Thursday, January 24, 2013

Vegan Philly "Cheeze" Steak

I get asked this question a lot, "Why did you become vegan?", always with a quizzical, somewhat concerned look. I answer the question simply, "I have a sensitive mind and what I watched during a series of documentaries cannot be unseen". I truly love animals, and feel strongly about protecting their rights. Furthermore, I have been a vegan now for over 6 months and never felt healthier in my life. Our bodies do not need animal products/byproducts. I am living proof. I do not miss things I once craved because I have found ways to make the foods I used to love, but without harming animals in the process. Total bonus, 40 lbs of fat have magically disappeared from my body since I went vegan!!

In case you are interested in watching any of the documentaries that changed my life, here the top three that stick out in my mind:

Forks Over Knives
Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead

My new favorite vegan food is this amazing cheese recipe I had to try. I was very skeptical because I miss cheese the most and have been totally disappointed in every store bought vegan cheese I have tried. But this cheese, will fool the snobbiest cheese lovers! So step one, make this amazing cheese dip. If you ever want to make a nacho cheese dip, add green chillies and salsa to the plain cheese dip and it is amazing!

Gardein is my go-to product for soy/veggie based meatless products. It can be found at Whole Foods or your local speciality grocery store. I have found the texture to be so similar and the flavors really get absorbed.


* Gardeins Meatless Beef Tips
* Vegan Cheese Dip (recipe link above, the recipe above is for way more cheese than you need, so with the leftovers, I suggest the nacho dip I mentioned above)
* 1 Red Pepper, sliced
* 1 Yellow Pepper, sliced
* 1 Orange Pepper sliced
* Optional: Fresh mushrooms sliced or any other of your favorite fresh veggies
* Optional: Jalapeños
* Vegan bun
* 3 T Extra Virgin Olive Oil
* Minced garlic
* 3 T Emeril's Essence (I use this in just about every recipe I make, it adds awesome flavor to everything)

Heat up olive oil in pan with garlic. Once garlic has browned slightly, add beefless tips. Let those cook for just a minute or two before adding the fresh veggies. Add a little more olive oil if needed (depends on how much veggies you have in the pan, but you want a nice coating of olive oil). Add Emeril's Essence (recipe above). And cook about 20 minutes. The garlic, essence and olive oil will make a wonderful flavor to the veggies and beefless tips.

Remove veggies/beefless tips from pan and then cook buns in the same pan. The flavors still in the pan will also give the bun a great flavor and crisp it slight.

Add heated vegan cheese, veggies, beefless tips and jalapenos or any other toppings you would like and enjoy your healthy and delicious treat!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Spicy Miso Vegan Burger

I am always on the hunt for tasty vegan products. Today I am going to share my Spicy Miso Vegan Burger recipe which uses my new favorite vegan product: Miso Mayo Mayonnaise Alternative - Spicy Red Pepper. I bought mine at Whole Foods, but I am sure Sprouts or any specialty grocery store in your area will carry this. It reminds me of a chipotle mayo, but without all the dairy and cholesterol! 


  • Boca Burgers (4)
  • Miso Mayo Mayo Alternative - Spicy Red Pepper 
  • Jalapeños (I prefer Hatch Select and buy a huge container at Costco)
  • 3 Green Peppers, diced
  • 1 container of fresh mushrooms, diced
  • 1 tomato
  • Olive Oil (I prefer Queen Queek Extra Virgin Olive Oil, but any will do)
  • Vegan Buns
  • Vegan Buttery Spread
  • 1 tomato 
Prepare the boca burgers by adding a few drops of olive oil to each side. Then add Emeril's Rustic rub (click here to be taken to Emeril's site for the recipe) and rub the oil and spices into the burger, both sides. 

After mushrooms and peppers are chopped, add a teaspoon of olive oil and Emeril's Rustic Rub and mix peppers and mushrooms well in a bowl. 

I prefer my Boca Burgers cooked on the grill, so if you have a side burner where you can cook the peppers and mushrooms on the grill as well, cook them there since you will be on the grill anyway. If you do not have a side burner on your grill, simply cook the veggies on the stove on a medium high setting. If you do not have a grill, the Boca Burgers can also be cooked on the stove on a medium high setting. 

Cook the burgers til slightly browned on each side (about 20 minutes) and cook the veggies until browned as well (also about 20 minutes). If you want to eat your burger on a bun, you can add a little bit of vegan butter to the bun and put the bun on the grill for just a couple of minutes for a nice toasty bun! 

I buy my vegan buns (and most of my veggies) from a local vegan farmer (will blog about this farmer next week), but any buns that do not contain sugar, dairy or eggs will do! 

Now you are ready to stack your vegan burger. Start with vegan patty, then veggies, jalapeños, tomatoes and a tablespoon of miso mayo on the top bun. 

This recipe makes enough for four burgers. I like to cook my meals in advance and have them ready for the week, so this is a simple way to cook for one if you happen to be the only vegan in your household. This is a delicious burger though so I'm sure even non vegans would approve! 

Friday, November 2, 2012

Meatless Meatballs and Spaghetti

As a former meat eater, I am always looking for ways to make vegan dishes taste "real". I also like to make things that are pretty simple. So today I introduce one of my newest creations! 

  • 10.5 oz bag bag Nate's Savory Mushroom Meatless Meatballs. To find a store near you that sells these yummy vegan treats, go to:
  • 32 oz jar Classico Tomato & Basil Spaghetti Sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Agave Nectar
  • 2 shots Vodka (Kettle One or whatever your preference)
  • 1 tablespoon hot peppers 
  • 1 tablespoon Siriachi Sauce 
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 fresh cloves of garlic, minced
  • Any fresh veggies you want to add (mushrooms, peppers, onions)

Spaghetti Sauce

Heat one tablespoon of olive oil over medium high heat and add diced fresh veggies 
of your choice. Cook for ten minutes. Add jar of Classico sauce, agave, vodka, siriachi
and peppers. Stir, reduce heat to medium low and add lid. 

Meatless Meatballs

Add two tablespoons of olive oil to frying pan with minced garlic and sear over 
medium high heat.  When garlic is slightly brown, add frozen meatless meatballs. 
Cook for 7 minutes or until slightly dark on edges. Add meatballs to spaghetti sauce.
Stir sauce and simmer for 30 minutes. 

I usually prefer to use vegan whole wheat or gluten free pasta, but this was so tasty I 
ended up skipping the pasta and just had a little bowl of the sauce and meatless 
meatballs. I'll make some pasta for the leftovers! :) 

I had already added most of the meatballs to the sauce before I snapped a quick photo with my iPad.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

A Vegan Hallow's Eve

Tricky Treat

The last day of October marks my favorite holiday, Halloween. I love to spoil my trick or treaters and in the past have handed out full size chocolate bars or little plastic pumpkins filled with chocolate treats as pictured below. 

This year, being vegan, I have been torn as to what to hand out. I would like to stick to my principles and only hand out vegan candy. So, I did some research and found a link provided by PETA that lists 25 vegan candy options. No chocolate this year, but there are definitely some crowd pleasers in the mix! 

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