Garlic Roasted Brussels Sprouts

If you follow my Facebook, you’ll know that Sundays are my roasting days.  I’ll pick up various veggies at the market and spend the day roasting to have a ready made supply for the week.  The veggies vary depending on what looks good and what I’m craving, but usually always include potatoes and onions, bell peppers, cauliflower, and Brussels Sprouts.  Sometimes I add spices, sometimes they are plain.  Sometimes I add oil, other times I leave it off.  Today I was in a garlicky mood, so I pressed some garlic to kick it up a notch and it turned out very well…not that any kind of roasted Brussels Sprouts would be bad in my opinion.  I also did the same with the cauliflower today and made the correlating recipe found here.

Alt=”Garlic Roasted Brussels Sprouts”

Ingredients:

  • 20 ounces Brussels Sprouts, washed, trimmed, and halved
  • 10-15 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt, to taste

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2. Place Brussels Sprouts and pressed garlic in a large mixing bowl. Add olive oil and toss well to coat.

3. Spread Brussels Sprouts in one layer on a large baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, remove from oven, sprinkle with a pinch of salt and toss. Place the baking sheet back in the oven for another 10 to 15 minutes or until tender. Remove from oven, sprinkle another pinch of salt and toss.

(Serves one if you’re me, but yields approximately four cups/servings)

Garlic Roasted Brussels Sprouts Recipe Card

Alt=”Garlic Roasted Brussels Sprouts”

Did you make this recipe?  Please let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and share a picture using #gingerveganista on Instagram and tag @TheGingerVeganista or Twitter and tag @GingerVeganista or Facebook and tag The Ginger Veganista.  Can’t wait to hear from you!

Oil Free Asparagus Soup

Lately I have become a bit lazy with my eating habits.  I was on work travel, then came home with a killer ear infection, which led to a loss of hearing, ringing, and some pain.  Then hubby was gone on work travel for a week.  Between juggling two kids and doctors appointments to try to figure out this whole ear thing, and working full time, I turned to frozen Amy’s meals, processed snack foods, and pretty much all the vegan junk food that was easy and fast.  Not really the best idea when you are trying to heal your body.

I had an ENT appointment that eased some of the ear trouble and decided I really needed to get back on track.  My body was craving fruits and vegetables.  I could almost hear it screaming, “What the heck are you doing to me,” every time I popped something in the microwave.  In the grand scheme of things, my life is not that hard…my problems miniscule in comparison with what others deal with, but I did know I needed to get back on track.

I wanted something clean and pure, so when I passed a display of perfect asparagus at the market, it clicked.  If you follow my Facebook, you may remember I made this once and forgot to clean the asparagus first and ended up with dirt soup.  Don’t make that mistake.  Clean your veggies!  Hauled back to the store to get another bunch and started over.  I didn’t want to add any more than I had to to this soup so I opted for an oil-free recipe.  The onions and garlic are sautéed in water.  I also used an oil-free vegetable broth.  If you can’t find one, no worries, just use your favorite brand.  After just one bowl, my body felt energized and happy.  It is so easy to make, it may just be a staple in my fridge.  I haven’t experimented with freezing and re-thawing yet, but I’ll update if I do.

Alt=”Asparagus Soup”

Ingredients:

  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 4-6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3-4 tablespoons water
  • 1 bunch asparagus, washed, trimmed, and cut into 2 inch pieces, yields approximately 4 cups
  • 2 cups oil free vegetable broth
  • salt, to taste

Directions:

1. In a medium non-stick pan, add 3-4 tablespoons of water and the chopped onion.  When the onion begins to soften, add the garlic.  Continue to sauté until fragrant and soft. Add another tablespoon of water if the pan becomes dry.  Do not let onions brown.

2. Add the asparagus and broth to the pan, stir and cover for approximately 5-10 minutes, until asparagus are cooked through.  Stir occasionally.

3. Remove pan from heat and place contents into a high powered blender or Vitamix, reserving one or two pieces of asparagus for garnish if desired.  Blend on high until soup is smooth and creamy.  Salt to taste.

(Yields approximately four cups.  Two large servings, or four small servings)

Asparagus Soup Recipe Card

Alt=”Asparagus Soup”

Did you make this recipe?  Please let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and share a picture using #gingerveganista on Instagram and tag @TheGingerVeganista or Twitter and tag @GingerVeganista or Facebook and tag The Ginger Veganista.  Can’t wait to hear from you!

Harvey Prince Organics

After making the commitment to use only vegan and cruelty-free beauty products, I purged the majority of my stash.  It hurt.  We get attached to our make-up and beauty security blankets that we know we can rely on…I mean, I need to have eyebrows to go out in public so I don’t look like I’m homeless…what am I going to do now?  There was initial panic, but with my mind focused on the reason why, I packed up a box and just let go…

The second step was research, research, research and the third, and most fun, was to replace!   Some items had to be replaced immediately…as in, like, that day…such as mascara and the aforementioned eyebrows.  Sigh, thus is the life of a ginger.  Replacing other items weren’t as pressing.  For the past five years or so, I haven’t used much perfume, primarily because I took the metro every day to and from work and had regard for other people’s noses.  There is seriously nothing worse than sitting by someone who stinks, good or bad, for an hour (FYI, great way to get a migraine).  Then I had a couple kids.  Babies have very sensitive senses of smell and I didn’t want to overwhelm them.  And frankly, I had two small kids and barely put on real people clothes if I didn’t  have to, let alone put on perfume…who am I trying to impress?  Well, I no longer have to take the metro to work, the kids grew up a bit, and date nights have increased in frequency (thanks, Grandma!), so I started getting around to finally replacing my stock of perfume.

I’ll tell you, saying goodbye to my go-to perfume was hard.  I was absolutely in love with it, but alas…you lose my support if you test on poor little helpless animals.  Trying to find vegan, cruelty-free perfume is hard!  Many stores don’t stock the brands and, oh yeah, how do you know if you’ll like a scent if you can’t smell it before you buy it?!  Vegan perfume shopping is a game of take my money and hope.  You buy something online and hope you like it.  I came across Harvey Prince Organics on Instagram.  I was perusing the daily feed and on one of the pages I followed, I saw a promotion for a free Harvey Prince mini-roller of perfume if you pay shipping.  I Googled the company, which states it is vegan and cruelty-free, uses organic ingredients, and does not contain harmful ingredients such as phthalates, paragons, sulfates, benzenes, GMOs, or triclosan.  Impressive.  I then took to PETA.org which verified the company to be cruelty-free.  I even emailed them and received a response assuring me that the products were indeed both vegan and cruelty-free…obsessed much?  Yeah, maybe a bit overboard.   Anyways, I thought the promotion was the perfect way to test out some new scents without spending an arm and a leg.

On their website, they have a ‘bestsellers’ tab, so I ordered a mini-roller of each of their most popular scents; Hello, Eau So Divine, Sincerely, and Temptress.  I also ordered a few others; Yogini, Bailando, Ageless, Signature, and Parisienne. Mini-rollers are perfect for trying out something new before committing to a larger bottle.  They are 7 or 8 ml, but last for a long time.  I’m not going to go into detail about what each one smells like, they do a pretty good job of that on their website.  I will tell you that my favorites are Hello, Ageless, and Sincerely.  I did not care for the Bailando, Signature, or Parisienne much, but to each their own.

Alt=”Harvey Prince Organics”

Alt=”Harvey Prince Organics”

Alt=”Harvey Prince Organics”

Alt=”Harvey Prince Organics”

Alt=”Harvey Prince Organics”

Below you can see how big the mini-rollers are…about the size of your middle finger.  With each order, they also send you a sample so you can try out something new.   It was a nice little surprise.  You can choose from different sizes, the smallest being a mini-roller which varies from 7 to 8 ml-ish for $23 and the largest being a 50 ml bottle for $57.  And be on the lookout for promotions!  I saved a lot of money initially, and now I know which scents to invest in the large bottles!

Overall, I have to say that I love Harvey Prince!  As far as shopping for perfume without having it in front of you goes, they make it very easy by having a section outlining their bestsellers and having affordable and different size bottles.  The Ginger Veganista approves!  The Harvey Prince Organics also makes men’s cologne, as well as bath, hair, and body products. Have you tried any Harvey Prince Organics products?  What did you think?  Leave a comment below!

Organic Produce: The Dirty Dozen and The Clean Fifteen

Every year, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) breaks down which fruits and vegetables contain the most pesticide residues.  The EWG’s 2015 Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce states a whopping two-thirds of the over 3,000 samples tested by the USDA in 2013 contained approximately one or more of 165 different pesticides.  Even more alarming, the pesticides remained on the fruits and vegetables even after they were washed and peeled.

Purchasing all organic and local produce is ideal, however not always affordable or feasible.  To help make informed decisions about what goes in your grocery cart, and subsequently in your mouth, there are two lists containing produce with both the highest and lowest levels of pesticides.

The Dirty Dozen:

  • Apples
  • Peaches
  • Nectarines
  • Strawberries
  • Grapes
  • Celery
  • Spinach
  • Sweet Bell Peppers
  • Cucumbers
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Imported Snap Peas
  • Potatoes
  • Leafy Greens and Hot Peppers – Not formally considered part of the Dirty Dozen, but are frequently contaminated with insecticides toxic to the human nervous system.

The Clean Fifteen:

  • Avocados
  • Sweet Corn
  • Pineapples
  • Cabbage
  • Frozen Sweet Peas
  • Onions
  • Asparagus
  • Mangoes
  • Papayas
  • Kiwis
  • Eggplant
  • Grapefruit
  • Cantaloupe
  • Cauliflower
  • Sweet Potatoes

Eating organic produce ensures you consume fewer pesticides, but it is very important to wash all fruits and vegetables before consumption.  As a Mom, I try to buy all organic, as long-term studies have indicated impaired brain development in children.  The American Academy of Pediatrics has cited research that “linked pesticide exposure in early life with pediatric cancers, decreased cognitive function, and behavioral problems.”  Yikes!  No thanks.

If you have a terrible memory like I do, see below for an easy cheat sheet to bring with you to the grocery store.

Screen-shot-2015-02-25-at-8.50.53-PM

 

References:

EWG’s 2015 Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce

American Academy of Pediatrics; Organic Foods: Health and Environmental Advantages and Disadvantages

2014 USDA Pesticide Data Program