Lasagna Pomodoro

Lasagna pomodoro

Our healthy version of an Italian classic. If Nonna knew the harm animal products do, she would have made her lasagna like this: layers of flat noodles, fresh tomatoes, sauteed onion, plant-based cheese, lovingly homemade sauce and fine aromatic herbs on top. We used purple basil, rosemary and oregano flowers.

Double Portobello Mushroom Burger

vida lotus portobelo burger

This juicy, delicious double portobello mushroom burger will change the way you think about burgers forever. You’ve probably enjoyed many burgers before. Maybe you’ve even savored a portobello burger on some occasions. And all were likely delicious. So what makes our double portobello mushroom burger so special? Well, consider this:

First there was the classic burger, with a piece of dead animal covered in condiments made from mostly sugar, salt and vinegar, smooshed between two pieces of bread made of wheat, the least healthy plant on earth. So you get a few seconds of pleasure followed by indigestion, gases, fatigue, constipation, and perhaps stomach pain, or a headache, all in the immediate aftermath of the meal. And in the long term, you can expect heart disease (because the animal parts contain animal cholesterol that clogs our arteries), cancer (because the immune system will be too busy defending you from foreign proteins to be able to defend you from cancer), and diabetes (because animal products ruin your pancreas, which leads to high blood sugar).

A much better option is to replace the dead animal with a juicy, delicious portobello mushroom, which is similar in taste and texture to the original burger patty. And if you were only going to make one change, this is definitely the most important one. A portobello mushroom is at least a thousand times healthier than a patty made from ground up animal parts. But we at Vida Lotus are a bit (a lot) obsessed with optimizing things in every area of life. So we made a few more improvements…

vida lotus portobelo burger

Instead of one portobello mushroom topped with unhealthy condiments between two pieces of bread, we crafted the masterpiece you see here with the healthiest options we could think of inside and out. So we replaced both pieces of bread with portobello mushrooms. Then, we made our own “meat patty” with beans for texture and beats for color. And finally, we topped it with fresh tomatoes, lettuce, purple onion, homemade babaghanoush and couple of drops of organic mustard. A sprinkle of Himalayan salt and freshly crushed peppercorns is the finishing touch. We apologize if you can no longer look at another burger the same way.

Shepherd's Pie

Sheherds Pie with lentils and popato cheese - by owen

Shepherd’s Pie, or Cottage Pie, originates from Ireland but has become a favorite comfort food in America and the world over. This plant-based shepherd’s pie will give you the warm, fuzzy feeling of eating at grandma’s house. Go ahead and have three huge portions… since vegan food has no cholesterol, you can eat your heart out without promoting heart disease.

Raw Zucchini Spaghetti Pomodoro

raw zucchini spaghetti pomodoro - plant based food at vida lotus panama

How to make your own Raw* Zucchini Spaghetti Pomodoro at home

You will need a spiralizer, some zucchini, some roma tomatoes, fresh basil, Himalayan Sea salt, garlic, a garlic press and a cheese cloth.
First, cut the ends off the zucchini and spiralize them, cutting them to the length of spaghetti noodles (about 25-30 cm).

Next, peel the roma tomatoes and crush them up in a bowl. With a cheese cloth, grab your tomato pulp and squeeze the water out. (Save it for another recipe or drink it down. The idea is not to waste the tomato water, but to make your sauce thicker.) Use your garlic press to extract the garlic pulp from a few teeth of garlic. Add in a bit of Himalayan Sea salt.

raw zucchini spaghetti pomodoro 7 - plant based food at vida lotus

Optionally, you can add some extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil or grapeseed oil, as well as any other herbs or spices that you like. I added rosemary and dill into the sauce, and added fresh green and red basil on top. I also added some plant-based Parmesan cheese* made from potatoes. I garnished this plate with edible fuscia-colored manguellita leaves and more fresh basil.

* Note that the plant-based Parmesan cheese on top is 100% vegan but not raw. For a 100% raw substitute, grate some coconut and dehydrate it in the sun or in a dehydrator.

Raw Vegan Sushi Rolls with Purple Cauliflower Rice

These uniquely colorful sushi rolls are as healthy as they are delicious. Sushi rolls are normally made with rice, but rice contains the gluten orzenin, which contributes to internal inflammation, as no human is able to properly digest gluten. The solution is to use cauliflower instead of rice, and in this case we’ve selected beautiful purple cauliflower for added color and nutrients. Not to worry, purple cauliflower is not genetically modified, nor is it injected with dye. Purple cauliflower originated in a farm in Ontario, Canada. A farmer found one small, purple cauliflower in his field of white cauliflower. He considered it special, preserved it and protected it, and began to breed it with the larger-sized white cauliflowers several times until he had an entire field of normal-sized purple cauliflowers.

How to make your own raw vegan sushi rolls with cauliflower rice

  1. Start with purple cauliflower if you can find it, or if not, use white cauliflower.
  2. Use a food processor to obtain a rice-like texture.
  3. Flatten it on a sheet of nori seaweed paper, leaving the last 3cm clear.
  4. Thinly slice an avocado and place the slices across the bottom half of the “rice”.
  5. Slice some orange bell pepper or another fruit or vegetable of your choice, and place them on top of the avocado.
  6. Place your nori sheet on top of a bamboo sushi roller and roll from the bottom up.
  7. Place some additional slices of avocado on top of your rolls.
  8. Cover with plastic wrap, and gently roll again to perfect the round shape.
  9. Slice your roll in half, then slice each half in half, and repeat once more for eight equal pieces.

Enjoy these raw vegan sushi rolls alone or with your favorite dipping sauce, such as soy sauce or sweet and sour sauce.

Vegan Double Cheese Potatoes

papas doble queso

Boiled potatoes drizzled with creamy homemade plant-based cheese sauce, topped with fresh rosemary and VioLife brand vegan Parmesan cheese. Garnished with fresh basil and manguellitas.

How to make the secret homemade cheese sauce

After boiling the potatoes, blend some of them with avocado oil, Himalayan sea salt, nutritional yeast and fresh curcumin.

The rest of the recipe is self-explanatory from the description above.

Guacamole and carrot sticks

guacamole and carrot sticks

Guacamole is synonymous with good times. It is a way of life in Latin America, where it originates. But no human alive can resist the delicious combination of avocado, lemon juice, olive oil, sea salt and spices. Try making your own guac at home using this simple, healthy and unbelievable satisfying recipe:

How to make Guacamole at home

When your avocados are perfectly ripe, split them open, set the seeds aside for planting, and scoop the green and yellow fruity flesh into a mixing bowl using a spoon. Squeeze the juice of a fresh lime or lemon (or two) through a strainer into the bowl, and set the seeds aside for planting. Pour a bit of extra virgin olive oil into the bowl and add a bit of Himalayan sea salt. Crack some black, white and/or pink pink peppercorns and add it to the mix. You may want to chop up some tomatoes and/or bell peppers and add them in. If you like spicy food, chop up some jalapenos or habanero peppers and toss them in, or leave them on the side if you are sharing your guac with someone that doesn’t do spicy. Now you are ready to mix your guacamole together using a fork.

Your guacamole is now delectable enough to eat it by itself, but you can prolong the pleasure by serving it as a dipping sauce. I recommend chopping up some carrot sticks, or use celery, zucchini, bell peppers, or any other fruit or vegetable that you fancy. Using any of these options will keep this dish raw and healthy. An extremely popular variation is to serve guacamole with corn tortilla chips. While this option is equally enjoyable, it is definitely less healthy as it includes cooked grains. Corn is often mistaken as a vegetable, but it is a cereal grain that contains the gluten called zien, which promotes inflammation. And because the corn is extremely dried from the cooking process, it accelerates ageing by leeching water out of the body.

Gandhi eating rice and licking his plate clean

Homemade Plant-based Dog Food

The go-to plant-based meal for your pets is rice. It is easy to prepare, inexpensive, and can be used to get your furry friends to swallow all kinds of healthy vegetables that they otherwise wouldn’t care for. Gandhi has a big plate of rice almost every day. Some days he has two big plates of rice. Other days he has one big plate of rice, and another meal of raw fruit or cooked beans or vegetables. In any case, homemade vegan dog food is much healthier than store-bought food, which is normally made with low quality harmful ingredients, such as diseased animals. Even if you buy a vegan brand, it may contain colorants and preservatives, and it may be overly dry. No animal in the jungle opts for dry food, as this causes dehydration and may affect their health in other ways. When humans eat dry food, it accelerates ageing, as the dry food leaches water content from organs such as the skin, the bones and even the eyes, causing brittle bones, wrinkled skin, and vision impairment. In these two short videos, you will see Gourmet Gandhi eating a plate of rice, and licking his plate clean.

How to Prepare your Homemade Vegan Dog Food

Boil some water and add in the rice. Normally, you will use twice as much water as rice. For Gandhi, Bhumi and Tigrito, than means at least five cups of rice and ten cups of water, which requires a fairly large pot or cauldron. This amount will give both Gandhi and Bhumi two large plates of rice each, and one medium sized plate for Tigrito.

Add in your pets’ favorite spices. Our pets love cumin, as it has a sort of meaty stink to it. We also add a bit of Himalayan sea salt to ensure that our furry friends get the 84 minerals* that are found in Himalayan salt. We sometimes use curcumin for health reasons, but in small amounts because they don’t love its taste. You may want to use a mixture of spices such as Italian seasoning or ‘Montreal Steak Spice”, but if you use such a mixture, please read the label carefully to ensure it doesn’t contain Mono Sodium Glutamate or any other harmful neurotoxin.

Next, add in some finely chopped veggies from your fridge, even leftovers, to give them even more nutrients. The smaller you cut them, the more likely your dogs will slurp them up with the rice. If you add bigger pieces, they will pick and choose which ones they like to eat and leave the rest behind. For carrots or beets, we often use a grater or a peeler to ensure they get slurped up entirely.

Some days, we add in textured soy protein, which absorbs some of the water and takes on a texture similar to chicken or beef. Sometimes we add chia seeds or hemp seed hearts to give our pets some Omega 3.

* The 84 minerals found in Himalayan salt are: Oxygen, Calcium, Magnesium, Iron, Sodium, Phosphorus, Nitrogen, Cobalt, Iodine, Hydrogen, Carbon, Fluoride, Cadmium, Palladium, Aluminum, Chromium, Nickel, Silicon, Silver, Vanadium, Lanthanum, Gallium, Rubidium, Indium, Arsenic, bromine, antimony, ruthenium, rhodium tellurium, scandium, titanium, cesium, barium, lanthanum, cerium, praseodymium, samarium, europium, gadolinium, terbium, dysprosium, holmium, erbium, thulium, ytterbium, lutetium, hafnium, tantalum, tungsten, rhenium, osmium, iridium, platinum, gold, mercury, thallium, lead, bismuth, polonium, astatine, francium, radium, actinium, thorium, protactinium, rubidium, strontium, yttrium, zirconium, niobium uranium, tin, neptunium and plutonium.

Gnocchi al Oleo con Basilico

gnocchis al oleo con hierbas aromaticas

Gnocchi is potato pasta. You can make your own or buy them ready-made.

Pictured above is Gnocchi al Oleo, or Gnocchi in Oil with fresh herbs, spicy peppers and vegan Parmesan cheese.

To make your own Gnocchi

Boil some potatoes for about 30 minutes. Let them dry and peel them while they are still warm, then press them through a potato ricer (which looks like a giant garlic press). Then, add some flour, and mix it into a dough. Roll the dough in your hands until it is shaped like a snake, then slice it into bite-sized pieces. You can leave them round or press them with a fork to give them some more texture. Now you will need to boil them again, but this time only for about two minutes.

When the gnocchi is done, strain and transfer back into the pot. Immediately add your oil. You can use extra virgin olive oil if you like since we are done with the cooking. I prefer grapeseed oil and in this case I used grapeseed oil infused with fresh organic rosemary (the infusion takes about two weeks). I also mixed in fresh rosemary, as well as purple and green basil, chives, oregano, and some spicy Thai peppers. On top is grated plant-based Parmesan cheese from Violife.

Buon apetito!

Penne a la Contadina

penne a la contadina

This all-time family favorite will delight your senses. Penne noodles smothered in a delicious creamy blush sauce with sauteed mushrooms and aromatic culinary medicinal herbs and plant based Parmesan cheese.

How to Prepare Plant-based Penne a la Contadina

Bring a pot of water to a boil and add penne noodles. Add avocado oil or grapeseed oil to a saucepan and put it over medium heat.

Stir the penne noodles, slice some onions and mushrooms and add them the saucepan.

Stir the noodles again and add some coconut milk to the saucepan.

Stir the noodles once more, and add minced garlic, tomato paste, Himalayan Sea Salt, and fresh ground pepper. Stir until the sauce is a homogenous pinky-orange color.

penne a la contadina

Check the softness of the noodles by removing one and biting it. (al dente means “by the tooth”). When the noodles are done, strain them and toss them into the saucepan with the blush sauce. Stir well, serve on a plate, top it with Parmesan cheese, and garnish with fresh herbs. In this case, we used chives, green and red basil, rosemary and oregano.

Buon Apetito!