Healthy Vegan Fridays #20

Happy Halloween!!!!

New to HVF? Check out the info here.

Robin and I are looking forward to your contributions this week – hoping for more Hallowe’en inspired goods =)

Last week we had a good roundup of holiday foods, here are your favs:

Spider cupcakes from Rockmyvegansocks:

Aw thanks guys =) It made my day that you liked my fun halloween recipe =) Check out the link for a bunch of naughty & nice treats.

Pumpkin Smoothie Recipe Roundup from Urban Naturale:

Deborah shares some fun pumpkin smoothies and the awesome-sauce health benefits of pumpkin and even gives a huge roundup of awesome fall smoothie recipes. Yum!

Make your Own Pumpkin Pie Spice Mix from Gluten-Free A-Z blog:

Love this super easy mix to add fun fall spice to your foods.

Last week we had a giveaway from Luminance Skincare, here are your winners:

1st prize goes to Lynn Mathieu

2nd prize goes to Janet of the Taste Space

Congrats ladies! I will be in touch with you over the weekend =)

Share your recipes with us and don’t forget to link up! Have a spooktacular weekend and see ‘ya’all back here next week =)


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Dismembered Spookies

This is how I envisioned my cookie idea. My hubby bought me these cool ass cookie cutters a few years ago and I made these for Hallowe’en that year. The cookies weren’t super healthy and I just used a recipe I found online. I was hoping to make a gluten recipe and make it a bit healthier.

They didn’t quite work out. I didn’t want to use food colouring as it is so scary sounding! I saw a healthier alternative to food colouring at Whole Foods, but it was out of my price range. Especially since I only wanted to use them for this recipe. My friend Di said it would be easy to make some myself out of beets. She always makes everything sound so easy. The colour didn’t turn out as I had hoped – but it beats using red # whatever from a package. Sadly, most of my halloween plans fell through this year. I’m actually going to be away for halloween which somewhat bummed me out – but not much since it involves fun travel plans (post coming on this!). And I was SUPER excited as I was supposed to be hosting a Halloween potluck with my vegan girls group this year. I asked everyone to dress up in costume and bring a halloween-themed snack. But I’m sick with a cold and had to cancel. BOO! Despite feeling crappy, I managed to make these so I could least share a cool recipe =) And Miss Robin suggested we have a Nightmare Before Christmas party in December

**Keep in mind that your dough needs to be chilled for awhile, best to make ahead (same with the frosting).

Dismembered Spookies (makes 12 cookies)

  • 1 tbsp of ground flax seeds
  • 3 tbsp of warm water
  • 1/2 coconut sugar
  • 1/4 cup cashew butter (any nut butter will probably work)
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup Earth Balance, softened
  • 1/2 tsp of vanilla (I used bean – extract will work fine)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/3  cups gluten free flour blend (I used half chickpea/fava blend & half gf all purpose blend)

Combine the flax with warm water in a large mixing bowl and set aside for a few minutes. After a few minutes is up, add the sugar, nut butter, maple syrup, earth balance, vanilla, salt & baking soda to your mixing bowl. Use an electric mixer to mix it (a hand mixer works too!). Add the remaining ingredients and stir until well combined. Then cover with a clean dish towel and put in fridge for at least an hour, preferably 4-8.

While you’re waiting for this to chill, make your frosting – it will have to chill too. I was intrigued by making my own frosting, but didn’t want to use icing sugar and hydrogenated oil like I normally do and found the following recipe. I’d like to experiment more as it didn’t quite turn out how I thought, but it was still pretty good.

Frosting (adapted from Sweetly Raw’s Banana Frosting)

1/2 cup of cashews (soaked at least 4 hours)

1 large banana

2 tbsp of agave

2 tbsp of lemon juice

2 tbsp of coconut oil

1 tsp of vanilla

Combine all ingredients in your blend and blend away! I also added a couple of small piece of steamed beets for the colour (this is optional).

Allow the frosting to chill in the fridge for a few hours.

Take your dough out and place it between two sheets of parchment paper and roll it with a rolling pin until it’s about 3/4 of an inch thick. Use your cookie cutters to make some fun shapes. I threw my parchment paper on a cookie sheet and put it in the freezer to firm up a bit. I left them in for a bout a half hour. Preheat the oven to 350, remove your cookies from the freezer and cook them for 10 minutes. They will come out soft, but will harden up as they cool. Once they have cooled for a half hour, add your frosting.

Happy Halloween!!!

Girls Weekend Getaway veg style

Have you ever needed to just get away for some time to yourself? Soak up some rays, listen to the waves crash on the sand and enjoy time with your girlfriends? That’s what this post is about =) Including some super awesome ocean, animal & vegan food pics. Enjoy!

Our house for the weekend

My room with the glorious room of the ocean (and ensuite!!)

Road to the beach

5 minute walk from our house

Sunset

Got my morning run in along the ocean

Got a kick out of the local wildlife

Got up early our last day to enjoy the sunrise


Mediterranean plate from Café Gratitude

Plantain Bowl from Café Gratitude

Wild Mushroom Truffle Oil Pizza from Source

Enjoyed a few meals out, but mostly stayed in

Blueberry Oats

Supper prep

Kale Salad, Millet & Mushroom Gravy

Burrito Bowl Station

Mmmmm

The group of girls I went with are not veg, but they made meals that were vegan & gluten-free so everyone could eat together =) It was pretty awesome sauce.

Already looking forward to our next adventure!

Healthy Vegan Friday #19 Halloween Edition

Hello Lovelies! And Happy Halloween!! Welcome to this Spooktacular edition of Healthy Vegan Friday =D I know, I know. Halloween is next Friday, but last week I requested your scary-themed recipes so we have them in time to make for the big day.

Don’t worry – you can still submit your delicious recipes even if they aren’t themed (we can pretend!). If you are new to HVF, check out the info here.

And to get you all revved up – we’re having a giveaway!! Check out the review I did earlier this week on Luminance Skincare. Not only is this skincare line clean & green, but it’s vegan. I love it! It’s the bomb =) Two lucky readers will walk away with some awesome stuff. 1st prize will get a small gift set of skincare goodies. 2nd prize will receive a box of their amazing soap. This contest is open to U.S. and Canada. To enter, just leave a comment asking Luminance a question about their line. When the winners are announced next Friday, the questions will be answered. Contest closes Wednesday, October 29th, 2014. AND! Luminance has graciously offered to give a 20% discount for online orders to all of our readers if you use the code ROCKMYVEGANSOCKS until next Friday, October 31, 2014. How cool is that?!

Before you astound Robin and I with your recipes this week, let’s check out your favs from last week.

Quick Mexican Quinoa Salad from Vegans Eat Yummy Foods Too: 

How come my parents never packed me lunches like this? Yum! Good thing I can just make it myself and pack as an adult ;) Love this protein powerhouse of a salad!

Cali-Coco BLT Quinoa Salad from The Taste Space:

My salads have become boring – this is exactly what I need to change it up. Smoked tofu? Yes, please! Janet even tracked down some unsweetened coconut chips to make her “bacon” with. Awesome salad.

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Pie from Gluten-Free A-Z blog:

I’ll admit that I normally can’t be bothered with making pie. It’s normally full of gluten (which makes it taste good!) and is super time consuming. This pie is super simple to make though and it’s gluten free. Win, win!

This week… I didn’t quite get my act together and make the Hallowe’en recipe I have in mind (it’s coming, I promise!), so I will go back in time and share these from last year:

If these guys are a little too decadent for your already-sweetened tooth this year, there are some healthy options in the post too.

Alright, link up friends! And have a great weekend =)



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The Ultimate Vegan Sammich

After going gluten-free, I kind of gave up on sandwiches. Sure, I can make a mean collard wrap. I like nori rolls too. And I don’t mind having a nice veg burger thrown between to pieces of lettuce. It’s pretty good. But every once in awhile, I do get a hankering to sink my teeth into a nice, big sandwich.

Oh btw – that delicious looking bread you spy in my pic? It’s gluten free. And it’s spectacular ;) Thanks to Imagine it Bakery, I can find loads of great gluten-free goods to chow down on.

Ultimate Vegan Sammich (serves 1 hungry person)

tempeh (I used 1/3 of an 8 0z. package), chopped into strips

1 tsp of coconut aminos

1/2 tsp maple syrup

a few dashes of liquid smoke

4 cremini mushrooms, sliced

2 slices of tomato

vegan bacons (I found Phoney Baloney’s bacon bits at Republic of V and it’s super awesome!)

a piece of lettuce (not pictured as it hid the other awesome toppings)

Heat a large wok on the stove. Add a bit of olive oil and your sliced tempeh. While the tempeh is cooking, grab your sliced mushrooms and cook them with a bit of olive oil on the other side of the wok (less dishes makes me happy). Add your coconut aminos, maple syrup & liquid smoke to your tempeh and cook until golden brown. While this is cooking, throw your sandwich bread into a toaster oven for a few minutes to lightly toast it.

Once the tempeh and mushrooms are cooked, remove from heat. Build your sammich! I put on a bit of vegan mayo and then layered on the tempeh, mushrooms, tomato and lettuce. Chomp down =)

Luminance Skin Care (Review)

I was recently sent some wonderful goodies to try from Luminance Skin Care. I was actually quite excited by this. I have to admit that I normally go to Whole Foods, grab whatever cleanser & moisturizer are on sale, use it, regret it and try something else. Terry and I have a bit of a budget with only one income, so I would prefer to spend my dollars on other things. Like raw cacao powder, vanilla beans and delicious vegan cheese.

This is so very wrong so many reasons.

1) Every skin care product I try inevitably gives my skin a rash (that fortunately goes away by the time I leave the house – but who wants to use something on their skin that gives them a rash?!)

2) I can’t pronounce a lot of the ingredients in these things! Try as I might to by clean, vegan products, they still have scary sounding things in them.

3) Why on earth cheap out on something that goes on my body when I would never cheap out on something that goes in it? Our skin is a valuable resource and should be taken care of.

4) My mom always told me to take great care of my skin. This was right up there with always wearing clean underwear when you leave the house in case you somehow got in an accident and had to go to the hospital. You wouldn’t want those EMS peeps to see your dirty undies would you? Skin care is also important!

5) Treat yourself (and your skin!) to good products. It’s as simple as that.

 

I actually got a chance to have a chat with Kim, the creator of these amazing skincare line. He started all of this for his wife =)

When Kim’s wife started experiencing menopause, she became incredibly sensitive to a lot of skincare products, perfumes, dyes to the point of getting migraines. This set them on a quest to try dozens of products to find one that wouldn’t irritate the skin, but couldn’t find any. Kim found that commercially made things are made for the ease of making, not to help with skin care at all. So he thought he would try his hand at making some himself. It started out as a hobby, then he did some research by having people try out his creations and then finally making a product. Pretty great husband huh?

Now, I actually am one of those folks that has super sensitive skin. I haven’t really managed to find any sort of facial cleaning product that doesn’t irritate my skin and/or give me a bit of a rash. I am definitely sensitive the perfumes and go for the unscented, but even then, I come out with blotchy skin from some other ingredient, but from my educational convo with Kim – pretty well all products on the market have scents and they add a masking scent to hide the fact that they added a scent. Crazy, right? He wanted to be different, to create a different product. A product that specifically would not harm anyone or anything.

Which brings me to the vegan side. These awesome-sauce products are 100% vegan. They are organic and wildcrafted and therapeutic grade. The best thing for your skin does not come from animal products, our skin thrives on things derived from plants. Oh and these gems are raw to boot! Heat tends to break up molecules and tears things down – but no heat is used when preparing these beautiful concoctions. These ingredients are responsible. I can actually pronounce everything! You could actually eat them if you wanted to – how many of you could safely say that of your current skin care products?

I love how my skin sings when I use these products. Now that I’ve tried it out, I know I can’t go back to my regular, cheap, whatever is on sale stuff. Although I would not consider this stuff inexpensive, it doesn’t break the bank and the stuff lasts forever!

And there will be a giveaway!! This is a preview of the giveaway, I need you to check back Friday to score some free stuff so you can try it out too!

Can’t wait ’till Friday?? Go check out their website here.

Healthy Vegan Friday #18

Happy Friday!!! I hope you have had a fantastic week and are gearing up for an even better weekend ;) In the meantime, Robin and I are so excited to see your super awesome recipes today =)

New to HVF? Check out the deets here.

**Side note for next week. As Hallowe’en is fast approaching, Robin and I are hosting a holiday-themed HVF next week. We want to see your spooktacular creations in time to try them out for Hallowe’en (we will also still accept normal recipes ;p). 

Next week we’re also going to have a cool giveaway, so stay tuned!

Now, let’s check out your favs from last week:

Strawberry, Kiwi, Chia & Kale Green Smoothie from Urban Naturale:

Oh man! Does this not sound like the best combo for a smoothie??? The kiwi would give a good citrus-y, almost sour taste which I love. And the strawberries lend that sweetness. Mmmm.

Apple Spice Cake with Coconut Cream from Sandi’s Allergy Free Recipes:

This is the perfect treat. Not only is it vegan, but it’s gluten-free & refined sugar free. And anything topped with delicious, delicious coconut cream is automatically tasty in my books.

Figs Almond Custard Pie from Chitra’s Healthy Kitchen:

This sounds like a wonderful dessert too. And I love that it’s sweetened with figs – I use dates for everything, I really need to switch it up. Sounds divine…

This week, I’m sharing my Tofu Crumble Burrito Bowl:

So link on up! Don’t forget to link back. We’ll catch ‘ya next week with some hallowe’en recipes =D And don’t forget about the upcoming giveaway!

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Thanksgiving Shepherd’s Pie (soy & bean free!)

Still feeling that happy glow from thanksgiving? I am =D We had a wonderful thanksgiving. It was small and intimate, just 5 of us total. A nice potluck style meal by the beach. And I tired my hand at shepherd’s pie… and it was glorious ;p

I have about a zillion pics to share with you of our nice get together, but I will share the recipe first and you can scroll down after to see our fun day =)

Thanksgiving Shepherd’s Pie (serves 8)

Potato Layer

2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled & chopped

2 medium yukon gold potatoes, peeled & chopped

2-4 tbsp of vegan butter (I used 3 tbsp of earth balance)

a splash of your favourite plain nut mylk

salt & pepper to taste

Place the yukon gold potatoes in a medium pot, cover with cold water, add a pinch of salt and put on the stove and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium and cook for 5 minutes. Add your chopped sweet potatoes and cook another 5 minutes. Pierce potatoes with a fork to make sure they are done (they should be soft, but not falling apart). Drain your potatoes, put them back in the pot, add the earth balance, mylk & salt & pepper and mash the heck out of it until they are perfectly smooth and creamy (unless you are one of those weirdos that actually likes lumps). Set this aside.

Veggie layer

3 cloves of garlic, minced

3 carrots, peeled & thinly sliced

3 stalks of celery, thinly sliced

2 cups of mushrooms, chopped

2 cups of peas (if frozen, just place in warm water and drain before adding to the other veggies)

1/2 cup of vegetable broth

1 tsp each of oregano, thyme, parsley, salt & pepper

Heat a large wok on medium heat. Add olive oil, the carrots & celery, allowing to sautée for 8 minutes. Add your mushrooms and sautée another few minutes. Now add all the remaining ingredients and bring the mixture to a low boil and cook until the veggie broth has evaporated.  Preheat the oven to 350 before making your breadcrumb topping.

Breadcrumb topping

2 small slices of bread (I used gluten-free multigrain – I like using the end pieces for this)

2 tbsp of Earth Balance

2 tbsp of nutritional yeast

a sprinkle of herbamere (or sea salt)

Place the bread slices in your food processor and whiz until broken down into fine crumbs. Add the remaining ingredients and stir.

Now to assemble your pie!

Place the veggie mixture in a large, oven-safe casserole dish. Scoop the mashed potatoes on top and spread across the dish. Lastly, sprinkle your bread crumb mixture on top. Place in the oven for 20 minutes and broil for a couple of minutes to make the top crispy.

This recipe is a little late for Canadians – but Americans can enjoy this next month. You can actually make this whenever you want, not just at thanksgiving.

And now for pictures =D


The spread was amazing. The company was also pretty great ;) And the view…

San Francisco World Vegetarian Festival

Good morning! This post is brought to you by my being super busy getting a meal ready for the thanksgiving dinner I’m attending tonight (and am SO EXCITED about). One of the sad things about moving to a different country where none of your family is present are the holiday meals. You can wallow in the depressing thoughts of your family getting together and enjoying each others company, catching up & eating delicious food together. I thought this would be my first thanksgiving in California. Fortunately, it wasn’t. I was invited to enjoy a dinner with a friend I had from university that had moved to NorCal a few years before I did and we reconnected. We’ve been celebrating together ever since =) If you come back here Wednesday, you’ll find an epically delicious thanksgiving recipe.

Anyway! On to veg fest. Ms. Robin and I checked out the fun event this year with our vegan girls group that we co-host. That’s right, when we aren’t busy little bees blogging and working on Healthy Vegan Fridays, we are trying to come up with fun things to do with our veg group – events like these.

I will admit that on the way to the actual festival, I was cursing and considering turning around and just going home. The event took place in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco and normally this would take about 45 minutes to drive there. However, it also happened to share the weekend with Fleet Week and the air show meant heavy than the already ridiculous traffic heading into the city. We sat on the Bay Bridge for an hour. Fun times.

BUT! We arrived safe & sound and had a blast =) I unfortunately didn’t take many pictures, but snagged some of lunch.

Terry tried a vegan fried rice:

I went for a lighter, raw nori roll options as  I was full from all of the awesome free samples:

Some exciting things to be on the look out for: Seaweed Chips from Ocean’s Halo. These tasty little morsels are free of MSG and GMOs, are low in fat, gluten-free and protein-rific. No potatoes involved! They still aren’t super healthy, but they are a fun snack to enjoy once in awhile and the first ingredient is dried seaweed.

Ooh and anyone a fan of Artisan Vegan Cheese by Miyoko Schinner? I am! But to be honest… I get lazy and tend not to want to make rejeuvelac. So how excited was I when I found samples of her vegan cheese at the festival? So excited! You’ll be finding packages of these in Northern California Wholefoods with expansion to come more in the fall and winter. I can’t wait. The samples were unbelievable!

Robin had fun too:

 All in all, a great veggie day =)

Healthy Vegan Friday #17

Happy Friday!!!! And what a Friday! Loooooonnnnnng weekend anyone? My Canadian peeps know what I’m talking about. It’s Thanksgiving weekend =D Woot! A very happy Thanksgiving to all my fellow canucks. Miss you guys. Not your weather though ;p

Let’s celebrate by sharing some super awesome vegan recipes with our friends and family in this 17th edition of Healthy Vegan Fridays. Robin and I have been eagerly awaiting to see what you have for us.

New to HVF? Check out all the info here.

Let’s start by seeing your favs from last week:

Zucchini Chickpea Fritters from Yes! I’m Vegan:

Is this not seriously drool-worthy??? OMG. I want to eat it right off of my laptop screen. Sadly I cannot, so I think I’ll settle for making these as part of our thanksgiving meal this weekend. This looks great as a meal on it’s own, but I think it will make an especially cute appetizer =)

Tomato Basil Cauliflower Rice from Strength & Sunshine:

I am seeing so many tomatoes at the market right now! And all of these fun varieties – heirloom is my favourite and this is the only time of year they are really affordable. Love this awesome seasonal dish!

Peaches & Almond Cream Smoothie from Urban Naturale:

Mmmmm! And speaking of seasonal finds – hello peaches! Peach season is coming to a close, so stock up my friends. And make this smoothie a few times while you’re at it. Doesn’t it sound dreamy?

This week I’m sharing my BBQ Black Eyed Peas. Although it’s not traditional, I think this would make an excellent dish to share over our thanksgiving table this year =)

Link on up & don’t forget to link back. Hope you all have a lovely weekend!

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