Posts tagged ‘Veganism’

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

January 4, 2013

GoPicnic Hummus+Crackers Vegan Ready-to-Eat Meal

by ashley

GoPicnic Vegan Hummus+CrackersI found the cutest pre-packaged lunch today – GoPicnic hummus+crackers. It reminds me of what a healthy American-style bento box might be, which I’ve always wanted to make for myself yet never found the time. It comes with several individually packaged snacks, which can be eaten together or spaced throughout the day. Because everything is well packaged, nothing needs refrigeration (including the hummus), which means you can literally bring this anywhere. I have travelling on the brain right now because of my trip next week, so I’m thinking this would make an awesome meal to bring in your GoPicnic Vegan Hummus+Crackerscarry-on. No more nasty airplane meals! You could also bring this camping, on long car rides…so many possibilities. The variety I chose, hummus+crackers, is only 400 calories total, making it a great lunch/mid-day snack. I’m on a lower calorie diet right now (between 1200-1300 calories per day), so this fits well into the middle of my day. I have been snacking on it for a couple of hours now and feel completely satisfied.

GoPicnic Vegan Hummus+CrackersThey have two 100% vegan varieties to choose from: hummus+crackers and sunbutter+crackers. I found them in my local Nutrition S’mart with a $1 off coupon, bringing the price to just $2.89. That’s an amazing deal for such a healthful and filling meal. I’m excited to try the sunbutter one next time!

 

 

 

You can see their vegan offerings here : http://www.gopicnic.com/Special-Diets/Vegan-Meals

April 17, 2012

Vegan Diet for Kids?

by ashley

by Ashley Morgan

An article posted today on MSNBC has already garnered lots of attention from vegan supporters and cynics surrounding whether children should be taught to eat a vegan diet. Despite the fact that the typical American diet is high in saturated fats and considerably less balanced than the average vegan diet, there are still many cynics purporting that a vegan or vegetarian diet simply isn’t “balanced” enough.

 

 

I’d like to hear your thoughts on this, should children be fed a vegan or vegetarian diet? Do you raise your children on a certain diet?

January 6, 2012

Ashley’s Vegan Bodybuilding Challenge Update

by ashley

by Ashley Morgan

I think this is the first time in my life that I feel empowered to make a drastic change in my eating and exercise habits. Over the past year I’ve accomplished so much, including losing 15 pounds and keeping 11 or so of those off, even during the holidays. I’ve also completed my first half-marathon. I’ve learned about vegetarian and vegan diet habits and have been able to incorporate them into my daily life. My entire outlook on nutrition and exercise has completely been turned upside down.

 

A few years ago I would starve myself before an event, take diet pills, live off crazy things like lemons and cabbage. All of those things made me lose a few pounds and inches, sure…but the weight would come back on and I would feel worse and worse about myself after. I felt like a failure – I seriously couldn’t understand why I couldn’t handle eating 500 calories or so per day (which sounds ludicrous now). I am so lucky to have learned these things, incorporating more and more into regular habits. I certainly have not been eating perfectly this whole year, however I can say that I have eaten better than ever.

 

And so, as I embark upon this next step in my journey, I know that I have the right tools to succeed. I may not end up getting the supermodel body of my dreams, however I know for a fact that I will walk away having learned yet another lesson that will improve the rest of my life. My advice to anyone else trying to follow a strict diet and exercise program – don’t make it so strict! Have fun with it, it’s the only way to succeed. I’ve been playing around with new recipes, trying to make my workouts fun by using the Wii, walking with loved ones and going to classes with friends (i.e. JESSICA!). Challenge yourself, listen to your body and most of all – know that what you are doing is for you, not for anyone else.

 

A quick update on my progress:

 

Stick to the routine that I originally posted, I tried to make it more difficult this week (thinking I wasn’t going to be challenged enough). DON’T overdo it, you’ll end up dead sore and unable to do anything. I think the cardio every other day and weights on cardio off-days is the key. I was trying to do weights everyday and that didn’t work at all.

 

Secondly, you WILL be sore starting weight training for the first time – incredibly debilitating pain that will shoot through your arms and legs as you try to do daily activities. As long as you were careful to keep your form during exercises, this is just normal pain and soreness. If it doesn’t go away after two days or so, take a rest day. But don’t give up – the pain is from muscle growth and you only have a short window before you lose your progress. As long as you keep up the weight training, you will start to get less and less sore after each workout.

 

As always, I’m here if you have any questions about what we’re doing. We aren’t experts by any means, but we’ve been through a lot of these type of programs (especially with nutrition) and know a lot of resources that could help you, plus personal experience.

December 29, 2011

New Year Resolutions: Vegan Weight Loss/Muscle Gaining Regimen

by ashley

by Ashley Morgan

While it sounds incredibly kitschy, Jessica and I have decided to do the most cliché thing I can think of this time of year: take a New Year resolution that we have every intention of keeping. We are going to lose weight and gain lean muscle, all on a completely vegan diet. Jessica has me hooked on all of the success stories BodyBuilding.com has for women. There are literally dozens of stories coming from women of all ages, sizes and ethnicities, complete with their full diet and exercise programs used to come to these results.

The thing we noticed while looking at all of these stories was that they use tons of supplements and almost no vegetarian/vegan protein options. Jessica being the huge fan of Brendan Brazier that she is, we are fully aware that it is absolutely possible to build lean muscle without consuming animal protein. We haven’t started yet (don’t want to set ourselves up for failure on New Year’s Eve), but I am going to start eating better between now and Monday. We will begin the full plan on January 02nd, so if you want to do it with us, by all means please do. And if you do choose to join in, please send us a quick message or comment, we’d love to hear from you to help keep us motivated.

(These are rough ideas of a plan that we haven’t yet started. These may and probably will be changed as we begin, but we will let you know of any changes made throughout the plan.)

The Diet Plan

Breakfast –

½ cup plain oatmeal

1 cup spinach, banana and strawberry smoothie, with one scoop vegan protein powder

Snack #1 –

½ cup hummus with raw celery

OR

Vegan protein bar

Lunch –

Lean vegan protein, such as tofu, tempeh or beans

Vegetables

Whole grain or seeds, such as quinoa, barley, brown rice or millet

Snack #2 –

1 cup almond milk with scoop of vegan protein powder

OR
Vegan protein bar

Dinner –

Lean vegan protein, such as tofu, tempeh or beans

Vegetables

Whole grain or seeds, such as quinoa, barley, brown rice or millet

OPTIONAL Snack #3 –

If you absolutely need another snack after working out, try an apple, ½ cup oatmeal or a vegan protein bar.

The Workout Plan*

(*this workout plan is taken 100% from Rebecca Bargeloh’s success story on BodyBuilding.com)

Day 1: 30-45 minutes cardio (130+ heart rate)

Day 2: Upper Body

Dumbbell Bicep Curl, 3 sets of 15 reps

Side Lateral Rise, 3 sets of 15 reps

Front Dumbbell Raise, 3 sets of 15 reps

Wide-Grip Lat Pulldown, 3 sets of 15 reps

Day 3: 30-45 minutes cardio (130+ heart rate)

Day 4: Lower Body

Barbell Squat, 3 sets of 15 reps

Dumbbell Lunges, 3 sets of 15 reps

Seated Leg Curl, 3 sets of 15 reps

Standing Calf Raises, 3 sets of 15 reps

Day 5: 30-45 minutes cardio (130+ heart rate)

Day 6: Full Body

Pushups, 3 sets of 15 reps

Dumbbell Bench Press, 3 sets of 15 reps

Triceps Pushdown, 3 sets of 15 reps

Side Lateral Raise, 3 sets of 15 reps

Barbell Deadlift, 3 sets of 15 reps

Dumbbell Lunges, 3 sets of 15 reps

Barbell Squat, 3 sets of 15 reps

Day 7: Active rest day (clean the house, go for a walk on the beach)

September 27, 2011

Brazilian Brigadeiros (Chocolate Bonbons) Veganized

by ashley

by Ashley Morgan

There is seldom a party in Brazil without these tiny rounds of chocolately goodness, but as they are traditionally made almost entirely of condensed milk, they certainly weren’t something vegans could indulge in. This recipe attempts to capture the rich taste and texture without the dairy. It took a few tries before I came out with a version good enough to serve alongside the original, however the results were definitely worth the work.

You will need to either start a day in advance or set aside a few hours to make these, as I wasn’t able to find vegan condensed milk in my local Whole Foods. If you are able to find (or have some made ahead) vegan condensed milk, then skip the first part of the recipe and start right with heating the condensed milk and adding cocoa.

Ingredients for vegan condensed milk:

3 cups dairy-free milk (I’ve used almond milk here)

¼ cup water

1 tblsp vegetable-based margarine

1 tblsp sugar

Ingredients for Brigadeiros:

2 tblsp cocoa drink mix

1 tblsp dark cocoa

1 tblsp vegetable-based margarine

Sugar sprinkles, powdered sugar, coconut flakes and/or anything else you’d like to use for decoration

Directions for Vegan Condensed Milk

In a large pot, add all ingredients (milk, water, margarine, sugar) and stir constantly over medium heat until boiling. Lower to a simmer and allow to reduce until thick. This will take several hours.

Directions for Brigadeiros

In a large pot (if using your own vegan condensed milk, otherwise use the same pot) heat the condensed milk over medium heat, adding the cocoa drink mix, dark cocoa powder and margarine. Stir constantly, heating until the mixture starts to come away from the sides of the pot, about 5 minutes. Transfer to another dish and cool completely.

Once completely cool, the mixture should look a lot like a very thick, sticky chocolate pudding. Setup your decorations in small bowls for rolling onto your brigadeiros. Using the palms of your hand, roll the chocolate mixture into small balls, about an inch in diameter. Roll in decoration of choice and place in aside for presentation or for storing in the refrigerator.

This recipe makes approximately 24 brigadeiros.

September 9, 2011

Vegan Friday: Tuscan Veggie Bake with Tofu

by ashley

by Ashley Morgan

Sometimes craving a hearty meal isn’t detrimental to your diet. Take this Vegan Tuscan Veggie Bake, similar to lasagna, but sans noodles for a filling, healthy meal. Seasonal ingredients, eggplant and tomatoes, are the stars of this recipe, bringing welcome antioxidants and bright colors to your plate. Serving this to children is easy with just a sprinkle of vegan mozzarella cheese on top, Daiya being my favorite choice. A great way to get the whole family to eat their veggies, and like them! Tofu adds protein and additional nutrition to make this a well-balanced, one pot meal that can be made in under 45 minutes.

 

Vegan Tuscan Veggie Bake with Tofu

10 Minutes Prep Time

35 Minutes Baking Time

 

Serves 6

 

1 small eggplant

1 small firm tomato

1 medium zucchini

1 portabello mushroom cap

1 pkg soft tofu

1 tblsp dried oregano

1 tsp kosher salt

1 tsp ground black pepper

1 tblsp garlic powder

1 tblsp dried rosemary

3 cups marinara sauce

Optional: ½ cup vegan mozzarella shredded cheese for sprinkling on top

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut the eggplant, tomato, zucchini and mushroom cap into long slices. I usually cut the zucchini and eggplant lengthwise to represent noodles. Drain the water from the tofu, pressing to release as much liquid as possible. Mix the tofu with oregano, salt, black pepper, garlic powder and dried rosemary. In a deep baking pan, layer one layer of vegetables, then one layer of tofu mixture, then a layer of marinara sauce until pan is full. Leave about a ¼ inch space on top for settling and the mozzarella cheese, if choosing to add it.

 

Bake for about 35 minutes or until vegetables are tender with a slight bite. Enjoy!

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 18, 2011

From Local Markets to Your Grocer’s Freezer: Moo Moo’s Vegetarian (and Vegan!) Cuisine

by ashley

by Ashley Morgan

Moo Moo’s has certainly come a long way since its humble beginnings in 2005. Owner Michele Rastelli, a devout vegetarian since her teens, dreamed up Moo Moo’s long before it became a real brand, first wanting a vegetarian restaurant and then beginning as a small brand selling to local markets out of a café kitchen. Moo Moo’s is now touted by some of the world’s largest news outlets, namely FOX and CNN. And for good reason, the meals are imaginative, tasty and made with fresh ingredients. All meals are vegetarian and many are gluten-free and vegan, as well.

 

I tried the Poblano Chickpea Patties frozen meal, which happens to be both vegan and gluten-free. The meal comes with two patties, similar to a crabcake in density and texture, atop a mixture of corn and peppers. My first impression was that it was one of the most delicious appearing frozen meals I’ve seen in a very long time, even just out of the box and still frozen. Once heated, the warm colors were comforting, reminding me of a home-cooked meal. I loved the sprinkling of paprika over the patties, giving a smoky flavor and great color.

As some of our readers may know, I eat a lot of frozen vegan and vegetarian meals. While I cannot say that any frozen meal can hold up against something freshly prepared, this Moo Moo’s concoction very successfully competes with homemade cuisine. A homerun in my book for sure.

May 20, 2011

Elevation Burger Part II

by ashley

by Ashley Morgan

I had extremely high hopes for this restaurant after the first signs were posted on its windows a few months ago. It’s located dead behind my all-time favorite fast food restaurant, Chic-Fil-A, which is how I found it. Jessica and I have been talking for so long about how we need more vegetarian lunch options in the neighborhood, and sure enough, Elevation offers two: one for vegetarians and one for vegans.

The first vegetarian patty they offer is rice-based and, according to the owner Magali Vannier, contains mozzarella cheese for flavor. Unfortunately, I couldn’t taste the mozzarella cheese and the rice made the patty a little dry. The second option is vegan, with no cheese in the patty, and is entirely vegetable-based. It is moist, yet thinner, and more abundantly seasoned. I wasn’t so sure about this place after our first visit eating the vegetarian burger, however after our vegan burger, I’m positive we’ll return.

As Jessica mentioned, they offer the choice to put any burger, including the organic grass-fed beef patties, on lettuce instead of their roll. I highly recommend this, especially with the vegan burger, as the flavor was actually much better without a hunk of bread in the way. And just as Ms. Vannier said to us the first time we met her, it certainly leaves more room for the fries.

My suggestion to Elevation Burger? VEGAN CHEESE! I actually ordered a vegan burger with cheddar and felt like it was sacrilege

The french fries here are cooked in heart-healthy olive oil, which is certainly a step up from canola oil. The only problem is that they seem to be hit and miss. With the burning point of olive oil so low, it is really difficult to get a good crisp fry without it absorbing tons of oil. The first time we visited the fries were excellent, perfectly salted and crispy. This time they fell a little short, but they weren’t incredibly greasy, just somewhat limp. Hopefully this was just an off day for them.

The ordering process here is similar to many other fast-food restaurants, you choose the patty and basic sandwich that you want, add your own toppings, and then order fries and/or a drink. You pay and then a food runner will bring the tray to you when you’re ready. There is a drink fountain as well as milkshakes available. The milkshakes were good, but incredibly rich and only one size, something I wouldn’t be able to eat more than once every month or two. It would be great if they sold kid’s sizes for the option of indulging a little more often.

Overall, this place is a great step towards healthier, vegetarian and vegan cuisine in Miami Lakes. It is certainly wonderful to have options other than salads and Asian food. While they do have a few little kinks to work out, it is a great establishment and one that I will most certainly frequent. For being open only two weeks, they have much more time ahead of them to learn and grow.

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