Sometimes I have the hardest time coming up with what to say about my recipes. The truth is that I get inspired to make things in the most mundane ways. Today I was driving around doing errands and thinking about what to make for lunch. I wanted something spicy, and then it hit...Read More
Last weekend, my partner asked me to make him a pie. As you may have guessed by now, that is usually how most of my forays into dessert-making start! This time I decided to try my hand at a raw pecan pie. When I was thinking about the recipe I knew I wanted two things: a...Read More
Sometimes I have the hardest time coming up with what to say about my recipes. The truth is that I get inspired to make things in the most mundane ways. Today I was driving around doing errands and thinking about what to make for lunch. I wanted something spicy, and then it hit me a buffalo “chicken” salad featuring the ingredients that normally accompany wings: celery, carrots, cucumber and ranch dressing! I stopped at the supermarket to load up on the ingredients and came home and put it together.
It turned out better than I dared hope! The super spiciness of the “chicken” pieces were offset beautifully by the cool veggies and ranch dressing and the whole thing was really, really tasty. It takes a bit of time to put it together, but it’s so worth it!
To make the ranch dressing you’ll need some basic cashew cream, but that’s really easy to make, so don’t let that put you off! You could also just use a store-bought ranch dressing.
Oh how time flies! I can’t believe that I have been blogging for one whole year. And what a year it has been!
My first ever post was a super simple, but tasty recipe for gingerbread bites using almond pulp leftover from making almond milk. Since then I’ve shared recipes for everything from green smoothies to scrumptious salads to sumptuous desserts and reviews from a few of the great places I’ve been lucky to visit.
And I’ve learned a huge amount in the process. I used to be a pretty basic and not-so-good cook. Over the past year I have learned to how different combinations of herbs and spices can create amazing flavor profiles and I’ve learned how to relax, be adventurous and just have fun in the kitchen. I’ve explored new frontiers, like how to create delicious raw meals and how to combine gluten-free flours to make yummy gluten-free baked goods. And I’ve progressed from taking some frankly awful photos of my creations to ones that actually make my food look pretty good (though that’s still a work in progress).
This blog was never meant to be more than a place for me to explore vegan food and cooking and share sweet and simple recipes! It’s become so much more than that: it’s a place that has allowed me to learn, be creative, and grow. And for that I’m deeply grateful.
So to celebrate this one-year anniversary, I thought I’d do my first ever giveaway! There are two books and blogs that I’ve turned to again and again over the past year and I want to share them with you.
The first is Vegan For Her by Ginny Messina and JL Fields. This book is an absolute must-read for any vegan woman or any woman thinking of becoming vegan. I’ve been vegan for 14 years now and I learned a huge amount reading this book, from how to make sure my diet is well-balanced, to which supplements I should be taking, to how my body and nutritional needs are likely to change over my life course. And it has really great recipes from JL, who taught me the concept of umami and how to be more mindful when I eat!
The second is the blog, and now book, Choosing Raw, by Gena Hamshaw. I love Gena’s creative and practical approach to raw vegan food. While I am not likely to follow a completely raw vegan diet, I have been making a conscious effort to eat more and more raw food, and Gena’s advice about how to do this makes it far easier. Her recipes are absolutely delicious and her blog and book are just beautiful. I could only aspire to be like her!
One lucky reader will win Vegan for Her and another lucky reader will win Choosing Raw. Entering is super easy. All you need to do is follow me on twitter, tweet about this giveaway, like Vegan Sweet and Simple on Facebook, or comment on this blog post through the links below. Entries will close at midnight on August 31st, and the winners will be announced on Monday, September 1st. To enter, you must live in the United States. Good luck!
And thanks so much for coming on this journey with me!
Today was a really great day. Why? Because it was the first day of this year’s Seed Experience in New York City, a celebration of all things vegan! With great speakers, vegan causes, vegan products and of course lots of vegan food and drink, this truly is a must-attend event. There was so much to see and do and taste, it’s impossible to comprehensively review. So instead, I’m going to highlight my absolute favorite products and the things that made it home with me.
Best Vegan Ice Cream: DF Mavens
There’s really no competition; no other vegan ice cream today came close. Today I tried the key lime creme and salted caramel pecan. They were both spectacular. DF Mavens ice creams are the creamiest of the creamy. The key lime creme was sweet and tart with cookie dough pieces! Swoon! The salted caramel pecan, oh my! I could have eaten the entire tub. I can’t wait until DF Mavens opens their storefront in the East Village this fall!
Best Vegan Chocolate: Nicobella
I think the earth may have shaken when I tasted the Nicobella truffles. They certainly rocked my world! Creamy, smooth, rich and oh-so-decadent, these truffles are to live for. I loved the creative flavors, like ginger green tea and lime basil. And they are oh-so-pretty. I was originally going to buy just box of assorted truffles along with the peanut butter squares. But then when I thought about having to share them with my partner I decided I had better buy him his own.
Best Chips: Beanfields’ Bean and Rice Chips
These! Beanfields’ bean and rice chips were seriously good and definitely the best chips at the show. The intense cheesy, spicy flavor of the nacho chips won me over, but the ranch and barbecue were also awesome.
Best Vegan, Gluten-free Cake: The Love Kitchen and Flourish
Okay, this is a tie, because I really could not decide which was better. They were both amazing.
Everything I have tried from the Love Kitchen is phenomenal, but cakes really are Kris Manzur’s specialty. This mini cupcake was moist and citrusy, the frosting sweet, creamy and fluffy! Yum, yum and yum!
I shared the carrot cake from Flourish Baking Company with my partner this evening and it was love at first bite, for both of us. The cake was intensely flavorful, loaded with carrots, cinnamon and raisins, and incredibly moist. And if you’ve had bad gluten-free cakes, you know how important moisture is! The frosting in the center had melted a little by the time I got it home (it was hot out today!), but it was still delicious.
Best New Drink: Maple Water
There were no shortage of new drinks on offer at The Seed, but this Happy Tree Maple Water was tops! It’s the pure maple sap that flows from maple trees in the spring, which, when reduced becomes maple syrup. It had a distinct maple flavor, but was light and refreshing and not too sweet. And it’s low calorie and packed with anti-oxidants and b vitamins. This is something I’ll definitely buy.
An interesting contender in this category was the Arty Artichoke Water. It was surprisingly good! But if I’m honest, it’s probably not something I’m going to seek out.
Best new to NY product: Love Bean Superfood Fudge Spread
I don’t even know what I can say to convey the loveliness of this Love Bean chocolate fudge spread. It’s pure creamy, chocolate goodness in a jar! The essentially raw flavor came home with me – it is dark and intense, just as I love my chocolate. But the original coconut, which is a little more velvety with a distinct coconut flavor, was also really good. It comes from Austin, Texas, and is made in small batches by hand and I’m hoping it makes an appearance in NY stores soon!
Best Tea: Chai Mookie
Okay, so this was the only tea being sold at the Seed Experience, but it deserves its own category because Chai Mookie tea is really, really good. I made a beeline for a cup of iced coco mookie as soon as I got to the venue! I love how spicy these blends are. And the coco mookie is really sublime.
Best vegan, glutenfree lunch item: Yeah Dawg Vegan Hot Dogs
What can I say about Yeah Dawg hot dogs that has not already been said? These gluten-free, vegan hot dogs are so flavorful on their own, but when loaded with pickles and other toppings, they are just over-the-top delicious! I had mine over the kale salad, because while the dogs are gluten-free, they don’t have gluten-free buns on offer at this time (they do offer corn tortillas though!). But I didn’t mind one bit, because the kale salad is oh-so-good and I think it actually made me appreciate the beauty of this hot dog even more!
Other things that came home with me…
And now, a few other things I loved that I couldn’t leave behind.
I bought five packets of these Explore Asia bean pastas, but at 5 for $10 it was a pretty great deal. When I tasted the samples on offer, I knew I had to bring some home with me. Unlike other gluten-free pastas, the spaghetti and fettuccine strands don’t stick together and they have a lovely al dente bite. Plus, they taste really really good. I’m also told that it’s hard to overcook them, which is another plus. Look out for some recipes featuring these in the next couple of months!
I am totally inspired by the Plant Built Vegan Muscle Team! And even if I can’t be as strong as them, I at least want to try! I bought myself a plant built tank top to show my vegan pride while I’m doing strength training at the gym.
And I can never, ever leave Rescue Chocolate behind. The Peanut Butter Pit Bull bar is one of my all-time favorite chocolates of any kind. And it supports a really good cause: all of the profits go to animal rescue organizations around the country.
And last, but not least…
The most entertaining event: Big Fat Vegan Radio
I loved every second of Honey LaBronx and Laura Yaz’s live performance of their podcast, Big Fat Vegan Radio! What could be more awesome than two big, comedic personalities lip-synching songs about veganism, sharing the latest and greatest vegan news, and answering any question thrown at them? Thanks to Honey LaBronx, I’ll never think of tofu in the same way again! They won a new fan in me today.
And there was so much more… The Seed Experience was so much fun, I wish I was going back tomorrow! But alas, now I’ll be counting down the days until next year’s.Read More
With these long hot summer days, I’m craving refreshing and energizing green smoothies to start the day. This morning I’m sharing a simple, but delicious recipe. With tart raspberries, sweet pineapple and energizing coconut water, it is a lovely morning, or anytime, treat! I added flax seeds for a good dose of omega-3s and fiber and spinach for the greens.
Last weekend, my partner asked me to make him a pie. As you may have guessed by now, that is usually how most of my forays into dessert-making start! This time I decided to try my hand at a raw pecan pie.
When I was thinking about the recipe I knew I wanted two things: a pie crust that resembled the traditional and a gooey, caramelly filling. It turned out better than I could have imagined. Plus, it has just five whole food ingredients! And it is ridiculously easy.
Now, despite the fact that this is raw and made with ingredients that are good for you, this is not a low-calorie treat. This is decadent. And it is rich. So a little bit goes a very long way.
This is just a little pie and because it is so rich, I got four servings out of it. But if you’re feeling particularly indulgent, you could go ahead and split the pie between two! And if you want to make a bigger pie, just triple or quadruple the ingredients.Read More
One night last week I got home late from work and put some red rice on to cook. Then, when I thought about how long it would be before dinner would be on the table, changed course quickly. But that meant I had red rice cooked and ready for the next night’s dinner!
Red rice comes from Thailand, but is readily available in health food stores. It has a lovely nutty flavor and a nice chewiness to it. And because it is unhulled and a whole grain it is much higher in fiber than its white or brown counterparts. Plus it is packed with antioxidants! It was absolutely lovely in this salad!
There’s not much to say about this salad recipe, other than it is divine. My partner is not a huge salad fan, and he lapped this one up. The dressing is incredibly flavorful: smoky, sweet, tart, and spicy all at the same time. And the ingredients just complement each other perfectly.
Yes, this is a salad I am going to be making again and again!
A little while back my partner asked me to make him a key lime pie.
My first attempt was a bit of a disaster. It tasted good, but it was too creamy and dense, not the light custardy pie he was pining for.
But when I tried it a second time and modified the recipe by cutting back on the cashews, I managed to nail it. Well, according to him! I never actually had a real key lime pie, so I am not the expert here!
I used agar agar powder, almond milk and lime juice with a few cashews thrown in for the filling. This creates a filling that is creamy, but light and not dense. I didn’t have key limes, so I used regular lime juice. And I threw in a bit of spinach to give it a greenish tint. I tried making this at first with coconut palm sugar, but didn’t get the result I was hoping for, and so I used evaporated cane juice, which worked well. I topped it with a bit of coconut whipped cream, instead of the meringue topping such pies normally call for. It was delicious! Tangy, sweet, light. Yumminess!