Monday, July 30, 2012

Homemade dairy free mac and "cheese"

Okay, so there are a few reasons to eat mostly dairy free..
       One reason is this:
when you think of cows milk, you think they are grazing and every day they get milked, in a comfortable way, at least that's what I thought... I thought it was a relief for them to get milked, since it would get uncomfortable being full of milk... But for the most part, they don't graze. Many don't ever step foot out of their factory. They are hooked up to machines, constantly getting milked. They just stand there, suffering... Cows milk wasn't pasteurized in the old days, you know why it is now? To last longer, yes, But also to kill the massive amounts of bacteria in the pus filled milk. gross.
         Another reason is; to keep the cows lactating the need to keep artificially inseminating them. Cows are very motherly and loving and have a strong connection with their calf. When the calf is born, it is stolen from them mother and locked in a tiny cage so it cannot move. (This is how the veal industry gets its' meat.) The separation of mother and calf cause huge amounts of stress to both creatures.
video about factory milking cows and veal
      And if you are lactose intolerant, why not substitute milk products instead of taking pills?

Now, I know in a previous post I said to avoid bacon, my boyfriend is pretty carnivorous, and extremely picky. I use turkey bacon in this recipe. It can easily be substituted with tempeh bacon or sauteed asparagus. yum.

Dairy Free 
Mac & Cheese

  • 1 package  turkey bacon/ tempeh bacon/ asparagus
  • Vegetable oil or organic earth balance vegan butter
  • sea salt
  • 2 cups elbow macaroni 
  • 1 1/2 cups  unsweetened not flavored organic rice milk
  • 2 tablespoons earth balance vegan butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose unbleached flour
  • 4 ounces galaxy vegan rice milk cheddar cheese, grated
  • 6 ounces vegan daiya pepperjack shreds
  • pinch of pepper
  • Pinch nutmeg
  • breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons freshly chopped basil leaves (optional)
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Fill a medium pot with water to boil pasta.
Now, you can either pan fry your bacon or asparagus in vegan butter, like I do, or you can lay them on a lightly greased baking pan until they crisp up, about 15-20 minutes. Once, it's crispy lay on paper towels to drain. **NOTE- do not put tempeh bacon on paper towels, it sticks.
Once the water in your pot is boiling add sea salt and a dash of olive oil. Add the macaroni and cook according to the directions on the package, About 4-6 minutes, so it doesn't overcook in the oven. Drain well.
Meanwhile, heat the rice milk in a small saucepan, but don't boil it. Melt the butter in a medium pot and add the flour. Cook over low heat for 2 minutes, stirring with a whisk. BE careful not to burn it! While whisking, add the hot milk and cook for a minute or 2 more, until thickened and smooth. Off the heat, add the shredded vegan cheeses,a few dashes of salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Add the cooked macaroni and crumbled bacon and stir well. grease pan, Pour into a glass pan or a bread loaf pan.
 Sprinkle the bread crumb mixture (chopped basil optional) over the top of the pasta. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbly and the macaroni is browned on the top.

This recipe was inspired by ina garten's grown up mac and cheese.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Eating Chinese food- the healthy way

Not all Chinese food is battered, deep fried, sprinkled with msg, and saturated in some fatty high sodium salt.
This dish, is a very big batch so if you want a smaller batch I would half the amounts.
Vegan chinese food-

Ingredients you will need:

  • fresh or frozen ginger
  • sweet onion
  • garlic
  • teriaki sauce (natural! so high fructose corn syrup, sucralose or msg)
  • Organic tofu (the firmer the better, for this dish)
  • fresh or frozen tri colored peppers (I used frozen)
  • fresh or frozen asian vegetable blend (I used frozen, also add frozen broccoli if mix does not contain a good amount of broccoli)
  • Corn (non gmo) canned or frozen
  • frozen organic peas
  • organic frozen spinach
  • spiced soybeans (optional) difficult to find
  • soy sauce
  • sea salt and garlic powder if needed
  • frozen brown rice (or quick cook, just cook prior to adding to the food)
Any of the veggies can be substituted with whatever you like

First things first, you need to marinate your tofu.
 Open the top of the package, keeping the tofu in the package and your hand on the tofu, gently press all the water out of the tofu. Tofu is like a sponge, so the better you drain it the better it will soak up the marinade. Put it back in the package or a small bowl and add teriaki sauce until it covers the tofu.

Next cover with plastic wrap and let marinate in fridge for 2-4 days. The longer it marinates the better the flavor.

Now, when your ready to make your chinese food get together all your ingredients that aren't frozen.Take the tofu out of the package, (do not discard leftover marinade) place the tofu on a plate, and press firmly to drain all liquids. then put 2 folded paper towels on top of the tofu and place a heavy object to help the tofu drain. This will make for a better, firmer tofu.

Okay, Time to chop your garlic ginger and onion.
In a wok heat a high heat oil- such as coconut oil, sunflower seed oil, grapeseed oil...
I used sunflower seed oil and a few dashes of toasted sesame oil
heat the oil on medium heat.
Chop 1 sweet onion and toss in. stir every few minutes, when it starts to turn translucent and slightly brown add approx 8 cloves of chopped garlic. Do not let the garlic burn it will become bitter. after about a minute, then add your ginger. Use a microplane or cheese grater to grate your ginger. You want to add a little more than half of an average ginger root, approx 1 tablespoon possibly a little more.
Stir it all around, now you can slice the tofu and add directly to the pan, or the easier thing to do is get a big bowl, yes a big one, and dump the onion mixture into the bowl. Add a little oil and sesame oil to the wok, then add the tofu. This will ensure the onions and garlic do not burn, and help get the tofu the nice brown color. 
To cut your tofu, cut in half horizontally then slice small strips vertically, holding together, then from the front, slice again. This will give you nice uniform strips but you can slice however you like.

This is the tofu when I first added it to the pan, with the onion mixture, remember, it is way easier to removethe browned onion mixture, then brown the tofu, and then add onions back into the pan.

And this is what the tofu looks like after being cooked, a beautiful brown color. Halfway through browning add a little bit of of the reserved teriaki marinade, this will boost the flavor of the tofu.
Next add your veggies, fresh will take longer than frozen. Add the broccoli and asian vegetables stir and cook, then the peppers, then the peas, the the corn, the spinach, and spiced soybeans if you have them.
sprinkle the remainder of marinade over the veggies.
After the veggies are heated through, add 2 (10 oz) bags of frozen brown rice.
Add a few dashes of low sodium soy sauce directly to the rice, and then stir until heated through.
Taste, add sea salt, garlic powder or more grated ginger if needed.

It takes approx 15-25 minutes of cooking all together, depending on how time- efficient you are.
When everything is heated through spoon it into your BIG BOWL and serve! This recipe is sure to impress family and friends.

***chef's note, peel your ginger with a spoon, using a knife to take off any big pieces, put in a ziploc, and grate from frozen whenever you need it again. Will last months!

Also, I am the creator of this recipe, I expect full credit when using my recipe.

Friday, July 20, 2012


Garlic. I can never understand the recipes that call for one clove, two cloves, really people? Unless it is a raw recipe, 1 or 2 gloves, is just well, ridiculous.

Garlic is preventative medicine for just about everything.
It purifies the blood, improves blood circulation, strengthens the heart, boosts the immune system, and it is a powerful antioxidant. High cholesterol? Garlic lowers cholesterol.
Allicin, the active component in Garlic has antibiotic properties, that kill bad bacteria. Garlic also has anti-inflammatory properties! So eat more garlic!
I will make pasta primavera for my family, one nice sized bowl full, a half pound of whole wheat pasta, half a small onion, and guess how much garlic?? Depending on the size of the cloves I use anywhere from 5-8 cloves of garlic.
Yes for one single dinner. As long as the garlic is cooked and not burnt it will not overpower the dish.

This is very light and very healthy, and best of all delicious!!

raw shrimp or previoulsy roasted chicken ( or you could do tofu or raw chicken-add right after the garlic and cook for at least 6 minutes)
whole grain rotini
thawed frozen broccoli, peas, spinach/ or fresh, just cook longer
asparagus, cut in thirds
extra virgin olive oil as needed (approx 2 tablespoons)   evoo
grated parmesan cheese - (I now use sea salt because we have a dairy allergy)
1/2-1 small sweet onion, chopped
4-8 cloves minced garlic
SPRINKLE OF garlic powder 
dried basil
FRESH BASIL-organic, chopped
1 t lemon juice-or to taste
dried oregano

  1. First thing to do is heat the water for your pasta
  2. Then heat the evoo, add the onion cook till soft and translucent, 
  3. then add the garlic then the aspargus. ADD THE DRIED HERBS, Cook for approx 2-3 minutes 
  4. once water is boiling add salt evoo and organic whole wheat rotelle pasta, cook on medium boil until al dente about 6 min.
  5. then throw in your thawed frozen vegetables (add the garlic powder) stir and cook for about 2-3 minutes
  6.  Add the cooked chicken, or cooked shrimp those just need to be reheated. (If your using the raw shrimp allow at least 5 min for them to cook beofre the pasta is done)
  7. When pasta's done, drain, mix with everything in a large bowl  --if using parmasean cheese (which has lower sodium than salt) add at least 3 tablespoons parm cheese, fresh basil and lemon juice. toss. enjoy!

This recipe is butternut squash sauce with shrimp over rigatoni (by giada de laurentis). It is fabulous, and it freezes amazingly. This is the link for the recipe

She says to use 2 cloves. no. You need to use at least 5, more if you have a really big squash

Where does your innocent package of eggs come from?

This is where basic cheap white eggs come from
Not very innocent looking.. Many people just grab the cheapest carton from the shelf and go home without a care, not knowing where the eggs come from.. Conventional hens are also fed soy based chicken feed. The only problem with this is, because it is not organic soy, there is a 95% it is GMO. (This link is for say no to gmo. This website explains why GMO is no good)
Now, not only are free range/ pastured eggs more humane, but they also have a much lower risk of salmonella contamination. This is simply because they get to roam around free, eat clean food and go to a nesting box to lay their eggs. On the other hand, factory farmed eggs come from chicken packed tightly into cages, they poop eat and lay all in the same place. There are hundreds of birds in one farm. Diseases and infection spread through the poop filled cage farm. The cages are so small that many birds can not turn around, flap their wings, stretch, and have no opportunity to dust/dirt bathe themselves. These hens live their entire lives in a cage never seeing the light of day. To insure they do not peck each other from insanity their beaks are painfully cut off.
This is a Picture of "debeaking," there are different techniques, but most involve a hot blade and pressure.
 The end result is not so pretty--

(This is a video from PETA on conventional egg layer living conditions)

                        Now, not everyone has the time, space, or money to raise their own chickens, so what can you do? Try to buy from your local chicken keepers. It's easier than you think. Go on craigslist, and search eggs in "for sale"
I bet there are at least 5 sellers in your area, well maybe not in NYC..
It is best to buy straight from a person because they are more trustworthy, and they might even show you the chickens' living conditions. If you can't or don't want to buy from a person, read lables carefully! Cage free does not mean free range or pastured.
The best thing a carton can say is: pastured. Meaning they can roam free, dust bathe, and participate in normal chicken activites.
Cage-free: is not always better than conventional caged, because- most cage free farms pack as many chickens into a barn as possible making it difficult to move, and making diseases a higher risk.
A picture of a "cage-free" farm
Something to look for: CERTIFIED HUMANE
this means the chickens have better living conditions and a treated kindly.
A good place to find these eggs, believe it or not- costco
not bad, 2 dozen in a pack, and not a bad price
Trader joe's, whole foods, and some supermarkets also carry these eggs, but be careful
some labels say cage free, and in small print "free to roam inside a barn."       Note. picture above.

My chickens
(from left to right) Banana, sandy, ginger, sparrow, pebbles, midnight
and chiquita, who is not in this shot.

I consider my chickens organic free range or pastured. 

This is my chicken pen and coop. In the pen they are about to dust bathe and walk around with some cover from the rain. The coop is where the sleep and lay. My chickens get at least at least 6 hours a day (usually more) to roam the yard free. We live on a fenced acre, and I allow my chickens to roam, forage, perch, fly, and dust bathe. They have no vaccinations and their wings aren't clipped. They are fed certified organic feed, and given clean fresh water constantly throughout the day, every day.
 They are treated with respect, and given care, and love. If you live local to eastern suffolk on long island I would love to sell eggs to you, as soon as they start laying.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Say NO to pork bacon try this tempeh bacon recipe instead

Bacon, everyone smells it and goes crazy, that sweet, smokey, salty, crispy, perfection. So why am I telling you no bacon? Majority of bacon comes from pork aka pigs. Now, these pigs aren't running around all happy go lucky on a sweet family farm. Most pigs are "factory farmed" and never see the light of day. So what, you say? That it doesn't affect you in any way? Think again. Pigs are fed essentially garbage. Garbage, garbage, and maybe some gmo corn and soy, yum. But anyway, If you looked at a pig before they killed it and made it into bacon you would be disgusted. The living conditions are so poor that the pigs have open wounds spilling out pus, they have tumors, and numerous other health issues. But why listen to me? see for yourself:         

                                                       >>>  notice the huge tumor on belly

pigs with tumors, and infected pus oozing sores are all safe for human consumption! Bacon!  yum!

So, factory farmed pig, not healthy to eat. Many people, like myself get sick immediately after eating pig. Your body violent forces it out, if it's not used to this toxic meat.
Back to bacon, besides the pork, many brands are filled with MSG and nitrates, which are not good for your heart, or your overall well being.
There is turkey bacon, which is delicious, but turkeys don't have much better conditions than the pigs.
Morningstar vegetarian bacon is made from GMO soy (genetically modified soybeans that are sprayed with otherwise lethal amounts of pesticides) , processed with hexane (a toxin used to extract soy protein isolate, that leeches into food)
So what should I eat?
Why not try tempeh?
Much healthier than tofu, organic tempeh is a fermented mixture of soybeans, brown rice, barely, and millet. It is much less processed than tofu, and if bought organic, contains nothing artificial. Now I'm not gunna lie and say tempeh is the most amazing thing ever and you could always substitute tempeh for bacon, but sometimes it works very well, especially if your not eating it by itself.
It might take a few tries to get tempeh right, but don't give up, it's also very inexpensive.
So I found this recipe on
I would recommend cutting some soy sauce and adding maple syrup in its place, also maybe substituting maple syrup for the brown sugar. I didn't do a ton of measuring, more like a little of this, a little of that...

This is their recipe, which I deviated from, (read above):

  • 1 8-oz. pkg. tempeh, sliced into 24 very thin slices
  • ¼ cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 Tbs. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp. light brown sugar
  • ½ tsp. ground cumin
  • ½ tsp. ancho chile powder
  • 2 tsp. liquid smoke, optional
  • 1 Tbs. canola oil
  • Smoked paprika, optional

  1. Cut tempeh in half, and then quarters, and then "filet" it super thin.

  2. Lay tempeh slices in a baking pan. 
  3. Bring soy sauce, vinegar, maple syrup, cumin, chile powder, and ½ cup water to a boil in small saucepan. Boil 1 minute, then remove from heat, and stir in liquid smoke, if using. (boiling the mixture is optional, so is water). 
  4. Pour over tempeh slices. Let cool, then cover and chill 2 hours, or overnight.
  5. You can bake your tempeh in that pan, or you can pan-fry it in organic earth balance, which is what i do. I usually add some marinade to the pan too. You want to fry it until it is browned on both sides.

My first batch wasn't great, I was frying it in earth balance vegan butter, then I started drizzling maple syrup on them while they fried, and much much better!!
Make sure you cut them as thin as possible. And a note: DO NOT DRAIN ON PAPER TOWELS! IT STICKS TO PAPER TOWELS!

This is the vegan blt I made, it came out excellent, I did not miss the bacon. 
Whole wheat bread toasted, melt 1.5 slices of cheddar soy cheese
on other slice of bread thinly coat with trader joe's reduced fat vegan mayonnaise.
lay tempeh bacon on melted cheese, add sliced tomatoes, and baby swiss chard, baby spinach, and baby kale. or just plain lettuce. Delicious.
BTW I am not vegan, nor Am I vegetarian I just try to do everything possible not to eat tortured factory farmed animals and products.

Friday, July 13, 2012

lunch time ...IN 15 MIN

Many people have lunch wherever they work, and often grab some fatty tv dinner, because who has time for a real lunch, right? wrong!!
Since I only work short shifts, my lunch break is a mere 15 min long.

1.vegetable avocado wrap
 before you go to work, sautee/stir fry chopped onion, garlic, asparagus, cremini mushrooms, peppers, or any veggies you got in the fridge. When they seem crisp but tender and fully cooked, take a little more than half and stick it in a glass jar. To the pan add 2 eggs, cook and eat with whole wheat toast and orange or pineapple juice. There's breakfast. Now, take to work 1 ripe avocado, 1 whole wheat wrap, the jar of cooked veggies, and a bag or jar of lettuce/spinach/broccoli slaw, whatever. btw steamed lentils are very good for this wrap also. {Now for avocados get small ones, buy a bag,, it's cheaper, as they ripen (they press in slightly when you push) stick it in the fridge if your not ready to use it, this will keep it ripe and fresh for at least a week, if not more.}
When it comes time for lunch, take your whole wheat or brown rice wrap(<toast that 1 slightly)
take a sharp knife, or a butter knife if that's all that's available
cut from the top, lengthwise all the way around. there is a round pit in center. after you cut take each side, twist and pop open, smack pit with sharp knife and pull out. gently use a spoon to take avocado out of skin. mash onto wrap as a paste, if you don't loveeeee avocado don't use the whole thing..brilliant!
Add your veggies cold or room temp, your lettuce, and eat!
-This takes less than 5 min to make, and is very healthy.
-To switch it up use different veggies, if no fresh veggies are available, frozen can be used, shrimp or grilled chicken can always be added,
 different flavors to incorporate are, - curry     -ginger    -teriaki or soy sauce    -balsamic

2. Roasted vegetable quinoa
This is a great lunch, dinner, side dish, quick breakfast, whatever.
The easiest way to make this would be to roast veggies one night for a dinner side dish, and roast extra of course. garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper, add whatever you like... 400-450 degrees for about 25 min, depending on veggies, turn half way.
and the same with quinoa, when you make it make a TON! store in a jar and use throughout the week.
If you don't like quinoa you can use brown rice, orzo, farro, buckwheat, cous cous, whatever. BUT, quionoa packs a protein punch. So when you cook it do not use water! use 2:1 liquid to quinoa ratio and use a broth, like veggie or free range chicken... follow pkg instructions to cook. add salt to taste after its cooked, mix roasted vegetables, stick in glass jar, wa lah! serve cold or room temp.

Okay, so why the jars? Every week you buy jam, peanut or almond butter, salsa, whatever. after you eat it, put the jar in the dishwasher... wow free tupperware...
Why is everything cold or room temp? Well that is a very easy answer, simply becasue THE MICROWAVE CAUSES CANCER! Now, before you call me a crazy hippie, think about it. That bomb we dropped on hiroshima, many many people died, their eco system and air weren completely ruined, their babies suffered severe birth defects for a very long time. Now, why? beacuse of radiation! So now everyone is going to go around "nuking" their food with radiation? Don't you think, just maybe, possibly, that radiation, could perhaps affect the molecules in your food because radiation affects virtually everything else?? 
Please read this article by dr. mercola, it explains why the microwave is dangerous, and how it "zaps the nutrients right out of your food."
slow cooker-great. oven, stove-great. Grill-okay.           ........Microwave-NO No NO!!!!

3. Healthy tuna or chicken salad
get a can of tuna or chicken, half salt people come on. And none of that garbage, the ingredients should say tuna, salt, water. That's it, none of that crap I can't even pronounce. 
Or better yet you could use your own chicken or tuna. This also could possibly work with a combo of canellini beans and chick peas instead of meat..possibly
Anyway. Throw away your mayo because it's just gross, (really, just look at it) whenever your heart desires artery clogging mayo, use a ripe avocado! your heart will thank you!
So, take your can and drain it. Mash it with a fork, and mash in your avocado. (you should know how to do this since I mentioned it above) Add a dash of fresh lemon or lime juice directly to avocado. This will keep it from browning. So mash avocado and tuna/chicken together and if desired, throw in some broccoli slaw, or shaved carrots. That's it. Holy simple. And healthy.
Serve on whole wheat bread, brown rice bread, pita bread, pita chips, a wrap, whatever.

4.yummy salad ideas
For one, don't use iceberg. Come on.
For two, don't buy pre-made chopped salad mix bags, -they are expensive and they will go bad way quicker.
three- ONLY BUY ORGANIC LEAVES. you are eating straight up pesticides if you get conventional lettuce. Unlike a banana, or avocado, with lettuce you eat what gets sprayed directly. don't do it.
okay so, some good things to buy for/ add to your salad
  • ORGANIC romaine hearts -buying a bag of untouched hearts will last you a month, if you pull outer leaves off as needed and don't crunch the whole thing
  • ORGANIC spinach- hmm because it's good for you? high in iron and vitamin c, and it's delish
  • ORGANIC baby kale and swiss chard- both packed full of vitamins and antioxidants
  • ORGANIC broccoli slaw
  • mache / lambs lettuce -- Holy nutritional value!!! compare it to romaine, you'll be amazed. tastes like very mild spinach. buy  ORGANIC if possible
  • carrots  ---ORGANIC. again. because conventional is sprayed with pesticide which goes into the, ground when it rains, and guess what!? The carrot sucks it up because it is a root!
  • lentils, steamed lentils
  • garbanzo beans, black beans, kidney beans
  • dried cranberries or cherries
  • avocado
  • raw broccoli, cauliflower
  • tomato
  • raw walnuts, almonds
  • mushrooms
  • cooked quinoa
  • flax, chia seeds, shelled sunflower seeds
  • apple slices, grapes, watermelon

for dressings use 
balsamic vinegar, rice vinegar, red wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar
flax oil,olive oil, grape seed oil, sunflower oil, walnut oil