Sunday, January 1, 2012

Seitan Salad Sandwich


Chopped Seitan Salad Sandwich


I never said being vegan was hard....  Here's the easy lunch time favorite at my house!

Seitan Salad Sandwich

Seitan-chopped (chicken style, 8oz)
Vegenaise-3 large spoonfuls
Red Onion-1/4 cup chopped
Celery-1/3 cup chopped
Seitan- 8oz West Soy Brand Packaged
Dried Dill-about a teaspoon
Sea Salt-1/2 tspn
Pepper-1/2 tspn











1) Mix by hand...Seitan, vegenaise, red onion, celery, dill, salt, and pepper.


All ingredients chopped and mixed by hand

2) Put in on wheat bread and eat like a king!


Seitan Salad Sandwich and Veggie Straws

Monday, December 26, 2011

Vegan Chocoloate Chip Cookies


Eliminate all the nasty stuff in store-bought chocolate chip cookies....and what are you left with? The BEST chocolate chip cookies! Enjoy!


Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies

Dry:
3 cups Spelt Flour (found at health store usually, key ingredient)
1 tspn baking soda
1 tspn sea salt (large granules are especially awesome)

Wet:
3/4 cup & 2 tablespoons maple syrup
3/4 cup & 2 tablespoons sunflower oil
1 tspn vanilla extract

Then fold in:
3/4 cup dark chocolate chips
3/4 cup crushed macadamia and/or walnuts

This key to success in this recipe is the timing of the baking and the specific ingredients. Those being, the spelt flour and chocolate chips.

*Key ingredient:

"Enjoy Life" Brand Mini Chocolate Chips


1. Mix Dry Ingredients in bowl by hand.
2. Mix Wet Ingredients in separate bowl.
3. Mix Dry and Wet  together.




4. Fold in "Enjoy Life" dark chocolate chip minis









5. Fold in crushed nuts











6. Mix all ingredients together by hand. Place individual cookies on ungreased baking sheet and bake at 360 deg for 8-9 minutes.





















* When done, the cookies will still be light colored. The timing is crucial, as they overbake quick..so you may have to be very watchful the first time to get the timing just right.

7. When done, remove from oven and allow to cool. Make em' wait! So good....


Cooling for 15-20 mins
Finished Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies w/Macadamia & Walnuts

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Buffalo Tofu w/Vegan Ranch


Buffalo Tofu w/Vegan Ranch

Ingredients:

Buffalo Tofu
Firm Tofu
Hot Sauce (we like Tapatio)
Earth Balance
Bread Crumbs
Garlic Powder
Salt/Pepper

Vegan Ranch
(Mix together)
Vegenaise (1/2 cup)
Garlic Powder (2 tspns)
Onion Powder (1 tspn)
Parsley Flakes (to taste)
Salt/Pepper (to taste)

Sides
Fresh Carrots/Celery


I invited my beautiful wife, Jenifer, to help put this one together. Jen says this is her favorite tofu recipe! Here it is...

1. Prepare tofu by slicing lengthwise and drying with paper towels and/or dish towels. The more water you can soak out of the tofu, the better it will be to work with. (We slice it and wrap it in paper towels, then place a heavy object on it like a couple glass plates.)  After the tofu is dried out a bit, you can cube it with a knife for the recipe.


Dried/Cubed Firm Tofu

2. Prepare marinade by melting 2 large spoonfuls of Earth Balance vegan margarine in a pan and adding hot sauce. Some like it hot?

3. Either roll the tofu cubes in the warm marinade OR let them sit in the marinade for an hour if you LIKE IT HOT!



4. Roll the tofu cubes in breadcrumbs with some garlic powder.



5. Bake tofu at 375 for 25-35 mins.















Monday, November 21, 2011

Vegan Metal Chef-Smoothie Alchemy

This morning, I share a video on smoothies from Vegan Metal Chef. I haven't tried it, but it looks great.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Green Chili Corn Chowder (Vegan)

Green Chili Corn Chowder

Green Chili Corn Chowder (Vegan)

2 cups Cashew Cream (soak raw cashews 6-12 hours, replace w/fresh water and blend smooth)

2 cups carrots, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 yellow onion, chopped
1/2 cup celery, chopped
4.5 oz can green chilis, chopped
5 cups vegetable broth
2 sweet potatoes, chopped
1 1/2 tsp thyme, powdered
2 bowls fresh corn kernels

1. Saute onion, carrots, celery, green chilis, and bell pepper 15 mins w/olive oil over medium heat on stove.












2. Add vegetable broth, sweet potatoes, salt, pepper, and thyme. Increase heat and reduce to simmer for 15 mins.












Broiled Corn

3. Add cashew cream and raw corn. Allow to simmer another 15 mins. Optional garnish: Chives and/or broiled corn kernels.





Saturday, November 5, 2011

Roasted Artichoke w/Perfect Sauce

Artichokes are awesome! They look like some type of dinosaur and eating them is an adventure in itself... This is a nice little artichoke recipe that I know you will enjoy. It's one of those recipes that will impress your friends if you are having a dinner party or something like that.



 Roasted Artichokes w/Perfect Sauce:

-3 medium artichokes
-olive oil
-4 cups water
-sea salt
-garlic, fresh/minced
-lemon

Dip:
-Vegenaise
-lemon juice
-hot sauce
-cayenne
-agave
-dry mustard powder
-garlic, fresh/minced

1. Cut stems, rinse, and placed artichokes in water with 1/2 cup olive oil. Bring to boil and reduce temp, cover and allow artichokes to steam for about 15 minutes.



















2. Place artichokes in baking pan, drizzle heavily with olive oil. Sprinkle with sea salt. Smear with about 2 tbl spoons of fresh chopped garlic. Squeeze some fresh lemon juice on top. Bake on 400 deg for about 40 minutes.









3. Customize your dipping sauce by mixing vegenaise, spices, agave, fresh lemon and garlic. (see above). It will be perfect because you have 40 minutes to make it perfect!



4. Finish baking, remove from oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes before serving.





                                                                          Artichoke Facts:

  • Artichokes are said to be aphrodisiacs.
  • Technically, an artichoke is a flower.
  •  High in vitamin C, folic acid and magnesium.
  •  Virtually fat-free, the artichoke weighs in at 25 calories
  • More Artichoke Facts here

Veggie Cooking Consultations

Home Cooking Consultations

Visit the real Jerry's Kitchen or have me to your kitchen for a 3hr cooking consultation on vegan/vegetarian food preparation.

-Hands-on training 
-Kids and adults
-Juice Bar
-Smoothies
-Main Course
-Dessert

$150 (family of 4, includes cost of food)
$20 per additional adult

I have found this to be very successful as a method of training others to advance their plant-based food preparation skills! The learning curve for switching to a plant-based diet is accelerated when you learn by doing. You will help me prepare the meal, smell, taste, and enjoy it from start to finish. You get to see what some of your appliances are capable of, as well as see a quality juicer in action!  I would enjoy helping you and your family find success in learning about natural cooking and food preparation. So, if you are interested, and live in the Denver Metro area, contact me by email: garmstro@me.com







Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Killer Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti squash is one of those vegetables you've been walking past at the grocery store over the past couple months. It doesn't look that impressive really so I imagine very few people buy one unless they have a recipe to use it. So here you go!




Whole Spaghetti Squash
Killer Spaghetti Squash

1 spaghetti squash
olive oil
fresh basil
fresh chives
salt/pepper
toasted pine nuts

1. Using a large knife, cut the spaghetti squash lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds, and drizzle it with olive oil.

2. Lay the two halves face down on a baking pan.  Bake at 350 deg for about 45 min. Remove pan from oven and allow it to cool for about 30 minutes.

3. Using an oven mitt, if needed, hold the spaghetti squash and scoop out the middle...it will come out in strands like pasta. Scoop it in a bowl. Mix with fresh chopped basil, chives, and salt/pepper. Toasted pine nuts (from a dry frying pan) are also great on top!

Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

World Vegan Day

 High cholesterol? High blood pressure? Stressful job? Trouble sleeping? Lack of energy? Overweight? These are all reasons to consider a vegan diet..... and these are some of the most prolific problems in western society. 


Today is "World Vegan Day".  In 1944, Donald Watson coined the term "vegan" to identify the "non-dairy vegetarian".  Vegetarianism has had religious ties for thousands of years, however, with several religions advocating animal rights.  "Followers of Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism also advocated vegetarianism, believing that humans should not inflict pain on other animals." (Time article)  

The motivation for people to eat a vegan diet is quite varied.  For some, it is religious...like those above. Even Christianity has a vegan diet supposedly found in the bible called, "The Daniel Diet". For others, the choice to eat 100% plant-based, is primarily for health. I fall in this category of health-conscious vegans.

I have enjoyed my lifestyle as a 100% plant-based, vegan, for over two years now.  My interest in making lifestyle change was for athletic performance and recovery. "Top athletes in certain endurance sports—for instance, the Ironman triathlon and the Ultramarathon—practice raw veganism." (Wiki)  I quickly realized that I was getting a host of other benefits as well.  Over time, I have gained appreciation for all the other benefits associated with a plant-based diet. It is for this reason that I started this blog. 

Eliminating animal products from your diet may seem very daunting at first.  You may want to start with one vegetarian meal per week.  Personally, I am an "all or nothing" guy... so once I make up my mind, I go 100%.

Here is a partial list of some notable vegetarians and vegans:

Famous Vegetarians and Vegans

From my perspective, there is no better way to "go green."  Everywhere I look, I see further confirmation that the standard American diet is making people sick, overweight, and unhappy. I don't mean to be preachy... I only want you to be healthy.

Happy World Vegan Day.

Your friend,

Jerry

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Cashew Fruit Parfait

By blending raw cashews, a cream is created which can be used in place of "heavy cream". This is a common vegan substitution called, "Cashew Cream." A slight modification can turn this cashew cream into a high protein, sweet parfait!


Cashew Cream Parfait

Cashew Fruit Parfait

2 cups raw cashews
2/3 cup Coconut Oil (melted into liquid on low heat)
1/4 cup agave nectar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup water
Fresh Fruit and/or granola


1. Soak cashews 12-15hrs, remove water, and replace with enough fresh water to cover cashews.
















2. Blend cashews with agave, vanilla,  water,  and melted coconut oil in blender at high speed. (pour hot oil carefully)















3. Pour into small individual servings. (go for smaller servings...the cashews will fill you up quick.)  Chill servings in refrigerator for 2-4 hours.













4. Top with fresh fruit, granola, or
your favorite topping.










More Cashew Cream Recipes:






Sunday, October 23, 2011

Vegan Banana Sweet Bread

Vegan Banana Sweet Bread
This is a kid-approved vegan banana sweet bread!  Perfect for fall, this quick fix is perfect for the fall and goes great with Thanksgiving dishes. I hope you enjoy this one...

Banana Sweet Bread

(Blender)
2 very ripe bananas
1/2 cup apple juice
1/3 cup sunflower oil
2/3 maple syrup
Juice of one lemon
1 tsp banana extract

(Mix by hand)
2 1/3 cup whole wheat flour
2/3 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 banana, chopped
1/2 tspn sea salt
1 tsp baking soda

Very Ripe Bananas
Mix all ingredients together by hand and bake in a 8x3.5" baking pan at 350 deg for 30-40 mins.

*Notes:
-Use very ripe bananas and watch the bread after 25 minutes, as temps/times vary. Yummmmmy!






Kid-Approved...."Mmmm, I like it!"

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Truly Beautiful

Mediapeta.com


When I eliminated meat, cheese, and dairy from my diet...I slowly opened myself up to a whole new world.... My first indications of positive change were in my digestion, skin clarity, and sleep. I also found I had a better short-term memory...and ability to recall detailed information from days past. After a few months, I started to embrace new foods more openly, and welcome the opportunity to try a new restaurant or dish. I discovered Indian food and Thai dishes...I started using kitchen appliances from the back of my pantry, like the steamer and blender. I found myself spending most of my time in the produce section of the grocery store...and visiting farmers markets with great excitement. I bought new vegetarian cookbooks, and truly started to enjoy preparing and sharing my food. And, I was happier.

Of course, when I first started this quest to become a healthy eater...Fear of the unknown presented me with an ignorance that left me confused about what I would actually be eating if I eliminated these mythical "staples" from my diet. But over a few months, I grew to understand the color of the vegan diet. And only then did I realize all the things that were missing from my plate all along. My grocery basket became a wide diversity of color...rich in nutrition, and alive like never before.

Now, these are things I buy from the grocery store....

Fruit:
Apples
Oranges
Bananas
Strawberries
Lemons
Blueberries
Frozen Berries
Anything in season

Vegetables:
Carrots
Cucumbers
Kale
Celery
Lettuce
Tomatoes
Squash

Nuts/Misc:
Garlic
Raw Cashews
Almond Butter
Walnuts
Pine Nuts
Chia Seeds
Almonds
Olive Oil
Sunflower Oil
Canola Oil

Other:
Agave Nectar
Dark Chocolate Chips (Enjoy Life brand)
Soy Milk
Almond Milk
Rice Milk
Coconut Ice Cream

Packaged Proteins:
Gardein Scallopini
Garden Burger
Tofu

Snacks:
Clif Mojo Bars
Lara Bars
Naked Juice

When you think "healthy", think color. Think deep rich color. Nourish your body with an imaginative collection of earth's radiance and avoid the consumption of  anything less than truly beautiful.

-jerry


















Monday, October 10, 2011

Blueberry Chia Pudding

I tried this recipe tonight for the first time...modifying it slightly from the original by Brandon Brazier. It is awesome! My 5 year old, Jalen, loved it!

Blueberry Chia Pudding
This is a very nutritious, high protein, raw meal you can have any time of day. It would make a great breakfast! The chia seeds form into a gelatine-like state, which provides the texture for this "pudding."

Blueberry Chia Pudding:

-2 tbl spoons Chia Seeds
-3/4 cup water
-1/3 cup raw cashews
-4-5 pitted dates
-Sprinkle of Cinnamon
-Sprinkle of Sea Salt
-1 cup fresh/frozen blueberries
-1 tbl spoon Agave Nectar

1. Soak Chia Seeds in water for 10 minutes.
2. Add the remaining ingredients, and blend smooth.
3. Add fresh berries to the top.

Letters to the Kitchen

I receive many emails about exercise and diet. So often, the questions are the same or very similar. For this reason, I directed my energy to the blog so multiple people could benefit from the conversation. In this post, I share an exchange with a friend regarding my input on dietary choices for an active lifestyle....


281 mile run for Diabetes: 2010: "Run the Coast"

 Jerry,



"My husband and I have always been active but lately we've been more active. With running, hiking, I'm doing Zumba. And lately my husband has been complaining of knee pains, shoulder pains...and I think they are joint related. I feel like my body is lacking in nutrients. I am active with running and Zumba but I am also nursing my baby. So I am trying to keep up with calories so I am always feeling tired and exhausted.
We eat pretty normal. We eat healthy breakfasts, like Quaker cereal, for lunch we have either leftovers from the night before or sandwiches. For dinner I always make a meat, vegetable and a carb. I stay away from too much salt, cheese, and butter in my meals. I also, don't make all my meals from scratch. A lot of meals are pre-made from Trader Joes. So they are healthy, just not as healthy.
So I guess I have a few questions then....
Do you recommend daily vitamins to maintain energy? And what kinds? What do you recommend for joint pain in the knees for running. What type of dietary guidance would you provide in this situation?"

Thank you,

Jessica

Dear Jessica,

Thank you so much for your message!  It's an honor to be in a position to help you and your family improve your health... First off, I'm not a doctor!  I try to avoid going to the doctor at all costs...and my choices about diet, health, and exercise are based on my personal training and experience. So, of course, if you guys are having any problems that need medical advice, please include your family physician in the conversation about how to deal with things like "joint pain."

Having said that, here is my take on it...

Joint pain, stiff elbow or knees, pain.... all of these things say "inflammation" to me.  Advil is an example of a medication which temporarily lowers inflammation. And, if Advil or Ibuprofen help you function, then you would likely benefit from the inclusion of more antioxidants in your diet. Let me rephrase that...you WILL benefit greatly from more antioxidants in your diet! Here:


I had an interesting conversation with a co-worker last year on this topic. He was born in Afghanistan, and, when I told him I didn't eat animal products he laughed a little out of confusion. I told him that animal-derived foods were often the causation of  "western" illnesses like heart disease and cancer.  He stopped laughing and then he said something very interesting...

Wild Mulberries


"In Afghanistan, everyone in the city eats animal meat like the United States. The people in the city have a high rates of cancer, heart disease, and illness. Everyone is stressed out and working to make money.  But, there are these "mountain people" that live at the base of the hills.  They don't have any money so they eat mulberries all day and they can't afford meat. These "mountain people" are laughed at by the people in the city... BUT, the mountain people are happy all the time and they live much longer lives. They have beautiful skin even when they're in their 90s." 


Through my endurance training, I have learned a great deal about inflammation. The impact and miles causes swelling in my body. My knees, ankles, and shoulders have suffered. Six years ago, I ate a diet much like you and your family.  I was convinced it was healthy. And, like you, I was eating something free of many of the "bad things." BUT, I WASN'T EATING ENOUGH OF THE GOOD STUFF!

So, that is my recommendation to you and your husband. As you become more active, your body will adapt. But, you must assist your body in the adaptation process by fueling on nutrient-dense food. Simply avoiding the known "bad stuff" is not good enough.   In order to satisfy your body's needs, you must fuel your body on colorful, organic produce... through a medley of fresh foods. And you can achieve this by juicing fresh vegetables, making colorful fruit smoothies, and eating fresh food. In addition, you can also take a multi-vitamin. By making the majority of your diet one of rich, colorful, fresh produce...you will be fulfilling your body's needs and feeling better and better each day!

Aside from that, I urge you to try yoga. Yoga was developed 1,000 years ago...long before Advil. It takes a few sessions, but you will learn to appreciate it greatly. With an open mindset, healthy nutrition, and self-discipline, you can greatly improve your health and happiness. I mitigate my joint pain with Bikram Yoga, one day per week. Between yoga and my diet, I am able to  recover from training runs which, 5 years ago, would have left me bedridden or hospitalized. While you may have no interest in pushing yourself that far, you can still benefit from the same methods I use.

I hope this message finds you well... and I hope you will consider some of these suggestions. I created this blog to talk about things like this for my friends and family. And, because I truly want to share the knowledge I have gained through my lifestyle choices.

Your friend,

Jerry

Sunday, October 2, 2011

On-the-go Healthy!

In this post, I will share some of my favorite selections from popular restaurants. These popular chain restaurants provide a deep enough menu for me to fuel when I'm on-the-go! Here are my plant-based favorites...



Noodles! Anyone who works with me can attest to what I'm about to say... I walk in my regular Noodles and Co and they put in the order without me saying anything! One of two menu items fits the bill:

1. Bangkok Curry with Tofu: When you're on-the-go, try the Bangkok Curry with Tofu from Noodles. It's a sweet/spicy coconut-based curry on noodles with cabbage. They grill their tofu pretty well and it's cubed, but the texture works well with the dish. You can grab this to go and leave it in your car for hours! It's good hot or cold.

2. Pasta Fresca with Tofu: The other menu option at Noodles is the Pasta Fresca. Aside from the refined noodles, it's pretty high-quality with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, spinach, and tomatoes. I like to top this with tofu as well. Both dishes are around $6.




Jamba! Surprisingly, not everything is healthy at Jamba. Their "baked goods" are complete crap. With my distrustful vegan eye, I have selected the following as my favorite meals to grab when you have Jamba on-the-go:

1. Acai Topper: They took this off the menu but you can still order it. It's a blend of dark berries including blueberries and acai. There is no added sugar (or sherbet). I like to add soy protein as my boost for an additional 15 grams of protein. They top it with granola (maybe a little added sugar on the granola) and sliced banana on top. I eat this about 3x week. Jerry-approved..

2. Carrot Juice: Ah yeah! Jamba has these industrial size juicers...unfortunately, the 17 year old high-school girl behind the counter doesn't know how to use them. They often force the carrots through the machine and you get some small carrot chunks in the juice. But don't fret! Ask them nicely to pour the juice through a small strainer (it's kept behind the sink). This will strain any small carrot chunks away from the super juice. This isn't a smoothie....I'm talking juice here, so no chunks! And, you can also have them throw in a little bit of orange juice (also fresh squeezed in front of you.) New to carrot juice? You will likely have to find a bathroom within the hour if your gut is full of Standard American Food.


So,  a bunch of my buddies at work really like Chipotle. At first, I was really concerned I might not be able to make this one work for me. But, I discovered an incredible plant-based dish you will love! Here it is:

1. Chipotle Salad: When you order the "salad", they will give you this incredible dressing made of spicy chipotle and olive oil. It is SO GOOD. Have them dress your salad with some rice, black beans, fajitas, pico de gallo (tomato salsa), guacamole, and chips! I'm telling you...this dressing is an underground, behind-the-scenes, you have to try it to believe it dressing!

I'm busy like everybody else...so I enjoy and require the convenience of these popular restaurants when I can't prepare my own food. Because these dishes are free of additives, sugar, and other bad stuff, you likely wont grow tired of them. I enjoy these menu items regularly and they help me stay on top of my effort to eat a plant-based diet when I'm out on the town.

Share your thoughts! 
jerry

Happy Life: Jack LaLanne




“Living is a pain in the butt. Dying is easy. It’s like an athletic event. You’ve got to train for it. You’ve got to eat right. You’ve got to exercise. Your health account, your bank account, they’re the same thing. The more you put in, the more you can take out. Exercise is king and nutrition is queen: together, you have a kingdom.”  -Jack LaLanne

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Easy Vegan Vegetable Soup

Time is always limited...but I strongly believe that we should never sacrifice our health because of a lack of time. I enjoy making this soup about once per week during the fall and winter. I have modifiied it to make it quick and easy, using a mix of fresh and frozen vegetables.  I also use a "Slap Chop" to cut up the veggies quick. This recipe yields a great deal of food, and you will have soup for days!

*Tip: Using a Crock Pot, you can just cook all these ingredients together on a low setting for approximately 6 hours. But, if you cook it overnight, you will wake up and be starving! The smell of this soup cooking will fill your house with goodness.

Vegan Vegetable Soup:

2 cups Carrots (chopped)
1/2 cup Celery (chopped)
3 medium Red Potatoes (chopped)
1/2 cup Yellow Onion (chopped)
1 Tbl spn Minced Garlic (fresh)
1/3 cup Sunflower Oil

Fresh/Frozen Veggies:
1/2 cup squash (frozen or fresh)
1/2 cup green beans (frozen or fresh)
1/2 cup corn (frozen or fresh)
14oz Crushed Tomatoes
1/2 can Red Beans

Spices:
1 1/2 Tspn Thyme
1 tspn Sea Salt
1 1/2 tspn Garlic Powder
1/2 tspn Cayenne Powder
A bit of Hot Sauce
32oz Vegetable Broth


1. Saute: Carrots, Celery, Potatoes, Minced Garlic, Onion & Sunflower Oil for approximately 20 minutes: (softening these vegetables on medium heat)




2. Prepare Spices in a small dish:



3. Prepare Fresh/Frozen Veggies







4. Add Vegetable Broth, Spices, & Fresh Veggies to Pan:




5. With all ingredients together, increase heat until it starts to boil. Then reduce heat and "simmer" for 45 minutes.



I hope you enjoy this one. It's a family favorite and incredibly easy. My favorite thing to compliment this dish is a health(ier) garlic bread:

Garlic Bread: (Rachel Ray Version)
-Sliced Sourdough Bread
-Olive Oil
-Fresh Garlic
-Sea Salt/Pepper

1. Drizzle bread with Olive Oil
2. Slightly brown bread under "broil" in oven
3. Remove bread and rub hot bread with fresh garlic
4. Continue browning on "broil" setting until perfect
5. Remove from oven and sprinkle with sea salt/pepper