plant-based

All posts tagged plant-based

Review: The Beyond Burger

Published August 24, 2018 by lynn k scott

It’s been about a month now; give or take.  I have been on a primarily vegan diet to treat my colon cancer.  I juice a lot, follow a gluten-free (did that before cancer) and now a vegetarian, if not vegan diet.

veggies

I would say that about 95% of my food intake is vegan.  I never thought I could give  up cheese.  Surprisingly, it hasn’t been as difficult as I thought it would be.  Since changing my diet, I have had goat cheese 4 times and feta cheese twice.  Not too shabby.  I occasionally will have either fish or shellfish.

I have also given up dairy and eggs, in addition to red meat, chicken and pork.  I will occasionally do honey; but limit natural sugar.  I rarely have any refined sugar these days.  My daughter always wanted a rabbit to join the family.  She will just have to accept me as a surrogate bunny.

Onto the review…

I saw a blog post about “The Beyond Burger” about a month ago about this alternative meat.  As soon as I read about it, I knew I had to try it as soon as it was available.

Earlier this week, when I was doing the weekly grocery shopping, I happened to stumble upon it.  It was nestled in the meat department, right about the ground beef.  I picked up a package to try, picked up pre-made burgers for the family (rarely do that) and was EXCITED to try it for dinner.

Last night, I cooked up their burgers in one pan and made my “burger” in cast iron pan.  They had a perfect sear to them.  The “burgers” are primarily made of pea protein and beets.  I have had pea protein milk before.  It’s a great dairy-free alternative.  However, it tends to be a bit more expensive then, say, almond or cashew milk.

I wish I had taken pics of the “burgers” before I added the avocados.  I opted to forgo the vegan cheddar cheese.  I didn’t put them on a bun, as I didn’t have gluten-free ones available and didn’t feel like going the lettuce wrap route.

While the “burger” didn’t taste like read meat, it “bleeds” while cooking because of the beets in it.  They are also a bit smaller than what I would call a traditional burger size.

A bonus for me is they have 30% of the recommended daily volume of protein.  I am continually anemic from my cancer.  To say, I love this plant-based option, wouldn’t be an understatement.  My husband and daughter thought I was nuts when I was so happy about my dinner.  You can read more about the nutritional content here.

wow

I topped the “burgers” with avocado and dipped each bite in a bit of mustard.  I love mustard and I use it whenever I can.  I really enjoyed the taste.  I cooked it with just a bit of salt and pepper.  Nothing complicated.  I made vegan mashed potatoes.  The family wanted fries, which I made them in the air fryer for them, but I wanted mashed potatoes.

I don’t often buy pre-made meals for myself.  However, this is one option I will definitely do.  It makes prepping dinner a bit easier on my busy nights.

If your family does a meatless Monday or you’re trying to cut back on red meat, I would invite you to give this option a try.  I think this is now one of my new favorite foods.

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Gluten-free, Vegan Pizza

Published August 13, 2018 by lynn k scott

Yesterday, I ventured into new culinary territory.  My lil-miss was at a pool party, so my husband and I chose to get some pizza.  We went to Amici’s East Coast Pizzeria.  Being from NY, I am picky about my pizza.  Hands down, Vincinis Pizza is the best pizza in Solano County.

While I LOVE pizza at Vincinis, their gluten-free crust lacks a bit.  Amici’s has the best gluten-free crust in the area.  They also offer vegan cheese.  There is a pretty steep price-tag for a gluten-free pizza.  There is no extra charge for substituting the Daiya vegan cheese.

The menu only showcases one true vegan pizza but several gluten-free options.  I wish the vegan pizza had say an option to pick three toppings, with a gluten-free crust, for “X” amount.  We ended up paying $32 just for my pizza.  I’m sorry, but not every vegan or plant-based diet is in love with spinach.  It NEVER belongs on a pizza!  That’s my opinion of course, but salads are salads and pizza has no lettuce-like toppings.

The gluten-free crust is crispy, foldable and has good flavor.  The pizza sauce is also vegan.  The vegan cheese was creamier and melted well.  I admit, I was apprehensive about ordering this pizza.

My first bite reinforced I can primarily consume vegan dishes, even while eating out.  I didn’t miss “real” pizza at all.  I will definitely return for another vegan pizza.  However, strictly due to the price, the visits will be farther between because I can’t justify that cost for pizza on a regular basis.

It does prompt me to work on a homemade vegan crust.  This plant-based, vegan and sometimes raw diet is still new to me.  It makes it easier when I do eat out, to find restaurants who cater to dietary needs.  Yes, I could just have gluten-free, but the vegan(ish) lifestyle is geared toward my cancer recovery.  It’s not always easy to stick to the acceptable food, but when I do, I can feel a positive difference.  I also can’t complain about a 10-pound weight loss (in just three weeks).

In the infamous words of Andrew Zimmer, “If it looks good; eat it.”

Falafels via the Air Fryer

Published July 18, 2018 by lynn k scott

I’ve seen and heard about falafels for years.  They are a Middle Eastern dish made up of chickpeas and a variety of herbs and spices.  After taking a rest for a couple hours (or overnight) in the fridge, the mixture is ready to be rolled into balls and dropped into hot oil and fried to perfection.

Hold up…that won’t work for me.  Frying is almost non-existent in my house.  I do however, use an air fryer, which has to be one of the best kitchen inventions…EVER!

air fryer

I followed a random falafel recipe.  Soaked my chickpeas overnight.  Some of you might be unfamiliar with chickpeas.  I know I was.  I had consumed them at my favorite Indian restaurant.  I even found them in the Indian spice shop I often go to.

Before I decided to make the falafels, I had purchased a large bag of chickpeas.  Remember when I said I was unfamiliar with them?  I had it in my head, I would just grind up the chickpeas and make my own gluten-free, chickepea flour.  My food processor wasn’t up for the job.  My little spice grinder hates me now.  Who knew you had to soak the chickpeas first?  OOPS!!!!   Well, now I know and you should have gotten a chuckle from my culinary ignorance.

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Back to the new-to-me dish.  I looked up the cooking time for air fryer falafels.  It was just 12-minutes, on 370 degrees, turning halfway through the cooking process.

I will say, I could kick myself for not trying these earlier.  They were DELICIOUS!!!!!!  Perfectly crispy on the outside and light and fluffy on the inside.  I guarantee, these are on my permanent menu.  They fall in line with my plant-based diet.

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Note:  depending on how many people will be eating these little crispy delights, you might want to halve the recipe if it’s just for a couple of you.

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