Sunday, December 14, 2014

Vegan Mac & Cheese by Earth Balance

It would amaze me if you could find a vegan who doesn't still get cravings for mac and cheese. If you do a search online, you will find sooo many vegan mac and cheese recipes, each one trying to capture the essence of what we love most about that particular comfort food.

And then there is the traditional "boxed" mac and cheese, with the strange cheese-like powder that you mix with "butter" and "milk." Yes, most of us miss that too, whether or not we want to admit that.

Earth Balance seems to know just how to re-create vegan versions of those junk-foodish things we miss the most, whether it is butter, sour cream and onion potato chips, or cheezy crackers, and now they have done it once again with their version of boxed mac and cheese.

Unfortunately, the only place in town you can currently buy this is the Co op out on Cordata. The downtown one doesn't carry it--I've asked several times and have been told that both stores just don't carry the same things. :(  Maybe they will change this eventually, but for now, for those of us who mainly shop downtown and don't get out to the other store that often, it will require a little extra effort to pick up a box of this stuff, but let me tell you, if you have a craving for mac and cheese, it's worth the effort!

As you can see, I added some broccoli and spinach to mine because I have always liked some greens with my mac & cheese, even before I was vegan, so that's just the way I make it. It turned out so creamy and tasty and amazing, I really liked it even more than I thought I would. It is by far the best vegan boxed mac & cheese I have ever tasted.  I hope you are able to try this out for yourself and enjoy making it your own favorite way! Special thanks to Heidi for the heads up on this--I love learning about new vegan products that I might not otherwise have discovered without such tips. (And maybe if enough of us ask at the downtown co op, they might consider carrying it there too? You never know... Times like these I realize how much I still miss The Market on Lakeway.  Ah well...)

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Pacifica Vegan Perfume

In 2011 I first reviewed Pacifica perfume , and now here it is several years later, and I decided I wanted to do another post about it just in case there are vegans out there looking for a nice animal-friendly & people-friendly perfume option. As I mentioned in that original review, I love the way Spellbound by Estee Lauder smells, and I had been wearing it for many many years. It's hard to break away from a fragrance once you find one that complements you, but Pacifica makes that change a bit easier for me.

If you want to try some samples in person, you can usually find Pacifica fragrances with testers at Whole Foods. Here in Bellingham, Fred Meyer carries some of the scent options, but unfortunately, not my favorite one, Mediterranean Fig, so I have to order it online when I want it. Something about that particular scent feels really resonates with me, (in addition to reminding me of Spellbound), and for some reason it always makes my mood better when I am wearing it.

In addition to smelling amazing and being completely vegan and cruelty-free, another reason I love Pacifica so much is because of the company's commitment to the environment, to using ingredients that aren't toxic, and to producing their product in as environmentally-friendly a way as possible. And if you are looking for other Pacifica products, they also have a vegan cosmetic line. I have tried their lip glosses / tints and like them very much, but I haven't tried any of the other products just yet. I'll definitely let you know once I do!

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Thanksgiving 2014 Wrap-Up

I hope your Thanksgiving was as wonderful as mine was, filled with delicious food and wonderful company of family and friends. For this week's post, here are just a few pictures from my own scrumptious vegan meal, and I wish you a happy upcoming week.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Blueberry Pancakes = Perfect Fuel for Hiking

What a lovely weekend we had after all the predictions for rain, rain, and more rain. I woke up this morning with a desire to go hiking, coupled with a desire to eat pancakes. One of the beautiful things in life is when you have two things that you want equally that are not mutually exclusive--I knew I was in luck and that I could have both things that I wanted, and in fact, one thing might actually help me with the other. Because pancakes are the kind of breakfast food that make me feel full for quite awhile after I have eaten them, which is what I want when I go hiking.

Yummy Pre-Hike Blueberry Pancakes

In a large bowl, mix together:
1 cup white flour
1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar

In a separate container, mix together 3/4 cup soymilk with 1 tablespoon cider vinegar (the combo sort of acts like buttermilk). Add the milk & vinegar mixture to the dry mix along with:

1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup water
1 cup blueberries (I used frozen because that's all I had and it worked great).

Cook over medium heat, a few minutes on each side, and use about 1/4 cup of batter for each pancake. (Makes between 6 and 8 pancakes.) Happy Eating and Hiking!

Now if you will excuse me, I am going to get back to menu planning for Thanksgiving, one of my favorite things to do. :)  And if you are looking for some ideas of your own, check out my Thanksgiving idea board on Pinterest .

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Gratitude and Turkeys

Thanksgiving is just around the corner and there are certain things I like to do every year to mark the occasion. If you have been reading my blog for awhile, then you are probably already aware of the fact that Thanksgiving is also my "vegeversary." I stopped eating meat on Thanksgiving in 1989, so one of the things I like to do every year to celebrate is to participate in the "Adopt a Turkey" campaign sponsored by Farm Sanctuary. It makes me happy to honor this personal tradition, and it also inspires me to think about all of the things I am thankful for, like my family, my amazing friends, my wonderful job, and all of you! And of course I am also excited to start my menu planning for this year's Thanksgiving, (and you know I will share my holiday food plans with you soon...)

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Ambo Ethiopian Cuisine: 1530 Cornwall

I had the great pleasure of eating at Ambo Ethiopian Cuisine yesterday, and while I was not the very first in line, I was lucky enough to be among the first customers of the day. I also had the great pleasure of having my wonderful and beautiful niece accompany me, so the meal was quite enjoyable, both in terms of food and the company! (I borrowed and cropped a picture from Ambo's facebook page from yesterday that includes the two of us waiting in line.)

The new space is great, the food was fantastic, and I am so pleased that we now have access to Mulu's food year round! Congratulations on your restaurant, Mulu, and congratulations to Bellingham for having the gift of Mulu's amazing food!