Tag Archives: Cook

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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Viva Las Vegas! Sin City Vegan Challenge: Day Two

So, if you’re just joining me on this post and haven’t been following along… I’m visiting my best friend in Las Vegas and writing about eating vegan while on vacation. Here we go!

Yesterday, we went to the Hoover Dam. It’s was pretty impressive.

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The only bad thing about going to see the Hoover Dam was not eating beforehand. Once you start eating a regular breakfast, it gets real weird when you skip it. (Read about the benefits of eating breakfast and how it helps you lose weight here.)

After (what seemed like) hours of driving and touring the damn dam, my friend took me to Skinny Fats. It’s an interesting concept, half of the menu is “live healthy” and the other half is “live happy.” Even though I think living healthy is living happy, that’s their shtick.  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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Ditch the Popcorn. Kale Chips to the Rescue!

Chef B’friend and I decided to watch a movie last night after a long day of running around (I ran up the Hudson River. He ran around on the soccer field.) We chose a very serious and sophisticated movie (Lost Boys) to watch, and we wanted some delicious noms to accompany the flick. Chips? Gross. Popcorn? Stale.

Kale Chips? Hell yeah!

Kale chips are the perfect, guilt free snacky snack that is so inexpensive to make, you can buy yourself a new swimsuit with all the money you’ll save on movie nights (and you’ll have the figure to match since you’re not pigging out on Pirate’s Booty.)

Here’s how to make them:  Continue reading

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Memphis Vegan Challenge: Day Three

Day three of the Memphis Vegan Challenge, and it’s almost a piece of cake. I don’t feel deprived. My body feels great.

Let’s get to the food.

Spelt Bagel (Gluten Free) with Tofu Spread (cream cheese substitute)
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I worked again choreographing at the studio out in Germantown. If you’ve been following my escapades, you’ll know that this dance studio is right next to one of my favorite delis of all time, Vanelli’s. I opted for the sandwich. Unfortunately, they were out of wheat bread, but it still tasted great. Lettuce, cucumber, tomato, pickles, salt and pepper, oil and vinegar, and mustard!

I also put chips on my sandwich because it would be weird if I didn’t. It’s just a thing I do. And you know you want to do it too.

IMG_0364 Continue reading

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Memphis Vegan Challenge: Day Two

Woke up. Juiced. Put juice in mason jar so it felt more “country.” Duh, I’m visiting Tennessee.

IMG_0356 IMG_0358While going through my parents’ kitchen drawers, I found a ridiculously small Tabasco bottle. Why do they have this in their house? (Apple for scale.)

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Why do you exist, teeniest bottle?

Went to choreograph all day at a dance studio out in Germantown. The studio is right by one of my favorite Italian delis, Vanelli’s Deli. Grabbed a quick salad with their homemade Italian dressing and some garlic olives.

IMG_0360 IMG_0361I had to google whether croutons were vegan or not. They mostly are.

Finished a very long day of choreographing at the studio and met my parents for dinner at Memphis Pizza Cafe.

Now, I’ve been preparing myself to be super sad about missing out on the Ultimate Cheese pizza that MPC serves up so deliciously. I opted for the vegetarian without cheese. It was real purdy, and I gobbled many a slice.

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Verdict on the pizza: I did miss having cheese on pizza, but I realized I wasn’t uncomfortable after the meal. I walked out of Memphis Pizza Cafe going, “Wow. I don’t have that weird sinking, stomach-full-of-rocks feeling I usually have leaving this joint. Oh, I guess I came out of here feeling bad every single time I went? Weird.”

Day 2: Fine. It’s whatever. My body feels really good, but I’m more impressed with the tiny Tabasco bottle.

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Memphis Vegan Challenge: Day One

I’m gonna make this as quick as I can.

I woke up after eating an amazing last supper. Had breakfast with Chef B’friend. Then, he made me the best homemade travel meal ever to take on any plane. Behold!

IMG_0351The best airplane food EVER. Succotash and quinoa in a box with shelling peas, nuts, and an apple. Healthy balance up the wazoo.

While trying to get to Memphis I had several delays, gate changes, more delays, more gate changes, and one dog in a bag for a very long time. Continue reading

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Upcoming Ten-Year High School Reunion: Oh, GOD, NO!!! WHY!?!?

I just realized that my ten-year high school reunion is coming up this fall. Thankfully, the universe was somewhat kind to me this morning, and I realized it’s in November. If it were at the beginning of September, I might have to make like a lemming and (metaphorically, of course) jump of the nearest cliff. IMG_0341

Combine the impending doom of the reunion and all the weddings I need to attend this fall, and it makes me want to crash diet like there’s no tomorrow. It makes me want to cut carbs and pop pills, which I can’t understand because I know that’s not the right way. It’s got to be my fear and not my better judgement whispering, “Eat only meat! I know you’re a vegetarian and don’t believe in it… but just buy a cow and eat only that for the next three months! You’ve got room in the freezer, right?”

I’m not going to crash diet. I’m not going to diet at all. I’m going to reverse the brainwashing in me that is screaming DIET! DIET! DIET! because diet’s don’t work. They. Do. Not. Work.

Continue reading

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Mayo-free Coleslaw! Warning: Seriously Addictive

I grew up hating coleslaw.

I was born hating it, and I carried a passionate desire within my child-self to destroy all that was coleslaw. This was a big deal because I’m from Memphis, TN (the BBQ capital of the universe). I hated coleslaw so much that I refused to eat BBQ for the first 15 years of my life because it was guilty by association. That cabbage-sprinkled cup of mayo looked disgusting, and I wrote it off forever until I found out there was a better way… the non-mayonaise way.

In the south, pasta salad is drenched in mayonnaise. Potato salad consists of potatoes swimming in mayo. Egg salad is mayonnaise with a side of egg. Cole slaw is not excluded from the mayo-party. It’s the host.

When I moved up to NY for college, I was ASTONISHED to find out my best friend Ray’s pasta salad recipe called for Italian dressing rather than mayonnaise. It was sacrilegious! And I liked it. Three years ago, my boyfriend informed me that we would be making coleslaw, and it didn’t include traditional mayo. With great trepidation and tremendous courage, I tried the stuff. Now, I’m addicted to it.

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I love this recipe because it’s super easy, super fast, and it keeps the veggies you use raw. Raw means nutrients. Delicious and healthy: Boom!

And now without any further ado, I present to you Chef B’friend’s Mayoless Coleslaw Recipe. (I’m going to share with you the completely white-stuff free version as well as the mayo-substitute version. Both are fantastic.)

Continue reading

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