Monthly Archives:

March 2011

Charlie Sheen’s Vegan Goddess

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I recently had the chance to speak with Rachel Oberlin, one of Charlie Sheen’s goddesses, on being vegan. Read the intro. below, and then click the link to read the rest of the interview on OK! Magazine’s site. Feel free to share any comments on my site!

Get ready everyone, Charlie Sheen’s about to hop on stage once again. This time he’s ditching scripted TV for his own self-promoted tour, heading out on the road April 2 in Detroit. Along for the ride will be Rachel Oberlin, aka Bree Olson, one of Sheen’s famed “goddesses” who tells OK! she’ll be by Charlie’s side for his “My Violent Torpedo of Truth/Defeat Is Not an Option” tour.

Rachel isn’t just a Charlie goddess. She’s also recently been awarded the title of “Green Goddess” by PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) because of her commitments in leading a vegan lifestyle. Rachel has been meat-free, dairy-free since July of 2010, after reading the witty, underlying guide to veganism, Skinny Bitch, written by best-selling authors Rory Freedman, a former FORD modeling agent, and Kim Barnouin, a former model.

Click Here To Continue for Interview

Vegan Kale Pesto

So sadly by this time of year, I’ve generally used up all of my basil pesto. The previous summer’s batches can only last so long in my freezer. Seeing as though herbs have been out of season for quite some time, and that I rarely like to buy those pathetic packages in my local grocery store that they label with “fresh,” I resorted to one of my other favorite green ingredients—Kale.

Ever since I received a flashy new food processor this past Christmas, I’ve routinely been putting that baby to use. Getting a little sick of steamed kale, I figured, why not give the all-star veggie a whirl in the food processor.  Fused with a the right combination of quality ingredients, that smooth movin’ machine seems to make everything taste good.

I decided on going with a pesto-theme, and what do you know, it actually turned out great. Not only did the unfamiliar style of pesto turn out to be delicious, the color was just amazing. Unlike basil-based pesto, which turns brown quickly once air hits its edges, the kale pesto is able to maintain its vibrant earthy tones for quite some time.

The following recipe yields a nutty tasting pesto, perfect for sprucing up pasta, grains, or sandwiches. It’s also packed with nutrition. Rather than pine nuts, which I traditionally use in pesto but are just so gosh darn expensive at the moment, I used walnuts—a nut which researchers from the American Chemical Society claimed at a conference just this past Sunday to be the #1 nut in terms of heart health. And by now, you should know just how outstanding kale fairs in terms of healthy eating. It too has been said to be one of the top nutrient-packed veggies, filled with vitamin C, beta-carotene, calcium, and a variety of other antioxidants. Then there’s garlic, which has shown to have healthy cardiovascular and cholesterol-lowering properties, and olive oil, which is full of the healthy kind of fat and has shown to lower the risk of heart disease. So all quality ingredients jammin’ together in this pesto.

Would I ditch basil pesto all together? No. It’s a classic that I love. But will I be alternating my pesto prepping every now and then with kale. Absolutely!

Click Here For Recipe

Sauteed Arugula with “Chicken”

I decided to use Smartlife’s vegetarian chicken-styled cutlets with some fresh arugula I bought at the store. I figured the relatively bland but chewy cutlets would pair well with the pungent flavors of arugula. Originally, I was planning on doing a raw salad, but then wanting switch it up a bit, I changed my mind and tried sauteeing the arugula. With a comparable bitter nature, I prepared it as I would broccoli rabe—simple with a little garlic, olive oil, lemon, and red pepper flakes. The finished product actually reminded me a lot of broccoli rabe, resulting in tender leaves that paired perfectly with the chewiness of the “chicken.” I’d like to call it an avant-garde version of one those ubqiuitous salads top with sliced grilled chicken. Psh, right.

Sauteed Arugula with “Chicken”

(Serves 2)

-1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
-2 cloves garlic, minced
-6 oz. arugula
-1 lemon wedge
-Red chili pepper flakes, pinch
-Salt and pepper, to taste
-2 Lightlife Smart Cutlets

Saute Smart Cutlets according to package.

Meanwhile, brown garlic in olive oil. Add arugula and saute until tender, 4-5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Top with a sprinkle of red pepper flakes and a squeeze of lemon.

Slice cutlets and serve atop arugula.

Lightlife Review

In general, I’m not a huge fan of fake, processed meat products (excluding seitan, because I really do like seitan). Not because they don’t taste good but because they tend to have lengthy lists of ingredients I can’t even begin to properly pronounce. Overall, I follow a Michael Pollan-styled philosophy: “Eat food, not too much, mostly plants.” Do you see much room for chemicals and preservatives in that sentence? Yeah, me neither.  However, I’m also a firm believer in the unvarnished platitude “everything in moderation.” So every once in awhile, when I’m craving something chewy, maybe even a little meaty, I’ll reach for a faux meat product. I’ve even posted a few reviews on products like these in the my early days as a blogger. (Yikes to those rookie photos that would accompany the posts.)

Over the past couple months, I’ve had a chance to try a few new meaty, meat-less products of Lightlife’s. One of them being the Buffalo Smart Wings pictured above. For many vegetarians, myself included when I first went chicken-free, giving up spicy, salty buffalo wings isn’t easy. So it’s nice to have products out there that can emulate this American favorite. Lightlife’s wings are definitely a little light on the buffalo sauce and the spice, but add some Sriracha and Ranch, and they’ll be able to satisfy most of your buffalo wing cravings. While their ingredient list does contain some questionable ingredients of which you definitely couldn’t find in my kitchen, the list doesn’t go too far overboard. And the faux buffalo wings are definitely healthier than their fatty counterparts, containing a mere 3 grams of fat, and significant serving of protein and fiber. Continue reading this review…

A Vegetarian Indian Feast

So that’s a wrap for the collection of vegetarian Indian recipes I’m sharing this week. The next time you have a lazy Sunday afternoon, consider hopping in the kitchen with a friend and turning it into a productive and delicious Indian celebration. Try out all or any combination of the recipes listed below to create your own Indian feast. Also, if time allows, you may want to consider adding on a creamy vegetable curry to the list, and maybe pick up some Nan (an Indian bread) at the store. I’ve got a coconut milk curry recipe that I’m still tweaking, so look for it on the list in the near future!

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