Tag Archives: coconut

Crispy Coconut Bacon

5 Oct

If you enjoy bacon but not the part about it coming from a pig, you are in luck because there are various tasty alternatives available (one such version is my Tofaken). The latest craze, however, is coconut bacon. People go cuckoo for this stuff and I can understand why. While coconut flakes pack a lot of calories and fat, they are also low in carbohydrates and high in fiber (source).

To further boost the nutritional value of this coconut bacon, these crispy little guys are seasoned with liquid aminos (which boasts 16 different amino acids) and practically melt in your mouth. They make an excellent addition to nearly any salad, sandwich or wrap, and can even be enjoyed by themselves. Enjoy!

Coconut Bacon

Crispy Coconut Bacon
Yields 1 cup

1/4 cup liquid aminos
1 teaspoon pure maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon liquid smoke
1 cup dried, unsweetened coconut flakes
oil for the pan

Place first three ingredients in a small bowl and mix until combined. Add coconut flakes and stir to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to marinate for 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 300° F. Grease a large baking sheet with oil.

Evenly spread marinated coconut flakes on prepared baking sheet and spray with oil. Bake in preheated oven for 30-40 minutes, or until desired crispness is achieved. Remove and allow to cool before consuming.

Product Review and Recipe: Ariven Imperial Rice

24 Feb

Ariven PlanetHaving been concerned for animal welfare from an early age, Adiphen Bose also noticed the connection between the large amounts of unused land and the staggering amount of people whom were starving in Southern India. These realizations gave Bose a vision, and from it, Ariven Planet was born. Ariven Planet benefits both human and non-human animals by creating sustainable animal sanctuaries that provide quality food for people, with a portion of harvests being used to feed the hungry.

Operating on three main business principles, the folks at Ariven Planet focus on 1) “A purpose beyond profit” 2) “A belief that businesses should do no harm, yet benefit all” and 3) “A dedication to health-minded sustainability.” Without the use of GMOs, chemicals and pesticides, in addition to the use of recyclable and biodegradable packaging, Ariven Planet lives up to its promise (source).

Ariven Imperial RiceAriven Planet currently sells coffee, tea, and rice, and is proud to be the first to bring the Royal Heirloom Rice of India to the United States. Needless to say, I am glad they did! Their Ariven Imperial Rice is like no rice I have ever had before. Having followed the preparation directions exactly, the result was perfectly cooked, plump rice. Though there was a little excess water in the bottom of the pan, it was easily drained and ensured that the rice was moist. The resulting light, fluffy grains impart a nice, slightly sweet yet mild flavor and are a rich source of B vitamins. These precious little pillows could surely be used in both sweet and savory dishes and are excellent for soaking up a variety of saucy toppings. I highly recommend Ariven Imperial Rice and am happy to offer a 15% off coupon code BETHECHANGE108 towards their online store.

For your eating pleasure, below is a recipe for Mushroom Mutter Masala to eat atop this rice. Enjoy!

Mushroom Mutter Masala

Mushroom Mutter Masala

2 cups Ariven Imperial Rice, prepared
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 (16-ounce) package sliced white button mushrooms
1 tablespoon garam masala powder
1 (1-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1 large clove garlic, peeled and minced
1 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 cups frozen peas, thawed
1 (13.5-ounce) can coconut milk
2 (8-ounce) cans tomato paste*
1 cup vegetable broth

Heat oil in a 4-quart pot over medium heat. Add mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes, or until tender.

Add garam masala, ginger, garlic and salt to the pot, cooking and stirring for an additional minute.

Place remaining ingredients in the pot and continue to cook and stir until combined and heated through.

Serve over prepared rice.

* Should you prefer less tomato paste, simply use 1 (8-ounce) can tomato paste and decrease your vegetable broth amount to 1/2 cup.

Ariven Imperial Rice

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NOTE: The product noted above was a free sample provided by Ariven Planet, which has no affiliation with Vegan Food Addict. The views and opinions expressed herein are solely that of Vegan Food Addict and do not necessarily reflect that of others.

Product Review: Tasty Bite

22 Jul

Tasty BiteLaunched in 1995, Tasty Bite specializes in Indian and pan-Asian cuisine, offering convenient meals which require no cooking or refrigeration, and contain no preservatives. According to their website, Tasty Bite plays an active role in their community, providing food for disaster relief and scholarships for the children of their factory workers. In addition, 80% of the energy used in Tasty Bite’s factory comes from renewable resources.

Tasty Bite offers 27 different products (as of this posting), which are free of animal ingredients. Ranging in size from 8.8-10 ounces, each pouch can be heated and ready to eat in 90 seconds or less. Having been given the opportunity to try six of these products, below you will find a review for each.


Ginger Lentil Rice and Kung Pao Noodles

Ginger Lentil Rice

A “ginger-flavored long grain rice tossed with brown lentils and red peppers,” this Ginger Lentil Rice (pictured above left) is flavored just enough so as not to create an overpowering taste. Don’t be fooled, however, this product provides a little bit of a kick! As someone who can’t handle a lot of spice, I actually enjoyed this rice. In addition, the added lentils provide extra nutrition without sacrificing flavor. Tasty Bite’s Ginger Lentil Rice would nicely compliment nearly any Asian entrée.

Kung Pao Noodles

These “fresh cooked noodles and vegetables tossed with peanuts in a zesty sauce” work well alongside the Ginger Lentil Rice’s (pictured above right) gentle flavor. Tasty Bite’s Kung Pao Noodles are also spiced with chilies and Sichuan pepper for slightly more of a kick, and put the “Pao” in Kung Pao. Complete with celery, scallions, baby corn, water chestnuts and just a little sugar, this dish provides both savory and sweet tones.

Pad Thai Noodles and Thai Lime Rice

Thai Lime Rice

Flavored primarily with coconut, lemongrass and lime, and accented with lemon, basil and garlic, Tasty Bite’s Thai Lime Rice (pictured above right) has a light but unique flavor that I’ve never before tasted. I enjoyed the flavor of this rice, however, I feel like there is a little too much of something in it. Perhaps basil? Since I paired this rice with Tasty Bite’s Pad Thai Noodles, this rice ‘s subtle flavors helped calm the lingering kick of spice that I received from the noodles. Both had nice flavor.

Pad Thai Noodles

A great dish for those who like both sugar and spice, the Pad Thai Noodles (pictured above left) are described as “fresh cooked noodles topped with vegetables and crunchy peanuts.” Though this version of Pad Thai is different from others I have enjoyed, it does have a nice flavor with different textures to enjoy. Personally, I like tofu in my Pad Thai, and would have liked to have enjoyed this dish with rice noodles, but I still enjoyed it including the nice variety of vegetables including onions, carrots, baby corn, tomatoes, garlic, scallions and ginger.

Channa Masala & Punjab Eggplant

Channa Masala

I’m a sucker for Indian food and chickpeas so I enjoyed Tasty Bite’s Channa Masala (pictured above left). “…slow-simmered with onions, tomatoes and spices,” this dish is an Indian staple with a nice, smooth flavor and just a touch of sweetness. Due to the sauciness of this dish, it goes very well with rice, should you feel so inclined.

Punjab Eggplant

Tasty Bite’s Punjab Eggplant (pictured above right) is described as “roasted eggplant slow-simmered in a hearty tomato and onion sauce.” Though admittedly not an eggplant fan, I enjoyed this dish as it had excellent flavor, and, in typical Tasty Bite style, a kick of spice to liven it up even more. The flavors of this product mingled well together and I would happily eat it again.

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NOTE: The products noted above were free samples provided by Tasty Bite. Vegan Food Addict is in no way affiliated with Tasty Bite, and the views and opinions expressed herein are strictly that of Vegan food Addict’s and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of others.

Coconut Peanut Butter Granola

14 Apr

My love for coconut and peanut butter is no secret since I’ve used them together before in these Moist Coconut Peanut Butter Muffins. Coupling the two ingredients creates a magical combination of deliciousness. This easy recipe for Coconut Peanut Butter Granola is a favorite of mine and is delicious by itself, eaten as cereal, or even enjoyed with fruit and yogurt as a parfait. Use your imagination and enjoy!

Coconut Peanut Butter Granola

Coconut Peanut Butter Granola
Yields approximately 6 cups

3 cups uncooked oatmeal
1/2 cup flax meal (ground flax seed)
1/2 cup wheat germ
1/4 cup unrefined coconut oil (using refined will provide less of a coconut flavor)
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter

Preheat oven to 225º F.

Combine all ingredients and spread out onto a large ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Let cool before eating.

Coconut Peanut Butter Granola

Green Tea Coconut Cookies

11 Mar

Matcha is a finely milled, high-quality green tea common in Japanese culture. Used not only to flavor various foods and beverages, this form of tea is also utilized as a dye because of its rich green color. It is produced by first growing tea plants under the cover of shade. These plants take longer to grow which causes their leaves to turn a darker shade of green. Once the desired point of maturity is reached, the leaves are stripped away and laid flat to dry. They are then de-stemmed, de-vained, and finally, stone ground to produce the powder known as matcha (source).

These melt-in-your-mouth cookies are fashioned after the ever-popular Russian Tea Cakes, also known as Mexican Wedding Cookies, Butterballs or Snowball Cookies (source). With the addition of matcha and coconut, these green beauties boast an exciting flavor and various health benefits, and are an excellent St. Patrick’s Day treat.

Due to a high amount of Epigallocatechin gallate (an antioxidant), matcha helps protect against cancer and HIV, and is said to protect against bad breath and assist with weight loss. In addition, matcha is a good source of the amino acid L-theanine, which is said to provide an anti-stress and relaxing effect (source).

Green Tea Coconut Cookies

Green Tea Coconut Cookies
Yields 24 (1-1/2 inch) cookies

1/2 cup vegan buttery spread
1/2 cup unrefined coconut oil (not refined)
2 tablespoons matcha green tea powder
1/4 cup + 1/2 cup powdered sugar, divided
1/4 cup sweetened shredded coconut (optional*)
2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 400º F.

Cream together buttery spread, coconut oil, green tea powder and 1/4 cup powdered sugar until smooth. Add shredded coconut and flour and mix until combined. Mixture will be somewhat crumbly but should stick together.

Roll dough into 24 balls, approximately 1-1/2 inches in size. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake in preheated oven for 10-12 minutes or just until set.

Meanwhile, place 1/2 cup powdered sugar in a wide, shallow dish; set aside.

Remove cookies from oven and allow to cool for 10-15 minutes. Roll each cookie in powdered sugar and set aside until completely cooled.

* If you prefer to use unsweetened shredded coconut, increase ¼ cup powdered sugar to 1/3 cup and proceed with recipe as directed.

Green Tea Coconut Cookies

Veg-Friendly Key West

31 Mar

Key West

Wow, what an awesome week! I spent my birthday in style with a vacation to Key West, Florida. When it comes to food, Key West, being an island, is typically known for its seafood. However, there is a nice variety of vegan food available. Ranging from Mexican, to Thai, to American, your hunger needs are covered. Though I regrettably did not take pictures of most of my food, here is a run down of some of the vegan food options available:

Salsa Loca
Salsa Loca is a nice little Mexican restaurant. Their chips and salsa were tasty and their guacamole not bad. It looked as though it was made in a food processor and didn’t have the nice avocado chunks that fresh guacamole tends to have. Though it is always great as an appetizer whether it is fresh or not! For an entrée I enjoyed the Veggie Fajitas sans rice as I was told it is prepared with chicken broth. The beans were full of flavor and the fajita vegetables themselves (green and red bell peppers, mushrooms and onions) were simple, seemingly just fried in oil. These were served with a side of ensalada (salad) and a dollop of guacamole. Also enjoyed at my table was the Veggie Sincronizada, which is described on Salsa Loca’s menu as, “grilled tortillas stuffed with mushrooms, spinach, cheese, tomatoes, jalapenos, & topped with sliced avocados”. It was ordered without cheese and was decent I’m told, though it could have had a little more flavor. I’ve also heard that at least a couple of items are available with potatoes rather than meat, though I did not see these options on the menu. Perhaps they are available by special request?

Help Yourself
Next up is Help Yourself. This cute cafe/storefront has a little farmer’s market on Mondays, which offers excellent fresh produce. There is even a man there who sells fresh coconuts. For $5 he’ll cut open the end of a coconut with his machete, leaving you with fresh coconut water straight from the source. It is recommended to squeeze fresh lime juice into the coconut before drinking the water as it provides a more palate-pleasing flavor. Afterwards you can have the man split the coconut in half, allowing you to scrape out the coconut meat and enjoy that as well. Yum!

Help Yourself prides themselves in using fresh, organic produce, and don’t use refined grains, sugars or unhealthy fats. I ordered their lasagna which is described on their menu as, “layers of zucchini, brazil nut meat, pesto, fresh tomatoes, marinara, served with a green salad.” Thinly sliced zucchini replaces the pasta in this lasagna. Creative! My sister had half of the TLT wrap (marinated tempeh, lettuce, tomato, avocado, chipotle mayonnaise and mixed greens) and the other half, the English Garden wrap (raw vegetables, garden herbs, pesto, mayonnaise and mixed greens). Help Yourself creatively makes their own mayonnaise, cream cheese, and other normally dairy-based condiments, with cashews and other natural ingredients. Now this isn’t the type of food that is laden with salt and sugar like your typical American fare. Instead, the food’s natural flavors are brought to the forefront providing a fresh, satisfying flavor. Also sampled from Help Yourself was the Fruit Parfait, and Chocolate Buzz, Tropical Green, and Purple Jungle smoothies. I enjoyed the Fruit Parfait with the exception of the yogurt they used. It tasted very strongly of coconut which is good, but it could have used a little sweetener, perhaps agave, to tone down the dominating flavor a bit. Their granola is delicious and the smoothies were very good. The Chocolate Buzz smoothie was the favorite by far.

Sugar Apple Natural Foods
A cute, well-stocked natural grocery store with an attached all-vegan kitchen (the only one I know of in Key West), Sugar Apple is my favorite vegan destination in Key West. This establishment is not to be judged by its size, but rather the delicious flavor that comes from within. The banana-peach smoothie was cold, delicious and refreshing, and the Pesto Rice with Tofu packed with flavor. Though the dish was a bit on the salty side, it was delicious and came with a nice salad, in which I opted for the Key Lime Vinaigrette dressing. Also enjoyed were the Tofurky Sub and Vegetarian Italian Sub which contained various types of vegan meat slices. The food was filling and very tasty. I would have loved to go back here and tried more of their dishes and hope to do so in the future!

Peanut Butter N’ WHAT?
This fun place features peanut butter in every menu item. Simply reading the menu will give you a good chuckle as they have some creative and funny names for some of their offerings. Peanut Butter N’ WHAT? offers a variety of items ranging from tofu squares to tacos to sandwiches to desserts, and includes some rather interesting ingredients such as jalapeños, mustard and carrots. A selection of items can be made vegan and the friendly people behind the counter are happy to answer any questions you might have. We enjoyed the Banana Surprise and Nutty Banana Nuggets. Both dishes had fresh bananas covered in warm peanut butter. The Banana Surprise also came with raisins and warm chocolate dipping sauce, and the Nutty Banana Nuggets were topped with peanut butter Captain Crunch cereal, which the friendly man behind the counter made sure was vegan. Great place to stop by even if for a snack!

The Cafe
The Cafe is a nice, hip sit-down restaurant offering many vegan options, noted by a star on their menu. I had the Curried “Chicken” Salad Sandwich which was delicious. Available on ciabatta or whole wheat bread and accompanied by a marinated bean salad, this dish contained slivered almonds and grapes along with vegan chicken slices. The curry provided a nice kick but not too much. Other items sampled were the Falafel Sandwich (also delicious) and Grilled Tofu Salad, which was good but the tofu needed more flavor. Otherwise it was fresh and satisfying. I would have loved to try their vegan carrot cake or coconut cake but unfortunately my pleasantly full belly would not allow for it.

Lloyd’s Tropical Bike Tour
Though obviously not a food establishment, I have to mention Lloyd’s Tropical Bike Tour as not only does the tour include a leisurely bicycle ride around beautiful, breezy Key West, you also get to sample fresh food along the way. Run by a guy named Lloyd who is overflowing with character, we were led through the island and allowed to sample fresh avocado with lime juice and this delicious Spike seasoning, as well as fresh coconut milk with lime and aged coconut meat (which is crunchy and tasty unlike young coconut). We also enjoyed some fresh tamarind and these deliciously sweet cherries straight from the plant. Unfortunately I do not know the name of the cherries but I can tell you that they contained three seeds in each. Very interesting and unlike your typical tart cherry.

Have You Been to Key West?
I’d love to hear about what you had there and other fun vegan findings you’ve found!

Moist Coconut Peanut Butter Muffins

5 Jun

I absolutely love peanut butter. I attribute this love to my late grandfather who loved it as well. He and my grandmother always had a magnet on their fridge that said, “Reach for the peanut butter instead!” Peanut butter contains calcium, fiber, iron, potassium, protein and vitamin E. Peanut butter is delicious on so many things such as apples, french toast, pancakes, waffles, noodles, etc. The combination, however, of coconut and peanut butter, for me, is a match made in heaven. These muffins are perfect for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Moist Coconut Peanut Butter Muffins

Peanut Butter Coconut Muffins
Yields 12 muffins

1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup peanut butter
1-1/2 cups coconut milk
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons coconut oil (canola or peanut oil may also be used)

Preheat oven to 400º F. Grease muffin pan or line with baking cups.

In a medium bowl mix together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside. In a separate large bowl, mix together peanut butter, sugar, coconut milk and oil until thoroughly combined. Gradually add flour mixture, and mix just until moistened. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups, filling each 2/3 full. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.

Read more about the health benefits of peanut butter here.

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