Saturday, March 10, 2018

John Joseph's "No Death, No Dairy" Vegan Lasagna (Recipe featured on Munchies)

"No Death, No Dairy" Vegan Lasagna Recipe
by John Joseph from Cro-Mags & Bloodclot
(Recipe featured on Munchies)

Original video on MUNCHIES YouTube channel
HARD TRUTH with John Joseph

If there is a reason you don't feel like sitting through the original video, or just want a recipe to follow without watching a whole video and [possibly] pausing throughout its duration, here is the recipe for John Joseph's "No Death, No Dairy" Vegan Lasagna. The original video is quite humorous and shows as he prepares the meal, but it features frequent adult language, which doesn't personally bother me, but sometimes I want to cook while my daughter is around and don't want her to hear all the frequent cursing.

I did my best to write out the recipe as best as I could. If you know there's an error, please leave me a comment so I can correct it. THANKS, and enjoy!

Preheat oven to 350-375 degrees F.

Sauce Base:

4 TBSP vegan butter
3/4 cup olive oil
3/4 tsp asaphoetida / hing
1 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp coriander
pinch fenugreek
pinch cumin
1.5 tsp mustard seeds
2 dry chiles

Saute together a few minutes then add 4 plum tomatoes and let cook down a few minutes. Add 10 cups pasta sauce. Next, add:

3 1/4 tsp SEA SALT
1 can organic tomato paste
1/4 cup organic blackstrap molasses
3 tsp Italian blend seasoning

Cook down for about 1/2 hour and set aside.

Meat filling:

coconut oil and pepper
vegan crumbles

Brown vegan crumbles in coconut oil with a little pepper for about 10 minutes, stirring constantly.
Place in bowl and set aside.

Cheese layer:

3 containers Kite Hill ricotta
touch of vegan cheese shreds

Mix together and set aside.

Veggie layer:

2 big stalks broccoli, chopped into big segments
large zucchini, cubed or sliced

Cover and steam until tender. Break into small pieces and set aside.
(You will also need some ripped spinach for a thin layer in this recipe.)

Assembling the lasagna:

Grease a large baking pan. (He uses a paper towel to grease with Earth Balance and a splash of olive oil.)

Do not boil or cook pasta, just run each piece under water a few seconds to break up starches a bit.
Add layer of uncooked lasagna noodles to bottom of baking pan.
Layer cheese and meat filling, press and spread with hands for an even layer.
**Note: it is never mentioned in the video, but I watched several times and it looks as though he has mixed his ricotta and meat fillings together.
Spread generous layer of sauce for flavor and to help pasta cook.
Add layer of steamed veggies and spinach. Top with sauce.
Add a layer of shredded vegan cheese*.
Top with noodles then sauce*.

Bake 1 hour COVERED at about 350-375 degrees F.
*Save small amount of the pasta sauce and shredded cheese. Add to top layer and cook uncovered additional 15 minutes.

He served with big salad with homemade creamy almond dressing and organic Italian bread.

I have made vegan lasagna before, but it never turned out fantastic. My husband is very picky about "cheese", but with better vegan cheeses now on the market, I am confident my next batch, using THIS recipe for the first time, will be delicious! I'm not sure I am going to get the asafoetida/hing just for this recipe as he states in the video it's mainly used to control gas/flatulence. I'm pretty sure it will have enough flavor without this element.

Thanks for the recipe and great YouTube channel, John Joseph, and thanks for spreading the vegan love!

Thanks for reading, hope you enjoyed the recipe breakdown on my site! This post was tagged under the following keywords/labels: vegan, vegan lasagna, lasagna recipe, vegan lasagna recipe, no death no dairy, no dairy, John Joseph, cro-mags, layer, sauce, pasta, noodles, original, cheese, vegan cheese, video, YouTube, munchies, q0g4c2r7. HAVE A GREAT DAY!

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Intermittent Fasting and B's for Weight Loss

My Personal Experience:
Intermittent Fasting and B's for Weight Loss

I've been trying to lose a few pounds for awhile but I have moderate psoriatic arthritis which causes quite a bit of pain, especially in my feet (coupled with severe plantar fasciitis). The condition isn't debilitating, but I'm in chronic pain and it makes lots of activity difficult. At any rate, I have tried weight loss supplements like garcinia cambogia and green tea extracts with no luck. Have you ever tried any weight loss pills or supplements? Did you find any success? What are your biggest struggles? Let me know in the comments!

Over the last ten months or so I've been taking a B-vitamin supplement which includes caffeine, hoodia, PEA, and a few other ingredients. I was hesitant to take it as nothing ever seems to work for me, but a friend gave me a sample and I got SO MUCH energy and mental focus and clarity when I took it. I was hooked. Then a few weeks later I noticed a few pounds had dropped off and I hadn't changed a thing. As a vegan I already eat relatively healthy with lots of fruits, veggies, and whole grains, but I do eat junk food at times as well (especially when my husband bakes delicious snickerdoodle cookies per my request and I eat the majority of them, but I digress!).

I also have been reading up on intermittent fasting and the numerous benefits one can gain from it. I began intermittent fasting about five or six months ago and more weight dropped off with ease. Intermittent fasting for me is where I eat my dinner around 6 or 7 pm at the very latest most nights then nothing more until breakfast the next morning, at which point I wait until about 9 or 9:30 am to eat. That means my body has no food intake for about 14 hours.

I'm down over 16 pounds and a few inches in less than ten months. I still eat whatever I want, but no late night snacking. I have not increased my activity or changed anything except for taking this supplement (commonly referred to as "the B's" by many of us who take it) and the intermittent fasting, which has been a solid winning combination for weight loss in my own personal experience. I got really excited when my size 10 pants which were very fitted (read: a bit tight) started fitting more loosely and are now almost falling off!

*This blog may contains affiliate links where, if you click and buy through such links, I may receive a small commission.

Starting weight (04/28/2017): 158 pounds
Starting measurments (inches):
Bust 39; Waist 35; Hips 41; Thigh 24; Biceps 12

Current weight (02/28/2018): 142 pounds
Current measurements (inches):
Bust 37; Waist 32.25; Hips 39.5; Thigh 22.75; Biceps 11.75

As you can see, it wasn't incredibly rapid weight loss, which is unhealthy. It was gradual and steady weight loss and it continues even now. Some people lose more quickly. I'm sure if I was a bit more active and added regular exercise I'd have losed more quickly, but I'm satisfied as it was really difficult to even lose two or three pounds before I began my supplement and intermittent fasting. Also note I stopped taking the supplement for about two weeks to see if intermittent fasting alone would produce the same results, and it didn't. I gained a couple pounds back. After a few days of starting the supplement again the weight fell back off.

The supplement I take has helped me with discipline as far as not craving as much at night and a slight decrease in appetite, and I still love the mental clarity and focus. Of course, the supplement is vegan, organic, and non-GMO. I also take the probiotic at night before bed, but that doesn't seem to be any factor in my weight loss. If you're interested in more information on the supplement, feel free to reach out to me anytime or you can visit the site: Thanks for reading and have a great day!

*** Find out more about the B's here:***

This post was tagged under the following keywords: weight, weight loss, vegan, fasting, intermittent fasting, supplement, pounds, biceps, thigh, hips, waist, bust, eat, exercise, activity.

Monday, January 29, 2018

New: The Reformulated Daiya Cutting Board Shreds are Good!


Daiya Farmhouse block cheddar has always tasted good to me, but their shreds left something to be desired. In a pinch they were not horrible, but definitely not my favorite. I mainly used them in quesadillas as a binder and a little ooey gooey goodness, but they had a bit of a strange flavor and got a bit gummy or sticky rather than melty.

Now the company has a new formula for their shreds, and they are really good and much more "authentic" compared to dairy cheese. They melt incredibly well, have good stretch, and great flavor. I only think they are great melted or cooked, however. They are not disgusting eaten cold, but they are worlds better when melted.

Nutritionally they really aren't what I consider a health food and only offer trace nutrients, but they are not too high in fat and contain no cholesterol since they're vegan. The sodium is a bit high, but most cheeses are high in sodium, so you'd be getting that anyway in most cases.

The price is comparable to other vegan cheese shreds. They come in an 8 ounce resealable bag. For someone like me who doesn't always go through a ton of vegan cheese shreds, the shreds can be frozen and still maintain great flavor, meltiness, and stretchiness when cooked. Sometimes if I don't freeze them they develop mold after about two weeks in the fridge, so I'd say once open in the fridge, a safe shelf life is 7-10 days.

I've tried the pepperjack, mozzarella, and cheddar varieties. I prefer the Farmhouse Cheddar block to the shreds, but I would use the shreds if I couldn't get the Farmhouse block. My favorite of the three varieties I've tried is the pepperjack flavor.

Here are a few pictures from a cheese quesadilla I made with the mozzarella and pepperjack Daiya shreds:

Daiya Shreds Pepperjack [New Formula] in Cheese Quesadilla

Daiya Shreds Pepperjack [Reformulated] in Quesadilla

Here's what the Daiya site has to say regarding the Pepperjack Cutting Board Shreds
The perfect pepperjack balances the rich, smooth depth of Monterey Jack with the vivid highlights of chile peppers and herbs. Introducing Cutting Board Pepperjack Style Shreds. Enjoy the artisan cheezy goodness anywhere you want a flavor boost, from dairy-free nachos to a lively breakfast casserole.
80 calories per serving / 0g trans fat per serving / 0mg cholesterol per serving

Ingredients for the pepperjack variety:
Filtered water, tapioca starch, coconut oil, non-GMO expeller pressed: canola and/or safflower oil, vegan natural flavors, potato protein isolate, sea salt, tricalcium phosphate, lactic acid(vegan), whole algal flour, konjac gum, xantham gum, red bell pepper, jalapeno pepper, yeast extract, inactive yeast. [Other varieties have similar ingredients; they are dairy free, gluten free, soy free, and peanut/tree nut free according to the Daiya website.]

Daiya also makes other products from cheezcakes to salad dressings to pizzas and more - and I believe all of them are vegan. Find out more info about their products, recipes, and more at the Daiya website.

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Saturday, January 27, 2018

Earth Grown Vegan Meatless Meatballs Reviews from Aldi: Classic and Zesty Italian

Aldi Vegan Meatballs

Aldi Earth Grown Vegan Meatless Meatballs

Each pack of Aldi's meatless meatballs cost less than $4, compared to other vegan meatballs which cost usually at least $1 more when they're not on sale. These bags come in a 16 ounce size versus the typical 12 ounces or so of more expensive brands.

They are a bit smaller than some brands. Gardein's vegan meatballs are pretty big, so these are about half their size if memory serves me correctly. However, Nate's are pretty small and these are right around that size.

The "zesty" variety reminds me of little meatballs my Grandmom used to get at the authentic Italian grocer when I was little. I used to love them! Of course, my memory might be a bit off since that was over 25 years ago. Compared to other vegan meatball brands I've tried, they remind me of Nate’s as far as flavor and size, and I really like Nate's.

Aldi Earth Grown Vegan Meatless Meatballs Aldi Earth Grown Vegan Meatless Meatballs

Aldi's vegan meatballs overall are a bit softer than I expected but not too soft and definitely not mushy at all. I baked mine at 400 rather than 375 and added an extra minute or two. They crisped way better that way. I haven't tried frying these yet.

Although both varieties were really good, I definitely prefer the zesty. It has a bit more flavor and I've become almost obsessed with them. They're really good and you should try them! I can't say for sure if they would "fool" a meat eater, but I do think many people, no matter what their diet or lifestyle choice, would enjoy these. I would say these are a great option for any vegan or vegetarian or those who love Meatless Mondays or are trying to decrease their meat consumption.

It's definitely nice to see more vegan items on the market these days, especially from a discount grocer. Aldi has lots of vegan items now, which is exciting! Check out their page:

(Note: I haven't typed out the ingredients yet but may add that soon.)

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Tofurky Ham & Cheese Style Pocket Review

I recently tried the Tofurky Ham & Cheese Pocket which is, of course, vegan. When I was younger I used to be obsessed with Hot Pockets, so I’m very glad to see a similar type product that is vegan. How does this one measure up?


The crust looks really hearty and flavorful but isn’t anything magnificent, in my opinion. It’s actually a bit dry and bland, unfortunately. Perhaps Tofurky is trying to make a healthier “pocket” but it could use a little grease or something!

Also, it’s a bit too much of the bread and not enough filling. Now, I love love love bread, but for something like this there needs to be the proper balance of bread to filling. It’s not overwhelming, but I just feel the breading is a bit too much; maybe they need to add a tiny amount more of the filling inside for a better balance.


The filling inside the pocket is really good! It’s perfectly juicy and flavorful enough that I don’t mind too much the lackluster outside bread part.

The cheese is really savory and good, no strange flavor and no aftertaste. Just the rich, cheesy flavor of comfort food! It’s not a strange sticky mess or the texture of glue, and it’s not runny liquid as some vegan cheese I’ve experienced. The “ham” bits are little slices that have a nice springy, meaty texture but not tough or hard to chew. They have a great flavor that the cheese complements well.


At upwards of $4 for one pocket, the price is quite high. For a non-GMO vegan frozen convenience food that’s a healthier alternative to the more popular frozen pocket food, it is fairly reasonable but still a bit pricey.


While the vegan Tofurky Ham & Cheese Pocket is really tasty and satisfying, it could use a few improvements. I will definitely purchase this item again. It has 230 calories in one pocket and is high in protein and calcium with other nutrients. It’s a bit high in sodium as with most frozen convenience foods. There is no cholesterol in this item.

Because of the price and highly processed list of ingredients (ingredients provided under the pictures below), it is nice to have only as an occasional treat. I think even non-vegans would enjoy this item.

Tofurky also make pockets in a Pepperoni Pizza Style and a Turk’y, Broccoli & Cheddar version.

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Ham & Cheese: Crust: (Whole wheat flour, water, wheat flour enriched unbleached (wheat flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), organic cane sugar, non-GMO canola oil, dough conditioner (wheat starch, garlic powder), salt, yeast, ascorbic acid)

Filling: Water, Tofurky Ham (water, vital wheat gluten, organic tofu [filtered water, organic soybeans, magnesium chloride, calcium chloride], expeller pressed non-GMO canola oil, vegan natural flavors, potassium chloride, oat fiber, sea salt, carrageenan, wheat starch, granulated garlic, organic cane sugar, konjac, lycopene [from tomatoes], dextrose, purple carrot juice, vegetable glycerin, maltodextrin, spices, xanthan gum, natural smoke flavor), Vegan Cheddar Cheese (water, arrowroot flour, expeller pressed non-GMO canola oil, non-GMO coconut oil, pea protein, sea salt, vegan natural flavors, potassium chloride, gum arabic, nutritional yeast, lactic acid, konjac, vegetable glycerin, titanium dioxide [a naturally occurring mineral], xanthan gum, lycopene [from tomatoes], purple carrot juice, citric acid, riboflavin), rice starch, vegan natural flavors, citric acid, black pepper, natural smoke flavor, xanthan gum, maltodextrin)

Topping: Yellow cornmeal, paprika

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Ab Roller Wheel by B-Max Sports (Review)

I’ve been wanting to get an ab roller for a number of years but never got around to it. I received this one at a discounted price to try it out. I like that it comes with a small foam matt for your knees. It’s also very easy to assemble, durable, and built well. It’s a heavy plastic with thick, padded handles.

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I did have to look at a few videos on YouTube to see proper form and usage.

Works not only abs and core, but also arms, legs, and other areas depending on how you use it. Not too much time needs to be devoted to this so it’s nice to have such a thorough workout in such a short time. It does take some time to get the hang of it and use properly, at least in my experience.

It’s not the easiest exercise equipment I’ve used. I’d say it’s not for the very weak or novice users. It does take some time to get used to it, so be prepared for a slight learning curve and adjustment. My advice is to watch lots of videos and practice daily in front of a mirror. If it’s not used correctly it can be almost a wasted workout and you can even risk injury. As with any exercise equipment or routine, use common sense and discuss with a professional if necessary.