Archive for October, 2011

October 31, 2011

Veganizing Family Recipes

by jem614

By Jessica Michael

When I got married, 8 1/2 loooong years ago, my mother sent out recipe cards to my aunts, grandma and cousins so I could have recipes to start out with in my married life.  They all sent them back to my mom and she put them in a cute little recipe box as a gift on my wedding day.

I’ve come to treasure those recipes as THE BEST gift from my wedding.  Even more so now that both aunts and my grandmother are no longer with us.  Most of the recipes are really rich, down home cooking (Paula Dean style) such as Aunt Pat’s Texas cookies which are to DIE for.  There are some strange combinations as well and I may never get to them but I have decided to keep their memory alive by doing one recipe each week (or every other week) from the “ancestral” hall of fame.  I can’t promise you that I’ll be perfect because I’m the type that has great epiphanies and then has a hard time following through – but I will do my best.

Of course, these recipes are not vegan in any way so I will be veganizing them so that you can enjoy them too!  Hopefully, they are all smiling down on me and not irked that I’m using vegan butter and almond milk or seitan and tofu ;0  If anything, I hope they are reading this and realize that I treasure all the little gifts they left behind.

The first recipe will be coming later this week……

 

October 27, 2011

BOBA Station Bubble Tea- Popping Bubble Fun

by jem614

By Jessica Michael

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This is the Litchi (this is how they spelled it) Boba Tea “bubble”.  If you’ve been reading us for a while, you know Ashley and I are a little fanatic about Boba Tea.  Last night, I wandered around Hard Rock cafe with the hubby waiting for 1/2 time to finish on the UM game and stumbled upon the Boba Station Food Truck.  I was so excited to try I could barely contain myself, my husband was standing a little ways back from me trying to hide his embarrassment while I snapped pictures and giggled with glee.  Something about being a foodie makes you geekier about food than everyone else.  Seriously, who gets excited about trying different brands of Boba Tea?

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This is the wonderful Peach Green Tea Boba with Litchi bubbles. Lychee, as you probably already know, is normally a kind of slimy, round, fruit that tastes quite good.  The combination of Peach and Green Tea with the Litchi was perfect.  What a fantastic, light refreshment!!  The bubbles are not like regular ones, they actually burst with juice inside.  My husband refused to taste it, thinking it looked like a science experiment but every juicy squish was delicious.

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Boba Station makes their rounds in Miami and Broward, to track them (or stalk them) go to http://www.bobastation.com/   or you can go to http://miamifoodtrucks.com/2011/05/seminole-hard-rock/ and double check to see if they are there but I believe they are at Hard Rock every Thursday for the Food Truck invasion.

October 25, 2011

Thanksgiving Cheer in a Bowl: Two-Ingredient Pumpkin Dip

by ashley

by Ashley Morgan

The holiday season is rapidly approaching and what better gourd than the almighty pumpkin to represent your holiday spirit. Unexpected visitors pop up constantly this time of year. Instead of stressing, keep these two ingredients in your cupboard to ensure a great time no matter when they drop by: pre-mixed pumpkin pie filling and vegan cream cheese. Both are great by themselves, however mixed 25/75 (25% cream cheese and 75% pumpkin pie filling), they are absolutely divine.

The dip can be paired with ginger snaps, crackers or even lentil chips (as I have done). Forgo the holiday stress and enjoy your friendly visits with a dip good enough to impress your mother-in-law. Just don’t tell her how simple it was to make!

Two-Ingredient Pumpkin Dip

¼ cup vegan cream cheese

¾ cup pre-mixed pumpkin pie filling

Mix by hand or with mixer until fully incorporated. Serve chilled.

October 24, 2011

The Offensive “Whole Wheat” Banana Bread

by jem614

By Jessica Michael

My throat is sore from coughing, my chest feels like it’s been wheezing for days.  My eyes are red and itchy.  It’s not a cold, it’s a wheat allergy.  No matter how much I might want to eat right, do right, be right, if we are allergic to something, we are just allergic.  I have been fighting this wheat allergy since childhood, you would have thought that I would have grown out of it but no, just like the dimples on my bottom, it’s fiercely loyal.

A friend of mine has a child who is extremely allergic to certain foods, they have to carry food with them wherever they go. I have to say that she is super mom for doing this.   If we can do such amazing things for others, why do we have a hard time doing it for ourselves?

This year, after reading an article in Runners World on Kathy Keilitz, who was a runner but couldn’t lose weight, I contacted her to see what she did to finally drop those pounds.  She told me that she had gone to a nutritionist, worked on her eating and it helped her.  I then hired her for six months to help me change my thinking about food and my food habits (she’s now a certified health coach).  I have to say that she’s part of the reason I’m eating mostly vegan now and have dropped a few pounds.  She gently reminded me week after week that I needed to nourish myself.  She even advised me to cut out the wheat but as you can tell, I didn’t listen.  I’m listening now Kathy!

Here is the offending Whole Wheat Sugar Free (no sugar at all except on the icing) cream cheese frosted banana bread, I enjoyed it while I was still breathing normally:

To find out more about Kathy Keilitz’s nutrition program please find her on facebook.  She does have a new page she’s creating but I don’t believe it’s active yet:

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Nutrition-Now-with-Kathy/228315903886371

Here is her Runner’s World Article:

http://www.runnersworld.com/mobile/article/0,8172,s6-243-297–13789-3-1X2X3X4-5,00.html

October 21, 2011

A Very Special Vegan Friday: “Spork-Fed” Vegan Cookbook

by ashley

by Ashley Morgan

While it can be fun to veganize your own recipes, sometimes you just need something that is guaranteed to work properly and come out gorgeous for friends and family. A great vegan cookbook, such as Spork-Fed, is exactly what you need to whip up something yummy quickly. Another dynamic female duo, sisters Jenny and Heather Goldberg, are behind this great vegan cookbook, which hit stores October 1st. Jenny and Heather are experts in the field, giving vegan cooking classes out of their Beverly Hills studio, founding  the website sporkonline.com (for online vegan cooking demonstrations) and helping with healthy eating makeovers across the country. The debut of their very own cookbook is putting them in the spotlight for contemporary vegan cuisine.

Spork Foods was kind enough to reach out to us with a few sample recipes, which look fantastic (especially one, an apple pie milkshake!). I decided to try their Strawberry Cream Cheese Stuffed French Toast, since it sounded so decadent. I especially loved the description, “You can make this extraordinary brunch dish in 10 minutes flat, even if you had a few too many drinkies the night before!” I certainly had a few too many drinks the night before I made this, so it was a match made in heaven. Due to the claim that this could be made in 10 minutes, I decided to time myself. Maybe I’m a little slow, but it took about 45 minutes to complete. If you prep the night before, you may be able to whip these up much faster. While through the process I was a little worried about the concoction, in the end it was a brunch item worthy of any breakfast table. It is incredibly impressive to set on the table, your friends will think you’ve been away at pastry school once you’ve set the finished dish in front of them.

For more information on this great cookbook, watch their trailer below:

“Finally, Jenny and Heather have decided to write a cookbook! For years now, they have been making…and teaching people how to make…delicious, healthy food that just happens to be vegan. Vegans, vegetarians and omnivores alike will fall in love with these fabulous sisters and their amazing food. We encourage everyone to pick up this book and take the Spork adventure.”

– Emily Deschanel (star of the TV series ‘Bones’) and Zooey Deschanel (film and TV actress)

Spork-Fed:  Super Fun and Flavorful Vegan Recipes from the Sisters of Spork Foods

On Sale Now

http://www.sporkfoods.com/

http://www.sporkonline.com/

October 19, 2011

Delicious, Organic, Vegan Indian Food from your Grocer’s Freezer: Amy’s Indian Vegetable Korma

by ashley

by Ashley Morgan

Since eating Jamaican food, I have always been afraid of curry. I’m not a fan of spicy food and curry to me always meant spicy. But Amy’s curry has taught me that the two terms are not synonymous. Amy’s being one of the largest vegan and vegetarian frozen foods manufacturer, I already had high hopes for the Indian Vegetable Korma. I haven’t ever had real Indian food, but if it is anything like Amy’s version, I’m certainly missing out on a great cuisine. Fully vegan, organic, gluten-free and low in calories (310 calories per meal), this is a great lunch or dinner on the go.

I love the homemade taste, the large portion vs. calories and that spicy-phobic eaters (such as myself) can enjoy the curry taste without the burn! I’m not usually a fan of the big brand names, tending to support smaller companies, however Amy’s has proved time and again that they are a market leader for a reason. A great introduction to Indian food – I’ll be looking for the real thing very soon!

 

October 19, 2011

Easy Peasy Vegan Mushroom and Cheese Sandwich

by jem614

By Jessica Michael

On Sunday, I was out with some friends for lunch at this place called “The Village Tavern” in Pembroke Pines and had the most amazing Mushroom Sandwich ever.  I have been salivating over that sandwich since then.  So last night, I went home and made my own.  This time it was vegan!

For the bread, I bought the sprouted grain Ezekiel bread because I wanted this to be a healthy choice.  For the mushrooms, I stir fried them in olive oil with onion, salt and pepper (and a bit of white wine if you prefer).  After they were nice and sauteed, I added the mushrooms, some Daiya Mozzarella and a bit of avocado to my previously toasted bread.  Then pressed it in the George Foreman to help the cheese melt and Voila!  The perfect sandwich.

I noticed something weird after eating the sandwich though, I think I might have an allergy to mushrooms!  The back of my throat was all tingly and I started sneezing (this can’t be happening to me!).  I’m going to try it again with mushrooms on their own and see if it’s that or maybe something else.  Does anyone else get tingly after eating mushrooms?

 

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October 17, 2011

The Morgan’s Restaurant Brunch

by jem614

By Jessica Michael

In searching for a great “brunch” option for my friend Naomy’s Saturday Birthday party, I came across a restaurant called “The Morgan’s”.  The Morgan’s Restaurant on the beach is a very “Sex and the City” type restaurant on Purdy Avenue close to The Green Monkey Yoga studio.  It’s a great place for brunch …. if you’re not in a hurry.  The wait staff was friendly, if a bit forgetful. They forgot (twice) to bring the birthday girl’s cake (which we waited almost an hour to get) but besides that, it was a pretty good brunch experience.

Ashley, the birthday girl, Naomy and her daughter Jazmin

The French Toast Brioche was mouthwatering.  It was light, fluffy and sweet, the perfect combination on an overcast Saturday morning.  Every brunch meal they brought out looked beautiful. I wasn’t impressed that they charge you for coffee refills but I guess that’s to be expected for cafe con leche.

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There was so much french toast that I was farming it out to the other girls at the table.  One piece was enough to stuff me.

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Ashley, our friend Ivette and her son, Luis

This restaurant is not vegetarian (and Vegans for sure will have a hard time eating here) but they do offer many Vegetarian options.  All in all, I would give them 4 out of 5 carrots.  Though their forgetfulness was disappointing, the ambiance, friendliness of the server and the taste of the food won out.

For more information on The Morgan’s restaurant go to http://www.themorgansrestaurant.com/

October 17, 2011

The “Green Thing”: Is the new green revolution really that green?

by ashley

by Ashley Morgan

I received a chain letter this morning in my e-mail that actually made a lot of sense, surprisingly enough. Everywhere you look today there are “green” products: bottles made from plants, reusable grocery bags, less harsh chemical cleaning products. These are all great things, however our world still needs a lot of work.

Just something to think about as you start your week 🙂 !

 

Green Thing

Anonymous

In the queue at the store, the cashier told an older woman that she should bring her own grocery bags because plastic bags weren’t good for the environment.

The woman apologized to him and explained, “We didn’t have the green thing back in my day.”

The clerk responded, “That’s our problem today. Your generation did not care enough to save our environment.”

He was right — our generation didn’t have the green thing in its day.

Back then, we returned milk bottles, soda bottles and beer bottles to the store. The store sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilized and refilled, so it could use the same bottles over and over. So they really were recycled. But we didn’t have the green thing back in our day.

We walked up stairs, because we didn’t have an escalator in every store and office building. We walked to the grocery store and didn’t climb into a 300-horsepower machine every time we had to go two blocks. But she was right. We didn’t have the green thing in our day.

Back then, we washed the baby’s diapers because we didn’t have the throw-away kind. We dried clothes on a line, not in an energy gobbling machine burning up 220 volts — wind and solar power really did dry the clothes. Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters, not always brand-new clothing. But that old lady is right; we didn’t have the green thing back in our day.

Back then, we had one TV, or radio, in the house — not a TV in every room. And the TV had a small screen the size of a handkerchief (remember them?), not a screen the size of the state of Montana . In the kitchen, we blended and stirred by hand because we didn’t have electric machines to do everything for us. When we packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, we used a wadded up old newspaper to cushion it, not Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap. Back then, we didn’t fire up an engine and burn gasoline just to cut the lawn. We used a push mower that ran on human power. We exercised by working so we didn’t need to go to a health club to run on treadmills that operate on electricity. But she’s right; we didn’t have the green thing back then.

We drank from a fountain when we were thirsty instead of using a cup or a plastic bottle every time we had a drink of water. We refilled writing pens with ink instead of buying a new pen, and we replaced the razor blades in a razor instead of throwing away the whole razor just because the blade got dull. But we didn’t have the green thing back then.

Back then, people took the streetcar or a bus and kids rode their bikes to school or walked instead of turning their moms into a 24-hour taxi service. We had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances. And we didn’t need a computerized gadget to receive a signal beamed from satellites 2,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest pizza joint.

But isn’t it sad the current generation laments how wasteful we old folks were just because we didn’t have the green thing back then?

Please forward this on to another selfish old person who needs a lesson in  conservation from a smartass young person.

Remember: Don’t make old People mad.

We don’t like being old in the first place, so it doesn’t take much to set us off.

October 14, 2011

Baba Ganoush and Foul Medammas

by jem614

By Jessica Michael

I’ve recently noticed that some African Arabic cooking has a basic 5 ingredients: Season-All, Cumin, Black Pepper, Onion and Lime.  These five main ingredients tend to make things fresh, spicy and irresistible as well as adding some Arabic flare.

Before I became a vegetarian, my husband made Foul Medammas (Fava Beans) and Baba Ganoush (eggplant) for me regularly but would add spam (yes, spam) for flavor.  I attempted to make my own vegan spam last night using a recipe I found online but it was quite disgusting and I tossed it without eating it.   Honestly, it doesn’t need it and the spam was my husband’s own addition.

Baba Ganoush is a healthy dinner option, it’s basically just blended eggplant and you can find it in any middle eastern or Greek store.  Just warm it up for a couple of minutes on the stove (no boiling necessary, you just want it warm).  Next, add your basic five ingredients (and a tablespoon of olive oil for flavor).  It’s one of my favorite Middle East dishes and I never feel guilty eating it.

Baba Ghanoush

Foul Medammas are beans called “Fava” beans.  There are a couple of types of fava, the large ones are not as good (and there are like 20 beans in the can) as the smaller ones.  If you buy it at the store, make sure you get the small ones.

To make the fava beans, we normally boil water and stick the can of beans in the water.  I get that this is probably not the best way to do it but that’s the way it’s normally done- feel free to take it out of the can and cook it, I don’t think it will taste much different.   Once they are nice and steamy, mash them then the same five ingredients as well as the olive oil (just a teaspoon should be fine for the foul).

Foul Medammas

Do not drain, use the juice from the beans to keep the flavor.   Stir and enjoy with the big pita bread you can also find at the middle eastern store.

It’s extremely easy, has protein, vegetable and carbs all in one meal and two small cans can feed two people for dinner or enough for side dishes at a party!

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