Monday, March 26, 2012

How to Enjoy a 100% Vegan Life...

Do you see the horrific images of animal cruelty, the gory images that tell the grim tale of life for a farm animal in a Factory Farm and do you want to make a meaningful change in your everyday choices so you can stop the cruelty for good?

I felt the same way 5 years ago!  Although I made the decision to value the life of creatures enough to eliminate meat consumption altogether, you can make small changes in your lifestyle to begin to make an impact! 

Here is a list of just a few of the things I truly enjoy...many things are meaty, many things are buttery, many things are cheesy, and many things are absolutely delicious!

  • Gardein Meatless Ground "Beef" - My Favorite addition to Spaghetti, Albondigas, you name it!
  • Chorizo (SoyRizo, that is) - Possibilities are endless, and Trader Joes Soy Chorizo is incredible!
  • Butter, mmm! (Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Spread, of course!)
  • Daiya Cheese - try their brand new Cheese Wedges I just tasted at Natural Products Expo West!
  • Mouth-watering deli meats, from Roast 'Beef,' to 'Bacon'... Tofurky!
  • Rice Milk, Coconut Milk, and Soy Milk -- delicious!
Not-So Obvious Alternatives/Tips:
  • Sorbet! Hungry for Ice Cream? Try a creamy delicious Sorbet instead!
  • Baking: use applesauce or Ener-G egg replacer for a great cholesterol-free substitute!
  • Grilling:  make Portobello burgers, make your own brown rice and chickpea burger patties, grill Veggie Kabobs, or Boca Burgers!
  • Faux everything! You can find meatless alternatives in most major grocery stores.
  • Think Meat-Free! You can add garbanzo beans or edamame to a salad for extra protein!
  • Whole grains like Quinoa and Brown Rice are great protein sources!
 Where to Shop:
  • Most Vegan-friendly foods are available in your favorite grocery store's produce section!
  • Find hidden Vegan treats you'd never believe are cruelty-free! PeTA's excellent list here.
  • Whole Foods
  • Sprout's
  • Henry's 
  • Gelson's
  • Safeway
  • Your local Farmer's Market
Restaurants I love:
  • Native Foods Cafe
  • M Cafe 
  • Veggie Grill
Dining Out:
  • Fine-Dining: Call and plan ahead. All great chefs will accomodate your diet.
  • First, request a Vegan menu.
  • Ask for No Butter, Cheese, or Sour Cream
  • Ask chef to substitute any butter in a dish for Olive Oil
  • Ask which soups are vegan-friendly (not made with chicken broth)
  • Substitute! Get creative and ask your server to make clever substitutions for you, believe me if you set the example, and you look great and healthy, EVERYONE will want to know your secret!
Don't be afraid to be strict with this new lifestyle you've chosen!  Make a plan and stick to it!  When you have a strong conviction behind your choices, it is much easier to instill true ground-breaking change.  Warning: Not only will you feel healthier, you will look amazing as well!  I wish you the best of luck on your new journey into a healthful, kind and compassionate, globally-conscious way of life.  If you have any questions, please post below!

Once you make the transition, you will eventually stop craving and needing the flavors of meat and milk. Your senses of smell and taste will be enhanced as the heavy layers of animal grease stop coating and dulling your tastebuds (and clogging your arteries). As a Vegan, you will begin to automatically refuse the products that harm our fellow creatures so ruthlessly.  You will develop a compassionate outlook on life and realize that every decision you make, affects the world around you. 

Coming up on Verdelicious... How to make Eco-Conscious choices everyday!

Don't forget to look around the site and visit some of "Karinna's Favorite Blogs."  Recently, I added my friend's deliciously spicy new blog:  Vegan A la Mexicana. (I wish she could cook for me everyday--take a look!) 

Why I'm Vegan...

Many people ask me why I chose to live a CRUELTY-FREE life.  Five years ago, I decided 'cold turkey' to stop eating meat, gelatin, milk, eggs, fish, and any other food that comes from an animal.  I made the shift OVERNIGHT.  Here is a little glimpse into WHY I took on such a brave, purposeful, challenging, and rewarding endeavor.  Now, 5 years later, consistently at my ideal weight and body structure, I feel amazing, I am happier, transformed, vibrant, enlightened, fit, and healthful!  As I tell my friends, I don't eat or consume the products of anything which once had a heartbeat or a mother.

Watch this video clip from Mercy for Animals. Images like this may change your life in a dramatic way!

ABC News Recognized with Genesis Award for Egg Farm Investigation

This weekend, ABC news producer,  Cindy Galli, accepted a Genesis award which recognized one of ABC News' most revealing and shocking documentary investigations on the horrific conditions at an American Egg Farm. This investigation led to millions of Americans choosing Free Range and Cage Free Eggs and even McDonald's boycotted the egg farm at the center of this investigation: Sparboe Farms.

If you have not seen it, click here ABC News wins Genesis award for Egg Farm Investigation.

Sadly, IOWA and OHIO legislature have since signed Ag-Gag bills into law which make reports like this unlawful.  Thanks to ABC News and Mercy For Animals' investigations, we now the truth and we, as consumers, can begin demanding the HUMANE treatment of animals used for consumption. 

Although I am Vegan, it still saddens me to know that my meat-eating friends could unknowingly continue to support factory farms whose workers torture animals and allow horrific conditions to exist within the United States.

As consumers, YOU can help decrease the demand for inhumanely produced eggs!  I hope you will inform yourself.  Arm yourself with knowledge on everything you consume.  Ignorance, in this case, can be fatal.  Research indicates that factory farms that neglect animals and maintain hazardous conditions breed disease; they use chemical hormones and potent antibiotics and carcinogenic pesticides; and diseases such as Salmonella and MRSA are bred in the filth.  Thousands of cases of Salmonella poisoning are reported each year.  Recently, a woman nearly lost her life due to Salmonella and must undergo daily treatments just to reverse the horrible effects of the food poisoning. 

In Ottowa, Canada today, there are reports of a massive Salmonella Outbreak caused by a negligent food caterer which has led to the infection of dozens of children and several adults.  Thousands of cases like this occur every year.  Please be informed consumers and support legislators who DO NOT support the Ag-Gag Bills!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Simply Sensational Vegan Lasagna!

Try my super easy Vegan Lasagna recipe anytime you are in the mood for some comfort food that won't weigh you down with fat, preservatives, and chemicals.  Traditional lasagna recipes call for tons of cheese and loads of fat-rich ground meats. Cut the calories and avoid the growth hormones, antibiotics, chemical preservatives, and risk of pathogens in animal meats, eggs, and dairy!  It's quick, easy, and delicious. 

You will need:

3/4 lb. Lasagna sheets
2.5 cups Daiya Vegan Cheese
1 lb. Gardein Meatless Ground
4 cups Pasta Sauce
1/4 cup minced white Onion
2 small organic Zucchini
3/4 cup diced Mushrooms
2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Parsley and Basil Flakes

Preheat your oven to 350°. Bring 8 cups of water to a boil and add the lasagna sheets with a dash of salt and olive oil.  Cook pasta for 8 minutes until just tender. Drain and set aside.  
Brown the Gardein with salt and olive oil for 4-5 minutes, add the onion, zucchini, and mushrooms.  Add the pasta sauce to the meat mixture. 

In a 13 x 9 baking sheet, pour a layer of the pasta sauce mixture onto the bottom and cover with a layer of lasagna sheets.  Sprinkle a layer of Daiya Cheese onto the pasta, cover with more pasta sauce then cover with another layer of lasagna sheets.  Cover with remaining meat mixture then sprinkle with cheese and top with Parsley and Basil flakes.

Bake for 45 minutes.  Enjoy!




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