Posts

Plant-Based Goodness: Getting Slutty Vegan on a Cold Day in Harlem

So….let’s catch up. How did you spend your President’s Day this year? I opted for a little excitement this year, and I wasn’t alone. True Story. Here’s my confessional:

I got a little Slutty on our National Holiday when I heard that Slutty Vegan came to Harlem NYC.

Slutty Vegan, an Atlanta based fast food company specializing in fast, and yummy plant-based foods, held their first pop-up in New York City ever. Their menu places a shining spotlight 100% Vegan versions of the All-American fast-food favorite, the hamburger. It’s irresistible, insatiable, forever side-piece, french fries. I went with an open mind to try something new and exciting and to have a little fun. And I didn’t leave until I had a One Night Stand. No pork, just vegan bacon.

The outstanding pop-up event, held at the Cove Lounge in heart of Harlem, was a kickoff to the larger Slutty Vegan Tour. It will stop at a number of major cities along the East Coast in celebration of the Grand Opening of their new brick and mortar location in Atlanta – 1542 Ralph David Abernathy Blvd.

Back in New York, with lines wrapping around the block for hours. Over 900 people were served a taste of these delicious and satisfying burgers. We came to get the stuff that’s so good we waited in the cold for it!

3 FAST & SLUTTY OPTIONS CAME NEW YORK:

The Fussy Hussy
Impossible Burger patty loaded with pickle, vegan cheese, caramelized onions, lettuce, tomato, and slutty sauce on a vegan Hawaiian bun.

The Sloppy Toppy
Impossible Burger patty loaded with jalapeños, vegan cheese, caramelized onions, lettuce, tomato, and slutty sauce on a vegan Hawaiian bun.

The One Night Stand*
Impossible Burger patty loaded with vegan bacon, vegan cheese, caramelized onions, lettuce, tomato, and slutty sauce on a vegan Hawaiian bun.
*We had a good time together. Now we are on a Down To Fork basis

If you’ve never had an Impossible Burger – you don’t know what you’re missing! If you are steering your diet to be more plant-based right now, start here! The Impossible Burger Patty is made of a proprietary mixture of wheat, potato proteins, coconut oil, and heme. It tastes so much like meat, that you will open your burger, thoroughly examine how beautiful the patty is, whisper sweet devotion while you put it back in the bun and ravish the whole thing.

Founded in 2018 by Pinky Cole in Atlanta Georgia’s West End community, the Slutty Vegan Dream Team started with the purchase of a restaurant-grade food truck. The goal was to provide fresh, top quality prepared vegan comfort foods to an area underserved by flavorful vegan eats. A reminder and benchmark to everyone across the country that plant-based eating can be absolutely delicious and affordable.

The Slutty Vegan tour went on to Baltimore, DC, and Maryland, Greater Georgia, New Orleans, Houston, and will end in Los Angeles at the end of March 2019.

 

It’s Easy Eating Green: Explore Cuisine St. Patrick’s Day Pasta Recipes

We know when it comes to celebrating the luckiest day of the year, it’s usually done with cocktails, but we’re here to tell you, enjoying a delicious plate of a delicious pasta is another great way to honor the greenest holiday. All Explore Cuisine products are vegan, gluten-free, non-GMO and jam-packed with nutrients. While they may not be Irish, these Explore Cuisine pastas, made with Green Lentil, Edamame, and Mung Bean, are actually green. Ready to try these Explore Cuisine St. Patrick’s Day pasta recipes?

Free of artificial colors, Explore Cuisine integrates beans, peas, lentils, and rice to provide you with nourishing meals which are easy, quick, colorful, and simply delicious. The following Explore Cuisine St. Patrick’s Day pasta recipes include two pesto dishes and a pasta salad.

Green Lentil Penne with Deconstructed Pesto

1 package Explore Cuisine Green Lentil Penne – cooked, drained
2 T. olive oil
3 garlic cloves, sliced thin
A handful fresh basil leaves, roughly torn
salt and red chili flakes to taste
3 T. pine nuts, toasted
Parmesan cheese (optional)
Heat oil in a small sauté pan. Add garlic and cook one minute. Toss penne with garlic oil. Gently fold in torn basil. Season with salt and chili flakes. Garnish with pine nuts. Add cheese if desired.

Explore Cuisine Super Green Pasta Salad

1 7oz Explore Cuisine Edamame Spaghetti
4 cups spinach (finely sliced & packed)
2 spring onions (finely sliced)
2 cups cherry tomatoes (halved)
1/2 tsp sea salt
Green Tahini Sauce
1 cup fresh basil (packed)
1/4 cup tahini
1/4 cup cashews
1/2 cup water (the pasta cooking water)
1/2 cup lemon juice (3 lemons)
4 cloves garlic
1 tsp sea salt
freshly cracked black pepper (to taste)
1/4 cup brazil nut parmesan (to top)
Cook pasta for 4 minutes, then drain and rinse briefly under cold water. Be sure to reserve 1/2 cup cooking water – it’ll make a huge difference to your sauce! While the pasta cooks, make up the Brazil nut parmesan by blitzing all ingredients in a blender until crumbly. Once your pasta is cooked, make the sauce by blending all sauce ingredients (including your reserved pasta cooking water) until smooth. Place the pasta back in the pan and turn the element onto a low heat. Add the sauce and spinach, cooking for just a minute or two until the spinach it very lightly wilted but still vibrant. Finally, mix through the tomatoes and spring onions and then remove from heat, (this maintains all the nutritional benefits of the raw vegetables while lightly heating them). Plate your pasta into bowls, adding 1 tbsp of parmesan to each plus cracked black pepper and extra sea salt to taste. **Recipe courtesy of Recipe by Buffy Ellen of begoodorganics**

Organic Edamame and Mung Bean Fettuccine in a Light Pesto Sauce

7 oz. Explore Cuisine Edamame and Mung Bean Fettuccine – cooked and drained
2 large yellow squashes, peeled into ribbons with a peeler
3.5 oz. pecans – peeled & halved
1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
3 oz. pine nuts

LIGHT PESTO SAUCE
1 large bunch of fresh basil
2 cloves garlic
2 oz. olive oil
2 tbsp pine nuts
1/2 tsp coarse sea salt

Peel skin from garlic cloves, and chop into big chunks. Using a food processor, pulse basil, garlic, and nuts several times until finely chopped. Add the salt and olive oil, pulse until blended. Pesto may be thick, so add more olive oil for a looser consistency. Lightly toast the pecans, pomegranate seeds and pine nuts in a skillet. Mix the fettuccine with the sauce, gently fold in the remaining ingredients. Serve immediately.

What are your thoughts on these Explore Cuisine St. Patrick’s Day pasta recipes?

National Spaghetti Day – Gluten Free Version (it’s pasta-ble!)

Although you may be completely preoccupied with the current snowstorm, today is January 4th, and you know what that means? National Spaghetti Day!!! If you’re like me, finding a gluten-free pasta that doesn’t taste like it is missing gluten and can hold its weight is hard. There are so many brands out there, it’s like kissing a ton of GF frogs to find the one wheatless carb Prince. Well, my Prince in noodle armor is Explore Cuisine. Explore Cuisine offers delicious spaghettis (and pennes, and lasagna noodles) made from ingredients like chickpeas, lentils, black beans, edamame, and more.

I am thankful for brands like this because you don’t feel like you’re missing out when it comes to pasta dishes. But I am also a label reader. So seeing that it is organic, non-GMO, vegan, gluten-free, and gives you a serving of protein, what better way to indulge without the guilt on National Spaghetti Day. Find me a glutinous pasta that can do all of that.

I am such a major fan of the Explore Cuisine Black Bean Spaghetti. Who says pasta has to come in one color? To be honest, when I purchased it I didn’t think I would like the taste as much because…….black bean pasta! I mean I love black beans…over rice. However, when it comes to GF foods, I like to try everything once so I can speak on it. But surprisingly, I wound up loving the flavor as a spaghetti pasta! The black bean flavor was not overwhelming and added a nice element of taste with my spaghetti sauce. It became one of my fave pasta go-to’s. And while I am not totally committed to it yet, I can be vegan-ish, and this line of vegan pastas really help for when I want to Carbe Diem!

Since it is a snow day and National Spaghetti Day, I like to cook even more because I am home and I eat. It’s what I do. You might not have a box of Explore Cuisine pasta in your cabinets (of which I highly suggest you stock up), but for those of you that do (or will), here’s a couple of good recipes for you to try –

Simple Vegan Chickpea Spaghetti

1 box Explore Cuisine Chickpea Spaghetti
1/4 cup nutritional yeast (optional)
1 cup organic pasta sauce
Cook the spaghetti until soft according to the packet directions. Drain the water from the pasta, and stir in the pasta sauce. Add more if you like more sauce. Serve in bowls and then sprinkle the nutritional yeast on each one. Season with salt and extra nutritional yeast if desired.

Southwestern Black Bean Spaghetti

Recipe and Image Credit: Lee Tilghman (Lee From America)
Serves 1 person
Preparation 30 minutes + 10 minutes cooking

1/4 box Explore Cuisine Black Bean Spaghetti
1/2 zucchini spiralized into “noodles”
1/4 Red Bell Pepper
2 handfuls Baby Spinach
1/4 cucumber
1/4 cup corn (canned in water works great- just rinse them)
1/4 avocado mashed with fresh organic lemon juice
1 tbsp. vegan cheese (I used Leaf Cuisine Plain Cream Cheese) pumpkin seeds + dill for garnish
Start by boiling a big pot of water for your black bean spaghetti. Once boiling, add the spaghetti and let cook for 6 minutes.
Once done, remove from heat, rinse under cool water and set aside.

Prep your veggies! Finely dice your cucumber, bell pepper, mash your avocado, spiralize your zucchini. Next, add a spicy adobo chipotle sauce to your noodles and zucchini noodles. Combine the ancho and guajillo chiles in a large bowl and add plenty of cold water to cover. Let them soak until soft, about 30 minutes. Place the soaked chiles in a blender along with the ginger, cumin, salt, and pepper. Blend until very smooth. Stop the motor a few times to scrape down the sides with a spatula and give things a stir, just to make sure everything’s getting puréed. Don’t be tempted to add liquid—you want the final sauce to be thick. Scrape the purée into a small bowl if you plan to use it soon, or into a jar with a tight-fitting lid if you want to save it for later. It’ll keep in the fridge for up to 5 days, or in the freezer for 3 months. Add a few handfuls of baby spinach to a big ‘ol bowl. Add some noodles, guac, then add cucumber, red bell pepper, vegan cheese, pumpkin seeds, and freshly chopped dill!

Explore Cuisine and their awesome pasta varieties are also oh-so-perfect for National Gluten-Free Day on January 13th! Enjoy!

**P.S. I need to know when it is National Lasagna Day because I will definitely be making my lasagna with these Explore Cuisine Green Lentil Lasagna Noodles! What spaghetti dish are you enjoying on this snowy National Spaghetti Day?

Bombay Sandwich Co. Flavors Up Ayurveda Vegan Eats in Midtown

For many, the word vegan will elicit many negative reactions, for others, it’s a new way of life that has significant health benefits. For us, it has a different meaning. While we would certainly enjoy the benefits of a healthier lifestyle, going vegan is not a choice for us….why do you ask, because of an allergy to mushrooms. Almost every vegan or vegetarian dish has mushrooms because of it’s almost meat-like texture. Great to those not allergic to mushrooms, bad for us. Thankfully, a semi-vegan lifestyle is not completely out of the picture for us if we so desired. We recently had the pleasure of experiencing the newest and most wonderfully delicious ayurvedic soul food, right in midtown Manhattan, at Bombay Sandwich Co.

The Bombay Sandwich Co. menu is packed with fresh, natural, and nutritious foods seasoned with some of the most flavorful herbs and spices that boast significant health benefits. These ayurvedic spices include Turmeric, Cardamom, Cumin, Fennel, and Asafoetida. All of these are great sources of vitamins and nutrients, are kosher, gluten-free, vegan, and contain antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties, all while adding layers of flavor to the menu’s vegetables, legumes, and nut dishes. The result is delicious vegetarian and vegan options that we thoroughly enjoyed. And a bonus, no mushrooms of any kind. Bombay Sandwich Co. offers soups, salads, sandwiches and wraps, bowls, platters, vegan beverages, and desserts. Although we didn’t get to try everything because we had to leave early (this we plan on rectifying very soon), we did dive right into small samples of their Vegan Mango Lassi, Chana Masala, and French Lentils.

SALADS

Pictured above is the Kale & Hearty Salad featuring marinated kale topped with avocado, cabbage, carrots beets and sunflower seeds, with the house dressing; and the Organic Quinoa Salad, with mixed greens, organic quinoa, chickpeas, cardamom, dates, scallions, and almonds, with olive oil & lemon. Also on the menu is a Garden Salad and Small Shepard Salad.

WRAPS

There are two wraps available on the Bombay Sandwich Co. menu, the above Kale & Sweet Potato Wrap with marinated kale, beets, carrots, cabbage with sweet potato, dried cranberries, fresh ginger, carom seed, with date chutney in a whole-wheat wrap; and an Organic Quinoa Wrap.

SANDWICHES

Sandwich lovers will love the six varieties available. Pictured above is the Garden Sandwich, with mixed greens, avocado, cucumber, tomato, pickled onions, and alfalfa sprouts with a homemade kale and walnut pesto, tomato chutney, on 7-grain bread; and the Chana Masala Sandwich, their most popular, with mom’s slow-cooked chickpeas topped with mixed greens, pickled onions, and homemade date chutney on a Tasca ciabatta roll. The other sandwiches include Honey-Fennel Grilled Cheese, Veggie Mashup Sandwich, Organic Tofu Masala Sandwich, and Fresh Mozzarella & Apple.

BOWLS

We may be biased since this is what we sampled, but the Bombay Sandwich Co. Bowls are hands-down going to be an ultimate favorite for us. It doesn’t matter if you’re a die-hard carnivore, you will not miss or even notice the lack of meat in these super meals. There are three bowls to enjoy, the Chana Masala bowl (pictured first), which features mom’s chickpea stew with garlic, ginger, tomato, Indian gooseberry (aka amla) and fresh ground spices (we could enjoy this every day for the rest of our lives and be very happy); the French Lentils bowl, with the chef’s favorite – slow-cooked French lentils with cumin, asafetida, red chillies and ginger; and the third (not pictured), the Veggie Mashup bowl.

Walking us through the menu was Chef Shiv Puri (pictured above), who started Bombay Sandwich Co. as a booth at NYC’s premier food festival, Smorgasburg, with his wife Shikha Jain.

“Our recipes focus on Ayurvedic healing spices so that each dish delivers more than just good taste. Our ingredients are locally sourced, organic and 100% GMO-free,” says Chef Shiv Puri and his wife Shikha Jain. “Our foods appeal to New Yorkers who are interested in healthy eating and that includes knowing what’s in their food and where it comes from.”

Every Bombay Sandwich Co. promises a flavorful and visual feast combining sweet, savory, cool and warm sensations with an equally vast variety of textures. If you’re looking to get away from the mundane tasting vegan food, look no further, your palate will definitely not be disappointed. Bombay Sandwich Co. has two locations, 48 West 27th Street in the Flatiron District, and 224 W35th St. in midtown. Visit www.bombaysandwichco.com for more information.

 

Who’s Ready-To-Eat? Cucina and Amore Quinoa Meals

We’d love to say we prepare lovely meals and meal prep for the week but there is not nearly enough time in the day. Instead, we satisfy our foodie appetites with dinner out with friends when our budget allows, and savory, ready-to-eat quick meals like the Cucina and Amore Quinoa Meals. They are perfect for those of us who have no time to cook, or are just looking for a quick, healthy meal or snack.

These gluten-free, preservative free, and non-GMO meals are not only jam packed with nutrients, they are conveniently packaged for on-the-go ease. The Cucina and Amore Quinoa Meals are available in four delicious flavors, Artichoke & Roasted Piquillo Peppers, Mango & Jalapeno Peppers, Basil Pesto, and Spicy Jalapeno and Roasted Peppers, that are vegan (the Basil Pesto is vegetarian).

The Basil Pesto Quinoa Meal will wake up your taste buds with a delicious blend of basil and pine nuts; the Mango & Jalapeno Quinoa Meal is the perfect balance of sweetness and hint of fire; and if you really love spicy food, the Spicy Jalapeno, and Roasted Peppers Quinoa Meal will blow your taste buds away. Whether you’re vegan (vegetarian) or a carnivore, you’ll love these prepackaged quinoa meals (they make great side dishes by the way). And if you are vegan, the Cucina and Amore Quinoa Meals are excellent sources of amino acids, various B vitamins, and protein. The ready-to-eat quinoa meals come in microwavable BPA-free containers, need no refrigeration, can be enjoyed hot or cold and comes with a mini spoon.

The next ancient grain to get excited for is Farro, an excellent source of vegan protein, fiber, antioxidants, and nutrients like magnesium and iron. Launching this fall from Cucina & Amore is their range of Farro with Quinoa Quick Meals in three mouth-watering flavors, Grilled Vegetables & Herbs, Roasted Pepper & artichoke, and Artichoke, Lemon & Roasted Garlic. These healthy, innovative products will help keep you feeling fuller longer, making it easier to manage your weight, as well as help to improve protection against diseases.

What are your thoughts on these healthy Italian dishes? Will you be trying these Cucina and Amore Quinoa Meals?