Author Archives: Shannon

The Main Street Vegan Academy Cookbook + Recipe

IMG_7110Last week I featured a vegan cookbook giveaway and a recipe, and I’m excited to be doing more of the same this week! This one is The Main Street Vegan Academy Cookbook, written by Victoria Moran and JL Fields. What’s awesome about this cookbook is that it features a variety of recipes from Main Street Vegan Academy coaches around the world. These coaches offer helpful tips alongside many of the recipes, which I find extremely helpful for when you’re making a recipe for the first time. I also love learning about ingredients, especially ones I don’t use often, and I think it’s great information to be able to pass along to others.

The Main Street Vegan Academy Cookbook begins with debunking some common myths about veganism. It’s not a diet or cult, anyone can be vegan regardless of their background, and vegans aren’t always alike (but that isn’t a bad thing). These facts help welcome diversity in the vegan community, which I believe is exactly what this cookbook is all about. I think for veganism to keep growing it’s important to listen to voices from all kinds of people, because there really isn’t one clear image of what a vegan is “supposed” to look like. 

IMG_7090Flipping through the pages of this cookbook makes me feel immediately inspired. It features a lot of recipes I don’t see very often in cookbooks and a handful of ones I haven’t tried before. It’s refreshing to see so many creative dishes, unique cooking techniques, and flavor combos that the different coaches have developed over the years. I’m excited to share the recipe for the Veggie Mac straight from the cookbook in this post, too! I made it at home and found it not only super easy, but I was also pleasantly surprised at how good a vegetable-based cheese sauce can be. If you enjoyed this recipe, don’t forget to head over to my Instagram after 12/19 and enter to win one of two copies of your own!

IMG_7086-2VEGGIE MAC from The Main Street Vegan Academy Cookbook 
Recipe by Britt LoSacco, VLCE, New York | Serves 4 to 6 

This vegan mac and cheese was inspired by a popular recipe from the online site of the iconic vegan magazine VegNews. My version honors the original by using vegetables as its base but is free of oil or dairy substitutes, achieving creamy deliciousness via nuts and seeds. This mac offers all the indulgent comfort you’d expect, but since it’s made from whole plant foods, you can feel extra good about going back for seconds.

  • 2 cups diced peeled russet or Yukon gold potatoes
  • 2/3 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup diced carrot
  • 2 cups water
  • 2/3 cup raw cashews
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast flakes
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus more for the pasta cooking water
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 pound vegan elbow macaroni

IMG_70451. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat for the pasta
2. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine the potatoes, onion, carrot, and water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, cover, and simmer over low heat for 15 minutes.
3. Combine the cashews, garlic, tahini, mustard, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, salt, and garlic powder in the jar of a highspeed blender or food processor. When the veggie mixture is finished cooking, add it (water included) to the blender. Place a towel over the blender and puree on high speed until completely smooth. (The sauce will be very thick, so have your tamper ready if using a Vitamix.)
4. Once the large pot of water has reached a rolling boil, throw in a fistful of salt and add the pasta. Cook according to the package instructions until al dente. Drain the pasta and return it to the large pot. Pour in the sauce and stir to combine.

Nut-Free Option: Substitute 2/3 cup soaked raw sunflower seeds for the cashews. Gluten-Free Option: Use gluten-free pasta

/////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

A huge thank you to Main Street Vegan Academy and BenBella Books for letting me feature this wonderful cookbook (including this Veggie Mac recipe) on my blog. I’d love to hear in the comments below if you try making it for yourself!

The Colorful Kitchen Cookbook + Reuben Recipe

The Colorful Kitchen Cookbook This season is such a great time for new cookbooks, whether it’s for gifts during the holidays or with New Year’s resolutions to start making more home-cooked meals. I personally love looking through cookbooks any time of the year, there are just so many to choose from! My favorite cookbooks not only have high-quality recipes, but also stunning photos and easy-to-follow directions. Which is why I was so excited when I received Ilene Godofsky Moreno’s cookbook, The Colorful Kitchen! Follow along to learn a little more about this book, and keep scrolling for a recipe for a vegan Reuben sandwich that I can’t get enough of lately. Continue reading

Since I had been following Ilene’s blog for a while, I couldn’t wait to finally get my hands on this book. Everything from the cover to the outer edges of the pages (which form a rainbow in color), to the wholesome plant-based recipes inside inspires me to get more creative with new and vibrant dishes. Ilene’s cookbook is a reminder that the food we eat should be beautiful, fun, nourishing, and something to share with the people we care about. I’m excited to announce that I’ll be doing a giveaway over on my Instagram on December 12th for a copy of The Colorful Kitchen Cookbook (which is also when the cookbook comes out), but you can always pre-order (or purchase if you’re reading this after the 12th) as a gift to yourself or your loved ones.

Vegan Reuben SandwichAs for the recipe, when making this Reuben-ish I realized I don’t make sandwiches as often as I’d like to. They’re super easy to throw together and a great way to combine a lot of ingredients that  you likely already have on hand. I feel like vegan Reuben sandwiches in particular are kinda tricky to find, so as a sauerkraut and pickle lover I was so happy to stumble upon this recipe in The Colorful Kitchen Cookbook! It did take a little longer than it does to assemble a standard sandwich, but the extra steps are well worth it. I also really love the baked tofu recipe and Thousand Island dressing (both included below as well as in the cookbook), since I prefer to make my own ingredients as much as possible. The components all balance each other really nicely to make a tasty and hearty sandwich overall. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do!

Vegan Reuben SandwichGRILLED REUBEN-ISH

TOTAL TIME: 15 MINUTES MAKES: 4 SANDWICHES
I spent a good chunk of my childhood in Jewish-style delis in New York and South Florida (the unofficial Jewish grandparent headquarters) noshing on bagels and lox, tuna melts, and black-and- white cookies. This sandwich is inspired by a favorite I used to order with my bubbe (a.k.a. my gran).

  • 8 slices of bread
  • 1 batch Thousand Island Dressing (see below)
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 handful mixed greens
  • 1 batch Baked Tofu (see below), sliced
  • ¼–½ cup sauerkraut
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • ¼ cup sliced pickles

Vegan Reuben Sandwich Spread

  1. Spread 4 slices of the bread with the Thousand Island Dressing. Spread the mustard on the other 4 slices.
  2. To assemble the sandwiches, layer the greens, Baked Tofu, sauerkraut, avocado, and pickles on 4 of the slices of bread. Top with the other 4 bread slices. Grill the sandwiches in a panini press* and enjoy warm.

NOTE: I don’t actually have a panini press, so I use an old electric grill that I rescued from my uncle’s basement. You can also press the sandwich on the stove by heating it in a pan and placing something heavy (like another pan) on top.

Baked TofuBAKED TOFU
TOTAL TIME: 1 HOUR (PLUS TIME F OR PRESSING TOFU) ACTIVE TIME: 10 MINUTES MAKES: 4 SERVINGS

  • 1 (14-ounce) package firm tofu
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon tamari
  • 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
  • ⅛ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ⅛ teaspoon onion powder
  1. Cut the tofu into ½- to 1-inch slices. On a cutting board, layer the slices of tofu between paper towels or clean dishcloths. Place a heavy item (a teakettle filled with water works great) on top (or use a tofu press if you’ve got one). Let the tofu sit for at least 30 minutes (or overnight in the refrigerator for extra-amazing texture). This will remove the excess water from the tofu and give it a better texture.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Lightly grease a baking sheet.
  3. To prepare the marinade, in a medium bowl, stir together the olive oil, tamari, rice vinegar, garlic powder, and onion powder. Leave the tofu as slices or cut it into cubes. Toss the tofu with the marinade in the bowl and let it soak for 5 minutes.
  4. Spread the tofu out on the baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes, then flip and bake for another 10–15 minutes (depending on the size of the pieces), until the desired crispiness is reached. Enjoy the tofu right away or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

Vegan Thousand Island DressingTHOUSAND ISLAND DRESSING
TOTAL TIME: 5 MINUTES MAKES: 1 CUP

  • ¼ cup vegan mayo
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon pickle brine
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • ⅛ teaspoon garlic powder
  1. Stir all the ingredients together in a small bowl until smooth. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

/////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

A huge thank you to Ilene and BenBella Books for letting me feature this fantastic cookbook (including this wonderful Reuben recipe) on my blog. I’d love to hear in the comments below what kinds of colorful dishes you’d like to try out next!

Helix Sleep – Personalized Custom Mattresses

IMG_6222I’m starting this post out with a simple question: when was the last time you got a good night’s sleep? For a while, most of my nights were filled with tossing and turning, not being able to fall asleep, or waking up often. My fitness tracker that I wear at night even confirmed that I was spending a lot of time in the “restless sleep” stage and I first attributed it to things like light sources or sounds keeping me up at night; “I must just be a really light sleeper,” I thought. However, I realized it had to be something different when my partner and I were often waking up feeling very tired despite sleeping 9-10 hours, and it was often accompanied with neck and back pain. I didn’t feel like myself a lot because I was so exhausted, and I knew it wasn’t helping me to live a healthier life. Good eating habits and exercise are important, but they can only go so far without good-quality sleep. Continue reading

IMG_6235Finally, I started looking into getting a new mattress, but there are so many choices out there. It was really important to me to get something that was high-quality, something with a good warranty, and a hassle-free process overall (not having to deal with returning it right away, long shipping times, high shipping costs, etc). The company that stood out the most was Helix, who not only makes high-quality mattresses but they are also completely customizable from person to person. Helix really pays attention to things like the overall feel and support, elasticity and even cooling technology that the mattress offers.

Screen Shot 2017-11-04 at 3.16.19 PMYou start ordering your mattress by taking a Sleep Quiz and if you have a partner who normally sleeps next to you, make sure they take the quiz too. I love this feature because it helps both sleepers get the mattress that they want, without having to compromise. I really wanted a mattress that was medium firm, with moderate support, good elasticity and something that was nice and cool. When my partner and I took the quiz, we ended up with very similar results so a blended mattress was perfect for us. However, you also have a dual-comfort mattress option if your sleeping partner has very different needs from you. The quiz also takes into consideration things like body size, any pressure points you have, and sleeping positions, because Helix mattresses are customized just for you. We’re not all the same size, shape, or types of sleepers so why should we be given an identical mattress, even if it is deemed “high-quality”?

IMG_6249After taking the quiz my partner and I got our results a couple seconds later, and it was really interesting to see them. We agreed that this was the perfect mattress for us, so we added it to our cart and went to check out on the Helix website. I did opt for an additional item which was the Helix Mattress Protector, since we do have pets and didn’t want to worry about any accidents affecting the mattress. The Mattress Protector wraps around the entire mattress and really stays put, but is easy to remove when it needs to be washed. The protector is also waterproof, but is still super soft and not noisy at all like other mattress protectors out there. If you’re getting a high-quality mattress I think something to protect it is a great investment.

The online check out process was really simple, I submitted the order and the mattress was set to arrive within the next two weeks. The shipping process went really quickly, although I was alerted at first that the order might’ve been damaged by the mail carrier so I contacted Helix about it. Their customer support team was super helpful and offered to place a replacement order if needed, but luckily the package was just a little damaged on the edges when it arrived the next day. 

IMG_6274Once I received the package I asked my partner to help carry it upstairs to our bedroom. The box was a little heavy for me to lift on my own, but is still a lot easier than carrying and maneuvering upstairs than most mattresses. I should note that if you have a bed frame or mattress foundation, make sure those are already assembled in the room. We unrolled and unwrapped the mattress according to the instructions and it started expanding super quickly, but we were still able to place it correctly onto the bed frame. Though it was tempting to lay down on our new mattress, we let the mattress sit for 30-45 minutes as it fully expanded.

IMG_6242Now it’s been a little over a month since we got our mattress, and both my partner and I are super satisfied with it. I don’t think I realized just how awful our previous mattress was making me feel until after the first night sleeping on this customized Helix mattress. I’m also super excited to offer a $50 DISCOUNT on your own Helix mattress, using the code HUNGRYVEGAN at checkout. Good-quality sleep is so important and everyone deserves it, so why not gift yourself and your loved ones a brand new, personalized custom mattress? Helix even offers a 100-night sleep trial so if you aren’t totally satisfied with the mattress it can be returned hassle-free, but I highly doubt you’ll even consider it after just a couple nights of wonderful sleep.

Disclaimer: This mattress was sent to me by Helix, but all opinions within this post are completely my own.

Hemp Hearts All Day + Giveaway

IMG_6477As 2017 is coming to an end, I’m already eagerly anticipating the top superfoods for the new year. I’m confident that hemp foods will definitely be included on that list, for so many great reasons! I’m sharing my latest favorite ways to enjoy Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts, and giving you the chance to win a special prize pack of your own. Follow along for some easy recipe ideas and learn a little more about why hemp foods are a true superfood. Continue reading

IMG_6328Hemp has often been referred to a super plant, for the health benefits it offers while being a more sustainable option for farming. Hemp Hearts in particular are full of nutritional benefits, I was actually amazed when I looked at the nutrition facts label on the bag! They’re higher in protein and lower in carbs than other seeds like chia or flax, and they contain healthy fats (including those Omega-3 fatty acids that we’re always hearing about). I also find them to be a lot tastier, offering a light and nutty flavor that makes them versatile in both sweet and savory recipes. 

One recipe that I make a lot with Hemp Hearts is hemp milk, simply by blending 2 Tbs of these hemp seeds in 1 cup of water. You can also add your own sweetener, vanilla, or even cinnamon, but I like to use this as a base for smoothies, baked goods and pancakes.

IMG_6311Here’s a really simple recipe for these Hemp Hearts Pancakes (adapted from Running on Real Food). These serve about 2 people (or one very hungry person!). It’s a great way to get in some extra protein, fiber and fruit to start the day, and it doesn’t take too much time either!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 cup hemp milk (blend 2 Tbs hemp seeds with 1 cup water. Leave unstrained)

Method: Mix all dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Slowly add the hemp milk and mix everything together, adding a tiny bit of water if the batter is still too thick. If you’d like, add some sliced bananas or blueberries to the mix before heating. Scoop batter into a preheated pan over medium heat, and cook on each side for a couple of minutes until done. Top with fresh fruit, vegan butter (optional), maple syrup and a sprinkle of Hemp Hearts.

IMG_6408 IMG_6432For a savory recipe I decided to try out Hemp Hummus, and it’s probably my new favorite type of hummus! Manitoba Harvest has a great recipe on their website, that I modified only slightly by using extra tahini and water to make it oil-free. I could see this being a fun recipe to customize further by adding things like red peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, eggplant, and additional spices. Hemp Hummus is a great way to get in some extra nutrients like protein and healthy fats that you don’t always get with most store-bought hummus.

This hummus is great when served with freshly cut carrots and bell peppers, but I also love dipping things like pretzels or crackers in it. I think it would make a great spread on sandwiches with lots of veggies, and when thinned out by blending it with more water it could definitely work as a sauce. I can’t wait to try this hummus alone in even more recipes!

IMG_6493One of my favorite recipes of all of these mentioned in this post happens to be this Roasted Red Pepper Pasta with Hemp Hearts. You can definitely mix hemp hearts in pre-made sauce for some added protein and crunch, but I wanted to take it a step further and make my own creamy hemp seed-based sauce:

Ingredients:

  • 2 roasted red peppers (to save time, I used jarred peppers)
  • 4 Tbs Hemp Hearts
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 Tbs nutritional yeast
  • pinch of cayenne, black pepper, and red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1 tsp salt

Method: Start to boil water for 4-5 ounces of your favorite pasta (I recommend penne), and make the sauce by blending all ingredients together until you get a smooth, creamy consistency. If the sauce seems too thick, add a little water to thin it out. Prepare pasta according to package instructions, strain and pour back into the pot over low heat. Pour sauce and add desired ingredients (I recommend spinach and cherry tomatoes), then mix together until warmed. Serve immediately and top with extra Hemp Hearts for added crunch.

IMG_3665So, I really hope you enjoyed this post about enjoying Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts all day long and the nutritional benefits of hemp foods. I feel like there are so many more ways that I can incorporate these superfoods, that these recipes are just scratching the surface. For a chance to win your own Manitoba Harvest Prize Pack, comment your favorite way to use Hemp Hearts, or how you’d use them in the future! Looking for more recipes ideas? Check out some of these for additional inspiration! You have until Sunday, November 19th to enter this giveaway and the winner will be announced on November 20th. Don’t miss out!

Update: The winner of this giveaway has been chosen, congratulations to MORGAN JOHNSON! A big thank you to everyone who entered this giveaway and as always, stay tuned for more in the near future!

Disclaimer: Compensation was provided by Manitoba Harvest for this blog post, but all opinions expressed herein are those of my own and are not indicative of the opinions of Manitoba Harvest

LÄRABAR: Food Made From Food + Giveaway

Assorted LÄRABAR's
I had first heard about LÄRABAR years ago and I was so intrigued because they are truly a one of a kind bar. Unlike many other snack bars out there, LÄRABARs don’t come with a long list of
ingredients, which is such a relief when you’re just looking for a quick snack! With flavors like Peanut Butter Cookie, Banana Bread, Blueberry Muffin and more, it’s always been tough to choose just one. I appreciate that LÄRABAR makes so many different varieties of their original bars, which also happen to be vegan and gluten-free so a lot of people are able to enjoy them! Continue reading

Peanut Butter Cookie LÄRABARAs I already mentioned, the Peanut Butter Cookie LÄRABAR has been one of my long-time
favorites. Can you guess what the ingredients are? Literally just dates, peanuts and sea salt…but it’s amazing that it genuinely feels like you’re eating a cookie when you snack on this bar. It’s a lot more satisfying (and far less messy) than just eating peanut butter on a spoon, and it definitely helps curve any cravings for sweets, at least in my experience.

#FoodMadeFromFoodSometimes when I’m feeling a little extra hungry, I’ll take a LÄRABAR and turn it into a full meal. They make excellent smoothie or banana ice cream toppers, and I find that I’m a lot more full when I eat the LÄRABAR with something like a smoothie…as opposed to just having the smoothie on its own. To feel my best, I try to keep my meals and snacks to as few ingredients as possible. With just 2-9 simple ingredients per bar LÄRABAR is something that fits with my daily routine and goals to stay feeling as good as possible.

LÄRABAR Cherry PieSome days are definitely busier than others and I don’t always have extra time to put snacks
together for myself. I always keep a stash of LÄRABAR’s on hand, whether it’s by storing some in my car, purse, or just around my kitchen. Oh and in case you were wondering, LÄRABAR’s Cherry Pie bar has just dates, almonds and unsweetened cherries!

I love how easy it’s becoming to find LÄRABAR at almost any major grocery store, which to me is a sign that things are changing! I always get so excited when I see people snacking on them
instead of other less-healthy options. LÄRABAR was first established to make easy, accessible, and real food available to as many people as possible, and they are doing an excellent job
keeping that passion going!

Real Food Prize PackGIVEAWAY DETAILS: Now, do you want to know how you can enter to win your own Real Food Prize Pack? Just visit Larabar.com, find your favorite bar and comment below which one it is and you’ll be entered to win! You have until February 2 to enter (and the winner will be announced on 2/3), but why wait? Best of luck to all of you!

UPDATE: The winner of this giveaway has been chosen. Congratulations to Christa! Thank you so much to everyone who entered this giveaway, I’m so happy to see how excited you all are about some of my favorite bars. As always, stay tuned for more giveaways in the future!

Compensation was provided by LÄRABAR for this post. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions of LÄRABAR.

No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake Bites

NO-BAKE CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER CHEESECAKE BITESRecently, I teamed up with Amazing Grass to come up with a recipe featuring their Chocolate Peanut Butter flavored Protein Superfood. Even though the weather is finally starting to cool down, I still wanted to create an easy no-bake recipe that likely uses ingredients that you already have on-hand. An added challenge was making something that was gluten-free, soy-free, oil-free, vegan and obviously tasty! This post was sponsored by Amazing Grass, but all opinions on the product are completely my own. I have a lot of great things to say about it!

Continue reading

screen-shot-2016-09-18-at-10-24-02-pm

Photo courtesy of amazinggrass.com

I’ve been pleasantly surprised by this new product from Amazing Grass, since it’s not only a protein powder but is also packed with superfoods and other nutrients. The flavor is exactly as it sounds, but neither the chocolate nor the peanut butter is too overpowering. This product does have a little stevia in it, but I found it to be a lot more subtle than other protein powders I’ve tried in the past. When I’m not making no-bake recipes like this, my go-to way to enjoy Amazing Grass is to throw it in a blender with a little non-dairy milk, frozen bananas and ice. The nutrition facts are impressive per serving and you can’t go wrong with this flavor, especially!

img_4044No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake Bites
These individual-sized cheesecake bites are a cinch to make and use only a few ingredients. They are gluten-free, vegan, soy-free and even have some hidden fruits and veggies in them! Your friends will be amazed when they find out how simple, yet delicious this recipe is!

Ingredients – Crust:
1/4 cup oats
1/4 cup peanuts
1 Tbs maple syrup

Ingredients – Filling:
1/2 avocado
1 serving Amazing Grass Protein Superfood, Chocolate Peanut Butter
1 small banana
1/4 cup peanuts
2-4 Tbs almond milk

Directions:
1. Place the oats and peanuts in a high speed blender and mix until you get a flour-like consistency. Add in the maple syrup and continue blending until the mixture sticks together.
2. Using a cupcake pan, place the crust mixture into 4 wells of a cupcake pan making sure to press into the bottom of the pan. Place in the freezer while preparing the filling.
3. Put all ingredients for the filling into a blender, and blend until you get a smooth and creamy consistency. Start with less almond milk and add more if needed. Pour this mixture into the cupcake pan on top of the crust.
4. Freeze the cupcake pan with the filling and crust for 1-2 hours so it can set. Remove from the freezer and use a butter knife or something similar to remove the bites from the pan if needed. Allow to thaw for 5-10 minutes before eating and enjoy!

*Note: these are best when enjoyed straight from the freezer. Thawing and re-freezing is not recommended.

Do you have any favorite ways to enjoy protein powder? Have you used Amazing Grass before in the past? Let me know in the comments below!

I Love Amy’s Kitchen Veggie Burgers

Amy's Kitchen Burger SpreadEver since I first went vegetarian over 7 years ago, I’ve been a big fan of Amy’s Kitchen. From their soups to entrees to sweet treats, they have something for everyone. I had the delight in getting to partner with Amy’s Kitchen on this recipe idea post. There’s also a special giveaway happening over on my Instagram starting Wednesday, August 3 that you can enter in to win some great prizes! Continue reading

Amy's All American BurgerOut of all the products I could choose from, the All American Veggie Burger really caught my eye. Not only are these burger patties super versatile, they’re also really easy to find in most stores around me (even Target!). Each patty has 13g of plant protein, and it’s good just on its own! I decided to get a little creative with these burger patties for some great summertime meal options. All you need is a grill, some burgers and a few other options to throw this all together!

Amy's Burger KabobsWhen I think “BBQ” or “summer”, I immediately think of kabobs! This is such an easy method to get in more veggies in a fun way, and the more colorful the better! Here’s what you’ll need to assemble kabobs on 2 skewers:

  • 1 Amy’s All American burger patty, slightly heated to thaw
  • 1 or more bell peppers (any color you like)
  • Red onion, cut into larger-width slices
  • 1 Portobello mushroom cap

To assemble the kabobs, simply slide all ingredients on one-by-one and alternating in any order that you like. For more flavor you can marinate the mushrooms in some soy sauce, however grilled veggies on their own happen to have a lot of flavor! Place in a grill roasting pan or right on the barbecue rack and grill until the peppers become lightly charred on the ends. I like to cook these alongside a cob of corn and grill them at the same time.

IMG_0347I also made a delicious oil-free and gluten-free avocado mayo for some coleslaw to go on the side. Traditional coleslaw works fine, but I’ve been into broccoli slaw for the extra crunch and find it a little easier to chew (also with less time needed to soften the pieces for this coleslaw). Here’s what you need for a side serving of slaw to feed two people:

  • 1 medium, ripe avocado
  • 1-2 tsp lemon or lime juice (depending on how tart you like it)
  • agave to taste (optional, but helps offset the sourness of the lemon juice)
  • 1/4 cup loosely packed cilantro or parsley (also optional, but gives it a nice fresh flavor)
  • salt and pepper to taste

For this mayo, simply place all ingredients in a blender until well combined. If you need to thin it out at all, add a little water at a time. Once it’s ready, immediately pour over 1-2 cups of traditional coleslaw mix or some broccoli slaw (which you can find at most stores, even Target). I recommend chilling this for 30min, because any longer may brown the coleslaw (because of the avocado). Serve as a side dish with some fresh-off-the-grill goodies!

Amy's BurgerAs a less-traditional but still delicious variation on a burger, I love to use some grilled portobello caps to replace the bun. For these burgers, just place a portobello cap and veggie burger patty on the grill until cooked throughout. Carefully slice the mushroom in half (for the two bun halves) and assemble the burger with your favorite toppings. If you like mushrooms, this is a great way to start eating more of them. Plus it looks just like a bun, so you might even be able to trick kids into trying a few bites!

So, I bet you’re wanting to try some Amy’s Kitchen veggie burgers and other meals of your own…well you’re in luck! Don’t forget to head on over to my Instagram tomorrow (Wednesday, August 3) to enter to win some fabulous prizes from Amy’s and other great brands.

Let me know in the comments below, what is your favorite product from Amy’s Kitchen OR what are you looking forward to trying the most?

Califia Farms Denver Brunch

IMG_2993Before I get into the details about this incredible brunch that I was invited to by Califia Farms, I have a few things to go over. Once upon a time I used to actively blog on here…posting product reviews, recipes, interviews and more. Since graduating school and working full-time, I’ve realized just how challenging that can be and I give a lot of credit to people who can balance life and blogging. I can’t make any promises here, but I can see myself sharing at least a few things from here on out to let you know what I’ve been up to. Which leads me to the brunch from this past weekend! Continue reading

IMG_2999Not only was I super psyched about getting to try Califia Farm’s new products at brunch…but this was also a great opportunity for me to meet some other Califia ambassadors, local Denver influencers and try some great food (spoiler alert: it was better than great)! I was first greeted by a giant tub of assorted almond milks and juices. This was the first time I got to try the Matcha, Ginger with Turmeric, and Cali Coco and they made the wait fully worth it. My top favorites are definitely the Matcha and the Ginger with Turmeric — both of which aren’t overly sweet but they are packed with full flavor in each bottle!

IMG_3035The table settings were beautiful and after reading the menu I couldn’t wait to start eating! This brunch was also co-hosted by The Dinner Party Association, which I recently discovered on Instagram! The dishes were all completely plant-based and prepared by Chef Kyle Morgan and Ashlae Warner of Oh, Ladycakes.

IMG_3020The first items our group was greeted with included coffee and other Califia Farms beverages, cocktails and a beautiful toast bar with jams, a nutella-like spread and even Kite Hill cheese. If you haven’t tried it already, the Black & White Cold Brew is my newest obsession, and it comes unsweetened for all those people who don’t like sugary coffee drinks! The Full Shot, another new item is basically a veganized bulletproof coffee. I could see either of these working really nicely with my morning routine. Ok…now, on to the courses!

IMG_3057The first course was a Tropical Ginger Turmeric Smoothie made by Ashlae (aka Oh, Ladycakes). It featured the Ginger almond milk with turmeric and some tropical fruit. I was so impressed with how sweet and smooth this was, it was difficult to savor such a delicious treat! 

Course 2 (made by Chef Kyle) included these Veggie Breakfast Tacos with smoked eggplant, mushrooms, bell pepper, and mango papaya puree. I can say without a doubt that I haven’t had tacos this good in a LONG time. 

Course 3 was very intriguing to me, as a Colorado Grain Mixto with Califia Curry Consomme. It was served as a mason jar with the almond/coconut milk to be mixed in. The grain mixture included sweet ingredients like pecans, cacao nibs and some kind of dried fruit, but with the curry it was just the right balance of sweet and savory!

Course 4 (and by this time I was definitely getting full) was Ashlae’s Vanilla Bean & Matcha Chia Pudding. This dish was the perfect end to this meal, since a lot of us were raving about Califia Farms’s new Matcha almondmilk. She said she’ll be posting the recipe to her blog soon, so I guess we’ll just have to wait patiently for that!

IMG_2980Is there such a thing as table setting envy? Because I definitely have it! A big thank you to Califia Farms, Oh, Ladycakes, Chef Kyle Morgan, photographer Nora Logue, mixologist Lawrence MackDJ Casey Sidwell, Logan House Coffee and all the wonderful people who made this event spectacular! I’m looking forward to seeing what kinds of things Califia Farms has in store for the future, and I can’t wait to get experimenting with their products as a new brand ambassador!

The Vegan Roadie – Interview

TheVeganRoadieAnother interview has made its way to Another Hungry Vegan! This time, I got to learn more about Dustin Harder, AKA the Vegan Roadie who recently traveled through Denver for an episode of his webseries. Dustin is a well-seasoned traveler (no pun intended), and he made it his mission to show how easy and fun it is to eat vegan around different parts of the United States. Read on to find out how his love for travel and living a compassionate life work in harmony to encourage others to go on their own vegan food journey. Continue reading

1. What made you decide to start the Vegan Roadie?
I have been traveling on and off for work for the last 10 years. My partner watches a lot of HGTV and The Food Network. When it was on in the background, I started getting very frustrated and equally disgusted at the show “Diner’s, Drive-In’s and Dives”. The fact that so much money and effort goes into showcasing food that has a detrimental effect on America was mind blowing to me. Beyond that, I was discouraged when I traveled, often when I typed “vegan” into yelp a steak house or something of that nature would come up, random things like that. During my time in the Chef’s Training Program at The Natural Gourmet Institute in NYC I had a light bulb moment and made a commitment to myself, when I went out on the road next I would create a road map across America for the Vegan and Veg-Curious, and that was how The Vegan Roadie was born. I’m committed to making this resource, vegans and non vegans need to know what wonderful things are being created without animal products or by-products and where to get them. 

2. What has helped you to stay vegan over the years? 
It used to be weight and health. As time has progressed and as any good vegan does, you do your research. I have learned about our food system and like anyone who has a heart, I’m truly disappointed and saddened. Those feelings shifted into fuel to make the right choices for myself and the environment to be the best me I can be, and that means being vegan. Immersing myself in the cooking aspect has also been very helpful, and fun! It’s a different world full of so many new and exciting possibilities, that keeps me going. 
 
artichoke3. What’s your best advice for vegans who are afraid to travel? 

Prepare and get excited! Now more than ever there is a stimulating and very abundant vegan scene on the Horizon with Chef’s coming out of the woodwork to show the world how innovative, delicious and down right mind blowing plant based cuisine can be. Take advantage of your resources, google stuff like a mad man (or woman) before you go somewhere and get excited about their menu’s! If you find yourself lacking vegan options, be sure to get a hotel with a fridge and stock some staple items you know will keep you satiated. Did I mention prepare? You know you are vegan, the rest of the world doesn’t, you can’t blame anyone but yourself if you find yourself hungry.

4. What has been the most memorable experience while filming for the Vegan Roadie?
I did a demonstration in OshKosh, WI for an audience of all carnivore’s. I made a pasta with a cashew garlic cream sauce from Chloe Coscarelli’s “Chloe’s Vegan Italian Kitchen” cookbook, instead of mushrooms I used Field Roast brand artisan grain meat. A woman came up to me after and said her daughter had become vegan and she wanted to support her, she felt after my demonstration she could go home and make something her entire family would love, including her “meat and potatoes husband”, and she could support her daughters choice. It’s memorable to me because I was in Wisconsin, this was a tough crowd. This woman said she felt discouraged and now saw that it can be easy. That meant a lot to me, made me feel I was doing something right! That kind of stuff keeps you going on a journey like this.

VR_45. Who are some people who’ve inspired your journey to become vegan?
My initial inspiration came from reading “Skinny Bastard” by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin. I strongly recommend that book to anyone curious about a vegan diet and what it offers. As for a specific person, I worked in the test kitchen of Chloe Coscarelli and her spirit and positive attitude forever is ingrained in me, she sees the positive light in everything and sort of spreads that energy around, it’s lovely. Chef’s Rich Landau and Kate Jacoby of VEDGE and V Street in Philadelphia are a huge inspiration in that every place I visited when in Philly had the most amazing things to say about them and their contribution to their community. It was unanimous among the Philly Vegan Business owners that their business was better because Kate and Rich, both established in their own right, took the time to stop in and work with people on their menu and offer insight when it was sought out, that’s amazing, they are very busy people! Robbie Tucker and Lauren Loomis of Lulu’s Local Eatery (St. Louis, MO) stick out in my mind for their commitment to grow as much as they can on their own for their restaurant and cut down on waste, and they are just a stellar couple on the crusade to better the world through compassionate eating and living. I think I have to stop the list now because I could really go on and on, I have met so many fantastic, uplifting and inspiring people in the last 10 months alone. These are just a few of the people that have inspired me to become and stay vegan.

6. What inspires you to travel?
I have always enjoyed traveling. Early in life I knew I wanted to tour as an actor, I did that. Now I want to tour to help educate those curious about a plant powered lifestyle and create a resource for vegans across the country to travel with ease. I also want to entertain and engage, not preach, about how inventive and fun plant powered food is! What better way to do that than travel the country and meet some of the master minds behind it all?

7. Favorite place you’ve visited so far?
Austin, TX. It is a Vegan’s playground! Denver was also awesome, the whole vibe had me and my partner considering our next move for our home base.

IMG_5783(1)8. What has this journey taught you about being vegan in the United States?
That it’s easier than one would think, most of the time. That the vegan community, for the most part, is very nurturing and supportive of each other’s efforts to mainstream veganism. And also, as I said before, to be prepared. While I have stumbled across so many vegan gems, there have been a few cities that are rough but if you are prepared you can make it work. Also, talk to business owners, often if you suggest a way to make something vegan an owner will more than likely take that into consideration and offer it to the general public as that is simply good business. I met an amazing woman in Jacksonville, FL who has single handedly changed her communities standards by simply going into establishments and using her natural southern charm to educate owners and chef’s of what their options are to create vegan choices for their patrons. You can check her out on Facebook at “JAX Vegan Love”

9. What is a go-to, favorite meal of yours to prepare? 
The previously mentioned pasta with garlic sauce from Chloe Coscarellis “Chloe’s Vegan Italian Kitchen” as a main dish. My own recipe for a Caesar Salad at www.veganroadie.com. And Chloe Coscarelli’s “Vegan Cookie Dough Truffles” (recipe available on her website www.chefchloe.com), always a crowd pleaser.
 
10. Where are you off to travel to next? 
Dallas, Charlotte, NC & Hershey, PA will wrap up the first Vegan Roadie Tour. Then it’s back home to New York City to further my education with the Professional Plant-Based Certification course offered by Rouxbe Online Cooking School and to start raising funds and mapping out the route for the second Vegan Roadie Tour. I’m also working on another web series, “OMG! That’s Vegan!?” that will be out in the fall. In the mean time, check out episode 1-8, including Denver (episode 8) on The Vegan Roadie YouTube Channel. Our final episode for Season One featuring the San Francisco Bay Area will be out July 14th.
 
So, a big thanks to Dustin for working on this interview with me! You can keep up to date with his adventures on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @TheVeganRoadie. Don’t forget to check out his webseries and subscribe to his YouTube while you’re at it!

Madecasse Chocolate Bars

A review of Madecasse Chocolate Bars, vegan high-quality dark chocolate that is sourced sustainably and tastes like no other chocolate out there. I’m in love with chocolate and I’m not afraid to admit it! I don’t know if you knew this, but Madecasse makes a line of high quality chocolate bars (most of which are vegan), plus a line of other products like vanilla extract and chocolate discs that I have featured in recipes on this blog. One of the reasons why Madecasse’s chocolates are so tasty is because they are made with heirloom cocoa, known as some of the world’s last genetically pure cocoa. I am so thankful to Madecasse for sending some samples of their products to try out, that I went and purchased a few of their other items. What can I say? I just wanted to give a lot of new chocolate bars a try! Continue reading

A review of Madecasse Chocolate Bars, vegan high-quality dark chocolate that is sourced sustainably and tastes like no other chocolate out there.One of the first flavors that got my attention was the Salted Almond. This bar is made with 63% pure Madagascar cocoa and the full list of ingredients is cocoa beans, almonds, sugar, cocoa butter, soy lecithin, sea salt. The bars have a really fancy appearance, with the crushed almonds showing up right on the back outer size. Sea salt, sugar and chocolate make excellent companions in a dessert and this chocolate bar is just further proof of that!

A review of Madecasse Chocolate Bars, vegan high-quality dark chocolate that is sourced sustainably and tastes like no other chocolate out there.Something that really stood out to me about Madecasse was their story. The founders of the company were Peace Corps volunteers in Madagascar, where they became inspired to start making chocolate there. By making the chocolate in Madagascar, they have been able to provide income to its residents while empowering local cocoa farmers. Through sustainable cocoa farming, the ecosystems of the land have been preserved-and this isn’t something that is common along many famous chocolate companies. You can learn a little more about their awesome story right here.

A review of Madecasse Chocolate Bars, vegan high-quality dark chocolate that is sourced sustainably and tastes like no other chocolate out there.Speaking of sea salt…here we have the Sea Salt & Nibs bar. This one is also made with 63% dark chocolate with cocoa beans, sugar, cocoa butter, soy lecithin and sea salt. This is Madecasse’s most popular bar, and I can tell why! Its taste is pretty similar to the Salted Almond bar, until you get to the cacao nibs which add an excellent crunch and a new depth of rich chocolatey flavor. If you aren’t sure which bar to get first…I would highly recommend this one!

A review of Madecasse Chocolate Bars, vegan high-quality dark chocolate that is sourced sustainably and tastes like no other chocolate out there.Another super tasty bar…the Toasted Coconut. This one has a slightly darker chocolate taste thanks to the 70% cocoa content. However, the tastes are well-balanced between the rich cocoa and the sweet toasted coconut. Even with the coconut flakes on the outside, the inside of this bar is still nice and smooth. Though I love to share my chocolate, this is one of those bars that I would probably keep all to myself!

A review of Madecasse Chocolate Bars, vegan high-quality dark chocolate that is sourced sustainably and tastes like no other chocolate out there.The Cinnamon & Chili Pepper was a surprising treat! It has just the right amount of “kick” to it, and the little pieces made it a lot more manageable in terms of spiciness. I’m not sure if Madecasse still sells this bar because it’s not on their website, but I was able to find it from another seller. If you can get your hands on this bar, it’s definitely worth a try!

A review of Madecasse Chocolate Bars, vegan high-quality dark chocolate that is sourced sustainably and tastes like no other chocolate out there.I managed to get my hands on Madecasse’s seasonal bars-including their Winter Spice and Peppermint. Unfortunately these bars melted in the summer heat, so they didn’t photograph that well, but I can assure you that they would’ve looked just as gorgeous as the other bars. I found the Winter Spice a little similar to the Cinnamon & Chili Pepper bar, with a warming cinnamon and chocolate combo. The Peppermint bar, however was the clear winner in my opinion between the two. It didn’t feel out of place for me at all to enjoy the peppermint bar in the middle of the summer because chocolate and mint are delicious all-year-round.

A review of Madecasse Chocolate Bars, vegan high-quality dark chocolate that is sourced sustainably and tastes like no other chocolate out there.Last, but not least…the bar of all bars. 80% Coco is for all those true dark chocolate lovers out there, who like nothing but the best. A warning when it comes to all of these bars…savor them and make them last! These are not the kinds of chocolates that you eat all at once. The flavors are all so rich that even the smallest of bites is enough to satisfy your chocolate cravings. 

Now, are you curious where to get some of these incredible bars for yourself? Check out Madecasse’s website to purchase some of their products. Or…keep your eyes out at your favorite local natural foods market and see if you can find these in the chocolate aisle. The beautiful packaging isn’t easy to miss, and you’ll be glad you don’t have to wait the shipping time. Have you tried Madecasse before? Which flavors are your favorite? Or, which are you just dying to try ASAP?