Saturday, October 21, 2017

Worth A Re-Visit Thanks To Their New Vegan Smoked Gouda!

It's been a few years since I last purchased vegan cheese from Follow Your Heart.  Probably even before I went vegan, actually.  I have to say I wasn't fond of their vegan cheeses.  So that - in short - is why I haven't bought them again...UNTIL NOW...

Many of my blogging buddies who have been lucky enough to locate Daiya's Smoked Gouda and have blogged about had me craving it.  I thought maybe if anyone had it - it would be the brand new Whole Foods Market in Buffalo.  But, Nope!

So...I when I saw they had this smoked gouda from FYH I thought I would 'settle' for it.  Well, color me SURPRISED!  It's flippin' fabulous!  Now I want to go out and grab all of the other Follow Your Heart Sliced Vegan Cheeses I come across to see what I have been missing!

They must have really upped their game the last few years because I don't remember having a positive encounter before.  Glad I stepped outside my comfort zone and paid them a re-visit!

A funny addition to this story is that DH mistakenly opened MY VEGAN CHEESE and ate TWO SLICES out of it before I did!  When I went to use it for the first time and noticed the package was open I asked him about it and he said that he didn't know it was mine.  I totally believe him because he always poo-poo's my stuff.  I said to him...well, it must have been good if you didn't complain about it.  He said that he didn't'll chalk that up as a WIN in the vegan cheese category!

Friday, October 20, 2017

Alfalfa Sprouts & Orange Tempura Cauliflower

As you can tell from the multiple posts - I LOVE my new sprouting trays!  This week I sprouted Alfalfa Sprouts and here is what they looked like bright and early this morning.  I have been nibbling on them ever since!

Next week I'm thinking Radish Sprouts and/or Broccoli Sprouts!

What would you like to see me sprout?

I borrowed this photo because it was the only one I found online of this box and I already threw away the one in my freezer. 

I found this Ittella Orange Tempura Cauliflower at Sam's Club and the vegan "V" was delightfully displayed right in front!  YAY!

I had this for dinner the other night and have 1 more package left.  The box came with 2 packages and 2 sauces.  I baked them.  They turned out good but next time I want to make them crispier.  OMG they were so YUMMY!  I will certainly be buying these again whenever I see them!  And I hope that it's often!  DH even liked them!

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Green Chickpea Discovery & Soups I Forgot About

Did you know...a 1/2-cup serving of green chickpeas has 364 calories, provides 19.3 grams of protein, and has 17.4 grams of dietary fiber. Although it contains 6 grams of fat, only about 1/2 gram of that is saturated fat. It contains 10 grams of natural sugar.

I recently read up on Green Chickpeas while having this lovely vegan option for lunch. Although, I cannot remember where I found it because I bought it about 2 months ago I knew it was something I wanted for a work lunch!

This was SO creamy! SO sweet! SO YUMMY! I would absolutely get this again if I were to come across it! The flavors were so involved - YUM!

I can't believe I forgot to share this hearty soup with you when I originally ate it. It was from Total Evolution and one of their limited time offerings. It had Quinoa, Pumpkin, Black Beans, Kidney Beans, and spices. It was vegan and awesome!

The walks into work have been chilly again but 'tis the season. It's to be expected here but I can't complain too much. It could be a LOT worse! We could already have FEET of snow on the ground and we don't...YET. So, I'm thankful.

A quick furkid update...Paco has been doing ok. We are trying to time it right to take him back to the vet. We are going to opt for the exploratory surgery but I still have doubts about it. As for Charlie, he's still plugging along. He's still his feral self but slowing down (a little), tail-less, deaf, and 17 years old.

When I was telling you all about the Potato Peeling Contest I forgot to tell you about the soup I made.

3 Potatoes, pan-fried
Small Onion
1 C Water
1/2 tea Pink Himalayan Sea Salt
2 T Cashews
2 T Nutritional Yeast
1 C Almond Milk
Dill & Basil to taste

I topped with Smoked Paprika. It was tasty but a bit pasty...glue-like. Probably needed a bit more Almond Milk, but, still good.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Hemp Dill Dressing & Dip, Butternut Pepitas, & Savviness!

I don't know why but this cracked me up way more than it should have this morning.  

Yesterday I didn't feel as hungry and I'm chalking it up to the morning Multigrain Hot Cereal I blogged about yesterday.  I had more today.  It was pretty tasty.

It seems like the guys are doing well with their challenge.  The 3 of them - with the 3 significant others - are in a group text and we have been getting updates often.

As for me - my no pasta and no bread streak remains!  

2 nights ago I made a Hemp Dill Dressing/Dip that turned out well.  The only downside is that now I'm almost out of Hemp Seeds.

1/2 C Hemp Seeds
1/4 C Water
1 tea Wildtree Garlic Galore (or Minced Garlic)
1 Quick squirt of Yellow Mustard
1 tea Dried or Fresh Minced Onion
1 T Balsamic 
1 T Maple Syrup
1/4 C Grapeseed Oil
1 T Dill
Sea Salt to taste (I used about 1/2 T)

My parents spent a long weekend in the Finger Lakes touring wine country and brought back some of these for me!  They are marked VEGAN right on the bag and only contain Butternut Squash Seeds and Sea Salt.  I'm glad they aren't overly salty.  They are JUST RIGHT!  A few handfuls of these bad boys got me thru work yesterday!

These seeds are high in Vitamin and beneficial antioxidants like lutein and beta-carotene. These are the same seeds they roast and press to create their butternut squash seed oil.  The seeds have hulls that are softened by brining and roasting and do not need to be removed before eating; they should be eaten whole.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Better Choices

Eventho I cannot remember where I bought this box of Better Oats Organic Maple and Brown Sugar Multigrain Cereal with Flax I'm super excited I found another new-to-me product.  I'm also thrilled it's organic!  I have been seeing more and more organic labeled items in my small town.  That gives me hope that there will be more to come!

It's been frigid all morning and that proves that fall is officially here.  It was 25 degrees on my way in.  A hot bowl of this made it better.  The texture is a little different but the flavor is good!

I'm day 3 on my no bread and no pasta run.  Day 2 on the official challenge.  As I mentioned yesterday - my timing is horrible to start this!  Not only is it Vegan MoFo and I have hardly contributed anything to the month-long blogging celebration - yesterday was World Bread Day - and TODAY is National Pasta Day!  Yikes!

But it's all about BETTER choices.  I'm been rocking the salads for DAYS and now I'm back into making my own salad dressings.

As an added challenge, I'm trying NOT to buy anything new at the grocery store this week and work off of what I have in my pantry already which is NOT MUCH, to say the least.

In case you were curious about the contents of this salad dressing here is the Blender Recipe for this Tomato Paprika Vinaigrette that you are seeing above....

2 C Cherry Tomatoes
4 or 5 Sun-Dried Tomatoes
1/4 C Balsamic Vinegar
1/4 C Garlic Grapeseed Oil
2 T Agave Nectar
1 tea Paprika 
Onion Powder to taste
Wildtree Garlic Galore (or Garlic Powder) to taste
Pink or Black Himalayan Sea Salt to taste

Monday, October 16, 2017

My Timing Isn't The Best...

My husband and 2 of his buddies are challenging themselves to shed some weight.  It started today and ends in 30 days.  One of them is doing a detox program that Arbonne has.  The other one and my DH are doing their own thing.  While I'm not involved in the challenge I decided to throw out bread and pasta.

Over the last year and a half or so - I have gained back a lot of my weight that I lost while first dropping dairy.  There are 2 reasons as to why this has happened.  First and foremost I am terrible at eating breakfast.  Many times I skip lunch, too, so when I get to dinner I'm starving and overeat and then I don't have enough time to burn that off before going to bed.  In addition, I have gotten lazy with my cooking attempts.  I tend to fall back on pasta and bread.  I think with these few choices I can make a difference.

My timing isn't the best...

Today is World Bread Day.  Perfect day to NOT eat bread, right?  Wrong!  But so far I'm doing it!  I'm on day 2.  Last night I had a Romaine Salad and made up some Buffalo Chickpeas to throw in and made some vegan salad dressing.

Easy Vegan Buffalo Chickpeas

1 Can of Chickpeas
2 T Earth Balance
3 T Sriracha
Sprinkle to taste...Garlic, Onion, Sea Salt
Splash of Almond Milk to cook down
all on the stovetop!

For the dressing...I was to the end of my Just Mayo but didn't have the heart to throw what little I had left away.  I added a little splash of Almond Milk, Ketchup, a squirt of Sriracha to the bottle and gave it a good shake.  It made a great salad dressing for this Romaine & Buffalo Chickpea Salad.  

This hit the spot and I will surely do it again soon!

3 Vegan Store Bought Nice Cream Finds!

I'm still trying to catch up on blog posts so I decided to do a post highlighting 3 Vegan Ice Cream Alternative I have found over the last 3 months. 

I'm starting with my most recent find first but it's totally worth it!  When I did eat dairy one of my favorites was B&J's, Cherry Garcia.  So when I recently found the vegan version I was thrilled!

I was able to find this one at my local Tops Market.

I can't remember if I found this next one at my local tops a couple of months ago or if it was somewhere else but I totally forgot to blog about it. 

B&J's P.B. & Cookies!  The Peanut Butter was stellar!  The cookies were a nice added treat, too!  I remember not being able to overeat either one of these which might be a good thing in more ways than one.  They were both VERY filling!

Not all of the vegan ice cream alternatives are Ben & Jerry's on this list...I also had an amazing one from So Delicious!  This normally isn't one I would reach for first because I'm not much of a salt person but I'm glad I grabbed in 3 (or more) months ago when I saw it at Wegman's in Lakewood.  It was wonderfully tasty!  The sweet and salty - yin and yang - were perfectly done. 

All 3 of these I would buy again!  I know they aren't really new offerings but they were new finds for me.

Friday, October 13, 2017

3 New-To-Me Products I've Enjoyed Lately

I still have LOTS to catch up on but wanted to hurry up and post about 3 products that I have enjoyed lately.

The first being this Organic Cranberry Spiced Apple Kombucha from Trader Joe's in Rochester.

It was pretty strong for a nice kick in the pants! BAM!

Next up...

So Delicious Cheddar Shreds!  Yes!  So Delicious!  I found them at the Whole Foods Market in Buffalo!  And OMG I absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE it!  It smells more cheddary than anything else I have ever smelled vegan-cheese-wise.  There is more of a TANG to it than other vegan cheeses, too!  I do LOVE Daiya Shreds - but - dare I say I enjoy THESE shreds more?  Possibly.  I'm upset that I only bought 1 bag because I know I won't be able to find any anywhere near me.  I've been Googling this and any online announcements only date back to mid-August and Mid September so this HAS to be a NEW product!

And speaking of Daiya...OMG...I'm in LOVE with their new Alfredo Sauce!  This is so creamy and so rich and so YUM!  I found it at Wegman's in Lakewood a few months ago and just got rid of the box last week because I was going thru my kitchen and pitching it.  It's not unusual for me to keep a label or box of something I enjoy to remind myself to pick it up again the next time I see it but I will NOT be forgetting about this little gem anytime soon so I figured it was safe to part ways with the box!

QUESTION OF THE DAY...what are the last 3 new-to-you-productions that have been memorable for you?

Thursday, October 12, 2017

My Sprouting Journey: I Couldn't Resist! And I'm Glad I Didn't!

Last week I found this Sprouting Kit at my local 'Herb Store'.  I probably shouldn't have bought it but I couldn't resist and I'm glad I didn't.  Come to find out you can buy this same kit online at Walmart for just under $29.  I bought it for roughly $27.  YAY!

You can see that it comes with 3 Sprouting Packets and 3 Trays!

Here's the back of the box.  I think I'm going to keep it.  Or at least cut off the back and save it.  Not sure yet.

I have been pondering a bit of crafting again and starting with Vision Boards.  Maybe on a Monthly Basis.  This would be GREAT to include in this month's Vision Board.  It's plain and simple but inspiration just to look at it.

I tend to go in spurts with sprouts!  If you have been a blogging buddy of mine for a while you might already know this about me.  Previous Posts on Sprouting: Here, Here, Here, Here, Here, and Here.  Oh yeah and Here, Here, Here, and Here!  HaHa!

A few things I am doing different this time...

I'm sprouting at work and not at home.  This time of year I have found unexpected guests in years past and I don't want to encourage that this year.

I'm not sure why but my office at work I have come to be VERY fond of for many reasons.  One is the windows and natural light.  Not that you need these things for sprouting but I just thought I would mention it.  Another being that I have had a lot of luck with various plants growing around my office space so I figured I would try it!

The photo above is DAY 1 on this specific Sprouting Journey.  This was after soaking for 12 hours.  The second photo was taken yesterday at the end of the day.  I have to say that I am OVERJOYED with the first time results.  They seem to sprout much faster than my other attempts in Mason Jars!  It took less than 2 days!

This is the Protein Powerhouse Sprout Mix that came with the kit.  The Mix has Adzuki, Garbanzo, Pea, and Mung.

My goal is to have sprouts going throughout the week - all week long - and break on the weekend.  Another goal is to snack on them throughout the day and include them in my lunches.

I have been rinsing them twice a day.  Here are 2 more photos of them up-close and personal.  Aren't they beautiful!?

Next week I hope to have all of the trays sprouting at the same time.  This week I only did the one tray.

I mentioned that I would be sprouting all week and taking a break on the weekends while I'm not at work...I have a plan for that, too!  I'll take any leftover home for the weekend!

I think these are really reachable goals.  I will post progress here for sure!

On the box of the kit, it said their website is but it forwards to another site now.  It's now under the direction of True Leaf Market.

In the short time, I have been thumbing thru the True Leaf Market website I have already fallen in LOVE with it!

I know I will learn a lot but I will probably be so intrigued with their other products that I will have to look into buying some more of them!

I have also been storing my other sprouting seeds in a cool, dry place for a while now so I will be busting those out soon!  PLUS...the ban on selling sprouting seeds in the state of PA has been lifted!  YAY!  I still can't believe that they were banned for 2 or 3 years.  They made it illegal to sell sprouting seeds in the state.  Other seeds were still ok but not seeds that were specifically geared toward sprouting sprouts!  Oye!

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Road Trip to Rochester & Buffalo: Pi-Craft, New Whole Foods Market, and Wind Farms!

This past weekend DH and I were headed to Woodmere, OH, and decided to change directions and head to Rochester, NY, instead.  We wanted to get the Abarth out before winter, too!  When we got to Rochester we visited 2 Music Stores he wanted to go to and we stopped at a place called Pi-Craft for lunch.  It was WONDERFUL!  Basically, you put the toppings that you want on your pizza and they Stone Fire it in 3 to 6 minutes!  They had VEGAN options!  So as you can see here I opted for the Vegan Cheese, Sauce, Tomato, Artichoke, Mushrooms, Spinach, Garlic, etc.

Come to find out not only do they have a location in Rochester - they have another one in Buffalo!  I'm sure we will be stopping at the Buffalo Location in the future!  While we were in Rochester we briefly stopped at Trader Joe's.  I only bought 3 items one of which was their Apple Cranberry BOOCH.  It was a strange trip because we kept changing our direction throughout the trip.  We ended up in Buffalo on our way home.  I found out they finally opened the new Whole Foods Market there so we stopped real quick and it was unlike any other WF's I have seen!

I bought some things there but totally forgot to take photos before putting it away!  Oops!  This store was HUGE!  In this 2nd pic if you look to the far left there is a restaurant and bar there with local brews.  We weren't able to stop to eat there but it looked really neat.  We might be going to Buffalo on the 23rd with my parents who are looking into a camper so I might see if we can stop there again!

Because we were driving all over the place I can't really tell you an exact location where we started seeing these Wind Turbines and Wind Farms but I know one of the many locations was in or around Warsaw, NY.   There were HUNDREDS of them all over the place.  I've seen them in other places here and there but on this trip, we were certainly in the core of the Wind Farm zone.

Agree or Disagree with them - it was certainly not something most of us see every day!  

Again, I have multiple posts today so be sure to scroll down.  I just couldn't wait to share my vegan pizza with you or the mention of the new WF's in Buffalo!