Tag Archives: Vegan

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

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. 

Roasted Tomatoes with Basil and Garlic

19 May

Has it ever happened to you… you’re going on a trip and you have tons of fresh stuff in your kitchen and fridge you know will rot by the time you get back home?  This happens to me ALL THE TIME!!

I’ve been trying to be better at not going grocery shopping before a trip, especially before a trip that’s over 1 week.   But still, even when you try to plan to eat most everything fresh by the time you leave, there might be things here and there you forgot or where unable to eat completely.  This was the case with an almost full case of Campari Tomatoes I had bought at Costco.  I hate to place them in the fridge because I believe they taste different after being refrigerated.

So I needed to do something so these tomatoes would not go to waste and still be good, edible and better yet tasty to integrate into my back-from-the –trip recipes…

 

Roasted Tomatoes w Garlic Basil KFC

ROASTED TOMATOES WITH BASIL AND GARLIC

Roma or Campari Tomatoes, cut in half and seeded
Garlic Cloves, sliced thinly
Basil, I use freeze dried herbs
Salt and Pepper
Turbinado sugar
Olive oil

 

  1. Place tomatoes on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Massage the tomatoes somewhat to ensure the olive oil, salt and pepper kinda coat the tomatoes evenly.
  2. Make sure tomatoes are arranged cut side up in a single layer.  Place a slice or two of garlic inside each tomato, sprinkle liberally with basil leaves and a little sprinkle of turbinado sugar.
  3. Roast in a 375F – 400F oven for about 45 mins to 1 hour.  I usually place them, leave them and when they look cooked and a little caramelized.  I just turn off the oven and leave them there to cool together with the oven.

Place them in an air-tight container and save for future recipes.  Use them in any recipe that calls for sun-dried tomatoes.   I used them in a version of my pasta with marinated tomatoes where I used part fresh tomatoes and part these roasted ones.  I also used them in a filling for stuffed bell peppers and to add a nice pizzazz to my easy pasta with fresh baby spinach.

Joined forces with Hispanic blog Madres Conectadas supporting a more natural and vegetarian diet across Latin America

9 May

When I started KarmaFree Cooking, my mission was always to communicate the benefits of the vegetarian diet to anyone who was willing to listen.  Knowing full well that my Latin peers were not very open to the idea, I’ve always known it’s important to teach by example rather than by preaching.

Kids nowadays come with a different set of hardwiring…  very frequently I hear moms say their kids have made the decision to stop eating meat and to become vegetarians – for whichever reason, because they love pets and they can fathom eating a pet of theirs, because they dislike the flavor or texture or because they simply bring a higher level of consciousness -  they pose a real conundrum to their mothers, who sometimes are not equipped to answer or  integrate their kids wishes into the family food dynamic.

Foto Gianny

Here is where my new friend Gianny Liranzo and Madres Conectadas come into play…  I met Gianny recently at a blogger conference in Miami.  Her energy and passion to connect and to be an educative agent for mothers across Latin America was truly contagious.  Gianny created the blog and web portal Madres Conectadas to provide practical, useful and realistic answers and support to all Spanish-speaking moms.  She wants to promote positive upbringing, strengthening of values and integral growth for all member of the family.  Madres Conectadas is based out of the Dominican Republic and provides support online for Spanish-speaking moms across Latin America and in-person for moms located there.

logo de imagen nueva 14

We are so proud and happy to announce that Madres Conectadas will be sharing weekly KarmaFree Cooking recipes in their website and via their social networks.  Together we want to share with all
 how easy and delicious it is to follow a more healthful and vegetarian diet.  It’ll be an excellent collaborative project.

You can connect with Madres Conectadas in all social networks:  They’re on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and even on YouTube, where they share videos of those pow-wows they organize in the Dominican Republic.  And who knows…  if all this goes well and maybe you guys ask for it, maybe I can join one of those pow-wows and make it all about the vegetarian cooking.  Sounds cool, huh??

We’ll also share some of Madres Conectadas content thru our social media platforms, so make sure you all follow us on FaceBook, Twitter, Instagram y en Pinterest.

I really want to thank Gianny for trusting me and KarmaFree Cooking and appreciating how our message and recipes can be of value to all moms in the Madres Conectadas universe.

logo madres conectadas

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