vegansaurus!

05/06/2014

THIS IS REAL LIFE: Kale granola chocolate bark!  »

imageAllow me to blow your mind: introducing KALE GRANOLA CHOCOLATE BARK! I’m so serious. I’ve written about my love for Coracao Confections in the past so you already know I’m into them. But then I saw this newish product and was like, say whaaaa?! You KNOW I’m on a kale kick! Obvi I had to try it, so they sent me some free kale chocolate bark to try and now I will tell you all about it.

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I was thinking it’d be like chocolate covered kale chips, but it’s not. It’s like a true chocolate bark: a thin bar of bittersweet chocolate with Just Pure Foods Chocolate “Kalenola” mixed in. The Kalenola nutrition profile is impressive. I can’t tell how much actual kale is in the chocolate bark, though; you can see it looks like more of a sprinkle on top. But I’m saying, it’s got more kale than any other chocolate I eat! So I will take those vitamin-filled sprinkles. 

And let’s not forget the raw cacao! It’s low glycemic (which I think is good or something, right?) and as Coracao says, it’s “full of antioxidants, minerals, vitamins, and those ‘happy brain’ chemicals that we so love.”

At $7.50 for a 2 oz. pack, it’s not cheap. But it’s got quality ingredients that are most, if not all, organic. And there’s Himalayan crystal salt in it, which I think is cool. I wish Crystal Salt were my nickname.

This is definitely on the dessert side of the spectrum, not some sort of chocolate trail-mix type of thing. It could use a little more salt, I think, but when you get a good salty bite, it’s perfect. Who would have thought, kale and chocolate? But it works! I’m officially a fan!

Note: the kale chocolate bark is currently sold out but I’ll let you know when they have more. In the meantime, I recommend the rawmond butter bar!

UPDATE!: It’s back in stock! Get it while it’s hot!

04/01/2014

How to make kale chips! Spoiler: It’s easy!  »

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Many of you are prob like duh, I been making kale chips longer than you’ve been out of rehab! But I had never made them until a few weeks ago and now I’m addicted. It did take some trial and error though so I thought I’d share my methods for the first-timers in the crowd. 

I also want to add that I wasn’t that into kale. I don’t like it raw and I don’t really like it steamed. But I love kale chips! So if you aren’t that into kale either, you should definitely give chips a try if you want to find a way to like this uber-nutritious green. 

Ok so set your oven to 300 degrees. 

I like curly leaf kale best so that is what I would go with. First, wash your kale! Get it all clean. And then I lay the leaves out on paper towel to dry. You want them dry! Then I take each leaf, pat it a bit more, and place it on a cutting board. 

Now, here is where my special method kicks in. My problem the first time making kale chips was too much olive oil! Too much olive oil means they will be soggy and won’t crisp up or will take forever to crisp up. That’s bad. But I couldn’t figure out how to put some oil on, but not too much. Then I had a genius idea! I took paper towel and doused it with olive oil, then I rubbed the paper towel over the full leaf. PERFECTO! 

So take some paper towel and get it wet with oil. Rub over both sides of the leaf, dabbing a bit at the edges to make sure they get some oil. Then you take a knife and slice out the stem. I hear the stem is very bitter. Bleh. Then you cut or rip the rest of the leaf into about two inch pieces. 

Now place them on a big ol’ cookie sheet (or lasagna pan if you are me and lost your cookie sheet). Arrange them in a single layer. Then sprinkle with salt and Nutritional Yeast, if you want to (you totally want to!)). If you have more kale pieces than fit in a single layer, you will have to do the chips in batches. Unless you have like one kale leaf, you will be doing this in batches. 

Ok place the sheet in the oven. It will only take about 9 or 10 minutes for the chips to be ready! They should be crispy like leaves on the ground in the fall and a little shriveled. You can check on them at 7 or 8 minutes to see how they are doing. You can flip them too if you want, but I don’t think it’s necessary with the curly. If you use Lacinato kale, you should prob flip them half way through (I just flip them with my bare hands, the chips themselves aren’t very hot). 

And then you have kale chips! THEY ARE THE BEST I WANT TO EAT THEM ALL THE TIME. 

03/25/2014

Put nutrition profiles head to head with Google search!  »

Welcome to my new favorite thing!!! Google launched this food comparison search tool a few months ago and it’s so dang cool. I just read about it on NPR and I’m already obsessed. I thought all the vegans would be into this too because of course I immediately started comparing veg foods with omni foods. BEST GAME EVER. 

BIG shout-out to kale for having that ill calcium content! I guess you can get calcium without torturing cows? If only we’d known this all along!

02/21/2013

Cookbook review: Julie Morris’ Superfood Kitchen may make a superfoodie out of you!  »

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I love superfoods. I admit the category is meaningless, but I don’t care. If it’s a food called super and it’s vegan, especially raw vegan, I’ll eat it, praise it, and buy it in bulk from websites run by guys with hair to their knees.

Popular superfoods include açaí, hemp, chia, maca, camu camu, yacon root, coconut oil, lucuma, hakuna matata,  , whatevs. YUM. But why do we call lucuma a superfood while kale, that perfect, easy-to-grow veggie, has tons of nutrients and doesn’t cost your 401k match contribution?

Superfood Kitchen by Julie Morris demystifies some of the more esoteric superfoods, but also includes more readily available superfoods like kale and sweet potatoes, which, as we all know, are kickass nutritional sources. I love that Julie shows how superfoods of all kinds can be prepared deliciously!

imageHearty Kale Salad from Superfood Kitchen!

imageHearty Kale Salad plus a bit of sauerkraut and sesame seeds. Yum!

I decided to make the Hearty Kale Salad featuring kale, scallions, nori,  avocado, miso (I used chickpea miso), and apple cider vinegar. I enjoyed it for lunch with a dash of sauerkraut and a sprinkling of sesame seeds. Totally loved this recipe!

Some of the recipes in Superfood Kitchen are downright genius: Açaí Berry Jam made with chia seeds, flour-free Sesame Flatbread, Maca Chocolate, and more. I could inhale this entire book, and the pictures are GORGEOUS. I highly recommend picking up a copy of this book for superfood snobs and plain-old vegan food lovers alike!

11/09/2012

Kale is a winter veggie and this season we’re here to EAT IT ALL! Starting with Almost Vegan Chef’s PIZZA KALE CHIPS. These are off-the-charts insanely good, and this is coming from someone who normally only likes to eat the three C’s — Cake, Cookies, and iCe cream. OK?? Legit.

Kale is a winter veggie and this season we’re here to EAT IT ALL! Starting with Almost Vegan Chef’s PIZZA KALE CHIPS. These are off-the-charts insanely good, and this is coming from someone who normally only likes to eat the three C’s — Cake, Cookies, and iCe cream. OK?? Legit.

06/20/2012

Mina of Eat Run Love took our June Challenge, because she’s great. She made massaged kale salad with tempeh, about which she says:

I have always, always been afraid of eating RAW kale. I know kale is great for you, and it taste alright steamed or sauteed, but the bitter, harsh taste of raw kale honestly just frightens me. I decided to do some research and look up different ways of preparing raw kale, and the one that seemed like the best option was “massaged” kale salad. So I massaged some, kale, marinated some tempeh, and made my favorite salad dressing, and I am happy to say that the massaged kale was more than edible…it was delicious!

Congratulations, Mina! She was good enough to put a recipe for the salad on Eat Run Love, so you can totally copy her and learn to love raw kale, just like the rest of us. It’s so good!
Remember to let us know if you take the June Challenge. Be brave, try a new food!

Mina of Eat Run Love took our June Challenge, because she’s great. She made massaged kale salad with tempeh, about which she says:

I have always, always been afraid of eating RAW kale. I know kale is great for you, and it taste alright steamed or sauteed, but the bitter, harsh taste of raw kale honestly just frightens me. I decided to do some research and look up different ways of preparing raw kale, and the one that seemed like the best option was “massaged” kale salad. So I massaged some, kale, marinated some tempeh, and made my favorite salad dressing, and I am happy to say that the massaged kale was more than edible…it was delicious!

Congratulations, Mina! She was good enough to put a recipe for the salad on Eat Run Love, so you can totally copy her and learn to love raw kale, just like the rest of us. It’s so good!

Remember to let us know if you take the June Challenge. Be brave, try a new food!

05/30/2012

Recipe: Wilted kale salad!   »

Are you sick of kale yet? I’m not! I just keep finding new ways to eat it that are better than the last. My new favorite is the wilted kale salad!

Call me late to the party, because I usually am, but my first experience with the mystical wilted kale salad happened on a trip to LA in January, at Mohawk Bend in Echo Park.

Very tasty! Spiced to perfection and topped with crisp jicama slices!

So, I’ve come up with my own version!

Ingredients:
1 bunch kale
1 tsp. olive oil
dash of salt and pepper
juice of one lemon
1 sliced avocado

Instructions
Clean, de-stem and roughly chop the kale. Heat up your pan to about medium-high, with the oil drizzled in. Once it’s hot, put in the kale and keep it constantly moving, cooking between 30 seconds and 2 minutes. You are not sauteing it, but lightly wilting it. The point is, you don’t want it fully cooked, but just heated enough to take some of the bitterness out.

Transfer to a bowl and toss with avocado, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Easy enough, right?


I personally think this salad pairs beautifully with pasta doused in vodka cream sauce!

How do you make your wilted kale salad? Next time, I think I will use strawberries instead of avocado, and balsamic vinegar instead of lemon juice!

05/10/2012

Remember I told you I wanted to start eating more kale because it’s supposed to be basically healthy magic (I believe that’s the technical term)? This may be the way to do it! From Keepin’ It Kind, an apple, beet and chèvre kale salad! Did somebody say vegan chèvre?! Come at me, bro! 
I know beets are so 2007 but I’m all about them again. Bring that beet back!
via Finding Vegan

Remember I told you I wanted to start eating more kale because it’s supposed to be basically healthy magic (I believe that’s the technical term)? This may be the way to do it! From Keepin’ It Kind, an apple, beet and chèvre kale salad! Did somebody say vegan chèvre?! Come at me, bro! 

I know beets are so 2007 but I’m all about them again. Bring that beet back!

via Finding Vegan

03/30/2012

Pasta with kale pesto from Love & Lemons! I been trying to get more into kale because apparently it’s like the best thing for you ever. But I don’t like plan old steamed greens! But THIS I could get down with. I love pesto! Basil is the greatest thing ever but I could go for kale to mix it up sometimes. What do you think? Genius or a waste of pine nuts?

Pasta with kale pesto from Love & Lemons! I been trying to get more into kale because apparently it’s like the best thing for you ever. But I don’t like plan old steamed greens! But THIS I could get down with. I love pesto! Basil is the greatest thing ever but I could go for kale to mix it up sometimes. What do you think? Genius or a waste of pine nuts?

01/25/2012

A Serious Eats writer goes vegan for a month, and it’s not annoying!  »

López-Alt’s Braised Kale and Chickpea Sandwich with Sumac Onions. WANT!

We’ve had our fair share of journalists who “go vegan” for a short period of time and write about it. Usually you get something pretty obnoxious. But guys, I think we might have something different in our midst! J. Kenji López-Alt of Serious Eats normally writes about hamburgers, but starting Jan. 14th, he decided to try a month of veganism. You can read his first post about it and see that he’s getting sociological on that ass. As an amateur anthropologist (I’m an amateur at a great many things!), I very much appreciate this approach! He’s seeking the “vegan experience” in all its trials and glory.

He starts off well enough. He’s a little uneducated about the health benefits but he seems to be one of the few writers to go down this road who grasps that it is indeed about compassion and not necessarily health. Another point on his side: he doesn’t go for the “humor” many authors try for when they do their obligatory vegan piece. It’s a rare occasion when a meat pun is funny, and it’s almost exclusively when you’re making a penis joke. 

Another pro for López-Alt, he doesn’t mess around with a few weak salads, he dives in strong! Here’s his lunch from Day 1:

Brussels Sprout Fried Rice with Crispy Cauliflower, complete with recipe. Damn, son! As Brussels sprouts and cauliflower are my two favorite things (besides Cinnaholic!), this is calling to me like a healthy, well-meaning vegan siren. 

He quickly learns that veganism requires planning and “there are animal products hiding everywhere.” So true! He also does a pretty great and comprehensive summary of vegan health needs. As he goes forward, there are times that he (very accidentally) “cheats” but I think becoming vegan is usually a process and “cheating” doesn’t render your efforts meaningless. 

Finally, if I may offer some advice to López-Alt (and self-reference!), maybe my 11 Tips for New Vegans would be of some help to him on his month-long mission. Another tip: dude, if there are no vegan options on the menu and you’re at a nice restaurant, you can totally get chefs to make you a custom vegan meal! I’m normally bashful about asking for special treatment but from what I’ve been told, they don’t mind. And I’ve gotten some really awesome and unexpected creations. And, you don’t feel shafted by paying the same price for an entree even though you got it sans ham and gouda! Because that irks me. Good luck, sir!

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