Memorial Day BBQ… Sexy Fit Vegan Style!

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Memorial Day marks the pre-summer BBQ season… which to me, means a super fun times with my friends and loved ones!

Have you ever experienced something like this? As you are being invited to a BBQ, the invitation ends with an uncomfortable, “Oh yeah, but you don’t eat meat!” Sometimes it even seems like the person feels badly about having even asked! But here’s the deal… A BBQ does not have to be synonymous with a meat-eating extravaganza! I look at BBQs as an opportunity to spend time with friends, meet new people, play volleyball (there is often a beach v-ball court around here in South Beach), have a few drinks, a lot of laughs, and share my vegan lifestyle simply by being present and being me!

So when I am invited to a BBQ, I get the details first because for me, a pig skewered over a fire pit is simply beyond the boundaries of what I am able to handle! (But for some of you who are vegan strictly for the health benefits, this might not be a problem!) Then, if I accept the invitation, I of course offer to bring some food, which is never turned down. And the friend usually realizes at that point that they are also planning on cooking up some veggies anyway!

black-bean-burgers-grillIf you enjoy preparing food, then please, have fun making your home-made vegan patties, potato salad, coleslaw, and whatever else you are craving! There are tons of awesome recipes out there to try!

Since I am not much of a cook however, I usually grab veggie burgers and vegan hot dogs to bring, as well as baby carrots, celery (I chop ahead of time) and hummus. My top vegan picks to bring  are:

– Amy’s California & Bistro Burgers (Great tasting, satisfying to meat-eaters and vegans alike, plus the California one is gluten free!
– Gardenburger Black Bean Chipotle (love adding avocado to this one)
– Lightlife Jumbo Smart Dogs (Perfect hot dog sub and Gluten Free as well!)
– Vegenaise, Low Fat or Grapeseed (Texture and taste are both fantastic.)
– Daiya Cheese Slices (cheddar, provolone, and swiss options.)

Believe it or not both the vegan burgers and the veggies and hummus are almost always a hit at the party!

Now relax & have a blast!!!

And if anyone has links to recipes you have tried and love, feel free to post a comment to share!

*Header art by MitchellLazear

Favorite Nut Milk Recipe

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Header Photo Credit: CAN CAN Nut Milk

After much experimentation, I want to share with you my favorite nut milk recipe to date. It’s made from acombination raw brazil nuts and almonds. I actually love the taste of the milk I make with brazil nuts alone, but the problem is I love it a little too much! Why? Brazil nuts contain a large amount of selenium, an important mineral that gives us antioxidant protection and support for proper thyroid and immune function. We need only a small amount, however, and too much of it in our system can lead to adverse health effects. This is why I decided to do a 50/50 split of brazil nuts and almonds, which I consider a super food due to their LDL cholesterol-lowering effects and high nutrient content including vitamin E, magnesium, and potassium.

milky smoothie

The only equipment you need is a high speed blender (I’m partial to the Vitamix) and a nut milk bag, which you can find online or at your local health food store. I also like to order the almonds online to ensure they are truly raw. (almonds grown in the U.S. are required by law to be pasteurized, which typically involves high heat, yet the company is still permitted to label them “raw”.) Find almonds grown outside the U.S. that specifically say they are raw AND unpasteurized. For more information on this topic click HERE.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup raw brazil nuts
  • 1/2 cup truly raw almonds
  • 3.5-4 cups water
  • 3 medjool dates (pitted)
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • cinnamon to taste

Instructions:
Soak the nuts in water for a minimum of 12 hours, preferably 24 hours. Rinse thoroughly and place in Vitamix or other high speed blender. Add the rest of the ingredients (less water means creamier and thicker milk). Blend thoroughly. Pour into a nut milk bag that you have placed in a large bowl. Slowly, strain the liquid through the bag by twisting and squeezing it until no more liquid comes out. Pour into container that seal as tightly as possible and store in refrigerator. Best if consumed within 48 hours, but will usually be ok for 72 hours.

ENJOY!!!!