Did You Know?

Did you know??
Although using avocados and bananas are all the buzz now to get soft and shiny hair, all it will get you is a messy kitchen and bathroom. These products are great to help your hair for one day, but the proteins in them are way too big for your hair to absorb. And unless you are going to use them each day (yikes!), then you should head to a beauty supply store and check out some Vegan products that use "hydrolyzed" proteins - proteins from avocados and bananas that actually are small enough to help your hair.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Italian House Pasta


As the holidays pass by, it's easy to let go and gorge yourself on delicious things like vegan cakes, vegan cupcakes, and other delicious vegan goodies while letting the fresh veggies bought earlier in the week go to waste in the refrigerator.  This recipe works perfectly to offset this bad habit we all have-- it's filled with healthy foods, and the name derives from the fact that all the ingredients tend to be in the typical Italian household (as ours is) and is a great way to clear out the fridge when all your fresh produce is about to go bad.  It also works well as I continue to try and keep oils from my cooking!   This is a tasty pasta dish filled with healthy stuff, so try it out!

1 cup coarsely chopped mushrooms
1/2 cup french cut green beans
2-3 cups your favorite pasta
1 15-oz. can of chickpeas, rinsed & drained or 1 1/2 cups chickpeas, cooked
3 tbsp minced garlic & 2 tbsp of the water it is in (jarred-- if not, regular water will be fine)
1/2 medium red onion, diced
2 tomatoes, quartered
2 tsp basil
2 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp red chili pepper flakes
1/2 tsp sea salt
3 twists of ground black pepper
zest of one orange
10 California pitted black olives, halved

Get a pot of water boiling, and warm up a frying pan over medium-low heat.

After 3-5 minutes, put the 2 tbsp of garlic water in the frying pan, and after 30 seconds, add the onions and mushrooms, and after two minutes, add the spices, green beans and orange zest.

When the water begins to boil, add the pasta and cook until 'al dente'-- when it's still stiff but almost finished.  Add the chickpeas.  In the frying pan, this is a good time to add the garlic.

3 minutes later, pour 1/2 cup of the water in the pasta pot into the frying pan, and drain the pasta in the sink.  Add the olives to the frying pan.

After the pasta/chickeas are drained, add them to the frying pan and toss the tomatoes on top, quickly covering them with the water/sauce from the pan for 3 minutes.

Serve hot or cooled.

Caloric Info
Servings 4
Calories 290.9
Total Fat: 3.6 grams
Sat Fat: 0.5 grams
Polyunsat. Fat: 1.1 grams
Monosat. Fat: 1.4 grams
Cholesterol: 0 grams
Sodium: 515.1 mg
Potassium: 479.0 mg
Carbs: 57.0 grams
Dietary Fiber: 11.7 grams
Sugar: .2 grams
Protein: 11.7 grams

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Chocolate Christmas: Glazed Mint Chocolate Donut Cookies

A note to all: If you'd rather not be Santa-sized this season, tis better to make these bite-size!

2/3 c sugar
1/4 c canola oil
1/4 c vanilla almond milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp peppermint extract
1 c flour
1/2 c cocoa
1 tbsp arrowroot
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

Combine sugar and oil, allow to settle. Add almond milk and extracts. Sift in all dry ingredients in order given.

 Dough will be oilly and loose-feeling. Roll dough into small balls, about 1-2 tbsps. Lightly push down cookies with two fingers. Bake at 350 degrees for 7-8 minutes.

1 c confectionary sugar
4 tbsp almond milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp arrowroot

Dip cookies down into glaze. Wait until just dry to add sprinkles or sugars. Pictured is Wilton's Mint Crunch Christmas Blend.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Chipotle Chickpea Spread

As I continued to strive to make vegan recipes that did not incorporate oil yesterday, I found myself hankering for some hummus. While nearly caving multiple times as I walked down the isle of the local Trader Joe's, I began to concoct in my head a recipe based on some spreads that I had eaten before, and this was the final result. I ultimately ended up putting it on a wrap with fresh cut tomatoes, lettuce, red onions, Italian peppers, and green peppers. This is delicious and I cannot wait to make it in the summer with garden picked tomatoes and a glass of lemonade.

2 tablespoons garlic, minced w/o oil.
15 ounces chickpeas, drained
2 tbsp. lime juice
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tbsp. chopped red onion
3 tbsp. diced jarred peperoncini
1/4 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tbsp. onion powder
sea salt to taste

With the food processor running, drop in the garlic and peperoncini.

Add the chickpeas and lime juice and begin processing. If this appears to be a bit dry, add some water, a tablespoon at a time, until it thickens to your preference.
Add the remaining ingredients and process until smooth. Adjust salt to taste.

At this point, the recipe is done, it's merely a matter if you'd like to enjoy this spread on a sandwich, a wrap, or just simply as a dip for some celery and carrots! Again, pictures will be up shortly, but I was unfortunately unable to hold myself back on this one after cooking it, but I do have more in the fridge for a sandwhich in the near future...

Caloric Info
Servings 4
Calories 138
Total Fat:1.3 grams
Sat Fat:0.1 grams
Polyunsat. Fat:0.6 grams
Monosat. Fat:0.3 grams
Cholesterol:0 grams
Sodium:409.1 mg
Potassium:214.9 mg
Carbs:26.7 grams
Dietary Fiber:5.1 grams
Sugar:4.0 grams
Protein:5.6 grams

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Asparagus with Roasted Garlic Sauce

La Vita Vegan is back with more recipes that are healthy, animal product free, and delicious! I apologize for the complete disappearance act put on by us, after moving twice across the country and bouncing from job to job, we fell a bit behind over here. The funny thing is, we continued to try new recipes and take pictures of them; we just never managed to take the time to post them up here. Hopefully, we should be around more for some delicious vegan food. This recipe was tested out tonight; I have been manipulating this for a while and I believe I've gotten it perfect now-- asparagus is one of my favorite vegetables I have been experimenting with cooking without the use of oils to try to rely on the vegetable's natural flavors, and I feel this is a great example of a food that stands out on its own for it's fantastic unique characteristics. Unfortunately, after tasting it, I couldn't hold back long enough for a picture of it to post and ate it immediately. I'll be working soon to make this again and to at least try to get a picture of it prior to being devoured. I highly recommend this one, and I managed to even convert someone to the deliciousness of asparagus through this recipe!

3 tablespoons garlic, minced in water
1/5 cup cashews, crushed
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 pound asparagus
2 tablespoons Basil Sea Salt
1 cup water
Sea salt to taste

Set the oven for 400 degrees.

Sprinkle the garlic with ground black pepper and salt according to taste.

Place garlic in a foil wrap and put in to oven for a half hour.

While garlic is in the oven, crush the cashews and place on a sheet of aluminum foil

Prepare the asparagus by snapping off the tough ends (just hold a spear at the bottom and in the
middle, and it should snap off in the right spot) and cut the asparagus into 2 inch pieces.

After a half hour, place the cashews in the oven, keeping the garlic still in as well.

At this point, put the water in a medium sized wok and bring it to boil. Add one tablespoon of the lemon juice to the water, and add the asparagus.

Take the cashews out as they begin to brown, and mix the garlic with the cashews-- and one tablespoon of lemon juice to this mix and put back in the oven.

Add some sea salt to the asparagus in the wok, continually stirring it as the water evaporates.

When the water appears to have roughly half an inch left in the wok, take the garlic/cashew mixture out of the oven and mix it in with the asparagus in the wok. This will absorb a lot of the water relatively quickly, so turn off the burner after about 30 seconds.

Immediately after turning off the burner, toss in the Basil Sea Salt and try to coat everything
evenly. You should have still a bit of juice in the wok (which is delicious in its own right)-- drizzle this over the asparagus afterwords.

This is best eaten immediately, as others around you may steal this if you turn away-- enjoy!

Caloric Info
Servings 2
Calories 152.2
Total Fat: 6.9 grams
Sat Fat: 1.4 grams
Polyunsat. Fat: 1.3 grams
Monosat. Fat: 3.8 grams
Cholesterol: 0 grams
Sodium: 172.1 mg
Potassium: 768.9 mg
Carbs: 19.7 grams
Dietary Fiber: 5.6 grams
Sugar: 1.0 grams
Protein: 8.2 grams