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Recipe!! Vegan Potato Salad

My family LOVES to have cookouts during this time of year. Something about getting together on the porch and enjoying food together while the dogs play is just so wonderful!

Just because I am now a vegan, does not mean I can not enjoy these things with my families. I enjoy taking traditional favorites and throwing a vegan spin on them.

In today's post, I am going to share my spin a potato salad. This potato salad is avocado based instead of being mayo based. 

With this recipe, I tried to keep it as close to the traditional recipe as possible. I just do not like the options for vegan mayo, so instead this recipe is avocado based. It was super fun and yummy to make. I throw all of the ingredients into a blender and it is creamy perfection.

I hope all of you are having a wonderful summer!

Happy cooking!

Vegan Potato Salad Recipe
Makes 4-6 servings

5 potatoes
2 avocados
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
Juice from 1 lime
1 1/2 tablespoon whole grain mustard
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tablespoon dill
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup green onions, cut up
1/2 cup pickle relish

- Cut up the potatoes into bite sized pieces. I like to keep the skin on but you can take it off if you want
- Boil the potatoes
- While the potatoes are boiling add 2 avocados, apple cider vinegar, lime juice, garlic, mustard, seasonings, and half of the green onions to the blender.
- Blend it until it is smooth if it is too thick add a bit of water to thin it out
- When the potatoes are fork tender drain them and put them in a mixing bowl
- Combine the avocado mixture, potatoes, green onion and pickle relish
- Serve!
- It can stay in the refrigerator for up to one week

Recipe!! Vegan Taco Nut Meat

About five years ago I worked in a Raw Vegan Cafe. One of the things I learned to cook while I worked there was Taco Nut Meat.

It also happened to be my favorite thing!

What I liked about it best was that it was close to "regular" taco meat, but only better. This is not only 100% vegan it is 100% RAW vegan.

Not all soy sauces, olive oil and spices are considered raw. You would want to make sure the one you are using is raw if you are on a raw diet.

Here is an example of a raw soy sauce: OHSAWA Nama Shoyu Sauce

As well as an interesting article with more information about it, click here to read it!

It is delicious in a lettuce wrap (as pictured), on a salad or pretty much anywhere!

This can be stored for up to one week but typically does not last that long.

This is a basic recipe, feel free to add other vegetables to it if it gets too thick just add a bit of water!

Happy cooking!

Taco Nut Meat Recipe

1 1/2 cup of almonds soaked over night (you can use any nut but I like almonds the best)
2 teaspoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 pinch of ground cayenne
salt and pepper to taste

-Add everything into a food processor and process until crumbled into small pieces.
- You can store this in refrigerator in an air tight container for up to one week.

Veganism vs. Vegetarianism

Veganism vs. Vegetarianism

Very often, people confuse veganism with vegetarianism, yet there are glaringly stark differences between the two. Let us look into this and hopefully shed some light on this topic. First and foremost, veganism is a lifestyle which incorporates the ideal that whatever one does, they will do so with the least harm (in as practical a manner as possible) to other sentient life forms. This should never be confused with a plant based diet, as vegans do consume plant based foods as the greatest way to impact a cruelty free endeavour is to not support the meat, dairy and egg industries (Cows piracy and Earthlings are documentaries highly recommended) as well as to reduce the impact on the environment.

 The fact that veganism looks at and considers more than diet, means that even honey is not consumed, as it is produced by bees as their food.

Vegetarianism on the other hand, had its genesis in the concept that a healthier diet would be a plant based one, which for one excludes the saturated fat and cholesterol of meat and other animal products amongst other things.

Over time however, and in some instances, on a personal level only, the introduction of dairy became par for the course. Over time this led to the coining of other types of ' vegetarianism', these include:

1. Lacto - incorporating dairy - cheese and butter in the diet
2. Ova - eggs are included.
3. Lacto-ova (or ova-lacto) - dairy and eggs are included.
4. Pasco- fish is included in this diet.

The vegan lifestyle is significantly different from the vegetarian one, in the regard that even wearing leather is not an option. Other omissions from one’s lifestyle as well as diet include:

1. Any products containing palm oil which was unethically harvested.
2. Coconuts picked by captured monkeys.
3. Wearing pearls
4. Bee pollen, etc
5. Supporting products tested on animals and containing animal products, even makeup.
6 The zoo and circus as places of entertainment.
7. Vitamin D fortified foods.
8. Wines 'fined' with casein (milk protein), albumin (egg whites), gelatin (animal protein) and isinglass (fish bladder).
9. Most fast food dough, which contain human hair and/or turkey feathers.
10. Commercial sugars clarified through animal bone char.

The move to go vegan also is spurred by persons who recognize that in so doing they are:

Preserving the resources of the earth: In the following two ways.

It is quite factual that, factory farming impacts greatly, in a negative way, the methane output to the earth’s atmosphere. The very same activity or practice also utilizes large and copious quantities of water.

1. Land space – Up to 50% of the US land mass is used for animal agriculture.
2. Water usage. It takes about 660gallons of water to produce 1/3 lb of edible beef from cattle. Look at statistics here:

Just the very fact that we can live healthily without factory farming is enough for me to not contribute to such a business, how about you?

-            Jan P. López

Dining Out in Kingston, Jamaica as a Raw Vegan. Part II.

Following up from last week’s review of sorts, and highlight of places within Kingston, Jamaica  at which a raw vegan can easily partake of  and enjoy meals of healthy compositions, here are a few more worthy mentions, which one may wish to put to the test.

Next door to Shams Bakery (mentioned last week in Part I) is a raw vegan restaurant named 'Mi Hungry’, their selection is quite varied and offer mainly house prepared menu options. These include standard raw vegan burger options with a few variations for the customer’s choice, raw pizza options, juices, sweet as well as savoury pies to name a few.

I like to omit the burger pâté and have a raw sandwich of sauce free, fresh ingredient combination. Here, is a requested, not so well dehydrated nut based  'bun' with fresh lettuce, tomato and onion with chopped scotch bonnet pepper. I like added cayenne as well to give an extra kick.

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Raw sandwich with burger ‘bun’. Open faced.
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Covered: Nut based bun of fully raw sandwich.
. Mi Hungry always has freshly made juices. One of my favourite is their unsweetened soursop juice
Soursop juice
Although the location is primarily orders  ' to go', either for pickup or delivery. I like to have a seat and enjoy my order. This is why sadly; I am sporting a plastic bottle here. A tragedy to the environment. Years later, I am not always with my glass or stainless steel container, despite the fact that almost all places are sporting plastic containers for food.  Needless to say, both items were delicious. Bear in mind, one sandwich, the price of a burger, is not a very filling item, but not as heavy on the overt fats, yet providing fresh raw ingredients nonetheless. The sandwich was sauce free as per my request due to a personal preference. There are nonetheless a variety of options available at this location, all vegan, but satisfies persons of different palette preferences.
‘WellSpring’, a new 'to go' restaurant on the Half Way Tree Rd. stretch, is a branch of The Haining Rd. ‘Earl’s Juice Garden’. Offering a wide range of freshly pressed juices, blended nut shakes and blended smoothies caters widely to the cooked vegan patrons, of which there are many. Not being of such persuasion, I found some innovative ways to utilize the venue for small meetings whilst whetting the palette in as healthy a way as possible. My preferences at this location as in the case at Earl’s are their juices. I often opt to request a combination of their beet, carrot and ginger. Very high antioxidant combo as well as super tasty. For the sweet tooth customer, go for the closest Master Cleanse beverage: Local pressed cane juice with cayenne pepper: bottled at Earl' s, served in disposable branded cups at Wellspring.
Another good, tasty, healthy protein/iron combination is : Cane juice with spirulina ( A blue-green algae, high in protein). A green powerful blend of goodness, refreshingly tasty! Another good order available at either location is Dandelion juice, have as is or ' sweeten ' by adding cold pressed cane juice, available as a separate order in 3 sizes. 

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Sugarcane juice with Spirulina

Cane juice with cayenne pepper is a good order particularly when the location can provide freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice, ask for cane juice 60/40  to spring water(Lifespan available on location) dilution for a Master Cleanse combination. This is a recommended intake at least twice per month in 16 oz volume portions, as a high antioxidant beverage which aids with inflammation and  circulation.

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Sugarcane juice with cayenne pepper

For many, it may be more of a surprise to them to experience a raw vegan 'fan fare' of lunch options at a location such as ‘Veggie Meals On Wheels’ - inconspicuously nestled in the Regal Plaza, near to Cross Roads. Here, fresh vegetables are prepared daily, however, on request; this will be made available in a lunch portion at the price of a regular medium lunch. Beverages on hand often include   pressed cane juice, pineapple, Carambola or Juneplum/Star fruit.  Most juices are pre sweetened with processed sugar unlike the other named places which use fresh cane juice. Cane juice is a preferred option which the body recognizes versus unnatural sugar. It is important to ask these questions before ordering. For example, specific places do not sweeten their soursop juice, but most others have added cane juice.  Personally, I see no need for this, as the added sugar to sweet fruit juices is unnecessary and counterproductive to providing healthy options. Cane juice has its nutrient profile, antioxidant properties and added  flavour component, and need not be frowned upon.  Processed sugar on the other hand has to be broken down by the body when consumed, providing no nutrients to the body, yet taxing the internal organs and in the long run contribute to adrenal fatigue and other complications, particularly with a high fat intake. Request the sugarcane added juices whilst dining at this location.

Another location which comes to mind as a viable place for us raw foodies would be ‘24 Seven Café ’ nested in the lobby area of The Jamaica  Pegasus Hotel, on The Knutsford Blvd stretch. Request to know the fruits of the day , the likely options are Cantaloupe, Honeydew, grapes, pineapple and watermelon. Because watermelon should be had alone, it should not be included in any fruit salad combination. High hydrating fruits are not really an offensive combination with the melon family and therefore grapes with cantaloupe, honeydew and pineapple work pretty well, and can be the combination of choice for a satisfying dish, made to order on request .  I sincerely hope that these real life examples shed some light into how one may shift their way of thinking and aim to be more innovative in their vegan or more so, raw vegan journey !

~ Jan P. López

Recipe!! Golden Milk

Turmeric Paste
  • ½ cup water
  • ¼ cup turmeric

  1. Add to a sauce pan
  2. Stir over gentle heat for 7-10 minutes
  3. If it gets too thick add more water
  4. Store in refrigerator for 2-4 weeks

Golden Milk
  • 2 cups of coconut milk
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp - 1 TBS turmeric paste
  • 1 tsp chopped ginger
  • 4-6 black peppercorns
  • 1 pinch of stevia

  1. Add all of the ingredients into a sauce pan
  2. Mix all of the ingredients
  3. Simmer on low heat for 10 minutes
  4. Strain through a fine mesh strainer to get rid of peppercorns and ginger bits
  5. Serve

How To Dine Out in Kingston, Jamaica as a Raw Vegan. Part I.

Despite the notion that raw veganism is an impossible lifestyle, it is infinitely possible to dine out with options, 
right here in Kingston, Jamaica. In a two part synopsis, I shall illustrate how.
There are more than a few places to dine at which are raw vegan friendly and offer in some/most instances 
options for the non raw who will just as much enjoy their choices. This week, I shall briefly give an overview 

of options I had over a few weeks which are enjoyable to the palette, generally healthy and options which 
promote a cruelty free, environmentally friendly composition. In a future presentation, I will focus in detail 
on specific locations, their varied selections and recommended orders with an idea of how to choose healthfully 
whilst keeping the budget intact. 
In my view, fresh raw and vegan (in general) is the superior way to nourish the body. As such, my approach 
was in said direction to achieve enjoying a meal whilst eating out and keeping the budget in check. Firstly,
a stop at Tehuti Cafe on Lyncourt in Barbican was a welcoming experience. 
Embraced by the company of owner and operator Tehuti himself was a grand opportunity as always. 
Up on the menu are shakes, freshly made juices, pizza, salads, sweet pies, pastry balls and more. 
I opted for a scrumptious salad ensemble which included: Fresh tomato filled with tasty walnut cheese, 
curried coconut meat, seasoned ackee(fruit) over a bed of shredded cabbage, tamari sauce on  
‘zoodles’ (zucchini noodles), nut cheese dip on fresh lettuce, seasoned nut meat. Filling and tasteful.
Raw Gourmet Salad

Also available at Tehuti café, is his signature gluten free raw pizza, served with a seasoned walnut cheese. 

Raw wheat free pizza sprinkled
with walnut cheese.

Interestingly enough, Sham’s Bakery is a delightful location to have a fresh raw concoction. 
Situated in The Marketplace above Half Way Tree Square. Nael, owner, operator and Lead Chef 
is always up for creating a combination of your choice. For a number of years now, I have been ordering 
his signature Middle Eastern Tabbouleh minus a few ingredients and adding a few of my select choices. 
Here we have: finely chopped parsley, tomatoes, onions, garlic, added scotch bonnet peppers. 
     Raw Tabbouleh
 Often I will travel with fresh lime and squeeze the juice on top to release more flavour from the ingredients, 
although frankly, this combination needs no enhancing for me to enjoy fully. This, when paired with a ripe 
banana or two is a wonderful meal. Raw ackee also compliments this winning salad made fresh to order.  
Stay tuned for more next weekend.

Recipe!! Chickpea Potato Curry

When my husband told he wanted to go vegan he had only one condition. Flavor. He couldn't stress it enough. I personally could live off of lentils and rice and be perfectly content but he needs variety.

I immediately researched all the recipes we already loved and looked for ways to make them vegan. We live in a small town where it's not very culturally diverse. So it has been months since I've had West Indian curry.

I was craving chickpea curry with a passion and nothing was going to get in my way. Since becoming vegan there are two things I always have in the pantry: chickpeas and potatoes. I was unsure about having them both together, but they are a match better than pb&j.

I hope y'all enjoy this recipe as much as I did!


Ingredients:2 onions roughly diced1 tbsp minced garlic2 tbsp curry powder1 tsp coriander powder1 tbsp paprika (smoked is the best but any kind will do)1.5 tbsp cuminBlack pepper and salt to taste (potatoes absorb both liquid and seasonings so you probably need a bit more salt than you think you do)3 Medium potatoes (any kind will do) roughly diced2 cans of chickpeas1 can diced tomatoes2 cups vegetable broth3 handfuls of raw spinach

Instructions:In a large pot heat 2 tbsp of oil and sauté onions a garlic until the onions are translucent. Add the potatoes and seasonings and cook for two minutes (you can add some vegetable broth if the seasonings stick to the pot). Add the chickpeas tomatoes and vegetable broth and cook until the potatoes are done and the sauce has thickened (15-20min). Stir in the spinach until it's wilted.

You can serve this dish with rice or quinoa or without it. I personally served it with a cucumber and tomato salad with a balsamic vinaigrette to add freshness to the meal.

Recipe!! Vegan Chili

Hi guys! I am sorry I have been missing in action lately. We are preparing to move in the next few weeks and it has me going a bit crazy!  During these busy and stressful times, I have found it necessary to find something easy to make. Because I am a Vegan ordering in isn't always an option and it is not the best for you. 

I have found that chili is an awesome thing to make. It takes awhile to cook, but it is passive time. I can go and do other things, I do not need to sit over it the whole time.

I have had this on it's own, over rice and over baked potatoes. All three are equally as delicious. 
I also really enjoy topping it with avocado, it adds a certain creaminess I am used to having with my chili.

In my "pre-vegan" days I would just add sour cream, avocado has the same effect without using dairy!

Happy Cooking!

Vegan Chili Recipe
Seve 2-4

1/2 Yellow onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic diced
1 teaspoon of cooking oil ( I used coconut oil)
2 carrots, thinly sliced
3 Tomatoes, cut up
1 bell pepper, diced
1 can of black beans
1-2 cups of water or vegetable stock
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon liquid smoke
1 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
Salt and Pepper to taste
Avacado *Optional

1. Cook the onions and garlic in coconut oil until transparent
2. Add in all of the other ingredients except for the avocado
3. Let everything simmer on low to medium heat for 90 minutes
4. You can serve over rice, potatoes or on its own.
5. Top with avocado

Zero Waste Toothpaste

The last couple of years I heard a lot about oil pulling and the benefits of pulling for your oil hygiene. Oil pulling can be good for your overall health as well. I have always wanted to try it but it seemed very daunting to swish coconut oil for 20 minutes. I don’t have 20 minutes in my day to give my mouth that kind of workout. I wanted to find a better way.

I have always had a terrible time with my teeth. I brush them everyday and floss most days but no matter what I always ended up with cavities. My teeth are straight but over the years have yellowed. I actually really like my teeth so the yellowing, while insignificant in the scheme of life, made me very self-conscious. I wanted to find a way to improve my oral health and take care of the yellowing.
When I was looking online for ideas I stumbled on a Facebook page about zero waste. It was there that they talked about the blog Trash is for Tossers. Lauren, the zero waste queen, had a recipe for toothpaste using a few simple ingredients. In fact it was made using ingredients that you probably have in your pantry!! I had to try it.

For the last month I have been using the toothpaste and I love it. I have never felt so good about my oral health. I typically have sensitive teeth so I was a little worried about it but the toothpaste has proved to work really well. In fact, I think it might actually work better than most toothpaste you can get in stores!

It is really simple to use and super simple to make. You just scoop a little onto your toothbrush (I use this one!) using a Popsicle stick or a spoon (do not use your toothbrush! It can cause bacteria to enter your toothpaste and make it spoil faster) and brush your teeth like normal! That’s it! I still spit and rinse and I do suggest spitting into the toilet because the oil can clog your sink.

Zero Waste Toothpaste (original recipe here)
2 T. Coconut Oil (I get unrefined virgin oil from my local health food store)
1 T. Baking Soda
15-20 Drops Essential Oil

All you need to do is mix the ingredients and you have some of the best toothpaste! I use peppermint and frankincense oil because I read that frankincense is really good for oral health. I haven’t had dental insurance for a year so I am waiting to see what my dentist says but I think he will be pleasantly surprised.

My teeth are whiter, my breath feels fresh and I haven’t had any problems with tooth pain from cavities! I did try my usual store bought toothpaste for a week and I noticed a huge difference. My teeth never really felt “squeaky-clean” with my usual toothpaste and with this one my teeth always look and feel super fresh. They are white and shiny and I won’t go back to store bought again. Give it a try and see if it works for you too! Just make sure you are using the best ingredients so you have a great experience! \

Getting ready to explore the great outdoors? Check out THESE Hiking Poles from Montem!

How To Reduce Bloating Whilst Transitioning To A High Carb, Low Fat Raw Vegan Lifestyle PII.

How To Reduce Bloating Whilst Transitioning To A High Carb, Low Fat Raw Vegan Lifestyle PII.

Continuing from last week- April 28, 2017:

C. Insufficient Sleep. Lack of REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep, particularly between the hours of 10pm and 2am each day can prevent adequate digesting ability. To avoid this, try to adjust your day/night schedule to incorporate sufficient sleep as well as early enough to bed hours.

D. Stress levels. High stress levels can undoubtedly result in disruption of many things, including healthy digestion 
functions. As the saying goes – ‘Stress kills’ or ‘Stress Causes Cancer’. Both are as valid as the need to 
mitigate the effects of oil spills in oceans as they are detrimental to the inhabiting plant 
and animal life.

Though perhaps easier said than done.  Stress is a major contributing factor to health issues, and if not abated in an effective manner. Stress places the body in ' fight or flight ' mode, draining the adrenals, other organs and the lymphatic system when not addressed in a timely and healthful manner. Stress is not something turned off by a switch; however, it is imperative that one finds some way to temper any stress or undue stressful situation(s) in their life. We all get 'stressed', whether it is by people, work situation, or one off incidences. Finding effective, practical ways to handle/manage these is the only way to 'save' oneself. Each person has their own method or strategy to combat, defer, or mitigate stress in a 
healthy manner. The key is to identify these steps and employ them wisely to achieve the intended goal .

Gut weakness due to an upset of intestinal flora caused by a poor diet, whether presently or in the past is a true reality.  When processed foods, a high wheat and gluten intake, along with meat, dairy, eggs  have been consumed over time, the intestinal flora integrity most often than not, do not function optimally. Due to this fact, poor digesting function often prevails. This is because the bacteria to breakdown plant foods become ' redundant' as a result of ill or non use. As the body relearns to reproduce the necessary enzymes to digest the new foods, it becomes a necessity for some to bridge this gap with systemic digestive enzymes. One such being: Puradyme Line of Prods. Their enzymes are plant based and closest to their natural state as one can obtain in the form of supplements. As a non supporter of man made supplements, I will say this one ranks highly, and interestingly fare well by the long term raw foodists. These are they:

It is key to recognize which issue is the overriding one to cause the effects; each person must be aware enough to identify the root of their bloating symptoms. Often, it is a combination of more than one of the above mentioned here. Most often than not, at the stage of bloating symptoms, generally, the adrenals and or lymphatic systems are already compromised. A protocol involving colonics, specific herbs and flushes are most effective at this stage. Giving the organs and digestive system a rest is also key. Therefore, engaging in a water fast, juice feast or even dry fast may be one course of action to benefit from and offer some if not total relief.

It is wisest to seek supervised fasting and/or other cleansing protocols effective in treating the bloating root cause, once successfully identified. This is really an avoidable happen stance. Other natural and safe protocols to utilize in keeping these symptoms at bay include: homemade fermented Noni juice, kombucha, kefirs, kimchi, and sauerkraut. These are the vegan, ideally salt free and raw versions of the above. These must be had as directed and over a certain period of time to be most effective.