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!

DIY Cellulite Battling Coffee Body Scrub

 

Although there are plenty of products that promise to get rid of cellulite, I simply don’t believe it is possible to get rid of it all.  A healthy diet and exercise are the number one ways to battle the unsightly dimply annoyance, however that doesn’t always work.  The fact it…a person is either genetically prone to having cellulite, or they’re not.  I happen to be one that is.  Awesome.

Cellulite consists of fibrous bands that go from the top of your skin to the fat layer, pulling it down.  These bands need to be severed to make cellulite go away.  Unfortunately for those who seek to make cellulite disappear, coffee grounds can’t achieve this indefinitely.  Going into trying to ‘treat’ cellulite with this mindset, I do believe there are things that we can do to help reduce the appearance without going through any drastic procedures.

Again…the most recommended approaches are mentioned above…proper diet and consistent exercise.  Then we turn to beauty products.  This DIY scrub is so easy to make, requiring only five ingredients.  I use it a few times a week on my problem areas.  Caffeine from the coffee stimulates dilation while the scrubbing motion increases circulation, plumping up the skin and making cellulite look less obvious.  Additionally, coffee grounds contain antioxidants, so they can increase collagen production.  Brown sugar assists with exfoliation of dead skin.  Coconut oil and jojoba oil are both natural skin conditioners that work to hydrate and leave the skin smooth.  Vitamin E is absolutely amazing for your skin.  It is a natural anti-aging agent that works to heal scars and gets rid of dull dry skin, along with many other benefits.

I’ve been making my own skin care products for awhile now.   Like so many others, for years I would blindly buy products promising to give dramatic results and didn’t give any thought about what was in it or how it was tested if there was a chance that there was a miracle cure for whatever real or made-up flaw I had.  After I became vegan, I began doing some research on beauty products for the sole purpose of separating the vegan and cruelty free companies from the others.  This was a great start, but then led me to further research the ingredients. (This post isn’t about animal cruelty, although I do implore you to do a google search on animal testing in beauty products)

Vegan product or not, there are some disgusting things in beauty products, many that you probably don’t know are there. Other than vowing to never buy products that have been tested on animals again, I also decided that I wanted to stay away from unnecessary chemicals and preservatives.  After all, your skin is your largest organ and it really does matter what you expose it to.  Just another reason to make your own concoctions…aside from how easy it is and how much cheaper to make.

Alt=”Coffee Body Scrub”

Coffee Body Scrub

  • 1 and 1/2 cups coffee grounds
  •  3 tablespoons of brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup cold pressed unrefined coconut oil, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon of jojoba oil
  • 20 drops of vitamin E oil

Directions:

1. Place all ingredients in a bowl and mix until fully combined using either a fork or your hands.  Store in an air-tight glass jar at room temperature.

2. To use, wet skin with warm water.  Scrub and massage area well and rinse with warm water.

 

Did you try this?  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!

Vegan Bacon

There are lots of different vegan bacon recipes circulating around, but I wanted to share my version.  Mostly, the differences are in the marinade.  I never found one that I really loved, so I just kept experimenting.  I opt to bake mine for a healthier version, however you can certainly fry them in a pan to get that extra crispiness, although you can certainly achieve a crispy piece of bacon from baking.

Eat it plain.  Make a BLT.  Crumble it to get bacon bits as a salad topper.  This stuff is versatile.  I am working on a pasta dish now that can easily be translated into a ‘carbonara’ by adding bacon (recipe forthcoming).  There are some vegan bacon bits you can buy at the store, however a few are made from coconut…and taste like coconut…not the desired taste for bacon, or they are made from a long list of chemicals I can’t pronounce.  I just prefer to make my own.

Alt=”Vegan Bacon”

Alt=”Vegan Bacon”

Ingredients:

  • 1 large Eggplant, peeled and quartered longways

Marinade

  • 6 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ tablespoon sesame oil
  • cup brown sugar
  • cup maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 6 drops liquid smoke

Directions:

1. Trim the top and bottom of the eggplant and peel it. Divide the eggplant into four quarters cutting longways. With a mandolin slicer, carefully slice a quarter of the eggplant into thin strips. Set aside onto a papertowl and pat dry. Repeat for the remaining three quarters.

2. While the eggplant is setting, prepare the marinade. Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and whisk well until the sugar has been fully dissolved.

3. Dip each slice of eggplant into the marinade and lie flat in a 9 x 13 pyrex dish. Repeat for all slices, layering on top of each other. Pour the remaining marinade over the top, close the lid and refrigerate for a few hours or overnight, occasionally shaking the container to mix up the settled marinade.

4. When you are ready to prepare, preheat the over to 400 degrees. Spray a baking sheet with nonstick spray or olive oil and lay each slice flat. Do not overlap slices. This may take 2 to 3 separate batches. Bake until slices are crisp, flipping occasionally. Baking times differ with the thickness of the slices and individual ovens. Some take 10 minutes, others 20. Watch carefully to remove at the correct time.  Alternative cooking option:  fry in a frying pan over medium high heat in oil to desired crispness.

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!

Rainbow Beet Salad with Sesame Dressing

First of all, when your ingredients look like this, you know you’re onto something amazing…

Alt=”Rainbow Beet Salad with Sesame Dressing”

This salad is so beautiful.  The fresh beet flavor really shines and is enhanced with the light sesame dressing.  A truly divine plant-based dish!

The prep work is hard and can get messy…those red beets can make your kitchen (and your hands) look like a murder scene!  I am prepared now, though, and line my workstation with paper towels and use gloves while grating.  Your hard work will pay off, though, when you finally get to sit down and enjoy a yummy bowl of goodness

Ingredients:

Salad

  • 3 medium red beets, washed, trimmed, peeled, and shredded (yields approximately 2 cups)
  • 3 medium golden beets, washed, trimmed, peeled, and shredded (yields approximately 2 cups)
  • 4 medium carrots, washed, trimmed, peeled, and shredded (yields approximately 1 cup)
  • 2 cups kale, washed and chopped
  • 4 green onions, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds, roasted, white and/or black

Dressing

  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • ¼ cup rice vinegar
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • 3 cloves garlic, grated or finely minced
  • 1 small shallot, grated or finely minced

Directions:

1. Make the sauce first to allow time for the flavors to meld. Grate the garlic and shallot over a small bowl.  I prefer to grate, which allows them to dissolve into the sauce, but it you don’t have a grater or microplane, a fine mince will do.  Add the soy sauce, rice vinegar, water, sesame oil, and maple syrup. Stir well.

2. Wash all veggies to remove any dirt. Trim, peel, and shred the beets and carrots. Place the shredded veggies in a cheesecloth or paper towel and squeeze to drain excess moisture. Trim and chop the kale. Slice the green onions. Place all veggies into a large bowl and toss to mix well.

3. Pour the sauce over the salad and toss to coat the veggies. Garnish with sesame seeds.

Alt=”Rainbow Beet Salad with Sesame Dressing”

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!

Refreshing Pita Pizza

This is pretty much one of the most perfect meals…it has protein, fruits, veggies, and carbs, not to mention it is delicious.  It will fill you up, but is light and won’t weigh you down.  Not too much more to say about this one…it’s one of my favs.

Alt=”Pita Pizza”

Ingredients:

  • 1 pita
  • 3 tablespoons hummus
  • 6 kalamata olives, pitted and halved
  • 2-3 strawberries, sliced
  • 1 stalk of heart of palm, sliced
  • green onions, to garnish
  • balsamic glaze, drizzle to garnish

Directions:

Spread hummus evenly over pita bread. Top with olives, strawberries, and hearts of palm. Sprinkle with green onions and drizzle with balsamic glaze to garnish.

If you can’t find a vegan balsamic glaze in your grocery store (many of the ones I have seen have milk…why??) you can easily make your own.  Mix 2 cups of balsamic vinegar and 1/2 cup of brown sugar in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly until sugar has dissolved. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer until glaze is reduced by half, about 20 minutes. Glaze should coat the back of a spoon.  Easy enough!

Make this your own.  Add more of, or less of, whatever you like.  I am a little piggy and sometimes double the amount of toppings 😛  Don’t like hearts of palm (although you really need to try them if you haven’t!)?  Try artichoke hearts instead.  Cilantro would be a good replacement for the green onion.  Add some sun dried tomatoes if you’re so inclined. Have fun with it.  Eat it by yourself or make a bunch and bring them as an appetizer to a party.  No matter what…just try it!

Alt=”Pita Pizza”

 

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!

Vegan Biscuits and Sausage Gravy

Have you ever gone out to eat, ordered something and thought…I bet I can make that better?  That happened to me today and of course I felt compelled to recreate and perfect it immediately just to see if I could.

My family received a gift certificate for Christmas to a local veg friendly restaurant that I have been really looking forward to trying.  I subjected myself to an early morning, horrifying, torturous, and completely embarrassing, hour and a half hot yoga class at my favorite studio which is just across the street from the restaurant and arranged for the hubby, kids, and mother to meet me there after class to go to their Sunday brunch buffet.  Nothing compliments a crazy workout like unlimited food, right?  I will say…it was good.  Darn good.  And not to mention so refreshing for me to be able to go somewhere and eat pretty much anything I wanted from the menu…usually unheard of in my case.  We will definitely go back, but that being said…on the menu was vegan biscuits and gravy.  I am not typically even a fan of biscuits and gravy, but since there was a vegan option, I felt inclined to try.  Now, while it wasn’t bad…it wasn’t great, and my mind immediately began racing thinking of all the ways I could try to make it better or really just re-vamp the whole thing altogether.

So naturally, I got home and went to work.  I pretty much force-fed my family biscuits and gravy until they agreed it was as delicious as I thought it was.  Sorry, Loves!  I have said this before and it rings true for this recipe as well…usually I don’t have an issue swapping out ingredients, for instance, using rice milk instead of almond, etc., but for the success of this recipe it is imperative that you use the ingredients listed, particularly the bouillon and sausage.

I believe I have already professed my undying love for all things Edward and Sons many times over.  I literally buy cartons of the bouillon cubes from Amazon to keep my pantry stocked and panic if I open my last box without ordering another carton.  Seriously, try them.  Life changing.

I have used the Lightlife Sausage in other recipes and it is pretty much my go-to for any recipe that requires a sausage replacement and can be found in most grocery stores.  I have tried many vegan sausages, but I really like this one a lot.  First, the flavor is super yummy.   Obviously.  It also browns well and has a good texture.  Most importantly, it maintains moisture when it cooks, unlike so many other brands that can become dry and hard when sautéed.  Please see the end of the article for a bit more info about Lightlife.

Ingredients:

Biscuits

  • 1 cup non dairy milk (I use Rice Dream Enriched Rice Milk)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice, juice from approximately one half of a lemon
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 5 tablespoons Earth Balance, 4 tablespoons cold, 1 tablespoon melted

Sausage Gravy

  • 2 cups cashews, raw, unsalted
  • 1 package Lightlife Gimme Lean Veggie Sausage, approximately 14 ounces
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, 2 tablespoons for sausage, and one for roasting garlic
  • 1 ¼ cups non dairy milk (I use Rice Dream Enriched Rice Milk)
  • 1 bulb garlic, yielding at lease 1 1/2 tablespoons of roasted garlic puree
  • 1 cube Edward and Sons Not-Beef Bouillon
  • 2 teaspoons organo, fresh, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons rosemary, fresh, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper, plus extra to taste

Directions:

1. Place cashews in an bowl and fill with water. Let soak while prepping the rest of the recipe.

2. To roast the garlic, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove all cloves of garlic from the bulb, trim and remove the skin. Place the cloves in tin foil and drizzle 1 tablespoon of olive oil over the cloves. Close the foil around the garlic and oil creating the closest you can get to an air tight seal. Roast in the oven for 20 minutes (place a cookie sheet on the rack underneath the foil bowl to catch any leaking oil or place the tin foil bowl in a small pyrex casserole dish). Roast until the cloves are soft enough to skewer with a fork. Once soft, open the tin foil bowl to expose the cloves and bake for another 5 – 10 minutes until golden brown then remove from heat. Once cool, mash to create a paste.

3. To begin preparing for the gravy, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium high in a large frying pan. Add the Lightlife Gimme Lean Veggie Sausage and with a spatula, break up the sausage into small pieces. This will take some time and effort to break them down to size. Continue to break up the large pieces and sauté in the oil until the sausage browns, approximately 10 minutes, at which point remove from heat and set aside.

4. Once the garlic is finished roasting and has been removed from the oven, increase the heat to 450 degrees and begin to prepare the biscuits. Combine the milk and lemon juice and set aside. In a medium mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir to mix well. Add 4 tablespoons of cold earth balance and use a knife and fork to ‘cut’ the butter into the flour mixture. Continue to ‘cut’ the butter into the flour until the mixture looks crumbly like sand. Slowly pour in the milk and stir until combined and a sticky dough is formed.

5. Grease a medium cookie sheet. Divide the biscuit dough into 10 portions and place onto the cookie sheet making two rows close enough to each other so that they touch. Press into the middle of each dough ball creating a small indent. Use the remaining tablespoon of melted Earth Balance to brush the tops of the dough balls. Bake for 10-15 minutes until golden brown.

6. Drain the cashews. In a high powered blender or Vitamix, add the cashews, milk, 1 1/2 tablespoons of the roasted garlic paste, the Edward and Sons Not-Beef Bouillon cube, 1 cup of the sautéed sausage crumbles, oregano, rosemary, salt, and pepper. Blend on high until the mixture is creamy and smooth. I like my gravy thicker, however if you prefer a littler thinner, add a bit more milk. Pour the gravy into a serving bowl and add the remaining sautéed sausage crumbles and mix well. Add additional pepper to taste. Heat in a saucepan or microwave until warm.

7. To serve, cut a biscuit in half and spoon the sausage gravy on top. Enjoy!

(Serves 10)

Vegan Sausage and Gravy Recipe Card

Alt=”Vegan Biscuits and Sausage Gravy”

Lightlife Products have been dedicated to making great tasting vegetarian food since 1979 and since origination, giving back to the community has been a priority.  The Company contributes 5% of their profits every year to organizations that support their mission of providing vegetarian food options to the population as well as promoting eco-friendly products.  The Company also makes numerous different kinds of plant based meat substitutions such as tempeh, sausages, hot dogs, deli meats, breakfast meets, chicken, beef, and burgers.

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!

Hummus Salad

Hummus salad is one of my favorite things to eat.  You get a little bit of everything;  your veggies, fruits, nuts, some protein, a little bit of fiber…and it is so good.  I probably have this at least twice a week since we tend to keep most of these ingredients in the house at all times.  It is also easy to make a salad jar to-go to take for lunch, instructions and photo below.

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We have a running joke in the house about my BIG salads.  My husband laughs every time at both the size and process.  From what my husband tells me, most normal people get a normal bowl, make their normal size salad and go along their merry way.  When I make a salad, I go to the cupboard and find the biggest glass mixing bowl I can find, plop all my ingredients into it, stir it properly for a few minutes to make sure there is an equal amount of dressing on every item in said bowl (OCD much?), at which point I am then able to proceed to devour my ‘giant, ridiculous’ salad.  This picture truly depicts how I eat them.  These cutesy blog photos of a small bowl with perfectly placed toppings is more for your benefit and appealing visuals.  The sloppy mess below is my reality.  Hubby is a lucky guy, huh?

dsc_0221

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups lettuce, mixed greens
  • cup hummus
  • 1 ½ tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • ½ cucumber, sliced
  • 6-8 strawberries, sliced
  • cup kalamata olives, pitted
  • ¼ red onion, sliced
  • cup walnuts
  • 1 tablespoon sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
  • ¼ cup green onions, chopped

Directions:

1. Place lettuce, cucumber, strawberries, olives, onion, walnuts, sun-dried tomatoes, and green onions in a bowl and toss to mix. Spoon hummus on top and drizzle with balsamic vinegar.

2. To-Go Salad Jar: In a small bowl combine hummus and balsamic vinegar until fully mixed. Pour hummus dressing into the bottom of a large mason jar. Carefully layer the cucumber slices over the dressing to act as a barrier to the other ingredients. Next layer the onion, olives, strawberries, tomatoes, walnuts, and green onions, then top with the lettuce. The goal is to layer the wet ingredients on the bottom and the dry ingredients on top to keep everything from getting mushy.  Toss it in your lunch bag and go!

(Serves 1)

Alt=”Hummus Salad Jar”

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!

Power Smoothie

Shakes and smoothies can be a great way to load your body up with essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.  I tend to make a batch of smoothies and have one for breakfast for the week.  The below recipe makes 6-8 cups and will last the whole week.

I prefer to make my own at home rather than order them somewhere, mostly to save money, but also because you never really know what is in them.  My recipe changes week to week depending on what I have in the house, but I always include both fruits and veggies.  It’s also a good way to get your kids to eat veggies, since all they see is juice.  This one is my favorite.  I hope you enjoy.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup kale, chopped
  • 1 cup baby spinach
  • 1 cup broccoli, approximately 3-4 florets
  • 1 teaspoon ginger, approximately 1 inch portion the root
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 lemon, juice from
  • 1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen
  • 1 cup mango, fresh or frozen
  • 1 cup strawberries, fresh or frozen
  • 3-4 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup, optional
  • 4 tablespoons protein powder, optional (I use NutriBiotic Raw Organic Rice Protein Vanilla)

Directions:

1. In a high powered blender or Vitamix, add the kale, spinach, broccoli, ginger, carrot, lemon juice, blueberries, mango, and strawberries. Add three cups of water and blend on high until the mixture is smooth. Add more water to create the consistency you like.

2. If you’d like a bit more sweetness, add maple syrup.

3. Another optional addition is protein powder, if you so desire.

(Makes 6 – 8 cups)

Alt=”Power Smoothie”

Kale and spinach are a good sources of vitamin A,vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin B6, vitamin E, folate, manganese, riboflavin, iron, fiber, calcium, and potassium.  Broccoli provides excellent vitamin C and vitamin K, as well as several B vitamins.  Carrots are a great source of beta-carotene antioxidants.  Ginger is an anti-inflammatory and contains antioxidant compounds such as gingerols, beta-carotene, capsaicin, caffeic acid, curcumin and salicylate.  Lemons are rich in vitamin C and potassium.  Blueberries are considered a superfood that have proven to benefit the cardiovascular system and help regulate blood sugar as well has contain cancer fighting nutrients.  Mangoes provide vitamin C and alkalizes the body with its richness in tartaric acid and magic acid.  Strawberries are an excellent source of vitamin C and manganese and are a very good source of dietary fiber, iodine, folate, copper, potassium, biotin, phosphorus, magnesium, vitamin B6 and omega-3 fatty acids.  Overall, this smoothie is a great way to start your day and your body will thank you!

You can add protein powder, I typically do.  My favorite is NutriBiotic Raw Organic Rice Protein Vanilla.  I like the subtle vanilla flavor, but I love the fact that it doesn’t leave my shake tasting chalky, like many can.  NutriBiotic also makes a pea protein powder that I have yet to try.

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!

Vegan Pastitsio

Pastitsio is a Greek baked casserole with layers of pasta, meat sauce, and béchamel that is savory with a hint of sweetness.   It is one of my all-time childhood favorites and brings back memories of going into Detroit’s Greektown for a big family dinner when our Greek relatives came into town.

Creating a vegan version of this recipe as a bit harder than you’d think.  Sure you can replace the meat for vegan meat, but creating that distinct pastitsio flavor is tricky.  And how to find a way to replicate that creamy melt-in-your-mouth béchamel is even more challenging.  Usually, I don’t have an issue swapping out ingredients for others, for instance, using rice milk instead of almond, but for the success of this recipe it is imperative that you use the ingredients listed.  Not just any old egg replacer will work here, you need to have the Follow Your Heart VeganEgg.  You also need a beef flavored bouillon, rather than a veggie flavored.  I recommend the Edward and Sons, since that is always my go-to.

Pastitsio truly is a labor of love.  If you have the time, you need to try this vegan version of a Greek traditional classic.  I hope you enjoy.

Alt=”Vegan Pastitsio”

Ingredients:

Pasta

  • 2 cups elbow macaroni, dried
  • 1 egg Follow Your Heart VeganEgg, prepared

Meat Sauce

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bunch parsley, rinsed and chopped
  • 6 cups vegan beef crumbles
  • 2 fresh tomatoes, diced
  • 1 cup diced tomato, canned
  • 2 ½ cups crushed tomato, canned
  • 2 teaspoons tomato paste
  • 3 cubes not-beef bouillon, Edward and Sons
  • 1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground clove
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Bechamel Sauce

  • 1 cup Earth Balance
  • 1 ¾ cups flour
  • 3 ½ cups non dairy milk
  • 2 teaspoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon clove
  • 2 pinch salt
  • 4 eggs Follow Your Heart VeganEgg, prepared

 

Directions:

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the pasta and reduce heat to medium low. Remove from water when the pasta is al dente, as it will cook longer in the oven.

2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

3. While the pasta is boiling, prepare the meat sauce. Heat a large pot over medium high heat. Add the olive oil and onion and sauté for 3 – 4 minutes until soft and translucent. Add the garlic and sauté for another 2 minutes. Add the parsley, beef, fresh tomatoes, diced tomatoes, crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, bouillon, cinnamon, clove, and salt. Bring to a boil, stirring well. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium low, cover and stir occasionally for 20 minutes. Remove from heat.

4. To begin the Béchamel, bring a medium sauce pan to a medium heat and add the Earth Balance. Once fully melted, remove from the heat and whisk in a tablespoon of flour at a time. You should end up with a small tacky ball of dough once all the flour is added. Place the pan back on the stove at medium low. Slowly whisk in the milk a half cup at a time. Add the nutritional yeast, nutmeg, clove, and salt and stir well. Remove from heat and place in the refridgerator.

5. Prepare 5 Follow Your Heart VeganEggs, setting one aside.

6. When the Béchamel has cooled down, slowly whisk in 4 Follow Your Heart VeganEggs. Be careful not to add the eggs to the mixture if it is still hot. Although they are not ‘real’ eggs, they will still curdle at high heat.

7. Add the one VeganEgg that was set aside to the cooked pasta and stir well. Place the pasta in a 9 x 13 casserole dish.

8. Pour the meat sauce over the pasta creating an even layer that covers the pasta.

9. Pour the béchamel over the meat sauce creating an even layer that covers the meat sauce. Sprinkle a pinch of nutmeg and clove on top.

 

10. Carefully place the uncovered casserole onto the middle rack of the preheated oven and bake for 45 – 60 minutes, or until the sides are bubbling and the top begins to brown. Place a baking sheet on the bottom rack to catch any drips.

11. When the pastitsio is finished baking, cover and refrigerate. Once cold, cut into squares and reheat to serve. Pastitsio is traditionally chilled before cut into squares to maintain the structure.

(Serves 12)

Vegan Pastitsio Recipe Card

Alt=”Vegan Pastitsio”

Did you make this recipe?

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