Monday, 18 September 2017

Vegan Products - September 2017

 Some vegan products I've used recently...

Maple Holistics sent me some of their lovely Argan Oil and Lavender Bubble Bath! All of their products are vegan except the organic honey.

I loved the argan oil! I'm an avid user of argan oil for my hair especially and sometimes on my face at night. Ever since I went shampoo free three years ago I only use a shampoo bar and argan oil. The argan oil really makes my hair feel soft and takes care of frizz. My hair has never looked or felt better and so much less maintenance!! 



I loved the bubble bath, you could really smell the lavender but what I liked best was how concentrated it was. You really only need a teaspoon amount for an entire bath, so it lasts a long time!


Tried this new vegan GF Amy's Paella Bowl recently and it was pretty good actually. I really like Amy's frozen meals for situations where I'm not able to cook (in this instance it was staying with family escaping Hurricane Irma).



So I got these Tolerant Organic Red Lentil Rotini for $1 at a discount store (Solomon's Ventures for those in Jax, FL) and they didn't expire till next year so I thought I'd try them. LOVED THEM! They held together really well unlike a lot of rice and corn based GF pastas. I love that they include lentils so I feel good about my toddler eating them. Plus I saw them in Winn Dixie the other day for $6. Needless to say I raced back to the discount store to pick up a few more packets!


Picked these up at the same discount store...Gorilly Goods snack packs, each box was about $6 (around $30 normally). I really loved the Trail Mix! It had cocoa nibs which made it taste chocolately. I didn't love the Baja mix, I was hoping for some spices but it was a bit bland. Full disclosure, the ones I bought were expired so the fresher article might taste different.


Got this Once Again Organic Almond Butter at the same discount store and it was just expired so I only use it for myself. Was impressed with how smooth it spread, a lot of almond butters can congeal and harden.


Got this Maya Kaimal Green Garbanzo Dip at the discount store about to expire. SO AMAZING!!! I think I ate the whole thing in one day, the cilantro really made this dip!


Found these Blue Moose of Boulder Hummus at the discount store as well.
I really liked them both but I think the Roasted Red Pepper was the winner! My toddler liked it too!


These snacks I bought from the discount store but Freedom Foods is actually an Australian made brand so whenever it contains sugar you know it's vegan...yay! The kids loved both the Tropico's (pretty much like Fruit Loops) and the Chewy Apricot Granola Bar and so did I LOL


Was given these Little Duck Tiny Fruit mixes at mother/baby meet up and they are really good!! All 100% organic fruit...and that's all! My toddler loved them but I had to stop myself from eating them all! 


I was very excited to find Layer Cake Sauvignon Blanc at Kroger in Georgia (apparently Total Wine has it but I can never find it).  It was pleasant, a crisp fruity wine. This brand is pretty much always vegan :)


I think I got these Snack Factory Veggie Sticks at Kroger in Georgia. They were so good! Like cheesy puffs but veggies! My toddler loved them too!


I also tried this Kroger brand Exotic Vegetable Chips which were pretty good! 


Kroger in Georgia had these Foodies Vegan Fritattas on sale. I tried all the flavors (Tomato Basil, Potato Parsley & Corn Chipotle). I liked them all but didn't think any of them had a particularly strong flavor over the others, they were all tasted about the same. They were a bit dry and needed a little salt but other than that easy vegan breakfast!


Found a couple of flavors of Treeline Cheese at Kroger, Georgia. I tried the Scallion and Herb Garlic. They were both nice flavors but I find Treeline cheese all a bit tangy, like they've added lemon juice or something and I don't like that part of it.


Bought these Kroger brand freeze dried fruit. I like hat they came as larger pieces so easier for my toddler to hold. Delicious too, just wish they were organic!


I think I got these Eat Smart Veggie Crisps at Kroger in Georgia. I wasn't that impressed to be honest. They were quite bland but ok for using with dip.


I'm sure I've mentioned these Primal Strips vegan jerky before but they have them at Whole Foods so I thought I'd mention them again. And also because they are so good!!!! The Texas BBQ is GF and is a sweet BBQ flavor and the Hickory Smoke does contain some soy sauce and has a sweet peppery flavor.


I got this Mineral Fusion Gel Top Coat from Earth Fare and I LOVE IT! It really kept my nail polish on for a lot longer, about 3 weeks without chips which is pretty decent!





Thursday, 31 August 2017

Chickpea Flour Mini Frittatas

This is great recipe for mini frittatas that doesn't use soy and you can really add any vegetable you like. I was surprised how good these were and how well they stay together. Great for toddlers/baby's first finger food. I grated mine but you can chop also. I'm keen to try with sweet potato. Original recipe from The Mostly Vegan. This recipe made about 16 mini frittatas. Spraying your tins with oil will make them very easy to get them out.


Chickpea Flour Mini Frittatas

Ingredients

1 zucchini, grated
2 carrots grated
1 cup chickpea (garbanzo bean) flour
2-3Tbls nutritional yeast
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 tsp onion powder


Method

Preheat oven to 400 F.
Combine chickpea flour, nutritional yeast, baking powder and salt in a bowl with 1 1/4 cups water.
Whisk to combine and set aside while preparing the veggies.
Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in a skillet.
Add all vegetables to skillet and cook until veggies cook down and begin to brown/soft, about 7 minutes then mix into flour mix.
Grease the mini muffin tin.
Divide mixture between muffin cups.
Bake for 30 - 35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean and frittatas are beginning to brown on top.
Remove from oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes (this allows the batter to set) before removing from tin and cooling on a rack.
Depending on your muffin tin, you may have to use a knife or offset spatula to gently loosen sides of frittatas before removing from tin.
Serve warm or allow to cool completely before storing in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Frittatas can be reheated in the microwave but are best when warmed in the oven or toaster oven at 400 F for 10 minutes.


Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Southern Corn Grits

A very popular southern breakfast item is one of my favorites when I feel like a quick savoury breakfast. In some parts of the U.S. they serve it with maple syrup but in the south they serve it with butter and salt.


 Southern Corn Grits
(Serves 2)

Ingredients

2 cups water
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup corn grits/dry polenta
Vegan butter to serve
Salt to serve


Method

Bring water and 1/4 tsp salt to boil.
Reduce heat to medium and add in corn grits.
Stir for around 2 minutes until mixture thickens to batter consistency.
Remove from heat and add in desired extras.
I usually put in 1-2 Tbls vegan butter and 1/4 tsp salt.




Saturday, 26 August 2017

Sweet Potato Rice Balls

A toddler/first solids recipe that is easy to hold and full of nutrition :)


Sweet Potato Rice Balls

Ingredients

3 medium sweet potatoes
1 1/2 cups cooked brown rice
2 Tbls hemp seed hearts
1 Tbls coconut/braggs liquid aminos
2 Tbls coconut flour
shredded coconut


Method

Preheat oven to 375F.
Wash and pierce sweet potatoes and cook for 20 minutes each side.
Change oven temperature to 300F.
Allow to cool and remove skin.
When cool enough to touch place them in a large bowl and mash well but leave some solid pieces.
Mix in brown rice, hemp seed hearts, aminos and flour.
Place shredded coconut in a bowl and prepare a baking sheet with baking paper.
Spoon about a Tablespoon of mixture and make a ball in your hands, coat in shredded coconut and place on baking sheet.
Repeat until done and then bake for 20 minutes, turning half way through.
Allow to cool completely before serving.
You can freeze left overs.

Friday, 25 August 2017

Fried Shiitake & Chili Mayo Sushi

Adapted from a recipe on Olives for Dinner this delicious sushi option is flavorsome with heat and crunch. Kind of like a spicy California roll.
 


Fried Shiitake & Chili Mayo Sushi

Ingredients

Sushi Rice, cooled (around 2-4 cups cooked)
Nori papers
2 egg replacers
1 cup corn starch
1-2 cups fresh shiitake mushrooms (if using dried, soak in hot water for 30 minutes)
1/4 cup vegan mayo
1-2 Tbls sambal olak (chilli paste)
oil for frying


Method

Heat oil in a large frying pan, around 1-2" up the side of the pan, and set to medium-high.
Make up egg replacers according to packet instructions and set aside in one bowl.
Place corn starch in a separate bowl.
Slice mushrooms into strips, add to egg replacer and then into corn starch, coating well.
If oil sizzles when a drop of corn starch is dropped in then it's ready.
Add the mushrooms to the oil and let fry for around 3 minutes then remove and place on a paper towel.


In a small bowl whisk together the mayonnaise and chilli paste.
On a large flat surface lay out the nori paper and with damp hands grab around 1/2-1 cup of sushi rice and spread along the bottom third of the paper.
Drizzle some spicy mayo along the middle and place mushrooms end to end on top of the sauce.
Start rolling from the rice end and roll as tightly as possibly.
When you get to the end I find wetting the edge slightly helps it stick together.
Put to the side and start the next roll.
Once finished start with the first roll and using a VERY sharp knife cut slices in the desired length.
Place on serving plate and garnish with the rest of the mayo.
I used a ziplock bag with a hole cut in the corner to drizzle with more precision.
Serve with Tamari, pickled ginger and wasabi.


Thursday, 24 August 2017

Flower Nori Roll

This is a copy cat version of a sushi roll I used to get at Osaka Japanese in Layton, Utah - well as best as I can remember anyway. It wasn't on the menu but when we first started going there they told us about it. Avocado, cherry tomatoes and cilantro in an outside nori roll with a sweet miso dressing.

 

Flower Nori Roll

Ingredients

Sushi Rice, cooled
Nori paper
cherry tomatoes, sliced in half lengthwise
cilantro, roughly chopped or stemed
avocado, sliced
red onion, finely sliced
Sesame seeds for coating

Sweet Miso Dressing

1/3 cup mild miso paste (white or light brown)
1/4 cup sugar
1 Tbls sake
3/4 water (or dashi)
Whisk all ingredients together and if using a non liquid sugar heat slightly to melt the sugar.
I out it in a squeeze bottle to drizzle with more precision.

Method

If you're doing the outside rolls using a sushi rolling mat is the easiest ways, if you don't have one you can roll with the nori on the outside.
Place sushi rice in the top of the rolling mat and cover a rectangle around 1/3 of the length that the nori paper is and using damp hands push down till flat.
place the nori paper on top, rough side facing up.
In the bottom edge of the paper, away from the rice, place the avocado, cilantro, red onion and tomatoes.
Start rolling from the filling end up until the rice is on the outside, press firmly with the mat to ensure it stays together.
Remove mat and sprinkle sticky rice with sesame seeds.
Let sit for a few minutes until cutting so it becomes firmer.
Using a VERY sharp knife slice desired size sushi pieces.
Drizzle with Miso Sauce and sprinkle with sesame seeds.


Saturday, 19 August 2017

Vegan Gnocchi

Adapted from original recipe on Serious Eats. This made about 6+ servings so I froze two thirds of it (before cooking). Serve with your sauce of choice, I used marinara but a lot of people like a cheezy or buttery sauce.


Vegan Gnocchi

Ingredients

2 pounds russet potatoes, washed
1 cup brown (or white) rice flour
1/2 cup sweet rice flour
2 egg replacers
Kosher salt


Method

Adjust oven rack to center middle position and preheat oven to 400°F.
Pierce potatoes a few times with a knife and place on a baking sheet.
Roast until tender, about one hour.
Remove potatoes from oven and allow to cool.
Whisk together white rice flour and sweet rice flour.
Using the flour mixture, flour your counter.
Peel the potatoes and pass through a potato ricer onto the counter.
Whisk together eggs and 1 teaspoon salt.
Pour over the potatoes.
Work the egg mixture into the potatoes with a bench scrapper or fork until potatoes begin to hold together.
Work one cup of the flour mixture into the potato mixture.
Start by working the flour into the potato mixture with a bench scrapper or fork.
As soon as a dough begins to form, begin kneading the dough by hand until all the flour is incorporated.
The dough should be firm and not sticky.
If it is, add the remaining flour mixture, about 1/4 cup at a time. (You can test the gnocchi by boiling a small pot of water and cooking a small piece of dough. The gnocchi should hold together.)
Divide the dough into quarters.
Then, as you work with it, cut each quarter in half.
Cover remaining dough with a damp paper towel.
Roll out each dough eighth into a log.
Cut into bite-size pieces.
Shape by either pressing a small indentation into each gnocchi or rolling the gnocchi over a fork or gnocchi board.
Transfer shaped gnocchi to a lightly white rice-floured baking sheet.
Shaped gnocchi can either be frozen or cooked right away..

To Freeze: Place baking sheet filled with gnocchi in the freezer. Once the gnocchi are frozen, transfer to a plastic freezer bag. Gnocchi may be frozen for up to two months. Cook as directed below.

To Cook: Boil a large pot of salted water. Cook half the fresh or frozen gnocchi in the boiling water until they float, about four minutes. (Taste one gnocchi to ensure it is cooked through). Remove the gnocchi from the water with a skimmer and transfer to a bowl or pot of sauce. Repeat with remaining gnocchi. If gnocchi must be held for more than a moment, drizzle with oil and toss to prevent sticking.

Artisan Vegan Cheese

No doubt by now you've heard of Miyoko's Cremery, fabulous vegan nut cheeses available all over the US now (and beyond). Artisian Vegan Cheese by Miyoko Schinner was one of the first vegan cheese cookbook I bought, long before her cheeses were available to buy. I tried once and wasn't happy with the result and I think it came down to the rejulevac. I found this YouTube video which helped fill in the gaps which the book left out, for me anyway! You can also use rye, quinoa, buckwheat, or other grains. Wheat, rye and quinoa seem to make the best rejuvelac apparently but obviously being gluten intolerant the wheat and rye were out. So i actually used amaranth grain and it seemed to work pretty well! I made the Pub Cheddar with Chives, Hard Gruyere, Boursin (Herb cheese) and Brie (with Peppercorns).



This is the Pub Cheddar with chives which was probably my favourite.


This is the Hard Gruyere 


Boursin (Herb cheese) and Brie (with Peppercorns)








Vegan Products - August 2017

Vegan products for August YAAAYY! 

My lovely husband sent me a truffle box and a sample box from Coracao Chocolates, all vegan and a little pricey. They were very good but the chocolate is dark so has a bite to it and they use very natural/superfood typ ingredients so they don't taste like your average chocolate box.


After much research (you're welcome!) I found these vegan wines at Total Wine;
Marlborough region in New Zealand is known for their amazing Sauvignon Blancs so I always try those first!
Layer Cake Pinot Noir & Sauvignon Blanc and Paringa Shiraz are also vegan and on the Total Wine website but I couldn't find them in store (Town Center). 

Mallee Point Merlot & Pinot Noir (South Eastern Australia)
Whitehaven Sauvignon Blanc (New Zealand, Marlborough)
Geisen Sauvignon Blanc (New Zealand, Marlborough)


I got a lovely helpful email back from the people at Menchie's Frozen Yogurt. They confirmed that all their non-dairy varieties use non-char bone sugar and so are considered vegan (sorbets, coconut milk varieties). The Pina Colada was AMAZEBALLS!
There is a caveat though...the almond milk based varieties often have egg so ask the server.
Also any non-dairy varieties that have added ingredients (such as Oreo cookies) would then be considered not vegan by the ingredient.


I've mentioned Sweet Pete's before but I had never been inside..it's so cool! Like Willy Wonka's Chocolate Facotory mixed with Wonderland. They had a few varieties of individual vegan chocolates and the servers seemed to be very knowledgeable about ingredients which is always a plus!
they also see the Go Mars bars upstairs if you consider them vegan (I don't because they use non-sustainable palm oil).
Also looks like they have GF/vegan options on their menu too, so winning!
They go by weight so these little lovelies set me back $2.


Found some bargains at Home Goods (TJ Maxx's home wares store);

Found these Free to Eat GF vegan chocolate chip cookies. I'm a fan of crunchy chocolate chip cookies because I like to dunk them in my tea so I didn't love these because they were the chewy kind but you may love that! They also had very granulated sugar so a grainy texture. Taste was good though.


They had this Palais Des Thes iced tea mix down to $1, was pretty good! A fruity oolong.


And these Simply Protein Bars which were pretty good, they came in handy on my road trip! A bit crumbly though.


And these Veggie Sticks which at first I thought were a bit bland but then they grew on me lol


Bought this organic juice from Earth Fare and it was not that great, especially for $7. Tasted a bit watered down :(


I found these vegan GF Lucky Spring Rolls at Earth Fare. LOVED THEM! They still stayed crunchy after baking, I'm sure not super healthy but nice for a treat! They came with a sauce but I didn't really like it so I made my own Sweet & Sour Sauce.




I've spoken about Little Northen Bakehouse bread before (my new favorite GF vegan bread) but I hadn't tried the Cinnamon & Raisin Bread...totally addicted to having this every morning. Their website also says they have hamburger and hot dog buns coming soon!!!!


I just discovered that Paul Newman (Newman's Own) now has organic pasta sauces and sugar free! This one was really good. I normally like to make my own pasta sauce but this is really great alternative for nights when I need an instant meal. I nearly wet myself when I found out he also has an organic Sockarooni sauce...ohmegawd!!!


Just tried the Garden Truck Food Co. last weekend at the Riverside Art Markets. I had the BBQ pulled "pork" jackfruit bun with a side of potato salad and baked beans, I think $7 altogether.
The only complaint I would have is the GF buns weren't goo and very dry but if they could find a better bun the rest was delicious!




I loved the Zen Butcher Creamy Nacho Cheese, delicious!
The Provision pesto and cream cheese was also pretty amazing!


Really been trying to find an Australia style French Dressing (like the old clear Kraft one) for one particular recipe so in my desperateness I found this Drew's Organic Italian Dressing. It was pretty good but alas not what I was looking for.



Bought this Heartland Gluten Free Lasagna. I was skeptical about the "oven ready" part as I normally soak GF lasagna slats but these really didn't need it and I was impressed with the texture, slightly chewy but not sloppy or under cooked. Used it for Roast Vegetable Lasagna. MMMMMM



I went to one of Fresh Jax's clear out sales (still very sad about the closing) and got these items...

The Better Chip Jalapeno Corn Whole Grain Chips, loved the heat from the pepper.


These Vega Snack Coconut Cashew Bars, pretty tasty and no chocolate.


And these Edward & Sons Brown Rice Snaps - Vegetable. I really liked these but I haven't really seen them anywhere else.


I had heard that Publix (Atlantic/Hodges) had Kite Hill Cream Cheese in so I went to try, I didn't try the plain only the Chive but it was pretty nice. It also has a coupon on the back side of the packaging for 50c of the next purchase.


I bought these Cascadian Farm Organic Purely O's for my 18 month old son because kept eating other children's Cheerios at the baby gym. These are super plain, no sugar and organic whole grains but he loves them so win!


I had tried the plain unsweetened Califia creamer and liked it a lot so I tried this Hazelnut one and it was SO sweet, way too sweet for me but if you like it sweet then it might be for you!


Start with chocolate end with chocolate, m I right?
I had reviewed one of these Bixby bars once before but I have now tried all the vegan ones that Earth Fare had and I loved them all! A cross between a chocolate bar and protein bar these are a lovely treat and great for travel! Judging by their website there are many vegan treats to try!