Sunday, March 31, 2013

Hello, From BabyVille!

Hello Everyone! I wanted to check in and let you all know that mom, baby, (and dad too) are all well! I am recovering from a c-section. Baby was in a breech position, one that would have made it potentially dangerous for her if we tried to deliver vaginally, therefore we did a planned cesarean and all went well! I didn't even need any pain meds...well, I refused them, I probably could have used them, but as they say, "Mind over Matter".

I am planning my upcoming blog posts for later this week so keep an eye out for them. Right now we are enjoying our little family, nurturing baby, and I am recovering. We are over-the-moon happy and in love with our wonderful baby!

The baby is healthy, happy, and gorgeous! She is thriving on my vegan breast-milk, and I that is working out really well for us. I am eating like a maniac, I actually have a huge appetite even more so than when I was pregnant. I am still taking my vegan prenatal vitamins and I am also drinking Mother's Milk tea, which really has the milk pouring out like mad. Sorry for the details, but if it helps other mothers out there who are breastfeeding, I'm glad I shared. This tea is organic, vegan-friendly, herbal, caffeine-free, kosher, and safe for mom and baby.

Okay Folks, I'm going to get back to my little angel now. Teaser: the next blog post will be my special trick on how to get rid of postpartum bloat. Works like a charm! And for now, the Dirty Vegan is signing off. Lots of love and sweet baby smiles to you!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Make Candy Bird's Nests! Kiddo Friendly!

A bird does not sing because it has an answer. It sings because it has a song. -Chinese Proverb

This recipe is so much fun! This is such a great recipe to make with your kiddos, whether you are a parent, teacher, caregiver, babysitter, or a big kid yourself. There are lots of things that your children can help with, like mixing the nests, molding the bird's nests, spreading the chocolate, and decorating with jelly beans. Just be sure that you let your ingredients cool before you or your child start messing with them with your hands. 

Happy Spring 'Peanut Butter & Chocolate Granola Cereal Bird's Nests'
recipes makes 16 nests

What you will need:

  • 2 cups granola (I used Nutty Steph's Vermont Granola)
  • 2 cups of your favorite cereal (I used Erewhon's Crispy Brown Rice & Trader Joe's O's)
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup vegan cane sugar
  • 3/4 cup crunchy peanut butter (think about texture when choosing cereal and pb, it makes your nests more beautiful)
  • 1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips
  • splash of almond milk
  • About 80 of your favorite vegan jelly beans, about 1/4 of the bag 
  • 1 tbsp vegan butter, for hand buttering (I used Earth balance. Great for hand buttering!)
  • 1/3 cup measuring cup for molding nests with
  • baking sheet lined with parchment paper (I always use If You Care brand)

What you will need to do:

In a large mixing bowl, combine granola and cereal. In a saucepan on low heat, melt maple syrup and cane sugar until smooth, then add peanut butter. Continue mixing until smooth and well combined. Remove from heat and let sit for a few moments so that your mixture is not too hot to handle. Butter your fingers and hands with the vegan butter. Pour sugary peanut butter mixture into your granola and cereal bowl. Mix and mash with your hands until it seems good enough for forming nests with. Take your 1/3 cup measuring cup and scoop some mixture, indent the middle with your finger, packing down into the cup, then tip cup over in the palm of your hand, placing the indent-side up on your parchment paper. Once you make all of your nests, place in the freezer to set while you melt chocolate chips and almond milk in a saucepan on low heat, making a thick ganache and let it cool for a little bit. Decorate the tops of the nests by spreading chocolate on top with a spoon (when ganache is cool enough to work with), and placing jelly beans on top. Place these in the freezer (or refrigerator for longer) for a moment or two to set, then enjoy! You can also color shredded coconut and place these on a serving dish for a pretty presentation. 

Or you can use shredded brussels sprouts for "grass" like I did!

This is also a great opportunity to talk to your children about nature. You can make this a fun activity about nature. If it is a nice day outside, maybe take your nests, chocolate, and jelly beans outside to decorate them on your deck while you look at birds and nature together. Or you may want to talk to your children about birds and tell them some nature facts like, "There are about 9,865 species of birds alive today.". Or, "The largest bird egg produced is by the Ostrich, and it can measure up to 9 inches long.". You may also want to talk to your children about how birds start their families by laying eggs and caring for their babies in their nests once they grow out of the eggs. Starting this respect and understanding for nature early, makes it easier when your children grow and wonder why you don't eat eggs in your household. You can then refer back to your discussions about animals and their lives. Knowledge is power! Talk with your children and you will be surprised on how they will come to their own conclusions about this. In the end, no one really wants to hurt another living being. If you provide alternatives, eating animal products seems like an odd concept and outside of the norm. Making these fun and yummy bird's nests, offers a great chance to have a thoughtful discussion about nature and possibly observe nature while you are doing so. If you are making and decorating these nests indoors, later on you may want to take some outside with you and enjoy them with your child in the park. These can also be a fun Easter dessert. Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Chocolate Covered Granola?! Wha, Wha, What???

I absolutely love granola. I'm like a granola freak! Sometimes it is hard to find a good vegan granola since many seem to contain honey or milk products. I also adore chocolate. Cocoa is like nature's way of making your day more awesome. Now imagine, just imagine...chocolate covered granola clusters. I know, in our wildest dreams right? WRONG! Nutty Steph's has made this fantasy a reality. I honestly had never thought about this nutty combination, but now that I know about Nutty Steph's, I can't see how I lived without chocolate covered granola for this long.


Nutty Steph's is a Vermont-based granola company that specialize in handmade treats like granola, trail mix, dried items like fruit, chocolate candy, and their special creation called Magic Chunks.

 Magic Chunks!

Nutty Steph's has their ingredients on the website with their products, so you can see that they offer many vegan options. I love that their granola is sweetened with pure maple syrup and not honey. Pure maple syrup just so happens to be a favorite of mine. Plus, Vermont is known for excellent maple syrup. Their products are handcrafted, which is really neat. They also have a gluten-free selection, so everyone can enjoy these.

I tried the following vegan Nutty Steph's products, and here is what I thought of them:

Magic Chunks in Dark Chocolate flavor: using chocolate grown in protected forests by Ecuadoran farmer cooperatives to cover these granola chunks, the flavors you get are vast and intense! They are 70% cacao and you get nutty notes from the chocolate, almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, and sunflower seeds. You can also detect the beautiful flavors of cinnamon and vanilla. Marvelous to get all of these elements in one scrumptious bite!

Magic Chunks in Chewy Fruit Chocolate flavor (Black Forest): My favorite of the two chunks I've tried. You can really taste the coconut, sun dried bananas, and cherries with every bite. What a lovely combination along with the delicious granola. Amazing and addicting!

Vermont Granola: this is definitely a great granola. The flavor combinations are superb and I loved trying it with almond milk and also over my vegan yogurt. The oats combined with nuts, cinnamon, and maple syrup make this a very special treat. Try not to eat the whole bag in one sitting, I dare you. I have tried a lot of granolas and Nutty Steph's is one of the best.

Blackbird Dark Chocolate with Three Seeds: what an interesting way to experience your candy bar. Seeds in this smooth and buttery (from cocoa butter) chocolate make this a yummy and nutritious treat. And think about it, the antioxidants and omegas you are getting from the cocoa and flax seeds make this a health-worthy indulgence.

Lemon Ginger Pecan Dark Chocolate: if you like zing in your chocolate, this one is for you. Nutty Steph's chocolate is super delicious along with refreshing lemon, spicy ginger, and pecans to balance it all out, which make this a really fun one! I'm definitely a fan.

If you want to get your hands on some Nutty Steph's, they are available on their website and they also have a Flagship store for anyone who is in the Vermont area.

And for now, the Dirty Vegan is signing off. Hope you have a sweet and nutty day!

Monday, March 18, 2013

You Can't Do Nerdy Without a Pair of Nerds!

Hi Everyone! So I wanted to share Firmoo with you. They are an eyeglasses and sunglasses retailer who specialize in the more current and modern styles. Firmoo is aimed at a young and hip audience, and has an awesome selection of Nerd-style glasses as well. Their aim is to provide fashionable vision-wear for the more frugal crowd. Basically, people who want gorgeous eye-wear but don't want to pay the high price-tag that normally come along with it, would benefit from taking a peak at They offer prescription and non-prescription, so you can choose a pair for function or fashion. They have something for everyone.

 I am wearing the style #SD2249 in Black (C01). Kind of the typical "nerd" style but totally cute, right? These are also available in Tortoise color.

I like that these are great quality and at a fantastic price; can't beat that. These aren't like the cheapo glasses you would pick up at the mall either, these are durable enough for everyday use. It couldn't be easier to get prescription or fashion glasses at such a low price. The only thing I didn't like is that the plain lenses (non-prescription) that I am using get super smudgy, so if you choose to go non-prescription just for fashion, be sure to keep them clean or the smudges can be annoying. They just show up more on plain lenses than they do on prescription ones.

 Firmoo also has a neat program they are running that gets brand new customers a FREE pair of glasses! All you have to pay is shipping, so it is definitely worth it to try them out. You can check out the program here.

Firmoo has tons of different styles to suit every type of personality. I really like their Nerds, which they do a great job with and they frame the face very nicely. A lot of celebrities are wearing this style right now. Check out these pictures of celebs wearing nerd glasses. I bet they cost a fortune and are some crazy-expensive designer brand. I love that you can get the same style from Firmoo for literally cheaper than my mascara costs.

Nerdy, but never nerdy, Johnny Depp.

Chris Brown rocking some Nerds.

The ever fabulous Anne Hathaway wearing a similar style.

Britney's glasses look just like mine! Pair them with ripped jeans and you're a rock-star.

Justin bringing nerdy back.

Jay-Z a grown-up nerd.

Mila Kunis wearing this style.

Look, even Kim Kardashian has em'!

I hope Everyone has a super nerdy day! I will be wearing these to Starbucks. A perfect coffeehouse look. And for now, the Dirty Vegan is signing off. SEE you later!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Weird (but Delicious) Brownies (and NOT the Wacky Tobacky Kind).

I've heard about black bean brownies and I really wanted to see what all the fuss was about. Out of straight fear of eating black beans in my brownies, I delayed in this exploration. However, I finally decided to jump on the bandwagon and I must say this is a very interesting wagon indeed.

I did some research on the interweb and came across some rather odd recipes. Some were no fat, some were no flour, some were even no sugar! How dare they! I finally stumbled upon the recipe on the No Meat Athlete's website, and decided to give it a try. In true Dirty Vegan fashion, I had to put my own Naughty spin on it. I also made these gluten-free, which if you haven't noticed, I have been doing more of. I received requests from vegan and gluten-free readers who wanted to see more GF-friendly content. Needless to say, thank you NMA for giving me the recipe guideline! I only changed a couple of things anyway, so I totally give you the credit. Before your recipe, I wouldn't know the first thing about putting black beans into desserts.

These were delicious! The picture doesn't do them justice whatsoever.

Here is what I did:
  • 1 1/2 cup all purpose gluten-free flour
  • 1 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 1/4 cup vegan cane sugar
  • 1 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 4 tsp instant coffee powder (not gonna lie, I just busted open a K-cup)
  • 1 cup vegan chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup nuts (use whatever nuts you like - walnuts or hazelnuts seem perfect for this)
  • 1 15oz can black beans, drained & rinsed then placed back into can and fill the can with water
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup water (additionally)

Preheat oven 350 degrees. Mix all dry ingredients (first 8 ingredients) in a large mixing bowl. Puree can of black beans with that new water you added to it. Mix puree with vanilla and that additional cup of water. Mix wet ingredients into bowl of dry ingredients. Grease a 9x13 inch pan and pour batter into it (batter will be watery, don't worry about it). Bake for about 30 minutes, carefully rotating pan a couple of times during baking. When your brownies are not watery or runny in the middle and they seem to be pulling away from the sides of the pan, they are done. Let cool and then cut into squares and enjoy! These retain heat very well, so when I enjoyed my brownie, I got nice oozy chocolate chips inside. Yum!

Thanks No Meat Athlete! I wouldn't have tried black bean brownies, like ever, if it weren't for your recipe. I'm glad I did, these were surprisingly fantastic!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Cannot Live Without, Must-Haves for Pregnancy and Beyond!!!

As I am counting down the days to Baby's arrival, I am reflecting on the past 9 months. Husband and I were chatting about all of the neat things that are available these days. I feel thoroughly blessed to have found pregnancy products that have kept me as comfortable as can be, and possibly kept hubby as sane as can be. Here are the top items that I could not have lived without during pregnancy...

Boppy Total Body Pillow

This was my very first keep-me-comfortable-during-pregnancy purchase. I recommend getting something like this early on in pregnancy. Every trimester comes with discomforts, especially bedtime ones, so something like this will do you wonders during pregnancy and even afterwards. I have two of these. Sometimes I sleep with one in front and one in back, sometimes both in back, sometimes I fold them up for different positions, whatever. I also have brought these in the car for long rides. I feel sorry for the pregnant people who didn't have Boppy pillows.

Be Maternity BeBand & Ingrid and Isabel's Bellaband

This was my very first pregnancy-necessity purchase. Before you are even showing, you are bloated and having trouble fitting into your pants. With these bands, you can unbutton and wear your jeans and this band looks like a camisole underneath your clothing. Be Maternity recommends that you use this during the first, second, and the legendary "fourth trimester". I even used my bands occasionally during the third trimester for those moments when, for lack of a better phrase, my ass was hanging out. This is a great item to use when you want to wear your pre-pregnancy clothes for as far into pregnancy as you can, and for afterwards when you want to start wearing your pre-pregnancy clothes again. They hold up your pants and even allow you to wear your maternity bottoms sooner, when you need the comfort but don't quite fill them out yet. I also used these bands in my second trimester when I felt like my belly needed some support, since you can wear them folded in half, wear them full, or any way you feel comfortable doing so. I have these two brands and like them a lot.

Motherhood Maternity Compression Hosiery

At $7.98 you cannot go wrong! I have so many pairs of these in every color that they offer. I would wear these anytime I would be on my feet a lot, or sitting down more than I'd like to be. I never experience any feet or leg swelling when I wear these; they just work really well for me. My doctor checked my ankles at a visit and was so surprised at how I wasn't swollen. I told her that I swear by my Motherhood Maternity Compression tights. They have all different tights that allow room for your belly and that to me is so comfortable with a nice dress and a pair of ballet flats. I also felt support of my growing belly while wearing these. When not wearing them, if my feet or ankles swell, I put these on and actually see a difference right away. Also, I have washed these many times and have never gotten runs or snags in any of them. Therefore, they can be reused for the next pregnancy. Love these! 

Boppy Pregnancy Wedge

Another one of their fine pillows, the Boppy Pregnancy Wedge is an essential towards the end of the second trimester (or whenever your belly starts to pull and ache while laying on your side) and throughout the entire third. Us pregnant ladies must sleep on our sides, preferably the left, in order to ensure the proper amount of nutrients and oxygen are supplied to our babies. As pregnancy progresses, the uterus and growing baby inside of it puts too much pressure on the major arteries that pump from you to your baby. Therefore, to avoid depriving your baby of anything and to avoid getting dizzy and sick yourself, you should really only sleep on your side and not on your back. As your belly grows, the weight of it pulling and dropping down to the bed, is very uncomfortable. It comes to a point where you will just need something there for support. A regular pillow sort of works, but once you use this wedge, you see how it is perfectly designed for the pregnant body, relieving you of pressure and pain immediately. I also use this for my back as well. I switch sleeping positions throughout the night, and find that when I can prop my belly against my husband's back, and put the wedge pillow behind my back, it creates a nice cradle. Definitely experiment with different methods and positions. I have had really comfortable sleeps during pregnancy; I think these little extras really help.

Medela Sleep Bra & Gilligan and O'Malley's Sleep Bra 2-pack

In the first trimester, the girls will be sore. I cannot picture living without these bras. I used the Medela bras in the beginning for day and night actually. Then I used the Gilligan and O'Malley bras towards the end for sheer comfort. The girls start getting sore again as your body prepares for breastfeeding. I have also packed these in my hospital bag because these will be great for nursing, as they also double as nursing bras. I walk around the house in yoga pants and the Gilligan and O'Malley bras. They are really cute. 

Motherhood Maternity Demi Underwire Nursing Bra & Bra Extenders

During the middle of pregnancy, I used nice Motherhood bras in nude and black (that also look sexy and are super comfortable) and purchased bra extenders so that I could use them as I grew, as well as use them after pregnancy for nursing. The extenders can be taken on and off and adjusted to many different sizes. Always take advantage of products that you can use during pregnancy and afterwards. Any maternity buy that you can find, whether it is clothing or something else, that can do double-duty is so worth it.

Motherhood Maternity Bikini Panties & Bravado Designs Maternity Panties

Motherhood Maternity and Bravado Designs make the most comfortable maternity panties ever! No matter what style you choose whether it is bikini, thong, brief, these are great and you will love them. I don't know how anyone can go without maternity panties. These are great for under the belly and extremely comfortable, as that area tends to get sensitive as it stretches. Both brands make fold over and I love them too. They are super soft in the front and are perfect for if you are having a c-section. Yet another product that you can utilize afterwards. When you are achy and uncomfortable, a great pair of maternity panties feels like paradise. You will want to find the little comforts wherever and whenever you can. And there is nothing more annoying than when you have on horrible underwear. Now that can sometimes be the difference between a mood-swing or no mood-swing. Just in case you don't want to spend the money or your partner is wondering why you need all these things, just be reminded of mood-swing prevention. Keeping mom-to-be comfy and happy is key during this wonderful time.

Oh Baby by Motherhood Maternity Nursing & Maternity Pajama Set

After a long day of carrying around extra weight and growing a person inside of you, there is nothing better than taking a relaxing shower, putting on those glorious maternity panties that we talked about, and slipping into this uber soft pajama set. It comes with three pieces, the pants, a camisole (with clips for nursing), and a robe. During pregnancy you want light-weight and soft pieces to wear, especially at bedtime. Love these pj's, they are so comfy. They are also perfect for your hospital stay, recovering, and nursing.

I purchased all of these products at the following stores: Target, Macy's, Motherhood Maternity, and Babies-R-Us. I've seen them all over the place. I've also seen these items on Amazon. I like going to the stores for stuff like this to ensure everything fits properly. In my experience, I have not been one size during pregnancy and different brands fit me differently. Warning: if you go shopping and are especially tired out, and happen to try on the pj's, you may want to wear them right out of the store. Just sayin'.

Everything else that I have are more like luxuries rather than necessities. However the above items are must-haves for me. Are there or were there any pregnancy items that you totally could not live without?

Friday, March 15, 2013

Fabulous Baby-Safe Jewelry For Moms!!!

Here I am, days away from having a baby. As you know, I love to dress up and accessorize, and pregnancy has been very good for that. See, you have this beautiful new body and this gorgeous baby bump to show off. Now towards the end of the pregnancy journey, I am thinking about what I can do to be the best mom ever...but also a fashionable one at the same time. During recovery, I'm imagining I will feel kind of blah. So when you don't have time for make-up and the whole nine yards, the next best thing is to wear huge sunglasses and accessorize well. I have lots of distracting, clunky, fun costume jewelry that will do the trick, but is it safe for baby? No, probably not. She can pull the beads, they can pose a potential choking hazard, the paint on them is probably not baby-safe, clasps might be sharp or jewelry might scratch delicate baby skin, and the list goes on. I've been thinking about this for quite some time now. So, you can only imagine how thrilled I am to have found Teething Bling by Smart Mom Jewelry!

Our hospital bags are packed and I am pleased to announce that I will be including my fabulous Jade Teething Bling necklace and bangle. Who says I cannot be the most stylish new mom in the maternity unit? To most, perhaps these gorgeous pieces look like stone. Well they are not stone, they are actually baby-friendly, and made from the same FDA approved teething material as most baby toys. YES, actual jewelry made for mom and safe for baby! Baby can pull on these, baby can stick these in her mouth, baby can even teeth on these - they are completely safe and that is what they are made for. These are vegan-friendly and chemical-free as well.

On the necklace, the cord is a breakaway cord and it is silky, making it safe if the baby pulls on it. It has a nice length so as you are holding baby, you will be comfortable, and baby can grasp or munch. This necklace and bangle are a perfect size as not to pose a choking hazard to baby and to also let mom stand out. I wore these out yesterday and received compliments on them. I love that in the hospital I can wear Teething Bling and hold my new baby, without worry of scratching her. I love this concept and the folks at Smart Mom are absolute geniuses! Unsafe jewelry and babies pulling and eating mom jewelry has been a problem for forever, I am ecstatic that there is finally a cool solution. I love these and cannot say enough good things about them. If you are a mom-to-be, a mom, or know someone who is, what a great gift! These come in a multitude of colors and styles on the Smart Mom Jewelry website and you can also find these baby-friendly baubles at baby stores (I recommend using the retail locator if you happen to be planning one of your baby store outings and want to check them out). Their website seems to have every color and style imaginable if you are a no-fuss kind of gal who just wants her Teething stat!

Don't feel left-out Dads, Smart Mom Jewelry has you covered with the Babe Magnet Tie! It comes equip with squeaker and rattle! Perfect gifts for the expecting parents in your life; a Teething Bling gift set and a Babe Magnet! I have been invited to a few baby showers recently and will be getting these for the parents-to-be just because I love them so much.

I could go on and on and on, but I won't. If you want to feel as fabulous as I do (about to pop any second here), you might want to get yourself some Teething Bling. I feel confident that once I am ready to start dolling up in the hospital, I will look pretty and be baby-safe with these totally neat mom accessories.

PS - I DO NOT envy moms of the past who had to live without such cool stuff that us gals have today. This is a wonderful and liberating time to be pregnant and to be a mom. Makes you feel quite special, doesn't it?

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Could it be Nesting?

"Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will." -Mahatma Gandhi

Do you find that (especially late in pregnancy) you are exhausted, it is hard to move, your body aches, you don't want to go anywhere...besides the baby store? Why is it that picking up a few groceries right down the street seems like a struggle, however we can fold freshly laundered baby clothes at warp speed? Or how about when hubby and I are shopping and he goes off to the restroom, I can waddle so quickly to the baby isle and be back at the restrooms waiting for him, holding armfuls of 0+ clothes and toys?! Is it nesting?

The other day I was thoroughly pooped out. Let me tell you, towards the end of your pregnancy you will be pretty tired. Your body has done a lot of work in 9 months. Yet, when we have something that needs to be done in the nursery or that is baby-related, move over hubby, here we come! Even feeling very tired out, when my husband brings up a fresh load of baby laundry, I pounce on that with cheetah-like speeds and everything is soon nestled away in perfectly organized, Better Homes and Gardens nursery-worthy, fashion. What I can (or am willing to) do, I really put my all into it.

Has anyone else experienced this strange phenomena? A surplus of energy that comes to you when you have the opportunity to take part in baby preparations? Is that nesting or what?

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

What We Had For Dinner Last Night

Hungarian-Style Braised Mushrooms

This is my favorite PETA recipe that my hubby and I have been making for years and years. We absolutely love it! Tons of flavor and you can change the recipe up by using different types of mushrooms for variety. We served this over spaghetti, but we've had it over any grain like rice, quinoa, or different types of pastas. It is also delicious by itself as a type of soup or stew.

Fun DV Fact: PETA's recipes really saved my ass when I first became vegetarian and subsequently vegan. I also bought their recipe cards, that I still have to this day, and I spent a lot of time on their website and online learning everything I possibly could about animal rights. The reason I am the Dirty Vegan is because I watched an undercover PETA video that exposed animal cruelty at a factory farm. I started posting in the PETA2 forums and wished that I could be more of a voice for animals. I then started writing letters to companies, politicians, and law enforcement in response to action alerts. Every chance I could get, I would promote veganism and have been an animal rights activist ever since I became veg, which was the second I viewed that PETA video. Now, thousands of people from all over the world read this blog. I've received lots of emails from folks who were inspired to become veg after reading my work. Even if someone were to make my recipes, or go meatless sometimes in order to try them, we are still saving lives. Whether it is big or small, it is joyous to see the positive changes we are making for our cause and movement.

This is what this amazing Hungarian Mushroom dish looks like once you add in the cashew cream. Yummy! Definitely one of my favorite dinners ever! You should really check out the recipe.

What is your favorite dinner? You know, the type of dinner that if you had to choose only one dinner to eat for the rest of your life, you would choose it.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Quick Breakfast Sandwich Idea

 Make a quick southwestern tofu breakfast sandwich on the fly! Being pressed for time shouldn't mean skipping important nutrients and protein in the morning.

Press some tofu, slice it, and pan-fry it with vegan butter. Also, pan-fry veggies like peppers, onions, and fresh baby spinach. Melt vegan cheese on top, dollop on some salsa, and place between two slices of your favorite toasted bread.

And well...enjoy! 

Tofu stuff like breakfast sandwiches, burritos, and scrambles are my go-to breakfasts for when I want something filling and need to put it together in a flash. What is your go-to breakfast?

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Love Me Some Soda Pop!

I don't drink a lot of soda, but when I do I opt for regular and never diet soda. I stay away from the chemicals in diet sodas and a little bit of sugar won't likely hurt a healthy person. However, for us vegans, we never know what sugar is vegan-friendly and not processed with animal bone char, unless it is confirmed. I tend to stick to definite vegan products, ones that someone has confirmed are vegan-friendly. I came across these sodas at Trader Joe's on our last grocery shopping trip, and I wanted to share.

 These vintage sodas taste amazing and the bottle is cool! I love drinking soda from a glass bottle because the beverage gets really cold and I find that it tastes more refreshing.

I like these vintage Trader Joe's sodas. As you can see, this one is gluten-free (I'm sure most, if not all, are free of gluten) and contains no artificial flavors or preservatives. I used to be real keen on Jones Soda, however Jones does contain "natural and artificial flavors". These Trader's sodas are a real good option if you are skeptical on soda, but want to include it in your life occasionally. I know a lot of people who ban soda in their household, and I probably would have felt that way too if I hadn't found an inexpensive and all-natural soda like this.

Are you still a soda drinker? How do you feel about soda and including it in your family's diet?

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Crazy Pregnancy Craving Turned Amazing!

Welcome to the world of crazy pregnancy food. We pregnant women get cravings of all kinds, but the most intriguing of all, are the odd combinations. This combo came out pretty darn delicious and I just had to share the recipe with you.

Crazy Pregnant Dip

  • 2- 3 tbsp salsa
  • 2 vegetable burgers (either Trader Joe's Marsala or Dr. Praeger's), microwaved for about 1 minute or so
  • 1/8- 1/4 cup Daiya Jack cheese wedge, sliced
Mix all ingredients together and microwave for 1 minute. Stir and microwave for 30 seconds more, if needed. Enjoy with crackers or chips!

What are/ were some of your (or your spouse's) pregnancy cravings or interesting combinations? Do you believe the old wives tale that what you are craving is what your body actually needs during pregnancy? I wonder if there is any truth to that.