Newsworthy: VeggieFocus Launches Industry-Changing Veggie Food Website on PRWeb.com

VeggieFocus Launches Industry-Changing Veggie Food Website

New York (PRWEB) November 21, 2013

VeggieFocus has launched a new website to help vegetarians and vegans find thousands of new veggie recipes and discover popular restaurants in more than 50 cities around the world.

The website aims to become the ultimate online platform for discovering new vegan and vegetarian restaurants nearby and exploring thousands of veggie recipes online.

The most unique concept VeggieFocus offers is the “Eat-In” / “Eat-Out” feature which gives users the choice to either find new veggie recipes to cook at home with their family or discover popular restaurants nearby to visit with friends.

“The “Eat-In” / “Eat-Out” feature is completely unique and makes it super easy to find new and exciting veggie food – we hope our website will inspire people from all walks of life to try more veggie food whether they are at home or on the go,” says Nathan Schacherer, co-founder of VeggieFocus.

Among other features, users are able to search and browse thousands of veggie recipes, collect their favorites, save local restaurants they want to visit, write reviews about restaurants they’ve already visited, follow other users to get inspired and find new places.

Read the rest of the article, here.

Cherry Almond Granola (GF)

IMG_2914This is by special request from my dear friend Christina!

I’m preparing for a trip out of town and this will be the first trip eating a vegan diet and staying some place without a kitchen.  I’ve realized that I want to take some of my own snacks.  First up, granola bars!  They will be a quick bit of carb and protein that I can eat with some fresh fruit, just in case there are only butter-filled pastries at the conference I am attending.

I developed this from a great Smitten Kitchen recipe.  I wanted a bit of a different flavor profile than the original and also adjusted for a few more ingredients.  I also added a little coconut oil because I like short-ness in baked goods, and I wanted these to be dense but also with a soft crunch. Finally, I ground a 3 inch cinnamon stick with the flax in a coffee grinder. I guesstimated the amount of cinnamon in the recipe, below.

IMG_2925Granola Bars
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen.

Makes 12 to 16 granola bars

Ingredients:

  • 2 c old-fashioned oatmeal
  • 1 c sliced almonds
  • 1 c shredded coconut, unsweetened and loosely packed
  • 3/4 c pecans
  • 1/2 c ground flax seed
  • 1/4 c almond flour
  • 2 t cinnamon
  • 1/2 t kosher salt
  • 2/3 c brown rice syrup
  • 1/4 c dark molasses
  • 3 T coconut oil
  • 1 1/2 t pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 c dried tart cherries

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F. Line a 9 x 13 cookie sheet (with edges–really a jelly roll pan) with parchment paper.
  2. Toss the oatmeal, almonds, and coconut together on a sheet pan and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned.
  3. While the oatmeal, almonds, and coconut toast in the oven, put the rice syrup, molasses, and coconut oil in a small saucepan and heat very slowly on low or medium-low (you do not want this to get hot, you are just trying to loosen up the rice syrup so it stirs easier, later).
  4. About 5 minutes into the toasting, add the pecans to another shallow pan and place into the oven (hint: time this along with stirring the oatmeal mixture, but it’s ok if you toast separately after you finish toasting the oatmeal mixture).
  5. Transfer the oatmeal mixture to a large mixing bowl and stir in the flax seed, cinnamon, and salt. Reduce the oven temperature to 300°F.
  6. Roughly chop the pecans and add them to the mixing bowl.
  7. While the dry mixture is still warm, whisk together and then stir in the syrup/molasses/coconut oil mixture and vanilla until the dry mixture is well coated.  Add the dried fruit.
  8. Pour the mixture into your prepared baking dish and press it as flat as possible, until the mixture is packed as tightly as possible (see below).
  9. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until light golden brown. Cool for 30 minutes before cutting into squares – I used my sharpest chef’s knife for this, pressing straight down.
  10. Cool completely before storing.  You can store these in an airtight container at room temperature up to two weeks, but these also freeze well.

Hint:  I initially covered the mixture with another piece of parchment and then placed another jelly roll pan on top of the mixture and pressed, to make the entire surface flat and even.  I then went back over the mixture with a rolling pin to be sure it was packed tightly.  Of course, I removed the top piece of parchment paper before baking.  If you prefer crumbles instead of bars, do not press onto the jelly roll pan.  Instead, make into a loose single layer on the pan and bake as per indicated for the rest of the recipe.  After cooling for at least 30 minutes, break up with your hands.

Cinnamon Sandalwood Sugar Exfoliator for Face

I’ve been debating whether or not I’d start sharing my “beauty” experiments in this forum.  I’ve been thinking long and hard about it, and have decided (I guess, quite obviously, considering the title of this entry) that I will share successes.  As I work this year toward balance–in body, mind, and spirit–while also writing this giant paper/pre-book, I’ve also begun to pamper myself a bit more.  The art, practice, and habit of self care, I shall call it.

I recently visited a wonderful East Nashville salon, Studio Green, for a Signature Facial, the gift of some of my dearest friends.  The Skin Therapist, Christina, took her time, and explained many of the steps of my facial.  Quite frankly, she talked to me until my body and brain sunk completely into the table, forgetting, mostly, where I was.  The products she used were all food grade, absolutely delicious smelling, and left my skin feeling super soft and even.   She even talked with me about my home made skincare products, and gave me some really great suggestions for tweaking them.  It was a wonderful experience, and if you are in Nashville, try the salon out!  I’ll be back, surely.

I did have a bit of a reaction a few days later, I think mostly from the repeated hot towels applied to my face.  My experience with hot towels is that they draw out lots of impurities and, particularly, any burgeoning* eruptions below the skin surface.  So, a couple of days later, and probably as a result of me not taking the best of care of my skin, my face did this eruption thing.

Now, 2 weeks later (and with a boost in my water consumption and skincare regimen), my skin is looking pretty amazing.  The number one thing Christina helped me understand was that I needed to exfoliate more.  I have a history of oily skin that is easily irritated and of acne breakouts due to hormone fluctuations and those pesky irritations.  And, along with a lot of other slick women, I seemed to miss that my skin 1) has changed over time; and 2) still needs to be moisturized–and moisturized well.  She and I talked about my particular needs, which included moisturizing (as she reminded me), occasional breakouts, uneven tone, and fine lines.

Now, let’s be clear.  I’m happy to grow old… I’m not a filler, hard-core peel kinda lady.  I no longer dye my hair, and there is quite a bit of salt in there, including some side streaks.  I shake my silvery mane with pride.  And while I embrace my age and work to love this body in all of its forms,  I plan on treating my skin like the gift that it is, and step into the silver(er) light with grace!  What?  Ya, I hope to, anyway. The art, practice, and habit of self care.

Various forms of sugar, including beet and evaporated cane juice, are natural exfoliants.  You know all the glycolic acid peels flying around?  Well, that glycolic acid is often isolated from either sugar or any number of fruits, including pineapple, papaya, or pumpkin.  I have not added fruit to my peel, at this point, because I am saving these more dramatic exfoliants for my occasional professional treatments at Studio Green (told ya, I’m going to budget and get back there every 6 weeks or so).  The peel, below, is quite mild and uses cinnamon to boost blood flow to the face.  It should feel a little warm, but does not have any of the sting of a fruit peel.

If you do not want to buy confectioner’s sugar, you can simply process evaporated cane juice or beet sugar in your food processor with a little tapioca starch or cornstarch until it becomes powder.   For every cup of sugar, use 1 tablespoon of starch.  Please do not use regular-sized grains of sugar, because they can cut your skin and cause more harm than good.

I am using Old Mountain sandalwood powder, which I purchased on Amazon for $9.99.

I am using Old Mountain sandalwood powder, which I purchased on Amazon for $9.99.

So, here is my newest and regular addition to my skin care regimen.  I suggest this no more than twice a week.   Once per week should do it.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 t organic/vegan confectioner’s/powdered sugar
  • 1 t powdered cinnamon (a mild variety)
  • 3/4 t sandalwood powder
  • 1 1/2 t coconut oil, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 t coconut milk or cream

Directions:

  1. Put the dry ingredients in a bowl and whisk together with a fork to incorporate.
  2. Add the coconut oil, and cream the ingredients.  Adding the oil to the dry ingredients, first, will assure that the sugar doesn’t liquify too quickly.
  3. Add the coconut milk and stir until incorporated.
  4. Take small amounts and add to skin, scrubbing in gentle circles and avoiding eyes and lips. Massage on to face for at least 1 minute and up to 3 minutes.  Remember to be gentle.
  5. Leave the solution on the face, like a mask, for another 10 minutes (no more than 15 minutes).
  6. Rinse and pat try.  Tone and apply your regular moisturizer.

Notes:

  • You may have some of this left over which you can use as a hand, elbow, and foot scrub.  I love doing all of this at night, which is great for the face as a “recharge.”  It is also a nice hand treatment before bed.  Also, because sandalwood helps relieve anxiety, this is really a great before-bed treatment, altogether.
  • If you would like a stronger peel, you could also add one teaspoon or more of ripe pineapple, papaya, or pumpkin to this or add lemon juice in lieu of the coconut milk (but, please be careful).  If you do use additional fruit, please (please) use fresh fruit that you have pureed in a food processor.  You can store any additional fruit that you don’t use this time in the freezer (freeze in ice trays and then store in a plastic bag, so that you might have small “servings” for future peels).  Of course, you can just eat the fruit, too!
  • Also, if your skin is super oily and/or you still have 20-something year old skin, you can substitute the coconut oil with j0joba oil.

*I’m trying to take some of these words out of my dissertation, so forgive me as the traces make their ways into 4aux4oodie.

Festive Root Veggie Hash created for the Virtual Vegan Potluck

vvpLOGOThis type of recipe is all the rage in Nashville, right now.  With the abundance of root veggies during this time of the year, and the incredible nutritional value of these delicious, colorful tubers and such, they are the perfect addition to your next food gathering–one like the amazing Virtual Vegan Potluck, for which I finally created and posted this recipe, or one in person!

Pick your favorite root vegetables.  I have listed, for the recipe, my favorite combination for this dish.  If you are missing carrots, for instance, add those.  Adjust the spices to vvp_fiw_badge2 (1)your own taste.  If you are looking for a sweeter hash, consider things like ginger, allspice, and nutmeg.  I prefer to make this with the fresh rosemary from my garden (which will last throughout the winter, here), a mix of cracked peppers (black/red/green/white), salt, and a little cayenne.

Also, consider adding a slice of the best marinaded baked tofu (ever!) or a vegan poached egg on top of the hash when serving.  The addition makes this a perfect 1-bowl meal.

Image courtesy of Simon Howden / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Simon Howden / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Festive Root Veggie Hash

Prep time: 25 min
Cook time: 45 min
Total time: About 1 hour 10 min
Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 3 to 3-1/2 pounds root vegetables: beet, sweet potato, celery root, parsnip, turnips and/or potatoes
  • 2 medium onions, peeled
  • 1 whole bulb of garlic, cloves separated and peeled
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, coconut oil (softened), or grapeseed oil
  • 3 tablespoons of finely chopped rosemary, separated
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven too 400 degrees.
  2. Prepare the root vegetables.  Keep the beet separate from the rest of your veggies (even when roasting), so that they don’t make everything beet colored.  Peel beet and celery root. Cut all of the veggies into a 1/4 to 1/3-inch dice:  first cut 1-inch-thick slices, then cut each slice into 1/4- to 1/3-inch thick strips; cut crosswise to make 1/4- to 1/3-inch dice. Cut the onions into eights through the root ends, leaving the wedges intact. (You should have about 8 cups of vegetables.)
  3. Place all of the veggies in a large bowl (except beets), and toss with oil, 2 tablespoons of rosemary, pepper, cayenne and salt.  Drizzle the beets with a little oil and toss.
  4. On 1 extra large (or 2 large), parchment paper lined cookie sheets lay the onion wedges cut side down, randomly on the pan. Scatter the root vegetables over the rest of the pan.  Place the garlic cloves, interspersed among the root vegetables.  Try to get everything in a single layer, if possible.
  5. On 1 small, parchment paper lined cookie sheet, scatter the beets.
  6. Roast, turning the vegetables every 15 minutes or so with a spatula, until they are tender and golden, about 45 minutes.
  7. Remove from the pan and sprinkle the remaining rosemary and some fresh pepper (toss if you like).
  8. Spoon 1/4 of the mixture into a bowl, top with Mmm-mmm Tofu, and serve.

Notes:  The cooked hash can be stored, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Warm in a nonstick skillet over moderate heat.

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