One of the hardest parts of being a new vegan (or even an old seasoned vegan) is trying to keep up with all the new products out there. I must have spent over $50 looking for the "right" vegan cheese my first year being a vegan and I have over 50 vegan/vegetarian cookbooks in my arsenal but not all the recipes are the greatest. I’m the first born so I’m used to being a Guinea Pig and now I’m your Vegan Guinea Pig. So here are my recommendations and critiques. Let me know what you think!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Special News Report: I LOVE BACON!!!

Well, bacon seitan that is. It must be a Christmas miracle because I have not liked one brand of faux bacon that has passed my lips in my life and I've been experimenting with faux bacon's since the late 80s/early 90s. Oh yeah, I'm that old. And yep, faux meats did exist way back in the stone ages when I was a little kid. Ok really, I'm only 33 but something about not eating pork since the 80s makes me feel very old. 

Anywho...I've heard of this brand Upton's for awhile but it just floated through my mind like many of the new vegan brands out there. Some are great and stick around forever, some are gone before you could even figure out how to pronounce their name. It would take me weeks to go through this blog and delete all the vegan products that no longer exist. But I hope that Upton's Bacon Seitan is never one those. Because for the first time ever, I have fallen in love with a faux bacon. For those transitioning to a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle and are more familiar with pork bacon than I am I will add a disclaimer now, I cannot attest to whether or not this actually taste like bacon. Although, in some ways it reminds me of turkey bacon, but it's been nearly 15 years since I had turkey bacon (see, when you throw out number like that you just sound plain old!) What I can tell you is that I love this stuff. My mind is blown, my heart is full of joy and my wallet is about to be lighter because I'm heading back to the Whole Foods where I found this stuff and buying a case today. Our Whole Foods back in Atlanta doesn't carry this box of happiness and I'm not taking any chances. This stuff is going on the plane with me. 

This Week's Rating 

Scale of 1-4 Dancing Guinea Pigs 1 meaning it is destined for the compost bin and 4 meaning it is destined for greatness

Vegan Guinea Pig gives this 4 out of 4 Dancing Guinea Pigs 

Lil' Guinea Pig gives this one 3 out of 4 Dancing Guinea Pigs

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Two books to make the Vegan Police proud

I'm generally not a fan of the vegan police. Nonetheless they pop up everywhere, testing your "veganess" and appointing themselves the judge and jury to decide whether or not you are vegan enough. They irk me in every way. I personally don't believe this form of zealous behavior does anything to help animals. By demanding companies remove the Hydroxpropyltrimonium Hydrolyzed Keratin does this really do anything for the animals? If we cut down meat consumption to a place where the price of meat rises substantially and in turn the price of meat and dairy byproducts raises substantially then you will likely see more companies opt for vegetable based additives but until then I think the fights over these tiny ingredients is a pointless one. Just one girl's opinion.

Don't get me wrong, there's no way I'm eating anything with gelatin, keratin, casein, whey or any other byproduct that comes from an animal. I read the ingredients labels like a ninja on everything that goes in my body or on my body from body wash and toothpaste to tofu and frozen vegetables. I look for the big "V" and cruelty free labels on everything I buy as well. But if I accidentally buy a lipstick that has Polyalklyene Glycol Ethers in it I'm not about to start freaking out over whether or not is was sourced from a vegetable or is partly animal. Seriously, is that any way to live. Most importantly, does it make veganism look more or less attractive to newbie or would-be vegans?

Now I bet you're wondering, how does she know all these fancy, long, chemically names? Well, I have sitting in front of me two books that guarantee to tell you the source of every single thing you could ever think to put on your body or in your body. Veganissimo A to Z: A Comprehensive Guide to Identifying and Avoiding Ingredients of Animal Origin in Everyday Products by Reuben Proctor and Lars Thomsen and Animal Ingredients A to Z by The EG Smith Collective. Back when I was a newbie vegan I found Animal Ingredients A to Z to be incredibly helpful. It didn't occur to me that marshmallows weren't vegan or that royal jelly came from insects. It's a thin book, less than 100 pages of content and I felt it got right to the point and put me on the right track. I felt empowered by the book and as I thumb through it now I see some of the pages that I earmarked and regard those early days of my vegan adventure with a bit of whimsy. The newest book on animal ingredients Veganissimo A to Z, in contrast, is almost 300 pages long and it packed with over 2,500 different ingredients. For me, this crosses over from the line of informative to overkill. From super helpful to vegan police. Everyone is different, some people might really love having 2,500 different food, beauty and home product ingredients at their fingertips at all times. I'm not one of those people. Veganissimo is a well organized, well thought out, well written collection of products and ingredients and if I was just looking up something specifically it would likely be the first place I went to but for a new vegan I think the book is just way too intimidating.

This Week's Rating 

Scale of 1-4 Dancing Guinea Pigs 1 meaning it is destined for the compost bin and 4 meaning it is destined for greatness

Vegan Guinea Pig gives this 2.75 out of 4 Dancing Guinea Pigs for Veganissimo and 3.5 out of 4 Dancing Guinea Pigs for Animal Ingredients A to Z

Lil' Guinea Pig is sitting this one out due to an inability to read more than 4 words :)

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Plum Genius!

As a vegan mom I get asked constantly if my daughter is vegan or if I'm raising her vegan. I always answer proudly yes! I know many vegan mom's get bombarded with the "so, is that healthy" question but thankfully, being a pediatric dietitian has it perks in that not too many people ask me silly questions when it comes to my child's health. Although I do get the occasional "where do she get her protein" or "how do you handle that at school" as if brown-bag lunches were just invented this decade. But I digress. The funny thing is that there are a plethora of vegan, ready to eat, quick on the go options for vegan kids. The grocery store is swimming with them. 

One of my favorite vegan-friendly companies is Plum Organics. I've seen their products every where from Target and Kroger to the Piggly Wiggly (no lie). Here's a list of all of Plum Organics vegan offerings for little ones. We skipped the purees and never did the whole baby food thing but I can attest that their Little Cremes and Crunch O'Las are tasty for both kids and adults.

This Week's Rating 

Scale of 1-4 Dancing Guinea Pigs 1 meaning it is destined for the compost bin and 4 meaning it is destined for greatness

Vegan Guinea Pig gives it 3.75 out of 4 Dancing Guinea Pigs

Lil' Guinea Pig gives it 3.5 out of 4 Dancing Guinea Pigs

Plum Organics Vegan Products:

Baby Cereal Brown Rice
Baby Cereal | Oatmeal

Puree Baby Food:
Just Apples
Just Bananas
Just Mangos
Just Peaches
Just Pears
Just Prunes

Babies First Foods:
Just Butternut Squash with Cinnamon
Just Carrots
Just Sweet Peas with Mint
Just Sweet Potato

Little Cremes Super Greens | Kale, Apple & Sweet Potato
Little Cremes Super Purples | Acai, Blackberry & Purple Carrot
Little Cremes Super Reds | Pomegranate, Beet & Berry

Second Blends | Apple Carrot
Second Blends | Apple Raisin & Quinoa
Second Blends | Blueberry, Pear & Purple Carrot
Second Blends | Broccoli Apple
Second Blends | Peach, Apricot & Banana
Second Blends Pear Mango
Second Blends | Plum Berry & Barley
Second Blends | Pumpkin Banana
Second Blends | Spinach, Peas & Pear
Second Blends | Sweet Potato Mango & Millet
Second Blends | Sweet Potato, Corn & Apple
Second Blends | Zucchini Banana & Amaranth

Super Puffs | Spinach Apple
Super Puffs | Mango & Sweet Potato
Super Puffs | Blueberry & Purple Sweet Potato
Super Puffs | Strawberry & Beet
Super Puffs | Banana & Peach

Training Meals | Red Lentil Veggie | Portable Pouches

Mish Mash | Apple Cinnamon Oats & Quinoa
Mish Mash | Banana Rice & Quinoa
Mish Mash | Blueberry Oats & Quinoa
Mish Mash | Banana
Mish Mash | Peach
Mish Mash | Strawberry

Teensy Fruits Apple
Teensy Fruits Berry
Teensy Fruits Peach

Crunch 'Ola | Apple Snapster
Crunch 'Ola | Choco Chipster
Crunch 'Ola | Peanutty Pretzel

Fruit &Veggie Mashups | Beetbox Berry
Fruit & Veggie Mashups | Blueberry Blitz
Fruit &Veggie Mashups | Carrot Chop

Fruit & Veg | Shredz Blue
Fruit & Veg | Shredz Green
Fruit Shredz | Berry'licious
Fruit Shredz | Peach Peelz

Jammy Sammy | Apple Cinnamon &Oatmeal
Jammy Sammy | Blueberry &  Oatmeal
Jammy Sammy | Grape Jelly & Peanut Butter
Jammy Sammy | Strawberry Jam & Peanut Butter

Mashups | Mixed Berry
Mashups | Grape
Mashups | Green Apple
Mashups | Strawberry Banana
Mashups | Tropical

Thursday, October 10, 2013

It's Time To Let Your Inner Hippie Out For A Walk

So...I thought with my post about the Shea Moisture line of products that I was coming out as a full blown hippie. But as it turns out, there is a lot more where that came from! So I'm an "extended" breastfeeding, cloth-diapering, cloth wipes, oil instead of lotion, gardening, pesticide free, natural hair kinda girl. I admit to all of that. But somehow I thought all these things made me immune to being a hippie. I even bought my daughter shoes made out of burlap, I should have known then that I had fallen down a deep dark path and am just 1 step away from moving to a commune at this point.

I guess, now that I'm a mom I can call myself an "Eco-Mom" or "Green-Mom". That sounds a lot more young and cool than "hippie." But now I've taken the final plunge. When my free and clear laundry detergent finally ran out this week I looked at the tin of Nellie's Laundry Soap that I've been using for almost 2 years now on my daughter's cloth diapers and thought - why don't I just use that? Why the thought hadn't occurred to me earlier I will never know. Each tiny tin of Nellie's is enough to clean 100 large loads of clothes with just a tablespoon of detergent. I took a sneak peak at my clothes during the wash cycle to see if this stuff really worked and if any dirt was coming out of them at all. To my surprise there was not only dirt and grime floating in the churning water but an shiny film that almost appeared to be oily. I got on the internet and started searching. As it turns out my old free and clear detergent wasn't that free and clear at all. It contained something called optical brighteners and additive to make my clothes look brighter. This stuff was actually embedded into every little fiber of my clothes and my families clothes. The optical brighteners were the shiny swirls I saw floating around with the dirt and grime released from my clothes. And the thing is, after their first wash with Nellie's my clothes actually looked cleaner, smelled cleaner and had a different texture to them. In one wash with Nellie's Laundry Soap my clothes were freed of all the chemicals that had been building up on them wash after wash. I can't believe I was washing my kids clothes in that stuff! I feel so duped by ever being convinced that those free and clear detergents were actually natural.

So call me a Green Mom, Eco Mom, Hippie or one of my friend's new words for me a Bippie (black-hippie). I'll gladly take on any of those titles. My life has been transformed because of them and it feels so good!

This Week's Rating 

Scale of 1-4 Dancing Guinea Pigs 1 meaning it is destined for the compost bin and 4 meaning it is destined for greatness

Vegan Guinea Pig gives it 4 out of 4 Dancing Guinea Pigs

Lil' Guinea Pig gives it 4 out of 4 Dancing Guinea Pigs

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Here I Go...Eating Cookies Again

Social media has helped me learn one important thing about myself, I'm an emotional eater and my food of choice is sweets. I realized that at one point nearly everyone of my tweets and Facebook post had something to do with a cupcake, cookie or confection of some sort. In all fairness I have been pregnant and/or nursing for the better part of 3 years now and burning calories like a madwoman so for the longest time these little indiscretions made no impact on my weight. daughter has slowed down on nursing and those 600+ calories a day I used to burn breastfeeding are no longer there to help me when I decide that 3 cupcakes for breakfast is a good option because "I deserve it." And frankly, I do deserve it. Running a non-profit, writing, and mothering this is all really hard high-stress work! But I made a vow to myself to have a little more self-control when it comes to the baked goods and stuff an apple in my mouth when I really want a vegan milkshake. 

Everything was going great until I was contacted by Isabella's Cookie Company to try some of their vegan cookies. Who can turn down free cookies?! Well, not me. They shipped me out their Red Velvet and Ginger Molasses flavored cookies the next day. I figured that these would be no great temptation. Store-bought cookies shipped across the country don't exactly scream "moist and delicious." They actually sat on my counter for 2 weeks before I tried them. See, I do have will power. But on a whim I opened up the Red Velvet's one day and to my surprise they were fantastic. Soft, moist and rich. Nothing that I expected them to be. The Ginger Molasses cookies were equally good. I was able to hold on to the cookies for an additional week and they remained moist and soft. 

My daughter found these lurking in my purse one day and all I came back to find was a empty plastic bag with a red velvet cookie crumb trail. So much for our "only one cookie a quarter" rule. I have to get better at hiding my stash! 

This Week's Rating 

Scale of 1-4 Dancing Guinea Pigs 1 meaning it is destined for the compost bin and 4 meaning it is destined for greatness

Vegan Guinea Pig gives these cookies 3.5 out of 4 Dancing Guinea Pigs

Lil' Guinea Pig gives it 4 out of 4 Dancing Guinea Pigs

Thursday, September 26, 2013

GROWING WAISTLINE ALERT!!! You're about to eat a tub of cookie dough

The Whole Foods in my neighborhood is like Costco on Sunday's. If you've never been to a Costco on a Sunday afternoon it is aisle after aisle after aisle of free samples. My Whole Foods is like this at least 3 days out of any given week. Heck, they even used to have a DJ on Saturday's to really get the food party going. I don't allow my daughter to have many sweets. A cookie a quarter and cupcakes on birthday's only is pretty much how we roll - yep, I'm the sugar police. So I slyly tried Eat Pastry's Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Dough (baked into delicious cookies of course) while she nibbled on some watermelon and grapes. Ahhh fruit, nature's candy.

As soon as the cookie hit my lips I said "Oh no, this is too dangerous." I knew if I were to buy this tub of cookie dough that within minutes it would be deep in my stomach and I would have no regrets about it. These cookies are made in a dedicated Vegan Facility and are made of really wholesome ingredients. They had my heart when I turned over to look at the ingredients and I saw they use Earth Balance Margarine in their dough - oh how I love Earth Balance! Eat Pastry's flavor options include the Oatmeal Raisin Cookie (which I ended up buying and eating all of), Chocolate Chip (regular, gluten free and double chocolate), Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip, Gluten-Free Snickerdoodles, and Gluten Free Sugar Momma's. When my sweet little girl asked nicely for a bite of one of my cookies as I binged out on 6 while hiding in a closet so she wouldn't see me (yes, I'm a closet cookie eater, literally) I bent the rules a little and let her try one little bite. Of course, she loved it, it's a cookie isn't it?

This Week's Rating 

Scale of 1-4 Dancing Guinea Pigs 1 meaning it is destined for the compost bin and 4 meaning it is destined for greatness

Vegan Guinea Pig gives these cookies 4 out of 4 Dancing Guinea Pigs

Lil' Guinea Pig gives it 4 out of 4 Dancing Guinea Pigs

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The Times They Are A Changin'...

When I started this blog I was a single gal with a coupe dogs, a couple goats and a new cookbook on the horizon. Since then my life has changed immensely! I have three cookbooks under my belt, got my Master's in Nutrition, am now a registered dietitian and lactation consultant but most importantly I'm now a mother to a happy, energetic, opinionated little vegan girl. As I sat and discussed the presence of Umami in a smoky BBQ chia seed crisp I was sharing with my nearly 2 year old daughter I thought to myself. "If she has an opinion on umami then surely she's got what it takes to judge the good, the bad and the ugly of all that is vegan!" After all, unlike me, she's been vegan all her life (even if that life is only 22 months old).

So, I'm changing the ways things are done around here. The first change you'll notice is a rating scale at the beginning of each post. I'll be using a 1 to 4 rating scale with 1 meaning it is destined for the compost bin and 4 meaning it is destined for greatness! I'll weighing in with my rating, then my daughter (Lil' Guinea Pig) will weigh in with her rating and from time to time our special guest omnivore, my fiance, will weigh in with his rating we'll call him. Along with the ratings you'll still get the thought out and through reviews you are used to from yours truly.

Thank you all for taking this journey with me! I love writing this blog, and even though life sometimes takes me away from it from time to time I'll always come back because I love to share all the new vegan goodness out there! Happy cooking!

The Vegan Guinea Pig

Monday, August 19, 2013

Don't Put This In Your Mouth!

I've been undertaking the very risky task of experimenting with new recipes while feeding a toddler. As any parent knows this is a risky proposition. Come to think of it, testing out new recipes is a risky proposition for anyone! If the recipe is a total disaster then you're left trying to figure out what's for dinner with very little time to spare. In my pre-mommy days I would just go grab some Chinese food takeout or order a Papa John's pizza (sans the cheese of course) and call it a night. But that doesn't exactly fly when feeding a little one.

This week has been a week of awful recipes. I decided to finally clean out my big box of recipes I've been meaning to try and go through the recipes I've earmarked in cookbook after cookbook. Unfortunately not one of them, nope not one, turned out well. The worst of all of them was this recipe for Soy-Free Vegan Ground Beef that I found on Veg News website. The picture looked like a warm, savory, delicious dish and despite the very skeptical comments left under the recipe and more than one commentor saying that it turned out awful I still tried the recipe. I figured the folks who didn't like the recipe had bad food processors or just didn't know what they were doing. But in reality, the recipe is just flawed. I have an amazing, large capacity Cuisinart food processor and even with this powerhouse of a processor this stuff just came out a pink mess. I immediately felt foolish for even trying the recipe as more than one of the commentors on it said this happened to them as well.

I soldiered on and tried to bake it up anyway - not willing to accept the fact that I just wasted a perfectly good head of cauliflower that my daughter who had loved and 2 cups of walnuts which are not cheap. But after 1 hour and 15 minutes in the oven I had to accept defeat. This recipe, just wasn't going to work out. It was completely and totally inedible. Although, I have to admit, by the end of the 1 1/4 hours in the oven it did look pretty darn spiffy. So readers beware, don't get sucked into the same false sense of security that I did. That somehow you will be able to outfox this recipe and make it taste delicious. Unfortunately, it just can't be done. Oh well...on to the next one.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Cookbook Review: The Sexy Vegan's Happy Hour at Home + A New Recipe!

When author Brian Patton aka The Sexy Vegan began dating his soon-to-be wife, he offered to entertain her with Friday night Happy Hours at her apartment or his. After a long workweek, she was ready to kick back and enjoy a cocktail or glass of wine, and it was the perfect way to enjoy summer evenings. After a couple weeks, these evenings weren’t just for two because her friends begged for invitations after hearing rave reviews of Brian’s delicious tapas and appetizers.

Brian created so many recipes that he decided it was time to put them into a book.  The Sexy Vegan’s Happy Hour at Home is divided into 20 Menus, each with 3 or 4 recipes, and libation suggestions. The dishes in each menu complement each other, using similar spices and overlapping ingredients, making the menus efficient. Designed around specific themes, each menu has a unique twist but can easily be combined with other finger foods to provide everything you need to entertain vegan and non-vegan friends and family alike.  

I fell in love with Brian's first cookbook last year and was so excited when I found out he had another book on the horizon (and a new wife, and a new little vegan baby!) I was even more thrilled to get a chance to cook my way through the book and fall in love with the new collection of recipes from The Sexy Vegan's Happy Hour at Home. Being a mom to a toddler I don't get too many happy hours (and by that I mean I get none) but these recipes are perfect for any occasion, including a regular ole family dinner - which is how I used the recipes in our house. My daughter is quite an adventurous eater but when it comes to faux meats she turns up her nose (and why shouldn't she?!) so I was thrilled to see that this book is free of the fake stuff and uses healthy, basic ingredients to make extraordinary dishes. The lentil patties that go into the Little Mac's are her new favorite burger and she asks for them constantly. 

I loved every recipe in the book except two - the yamburger sliders and the tamales  The yamburgers because they were nothing but slices of yams and I expected more from the recipe and the tamales because they really shouldn't be called tamales at all. The taste, textures and ingredients are not even close to a tamale. But that's a personal bone to pick with me because I grew up on authentic tamales and am pretty inflexible about changing them up even the slightest.

This Little Macs recipe is from the book’s The Happiest Meal Happy Hour Menu that also includes a recipe for Baked Sweet Potato “Fries” with Adobo Dipping Sauce.
Little Macs with Very, Very Special Sauce

One 15-ounce can black or green lentils, drained
1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon low-sodium tamari
1 teaspoon vegan Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon vital wheat gluten
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
16 small slices vegan cheddar cheeze
8 tiny sesame seed buns (about 2 inches wide) plus the bottom halves of
8 other tiny buns (to use as the middle bun)
1/2 cup Very, Very Special Sauce (recipe follows)
2 cups shredded romaine lettuce
2 small dill pickles, thinly sliced
1/2 cup minced white onion
8 long toothpicks or skewers

To make the burger patties, in a medium bowl, combine the lentils, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, pepper, tamari, and Worcestershire. Mash it all together with a fork or your hands until about 70 percent of the lentils are mashed. Add the wheat gluten and continue mashing until there are no dry parts remaining and you have a ball of dough. Scoop out a heaping tablespoon of dough and place it on a large cutting board or other work surface. Repeat until you have 16 lumps of dough. Roll each lump into a ball, then flatten it into a 2-inch patty.
In a large skillet, heat the olive oil to medium-high, and add the patties (you may have to fry them in two shifts). Fry on one side for about 5 minutes, or until browned. Then flip, top each patty with a cheddar slice, and fry for another 5 minutes.
In the meantime, get your tiny buns ready. Slather the top and bottom bun halves, and one side of the middle buns, with the Very, Very Special Sauce.
By now your patties should be ready, so it’s time to start assembling. Place one patty on each of the bottom bun halves. Top the patties with half of the lettuce and half of the pickles. Place
the middle bun pieces, sauce side down, on top of that, followed by the remaining patties, lettuce, and pickles, and the onion. Finally, cover with the bun tops and use toothpicks or skewers to hold them together. 

Very, Very Special Sauce

1 cup vegan mayo
1/2 cup sweet pickle relish
1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup yellow mustard

In a small bowl, whisk all this stuff together.

Excerpted with permission from The Sexy Vegan’s Happy Hour at Home ©2013 by Brian Patton.  Published with permission of New World Library

Brian Patton is author of The Sexy Vegan’s Happy Hour at Home and The Sexy Vegan Cookbook. He is also executive chef for Vegin’ Out, a vegan food delivery service in Los Angeles. As the quintessential “regular dude” vegan chef, he started posting instructional cooking videos on YouTube as his witty, ukulele playing alter-ego The Sexy Vegan and quickly gained a large following.  Visit him online at

Monday, July 29, 2013

Final Week of Feeding A Family For $50 A Week!

So here we are, week 5 of the $50 a week grocery experiment. The past 4 weeks have been an incredible learning experience for me. They have taught me discipline, helped me become a better and more creative cook and made me organize myself in a way that I had not really done before. Although this was intended to only be an experiment for the month of July I have decided that I will continue to eat, cook and shop this way until we add another member to the family (which will be no time soon I promise you!) My cabinets are still stocked with food, and I could still probably last for a month or so if the zombie Apocalypse were to happen but there are entire sections of my pantry that are now bare. In truth, did I need 6 types of gluten free flours on hand including xanthum gum? Did I really need every type of dried bean that nature ever produced? Really...every single kind? How many types of hot sauce does one person really need and how many types of nut butter does a person really need to keep around the house? Soy, Peanut, Almond, Sun, and White Chocolate Peanut Butter all seem a bit much to have loaded up in one pantry.

I feel like the way I eat, shop and cook now is in a way that makes sense, isn't wasteful and fully utilizes the resources I have available. I've begun to depend on my garden in a way that I did not before. I used to have so much extra crops that I would end up pickling and canning all summer and winter long. But this year, I've only pickled one jar of green beans and everything else has gone to immediate use. I plan on still doing a good bit of preserving, after all it is another great way of extending out the seasons bounty in a frugal way, but nothing to the amount I did last year.

This final week presented it's own unique challenges. This week my daughter is off of school which means instead of being responsible for cooking 2 meals a day and 1 snack for her I am now responsible for 3 meals a day and 3 snacks. On top of that one of her classmates is going to be staying with us for 2 days so we have an extra mouth to feed for 2 meals and 2-3 snacks. So for this week I'll be not only giving you what I'm making for breakfast, lunch and dinner but also what we're having for snacks.

  • Oatmeal and Fruit
  • English Muffin Breakfast Sandwiches (with vegan egg patty and daiya cheese that I found in the freezer) - for the kiddo I'll be nixing the Daiya and instead slathering both sides in EB, egg patty on the side with fruit
  • Banana waffles, white nectarines and Naked Tofu Scramble
  • I have all the ingredients I would need to make breakfast sausage but I'm not sure if I have the time so I'm not counting on this one

  • Macaroni and Cheese with Marinated Roasted Tofu and Steamed Carrots
  • Homemade Super Low-Sodium Ramen Noodles with Tofu and Braised Green Beans
  • Southern Style Meatballs with Steamed Veggies and Dinner Rolls (I froze some a couple weeks back and still have plenty to go around)

  • Smothered Pork Chops with Green Bean Casserole and Dinner Rolls
  • Baked Beans, Corn Muffins, and Steamed Veggies
  • Soft Tacos made with Adzuki Beans (I randomly have a bunch laying around) with Salsa and Sour Cream, steamed corn and some type of green veggie
  • Homemade Graham Crackers
  • Hummus with Pita Chips (I bought a ton of pita chips a couple months ago and they still haven't expired so there's no better time than the present to use them!)
  • Fruit (grapes, strawberries, watermelon)
  • Blueberry Smoothies (I got a bunch of blueberries on sale in June and froze half)
  • Beanfield's Bean and Rice Chips (Pico De Gallo flavor) - I bought a 6 pack of these last month and we're still working our way through them. I'll be blogging about these soon.
And that's it! I didn't make the crab cakes from last week until Sunday so we'll be munching on those throughout the week as well. For 5 weeks of shopping my goal was to spend $50 a week or $250 in total for the month. This week I ended up spending $43.57 at Whole Foods and $17.68 at Publix. Which means I spent $61.25 this week. I really took for granted how much money we save every month when my daughter is eating at school 5 days a week! We are very fortunate that her school provides great vegan meals and we only have to bring a back-up snack in case the class is having goldish crackers or something with dairy in it as a morning snack. I've decided, in an effort to save even more money, I'm going to start making her snacks from scratch and sending those to school with her. Now that I've taken my IBCLC exam I have more time on my hands so this shouldn't be too difficult and if I would have done that this month I would have saved about $15 in the budget. Overall for 5 weeks I spent $273.63. So I went a little over $23 over budget. For a first timer to this new budget I think that is pretty darn fantastic. I'm tempted to change my budget to $60 a week but I really want to continue to commit myself to making the most out of each ingredient, even while working on new books and recipes, so I'm going to stick to $50 a week for now. I hope this has been helpful to you! Next week I'll be going step-by-step through exactly how you can make the changes necessary in your own life to get your grocery budget in check so stay tuned!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Week 4: Feeding the Family for $50 A Week!

Week 4 is here!!!! I have to admit, the level of planning and preparation it takes to go to the grocery store these days is starting to wear on me. I always thought I planned out my meals ahead of time and stuck to my list but in reality I made a very rough plan of the meals I wanted to eat, never based on what was actually already in my pantry and I never stuck to my list. Now I find myself scrambling to put together a weekly menu on Saturday nights in preparation for Sunday grocery shopping. As I eluded to last week this week I'm starting to work out recipes for a new project I'm working on so I can't just rely on what is in the pantry and growing in the garden to help get me by and keep me under budget. But, that doesn't mean that all plans go out the door. I just have to be smart about the ingredients I use and make sure I make the most out of every dollar I spend. So here goes nothing.

I ended up having to make a couple more purchases than I planned on, I accidentally bought my daughter crackers that had been made in the same facility as peanuts. She doesn't have a peanut allergy but they are her snacks for school and we can't take the chance so I had to re-buy her snacks plus we seem to be doing through almond milk at a frantic pace around here so I had to double up. Out of the blue my daughter who hates all other types of milk besides breastmilk suddenly decided that she likes coconut milk after watching me make a smoothie with it last week so I ended up buying So Delicious Coconut Milk as well, which was not originally on my list. We also ended up picking up this beet/green juice that my daughter loves. Can you see a pattern in why I ended up spending more money than I anticipated this week?!

This weeks' menu:
Homemade Bacon
Buttermilk Biscuits
Smoothies - just throwing together whatever is in the fridge and freezer
Fresh Fruit - watermelon, grapes, apples, blueberries from the garden

A lot of leftovers. I have a lot of different types of lettuce growing in the garden so I'm making wraps quite a bit these days. I made some beer battered tofu Sunday night that will probably make it's way into the wraps. Caesar dressing is my favorite in wraps I'll be using the recipe from Quick & Easy Vegan Comfort Food.

BBQ Seitan with Dirty Rice and steamed cauliflower
Fried "Pork" Chops with Au Gratin Potatoes and steamed Brussels Sprouts
"Crab" Cakes with fresh baked dinner rolls or farro and Green beans from the garden

All in all I ended up spending $72.13 this week. After going 3 weeks of being under-budget I have managed to go over-budget by $12.38. But there is still one week left to redeem myself and bring myself back within the constraints of my budget for the month. So just in case you're keeping track July has 5 weeks so my monthly budget is $250 ($50/week) I'm currently at $212.38 so next week I'm going to be pulling every cheap trick I have out of my hat to get back on track! We'll see how it goes!!!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Week 3: Feeding The Family for $50 A Week!

Week 3 - the week that almost broke me! As I looked my shopping list up and down this week I could tell this was going to be a tough one. Before I even started shopping for the stuff we needed to make this week's meals I had to replenish my stock of some big ticket items like Vegan Worcestershire sauce, soy flour, earth balance margarine and extra virgin olive oil . Even though I hadn't planned my menu out yet I knew these were things that I needed to keep in the pantry just in case as they go in quite a few things I cook. Sure, I could go weeks without using them but the food hoarder in me just can't stand the thought of going to make a recipe I love and being one important item short. So the food hoarder won and these items stayed on the list. My daughter also fell in love with farro last week (it wasn't one the menu but I had some in the house so I used it as a side instead of brown rice for our stir-fry and it was a huge hit!) So farro was added to the list as well. And on top of that my daughter was also out of snacks at school so I had to buy extra snacks for her. Needless to say the list was looking rather expensive and most of the things I needed on it were from Whole Foods.

On Sunday, our grocery shopping day, I marched off to Whole Foods with my little one in tow ready to tackle this grocery list and brace myself for the financial impact. After 2 weeks of doing this I've realized one thing for sure. I mostly follow the menu's I've set out but the days I do things and when I cook things tends to be all over the place based on how much time I have that day and how much prep time I get without a toddler crawling on my head. So this week, instead of listing what we're going to eat day by day I'm going to list in general what the menu plan is for breakfast, lunch and dinner for the week. I should also add that we do snack a lot as well, with a toddler snacks are a way of life. So I always buy at least 2 types of fresh fruit every week and usually make some type of muffins based on what is in the fridge or the garden. 

Breakfast Sausage from Quick and Easy Vegan Comfort Food
Fresh Fruit
Breakfast Sandwich (I never ended up making these last week so hopefully I'll get around to them this week)
Tofu Scramble

Usually left overs and a hodge podge of things that are in the freezer
I'll likely also be making some wraps and having leftover black bean soup a lot

Square Pan Pizza with Yellow Heirloom tomatoes, broccoli, bell pepper and basil - everything 100% homemade from scratch, basil comes from the garden
Pigeon Peas and Rice with Steamed spinach
Pinto Bean Burgers with chickpea fries and veggies
Indian Spiced Chickpeas with farro and veggies

The vegetables for the week are variable and depend on what the garden yields this week I bought frozen spinach and kale this week as well as fresh broccoli to put on the pizza which we had tonight so there is plenty of broccoli left over to munch on for another day or so. Green beans are still the main crop high yielding crop in the backyard garden with carrots, sweet potatoes, tomatoes and corn soon coming up on the horizon. I also bought some red potatoes this week. They were on my list but for the life of me I can't remember why. Maybe I'll make some cheese sauce out of them of just roast them up and have them as a side with dinner one night. I do have an abundance of fresh rosemary that is just begging to be roasted with potaotes.

Somehow, even with only shopping at Whole Foods and my list of big ticket items by grand total for the $56.77. A little over budget for the week but still under budget for the past 3 weeks. I'm so happy I started off this experiment way under budget it has given me lots of wiggle room to play around with as the weeks go on. Three weeks down, two more to go! Geesh, why did I have to pick the month with 5 weeks in it to experiment!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Week 2: Feeding the Family for $50 a week

So here we are at week 2! Week 1 was a success, I spent less than $26 on groceries and every meal was a slam dunk with the family. In order to keep the budget in check my goal was to make as much "from scratch" and homemade as possible so preparing meals definitely took more time than usual but the evidence of my hard work was in the flavors. I was originally stumped on what I would be making for Independence Day but by day 3 there were smatterings of leftovers from each meal still hanging out in the fridge and between that and what was in the pantry I was able to get a really good celebratory meal together for lunch and dinner. For lunch I made ball park hot dogs (from scratch, recipe is in Quick and Easy Low-Cal Vegan Comfort Food), with baked beans, steamed broccoli, leftover skillet fried corn and sliced cantaloupe. For dinner we had BBQ Tofu (using the Hickory Maple BBQ Sauce recipe from Quick & Easy Vegan Celebrations ) that I paired with steamed green beans from the garden, brown rice and left over gravy from the chik'n fried steak I made earlier in the week. Then I capped it all off with some homemade strawberry ice cream made of cashews, frozen strawberries and agave nectar (so simple!)

Now, it's time to turn our attention to this week's menu. You guys have been rockstars on Facebook and I love following everyone's journey to try to eat on a budget. For Independence Day one of my Facebook friends, Kim, suggested I make a sesame peanut noodle salad. I got all inspired and ready to make it and then I suddenly realized I had a full menu so that little nugget is getting added to this week's menu.

This week I did half my shopping at Whole Foods and half at Publix. Whole Foods is my weakness. I can walk down those aisles for hours just looking at all the great food and, undoubtedly, 1/2 of it will end up in my shopping cart. But this time I stuck to my list, aside from the Green Lemonade my daughter loves (how can you resist a toddler asking for green juice?!) For the first time ever my Whole Foods grocery bill was only $21.24 (I used about $5 worth of coupons). A few items from my pantry were destroyed when a glass bottle filled with fermenting kombucha exploded so I had to buy a few more items than I originally planned. But all in all my Publix grocery bill was $36.69. So my total for this week is $57.93. Which means, for my 2 week running total I have spent $83.49 which still puts me about $16 under budget and that is with a couple splurge items added to the list like fresh pressed vegetable juice. Oh! And I bought more organic items this week as well since I saw I had more room in the budget.

So here goes nothing, my menu for the week

Monday July 8th
Breakfast: Whole Wheat Pancakes, Breakfast Sausage, Green Pina Colada (fresh pineapple, So Delicious Coconut Milk, baby collard greens and salad greens from the garden all blended together)
Lunch: Whatever leftovers are in the fridge
Dinner: Sesame Peanut Salad with Agave Roasted Carrots (from the garden) and Roasted Tofu

Tuesday July 9th (My 7 Year Vegan-anniversary!)
Breakfast: Breakfast Biscuit - biscuit, vegan egg patty (I'm trying out a new recipe, if all goes well I'll post it), cheese sauce (not sure which one I'm using but I think the queso sauce from Low-Cal Vegan Comfort Food)
Lunch: A wrap made out of whatever I have leftover in the fridge/freezer and likely some Caesar dressing (recipe from Quick and Easy Vegan Comfort Food)
Dinner: Black Bean Soup from Quick and Easy Low-Cal Vegan Comfort Food with steamed veggies tossed in flax oil and homemade dinner rolls

Wednesday July 10th
Breakfast: Breakfast Biscuit and Kombucha
Lunch: Leftover Black Bean Soup and Salad (same southwest salad I made last week)
Dinner: Homemade Whole Wheat Pasta with Alfredo Sauce (recipe from Quick and Easy Low-Cal Vegan Comfort Food topped with Sun-dried Tomatoes and Basil (from the garden)

Thursday July 11th
Breakfast: Breakfast Biscuit and Kombucha
Lunch: Leftovers from Monday - Wednesday (probably something rolled up into a wrap)
Dinner: Leftovers from Monday - Wednesday

Friday, July 12th
Breakfast: Vegetable & Cheese Omelette (I have some daiya cheese hanging around in the freezer somewhere, and I'm using the recipe from Vegan Richa for the omelette - all the greens and veggies will come from the garden)
Lunch: More wraps made out of a hodge podge of leftovers
Dinner: Gumbo with Andouille Sausage over brown rice (using the recipe from Quick and Easy Low-Cal Vegan Comfort Food but adding okra since I have some frozen okra that's been sitting in the freezer for months)

Saturday, July 13th
Breakfast: Whole Wheat Pancakes, Fruit and Naked Tofu Scramble
Lunch and Dinner: Leftovers and whatever I can scrounge up in the freezer and pantry

Sunday, July 14th
Breakfast: Oatmeal & Quinoa (I mix the two together usually with a little cinnamon, brown sugar and hemp seeds), fruit
Lunch and Dinner: Leftovers

Whew! That's it. I like to experiment with recipes so I usually only cook out of my own cookbooks once or twice a week but experimenting means that something might not come out just right and with this new budget I can't afford to waste any food or time on a cooking experiment gone wrong so I'm using tried and true recipes. I'm probably going to start working on a new project sometime this month so we'll see how that affects the budget when I'm working on new recipes. I guess it is more incentive to make it perfect the first time!

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Feeding the Family for only $50 a week

Sunday is grocery shopping day. Every Sunday morning I wake up and the first thing on my mind is "what are we going to eat this week?" When it comes to buying food I have very little restraint. I come from a long line of food hoarders. Well, maybe hoarding is a strong word. Let's just say if the zombie apocalypse comes I'll be just fine living off the food in my house for a couple months. Sure, by the end we might be down to sun dried tomatoes and pretzels but food is food right? So needless to say the whole $50 a week thing should be easy right? Well...not exactly. Especially not when trying to feed a toddler. If it were just me I would nix the fresh fruits and vegetables and go for frozen or live off bananas for the rest of the month. But the little one loves her fresh vegetables and fresh fruit. She loves healthy, fresh food so I can't skimp on the fresh stuff for the sake of my budget experiment. We also try to buy organic whenever possible. I acknowledge that this probably isn't going to be able to happen on $50 a week but I sure will try! One of my greatest challenges will repressing the food hoarder in me. I have a blog named Vegan Guinea Pig for crying out loud! Which basically came out of the fact that if I see something interesting at the grocery store I'm going to buy it, try it and tell you about it. Well...that can be pricey as my last trip to the grocery store will attest to.

I'll be cross blogging for the entire month of July so be sure to check out the The Lady and Seitan blog too as I will be posting all my Paula Deen inspired recipes over there. I'll also be cooking from scratch as much as possible to save money, making double batches whenever I can and freezing them for later.

First things first - the menu. My daughter will be eating morning snack and lunch at school (they have a vegan menu so I don't have to pack her lunch...yep, pretty awesome) so that takes a lot of pressure off during the week and means I can slack off at lunch a bit more than usual. So here's my plan for the week.

Monday July 1st
Breakfast: Bran Muffins, Naked Tofu Scramble (from Quick and Easy Low-Cal Vegan Comfort Food), Homemade Kombucha
Lunch: Leftover Lil Mac's (recipe coming soon) and Chickpea Fries
Dinner: Fool Your Friends Tacos on homemade wheat tortillas with salsa and maybe some vegan sour cream, Friend Cream Corn (recipe coming soon)

Tuesday July 2nd
Breakfast: Bran Muffins, Naked Tofu Scramble (from Quick and Easy Low-Cal Vegan Comfort Food), Homemade Kombucha
Lunch: Southwest Salad (a mix of lettuce from my garden, black or pinto beans, salsa, corn and a homemade chipotle vinaigrette. If I have any tortillas left over from Monday's dinner I might cut them thin, fry them up and top the salad with them)
Dinner: Chik'n Fried Steak (recipe coming soon) with Fresh green beans (from the garden), southern cornbread (recipe coming soon)

Wednesday July 3rd
Breakfast: Oatmeal Scones (made these last week and froze the leftovers), cantaloupe and breakfast sausage from Quick and Easy Vegan Comfort Food (I made these a couple weeks ago and froze them)
Lunch and Dinner: No clue yet, crossing my fingers I'll have some leftovers from Monday and Tuesday to work through.

Thursday, July 4th
I'm not 100% sure what I'm doing for the 4th yet but I have a feeling I'll be making some black bean burgers and possibly some hot dogs from scratch depending on how much wheat gluten I have left. I made hot dog and hamburger buns from scratch on Friday and put them in the freezer so I don't have to buy buns either.

Friday-Sunday July 5th - 7th
Not exactly sure what I'm making yet. I'll have to take inventory of what I have left in the  pantry. I've already started to prepare the seitan for the chik'n fried steak (made a double batch so I can use the other half later) and I'm super low on Bragg's and getting low on vital wheat gluten. I want to make chik'n parmesan from Quick and Easy Low-Cal Vegan Comfort Food. I have some marinara sauce in my deep freezer that I made a couple months ago so that would go perfect with it and more green beans should have popped up in the garden by the end of the week to give us more fresh veggies.  I'm also thinking of making a gumbo if I have the time and vital wheat gluten left to make the andouille sausage. I didn't buy celery and the celery in my garden didn't come in so if I make it I'll probably sprinkle some celery seed in the mix instead of going out and buying a big stalk of celery just for 1 or 2 ribs.
 2013-06-30 19.15.52
And that's my plan for the week! All in all I only spent $25.56 on groceries so far this week! I didn't buy anything organic this week but perhaps I'll have a little more leeway to do so next week. My goal is to not go back to the grocery store until next Sunday but even if I have to I'm still way under my goal so I have plenty of wiggle room. Oh and in case you were inspecting the receipt above. Yes, I did make the cashier void out my onions because she rang them up wrong just to save 18 cents!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Keeping It In the Vegan Family - Hey English Graphic Design

A little over 4 years ago I saw a flyer for the 1st annual Atlanta Vegan Bake Sale. The flyer was fun, creative and above all unique. Coincidentally, I was looking for someone to design my first website for my first cookbook Quick and Easy Vegan Comfort Food. And so I sought out the graphic designer behind the flyer I'd seen. As it turns out that designer was Steph Timms and the icing on the cake was that she was (and still is) vegan! My preference is to keep things in the vegan family as much as possible whenever I can. The food photography and styling for all my cookbooks has always been vegan and the graphic designer I have worked with on every single one of my project is vegan as well.

Steph has done every inch of my branding since my very first cookbook. She has not only created all of my websites she is also the creative mastermind behind both of my blogs creating the logo for The Lady and Seitan blog and the reworking the Vegan Guinea Pig blog to make it seamlessly blend in with my main website The latest project Steph worked with me on is for my non-profit. Out of everything we have ever done together this was, without a doubt, our biggest undertaking. Pea Pod Nutrition and Lactation Support, Inc. is more than a cookbook, more than a website for my fans to get to know me and more than a blog - it is my passion. After I had my daughter I decided that there was no way I could justify leaving her for more than a 10 seconds if it wasn't to go out and make the world a better place. Pea Pod was a project I had been working on for years but now I had the push I needed to turn all that planning into a real organization. Of course, I turned to Steph to communicate my vision. After 4 years of working together we work like a well oiled machine. She knows my style, she knows the colors I like, she knows that I lack all creativity outside the kitchen so when I throw an idea at her she knows how to interpret that crazy idea and turn it into magic. A couple weeks ago I emailed her with no design concept, no colors, no anything and said "I need a rack card, it needs to be 3.5"x8", here's what it needs to say." Within 48 hours I had a rack card (for those who don't know what that is it is basically a medium side promotional flyer that fits a standard size envelope). Not only was it done in just 48 hours but it was perfect, yes perfect, 100% flawless on the first try. We ended up making some small tweaks to it but that's only because Steph had some more she wanted to do with it. When it comes to artist I always trust their vision and so I trusted when Steph said she wanted to add some images from the website to the card and tie everything together from a branding standpoint. I'm so glad I trust her! The 2nd draft was even more phenomenal than the first. If you're following this that means that she somehow perfected perfection - can you tell I love this girl! Well...I mean, I'm not in love with her our respective significant others might take issue with that! :)

You don't have to be in the city of Atlanta to work with Steph Timms and her team at Hey English - a creative studio. Steph and I communicated largely via email and we live within minutes of each other but I think it worked well for our crazy scheudles but she's super flexible in whatever style you like to work in. So whether you're in Atlanta, Portland, New York, LA, or Zimbabwe you must must must hire Steph Timms with Hey Englsih for your next project. There are none to big or two smal. Please contact the fine folks at Hey English at and checkout their website at Their prices are fair, the work is always done right the 1st time and they are, above all else, creative geniuses.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

My Love Affair with Shea Moisture ( aka my coming out as a full-blown hippie)

I'm going to be frank with you, this post contains frankincense and myrrh and lots of hippie references. I like to keep it as natural a possible. I mean, not too natural, I do wear deodorant and shave my legs - but my deodorant is that aluminum free hippie stuff with tree liken and I use alba natural skin cream instead of shaving cream - it's all about compromise right? Anywho. When it comes to skin care I prefer to keep it simple. I make my own body scrubs from kosher salt and olive oil, face scrubs from raw sugar and grapeseed oil and moisturize my skin with olive, grapeseed or coconut oil infused with herbs and dried flowers or raw shea butter. See...I told you I was a hippie.

I've seen the Shea Moisture line of products on the shelves of Target for the longest time (hippies can shop at Target, right?) but felt no desire to try it since I have my own concoction of herbs and oils to fall back on. But on the urging of a good and long-time friend I tried it out. After all, it's a certified cruelty free brand and the list of things NOT in the product was longer than the list of ingredients that actually are in it.

This first thing I tried was the Shea Moisture Raw She Chamomile & Argon Oil Baby Head to Toe Ointment with Frankincense and Myrrh. Ok, let's all take a moment to acknowledge that the folks at Shea Moisture need to come up with some shorter names for their products! Long names aside, this stuff is crazy amazing. I've never actually used it on my little one, it's a little too thick for me to imagine putting it on an actual baby, but I use it on myself daily. It's great on freshly shaven legs and, just like the long name says, it literally works from your head to your toes. I see why baby Jesus was given Frankincense and Myrrh on the day of his birth - it smells like heaven!

Next I moved on to the bath salts. Wait, no...not those kind of bath salts (eating faces isn't very vegan friendly). Since I fancy myself to be a ballerina now (long story, if you follow me on facebook it makes more sense) the Lavender & Wild Orchid Joint and Muscle Relief Soak seemed like a good place to start. I'm used to the pure scent of lavender so the wild orchid element kind of threw me off a bit. But the way that my sore, tired muscles felt after 15 minutes of soaking in bath infused with these salts said it all. My whole body just felt calm and at rest. I actually got out of the bathtub, did 30 minutes of restorative yoga and then went laid down to one of the best nights of rest I've had in a long time. I should add that I used the Lavender & Wild Orchid Body Oil after the bath to moisturize with and it is, of course, fantastic as well. I've used regular epsom salt for years and never had such instant relief of my joint and muscle pain. I had the exact same experience when I tried the Lemongrass and Ginger Dead Sea Salt Soak except that this stuff smells so damn delicious that I got out the tub, went downstairs, and made myself a quick red coconut curry with lots of lemongrass and ginger for dinner instead of doing yoga and drifting off to bed.

Literally every product I tried from the Shea Moisture line has been phenomenal. I still love making my own beauty products and will continue to do so but these are a sweet indulgence and a special treat. Plus, they are priced reasonably and easy to find at most major retailers. I highly recommend you give them a try as well.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

World Famous Green Lemonade

I might be stretching the truth a little by claiming that the mother of all green juices is world famous. I can not confirm if they are hip to the green juice craze Zimbabwe or the Amazon but I'm pretty sure, no matter where in the world you live if you tasted this you would agree that if it isn't world famous it sure as heck should be. The first time I had green lemonade was at my local Whole Foods. There is constantly a line at the juice counter and everyone seemed to be ordering the same lemonade. One day I caught the juice bar at an off hour when no one was around so I decided it was the perfect time to try this green lemonade everyone was raving about. From the first sip I was hooked! My daughter immediately reached over and grabbed my cup to find out what all the fuss was about. Until that day had never tasted juice but I figured there was no better place to start than with green juice so I let her take a sip. She, was instantly hooked as well! 

I went home and combed the interweb looking for the recipe but no one seemed to really have one. Perhaps if you publish a recipe the Whole Foods giants will find you and throw you in juice jail, who knows, but I'm taking the risk! One of my friends who is on a journey to health and wellness has the same love of this sweet green drink and set out on a mission to make her own version at home. After many unsuccessful attempts she finally cracked the code and here is her recipe. Cheers to green lemonade everyone!

6 large leaves of kale
4 stalks of celery
1 cucumber
2-3 apples
1-2 peeled lemons

Juice all ingredients and serve cold.

Photo courtesy of For the love of Food

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Superfood Smoothie Recipes

So you've read the review of Superfood Smoothies but you just aren't sure you're going to love it? Try these  two sweet yet healthy treats and you'll be diving, mouth first, into this book!

Mint Chip
Tucked beneath a very convincing ice cream-like flavor, a wealth of beneficial spinach awaits you in
this smoothie. It’s so good it almost makes a person wonder why spinach isn’t used in all minty treats.
I love how the cacao nibs provide a bit of dark-chocolate crunch without being overpowering.

Makes 2 18 -ounce servings

2 cups frozen spinach
2 cups frozen bananas
1⁄4 cup raw cashews
3 tablespoons cacao nibs
2 tablespoons (packed) fresh mint leaves, minced
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups rice milk (original variety)
1⁄2 cup coconut water
sweetener, to taste (optional)

Blend all the ingredients together until smooth. Taste, and sweeten
as desired.

Superfood Boost:
Add 1/4 teaspoon chlorella (or to taste).

Maqui Banana
Experience the profound beauty of delicious simplicity.
Makes 2 14 -ounce servings

3 frozen bananas
2 ¼ cup coconut milk (boxedvariety)
1 tablespoon maqui berry powder
sweetener, to taste (optional)

Blend together all the ingredients until smooth. Taste, and sweeten
if desired.

Superfood Boost:
Add 1 tablespoon of chia seeds.

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