Friday, May 22, 2015

$1 Vegan Cookbook Surprise Finds! Yay!

A few weeks ago I stopped by our local Dollar Tree and found the following 2 books for only $1 each.  I was so excited!  Not only are they vegan cookbooks/vegan books - they were ones I didn't have my collection!

I had read the 2nd one already but not the 1st one, here...Simple Pleasures: Healthy Seasonal Cooking & Easy Entertaining by Cornelia Guest. 

Not only did I like this book for the recipes but for the information and photography, too!  The little 'gems' throughout the book were delightful.

Cornelia broke recipes down my season and occasion throughout the book not necessarily by dish like most cookbooks do.  I thought it was a nice touch.  It was a very neat book!

The Veganist by Kathy Freston I had read before and enjoyed, too! 

When I read it - I had borrowed it from my local library - but - when I saw that Dollar Tree had it for sale for only $1 I just HAD to purchase it!

Kathy's book is certainly more info than recipes but both were appreciated.

Now that I have found these two books at my local Dollar Tree I will be keeping my eyes peeled for more!

Brand new vegan cookbooks for just $1?


Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Vegan & Raw Vegan Food Hauls - Wegman's & The Raw Food World

I've been backed-up with posts lately but I wanted to share with you my online shopping and Wegman's hauls! 

First up was my last few shipments from The Raw Food World.  I am waiting on a few other items from them but they should be on their way soon!  Including my new SlowStar Juicer!  Woot! 

I decided to grab some heavy-duty Spirulina Tablets - they were on sale a while back!  I think I ended up getting 500 or so and I want to try and ground them and use in recipes.

I had to re-order Nutritional Yeast and they started getting CGF Organic & Freeze Dried items back in stock!  YAY!  My mother LOVES the Mangosteen!  So I got her some and I wanted to try Durian because we can't get fresh Durian where I live so this will probably be the closest I come to it for a while!  Then I grabbed some dried Pineapple and Mango for my father - he loves both and I wanted to try some dried pitted prunes for myself.
Oh yeah!  Almost forgot!  If you got back up to that first photo you will see I splurged a bit and scored some Ojio Vanilla Powder!  I have been wanting to try this for a while.  I don't usually trust grocery-store vanilla extract and powders but this is organic and Ojio and they pride themselves in quality products so I thought I would try them.  Plus the other products I have gotten from Ojio have been fantastic!

To the left...YUP!  I bought another Spirooli Spiralizer - I already have one and love it and bought this one for my sister.  I did save the one on top for myself tho and that slices ribbons - a bit different from the one I have!

Now...on to the Wegman's run I made WEEKS ago!  I grabbed some of their Organic Applesauce - it looked too good to pass up - and the price was right, too!  I have been a little low on lentils lately and really craving them since that lovely lentil dish while in Florida so I decided to get the sprouted green lentils I found at Wegman's.  PLUS...I had been out of Farro for the LONGEST time so I well passed due to get some more of that, too!  The prices were fair on all three of these products!  I did grab some Daiya Cheese, too, I only get it when it's on sale for 2 IS expensive...but I also don't want to eat too much of it because it is a processed food.
In their deli area I found wonderful chickpea salad!  One of the MAIN reasons I LOVE Wegman's is because their label ALMOST everything with the V if it's VEGAN.  Yay!  The flavor of the bean salad was great and I also wanted to try it because of the tri-colored chickpea factor.  Of course the default is your regular chickpeas that you see everyday but there were brown and black ones in this salad, too, and they were pretty tasty, too!  Then I grabbed some of the Wegman's brand Tofu for some Egg Trick Muffins I made (shout out to The Vegan Zombie and Strong Hearts Cafe)

I was running low on mustard - and still am - didn't realize I was also out of yellow mustard, too, but I was able to purchase some of their Dijon and it's GOOD.

I was happy to see that they came out with some flavored beans that also happened to be vegan including these Chana Masala Garbanzo's!  I couldn't resist the Artichoke Hearts - I hope to be making my favorite Farro Dish with them soon and some yellow wax beans!  Yum!

Last but not least I finally broke down and bought some of Eat Pastry's Cookie Dough and let me tell you it's everything I was dreaming of and more!  I have been hearing The Vegan Zombie go on and on about this line for a while and now I finally see what all the hype is about! 

Again, I don't want to get too used to it and over indulge but it is a tasty treat on occasion and in moderation.

Below you can see some of the cookies I made with the dough...but it is certainly tempting to eat prior to baking, too!

Nom, Nom, Nom!

I'm not going to lie...YUM!

So there you have it!  My hauls from Wegman's and The Raw Foods World!

I have LOTS more to share with you so stay tuned!  It's been so busy as of late but things are going fairly well!  How are you and what have you been up to lately!?

Monday, May 18, 2015

Vegan Rice Crispy Treats ~ Inspired By Jason Wrobel

I made these vegan 'rice crispy treats' inspired by Jason Wrobel.  I used the 'chocolate' version of the cereal noted below but I didn't have the other flavor.  What I did have was another vegan cereal that was quite similar with the addition of chia and shredded coconut so I mixed those two together.  I stuck pretty true to the recipe that he mentioned in the video with the exception of the Lucuma Powder.  I used Mesquite Powder instead.  They turned out tasty and I was pretty proud of myself with this attempt.  I was going to blog about a few other eats as of late but I think I will just leave you with this fun video that Jason did so you can see the full recipe!

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Yacon, Food Trends, and Pineapple Strawberry Popsicles Made at Home!

It's funny...when I was younger I didn't think much about learning.  As I get older I am almost obsessed with learning something NEW everyday!  That's yet another reason why I am so excited and grateful to be contributing to The Raw Food World News Site.

Recently I have been reading up on Yacon.  I've learned how it can be helpful for not only losing weight but beneficial to 'gut' health and digestion.  The latter is what I am more interested in, personally.  Digestion issues was the main reason I ended up switching from lacto-ovo veg to vegan 3 and a half years ago.  I've battled with digestion issues even as an infant.  To learn a bit of what I am been researching when it comes to Yacon be sure to check out the article called Yacon to Maintain a Healthy Weight and Gut.

I've been on a Pineapple kick ever since eating so much of it while in West Palm Beach last month.  When I got back I was still on the kick and have done a few recipes that feature the fruit including Pineapple Strawberry Popsicles.  I also found out that Pineapple is good for fighting motion and morning sickness.  NO!  I'm NOT pregnant people!  Don't even think about it!  LOL

And finally I just HAD to share with you this article I did recently on Food Trends for 2015!  Check it out and let me know which foods you think are getting all 'trendy' on us so far this year!

Friday, May 15, 2015

Just a Quick Snack Break ~ Coco Mint Truffle Bar

It's been a while since I wrote about Medicinal Foods and their amazing chocolate but today I finished what I had left of their Coco Mint Truffle Bar.  I'm so sad to get to the end of this little nugget of joy!  It was incredible.  Many of you know my LOVE for anything mint!  This has just enough of a subtle mint to make the over all flavor pretty darn marvelous!

Some of the naturally MAGICAL ingredients in this bar were Arriba Cacao Paste, Mesquite, Lucuma, Mucuna, Ashwaganda, Chlorella, Spirulina, Coconut, Cane Juice, Agave, Reishi, Vanilla Bean, Mint Essential Oil, etc.

I just can't say enough about Sky Kubby and his wonderful company.  If you haven't checked out Medicinal-Foods be sure to include it in your online surfing this weekend!

Mango Cream Smoothie, Dijon Walnut Sauce, and Raw Vegan Eggplant Strips

One of the issues our household has been battling since we've been back from West Palm Beach has been Kidney Stones.  Hubby has battled with them for years now and now that we know he has Crohn's we have found that they are connected.  While looking for foods that help certain issues I came across how the might mango may help fight kidney stones.  We will be incorporating more of them in our diet to see how they can help him.  I recently made a Mango Cream Smoothie and it turned out tasty so I shared it on The Raw Food World News Site.  

If you have been to my blog in the past you may have picked up on me being a SAUCE type person.  Above you will see the photo and excerpt of the Dijon Walnut Sauce I did for raw vegan zucchini noodles.  It was very flavorful and creamy.

On the bottom you will see Hearth Healthy Raw Vegan Eggplant Strips.  I paired that with info on heart health - of course!   I made those in my Excalibur Dehydrator.

In other news - I FINALLY ordered a new juicer!  I opted for the Tribest SlowStar Juicer.  It's a Single Auger Juicer and Chris over at Zombie Gate/The Vegan Zombie was the one who twisted my arm to finally make the purchase.  His Instagram Juicing Photos are amazing!  I'm still waiting on the juicer to arrive but I'm VERY excited to jump right in!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Recipes & Info for a Soup, Smoothie, and Jerky!

In case you are getting sick of seeing all of my vacation photos I thought I would get back to posting some food!  It's been extremely busy since we've been back home - I can't believe it's already been a month that we've been back!  WOW! the food, eh!?

Above you will see some of the posts I have been doing for The Raw Food World NEWS Site lately.  I will try and be better about cross posting them here on my blog, too!  First up is the recipe I did for the Raw Vegan Creamy Tomato Soup.  I paired that with some info on how it can help strengthen bones.  Below that you will see a photo and excerpt from the Blackberry Orange Smoothie Recipe I did and I wrote about how it may help with healthier skin.  And in the last of those 3 posts you will see a recipe I did for Tofu Jerky that may help with Type-2 Diabetes.  As I post this I see that I have a typo in the first line - OH MY!  I will be changing that very soon!  It's supposed to read I am NOT a 'pro' when it comes to tofu!  Eeek!

Monday, May 11, 2015

Around The Grounds...

I still have a few more posts to blog about with more pictures to show off from our trip to West Palm Beach Florida last month and our stay at The Breakers!

Today I thought I would share with you some of the random photos I took from around the grounds of The Breakers.  I still have pics coming soon from our trip to the Garden of Life Headquarters as well as our downtown West Palm Beach Walk.

First up...I'm pretty sure that this is an old Fiat.  I could be wrong I couldn't get much closer to it that day but I thought it wasn't something we saw every day and thought I would take a pic of it.

In addition to all of the photos I've already posted having to do with the Organic Herb and Vegetable Gardens they have at The Breakers I thought I would post this, too!  It's a photo of a sign that I saw more than once on their grounds.

The Breakers utilizes reverse osmosis, an environmentally friendly alternative water source, to irrigate our golf course and landscaping.

I thought this was so cool!  The Breakers is a very old and historic place and even they are able to take steps to help the environment so why can't everyone else?  Every little bit or large step helps!
Here's a photograph of one of the ducks we saw on a walk one day.  It was on the one golf course.  He wasn't afraid of us in the slightest!

This duck is a Muscovy Duck.

He was pretty cool!

I wish I was able to see more wildlife while we were there - we did see more birds in the middle of flight - but we didn't see very many on the ground while we were there.

For those of you who are from or have visited Florida - what's your favorite bird of the region?

And finally - this is one of the many hallways in The Breakers.  I just LOVED all the lamps, tapestries, chandeliers, ceilings, rugs, comfy chairs - you name it!  They really have mixed past and present with the decor at just about every turn!

To the left of this hallway was one of the bars and restaurants called HMF. The name of the restaurant stood for Henry Morrison Flagler the owner of the original Breakers. Did you know that The Breakers Hotel Complex was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1973? In 1973, the 105-acre listed area included 15 contributing buildings and one other contributing object.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

I'm NOT a Girlie Girl...but...

I'm declaring today Selfie Day here at my blog...mostly because I am still trying to plug away at my vacation pictures and blogging about the trip we took to West Palm Beach and The Breakers! 

I'm NOT a The Breakers I would have been tremendously out of place if I didn't wear skirts and dresses. 

I did get a new wardrobe out of it so that was cool and now with my new position at work I just might get more use out of the clothes I bought for the trip!

In the first photo I'm on the Terrace of the Flagler Club Level at The Breakers in West Palm Beach.  When I first bought the dress I thought of it as one of those 70's Go-Go Dresses but it ended up being very comfy and I was pretty happy with the purchase.

In the 2nd photo you can see I was a little red from sun burn.  3 years ago I would NOT have worn a shirt without sleeves.  Since I lost the weight I feel a little bit better about it.  I was standing in front of this HUGE Aloe-like plant that was in the front and off to the side of The Breakers.  I probably still have a quazi-hippie thing going on here with this outfit but that is more what I am used to than fancy dresses.

This photo didn't turn out very good but at least you can see another one of the dresses I bought for the trip that I ended up really liking.  My hair in this photo, on the other hand, was pulled back because of all the wind that night.  This dress was a thicker material than the others but I ended up really liking it and I do love the shades of blue!

You will probably be seeing me wear those shoes, more, too!  I bought them on sale for like $6 or $7 dollar just before we left.  They are simple but still outside my comfort zone as far as shoes are concerned.  And YES...all of my shoes are NOT made of leather.

And here's the photo of me drinking FRESH coconut water straight from the coconut!  I know it sounds crazy but it was one of my many mini goals while we were there.

It was SO good!

This photo was taken at The Surf Break (Hut) near the pools - I have blogged about that area of The Breakers prior to this blog post.  Be sure to scroll down for more photos from the trip and from that specific area of The Breakers!

Funny fish face or kissy-face?  Either way...this is me being weird outside of The Breakers during one of the walks we took one morning. 

I believe this was one of the few times I wore capris pants with a dress shirt (blouse).  The  top was white - and I don't normally wear white - but it worked, I guess.  The shirt had some beads and sequence at the top around the neck. I was sitting in front of one of their many gardens.  Nearby was a cute little salamander but I wasn't able to get him the photo..sneaky devil!
And finally this last photo was of me in the last dress I bought before leaving.  I normally don't like big flower prints nor do I like the color pink...pair that with the simple fact it was a dress and it already had 3 strikes against me.  It wasn't bad, tho.  I did like it from the waist down more than the top but it worked for the trip. 

One dress I didn't post here that I REALLY liked was the black and red dress I got but I didn't get a good photo of me in it.  I told hubby that we would just have to start doing more things that warrant me wearing dresses! LOL

Monday, May 4, 2015

Organic Herb & Vegetable Garden at The Breakers

One of my FAVORITE parts of The Breakers was that they had an Organic Herb and Vegetable Garden on the grounds that they grew and maintained themselves.  They also used what they grew in their restaurants.

I had heard about their organic garden prior to our visit and I was super excited to check it out.

Dale and I took a stroll thru the gardens one morning and I took another walk thru them at least once.  I absolutely LOVED them. 

In this first photo you can see a huge cactus/aloe-type plant they potted.  It was mammothly large!  They had a lot of potted plants and numerous raised beds.

Here's a look at some of the raised beds.  We were free to walk in and take a look at any time, stop by touch/feel/smell the herbs - it was so neat!

They offered a weekly garden tour, too, but we weren't around while that was going on...I think we missed it by a day! 

Some of the chef's would come out in the mornings to pick what they wanted to use for the day!  Talk about 'from garden to plate', eh?

The decorative bricks that surrounded the raised beds were delightful, too!

But it wasn't just this area that featured what they grew...many of the fruits were along side the one golf course walkway!
But before I get to those photos I thought I would post another shot of the herb gardens.

I counted at least 5 different kinds of basil!  Now that is impressive!

There were a few other raised beds that they were prepping for the next item to plant/grow but almost everything was well into the growing stages!

Nearly everything was clearly marked, too!  Which was super helpful for someone like me who was interested in what they were growing!

I probably nerded-out a little bit but it was so fun!

Just past the herb section of their garden was a walkway that ran along side the one golf course.  Again you could see the decorative brick under  your feet and green at every glance!

I mentioned in an earlier post that the salamanders and lizards were NOT afraid of humans and popped out to surprise passer-byes often.

The same went for the local squirrels.  As you can see this one didn't take his eyes off of me as he was ready to climb this tree.

I wish I had been able to more of the local birds - we did see some in the sky - flying by - but not as many on land as I had hoped but then again we didn't got outside of The Breakers all that much in the few days we were there either.

While walking by several different varieties of fruit plants, trees, etc...we saw these CUTE pineapples! 

They also had an Avocado tree that was doing well and a Lychee that already had a permanent sign...among others!

There was one tree on the opposite golf course that I was unfamiliar with and am still wondering what it was.  I'm tempted to call The Breakers and ask them.  I don't think it was a Sugar Apple but then again I haven't seen a Sugar Apple up close and personal before.  I will try and post it here down the road in case anyone has any ideas on what it COULD be.  I was so excited I was able to see The Breakers Organic Gardens while we were there!