Vitamix, My New Kitchen Appliance and Cooking Tool

Do you have one?  I didn’t until recently.  I bought the mid-level model and it is perfect for our use.  I am going to offer you recipes and my use of the machine to help you get used to using yours.  Please feel free to share your recommendations with me.  If I don’t post quickly, it is because I feel the need to make a recipe before I recommend.  So, after I make your recipe, I will post it of course giving you credit for your creation.  If I modify after you send me one and I have made it, I will post as mine and mention that you sent me a recipe and I modified it again, crediting you for the original and with my additions so that readers can choose.

We don’t BBQ on a grill.  We don’t even grill any longer.  So, paying a premium for a kitchen tool like a Vitamix is something I feel I can splurge on and I feel it aids me in cooking healthy meals; vegan, vegetarian, whole foods for my family.  I get excited to have a new appliance and I generally use it frequently and integrate it into my cooking regiment.  If you are considering purchasing a Vitamix, or if you are as I described above, please allow me to indulge myself with your time and attention.  You see we went to the Birmingham, AL Summit location of Sur La Table.  Both of the employees working that evening and we were there at the end of the evening, were engaged in our discussion, excited to share and one of them we exceptionally knowledgeable about these machines.  So please let me share a little about them and my new experience using them.

The top of the line unit is all digital.  Great if money is no object but I kind of like doing what I need and what I want to do with a few less digits and a few more dials.  Old fashioned, I know but I fear the failure of the digital.  These machines have a better than industry standard warranty, 7 and 10 years, so not to worry for that part but the interesting thing to me is how it works.  Now let’s stop here for a minute.  Do you have any kitchen appliance with a  7 or a 10 year warranty – nope.

A little about the company – made in America and made in Ohio, my home state, Vitamix is

If you add cold, ice and blend it will actually freeze like ice cream.  If you add warm, blend and intend to make as a soup, it will come out hot enough to eat.  Yes, very neat because there is really no need to heat further unless you want to add a little extra warmth and then, I just microwave for a minute or two and my dinner prep and cooking is finished.  Here is my simple broccoli and vegan cheese soup.

Ahead of time, I cook potatoes and carrots; add nutritional yeast, Cavender’s Greek Seasoning and Tony Chachere’s Seasoning blend together and freeze.   This is said to be vegan cheese like nacho cheese for dipping but it didn’t pass my family’s taste test as such.  What it does do is make a great cheesed up soup or cheesed up vegan dish.  So I freeze this in 1 quart freezer bags.  I remove frozen and microwave until defrosted, add to the Vitamix.  Then I add a head of either broccoli or cauliflower or ½ of each to my corning ware dish with 2 T of water and cook for 4 minutes on high in the microwave.  I add it to the Vitamix.  Now, I set the Vitamix setting to Soup and it sets the timer for the correct time.  About 6 minutes later, I have perfectly blended and soup to temperature for kids or adults to eat that is vegan, healthy, vegetarian and did I save full of flavor?  We eat this for dinner in the Fall, Winter and Spring at least once or twice a week.  We take 2-3 months off in the summer and increase our use of the Vitamix by making smoothies that are cool and refreshing instead of the soup.

 

They tout that it cleans easily by filling with ½ warm water and a drop of dish soap.  Just like the other things mentioned, it too works as stated.  You have to appreciate a company that supports their product, makes something to air nutritional wellbeing and is accurate in their offer and promise to their customers.  Actually, would we as a customer expect anything more.  I couldn’t be more pleased.

Again, Vitamix as a company – has recipes listed on their website.  How many – roughly 300.  What an incredible resource, warranty, story and appliance.  I am a more than happy owner as this appliance has become and integral part of our diet and an aid to our nutritional wellbeing.  Please note that I do not have an affiliate relationship with Vitamix but will seek to have one in the coming months as I am willing to promote this product because I believe in it and have used it with exceptional satisfaction.

Griesdorf Salad

So, you have heard of the Waldorf Salad, this is my Kale version of the likeness of this salad.  And if you don’t like kale now, just wait, soon you will.

1 bunch of kale, cleaned and chopped

1 cup of shredded carrots

½ cup of pepitas (green pumpkin seeds – I prefer them roasted and salted)

½ cup of chopped walnuts

1 apple (pealed or not diced in medium size pieces)

1 cup of grapes

Dressing:  ½ cup of Vegenaise and ½ cup of your favorite balsamic vinegar dressing, flavored balsamic or plain balsamic.  Whip the dressing ingredients together, stir into the above salad ingredients and store overnight as the salad is better the next day when it melds thoroughly.

Apple Crisp

1-1/2 cups of oatmeal

½ cup of almond flour

¾ cup of coconut palm sugar

½ cup of smart balance

4 cups of pealed, cored and sliced apples

¾ teaspoon of nutmeg

¾ teaspoon of cinnamon

Optional – ½ cup of finely chopped pecans

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Use smart balance to grease a 9” X 9” pan

Mix the dry ingredients together until it becomes crumbly

Spread the apples into the bottom of the greased pan

Add the crumbles over the apples and spread evenly

Bake in the preheated oven until the top is golden brown and the apples are cooked tender and there is a juice and syrup that is the cinnamon and the apples cooked down, approximately 45 – 60 minutes.

This recipe is vegan, vegetarian, gluten free, and low in sugar as it is much less sweet than that which is made with cane sugar.  Coconut sugar has a lower glycemic index than regular cane sugar.

Taco Bell has some good vegetarian and vegan options!

I know, right?  I was surprised too.  It has been at least 7 years since we have been to Taco Bell and I must admit, the menu changes to keep up with customer trends and to best meet the health needs of their customers impressed me.  We were traveling today and needed to make a quick stop.  We usually patronize restaurants that are sports bars or fast casual rather than those that are considered fast food. But, a vegetarian friend of our family had given our daughter a good review for Taco Bell so we decided to give it a try with a little guidance from her.

Casey ordered a Power Bowl – Veggie.  The size was perfect.  It was a meal without left-overs and she was satisfied that she wasn’t over indulge.  Her meal was fresh, contained protein and vegetables and she was more than satisfied.  She will be at college in the fall and was even excited that her university has a Taco Bell onsite and nearby.

Chris and I each ordered the 7 Layer Burrito. I added a mild and a hot sauce to mine.  It was tasty, satisfying and just the right size.  Get this though, the cost of my burrito was $2.89.  This to me was a very good value for fresh and flavorful.  Chris pointed out that his burrito was filling but wasn’t too much food and keep in mind that he is tall and slender at 6’1”.

In addition, I ordered a bean and cheese burrito with no onions for Charlie, our dog.  I cut it up in advance and placed it in the empty bowl from Casey’s Power Bowl.  He loved it and gave the meal rave reviews.  There was sauce on it but only a little and as ordered, no onions.  You might not realize, onions are toxic to dogs.  So, $17 and some change, with one free water and 2 unsweet iced teas, we were all set to continue our journey and very satisfied with a fresh no-meat meal.

Next time, I will order the meal fresco-style.  Apparently, they put pico de gallo on it in place of the cheese and sour cream.  Important to note, the beans at Taco Bell are prepared vegan.  So this will be a good vegan option to try next time as well.

Although we rarely have an occasion to purchase fast food, we have 3 good options at Taco Bell that are pleasing and fresh when we travel and find that we are unable to make the meal casual fast.

I hope in some small way, this helps you and your family when time is of the essence as it did us today.

And, thank you Yum! for progressing your brand to meet the needs of your customers.  If you wanted to take an additional step to meet the needs of the largest growth demographic in the food industry, you would add a section to the menu titled vegetarian with a symbol noting those menu items that are also  vegan.

Sometimes You Feel Like a Nut

Have you tried the new flavored almonds?  OMG, they are scrumptious!  Barbecue, wasabi and soy sauce, smokehouse, sea salt they are all very tasty.

Approximately 170 calories for 28 almonds, they have approximately 6 grams of protein and all of them that I have looked at have < 5 grams of sugar, a requirement for me to feel like I can eat them as a routine snack rather than an every once in a while.

I am always looking for an additional tasty protein and these are definitely something that we enjoy when we travel or are on the go.

Enjoy!

4 Compelling Motivators to Effectively Change your Diet; 4 Resources to Support Your Change

Have you ever felt like making a change or a transition was too difficult?  Have you ever really wanted to do something and needed a few effective and guided things to do that actually really work?

Seeing family members sick with Diabetes, Obesity, Heart Disease, Cancer and those then leading to death is compelling reason number one.  These diseases cheat people of a life of leisure, enjoyment and activity.  There is nothing fun or fulfilling about spending 2 months caring for someone in ICU because they didn’t eat routine meals and didn’t follow their doctors’ advice to manage their diabetes.  The poor patient, if they recover, can end up on dialysis and that is if they are lucky and able to be treated.

Wait a minute, I have a pill for you.  Take this pill, it will fix this.  Listen to the side effects and you will be stunned that the drug companies actually think it is good marketing to pay for television advertisements that go on and on about the possible side-effects of their medications.  My God heaven help us, do you really want to expose yourself to those side effects?  Compelling reason number two is to avoid taking these toxic medications that are advertised on television.  Are you with me?  Are you frightened by them?  I am and I know I have many family members on many of them.  It makes me very sad to think about it.

Well their doctor knows best and he/she advised them to take these meds.  Really?  Compelling reason number three.  The doctors and the drug companies have a direct conflict of interest.  They are studying and gearing their meds to treat sickness.  They make you feel as if you have to listen to their advice and follow their instructions.  Sad truth is that they didn’t study wellness, they studied sickness so they are sickness experts and don’t really know nutritionally what is best for a patient to maintain their wellness.

Last, and most important, compelling reason number four; follow the money.  The organic, vegetable farmers have no money or lobbying groups or let’s just say they are under-represented compared to big pharma, the meat and dairy industry and the American Medical Association.  We have long known that we need fruits and vegetables to ensure wellness.  But what is less widely known is the damage that processed foods, meat and dairy causes the human body.  Did you know that processed foods packed with sugar and artificial ingredients, meat and dairy are directly associated with more closely linked to the cause of Diabetes, Obesity, Heart Disease and Cancer than genetics?  Dr. Colin Campbell spoke to a group of medical professionals at the University of Alabama Birmingham and explained how it is possible to control your diet and turn cancer off.  Can you imagine, having a diet that helped you preserve your wellness?

It is sometimes hard to find the truth when it is financially under-represented.  Fruits and veggies are not high dollar cash crops.  But, the information is out there for us.  Dr. Sanjay Gupta “The Last Heart Attack” a CNN Special was the first documentary that we watched just after my father’s heart attack and death.  This is excellent information.  This is a compelling documentary that exposes the real source of Heart Disease and immediate and actionable steps that we can take to prevent this, even if we genetically have a predisposition to Heart Disease as one would expect when their parent dies of the disease.  Thank you, CNN and Dr. Gupta for an informed, documented and compelling piece of motivational journalism.

The “Engine Two Diet” instructs you on exactly how to rid your home of processed foods but first, it explains what a processed food is and why you want to bag them all up and give them to the garbage man rather than your church or neighbor.  Compelling and motivational, this documentary was made with passion, process and aims to motivate you into a lifelong commitment.  It worked for us so well that we have maintained for nearly 7 years.  When is the last time you made a diet change that lasted for SEVEN YEARS?  Rip Esselstyn, you gave us guidance by explaining the problem and exactly what we could do about it.  If you don’t want to be a victim, if you are a fighter, an active person and a go getter, get it going.  Thanks Rip, sincerely thank you for an entertaining and motivating documentary on how to get started.

Wait, compelling documentary number three, “Forks Over Knives”. The documentary introduces the irrefutable China Study and the evidence of animal protein and animal fat and their relationship to cancer and heart disease.  It addresses the history of our government’s support of the meat and dairy industry, the creation of the food pyramid as an educational tool, as well as its support and backing of big pharma.  All of these are clearly a money-making endeavor that is supported by our capitalistic society.  Frankly, this was hard for me to get my mind around.  How could this be?  Could we really have been let down like this?  How could all of these things work against the public best interest?

But then the documentary of all documentaries came out, “What the Health”.  Our phone and email began to ring as friends watched it.  They wanted to talk and they needed recipes.  They were taken by the clear and understandable content.  Doctor after doctor who had crossed over to the other side where wellness and medicine were working together presented one after the other their compelling stories, fact based, understandable and concrete data.  Compelling data from doctors who were happy to share and documentary number four is so very good.  I loved this documentary.  But, I must say that there seems to be magic in the four of them.  Have you binge watched a television show or a sporting event?  I suggest you binge watch these four documentaries in the order listed above.  Your, “I want to be healthy switch” will be flipped and you’ll know just how and where to start.  You will be all primed and ready to take recipes, cooking, eating out and life to a different place.

Let me also say, I don’t care if you have any of the aforementioned diseases.  You are not dead yet.  You don’t have to become a statistic.  You can do something about your health in a way that is positive and toward wellness rather than just treating the sickness that you have.  What if you treated the sickness AND treated yourself well?  Do you think you would get better faster or slower?  It makes all the sense in the world, but you don’t know what that looks like because traditionally, we are taught in the structure that supports our sick treating and pill pushing capitalistic money-making practices.  Don’t get me wrong, doctors spend their lives dedicated and working to make their patients free of disease with the best of intentions.

Rarely do you find a doctor that is wellness educated or who has taken more than one required nutrition course in medical school.  Rarely do you find a nutritionist who has read or knows about the largest nutrition study ever conducted in the world.  I know this seems odd.  No, this seems wrong and it is but I have stumbled into something that is truly worth sharing that is not a joke and that is so vitally important to you and to me, to our friends and to our families.

Can you do something different?  Can you spend a short amount of time and watch 4 documentaries?  If you do take the first steps, you will find it easy and effective to make a change.  The reasons are compelling but you will also find that the information motivational.  The change has lasted for me, my husband and two daughters because the facts are compelling, motivational and the change made us feel so well, good and awesome.  It is a blessing and a gift to be well and to have our health.  Health is impacted by science, genetics, environment and nutrition.  You can be well and so can your family if you choose to educate yourself.  I hope that you feel compelled to see the documentaries and motivated to comment about your transition.  I will be here.  I hope to share with you and maybe I will have another opportunity to help you, guide you and cheer you on in some small and productive way.  I would be honored to be part of your wellness.

 

Resource Recommendation Documentary: “What the Health”

“What the Health”, is by far the documentary that has gained the most traction in the movement to a whole foods plant based diet, vegan or vegetarian.

Viewing the documentary is essential to educate yourself on the current medical practices, nutrition and the state of farming and food production.  Are there points that can be argued?  Yes.  Aren’t there always?  The fact remains, we are on the wrong course.  We need a course correction, our lives depend upon it.

The format of the documentary is easy to watch, clear and easy to understand.  The doctors and industry professionals are top notch, educated and credentialed to speak on the current challenges and recommended changes that individuals can make.  If you are new to the transition, to improving your health or you need to be re-invigorated; WATCH THE RECOMMENDED DOCUMENTARIES.  They are interesting, motivational and offer you a knowledge base to make decisions from.  This knowledge is a key foundation.

All Good Veg,

Amanda

The All Good Veg Program

Whole Foods – Vegan – Vegetarian – Tips / Hacks to Make it Easy to Stay the Course 

Journey

Our wellness transformation has been a journey from a standard diet to vegetarian to near vegan and along the way, profoundly whole foods and plant based.  The changes that we have made have profoundly affected how we feel, our health and our well-being, I believe that the information that we have compiled and published will benefit many people when shared, specifically you.  This is the intention of publishing and compiling our information and story; kitchen tips, resources and recipes to help you on your journey toward wellness.

Reference

I am a questioner and I enjoy learning and cooking for myself and my family.  With sincere gratitude and appreciation for the resources and their authors that we reference, you will note that many of the resources that I am sharing are sourced materials with links, product endorsements and recipes that we use.  When the information of others is shared, the source will be documented.  When the recipe is my own, it too will be documented as such.  When you share, I would appreciate the same consideration.  If you would maintain the sources accordingly so that the proper person is credited for his or her effort, it is the right thing to do.   In addition, I will link to products necessary to make these recipes and other All Good Veg recommendations that I have personally tested and can vouch for.  I will recommend products that we use or services that are part of our routine and daily living.  If I don’t use it, I am not able to offer a recommendation either positive or negative.

Continuous Improvement

This program will continue to develop, the location of the information will develop as will the print version of the materials.  As you are picking up the course and the documents so are you picking it up as I work to continuously improve the materials and delivery.  In addition to the site being used as a program delivery mechanism.  The site is also a central repository of recipes that are near and dear to my family and friends.

Support and Share

I would like to offer you a forum of support and encouragement.  In advance, I ask for your kindness and mindfulness as others may be in a different place on their journey.  I would appreciate your share of any resources that you enjoy with the knowledge that my investigation is necessary prior to endorsement.  If you would like to contact me, I am happy to exchange email and I respond personally.  I am new at sharing via social media any criticism will be considered and I will take into account.  Thank you in advance for sharing with me.

All Good Veg,

Amanda

AllGoodVeg@gmail.com

Spinach and Artichoke Dip

Vegan, Vegetarian, Liked by All
By AllGoodVeg.com

8 oz of vegan cream cheese
1 cup of Vegenaise
8 oz of vegan parmesan cheese
1-2 Tablespoons of diced jalapeño peppers
1 Tablespoon of capers, smash with a fork and cut them
1 teaspoon of minced garlic
¼ cup of nutritional yeast
16 oz of artichoke hearts cut into quarters or diced.
6-8 cups of fresh spinach cut in chunks

1. Melt the cream cheese with the Vegenaise and parmesan cheese on medium heat stirring until it bubbles.
2. Add the jalapeño peppers, capers and minced garlic. Stir in and add the nutritional yeast.
3. Add the artichoke hearts and stir in the fresh spinach until it wilts down.
4. While stirring, be sure to stir to the bottom of the pan to ensure it doesn’t burn or stick on the bottom of the pan.
5. This makes a large amount that we usually divide into two portions and either serve the second on in a few days or freeze it and use it for a special occasion.
6. Serve with your favorite unique corn chips.
7. You can reach me at the following Twitter, Facebook, Gmail or Website address. I would love to hear what recipe you are looking for. I am always looking for article topics and tips needed in the kitchen by my readers. I would be happy to respond to you with an article addressing your questions, challenge, tip or recipe.
#AllGoodVeg
AllGoodVeg@gmail.com
AllGoodVeg.com

Travel and On the Go

Work, commuting and travel are tough and planning sometimes is even more difficult.

I stock the house with healthy options that allow us to have fruit, veggies and nuts ready.  I have learned from interacting in meetings with people from many different countries and cultures that most of the time, others who attend business meetings and social gatherings are looking for healthy and interesting options too.

So my tip and my point, at home, on the go or in preparing a work-site event, buy, prepare and offer healthy options.  Others will take notice of the effort and they really will appreciate the choices that are both tasty and good for them.

Some of the options that I consider staples are as follows.

Healthy – Fun Snack Options

Cut Vegetables; cucumbers, carrots, radishes, grape-tomatoes, celery

Fruit Salad; strawberries, blueberries and grapes or melon; cantaloupe, honey-dew and watermelon

Whole Pieces of Fruit; Apples, Plums, Peaches, Oranges and Bananas

Kind Bar variety box – what a good find for a meeting.  There are about 10 different Kind Bars in the package.

Luna Bars

Protein bars – vegan plant based

Flavored Almonds; Wasabi almonds, Raspberry almonds, BBQ almonds, Smokehouse almonds, Light sea salt almonds

Mixed nuts

Whole wheat peanut butter crackers

Popcorn including the many flavors that are now available.

Last, it is fun to create a bar of different trail mix options.  Pretzels, mixed nuts, large raisins in many colors, dark chocolate covered raisins, dark chocolate covered espresso beans, dark chocolate covered almonds, whole-grain peanut butter crackers, sunflower seeds – served in short clear plastic or small paper cups.  Everyone loves to make their own mix of these tasty and healthy options.