Warmed Portobella “Steak” Salad…yes it’s Vegan!!!

Warmed Portobello “Steak”  Salad

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Ingredients:

2 Portobello caps (stems removed) and cut into 1 inch sections

1 cup vegetable stock

2 tbsp. tamari (or soy) sauce

4 cloves of garlic (minced)

1 tbsp. of rice wine vinegar

Mixed greens salad (romaine, spinach, anything you want!)

Cucumber diced

Tomato diced

Half of an avocado

Dressing:

1 tbsp. of each: rice wine vinegar, tamari and sesame oil, sunflower seeds.

Directions:

1. Take first 5 ingredients and sauté or wok for about 5 minutes on medium-high heat. This will create a nice glaze on the mushrooms but not turn them into mush.

2. Take the next 4 ingredients and toss together to make the salad.

3. Take the dressing ingredients into a glass jar and shake to mix.

4. Pour dressing over salad mixture, then top with the warm mushrooms. Garnish with some sesame seeds and cilantro. Eat immediately. The warm mushrooms will start to melt the avocado and it’s so yummy!!!

Garlic and Lemon Roasted Artichokes with Scallion Vinaigrette

Garlic and Lemon Roasted Artichokes with Scallion Vinaigrette

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Ingredients

4 large artichokes, about 3-4 inches across
2 medium lemons, sliced in half
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
6 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 teaspoons salt, sea salt or Himalayan salt preferred
Freshly cracked pepper
1 recipe scallion vinaigrette

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 400.
2. Cut the stem of the artichoke so there is an inch or two remaining. Cut an inch off the spiky top of the leaves and tear off the tough outer leaves.
3. Take one half of the lemon and rub the inside flesh of the lemon on the cut surfaces and around the outside where you removed the leaves. Then cut the artichokes in half from top to stem. Using a sharp paring knife or a spoon; scrape out the fuzzy interior that sits inside the heart and about 2 layers of the very inside leaves. Rub this with lemon as well and place them all on a baking sheet.
4. Squeeze the lemon juice into a bowl (removing any seeds) and mix in the oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Spoon the mixture in between the leaves over the cut interior. Lay the artichokes cut side down on the baking sheet and coat the outer leaves in oil that has dripped onto the pan. Bake for 30 minutes or until the heart is nice and tender.

5. Serve immediately with the scallion vinaigrette, or without is just fine!

Scallion Vinaigrette

Artichokes with Scallion VinaigretteIngredients

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

4 tablespoons wine vinegar

4 scallions including green tops, chopped

6 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

1 1/4 teaspoons lemon juice

1 1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper

1 cup olive oil

Instructions

In a small glass or stainless-steel bowl, whisk together the mustard, the rema4 tablespoons vinegar, the scallions, parsley, lemon juice, salt, and the ground pepper. Add the  oil slowly, whisking. Serve each artichoke with a small bowl of vinaigrette alongside for dipping.

 

African Sweet Potato and Peanut Soup

 

African Sweet Potato and Peanut Soup

This recipe was a failed attempt at making an amazing soup by a local restaurant in Gainesville, FL called Tempo Bistro to Go. Even though mine is no where near as good as their’s

soupIngredients:

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 large onion, chopped

3 cloves  garlic, minced

2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger root

1- 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin

1- 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 pinch ground cloves

3 medium tomatoes, chopped

1- 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped

1  carrot, peeled and chopped

4 1/2 cups water

1 teaspoon  salt

1/4 cup chopped, unsalted dry-roasted peanuts

1 pinch cayenne pepper

2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter

1 bunch chopped fresh cilantro

Directions:

1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Saute the onion 10 minutes, until lightly browned. Mix in the garlic, ginger, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, and cloves. Stir in the tomatoes, sweet potatoes, and carrot, and continue to cook and stir about 5 minutes.

2. Pour water into the saucepan, and season the mixture with salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes.

3. Remove the soup mixture from heat. In a food processor or blender, blend the soup and peanuts until almost smooth. Season with cayenne pepper. Return to the saucepan. Whisk in the peanut butter, and cook until heated through. Serve warm topped with fresh cilantro.

Vegan Biscuits and Gravy…Just like The Top’s!!!

Recipe recreate: from The Top in Gainesville, FL

Recipe recreate: from The Top in Gainesville, FL

Hi everyone!!!

Thank you all so much for continuing to read my blog and grow my following!! Big things are happening and it’s such an exciting time. As my last blog post mentioned I have moved from my native Florida to the mountains of North Carolina. I am loving the “no-ac-needed” type of weather. I love putting the top down on my car and driving through the blooming mountains, and I really love making new friends! But even with all these awesome things happening for me, I was still a little homesick last weekend. Sunday’s in Gainesville, FL are known for brunches! So many restaurants serve an amazingly vegan friendly brunch in Gainesville, and here in the mountains….well you can go to the pancake breakfast at the church, but it’s not very vegan 🙂 Anyone that knows me, knows that I don’t give up without a fight though, so I decided I would try to recreate the famous Top’s Vegan Biscuits and Gravy. I expected to have to test the recipe out many, many….MANY times, but actually I rocked it on the first try. So without any more rambling, here is the super easy, super yummy, not for everyday, recipe!!!

Biscuits:

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 Tbsp of Baking Powder

1 Tsp of Sea Salt

1 cup of original almond milk (or soy milk…just not flavored)

4 Tbsp Earth Balance (or non-dairy margarine)

Directions for Biscuits:

1. Preheat over to 425

2. Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl.

3. Using a fork, press margarine into the flour until there are little flour coated pebbles in the bowl

4.  At milk and combine till dough is slightly uniform. It will be lumpy…don’t over work the dough.

5. Spoon balls of dough onto an ungreased baking pan. Place them so that they touch (biscuits like to be close to one another and will rise together.

biscuits raw

6. I dropped a small droplet of olive oil on the top of each dough ball and then salted the tops.

7. Bake for 12 minutes

GRAVY TIME:

2 cups of tempeh chopped

1 cup of unflavored almond milk

2 Tbsp of olive oil

1 Tbsp of corn starch

salt/pepper

*added seasoning could be a Cajun hint to the sauce…I used Old Bay seasoning because it reminds me of southern foods

sausage startDirections for Gravy:

1. Saute tempeh chunks in 1 tbsp of olive oil to brown. Use medium heat.

2. After tempeh is browned, do not remove from pan, but push to one side of pan. Add the additional 1 tbsp of olive oil and cornstarch. Lower temp to medium-low heat and whisk the oil and cornstarch. You just slightly want to cook this combination, probably won’t take longer than a minute.

3. Add almond milk and whisk together. Simmer for a few minutes as it thickens. This should happen quickly.

 

When the biscuits are done, split one open and spoon that gravy over it! Yummy!!!

finished
biscuits cooked

 

SuperBowl Recipe: Beer Soaked Fries!

Warning: not the healthiest recipe below….but when it comes to SuperBowl (or any other festive event) you need to cater to your crowd…and I have a hungry man to feed! Now if I can sneak in some healthier options that tastes as well as the full fat version…I deserve a freaking trophy! and so I announce….

Beer Soaked Fries:

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Ingredients:

– 1 bottle  beer of choice

– 3 russet potatoes [~1 3/4lbs]

– 3 cloves garlic, minced

– 3T olive oil

– 1-1 1/2t salt

– 1/4-1/2t black pepper

1. Cut potatoes into fries:

Cut the potato in half, lengthwise.

Turn one half on it’s side.

Depending on how thick you want the fries, make 2-3 lengthwise cuts. [as pictured above – that photo was after cutting both halves]

Turn the half flat side down, so the cut pieces are stacked parallel with your cutting board.

Cut 3-4 lengthwise cuts, perpendicular to the previous cuts. [as pictured below]

Repeat with the other half.

2. Place cut potatoes into bowl, pour beer over potatoes and let soak for 6 hours, mixing occasionally.

3. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

4. Drain potatoes, once they have soaked up some beer, and toss with oil and seasonings

5. Bake for 15 minutes at a time, flipping to brown the fries on all side.

6. Bake 30-45 minutes considering how crispy you would like your fries.

7. Salt again when they come out of out the over and serve with favorite entrée or dipping sauce!

Here is Buffalo Cauliflower “wings” with the Beer Soaked Fries

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Let’s Catch up!!!

Hi all!!!

I realized today that I haven’t done a blog in a little while that simply explained where I am in my life now! There are tons going on and it’s an amazing journey!!! My type A personality makes me want to organize this by numbering them…so here goes!!!

1. Tons of folks are purchasing the movie UnSuperSize me and it sincerely warms my heart to know that my story is helping to inspire others!!! Check out this trailer at WWW.UNSUPERSIZEME.COM. The movie can be purchased here for the upcoming gift season, or streamed online!

2. Carly and I have had tons of requests for public speaking appearances and film viewings. Last month we were in Tucson, Arizona, and got to see people’s reaction to the film first hand. It’s so interesting to see others reactions, since sometimes the things we find funny in the film aren’t funny to the audience and sometimes they laugh at things we did not realize was funny! But most of all, it was so inspiring to me to be able to answer questions during a Q&A session after the film. The questions were so thought out, and very honest. It was probably the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done. They really cared about me and my journey! Check out a small clip of this session here

3. We have received tons of reviews…some even international stating how inspirational the movie is! This is such an honor!!!! Veganism, EyesIn Magazine, a German vegan site, RunSpiration, blogger Bianca Phillips, Podcast, Favorite Run Community and much more!!! We have been busy spreading the word and love it!! (Reminder: the message I’m referring to is how I lost 200lbs in one year using a plant based diet and exercise, which is explained in the UnSuperSize Me Documentary).

4. I completed my 5th Half Marathon, the Marine Corps Half Marathon in Jacksonville, FL.

5. Oh yeah….I COMPLETELY MY FIRST WHOLE MARATHON!!!!!!! The Marine Corps Marathon on October 27, 2013!!! My first race ever was the Gainesville Turkey Trot 10k on November 24, 2011. Less than two years later and I have completely a marathon. Check out the amazing medal!!

medal

6. UnsuperSize Me was asked to be part of a newscast to spread the word further. What a great honor to be on the news and as a featured speaker at the Northeast Florida Veg Fest! Loved every moment!!! Click on the links below to watch some of our new presence!!!

News4Jax!

First Coast News

But honestly most important to me, which was way I originally started this blog back in 2011 was to help open the line the communication about obesity. Life does not have to be hard. No one has to be imprison by physical or emotional barriers. Our goal with UnSupersize Me is to help show people the easy solution to a huge problem that has plagued our world. Just think about this…three years ago, I could not go up a single flight of stairs without being winded…and now I have completed a marathon! Please if you do nothing else for your health…just watch this movie in hopes that it will inspire you to make small changes and see big results. www.unsuperszieme.com.

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Pumpkin Risotto

It’s getting cooler outside!!! Yipppeee!!! That means we can welcome the yummy fall flavors like pumpkin, butternut squash, apples cider and mint!! I thought I would start off fall with a recipe that have tested for two years, and have finally got it down. First time I made this, I didn’t cook the rice long enough. The next time, it ended up too sweet. Then too salty, then too spicy. UGH…but I finally have it down!

pumpkin risotto

Ingredients:

2 Tbsp. olive oil

1 small onion, chopped

4 cloves garlic, chopped

1 lb. Arborio rice

1 cup white wine

6 cups vegetable stock

15 oz. can pumpkin puree

2 tsp. curry powder

½ tsp. ground nutmeg

¼ tsp. red pepper flakes, more if you want the dish to be spicy

3 Tbsp. Nutritional Yeast

¼ c. chopped fresh parsley

Salt and black pepper to taste

Directions:

1. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook until translucent.

2. Heat vegetable stock in another large stock pot on low. This is just to keep the stock warm, so that it’s not cold when you add it to the rice.

3. Add rice to onion/garlic mixture and stir well to coat with oil. Allow rice to toast for a few minutes, stirring constantly. Add wine and stir until totally evaporated.

4. Add 1 – 2 cups of stock and mix well. Allow to cook until almost all the liquid has evaporated, stirring often. Continue adding stock by ladle, stirring and cooking until liquid has mostly evaporated each time.

5. At last addition of stock, also stir in pumpkin puree, curry powder, nutmeg, and red pepper flakes.

6. Cook until rice is tender, but the rice is still a little “loose” or wet. The nutritional yeast will thicken this up quickly.

7. Turn off heat and fold in nutritional yeast, remaining tablespoon of olive oil and parsley. Season to taste and serve immediately.

cat pumpkin