I love to cook. From plant based pizza to the best vegan quesadillas, I enjoy making it all! When I first became vegan I started researching ingredients and learned how to "veganize" my favorite foods. There is a vegan version of practically everything!
Sometimes my life gets very busy, and instead of cooking I stop by my favorite local restaurant for vegan options: The Local Expedition Wood Fired Grill. They also have another location if you're looking for vegan restaurants in Sandy Springs.
From salads to wraps to veggies plates, they use fresh, healthy ingredients packed with the perfect combinations of flavor. The owners Danny and Diana Kim have really taken the time to create menu items with global and unique flavor profiles that tie in tastes of Asia, Europe, and the Americas, and I'm here for it! There are so many great vegan items on the menu, but I just want to share some of my favorites.
The vegan falafel plate and the falafel wrap are both phenomenal. The falafels are flavorful, crispy on the outside, and tender on the inside. The vegan sauce on the wrap is sweet, tangy, light, and citrusy. I usually pair the wrap with my favorite side. They have the tastiest, perfectly seasoned, Brussels sprouts.
Now, let's talk about the Portobello mushrooms. Not only are they extremely nutritious, they are absolutely delicious when well prepared, and The Local Expedition Wood Fired Grill gets it right. The mushrooms are so flavorful, meaty, savory, and perfectly caramelized. I love to add them to my "Just Sides" meal with steamed rice, broccoli, and a delicious bowl of veggie curry. I enjoy making vegan curry and ordering curry, and I am still trying to figure out everything they put in the veggie curry because the flavor combination is so good. I can't even begin to guess all of the ingredients. All I know is I always get some veggie curry to go, because it is that good.
If you're ever looking for vegan restaurants in the Alpharetta area and delicious vegan food in Sandy Springs, you should definitely visit The Local Expedition Wood Fired Grill, and tag #thesensiblevegan and #localexpeditionwfg to let us know your favorite vegan options on the menu.
Besides being my phenomenal husband and father to our daughter, Kenny James has quite the resume when it comes to football and baseball. My only regret is that we met many years after he played sports, so I never got to see him play.
In high school he was offered a full football scholarship to the University of South Carolina, but in 1995 he was drafted in the 3rd round of the MLB draft out of Sebring High School in Sebring, FL by the Montreal Expos as an outfield/switch hitter for six years. He later signed with the Toronto Blue Jays as a free agent and then with the Anaheim Angels.
In high school and in his professional career he received many accolades including:
2nd Team Florida Georgia All Star Game-Football
County Offensive Player of The Year-Football
Baseball America Best Defensive Outfielder
Fastest Base Runner in the Eastern League
The list goes on and on. Now he is a professional hitting instructor and trains athletes at all levels in hitting, fielding, base running, and speed & agility. When I made my transition to veganism, I was not sure if or when he would be on board. I did it kind of abruptly after watching Vegucated. (I became vegan overnight.)
Today he is all vegan, and I could not wait to hear his thoughts on The Game Changers film. So here we go!
TJ: Before becoming vegan, what was your biggest misconception about veganism?
KJ: I honestly didn't realize how much protein came from plants!
TJ: Being an all-star athlete required you to be in great shape. How do you compare your health now to when you were a professional athlete?
KJ: My health has improved drastically. Even though I was athletic, my cholesterol numbers were very high. I remember sometimes having chest pains. I did not like feeling that way. I ate things like pork chops, ribs, burgers....I was pretty much eating everything. Today, I have no more chest pains, I have more energy, I feel so much better, I don't have health problems, and I am educating myself on the benefits of a vegan diet and not contributing to animal suffering.
TJ: What stood out to you while watching The Game Changers?
KJ: Everything! There was so much information to process. I was truly amazed and impressed by the movie. It made me want to learn more and more about the vegan lifestyle.
TJ: What advice do you give athletes regarding the vegan lifestyle?
KJ: I tell them that in order to be the best they have to take care of themselves daily, and I encourage them to try going vegan. Food choices make a huge difference and can make or break you. They can recover faster, feel better, and they should definitely watch this movie to see for themselves.
TJ: What are your favorite vegan foods?
KJ: I love my wife's veggie burgers and BBQ seitan strips.
TJ: Is there anything else you would like to add?
There are so many people that I know that suffer from health problems like obesity and many other health related issues. It's really sad because people say they want to change, but they won't try anything different to achieve different results. I hear a lot of excuses. I just want people to know that there is a better way.
Even before becoming vegan I was never a fan of pork sausage. I do remember eating it, but not much. I stopped eating pork because I thought it was unhealthy. However, I never thought about the animal cruelty involved until becoming vegan. If you have not watched footage of factory farms and animal slaughter involving pigs, it is truly horrific. There are countless reports about pigs being beaten, kicked, partially-stunned, and boiled in scalding hot water alive. They are faced with relentless abuse and ultimately death so they can be served up on a platter. My question is, if you can have a healthy option that tastes amazing and does not result in the killing of animals, why would you not try it?
There are several brands of vegan sausages on the market, and my favorite brands are Hilary's and Dr. Praeger's. The taste, texture, and nutritional content is exceptional. I decided to review the Dr. Praeger brand because there are may people that contact me that do not eat soy, and this brand is soy-free. I will review the Hilary's brand at another time because it's also soy-free!
Each box contains five sausages. They are quick and easy to prepare. The box gives you directions for a skillet option or an oven/toaster oven option. The texture mimics traditional sausage patties, and the taste is delicious and flavorful. With ingredients like pea protein, sweet potato puree, butternut squash puree, carrot puree, sage and fennel, these little patties are big on flavor.
One serving contains 18 grams of protein and only eight carbs, so you can add this to your vegan breakfast list and keto shopping list as well. If you try these, please let me know what you think!
I absolutely love chocolate. From vegan chocolate brownies to chocolate peanut butter cups, I enjoy creating recipes using chocolate. When I was contacted by Yes Cacao, I could not wait to receive the chocolate bars and do a review. I can truly say that these chocolates are not your ordinary chocolate bars.
The packaging and the names of the chocolates peaked my interest, and the ingredients are pretty impressive. My daughter definitely has my taste buds, and she was eager to try the chocolate with me. Since one of her favorite colors is purple, we decided to try the Gaba Baba first. I would have snapped a picture of the chocolate after opening it, but my daughter and I polished it off fairly quickly.
The smooth chocolaty taste with the perfect touch of vanilla makes for a very satisfying bar. With ingredients like gaba, turmeric, and kava, your mind will be mellow, and your heart will be happy. No worries if you want to indulge in this bar for a late night snack. According to the website it's "safe to enjoy before sleep." That is outstanding!
The "Dirty" chocolate bar was designed with endurance in mind. I will be packing this with me when I need that extra little boost to help me go the extra mile throughout the day. It has a rich, dark taste with a hint of fennel and mint.
With allstar ingredients like shilajit, reishi, and maca, this bar not only tastes spectacular but provides antioxidants, immune boosting ingredients, and helps increase energy levels as well.
The Karma Mellowl bar has a creamy, buttery taste with a hint of cinnamon. With ingredients like turmeric, lion's mane, and ginkgo, it was designed to boost brain power and memory. I like the balance of sweet and spicy in this bar, and if it will help me remember where I placed my keys or my phone I am all for it.
Overall, these vegan chocolate bars are exceptional. Each one is designed with a specific purpose in mind. They not only taste good, they are good for your mind, body, and spirit. It is hard for me to pick a favorite one since they all have such unique benefits.
Order yours today. You will not be disappointed.
If you've browsed through my recipes, then you know how much I love adding beans as an ingredient! From vegan chili to quesadillas, beans are usually in the mix. Not only do they taste great, there are numerous health benefits to adding beans to your diet.
Amazing Health Benefits
I love creating recipes that are quick, easy, and do not require a lot of time and ingredients. BeanVivo is the perfect option. You get delicious, ready-to-eat organic beans that are seasoned to perfection and delivered straight to your door. The beans are 100% plant-based, high in protein and fiber, and rich in healthy macro and micro-nutrients. They are perfect as a stand alone snack or dip and the highlight of a few of my recipes.
The Chimichurri black beans were perfect for my vegan taco pizza recipe! Instead of pulling out my food processor to puree the beans and mix in the seasonings, I just opened up a fresh container of ready-to-eat beans. Not only are they convenient and time saving, each package of beans is seasoned with a variety of fresh, organic spices and global flavors that would take time and research to perfect. BeanVivo already did the legwork, and helped me create a pizza that my entire family absolutely loved.
I recently made vegan buffalo cauliflower for the first time. I thought about creating my own dipping sauce, but as I was looking in the fridge the container of BeanVivo Miso Ginger white beans caught my eye! Would it work as a dip for my buffalo cauliflower? Yes, Indeed! With ingredients like organic blue agave nectar, organic white miso paste, and cashew butter my mind was blown! We used it for the buffalo cauliflower, and then as a dip for our multigrain chips. Money in the bank!
Who loves vegan nachos? I absolutely do. I usually top my nachos with black beans, but this time I had to try the BeanVivo Jalapeno Avocado Beans. Let me tell you, there was so much flavor going on in this recipe that my vegan nachos will never be the same. With ingredients like organic cilantro, avocados, organic jalapenos and much more, I would have had to spend time and money purchasing all of the various spices, veggies, and other ingredients to make it work. I didn't have to do that. BeanVivo came through!
See for Yourself
I am sold on the product because they are nutritious, inexpensive, made with quality ingredients, versatile, time-saving, and loved by my entire family. BeanVivo is six-year old and husband-approved in my household. Don't take my word for it, check out the website, and place an order. In no time you'll be inspired to create new recipes or pack them on-the-go because they are delicious right out of the container. Before I go, you have to check out the seven layer dip I made with the Chimichurri Black Beans! Please check back and leave a comment after you have tried them, too!
There are many different vegan protein powders on the market. I have tried several brands. Some had a strange aftertaste, some didn't blend well, and some were absolutely delicious. I want to share my thoughts on the Protein World New Vegan Blend that I received from the company. My husband, daughter, and I all tried it. I'll let you know what everyone thinks!
I didn't taste the previous blend, but according to the company website this is the new vegan protein blend that underwent a "serious transformation bringing you a new formula that tastes better than ever!" It includes a pre and probiotic blend that promotes a healthy gut and 25 added vitamins and minerals as well.
I also like the fact it is dairy free, lactose free, high in protein-26 grams per serving, soy free, gluten free, GMO free, and less than half a gram of sugar per serving. The new blend is derived from pea protein, quinoa protein, and hemp protein.
I use almond milk and cashew milk to make my shakes and the Protein World shaker to mix them. The chocolate has a bold, rich, chocolatey flavor, and the vanilla is naturally sweet and creamy. I personally didn't think there was an aftertaste with the chocolate blend, but my husband thought that it had an aftertaste when he tried it. My daughter tasted the chocolate blend and liked the flavor, but we love just about anything chocolate. She did say she likes the vanilla better than the chocolate blend. I normally do not like vanilla flavored protein powder, but this one very good! I did detect a subtle aftertaste with the vanilla vegan blend.
This is a well-rounded product that is low in sugar and high in plant protein, vitamins, minerals, and taste. There are several promotions going on right now, so check out the Protein World website to try it for yourself. There is also a section that includes great vegan recipes that incorporate additional Protein World products.
I look forward to using the vegan protein blends in my next energy bite recipe, and if you order the vanilla or chocolate vegan blend please let me know what you think!
We were in Ohio for the Cleveland Vegfest recently, and on the first night there was a meet and greet for all of the speakers, volunteers, and Cleveland Vegan Society members. My husband, daughter, and I attended, and the food was phenomenal. The event was held at Taza A Lebanese Grill, and it was the first time I had ever eaten Lebanese food. The food was extraordinary, and we went back the next day for lunch! We had Fattoush, Mujadara, and Grilled Veggies. This placed rocked my world!
I perused the menu, and ordered the fattoush salad. It consisted of shredded romaine mixed with chopped tomatoes, green peppers, cucumbers, parsley, seasoned pita chips, lemon, garlic, olive oil, and a hint of sumac. The combination of ingredients was light, citrusy, crisp, and fresh. The flavor was out of this world! The crunch of the pita chips along with the tartness of the sumac combined with the zesty, citrus elements made for a truly sensational salad!
My husband ordered the Mujadara and the grilled vegetables. The portions were quite substantial, so after he polished off the grilled vegetables, I happily helped him with the Mujadara. It consisted of a bed of steamed lentils and rice topped with Lebanese Salata. It was garnished with fried onions. Oh my goodness. I can't explain to you how delicious this food was. Now, this right here is happy tummy, feel-good, comfort food!
When I saw grilled veggies entree on the menu, I totally skipped over it. It was a mistake. I kept eyeing my husband's plate, but I was having a hard enough time finishing my super fattoush salad and tending to our daughter. The next time I looked at his veggie plate, it was empty. The fresh veggies were marinated and served with Lebanese rice, vegetable bulgar, and the choice of garlic or tahini sauce. Once again, this was a hefty, hearty, aromatic, delectable plate of food. My husband raved about it.
It's one thing to find a restaurant with great food, but the staff at this restaurant is just as stellar as the fine cuisine. We cannot say enough about Clair. She was so informative, patient, and hospitable.
When we go back to Cleveland, Taza A Lebanese Grill will be one of our first stops. Thank you, Clair for such an outstanding dining experience and for sharing your amazing Lebanese vegan dishes!
A few weeks ago I was at Whole Foods, and I discovered Made Good products. I was particularly hungry that day, so I broke them open in the car. Oh. My. Goodness. By the time I made it home, the pouch was just about empty. I purchased the chocolate chip flavor, and they rocked my world! They are bite-size, chewy, and chocolatey, with the perfect hint of sweetness. They are vegan snack goals!
I couldn't wait to share them with my daughter. She tried them and absolutely loved them. They became an immediate staple in our house. For a while I was going to the store and buying three or four pouches at a time. I kept thinking, "I wish they were sold in individual small pouches so I could pack them in school lunches."
Well, it took me a while, but when I was shopping at Kroger a few days later I found the boxes with the individual pouches. I was happy because I had found a new plant based product that my daughter loved and a product that would be safe in her classroom since they are free from peanuts and tree nuts.
"MadeGood® Granola Minis are made in a dedicated facility free from the 8 common allergens: peanut, tree nuts, wheat, dairy, egg, soy, sesame, fish and shellfish. They are also organic, gluten free, Non-GMO project verified and contain the nutrients in one full serving of vegetables from six different sources." -www.madegoodfoods.com/us/
Not only are they everything I've already mentioned, they are also inexpensive. The pouches and boxes were less than four dollars each. My favorite is the chocolate, and my daughter loves the strawberry the best with chocolate coming in second. I also enjoy the banana flavor, but my daughter...not so much.
If you are looking for a yummy, wholesome, nutritious on-the-go snack, or a great item to pack in your child's school lunch, then I highly recommend you try Made Good products. I was not paid to write this post. This is just an honest review of a quality product.
If you try them, please let me know what you think in the comments.
.When I became vegan almost two years ago, I would often see recipes calling for nutritional yeast and people also mentioned nutritional yeast to me from time to time. I didn't really know what is was, and I never took the time to read about the product...until now. I was so impressed with an article I read about nutritional yeast and the health benefits, I went out and purchased some today to see for myself. There were two things that made me want to try the product. Many say it is a great cheese substitute, and it it has a nice list of health benefits.
1. It is a great source of vitamins and minerals. When I turned it over to read the nutrition information on the back, I was surprised, especially when I saw the percentage of vitamin B12. Many vegans are concerned about getting enough B vitamins in their diet, and this product definitely delivers when it comes to vitamin B12. According to Dr. Josh Axe, "Consuming B12 helps your mood, energy level, memory, heart, skin, hair, and digestion."
2. Nutritional yeast is not the same as brewer's yeast. Brewer's yeast is used to make beer and bread and derived from a fungus. It does not contain vitamin B12. Nutritional yeast is a deactivated yeast, and a 1/4 cup serving contains 290 percent daily value of vitamin B12.
3. Nutritional yeast helps boost the immune system. It contains immune boosting compounds. According to Dr. Michael Greger, the beta glucan fiber in nutritional yeast can help maintain our body's defense against pathogens.
4. Nutritional yeast is a great source of protein. A 1/4 cup serving contains 9 grams of plant based protein.
I sprinkled some on my salad as well, and it provided a delicious cheesy flavor. My daughter saw me add it to my pasta at dinner, and she asked to try it. Now she is a fan of nutritional yeast, too. It definitely enhanced the overall taste of the pasta.
Nutritional yeast will be an ongoing staple in my household, and my only regret is not trying it sooner.
Every time I was at Whole Foods looking for a good organic shake and meal replacement, I would glance at this one and pass it by. For the life of me I don't know why, but now I know what I was missing. For a while I would only purchase the PlantFusion vegan shake brand, but now I have a new favorite!
What's in it? Each serving contains a raw organic protein blend, an organic flavor blend, a raw organic fiber blend, a raw organic fruit and vegetable blend, a raw organic greens blend, and a raw probiotic and enzyme blend. See for yourself!
How does it taste? It has a full, rich, creamy, dark chocolate taste to me. The real, raw, chocolate cacao gives it a pure and strong chocolate flavor. No imitation here! Some protein powders have that "artificial" taste and aftertaste, but I found that this one does not. It is filling. It does what a meal replacement is supposed to do-provide the nutrients to replace a meal and keep you from feeling hungry without upsetting your stomach. Who wants the bubble guts after consuming a protein shake? Not I!
This one is a winner and part of my daily routine! What is your favorite shake or meal replacement?
About Tabatha James
Tabatha James is a wife, mom, and children's book author navigating her way through a vegan way of life!