Category Archives: Vegan

Happy Holidays! A Big Blogging Break, Roasted Ratatouille on Olive Focaccia and Giving Back.

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Roasted Ratatouille on Olive Focaccia

Wishing all of you the Happiest Holidays! I’m having hip surgery this Friday to repair injuries I sustained earlier this year. So, I’ll be taking a 2-3 month break from blogging while I recover. I wanted to leave you with one of my favorite recipes. A recipe I can’t believe I had forgotten about until now (I was making this like crazy two years ago, but somehow it slipped off my radar).

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When my brother Abe and I were in college, we went on an Art Trip that was nothing short of magical with the Dixie State College Art Department. Outside the LA Art Museum was a food cart selling delicious wares.

photo 1 (1)Mixing the ingredients

We both ordered the most lovely focaccia sandwich. It had eggplant, tomatoes and zucchini on it, I didn’t know at the time that this magic combination was called “ratatouille”. To this day, this is still one of my favorite sandwiches. If you prefer, you can serve the roasted ratatouille over pasta or brown rice, but what fun would that be?

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Roasted Ratatouille

  • 2 large sized globe eggplants, skin on, diced into 3/4 inch dice
  • 3 medium sized zucchini, skin on, diced into 3/4 inch dice
  • 1 very large purple onion, diced into 3/4 inch dice
  • 6 garlic cloves, sliced very thinly
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • few dashes of red pepper flakes
  • one 28 oz. can of diced tomatoes, juices drained (reserve juices for another use, you can freeze them and toss it into soup, pasta, etc.)
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup fresh chopped basil

Method: Preheat your oven to 425°. Toss all of the above ingredients EXCEPT the fresh basil together in a large bowl until all the ingredients are delicious. Pour everything onto your biggest baking sheet, it doesn’t matter if it’s layers deep, just even it out with your hands so that everything is evenly distributed. Place the baking sheet in the oven and let roast for 45-60 minutes (I like 60 minutes) stirring once or twice during roasting for maximum yumminess. Once nicely roasted, let cool for 10-15 minutes before sprinkling with the fresh basil. Ratatouille can be served hot or cold, and it’s even better the next day, especially when served on olive focaccia.

To make the Olive Focaccia, simply make this recipe and sub lots of your favorite olives for the grapes in this recipe.

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And now for giving back, most of you probably do a little “Secret Santa” or give to one of your favorite charities this time of year. If you haven’t all ready done something like that (or you’d like to do more) please visit my favorite charity, an organization called Not So Fast created by my beautiful friend, Shira McDermott. Her concept behind the organization is direct and easy. Consume Less. Give More. People who want to donate can skip that cup of fancy coffee or that lunch out and donate those funds instead to impoverished families in need of food. Bigger “fasts” can include going without alcohol or meat for a month, or perhaps a “fast” from your automobile for a month and relying on public transport instead. Just $2 can feed a family dinner. $10 gives a family vouchers at a farmer’s market. $30 provides ingredients for a community cooking class for children to teach them how to prepare healthy and inexpensive meals.

NOT SO FAST’S GOAL IS SIMPLE: TO FEED PEOPLE BY FASTING AND GIVING WHAT WE WOULD HAVE CONSUMED TO THOSE WHO HAVE LESS. 

To learn more about Not So Fast, please click here, also, read about my fast here.

not so fast

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Filed under Bread, Friendship, Main Dishes, Sandwiches, Vegan

Eco Lunch Boxes. Tri-Bento Giveaway with Dipper Snack Container! Vedged Out 12 Days of Christmas

DSC_0011The Tri-Bento Lunch box. Yes you can have vegan mac & cheese (coming on the blog in 2014), a lovely little salad, some honeycrisp apples and homemade cashew yogurt (also coming on the blog in 2014) on the go.

I first found Eco Lunch Boxes while I was searching for unique and beautiful cloth napkins to feature in my food photography (If you follow this blog, you know that’s about as detailed as it gets when I come to props). And boy do they ever have gorgeous ones! Their hand printed textiles are made by artisans and come in so many designs and colors.

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I also happened to be looking for a lunchbox, that was, ahem, dog proof. My dog is a sweetheart, but my kids aren’t good about putting backpacks or lunchboxes away when they come home from school and I can’t count the number of lunchboxes our pup has chewed through when we weren’t looking. Too bad the lunchboxes don’t come with a tracking device. This model is currently somewhere at my kids school.

DSC_0002The  Eco Lunch Tray

There are so many options for lunchboxes on their site with various shapes and sizes to suite your individual needs. As the company name suggests, the lunchboxes are super environmentally friendly! The stainless steel bentos, lunch boxes & artisan lunchbags are plastic-free, waste-free, BPA-free, PVC-free, petroleum-free and vinyl-free. They also offer stainless steel utensils, stainless steel straws and pretty artisan knapsacks on the site here.

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The Tri-Bento Three Tiered Lunch Container, all wrapped up in its lovely Persimmon Cloth Cover

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This is the Giveaway Package a lucky winner will receive from Eco-Lunch Boxes. The Tri-Bento Three Tiered lunch container with a beautiful Cloth Cover, plus the Eco Dipper Snack Container.

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Lunch all ready to go! For those of you who take lunch to work or have children that take lunch to school, you need these awesome lunchboxes! Head on over to Eco Lunch Boxes to get something for yourself or for your child!

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Or 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 of December. GO!!

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 RoastDay 11: Elianni Huge Gluten-Free Vegan Gift Box.

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Filed under Reviews, Vegan, Vegan Household

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!

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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!

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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!

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…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.

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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!!

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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.

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Filed under Appetizers, Beverages, Giveaway, Gluten Free, Organic, Reviews, Sandwiches, Side Dishes, Snackage, Vegan

Jazzy Vegetarian Classics. Cookbook Review and Giveaway. Plus Oil-Free Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe. Vedged Out 12 Days of Christmas.

DSC_0003Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies, pg. 226

Are you on Linked In? Laura Theodore is one of the many great connections I’ve made on the Linked In network this year. She asked me if I would be willing to review her cookbook, Jazzy Vegetarian Classics. Of course I jumped at the opportunity. You can probably tell that I love reviewing cookbooks, and I’d heard so many good things about her cookbook!

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There are so many lovely things about this cookbook. First off, it’s a hardcover, which is a rarity for cookbooks these days. There are tons of full color photographs, which I appreciate since it helps you visualize the food you’ll be making. Another thing I adore about this book is that nearly every recipe uses common ingredients that can be found in almost any grocery store. There are only a few recipes that you’ll need to make a trip to the health food store to get any special ingredients. At the beginning of the book, Laura helps you with menu planning by pairing together which recipes (and the Jazz music to go with it) will go well together for whatever occasion, from casual to having guests for dinner.

Oh, and last but not least, even though the book is titled “Jazzy Vegetarian Classics,” all the recipes in the book are 100% vegan. (as you’ll see in the subtitle below, Vegan Twists on American Family Favorites).

DSC_0001Quick Tomato Salad, pg. 123

DSC_0011Polenta Pizza, pg. 158

Most of the recipes in this book are oil-free and there are many that are gluten-free. Only unrefined sweeteners and whole grains are used throughout, making this book every bit as healthy as it is delicious.

DSC_0009Raspberry Tofu Smoothie, pg. 84. It’s incredibly healthy, but almost tastes like you’re eating ice cream for breakfast.

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Now let’s get back to these whole-grain, oil-free Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies. My kids didn’t even notice the oil was missing. They just gobbled them up.

Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

*recipe used with permission

  • 2 cups whole-wheat flour (I’m sure gluten-free flour could be subbed here)
  • 1 cup maple sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup pecans, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup vegan chocolate chips (grain sweetened variety works well)
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh apple puree (see note*)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons nondairy milk.

*Chef’s Note: to make the apple puree, peel and core 3 very large or 4 medium apples. Rough chop the apples. Put the apples in a blender or a food processor until the consistency of smooth applesauce is achieved. Be careful not to liquify!

Method: 

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper.

Put the flour, maple sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a large bowl and stir with a dry whisk to combine. Add the pecans and the vegan chocolate chips, and stir with the whisk to combine. Stir in the apple puree, vanilla extract and nondairy milk and mix just until incorporated. If the dough seems overly wet, stir in a bit more flour, a tablespoon at a time. Alternatively, if the dough seems overly dry, stir in a bit more nondairy milk, a tablespoon at a time.

For each cookie, drop about 2 1/2 tablespoons of the dough onto the prepared baking sheet. Flatten slightly using the back of a flat spatula.

Bake 15 to 18 minutes, or until slightly golden around the edges. Remove the sheet from the oven and let cool for 2 minutes. Transfer cookies to a wire rack. Cool for about 10 minutes. Stored in and airtight container in the refrigerator, the cookies will keep for about 2 days.

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jazzy-vegetarian-classics

Buy the Hardcover copy of the book on Amazon here or get the Kindle edition here.

Or 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 Friday December 20th!  I will notify the winner by email on Monday the 23rd of 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 Giveaway.

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Filed under Books, Breakfast, Desserts, Giveaway, Main Dishes, Reviews, Salads, Side Dishes, Vegan

Emaline Delapaix. Vegan Recording Artist. Worldwide Music Giveaway. Vedged Out 12 Days of Christmas.

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     Emaline Delapaix approached me last week with an offer for a giveaway. The timing was perfect because one of the giveaway sponsors I had for the 12 days of Christmas fell through. I think sometimes the Universe collides and makes wonderful things happen. This was one of those moments.
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     I took some time perusing Emaline’s sites and listening to samples of her music. All of it is right up my alley. Her voice is hauntingly beautiful and the music sounds like something you’re all ready familiar with, but only because it really speaks to the soul.

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     More about Emaline: Emaline is an Australian vegan singer, composer and musician who lives between rural Western Canada and Germany with her big orange cat Reece. She spends a lot of time writing odd folk pop for piano, acoustic guitar and harp and sometimes whatever else she has lying about the place. Some say she sounds a little like Kate Bush or Tori Amos, but she also loves a lot of Scandinavian music: music that invokes the weather like storms and warm sunsets. Emaline will be recording her first full length record between Berlin, London and Canada in winter 2013/2014, experimenting with sounds and space, the weather and environment, this CD will be her most ambitious yet with an expected release date of Spring 2014 including European, North American and Australian tour dates.
     She travels a lot and says that being vegan can be tough on the road but it’s possible. She’s living proof! She also gives a small % of CD sales to local animal charities via online sales and concerts.

Her CD’s are self recorded with her guitarist and then handmade and using recycled card and eco friendly inks.

     Emaline has generously offered a music download of her latest album, Between Breeding Seasons to THREE lucky winners.

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Listen to her music here. Visit Emaline on Facebook here and finally, check out her website herePurchase her music here with a 20% discount until January 1st 2014 with the discount code: xmas 

Or for a chance to win this amazing Giveaway, Click on the link below to enter the Giveaway! This contest is open to entrants WORLDWIDE! You must also follow this blog by email or RSS feed to qualify. You have until Friday December 20th!  I will notify the winner by email on Monday the 23rd of 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.

*photographs in this post courtesy of  www.facebook.com/BinneGestaltung

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Filed under Friendship, Giveaway, Reviews, Vegan

Extraordinary Vegan. Cookbook Giveaway, Chocolate Raspberry Tart Recipe and Review. Vedged Out 12 Days of Christmas

DSC_0016Chocolate Raspberry Tart, pg. 138 (with cherries instead of raspberries)

So, this is one of the cookbooks where I love the back story behind it as much as I do the cookbook. Private Chef, Alan Roettinger had done a previous book for Book Publishing Company. At the time, he wasn’t vegan, or even a vegetarian for that matter. But he wrote this vegetarian cookbook called “Omega 3 Cuisine.” It had good success, so Book Publishing Company asked him to write a second book, a vegan one this time. “Speed Vegan

DSC_0003-001High-Powered Green Juice, pg. 45 and Tarahumara Running Food, pg. 22

Somewhere along the line Alan mentioned in his writing of this book that the recipes were kind of “accidentally vegan” but were still good. [I'm paraphrasing here]. Book Publishing Company, a company that only publishes vegan and vegetarian cookbooks took issue with this and explained to Mr. Roettinger that their readers would too. They wanted him to understand that vegans and vegetarians think food without cruelty is delicious in its own right, and not that it’s some sort of mediocre substitute for an animal product based meal.

DSC_0006-001Three Sisters Soup, pg. 66

Around that period in time Alan went to the Dr. for his yearly physical. He had high blood pressure. His cholesterol was through the roof and he was tired all the time and overweight. His Dr. suggested that Alan should go on statin medications. Alan replied with something to this effect [paraphrasing again] “Naw, I’m going to go vegan.” I’ll check back with you in a few months and we can look at my results.”

DSC_0008-001Ratatouille, pg. 116

As you can probably guess, Alan never did need those statin medications. He dropped his extra weight, as well as his cholesterol and the blood pressure. He’s 100% vegan now and he’s never looked back. Today he’s creating Extraordinary Vegan meals where plants are the star of the show and loving it.

He served this beautiful tart at his birthday dinner the first year he was vegan. His guests were wondering how he could make a delicious birthday cake without eggs, cream or butter. I’m pretty sure this showed them that those things are completely unneccessary.

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Chocolate Raspberry Tart

Almond Crust:

  • 1 1/2 cups finely ground or chopped raw almonds
  • 1/2 cup palm sugar
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin coconut oil

Chocolate Filling:

  • 4 1/2 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
  • 1 cup full-fat coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons framboise eau de vie or raspberry liqueur

Topping and Glaze:

  • 2 pints fresh raspberries (I used cherries)
  • 3/4 cup fruit-juice-sweetened raspberry jam

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. To make the crust, combine the almonds, sugar and oil in a medium bowl and work with your fingers to form a thick, crumbly paste. Press into and 8-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom. Use a one-cup measuring cup or similar small container to press and form an even inside edge. Refrigerate until firm, about 45 minutes.

Put the tart pan on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. The crust will be puffy and slightly misshapen. Press the crust gently back into shape with the measuring cup. Return to the oven and bake for 7 minutes longer. Remove from the oven and set on a rack to cool completely before proceeding.

To make the chocolate filling, put the chocolate into a blender. Put the coconut milk into a small sauce pan over medium heat. As soon as it begins to bubble around the edge, remove from the heat. Count 10 seconds and then pour over the chocolate in the blender. Add the liqueur and process until very smooth.

Pour half of the chocolate mixture into the cooled crust. It should come about halfway up the inner side of the shell. Spread it out evenly, taking care not to get any on the rim.

Starting from the rim of the tart, arrange half of the raspberries in tight concentric circles over the filling. pushing the berries down slightly so they touch the bottom. End with one raspberry in the center. Pour the remaining chocolate mixture over them, filling in spaces between the raspberry tops and covering them completely. Take car not to drip any filling on the rim. Layer the remaining raspberries on top of the chocolate. again in concentric circles, but don’t press them down. Refrigerate the tart until the filling is firm, 2-4 hours.

To make the glaze, put the jam in a small saucepan and warm over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until it melts. It should be fairly thick, but runny enough to apply with a pastry brush. Pour through a strainer to remove any raspberry seeds, pressing down to extract as much liquid as possible. Using a pastry brush, very gently brush the melted jam over the raspberries, allowing a little of the excess to drip down between them and cover the filling underneath. When the entire surface of the raspberries is coated, set the tart aside for at least 10 minutes to let the glaze congeal.

To serve, hold the tart pan rim with one hand and push up gently on the bottom with the other hand to release the tart. Set the rim portion aside. Slip a knife very carefully between the tart shell and the bottom of the mold. work the knife gently around until the tart comes away from the mold. Set the tart down on a cutting board and cut it with a hot, dry knife. bracing the rim with one finger on either side of the knife to keep the tart shell intact. Slide the knife under the cut portion and gently lift it out. Put the slice on a dessert plate. Repeat as needed. Serve at once.

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Buy the paperback copy of the book on Amazon here or get the Kindle edition for just $9.99 here!

Or 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 Friday December 20th!  I will notify the winner by email on Monday the 23rd of 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.

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Filed under Appetizers, Beans, Beverages, Books, Desserts, Giveaway, Main Dishes, Reviews, Soups and Stews, Vegan

Sweet Debbie’s Organic Treats. Allergy-Free and Vegan Recipes from the Famous Los Angeles Bakery. Plus, Sunflower Buttercup Brownies. Vedged Out 12 Days of Christmas

DSC_0004Sunflower Buttercup Brownies, pg. 49

I love reviewing cookbooks and this book is incredible for those who are gluten-free or have food allergies. Debbie Adler, the author of this cookbook was all ready running a successful California bakery, Sweet Debbie’s when she discovered that her young son had many life-threatening food allergies. She revamped her menu to make her bakery a safe haven for anyone with food allergies. It made her business boom! Who wouldn’t want these treats? These recipes contain no soy, gluten, eggs, dairy, refined sugars, soy or nuts. Yet they still taste incredibly delicious!

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I have multiple friends who suffer from serious food allergies or who have children who do. While my family isn’t affected by these issues (so far, knock on wood) My own children, just being vegan, all ready have issues regarding food when they attend parties, sporting events, school functions and more. I can only imagine how much more difficult it would be to eat ANYWHERE when major food allergies are involved.

DSC_0006Gourmet Dark Chocolate Mesquite Brownies, pg. 39

I’ve become resourceful. We bring our own food to most events and some to share so others can taste how good vegan food is. This book is excellent for those who need to provide their own treats for themselves and their children, or for anyone who wants to have allergy free food for their guests.

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Sunflower Buttercup Brownies

“Reprinted from SWEET DEBBIE’S ORGANIC TREATS by Debbie Adler. Published by Harlequin. Copyright Debbie Adler 2013.”

Must Have:

  • 24 mini paper baking cups
  • 2 cups all-purpose gluten-free flour (Debbie’s special blend is on page 13)
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons sodium-free baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon guar gum
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 cup grapeseed oil
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/3 cup coconut nectar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/8 teaspoon stevia powder
  • 1 cup sunflower seed butter (Debbie’s sunflower butter recipe is on page 11)
  • 1 1/4 cups chocolate chips (Debbie’s allergy free chocolate chip recipe on page 12)

Must do: 

1- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a 24-cup mini muffin tin with mini paper baking cups.

2- Whisk together the flour, baking powder, guar gum and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the middle.

3- Add the grapeseed oil, applesauce, coconut nectar, vanilla and stevia and stir to combine. Next add the sunflower seed butter and stir to combine. Fold in 3/4 of the chocolate chips.

4- Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin tin, filling the cups to the top and each with the remaining 1/2 cup of chocolate chips.

5- Bake the buttercups for 18-20 minutes or until they are a light golden brown and bounce back slightly to the touch.

6- Transfer the muffin tin form the oven to a wire rack and let sit for about 15 minutes before removing the buttercups to cool completely.

Keep in an airtight container for up to 3 days or wrap and freeze for up to 3 months.

sweet-debbies-organic-treats-cookbookBuy the paperback copy of the book on Amazon here or get the Kindle edition for just $9.99 here!

Or 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 Friday December 20th!  I will notify the winner by email on Monday the 23rd of 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 Bag. Day 4: Sunwarrior Raw Vegan Protein Powder or Product of Choice Giveaway. Day 5: Tropical Traditions 1 Gallon Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil Giveaway.

44 Comments

Filed under Books, Desserts, Giveaway, Gluten Free, Snackage, Vegan, Vegan Household

Tropical Traditions 1 Gallon of Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil Giveaway! Plus Radical Chocolate Chip, Coconut and Almond Cookie Recipe! Vedged Out 12 Days of Christmas

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Yeah, that’s a heckuvalotta coconut oil for this 5th day of Christmas Giveaway! Think of all the cookies, cheese balls and grasshopper brownies you could make! Or, you could bathe in it, use it as a moisturizer, remove your makeup with it or whatever you want! In the meantime, here’s the recipe for the cookies!

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Radical Chocolate Chip, Coconut and Almond Cookies

  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour or gluten free flour
  • 1/2 cup raw or organic sugar
  • 2 tablespoons ground golden flax seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/3 cup melted virgin coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup plain soymilk
  • 1 teaspoon unsulphered molasses
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • 1 cup vegan chocolate chips

Method: Preheat oven to 350°. In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients: flour, sugar, ground flax seed, baking powder, baking soda and salt with a wire whisk. Add the wet ingredients: the melted coconut oil, soymilk, unsulphered molasses and the almond extract. Stir together until combined. Then add the shredded coconut, sliced almonds and the chocolate chips. Stir until well mixed. Drop by heaped tablespoons onto a large baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until cookies are golden. Let cool on a wire rack before eating (this will also help the cookies to set and not crumble).

Disclaimer: Tropical Traditions provided me with a free sample of this product to review, and I was under no obligation to review it if I so chose.  Nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a product giveaway in return for the free product.

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Win 1 Gallon of Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil! Retail $120 Value!

Tropical Traditions is America’s source for coconut oil. Their Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil is hand crafted in small batches by family producers, and it is the highest quality coconut oil they offer. You can read more about how virgin coconut oil is different from other coconut oils on their website: What is Virgin Coconut Oil?

You can also watch the video they produced about Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil:

Tropical Traditions also carries other varieties of affordable high quality coconut oil. Visit their website to check on current sales, to learn about the many uses of coconut oil, and to read about all the advantages of buying coconut oil online. Since the FDA does not want us to discuss the health benefits of coconut oil on a page where it is being sold or given away, here is the best website to read about the health benefits of coconut oil.

For a chance to win a your own jar of  Tropical Traditions Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil, Click on the link below to enter the Giveaway! This contest is open to entrants in the USA and Canada only. Mandatory: you must subscribe to the Tropical Traditions Newsletter and follow this blog by email or RSS feed to qualify. You have until Friday the the 20th of December to enter!  I will notify the winner by email on Monday December 23rd. GO!!

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FYI Bloggers: you can also get your own (giant) 32 oz. jar of Tropical Traditions Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil to review here.

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

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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.

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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!

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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!!

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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:

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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.

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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.

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Filed under Giveaway, Health Treatments, Organic, Raw, Sunwarrior, Vegan

Alternative Outfitters Vegan Boutique $25 Gift Card + Free Messenger Bag! Vedged Out 12 Days of Christmas

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I’m so excited about this day three Giveaway! Alternative Outfitters is offering one of my lucky readers a $25 gift card and a Free Messenger Bag! If you haven’t all ready heard of Alternative Outfitters, you’re going to love their store! Everything is 100% Vegan and Cruelty Free, but with awesome pricing that you may not find at some of the other online vegan boutiques! Vegan, Hip and Affordable, what’s not to love!?! Plus right now there are new specials going on every week!

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Here’s that cute canvas messenger bag!

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Alternative Outfitters has shoes, clothing, handbags, vegan beauty products and so much more for men and women.

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Enter the giveaway! And in the meantime, hop on over there to get something special for yourself or for your favorite vegan here!

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 Monday December 16th!  I will notify the winner by email on Tuesday the 17th of December. GO!!

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Day 1: Free Vegan Lifestyle Magazine. Day 2: Free Case of Butler Soy Curls.

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Filed under Giveaway, Vegan, Vegan Household