Organic

Elianni’s Gluten-Free Vegan Huge Food Box Giveaway! Vedged Out 12 Days of Christmas

elianni - CopyFresh out of the review box! We ate everything before I remembered to take a proper photo of all the products together!

So, how would TWO OF YOU you like to receive this very same $75 value box?!?

I got the most incredible food box to review last month from Elianni! When they offered to send it out, I had no idea just how much stuff I’d be receiving! Lets just say when it came, it felt like Christmas came a little early this year! At first glance, I thought these products may be a bit too processed or have some ingredients that I might not be fond of that are in a lot of veggie meat replacements, so I was pleasantly surprised when I read all the labels. Every product has a very clean label so you can indulge to your heart’s content!

I got 4 different Organic and Vegan Veggie Rolls including: Mushroom, Tomato, Fine Herbs and Mediterannean Flavors. These rolls are positively wonderful for slicing and serving on sandwiches or for sauteing lightly and using in your favorite recipe. The mushroom roll was my favorite, though I loved them all!

DSC_0002

I also received 5 different Organic Vegan Pâtè’s including: Zesty Apple, Red Pepper Olive, Vegetable, Peppercorn and Mushroom. These pâtè’s are wonderful served on crackers or spread on a crusty loaf of bread. They also make a nice sandwich spread for a panini or toasted sandwich. The peppercorn flavor was my favorite one here!

DSC_0007

Also included was a box of Elianni’s Veggie Cutlets. This natural and nutritious high protein TVP vegan product is made of non-GMO soybeans and pinto bean flour and is a fantastic meat replacement in any recipe. The cutlets simply need to be hydrated and seasoned. We used it in a stir fry with excellent results!

DSC_0004

…and my favorite part of the box! This lovely bottle of Organic Mosto de Lagrima Free-Run Grape Juice. I don’t drink alcohol, so it was lovely to have this fancy organic drink at our last Holiday meal. It was simply delicious.

DSC_0001

Elianni

To learn more about or to purchase Elianni’s affordable and amazing gluten-free and vegan foods, please visit their site here!

Or for a chance to win this amazing Giveaway, Click on the link below to enter the Giveaway! Remember, this is going out to TWO readers! This contest is open to entrants in the USA only! You must also follow this blog by email or RSS feed to qualify. You have until Sunday December 22nd!  I will notify the winner by email on Monday the 23rd December. GO!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Day 1: Free Vegan Lifestyle MagazineDay 2: Free Case of Butler Soy CurlsDay 3: Alternative Outfitters Vegan Boutique $25 Gift Card and Free Messenger BagDay 4: Sunwarrior Raw Vegan Protein Powder or Product of Choice GiveawayDay 5: Tropical Traditions 1 Gallon Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil Giveaway. Day 6: Sweet Debbie’s Organic Treats, Allergy Free & Vegan Recipes. Cookbook Giveaway. Day 7: Extraordinary Vegan Cookbook Giveaway. Day 8: Emaline Delapaix, Music Download GiveawayDay 9: Jazzy Vegetarian Classics Cookbook Giveaway. Day 10: Bring Joy Totes & Field Roast Celebration Roast.

Sunwarrior Raw Vegan Protein Powder, 1 kg size Giveaway, OR Sunwarrior Product of Choice! Vedged Out 12 Days of Christmas.

sunwarrior

Earlier this year, my husband asked me to find a protein powder for him to help fuel his workouts. I wanted a vegan protein powder with a clean profile so I did my research and decided that Sunwarrior would be the best product for his needs. I loved that it’s vegan and raw! After buying the Chocolate Protein Powder at Whole Foods, I went online to see if I could get a better price on the Sunwarrior site. Imagine my surprise when I discovered on the site that my friend raw vegan friend Denley Fowlke (that story here) is the Co-Founder of SunwarriorNow I knew that my husband was using a product I could trust, one with integrity and without any gimmicks.sunwarriorproductsI’ve since reconnected with Denley and his son Ernie who also works at Sunwarrior. I share recipes with them for their news portion of their site and I’ve tried most of the products Sunwarrior makes now. I love them all! All of the ingredient labels are clean. My family absolutely loves the raw vegan vitamins and minerals. I take the liquid Vitamin Mineral Rush and the Ormus Supergreens powder daily. My husband takes the Raw Vegan Vitamins for Him. We use the Immune Shield often to treat and ward off illnesses/viruses and more.

Sunwarriornews

Sunwarrior is generously offering one of my readers a container of their 1 kilo sized Raw Vegan Protein Powder. You get to choose the formula and the flavor profile! To see which protein powders are available, click here. But wait there’s more! If you aren’t interested in the protein powder (or you all ready have some), Sunwarrior will let you choose ANY product in their lineup!

Enter the giveaway! And in the meantime, check out all the amazing products Sunwarrior offers and get something special for yourself or for your favorite vegan here!

rawveganprotein

For a chance to win this amazing Giveaway, Click on the link below to enter the Giveaway! This contest is open to entrants in the USA only! You must also follow this blog by email or RSS feed to qualify. You have until Tuesday December 17th!  I will notify the winner by email on Wednesday the 18th of December. GO!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

A few months ago I did an interview with Denley about why it may be important to use supplements, even if you have a good diet. To learn more about their products keep reading:

denley_photo

SM: What’s different about the foods we eat now, versus foods grown in this country 50 years ago?

DF: What we eat now isn’t really food anymore. It’s fake, invented food-like products that weren’t even an option 50 years ago. We take real food and then strip it of nutrients, pump it full of chemical preservatives, overcook it, and package it in toxic plastics.

SM: What’s happening to the soil in this country?

DF: Our soils are being systematically depleted. Factory farming reuses the same areas over and over again using fertilizers that rely only on a couple key minerals, but ignore the variety of trace minerals we need. Pesticides then kill the beneficial microbes in soil that help plants absorb many minerals, if there are even any minerals present.

SM: What about transportation, shelf time and storage life of plant foods? Do they lose nutrient value during this process?

DF: Obviously they do. The fresher picked and eaten the better, always, while still loaded with vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients. Some fruits and vegetables continue to ripen after they are picked, but they aren’t being fed any longer. Farmers’ markets, local produce, and your own garden are the best places to get plant foods.

SM: Should people who are eating a whole foods, plant based diet worry about supplementation?

DF: I used to believe that we didn’t need any supplementation. This has changed over the years as I’ve watched our food become less nutritious, even the fresh plants I enjoy. Supplements have their place, but they do not substitute for a poor diet. Diet is number one. You can’t supplement your way to good health while ignoring everything else you eat. Supplements just fill in the gaps and help a good diet be even better.

SM: Are there certain vitamins and minerals that can’t be assimilated through food?

DF: Food based vitamins and minerals are the best kind. They have been combined with organics and other nutrients that make them more absorbable and usable. It’s the ones added to food that are a problem. These synthetics are harder for us to use, and sometimes the body plain rejects them. Processed foods are another problem as the vitamins and minerals have been removed or destroyed.

SM: What if they’re eating an all or mostly organic diet?

DF: Organic is always better for avoiding toxins, but you aren’t guaranteed that the nutrition will be any better as organic soil has been depleted as well. Your own digestive fires are also an important part of getting the most out of your food.

SM: Why is B-12 difficult to get from plant sources?

DF: Plants don’t contain B12. Neither do animal products really. B12 only comes from bacteria. It just so happens that the bacterial contamination that provides B12 is more common with meat and animal products than plants, but plants often have this B vitamin on them where they contact soil. Unwashed greens provide a decent amount of this essential vitamin.

SM: Vitamin D deficiency is a huge problem across people who consume all sorts of diets, are we not getting enough time in the sun?

DF: Definitely not, for most of us. We live indoors so much in this modern world, and people have begun to fear the sun. We cover up and use sunscreen too much. Protection is important if we plan on spending a good deal of time in the sun, but for short bursts all this fear is unnecessary and actually harmful. We only need about 20 minutes in full sunlight every other day to get all the vitamin D we require.

SM: What’s different about Sunwarrior’s vitamins versus other vitamin and mineral formulations on the market?

DF: Our vitamins are all-natural, raw, plant-based, from whole foods, and 100% free of any synthetics. Most companies out there, even the ones that claim to be natural or plant-based, contain synthetic vitamins. Synthetics are not the forms we find in nature that our bodies recognize. Sunwarrior vitamins are real food, full of vitamins and minerals. They also contain enzymes, probiotics, vegan D3, and adaptogenic herbs that decrease stress and prolong life.

SM: Where do you source your vitamin ingredients from?

DF: Whole-food superfoods. We use herbs, fruits, and grasses that are rich in nutrients for all our vitamin sources.

SM: What’s the difference between the women’s and the men’s formula?

DF: The women’s vitamins contain more iron and certain adaptogens, like muira puama, that help regulate female hormones and improve energy. The men’s vitamins contains adaptogens like maca and eleuthero that boost libido and vitality.

SM: Can your vitamins be given to children?

DF: Our liquid vitamin servings can halved and diluted for children.

SM: What products do you recommend for people who have compromised immune systems (like mine, Ulcerative Colitis and the drugs I took for years to control it have essentially destroyed my immune function)?

DF: Any of our products really. They are all natural, raw, and easy on the system. Those with compromised immune systems need the organic forms of nutrients that their bodies are craving and missing. Our vitamins, Immune Shield, and Liquid Light would be especially helpful to nourish cells and rebuild immunity.

SM: Tell me more about your Ormus Supergreens?

DF: Our greens are grown in pristine, volcanic soil. They are juiced, dried raw, and powdered with some of their original fiber. They are living food, alkalizing, rich in natural organic minerals, full of probiotics, and they taste amazing with the refreshing peppermint.

SM: Why did Sunwarrior feel the need to develop a raw vegan protein powder?

DF: That really all stems from my partner, Nick Stern. His background as an amazing bodybuilder and athlete left him feeling toxic and in pain from all the animal protein. He wanted to use and offer the world something better, a protein that wasn’t so acidic, toxic, allergenic, or steeped with compounds that mimic hormones. We worked together to come up with plant-based proteins that offer all the essential amino acids an athlete needs without all the downsides of the other products out there.

SM: What’s the difference between the original Classic Protein and the Warrior Blend?

DF: Both of them are great proteins with complete and balanced amino acid profiles and both are hypoallergenic. There are some differences in taste and texture, but the main difference is the protein sources. Classic Protein comes from whole-grain brown rice, and Warrior Blend is a mix of pea protein, hempseed protein, and cranberry protein. Warrior Blend also has medium chain triglycerides from coconut oil in it to increase energy and stamina during workouts while decreasing inflammation and speeding recovery after.

SM: What prominent vegan athletes use and promote your products (I’ve heard Scott Jurek, I’m sure there’s many more)?

DF: We have vegan, vegetarian, and even omnivore athletes using and promoting our products since they are perfect for anyone and any lifestyle and we’re happy to convert anyone toward a more plant-centric diet. I couldn’t possibly name them all, but we work with Derek Tresize, Tim McComsey, Marzia Prince, Nathane Jackson, Leigh Hickombottom, Jake Shields, and many, many more.

sunwarriorbloggerbanner-1

Day 1: Free Vegan Lifestyle MagazineDay 2: Free Case of Butler Soy Curls. Day 3: Alternative Outfitters Vegan Boutique $25 Gift Card and Free Messenger Bag.

Kick Ace Extra Sharp Raw Vegan Holiday Cheddar Cheese Ball. Virtual Vegan Potluck Edition.

DSC_0020

Ah, the Holiday Cheese Ball. When you’re standing around snacking on it at a family gathering, you feel like you’ve got the most coveted spot in the kitchen. If you take this to a real live potluck, you’d better guard it fiercely so it doesn’t simply disappear while your back is turned, leaving you cheeseless and forlorn.

DSC_0003-001no turkeys were harmed in the making of this post

Thankfully, this is a virtual potluck, so nobody can hork this from me. Though, I have to admit to scrambling at the last minute to put this post together since the last cheese ball I made disappeared in the middle of the night last week. Apparently, I’m not the only one in this house who is obsessed with it. Luckily, the recipe is ridiculously simple with only about 10 minutes of hands on time.

DSC_0008

You can serve the cheese ball with any of your favorite raw vegetables, we even put sliced honey crisp apples on our tray, the combination of the sweet crisp apples and the piquant cheese was amazing.

DSC_0009

The cheese ball is also incredibly good with crackers, raw or otherwise.

DSC_0017

Kick Ace Extra Sharp Raw Vegan Holiday Cheddar Cheese Ball

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups raw cashew pieces, soaked in purified water overnight
  • 2 packed tablespoons dry pack sun-dried tomatoes, snipped into small pieces with kitchen scissors then soaked in the purified water with the cashews. Note: if your sun-dried tomatoes look brownish, so will your cheese ball. Use fresh, bright red sun-dried tomatoes for best results.
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 tablespoon dry sherry (optional)
  • 1 heaped tablespoon mellow white miso (use chickpea miso if you are sensitive to soy)
  • 1 tablespoon raw apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry ground mustard powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • dash cayenne
  • 1/2 cup organic unrefined coconut oil, warmed to room temperature (liquid)

Method: 

Pour the soaking water off the cashews and sun-dried tomatoes and then rinse them with fresh purified water. Drain well.

Place the soaked cashews,  sun-dried tomatoes, nutritional yeast, dry sherry, miso, apple cider vinegar, sea salt, onion powder, mustard powder, smoked paprika, turmeric, cayenne, and coconut oil in a food processor or high-speed blender and pulse until the mixture starts to form a paste, scraping down the sides as necessary.

Blend or process until the mixture is completely smooth, scraping down the sides occasionally. If your food processor or blender is struggling to blend the mixture, add purified water, 1 tablespoon at a time to help it to keep turning over, using no more than 3 tablespoons of water. This process takes up to 10 minutes in a food processor and a few minutes in a high-speed blender.

Scrape the soft cheese into a container that holds at least 2 cups. Cover and refrigerate for 4-6 hours or until the cheese is quite firm. Scrape the cheese out of the container and place onto a clean surface. With your hands, form the cheese into one large ball or two or more smaller balls.

See notes below for topping/variation ideas.

DSC_0005-001

Notes: The organic unrefined coconut oil does leave a slight coconut flavor in the finished product. If you prefer, you can use refined coconut oil for no coconut aftertaste.

The cheese ball can be served as is or rolled in any variety of chopped nuts and or herbs. I used sliced almonds, but walnut pieces or pecan pieces with some fresh minced parsley, thyme or sage would be amazing.

The cheese ball gets softer as it reaches room temperature, so it’s best if it’s kept chilled until immediately before use.

If you are in a hurry to get this cheese ball on the table, Angela Liddon at Oh She Glows made an adapted version of my cheese ball (only available in her e-book). In her very similar version, she places the cheese mixture in a parchment lined baking dish and freezes it for 30 minutes before rolling it into a ball. I’ve tried this and it works very well.

A word about coconut oil: I have had many readers ask if this cheese ball can be made without the coconut oil. You are welcome to try it, but I DO NOT recommend it. The oil adds a beautiful melty mouth-feel to the cheese ball, helps it to firm up and makes it taste ultra-delicious. This was never intended to be a low calorie or fat free food, indeed the cashews alone are very high in fat. This cheese ball was created especially for Holiday or other special occasions and it is to be treated as a special occasion food. I have had readers reduce the oil by half with favorable results and you are welcome to try the same if you are concerned about the fat content, but this will still be a very rich and high fat food. If you are strictly opposed to oil for whatever reason, you could try using coconut butter instead of the oil, but I haven’t tested that in my kitchen. For those allergic to coconut oil, you could try palm oil instead, but there are concerns about whether or not this is a sustainable product, so please do your research first.

DSC_0015

To start at the beginning of the potluck, click here:

vvp

If you run into any broken links along the way, (some bloggers show up a little late to the party) here’s a list of the bloggers in the potluck to help you get back on track. Pretty cool to see over 150 bloggers from all around the world flaunting their vegan awesome! Use the buttons below to Go Back to visit the lovely Holcomb HollowGo Forward to see what Sensual Appeal brought to the party.

go_bck-300x257go_forward-300x243

Cheese ball reviews: Thanksgiving Joy, Holy Cheeseballs, My Favorite Vegan Cheeses, Vegan Party Appetizers, LalaRaw, What I ate for Thanksgiving.

Adaptations: Smoked Jalapeno CheeseballVegan Buffalo Cheddar Cheese with Coconut Bacon, Party Hearty Cheeseball.

Featured Articles: One Green Planet, Sunwarrior, Veg Kitchen, Key Ingredient, Chic Vegan, Buzz Feed, Vegan Lifestyle Magazine.

Celebrating 100 Posts!

It’s a good day all around, this post marks my 100th post since I started this blog in September 2012. I’m feeling all kinds of love and support! Thanks to all of you. Today I got twitter follows from Forks Over Knives, Dr. McDougall and a Hospital!?! I also got featured on the brand new site, Choose Veg. Feeling happy and blessed. Here’s a look back at 99 posts, in no particular order.

Sun Warrior’s Brand New RAW VEGAN Liquid Vitamin Mineral Rush Review and FIVE BOTTLE Giveaway

SunWarrior+Blogger+Banner (1)Sun Warrior Liquid Vitamin Mineral Rush

Denley Fowlke was the first raw vegan I ever met. I worked two doors down from him in a Real Estate office 15 years ago. He was (and is) a radiant picture of health. Lean, tanned, perfect teeth and glowing complexion (although, we’re both a bit older now). At the time I was baffled that anyone could eat a diet consisting of raw plants, sprouted grains, nuts and seeds, ALL THE TIME. I was intrigued and he inspired my first real juice fast. I even went out and bought what was then one of the top of the line juicers (a Champion, which I still own and it still works, um, like a Champion). A year later, I had moved into a different city and because of Denley’s influence, I attempted to go raw. At the time I was fairly young, and to be honest, didn’t really get entirely what a raw vegan was, the only resource I had was this totally awesome bookTo my credit I lasted a full six months on a raw vegan diet. I have to admit that after a period of time, everything started to taste like grass and I couldn’t handle it any more. So I went back to my sad Standard American Diet.

As you all know, I went fully vegan at the beginning of 2012 and I’m doing a month of mostly raw for April. This time around, I’ve got a better arsenal of rawtopia up my sleeve, plus all the tricks and tools of the trade that all the cool kids have (Blendtec, Cuisinart Food Processor, Dehydrator, etc.)

Fast forward to last month, my husband decided he wanted to start using a protein powder to fuel his workouts. I did my research and decided that Sunwarrior would be the best product for his needs. I loved that it’s vegan and raw! After buying the Chocolate Protein Powder at Whole Foods, I went online to see if I could get a better price on the Sunwarrior site. Imagine my surprise when I discovered on the site that Denley Fowlke is the Co-Founder of Sunwarrior. Now I knew that my husband was using a product I could trust, one with integrity and without any gimmicks. Well, I’ve since reconnected with Denley and Sunwarrior invited me to be one of the first to test our their BRAND NEW product, the Liquid Vitamin Mineral Rush. It’s Raw, Vegan and Organic!

I love this product! One thing we vegans always worry about is whether or not we’re getting our correct vitamin profile, I mean, plants give us nearly everything we need, but those B-12 and D vitamins can be a little elusive.

Denley_PhotoDenley Fowlke, Co-Founder Sunwarrior. Still eating a High Raw Diet

Here’s what Sunwarrior has to say about their product:

“Vitamin Mineral Rush contains no synthetics, chemicals, fillers, soy, or gluten, unlike many other multivitamins. Sunwarrior is one of the first companies to use no synthetic vitamins or minerals at all in their vitamin products.

Vitamins and minerals are crucial for good health and fitness and yet even the most health conscious people are forced to take chemical laden pills full of synthesized vitamins. We’re very happy to provide them a better option.”

Sun Warrior Liquid Vitamin Mineral Rush2Better option indeed! I’ve been using the product for two weeks now. The first thing that I love about it is that it’s a liquid, so it’s instantly absorbed by the body. There’s no worrying about whether or not it’s going to break down within your system and provide you with everything you need, (read here about some vitamins being eliminated from the system….whole). The liquid is pleasant tasting on its own, but you can also mix it with juice, water or into a smoothie. I love that you get an instant energy boost when taking the supplement as well. This product totally meets my needs!

Now, here’s the cool bit. Sunwarrior has been incredibly generous and is giving away FIVE bottles of the Liquid Vitamin Mineral Rush to FIVE of my readers.

Click on the link below to enter the Giveaway! Sorry, only open only to entrants in the USA. You must also follow this blog by email or RSS feed to qualify. You have 7 days to enter!  Winners will be announced on my blog on Monday April 8th. GO!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

A Very Vedged Out Lasagna

My friend Heidi at Lightly Crunchy once said to me

“I’m curious about how you’d make vegan lasagna. No cheese?”

(okay, this was really in a comment, since we’ve never really ‘met’. She lives in Canada and I live in Utah, and yes, to answer your next question, I’m vegan and I’m a Mormon, and no I don’t have 10 children or any sister wives despite the size of this lasagna)

THIS is how we do it at Vedged Out.

A Very Big Very Vedged Out Lasagna

1 Package whole wheat lasagna noodles (I like Delallo Organic no-boil flat sheets), you can use gluten-free noodles instead if you like – 1 large diced onion – 2 grated carrots – 2 stalks celery, diced – 5 minced garlic cloves, divided – 1 large diced eggplant – 8 oz. diced mushrooms – 1 head broccoli, chopped – 2 diced zucchini or summer squash – 2 C. chopped baby spinach leaves – 1/2 C. Chopped black olives (or kalamata or green olives depending on your preference) – kernels cut from 1 ear of corn (or 1/2 C. frozen corn) – 1 block sprouted firm tofu – 2 T. nutritional yeast – 1 t. each of dried thyme, basil, parsley and oregano – couple dashes red pepper flakes – 4 oz of this awesome cashew cheez minus the crushed red pepper flakes or other lame vegan cheez – 3 cups unsweetened almond milk – 4 T. whole wheat pastry flour (or 2 T. cornstarch for gluten-free version) – one 28 oz can Muir Glen Fire Roasted Organic Crushed Tomatoes – one 15 oz can Muir Glen Organic Tomato Sauce.

Method: Water sauté onions, celery and carrots until translucent, add all other veg except 2 cloves of the garlic and the spinach. Cook for 5 minutes more until veggies are crisp tender. Add fire roasted crushed tomatoes, spices, salt and pepper to taste.  Set aside.

Crumble tofu into a bowl, add 1 clove minced garlic, the spinach and the nutritional yeast, stir it all together.

In a small saucepan heat the almond milk and the flour or cornstarch, when it comes to a boil, add in the cashew cheez and the last remaining clove of garlic, salt to taste. This is your cheez sauce.

Assembly time! Using a deep dish lasagna pan, pour 1/2 can of the tomato sauce in the bottom. Level it out with a spoon until the bottom is covered in sauce, place 3 lasagna sheets over the sauce, then layer with half of the veggie mixture. Add 3 more lasagna sheets. Layer the tofu mixture and 1 C. of the cheez sauce over the top. Add 3 more lasagna sheets, your next layer you will do the remaining half of the veggie mixture, the remaining half of the tofu mixture and one more cup of the white sauce.

Add your final layer of pasta sheets, top with the other half of the tomato sauce, then drizzle with the cheez sauce.

Bake uncovered for 60 minutes at 375 degrees. Let cool for 20 minute before serving if you don’t want sloppy lasagna. Even better and less sloppy on the second day.

p.s. this dish makes 12 filling servings, you can easily halve the recipe and bake it in a 9×9 square dish. It has zero cholesterol (duh, veggies don’t have cholesterol), is super low in fat and crazy high in fiber. You can really use whatever veg you have on hand, but perhaps not cabbage, or for that matter, brussels sprouts.

Check out Vegan Bloggers Unite today, my first post is live there! Are you a Vegan Blogger? You can post there too.

The lovely Lidia who runs the site is always looking for new material. :) Check out the deets here.