Tuesday, 10 December 2019

Pumkpin PIe

This vegan pumpkin pie recipe comes from Loving It Vegan and was amazing. The kids loved it and it was easy to make! It was so rich we didn't need any extras. It came out a darker colour than I expected!


 Pumpkin Pie

Ingredients

1 15oz (425g) Can Puréed Pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)*
3/4 cup Coconut Milk (full fat)
3/4 cup vegan Brown Sugar
1/4 cup Cornstarch
1/4 cup Maple Syrup
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
3 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice*
1/2 tsp Salt
1 Vegan Pie Crust homemade or store-bought (must be uncooked)

Method

Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
Add all the filling ingredients to a blender and blend until perfectly smooth.
Pour out over your uncooked pie crust and smooth with a spoon.
Bake in the oven for 60 minutes.
When you remove it from the oven, it will still be quite wobbly in the center, this is completely fine, it will firm up when cooling.
Allow to cool on the counter and then place into the refrigerator to set completely, around 4 hours at least or overnight if possible until completely chilled and set.
Decorate the pie and serve with whipped coconut cream.
Keep leftovers covered in the fridge where it will last for up to a week.



Pumpkin Pie Spice
3 Tbsp Ground Cinnamon
2 tsp Ground Ginger
2 tsp Ground Nutmeg
1 and 1/2 tsp Ground Allspice
1 and 1/2 tsp Ground Cloves

Homemade Dishwasher Tablets

This is a recipe from doTERRA which works beautifully. I initially misread the ingredients and used On Guard EO instead of the cleaner concentrate...it smelt amazing but was definitely too much for washing dishes LOL
This worked better than the Seventh Generation ones I was using, no hard water marks or grainy soap residue.


Homemade Dishwasher Tablets

Ingredients
1 cup baking soda
¼ cup citric acid
1 tablespoon doTERRA On Guard Cleaner Concentrate
5 drops Grapefruit oil (I used lemon)

Method

Put baking soda, citric acid, doTERRA On Guard Cleaner Concentrate, and Grapefruit oil in a mixing bowl. Mix together until the mixture is an even consistency.
Place in silicon molds and let sit for four hours. Remove tabs.
Store in an airtight container.
Use in dishwasher in place of store-bought dishwasher tablets.


Tuesday, 3 December 2019

Southern Collard Greens

I'm seriously obsessed with southern style collard greens t the moment, I'm not at all sure why since I did not grow up with them but I seriously grave them!!! Anyway here's my vegan version of traditional southern style collard greens done in a slow cooker for ease although you can also just use a large pot and simmer for a couple hours.


Southern Collard Greens

Ingredients

2 (14-oz.) cans vegetable broth
2lbs chopped fresh collard greens
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 Tbls coconut oil
1/2 tsp liquid smoke
2 tsp vegetable stock powder (I used Vegeta)
salt and pepper to taste.


Method

Add all ingredients to your slow cooker and cook on low for 9-10 hours.
Keep warm until ready to serve.

Tuesday, 19 November 2019

Vegan Product Review - November 2019

 Some vegan products I've discovered recently....

Halloween brought me looking for vegan candy and I found! At Earth Fare I picked up individually wrapped Unreal gems such as almond butter cups and coconut bars. Plus I found individual portions of the chocolate covered peanuts!



Earth Fare had this brand (I think it's their brand?) Wholesome of vegan "Swedish" fish. The verdict from my kids was that they don't taste like Swedish fish but taste like a raspberry jelly candy/ They were good though! They also had some organic lollipops.
 

Another option of more individual portion was these Smart Sweets fish which were also good!


Yum Earth had these special edition Halloween gummy fruits with individual servings which were a hit with my three year old!


This is probably my most favorite discovery of late. My friend discovered these for me and I can never find pot-stickers that are vegan AND GF...these Feel Good Foods vegetable pot-stickers are AND they are really good! Even the dipping sauce isn't bad!


So when Wholefoods had a 50% sale on all frozen pizza I took notice even though there are normally none i can eat besides Daiya but then I saw this! Amy's now has a vegan GF pizza. Only one so far and it's pepperoni but it was actually very decent!


 Now that we are on the subject of vegan GF meat substitutes I have to say the new formula meatier Beyond Meat burger is really good! But Dr. Praegers new Perfect Burger tastes pretty similar to Beyond Meat so it will be an easy choice - whichever one is on sale ;)

 

This ground vegan beef from The Meatless Farm Co out of the UK was pretty good, I used it for meatballs that were a huge hit! I bought their Beyond Meat style burger patties as well and am excited to try them since price wise it's about the same but the ground beef is much cheaper.


These Dr. Praeger's Sunday Funday Veggie Sausage patties were a huge hit with the kids! 


We usually get Kite Hill yoghurt but these Follow Your Heart ones were on sale and I was impressed! They are more like Fruiche (like whiped almost spongy texture) than Kite Hill which is more creamy. 


I found these Lundberg Organic Grainspirations bowls, I think at Wholefoods?? ANyway they are super healthy but not a ton of flavor so I had to add some coconut aminos!



I found a vegan dip nail company called Revel Nail. I love the color range, the customer service is really good and it wasn't difficult to do at home honestly once I figured it out! Watch the videos LOL
I will say that dips in general I think for me at least work amazingly on my toes because they last for months but on my fingers I was always picking them off and that left my nails weak and ripped. It's quite an effort to get them off the proper way and I'm way too impatient! 


I'm totally in love with Coopers Hawk winery at the moment! All their wines are vegan and delicious! They have taste testings for $8. This Vin Chocolat Noir is AMAZING!!!! 


I'm fairly addicted to The Honest Stand cheese dips. The smoked cheddar is my favorite! I love heating them in the microwave and pouring them over corn chips. My three year old loves to dip chips in! 


I LOVE Kat von D's new Go Big or Go Home mascara - it's great with lengthening and definition but it is insanely waterproof so make sure you have a good make up remover!


 

This Sonoma Flatbreads vegan GF vegetable pizza was really good, I don't see them very often though.


I am quite loyal to Little Northen Bakehouse but it's so rare to find vegan GF bread products that I had to try these O'Doughs products when I saw them on sale. They were very nice when toasted!


 I found these Cedar Lane products at Sprouts. I really liked them all honestly! I also had the tofu scramble which was great. The creamed spicnach and kale was my favorite I think. I like to add pickles, curry powder and black salt to the egg salad and make curried egg sandwiches!



Very important popcorn reviews.... I tried the Lesser Evil Himalayan Gold popcorn and couldn't believe the butter flavor just came from coconut oil and salt. It was so convincing! I also really liked the Skinny popcorn butter flavor microwave popcorn and the popcorn mini cakes although the flavor was a bit overly salty.



Monday, 18 November 2019

Vegan Meatballs (using vegan ground beef)

I found a regular recipe for meatballs on Cooking Classy and changed it to vegan and GF and they turned out really well. Everyone in the family liked them which believe me when you're dealing with three kids and a fussy husband that is a rare occurrence indeed! I did one batch baked and one batch fried to see the difference and honestly I preferred the baked ones which surprised me! The were firm but soft, where as the fried ones were crispy. For breadcrumbs I keep all the ends of my GF bread (I use Little Northern Bakehouse brand) and process them and keep them in the freezer. I used 2 Tbls dried mix Italian herbs instead of fresh.



Vegan Meatballs
(makes 24)

Ingredients

1 cups (5.2 oz) GF bread crumbs
1/2 + 2 Tbls cup non-dairy milk, then more if needed
1 lb. vegan ground beef ( I used The Meatless Farm Co.)
1 egg replacer (I used No Egg)
1/2 cup finely minced yellow onion (I used onion powder instead)
1 garlic cloves, minced 
1 Tbsp finely chopped fresh basil
1 Tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley
1/2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh oregano
1/2 cup vegan Parmesan cheese, shredded (I used VioLife)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup olive oil, only if using the fried method

Pasta of choice



Method

In a large mixing bowl stir together bread crumbs and milk while adding more milk 1 Tbsp at a time to moisten bread fully. Let rest while you prep ingredients (or at least 5 minutes).
To breadcrumb mixture add beef, eggs, onion, garlic, basil, parsley, oregano, parmesan and season over top of ingredients evenly with salt and pepper.
Gently toss mixture and break meat up with fingertips until ingredients are evenly mixed.
Shape mixture with greased hands into even size meatballs, about 1 1/4-inches each (or about 38g).



Oven Baked Method

Preheat oven to 400 degrees before you begin preparing meatballs.
Spray two dark coated non-stick pans well with non-stick cooking spray (see note 4), or brush with olive oil.
Place formed meatballs on baking sheets, fitting about 20 per each and spacing evenly apart. 

Bake in upper and lower third of oven 10 minutes.
Remove and turn meatballs if browned already on bottom (use a thin metal spatula to scrape from baking sheet). Transfer pans to opposite racks and bake until cooked through, about 8 - 12 minutes longer (should register 165 degrees in center of meatballs).


Stir into warmed marinara sauce. Simmer on low heat if desired for even more tender meatballs (about 10 - 20 minutes, toss occasionally gently).

Pan Fried Stovetop Method

To pan fry meatballs pour 3/4 cup olive oil into a 12-inch non-stick skillet, heat over medium heat.


Cook meatballs in 3 batches (so they aren't overcrowded) until golden brown on bottom, about 4 - 6 minutes. Then turn to opposite side and cook opposite side until golden brown. Transfer to paper towels to drain.

Transfer meatballs to warmed marinara sauce (see note 5) in a large pot, submerge in sauce. Cover and simmer over low heat until meatballs are 165 degrees in center, gently tossing meatballs occasionally, about 15 - 20 minutes.

While the meatballs are frying/baking make the pasta and the marinara sauce




Toddler loves them with no sauce...


Inside fried meatball...




Saturday, 7 September 2019

September Jax Veg Fest

Great morning out at the September Jax Veg Fest! Was a bit sad at the lack of GF options but I'm kind of used to that in Florida! My fave Murray Hillbilly were not there but I did spy one of the owners wandering around in a stellar vegan shirt ;)



Definitely highlight for me was seeing my boy Chef David Cressler Jr of Verdes Garden Fresh, the man is a genius with salad. I'm not normally a salad person (yes in the 20 years I was vegetarian and the last 9 years I've been vegan - I understand it sounds ridiculous) but this man can make even the strongest of non-salad believers see the light! It's not your traditional ingredients and dressing, David sources everything locally, even growing a lot of the produce himself. He marinades and sauces a lot of the salad ingredients separately then lovingly compiles them into a multi level taste sensation! Even my eleven year old daughter who hates mushrooms tasted his mushroom salad and said "your salad dude is a genius" LOL You want to make your kids eat their veggies - this is how! Look out for him at Bull Park Market and Jarboe Park Markets (both Jax Beaches).



Delicious fried rice and "chicken" from the Zen Butcher...


I very much enjoyed some GF vegan delights of Govinda's Cafe and then was dismayed when they said they are in Gainesville (Get out there people of Gainesville and get you some!)



I was excited to see so many GF options from the Nile Ethiopian Restaurant which I didn't even know existed - I will definitely be going there!




Had a delicious natural ice block from Guanabana Ice Pops, I totally flaked on taking a picture though - you have my word they were delicious! I had the guanabana flavor which was kind of like lychee.

And tasted some pretty choice kombucha by Mother Kombucha out of Gainesville (available in Winn Dixie, Publix and Earth Fare). I got the Blue Rose flavor, so good! As you know I like to support my local peeps and I can't get enough of Gnarbucha (loyal for life!) but they were there :( Also if you don't happen to live at Jax Beaches then you can find Mother Kombucha at your local!




A couple of amazing animal organizations were present such as Sage Sanctuary and Gardens for Education, CJ Acres Animal Rescue Farm and Community Unity Animal Sanctuary (go buy some of their awesome vegan t-shirts to raise money for their sanctuary).




Also had a nice chat to a guy from Green Chef which is a food delivery company that delivers ingredients and recipes straight to your door helping people create delicious vegan meals and they cater to a number of dietary restrictions which other companies don't seem to.