Sunday, November 18, 2012

Pumpkin Pancakes

These delicious pumpkin pancakes aren't quite as fluffy as my plain or banana pancakes because the pumpkin makes them dense. That being said, they taste amazing spread with vegan margarine and dripping with maple syrup!

2 cups unbleached flour
4 tsp baking powder (measure generously or add a tiny bit extra for fluffier pancakes)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground clove
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 cup agave
1 1/4 to 1 3/4 cups plain or unsweetened nondairy milk (almond works well)
1 cup cooked pumpkin puree or canned cooked pumpkin
vegan margarine or oil for frying

Combine the flour, baking powder, and spices in a large mixing bowl and stir. Add the agave and 1 1/4 cups of the nondairy milk, stir until the lumps are gone, and then stir in the pumpkin. Add the extra nondairy milk as needed to reach pancake batter consistency, probably about 1/4 cup or so depending on your how much liquid is in your pumpkin (you will need to add some but not necessarily all so do this slowly, stirring in a spoonful or two at a time). Add a little bit of vegan margarine or oil to a frying pan at slightly below medium heat. Pour the pancake batter into the pan to form 3-4" cakes. Flip the cakes when a few bubbles form on top and the bottom is light golden brown. Cook on the second side for just a moment and then enjoy topped with vegan margarine and grade B maple syrup!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Muir Glen Organic Reserve Kit Giveaway!

Annually, Muir Glen Organic offers a limited number of tomato Reserve Kits made with special Harvest Sunset tomatoes.

Chosen specifically for their exceptional sweetness, the Harvest Sunset™ Reserve--a blend of yellow and red tomatoes, offer unique but complimentary textures, colors and flavor profiles.

This year's kit contains:

One 14.5 oz can Reserve Harvest Sunset Organic Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes
One 14.5 oz can Reserve Harvest Sunset Organic Diced Tomatoes
One 14.5 oz can Muir Glen Organic Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes with Green Chilies
One 14.5 oz can Muir Glen Organic No-Salt Added Diced Tomatoes
A recipe booklet featuring a variety of recipes created by award-winning chefs from around the country made with the 2011 Reserve Tomatoes

I don't know about you, but this is making me hungry for some soup or maybe some chili (fire roasted tomatoes in vegan chili, anyone?).

Each kit has a retail value of $10 (not including shipping). I will add details of how to order your own as they become available.

In the meantime, you can enter to win a Reserve Kit! Muir Glen has generously offered to give away one Reserve Kit to each of 5 lucky readers!

Enter to win using the Rafflecopter widget below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Please note that I need to pass along contact & shipping information from the winners to Muir Glen very soon after this giveaway closes so winners will need to check and respond to email promptly!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Guest Post by Erica of Cult of Kale: Tempeh Tacos with Roasted Artichokes and Spicy Sriracha Dipping Sauce

Today's post is the first ever guest post on The Vegan Kitchen blog! My friend Erica recently started a great blog called Cult of Kale (see details at the bottom of this post) and so I invited her to do a guest post here. She selected a tasty looking recipe from her own collection & I hope you all enjoy it!

I have to admit, I'm a little obsessed with Tempeh. When we lived in
NY, we would buy it in bulk from our local food co-op. When we moved to Arizona,
I was very disappointed that it was not carried by most
grocers in the area. We occasionally find it at an Asiana
marketplace, but mostly I buy it from Trader Joe's.

What is tempeh? Tempeh is a fermented cake or patty like product made
up of soybeans and sometimes grains. You can get them flavored, deep
fried, but usually double sealed in the refrigerated section
of a grocery store near the tofu. 

For this Meatless Monday, I was in a Mexican-food mood, so I decided
to make Tempeh Tacos with Roasted Artichokes and a spicy Sriracha
Dipping Sauce!

Tempeh Tacos

For this recipe you'll need:
  • 1 package of tempeh
  • 2 tablespoons of soy sauce
    of choice
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper of choice,
  • 2 tablespoons of taco
  • 3-4 flour tortillas or 6-8
    taco shells
  1. Prepare the tempeh by cutting into crumble size chunks and boiling
    in a small saucepan for 5 minutes with a dash of salt and a bay leaf.
    Dump water and bay leaves when finished.
  2. While tempeh is cooking, saute the chopped onion and
    pepper with a little oil of choice.
  3. When the onions are just starting to turn translucent, turn down
    the heat to medium and  toss the tempeh.
  4. Let the tempeh cook with
    the onions and peppers for a few minutes then add soy sauce and
  5. Toss until tempeh is well coated, cooking a couple minutes longer.
    Turn off heat and place the lid on the pot, allowing it to sit on the
    burner for 5-10 minutes.
  6. Stuff your tortillas or taco shells, add additional taco toppings
    like salsa, hot sauce, tomatoes or lettuce and enjoy!
For this recipe you'll need:
  • Artichokes, as many as you want! My recipe is built for two, so
    adjust measurements as needed
  • 2 cloves of garlic, whole
  • 1 tablespoon of red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup of fresh chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 a lime
  • oil, for roasting pan
  1. This is best to start before anything
    else, since you can get back to it while other foods are cooking.
    Place artichokes in a pot large enough to hold them and fill the pot
    with water.
  2. Bring water to boil. Add two cloves of
    garlic, a tablespoon of red pepper flakes and a quarter cup chopped
    fresh cilantro.
  3. Once boiling, cover the pot with lid and
    turn heat down to simmer. Allow to cook for 30 minutes.
  4. Prepare roasting pan with a little bit
    of oil. Turn on broiler or oven up to 500°F.
  5. Carefully remove artichokes from water
    with tongs and carefully place on a cutting board. Slice artichokes
    down the middle. 
  6. Squeeze juice from the lime into the
    exposed inside of the artichoke halves.
  7. Place the artichokes with the cut side
    down on the roasting pan and place carefully into oven. Cook for 5
  8. Pull out of oven and allow to cool.
    Serve with favorite dip or some spicy Sriracha dip!
Sriracha Dip
For the dip you'll need:
  • 1/2 cup of vegan mayo
  • 2 tablespoons of Sriracha
  • 1 finely diced clove of garlic (or 1 tsp of garlic powder)
  1. Mix all ingredients.
  2. Enjoy!
I hope you enjoyed this recipe! You can find me on Facebook
and Twitter, as well as
right on my blog Cult of
Erica D. is a longtime vegan studying Urban Horticulture and
Sustainability. Her blog, Cult of
is a green lifestyle blog covering urban gardening, vegan
cooking and general tips on leaving a smaller footprint on our planet.
She lives with three kitties and her husband in sunny Arizona.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Maple BBQ Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Recently I happened to try a BBQ rub & discovered that it tastes amazing on sweet potatoes. I first tried it on sweet potato fries and then decided to see how it would be in instead of just on so I made these maple BBQ mashed sweet potatoes. I still want to try this rub on other veggies and other dishes, but I think this recipe is a keeper!

2 cups of sweet potato, baked & scooped from the skin
2 TBSP maple syrup, preferably grade B
1 TBSP Bella's Backwoods BBQ Rub

In a large bowl, mash the sweet potatoes with a potato masher; this would probably work in a food processor, but where is the fun in that? Stir in the maple syrup and the BBQ rub. Serve hot.

If you are interested in trying this recipe, Bella's Backwoods BBQ Rub is available from Rocco's Country Spice on Etsy.
Obviously, I did ask whether it was vegan before buying it. When I decided to post this recipe I asked him to give me a little more information about the rub so I could share it with you. Here is what Rocco had to say:

"A love for all things BBQ and a need to serve some of my vegan friends at our church dinners led to Our very own spice blend that is completely free of animal derived products and very minimally processed. Kosher salt and a special blend of spices sourced as local as possible, including FSC certified maple syrup, oragnic raw cane sugar, smoked paprika and a healthy dose of garlic are just a few ingredients in this unique blend. Bella's Backwoods BBQ rub is always made in small batches, and of course, made with a respect for those we serve."

Please note that the BBQ sauce he sells is not vegan; I have already checked.

This product was not provided for a review, I just happened to try it & love it & want to share it! Sorry for the lack of a photo, it was eaten before I got to take one. I may add one later.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Mom's Oatmeal Goes Tropical

I was at a diner/cafe not long ago with my family & ordered oatmeal. I was not expecting the "oatmeal" I was served; it was nothing like what I think of as oatmeal! Apparently some people think oatmeal should be gluey, slimy, goop. I disagree! My mom has always made oatmeal that is flavorful & a little bit chewy, and after the diner I found myself looking forward to a bowl of oatmeal like my mom makes. This recipe is a variation on the way she cooks oatmeal with a bit of a tropical twist.

1 cup water
1/2 cup rolled oats (old fashioned, not quick cooking)
1/4 to 1/3 cup fresh pineapple, diced or cut into small chunks
1/4 cup walnut halves, broken into pieces
1/8 cup raisins *
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup vanilla coconut milk (like Silk or So Delicious brand)
1/8 cup maple syrup, preferably grade B **

In a medium saucepan, bring the water to a boil. Stir in the oats, walnuts, raisins, pineapple, and cinnamon. Reduce heat to medium and allow to cook until the oatmeal is softened but still a bit chewy, about 5 to 7 minutes. Remove the pan from heat and stir in the coconut milk and maple syrup. Allow the oatmeal to sit for a few minutes before serving but don't allow it to get cold.

Makes about 1 1/2 cups cooked. Obviously, use more or less cinnamon and maple syrup as you prefer!

* 1/8 cup is 2 TBSP so just use your TBSP if you don't have a 1/8 cup measure
** Grade B maple syrup is darker and has a stronger maple flavor. If you can't find any you can use Grade A, but I promise Grade B is worth looking for!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Red Tea Layer Cake with Rose Frosting

My favorite cake will always be chocolate but I also enjoy experimenting with different flavors. For my Grandma's birthday gathering I baked this lovely layer cake flavored with red tea, vanilla, and orange. The rose frosting is light, delicate, and not only tastes delicious it also smells wonderful!

A quick note about the cake recipe: I adapted this from a recipe I found years ago on a site called Cat Tea Corner. This site has since disappeared but I kept a printout of the recipe. If the person/people who used to maintain Cat Tea Corner read this please contact me; I miss your site and the fantastic recipes you posted on it!

The finished cake, assembled and frosted!

The batter in a 9" round pan.

Red Tea Cake with Orange and Vanilla

2 cups strongly brewed red tea, cooled to room temperature
2 TBSP vinegar
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp orange extract (if you don't like orange use more vanilla instead)
3/4 cup safflower oil or other vegetable oil
2 cups cane sugar
3 1/2 cups unbleached flour
1 tsp salt (optional)
2 tsp baking soda
vegetable shortening, palm oil, or Earth Balance for greasing pans
additional flour for pans

Combine in the bowl of a stand mixer (or a large mixing bowl if you plan to use a hand mixer) the tea, vinegar, vanilla, orange, oil, and sugar. Mix these ingredients on low until combined. In a separate bowl stir together the sugar, flour, salt, and baking soda before adding them to the wet ingredients. Once everything is in the bowl of the stand mixer begin mixing on a low speed until the dry ingredients are somewhat incorporated and then increase the speed. Periodically stop to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl and then resume mixing until the batter is uniform and any lumps are gone. Prepare two 9" round cake pans by greasing them with vegetable shortening or Earth Balance and then flouring them. Pour the batter into the pans, dividing it evenly between the two, and bake them at 350 degrees for 40 to 50 minutes. They are done when the middle springs back if poked gently and the cake pulls away from the sides of the pan. Allow the cake to cool completely before removing it from the pans.

The remains of the frosting in my stand mixer's bowl after I assembled the cake.

Rose Frosting

1 cup palm oil or vegetable shortening
4 cups powdered sugar
2 tsp rosewater
1/4 cup room-temperature water
8 drops of India Tree red food coloring (optional)

Place the palm oil or vegetable shortening in the bowl of your stand mixer and set it to a medium speed for a minute or two. Add the remaining ingredients, except for the food coloring, and mix on a slow speed and gradually increase it to high. Periodically stop to scrape the sides and bottom to ensure there are no lumps of fat or sugar. The frosting should reach a light, whipped consistency. Add the food coloring 1 or 2 drops at a time, mixing thoroughly with each addition, until you reach the shade of pink you would like. I used 8 drops of India Tree plant-based food coloring for a nice light pink but if you use a different food coloring you may need more or less.

The frosting that will be situated between the top and bottom layers of the cake.

To assemble the cake just place the bottom layer on your serving dish and spread it with frosting, place the second layer on top, and then spread the remaining frosting around the sides and on the top. It helps if you use a wide knife so you have a greater flat surface with which to smooth the frosting.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Three Year Blogiversary Giveaway #3

For the final giveaway in celebration of my three year blogiversary having one winner just didn't seem like enough. That is why I postponed this giveaway by a few days so I could add more prizes and have more winners! This time I am giving away some kitchen items to four lucky readers. These are all made by a very nice lady who sells them at the local market every Saturday. I have bought numerous items from her in the past, some as gifts and others for use in my own kitchen, so I thought this would be the perfect thing to share! I'll post further instructions for entering below, but first, here are the prizes:

Prizes A (left) and B (right) are hand towels meant to hang on a drawer or fridge handle & each one will come with a cream dish cloth like the one placed between them.

Prize C is also a hand towel and it is paired with a green/blue pattern dish cloth.

Prize D is a floral print apron which has two pockets in the front, although it may be difficult to tell that from the photo. It is an adult size apron but it can be adjusted quite a bit since it fastens with ties at the back and at the top.

When the giveaway ends I will draw four winners and who gets what prize will be determined by the preferences each has entered into the Rafflecopter widget. The first drawn will get his/her first choice prize, the second drawn will get his/her first choice prize of the remaining prizes and so on. Each person who enters can only get one prize so if a name is drawn twice it will only be counted once (for the first time drawn). Please note that I am not entirely sure how the winners will show up in the widget once they are drawn since this is my first time using Rafflecopter for a mutli-winner giveaway but regardless of how they are shown the prizes will be determined in the manner I have just explained and not directly in the widget. I hope you have been enjoying this month's giveaways as much as I have!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, May 11, 2012

Three Year Blogiversary Week #2 Giveaway: Ingredients to Make Peachy Oolong Iced Tea

If you didn't read the week #1 post then here is the information you missed:

This month marks The Vegan Kitchen's third blogiversary! I've been posting recipes here for three whole years and I want to celebrate by saying thank you to my readers with giveaways and special recipes throughout May. I have a new giveaway to post each Friday through the 18th and then, if certain goals are met, I will have one final (even bigger) blogiversary giveaway on the last Friday of the month. The goals for that final giveaway are to reach 3,000 Facebook "likes" (1,000 for each year), 7,500 Twitter followers (2,500 for each year), and 300 email subscriptions (100 for each year). If you want that extra giveaway make sure you like, follow, and subscribe and let others know why they should too!

This week's giveaway is all the ingredients you need to make my Peachy Oolong Iced Tea, except for water and, if you want to make the syrup, frozen peaches. I've been drinking this almost daily since Spring weather arrived so why not join in? Enter below to win a box of peach tea, a box of oolong tea, and a 2 lb bag of vegan/organic sugar so you can make your own delicious iced tea!

Florida Crystals vegan/organic sugar, Triple Leaf Tea oolong tea, and Celestial Seasonings country peach passion tea

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, May 4, 2012

Three Year Blogiversary Giveaway #1: Zoya Nail Polish

This month marks The Vegan Kitchen's third blogiversary! I've been posting recipes here for three whole years and I want to celebrate by saying thank you to my readers with giveaways and special recipes throughout May. I have a new giveaway to post each Friday through the 18th and then, if certain goals are met, I will have one final (even bigger) blogiversary giveaway on the last Friday of the month. The goals for that final giveaway are to reach 3,000 Facebook "likes" (1,000 for each year), 7,500 Twitter followers (2,500 for each year), and 300 email subscriptions (100 for each year). If you want that extra giveaway make sure you like, follow, and subscribe and let others know why they should too!

To kick things off the first giveaway is vegan nail polish! If nail polish isn't your thing, check back next Friday for a completely different giveaway. If you've read my "about me" page (see the navigation tabs at the top of the page) you know that vegan nail polish is one of my favorite things outside the kitchen. I know it can be tough to find good vegan nail polish so I want to give one of my readers the opportunity to try one of my favorite brands. I picked two colors for this giveaway that I have in my own collection so I would be able to swatch them for you. Tess is a pretty pinkish foil and Delilah is a ruby red with a bit of glitter. I'm also including a 2oz bottle of Remove+ nail polish remover. Scroll down below the photos to enter with Rafflecopter. This giveaway is US and Canada only (due to shipping concerns), sorry!

Tess, Remove+, Delilah

Tess, Delilah, Remove+

Tess & Delilah

Tess on pointer & ring fingers, Delilah on middle and pinky fingers. Ignore the scratches and messy skin, I had to do this pretty quickly so the polish wasn't even dry when I took this picture and I bumped the wet polish a bit. You can search the web for better swatches of both.

Want to get your hands on this polish? Enter!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Promo from Dr.'s Remedy: 50% off Instant Cover

Dr.'s Remedy asked me to share this promo with you; they assured me this product is, like their nail polish, vegan.
Now through May 15th you can get 50% off their Instant Cover with the promo code ICSPRING2012.

Instant Cover is available in Light, Medium, or Dark.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Maple Vinaigrette

Maple Vinaigrette is as simple as a salad dressing can get: it has only two ingredients! I find that it works best with two types of salad, spring mix and baby spinach, but it might work with other dark green leafy salads as well. My favorite way to serve Maple Vinaigrette is with some chopped (or just broken) walnut pieces atop spring mix salad, sometimes with shredded carrots. Even my 6 year old will eat a big bowl of that and come back for more, and spring mix is not among his favorite salads. The best part is that it takes only about a minute to prepare so you can throw it together right when you want it or store some in a jar in your refrigerator for another day. This recipe makes 3/4 cup of dressing.

Maple Vinaigrette

½ cup maple syrup, preferably grade B *
¼ cup vinegar (cider or distilled)

Combine the ingredients in a bowl or measuring cup and whisk together until well combined. Enjoy! Store any leftover dressing in a lidded container, such as a jar, in your refrigerator.

* Why grade B? Grade B maple syrup is darker and has a stronger maple flavor than other grades. I prefer it because of that stronger flavor. If you can't find it at grocery stores you may be able to get it at a natural food store, farmers market, or directly from a maple producer (if you live near one). Grade A will work here, it just isn't as strong.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Dill-Glazed Beets *

This beet recipe is very easy and can be made in under 15 minutes.

I took another picture. This one is a bit more accurate in color ;)

2 15 oz cans whole beets, drained
1 TBSP Earth Balance margarine (I use soy free)
¼ cup agave
1 TBSP fresh dill, chopped and tightly packed

Combine the Earth Balance and agave in a frying pan over medium heat and allow the margarine to melt. Stir in the dill followed by the beets and cook for a few minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the beets to a serving dish and cook the remaining liquid for a few more minutes before pouring it over the beets. Serve hot or cold.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Product Review: Dr. Woods Soap

Recently Dr. Woods sent me samples of two vegan soaps from their line of products, Ginger Citrus Castile Soap (bar) and Lavender Castile Soap with Shea Butter (liquid). Now that I've tried both I'd like to share my thoughts on them.

I'll start with my favorite of the two, Ginger Citrus. I don't really smell the citrus in it but it definitely has a delightful ginger scent. It isn't overpowering, just pleasant, and it doesn't linger on skin after washing so I can enjoy the scent while bathing without smelling like it for hours afterward. For a bar soap, Dr. Woods Ginger Citrus really gives a lot of nice, rich lather, the lack of which is usually my biggest issue with bar soaps.

The Lavender liquid Castile soap I found less exciting. The scent is much stronger and I think the lavender stays on my skin after use, not necessarily a good thing in my opinion but if you want lasting scent then this is a good choice for you. It also doesn't give as much lather as the bar soap.

Overall I think both soaps are good, with the Ginger Citrus being the better of the two. If you are interested in trying Dr. Woods soap and you want to start with just one kind I would definitely go with a bar soap. Not all products from Dr. Woods are vegan but they do offer many that are so you'll just want to read the ingredients before purchasing.

You can find Dr. Woods on Facebook and on Twitter.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Breakfast Potatoes **

When I was a kid my mom would sometimes make breakfast potatoes, seasoned and cooked with onion in a frying pan. Although pancakes are my favorite hot breakfast this is definitely next on the list! I decided to add some protein to my version with black beans and I actually think it tastes better with them.

This recipe doesn't photograph so well but I promise you it is delicious! In this photo I've made it with the addition of some Field Roast brand veggie sausage.

2 cups chopped onion (a sweet onion will work best)
2 cups shredded potato (if you are using frozen potato allow it to thaw first)
1/2 TBSP safflower oil plus more as needed
1 cup prepared black beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 tsp salt plus more to taste
1/4 tsp ground black pepper plus more to taste

Optional ingredients:
1/2 to 1 cup cooked veggie sausage, cut into bite-size pieces (note: if you are avoiding soy or gluten make sure yours gluten/soy free!)

Heat a large frying pan over medium and add oil and onion. Cover the pan and cook until the onions are soft and translucent or slightly brown if desired, stirring occasionally. Transfer the cooked onion to a bowl and add a little more oil to the pan before spreading the potatoes evenly in the bottom and replacing the lid. Watch carefully to allow the potatoes to brown a little before turning them over and letting them brown on the second side. After the potatoes are cooked put the onion back in the pan with them and add the black beans (and veggie sausage if using). Sprinkle the salt and pepper on and stir everything together. Serve while hot and enjoy!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Peachy Oolong Iced Tea with Peachy Syrup *

I love tea, both hot and iced! It is a nice little treat any time of day and I could happily sip it all day long. In the winter I choose hot tea but once warmer weather rolls around I find it is nice to make iced tea by the gallon and keep it in the fridge, ready to drink whenever. I make a variety of different iced teas but this one is an especially summery treat. The nice thing about making a syrup instead of sweetening the tea is that you can choose just how sweet (or not sweet at all) you want each glass to be.

If you keep some frozen peach slices around dropping them in your tea in place of ice cubes is a nice little touch when you have a guest.

For the tea:
1 gallon water
5 or 6 oolong tea bags, 6 for stronger tea
5 herbal peach tea bags (I use Celestial Seasonings Country Peach Passion)

If the tea bags have tags remove them. In a large pot bring the water to just a boil and then remove it from heat. Add the oolong and peach tea bags and stir a few times with a slotted spoon to ensure they steep properly and don't cluster together too much. Allow the tea to sit with the teabags in while it cools. Do not remove the tea bags for at least 10 minutes! It is actually best to leave them in until the tea has cooled to room temperature; unlike standard black tea the oolong tea won't become bitter if left in for a long time. Once the tea is cooled to room temperature use the slotted spoon to drain and remove the tea bags. Pour the tea into a pitcher or gallon jug (using a funnel will aid with the latter) and store it in your refrigerator. This makes a bit less than a gallon of tea due to evaporation and the moisture the tea bags take with them when removed.

This syrup won't have as strong a peach flavor as commercial peach syrups, but it also doesn't have artificial flavoring, artificial coloring, or high fructose corn syrup, and you can make it with organic sugar if you like.

For the Syrup:

1 cup water
1 cup sugar
1 cup sliced peaches, fresh or frozen

In a saucepan combine the water and sugar over high heat and stir until somewhat dissolved. Add the peaches and allow to cook until the sugar is completely dissolved and the liquid is clear. Cover the pot and turn the heat off. Allow the peaches to sit in the syrup until cooled to room temperature. Remove the peaches (they will be very sweet but you can save them if you like) and pour the syrup into a container you can seal. If you don't want little bits of peach in your syrup you will want to pour it through a strainer before storing it. Unless you like your tea very sweet this will probably be more than enough syrup for one batch of tea.

NOTE: You can always just sweeten all of the tea, either by stirring syrup into the whole amount or by stirring sugar in before the tea cools if you prefer not to sweeten by the glass.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Strawberry Smoothie *

I refuse to buy "fresh" strawberries when it isn't strawberry season because they are never actually ripe and taste either very tart or very bland. I get my off-season strawberry fix in the form of a smoothie using frozen strawberries!

You'll only need three ingredients:

1 cup frozen whole strawberries (it is okay to go slightly over)
1 1/4 cups vanilla coconut milk, such as So Delicious or Silk
1 TBSP agave

Place all ingredients in your blender. Pulse a few times to break up the strawberries some and then blend on low to medium speed until smooth. If the consistency is too thick try adding more coconut milk no more than a few tablespoons at a time until you get the thickness you prefer. Makes about 16 oz of smoothie, enough for two people or one very thirsty person.

For a treat with less sugar you can reduce or skip the agave but if your berries are tart it will affect the flavor.

NOTES: If you aren't using vanilla coconut milk and opting for plain or unsweetened instead you may need to add extra agave and little bit of vanilla extract.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Dr.'s Remedy Valentine Delight: Vegan-friendly Nail Polish

This is actually my first not-food-related post on here! Vegan-friendly nail polish brand Dr.'s Remedy has asked me to share with you their Valentines Day nail polish picks and I think they are pretty shades (can you guess which on is my favorite?)!

The colors are described as:

REVIVE Ruby Red: "A shimmer-infused, Wizard of Oz-inspired shade of crimson"

RESOLUTION Red Glitter: "A red-meets-copper spin that's sequin-look-alike laden with high-shine and sparkle"

RESCUE Red: "A classic fire engine red REVIVE Ruby Red: A shimmer-infused, Wizard of Oz-inspired shade of crimson"

These shades and other Dr.'s Remedy Shades are available at for $17 per bottle at

In addition to being vegan, Dr.'s Remedy polishes are free of harmful ingredients like formaldehyde and enriched with beneficial ones like tea tree oil. You can read more about their formula here.

Just a little more info about Dr.'s Remedy:

"Dr.'s REMEDY is a line of doctor-inspired cosmetics that is dedicated to using clean, hypoallergenic ingredients. The brain-child of two New York-based podiatrists, Dr. Adam Cirlincione and Dr. William Spielfogel, Dr.'s REMEDY proves quintessentially-perfect for any person looking to better the condition of her skin and nails. Dr.'s REMEDY is sold exclusively at or by calling 877-323-NAIL."

Will you be painting your nails with vegan nail polish this Valentines Day?

Friday, February 3, 2012

Banana Nut Muffins

I already have a Banana Bread recipe posted here but this recipe for banana nut muffins is a bit different. It is lighter, fluffier, and is soy-free (the other recipe uses tofu). I don't actually like eating raw bananas but I love them in bread/muffin form, especially with walnuts and chocolate chips! My favorite way to eat these muffins is warm, cut in half and spread with some soy-free vegan margarine or coconut spread.

2 cups unbleached flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
6 TBSP safflower oil (or other vegetable oil)
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup So Delicious coconut milk yogurt (I use plain but vanilla would work also)
1 TBSP vinegar
2 ripe bananas, mashed (equal to 1 cup or slightly under)
1 cup walnuts (optional)
2/3 cup vegan chocolate chips (optional), try Enjoy Life to keep this recipe soy-free

Combine sugar, vanilla, yogurt, oil, and vinegar in the bowl of a stand mixer and mix on a low speed until well combined. In a smaller bowl, stir together the flour and baking soda and then add this to the wet ingredients. Mix starting at low and increasing to medium speed, periodically scraping the sides and bottom with a spoon until the batter is free of lumps. Add the mashed bananas and mix, then the walnuts and chocolate chips. The batter will be thick but stir-able. Scoop into lined muffin tins and bake at 350 for 35 minutes. Makes 18 to 20 muffins if both walnuts and chocolate chips are included.