VEGA Vegan Protein Patties and Marx Foods GIVEAWAY

As you all know, I’m a proud VEGA Ambassador and I recently created a tasty recipe and video demo for the VEGA website sharing my vegan protein patties.

Be sure to take a look at my Vega Ambassador Interview, Recipe and Video.


  • 1 packet VEGA Sport
  • ¼ cup steel-cut oats, cooked
  • 1 cup black beans, cooked
  • 2 Tbsp. nut butter
  • ¼ cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 Tbsp. raisins
  • 1 tsp. white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 medium ripe banana, sliced
  • Pinch of each sea salt and pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. agave nectar
  • ¼ tsp. smoked paprika
  • 10 walnuts


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.  Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.
  2. In a food processor, combine all ingredients; process until smooth.
  3. Using a tablespoon, drop the batter into your hands; mold into patties and place onto the prepared baking sheet.
  4. Bake for 20 minutes or until lightly golden brown and crispy.
  5. Enjoy!

And Now…I am happy to announce my Marx Foods Palm Leaf Plate Giveaway.

I recently had the opportunity to test out these Palm Leaf Plates, which are incredible and great for entertaining. I was quite impressed at how well these plates held up as I was a bit skeptical since they’re disposable, but to my surprise they held up like a charm.  These beautiful pates are an eco-friendly and biodegradable plates are a unique alternative to conventional plates.  The plates and the disposable cutlery are even compostable!

To Enter:

1). View the Marx foods website and tell me what Palm Leaf plate shape you’d like to try.
2). Post this giveaway on your blog. Leave a comment telling me you did.
3). Tweet this Giveaway post! Leave me a third comment telling me you did.

Each comment counts as an entry.

Good Luck; I will be picking a winner on Friday, September the 10th at 5PM EST.


‘Blackened’ Mahi-Mahi with Cherry Spelt Asparagus

Last night I purchased Mahi-Mahi at my local fish market and created a deliciously ‘Blackened’ dish…yes, the smoke alarm surely went off and my tiny Manhattan apt was surely smokin’, hehe, but it was worth it…succulent and spicy…just the way I like it.

I opted to create my ‘Blackened’ rub by reaching for my magnetic spice rack and tossed together the delectable Marx Foods ghost chili’s and spices that are sold in my Open Sky shop…take  a looksy at these unique and incredibly tasty spices in my shop to create your very own blackened dish.


  • 2 ghost chilis
  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp. ground thyme
  • 1 tsp. ground oregano
  • 1/4 tsp. truffle salt
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic salt
  • 1/4 tsp. red pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 2 Mahi-Mahi fillets
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 cup spelt flakes
  • 1 lb. fresh asparagus
  • 1/4 cup dried cherries


  • Heat a cast iron skillet over medium-low heat for 10 minutes.
  • Cook spelt flakes according to package.
  • Trim ends of asparagus and steam over medium heat for 8-10 minutes or until tender yet still crisp and bright green.
  • Meanwhile, grind ghost chili’s in a coffee grinder until they form a fine consistency.
  • In a medium sized bowl, combine all spice ingredients; mix well.
  • Coat mahi mahi fillets with 1 Tbsp. olive oil and rub spice mixture onto each fillet.
  • Drizzle 1 Tbsp. olive oil onto the sizzling hot skillet and place the mahi mahi fillets 2 inches apart on the skillet.
  • Cook both sides until fish is fully cooked to desired consistency.
  • Note: Because the skillet is piping hot, there will be a great amount of smoke generated, but don’t let this scare you as this will create a delectable blackened fish.
  • Transfer to serving dishes. Serve hot alongside asparagus and spelt.
  • Sprinkle with dried cherries.
  • Enjoy.

Black Garlic Recipes and Reviews

I recently had the pleasure of tasting black garlic for the very first time in my life…and let me tell you…I honestly could not stop eating it…Words cannot simply describe the taste and mild flavoring of black garlic.  Marx Foods sent me a complimentary sample of one of their new products: Black Garlic, which has been used in Korean, Thai and Japanese foods for awhile, yet is only recently coming to play in the United States, and needless to say…I’m thrilled…I can’t wait to get my hands on some more black garlic as it truly was an experience beyond describing.

The black garlic had both a sweet and savory taste and does not have the strong regular garlic taste and bitterness.  One could easily pop a clove or two into their mouth without squirming around as you would with regular garlic.  I had a fabulous time recipe testing with the black garlic…I started with a balsamic halibut dish then moved onto a risotto and finally topped off the black garlic in my dark chocolate s’mores. Yes, I paired garlic with dark chocolate, and I assure you with your first bite of black garlic, you’ll be pondering what dessert, sweet reduction or savory vinaigrette you can create.

Considered healthier than plain garlic, black garlic has twice as many antioxidants and has long been consumed in Asia for its disease preventative and treatment properties.

Here are the tasty Gluten-Free recipes from my Black Garlic recipe testing.

Photo credited to

Balsamic Black Garlic Halibut Steaks


  • 2 Halibut Steaks (6 oz. each)
  • 2 Tbsp. Balsamic vinegar
  • 2 cloves Black Garlic
  • 1 small orange (juiced)
  • 1 tsp. orange zest
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • Dash of sea salt and ground white pepper
  • Fresh cilantro, chopped (for topping)


  • Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add in garlic.
  • In a small bowl, combine balsamic vinegar, orange zest, freshly squeezed orange juice, sea salt and pepper.
  • Season both sides of halibut steaks with balsamic mixture.  Place steaks into skillet; cook for 10 minutes or until fish flakes with a fork.
  • Flip steaks halfway through cooking to ensure brownness on both sides.  (I used my Taylor Thermometer and Timer to ensure my fish was perfectly cooked).
  • Serve warm and enjoy with a sprinkle of fresh cilantro.

Roasted Black Garlic Risotto Cakes


  • 2 bulbs of black garlic, unpeeled
  • 4 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 parsnips, finely chopped
  • 2 cups risotto
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • Sea salt and pepper
  • Nori flakes, for topping
  • Olive oil for cooking
  • Gluten free flour


  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Coat garlic with 2 Tbsp. olive oil.  Wrap each with aluminum foil.  bake for 20 minutes.  Cool garlic and puree in a food processor.
  • Heat 2 Tbsp. olive oil in a large saucepan, such as my favorite Calphalon, over medium-high heat.  Add parsnips and onion.  Cook until onion is translucent.  Add risotto and cook an additional 5 minutes.  Add wine and let evaporate.
  • When wine has evaporated completely, add vegetable broth slowly, letting each addition evaporate before adding more.
  • When risotto is fully cooked, remove from heat; add in nutritional yeast, garlic puree, balsamic vinegar and basil.  Season with sea salt and pepper.
  • Transfer into a large bowl; set aside to cool.
  • Cover and refrigerate for 2-3 hours.
  • Shape risotto into patties; place onto a baking sheet.
  • Cover and place into the fridge for 1 1/2 hours.  Place gluten-free flour in a dish; coat each cake with flour.
  • Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add risotto cakes and cook until golden brown and cooked through; approximately 4 minutes per side.
  • Transfer patties to a plate lined with paper towels to drain.  Repeat with additional risotto cakes.
  • Serve warm with fresh tomato sauce and a sprinkle of nori flakes.
  • Enjoy!

Dark Chocolate n’ Black Garlic S’mores


  • 2 1/4 cup rice flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 5 Tbsp. ghee or butter alternative
  • 3 Tbsp. cold water
  • 4 Tbsp. agave nectar or honey
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 3 cloves black garlic
  • 1 bar dark chocolate
  • 2 Tbsp. warm water
  • 1 tsp. balsamic vinegar
  • Large marshmallows


  • Combine rice flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt; mix in ghee using hands.
  • Add cold water, honey and vanilla.
  • Mold dough into a ball form and place into the fridge for 2 hours.
  • Pre-heat oven to 325.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Roll out dough and cut graham-cracker sized shapes, lightly pricking with a fork.
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Set aside to cool.
  • In a food processor, combine dark chocolate, warm water, balsamic vinegar and black garlic; puree until smooth.
  • Heat chocolate mixture on the stove top until warm.
  • Top each graham cracker with a dollop of warm dark chocolate and black garlic mixture, followed by a large warm marshmallow and finished with another graham cracker.
  • Enjoy!

Black Garlic can be purchased online through Marx Foods here.