Friday, June 27, 2014

Vegan on your doorstep

One of the things that every vegan does before eating a new food is read the label. Sometimes I am caught by surprise when something I just know is vegan contains animal products. Every day I learn more about other names for animal products that may be found in food. There is even an app called "Is it Vegan?" that promises to take the guess work and eye strain out of finding vegan products.

And if you don't want to read labels or download apps you can always order from Vegan Cuts- a website that offers monthly deliveries of vegan snacks. I indulged in a one month gift subscription to determine whether I really wanted to commit to this.

I was amazed to see the size of the box, for some reason I was expecting a huge box. But, after much thought and being pleased with the items in the box I got over these feelings. The following items were in my box:

So far, my absolute favorite thing in the box has been the lemon snakaroons. So good! Everything else was okay, nothing I would really go out searching for. I liked the chance to try new things that I might never see in a store, but was a sad there was only one of everything. I think I will subscribe to a year of Vegan Cuts and see what else is out there.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

The Way of the Salad!

Salad! Everyone thinks that vegans love salad, in fact they think that it is all we eat. "Just have the salad," is a suggestion I have heard many times. To which I reply, " I do not like Salad!" Oh course, this causes a conversation about how someone who doesn't like salad could be a vegan.

When I stumbled across  Salad Samurai by Terry Hope Romero I ordered this cookbook hoping to change this attitude and instill a love for salad. (Isn't that a lot to ask of one cookbook?) Well, Terry does peak my interest by including pictures of hearty, colorful salads that I actually want to try. The design of this cookbook is incredible. The colors are eclectic and unusual, but they work well. The recipes are accompanied by tips for substitutions or other information that could be useful. Most of the recipes are simple with ingredients that are easy to find or swapped.

I have tried three recipes from Salad Samurai;

That 70's Tofu- A marinade made with tamari and a few other ingredients coats tofu that is baked for 30 minutes. I baked my tofu for a few extra minutes for more color and crispiness. This is a suggested salad topper, but can be served with rice and veggies.

Overnight Oats- I do not know why I have never tried overnight oats. This is simple, quick and delicious. Terry included a recipe for the lazy. Of course this was the recipe I used. This has already become a breakfast staple in my home.

Coconut Samosa Potato Salad- This recipe combined potatoes, chickpeas and cashews with curry to create a somewhat Indian dish. This was good! It was spicy and pretty filling, which is a concern when eating salads.

I would recommend this cookbook to anyone looking to broaden their horizons and try new ideas and recipes.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Christian Book Review- Truth Be Told by Carol Cox

I have noticed that there have been lots of new Christian Fiction that combine history with information about firsts for women. Truth Be Told tells the story of Amelia who returns to her father every summer. Her father is a journalist who tells the truth under all circumstances and encourages Amelia to do the same. Amelia has to take over the paper, uphold her father's ideals, find love and fight prejudice. The story is predictable, but interesting. I love books that mix history, women's rights and romance. This book does all of that while weaving in themes of forgiveness and understanding.

A free copy of this book was provided by Bethany House Publishers.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Traveling while Vegan.

I don't know if the title, "Traveling While Vegan" is the correct one for today's post. Let me explain, a group of coworkers and I traveled to Exuma, Bahamas for the recent holiday weekend. A beautiful place with the prettiest blue water that I have ever seen! During our trip our meals were catered by a restaurant that shall remain nameless. Unfortunately, I trusted my meals to others, after I was assured that I would be taken care of. Was I too trusting? Yes! One morning I found myself eating grits and fruits. Let's just say I was not very happy. That will never happen to me again, I will plan, plan and pack to ensure that my tummy is well taken care of at all times.

This leads to a question I have been musing over since my travels ended. What is vegan food? Is food made vegan by the absence of any animal products or does something else make food vegan? Yes, my grits and fruits were vegan. Yet, in no way did it feel VEGAN.Confusing, right? I think of the meals prepared in my home, vegan and satisfying. Meals that are light on fake meats and heavy on veggies, grains and sauces. I want to travel and have VEGAN meals! You understand, right?

To end my feelings of hunger induced depression I ordered a cookbook (the cure for everything). I actually stumbled across this cookbook when searching for something else. I don't think this book has been promoted really well- but it seems promising and full of VEGAN food.

Salad Samurai by Terry Hope Romero who I recognize as one of the authors of Veganomicon. I cannot wait to try the recipes in this book!

Also, my spirits were lifted by the arrival of my brand new Sun Beam Bread Maker. Yippee!
I have never been successful at bread making of any kind, so I decided to cheat and buy a bread maker. Finally, fluffy, delicious bread. I have only tried it once and was pleased. This is one kitchen appliance I will be using again and again.

Happy VEGAN eating!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Cookbook- Vegan Ice Cream by Jeff Rogers

I love ice cream! One of the hardest things for me to give up post vegan was ice cream. I have tried and enjoyed some of the dairy free brands available today and like the author of today's book have had mixed reactions. OK, but not the rich, creamy stuff I am jonseing for.

This book begins with a lot of information that's actually pretty interesting to read. Info about ingredients that I am not to sure if I will be buying. So far, my only peeve with this book is it seems to be really labor intensive. How many people will actually make coconut milk when there are really good brands to buy? Also the author makes his own nut milks and juices for the raw ice creams. I think that I will be taking some short cuts, as I don't have a juicer or many hours to make ice cream. The pictures are beautiful and you could just eat the book. The last chapter shows some sauces that could go with your ice cream or even be used to make Popsicles. I loved that idea!

Vegan Ice Cream came just in time. I was having some guests over for a fun night and they eat even more carefully than my family does, so all of the ideas I had for dessert were a no-no. I decided to try the Maple Walnut Ice Cream since I had all the ingredients on hand. I soaked the cashews because I have a regular old blender (hoping someone will bless me with a VitaMix-hint). The mix looked thick and creamy and tasted great! But, woe is me! My ice cream maker did not work- for some reason the mixture did not transform into ice cream. When life gives you cream, make... popsicles!. I am not sure this is what the author intended but the mix was poured into molds and voila! The next day we had maple walnut pops.

Persons who do not have a ice cream maker can still use these recipes as pops! I can't wait to try other recipes in this book.