Tag Archives: Black pepper

Home Made Fresh Vegetable Soup: Good For Your Soul (and Your Health!)

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Aaaahhhh! There’s just something about soup that makes you want to put on PJ’s and hug yo mamma.

The problem is, when you buy soup from the store, you don’t really know what’s in it. It’s probably loaded with sugar or sodium. It’s probably got some chemical in it to make it last a long time on a shelf. Gross!

Soup is an intimate thing (that’s why we want someone to bring it to us when we are sick, right?) Let’s reacquaint ourselves with some kick-ass soup that is really good in your mouth and really good on your waistline!

Chef B’Friend’s Impromptu Veggie Soup Recipe: 

Ingredients: (and make sure they’re of good quality, and that means farmers market or organic. It’s important!) Continue reading

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Viva Las Vegas! Sin City Vegan Challenge: Meatless Meatball Fail

It’s the third day of the Las Vegas Vegan Challenge, and I’m sad to say… I had a bit of a fail.

Let’s go back to the beginning.

If you’re just joining me, catch up with everyone else by going a few entries back to the beginning of my Las Vegas Vegan Challenge: Travel Day and Day One. I’ve traveled from NYC to Las Vegas to visit my best friend who lives here.

I woke up early and had to fend for myself in my friend’s apartment. He had some microwaveable brussel sprouts from Trader Joe’s in the fridge. I popped them out of the bag and sautéed them with a little EVOO, salt, and pepper. Microwavable pouch: you’re stupid and I don’t need you. Be gone!

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The breakfast of champions!

Once my friend crawled out of his cave mid-day, we decided to go to The Meatball Spot in town square. Now, I know from eating the vegetarian meatballs from The Meatball Shop in Brooklyn, NY, that there is a bit of parmesan cheese in the vegetarian balls. I knew that even if I didn’t get any extra cheese on them, I’d still fail. Continue reading

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Homemade Tomato Sauce with Fava Beans (The Beans So Nice, You Shell Them Twice!)

I am a huge fan of the easy, ten minute tomato sauce a la Jamie Oliver. His recipe is brilliant and can be used as pasta sauce, pizza sauce, or tomato soup. Rad, right?

I don’t strain it… I just blend it together and use all of it (I also add some thai chili in with the garlic at the beginning), but you get the idea. Anyway, I usually always use this method for tomato sauce… but not last night!

Yesterday I realized the fridge had accumulated a large number of Roma tomatoes. I’d been to the farmers market and Fairway and ended up with a nice little stash of the guys. Chef B’friend also remembered we had acquired a good amount of fava beans and had a brilliant idea. Time to make a vegan pasta dish! (Check that your pasta doesn’t contain egg… some do. If you’re not worried about the egg, then use whatever you want.)

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How to make Chef B’Friend’s Ziti and Homemade Tomato Sauce with Fava Beans: Continue reading

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Memphis Vegan Challenge: THE CRACKER BARREL TALE

Day four of my Memphis Vegan Challenge, and I’m feeling pretty great about it. My body feels good. My mind feels good. It’s been completely manageable in Memphis, TN to order vegan food without sounding like a complete jerk. You know EXACTLY what I’m talking about:

Vegan Customer: “Excuse me, but I’m vegan. What can I order?”

Server: “Well, there are several things on the menu that have no meat. Is egg or dairy okay?”

Vegan Customer: “Absolutely not! That’s what vegan means… no animal products. Jeeze. Get it straight if you’re going to work in food services.”

Server: “Well, I didn’t want to assume. You are wearing leather shoes.”

Annoying, right? I’d like to not come off as a total ass, so I’ve been either looking online, calling ahead, or asking informed questions to the servers that don’t include, “I’M VEGAN. LOOK AT MEEEEEE! BOW BEFORE MY SELFLESSNESS AND ASPIRE TO MY SPIRITUAL ELEVATION!”

Now, not being an idiot to servers is easy when you’re going somewhere like Paradise Cafe in Memphis.  Just ask for no cheese or mayo on the sandwich, and make sure the veggie gazpoucho doesn’t include meat or meat stock. Nicely asking informed questions isn’t hard or annoying, especially when it’s done with a smile and in a timely manner. Paradise Cafe is a small place in East Memphis that focuses on healthy choices for lunch. They’ve been around since I was little, and I remember going to get fruit and yogurt plates there with my mother.

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veggie sandwich and gazpacho from Paradise Cafe

Then again, trying to not come across as weird at somewhere like the Cracker Barrel would perhaps prove to not be so effortless.

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Cracker Barrel Old Country Store AKA Vegan Hell.

Continue reading

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Instant Oatmeal: Surprise! It’s not boring!

When we think about oatmeal, we think about mush. Then, we think about that scene from Oliver.


Not so appetizing. Right?

Let’s make this meal of oats into something that’s a bit more exciting, shall we?

Breakfast Idea:

If you’re in a rush, here’s an easy way to not skip breakfast. (Skipping breakfast will make you gain weight.)

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  1. Get some instant oatmeal (Ain’t nobody got time for the other stuff.)
  2. Shake some into a bowl and add just a little sea salt.
  3. Add boiling water to oatmeal to activate it, and mix with spoon.
  4. While the oatmeal is soaking, chop some strawberries or get out whatever other berries you want to add. (Chef B’friend’s fabulous mother suggests adding fresh ground black peppercorn to strawberries to make the flavor pop.)
  5. Add berries.
  6. Pour on a little soy or almond milk.
  7. Add honey to naturally sweeten it.
  8. Eat it!

Quick and easy. Delicious and will keep you from skipping breakfast. Or eating some horrid breakfast bar that has so many ingredients that you get bored whilst reading the label.

Dessert Idea: 

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This recipe was inspired by Chef B’friend’s mother’s recipe.

Everyone has an overripe banana or two hanging around the kitchen. Now, you don’t have to throw them away!

  1. Peel and mash bananas in bowl
  2. Add about 1 cup oatmeal (you can use instant) per banana in and mix. (Remember, you can stop right here for the no-bake option. Just form the cookies and throw them in the freezer to enjoy later!)
  3. Add any fillers you want: blueberries, chocolate, cinnamon, nuts, etc.
  4. Form the cookies
  5. Spray a cookie sheet with non-stick spray or line it with parchment paper or a silpat.
  6. Put them in the preheated (350 degrees) for 15 minutes
  7. Take them out. Let them cool. Look how cute they are. Eat them!

Do YOU have any bright ideas for using oatmeal? Leave a comment! 

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Clean Hand-Mashed Potatoes: Yes, you can eat them.

When we think about diets, we think about substituting “healthy” food for “guilty” food. What a totally messed up way to think about what fuels our body. If it’s natural… there’s a clean and delicious way to consume it. Potatoes get a bad rap. Let’s strip them down and allow ourselves to think about mashed potatoes in a whole new way.

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Yes, I like using sweet potatoes sometimes. Yes, there is a really good recipe that uses cauliflower instead of potatoes. That’s all fine and dandy, but my point is that we don’t have to “diet.” We have to de-brainwash ourselves into thinking that this vegetable is “bad” for us.

Now, adding lots of dairy and cheese will turn mashed potatoes into mashed thighs, but adding lots of dairy and cheese to ANYTHING will do that.

Here’s my recipe for clean hand-mashed potatoes. It’s a derivation of the version Chef B’friend taught me a while back:

Continue reading

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The Ultimate Badass Breakfast: Omelette and Salad

outrageously healthy omletteEvery morning, I wake up and feel pretty awesome. You know why? It’s because during the work-week my boyfriend makes an amazing omelette every morning with a guilt-free salad. To drink, I drink a juice that I’ve hand-juiced. With a juicer. After I’ve wolfed it down, I feel like I’m on get-stuff-done-crack.

Here’s what you need to make Chef B’Friend’s outrageously delicious omelette (serves 2):

Continue reading

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