Thursday, January 31, 2013

Plants Love Green Water!

If you've been practicing my tip on Rehydrating Greens, you may have noticed how green the soaking water gets.

That green coloring is actually from the micronutrients in the greens, enriching this water greatly!

If you use a salad spinner to soak your greens, each bowl will yield about 1 gallon of water.

So, don't pour that liquid gold down the drain; instead give it to your plants - they will love you for it & you won't be wasting water ($$$)!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Hoff's Sweet & Sour Tempeh

Hoff's Sweet & Sour Tempeh
Serves: 2
meat-free, dairy-free, egg-free, oil-free

30 minute preparation required

  • 2 cups prepared Rice
  • 1 small head of Broccoli (chopped)
  • 1/2 Sweet Onion (chopped)
  • 2 cloves of Garlic (minced)
  • Hemp or Sesame Seeds (optional)

  1. Cut Tempe into bite size cubes, combine with Braggs and Sweet & Sour sauce in a ziplock bag
  2. Allow mixture to marinate for at least 30 minutes in the fridge
  3. In a medium non-stick pan over medium-high heat, brown each side of the Tempe in marinade, flipping about every 3 minutes
  4. Meanwhile, in another medium non-stick pan over medium-high heat, sautee Onion & Garlic until slightly browned
  5. Add Broccoli & cook until desired texure is reached
  6. Once Tempe is browned, add to Broccoli along with marinade
  7. Plate Rice & pour Tempe/Broccoli mixture over Rice
  8. Top with Hemp or Sesame Seeds

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Natural Eye Make-up Remover

Instead of those harsh, chemical removers that are greasy and just sting your eyes, apply a dab of Extra Virgin Olive Oil onto a cotton ball/pad to gently remove eye shadow, mascara and eye liner.

Not only does this not irritate the eye, Olive Oil is a natural moisturizer, leaving the eye area nice and soft as well as strengthening, thickening and encouraging the growth of eye lashes.  This may even ward off those dreaded crows feet (oh my!).

Not into Olive Oil?  Any organic, cold pressed oil will do - apricot kernel oil, sweet almond oil, avocado oil, grapeseed oil, hazelnut oil...

Friday, January 25, 2013

Hoff's Moroccan Stew

Hoff's Moroccan Stew
Yields: 4 servings
meat-free, dairy-free, egg-free, oil-free, soy-free

  • 2 cups Whole Wheat Israeli Couscous
  • 2 1/2 cups Water
  • 1 can Chickpeas (rinsed & drained)
  • 1 can diced Tomatoes (seasoned)
  • 1 Zucchini (chopped)
  • 1 cup Butternut Squash (cubed)
  • 1 small - medium Sweet Onion (chopped)
  • 1/4 cup Almond Butter (oil-free)
  • 1 Lime
  • 2 Garlic cloves (diced)
  • 2 tbsp. Pine Nuts
  • 1 tbsp. Nutritional Yeast
  • 1 tsp. Ground Ginger
  • 1 tsp. Cumin
  • 1 tsp. Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. fine Sea Salt

  1. Bring water to boil in large pot, reduce to simmer, add Couscous & Nutritional Yeast, cover & cook for 15 minutes
  2. Remove from heat & fluff Couscous with fork when done
  3. Meanwhile in a large non-stick pan over medium-high heat lightly brown Pine Nuts until fragrant & remove from pan, set aside
  4. In same pan, sauté Onions until softened, add Garlic during last few seconds of cooking
  5. Add Chickpeas, Tomatoes, Zucchini & Squash, Almond Butter & Seasonings; cover & cook 20-30 minutes or until Zucchini & Squash have softened
  6. Remove pan from heat, stir in Couscous, Pine Nuts & juice from Lime

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Monday, January 21, 2013

Hoff Hit: Tomato - Fruit or Veggie?

A fruit by definition is the structure of a plant in which you can eat the seed that is required to reproduce it: berries, grapes, bananas, etc.

A vegetable by definition, is the structure of a plant in which the seed required to reproduce it, is not edible: potato, carrot, cabbage, etc.

And since the tomato is packed full of seeds and we eat them, the tomato is technically a fruit!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Hoff's Black Bean Soup

Hoff's Black Bean Soup
Serves: 2
meat-free, dairy-free, egg-free, oil-free, soy-free

  • 1 can Black Beans (rinsed & drained)
  • 1 can Tomato Sauce
  • 1 cup Water
  • 1 clove Garlic
  • 1 tbsp Nutritional Yeast
  • Cilantro
  • 1 Zucchini (chunked)
  • 1 tsp Onion Powder
  • 1 tsp Cumin
  • 1 tsp Sea Salt

  1. In a Vitamix, blend together, Black Beans, Tomato Sauce, Water, Garlic & Cilantro for 5 minutes
  2. Add Zucchini, Onion Powder, Cumin & Salt and blend for 30 seconds

My2Cents:  No Vitamix?  No worries, blend normally and then heat soup on the stove.  Preferably, you'd use a handful of fresh Cilantro in this, but if using dried, go for about 1 tbsp worth.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Quick & Easy Potato Sandwich

This is a modified recipe from The McDougall Quick & Easy Cookbook

Quick & Easy Potato Sandwich
Yields: 2 Sandwiches
meat-free, dairy-free, egg-free, oil-free, soy-free

  • 1 large White Potato
  • 4 slices of Whole Wheat Bread
  • 3/4 cup Sauerkraut (rinsed and drained)
  • Mustard (to taste)

  1. Slice Potato lengthwise into 4 pieces
  2. Brown in skillet, cooking each side for 8 minutes or until browned (add a tablespoon of water to prevent sticking if necessary)
  3. Remove Potatoes & heat Kraut in skillet
  4. Meanwhile, toast Bread
  5. Assemble sandwich & Eat!

My2Cents: I like to coat both pieces of bread in Mustard - it's the German in me.  I can have this anytime of day - breakfast, lunch or dinner!

    Wednesday, January 16, 2013

    Northeast Ohio V-Guide 2013

    The first issue of the Northeast Ohio Vegan & Vegetarian Directory (V Guide) has just been published!!!

    V Guide will feature vegan/vegetarian-friendly restaurants, caterers, grocery stores, organizations & events for Downtown Cleveland, the Eastside, the Westside & the Southside!

    You'll be amazed at the hidden gems scattered all over town - wheatgrass shots at the West Side Market!  Who knew!?!

    This directory will be published bi-annually; once in January and again in July.  The first edition runs from January 2013 - June 2013

    Triple word bonus - this guide is FREE!

    Get the Online version now!

    Be sure to check out the forward from John Robbins!

    The V Guide is an extension of The Journey, a free bi-monthly magazine serving the health & wellness community in Northeast Ohio.

    If you have something to promote that aligns with the vegan/vegetarian lifestyle, check out the rates or contact:

    In order to grow the vegan/vegetarian community, we must support businesses catering to our community.  Be sure to frequent and spread the word about the businesses in this guide!  And be sure to tell them you heard about them in V Guide!

    BIG thank you to Clyde Chafer for putting this awesome resource together - XOXO!!!

    Keep it Healthy!
    The Hoff

    Tuesday, January 15, 2013

    Chili & Potatoes!

    Awhile ago, I found a chili starter kit in the freezer section of my local grocery store.  It contained kidney beans, onions, peppers, celery and a variety of seasonings.

    Instead of adding the meat as instructed, I nuked two Morning Star Vegan Veggie Grillers (then chopped them) and a baked potato and threw that all together.  Split all that in half for a meal for two!

    Of course I had to top that with mustard - it's the German in me!

    A super quick lunch or a mini dinner in under 10 minutes - however you see fit!

    Keep it Healthy!
    The Hoff

    Monday, January 14, 2013

    Feeling Sick? Eat This!

    At the first signs of a cold, chow down on a piece of Raw Garlic daily until you're 100% again. 

    Garlic is naturally anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal.  Skip the MD and look to Garlic as a natural anti-biotic; one that your body will never grow resistant to - isn't Mother Nature awesome?!? 

    In its raw form, these properties are mighty powerful.  So powerful, that Raw Garlic could even put the smack down on the flu!

    But, it must be raw - while cooked Garlic does have some redeeming qualities, the heat from the cooking process breaks down the properties you need to kick your cold's ass.

    Start small, Raw Garlic is very, very potent!  Trust me on this; don't try to be a hero.  Just test out a small clove to find out how it will immediately affect you.  Chew it fast & don't let it linger, because it's going to burn your mouth, your esophagus and your tummy - this too shall pass.  Don't swallow whole - you need to break down the Garlic in order to create the chemical reaction that releases allicin, a powerful antibacterial found in Raw Garlic.

    It's best not to consume Raw Garlic on an empty stomach.  I usually chase it down with a glass of H2O.  You can also try combining minced Garlic with Honey to make it more palatable.

    If you can do it, Raw Garlic can not only shorten the duration of your cold/flu, it could even extinguish it before it gets a chance to take you down.

    Keep it Healthy!
    The Hoff

    Sunday, January 13, 2013

    Oil-Free Honey Almond Butter

    After becoming completely frustrated at the price of Almond Butter ($6-$10 a jar) and coming up short finding one that didn't add unnecessary oil, I decided to make my own.  I found it not only incredibly easy, but also much cheaper ($2.50 a jar)!

    Oil-Free Honey Almond Butter
    Yields: About 2 1/2 cups
    dairy-free, egg-free, oil-free, soy-free


    1. Microwave Almonds for 1-2 minutes or until warm to the touch
    2. Add Almonds, then Flax, then Salt, then Honey to Vitamix
    3. Turn to high & using the tamper, constantly push almonds into the blades
    4. Run about 3 minutes (exceeding 6 minutes could result in this horror)
    5. Spoon Almond Butter into airtight containers such as 2 pint canning jars
    6. Where are you going?  You have a Vitamix full of Almond Butter residue, now it's time to make a PB& J Smoothie to clean things up!

    Hoff Thoughts: At first, your butter may be crumbly, however, I have found by pressing it into it's container and allowing the butter to sit on the counter until the container cools, you will find a consistency you're more familiar with.

    The Honey & Salt are optional, the Almonds alone are just as good.  But the Honey does act as a natural preservative.

    No, oil is NOT necessary - Almonds are loaded with Omega-9 (62%), Omega-6 (24%) and yes some dreaded saturated (6%) fats - they don't need any outside oils in order to get a creamy, gooey, rich consistency.

    Add some whole Flax Seed for an Omega-3 hit.

    Expect butter to last 1 week out of the fridge, 3 weeks in the fridge & 6 months in the freezer.

    Originally, I attempted this with my beloved Vitamix and killed it.  More research revealed that it is vital to warm the almonds before blending so they release their natural oils, thus transforming almond powder to creamy almond butter.

    You can make this recipe using a food processor, but expect it to take up to 15 minutes and a lot of scraping down of the sides of the container.

    Saturday, January 12, 2013

    New Local, Vegan Paper: Healthy and Humane Observer

    Check it out!  The Healthy and Humane Observer is set to launch this month!

    What is it?

    Think of Healthy & Humane as your one-stop local vegan resource!

    Part of the Observer successful series of publications, this local paper will focus on being VEGAN & loving animals - dedicated to promoting a healthier, more compassionate way of living through diet & lifestyle choices.

    This paper will not only provide information on the whole food, plant-based lifestyle, it will also promote vegan & vegetarian friendly restaurants and activities in the area. As well as promote area vendors whose business practices reflect the vegan lifestyles!

    Healthy & Humane also aims to be a forum for dedicated, hardworking animal advocacy groups within Cleveland and the surrounding areas.

    Look to this paper to feature many “rescue & foster” organizations located throughout Northeast Ohio.  You could find your next best friend...

    Sounds expensive...

    Believe it or not, all this great information is yours for the bargain price of...FREE!  Woo hoo!

    I want one!

    Look for the paper to start showing up at vendors, restaurants, libraries and various other locations throughout Northeast Ohio very soon.  More of a homebody?  No worries, there will be an online version, as well as a Facebook page!

    Want to get in on the action? 

    Consider being a sponsor!  The Healthy and Humane Observer presently has openings for ad sales.  It's crucial that these get filled as the ads are footing the bill for the paper.  If you've got a business, event or anything to promote, send an email to, for flexible ad pricing!

    Look mom, I've been published!

    This paper is written by its readers for its readers -  if you've got stories, events, notices, recipes, rescues - anything related to the vegan lifestyle or rescuing our furry little friends, submit to for consideration in upcoming publications!  Photos are welcomed too!

    I can't wait to get my hands on the first publication as this is a much, much needed resource in our area!  So get out there and support the Healthy and Humane Observer, so it can thrive and further the vegan movement!

    Keep it Healthy!
    The Hoff

    Friday, January 11, 2013

    Doc: Vegucated

    Vegucated - another quality documentary taking a look at the impacts of going vegan: from improved health, to saving the plant, to ending animal cruelty.

    This doc follows two average Janes & one Joe, on their 6 week journey to becoming vegan - their highs & lows and life changing moments.  Will they stay vegan?

    Worth a watch!

    Check the Trailer!

    Thursday, January 10, 2013

    Event: Oil-Free Vegan Cooking Class

     Cooking With C.A.R.E. presents
    Oil-Free Vegan Madness Cooking Class

    Did you make a New Year's resolution to:
    • Eat better?
    • Feel better?
    • Learn to cook?
    • Increase the veggies in your life?

    The Oil-Free Vegan Madness Cooking Class, taught by Chef Robin Blair can help you accomplish all that!  Plus get your food related questions answered in this fun group setting.

    Learn to prepare & try:
    • Winter Vegetable and Collard Green Wraps
    • Quinoa and Roasted Red Pepper Chili
    • Warm Berry Compote

    When: February 16, 2013
    Time: 1:00pm - 3:30pm
    Cost: $35 per person
    Register: RSVP via email to by February 13, 2013

    Wednesday, January 9, 2013

    Easy Clean Vitamix


    Did you know your Vitamix is it's own dish washer?

    It's true!

    Instead of washing by hand or putting in the dish washer, simply rinse out the container, fill with hot water up to the 5 cup mark and add 1 drop of liquid dish soap.  I said 1 drop - trust me!  Now blend on high speed for up to 1 minute.  Rinse & dry.

    Not bad, eh?

    I suspect this same principle can be applied to your conventional blender as well, though I have never tried.

    Now if you choose to ignore my warning and exceed the 5 cups of water or 1 drop of soap, the aftermath is all you...

    Happy Cleaning!
    The Hoff

    Tuesday, January 8, 2013

    The 7-Day New Year's Resolution

    It's that time of year again when everyone makes grand, lofty goals in hopes of re-inventing themselves in the upcoming year.

    The problem with this is that these goals tend to fizzle out by February.  Either we get too busy, lose interest or simply forget.

    Why not try a weekly resolution, practiced daily instead?  A week is certainly less daunting that 365 days!  And instead of trying to change yourself, why not doing something that will make you feel good, which will result in change naturally.

    Try it for a month and see how you feel - perhaps you'll be motivated to keep going throughout the entire year, perhaps you'll pick up new habits along the way.

    7-Day, Daily Resolution Ideas:

    Share some of your ideas!

    Happy New Year!
    The Hoff

    Monday, January 7, 2013

    Peeled Garlic

    My latest indulgence is peeled garlic.

    I know this is nothing new, but for the longest time, I have avoided buying it, because frankly, how hard is it to peel garlic?

    Well, it's not hard, just slightly time consuming and some nights I find it a bit daunting and reach for the garlic powder instead.

    I finally decided to treat myself to a small container of peeled garlic (only keeps up to 2 weeks) at the "extravagant" price of $1.32 - courtesy of my local grocer's produce department. 

    I am hooked!  I love this stuff!  In fact, peeled garlic so convenient that I am using even more garlic now!

    Some things are just worth the extra pennies....

    You Deserve It!
    The Hoff

    Sunday, January 6, 2013

    Event: How To Start A Community Garden

    How To Start A Community Garden

    Learn about resources available for starting a community garden, including:
    • Practical information on basics needed 
    • Things to consider when looking for lots in Akron 
    • Hands-on info from experienced community gardeners 
    • Financial aid available in the community

    When: January 23, 2013
    Where: Main Branch Akron Library: 60 S. High Street, Akron, OH 44326
    Time: 6:30pm - 8:30pm
    Cost:  Free

    Brought to you by:
    Neighborfood -- Summit Food Policy Coalition
    Let’s Grow Akron
    Akron Community Foundation
    Summit County Master Gardeners
    Akron Summit Community Action, Inc.

    For more information, contact Sarah Vradenburg at

    Saturday, January 5, 2013

    Hoff's "Cheesy" Potato Soup

    Hoff's "Cheesy" Potato Soup
    Serves: 2
    meat-free, dairy-free, egg-free, oil-free

    • 1 can diced Potatoes (rinsed & drained)
    • 1 can Hominy (rinsed & drained)
    • 1 1/2 cups Veggie Broth
    • 1 tbsp Nutritional Yeast
    • 1 tsp Italian Herbs
    • 1 tsp Brown Sugar
    • 1 tsp Sea Salt
    • 1/2 tsp Bragg Liquid Aminos

    1. Evenly divide Potatoes into two serving bowls
    2. Place all remaining ingredients in a Vitamix and blend for 6 minutes
    3. If using a traditional blender, blend until smooth and then heat as usual
    4. Pour soup over Potatoes, stir & allow to sit a few minutes for the Potatoes to heat through
    5. Enjoy!

    My2Cents: At first I was concerned that the soup was too thin, however after sitting for a few minutes, it thickened right up!

    Friday, January 4, 2013

    Recyle Your Christmas Tree

    Sigh.  The holidays are over and now it's time to begin the massive clean-up from Christmas.  For some that includes dragging your live tree out to the curb to sit and rot in a landfill.

    Don't be part of this sad, sad display...

    Instead, give your tree a second life and drag it to the Metroparks!

    That's right!  The trees will be chipped and then turned into mulch and compost.  Plus, this program is free and benefits the environment!

    All decorations, plastic, tinsel and wire must be removed prior to dropping off.

    Find a drop-off location near you:
    Cleveland (ends January 25)
    Lake County (ends week of January 17)
    Summit County (ends January 31)

    Not your area? 
    Google Christmas Tree Recycling and see what's available in your neck of the woods or check out the National Christmas Tree Association (yes that exists) for more ideas.  Another great resource is "How to Recycle Your Christmas Tree", for an extensive state by state listing.

    Remember, Santa is is Mother Nature.
    The Hoff

    Thursday, January 3, 2013

    Hoff Hit: Creamy Juice

    If you're into juicing, try adding a sweet potato/yam to your recipe to give your juice a creamier consistency.   Added bonus, sweet potatoes help to balance hormones & alleviate menstrual cramps.