Chicago Vegan Guide for the Cali “Vegan-ish” Gal

Chicago Vegan Guide for the Cali "Veganish" Gal

Although I’m not vegan, healthy food is healthy food. What does that mean? I can see a lot of great qualities that come out of veganism. However, I don’t have the willpower, nor desire, to forever say goodbye to French butter with chunks of Fleur de sel, freshly whipped Chantilly cream, or stinky soft cheese. But I’ve always believed everything good and indulgent should be consumed in moderation. That includes things like veganism, vegetarianism, or a meat eating carnivorous lifestyle.

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Easy Kalamata Tapenade with Sumac; A versatile condiment

Easy Kalamata Tapenade with Sumac-

This is a budget friendly way to make a tasty olive spread that shouldn’t be relegated to the sole use as charcuterie platter item. Its versatility surprises most. How do you eat tapenade? Spread it over toasted sliced of baguette for a simple appetizer. Place a dollop atop polenta discs for a hearty side dish. Layer under bread as a potent condiment for grilled sandwiches, or roll it into a pork tenderloin for a quick impressive dinner. But, my favorite is to use this easy tapenade on my Za’atar Pizzas with Labna.

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(No) Energy Balls: Chocolate Banana Coco-Nut & Vanilla Almond Fig

(No) Energy Balls: Chocolate Banana Coco-Nut & Vanilla Almond Fig - HeDoesXrayIDoFood

These addictive, protein rich bon-bon like balls are moist with great texture and very little sugar. Unlike most “Energy Ball” recipes, they contain no coconut oil whatsoever, keeping the fat content low. The crunch from rough chopped nuts is balance by the sweet chew of dried fruit and (quick cooking) oats. They satisfy the midday munchies with guilt free nutrition. And when kept in a sandwich bag in my purse, they make a happy girl out of my perpetually HANGRY niece!

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Buffalo “Winged” Cauliflower- The Easiest version you’ll find

Buffalo "Winged" Cauliflower- The Easiest version you'll

The spicy tang from Louisiana style hot sauce it enough to cause involuntary mouth-watering. (Admit it, you just salivated!) The crunch that comes from perfectly roasted cauliflower is only complimented by a soft breading from healthy grain containing whole wheat pastry flour. These guilt-free wing-substitutes are healthy enough to be a side dish to NYC style (un-fried) Fried Chicken  or a nice grilled steak, but crave-able enough that I’ve been known to eat them as an entree.

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Clean a Leek like a Cooking Geek! Let your LEEK FLAG FLY!

These bright green, onion-ey/garlicky (not words, I know), fragrant vegetables add a creative and different flavor to many dishes. Swap them out when using white onions and you’ll get a much more subtle aromatic effect, while adding a gorgeous color.

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