Thursday, November 16, 2017

Mac & Chao and Thrown Together Wrap After The Fact

I just got back from Walmart and couldn't wait to jump into this!  YUP!  I found it LOCALLY at MY Walmart!  I thought I would have to wait at least 2 more years before seeing this in my area...if at all!  This is certainly a TREAT and not something I would buy every time I went to the store because it was still very pricey at over $5.  YIKES!  I have a few things to share with you on it.  First and foremost is that I noticed a hint of 'hot' when I first bit into it.  Not much but just enough to make me re-read the ingredients AGAIN.  To my surprise one of the last ingredients was HOT SAUCE!  It really was the icing on the cake here, folks!  It MADE the overall experience what it was!  The other thing I want to share is that it suggested 5 minutes in the microwave (that is if you didn't bake it in the oven) and to follow up the original 5 minutes with another 2 minutes.  I found out just how important that extra 2 minutes was!  After the first 5 minutes I thought...oh crap...this is going to suck...it was still all stuck together in a huge block and I didn't think it was going to melt properly.  So...I continued on with the additional 2 minutes and it made all the difference in the world for it melting into a magical half mac-and-cheese and half Alfredo type sauce!  WOWZA!  YUM!  I also have to add that this was my first pasta in about 6 weeks!  I'm pretty proud of myself but I couldn't resist this vegan temptation!

At the risk of sounding 'late for the party'...I have really been getting into cauliflower rice lately.  I know that Cauliflower Rice isn't anything new but I never got into it much when it first became trendy.  And really the only reasons that I am getting into it now is that there are naturally vegan frozen options that are already 'riced' that are much cheaper than a head of cauliflower (here in my area).

Yesterday I started writing about 'said rice' and then forgot to follow thru with the rest of the 'rice story'.  Furthermore, I didn't take a photo of this wrap that I did...VERY SORRY!  But...it was darn tasty so I figured it was still worth a mention.  I had 1 Sun Dried Tomato Wraps that I had to hurry up and use but I didn't really want to get to involved with cooking a meal.  So I decided to warm up some of the Cauliflower Rice that had some herbs already mixed in and put it in the wraps along with some melted Parmela Nut Cheese that I told you about yesterday.  I then topped it with a very little bit of Trader Joe's Vegan Mayo Spread (to finish off the jar) and a bit of Salsa.  Oddly, this combo was YUMMERS!

I was able to find another new-to-me vegan product at my local Walmart today that I thought I would save for another post.  Plus, I still have items from my Wegman's Adventure from last weekend.  So I do have LOTS to blog about in the coming weeks!  Oh yeah...and...I still have to figure out which dishes I might want to do for Thanksgiving Day over any my parents house!

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Reads, Recent Kitchen Experiments, & Build-Your-Own-Wrap

WARNING!  This is going to be a lengthy post!  And most likely one to jump around a lot, too!

First I want to share with you a new-to-me-vegan-cheese that I found at Wegman's this past weekend on my mini haul!  It's from Parmela Creamery and it's an aged nut cheese that is on the sharper side and made with cashew milk.

I used these shreds in the recipe/meal idea below, too!  The verdict is still out on this one.  I liked it but I have had others that were more tasty.  It doesn't melt as good as some of the other ones I have worked with but it does have it's perks, too!  The aroma is much like an artisan aged cheese.  Tonight I tried it in a wrap (which I will get to a little bit later in this post) and I really enjoyed it in a wrap situation.  There were a couple of other flavors for sale but I wanted to try this one first.

The other night I was trying to throw together a bowl of sorts and it ended up turning in to something completely different.  Let me explain.  

THIS photo is of the bowl mixture which was pretty tasty in its own right but it made me left wanting.  I will go on to show you what I did with it shortly, but first, the ingredients for this include: 1 C Multi-color Couscous, About a pound of roasted veggies I found at Trader Joe's a while back that I heated up and put into a blender on pulse, and then I made a simple creamy sauce made of Cashews, Almond Milk, Sea Salt, Garlic, Onion Flakes, Dill, Nutritional Yeast, and a splash of Balsamic.  Everything was eye-balled so sorry I don't have the exact measurements.

So here is what I ended up doing with the mixture.  It was holding together pretty good on its own so I made them into little balls and pressed them down into a muffin pan.  As you can see I used the plant-based shreds on top of all of them.  On half of those I squirted some Sriracha on top.  Both were tasty.  I think I liked the ones with Sriracha on top better.  I then made another Vegan Ranch type sauce for dipping. 
Here's a close-up of the dressing/dip/sauce.  Because I was out of cashews I decided to use Sunflower Seeds for this one.  Below is that recipe...

1 C Sunflower Seeds
About 1 C Almond Milk
2 t Lemon Juice
2 Cloves Garlic
2 t Dill
1 t Smoked Paprika
1 t Black Sea Salt
2 t Dijon Mustard
2 t Onion Flakes

Here's a closer look of the little Couscous Bites I made.  I have to say for me just throwing something together I was pretty proud of these lil guys!  The roasted veggies in the frozen package I got at TJ's was made up of Eggplant, Red Peppers, Onions, and had a bit of Balsamic for flavor in them, too!
In other news...
I had to break down and buy my lunch the other day and didn't want to go too far from the office so I stopped in at Total Evolution.  I opted for the Build-Your-Own-Wrap.  I decided to go with Sprouts, Avocado, Shredded Carrots, Hummus, Tomatoes, and they make their own Vegan BBQ Marinated Chickpeas.  They also make their own Vegan Cilantro Ranch Dressing so I went with that, too!
I have a lot of things I will be thumbing thru over the next couple of days including the following...

Raw Healthy & Delicious Recipes from Norbu (Australia)
Maranda Pleasant's Mantra Yoga & Health
Raw Food Lifestyle - back issues from March/April & May/June 2014
Rawmazing Easy Raw Food by Susan Powers

I've also recently found a website for those with Dyslexia.  They have resources for children but they also have a section for adults so I decided to subscribe to their newsletter and got my first issue today.  I will continue to locate resources for adults and try and report back here.

What do you think about the experiments in the kitchen?  Or about the little Build-Your-Own I found in my small town?  Or about the currently reading list?  I will be featuring more mini hauls over the next week or so!  A few other things I'm wondering about are...what do you think about the changes to my site so far?  The FurKid Section/Tab?  The Into description and photo in the upper right hand corner of my nav bar?  And what do you think about the links section?  There are over 100 links there, now!  YAY!  I can't wait to visit and comment more frequently on both old and new friends sites!  Please let me know if I don't have your link listed and I will add it ASAP!  CHEERS!!!

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Vegan Buffalo ArtiHearts & Plant Based Veggie Chips

I've teased a few of you about the mini haul I was able to get this passed weekend but I almost forgot about 2 items I got prior to that.  These Spicy Artichokes AKA Monterey Farms ArtiHearts Buffalo Flavor showed off the vegan "V" on the back of the package.  So I knew I had to try them at least once.  I found these at the Erie Giant Eagle a few weeks ago!  Tonight I put them in a Sun Dried Tomato Wrap and what I couldn't fit in the wrap I ate as-is and dipped in salsa.  Both were tasty but I will say due to their size they were a bit difficult to eat in the wrap.  I think they would be ideal for stand alone dipping or even thrown in a salad!




Next up are Brad's Veggie Chips CHEDDAR.  Again, they feature the "V" we tend to look for on the packaging.  They are also Raw, Soy-Free, Gluten-Free, USDA Organic, Non-GMO, etc.

These are NOT a new product but rather an updated, re-packaged product.

I'm almost finished with these and wanted to share them with you before I move on to other foods and snacks.  It's been a while since I had Brad's.  Mostly because when I do find them they are really pricey.  But the last time I went to the Whole Foods Market they were on sale for at least 2 bucks off so I was surely tempted.

Have you seen the flavored Artichoke Heart yet?  Have you tried them?  What did you think?

Monday, November 13, 2017

Daiya's Pumpkin Cheesecake, Around The World, & Letter Writing


I was FINALLY able to go grocery shopping this weekend!  YAY!  I was oh-so-happy to be able to shop at Wegman's and I can't wait to share my findings with you!  I'll start with this Limited Seasonal Daiya Pumpkin Spice Cheezecake!  

Yup!  I found it!  It was a delightful surprise to see it!  I know some of my buddies in larger cities and area might think I'm crazy but when I find things in my small(er) area I get excited!

I do, however, have a confession to make.  I ate half of this for dinner last night! Oops!  So...YEAH...I'm a fan!  It had 'just enough' pumpkin flavor and spice flavor, too!  It still tasted like a cheesecake but as you might know, it's VEGAN!  I would recommend this for those who enjoy pumpkin!

Another thing I would like to mention today is towards the bottom of my sidebar you will see I added a World Visitors graphic.  I have been searching for one of these for a while.  The others I didn't really care for but I'm totally digging this one so far.  I've always LOVED learning about different countries and cultures.  I think I mentioned it before, but when I was a teenager I used to have over 120 penpals from over 30 countries!  Which brings me to my next topic...

World Foods!  It's been a while since I have attempted to feature World Food Recipes that are vegan and I want to jump into that again!  I think these additions will inspire me to try new recipes and blog about them again.

And when it comes to letter writing, a while back Opal and I started writing to each other and I'm going to jump back into that again soon.  I have also been thinking about writing weekly letters to my niece Trinity, too!  I know she's only 5 months old but MAYBE my sister will read them to her and keep them for her.  I want her to know I think about her daily and show her how much I LOVE her.  I have been thinking of things that she and I can do when she gets old enough to understand.  I have a lot of ideas and I will surely share them with you once we are able to do them.


Sunday, November 12, 2017

Creamy Creamed Mushroom Soup - Vegan!


Ingredients for this CREAMY Creamed Mushroom Soup are:
1 C Nut-Based Milk (I chose Almond)
1/4 C Vegan Margarine
2 Cloves Garlic, Minced
About 1 Pound of Mixed Mushrooms, sliced (Fresh of Frozen)
1/4 C Vegan Sour Cream (store bought or home made)
1 T Soy Flour
Simple Directions Include:

On Medium Heat in a large pot add everything except for the mushrooms and stir until combined and thickened.  Add Mushrooms and reduce heat to simmer for about 10 to 20 minutes stirring occasionally.

Simple Sunday Post!?  What do you think!?

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Chocolate Berry Banana Smoothie


I post from earlier today I schedule posted but wanted to hurry up and blog about this smoothie I blended earlier today!  I used a small scoop of Genuine Health Gut Superfood Summer Berry Pomegranate in this! @genuinehealth #GHsuperfoods - Genuine Health sent me samples to work with and I'm in the process of working on ways to include this product in some recipes and I figured a smoothie is always a good place to start!  Below is what the recipe I threw together contains...

1 C Chocolate Almond Milk (or more if needed)
1 Pound Frozen Blueberries
2 Bananas

Easy Peasy!  DH - the Carnivore - really liked it!

Please scroll down to check out today's other post and another one from late last night!  Thrift Shop & Cookbook Finds Ahead!

3 Flashback Vegan Recipes


1 to 1.5 C Almond Milk
About 4 T Potato Flakes
1 t SeaClear (or 2 t Light Miso of your choice)
2 t SunRoot Syrup
2 T Chives
1/2 t Curry

For this Sweet Vegan Curry Sauce put everything into a blender and BAM! Done!



4 Frozen Bananas
5 T Almond Milk
1 C Frozen Strawberries
4 T Nut Butter of your choice

Put Frozen Bananas, Almond Milk, and Nut Butter into a high-speed blender until smooth. Pour this mixture into a deep bowl. Separately put the Strawberries in a food processor or blender and pulse. Pour Strawberry mixture into the banana mixture and stir so fruity chunks are still visible. Freeze for least 3 hours.


1/4 C Raw Tahini
About 1/8 C Water
1 t Dill
1 t Minced Garlic
1 T Lemon Juice


All in a blender until smooth. Double or triple this recipe for a multi-purpose sauce! YUM! I was going thru some of my old recipes and thought I would post a trio of them. What do you think!? Should I post some more?

Friday, November 10, 2017

Butternut Squash Soup, Guac Off, & Moosewood


I have a few things to share with you today.  Starting with this blender recipe!  This made a HUGE batch and measurements are approx because I continuously added things as I went.

2 pounds Butternut Squash
2 (or more) C Almond Milk
1/2 t Old Bay Seasoning
1 T Wildtree Garlic Galore (or Minced Garlic)
About 1/2 Onion
Nutmeg & Cinnamon to taste
Black Pepper & Pink Himalayan Sea Salt to taste
2 T Vegan Bouillion
6 Mini Red and/or Orange Bell Peppers

Optional addition for my leftovers: 1 T Wildtree Garden Vegetable Blend Seasoning



Our local Humane Society operates a separate Thrift Boutique where all the proceeds go back to the animals and today was their Holiday Open House.  They have some really neat stuff there and the inventory always changes.  The prices are extremely low, too!  I found this small book for just 49 cents and couldn't resist!  It's not a vegetarian book but it did have a lot of vegan/vegetarian recipes in there and some of them that weren't veg recipes sure did give me some ideas for ones I could easily tweak.


Today I stopped by a fellow league members house and she gave me this Moosewood Book.  She was so sweet!  She's been a League of Women Voters member for over 55 years!!!  That makes her a lifetime member!  I was so thrilled because I remember borrowing this book from libraries more than once in the past but didn't YET have it in my collection.  I have other Moosewood Cookbooks - maybe about 6 - but didn't have this one before today.  I can't wait to re-read it!!

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Vegan Pupusas & Sauce

A couple of weeks ago when we were in Erie and visited Giant Eagle I saw these 'bad boys' in the freezer section.  I had never seen them before and I don't think I ever had a Pupusas and even if I did they were very memorable so I wanted to try these.

It was 1 of about 3 items I bought that day.  I really appreciate that the ingredient list was so short on these, too! 

Organic Corn Masa (Organic Corn Masa, Trace of Lime), Water, Black Beans, Corn, Olive Oil, Salt...those are the ONLY ingredients!



Of course, you know me...I have to have a dipping sauce.  I didn't have many ingredients to work with in the frig or in the pantry.  

All I did for this was take some leftover salsa and add a little bit of water, garlic, balsamic Vinegar, and about 2 ounces of cashews to my Vitamix and blend until smooth.  I think it turned out pretty good, actually!

And speaking of cashews...I found 2 ounce bags of them at the Dollar Tree so I grabbed 2 bags to tide me over until I can get a pound of them at Aldi's later this weekend.

I have 2 posts today so make sure you scroll down and check out the other one, too!  Question of the day - do you enjoy a dipping sauce for your Pupusas?  If so I would love to hear about it in comments!  CHEERS!

This Is What Happens When I'm Too Lazy To Eat Vegetable Curry...


Yesterday I posted a recipe I used for 'whatever you have in your kitchen' Curry and I had a lot of leftovers but the problem I was having was I wanted something super simple to digest and I was being lazy and didn't want to be a slob and get the huge broccoli chunks all over me.  So I decided to put it in my blender and pulse and this was the outcome.  I know it probably doesn't look pretty to some people but it sure was yummy!  I added a little bit more smoked paprika and turmeric powder!  Yummers!

I figured I would also take this time to do a bit of catching up on what I have been watching, listening to, reading, writing, etc...

What I'm Watching...


Or...should I say...what I watched?  Yup!  I binged watched it and I'm NOT sorry!  I can't wait for season 3

As for music I always have an eclectic mix.  Lately, it's been flashing back to Fleetwood Mac and Tom Petty while squeezing in some 90's Billy Joel and Guns N Roses.  Not to mention some random show tunes now and again!  Oh yeah...and some Reggae to lift my mood!


As far as what I'm reading and writing...well...

I write commercials for a living (among other things) so I'm always writing something.  But lately, I have gotten back into writing short poems.  I haven't done this in many years.

As for reading, I'm not like most people...I don't ready books cover to cover.  I read collections of poetry, magazines, cookbooks, and such.  

I have so many eBooks that I have been thumbing thru that there are too many to remember but some of them off the top of my head are...

The Best Sh*t I've Ever Made by Tess Challis
Mend Your Way To Healthy, Happy, and Strong by Victoria Moran
Heal Your Hunger Workshop from Alex Jamieson
#MakeItYourself Healthy Kitchen Essentials from Happy & Raw
7 Day Healthy Dinner Challenger Quick Start Guide from Happy & Raw
What about you!?