Thursday, July 30, 2009

italiamexicasian salad

i decided to infuse my three favorite ethnic flavors to create this savory portobello mushroom steak with pesto salad.

mushroom marinade
(for 2-4 portobello mushrooms)

2 Tbsp shoyu or soy sauce
1 Tbsp olive or sesame oil
1 Tbsp water
1 garlic clove
1 tsp lime
1 Tbsp margarita mix (optional)

place ingredients in one gallon plastic bag with mushrooms. allow mushrooms to marinate at least 20 minutes in fridge.

cilantro/basil pesto
(for two)
1 C. fresh cilantro and basil* combined (i used 1/4 C. cilantro/3/4 C. basil)
1/2 C. nuts (i used 1/4 C. each almonds and walnuts)
1/4 C. olive or sesame oil
1 garlic clove
pinch of salt

few pinches of cayenne*
few tsp orange juice concentrate
a splash of shoyu or soy sauce

blend ingredients in food processor until smooth. add a few Tbsp water to get a thinner pesto for salad topping.

mixed greens
sliced zucchini
sliced green pepper
sliced avocado
chopped tomato
black beans

i feel the best order to create this salad is:
1. marinate the shrooms and get them in the fridge
2. place black beans in a bowl with a few splashes of shoyu/soy sauce and lime juice
3. make pesto
4. cut veggies
5. heat shrooms with marinade over medium heat (about ten minutes).
6. assemble salad while shrooms are cooking.
7. top salad with sliced mushrooms and pesto, and enjoy!


* i just received an email today with the following information about basil and cayenne.

basil - has been used to treat constipation, diabetes, diarrhea, respiratory disorders, impotence and allergies. also aids digestion and said to provide fast relief from gas.

cayenne - some herbalists believe its the most useful in existence. high in vitamin A and C, calcium and potassium. aids digestion by helping your body to create hydrochloric acid, which is necessary for good digestion. some say its been known to stop heart attacks in 30 seconds. can help skin conditions and alleviate itching.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

i'm baaack...

did ya miss me?

i can't believe it's been over a week since i last posted!
i guess i needed a little blog-cation. i also took a bit of a vacation from the kitchen.
needless to say i haven't been eating the healthiest, but it's been yummy!

this is a marinara pie from People's Pizza in Cherry Hill, NJ.
it tastes like homemade bruschetta on a crispy (yet doughy) pizza crust.
the employees are super nice and you got to love the motto on their pizza box -

after many recommendations, john and i finally ate at Govinda's on South St. in Philadelphia. i read a lot of reviews raving about the "chicken" cheesesteak so i decided to give it a try.
i was skeptical, but honestly it was one of the most delicious sandwiches i have ever eaten! john agrees. no animal-ingredients whatsoever- but you'd never know if you didn't know, ya know? =) they also have vegan ice cream and a wide variety of desserts.

pic by Beau R.

i hope everyone is enjoying their summer. i'll have new recipes and garden pics up soon!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

garden photo shoot

(click to enlarge)

the first eggplant
4th of july's
cherry tomatoes
the lone green pepper
finally a female cucumber flower =)cilantro
cilantro flowers
alyssum and petunias

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

fourteenth of july tomatoes

the "fourth" of july tomatoes were perfectly ripe and delicious - definitely worth the wait! i ate one like an apple and the italian stallion made bruschetta with the rest. YUM!

we enjoyed the bruschetta with penne pasta and pesto.
i used all the leaves from two basil plants just to get enough pesto for 2 bowls! sheesh!

pesto sauce

2 C. fresh basil
1/4 C. olive oil
1/4 C. walnuts
1 or 2 cloves garlic
few pinches salt and pepper
1 Tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
(to get that "cheesy" taste)

blend ingredients in food processor until creamy.

Monday, July 13, 2009


almonds, walnuts, cashews and dried cranberries with granola

teriyaki almonds and walnuts
(click for recipe)

Friday, July 10, 2009

elvis is alive and well

elvis, the steer, that is.

this steer's just a hunk of burning love =)

as a baby, elvis was found tied up in a barn, waiting to be sold to a veal farmer. he was rescued by an animal lover and now resides safely at Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary. unfortunately, most cows aren't so lucky.

elvis' mother was a dairy cow. to increase milk production, female cows are inseminated. after given birth, the babies are taken away from their mommies so the milk can be bottled and sold. the mothers mourn the loss of their young, as any mother would do.

because they are of no use to the dairy industry, the male babies are confined to a dark cramped space, chained by the neck to restrict their movement. the confinement makes the veal meat "tender" as their muscles have no chance to develop.


many of us unknowingly support this fate for cows each time we purchase milk or veal. think about it, does it really taste that good?

"If you're eating or drinking something made from cow's milk, it's because a calf chained in a box somewhere isn't." ~Dan Piraro, Cartoonist and Author

to read more about elvis and other rescued animals (and maybe even to adopt! =), visit the Woodstock Farm site.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

it's all good

this is what i had for dinner tonight.

image from

a meat-free "chicken" made of soy protein, vital wheat gluten and natural flavors. (the cover really fools you, doesn't it!?)

i was a little iffy about picking this up today at the store but am so glad i did! the taste and texture were very nice.

i did have to add a bit more bbq sauce from the fridge, but that's probably because i didn't microwave in the plastic bag like the box suggests.

i heated it a few minutes in a small pan over medium heat while i toasted my Arnold Select Sandwich Thins.

image from

not the healthiest choice, but made with no high fructose corn syrup and unbleached flour.
very yummy and taste great toasted!

there was enough pulled chick*n for two nice sized sandwiches.
perfect for a quick dinner.

i'm really disappointed i didn't buy more - they were on sale for $2.99.
(i think because they have new packaging. click to see their products.)

i just might have to make another trip to the store...

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


the honeymoon period is officially over and i can no longer look past the flaws and imperfections.

for a while i was in denial and kept telling myself things would change. but it has only gotten worse.

i didn't know where to turn, so i asked old faithful (aka Google) for some advice.

they say its a fungus. i say it's a crying shame.

i cut off all the infected leaves and posted my dilemma immediately on for some advice. i'm hoping my trusted garden blogging friend, granny, can also offer some guidance.

as if that wasn't enough, i noticed this on the tomato plant next to the cucumbers in the square foot garden

with this tomato

and another tomato plant in its own pot with these circles and specks

to top it off, the morning glory leaves just won't stop turning yellow!

any advice to remedy these problems is greatly appreciated!!!


on a happy note, these tomatoes are looking nice.

my green pepper is growing
(a bit lopsided)

and we're finally getting cherry tomato buds

i guess i was a fool to think my first garden would be problem-free.

you live and you learn!

Monday, July 6, 2009

lead by "eggs"-ample

if you love and care for the well-being of all animals, are looking to lower your cholesterol, and/or enjoy tasting the batter without fear of salmonella, you may want to try using egg replacers when baking. trust me, baking without eggs can be done!

vegan egg replacers:

simply whisk the following ingredients until foamy:

1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 Tbsp flour
3 Tbsp water
= 1 egg

2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
4 Tbsp flour
6 Tbsp water
= 2 eggs

you can find other egg replacers here:

Homemade Egg Substitute

Egg Substitutes

Tofu Scramble Recipe

for quick baking and making sugar cookies minus baking powder, i use Ener-G egg replacers.

sadly, cage-free eggs are not all they're cracked up to be. pastured eggs from a local farm seem to be the most humane way to obtain eggs. find local pastured eggs here!

picking our eggs up from a farm may be inconvenient and a bit more costly, but we will get healthier eggs from happier hens. it's worth it!

The Battery Hen: Her Life Is Not For The Birds

The Truth About Cage Free Eggs

Debeaking: The Defining Moment For Me

Chicken Intelligence

Pastured Eggs

"...The question is not, Can they reason? nor, Can they talk? but, Can they suffer?"
Jeremy Bentham

Sunday, July 5, 2009

vegan carrot cupcakes

\ /
\ /
1 C. finely grated coconut
1 C. crushed pineapple
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 C. brown sugar
2 C. grated carrot
2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp nutmeg
3 egg replacers
2 tsp cinnamon
2 1/4 C. flour
3/4 C. sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp salt
1 C. oil

preheat oven to 350°.
mix flour, baking soda, baking powder, spices and salt.
in another bowl cream sugar and egg replacers.
add vanilla, then oil (i used coconut oil).
mix wet and dry ingredients.
add carrots, coconut and pineapple.
bake around 25 minutes.

(batter made 18 cupcakes and 24 mini cupcakes.
for a thicker cake, pour into 9x9 pan.
for a thinner cake, 13x9)

4 oz. vegan cream cheese
1 1/2 C. powdered sugar
2 Tbsp vegan butter
2 tsp lemon juice

beat cream cheese and butter.
add vanilla, then sugar.
top with walnuts if you'd like.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

sweet garden help

this is my niece, alaina.

she came for a visit today with grandmom and helped water my plants
(while aunt kelli's finger just couldn't stop clicking! =)

her hard work was rewarded with a strawberry-lemonade popsicle.
(this could have been another slideshow
but instead i picked my favorite two.)

isn't she the sweetest?! the thought of her gives me a toothache. =D

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