Thursday, April 28, 2011

Flaky Biscuit Topped Lasagna Casserole

"Happiness? A good cigar, a good meal, a good cigar and a good woman - or a bad woman; it depends on how much happiness you can handle." -George Burns



Give Your Taste Buds the Gift of Happiness With My 'Badass Lasagna Casserole' Recipe

1 14oz block tofu, drained
¼ cup olive oil
1 tsp dried rosemary
1 tsp dried thyme
½ tsp sea salt
¼ tsp black pepper
10 oz vegan “meat” (I used Boca - see my tip at the bottom)
1 small onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
1.5 cup frozen broccoli cuts, thawed
1 lb and 1 cup pasta sauce
8 oz oven-ready uncooked lasagna, broken up into pieces

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Blend first 6 ingredients in blender or food processor until creamy. Set aside, this is your rosemary and thyme tofu ricotta. Then heat olive oil in a skillet on medium heat and sweat onion and garlic until aromas are released. Saute veggie “meat” until browned. Then dump everything (broken bits of uncooked lasagna, tomato sauce, broccoli, tofu ricotta, veggie “meat”) into a casserole dish/ pan (I used a 3 qt). Mix it all up until everything is evenly coated and thoroughly incorporated. Make Olive Oil Biscuits (this takes just minutes - what a quick and easy biscuit!) dough. Stretch and form dough on top of casserole in your desired pattern. Bake for 30- 35 minutes. Let settle before cutting into it. Enjoy!


Recipe Tips:

-Be sure to coat the uncooked pasta pieces nicely with the casserole to ensure they cook well.

-If you are mixing and notice you haven’t broken the lasagna pieces small enough or to your liking, no worries.  Just press down on them gently with your wooden spoon when mixing everything together in the baking dish. 

-This is a great dish to prepare earlier in the day or in advance using a baking dish with container lid. Just follow all the directions except the baking part and store in refrigerator until ready to bake.


-If you don't have any veggie "meat" on hand but have vegan burgers, you are in luck! I often (and in this case) use Boca Burgers in place of ground veggie "meat". For this recipe I microwaved 4 burgers just enough to defrost, then mash and crumble before sauteeing. Its sometimes even cheaper to do this since veggie burgers are so moderately priced.





Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Here's To Healthy Food That Tastes Good!

The portobello mushroom is known for being a high protein vegetable (5g+ per serving - hello portobello steaks!). This flavorful mushroom is also packed with thiamin, vitamin B6, folate, magnesium, zinc and manganese. The portobello is also an excellent source of dietary fiber, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, phosphorus, potassium, copper and selenium - providing over one third of your daily recommended values of these and also containing as much potassium as a banana! Here's to eating food that tastes damn good and is crazy-healthy for you too!

Celebrate Health and Taste With My 'Portobello Mushroom Chunks & Sweet Garlic Marinade' Recipe


What you will need:
2 large portobello mushroom caps, cut into chunks
2 tbsp agave nectar
1 tbsp vegan butter, melted
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp Bragg's Liquid Aminos (you can use shoyu, soy sauce, or tamari instead)
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1/2 tsp onion powder




What you will need to do:
Gently wipe off any dirt from your portobello caps with a damp paper towel. Then carefully cut them into chunks. Whisk the last 5 ingredients to make your marinade. Pour marinade over mushroom chunks in a shallow container or bowl and cover. Let marinade in refrigerator for at least 1- 2 hours (the longer they marinade, the tastier and more flavorful they will be). Saute on medium-high heat for about 7 minutes, tossing once or twice. Enjoy!



Tuesday, April 26, 2011

A Very Vegan Cookout

Memorial Day is right around the corner and so is cookout season. Think using the old BBQ is only for non-vegans? Think again. There are so many things you can grill. You can grill veggie protein which includes veggie burgers and hot dogs, skewers like Gardein brand (or you can make your own and add some bell pepper, onion and tomato on there - yum!), tofu steaks, chick'n breasts, and the list can go on. You can also grill fruits and vegetables for a yummy treat! I personally love portobello mushroom steaks and asparagus cooked on the BBQ. And let's not forget sides...


I have veganized a cookout meal for you that is easy and super delicious. Vegan pasta salad, coleslaw, and even learn how to make your own veggie bean burger! Enjoy your veg-friendly cookout!


Pea Lover’s Pasta Salad

8oz shell pasta, (like Eden Organic vegetable shells - they worked great!)
2 lbs frozen peas, thawed
¼ cup onions, chopped 
¼ cup Daiya mozzarella shreds
¾ cup vegan mayo, (like Vegenaise)
1 tsp mustard
¼ tsp chilli powder
Sea salt & pepper to taste
1 tsp Bragg’s Liquid Aminos/ soy sauce/ shoyu/ or tamari (optional)

Boil pasta. Drain and rinse w/ cool water. Mix everything together in a large bowl. Chill for 3- 4 hours in refrigerator before serving. Enjoy!



DV's Creamy Old Fashioned Coleslaw

1 14oz bag of prepared coleslaw (shredded green cabbage and carrots)
1/2 cup almond milk
3 tbsp vegan butter, melted
½ cup vegan mayo, (like Vegenaise)
1 tbsp rice vinegar
½ tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper
½ tbsp sugar

Place coleslaw mix in large bowl or container (container with lid is easier for shaking/ mixing afterwards). Wisk the last 7 ingredients until mixed completely. That is your dressing. Add to coleslaw and combine well. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Enjoy!


Dirty Bean and Brown Rice Vegan Burger

1 15.5oz can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
¼ cup onions, chopped 
1 tsp garlic
¼ cup sliced almonds
½ cup cooked brown rice, mashed
½ tsp ground cumin
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp Braggs
¼ cup & 2 tbsp panko bread crumbs


Mash beans. Place onions, garlic, almonds in food processor. Add to mashed beans. Mash cooked brown rice and add to mixture. Season with seasonings and mix in breadcrumbs. Divide and form into 5 regular sized patties (or 10 minis). You can form and press patties between parchment paper until ready to use (i.e. if you make this early in the day, to prepare for dinner). *Dirty Vegan Tip: I used If You Care silicone coated parchment baking paper to form my patties in, and keep in fridge until I was ready to use them. I like If You Care because they are compostable and biodegradable, chlorine free and unbleached, the silicone is naturally derived from rocks and sand, and their packaging is recycled and recyclable. You can find this parchment paper in Whole Foods down the baking isle.* Grill patties for about 5 minutes or so on each side (depending on how you prefer them to be cooked), flipping several times. Alternatively, you can bake, saute, pan fry, or steam these. Serve in a bun or between two pieces of toasty bread, with your favorite condiments. Enjoy!

Monday, April 25, 2011

It's 5 o'clock Somewhere!

"Even though a number of people have tried, no one has yet found a way to drink for a living." -Jean Kerr



You all know that I am not really one for anything with the word "skinny" in it. Skinny lattes (what's that crap? gimme a full fat soy latte!), skinny jeans (cute but try getting out of those suckers after a long day), skinny dipping (okay I must admit, I like skinny dipping)...


But when I was served a Skinny Pina Colada at a restaurant, I must say I fell in love not only with the concept, but also with the tropical and refreshing flavor. Think about it, if it's lighter and tastes amazing, why not in those cases get the skinny version and use the extra calories on some http://www.dirtyveganfoods.com/ (shameless plug)?


Here is my version of the Skinny Pina Colada. I hope you enjoy. And like I said in my last Booze Post, always drink responsibly, do NOT drink and drive, do not drink underage (believe me you have plenty of time to drown yourself in bottles of liquor when you have bills and responsibilities, now just enjoy getting high on youth instead), and it is not advisable to drink while on the job using the excuse that "the Dirty Vegan made you do it" - that excuse is not yet valid.


The Skinny Pina Vegan-lada


2 parts coconut flavored rum
1 part pineapple juice 
1 part tonic/ seltzer water


Shake in ice filled shaker and poor into a cool looking cocktail glass that is halfway filled with crushed ice. Doing a little dancing while you shake is optional...that's just what I do. Garnish with a pineapple slice or a cherry on top! You might even want to add a cute paper umbrella.


What are you drinking?

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Hippie Butter!

The folks at Hippie Butter were kind and generous to send me some of their Hemp Seed Protein Powder to try; thanks HB! You all must have noticed me Twittering and having conversations about hemp protein lately. I wanted to find something new to try for these Energy/ Protein Balls. Although I found Vega's flavor combinations to be extremely tasty and intriguing, readers were mentioning that they also found brands like Vega to be pricey. I wanted to review the product Hippie Butter sent to me, because it might be a better option for those of you looking for a less expensive protein powder. 

Hippie Butter Hemp Seed Coffee

When I received my protein I immediately was drawn into the product's packaging. As you can see, there are nudies on the packaging, which is awesome! After a long moment of staring at the lovely artwork (the butts), I finally unglued my eyes and re-focused them on to opening the package. Conveniently there is a peel-off notch on the sturdy bag and it is resealable. Also, it is recommended to seal and refrigerate after opening. The powder is a nice earthy and hearty greenish color; very natural and free of additives. This is not the flavored kind, so if you want to make something flavored and use this, you will have to add flavor, fruits, etc. The nice thing about this is that it is just the Hemp Seed Powder and you know exactly what you are eating. I like the protein content in this also, which is 16g protein per 4 tablespoons. I have seen some with less, but those kinds were not the pure protein like this. Besides protein, Hippie Butter is high in fiber (6 dietary, 5g insoluble), good source of omega-3 and omega-6, and has tons of vitamins, iron, and nutrition per serving. Iron alone is 40% daily value per serving of this stuff, so I don't want to hear people complaining about iron deficiency - eat your hemp, you will be fine! I also like that this protein is labeled as being "Grown without in-crop pesticides", which is comforting. When you purchase products like these that contain other types of ingredients in addition to the protein, you don't know where everything is sourced from - another perk of using a one ingredient protein product. Also, taste-wise this was great in my protein ball recipe and mixed in very well. The taste was nutty and not too overpowering. It also seems like a little bit goes a long way, so if you are getting enough of your protein and omegas in other areas, you might want to cut the serving in half.


There are lots of pros with this product nutritionally and cost-wise. The cons might be that it needs refrigeration, in case you want to keep it in a gym locker if you like to make shakes on the run. Also, that there is not a flavor to it. If you were to get the more expensive brands like Vega, yes it has things like flavor and probiotics in it, no you don't exactly know where each of their ingredients were sourced from, and yes you are paying the price for all the things added to the protein. So it is basically your preference. Personally, I would take the natural Hippie Butter and the great price over the other brands. Especially in recipes like my Energy Balls where you have other flavors going on and use agave as a sweetener (also perfect for baking or adding a scoop to smoothies); nutritionally speaking, it seems better and more "whole". Also, I just like the nudie packaging - I think that is really cool!

I hope you have a Dirty and nudie kind of day - wink, wink!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Messy (and Quick) Meal!

"I always start writing with a clean piece of paper and a dirty mind." -Patrick Dennis


Make a Mess With My 'Not-Honey Mustard & Not-Chicken Cheezy Quesadilla' Recipe!


2 soft tortillas of choice (I used Food For Life, Ezekiel)
4 Gardein Seven Grain Crispy Tenders
Generous sprinkle of Daiya  mozzarella shreds
1 tbsp yellow mustard
1/2 tbsp agave nectar


Place tenders and cheese on one of the tortillas. Microwave for 1 minute. Top with other tortilla and flip over (carefully, may be hot). Microwave for 40 seconds more. At some point, mix together the mustard and agave to make your "honey mustard sauce". After retrieving from microwave, open quesadilla up, drizzle sauce inside, and close it back up. Cut in half or in quarters, if you like. Alternatively you can make this in a quesadilla maker, in a pan or skillet, or on the grill. This is just the quickie version. Enjoy!


This was so messy! I got the Not-honey mustard all over my clothing and even in my hair! You could always use less of the sauce, but why would you want to? Would I get messy all over again? You betcha!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Vegan Mexican "Chicken" Bake


I really liked the idea of Vegan Vintage Cat's Black Bean Casserole recipe that she shared with me the other day on Twitter, so I was inspired to create a DV bake. I liked that VVC used a beans and Daiya cheese combo, so I wanted to make something that incorporated those two ingredients. I also wanted to make this high protein (if you have busy days like I usually do, you will want your dinner to be fulfilling and nutritious) so I made it a "chicken" dish. I don't prefer extra spicy, so I used mild salsa, but feel free to use spicy in yours if you want the kick. I hope you all like this Mexican bake that is packed with protein, lycopene, and other nutritional goodness. It definitely has the yum factor while using minimal ingredients that most vegans have on hand.
Served this with brown rice - will try soft tortillas next time!

Enjoy a Margarita With My 'Dirty Vegan Chick'n Mexi-Bake' Recipe

1 15.5oz can black beans, drained & rinsed
12 Gardein Seven Grain Crispy Tenders
1 cup grape tomatoes, sliced in halves
1 cup salsa
1 cup Daiya cheddar shreds


Preheat oven 350 degrees. Layer a casserole pan with black beans. Place 12 Gardein tenders in two rows of 6. Then layer grape tomatoes and salsa on top of that. Finally, top casserole with the Daiya shreds. Bake covered for 1 hour. Bake uncovered for 10 minutes to allow the top to completely melt and slightly brown. Serve by itself, over/ in tortillas or taco shells, over rice, with tortilla chips, or even over pasta if you like! You can also add a dallop of Tofutti Sour Cream or guacamole if you want to add extra oomph. Enjoy!


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

My Thai - One of Boston's Best Vegan Eateries in Chinatown

Formerly known as Buddha's Delight, My Thai Vegan Cafe in Boston's Chinatown district (Beach Street), is a vegan food paradise! If you live in or around the Boston area and have not been here, you really must stop by. Or if you are planning a trip to Boston, plan to stop here for a bite, or two, or three!

My Thai is an Asian vegan cafe with Vietnamese and Thai influences. They have so much to offer on their vegan menu and I've enjoyed everything I've eaten there; you really have to check this place out. Here are my top faves...



Golden battered and fried tofu




These Tofu Fingers mimic "chick'n fingers" but are actually way better!


Fried dumplings but you can also get them steamed. The inside of these are yummy and so very gingery.


Vegan Bubble Tea! Made with fresh fruits, coconut milk, and vegan tapioca beads. Best bubble tea ever! Here we got honeydew melon and mango; both were incredible. I can't wait to go again and try another flavor!


Here is the cool view from My Thai, which is on the top level. Below it, is an awesome noodle place that has awesome noodle soup bowls and the best peanut sauce in which I smother my noodles in. Around the corner is another restaurant that we go to at night when/ if My Thai is closed. They have tons of vegan stuff and a very cozy atmosphere. I will do more reviews on vegan-friendly Boston restaurants in the future. Stay tuned for them.

What are your favorite places to eat in Boston? If you've never been, are you totally going to plan a trip now? How about vegan eateries in other parts of the world; what are your faves? I'd like to hear about them. Well until next time, have a Naughty day!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Great Vegan Balls of Fire!

"By the way, it says balls on your face." -Garden State


I adapted this recipe from Zuzana and Freddie of BodyRock.Tv's Protein Balls Recipe (Schweddy Balls hehe). I made some changes and I will tell you why. I did not find the need to add extra protein powder this time because this recipe already has a decent amount, especially between the peanut butter and almonds (also my lunch before this snack included a Tofurky sausage which has 29g protein and Morningstar Farms Chick'n Griller which has 9g protein - so I'm good). I substituted the protein powder for flax, but also left enough moisture in the recipe to be able to add the optional protein, for when you feel like having it that way. The days I need the protein boost I will definitely do that. Also, I see in Zuzana and Freddie's recipe they used golden raisins, I used traditional ones because those are all I could find in the supermarket that day that did not contain sulfites or preservatives; I think both types would taste delicious in these balls. I also give the optional Vega/ protein powder variation to ensure it is vegan. If you are using a protein powder, be sure to read the back and make sure whey, honey, or any other animal ingredients are not snuck in. To be on the safe-side, with health products like these, I always read the list carefully and find a "vegan" icon or the word "vegan" somewhere on the packaging. I have been doing that automatically for years, but it is also a great tip for new vegans as well, to get you into a good habit during your label checks. Please enjoy these balls, I did!

Get Your Workout On With My 'Vegan Energy Balls' Recipe


2 tbsp peanut butter (I used Whole Food's 365 brand)
2 tbsp agave nectar
3 tbsp flaxseed, ground
2 tbsp shredded coconut (I used Edward & Sons Let's Go Organic)
1 tbsp almond slices (buy them this way, please don't try to slice almonds at home folks)
1 tbsp raisins
(optional) 1 tbsp flavored vegan protein powder (like Vega)


Combine all ingredients together in a bowl. Form into 3 balls. Refrigerate to allow them to set. Keep refrigerated until you are ready to eat them. Enjoy these yummy balls!


Zuzana's abs - I pretend these are really just painted on


This one is for my pals Zuzana and Freddie over at BodyRock.Tv, keep up the great work! I believe I will turn the world's diet healthy with compassion and you guys will get the world fit!

DV Readers, what to you do for fitness, if anything? How does everyone manage to find time to fit in a workout in this fast paced society that we live in today? Comment below or tell me on my Facebook Page or Twitter Page. Have a Dirty day, Folks!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Mango Gelato Madness!


Did you ever see those cute displays at specialty supermarkets, cafes, and so many other places? Super creamy gelato in delectable flavors; its like madness! And did you ever stop rather than the usual strolling on by, and ask if any flavors were vegan-friendly? I did before, because they almost look like they should have a vegan option, don't they? At least a fruity one, right? Unfortunately, most gelatos contain egg whites and/or dairy. Never fear Dirty Vegans, I have created an awesome gelato recipe for you that is vegan and oh-so easy! Enjoy!

Brain Freeze With My 'Mango Madness Gelato' Recipe

14 pieces (about 140g) frozen mango chunks (I used Trader Joe's brand)
1 cup almond milk (I used unsweetened b/c the next ingredient is sweet - totally up to you)
1-2 tbsp SoDelicious French Vanilla Coconut Creamer

Place all ingredients in blender/ food processor (I used a Cooks pulse blender - like the Magic Bullet - to make mine and it turned out great). Blend until smooth and creamy. Add more mango if you would like a thicker consistency, or use less or more almond milk to control the consistency. Enjoy your gelato!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Talk Show Vegans





We've got a new breed of vegans in town. Talk Show Vegans. They are typically fairly new to the game and are the perfect package for talk shows. They will oblige to withholding all the gory details about factory farms (the facts) and are just the most appealing thing ,since sliced bread, on camera. These Talk Show Vegans tend to focus on weight loss and veganism as a diet rather than a moral choice. I am happy when people choose veganism for any reason, because it save animals and is better for the environment, but I have some bones to pick with these Talk Show Vegans.


The problem I have is that by presenting veganism as a diet or a trendy new way to lose weight, leaves the person with the inevitable downfall of their "diet". Let's be real, how many people really stick to a weight loss diet forever? Its not really healthy to be losing weight forever or to be trying to. The key is to get to a healthy place and stay there. I know personally, when I was on weight loss diets, I would get so fed up or sick of them, that I would do the opposite of what the stupid book or video told me to do; I would rebel. So now, the people who are not presented with veganism as a moral decision to save the lives of animals, might rebel against this way of life once their weight loss diet fails, and could possibly go back to eating more animal products than ever before.


I know that anyone who sees a video from a factory farm, and sees the abuses against animals, will make some kind of decision. They will either choose right there and then to stop eating animals and stop supporting abuse, or they will choose to continue to eat animals and try to ignore what was just imprinted into their mind. However, the neat little package that is Talk Show Vegans, present little to none of the facts about the industry and why most of us choose this lifestyle in the first place. I personally gave a crap less about health, I saw a video of a chicken supplier, the abuses were awful (I had no clue before then), I immediately changed my lifestyle that very moment and never turned back. I do not have cravings for "meat", because "meat" to me is not food, it is a carcass of a dead animal who once was; a tortured dead animal at that. The health benefits of veganism are an awesome bonus that I enjoy, but not my motivation whatsoever. I ensure I get the proper amounts of all my nutrients, protein, fruits, veggies, carbs, omegas, etc. and I also take a vegan multivitamin with all my B vitamins (although I get them all pretty much from food) and you all know that I am a big fan of liquid aminos for amino acids - but I do all that so that I remain in excellent health so I can continue to fight for animals for as long as I possibly can. You all know I eat my junk food and I love it!


Now, what I think, is that talk shows that choose to talk about veganism, should incorporate or completely focus on the animals (which is the importance of this) and convenience/ family friendly foods; the things that really concern most people who are weary about this lifestyle. Show people what is easy, where to get vegan products, what to do with them, tips and tricks, etc. Help take the guesswork out of it. A lot of people in America live on Pillsbury brand - show them which Pillsbury items are vegan! Yeah of coarse quinoa is a lot healthier than crescent rolls, but people will get there, lets stop throwing all of our fancy vegan foods/ words at people because we have been doing this for a while and its so easy for us (now).


These Talk Show Vegans lure people in with promises of weight loss and health benefits (which will absolutely happen), so people happily buy their quinoa, kombucha, burdock, daikon, kombu, etc. to lose weight, but get easily turned off or frustrated when their own (normal human) willpower gives into a decadent cookie or a crescent roll! How about first teaching principles of compassion and some factual talk or footage about animal cruelty then we can focus on being a squeaky clean vegan. I lose weight sometimes. I eat clean sometimes. I use macrobiotic or raw principles for a few days after being really Dirty. But that is not a starting point for new vegans. If it works then I am glad; all I want is to see animals being liberated from their abuse and tortures. But people who are introduced to veganism solely as a weight loss diet run the risk of "falling off the bandwagon" and "cheating" to eat something naughty. For them, all they know is "clean=vegan", "dirty=non-vegan". I would like to see people start off by seeing veganism as normal, learn how to make all the foods (including Dirty, yummy, cakey, crumby, greasy, convenient - and also the healthy stuff), so when they feel the urge to be "bad", they can eat something that's bad and also vegan. It is better for you because it won't have cholesterol whatsoever, but at least people will be going into veganism the right way, for the right reasons. I personally know people who were gong-ho veg and are no longer.


If you are vegan for health or weight loss; great! I hope you keep it up forever. This post is directed towards the Talk Show Vegans and talk show hosts who influence so many and encourage people to do things; just start including some facts about the lives of these animals, will ya?

There is definitely a vegan "trend" happening right now. Every talk show, newspaper, article, is talking about it. I love that the word vegan is becoming more mainstream, but I fear the disappointment I will feel if it phases out and people who have turned "vegan" now, turn to something else instead. What do you think about it? If you are vegan, how does it make you feel? How about if you were vegan for a very long time, before it was trendy? Do you think this will last; is this a major turning point for this social movement? Let me know what you think; I look forward to reading your comments. Have a Dirty day!


Go eat something good, will ya? When I say good I really mean bad-in-a-good-way.



Sunday, April 10, 2011

TofuXpress and a Tofu Recipe!

Look at all that water draining just after a moment of being pressed!

I came across this nifty kitchen gadget called a TofuXpress and I must say I am smitten. The TofuXpress is designed to press the water out of tofu to create different textures depending on how long you leave it pressing for (or even using different attachments that you can purchase from their website). Did you ever wonder how Indian, Asian, or Thai restaurants get the perfect tofu consistency? Did you ever wonder how restaurants and grocery stores sell fried tofu, tofu salads, or tofu steaks that have a "meaty" or thick texture, but you try to work with tofu at home and it breaks apart sometimes? I always wondered, but then I came across this tofu pressing gadget, started playing around with it, and have so many recipe ideas to make with pressed tofu, it is quite exciting!

Upon receiving my TofuXpress in the mail, I was like, "okay, how do I use this contraption?", but then I read the manual which was brief and informative. It also had marinating tips and recipes with guidelines on how long to press for. It contains the press container, the spring, attached to the lid (which comes apart easily for cleaning), and a marinating tray/ lid, which can be attached to the bottom when not in use, and looks like a little base or stand. The spring that comes with it is the standard tension spring, but you can also purchase a Light Tension Spring for use with silken tofu, if you wanted to. This is easy to use, pretty much all you do is clean the gadget, place your tofu inside, press down with the springy lid, and twist until it locks into place. You will see water immediately being drained. What I did was pour that in the sink, so that it would not spill, then I placed the tofu-filled-gadget right into the refrigerator until ready to use. When I did, it had drained lots more water. And you just pour that out, take tofu out of the gadget, and its ready for use! My tofu was a great texture and I was surprised that it came out amazing the first try. I also wanted to share one of the recipes I created using the TofuXpress. I will be making more recipes with pressed tofu, including a veganized favorite that I know you will love, so stay tuned for that! 



Pan Seared Cajun Pressed Tofu and Cauliflower Saute 

2 tbsp olive oil
2 cups frozen cauliflower
1/2 tsp Cajun spice seasoning
2 tbsp Bragg's Liquid Aminos/ Shoyu/ Tamari/ or Soy Sauce
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 block tofu, drained and pressed for 1 hour - cubed

Press tofu in TofuXpress (or using a plate on top of tofu) for 1 hour. Heat olive oil in saute pan on medium-high heat. Cook cauliflower until it is thawed and getting warm. Add seasoning, aminos, onion, and garlic powder. Cook for 2 minutes. Add your cubed, pressed tofu and cook until everything is warm and your cauliflower and tofu is brown and seared. Serve over a bed of greens, if you like. Enjoy!

Me being silly with my TofuXpress...


Saturday, April 9, 2011

Spring/ Easter Green Bean Casserole - Reader Requested!

"Spring is nature's way of saying, "Let's Party!" -Robin Williams



I haven't had green been casserole in a very long time, way before becoming vegan, probably 10 years ago or more. When a reader asked me to veganize this comforting holiday classic, I jumped at the opportunity to help so she can make this casserole for her family this upcoming Easter holiday. The challenge was not how to make the entire dish vegan, the only real snag was the cream of mushroom soup that is traditionally in this dish. So after researching this soup, I came up with a mega-easy substitute. This was a fun dish to veganize and I think I totally nailed the taste of cream of mushroom soup. The creaminess paired with the crispy onions on top, make this the perfect cozy bake! I hope you enjoy this casserole in good health, with your family and friends!

You Might Hop Like a Bunny When You Try My 'Creamy Holiday Green Bean Casserole' Recipe


4 oz can mushrooms (pieces & stems), drained
1 tbsp vegan butter
1/2 cup vegan (heavy) cream, I used MimicCreme - you can use any vegan cream(er) and add flour or mashed potatoes to thicken it up
1/4 cup water
1 bouillon cube, I used Edward & Sons Not-chicken
sprinkle of dried thyme
sprinkle of ground pepper
2 14.5oz cans cut green beans, drained
1/4 cup vegan milk
1 1/3 cup french fried onions (French's and my store brand are vegan - I got the store brand b/c it was cheaper), divided into two 2/3 cups


Preheat oven 350 degrees. Blend first 7 ingredients in a blender or food processor and set aside (that is your cream of mushroom soup). In a casserole dish (about 1.5 qt size), mix green beans, cream of mushroom mixture, vegan milk, and 2/3 of your french fried onions. Bake for 30 minutes. It should be nice and bubbly at that point. Then carefully mix casserole and top with the remaining 2/3 cup of french fried onions. Bake another 5 minutes or until top of casserole is golden. Enjoy!


What other dishes would you like to see me veganize? What were some of your favorites? Tell me here or on Facebook, Twitter, or e-mail me at: thedirtyvegan.blogspot@gmail.com. Have a rich and cozy day! 

Friday, April 8, 2011

Crockpot Dinner Delight!

"As a child my family's menu consisted of two choices: take it or leave it." -Buddy Hackett

This recipe will be easy for you to make but your family will want to take it, for sure!




What you will need:


4 tofu steaks, cut into strips (please do not do this when they are frozen, microwave or thaw them some)
2 medium tomatoes, diced
1 cup frozen vegetables
1 cup almond (or other vegan) milk
1 cup water
1 Edward & Sons Not-chicken bouillon cube
1 tbsp nutritional yeast
garlic powder, to taste
onion powder, to taste
sea salt & pepper, to taste (optional)


Rice or pasta of your choice


What you will need to do:
Place first 8 ingredients in crockpot and cook on Low for 5- 6 hours (on High would probably be 3- 4 hours). Just before ready to serve, prepare rice or pasta. Spoon crockpot mixture over rice or pasta and serve. Enjoy!


Recipe Tips:


-If you cannot find Tofu Steaks like Helen's Kitchen brand, you can use any other vegan protein like Gardein, Lightlife, Tofurky, Fieldroast, or Boca. Lightlife's Smart Strips Chick'n would work great in this recipe also!


-You can go ahead and add more Nutritional Yeast if you would like to thicken the sauce more or for a "cheesier" flavor.


-Alternatively, you can serve this over your favorite noodles (like soba or rice noodles), instead of rice or pasta. That would also be super yummy.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

All You Need: Be That Voice For Others

I surround my life with knowing about all this cruelty and pain, so that I can fight to free others of their pain and suffering. I knew I was meant to do something in life, and to find that something is the biggest blessing to me. I am meant to fight for others who are less fortunate than me. I am meant to speak for ones who cannot speak for themselves. Animals, gay and lesbian community, fellow women who are still victims of sexism, people of all races and nationalities, people who are alone and need help, victims of bullying, men and women who are victims of domestic violence - everyone has the power to help someone else out. Let's speak up for those who don't have the means to speak up for themselves, or ones who need a little help doing so.


There is so much that can be done to help. Volunteer at an animal shelter, holding the animals to provide them some comfort until they get to their forever homes. Foster animals so that frees up space in shelters and lessens the chance of them being put to sleep. Rally for people's rights, vote for peaceful ways that allow others to be happy and make their own choices, the ones that suit them. Not everything is right for everyone, but let others decide what is right for them. Speak up for people being bullied. If you know someone who is a victim of anything, tell authorities, tell your teachers, or parents, or someone you trust, go to the police. If you know of animal abuse or neglect, call the humane society or local animal control office. Do these things anonymously if you are scared of backlash. Volunteer at homeless shelters, soup kitchens, old-folks homes - be the sunshine in someone else's day. Be the light that shines on someone else and brings them joy when they thought it wasn't even possible to feel happiness again. You never know what one kind word, or one kind action, will do to someone's life; it can turn everything around.


Are you proud of what you accomplished today?



Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Etsy Love!

Esty is so cool! So we've made an Etsy shop for anyone who has an existing Etsy account or who is accustomed to using Etsy. We are offering our variety pack only on our Etsy shop. If you would like to purchase single items, multiples of particular items, etc., please visit our website www.dirtyveganfoods.com. Etsy accepts Paypal, checks and money orders (along with the major credit cards) - our website accepts credit cards and we are working on adding Paypal to it soon. Both are super easy to use, but its nice that Etsy accepts those things; I know a lot of you really like it. So let's link up on Etsy too, and join the DVF circle! Cheers! :o)

Vegan "Twinkie", Cupcake, Snack Cake, Cookie Variety Pack - on Etsy! Click Me!

ENJOY and have a Naughty Day! 

Yuuummmm! So good!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Deceptive Pasta Dish?



This pasta dish that I created is so deceptive! It tastes gourmet or very fancy, when in reality it is super easy, quick, and with salsa! This is an inventive way to use salsa, especially when you have some in the fridge with nothing to dip in it. Why not use it to make this extremely yummy dish? Also, this is a complete dish. Healthy carbohydrates, healthy fat, veggies, high protein (the tofu steaks alone are 16 grams of protein per serving!), amino acids to break down and use that protein to rebuild your muscles (and refuel!), some B vitamins in the nutritional yeast, antioxidants in the ground pepper, fiber....must I even go on? Its definitely good for you but tastes like something you can get at a restaurant for probably more calories and less nutrients. Yay for being Dirty and healthy!

You won't believe this 'Nuh-uh Salsa Pasta' Recipe


1 lb your favorite pasta (I used whole wheat rotini)
3 tbsp olive oil
1 cup frozen onions and peppers (I used Trader Joe's fire-roasted)
1 cup salsa (natural kind is best in this)
4 tofu steaks (you will want to thaw/microwave before cutting), cubed
3 tbsp Bragg's Liquid Aminos (or soy/ shoyu/ tamari sauce)
3 tbsp nutritional yeast
pepper to taste

Boil water and cook pasta. While that is cooking, heat olive oil to medium heat in a sauce pan. Add frozen onion and peppers and let cook for about 3 minutes, or when they begin to thaw and get warm. Then add salsa until it begins boiling. Then add tofu steak cubes, Bragg's, nutritional yeast and bring to boil. Simmer until pasta is ready. Drain pasta and mix in your salsa sauce mixture with the pasta. Enjoy!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

DVF at PC Music Festival 4/3 - Come Visit Us!



Dirty Vegan Foods will be at the StuartStock Music Festival this Sunday, 4/3 (tomorrow) at Providence College (Providence, RI)! The festival is held on the Slavin Lawn (or Lower Slavin if it rains) from 12:00- 5:30 PM. Come visit us! If you do, you will be the first to get our sweet goodies before the launch of our website! ;0)

Please link up with us on Facebook, Twitter, and check out our website (coming soon)! 

Happy day! For now, the Dirty Vegan is signing off.

Friday, April 1, 2011

WholeSoy Giveaway Winner and Daydreamy Tuscan "Sausage" & Mushroom Pasta

The winner of the WholeSoy Giveaway is PurpleLarkspur! Please e-mail me at thedirtyvegan.blogspot@gmail.com with the address that you would like me to mail your prize to. I will get that shipped out right away! Congratulations, PurpleLarkspur and thank you to everyone who entered. There will be more giveaways coming up soon, so please stay tuned for them! Now let us travel off to our Tuscan fantasy... 


Pretend you are in a beautiful villa in Tuscany, overlooking gorgeous green valleys...unless of coarse you are really in Tuscany, then I suppose you would just look outside. Either way, I hope you enjoy this pasta dish that I created. The fresh flavors are pretty amazing combined with Field Roast's pop of flavors (think eggplant and grains, yum!), you will feel like you are doing something very naughty, when in reality, this dish is actually pretty healthy.


Pretend with My 'Tuscan "Sausage" and Mushroom Pasta' Recipe


1 lb wheat pasta (I used rotini here)
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp minced garlic
2 large portobello mushroom caps, chopped
2 medium tomatoes, diced
1 package Field Roast Italian Sausage (4 links), chopped
2 cups water
1 Edward & Sons Not-chicken bouillon cube
Sprinkle (or two) Italian seasoning
Sea salt and pepper to taste
Vegan Parmesan, to sprinkle before serving (optional)


Boil water and cook pasta to al dente. While pasta is cooking, heat olive oil in saucepan on medium heat. Sweat garlic until aromas are released. Add mushroom, tomato, and sausage. Stir and let cook for about 3 minutes. Add water, bouillon, and Italian seasoning. Bring to a boil and let simmer until pasta is ready. Season to taste with sea salt and pepper. Drain pasta and mix together pasta and sauce. Serve with some vegan parm sprinkled on top, if you like. Enjoy!

Buon Appetito!

Here's to daydreaming!