Posts tagged vegan

Spaghetti with Mushrooms, Spinach and Tomatoes in a Garlic Wine Sauce

Simple. Light. Perfect for a Summer evening dinner out on the patio. It’s gluten free, vegan and low fat (oil free), but you will need to finish off that bottle of white wine… but who’s complaining?

My summer is picking up and I’ve really been enjoying it. I hope you are enjoying yours. I managed to style 15 updo’s for Cirque du Soleil performers and staff a few weeks ago with the help of a good friend. We got to enjoy the show from very good seats and my little guy LOVED it! It made me so happy. Also happy that no animals were involved. I can’t tell you how heartbreaking it was to discover the abuse that goes on toward such majestic elephants and wild animals for the traditional circus. I recommend watching Earthlings if you haven’t yet. And boycott the old circus at all costs! The Dralion or any Cirque show is worth saving up your money and taking your family out for a memorable day.

… Another happy vegan moment. Finding cute cowboy boots – man made material! I have been looking for a pair for a few years and unfortunately it was tough, so I stopped looking. Last week, I ran into a cute little store here called Francesca’s Collections and I spotted them, they actually fit, and off I went to a country concert…. Tim McGraw and Kenny Chesney! Brothers of the Sun tour. Who wouldn’t have a fabulous time seeing these two hotties perform?

Next on the agenda, we rented a cute little lake house for some fun in the sun…. I hope to take some time to evaluate life and set some goals for the future in a quiet natural setting.  There’s no chance of getting on the computer as I was told there is no internet access. This might be really interesting to see how addicted I honestly am to technology. I might just go a little crazy, but maybe not? We’ll find out, won’t we?

Spaghetti with Mushrooms, Spinach and Tomatoes in a Garlic Wine Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1 – 16 oz Package of Trader Joe’s Organic Brown Rice Spaghetti Pasta (gluten free)
  • Vegetable Broth (approximately 2 cups but I just had a carton on hand and freely used it as needed)
  • 8 oz container of Baby Bella, white or Crimini Mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 Cup chopped Onion
  • 3 Garlic Cloves, minced
  • 1 package of fresh Spinach leaves (about 2-3 large handfuls)
  • Your choice Tomatoes, either  3 chopped Roma or 1/2 container of sliced Grape Tomatoes (I made it both ways and liked it either way)
  • 1/2 Cup of good White Wine (that you will enjoy drinking with your dinner)
  • 1/4 Cup of Nutritional Yeast
  • Sea Salt and Pepper to taste

Directions

Boil water and cook pasta according to package directions. Set aside.

Heat a large shallow pan over medium to high heat and add a splash of vegetable broth. Once heated, add mushrooms and cook about 5 minutes until soft adding vegetable broth as needed. Remove mushrooms to a medium bowl.

Add more broth (just enough to cook) to the pan if necessary, return to heat and add the onion, cook until translucent and stir in garlic and cook 2 minutes more adding broth as it cooks so not to burn or stick to the pan. Remove these to the bowl with the mushrooms.

Return the pan to the heat and add more broth, heat and add spinach and cook until the spinach is wilted, about 2 minutes.

Bring back the mushrooms, onions and garlic to the pan with the spinach and add the tomatoes. Add more vegetable broth if needed and add the white wine and cook until slightly reduced, add about a cup of vegetable broth (or how much you prefer) and cook for 5 minutes until everything is heated through and tomatoes are softened. Add nutritional yeast and the salt and pepper to taste…. stir and heat through.

Top the pasta with sauce and veggies and enjoy!

~The Karmatarian

A few fun pics….

Fun with the girls at the Brothers of the Sun concert… check out my vegan boots! (I’m on the right) :)

Me and my little guy at the United Center to see Cirque Du Soleil – The Dralion

… and Michael Jordan’s “legs”… lol

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Sweet Cinnamon Roasted Chickpeas

“Thoughts of lack manifest as limitation. Thoughts of abundance manifest as success and happiness. Failure and success are but two ends of the same stick.”

~Ernest Holmes

Happy Friday everyone! No, this quote doesn’t have much to do with chickpeas unless you think about all the creative ways in which chickpeas can be used in a plant-based diet. Plant-based eaters tend to think abundantly! After all, we have so many wonderful foods to choose from, it’s hard not to. I also believe the standard American diet tends to lend a hand in people not thinking about their food at all. Not caring where their food comes from and certainly taking it all for granted. At least this used to be me and it’s what I observe in others. Now I savor everything and appreciate the hell out of it! I appreciate colors, flavors, textures and good ethics that go along with creating it.

So have you ever heard of roasted chickpeas? I recently discovered this idea online and so I made these a few weeks back for the Forks Over Knives movie review and discussion I hosted. I didn’t exactly make them correctly, yet one of the guests couldn’t stop eating them! She even took them to go! So even if you screw them up a bit, like I did. They will still taste good. Practice makes perfect, but I think if you follow the directions you won’t screw up. I was in a bit of a hurry.

The key is to roast them until crispy on the outside. I didn’t quite get them that crispy on the first try because I was afraid of burning them. You just have to keep tossing them while baking. I used my toaster oven the second time around which seemed to help. I could see them a little better. Less distance. Maybe I need more Vitamin A for my eyesight?!

Chickpeas are a staple food in a plant-based diet. Think hummus. I do have a wonderful homemade fat-free roasted red pepper hummus that I will be posting soon. YUM! We go through hummus like water around here!

I like that we can switch things up regarding chickpeas. I actually used a chickpea oil blend in place of eggs for gluten free brownie recipe and it was amazing! They were like brownie protein bars! But in regards to this recipe, think about all the different spice combos to be tried. Many fun possibilities.

Roasted chickpeas, especially the spicy, salty ones, remind me of bar nuts, minus the musty bar smell, neon Miller sign and beer goggles.

Not only fun to eat, here is what you can expect from a cup of chickpeas: 14 grams of protein, 12 grams of fiber, 45 grams of good carbs. Of course lots of vitamins and minerals… not going to get into details because it’s Friday. Just trust me. It’s all good.

Sweet Cinnamon Roasted Chickpeas

Ingredients

  • 1 can of Chickpeas, rinsed and drained, (patted dry with a paper towel) and laid out to dry on a towel for at least 30 minutes
  • 1 Tablespoon of melted Coconut Butter
  • 2 Tablespoons of Raw Organic Sugar. I used Coconut Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon of Cinnamon
  • Dash of Sea Salt

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and line baking sheet with parchment paper or lightly mist with oil.

Mix the sugar, cinnamon and dash of sea salt in a small bowl and set aside.

Coat the beans in melted coconut butter and sprinkle evenly with the sugar/cinnamon mixture.

Spread the beans out evenly onto your baking sheet and roast for about 30 minutes, tossing every five or ten minutes, all while checking that they are not burning , just getting nice and crispy on the outside.

Let cool and enjoy. Have a great weekend!

~The Karmatarian

Ps. I certainly want to hear your comments, especially if you make these!

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A Powerful Vegan Speech with WOW Factor!

If there is suffering on your plate… there is suffering in your future.

~ Unknown

If this isn’t the best speech I have heard in a long time! Wow Wow and WOW! Feel this man’s passion!!! It gives me chills each and every time I listen to it. Don’t let the title scare you. Hear and learn in ten minutes what I have been learning about for the past 5 years! Really take in what this man is saying with an open mind. I wish this was me up there at that podium! This explains so much about my path and my passion and the passion of so many like minded people.

This is more than a fantastic reminder of why to choose plant based! I hope Phillip Wollen’s speech helps you as much as it did me, to remain STRONG on this path. This couldn’t of come at a better time. This week, there has been a bit of a questioning in my soul as others questioned me and caused me to second guess my choices. I am grateful this happened because it made me ask. I received an answer and it strengthened my character just that much more.

It absolutely never fails… when I quietly ask God, the universe, infinite intelligence or the higher power (or whatever you choose to call it) to show me an answer to my question, and when I let it go and forget about it, I always wake up to the answer within a day or two. It usually hits me SMACK across the face! This video was my answer. It appeared in my experience after I asked WHY? Why did I wake up to the mess we have created here on earth, while so many others are still asleep? It’s not an easy path at times. Why do I have such strong convictions for peace on earth? More importantly, why am I questioned by those who wish and choose to remain in the dark and continue to contribute to the mess? Shouldn’t I be questioning them? How is it that I am extreme? People kill emotional, thinking and feeling beings by the billions per week. Aren’t they really the extremists? What is so wrong with having and showing compassion for those with no voice? Why is it a sign of weakness to the opposed when someone shows mercy for the planet and animals? Why am I holding strong, choosing vegan and feeling the push to educate? Why me… when I could easily remain ignorant too.

“Let’s just call things what they are. When a man’s love of finery clouds his moral judgment, that is vanity. When he lets a demanding palate make his moral choices, that is gluttony. When he ascribes the divine will to his own whims, that is pride. And when he gets angry at being reminded of animal suffering that his own daily choices might help avoid, that is moral cowardice.”

~Matthew Scully

Choosing vegan is not always easy and (unfortunately) it makes you different. People don’t like when someone they know is being or acting different. People naturally want others to be the same. This point has been used against me, too and I get it. But the way I see it… anything on the flip side of choosing vegan and choosing peace, when those choices factually and clearly cause suffering on so many different levels only contribute to the death energy of our culture. How is this good and how can it be defended in any way at all? Except for the fact that we were born into it. But now we have the opportunity to get educated and do what we can to stop contributing to the disaster. It has been confirmed by Cornell and Harvard that the amount of animal foods we need in our diet for good health is precisely ZERO.

Veganism isn’t a religion, it’s based on cold hard facts. I believe that humans are inherently good and this is still true of carnivores, for which I was once one. But this is why vegans educate. We won’t get anywhere in our evolution towards peace by being silent about things that matter. The world needs educators. This world needs vegans. Until all religions practice what they preach, I guess we the vegans are the preachers! So be it.

“If we all understand that animals can use their eyes to see, ears to hear, noses to smell, mouths to eat, legs to walk, feathers to fly, fins to swim, genitalia to procreate, bowels to defecate. I’m always perplexed that most people don’t believe that they can also use their brains to think.

~Gary Yourofsky

My questioning goes further…Why do I feel such opposition to something that is so wanted by so many people… Peace on earth? They say they want it… But how are they going about creating it? Actions speak louder than words.

I do feel that I am on the right path, but why is it so damn frustrating at times? Should I give in and just give up on peace? My answer was clear. NO. “The stone age didn’t end because we ran out of stones”. We evolve…. we are still evolving and we are heading into the age of Aquarius – the Golden Age – when peace is finally at the forefront. This revolution needs pioneers. I guess I was picked to be one of them. I really hope to see vegans out number the unconscious at some point in my lifetime and I hope it’s before the year 2048 when the oceans run dry and my son and his children have to deal with it. Pass the buck… hasn’t this been the way all along?

This FACT about destroying our waterways and ocean was confirmed by Cornell University’s Oceanography Professor, Bruce Monger, who lectured in my plant based nutrition course. It’s Cornell! Not some unknown, credit-less university. We also had David Pimentel, Professor of Ecology and Agricultural Sciences from Cornell teaching us the facts and how we are destroying the earth with our Western diet choices! So if you have to, forget optimal health, forget animal suffering. This planet is going down, simply due to food production, and that’s enough reason on it’s own to preach a plant based diet! The good news… Over 600 Million vegetarians and counting. It is comforting for me to know that among this group, we all have one thing in common and it’s found within our hearts. Peace.

If you know anything about quantum energy and how it works – by contributing to bloodshed, it just creates more bloodshed. Human bloodshed, animal bloodshed… Blood is blood. There’s nothing peaceful about it. What’s more is that the greed of people on this planet is beyond reasonable. “The Earth can produce enough food for our need but not enough for our Greed”. Perfectly stated. Thank you, Phillip Wollen. Follow his Facebook Page to keep up with this amazing hero! I also found his website. There is something fascinating about a man who exudes confidence and compassion and a has a burning passion in his heart to end suffering and bring peace. A man who is also fearless in spreading the word of peace even though he knows he will be greatly opposed… Uh…kinda reminds me of Jesus, wouldn’t you say?

Too often, I am afraid of speaking my mind on my own damn blog for fear of offending someone. Well I am over it. I should be the one offended by those not taking the free education that I offer and then choosing better. It’s not hard. Where we are heading is going to be a lot harder. I am also a bit fed up with those who choose to debate me but who refuse to educate themselves on the topic. They just all of the sudden become an expert nutritionist or biologist. I actually study this stuff for a living. I wasn’t born vegan. It was an educated choice. It was the smartest choice I saw fit for the best in health for me, my family and everyone around me who benefits from my choices. I should be thanked, honored, and rolled out a red carpet. To be and do different (in the name of peace) in this world takes bravery. Period. If I reflect to those a lack in ability to live up to their fullest potential to be and do their best in this lifetime, instead of perceiving this as a threat of some kind, use this reflection to take a closer look at the ways in which you can do better. For your best health and the world around you.

Let me please share and clarify where I stand. At first, when my eyes were freshly opened to our food production system. I was horrified. I did open my big mouth on Facebook and post a lot of animal rights issues. My friends may have branded me for that. I do not apologize for it by any means BUT I have come to learn that people don’t respond well to animal suffering for whatever reasons that their egos use to protect them. I have however, for my own sanity, switched my main focus back to health because animal suffering is not a fun topic… and what do you know? I’ll say it again… It has been confirmed by Cornell and Harvard that the amount of animal foods we need in our diet for good health is precisely ZERO. So my education in plant based nutrition only solidified that I was on the right path from the start. When we honor ourselves and eat whole plant based foods. Everyone wins. Studying nutrition and becoming certified in plant based nutrition has helped to shift my focus from shock and awe of animal abuse back toward helping people beat and avoid horrific diseases that are coincidentally only caused by animal foods. This is a win win! I still haven’t forgotten the animals and I never will. Why? Because we are all one. We are all connected. Because that animal who suffers is you… and me.

Inevitably, there will be more peace energy on this earth when the majority finally decide to eat the way that God intended. That damn flood had to go and ruin everything! Give people an inch and they take a mile… in this case they are taking down the whole damn planet!

In this weeks conclusion, I settled back onto my path with stronger convictions than ever before and I was reminded of a few amazing quotes –

“All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident”

~Arthur Schopenhauer

And when this day comes, where truth is all of the sudden self evident to those who question and oppose me now, I will have to write another blog post about how pissed off I am that at times it felt like my quest for peace never existed in this equation in the first place… even though I stood here all along beating this BIG ASS DRUM! Lol

The most important thing to remember for those of us who strongly choose to light the way… let it be by way of education and living a great example, even a good debate every now and then but NO judgment…. Even still, your opposition will try to knock you down. Just get back up! Because for every one who can’t see the light, there are ten others who will, and it’s because of the torch we carry.  The good news is, that we are all to start waking up. 2012 is just the beginning. If you are one on this vegan path, I just want to say thank you for adding to the collective energy that will shift this dark planet into the light! I have no doubt this is right where I belong.

So take a few minutes to hear one of the best speeches toward peace on earth and leave me your thoughts in the comments below!

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

~Martin Luther King Jr.

Enjoy the journey,

This rant brought to you by…

~The Karmatarian

PS. If you subscribe via Email, you may be missing some of the photos and videos so please visit my site and please join me on Facebook so we can light this world together!

PSS. The recipe didn’t win out this week. Lol… Next week! I try to write this blog organically, what is strong in my experience at the time gets put out there into the universe, as there must be a reason for it’s timing.

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My Visit to the Chicago Health Freedom Expo

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results ~ Albert Einstein

That’s not insanity; it’s bad memory ~  Marilu Henner

I consider learning fun. Guess I’m just a little weird like that. I was able to attend the Health Freedom Expo over the past weekend and it was packed with information on, you guessed it… health and freedom. Lol. I attended with my mom (She’s the beautiful woman on the left… I am so lucky to have a mom like her) and we always have a lot of laughs and a bit of adventure. We made some fun memories. Did you know that memories are almost always connected to adrenaline? Good or bad. If you have adrenaline attached to the experience, there’s a much better chance that you will remember it.

Marilu Henner gave a high energy talk about how to makeover our memories. We can use our past to better shape our future… if we actually remember what happened! I hear more and more people talk about how they just can’t remember anything anymore, including myself. I joked with my mom about the fact that I hear people say all the time – I just don’t want to remember the past because the past is the past. Well guess what? Every day lived, you create more memories which become the past. If you tell yourself you don’t want to remember the past, then you surely aren’t going to remember a damn thing! Our intentions are quite powerful.

Pretty cool that Marilu Henner grew up in Chicago and said that she loves us Chicago folks, as we are the curious ones! and she’s also a fellow vegan, I loved that Marilu Henner threw out the concept of eating healthy in her talk about creating a healthy memory. Our bodies work together with the brain and she said, what is good for the body, is good for the brain. She suggested a plant based diet and if you are not there yet, then at least do meatless Monday. She actually remembers the exact day and time that she gave up dairy because Marilu Henner is one of only 12 documented cases of Highly Superior Autobiographical Memory in the world! She can remember the exact day and time of all kinds of events that have taken place in her life and doctors are studying her brain to better help understand such things as Alzheimer’s disease. Marilu told me that she was not going to let her parents die in vain as they both experienced early deaths. She realized why they died so young…. the standard American diet!

There are three parts to a memory according to Marilu Henner and her newest book Total Memory Makeover: Anticipation, Participation and Recollection. Recollecting is the most important part of the memory process and as a child she learned this from her dad who stressed this idea to her. She believes that her amazing ability is part nature and part nurture. She claims that we can do it too! She suggests that every night while brushing our teeth for two minutes, go over every part of our day. This will help to embed those memories into our brains for better recollection.

There are four types of memory retrieval: Horizontal, Vertical, Mushrooming, and Sporadic. These are helpful to know, so that you can use the ones that work best for you. I can’t go into detail here, but these are all in the new book. Marilu also reminded us of our senses and how we each use different senses to recall memories. It was fun to think about how we personally recall memories when she asked what works for us. I am a little of everything…. no wonder I have trouble remembering!

There is also an interesting way in which we recall a memory. It’s either in the first person or the third person. We either relive the memory as us going through it or we watch ourselves doing it from an outsider type perspective… Which way do you recall a memory?

Having a good memory by way of training it, was something that I never really stopped to think about. But I too, want to live an unforgettable life! I love new ideas and concepts and I can’t wait to start reading her newest book. I hope to give you a better review of it when I am finished.

As for my mom and I and the rest of the expo… we visited every booth, talked to really cool people and we also listened to Dr. Caldwell B. Esselstyn Jr. speak on reversing heart disease. I will share bits and pieces of that with you later. It was very insightful. We ended the day with our heads spinning! One thing for certain, throughout the day the words plant based diet was stressed from all different educators. It’s catching on folks! Slowly but surely.

Oh, don’t be afraid of a so called scary memory. The fear of remembering it is far greater than the memory itself. Take that memory and do something positive with it and you will do your future self a big favor!

I had such a fun day at the Expo and it was so wonderful to meet Marilu Henner. She has such a wonderful spirit! I will leave you with a couple quotes from Marilu Henner’s new book. And remember… memories matter!

Memory is the mother of all wisdom ~ Aeschylus

We cannot change our memories, but we can change their meaning and the power they have over us.

~ David Seamands


Enjoy the Journey,

~The Karmatarian

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Let’s Stay Together Veggie Burgers

Let’s Stay Together Veggie Burgers

Lately, I have been experiencing some good kitchen mojo. Two recipes posted in one week!? Why not? Lucky me and lucky you!

Summer is coming, and you (and I) absolutely have to have a great veggie burger recipe. Trust me, I have been looking around the web for good recipes for a long time. Most disappoint in either texture or flavor and they always fall apart while cooking. Frustrating! I am sure that I’ve been looking in all the wrong places because the technique I use in this recipe, which I discovered is KEY for a stay-together burger, has to already be out there somewhere, I just never found it.

So in creating this amazing burger that retains it’s shape while cooking and is easily re-shapable if need be, I believe I found my new burger base! I have some good ideas for variations, which I can’t wait to try.

You can omit the oil and skip the frying. Just grill or bake and save yourself a few fat calories. However, I used one Tablespoon of oil, just barely enough to fry. My oven was already in use, see below, but when this weather heats up here, I’ll be grilling.

For a side dish, I cut up and oven roasted small red potatoes that I bathed in low sodium veggie broth and sprinkled with fresh rosemary.

Note: To make these gluten free, use gluten free oats. Omit the Worcestershire sauce and try using organic gluten free Tamari Soy sauce instead. Perhaps with ketchup instead of barbeque sauce.

Ingredients

  • 1 Can of Dark Red Kidney Beans
  • 3/4 Cup Frozen Veggie Medley, Thawed ( I used Organic Foursome from Trader Joe’s, with peas, corn, carrots and green beans)
  • 1 C Short Grain Brown Rice
  • 1/4 C Oats
  • 2 Tbs Barbeque Sauce or to taste (No high fructose corn syrup. I used Trader Joe’s Bold and Smokey Kansas City Style)
  • Dash of Vegan Worcestershire Sauce (The Wizard’s brand)
  • Dash of Liquid Smoke
  • 1/4 tsp  or more Minced Garlic (jarred or fresh)
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Sea Salt or to taste
  • 1 Tbs Grape Seed Oil

Directions

Combine all of the ingredients, mix, taste and adjust the seasonings. You can do this and not die of E.coli poisoning… that’s the beautiful thing about plant based cooking! Anyway, spice these up how you like ’em!

Take a potato masher and mash some of the red beans, just so you have a mix of texture in your burger

Then, take half of this mixture and put it into a food processor. Pulse, until well blended and mushy, but still with remaining texture. Add this back to the bowl with the other half of the mixture and blend well together. Now it should resemble raw ground turkey burgers or raw hamburger with veggies in it. Shape the mixture into patties and pan fry, grill or bake! Voila.

If your kids (like my little guy, who is going through an anti-bean phase) or significant other, hates beans, you can combine everything on the ingredient list but the beans, put half of the mixed ingredients into the food processor along with all of the beans and process (this way, you blend all of the beans so you don’t see ’em).

A little Al Green for your entertainment…

Enjoy!

~The Karmatarian

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Awesome Vegan Stuffed Peppers

Health is a state of complete harmony of the body, mind and spirit.
When one is free from physical disabilities
and mental distractions, the gates of the soul open.
~B.K.S. Iyengar

We eat with our eyes first. So have fun with color! These are green house grown “stop light” colored peppers that I used for this recipe. I also used Trader Joe’s Beef-Less Crumbles. This isn’t necessary, you could certainly and easily substitute beans. But if you are leaning into a plant based lifestyle and want your family along for the ride, I think it’s perfectly fine to partake in vegan meatless products, every now and then. Let me rephrase… On rare occasion. Your family won’t even notice that anything bad for them is missing from this classic recipe, as long as you keep quiet about it!

I used to love making stuffed peppers from a recipe out of my ancient Betty Crocker cookbook. The pages in that book are now a lovely shade of brown, it’s that old. Those outdated ways of cooking are fading away and times are changing. We are all experiencing 5 universal energy. People are popping up everywhere who are curious about healthy food and how they can take control and redirect their health with diet, rather than rely on pills. And unfortunately, others are overdosing. But hey, that’s 5 energy for you! 

One taste of these healthy stuffed peppers, and you won’t remember the days of black and white. It’s all about the colors and variety of fruits and veggies that work so hard for you (unlike animal products) with antioxidants and phyto-nutrients keeping you disease free. And we need these now, more than ever! I made this without adding extra oil, so they are also quite low in fat.

Awesome Vegan Stuffed Peppers

Ingredients

  • 6 Colored Peppers (I used 2 packages of stop light colored peppers)
  • 6 tops from the peppers, diced
  • 1, 12 oz Package of Trader Joe’s Beef-Less Crumbles (or your favorite brand)
  • 1/2 Medium Onion, diced
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, minced
  • 1 Cup Frozen Sweet Corn Kernels, thawed
  • 1/2 Cup Vegetable Broth
  • 1 Cup Cooked Organic Brown Rice
  • 1 Can Muir Glen Organic Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes, No Salt
  • 3-4 Tbs (Heaping) Muir Glen Organic Fire Roasted Tomato, Pasta Sauce
  • 1/8 Cup Fresh Basil, chopped
  • 1/4 Cup Fresh Parsley, chopped
  • 1 Tbs Vegan Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 Tbs Nutritional Yeast
  • 1/2 tsp Himalayan Sea Salt

Directions

Heat oven to 350

Cook brown rice according to package directions. I followed the directions for 1 cup dry/4-6 servings, because I like leftovers. Remember that brown rice takes forever, so you could do this ahead of time.

Bring a large stock pot filled with water to a boil. Wash the peppers and cut the tops off. Clean the insides of the peppers and remove the stems from the tops. Dice the tops of all six peppers and set aside. Blanch the cleaned peppers in boiling water for about 5 minutes, remove, drain and let cool on a towel.

Heat the vegetable broth in a large skillet, add diced pepper tops, onion and garlic to the pan and cook to soften for a few minutes.

Add the thawed corn and cook another minute. Add the beef-less crumbles and cook another two or three minutes until heated through. Add the can of diced tomatoes and pasta sauce, heat through.

Add Worcestershire sauce, nutritional yeast and sea salt. Adjust the seasonings, heat through and add the fresh herbs last. Mix well and transfer everything to a large bowl (unless your skillet is big enough, mine wasn’t). Add 1 cup of cooked rice to the vegetable mixture and stir to combine and adjust the seasonings if necessary. Fill the peppers and place them standing up in casserole dish. Bake in the oven for approximately 30 minutes.

Optional: At the 25 minute mark, you could take the peppers out of the oven and sprinkle with bread crumbs and or nutritional yeast and then bake for the remaining 5 minutes or until lightly toasted.

Enjoy!

 ~The Karmatarian

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Power C Tempeh Over Minted Tricolor Quinoa

My cousin Rocks! She started researching food production and she took her new shock and awe and did exactly what I did… she turned that energy into something productive. She is very much on board with the vegan/raw movement and she is making the important and necessary changes for the health of her family. I am so proud of her!

Hard at work in the kitchen, she’s experimenting and trying new dishes that not only taste good, they are good for you. The best part is, she shares her good finds with me. She is an awesome cook! How exciting that I could just relax at her family parties, knowing I can graze on anything at the table! Could there be a family raw/vegan restaurant in our future? We might just change our family’s reputation from the family of Hair Stylists (although she isn’t a Hair Stylist, she escaped that gene, lucky her) to the family of passionate and healthy foodies. I am all good with that! My other cousin, sister and dad are also on the right train… My dad being very much vegan now, and wow did he turn his health around!

Recently, my cousin served this Tempeh recipe she found, at her daughter’s birthday party. It was so delicious! I went home and had to make it, but of course I didn’t have the exact ingredients on hand… so this is the twist I came up with. It got rave reviews!  At least I hope my husband wasn’t just being nice. He happens to be a great taste tester (and sport) for my recipes. Some days he gets a little luckier than others! And we are still talking about the food here.

Power C Tempeh over Minted Tricolor Quinoa

Ingredients

  • 1- 8 oz package of Tempeh
  • 1 Cup Tricolor Quinoa (I used Trader Joe’s brand)
  • 2 Cups Water
  • 1 tsp Concentrated Vegetable Broth (I like Better than Bouillon brand)
  • 1 Cup Naked Brand Power C Smoothie
  • 1 Tbs Grated Ginger
  • 1 Tbs Rice Vinegar
  • 2 tsp Maple Syrup
  • 2 tsp Tamari
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, Minced
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Coriander
  • 1-2 Tbs Coconut Oil
  • 1/2 Lime
  • Handful of Chopped Mint Leaves
  • Sea Salt

Directions

Fill a medium saucepan with 2 cups water. Rinse quinoa well in cold water and add it to the saucepan. Bring to a boil and add concentrated vegetable broth. Stir, reduce to a simmer, cover and cook down until water is absorbed and quinoa is tender, about 15 minutes.

While the quinoa is cooking, add the Power C smoothie to a bowl. Add the grated ginger, Tamari, rice vinegar, maple syrup, ground coriander and garlic. Mix this and set it aside.

Cut the Tempeh into 3rds, then diagonals, then turn pieces on their side and slice in half again to make thinner triangles. You could even cut these again to make them more bite sized.

Heat the coconut oil in a large fry pan over medium-high heat. When heated, add the tempeh and cook 5 minutes per side until golden brown.

Add the Power C mixture and simmer for 10 minutes, being sure to turn the tempeh while simmering.

Fluff the cooked quinoa with a fork and add a handful of chopped mint to taste

Serve the tempeh over the minted quinoa,  spoon the sauce over the top and finish it off with a squeeze of lime and a sprinkle of sea salt, which really helps to bring out the flavors in this dish. Garnish with mint leaves if desired.

Enjoy,

~The Karmatarian

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Vegan Deviled Eggs

Vegan Deviled Eggs! Or as I like to call them… Angel’ed Eggs

Why would I want to make “eggs”, you ask? Well we certainly didn’t go vegan because we hated the taste of the old diet! What my husband always tells people who can’t believe he eats vegan, is that it isn’t the meat, dairy, etc… that people are worried about missing, it’s the flavors. But if they would just realize that there are so many similar flavors plus so many newly discovered ones to be enjoyed when you finally go vegan, that you do not miss much, if anything at all. Of course there are a few exceptions, such as deviled eggs, but cry no more! Vegans have mastered the deviled egg and there is now even another new  product out there taking the place of egg yolks too called “The Vegg”, for your French toast of course!

About a week ago, my good friend Jinny posted this blog find on how to make vegan deviled eggs. I couldn’t believe it! I had to try this right away. Being too late in the game to gather all of the necessities, recreate it, and share my results before Easter so that you can do it too, I am letting you know now that these were dynamite! We still can’t get over how close to the real thing they are. Pretty darn eggsciting! I want to share my results with you because there are many more holidays and picnics ahead that will give you the opportunity to prepare this old family tradition… the vegan way!

So if the idea of eggs, and all that you have learned about them since being vegan hasn’t grossed you out of your mind and you can still enjoy the flavor of eggs, then it’s your lucky day! As far as deviled eggs go, I can live without the whites. It’s the filling that’s da bomb! This filling recipe alone is so good, that putting it on top of a water cracker or even crostini would be just as wonderful without having to turn your kitchen into a science lab. However, I am totally exaggerating here because the whites of these deviled “eggs” are ridiculously simple to make. You should really try it!

Since I happen to love a project and a challenge, I jumped right onto Amazon and ordered my egg molds and black salt. I didn’t order the Agar Powder because I was in a hurry to get everything. With my Prime membership, I could get everything before the holiday except for the most important ingredient, Agar Powder, only because they wanted some ridiculous 50 bucks for Prime (they have cheaper versions, but it comes snail mail) and I thought OH HELL NO. So instead I searched a few Asian markets nearby and the local Whole foods all to no avail. I ended up breaking the recipe’s rule, and tried the Agar flakes, which I found at Whole Foods Market. It did work, but only with my newly concocted measurements and the fact that I used the coffee grinder to grind down the flakes smaller and denser. I don’t have a mortar and pestle, and now I realize that I really need one! Anyway, my results had the whites turn out with a bit more texture than I preferred, but I continued on, and the final product was still amazing!

The other thing I need to tell you about is the egg mold. When it arrived I was so MAD. I was wrong about the math and these were FAR bigger than I wanted… What was I going to do? Luck has it, I married someone of Danish descent who suggested that I use our Aebleskiver pan. Brilliant!!!! I didn’t let the molds that I bought go to waste, we made gluten free vegan Easter egg cakes, converted from a cupcake recipe from my favorite cupcake book, “Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World”. Those were AWESOME!

So, lightly oiling the Aebleskiver pan, I poured in the mixture and set it in the refrigerator for 45 minutes. When it was done, I just whipped up a second batch and did it again. If you want an entire platter of “eggs”, you may want to make these ahead of time so you can make batches, unless you have better luck finding a small half egg pan that makes a lot at once. Please let me know if you do! Turns out, our Aebelskiver pan that was collecting dust, was the the perfect size for these “eggs”. After these set, I used a butter knife to loosen and remove them and I used a tiny metal scoop to scoop out some of the white before filling them. I made sure to scoop a little off center, this helped the end result to look more egg like!

For the whites, I used:

  • 1 Cup Plain Soy Milk
  • 1 T Ground Agar Flakes
  • ¼ tsp Black Salt

I followed the recipe exactly for the “yolk” filling and let me tell you, you could eat this in it’s entirety by the spoonful!

Click here for the recipe, Maresa’s Vegan Deviled Eggs

You just have to try these if you were once a deviled egg fan! They are so much fun and would make a fun addition in texture and shape for a vegan party spread!

Having the black salt on hand in your pantry will be wonderful to use as an addition to tofu scrambles, “egg” salad sandwiches or even raw, coconut meat scrambled “eggs”. This gives a true egg flavor, (sulfur) but without the horrible smelling gas that you get from eating real eggs, not to mention ruining everyone’s otherwise pleasant atmosphere! Lol, just imagine all the people right now after Easter with this lovely egg farting problem! Well not I :) …I am also happy to report that I didn’t overdose on Peeps either. I feel so lucky that I don’t find those wretched things appealing!

So when I attempt these vegan deviled eggs again, I will be sure to follow the directions exactly, and use Agar Powder. I can only imagine how perfect they will turn out when I don’t break the rules! I will be sure to update my post with a new pic.

Good luck on your vegan adventure, have fun with your projects and take it on as a challenge. Remember, it’s about having fun with flavors!

Enjoy,

~The Karmatarian

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Chocolate-Marbled-Vanilla No Cheese Cake

Snuggle Bug, Cuddle Monkey, Baby Bird, Love Pie, Sweetums, Cupcakes, Pumpkin Pie, Sunshine… I just can’t call him by his real name (most of the time) or I get in BIG trouble. My silly little boy and his love of nick names…

My husband asked our 4 year old recently “why do you call mommy Flowers?”, he said “because she smells like flowers”. Awwww… I hope he calls me Flowers until the end of time. It melts my heart!

So what will you be making your Cuddle Monkey for Valentine’s day?

Well, if you are a fan of cheesecake but not the cholesterol, 59 different hormones, pesticides, antibiotics and scary stuff you find in your typical dairy cheesecake but enjoy rich and creamy, then it’s time you try a raw style cheesecake. So now, we can have our cake and enjoy it too!

Pinnable or not, this turned out presentable aaand tastes like heaven… so I am quite happy. This happens to be my second attempt at a raw “cheese” cake. And I think it turned out good enough to post. Nothing impresses me more in the raw food world than the cheesecakes! Yet, there is no cheese. How do they do it!?

I’ve been playing around with some recipes and I am determined to perfect the “cheesecake” but I’ll admit, I still need practice. Like mad science but without the mad ingredients, funny how so few natural ingredients can still be challenging to perfect. It goes to show that not everyone can just “be” a raw food “chef”. It actually takes practice but I think it’s worth the effort. Raw food is impressive and if there is anything that will get you hooked on the wonders of raw food…. it’s the dessert!

This cheesecake is raw and vegan because I cheated… I know. But I did. I just don’t want the dairy and sometimes not the soy and I am fine with vegan chocolate chips so that’s what went in it. Maple syrup too. Oh, don’t be a snob. It doesn’t have to be all raw or nothing all of the time. If you are a die hard raw foodist, then I am sure you already have your perfect cheesecake recipe. Won’t you be a sweetie and share it? I would love to try it!

I really like the idea of using Irish Moss in a raw cheesecake to make it extra firm, but being so close to Valentine’s day, I thought I would make it simple so my friends who want to try this don’t have to order the moss if it’s not already stocked in the pantry. It’s not exactly something you can run out to the corner grocer for!


Chocolate-Marbled-Vanilla No Cheese Cake

For the Crust

  • 1 Cup Cashews
  • 1/2 Cup Raisins
  • 1 Tbs Agave
  • 2 Tbs Melted Coconut Oil
  • 1 tsp Lemon Juice
  • Pinch of Sea Salt

Directions

In a food processor, combine all of the ingredients and process into a crumb texture

Press evenly into the base of an 8″ spring form cake pan OR find a non-stick mini heart spring form pan set, 4.25 inches wide. (I found these at Target and they were a set of 3).

For the Filling

  • 2 Cups Cashews
  • 1/2 Cup Agave
  • 3/4 Cup Water
  • 1/2 Cup melted Coconut Butter
  • 2 Vanilla Pod Scrapings (I used 2 Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Beans I had from Trader Joe’s. This gives it that speckled vanilla look along with the vanilla flavor)
  • 1 tsp Lemon Juice
  • Pinch of Sea Salt

Directions

Blend all ingredients in a high speed blender until smooth

For the Marbling

  • 1/4 Cup Non-Dairy Vanilla Almond or Hemp Seed Milk (I love to use Tempt Vanilla Hemp Milk)
  • 6 Oz. Vegan Semisweet Chocolate Chips
  • 2 Tbs Maple Syrup, Grade B

Directions

Bring the nut milk to a gentle boil in a small  sauce pan. Remove from the heat and add the chocolate chips and maple syrup. Mix until fully melted and smooth. Pour into something with a spout and handle like a glass measuring cup. Set aside.

*Note: The key to marbling is to try to get the consistency of the marble mixture and the main cake mixture similar. If the chocolate mixture is too thin, it won’t drop into the cake properly. You can easily adjust by adding more chips if it needs thickening.

Directions for putting it all together

Pour the vanilla filling over the crusts in the spring form cake pans

Next, from about an arms length high, drop/pour the chocolate mixture into the cake, moving the cup or container around as you go and getting closer to the cake as you finish so you get chocolate on top (you may not use all of the chocolate, but I am pretty sure you can find other uses for it!).

Using something like the end of a wooden skewer, swirl the top of the cake but be careful not to over-swirl

Place in the freezer to set

*Note: My chocolate mixture was thinner than I wanted this time, it ended up not going real deep into the cake but it looked good so that was fine with me.

Enjoy!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

~The Karmatarian

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Gluten Free Sweet Corn Muffins

Gluten Free Vegan Sweet Corn MuffinsGluten Free Sweet Corn Muffins

You know what? Not bad for a gluten free vegan corn muffin! I made these yesterday with my Fast, Friendly & Vegan Big Game Chili. A little early, yes, but that’s what I had a taste for. I’m not sure what we are doing for the Super Bowl this Sunday. I am actually in the midst of a big move to a new house and as exciting as that is, it’s nuts over here and I’m overwhelmed! I should really pack. I guess Madonna is the half time show so I definitely want to at least catch that. To be 11 years old again with black jelly bracelets up to my elbows and a rag bow tied in my ever stiff, aqua net sprayed hair.

Nope. Glad those days are over.

My recipe was inspired by a Forks Over Knives recipe. Check out the other Super Bowl food ideas they offer. These muffins became gluten free when that was the only corn meal mix I could find around here. But so many people are looking for gluten free so I figured I’d share this recipe… and because it turned out! Gluten free is not always easy. My four year old gobbled these down and told me before he fell asleep last night that I was the best mommy ever for making him yummy muffins. Gotta love that!

Well, if it is chili you decide to make for this weekend, I sure hope it’s vegan! If it’s my recipe you make, you can omit the vegan ground meat and add extra beans or veggies to make it an entire gluten free meal along with these GF corn bread muffins. 

Unless you have another favorite chili recipe to share? I would love to hear it… although I really do like my fast prep chili recipe. Have you tried it yet?

Happy Super Bowl everyone! I hope your Sunday is fantastic.

Gluten Free Sweet Corn Muffins

Ingredients

  • 1 & 1/2 Tbs Ground Flax Seed
  • 1 Cup Almond Milk
  • 1/2 Cup Apple Sauce
  • 1/2 Cup Maple Syrup, Grade B
  • 2 Cup Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Cornbread Mix
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
  • 1 Cup Frozen Organic Sweet Corn Kernels

Directions

Heat oven to 375

In a bowl, combine the ground flax seed and almond milk and set aside.

In another bowl, blend the maple syrup with the applesauce and add it to the ground flax seed mixture.

In a larger bowl sift together the gluten free cornbread mix, baking soda, baking powder and sea salt (or do what I do and put these ingredients in a bowl and use a whisk to “sift”…. Idk? It works for me).

Add the wet ingredients slowly to the dry while mixing to incorporate well but do not over mix!

Fold in the frozen corn kernels.

Spoon into a lined muffin pan and bake for 20 minutes until they turn a light golden brown and a toothpick in the center comes out clean.

*Note: I tend to like my cornbread a little sweet. I think these could use added agave because they are not as sweet as the title makes them sound. If you really like sweet, try adding a sweetener of your choice.

Enjoy!

~The Karmatarian

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Lemon Maple Ginger Kale Chips

Raw Lemon Maple Ginger Kale Chips

“The stuff we should be eating has become the decorations on the plate”

~Doug Lisle, Ph.D

So I hear that Kale is the new beef. I believe there is a lot of truth to this… and here are 7 reasons why. But let’s be honest. Beef and kale are not comparable! Kale is packed with antioxidants, fiber, vitamins, minerals and phyto-chemicals that fight off cancer and disease. Beef = Zip! Beef actually promotes cancer and disease. Hmmm, so which one should I eat? YES, KALE… It’s what’s for dinner!

I recently purchased a new dehydrator and I’ve only been able to play with it about a dozen times so far. I made a couple batches of kale chips which were so easy. No dehydrator? You can even try making them in the oven, cracking open the door and keeping the temp at 120 or below if your oven will allow. I haven’t tried this. If you have, please let me know what worked for you in the comments below. It may take a while longer to use the oven and it seems a little dangerous keeping the oven door open so may I suggest for your healthiest (and safest ) you, add a dehydrator to your wish list. It’s inspiring to have one around!

You may think kale chips? Really? I thought the same thing at first. There is something addictive about Kale chips… They are soooo so good. A must try!

Kale is easy for me to consume in a green smoothie, such as my favorite kale and Bosc pear combo, but I haven’t wrapped myself around the kale salad craze. I have had some, not-so-tasty ones over at Whole Foods. I haven’t yet tried to make one myself (I am hoping I can do a little better, but who knows?). If you massage the kale with lemon, olive oil and sea salt, this helps break the kale down to a more pleasant texture and takes some of the bitterness out for a salad. Sauteing kale is another great way to get this superfood into the mix.

So far, kale chips are my favorite way to eat kale. Different flavors are fun to experiment with and so far I have made chocolate, apple raisin cinnamon and these lemon maple ginger chips which are inspired by one of my favorite organic teas I am obsessed with! It’s just a lemon ginger tea that I find at the local grocery chain (I’m shocked they even carry some organic. But I’m thankful).

My lemon maple ginger kale chips have a fun zippy kind of flavor. They have far less calories than potato chips and do a hell of a lot more good for your body. Try them and let me know what you think! I have only used the curly kale for my chips but I’m thinking that for a heartier chip I will try the Lacinato kale aka dinosaur kale next round. It’s important to tear the kale pieces larger than you think as they shrink with dehydration.

Lemon Maple Ginger Kale Chips

Ingredients

  • Large head of Kale torn into bigger than bite size pieces away from the stalks (you can then juice your stalks or discard)
  • 2 Tbs Lemon Juice. I use Santa Cruz brand organic pure lemon juice
  • 4 Tbs Maple Syrup, Grade B
  • 2 Tbs Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp Ground Ginger Root
  • 1/4 to 1/2 tsp Himalayan Sea Salt

Directions

In a bowl, combine all ingredients except for the kale pieces. Blend well with a whisk and then incorporate the kale, mixing and tossing to coat evenly using your hands. Spread out on the dehydrator sheets lined with Paraflexx and dehydrate until crisp, about 12 hours. If it needs more time, place onto the mesh sheet and dehydrate another 4 hours.


What are some of your favorite kale chip flavors? Favorite kale salad recipes? Favorite ways to prepare kale? Please let me hear it!

Enjoy

~The Karmatarian

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Number Energy for 2012 – Why I Choose Vegan

Happy New Year to all of my friends and readers out there! Welcome 2012… this is the year it will finally be revealed to us the true reason we came into the world at this precise time in the human journey. At least this is the consensus among spiritualists and meta-physicists out there.

For those who know me, know I am a big numerology fan. I have been calculating the number energy and vibrations for years and I find it fascinatingly right on the money more than anything else, metaphysically speaking. It’s right so much so, that I am about to hang a pink neon flashing sign in my window and offer readings. I think I could make a far better living.

Do you know what energy vibration the world is encountering in 2012? Brace yourself! We are in a 5 vibration. We are due for some dramatic changes here on earth and it will all be happening this year. This is the year for change, freedom, travel, learning from mistakes, diversity, different cultures, chance, variety, choice, different belief systems, the unusual, the physical, the sudden and unexpected… think wild card here because anything can and will happen this year!

We are now at the halfway point of an entire nine-year cycle. The events of the ‘middle’ year show us the difference between the old, the present and our potential. It is an unsettled time because unexpected events that will occur help us to make decisions that will lead the way for the next four years of the numerology cycle. Choosing to stay focused as best as we can during these swift changes is so important this year. If we don’t stay focused on our goals we can find ourselves in the grips of some very reckless energy that the 5 year tempts us with. The damage done by choosing this reckless path can be irreparable! Look out for headlines in the news with much more divorce, overdose, gambling, corruption, fraud, pornography, and very unexpected things. Be prepared to be surprised.

People will become highly social this year and many will over do it on food and drink! As if we are not fat and unhealthy enough already! Sad Fact.

Of course with numerology there are positives and negatives to any number vibration, it is up to us which energy we will help to bring forth. The 5 year provides us new directions that are totally different than any we have taken before. The best way to approach this journey is with a totally different attitude. ADAPTABILITY. Be fluid like water! This is my mantra I say to myself on a daily basis lately because not only is the world energy a 5, my own personal year numerology is a 5. Double Whammy! I am a little scared to be honest, but love over fear is what I need to stay focused on and it is love energy that will direct me onto the best path this year. This holds true for ALL of us now.

Regarding world energy, each of us need to set our intentions. In which camp will you reside? Fear and greed or love and kindness?

How do we want the next four years to look and feel on earth? How about beyond the next four years? This is the year we decide our fate. I really believe that us souls here in human form have an inclination of what we will choose going forth in this HUGE dimensional shift taking place. But due to free will and the 5 energy which lands us right in the middle, it is our free will that is going to push us forward into the age of peace OR backward into death and darkness. I believe it is our very last chance to make our decision.

The good news is that the 5 energy brings us new ways of seeing and doing things and shows us how we handle our problems so that we can choose to handle them differently in the future. We have to learn from what is being shown to us and we must be adaptable. For the people who dislike change, they will have a big problem on their hands. If you are unwilling to adapt and go with the flow, you will be stuck behind in the death and destruction of the old. If you are adaptable, most likely you will follow your higher self, which always wants to reside among love and kindness. I believe if we choose love and kindness over fear and greed and that includes our own fear and greed, we will be blessed with all that the new world has to offer. There will be rewards we have never even dreamed possible. Heaven on earth, if you will.

I am going to tie this into diet here, of course, you know me. Why? Because food production is a HUGE part of the mess the world is in now. This can’t go on. Peace cannot exist with all the bloodshed happening to feed people food that only turns out to be making us sick and weighing us down with the old heavy energy. Most of us desire change and now more than ever we need to be the change!

We can only set our goals for 2012 and beyond by first gaining knowledge about what is going on in the world right now and this includes food production and any other reasons we exploit animals. There are so many great books and internet articles out there that will shine the light on these topics for you. Google it!

Let’s talk energy for a minute. Digestion of food is how we extract energy from our environment and how this energy works through us helps to create what is happening. Everything is energy. Should we consume death energy or life energy? That depends on what we want to create. What will our future look like?

I often get asked this question “why are you vegan?”. I usually don’t have a few hours at that random moment to catch people up to speed. Nor do I want to waste my time doing so if the question is insincere. But I am happy to share this answer to this question for you now with some pictures and great music. I ran across this video by EVOLVE! Campaigns and it’s certainly not as shocking as I would prefer, but a good start to fill people in none the less. I can do without “oh what a feeling Toyota” dude jumping in the one scene as my vegan cheese-o-meter went off for a second, but other than that its a good video. Not only does it answer the question it is also meant to help YOU decide what goals to strive for going into 2012.

If you are not a vegan and you want to remain not a vegan. Know why. Be proud of it, if it’s possible to do so. Next time you are annoyed by a vegan, stop and educate yourself on why they are a vegan and what they are doing to help change and improve OUR world. Anyone else on the brink of going vegan. Keep educating yourself and inundating yourself with the reasons why. It strengthens your convictions and your character and you will be honoring yourself, your family, your friends and our world by going vegan, plant based or whatever you choose to say. 

What will you help collectively create in this new world? Will you contribute to fear and greed or contribute to love? Are you part of the problem or part of the solution?

2012 is about raising our consciousness and evolving. It’s about adaptability and change. Our best health depends on being adaptable. We can’t do the same things we have always done and expect different results. Who cares what the hell your neighbor or your friend is doing. What are YOU doing?

Watch this clip, set your intentions and be the change in 2012! Will I see you in the 5th dimension where love and peace abounds? I hope so, because that is certainly where I plan to be!

Then end of this clip asks a question. I want to know why you choose vegan. Please post your answer in my comment section below. Even if you plan to do it slow and gradual. I thank you! The new world thanks you!


Only the best wishes for you in 2012!

~The Karmatarian

Further Reading:

The Numerology of 2012

The Year 2012: The Turning Point

Find your personal year numerology here at Creative Numerology

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Tempeh Coconut Curry with Sweet Potatoes and Asparagus

Ahhh, feeling like a college kid again. There’s a lot of studying going on over here! My hair is pulled back. I’m sporting my glasses. I’m hanging out in my comfy clothes. My schedule for just about everything is all messed up and I’m staying up late… well past 1 a.m. to read and research, every night.

I’m quite discombobulated regarding time lately. This could easily be someone’s normal life and schedule but certainly not mine. I like routine. A bit boring… but. My effort and temporarily crazed schedule will be well worth it! Education to expand your brain… Priceless. What am I doing? I’m in the midst of obtaining a certification in plant based nutrition! The program is much more in depth than I anticipated which is a pleasant surprise. I couldn’t be more impressed by what I am learning so far and I’m proud of myself for making the time and commitment to better my understanding of this life saving, modern nutrition we call… plant foods. Who knew something so natural, so basic, could save lives? I did, I did, but please… play along!

My outdated, conservative, structured and funded by the meat and dairy industry nutrition education, aka… my nutrition and dietetics degree from a big state university (to tell you how I really feel. Lol) plus thankfully my many years of life experience researching nutrition and trying many different diets personally, I  finally arrive right where I should have started out. I just happened to take a scenic detour through the trendy hair industry to get to this point. Life experience is never a bad thing. I’m here where I belong and I’m that much smarter. This new class helps me feel absolutely justified in why I do what I do. My intuition and path has lead me here for good reason. I have plans. Big Eeeevil plans! Whah-ha-ha-haaa-haaaa!

On to the recipe…

So I guess you are looking for a recipe here… it’s a pretty good one!  I recently cooked up this delicious hearty dish and then whipped it up again for a pot luck party. I was asked for the recipe by several guests… That’s how I know it’s a keeper. I was inspired by a recipe I found on the Whole Foods website and I played around with it and tweaked it using what I had on hand. I changed it enough to post it here but feel guilty taking complete credit.  You can find the link to the original recipe at the bottom of this post. I made this recipe again the original way and I didn’t care for it as much. 

Don’t be fooled by the curry, this dish isn’t that spicy – even my four year old loves this one! We do more flavorful around here over spicy. I sauteed the Tempeh which makes for better color and a nutty flavor. I use whole coconut milk for this because I like a rich sauce and I’ll be honest, I’ll eat a salad for lunch if I am eating this for dinner! It’s worth it! If you are watching your weight, or are unfortunately experiencing strict orders trying to avoid or overcome illness, you can stay away from the oil and whole coconut milk. You can use low fat coconut milk and steam the Tempeh instead of saute! The original calls for green beans but I think asparagus makes this dish fancier, it has more of a gourmet feel…

Tempeh Coconut Curry with Sweet Potatoes and Asparagus

Ingredients

  • 1 C organic Brown Rice
  • 2 C Water
  • 1  (8 oz) Package of Organic Tempeh, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1 Sweet Potato, large, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch chunks
  • 1 large bunch fresh Asparagus, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 Tbs Coconut Oil
  • 1 + 1/2 C low sodium Vegetable Broth
  • 1 Shallot, large or 2 medium, chopped
  • 2 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbs freshly grated Ginger
  • 1 (13.5 oz) can regular Coconut Milk (or light if you prefer)
  • 1 Tbs Curry Powder
  • 2 tsp Ground Cumin
  • 1/4 C chopped Parsley, divided
  • Sea Salt

Directions

Bring rice and water to a boil in saucepan. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until liquid is completely absorbed, about forty minutes or so.

While the rice is cooking, saute Tempeh in coconut oil making sure to turn pieces so they brown on all sides.

Next, bring 1 and 1/2 cups vegetable broth to a simmer in a large deep skillet. Add shallots, garlic and ginger, cook 5 minutes until shallots are translucent and tender. Stir in curry powder and cumin and cook another minute. Add coconut milk and sweet potatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low, cover and cook until potatoes are almost tender. Add cut asparagus and tempeh and 1/8 cup chopped parsley and cook until everything is tender. Add sea salt, about 1/4 to 1/2 tsp or to taste. Enjoy served over brown rice and sprinkled with remaining parsley for garnish.

Enjoy,

~The Karmatarian

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Original recipe of inspiration

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Nut Cheese and Chive Black Beluga Lentil Crostini’s

Most likely you are running around with last minute details for that fabulous costume. Well that’s what I’ve been up to. Halloween is my favorite! I’ve been quite low key for the last few years though. Maybe because I’m letting my little one be the shining star, that and I don’t want to scare him with my spooky ideas. I’m all about SCARY. Isn’t that what Halloween is supposed to be? When did it all change? What’s up with sexy this and sexy that? I feel forced into the concept. Try costume shopping… Oh, you know. I’d like to think I’m sexy 365 days a year, but maybe that’s just me trying to take the power back for us women. Can’t I be spooky and scary and theatrical just one night? If I choose to be spooky, why is it that I feel I don’t fit in? Hmmm. What oh what has our world come to?

Anyway…

This year, I get to dress up twice. Princess Leia (a classy costume to go along with my little Jawa with light up eyes!) and I also finally get to be a Witch! Although, I do a terrific job playing the part once a month without costume. Ha ha. Just kidding… or am I? I do have an idea in mind for a festive witch hat and I would love to win a prize (for best hat) at one of my events. I was running around gathering the props and then was forced to take a break due to a sick kid. Gotta love Preschool.

So what better to do than experiment in the kitchen…

So, let me tell you about my nut cheese and chive black beluga lentil crostini’s. They are gooooood! I know this because I ate every one of them! Thankfully I only made a few… I made these just as an experiment, looking for a gourmet Halloween appetizer. But I have to recommend these for any holiday or any time. They sure look the festive Halloween part though. The lentils here remind me of caviar, dahhling. But caviar is not so appealing these days. Not sure it ever was. These look different and fancy which is my point here.

These can be assembled the day before the big event and the left over’s hold well and can be reheated. Serve warm or room temp. If you start ’em out warm and they turn cold waiting for your guests to arrive… no worries. They will still taste great!

I experimented adding an orange lentil layer. Very pretty. But the texture was not as good served cold. Even warmed, it toned down the other flavors too much. I also experimented adding vegan bacon bits…VERY GOOD. But the smoked flavor does over power the more delicate flavor of the ‘cheese’ and chives. I say leave the orange lentils out of it, they just looked good for my photos. This was a hard call but I would leave the Bac’Uns out of it too, unless bacon flavor is what you prefer. 

This recipe was inspired and adapted from a Trader Joe’s recipe. It is a mix of vegan-raw. You can also make it gluten free by using a gluten free bread or cracker, preferably garlic flavored or just rub raw cut garlic on each before assembling.

What You’ll Need

For the Base~

1 Loaf of your favorite Baguette, sliced into thin rounds

1 cup olive oil

1-2 large Garlic Cloves

For the Nut Cheese~

2 Cups of Raw Macadamia Nuts

2 T Lemon Juice

2 Garlic Cloves

1 tsp Himalayan Sea Salt

2 Bunches of Chives, chopped (saving some for the garnish if desired)

About 1/2 C Plain Almond milk

For the Top~

8 oz cooked Black Beluga Lentils

(I used TJ’s fully cooked pre-packaged version of black beluga lentils because I had it on hand. It does bother me that the canola oil in this package could be GMO, so next time I will make my own lentils. Here is a bag of organic Black Beluga Lentils I found on Amazon.  If you try them let me know how they are.

What to do

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place rounds in a single layer on baking sheet. Brush each with olive oil. Bake in oven for 10 minutes or until slightly golden. Remove and cool. Peel and slice the end off a garlic clove. Holding the clove in your fingers, rub the top of each crostini.

To make the nut cheese~

In a food processor place the macadamia nuts, lemon juice, garlic cloves and salt and process until a fluffy consistency. It will be thick. Transfer cheese mixture to a bowl and add just a splash of almond milk at a time, (you may not need a full 1/2 Cup here) while mixing to create a more spreadable texture. Add the chives to taste. Add more salt and pepper to taste. Set aside

To Assemble Crostini’s

Take the crostini and spread each with the chive nut cheese, top with spoonful of beluga lentils. Serve room temperature or heat in the oven on a low setting. Garnish with chives if desired. 

Note* If using Bac’Uns, just sprinkle sparingly atop the ‘cheese’ before adding the beluga lentils. Or for a prettier end result you may consider mixing some Bac’Uns right into the nut cheese mixture so you don’t really see them and the lentils stand out.

Happy Halloween!

The Karmatarian~

Ps. Let me know what you think… did you add the bacon flavor bits or stick with just the chives? 

Here is a recipe I found for a black beluga lentil salad with goat cheese you may also enjoy… and you bet I would substitute with nut cheese! It’s an easy sub now that I know how to make nut cheese and consider myself addicted! 

Pss. I will most likely post some costume pics on my Facebook page… Join me there at www.Facebook.com/karmatarian

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Blueberry Chia Pudding

I can’t believe that I have been using Chia seeds as long as I have and haven’t run across a recipe like this until now! I found a great breakfast blueberry chia pudding recipe by Brendan Frazier posted on One Green Planet that I LOVE! I slightly adapted the recipe to make it quicker and I will be adding this baby to my recipe rotation. The pudding base is amazing on it’s own and will be used as the base for many different flavors that I have in mind to experiment with! This is fast and easy. I know you will love it too!

Although nothing new… yet still new to many… this is for my friends who may not have discovered the wonders of the Chia seed.

  • Chia seeds absorb 9 times their weight in water and when soaked create a tasteless gel that can help to keep you more hydrated
  • Chia gel is 90% soluble fiber allowing a slow release of carbs into the body. Great for controlling sugar levels (diabetics) and great for keeping you feeling full and controlling your appetite!
  • Chia seeds have twice the protein of any other grain or seed and 5 times the Calcium of cow’s milk. They contain Boron which helps absorb this Calcium
  • Essential fatty acids, Omega 3 and 6
  • Chia gel can be used for many things including smoothies, puddings, desserts and as chia “eggs” (egg replacer)

Lets not over look dates which are used in this recipe as our sweetener. Dates are a powerhouse of nutrition as well. Read more about dates here.

This Chia pudding recipe is quick, nutritious and a must try!

What You’ll Need

2 Tbs Chia seeds… white or dark seeds

3/4 Cup Water

1/3 Cup Cashews

3 Medjool Dates soaked and pitted

Pinch of Cinnamon

Pinch of Sea Salt

1/3 Cup of Fresh or Frozen Blueberries plus more for garnish

This is makes 1 large serving or 2 smaller servings

Directions

Soak Chia seeds in 3/4 Cup water for 15 minutes. At the same time soak dates in very warm water for 15 minutes. When dates are finished soaking, slice in half and remove pits. In a blender, combine everything except blueberries. Blend until smooth. Add blueberries and blend again, top with blueberries and dig in!

*Notes*  Try this pudding before adding blueberries! You may love it plain and simply want to add your fruit on top. This is the base I refer to above that you can add many different flavors to. Experiment and have fun!

If you have a Vitamix, you can enjoy warm pudding straight from the machine…. Mmmm, I feel so lucky! I put frozen blueberries on top of my warm pudding and it was heavenly. Or if you don’t want it warm and it got a bit too warm for you in your Vitamix, place it in the fridge for a bit before serving.

I would love to know some of your favorite ways to use chia seeds and also your favorite pudding recipes and creations! Please share!

Enjoy!

The Karmatarian~

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Teese-e Caprese Salad

As far as rules go. There are none. We only place rules upon ourselves when it comes to choosing “vegan”. We shouldn’t let others define us. Do what is in your heart as you become more educated about what or ‘who’ is on the end of your fork. What is comfortable for you? Do you jump in to a plant-based diet or make an easy transition? First you have to Un-learn all you have in order to Re-learn a new way of living. Give yourself time. Set yourself up for success. Everyone is spiritually expanding at different times. Welcome to wherever you are! Just do yourself a favor and keep seeking growth and expansion. Desire to be the example you wish to see in the world. And then be it. Unless of course, you don’t give a crap.

As I struggled through the ups and downs about what choosing vegan means to me, in the end I realize that we make up our own definition.  I make my own choices despite the influence of many opinionated vegans out there. Don’t get me wrong, I do understand why they have that opinion. But I am not perfect. I transitioned slowly and when I still ate animals, I felt that I was still a compassionate person who eventually would get to a greater place where my ethics and taste buds would finally align. Now it feels truly amazing to be in that place. I feel genuinely compassionate. I have a deep sense of release from guilt and moral schizophrenia having to do with our animal ‘friends’. I didn’t let someone else’s opinion of how or what I should do take away the satisfaction of achieving my goal. I did it! And in my own time.

I do what feels right for me and my soul and my soul’s growth for wherever I am on this journey. But I am one to think about it. Not a lot of people do. It’s about expansion. I always strive for more. Learn more, grow more. I am a spiritual seeker. And I’m real with myself. I do walk the path less traveled as do other vegans, raw foodists and spiritual seekers and it isn’t all that easy, let me tell you. The beautiful thing is that my character has really grown and strengthened due to the contrast I have been faced with as I have been choosing a vegan diet. Funny isn’t it? Choosing a kinder way and there’s an opposition felt from friends and family as you show nothing less than strength to do what they only wish they could.  But I don’t judge. I will educate and be the light. Show people how much better it is… over here. I’ll be the example I wish to see in the world and I will get in that kitchen, and serve them up something yummy!

All these deep thoughts stemmed from a conversational thread on Facebook today. I meant to start this blog post with something like “what the hell are you going to do with all of those juicy little tomatoes you have growing in the garden?” So on that note… I have an entire counter filled with tomatoes that I just picked from my garden and basil coming out my wazoo! So I threw together a vegan Caprese salad like I made for my Son’s birthday party a few weeks back. Great as a side dish to say, what I had tonight- Gardein Chick ‘n Scallopini over quinoa with fresh asparagus.

This was a salad I thought was a goner until I found the ‘cheese’ I was looking for that could be sliced and eaten like a regular hunk of mozzarella. It tastes a little different,  because it is different. Still no complaints from my party goers who helped eat the whole bowl. 

Teese-e Caprese Salad

Ingredients

2 Cups of Cherry Tomatoes, halved

1 Cup fresh Basil Leaves

1 Garlic Clove, minced

1 10 oz package of Teese brand mozzarella vegan cheese using 2/3 package, diced into 1/2 inch cubes

1/2 – 1 Whole Lemon, juiced (depending on your preference)

1/3 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Himalayan Sea Salt and Pepper to taste… I use about a 1/2 tsp of sea salt and 1/8 tsp or so pepper

*Note Teese vegan cheese is gluten free!

Directions

Toss sliced tomatoes and minced garlic in a bowl. Stack basil leaves, roll and thinly slice across the roll. Add basil and the cubed Teese cheese to the tomatoes and garlic and toss lightly. In another bowl add freshly squeezed lemon juice and olive oil, whisk until well blended. Add Salt and pepper to taste. Add dressing to the salad and toss lightly. Taste and adjust flavor if necessary and serve.

Enjoy,

The Karmatarian~

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Maureen’s Mango Avocado Salad

So the story of Maureen’s mango avocado salad is three-fold… 

First, I just threw my son a birthday party. He turned 4! I can’t even believe how time flies. I really wanted it to be a party for me though. A celebration that mommy made it this far with my sanity still in tact! Had I remembered how much work a party is, I may have just packed us up and went on a fun trip (for the price) instead! Mommy didn’t  get to do much celebrating, she was hard at work in the kitchen! Do you know how hard it is to find a healthy gourmet caterer in the burbs of Chicago let alone anyone prepping vegan dishes? There’s a niche there just waiting to be discovered. I don’t think it’s for me though.

I wanted my guests to enjoy great food that is healthy and kind all at the same time.  So if you want anything done right, sometimes you have to do it yourself. I made it happen! Everyone loved the food. Kids included. They also had a blast with the batman theme and bounce house. When the party wound down, who do you think was in that bounce house getting her money’s worth and bounce on? That’s right. Mommy. That was a fun stress relief that I highly recommend. I am thinking some fitness classes need to be catered to grown-ups while in a bounce house. That could be fun!?!

I would love to show you more pics of the party and food. Visit me at my Karmatarian Facebook page. Please “like” me and check out a few photos! You can bet that this mango avocado salad was on the kitchen island along with some other yummy apps. When I was in search of another dish to serve, I thought of my amazing client and friend Maureen!

Fun story of how I met Maureen. Back when I worked at Emmett Rode Salon in Lincoln park, I was new there and trying to build my clientele. I plastered flyers all over that town. I hated doing it too. I went far and wide and put some on the back board at Karyn’s raw cafe. That’s how I met Maureen. She was interested in the organic hair color line that I use and took her chances and called me up. Any marketing person knows the feedback you get from a flyer. It’s like 1% or something ridiculous.  I don’t know why I bothered? No, I take that back. I got an amazing friend out of it! Who would have know that Maureen and I would hit it off so well and have tons of fun at our hair sessions every few weeks since!? Every time I see Maureen she hooks me up with the most amazing raw food! She makes wonderful green smoothies for us and our conversations are so much fun and in depth. I appreciate you Maureen! You are the best!

Maureen has been raving about this salad since I met her. She makes it for so many parties and occasions that she deserves the title. She didn’t make this one up though. I will get to that in a sec. Anyway, she swears people just devour this. I often wondered about it and it was on my “list” to try and then she served it to me a few weeks ago! OMG. She was not kidding! Something about this salad. It’s a refreshing change and very flavorful. A must try!

Maureen has a great hook-up herself. This is my third part to the story. Maureen has a really great friend named Linda who is a fabulous Raw food Chef! Hence, where all of Maureen’s raw food comes from that she in turn shares with me when I visit. Can you say… Lucky! Although I don’t know Linda personally, I feel like I do. She sounds like such a cool person. Linda owns Green Spirit – healthy living Please check out her great website! Linda offers home delivered raw food packages that are very reasonable. She has classes where you can learn how to create raw food for yourself and there are a lot of recipes on her website too. If she only wasn’t so far away from where I live, I would be there bugging her all the time! I do plan on taking a few of her classes in the near future and giving you a much more in depth review of Green Spirit! I love that places like this exist! Thank you Linda! Your food is amazing!!! This I know, because I have tried so many of your different dishes. Each one full of flavor and presented beautifully! So. A long story short. This recipe for Mango Avocado salad is originally from the famous Linda!  Please try it out for yourself and please check out Green Spirit if you are in or near the  North Chicago area! You will love the food!!!

Well here it is… The Famous Mango Avocado Salad!

You’ll Need

3 Mangoes, diced into 1/2 inch cubes

3 Avocados, diced into 1/2 inch cubes

1 Cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced into 1/2 inch cubes

1/2 bunch Cilantro, Chopped

1/4 Cup Sesame Oil

3 Tbs Lime Juice

1 1/2 TBS White Sesame Seeds

1/2 tsp Sea Salt

2 Serrano Chiles, minced (remove the seeds which are the hottest part)

Directions

Combine all ingredients and toss gently. Serve immediately.

Note* I have also tasted this recipe with just a small amount of diced (very tiny) red bell pepper. Maybe a tablespoon, possibly more. It’s great for added color. I had enough red colors running through my party theme as far as food goes, so I chose to leave out the red pepper!

Enjoy,

The Karmatarian~

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Goddess Salad

Originally I wanted to call this, Pea-Carrot-Eyeball Salad. But I refrained. Vegan of course, but no measurements. I just eyeballed this.  Really, it had nothing to do with the fact that carrots contain carotene, which is converted to Vitamin A by the liver and just so happens to be great for our eyeballs.

I’ve been thinking about posting some easier recipes on the blog, stuff I just throw together to give a few more ideas as to what the hell a vegan eats. So here is one that’s super easy. I completely took the idea and adapted it just a touch, and really just a touch, from Trader Joe’s. I do shop there, I do… I should just work for the company for all the things I post!

When I made this, I turned it into a full meal by adding cubed marinated tofu which I got from… you guessed it, Trader Joe’s. I used their organic baked Teryaki Tofu. Voila! A cool dinner on a hot summer night. It was very good. But you don’t necessarily need to do that.

This is a terrific side salad to serve in any season, to anyone and everyone, not just vegans.

Note: Carrots are rich in sodium, sulphur, chlorine and contain traces of iodine. The mineral content in carrots lie very close to the skin.  So think twice before peeling!

Carrot greens can be eaten and are high in vitamin K,  which is lacking in the carrot itself.

Goddess Salad

What you’ll need

2 Large Carrots… or so

About 1 Cup Frozen Organic Sweet Peas, Thawed

Handful of Raisins

About 1/2 Cup or so Sliced or Slivered Almonds. *If you would like to substitute for the nuts, use Sunflower Seeds.

Trader Joe’s Goddess Dressing, to taste. Or you can use Annie’s brand Goddess Dressing.

Agave Nectar, to taste

Directions

Using a food processor, shred the carrots. Add carrots, peas, almonds and some raisins to a bowl and mix well. Add Goddess Dressing. Mix well. Taste. Add a little agave. Mix. Taste. Add more agave if needed.

Enjoy,

The Karmatarian~

Read more about carrot nutrition

and more

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Multi-Grain & Chia Chocolate Chip Pancakes with Coconut Chocolate Cream Sauce

Treat yourself. You deserve it!

Wedding season is in full swing and mama’s been working hard. Hair styling can be downright physically exhausting! Missing my son over the weekend, I wanted to treat us to something yummy on Monday, which was to be like our Sunday. Relaxed and lazy. I threw out some pancake flavors like blueberry and cinnamon pecan but he was not hearing it. I should have known he’d request the dreaded C word… CHOCOLATE. He reminds me of the Snipe, Kevin from the movie “UP” who’s nuts about chocolate. We watched this movie together on our lazy day.  So stinkin’ cute… and how fitting, as my three year old freaks for chocolate. It’s a scary treat because chocolate tends to make him E-V-I-L! Oh, he will tell you this, with a giggle if you ask him. However, I’ve noticed that vegan chocolate seems to bring out more manageable behavior than say M & M’s which my very loving, but non-vegan family members tend to slip him from time to time.

It’s tough being a mom, my heart breaks when I have to deny my cutie of his favorite treat 99% of the time. But I must. For the sake of my sanity.

So Mommy Caved! Chocolate it is…

I take pride in the fact that I made this a bit healthier using multi-grain pancake mix.  Chia seeds are an excellent egg replacer plus fiber, hydration and 5 times the calcium of milk. Yep, you heard right. Although the Chia seeds don’t steal the show here, they are barely noticeable, really. The pancakes themselves are no biggie either. It’s the coconut cream sauce! I must tell you about this Amazing versatile treat! Coconut cream is another healthy addition to this breakfast. Don’t freak. Coconut cream does have saturated fat but it’s a healthy fat which your body can turn to energy very quickly. It will not clog your arteries like animal fat. It will not raise your blood cholesterol and it actually helps you loose weight. It speeds up your metabolism and helps in the bowel function department.  It also helps to boost your immune system against many diseases and fight cancer and viruses due to it’s high Lauric Acid content, a property found in human breast milk. We can’t say the same great things about dairy… so whats the worry?

Multi-Grain & Chia Chocoalate Chip Pancakes with Coconut Chocolate Cream Sauce

Ingredients

Pancakes

  • 1 Cup Trader Joe’s Multigrain Baking and Pancake Mix
  • 1/2 Cup Vegan Chocolate Chips
  • 1 Tbs Chia Seeds plus 3 Tbs Water
  • 1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1 Cup Non Dairy Milk such as my favorite for baking Tempt Vanilla Hemp Milk

Coconut Chocolate Cream Sauce


Directions

Place the can of coconut milk into the freezer first. Heat your griddle. Put the pancake mix and baking powder into a bowl and whisk to blend together. In a small bowl, add 1 Tbs Chia seeds to 3 Tbs water and stir and let sit for a minute. Stir again. Let sit for another minute. Let it get nice and gelatinous. This will act as the egg replacer. Add the chia egg to the non-dairy milk in another large bowl and whisk until everything is well blended. Next add the dry pancake mix to the wet ingredients and whisk to blend well. Fold in the Chocolate Chips. When your griddle is hot and ready. Make your pancakes!

Note* I am not a pancake professional! I don’t even want to tell you how to go about it.  Pancakes are too close to baking and baking and I have unresolved issues. I do my best, but usually screw up the first few cakes due to adjusting the heat for the pan. If your vegan pancakes are not cooking all the way through or seeming flat or too wet, add more baking powder, or dry mix which works for me.

When your cakes are stacked, keep them warm while you prepare your cream sauce. Take out the can of coconut milk from the freezer, open and scoop off the top cream that has risen to the top of the can and solidified a bit. It should be about a 1/2 Cup. Add this to a mixing bowl and add the sugar, cacao powder and vanilla and with an electric hand mixer, beat on a high speed until well blended and creamy. Since it won’t be in the freezer that long while you prepare your pancakes, you should end up with a creamy/thick sauce that you can serve over your pancakes instead of syrup. The hot cakes will melt the sauce even more… Mmmm!

The versatility comes into play with the left over cream. Place in a small container and store in the refrigerator. The longer it refrigerates the thicker it becomes and the the flavors blend together. This makes a fantastic, frosting or whip cream replacement. I ate the rest of my chocolate whip cream with strawberries the next day! Be creative and be grateful that we don’t need the dreaded dairy to enjoy an amazing dessert!!!!

You can always prepare your Coconut Chocolate Cream in advance and let is sit out a while to soften or warm it up a bit if you like.

You can also make this coconut cream plain without the chocolate to replace whip cream. Just use the vanilla and sugar. I have also meant to experiment with organic powdered sugar for an even smoother outcome but I haven’t done this yet…. maybe I’ll go do it right now!

Enjoy this clip from the movie “Up”

Damnit Disney… for making me cry. The best message: Ellie to Carl~ Thanks for the Adventure. Now go have a new one! Awwwwwwww

And a few of my favorite  “Up” movie lines ~ 

Ellie: ” You know him. Charles Muntz. When I get big, I’m going where he’s going. South America… It’s like America… but South”!

Russell: “This is fun already isn’t it? By the time we get there, you are gonna feel SO assisted”

Carl: “if you don’t hurry up the Tigers will eat you” Russell: “Damn those Tigers in South America”

Dug: “Oh yes, oh yes, since I have said that I can see how you would think that”

So enjoy and remember…  “A wilderness explorer is a friend to all, be a plant or fish or tiny mole!”

The Karmatarian~



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Chinese Spiced Beefless Tips Over Rice Noodles

Quite the emotional start to my Summer with the passing of my sweet Grandmother. A big life event that understandably set the tone for the rest of the season. And although I have a strong faith about where she now resides, I am waiting patiently for her to give me a sign that she is safe at home wearing her new angel wings. So, missing Grandma, I am feeling kind of melancholy for now. I’m hoping to create some relaxing days in the sun yet to come with gratitude for all things, big and small.  I’ve learned from my Gram that even 95 long years go by way too quick! But until I feel like whoopin’ it up again, I am living vicariously through everyone else and I’m ok with that. This is kind of a working summer for me anyway, being a 4 personal year (numerology). It’s pretty basic. 

My own experience aside, it is my sincere hope that Summer so far has been a fantastic one for all of my fabulous friends and readers!

So I’m thinking about all the wonderful miracles of life growing in gardens everywhere. The need may arise for another great recipe to showcase those robust tomatoes, flavorful green onions and delicious basil to come. Ha… I just like saying the word Rrrobust! This recipe I want to share I never thought I’d see again having gone vegan.  Hard to believe I used to make this with flank steak. Gasp-right?! Then I got my hands on the gardein beefless tips and remembered this old favorite. Now I can proudly share it with you! Even though I started this post off on a mellow tone, this recipe is anything but.

This dish is a fast fix (fast is always welcome) with bold flavor that flirts with spicy. You could amp up the spice if you like.  I’m not a huge spicy food fan, I don’t mind a little, but I really enjoy the spicy flavor in this particular dish.  I make this on rare occasion for a delicious change of pace. It shocks me that it even passed the toddler test. Well maybe I’m not too shocked, it’s pretty good! I have to add that the spice is nicely offset by the simple rice noodles. However, white rice noodles aren’t the usual ’round here, but they certainly make for a great presentation for this. You could substitute whole grain fettuccine or brown basmati rice and your favorite soy sauce sub for a health nut version.

Chinese Spiced Beefless Tips Over Rice Noodles

Ingredients

1/2 bag (about 6 ounces) Trader Joe’s Rice Sticks (Thai Style Pasta) Or 4-6 Oz Wide Rice Noodles

1 Tbs Organic Canola Oil

1/8 Cup Hoisin Sauce

1/8 Cup Trader Joe’s Mango Butter (Or you can use more hoisin sauce. I use the Mango Butter to tone down the spice a bit and to round out the flavors)

3 Tbs Low Sodium Soy Sauce

3/4-1 tsp Chinese Five Spice Powder (Usually found in the Asian isle of the supermarket. It consists of Cinnamon, Star Anise, Fennel, Ginger Cloves, White Pepper and Licorice. My taste buds prefer to use 3/4 tsp)

1 tsp Dried Basil or 1 Tbs Fresh Basil, chopped

1 Bag of Gardein Home Style Beefless Tips (frozen 9 Oz bag)

1 large or 2 medium Garlic Cloves, minced

2 Tbs Green Onions, minced

1 large Tomato cut into 8 wedges (If you love tomatoes, you can use 2 medium)

2 Green Onions, cut into 2-inch pieces

How to Prepare

Cook noodles according to package directions, omit salt and fat.

While noodles cook, heat the oil in a large non-stick skillet on medium-high heat. Combine hoisin sauce, mango butter, soy sauce, five spice powder, dried basil (if using fresh basil, add near the end with tomato) set aside.

Once the oil is heated, add package of Gardein Beefless Tips and stir fry for a few minutes to brown.

When Beefless tips are browned and almost heated through add minced garlic and chopped green onion to the pan. Stir fry another minute until garlic and onion are just softened and add sauce mixture. Cook another 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.

When the beefless mixture is hot and lightly bubbling, stir in your tomato wedges and 2-inch green onion pieces (fresh basil now if using). Cover with a lid and cook another 2 minutes until softened and hot. Serve over noodles.

This recipe yields 2 large servings or 3 smaller servings.

It’s always nice to finish a spicy meal with a sweet treat. How about Vegan Chinese almond cookies? Here are two recipes I found. Personally, I would omit the sesame seeds on this first one. This second one looks good and is a bit healthier!

As always, I love to read your thoughts. Keep me posted!

Enjoy!!!

The Karmatarian~

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