first independent soda to sponsor a major league baseball team, so we are the zero-calorie soda sponsor for the Oakland A's. It's been pretty exciting. I have been to a few games this year and you can go into the stadium and buy a 16 oz. can of Zevia. That kind of thing is incredibly exciting and you are probably similar. Our fans go places outside of the home and they want Zevia. They go to the movies, they don't want a diet pepsi, they want a Zevia Cola. Some folks keep it in their purse and others request it at the movie theatre, so I think you are going to see our product in a lot more places. Single cans being sold in convenience stores and other places like that.
For more information about Zevia, please visit www.zevia.com today.