Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Flax Milk?

This post has a bit of this and that. 
 I'll start off with the other day when I was visiting another blog, Vegan Crunk, she did a review on Good Karma Flax Milk.  I couldn't wait to try it.  That afternoon I went down to our local health food store and low and behold....
Good Karma Flax Milk was sitting right there along with the other non-dairy milks. 
Does this taste like flax?  At first sip it doesn't have much flavor but then you get a very suble taste of flax, very subtle.  It has more flavor than rice milk, just thought I'd mention that.  There is 1200mg of Omega-3 per serving.  Thats huge!
Another great non-dairy milk to add to our rotation.

For lunch yesterday I had a chopped romaine salad, with tomatoes, brocolli, carrots, radish, green onion, sesame seeds and a  homemade ginger dressing.  This is a great dressing and tastes like the one they use at a Japenese restaurant.  I filled 1/2 C. with 1/3 of canola oil and the rest water.
Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Hazelnuts and Arugula

My mother in law had a recipe that I made for Thanksgiving(I know it's January).  I'm not sure where she got the recipe from but it turned out great!  I love the addition of the hazelnuts.  I can't wait to have company over to make it again and it looks so pretty. 

Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Hazelnuts and Arugula

3 or 4 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into wedges(I used white and orange sweet potatoes)
2 Tbsp. Olive oil
1/2tsp salt or to taste
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/4 C. hazelnuts, coarsely chopped
2 C. arugula
balsamic syrup(thick balsamic) -the recipe called for 2-3 T. apple cider vinegar

Heat oven to 400F.  Peel and cut potato wedges then put onto baking sheet and toss with olive oil and salt.
Roast for about 20 min., then turn over and roast for 20 more minutes or so until golden brown.  Open  oven and mix in the chopped garlic and hazelnuts.  Roast for another 5min.

Take out of oven, plate in on a serving plate and top with arugula and drizzle with balsamic vinegar.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Circle of moms top 25 nomination


The other day I received an e-mail that my blog has been nominated for the Top 25 Vegan & Vegetarian Moms - 2012 list on Circle of Moms.

I was rather surprised by this, being as there are so many great blogs out there.  I feel rather flattered.
5 years ago I began living a vegan lifestyle and I've been blogging for 3 of those years.  3 years go by so quickly. I really enjoy sharing everything I learn about food, nutrition, new products, etc.  It's also nice to be able to converse with people who believe in the things I do.  As I continue to be inspired by others I too hope to inspire those who are thinking about becoming vegan.
Anyways, you can vote for me if you would like by clicking on the circle of moms Top 25 Vote for Me, purple button on the right side of my blog page.  Just one click is all it takes! You can vote once a day until Feb. 14, 2012. 

Until next time....be healthy.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Warm Curry and Sweet Potato Tacos

Happy Saturday!  I hope everyone is staying nice and warm this winter.  It's finally raining out here in California.  It's been a cold winter for us so far, so this rain warms it up...a bit.  I know for some of you reading this it is summer where you live. 

Moving on to some warm and yummy food.

                                                           Coconut Vegetable Curry w/Tofu
This is a mild curry but that's only because I had a mild curry powder on hand.  The nice thing about curries are that they are pretty versatile.  You can find recipes for curries all over the internet.  I just read a few recipes and then made my own.  I can tell you the ingredients but not sure about how much of each ingredient. 
Coconut Vegetable Curry
2 small russet potatoes, white sweet potato, carrots, cauliflower, garlic, white onion, curry, coconut milk, vegetable broth, cilantro(optional), 2 chopped Roma tomatoes.

Sweet Potato Tacos

Let me just say that I LOVE TACOS!  It's actually rare for me not to like a taco but Dave and I really enjoyed these.  These sweet potato tacos are from Color Me Vegan by Colleen Patrick Goudreau.  Another great cookbook from Colleen.  I highly recommend her cookbooks along with her website and podcasts.  Her podcasts were such a great find when I changed to a plant based diet.  She really helped me from the start and opened my eyes to the realities of factory farming, facts about protein, how to respond to people who aren't vegan, etc.  I can't say enough about Colleen so check out her podcasts if you haven't already.  

Enjoy your Saturday.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Gluten Free Chocolate Lavendar Birthday Cake

My son just turned 14 yesterday.  How the years pass so quickly.  We took him to see Sherlock Holmes 2 last night.  What a great flick!  Just as good if not better than the first.  We don't get out to the movies much, but stream it to our t.v. or watch on dvd's.  Are there any you have seen recently that you would recommend? 

My son plays guitar and so my idea for decorating his birthday cake was to
use the design of his guitar. His guitar is a Schecter Synester Gates, it's black and white and on the neck it has the deathbat(skull with bat wings).  In my mind I pictured this amazing looking cake....in the end it looked like this.   He said it looked amazing...what a kind child he is. ha ha!  Hey the idea was there!  I went online to look up more Synester Gate skulls and found the one with the hat, then I added the bat wings.  Note to self: buy a book on cake decorating or take a class or two.
Chocolate Lavender Cake with a Chocolate "Buttercream" Filling and topped with a White "Buttercream"Frosting/Chocolate Ganache Design.
I usually make cakes from scratch but I was low on gf flours so I thought I would try a packaged mix.  I already had a gf mix in mind so it was on to reading reviews!.  End result-Wholesome Chow Chocolate Lavender Cake.  Our local health food store was out of the white and chocolate mixes so that's why the choclate lavender was made.  The verdict on this cake is 2 thumbs up!  The texture is really nice, doesn't fall apart and is moist.  The lavender is perfect in this too!  When it comes to cost...one cake mix cost about $5.99 and it makes one 9-inch cake.  I used 2 6-inch cake pans so I was able to make a layer cake other wise it would have cost me about $12 to make a 9-inch layer cake.   So it isn't cheap by any means, although gf mixes aren't cheap.  So if you aren't up for making a cake from scratch or just want to keep a mix on hand I highly recommend Wholesome Chow.  The reviews on their Gluten Free All Purpose Pancake Mix were really good too.  That will be my next purchase. 
I tried Bobs Red Mill GF Pizza Crust Mix the other day that tasted really good too!  Have any of you tried that before?  Are there any favorite GF mixes that you  like?  I'm not a fan of using garbanzo flour in my baked goods...just thought I'd add that bit in.

Some of you may know that my son, Keaton, has had stomache issues and so after seeing the Naturopathic Doctor last month, she said to eliminate soy then wheat to see which one was the culprit.  The elimination of soy didn't change his symptoms, it's looking like it is wheat. 

I decided to take Keaton in to see a Naturapathioc Doctor because he was having other health issues and I didn't like what the pediatrician was recommending.  Next week is Keaton's one month check up with the Naturopathic Dr. I'll give you more info. about why we went in to see her and how Keaton's health is doing.

Have a wonderful day!  It's still sunny out here in California but could we use some rain!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Playing catch up/Heirloom beans/Chanterelles

Woooo! Lots of stuff to talk about.  Oh and Happy New Year!  

I hope you all had a great holiday season.
Dave and I got a new mattress set from his parents for Christmas.  Huge surprise to us!  I can't thank them enough!  I guess we had been complaining alot about the sink hole in the middle of our bed.  Ha!  So our new mattress is a memory foam one with an organic cover.  Nice. To tell you the truth I was never a huge fan of the foam when we would go out and test mattresses at the store.  Being that this was the type they bought us I decided to have an open mind.  It didn't really take too long to get used to sleeping on it.  I guess it may be because our old mattress was so old and uncomfortable.  If I hop on the bed I don't spring back, at all, I just kind of clunk down on it.   It's actually pretty funny.  Do any of you have this kind of mattress?  I heard it can get kind of warm due to the foam but so far it's been nice and cozy because we don't sleep with our heater on.  We are planning on purchasing a cushy layer to set on top and hopefully that will help with any heat issue that may come up during the summer months.

A couple of my girlfriends came up during the holidays for the day and we exchanged gifts. 
Cute black/white lunch tote with a lunch container included, bpa free!  Then a homemade scarf and 4 bags of heirloom beans!
These beans are Ayocote Morado Beans (Purple Runners)

The place where they were ordered from is called Rancho Gordo.  The beans they carry are heirloom beans and the owners are part of the seed saving movement.  Not only are many of the beans grown up in the Napa area but they started a project with bean growers in Mexico that grow heirloom beans. By purchasing directly from the farmers in Mexico, Rancho Gordo can offer some beans we would never have been able to try out here in the U.S. and also helping those farmers continue to grow beans that have been around for generations.  It's a win win! Check out their story and order some tasty beans!

Rancho Gordo's site says that these beans cook alot quicker because they are fresher.  I totally agree on this.  I didn't even soak these beans overnight.  They plumped right up with a quick soak.  Dave, Keaton and I couldn't stop eating them straight out of the pot they were cooked in. 
In a pot I sauteed up some onion, garlic, red chili pepper, one tomato and a bit of cumin.  I then added water to cover and cooked for about 1 1/2hrs.  The juice from these beans came out so flavorful along with the beans.

Chanterelle Tacos

Sauteed Chanterelles

My first Chanterelle was had last winter on top of a pizza at Full of Life Flatbread.  
They were so tasty I couldn't wait to buy my own Chanterelles and use them.  These have a very earthy flavor to them. We did some reading up on where you can find Chanterelles and now we want to go Chanterelle hunting. lol!  If you know anything about these golden earthy gems you know that they are a bit pricey.  I usually see them for sale at about $12-$13 per pound.  Dave and I hit up the Farmers Market the other night right before they were packing up and we were offered 1 lb for $10!  She said they weren't too pretty and many weren't whole but I didn't care.  I cleaned these up and used them the next night as a filling for taco's.  I had a recipe from last year found in Whole Living Magazine.  The recipe is from Heidi Swanson over at 101 Cookbooks.  As a note Chanterelles are very moist so you don't need the addition of much oil or Earth Balance. I served these taco's along with the beans I mentioned above.  Awesome dinner.

Chanterelle Tacos
by Heidi Swanson
adapted by JoLynn(dreaminitvegan)
Serves 4 Ingredients

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 white onion, finely chopped
1 red chile, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
Fine-grain sea salt
12 ounces chanterelles 
1 1/2 teaspoons dried Mexican oregano
8 corn tortillas

Optional-chopped cilantro, taco sauce, or anything else you may want to add.
My advice with these tacos, less is more because of the flavor from the mushrooms.

1.Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Saute onion, chile, garlic, and 1/4 teaspoon salt until onions are translucent, 2 to 4 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring, over high heat, until mushrooms turn deep golden brown and release their liquid, 4 to 6 minutes. Remove from heat and sprinkle with oregano. Adjust salt if necessary.

2.Toast tortillas over the flame of a gas burner, turning with tongs, until crisp and blackened in spots. (You can also char them in the broiler.) Divide mushroom mixture among tortillas and sprinkle with cilantro.

Hope you enjoy and if you have used Chanterelles, how have you made them?  I can't wait to buy more I have some other recipes that I found that look fabulous!

My son Keaton actually got to go Chanterelle hunting with some fellow students from school on their hike club.  Mark, the adult who spear heads hike club, takes the kids out once a year mushroom hunting and then his wife cooks them up to enjoy,  He said it was alot of fun and the mushrooms were delicious!  I wish I could've gone. 

One more thing before I go.  I won a bottle of Ovega 3 from Urban Vegan over the holidays.  This came at a perfect time due to Dave and Keaton needing to take more DHA.  Each gel cap has 320mg DHA and a total of 500mg. Omega 3's!  Awesome.

Enjoy your weekend!