Monthly Archives: July 2012

WTF Vegan Food + The Streets I know + Snooters

  

This weekend I had the pleasure of meeting two cool tweeps: @wtfveganfood and @thestreetsiknow .

Kristin, who is a vegan blogger on a year(ish) mission to travel across the United States trying every 100% vegan restaurant. (Click image to enlarge)

Luckily for us, she did manage to find her way to Toronto and I suggested we go to Bunner’s Bake Shop. I didn’t want her to miss out on the glory that is the Bunner’s curry pocket.

Until August 6th, Bunner’s is helping by donating $2 from every Strawberry cupcake they made as a special push to help Snooters Farm Animal Sanctuary. Snooters is a privately run, privately funded, farm animal sanctuary in Ontario, Canada. They offer safe, forever homes to rescue animals who have come from a variety of places. Some from families who grow tired of them, some from factory farms, some strays and many with disabilities.

If you can’t make it to Bunner’s you can make your donation to Snooters here. The animals thank you!

Kristin has been to quite a few restaurants by now and is doing something that I think is incredibly brave, she quit her job, she packed up her life and through the kindess of people started her trip. I know what it’s like to put faith in a dream and to push for it and I have nothing but kind things to say about this lovely lady. If you’d like to help her on her voyage to spread the vegan word click here.

Melanie is a Toronto blogger, who writes The Streets I know; a vegan fashion blog:

I truly enjoyed our talk about purses and things to watch out for in terms of straps breaking etc. What girl doesn’t have a tiny love of purses. Okay, maybe a bit more than that. I suppose I enjoy accessories like shoes and purses because they never change size and are comfortable. Who doesn’t enjoy putting on a pair of familiar shoes? Of course, finding vegan versions are sometimes challenging, but it doesn’t mean we have to have ugly accessories.

Either way, it was a nice time and I really liked it. Makes me excited for our VBU! Conference in 2013. I imagine that it will be as fun.  Connecting with other bloggers really made me happy. So much in common from this lifestyle. Sometimes you think you’re in a bubble, but by talking to other people it really comes into focus how alike we all are and the passion behind why we’ve made such a decision is electrifying.

 

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Filed under baked goods, Gluten free eating, Health, Meals, vegan

And I’m back + Air Eater Goes Red (Again)

  
  
What a fantastic week off, it was great to just bum around at home and… who am I kidding, I got things done while I was at it. Mat and I scouted locations for our Vegan Bloggers Unite! Conference (2013).

Also, a variety of chores/errands that are too boring to really mention. No one wants to read about how you had an oil change.

I enjoyed having time to meet with a client for Concept Branding as well as start talks with another client for a US project. Really enjoy the vegan love, it’s a great feeling when people want to come together and work within the community. Vegans helping vegans makes my heart warm.

On Wednesday we had dinner with our friend Laurie Sadowski. Laurie has been featured on VBU! and she is an author of a fantastic vegan/gluten free bread cook book: The Allergy-Free Cook Bakes Bread.

 

I’m not the greatest when it comes to gluten free baking, so getting to pick her brain about what tips/tricks don’t translate from regular baking really was fun. On the plus side, she is a lovely person and incredibly entertaining to boot.

Then, the moment you’ve been waiting for – drum roll please!

Air Eater goes red (again)!

Here is the red henna mix as per the instructions from Morrocco Method Int’l:


I painted the colour on with an actual paint brush I bought from the dollar store, it was incredibly helpful with covering my head evenly. I let the mixture sit on my hair for an hour and I plastic wrapped my head in BPA plastic wrap. Mat had to help with this one. You can imagine the laughing and the squeals.

Yes, here I am in my dorky splendour:

As I didn’t like the way my hair was behaving afterwards in terms of style I will leave you with a close up shot of the colour. I went from a brown to copperish:

I’ll most likely change my Twitter/Facebook avi soon, I am adjusting to the new colour and I do believe I need an actual hair cut.

As for the process as a whole, it was a bit of a challenge as I didn’t expect there to be so many steps.  I do love how soft my hair feels. I believe I have found a new addiction of hair care, I haven’t found a vegan product that makes my hair feel as soft as Morrocco Method raw vegan shampoo. Seriously, I know what I’m buying myself for Christmas already.

There you have it! Now, back to recipes and product reviews.  I’ll leave you with Scooter “Good to be back”

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Filed under celiac, gluten free, Hair Care & Beauty, Health, Trade show, vegan

Air Eater on Holiday

Hello everyone! I am on holiday this week and that means I am going to be working on the Vegan Bloggers Unite! conference Mat and I are planning for 2013, plus, seeing a few Concept Branding clients. Really looking forward to finding the right venue and sponsors for this. I imagine the conference is going to a fun meet up.

Please check back next week when I’ll have more posts on Air Eater and Vegan Bloggers Unite! For all those who wish to contribute, I still need two more VBU! posts.  Thank you everyone who has already sent me their posts – they will go up next week.  Please let your vegan blogger friends know I’m looking for submissions. Click here for instructions.

See you in a week!

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Review: Morrocco Method Raw Shampoo and Sapphire Volumizer Mist Conditioner & Moisturizer

 

I’ve heard about Morrocco Method Int’l products through friends and the kind people at Morrocco Method Int’l sent me two sample products to review. I wasn’t sure what to make of them when I opened the Earth Essence Shampoo.

 

As you can see, it’s pretty much a muddy texture.

What’s in this stuff?

Ingredients:

  • Water (Aqua)
  • Micronized Pure Southwestern White Clays (Montmorrillonite)
  • Micronized Grey, Red, and Brown Kaolin Clays
  • Soapbark (Quillaya Saponaria)
  • Green Tea (Thea Sinensis)
  • Naturally Foaming Cactus (Opuntia Erinacea)
  • Blood of the Dragon Rare Protien (Jatropha Dioica)
  • Aloe Vera (Aloe Barbadensis)
  • Red, Brown, and White Algae Leaf Extract (Spirunlia Platensis)
  • Raw Apple Cider Vinegar (Acetic Acid)
  • Essential Oils of Patchouli (Pogostemon Cablin), Palmarosa (Cymbopogon Martenii), and Ylang Ylang
  • 92 Trace Minerals and Rare Plant/Marine/Fruit Proteins as Natural Preservatives

I had doubts as to the cleanliness factor of putting a mud in my hair, but looks are deceiving. I used half of the shampoo sample to coat my hair in the shower and let it sit on my hair for about two minutes. I suppose I should have read if there were instructions for this, but realistically, that’s all the time I really had. One thing that I noticed, my hair did feel thicker. Considerably so. It also smelt strongly of patchouli. I suppose at this moment, I realized I had crossed into full fledge hippy and wasn’t afraid really, I know these products are MUCH better for my hair than any mainstream shampoo could ever be. My hair tends to get a bit oily and this particular shampoo did help stop that. When I was just doing my no ‘poo Apple Cider Vinegar/Baking Soda routine, I would feel my hair get greasy the next day if I skipped a day of it. That alone makes this product valuable to me.

The Sapphire Volumizer Mist Conditioner & Moisturizer was helpful to increase thickness as well.

Ingredients:

  • Micro Clustered Ionized Water
  • Grapeseed (Vitus Inifera) Extract infused in Cold Pressed St. John’s Wort
  • Pure essential Oils of Wild Rose (Rosa Rubiginosa), Evening Primrose (Oenathena Biennis), Sandalwood (Santalum Albus) Frankincense and Myrrh (Commiphora Myrrha)

It didn’t have an odour at all. I really felt my hair strengthened while using this. I was so sceptical, but it worked for me. I have wavy frizzy hair and I didn’t feel either product was heavy or greasy. I do have to use products to tame the frizz in my hair, but luckily that didn’t override the Volumizer Mist that I sprayed on while my hair was wet. You can use the spray on wet or dry hair.

Over all, I am very glad I received the samples and I know I will be looking for these products from now on. I think they’d make a lovely gift to your favourite blogger, perhaps? Haha. I kid.

This weekend I am FINALLY getting myself together to go red yet again – I’m using Morroco Method Henna Red. Woo! Will definitely blog about that.

Stay tuned!

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Filed under celiac, Eco Friendly, gluten free, Hair Care & Beauty, raw, vegan

Easy Vegan Gluten Free Risotto

 

After watching copious seasons of Hell’s Kitchen, I figured how hard can risotto be, I mean really? I went looking for a recipe that I could veganize and came across this risotto recipe link. There are several different recipes and I decided to use one of the recipes as a base and freestyle from it.

Here’s the non vegan recipe and my notes on the right side are what I did differently:
Ingredients
250 ml (1 cup) red onion, chopped << I used white onion
60 ml (4 tbsp) butter << Earth Balance Non-Soy
1 fennel bulb, chopped << omitted
30 ml (2 tbsp) Sambuca << omitted
375 ml (1 1/2 cups / 360 g) Arborio rice, not rinsed
125 ml (1/2 cup) commercial orange juice << omitted
1.5 L (6 cups) vegetable stock, at a simmer
5 ml (1 tsp) orange zest, grated finely << omitted
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
15 ml (1 tbsp) flat-leaf parsley, chopped << curly parsley

Here are my additions:
1 cup of Cheddar style Daiya shredded cheese
1/2 cup of Pepperjack style Daiya shredded cheese
2 tbsp minced garlic
1 tsp Himalayan salt

I folded in the cheese about 5 minutes before the whole thing was done. I was tasting it along the way to see the texture of the rice and thankfully everything worked out. Check out the instructions here for this specific recipe.

This turned out better than I anticipated and I can see now why people want to eat this. I know this is going to be a staple in my house.

Happy eating!

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Filed under celiac, gluten free, Meals, vegan

My definition, my definition is this: Veganism

I wasn’t sure what to write about and asked my Twitter followers and two of them suggested I write about meat (and not in the way that I usually would ANGRY), but in a compassionate way, but I really can’t do that very well. Another suggestion, write about how you became vegan, a progression into being healthy. It made me think of Dream Warriors, “My definition”.

I love this song, I also love local Toronto music, it’s too bad these guys didn’t blow up big time.

Either way, like the Dream Warriors, who have their clear definition everyone has their own story and what their beliefs mean to them.

Here’s my definition of being vegan:
– Do no harm
– Respect all creatures
– Flesh is death and not a meal
– By-products of animals are not a fashion statement

Like Lisa Simpson, I had a moment where I just couldn’t eat meat:

I kept thinking of the way it got to my plate. Like Homer, my dad reacted in a similar way. Lidija, chicken? Even chicken? Sigh.

I do think you can make friends with salad, a lot of friends in fact and I have found a personal solace in my direction in life.

I don’t tell people: how to eat, what to wear, what to listen to, I believe I deserve the same respect. It’s all a matter of who you surround yourself with. I do believe I am lucky enough to have some pretty awesome friends (who aren’t vegan as well) and that makes me seriously grateful.

Happy eating!

 

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Filed under Health, Rants, vegan

Product review: Simply Delicious Chocolate O’s

We noticed a new cookie on the shelf that looked a lot like Oreos. We had stumbled onto Jo-Sef’s Simply Delicious Chocolate O’s. They’re vegan and gluten free! Imagine that. Had to try them. As long as you don’t go in expecting that familiar taste of an Oreo you’ll be set. The cookies are pretty thick and incredibly filling. I couldn’t even eat more than three at a time. I used to be able to eat a row of Oreos at a time. Yes, I know, not a good thing to do.

Either way, I was pleased with these cookies and I would buy them again. They were roughly $5 a box, which is pretty much expected when it comes to a specialty cookie such a gluten free/vegan.

Here’s what the box looked like:

Of course, the Nutritional Facts: (Click to enlarge) Continue reading

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CORRECTION! **Bob’s Red Mill Spar for the Spurtle Recipe Contest**

 

The people at Bob’s Red Mill are hosting a contest called Spar for the Spurtle, it’s a creative recipe contest to make oatmeal, which concludes July 20th.

 

Here’s a video explaining what it’s all about:

Info from Bob’s site:

“Bob’s Red Mill has sounded the bell for round two of its Spar for the Spurtle oatmeal recipe contest! Bob’s Red Mill, the leading provider of whole grain foods and official purveyors of the World’s Best Oatmeal®, is again looking for someone to represent the company at the Golden Spurtle World Porridge Making Championship in Scotland this October. All you need is a winning recipe that makes use of Bob’s Red Mill Steel Cut Oats!

Do you think you have what it takes to Spar for the Spurtle? Entering is easy — simply submit a short video demonstrating how to make your recipe. Deadline to enter is July 20. Once we’ve reviewed the videos and selected the finalists, we’ll fly three lucky cooks to Portland, Oregon, to compete in a live cook-off. The cook-off winner scores the grand prize — an all-expenses-paid adventure to Scotland to represent Bob’s Red Mill at the Golden Spurtle World Porridge Making Championship!

Be sure to read all the details, including the official rules on the About page, and if you need a little added inspiration, check out the above videos. When you’ve done so, you’ll be ready to kick up your kilts and Spar for the Spurtle!”

Last year, the winning recipe was Black Bean Porridge Patties, Bob’s Red Mill prepared this in the Speciality Category for the World Porridge Making Championships in Scotland.

Image provided by: Bob’s Red Mill

Pretty cool huh?

EDIT>>>I received an email from Bob’s Red Mill explaining the way the contest is supposed to go:

Thanks! Sorry I didn’t notice this before, I just glanced at your blog post and it looks like you’re requiring your readers to read your blog post and then comment on your blog to receive the prize pack. Sorry for the miscommunication, but ideally we were wondering if you could please require your readers to enter in Bob’s Red Mill’s Spar for the Spurtle Contest for their prize pack.  Again, sorry for the miscommunication!

We happily still can send the current readers who have commented on your blog post a prize pack from Bob’s Red Mill. But, do you think that your readers might be interested in entering the Spar for the Spurtle Oatmeal recipe contest as well? Perhaps just the first 1-2 people to do this and let you you know that they entered the Spar for the Spurtle Contest receives a prize pack from Bob’s Red Mill.

I do hope a few people enter as I would love to see the creativity that I know you, as my readers, posses! Why not enter? If you have a really great recipe, now is the time to make a video about it, and win a trip to Scotland to boot. That’s it! Pretty simple. Contest starts as of NOW! Good luck!

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Mint Chocolate pudding

 

P-U-D-D-I-N-G! Wish I was a cheerleader because I’d be doing some high kicks after trying this pudding. Made me think of this SNL skit:

I hope I am like this in my 50’s, I don’t see why not. Perhaps I won’t be pulling up my pants as much. I hope not. Either way, I will be eating pudding no matter what. I found this recipe on All Recipes and it’s so easy!

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 1/2 cups soy milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
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Filed under gluten free, Healthy Snacks, vegan

Cookin’ Greens Indian Style

The kind people at Cookin’ Greens asked me to try their products and come up with a creative way to use their products. I picked the Designer’s Mix, which contains: Collards, Rapini, Spinach, Yellow Beans, Onion.                                                                                                                  (Click to enlarge)

I modified this fantastic recipe from thekitchn.com:

1 large onion, diced
2 packages (about 16 ounces) white button or baby bella mushrooms, roughly chopped > I used 2 large portobello mushrooms 
2 medium-sized red or white potatoes, cubed
1 inch fresh ginger, minced
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons coriander
1 Tablespoon garam masala
2 teaspoons red chili powder
1 28-ounce can of diced tomatoes > I used fresh organic cherry tomatos
10 ounce bunch of spinach (or more if desired!), cleaned and cut into ribbons > I used 1 cup of the Designer’s Mix
1 cup red lentils > I can of Eden’s Organic cannellini beans
3 cups of water or broth
1-2 Tablespoons salt
3-4 scallions, chopped

This is how it turned out: Continue reading

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Filed under Gluten free eating, Meals