Category Archives: Vegan Recipes

Spicy Spaghetti with TVP

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I have started tracking my meals & activity on MyFitnessPal.com & with my FitBit Tracker. One of the things I need to do to track my meals is to create recipes that reflect the correct calories, protein, sodium, etc. You just input the ingredients on My Fitness Pal & tell it how many servings, the site figures out the rest.

Last night I made my super easy Spicy Spaghetti with TVP. It is my go to meal when I don’t have a lot of time (or am feeling lazy. I’m entering the recipe on MFP anyway, so I thought why not share it here as well!

INGREDIENTS
1 Can Diced Tomatos (15 oz, I use Basil, Garlic & Oregano)
2 Cans Tomato Sauce (15 oz)
1 Cup Dry TVP (Texturized Vegetable Protein)
1 Tbsp Garlic powder
1 Tsp Cayenne Pepper

1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1/2 Box Thin Spaghetti (Made With 100% Semolina)

DIRECTIONS
Put Diced Tomatoes, Tomato Sauce, TVP, Garlic Powder & Cayenne Pepper in a skillet, stir together & cover. Cook at medium heat while preparing pasta.

Cook pasta as directed.

Serve… YUM!

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2 Week Juice Fast

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So, the husband heard about a little movie called Fat Sick and Nearly Dead, and decided he wants to do a 2 week juice fast.  Being the supportive partner that I am, I sat down to watch the movie with him, and found it to be truly inspiring.  Joe Cross started out at 310 lbs, and he was taking multiple prescription medications.  During the filming of the movie, which followed him on his 60 day juice fast, he lost 80-85lbs!  Along the way he met a truck driver named Phil Staples.  I remember reading an article about the truck driver that juiced his way to health a couple of years ago. Phil enlisted Joe’s help, and was able to drop from 429 lbs to 225 lbs.  Amazing!  Just by juicing.

Watching the movie got me thinking… I like juice (we already have a juicer, but only use it every once in awhile), I could stand to lose a couple pounds, I’m vegan… but not the healthy kind, and everything is better if you do it together.  So I decided to join my husband on his 2 week juice fast.  I don’t know why they call it a fast, since anyone who as ever juiced a pile of yummy fresh veggies knows that it is very filling, but I am ready to see where this takes me.

JuiceDAY 1

We started this morning by taking weights & measurements, and with a 16 oz glass of Mean Green. This is actually very close to my go to “throw it all in the blender” juice.  The only difference being, I usually throw in a couple of carrots & I’ve never used ginger. I love using ginger, because it adds a bit of a spicy kick & has many health benefits.

Mid-Day I decided to take it easy & let someone else do all the work.  I stopped by a local juice place called Apfel, and had the Green Diet ($5.75 for cucumber, parsley, spinach, celery, apple, kale & ginger.)  So Delish!

Dinnertime consists of another Mean Green.  Still yummy… what will tomorrow bring?

DAY 2

Off to a great start!  I lost 2.8 lbs in the first day.  I’m finding that my life seems to revolve around food.  I am always thinking of the next meal & now my schedule seems thrown off because I am not needing to sit down for meals.  I should have all of this extra time, but right now I am not sure what to do with it.

For Day 2, I had to be out (but in a place with a fridge), so I made three servings of juice in the morning.  It worked out well.  I did find myself getting hungry before it was time to have the next juice… but maybe I’m not drinking enough?  Currently I am having 4 16 oz glasses of juice per day (at least that is the plan, I only had three on the first day.) I’m going to do some research & see if I can gain a little more insight into what the right balance is. I tried logging the Mean Green on MyFitnessPal, but there are multiple entries for it & the calories are all over the place, so I need to calculate it myself to get the correct numbers.

We did the Mean Green for the first 3 today & paid a visit to Robeks in the evening where I got a Crazy Carrot & the husband got an Evergreen. ($6.99 for a medium, which I think is 20 oz.)

DAY 3

I lost another 1.5 lbs.  Progress!  Today started with an Apple/Beet/Carrot Juice, which I thought was really yummy, but the husband said tasted “too beety.”

I went back to the Mean Green for the second juice of the day, but added some onions and brussel sprouts (because I have them).  Later on I tried this recipe for Pizza Juice!  It was pretty good (a little pulpy), the husband loved it. I’m going to try to fit in 5 juices (16 oz) throughout the day, to keep myself feeling satisfied.

DAY4

Another .8 lbs down today.   I don’t know how to buy enough veggies for this. It seems we are at the grocery store every day for one thing or another.  Mostly sticking to the Mean Green, because it’s easier to keep just those veggies (and apples) on hand. We went to the movies tonight, saw “Warm Bodies.”  Cute, I would recommend it.  We stopped at Robeks on the way there to get a large Evergreen, which I smuggled into the theater in my bag.  It’s a great way to stave off the habit of eating greasy movie theater popcorn.  I also discovered on this trip to Robeks that they have at least three flavors of vegan cookies… good to know!

DAY 5

Down another 1.4 lbs… yay!

DAY 6

Trying a new recipe today.  I got some pears and will be making the Celery, Cucumber, & Pear Green Juice. I’ve got to be away from the juicer again, so I’m batch juicing this morning.  We also bought some “Emergency Juices” at Whole Foods.  SO we can just grab & go.  We chose juices from Evolution & Columbia Gorge.

I actually got all 5 juices in today.  The girl I was working with asked, “where do you keep getting all of those green juices from? … lol.  Somehow, I ended up feeling hungrier than any other day, except maybe day 2.  I don’t know if it was the new recipe?  Maybe there is something in the Mean Green that makes me feel fuller: Apples, Lemon, Ginger?  At night, I grabbed the Evolution Essential Greens Juice because I didn’t feel like cleaning the juicer yet again.  It was good, but I like the fresh juices better. One thing that I have noticed through this entire week though is the energy I have.  I haven’t been lethargic, or started dragging in the afternoons at all.

DAY 7

I lost another .4 lbs, and my body fat % has gone from 29.8% to 27.0%. I decided to use the rest of my brussel sprouts AND garlic AND onion in the juice I made for me to enjoy throughout the day. BIG mistake.  It was the stinkiest, strongest, spiciest juice ever.  Don’t try this at home!  It actually filled me up though, either that or I was turned off to juice, because I didn’t feel at all hungry in the evening.

DAY 8

Down .8 more lbs!  I had to dash this morning so I grabbed the Evolution Sweet Greens from the fridge.  It was great!  So much tastier than the Essential Greens I tried on day 6.  On my way home I stopped at the grocery store to pick up peaches, sweet potatoes & golden delicious apples to make the Peach Pie Juice which is delicious! (I may just like the addition of cinnamon, but it was really yum!) At night, it was another trip to Apfel for the Green Diet.

DAY 9

Made some really great juice today, but whoever said that it gets easier after the 3rd day is a liar.  I am pretty good at “fake it until you make it,” but I’m ready for solid foods in 6 days (but who’s counting?)  I think if I decide to do this in the future it will be for 7 days at a time.  I am going to continue this until the end though, because that’s the deal I made with me.

DAY 10

Today I am going to try Blush Juice, because I’ve been wanting to put a grapefruit in something.  I expect it will be fresh & delicious.  We started the day with the Peach Pie (still yummy), and then I realized that I was out of a lot of produce, so I mad an Apple/Pear/Cucumber juice (2 Apples, 1 Pear, 1 Cucumber), which was pretty refreshing.  Time for (yet another) trip to the grocery store!  Beware… the Blush Juice is potent!  I did put in the max of 1 grapefruit that the recipe called for, but that was a lot & the husband said it made his tummy hurt (I actually kind of liked it, grapefruit has a super positive effect on me.)

DAY 11

Happy Valentines Day, and bye-bye .8 more lbs! Sticking to the “safe” Mean Green Juice this Morning.   I was going to wait until after the juice fast to get back on the exercise bandwagon, but I think I need a bump, so I may pull out Dance Central on the XBox 360 Kinect today.

DAY 12

My scale broke.  😦  I bought a new one, but it has a different reading.  I don’t know if this one is wrong or the other one, but I don’t think I gained 1.5 lbs for no reason.  When I put on my clothes this morning, I could actually tell a difference.  I look better!  So something is going right.  It’s so gorgeous out today!  I want to go to the beach, but I have to work. Oh well, next time.

DAY 13

Two amazingly fabulous days in a row… Gotta love SoCal!  I am ready to eat food again.  I am starting to plan out my meals for next week.  I’m also making a list of foods to eat more of, and foods to eat less of that I will hang in the kitchen.  I’m no dummy, I know what these foods are, but a visual reminder certainly helps give a little kick in the pants when I reach for a box of pasta with processed cheese-like substance & fatty garlic bread rather than whole grains w/ fresh veggies. This doesn’t mean that I am not going to make my famous BEST Gardein burger sometime this week.

DAY 14

The Final Day… Finally!!!  I think that I would do this again, but like I said before, only for one week.  I see some benefits.  I feel more energy, I look better in clothes, I think I can make better choices in food.  I still have some work to do, and that will start this week with healthy eating & exercise.  I heard recently that you should find something that you like to do and play, rather than exercise.  I like to dance & I like yoga. I don’t like to run,  but I love the ocean, so I will run on the beach.  I am looking forward to the next couple of months… then it’s summer!

There are a whole bunch of recipes on the Reboot With Joe Website.  I look forward to trying them all!  There is also a great resource for finding juice bars in or near your zip code.  Also, if you are wondering which produce MUST be purchased organic, check out this list.

I will keep this updated throughout the next two weeks, and let you know what happens!  To follow along with my daily weights & measurements, visit My Fitness Pal.

Microwave popcorn for vegans!

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Some time back, me & the bf went over to a friends place for movie night. He, knowing that we are vegan, had purchased some snacks that he thought we could eat. He, not being vegan, didn’t know about all of the mystery ingredients that come from animals that many manufacturers feel the need to put in their products. Milk, whey, casein… and the ever mysterious “natural flavors.” This is when I discovered that microwave popcorn is not usually so vegan-friendly.

The following day, I decided to go to the grocery store and take a look for myself. I couldn’t find one brand/variety that was definitively vegan. So I went home and did some Internet research. I found lots & lots of recipes for DIY microwave popcorn, including the paper bag method which I have adopted as my go-to method since.

  • Take a quarter cup of popcorn kernels & place them in a paper lunch bag
  • Fold over the top a few times securely & place in the microwave on its side
  • Set the timer for 2 minutes (like any microwave popcorn, you need to listen for the pops to slow… indicating doneness)
  • Eat as is or mist with olive oil & sprinkle with salt (I like to grind my salt in a coffee bean grider to make it into a really fine dust.) Shake the bag to coat all popcorn & eat!

I haven’t found the right way to apply a buttery substance (Earth Balance, or my preference: Smart Balance w/ Flax), because it always makes the popcorn mushy & damp… yuck! I have however experimented with other spices instead of, or in addition to, salt. My favorites: Old Bay or Cayenne Pepper… yum!

Popcorn for vegans!

Recently, the bf went on a trip for work. When he travels, he is always looking for quick meals & snacks that he can make in the hotel room, since usually he only has access to a fridge & microwave. On this last trip he found Pop Secret Sea Salt. It’s only ingredients are: Whole Grain Popcorn, Palm Oil, Sea Salt & TBHQ (I love short lists of ingredients!) Now, the paper bag method is certainly healthier, as TBHQ (while vegan) is not the best thing to put in your body… but if you are not in the mood to pick up paper bags, popcorn kernals, salt & spices and assemble them yourself, this is the next best thing. Enjoy!

I made the BEST Gardein burger last night!

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Delicious Gardein Burger with Anaheim ChileI have tried nearly every veggie burger on the market, and even made my own from scratch. By far, my favorite is the Gardein Beefless Burger. To me it has the best flavor, and it tastes like a burger, not a grain patty. Don’t get me wrong, I eat a lot of grains, black beans, etc. … but I prefer them in other than patty form.

I never realized how delicious a frozen veggie burger could be though, until I visited Founding Farmers on a recent road trip to DC. They have an entirely vegan menu created in Partnership with VegDC.com and Compassion Over Killing. It consists of mostly Gardein products, which I was a little disappointed with before going there. After all, I make Gardein meals all the time at home, so why would I want to pay $8 for a Gardein burger that someone else made? …because it’s amazingly delicious… that’s why! Ever since my visit to Founding Farmers, I have been experimenting with my homemade Gardein burger…was it the way they carmelize their onions? The homemade agave mustard? The fresh rye they put it on? What is the FF Secret?

Well, last night I got closer to perfection… or perhaps I achieved perfection, but of a different flavor. Here’s what I did:

Ingredients

+ Ketchup, Mustard, Lettuce Leaves & Slices of Tomato to top burger

Directions

  • Roast your chile pepper in the oven. I use this method: How To Roast Chiles
  • While the chile sweats in the plastic bag, heat the olive oil in a large pan & begin to grill the onions.
  • As the onions begin to brown, coat both sides of each burger with A.1. Sauce & place in pan.
  • Cook burgers on each side for 4 minutes.
  • After burgers have been cooking for about 6 minutes, butter buns & place butter side down on the hot pan (you can use a seperate pan, if desired.)
  • Peel your chile, slice in half longways & remove seeds.
  • Flip burger one last time, and place cheese on top.
  • Pile the onions on top of the cheese.
  • Remove the buns from the pan & put mustard &/or ketchup (I like both) on each side.
  • Layer the ther ingredients on the bottom bun in the following order: chile (folded), burger with cheese & onions on top, tomato slices, lettuce & top bun.
  • EAT.

Yield: 2 servings.

Cooking the buns this way makes them warm & almost fluffy.  I used to heat them in the oven, but that just makes them dry.  The chile adds a whole new dimension of flavor & texture that is wonderful!  I always use the A.1. sauce… the bold & spicy gives the burger a little kink, but doesn’t burn your mouth.  The burger looked so good that I didn’t even think to take a photo, but I will certainly be making these again & will add a photo then.  ENJOY!

*Gardein (& the other brands mentioned here) did not pay me to write this.  These are the brands I, after trial & error, have found to be my favorites & it was just SUCH an amazing burger that I had to tell someone!