Nobody Really Believes Almonds Lactate!

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The FDA’s Attack on Milk Substitutes Is Corporate Welfare in Action

Scott Gottlieb, the head of the FDA, first jokingly — and then seriously — announced that the FDA plans to crack down on the use of the word “milk” on the packaging of products such as soy milk and almond milk, because plants do not lactate.

I recently read the article that is linked above that a friend posted on social media.  If someone tells me “this is not FDA approved” my first thought is “this must be good for me.” The only thing FDA cares about is if they have their hands in the money. (See Dallas Buyers Club). I remember when our government took over GM. Suddenly Toyota’s brakes were no good and they were part of trying to sue them and take them down. But you can’t keep a good product down. Toyota is still thriving.

Now their war is turned on the products that avoid dairy. Why? Because our government’s hand is in the money jar. Not only does our government subsidize the dairy industry, we also purchase the milk consumers don’t want. So, through my taxes, I am buying milk and eggs! How convoluted is this??? The Tariffs alone that are put on soy and legumes will make us pay more money to eat “healthy”. The link of cancer and heart disease to dairy consumption cannot be denied.

Of course there are a lot of naysayers out there who buy into this manipulation of words. The hostility I get when I use terms like “meat” in a meatless meatball, etc is nothing less than what the government is doing and did to companies like Hampton Creek, the creators of Just Mayo and Just Egg (now being called Just Scramble). I still can’t buy their non egg product made from mung bean because the FDA accuses Hampton Creek of bad practices and then closes the case without appeals. Target gets involved and drops all their products because of it. All this stemming from a fraudulent letter that was sent to Target. If this isn’t abuse of power from FDA I don’t know what is.

How is this America free? When corporations are being sued, threatened, tariffed by their own government because the companies they are in bed with some consumers no longer want. It’s the worst of America.

Here is a link to an article about Just Mayo and Target.

 

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The World’s First Cajun Vegan Restaurant [Restaurant Review]

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The other day I was in North Hollywood, CA looking for a place for lunch.  A quick “Vegan Restaurants near me” search found Krimsey’s Cajun Kitchen touted as the world’s first Cajun vegan restaurant.  I had to try it.  As many of the vegan restaurants we have visited, this one was in a small space in a strip mall.  The walls were decorated with all things Cajun, LSU banners, a poster of the New Orleans Saints’ quarterback Drew Brees, and voodoo dolls.  There was an eclectic mix of tables and chairs that reminded me of my aunts’ kitchens we visited during hot summer vacations in the South.

Fried Okra with Vegan Ranch Dipping Sauce

Speaking of my aunts, when I saw fried okra on the menu, I had to try it.  I have enjoyed many servings of fried okra in those kitchens graced by Aunt Della, Aunt Roe, Aunt Sarah, and Aunt Norene usually accompanied by corn bread, and black eyed peas so my taste memory had great expectations.  They did not disappoint!  Fried perfectly, not oily, crunchy and served with vegan ranch dipping sauce.  This fried okra took me to a place of gratitude for my extended family we used to visit in Louisiana, Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico; so many fond memories of those summer vacations.

New Orleans Poboy Sandwich

For my main dish, I had a hard time deciding between the classic Cajun dishes; gumbo, jambalaya,  and a choice of poboy sandwiches. Since it was lunch, I decided to go with the New Orleans Poboy sandwich.  In place of the traditional fried shrimp, they used fried hearts of palm, complimented by dill pickles and spicy house sauce.  The fried hearts of palm had the necessary crunch yet was soft inside and the mildly spicy house sauce added the cajun touch.  I loved this sandwich, it is a perfect lunch treat.

I ended my meal with warm, right out of the oven, vegan beignets, topped with powdered sugar.  They were light delicious, and melted in my mouth.

French Quarter Beignets

There was so much on the menu that I was not able to try, so I plan to come back again!

With Gratitude – Bruce

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5 Awesome Things About Vegan Nirvana [Restaurant Review]

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I had some time on my hands in Huntington Beach the other night so I decided to try a new (to me) vegan restaurant.  They call their food “World Peace Cuisine” and so each of the menu items has a name related to the theme.  Yelp reviewers gave Vegan Nirvana great ratings so I figured I couldn’t lose.

I was right, although I missed having Clara with me, here are five things that I thought were awesome about Vegan Nirvana.

Jackfruit Limeade – The thing that jumped out at me in the Yelp reviews was the mention of the Jackfruit Limeade.  Made with, you guessed it, jackfruit, lime juice, and natural sugar this beverage was the perfect starter during one of the hottest days of the year.  It had a mimosa feel to it without the alcohol and was just the right amount of sweetness combined with the crispness of the lime and jack fruit.  It would be worth stopping by just for this delicious beverage.

Selfless Savior – This is what they called their sweet potato fries.  Fried and seasoned perfectly with their homemade seasoning, they were complemented by the non-dairy ranch dipping sauce.  I’m a big fan of sweet potato fries and these were some of the best I’ve had.

Kingdom of God – Talk about a tough name to live up to, the Kingdom of God is a chicken-less wok dish made with a Korean BBQ sauce.  There were two types of meat substitutes, one was tofu and the other was a soy, pea powder concoction that had the flavor and texture of chicken.  Mixed with kale, broccoli, cauliflower, red onion, red bell peppers, and just enough jalapeno to give it a kick without overpowering it.  I had it with the multi-grain rice.  The dish had a satisfying crunch to it and was enough for two, I took half home for lunch the next day.

Strawberry Ambrosia Cheesecake – This light, sweet treat was the perfect taste bud reward.  It was deliciously creamy and the graham cracker crust was just right.  One of the things I miss with plant-based eating is creamy desserts.  This dessert fit the bill perfectly and I didn’t miss the dairy at all.

World Peace Ambiance – The art on the walls matched the World Peace cuisine of the restaurant.  It had a warm decor, comfortable seating and pleasant employees.

If you are in the Huntington Beach area, I highly recommend this bit of culinary nirvana.  It is located at the corner of Warner and Beach Blvd.

Gratefully – Bruce

 

 

Intro to Vegan Cooking Class – Meatless Meatloaf

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It’s been a crazy first half of the year. We moved to our new home and we are loving it but it did take some work to get organized; change the floors, paint, etc. I have had fun doing it and let me tell you the back porch veranda is a peaceful beautiful setting and we are so glad we are finally settled in.  My parents lived here when they were alive and I actually helped my Mom redo the kitchen so adding my own personal touches makes it home. I decided that adding a prep table will work great for the new classes.

Come join us for an Intro to Vegan Cooking Class.  This class is for those wanting to incorporate more plant-based whole foods in their eating.  Making at least one or two meals meatless and plant based gets you on a healthier road for your heart mind and soul. You will learn some basics of plant-based cooking, help me prepare a delicious plant-based lunch, and join us around our Table of Gratitude to discuss healthier living in a relaxed country setting.  You can decrease your dependence on processed foods, it’s easier than you think! Enjoy dessert on our beautiful veranda.

The price includes all supplies for your meal and you get to take home a Table of Gratitude apron, recipes, and Ideas for incorporating more plant-based foods in your diet.  Everyone’s welcome at the table!

 

The Details:

Meat-less Loaf(pictured)

Creamy Dairy-Free Mashed Potatoes

Grilled Asparagus

Garlic Bread

Dessert: Berries Galette

Date:  Saturday, August 25

10:00- 12:30

Location: Corona, CA (Address given upon registration)

Cost: $50.00

RSVP by August 20 – Email Clara at usbornemom@aol.com.  Include your name and phone number.  

#veganwelches #vegancookingclass #meatlessmeatloaf #plantbasedeating🌱 #healthy2018goals

Vegan Cooking Class

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Intro to Vegan Cooking Class

Come join me for an Intro to Vegan Cooking.  This class is for those wanting to incorporate more plant-based whole foods in their eating.  It’s a great way to start off the new year by eating tasty, healthy foods.  You will learn some basics of plant-based cooking, help me prepare a delicious plant-based lunch, and join us around our Table of Gratitude to discuss a healthier 2018.  You can decrease your dependence on processed foods, it’s easier than you think!

The price includes all supplies for your meal and you get to take home a Table of Gratitude Apron, Recipes, and Ideas for incorporating more plant-based foods in your diet.  Everyone’s welcome at the table!

The Details

Date:  Saturday, January 13th

Time:  10:00 -12:30

Cost:  Early Bird $40 (Before January 5th) $50 after January 5th (Hurry, space is limited)

Location: Ontario, CA (Address given upon registration)

Payment Options:  PayPal, VenMo, CashApp

To Register – Send DM via FB or Instagram

 Menu:

Spaghetti and Meatless Meatballs with Homemade Parmesan Cheese

Green Salad with Bountiful Produce, Nuts and Lemon Vinaigrette

Easy Fresh Baked Dinner Rolls

Individual Fudge Brownie Dessert

Drinks

About Me:

I fell in love with cooking many years ago by watching Food Network.  I have been on a journey over the past several years to become healthier and fit.  Now I focus on making delicious plant-based whole foods.  I believe that you shouldn’t give up taste to eat healthier and my cooking reflects that belief.  I am a plant-based whole foods advocate that likes to help people wherever they are on their journey toward healthier eating.

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Not Missing the Meat!

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True Food Kitchen isn’t a vegan restaurant, though they have a few selections. The few they have are really great dishes. One of our favorites is this one and it is fresh tasting and a great mix of healthy food that includes ancient grains, avocado and mushrooms. The pesto and the vinaigrette make the dish and are the two things that make it seem complicated but they really aren’t.  They are just a lot of ingredients that make it really tasty the rest is pretty easy. The combinations of the foods make this healthy, fresh and vegan. A great no meat dish to add to your Meatless Mondays.

 When I find a dish I love at popular restaurants, I can usually find at least a copycat recipe. This time a news show had the Chef on the show and this is what he made, plus they shared the recipe.  So it’s the real thing, score!

I did tweak it some, because I wanted to keep to the ingredients in my kitchen. But it is as delicious as theirs. My husband keeps saying it’s better!  Here’s the recipe.

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Ancient Grains Bowl Recipe

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Ancient Grains Bowl (True Food Kitchen)

Ancient Grains

½ cup brown rice

½ cup faro

½ cup quinoa

1 tsp. minced ginger (I used powder)

1 clove minced garlic

1 tsp. lemongrass (you will find this in the produce and in a tube)

1 tsp. turmeric

1 tsp. kosher salt

1-tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

3 ½ cups water

Mix all ingredients in a casserole/baking dish. Cover with plastic wrap and then with foil. Bake in a 375-degree oven for 1 hour 15 minutes, until all grains are cooked. Be careful when you take the plastic and foil off it will be steamy hot. Mix well.

***Miso Vinaigrette

¾ cup red wine vinegar

2 tablespoons chili paste

2 tablespoons and 1 tsp. soy sauce or tamari

2 tablespoons coconut brown sugar

½ tsp. salt

2 tablespoons white miso paste

½ tsp. sesame chili oil

1 ½ cups grape seed oil

Using a stick immersion blender add all ingredients except oils, until incorporated. While blender is on, add the sesame oil and grape seed oil slowly until emulsified.

***I cut this recipe in half and it still filled a pint size mason jar.  I also did not have sesame chili oil so I made some by mixing the ½ teaspoon of sesame oil and a pinch of cayenne pepper in a ramekin. It also originally asked for evaporated cane sugar/juice but I used coconut brown sugar. I also substituted chili Garlic paste instead of Sambal Olek, which is sometimes made with fish.

Cilantro Pesto

1 bunch cilantro

**2 handfuls spinach

¼ cup pumpkin seeds (it asks for roasted and salted, but we use raw since its better for the body)

1 garlic clove cut up

½ tsp. ground cumin

1-tablespoon kosher salt

¼ cup orange juice (freshly juiced or carton which is what I used)

¼ cup lime juice,  fresh squeezed

¼ cup grape seed oil

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

 

Put all ingredients in blender or food processor, puree until smooth.

**I added spinach since I didn’t have two bunches of cilantro. Didn’t take away at all from the flavor.

Rest of ingredients for the bowl

6 Grilled Portobello Mushrooms

Extra virgin olive oil brushed on each side

Grill on inside grill pan.  Grill on each side until becomes soft. About 15 minutes total.

Charred Onions

Slice 1 onion in thin slices. Add to pan with a little olive oil, start stirring and keep stirring until they caramelize. Set aside

Roasted Yams

2 -3 sweet potatoes or yams peeled and cut in large chunks.

Drizzle with a teaspoon of olive oil and salt and pepper. Put in small roasting/baking dish covered with foil. Bake for 30 minutes 375 degrees

 

Blanched snow peas

Put snow peas in a pot with boiling water for 1 ½ minutes , set a bowl with ice water near.  After 1 ½ minutes quickly add to water bowl. Take snow peas out and set aside.

Slice or quarter avocados.

All these steps except the avocado can be done that morning or night before. Day of meal, add onions, snow peas, and sliced mushrooms to small sheet pan and warm up in oven, just enough to heat through. Add salt to taste to snow peas when they come out. Add roasted yams to small pot with ¾ cup of miso vinaigrette and warm through.

Putting it together

Plate the ancient grains in center of bowl. Add mushrooms to one side, then yams on other, add snow peas to another side, caramelized onions, and cilantro pesto to other side. Filling in gaps with the different ingredients. Add sliced avocado on top.

Enjoy!!

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Our First Vegan Thanksgiving

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Thanksgiving has always been one of my favorite holidays; sitting around a table of gratitude, eating food that everyone participated in making, having a chance to say how grateful we are for the blessings of the year. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I came from a family that didn’t express our feelings when we were growing up.  We loved each other and there was lots of laughter and love felt but little or no verbal expression of that love. Then one year my husband suggested we go around and express one thing we are thankful for. It is one of the traditions I cherish the most now that both of my parents are gone.

Now our daughters are married and have given us grandchildren, our son is working with Youth With a Mission in Salem Oregon, and the tradition continues.

But the very best of Thanksgiving is the food.  We have lots of dishes, you might be surprised how many. I come from a traditional Mexican background (never mind I found out I am not Mexican, LOL, but that’s for another post) so we serve pinto beans, Spanish rice, potato salad, mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, stuffing, green bean casserole, broccoli casserole, gravy, cranberries, homemade hot salsa and dinner rolls. People are always surprised at how many dishes we bring. But it is our tradition. 

Making it vegan was a little nerve wracking this year. I wanted to make sure everything tasted just as good and that we didn’t “ruin” the tradition. So I researched and researched. I went to some of my favorite vegan blogs and also changed up some of our own family recipes to make them vegan and still delicious. It was a success! One of the comments was “This may be vegan but everything is delicious.” #gratitude.


A yet-to-be-converted omnivore surveying the options.

We stayed with a traditional turkey that my daughter brought and we made the Gardein roast. I researched that and found this was the most popular for flavor.

Appetizers:

I found the following recipes for cheeses from the YouTube channel, The Mushroom Den.

Sweet Potato Cheddar Cheese Wedge

Creamy Herb Cheese Spread with Crackers

Side Dishes:

Stuffing

The first dish I veganized (Is that a word?) was our stuffing. It used to be flavored with broth from the meat of the neck I cooked in a small pot and chopped meat from the neck. I eliminated that and tweaked it.

I know this alone is not traditional stuffing, most grow up with savory stuffing, but I grew up with a sweet stuffing and we can’t imagine eating stuffing any other way. My mom who died suddenly didn’t leave me with the best recipe. I remember asking her on the phone how do I make it and it was a little of this and a little of that.  This year I wanted to get it right. Our son said I finally did. He told me “Mom, it took 7 years but you did it”.   Here is the result.   Click on the link for the recipe.

Grandma’s Sweet Stuffing

Creamy Mashed Potatoes

This recipe is from the website My California Roots and you can find the recipe here.  I modified it to make it more creamy by adding about 1/2-3/4 cup of  non-dairy half and half.

Roasted Brussel Sprouts

This was a simple dish prepared by Bruce.  You can find his recipe here.

Roasted Mediterranean Cauliflower

This side dish is a copycat recipe from True Food Kitchen, one of our favorite restaurants with vegan options.

Homemade Bread Rolls

These delicious bread rolls were courtesy of a recipe from an essential website for vegans, MinimalistBaker.com.

Sweet Potato and Marshmallow Casserole

This was a winner with the Thanksgiving Day crowd! If you are trying to back off of dairy on your holiday eating, this is a great dish to make for vegans or non vegan eaters! I used a classic sweet potato casserole recipe that I’ve used for many Thanksgivings and modified it.

Main Dish

Gardein Stuffed Vegan Turkey Roast

This was the only item we served that was not homemade.  We knew that making a plant-based turkey substitute would be very difficult for our first time so I did some research and found this Holiday Roast made by Gardein to have rave reviews.  Everyone loved it.

Homemade Mushroom Gravy

We found a recipe for vegan gravy from Forks over Knives.  We used the gravy recipe but made the mashed potatoes from the recipe above.

Dessert

Homemade Pumpkin Pies

We featured two types of pumpkin pie, one, from Food Network, utilized tofu and we also offered an alternative from Minimalist Baker that used almond milk instead.  Both were delicious but if avoiding tofu, go with the almond milk option.

Also pictured are some beautiful non-vegan cookies made by our daughter at Better with Love Bakery.

We loved our first Thanksgiving as vegans and look forward to trying new Christmas recipes.  Watch for our vegan tamale recipes coming soon.

 

 

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Sweet Potato Casserole with Marshmallow Streusel

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This was a winner with the Thanksgiving Day crowd! If you are trying to back off of dairy on your holiday eating, this is a great dish to make for vegans or non vegan eaters! I used a classic sweet potato casserole recipe and modified it.

Vegan Sweet Potato Casserole with Streusel and Marshmallows

2 pounds sweet potatoes

3 tablespoons vegan butter

¼ cup non dairy half and half or almond milk

1/2  teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

2 tablespoons organic brown sugar

pinch of salt

Topping

4 tablespoons vegan butter soft

¼ cup organic brown sugar

¼ cup all purpose flour

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

¼ tsp. salt

½ cup chopped pecans

bag of mini marshmallows

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Use a 2 quart casserole dish.

Place the peeled, large chopped chunks of sweet potatoes in pot of water and bring to a boil until soft. About 15 minutes. Drain water and put potatoes back in pot.

Add the milk, spice, brown sugar and salt. Mash with a potato masher until somewhat smooth. Transfer to casserole dish.

Bake in oven for 10 minutes. While they bake, make the streusel. In small bowl add, butter, sugar, flour, cinnamon, salt, pecans. Mix with a fork and then use your hands to bring it together until combined. Add half marshmallows’ to dish and drop half the streusel on top of baked mashed potatoes. Then rest of bag of marshmallows and drop rest of streusel on top. Bake in oven about 15 minutes, or until marshmallows melted and bubbly.

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