Under the Banner of Veganism. Deprivation Diets, Eating Disorders and Orthorexia.

Veganism is on the horizon of exploding with popularity. It seems like hopping on the vegan bandwagon is the chic’ thing to do with celebrities like Beyonce and Jay Z doing a 22 day vegan kick start last year, J-Lo recently confessing her love for the lifestyle and even Jessica Simpson going on a 2 week vegan cleanse prior to her wedding. I’m all for any publicity in the media to promote a vegan lifestyle but I think many people are confused about what being a vegan means.

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So the question is, what exactly is a vegan?

veg·an
ˈvēgən,ˈvejən/
noun
 1. a person who does not eat or use animal products.

That’s it. Plain and simple.

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Vegan Finger Foods! Cookbook by Celine Steen and Tamasin Noyes. Review, Spinach Swirl Recipe and Giveaway!

Mini Bean Taco Cups

I was beyond thrilled when contacted by Tamasin Noyes and Celine Steen to review their newest collaboration, Vegan Finger Foods! Who doesn’t love snacking on little bites of deliciousness of every kind?!? I reviewed their cookbook: Whole Grain Vegan Baking last year and still bake out of it frequently! You can read about that review (and get a fantastic whole grain [veggie] burger bun recipe for your summer grilling) here. Now, lets have a look at some of the delights in Vegan Finger Foods!

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Vegan Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream- Guest Post for Kayle Martin at Cowgirls and Collard Greens

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I was contacted by the lovely Kayle Martin at Cowgirls and Collard Greens  back in February about doing a guest post for her site. I was so pleased because I absolutely adore her, and her story! She’s a 2 time cancer survivor and vegan cowgirl with a passion for animals that is contagious!

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Rawsome Vegan Baking! Review, Ice Cream Sandwich Recipe and Giveaway!

donut1Go-Nuts Donuts with Frosting and Fruit Sprinkles, page 102

Some of you may know that I went through a raw stint when I was in my early 20’s. At the time raw cookbooks were scarce and I owned just one. The incredible “Raw, The Uncook Book” by Juliano. Looking through all the photos of the luscious raw food in his book always gives me a feeling of awe and wonder. Real and whole foods are simply gorgeous.  Continue reading

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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.

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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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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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a Rafflecopter giveaway

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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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!!

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.

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