Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Change the channel please!

I've decided to go back to my old blog Mocha Me and post all my recipes there. I was very excited starting up a new blog that was dedicated to vegan cooking and interests but it just didn't work for me. I missed my old blog...like an old friend.  So, please visit me at Mocha Me for my vegan recipes and whatever craziness I may decide to blog about!!!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Goya Black Beans

I found this recipe on the back of a can of Goya black beans.  Yum is all I can say.  I had this for dinner several nights in a row since I just could not get enough of it!!  It's flavorful, healthy and delicious.  And I love the fact that I found it on the can!!!

It's been hot here and I am not complaining. I love the fact that it's summer. I could do summer all year round.  Hopefully we will be going to the beach in another week or so and I am just looking so forward to that.  We go every so often to Chincoteague Island where the wild ponies are.  They are so adorable. I'll be taking pics and plan on posting them.

In the meantime I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I did. It's great for a weeknight meal! I made this both with brown rice and basmati. As you can see from the picture I topped the beans and rice with tomatoes and avocado.  Add whatever toppings you like for extra flavor!

2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup green pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 15.5 ounce can Goya Black Beans, undrained
3/4 cup water
1 tsp oregano
1 packet Sazon Goya without Annatt
o - I used another hispanic brand since Goya contained MSG
1 Tbsp white cooking wine or cider vinegar (I used cider vinegar)

Heat oil in medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, pepper and garlic; cook until tender, about 8-10 minutes.  Stir in remaining ingredients.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.  Serve over rice of your choice.  Serves 4

Friday, June 28, 2013

No, I Haven't Dropped Off the Face of the Earth!

I'm still here.  I haven't posted this past month because I really haven't been cooking that much.  What I have cooked is fairly simple but good but I wouldn't consider it blog worthy.  But I can tell you several things that have happened since I've gone vegan.

1. Weight loss - If you are overweight and would love to shed those pounds then giving up meat and dairy will accomplish that.  You won't be hungry and the pounds will roll off. Mine have rolled off so much that my husband told me I looked bony.  He said please put on a few pounds!  No problem. Soy mochas and vegan cupcakes can accomplish that!

2. Speaking of vegan cupcakes - I had the MOST delicious and amazing one at Baked and Wired. It was a cookies and cream cupcake and one of the best I've had.  They are located in Washington, D.C.  I had recently been in Alexandria, Virginia and came upon a cupcake store.  They advertised that they had vegan cupcakes so I went in planning to try one.  Of course all your non vegan cupcakes were gorgeous.  As I approached the counter I saw these really sorry looking chocolate "cupcakes" that had no frosting and powdered sugar on top. They were half the normal size of a cupcake. Of course they were the vegan ones. Why would you sell a cupcake like that? Ugh. And they were more expensive than the other ones. Ugly too..."who wants to eat that shit?" I thought to myself. I left disgusted and told my husband that I know there are decent vegan cupcakes out there. Weeks later I found one at Baked and Wired.  I knew they existed!

3. Cosmetics - I hope that non vegans are reading this post.  There are some great cosmetics companies out there that DON'T test on animals.  I had been a Clinique fan for years. No more. They DO test on animals.  Now don't laugh but just for the heck of it one day I tried Wet 'N Wild foundation, never thinking it would be any good. Big surprise....it was great. There new foundation is called COVERALL. Good stuff. I now pay about 1/10 of what I paid for foundation before. Give it a try. Really, what do you have to lose but a few dollars because that is all it costs. My foundation from Clinique was $34.00.  Big difference.  Now I can buy a lot more soy mochas!!!!  Another cosmetics company I like and is  fairly new...at least to me is NYX.  Great stuff...love their lip liner and gloss.  I came across them in Pebbles Department Store.  I'm hooked. The prices are also better for my pocketbook!

Hope you are all having a great summer and I will be back with recipes soon...Promise!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Guacamole - TGIV (Thank God it's Vegan!)

TGIV - yes.....Thank God it's vegan.  I love guacamole!  Just give me the bowl and I will finish it.  When you have 3 very ripe avocado's sitting on your kitchen counter, well, guacamole is the answer!  I found this over at Food Network.  Since eating vegan I really don't go over to that site much anymore but I did find this recipe while online searching for a guacamole recipe.  This is really good.  Hard to believe that I have never made my own guacamole before but I just never got around to it.  I have way more fruits and vegetables in my fridge now so I'm sure that I will be making more and more recipes that I haven't tried before.

The weather down here in Virginia has been gorgeous.  In the low 90's and sunny. I love it. I've been waiting anxiously for summer and it's finally here!  And this is a perfect recipe for this time of year.....

3 avocados, halved, seeded and peeled
1 lime, juiced
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 medium onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tomatoes, seeded and diced
1/2 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
1 Tbs of cilantro, chopped

In a large bowl place the scooped avocado pulp and lime juice, toss to coat.  Drain, and reserve the lime juice after all the avocados have been coated.  Using a potato masher add the salt, cumin and cayenne pepper and mash.  Then fold in the onions, tomato, jalapeno, cilantro and garlic.  Add the reserved lime juice.  Let sit at room temperature for 1 hour and serve.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Stuffed Peppers

One of my favorite dishes has to be stuffed peppers.  I used to make them quite often with ground beef and rice.  Well, ground beef is no longer an option here......however.......here is my vegan version which not only tastes the same (well, not really - they taste better!) but are super easy.  Trader Joe's has "Beef-less" Ground Beef.  Who knew products like this even existed?  I certainly didn't in my prevegan days.  Now that I do know I will be trying this product in other recipes that would normally call for ground beef.  All I can say is "simple & delicious!"  Enjoy!

Hope all you moms out there  had a great Mother's Day.  I know I did.  Had my 3 boys together and the weather was great. Not only that my wonderful daughter in law who is from Indonesia made me a dish using tempeh.  This new vegan here had  never had a dish before with tempeh and I now believe that all things vegan are just getting better and better.  Hope on for the ride as I discover new dishes every day!

1 package Trader Joe's Beef-less Ground Beef (this equals 1 lb of ground beef)
2 cups of cooked rice
2 jars of prepared tomato sauce (reserve 2 tablespoons)
5 peppers (I used assorted colors)
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1 - 2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion - chopped
2 or 3 cloves or garlic - minced
fresh chopped parsley
2 teaspoons dried oregano
salt & pepper to taste

Cut tops off peppers and remove seeds and clean.  Keep pepper tops.
Cook rice according to directions.
Heat oil in large skillet.  Add onion and cook for several minutes until soft.
Add garlic to skillet and saute until fragrant, only about 1 minute.
Add Beef-less ground beef to pan and cooked rice and cook until warm and blended.
In large pot add both jars of tomato sauce.  Turn heat on to low.
In large bowl combine Beef-less meat and rice mixture and add breadcrumbs, parsley, oregano, salt and pepper.  Add 2 tablespoons of tomato sauce to this mixture.
Stuff mixture loosely to just about top of pepper. Repeat with pepper.  Add top to pepper, if desired.
Stand peppers upright into pot and turn heat to medium-low and simmer for about 1 hour.
Check occasionally and stir sauce around each pepper.
Peppers are done with they are somewhat soft and can be cut easily.
Top peppers with sauce and enjoy!

Friday, May 3, 2013

Vegan Banana Bread

This was my first try at a vegan banana bread and this is some good stuff....Yes, it is and I have proof.  My husband and my coworkers all loved it.  At first I wondered if everyone was just being polite but an empty plate was all the proof I needed!  I personally will cut back on the amount of sugar next time but that's just me.  Whether you are vegan or not, I really think you will enjoy this bread.  I am so excited to be posting this because I happen to LOVE banana bread and wanted this to be my first recipe post on this blog and was hoping it would be successful!  I hope you give this a try.  I found the recipe here.  I still have lots of work to do fixing up this blog the way I like it so please be patient with it looking so plain!!!

Vegan Banana Bread

2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup white granulated sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup plain soy  milk or almond milk (I used almond breeze)
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
2 cups mashed banana (3 or 4 large bananas)
1/4 cup canola oil
2 Tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla
walnuts (optional , I just added a bunch on top)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and lightly oil a 9 x 5 in loaf  pan.
In a medium mixing bowl sift together all dry ingredients.
In a large mixing bowl add  soy milk with 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar and let sit for a few minutes.
Add the mashed banana, canola oil, maple syrup and vanilla and mix together.
Add the dry ingredients to this and mix until just combined. Do not over mix.
Add the walnuts, if using them and pour mixture into prepared loaf pan.

Bake for approximately 1 hour or until toothpick inserted in center emerges clean.  Let cool for 10 minutes and remove from pan to cool on wire rack.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Hello everyone and welcome to my new blog!!!

I am so excited to be starting a new blog.  I'm sure many of you have been directed here from my old food blog Mocha Me.  While I enjoyed that blog for many years (almost 5) I've taken my life in a different direction.  I've adopted a vegan diet and all the beliefs that go along with that.  That means no meat, dairy, leather or any product that was made from any animal.  I feel so good about this.  Finally.....I don't have to ever go on about how I love animals yet find them on my plate...no more.  And the biggest surprise was how easy this diet is.  It's absolutely no big deal.  For a change I am eating foods that are actually good for me.  I've had a sweet tooth my whole life.  But I've cut back almost totally on sugar too.  Or should I say cookies and cakes.  And that also was no big deal.  I now see how addictive sugar really is.  Since I've cut out my afternoon cookie snack at work....I no longer have that midafternoon slump.  But the best part of all this is that I am doing this for the animals that I love so much.  I've always been an animal lover.  I could say I was "born this way."  However, I do believe that most of us are born with a natural love for animals.  Somehow along the way we've lost sight of our love for these wonderful creatures. We've allowed them to make their way on to our plates and wear them on our backs and feet and so much more.  We continue and continue and continue to allow this.  I won't be part of that anymore.....

I hope you enjoy the recipes and articles I'll be posting.  It will all be food and animal related and maybe some crazy ramblings from me along the way!!