Posts in the 'vegan' Category

{Real Bride: Carrie} Veggie Tales: A Vegetarian Bride’s Revenge!

I’m about to tell you something you might find shocking.  But hold onto your hats, because our wedding is going to be a….MEAT FREE ZONE!

That’s right folks!  I am a longtime vegetarian and Zach rarely eats meat nowadays.  So we won’t be serving anything that used to breathe and have eyeballs at our wedding.  I think a lot of our non-vegetarian friends and family members are surprised we’re doing this.  But really, even if we were hiring a caterer, I wouldn’t want to pay for people to eat in a way I don’t believe in.  Because we’re cooking all the food ourselves, of course we’re not going to serve meat.  I don’t even know how to cook it!

I hope that people aren’t upset about not eating meat and I really hope they enjoy our food.  If it forces them to try something new, then good!  Maybe some will realize that it is possible to eat a satisfying and delicious meal without meat.  Maybe some will freak out and slam burgers before they come.  I don’t really care.  At least we’ll be showing off our values (and our mad cooking skills, hopefully) on our wedding day!As a side note, I have been to several weddings at which vegetarian options were not even offered!  Both times the couple knew that a few guests were veggie, but I don’t know if it slipped their minds or they just didn’t care.  Last time my friend and I (the only two vegetarians) couldn’t even eat the salad or pasta salad because both had bacon in them!  We ate only bread and potatoes and thus got extra drunk and rowdy with no food in our stomachs.

Vegetarian taco bar! (Photo source: machemag.com)

Maybe I have a slight vendetta, but after not being able to eat at weddings I’ve been invited to, I am super pumped to turn the tables on everyone and not serve any meat!  I promise that the food will be delicious and that there will still be lots of protein (beans, guacamole) and cheese (we’re not vegan).

Is it crazy to have a totally-veggie reception?  Do you think people will freak out or enjoy the food?  Have you ever been invited to a wedding you couldn’t eat at?

 

Vegan, Low-Heeled Bridal Shoes for a Steal

Reader Request

Hi fellow broke-asses! I’ve got a cry for help. Basically, I need some shoes for my wedding. Not too hard, but I’m vegan, so I need them to be all man-made materials. Additionally, my groom is not much taller than me, so while I’d like a small heel or wedge, I need it to be 2″ or less. I’d prefer something with a vintage-y flair, but I’m open to just about anything. Can you help? Thank you!

Of course we can help! Here are some low-heeled, animal-friendly shoes for you.

Anthropologie, $68:

BC, $69:

Alternative Outfitters, $23:

Bouquets, $69:

(also available in white, silver and purple)

Bandolino, $48:

White House Black Market, $40:

Modcloth, $65:

Olsenhaus, $50:

 

 

Meatless Mondays: A Broke-Ass BLT Sammich.

Put down that meat - its Monday, yo!

We here at Broke-Ass HQ like to keep lunches light, easy, cheap, and palate-pleasing… so the BLT has become a common default for our mid-day meal. But we’ve put our own special spin on this oldie but goodie, taking it from a porky classic to VEGGIETASTIC. It’s quickly become Hunter’s favorite sandwich – he begs for it on a near daily basis!

By subbing out healthier alternatives for the bread, bacon and mayo, and by adding the creamy goodness of avocado – this sammich brings the decadently creamy, crunchy and salty flavor party to your mouth, without all the narsty saturated fat!

Ingredients:

  • 2 slices of your favorite bread. (We love Ezekiel 4:9 Sprouted Grain Breads. The sprouting process activates beneficial enzymes which cause the grains to sprout and become living and nutrient-rich. Plus, they’re the YUM.)
  • 3 slices veggie bacon (Vegan Alert! MorningStar has egg in it, but there are vegan alternatives like Lightlife Smart Bacon)
  • 1/4 ripe avocado
  • 1/2-1 Tbsp. Mayonnaise (We LOVE Vegenaise – a non-dairy mayo alternative that beats out mayo in taste tests among all our friends)
  • 1-2 leaves romaine lettuce (has more nutrients than iceberg)
  • 1 fresh tomato, sliced
  • Salt/Pepper to taste

First, toss your bread into the toaster to get it nice and warm and toasty just the way you like it. While that’s running, saute your bacon slices over low-medium heat in a nonstick pan until it just slightly begins to brown on both sides. A squirt of oil in the pan will help it crispify. (Hint: the lower and slower it cooks, the better it is!)

When the toast is ready, slather one slice of bread with your 1/4 avocado, mashed. Spread the other slice with your mayo (or mayo alternative). Stack up your lettuce, tomato and bacon slices… sprinkle with a little salt and pepper… slice it up, and VOILA! A no-fuss, no-muss, healthy twist on an old favorite.


Admiring that professional construction? Using the avocado as glue for the tomatoes, and mayo as glue for the bacon, helps to hold the sammich together like a happy, tasty family.  And just look at how happy it can make a hubby! Who could resist?


Got a Meatless Monday recipe to share? Want to see me de-meat-ify your favorite? Hit me up in the comments, and happy cooking!

{Missed last week’s meatless wonder? Check out our vegan pumpkin harvest alfredo too!}

Meatless Mondays: Pumpkin Harvest Alfredo Pasta

(are you all, “meatless monday? What? why?” click here to catch up)

Vegan & Gluten-free Pumpkin Harvest Alfredo!

That’s right, we’re showing the love for fall by uniting Pumpkin + Alfredo in tasty matrimony and celebrating with a flavor party in your mouth! Adapted from Manifest Vegan‘s pumpkin alfredo recipe, we’ve made some simple alterations that pack a perfect punch. Its super simple and incredibly decadent, even though its healthy. There’s practically no telling its dairy-free! I made it this weekend, and it was a culinary epiphany. We absolutely LOVE IT!

Ingredients:

  • A pack of your favorite pasta, 12-16 oz. (We used Trader Joes Brown Rice Pasta Spirals – mmmmm!)
  • 1/2 bag fresh baby spinach
  • 1 carton mushrooms (we used crimini), sliced
  • 1/2 bag frozen peas
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic salt, or 1 clove fresh garlic, minced
  • Toasted walnuts (optional)

For the sauce:

  • 1 container (12 oz.) silken tofu, drained
  • 1-1/2 cup pumpkin puree (we roasted/pureed a pumpkin, but you can also use a canned variety)
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast (find this at natural food stores. Its got a mild nutty, parmesan-like taste and is uber rich in vitamins)
  • 1/4 cup ground flaxseed, aka flaxseed meal (find this in the baking section)
  • 1-1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup olive oil

vegan pumpkin alfredoSteps:

Get your water boiling for the pasta. Always toss a healthy hit of salt into your pasta pot for flavor. Cook the pasta according to the directions. Set aside.

Meantime, put all sauce ingredients into a food processor and blend until smooth and incorporated. Try to not eat it all straight out of the mixing bowl!

vegan pumpkin alfredo
Sauté mushrooms and peas with garlic until the mushrooms begin to brown…

vegan pumpkin alfredo
Then add the sauce from your blender. Gently warm the sauce, but not to boil. Once it’s heated through, fold in the spinach and turn off the burner. The warmth from the sauce will wilt the spinach juuuust right. If the sauce looks too thick, stir in a bit of water until it reaches your preferred consistency.

Pour the sauce over your pasta in each serving bowl, and top with toasted walnuts, if you like it like that. Oh, we likes it like that! (To toast raw walnuts: spread ‘em on a sheet pan and roast at 350 for 8-10 minutes, but watch them closely so they don’t burn! No one likes burned nuts, hehe.) The trick to this one is that the sauce is so creamy and packed with veggies that you really only need a handful of pasta to fill ‘er out. That keeps the carbs and cals lower – cha ching! Double bonus!

vegan pumpkin alfredo
Voila! A rich, creamy, and cozy autumn meal that’s way healthier than your average alfredo, and cheaper than dinner out… amped up with the power of pumpkin and fresh veggies! Even our non-vegan pals adore it. Last night, our die-hard carnivore friend said “Dana, whenever you make this, I will come eat it.” ‘Nuff said, yo! So don’t be scurred of something new. Whip up a batch and let me know what you think!

What do you think? Will you give it a try?

Got a recipe you want us to try? Hit me up in the comments, and maybe your recipe will be featured on Meatless Mondays!

{Don’t forget to check out this week’s Bargain Bash! Get a Gobble Green vegan or gluten-free home meal delivery starter kit at 44% off!}

Flab to Fab {Test Lab} v2.0 – Week 3

Oh my… another week gone already?!? I’m seriously concerned over how quickly time is passing. Am I the only one who feels like we’re being swept along in the riptide of time? No bueno.

I’m feeling much better about progress this week… mainly because I can tell that I’ve been losing weight! My belly feels flatter, my face is definitely slimmer, and my waistline is more defined than I’ve seen her in a while. Its such a good feeling, and it keeps me wanting more… I call it deflation motivation, yo!  So now that I’m rocking some noticeable results, week 3 is going to be all about building fitness endurance and stamina… because whew man, I am out of shape!

The Food:

First of all, check this out. I saw my eye specialist yesterday for the first time in the 6 months since going vegan, only to discover that not only is my disease quiet as a mouse, but my eye pressure (glaucoma) is lower than ever before even though I’ve been off my drops for a month or so (my broke-ass ran out and they ‘spensive). Could it be the vegan diet is actually making the difference I hoped it would? Holy crap, y’all… either way it’s freaking great news.

Speaking of vegan food…Gobble Green stepped it up this week and gave us some really good grub. My favorite meal of the week was Black Pepper “Steak” with (gasp) mashed potatoes! People, I haven’t had mashed potatoes in far too long and this meal was so comforting and satisfying, I loved every bite. The other big winner? Now bear with me, because this one sounds narsty, but the lemon “fish” fillets and broccoli were mindblowingly delish. I really wish I knew how to recreate these at home. I’d eat them all the time.Gobble Green

I had more scrambled eggy type breakfasts this week, which I really enjoyed. Especially since I discovered these amazing condiments, thanks to this smart lady!

sofrito recaitoSooooo delicious on evvvvvverything! Go get you some!

Other highlights include the “chicken” salad which is great wrapped in lettuce, and the banana nut muffin which rocked my tastebuds with great flavor and texture. My lowlight of the week is still the steamed vegetables (always mushy, except the broccoli stems which were tough).

Hunter had a great week, too… pancakes, a yummy steakburger and fries (!), lasagna, and a stuffed mushroom that was probably the best we’ve ever had. His lowlights? The fruit crunch breakfast (too sweet) and the fruit salad (kind of a soupy mess, but good for dipping muffin parts into). Leave it to Hunter to object to fruit.

We must be getting used to the serving sizes because we’re much less hungry between meals and feel generally more satisfied. Are our stomachs shrinking? Maybe its the 90 oz of water I’m trying to guzzle every day. Who knows? But, I’m proud to report that my diet coke consumption is a shadow of its former self!  That’s some serious diet soda detox action, but thanks to sun-brewed iced tea I barely even miss it! Have you ever brewed tea in the sun? Its the jam, you should try it. Our next Gobble Green delivery should arrive any minute, and we can’t wait to see what this week holds.

The Fitness:

Slowly but surely getting there. My stamina and patience are both pretty weak… and I have to keep reminding myself that I’m practically starting over, so I shouldn’t expect to be as strong or go as long as I used to be able to do. I don’t know why, but I always expect just to pick up where I left off. Getting hit with my monthly visitor a week early left me feeling like I’d been hit by a bus (what is that about?!)… but I’ve been working hard to keep my motivation up and take baby steps.

We’re sweating it out at Bikram yoga this morning and I think that will really help kick my metabolism into high gear after such a long, sound slumber. I’m also focusing a lot on push-ups and sit-ups to help strengthen my core and improve my scarily pathetic posture… but don’t get it twisted, I do knee-push-ups. Start small, right? But it definitely helps me feel like I’m making progress on my sausage arms.

Overall I’m feeling way more excited about the exercise portion of my plan now. That must be a good sign, right? Because for reals, I look forward to a lot in life… exercise is rarely one of them.

How did your week go? Any celebrations or setbacks you want to share?