vegan

All posts tagged vegan

Zoya Nail Polish Review

Published December 10, 2014 by Vegan Derby Cat Party
Storm, Mimi, Neve, Arianna

Storm, Mimi, Neve, Arianna


Well, I know I’ve been absent for quite a long time. The longest since I’ve started the blog, I’m pretty sure. Thomas had a 7 week work trip down in Long Beach, and we also went home to FL for Thanksgiving, so we were out of town a lot in the last two months. Which brings me to a little detail that I should probably throw in…

We got engaged! The day before our 4 year anniversary in October. And we’re getting married next October.

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Now onto what has definitely become my favorite nail polish brand! (And, well, there’s another ring shot too.) ūüôā

Arianna

Arianna

I picked this red glitter (Arianna)¬†Zoya polish on a visit to Vegan Haven right before our trip home last month. This was my first time trying one of the Pixie Dust colors, which leaves a matte glittery finish. It literally looks like real glitter on your fingers, instead of glitter polish. Let me try to get a better picture…

Detail

Detail (sorry, I’m not known for my polishing skills!)

I wasn’t sure about how I’d like the texture when I bought it, but ended up liking it, and I thought it was fun and festive in red for the upcoming holidays. It lasted almost a week during our trip, which was about what I expected based on previous experiences. Last year was my 1st time using their polish, and I tried Storm (black shiny glitter polish) and was shocked that it lasted a week without chipping, and I even worked in it! I’m normally the type of person who starts chipping the next day. I’m curious to see how the pixie dust will stand up to the rest of my skating and work week, and will report back with more.

Storm on Day 5!

Storm on Day 5!

The best thing about this polish, besides the long wear and nearly infinite¬†amount of colors and finishes available, is the super high quality of the polish. (It also has a super comfy rubberized cap/handle!) Zoya¬†is not only Vegan, but also free of¬†toluene, camphor, formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin and DBP¬†(dibutyl¬†phthalate). One, or any combination of those nasty ingredients had clearly been an issue for my nails in the past, because whenever I had my nails painted with let’s say OPI, it ALWAYS caused tremendous damage to my nails after. They would always start to peel and get brittle, even after just one polishing. That combined with always working a lot with my hands, and for most of the last 10 years of being in the medical field = a lot of hand hygeine, I had pretty much given up fingernail polishing entirely.

Zoya also runs a lot of nice, affordable specials too. The regular sized 0.5 oz bottles go for $9 or $10 each, and mini sized 0.25 oz for $5, when available, which is not terrible. But they often have specials going on which is how I got my initial 3. It was a get 3 polishes for the price of shipping deal that they do once or twice a year, and today I was able to get in on a good one for an 8 oz bottle of remover and 3 polishes with free shipping, for $20!

So I’d highly recommend to follow them on some social media to get some good deals and check them out. I think they do that 3 free polishes deal around the beginning of the year too. Here is their facebook, twitter, pinterest and instagram!

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Barnana’s gone Coconut!

Published July 1, 2014 by Vegan Derby Cat Party

COCONUT Hello again! So much busy going on over here lately, but here’s a long overdue review for you about Barnana‘s newest vegan flavor. You might recall I did a little giveaway featuring their original Barnana snacks during Vegan Mofo last year. Well, they contacted me again to take a taste of their new Coconut flavor. Like last time, they also sent along an additional package of vegetarian, but not vegan, Peanut Butter flavor too for Thomas to try. It seems that the only thing holding them back from being vegan is that same “honey like glaze” that they had on their chocolate flavor, which is all the information I’ve been able to get about the coating. Basically, they were barnanas coated with peanut butter and glazed. Thomas loved them, and didn’t even have to share!

Sadly, vegetarian, and not vegan.

Sadly, vegetarian, and not vegan.

Fortunately for me though, he doesn’t like coconut anything, so we each had our own bags!

MINE!

MINE!

These new Coconut Barnana treats are GREAT!! Have you had raw macaroons or power balls? They’re ¬†kind of like that, but get by with just the banana and coconut. They are a little softer than the original, and get a nice little texture contrast with the shredded coconut mixed in. Subtly sweet, with a little complex deeper flavor from the dehydrated ripe bananas. These turned out to be cravable, and made a great pre-derby workout snack. Interested in getting your own Barnana snacks? You can sign up at their website for samples and discounts, as well as shop and use their store locator, look for them in your local health food shop, or order some from Amazon.

 

Travel posts coming up soon. As always, thanks for reading!!

Crazy Rumors Vegan Lip Balm – A Review

Published April 16, 2014 by Vegan Derby Cat Party
Thank you, Crazy Rumors!

Thank you, Crazy Rumors!

I’m happy to report that I’ve finally found awesome vegan lip balm! People had been telling me for a long time to try Crazy Rumors, but I was happy with my HURRAW! (reviewed here), so I didn’t bother. That is until I started cutting almonds out of my diet (Allergic,¬†and¬†I barely ever break out in hives now!) and realized sweet¬†almond oil was a main ingredient in the latter.

Allergic, yet again!

Allergic, yet again!

Unfortunately, my path to allergy free lip love was not direct. First I picked up this baby from Crazy Rumors’ HibisKiss¬†line. It worked great as far as moisturizing was concerned, and I loved that it was available in a variety of subtle shades. Just one problem, every time I applied it my throat would swell up (and stay swollen for hours) and I¬†would also get¬†symptoms ranging from a runny nose, to coughing fits, to sneezing that would immediately resolve when I wiped it off. I persisted applying it for a week, hoping that it really wasn’t my new lip gloss, but in the end I had to admit defeat and toss it. I’m assuming it’s the hibiscus in it. I’m pretty allergic to all things floral, so it’s really not a big surprise.

Despite that unfortunate introduction, I decided to give their regular balm a chance, and I’m so glad that I did. No almond oil, no floral fragrances, and their regular natural lip balm comes in a bunch of safe-for-me flavors, which I’ll describe below.

Coffee: I haven’t been able to drink coffee for years (Tea is my hardstuff), but I thought it’d be nice to smell it. This one turned out to be a little more like the old acid coffee taste/smell to me that I find off-putting. (Coffee breath?) Not my fave flavor, but the balm itself works great.

Chocolate Mint: More minty than chocolatey, and kinda subtle. I decided this is a good one for bedtime.

Pistachio: Yum! It definitely tastes like pistachio ice cream and cake! So good. This one lives in my labcoat at work.

Rootbeer (not pictured): I went back to Vegan Haven and got another one for my regular coat pocket, since I gave the coffee one to Thomas. LOVE THIS!

Conclusion:

This formula is absolutely fantastic! By the time I acquired these, my lips were cracking, burning, and splitting from the lack of lip lube. In two days they were fully healed! (Below) I’m usually the type that likes to peel and bite at my lips, and I don’t even do that now, because they’re always in perfect shape!

Thank you Crazy Rumors!

Happy, healthy, moisturized.

Happy, healthy, moisturized!

I made Rat Lab AND got new skates! :D

Published April 6, 2014 by Vegan Derby Cat Party
You already saw this picture last month, but I thought it was appropriate since I was all decked out in Rat City gear.

You already saw this picture last month, but I thought it was appropriate since I was all decked out in Rat City gear.

Quick post to brag about my big deal derby accomplishments this past week! If you’ve been wondering where the heck I’ve been, well, I realized last night (after two back to back practices, and after watching another league’s bout) that I skated 6 of 7 days last week! I wasn’t consciously trying to do that, but that’s just how it ended up. Part of the reason was that it was really nice and sunny all week, so we went to skate around Green Lake last Sunday, and then Thomas had new wheels to try out, and then I got new skates.

What’s that, new skates?! I HAVE AWESOME VEGAN SKATES NOW?! YES, YES I DO!

They look like this!

They look like this!

The Bont microfiber boots I ordered during Fast Girl’s annivesary sale came in, and Thursday I was able to get them mounted and molded. Unfortunately, the plates I had on my old skates were too big for the new boots (so I will be selling them, as well as my other skates) but I liked them so much, I bought them again in the right size in a really pretty red.

Bont Hybrid in microfiber with Crazy Venus plates and lightweight kingpins.

Bont Hybrid in microfiber with Crazy Venus plates and lightweight kingpins.

These are incredibly light, and I got to skate in them a little bit yesterday afternoon. I already love them. Just have to finish heat molding the toe box, and get used to the slightly looser truck setting that I have them at right now.

And then the extra big news…

I skated for the Rat City Rollergirls assessment yesterday to try to get on Rat Lab Fundamentals. (read all about their multi tier freshmeat program here) After skating with their rec league sporadically, and having a few of the girls I skated with make it on in the last couple of months, I decided to go for it. I tried to remain as calm as possible all week, and not let me talk myself out ¬†of it. (It helped that one of my good friends from PFM was going too!) It was a hard practice, but I made it through the entire thing, remained positive, and gave it my all. I got my closest to 27 in 5 yet, just a foot or two short of the whistle! I think I will definitely be getting there on my next attempt, after a plateau of 26.75! And even though I was sure that they’d pass on me this time, when it was all said and done, I received my congratulatory email yesterday as I was getting ready to go watch the Tilted Thunder Rail Bird‘s bout (banked track roller derby). I was in complete shock and overjoyed!

Midna & I all tuckered out at the end of the night last night.

Midna & I all tuckered out at the end of the night last night. (Photo by Thomas)

So I will now be officially training with the Division 1 WFTDA ranked #13  team, Rat City Rollergirls!!!!!! SO excited and thankful for the opportunity to take my training and skills up to the next level, just had to share. I would stay and tell you more, but I actually need to get dressed for my regular team practice!

I’m still working on finishing up that post on roller derby and body image, so that should be coming up this week!

As always, thanks for reading!

Ty / Vampira Knightley

PS- Check out the awesome dinner we had last night at In the bowl after my practices! It’s an all vegetarian place in Capitol Hill, right next to our apartment. None of the mock meats are vegan, but we love tofu anyway…

Thai Peanut Sauce with wide noodles and tofu, $10.29. Stir fried with bok choy, broccoli and carrot then topped with peanut sauce. OMG, YUM!

Thai Peanut Sauce with wide noodles and tofu, $10.29. Stir fried with bok choy, broccoli and carrot then topped with peanut sauce. OMG, YUM!

Thomas had Ginger Fried brown rice and tofu, $ 9.99. Stir fried with carrot, green onion, snow pea, celery, broccoli and fresh ginger.

Thomas had Ginger Fried brown rice and tofu, $ 9.99. Stir fried with carrot, green onion, snow pea, celery, broccoli and fresh ginger.

The triumphant return of Highline: Seattle’s only vegan bar!

Published March 20, 2014 by Vegan Derby Cat Party

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Around a month ago, a wonderful, fantastic, should-I-really-get-my-hopes-up? rumor started fluttering around vegan circles in Seattle… Highline¬†is going to re-open their kitchen, but¬†just for brunch. I was overjoyed, and immediately planned on starting a twitter campaign to let them know that I supported them. (Which I promptly forgot about, and never ended up doing!) Fortunately for us, this rumor turned out to be partially true.

Highline was planning to re-open, but only for dinner between the hours of 4 and 8, and only on Mondays and Tuesdays, to start.

So of course we were there on the very first day of renewed food service. And the day after. And the week after that. And so on.  Afterall, this is the bar we most fell in love with as soon as we moved to Seattle. The whole first year we lived in First Hill, we would check craigslist for apartments, and map them to see how close we could get to it. So you can imagine how sad we were when they closed their kitchen last summer. And even more so every time we passed the glowing sign these last 5 months, since we did in fact end up moving ever so close by.

So here’s what they promised:

We’ll be serving food from 4pm-8pm Monday’s and Tuesday’s for the next while. The menu and days, though short and sweet now, will expand as the weeks pass by. We’re looking forward to seeing everyone over the few weeks! On behalf of all the staff, a HUGE “thank you” to everyone who’s helped spread the word and aims to support us! This is a long time in the works and we expect to exceed everyone’s expectations. love-Highline Bar

And here’s what they delivered:

More Cumin Than Cumin Tacos and Seitan Fingers

More Cumin Than Cumin Tacos $9,  and Seitan Fingers $8

The above was from the opening night. They even came over to see how the food was, and to get our feedback on how we thought the reinvented Seitan Fingers compared. We were thrilled. They now have a dedicated taco section to their abbreviated menu, and after having these, and the ones from Taco Tuesdays of the past, I think it was an extremely wise and tasty decision!

Crazy Train and Reubender, $10 each, or $12 with a side

Crazy Train and Reubender, $10 each, or $12 with a side

These sandwiches were okay. I ordered the Reubender¬†and it was pretty good, though I’ve had better. Thomas seemed to like it a lot, but to be fair, that’s typically the type of sandwich Thomas will order, and not so much my go to. I thought his sandwich was pretty good, except it was just a bit on the bland side. Either the tofu needed marinade or it needed a punchier sauce. They didn’t ask that week, so I didn’t get to give them the feedback that time. Not bad though. I’ve always loved whatever bread that is that they use.

Then there was a week when we didn’t get there in time for food, but stayed for a little while for Britt’s birthday. (Not pictured!)

The Bell Toll $10, and that night's special: Cactus, Potato, Soyrizo tacos $9

The Bell Toll $10, and that night’s special: Cactus, Potato, Soyrizo tacos $9

This was from our food last week. I decided to go with that night’s special, despite the crazy sounding cactus that was throwing everyone off. I’m pretty sure I’ve had cactus before, and basically as long as it’s not an animal or a mushroom, I’m game. YUM! I saved one for later, and it ended up still being really good after sitting in the fridge for nearly a week. Haha. Yah, totally ate it days later. ūüėČ Thomas’ sandwich was good too, especially after clearing all the mushrooms off!

Verdict:

So far, so good! We really love the punk, gothy, rock vibe of this bar, and will be supporting them in all their efforts. It was¬†easy for people from other vegan friendly towns to complain about this or that off the old menu, but there was a tremendous void when Highline shut down; it was¬†the only all vegan bar we had! Personally, I had very little to complain about the old menu besides that the quality of the food was sometimes inconsistent. I think with the smaller menu and their concerted effort, they’ll be able to keep that in check this time around, and hopefully be able to expand their dinner service again too!

WELCOME¬†BACK, HIGHLINE! ūüėÄ

The new booze menu!

The new booze menu!

A very poorly lit pic of their new menu!

Spicy Chocolate Cupcakes with Chili Chocolate Ganache

Published March 19, 2014 by Vegan Derby Cat Party
Spicy Chocolate Cupcakes with Chili Chocolate Ganache

Spicy Chocolate Cupcakes with Chili Chocolate Ganache

Tonight was a pretty inspired evening! I came home craving cake and chocolate. Not too much of a mystery why, since everyone at work got to eat from a very nice looking cake today. Truly, two of the girls tried to pick me up a vegan cupcake this morning, so they at least they did try to include me, but man, that cake did look good!

A quick text to Thomas determined that he’d take me up on the offer of doing my laundry if I made cupcakes. (Score!) So I got to spend tonight doing all kinds of non-derby things like shaving my legs (they were completely grown out! at over 2 months, it was a new record for me), doing my toenails, putting away laundry, and baking! Woo! Grooming, accomplishments, AND delicious goodies!

I made these using Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World. Just a few of shakes of cayenne pepper into the chocolate cupcake batter, and half a recipe of chocolate ganache made with half a bar of Green & Black’s Spiced Chilli dark chocolate. Wow, ganache is simple to make, and way easier than going the frosting route! It was my first time and it only had 3 ingredients: soy milk, chocolate, and maple syrup, which I just stirred until smooth over low heat. Easy!

If you like spiced chocolate, I highly recommend trying this or a similar variation. The cupcakes came out perfectly moist and rich! Mmm!

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And here are the boys being adorable while the cupcakes were cooling. It was a lovely, productive evening at home. ‚̧

Typical weekday meals

Published March 4, 2014 by Vegan Derby Cat Party
Yay! A lunch break! But also proof that I am still cooking sometimes and drinking water.

Yay! A lunch break! But also proof that I am still cooking sometimes and drinking water.

Just a quick hello on my lunch break from your favorite (?) vegan derby vampire! (Please link me if you know any other vegan derby vampires who blog!)

I’ve been meaning to write this long, involved blog post about weight gain, body image, and my new physique, but honestly, I really havn’t had the time. Instead I’ll just tell you that my prime blog writing time (lunch) has been hijacked by an increasing patient load at work, and that I might finish writing it eventually. Maybe.

Also, I’ll tell you about the¬†typical week day meals that have been giving me fuel for practice, making my muscles, and pleasing my palatte. I don’t pretend to know tons about work out nutrition, but one of the girls I skate with asked. She used to be¬†vegan, and is contemplating doing it again, but was curious how it would work with derby. ¬†I’ve been trying to drink more water and make sure that I have lots of fruits, veggies, carbs, and our important friend… protein.

(This will go quick, because I only have 10 more minutes!!)

Typical day…

Breakfast: I’m generally a bad at breakfast person. I’ve been drinking emergenC (because people just keep on getting sick around me!) before I leave the house, followed by white tea. By the time I get to work I’m hungry, so I’m usually eating a Luna bar.

Snack: banana

Lunch: Food (kale, noodles, tofu type meals like above, peanut butter sandwiches, or bean/lentil dishes), yogurt and/or an orange

Snacks: banana/Luna bar/peanuts/raisins/cereal/and I would be lying if I didn’t include chips & ¬†salsa, but I’m trying to cut back!

Dinner: This one varies a bunch. If it’s a practice night, I¬†tend to get some tofu in there, either with high protein tofu at home or tofu pho (soup)¬†from the restaurant if I get back early enough. Beans, lentils, and that sort of thing too, which is where my leftover lunches come from.

Anyway, that was a super quick rundown, but you get the idea!

Talk to you again soon! (Hopefully!!)

Photo: Robert Bakie

Photo: Robert Bakie

Last week in vegan food, derby, etc.

Published February 19, 2014 by Vegan Derby Cat Party
Here's a pro shot by Don Jensen from last scrimmage.

Here’s a pro shot by Don Jensen from last scrimmage.

So we had a busy last week full of ups and downs, but it was filled with food, derby, friends, and love! Here’s a picture heavy run through of the week…

One of my very best friends Joanna was in town from Denver, so I gave her a quickie vegan tour of Seattle on my day off Tuesday.

Dirty South, $10

Dirty South, $10

We split this awesome Dirty South at Wayward in order to leave room for some desserts and drinks. A half-rack of tangy BBQ seitan ribs, potato salad, and garlic steamed kale. We hit Violet Sweet Shoppe next for some coffee and tea and I had a little bite of Jojo’s seriously good snickerdoodle, but I was saving myself for Mighty O. I took her to see the Freemont Troll, and some other scenic locations before meeting up with Thomas at our favorite neighborhood bar for a quick drink before we said our goodbyes. It was so nice to see her!

Donut feast later that night with Thomas.

Donut feast later that night with Thomas.

Thomas and I also made a stop in at our extremely close and yummy vegetarian noodle shop, In the Bowl, this past week.

Phad See Ew with small noodles and tofu

Phad See Ew with small noodles and tofu, $8.99

Phad Thai with small noodles and tofu, $8.99

Phad Thai with small noodles and tofu, $8.99

We spent Thursday over at a friend’s for game night, and I snapped this pic of the space needle on our two block stroll back home. We LOVE our neighborhood.

Capitol Hill's view of the Space Needle

Capitol Hill’s view of the Space Needle

Friday night Thomas and I just opted for staying in and ordering burritos from Bimbo’s (not pictured). But Saturday we walked up to the Seattle Center to meet up with some of my derby girls to go watch the Rat City teams battle it out in Bout 2.

Me in all my Rat City/Grave Danger gear!

Me in all my Rat City/Grave Danger gear!

PFM girls plus one that we may recruit!

PFM girls plus one possible recruit!

The two bouts were both great to watch, and the Derby Liberation Front / Throttle Rockets game went into overtime in a edge of our seats finish with DLF winning.

DLF vs. Throttle Rockets in  the last few minutes of a tied game!

DLF vs. Throttle Rockets in the last few minutes of a tied game!

And here are some more pics by Don Jensen from our last scrimmage…

Lori coming in to block me

Lori coming in to block me

Me trying to get past

Me trying to get past

Success!

Success!

Me realizing Amy was getting by, and that Zwack needed some help!

Me realizing Amy was getting by, and that Zwack needed some help!

Coming in just a little too late.

Coming in just a little too late.

Jamming on through

Me jamming on through

Looking for a hole!

Looking for a hole!

As always, thanks for reading!!

ūüôā

Black Bean & Garbanzo Chili (Vegan & GF)

Published February 5, 2014 by Vegan Derby Cat Party

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I was hungry and happened upon new vegan blogger Hayley’s Chili recipe at just the right moment. It made a great inspiration for this tasty chili. I liked her chocolatey ingredient, but swapped regular cocoa powder for raw cacao since it was going to get cooked anyway (/I’m running low / it’s expensive / I order it on Amazon). I made some cheezy beer batter cornbread (recipe below) to go with it, and served it over kale and brown rice as a bowl. I think the leftovers will be great tomorrow over some pasta, sprinkled with nutritional yeast, for an easy chili mac!

I was originally going to call this Cuban Chili, but I found out [after google searching] that that is apparently another name for Picadillo?! Weird. Picadillo is SO not like chili. (You can check out my vegan picadillo recipes here and here!)

Black Bean & Garbanzo Chili (Vegan)

2 tbsp. olive oil (I used coconut here like Hayley’s recipe, but I prefer olive, up to you!)
1 large onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
3 medium carrots, chopped finely
5 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 c. dry sundried tomatoes, soaked in water for 10 minutes, (or use the oil packed ones) drained, and chopped
1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
1 6 oz can tomato paste
2  cans black beans, one rinsed and drained, and one can, liquid and all
1  can garbanzos, rinsed and drained
1/2 c. of frozen corn
2 c. vegetable broth
2 tbsp. cocoa powder
3 tbsp. chili powder
1 tbsp. ground chipotle pepper, optional (in the bulk spices at Whole Foods)
2 tbsp. brown sugar (I used 1 tbsp. brown sugar and 1 tbsp. agave because I ran out of the former)
1 tsp. cumin
cayenne pepper to taste
~ 1 1/2 tsp. salt, to taste

Directions:

1. Heat oil in a large pot to medium. Add in onions, peppers, and carrots as you chop, and cook until soft, about 7-10 minutes. Add garlic and cook an extra minute.

2. Add all other ingredients and bring up to a boil. Drop heat to low-medium and simmer for 1-2 hours.

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So I was trying to figure out how to make some cornbread to go with the chili, using the contents of my pantry, and decided to take a stab at a gluten free beer bread. It wasn’t until I sat down to write it that I realized my obvious mistake. I used regular beer. I’ll have to give this one another try with gluten free beer, and see how it goes, but in case you’re interested, here’s what I did! (You can always use my Perfect Cornbread recipe, if you prefer!)

Cheezy Beer Batter Corn Bread (Gluten-Free if you use gf beer!)

1 c. cornmeal
2 c. all purpose gluten free flour (I used Trader Joe’s brand)
2 tbsp. sugar, optional (brown if you have it!)
1/4 c. nutritional yeast (nooch)
1 tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
few grinds of black pepper
1 can/bottle of gluten-free beer

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375*F and grease a loaf pan.

1. In a large mixing bowl combine cornmeal, flour, sugar, nooch, baking powder, salt and pepper. Pour beer into dry mix, and stir until combined. The batter will look liquidy.

2. Pour into prepared loaf pan. Bake for 40 minutes, or until cake tester inserted into center comes out clean.

3. Let it rest in the pan for about 5 minutes, and then turn out to slice.

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Isa Does It: Vegan Cookbook Review

Published January 22, 2014 by Vegan Derby Cat Party

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My copy of Isa Does it came right in the middle of our last move in mid-October, so it got flipped through and filed away for a good long time before I actually took it for a test drive in my kitchen last week.

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I had originally pre-ordered a kindle edition, but then I was on the PPK one day, and saw they were having a promotion for these cute little reusable bags with proof of pre-order. So I went on amazon, to screen shot my purchase, but it sort of looked like the kindle edition wasn’t happening. Not only that, after hearing Isa talk about how nice the hardcover was going to be, I was having second thoughts. (Coming from the girl who owned Appetite for Reduction in BOTH editions, this shouldn’t be a surprise though.) So I cancelled my kindle order and put in for the hardcover. Looks like that’s the only thing currently available on amazon anyway, but I’m so glad I did! It is a really nice big book with great pictures, that does a great job of staying open to the recipe you’re cooking from. (The ultimate cookbook feat!)

And I’ll just tell you right upfront. This book is GREAT. Easy, fast, cheap. She’s totally got the amazing taste on a weekday timeline thing down. No crazy hard to find ingredients. It’s really made me want to cook at home all the time again. Something that’s been really lost for me for the last 2 years, ie. ever since I moved out of my giant kitchen.

Here’s what I’ve tried so far…

Dragon Noodle Salad and Sesame Tofu

Dragon Noodle Salad and Sesame Tofu

This was awesome. I traded grated carrots for sliced cucumbers (Thomas doesn’t like cucumbers, but loves pickles!) and skipped the sesame seed garnish. I chopped some cilantro right into the kale I used for the greens. The Sesame Tofu is broiled with some tamari & sesame oil. Easy peasy, and super delicious.

Did my prep in the food processor to make this super fast.

Did my prep in the food processor to make this super fast.

Instead of dredging, I let it marinate for an hour

Instead of dredging, I let it marinate for an hour

and broiled it in the same pan.

and broiled it in the same pan.

Sunflower Mac

Sunflower Mac

Next up was the Sunflower Mac. A lot of the recipes in this book call for soaked cashews (which Thomas may or may not be sensitive too, the jury’s still out), but Isa gives you the option to use soaked sunflower seeds instead. This particular recipe is made with just that, in honor of Ms. Jess Scone of Get Sconed(/the PPK/VidaVeganCon), who is allergic to tree nuts. Now I already knew from the past that Isa tends to give you extra sauce (and she mentions it in this recipe) so I used 12 ounces of pasta instead of 8, and threw half a bunch of kale in with the pasta for the last 2 minutes. Still PLENTY of sauce to go around. I also added an extra 1/2 cup of nooch (nutritional yeast) and used smoky sweet paprika all over it instead of just sweet, because YUM.

Kale Salad with Butternut Squash & Lentils pg. 77

Kale Salad with Butternut Squash & Lentils pg. 77

I have no idea what size my butternut squash was, but it was of a small to medium size and I chopped it up and roasted all of it for this recipe. I also used one bunch of kale (called for 8 ounces/cups), and extra garlic and ginger in the sauce. This came out GREAT.

Got the lentils and greens nicely tossed in there

Got the lentils and greens nicely tossed in there

and then added the lovely roasted squash after it cooled slightly.

and then added the lovely roasted squash after it cooled slightly.

Jerk Sloppy Joes with Coconut Creamed Spinach pg. 94

Jerk Sloppy Joes with Coconut Creamed Spinach pg. 94

Next up was the Jerk Sloppy Joes. The other alleged culprit in Thomas’ mystery allergy is now gluten, so we weren’t able to find any gluten free AND vegan buns, so we made this two ways. With tiny gluten free bread, and also as a bowl with brown rice. The recipe calls for gluten filled seitan, but offers up 2 gluten free suggestions: 2 c. of lentils or 1 package of crumbled tofu. We took the road less traveled by… I used the soy curls I had picked up two weeks ago at Food Fight! in Portland.

I put 2 cups of soy curls in warm water for 10 minutes to rehydrate.

I put 2 cups of soy curls in warm water for 10 minutes to rehydrate.

Then chopped it up as called for in the recipe.

Then chopped it up as called for in the recipe.

It worked beautifully!

It worked beautifully!

And here it was as a bowl!

And here it was as a bowl!

Pureed Split Pea & Rutabaga Soup pg. 31

Pureed Split Pea & Rutabaga Soup pg. 31

And for last, here’s the split pea and rutabaga soup. I had never had rutabaga before, so I was curious about this one. It also called for star anise, but I totally forgot to put them in 15 minutes after the boil, and threw them in at the end, so the taste wasn’t as pronounced. I had to blend the soup in two batches in the Vitamix, and I left just a teensy bit unblended which gave it a nice surprise pea here and there, which I didn’t mind. This was really good, comforting, and creamy. The leftovers were yum, and had more of an anise flavor too.

Final Impression:

YAY! A new Isa book that is everything I needed it to be! I can’t believe that I can get food that tastes this good, this easily on a weeknight. Thanks for breathing life back into my kitchen, Isa. Oh, and for those of you who care, all of the above dishes were made GLUTEN FREE.

Because once wasn't enough for you to look at this adorable picture of Isa and I at Vida Vegan Con II.

Because once wasn’t enough for you to look at this adorable picture of Isa and I at Vida Vegan Con II.

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