Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Buffalo style tofu bits/ sandwiches


Buffalo Style Roasted Tofu
Serves 4
1 16-ounce block of extra-firm tofu
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon paprika

Buffalo Sauce
1/4 cup Frank’s Red Hot Original Hot Cayenne Pepper Sauce
1/8 cup Earth Balance Soy-Free Butter

Ranch Dressing
Makes a little over 1/3 cup
1/4 cup soy milk
1/4 cup Vegenaise or other vegan mayonnaise
1/4 teaspoon granulated onion powder
1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon fresh parsley, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. In a bowl, combine the oil, salt and paprika. Cut the tofu into cubes and gently toss to coat with the mixture. Place each tofu cube in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment. Roast for 15 minutes on each side.
In a pan, melt the butter. Turn off the heat and add the hot sauce. Stir to combine. Add the freshly roasted tofu and toss until coated. 
For the ranch combine all of the ingredients in a mixing bowl and whisk to combine. Chill until ready to use.
Serve immediately with celery sticks and ranch or toast Kaiser rolls and make a sandwich with ranch, lettuce and tofu bits.  

Saturday, November 19, 2011

White bean Rosemary Soup with Jumbo Croutons and Fresh Basil


  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onions 
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 large cloves of minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons mustard 
  • 1 teaspoons salt 
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 6 cups white kidney beans cooked
  • 3 cups veggie stock 
  • 1 1/2 cups of water
  • 2 teaspoons fresh chopped rosemary 
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice 
  • 1 batch of fresh jumbo croutons 
  • fresh basil, juillian cut 
In a large pot on medium heat add oil, celery, onion, garlic, mustard, salt and pepper.  Stir to combine.  Cover and cook for 6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally to keep from sticking to the bottom.

Add 4 cups of beans, veggie stock, water and 1 1/2 teaspoons of rosemary.  Increase and bring to a boil.  Once boiling reduce heat, cover and let simmer for 15-20 minutes.

Remove from heat.  Using an immersion blender blend well.  Stir in remaining 2 cups of beans, lemon juice  and remaining rosemary.  Season with additional salt and pepper to taste.

Serve in individual bowls with jumbo croutons and fresh cut basil.  Drizzle with olive oil if desired.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Baba Ghanoush

You know what I love about Mediterranean food?  Besides the fact that its part of my heritage, is so awesomely good for you and so nutritionally dense?  It's the fact that it is so easy to make.  There are so few ingredients that I always know what I'm making is going to taste amazing!  From a great hummus to a tomato and basil salad I am always satisfied.  Try this recipe on for size.

  • 1 eggplant
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Lightly grease a baking sheet.

  • Cut Eggplant in half and place on baking sheet make holes in the skin with a fork. Roast it for 30 to 40 minutes, until soft. Remove from oven and let cool. Using a serving spoon scoop out the insides of the eggplant and discard skin. 

  • Place eggplant, lemon juice (please keep in mind that I like mine super tangy so if that is not your taste use less lemon juice), tahini, sesame seeds, and garlic in an electric blender, and puree. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer eggplant mixture to a medium size mixing bowl, and slowly mix in olive oil. Refrigerate for 3 hours before serving.

 Serve with pita, crackers or use as a sandwich spread.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Raw "Peanut" Noodles

For the Dressing:

  • 1" ginger
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons roasted sesame oil
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1/4 cup of white miso
  • 1/4 cup of maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons high quality shoyu or soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup water
Blend all of the ingrediants together in a food processor or high speed blender until creamy.

For the Noodles:

  • 2 small zucchinis  sliced with a veggie pealer
  • 1/2 red pepper, sliced into matchsticks 
  • 1/2 carrot sliced into matchsticks
  • 1/2 cucumber grated or pealed into long strips 
  • Scallions of green onions for garnish
To actually assemble the dish take all of the veggies and toss together in 1/4 cup of the dressing, adding more if necessary.  Sprinkling with the scallions or green onions as garnish.

I also personally really like adding mug beans to this recipe.  

Counter Culture Review

I have been dying to try a bunch of the vegan food trucks in Austin Texas since I read about them in VegNews Magazine.  Counter Culture (120 e. north loop, austin, tx, 78751) has been at the top of my "must eats" since day one.  So now finally I get to write a review about it.

Counter Culture is an all vegan raw foods trailer run by the chef Sue Davis. Davis worked in some of the top vegan resturants before coming to Austin and it reflects in her food.  She has veganized american favorates such as the Philly Cheese Steak, made with home made Setian, Cashew cheese, grilled peppers and onions on a whole wheat bun. (Which Will isn't going to be able to live without once a month now) and the Tuna Sandwich (Which I cant live without).

"Tuna" Sandwich
The food truck itself has an old school dinner feel about it, bathed in baby blues and silver with a bar stool at the front.  So where do you eat at a food truck?  Just a bit away you can walk into a small dining area with shade and matching blue picnic tables.  Some nights there will be documentary screenings there, vegan meetings and bands.
Diner Truck

Private seating area for Counter Culture Customers

All together we loved the food at Counter Culture and will be returning.


  • Great food
  • Great atmosphere
Watch out for:

  • Cash only
  • Does not sell drinks (But you can get them at the gas station next door.) 

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Garbanzo "Tuna" Salad Sandwich

This is an idea I got from Counter Culture and I just had to try it myself.

- 1 can of garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 carrot, grated
- 1 prog of celery, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup of non dairy mayo
- salt and pepper to taste

Place all of the ingredients in a food processor and pulse 10-15 times.  Place on top of hoggie roll with tomato and lettuce.

As a side just serve as is.


Saturday, September 17, 2011

Roasted Pepper Hummus

Hummus is oh so much more then a dip. We use it for just about everything in the circles that I travel in. Its the all purpose party food, a great spread, amazing snack ect. Not to mention that it is chalk full of protein which non vegans seem to be so concerned about for us.

Now I love hummus but lets face it, its not cheap. So whats a little vegan girl to do? What we always do! Make our own!

The beauty of it is that making it is so easy!

- two red peppers
-1 can of organic unsalted chickpeas (Drained)
-1/3 cup of Tahini
-1/4 cup of lemon juice
- 2 cloves of garlic (Crushed)

If you are not a fan of red peppers you're crazy. Just kidding. You can just make regular hummus by not using the red peppers. However, if you do like red pepper roasting them is super easy. Just set your oven to broil and toss the peppers hole. Watch them and turn frequently as the skin bubbles. When it is charred on the outside take out of the oven and place in an air tight container for 10-15 minutes. When that time is up peel off the skin and deseed.

Place rest of the ingredients into your food processor. Add red pepper and blend in as well.

Chill and serve.

If you are into roasted red peppers, which I am, that is the first step.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Peanut Power!

As many of you know I have recently gotten really into juicing.  Honestly I dont know how I lived before my juicer.


  • 2 granny smith apples
  • 1 banana 
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh peanut butter
Send your apples through you juicer.  Pour into a blender.  Peel and break up banana.  Spoon in peanut butter.  Blend well.  If you want to, garnish with thin slice of apple.  

Erika's Morning Wake Up Juice

A spectacular way to clean out your system and have a super duper nutritious breakfast in the morning!  If you are not partial to green drinks I would drink this through a straw so that you don't smell all of the veggies. The apple will make this surprisingly sweet.

1 green apple
1 inch slice of ginger pealed
3 romaine leaf
3 Kale leaf
2 stalks of celery
1 cucumber

Send all of these items through your juicer together.  I always send the leafy greens through with other more water dense items to get the maxim juice out of them.

Stir well and enjoy!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Half Assed: A Weight Loss Memoir

I have been thinking about product reviews for a long time as an addition to this blog. However I have always found them so subjective. I don't like fake meats for instance. But if someone reviews a fake meat and tells me its great I might trust their opinion and try it. Still since I don't like fake meat its still not going to be very good to me. And the truth is that I dont want to scare people off of good food products that could be their gateway into a whole lot of new and exciting foods.

When I was writing the post "Starting a Veggie Lifestyle" I came to the conclusion that I have a lot of books. Not just cook books either, but educational books of organic foods, juicing, human rights treatment in the factory farm industry and anthropological studies of eating habits. I tend to migrate to health focused weight loss books too. I also happen to watch too many documentaries about health and food.

While I might not be comfortable reviewing products I do like reviewing films and books. So that it one of the things that I am going to start doing on this blog.

First and foremost I have to say that this is not a vegan book like many of the ones that I like. Half Assed is the story of a morbidly obese girl who finds herself in a bad place health wise. She has to undergo a surgery that while routine for many healthy weighing people could be extremely dangerous for a women of her size.

Instead of going through the pain and risk of a weight loss surgery she takes a new mantra: health or death. She learns how to eat healthy, eases her was into exersizing and eventually looses 186 pounds.

Now I know what you are thinking but it is not that kind of book.  The author, who is also a distinguished blogger, is not the positive, crazy and slightly insane character we are used to reading these kinds of stories from.  No, she is 110 % real.  She uses this book like an outlet for her thoughts including everything from how did we get this way? to why do obese people get treated so differently? 

She is sarcastic, witty and thoughtful.

With a staggering number of people gaining girth in our country I would highly recommend this book.  Her talks about will power and holding others up as models of weight losing perfection are especially interesting.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Vanilla Chia Pudding

Here is a great recipe for a yummy, not so fatty, o sugar desert that will knock the socks off of anyone who tries it.

-3 1/2 cups of non dairy milk
-1 Table spoon of vanilla extract
-1/2 vanilla bean
-1 Tablespoon of cinnamon
- 1/6 cup of agave nectar
-1/2 cup of Chia seeds.

Blend all of the ingredients (Except the Chia seeds) together in a high speed blender and pulse.

Place Chia seeds in the bottom of a large bowl. Pour mixture over the chia seeds and whisk. Keep whisking from time to time over an hour and half half to make sure that the Tapioca does not clump.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Strawberry Pistachio Snackers

Yummy yummy snacks! I have been starting to increase my work out routine again. Trying on wedding dresses makes you realize what needs toning. After a run or yoga I get so hungry! These little buggers are great as a nice raw snack after a work out!

-1 1/2 cups coconut flakes
-1/2 cup pistachios (ground into flour)
-1/2 cup fresh strawberries, chopped
-3-4 medjool dates,lightly chopped (about 1/4 cup or so)
-3 tbsp coconut oil

Grind pistachios by using food processor.

A dd in the dates and strawberries. Pulse till combined.

After the batter starts coming together add in coconut flakes and oil. And pulse a few times till just combined. Or hand stir this although you will need to either make date paste, or use a liquid sweetener.

Vegan Cesar Salad

So this is from Crazy Sexy diet. What a great book. I am doing the 21 day detox right now so there will probably be a lot of recipes I will be sharing from it.

- 1 cup of Veganaise
- 1 1/2 teaspoons of Dijon Mustard
- 2 Cloves of garlic
- 1 tablespoon of water
- 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons of nutritional yeast

Toss with fresh romaine leaves and carrots. If you would like croutons I toasted some gluten free bread and cut them into squares. Enjoy!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

A Challenging Week

This week I went on a work retreat for Americorps. I will not name the place that we went but I will say that is a very distinguished tennis ranch that runs about at least 300 dollars per person for a day. It is not cheap.

I am not the only Veg that is in my group, the only vegan yes but there is another vegetarian in the group and one of the facilitators is a vegetarian was well. My program manager called them ahead of time and told them that she had us in the party and about our food restrictions (Plus we had been there in December as well).

Now this is the problem that I have. We live in a connected world and when you are advertised in all of the premiere tennis and health magazines and we pay out the nose I expect you to be able to google what a vegan is. It is not hard to sautee some veggies in olive oil or steam some rice.

No, the first lunch we were told that they were going to get the ingreiants. Salad it was. Dinner we were served fish. Salad again. Breakfast the next morning....there was nothing I could eat. Not even a bowl of granola and soy milk. Luckily I had brought green juice. Lunch...pulled pork sandwiches so I had a salad again. There was pesto but that has cheese and my lactose intolerance will not be happy with me if that happens. Dinner I was brought out two plain potatoes which were rock hard and was told that there was cheese and sour cream in the buffet...Salad.

Now, I do not like making a big deal about my food when I travel but two days of salad and green juice was starting to make me feel...woosy. My other Americorp members told me that I could not be so demanding. I, however, feel like if your stay is being paid for and you inform them of your food sensitivities they should be able to accommodate, most of all when there was a grocery store right down the street that I know for a fact has an abundant of vegan burgers.

Three days and I ate nothing but salad and green juice. I still feel sick.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Cabbage Salad with Carrot Ginger Dressing


- 1/2 cup of grated cabbage
- 2 Tbsp of freshly chopped ginger
- 1 Tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 1/2 white miso paste
- 1 Tbsp sesame oil
- 2 tsp grape seed or canola oil
- 1 tsp agave syrup

- 4 cups of thinly sliced cabbage
- 1 medium radicchio thinly sliced
- 1/2 sweet onion thinly sliced
- 1 avocado sliced
- 2 tablespoons of hemp seeds (optional)

To make dressing: Blend all the ingredients in a food processor until smooth.

To make salad: Toss together all of the dry ingredients. Pour in the dressing and toss gently. If you are using the hemp seeds sprinkle over the top of the salad and serve.

Watermelon Sorbet

This is such an easy way to make your own desert. Say bye bye to ice cream, cause this will rock your world! It is perfect for a hot summer day.

7 cups of chopped seedless watermelon/ juice.
1/2 cup of raw sugar or agave
Juice from 1 lemon

Combine all ingredients into blender and blend well. Pour into several or one large Tupperware container. Freeze.

After frozen you can spoon out. This recipe will make 8 large servings.

Friday, June 17, 2011

The Power of the Internet.

So I am deciding to take on a more challenging task and that is to blog about vegan things that are not just my favorite mouth watering recipes. So here it goes.

Today what I really want to talk about is the power of the internet in subcultures, specifically the vegan subculture. Technology is a wonderful thing and embracing it gives us such an amazing power. The power is to Connect. There is of course the ability to find information and recipes but that connection is just as valuable.

I think that sometimes we forget how much has been given to us with this amazing gift. I live in an isolated area when it comes to veganism. Texas does not have a lot of vegans and most of them are in Austin which is about an hour drive from where Will and I live.

It wasn't exactly easy becoming a vegan or even a vegetarian in San Antonio Texas. There are many judgement about people who are vegans here. As a friend said at dinner tonight. "You tell people you're a vegan and suddenly everyone is a nutritionist." I could not agree more with this statement. Even at my job, which is in the sport and health industry, there are jokes made about me drinking green juice.

Because of this I have found a lot of support in the web community. Twitter, Facebook and even meetup.com have huge veg communities where support is constantly glowing from people. I find this to be the most helpful thing in any life style change. There are web communities like The Crazy Sexy Life and The Kind Life that have message boards where support and ideas are constantly offered, free of judgement.

Search out support on these websites, even if you are a hard set vegan. You can support new veg-curious people. These communities make us powerful. Education is power!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Amazing Raw Lunch

So I tend to eat more raw food in the summer and it does my body good work. I get less bloated, feel lighter and the people who have to look at me in a swim suit while tubing thank my veggies!

Here is my amazing raw lunch for today.


-one avocado, chopped
-1 red chili, diced
-2 roma tomato's, chopped
-1 1/2 cup of corn
-handful of cilantro
-1/2 cup of red pepper, chopped
- salt and pepper to taste

Combine all the ingredients into bowl and mix well. Place on two leaves of butter lettuce. You can either roll these into the leave as rolls or just eat as a salad. This will go a long way. Refrigerate rest.

Tomato Cucumber "Caprese"
-1/2 tomato, thinly sliced
-1/3 cucumber, thinly sliced
-1 teaspoon lemon juice
-pepper to taste

Take thin slices and arrange alternating. Squeeze lemon juice over and then sprinkle pepper.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Peach Mango Smoothie

Sometimes when my family gets gift cards for air line or credit card points, they send them to their poor, broke, civil servant daughter, aka Me. This time it was for JCpenny. Now, when most girls get a gift card its about the cloths. Now not this little vegan. I go straight to the kitchen wear section, where, this time I happened upon a Magic Bullet like machine by Cooks.

Perfect for a hot summer in south Texas (May and we have already passed 100 degrees once or twice.)

Smoothie ingredients:
-4 small peaches (Skinned and chopped)
-1 mango (Skinned and chopped)
-1/2 cup of ice

Blend well. See? Who needs a fancy when you have a blender and a stock of fresh fruit.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Starting a Veggie Lifestyle

I got one of the worlds greatest pleasures today. A childhood friend contacted me today and asked me for help in going veg! I love this and jumped at the chance to help another person move towards a plant based diet. Like so many of us though she has no idea where to start. She asked me to help compile a list for here and a few tips that would help her start. I have decided to share it on here for everyone! Please feel free to add any additional tips for her to start out with!

I have made a list of books with the things I like about them. Also there are tips to start out at the bottom.

- "Crazy Sexy Diet" By Kris Carr.
This book is the one I am reading right now and I am loving it! She really gets to you and gets you thinking about your body. I love her approach to making "healthy vegans." However I would not be as include to recommend it for a starter. Going Veg is hard enough. Going from a Mc Donald's chomping westerner to a Raw Foodist? Harder. However, I would recommend the 21 day cleanse in the back as a detox plan. Note: Has a web community

- "Vegetarian Beginners Guide"- Vegetarian Times
This is one of the first books I bought when going veg all those years ago. It teaches you how to stock a pantry which is one of the hardest things to do in my opinion. It also has list of ways to get all of the nutrients and proteins you need, including veggies with high sources of protein and iron. It addresses common myths. The things I am not so fond of? I don't really like the recipes that they used in this book. Their Magazines are full of yummy recipes but the book...not so much.

- "The Kind Diet"- Alicia Silverstone
You will recognize this women from you childhood which makes the book more convincing. And this happens to be one of my Fav books of all time. Alicia is understanding, compassionate and sweet in the way that she writes. This has some of the best recipes I have ever made, veg or omnivore. She gives you the reasons why you should be a veg for your body, for animals an for the planet without making you feel like you have lives the past how-many-years of your life in sin. One of the things I love the most is that she teaches you how to "Build a Meal" without meat. This is something most of us forget how to do without meat. Note: Has a web community.

-"The Kitchen Shrink" Natalie Savona
This is not a veg book, thats what I dislike. But I recommend it for everyone. It teaches you how to deal with mental issues like depression or any other physical sickness using your kitchen as a pharmacy. It teaches you which foods promote which feelings and what problems can be solved with what.

-"Eat, Drink & Be Vegan" Dreena Burton
This is a pure cookbook. 100%. If you are going to be a veg then you need to learn how to enjoy your food. That is why I looooooove pure vegan cookbooks. This one in particular has a great deal of breakfast and sweet recipes.

-"Vegan Lunch Box Around the World" Jennifer McCann
Variety is the spice of life and I love international food. This teaches you to make many kinds of international food. It also all happens to be able to be packed up in a lunch box and taken to work, school, or just out with you. I dont know about you but I have to work! Note: Author has a web community.

Other Books On My Shelf:
-The Urban Vegan
-The Compassionate Carnivore by Catherine Friend
-Beans and Rice by Williams Sonoma
-Raw Food by Ani Phyo
-Vegetarian Kids Cookbook by Roz Denny
-Vegetarian Cooking by Nicola Graimes
-Eating Animals by Johnathan Saffron-Foyer
-In Defense of Food by Michael Pollen
-Food Rules by Michael Pollen

- Beware of soy: Most of all if you are becoming a veg for health reasons or to loose weight. Soy is highly processed and as fatty as some meats. While it digests a bit easier I would not use it as its labeled "As a meat substitute".

-Immerse: Veg is just like any other subculture. The more you immerse yourself with the community the stronger your commitment to your new healthy life style becomes. Twitter has a huge veg community and there are many boards that go along with books to go to for advise (Along with my blog of coarse.) Seek out like minded people.

-Support: Having a supporting roommate or spouse is essential. Its hard to stay out of trouble when someone across from you is eating a burger in front of you. Cook together, try new things together. Its nice bonding, cheap dates and fun!

-Shopping: There are so many tips that you can use for shopping and many of the books above have them. I have this one piece of advice that I believe more then anything. Stick to the outer portions of the super market. That and the bulk. Stay away from the sugary crap on the inner parts of the market. Most supermarkets are mostly designed the same way; fruit and veggies on the outside. Thats where you should be shopping.

-Farmers Markets: They are tons of fun and full of good people and good food!

-Eating Out: My first instinct is to say dont. But it is a social obligation and a corner stone of our culture. Look up the menu first online and find out if they have any veg dishes or think about how to turn them into veg.

-Dairy: You will read a lot about this in every single book that I recommended but I feel the need to state it now because my friend is very into weight loss. When I dropped Dairy I also dropped 15 pounds. Enough said. Each persons body is different but dairy is nasty. We are the only creature that drinks milk from another animal. Over 70% of the population is born lactose intolerant but we are weened onto it and fast. Give it up and you'll taste things better and digest like no ones business!

-Google is your friend: Or bing or any other search engine. There are many new things to be learned along the road to a plant based diet. New words will stump you. Alien ingredients will taunt you. Luckily we live in the information age and googling can be done in the blink of an eye. Dont be afraid of the information highway.

-Detoxing: Its not just for coke addicts. Do it and you will find the bad things easier to resist. I recommend the 21 day cleanse from the Crazy, Sexy Diet.

There we are! Please comment with the things that have helped you along the way. Sometimes I think that we forget how hard it is to start out a new life.

I love you Lauren!!!!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Stuffed Tomatoes/ Peppers

2 large ripe tomatoes
4 tbsp extra version olive oil
2 large green or red peppers
2 onions (Chopped)
2 garlic cloves (Crushed)
2 oz of chopped raw almonds
1/2 cup of brown rice
1/2 an onion of mint (Chopped)
1/2 an oz of Parsley (Chopped)
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven at 375 degrees. Cut tomatoes in half and scoop out the pulp. Roughly chop the pulp and set the outer parts on a paper towel. Half the peppers and leave the cores intact. Scoop out the seeds and discard. Brush the cores with oil. Bake the peppers for 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper after removal. Put the peppers and tomatoes in an oven proof backing dish and set to the side.

Sautee onions in remaining olive oil for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and almonds and sautee for an additional minute.

Remove from the pan and stir in with rice and all the other ingredients. Season well with salt and pepper then spoon the mixture into the tomatoes and the peppers.

Pour 2/3 of water into the baking pan to keep moist as they cook. Put into the oven for 20 minutes. Remove a sprinkle with any additional almonds and olive oil. Return for another 20 minutes until they are golden.

I served this with an onion soup and bread. Yum!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Cold Summer Quinoa Salad

There is a recipe that is very similar to this at Central Market that I absolutely love! Its close to an addiction that's how much I love it. But at nearly 6 dollars a pound I would be better off having a drug addiction.

So I looked at the ingredients on the label and decided to give it a try myself! This is a great food to have at dinner. Even better then that it keeps for about 4 days and is easy to stick in a Tupperware container and take anywhere with you!


-1 cup of dried tri-color Quinoa
-2 Cups of water
-1 red pepper (Chopped)
-1 can of organic corn (Drained)
-1 large avocado (Chopped)
-handful or cilantro (Chopped)

Please keep in mind that this will cook quite a bit.

Cook Quinoa as you normally would. For those of you who have never cooked quinoa its almost just like cooking couscous. Bring water to a boil before placing drained quinoa into the pot. Cover and simmer until it is clear.

Move and chill until cold. In a large bowl mix the rest of your ingredients. Mix in Quinoa and stir everything together well.

Refrigerate until you are ready to serve.

Roasted Tomatos

I love tomatoes. I will eat them any way that I can. One of my earliest memories is of my Great Grand Father salting a raw tomato and taking a huge bit out of it. How Italian!

This recipe is particularly good because the tomatoes are literally exploding with juices when you cut into them. Its perfect for dipping bread into or just eating on its own.

-2 heirloom Tomatoes (Cut in half)
-1/3 cup of olive oil
-Basil, bay leaf, oregano-any beloved Italian herb
-4 cloves of garlic (Minced)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Take halved tomatoes and place them in a baking pan. Mix olive oil and herbs. Brush over the tops of the tomatoes with a pastry brush.

Place in heated oven for 45 minutes. About half way through the 45 minutes, toss garlic onto the top as well. In my experience if you put it onto the tomatoes with the oil and spices it will char.

Take out of oven. Garnish with bay leafs, salt and pepper if desired. The tomatoes should be golden or black around the top rims.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Super Fruity

Okay has anyone seen Baby Mama? If you have you will notice the title and I hope that you are laughing with me right now. Its May here in central Texas which means its already almost 100 degrees. This is the time of year that my nutrition takes a turn for the worst. I hate eating when its hot (Not to mention that all of those grains make unnatural bumps come out of my swim suit. So this is the time of year I normally survive on frozen grapes and rivers of water.

Not this year I tell you! This year I will be exploring the world of raw and green smoothies! This is my first one.

Creamy Fruit Smoothie
Ingredients: (Makes 4)
-3 cups of fruit (In this one banana and strawberry because it sounded good)
-1/4 cup agave syrup
-1/2 cup of ground (You should use a food processor unless you have a Ninja Blender) nuts or seeds (Cashews, almonds, pumpkin seeds or pecans)
-2 cups of water
-Ice (optional)

Place all of the ingredients (Except ice) in a blender and blend until smooth. Add ice if you are using it and blend well. Serve right away.

Will keep for one day in the fridge.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Roasted Sweet Potato and Onion Medley

Ah, the first of another month...a new beginning. I like to view the first of a month like most people view the new year, a new start and a time to renew my ideals. In this busy life it is easy to forget our basic life style. We need more then once a year to remember what we believe in. I like to start it off with a new recipe!

-2 sweet potato's (Cubed and Peeled)
-1 red onion (coarsely chopped)
-1 tbs olive oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss potato and onion in oil, salt and pepper. Arrange on baking sheets covered with parchment paper and pop into the oven for 30 minutes or until it is soft to a fork.

-4 tablespoons olive oil
-1 teaspoon Dijon mustard.
-2 tablespoons chopped parsley

Whisk together.

Once the medley is roasted toss in the dressing mixture. Serve hot or keep refrigerated until ready to eat.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Traditional Bruschetta

Bruschetta is one of those foods that you actually don't have to put the word "Vegan" in front of. Originated in Italy it follows a very pure Tuscan mentality about food: the simpler and more fresh the better it will taste. Music to my ears!

This is a great summer snack or appetizer that is sure to wine crowds over and well as not damage your wallet, alarm clock or waistline. It tastes a maximum of 15 minutes to prepare and only a few key ingredients. The traditional bruschetta that I am making here is just that, a Tuscan tomato bruschetta. You can find millions of other kinds of with pesto, artichoke ect.

4 Roma tomatoes (Diced)
3 cloves of garlic (Minced)
8 basil leaves (Torn)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon Balsamic vinegar
Black Pepper to taste
12 slices of bread (Toasted)

Mix all of the ingredients together in large bowl making sure each tomato is coated. Sit aside for an hour. Before serving toast bread at 35 degrees. Spread bruschetta over it and serve.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Lunch Time Woo's

It’s hard working and being a vegan sometimes…not because of any weird reasons but just because of the hassle that Lunch Time can bring. Living in Texas makes that very hard (Unless you are in Austin; yes we know) considering the only places really around and fast are fast food places.

I always find it odd that I work for a sports and health agency that is devoted to promoting health for people in the community. Sadly very little of this has to do with eating healthy (It’s easier to not see the effect of fast food if your life is devoted to working out and playing sports…sadly the average Joe cannot do that.) and I see more than one bag of Bill Millers and Mc Donald’s a day.

This post is about finding ways to eat at work that are healthy, wallet friendly, and above all else, fast. (An hour lunch break is still a joke to me).

1) My first piece of advice is simple DON’T. Buying lunch is expensive 5 days a week…and I don’t just mean to your health. That wallet starts to look really anorexic if you eat out every day. Brining you lunch is cheaper (Money wise) and safer. When you bring your own lunch you know exactly what’s in it. And sandwiches are not the only lunch option that’s out there! Bring left over grains, pastas, casseroles and assortments of snack and you will be sure to have a different lunch every day of the week!

Above all, for me, brining your lunch saves you time. You don’t have to walk to decide with everyone where you are going all day, walk down to your car, drive where you need to go and then be sure you eat fast enough to do it all in reverse.

2) Sometimes you have one of those days…you know the one. You either wake up late and don’t feel like going to work…so you definitely don’t want to make your lunch. But where to eat? Taco Bell? KFC? Can’t do it.

Option one: Look at menus online of local take out joints. You have better luck finding healthy food at restaurants then at fast food.

Option two: My personal favorite. Find a grocery store…most grocery stores that small sections in them where you can buy premade food. I prefer Central Market. avocado sushi rolls or Chipotle quinoa are my personal favorites.

If you are like me you are more of a snack person anyway. I often buy a pack of raspberries or black berries or strawberries or blueberries (The list can go on and on!) and then go at it for the rest of the day!

So there you have it. Eat, love, live.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Vegan Pho

Pho is an awesome Vietnamese noodle soup traditionally made with beef. I live for a place in San Antonio called Pho Sure. I highly suggest trying it out as well as trying your own recipes with all different Kinds of Asian veggies. This meatless version, is made with most of the same ingredients but subs out beef for tofu and a ton of veggies!

Serves 4 (Large portions!)

8 ounces dried rice noodles
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 pack of soft tofu cut into squares
6 cups vegetable stock or water
1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1/3 cup hoisin sauce
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
3 tablespoons miso paste
1/2 teaspoon Asian chile paste (or to taste)
1 cup fresh bean sprouts
3 to 4 scallions, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons cilantro leaves
3 tablespoons basil leaves
4 Shitaki mushrooms
water chestnuts


Bring a pot of water to a boil. Turn off the heat, add the rice noodles, and let them sit for 30 minutes to soften. Drain and set aside.

Bring the stock or water to a boil in a large pot. Add the onion, ginger, hoisin sauce, and soy sauce. Reduce heat to low and simmer 15 minutes. Stir in the lime juice.

Place 1/2 cup of the hot liquid into a small bowl. Add the miso paste and stir to blend well. Transfer the blended miso paste into the soup along with the chile paste, if using. Stir in the noodles, tofu and water chestnuts.Do not boil but simmer for several more minutes to.

Divide the soup among individual bowls. Add the bean sprouts, scallions, cilantro (I get mine from my own garden), and basil.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Sourdough starter

I am a huge fan of sourdough bread! It is so good. Plus according to a Canadian study in 2008, the fermentation process causes a change in the cooking process leading to less of a spike in blood sugar levels then other white breads and even some whole wheat, by altering the structure of the starch to slow down its digestion (Ref PH.d. Terry Graham).

Sadly, outside of San Francisco it's hard to find a good sourdough...anything. So being me I decided to read up on the making of sourdough and make my own! Here is the recipe for a sourdough starter! This makes enough for one recipe so try it out and see if you like it. If you do you can always double the recipe to have some in your fridge!

1 cup of all purpose flour (I used white whole wheat)
1/4 tsp of quick rising yeast
1 cup of warm water

In a non reactive bowl combine the flour and yeast. Stir in warm water. Cover loosely and set aside for twelve hours. It should have a yeasty smell and be bubbly.

After 12 hours uncover, stir and discard half of the mixture. Add in 1/2 cup of flour and 1/2 cup of lukewarm water. Continue doing this every 12 hours for 72 hours. If you want a stronger sourdough flavor feed for another day.

Now you have a starter for sourdough bread, pancakes or any other sourdough recipe you can find!

Pub Style Potato Bites

Also known as Salt & Vinegar Crisps (Potato chips)These are bar/ pub classics! Here I have given them a healthier (And to me tastier!) makeover. Serve this as a munch food at your next party and you'll have people begging you for the recipe!

6 Medium red or Yellow potato's cut into 1-inch cubes
2 tbs. Vegetable oil
1 cup of malt vinegar
3 tbs raw sugar

Soak the potato's in a bowl of cold water for 30 minutes and then pat dry.

Pre heat oven to 425 degrees F. Toss the potato's in oil on a baking sheet and spread them out evenly in a single layer.bake for 45 minutes until golden and crisp, turning 2 or 3 times. Remove and season with salt and pepper if you would like.

Mean while bring malt vinegar and sugar to a simmer in sauce pan for 15-20 minutes (Liquid should be reduced by half).

Serve the malt sauce on the side for dipping or drizzle over potato's.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Steele Cut Oats

Steele Cut Oats are one of those amazing foods that everyone should eat. They have 4 grams of fiber and 5 grams of protein, with 150 calories and 2.5 grams of fat per every one cup serving. Oats are an excellent source of manganese and a good source of phosphorus, thiamin, and magnesium. Plus there is a lot of evidence that everyone has heard that oatmeal can help regulate blood sugar (Almost everyone I know says they are hypoglycemic so maybe everyone should think about this) and lower risks of heart issues.

Amazing and oh so tasty! Plus at 99 cents a pound in the bulk section who can say no?

-2 tablespoons non dairy butter
-1 cup Steele Cut Oats
-1 cup non dairy milk (I like hemp milk to keep it nice and thick, plus its naturally sweet!)
-1/3 cup brown sugar
-3 cups boiling water

Melt butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Add oats to butter and stir for 2 minutes, until lightly toasted.

Add 3 cups boiling water to oats in saucepan. Stir and reduce heat to simmer. Simmer gently for 25 minutes, stirring once or twice.

Stir 1 cup of hemp milk into oatmeal. Continue to cook for another 8 to 10 minutes, or until most of the milk has been absorbed. Make sure oatmeal is not sticking to the bottom of the pot.

Remove oatmeal from heat. Cover and let stand for 2 minutes. While you do this, stir in brown sugar so that it can caramelize. Feel free to add your choice of nuts too! I particularly like eating Walnuts in oatmeal!

Leftovers will keep in the fridge for up to three days. To reheat, stir in a little milk and heat on high in the microwave for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring midway through.

Sunday, March 6, 2011


So for Christmas my parents got me two things that are great for my loving of cooking. The first was a new digital camera. I hate putting up crappy pictures for everyone. The second was on back order and just came in: an Aerogarden. This little three pod garden gives me the ability to grow herbs and veggies all year round with no dirt, no mess and very little effort.

My first project that my mother got me with it was the Salad Package which contains Red Lettuce, Green Lettuce and Butter head Lettuce. It has been three days and I already have little lettuce shoots up and growing. I would recommend it so far but will keep up updated!

On that note I also have strawberries, artichoke, roma tomato,carrots, Bok Choi, basil, cilantro, chives, parsley, oregano, and radish growing conventionally. I would really recommend growing your own veggies and herbs to everyone. I live in an apartment and have been using container gardening so there really is no excuse not to. It is satisfying eating what you grow and gives you a deep respect for not only the food that you are growing but also respect to the farmers and people who grow all of the other food that you eat.

Home Made Guacamole

Nothing is better then home made guacamole. Store bought just has nothing on it! And it is so easy to make!

Not to mention that I am trying to increase the amount of raw food I eat. For those of you that are not familiar with Raw food and the positive effects it can have on your body, raw food is processed much easier and with its maximum amount of nutrients. I would highly recommend watching "Food Matters" for information on both raw food and the way that nutrients can increase health and decrease or elimination chronic disease.

2 large Hass Avocado
4th of red onion (Diced)
Half a jalapeño (Diced)
1 chopped Roma Tomato
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro
Lemon juice

Puree most of the Alvacodos until smooth in your food processor. Set the rest aside. Add the rest of the ingredients into the processor and blend. Take out the guac and fold in the chucks of avocado and the tomato.

Bam! Home made yummy Guacamole!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Bikram Yoga

I had heard so much about this "Heat Yoga" from friends and have been wanting to try it for a long time. Sadly the only studio for a while had been all the way across town and took nearly an hour to drive to most times of the day.

Lucky for me (And for Will)one finally opened with in walking distance of our apartment! I know! The luck! So for the first time yesterday we went in and signed up for our ten day unlimited trial. It was only 20 dollars for 10 days and the drop in class was 15 dollars. It just made sense. We went again today to ease our muscles and continue the practice.

I happen to like it a lot. Mind you not as I like vinyasa yoga. Still it literally gets you soaking in sweat within several minutes. It seems to be wonderful for rapid weight loss and injury. It is certainly challenging. I just don't seem to have the same emotional connection that I do with Flow style. Perhaps because it is more for pure fitness then it is for the ease of the soul and mind body connection, or maybe I have just not been practicing it as long.

On that note I would highly recommend it to anyone who wants to try it or get physically fit. It is challenging and fun at the same time. You can feel your body releasing its toxins instantly. It has practitioners of all shapes and sizes, all levels and all ages. It was also recommended in the top ten Bikram Yoga Studios in America by 'Details'.

On a personal note, I think that this is one of the best places that could have expanded their franchises in our city. Like it or note San Antonio is not the healthiest place to live. Still places like this, resources like the newly launched Fitness portal, supplies by the Mayors Fitness Council and a variety of free activities have the potential to help San Antonio healthy and happy!

Spicy Cauliflower and Onion Coucous

Spicy Cauliflower

1 head of cauliflower
Creole Spice
Red pepper flakes
onion flakes
Olive Oil

Slice the cauliflower thin, removing the steams and greens. Mix up the ingredients in a large bowl and sit at room temp for a half an hour to am hour.

Heat up pan at medium to high heat and pour mixture into the pan. Sautee this until the cauliflower is soft. Serve.


1 1/2 cups of veggie broth or water
1/2 an onion Chopped
1 cup of whole wheat couscous

Boil Liquid. Once it is at a rolling boil. Pour in couscous and remove from heat. Cover. Heat onion in a pan and sautee until clear. If it sticks add a touch of oil. Stir in onion. Serve.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Sesame and Ginger Tofu and Black/Brown Rice

3/4 cups of Black and brown rice
1 bunch of Spinach
3/4 tbsp veggie oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tbsp ginger, chopped
3 scallions, White and green parts separated
1 pack firm tofu, cut into 1/2 inch slices
2 tbsp sesame oil
Lime wedges for serving

Steam Rice according to directions. Fluff and set aside.

Steam the spinach in the veggie oil over medium heat for 2 minutes and set aside. I like to drain any excess oil out...because I hate that oily taste.

Sautee the garlic, ginger and the white parts on the scallions in the remaining oil until it smells...amazing! About 1 minute. Add the slices of tofu into the mixture along with the sesame oil and cook until tofu is golden on both sides.

Remove the tofu and toss the rice that you had set to the side into the pan, cooking it until crisp.

Serve with the spinach and tofu on top. Garnish with lime wedges and the green parts of the scallions.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Spinach Salad with Pomegranate and Avocado

*1 pomegranate
* 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
* 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
* 2 tablespoons olive oil
* Coarse salt and ground pepper
* 2 bunches flat leaf spinach, stems trimmed, well washed and dried
* 2 tablespoons roasted, hulled sunflower seeds
* 1 Hass avocado

1. Halve pomegranate lengthwise and seed. Working in a bowl of cold water, use your hands to separate seeds from membrane. Membrane will float to the top; discard. Scoop out pomegranate seeds and pat dry.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together 3 tablespoons lemon juice, mustard, and oil; season with salt and pepper. Toss spinach, sunflower seeds, and pomegranate seeds with dressing in bowl. Transfer to a serving platter.
3. Halve avocado and remove pit. Scoop out flesh and thinly slice lengthwise; drizzle with remaining lemon juice. Transfer to plate and arrange salad on top. Serve immediately.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Fruit Bowl with Apple Tahini Sauce

Oh. My. God. I love international food. Which is a plus because international food tends to love me right back.

Tahini. That is the word of the day. Familiarizing yourself with it. Become part of it. Eat it. Tahini is a sesame paste that is ground from either shucked or un-shucked seeds (depending on what culture you are getting it from). It is high in proteins and complex carbs. It has a nice nutty taste and when combine with the ingredients in this sauce has the perfect satisfying nutty after taste that can throw a sauce right over the edge of good into greatness.

Sauce (4 servings):
1/4 cup of Tahini
1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce
1 tbsp agave
2 tbsp water

Combine all of these into a food processor and blend well.

4 cups of assorted fruit. (I used oranges, banana, pears and green grapes)
1/4 cup of toasted, unsweetened coconut flakes.

Arrange fruit in serving bowls. Drizzle with Tahini sauce and top it off with the toasted coconut.