How to Eat Out as a Vegan

Hello everyone and happy Friday!

Since the weekend is approaching, I thought that it would be a great time to discuss how to eat out as a vegan.  Honestly, this was something that I was hesitant about when I first made the transition, but we have found it easier (and more fun!) than ever!

First, because I have readers in many different parts of the world, I would recommend downloading the App “Happy Cow” on your phone (you can also pull up their website).  This is a fabulous resource; all you have to do is type in your zip code, and it will tell you all of the vegan restaurants in your area.

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Second, I highly recommend studying the menu of the restaurant you will be visiting before you go.  Most places have vegan menus or vegan options.  However, you can also look at the ingredients in meals and stay away from eggs, meat, dairy, cream, gelatin, honey, fish, whey, chicken stock, bone broth, etc.  If you have a difficult time choosing something, don’t be afraid to ask your server for help.  You may need to explain what “vegan” is to them, but they should be happy to offer suggestions.  If you get really stuck, stick to the basics like a salad or baked potato (no butter).

Some of our favorite places to dine in or pick up food from are:

*Rubios (nothing like a veggie burrito or veggie bowl.  Stay away from the chipotle cream sauce though)

*Chipotle (we love their Sofritas!  Add those to a burrito or a veggie bowl.  Do not add cheese or sour cream)

*Veggie Grill (enough said!)

*On the Border (ask your host/hostess for the “vegan” menu)

*Sushi Lounge (we have found that sushi is incredibly easy to make vegan.  You can order all kinds of vegetable rolls, sushi rice, miso soup, edamame)

*California Homemades (this is for all of my local friends.  They offer a full vegan menu)

*Jimbos (order all kinds of vegan sandwiches and sides from their deli menu daily.  They also have an enormous, salad bar and smoothies)

*Craft and Taco (this is also for my local friends.  They offer a vegan taco menu)

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If all else fails, stick with bean burritos at Mexican restaurants, pasta and marinara at Italian restaurants and veggie stir fry at Chinese restaurants.

I hope that helps a little!  Please contact me if you need more assistance.  Also, I would love to hear from you.  Where are your favorite, vegan options for dining or taking out?

 

 

“Cheesy” Kale Casserole (Great for Thanksgiving!)

Hello all,

Yesterday we discussed why I think it is important to leave turkeys off of our tables (on Thanksgiving and always).  You may be wondering what to make for your holiday meal instead.

This was one of the many recipes that we made during our cooking class last week and it is incredibly delicious.  Plus, it is comforting, warm and perfect for this time of year with its’ main ingredient being pumpkin.

I hope that you will give it a try and let me know what you think.

*This recipe has been modified from Fresh Creations.  For more information, check out @freshcreationssd on Instagram.

“Cheesy” Kale Casserole

(4 servings)

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Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 lbs Pureed Pumpkin (*we used organic, pureed pumpkin from cans instead of whole pumpkins. The directions below are for the canned option)
  • 1 Yellow Onion (small dice)
  • 3 Garlic Cloves (minced)
  • 1 can Organic Coconut Milk (15 oz can)
  • 2 cups Kale Leaves (removed from stem and leaves cut thin)
  • 1 tbsp Fresh Sage (minced)
  • 1/4 cup Nutritional Yeast
  • 2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 1/3 tbsp Bread Crumbs (*we used gluten free)
  • 1 Bag of Macaroni (*again we used gluten free)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. In an extra large sauce pan or skillet, heat oil over medium heat and cook onions for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add minced garlic and sage and continue cooking until onions are carmelized.
  2. While onions are carmelizing, cook pasta of choice using directions on package. Strain and set aside.
  3. Add pureed pumpkin, coconut milk and nutritional yeast to carmelized onion sage and garlic mixture. Stir/mix together. Cook 4 minutes.
  4. Add shredded kale leaves, stir everything together and let it simmer for 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Combine pasta with pumpkin and kale mixture.
  6. Scoop into individual ramekins or a 9×9 baking dish. Top with bread crumbs of choice. Bake for 10 minutes or until bread crumbs are golden brown.
  7. Garnish with green onion or chili pepper flakes (you can also add some tempeh bacon).

 

I truly hope that you enjoy this recipe!  Please remember that it is absolutely possible to have an amazing, and satisfying, holiday meal without consuming animal products ❤

 

 

 

Baked Potato Nacho Recipe

Hello everyone,

Happy Food Friday!  Today I wanted to share one of my new, favorite recipes.  This recipe has been modified from Medical Medium’s Thyroid Healing book. I tried to make this for the first time this week and may now be making it every day!  It was absolutely, mouth-wateringly delicious!

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Makes 2-3 servings

Ingredients:

  • 6 medium potatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 1 cup diced tomato
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 jalapeño, minced (optional)……I used the whole thing by accident.
  • 2 limes
  • 1/4 cup cashew cream (see recipe below)
  • a drop of olive oil/coconut oil to dust potatoes with

Cashew Cream (modified from The No Meat Athlete Cookbook)

  • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked in hot water for 1 hour, then drained
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ to 1 cup water
  • 1-2 teaspoons dill (we like a lot so I tend to just pour in a ton!)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.  Slice the potatoes into “chips” that are 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch thick.  Lightly dust them with your choice of oil and add the sea salt.  Arrange the potatoes on a baking sheet, lined with parchment paper.  Bake the potatoes for 20 minutes, flip, and then bake for 10 more minutes (or until crispy to your liking).
  2. While the potatoes bake, combine the avocado, tomato, onion, cilantro, jalapeño, and the juice of both of the limes in a small mixing bowl.
  3. Make the cashew cream sauce by simply blending all of the ingredients together. Add more water to create your desired consistency.
  4. When the potatoes have finished cooking, arrange them on a plate/serving tray.  Top them with the salsa and add some cashew cream sauce.
  5. Enjoy!

 

SAVE THE DATES: Fall Events and Online Programs

Hello everyone,

I am super excited for Fall and for the approaching holiday season.  I have two events coming up that will help us all feel more healthy, happy and confident for those family pictures and gatherings.

The first is one that everyone, all over the world, can participate in.  I am running a “Fall in Love with Fitness” online challenge.  It will consist of short workouts that can be done from the comfort of your own bedroom (I personally love to workout in my pajamas).  It is only $25.00 for the entire two weeks and starts on November 5th!

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The second event is for all of my local friends.  I am co-hosting a “Fall in Love with Food” Vegan Cooking Class on November 8th from 6:00-7:30pm.  During the class we will eat a 5 course meal (including wine) and will learn some basic cooking skills.  Everyone will leave with a recipe packet so that you can make these amazing meals at home (and for those holiday gatherings).  The entire evening is only $55.00/person.  *Please note that you absolutely do not have to be vegan to attend.

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Please contact me to sign up for either one of these events.  Also, please share with anyone who you think may be interested.  I truly appreciate all of your support!

Quinoa Power Bowl with Tangy Lemon-Herb Dressing

Hello everyone,

A few months ago I took a wonderful class in San Diego with a business called Veg-Appeal.  It was incredibly informative and we ate ahhhh-mazing food!  This was one of my favorite recipes from Veg-Appeal and I wanted to share it with you (with their permission, of course!).  It may look like a lot of work, but it really isn’t, and it is SOOOO worth it!

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Quinoa Power Bowl with Tangy Lemon-Herb Dressing

(serves 2)

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups Mixed baby greens, chopped
  • 1/2 cup Red cabbage, chopped
  • 1/2 cup Cucumbers, chopped
  • 1/2 cup Cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup Cooked great northern beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 tbsp Smoky Maple “Baco Bits” or your favorite nut or seeds, toasted or raw
  • 2 cups Anti-inflammatory Quinoa, cooled
  • 1/2 Avocado, cubed or sliced
  • 2 tbsp Pomegranate seeds (if in season) or chopped apple or soaked/drained dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup Tangy Lemon-Herb Dressing (see below)

Smoky-Maple “Baco Bits”

  • 1 cup Raw Pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds or chopped nuts
  • 1/2 tbsp Liquid Smoke
  • 1/2 tbsp Tamari, Braggs Liquid Aminos, or soy sauce
  • 1-1-1/2 tsp Maple Syrup
  • 1/2 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar

Anti-Inflammatory Quinoa

  • 1 cup Quinoa, rinsed, drained well
  • 2 cups Low-sodium vegetable broth, or water
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric
  • Black pepper, to taste

Tangy Lemon -Herb Dressing

  • 1/4 cup Dates, pitted and soaked (about 3 large or 6 small)
  • 1/2 cup Water
  • 1 small Zucchini, chopped (this thickens and extends the dressing without adding additional fats and calories)
  • 2-4 medium cloves Garlic
  • 1/3 cup Lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons Chia seeds
  • 1/4 cup Tahini
  • 1/2 teaspoon Turmeric
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup Nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 tsp Salt or 1 tbsp light miso
  • 1/4-1/2 cup loosely packed Fresh herb, or a mix of herbs (parsley, cilantro, basil, scallions, oregano, for example, going lighter on stronger flavors like oregano and basil)

 

Directions:

Prepare the Smoky-Maple “Baco Bits”

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Add all of the ingredients in a small bowl.  Marinate the nuts/seeds for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Place them on a single layer on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 8 minutes.  Remove from oven, stir and place back in the oven to bake for 3 more minutes, or until getting a little browned and crispy-they will crisp up further as they cool.

Prepare the Anti-Inflammatory Quinoa

  1. Bring all of the ingredients to boil in a medium saucepan.  Stir well. Reduce the heat to a low-simmer. Cover and continue to cook for 15 minutes.
  2. Fluff the quinoa with a fork, replace the cover and let cool.

Prepare the Tangy Lemon-Herb Dressing

  1. Soak the dates in the water for about 1/2 hour, using warm water if you are in a hurry.  Do not drain.
  2. Add the water and dates to a blender along the rest of the ingredients, and blend.
  3. Add more liquid (water or lemon juice) to achieve the desired consistency.

Serve, or refrigerate for up to one week, adding more lemon/water as it thickens over time.

Assemble the Power Bowl

  1. Toss the salad ingredients well in a large salad bowl.  Drizzle on the dressing and toss to mix.
  2. Divide into two large salad bowl.  Serve immediately, or chill for about an hour.
  3. Enjoy!!!!

 

Click here for more information on Veg-Appeal.

 

One of the easiest dinner recipes ever!

Hello everyone,

It has definitely turned into Fall in Southern California, and the temperature has started dropping in the evenings.  I am craving nothing but warm, comfort foods for dinner and this is one of our favorites.  I am not sure that there are many healthy, dinner recipes out there that are this easy.

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Baked Stuffed Sweet Potato (serves 2)

Ingredients:

*2 medium-sized sweet potatoes

*3/4 can of black beans

*Your choice of veggies (we prefer cherry tomatoes, carrots, spinach, bell pepper, zucchini, red onion)

*Optional: salsa, guacamole or vegan butter

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Poke holes in your sweet potatoes with a fork.
  3. Cook sweet potatoes until they are soft, all the way through (approximately 45 minutes).
  4. In the meantime, chop and saute your vegetables and black beans.
  5. When the sweet potatoes have finished cooking, pull them out of the oven.  Slice them open (length wise) and mash the insides with a fork.
  6. Add your veggies, black beans, salsa and guacamole.
  7. Enjoy!

*I will sometimes add guacamole, salsa or vegan butter to the sweet potato before piling on my veggies.  This helps take away from the dryness of the sweet potato.