June 20, 2011

Guest Post: Oriental Slaw

Hey ya'll! I'm Jana from Seashells and Southern Belles, and I’m a nautical loving, southern gal that also happens to not eat meat I stopped eating meat when I was 6 years old (totally my choice, my parents and sister eat it for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack).  Most people are shocked when I tell them I am from the south and don’t eat animals.  I also grew up in the country, (between corn and soybean fields), so trust me when I say that me not eating meat was a pretty big deal growing up. I’m probably the only vegetarian that was born and raised in my entire county. 
Generally, when I tell people that I'm a vegetarian, the first thing they say is “But you eat chicken and fish right?” 
Hmmm. No, I don’t…  
I also get the very wise “How about turkey bacon?” response. Nope, because the last time I checked, turkeys weren't vegetables. 
One would think that since I haven’t eaten meat in ohhhh 20 years that I eat lots vegetables right??  Well…wrong.  I’m more of a carb-itarian.  I love French fries, potato chips, and grilled cheese.  Carrots, broccoli, and celery…not so much.  This is precisely why I was so excited to find the Preppy Vegan.  I have been bound and determined to start actually eating some vegetables this year and to finally become a vegetable-eating vegetarian and I am going to use the Preppy Vegan to help me! 
I want to share one of my favorite vegan recipes with you (I’m not vegan, just a vegetarian, but I am looking to cut back on the 14 lbs of cheddar cheese I eat a week…)  This oriental slaw is a perfect summertime staple.  Cookouts can be hard for those of us on a plant based diet, but this slaw pleases both herbivores and omnivores alike. 
Broccoli Cole Slaw 

  • 1 bag Ramen Noodles in Oriental (reserve seasoning)
  • Pam spray
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds
  • 2 bags (12-ounce) bags broccoli cole slaw (in the bagged salad section of the grocery store)
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds (optional)
Dressing Mix :
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup brown or white sugar
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 ramen noodle seasoning packet
Put the ramen noodles in a bag and crush them with a rolling pin. Add the crushed noodles and slivered almonds to a baking sheet,broil to brown (only 2-4 minutes... these will burn quickly) Meanwhile, whisk together all the dressing ingredients in a small bowl. Place the shredded broccoli into bowl and toss with the noodles, almonds, and sunflower seeds. Pour dressing over salad and toss to coat.
Thanks so much for letting me stop by today...here’s to actually eating vegetables and to being green and not granola!

June 15, 2011

Guest Post: Vegan Mijas

Greetings, Daaahlings!

I’m Julia – a pal (and fellow veganish-sister-in-arms) of Ensley’s. I work as a vegetarian/gluten free chef in the Queen City (aka Charlotte, NC), whipping up ridiculous amounts of nosh of the Ethical Variety for some lovely fams in our area. I upkeep a food blog as well – NoFacePlate.Com – come say hi!

Since Ms. E is going to be a busy little bee over the next couple of months, I’ll be stopping by to fill your ears and eyes with tasty vegan meals and snacks – and while I usually go waaaay off the deep end on NFP materially and process-wise, I’ll keep the stuff I show you here a bit more simple – maybe even workable for a quick work week  dinner!

Speaking of dinner.

Vegan Mijas

Mijas are one of those beautiful food ideas that are built on the back of the “What the heck do I do with all these leftovers?!” dilemma. Day-old tortillas form the base of this dish, almost becoming pasta-like during the cooking process. What you add can vary greatly with delicious results, and trust me, I’ve tried it all –

Leftover veggies from the Fajita-themed cookout you had over the weekend
Soy sausage or that AWESOME soy chorizo from ye olde Trader Joe’s
Roasted peppers – Red, Green, Poblano, Jalapeno
Whole Cashews
Sun dried tomatoesCilantro, and Scallions

…and on and on. But the batch I made the other day for brunch was awesome, so I’ll share that permutation with ya.

Per person, you’ll need:

3 corn tortillas, preferably a little stale
1 tablespoon corn oil
1/3 block extra firm tofu
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
½ tsp sesame oil
½ tsp olive oil
tsp sea salt
1 tsp garlic powder
½ tsp turmeric
¼ onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
¼ avocado
1/3 can black beans, drained and rinsed
4 baby bella mushrooms, sliced
Handful fresh green beans


½ cup of your favorite (preferably homemade) salsa
Cashew Sour Cream (recipe below, yum!)
Hot Sauce
Diced onion

Let’s do this.

Dice your tofu into 1 cm cubes and toss with the yeast, sesame and olive oils, garlic powder, turmeric and salt in a bowl. Set aside.

Slice your tortillas into strips about 1 cm thick. Heat the oil in a large saut̩ pan or wok until hot Рadd your onion, garlic, green beans and mushrooms, and cook 4-5 minutes. Add tortilla strips and cook until they start to crisp a bit Рabout 5 more minutes.

Add your tofu and turn the heat to high. Saute for 6-7 minutes over high heat, stirring constantly, until the tofu starts to brown just a bit. Add your black beans, stir until they’re heated through, and pile that delicious mess on a plate.

Garnishes are kind of key here, so don’t be afraid to use them all – first sour cream, then salsa, cilantro, diced onion, sliced avocado on top (and, well, maybe a little more cilantro), then hot sauce that sucker ‘till your heart’s content.

Cashew sour cream is something I always keep in my fridge - yummier than Tofutti (and let's not forget cheaper!) it's high protein, easy to make, and very flavorful.

1 cup raw cashews, either pieced or whole
juice from 1/2 lemon
2 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
1 tsp sea salt
Dash mustard, yellow
Water as needed for helping the blender do its thang

Soak your cashews in hot water for about an hour. Drain, reserving some cashew water.

Put all the ingredients and about 1/3 cup of the cashew water in a blender and start it whirring. Add water as needed until a sour-cream-like consistency is reached, then keep going a bit - you want this super smooth. Pour the sauce into a squirt bottle or other container and chill it - should keep up to a week in your fridge.

Delicious and nutritious. Seeya next week!

June 8, 2011

City Vegan, Country Vegan

Today was my first day at Teach for America training in Rocky Mount, North Carolina, and one thing I've been stressing about (minus ending the achievement gap, of course) was whether or not they were going to honor my vegan-ness. Before we arrived, they had us fill out a survey with any special requests, but you still never know. (I stocked up on protein bars in case their idea of vegan was "things that only rabbits like to eat".)

Imagine my surprise when, during our Induction dinner, a beautiful plate of steamed rice, veggies, and (get this) crispy baked tofu was set down in front of me. It was breaded just like the baked chicken on the omnivore's plates. (If you aren't vegan and think that's gross, just ask me to describe what the chicken the other people were eating looked like. You would have requested tofu.)

It was d-e-l-i-s-h. Since it may have been considered rude to whip out my camera during the Executive Director's speech, you'll have to settle for this awesome Breaded/Baked Tofu recipe I just found .

Oh, and my roommate for the week is from California and grew up vegan. Can you say "soul sister"? Because I can. Don't worry-we already hugged it out.

Have you ever had baked tofu? Any tips or tricks?

June 7, 2011

Zucchini with Pesto Hummus

After seeing recent pictures of myself from a recent lake weekend, I realized two things:

1) I need to calm it down, and
2) It's time to start working out again.

This pose was most likely my idea
I'm not a girl who obsesses about her body (if anything, my problem has always been high self esteem) but a squat or a sit up on occasion wouldn't hurt.

But since I'm nothing if not lazy, I'm putting off workouts and trading pantry staples like chips and pretzels for veggies. The first stop? Zucchini "sticks" with my new invention: pesto hummus.

1 large zucchini, sliced into sticks* (for dipping)

For the hummus:
1 can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
2 large garlic cloves, minced*
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
1-2 tablespoons pesto

Combine hummus ingredients in a food processor or magic bullet until blended. Serve with zucchini sticks. (I ate it all in one sitting, which could be one of my issues.)

*Organic veggies from Backyard Produce

June 6, 2011

Yoforia is Vegan Friendly!

When a Yoforia opened up next door to my apartment last summer, I pretty much thought I'd died and gone to heaven. My roommate and I had to make a Yoforia budget so that we weren't tempted to spend $6 a night loading up on hun cal fro yo with delish fruit toppings.
This is the actual Yoforia right by my apartment. Don't stalk me unless you are buying me some.
Aaaand then I became vegan. No more buckets of mango flavored organic fro yo for me. My social life suffered. "Want to meet at Yoforia?" my friends would ask. "I can't...I'm vegan," I would reply with my tail between my legs.

Until yesterday, when I discovered that they now have dairy-free Raspberry Sorbet! (Cue the harp music and angels fluttering about.)

I tried it, it was delish, and now my social life can get back on track. (And my workout routine, apparently.) I'm going to have to go back and rewrite a Yoforia budget into my monthly expenditures.

Can someone please get as excited about this as I am? Do any of your favorite froyo places have dairy-free options?

June 3, 2011

Fashionable Friday: Help!

Gentle readers, I need your help.

I'm starting training with Teach for America next week (yaaay). Besides ending the achievement gap and all of that, there's one very important thing on my mind: what to wear.

It's a little bit like going back to the first day of school. Will my clothes be ok? Will I make friends? Did I turn in my homework?

Also, for the first week it's business casual and then professional dress. I'm NOT wearing a suit. (I didn't wear a suit to my interview and I still got it. So. There.)

Any recommendations about what makes a non-suit outfit "professional"? How can I dress up nicer work dresses?


June 2, 2011

Adrienne's Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

My super healthy (aka hot) friend Adrienne sent me a delicious-sounding smoothie recipe. I Preppy Vegan-d it by taking out pitted dates (because I have no idea where those would be in the grocery store) and adding a dash of vanilla almond milk. The fact that it contains avocado guarantees that I'll like it. Here's what she said:

I just made this and stored it in the fridge. The avocados at the store were what I like to refer to as "dead" today so I didn't have any to use, I used a pear to thicken it up a little bit and added some ice. I also used a little bit of cinnamon instead of pumpkin pie spice (because who has that on hand?!). It was DELISH and you should try this one if you like juicing/smoothies for sweet snack. 

4 cups carrot juice
1 cup raw peeled sweet potato, chopped
1/4 cup vanilla almond milk (or unsweetened almond milk with agave nectar)
1/2 of a ripe avocado
1 tbsp Pumpkin pie spice or cinammon

Put everything in a blender and puree until smooth. Yum. 

What are your favorite smoothie ingredients?

June 1, 2011

Summer Salads: Avocado & Citrus

I know, I know...a vegan blog that has salads? How groundbreaking! How fresh! How unexpected!

But seriously, get over it. It's summertime and, vegan or not, a diet of french fries just isn't going to cut it. (I say this because I was on this french fry diet this Memorial Day weekend, in perpetual recovery from the night before. It wasn't pretty.)

This wasn't food styling...I actually transported my chips this way.
Plus, adding some tortilla chips makes you forget that you're eating straight-up fruits and veggies. Naturally I had to add some chik peas for some protein, otherwise I probably would have been able to consume this entire recipe without feeling full. And besides peeling/chopping, this recipe takes all of 30 seconds. (It's also great for people like me who beat up their bodies over Memorial Day with too little sleep, too many beers, and too many fries.)

2 Tablespoons Balsamic or cider vinegar
2 Tablespoons olive oil (I swapped 1 Tbsp for Paul Newman's Lime Vinagrette)

1 grapefruit, peeled and chopped*
1 orange, peeled and chopped*
2 pears, cored and chopped*
1 small red onion, sliced
2 ripe avocados, peeled, seeded, and chopped*
1 15 oz can chik peas, rinsed and drained
4-6 cups salad greens or romaine, rinsed and chopped*

Tortilla chips (optional)

1. Whisk together the first two ingredients in a large bowl.
2. Add chopped fruit, veggies, and chik peas, stirring to coat.
3. Serve with tortilla chips.

(Yes, it was really that easy.)

*Organic veggies from Backyard Produce. You should check it out!


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