Tag Archives: salad

Southwestern Snack Wrap!

Enjoy this vegetarian dish. I sure did!

Really great lunch today! Southwestern Health Wrap: slice up some bell pepper, onion, and mushrooms. Add any beans you want (garbanzo, kidney, canned bean salad mix, etc.) Throw it in a pan of heated EVOO. Season with some cumin, garlic salt, and smoked paprika. When it’s cooked to your satisfaction, pop it on a wrap with Greek yogurt (instead of sour cream) and some avocado slices. You can even add some chopped red cabbage and/or savoy cabbage on top for SUPER CRUNCH! Enjoy!

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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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Final Day of the Memphis Vegan Challenge: Back to NYC

After a refreshing night’s stay at the Peabody Hotel in Memphis, TN (and by refreshing… I mean I survived a bachelorette party on Beale the previous evening), I suggested to my parents that we go to breakfast.

I really wanted to try one of the fabulous midtown vegan-friendly places like Cosmic Coconut or Imagine Vegan Cafe, but they didn’t quite seem like places my father would willingly agree to go. So, we ended up going to Perkins.

I had a plain salad with O&V… at ten AM. The quality of the lettuce was eeehh. However, it’s always really fun to hang out with my mom and dad.

We then decided to take Olivia, my dog, to Shelby Farms and play fetch.

Olivia waiting for dad to throw the ball.

Olivia waiting for dad to throw the ball. She is a fetch superstar.

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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.

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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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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.)

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My NYC Fire Escape Garden

Growing your own food is easy, responsible, and super tasty. Plus, you don’t need that much space. Just utilize your imagination!

Reasons why growing your own food rocks:

  1. Lessen your carbon footprint by growing some things yourself. (Remember… those tomatoes at PathMart didn’t grow there. They grew hundreds of miles away. They hitched a ride on a huge truck across the country.)
  2. It’s cheaper to grow your own herbs than to keep buying those small packets. Plus, you only use about half of it before it goes off and you have to throw the thing away.
  3. Wanna be healthier? If you’ve grown it… you’ll eat it. Anything that makes us eat more fruits and veggies is a good thing.
  4. It forces you to be outdoors. Or, kind of outdoors. Anyway, you’ll probably get a little vitamin D from this activity.
  5. Monsanto can’t get you if you know where your food is coming from. (Make sure your seeds and seedlings are not genetically altered or modified.)
  6. You’ll reduce food waste. If you’ve waited for something to ripen on a vine that you take care of… you’re less likely to let it spoil and throw it out. That’s not really the case with that stupid banana that has gross brown spots you paid 50 cents for, right? That guy is going to spoil and get thrown out.
  7. It doesn’t take up that much time. I’d equate it to caring for fish in a tank.
  8. I sound like a hippie, but it’s fun. It turned fun. I don’t know how. Just kinda snuck up on me.

I can hear you say, “Well, I don’t have a backyard with room for a garden. I have no space!”

Dude. I live in New York City. I don’t have access to a yard… but I do use every inch of outdoorsey-type space I’ve got!

My First Fire Escape Garden:

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Chilis, mint, tomatoes, basil, lettuce. YUM!

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The tomatoes had a lovely view!

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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:

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Ziplock Bag Citrus “Chicken” and Salad

Super healthy AND super tasty AND super easy? Heck yes! All you need to make this dish is a ziplock bag and a few simple ingredients.

This is one of the first recipes Chef B’friend taught me when I started to learn about food. It can be done with regular chicken, but I’d suggest you make sure that chicken had a healthy, happy life and could walk. (Know where your meat comes from!)

I use Quorn faux chicken… and you treat it just like it was meat. Quorn is one of the best vegetarian meatless options out there because it’s made from mushrooms rather than soy. (Too much soy in your diet can lead to an estrogen imbalance.)

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Here’s how to make this tasty dish!

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