Archive | Vegan RSS feed for this section

The 10 Easiest Ways to Celebrate Earth Day on April 22!

21 Apr
"Design Scavenger project herb garden"

Photo courtesy of Design Scavenger, http://www.designscavenger.com

FOR YOU TO LIVE A SUSTAINABLE LIFESTYLE, IT’S ALL ABOUT BEING PRACTICAL.  AFTER ALL, THROWING YOUR ENTIRE PAYCHECK INTO A HEMP WARDROBE MIGHT BE ECO-FRIENDLY, BUT NOT EXACTLY A TREND ANYONE WOULD WANT TO SUSTAIN.  CHECK OUT THIS LIST OF THE 10 EASIEST WAYS TO CELEBRATE EARTH DAY, MADE ESPECIALLY FOR THE FOODIE IN YOU.
1. Be a conscious eater.  Takeout King or Queen? Cook at home once a week to reap the therapeutic benefits of cooking while cutting back on the packaging that’s wasted on to-go meals.  Additionally, go meatless once per week to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 51%.  That’s emissions the animals and you produce.  I’m pretty sure people will be happier with that switch!
2. Start your own organic urban garden.  How great would it be to have fresh fruits, veggies & herbs in your backyard or on a patio or windowsill? You’ll be eating nutritious food free of pesticides and chemicals that do more harm to your body than good.  Check out the rolling herb garden that my fiance, Kris Kaufman, a.k.a. Design Scavenger, made for me out of an old trash can and wood off the side of the road.
3. Reuse your shopping bags.  Paper or plastic? How about neither. Bring reusable grocery bags to reduce your impact on landfills.
4. Abide by the Dirty Dozen.  Don’t throw good money away. Keep the Dirty Dozen cheat sheet by your side to remind you of what to organic fruits & veggies you should splurge on and what conventionally-grown items are OK to consume.
5. Plant a tree.  Did you know one tree might absorb as much as one ton of carbon over a 40-year lifespan.  That’s some staying power if you ask me.  Why not make it a Meyer lemon tree so you can make lemonade?
6. Save water. We’re such wasters of nature’s precious resources. Only use the dishwasher when it’s full and be mindful of over watering your garden because you might actually kill your plants.
7. Get physical. Physical fitness boosts your mood.  Get out of the big box gym and instead take a hike, ride a bike or practice yoga.  Outdoor fitness connects you with nature and allows you to create your own energy instead of wasting it at the gym.
8. Stay local.  Dinner date downtown? Cancel those plans for a restaurant within walking distance.  Support your local Farmers’ Market to beat the 15,000 miles produce can travel to get to your local grocery store. And, ask questions—there’s so much to learn from your local farmers!
9. Recycle.  Preventing unnecessary trash in our landfills is easy.  Donate unwanted kitchen accessories and trinkets.  Or, throw a “swap” party with your friends.  You might be surprised someone actually wants that old can opener of yours.  Use empty liquor and wine bottles or mason jars as candle holders or vases.  Clean out the fridge and recycle all those expired beer bottle, sauce containers and dressing jars.  After all, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.
10. Find a celebration in your neighborhood.  Get educated and find out how you can get involved at your Local Earth Day event.
SEE, THERE REALLY ARE EASY WAYS TO CELEBRATE EARTH DAY.  SO WHY NOT MAKE EARTH DAY HAPPEN EVERYDAY?
Advertisements

A Menu for Your Honey Bunny on Valentine’s Day

13 Feb

Uh-oh.  Cupid struck you.  And he struck you good.  Looks like this Valentine’s Day,  “Romance” is your middle name.  That’s why you’re cooking from the heart to show your honey bunny just how much love you have to give with the most romantic Valentine’s Day menu.

SET THE MOOD WITH MUSIC

Download the ultimate romance playlist.  Some great ideas from Martha Stewart, Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop, and these KCRW DJ’s love song selections.

WINE

First and foremost, you need some good wine on hand.  Just make sure it goes with what you’re serving–and more importantly, it’s what your Valentine loves to drink.  Keep in mind you don’t need to spend an arm and a leg.  Find great deals at:

  • Whole Foods | Aside from their excellent selection of bottles priced under $10, they also have a handy-dandy wine tutorial on their website.
  • BevMo | It’s 5 cent sale is going on now which means you can really splurge on a good bottle because the second one is only five cents!
  • Trader Joe’s | If you’ve never perused their wine aisles, you’ve been missing out.  The store stocks  a fabulous selection and prices start at $1.00 (although you may have to spend more money on Gatorade the next morning to cure your hangover)!

FOOD

Lean Mean Meatballs with Mushroom Marinara Sauce

SAY ‘AMORE’ WITH AN ITALIAN SPREAD…

START | Follow The Hip & Urban Girls’ Guide to Cheese & Meat Board.

MAIN COURSE | Lean Mean Meatballs with Homemade Mushroom Marinara.

SIDE | Flash Roasted Green Beans.

SEAL THE DEAL WITH CASUAL GASTRO PUB FARE…

START | Cranberry Goat Cheese & Herb Hot Pockets.

MAIN COURSE | Enlightened Shepard’s Pie.

SIDE | Spinach and Strawberry Salad via allrecipes.com

DESSERT | Milk & Oats, Orange & Oatmeal Cookies.

Cream of Mushroom & Eggplant Soup

IMPRESS WITH CONTEMPORARY AMERICAN CUISINE…

START | Cream of Mushroom & Eggplant Soup.

MAIN COURSE | Sunset Magazine’s Perfect Roasted Chicken.

SIDE | Sweet Mashed Potatoes with Sage Apple Butter.

DESSERT | Hubba Hubba Brownies.

Veggie Cassoulet

NO TIME TO SLAVE AWAY IN THE KITCHEN?  MAKE VEGGIE CASSOULET, A SIMPLE ONE-POT MEAL, READY IN MINUTES. 

So, what do you have on your Valentine’s Day menu?  Share your love spun food selections by leaving a comment below.

Have A Heart Smoothie

7 Feb

Heart Healthy Smoothie with Beet Juice, Organic Cherries

Serves 1

The juice craze has turned you into a closet smoothie snob.  If it doesn’t taste like grass, dirt or chlorophyll, you snub your nose at it.  Who are you kidding!?  You’ve resorted to the old “Plug and Chug” method to drink it down without having to suffer through the taste of it.  Drop the act and try the Have a Heart Smoothie, bursting with antioxidants and heart-healthy fruits and veggies to protect that love machine of yours.  You can still have your juice and actually love to drink it, too.

Ingredients:

¾ C. unsweetened vanilla almond milk

¼ C. beet juice

½ banana

1 Tbsp. Nutella

¼ C. organic cherries, frozen

Directions:

Place all ingredients into a blender in the order listed.  Blend until smooth.  For a great post-workout shake, add 2 Tbsp. unflavored whey or soy protein powder.

FOOD THAT LOVES YOU, TOO: Beets, bananas and cherries protect your heart, lower blood pressure, boost your immune system and strengthen your bones.  Now that’s a trio of goodness!

Printer-friendly file: Have_a_Heart_Smoothie

Flash Roasted Green Beans

2 Feb

healthy green bean recipeServes 6

You’ve been caught—red handed—cheating on green beans with the latest and greatest “it” veggies.  One week it’s brussels sprouts, the next kale, beets or rainbow chard.  You’re allowed to play the field (we are talking veggies here), but it’s like you’ve turned into some sort of vegetable gigolo tasting a different flavor every week.  What happened to sticking with the tried-and-true?  Perhaps Flash Roasted Green Beans will entice you to come home to mama.

Ingredients:

1 lb. fresh green beans, rinsed & tipped

2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

Salt & cracked pepper to taste

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Place green beans into a large bowl.  Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Use a spatula to make sure all green beans are coated.  Transfer to baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes.  Serve warm.

FOOD THAT LOVES YOU, TOO:  Green beans have a little secret. Even though they’re rich and green, they’re bursting with beta-carotene and lutein, which makes them essential to maintaining beautiful, glowing skin and sparkling eyes.

Printer-friendly file: Flash_roasted_green_beans

So what do you say?  Will you give green beans another chance?  Leave a comment below.

READERS’ CHOICE: 10 Most Popular Food, I Love You! Recipes of 2011

29 Dec
Grapefruit Chicken Salad

READERS' CHOICE: The Most Popular Food, I Love You! Recipe of 2011

Life’s a popularity contest.  It takes a certain level of distinction to truly stand out—to be the trendsetter, the en vogue rogue, the cake topper.  It’s the popular ones that are dubbed Sexiest Man Alive, President of the United States or Dancing with the Stars Champion.  The same goes for Food, I Love You! recipes.  According to the readers (very discerning judges I might add), here are the 10 Most Popular Food, I Love You! Recipes of 2011…

 

 #1  Grapefruit Chicken Salad

 

 #2  Summer Fruit & Spinach Salad with Lemon Cilantro Dressing

 

 #3  Health Nut Smoothie

 

 #4  PB & J Smooth Move

 

 #5  Grilled Peaches & Burrata

 

 #6  Mexican Carrot Soup

 

#7  Campari Crush

 

#8  Butternut Squash Soup

 

#9  Strawberry & Asparagus Quinoa Salad

 

#10  Spicy Sweet Potato Fries

 

Ring in the New Year with style and grace!  Wishing you much happiness in 2012, filled with fabulous food, friends and love.

xxxo!!

Colleen

 

So, dish.  Did your favorite Food, I Love You! recipe make the cut?  Leave a comment below.

Thanksgiving 911 | Signature Cocktails and Delectable Desserts

23 Nov

The dining room table is set, pretty china and all.  The family arrives tomorrow.  The menu is…oh boy!  Procrastinated ‘till the very last minute, did ya?  That’s so you.  You’re experiencing a Thanksgiving 911!  But before you ring the alarm, here’s a secret: you don’t need to sweat over it sweetheart!

Make this Thanksgiving’s feast oh-so memorable.  Put some thought into it…what’s your food style?  Is it festive, savory, a modern twist on classics, comforting or seasonal?  Or, is it a fab combination of it all?

This Thanksgiving 911 is handled.  So, set the menu already!  Add some magic with signature cocktails and delectable desserts:

Campari Crush

SIGNATURE COCKTAILS – TIP: GIVE ‘EM A SIP OF SOMETHING SPECIAL RIGHT AS THEY ENTER 

Festive | Champagne or Bourbon with Cider Super simple, there’s no recipe required! Add a splash of apple cider to your favorite bubbly or bourbon for an instant holiday-in-a-glass cocktail.

Savory | Food and Wine’s 10 Top Thanksgiving Bottles Pair your meal with the perfect wines.  (Disclaimer: this may warrant you having to host all future Thanksgivings. You’ve been warned).

Modern Classic | Campari Crush This is a one-and-done kind of aperitif. A little palette cleanser preps your guests for the big meal.

Comforting | John Fibley of Jonoon’s Sprig Around the World Because maple syrup makes everyone feel like a kid again.

Seasonal | Martha Stewart’s Apple Ginger Sparklers This non-alcoholic spritzer puts a sparkle in everyone’s eye.  Super kid-friendly, too!

Vegan Pumpkin Spice Ice Cream

DESSERTS – TIP: NON-PIE DESSERTS ADD A CLOSING ELEMENT OF THANKSGIVING SURPRISE

Festive | Vegan Pumpkin Spice Ice Cream Oh-so creamy, who would’ve known it was dairy-free? Tastes best served with a warm brownie.

Savory | Oh How Posh’s Maple Pecan Sundaes with Candied Bacon Because bacon seriously tastes good on everything—most especially dessert.

Modern Classic | Bree Hester of bakedbree.com’s Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes Like pumpkin pies in a new-and-improved form.

Comforting | Oats, Orange & Hazelnut Cookies Homemade cookies are comfort food at its best–and they smell darn good!

Seasonal | Cottage Gourmet’s Cranberry-Molasses Pudding with Vanilla Hard Sauce This tart dessert spells H-O-L-I-D-A-Y.

Thanksgiving 911 | Ten Simple Side Dishes to be Thankful For

22 Nov

The dining room table is set, pretty china and all.  The family arrives tomorrow.  The menu is…oh boy!  Procrastinated ‘till the very last minute, did ya?  That’s so you.  You’re experiencing a Thanksgiving 911!  But before you ring the alarm, here’s a secret: you don’t need to sweat over it sweetheart!

Make this Thanksgiving’s feast oh-so memorable.  Put some thought into it…what’s your food style?  Is it festive, savory, a modern twist on classics, comforting or seasonal?  Or, is it a fab combination of it alll?

This Thanksgiving 911 is handled.  So, set the menu already! Serve up fabulous side dishes:

Sweet Mashed Potatoes with Sage Apple Butter

SIDE DISHES – TIP: THINK OUTSIDE OF THE BOX

Festive | Sweet Mashed Potatoes with Sage Apple Butter & Crème Fraiche It even smells like Thanksgiving!

Festive | Gluten-Free Girl’s Cranberry Chutney  Sweet, tart and rich.  Perfectly pairs with turkey and potatoes.

Savory | Spicy Sweet Potato Fries Because sometimes mashed is a little too predictable.

Savory | Smitten Kitchen’s Crispy Potato Roast Your non-traditional Thanksgiving feast just got crispier.

Modern Classic | Not Your Grandma’s Potato Salad An ode to Granny sans the mayo.

Modern Classic | Whole Foods’ Green Beans with Shallots and Almonds Simple, absolutely gorgeous and no need for Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom.

Comforting | Williams Sonoma’s Golden Broccoli Gratin Enough butter & cream to make Paula Deen proud!

Comforting | Giada’s Ciabatta Stuffing with Chestnuts and Pancetta The Italians really know how to make a holiday dish that shouts “welcome to the family.”

Seasonal | Ina Garten’s Roasted Butternut Squash Throw it in to roast and let the caramelized flavors speak for themselves.

Seasonal | The Kitchn’s Roasted Brussel Sprouts Quick, easy and healthy. Save room for dessert!

Thanksgiving 911 | Gobble-Worthy Appetizers & First Course

21 Nov

The dining room table is set, pretty china and all.  The family arrives tomorrow.  The menu is…oh boy!  Procrastinated ‘till the very last minute, did ya?  That’s so you.  You’re experiencing a Thanksgiving 911!  But before you ring the alarm, here’s a secret: you don’t need to sweat over it sweetheart!

Make this Thanksgiving’s feast oh-so memorable.  Put some thought into it…what’s your food style?  Is it festive, savory, a modern twist on classics, comforting or seasonal?  Or, is it a fab combination of it all?

This Thanksgiving 911 is handled.  So, set the menu already!  Start with this list of mouthwatering recipes:

Cranberry Goat Cheese & Herb Hot Pockets

APPETIZERS – TIP: SIMPLE YET ELEGANT WOWS THE CROWD

Festive | Turkey Tartlets A non-traditional meal with a bunch of fancy apps? Put the turkey in a tart. (HINT: Also delish recipe for Friday leftovers).

Savory | Spiced Party Nuts This tailgate-friendly snack gets fancy! Set by the bar in fancy dishes.

Modern Classic | Baked Kale Chips Veggie chips prevent that “too stuffed before the stuffing” feeling.

Comforting | Cranberry Goat Cheese & Herb “Hot Pockets” Creamy, flavorful and bite-sized!

Seasonal | Omega-3 Pumpkin, Carrot & Raisin Quick Bread Serve it warm with soft butter or pumpkin butter nearby.

Butternut Squash Soup with Apples

FIRST COURSE – TIP: START WITH SOUP FOR INSTANT ELEGANCE

Festive | Butternut Squash Soup with Apples & Bacon Two words: simply divine!

Savory | Smoky Spinach Soup Totally healthy and light—the perfect starter to a marathon dinner.

Modern Classic | Cream of Mushroom & Eggplant Soup Mmm Mmm, Good sans the Campbell’s can and preservatives.

Comforting | Spicy Tomato Basil Soup Nothing says “home for the holidays” more than tomato soup.

Seasonal | Vegan Sweet Potato Soup with Crisped Sweet Potato Skins Because who wants the yams with marshmallows anyway?  Ok, maybe you do but why not try sweet potatoes in liquid form?

Vegan Pumpkin Spice Ice Cream

24 Oct

Vegan Pumpkin Spice Ice Cream

Serves 6

Your affinity for pumpkin-flavored everything has an obvious upside—its delicious.  But the high-caloric pies and lattes, well, they add up.  So not cool.  Good news!  The Vegan Pumpkin Spice Ice Cream is rich, creamy, low in calories and chalk full of all the pumpkin deliciousness you desire.

Ingredients:

3 C. unsweetened vanilla almond milk, chilled

1 Tbsp. honey

1 tsp. pumpkin pie spices

1 C. pumpkin puree

1 tsp. vanilla

Directions:

Bring ½ C. almond milk, honey and pumpkin spice to a simmer on stove until honey dissolves.  Remove from heat and cool.  Place remaining almond milk and pumpkin puree in a blender and blend until smooth.  Add spiced almond milk and blend again.  Place into ice cream maker and prepare according to manufacturer directions.

Serve with a warm brownie, cheesecake or your favorite fall dessert.

Freezes well, lasts one week.

FOOD THAT LOVES YOU, TOO: Rich in beta-carotene, pumpkin brightens skin and boosts mood.  This low-calorie fruit is also a great moisturizer from the inside out.

Printer-friendly file: Vegan Pumpkin Spice Ice Cream 

NUTRITIONAL FACTS (SERVING SIZE – 6): Calories: 48; Total Fat 1.8g; Saturated Fat 0g; Sugar: 4g; Sodium 90mg; Fiber 1.8g

Vegan Sweet Potato Soup

10 Oct

Vegan Sweet Potato Soup

Serves 6-8

Achoo!  Baby, it’s cold outside!  And according to that forecast, it’ll be chilly all week.  Fabulous.  Absolutely fabulous.  What to do?  Set the salad to the side and warm up with Sweet Potato Soup instead.  Packed with immune-boosting ingredients, this hearty, healthy and oh-so-savory recipe will last you all week long.  Just in time for another cold spell.

Ingredients:

3 Tbsp. olive oil

2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped

1 brown onion, cubed

8 C. low-sodium vegetable broth

2 lbs. organic sweet potatoes, skinned & cubed

1 C. unsweetened applesauce

1 tsp. cinnamon

1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar

1 tsp. brown sugar

1 tsp. coarse sea salt

1 tsp. cracked black pepper

1 sprig rosemary

Directions: 

Preheat oven to 425.

Peel and cube sweet potatoes, reserve potato peels.

In a stockpot, sauté garlic and onion on low heat with two tablespoons olive oil.  Add vegetable broth, sweet potatoes, applesauce and cinnamon.  Let simmer on low heat for one hour.

In 3 batches, with a reserve bowl handy, transfer stockpot contents to a blender and puree until fully smooth.  Pour first batch into reserve bowl and repeat for batches 2 and 3.  Pour soup into stockpot.  Add balsamic, brown sugar, salt and pepper and let simmer on low heat for another hour, stirring occasionally.

Place potato peels on baking sheet with remaining olive oil and rosemary sprig and bake for 10 minutes.  Use as garnish.

Freezes well.  Feel like cooking for just you and your honey?  Quarter the recipe.

FOOD THAT LOVES YOU, TOO:  Rich in antioxidants like beta-carotene and high in fiber, sweet potatoes are an excellent boost (especially during flu season) for your immune system and digestion.   When it’s flu season, do whatever you can to fit sweet potatoes into your diet. 

Printer-friendly file: Vegan_Sweet_Potato_Soup 

NUTRITIONAL FACTS (SERVING SIZE – 8): Calories: 177; Total Fat 5g; Saturated Fat .7g; Sodium 427.5mg; Fiber 5g