Juice!

Juice!

It had been, sadly, a very long time since I had made fresh juice at home…like years!
So, all around me, friends, coworkers, clients…they all were juicing…maybe more intensely than I plan to, but juicing just the same. So, it got me really wanting to get back into this simple, delicious and healthy, ugh…trend @_@ hate to say that, but hey, who am I kidding.
So, I started a few weeks ago, instead of just eating my usual few pieces of fruit for breakfast, I’d blend it up together and drink it! So, it’s what I’ve been doing every morning. But! I did not want to go out and buy a fancy (expensive) contraption to just get my juice fix! After all, I’ve gotta save my money for buying rhinestones and such for my burlesque career!
So, I just have been using my lovely little Emerson blender! Also called a stick blender. I’ve had it for years and have really only used it for sauces and soups…it is now a triple threat!

So, today I’m sharing with you one of my favorite juices! I hope you’ll try it. It’s got many health benefits, like parsley has anti-inflammatory qualities (which I need since my old injuries still act up), pineapple helps build strong bones, ginger helps prevent colds…that’s just a few great benefits from drinking a juice like this!

So, onto the recipe!

8 fresh strawberries
1 fresh banana, cut up
2 fresh pineapple slices, cut up (about 1cup)
1 fresh chunk of ginger, peeled (about an inch)
1 handful of fresh parsley ( about 1/2 a cup)
1/2 cup frozen blueberries

Place the first 5 ingredients into a large glass, or measuring cup. Quickly blast everything with your Emerson blender. Once everything is nicely combined, add in the blueberries and blast it again til fairly smooth. This blender doesn’t make a creamy smooth drink, so you can strain it into a cheese cloth, or like me, just drink it as is! The bits just feel like on pulp, no big deal!

So very yummy!

So very yummy!

So delish!

So delish!


That’s it! Drink it right away, fresh and cold ( from those frozen blueberries!)

Until we eat again, enjoy!

~ape, The Vegan Crush

Philly!

I’m back where I’ve come from! Philly!
It is effing cold @_@
This is gonna be a quick one, because I am tired! And, I’ll be getting up early to go to Green Eggs Cafe, where they apparently have an amazing vegan breakfast! I LOVE, LOVE vegan breakfast! It’s my favorite! French toast, tofu scramble, veggie sausage! I cannot wait!
You will be seeing all of the lovely food I’ve experienced throughout my amazing visit!
So, tomorrow people! See ya then!

Until we eat again, enjoy!
~ape
The Vegan Crush

M Cafe Macrotize Me Challenge!

I won!
I suggested that they macrotize lasagna and they chose it! Yay! So I won a beautiful gift basket and gift certificates and now I am on my way, with my mama to go taste the winning dish! I cannot wait!
I will of course be taking some beautiful pictures of this delicious meal and when we get back you will get a full update! I will let you know how much I loved the lasagna and I will post all of the fun pictures from when I went to pic up my prize and meet the wonderful manager, Franki!

We’re on our way…maybe we’ll see you there ;)

Until we eat again!
Enjoy.

~ape
The Vegan Crush

Brunch!

Ah Sunday…the one day where I get to do a little something extra with meal time!  So, today I decided to make some pancakes, tempeh bacon and a light sautéed kale, with oyster mushrooms and cherry tomatoes. Just to let you know, I chose to make this meal instead of doing my laundry…I made the right choice!

My song today, for no other reason than it is a bitchin song…Fat Bottom Girls, Queen

For the tempeh, I used my favorite already made brand, Light Life Fakin Bacon!  I just sautéed it in some veggie oil and added a bit of salt at the end!  Simple.

Pancakes:

Ingredients:

1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tbsp sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup non-dairy milk, I used unsweetened almond
2 tbsp soy free Earth Balance, melted
1 Ener-G egg replacer
1 tsp soy free Earth Balance (for the pan)

Recipe:

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
In a small bowl, whisk together almond milk, Earth Balance and Ener-G.  Add wet ingredients to flour mixture; whisk until just moistened (do not overmix; a few lumps won’t hurt you ;) )
Melt the Earth Balance in a large pan (nonstick or cast-iron) over medium heat.
For each pancake, scoop 3 tbsp of batter into the pan (you’ll be able to fit 2 to 3 in a large skillet).
Cook until the pancakes have some bubbles, about 1 to 2 minutes. Flip gently and cook until browned, 1 to 2 minutes more, remove from pan and set a side on a waiting plate.  Continue with more Earth Balance and the remaining batter. (This made about 13 pancakes.) Serve warm.  We topped ours with organic agave nectar, but you can use maple syrup, fruit preserves or just powdered sugar!

Sautéed kale with oyster mushrooms and cherry tomatoes

Ingredients:

1/2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 shallot, sliced
1 cup oyster mushrooms, chopped
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1 bunch organic kale, torn from stems
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
A dash of dried chili flake
A splash of apple cider vinegar

In a large pan, heat the oil on medium. Sauté the shallots for about 2 minutes, add the mushrooms and cook until they develop a golden color.  Next add the tomatoes and when they start bursting a bit, add the kale.  Season with the salt, pepper and chili flake.  Once the kale has cooked down but is still dark green, turn off the heat and add the apple cider vinegar, toss to incorporate it all and you are ready to dig in!

I also put together this really cute sammich with 2 mini pancakes and some kale saute inside!

mini silver dollar sammich

Until we eat again, Enjoy!

~ape (The Vegan Crush)

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Spicy jackfruit tacos with crunchy Alabama slaw and fresh corn and black eyed pea salad with tangy mustard vinaigrette

That’s a mouthful!

Ok, I know I promised no more extremely long stints away from the blog, but things have just been a bit of crazy these last few months!  This is a food blog I know, so I wont bore you with ALL the details, but I want to share with my friends and followers whats been going on to keep me from cooking!

So, May 28 2012 I was in my Parkour class, landed a tic tac in a way where I rolled my ankle pretty badly…the landing caused a very severe sprain and some damage to the ligaments.  I was in a boot for 4 weeks, and on crutches for about 3.  I have now been in physical therapy for 8 weeks and I’m still wearing a small brace while I work.  I’m much better, but I’m still not back to normal.  So, that’s the gist of the ankle saga…during my healing, at about 4 weeks after the ankle injury, June 28 2012, I slammed my left index finger in my car door…now, not many of you know this, but my car is a 79 Camaro…meaning that those doors are big, heavy, all steel bastards!  Hubs had to come around and unlock the door to get me out…I wound up with a distal phalanx fracture (broke the bone tip in 2 places) and what they call a nail avulsion.  To finish this quickly and omit some of the drama that followed I will tell you that it wasn’t healing properly, so a week after the initial injury I had to get surgery to repair my nail bed/matrix.  I missed 3 1/2 weeks of work and did not feel like cooking and really wasn’t able to anyhow!  I start physical therapy for the finger this Tuesday.

Now, as I like to do, I’m posting a video/song that either inspires me or puts me in a certain mood or frame of mind.  Lately, this has been my anthem: Eye of the Tiger, by Survivor!

 

Oh, and within the injury/surgery time, hubs and I had to move!  Too much I tell ya!

We are now finally settled and I’ve been slowly getting back to what I love…creating homemade, inspired, vegan awesomeness!

(please forgive my pictures in this post, I haven’t set up my lighting yet)

 

So, now onto the yum that was last nights dinner!

 

Start with my BBQ jackfruit taco recipe and use these tasty additions!

Jackfruit taco

First I’ve got this new slaw.  I’m calling this Alabama slaw because one evening while skipping channels I came across someone making what was called “Alabama sauce” on the food network.  His was 3 ingredients and obviously not vegan, so I used the idea of that sauce, fancied it up and turned it into a slaw! There’s no way that you won’t enjoy this!

Alabama slaw:

Ingredients:

3/4 cup veganaise
1tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tsp agave nectar
1 tsp salt
1tsp fresh black pepper
1/2 medium head red cabbage, shredded
2 large carrots, grated
Recipe:
In a small bowl mix up all of the ingredients except the cabbage and carrot.  Once mixed, let it sit covered in the refrigerator for 15-20 minutes just to chill.  Now place the shredded cabbage and carrot into a large bowl and toss with the Alabama sauce!  You can eat it now or chill it for later.  The longer it sits the bigger the flavors will be.
Side note on the sauce, if its too runny you can add a bit more Veganaise.
You can keep this as a side or do what hubs and I did, top your BBQ jackfruit taco with it! It adds crunch and also cools a bit of the heat from our spicy BBQ sauce!

Alabama slaw

Next, I decided it was finally time for me to celebrate summer (I know, I’m a bit slow to get started, but remember, this has been a bummer summer up until a few weeks ago ;) ) and because its summer, it means that this is the best time for fresh corn!  So while at the farmers market a few days ago, I thought I’d pick up some beauties and make a fresh, sweet and tangy salad out of it!  I added black eyed peas for protein and to make it more satisfying!

Fresh corn and black eyed pea salad with tangy mustard vinaigrette:

Ingredients:
2 ears of corn, shucked
1 15 oz can of black eyed peas, rinsed and drained
1/2 medium red onion, minced
1/2 red bell pepper, fine dice
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 tsp agave nectar
3 tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste
Recipe:
Bring a large pot of water to boil, place the corn in for 3-4 minutes.  Using tongs, take the corn and place it in a bowl of ice water.  This will stop it from cooking too far and help retain the color!
Place your black eyed peas, red onion and bell pepper into a large bowl and set aside. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the rest of the ingredients and place in the refrigerator.
 Now that the corn is cooled, cut the kernels off, making sure you stay close to the cob.
Toss the kernels and the mustard dressing into the large bowl with other ingredients. That’s it!

Fresh corn and black eyed pea salad

more corn salad and slaw!

These recipes are super quick and easy!  Just what you want for a summer meal!
Until we eat again, enjoy!
~ape

 

 

St. Patrick’s Day!

Irish potatoes

These little “potatoes” were a favorite growing up in our Irish home.  I really just remember having them around this time of year.  
I don’t think my Mama Celeste ever made em, rather we’d get them from a little shop not too far from the grandparents house.  Good times.  
I must say, making these vegan was very easy, but I wondered, could I make them taste like they did when I was a kid…well, the answer is yes!  These brought back incredible memories for me and I will surely be making it a tradition from now on.

Irish Potatoes:

1/4 cup of soy free Earth Balance, softened
4 oz of tofutti cream cheese softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 cups confectioners sugar
2 1/2 cups unsweetened flaked coconut, chopped and toasted
1 tbsp cinnamon
1tbsp cocoa powder

In a large mixing bowl, cream the Earth Balance and tofutti together until smooth, on a low/medium setting slowly beat in the confectioners sugar.
Add the vanilla and mix a bit more.  Now place the mixture in the fridge to chill a bit, while you toast the coconut.

In a dry pan on medium/low heat, and your chopped coconut and WATCH IT!  The coconut toasts pretty quickly and you don’t want it to burn, you’re just looking for a bit of deep golden color.  Once toasted, allow to cool.
Next, gently stir the toasted coconut into the mixture to combine.

Now send the mixture to the fridge for about 10 minutes, they’ll get really soft and sticky when you roll them otherwise.
In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the cinnamon and cocoa powder.

Now, with some Earth Balance slathered on your clean hands, take about a 1/2 tbsp or so of the mixture and roll it into and imperfect ball, repeat this until there is no more mixture…obviously.  You don’t want them much bigger because they are very sweet and rich, and we don’t want you going into sugar shock, now do we?
Place them on a parchment lined cookie sheet and put it back in the fridge for another 10 minutes. 

Now we’re ready to roll!  Ugh..I know, big dork…
Anyhow, take your chilled taters and roll them gently in the cinnamon/cocoa mix.  Once coated, shake off the excess by free rolling it in your palm…make sense?
Aren’t they cute?  Now, place the coated potatoes back on the cookies sheet and back in the fridge just for one last chill!

They are officially ready to share, so go do that!
Irish potatoes!

These little things are so sweet and good and have awesome texture because of the toasted coconut.  One word of warning, don’t do like me and eat them for breakfast…it’s not as fun as it sounds.

Until we eat again, enjoy!

~ape (The Vegan Crush)

Cupcake Wars!!!

Very excited to be posting this…tonight in less than an hour, The Food Network will be airing an all vegan Cupcake Wars!!! Very exciting! I know I promised a new recipe but because of this special episode I’m bringing back what might have been my fave cupcake ever!

A not too oldie but such a goodie:

Until we eat again, enjoy!

~ape

Shojin!

LOVE!!!

So, I’m back!  I have to apologize for my long hiatus, but travels, holidays, sickness, work and performing had halted all blogging…but no more will I go this long again!

Firstly, there’s this…

Because love is in the air and whatnot, todays song/video is a pretty special one.  This is my and hubs “song” like, THE one.  Its a classic, its beautiful and it is very special to us.

Stand By Me, Ben E. King

Now, onto business.  This entry is not what you are used to from The Vegan Crush.  I have no recipe to share today, rather experiences, excitement and love for what I am going to officially call my favorite restaurant!  I said it!  I won’t take it back!

I am so excited to tell you that hubs and I finally got around to making reservations last week (something we never do) for Valentines Day dinner (another thing we never do) but I just could not miss out on what I am sure will be a beautiful, well thought out and delicious meal.  The only reason we are going out is to have the V-day special at Shojin.

Now, this entry is not really about V-day dinner, but the past dinners and experiences that we have had here.  The food at Shojin is really unbelievably good, but what puts them over the top is the way they treat you from the moment you step in to this beautifully warm restaurant. They honestly, every single time make us feel like part of their family…its a wonderful thing.  They’ve even at times just randomly knew that we would show up, so they had “our table” ready and waiting!  I can’t tell you how amazing that feels!

Now, onto the food, because I know that’s what you all come here for!

You’ll have to excuse the dark and blurred photos…I’m not fancy enough for an Iphone so these are all you’re gettin!

Our first favorite that we always, always order,

Pirates of the Crunchy

Pirates of the Crunchy

So much flavor and texture…I really don’t know how they do what they do!

 

Spicy Tuna on Crispy Rice Cracker

Again, I’m a big fan of textures and this has crisp, crunch and smooth velvety texture all at the same time with just a bit of heat!

 

Goodness…these are just the beginning of what they have to offer!  These items are the ones we order every single time without fail…usually with something new and different each time!

 

Anyhow, I will certainly have more to post about after our beautiful dinner at Shojin tomorrow evening.  Please do yourself a favor and also all of your skeptical friends who don’t understand how sushi can be vegan and head to Shojin…NOW!

 

Shojin

333 S. Alameda St. Suite 310
(Little Tokyo Shopping Center 3F)
Los Angeles, CA 90013
Tel: 213-617-0305

www.theshojin.com

 

 

Until we eat again, enjoy!

 

~ape

Things to come

Things have been pretty crazy lately over here at the house of crush! Ive been working on some exciting new recipes and I just ordered some new lights, so I can get back to doin photos the way I used to.
Also we were back in Philly for the holidays eating all kinds of yummy treats. The photos aren’t great, but I don’t really care because the food was!
Things to come, broccoli cheese soup, chili, tomato fennel soup, monte cristos, fruit scones with vanilla cream, breakfast burritos and more!
So please stay tuned, because it’s starting this week!

Until we eat again.
~ape

Thanksgiving

Not doing the traditional vegan feast that we usually do since my bro moved away and hubs will be working all day…it would’ve been sad to cook everything all alone, so I will be going to one of my lovely clients house.

I of course cannot show up empty handed, so I will be making my never fail, always an effing hit Mac And Cheese!

 

Random Steve Guttenberg siting on the Thanksgiving Day Parade, so here’s this:

Until we eat again, Enjoy!

 

~ape