Thursday, November 3, 2016

Veganize the "Ruben"... my personal challenge!

Vegan-ize a classic ruben, my son's favorite sandwich and what he asks for every birthday!

This was a challenge I struggled with mentally all summer. But after some research and a couple taste tests....


Rye Bread
Daiya "swiss"
Tofurky peppered Deli slices
Hampton Creek's JUST Thousand Island Dressing
Sour kraut of choice

This has by far become our house favorite vegan melty cheese.
This was a suitable option for my newly vegan teen.
He seemed very impressed by the flavor of this product.
I'm not a fan of ruben sammies, so I am taking his word for it.
He ate 3!!!
SUCCESS!!!! Mission accomplished.....The Ruben - VEGANIZED!


Monday, August 15, 2016

BEYOND MEAT BEAST BURGER- Product reviews and way I used them (A personal fave)

VEGAN TRANSITION PROBLEM - One of the biggest issues I faced (as a mom and wife gone vegan) when I started this journey was finding a suitable replacement for meat, as I still had to feed my husband (meat eater- gone vegetarian) and our teenager (now vegan as well). Before this journey began we were the typical American family who grilled out to celebrate holidays and birthdays etc. and yes there were always burgers and hot dogs and the general cookout fair.

With Husband's bday around the corner and Independence day to close behind I was on the hunt for something vegan that would fit the bill. Enter: BEYOND MEAT BEAST BURGERS! I was a bit skeptical how my family would react, but to my surprise these burgers did the trick!

My kid even said "If you can make things like this that let me still enjoy the food that I'm use to, I'll go vegan myself". And he has.

The review: Burgers to me require a handful of things to qualify as a great burger...Taste, texture, sear capability & juiciness. Taste: Is good, no heavy veggie burger after taste. Texture: is on point, I was impressed with this. You could easily feed these to a non-vegan without complaint. My husband didn't know the difference until after he ate it for the first time. Sear capability: You can easily bake these in the oven, fry them in a skillet or grill them. The outside has the ability crisp up just enough with you drying out. Juiciness: Unless you leave them in the oven too long, they stay juicy in the middle. All together, this is my family's burger of choice. The price is a little over $4 for 2 patties, but the patties are huge, don't shrink. Comparable to non-vegan burgers price wise.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Vegan challenge, 25 bucks to feed 3 humans for a week.

 This month groceries ran a little snug with the budget. So, I am turning this into a personal challenge!
I will be feeding my family of 3 on what I previously had in the kitchen and $25 for new items.
I will be posting daily pics of meals created on my instagram, so follow along there if interested.

What I had in the kitchen to work with:
Dry goods- pinto beans (32 oz bag dry,  16 oz bag dry, 2 cans)
1 can of black beans, 1 can diced tomatoes, 1 small can tomato sauce, 1 can tomato paste,
1/2 jar of peanut butter, 1/2 bag of basmati rice, canister of oatmeal, bottle of maple syrup,
1 loaf of bread, 1 pkg bagels, almond milk, vegan nacho cheese (homemade)

Produce- half qrt cherry tomatoes, 2 sweet potatoes, 1/2 vidalia onion, 5 bananas,
2 small bell peppers, 2 cucumbers

Freezer- 2 bags of peas, 1 bag corn, sour kraut, frozen banana pieces

Farm market haul - 10 bucks and some change

Aldi Haul - 14 bucks

Currently I have 32 oz of pintos soaking which will be divided for baked beans and re-fried beans for tacos.

Meal plan ideas include:
Baked beans over rice
Sweet potato/black bean tacos
Pasta with broccoli
Loaded oven fries with homemade salsa and vegan nacho cheese
Balsamic rice with veggies
Oatmeal pancakes

pb sandwiches or left overs

Smoothie bowls, granola (i will make tomorrow), oatmeal, toast

I love when the opportunity presents itself to think outside the box. What are your favorite budget meals?

Saturday, June 11, 2016

2 months MEAT FREE! - Update

 It has been 2 months since I cut meat completely from my diet (dairy and egg shortly followed, full vegan update on the 25th). It was a no brainer for me. With family medical history in my genes and turning 40 this year, I finally took the plunge. For years my digestive system had been crap from IBS/constipation/bloating I would go days between movements, my body ached from fibromyalgia, depression and anxiety have plagued me since my teen years, and I never had a healthy relationship with food (all of which will get their respective post relating to each individual topic in the future).

Since removing animal products from my diet I have seen more improvement in myself than I could have imagined. I wake up ready to go no coffee needed. I am actually spending more time in the bathroom than I care to admit. The only aches I'm having these days is from post workout soreness. My depression is lessening daily, and the anxiety & panic attacks have reduced significantly. My relationship with food is improving, I enjoy the way it tastes, I take time enjoy each meal I prepare, I haven't binged in weeks. I can actually look at food as fuel vs. emotional filler. I am still working on getting my OCD in check and the compulsion to check my weight loss daily. Small battles, one at a time.

If I can feel this good in 8 weeks, I am excited to see what 8 months brings. Stay tuned!

*All stats on weight loss, current work out goals and inches over all lost will be updated monthly on the 25th.

How are you doing in your vegan journey? Please a comment below.
Thanks for stopping!

GoVeggie cream cheese- Product review and ways I used it!

Go Veggie cream cheese. What can I say....this shit is awesome!
The texture is fabulous, the taste and creaminess is on point.
Here is some ways I have used it this week...
Open faced wheat bagel with sliced baby red peppers.

Veggie sandwich! Ohmygoodness!
With spinach, red onion, tomatoes, cucumbers.
Yes, I even blended it into my bean dip (recipe posted)

Family vote:  APPROVED! We will be getting this again. It is already on the shopping list for next week.

Have you tried this brand/flavor? What did you think?
 Do you have a suggestion for a different brand my family should try?
Leave it in the comments below. Have a fantastic day!

Black bean dip, vegan style! - Simplified Summer series - recipe

Black bean dip, vegan style!

What you will need:

GoVeggie cream cheese
2 cans black beans (rinsed) or 4 cups prepared dry beans (which is what I used)
Taco sauce

In a taller container (I used a large mason jar) place beans, whole container of cream cheese,
and 1/3 jar of taco sauce. Using an emulsion blender mix all ingredients thoroughly. Once blended 
you can add any spices that you may not have used when soaking/cooking your dried beans,
I used onion, garlic, chili powder when I prepped my beans so I didn't add any at this time.
 Then run the blender thru the entire mixture one more time taking care to whip it until it doubles in volume.

Pour all contents into an oven safe dish smoothing out the top, pour the rest 
of the taco sauce over the bean mixture. Bake on 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

* You can add vegan cheese sheds to the top of this and pop back into the oven until melted,
if you desire.

Grab a bag of tortilla chips, pita chips or even onion fries!


Please leave me a comment below if you find a new way to enjoy this recipe and if you liked it.
Thank you!

Monday, June 6, 2016

Nice cream ~ Choco PB recipe

Nice cream! 
4-5 frozen bananas 
1/2 cup of coco powder
A dash of vanilla 
1 tsp of maple syrup 
1 cup plant based milk 

Run through the blender until smooth. Swirl in blobs of pb. freeze.


Vegan Tex-mex Rolls

                                               All vegan Tex-mex Eggroll (oven baked, oil free)

What you'll need:    Beyond beef feisty crumbles, Beans (mashed and seasoned), cooked rice, Frieda's wrappers (wonton shown it the photo, I already discarded the eggroll packaging), lime & whole garlic.

(apologies for not having all ingredients, hadn't planned on making this a post originally)

Crush 3-4 cloves of garlic - rough chop a bit, place in small bowl
squeeze half a lime juice over the garlic, give a little stir and set aside

BEANS: I just used a bean mix left over from lunch (roughly 2 cans worth) half black beans/pintos.
I added red pepper flakes, onion, garlic powder, chili powder
run them thru a blender til mostly smooth.
COOKED RICE: I used left over from lunch (about 1-1 1/2 cups)
FEISTY CRMBLES: Frozen right out of the bag


This was my first time ever making anything with eggroll wrappers so I just followed the directions on the back of package.
I used about a small rounded spoon full of each layering bean,rice, crumbles. Then roll them as per package direction and repeat 19 more times. Placing all the rolls on a baking sheet as you go.

Then grab that lime/garlic mixture add a couple spoonfuls of room temp water, stir well.
Using a small marinade brush lightly coat the out side of each roll. 
Note: Go easy, you don't want them to moist.


Place all your rolls in a cold oven, set to 425F 
Bake about 10-15 minutes, check for crispiness 
(Drop temp to 400 and bake an additional 5-10 minutes if needed)

Add whatever dipping sauce you prefer. We ate ours with picante sauce. 


Sunday, May 22, 2016

Going Veg! MY STORY *making the transition to vegan*

Welcome to my veggie transition. It is going to be one hell of a ride!

On April 11th this year I watched a movie that changed my life... "Earthlings" by . If you have been kicking around the idea of a plant based life, I highly recommend watching it. I have not eaten meat since (I'll write more about my initial reaction of the film in another post).

Let me back up a few years. I have always had a great interest in my impact on our planet and humanity in general. As well as the effects of our over consumption as a society. So, I went Minimalist. Years before it became a hashtag or trend of the year, I was already purging my home, recycling, reducing my personal waste and reading everything I could get my hands on on the subject. Which opened the door to Zero waste living (this is still a work in progress). Which lead to eating a simpler diet. Although at that time it still included meat, dairy & eggs. The final project was a simpler life.

My personal challenge today is to cultivate the simplest way of achieving that life, food included.

Yes, I grew up eating meat. Yes, I fed my child meat. I grew up in Ohio, it's what we did. Hell, I best friend called me her "Bacon Buddy", we would eat bacon just for the sake of eating bacon.  UNTIL, I got educated about the shit our government is trying to pass off as food (I will share that info on this blog over time).

Fast forward to today. I am a month and a half into the journey and it's just getting started! I'm so pumped at the changes I am seeing in myself already. I'll share all of that in future posts. So, sit down and enjoy the ride!

**Disclaimer** if you have sensitive ears/eyes you may want to sit this out. I do curse, it's just a part of me. I will be sharing sometimes graphic photos and info on this blog. The Factory Animal Farm Industry isn't as pretty as those labels on the package of what ever butter you slathered on your toast this morning, I won't be aiding in that false image.