Chocolate Fig Pudding (5-minute dessert!)

I was going to name this “Figgy Pudding” as I think it sounds cuter than chocolate fig pudding, but I thought it would confuse people as it in no way resembles the traditional figgy pudding. So Chocolate Fig Pudding it is. The title is very self-explanatory.

I mentioned last week that it’s fig season – so here is another fig-licious recipe for you to enjoy. I love this because it comes together in about 5 minutes flat – my favourite kind of dessert =)

Chocolate Fig Pudding (serves 4… or 2 chocolate addicts)

8-12 fresh figs (dried just isn’t going to cut it for this one)

1/4 cup of cacao powder

1/4 of a ripe avocado

2 tbsp of maple syrup (optional)

2 tbsp coconut oil

1 tsp of cinnamon

**2 heaping tbsp of almond butter (see note)

Toss all of the ingredients in your food processor and whiz until creamy. I took out half of the pudding and spooned it into a bowl and set aside. I then added the almond butter to the remaining mixture to have two different kinds of pudding. I liked the almond-butter version better, but my friend Di enjoyed the nut-butter-less one. Try with or without depending on what you feel like – or add something completely different like shredded coconut or gogi berries.

Be sure to come on back Friday to link up with your Healthy Vegan Friday recipes!  And to check out the winner of last week’s giveaway.

Vegan Eats: Canadian Edition (more Lettuce Lovin’)

I am excited to share pictures of my trip with you! But as I mentioned last week, I am a busy lady packing all of my belongings for a big move. Today I will just leave you with some food porn ;p

First stop, my good friend Sarina’s for a summer bbq. She is an amazing cook. The burgers and potatoes were so incredibly tasty, but she really outdid herself with her caesar salad. She made the best “bacon bits” I have ever had!!!

And dessert… oh dessert!

My mom’s friend Barbie also made me a delicious meal:

My in-law’s had me for dinner one night – and check out this epic dessert!

So pretty! And tasty =) It was so fresh. Nature’s skittles… mmmm.

And I went to the awesome vegan local place near my mom’s, Green’s Organic Café. I went with my mom & mom-in-law and we got these dishes to try:

Sooooo good!

And here are some meals I made myself:

And I saved the best for last.

I of course got in a trip to Lettuce Love my FAVOURITE restaurant. In. The. World. =D

California Burger & Caesar Salad (how fitting!)

Smores Ice Cream Sundae for dessert… omg!!! It was even better than it sounds. That’s right!

I had to hit up Kelly’s Bake Shoppe for some cupcakes to go as well.

And I got to chat with Mike and plead for him to open up a restaurant in California.

If you are in the Burlington area (or within a 3 hour driving distance like I was), I highly recommend you check it out. The staff are the friendliest & happiest bunch I have ever met. And the food is utterly amazing. Spot on, every single time! Check out my previous reviews here & here.

Hope ‘ya’all had a great weekend! Come on by on Wednesday for a new recipe and Friday for Healthy Vegan Fridays.

Healthy Vegan Friday #6

Oh it’s that time again. Friday already! And this week we have a giveaway. Woot =) But before we get to that, we’ll go over the usual stuff first. Be sure to scroll on down for the giveaway though!

It’s time to link up those Healthy Vegan recipes you have! Robin and I are excited to see what you have this week. New to HVF? You can find the lowdown here.

Last week we had some great recipes shared. Here are your favourites:

Noodles with Green Sauce from Vegans Eat Yummy Food Too!!!

A noodle bowl? Yes, please! All things green? Double yes! Best combo ever – I can’t wait to try this =)

Chocolate-covered Cherry Macaroons from Creating Silver Linings:

I’m not a huge fan of cherries… but covering things in chocolate always makes it palatable =D

And Nut-Free Mac n’ Cheeze from Strength & Sunshine:

Mmmm I love this lower-fat version of one of my favourite dishes! Subbing cauliflower for cashews is such a great idea.

And now for the giveaway. My good friend Sarina was telling me about an awesome new vegan e-book that I just had to check out. Not only did I get to review this awesome cookbook, but one of you lucky-duck readers will get a copy all to yourselves. Filled with healthy, delicious, awesome vegan recipes. And, my favourite thing about a cookbook – absolutely gorgeous pictures.

I also got a chance to interview the lovely, Toronto-area author, Andrea Frenke.

Kimmy: What inspired your healthy life-style?

Andrea: My healthy lifestyle was an unexpected bonus to adopting a vegan lifestyle. I went vegan purely for the animals and then suddenly I started feeling amazing! My sleep improved, skin, hair, nails, moods, menstrual cramps, digestions, everything got better! I realized that it was an awesome way to promote the vegan lifestyle, and motivate people to live cruelty free lives from another directions.

Kimmy: After being vegan for over a year now, what sort of tips can you give to people wanting to make the transition or just starting to make the transition to a plant-based diet?

Andrea: My first tip is research a TON. Unfortunately veganism evokes a lot of negative reactions from people and I recommend being prepared when randomly everyone fancies themselves a nutritionist or scientist, and starts telling you that you are malnourished. Next tip is to remember that everything you used to eat can be recreated as vegan, I promise. Vegan food has come a long way! So whichever food you think you’ll miss, research the vegan alternative, you’ll have no troubles. Next tip is never assume something is vegan, always read labels. Animal products are used in so many foods you wouldn’t think (wine, beer, candies) so this comes back to research, lots of research! Lastly, veganism is not a diet, it is a lifestyle. It is about what you wear, which beauty products and cleaners you use, which foods you eat and how you treat “pests” etc. So if you’re plan is to change eating to a plant-based diet, be careful of stating that you’re vegan when you are still consuming other animal products such as silk, leather etc.

Kimmy: I love and share your passion for fitness! What is your favourite way to keep fit?

Andrea: Thank you! My favourite way to stay fit is dancing. It is amazing exercise, but it is also FUN! I am all about making fitness something you can fit into your life, not something you have to make room for. Remember that everything counts, so doing a couple of squats while you brush your hair or calve raises in line at the store, that all counts as exercise!

Kimmy: What is the one thing in your pantry you cannot do without:

Andrea: Hands down, coconut oil. I use it for everything! My teeth, hair, skin, cooking. I usually have three different jars going at a time. For cooking it is much better than olive oil, because of how it reacts to heat.

Kimmy: As someone who has acquired so many followers (over 10,000 on Instagram!), what sort of advice do you have for those trying to attract more followers?

Andrea: First things first, post pretty photos! Also, be authentic, as fakeness is rampant on the internet. Lastly, respond to people and make an effort to get to know your followers. To me IG has become a family, I have met numerous like-minded friends and feel very supported and understood by them all. 

Great advice! I have to admit that dancing is also my favourite way of keeping fit. It’s just so darned fun =) Be sure to check out Andrea’s YouTube channel as it has all sorts of  great fitness tips and healthy eats. And see her gorgeous photos on Instagram.

To enter the giveaway, simply comment below explaining why you’d like to check out her e-book by Tuesday, July 29th. This contest is open to everyone and we will announce the lucky winner next Friday.

Now in all of your excitement to enter the giveaway – don’t forget to share & link up with your healthy recipe this week!

Caesar Salad

This salad was thrown together last minute in my haste to get to Robin’s House Warming party. I wanted to bring something delicious to my bestie’s gathering, but I had just flown in the night before from a trip visiting my family and didn’t have time to hit up the grocery store. Fortunately, it was market day and I could quickly walk there to pick up some fresh produce. And made this:

I have only made caesar salad a few times and only by carefully following a recipe. My salad dressing skills are almost nonexistent as I favour spritzing some fresh lemon juice and drizzling a bit of olive oil over my greens. But I hit a home run with this one.

I did a quick check online and consulted several recipes to get the base idea and then added my own flair.

1 cup of cashews (soaked 2-8 hours – the longer the better as the dressing will come out richer & creamier)

1/4 cup of artichoke hearts & a couple of tbsp of the oil

2-4 large cloves of garlic

2 tbsp of nutritional yeast

1 tbsp of miso paste

1 tsp of capers

salt & pepper to taste

Throw all of the ingredients into your blender and mix it, adding a bit of water (about 1/4 cup) until it comes out smooth.

I didn’t have romaine lettuce on hand, so I took a head of red leaf lettuce, washed & dried it and tore it into bite-sized pieces. I added most of the dressing to the lettuce and massaged it in (reserving a bit to dip veggies or crackers in for a snack later in the week).

You can enjoy it plain like it is.

Or you can make some “bacun bitz” to add on (I just tossed some coconut flakes with some maple syrup, coconut aminos & liquid smoke & toasted them for 10 minutes). While your add it – try some Angela’s amazing croutons!! I made mine with gf bread and  couldn’t stop eating them. Yum. I also added a bit of vegan parmesan cheese. So good!

I enjoyed mine loaded and had a Quinoa burger with it with some vegan mayonnaise (Just Mayo) and some homemade ketchup. And a good book.

Happy Hump Day – see ‘ya’all back here on Friday for Healthy Vegan Fridays. There will be a giveaway!!!! =)

Picture from the housewarming:

I am sharing this fun recipe over at Healthy Vegan Fridays &  Plant Based Potluck Party

Quick Update

Hello! So the great thing about being prepared for going on a vacation is getting blog posts ready ahead of time and scheduling them to post. Great feature! But what about you when you come back and are feeling behind in *everything*? Grocery shopping, laundry, tidying, cleaning… Oh and in addition to regular stuff, you are trying to organise for a move.

Chaos and stress. Oh yes. But I’m keeping stress to a minimum. Part of that involves less time spent on the blog. I’m sure you can appreciate and understand (and totally know where I’m coming from!).

I’m slowly but surely getting back on track with things, but the next few weeks will be hectic at best. I’ll try to post regularly. I especially want to share with you some awesome pics I took on my vacation. Until then – I leave you with this:

Hope you had a fantabulous weekend. Catch ‘ya on Wednesday!

Healthy Vegan Friday #5

Happy Friday!! Alright fellow bloggers, I’ll admit that I’ve been slacking on the blog recently. But I have a very good excuse. I’m away from home visiting family. I fly back today and assure you I will back on top of managing this blog and reading your blogs soon. And exciting news!! Robin and I are in the midst of lining up some giveaways and will have one next Friday – so stay tuned!

New to HVF? Check out the deets here.

Last week you guys were totally digging these recipes:

Chocolate Coconut Mango Superfood Smoothie from Urban Naturale:

With the gorgeous summer weather we’ve been having, I am loving smoothies right now. And chocolate and coconut?? Yes, please!

Next up we have some Breaded Oven-Baked Eggplant Rounds from Delicioso:

I’m not a huge eggplant fan, but breading always makes things dee-licious! And I love how they are baked in the oven – what a fun, healthy option.

And our own Robin came in with her Pressed Salad:

I have no problem whatsoever eating salad, I love my greens & veggies. BUT I also like things even more when they look cute on a plate. This might be a sneaky way to get your kiddos to munch on some leafy greens.

This week I’m sharing my Creamy Mushroom Plate:

Link on up – please don’t forget to link back, we would love for your to spread the word about Healthy Vegan Fridays. We’ll see you back here with a fun giveaway =)

Be sure to check us out on Facebook & Pinterest

Creamy Mushroom Pasta

I hosted a potluck recently (my favourite get together of all time!!!) and Robin came over early to prepare her dish. She was making something I had never had before and I was very intrigued. She always makes delicious food and I was excited to eat it. It was a take on a tuna pasta dish, but veganized. I had a biteful and loved it!!! Sadly, this doesn’t turn out well. As I was rummaging in the cupboard above the counter where her dish was sitting, I knocked over a glass spice jar and it shattered all over the counter. :( We had to throw all of her wonderful food out. I felt awful! And didn’t even have all of the ingredients to recreate her dish. She was very diplomatic of course and insisted my spice jar had in fact jumped from the cupboard. Ah friends. There is a happy ending though! She did make a new pasta dish with some leftover sunflower cheeeze I had and it was very delicious =) Maybe even better than the first dish!

One of the ingredients she had leftover from the creation was vegan mushroom soup which I have never had. I thought I would attempt to recreate her initial dish. In the process, I added some things and switched it up a bit and in the end, it actually reminded me of the supper my father-in-law made the first time I had supper at my husband’s (then boyfriend) house. So this is a tribute to Tony and his creamy mushroom pasta.

Creamy Mushroom Pasta (serves 4 – 6)

2 cups of your favourite noodles (I used Tinkyada – my fav gluten-free rice noodles)

1.5 cups cooked chickpeas (or 1 can), mashed with a potato masher

2 cups of mushrooms, sliced

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1 cup of broccoli, chopped into bite-size pieces

3/4 cup of peas

1.5 cups of mushroom soup (I used Imagine Creamy Portobello Mushroom Soup)

4 tbsp of nutritional yeast

1 tsp of herbamere seasoning (or sea salt)

1/2 tsp of pepper

a handful of daiya mozza-style cheese (optional)

Bring a pot of lightly salted water to a boil on the stove and add your noodles and cook according to the package directions. While it’s cooking, heat up a wok and add a bit of olive oil and add the mushrooms & garlic to sautée. Once the mushrooms have softened, add the broccoli and sautée until it turns bright green. Then add your peas and mashed chickpeas and broth and bring this to a boil. Once it’s boiling, lower the heat to medium and add the nutritional yeast, salt & pepper. Add the cook noodles and daiya if using and stir it up.

Millennium Restaurant Review

Did you know that I lived in the San Francisco Bay Area for almost two years before finally trying the most famous vegan restaurant in the area?

Before moving here, I had read about the restaurant and put it high on my to-do list as it has AMAZING reviews and has been frequented by a slew of vegan celebrities, including my fav, Ms. Alicia Silverstone.

I decided that our anniversary was the perfect time to try out the restaurant. My only disappointment with our dining experience was not having been there before. I think this was easily one of the best meals I have ever had. It was so good! This place is a little pricey and we’ll only go for super special occasions, but it is well worth the price when you want to splurge on a memorable evening out.

**Full disclosure… my pictures are horrible. I didn’t think to bring my proper camera and took everything in low light with my phone :/ I will just have to go back at some point to dine again and take better pictures =)

We started off with the Kennebec Potato Steak Fries. We nixed the regular blueberry-juniper ketchup as a dipper (Terry is still on his restrictive diet) and the chef whipped up a tangy horseradish accompaniment.

We were both interested in the same main BBQ Tempeh Dish, but with Terry’s list of “no-eats”, the chef prepared him a similar dish with zucchini cakes.

My Tempeh plate

Terry’s zucchini cake dish

 We were both too full for dessert… but could not resist taking some home for later!

Terry tried a fresh, seasonal blueberry tartelette

I opted for the Dark Chocolate Hazelnut Layer Cake

Aside from the food being incredibly delicious, I was super impressed with the service! I called ahead of time to ask if they would be able to accommodate Terry’s dietary restrictions and they had no problem with it and seemed eager for the challenge. From the moment we walked in the door, until we walked out with our desserts, we were treated exceptionally well. And the food… the food! I can’t even describe how insanely delicious everything was! The “fries” were a nice healthy alternative to the regular deep fried ones that most restaurants serve, but they managed to get the texture perfectly! And I loved how easy it was for them to whip up an alternate sauce for us to enjoy. The main dish was cooked and seasoned perfectly. It was truly mouthwatering… The desserts were especially enjoyable as they were sweet without being overloaded with sugar and melted in your mouth making our tastebuds sing.

It was the perfect way to celebrate another year together.

I highly recommend dining here if you are in the area.

You can check out their website here.

Healthy Vegan Friday #4

Good morning lovelies! I hope you are having an awesome week and looking forward to a spectacular weekend!

Robin and I are super looking forward to seeing what you have for us this week. You had such awesome submissions last week!

New to HVF? Check out the info here.

Let’s check out your fav recipes from last week:

Hemp Protein Pancakes from Strength & Sunshine:

I love Rebecca’s take on “failure” in this post! I think we can all relate and take a positive spin the next time something doesn’t quite turn out as we expected. And maybe we can make these yummy pancakes to console ourselves =)

Vegan, Gluten-free Spaghetti & Meatballs from Super Strength Health:

Mmmm I love this almost rawsome creation! I tend to like making a completely raw meal or a completely cooked one – I love the combo in this dish. I haven’t yet tried the Beyond Meat Beef Crumbles and would love to when I make this recipe.

Mojo Marinated Fajitas from Zsu’s Vegan Pantry:

Aside from the picture being drop-dead gorgeous (yes, food can be drop dead gorgeous), the recipe itself sounds awesome. The orange & lime juice and the fresh oregano would give it such oomph! I need to track down some fresh oregano.

And this Potato Tower of Power from Edible Musings totally caught my eye this week:

Catchy title? Check! Involves mushrooms? Check! Incorporates sweet potato? Check, check check! This sounds so good!!! I can’t wait to try it out.

This week I’m sharing my lemon dill cashew cheeze:

Link up guys! Don’t forget to link back here =) And have a fantabulous weekend!

Don’t forget to check us out on Facebook & Pinterest.

Lemon Dill Cashew Cheeze

Does the title just make your mouth water? I am such a sucker for cashew cheeze. It’s just so rich and creamy. Especially with a high powered blender =) Win for the vitamix on this one!

This is really great with some veggies or some crackers. I recently brought it to a potluck armed with veggies & crackers and it was a huge hit =) Vegans and non-vegans all liked it. Although the non-vegans prefer I call it “dip”. *sigh*

I actually started this recipe off by being fancy pants and making rejeuvelac from the Artisan Vegan Cheese cookbook. You don’t have to go all out though – this tastes delectably delicious anyway.  But if you want to try it out, check out this recipe online (just know that you will be making your cheeze over the course of a few days) for rejeuvelac. I used quinoa to make mine.

Lemon Dill Cashew Cheeze

 2 cups of cashews (soaked for at least 8 hours – the longer the better, you will attain a creamier texture)

1/4 cup of fresh dill (or 1 heaping tbsp of dried)

1/4 cup of plain yogurt (I used So Delicious Coconut Yogurt)

the juice of 2 lemons (use 1 if you want your cheeze less tart)

1/4 cup of rejeuvelac (optional)

1 tsp of salt

Add all of the ingredients to your blender and blend until you achieve a creamy consistency (try to get all of the lumps out). If you don’t have rejeuvelac, add a bit of water at a time until your blender blends the ingredients well. If you do add the rejeuvelac, this will stay in the fridge for at least 5 days, if not, you’ll just have to enjoy it sooner ;p

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