Can you cheat and still be considered a vegetarian??

17 Jul

I was listening to a Jared Leto interview on the Ryan Seacrest radio show the other day where he was discussing his diet/lifestyle.  And I found it interesting he described himself as a “Chegan” – “I’m a Vegan most of the time, until I cheat”, he said.  You can listen to the whole interview here…

Interview Jared Leto

Interview Jared Leto - Ryan Seacrest

Jared expressed he is a vegan…  he’s been one for 22 years.  But once in a while, maybe something catches his eye and he just needs to get a taste.  Nooo, he doesn’t cheat with a piece of steak, but sometimes he will allow himself to eat a piece of cake or some other treat he knows probably was made with some sort of dairy, butter, eggs or other product that does not fall under the vegan banner.

Jared Leto - 2014 Academy Awards

Now that Academy-award winner Mr. Leto was selected by PETA as the sexiest vegan for 2014, can he still be considered a vegan if he cheats on occasion??  This is a question I have posed myself too…

Is cheating on your vegetarian lifestyle like cheating on your marriage??  Once you decide to become married, cheating is strictly forbidden.  Or is cheating on your vegetarian lifestyle something permissible and accepted by the vegetarian himself and those around him/her?

I think it’s OK… depending on why, how often and what you cheat with.

What’s your take??

 

Jared Leto - Cover Photo

Viva la Bastille!!! French-inspired veggie-full recipes…

14 Jul

Allons enfants de la patrie,
Le jour de gloire est arrivé
Contre nous de la tyrannie
L’etendard sanglant est levé
Entendez vous dans les campagnes,
Mugir ces feroces soldats?
Ils viennent jusque dans nos bras
Egorger nos fils, nos compagnes!

That’s all I know about La Marseillaise, the French National Anthem.

But I do know that I have a secret love affair with anything French…  last year, about this same time, I was in Paris for the 3rd time enjoying my first ever international vacation all by myself.  It was a great experience and something I recommend anyone to try at least once in their life.

To celebrate… I would like to recap a few of my favorite French-inspired vegetarian remakes for all of you who might think French food can’t be made vegetarian and delicious and authentic at the same time…

Crepes can be made without eggs… and even without gluten.  

You just need to be patient and buy the right ingredients.

Crepe Stack - Copy

Crepes for Lunch or Dinner

Fill them with Spinach, Potato and Broccoli or just plain Cheese… Crepes are France’s version of the sandwich.

Potato Broccoli Crepe KFC

Crepe Fromage 1

Photo Courtesy of MarthaStewart.com

 

Crepes for Dessert

Fill them with macerated fruits or even a dulce de leche, sweet crepes are the gold standard of street-food decadence.

Egg-free crepes

crepe caramel beurre salee

What’s a Fainá??

11 Jul

The other day I posted on Instagram that I was eating a fainá… and many of you liked the picture. But I was wondering if most of you know what a fainá is… I learned about it during my one and only visit to Buenos Aires a couple of years ago.

Faina - Juan Pan PIzza 1

When you look at the picture above, you just say it’s a pizza, right??  But this is no ordinary pizza…  A fainá is a flatbread made with chickpea flour, very typical in Argentina. They usually serve it as an appetizer or as an accompaniment to pizza. But, you can also order a fainá as the CRUST of a pizza, topping it with cheese and any of the traditional pizza toppings, making it a gluten-free alternative.

When we were in Argentina, we went to this little pizzeria in our neighborhood and the owner would make pizza using fainá as the crust. I am not kidding you when I tell you we went almost every day to eat dinner there.

Fainá - Buenos Aires

Faina - Buenos Aires 2

 

Fainá - Buenos Aires 1
In Puerto Rico, we have an Argentinean pizzeria Juan Pan Pizza, which serves us pizza in a fainá crust. If you call ahead, they’ll make you individually-sized pizzas with a very thin and crispy fainá crust. Usually fainá is a tad thick… and in a pinch, they’ll just top the fainá they have on hand and top it with your favorite pizza toppings.
You see? There are gluten-free alternatives wherever you go… Hope you visit Juan Pan Pizza soon if you live in Puerto Rico or now get to order a fainá on your next trip to Buenos Aires.

Grilling Vegetarian on the 4th of July…

4 Jul

I should have posted this a few days back… but now that we have a few extra days free on our weekend in when I am ready to share some grilling tips with you all.

Judging by the amount of grills and BBQs on the beach, you would believe July 4th is National Grill Day more so than Independence Day.  I am headed myself to a pool party/BBQ party hosted by my good friend Annie Mariel.  She mentioned she will have vegetarian treats for us all…  but particularly me.

This reminds me of a few years back when my good friends Ana and Rafa invited me to a backyard BBQ/pool party and they set up a separate grill just for the vegetarian fare – vegetable kebabs, corn on the cob and asparagus.

Ana y Rafa Pool Party

 

 

Ana's Grill

I am planning ahead this time just in case and I am bringing a few of my favorite grilling foods to make sure there’s plenty of veggie-full celebrations this year:

Portobello Burger

To me, the best veggie burger alternative there is.  Season heavily and no one will miss the meat.

portobello-burger

Veggie Hot Dogs

I serve them open faced and split in half so they get a blistered and charred exterior.

open-faced-hot-dog

Albóndiga Sandwich

These are more fried than grilled, but a soy-albóndiga sandwich will make a great addition to your vegeterian BBQ spread.

Meat Ball Sandwich 2

Veggie Party Dip

Never arrive empty-handed to any BBQ you’re invited to…  bring along this great dip with some crackers or totrilla chips and everyone will ask you for the recipe.

veggie-dip.jpg

 

Oliviate – Bringing the natural goodness of olives to your beauty routine

8 Jun

I am a scrubber… and have been since my days in high school.  I’ve always used a facial scrub to exfoliate my face and keep it looking its best.  And more recently I have also become a body scrubber, to make my skin feel soft and avoid any ingrown hairs after waxing.

But I must admit, even though I always try to go for the most natural products, I was not aware that many popular scrubs out there are made with small pieces of plastic.  And when I rinse them off my skin, I am contaminating the environment and possibly endangering many ocean species.

When I published the article on my friend Robin’s experience using coconut oil as a beauty product, Emily reached out to me to see if I wanted to try out their natural olive oil based scrub, in which the scrubs are made from ground up olives pits from California.  How can I turn down such an invitation???

I received a small sample of Oliviate to try…

Oliviate Sample

The first thing that impressed me about Oliviate was it is made almost entirely with organic, whole, California-grown olives that are stone-ground to create a scrub that clears away dead surface skin cells.  The scrub is made from the pits of the olives, not artificial plastic beads.  Then, using the natural oils in the olives it capitalizes on all the benefits of olive oil, in a topical format for your skin.  I love that they also have thought of their packaging to make it more environmentally-friendly.

Oliviate looks like olive tapenade in a jar.  I had to stop myself from trying to spread in on a cracker and taste it because the aroma is so completely wonderful.  In the description Emily sent on what to expect from the product it said Aroma: Lemongrass, Wine, Earthy.  It smells like wine alright… but it doesn’t have an ounce of alcohol.  The ingredients are natural as they come – Organic Olea Europaea (Olives), Organic Vegetable Glycerin, Organic Cymbopogon citratus (Lemongrass) Essential Oil and a bit of Potassium Sorbate, a food grade preservative to make it last a while until you finish your jar.  This is basically food you’re putting on your skin…

IGG_scrubsample

The experience in my shower was magical… the smell of the scrub transports you immediately to the wine orchards of Napa Valley.  Or maybe even an olive grove in the Mediterranean.  The scrub is mostly fine, but you need to be careful in your face because there are a few larger pieces that could feel a tad more abrasive that you would want in your delicate face skin.  The good thing is the olive oil in the scrub counteracts any grittiness and your skin is left feeling soft and supple.  It worked great to scrub by elbows, knees and the back of my thighs after I waxed them a few days ago.

Oliviate Exfoliating – Moisturizing Olive Mask & Scrub

Oliviate_scrubphoto_140422-HI-RES (1)

And how can you get a hold of your very own bottle of Oliviate?  By contributing to their IndieGoGo campaign.  Oliviate is not currently available in stores.  It is only available via Emily and Rob, the manufacturers directly.  They need to raise $25,000 to help them purchase equipment, packaging etc to be able to bring this wonderful product into the market.  We only have until June 20, 2014 to raise these funds.  Contribute a little and you get a little product… but contribute a lot and you get MORE – even an experience visiting the olive grove where they source their olive pumice.  We only have a few weeks left…  so I urge you to visit their Indiegogo page, make an investment in this organic natural initiative and let’s be all part of contributing to bring good, natural, organic products to market!!!

EmilyandRob_photo

I already did my part… help us doing yours too!!!  If you like Oliviate and what they represent please select a perk and enjoy the natural beauty benefits of California olives in your own home.

 

 

I was only given a small sample of this product to try.  I was not compensated in any way for this product review.   The views and opinions are entirely my own. 

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