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

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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.

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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!

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.

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?

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?

Amrita Bars

Review of Amrita Bars on anotherhungryvegan.comYou wouldn’t believe the amount of things I’ve been up to lately. With just having recently moved, starting a new job and doing other work in my spare time, the days just don’t seem long enough. At times like these, I’m really grateful to have easy “grab and go” foods like fruit, nuts and seeds, and energy bars. Of course, that’s where Amrita comes in! Amrita makes a lot of unique-flavored nutrition bars, that not only taste great…they are also made with really high-quality ingredients. As their name would suggest, they are made out of dried fruits, seeds and other gluten, dairy and soy-free nutritious foods. Are you curious about these bars and what flavors you would like the most? Read on to find out!
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Review of Amrita Bars on anotherhungryvegan.comThe first bar I tried happened to be the Apricot Strawberry. When I first opened the package, the smell actually reminded me of a PB&J sandwich (despite being completely free of peanuts and gluten). I think I was picking up the sunflower seeds and tahini, which often give off a rich and nutty flavor. Once I tasted the bar I could taste the apricots as well as the strawberries and dates mixed in. I couldn’t taste the chia flour or brown rice and they didn’t seem to affect the texture at all. Overall, I would say this was a great bar to start out with!

Review of Amrita Bars on anotherhungryvegan.comI’m not sure what paradise would taste like, but it must be something like this Pineapple Chia bar. First off, with it being summer I find that these bars all have really appropriate flavors. Along with pineapple, this treat also contains cranberries, sunflower and sesame seeds, chia seeds, coconut and brown rice protein. It’s great that a little bar like this also has the benefit of omega 3 and 6 essential fatty acids, along with 4g of fiber and 7g of protein!

Review of Amrita Bars on anotherhungryvegan.comOne of my favorite bars, not surprisingly, was the Apple Cinnamon. This seriously tasted like apple pie in bar form. What I love about Amrita bars is that you get so much fresh flavor, and all without added sweeteners other than the ones in dried fruit. I find that these bars are similar in texture to Larabars, but the combination of seeds, brown rice protein and dried fruit makes them a lot more filling. These definitely are more of a snack than a meal replacement, but they are really satisfying in-between meals!

Review of Amrita Bars on anotherhungryvegan.comAnother fun, tropical flavor is the Mango Coconut. When it comes to dried fruit, mango and coconut are some of my favorites for their ultra-sweet flavors. Because this bar is also balanced with a mix of seeds, you don’t get as much of a sugar rush as plain fruit can often deliver for some people. This bar would be also be delicious if you blended it into a smoothie (seriously), or if you cut it up and placed it on top of a smoothie with banana, mango and coconut.

Review of Amrita Bars on anotherhungryvegan.com
I was worried that the Cranberry Raisin bar might be a little sour, but I think it was another winner! The texture reminds me a little of an oatmeal raisin cookie and I’m not complaining! I notice that many of the bars are made with similar ingredients, but with the addition of the special dried fruits they really take on a unique taste. Plus, they don’t make a mess when you eat them and are very portable and for a snack that also happens to be raw.

Review of Amrita Bars on anotherhungryvegan.comLast but not least…the Chocolate Maca bar. Where oh where do I begin with this one? Cacao and maca are an incredible combination,  and this bar proves that. These superfoods are great for giving you energy as well as helping with hormonal issues. Another fantastic thing about this chocolatey bar is that it doesn’t melt in the heat, unlike many energy/protein bars made with chocolate. Though the flavor sounds more like a sweet dessert, this actually makes a great morning or mid-morning snack. Instead of reaching for coffee or energy drinks, I would recommend picking up one of these instead.

So, did hearing about all the different bars entice you? I hope so! If you’re curious where you can pick up some super tasty and nutritious Amrita bars for yourself, visit their store locator. You can also add some to your cart when you shop on their online store, either way I hope you can enjoy the bars for yourself. If you’ve tried these bars before, let me know which are your favorite or which flavors you want to try next!

Vegan Cuts Snack Box

IMG_9905 Guess who finally got to try out the Vegan Cuts Snack Box? Lucky for me, Vegan Cuts gave me the opportunity to try and review their snack box from May 2015. If you don’t know about this special box, then you’re in for a fun treat. Every month, a selection of 7-10 vegan products are curated typically by someone pretty well-known in the vegan community. Each box subscription is $19.95 a month (with free shipping to the US) to get the chance to try products that likely won’t be in a lot of stores near you. This particular box was curated by Heather and Jenny from Spork Foods and I just couldn’t wait to see everything that was inside! Find out what I thought about this box as well as my recommendations for why you should get your own subscription.  Continue reading

IMG_0682One of the first snacks I went for…of course was the Beanitos Chipotle BBQ chips. These are bean chips with a tortilla chip-texture, so they are extra crunchy. I loved the flavorful chipotle bbq flavor that had this smokiness to it. I thought about pairing these chips with salsa, but honestly they were just perfect on their own. As far as chips go, these also had a pretty good amount in one serving-size bag which is a plus!

IMG_0553Being a lover of NuGo bars and their new Fiber d’Lish variety, I was glad to see a flavor I hadn’t tried yet in this snack box. The Orange Cranberry was the perfect balance of tart and sweet, and it had the chewy consistency of a muffin. This was so good that it was satisfying as a dessert, and the added fiber made it a lot more filling.

IMG_9942Speaking of filling…I got the chance to try these Zesty Italian Meatless Meatballs from Nate’s with some zoodles (zucchini noodles), marinara and this new-to-me vegan parmesan from Go Veggie! I was amazed at how much this smelled and tasted like parmesan made with dairy! Seriously, I don’t even think cheese-loving omnivores or vegetarians would know the difference.

IMG_0122I love popcorn, and I love this Spicy Chipotle & Lime popcorn from Oogie’s. This wasn’t super spicy but it definitely had a kick to it. I must say, I’m really loving all the fun flavors in this snack box. There was even a sample pack of some crushed Chipotle Chile Pepper in the box, so I have a feeling I could use some of that and fresh lime juice to make my own seasoned popcorn.

IMG_0541I have never heard of Toyou bars, and being pretty bar-savy I’m surprised! Apricot and coconut are both some flavors I find really appealing, and this bar did not disappoint. It reminded me of a granola bar, but it was softer and more fruity. Unlike a lot of bars, this also wasn’t sickeningly sweet which I really appreciate.

IMG_1066I thoroughly enjoyed the Daily Green Boost in one of my morning green smoothies. This was made with some dates, bananas, vanilla hemp protein, spinach, and cinnamon. The green powder reminds me a little of matcha in terms of both smell and taste. It’s made out of barley grass and is a great boost to add a little something extra to virtually any smoothie or shake.

IMG_0166I was probably the most excited to try these Chocolate Sea Salt Quinoa Clusters. I actually saw them online a while ago, but they only came in bigger bags and I didn’t want to pay a lot to find out I didn’t like them. Thankfully these were delicious, and I will likely be purchasing a larger bag elsewhere. A great thing about Vegan Cuts is that the snacks are small enough that you don’t end up paying a lot for something that you don’t like. However, I think the boxes have been curated with a lot of people’s different preferences in mind. You have at least a few items that are healthy, gluten-free and portable so that you can enjoy them wherever you go.

IMG_9911The only items that I did not try were the Blood Orange organic energy drink and the MiracleTree moringa tea. Normally I stay away from energy drinks because I’m actually really sensitive to caffeine, so I will be giving that one to someone else to try out. As far as energy drinks go, this one looks much better than most of the standard drinks on the market. As for the tea, I’ll be saving it for (literally) a cold, rainy day. The strawberry, lemon, and mango flavors all sound super delicious!

Are you interested now in getting your own monthly snack box subscription with 100% vegan products? Be sure to visit Vegan Cuts and sign up today! They even have a Beauty Box with a wide variety of personal care products, that you can subscribe to in addition to the snack box. Not a fan of surprises and subscription boxes? Vegan Cuts also has an online store with lots of discounted vegan items, where you know exactly what you’re ordering. However, I recommend the snack box because I think trying new things is fun…and this service is an excellent way to do just that!

Fresh N’ Lean Meal Service

IMG_0011-1 copyWouldn’t it be nice if you could have fresh, healthy vegan meals delivered right to your front door? What if I told you that services like Fresh N’ Lean do just that? This company is dedicated to making vegan meals more accessible to everyone, whether they are Type 2 diabetics, athletes, hospital patients, people with allergies, or just anyone looking to improve their health. Their meals are full of nutritious ingredients, and they are not about restriction or promising unhealthy weight loss. Fresh N’ Lean prides themselves in providing real food made by real people, not something pumped out of a machine. I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to try 5 days worth of meals thanks toFresh N’ Lean, to review for you all. Find out what I thought of this service and see if it will fit in with helping you live healthier with a plant-based diet. Continue reading

IMG_0007-1Fresh N’ Lean has a menu that rotates, so you always get the opportunity to try a wide variety of meals. You have the option to order a meal plan, either 5 or 7 days, based on how many meals you would like. Fresh N’ Lean also offers à la carte dishes, as an alternative if you aren’t ready to commit to a meal plan just yet. This is a great way to try out the meals before subscribing to a delivery service, and you get to preview the dishes and get their nutritional facts/ingredients before placing your order. 

IMG_0033-1One of the first meals that I tried fromFresh N’ Lean was the Blueberry Cinnamon Oatmeal. This was filled with organic ingredients such as oats, maple syrup, walnuts, blueberries, raisins, almonds, dates, vanilla and cinnamon. This meal was extra filling, energizing and easy to digest. The best part? It tasted incredible (like something you would get at a restaurant), and there were no artificial ingredients or preservatives added. This means that you have to consume the foods by the “best by” date on the package, but that’s the whole point! These meals are so tasty and easy to prepare that there really is no good reason for why they would sit in your fridge and go bad.

IMG_0304-1 The next meal that I tried for dinner was the Fiesta Black Beans. These were made with black beans, cabbage, bell peppers and other veggies. Now, I have to say that the initial color wasn’t super appetizing because the black beans were mixed with the veggies. However, the aroma was wonderful, and so was the taste! The other people in my household were wondering what was cooking because it filled the kitchen with such a great smell. Fresh N’ Lean recommends adding your own spices to these dishes, although I thought they were plenty flavorful without them. I do like that they give that option because everyone’s tastes are different. These would’ve been great with some salsa, avocado or hot sauce too!

IMG_0089-1For breakfast the next day, I tried the Mixed Berry Chia Pudding. This one has organic chia seeds, maple syrup, blueberries, raspberries, almond milk and sea salt. The directions recommend heating this up, either by microwaving or other methods which is great for people who don’t have a microwave. However I think you could also eat this as a chilled pudding as either a breakfast or a dessert. It was great warmed up because the flavors of the berries infused the entire chia mixture, and it was just as filling as oatmeal. I want to start incorporating more chia puddings into my diet

IMG_0384-1The next meal I tried for dinner was the Smoky Kidney Beans with Dino Kale. Along with the Fiesta Black Beans, these had an incredible aroma. For a dish with such simple flavors, it was surprisingly tasty and really filling. As Fresh N’ Lean describes about their meals, they are not about being low-calorie or low-carb, but rather about being nutrient-rich. This one has a ton of protein and fiber while being low in fat and (more importantly) chemical/preservative free!

IMG_0346-1IMG_0357-1I really enjoyed the Hearty Granola, which actually packs 2 servings in one container. Normally I don’t go for granola because a lot of brand add extra unnecessary ingredients such as honey, oils or even extra flavorings. For this granola, you obviously don’t need to heat it up to prepare it. This is one of the few meals from Fresh N’ Lean that will have you add your own ingredients. They recommend non-dairy milk and some fruit to make it a full meal. For this serving, I used half the container of granola with some unsweetened flax milk and fresh berries. Talk about a quick breakfast!

IMG_0607-1We’ve been getting a lot of rain lately, despite it being spring/summer so these warm meals have been ultra-comforting (but still totally healthy). These Indian Spiced Lentils came in a surprisingly large serving size, in fact it was almost tricky to finish these off. However, this meal packs 20g of protein, 14g of fiber and only 5g of fat with very little sodium. That makes it healthy for not just our hearts, but for our entire bodies!

IMG_0726-1 The Italian Chard with Millet was definitely a new one for me. I’ve never actually had something with millet that I can remember. This reminded me a lot of rice or quinoa in terms of texture, and it really soaked up the flavors of the vegetables. Some of my favorite vegetables in here were eggplant, bell peppers, zucchini and kale. What I love about this type of meal is that it gets you trying new foods, without needing to buy them in the store or having to prepare them. With this service, you have healthy meals ready in seconds and you didn’t even have to drive to the store for them!

IMG_0759-1 Lastly, the French Lentil Tomato Penne. Normally I don’t think of having a meal with lentils AND pasta, but it ended up being super filling, protein-packed and chewy. The pasta is even gluten-free, though I honestly couldn’t tell from the taste. This meal was higher in calories than the others, but I really wasn’t paying attention to those because I knew these were super nutritious and good for me. In my opinion, it’s more about the quality of the ingredients than the quantity of calories. I noticed that this left me feeling full into the night, and I didn’t feel the need to snack at all after dinner. Because of this, I also slept soundly hours after having such a hearty but light meal. When we eat nourishing meals, we don’t have those strong urges to have unhealthy “midnight” snacks that often consist of junk food.

In summary, I have to say that I was really impressed with all the meals that Fresh N’ Lean provided to me to try out and review. This is a service I would highly recommend to anyone looking for super healthy and easy-to-prepare meals. So I know what you’re thinking now…where do I sign up or how can I learn more about Fresh ‘N Lean? First off, check out their weekly menu to find out what the special meals are. If you’re already wanting to order, just go to that page on their website and pick what meals you want. When you place an order for any meal plan on their site, you can get 15% off with the promo code: ANOTHER. You won’t want to miss out on this! Are you thinking of trying Fresh ‘N Lean out for yourself? What meals sound the most appealing to you and how would this service help you out?