Monthly Archives: November 2012

Air Eater Hiatus

Sometimes you have to know when to hold ‘em and when to fold ‘em. Right now Mat and I are focusing on the Vegan Bloggers Unite! ConFest (happening hopefully in Oct. 12-13, 2013) and I have to put Air Eater aside to make that happen. In between Air Eater, running VBU!, Concept Branding (Toronto’s only vegan social media company), a day job and I’m currently working on a novel –  I realize that I am being pulled in too many directions. I will still continue to keep VBU! running, but my beloved Air Eater will have to hold on until I am able to devote more time.

I do not want to abandon my blog, so this is a time out to focus on the ConFest. Now why am I calling it a ConFest and not a conference? One half of the venue we pick will be the conference part for vegan bloggers (speakers/workshops/product demos) and the other half will be a festival with vendors for anyone welcome to enjoy.

With that in mind – thank you everyone for being so supportive. I love the very kind emails I receive asking about ingredients or my experience with certain products. Thank you for thinking of me!

A big hug goes out to all of you and I hope you’re able to attend the VBU! ConFest in Toronto 2013!

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Vegan Deli Style Lunch

Every day we’re faced with a dilema – what the heck am I going to eat? Some people like to plan in advance and have pre-cut/washed vegetable ready to go and some like to fly by the seat of their pants leaving things to chance. Sometimes you just say screw it, I want something different, let’s see what’s out there.

Today is a screw it kind of day.  Mind you gluten free readers, you always have to check with the deli you shop at, and if you’re very sensitive I’d skip this as you never can be sure with cross contamination. I do try to eat at least 80% gluten free, but I am human as well and as I don’t have an issue with it I do like to enjoy it in small quantities.

I am a huge fan of variety and keeping to a budget. If I can get a little bit of what I like I am an extremely happy camper.

Sorry I didn’t take close up pictures I was very eager to eat. As you can see I was able to get a decent amount of food for $6.03! Not bad for a local grocery store. I haven’t had couscous in a very long time and I must say I liked it, but not as much as I thought I would. I would much rather have ordered more quinoa and perhaps another option. What I like about these kinds of portions is the nutritional labels. I am a bit obsessed with looking at them and who wouldn’t be interested in knowing how much sodium is in something before ingesting it?

Needless to say I had a great lunch followed up by organic apple sauce and an organic banana. When I eat items raw I tend to be picky about them being organic, I suppose in my head I assume the pesticides are killed off when cooking with conventional items. I suppose sauces, salt and other tricks can be used to mask a taste. Nothing beats eating a fully clean meal with organic ingredients. Recently I tried a conventional apple and I couldn’t finish it. I don’t know if this is mental or not, I like to think I can tell the difference after eating organic for a while. There’s something about conventionally grown food, it’s waxy, stale or is missing some lack luster.

Do you eat organic?

 

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Whole Life Expo 2012

We went to the Whole Life Expo and I think this year it was better than last. The show is divided into three sections: 1) Food, 2) Health related products and 3) Health related services. As foodies we tend to stick to the food section and were happy to see a bunch of familiar faces.

This picture makes the show look calm, but let you tell you when people have their back packs on and aren’t paying attention this get crowded FAST.

First, we stopped at Upaya Natural’s booth – they had a wide selection of raw, vegan, organic foods and appliances. I took pictures, but I realized after we left they were blurry. I’d go so far as to say they have the most selection of any raw/vegan store, they will most likely have anything you can think of and they are always adding more products to their mix. We bought our Blendtec and Excalibur dehydrator and Omega Juicer through them – oh, and our spiralizer as well. They are more than equipment, they have every raw/vegan food item you can imagine from: dehydrated mulberries, to enema bags, to Earthings grounding shoes and more.

Giddy YoYo is a company out of Orangeville, Ontario and they make raw chocolate amongst other things. They recently change their packaging and increased the size of their chocolate while maintaining the same price. That is pretty impressive. You don’t hear of a company giving you more of a product and not charging you for it. We are addicted to the mint raw chocolate. I cherish it and eat it one square at a time. Too good. I asked Mark, one of the owners, about the shelf life of the chocolate and if it’s okay not to seal it once opened. He mentioned it was fine, oxidation does not occur, but chocolate can age like a fine wine. Mind you raw chocolate from 1960 wouldn’t be suitable to eat, but month old chocolate is okay.

Cruda Cafe was very busy with their raw tacos and desserts. These were the same tacos I reviewed at the CNE this summer. Cannot say enough good things about how good the tacos were then, we had already eaten before we came, but that really shouldn’t have stopped me now that I think about it. Ah well. If we’re in St. Lawrence market on a weekend I’m sure we’ll venture to the basement level to find the storefront of Cruda Cafe.

Rawfoodz is an organic raw vegan salad dressing company and they recently started making a raw chocolate spread that’s not on their website. I tried it during the Raw Food festival. What is on their site is their new Butter style spread both in original and garlic. That I can totally get behind – freaking tasty. I’ve tried the dressings and the spread and each are pretty darn good. I have a preference to Italian Idol, but don’t let that discourage you from trying others. They’re creamy and intensely flavourful, it’s hard to believe the dressings are raw. The dressings are great on kelp noodles, raw coleslaw, veggie dip just to name a few uses.

A new face on the raw vegan scene is Rawlly Delicious. They are operated by a husband/wife team Natalie and Derek Neal based in Caledon, Ontario. On my high raw days I have resorted to carrying nuts and seeds with me to snack on. Sure that does the trick, but why not have a fulfilling treat that provides 5g of protein per serving. Rawlly Delicious has five flavours of Energy Ball: Hulk Energy, Nuts About Hazel, Almond Crunch, The “Seed” and Coconut Bliss. They have since added one NEW product: Chaga-Maca Brawnie.

Chaga-Maca Brawnie

What I love about these Energy Balls a) they all taste amazing, yes I have stuffed my face with them and b) they’re sprouted/raw/organic. I asked Natalie how long does it take to make each Energy ball batch and her answer – four days in total. That’s commitment. I like the idea of having a product that I can eat on the go and not feel guilty about. In fact, I feel pretty darn good after eating them just because they are easier to digest. Rawlly Delicious has an auto-ship program so you can opt to have a customized order shipped to you so you never run out. I can see this being very helpful in keeping up with my new addiction.

This is the six pack of all of the Energy Ball products. At the show the price was $20. I’m not sure if this is going to be sold on their website, but hopefully it will. 

What kind of Air Eater post would this be without the Nutritional Value information? (Click to enlarge) The Chaga-Maca Brawnie info is missing as it’s still being finalized. Here is a link to their Facebook, Twitter and Youtube account. Amazing that this little company has already been featured on CTV.

Overall, I am very glad we went to the Whole Life show, it was worth the parking and crowds to get the great deals we did. I felt hilarious walking around with so many raw food items, but I refuse to feel guilty about healthy pleasures.

Happy eating!

 

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Filed under Gluten free eating, Healthy Snacks, raw, Trade show, vegan

Vegan Gluten Free Veggie Pot Pie

Here’s part two to the lentil loaf that I made for our Canadian Thanksgiving. I always saw pot pies as a comfort food and something that I’d love to bite into. The challenge of making a gluten free crust that isn’t horrible was a tough one.

Here’s how I made it:
2 cup of millet flour
1 cup of sweet sorghum flour
1 cup of tapioca flour
1 tbsp xanthum gum
3 tbsp Italian seasoning
1 tbsp parsley (dry is fine, but if you use fresh make sure it’s really dry)
1 tbsp raw minced garlic
1/2 cup of Earth Balance
1/4 cup of water

Place all dry ingredients in a bowl, mix well, then transfer to a food processor. Using a S blade mix the dry ingredients, then add in the garlic and water. Keep adding water until the mixture balls on its own in the machine. I honestly can’t recall how much I used, it might have been a cup, it might have been 1/2 a cup, so it’s safe to use 1/4 cup increments.

At this point you can measure out your bottom/top crusts as you’ll be too busy with the filling once you’ve made it. This is a very forgiving dough, so it can be pinched together if you don’t roll it out properly. Do make sure the dough is thin because if you make it more than 1/4″ thick it will just be gummy and gross. Try to make it as thin as you can. I would highly suggest using a French rolling pin if possible, they’re really quite handy. If you don’t have much counter space or don’t want to roll it out on your counter, you can roll the dough between two pieces of parchment paper. I used a cutting board and dusted it lightly with millet flour to roll mine out.

Lidia Le François, vegan, gluten free, Air Eater, veggie pot pie

The filling:
1 cup of carrots roughy chopped
1/2 cup of corn
1/2 cup of cut string beans
1/2 cup of chopped celery
1 red pepper
3 small red potatoes (you can use any colour)
1/2 cup of white chopped onion
1 tbsp raw minced garlic (you can use more if you like up to 3 tbsp)
1/2 cup of shiitake mushrooms (I reconstituted dehydrated mushrooms – fresh is fine)
1/2 cup of millet flour
2 tbsp corn starch
3 cups of vegetable broth (I used 2 bouillon cubes in a quick pinch)

Use a large pot. First place 2 tablespoons of oil/coconut or vegetable in a pot and swirl around to coat the surface. Keep the pot on medium heat. When hot enough add the chopped onion and stir until almost translucent. Add in the garlic and the vegetables. Stir for roughly 8 minutes. Then add in the broth and mix for another few minutes to allow veggies to simmer a bit. If you have used dry mushrooms, keep the water that you used to soak them in, makes an excellent mushroom broth. Then add in the flour, stir for another few minutes and then add the corn starch. The corn starch should thicken up the filling, if it’s too thick just add more water. When cooking like this I like to keep a kettle handy for adding hot water quickly.

After the filling cools slightly, give it at least five minutes to breath, you’ll transfer it into your dish. Here’s where there are two schools of thought on pot pie. You can either have a bottom crust or just a top crust. I opted to go with a bottom and top crust. If you are of the top crust thinking, you’ll only need to use half the dough recipe. Mind you, you might have a bigger or smaller casserole dish, so that’s really up to you.

Once you’ve established whether or not you need a bottom crust, add the filling and cover with a top layer crust that you’ve carefully rolled out before you started making the filling.  You can make slits through the top crust or poke about with a fork to make small vent holes. Continue reading

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Filed under Gluten free eating, Meals, vegan

Vegan Gluten Free Lentil Loaf

What a few weeks it’s been! Vegan MoFo gave me a lot to do on top of keeping up with Vegan Bloggers Unite! (running the blog and planning for the conference). Plus being the host site as VBU! for Virtual Vegan Potluck, and the other things I do (Concept Branding), I’ve been run a bit ragged. Safe to say, I will not be participating in Vegan MoFo next year, I don’t think I can keep up with it.

During the Canadian Thanksgiving I made a few things that I will be adding to my dinner table on an on-going basis. One of those lovely dishes is a recipe from Tasty-yummies.com. I made Beth’s Lentil “meatloaf”.  Please do check out her site, she has many vegan/gluten free recipes. This is not a paid endorsement – I just think she is neat. I believe she is not completely vegan, but still a good resources for recipe that can be converted.

The first picture is the loaf uncooked. Here’s how my loaf turned out:

Lidia Le François, vegan, gluten free, aireater lentil loaf Continue reading

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Virtual Vegan Potluck Nov. 2012 – Air Eater Vegan Hot Chocolate

Welcome to the November edition of the Virtual Vegan Potluck! Thank you for visiting Air Eater. My name is Lidia, I am also the host of the VVP through my other blog Vegan Bloggers Unite! If you’re a vegan blogger and you’d like to join the VBU! family, please feel free to check out the instructions/directions and drop a line.

Please feel free to sit back and relax. My recipe below is a part of the beverage menu.

Had to pull this goodie out of retirement. What’s more comforting on a cold night than a warm cup of hot cocoa? Just because we’re vegan, doesn’t mean we can’t have the same comforts. I’m particularly fond of almond milk, vanilla unsweetened to be exact and that is my personal preference. You can use any milk alternative be it coconut milk, rice milk, hemp milk, etc.

So how did I make my hot cocoa?

Ingredients:
2 cups almond milk
2 tbsp Cocoa Powder or more
1/2 tbsp cinnamon
1 1/2 tbsp Maple syrup

I boiled the milk and whisked in the ingredients. Simple really. You can adjust these measurements to your tastes.

I am a huge Alice in Wonderland fan and I couldn’t resist buying this mug. It’s incredibly oversized and holds two cups comfortably. I’m sure you have a favourite mug. Be sure to use it when making this recipe.

Please feel free to go either way up or down the chain.

Alice: Oh, no, no. I was just wondering if you could help me find my way.
Cheshire Cat: Well that depends on where you want to get to.
Alice: Oh, it really doesn’t matter, as long as…
Cheshire Cat: Then it really doesn’t matter which way you go.

Either way you click you’ll be off on an adventure. Enjoy!

To visit the blog before me click the BACK button. (veganosaurus)



To visit the blog after me click the FORWARD button. (spinachrevolution.com)

 

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