Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Grilling with Lightlife and Stuffed Chili Bacon Cheese Dog Recipe!

Lightlife has always been one of my favorite companies for their vegan stuff. I have always loved their tempeh and was excited when they rolled our their tempeh bacon, which tastes absolutely amazing. They have been adding some awesome new plant-based products to their line, but I'm still so hooked on their vegan hot dogs, Smart Dogs.

Lightlife's Smart Dogs come in two sizes, their regular (7g protein) size or their jumbo (14g protein) size. These awesome veggie hot dogs are Non-GMO Project Verified, in addition to being vegan they are also Kosher, and they are a great price, usually retailing at 3 to 4 bucks at most stores.

I have been using these Smart Dogs for grilling for years now, so I wanted to share a recipe that was really fun and not just "throw the veggie dog on the grill", although that's fun too! Here I decided to stuff them with cheese using a method I thought up, that ended up working pretty perfectly. Also, some sides when grilling with these awesome Smart Dogs are grilled vegetables, like corn on the cob; that is what I enjoyed on the side with my chili bacon cheese dogs. Lightlife Smart Dogs are the perfect addition (or star, in my opinion) to any vegan cookout. Let's get to this crazy-delicious recipe!

Stuffed Chili Bacon Cheese Dogs
makes 5 servings

What you will need:

-1 package Lightlife jumbo Smart Dogs
-1 package Lightlife tempeh bacon
-about 5 vegan cheddar cheese pieces, cut into "matchsticks"
-1 cup prepared vegan chili 
-your favorite condiments or additional toppings (like ketchup, mustard, sauerkraut, relish, etc.)
 -a hard plastic straw for stuffing them with cheese (a hard plastic or stainless steel smoothie straw will work great!)
-5 hot dog buns

What to do:

Carefully light and prep your grill using all the proper safety precautions for grill use. Take each Smart Dog and gently push the straw through the middle, about halfway, twist then remove. Do the same to the other side of the veggie dog. You will now have a small well; push the vegan cheese sticks into it (use the straw to help push them in if you are using softer cheese instead of hard cheese - hard cheese works best). When your grill is ready for food, place the stuffed Smart Dogs directly on the grill. Place the tempeh bacon on the top basket that you warm buns, if you don't have that, place on a spot on the grill that isn't directly near the flame and cook for less time. Grill veggie dogs and tempeh bacon for 2-4 minutes on each side, or adjust to your liking/ grill type. In a small saucepan, warm up your prepared chili then transfer to a bowl. Now it is time to construct your chili bacon cheese dogs! Place your hot dog in a bun and top with chili, then take some tempeh bacon and crumble it on top. Add additional toppings, if desired. Do the same for all five stuffed chili bacon cheese dogs.

What I love most about Lightlife Smart Dogs is that they taste just like classic, juicy hot dogs, but without the animal products or cholesterol. They are perfect for tailgating, camping, grilling, or any other recipe that calls for hot dogs.

These came out amazing! They were easy because the melted cheese is already inside the veggie dogs and it also gave you just enough cheese amount in each bite

Mouthwatering! You can follow Lightlife on social. They are on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest and they are always posting delicious pictures!

Big shout out to Lightlife for sending me a portable grill that doubles as a cooler, grilling tools, condiments and for sponsoring this post. You rock!

And for now, the Dirty Vegan is signing off - hope your day is relaxing like a cookout day!

This blog post was sponsored by Lightlife Foods.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

The Dirty Vegan for Kweder Fashion!

When I found out about the vegan fashion company, Kweder, I was so excited because not only is their stuff, like their handbags and shoes, totally chic, they are also animal and people friendly! There is just so much I love about this company! But before we get into the details, and look at the hot new items that they sent to me to try and enjoy, let me talk about how beautiful the package arrived to me!

This box managed to travel all the way from Italy to me here in Boston, USA and it arrived looking gorgeous!

Such a pretty retro looking hat box style and it is sturdy! I am going to use this box for years to come! This box reminds me of when my grandmother would have her old hat boxes up in her closet from the mid-century and they still looked absolutely amazing decades later. This is that same type of box. Ok, enough about the box - but you know me, I love gorgeous packaging!

Actually, one more thing about the box - love that it says animal-free and vegan on it! So cool.

And then I opened this beautiful chocolate brown box with gold lettering and angels began to sing...just kidding! But in my mind it did happen.

I present to you, the Cassatella Sandal and the Cassatella Boston Bag (how appropriate that this Boston girl has a perfectly fitting bag now!).

These sandals are absolutely stunning! They are comfortable, they fit so perfectly and true to size. They have such a nice feel to them and that is due to the weatherproof and luxurious Alcantara® suede with waterproof Softan® embossed microfiber vegan leather. They are padded, so again, majorly comfy for a heel, I must say. And I love the chic gold buckle. The print on this shoe is so artsy and fabulous; I am so in love with this item and I'm already showing off these sandals every where that I go.

Foot Cam!

As you can see, the Cassatella sandal is a lovely and versatile shoe that can be dressed up or down. I'm seen here wearing them with skinny jean jeggings and a semi-casual but chic blouse. I also suggest wearing them with a little black dress, a red dress, a maxi dress or skirt with a cute crop top or peasant blouse, pleather shorts and tight tank top with a fitted suit jacket over it all, and with jeans or pants. As you can see, you can wear them with ANYTHING. What I especially love about this shoe is that the colorful print offers many different style options as well. So not only can you wear these sandals with a black or red styled outfit, you can choose any color in the print, so basically any color will go with this fabulous style! And as you can see I am sporting the matching Cassatella Boston Bag! Look at that golden hardware sparkle and shine!

LOVE this purse!!!

I really love that you get the art on the bag which is so chic and unique, so you get the style, but also durability in this bag. It can sit on your shoulder, forearm or hand. The size is great because it isn't teeny tiny but it's not over-sized or gaudy either - its the right size for a girl living the city life. They definitely nailed the Boston bag and what a boston bag means. You have two good sized inner pockets which can handle your small tablet or your cell phone with no problem. It has enough room for your daily needs and is a wonderful day to night purse, taking you from your work day to nightlife easily and fabulously! I love the shiny gold details on the zipper hardware, buckles and feet, and the zipper pulls are hearty with universal sized holes for a pretty lock (awesome for travel and carry-on bag comes to mind for me for sure). I know for certain that this bag will catch a lot of attention - it already has! Everyone who sees it has asked about it!

Put your feet up when you are wearing Kweder heels, because you won't be able to stop staring at them and how amazing they make your feet and your wardrobe look! Kweder shoes and handbags definitely take your style to another level. I feel so sophisticated using these products. This is the first vegan company where the quality not only matches those fancy other non-vegan designers, but in my opinion, Kweder is far superior to those brands. You get the quality and luxury Italian made shoe and handbag but in a vegan product. I am so impressed.

Kweder is a family owned business that was founded in Sicily, and their merchandise continues to be manufactured there and in Italy as well, to this day (but they have launched in the US and as you can see by their website in English, they are available in the states too). I love this following statement from their website:

"A similar fashion production enhances beauty, quality, craftsmanship and ethics, highlighting how to create a fashion item according to the preservation of the world we live in."

As an Italian-American with family roots in Italy and Sicily myself, I feel a deep connection to Kweder and to what these ladies are doing by changing the fashion game and providing a products that doesn't harm animals, people, or the environment. I am absolutely grateful to the company for introducing their fashion philosophies to me and for their generosity of sending me this strikingly beautiful shoe and handbag set. I am a huge fan of Kweder now, and this is exactly the type of fashion staple that I have been searching for for quite some time.

I love fellow women who are changing the world; the Kweder sisters are doing it, and in style, might I add.

You can follow Kweder on social: facebook, twitter, google+, pinterest and instagram! I really enjoy following their accounts for the cool posts and style inspiration.

And for now, the Dirty Vegan is signing off - stay beautiful, fabulous, but above all else cruelty-free!

This blog post was sponsored by Kweder.

Friday, July 7, 2017

The Dirty Vegan Cookbook, Exciting Update!

As you all may or may not know, The Dirty Vegan Cookbook will be available this Fall (available for pre-order now!) and progress is moving so smoothly with this project.

We are in the final stages and I cannot even wait for you all to see it! You will love the recipes, the content and layout is awesome and ever so user friendly (an introduction, a handy guide to make your vegan life easier whether you are new to vegan life or a veteran veg head, and the most awesome recipes that you can imagine along with stories, tips and tidbits!)

If you are just catching up about cookbook news, here is some more information. As always, I will keep everyone updated.

This book is for the animals, the betterment of the environment, and for us vegan activists. Peace. <3

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Awesome Vegan Meals by Luvo!

When the company Luvo contacted me to try out some of their vegan frozen meals, I was really excited about it, but was super impressed with how they arrived to me. Before we talk about these wonderful vegan products, let me tell you first about how amazing it was that this giant box of frozen meals traveled from the other side of the country, from the west coast all the way to me on the east coast, and when I opened the box they were still frozen! The dry ice was still intact, in fact we did a science experiment using it! So I thought that was really impressive and I wanted to give a shout out to Luvo for those amazing packaging skills.

This company does healthy and quick meals made from wholesome and real ingredients. They are not a full vegan company, although they have these amazing vegan meals, they also offer some that do include animal products, which is their only downside, in my humble opinion. Obviously I want every company that offers vegan products to be 100% vegan, but I respect that so many companies are offering an array of plant-based and vegan meals and are doing such a splendid job at it, like Luvo is.

Here's the scoop on what I tried from Luvo and what I think about these frozen meals:

Let me just start by saying that these four products are vegan, non-GMO and gluten-free, and I absolutely love that! Each meal is a fantastic offering of each food group and includes a lot of different components and flavors.

Hawaiian Un-Fried Rice: this meal has rice, shiitake mushrooms, pineapple and cashews, which are some of my favorite things melded together in one delicious plant powered bowl, but the best part is how authentic it tasted. A very enjoyable frozen meal for sure that is unlike any others.

Great Karma Coconut Curry: this bowl is a combination of jasmine rice, butternut squash and garbanzo beans along with the tempting flavors of coconut and curry making it just super yummy and perfect for any day of the week. This one you don't have to be in the mood for; I would eat this all the time and might not ever get tired of it.

So Cal Kale & Bean: this bowl is packed with red rice, broccoli and white beans. It tastes super fresh and clean while still remaining absolutely delicious. This one will be my go-to for after a workout for sure because I felt powerful after I consumed it.

Mighty Masala & Greens: brown rice, green garbanzos, cabbage and kale compose this stupendous vegan bowl and these are all my faves for so many reasons; the flavor combined with the nutritional aspect make this one my top choice.

All of these great Luvo meals are packed with whole grains, fresh quality ingredients, fiber, protein, and are super healthy while being delicious at the same time. Big thank you to Luvo for generously sending me this package - not only did I love your vegan products, but you also made me a huge fan of your company. Please keep including more vegan meals to your line, they are fantastic!

And for now, the Dirty Vegan is signing off - eat your beans and greens!

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Vegan Cookout Ideas

Just wanted to share what we ate today for lunch for some vegan summer cookout inspo. We grilled asparagus, veggie burgers, veggie sausages, boiled sweet corn on the cob, and had homemade ice cream pie for dessert. During lunch preparation we snacked on fresh watermelon, which was so refreshing because it was hot in New England today.

The veggie burgers were Dr. Praeger's (prepared with melted Daiya provolone cheese, Vegenaise, dijon mustard, ketchup, lettuce and natural pickles. The sausages were Tofurky (spinach pesto flavor) with relish, mustard and ketchup on them. The ice cream pie recipe was whipped up so quickly yesterday and topped with soy whipped cream.

Just a super easy lunch idea for some vegan cookout stuff that was put together without hardly any thought. Basically grab some cold, fresh fruit to snack on while grilling, some vegan protein to grill, buns, condiments, some veggies to grill or go along on the side, a dessert, beverages, and some snacky stuff like chips with hummus or guacamole is my go-to base for cookouts and then adding more, like fruit salad, other desserts and snacks, or more stuff to grill, if you like variety or are expecting more of a crowd. I get a lot of messages asking for inspiration and ideas for vegan meals, especially summer ones, so this is a simple way to approach cookouts or grilling without stressing out about it.

And for now, the Dirty Vegan is signing off - Happy and safe Fourth of July!

Thursday, June 29, 2017

3 Postum Party Cocktails (Even a Virgin One)!

Today's post is going to be some cocktail ideas for any upcoming cookouts or parties you plan on hosting. Two of the three recipes are alcoholic, however one is non-alcoholic, so I think you'll have something for everyone serving these drinks the next time you entertain guests.

In these recipes I use all three Postum flavors: Natural Coffee Flavor, Postum Cocoa Blend, and the original Postum flavor. Feel free to substitute one for the other to suit your preference. Postum is the perfect product to swap around flavors in recipes because doing so won't ruin the recipe whatsoever. The flavors will change slightly but in such an enjoyable way, that is really what I love about using this products in my recipes: the versatility of the product as well as how tasty it is in everything that I have made so far!

Let's get to these boozy recipe! The next cookout holiday that we have here in America, will be Independence Day next month, so if you are having a party and want to serve something different and fun, you should give these cocktail recipes a try!

Postum Martinis for a Crowd (makes 4 martinis)

2 teaspoons Postum (in original flavor)
6 ounces boiling water
6 ounces vodka
Simple syrup to taste (optional)

Prepare Postum by mixing it with boiling water and set aside for a few moments to cool. In a cocktail shaker, place ice, prepared Postum and give it a shake. Serve by pouring into martini glasses (without ice using the strainer lid), and enjoy!

There is this drink called a Tootsie Roll, that is made with coffee flavored liqueur and orange juice. It is a really tasty drink and almost does taste like a candy lolly pop. I thought that this would be the absolute best drink to make non-alcoholic, and I was right! So tasty and fun. You wouldn't have thought to mix Postum with orange juice, now would you?

Virgin Tootsie Roll (makes 2 drinks)

2 teaspoons Postum (in Natural Coffee flavor)
6 ounces boiling water
8 ounces orange juice

Prepare Postum by mixing it with boiling water and set aside for a few moments to cool. In a cocktail shaker, place ice, prepared Postum, orange juice and give it a shake. Serve in glass of choice (fun with a paper umbrella for garnish) and enjoy!

Out of this World - Banana Split Cocktail (makes 1 drink)

1 teaspoon Postum (in Cocoa Blend flavor)
4 ounces boiling water
1 ounce banana liqueur
2 tablespoon vanilla soy coffee creamer
splash of pineapple juice
maraschino cherries to garnish on top (optional)

Prepare Postum by mixing it with boiling water and set aside for a few moments to cool. Fill a tall glass with ice. In a cocktail shaker, place more ice, prepared Postum, banana liqueur and give it a shake. Pour contents of shaker strained into glass, then add coffee creamer and top with pineapple juice. You can garnish with cherries or whipped topping or just enjoy it the way it is!

I hope you get a chance to try these recipes. They came out awesome! And big thanks to the folks at Postum for sponsoring this recipe post and for generously supplying the product. Stay tuned for a Postum giveaway coming soon where I'll be giving away a jar of each fabulous flavor!

*As always, drink responsibly and the recipes that have alcohol in them are intended to be prepared and enjoyed by people who are 21+ and older*

This blog post was sponsored by Postum

Vegan Rice Back At Taco Bell!

I just wanted to let everyone know that the vegan rice at Taco Bell is back again!

There was this weird thing that happened with their rice recently. They came out with vegan rice and launched their vegan menu, then suddenly started adding dairy to their rice in the form of butter, and it was no longer an animal-product-free rice. But now their vegan rice is back and the old butter rice is off the menu completely. This vegan rice is currently the only rice on the menu so that there will be no confusion as to which rice is safe for vegans to eat. Pheeeewwwww!