Vegan Sticky Almond Blondies by Dreena Burton + a Giveaway

Recently Dreena Burton sent me a digital copy of her  Plant Powered 15 to review.  She also offered to share one of her recipes with you.  Dreena is the author of 4 vegan cookbooks.  I reviewed Let Them Eat Vegan last year.  In addition to writing incredible vegan recipes, Dreena is active on Facebook and Twitter.  I really enjoy following her on both social media platforms.  Her Plant Powered 15 can be purchased on her website or you can win your own here.

Vegan Almond Sticky Blondie recipe by Dreena Burton

Before I post the recipe, I want to say that these Blondies are out of this world. They received high ratings from my husband, our 8 year old and myself.  We all had to eat a second one to make sure they were really that good.  The following recipe is from Plant Powered 15 with Photo credits to Nicole Axworthy

 

Sticky Almond Blondies

These are positively delicious. They have the dense, sticky, decadent texture and quality of a traditional blondie, yet are made with wholesome ingredients – and no flour or oil!

1 tbsp ground white chia

1/4 cup pure maple syrup

1/2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla

1/2 tsp blackstrap molasses

1/2 cup pitted dates, lightly packed

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 + 1/8 tsp sea salt

few pinches freshly grated nutmeg

2 1/2 cups almond meal

1/2 cup coconut sugar

2-3 tbsp nondairy chocolate chips (optional)

Preheat oven to 325°F. In mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add ground chia, maple syrup, lemon juice, vanilla, molasses, and dates. Process on low speed to first incorporate, and then increase speed slightly to fully pulverize and smooth dates. Once smooth, turn off mixer and add baking soda, salt, and nutmeg – mix just briefly and then add almond meal, and coconut sugar. Process on low speed until mixer just comes together (do not over-mix). Transfer mixture to an 8” x 8” brownie pan, and press in with a spatula. If using chocolate chips, lightly press into top of batter. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove, let cool completely, and cut into squares. Squares can be refrigerated for a week or more (as if they’ll last)! Makes 16 blondies.

Chocolate Note: I usually make these without chocolate chips, and sometimes I’ll simply sprinkle a few chips over top of half the batch – either way, these are crazy-good!

 Vegan Almond Blondie

 Dreena has agreed to give one lucky reader a copy of her Plant Powered 15.

I received a copy of Plant Powered 15 to help facilitate this review.  All opinions are my own.

Vegan Peanut Butter Smoothie

Peanut butter is a staple in this house.  Many days it is incorporated into breakfast, lunch and a possible snack.  The other day my husband was wanting something different for breakfast so we decided to whip up a Peanut Butter Smoothie.  Luckily we already had a couple frozen bananas in the freezer.  Whenever our bananas get very ripe we put them in the freezer for smoothies or banana “ice cream”.  The following recipe makes 2 servings.vegan peanut butter smoothie

What You Need

2 Frozen Bananas, sliced

1 cup Quick Oats

1 1/2 cup non-dairy milk

3 to 4 Tablespoons of Peanut Butter

1 cup of ice

Dark Chocolate for garnish

Place the oats and milk in a blender.  Let the oats soak for 2 minutes.  Add the remaining ingredients and blend until smooth.  Pour in to your favorite glass.  Add some dark chocolate chips or grate chocolate on top for garnish.

This smoothie is

delicious and filling.

What is your favorite smoothie combination?

 

DDP Yoga Workout Program

Thank you to DDP Yoga for sending me their DVD and book set to try out.  If you haven’t seen the amazing transformation video of Arthur Boorman, a disabled veteran, you have to check it out.  He went from being told that he would never walk unassisted to being able to run again.  He credits his transformation to DDP Yoga.  After watching the video I knew I needed to try this program.

 

http://www.ddpyoga.com/site/mediakit/productshot2_white.jpg

For all of you wrestling fans, DDP Yoga is instructed by Diamond Dave Page, former 3-time WCW World Champion Professional Wrestler.  He is a motivating and funny instructor. After a wrestling related injury Diamond Dave started treating his injury with yoga.  He then returned to wrestling and is using what he learned during his injury to help others.  DDP Yoga is for everyone.

I recently finished week 3 of the program and I feel great. I have high energy and feel more flexible already. I chose to do the advanced level but it also came with a schedule for beginner and intermediate.  Each workout is typically about 30 minutes long and has modifications so that everyone can go at their own pace.  Diamond Dave is encouraging, enthusiastic and entertaining.  I really have been enjoying this program and I like that I can pick up right where I left off if I get a bit off schedule.

About DDP Yoga

 

DDP Yoga is not traditional yoga, it’s a hybrid workout that incorporates some traditional yoga movements and adds dynamic resistance, active breathing techniques and power movements to make for a more challenging and results oriented workout.
The main benefits are body fat loss, lean muscle growth, and improved cardio levels all without placing undue stress on the joints. A valid comparison to yoga is they both provide increased flexibility and core strengthening.
It is currently used by professional football players, professional as well as amateur wrestlers, MMA fighters, and regular everyday people who want to perform at optimum levels and want to place themselves in the best position to see career and life changing results and improve their quality of life.
 Take a look HERE to buy your DDP DVDs.
The DDP Yoga program was provided to me to facilitated this  review.  All opinions are my own.

Vegan Maple Cream Cheese and Waffles

On the weekends I like to cook breakfast.  It is a nice way to spend time with the family after a busy week.  Sometimes I make a tofu scramble with home fries but our favorite is usually pancakes or waffles.  Last week I made up some waffles with a little shredded carrot and some carrot cake spices.  I decided that plain maple syrup was not going to be enough.  These waffles needed a delicious Maple Cream Cheese topping.  It was so easy to make and truly AMAZING to eat!vegan maple cream cheese on waffles

maple cream cheese ingredients

All you need to make this Maple Cream Cheese is

1 container of cream cheese,  I used an 8 oz tub of Tofutti brand cream cheese.

1 Cup of maple syrup

and a blender

Toss the cream cheese and syrup in the blender, mix on high until they are full incorporated.

You can add a dash of cinnamon or nutmeg if you choose.

You can also add less maple syrup if you want a thicker sauce.

Now taste and be amazed at how simple but decadent this combination is.

We used ours on waffles but it would also work as a dip for graham crackers, or drizzled on a cupcake, or scone.  But, you might just find you favorite way to eat it is by the spoonful.

 

 

 

The Good Bean All Natural Roasted Chickpea Snacks

I was so excited when my box of snacks arrived from The Good Bean.  They sent all 4 flavors of their Chickpea Snacks (Sea Salt, Cracked Pepper, Smoky Chili and Lime, Sweet Cinnamon) and 3 flavors (Apricot and Coconut, Fruit and Seeds Trail Mix, Chocolate Berry) of their Fruit & No Nut Bars for me to review.

The Good Bean Chickpea Snacks

 

 

My 8 year old was excited to try all 3 flavors of the bars.  He loved them all.  The bars are:

Gluten free
Nut free*
5g protein
Non-GMO
Fair trade
Hexane free
130 cals per bar
High fiber

We all tried the chickpea snacks.  They are so good.  Crunchy, tasty and filing.  One serving has only 140 calories and is half of a bag.  The Sea Salt and Cracked Pepper flavors are my favorite.  But the Smoky Chili Lime and Sweet Cinnamon are quite good too.  Nothing went to waste, they were all devoured and I will be looking to pick up some more.

The Good Bean Chickpea snacks

100% goodness
Healthy! Our chickpeas are naturally packed with intense nutrition – for a healthy heart, a healthy waistline, and for sustained energy.
Tasty! They’re also intensely delicious. Dry roasted sloooowly, and then tossed with tasty spices. Yum!
100% badness
Gluten-free, nut-free, cholesterol-free, low fat, low in carbohydrates, nothing over-engineered, nothing artificial.

The Good Bean Chickpea Snacks

The Good Bean Sea Salt Chickpea snacks

 

Where to find The Good Bean

You can order The Good Bean products online and they have free shipping for orders over $25.  Or Check there Store Locator to see where you can pick them up locally.

I was provided with product to facilitate this review.  All opinions are my own.

Vegan Chow Mein Easter Nests

Here comes Peter Cottontail and an Easter induced sugar high.  Even as an adult I get excited to get an Easter basket and enjoy all the treats.  Chow Mein Easter Nests have always been one of my favorites.  I buy chow mein noodles once a year specifically to make these delicious Easter nests.  There are many different recipes out there, I went for a quick and easy 3 ingredient recipe.
Chow Mein Easter Nests

All you need to make these Vegan Chow Mein Easter Nests is:

4 cups of Chow Mein noodles

2 cups of 365 Vegan chocolate chips

1 cup of Earth Balance peanut butter

Place the chocolate chips and peanut butter in a microwave safe bowl.  Place bowl in microwave on high for 1 minute.  Stir and repeat until they are melted and mixed.   Combine the Chow Mein noodles with the chocolate/peanut butter mixture.  Gently mix until the noodles are fully coated.

Cover a cookie sheet with parchment paper or silpat.  Form noodle nests on the cookie sheet. Refrigerate until firm.

3 ingredient Chow Mein Easter nests

Once they are firm you can eat them the way they are or add jelly beans, peanuts or any of your favorite Easter goodies.  I put in little raw carrot cake “eggs”.

What is your favorite Easter treat?

 

Hemp Authority Hemp Bags

Hemp Authority Hemp produce and bakery bags

Hemp Authority recently sent me a few of their reusable hemp grocery and produce bags.  We love to use reusable bags at the grocery store.  Not only is it good for the environment, it is good for the pocket.  Most grocery stores give a 5 cent rebate for bringing in your own bags.  Hemp Authority has a line of hemp produce and bakery bags.

Hemp Authority is committed to providing top of the line, yet affordable hemp products in a variety of fields using sustainable methods and innovative processes and they strive for rapid, well-rounded growth, to ultimately improve the global quality of life by providing their customers quality and affordable products using innovative and sustainable business practices.

Hemp Authority sent me these bags.

Hemp Authority Hemp produce bags

Produce bags: These hemp bags are designed to be the most functional and sustainable alternative to plastic produce bags.  They can hold up to 40 pounds, so are great even for heavy potatoes, squash, and onions. They both protect veggies and allow air ventilation to maximize freshness of produce in the fridge. They are also the perfect solution to carry  home bread, large amounts of bulk foods, and sometimes to use as a grocery bag when you are just picking up a few items at the store.

Bakery bags: Simply perfect to carry home bulk, pastry and bakery items and to use for lunches and snacks on the go.  They hold up to 6 cups of bulk grain, a couple sandwiches, or a few apples – depending on your preference.

Hemp Mesh Produce Bags

Size: 10″W x 13″H

This hemp mesh bag is a smart solution to cut down on another major source of plastic bag waste. 100% Hemp Mesh Produce Bags can be reused indefinitely. Take them with you to the grocery store or farmer’s market for your fruit and vegetable purchases for another way to say no to plastic.

So you are all set with your Reusable Shopping Bags but are you still using those pesky plastic produce bags? With the 100% Hemp Mesh Produce Bag the problem is solved! Breathable, lightweight, washable and super durable. You can see through the bag for easy checkout at the grocery store. Drawstring closure, compact and lightweight!

These sacks stretch to hold a variety of things. Not just for produce, they are fantastic for gift bags, lunch sacks, or as lightweight travel bags.

Hemp Authority bags are very affordable @ $5 to $6 a piece.  Or you can get a three pack of the mesh bag for $15.  I am looking forward to using these at the farmer’s market this summer and they will be great for keeping produce organized in the RV.  You can also check out Hemp Authority for clothing, other bags and more.

Items were provided to facilitate this review.  All opinions are my own.

 

My Plant Based Weekly Meals with Recipe

Quick and Easy Home Fries plus plant based weekly meals

 

One of the first questions asked when people learn that I am plant based is, “What do you eat?”  It is almost a hard question to answer because there are so many things I eat.  I decided to keep track of what I ate for a week.  Here are the results, all plant based, not all healthy.  :)

Sunday

Breakfast at Whole Foods Market

  • Vegan Scone
  • fruit cup
  • coffee

Lunch: Ruby Tuesday salad bar

Dinner: Popcorn and wine :)

Monday

Breakfast: Nugo bar, coffee

Lunch: Brown rice, Dal and sauteed greens

Dinner: Coconut Bacon BLT

Tuesday

Breakfast: Nugo bar, coffee

Lunch: Coconut Bacon BLT

Dinner: Moe’s Close Talker salad with Tofu

Wednesday

Breakfast: Nugo bar, coffee

Lunch: Coconut Bacon BLT

Dinner: Cereal with Almond Milk

Thursday

Breakfast: Nugo bar, coffee

Lunch: Subway 6 inch Veggie Delite no cheese

Dinner: Home Fries, sauteed kale and steamed broccoli

Friday

Breakfast: Nugo bar, coffee, mango

Lunch: Peanut butter sandwich

Dinner: Indian Takeout Appetizers and Naan

Saturday

Breakfast: Toast with Peanut Butter

Lunch: Moe’s Burrito Bowl with tofu

Dinner: Roasted Veggie and Hummus wrap with sweet potato fries

Snacks: Popcorn, carrots, baked chips, mango, tortilla chips dipped in Toffuti sour cream

My son is a very adventurous eater.  There are very few things that he does not like.  One food he balks at is baked potatoes, it is something about the texture.  Recently he tried home fries and really liked them.    Last week when we went shopping he picked out a couple of potatoes for me to cook up.  Here is what I made.

Homes Fries

3 Russet Potatoes washed

1 onion sliced

2 cloves of garlic

Earth Balance buttery spread

Ground pepper

smoked paprika

salt

Wash the potatoes and cut up into bite size pieces.  Place is a microwave safe bowl.  Add desired amount of pepper, paprika and salt.  Top with about 2 tablespoons of Earth Balance.  Cover and microwave for 3 to 5 minutes.  The potatoes should begin to get tender but not too soft.

Meanwhile saute the sliced onion and garlic in a pan with a tablespoon of Earth Balance.  When the onions begin to brown, remove the mixture from the pan.  Add another tablespoon of buttery spread and place the potatoes in the pan.  Pack them down with a spatula and let cook for about 5 minutes on medium heat.  Then flip them over and cook again for about 5 minutes.  Add the onion/garlic mix and cook for an additional 3 minutes.    Taste and add more salt if needed.

We had ours with sauteed kale and steamed broccoli.  It was a quick, healthy and delicious meal.

home fries and greens

What is your favorite potato recipe?

Vegetarian Puppy Chow Recipe for Saint Patrick’s Day

Puppy Chow recipe It’s early March and the East Coast is getting slammed with another snowstorm.  So, What do I do?   I head to the kitchen to make this Vegetarian Puppy Chow recipe for Saint Patrick’s DayA few months ago I had never heard about Puppy Chow.  It was one night, when I was browsing Pinterest, that I came across it.  I made a batch and it was an instant favorite with the family.

I wanted to try naturally coloring the confectioners sugar, I was inspired by this post to color foods naturally from on TurningClockBack.com.  Using my high speed blender I naturally colored the sugar with kale.   I placed 1 and 1/2 cup confectioners sugar in the blender with one leaf of kale (stem removed) and set to high speed.  I was impressed with the outcome.  The sugar turned out green and tastes great.

 

naturally colored confectioners powder

 

Vegetarian Puppy Chow Recipe Ingredients:

puppychow

9 Cups Waffle Cereal (ex. Chex)

1 cup chocolate chips (I used 365 Brand Vegan chips)

1/2 cup peanut butter

1/4 Earth Balance buttery spread

1 1/2 cup naturally colored confectioners sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

What to do:

Put the cereal in a large bowl and set aside.

Place chocolate chips, peanut butter, and Earth Balance in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave on high for 1 minute, stir and return to the Microwave for 30 second.  Continue until the mixture is smooth and pourable.

Puppy Chow ingredients

Add the vanilla to the chocolate/PB/Earth Balance mixture and pour over the cereal.Puppy Chow Chocolate

Use a spoon or spatula to coat the cereal with the mixture.  This is messy but well worth it.  Pour the coated cereal into large freezer bag, along with the colored powdered sugar.  You may have to do this in two batches.

Close tightly and shake contents until well-coated.  Then pour onto a cookie sheet, wax paper or parchment paper.  Separate any large bunches.

Now it is time to sample the puppy chow!  I love the combination of chocolate, peanut butter and the crunchy cereal.

Puppy Chows stores well in an air tight container.

What is your favorite cereal mix recipe?

 

 

Dairy Free Veggie Pizza

dairy free veggie pizzaPizza is one of America’s favorite foods.  When I stopped eating dairy, I was often asked if I missed pizza.  The answer was always no, because we never stopped eating it.  We still order pizza at restaurants, at our local grocery store and we love to make it at home.  At first we made it with lots of cheese substitute and then we realized it was better with just the veggies and sauce.  One of my favorite things about homemade pizza is, that once it is prepped and in the oven I have time to clean up the kitchen and get a few other things done.

pizza dough veggie pizza vegan plant basedIf you have little helping hands around, they love to stretch out the dough after it is proofed.  Sometimes my son will get his own piece o dough and make his own pizza.

What you Need for this Dairy Free Veggie Pizza:

Pizza Dough (White, Wheat, Whole Grain)

flour for dusting the surface

Tomato sauce (Pizza sauce, pasta sauce, or crushed tomatoes)

Vegetables for toppings I used:

caramelized onions

carmelized onions

roasted peppers

cherry tomatoes

roasted peppers cherry tomatoes

spinach

Other great toppings:

Olives

Artichoke hearts

garlic

broccoli

I added a little soy-based cheese this time.

What To Do:

Prepare the dough as directed on the package.  (We bought the pre-made dough from the grocery store.  Most pizza shops will also sell their dough and there are so many great pizza shells on the market now.)

homemade pizza dough in the oven

After we spread out the dough I put it in the oven to bake at 350 for about 15 minutes.  This helps crisp it up a bit before adding the toppings.

Remove the crust from the oven, top with sauce, veggies and cheese of your choice.  Place the pizza back in the oven and cook at 350 for about 10 minutes, just long enough to make sure all the ingredients are heated through.

Remove pizza from oven, slice and enjoy!

veggie pizza dairy free

This week we had ours with a side of broccoli.  A side salad would be great too.  I was expecting there to be leftovers for lunches but only 2 small pieces were not eaten.  It was really good!

What are your favorite pizza toppings?