Tag Archives: quinoa

Vegan Dream Restaurant

I cannot even begin to describe how much I fell in love with Silly’s! Off the beaten path in Portland, Maine, hides the gem of a restaurant, Silly’s.  As I walk to the back patio, I oggle at the decor made from recycled junk.  Recycled doors painted in bright colors hinged together to make one side of the fence. Even an old toilet with flowers planted in it. Each table had a hot pink square lunch box toting its Silly name.

I’m not sure my uncle would appreciate being in this particular picture, so he’s blurred out! ha!

Now, let me tell you, my experience when ordering food at restaurants is usually something like this.  Is there a veggie burger? What are the side dishes? And is there a vegetarian section of the menu? If there is a Veggie section, it usually has 6 options tops! Basically it’s never hard for me to decide what I want to eat.

At Silly’s? Oh no! I’ve never wanted to order so many things off one menu in my life. Vegan garlic bread, bruschetta, hummus plate, vegan pizza, burgers, mac and cheese, falafel, vegan desserts too! I was sooo lost. I finally just asked what’s the most popular vegan item and went with that! And boy oh boy, it was better than I could have hoped!

I got the last one. The Zombie Burger.

House made veggie burgers? Made with black bean, sweet and white potato, and quinoa! Holy cow. (Minus the actual cow)

This thing was HUGE! The spicy sauce on here was so good!! Everything about this was delicious! Messy, but delicious.  I cannot wait to try and recreate this bad boy!  (I asked how to make the sauce, sounds super easy, so be ready to find it on here soon!)  I loved the texture of the veggie burger! They’re known for being like cardboard sometimes. Oh no! Not this one my friends!

If you ever find yourself in Portland, Maine, you MUST stop by Silly’s! You will find yourself full of healthy, happy, and hot goodness!

What’s your favorite vegan restaurant? 

Where is it?

Have you ever made your own veggie burgers?

 

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Are You Toxic?

Do you have trouble losing weight?

Do you have heartburn, frequent stomach aches, or digestive issues?

Is there a ringing in your ears? Watery, itchy eyes?

Have you suffered from depression, anxiety or irritability?

Do you have achy joints  muscles?

Headaches? Insomnia? Asthma?

Do you get sore throats or canker sores?

Do you have poor memory or concentration?

Sinus problems? Acne? Compulsive eating? Or frequent sickness?

Well doesn’t everybody deal with this stuff? No! These are signs that your body is toxic.

Warning: This is not sugar-coated. This is blunt.

I’m not just talking about the environment here. I’m talking about that crappy diet you keep eating.  Not just the fast food either.  We all know toxins are bad, since the whole cancer scare really hasn’t changed your habits maybe this will help.

Ever heard of DDT? It was banned in the 70’s for its severe toxicity.  It’s linked to diabetes and cancer. It also caused neurological abnormalities  in babies. Yea well, 100% of beef was found contaminated with DDT. 100 frickin’ percent! More than 90% of processed cheese, hot dogs, bologna, turkey and ice cream too. YUCK! DDT was also found in 70% of 4 year olds! Not their fault!

That’s only one toxin, not to mention that it has been banned in the US for more than 40 years, but we have also released 79,999 other new chemicals since the turn of the 20th century. Toxic shit storm!

Can you avoid all 80,000 of these completely? Probably not unless you put yourself in a bubble, which would probably be made from one of these chemicals anyway.

Not only does having all these toxins in our body cause cancer, which is not news to you I’m sure, but when we eat sugar and high-fructose corn syrup AND chemical toxins, we screw up our kidneys, our thyroid, our mitochondria, our immune system and our brain (neurotransmitters specifically). That causes weight gain and obesity and a whole host of other health problems.

Got a headache? Feeling depressed? Heartburn? Stop reaching for the medicine you’re only adding to the chemical shit storm already festering inside you. FIX THE PROBLEM. DETOXIFY!

What you can do is stop eating all the highly processed, chemical-laden foods. Start cooking! Let’s get this straight. If it comes from a factory, in a box, can or package it is processed.  Now you can still buy some of these foods.  Organic black beans in a can are ok.  Processed-meat (especially the ones I listed above) is a no-no. Read the ingredients. As a rule of thumb, if you can’t read it, don’t eat it! Eat as many whole foods, especially plant sources, as you possibly can!

Stop your toxic diet! Get healthy, be happy and you’ll be the hottest chick on your block!

Now for what I’ve been eating for my 30 day challenge.

Dinner last night: Taco Night.

Smoothie this morning: Berry Banana Smoothie.

What I Eat & Recipes

Over the weekend I spent a lot of time explaining to people what I do for my work and sharing about my blog. I explained many times that I was doing a 30 day challenge for my blog and what it entailed.   And I got so many questions about what I was eating etc, etc. (I was at a graduation party on my fiance’s side and the only vegan thing there.. were carrot sticks and cucumbers haha)

Brett’s (my fiance) aunt was like you should give a meal by meal update so it can be duplicated so we can do it too! This is both awesome and very challenging (for me).  But for the last 6 days of my 30 Day Challenge I am going to do my best to do exactly that, while still sharing some good health info!

Alyssa this is dedicated to you. 🙂

What I Eat… so Far Today

I’m a little smoothied out and running out of fruit, so this morning I moved on over to the juicer! Juicing can be just as good and good for you as smoothies. They’re easier to drink and less filing, but you still get all the same phytonutrients, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Not only that but eliminating some of the fiber makes it easier for your body to absorb into your blood stream! This means quick energy, sort of like you might get from coffee.

Good Morning Delight

3 apples (any kind works)

1/2 a tomato

1 carrot

1 celery stalk

Juice those babies up and viola its a good morning delight! (sorry, I guzzled this bad boy down before I thought to take a picture) Now for my lunch…

Garlicky Asian Quinoa Stir-Fry

I always loved how flavorful the veggie stir fries at Chinese Restaurants are. It took me awhile to come up with a good home-made version. But this is quite delicious and full of flavor. 

This ingredient list looks long, but really its just a lot of different vegetables. You don’t have to use as many as I do.  I generally just take whatever is in my fridge and throw it in.  Use as many or as few as you like.

2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1/2 tsp Garlic Powder

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

1/4 tsp paprika

2/3 c quinoa

1 1/3 c water’

1/2 onion, 1 inch pieces

1 bell pepper (any color), 1 inch pieces

2 carrots, sliced

1 celery stalk, sliced

2 c. mushrooms, quartered

1 Tbsp hoisin

1/2 zucchini, cut lengthwise then sliced

1 ear of corn, taken off the cob

1 c fresh broccoli

3 tbsp rice vinegar

3 clove garlic, pressed/minced

1/2 tsp fresh ginger, grated

sea salt to taste

1.  In a sauce pan, add 1 tbsp EVOO. Then add garlic powder, cayenne, and paprika. You want to lightly fry the spices.

2. Add the quinoa and water. (You want to make sure you pre-soak your quinoa for a couple minutes before you cook it otherwise it won’t sprout.) Boil then simmer for 20 minutes with a lid on.

3. Meanwhile in a saute pan add 1 tbsp EVOO, onions, bell pepper, carrots, and celery.  Let them cook down a bit. Then add 1 Tbsp soy sauce and hoisin. Stir

4. Add zucchini, mushrooms, broccoli, and corn.

5.  Mix in the rice vinegar, garlic and ginger. Stir and let cook until vegetables are coated and tender.

6. Lay down the quinoa on a plate and cover with the stir fry veggies. Garnish with fresh green onion if you like and enjoy!

Well my friends writing recipes wears me out! Please enjoy them! Alyssa, do try it. This is an easy-to-get-into-quinoa recipe!

I’ve got some hula-hooping to do and some pampering to do and a whole list of other things I should do as well!

Eat healthy, be happy, and rock  you’re hot body!

Sloppy Joe’s Like My Mom Did… Kinda

I recently ran into a recipe in a magazine for vegetarian sloppy joes.  Instantly I go back to being a kid and eating this messy sandwich. Across the table my little brother has sloppy joe covering half his face and dang near his whole arm.

It’s time to get messy!

The recipe I ran into had cheese and black beans, which Brett isn’t much a fan of beans.  I instead think quinoa! Because I seem to think quinoa is the answer to everything lately. And so, I act on this idea in a few days time and now with great success I wish to share it with you!

Sloppy Joe’s Like My Mom Did… Kinda

When I cook traditional foods like this, I like to keep it as close to the flavor as what I grew up eating, which is why I gave it the name that I did. Only this bad boy is vegan!

1/2 c. red quinoa

1 c water

1/4 tsp cayenne

1/4 tsp paprika

1/2 red onion, diced

1/2 green bell pepper, diced

Extra virgin olive oil (about 1 tbsp)

salt and pepper

6 oz tomato sauce

1 tbsp tomato paste

1/2 tbsp apple cider vinegar

Dill pickle, garnish

Cilantro, minced, garnish

1. Cook the quinoa in water with cayenne and paprika for 20 minutes or until quinoa is sprouted.

2. Meanwhile saute the onion and bell pepper in some olive oil.

3. Add the cooked quinoa, tomato sauce, tomato paste, and apple cider vinegar. Stir until it is heated through.

Take some dill pickle slices and chop them up.  Mince some cilantro as well. These 2 things will really give this sloppy joe that wow factor. YUM YUM.

Put it all together on a bun and enjoy! Beware, it’s as messy as I remember it being 🙂

Eating these made the little kid inside me happy. It was messy. It was delicious.  I haven’t touched meat in more than 4 years so this to me- I could have sworn was the same thing my momma served me.

What are your favorite childhood foods?

Have you recreated them to be vegetarian/vegan friendly?

Please share! In the meantime live healthy, be happy, and go about your hot self!

Old-Fashion Taco Night Goes Vegan

I can remember one of my favorite dinners when I was young being taco night. My mom would just put out an array of stuff; meat, chicken, refried beans, salsa, sour cream, cheese, tortillas, hard tortillas, lettuce, rice, and whatever else fit. Then we would make our own tacos and be merry.

Well taco night is still one of my favorite dinners.  It’s still just as easy as when my mom did it and don’t tell her this, but it tastes even better. That’s one thing about going vegetarian or vegan is you get really good at adding REAL flavors and spices to your food. (Not that chicken and cheese aren’t flavorful, but come on…)

How to make the switch

Quinoa instead of meat.

I use red quinoa, because it kind of looks like ground beef. Then just add taco seasoning while its cooking out the water. I also add some diced onions, but I don’t think its a must.  Just read your ingredient labels carefully when buying taco seasoning.  It should just list different spices like paprika, cumin, onion powder, garlic powder, chili powder, etc. No artificial junk.  You can also make your own if you know how, but if not, this works easy-peazy, lemon-squeezy.

Veggies instead of chicken.

My mom used to always make fajita style chicken.  Instead I do fajita style veggies. Generally you can just use onions and bell peppers, but usually I add zucchini and mushrooms. Cut the zucchini in strips like you would the onions and peppers. Let them cook down in some EVOO. Then add sliced mushrooms. Add a little cayenne pepper, and sea salt. Done.

Guacamole  instead of sour cream and cheese.

Guacamole has that creamy texture that I sometimes miss about sour cream, but it’s loaded with good vitamins and minerals and fats unlike the sour cream. When guacamole is done right (I say this because I’ve had a lot of bad guacs) it has just as much flavor if not more.  All you need is fresh cilantro, fresh lime, sea salt and fresh pressed garlic. And avocado of course.

Ramp up your fixings

Instead of the old fashion iceberg lettuce use  a spring mix or baby spinach or whatever your favorite is.  Heat up some vegetarian refried beans (no lard people). Put out your favorite salsa. Cut up some fresh tomatoes.  Grab your corn or whole grain tortillas.  Sometimes I just do tostadas or hard shell tacos. And let’s have a Mexican Fiesta!

(I made a delicious corn salsa! I’d tell you about it but I just made it up and I wasn’t paying attention to what I did or how much I used… oops. The magic of cooking!)

For those of you doing the salad challenge. I’m using the leftover toppings for my salad this afternoon 🙂

Well it’s awfully nice out today. I think it’s time to put on the bikini, get some rays, and hula hoop!

I bid you a healthy, happy, and hot farewell!

Jumping for Joy: Quinoa

Quinoa? What the heck is that?

Am I reading your mind?

Quinoa

Haha I’ve been there. In fact I should probably let you know it’s pronounced KEEN- WAH not QUIN-O-AH as I thought for so long. Quinoa is like God’s gift to vegetarians and vegans or anyone following a plant-based type diet, but it is so YUMMY even my unhealthiest of friends loved it!

Quinoa is a grain, so you could most relate it to rice, but quinoa is grown at a high altitude in the Andes Mountains. The Incas claimed that it was this food that enabled them to run such long distances at a high altitude. Cool right?

What makes this a super grain? 

  • It has all 8 amino acids so it’s a complete protein
  • High in B Vitamins, zinc, iron, potassium, calcium & Vitamin E
  • Its protein content is equal to milk
  • Gluten free
  • Strengthens kindey, heart, and lungs
  • Ideal for endurance
  • Oh, and it’s so yummy!
I was very hesitant to try quinoa. I am naturally cautious and tend to get stuck in my comfortable ways, and like I said before I refuse to eat food JUST because it’s good for me. It has to be delicious too.
Here was the first recipe I tried and immediately loved!
Quinoa patties
I did adopt my own version. Basically I took out the cheese and used only 1 egg. I avoid animal products whenever possible. I’ve also made it with no eggs, but they tend to fall apart way too easily.
I love putting these quinoa patties on some toast with some veganaise, lettuce, and pickles!
This recipe also inspired me to make “meatballs” for my spagetti too.

Last night I used quinoa as our taco “meat.” While it was cooking I added taco seasoning and it was delicious. My fiance was raving.

Add a veggie bouillon while its cooking. Then stir fry it with your favorite veggies for another great dinner.

Take your leftover quinoa and add it to potatos you hashbrowned and add some spinach for an over the top healthy breakfast!

Quinoa has me jumping for joy my friends!! Give it a try! It’s so much easier than rice and way more versatile and so much better for you! Have fun, get cooking, and Jump for Joy with Quinoa!

Then tell me all about it!

Ciao!