Monday, October 31, 2011
So today marks the last day of Vegan Mofo! I wish I had more days because there was much more I wanted to cover. However since today is the last day I wanted to leave with a giveaway. Up for grabs are a few of my fave products from the month. You get an E.L.F. lip gloss kit - complete with Miami - my fave color, a Crazy Rumors root beer lip balm, a jute tree of life tote (in honor of my sister) and I am throwing in some of my fave snacks in the mix. To enter please leave a comment telling me what your plans for Halloween are - make sure there is that I can contact you (email in the comment or link back to your blog!). Enter till November 4 - one winner will be selected at random. Entry is open to all. Good luck!
This year Mar dressed up as Charlie Brown from The Great Pumpkin - he even has a rock! Happy Halloween from us! Stay safe!
Friday, October 28, 2011
a teaspoon of cinnamon (no need to get fancy - the cheap stuff is good)
about a cup of water
Mix the two ingredients in a small sauce pot and set over medium-low heat to simmer. It will make your whole house smell like a pie without any scary chemicals! I like doing this as I clean the house - I like things that smell good! Check on it every 30 minutes or so to make sure the water does not dry out and burn the cinnamon to the bottom of your pot!
Thursday, October 27, 2011
I wanted to think about my sister today and all the memories I had with her. One memory is some of her favorite dishes. Growing up she was crazy about pasta with butter and Parmesan, I was never a fan...I made the vegan version today...Simple no need for a recipe. Cook pasta till done, drain add Earth Balance, stir and sprinkle in a bunch of nutritional yeast...I could not get through my plate - even with Mar's help but it did take me back.
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Here is a recipe featuring Sriracha from Food Network that is easy and I bet you have most if not all the ingredients in your kitchen. It is very simple so feel free to add some diced pieces of Thai flavored tofu, cooked broccoli or sprouts...If you do not have soba noodles you can substitute whole wheat spaghetti. GF folks can use GF pasta.
Chilled Peanut Soba Noodles
- Kosher salt
- 8 ounces soba noodles
- 1/4 cup natural crunchy peanut butter
- 1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 2 to 3 teaspoons (or more if you are like me!) of Sriracha
Bring a large pot of water to a boil; overt high heat. Add a generous amount of salt and stir in the noodles. Cook according to package instructions; drain and rinse well under cold running water.
Meanwhile, whisk the peanut butter, soy sauce, vinegar and chili sauce in a large bowl until smooth. Add the drained noodles, and with tongs, toss until coated with the dressing. Serve immediately or chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
Note: If chilling noodles, toss with 1 to 2 tablespoons water to loosen them before serving.
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Don't feel like cooking? Rather watch talk shows and shop all day? Embarrassed of your family? Is big hair and lots of leopard print your thing?
Take a couch break with a carton of Almond Dream Bites! These vegan bonbons will have you feeling like Peggy Bundy in no time! I like eating them one at a time - letting the magic shell melt on my tongue! They have become a favorite around here!
Monday, October 24, 2011
I am going back to get more of this couscous salad!
Matt and I searched for cruelty free - non leather gym shoes this week. At one store the staff (two guys) were puzzled about why we did not want leather. Guy 1 - 'said even if shoes say leather - it means synthetic' - I think not. Guy 2 was a jerk and started questioning Matt about his shoes - Matt was wearing his old Converse Chucks - made of canvas. I doubt we will go back to that store.
At Payless Matt bought me super cozy vegan furry shoes. I wanted them in black - but no stores in the area had my size in black so I went with grey and even got an additional $4 off!
I went to Hobby Lobby which is new to the town and bought some crafting supplies. However my favorite find is this giant plush lollipop I got at 40% off.
Sunday was a day of cleaning up, working out, Matt playing video games and a call from Trader Joe's. I found out I won a $25 gift card - I am so stoked to pick it up this week and buy food! I also enjoyed a hour or so with my mom and dad over a soy cappuccino and coming home and finishing off the couscous!
I hope your weekend was fun - even if it was relaxed like ours!
Friday, October 21, 2011
I picked The Republic of Tea's Vanilla Almond because I like almond and vanilla combined. When it is brewing it smells like almond shortbread - sweet and buttery. I serve it with soy milk and stevia but stevia on it's own tastes just as great. It makes me feel warm inside. It is a great after dinner tea served with some sugar cookies!
What tea are you drinking right now?
Thursday, October 20, 2011
First up Chipotle Chicken Style rolled tacos from Starlite Cuisine. I picked these up last week because they looked good. I tried a few of the varieties before and liked them. Well, I really like these. The spicy 'chicken' is housed in a flour tortilla that bakes up crunchy. The kick is there - not to hot but nice. I love these served with guacamole and hot sauce!
I bought Merry Hempster's Hot Muscle Rub last night because - I have cramps and my lower back hurts. I have an appointment for a massage this weekend but my back is so sore and I feel like a big cry baby. So I had Matt rub this all over my lower back last night and really like it. It smells like yummy gum - minty and warm and the heat it brings is nice and soothing. I was tempted to rub it over my whole body last night...I think I might do that now!
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Last night dinner consisted of seitan cutlets based on this easy recipe, I made some modifications on spices and cooking time, red skin mashed potatoes and gravy and drop biscuits. I know with all the brown and white it is lacking color - but it is not lacking flavor! Mar begs for this seitan even!
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
I am taking a zine break till the new year. These next few months are dedicated to craft shows that I am tabling at, making stuff for retail stores and holiday gift making/shopping! I would love to do a holiday zine but I think a holiday mental health break down would not be so great!
I do not know the theme for the next zine but I will keep everyone updated and if you have ideas, recipes or anything let me know!
Monday, October 17, 2011
Beetlejuice Beetlejuice Bettlejuice (or Carmine Carmine Carmine ;P)! My sister and I had this movie growing up on VHS - we watched it daily - it was missing from the collection. I was at Target (I go like two times a week) and bought a bunch of frames from their Halloween collection - however told myself to go back and buy this one so I could have money left in my account. Well, Kala must have read my shopping list mind! A super cool sugar skull ornament to add to my collection and a kitty cookie cutter to round out this grouping.
Food! Jack fruit, mochi, a cookie, Primal Strips and interesting black rice pasta. I am trying to think of a way to best utilize the black rice pasta! I saw black pasta a few weeks ago at the store but it contained squid ink - icky! This is completely natural and super rad!
Kala also sent me some zines - they are sitting on my side of the bed (at night I read before bed!). You need to check out her fall zine and get a copy!
Thank you again Kala! Swapping with you is a treat!
Friday, October 14, 2011
This week Sunflower Market opened in Modesto. We check it out yesterday, not expecting much. In the past other stores have let us down - offering little in the way of vegan products or not going with their name...
We were happy to see Sunflower Market has a lot in the way of vegan food and ingredients - the prices were way cheaper than a lot of stores in the area. They also had some hard to find vegan products. It is like a mini Whole Foods market. It was packed and I did not get to take many pictures - I started having a panic attack (crowds do that to me - plus the feeling of being overwhelmed & hungry). We bought some much needed ingredients for dinner and I discovered the coolest thing ever (well, one of the coolest things!):
At first I thought it was a honey station - I was like ick, but noticed they had two types of agave! I got a traditional honey bear full of agave! Sweet! I have never seen this before and was thrilled!
I am going back tomorrow and have coupons ready from the site. You can customize the coupons sent to you by diet type - they have vegetarian and vegan! Yay!
Thursday, October 13, 2011
Here is the deal - when I was 15 (almost 16 - the week of my birthday) I was hospitalized for like four days - they wanted to keep me more I wanted to get out for my birthday. I had a really bad case of pneumonia - and spent those days in the hospital out of it...
During my sickness and recovery I developed a dislike of soda. We were a soda family - not that we drank a lot of soda we just always had it around. I could not drink soda and did not like any form of soda until recently. I started drinking a few natural root beer brands - but did not like them - plus some of them even contained chemical sweeteners - ick! I discovered Zevia - they even have a vegan logo on the side and was hooked with my first grape soda. I think I have tried every flavor and my favorite has to be grape and then black cherry. I only drink one a day or every other day, a six pack costs me $4.99 and I don't want to go in debt over soda (add this to my Star Bucks addiction and I might have to start selling things off to get more drinks!)...
I know a lot of people are not crazy about the 0 calorie sweetener that comes from a leaf - I find the taste of it in the soda not offensive. I have had it in other drinks and I gag but I think the carbonation mellows it out. I don't think these sodas could replace a hard core soda drinkers daily habit but the flavors are really top notch and worth a try!
Here is a crafty project that uses recycled materials. These are jazzed up recipe cards - you can use them to pass on recipes or hole punch the corners and tie them with ribbon and make a lil recipe book! I am using loteria boards - feel free to use interesting food packaging (anything light cardboard will work - think cereal box weight).
Step 1: Cut your cardboard into pices that are like 4 1/2" by 3 1/2".
Step 2: Do this with printer paper to (I only had white - feel free to use colored paper!). Write down your recipes on this paper.
Step 3: Use a glue stick to glue your recipe onto the ugly (not the decorative side) of the cardboard. To get everything to stick - place the cards between books or under something flat and heavy for a few hours so the glue bonds the paper.
Finished product: You can take these a step further if you print out your recipes or you can glitter them up if that is your thing. I just have a load of sharpies that I like to get crazy with!
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
Enter Crazy Rumors - vegan lip balm that comes in a ton of flavors. I have scooped a handful up over the last few months and like some kind of lip balm hoarder I keep them all in my purse. Maybe I need lip balm rehab!
I bought the soda pop collection because it was on sale and I got it for like $3! I go to this collection a lot - my favorites are the root beer and cola - both have a really classic flavor that makes you want to apply more. They are so good you may just feel like your lips are carbonated!
1/8 teaspoon of brown sugar or sugar in the raw
1/4 teaspoon of olive oil
mixing bowl - spoon
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
Buffalo Tempeh Fingers
2 tablespoons of Earth Balance
1/4 of a cup of hot sauce (I mixed Frank's RedHot & Sriracha)
a bit of oil for frying
vegan ranch and sweet potato fries (optional)
Fry tempeh strips in oil (medium heat) till each side is browned - do not burn them. While they brown up combine EB and hot sauce together in a saucepan - cook till EB is melted - stir. Lower temperature and poor hot sauce mix over tempeh - coating it, let it cook this way for 5 minutes. Then turn the heat up and let it cook for a minute or two to get the sauce to really stick. Serve it with vegan ranch and sweet potato fries - like I did or in a sandwich!
Monday, October 10, 2011
This was my first time at a casino and I was smitten with all the lights and fun machines. I picked out anything cat related and go sucked in. Matt pulled me away so we could go eat.
Through the winding roads (battling car sickness) we headed to Murphy's again and had lunch at Mineral - both of us had the burgers and peanut butter truffles! Bought more tea at Tea an' Tiques, did some wine tasting at Black Sheep Vintners (the sparkling wine was so tasty - I am kicking myself for not buying a bottle - next time for sure!). Then drove through the mountains and on our way home.
Saturday we planned on going shopping and going out to eat an hour away but after the mountain roads, Matt's car acting up and just wanting to stay around we decided to keep it in town with a movie and shopping.
I decided to try and recreate a dish Matt was planning on having. It is barbequed seitan over mashed potatoes. This is really easy and you could get more hands on - using homemade seitan (I cannot find wheat gluten here!). I also used boxed mashed potatoes - another short cut!
2 packages of seitan chunks
1/2 spicy sweet BBQ sauce
a bit of olive oil
prepared mashed potatoes
Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat, add seitan chunks, fry for a few minutes, tossing to brown each side. Add BBQ sauce, reduce the heat to a medium low setting and cook till the sauce becomes bubbly. Plate the mashed potatoes creating a bowl shape and scoop in seitan - serve and say yummy (and easy!)...
Thursday, October 6, 2011
These bars remind me of being a kid and the Nutrigrain bars we had at home. Sweet but not artificial and hearty. These are like comfort food in a snack size bar. Matt and I love all the flavors that we have tried.
Are there any vegan versions of classics you like? Things that take you back to your childhood?
Vegan mofo is one full month of vegan blogging about food (and more). Seeing so many awesome blogs and food out there really inspires me - just like the wonderful picks from the people in this grouping!
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Wednesday, October 5, 2011
When we bought the house we live in a few years back it was during September, we noticed green bulbs on a tree in the back, not sure what they will be. The next month we had beautiful pomegranates and envious friends!
Growing up my sister loved pomegranates - I tried them, not really a fan. Each year since we have had this house Matt and I try them and just share one and give the rest away. Yesterday I sat down to a organic apple for a snack - the apple was not tasty and I wanted fruit. So I went to the backyard and picked a pomegranate off the tree, washed it, cut in a munched on the seeds. It was tasty - sweet and sour and just what my body was craving. Maybe this year I will eat two!
After I munched away I cleaned up the juices and loved the burgundy wine color. I know the juice stains - the white napkin I used took the color in well. So I did some research - you can dye fabric using pom juice! Here are some links about dyeing fabric with the juice. I kinda want to tie dye or dip dye fabric for bows now!
Easy step by step instructions:
This video mostly talks about wool - but I think it would work on organic cotton just as well. It shows how different pots bring out different colors. Really pretty!
Tuesday, October 4, 2011
More of a DIY beauty person. Well - read on!
So I use a lot of hair spray and straitening gel on my hair - these can leave a gross buildup on your strands and dull the shine. For the last month I have been using apple cider vinegar to degunk my hair! 1 part ACV (I say like 3 tablespoons) to 2 parts water. Place all of this in a plastic bottle or cup/mix or shake and hop in the shower. After shampooing your hair pour the mix over your scalp and rub it in for a few minutes - keep your eyes closed - this stuff can burn them! Rinse your hair and move onto conditioner. My hair is so shiny after doing this! Don't worry about the smell - your strands do not stink afterwards!