10 February 2014

Pho Fried Broccoli, no oil, no fat, but that deep fried taste and crunch!

Nearly everyone loves deep fried anything!  The carnivals of food people deep fry will never cease to amaze me.  When I see someone consume a deep fried Oreo or hot dog, I cringe as it almost always accompanies a smirk on their behalf showing their full knowledge of the internal carnage they are unleashing on their diseased bodies.  Luckily Mrs. Vegan has perfected "pho frying", which consists of a crispy fat free batter that is baked on crispy.  I'm willing to bet anyone reading this will find a new love of Broccoli or any other veggie you batter and bake-o-nate (make crispy in oven, like fried bacon).   Even the celery was amazing!  


Bake-O-Nated Broccoli.

1 cup unsweetened Almond Milk 
1 cup gluten free multi- purpose flower
1 head of broccoli, chopped into pieces
1-2 T Hot Sauce 
1/4 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp chiopotle pepper
1/4 tsp ancho pepper 
  • Preheat the oven to 430°F.
  • Combine the milk, flour, salt, peppers, hot sauce in a bowl and stir until well combined.
  • Coat the broccoli pieces with the flour mixture, place on a baking sheet with parchment paper. Bake for 20-25 minutes.
  • Optional: coat with buffalo sauce bake for additional 5 mins.  

10 January 2014

Best Vegan Honeymoon: Mayakoba in Riviera Maya Mexico

¡Hola! When we thought of our perfect vegan honeymoon destination, a tropical vegan paradise came to mind.. beachfront bungalows, secluded beaches, private infinity dipping pools and stellar healthy vegan food were all part of our check list.  Throw in white soft sandy beaches, warm bath like water, and BIKE RIDING everywhere and a vegan friendly international town next door with biomarkets and veg restaurants and you have paradise!!  The Riviera Maya tops the list in more ways that one!!!


We choose Riviera Maya because we wanted a Romantic beach honeymoon that was located next to a hip and walkable city, and Playa del Carmen has it all, plus mind blowing Mayan archeological sites. 
 
WHERE TO STAY:  Sure there are plenty of AMAZING resorts on the Riviera Maya but nothing compares to "Honeymoon" quality of the Rosewood Mayakoba!!  It's literally EVERYthing you could ever dream of wrapped in an ecological and environmentally conscious veg friendly 5 star package!

The beaches and pools Rosewood Mayakoba are perfection where you feel like a Mayan King & Queen.  There are ample water activities you can expect in any ocean front destination.
At the Rosewood they welcome you with your own bottle of Tequila and supply a bottomless bowl of fresh fruit that your room butler is all too happy to refresh with your favorite selection.


Mind the Coati (tropical raccoon)!  This mischievous little bandit only took moments to emerge when we plunged into our dipping pool!


Mayakoba- Actives & VEGAN EATS!
Get healthy bites to eat at Rosewood Mayakoba

Every restaurant at the Rosewood Mayakoba has a Vegan/Vegetarian menu .. they will accommodate to your dietary needs & desires.

Casa del Lago
Enjoy a plentiful Breakfast buffet every morning or order anything you'd like off the Vegan smoothie menu.  Various vegan milks are laid out for the cereal and there is a menu for additional goodies along with a mind blowing selection of tropical fruits.

Punta Bonita
The pool side lunch restaurant has a delightful vegan menu of more the traditional pool fare.  Our healthy steamed veggie black bean tacos hit the spot and kept our beach bodies in tact.
Casa del Lago
At night time Casa Del Lago reverts into a hip tropical jungle oasis with a top notch Vegan menu.  The dishes are inventive and the atmosphere has the aura of a James Bond film.

Agave Azul Sushi & Tequila Bar
A short stroll from the gift shop, hovering over the lagoon is Agave Azul,which boasts mind boggling Tequila selection all laid out and lit up in niches on the wall for you to browse while awaiting your table.  The fusion restaurant's boasts many made to order vegetable rolls, which are as intoxicating as the tequila.

Mayakoba on site tours


Mayakoba was constructed on a very fragile environmental treasure and the developers hired the top biologists, ecologists and geologists to balance the preservation and enjoyment of this oasis.

When you check in at the Rosewood you hop on a boat and down some fresh fruit and boat drinks for the sail to your room.  In addition to being the swankiest check-in process on the planet, the boats also serve The Nature Adventure, which is an hour-long eco tour guided by one of many Mayakoba biologists that takes guests through Mayakoba's pristine water canals.

Biking EVERYWHERE!-  Your room comes with bikes!  There is a wonderful bike trail that goes around the entire Mayakoba property and through the adjoining hotels and has fun stops along the way to stop and go in caves and chat with the on site biologists and learn more about the ecology.  What out for the "water dogs"! (=crocodiles)


Bat Caves on Nature Trail-  Biologist on site!

Instituto Nacional de Archeological: Tulum

A short drive down to Tulum in the morning brings you to an astonishing beach front Ancient Mayan walled city.  Its breath taking to imagine life during the heyday of this city.

 Bio-Natural - Swing by Bio-Natural in Playa del Carmen for a quick bite and load up on tons on Healthy Vegan packaged treats!  

Instituto Nacional de Archeological: Coba


I longer drive into the jungle results in one of the best end of the road paydays in Mexico...  a pyramid that you can climb!  Rent bikes at the head of the trail to take you there and do not go hung over or the climb will no be pleasant!

On your way back stop at  Green 373- in Playa Del Carmen.  This place is AMAZING!!  So many Healthy Oil-Free items to choose from, the owner will do anything to accommodate your needs :) 


Cancun is a necessary evil for getting in and out of the country.  While it is known for its all inclusive spring break high school binge drinkers, rarely do they make it down the shore to the more delightful destinations.  The one stop you should make on your way in or out is at Vegan Planet, though! 

Vegan Planet-  The Chef at Vegan Planet is amazing and the food is fresh and inventive.  Its a very modern & healthy spot that shouldn't be missed.


Guacamole Grill- Enjoy FRESH Gauc & corn tortillas on your way out of Cancun International airport via Margaritaville ...  Thanks Jimmy Buffet! :)


Most AMAZING HONEYMOON in Riviera Maya!!



18 July 2013

Mr. & Mrs. Vegan - The Healthiest Wedding EVER!



We wanted our wedding to be a celebration of our healthy lifestyle with our closest vegan friends and family.  We went to great ends to make it cruelty free to both our guests, the planet and the animal kingdom.   

The groom wore NoHarm Vegan Shoes & selected a Recycled Platinum Wedding Band Ethically sourced from Brilliant Earth and a cotton (not wool) suit from Hugo Boss.   Wedding favors were Mr. & Mrs. Vegan Eco Totes reusable beach/shopping bags by ilu.lily Designs.  The setting was in Kapalua, Hawaii a destination dear to our story line together & with ample healthy food options and fun outdoor activities from mountain hikes to surfing.


 







When selecting the menu we wanted to be able to actually eat the food served at our wedding with zero guilt and enjoy it, which means whole foods, oil-free vegan down to even the cake!   We were concerned some of our guests would not be accustomed to healthier fare and our mom's were the toughest customers, but it just meant more leftovers the restaurant boxed up and we ate for lunch on our snorkel trip the next day.  The food below was locally sourced farm to table amazing.  The volcanic soil in Hawaii and ample clean rain fall make the best tasting veggies in the world.  The family style service meant SAD eaters could pass on our delicious food they have no tastes buds or appreciation for, thus leaving more for us!

Merriman's Wedding Dinner Menu

 Passed Appetizers

Cucumber Rounds 
Avocado Puree, Radish

Vegan BLT Canapé
Butter Lettuce Cup 
Rice noodles, upcountry vegetables, sweet chili sauce

 Family Style Dinner

Kale Salad, Fresh Strawberries, Hearts of Palm, Maui Onions 
Miso sherry vinegar dressing

Steamed Broccoli
Toasted sesame and macadamia nuts, citrus ponzu


White & Black Steamed Rice
Fresh Asparagus
Lemon zest & black pepper

Smoked Vegetable Ratatouille
Kaboucha puree

 Dessert

Mini Bundt Cake Tower
Seasonal Sorbet 

 Wine  & Beer

Peachy Canyon, Westside, Paso Robles, CA, 2010
Dönnhoff, Estate Riesling, Nahe, Germany, 2011 
Kona Brewing Co. Long Board Lager & Fire Rock Pale Ale 

Menu Design & Handmade Clay Orchid Lauhala Boxes by DK Designs
Merrimans Kapalua, Maui
Flowers by Dellables


Cucumber Rounds, Vegan BLT Canapé, Butter Lettuce Cup 

Kale Salad, Fresh Strawberries, Hearts of Palm, Maui Onions
  Broccoli -toasted sesame & macadamia nuts, citrus ponzu
Fresh Asparagus, lemon zest & pepper



Steamed White & Black Rice

Smoked Vegetable Ratatouille over Koboucha puree
We were most concerned about finding a cake maker willing to play ball with an oil-free wedding cake.  We emailed around this recipe from Fat Free Vegan & Casey and Cheryl Logsdon at Maui Wedding Cakes accepted the challenge and created this exceptional Bundt Cake Tower.  We were blown away by the mini bundt cakes and raspberry sorbet and the delightful presentation.

Oil Free Vegan "Bundt Cake Tower"
Perfect little flowers!



Cheers to starting our married lives together on point.  Eating no added fat whole food vegan can be part of the most wonderful celebration in your life and add to the festivities.  I don't know how anyone can think this way of life is limiting when its so grand and amazing.  Those who couldn't bring themselves to enjoy the food were the most unhealthy at the table.  They were embarrassing.



Roy's Hawaiian Rehearsal Dinner
What's a healthy wedding without a healthy rehearsal dinner?  Roy's to the rescue!  If you haven't ever dined at a Roy's you're really missing out.  Most have a separate vegan tasting menu.  All of them are supreme at customer satisfaction and excelling in turning various food requests into artful and flavorful creations.  No steamed veggies on a plate ever!


OIL- FREE VEGAN MENU


First Course:
Asparagus Bisque -grilled asparagus, green bell pepper, potato, salt and  pepper.
Second Course: 
 Tofu Crudo-local tofu, cucumber, pickled jalapeno, pickled radish, yuzu ponzu, preserved lemon, micro watercress
Third Course: 
Veggie Spring Rolls- rice paper, local tofu, mixed greens, purple cabbage, carrots, sweet ponzu. (Specially made for the Bride)
Fourth Course:
Avocado Quinoa Salad Stack- avocado, tomato, parsley, cilantro,sage,chive,red bell pepper, pineapple,coriander, lime and lemon juice, quinoa, small amount of onion, micro shiso, salt and pepper.
Fifth Course:
Grilled Portobello and Ratatouille -grilled portobello mushroom, green and red bell pepper, yellow squash, zucchini, eggplant, piquillo pepper and sanmarzano tomato, chives.
 Dessert:
Mixed Seasonal Sorbets 

 
Asparagus Bisque

All smiles from our group after the delicious soup!


 Tofu Crudo
Spring Veggie Rolls


Quinoa & Avocado Salad Stack - Guest FAV!

Grilled Portobello & Ratatouille

Mixed Sorbet

There you have it, a wonderful healthy wedding to start our married lives together.  No compromising, everyone ate and felt great.  Certainly helps to serve healthy food when we hopped on a catamaran the next day and set sail for some snorkeling!  We were a little disappointed in our mom's for not enjoying the food and being so closed minded in front of our wonderful friends, but in the end we were so happy and the food was just amazing we didn't want to come back home.  We have many more posts to come about the amazing healthy meals we had on our adventure in Maui!  Its truly the healthiest most beautiful place on the planet and was the perfect setting for our wedding.


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