Showing posts from 2017

Playing with Ferments (Sugar and Salt-Free)

It was rather late in the evening and I all of the sudden had an urge to make a bunch of late summer pickled vegetables. 
I used to dabble a bit more in this area but while letting my stomach heal, I had taken a break and found that I truly missed a good pickle this summer. 
I hurried off to the fridge and spice cabinets and pulled out a little bit of this and a little bit of that and just sat down and started to create recipes. 

I wasn't sure where I was going to go or how I was going to do this salt and sugar-free but figured I would wing it and if it doesn't work, at least it was a fun project, right?
I found cucumbers, ginger, zucchini, carrots and yellow beets. 
I mixed each jar with unique seasonings: pickling spice, turmeric, garlic, red pepper flakes, mustard seeds, fresh lemon and lime.... 
Once I had the seasonings that I "thought" would pair well together, I filled the jars with raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar and closed these babies up to ferment in the fri…

Charlie was a sinner. Philadelphia, PA (Vegan and Gluten-Free)

March of 2014 was the last I sought out any of the Philadelphian vegan fancy schmancy establishments. 
After having spent a fortune only to leave disappointed, the highly recommended Vedge restaurant was just not doing it for me. I found myself ordering dish after dish, in hopes one would wow me. I couldn't figure out what all the hype was - perhaps its that all the gluten-filled meals are the real show-stoppers?
I've definitely expressed my opinion to others and I have come to the conclusion that one of the below theories is the cause of my lack of interest in Vedge.       1. I eat veggies every damn day of my life and therefore I have high standards for something creative and for only the freshest ingredients      2. I have a unique pallet. Because I do eat a diet that is heavy on fruits and vegetables with a sprinkle of grains and very minimal oils and sweets,       3. It's like a true Italian going into Olive Garden - "it just isn't authentic"
I do praise…

2nd Annual Philly S.E.E.D Fest 2017 Recap

If you missed this year's Philly S.E.E.D festival, let me be frank, you missed a great event! There was good food, awesome cocktails, and a great opportunity to meet and greet local veggie-heads! 

Gluten-Free Friendly Options
Sweet Freedom Bakery--gluten-free, vegan, allergen-friendly
Soy Cafe
P.S. & Co.
Inspired Brews
The Random Tea Room & Curiosity Shop
United By Blue
Ploughman Cider
Eight Oaks Craft Distillers

Non-Gluten-Free Friendly Options
Saint Benjamin Brewing Company Taproom
Memphis Taproom
Passed hor d'oeuvres fromSugarHouse Casino!
Noble Earth
Philadelphia Distilling
Spirit Forward
Red Brick Craft Distillery
Rowhouse Spirits Distillery
Home Brewed Events
Saint Benjamin Brewing Company
Conshohocken Brewing Co.
Vault Brewing Co.
Victory Beer
Yards Brewing Co.

Event Sponsors
V Marks the Shop
The Town Dish
Indraloka Animal Sanctuary
The Vegan Nest
Half and a Third
LockaSpot App
Green Mountain Energy Company
Direct Action Everywhere Philadelphia
Liberty B…

Ayurvedic Carrot Soup

With summer weather slowly starting to fade into fall leaves, crisp morning air, and cool evenings - my stomach has been not loving summer fruits, morning smoothies, or evening banana whips - today I took the time to care for me!

I rested until I awake naturally. I started the day with a very long walk with Lutana. I took the time to make a breakfast and enjoy it. I spent the day at the park and then I put a movie on and started to make some home cooked healing carrot soup.

- Fresh Ginger
- Star Anise
- Tumeric
- Garlic
- Spring Onion
- Nutmeg
- Fresh Water
- Carrots
- Celery
- Lime Juice
- Seaweed of choice

I started dry roasting my spices on low heat. Once slightly toasted, I added about 4 cups of water and remaining ingredients. I let the entire pan simmer on low to medium heat for about 2 hours.

Then came my favorite part! I took the carrots out scooped them into the Vitamix. I added a tab bit of the vegetable broth slowly to ensure I did not over water it. I …

Philly S.E.E.D Fest 2017

Ladies and gentleman check it out: This year will mark the 2nd annual Philly S.E.E.D Festival, a vegan craft food, and beer festival at the Sugar House Casino. Come join us on Sunday, August 13th at 3:00 - 6:00 pm!

Food Vendors on the confirmed list:

Mompops  GFShankara Vegan Restaurant GF tbdSweet Freedom Bakery GFVegan Commissary GF tbdSoy Cafe GF Vegan Mac & CheeseP.S and Co. GFLuhv Food GFAmino Juice GFMartha GF condiments and Kombucha A Delicious Affair GF tbdand more to come!
Additional vendors include Spirits, Breweries / Cideries, and More!

S.E.E.D is the areas first all vegan food and beer festival! Hosted by EatYourPHL and Home Brewed Events. 

S - Sustainable
E - Everyday
E - Edibles
D - Drinkables

Philadelphia is well known for their craft food and beer scene, so why not also highlight the amazing Vegan offerings the city has to offer!

Why You Should Attend:
A portion of the proceeds (20%) will benefit the Humane League of Philadelphia, working toward reducing animal s…

How Living With A Dog Has Changed My Life

It has been close to a year where I have been back and forth on if a dog in my life was something I wanted or if it just more used energy than I currently had to provide.

I did my research, I had a long list of requirements and to be honest, it would have been easier if I could have made a magic potion to create "the perfect" dog. I wanted one that listened well, took well to apartment life, did not leave balls of fur on my clothes, did not drool, behaved well, trained easily... the list went on and on.

I did find in my research some dog breeds that matched most of my criteria, but they appeared to be either very expensive to obtain OR nearly extinct!

I was on a path of "okay, the world is saying not right now" and I went with it.

Then I left for one of the most rewarding vacations thus far, a camping trip through the Smoky Mountains, TN. While in one of the many cell service dead-zones, I started getting bits and pieces of messages from my mom noting that my dad m…

When Some days...You Just Feel Like The Odd Man Out

For the past 10+ years, I have dealt with my illness on my own - and for the most part, I think I have done so very well. I was always optimistic, read a lot of research, tried a number of doctors, tried new foods, and so much more. I kept juggin' along with a smile on my face and optimism on my side.
Then, I allowed myself to get to run down - I suppose I was trying to keep up with others expectations and of course, more deadly - my own expectations. I lost myself and I was too exhausted to realize it and too stubborn to ask for help. 
When I did realize it and knew a lot of changes had to come from a road to recovery - I tried a bit of every recovery phase: isolation, depression, neediness, positive can-do attitude, changes, and so on... and I always need to take a moment to commend myself for the journey that I have gone through and take pride in that no matter what stage I am currently in and where I "think" I should be at that point. 
Regardless, I have been going t…

Ginger Turmeric Vegetable Zoodle Soup (Gluten-Free & Vegan)

I know it is very hot and humid out these days so I typically don't crave soups this time of year - but the humidity really takes a toll on my body. I have not been feeling well and just wanted something comforting and soothing to my digestion system.

I did some Google searches for a bunch of recipes and wasn't finding anything that was appealing to me at the current moment so I said, F*it, I am just going to wing it. I took 100+ recipes and mushed them together with my own spin and came up with the below recipe.

- Star Anise
- Tumeric Powder
- Curry Powder
- Freshly Grated Ginger
- Freshly Grated Garlic
- 1/2 Vegetable Cube
- Seaweed
- Celery
- Carrots
- Fresh Dill
- Bay Leaves
- Red of Florence Onion
- Zucchini
- Fresh Basil to garnish
- Line Juice

I placed all ingredients (minus zucchini and basil) into a stock pot. I let it simmer for about 90-minutes and then poured it right over my zoodles sprinkled with some fresh basil and a spritz of lime juice.

While cook…

Tia Lupita Hot Sauce

Tia Lupita Hot Sauce was kind enough to send me a sample for review.
I must start by saying, I am still holding Formosa Hot Sauce as my comparison for the quality, taste, and visual appeal of all hot sauces.

I started by educating myself on Tia Lupita and found that the sauce heritage, like Formosa, also originated in Mexico, from what I picture to be, an adorable Mexican women- whoot whoot, high hopes here that the same authentic flavors that I fell madly in love with from Formosa could possibly also be in Tia Lupita.

I kept ready and found, even more, similarities to Formosa, so we have, recipe originated from a woman in Mexico and then the company founders both migrated to California.  Hector, the owner of Tia Lupita, named the hot sauce in honor of his mother and even designed the logo with her mind.  I love the curl on top of her head - it actually reminds me of my nana! Family love, family traditions, family recipes - a few of my favorite things - so before even having taste-test…

Comfort in the Familiar (Gluten-Free & Vegan Oatmeal)

Whenever I find I'm not feeling well, I tend to always crave and think about carbs - toast, oatmeal, bagels, rice. Why is this? Well, most likely because in my wee-little years, when tossed any sort of flu or illness, mom would always whip out the butter, honey, and cinnamon toast, ginger-ale, chicken and rice, graham crackers, ritz crackers - you know, all the carby - soak up the acid in your stomach food.

I have come to relate my not so feel great days with carbs and lots of them!

I've recently returned back from an amazing trip in the Smoky Mountains and am having a hard time now coming back to my stressful work-life, new mommy to a BOLD puppy, living alone, eating alone, and just simply life.

Like many, I long to wake up and be surrounded by nature.
- The feeling of the cool morning air whipping across my face
- The sound of young birds chirping a good morning alarm
- The smell of the morning dew
- The sight of the morning fog just starting to rise into the mountains
- Th…

Struggling With Mindfulness

Hot topics of the 21st century are buzzwords like:
"mindfulness", "balance", "you-time" "rejuvenation", detox, the list goes on...

But the real struggle isn't in defining each of these terms (as I have come to learn they are unique per person rather than universal) but how the heck is someone living in the real-world fitting all these "buzz" words into your schedule? Share your goddess secrets! No, seriously!?

They say: take 10 minutes each day to meditate, workout for at least 30 minutes, be mindful when eating, be mindful in general, don't forget you have that thing called a job, family responsibilities, .... .... ...

So yeah, great idea to "SCHEDULE" out my already too-scheduled day to include me-time, sounds a bit backward, no?

Ah - then it must be backward! Listening to my inner-self, just like mama taught us. I am learning do not go about cramming in even more into that crazy schedule, instead, the habit is learn…

Allowing Downtime

"What I have come to call an "active laziness"? 

Naturally, there are different species of laziness: Eastern and Western.

The Eastern style consists of hanging out all day in the sun, doing nothing, avoiding any kind of work or useful activity, drinking cups of tea and gossiping with friends.

Western laziness is quite different. It consists of cramming our lives with compulsive activity so that there is no time to confront the real issues" - Sogyal Rinpoche

Vegan Ice Cream Sundae (Gluten-Free)

Looking for a healthy, delicious, and easy vegan and gluten-free dessert option - or maybe you want dessert for breakfast?

This simple recipe is a great option for you.

- 4 - 6 peeled and frozen bananas
- Cinnamon
- Nutmeg
- Fresh ginger
- Fresh blueberries
- Vegan and gluten-free granola of choice (I made mine)

I use a Vitamix blender, but any high powered blender will do the trick.

Add in the frozen bananas, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. Process until you receive a smooth ice cream consistency.

Scoop contents into a pretty ice cream dish and then top with fresh berries and granola.

Simple Zoodle Recipe for Summer (Gluten-Free & Vegan)

When it is way too hot outside and we all just want something quick, easy and refreshing - try this healthy and very simple zoodle pasta salad.

- 1 Large Zucchini
- Freshly grated ginger
- Fresh torn basil
- Cayenne pepper
- Roasted reb pepper
- Tumeric
- Keep in mind - you can really add whatever your heart desires to make this your own unique recipe.

Zoodle the zucchini and then toss together with remaining ingredients and enjoy!

Gluten-Free Vegan Beet Burgers

Summer Time is here and everyone is grilling! This is great, except for when you have a boatload of allergies and most of the items they are grilling are not safe for you to consume.

I got a little adventurous the other night and made some juices and while making the juice, I decided I would add in some beets so that I could use the pulp for burgers.

- Beet Pulp
- Chopped summer squash
- Dried coconut
- Seaweed of choice
- Seasonings of Choice (I used turmeric, black pepper, cayenne, liquid amino...)
- Cut fresh pineapple for the "bun"
- Fresh basil
- Optional condiments - mustard, hot sauce, cilantro sauce, etc.

I sauteed the burgers, in hopes they wouldn't fall apart and grilled the pineapple to bring out the natural sweetness.

How did they come out - not bad - maybe not my favorite, but something I would try again.

Smoky Mountain Camping Trip Done Vegan & Gluten-Free

TWINnessee 2017By nfiamingo24 Jun 201710:30 am
TWINnessee Harpers Ferry National Park

Harpers Ferry National Historical Park (A+)Harpers Ferry National Park.As we began our yearly-sister adventure, we had no idea all of the amazing opportunities and experiences in store for us. While driving along 81, Mia mentioned, wait, is this not where the Potomac river is - I have never been! My response, lets do it!We took a small detour and found our way to National Park #1 of our trip. The cost was only $10.00 per car load and we ended up spending a couple of hours wandering around the natural wonders and taking the opportunity to see all three states at one moment (Virginia, Maryland, West Virginia). It was a magical way to begin such a memorable journey. 1:00 pm
Lunch at Harpers Ferry National Historical Park

Harpers Ferry, WVBefore heading back to the long drive ahead of us, we figured we should have a healthy and hearty lunch on the grounds of Harper's Ferry National Historic Park - …