Saturday, 30 August 2014

Park City, Utah

I've been to Park City several times and it changes with every season. Although I never ski and it is first and foremost a ski resort town, it is also filled with beautiful scenery, quaint shops, a gorgeous main street and adorable coloured houses. It's just a nice place to visit. Also the home of the Sundance Film Festival (don't let the name fool you, all the films are shown in Park City).

501 on Main is where I usually go to eat because I know they have a couple of vegan/gluten free options. And gluten free beer options - very important!
This is the Tomato Basil Bisque with gluten free toast (also vegan).
I've had the vegan chilli before as well...delicious!

Went in December 2015 and their vegan menu had increased! Yes that's still a side of Tomato Basil Bisque cause it's so good!

I love Rootd home wares which always has the neatest stuff. I love that most of the stuff they have is made locally and definitely nothing made in China.
I love these stone coasters I got made by a local artist.

I love The Mountain Town Olive Oil Company - they have the most amazing flavoured and aged balsamic vinegar and flavoured olive oils. And you can taste every single one! My favourite is the 15 year aged balsamic and the Peach Balsamic.

Famous graffiti artist Banksy left his mark in a little side nook off Main Street. 

In the off season you can take a 40 minute ski lift ride :)

Simple Vegan Pesto

Pesto is ridiculously easy to make yourself because it only has 4 ingredients, and it's much nicer when it's fresh. Perfect as a spread or on hot pasta.

Simple Vegan Pesto
makes around 1 cup


2 cups basil (you can use any herbs but the flavour will change)
1/2 cup pine nuts (you can use any nuts you like but the flavour will change)
1-2 cloves fresh garlic
1/4 to 1/2 cup good tasting extra virgin olive oil, as needed
Sea salt, to taste
Some optional ingredients are;
1 tbls lemon juice
3 tbls nutritional yeast or vegan Parmesan


In a food processor add the nuts, basil and garlic and pulse until chopped and mixed well.
Add extra virgin olive oil in a steady drizzle as you pulse the processor on and off.
Process until it becomes a smooth, light paste.
Add in optional ingredients if desired.
Season with sea salt, to taste.
Store in an airtight container in the fridge for at least an hour.

Vanilla Sugar

This is such a simple thing to do and yet makes the world of difference to your baking.
You can add vanilla sugar to anything, and if a recipe specifically asks for it then using regular sugar will effect the results.
A lot of people will just tell you to store the vanilla pods in the sugar but a much more effective way to get all the flavour out of the vanilla pods is to ground them up.
If you have a coffee grinder this works best but if not a food processor (or pestle and mortar) will work too. A cute mason jar full of vanilla sugar also makes a great gift!
This recipe is from Jamie Oliver.

Vanilla Sugar


1lb fine vegan sugar
2 vanilla pods*


Using a coffee grinder or food processor grind the vanilla pods, you may need to scrape down the sides a couple of times.
Add ground vanilla pods and sugar to a food processor and pulse until mixed thoroughly - the mixture will look like an ash colour.
Store in an air tight container.

*NB A fresh vanilla pods will be soft and pungent, if it's not as fresh it will be hard.

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Zest Kitchen & Bar

I only went to Zest Kitchen & Bar recently when my brother and sister in law were in town. I've always wanted to try it but you know as a vegan you tend to stick to the places you already know are good. I'm sorry I had not tried this place sooner! The food was amazing and the service was great. We sat outside because there was a band playing and it was a little bit loud inside, the weather was very pleasant though and the atmosphere in that part of SLC is very social with a bar straight across the road. I liked that they had the option of raw as well as cooked vegan food. I also liked that you could choose between processed vegan cheese or homemade nut cheeses.

Zest is vegan restaurant and EVERYTHING is gluten free but there are some dishes that can be vegetarian. They also had Green's vegan gluten free beer which I haven't seen anywhere else in SLC. I definitely will be going back!

August 2014 

December 2015 - Lavender lemonade, organic chips and salsa, grilled cheese sandwich with tomato soup and salted caramel torte - so delicious! Hubby had some mushrooms on toast that was from the starter menu but I forgot to take a pic, it was delicious too!

Vegan Lipstick

I've always loved Manic Panic's vegan lipstick because it's cheap and really lasts but their colour range isn't amazing.

A couple new brands I've discovered that I'm enjoying are Tarte Amazonian range and Etherealle from Etsy.

Etherealle - "Empress"

Etherealle - "Hibiscus"

Tarte Amazonian Clay - Foxy Hot Pink

Friday, 15 August 2014

DIY Laundry Detergent

So environmentally friendly vegan laundry powder does not come cheap! Well it does if you make it yourself! This recipe comes from the guru of DIY, DIY Natural. I quadrupled this recipe to make a larger amount. Borax I just found at the supermarket but the washing soda I got online from Walmart.

DIY Laundry Detergent


1 bar (or 4.5 ounces) of vegan bar soap (I used my own homemade soap but any vegan plain soap will do)
1 cup of borax (use a brand that does not test on animals such as Mountain Rose HerbsBrambleberry)
1 cup of washing soda/baking soda (use a brand that does not test on animals such as Bob's Red MillBrambleberry or Mountain Rose Herbs)


Grate the soap and mix into borax and washing soda well.
If you like a cold wash, add the mix in batches to a food processor and pulse until the mix is finely ground.
Store in an air tight container with a small scoop.
Use around 1 Tbls per wash, or 2-3 Tbls for a large or heavily soiled wash.

GF Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies

I got this recipe from Sarah's Bakes and she uses her own flour mix which I have included at the bottom. I'm not sure how different they would turn out but I used High Protein Flour Blend and they were a little bit floury and crumbly but still delicious! They are good if you are into the more soft/chewy cookie rather than hard dunkable cookie :)

GF Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies


2 1/3 cups Sarah's gluten free flour blend
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
3/4 cup organic brown sugar
1/2 cup organic cane sugar
1/2 cup coconut oil, softened
1/4 cup So Delicious unsweetened coconut milk, room temperature
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup, room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cup dairy free chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
Line baking sheets with parchment paper. 
In medium bowl, sift together flour blend, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside. 
In large mixing bowl, cream together the brown sugar, sugar and coconut oil, 1-2 minutes. 
Add coconut milk, maple syrup, and vanilla. 
Mix until blended. 
Add the flour mixture and chocolate chips. 
Stir until just combined. 
Roll 2-tablespoon size scoops of cookie dough into balls and place onto prepared baking sheet. Slightly flatten with fingers. 
Bake for 8-9 minutes. Do not over-bake (cookies will be soft to the touch). 
Place cookies on cooling rack to cool completely. 
Store in air-tight container.


*Sarah's gluten free flour blend
makes about 9 cups


4 cups brown rice flour
2 cups sweet white sorghum flour or white rice flour^
2 cups potato starch
1/2 cup tapioca flour
1/2 cup corn starch**
5 teaspoons xanthan gum


Mix all the ingredients in either a large ziploc bag or bowl.  Sift together using a large wire whisk to really incorporate all of the flours.  Store in an airtight container.

^Use 2 cups white rice flour for a lighter blend.

**With a corn allergy, feel free to simply use an additional 1/2 cup tapioca starch.

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Vegan Ratatouille Quiche (Soy Free)

I used a recipe I already had for the base, some ratatouille I had in the fridge and the filling recipe from The Vegan Household...his full recipe here.
This is a great vegan quiche recipe for those who do not want to use tofu/soy. Just make sure your vegan butter is soy free.

Vegan Ratatouille Quiche


1/2 recipe of ratatouille

For the quiche mixture;
1 cup ( 105 g ) chickpea flour
2.5 cups ( 600 ml ) water
1 vegetable stock cube ( A cube that makes 500 ml stock ~ I used Kallo )
1/2 teaspoon sage
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
3 tablespoons ( 10 g ) nutritional yeast
1/2 teaspoon black salt ( Kala Namak ), this is optional but it will give more of a taste of egg if used or 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt

Melted vegan margarine for brushing.


Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius ( 400 F ) Gas Mark 6.
Line an oiled quiche dish with the pastry (I used a spring form pan for easy removal!), prick the bottom with a fork and bake for 15 minutes.
Remove from the oven and put to one side as you prepare the filling.
Now prepare the quiche filling.
In a bowl add the chickpea flour and one of the cups of water.
Whisk this together well and put this to one side.
In a wide bottomed saucepan, add the final 1.5 cups of water and the stock cube, nutritional yeast, turmeric, sage and black salt (or the sea salt).
Bring to the boil.
When the water comes to the boil, slowly pour in the chickpea mixture and stir continuously.
Once all the mixture has been combined, lower the heat and continue to stir continuously for 2-3 minutes until the mixture becomes quite thick and glossy.
Add in the cauliflower and the vegetables and combine everything well. This will be a very solid mixture.
Pour into the prepared pastry case, leveling with a spatula, and top with the sliced tomatoes.
Put into the oven for 20 minutes.
Remove from the oven and brush the top with some melted vegan margarine and place back into the oven for a further 5 minutes.
Remove and allow to cool completely before serving.
Can be served warm or cold. If you are serving warm, then allow to cool and reheat in the oven for 5 minutes.


I used the recipe in A Vegan Taste of France by Linda Majzlik but the recipe is pretty much the same in Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking and any recipe you find online...and this French classic was always vegan :)

Serves 8


1lb eggplant, sliced in thin rounds (3/8 Inch thick)
1lb zucchini, scrubbed and sliced thinly (3/8 inch think)
1tsp salt
6 Tbls olive oil, dived into 4 and 2
1/1lb thinly sliced yellow onions (I used red)
2 green peppers/capsicum (I used red)
2 garlic cloves, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
1lb tomatoes, peeled seeded, juiced (reserved) and sliced (I skipped this step and just chopped)
3 Tbls chopped parsley
2 Tbls chopped basil (not used in Julia Child's recipe)
2 bay leaves


Place eggplant and zucchini in a bowl and toss salt, let stand for 30 mins and then drain and dry each slice with a tea towel. I often completely skip this step with eggplants but it's up to  you, I'm lazy :)
Add 4 Tbls olive oil to a large skillet and  on a medium heat layer the zucchini and eggplant rounds and cook for a minute on each side. And repeat until all have been done and set aside.
In the same skillet  add remaining 2 Tbls olive oil and sauté onions and green peppers for 10 mins on a low heat do that they are soft, not brown.
Stir in garlic, salt and pepper to taste.
Add in sliced tomato , season with salt and pepper.
Cover the skillet and cook for another 5 mins on low.
Uncover and being to boil until liquid is evaporated.
At this point I just add back the zucchini and eggplant and add the bay leave, simmer for another 10mins, covered then 15 mins uncovered (or until all vegetables are soft) and then mix through basil and parsley before serving.
If you want the proper French  Julia Child version read on...
Place 1/3 of tomato mixture in a casserole dish covering the bottom around 2".
Sprinkle  1tbls  parsley over tomatoes.
Arrange half the eggplant and zucchini on top.
Add remain half if tomato mixture and parsley.
Add remaining half of  zucchini  and eggplant on top.
Cover and simmer on a low hear for 10mins.
Uncover and pour over rendered tomato juice.
Add more salt and pepper as needed.
Raise the hear to low-medium and cook uncovered for 15 minutes  adding more tomato juice as it evaporates. You want to avoid burning the vegetables on the bottom.
Serve as a side or a main with rice.