Archives

Amande™ Yogurt

Almond™ Yogurt? Huh?

 

On a recent visit to one of my local Whole Foods Market, the search of the soy yogurt that is so loved by my daughter. She usually eats her yogurt for breakfast with fruit and a cup of green tea.

We purchased fruit flavors to have as a nice treat after dinner instead of for breakfast. the sweetness of fruit yogurts these days makes it very easy to consume them as a healthy dessert instead of sweet goodies.

The packaging drew me in – bright vibrant color coded containers with pictures of the fruit within the container. Inside a nice creamy texture. Upon the first taste, I wasn’t sure if it was pleasure or confusion. I just didn’t get an almond taste. It was more of a fruit then something else. Mostly that something else has a super sweet taste. As well as the mouth feel just came across flat.

I am going to have to give it another try. I just didn’t enjoy the flavor. Maybe it was just that I was expecting one flavor and my mouth obtained another, causing me to react in a not so positive way.

Next time I will try a different flavor. I’m not exactly ready to give up just yet on this product. I like to give all vegan products that I come across a chance. Simply because those who take the time to develop these products are doing so to fill a need that isn’t being filled in the mainstream grocery market. There are more people out there than just omnivores.

I’m not saying no to this product, I’m just saying we’ll see.

Vegan Mofo #28 Central Florida Veg Fest 2012

Happy Little Vegans All Around!

Today was the 7th Annual Central Florida Veg Fest that is like the Food &Wine event of the year for Vegans, Vegetarians, and all those who are curious about the lifestyle and foods.

 

This year, the event was held at Orlando Festival Park near Downtown Orlando on the east side of  town. The crowd seemed to grow larger than it was last year. I credit that to the new location for this year. Parking was ample. The only problem is there was starting to have a chill in the air as well as the wind decided that it wanted to make itself known.

There were a variety of food vendors all located in a very organized manner similar to that of a Food truck set up. It looked like a Vegan/Vegetarians food dream. The participants were: Dandelion Communitea Cafe, Drunken Monkey Coffee Bar, Ethos, Vegan Kitchen, Fantastic Hummus, Infusion Tea, Joe’s Oat Patties, Khasiyat, Lemon Bar, Loving Hut, Midtown EcoVillage. Purely Raw, Sah Nevaeh, and The Spork Cafe.

There were other placed throughout the event because you know vegans love to eat jsut like Koreans. Among those were: Artichoke Red Vegan Market, BabycakesNYC, Coconut Bliss, Glazed & Infused, Hoover’s Market, Living Light Organic, Orlando Food Not Bombs, Pure Sweet Life, Raphsodic Bakery, RAWR! Organic Raw Treats, Earth’s Beast Beverages, and Vegetarians of Central Florida.

 

Dandelion Communitea Cafe

Ethos Vegan Kitchen

Lemon Bar

Loving Hut

There were Speakers, Artist, Bands, Culinary Demonstrations, it was a very full busy day. I was one of those chosen to conduct a Culinary Demonstration. I made one of my previous recipes that is on this site – Korean Kimchi Scallion Lettuce Salad. First I demonstrated how to make a vegan kimchi.

Overall, though there was a chill in the air, the warmth brought by the crowd more than made for an exciting day.

Vegan Mofo 2012!

It’s that time of the year again!

 

Time to start cranking out beautiful amazing vegan delights, treats, and ideas for everyday life, entertaining, and guilty pleasures.

I’m so excited that I took to Walt Disney World again this year to check out what offerings were to be had at Epcot International Food & Wine Festival for vegans. Boy was I surprised when I opened the weekend event guide brochure to find listed as #1 – TERRA!

 

FINALLY!!!

At first I thought my eyes were seeing things when I saw the all too familiar “Chick’n” term that is usually placed on packaging when referring to vegan chicken substitute. There is was in black and beige – the menu:

TERRA

Trick’n Chick’n Curry with Basmati Rice featuring Gardein Chick’n Breast; Chili Colorado with House-made Chips and Cashew Cheese featuring Gardein Beefless Tips; Chocolate Cake with Passion Fruit Sorbet and Coconut Foam

 

When I I asked if the selections were vegan or vegetarian, I fully expected to hear vegetarian – made with butter and cream. That wasn’t the answer I received. Instead I heard “Everything here is vegan except the wine.” I nearly dropped my camera. I know a look of surprise spread across my face – I’m so obvious sometimes – it was music to my ears. So I jumped into line and ordered one of every food item.

The Chick’n Curry was interesting, not exactly what I was expecting. I fully expected something that included coconut milk with chopped pieces of  “chick’n” throughout placed over basmati rice. Instead, it was something that look and tasted more like a medium spiced tomato puree over the curry seasoned chick’n cutlet with basmati on the side dry. Taste: good, slightly spicy yet a root vegetable puree would have been nicer or some chunks of veggies would have been nice in the curry.

Again, another dish – Chili Colorado with House-made Chips and Cashew Cheese came in a way that I wasn’t expecting. That dish I fully expected to be in a cup with peppers, chillies, onions, some beans or not, and corn in a beautifully spiced thick soup-like broth with chips on the side and s drizzle of cashew cheese on top. Well, the chips did come on the side yet with these chunks of beefless cubes in some sort of sauce and a decorative drizzle of cashew cheese on top. The taste: good just needed sweet potato chips or better yet some cornbread.

The chocolate cake was the typical vegan chocolate cake. The coconut foam – very lovely. Passion fruit ice cream – nice on it’s own yet too sweet – didn’t complement the cake well at all.

Yet, with all that said, I’m thrilled that at least there is something other than what Disney offers in their restaurant as vegetarian options. I’ll have another try at it again. Disney is way behind the rest of the world. Even Seoul, South Korea has vegan eats, what happened Disney. Don’t you think it’s time you meet the 21st century? Small steps are better than no steps I suppose.

 

 

 

 

 

My Love Affair with a Dandy Avocado Salad

I love avocados. I crave avocados. I MUST have avocados often. Yet, the opportunity doesn’t present itself  for me to have avocados every day. So when the opportunity does come around for me to go to Dandelion Communitea Cafe to enjoy a salad maybe even some soup with a mug of hot tea. I jump at the chance.

Each time, I take a glance at the daily specials just to see if my favorite is there. When I don’t see it I grab a menu and slowly open it knowing that it really doesn’t change except for more special items that have graduated to the menu. Like a sweet potato burrito I have yet to try.

I continue to turn the page and there it was, my beloved Avocado Fetish! I LOVE this salad. the lettuce is so fresh and crisp as if they walked outside to their lovely garden and picked each leaf to prepare your salad. The tomatoes actually taste like a tomato. The avocados are so creamy and rich with flavor especially when paired with the whirred peas. The whirred peas are just one of a selection of sides that come with the salad. I love the combination of the avocados and pea guacamole and a touch of balsamic vinaigrette is amazing. Now I am very light on the balsamic because really the avocados and whirred peas I order as my side work well together.

So whenever you get a chance to or want to give your body a wonderful treat in the way of a salad, go in, cross your fingers and hope that the salad is available to order. If it isn’t, there are plenty of other salads, great chili, nachos, soups, excellent teas, and desserts.

Happy Eating!

 

Vegan Fall Harvest Meal (Vegan Thanksgiving)

Thanksgiving Day! Oh the day we celebrate by giving thanks for all that we have and counting our blessings with turkey, giblet gravy, bacon ladened green beans, sausage stuffing, butter cream cheese mashed potatoes, and honey citrus zested cranberry sauce. Blah, blah, blah. Does that sound good to you? For most people, it is pure heaven on a plate.

For a vegan, thanksgiving can be a time that just seems better to stay in bed and sleep the day away. however with the right kind of planning, all can be heaven on a vegan plate.

I chose to get a Field Roast Celebration Roast. I made a plan for multiple side dishes. However, once I got in the kitchen and began preparing food, I realized that what I had was enough. Along with the roast, I prepared a simple dressing (stuffing depending on where you are from), mashed potatoes, garlic sauteed kale, steamed haricot verts and carrots with herbs, cranberry sauce made from sweetened dried cranberries, and homemade dinner rolls, all soft and lite.

So what was I thankful for? My grateful list is, yes I said list, is short. The biggest thing I am most grateful for is being with family.

 

 

Vegan Mofo #15 Babycakes!

I love going to Downtown Disney to see what fun and exciting activities are happening. Then there are the shops, the smells of popcorn and waffle cones baking, along with fried chicken from Pollo Campero. The smell coming off that place can be a nightmare for a vegan. However, their black beans and rice really hit the spot. Yet the biggest reason to go there is BabycakesNYC .

I love the variety of flavors and colors of all the baked goodies. The staff is pretty cool as well. The only thing is I wish that they had a larger variety of items that the other bakeries in New York and California. Like a cookies and creme cupcake, salted caramel, or Death by Chocolate. I guess what this branch is trying to do is make the basics because they are on Disney’s property with all those new to gluten-free and vegan cuisine. Or maybe they are still trying to figure out what will work best in the South.

All I know is that I wanted my cupcake NOW and I did get it. You just have to love the brownie cupcakes, awesome! If you are in the Metro-Orlando area, make your way there – FAST! Happy Eating!

Vegan Mofo #13 Saucy Tempeh

 

I wasn’t one to have tempeh because the flavor was just awful. Tempeh’s flavor can be overwhelming because of the culture, the fermentation process.  Yet it is that fermentation  that make tempeh an excellent powerhouse of nutrition.

 

I decided to use a tomato sauce as a way to off center the tartness that tempeh can have. Yet, I learned that this veggie tempeh has a nice delicate flavor. Try it for yourself.

 

Saucy Tempeh

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Yield: Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 14oz package Tinkyada Brown Rice (Fettucini Style)
  • 1 8oz package Lightlife Organic Garden Veggie Tempeh
  • 1/2 cup onions
  • 1/4 cup celery
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 28oz can Muir Glen Tomato Puree
  • 1 teaspoon tamari
  • 1 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil

Instructions

    Pasta
  1. Prepare pasta according to package instructions.
  2. Tempeh
  3. Remove tempeh from packaging.
  4. Cut into bite-size cubes.
  5. Place into skillet to saute on med heat.
  6. Flavoring (Vegetable Seasonings)
  7. Chop onions and celery.
  8. Mince garlic.
  9. Add vegetable seasonings to tempeh and continue to saute on med heat.
  10. Once the onions are opaque and the celery has softened, add the tomato puree.
  11. Add tamari and black pepper.
  12. Reduce heat.
  13. Simmer for 20 minutes.
  14. Add chopped basil.
  15. Serve.
http://www.beyondnfinity.com/vegan-mofo-13-saucy-tempeh/