Monday, September 23, 2013

VeganMofo Day 22 - I is for Instruction!

Today is day 22 of VeganMofo 2013 and the letter of the day is I!
 

I is for Instruction!
 
 
Yep, it's Day 22 of VeganMofo and I'm only on letter "I" of the ABC theme I committed to...hmmm..I guess it's obvious that it truly is  "back-to-school" time in my life with two children homeschooling and one starting a new school! VeganMofo Blogging has taken the very back seat in my mini-van of life, so to speak - my sincere apologies!
 
As I type this, it's almost 11pm on Sunday and I really should head to bed, but I am so excited about today that I want to share while it's still fresh. I attended not one, but TWO inspiring and delicious food/health related events today! Both of them made me feel so grateful to live in a city with so many opportunities to learn & connect with others around health, wellness, vegan food, and more! And did I mention delicious vegan food? Oh, I did. Well, it is worth two mentions! :)
 
The first event I attended was put on by Thrive Café. It was a film screening of Simply Raw: Reversing Diabetes in 30 Days at Central Cinema with a three-course raw vegan meal and beverage provide by Thrive Café, and a Q & A afterward with Dr. Ilene Ruhoy!
 
 
Fresh Rolls, Oh My Samurai Kelp Noodle Salad & Ginger Lemon-Aid - YUM!! It was so much fun to eat such a vibrant meal while watching the film!
 
 
 
 ...and an extra special dessert - Mint Chocolate "Cheesecake"!!!
 
Every component of this event was so excellent that I almost don't know where to begin. Suffice it to say, that I HIGHLY recommend attending one of the future Thrive events, if you live in the Seattle area. I promise you won't be disappointed...and you most likely will be inspired to make some healthy changes yourself - it's hard not to when you see such compelling evidence and real changes in others! The staff at Thrive is always readily available to answer your questions and they have lots of great books and other offerings to check out and even purchase. Today I couldn't resist purchasing, a book myself:
 
 
This book has been on my wish list for a looooooong time! :)
 
 
Thrive has so many amazing classes coming up - there really is something for everyone and something for all schedules. I have taken several of their raw vegan food classes located in the cozy upstairs kitchen of  The Tummy Temple and they are excellent. Also, be sure to check out the on-going line-up for the film series of events at Thrive and guest speaker events too! The next film series event is sure to be very popular as Frank Ferrante from the documentary,  May I Be Frank? will be in attendance & offer a live Q & A afterwards!

After visiting with some friends and meeting some new ones at the screening, I headed north to Shoreline for a "Bring on the Beans" class at Fire and Earth Kitchen
 
If you are looking for a cozy and friendly environment in which to learn some fantastically delicious new healthy vegan, gluten-free, soy-free recipes...then this is the place for you! I know it's definitely the place for me...I can't wait to take another cooking class there. Renee and Nick are so kind and succeed in creating the most comfortable learning environment for their students. Classes take place in the living room of their inviting home with a glowing fire in the fireplace. The class size of 8 maximum lends itself to a more conversational demo of recipes which I really enjoyed. And of course, the recipes are also sampled by the students. Since a picture is worth a thousand words, I'll just be quiet now...
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
So, there you have it. My amazing, inspiring, delicious, healthy vegan foodie day of instruction in Seattle! Just like the title of my book purchase says, I AM GRATEFUL!
 
 
 

Monday, September 16, 2013

Harm Free Beauty from Petit Vour!

Today is day 16 and (another) letter of the day is H!
 
 
H is for Harm-Free Beauty!!


Okay, I have a confession to make...this H post was originally supposed to be about a delicious HOT CHOCOLATE recipe or perhaps a Hummus recipe with Ethiopian flavors! But then I opened my mailbox and found my latest Petit Vour Beauty Box waiting for me! I decided to shoot a video of me opening it without peeking into the box first, so viewers could experience it just as I do. I was so excited about the contents that I couldn't wait to share it with you! Hence the "creative" way of connecting an "H" word to this post!



G is for Green Smoothies!!

Today is Day 16 of VeganMofo 2013 and the letter of the day is G!
 

G is for Green Smoothies!
 
 
It might seem like over-kill to do a post on green smoothies...they are all over the internet. Yet, for all the green smoothie recipes out there, intuitively knowing how to make a delicious green smoothie with some greens and whatever liquids/fruit you might have on hand, beats any recipe. So without further adieu, I want to share the very best image (from elizabethrider.com) that I have ever come across on green smoothies while perusing the internet. Follow these basic guidelines and I promise that you will impress yourself, family, and friends with your mad green smoothie making skillz!
 
 

Monday, September 9, 2013

F is for Figs!

Today is Day 9 of VeganMoFo 2013 and the letter of the day is F.

 
 F is for Figs!
Figs probably had their biggest commercial fame due to Fig Newtons, that cookie that was so popular in the 1970's and '80s. I remember this commercial, do you?


    

 
But now that I am older, I realize that the true treasure of this cookie was the fruit inside...just on it's own!
 
 
Figs are beautiful....yet weird looking at the same time. Weirdly beautiful, perhaps? 
 
Not only are figs fascinating to look at, they are a powerhouse of goodness for us. Figs are high in vitamins B1, aka, thiamine and B2, aka Riboflavin.  Thiamine is needed for the nervous system. It helps our bodies to produce energy from carbohydrates, protein and fat. Children especially need Thiamine for their growth. Riboflavin also helps convert energy from protein, fat and carbohydrates in our bodies and helps us use other vitamins like K, B3, B6, and folate efficiently.  And to top all this good news off: figs are also high in calcium and iron, compared to other fruits!
 
But figs being what they are, your children may not be as likely to eat them as they would an apple or banana. One tip is to quarter some pieces of fig and serve them on a plate filled with other delicious bite sized pieces of fruit (cut off the stem, as the white liquid that oozes from the stem is a common skin irritant). Enjoy the fruit with your kids...as they see you enjoying figs, they might want to try them too. Another option is to  serve them as part of a fruit kebab. I have yet to meet a child who doesn't like fruit on a stick!  Or how about a raw vegan version of a Fig Newton? Here's a wonderful recipe by one of my favorite raw vegan peeps, the ever delightful and entertaining, Jason Wroebel:
 
 
And if after all this fig-spiration, you still can't seem to get your fig on...try this:
 
 
That's right - figs covered in dark chocolate. 100% vegan. 100% kid friendly. Parent friendly too. Actually, everybody friendly.
 
 


Sunday, September 8, 2013

E is for Education!

Today is Day 8 of VeganMoFo2013 and the letter of the day is E!
 

E is for Education!
 
 
 

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

D is for Daiya!

Today is the 4th day of VeganMofo 2013 and the letter of the day is D!
 
D is for Daiya!
 
 

 
I know many people who tell me they would love to go vegan, but "would never be able to give up cheese". Believe me, I can relate! Even though I knew I was lactose intolerant for years before going vegan, I would eat cheese and  suffer the consequences. And I mean SUFFER! I swore that there must be something addictive in cheese for me to keep repeating this same miserable mistake. Then when I finally stayed off of cheese for a month, I truly no longer craved it. To this day, I can see an ooey, gooey chesse pizza and I swear to you that I am not even the slightest bit tempted. I finally broke free of the hold cheese had on me!
 
I think today it is easier than ever to break free of the cheese habit (if one desires to) thanks to a breakthrough in the cheese substitute market. That breakthrough is Daiya. In Sanskrit, Dayaa means "loving, kindness and compassion". Daiya is free of dairy (casein, whey and lactose), soy and gluten – three of the most common allergens. Daiya is also free of any animal-based ingredients, making it 100% vegan! I also like that you can read the ingredient list and understand it.
 

 
My kids  absolutely love it because they can enjoy all the classic kid favorites. Daiya actually bubbles, melts and stretches, making it perfect for topping a pizza, layering in a lasagna, making mac & cheese, or melting over tortilla chips. Their website  has lots of  unique and delicious recipes to inspire you.
 
The product line had grown immensely since Daiya first introduced their cheese shreds in a bag...now there are Slices, Wedges, Cream Cheese Style Spreads, and even ready-to-bake pizzas. There are lots of flavor choices now too...practically anything you can get in dairy form, you can now get in Daiya form!
 
I promise you that I do not get any kick back from the company to write this post...I just wish I had Daiya that first month I tried to kick the cheese habit. It would have been so much prettier and easier on those around me...lol! If I can help another person handle their cheese withdrawl and come out the other side free, vegan, and with their relationships in good standing... then my job is done. ;)