Cookbook Giveaway: Radiant Health, Inner Wealth

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

***If you were directed here through Vegan MoFo, please click through to my site at http://www.lavidaveggie.com/. The new site and feed was available too late for the MoFo team to incorporate. The text during MoFo will be the same, but starting in December, I won't keep this site updated. Thanks, and happy MoFo-ing!***

To conclude the 2010 Month of Food and to pay forward my good fortune of winning some goodies, I am hosting a cookbook giveaway! Yay!

Radiant Health, Inner Wealth is a cookbook written by Tess Challis. It is the first vegan cookbook that landed on my shelf. I have been happy with every recipe I've made from the book and from Tess' blog, rhiw.blogspot.com. I'd like to share this book with YOU and I hope you enjoy it as much as I have.

To enter the giveaway, all you have to do is "like" the La Vida Veggie Facebook page. (My friends will be so glad that I've created a special place for all my food and health posts - and you can join me there for veggie chatter.) For a bonus entry, post a link on your blog to my giveaway. Make sure to let me know you "liked" the Facebook page by commenting, and post a separate comment if you linked back. I'll use a random number generator to select the winner. The contest is open until 8:00 Eastern time on Sunday, December 5, 2010. Make sure to check back to see if you won! Sorry, but this contest is open to U.S. only. But you can enter if you're outside the U.S. and designate a U.S. winner to receive the prize on your behalf.

Here's a sneak peek at the cookbook.... good luck!

Slow Cooker Garlicky Lentil Soup

Monday, November 22, 2010

***If you were directed here through Vegan MoFo, please click through to my site at http://www.lavidaveggie.com/. The new site and feed was available too late for the MoFo team to incorporate. The text during MoFo will be the same, but starting in December, I won't keep this site updated. Thanks, and happy MoFo-ing!***


Slow Cooker Lentil Soup

Since I first tasted lentils, I haven’t been able to stop eating them. What an amazing little bean! One of my favorite ways to have them isn’t exceptionally creative, but it is pretty good. A nice, thick soup.

There’s a packaged soup I found at the store that had the best garlicky taste. The stuff was like crack. It was a guaranteed lentil overdose – yes, there is such a thing. Anyway, even though I was thrilled about the taste, I was a little leery of the seasoning, which was a packet simply labeled “mixed herbs”. Hm. After some trial and error, I do believe I’ve matched the taste using all fresh ingredients. No mystery packets here!

Slow Cooker Lentil Soup

Ingredients:
  • 1 lb dry lentils
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 carrots, finely chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, finely chopped
  • ½ medium onion, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, pressed
  • 7 cups vegetable broth
Directions:
  • Rinse and drain lentils. Remove any funky pieces.
  • Put all ingredients in the slow cooker and stir a few times just to mix it up.
  • Set slow cooker to high and cook for 4 hours.
  • Serve with a salad and some crusty bread. Yum!

Today I am thankful for chickpea cutlets

Sunday, November 21, 2010

***If you were directed here through Vegan MoFo, please click through to my site at www.LaVidaVeggie.com. The new site and feed was available too late for the MoFo team to incorporate. The text during MoFo will be the same, but starting in December, I won't keep this site updated. Thanks, and happy MoFo-ing!***

Chickpea Cutlets

Dear Lord in Heaven, today I am thankful for PPK's chickpea cutlets.

Maybe that sounds corny, but it's true.

First of all, it's my first recipe out of my recently acquired copy of Veganomicon. I made my first batch tonight! I have been living under a rock all this time. These are Ah-mazing. Lucky you, if you don't have the book, you can get the recipe from the Post Punk Kitchen website.

Second, I spent this weekend alone doing homework and some house projects. Hubby was away on business. I started reading the book "Why we love dogs, eat pigs, and wear cows" by Melanie Joy. Wow. Probably not a good time to get into something depressing. I am saddened by the book but also glad that I'm reading it because I'm even more convicted to my dietary choices. Truthfully, I'm really bothered by the fact that I went on so many years eating naively. Not that there's anything I can do about that now, though. I can only move forward and try to let others know in a kind way what is happening.

With Thanksgiving coming up and all the focus being put on the poor turkeys, I am glad that I have a delicious alternative. One that is certainly better than any piece of turkey I've had in the past. I know these already have a lot of rave reviews, but they're true. I'm adding to the cutlet movement - these are going to be a regular for my home!

Whole cranberry and orange smoothie

Saturday, November 20, 2010

***If you were directed here through Vegan MoFo, please click through to my site at www.LaVidaVeggie.com. The new site and feed was available too late for the MoFo team to incorporate. The text during MoFo will be the same, but starting in December, I won't keep this site updated. Thanks, and happy MoFo-ing!***

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Smoothies. We all like smoothies. And the best thing about them is that you don't have to have a recipe to make a stellar smoothe - just throw a bunch of fruit you like in a blender and go! What makes this one just slightly different is that it uses whole, fresh cranberries.

A year or so ago I read about the cranberry orange combo in Oxygen magazine. It was outside of my regular smoothie go-to's - I thought, why not? I'm glad I went for it. The original recipe called for honey and protein powder. You can use those if you wish. I also like to add in some spinach, but that doesn't make for as pretty a picture. It makes the smoothie a little murky looking, but it doesn't alter the taste.

Oh! I almost forgot to mention that since fresh cranberries are generally on sale this time of year, you can scoop up a bunch and throw them in the freezer for future use :)

Whole Cranberry Orange Smoothie

Ingredients:
  • 3/4 cup (approx.) whole, fresh cranberries
  • 2 medium oranges (or 1 large orange)
  • 1 cup crushed ice (just a rough guess on this one)
  • Agave to taste
Directions:
  • Peel oranges and remove seeds.
  • Put oranges, cranberries and ice in the blender.
  • Blendy, blendy, blendy until its smooth.
  • If the smoothie is too tart for your taste, add some agave and repeat the blendy, blendy, blendy step.
  • Voila!

Food Matters

Thursday, November 18, 2010

***If you were directed here through Vegan MoFo, please click through to my site at www.LaVidaVeggie.com. The new site and feed was available too late for the MoFo team to incorporate. The text during MoFo will be the same, but starting in December, I won't keep this site updated. Thanks, and happy MoFo-ing!***



I don't want to cop out on a daily post during MoFo, so I am cheating a little. It's a compromise that I have to make in order to keep up with a full-time job and part-time school. But it's still related to food, so no worries :)

"Let thy Food be thy Medicine and thy Medicine be thy Food." -- Hippocrates

Yesterday, while I was making dinner, I had documentary playing. I love documentaries - especially ones about food. Food Matters is a 2008 documentary that my sister in law recommended to me. She said it was about eating raw and how that ties into disease as severe as cancer and, well, that was enough to pique my interest. I don't know enough about eating raw to do it intentionally, but after watching this, I'll make a point to incorporate more. Maybe I'll even do a raw food blog round up before MoFo is over!

The official trailer is posted above and the full version is available on Netflix. If you have an interest in food (you do if you are reading this), health and disease prevention, I highly recommend checking this out.

Easy roasted vegetables

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

***If you were directed here through Vegan MoFo, please click through to my site at www.LaVidaVeggie.com. The new site and feed was available too late for the MoFo team to incorporate. The text during MoFo will be the same, but starting in December, I won't keep this site updated. Thanks, and happy MoFo-ing!***

Roasted vegetables

Super simple supper tonight, kids. It was minimal prep, no hovering over the stove, and easy clean up. Score!

About this time last year I wanted to make a heap of veggies with no fuss. I found a recipe for roasted root vegetables from Cooking Light. I did make the recipe as it was written, but then I got lazy. Plus, I wasn't always interested in the veggies called for in the recipe. I now make this recipe with just about whatever I have on hand and eyeball it when it comes to the oil, brown sugar and salt.

Dinner ended up being roasted zucchini, squash, carrots and red onion. I had a small baked potato and baked tofu on the side. Mmmm... And plenty of left overs for tomorrow! So now, a loose recipe for these roasted veggies.

Roasted Veggies
Ingredients:
  • Vegetables of your choice, cut up into pieces that will allow them to cook evenly (e.g. don't put tiny pieces of peppers together with big chunks of potato)
  • Enough olive oil to lightly coat the veggies
  • Two small pinches of brown sugar
  • Sea salt to taste
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Cracked black pepper

Directions:
  • Set the oven to 400 degrees. 
  • Place all cut veggie in a big bowl. 
  • Pour olive oil all over the veggies, sprinkle in the sugar and the salt. 
  • Toss, toss, toss. 
  • Put the veggies in a baking pan and put it in the oven. 
  • Bake for 20 minutes, toss, then bake for 20 more minutes. 
  • Note - if you are using less dense or thin cut veggies, you may want to shorten the bake time so they don't get soggy. 
  • When you serve, use cracked black pepper and balsamic vinegar to your hearts content!

Ugly sushi still tastes great

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

***If you were directed here through Vegan MoFo, please click through to my site at www.LaVidaVeggie.com. The new site and feed was available too late for the MoFo team to incorporate. The text during MoFo will be the same, but starting in December, I won't keep this site updated. Thanks, and happy MoFo-ing!***

Sushi guts

Tonight I tried my hand at making sushi rolls. It wasn't a disaster, but it was no work of art. Note that I posted a photo of the sushi guts and not the finished rolls. How do the sushi chefs do it? Dang! I think I had more nori stuck to my fingers than actually holding the roll together. Sushi fail.

The important part of tonight's dinner was not the aesthetics of my rolls (veggie rolls, of course). It was the fun I had getting it all put together. I went to the Asian market and bought chopsticks, a rolling mat, nori and some wasabi; I carefully sliced all my veggies and made rice; and I rolled my little heart out. Bonus points for the hubs jumping in on the fun and trying to make a roll too. We worked really hard for those ugly little rolls and despite their looks, they were pretty tasty!

I recently read an article in Wired magazine about a scientific study that ties together the effort put into a meal and the enjoyment of eating it. It's called "Why Making Dinner is a Good Idea" and likens the effort of making dinner to that of assembling Ikea furniture. Sure, the final product might not be top notch, but you built it and therefore appreciate it so much more. So I guess my sushi fail was still satisfying because of the effort I put into it. The article goes on to suggest that overeating and obesity could be linked to not enjoying food in the same sense and thus a person eats more and more achieve that same satisfaction.

So, could today's lesson be cooking effort = food satisfaction = healthier people? Hmm. Who knew ugly sushi could lead to such insight?

Leeks, you took me by surprise!

Monday, November 15, 2010

***If you were directed here through Vegan MoFo, please click through to my site at www.LaVidaVeggie.com. The new site and feed was available too late for the MoFo team to incorporate. The text during MoFo will be the same, but starting in December, I won't keep this site updated. Thanks, and happy MoFo-ing!***

Creamy Leek and Almond Pasta

I've never ate nor cooked with leeks before, and yesterday was as good as any day to change that. I am recipe testing for "Quick and Easy Vegan One Dish Wonders," an upcoming cookbook for Carla at The Year of the Vegan. The recipe was Creamy Leek and Almond Pasta. See that picture up there? Yum! I think I'll be trying out leeks in a few other things because I really liked their flavor and texture. Not at all like a green onion, which I assumed it would be based on the way leeks look!

If you haven't tried using leeks yet and would like to give it a whirl, Real Simple has a quickie demo video that explains how to clean and prep them.

Creamy Leek and Almond Pasta

McTofu breakfast sandwich

Sunday, November 14, 2010

***If you were directed here through Vegan MoFo, please click through to my site at www.LaVidaVeggie.com. The new site and feed was available too late for the MoFo team to incorporate. The text during MoFo will be the same, but starting in December, I won't keep this site updated. Thanks, and happy MoFo-ing!***

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Back in the day, I was a fan of McD's breakfast sandwich, particularly the ones served on an English muffin. Today, obviously not. But, just for kicks and giggles, I wanted to see if I could come up with something in my own kitchen using my preferred ingredients. The McTofu breakfast sandwich was born.

I used firm tofu cut into slabs and rubbed in the same seasonings I do to make scrambled tofu. Then I melted some cheddar on top. It was piled high (or not so high, actually) on a lightly buttered, toasted English muffin. The only thing that was missing was a sausage patty, which I thought that I had on hand and it turned out I didn't. With the sausage and butter and the cheese it's not a regular breakfast item, but it was kinda fun to make. It tasted pretty good, too! The only thing I would do different is slice the slabs thinner, get the cheese meltier, and make sure I had the sausage patties on hand.

Score: Sarah -1, McD's - 0.

SprouTofu Veggie Burgers

Saturday, November 13, 2010

***If you were directed here through Vegan MoFo, please click through to my site at www.LaVidaVeggie.com. The new site and feed was available too late for the MoFo team to incorporate. The text during MoFo will be the same, but starting in December, I won't keep this site updated. Thanks, and happy MoFo-ing!***

Wild Wood Organics SprouTofu Veggie Burgers

We all have nights where we're working away and all of a sudden we realize we're hungry but don't have energy to put something decent together. Um...tonight for example. Enter Wild Wood Organics' SprouTofu Veggie Burgers. Sold in packs of two, they can be found in the refrigerated section of grocery stores. At my Whole Foods, it's right next to the tofu and tempeh and priced about 3-ish dollars. Not bad considering they're organic and don't contain any weird ingredients.

DSC_0007I've had the Southwest style burgers several times. They are just the right amount of spicy. The texture is firm enough to bite into, but not chewy. You can see lots of vegetable bits in the burger, too. I'm sure you can nuke them, but I do a quick warm up in a skillet. I looove these with with some guacamole.

Mom's Veggie Chili

Friday, November 12, 2010

***If you were directed here through Vegan MoFo, please click through to my site at www.LaVidaVeggie.com. The new site and feed was available too late for the MoFo team to incorporate. The text during MoFo will be the same, but starting in December, I won't keep this site updated. Thanks, and happy MoFo-ing!***

Veggie Chili

This is the best veggie chili ever because it's the one my Mom makes. She found the recipe years ago and it was an instant hit with our family! Since then, I've made a few minor tweaks, but nothing that impacts the way the chili turns out.

I have several things I love about this chili. First, it reminds me of home, and I love anything that reminds me of home. Second, it's really a "clean-out-the-fridge" kind of meal. I've added everything from summer squash to random left over beans, to over ripe tomatoes. The final thing I love about this chili is that it freezes so well. A lot of times I make a double batch just to load up the freezer with portions to pull out on a busy day.

Without further ado...

Mom's Veggie Chili

Ingredients:
  • 1 medium zucchini, chopped
  • 1 medium pepper (green, yellow, whatever), chopped
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped or shredded carrot
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 15 oz diced tomatoes
  • 15 oz zesty diced tomatoes
  • 1 tsp vegetable bouillon
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 15 oz garbanzo beans
  • 30 oz chili beans

Directions:
  • Saute zucchini, pepper, onion, carrots, celery and garlic in oil until tender.
  • Stir in tomatoes, bouillon, soy sauce and cumin; bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add beans and heat through.

Veggie Chili

Veggie Chili

Veggie Chili

Veggie Chili

Breakfast beer bread

Thursday, November 11, 2010

***If you were directed here through Vegan MoFo, please click through to my site at www.LaVidaVeggie.com. The new site and feed was available too late for the MoFo team to incorporate. The text during MoFo will be the same, but starting in December, I won't keep this site updated. Thanks, and happy MoFo-ing!***

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If you have flour, baking powder, sugar and a bottle of beer, you can have a loaf of fresh bread come out of your oven in just shy of an hour. Throw in some extra goodies and you can squeak it by as breakfast bread!

I think this would be good with a variety of dried fruits mixed in. Maybe even some seeds or topped with ground flax seeds. It tastes delicious served warm with some Earth Balance or peanut butter.

Breakfast Beer Bread
Inspired by the Food Network


Ingredients:
  • 3 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 Tbs baking powder
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup walnut pieces
  • 1/2 raisins
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1 bottle of beer 

Directions:
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees. 
  • In a large bowl, mix all the dry ingredients (flour through nutmeg). 
  • Add the beer and stir until just mixed.The dough will be sticky.
  • Pour into non-stick bread loaf (or pan sprayed with no-stick spray).
  • You can carve a line down the middle of the dough so as it cooks it looks like a split loaf.
  • Bake for 55 minutes.
  • Remove from oven. Let cool and serve.

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Maple Candied Walnuts

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

***If you were directed here through Vegan MoFo, please click through to my site at www.LaVidaVeggie.com. The new site and feed was available too late for the MoFo team to incorporate. The text during MoFo will be the same, but starting in December, I won't keep this site updated. Thanks, and happy MoFo-ing!***

Maple candied walnuts

I love the way roasted nut stands smell…you know, the ones that they have in the malls during the holidays or on a busy street sidewalk, filling the air with cinnamony sweet goodness.

Making your own is pretty easy, and it makes your kitchen smell awesome to boot. Then you have 1) an satisfying snack for your sweet tooth, 2) a perfect “jar” gift (just put the nuts in a pretty container for a host/hostess gift), and 3) a killer topping for salad. If I manage to have any left at the end of tonight, I'm going to crush them up a little and have them ready for my oatmeal in the morning. Yum!

Maple Walnuts

Ingredients:
  • 2 parts walnuts
  • 1 part maple syrup
  • Dash of cinnamon (optional)

Directions:
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Line a baking pan with tin foil (I normally try to avoid this but the mess can be a real pain to clean, so tin foil saves the day). Create a tin foil lip all the way around the pan so the maple syrup doesn't escape its fate of coating the nuts.
  • Put two parts walnuts and one part in a large bowl and toss until all the walnuts are covered
  • Spread the mapley walnuts on the pan
  • Roast for 10 minutes. Stir, reigning in all the syrup that escaped and sprinkle on a little cinnamon (optional). Roast for another 10 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and allow to cool. I'm warning you that you will want to eat these right away but they are super hot right out of the oven. Give them a few minutes to cool.
  • Use the nuts however you'd like. Eat them straight up or save them for an occasion.
  • Be glad that you used tin foil because now you don't have to scrub your baking pan.

Maple candied walnutsMaple candied walnuts

Forks Over Knives screening and dinner at Darbster's

Sunday, November 7, 2010

***If you were directed here through Vegan MoFo, please click through to my site at www.LaVidaVeggie.com. The new site and feed was available too late for the MoFo team to incorporate. The text during MoFo will be the same, but starting in December, I won't keep this site updated. Thanks, and happy MoFo-ing!***



Saturday turned out to be a grand day to be a vegan. I attended a screening of Forks Over Knives, a movie due out in the spring that addresses the need for people to adapt a plant-based diet. Think The China Study meets Hollywood. One of real-life patients that was in the film (actually, the one featured in the movie trailer) attended the screening and gave a testimony to how much it has changed his life. There were some veggies in the audience, but only a few. I think that he really made impression on people. For me, and I'm assuming any other veggie, it was motivation to keep going. The movie is still doing screenings and will also do premieres. Just check out their website www.ForksOverKnives.com to see if they are hosting an event near you.

After the event, I caught up with a couple ladies from across the room having heard that they were veggie. They'd mentioned during the post-film discussion that they were newly veg so I wanted to tell them about all the awesomeness going on with MoFo. Of course they were super excited. Who wouldn't be? So off my new acquaintances and I went to a vegan/raw restaurant that I'd never been to.

They took me to Darbster in West Palm Beach (Florida), which I probably would have driven past if I'd not been following them. It was cozy and friendly...even dog-friendly! The menu had lots of good options, the prices were pretty decent, and the staff was outstanding. I really enjoyed the whole thing. I ordered Hearts of Palm Cakes because it was something new for me and because it was highly recommended. It was so good that it made it difficult to be engaged in the dinner conversation when all I wanted to do was shovel the whole thing in my mouth. When I go back (not if), it will be hard not to default to ordering that because I liked it so much. The other stuff that was coming out of the kitchen looked pretty darn good, too. No picture of the food from me because I dove in faster than I realized it was a good opportunity hahaha. But you can go to their website www.Darbster.com and check out their menu and lots of (unstealable) pictures of their food.

Veggie and Pesto Stromboli

Saturday, November 6, 2010

***If you were directed here through Vegan MoFo, please click through to my site at www.LaVidaVeggie.com. The site and feed was available too late for the MoFo team to incorporate. The text during MoFo will be the same, but starting in December, I won't keep this site updated. Thanks, and happy MoFo-ing!***


Veggie and Pesto Stromboli

Instead of our usual Friday night pizza, I decided to play around with making stromboli. It didn't seem too difficult based on what I read, so why the heck not? Here's what I came up with.


Ingredients:
1 pre-made pizza dough (you can make your own if you are ambitious)
Pesto
Daiya mozzarella cheese
Cooked or sauteed spinach (remove as much water as possible)
Steamed broccoli
Sun-dried tomato Tofurky
Marinara sauce (for dipping)

Directions:
  • Preheat oven to pre-made dough specifications. (Mine said 425 degrees.)
  • Roll out the dough on a floured surface. Try to get it rectagle-ish. Mine came out more like an oval, which was fine because I could stretch it a bit in the folding process.
  • Spread pesto all over the dough. Go nuts.
  • Layer ingredients down the middle, lengthwise. (I did cheese first so I'd get a nice layer of cheesy goodness all together. I only used about 1/2 bag of Daiya and it was noticeably cheesy but not overpowering.)


  • Fold one side of the dough toward the center, covering the ingredients. Then fold the other side in. For extra measure, you can seal the dough on the fold line with a little water.
  • Carefully move the uncooked stromboli to a baking pan. (If I were clever, I would have thought to move the rolled out dough to the baking pan before even adding pesto. Then there would be no worries of carefully moving a stuffed stromboli. Oh well.)
  • Bake according to your pre-made dough specifications. (Mine said 15 mine). 
  • Stromboli will be ready when the crust is golden brown and stromboli  makes a  hallow sound when you tap it.
  • Serve with some warm marinara sauce on the side.
Note: I'm not sure what to say about letting the dough rise before using it. When I make pizza, I let my dough rise before I roll it out. In this case, the dough didn't rise much before I started getting impatient. Also, some recipes suggested stuffing the stromboli and then letting the dough rise. Regardless, what we had last night was pretty darn tasty for not being 100% on what I (or the dough) was doing!

Second note: sorry for the grainy pics. I didn't realize that the ISO on the camera was so high until we had eaten half the stromboli.

Third note: Mmmm...leftovers...


Veggie and Pesto Stromboli
Schmear pesto and add filling















Veggie and Pesto Stromboli
Fold in sides













Veggie and Pesto Stromboli
Bake until golden brown












Veggie and Pesto Stromboli
Enjoy!

A movie and popcorn kind of date night

Friday, November 5, 2010

***If you were directed here through Vegan MoFo, please click through to my site at www.LaVidaVeggie.com. The site and feed was available too late for the MoFo team to incorporate. The text during MoFo will be the same, but starting in December, I won't keep this site updated. Thanks, and happy MoFo-ing!***

Popcorn and a movie

Friday nights are typically our night in. We’re tired from a long week and just want to unwind. I won’t lie – this usually involves pizza, wine and a movie. With it being Guy Fawkes Day and all, we’re going to watch V is for Vendetta. And you can’t have a good movie without some popcorn!

It’s been a while since I’ve bought microwave popcorn. Sure, the convenience is great, but when you cook it on the stove, it’s just you and the kernel…and a little bit of oil. It’s very easy and you don’t need any fancy equipment to do it. You can follow the directions that are listed on the package your corn kernels came in or wing it, like I do.

Just pour a couple tablespoons of oil in a pot (preferably one that has a matching lid). Set the heat on medium and pour in your kernels. Resist the urge to add a lot of kernels because you’ll overflow! These little guys start taking up a lot of space FAST. Keep your lid on so oil and kernels don’t start flying out. If you’d like, you can swirl the pot around a bit during the cooking process. I promise it won’t be long before you hear the popping noise. Pay close attention to when it slows down so you can remove the popcorn from the burner before you toast your treat. Pour the finished popcorn into a great big bowl.

As if the popping part wasn’t fun enough (I love watching the kernels pop!), now you get to top the popcorn. We like ours with some sea salt tossed in. Simple but tasty. One of my favorite combos is salty popcorn and chocolate because, of course, chocolate makes EVERYTHING better!

Happy movie watching!

Mr. Q. Cumber

Thursday, November 4, 2010

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When I think of cucumbers, I think of sliced with salt, adding crunch to salad, or being a standard salad feature. I do not think of soda. However, a few months ago I heard that this drink was going to be coming out and lo and behold, today I saw it being sold at my local smoothie spot. I had to get one. I figured it could be bad since I do really like cucumbers in ice water (yes, it's good!). The soda was definitely good although even though it's what I expected, it wasn't. I guess it was just more of being used to soda being certain flavors, most of them very sugary.

Mr. Q. Cumber, you may be a new treat for me. We could even become Facebook friends :)

My drink has what in it?

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

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I’m a girl who likes a drink (or 2 or 3) now and then. To my unpleasant surprise, I found out that not all adult beverages are void of animal products. It blows my mind that someone wants to do that to my liquid indulgence. Honey I can deal with. A lot of the other stuff like isinglass from fish bladders – ew. Good thing for Barnivore.com.

If it’s not already old news to you, this is a site that has the low-down on what’s vegan and what’s not in the alcohol realm. They even have iPhone/iPod apps so you can take the info with you while bar hopping. The apps are how I came across it. I have the full collection: vegan wine, vegan beer, vegan liquor. A lush? No. Well…no. Prepared? Yes.

And for the record, Hornitos tequila is vegan :)

Slow Cooker Black Bean Soup

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Slow Cooker Black Bean Soup

Slow cookers are such a great tool, especially for those who don’t have as much time to cook as they would like! If you don’t have one already, score yourself one during the holidays when they go on super sale. Then you can experience just how great it is to have a meal cooking for you all day long with so little effort. It’s so awesome to come in from a long day and have something that smells good and is ready to go. Mmm mmm mmm.

I found a gem of a slow cooker black bean soup recipe last month and I’ve already made it several times. This is not just soup for me, though. The great thing about this recipe is that it’s perfect for soup the first day and then turns into a side dish, salad topping, taco filling, bean dip or burger building material the following days. You could easily make a huge batch of this and freeze some for future use, too.

Here’s the scoop.

Slow Cooker Black Bean Soup
Adapted from AllRecipes

Ingredients:
1 pound dry black beans, soaked overnight
4 tsp diced jalapeno peppers
6 cups vegetable broth
1 tbs soy sauce
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tbs chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp cayenne pepper
3/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp hot pepper sauce

    Directions:
    Drain black beans and rinse. Combine beans and broth in a pot and bring to a boil on the stove. Combine beans broth, jalapenos, and soy sauce in a slow cooker. Season with garlic powder, chili powder, cumin, cayenne, pepper, and hot pepper sauce. Cook on high for 4 hours. Reduce heat to low, and continue cooking for 2 hours, or until you are ready to eat. Enjoy!

      Chocolate Chip Cookies

      Monday, November 1, 2010



      The first day of my first Vegan MoFo! Yay! I’m so excited to be a part of this and can’t let the little grey cloud that is my fear of not having enough time to do everything I want get me down. I will do as much as I can and enjoy it. The beauty of the internet is that for the most part, this stuff will be around for a while. I will read what I can as it’s being posted and then do some catching up over the holidays. With more than 550 Vegan MoFo participants I have to be okay with it!

      Let’s get started :)

      I had my first rendezvous with beans in baked goods. Seeing as those are two of my favorite things, I don’t know what on earth took me so long. I made Happy Herbivore’s butter bean chocolate chip cookies (subbing white beans for the butter beans) and wasn’t disappointed. Thank you Happy Herbivore, for making me feel less guilty about eating such a treat! I’ll definitely be making these again and am looking forward to telling my friend whose son has egg, dairy and nut allergies how awesome and safe these will be for her kiddo.

      Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies

      If I get my butt in gear to make holiday cookie baskets, these will definitely be a part of them. Hmm…that gets me thinking…I wonder if I whip up some dough how it would freeze? Having ready-to-go cookie dough in the freezer could be wonderfully helpful yet dangerous.



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