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Sunday, March 16, 2014

Sweet & Sour Vegan Meatballs PLUS My first Baby Quilt!

-       Apples
-       Plain Pasta
-       Soda Crackers
-       Cucumbers
-       Doritos

This was my life for almost two months. Having no appetite and throwing up almost everyday.
You guys know me as a foodie, a lover of food and making new and fun dishes to share with you. Well that all changed in December when I was taken over by my baby. I stopped wanting to eat almost all together, well anything with real nutritional value, and the stuff I wanted to eat were things that I didn’t even really care for. But hey the baby gets what they baby gets!
This was my brain before the baby
Spring rolls…….. salad……….carrots…….. smoothies…… bananas………tomatoes……stir fries……good healthy food.
This was my brain on baby
I had to take almost two weeks off of work because I literally couldn’t get off the couch, I lost 10 pounds in a week and felt like I was dying. Again, the joys of pregnancy. Luckily that is all behind me and can now eat smoothies and salads and all of my favourite foods again. It feels so good to feel normal again, because there were times where I honestly didn’t think I ever would again.
So I apologize for being MIA the last couple of months, I just haven’t felt inspired lately to make fun and delicious foods. But today is my first post since the beginning of January and I thought I would give you guys both food and fabric!
First for the food!

I was looking through the cupboards for a snack and saw a can of pineapple, and that's all it took to spark my appetite for some Sweet & Sour Vegan Meatballs.
My brain started putting together everything that I would need to make this amazing supper and awesomely enough I had everything to make this except the sauce. I thought about making one from scratch but I was feeling a little lazy and ended up just buying one from Safeway. I think next time I make these I am going to try my hand at a scratch made one, and bake them in a slow cooker. Mmmmm.

Easy Sweet & Sour Vegan Meatballs
Vegan Meat Balls
1 can of chick peas
¼ cup cashews/pecans
3 sprigs of fresh parsley, de-stemmed
½ lemon, juiced
Dash of liquid smoke
½ cup GF quick oats
Salt and pepper to taste
1 jar of Sweet & Sour sauce
1 can of pineapple, diced (drain liquid)
2 red peppers, chopped
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 tbsp coconut oil
In a large frying pan, on medium heat, melt coconut oil and sauté the onions and peppers. While those are cooking combine all of the ingredients except the oats into a food processor and pulse until smooth. Then stir in the oats by hand until well combined.
Form into balls and place in the frying pan with the onions and peppers, brown each side. Pour in the sauce and the pineapple and let simmer for 10 minutes.

Pair with your favourite rice, serve and enjoy!

Now the FABRIC!!

As soon as I found out I was pregnant I knew I wanted to make multiple baby quilts for our newest edition, but where do I start? We aren't finding out the sex of the baby so that limits the themes of baby quilts I can make. If I knew we were having a baby girl I would make a Cinderella themed one, or something really flowery, but I guess I will have to wait!
So what kick ass, gender neutral baby quilt idea did I come up with? HARRY POTTER!!!!!
I am completely obsessed and like most Potterheads I have read and reread the books, and watched the movies a thousand times. AND whats even more awesome, my sisters are throwing me a Harry Potter themed baby shower. I cant fricken wait!!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Vegan Fondue feat. Cheezy Bites in Vegan Beer Batter

This Christmas my husbands family decided to celebrate a little early so everyone could be together. With families growing its hard to all get together at Christmas time. So we celebrated on Sunday night with an extra twist to tradition, instead of the typical turkey dinner we had a fondue party!
My mother in law has been hosting fondue parties since she was 19 years old, so we all knew that it would be well stocked with different types of fun dipping sauces, meats and cheeses, with of course a chocolate and caramel for dessert.

Now being vegan I wasn't participating in any of this, but non the less I was still excited because I was getting my very own pot this year! One that I could experiment with and try some new and fun things. I haven't got to fondue since I turned vegan so this was a pretty big deal to me, because for those of you who have fondued you know how fun they can be.
Sadly, we got to Devon's parents for brunch and ended up munching all day, which can be great but not when you have a huge fondue feast waiting for you that night. So by the time supper rolled around I was still very full from the days festivities so I didn't get to experiment like I wanted to. BUT! I did get to try the cheese balls, something that I knew I had to try. Devon's mom Mary B. already had a batter recipe that was tried and true so I just subbed out the eggs for a flax egg and voila vegan batter!

When I tasted my first bite of this cheezy goodness, I actually was on the brink of tears. For I haven't had something that good in a long time.... something so heavenly, so gooey, so melty, so amazingly non-vegan (but vegan!!!) cheezy goodness that it was definitely cry worthy. I made about 7 of them and had to call it quits. I should have stopped at one, but seriously who would do that?

So if you have a deep fryer, or are headed to a fondue party soon, I HIGHLY suggest you try these bad boys out, you wont be disappointed!
Vegan Beer Batter
3/4 cup of flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp nutmeg
2 flax eggs: 6 tbsp. water, 2 tbsp. ground flax
1/2 cup beer
Mix together all dry ingredients. Let your flax eggs sit for about 10 min to set before adding them into the dry mixture, then add beer. Mix until well combined. Best if you can let the batter sit for 1-2 hours before using.

The vegan cheese I used was a block of Daiya in cheddar flavour. I cut it up into 1/4 inch blocks, dipped them into the batter and fried them for about 2 minutes or until golden brown. Like most fondue/deep frying, let them sit for a minute or two because the insides will be hot!

Thanks for reading!
xoxo -N

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Veggie Lentil Loaf {vegan gluten free}

If any of you who are reading this blog, you know some days you just want to share your recipe but you don’t feel like typing up a whole blog story to go along with it. Sometimes its just a huge pain in the ass and you don’t feel like doing it.
So this is me not doing it, sorry guys no funny stories today, just a kick ass recipe for a veggie lentil loaf that is hearty, filling and has a sweet and sticky glaze that will have everyone wanting seconds.
The first time I made this, I made it without the oatmeal and it came out a little moist and it kind of fell apart when I took it out. So I added to the list 1 cup of oatmeal to help bind it together more. I hope your family loves this as much as Devon and I did! 
Veggie Lentil Loaf
1 large can of lentils
1 yellow onion, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
2 carrots, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbsp of coconut oil
3 tbsp of ground flax
½ cup warm water
1 cup of gluten free quick oats (I used Only Oats)
2 tbsp of chili powder
1 tbsp of oregano
Salt and pepper to taste
Sweet and Sticky Glaze
4 tbsp of balsamic vinegar
4 tbsp of ketchup
4 tbsp of balsamic vinegar
3 tbsp of tomato paste
1 tbsp of maple syrup.
-Pre heat the oven to 375 degrees and grease a loaf pan.
-Sauté the onion, celery, carrots, and garlic in a frying pan for about 7 mins or until browned.
-While that is cooking combine the flax and water and let sit on the counter until thickened.
-Once the veggies are done cooking, in a large bowl combine everything together (not the Glaze) and mix the crap out of it until everything this combined well.
-Spoon into your greased loaf pan and spread out until smooth.
-Finally pour glaze on top and smooth out.
-Bake for 40 mins.
-Let cool for 5 mins and serve!

Thanks for reading!
xoxo -N

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Le Pizza Fries

Muhahahah I have suckered you in to another pizza recipe! You maybe wondering "is this woman mad? This is the like 20th pizza post!" Why yes, I am mad... mad about pizza!
I didn't even like pizza back when I wasn't vegan, it was just another supper idea that didn't really catch my attention. But ever since I turned vegan I am addicted! I love creating new fun ways to eat pizza, some healthy like my spaghetti squash pizza boats found here, or some not so healthy like my newest post...PIZZA FRIES!!!
Yes I said pizza fries. Two of the greatest foods ever, combined into one amazing dish that will have you wondering why you never thought of this before. I know I did!
Well its simple, bake fries in the oven until toasty brown.
Top with your favourite vegan pizza toppings, like:
  • hot peppers
  • tomatoes
  • olives
  • mushrooms
  • mock meats
  • onions
  • pineapple
Sprinkle with some Daiya Mozzarella, broil it for 5 mins (be careful you don't burn it like I did!)
Heat up some pizza sauce to dip in and viola you got yourself supper! Or a snack, or maybe ever breakfast! This would be the perfect college breakfast!
If you are feeling generous you could even share this dish at a party with your friends. If not eat this in the car before you go in and blame your dog for eating it while you were getting ready (if you don't have a dog, I cant help you).

Thanks for reading!
xoxo -N

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Vegan Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Who doesnt love cookies right out of the oven, especially on a snowy Saturday night while hanging out with your sister! We both had nothing to do last night so naturally we decided to hang out together. I just got US Netflix so I asked her to come over so we could watch some of our favourite tv shows and some stand up comedy.

While on the phone she stated that she was craving chocolate and I suggested we make some cookies. I had a can of chick peas in my cupboard and I have heard of these chick pea cookies and was curious to try them. Cheslea was game for trying out something new so she looked up a recipe and came over.

What I loved about the recipe that she chose,was that it was so simple to make and didn't call for that many ingreidents. Basically chick peas, peanut butter, chocolate chips and a few other basics. They turned out warm, gooey and super delicious and we may or may not have eaten about 10 each. Yes they were that good.Plus they are vegan, gluten free and if you substitute the peanut butter for almond butter it's nut free too! The only thing that could have made them better was a glass of Chocolate Almond Milk.

Vegan Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Chick Pea Cookies
1 large can of chick peas
3/4 cup peanut butter
1 tsp of vanilla powder
4 dates soaked in water until soft or 1/2 cup maple syrup
1 tsp of baking soda
1/2 cup chocolate chips (more if you love chocolate

Pre heat oven to 350 degrees, and line a baking sheet with parchement paper.

In a Vitamix or food processor combine all of the ingredients together, except for the chocolate chips. With the dates: de seed them and add a spash of water to the mix.

Blend the mix until smooth. Make 1 tbsp size balls and place them some what close together because they dont spread out. Bake for 12 mins and enjoy!!

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

My Vegan Disney World Trip 2013

Disney World. Disney World. Dis-ney Woooorld (in the tune of Rufio from Hook) This is what kept playing in my head while walking through the parks because I was so excited to be there. I honestly believe it’s the happiest place on earth and I can even say that while going there in a group of 14 with 3 children 5 and under. The characters, the food, the RIDES! All makes it an experience like no other on earth (well maybe other Disney parks) and to top it off I was able to find some really tasty vegan treats, hooray!
To make this easier I am going to break it down by park.
First stop – Magic Kingdom
Pretzels and Popcorn – Found throughout the parks. Even though I had read that the pretzels and popcorn were vegan on other websites I still double checked while I was there because you never know if the product has changed or not. And success I could still eat them, well the popcorn I devoured but as for the pretzels I didn’t have any because I HATE THEM. But still good to know!
Fruit – Found throughout the parks. At about every other card they sold fresh fruit, such as pineapple, apples, bananas, ect. So there was always something fresh to eat when in need of a quick snack.
Tofutti & Rice Dream Ice Cream – I opted for the Rice Dream Vanilla in a Root Beer float, something that I haven’t had in forever and boy was it tasty. This is located at the Main Street Plaza Ice Cream Parlor
For a more in-depth look of what Magic Kingdom has to offer I would suggest this website it helped me out a lot!
Next stop – Epcot
While we were there it just so happens that the Food and Wine Festival was going on. We spent most of the time in Epcot going on the rides so it wasn’t until later that we actually went around and looked at what the booths had to offer. I sadly couldn’t find anything that was vegan but then again I wasn’t too surprised. I did how ever find something for lunch that was really good and even specifically labeled vegan. The Tamarind Vegan Beef - found at Sunshine Seasons in the Land Pavilion. I was a little nervous trying it because I didn’t know how much it might actually taste like beef. So I had Devon try it first just to be sure because the taste of beef is not something I miss. Luckily the flavour and texture didn’t resemble beef at all and the sauce was really good!
On to - Animal Kingdom
This is by far a vegans paradise. If you ever go to Animal Kingdom the first stop you need to make is at their allergy carts where they sell vegan snacks. They have everything from vegan cookies, granola, hummus and veggies and even cupcakes (not listed from Babycakes). Plus they can tell you where all of the vegan meals served in the park. To my utter excitement the guy informed me that Pizzasafari could make me a VEGAN PIZZA! Yes that’s right a VEGAN PIZZA! I was so excited I think I told him to shut up!
Veggie Pizza - located at Pizzasafari. They bring out the head chef to talk to you about what you would like on the pizza and then he goes and makes it in the back. It took about 15 mins to make but it is so well worth the wait.
Fries - found at the Flame Tree Barbecue are fried separately from everything else they serve, so they are vegan friendly!
Falafel dish - I have a horrible memory about this one, mainly because my head was still spinning at the thought of pizza, but the guy at the cart told me that one of the restaurants (I’m pretty sure in Dinoland) could make me a falafel dish that was vegan.
Lastly Hollywood Studios and Blizzard Beach
I really couldn’t find anything at either of these places besides the popcorn, pretzels and fruit. The only thing I could find was an Asian salad at the ABC Commissary you just have to ask for it vegan.
Babycakes – Downtown Disney. I almost had a heart attack when I walked in. I had heard of Babycakes before and understood that they had vegan baking but I didn’t realize that EVERYTHING they had was gluten free-vegan baking! I was in sugar heaven. So naturally when you find something this amazing you over indulge and get a whole whack of treats. This whole box was just for me to eat and it included: chocolate chip banana bread, 2 brownie cupcakes (one chocolate the other mint icing), a carrot cupcake and a lemon load slice. It was all so good and definitely worth the calories.
I know, I know I didn’t get to try that much food in, but for the most part we packed lunches and snacks for the day. With a group of 14 going out for lunches 7 days in a row can get expensive, so why not pack something to save some dough. Before we left I bought a box of Lara bars, and they were the perfect grab and go snack. They didn’t have to be cold, they were pre packaged and were filling, so I kept one in my fanny pack at all times for those moments of hangryness. Also for lunch I often made a quinoa salad with tomatoes, dates, cucumbers, onion and peppers, it was filling, delicious and got me through until supper. We kept ice water bottles in the backpack stored in the locker so it kept it kind of cold until lunch. I know that their are other food stands and restaurants out there that I didn’t get a chance to see but for the most part I was really satisfied with the amount of food and service I received at the Disney World Resorts!
If you have any tips or ideas of where to eat while there please comment below!
Thanks for reading!
Xoxo -N



Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Spaghetti Pizza Squash Boats

I love pizza! For those of you who follow my blog you can attest to that with all of my pizza posts. And I can guarantee that this will not be my last rendition of this amazing dish, more on this at a later date!

Last Friday night we went to Jen and Sean’s house for a deck warming party and we decided to order a whole bunch of pizza instead of doing our traditional TGIF party where everyone brings an appetizer. I loved this idea because I really didn’t feel like making anything. There was probably 12-14 of us, so we decided to get 6 extra larges for everyone to share, me getting my own pizza because I am special! I always order from Family Pizza because I know that their crust and sauce is vegan and I think that they have the best pizza for the best price. So what did I order? a tomato, onion, hot pepper pizza and when its delivered I sprinkle some Daiya on top and throw her in the oven. BOOM awesome pizza… and its extra large! Now I didn’t eat it all, don’t worry, I only had about 5 pieces leaving some for a snack later and supper the next day.
We planned on going back to their house the next day for the Rider game so I didn’t feel sad that I left it there over night. Knowing that it’s a meatless, cheese-less pizza, makes me feel pretty safe that no one would eat it. Well I was wrong, dead wrong. Not only was it eaten, but there was only 1 piece left! Out of almost a whole pizza!? I was super shocked! Who would eat this? Then I realized that there were drunk men, still drinking after we left and really who really cares what kind of pizza it is… when you are drunk pizza is pizza.

So what is another way to satisfy your pizza craving… spaghetti pizza!! Well Spaghetti Squash Pizza! I was originally going to do this on a large zucchini but Devon said he would rather have it in the squash so I complied because that also sounded great! It is super simple to make and even easier to devour! I would HIGHLY recommend, like super highly, baking the squash before hand for at least 25 mins. Or else you will end up playing the waiting game like me…I waited an hour and a half for mine to be done. Apparently they cook A LOT faster when they are face down in the oven.

Spaghetti Squash Pizza Boats
1 large spaghetti squash
1 can pizza sauce
1 tomato, diced
¼ cup hot bell peppers, diced
½ onion, diced
½ cup black olives
1 cup Daiya, mozzarella
** you can substitute any ingredients for your favorite pizza flavors

Split the Spaghetti Squash in half and de-seed. Lightly oil the halves, lay them face down on a cookie sheet and bake in the oven for 25 mins at 375 degrees. Chop up the veggies and once the squash is almost fork tender layer inside with the pizza sauce, veggies and then top it off with the Daiya. Bake for another 15 mins. Take out of the oven and start scraping away at the sides so the squash turns into spaghetti, throw it into a bowl and enjoy!!

Thanks for reading!

xoxo -Nikki