Monthly Archives: December 2011

HANGOVER HELP

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! In a few days Veggie Grettie will be celebrating it’s one year anniversary.  I really love what I do and want to thank all of you for your support and comments.  Here’s to an amazing 2012…I can’t wait to see how Veggie Grettie unfolds in the next year.

For those of you who will be imbibing tonight I thought I would pass on some great information from two of my favorite sites. Click on the images below to be forwarded to their tips.

Have a really fun night!

About these ads

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Filed under Alcohol, Detox, Education, Quick Tips, Vegan, Vegetarian

VEGAN NACHO CHEESE aka VEGAN QUESO

I have to apologize for the fact that the picture for this post is not up to par, but I had to put my pride aside and post this recipe anyway because it is SO GOOD!

What would New Years Day be without nachos???  The other day I had a craving for nachos and with the New Year coming-up I decided to figure this one out…How do you make a yummy vegan nacho cheese sauce?  It turns out the answer is really easy.

My family had so much fun building their own nachos and I think everyone was happy that mama had a nacho craving!

INGREDIENTS
 
1 bag Daiya Cheddar Cheese
1 ½ cups So Delicious Unsweetened Coconut Milk
1/3 cup Trader Joe’s Serrano Salsa Fresca (so good!)
 

Warm all ingredients over medium to medium-low heat until completely melted and incorporated.

I really encourage using a good quality salsa as it will have a big impact on the final product.  Trader Joe’s Serrano Salsa Fresca is seriously good.

This would also be really great in a vegan 7 layer dip.

What do you like to serve on New Years Day?

For a printable version of this recipe click here.

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Filed under Appetizers, Cheese, Dip, Gluten Free, Holiday, Holidays, Kid Friendly, Quick, Recipes, Sauce / Spread / Jam / Yogurt, Vegan, Vegetarian

THE GREATEST VEGAN GIFT

I received an amazing and inspiring e-mail the day after Christmas from a Veggie Grettie reader.  A while back Melissa contacted me through the website and she and I  have become cyber-friends.  I really enjoy hearing from her about her progress.  Melissa has agreed to allow me to share her e-mail with all of you.

As a quick side-note, I have been wanting to share the photo above with all of you for a long time now and was just waiting for the right post.  A few months ago I was shopping at Mother’s Market and came across this heart-shaped potato…you would have thought I happened upon a real gem because I was so excited…Isn’t Mother Nature amazing?!?!?!?!

Gretchen:

Couldn’t wait to let you know what a wonderful Christmas gift my husband (the meat eating/hunter) gave to me. He sat down and watched Forks over Knifes with me. I had been telling him how my lifestyle change was not me becoming a PETA spokesperson (even though I really like a lot of what they stand for) but it was about becoming a healthier/happier and more compassionate person.

Anyway, after the movie he turned to me and said “Okay” and I asked him what he was talking about and he said “Okay, I’ll do it, I’ll give up meat and dairy too”. It was WONDERFUL!!!!!.

Last night we got out all of my Vegan cookbooks and I showed him excerpts from the Kind Diet and Eating Animals and we started making a list of things he would like to try.

I am so excited and so grateful!! Please encourage those who are struggling with family to at least watch “Forks over Knifes” with them… I would have never believed it would make such an impact.

Here is to a wonderfully blessed and animal product free NEW YEAR!!!! Yea!!

I will keep you posted as Jerry and I embark on this journey together.

Melissa

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Filed under Education, General Vegan, Vegan, Vegetarian

VEGAN CHOCOLATE MOUSSE CUPS – Using Sweetriot Chocolate

I thought I would share with you the dessert I made for us to have tonight after our Christmas Eve meal.  With all of the treats we have been indulging in, I wanted to offer a yummy dessert, but have it just be a few decadent bites vs. a huge piece of cake or pie.

I based the recipe for my “Healthier” Chocolate Mousse on my Chocolate Mousse Frosting recipe (click HERE for that recipe).  I made some alterations to the recipe to make it slightly sweeter and more chocolaty…think dark chocolate.

This mousse is firm, but that is how I wanted it so it would retain its shape when piped.

I used Sweetriot Dark chocolate to make the mousse and I have to tell you that their chocolate absolutely rocks my world and it is vegan, gluten-free, kosher, and their company is carbon-free to boot.

I like to consider myself a bit of a chocolate aficionado and this chocolate hits the mark.  Not only is their chocolate amazing, but they are amazing too!

  • They use premium, high quality, and all-natural ingredients.
  • They believe in fair trade with developing countries.
  • They celebrate culture and diversity through their products.
  • They create sweet experiences for their customers, partners and employees.
  • They are socially responsible.
  • And they are young at heart, energetic, down-to-earth and contribute to the greater good.
And let me tell ya…their chocolate makes a killer chocolate mousse!  Without further ado…
~

INGREDIENTS - Makes 4 1/2 cups

14 ounce package of extra firm tofu (I used Wildwood)
1 cup vegan chocolate OR chocolate chips (I used Sweetriot 85% DARK chocolate that I chopped-up finely)
2cups coconut milk or soy milk (vanilla or chocolate)
6 Tbs. cacao powder
6 packets Sweetleaf stevia
Chocolate cups for serving

Melt the chocolate over a double boiler.

While the chocolate is melting, blend the remaining ingredients in a high speed blender until very smooth (I used my Vitamix). Use the center agitator and stop blending a few times in order to scrape down the sides.

Once the chocolate has melted, add it to the rest of the ingredients in the blender and blend until smooth, scraping down the sides as needed. The mixture will now be warm and not quite yet the consistency of pudding.

To serve the dessert as pudding, pour the mixture into a glass container and allow it to cool in the fridge for 20-30 minutes to thicken.

If using this recipe as mousse, keep it in the fridge for several hours to overnight so it firms-up completely. Prior to piping, you may whip the mousse with a handheld mixer to whip some air into it (this is not necessary, but optional).

Pipe the mousse into chocolate cups or the container of your choosing and serve.

For a printable version of this recipe click here.

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Filed under Dessert, Gluten Free, Holiday, Holidays, Product Reviews, Pudding / Mousse, Vegan, Vegetarian

ETHICAL OCEAN – For Last Minute Gifts

I recently made some purchases through Ethical Ocean and I am really happy with them…So happy that I thought I’d encourage any of you still needing to do some last minute shopping to cruise on over to the Ethical Ocean website.  Of course this is pretty last minute to buy product as a gift, but you can definitely buy your loved ones some gift certificates.

For those of you not familiar with Ethical Ocean

VISION

Our purchasing decisions affect our society and the planet.

It’s up to each of us to know what we are buying and why—and how each product we spend our dollars on impacts other people, animals, and the environment.

But that doesn’t mean we have to know everything. We can share our knowledge, and ideas, to help one another choose wisely. That’s what Ethical Ocean is all about.

HOW IT WORKS

Presented here is a collection of the most ethical products in North America. Every product on our website must qualify for at least one of our three designations: Good for People, Good for Animals or Good for the Environment. Sellers are thoroughly screened before being allowed to sell on our site.

Each of our product pages includes a story: explaining what the product does, where it comes from, and what the seller is doing to positively impact the globe. You’ll also see third-party certifications, if applicable.

If one of our designations—say, Good for Animals—matters more to you than the other two, you can search just for products that meet that designation. Otherwise, browse though our thousands of offerings and see what sparks your imagination.

While you’re at it, check out through our hundreds of articles and blog entries too. There you’ll find all the information and inspiration you need to live the fullest, funnest—and most ethical—life you can.

I bought the two T-shirts and a coin-purse (so cute!) pictured within this post.  If you are interested in purchasing these items, click the pictures and it will bring you to the specific product on the Ethical Ocean site.

Happy holidays to you all!

 

Images courtesy of Ethical Ocean

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Filed under Clothing, Product Reviews, Services, Vegan, Vegetarian

REVIEW – Wisdom Wand Coffee and Tea Brewing Straws

Oftentimes I am sent products to review and they do not make it onto Veggie Grettie because I only post reviews about products that I end up really liking.  I am really excited about this product.

Wisdom Wands recently sent me their portable single serve coffee and tea wands and let me tell ya…they are so neat!  The kids and I brewed some tea and coffee this morning before school and we were all so into how cool these wands are and how simple the design is.

The tea wand (above left) is basically a glass straw with a bulb at the bottom that has tiny holes to allow the yummy brew through without letting the loose tea leaves through the straw.  The coffee wand (above right) is also a glass straw, but the bottom of the coffee straw is made up of a tiny barbie-sized coffee filter.

Making the coffee and tea couldn’t be more basic.  You simply put some loose tea or coffee grounds in the bottom of your cup, pour in hot water and sip the drink through the straw.  You can pour sweetener and vegan creamer directly into this mix and the sip away.

These would make the coolest stocking-stuffers!  I keep thinking of situations where these wands would be ideal…camping, college dorm rooms, the office (no more bitter coffee made by someone else), etc.

Another great feature is that with the wands you don’t need to use as much coffee or tea which amounts to a nice cost savings (I’ll take cost savings where I can get it).  What a fun product!!!

Click HERE to learn more OR go direct by pasting in http://wisdomwands.com/whyown.html#

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Filed under Product Reviews, Vegan, Vegetarian

SRC – Broccoli Red Pepper “Cheddar” Chowder

It’s time again for another Secret Recipe Club post.  I was so excited when I was assigned The Mommy Bowl because I am a follower of her blog and we have been leaving comments on each other’s blogs for some time now.  Reading the tagline of Deanna’s blog, “Filled with the gluten-free, dairy-free good stuff,” you know that she and I have A LOT in common.

There were so many great recipes to choose from, but I ultimately decided to make one of her wonderfully nourishing chowder recipes since this season is filled with so many sweets and treats.  I also had all but one of the ingredients (I didn’t have tahini) on hand  for her Broccoli Red Pepper “Cheddar” Chowder, so the decision was made.

I doubled the recipe since I had quite a bit of broccoli in the freezer, eliminated the coconut oil, and substituted cashew butter for tahini, but otherwise I made the recipe as written and it was great.  This chowder served as lunch for me for most of the week.

Thanks Deanna!

INGREDIENTS

1 T. coconut oil (Use water instead to sauté.  Add more if veggies stick)
1 onion, chopped
1 potato, diced
1/2 red pepper, chopped
2 1/4 cups gluten-free veggie broth
1 t. whole mustard seed
1/2 t. ground mustard seed
1 t. ground cumin
1/2 t. salt
A few generous grinds of pepper
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 small head broccoli, cut into bite-size pieces
1/3 cup nutritional yeast
2 T. tahini (I used cashew butter)
1 T. lemon juice or more to taste

In a 2 quart kettle, heat the onions, red pepper, potato, mustard seed and cumin. Sauté several minutes until onions begin to soften (add water if the vegetables begin to stick).  Add the garlic.

Add the broth and pepper. Bring to a simmer. Simmer 5 minutes. Add the broccoli and continue to simmer until potatoes are soft and broccoli is tender. Remove from heat.

Using a stick blender or regular blender, puree the soup. If you so desire, you can scoop out a few pieces of broccoli before you puree it. Leave some chunks since this is a chowder, not a cream soup.

Add the nutritional yeast, cashew butter and lemon juice.  Salt and pepper to taste if desired (I didn’t).

For a printable version of this recipe click HERE.



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Filed under Gluten Free, Recipes, Secret Recipe Club, Soup, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian

QUICK MEAL – Embellished Amy’s Chili

During the holidays I think we are all struggling to get healthy meals on the table as we run from errand to errand and holiday pageant, to holiday music production, etc…I know I am.  An easy solution is to buy some pre-made meal items and “healthy” them up a bit.

A tried and true brand is Amy’s Kitchen.  There are so many of their products that I really like (Their black bean enchiladas are awesome).  My meat-loving boys also love their Vegan Chili, which is saying a lot.

The other day I made a pot of Amy’s vegan chili in 5 minutes flat and embellished it in an attempt to bring the total sodium level down.  I warmed all of the following in a pot and that served as dinner:

I served the chili with a choice of either tortilla chips or sliced bell peppers (my choice) and Tapatio sauce on the side.  The chili pictured above was also served atop polenta.

What are your favorite FAST meals this time of year?  Any tricks to share?

image of canned chili courtesy of amys.com

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Filed under Beans/Legumes, Gluten Free, Main Dish, Quick, Quick Tips, Recipes, Vegan, Vegetarian

PLANT FUSION GIVEAWAY WINNER

We have a winner….Renee!

Thank you so much to all who entered the giveaway.  Have a wonderful Friday and even better weekend.

Renee…please send your mailing address to gretchen (at) veggiegrettie (dot) com

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Filed under Contests, Giveaways, Vegan, Vegetarian

GINGERBREAD COOKIE DOUGH BITES – Vegan and Gluten Free

Gingerbread seems to run along the great divide…people either love it or hate it.  I love it!  You all know how fond I am of my cookie dough bites.  This is my gingerbread interpretation of a cookie dough bite.  I created these for a food demonstration I taught as part of NEXT week where I made my PB & C Cookie dough bites, Mexican Wedding Cake bites, and Gingerbread Bites.

As with all of my other cookie dough bites, these are easy peasy to make.

INGREDIENTS

1 cup roasted cashew butter
1/3 cup Yakon syrup
¼ cup Somersweet
4 tsp cinnamon
1 ½ tsp ginger
1 tsp cloves
½ tsp nutmeg
1 cup pecan meal

~

On the stove over medium-low, toast the pecans (watch carefully to prevent burning).  Once toasted, remove them to cool.

Place the cooled toasted pecans in the food processor and process into a meal.

Cream together the cashew butter, Yakon syrup, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and nutmeg.  Now add the Somersweet and incorporate well.

Once the mixture is creamed, mix in the toasted pecan meal (I use my hands while wearing non-latex gloves).

Form the dough into small rounds (about 1Tbs. each).

Place in the refrigerator to firm-up.

The cookies should keep in the fridge for a week.

For a printable version of this recipe click here.

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Filed under Cookies / Bars, Dessert, Gluten Free, Holiday, Kid Friendly, Nuts, Quick, Vegan, Vegetarian