Thursday, May 28, 2015

Things Have Been Pretty 'Cheesy' Lately

Over the past couple of weeks things have been pretty cheesy!  Of course there are no actual dairy products in the cheesy recipes I show you here today and I apologize in advance but these are lacking actual recipes, too!  I literally threw them together and only wrote partial recipes or didn't write up a recipe at all! 

I will tell you this about the first photo you see - as a thickener I used a bit of NuNaturals Oat Fiber.  It worked quite well.  I also used nutritional yeast, garlic, onion, Bragg's Liquid Amino's, Turmeric, Coconut Milk, and a few other ingredients.

As for this 2nd photo - I used Corn Pasta.  I used about 1/2 package of Daiya Mozzarella, 3 T Earth Balance, 1/4 C Nutritional Yeast, 1 t Paprika, 1 t Garlic Powder, 1 t Onion Powder, 1 t Mustard Powder, 1 or more cups of Almond Milk, 1 t Turmeric, and Black Sea Salt to taste.

This turned out pretty wonderful, too!  Incredibly creamy and cheesy!

As you can see I have been using more more Turmeric in my recipes.  This is the Turmeric I use from The Raw Food World.  I LOVE it! 

For this last photo - I made some Cashew Cheese and topped it with Cajun Seasoning.  I used 2 C Cashews, 2 C Water, 1/4 C Lemon Juice, 1/2 C Nutritional Yeast, 1 Small Onion, 1 t Avocado Oil, 1 t Dried Garlic, 1 t Bragg's Liquid Amino's, 1/2 t Turmeric, Pinch of Cayenne...and topped with Cajun Seasoning to taste.

I had LOTS of this Cashew Cheese Left over and used it for Nachos, as a dip, some in other sauces, and MISC recipes that needed a little more creaminess!  Which one looks/sounds more up your alley!?

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

The Fiats Are Coming! The Fiats Are Coming!

This past weekend was fun!  It was the first Fiat Meet Up of the season that Dale and I were able to make!  We first met another couple in Jamestown, NY, and then headed to Dunkirk, NY, to meet up with a group that was traveling from Buffalo, NY.  After chatting for a while we all headed over to Erie, PA.  There were about 12 or 13 cars that was on the ride!  It was a little cool and windy but at least the sun was shining!  The reason for the meet up was to get a group of us from the Western NY - Southern Ontario Fiat Club over to the Grand Opening for Auto Express Fiat Alfa Romeo of Erie.  During their Grand Opening of the Fiat Dealership they were raising money for an animal shelter there, too!  Dale and I made a small donation.  I think they raised over $1,000 for the shelter that day.  After we all left the dealership after spending a couple of hours there many of us went to Southern Tier Brewery in Lakewood/Busti, NY, and enjoyed the sun, some of the group ate, and others tried some of the brews.  There was a Reggae/Folk Fusion type band that played on the outdoor stage and we listened for a bit.  After Dale and I left the group we went out for dinner.  It was a great day!  We met some new people and met up again with some new friends we made from last year, too!  Oh!  We took our Abarth - not the Fiat 500 Pop - but we hope to take both of the cars to an upcoming cruise-in soon!

In case you are trying to find me in the photo above - I'm the one in the grey shirt next to the guy in the blue shirt to the left of the red car.  The guy in the blue is Dale.

Sunday - my mom and I traveled over to Nobel Winery near Westfield, NY, to meet up with my sister who was putting on a bridal shower for her soon-to-be-sister-in-law.  It was the first time I met her.  But it was a nice day and I am always happy to see my sister!

Monday - Dale and I did some yard work.  We did some major trimming of the trees in our front yard...which isn't much of a yard since we live so close to the street...we will call it our front garden instead.  It was long over due and now it's looks much better.  So YEAH it was a busy weekend!  What did you do?

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Past Weekend Adventures, Yogivore, Thrown Together Meals

Slowly but surely I am trying to catch up on blogging!  This post will be a mish-mash of a post but there are two other posts if you scroll down that I wrote earlier today that DO have a method to their madness!

A few weeks ago my husband's brother and his girlfriend, Dale, and I went on a ride.  He recently bought a used Mini Cooper so we drove around a bit in our Abarth.  We ended up in Bradford, PA, one weekend and the next weekend we ended up near Bemus Point, NY.  Neither are too far away from where we live but still a nice day trip!

The first photo is of Dale and myself in front of the Kinzua Dam near where we live.  Believe it or not this was just a few short weeks ago!  There were hardly any leaves on the trees and now the trees are FULL and green and gorgeous!  Mother Nature is funny sometimes!

With how crazy work has been paired with family and extended family health issues I have been throwing a lot of meals together based on when is on hand.  This photo is actually taken at my mother's house.  She doesn't usually stock her pantry very well since it's just the two of them and neither one of my parents are vegetarian.  Plus they haven't been doing much cooking at home lately.  I was able to find some white rice I 'doctored up' with some Wildtree sauce and did some potato/fries on stove top instead of in the oven with a bit of grapeseed oil.  They turned out good and filled my tummy that day!
I don't usually do that - create a plate lacking veggies - but that day it was what was available.  Since then I have been doing much better and I hope to post more of the meals I have been making soon, too!

One thing I will be starting today is my Yogivore Adventures!  For more information on that swing by The Happy Herbivore Blog!

I'm mostly doing this to challenge myself but also break up the day a little bit.  I've been getting into this routine of waking up - going to work - eating - writing - and going to sleep - and I need to switch it up a bit!

MISC Photos from West Palm Beach

I have just a few photos left from our trip to West Palm Beach last month that I wanted to share with the exception of others I took during our visit to the NEW Garden of Life Offices...that I might post more of down the road.

This is my 2nd post of the day so be sure to keep scrolling and check it out!  I have so much to blog about and am way behind!  I have so much to share with you!  So many products I have been testing out and finding!  It's so much fun!

But FIRST...more Florida photos!  This first one is a little cove of shops we found in downtown West Palm Beach.  I love the color of the paint and the windows were beautifully decorated.  We went on a Sunday morning and many of them were closed for the day or not open yet.
This gorgeous kitty seemed to set up shop nearby, too!  There was a cafe or two surrounding the cove and they had outside seating for it with fountains, palm trees, and statues! 

I just LOVED this cat - so cute and friendly!  It was mostly white but had a little bit of light brown on it's tail and face and his eyes were BLUE! 

If you have been a regular to my blog over the past month you can tell I really enjoyed the trip we took!  I'm so grateful I was able to go!  I think I was just as excited about the wonderful weather as I was about everything else since we had such a 'trying' winter. 

Here's a photo of downtown West Palm Beach during the walk we took that morning.  It was the PERFECT weather!  Sunshine with a bit of breeze! 

I've often commented on how much I LOVE Palm Trees and you can see many of them here in this photo as well!

The streets were so clean, too!  Yet another thing I noticed!  They surely take pride in their communities and business districts unlike some other places I have been.

And finally - I just had to share this last photo with you.  It was the bicycle rental area at The Breakers.  We didn't rent bikes but I thought it made for a neat photo! 

Also note the brick walkways underneath the tires!  Those were everywhere and quite picture-esque! 

In front of the bikes, here, there are MORE palm trees, and a little wooded area to keep this section separate from the golf course.  In the wooded area there was a basketball court off the the left and resident tortoises off the side as well.  I could see one in the house but not the other must have been hiding or sleeping!  There was also a Barber Shop off to the side, too!

Meeting the Garden of Life Team - Part 1

When I was in West Palm Beach about a month ago (I can't believe it's already been over a month since we were on this amazing trip!) I met a bunch of the Garden of Life Team in their new main office and it was amazing!

I have TONS of photos and I might share those down the road but for today I thought I would mention just a few things off the bat!  I was so thrilled to meet Rhonda Price who I am pictured with in this first photo.  She was so nice!  I met DOZENS of people throughout the office, too!  Everyone was so great!  So many smiles! 

Rhonda told me that they moved their offices to this new building at the end of last year.  The windows and paint colors made everything so bright and cheery!  Rhonda took Dale and I on a tour and spent LOTS of time with us showing us the facility, taking photos, introducing us to everyone, and telling us all about the history of the company and even the area!

In the back ground of these two photos is a vertical wall garden that Garden of Life has in the middle of their office right across the hall from their kitchen/break room.  It was gorgeous!  If you stood back far enough you could see that the different colored plants spelled out G - O - L for Garden of Life.

Also in their kitchen area was a recycling center.  Employees were encouraged to recycle everything they were able to.  The 'wallpaper' for the kitchen was custom - copies of printed letters from employees - as to why they left their previous places of employment to come to Garden of Life.  It was really unique and just one of the many ways they showed just how much they valued their employees! 

Another part of the Garden of Life Office tour I really enjoyed was seeing some of their 'wall of fame.'  They had plaques and trophies but also some of their older products and labels on display.  It was neat to see how their labels and visuals have changed over the years. 

Rhonda told me that she recently went to a Jason Mraz concert and he is being featured in a future issue of their magazine, too! 

This display section was across from their board room.  They were meeting while we were there and she introduced us to them as well!  It was truly amazing!

Another room I really enjoyed seeing was one of their brain storming rooms!  It was set up like a grocery store.  Rhonda told us that they set up their products to see what they would look like up against other products and displays.  I told her that I recently saw an end display at the Whole Foods Co-Op in Erie, PA, and I would try and start taking some photos for her next time I was there.  I took so many photos while we were at the Garden of Life offices.  I had so much fun meeting everyone!  I will probably be doing more posts of my trip in future blog posts, too!

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!