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Vegan Kluski for Grandma

Vegan Kluski Polish Food

As some of you may know, half of my family is Polish, so certain Polish/Eastern European food is special to me. One dish in particular is Golabki, which I’ve veganized before for Rika’s beautiful blog Vegan Miam. So, when Rika asked if I could do a guest blog for her this month, we both agreed that another vegan Polish recipe was in order!

Me and My Grandma

Let me give you a little background on this recipe: Kluski is really just a simple noodle/dumpling that is boiled and then traditionally served with a meat sauce; for a low-cost, filling meal. When my family and I would visit my grandparents in Michigan, this dish was made for us by my grandmother almost every trip. She would always serve it with a side of sliced tomatoes and maybe some corn or peas. Really colorful meal, right?

Well, one of the last times that I saw my grandmother, it was actually for my grandfather’s funeral. She was suffering from dementia, almost to full-blown Alzheimer’s at that point, she had macular degeneration (terrible vision) and couldn’t hear too well. It was nice to spend time with her, even though there were some rough moments. During that visit, I followed her around in the kitchen, helping her make Kluski for everyone and jotting down a recipe so that I could recreate it later on (this was a few months before I went vegan).

As you can see, I took some photos of her doing her thing, and I’ve always kept those memories near to my heart when I think about her. Clearly, it was time to find that scribbled mess of a recipe and veganize it for everyone! It was much easier to do than I had originally thought and the final product was seriously dead-on. I even had my parents try it to verify authenticity and they both are really excited about how it turned out.

To be honest, after getting the thumbs up from everyone and while I was taking the photos, it all felt a little bittersweet. I was stoked that I had recreated this recipe successfully, but it also made me miss my grandparents immensely. My dad now owns their property, so I’ll be happy if I get to go out to Michigan this year and go to their old house to get a little nostalgic while being amongst beautiful scenery.

Sorry for the long post, but I thought I’d share a little bit of why this simple dish means so much to me. You can find the recipe over at Vegan Miam, and while your there check out her entrancing photos from traveling all over the world!

Vegan Kluski

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Filed under Holidays, Personal, Savory Recipes

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

Sriracha-Cauliflower Mac ‘n’ Cheeze

Some of you may be familiar with Randy Clemens as the author of The Sriracha Cookbook as well as the even better Veggie-Lover’s Sriracha Cookbook. Not only that, he is a chef, craft beer nerd and has helped put together the Sriracha Festivals in LA and SD, and taken part in the documentary on sriracha. You could certainly say he knows his shit.

I’ve also mentioned Randy a couple of times on the blog before, like when he had his book release party at Golden Road Brewing in July of 2013 and we got to hang out and take goofy pictures, plus sample some dishes from the Veggie-Lover’s Sriracha Cookbook. Almost a year later, he participated in Authors Worth Celebrating at Mohawk Bend where we got to have a 4-course meal made up of even more dishes from his book.

Needless to say, I’ve had my fair share of his dishes and they are damn good. That being said, I just had to get him involved with #ReturnoftheMacMoFo, because I have been eyeing his recipe for Sriracha-Cauliflower Mac for over a year now. Randy has been so awesome as to not only let me share this delicious recipe, but to also give THREE SIGNED COPIES of his Veggie-Lover’s cookbook away! YAY!

Go ahead, check out the yumminess that this spicy, noodle-free, Mac!

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Filed under Giveaways!, Healthy Recipes, Savory Recipes, Vegan MOFO!

Curried Chickpea and Carrot Salad + Choosing Raw Giveaway!

Gena Hamshaw's Choosing Raw

Today, I have the pleasure of reviewing Gena Hamshaw’s Choosing Raw a beautiful cookbook with photos from the talented Hannah Kaminsky. I remember when I started my blog, back when it was only on Tumblr, and I looked up to many awesome and successful vegan bloggers. One of the first people was Gena, and really, why wouldn’t she be? She has recipes that nourish your body but that aren’t intimidating and her narrative is supportive, informative and comforting. You will find all of her greatest attributes in this book!

One of the things that I love about the layout is that it’s broken down by ease of dishes and familiarity. This is great for the vegan-curious or new vegans out there that don’t really know where to start. There is a balanced mix of cooked vs. raw recipes, and plenty of ideas for snacks (I LOVE snacks!). Gena uses wholesome ingredients and has a variety of substitutions for you to use in dishes to make them healthier but not compromise on flavor.

I ended up making two recipes from her book, the Curried Chickpea & Carrot Salad and the Mango Chia Pudding. That may seem obvious seeing as how I love curry and have made many chia puddings for this blog! Both dishes were very good and came together in no time at all. I won’t even lie when I say that I was picking recipes based on what I had on-hand, further more, I had a hard time choosing because there were a lot that used everyday ingredients! I can’t wait to try more recipes from this book and share them with friends and family.

That Curried Chickpea & Carrot Salad really hit the spot, for me, so I’m sharing the recipe with you! Pro Tip: Make a wrap using the salad with spinach, green onion and sriracha; SO GOOD. Also, because Gena and her publisher are awesome, I’m giving a copy of Choosing Raw to one lucky winner! Just go to the Rafflecopter Widget at the end of the post to enter the giveaway.

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Filed under Giveaways!, Healthy Recipes, Savory Recipes