Monday, March 28, 2011

WholeSoy Giveaway & Tropical Mango Banana Smoothie Recipe!

"Well I hope you understand, I just had to go back to the island." -Jimmy Buffett

Transport to a Tropical Paradise with My 'Mango Banana Smoothie' Recipe

1 ripe mango, peeled, pitted and cubed
1 ripe banana, peeled and sliced
1/3 cup WholeSoy yogurt in vanilla (or any flavor you like)
Splash of vegan milk (I used coconut milk)

Place all ingredients in blender. Blend until smooth. Enjoy!

If you guys remember my Key-Lime-Vegan-Yogurt-Off, you know that I am a fan of WholeSoy. There are so many things you can do with this soy yogurt! Smoothies, froyo, yogurt parfaits, you can add fruit to them, really whatever you like. WholeSoy has been generous enough to send me some coupons and I am happy to announce that I have tried probably every single flavor they make. I enjoyed all the flavors like, strawberry banana, apricot mango, and lemon. Actually, the lemon was so good, I couldn't decide whether I liked the lemon or the lime better. The refreshing citrus flavor was very nice.

I decided to have a GIVEAWAY with some of the coupons WholeSoy sent to me! I like to share these things with my readers. I really appreciate all my readers for your support. I believe in sharing good fortune with my friends, so since I'm fortunate enough to sometimes get coupons here and there from companies, I wouldn't feel right not sharing the love. My readers deserve to try this stuff too! So I am giving a 24oz tub of this stuff away, plus some extra bonus coupons to go with it, to one lucky reader!

The Prize: 

WholeSoy Coupon Prize Pack containing: (1) coupon for FREE 24oz tub, (3) coupons for $1.00 off any 24oz tub, and (1) $.25 off coupon on any 6oz cup!

You can enter the giveaway any of these 3 ways:

You can enter here the Blog-way: by being a
subscriber AND leaving a comment below telling me why you think you should win!

You can enter the Twitter-way: Follow @theDirtyVegan AND mention/ RT about the contest!

You can enter the Facebook-way: "Like" The Dirty Vegan fan-page AND leave a comment on my wall telling me why you think you should win!

BONUS ENTRIES: each "way" you enter, gives you that amount of contest entries per day. Maximum amount of entries is 3 per day, via the Blog-way, Twitter-way, and Facebook-way.

DEADLINE TO ENTER: Entries must be received by Thursday, March 31st at 9:00 PM EST.

*by entering you are agreeing that we can announce your name if you win *the Dirty Vegan reserves the right to change the prize in the unlikely event that the prize is no longer available - Good luck!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Not Your Grandma's Tofu Salad

"You don't win friends with salad." -Homer Simpson

Homer is right, that is why I came up with this salad recipe...

Great vegan alternative to egg salad!

Be Anti-Salad With My 'Creamy Tofu Salad' Recipe

1 block firm tofu, drained and crumbled
1/4 cup Vegenaise (or whichever vegan mayo you like)
2 tbsp nutritional yeast 
1 tbsp Braggs liquid aminos
1 tbsp dijon mustard 
2 tsp capers 
1/2 onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped 
sea salt and pepper to taste

Mix ingredients together in a large bowl. Serve over toasted bread, in sandwiches or wraps, over greens or add in veggie salads, or eat it just as it is! Enjoy!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Soup for the Dirty Soul

"I live on good soup, not on fine words." -Moliere

Soothe Your Soul With My 'Super Cozy No-Chickie Noodle Soup Recipe'

2 tbsp olive oil
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1 package veggie "chicken" (Lightlife, Gardein, Boca - whichever you like or have on hand), chopped
2 tbsp Braggs Liquid Aminos or Soy/ Tamari/ Shoyu Sauce
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
2 Edward & Sons Not-Chicken bouillon cubes
5 cups water
1/2 cup Fusilli pasta (more or less for your preference)
sea salt and pepper to taste (optional)

In your large saucepan, heat olive oil on medium heat. Sweat garlic and onion until aromas are released, then add carrots and cook for a few more minutes. Then add in the rest of the ingredients (just not the pasta yet), bring to a boil. Then simmer on low for 30- 60 minutes. In the last 15 minutes, add the fusilli pasta and bring up heat just a tad, if necessary. Check to be sure the pasta is al dente before removing from heat. Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Make Everyday a Dirty Day...Start with Breakfast!

McDirty-Vegan Breakfast Burrito

There is no need for any animals to be McMurdered...make these for your fast-food loving pals and everyone will want to be Dirty Vegans!

What you will need:

1 tbsp buttery spread
1/5 tofu block, drained and crumbled (I used Nasoya brand, in firm style)
1 small vegan sausage link (I used Lightlife Smart Links, as you can see in the photo), chopped
1 tortilla
2 tbsp vegan cheddar shreds (I used Daiya, you can also use a sliced cheeze, fast food style, if you want)
sprinkles of:
nutritional yeast
onion powder
garlic powder
sea salt and pepper to taste
hot or picante sauce (optional)

Heat the buttery spread in a fry pan on medium heat. Add tofu and seasonings, cook for about 2- 3 minutes. Add in chopped veggie sausage. Cook until nice and hot and combined. Warm your tortilla and place the cheddar shreds on it. Place you hot mixture on top of the cheeze and it will get all melty. Roll up tortilla in your desired manner. Eat with hot or picante sauce, if you like. Enjoy!

This recipe makes 1 burrito, if you would like to make more...double, triple, quadruple, so on! Enjoy your Dirty breakfast!

And here is a link to PETA's McCruelty campaign - "I'm hatin' it"!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Get the Best of Both Worlds When Spring is Hot & Cold

"It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold; when it is summer in the light and winter in the shade". -Charles Dickens

Spring is a wonderful time and the days feel bright and summery. We spend a lot of time outside, but the chill is still lingering. We crave fresh foods, but still get a little cold in our bones. I hope this light stew recipe gives you the freshness you crave, but also warms you up and keeps you cozy.

This picture was taken just after I put this together and it already looks delicious!

Enjoy the Fresh Flavors in my 'Crockpot Spring Stew' Recipe

1 cup zucchini squash, chopped
1 16oz bag of frozen vegetables
1/2 cup leeks, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 15oz can of garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1 14oz package of Tofurky Italian sausage, chopped
5 cups water
2 bouillon cubes (I used Edward & Sons Not-Beef flavor)
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp dried Italian seasoning
1 bay leaf
pepper to taste

Place all ingredients in crockpot and cook on Low for 6- 8 hours, or on High for 3- 4 hours. Serve with crusty bread or with my Olive Oil Biscuits. Enjoy!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Meatout 2011 on March 20th! And in Honor of This, Crispy Rice Marshmallow Treats!

I was honored to be asked to participate in the Meatout 2011 blogging event. On this day, March 20th, 2011, so many people from all over the world are campaigning, handing out samples of vegan food, handing out brochures, spreading the word, and blogging about veganism. We also have kind hearts who are pledging to go veg!

Don't worry, we will get to these treats in just a minute!

I understand that today I am going to have some first-time readers and visitors. Welcome! The link below has some great past Dirty Vegan posts that introduce myself and my mission, introduce veganism, and some easy tips on how to transition.

Past Blog Posts Labeled: Intro

This is also a post dear to my heart - Believe

Also, please feel free to search this blog with the search function, and browse the different labels, archives, and past posts/ yummy recipes. I also invite new readers to interact with me on Facebook and Twitter using the widgets on the right-hand side. 

This is an exciting time in your life and you will see your whole world (and your health) change for the better, once you adopt a vegetarian lifestyle. Whether it is just for the day, committing to participate in Meatout 2011, a transition phase where you include more veggie meals into your lifestyle, or a permanent decision, you are doing the hugest kindness for animals, the environment, and for yourself. Going vegetarian saves approximately 100 animals live's per year! If you are feeling like this is a lot of information to take in, no worries. The recipes and tips on my blog are easy and laid back. So please subscribe to this blog and you will see tons of simple vegan recipes with ingredients that can be so easily found in most supermarkets (and its not health-food believe me!). There will also be more giveaways, more information, and more fun stuff to come -please see veganism as a place free of stress. And if you think about it, by no longer ingesting the pain, suffering, fear, and death of animals, you are ridding your body and mind of that negativity. For now, lets get Dirty!

So in honor of this wonderful Meatout 2011 event, I wanted to provide a yummy vegan alternative to a classic treat. And it is EASY!!! That's how I like it, quick, easy, and Dirty!

Crispy Rice Marshmallow Treats

What you will need:

3 tbsp vegan buttery spread (I used Smart Balance Light - it is vegan and easily attainable, in almost every grocery store)
10 oz bag of vegan marshmallows (I used Dandies - in my opinion the best vegan marshmallow out there right now and it doesn't need refrigeration - these taste as good as what I remember them to taste like and even better!)
5 or 6 cups puffed rice cereal (I say 5 or 6 because you can make them a bit less sweet and lighter tasting by adding more cereal - I wouldn't use more than 6 cups however, because you don't want them to be too dry)
Fun add-ins: chocolate chips, coconut flakes, peanut butter chips (optional)

What to do:

Melt the buttery spread in a large saucepan on medium heat. Then add the vegan marshmallows and melt, stirring frequently. When the mixture is very melty and gooey, remove from heat and add in the cereal. Form mixture into a greased pan using a buttered spoon. Let cool; once cool you can cut them into squares and serve. Enjoy!

The treats cooling in the pan

YUM! So good! Enjoy and thanks for visiting! Bookmark or follow this blog for more Dirty!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Vegan Strufoli, Yum!

Strufoli - Italian "Honey" Balls

Strufoli or otherwise known as, Italian Honey Balls, were a tradition in my Italian community growing up. I have made this traditional recipe vegan by replacing a few ingredients like honey with agave nectar, and making this family recipe my own as well. I am happy to share this with you all. It was also very nostalgic to taste these vegan "honey" balls after all these years, and for it to taste so much like what I grew up enjoying as a child.

What you will need:

3 cups all-purpose flour (reserve 1/2 cup and set aside for use later)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp pure lemon extract
6 tsp Ener-G egg replacer mixed with 8 tbsp water (makes 4 "eggs")
1/4 cup buttery spread, melted
2 cups fry oil
1 1/2 cups agave nectar (dark and thick - not light)
1/4 cup round dot sprinkles

What you will need to do:

Take the first 5 ingredients, which will be your dry and extract, and mix in a large bowl. Then add in your egg-replacer and melted buttery spread. Mix and knead until doughy. Take some flour from your 1/2 cup reserve to add in (and flour your hands) until the dough is no longer sticky and it is easy to work with. I did this all in my large bowl and used that as my kneading surface. Then take small pieces of the dough and roll into strips like you see in the picture. Then cut off pieces and roll those pieces into small balls. As you see in the photo, I was using floured paper plates to keep my strips on, so that I can place the dough balls in the floured bowl. Then, in a large pot or fryer, carefully heat your fry oil on medium heat. Fry your dough balls until they are golden, then remove with a slotted spoon. Place these balls on a baking sheet lined with paper towel to catch the excess oil. Then heat your agave nectar in a saucepan until it begins to boil. Add balls into the agave and give it a turn, just until balls are covered with it. Then with a slotted spoon, remove and let cool a minute on a baking sheet. Once slightly cool, sprinkle and toss with round sprinkles.

I added my sprinkles too soon and the colors ran a little on my "honey" balls (showcasing the importance of letting them cool slightly). You can eat these fresh or store in a container and enjoy later. Either way, they taste great! Enjoy!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Go Green, You Vegan Beauty!

"Love of beauty is taste. The creation of beauty is art". -Ralph Waldo Emerson

Happy St. Patrick's Day all you Naughty People! Today, some people are turning their beer and food green. That is fun, but I wanted to talk about cosmetics being green! So, as I become aware of more and more vegan friendly beauty products and cosmetics, I am definitely going to talk about them with all of you fabulous people. 

Recently, I received some products from Tarte to try (thank you, Tarte!). I am falling in love with their cosmetics and I adore how they are conscious of their vegan customers. None of their products are tested on animals, however for the vegan products, they work with PETA to ensure they are truly vegan and even have a vegan section on their website in which you can view all of their vegan products easily on one page. Thank you Tarte for really taking the guesswork out of cruelty-free beauty products. Sometimes it can be tricky, especially for those of you who are just beginning to familiarize yourself with ingredient lists, so I really like when companies accommodate their vegan customers like this.

From Tarte's Vegan section of their website

Bravo Tarte, for making glamorous products that are not tested on animals and for providing so many cool vegan options. I really admire companies who are natural focused and conscious of animals and the environment (a lot of their product components are recyclable or post-consumer recycled materials!), while still being stylish and hip. Also, this is professional quality and natural! You just can't beat that! I really love the way Tarte's natural products feel on my skin, and they look just as nice; bonus! And for now, the Dirty Vegan is signing off. Stay gorgeous!

A beautiful and natural look from Tarte's website

What are some of your favorite vegan beauty products? Also, what's on your St. Patrick's Day food and drink menu today?

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Three Cheeze "Bacon" Veggie Pita Pizzas & the GIVEAWAY WINNER!

The winner of the Luna & Larry's Coconut Bliss Giveaway is Noelle! Please e-mail me at with the address that you would like me to mail your prize to. I will get that shipped out right away! Congratulations, Noelle and thank you to everyone who entered. There will be lots more giveaways coming up soon, so please stay tuned for them! Now onto the pizzas...

Three Cheeze "Bacon" Veggie Pita Pizzas 
6 whole wheat pita pockets
1/2 jar of tomato sauce
1 package LightLife Smart Bacon
1/2 cup vegetables like broccoli or cauliflower
2 slices Galaxy Nutritional vegan mozzarella slices
1/2 cup Daiya  Mozzarella cheese shreds
1/4 cup Daiya Cheddar cheese shreds
2 tbsp olive oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a large baking sheet with a little non-stick cooking spray. Place the pitas on the sheet. Spread tomato sauce on them. Break up or cup Smart Bacon into small pieces and arrange on the pitas. Then add your vegetable toppings. Now with the mozzarella slices, tear or cut them into chunks and place around on the pizza. Next sprinkle the cheese shreds. Lastly, drizzle olive oil on top of each pizza and bake for about 10 minutes, or until pizzas are melty and slightly brown/ crisp. Enjoy!

I really love Lightlife products and have since I first became veg. You can do so much with the Smart Bacon, I love their Gimme Lean products and I cannot even think of having a barbecue or picnic without their Smart Dogs or Tofu Pups. They were kind enough to send me some coupons so I can try out anything I haven't had or make up some cool recipes using Lightlife. I usually use the Smart Bacon for VBLT sandwiches but really loved using it on this pizza. Also, I will be using their Smart Ground in one of my next posts for lasagna, which has been requested by a lot of readers on my Facebook and Twitter pages; stay tuned for that! And for now, the Dirty Vegan is signing off.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

A Blissful Dessert and a GIVEAWAY!

There are so many ways to describe this vegan dessert, but the name says it best...bliss, Coconut Bliss that is! Luna & Larry's Coconut Bliss offers a variety of flavors, some of which include: Cherry Amaretto, Dark Chocolate, Vanilla Island, Naked Coconut (ooooh sounds Dirty), and lots of other great flavors (you can get it in pint size or Bliss Bars!). This delightful dessert can be found at Whole Foods and health food stores.

I really am totally hooked on their vegan frozen desserts! Cool, smooth, creamy...oh so enchanting! I happen to love all Coconut Bliss flavors that I have tried, but my favorite is Dark Chocolate. I love the creaminess of the coconut while having the richness of the dark chocolate; its great!

I don't have to be the only one having all the fun here. Luna & Larry's Coconut Bliss were cool enough to donate a giveaway prize for one of my lucky readers! Are you excited? I am!

THE PRIZE: One of my lucky readers will receive a Luna & Larry's Coconut Bliss prize pack, which includes: 2 FREE pints of Coconut Bliss in any flavor, a groovy Coconut Bliss sticker, tucked inside a colorful Coconut Bliss comic.

You can enter the giveaway any of these 3 ways:

You can enter here the Blog-way: by being a
subscriber AND leaving a comment below telling me why you think you should win!

You can enter the Twitter-way: Follow @theDirtyVegan AND mention/ RT about the contest!

You can enter the Facebook-way: "Like" The Dirty Vegan fan-page AND leave a comment on my wall telling me why you think you should win!

BONUS ENTRIES: each "way" you enter, gives you that amount of contest entries per day. Maximum amount of entries is 3 per day, via the Blog-way, Twitter-way, and Facebook-way.

DEADLINE TO ENTER: Entries must be received by Monday, March 14th at 9:00 PM EST.

*by entering you are agreeing that we can announce your name if you win - Good luck!

Luna & Larry, a bunch of coconuts. I love it!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Once You Twist You Can't Stop

Twist and Shout With My 'Cheezy Pizza Twists' Recipe

What you will need:

1 can Pillsbury crescent rolls (be sure to check the labels to ensure you get a flavor that is vegan)
2 slices Galaxy Nutritional Foods vegan mozzarella slices
1/2 cup Daiya cheddar cheese shreds
1/4 cup marinara sauce of your choice (for dipping)

What to do:

Preheat toaster or regular oven to 375 degrees. Unroll crescents from can and lay as flat triangles. Cut the mozzarella into 4 strips from each slice. Place a mozzarella strip in the middle of each dough triangle. Then take sprinkles of cheddar shreds and press them into the dough, all over the triangle. Fold in cheese and twist the dough. Bake for about 10 minutes, or until golden brown and no longer doughy. Enjoy with marinara dipping sauce!

This recipe is great to make for parties, holidays, quick snacks or after school snacks, to make with your children, or to make in college dorms, to serve with drinks at a cocktail party, for an appetizer or light meal, or for any reason at all.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Be an Eco-Diva!

"On matters of style, swim with the current. On matters of principle, stand like a rock". -Thomas Jefferson 

The Dirty Fashion Model!

I am a huge fan of responsible consumerism and the accompanying responsible merchants of conscious goods. If you are looking for a clothing store that offers vegan, sustainable, fair trade, and cool fashions...never fear, Ecolissa is here! I received a sweet blogger discount from Ecolissa, and got right to it! As I browsed through everything, I realized fairly quickly that I wanted it all! Everything was very fabulous and at the same time it looked comfortable as well.

Their chic clothing and accessories are all eco-and-vegan friendly (using eco-friendly and lots of sustainable materials like bamboo!), which is good for the environment, and containing no animal products, which is also good for the environment, and importantly for our animals pals. Ecolissa offers options to shop by material (bamboo, hemp, modal/ tencel, organic cotton, reclaimed materials, sorona corn, or soy), by fair trade items, or by products made in the USA.

I love this outfit I put together, which consists of the following three items:

 Toggery L'WREN Tunic (shirt or dress, depending on how you wear it - made of sustainable rayon of bamboo!)

 Mata Traders Tribal Angel Wing Earrings (fair trade!!!)

Homemade Chunky Infinity Scarf (and yes, that is Shirley biting me in the picture...she is 6 months and teething LOL)

As you can see, even Shirley likes my new Ecolissa duds!

She tried to steal my Angel Wing earrings...

...and she even tried to steal my Infinity Scarf!

What do you think of sustainable products? Does that factor in when you are shopping for clothing and accessories?

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Life is Best Lived Saucy and Cheezy!

"The older you get, the tougher it is to lose weight, because by then your body and your fat are really good friends." -Author Unknown

Eat Happy Food, Like My 'Cheezy "Sausage" Pasta a la Peas' Recipe


1 lb pasta (I used small shells)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp garlic, minced
14oz package Lightlife Gimme Lean Sausage
15oz can sweet peas
1 cup MimicCreme (or other vegan heavy cream substitute. I love MimicCreme, made from cashews and almonds!)
1 cup Daiya cheddar cheese (or other vegan shredded cheddar) 
1/4 cup Earth Balance (or other vegan buttery spread)
sea salt and pepper to taste

Boil water and cook pasta for about 10 minutes or until al dente. Heat olive oil on medium high heat and sweat garlic until aromas are released. Brown veggie sausage for a few moments. Mix in peas, cream, and buttery spread. Cook for a few moments then melt in "cheese" shreds when just about ready to serve. Mix into your pasta and enjoy!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Organic Produce: What's the Real Deal?

What You Can Buy Non-organic and What You Should ALWAYS Buy Organic

When it comes to organic produce, sometime it can be pretty pricey...and sometimes not (hello Super Walmart and PriceRite who sell cheap organic produce!). We all have heard the horror stories about harmful pesticides, and the stories are pretty accurate if you think about it. If the levels of pesticides can kill or keep away "pests", what is it doing to our bodies and health over time? 

Some fruits and vegetables have protective layers of skin, making it okay for us to buy those particular items non-organic. Some produce skin is eaten with just a quick wash or wipe, and that can be extremely harmful to our health if it is laden with pesticide - especially high amounts. You know some of your anti-organic friends have said things to you like, "organic is just a scam", or "years ago there was no such thing as organic and everyone was fine". Well if you feel the need to buy everything organic, maybe one would feel like its a scam if its not completely necessary to do so. Some produce is completely fine to be eaten non-organic since the pesticide is not likely to penetrate into the fruit you finally ingest. And years ago there was no "organic and non-organic" thinking, but back then farmers took the loss of their crops being partially destroyed. In the money-fueled day and age we now live in, the pesticides are thought of as necessity to them, in order to prevent taking a financial hit to their livelihood. 

But don't forget, a lot of local produce is actually organic, but farmers do not take the time or spend the money to become Certified Organic; it is hard to do, has lots of strict perimeters and guidelines, and is costly for them to do. So be sure to ask farmers at your local farmers markets or local produce stands. They may very well be pesticide-free, so just ask them. It is always better to buy local produce anyways. For the safeness of it potentially not containing harmful chemicals, and also it being local you are supporting local business, and finally, the produce has not traveled great lengths so it is fresh and in season! Yum! 

Thought to be safe due to their thick skins - the pesticide residue stays in the skin or peel, not contaminating the fruit flesh that you eat. Always wash your produce before eating it:







Some produce requires less pesticide because it attracts less animals or insects:



cabbage (peel away the outer "protective" layers and do not use those)

garlic (it keeps insects away and is used as a natural pesticide!)

onions (lots of protective layers)

Some produce should ALWAYS be purchased organic because the pesticides are sprayed directly on the fruit and it is the part that you eat and that people usually do not peel prior to eating. Even if you peel them, likely it will not make a difference since the peel is not thick enough to keep the chemical away from the fruit you eat and can likely harm your health - especially over time:

Fruits (in order from highest pesticide content to lower pesticide content): 


Vegetables (in order from highest pesticide content to lower pesticide content): 

Sweet Bell Peppers
Green Beans
Hot Peppers
Winter Squash
Sweet Potatoes
So there you have it folks. Please always wash your produce and think in terms of safety and health. I know people may think it is "over-thinking" it, but the chemicals used these days, due to cost effectiveness, are scary. There are natural pesticides available, produce and certain plants that naturally keep away unwanted visitors, but how many companies use them?

Do you buy all organic, just some, or are your purchases based on price alone? What do you think?