A whole grain pasta that leaves you wanting more…what?

Tinkyada  makes gluten-free, wheat free, and non-mushy rice pasta that adds a little health to your meal. Boil water and add your pasta, let cook for 10-12 minutes, and enjoy while hot. Pairs perfectly with tomato sauce, sauteed veggies, or as a lasagna dish.

I tried the ‘Brown Rice Pasta Fettucini’ style and added my own homemade Italian sauce using fresh seasonings like basil, oregano, garlic, salt and pepper. I was reluctant to try a rice pasta since many of them usually come out “mushy” or taste “grainy.” The label clearly stated “Not Mushy” with two bunnies holding the pasta but I wasn’t convinced by it. I have to say the pasta was just right and I would have never guessed it was a whole grain choice. Let’s just say I could eat more than one serving and the taste was impeccable.

There’s millions of pastas and millions of ways to make your pasta different each time. You can view recipes at Tinkyada’s website here.

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http://tinkyada.com/

Front St Trattoria is a veg friendly hit!

Located in the heart of Red Bank, at the corner of West Front street, Front Street Trattoria brings Italy to you with fresh ingredients, spaghetti squash, meatless (eggplant filled) meatballs seasoned with marina sauce, and cauliflower pizza. It’s great for people cutting back on their carbs and serves a variety of vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options.

Owners Michael and Valerie were inspired by their trip to Italy and learned what a “trattoria” was a small cafe that served pizza and pasta dishes. Luckily, they did since foodies can now dine at Front Street Trattoria and eat a taste of Italy. With an outside area with dangling lights, a quaint and cozy dining area with trendy modern aspects, or a front street lookout, there is something to please every customer.

I ordered the Meatless Meatballs made with eggplant and portabello mushrooms and substituted the pasta for spaghetti squash served over tomato sauce. The portions are a bit tiny but it was surprisingly filling. Each meal starts with brick oven bread and a side of seasoned olive oil with a touch of spice.

You’ll be certainly coming back for more.

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http://frontsttrattoria.com/

Say “Epiphany” To Vegan Face Masks

Epiphany Soapworks makes all-natural and vegan friendly products that are totally good for your skin without all that extra stuff. Soaps, face masks, and beard oils are perfect for all skin types.  Based out of Tennessee, each product is handcrafted with quality ingredients; forget the preservatives, animal by products, chemical induced mainstream brands, and order a feel-good face product. Better yet, you’r helping animals out too since proceeds are donated to ASPCA.

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What I like most about the face mask  (beside from the fact that no animals were harmed in the making) is the cute little jar it comes in. For me, it’s easily storable and great for on-the-go travels. You can make about 15 deep cleansing face masks using 1-2 teaspoons of the powder and 1-2 teaspoons of water, use more or less depending how thick or thin you want the consistency to be. Leave on for 15 minutes and wa la your fresh feels fresh.
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I loved the fresh mint smell that I could smell and feel working through my pores one step at a time. For $15 a jar, you get everything you ever dreamed of.  High quality vegan face masks are hard to find these days, but this one is pure magnificence. My face feels smooth, oil-free, and renewed using sea clay and yellow silt ingredients.

A ‘Hidden Gem’ in Arizona…

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I took a trip to Arizona last week and it was absolutely amazing. I visited Sedona, The Grand Canyon, and Tuscon. One of my favorite ‘hidden gems’ was The Tuscon Mineral and Gem World Store. The worker was originally from Brooklyn and a totally knowledgeable mineral miner. It’s a family owned store, which started in 1968 and continues to wow people until this day.

Each gem and crystal is specifically picked for quality. It describes what features each individual piece is known for. Visit the site to see what I’m talking about. Look here…I’m not kidding.

Many of the New Age and Holistic followers come here to find their perfect stone.  For instance, Emerald is used for both physical and emotional healing. Reiki practitioners often purchase crystals, pendulums, and use them for healing.

Check out this hidden gem if you’re ever in the wild wild west!

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Enter the store for more gems..

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Goodness greens!

Mixed Greens is home to the salads full of green goodness as soon as you enter. You can easily make your own salad with over 50 toppings including a selection of fresh vegetables, grains, and lean proteins. Don’t worry vegetarians and vegans, we got you covered, make your own meatless and dairy-free salad. The inside is full of bright paintings and plants to go with the main message, “we like greens.”

I ate the ‘The Mediterranean’ salad which is made with mixed greens and plenty of toppings. It has falafels, lemon hummus, tahini, olive tapenade, roasted peppers, greens, and a side pita bread. I paired it with ‘Spinach Lentil’ soup which contains lentils, spinach, carrots, and onions. Grab a juice to go. I loved the fresh squeezed juices and my personal fav was the M.G. loaded with kale, spinach, pear, and a granny smith apple.

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Which foods contain the most iron?

High Iron Green Foods for Vegans and Vegetarians

Iron is an important component to a vegan and vegetarian lifestyle. It’s important to make sure you know which greens have the highest amount of iron in them. Iron helps with blood flow and provides you with a sufficient amount of energy; however, if you don’t get enough you can become anemic or lethargic throughout the day. A well balanced lifestyle is the key to longevity. We all have busy schedules, but it’s important to be conscious about what you’re putting into your body.

Here’s a list of high iron green foods. Spinach, swiss chard, seaweed, pak choi, asparagus, arugula, and Kale are the top contenders with the highest amount of iron in each serving. With the right amount of proteins, carbohydrates, fruits and vegetables, we can ensure that we are getting the daily requirements for our bodies.

Coconut Greens is a way to make sure you get the extra greens in your diet. One single scoop contains 8-10 servings of greens. You get your essential vitamins and blended veggies in a powder form, which you can easily throw in your smoothie or water. It contains kale, apple, wheatgrass, spirulina, alfalfa herb, spinach, broccoli, and other supergreens. You can stay energized throughout your day with all of the essential minerals and vitamins.

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Green Smoothie (Photo credits: Christa Alexis)

 

 

Go green and stay ironized!

Organic wines that are totally fine!

Frey Yineyards makes an assortment of organic red and white wines. Each wine contains no sulfites and is totally vegan friendly. Don’t worry it’s also gluten free. Choose from Pinot Grigio, Pinot Noir, Merlot, and Sangiovesen. I am such a lover of white wines, which is why I absolutely loved the Blanc.

I was able to try the 2014 Organic Agriculutrist Blanc and 2015 Organic Pinot Grigio but my favorite was the blanc. It had a light, crisp, and  refreshing taste. I’m thankful and grateful for a semi dry wine that pairs perfectly with any meal.

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Scrambled, what? Scrambled Tofu!

Looking for an easy way to get your protein. Look no further. We got you covered. All you need is a block of tofu (Trader Joe’s), non-dairy milk, flax seeds (grounded) salt, pepper, turmeric, cayenne pepper, vegan cheese, and onions. Pairs perfectly with sauteed spinach, Ozery bakery’s morning rounds, and Freida’s organic polenta.

First, put the block of tofu in a bowl and add about 2 tablespoons of non-dairy milk (I use Califia Farms). Then, add the grounded flax seeds about 1 tablespoon, a dash of salt, pepper, cayenne, and turmeric and two slices of vegan friendly cheese. Chop the onion into small square like pieces, you should use about half of the onion, and then mix it all together.

Heat your pan with drizzled olive oil and then scoop the seasoned tofu into the pan. Mix thoroughly until the onions are translucent and the vegan cheese is fully melted. Getting hungry? You’re almost done. All you have to do now is scoop into your plate.

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Made and photographed by Christa Alexis

Vegan friendly products, Lucid Living Co.

Lucid Living Co. is a vegan and cruelty free company based out of New Jersey. With a line of bath bombs, essential oils, soaps, and chap sticks, you’ll find the perfect scent for you. Choose from a variety of aromatherapy oils including Good Night Potion, Wake Me Up Potion, and Aphrodisiac Potion.

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My personal favorite is the Good Night potion and you can keep it by your bedside and roll it on before you go to sleep. The potion contains coconut oil, jojoba oil, and a blend of therapeutic essential oils like Chamomile, Lavender, and Sweet Marjoram. Ease your stress; let this oil calm your mind. It’s a soothing sweet treat for all of your senses. Breath in and exhale. Repeat. Zzz Goodnight!

Miss Jones makes bakin’ good

Straight out of San Fran, California Miss Jones Baking Co. brings us organic non-GMO plant based ingredients to make products that taste freakin’ AMAZING. That’s right with a capital A. I tried the brownie mix and I had to stop myself from devouring the entire brownie batter. It was no joke the softest, most scrumptious brownie I’ve ever had. I added some chopped walnuts to add to the crunch factor. The best part is Miss Jones even sent me a spatula to make my mixing even easier and my very own recipes. I’m now one authentic “Baker Babe.”

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Jones has a whole line of baking goodies like sea salt chocolate chip cookies, vanilla and chocolate cake, brownies, frosting, and can’t forget the apparel.  You can tell that each product is made with natural ingredients after the first bite. It taste like a professional baker just whipped up a sweet treat in my kitchen. It’s fresh, pure, and brings you back to your childhood days. Better yet, you won’t feel guilty and it goes easy on the sugar. Locate where you can get your Miss Jones Baking Co. goodies today and if you can’t locate a store near you, order them online. You won’t be disappointed! Christa Alexis approved ❤