Thursday, May 30, 2013

Event: Fresh from the Farmers' Market Friday

Fresh from the Farmers' Market Friday

Chef Robin will show you how to create a delicious vegetarian meal from a mystery basket of supplies bought right from the Euclid Farmers' Market. Come prepared to be surprised!!! (Vegetarian, Vegan and Oil Free Vegan friendly class)

When: June 28, 2013 (Friday)
Where: Shore Cultural Center: 291 E. 222nd Street, Euclid, OH 44123
Time: 6:30 - 8:30pm

More info!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Grillin' Burgers

Grillin' Burgers

Yields: 4 Burgers
meat-free, dairy-free, egg-free


  1. Grill Burgers, Buns, Mushrooms & Onions until desired charness
  2. Just before serving, slice Avocado
  3. Assemble Burgers, add desired condiments
  4. Sit back & relax

Hoff's Thoughts: The rich, creamy texture of the Avocado is an excellent stand-in for boring old cheese.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Remembering Those Who Served & Honoring Those Who Serve

"And they who for their country die shall fill an honored grave, for glory lights the soldier's tomb,  and beauty weeps the brave." - Joseph Drake

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Honey Wheat Bread

This recipe is intended for a bread machine.

Honey Wheat Bread
Yields: 1 small loaf
meat-free, dairy-free, egg-free, oil-free, soy-free

  • 1 1/4 cup Water
  • 1/4 cup Honey
  • 2 cups Whole Wheat Flour
  • 2 cups Whole Wheat Bread Flour
  • 2 tsp fine Sea Salt
  • 2 tsp Quick Rise Yeast

  1. Warm Water in microwave for about 30 seconds (you want warm, not hot water)
  2. Pour Water into bread pan
  3. Add Honey
  4. Add both Flours
  5. Smooth out Flours & gently tap the sides of bread pan to help Flour settle and distribute evenly
  6. Sprinkle on Sea Salt & then Yeast all over Flour
  7. Set bread machine to Whole Wheat setting or Basic Quick setting
  8. Allow Bread to cool 20-30 minutes before cutting

My2Cents: The order of ingredients is very important, you don't want the Yeast coming into contact with the Water until it's time - the bread machine knows what to do.  Except for the Water, all ingredients should be at room temperature.  Experiment by substituting Oat Flour for the WW Flour for a less dense, crumblier texture.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Blueberry Donuts

This recipe is an and adaptation of Easy Baked Doughnuts from One Green Planet.

Blueberry Donuts
Yields: 6-9 large donuts, 12 mini donuts
meat-free, dairy-free, egg-free, oil-free, soy-free


  • 1 1/2 cup Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
  • 1/2 cup Sugar
  • 1/2 cup Brown Sugar
  • 2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Ginger
  • pinch Sea Salt
  • 3/4 cup Vanilla Almond Milk
  • 1 cup Blueberries
  • 1/4 cup Apple Sauce
  • 1 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together dry ingredients
  3. In a liquid measuring cup, whisk together wet ingredients
  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and whisk together until just combined
  5. Carefully spoon batter into a non-stick donut pan (oiling pan is not necessary)
  6. Bake for 12 minutes
  7. Allow to cool completely for easy removal

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Kicking It Vegan Style In Vegas!

When you're a vegan vacationing in Vegas, there's only one place to go - the Wynn.

That's right, Steven Wynn, casino developer of the glorious Wynn and Encore resorts went vegan in June 2010.  In doing so, he mandated that every restaurant on both properties offer a vegan menu.  He also educated every employee on the vegan diet.  What this created was a vegan's paradise!

I relied heavily on fellow vegan blogger, Paul Graham of Eating Vegan in Vegas to guide my Vegas vegan vacation.  As he is a Vegas native and a plant-strong eater, I found his accounts of various vegan meals invaluable.  So, in an effort to pay it forward for the next wandering vegan, here's how I kept it vegan in Vegas...

Day 1

Slice of Vegas Pizza

Mandalay Place
Ironically, my first day in Vegas, I hit the strip for two places not connected to the Wynn.  Lunch was at Slice of Vegas Pizza, where I wholeheartedly expected one vegan suitable pizza on the menu.  To my utter shock, they had a whole vegan menu!  There were so many delicious options, that I had a hard time deciding on their BBQ Chick'n (savory sweet BBQ sauce with Daiya mozzarella shreds, Gardein chick'n strips and red onions finished with chopped cilantro).  With that, a side of Meatless Chick'n Wings (meatless chick'n wings covered with choice of medium, hot, atomic, jerk or curry sauce; served with celery sticks and vegan ranch sauce).  It was awesome and I can't wait to go back and try their Portobello Philly or Meatless Meatball Sandwich

Border Grill
Mandalay Bay

I was a little disappointed with this one.  Graham did say to go there for their lunch vegan Tacos, but still being on Cleveland time and all discombobulated, we just missed the tacos and had to create a meal from a variety of side dishes instead (red green white rice, black beans, quinoa salad & chips).  Tasty, but not a stellar meal.

Day 2

Terrace Pointe Cafe

After reading Graham's account of the infamous "Chicken" and Waffles (vegan butter and maple syrup on the side), I had to get my hands on that dish for breakfast immediately.  A little too anxious, I had to wait until 7am when the Cafe opened (still on Cleveland time).  This dish was good, unique, but my boyfriend's French Toast was out of this world.  As he put it, "the best of his life."

Terrace Pointe Cafe

After spying a vegan Burger, Fries and Chocolate Shake combo on the menu from breakfast, we were right back at the Cafe for lunch.  This combination is a vegan lover's fantasy!  Sadly to say, it was less than impressive.  Our puny burgers came wrapped in heating foil like they were sitting on a warming rack at an amusement park.  And well, they looked and tasted the same way.  My boyfriend claimed it was just for affect, I think not.

Come on Wynn, all those gourmet chefs and you're relying on a processed food product (Gardein) for your guests?!?!  I expected a Wynn exclusive recipe and a little better presentation for a AAA five diamond, Mobil five-star, Forbes five-star, and Michelin five star resort.

Nonetheless, the meal was saved by the Fries, Chocolate Shake and an awesome Chopped Salad (on vacation and still trying to get my Greens on).


For dinner, we dined at Botero on their patio overlooking one of the many pools at the resort.  I was delighted when we were offered a variety basket of vegan Bread & Butter, something typically not available at regular restaurants.  We shared a Shaved Salad of Mixed Greens before diving into Gardein Chicken Cutlets on a bed of Fava Bean Hummus, served with Steamed Asparagus and Rice Penne Pasta served with a Water Reduction Tomato Sauce and various Greens.  For dessert, a most decadent Chocolate Mousse, Chocolate Cake with Cherries.

Day 3


Breakfast at this fine dining Americana restaurant was over the top!  They provided a mini-replica of the dining chairs for my purse - my purse, people!  Again, we ate on the patio overlooking yet another pool.  I had "Eggs" Benedict (Gardein Sausage, scrambled tofu, yellow tomato "hollandaise") for the first time since going vegan (oh how I missed thee).  My boyfriend opted for the fresh Blueberry Pancakes, which tasted oddly similar to the Blueberry Muffin offered in the Drugstore Cafe (look for their vegan Chocolate Chip Cookie!) at the Wynn.  We split the Marble Potato Hash.  Excellent!


After some lounging time at the pool, we were hungry for sushi!  Wazuzu was just the ticket!  I really loved the Asian inspired ambiance overlooking the Encore casino.  We opened with a Cucumber Salad (English cucumbers, wakame seaweed, lightly sweetened with vinegar dressing). Next, a Vegan California Roll (avocado, cucumber, asparagus, brown rice, wrapped in seaweed).  For the main course, we split a Vegan Chow Fun (rice noodles, bok choy, bean sprouts & onion).  Still hungry, I ordered another appetizer of Choy Sum (dumplings steamed & tossed with garlic sauce).


For my boyfriend's big birthday dinner, he selected Sinatra, an Italian tribute to ole' blue eyes himself.  As a special added touch, a birthday card from Mr. Sinatra was waiting for us as we arrived. After filling up on more vegan Bread & Butter, we both went straight for the main course: Gardein Parmigiana (Gardein Chick'n cutlet, vegan mozzarella, pomodoro sauce) and Agnolotti (small pockets filled with cashew nut ricotta, artichoke, spinach & asparagus sauce.  For an after dinner surprise, we were  treated to rich dark chocolate discs adorned with dried fruit and pistachios.

Day 4

Terrace Pointe Cafe

Sadly, this was our last day and last meal in Vegas.  We decided to return to the Terrace for one last round of French Toast, accompanied by a Seasonal Fruit Plate, Gardein Sausage, Hash Brown Medley and fresh Watermelon Juice.  What a sendoff!

I'm won't sugar coat it - dining almost exclusively at the Wynn was pricey.  Breakfast and lunch each averaged $60 for two and dinner around $100 and we don't drink.  But, my health and my vegan ways are very important to me, so I will say that this experience was priceless and worth it.

While I was like a little kid in a candy store, the vast variety of vegan dining options and the grand scale of these two resorts made figuring out where to eat a challenge.  Wynn doesn't publish their menus online and that's exactly what I wanted to study.  So eventually, I did what any self-respecting vegan would do, I asked the concierge to print every single vegan menu for every restaurant at Wynn and Encore, at his leisure of course, and deliver it to my room.  Damn if he didn't do it with pleasure and special messenger it to my room within the hour!  Then I realized why no published menus exist, they change every day - the vegan options are endless!!!  Nevertheless, the menus did provide a good guide of narrowing options down and will be the first thing I request on my next stay at the Wynn.  Because frankly once you've been treated this well, how do you stay anywhere else?

Thank you Mr. Wynn for making all my vegan dreams come true!
The Hoff


I told you - a chair for my purse!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Live Your Happy

Have you ever noticed that we are all so busy in our pursuit of happiness, that we actually forget to enjoy the happiness?

We are in constant pursuit of the best:
  • education
  • career
  • house
  • car
  • mate
  • clothes
  • fill in the blank
And once we get the best, we want it even better.  It's a never ending ride.

I am guilty of this myself.

I love to watch those travels shows and envy the people who travel all over the world and stay at those posh resorts - fantasizing that someday that will be me.  Recently, I found myself lounging poolside at one of those posh resorts.  Ironically, it was my Veganism that brought me to such a lap of luxury.  And was I enjoying it?  Of course not, I was living the dream and not even realizing it.  Luckily for me, just before leaving for my travels, I stumbled upon the quote pictured above and at just the right moment, it popped into my mind.  Right then and there, I put the brain on pause and lived in the moment for the rest of my vacation.  Aside from the super posh surroundings, it was by far the best vacation of my life!  Days later, I am still feeling the after glow.

So, boys & girls - today's lesson is, stop and enjoy the moment.  Celebrate all that you are and all that you have achieved thus far.  Get off the "Pursuit of Happiness Ride" from time to time and actually be happy.  Then go back to being the ambitious person that got you to that happy place.

Live Your Happy!
The Hoff

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Avocado Chard Soup

Avocado Chard Soup
Serves: 2
meat-free, dairy-free, egg-free, oil-free

  • 4 cups Veggie Broth
  • 1 Avocado
  • 1/2 bunch Swiss Chard
  • Juice of 1 Lemon
  • 1 Garlic Clove
  • 1 tbsp Braggs
  • 1/2 tsp Sea Salt

  1. Remove Swiss Chard leaves from the stems
  2. Put all ingredients in a Vitamix, except for the Lemon Juice
  3. Blend for 6 minutes
  4. With 1 minute to go, add Lemon Juice

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Hoff's "Hamburger Helper"

Hoff's "Hamburger Helper"
Serves: 6-8 serving
meat-free, dairy-free, egg-free, soy-free

  • 16 oz Whole Wheat Pasta
  • 2 Vegan Veggie Burgers
  • 1 15oz can Diced Potatoes (rinsed & drained)
  • 1 15oz can Tomato Sauce
  • 1 cup Veggie Broth
  • 3 tbsp Nutritional Yeast
  • 2 tbsp Cashews
  • Juice from half a Lemon
  • 2 tbsp Yellow Mustard
  • 1 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp Onion Powder

  1. Cook Pasta according to directions
  2. Meanwhile put remaining ingredients (except Burgers) into Vitamix & blend on high for 6 minutes
  3. Nuke Veggie Burgers for 1-2 minutes, finely chop to resemble ground beef
  4. Drain Pasta, return to pot, mix in "Cheese Sauce" & Veggie Burger
  5. Enjoy!

Hoff's Thoughts: If using a traditional blender, blend sauce until smooth, then add to finished pasta and heat through.

Friday, May 10, 2013

The Vegg: Vegan Egg Yolk

One of the foods I miss most since going vegan is without a doubt, the egg.  I didn't just have one favorite way of eating eggs, I embraced them all: omelet, over medium, scrambled, Benedict...  I went so far as to purchase my eggs from a local organic farmer to purchasing duck eggs from a farmer across the country when I learned I was allergic to chicken eggs.  Then I learned I was allergic to all eggs, regardless of who laid it...sigh.

But recently, I came across, The Vegg, a vegan egg yolk.  I was intrigued, could this replace my beloved egg?

What is it...

It's important to remember, that this is only the yolk, that golden liquidy goodness inside the egg, so this product doesn't actually replace the entire egg experience. 

It's made with minimal, 100% plant-based ingredients: fortified nutritional yeast (dry yeast, niacin, pyridoxine hydrochloride, riboflavin, thiamin hydrochloride, folic acid, B12), sodium alginate, black sea salt, beta carotene.  The black sea salt, is what gives this products it's "egg" taste. 

By blending (must use a mini-blender to get the correct consistency) 1/4 cup water with just 1 tsp of Vegg powder, you get 2-3 egg yolks, which doesn't actually look like a lot, but go with it.

What to do with it...

Back in the day I would have gleefully dipped bacon into straight up yolk.  So, I wasn't actually sure what to do with just the yolk present day.

First, I tried to make scrambled eggs, using just the yolk.  It was, well...yolky and not that great.  Then I did some research and learned that I was supposed to mix the yolk with some crumbled tofu in order to mimic scrambled eggs.  The result, definitely looked like scrambled eggs in both color and texture.  Actually smelled like eggs from the sulfur standpoint.  But it was very runny, turns out I was supposed to add a thickening agent like Kuzu Root or Corn Starch.

While I will try again, I'm not sold on it's omelet enhancement ability, luckily there are a bunch of recipes to experiment with...perhaps a frittata?

Where is it...

I ended up getting my stash from Amazon for $11 bucks.  A little pricey for a 1.56 oz package, but that will yield 30-40 yolks and 10% of the net sales goes to Compassion Over Killing (until 2014).

If Amazon isn't your thing, Vegg is also available here.

Try it...

Jury is still out for me, more experimenting is required before I can give this product the Healthy Hoff approval.  But from a whole-foods, plant-based, oil-free perspective, this product is too legit.  Give it a try, it could become a breakfast staple.

Check it out!
The Hoff

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Hoff's Tofu Scramble

Hoff's Tofu Scramble
Serves: 2
meat-free, dairy-free, egg-free, oil-free

  • 2 - 3oz blocks of firm Tofu (rinsed)
  • 1/2 Onion (chopped)
  • 1/2 cup Black Olives (rinsed & drained)
  • 1/2 cup Mushrooms (chopped)
  • 1/2 cup Veggie Cheese (optional)
  • 2 tbsp Braggs
  • 2 tsp The Vegg
  • 1/2 cup Water
  • 1/2 tbsp Arrowroot or Corn Starch
  • 1/2 tsp Black Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Onion Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin

  1. Prepare Tofu by pressing between two heavy plates lined with paper towels
  2. Prepare The Vegg, by blending Vegg, 1/2 cup Water & Arrowroot in a mini food processor for 15 seconds
  3. In a medium non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat, sautee Onions & Mushrooms in Braggs until browned & softened
  4. Crumble in Tofu
  5. Pour in Vegg mixture
  6. Add Black Olives & Seasonings
  7. Toss everything together until thoroughly combined and heated through

Hoff Thoughts: The Black Salt will yield an eggy taste.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Doc: The Secret

The Secret is a self-help documentary that warrants viewing over and over again.  In fact, I will periodically watch it again when I feel that I am drifting too far from the core message it imparts.

Not only is this film a visual feast for the eyes, it delivers a powerful message that could change your life!  Through a series of interviews, the concept that positive, repetitive thinking can attract the outcome in which you seek is revealed.  The "Law of Attraction" has been around & practiced for centuries, The Secret simply puts a fresh, modern spin on it.

What do you want?

Check out the first 20 minutes!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Broiled/Baked Tofu

One of the most wonderful things about Tofu is it's ability to soak up any flavor it comes in contact with.  That and it's ability to take on a variety of textures.  One such texture is the crispy outside and chewy inside that is achieved through broiling or baking Tofu.  Broiling is the same concept as baking, but at a fraction of the time.

Below is a very basic marinade that can be doctored up with anything your taste buds desire.

  • Firm Tofu
  • Braggs or a Marinade

  1. Preheat oven to 550 Broil
  2. Be sure to move the shelf as close to the broiler as possible
  3. Cut Tofu into desired pieces
  4. Place Tofu in a shallow glass baking dish
  5. Add enough Braggs/Marinade to cover
  6. Allow to marinate for 7-10 minutes
  7. Drain Marinade
  8. Broil Tofu 5-10 minutes each side or until desired texture

Friday, May 3, 2013

Hoff's Pretzel Bark

Hoff's Pretzel Bark
Yields: Almost 2 Mason Jars worth
dairy-free, egg-free, oil-free, soy-free

  • 12 oz Vegan Chocolate Chips
  • 2 cups thin Pretzel Sticks (broken into pieces)
  • 1/4 cup Brown Rice Syrup
  • 1/4 cup Almond Butter (optional)
  • 1-2 tbsp Vanilla Almond Milk
  • 1 tsp Sea Salt

  1. Line a baking sheet with Parchment Paper
  2. In a large pot over medium-low heat, melt together Brown Rice Syrup, Almond Butter & Chocolate Chips
  3. Add Milk & Sea Salt
  4. Stir until Chocolate has a glossy sheen
  5. Mix in Pretzel pieces until well coated
  6. Using a spatula, spread mixture thinly onto baking sheet
  7. Allow to set in fridge for at least an hour or freezer for 20 minutes
  8. Break Bark into pieces
  9. Store in an airtight container (canning jar) in the fridge

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Natural Weed Killer

It's Spring time!  That means blooming flowers, budding trees and lots of weeds.  The latter part means lots of chemicals being sprayed to kill those weeds.

But think about, do you really want to inhale something designed to kill a living thing?  Do you really want your kids rolling around in a lawn sprayed with chemicals?  Do you really want to schlep that chemical into your house on your shoes?

Um, no.

Instead fill a spray bottle with 100% White Vinegar.  Then when the sun is high and the day is hot, spray to your hearts' content without the hazardous health risks. 

Keep it Healthy!
The Hoff

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

June 1 Event: Cleveland VegFest 2013

Cleveland VegFest!
Presented by
The Cleveland Vegan Society

Featuring many top national speakers and authors in their fields on issues of health, environmental sustainability, social justice, and animal welfare, the Cleveland VegFest will be an opportunity to explore how choosing a whole, plant-based, vegan meal, directly impacts conditions in each of these critical areas.

Featured Speakers Include:

Experience the flavorful, wholesome, and indulgent flavors which encompass vegan cuisine, as presented by some of the best culinary experts in our area... Cleveland's favorite chefs, restaurants, and confectioneries will be featuring their best-selling vegan menu items.
Plus, national vendors will be showcasing a wide range of vegan products and resources.

When: Saturday, June 1, 2013
Where: Cleveland State University's Student Center: 2121 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44115
Time: 10:00 am - 8:00 pm
Cost: Free!

More info!