Thursday, July 2, 2015

Hair of the (Vegan) Dog


It's summer so I'm thinking about beachtime and pool time and parties and picnics and fireworks and lazy summer Sundays...

How better than to kick off a slow weekend morning than with a delicious brunch and a refreshing cocktail.  Maybe a mimosa?  Or, better yet, a Bloody Mary?  You know some mornings it's what your body is craving after a long night out with friends.

McClure's, better known for it's pickles, makes a fabulous Bloody Mary mix, and this baby has a kick!

McClure's writes "made with our spicy pickle brine, tomato paste, fresh pressed cucumber juice and other fresh ingredients, our Bloody Mary mix is spicy and undoubtedly McClure's.  Drink it as a vegetable juice cocktail or with your favorite vodka."  The best part is that this is anchovy-free ~ hello vegan beauty!

Toss in a couple of olives and a celery stick and you're good to go with a cocktail you and your guests will love.  But yeah, you'd better like spice.  It might be a good idea to pick up some chips and guacamole to accompany this baby!

Friday, June 26, 2015

Summer Salad Recipes

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With the warm weather, I think crisp, cool, raw salads may just be the most refreshing way to enjoy lunch or dinner.

When considering the ingredients, why not tomatoes? I never liked them as a kid, but they grew on me when I switched to a vegan, plant-based diet.  Did you know they come in hundreds of varieties?

Cherry, beefsteak, heirloom, Jersey...those are just the beginning.

Regardless of what you call them, or what color you choose, they are certainly a healthy addition to any meal, raw, stewed, roasted, or in a sauce.  

Displaying IMG_2813.JPGIf you like to cook, or prep your own meals, here are two salads for
you to try.  

For the first, a more traditional version, combine romaine lettuce, a diced juicy yellow tomato, chopped carrots, celery, and cucumber and a tablespoon of fresh dill.  

Dress with fresh lime juice and avocado oil, and top it off with some hemp seeds. Just add your favorite protein and you have a complete meal!

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For the second, take a Middle Eastern spin.  

Dice up any tomato of your choosing and add it to finely chopped kale.  

Then add chopped flat leaf parsley, diced celery, some zhatar seasoning (imagine Israel's version of herbes de'Provence,) and some tahini. 

The tahini, a sesame paste, is thick and has a strong flavor, so you be the judge of how much to use. Add some fresh lemon juice to loosen the tahini, and mix well with tongs before serving.  You can also add some pomegranate seeds, crushed almonds or some protein to this as well.


Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Body Fuel Nutritionals ~ Your New Go-To Food

What happens when you get Butterfield Market, a high-end NYC marketplace, and The Trendy Vegan together to look for tasty, healthy, energy-fueling options?  Body Fuel Nutritionals! No gimmicks.  No chalky taste.  No unpronounceable preservatives.  No artificial anything.  Just great flavors, quality ingredients, all packed with protein to fuel your busy lifestyle.  At the breakfast table, as a midday snack, or in sync with a grueling workout, Body Fuel Nutritionals is the way health enthusiasts snack, one crunch at a time.  

This is us, this is Body Fuel

So why choose Body Fuel?

Fuel is for fitness: Exercise has it's benefits, but all the more so when you fuel your workout with protein to help build strong, lean muscle. Donuts and pizza don't lead to a 6-pack. Unless it's a 6-pack of beer.

It’s fun to go nuts: Nuts and seeds aren't just for the birds. They're super high in protein, fiber and the healthy fats your body needs. We love them. We use lots of them. 

Green is the new black:  It's cool to follow a healthy diet. And animals are cute. Plants are too but you can't pet them. Animal lovers are sexy.

We have no secrets: Our products are the real deal. Almonds, cayenne, chia, ginger. No chemicals. No artificial sweeteners or preservatives or phony coloring. We use only pure ingredients that offer great nutritional value. And they taste great.

Fuel is for Life: Looking good is awesome. Feeling good is even better. Eating plant based, non-processed food doesn't just taste good, but it's a healthy choice too.
What are our products?

Classic Crunch
Hearty and tropical - think granola on steroids.  Classic crunch combines the good nutrition you expect from a filling, yet light breakfast.  The fruits and grains enhance yogurts and desserts.  Be imaginative and add it to your favorite recipes. 

Fun Fuel Fact: Chia grows natively in South America, and was an important feature in the Aztec and Mayan diets.  It provided such sustainable energy, that "chia" is actually the Mayan word for "strength".  Chia seeds, which look similar to poppy seeds and have little flavor, are versatile, protein-packed nuggets which help to reduce appetite and cravings.  Almost all of their carbs come from fiber and are loaded with anti-oxidants.

Ingredients: almonds, cashews, walnuts, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, oats, maple syrup, dried cranberries, raisins, unsweetened coconut. (Vegan, wheat-free, soy-free)

Cayenne Crunch

Our best selling product is sweet and spicy.  The delectable maple syrup combines smoothly with the heat of cayenne. This crunchy and savory food is well suited to be your between meal snack, before and after the gym, or anytime you crave a burst of flavorful energy.

Fun Fuel Fact: Cayenne is a well-known digestive aid.  It stimulates the digestive tract, increasing the flow of enzyme production and gastric juices.  This aids the body's ability to metabolize food and toxins.  Cayenne is a circulatory stimulant that increases the pulse of our lymphatic and digestive rhythms.  By heating the body, the natural process of detoxification is streamlined.  Cayenne also causes us to sweat, another important process of detoxification.

Ingredients: sesame sticks, peanuts, cayenne, dried edamame, almonds, cashews, low-sodium soy sauce, maple syrup. (Vegan)

Cocoa Crunch
Sweet with a zesty surprise.  Think of Cocoa Crunch as a healthy candy bar without the candy or bar.  Once you open this bag, it will have to be pried from your hands.  Clusters combine non-dairy chocolate, exotic ginger, and energizing nuts and seeds - a taste sensation.  

Fun Fuel Fact: Candied ginger isn't only a sweet is also a centuries old remedy used to treat nausea, inflammation, and certain cancers.  Known for it's spicy, pungent flavor and aroma, ginger can be eaten raw, used within a recipe, or in a candied form with crystallized sugar syrup 

Ingredients: almonds, non-dairy chocolate chips, walnuts, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, oats, dried cranberries, crystalized ginger, cinnamon. (Vegan, wheat-free, soy-free)

Sunflower Crunch
Taste: Earthy, clean, complex.  This product reminds us of a walk in the woods on a clear spring day.  Each bite is a powerhouse that easily melts in your mouth providing a little crunch and a whole lot of protein.      

Fun Fuel Fact: Millet is a smart-carb - high fiber, high protein, low sugar, giving you sustained increased energy instead of those surges you get from added sugars.  Millet also offers high antioxidant properties and is gluten-free, making it a perfect addition to most diets.  

Ingredients: millet, gluten-free steel cut oats, organic maple syrup, Bob's red mill garbanzo bean flour, seeds, unsalted sunflower nut butter, dried cranberries, almonds.  (Vegan, wheat-free, peanut-free, soy-free)

Want to order some today? Visit:

Monday, June 15, 2015

Appetizing Appetizer

I remember visiting my grandparents when I was a little girl, and curling up on the couch next to the coffee table.  They always had a big bowl of mixed nuts, still in their shell, and I loved cracking them open with the nutcracker and eating their chewy insides.

Walnuts, like along with Brazil nuts, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, pecans, pine nuts, and pistachios, are tree nuts. They are highly allergic for many people these days, but if you can eat them, they are very good for you.  They are a wonderful source for omega-3 fats (perfect for vegans who can’t get that from fish) and have high amounts of copper, manganese, and biotin. Some research has even shown they are helpful in the prevention of prostate and breast cancer.

Walnuts also contain powerful anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, and because they are so filling, they can aid in weight loss as well as they help to keep cravings at bay.

As a vegan, I rely heavily on nuts for protein and healthy oils in my diet.  I use them in salads, in nut butter form, and make delicious “cheeses” from them.  This last week I made a mock chopped lived with walnuts, string beans and onions I bought at Butterfield Market.  It was super easy and gone very quickly…

First peel and chop two large yellow onions.  Toss them into a sautee pan on medium-high heat with some extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil.  Sautee until wilted and slightly brown.  Then wash and trim the ends off of a pound of green beans. Chop them up and toss them in with the onions, to cook down, and until they are al dente, tender to the tooth.  Then add 2 cups of walnuts, just to heat slightly.

Transfer everything to a high powered Cuisinart or blender, and puree until smooth. Serve with veggies or crackers and enjoy! No one will ever ask for chopped actual liver again!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Rawmio, The Chocolate Romeo

Over Memorial Day weekend, I spent most of my time outside.  As any of my family or close friends can tell you, if the sun is out, so am I.  I literally spent hours walking and jogging miles along the Boardwalk, capitalizing on some real vitamin D intake and burning some calories in the process.

It is surely not worthwhile to exercise for the sole reason of eating more, but when I stumbled upon the vegan Rawmio organic chocolates at the local health food market in Margate, New Jersey, I lost all willpower. Thankfully, with or without all of those miles I logged, this was a fight I could afford to lose - and a super yummy one at that!  

Rawmio is organic gourmet chocolate.  The wrapper actually says there is "edible love inside." It's true!

First I tried the hazelnut and fig raw chocolate bark.  I love both hazelnuts and figs.  Wanting to sample this was not a stretch, but I was even more inclined when I read the back of the package. "We have elevated the classic combination of nuts, dried fruit and chocolate to a new level that was formulated to inspire.  Our signature base of fair trade, gourmet, stone ground, raw chocolate envelopes crunchy sprouted hazelnuts and slices of perfectly chewy black mission figs.  We top this simple yet decadent masterpiece with a sprinkling of raw cacao nibs sweetened with coconut sugar for an exceptional treat you will dream about for days on end."

Why stop at just one when another option sounds so good?  I also bought the active superfood raw chocolate bark.  It contains some ingredients I have admittedly never heard of (cordyceps, Lion's mane and chaga - all types of mushrooms) but it also had lots of yummy things I have vetted time and again.  This bar says "We have combined some of the world's most healing mushrooms and superfoods with stone ground raw chocolate to create a unique treat that will both excite the senses and deliver powerful medicine to the body."  

No matter how good it tastes, how can you feel guilty for eating that?

Monday, June 8, 2015

I Heart Artichokes

Artichokes are go good, and very good for you, but thinking about preparing them can be rather daunting!  Cutting back the outer layer, trimming the sharp leaves, scooping out the spiky insides once cooked.  Buying them already made is pretty appealing.

Whether you buy them in a dish a skilled chef has prepared for you, or in a jar in water or soaked in infused oil, or if you are brave enough to buy them fresh at a local market and cook them yourself, here is a little information about artichokes.

Artichokes are high in fiber and are very low in calorie, averaging somewhere around 45 calories per globe.  The mildly bitter nature of the buds can help prevent cholesterol levels from increasing, and are a solid source of folic acid and vitamins C and K.  They are also rich in minerals like calcium, potassium and iron, among others.  They may be worth the trouble after all!

Artichokes are great in dips, and many people like them in quiche or omelettes. For us vegans, they are delicious when fried and breaded, Roman-style, or when tossed with hearts of palm, avocado, and tomato in a light vinaigrette.  If you want to stick to the basics, just trim them, steam them and dip the leaves, and the tasty heart of the artichoke, in a Dijon-balsamic dressing: ¼ balsamic vinegar, 1 tsp Dijon mustard, and ¼ extra-virgin olive oil, all whisked together.  You can add more or less mustard or oil to suit your tastebuds!  

Pop into your favorite store and pick up all of your ingredients today!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Strawberry Rhubarb Success

Not much feels like such success in the vegan world as making vegan food non-vegans love.  I was reminded of how high praise feels when I was asked to make a vegan dessert for dinner at a friend's house this past Sunday, since the last one was so good!  
Of course, that was totally intimidating too.  I obviously enjoy cooking, but my schedule these last few months has left a lot to be desired, and cooking has not been an activity I have been doing often.  Take out? Check. Delivery? Check. Restaurants, where someone else cleans up after? The best check.  Cooking?  If salad and guacamole count, I have done a little...  
I started to leaf through cookbooks and magazine, scouring online for something that might just work.  The challenge was, I had no idea what I wanted to eat, and had no idea in what direction to go. When I walked into my local market and saw rhubarb, I knew a strawberry-rhubarb cobbler was it.

Rhubarb is like a tart, reddish, tougher celery.  Sounds fabulous, no? If you cook it just right, and add enough sugar, it's really delicious.  

I bought about 12 stalks, rinsed them, cut off the ends, and diced them like you would a celery stalk for salad.  I then de-stemmed and cut up a large container of strawberries. Their sweetness beautifully balances the rhubarb.  

I assembled it all in an oven-to-table baking dish, and added 1/4 cup cornstarch, the juice of half of one lemon, and 1/2 cups of granulated sugar, tossing it all together.  A pie crust seemed to heavy for the spring weather (though the rain outside felt nearly biblical!) so I made a crumble topping.  To do so I combined 1/2 cup chopped almonds, 1/2 cup quick-cooking oats, 1/4 cup brown sugar, and 2-3 TBSP of vegan butter, placed in small pats randomly on the top, to soak into the cobbler while baking.  I then baked the dish, uncovered, for 15 minutes at 425 and then for 20 minutes at 375.  As every oven is different, you may need to adjust the time to be sure everything is tender.   I would show you an "after" photo, but it was gone as soon as it came out of the oven!