Monthly Archives: May 2013

Cucumber Salad

Cucumbers contain most of the vitamins you need every day, just one cucumber contains Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B3, Vitamin B5, Vitamin B6, Folic Acid, Vitamin C, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium and Zinc.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1-2 cucumbers, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar
  • 1/2 pack of fresh dill (roughly 4+ tablespoons)
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • dash of fresh cracked pepper
  • pinch of sea salt
  • pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
  1. Combine the herbs, sour cream, lemon juice, vinegar, and salt and pepper. Adjust to taste.
  2. Stir in cucumbers, ready to serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to eat.

I made this with 1 1/2 cucumbers and still had some dip remaining that I ate with carrots.  So this recipe is definitely liberal enough to add some additional vegetables or more cucumbers. You could also just serve the sour cream with the herbs as a vegetable dip on a veggie tray.  A vegan blogger that I follow made a vegan variation of this recipe with radishes in it too.

I also found some fun facts about cucumbers I recommend you check out!  They can eliminate bad breath, be used to erase pen and crayon marks, and even prevent a hangover!

Cucumber Salad

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Raw Lemonade

The time will come when men such as I will look upon the murder of animals as they now look upon the murder of men. -Leonardo Da Vinci

I hope you all are having a fun Memorial Day Weekend.  We didn’t really do anything special this weekend since I am busy studying for the CPA exam, and my boyfriend worked on Saturday.  Today I made lemonade for the first time after some inspiration from a vegan gal I follow on Instagram.  This is the classic summer drink, and I made it with raw agave nectar instead of the usual processed, refined sugar.  Raw agave nectar is an all-natural sugar replacement made from the juice of the weber blue agave plant.  You can use agave nectar as a sugar replacement in all recipes.  My bottle suggests you use 1/2 to 2/3 cups of agave nectar per 1 cup sugar in recipes.  Raw agave should be selected over pasteurized agave so that the enzymes aren’t killed and will aid in digestion.  Other benefits of agave nectar are that it has a low glycemic index, and it even helps with calcium absorption.

Ingredients

  • 3-4 lemons
  • 4 tablespoons raw agave nectar
  • 4 cups water
  • ice
  • optional, several fresh mint leaves
  1. Juice/squeeze 3 1/2 lemons.  Pour the lemon juice in a pitcher.
  2. Add the water and raw agave nectar to the pitcher.  Whisk the ingredients to blend.
  3. If it is to your taste preference add ice to fill up the pitcher.  Also add the slices from the remaining 1/2 lemon to the pitcher.
  4. Optional, add fresh mint leaves for a nice twist!

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Loaded Salad

“It is increasingly obvious that environmentally sustainable solutions to world hunger can only emerge as people eat more plant foods and fewer animal products. To me it is deeply moving that the same food choices that give us the best chance to eliminate world hunger are also those that take the least toll on the environment, contribute the most to our long-term health, are the safest, and are also, far and away, the most compassionate towards our fellow creatures.” -John Robbins (Author of Diet for a New America and The Food Revolution)

This salad & salad dressing are scrumdiddilyumptious!!

Salad

  • 2 cup red romaine
  • 2 cup green leaf lettuce
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1/4 carrot, shaved
  • 1/4 cucumber, sliced
  • 3-4 pieces of marinated artichoke hearts
  • 1 T chia seeds
  • 1 T hemp seeds
  • 1/4 cup feta (exclude for vegan)
  • 1 hard boiled egg (exclude for vegan)

Toss the ingredients together.

Salad Dressing

  • 3 parts EVOO
  • 2 parts red wine vinegar
  • dried basil, sprinkle in generously
  • dried rosemary, sprinkle in generously
  • salt & pepper to taste

Whisk ingredients together.  It is a good practice to make your own salad dressings whenever possible because you don’t need to consume preservatives, additives, and ‘natural flavors’ that are terrible for your health!  It blows my mind that salad dressings often have in excess of 10-15 ingredients when you can make your own for a fraction of that.

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Farm to Fridge

“He who is cruel to animals becomes hard also in his dealings with men.  We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals” -Immanuel Kant (philosopher)

Look at the unnecessary cruelty that humans cause on this Earth by eating these animals/animal products. 😦

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Peanut Coconut Butter Banana Sandwich

What kind of messed up, brainwashed society are we living in where exploitation and killing are considered “normal” and compassion and non-violence are considered “extreme”?

A grown up twist on the peanut butter and banana sandwich.  This can be a breakfast, lunch, or healthy dessert!

  • bread/toast
  • banana
  • coconut and peanut spread (peanut butter, coconut oil, and agave)
  • cinnamon

Toast your favorite type of bread.  Then spread Earth Balance coconut & peanut spread, or you can make it yourself!  Mix peanut butter, coconut oil, and agave.  Add a sliced banana, and sprinkle with cinnamon.  Talk about easy and delicious 🙂

Coconut peanut and banana sandwich

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Quick Rant

So I was just perusing the menu online for a restaurant that is about 4 miles away that I’ve drove by a few times since we are new to the area.  As I was scrolling I see under their “flatbread” section it says,”veggie pizza”.  So I read the details thinking maybe this would be one of my vegetarian options if we ever go there and here are the ingredients: grilled chicken breast, crispy bacon, sliced tomatoes, mozzarella cheese & tomato-basil sauce”.  That is considered a ‘veggie pizza’??!?!  There are more meat ingredients than vegetables, and the only vegetable is tomato, in the form of slices & sauce!! I think a veggie pizza should have more than one vegetable on it to be named a veggie pizza, but maybe that is just me… 

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Hillbilly Bean Dip

Seventy-five percent of federal poultry inspectors say they would not eat chicken.

This recipe is a good one to keep in your playbook when you need to whip up something quick and easy for a party.  I think this would be a hit at a sports party or something along those lines.  It would also go well with a Mexican meal either on tacos/nachos or served as a side.  I made it right before I moved for the first time and it took about 10 minutes of prep time and 20 minutes in the oven.  Now my recipe is a smaller portion but it can easily be multiplied if you wanted to bring it as a dish to a party.  I’d say my recipe would make about 8+ servings as a side dish or appetizer.

  • 4 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 can vegetarian refried beans
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 cup shredded monterey jack cheese
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • tortilla or corn chips to serve
  1. Mix the sour cream and cream cheese together first.  Add in the refried beans, about half a can at a time.
  2. Add the onion, tomato, and chili powder.  Stir.
  3. Pour into baking pan, I used about a 6in circular pan.  Use whatever size you have so that the dip is at least 1/2 inch thick.
  4. Sprinkle the cheese across the top.
  5. Bake for about 15-20 minutes at 350.  It can be served hot or cold.

Bean Dip

Now that I’m finally all settled into my new apartment in Raleigh I should be able to post a little more regularly.  It was pretty hectic the past 2-3 weeks with final exams, graduation, and moving several states away! I’m also planning on doing a juice cleanse coming up so I will keep you all posted on how that goes! 🙂

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Baked Tofu Salad

“Give your dog or cat respect, patience, understanding, and love.  And if you just change to one vegetarian day a week, that’s a wonderful step that will save animal lives.  It means you have chosen something kind instead of something cruel.”- Ingrid Newkirk

I like the quote above because I think that is a good challenge that everyone can and should do.  Maybe make it “Meatless Monday” and make a conscious effort to avoid meat and animal products.  I’m thinking about challenging myself to follow a vegan diet one day a week.

So I had this delicious salad at the Village Bakery and Cafe in Athens, Ohio.  This salad can be easily replicated so I thought I’d pass it along.

  • spring mix of salad
  • sprouts
  • baked tofu
  • apple slices
  • avocado
  • almonds
  • homemade feta and dill salad dressing (vegan with a different type of salad dressing)
  • garnish with orange slices

Spring mix, sprouts, baked tofu, almonds, avocado, orange, dill and feta dressing

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“Natural Flavors”

natural flavor

“Natural Flavors”

You may have noticed the use of the term “natural flavors” in processed and packaged foods if you look at the ingredient’s list (which you should!!)  Well “natural flavors” are not as innocent as it may sound.  Foods that are labeled organic, vegetarian, or vegan do not have to follow that label for “natural flavors”.  “Natural flavors” can be derived from plant or animal “matter”.  So your organic vegan soup, cookie, or whatever could contain animal products disguised in the form of “natural flavor”. MSG, aspartame, and bugs are all considered “natural flavors” and “natural colors” that can be found in your food.  I recommend that you read the article above and eliminate foods that have “natural flavors” from your diet whenever possible.

Below is an excerpt from two articles that FoodBabe wrote about “natural flavors” too.  If you haven’t read her blog before I highly recommend you check it out too!  She investigates what is really in our food, and she provides some recipes along the way.

“The natural and artificial chemicals that flavor manufactures engineer are contributing to what David Kessler (former head of the FDA) calls a “food carnival” in your mouth. The inability to stop eating because the flavors they have synthesized trick your mind into wanting more and more. They don’t want you to have the full essence of the strawberry – they want you to only experience the best 1 millionth part of the taste – so you get “addicted” and keep having to go back for more and more, searching continuously for gratification – eating more of that product which in turns fills Big Food Companies pockets. The Big Food Companies are “hijacking” your taste buds one by one.

Most of us know artificial flavors derived from petroleum aren’t good for us, but the with the words “natural flavor” food chemists and companies can put whatever they want in your food that is “generally regarded as safe” including excitotoxins. Natural flavor can legally contain natural occurring “glutamate” bi-products like MSG – which are known excitotoxins. These excitotoxins are some of the chemicals that cause your taste buds to experience irresistibility when it comes to food. Ever wonder why you can’t just eat one chip? Or one cookie? Or why you remember a taste of a product so distinctly and crave uncontrollably? Excitotoxins can be to blame. Excitotoxins overexcite your cells literally until they die or are damaged causing “injury” and “incapacitating” you with disease. When consumed over time, excitotoxins can cause nerve disorders resulting a myriad of diseases from stroke to Alzheimer’s to Parkinson’s. And lots of other side effects too – like obesity, migraines, fatigue and depression.”

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