Tag Archives: holiday

YumUniverse Giveaway and Super-Veggie Pot Pies!

I’ll get right to the point: today and for the following week, you’ll have a chance to win your own copy of YumUniverse: Infinite Possibilities for a Gluten-Free, Plant-Powerful, Whole-Food Lifestyle by Heather Crosby, of YumUniverse! Exciting, right? The answer you’re looking for is, “Hell yeah!”

This book is more than a colorful and eye-catching cookbook, it is a thorough guide to gluten-free, plant-based eating. Heather starts out with explaining WHY you should try out a plant-based diet, listing off the benefits (there are many!) then spends a while teaching you HOW to achieve it talking about pantry staples, prep, appliances and social situations. 

After all of that comes the stuff that I’m into, beautiful breakfasts (banana pancakes!), baked goods, toppings/sauces/spreads, entrees (fig & caramelized onion tart!), desserts (Mexican unfried ice cream!), and more. You may want to grab a napkin or bib before looking through this book, because I’m pretty sure that you’re going to drool on it.

I do have to point out that there are a few recipes where she uses honey, and I’m sure that’s why they call this book “plant-based” instead of “vegan”, just make sure to use agave nectar or maple syrup instead!

Now, you lucky readers get to see one of the tasty recipes that I made from the book, the Super-Veggie Pot Pies! I made these into larger containers than listed in the recipe and they came out to a perfect 4, filling, servings. Making gluten-free crust was fun and I’ll definitely have to try it out again. After the recipe, you’ll find where to enter the giveaway for a copy of YumUniverse! (US residents only, sorry!)

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Filed under Giveaways!, Healthy Recipes, Holidays, Savory Recipes

Trip to Italy – A Photo Essay

Happy Hump Day, everyone! Today, I don’t have a recipe for you, but instead, a ton of photos from my trip to Italy earlier this month. Actually, I say “ton” but this is a very small percentage of the photos I took. To give you a brief overview, my family and I first stayed in Rome for 4 days and enjoyed taking some tours, then headed out to the Italian countryside for a week in Preggio, Perugia and a few other cities within driving distance.

It was actually in Preggio and Assisi that I suffered from a serious panic attack due to freelance work emails and being overwhelmed with how much work needed to be done once I returned home. Talk about infringing on a great vacation. Now that I’m back home it’s gotten better but anxiety is now something that I struggle with more seriously. If there was one thing this trip taught me, it’s to not stretch yourself too thin because it will catch up with you in a huge way.

On a lighter note, I really loved Rome and walking around the city amongst buildings that held so much history. Overall it was a tremendous experience.

The Forum

Our amazing tour guide Antony

The House of Vestal Virgins

The Colosseum

The first of many fancy churches

Rome, Italy

Here is what I would show servers and chefs when I went out to eat with my family (yes, I know vegana is the feminine version, google translate didn’t know that I was female! ;) ). It was SUPER helpful!

Il Margutta Ristorarte – a vegetarian restaurant with many delicious vegan options; not to mention, walking distance from my hotel!

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Filed under Dining Out, Personal

Chunky Monkey Baked Oatmeal

One of the food-related things that I love about the holidays are the awesome breakfasts and brunches. There have been times where I’ve gone all out for the brunch and laid low for the dinner, but this year I think I’m going to do the opposite. Now, this doesn’t mean that you, or I for that matter, need to have a boring first meal of the day. That’s where this filling dish comes in!

Getting its name from a very popular ice cream flavor, this baked oatmeal boasts sweet bananas, chopped walnuts and sweet chocolate with a vanilla oatmeal base. As neat as it would be to eat ice cream for breakfast I feel that this version is going to get you a whole lot further and you won’t have a crazy comedown from your sugar high.

Besides that great flavors that this dish brings to the table, another good quality is that you prep it and leave it alone. No tending to it, making sure that nothing is burning or worrying about it thickening up enough. Just pulse most of the ingredients in a blender, pour it in and bake! Easy-peasy, right? Then you can get crazy with the toppings and serve it right up with a warm cup of coffee, or tea if that’s your thing.

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Filed under Holidays, Sweet Recipes

Vegan Cuts Snack Box Review + Gift Ideas!

Image: Vegan Cuts

Image: Vegan Cuts

Obviously, there are a lot of holidays happening this month. So, I thought that now would be a great time to review Vegan Cuts Snack Box! I’ve done this once before, many moons ago; but the season of giving is upon us and this subscription makes for a fantastic gift. I’m going to cover some things that I’ve gotten in the last few months, as opposed to one box, and I hope that it gives you an idea of how awesome these are.

stash tea cup cat

Plus, I’ve eaten many items that I didn’t have a chance to photograph before devouring. Oopsies! Before I get down to specifics, let me tell you some general info about these Snack Boxes. Vegan Cuts offers these as a monthly subscription box, meaning you get one delicious box of snacks every month. You can cancel your subscription at any time, although I’m not sure why you’d want to!

hummus snack box

Some of my favorite items from the last couple of boxes have been the Black Pepper Snap Pea Crisps (which had a label misprint, by the company), the huge container of Go Veggie! Vegan Parmesan, and seriously, I fell in love with Michy’s Pumpkin Eater Cookie. After eating some of those Snap Pea crisps on my drive to Lake Havasu, I bought another bag of them THE SAME DAY. My dad was even a fan of them (that says a lot). The Stash Tea has been perfect for the cooler weather, here.

raw rev coconut bar

The variety of snacks in these bags is pretty fantastic, and I certainly think that it’s worth the price. There is almost always a bag of chippy-goodness, different brands, etc.; while the rest of the items range from sweet treats to raw bars to cool condiments and samples of pancake mixes. I definitely can’t forget to mention the coupons that come with it; one month there was a coupon for a free, full-sized bottle of Califia Non-dairy milk! That’s an extra 4-5 dollar value, and it keeps shipping costs down for us.

Over all, I’m super happy with this monthly snack delivery, and it’s something that I look forward to each month. Vegan Cuts also has a pretty incredible Beauty Box that showcases cruelty-free, vegan beauty products. Finding vegan snacks is one thing, but finding high quality, vegan beauty products is a feat in itself. I find that box super helpful!Vegan Cuts Beauty Box Review

Image: Vegan Cuts

Here are some other great gift ideas for the Holidays!

Keep someone you love warm, with this adorable pullover from Herbivore Clothing:

Photo: Herbivore Clothing

This Bare Bones Body Care Kit would be great for pampering after the holidays (Plus, it’s on sale at Vegan Cuts!):

Image: Bare Bones/Vegan Cuts

Maybe make something from Joni Newman’s book Vegan Food Gifts!

Image: Amazon

Or a jar for Nutritional Yeast? I mean, COME ON!

Image: Etsy

Lastly, check out this cool list of stocking stuffers from Vegangela!

Image: Vegangela

Full Disclosure: I received these snack boxes for free, because I am the photographer for Vegan Cuts. There are affiliate links in this post. This means that if you order through my link, I get a small percentage. This helps me to keep this blog going! All opinions are honest and my own. :)

 

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Filed under Holidays, Reviews