Category Archives: Vegan

American - FOOD - "The Delicious" - Healthy - Vegan - Vegetarian

Veestro: Plant-based meals delivered to your door

September 3, 2015

[Just FYI: Veestro is providing a special discount code for BATF readers at the end!]

I’m so used to cooking practically all my meals now but I was totally game to hang up my cooking utensils for a week to try Veestro, a gourmet, plant-based, organic meal service. I’m not a vegetarian but I’ve cut my meat consumption a LOT, so the thing that attracted me most to Veestro was that they use all-natural ingredients with no preservatives or animal products. You can buy them by meal or by meal-plan depending on your focus (high protein, gluten-free, weight-loss, etc.)

Veestro's Kale & Quinoa salad with tempeh bits and tahini dressing

Veestro’s Kale & Quinoa salad with tempeh bits and tahini dressing

Veestro asked if I’d try a 5-day meal plan (15 meals) to see what I thought. They sent me some info about the perks of a plant-based diet. Besides promoting long term sustainable weight loss, they’re low in saturated fats, high in fiber, and reduce excess cholesterol intake. Not to mention, they’re rich in antioxidants, plant sterols, phytochemicals, and potassium, which are all thought to reduce the risk of heart disease. Of course, there’s a lot that rides on the quality of the plant-based and non-meat products you’re eating — if you’re not eating meat but eating an excess of processed foods, for example, you’re still taking in a lot of calories.

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American - FOOD - "The Delicious" - Homemade - Recipes - Vegan - Vegetarian

Cauliflower with roasted red pepper sauce

June 23, 2015

Ok so the last time I made cauliflower, it sounded a lot more promising than it actually turned out (see the maple-sriracha roasted cauliflower). The flavor was a little weak. But this is legitimately delicious. I made some tweaks to the original recipe that I’ll note below. I guess what I’m learning is whereas before I used to be so by-the-book when it comes to trying something new, now I don’t freak out if I’m missing an ingredient. I’m sure all real chefs know this already, but there’s usually a way around it…like, for example, if you don’t have bread crumbs but DO have crushed pumpkin seeds from the recipe you did the day before. Just think about making it your own :).



Cauliflower with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

4 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 large head or 1 small head cauliflower, cut into florets
Salt and fresh ground pepper
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 roasted red pepper, seeded and chopped
2 tablespoons soft tofu (I used feta instead since I didn’t have tofu at home)
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons breadcrumbs (I used crushed pumpkin seeds instead because I didn’t have breadcrumbs)
1 tablespoon sesame seeds


Heat 3 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the cauliflower florets and season with salt and pepper. Cook until the cauliflower begins to brown and soften, about 12 minutes, stirring every few minutes.

To roast the red pepper, I put it in a tray drizzled with olive oil in the oven for 15-20 minutes, turning it over once each side browns. Remove and let cool.

While the cauliflower is cooking, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and saute until softened, 1 minute. Add the roasted red pepper and saute for another few minutes, until heated through. Transfer to a blender or mini-chopper and blend. Add the tofu (or feta cheese in my case) and some salt and pepper and puree until smooth.

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FOOD - "The Delicious" - Healthy - Vegan - Vegetarian

Healthy Holiday Entertaining with Gardein’s Meatless Meals

November 12, 2014


OK, I know what you’re thinking. For some of us using “healthy” and “meatless” in the same sentence means “tasteless” and “boring.” But with so many options lately, that’s just not the case. Going vegan or vegetarian is having its moment right now — consider celebrities like Bey or J. Lo doing a 22-day vegan challenge. But after learning about some of the health benefits, here’s hoping it goes beyond a trend to consider different meal options that do include more plant-based protein.

Gardein Beefless ground

Recently, I sampled some dressed up hors d’oeuvres from Gardein at an event that made me re-think some of the usual grocery store offerings you get in the meatless section. These were not only beautiful in presentation but they tasted delicious. There was a whole table offering gluten-free beefless tacos with roasted corn, black beans, & roasted poblano peppers, gluten-free Rosemary pecan crusted chick’n skewers with cipollini onion aioli; Turk’y cutlet with stuffing, cranberry sauce, & mashed potato on mini spoons; and (surprisingly my favorite), Fishless filet & chips with french fries & lemon wedge.

Fishless filet & chips with french fries & lemon wedge

Turk'y cutlets with stuffing, cranberry sauce, & mashed potato

Beefless tacos

The recipes were perfect finger foods, and if you’re throwing a party (likely for the holidays, yes?) these are perfect additions for your vegetarian guests. Plus, since it’s plant-based, these have less fat and zero cholesterol compared to their meat counterparts. Here are the recipes in case you want to try to re-create them at home!

Recipe 1: FISHLESS FILET with french fries and lemon wedge
(makes 10 servings)


Gardein Fishless filets
French fries, lemons, flat leaf parsley

– product takes 20 minutes to cook, so every 10 minutes you will be placing a new tray in oven to ensure consistent samples.


1-Preheat oven to 475 degreed F. Using scissors, cut open bag. Place filets on two parchment lined oven trays (parchment paper is essential to ensure fishless filet does not stick)
2- Put 1 or 2 trays on middle rack, set timer and cook for 10 minutes.
3 – After 10 minutes, flip the fishless filets, rotate tray and move to the bottom rack. Add a new tray or trays to middle rack, set timer and cook for 10-11 minutes until golden brown and cripsy.
4- Fill each fish cone with 2 tsp tartar sauce, drizzling from the middle of the cone to the bottom (not all sauce should be in the bottom). Note: Do not pre-sauce more than 15 min in advance, or this will ruin the paper cone.
5-Take out the 1st tray (cooked for 20 min), moved 2nd tray (1/2 cooked) to bottom rack, flip filets and add new tray to middle rack, set timer and cook for 10-11 minutes.
6- Cut each filet into 2 pieces
7- Put each piece into a cone holder, garnish with lemon slice and flat leaf parsley sprig.
Gardein products are available at over 22,000 retailers/grocers nationwide, for more products and recipes at

Recipe 2: ROSEMARY-PECAN CRUSTED CHCK’N SKEWERS w cipollini onion aioli
(makes 20 skewers)


Gardein Chick’n Scallopini
For marinade:
1 cup red wine (or substitute)
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp chopped garlic
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp chopped rosemary
1/2 tsp sea salt
For crust:
1 cup pecans
1/2 cup flour
2 tbsp rosemary, finely chopped
1/2 cup panko
sea salt to taste

Equipment needed
: 4″ bamboo knot cocktail skewers
1- In a blender, combine all marinade ingredients and blend until smooth. Cut Gardein Chick’N Scallopini into 3″ strips. Pour the marinade into a bowl, add the gardein to the marinade and let sit overnight.
2- Grind pecans in a food processor. Transfer the pecans to a bowl, add the flour, rosemary and panko.
3- Bread gardein with pecan mixture until fully coated.
4- In a large frying pan, heat up your favorite oil and pan fry gardein on both sides until golden brown.
5- To assemble: Once gardein is fried, insert skewers. Drizzle skewers with cipollini onion aioli, garnish with rosemary.

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American - FOOD - "The Delicious" - Healthy - Travel Feasts - Vegan - Vegetarian

Vegan dinner at Mohawk Bend in Echo Park, LA

January 23, 2014

Yesterday’s “Only in Cali” moment:
“Hey, what cuisine are you in the mood for tonight?”
“How about vegan?”

I can confidently say I’ve never had this conversation take place in all my years in New York (although, this suggestion did come from a former New Yorker so maybe it speaks more to his changing tastes). LA definitely has the upper hand when it comes to places with organic, fresh, or vegan fare. And you know what they say – when in Cali, do like The CaliFORnians.

Mohawk Bend

Inside Mohawk Bend

And so we found ourselves at the very hipster Mohawk Bend in Echo Park, which stands right at the intersection of Sunset and Mohawk. I’m pretty sure hipster places probably don’t like to be called hipster, but the gallery of facial hair here would only further my point. Anyway.


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