Vegan Dog

Bring Joy Guest Post! Vegan Egg Nog Milk Shake. Bring Joy Totes. Plus a Bonus Field Roast Celebration Roast. Vedged Out 12 Days of Christmas.

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So, I can’t even quite remember how Janae and I connected, but it’s been a fast and fun friendship even though I live in Utah and She lives in Texas. See, we’re both Mormon and Vegan (two things that don’t often go hand in hand). Janae found veganism over 7 years ago, while I went vegan just 2 years ago. Even though veganism isn’t common amongst members of our faith, we both feel it aligns closely with our church’s Word of Wisdom, which is kind of like a Mormon Law for Health.

Interestingly enough, we also both started out our vegan journey with more heavily restrictive vegan diets that eschewed added fats, sugars and sodium. Now we’re both into healthy moderation with all those things. Girls’ gotta live! Her blog, Bring Joy is much fancier and organized than mine! She showcases lifestyle and family posts as well as her recipes (and e-books). Everything she posts is beautifully photographed and mind-blowingly delicious.

Janae WiseLet’s welcome Janae Wise, the darling heavily pregnant, budget concious, gluten-free, mom and vegan Mormon behind the blog, Bring Joy.

The other day I went to Whole Foods. I don’t usually shop there. For one it’s not in my neck of the woods & I’m not into guzzling gas if I don’t need to.

But more importantly, my heart starts racing & I approach a near hyperventilative state whenever I look at the prices.

Don’t get me wrong–the gluten-free vegan brownies, the chickpea miso, & the organic cultured coconut yogurt certainly does cause m e to think I cannot live without these things–but I simply can’t afford to do too much shopping in that beautiful, beautiful place.

But on this recent trip (I was just looking for some light tofu, which wouldn’t ya know, they don’t carry), I came across a boxes of this:

rice-nog-milk

And they were on sale.
And there was a coupon.
So, I scored several boxes for just $1 each–yipee! I love a good deal, don’t you?

It’s nice to drink straight up, but I had other things in mind.

You see, I have four growing, always hungry, young kids. And when the older ones walk home from school each afternoon they’re especially ravenous. So, it’s my job to figure out how I can easily feed them a nutrient dense, calorie-packed snack.

I made this shake for them the other day–packed with lots of good stuff, & calorie dense (though each serving is perfect for an adult watching their calories).

The addition of nut butter & pumpkin seeds add some important nutrients for my kids, including fat, protein, zinc & vitamin E.

ingredients:

1 c. rice nog (or other non-dairy nog)
2 ripe bananas
2-3 c. ice
2 TBS. nut butter
1/4 c. unsalted raw pumpkin seeds
dash of cinnamon, pinch of nutmeg
1-2 packets stevia, if desired (though I think it’s plenty sweet without!)

Put ingredients in blender by order listed & blend until smooth. This is isn’t as thick & creamy as my candy cane or pumpkin pie milkshakes (which are more like soft ice cream), but that’s okay–drink with a straw & enjoy!

nutrition info: makes 4 servings; per serving–156 calories, 5 g fat, 25 g carbs, 3 g fiber, 14 g sugar, 3.5 g protein; WWP: 4 points 

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bring joy totes are on sale through 12/20 for only $7.50 + free shipping (enter hohoho at checkout): http://bringjoyshop.bigcartel.com/product/bring-joy-tote

Janae is offering one tote bag for two lucky blog readers! Enter the giveaway! And in the meantime, hop on over to Bring Joy to peruse it’s awesomeness.

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 Sunday December 22nd!  I will notify the winner by email on Monday the 23rd December. GO!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Bonus Giveaway: Last but not least, Field Roast, the awesome company that makes the best “vegan grain meat” EVAH! mailed me some coupons earlier in the year, so I’m giving away one coupon for a Field Roast Celebration Roast to the first reader to go to my Vedged Out Facebook Page and message me there about how badly they want this Celebration Roast for Christmas! I’ll mail the coupon out to the winner today so that you have time to pick it up before Christmas!!!

field roast

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 Giveaway. Day 9: Jazzy Vegetarian Classics Cookbook Giveaway.

Summer Berry Cheesecake Recipe from Nut Butter Universe, plus Review and Giveaway!

Summer Berry CheesecakePage 110, Photo used with permission, courtesy of Vegan Heritage Press. Keep reading for the recipe!

So, Dianne Wenz, from Vegan Heritage Press (aka Veggie Girl and fellow Vegan Temptivist) emailed me and asked me if I’d review Robin Robertson’s Nut Butter Universe. Of course I said YES! I mean, every single recipe in this book features nuts, seeds, or nut butters (or all 3). Robin gives simple instructions on how to make your own nut and seed butters at home. No more paying $10 a jar for Tahini! Plus, I was super excited after seeing Kristy’s review and the Fantasy Brownies (woah…) Basically, I all ready knew this cookbook would be right up my alley.

I’ve tested more than 10 recipes out of the book and each one turned out every bit as delicious as the last. This is definitely MY KIND of cookbook!

Here’s several of the things I made out of Nut Butter Universe:

Nutty Buddypg. 90, one of the top vegan burgers I’ve ever tried, though I may use a flax egg to get it to bind better next round (and there will be a next round).

Too Easypg. 132 OMGosh, this fudge literally comes together in minutes and is ridiculously delicious.

Doggie Treatspg. 133, yup, something for your LUCKY four legged friend too, my friendly tester definitely approved!

Asian Spring RollsPage 32, Photo used with permission, courtesy of Vegan Heritage Press. I made these tasty bad boys, but my family gobbled them up before I could get a photo shoot, they were that good! Thank goodness Vegan Heritage Press had my back on this one and had a photo for me to share with you.

Almond Romescopg. 52, I have a feeling this will be our “go-to” grilling recipe this summer. SO in love with the Almond Romesco Sauce.

Grilled Vegetables…A closer look

Pineapple CoconutThis is honestly the most realistic vegan cheesecake that I’ve ever eaten.  Look at the cheesecake in relation to the size of the fork in front of it! I quartered the recipe and made it baby sized for portion control (4 inch springform!)

Pineapple Coconut CheesecakeTopped with raspberry sauce for color contrast.

I’ve also made (but not photographed) the following:

Orange Decadence Chocolate-Almond Truffles pg. 126 (like a Christmas Present melting in your mouth). Cold Noodle Salad with Spicy Peanut Sauce pg, 42, I’ve made a lot of Peanut Noodle salads, but this one had the perfect balance of flavors and textures. I used rice noodles and made it gluten-free, most if not all recipes in the book can be made gluten-free! Peanut Butter Cups pg. 127 Even better than the real thing…and last but not least, the Crunchy Coleslaw with Creamy Cashew Dressing pg. 46. Yes, it’s simple and amazing.

Now, for that Cheesecake recipe you’ve been waiting for…

Summer Berry Cheesecake

Summer Berry Cheesecake

This light and luscious cheesecake features your favorite berries of summer. The creamy goodness comes from cashews blended into a rich butter and combined with vegan cream cheese. Be sure your berries are well-drained and blotted dry to remove any liquid.

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup almonds, soaked overnight, then drained and blotted dry
  • 3/4 cup soft pitted dates
  • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight, then drained and blotted dry
  • 1/2 cup natural sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2  (8-ounce) containers vegan 
cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh or thawed frozen 
strawberries, blackberries, or raspberries, well drained and blotted dry
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • Fresh berries and mint leaves, for garnish

Preparation: 

  • Grease an 8-inch springform pan and set aside. In a food processor, combine the drained soaked almonds and the dates and process until finely ground. Press the mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan. Set aside. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  1. In a food processor or high-speed blender, combine the soaked and drained cashews, sugar, lemon juice, and vanilla, and process to a paste. Add the cream cheese, berries, and cornstarch, and blend until smooth and very creamy.
  2. Pour the filling into the prepared crust and bake for 45 minutes. Turn off the oven and leave the cheesecake inside for another 10 minutes.
  3. Remove the cake from the oven and cool at room temperature, then refrigerate at least 4 hours before serving. Carefully remove the sides of the springform pan before slicing. (You may need to run a knife around the edge of the cake to separate it from the pan.) Serve garnished with fresh berries and mint. Cover and refrigerate any leftovers.

From Nut Butter Universe by Robin Robertson. ©2013 Robin Robertson. Used by permission from Vegan Heritage Press.

Nut Butter Universe Cover

For a chance to win a copy of this amazing cookbook from Vegan Heritage Press, 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 Friday the 24th of May to enter!  I will notify the winner by email on Monday the 27th. GO!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

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.

V-Dog Review and Sample Giveaway

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Lucky has a Giveaway for your dog!

It’s been a week since our first shipment of V-dog arrived! From day one, it was clear that Lucky preferred V-dog to his other up-market brand dog food. Hardly a surprise since most commercial dog food is greasy and smelly. V-dog smells fresh, because it is! He loves the breath bones too (we love them even more, his breath is totally fresh after eating them)!  More importantly though, adjustment has been easy and Lucky hasn’t experienced any gastrointestinal upset or problems with the switch!

Since V-dog was kind enough to send us 2 five-pound bags of dog food to review, we want to share with you. I was gonna give the second bag to one lucky winner, but what’s the fun in that? I know lots of you want to try it. So, we are breaking up the second bag to send out samples to the first 10 20 comments here that request a sample! If I get more requests than that, we’ll see what we can work out ;) Requests only for followers of this blog within the U.S. please.

Update: I’ve received far more than 20 requests and cannot accept any more. Sorry!

IntroDid I mention the bag is compostable?

Why switch to V-dog?

Veterinarian Dr. Ernie Ward gave me permission to share part of this article of his:

As a long-time vegetarian vet, I’m often asked whether I feed my pets meat. I’m never certain whether it’s an honest question or an attempt to trip me up. It’s similar to being asked, “If you don’t eat meat, where do you get your protein?”

My protein comes from the same place the animals people eat happen to get theirs — plants.

Can Your Cat or Dog Be Vegetarian or Vegan?

The simple answer is that dogs can do just fine on a carefully balanced vegetarian or vegan diet, while cats cannot. Sure, you can try to work around the whole cats-are-obligate-carnivores thing by supplementing certain synthetic amino acids, but it gets tricky — not to mention dangerous to the cat’s health.

So the answer is yes for dogs, but no for cats.

The comment that I most often hear after I state that dogs can be fed a vegetarian or vegan diet is that canines do better on a meat-based diet. Again, I’m not going to argue. There aren’t any studies that I’m aware of that have compared longevity and disease occurrence in dogs who’ve been fed meat versus canines on vegetarian diets.

Interestingly, one of the world’s oldest dogs, Bramble, who lived to a reported 27 years old in the U.K., was never fed an ounce of meat by her strictly vegan owner.

Ingredients

Still not convinced? Check out the ingredient list above. It’s human grade people!

After lots more research, this particular article really pushed me over the edge: Article used with permission from V-dog:

Vegetarian Diets Can Be Healthy for Dogs

by Dr. Armaiti May, D.V.M., C.V.A.
For both ethical and health reasons, many vegetarians and vegans choose to feed their companion dogs vegetarian or vegan diets. Up to 50 % of commercial pet food brands are comprised of “meat meal” and “byproducts,” which include various body parts (such as beaks, brain, spinal cord tissue, bones, lungs, intestinal tracts) slaughterhouse wastes, 4-D meat (from dead, dying, diseased or disabled animals), supermarket rejects, as well as rendered dogs and cats from animal shelters. Other contaminants which have been found in commercial pet foods include old restaurant grease containing high concentrations of dangerous free radicals and trans fatty acids; PCBs, heavy metals and other toxins, particularly from fish; bacterial, protozoal, fungal, viral, and prion contaminants, along with their associated endotoxins and mycotoxins; hormone and antibiotic residues; and dangerous preservatives.
Many speculate that the increase in incidences of cancers, kidney failure, and other degenerative diseases in our companion animals recently may be due to the harmful ingredients in many commercial meat-based pet foods. This has led people to feed alternative diets. Dogs can be healthy and in fact, thrive on a vegetarian or vegan diet, as long as all necessary nutrient requirements are met. Dogs are biologically omnivorous, but can adapt well to a plant-based diet which meets all their nutritional needs.

SmileLucky loves V-dog!

The final convincing: one of my Facebook friends, Veterinarian Dr. Michael Roth (Veggivet) mentioned to me that he feeds his own dogs V-dog.

There are other vegan dog foods on the market, but V-dog is the only fully vegan dog food company. To learn more about their company, please visit their site here.

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….and I’ve got no doubts your dog will eat it, love it and thrive on it!

Update: I’ve received far more than 20 requests and cannot accept any more. Sorry!