11.09.2016

Election 2016 Tarot Reading

I have a confession to make. Last night, around 10PM, I pulled a tarot card because I was confused about the way the election was rolling out. Let’s not make this a political post, I’m just telling you how I personally felt. Well, I pulled the JUDGEMENT card. AKA Judgement Day, AKA Spiritual Awakening. The card even has an Angel playing a TRUMPET. Time to wake up, consider past actions, and be judged. You get the idea. You’ve probably heard of Judgement Day. Honestly, it can go either way, positive or negative depending on the reader and receiver of this information.

This morning, I pulled a Past, Present, Future reading to further my exploration of times to come. Here’s what I think about what was revealed to me.



PAST – TEMPERANCE
This card features the Archangel Michael, the protector who offers spiritual help and guidance. My card technically features the image of a woman but it still means the same thing. The water in her cups flow upward and downward – performing alchemy and magic – which is needed to reconcile all the demands upon us. Temperance reveals a potentially volatile situation that is in need of your thoughts to be tempered, and actions proceeded with balance and harmony. Blend both opposing forces to create a united and inspired solution. Accept both sides, be hands-on, and embrace the spiritual journey.

PRESENT – JUSTICE
Let’s first look at the card itself. A crowned female is sitting on a thrown. She is the High Priestess, the Judge! She represents positive outcome. It’s a time where past errors and imbalances can be redressed. This Judgement comes from both sides. YOU may be judged by others, and in order to benefit from a fair system, you must show up, be honest, be accountable, and deserving. Also, you might be the judge of your own life. Use integrity and perspective, and your future outcomes may be in your favor. Justice also shows the workings of karma and consequences. Check yourself!

FUTURE – SIX OF CUPS
The Six of Cups recalls our childhood and happy memories. We may reconnect with the past and/or happy times. It represents kindness, compassion, and if you’ve been suffering from ill treatment, your situation may improve. The number 6 represents peace. The past will return to help the present.


Friends, I hope this gave you hope if you are feeling hopeless. If you're on cloud nine, remember to think of your fellow man and woman, and offer them peace, love and kindness no matter what.

10.12.2016

Vegan Caesar Dressing Recipe


Vegans don't need to miss out on Caesar salads...
 and you don't need to go to a fancy restaurant to get it either! 
So simple, and lasts all week for your greens.



Add the following to a high speed blender:
3/4 cup soaked cashews (soak over night or for at least 4 hrs.)
1 TBS (each) garlic and onion powder
1 TBS dulse flakes (or other dried seaweed)
1 TBS vegan Worcestershire sauce
Juice of 1-2 lemons (to taste)
Enough water to cover everything completely
Sea salt and pepper to taste
1 TSP dried oregano

Blend until super smooth.
Add a few TBS to your greens. Save the rest for salads or dip all week. Top salad with anything you want. I chose quinoa crisps and more salt and pepper!

Enjoy!


9.06.2016

NO CREAM OF BROCCOLI SOUP | VEGAN

It's not cold out yet, but we'll soon be getting our soup on once Fall arrives! Here's a great Cream of Broccoli Soup WITHOUT the Dairy.



In a large soup pot:

Saute one white or yellow onion in a little water or coconut oil, until soft.

Add in 3-5 slices garlic cloves - depends on your taste. Saute a few minutes. Watch for burning.

Add 2 heads fresh broccoli - chopped. Saute for a few minutes as you mix up the garlic and onions within pot.

Add enough water to fill up to top of the veggie OR use less if you want a very thick soup.

Add 4 tablespoons veggie broth powder.

Bring it all to a light simmer - don't boil it to death!

Then transfer the veggies and liquid to a high speed blender. Blend until super smooth. Pour the soup back into pot (careful, it's hot!).

Final 2 ingredients, and they are optional to mix in before you bring back to a simmer:

1/4 - 1/2 cup coconut cream (that is just the super thick creamy part at the top of a can of coconut milk - don't use the runny water part)

2 tablespoons corn starch OR flour

Whisk that all up as you heat up.

Serve once cooled down with your favor herbs on top - I added salt, pepper, red pepper flakes and sage. Enjoy!


8.25.2016

EASY KELP NOODLES

Kelp Noodles don't carry that much nutrition in terms of calories and fiber, but they do have a percentage of calcium, iron, and vitamin K. They are a super easy way to eat pasta on a hot day when you don't want to boil water, or peel zucchinis. A little high in salt so you may find that you don't need to add that much per your taste.



recipe below...



First prepare the noodles (not in video)
Just rinse them in some warm water, drain the water, and then pat dry. You can even soak them in the water while you make the sauce. Cut them up a little so you can manage them.

Then for the sauce:
Add the following to a high speed blender:
1 cup cherry tomatoes
2 tbs soaked cashews (soaked 4 hours, overnight, or while you are at work)
Spice Blend: 1 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp onion powder, 1 tbs tomato powder, 1/2 tsp smoked (or sweet) paprika, 1/4 truffle salt (or regular salt), 1 tsp basil and/or Italian spices.
2 tbs nutritional yeast

Blend until smooth.
Add sauce to drained kelp noodles. Really work the sauce in with your hands - this is KEY to soften the noodles and make them edible. They will absorb all the goodness.  Let sit a few minutes until ready to serve.

Top with fresh basil and nut Parmesan.
Nut Parmesan recipe:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ewhj5GZ2ESU



Enjoy!

8.22.2016

MOVIES - VEGANIZED

How does one "veganize" a movie quote? See below! Please comment with your own veganized quotes! Let's keep it going, I KNOW there are more out there... who's hungry?


GRILLOW



THERE WILL BE FOOD



FORREST GULP


FRIEDWAYS



PULP ADDICTION



THE FOODFATHER




SILENCE OF THE YAMS




MEAN VEGANS





ROMY AND MICHELE'S HIGH SCHOOL BUFFET




NUTTY PROFESSOR



ANNIE CATERING HALL




THE CAGE FREE BIRD




PULP ADDICTION: SECOND HELPING




NOTTING GRILL




PULP FICTION: THIRD HELPING



EAT EAT EAT


MANGIA!

8.16.2016

You are enough!

Nut 'Parmesan' Topping | VEGAN

Don't worry, you can have a tasty vegan/dairy free Parmesan AND make it yourself! 
With this one, we get some B12, omega 3's, and selenium too. Enjoy!



recipe below...



In a food processor add the following:
(you can change up the ratios depending on what you have)
3/4 cup pine nuts
1/2 cup Brazil nuts
1 cup walnuts

Add spices:
2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp truffle salt (reg sea salt is fine but truffle add a bomb flavor here)
1 tbs dried basil
1/2 tsp dried thyme

Then add 1/2 cup Nutritional Yeast for your "cheesy" flavor.

Blend in the processor until it's a crumbly Parmesan-like consistency. Taste test to adjust spices according to your own buds! This will last a few months in fridge - you'll know when it's bad but I doubt it will last until then.

Enjoy on pretty much anything!


8.09.2016

VEGGIE BURGERS | DEHYDRATOR STYLE | VEGAN

Another dehydrator recipe! These take a while to "cook" but if you are super busy the prep is easy, and then you can go about your business... even if it's sleeping!



recipe below..



In a food processor shred the following:
2 zucchini
4 carrots
2 shallots

Set aside in large bowl.

In a Vitamix, blend the following to make the batter:
1 cup cherry tomatoes
1 tomato
A couple cured black olives
handful of sun dried tomatoes
1/4 cup flax seeds
3 tbs chia seeds
1 tbs nutritional yeast
1/4 cup almond meal flour
Spices to taste: paprika, tomato powder, garlic powder, basil, black pepper, salt

Blend the batter until smooth. Then mix it into the shredded vegetables.

Form mixture into patties and flatten/place on dehydrator sheets. This recipe will yield about 2 sheets... about 12 burgers.

Place trays in dehydrator. I "cooked" these at 125F - you can do less for raw food! (110F)

After about 4-5 hours, flip the burgers. If you can't flip them easily - they need more time!

"Cook" for another 4-5 hours until they are crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside. You can reheat in oven or dehydrator when eating these all week. Cold is tasty too on salad.

Enjoy with your favorite sauces and toppings. The cheese here is CHAO cheese.

CAULIFLOWER CRACKERS | VEGAN

Ok, fair warning - dehydrator recipes take forever. Prep is pretty brainless, but you won't have food for hours. This is a prep and forget about it situation, and if you are a raw foodist, you can just cook at a lower temp to not lose any nutrients.




recipe below...



Chop 1 head of cauliflower and add to Vitamix.
Blend it down until smooth to make room.

Back to blender add:
1 fresh scallion
A few sun dried tomatoes
1 small sweet red pepper
1 handful fresh basil
3 tbs flax seeds (or flax meal)
2 tbs chia seeds
Spice Blend to taste  - garlic powder, paprika, tomato powder, salt, pepper, basil, red pepper flakes

Blend all together until you get a thick paste.
Spread THINLY on dehydrator sheet. THIN for crackers. THICK for flexy wraps/tortillas.

Score the batter for crackers. They will magically dehydrate apart into little squares so you don't have to worry about cutting them later.

Place in dehydrator and "cook" at 125 deg F (110 for raw food results) for about 12-16 hours  - flipping in between. Honestly this takes patience. If you live in a humid climate that will extend the dehydrating time. Just check it every so often as you go about your business, or leave it in over night/ while you are at work - etc.

Enjoy with your favorite dips and toppings.

8.01.2016

ROASTED GARLIC DRESSING | VEGAN

If you like garlic, this one is for you!




recipe below...



First, let's roast some garlic. This recipe, you only need to use 1 whole BULB, but feel free to make more and store in the fridge for other uses (pasta, salads, stir fries, etc)

Peel the outer layers off of the garlic bulbs, but still keep some of the shell on to keep the cloves together. Cut the top of the garlic bulb off to expose all of the cloves. Rub some salt, pepper, and Italian spices on the cloves. Wrap up in tin foil. Cook at 375 deg (f) for about an hour. When done, the cloves will be super soft and a little brown at the top. Be sure not to burn!

Set aside and let cool before you squeeze the cloves out of the shell.

In a blender, add ALL of the cloves from just 1 of the garlic bulbs. Then add the following. Blend as you go for ease.
1 chunk fresh lemon peeled and seeded
1 cup zucchini
1 tbs Italian spices
salt and pepper to taste
1 tbs maple syrup
1 tbs balsamic vinegar (or apple cider vinegar)
1 small nub jalapeno pepper
1 tbs fire roasted tomato flakes OR 1 sun dried tomato

As you blend, add about 2 tbs olive oil OR 1/2 an avocado. This dressing needs a little fat to balance the acidity. You could even use a few tablespoons of hemp seeds.

Dress your veggies and enjoy!

7.26.2016

TUSCAN PASTA PRIMAVERA | VEGAN

This dish is the result of what happens when I have random things in the fridge and have no idea what to do with them. Not bad! This pasta dish is great for a family dinner, to make ahead for lunches, or a pot-luck. Meat-eater approved!



recipe below...



What you'll do: Saute 3 minded shallots and 4 minced garlic cloves for a few minutes - until soft. You can do this with just a little water, coconut oil, or vegan butter if you prefer.

Add in red pepper flakes to taste.

Then add 5oz slices mushrooms. I used shiitake, but portabello OR white button will do. Doesn't matter. Mix and cook for about 5 -10 minutes. Then add 1 cup already cooked white cannellini beans (northern beans). Cook for another 5-10 minutes.

Next add 1 cup fresh cubed zucchini, and 1 small bunch kale, sliced. Just add the kale on top of everything and cover lid so it steams for a few minutes.

Meanwhile - cook your pasta according to the package. I used a whole packet of gluten free fusilli.

Mix the kale with the veggies so it wilts more.

Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water BEFORE draining.

Mix the veggies in with the drained pasta. Add a little of the reserved pasta water so things get saucy. Add 1 handful chopped fresh basil, salt (I used truffle), pepper, and paprika to taste.

7.24.2016

Old Bay Fries with Basil Cream | Vegan

This is the perfect snack for a party, or a meal for starch based vegans!


Preheat oven to 350.

For the potatoes: Peel and chop into wedges, 2 lbs red or yellow potatoes (smaller size).
In a large bowl, add 2 tbs apple cider vinegar and 3-4 tablespoons Old Bay Spice.
Mix to coat all edges.

For the basil cream: In a blender add the following:
1 cup fresh zucchini
1 handful fresh basil
1 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp onion powder
salt and pepper to taste
1 lemon (peeled and seeded)

Blend until creamy. Dip and Enjoy!

7.23.2016

Vegan Nachos

Who DOESN'T love Nachos? 
These are vegan, delicious, and meat-eater approved.



You can of course use store bought chips, but if you want less fat and salt, make your own with regular corn tortillas. (I used 1 packet of 12) Just cut into quarters and bake in a pre-heated oven (350) for about 15 minutes... rotate the pan in oven midway so you get them crisped evenly. Check often to avoid burning.

For the cheese sauce: Boil 1 large sweet potato, and 2 yellow potatoes (peel them both) and add to a high speed blender. 

Add the rest of your ingredients to blender: 
1 small yellow sweet pepper
1 teaspoon fresh minced cilantro
1 tablespoon miso paste
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon garlic
1 teaspoon onion powder
 1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon taco seasoning 
1/2 teaspoon mustard powder 
1 tablespoon vegan Worcestershire sauce 
1/4 cup soaked cashews (soak 4 hours or overnight)
1 lime, juiced
1/4 cup water
BLEND UNTIL SMOOTH

Add the sauce to nachos. Top with black beans, salsa, olives, or anything else you'd like. For salsa I just mixed 1 pint chopped cherry tomatoes with 1/4 cilantro (minced), 1 shallot, pickled jalapeños (per your taste), 1 lime (juices), 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar, salt and pepper.

7.14.2016

Pink Lady Hummus | Vegan

I made pink hummus. Don't ask me why. ;o)



In a high speed blender, add the following:
1 can, rinsed cannelini beans
2 tablespoons tahini
Juice of 1 lemon
2 cooked beets
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
salt and pepper to your taste

Blend until super smooth - top with fresh basil.

Enjoy on salads, crackers, sandwiches, really however you enjoy hummus!

7.13.2016

CUCUMBER NOODLE ALFREDO | VEGAN

Incredibly simple Raw'ish meal. You can make for 2 people as a side, or even 1 person as a main if you are a raw vegan. Use less nuts if you prefer. I'll also leave some alternatives down below.


Spiralize OR julienne peel 2 large cucumbers. Save 1 of the middles for the sauce, just eat the other. Why not?

Squeeze the water out of the cucumbers with a paper towel. Since we are adding a sauce, we don't want it to get watery AND we want the noodles to absorb the sauce. They will be like Asian glass noodles. let them sit on some paper towel while you make the sauce.

The sauce:
Add 1 leftover cucumber middle (I called it a bone in video - sorry) to a high speed blender. Then add: 1/2 cup *raw cashews (which have been soaked in water overnight - rinse before you add) - 1 tablespoon miso paste, 1/4 cup nutritional yeast, juice of 1 lemon, 1 teaspoon onion powder, garlic powder, and paprika.

*If you don't have cashews, or if you are nut free - add 3 tablespoons hemp seeds for creaminess, AND that second cucumber middle for more body.

Blend until super smooth!

mix sauce in with the noodles. Top with fresh basil and red pepper flakes. Enjoy!

7.12.2016

VEGGIE LASAGNE

Whoever said you couldn't eat lasagne as a vegan was seriously disturbed! ;op


First make your lasagne noodles according to the package. Rinse them and keep them in a little cold water when done, so that while you make the layers they don't dry out or burn your fingers off.

Now chop your veggies - thinly slice 1 pint washed portabello mushrooms, and 2 small zucchinis. You can use eggplant too.

Next, prepare the tofu ricotta cheese.
Put 1 block extra firm tofu in a bowl (make sure you drain it from any excess water with a paper towel). Add fresh herbs: handful chopped parsley, and about 2 tablespoons chopped oregano and basil. *If you don't have fresh herbs, just use 1-2 tablespoons dried Italian spices depending on your tastes.

Next add 1 teaspoon onion powder, garlic powder, and paprika (not smoked). Pinch of red pepper flakes to your tastes. And finely, 1/4 teaspoon truffle salt. Totally optional but... truffle salt!!!

Get dirty! Mix up the tofu and spices with your hands until it's a ricotta like consistency.

Now for the layering. Grab your favorite store bought sauce (I love Lidias's - but you can also use your own OR my homemade sauce recipe: https://youtu.be/0SWdK-IJTU4 ) - dump a little layer of sauce on the bottom of a lasagne tin (mine is the size for meatloaf. - that's how much tofu there is. Please double recipe if you want to fill a large lasagne pan).

layer order from bottom to top:
sauce, noodles, tofu, zucchini, vegan cheese (like daiya mozzarella), noodles, sauce, tofu, mushrooms, cheese, noodles, sauce, tofu, zucchini, cheese, noodles... keep going until you've reached the top. Top layer: noddles, sauce, cheese!

Bake in oven at around 350 for about 60 minutes, OR until the cheese gets melted/bubbly and the noodles are a little crisp on the outside. I love that part. If you don't, don't cook it for that long!

This should freeze well! Enjoy all week. ;o)

7.11.2016

VEGAN SHEPARD'S PIE

This dish is PERFECT for holidays, parties, and for making ahead for lunches and dinners for the week. Will freeze well. A great dish for meat eaters too. Meatless Monday, anyone?


For the potatoes:
Boil 7 medium yellow potatoes in water. When they are tender, drain water. Then mash with a masher. Add 1 tbs vegan butter (optional) AND 1 cup unsweetened regular almond milk. Then add a little handful of your favorite fresh herbs. I used sage, oregano, rosemary and thyme. Use sparingly - only about 2 tablespoons of all mixed and chopped together. Once all mashed and creamy, set aside in a bowl for later.

For the Stew Filling:
Saute in water (you can use oil but I don't) the following:
1 chopped yellow onion
(After about 5 minutes add)
2 peeled, chopped large carrots
2 chopped stalks celery
1 pint, cleaned and chopped portabello mushrooms
4 cloves minced garlic (mine were kind of large)
Fresh herbs: about a tablespoon each of fresh sage, thyme, rosemary and oregano.
Handful fresh parsley, chopped

Mix that all together and let cook for about 5 minutes.

Then add: 2-3 tablespoons vegan Worcestershire sauce (Annie's makes a vegan versions. 1x 13.9 oz box vegan mushroom gravy. AND 1 bottle of red wine. If you do not want to use wine, or that much - make sure you at least add 25 ounces water OR veggie broth. You can even do half and half too. Wine just gives this such a rich flavor. Add 2 tablespoons veggie broth powder if you are not adding reg broth liquid.

Add one cup dried lentils and then let this all come to a low boil/simmer uncovered. You want the alcohol to cook off. After about 15 minutes, cover and let the stew simmer for 45 minutes, OR until the stew has thickened and reduced.

Add the stew to a meatloaf size tin. Then add the mashed potato mixture evenly on top. I then topped it with truffle salt because... truffle salt!

Bake in oven at 375 until the potatoes are a little browned and the stew is bubbling. Enjoy with some fresh basil on top!

7.02.2016

VEGGIE TOFU SCRAMBLE | VEGAN

The perfect savory recipe for breakfast.


Dice up some of your favorite veggies (about 2-3 cups)
I used: red onion, mushroom, tomato, potato, zucchini, and a little jalapeño

Sauté the veggies in a pan. You can use a little water or coconut oil if you eat oils. 

Crumble up about 1 cup of FIRM tofu - or you can cube it so it breaks apart less.

Add tofu to veggies, stir, and cook for 5 minutes.

This next step is optional... to make this dish have an "egg" like taste, add some veggie egg yolk powder to hot water and make a paste. OR you can just use black sea salt, which has that sulfur taste like eggs. Purchased here: http://amzn.to/29oEArQ and http://amzn.to/297Wexg

Add the egg yolk mixture to veggies and tofu, bring to simmer. Season with salt and pepper if desired.

Serve in bowls - this serves 2-3. Garnish with basil and avocado.

Enjoy!

7.01.2016

Simple Marinara Sauce | Vegan

A very simple Marinara sauce - perfect for any Italian dish! Mangia!



Saute 2 diced onions in a little water
Add 4 minced garlic cloves
2 pints diced mushrooms
2 tablespoons Italian spices
1 tbs tomato granules, powder, OR minced sundried tomato
salt and pepper to taste
Sprinkle of cayenne or red pepper flakes
*I forgot to add a bay leaf - add here

Stir and let veggies get a little soft, spices fragrant

Add 1/2 bottle of red wine and bring to a simmer for 10 minutes
Add 1 tbs sugar

Stir in canned tomatoes -  2x 35oz cans crushed tomatoes, and 1x 35oz can whole peeled plum tomatoes.

Bring to a simmer then cover and cook on low for 2 hours.
Stir occasionally to break up the whole tomatoes.

And you're done! Serve on pasta, rice, veggies, or with tasty bread.

*I added vegan parmesan on top - totally optional!

6.30.2016

Tarot Reading on Eating Disorders | Astrology Time

If you follow me on Instagram (shameless plug: @prettyzesty), then you may already know that I am very much into Astrology and card reading. If you don't, then welcome to my Astrology post. I'll try and post more about this here on the blog too.

Anyway... A little back story. I have struggled with eating disorders, body dysmorphia, binge eating, orthorexia, etc etc the list goes on, all my life! Well, since the age of 12 to be exact. 2 decades - you can do the math. I was never diagnosed with anything but I was one of those teens where everything went unnoticed. I never dropped to an obviously dangerous weight nor did any of my studies suffer. I know I'm not alone. Many of us struggle with these diseases/disorders because of something specific that happened in our lives, upbringing/environment, abuse, the media, and the list really goes on and on. And like me, I know many of us are fighting a disease that no one knows we have. It's so easy to hide because you can be any size, shape, color, etc and still suffer from these things.

I'm not sure if this post will help you, but I wanted to do a PAST - PRESENT - FUTURE reading today with my regular Tarot deck to dig deep on some insight. Some insight into my body/food issues. And just to be clear, card reading is not, to me, something psychic. It's digging deep in something that is already there inside our hearts, souls, and minds. The cards just help guide your thoughts to you. Makes you think! So I'm hoping this post inspires you to do the same.

So here were the cards I pulled and I will explain what I think they mean down below. The meanings of the cards are universal (check biddytarot.com) but your interpretation is unique to YOU.



PAST - SIX OF WANDS REVERSED

The Six of Wands reversed means you might be doubting your abilities and potential for success. It might also suggest that you had a fall from grace, received negative feedback, and now confidence has taken a huge hit. BINGO. That was my past with eating disorders. At the age of 12, I was in a situation where I was treated poorly regarding things being said about my weight... and I was not defended by anyone or myself for that matter. Too young to understand the severity of the situation. If it happened to me today, at almost 33, I would have let this person have it big time. Instead I ran, cried, and hid myself from everyone.. and skipped my first meal of MANY. I was alone and vulnerable.

PRESENT - TWO OF WANDS

The Two of Wands represents planning and progress. Stepping outside comfort zones to explore new worlds and discover new experiences. One begins to consider long term goals, further education, and setting up for success. BINGO. About a year ago I went Vegan and stopped the yo yo diets. No more low-carb bullshit (ie lose 20 pounds - gain 30 back), calorie counting, starving myself, or excessive exercise. I do not follow a strict plan. However, binging and total lack of exercise are still an issue. I've gotten over many hurdles and these are the last two.

FUTURE - REVERSED KNIGHT OF PENTACLES

The Knight of Pentacles reversed is all about feeling stuck in a routine and repetitive patterns of behavior. Life is becoming mundane and boring, and one must free themselves from repetition in order to achieve what ever it is they are seeking. Aim for spontaneity. BINGO and honestly, I've already been feeling this and talking with people about it. It's one of the very reasons I financed an iPad, got back into graphic design, and started filming/editing my own cooking videos. In fear of my perfectionist behavior getting in the way, I'm just going with the flow. The graphics don't need to be perfect, the videos don't have to be perfect, I DO NOT HAVE TO BE PERFECT! I just need to loosen up, and also remember that other people are not perfect either. No sense in getting frustrated ALL the time. Sometimes you can if you are really dealing with a spaz, let's be honest.

So the take away for me is to focus on what I love and open doors to opportunity as much as I can. There will be days where I'm not feeling it and I want to hide and that's ok. I know hermit tendencies are in my nature - for real.

Did this help anyone? Talking yourself through these things, or even better to someone unbiased, can really help get you closer. Trust me.





 

6.29.2016

Spicy Mushroom Noodle Soup | Vegan

I know it's hot out now, but, when we go from very hot outdoor weather to super cold air conditioned weather, we can get the sniffles and still want something warm. So, this soup is perfect for any time of year if you are feeling a chill and a cold coming on because you can add a lot of fresh garnishes that liven it up.


Saute the following in a large soup pot in a little water (in this order):
2 white onions, sliced thin
2 pints portabello mushrooms, sliced
2 inch nub minced fresh ginger
3 large garlic cloves, minced

Mix altogether and cook until everything starts to soften and get fragrant.

Add 1/4 cup low sodium tamari sauce (or soy sauce)
3 tbs shiitake mushroom powder (I get it from here:
http://bit.ly/2944S2Q )
2 tbs any veggie broth powder  (I use: http://amzn.to/295gVvQ)

Mix all together until incorporated and powders melt in.

Then add 5 cups water.

Let soup simmer (medium - low heat) for about 15 minutes. The longer, the more flavorful though.

In a separate pot make some Udon noodles... or rice noodles!

When noodles are cooked, add to bowls and pour soup on top. This will make a lot of soup so if you are not serving all the noodles right away, you may have to re "wet" them if you save them. NO big deal.

Garnish the soup with the following flavors. This is the fun part. Get creative!

Lime wedges
Sesame Seeds
Cilantro
Scallions
Sriracha


You can also add jalapenos, mung bean sprouts, basil, and anything else you want really. Go to town!

6.28.2016

SUMMER SMOOTHIE BOWL RECIPE | Vegan

So simple, does it even need a video? Well... why not! Vegan=SIMPLE!




In a high speed blender, blend the following:
1 frozen banana
1 cup frozen mango chunks
1 ripe fresh peach (white or yellow) splash of vanilla extract

Add just a little water to get it going but you want this to be THICK. Remember, we are eating this out of a bowl with a spoon, not sipping through a straw. Once blended place the smoothie in a bowl, and add your toppings. I used blueberries, chia seeds and walnuts. You can change it up with other fresh fruits, granola, hemp seeds, goji berries, oats, etc! Have fun with it. Enjoy!

6.27.2016

Almond Ricotta Spread | Vegan

Here is great ricotta cheese substitute made out of almonds!
You will need a high speed blender for this.




Soak 2 cups ORGANIC almonds overnight (must be organic if you are going to do the next step!)

Rinse the almonds, and peel the skin off. This is so you have a white ricotta looking spread. If you keep the skins on, it will look different. TOTALLY fine, just saying.

Add the peeled almonds to a high speed blender. Add juice 1/2 lemon (or whole if you like the taste) Add spices: 2 tsp onion powder, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1/2 tsp truffle salt (or sea salt) to taste, fresh cracked pepper to taste, 1 tsp italian spices, 1/2 cup water... blend until as smooth as you can get it to ricotta consistency. It will take a bit. Make sure you turn off blender and push the mixture down and around to help it. Once all blended and in a bowl you can taste test for any needed spices/salt, etc.

Enjoy on toast, lasagne, ravioli's OR on my Tomato Tarts!


6.26.2016

TOMATO TARTS WITH CAULIFLOWER CRUST | VEGAN RECIPE

WARNING: This one takes a long time to cook but the prep is easy and the result is tasty! You could also leave these in a dehydrator for... maybe 14 hours at 110 deg F with a flip in the middle of dehydrating.




PUT THE FOLLOWING IN A HIGH SPEED BLENDER:
1 small head cauliflower, chopped
1 medium tomato, chopped
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tbs dried italian spices
1 tbs miso paste
1 tbs dried paprika
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/4 cup water (if batter is not wet enough)
(blend)

ADD TO BOWL, STIR IN:
1/4 cup almond meal (or a 1/2 if batter is too wet)
1/4 cup flax meal (or a 1/2 if batter is too wet)

Grate 1 zucchini and mix into cauliflower batter. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Preheat oven to 250 F.

Form patties on non-stick pan  - I used a silicon mat.
Cook for about 3 hours or until you can flip the patties easily. Watch for burning on the sides! Lower heat and cook longer if so.

Once flipped, top tarts with tomato slices, salt, pepper, and Italian spices.

Cook for another 3 hours on the low heat until the tarts become crispy along the edges and surface, but still chewy on the inside. Once again, watch for burning.

Enjoy with a creamy topping like almond cheese - recipe coming!

6.25.2016

BASIL PEACH SALAD | Vegan


Enjoy this super simple summer salad. BASIL PEACH!






Ingredients:
3 chopped white peaches
1 cup chopped cherry tomatoes
2 small chopped shallots
1 handful chopped basil
1 lime juiced
salt and pepper to taste
1 tbs olive oil (if desired)

Mix and enjoy!

instagram: @prettyzesty

5.16.2016

Farmer's Market Finds - Fiddlehead Recipe

Spring is here, and it's the perfect time to start getting in the habit of going to a farmer's market in your area. This weekend we stocked up on fiddleheads, nettles, sprouts, herbs, and greens like spinach, kale, dandelion and lamb's quarter. We bought ramps too and, like classic idiots, left them somewhere at the market and did not realize it until we unpacked everything. oops!

Cooking is so easy with fresh produce. Either eat it raw or cook it in a little oil with spices and herbs. So easy cavemen and cavewomen did it way back when.

Here we have fiddleheads sauteed (any oil, vegan butter you prefer) with shitake mushrooms, shallots, garlic, garlic scapes and garlic chives, salt, pepper, and fresh basil.




And this was a dish that the farmers were making at their stand so we duplicated it! Sauteed soybean sprouts with turmeric (grated), garlic scapes/chives, salt, pepper, and I added the tamari and the sesame seeds.



Get your farmer's market on!

4.28.2016

Vegan/Plant Based in NEW ORLEANS

Just got back from a trip to New Orleans during Jazzfest and very happy to say there was vegan/plant-based food everywhere. Not only do most restaurants have dishes clearly marked as vegan, there were also many accommodations right there on the menus. I didn't have to ask for special treatment anywhere. I actually thought it was easier than eating in NYC! There was just one place that was terrible, a seafood place. All I could do was fries and a really rancid plate of iceberg lettuce. Be careful with seafood places  - the veggies are cooked with the fish a lot of the time. I used the Happy Cow app a lot to find places.

So here is the food!

At Jazzfest there were a ton of options. Vegan New Orleans on Facebook does a post every year on the options so I just followed it. So easy, and delicious. I stuck with rice and beans, fried green tomatoes (no sauce) and also had some Middle Eastern food on the 3 days we were there. The Middle Eastern food from Mona's we actually had at the restaurant later so those photos are below.



Bennachin is a West African restaurant in the French Quarter. I got the Jama Jama, which was sauteed spinach, plantains, and coconut rice. They do not use butter in these. Their food was at Jazzfest!



Three Muses had a few veggie options on the menu. I went for the roasted veggie salad and the tofu bowl. The tofu was super tasty! We also had the fries (ask for no feta) which were so good, they did not make the picture.  It's small plate style but the tofu bowl is rather large considering. Three Muses is great for music too. Make reservations!







We go to Envie all the time for coffee (they have almond and soy milk) and I was able to veganize the veggie panini. Just ask for no cheese/pesto/butter and you are good to go! Ask for a side a fruit as well because the potato and pasta salad have eggs and cheese.



Louisiana Pizza Kitchen was perfect - sometimes a New Yorker just needs her pizza - and they have Daiya cheese. Sold! You can veganize quite a few pizzas.




Mona's Cafe & Deli is a great Middle Eastern place on Frenchman. So many plant-based options it's ridiculous - just be careful of dairy! We had hummus, pita, baba ganuj, falafel, tabouli, salad, and grape leaves.



And finally, Seed. This is a legit plant-based restaurant that serves up a lot of traditional New Orleans flare. We had gumbo, artichoke/hearts of palm cakes (like crab cakes but better), mac n' cheese, and a hummus plate.







ENJOY NEW ORLEANS, VEGGIE STYLE!



3.28.2016

YogaOutlet.com Review

I was lucky enough to receive a giftcard from YogaOutlet.com to try out some new yoga pants. I never bought anything from this site before but I can tell you now - if you need ANYTHING related to Yoga and/or Meditation, this is the place to go! Great prices, so many styles and sizes... I was very pleased.






I got two new pairs of yoga pants, one black and one a fun pattern. They are so soft it is ridiculous. The brand is: Marika. I also bought a headband, which can also be worn as a neck scarf. You can really find what you are looking for here. They carry plus sizes too which is nice. There are so many cool patterns too which seems to be the trend these days. Have a look into their yoga pant category page to find your perfect pair.


*This post is not sponsored. I received a giftcard from YogaOutlet to try out some new pants in exchange for an honest review of the products and the site.


1.04.2016

Product Review: Louisville Vegan Jerky

I saw a few Vegans on YouTube eating the Louisville Vegan Jerky and thought I should try it if they are raving so much about it. Honestly, I was never a big fan of regular Jerky. I would try it from time to time (and liked it) but it was never something I bought routinely. My husband loves regular Jerky so I thought this would be a fun little experiment to see how we both felt about the Vegan option.

*Disclaimer. This is NOT a paid or sponsored post. I asked Louisville Vegan Jerky on their website if I could try and blog about the product with an honest review.

Here is a video about the company:


We were sent these three flavors from their DECEMBER 2015 Vegan Jerky of the Month Club box.
We tried the Bourbon Smoked/Black Pepper, Bourbon Smoked/Chipotle, and then the special monthly flavor of Gochujang BBQ Kimchi. The base of all of their jerkies is soy protein. They are also Gluten Free, Non GMO Certified, and Vegan.



Here are all 3 up close and personal... and in order of enjoyment. Overall the texture of them was pretty consistent. Not too chewy and a bit tender. My husband, the jerky fan, said it tasted like really good jerky and the consistency was good however he could tell it was not real meat because it was not as "fibrous" as regular meat jerky is. Like dry shredded meat I think.


Gochujang BBQ Kimchi
This was our favorite. So tasty. Spicy, sweet, hints of lime. It was SO good.




Bourbon Smoked/Black Pepper
Great smokey taste. The pepper was not overpowering. Overall this one felt rather traditional in flavor.




Bourbon Smoked/Chipotle
Even though this was our least favorite of the 3 it was still really good. A bit of a kick with the Chipotle compared to the Black Pepper version. Not as sweet either.




Overall, we liked the combination of salt/sweet/spicy/tang of the Kimchi version the most. If you are looking for a healthier Jerky or just turned Vegan and Jerky was your go to snack before you made the switch I think this is the snack for you! Here is the Store Locator to purchase!