Tuesday, February 9, 2010

And Another!!!!!! *see below

Gena, the awesome, awesome Gena from Choosing Raw is giving away a Tribest Blender -- PB-250 model. It features:

• Personal Blender Motor Base - 110V
• one Blending Blade Assembly
• one Grinding Blade Assembly
• two 16 oz BPA Free Blending Containers
• two 8 oz BPA Free Grinding Containers
• one commuter sipping lid
• three Regular Lids

I WANT!!!    

Another give-away link!

It's raining give-aways -- no, POURING!! Another awesome one:

Tasha, at The Voracious Vegan, is giving away delicious-sounding chocolates from Sweet Earth Chocolates -- they look so good, I might have to sample them before I win this one.  ;]

Go check them out, right after you enter the give-away, and see what I'm talking about.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Chocolatey, smooth and spreadable -- no, it's not what you think...

This is what I have enjoyed for breakfast a couple of times:

Sprouted bread, and chocolate soynut spread. It's I.M. Healthy Soynut butter with cocoa and it's not bad. So far it has served as a mediocre substitute for IT-THAT-SHALL-NOT-BE-NAMED (I'm really trying to kick the habit, so no names, k?). It's alright, but not top notch and not much for eating all on its own, like with a spoon, or butter knife, or fingers... =\

So, there ya go. If you've been thinking about buying it, um...now you have one thumb up. And you might love it, who knows. I'm curious to hear.

Spread the love, people.

p.s. Back angle:

Stevia give-away link

If you're in the mood for a give-away, then head on over to Chocolate-Covered Katie's and enter her NuNaturals stevia give-away. Isn't she the most generous???!

<3 Katie!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Home-made Nutella

I think it's clear, even with the handful of post I have, that Nutella and I share a torrid past I repeatedly try to forget and unsuccessfully move on from. An affair in which I drive by its house late at night to see if its car is parked outside; or if I might sneak a peek at another woman's spoon dipped deep into its luscious, chocolaty delight. I dial its cell late at night, many times, and promptly hang up after hearing the inviting "hello."

I yearn for its hazelnutty embrace, its smooth and creamy sweet nothings (literally!), its empty (calorie) promises of a healthy and prosperous relationship -- how bad can milk and its highly processed derivatives be for me, after all?!! I know they are all lies, for Nutella has nothing good to offer me. It will suck the life energy out of me and leave me panting on the floor in a stupor of ecstasy to lazily pick myself up after the sugar high has worn off.

I look for someone new. I look for someone who will offer the same passion and joy without the loss of self-respect. I continue to deceive myself I don't need it and can find fulfillment elsewhere. But, alas! I have searched hi and lo, tried to love over and over again, but none of it is ever the same. And I have no doubt that even after my vegan "I do's" I will still have late nights of running back to its warm yet shameful bed for just one more night of spreadable love.

I know and accept this because nothing will ever compare. And, truth be told, this recipe doesn't compare either, but it temporarily abates the craving.

 Here it is, displaying its attributes on Ezekiel sprouted bread

I started with unsweetened 100% chocolate. I melted it and added some hazelnut butter. After mixing that I sweetened it with sorghum syrup. I didn't really measure any of the ingredients and I know how frustrating that can be -- it's annoying reading recipes that use phrases such as "eye-ball it," "'till it's done," or "to taste." And today I'm gonna be guilty of using just about all of them!

So, add sweetener "to taste." Mine was a combination of sorghum syrup and date sugar.

 I used this entire chocolate bar, BTW

Then I stirred till my arm hurt and that was just the beginning...


Adding hazelnut oil and rice (or any other kind of) milk helped making stirring easier, but it's not like it was fun then, or anything.

...but it sure made it easier to stir cause the mixture was getting creamier. I also added soy milk powder which I think I will either omit next time or use a lot less of (you guessed it, I "eye-balled" the amount this time). I also believe the secret to getting it closer to tasting to the real thing is just the right amount of liquid (milk). I don't know how much that is right now, but I will look into it further with more precision when I make the next batch. Also, next time I'll use the honey/stevia combo instead of sorghum syrup/date sugar.


Stir, stir, and then stir some more "till it's done" and when you get there or have just had enough and/or no longer feel your arms, take a slice of bread, spread, and chomp.

I realize you can use a food processor instead of the old-fashioned bowl and wooden spoon combo, but my dishwasher isn't exactly working to the best of its ability and my desire so I went for an easy-to-wash-by-hand dish.

This particular batch needs heating before use since it hardens after sitting in the fridge, so I store it in the cabinet in a washed, old jar I found laying around (two guesses what used to be in it).

I would like to add that this recipe, especially if eaten with bread, is not properly combining food, which is a practice I have been trying to strictly adhere to. I plan on posting soon about some of the recent changes in my diet I've adopted. For now, if you're interested in proper food combining, read this post -- it has changed my life (and my constant bloating issues), as has Gena's Choosing Raw blog in general. I would love to hire her as my personal nutrition counselor, so I'm saving up!  =]

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Meatloaf time!

I've been wanting to make a vegan meatloaf for a long time now, but have always bulked at the prospect because it somehow seemed difficult and tedious. Not so! This particular one I made was... somewhere between a "breeze" and "needing to run the dishwasher twice in two days." The clean-up was longer than the cook-up, but it was well worth both efforts, in my opinion.

This was my lunch yesterday:

"Meatloaf" with a side salad of mixed greens and baby spinach lightly drizzled with balsamic olive oil vinaigrette. Delish!! Just look at the richness of that "meatloaf:"


*1/4 C tomato paste
*2 T soy sauce or tamari
*1 t honey (or other sweetener)
*1/4 t paprika
*1 T minced garlic
*4 T olive oil
*1/2 C onion
*8 oz mushrooms, cut up in little pieces
*6 oz can of tomato sauce
*2 celery stalks, diced
*2 carrots, diced
*1 C brown (or other kind of) rice
*1 can kidney (or other kind of) beans
*splash of hot sauce
*1 t Dijon mustard
*2 t dried parsley (or fresh, if you've got it)
*1 T cornstarch
*3/4 C (gluten-free) breadcrumbs 

Preheat the oven to 350. Combine the first 4 ingredients and half of the garlic in a bowl. In a skillet, saute onions in olive oil first, then add mushrooms and saute until the juices run. In another skillet, with some olive oil, saute celery, carrots, and leftover garlic with some salt and pepper. Cover and cook 10-15min, stirring occasionally. Cook rice separately, too. (Told ya -- tons of cookware!) In a food processor mix rice and beans then place into a bowl. Then process the veggies. Place in the same bowl as the rice and beans. Add onions and mushroom mixture and the tomato sauce. Add the last 5 ingredients into the same bowl and mix everything together well. Press the mix into a greased loaf pan (or line the pan with foil) and pour the canned tomato sauce on top. Bake, covered with foil, for 45 minutes, then uncover and bake 15 more.

Done! Much simpler than it looks on "paper." (I love quotation marks, don't I?) (And brackets.) =D

And for dessert -- don't forget dessert! -- I had a monster home-made peppermint cup (like a Peppermint Patty and peanut butter cup combo. But without the peanut butter. Or the patty.)

Here's the aforementioned monster:

It's in a muffin holder!!! HUUUUUGE!!!!!!


...and OH. SO. DELICIOUS!!!

It made me happy.  :D Almost as happy as punctuation makes me. But with more of a sugar high -- noticeably so!

I love dashes! And exclamation points!!