Archive for July, 2011

July 29, 2011

The Process of Making an “Apple” (Vanilla Chocolate Cake)

by jem614

By Jessica Michael 

Watch out Eve, you’ve never had so much temptation!   This little slice of the forbidden fruit gives the devil a run for his money.
Made of vanilla cake, dipped in chocolate, smothered in butter cream icing and covered in candy apple red fondant, this cake is an all around delight.  Ok, ok, it’s not vegan but she assures me that she’s ready and willing to do so if you order it and I have no doubt it will be scrumptious.

 Barbie Esquijarosa runs Unforgettable Sweets  in Miami, specializing in fondant, buttercream, cupcakes and Brownies (the perfect combination of gooey and crispy corners).  A teacher by day, mother of two and creative baker, she’s a busy woman that’s always making time for something new.
I was able to watch her work her magic on Friday night and she makes it look effortless.  In order to make her creative concoctions, Barbie makes the base of the cake and then shapes it.  For her daughters birthday recently, this enterprising mom made a Converse shoe -with SHOELACES!  It was an almost perfect replica of the iconic red shoe.

Barbie assures me that all her cakes are made with the highest quality, she will not make a cake that she won’t eat herself.  Her cakes are made to not only look great but to taste great as well (I took home some of her brownies and I can tell you that they were amazing).  Attached here is a cupcake flower pot she recently made for a shower!

Cupcake Flowers

Here is her process for the Teacher’s Apple Cake!

After shaping her cakes, she measures for the size of the cake itself, this allows her to select the right size of fondant to cover the cake.  It saves from having alot of frustration later on if it’s too large or too small.  The rest is shown below:

I couldn’t believe how cute this cake turned out and it seemed an impossibility to shape a cake like an apple! This Veg On The Run girl is impressed. To find out more information about Unforgettable Sweets, I’ve attached her card below.  As mentioned, Barbie is also ready and willing to make Vegan cakes upon request.

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July 29, 2011

Vegan Friday: Semi-Homemade Italian Basil and Garlic Polenta with Braised Baby Carrots and Red Onions

by ashley

By Ashley Morgan

I think the meatless Monday idea is a great way to encourage the masses to eat healthier and more consciously. It’s also a great way to show omnivores that a meal does not need to revolve around animal protein to be delicious and filling. So along those lines, we’ve decided to startup a “Vegan Friday” campaign, encouraging vegetarians to try eating vegan meals and also some adventurous omnivores who’d like to join in on the fun. Monday was already taken, but even more than that, Friday is a day for celebration. It’s the first day of the weekend and sets a tone to how you’ll spend your days off. What better way than with a healthy, yet indulgent, meal that is not only good for your body, but also good for the world?

 

To kick off our Vegan Friday extravaganza, I made a dish that is a staple in my home: polenta with vegetables. It’s filling, easy (especially when using the short-cut I’ll show you below), and a great dish for easing non-vegans into vegan cuisine. I do make polenta at home normally, but 1) I was lazy this week and 2) I wanted to show busy moms and professionals how to make this dish in a flash.

 

Semi-Homemade Italian Basil and Garlic Polenta with Braised Baby Carrots and Red Onions

1 pkg pre-made Italian Polenta (Basil and Garlic variety)

1 cup organic mushroom broth

1 cup peeled red pearl onions

2 cups rainbow baby carrots (peeled with tops trimmed)

2 tbsp peeled whole garlic cloves

4 tbsp walnut oil (divided)

5 leaves of culantro (different from cilantro, these are long, flat leaves)

Kosher salt to taste

In a large saucepan with a lid, heat two tablespoons of walnut oil over medium heat. Add garlic and red pearl onions, sautéing gently for about 30 seconds. Add one cup of mushroom broth, five culantro leaves, two teaspoons kosher salt (or to taste) and two cups rainbow baby carrots, bring broth to a simmer, lower heat and cover. Allow broth to reduce to half before removing from heat, approximately fifteen minutes.

 

While the broth is reducing, add two tablespoons walnut oil to a medium frying pan over medium-high heat. Cut the polenta into ½ inch-thick sections, and once the oil is hot (check by adding a tiny drop of water to see if it sizzles immediately) add the polenta to the pan. Sprinkle with kosher salt to taste. Turn once to brown on both sides.

 

Serves four.

July 27, 2011

An Earnest Loot!

by ashley

Here’s a preview of what’s to come this week, since we just got a great shipment of products from Earnest Eats! Not only will we be reviewing a few new flavors, but we also have a giveaway in the mix for another of our lovely readers.

Stay tuned 🙂

July 26, 2011

Homemade Greek Salad Vegan Pizza

by jem614

By Jessica Michael

The Food for Life Sprouted Grain Tortilla has many uses.  It can be drizzled in olive oil and sprinkled with salt and oregano then baked to make homemade tortilla chips or, as you will see here, it can be made into a to-die-for healthy vegan pizza!

Salad Pizza

I chose the Sprouted Grain tortillas for this pizza so I could eat more and feel totally unfettered by guilt.  Eating sprouted grains allows you to get the maximum nutrition as they have be “opened” up to their full nutritional potential.  This grain tortilla boasts the following ingredients: Organic Sprouted Whole Wheat, Filtered Water, Organic Unhulled Sesame Seeds, Organic Sprouted Whole Soybeans, Organic Sprouted Whole Barley, Organic Sprouted Whole Millet, Organic Sprouted Whole Lentils, Organic Sprouted Whole Spelt, Sea Salt.  What an amazing list!

Paired with vegetables, healthy olive oil and protein, you have a healthy all-around meal (much better for you than eating at Pizza Hut).

How to make your Vegan Pizza:

Sprouted Grain Bread

You will need the following ingredients (or add your own):

1           Ezekiel 4:9 Sprouted Grain Tortilla
1/4      Cup of Organic Canned Tomato Sauce
Salt
Pepper
Small Slice of Cheez Grated or handful of shredded Cheez
1           Cup Spring Mix Salad
1/2      Tablespoon Olive Oil
1           Tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar or Wine
1/4      Diced Small Onion
Small handful of Vegan Cheez Crumbles like Soy Feta
A few olives
1           Tofurky Italian Sausage Sliced

Line your pan with a little bit of olive oil so your tortilla doesn’t stick.  On top of the tortilla spread your Tomato Sauce and sprinkle on your salt and pepper for taste.  Next, add your sausage.
Grate your block of cheese over the pizza so that it  melts evenly, my favorite of course is Daiya but there are other alternatives out there.

This Cheez didn't melt but it was actually quite Cheese-Like.

Place this in the oven for approximately 10 minutes on low heat- you’re just trying to melt the cheez, not bake it so make sure you watch it, this is not as fun to eat if it’s crispy.  The tomato sauce really helps to keep it soft and pliable so spread it liberally.

While you’re waiting for the cheez to melt,  place the spring mix salad in a bowl, add the diced onion, the Feta crumbles, your olive oil, balsamic vinegar, olives, a little salt and pepper then toss.  This will be just like a Greek salad.

This is the first pizza, I had gulped it down before I had time to take pictures so I had to make another one (and eat it!)

When your cheez has melted, pull it out of the oven and add the salad to the top and eat.  I promise you this will be one of the best pizzas you have ever eaten.  There is just something about the pizza and the olive oil and the salad that just makes it burst with flavor-And it’s almost ZERO guilt.  When’s the last time you said that about a pizza?

July 25, 2011

Does Latin and Vegan sound like an oxymoron? It isn’t with Jackfruit Tamales!

by ashley

My beloved jackfruit, for which I drove 50 miles south of my home to buy and three hours of my time to cut, also became a wonderfully fresh, Latin meal when combined with simple ingredients. (Read more about the jackfruit itself here)

Tamales are traditionally made with either corn or yucca flour, stuffed with beef or pork, and wrapped in a plantain leaf or corn husk. My version is the quick-fix method, when you don’t have much time. Making tamales the traditional way is a time consuming and painstaking process, however does indeed yield much tastier results. I have used brand names in my ingredients list as it makes a difference in flavor if using other brands.

To make the jackfruit filling:

 

2 cups peeled green jackfruit, fresh

1 small onion, diced

2 tbsp fresh lime juice

1 pkg Goya achiote seasoning

1 tbsp minced garlic

2 tbsp Goya recaito (cilantro cooking base)

Oil spray for coating pan

 

Mix ingredients well in a medium bowl, cover and let marinate for 30 minutes at room temperature. Heat a large skillet to medium heat and spray with oil spray to prevent sticking. Sauté marinated jackfruit and onion over medium heat until translucent and browned. Cover and set aside.

 

To make the tamales:

 

2 cups pre-cooked Harina PAN Masarepa (yellow cornmeal)

2 ½ cups hot water (almost boiling)

1 tsp salt

1 tbsp Earth Balance Original

4 plantain leaves or 6 corn husks, soaked in warm water so they are pliable

Kitchen string

 

In a large bowl, add the almost-boiling water, salt and Earth Balance. Slowly add the cornmeal, stirring constantly until a soft dough is formed. Carefully knead the dough to evenly distribute water, salt and Earth Balance. Assemble the tamales by adding a tablespoon or two of dough onto a plantain leaf or corn husk. Flatten the mixture, add a little of the jackfruit and cover with another tablespoon of dough. Wrap the tamal like a package in the leaf or husk, carefully tying with kitchen string. Continue until you have made the desired amount of tamales or you run out of ingredients (will be about 4-6 tamales).

 

Boil water in a large pot. Add the tamales and boil until they float, or about 15 minutes. Serve fresh.

 

July 25, 2011

The Inaugural VEG ON THE RUN Giveaway!

by ashley

We have some extremely exciting news for you, our friends and readers. We have arranged for not one, but TWO special gifts to be given away this week: one for our vegetarian friends and another for our vegan friends.

Here’s a little peak at the goodies…

Vegetarian Giftbox:

One Honey Cashew Nutrition Bar by YouBar

One Apple Cherry Fruit Treat by That’s It (Gluten-Free, Literally Just Fruit)

One Customized Protein Shake Mix by YouBar

One Sesame Bar with Molasses by Oskri (Gluten-Free, Kosher)

One Customized Nutrition Bar by YouBar

Vegan Giftbox:

 One WholeFood Vibrancy Bar in Chocolate Decadence by Vega (Gluten-Free, Raw, Sprouted)

One Apple Pear Fruit Treat by That’s It (Gluten-Free, Literally Just Fruit)

One Apple Apricot Fruit Treat by That’s It (Gluten-Free, Literally Just Fruit)

One Coconut Almond Bar by Oskri (Gluten-Free, Kosher)

One pack of Purple Funk Dried Fruit by Funky Monkey

TO WIN:

Become our FAN on Facebook by clicking here. Keep an eye out on our wall for the two questions which will be posted, one to win the vegetarian box and the other to win the vegan box. Please note that only our fans in the US will be eligible to win at this time and you may only win one. The first person to correctly answer the question wins!

Good luck!

July 24, 2011

Bluepoint Ocean Grille (Yes, It’s A Seafood Restaurant)

by jem614

By Jessica Michael

I had my first experience at Hard Rock Casino in Hollywood on Saturday night.  We ended up there the night they were having a party for “Zo’s Summer Groove” so people were dressed to the nines and there were photographers and news cameras everywhere.  What a great place to walk around and “people watch”!

I was starving so we went searching for a great place to eat.  There are quite a few restaurants in the plaza and after asking around, we were told that Bluepoint was a great place to go for a good water-side meal (the Hard Rock Casino surrounds a lake that has a water show similar to the Bellagio in Las Vegas).

Upon reviewing the menu, I noticed that the only vegetarian options were two salads.  The waitress actually suggested the “Turkey Burger” when I asked if they had anything for vegetarians.  After correcting her and feeling like a snooty witch, I asked if there was anything else and….. she suggested a salad.  I love how people think vegetarians only eat salads, I get offended by this though I knew she was trying and just had no idea whatsoever how to help me, so I ended up just ordering an appetizer and a salad.

The Pear and Candied Pecan salad was tasty but as I had forgotten to ask for the dressing on the side, I ended up with an overwhleming amount of it in the salad.   It did look really pretty and the pears were a perfect crisp; kudos to them for using mixed greens because it made up for some of the overwhelming taste of the salad dressing.

My husband had a seafood platter so I won’t “offend” you with the details on that 😉 but the fries, though extremely salty, were amazing.  They had this lemon salt flavor which is something I’m going to try to replicate at home.  I have never had lemon salted fries!

Overall though, a major disappointment for vegetarians.  Maybe it’s to be expected as this is a “destination” restaurant., people come here specifically to eat seafood.

This restaurant gets two carrots for lack of vegetarian options.

July 22, 2011

Thai Cafe Brings It Home With Their Tofu Curry

by jem614

By Jessica Michael

If you’re looking for a mild curry, and you’re vegetarian, look no further than Thai Cafe.  This little pearl of a place doesn’t get the credit it deserves.  Just at the tip of Main Street in Miami Lakes, on the way out to the Palmetto, lies a discovery of tastes waiting to happen.  Thai Cafe serves up a scrumptious meal including: Thai fried rice and Tofu Curry with Vegetables.  The sauce is the perfect thickness, the curry is so mild you can enjoy spoonful after spoonful without having to pick up a glass of water. Their service is friendly but not overwhelming, the prices are about average for the area; between $8.50 and $15 for lunch and you don’t have to wait in line for a seat.  Make sure you try their Thai Iced tea, it’s a perfect addition to your meal.

Four carrots!

For more information on this restaurant, go to http://www.thaicafemiamilakes.com/

July 22, 2011

A Taste of Thai Café: Miami Lakes, FL

by ashley

by Ashley Morgan

Today I told Jessica I had a craving for something different, so we thought and thought, finally remembering one of our favorite little places right in the heart of Miami Lakes. Outside the restaurant is a charming street filled with jewelry shops, imported clothing and several boutiques and restaurants. Within the restaurant, warm lighting and décor are accented by Bombay-style ceiling fans. The staff is always extremely friendly, as well as the owners (whom I’ve never met, but have seen on the local South Florida show “Check, please! South Florida” starring chef Michelle Bernstein).

Wanting something a little more satisfying than veggie sushi, I opted for the vegetable fried rice and cup of miso soup. I’d never had the fried rice here, but knowing how much I love Vietnamese style fried rice, I was hoping the Thai version would be just as tasty. My first course of miso soup was wonderful. The miso soup here is freshly made, which is a nice change from several “Americanized” sushi, Thai and Japanese restaurants around, and the flavor profile of the tofu, nori and fresh broth was amazing. My main course, the vegetable fried rice, was not quite as tasty as I expected, but still good. It would have been nice to have more fresh vegetables, fried onions and other seasonings. There was a ton of rice! But for the price and location, this is still one of my favorite restaurants lining Main Street and for a $10 lunch of this quality, we will certainly be back.

July 20, 2011

Cinebistro at Dolphin Mall has a Secret Weapon: Chef Justin

by ashley

by Ashley Morgan

Jessica and I have a taste for the finer things in life: food, wine and movie theatres that are not only 21+ (to keep the rifraff kids out) but also provide plush seating with waiter service. While these things all come at a premium, who really can put a price on comfort?  And Cobb Cinebistro at the Dolphin Mall in Miami, FL certainly knows it. Paying double the normal movie ticket price will bring you not only a movie sans crying babies, but also uniformed servers at your beckoning call, bringing you foodie delights from wonderful Chef Justin and his crew, along with great bar service. “But Ashley,” you say, “there aren’t any real vegan or vegetarian options on the menu!” To that, my dear friends, I send you to Chef Justin.

As head chef at the Cinebistro in the Dolphin Mall, all he needs is a short e-mail requesting an item for your diet and he’ll promise to whip you up something special while you’re visiting. Now, I’m not sure that he really wants me posting his e-mail out there in cyberspace for all the spammers to get ahold of, therefore I leave you with the contact form to Cinebistro (which is how I found him originally anyway) and they will forward it to him right away. Click here to send them an e-mail.

For $10.00 (a steal!) Chef Justin specially made me a veggie sushi roll, each piece enormous enough for three bites. I was starving, so I also ordered a hummus appetizer (on Jessica’s recommendation – I told you she likes the finer things in life, she comes here all the time). The sushi roll was so fresh and delicious, better than any other vegetable sushi I’ve ever had. The hummus is also amazing, so much so that I ordered extra pita to eat every last drop that was on my plate. I’m a salt-a-holic, so the saltiness of the olives they use as a garnish really make the dish spectacular.

Next time you are looking for a great date spot or girl’s night out, Cinebistro is certainly the place to be.

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