Monday, December 15, 2014

Spicy Fiesta Lime Tortilla Chips

'Twas the night before finals, when all through the house, one could hear my stomach rumbling....even a mouse...? Gah, I tried!


Hey guys! So the other night I was studying and was craving something salty and spicy. I had a whole bunch of guacamole but unfortunately no tortilla chips. However, for some reason, I had a huge-family size-grande bag of corn tortillas just chillin' in my fridge. So I went to work.

 You see, I'll use any excuse to excuse myself from studying. If I wasn't such a broke college students and had a lot more food in my fridge, I'd probably prepare myself a five course meal. Unfortunately, the jumbo size bag of flattened white corn frisbees had to do.

Spicy Fiesta Lime Tortilla Chips

Here's what you'll need:
    1/4 teaspoon of the following:
              Lime Juice
              Garlic powder
              Cayenne pepper

    Dash of the following:
               Black pepper
               Salt (or salt to taste)

5 Corn tortillas
2 TBSP Olive Oil

Here's what you do:
       Preheat the oven to 275* F.  In the mean time, pour all of the ingredients EXCEPT for the corn tortillas into a bowl. (Make sure the bowl is pretty big. Big enough to toss around the tortilla trangles.) Mix together well.  Stack up the tortillas and cut in half, and then again across. You can see what I mean by looking at the picture below.

  Once you have them all cut up, throw them into the bowl with the oil, lime juice and spices. Coat well. Let sit for about 10 minutes. Now, I know it's kinda weird to be marinating corn tortillas, but trust me on this. Take out a flat, big baking sheet and EVENLY distribute the chips. They should not be stacked on top of each other. If there isn't enough room, you'll have to do separate baking "trips". Bake for approx. 20 minutes, flipping them halfway through.

 Don't be alarmed if they're soggy when they're done. I promise it's because they're still warm and oily. They'll eventually get crispy.

 Now, I know this isn't some special recipe. It's pretty simple. To me, they were delicious and I hope that you think so too. Tweak the recipe if this is too spicy or not spicy enough. Most importantly, enjoy! It tastes best with guacamole.

Til next time, y'all.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Field Roast Vegan Chao. Could this be the next best cheese alternative!?

I don't care what anybody says, cheese is delicious. I don't know if it's the texture or flavor of it, but we just love to pile on the smelly stuff, whether it's vegan or not.

   Yesterday, as I was just walking down the vegan cheese section at my local Whole Foods, minding my own business and all, I was stopped by this new packaging that I haven't seen before. Field Roast has come out with a cheese alternative.  Could this make my quesadillas even more cheesy? Could this change vegan pizzas?? Could I possibly make myself some grilled cheese!?!? My food loving self  was just thinking of the possibilities. 

Well, let me start out by telling you what this stuff even is; It's called Vegan Chao and according to the package, it's a  vegan cheese alternative made of coconut oil and fermented chao tofu. It brings you a fusion of  Asian and European heritages. They come in a few different flavors, including the Tomato Cayenne that I picked up. Also, my Whole Foods sells it for $5.99. ( a little much for 10 slices.....but the taste of this stuff makes my broke college student self forget about that) 

Here's what I think- HOLY MOLY this stuff is great. I figured that since Field Roast makes it, it would be pretty good since I love their meat alternatives, but I didn't think that it would be this close to tasting like cheese. The stuff melts fairly well, I decided to make myself a grilled cheese and eventually got frustrated with the bread burning, since the cheese wasn't melting. I had to microwave the grilled cheese before I fried it for at least 20 seconds, but it's not a big deal. The texture is great, heated or not. I've tried almost every cheese alternative there is and this one takes the cake. I give it a 9/10. Good job, Field Roast! And great job you Greek and Taiwanese geniuses! 

Now excuse me as I go back to eating this grilled cheese (I added some tomato and tempeh bacon in there) and run back to whole foods for some more! 

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Toasted Coconut & Dark Chocolate Waffles

Any sign of fall is always a perfect excuse for me to spend hours in the kitchen trying out new recipes. I don't know what it is, but it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside :p.  On this particular morning I woke up with the BIGGEST coconut craving. So while my Fiance was sleeping, I tiptoed to the kitchen and whipped up these super easy waffles.

        1 cup all purpose flour 
        1 TBSP baking powder
        1/2 tsp salt
        1 tsp vanilla extract
        2 TBSP sweetener, such as sugar, agave or maple syrup. I used maple syrup.
        1 1/2 Cup shredded coconut
        1/2 Cup chocolate chips

         In a large bowl, mix together all of the dry ingredients, except for the chocolate chips, and in a separate bowl mix together the wet ingredients. Add wet to dry and add in the chocolate chips. Mix everything together until well mixed, if you feel like you need more chocolate chips or coconut shreds in your mixture, simply add more. ( you can neva have enough coconut and chocolate ;)) 
      Ladle about 1/2 cup at a time into your waffle iron, or if making pancakes, reduce to about 1/4 cup if you want smaller pancakes.   Cook until  nice and crisp and golden on both sides. Service with Soy Whip, maple syrup or anything else your heart desires!

Hope you really enjoy these and let me know below if you made these!!

xoxo Beauty and the Brussel <3 

Monday, March 3, 2014

My two favorite vegan proteins.

     If I had a penny for how many times I've been asked "Where do you get your protein...?" I'd be one rich vegan.  This question frustrates me, not because it's so redundant, but because it annoys me that people don't realize that the animals they are eating had to get their proteins from somewhere. For example, cows. Cows are herbivores, meaning they only eat plants. So, where did they get their protein from? PLANTS.

                                 Here's an example of some plants that give you SO much protein.
                                    (Besides, where'd ya think Popeye got all those muscles?? :p )

SO, what are my two favorite vegan protein mixes?  

*drum roll pleasssseeee.....*

PlantFusion Protein and Arbonne Protein

I love this protein powder not only because it tastes good, but also because it is SO smooth and not gritty at all. They have three flavors so far, vanilla, chocolate and cookies n cream (my favorite). I usually like to blend it with 1/2 a banana and a cup of almond milk. It's so creamy and if you make it with frozen bananas, it has the consistency of a milkshake. PROTEIN MILKSHAKE,HELLO?!
All I have to say is, buy it. The price isn't that bad and it's full of vitamins and nutrients.

take a look for yourself.

Arbonne Protein
I LOVE Arbonne beauty products because they do their job and they're vegan friendly. I never thought that I would find love in a vegan shake that's sold by a beauty company. I guess I should've known that since Arbonne believes in both outer and inner beauty. They only have two flavors, chocolate and vanilla. While I wish there were more flavors, they still are delicious to me.  Like the PlantFusion, the protein is very smooth and easily digested. Adding strawberries and banana to either flavor makes it even more enjoyable. The only downside is the price, PF is a lot cheaper since Arbonne is about $60. I am an Arbonne consultant so I do get a 35% discount, but I wish non-consultants were able to get it for my price.

Here's the nutritional info on the Arbonne protein...

Monday, February 24, 2014

Cheddar Burger (with all the fixin's) + a Delicious Zesty Onion Ring Sauce

          Yeah, sure, it's winter...but, this burger is sure to please your taste buds with the warm cheddar cheese and the cold and crisp pickles.

Here's what you'll need.
  • Hamburger buns (you'll need bigger ones if you choose to use Amy's or Hilary's burgers)
  • Veggie Burgers (I used Hilary's..they're delicious!)
  • Cheddar cheese (I used Daiya)
  • Lettuce
  • Tomato
  • Pickles (the bread and butter kind are the best)
  • Purple Onion
  • Thousand Island Dressing
  • Vegenaise
  • Ketchup and Mustard
  • TBSP Cooking Oil of your choice

It's honestly up to you how you want to portion this out...some like a lot of onion..other's only want tomato.

I was tempted to throw in some coconut bacon but I just wanted to check this out first.                       



What to do:
           1. Place your veggie burger of choice into the microwave for about 1 1/2 minutes. This is to warm it up on the inside. While it's cooking in the microwave, take a skillet with about 1 TBSP of oil and start heating it up over a medium flame.

          2. We want our veggie burgers to have that crispiness on the outside, kinda like how it is straight off the grill. So..we're going to place them onto the hot skillet for about a minute on each side. For that extra grill taste, put them on low on the skillet for about a minute, then on medium for another minute and then flip and do the same on the other side.

       3. During these minute intervals you should be preparing your ingredients for inside the burger. 

      4. At the end of your "frying" place a piece of cheese onto the veggie burger so that it has time to melt and start looking like a real greasy burger. (minus the grease and cholesterol ;) )

    5. Once the cheese has melted and you feel that it's ready. Take your burger off the skillet and place it on the side. Take two buns and butter them up and toast them for a bit on the skillets while they're still hot.

    6. Put some Thousand Island dressing on the bottom of your bun. I like to mix it with the vegenaise a little too, but it's up to you since we're going to still add the vegenaise onto the top bun. 

   7. Add the veggie burger, lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles and then on the top bun...add some mayo, ketchup and mustard if you like and you are done!

This is very simple and easy to make. However, I have made plenty of burgers before and this one was just SO packed with flavor and tasted amazing. I love the Hillary's brand because when toasted, they have an onion taste and almost taste like the burgers from Burger King (back when from when I ate meat)

As a side, I served up some Alexia onion rings with this homemade sauce. It was cooling and yet kinda spicy.

How you'd make that;
          Mix equal amounts of Sriracha sauce with Vegan Ranch (I love Organicville).

 ..aaaaaand you're done.

Bon Appetit!


Thursday, January 30, 2014

My experience with meat eating and veganism.

I often get asked why I am vegan, how long I've been doing it, why I stopped being vegan in the first place....Etc. I figured I would dedicate this post to answer a few of those questions.

Number one question is why I went vegan in the first place. In a nutshell, I never really liked meat growing up. However, I come from a European background and my whole family eats meat for breakfast lunch and dinner. I was always the one at the table That just didn't want to touch the stuff. To me, eating meat was gross and I love animals and didn't understand why they were being eaten and just grossed me out seeing the Raw meat simmer in a pot, on the pan or on the grill. I still would eat it occasionally and suffered from a lot of health issues, including chronic headaches and irritable bowel syndrome. I literally would have to miss at least two or three days of school each month. But hey, what was I supposed to do, I was young and obviously wasnt old enough for a job to afford my own groceries. Nor were there really any vegetarian friendly options at that time (or at least that I knew of) and my mom was afraid that I would lack protein or iron or other vitamins if I just eat vegetables all day. (A lot of people think this today....little do they know.😜) 

Okay let's fast-forward a few years, I was about 16 or 15 years old when the book Skinny Bitch came out. I borrowed it from my friend and decided to just try reading it. Well a whole hour or two later I was finished with the book because it's just that funny and so informative. I found out so much more information in that book than I could've imagined, and that basically made me go vegan. I went online and looked up where the nearest supermarket was,awhole foods or something and found a few supermarkets that carried some of the products that they mention in the back of the book. I literally went vegan overnight, a day before Thanksgiving to be exact ironically, and felt amazing...dropped a few pounds had so much energy, never really had any headaches or stomach issues. 

       About two years later when I was graduating high school I decided to go vegetarian because I had some temptations and for some reason began craving cheese and milk but later on I figured out that it was because I was doing veganism wrong and wasn't eating enough whole foods and my body was just constantly craving junk and I started becoming sluggish again. When I was vegetarian I started getting bloated again from the milk and cheeses and about two years later when I turn 20 I started eating meat again. Worst. Decision. Of. My. Life. 

      I don't really know what possessed me to start eating meat again, I think it was just the college life of partying and then making stupid decisions with food while drinking. But it's not like I was eating complete crap like hamburgers...i was just eating lean. 

      Well, I started noticing that my clothes were tighter and I could no longer fit into my size 0-2 jeans and each time I would step on the scale I would be gaining about 5 to 10 pounds a week. A WEEK!! That was too much to handle but I didn't really do anything about it until I had gained 40 pounds.(this was in about a month and a half) I went to a doctor and she tried putting me on a Paleolithic diet. Horrible decision, I told her I used to be a vegetarian and vegan and she told me that those were horrible diets (hah) and I just decided to take her device on the Paleo diet...another horrible decision because my skin started breaking out and it was so dry and dull, my hair started falling out and I still was gaining weight

      I eventually gained 85 pounds within a year. I was put on metformin and that stabilized my weight but it was impossible to lose weight. She had told me that according to my blood work I had an imbalance of hormones and then finally I went to an endocrinologist and she had told me that the fact I was eating meat and all of the hormones and crap in meat was messing with my hormones and causing me to gain weight, break out and lose hair. 

       I went vegan again and have been slowly losing weight without having to restrict my calories. I have so much energy and just feel amazing and so much happier. I rarely ever crave junk food and I feel more in sync with my body. 

      It's crazy how eating right creates this domino effect. When I was eating horrible foods I was really lazy and just didn't feel like doing anything and everything just became sloppy and was spiraling out of control. Once I Turned vegan again I became more organized and just happier with life and I don't think I will I ever go back to eating meat again. Being vegan lets me experiment with foods and try different recipes and it just changes your taste buds and you feel so much better and I swear I am not one of those people that tries to push my beliefs onto other people but I really do think that this diet can help a lot of people out there.

I hope you all have a wonderful day. ❤️ ( and stay warm, to all of my Midwestern readers!) 

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Vegan Gyros with Tzatziki sauce

There's nothing better than a warm veggie gyro with a cooling tzatziki sauce and some fresh vegetables.

I came over to a fellow veggie friend's house and I happen to have my groceries in my trunk ('s cold enough here that the food wont go bad).  I decided to whip up these bad boys for my friend and I. 

Here's what you will need:
  •    1 pkg Viana veggie gyros
  •    1 small tomato
  •    2 large pita breads or 4 small pocket pita breads
  •    Diced green pepper, to taste. ( I know this isn't normally in gyros..but it gave it a nice twist)
  •    1/4 cup diced red onion
  •    1/2 cup Ewelina's Tzatziki Sauce (see below)
  •    Vegetable oil ( for sauté pan)

Ewelina's Tzatziki Sauce:

  •    1/2 cup Tofutti brand sour cream
  •    1/4 cup diced cucumbers
  •    1/2 -2/3 tsp fresh lemon juice
  •    Pinch of fresh parsley or if you prefer, cilantro or basil flakes
  •    Dash of garlic salt

What you do:

  •    Heat up sauté pan on stove with 1 tbsp vegetable oil (any preferred oil works fine). Open package of veggie gyros and heat up in pan. **Make sure the gyros are separated into individual pieces!!**
  • Turn heat to medium-low and allow it to heat up inside first.
In the mean time...
  •     In a bowl, mix all of the ingredients for the tzatziki sauce. Also, slice up your tomatoes, red onion, green pepper and any other ingredients you'd like to include, put those to the side.
  • After the gyros have been sautéing for a good 5 minutes, turn up the heat to allow them to get crispy. Make sure you keep stirring the faux meat around. This should only take 2-3 minutes.
  • Push all of the gyro meat to the side and grab your pita bread. If needed, add a little more oil into the empty half of the pan, and let the pita bread get warm, crispy and a little greasy. 
  • Take the bread off...add the gyro meat and throw on your toppings.

You don't necessarily have to stuff the pita pockets..I kinda just eat them like tacos.


Some of my favorite natural beauty and vegan cooking books!

(Not pictured: Vegan with a Vengeance, The Kind Diet, Crazy Sexy Diet and Skinny Bitch)

I'll go in one-by-one explaining what each book is and why I like it.

Natural Beauty at Home by Janice Cox : I love this book because it gives you some amazing DIY recipes for things ranging from face masks to foot scrubs. This book is just awesome. I've mad SO many things and they were never a failure. Of course, the only downfall of make-it-yourself beauty products is that there are no preservatives. That's actually a great thing but you just have to make sure to use everything up very quick, or share.

Chloe's Kitchen by Chloe Coscarelli  : I first discovered Chloe when I was watching an episode of Cupcake Wars on the Food Network. She was the FIRST vegan to ever win.  I later discovered that she had released a cook book and I purchased it immediately. I absolutely LOVE this book. The recipes are easy to make and they always come out SO good. (Especially her Orange Chicken!!) I also love that she uses simple ingredients...she's a genius. 

The Truth About Beauty by Kat James : LOVE LOVE LOVE this book! I love books that actually take a realistic approach when talking about beauty. That's exactly what Kat James does in this book. She explains how what we eat actually DOES affect our skin texture, aging, health...etc. Must Have.

Part Time Vegan by Cherise Grifoni : Now, you don't need to be a part time vegan or flexitarian to like this book. You don't even have to be vegan. I saw this gem at Half Price Books in my town and it was a pretty good price, so I figured why not. While I dont understand why this book couldn't just be called a Vegan book is beyond me. But whatever, the recipes are still vegan. Some things I love are the Saucy Kung Pao Tofu, Saucy Indian Veggies and the Raw to Die For Apple Pie with Berry Topping.  Oh, and there's a VEGAN NUTELLA RECIPE IN THERE! Need I say more?

Friday, January 3, 2014

New year, new priorities.

Happy New Year everyone! While 2013 was great, I believe that 2014 will be even better!!

2013 has been a very stressful (yet still amazing ) year. Nursing school,planning a wedding and totaling my car just to name a few of my stressors. 

I noticed that writing down my feelings or just writing about some of my favorite things (ex. Makeup and veganism) has been a great way for me to de-stress. 

I may have abandoned my blog for over a year, but this is a fresh start. 

Do I believe in New Years resolutions? Not so much. But I do believe in new year prioritizing. This blog is one of my top priorities this year (and for a very long time hopefully) and I hope to continue with what I started. 

Delicious vegan recipes ,cruelty free makeup reviews AND a new segment called "beauty and the bride" are among the few things that will debut on this blog. 

I hope you all have a wonderful and healthy new year and I'll talk to you soon!