Monday, October 20, 2014

Energizing Black Bean Dip & Happy Mail on a Monday

I wanted something with Black Beans last night and decided to make an Energizing Black Bean Dip.  The recipe I came up with as follows...

2 C Black Beans
2 T Vegan Mayo
3 T Vegan Cream Cheese
1 T Wildtree Garlic & Herb Blend
1 T Cilantro
2 T Lime Juice
1/2 tea Cumin
1/2 tea Wildtree Adobo Seasoning
1/2 tea Chili & Garlic Sea Salt
1/2 tea GoL's Energizer 

It was creamy, a tad spicy, and savory!  I'm thinking I might make a soup with all this but the Vegan Mayo soon!

I got some more HAPPY MAIL today!  I received a bunch of tea from Culinary Teas and I'm currently sipping on their Coconut Creme Chai and it's lovely.  Early I had some of the Key Lime Black.  It's very flavorful...but easy to over infuse and go bitter.  With a little more attention on my part would have been very good.  My mistake certainly NOT theirs. 

In other news I received another smaller shipment from The Raw Food World today and here are some of the photos.

They were having a MAJOR Inventory Blow Out Sale and I HAD to grab some ran out of Cashews and was low on Nutritional Yeast. 

I was really excited to order Jason Wrobel's Simple Vegan Classics on DVD.  He's so entertaining!  I also FINALLY grabbed a few of the Gopal's Nori Wrapped Energy Snacks because they were on sale!  I grabbed the Masala, Curry, and Italian Flavors.  Not that I needed it - but it was drastically deduced in price - was the Raw Coconut Butter with Coconut Blossom Sugar.  I also grabbed 5 Chocolate Cacao Bars for a friend of mine...she's loves them and she's NOT raw or vegan...some Raw Crusts that I like to use for Breakfasts or Snacks....Kale Chips that were all on sale, and Pumpkin Super Chips...again on sale.  One other item I wanted to try and it was reduced in price was the Pure Wraps - the Curry flavor - they are coconut based.

Spooky, Sweet, and Filled with Treats!

FREE Ground Shipping in the US - Click Here!

I will be posting my Weekly Goals tomorrow but a heads-up as to one of them...more dehydrating!  Yup!  I want to use my dehydrator MORE this week!  I will most likely be using it to dry fresh basil since we have so much from our Container Garden but I also want to try at least 1 sweet treat in there, too!  Since I'm an Excalibur Dehydrator Affiliate I thought I would post a little bit about this and some more news from Excalibur!  CLICK HERE to receive FREE Ground Shipping on your order.

Another thing I wanted to share - in case you didn't know - their dehydrators now come with a clear 'see-thru' door.  You can order your dehydrator with it or just order the door!  I LOVE that this option is available!  I find myself peeking in on my 'goods' while I'm drying and by opening the door you lose some time but if I were to have this 'see thru' door I wouldn't have to peek and extend my drying time.  I might have to order this soon OR have it be on my Christmas List!

Another great thing about their new product offerings is that they now come in 6 colors!

I'll  have a total of 3 posts stay tuned for a recipe...and scroll down to see what I did yesterday...

Football Day!

Last week I posted a photo that my father sent me from the Buffalo Bills Game.  It had been a while since I was able to attend a Football Game.  Later in the week my parents asked my husband and I if we wanted to go with them on Sunday to the Buffalo and Minnesota Game.  We said yes and off we went!  I was able to take a bunch of photos - most of which turned out well. 

If you are not familiar with the Buffalo Bills then you may not know that our long time team owner Ralph Wilson passed away earlier this year.  The stadium was renamed after him prior to his passing but this is the first time I had been able to get a pic of this sign.

Because we had a 2+ hour drive we tend to get there earlier than most people.  We were in one of the suites and I took this 2nd photo prior to the game...that is why there aren't many people in the seats YET.

It was a sold out game.  It was chilly yesterday - but since we were inside the temperature was very comfy (minus the air conditioning blasts on occasions!)  I was able to gnaw on some nachos with 3 different kinds of salsa but there were non-veg options for the other people enjoying the game as well.  I ate a little something before we got there because I know I don't eat much when I do go.
We didn't do much Tailgating prior to the game but we figured there was enough people out there making up for us NOT doing so. 

I enjoy people-watching mostly.

This 3rd photo is part of the pre-game festivities on the field.  I will say this is the first year that I've attended a game without seeing the Buffalo Jills (the teams former Cheerleaders).  There are no long cheerleaders for our team due to social and court issues the past few years involving Sexual Harassment and other accusations.

Now that the Cheerleaders are not there to get the crowd pumped up they have added The Stampede which is a really awesome Drum Line.  I enjoyed watching and listening to them but wasn't able to get great photos because they favored the other side of the field more than ours.  Another thing I liked was the flags (Color Guard) prior to the game - but I'm partial because I was in the Color Guard when I was in High School.  I wish they had more of them.
During half time the highlighted the career of our legendary announcer Van Miller.  Van Miller's radio (and TV) career spans 60-some years.  He's a MAJOR part of sports history in Western New York.  He's in his upper 80s now and his health isn't great.  He was the 29th person on the Wall of Fame and the recognition and unveiling took place yesterday during half time.  I'm so excited to have seen it happen right in front of me.  They brought him out in this car right on to the field so he didn't have to walk or stand.  It was pretty classy!

The majority of the game was a snoozer - too many flags, penalties, and turn overs.  BUT...then it happened...with about a minute left...the game FINALLY turned around...and it was awesome...and looking back the wait was totally worth it!

The crowd went wild!

And the craziness continued into the post-game and walk back to the car!
This was one of the many photos being posted on Instagram. 

YUP!  I finally attended a game where MY team actually WON!  It wasn't pretty but it was still a win! 

I had a lot of fun with my husband, mom, and dad!  I'm so excited they invited us!

Looking back I should have taken video on my phone on the way back to the car.  The crowd was CRAZY!  And speaking of CRAZY...I can't help but put this photo....

YUP!  That's 'yours truly'...

My husband took the pic and told me this morning that he changed it to his profile photo on Facebook.  I guess he's had a lot of comments on it but have 'no idea why'

I haven't been on Facebook in about 3 months...I guess I just needed a break.  PLUS...I have been enjoying Instagram more, lately!

And that is my father in the background, too!  This was taken in the  middle of the game prior to the BIG PLAY that turned everything around for my BUFFALO BILLS!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Plum Cinnamon Chocolate Chai Smoothie

This was one of the smoothies I did this week!  It turned out yummy!  I have 2 other posts today and they are below this one.  This one will be short and sweet much like this smoothie!

4 Plums
1/2 Banana
1 Scoop GoL's Spiced Vanilla Chai
1 C Almond Milk
1 T Red Maca Cinnamon Almond Butter

It was sweet and a little spicy.  Creamy and a little fruity.

Fickle Pickle on Possible Purchases...

One of my FAVORITE Blogging Buddies OPAL and I have been chatting a bit about possible purchases and either not being able to make up our minds on which to purchase or wait for a better price on those items that are on our wishlists.  I thought I would do a little bit of a blog post of my own with some of the things I have been going back and forth on as of late.

I've had a juicer for a few years and it was great when I first got it and it still work well, however, I was left 'wanting' and have grown a little bored with it.  After much reflecting on the juicer topic I really FEEL like it's time for an UPGRADE and maybe that will make me what to get back into it more.  The one I have now was about $90 a Walmart when I did purchase it a while back.  It's a Jack LaLanne Juicer.  The main complaint I had with it was there was still a lot of pulp in the 'already juiced juice'.  I was looking at the Juicers available over at The Raw Food World and there are probably 3 to 5 of them I want for different reasons but don't want to buy more than 1 at this time.  So far I think this Breville Juice Fountain Elite 800JEXL might be the way to go for my wants and needs at the moment.  These two parts are what opened my eyes on THIS specific juicer...

Cutter and Filter
The Italian-made, stainless steel cutter’s diagonal knife blades first grind the fruit into pulp. Then, 115 surrounding, conical knives grate the pulp into minute particles and propel them against the micro-mesh filter’s 40,000 strainer pores. Smaller particles, combined with superior filtration, maximizes yield.

There are two settings: a whisper-quiet 6,500 RPM for juicing leafy vegetables and softer fruits such as watermelon and oranges

Does anyone reading have this juicer or a comparable one that you would like to share feedback on?

 Another appliance I have been pondering a purchase on is this EasyGreen Sprouter EQMV but I'm afraid it might be more involved that I am used to when it comes to sprouting.  I really like the 'soak, set, and go' idea of this product but after doing some research it sure looks like it has a lot of different parts.  This - like the juicer - takes up space - space I don't have a lot of left in my kitchen.  I'm the type of person where I have to have things out - and looking at me - to use them often.  That's why I always have my Vitamix and Excalibur out where I can see them.  Another option would be for me to purchase this and set it up at work.  Since we started doing Container Gardening at work - why couldn't we do this, too, right?  PLUS...that would encourage me to eat more sprouts and salads at work during lunch!  I'm still considering this.  I just haven't taken that step, YET!
Another thing I can't seem to make up my mind on is a Blendtec.  Yes...I have a Vitamix and I LOVE it but sometimes getting some of the dips and spreads our from under the blades drives me batty!  (See more on this on my Spatty Daddy post).  That and I kind of have this THING for Blenders, I guess.  I can't seem to get enough of using blenders!  But the thing that has been eating away at me about the Blendtec is which one to get.  Just when I think I have it pinned down to the 4Side or the WildSide I read about the Twister Jar!  Oye!  I'm so confused!  And THIS is one thing I don't want to mis-purchase because of the over $450 expense!  I heard from a few people that the 4Side was harder to reach everything so I am leaning toward the WildSide instead.  BUT...the Twister Jar's side scrapers really intrigue me, too!  Does anyone reading have these blenders?  If so...what are your thoughts!?

And regardless of which and what all of these items are higher ticket prices items and I really don't want to make the wrong choice.'s NOT like I will be buying all of them at once - it will be over time - when I am able to.

The Spatty & Spatty Daddy ~ Review Intro

What we have here is the Spatty and the Spatty Daddy.  I've had these in my kitchen for a few months now and I have to say I love them.  The Spatty was featured on the Shark Tank a while back and eventho I don't wear make-up I found additional ways to use them around my house.  I've been pondering an official review post for this product for some time but I didn't think it was fair to only do one since I find new ways to use these little gems often.  So I figured I would post additional reviews when the mood strikes me.  This is the first of many.  This will mostly be an intro of sorts with additional follow-ups. 

First up...the smaller one of the two you see pictured above.  I've found it very helpful for getting the last little bit out of small jars for my spices.  Sometimes dried spices will absorb a little moisture over time and it can be hard to get that last little bit.  No matter how hard you try.  Smacking the bottom of the jar sometimes just won't work to get it all.  This is where the smaller one of the two has come in handy for me recently.

And speaking of smacking the bottom of condiments...Ketchup!  Need I say more?  Well, you know me...I will say more anyway!  Ketchup and other liquid condiments like mustards and salad dressings are hard to get to the very bottom of and we often waste some of the product inside those containers.  This little mini spatula does the trick!

For the larger one, too, I found it to be IDEAL for getting dips and spreads out of my Vitamix.  I really only have 1 compliant so far about my beloved Vitamix and it's this...the blades made it hard to get some of the 'good stuff' out of the bottom once you've blended a masterpiece! 

I will be chiming in often with more uses for these genius tools - the Spatty and Spatty Daddy!  And now...they have Spatty Caddy's!  Woot!  Find out more on their website where you can also watch videos on the product.

This is one of those products that ends of paying for itself quickly!  And they are VERY affordable to begin with!  You can purchase them online or at these locations.

Stay tuned to this site for additional uses and feedback on The Spatty and Spatty Daddy!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Banana, Wheatgrass, Lemon Skin Care Mask

Regardless of what you are NOT looking a moldy banana!

This was one of my 'experiments' this morning as I work up REALLY early and had some extra time on my hands.  I thought I would make my own skin care mask using raw and vegan ingredients that I had on hand.

Many of you know I really don't like Bananas but I have learned to like up to a half of one in a few specific smoothies from time to time.  After I was done making a smoothie this morning I did this before throwing the banana peel away.  Not only do I NOT like the taste of bananas I like the aroma of them even less!  So here's what I did and it worked on many levels!

1 Banana Peel
1/2 Scoop of GoL's Wheatgrass Powder
Lemon Juice

I sprinkled the wheatgrass powder on top of the peel and wet it down with the lemon juice.  It was really wet and 'soppy' like a drenched wash cloth.  I took it and smeared it all over my face and neck.  It dried like other masks would.  Between the lemon and the wheatgrass aroma - it cut the banana aroma - at least in half!  YAY!  After wearing this on my face and letting it dry I washed it off with hot water.

It left my skin VERY soft all day!  I'm very excited about this!  I will be posting about my natural skin care mask attempts as I have several others planned, too!  With the research I have done all three of these ingredients are great for skin...not only consuming them but putting them ON your actual skin!  I took some photos but they looked beyond ridiculous so I won't post those...teehee!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Vegan Giveaway ~ Organic Golden Flaxseed & RAW Organic Antioxidant Fruit !!!

Check this out!  Another Giveaway!  It's Vegan!  It's Raw!  It's Marvelous!
Any U.S. Resident who would like a chance to win this...just leave a comment on this post with the best way for me to contact you if you are the winner and Garden of Life will send you some of their Organic Golden Flaxseed AND Raw Organic Antioxidant Fruit!

I have this at home and enjoy it but haven't done much with it lately!  One of my goals in the near future is to pull it out and get creating with it again!

I've been known to add this to smoothies and some breakfast bars from time to time.  I've added it to a 'batter' and dehydrated it in my Excalibur.  Since I'm not much of a baker I haven't tried many bakey-type attempts with it but maybe down the road.

Some of the reasons I LOVE this blend of two great super foods?

Organic Golden Flaxseed and RAW Organic Antioxidant Fruit Benefits:
  • Naturally Sweet and Delicious – No Sugar Added
  • Promotes Healthy Digestion and Regularity
  • Promotes Heart, Breast and Brain Health
One Serving of Organic Golden Flaxseed and RAW Organic Antioxidant Fruit Contains:
  • 3g of Omega-3 (alpha-linolenic acid ALA)
  • 1g of Omega-6 (linoleic acid LA)
  • 1g of Omega-9 (oleic acid OA)
  • 90mg Antioxidant Lignans (SDG)

HURRY UP and enter to win!  You have until FRIDAY at 5 est!  Good Luck!

Mango Cinnamon Vanilla Smoothie

This was my morning smoothie yesterday.  It was very simple.  I have the recipe below but first I have to say that Riley enjoyed about half of this because it ended up on the kitchen floor.  Yeah...great start to the day!  Thank GOD the rest of the day didn't follow suit.

Mango Cinnamon Vanilla Smoothie

2+ C Frozen Mango
2 C Almond Milk
1 Scoop Vanilla GoL's Raw Protein
1/2 tea Organic Cinnamon Powder

This was wonderful!  Mango might just be my most favorite fruit to add to smoothies!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Goal Book ~ Page 2

Last week I started a Goal Book using Mixed Media and I reached all 5 of my goals.  This is what this weeks Goals are...but before I elaborate on this weeks's a short recap on last week...1 was to write at least 5 articles - I at least doubled that!  Another goal was to make at least 1 'World Foods' dish - I did 3 or 4 of them.  Then I wrote 'Start A Vision Board' - I started one but it's in the very beginning stages still.  I wanted to breathe more...more deep breaths...I was able to do that.  Then, finally, I wanted to laugh/smile more...I also did that.  Hubby and I started watching Brooklyn 99 on Hulu+ and it's sooooo funny!  Nice way to unwind at the end of the day.

So on to this week!  #1 on my list is to get back into Yoga.  Any kind of yoga!  I mostly do Kripalu Yoga but am open to others.  I also enjoy Yoga Trance Dance that was made popular by Shiva Rea.  #2 on my list this week is to visit my parents.  This isn't unusual for me - I try and get over to their place once a week or every other week - but - it's still a goal.  #3 is to send at least 3 "Thank You" Emails to people and places that I think are doing 'good things'.  It's so often we hear the complaints and not the GOOD feedback and I want to change that.  #4 is to text at least 3 friends that I haven't chatted with in a while.  I have two in mind as I type this.  Finally - #5 is to concentrate on LARGE salads for dinners most of this week!

Not only did I reach all of my goals last week - I have a good start on the ones for this week - AND - I found myself accomplishing a lot of OTHER things around the house and at work that I didn't include in my Goal Book!  I'm VERY pleased so far with this project!

Food, Urban Gardening, & Buffalo Bills

This was one of the many foods I attempted last week.  Jamaican Jerk Tempeh.  Here's the recipe for the sauce part...After soaking it - I baked it for 30 mins at 350.
 3 Cloves Garlic
1/2 tea Ginger Powder
1/2 tea Red Jalapeno Powder
1 to 2 T Wildtree Jamaican Seasoning
1 T Lemon Juice
1 tea GoL's Original Raw Protein
1 C Mango
2 T Maple Syrup
And this was for about 10 strips or 1 package of Tempeh.
Since our Big Jim Peppers did so well we decided to try and dry some of the seeds and see if we could try our hand at planting those seeds and seeing what happened in future crops.  This is the first time we've tried doing this.  I'm sad to see summer and prime produced season coming to an end.  Sam and I want to try to keep a few things going indoors for the winter.  We are going to continue with the Basil and maybe a lettuce or two.  We will probably at least try and do some sort of pepper inside but we are trying to figure out what else we can grow indoors in the snow belt area.  More on that in future posts, I'm sure!
My  parents went to the Buffalo Bills game this past weekend and sent me this photo.  It's been a few years since I last attended a Bills game.  I'm just not into it as much as I used to be.  But I am very excited that Terry Pegulia and his family purchased the team and will keep the Buffalo Bills in the state of New York!  Terry's also the owner of my beloved Buffalo Sabres.  He's very loved in Western New York for keeping these teams alive in the Buffalo area.  I just hope the teams improve and win, soon!
Healthy Vegan Friday's Participant

Raw Vegan Pepperoni

I had a few adventures or 'journeys' in the kitchen this weekend.  This was one of them!  I wanted to try and make Raw Vegan Pepperoni.  I think I was fairly successful!
Here's the recipe:
8 Salted Sun Dried Tomatoes
2 Tomatoes
1 T Minced Garlic
2 T Flax Seeds, Ground
1 T Hemp Oil
1/2 tea Original GoL's Raw Protein

After combining all ingredients - while leaving about a quarter of the ground flax for sprinkle - this is what it looked like while going into the dehydrator.  It was too gooey to flatten at this point so I threw them in the dehydrator for about 3 or 4 hours.  That's about when I took them out and flattened them - they were not as gooey - they were more dough-like at that point.

Here's a pic of when I flattened them.  You can see that the more moist insides smooshed thru and you can see two different colors.  I actually like the two-tone color combo going on here but they weren't done yet.  So I put them back in for about another 4 hours or so.  Of course I flipped them at least once right around that time too.

Tah-Dah!  Here they are!  I have a bowl of them to use throughout the week!  I ended up putting some on my Egg Trick Muffin that you saw yesterday.  I will be using them on salads, too!

If I get brave enough I might try and do another raw pizza which was another kitchen fail last week.  I didn't blog about that fee-ask-co but I instagrammed it!

I'm really trying to think outside the box with my dehydrator creations and I think I accomplished that with this one!

Healthy Vegan Friday's Participant

Monday, October 13, 2014

Raw Vegan Eggplant Tips (with Marinade Recipe)

A raw vegan answer to 'beef tips' or 'steak strips' that I made in my dehydrator over the weekend.  It was fun to make and I'm saving them to use on salads and some stir fries this week!

Recipe as follows...

1 Eggplant

 soaked in...

1/3 C Balsamic
1 T Hemp Oil
1 tea (or more) Kelp & Cayenne Seasoning/Mix
1/2 tea GoL's Perfect Food Energizer

After soaking the eggplant strips in the mixture for about a half hour I saved the marinade and will be using it on other things this week.  I put them in my dehydrator for about 6 or 7 hours at about 115 to 118 degrees.

I chose this GoL product to add to the mixture because of the 'green' taste to it from some of the ingredients being Broccoli, Spinach, Brussel Sprouts, and more.  Check out the link above for more ingredients in this powerful blend.

New Favorite Vegan Breakfast ~ Egg Trick Muffin

Over the weekend I was FINALLY able to try and make the Egg Trick Muffin that the Vegan Zombie posted on their YouTube Channel a while back.  The Egg Trick Muffin is one of the BEST Sellers over at Strong Hearts Cafe in Syracuse, NY...a vegan restaurant...that I hope to visit someday!  Since I didn't have any vegan meat alternatives and I was out of Daiya Cheese - I decided to top it with Salsa instead.  I had that straight-up on Sunday - then for breakfast this morning I added some Raw Vegan Pepperoni - which I will be blogging about later today - to it and took this photo.  It's so yummy!  And I am not a HUGE Tofu fan...generally speaking...but this is GREAT!  I will be making this often!  For the recipe and more info check out the video below.  I made a variation of the seasoning for the tofu patty using GoL's RAW Super Greens and I think I will add this seasoning to my collection of to-go spices and blends that I have created at home.  I followed the recipe in the video (and in the Vegan Zombie Cookbook) and added about a half teaspoon of this to the mix!  YUM!

Healthy Vegan Friday's Participant

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Salad Booster Surprise!

I really didn't know what I wanted for dinner last night.  I really didn't want to think about it much.  I knew I had a few English Muffins left that I needed to eat.  And I have been addicted to this Salad Booster stuff I found over at The Raw Food World. 

I decided to add a few things to it last night and slap some Earth Balance on these 'babies' and have the green goodness soak into the English Muffins.  I have been throwing together my own flavor blends from things I have in my pantry. 

Here is one of them...

2 T Salad Booster
1/4 tea GoL's Wheatgrass
1/4 tea Wildtree Garlic & Herb

Sometimes I also like to spray a squirt of Bragg's on top.

The stand alone Living Intentions product description has this to say about this Salad Booster that I used for the base of this...

Get your hands on this cheesy addition for any meal. Filled with minerally dense and nutritious superfoods, it's amazing on popcorn! Ingredients: Organic Sprouted Pumpkni Seeds, Organic Sprouted Sunflower Seeds, Organic Sprouted Sesame Seeds, Wild White Chia Seeds, Spirulina, Organic Red Bell Pepper, Himalayan Crystal Salt, Nutritional Yeast, Chlorella, Organic Dulse, Organic Kelp, Organic Dill Weed, Organic Spices, Organic Tumeric and Organic Chilies. 

I love adding this to just about anything!  Every once and a while I like to add a little something extra to it like I did here.  I hope to share more flavoring blend recipes with you soon!  

It's Gettin' a Little Cheesy Around Here...

I'm still trying to catch up on blog posts - especially the foods and recipes I have been tinkering with.  I figured I would combine two of them in this first post of today.  There will be multiple posts sure to check back! 

In this first photo you will see what looks to be Mac & Cheese.  Welllll...sorta-kinda...but better!  I used Brown Rice Pasta Shells and did a Sriracha Cheese Sauce and here's how I did it...

1 C Cashews
1 C Water
1/2 C Nutritional Yeast
1 T Lemon Juice
1 T Sriracha Sauce
1 tea Paprika
1 tea Onion Powder
1 tea Garlic Powder
Sprinkle Chili Garlic Sea Salt
Sprinkle Turmeric Extract
Sprinkle GoL Raw Meal Protein

I've been on a Grits kick for a few weeks now since I smuggled in some Earth Balance and Nutritional Yeast to a local eating establishment and threw my additions into the plan grits they served me.  So I have been working on different flavors of Grits at home and here's another one I really enjoyed!  Of course you have the grits but then you mix in...

1/4 C (or more) Nutritional Yeast
2 T (or more) Earth Balance
1 tea Garlic Powder
1/2 tea (or less) Garlic Chili Sea Salt
Sprinkle GoL's Wheatgrass

What do you think of these creations?  What kind of flavored Grits do you think I should try next?

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Happy Mail ~ Nuts, Bamboo, Books, and More!

Today I received a box from The Raw Food World - or as I like to call it - Happy Mail and here are a few photos of what I got and why!

I know...I know...this looks like an awful lot of NUTS, doesn't it?  Well, is...but of course I'm not going to eat them all at once.  I was stocking up because they have a bunch of these items "At-Cost" this month. 

The 4 packages in the back I have enjoyed other flavors of but not these so I thought I would try them!  Mesquite Pod Maple Walnuts, Spinach Pesto and Pumpkin Seeds, Sesame Teriyaki Cashews and Almonds, and Lime Mojo Cilantro Pistachios and Pepitas!  I like to keep some near my desk at work to munch on every once and a while when I get hungry and don't have any other items to eat at my desk.  I also like to add them to salads!

In front you will see LOTS of Love Force Energy Bars.  This is the first time I am trying these bars but the flavors sounded wonderful and I figured half of one or maybe even a full one to have on hand for those days I leave the house with no breakfast in my belly.  These will last me a while...that's for sure!

Another thing I don't really NEED but continue to buy and stock up on are nut and seed butters.  I can't help myself.  They are wonderful.  I only use a very little bit of them at a time and only about 1 or 2 times per week.  I have really started to LOVE Jem Organics!  And this Apricot Kernel Butter just sounded too interesting to pass up!  I probably won't open these for quite some time because I have a number of other 'butters' I'm currently working on consuming.

The other one that is pictured is the Raw Black Sesame Tahini.  I've liked other products from Living Tree Community Foods so when I saw this one I thought I would throw it in my virtual cart.  You will see that I got Coconut Secrets's Aminos and Nectar.  I have had both of those in the past and like them very much.  It's been a while since I have had them in my pantry so I figured it was time to re-stock.  Lately I have been using their Coconut Flour and Coconut Sugar which I am not really getting low on anytime soon.

And...finally...the small jar with gold top and white label is some of Angela Stokes-Monarch's Handmade Herbal Salve.  I'm looking forward to trying it on my legs as well as some of the scars I have.  The ingredients in this salve are...Comfry Leaf, Plantain Leaf, Matico Leaf, Rosemary Essential Oil, Lavender Essential Oil, Cacao Butter, Olive Oil, and Love.

I saw two newer flavors of Kale Chips that I had to try but it's a constantly reminder 'why the heck am I NOT making more of my own at home'.  Perhaps that will be on my Goal Book list in the near future.  I will say the Indian Kale Chips will NOT last past today...they are THAT GOOD.  Also pictured here is a small Bamboo Bowl which is so darned cute!  I'm slowly accumulating a Bamboo Collection which I adore.  I'm thinking about a future purchase of one of their VERY LARGE Bamboo (Salad) Bowls but it's $90.  Might have to work up to that one down the road!  In the meantime another Bamboo Item I grabbed was this tray for my Silverware Drawer in my kitchen.  A few months ago we tossed a bunch of our old eating utensils and purchased new ones and the ones I purchased were too long for the tray we had.  When I saw this online it called to me.  I guess one of my near-future projects will be totally re-organizing that drawer now that I have this tray, eh!?  I finally decided to try the Moringa Leaf Extract, too!  Looking forward to messing around with that...and...the surprise of the Sacha Inchi Protein Powder...hum...more on that down the road.

Last but certainly not least...these two books...and here's why...

The Coconut Oil one I wanted to have on hand to show our Wildtree Customers the benefits of Coconut Oil as a whole but to also educate myself about some of the home remedy type recipes that I might try, myself, at home soon.  The other Raw Star Recipe Book just sounded really cool and interesting and I thought I would build my Raw Food Book Collection up a bit.

So - out of everything you see - what products have your tried?  What items would you like to try?

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Big Jim Peppers Are Here, Homemade Chana Punjabi, Vegan Russian Dressing, and More pics

I was going to wait to post these photos in near-future posts but I'm already so far behind with blogging I didn't want to bankroll them.  that and I'm so excite to share these pics with you guys! 

First up...

This pepper!  BUT...this isn't just 'any''s a Big Jim Pepper from our Rooftop/Container Garden at work!  Woot!  Sam and I cut one open and ate it raw and LOVED it.  It wasn't sweet.  At the end it had a kick to it, too!  YAY!  These did really well for us and we are already planning on doing more next year.  We had 3 plants that were good size and produced a few.  If we spaced them out more I think we could have gotten more of a yield but I'm happy with what we did get!

We have some late bloomers of our rooftop produce which I will be sharing with you soon.  We are still waiting on the Brussel Sprouts, too, but they do take a long time from start to finish.

Last night I wanted an Indian Inspired dish but also wanted to make some for my lunch today.  Based on what I had in my pantry and in my fresh stock in the kitchen I made some Chana Punjabi and it turned out great.  It wasn't spicy but it was tasty!  Here's the recipe I threw together...

1 Can of Chickpeas
1/2 tea Wildtree Garam Masala
1 tea Wildtree Garlic & Herb
2 Large Tomatoes
1/4 tea Turmeric Extract
Pinch of Garlic Chili Sea Salt

Last week I was sort of craving a Russian Flavored Dressing so I came up with this Mayo-Free, Soy-Free version that I was quite proud of that I did in my Vitamix.  Recipe...

1 C Cashews
2 T Apple Cider Vinegar
1 tea Coconut Sugar
1 tea Wildtee Garlic & Herb
1 tea Dijon Mustard
1/2 C Relish (or chopped sweet pickles)
3/4 C Ketchup

This was a great dressing AND a wonderful dipping sauce.  Overnight in the frig it thickened up because of the Cashews!  YUM!

Why...yes...YES...that is Moonshine!  I'm mostly posting this because I LOVE the way the photo turned out!

We visited 3 Moonshine places while in TN.  It's now legal there.  We sampled a few from Ole Smoky.  They had Moonshine infused cherries.  I thought I would like them more than I did but they look super cool in the glass jar, don't they? 

My husband ended up purchasing one of their baseball caps.  And some of their Blackberry Moonshine.

There were a few Wineries nearby and we intended to go back and check them out but we ran out of time while on vacation.


I just LOVED this fountain that was tucked back in one of the coves in the shopping district of Gatlinburg. 

There were places to sit and shop.  A few places to grab some beverages like a specialty coffee or pastry.  But my FAVORITE part was this fountain and the building facades.

I still have a LOT to blog about from our vacation and more photos to share here and on the Travel Blog.  But I will save those for another day!

I have more giveaways to post about, too!  Hopefully tomorrow!  Stay Tuned!

And don't forget to scroll down...this wasn't my only post for today!

Veggies & Shells with Cashew Cheese

Some of these veggies might look familiar.  There were the leftovers I had from a few other dishes and added a Cashew Cheese that I will be using again that's for sure!  It was very tasty!  The veggies included Cauliflower, Spinach, and Carrots.  I also used some Brown Rice Pasta Shells in this too.  I topped it with vegan bread crumbs.  It was awesome.  For the Cashew Cheese's the recipe all made up in my Vitamix!

1 1/2 C Cashews
1 T Lemon Juice
1 C Water
1/4 C Nutritional Yeast *
1 tea Dijon Mustard
Pinch of Frank's Chili Garlic Salt *
Pinch of Turmeric Extract Powder *

* (Items available at The Raw Food World - see clickable banner on sidebar)

When I was cooking the Spinach (from frozen) I made a broth out of water and about a teaspoon of  GoL's Perfect Food Energizer just for an extra boost.  I absolutely LOVED this vegan cheese sauce!!!!

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Monday, October 6, 2014

Goal Book ~ So It Begins...

I figured I would do a stand alone post for this one.  I've officially started my Weekly Goal Book and thought I would share it with you.  By posting it here on my blog it will give me a bit of accountability to stick with it, I hope.

I've had this sketch book for a while and have been stain pages and trying to use different inks for junk journaling and art journaling for a while but didn't really have a I do.  You can see the edges are starting to change because of the inks and dyes and I think that is completely fine.  I want it to be pretty funky.  The outside is fabric so it's soaking up the liquid pretty well.

Here's a blank page - randomly - in the book that I will use down the road so  you can see that each page will be different. 

I receive daily emails from and last week they sent me this quote and it pushed me over the edge to finally start this project.

"Take the time to reclaim your creativity and watch your life blossom as a result."

 So this is my very first first week!  What do you think?  Yes...I think the penmanship is a little rushed but I'm ok with that for the first one.  I am looking forward to seeing things change each week.  I found a small photo and the width of it was perfect and decided to use it at the bottom of the page.  Plus the colors match up with what I already had on the page.  I used mostly alcohol inks and Tattered Angels spray for this page background.  I used a glue stick in certain spots and used a very fine clear glitter to accent it.  I scribbled a hand drawn line boarder around the page, too.  And finally jotted down 5 goals I would like to focus on this week.  Some people say if you hand write your goals you are a more apt to do them VS typing them or saying them.  I want to write at least 5 articles (or Uplifters) for The Raw Food World News site this week.  I sort of slacked during the month of September.  I want to make at least 1 veganized World Food dish this week.  Eventho I started this Goal Book this week I still want to start a Vision Board, too!  So I added that one to the list.  I want to at least start it.  Then I want to Breathe more and Smile more this week!

That's NOT a Vegan Omelet!

Wait...that doesn't look like an omelet!  Well, it was supposed to didn't turn out that way.  But I didn't give up on it.  I morphed it into something else and it ended up being edible.  I think my problem was that I wasn't patient enough.  Since I goofed on this recipe I won't post it here but I will say that it ended up being pretty tasty and I made two meals out of it.  I was originally going for an omelet but it ended up being a non-tofu Scramble, instead, I guess.  With a little more liquid it was sort of like broccoli and cheese soup but with spinach, cauliflower, and carrots instead of broccoli.
Here's the first meal I had with it.  I just did plan white rice and added 'cheese' sauce to it.  It was a packaged powder that I doctored up as well.

One of these days I will gain enough courage to try a vegan omelet again but it might be a while.  

I did use the vegg in this as well as coconut flour.  That could have been the issue...the coconut flour...I haven't gotten the substitute ratios down yet.  I wanted to use Almond flour but I didn't have any.

Eventho there is spinach in this dish I wanted to 'up' the greens count so I sprinkled a bit of Garden of Life's Perfect Food.  One of my favorite things about the GoL products you can add it to anything for a little extra boost...this one contains over 8000mg of greens per serving.

Eventho this didn't turn out like I hoped it ended up being a tasty dish - with leftovers!  I have lots more to share and will have multiple posts today so stay tuned!

Healthy Vegan Friday's

Friday, October 3, 2014

Old Dogs, New Goals, & Green Hummus NOT Made from Avocado!

I am still trying to catch up from my vacation and have lots more to share but I've been itching to post some foodie posts, too!

And share this sweet snapshot of Suzie sleeping last night.  She's lost some weight but still eating and playing like her usual self.
 She's 14 and for the last 5 years have had different things she's visited the vet for.  We will continue to keep an eye one her and each time we visit the vet for her nails to be done they will weigh her, too.

Paco is plugging along, and we will be visiting the vet again soon for more blood tests to see if his platelets continue to climb.

Earlier this week I was hungry for hummus but I wanted to change it up a bit so I came up with this one.  I really don't have a name for this hummus yet but here is what's in it...
 1 Can of Organic Chickpeas
1/4 C Tahini
1 tea Garlic Powder
1 T Lime Juice
1 T Bragg's Liquid Aminos
1 tea GoL's Perfect Food Engerizer
Water to consistency

On top I sprinkled some Raw Vegan Parmesan Chipotle Flavor that I got over at The Raw Food World.

A sneak peak of something that I will start doing and blogging about on a weekly basis starting Monday.  I'm combining the Vision Boards and Inspiration Boards that I have blogged about doing before into a Goal Book.  I haven't decided whether or not I will be doing 3 Goals each week or 5 goals each week.  Regardless it should be great for getting my rear in gear and start setting some goals and mini goals for myself and having some sort of accountability for them.  I will apply a bit of Mixed Media and Junk Journaling or Art Journaling into this project a bit but I intend to take photos of my Goal Page each week and post it on my blog here for all to see.  Comments and feedback welcome and encouraged because it will encourage me to stick to the goals!

The inside cover to the Goal Book isn't all that involved but I think each individual page will have a theme of its own or a completely different look and feel to it each week.

I think this will help me get back into crafting, too.  I need to use up some of my supplies that have just been sitting there for months and months.

Also...I hope this helps with my Time Management a bit.  I've been slacking in a number of areas.  Perhaps this will help!

This project will be positive and fit in nicely with my blog here at My Blissful Journey, too!  What do you think!?

Healthy Vegan Fridays