Tag Archives: Nutrition

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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Viva Las Vegas! Vegan in Sin City: Travel Day and Day 1

My best friend is a very important guy who works for a Canadian high-end circus that has many shows in Las Vegas. I’m sure you can piece together which one I’m talking about. Anyway, he’s been living in Las Vegas for the past year, and he’s invited me to come visit him! Yay!

I boarded the plane with a fierce potato salad (steamed mini-potatoes in different colors, chopped chives, lemon juice, salt, EVOO) and a mix of farmers market greens with my naked Italian dressing.

I didn’t get a picture of it because it was too delicious. I ate it before going, “Oh yeah. I should have shared that.” Oh well!

Anyway, I landed in Sin City.

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My friend picked me up from the airport, but then he had to go back to work. I was pretty hungry at this point, so I typed in “vegan restaurant” on Google Maps, and it led me to a fantastic place I wouldn’t have ever known about. Veggie Deli is a fantastic vegetarian/vegan place located on Wynn Rd. The inside looks like any number of Chinese restaurants I’ve seen in NYC. 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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Perfect Breakfast Bite: PB, Banana, and Honey Toast

This little toast creation is the perfect quick and easy breakfast. I’ve been buzzing around all morning, totally satisfied and feeling light. Here’s how to slap it together:

  1. Choose your toast of choice. This morning I used “Bread Alone” bread (I like them because they hand-make their bread using little more than organic grains, salt, and water.) I usually use Ezekiel Sprouted Grain Bread, but I wanted a little change this week.
  2. Once the toast has popped out of the toaster, slap on your nut butter of choice. I like almond butter or any organic peanut butter where the ingredients say: peanuts (and that’s it!)
  3. Slice up a banana and pile it on top. I like to make the slices look like scales, but that’s because I’m a bit weird.
  4. Sprinkle some flax seeds on top. Why flax seeds? Because it’s an ancient grain that can reduce your risk of stroke, heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. Gladiators used to chew them. Friggin’ awesome, right? Also, they look cute and give a tiny crunch texture.
  5. Drizzle your local seasonal honey on top. If you take honey to reduce seasonal allergies, make sure you have the right season of honey to match the time of year. Spring honey will not help you in the fall because the bees that made that spring honey weren’t exposed to the flowers and spores that bloom in the fall. Immune yourself with the proper season you’re trying to battle. (Got that little tip from a beekeeper in Union Square.)

Enjoy, yall!

Let me know if you make this and like it, or if you’ve made something similar before. Leave a comment! 

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My Memphis Vegan Challenge

This Tuesday, I’m puttin’ on my blue suede shoes and boarding a plane to Memphis, TN. The BBQ capital of the world. The dirty, dirty, yummy South. The fried Delta. Memfreako, TN.

And I’m going to be Vegan for the entire trip.

I hear people gasping in awe. I see heads dramatically turning, eyes wide with horror. Disbelief clouds the air like a thick fog hovering above the muddy banks of the Mississippi. Yeah. You heard me, boo. VEGAN in Memphis, the Fried-Meat-and-Cheese Mecca of the Mid-South.

It will be a challenge going to Huey’s and eschewing the cheddar on their delicious veggie burger. I may cry on the inside when my dad takes me to Memphis Pizza Cafe, and I cannot order the Ultimate Cheese. My soul will yearn for the feta block on that Castriati Salad at The Villa.

How am I going to survive this sadistic challenge?

Oh, there’s a blog on the internet focused on the exact thing I’ve got a question about? SWEET.

vegan crunk

So Bianca is an 18-year vegetarian and 8-year vegan who has this fabulous vegan food blog set in Memphis.

The best part about her blog is that she’s got a crunkalicious Memphis restaurant guide for vegans. #internetwin

Whoop that rack-of-ribs! Grit and Grind (on vegetables.) Wish me luck! I’ll let you know how it goes.

(Go check out Bianca at vegancrunk.blogspot.com)

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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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These are not Tomatoes: Subway Semi-Horror Story

IMG_0327It’s hot outside, but I decided to go for a long run. My motivation: This amazing club sandwich with farmers market tomatoes and greens on multi-seed bread. Chef B’friend made it out of the leftover Quorn “turkey” roast I made last night. He placed it on the counter. I knew it was going to be so delicious, I needed to earn the right to eat its mastery.

I thought, “Yeah, I can do the usual path from my apartment in Harlem down the west side of Central Park, but I want to get out of my comfort zone.” My usual path takes me right down the C and B train line. When I get exhausted, I can just pop on the train, and it will take me back to my nice apartment in an air conditioned thing that I don’t even have to drive. I can just sit and drink water and feel safe.

I decided I’d run more east, hit up the top of the park (which I hadn’t really explored) and work my way across the park to get back to the subway home. My sandwich motivation will carry me through this hardship of newness… like a tasty, tasty overexposure filling my view for the final mile.

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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