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.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Jamaican Brown Rice


A great pair for the baked Jamaican jerk tofu recipe posted recently, this rice is light, slightly fruity, and a nice change from traditional rices.  When I made it, Ashley wasn't too happy about the idea of a fruity rice.  So much so, she refused to eat it, even after acknowledging that it smelled good and that the tofu was good.  Don't let her refusal scare you!  It was delicious and a great pairing with the tofu! 

1 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 large white onion, sliced
1/2 red apple, cored and sliced
1/2 tsp curry powder
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup coconut milk
2/3 cup brown rice
2 tsp dark molasss
1 small banana, sliced
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp unsweetened flaked coconut 

Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat. 

Add the onion and red apple; cook and stir until onion is transparent. 

Season with curry powder, brown sugar, and stir in the water and coconut milk. 

Add the rice and molasses, cover, and cook over low heat until the rice is tender, and water has been absorbed, about 30 minutes. 

Mix in the banana, then sprinkle the coconut on top. Heat through for a moment over low heat before serving.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Peanut Butter Vegetable Soup


Soups are a staple in most vegan diets-- and even though it's summer, I wanted to expand my soup background.  Peanut butter in soup is something I've known about and heard good things about, but have been hesitant to test out.  Much like actually posting on this blog, I go through phases of wanting to try new and different foods-- the past week or so has been a testing ground for a lot of food, and the kitchen has been taking a beatdown-- especially for summer.  Knives were everywhere, unnamed substances covered the counters and drooled down the cabinets, beans that were soaking were forgotten about-- it looked like a combat zone.  The cats hid from the kitchen as the ipod stand blasted out the Descendents while the thermometer in the room easily broke 100.  The only way to survive that kind of heat is to rock through it.  My neighbors were not impressed.

Anyways, one recipe that came out of the chaos was this peanut butter vegetable soup.  The peanut butter adds a thick texture to the soup that catches you off-guard if you've never had this before-- the texture is almost grainy, but in a good way.  I used a peanut butter ground by the health foods store that's a block away, which is lists its ingredients as "peanuts" and that's it.  I feel as though using a generic brand peanut butter will be a much different experience, as the oils would likely seperate in the soup from the peanut butter, giving it an interesting (not in the good way) taste.  That said, I'd recommend forking over the extra pennies for the good stuff.  Fortunately for us, the health food store's peanut butter is actually cheaper than store-bought!

4 cups vegetable broth
1 cup peeled and cubed potatoes
1 cup diced carrots
1 cup diced zucchini
1 cup broccoli florets
1 can (8 ounce) tomato sauce
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup peanut butter, oil and sugar free
1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
salt to taste
ground black pepper to taste

In a large stock pot, combine the broth, tomato sauce, potatoes, and carrots. Bring the soup to a boil, and then reduce heat to simmer. Cook for about 10 minutes, until vegetables are mostly tender.

Add zucchini, broccoli, celery, onion, green pepper, and garlic. Simmer for about 8 minutes.

Add peanut butter, parsley, salt, and pepper, and stir until peanut butter is fully blended. Simmer for 3 minutes longer and serve!

Caloric Info
Servings 6
Total Fat: 5.7 grams
Sat Fat: 0.9 grams
Polyunsat. Fat 0.2 grams
Monosat. Fat: 0.0 grams
Cholesterol: 0 grams
Sodium: 809.1 mg
Potassium: 780.1 mg
Carbs: 30.7 grams
Dietary Fiber: 5.3 grams
Sugar: 5.2 grams
Protein: 6.3 grams


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Black Bean Sloppy Joes


On a summer day, even in a vegan house, the all-American type meals seem to hit the spot.  Sloppy Joes may be the most American meal I can think of; we're sloppy, and we're the 'average joe'.  Hamburgers and hotdogs?  German.  Pizza?  Italian.  Sloppy Joes?  That's the most American thing in existence, next to capitalism and TV dinners.  Anyways, we've posted a sloppy joe recipe in the past, but this one here is a bit different.  We've substituted black beans for the tvp, and because of the flavor notes and texture that coincides with black beans, the rest of the ingredients have been adjusted.  The only way to know which one you'll like more is to make both!

1/4 tbsp canola oil
1 tbsp peperoncini, diced
1/2  green bell pepper, chopped
1/2 red onion, chopped
1 tbsp garlic, minced
1 15-oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 tsp cumin
1 8-oz. can tomato sauce
1/2 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce (make sure it's vegan!)
1 tsp lime

Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. 

Add peppers, peperoncini, onions, and garlic, and cook for 7-10 minutes.

While this is cooking, crush the beans so that at least half are crushed.  A fork works well for this.

Add beans to saucepan, stir in tomato sauce, brown suger, and Worcetershire sauce.

Add lime juice, stirring occasionally.  Allow flavors to mix and leave on low heat for 5 minutes.  

Serve over bun and enjoy!

Caloric Info
Servings 4
Total Fat: 2.6 grams
Sat Fat: 0.4 grams
Polyunsat. Fat 0.9 grams
Monosat. Fat: 1.1 grams
Cholesterol: 0 grams
Sodium: 391.7 mg
Potassium: 506.5 mg
Carbs: 30.5 grams
Dietary Fiber: 8.1 grams
Sugar: 5.1 grams
Protein: 7.9 grams

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Baked Jamaican Jerk Tofu


This Jamaican Jerk Tofu recipe is a great way to dress up tofu and also is a great meal when you're feeling like some reggae, margaritas, and a long afternoon lounging in the sun.  We paired this with a Jamaican Apple Rice and some fresh, you guessed it, margaritas.  Be prepared, because these take a bit to bake and dry up if you want themt o be nice and chewy.  So open up the windows in the kitchen, and head outside and catch a tan!  When the sun begins to set, you'll be ready to have yourself a delicious meal.

1 lb extra firm tofu, drained, sliced and pressed
1/2 large red onion, diced
4 cloves garlic
2 Tbs fresh ginger, grated
Juice of 2 limes
Zest of 1 lime
2 Tbs soy sauce
2 Tbs olive oil
3 Tbs pure maple syrup
1 Tbs dried thyme
2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp cayenne
1 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped (you can cut back to one or omit entirely if you don't like spicy) 

Slice the tofu into thick slabs (about 3/4 inch wide) then lay the slices on several layers of paper towels or on a clean dish towel and place a heavy plate on top. Let this sit for an hour. Pressing the tofu dries out the tofu, allowing it to absorb more of the marinade, making a more flavorful jerk.

Mix all the rest of the ingredients to create the marinade. Place the tofu slices in a bowl, pour in the marinade, making sure to coat all the slices, and cover. Let it sit for two hours, flipping the slices about halfway through.

Set the oven to 150 degrees.  Place the slices on a baking tray with parchment paper and drizzle marinade left in the bowl.  Turn tofu every hour for roughly 6-7 hours or until corners begin to crisp.