Pre and Post Workout Vegan Meals

photo by www.onegreenplanet

photo by www.onegreenplanet

Black Bean Beet Burgers - 4 servings

-   ½ cup cooked quinoa
-   ½ cup each: chopped onion and chopped mushrooms and chopped walnuts (ground)
-   1 large can of black beans, rinsed and drained
-   ½ cup grated raw beet
-   1 tsp each: cumin, chili powder and garlic powder
-   Salt & pepper
-   olive oil

DIRECTIONS:
-   Heat a pan on medium heat with a bit of olive oil and add mushrooms and onions, salt & pepper and cook for about 8 minutes.
-   Remove from heat and add beans and mash slightly – needs to have some texture.
-   Add mixture to a large bowl and add beets, quinoa, spices and mix.
-   Add walnut meal a little at a time until the mixture is thick enough to form into patties. Set in fridge to chill while oven heats up to 375 F. If cooing in pan, just chill for about 15 minutes.
-   Put on baking sheet sprayed with a bit of oil and cook for about 30-35 minutes.
-   If using a pan, spray with a bit of oil and cook on medium high for about 4 minutes per side

LEMON LIME RECOVERY DRINK

-   4 large dates, pits removed
-   2 cups of water
-   1 Tbsp each: Hemp protein and ground Salba
-   2 Tbsp sprouted buckwheat
-   Juice from ½ lemon and lime
-   ½ tsp lemon zest
-   1 tsp each: ground dulse flakes, maca and greens powder (chlorella or spirulina)

DIRECTIONS:
-   Blend all ingredients in a blender.

OPTIONS
-   Replace Salba with chia seeds or one egg replacement
-   Replace dulce flakes with nori or sea vegetable flakes
-   Replace maca powder with cacao powder

Easy Vegan Salad Dressings - Make Your Own

Unfortunately most of the salad dressing options out there contain a ton of ingredients that can include some pretty nasty stuff. Here are some easy recipes to make your own. Don't forget to experiment with the flavors you love!

photo by connoisseurusveg.com

photo by connoisseurusveg.com

AVOCADO SALAD DRESSING

-  1 avocado
-  2 cloves of garlic
-  1 Tbsp lime or lemon juice
-  3 Tbsp olive oil
-  Salt, pepper and water

DIRECTIONS:
-  Throw everything into a food processor or blender and add water a little at a time to get the right consistency. About 4 servings.

EASY CREAMY DRESSING

-  3 Tbsp Vegan Mayo
-  1 Tbsp each: Apple Cider Vinegar and maple syrup
-  ½ tsp each: minced garlic and onion OR garlic powder, onion powder, PLUS pepper, salt
-  1 tsp Dijon mustard

DIRECTIONS:
-  Mix everything together and let sit for about 30 minutes. 2 servings.

BALSAMIC DRESSING

- 2 Tbsp each: Balsamic Vinegar and Olive oil
-  ½ tsp each: minced garlic (or garlic powder), mustard, salt and pepper

DIRECTIONS:
-  Mix everything together and let sit for about 30 minutes. 2 servings. 

SWEET MUSTARD DRESSING

-  2 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
-  1 Tbsp each: Olive Oil, Red Wine Vinegar, Maple Syrup
-  ½ tsp each: minced garlic or garlic powder, salt, pepper

DIRECTIONS:
-  Mix everything together and let sit for about 30 minutes. 2-3 servings.

CREAMY POPPYSEED

-  2 Tbsp each: Vegan mayo and Apple Cider vinegar
-  1 Tbsp each: Maple syrup (or agave) and poppy seeds
-  1 tsp each:  Dijon mustard, Olive oil, lemon juice, chopped shallots or onion
-  ½ tsp each: minced garlic or garlic powder, salt and pepper

DIRECTIONS:
-  Chop the shallots or onions fine and garlic if using and mix everything together and let sit for about 30 minutes. 2 servings.

SPICY LIME DRESSING

-  2 limes zested and juiced or 1/3 cup of bottled lime juice
-  1 Tbsp each: agave or maple syrup AND Apple cider vinegar
-  ½ tsp chili flakes or cayenne (or small chopped jalapeno), salt and pepper

DIRECTIONS:
-  Mix everything together and let sit for about 30 minutes. 2-3 servings.

CREAMY CHIPOTLE DRESSING

-  3 Tbsp Vegan mayo
-  1 Tbsp lime juice
-  1 tsp agave or maple syrup
-  ½ tsp each: chipotle powder and garlic powder, pepper, salt

DIRECTIONS:
-  Mix everything together and let sit for about 30 minutes. 2-3 servings.

Consider This... Corn

One of the hottest topics out there is GMO’s-Genetically Modified Organisms. Are they healthy, are they needed, and are they safe? It is a massive and controversial subject that can be pretty difficult to sort out. Today I am only going to talk about corn since most of it is Genetically Engineered, and is done so ONLY to withstand the billions (yes billions) of pounds of pesticides we drown this and other crops in. So rather than ask if you think GE corn is a good or necessary idea, why not Consider This… 

How many pesticides and herbicides do you like in the food you eat and the food you feed to your family or your pets? I am going to assume that most of us would say none. The logical answer might be to stop eating corn altogether and therefore eliminating all those nasty chemicals. Unfortunately that is not the case, not even close.

If we are what we eat, then most of us should be walking cobs of corn. You would think that the assortment of food available to us (over 50,000 various products) would serve us with a genuine variety, but that is not the case.

Corn is the main diet of the cows, pigs, chickens, turkeys, lambs and even salmon, tilapia, and catfish. Our eggs, milk and cheese all come from animals that are fed mostly corn if not exclusively. An easy answer here… become vegetarian or vegan, don’t eat corn and presto- no more corn chemical soup, right? It will help for sure but this is not entirely the case. 

Corn is in your canned fruit, prepared soups, beans and your morning waffles and cereal. It is in your salad dressings, hot sauces, syrups, ketchup, mayonnaise, mustard, relish, margarine, peanut butter, jams and gravies. Your cakes, cookies, candies, chewing gum, potato chips and doughnuts all contain some form of the yellow stuff. Even the shine on your cucumbers and apples comes from a wax made from corn. Thirsty? Your beer, sodas and even your glass of wine - corn and more corn. Of the average 50,000 food items in your supermarket more than 40% contain some form of this genetically engineered vegetable.

Grow your own food, don’t eat meat and skip the yellow cobs? You will still find yourself surrounded in corn. It is in your vitamins, toothpaste, diapers, cleaners, trash bags, batteries and matches. Magazines covers and produce shipping containers are coated with products containing corn. Even the supermarket itself has been built with products made from corn and don’t forget about your cars, it is in your gas tank as well.

Not such an easy fix: It is a difficult ingredient to avoid, but the best you can do is to read the ingredients of the products you buy, choose organic when you can, cook your own food and eat mostly greens. Avoiding meat does cut out a lot of corn, not to mention all of the other health benefits. If you have the option, grow as much of your own food as you can. You would be surprised at how little space it takes to grow food.

 

Vegan Salads Full of Protein

As a Vegan, the most asked question I hear is - how do you get enough protein? Well, even though this question can sometimes get a bit annoying, I always let people know that protein isn't ever an issue if you eat healthy. Most vegetables, grains, beans, nuts and seeds contain some protein and many of them have a lot of protein.

These salads are so delicious, even your non-Vegan friends will love them. Feel free to change up these recipes and add whatever plant based ingredients you like. Enjoy!

photo by robinhelfrich.com

photo by robinhelfrich.com

QUINOA SALAD WITH MANGO

-  ½ cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
-   1 cup each: black beans and chopped cucumber
-   1 fresh mango, cubed
-   1 avocado, cubed and sprinkled with lime or lemon juice
-   ¼ cup each: mint (chopped), cilantro (or parsley)
-   2 Tbsp each: olive oil and lime juice
-   1 garlic clove, minced
-   Salt and pepper

DIRECTIONS:
-   Cook quinoa according to package.
-   Mix olive oil, lime juice, garlic and salt and pepper.
-   Add all the other ingredients and toss with dressing. Cool in refrigerator.

photo by farmerstoyou.com

photo by farmerstoyou.com

ROASTED BEET SALAD

-   3-4 medium beets
-   1 Tbsp olive oil
-   A bunch of mixed greens (organic of course)
-   Vegan Goat cheese
-   ½ cup of chopped walnuts

DRESSING:
-   1 ½ Tbsp. each: maple syrup, Dijon mustard, minced onion
-   3 Tbsp red wine vinegar or balsamic
-   5-6 Tbsp of olive oil
-   Salt and pepper

DIRECTIONS:
-   Preheat oven to 400. Scrub beets and cut off both ends. Drizzle with olive oil and put on a cookie sheet lined with tin foil. Cover with tin foil loosely. Cook for 1 hour. Let cool enough to handle. Peel skin off and slice. OR clean (don’t cut off ends) put in a pot and boil for 40 minutes. Let cool and peel.
-   Mix all of the dressing ingredients together.
-   Arrange mixed greens, top with beets and cheese and drizzle with dressing.

OPTIONS:
-   Add cut up orange pieces to salad. Replace one of the Tbsp. of vinegar with orange juice and a bit of orange jest.

Easy Healthy Snacks

We all need to recognize when we are truly hungry versus just eating for the sake of eating. Sometimes we eat just because others are doing so, or because there is food in front of us, or even because we can’t bear to leave food on our plates, but in order to be successful at maintaining our goals – we need to say no. And avoiding the urge to eat when you are bored, stressed or even depressed can be difficult some days but it is also a must!

Snacking is something that can easily destroy the best intentions when it comes to keeping on top of your calories and fat. Having said that, healthy snacking can also help to curb overindulging at your next meal because you are starving. The best thing you can do is snack healthy. I have put together a few suggestions for those who are craving somethin somethin.

-   3 cups of organic air-popped popcorn – you can top with spices to bump up the flavor.
-   2 1/2 tablespoons of roasted garlic hummus with 10 baby carrots for dipping.
-   10 baked organic tortilla chips with 1/4 cup of salsa.
-   1/2 cup of kale (remove stems) sprinkled with a teaspoon of olive oil and lightly salted, baked at 400 degrees until crisp.
-   10 olives – black or green.
-   1/2 cup of vegan cottage cheese with 1/4 cup of salsa.
-   10 mini pretzels with 1/2 teaspoon of mustard for dipping.
-   1/4 cup of dry roasted pumpkin seeds.
-   1/2 cup frozen organic grapes
-   3/4 cup of chocolate almond or soy milk
-   1 cup of organic blueberries or raspberries
-   2 medium kiwi fruits
-   1 oz of dark chocolate – make sure it is vegan – Most are, but some sneak in ingredients like whey or casein.
-   2 cups of watermelon
-   1/2  cup of vegan yogurt with 1/4  cup of sliced fruit
-   Almonds and goji berries – about 20 of each
-   2 celery sticks with almond butter
-   2 dates stuffed with almond butter – add a slice of banana
-   1cup of kale, beet or sweet potato chips – check the ingredients to make sure they are vega

 

Vegan Soups Made Easy

photo by peasinablog.com

photo by peasinablog.com

ROASTED CARROT SOUP – Can Freeze

-   3 cups of carrots, peeled and cut into ½  pieces
-   2 cups of parsnips, peeled and cut into ½ pieces
-   1 medium onion, cut into big pieces
-   1 Tbsp. Olive oil
-   Salt and pepper
-   2 cups of veggie broth
-   1 tsp each: turmeric, cumin, chili powder

DIRECTIONS:
-   Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
-   Toss veggies in olive oil and add spices and salt and pepper.
-    Spread onto baking sheet lined with tin foil and bake for 35 minutes (stir once in a while).
-   Let cool a little and add veggies to blender. Add veggie broth ¼ cup at a time until it is the consistency you like. Reheat for about 3-4 minutes.

OPTIONS:
-   Add one large chopped Sweet Potato and reduce the carrots and parsnips to 1 C each.
-   Use an immersion blender instead of a blender.
-   Add a tsp of curry powder to veggies before cooking and remove chili powder.
-   Add a sliced/peeled apple to veggies last 10 minutes of cooking time.

photo by veglibrary.com

photo by veglibrary.com

MUSHROOM SOUP

-   2 Tbsp of Vegan butter or Olive oil
-   1 onion, chopped
-   5 cups of mushrooms – any kind, a mix is good
-   4 cups of mushroom or veggie broth
-   ½  cup of white wine or sherry
-   1 tsp each: thyme and tarragon and mustard
-   Salt & pepper

DIRECTIONS:
-   Heat up butter/oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add onion and cook for 5 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes. Add spices and mustard and cook for a minute or two.
-   Add stock and wine, salt & pepper.
-   Bring to a boil and the lower heat to medium low and cook for about 25 minutes.
-   Let cool slightly. Take a bit of the onion/mushrooms out of the pan. Use an immersion blender and blend the rest. Add broth or water if it gets too thick. Add back in the mushroom/onions that you took out. Serve with Vegan sour cream.

Easy Vegan Tacos

photo by cookeatdelicious.com

photo by cookeatdelicious.com

TOFU TACOS

-   5 whole wheat tortillas
-    8 ounces of extra firm tofu
-   1 Tbsp each: smoked paprika, thyme
-   1 tsp each: cumin, garlic powder, pepper
-    ½ tsp cayenne
-   1 Tbsp Olive Oil

CABBAGE SLAW:
-   1 cup each: red and green cabbage, sliced thin
-   ¼ cup of apple cider vinegar
-   Salt & pepper

AVOCADO CREMA:
-   2 avocados
-   2 garlic cloves, mined
-   1/3 cup of lime juice, fresh or bottled
-   1 ½ Tbsp olive oil
-   Salt & pepper
- Cilantro or parsley, chopped (optional)

DIRECTIONS:
-   Drain and rinse tofu and press it between kitchen towels and weight it down.
-   Preheat oven to 400 and line baking sheet with parchment paper.
-   Combine cabbage, vinegar and salt/pepper.
-   Mix spices: paprika, thyme, cumin, garlic powder, cayenne and pepper.
-   Cut tofu into 1 inch pieces and lightly coat with olive oil. Bake in oven for 10 minutes.
-   Remove tofu from oven and sprinkle with spices.
-   Heat 1 Tbsp olive oi in large pan on medium heat and add tofu. Cook for about 5 minutes per side.
-   Place all ingredients for Crema in blender and blend until smooth.
-  Warm tortillas and add tofu, slaw and crema. Top with cilantro if using.

OPTIONS:
-   Add chopped tomatoes, rinsed and drained black beans, and chopped jalapenos.
-   Replace tofu with black beans, chopped mango and jalapeños.
-   Buy packaged coleslaw.

And Now For The Best Part... Dessert

No Bake Chocolate Fudge Cookies

Ingredients:

For the wet ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons (45 mL) virgin coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons (30 mL) sunflower seed butter
  • 1/4 cup (20 g) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) pure maple syrup, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the dry ingredients:

  • 7 tablespoons (50 g) gluten-free rolled oats
  • 6 tablespoons (35 g) unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 2 tablespoons (25 g) chia seeds
  • 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt, or to taste

Directions:

  1. Line a large plate with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In a medium pot, melt the coconut oil over low heat. Whisk in the sunflower seed butter, cocoa powder, and maple syrup until smooth. Remove the pot from the heat and whisk in the vanilla.
  3. Add the oats, coconut, chia seeds, and salt into the pot and stir well until combined. The mixture will be thick, dense, oily, and gel-like (from the chia seeds), but this is normal. Swear.
  4. Using a retractable ice cream scoop (approximately 2 tablespoons/30 mL) or simply a spoon, scoop the dough and place the mound onto the plate, leaving a bit of space between each cookie.
  5. Place the cookies in the freezer to set for about 10 to 15 minutes, until firm, or simply chill in the fridge if you have the patience.
  6. Store leftover cookies in an airtight container in the fridge for 1 week, or freeze them for up to 4 to 6 weeks. 

Recipe and photo courtesy of ohsheglows.com

Vegan Valentine's Day Dinner for Two

A special Valentine's Day Dinner made for two.

TOMATO ONION FLAXSEED BREAD

·  5 ripe Roma tomatoes
-   1 small red onion
-  3 cloves garlic
-  
¼ cup sundried tomatoes in olive oil and Italian herbs
-  ½ cup golden flaxseed meal

-  2 tablespoons brown rice flour
-  1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
-  
1 tablespoon tapioca starch
-  1 teaspoon onion powder
-  1 teaspoon garlic powder
-  1 teaspoon dried basil
-  1 teaspoon smoked paprika
-  ½ teaspoon Himalayan/sea salt

BABY SPINACH SALAD

-  2 cups baby spinach
-  
1 tablespoon pine nuts
-  1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
-  1 tablespoon lemon juice
-  
A few sprinkles Himalayan/sea salt
-  A few sprinkles freshly ground pepper

GRILLED BREADED TOFU STEAKS

-  ½ block firm or extra firm tofu
-  1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
-  1 teaspoon tomato paste
-  1 teaspoon miso paste
-  1 teaspoon sesame oil/extra light olive oil

-  ½ teaspoon pure maple syrup
-  ¼ cup high quality breadcrumbs

INSTRUCTIONS

TOMATO ONION FLAXSEED BREAD

1.  Preheat oven to 320°F (160°C).

2.  Chop the Roma tomatoes, red onion and garlic in relatively small pieces. They don’t have to be tiny but it will help with the chopping process.

3.  Put all the chopped vegetables and sundried tomatoes in the blender (or food processor) and pulse it briefly to chop it up. DO NOT PUREE IT! It’s important that if you’re using something like Vitamix, you pulse it for a second quickly, then stir, and pulse until most of the stuff is chopped but not a complete mush.

4.  Pour the mixture into a fine mesh sieve and squeeze out about a cup of juice. You can keep the juice in a container to use as broth for other things! (It will be a total waste to throw it out.)

5.  Pour the chunky mashed vegetables in a large bowl and add the flaxseed meal, brown rice flour, olive oil, onion powder, garlic powder, basil, paprika and salt. Stir until everything is well mixed.

6.  Align baking parchment paper on an 9×13 inch oven tray and grease the baking paper with non-stick cooking oil.

7.  Pour the mixture on the baking tray with parchment paper underneath, and spread it out across the entire tray, so the layer is nice and thin, and even.

8.  If you want the bread to be thin and crunchy, you will need to use a larger oven tray so the layer can be thinner. It will take shorter time to bake so you MUST check every 10 minutes or so after it’s been baking for 25 minutes, because the bottom may burn easily.

9.  Bake in the oven for 50 minutes to an hour and 15 minutes (depending on the thickness). Allow it to cool before cutting it up. Be careful though, some thinner parts may burn, so every 5 minutes or so after it’s been baking for 40 minutes.

BABY SPINACH SALAD

1. Add all the ingredients in a bowl and toss and turn it around until the spinach leaves is coated by everything pretty evenly.

GRILLED BREADED TOFU STEAKS

1. Cut half of a regular block of tofu out and squeeze out as much water as you can without breaking the tofu. Once water is squeezed, use some paper towels to get more water out from all sides.

2. Carefully cut the tofu block in three layers, then slice across to make 6 small rectangles. (But you can really cut them in any sized pieces you want). You will see that more water will emerge from the middle, so once again, get more paper towels to squeeze out even more water.

3. You may even want to leave it out for a little while to dry off. The more water you squeeze out, the better the outcome.

4. In a small bowl, mix together the soy sauce, tomato paste, miso paste, sesame or olive oil and maple syrup and stir until the sauce is even.

5. In a separate shallow dish, pour the breadcrumbs on it. I used Trader Joe’s.

6. Dip the tofu steaks in the sauce, then quickly coat them with breadcrumbs. Do this to each of the tofu steaks.

7. Spray some non-stick cooking oil on a ribbed grill pan and lay the tofu steaks neatly on the pan.

8. Turn the heat on medium high (between 5-6) and cook the tofu on one side for about 10-13 minutes until you see it brown, then flip it over as carefully as you can, and cook the other side for another 6-10 minutes until the other side has browned as well.

 Recipes and photos courtesy of Vegan Lifestyle Magazine

Eco-Friendly Travel Tips

Your journey to becoming an eco-friendly tourist starts with a few simple ideas. We have put together just a few green tips for your next trip. 

Pack for the Planet - 2 million people pass through US customs on any given day. Many of their suitcases and bags are filled with ziplocks, batteries, water bottles and disposable snacks. To cut down on all this garbage, pack reusable water bottles, use rechargeable batteries and tupperware containers can hold your snacks and your toiletries. Make sure your sunscreen is reef safe too! Also, the less you pack, the lighter your load and the more fuel-efficient you will be.

Stay at an Eco-Friendly Hotel - Since green has become the new black, these are easy to find with a quick google search. It's simple, the more we support these types of vacation spots, the more of them will follow our dollars.

Take a Volunteer Holiday - Rebuilding reefs, assisting at a turtle rescue or volunteering at a local animal shelter are just a few of the options you can include in your vacation. If you are booking a volunteer holiday be sure and check that the organization is legit first.

Walk, Bike or Take Public Transit - While you are away on your vacation, get out and see the area by taking a hike or renting a bike. Using public transit can cut down on your travel expenses as well as helping the planet!

Take Only Memories and Leave Only Footprints - Stick to marked trails to avoid causing harm to the local flora, and consider bringing a bag with you to pick up trash along the way. It helps to keep the area beautiful but also protects animals from eating it or getting tangled.

Finally, before you leave home, be sure to unplug your tv's, microwaves and all your chargers. Even on standby mode, they all use up electricity.

It may seem that the eco-friendly actions of one person traveling are insignificant, but multiply that by millions each day and the impact makes a world of difference!