Tag Archives: vegan richa

Let’s be real here- there is something comforting about a warm milky drink. I am a little hesitant to say that this is a list of lattes since these are all missing the main ingredient in a latte: espresso. I have a small espresso machine at my house, but let’s face it, most people don’t. And truthfully I don’t have the cash to go to a coffee shop everyday. Not to mention that kills a lot of time. So I’ve become a big fan of making alternative hot milk drinks. I’ve even done a recipe roundup in the past of various hot chocolates, which I recommend. I tried to feature recipes that were pretty unique.

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First can I point out these coffee free lattes are so comforting that I’ve already posted quite a few recipes already on the blog. I totally recommend checking them out. Many are focused on traditional Asian lattes that are popular such as a sesame latte.

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So let’s talk about this recipe roundup. If I am feeling a little down, or things are moving slowly in the morning, I love to have a nice warm cup in my hands. Hell, sometimes I don’t even drink the cup I have. I am sure I could pour myself a cup of hot water and hold it to boost my mood. But if it is filled with a warm milky drink? Well that makes everything even MORE amazing.

So what are the requirements? Well, the drink needs to have a milk or creamy consistency. All need to be targetted for vegans, or dairy free lifestyles. There is a drink or two that says to use honey, but will most likely suggest a substitute that is vegan. And finally there is no espresso in these drinks. I am not against it, but most folks don’t have an espresso machine at home. So let’s get to the reviews!

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Raw Cacao + Goji Berry Latte

Can I first point out that The First Mess website is HORRIBLE for a mobile phone? The ads make it impossible to get to and stay on the recipe in order to make it. I had to copy and paste the text into something else to read it on my phone. Which I don’t think is too much to ask for such a simple and small recipe.

But that technically has nothing to do with how the latte tastes. And let me say- it tastes amazing. This recipe was a little frustrating at first since it makes so little and therefore I had a hard time not boiling the soy milk too much (she recommends almond and coconut milk, which I don’t think would film up.) But it is worth the wait and effort. The date and goji berries blended up nicely, which can be hard. It also then frothed up, and filled up my mug perfectly.

The taste is the perfect amount of sweet. Sweet enough to be paired with unsweetened milk and cacao, but not too sweet that your mouth feels like it needs a brushing. I can see many people wanting to add another date to the mix though. The goji berries added just enough taste, complexity, and body to the drink. I will most likely make this again.

Bottom Line: Love, love, love it.

Warming Gingerbread Latte

This was a pretty straight forward latte- toss everything into a blender, blend, then heat. So it didn’t take too long to do. But as I tossed all the ingredients into the blender I had this nagging feeling “man, this is a LOT of fats in here.” I am not a huge fat phobic person, and hey this is just a treat right? Well, I think my hunch was right- this latte was thick. I think it would be easy to fix- just get rid of the cashews. I ended up using a hazelnut milk, and there is coconut milk (she doesn’t specify the low-cal fridge versions) so I think there is plenty of fat to keep that body.

As for flavor? I think I would add a dash of molasses, but otherwise it is pretty tasty. I really like the idea of a homemade espresso free gingerbread latte. Actually you could easily make this drink and toss in a shot of espresso and get great tasting drink. You know what might taste even better? Some blackstrap molasses rum or snap liquor (a speculoos cookie inspired liquor). I mean this is more of a dessert latte, right?

Bottom Line: Maybe skip the cashews? So thick. A little booze would help

Pumpkin Spice Turmeric Latte

Vegan Richa and Food by Mars both posted a Pumpkin Spice Turmeric Lattte really close to each other. So I had to try both out. Just putting out there- I like Richa’s better! I like her technique of boiling the spices in hot water first, it made everything less gritty. I played around with her steps just a little. I frothed the milk by blending it up in a blender, but I poured the hot water in the blender, to help everything get mixed together.

Overall, I loved the results, but I would make these changes. There is no pumpkin in her recipe, and I would like to add it in. Blend it up with the milk, it adds flavors and body to the drink. Just 3-4 tablespoons worth. Not that much. I also only added a tablespoon of sweetener, and I probably would use none if I had used regular milk. Otherwise, this is a great latte drink.

Bottom Line: Add a smidgen pumpkin puree, and it is perfect!

Spirulina Latte

So I have been into spirulina for awhile. It gives a bunch of iron to a vegan, and as a pregnant lady, I need iron. So I thought I would give this recipe a try. It is pretty simple, very little milk, a banana, and spirulina tablets. Well, I can safely say it doesn’t work. The drink isn’t hot, which is kind-of what make a latte a latte. Hot milk and flavor. That’s it. So popped this drink in the microwave for a little bit, and it wasn’t bad at first. Then the drink started to thicken up. It became foamy and literally not drinkable. It became more like a bubbly pudding.

Bottom Line: Nope.

Date-Sweetened Vegan Chai Latte with Tahini

I love sweet sesame/tahini foods. I already made a black sesame latte on the blog. But I think this latte is pretty awesome. What is nice about this drink is that it doesn’t use any premade milks in the recipe. You get the creamy texture from the tahini and almond butter. The downside? Oh man, this is a calorie bomb! About 300 calories in the drink, which for some, they don’t mind. Just something to be aware of.

What I really like is that the recipe involves brewing a strong chai tea, then blending it with the tahini, almond butter, and dates. That’s it. Blend it all up and it takes no longer than 10 minutes from turning the burner on the boil water, and cleaning out the blender. That might seem like a long time, but I think it is worth it.

Bottom Line: One of my favorites.

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Pumpkin Spice Turmeric Latte

Golden Latte’s are so frigging trendy right now. And it is a little funny reading a few people throw a little shade at the trend since they aren’t really traditional golden lattes. This recipe is clearly a new twist to it. I was pretty excited about this recipe when I saw it since I’ve been trying to cut caffeine from my diet since I can’t only have so much while pregnant. I also love pumpkin spiced good so it seemed like a match made in heaven.

Sadly Food by Mars just put WAY too many spices in here. The spices over powered the pumpkin flavor and had too much of a bite. What did work for the drink is the body. I like how she uses a blender to froth up the drink and the little bit of pumpkin and coconut oil adds a little body to the drink. I skipped the whipped coconut cream that was on top, but I am sure that would help balance out the spices… but it probably wouldn’t be enough.

Bottom Line: Too many spices


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Today is the day of reading and painting. Again, hubs and I are feeling that mad rush to get things done for the baby. Our shower is coming up next weekend and I got it in my head that we should finish painting the nursery before we lug a bunch of stuff in there. You know, so we can start actually setting things up. And then my husband really pointed out that I should start thinking and talking to my bosses about a post-delivery plan. So I have been reading all the chapters about post-delivery so I have a little bit more realistic expectation of what to expect when the baby comes. I have to think about these things since a lot of the things my husband was hoping for from is work isn’t working out. It is making us very frustrating for various reason we won’t go into.

But here is a collection of different articles and such for you guys to check out and read. Enjoy!

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Sesame Chai Latte & Pumpkin Spice Turmeric Latte

I am not kidding when I say I love a good latte. In fact, I’ve been going through some old posts updating images and stuff from the server transfer and it seems every time this year I post a bunch of latte recipes in the Sunday Reads. I would LOVE to try these two, but realistically, I probably won’t since I am obsessed with how easy my macaccino is. But these are high up on my list of recipes to try. Maybe I should start a new recipe roundup of coffee-free lattes?

coleman-mindful-2-ed1934cded1126de60d6f24de53f3d5dThis School Replaced Detention with Meditation

I think most people will find this idea weird, or counter intuitive. Surely if I kids acts poorly they should be punished. But I think sometimes there is core differences on how people view things. You can either punish bad behavior, or your can try and fix it. This school is try to fix the problem by giving kids an outlet to channel their frustrations. I think people underestimate how much kids can do.

IndieGoGo: Liberation Barbell

I’ve been a fan of Lacy Davis from her blog Super Strength Health. Then her podcast Rise and Resist, and even her podcast Adult Crash. She is now working towards starting a body positive gym. I think there needs to be more gyms focusing on this. Yes, I’ve been places where the coaches are not talking about flattening those tummies, or sculpting arms for the summer. But rarely are these attributes being advertised, leaving people who are afraid of judgement from stepping into a gym. Lacy’s gym will be based in Portland, soo…. I’ll probably never make… at least for awhile. But if you are in the Portland area, I recommend supporting this rad lady.

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Why Lime Crime is the Most Hated Make Company on the Internet

I am not a huge make up person. But oddly I really like seeing when people put on some crazy make up. Green lips? Yeah. Pink Hair? Rainbow Eyeshadow? Yes and yes. But I try and keep things vegan, even when supporting instagram accounts. Which is why I kind-of lurk on Doe Deere and Sugarpill/Shrinkle (not vegan people, but vegan/cruelty free brands.) Doe Deere owns the company Lime Crime and I’ve always wondered why so many people hated the company with a passion. It was hard to sift through all the general hate with legitimate complaints. This article does a good job summarizing the major controversies of the brand. I think it is important since it is now an all vegan brand, and I love their now discontinued nail polishes. Sadly though, their make up is getting a little too crazy for my personal use but it is worth a read if you are thinking about buying their gold lipstick. The whole thing makes me think about the Stuff Mom Never Told You episode about Lisa Frank. Both so colorful, both full of so much drama.

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Chill Out: Stress Can Override Benefits Of Healthful Eating

This was a pretty interesting study, which found that stress really can override many benefits of eating healthfully. It is worth noting that the way the study was set up all participants were given high fat diets, just one got one full of more healthful fats. So it isn’t something that you should look at stress as something to would completely override all your healthful eating.


I wanted to do a What I Ate Wednesday at least once a month during the pregnancy, and I am almost running out of time to do my September post! It has been a pretty busy month, so I figured it is now or never. Sadly today is a little boring in my selection of food, there are lots of leftovers and repeats.

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I started the day with my usual chocolate spirulina smoothie. I went back to the powdered spirulina since I found the spirulina tablets more expensive and annoyingly you need to take 6 tablets to get 1 tsp of powder. The tablets are annoying to swallow, and aren’t very pleasant to chew either. What I do like about my chocolate spirulina smoothie is that hits so many of the nutritional needs for pregnant ladies. I get about 50% of the calcium (from the greens and soymilk) and 61% of the iron (from all that cocoa and spirulina) that I need for the day. I also get about 30 grams of protein with only adding 2 tablespoons of protein powder to the whole thing. I should probably post this bad boy on the blog because I think this is a great shake.  And the greens I used today? Some beet greens and a little bit of swiss chard.

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I’ve been obsessed with fizzy drink as of lately. I think it has to do with the fact that I can’t really have beer or cocktails. I’ve been getting by with non-alcoholic beers, tonic water with shrubs, and seltzers. And if I am honest I am always have a sugar-free soda at work, which I know, isn’t the best, but for awhile I was bringing my own seltzer into work. I also have been bringing in powder mix packets to mix with my water. I really like the Target brand mixers because they use both sugar AND stevia making it only 15 calories. I like how they don’t use coloring in the mixes, the drink ends up being a pale white-ish or completely clear. But they do use artificial flavors. I also really like Madhava’s powder mixes, though I usually find them a little stronger than I prefer. Just like the target ones, they use a mix of stevia and agave powder but they tend to stay away from artificial flavors. But I think I mainly wanted to show my wonderful new wall color ^__~

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It was nice a chilly this morning, so chilly I got to wear a sweatshirt while getting ready. I was in the mood for something warm and comforting, and didn’t want to make a cup of coffee (just in case I needed a caffeine kick in the afternoon.) So I made a little latte using Macaccino. They are a new coffee replacement that is on the market, and I think it works best as a latte rather than with just water. I made my own latte by mixing a tablespoon of macaccino with 1/4 cup of hot water. Then I added 8 oz of hot soy milk and a tablespoon of a pumpkin caramel syrup. It was pretty amazing, and perfect for the weather.

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Lunch consisted of watermelon, the last watermelon of the season! It was nice, this year we had yellow, orange, and red watermelon. But I think my favorite has been the red watermelon. It was just perfect this year. I ate a curry burrito with it. I used white rice my Mother made from a previous night. It was weird rice, I have a feeling my Father bought instant rice and didn’t tell my Mother. The other half is a South Indian styled chickpea and eggplant curry from Vegan Richa‘s cookbook. Sorry the photo is so crummy, I was trying to take a photo discreetly since my bosses were there. They nicely offered me some corn chips, and ate a small handful as well.

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After lunch I eventually had a snack bar that I made. I forgot to take a photo- plus they were ugly looking and nasty tasting. I was trying to make a bar using tahini, cranberries, and lime coconut chips. It was a MASSIVE fail. Oh well. I drove by Wegman’s on the way home from work to pick up some veggie dogs for Jon on Friday. He is going to a Mets vs Phillies game and his office is doing a tailgating thing. I opted out since there are so many reasons why a pregnant woman shouldn’t be at a baseball game. No beer, uncomfortable seats, peeing every inning. Besides I am not a huge baseball fan. I was pretty hungry at the end, and grabbed a small bar to nibble on before dinner. I am a huge fan of these Raw Rev bars, though I only get them on special occasions.

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I originally was planning on going for a run afterwork but it was raining a little and my hamstrings were pretty tight from a workout from the day before. But I kept with the plan of eating leftovers and had some brown rice noodles with leftover massaman curry from Vegan Eats World. The curry is filled with green beans, sweet potatoes, cherry tomatoes, and baked tofu. If you’ve never had a massaman curry before it is pretty much like a peanut butter curry. It’s awesome. Sadly, after dinner I got a lot of acid reflux, so I am not sure I will be eating anything else for dessert. It is seriously up in the air.

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So how are my nutritional stats? Well, for one I noticed some foods didn’t really track any nutritional information other than what is on the label. So I might have been a little closer to some of the nutritional goals. But that is also why I take prenatal vitamins ^__~ And FYI cronometer is a little weird. I always get a lot of red because I have it in weight gain mode I guess most clients are trying to loose weight. But if you read closely, it says I can eat 210 more calories. I already ate 2400 calories! I got 100 grams of protein, 273 grams of carbs, and 90 grams of fat. I am a little shocked about the fat since I tend to have a low fat diet. Not really intentionally though. 

Well, I am off to watch some TV with the hubs and count kicks for the doctors. Ugh. It’s so sad, it is always within 10-15 minutes I count 10 kicks. Plus I tend to ignore the small ones, depending on how interested I am in the TV show. 

What are you guys snacking on today?


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Shop on Amazon or Barnes and Noble

I have always been a big fan of Indian cuisine. I loved how it was very vegetable heavy and you had lots of different options for meals without meat. But as I went vegan I soon discovered how many of those vegetarian dishes were full of dairy. So I was happy when I found the food blog Vegan Richa. Not only did she have some authentic Indian dishes, all vegan, she also had some fun Western/fusion dishes. So when Richa Hingle said she was releasing a cookbook all about Indian food, I knew I had to get it.

Photos

I love the photos that are in this book. It is pretty important to me to have photos of food that are not traditionally made in your area *cough* Vegan Eats World *cough* The Asian Vegan Kitchen *cough* If you are buying this cookbook you probably know a little about Indian food, but not a lot. And Richa’s photos does help paint a picture of what to expect with textures, serving, etc. 

And I can’t stress enough how much this book needs lots of photos. The names of the recipes aren’t too appealing. Richa describes the dish for what it is, but let’s face it, how many different lentils can she use to keep your attention in the dal section? The photos gives a visual that stimulates the reader to pick it and make it. 

Set-up

Nothing too unique about how this book is set up. But here is something I really liked about it. Richa explains why she made the book in the very beginning. Many times I would find this a little pointless with a vegan cookbook as it comes off preachy after awhile. But I think it is important because her book is about a specific type of cooking- Indian food. Some people might pick this book up without seeing it is vegan, so the introduction can be inspiring to someone.

Otherwise it is the same ol’ same ol’ deal. There is a large section about all the different foods you will need, explaining all the Indian specific ingredients, then moving to vegan specific foods. She divides up the recipes in a way that makes it easy to plan a traditional Indian dinner. Then she has the index in the back, which is very easy to use if you are looking for specific ingredients (something I like a lot!)

Writing

Richa isn’t the best writer out there. But as a trade off she is short and to the point. She writes directions that are easy to follow. She also describes various indian staples in a quick no fuss manor. My only disappointment is that since she is so quick to describe things she glosses over the ingredients descriptions in the beginning a little too fast for my taste. But she makes up for it in the recipes, and gives a lot of details of different ways to make a recipe, where they are from, and how it may vary from region to region.

As for grammar, I think I only spotted one or two spelling errors. Nothing huge, and hopefully was fixed in the next pressing. The grammatically errors were minor and didn’t make the things confusing on what the ingredients or recipe needed. I think there was one case where a spice wasn’t listed in the steps. But Richa is so organized with the ingredients, ALWAYS listing them in order of use and grouping them by steps, that it was easy to figure out when to use the missing ingredient, which I think is much more important.

Overview

I can not stress how much I love this book. I got my copy for Christmas, and accidentally had two people get it for me. My Mother took the extra one and found out that she loved the book too. I can only hope that she gives lentils another try because I am falling in love with the potentials of dals. They are so cheap and are very versatile.

What I also love about this book is that there is a lot of ingredient overlap. Many cookbooks that focus on a specific cuisine or cooking style can sometimes fall into the trap of requiring ingredients that are only used in one or two different ingredients. I have many of these ingredients in my cupboard, granted I have a well stocked pantry. And if I don’t have it, I have found a few other recipes that use that lentil that I had to buy, or whatever spice I had to buy.

I love this book and I think it is one of my new favorites. I will probably use it as much as Isa Does It since it uses a wide variety of foods and they are simple to make. None of the dishes are particularly hard, and usually don’t take long to make. Some take a little longer to make, but usually has a lot of down time. I recommend this to anyone for weeknight dinners, and anyone who loves Indian food and wants to make some at home.

Recipes

This cookbook I tried my best to pick at least one recipe from each section of the book to show all the variety that is available. If there was a recipe available online legally, I left a link for people to try it out before buying the book.

Continue reading


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Some of the problems with Christmas shopping as a vegan you kind-of get stuck with the issue of how “vegan” does my gift need to be? I am always grappled with the problem of balancing ethics with what other people want. If my sister wants leather shoes, do I get it? What about a BBQ cookbook? I don’t try and SELL veganism with my gifts, but I try and make sure all my gifts are vegan themselves.

Well, I am working on a gift giving guide, and this time I focus on BOOKS! Some books are pretty good for people who aren’t vegan themselves, but may have a little bit of a vegan agenda to them. Hopefully you might end up solving one of your gift problems with this list.

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Do Unto Animals – $14

This is definitely the book for your animal loving friend. When I first heard of this book I knew I had to own it. Your friend might not be vegan, but maybe they work at a stable, take of animals on a farm, volunteer at a shelter, work at a zoo, or is that crazy cat lady. Hopefully these passionate passages will inspire your friend to get rid of meat and dairy from their diet.

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Vegan Tacos – $16

I recommended this book since it actually made it on my sister’s wishlist on it’s own! This is a great way to get people to go vegan since it provides a hearty medium to eat vegan food (a taco shell!). Let’s face it, when people first go vegan, they don’t know what to eat, so they think salads. These tacos are fairly omni-friendly, though there are some recipes for fake meats and cheeses.

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The Taco Cleanse – $13

Got a friend who won’t stop dieting? Well hopefully most of my readers know that diet culture is a sham, and that’s why I LOVE this cookbook poking some fun at this whole detox culture trying to hide healthy with loosing weight. All recipes are vegan and are great for your body. And I can assure you this will be a much more fun detox than a juicing cleanse.

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Eating Animals – $12

Do you have a friend who is waffling between being vegetarian or eating meat? Or maybe your friend has taken up the habit of buying only organic, free-range, ethically killed meat? Well Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer might be the book for them. Jonathan Safran Foer explores the meat industry, but not as much of factory farming as the smaller farms that are trying to treat animals well. It is a great book about veganism, but is written by a fiction writer, giving people the chance to read the book openly.

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Salad Samurai – $13

Omni friends and family will love this book. I originally got this book for my mother who said she wanted to eat more veggies. Being the stealthy vegan me, I got this book thinking “doesn’t have vegan in the title, and Terry Hope Romero is a great cook.” At the time my Mother lived with my sister while relocating for jobs, and my sister liked the book so much she proceeded to buy it for herself. So yeah, Terry knows how to get people pumped for salads.

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The Drunken Botanist – $14

I like to drink, I will admit that. But it actually took awhile for me to get into cocktails, it is so confusing and many places make drinks that taste more sugar than booze. The Drunken Botanist explores cocktails at their root ingredients- plants. Beer, wine, vodka, bourbon, and booze in general doesn’t come off a vegan thing, but this book makes you realize how plants shape our drinks.

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Vegan Richa’s Indian Kitchen – $14

Another cookbook for omni-people. We all know that the vegan lifestyle seems to heavily base itself on the food. It will make a bigger impact overall. But Western cuisine isn’t very vegan friendly. But getting Vegan Richa’s Indian Kitchen helps the transition. For starters, Indian cuisine can be very vegan friendly to begin with, so newbies won’t be weirded out. The food is also packed with flavors, are super easy, and doesn’t have a crazy ingredients list.

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Babe the Gallant Pig – $7

Got some grandkids? Nieces or nephews? Want to slowly brainwash them to join the vegan army? Well you can start with Babe the pig. I remember reading this in grade school and talking about how the author conveys a vegetarian message. You could buy the movie, but kids need to read more anyways, right?

 


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Lots have been happening this week! Alexa and I went to Flying Fish last Saturday (hopefully the post will be up this week), I got a new recipe to put up this week, Alexa worked out like a beast, my CSA started up, and I am buying a house! So I’ll make a quick little break down for the big news

Alexa and Keith and their Super Challenge

Alexa and her workout buddy Keith decided to do The Murph Challenge together. So what did she do? Well, she and Keith divided up the workout, but it is still pretty tough. Overall she and Keith had to run a mile, 100 pull ups, 200 push ups, 300 squats, and then run another mile. The website says to do it in a 20lb vest, but that didn’t happen. But I am cringing at the 50 pull ups, 100 push ups, and 150 squats that Alexa had to do. The running, pft… easy. I’m super proud of you Alexa, sticking with working out and signing up for new challenges.

Jennifer and Hubs Buy a House

Yup, I am finally entering the work of home ownership and it is scary. So we are going to buy a townhouse in a development, which isn’t my cup of tea, but we get a lot more bang for our buck. Plus we don’t have to worry about any damage to the outside of the place, including siding, lawn, or roof. The kitchen is nicer than the one we have, we get two jacuzzi tubs, two showers, and three toilets. I am SO excited to pee at the same time as my husband- on different toilets that is. Beyond excited guys. Anyone living with other people with one bathroom understand where I’m coming from! Anyways, you may see boing house stuff on the blog, or just notice a drop in posts since I will be packing, moving, and unpacking.

Fernbrook Farms Starts Up!

If you’ve been reading the blog for awhile, you might of heard me talk about going to my CSA every Saturday to pick up my produce share. I’ve written some posts about it, but mostly just post photos of the area. Towards the end of the produce season I started to make a list of what I got from the farm, and I think I want to do that again. I figured I would try just writing up on my Sunday posts, though if people want to see something more defined, like photos of the produce and the meals I make, maybe they will make their own posts… but I am not sure yet. Anyways, look forward to the addition on Sunday Reads guys!

Farm Round Up:

What I got:
1 bunch Collard Greens
2 bunches Kale (1 Tuscan and 1 White Russian)
1 quart strawberries
2 heads of lettuce
1/2 bag of spinach

What I’m cooking
BBQ Collard Green and Black Eyed Pea Sandwiches
Queso Blanco Bowl with Crispy Kale
Penne Pasta with Gingered Lentils and Spinach
Chocolate Ice Cream Topped with Strawberries

Recipes:

This dish on Vegan Richa looks amazing.  I never know what to do with radishes other than to thinly slice them into salads. I definitely give this a try.

I love cutesy decorations for food, but most involve meats, eggs, cheese or fish. So I was happy to see these cute little cat falafels, which pretty much means you can do it with any sort of bean patties really.

Local:

The new issue of Grid Magazine is being distributed. Jon and I are featured in it, but if you don’t live in the area, you can read it online.

Do you live in New Jersey? Do you need a happy pick me up? Well, I have only sad news about our public transportation. Sorry. More awareness, the more complaints, the more pressure to solve the problem.

If you are near Philadelphia then you will be happy to see the BIG RUBBER DUCKIE! I can’t wait to see it, and hopefully Alexa can make a trip out to see it as well.

Health:

So avian flu is intensifying and major chains are looking for egg alternatives. The New York Times writes an article speculating if companies will take more vegan options, and possibly stick with them. I don’t think companies will go full vegan, but it would sure be nice.

So have anyone gotten friction burn before? Well, I’ve been getting it for the first time ever- in my arm pits! It is awful! It is just too humid and I run too damn fast in my Orangetheory classes. But surprisingly The Nest wrote an article that is useful! I will try it out and get back to you guys if it worked.

Choosing Raw has yet another great post about veganism. This time Gena writes about the shared food experience. I pretty much agree with the whole thing, and made me think of my family. Maybe I will write a post about food and my family.

Offbeat Home writes a great article about how sword fighting helped a woman have a better relationship with her body. I love hearing about people work out and don’t feel better because their tummy is smaller, but because they are amazed by what their body can do.

Fun:

I am loving these super cute outfits from this lolita meet up. I particularly like this outfit, as it looks like a cross between lolita and vintage.

Perfume released a new single. I am LOVING these outfits…. I need to make one for myself.


Learning to love the sweet potato has taken time for me. It was too sweet. The flavors too strong. I felt overwhelmed. Well, it is hard being vegan and not eating sweet potatoes. I can safely say that I am a converted fan. Especially since I get a BUNCH of sweet potatoes from my local CSA share. Since I had so many sweet potatoes, I’ve been busy in the kitchen.

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Vegan Quinoa and Sweet Potato Chili

Okay, so the easiest way to sum this up is that this dish is yummy, easy, and somewhat fast. (or rather little manual work). But the dish is a little bland, and can be easily altered according to personal tastes, adding some more hot sauce, more oil, more salt, whatever.

But actually reading the recipe is annoying. The directions are clear, but the ingredients are not listed as you use them, which is pretty standard practice. Then midway through the recipe switches from vegetable stock to chicken stock, therefore making it not vegetarian. Yes, anyone would be able to figure this out, but it is sloppy from the authors standpoint. 

Bottom Line: Yummy, easy, a little bland.

Lasagna Bachamel with Sweet Potato and Cauliflower

I had my doubts with this recipe. I never had luck with having raw vegetables cook in the oven in a casserole or having no bake lasagna cook all the way. Both happened. The sweet potato, cauliflower, and noodles cooked to perfection. The only issues I had was that if the noodles weren’t covered, they didn’t bake properly. So I would recommend making a smidgen more b├ęchamel sauce just to cover your basis.

The dish was super easy to make, just make the sauce, then layer all the parts. Super simple. The end result is a super creamy and super dense lasagna, which got my husband’s seal of approval. Plus the dish is pretty open for changes. I added some daiya mozzarella on top and bread crumbs. I even doubled the sauce and made an extra large batch at once. I would make sure you have extra sweet potato and cauliflower since the dish is pretty open ended. I actually used one and two thirds of a sweet potato for a double batch, when the recipe would of used only one whole sweet potato.

Bottom Line: Super easy and open for changes, just time consuming for layering.

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This recipe round up is a little more interesting this time around. One reason is because Alexa reviewed a recipe! Whooo! She devoted a whole post to it, but we are putting it up again. Why? If you are searching for a good cauliflower recipe it is simple to find! Duh!

Since there are two recipes we talked about in the past, that means we have some bonus photos! I think it is a little fun to include them to compare photos. Funny thing is sometimes to non-model shots of food seem more yummy than the actual photo!
cauliflower

Oh and there is a bonus recipe on the bottom! It was featured in the Everything Free Recipe Roundup. I figured I would tack it on the page for any cauliflower fans. I think our grouping is really eclectic. Different food styles, Indian, Chinese-American take-out, pasta, salad, and a side dish. I know mind blowing! So start reading what you should make:

BBQ Cauliflower Salad

I am sure everyone has seen this recipe lurking on pinterest. Even Alexa pinned it, which gave me push to go ahead and make it for this recipe roundup. (Alexa claims responsibility for this recipe by the way) I personally like Fork and Beans, and I remember making her Cauliflower “Risotto” but wasn’t thrilled by it. 

As I started the recipe red flags went up. “Oh this won’t work!” but I wanted to stick the recipe. Maybe something is going on that I am not noticing? When I pulled the cauliflower out of the oven I thought that the cauliflower was too hard. But I bit my tongue and finish up the salad and thought “just wait till you eat it.”

It. Was. Amazing. I everything was in perfect sync. I didn’t follow the recipe to a T since I didn’t have corn, and couldn’t make the ranch dressing since I didn’t have a blender. But it still worked out amazingly. The ONLY thing I would change would be that I would put the BBQ on the cauliflower before tossing in the oven, then again after 5-7 minutes.

Otherwise this is a great recipe to prep for lunch the night before. Got the oven on? Toss in the cauliflower for a few minutes and assemble the night before. It is super yummy!

Bottom Line: Helllllo new lunch fav.

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Hey guys! It’s me Jen! I’ve been missing all week due to really unpredictable electricity. For some reason the power randomly flickers which causes my computer to crash. It was happening so often, at random times of the day, that I just turned the computer off and ordered a battery backup. I kept the computer off until it came in the mail. Which has been cool since Alexa got time to post all her backed posts! Yey! So I hope everyone enjoyed reading those.

pumpkinspice

I know everyone is excited for the fall and pumpkin spice everything! So I thought I would do a sampling over pumpkin spiced goods. Ranging from drinks, to syrups, to baked goods. But everything is sweet. Most were pretty good, but everything I think I would change ever so slightly. But check out which ones to give a try!

Pumpkin Spice Latte Syrup

This was really tasty. I was a little surprised how nicely it came together. I first used it in a soy latte in a coffee shop. It helped it was an amazing latte without the syrup, but the syrup added the perfect amount of sweetness and flavor. Though I might amp it up to 3 to 4 tbsp for more mediocre lattes.

The syrup also works well in smoothies. I used it to add some sweetness and flavor to my husband smoothies. It would also be a great topping to for various other snacks like yogurt bowls, cupcakes, cookies, or ice cream. It makes a lot of syrup, so I would recommend even halving the recipe so it doesn’t go bad in the fridge.

Bottom Line: Great to make for the pumpkin spice season, put it on everything.

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 Hey everyone … I finally MOFO’d!!! (It was definitely in September I SWEAR.)

I won’t lie to you, I have never actually made my own vegan meal before. That’s crazy right?! I have always just thought they would take a lot of time to prepare and I normally don’t have all of the ingredients that are necessary for them. When September rolled around Jenny told me about “Vegan Month of Food” and recommended that I try out a vegan recipe. I was definitely up for the challenge and then I found out that the recipe I made…wasn’t challenging! I was actually really proud of myself by the time it was done, and I like to cook, so I was happy during the entire preparation process.

I stumbled upon this recipe from Vegan Richa via Jen. She’s been following her (beautiful) blog for quite some time and now I am going to make it one of my favorite blogs too!

 For some reason I never seem to remember how much I love cauliflower until it happens to be in a dish that I make. I know that it’s really good for you, but I think I always find it to be daunting  when I see it in the grocery store and figure I’ll never finish the whole head. After preparing the cauliflower for this recipe I have continued to make it that way up until it was all gone. Hurray! This vegetable is just so versatile that I actually found myself saying “wait…save that because you could use it for this dish instead”. 

 I also love collard greens, but I find that I have a harder time figuring out how to prepare them as well. I have only ever had them once before this, and it was when my Step-Mother prepared them (oh, they were delicious) for us when my parents were living in South Carolina. I like the bitterness of the leaf as well as feeling like I am eating something good for me. Lettuce can be tricky sometimes! Anyway, this was also very easily prepared – just throw your greens into a pan with a smidge of sesame oil, pinch of garlic salt and a pinch of salt and you just wait until they are a bit wilted. Done! Delicious! 

om-nom-1

I’d made quinoa before, and while this was an easy preparation it never occurred to me to add things in while it was cooking. I don’t know why though, I guess it’s only because I never add anything to rice while it’s cooking and I make them the same way? The world may never know. 

The only thing that was REALLY intimidating me throughout this experiment was the Peanut sauce. On Richa’s site the recipe originally called for almond butter, which I neglected to purchase. Luckily Richa mentioned that the almond butter could be substituted for with peanut butter! I love peanut butter! 

I would definitely make this recipe again. It was a hit with everyone who tried it out and it was extraordinarily easy to make. I also think it has enough flavor but isn’t too intrusive so everyone can give it a taste without fear of disliking it. Thanks Richa! I will certainly be browsing her blog for more delicious recipes sometime soon. 

*Note: I actually had extra food after making this meal, which was great! I saved some for Mr. Ian to bring to work for lunch, and the rest I saved for myself for lunch! The only thing I didn’t have leftover after giving Ian his portion was the collared greens, and this recipe is so simple that all I had to do was throw it in the pan with some garlic powder and oil and it was done in just a few minutes. I was so so pleased with the overall outcome of this dish.