27 October 2008

vegan mascara

i don't wear makeup much, but every now and then i feel the need to add a little something to my face before i head out the door. i haven't used mascara in a while, so i was pretty excited when i found Larénim Mineral Mascara. it's all natural, vegan and gluten free! i found it at Super Supplements, which happens to be my favorite place to buy shampoo and the sort. i've never tried any other vegan mascara, so i can't compare it to another brand, but i'm satisfied with the results. (it cost about $15 at SS.)

22 October 2008

school lunch

i always feel so bad when my son eats a school lunch.

21 October 2008

best. ever.

this stuff is amazing! with few exceptions, i've always been a little disappointed with soy and rice based ice cream alternatives. tofutti and good karma's carrot cake rice cream are always good, but most non-dairy ice creams just don't satisfy the craving for me. i need something rich and creamy. something fattening: an indulgence. then i found luna & larry's coconut bliss. they use coconut milk so it is dairy and soy free. i'm always looking for ways to diversify, as soy is a major staple in my diet and i don't like eating too much of any one food. but there are so many other reasons to love coconut bliss. the flavor is incredible and the texture is so smooth and creamy. they offer a handful of flavors, but my favorite is probably good old chocolate.

where you can find it in spokane:

fresh abundance


20 October 2008

Soup & Waffles

A few weeks ago I stumbled on a match made in heaven. It was a Sunday afternoon and I really needed to do some grocery shopping, but I was just too comfortable in my pajamas to even think about showering. I needed to come up with lunch, but it had to be simple and quick because that's the way I like my Sundays. I had picked up some Pacific Cashew Carrot and Ginger soup a few days earlier and I had just enough (GF) Namaste Waffle and Pancake mix left for one more batch. I'd never thought before to eat waffles with my soup, but really they're just another form of bread, right? Taking a cue from the soup, I added a teaspoon of ground ginger to the waffle batter. The combination was brilliant. The meal was quick and simple and oh so delicious! My son loved the unlikely pair and we found a new favorite. Soup and waffles: try it!


18 October 2008

Quinoa Crusted Quiche

Growing up, quiche was one of my favorite breakfast dishes. So I was very excited to come across this recipe from the FatFree Vegan Kitchen. I made a few substitutions to the recipe based on what I had at hand. Instead of brown rice for the crust, I used my favorite grain, quinoa. I subbed broccoli for the asparagus, added some Italian seasoning and topped it off with tomatoes. It turned out pretty good. I think the tofu mixture needed a little more seasoning and the crust would be better with a quick pre-bake, but I will definitely make this again. I took left-overs to work for lunch and got compliments on the smell. That's unusual. Most days my food just gets suspicious looks from my tofu-fearing coworkers.


17 October 2008

silk nog

it's back on the shelves! i just picked some up the other day. i love silk nog; i feel so inspired when i drink it. i wonder how i can use it in my cooking? maybe in cupcakes, or pumpkin pancakes...let the creativity begin!


16 October 2008

green bluff

just north of spokane, green bluff is a grower community celebrating harvest season through out the month of october. my best friend through elementary school lived on the bluff (although her family weren't growers) and i spent endless days with her walking around the bluff and checking out the festivities during harvest season. several of the farms offer u-pick fruit through out the growing season and boast impressive pumpkin patches in the fall. one farm in particular goes all out and builds a corn maze (admission is a little steep) and even brings in other vendors, such as funnel cake and the sort. (unfortunately, but not surprisingly, the vendors are not vegan-friendly.) we celebrated my mom's birthday on sunday and it happened to be a gorgeous crisp autumn day. on my son's suggestion, we headed to green bluff. we stopped off at Sundown Brown's Place and picked some beautiful apples and found these amazing asian pears (pictured above). i'm really only familiar with the pears you find in the grocery store and they don't impress me much. but these fresh picked asian pears were delicious! i have never tasted anything quite like it. never again will i settle for pears from a chain grocery store. we picked a total of 9 1/2 lbs. of apples and asian pears, costing us a whopping $6! there is no better way to buy fruit. green bluff: support your local growers!


09 October 2008

Autumnal Inspiration

Fall is my favorite time of year. The leaves change, the skies are overrun by cotton ball clouds, we pull sweaters from our closets and we eat warm rich foods. One of my favorite foods to eat when the mercury drops are potatoes; any kind will do. I love the warm and exciting color of yams and the sweet rich flavor is a real treat. This dish was inspired by the earthiness of fall's colors and flavors. Although it's perhaps a tired denomination for foods of a certain taste, I like to call it harvest quinoa. The nutty flavor of the quinoa really shines here and compliments the sweetness of the raisins and yams.

You will need:

4 small yams, peeled and cubed
1 small yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 T Italian seasoning
1 C quinoa
1/3 C raisins
1/4 C dry roasted pumpkin seeds
2 t olive oil
salt to taste


Bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Add quinoa, cover and bring water back to boil. Turn off heat and let sit 5 minutes. Add raisins and pumpkin seeds and stir. Return lid and let sit until all water is absorbed.

Boil yams for 3-5 minutes, until just soft. Heat olive oil in large pan or wok. Sauté garlic for minute. Add onion and sauté 3 minutes. When yams are just soft, drain and add to pan with Italian seasoning and cook until yams start to brown. Combine quinoa and yams in pan and salt to taste. Serve warm.

Variations on a theme: Add 1 cup mushrooms with yams, substitute cranberries for the raisins and/or use walnuts in place of pumpkin seeds. Add 1/4 cup fresh chopped cilantro before serving.


06 October 2008

double cheeseburger, or hummer?

i was reminded the other day of a study conducted by the u.n. in 2006 that explored the impact of an animal based diet on global warming. for me, the decision to go vegan was greatly influenced by environmental concerns. fish was one of the last animal foods i gave up, but the more i learned about the state of our oceans and the threat of extinction to so much aquatic life, it was a gimme. when considering how much energy is used to feed, medicate, transport and ultimately process livestock, it's hard not to see how the meat industry overwhelmingly contributes more to greenhouse emissions than even transportation. but there are still too many people - voting people - who don't "believe in" global warming. you and i (assuming you believe the "liberal media") can look at the numbers and realize serious steps need to be taken to save our planet and that we can make an impact as individuals on a daily basis, by choosing a vegan diet. but considering some americans will be going to the polls next month denying global warming with notions of natural climate cycles and end times, Time Magazine got it right when they suggested that the next administration may have a greater impact on climate change than my choice of a vegan lifestyle. although, whatever the outcome this november, you can be sure i'll keep making my compassionate living choices.



05 October 2008


My favorite cartoon character growing up was Garfield the cat and one of my favorite foods was lasagna. I remember watching Garfield eat pans of lasagna in one swift gulp and admiring him for his good taste. Lasagna is one of those classic comfort foods that so many of us vegans crave and one that tends to make the omnivores cry foul if done incorrectly. I assembled this veganized version of the classic recipe on the fly a few weeks ago when I needed to come up with an easy dinner option to take to my (omni) mom's house. It turned out well and even got compliments from my tofu-suspicious steak-eating step-father. I was really pleased with the recipe but did a little tweaking of the tofu "ricotta" mixture and voilà! Here, then is my recipe for GF vegan lasagna, or what I like to call veganagna:

You Will Need:

1 box GF lasagna noodles* (I like the rice variety)
1 jar of your favorite marinara sauce
1 C water
1 T lemon juice
2-3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 14 oz package extra firm tofu
1 C fresh chopped parsley
3 t Italian seasoning
3 T vegan parmesan style rice topping
1 C vegan mozzarella style soy cheese, shredded (I like Follow Your Heart Gourmet Cheese Alternative)
13" x 9" baking pan (I use glass)


Preheat oven to 400˚F. Drain and press tofu. Using a fork, crumble tofu in medium sized mixing bowl until crumbles are uniform in size. Add parsley, lemon juice, 2T "parmesan", garlic and 2t of Italian seasoning to tofu and combine. Mix water with marinara sauce and coat bottom of baking pan in a thin layer. Add a layer of noodles** and top with marinara and tofu mixture. Repeat layers, leaving the top layer of noodles without tofu mixture and instead top off with remaining marinara sauce and Italian seasoning. Sprinkle "mozzarella" and "parmesan" on top. Cover pan with foil and bake for 40 - 50 minutes. Remove foil and brown under broiler for 1 - 2 minutes. Bon appétit!

* There is no need to boil the noodles if you add water to the marinara sauce. Add more water if your sauce is very thick.

**I like to break a couple noodles and use the pieces it to fill in any gaps in the layers.