Category Archives: favorites

BBQ Cauliflower Wings

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These are awesome!!

Not one for many cauliflower dishes, this faux “wings” absolutely have me hooked. The way they cook in the oven give it such a great texture and fall apart similarly to the way chicken may fall off the bone (gross reference, but very accurate). The BBQ sauce is adaptable and feel free to use whatever kind suits your palette. They were a cinch to make and I love this dish so much because it’s a full meal on its own, and who doesn’t love saying they ate an entire head of cauliflower for dinner?

1 head cauliflower, broken into florets

1 cup organic BBQ sauce (we used Annie’s Naturals)

1 cup almond milk

1 cup organic all-purpose flour

1 tbsp chipotle hot sauce (optional)

1 tbsp arrowroot powder (or whatever starch you’ve got)

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp sea salt

1/4 tsp black pepper

*Dip into raw vegan mayo-it doubles as sour cream too!

  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees
  • Whisk almond milk and flour together
  • Dredge cauliflower pieces into flour mixture, sprinkle with arrowroot powder and place in a shallow glass baking dish
  • Bake at 450 degrees for 20 minutes
  • Meanwhile, mix together the BBQ sauce, hot sauce, olive oil, salt and pepper
  • Once cooked, toss cauliflower with BBQ mix and bake for an additional 5 to 8 minutes

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Sweet Potato Mexican Lasagna

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Recipe alert! This lasagna is hereby dubbed a new favorite.

I really can’t put my finger on what makes it SO amazing, but all these seemingly incompatible flavors blend together extremely well. It’s the perfect combination of sweet, savory and spicy and for once, I ate more of this dish then Jim.

6 tortillas, sliced in halves

3 cups mashed sweet potatoes

2 cups chopped tomatoes

2 cups cooked black beans

1 1/2 cups sliced green onions

1 1/2 cups organic salsa

1 cup chopped green pepper

1 cup shredded vegan cheese

1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

1/2 tsp paprika

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Grease the bottom of an 8X8 baking pan with the olive oil
  • Stir together sweet potatoes, salt, pepper and paprika
  • Toss together beans, peppers, 1 cup of the onions, tomatoes and cilantro
  • Lay 4 of the tortilla halves on top so that the pan is covered (take the flat side of each one and lay it against the pan)
  • Spread half of the sweet potatoes on top of the tortillas and then evenly top with half the bean mixture
  • Lay 4 more tortillas on top and repeat layers
  • After final tortillas are placed on top if bean mixture, spread salsa on top
  • Sprinkle with cheese and remaining green onions
  • Cover, and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes
  • Remove foil and bake for 5-7 more minutes

Our First Contest/Giveaway! Yumuniverse

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I don’t think I would have survived transitioning into this amazing vegan lifestyle had it not been for all the unbelievably supportive, informative and engaging websites available for meat-free eaters. Most of my internet time is now devoted to sharing vegan stories, searching vegan recipes or communicating with other fellow vegans. And one thing if for sure-I have NEVER met so many awesome, friendly, compassionate people in my life, let alone, through web-based interactions. The amount of support has been overwhelming and I’m going to assume other vegetarians, vegans and raw foodies have the same experience when they set forth into this eating endeavor.

I’ve thrived on the generosity and curiosity of other vegans and not long ago, was lucky enough to have won a recipe contest for one of my favorite sites, Yumuniverse. This opened a whole new wave of followers and connections for this little blog, and now, I am SO pleased to announce that they’re sponsoring an awesome contest through The Vegan Pact-one you definitely want to win!

Yumuniverse is a haven for all types of specialty diets-vegan, gluten-free, raw-you name it and they’ve got you covered. I’m thrilled that they’re offering meal subscriptions AND a lifetime membership offer which includes TONS of awesome vegan goodies, super-informative reading materials and exclusive recipes found on on YU.

WHAT YOU WIN

“30 Dinners”-An interactive, beautiful guide full of recipes, herbie tips and vegan info. I’ve had a sneak preview and it’s not to be missed!

Sign up for their membership or other offers here, even if you don’t win through us.

THE RULES

1. Social media is key these days, so first and foremost, you should be connected to both The Vegan Pact and Yumuniverse on Facebook and Twitter. If you already are that’s great, and if you’re not, well now you’re about to make some pretty cool new vegan friends 🙂

Yumuniverse: Facebook AND Twitter

The Vegan Pact: Facebook AND Twitter

2. Leave a comment on this post, telling us what your favorite Vegan Pact recipe is and why!

The contest ends August, 19th, so make sure to leave your comment by then.

And that’s it…Happy posting!

FoMu-Vegan Ice Cream in Boston

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Let us discuss for a moment about FoMu.

FoMu may be the best thing to happen to Boston vegans in a LONG time.

The biggest gripe I hear from many vegans is that it’s hard to kick the cheese habit (I concur) and that they miss ice cream. I generally don’t agree with the latter since eating ice cream used to induce severe stomachaches in me and the deliciousness was not worth the inevitable pain and discomfort. In-store vegan treats can be pricey and just not worth the money. But FoMu…FoMu is a different breed of non-dairy deliciousness.

This new vegan haven resides in Allston, MA (Arikka’s new neighborhood- tons of vegan options all over her neck of the woods) and is chalk full of delectable, creamy faux ice cream goodness. The rich servings are coconut cream based and come in a variety of addictive flavors. Salted caramel, peanut butter, cookies n’ cream, blueberry bread, bananas foster, avocado and black raspberry are but mere few of their icy options. They’ve got tasty toppings too, like agave gummy bears and candied walnuts, along with vegan baked goods (cookies, brownies, muffins) to offer patrons.

This place couldn’t have opened at a better time, and FoMu is true heaven for local vegans on a hot summer night. $3.75 for a small cup or cone may seem like alot of dough for one treat, but is WELL worth the cash and is surprisingly filling. Jim is regularly stocking up on their pints ($7 each) and is trying to take full advantage of their recycle deal-bring back the pint container for a refill and save 50 cents each time.

If you get a chance, you MUST try FoMu. Your vegan sweet tooth will thank you.

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Waldorf Salad Wrap with Raw Vegan Mayo

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I love how veganism is turning my once least favorite foods, into my faves. Hated, hated, HATED mayo my entire life. Wouldn’t touch pasta salad, wouldn’t top it on a sandwich, wouldn’t go near the stuff. It completely grossed me out, and I haven’t even experimented with veganaise (also because it’s a whopping $8 a bottle). That being said, I really did want to try to make my own version, and this recipe…it is the best thing I’ve had in a while. The consistency is beyond perfect and the creaminess is indescribable. These wraps are unreal and even though I was full after the first one, I couldn’t stop eating it!

5 whole wheat burrito wraps

3 cups chopped Romaine

1 1/2 cups chopped green apple (about 1 large green apple)

1 cup chopped red onion

1 cup chopped pecans

1 cup chopped celery

1 cup raisins

2 tbsp fresh minced parsley

MAYO

1 cup raw cashews, soaked for 2 hours

1/2 cup water

1/4 cup olive oil

3 tbsp lemon juice

1 tbsp poppyseeds

1 tsp Dijon mustard

1 tsp apple cider vinegar

1/2 tsp sea salt

  • Toss together all salad ingredients
  • For the mayo, pulse cashews and water in a blender for 1 minute
  • SLOWLY, add in olive oil and blend until very creamy
  • Add lemon juice, mustard, vinegar and salt and continue blending for a minute more, until thinner
  • Remove from blender and stir in poppyseeds
  • Toss salad ingredients with mayo and fold into burritos

 

Regrowing Veggies

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So while our outdoor garden blooms (round of applause for quick-growing kale that’s already on the brink of pickin!), we have had quite a bit of lucky re-growing some of our favorite veggies indoors, too. A bit of research led me to the realization that planting and growing produce doesn;t have to be as tricky or time-consuming as starting everything from seed. When it comes to garlic, various onions, bok choy, celery and even potatoes, a simple snip of the original vegetable roots will produce great results. All it takes it water, end trimmings of vegetables and some patience!

We’ve currently got green onions and celery growing indoors (green onions on the windowsill, celery under a grow lamp) and they are doing extremely well. Follow these simple steps for DIY produce.

CELERY

  • Take a bunch of celery and chop off the bottom 3-4 inches, that you wouldn’t normally eat (make sure to keep the whole chunk intact)
  • Place the stump in a bowl and cover with cold water, leaving an inch or so of water over the top
  • Place in a window sill and let soak for a week or two
  • Once you see some leaves sprouting up out of the center, plant directly into the ground OR in a large growing bucket
  • You’re done! Ours is still growing after a month, I assume it will be done after 3 months or so
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GREEN ONIONS

  • Cut the white parts off of the bottom of a bunch of green onions
  • Tie together with a rubber band
  • Stick into a mason jar, so that the tops of the onions are almost sticking out and fill the jar half way to the top with water
  • Leave in a windowsill and let grow for 10-14 days once they are fully regrown

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Locavores & “Plenty: Eating Locally on the 100 Mile Diet”

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Reading an outstanding piece of literature on vegetarianism, was what made me abandon my carnivorous ways (thank you very much “Eating Animals”. My transition was seamless and complete.

THEN, I started reading appalling books on veganism (hello, “The Kind Diet”) and I banned dairy from my existence as well. That’s it, it’s final. My eating habits were set in stone and I was content.

Enter, the phrase everyone’s sick of-locavore.

Now, I’m a stickler for organic food. I don’t like consuming anything with pesticides in it and I will gladly shell out $7 a pint for USDA-approved strawberries during any season if I have to.  But I prefer the idea of getting everything at my local farmer’s market for three very important reasons:

  1. The prices are significantly lower than Whole Foods, while getting the same quality produce.
  2. The open-air, spacious parking lot available to browse numerous booths is a lot more relaxing than battling other shopping carts down the narrow aisles of Trader Joe’s.
  3. I like forming even briefs relationships with the farmers who were growing my food, and I enjoy learning about the process behind it (farmer’s market attendees are VERY chatty.)

Unfortunately, living in New England means these wonderful markets are only around 6 months out of the year. So recently I’d been thinking about how far my food was traveling to get to my plate, when I was eating mangoes and bananas before I headed out to clean the frost of my car. Something didn’t seem right. It didn’t strike me as biologically, economically, sustainably and morally sound to be eating “organic” food that came from half way across the world and gobbled up insane amounts of fuel before it landed on the supermarket shelf. Could that even be considered fresh? Were organic blueberries for Christmas worth the huge carbon footprint?

“Plenty: Eating Locally on a 100-Mile Diet” tackles all these timely food issues that were plaguing my grocery habits. Published in 2008, this book could easily be pinned as the memoir that sparked this whole locavore trend. Written within a tumultuous year of triumphs and failures, a Canadian couple (Alisa Smith and JB McKinnon) tackle the implications of their seemingly perfect organic diet. They reminded me a lot of Jim and myself-she a mildly neurotic, smart-assed writer who acts completely on her wild emotions; he a calm, head-strong jack-of-all-trades who leads the way in their local expeditions. From foraging for wild herbs and mushrooms, to shucking dozens of ears of corn into the wee hours of a weekend to smuggling goods over the US border, they went to great lengths to maintain their promise to reduce their intake of food that needed a passport to get to their plates.

Amidst constant bickering over who could cook what, where their next meal could possibly come from and how they could possibly live a life without processed flour, comes a poignant story about what food really is. It is life, in its purest form. It’s going beyond throwing imported veggies into a plastic bag at Whole Foods. It’s recognizing where your meal came from, how it got there, and WHO got it there. The raw relationship in this book, amongst its main characters (sometimes driven to the brink of a break-up during an all-night tomato canning session) and between them and the people they bought their food from is what is so refreshing. The idea of knowing the individuals and the work that went into that strawberry jam, those new potatoes or a glorious homegrown wine. It’s not always pretty, but the work and effort that goes into make sure your food is in its purest, freshest state is an unparalleled reward that few get to experience.

And how does this even fit into vegetarianism, you might say? Alisa and JB WERE in fact meat-free up until their 100 mile diet. Not that this local diet would lead me back to carnivorism, but one can have respect for the fact that they chose to increase their meat intake, as organically fed, and humanely-raised animals were readily accessible in their neck of the woods. They went back to eating meat because it was raised the old-fashioned way, the way some of us envisioned our grandparents doing it. I do not support meat-eating, but if people are eating animals, THIS is the way it should be done. And I think the book overall, advocates for vegetarianism as it just makes sense that a local diet would automatically include mostly fruits and vegetables as almost every other food option is imported or processed somehow, and only produce remains untainted.

Real, clean food, regardless of the “organic” label is simple. It doesn’t need bragging rights, a high price tag or even many ingredients added to it to make a delicious meal. It is humble and is proof of hard, honest work. And more importantly it builds a sense of community through the local suppliers, buyers and cooks, all of whom help make the world a better place, one forkful at a time.