ice cream, you scream, we all scream for (vegan) ice cream

this is an incredibly fast way to make and eat dessert without any guilt. the secret? all fruit must be frozen and you'll need a powerful blender! peel and slice bananas before putting them in the freezer bags. the texture is very similar to milk-based ice cream.  tip: banana is the best base for blender-made ice cream. 

my favorite recipes so far this summer are:

1 cup strawberries and 1 banana - blend until smooth, serves one.

or 

2 bananas, 2T nut-butter and 1T raw cocoa powered. blend until smooth. serves two (if you're in the mood to share).

or 

1 banana, 1/2 c blueberries and 1/2 c mango.  serves one.  

 

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"eat mor (vegan) chikin"

new to eating plant-based foods?

are you looking for just a meatless meal or two a week?

are you having a hard time figuring out exactly what to eat?

do you need something fast?

do you miss your fast-food favorites?

drive-thru your kitchen for this easy, amazing treat!

a spicy chicken sandwich from wendy’s or chick-fil-a was my favorite fast food item. occasionally i get a craving for my old favorite. eating plant-based doesn’t mean i have to give up any of the taste.  i just re-create a harm-free version of my old fast food favorites.  you can, too.

everything for this recipe can be found in your local health food store and some general grocery stores, too.   being vegan means you read the labels, once, in the grocery store.  once you figure out what’s what, it is really, really easy. 

TIPS: when reading labels, be aware that vegetarian doesn’t mean vegan.  watch for milk, other dairy products, and eggs. if you want specific stores or brands that i prefer, email me through the website!

ingredients:

vegan hamburger buns

vegan chicken patties, spicy optional

vegan mayo

sliced pickles

yellow potatoes

vegan butter or olive oil

ketchup

note: you can either make this in the oven or in the microwave. if using the oven, pre-heat to 350°.

tools:

sauté pan. rubber spatula. cutting board. sharp knife. baking sheet (if using oven).

wash potatoes and poke a few holes in them with a knife. bake potatoes for 10 minutes in the oven on a baking sheet or cook potatoes in the microwave for 2 minutes. allow potatoes to cool slightly before cutting into desired shape (wedges, fries, cubes, or slices).

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melt butter or olive oil in sauté pan and cook potatoes for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally until golden brown.

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meanwhile, spread mayo on hamburger buns and load sliced pickles on one side of the bun. bake chicken patties in the oven on a baking sheet for 8 minutes or microwave patties for 2 minutes.

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once patty is completely heated, assemble the sandwich and serve immediately with potatoes and ketchup.  can you taste it?

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aloha

 

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if you’ve followed me on instagram, twitter, or facebook this past week, you probably noticed that i was on the island of kauai.

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i mingled with the locals! i met chickens (they are EVERYWHERE).  i also met their babies.  a lot of their babies.  i met a few frogs, a couple crabs, and gently swam with some fish.  plus, every morning, i was greeted by a large flock of the state bird of hawaii, the nene (this is not a real housewife from atlanta).     

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i am also pretty sure i ate my weight in mango, papaya, guava, pineapple and local veg tacos. this is the first time i traveled to kauai as a vegan.  traveling can be stressful for those of us who choose a plant-based diet. but hawaii is different. when i ordered the local fare, no one rolled their eyes or scratched their head and said, “uh, do you eat cheese or fish?”  traveling vegan was easy.  and that was a real vacation. 

 

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fine dining

yesterday was my birthday. and birthdays call for special events and dinners. i was lucky enough to have someone go above and beyond for me last night to give me the one thing i wanted for my birthday. actually, it’s the same thing that i have wanted since november 2011, when i became vegan. i wanted a fine dining experience, with vegan food, of course.

it’s much harder than you think to find. people talk about missing cheese, milk or ice cream. me? i miss good, quality dining service. i crave it.  i dream about it. and i love it.  

i am a cia graduate and we are taught about providing superior service. once you’ve seen it, once you've had it, you always want it. now, i’m not saying that i haven’t had great customer service ordering my food at a counter or had a great server at my favorite vegan spots. i definitely have. i’m taking about multiple forks, knives and spoons on my table. amuse bouche, intermezzo and de-crumbing. plus the option for a paired dessert drink or espresso with my dessert. THIS is what i miss. and, thanks to the Ritz Carlton in phoenix, not only did i receive killer service, but the 5 course meal was the best vegan food i’ve had in arizona.  period.

and i know what you’re thinking, too. it must have cost my friend an arm and a leg, right? luckily, vegetables are affordable and so was dinner. the Ritz Carlton prepared this meal at a fixed price.  they told me that they'd be happy to do the same for others who wish to experience vegan food and fine dining.  after all, good, quality dining service shouldn't be reserved for just a few.  thanks to this experience, i am inspired, once again, that fine dining and vegan food go hand in hand. or fork to mouth.     

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tomato compote with garlic toast

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compress watermelon with arugala, balsamic glaze and fried capers tossed in nutritional yeast.

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gazpacho with compress cucumbers, and shaved yellow squash.

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berry sorbet with basil oil

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edible soil, cauliflower puree and compress eggplant

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carrot cake (my favorite dessert, ever.)

l.a. may 2012

just a few photos from my trip...