Posts tagged ‘Vegan’

August 4, 2016

Lulu in the Grove

by jem614

Once a year my friends come in from out of town and we get together, all of us girls that haven’t seen each other in a while, and have a night out.  We chose Lulu after a coworker suggested it had the perfect atmosphere for a chill girls night out.

What a great place to hang out and we even got a round of drinks on the house (it helps to know people, that’s all I’m going to say).  Our waiter was very sweet but probably a little overwhelmed by our outspoken group.

As we were only supposed to be there for drinks, I ordered an appetizer of hummus and pita sticks that was the perfect snack.  My friend then ordered the Dulce de Leche that came with a beautiful strawberry flower on top.  There are quite a few options for vegetarians including the Brussel Sprouts appetizer that I heard is a favorite.  Veggie burgers, salads, etc. all are included in the menu.

If you’re looking for a nice romantic spot, a place to people watch or just to hang out with friends, this is definitely the place to go in Coconut Grove.

Thank you Lulu for such a great evening!
Lulu’s Facebook
Lulu’s Website

 

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April 25, 2016

greenbar & Kitchen, Fort Lauderdale

by jem614

 

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I’ve driven this strip of Fort Lauderdale going towards A1A hundreds of times and didn’t realize that back inside one of the little strip malls, was a great Plant-based restaurant! I’ve never even heard of them till this past week!

They have this adorable little patio area that is draped in plants and greenery and kind of takes you out of feeling like you’re in the city.  Inside the restaurant it’s very hip and modern and fresh-feeling.  If you’re looking for a great place for just grabbing some lunch or actually want to take someone out for a casual date-night, it’s the place to go (hint hint-go take someone out this weekend).

I ordered the avocado toast because someone had recommended it somewhere and I didn’t want anything too heavy that night.  Four half-slices of toast with tons of avocado and yumminess piled on top.  My son ordered the nuggets of which he ate three and said he didn’t want anymore- no worries! Mommy saved room for that.  He’s a picky eater and has a hard time trying new things.   Literally, we eat three main items at home.  The nuggets weren’t my favorite but they were the typical vegetarian nugget- I expected the flavor, though it did have an interesting spice thrown in there.

He did however, devour that chocolate cupcake you see below and mommy had to slyly take a bite while he wasn’t looking.  Thank goodness they were offering tons of cupcake samples that night.
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On top of the wonderful food options, we were able to listen to a little info session on locally grown foods.  Check them out if you want to learn more about growing your own farm here locally or if you’d like to purchase some of their veggies and plants (just note that growing season in Florida for their veggies is coming to an end for them so now is the time to go before it’s over).  They also sell their own coconut milk.

A great evening all around, so glad I could use this opportunity to check out a new place.  Please let us know if you’ve ever visited and what you had when you were there- inquiring minds want to know what else is good!

For info on greenbar, go to : gb&k
For info on Harpke Family Farm, go to: Harpke Family Farm

April 13, 2016

Trader Joe’s Soy Chorizo

by jem614

Oh we went there and went back again.  The Soy Chorizo from Trader Joe’s is seriously out of this world.  I could eat the entire package in one sitting.  Put it on top of pasta or zoodles, on potatoes or inside of tacos.  There is no end to the versatility of this vegan sausage.

We heart it over and over again.  Please never stop making this!

chorizo

January 21, 2016

Why Not “Try The World”

by jem614

My mom is a world traveler and, as I was trying to figure out what to get her for Christmas, a little ad popped up on Facebook.  Try The World, buy three for $39 (promo no longer available).  So I bought it!  I was so excited waiting to see what we were going to get because of course, mom always shares.

The three boxes came a few days before Christmas so we opened them early in case anything was perishable (we could have waited honestly, we were just too excited to open the boxes).

She loved it, needless to say.  I was worried that it would be cheap and not worth the $39 but I think we were more than happy with the contents of these Tiffany-blue boxes!

Best Christmas present, they were full and beautifully packaged.  We even put some food out for our Christmas guests who gobbled them up.  These are things that you actually need in the kitchen too- like sea salt and olive oil and Dijon mustard but with different tastes than we’re used to here.

Such a great experience, we will be doing it again!

To get your own Try The World box and enjoy your trip around the world, go to http://www.trytheworld.com or Try The World $15 Off Here
They also have a limited time- free trial offer here: Free Trial Paris Box

December 3, 2015

Holiday Detox Series: Publix Edamame Steam-in-Bag

by ashley

 Like most of the country this past week, I ate waaaayyy too much over Thanksgiving. Too many desserts to count – who can say no to ricotta pumpkin cheesecake? I learned I definitely cannot! And so many savory carbs like bread, mashed potatoes, candied sweet potatoes, rice and gandules, russian potato salad….ehhh. Needless to say, it’s only the beginning of December and already the holiday pounds are starting to creep up on me. I don’t want it to get out of hand so I’ve decided to start my “new year’s resolution” early – instead of January, why don’t we start in December IN BETWEEN all of the horrible eating that accompanies this time of year? This will be a mini-series of posts as I go along my holiday season natural detox diet. There will be cheat days, of course, on the days that I have a party or family gathering, but I will limit them and also keep portions in check. Everything in moderation!

This time of year is also one of the busiest, meaning that I don’t have a lot of prep time for my healthy meals. I’m looking for quick, cheap and healthy meals and snacks. So far I raided my local Publix who had a sale on their steam-in-bag vegetables. I love edamame, but had actually never made it at home. Typically in restaurants it comes covered in salt or sauces, which are not part of my holiday detox plan, so the Publix brand edamame is a perfect snack or side dish being that the ingredients listed are just: edamame!

Since I’m a glutton, I need these nutrient dense, low calorie options so I can eat large quantities. I ate the ENTIRE BAG as part of my dinner yesterday and it came out to only 275 calories, 8.8 grams of fat, 27.5 carbs and it gave me a whole 12.5 grams of protein. A great way to add bulk to your diet without packing on the calories. It’s super easy to make: pop in the microwave for 5-6 minutes, let sit for a minute or so to cool and then eat. For the holiday detox, make sure not to add any salt or sauce. The more you eat veggies on their own, the more your taste buds will become accustomed to not needing as much salt. Also make sure to drink as much water as you can throughout the day. I try to drink about 16 oz an hour, sipping constantly. Your body will adjust to the increase in your water intake after a few days, but the first couple of days you will go to the bathroom a lot more often. This is great for your whole body, giving your skin a great glow and also cleaning out your organs.

You don’t need to do an expensive juice cleanse or detox pills to really clean up your body and your nutrition. Focus on lots of water, cutting back on refined sugar and sodium, as well as eating lots of whole foods. If you’re struggling with flavor, try adding fresh garlic or herbs to your food. Make sure you don’t use any mixed seasonings that have sodium. You’ll want to limit your sodium intake on your “clean” days as much as possible!

November 16, 2015

Quick Weeknight Dinner: Spinach Tagliatelle with Pesto, Cherry Tomatoes and Roasted Peppers

by ashley
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Photo by: Paolo Margari

Before we start cooking, let’s first imagine we are gliding down a canal in Bologna, Italy in spring with beautiful flowers gracing the balconies and friendly Italians waving as we pass. Somewhere off in the distance a man with a deep baritone voice is singing as he kneads dough to make delicious spinach tagliatelle pasta. We stop at a market to pick up the freshest, most vibrant cherry tomatoes, fire roasted red peppers, some robust balsamic vinegar and a basil pesto sauce made fresh that morning by the world’s most adorable grandmother. Of course we can dream up the best ingredients possible, but we all know that I’m stuck in a city apartment the size of a closet and cooking with the best I can find in my local market. I was able to find some amazing fresh spinach tagliatelle, you can substitute dried if you don’t have this luxury. And I purchased a jar of great basil pesto as well as a jar of fire roasted red peppers, both of which should be easy enough to find in most supermarkets. I already had a great Modena balsamic vinegar at home and some cherry tomatoes that needed to be used – and voila, the quickest gourmet weeknight dinner ever.

If you have 15 minutes, you have enough time to put this on your table tonight. The below recipe yields enough for a quick dinner for one or two, but can easily be adapted into dinner for a family of any size.

Spinach Tagliatelle with Pesto, Cherry Tomatoes and Roasted Peppers

Serves two

Ingredients

  • 4 oz spinach tagliatelle pasta (fresh, if available)
  • 2 tbsp basil pesto (typically found in your grocer’s sauce aisle)
  • 1 whole fire roasted red pepper, cut into strips
  • 1 pint grape/cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1tbsp balsamic vinegar

Boil water in a medium sized pot and cook the spinach tagliatelle until al dente, time will vary depending on whether you purchase fresh or dried pasta. In a separate pan on medium-high heat, sauté the halved cherry tomatoes, the minced garlic, and roasted red pepper strips until heated through and slightly browning. Add the basil pesto and the balsamic vinegar to the pan and turn off the heat, stirring constantly until heated through and well incorporated. Serve the sauce over the cooked pasta.

  

 

July 6, 2015

Emily Skye F.I.T. Program Vegan/Vegetarian Version

by jem614

I’ve been stalking Emily Skye on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for a while now and finally hit the “purchase” button this past week.  She had a 50% off special and it was only $35 for an entire month of food lists (weekly) as well as a menu and a workout plan. I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to at least try it for a month.

I don’t know about you but I need to be constantly on top of my fitness goals or I let go and it becomes a nightmare trying to undo the damage of unhealthy eating.  What I love about this plan is that everything is extremely healthy- I am reminded of how I was eating when I first became a vegetarian; clean, whole eating.

There is a wide variety of breakfast options including pancakes, quinoa cereal, chia pudding- which can be made the night before to save time. Lunches are tempeh stir fries, chickpea cakes; snacks are protein shakes (I use my favorite Garden of Life protein shakes in Chocolate or Marley Coffee) and protein balls or FIT protein muffins.  She uses tons of veggies, nuts, seeds, raw foods.  It’s clean eating- no milks except for the occasional unsweetened yogurt with berries and stevia.

The best part of the plan is that you will never be hungry, there is so much protein and whole foods that it filled me up.  I was actually wondering how I could fit it all in.  Her plan has it all set up so you literally do not have to figure it out on your own.  The recipes are tasty and simple so you won’t be overwhelmed with thousands of ingredients.
And lest you think that you’re spending a whole lot on just yourself, most of the recipes feed more than 1 person so you can either put it in the freezer and eat later, or feed the rest of your family!

I’m not 100% yet, I’m going into this gradually or I won’t stick to it.  My snack today was the pumpkin protein balls which literally have no sugar in them except a little bit of dates.  However, I only had four dates left so I subbed with bananas and it didn’t work out so well.  The dates are what sticks it together, the bananas just made it mushier.  Regardless, three of them make a great snack and I’m stuffed till lunch time.  Note to self- don’t sub!

Her 28 day Phase I plan also comes with a workout routine that I’ll be starting tonight.  You do need at least dumbbells at home if you’re not going to the gym, so be prepared if you decide to check her out.  Even if you don’t check her out today, this Aussie is an incredible role model and worth following on social media.  She’s all about positive energy and building others up.  .

Have you tried any great fitness plans lately?  Have you tried Emily Skye’s plan?  Let us know how you’re doing!!

For more information on Emily Skye, go to: Emily Skye Website or on Facebook.

June 15, 2015

Farmer’s Table, Boca

by jem614

To end my girl’s weekend a little early, we headed over to Farmer’s Table in Boca for lunch with the birthday girl.  I can’t explain how amazing this place is so I’ll show you with an overwhelming number of pictures:

I actually found this place online a few months back and have been itching to check it out.  What a great place for Vegans and Vegetarians ALIKE.  Your omnivore friends will also be happy with their cage free and grass fed options (I won’t mention the actual animals here).

Farmer’s Table sources from local farms, they don’t cook in butter and their staff is incredibly friendly.  Just be warned ahead of time if you come in a big group BRING CASH!!!  They only let you split the check 4 ways per table so some people will be left paying more if you’re not careful.

The birthday girl ordered some hummus for the table and it was a very tasty garlicky option for hors devours.  My other friend, who is a vegetarian, decided she wanted breakfast so she opted for the pancakes:

Sadly, I was still a little full from breakfast and couldn’t eat much of my out-of-this-world, vegetarian, Reuben but my husband made sure to polish it off when I brought the other half home.  When I asked the waiter what he recommended, he mentioned the vegetarian/vegan lasagna (to make it vegetarian, just add the mozzarella for $2 extra).  It’s made up of layers and layers of vegetables and he said it was divine.  I was feeling like I needed something a little less veggie-intensive so I opted for the Vegetarian Reuben.  I am so happy I did because I’ve never had a Reuben sandwich and it will forever stay in my brain as the best Reuben I’ve ever had. Full of sauerkraut and mushrooms on whole grain bread it was just the right amount of saucy and meaty (the mushrooms were the perfect combo for the sauerkraut).

Our table was this huge rustic wooden number that would have fit 16 people comfortably.  I am so in love with this place, I can’t say enough good things. What a perfect weekend, don’t you just love that quality time you can spend with your friends?

And…. the birthday girl (who, by the way, writes a honest and touching “mom” blog called “Just Another Day With Kids” http://www.justanotherdaywithkids.com/)

To visit them or learn more, go to: http://www.farmerstableboca.com/

May 11, 2015

Sweet Plantain, Maple and Brown Sugar Cake – Ashley’s back!

by ashley

Do you ever just get in a rut? You feel sad, overwhelmed, unable to concentrate on things that you once loved. Daily stresses combine with big stresses and everything that doesn’t involve laying on the couch becomes too much to handle. That’s how I’ve felt for the past six months. Many things happened in my life that just snowballed into this overwhelming feeling of just not wanting to do anything at all. I don’t cross promote, and still won’t, but I do write a couple of other blogs. All of them have had the same theme lately: either incredible sadness or absolutely nothing at all. When I fall into these bouts of depression I tend to write for myself more than anything else, and being a perfectionist, I cannot just throw something on a page and not be proud of it. I wrote a lot of poetry over the past few months, none of which will ever be shared with the public at large, but it helps if you’re suffering from the same feelings.

The point of telling you this is that I haven’t forgotten about you. I have thought a lot about this blog, and Jessica, over the past few months. I just couldn’t force myself to write. It’s foolish, I know, but it is the truth. But I’m here now. And I had a lot of extra plantains that were about to rot in my house – so I decided to make up a recipe for you J

The plantain is a staple in most Latin households. It can be eaten green or yellow, unripened or ripened. Green plantains are used mostly for frying – in my house either for cutting in slices, frying, mashing and then refrying into tostones or patacones (we are a mixed Caribbean/Central American household, so yes we do use both words). I also mash them up into a vegetarian mofongo (the most delicious thing on earth when paired with a robust tomato or vegetable broth – make sure to add some smoked paprika to imitate the flavor that meat imparts on the traditional mofongo). Sweet (also called yellow/ripened/black plantains) can also be sliced and fried into maduros or tajadas, or you can make a pastelon, or plantain “lasagna”, with strips of fried sweet plantains instead of noodles. There are also plantain empanadas (which I have already given you a recipe for here), plantain soup, simple boiled and mashed plantains instead of potatoes – the plantain is a very versatile vegetable.

Well, I could have done any of these things with my blackening plantains, which by the way is the best way to use sweet plantains – when they are almost completely black. But instead of the traditional, I decided I had a craving for banana bread. And of course I didn’t have bananas, only sweet plantains, so I made Sweet Plantain, Maple and Brown Sugar Cake. It’s very sweet, with a nutty flavor from the flaxseed, and completely vegan. It also can easily be made gluten free by using a gluten free flour instead of the whole wheat flour.

Sweet Plantain, Maple and Brown Sugar Cake

2 very ripe plantains, black almost to the point of rotting

1 cup cane sugar (I like to use Sugar in the Raw)

½ cup dark brown sugar

½ tsp kosher salt

2 tsp vanilla extract (I like to use Madagascar)

2 tsp maple syrup (use pure, real maple syrup, if you can)

¼ cup ground flaxseed

¾ cup water

½ cup almond milk

½ cup melted butter (I used Earth Balance Coconut)

2 tsp baking soda

2 tsp baking powder

2 cups whole wheat flour (or a gluten free flour of your choice)

Preheat oven to 350’F.

Start by combining the ground flaxseed with water until incorporated. Set aside. Cut up the plantains into small slices and add to a large mixing bowl. Add the cane sugar, brown sugar, salt, vanilla, maple syrup, flaxseed mixture, almond milk and butter. Mash and mix together until a batter is formed. Add baking soda, baking powder and whole wheat flour. Continue mixing until fully incorporated.

Grease your baking pan (I used two small loaf pans) and pour in the batter. Bake until golden brown and set in the middle, about 30 minutes.

May 7, 2015

The Glo Restaurant, Reykjavik (Iceland)

by jem614
Mama Veg: The Glo` Restaurant really does “glow”. On a side street, one ascends an unassuming staircase to enter the delightful Glo` Restaurant, a real, live, vegetarian restaurant in downtown Reykjavik. The dishes are well presented and the aromas tease the senses. I tried the vegetable soup with spelt bread. The soup was blended with a slight curry flavor and the hummus was coarsely ground and appeared to include cucumber and red peppers and was the best I have ever tasted. I am going back tomorrow to try the pecan pie and cappuccinos. I am sure I won’t be disappointed.

Some of the dishes are vegan & the staff was pleasant and helpful. They said people often take photos of their food displays and that people say their friends “back home” told them to stop by the restaurant during their visit in Reykjavik. Apparently the restaurant is truly world famous. My aunt lived in Reykjavik for several years many years ago while working for the U.S. Navy as a civilian employee. I think she would probably not recognize downtown Reykjavik now. Today it is full of many intriguing little shops and restaurants.Next time you pass through Reykjavik, stop by and enjoy the delectable dishes in the Glo’ Restaurant!

mom
Mama Veg
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