pretty in pink vegan

pretty in pink vegan

Saturday, November 30, 2013

So Many Leftovers

  If you are like me you still have a ton of Thanksgiving leftovers and there are only so many days you can eat the same thing over and over again. Cassi is never one to waste food but what is a girl to do? The answer make pot pies!

  My cookbook collection is growing rather nicely, so I skimmed through them to find a pot pie recipe. After thumbing through about 5 books I said screw it. I have a decent grasp on what flavors go together and what I need to make this happen, so I can do this without a cookbook to guide me. So off to the store to grab a few odds and ends.

  I was itching to use my new cupcake tin and since my household only includes myself, Keithon and our newest family member Hollywood, there was no reason to use a standard pie tin for the pot pie. I also decided against a pie crust because well we remember what happened last time right, so I opted for good old biscuits from the tube. Yes they are filled with all types of extra madness but they are fast, tasty and vegan. (I still read the label just in case)  Now opening biscuits scare the bejesus out of me because of that pop, I always ask others to do it for me or I just don't buy them. This time they opened, on their own, inside my new canvas tote. Great, but hey at least I didn't have to anticipate that dreaded pop.

I love these because they are small, neat and you don't need a fork to eat them.


1 cup carrots
1 cup celery
1 cup vegetable broth
1 cup soy milk
1 cup cubed potatoes
1 cup chopped unturkey
1 tbsp fresh dill
1tbsp cornstarch
1 tbsp olive oil
1 can of biscuits
Salt and pepper (to taste)
Crushed red pepper (optional)

Heat olive oil in sauce pan, then add vegetables and dill. Cook for about 5 minutes stirring constantly. Remove mixture from heat and set aside. Combine cornstarch and broth in a small bowl stir whisk with fork until lumps are gone and set aside. In another pot, heat soy milk (do not let it boil, bad things happen if you do) slowly pour in broth and cornstarch mixture stirring constantly on low heat. Add veggies while slowly stirring mixture, the potatoes will help thicken the sauce. Once you have the thickness you're happy with, add the unturkey, stir to coat and remove from heat. While that is cooling, dust a surface with flour. Open the biscuits, separate and roll out until thin. You want them thin but not too thin. Using a 3 inch circle cutter, cut out as many as you can. ( I was able to get 7 out of the dough) Roll the cut circles just a bit more, just so they fit in the bottom of your muffin tin and around the sides. They don't have to touch the rim. With the remaining dough cut out enough 2 inch circles to place on top. ( if you start to run out of dough gather the scraps into a ball to roll out again.) Using a 1/4 measuring cup slowly pour the pot pie mixture in your dough cups. Do not over fill. Finally place your top on and gently press together. Its ok if a little of the sauce comes out the top. Bake for 9 to 15 minutes or until done. You know your oven better than I do. Once baked and still warm smear a little earth balance on top, just cause.

You can use whatever leftover veggies you want if carrots and celery aren't your thing. These were just my vegetables of choice. I love kale so I paired mine with an avocado and kale salad. Keithon is normally in charge of making this dish and every time I make it, it always lacks the bit of something. I'm sure it just taste better because my booger bat made it. ( yes I call my child that, that is one of his many nicknames) So don't let those leftovers go to waste, create something new and fun. I still have plenty of leftovers so PLEASE share your leftover ideas with me.

Friday, November 29, 2013

A Jonesboro kinda Thanksgiving (part 2)

  Thanksgiving morning rolled around and I was ready to get the food train moving. I tried to sleep past 7am but its just not in me and Mama Crunk was already in the kitchen, so it was time cook. Bianca peeked her head into the room a short time later so it was time to get to work but not before breakfast. Rule number one: Never cook on an empty stomach.

  Mama Crunk made bacon two ways and bagels. The meaty kind for her and Papa Crunk and Smart Life bacon for Bianca and I. I'm an juice in the am type girl as well as a 80's baby so I had to have my orange juice in a Carebear's glass! I tried to tried to trade Bianca my 80's Garfield glass for her Carebear one but she was having no part of that. Oh well. Shortly after breakfast Sheridan stopped by with her zucchini bread. Paul talked about this bread on the drive to Jonesboro, so I knew I had to try it. It was awesome. Super soft, sweet with just the right amount of cinnamon. I now know why Paul raved about this bread. Even Papa Crunk raved about it.

  The first dish Bianca tackled was a Pecan Pie from Pies and Tarts with Hearts. I left Bianca to crust duty because I'm still not over my potluck disaster from last weekend. So instead, after the crust was made I rolled the dough out and made the leaves. I was sure I couldn't screw that part up. Mama Crunk also has a Ninja Blender so we used it instead of the food processor. Who passes up  a chance to use a Ninja?! Not this girl! This appliance is on my wishlist.

  After watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade it was time to tackle the unturkey. This is my first vegan Thanksgiving and first Thanksgiving in a few years so I wanted a replica turkey. Some agree with it some may not but I wanted it so I ordered one. I didn't have to search far because Imagine Vegan Cafe held a presale for them and I was first on the list. The unturkey came with all the fixins, stuffing and gravy. This unturkey was for lack of a better word was weird. It looked just like a turkey and even had a cavity for the stuffing. Bianca loved  announcing this to everyone, she told everyone to look at its butt. So when it was time to stuff it she was ready and we giggled the whole time. The stuffing was quick and easy. The directions said to boil 4 cups of waters with 4 tablespoons of olive oil then add the breadcrumbs, remove from heat and stir. It tasted great as is but it was missing that kick so i added a little cayenne pepper. I asked Paul, the spice king, taste it and it passed. He continued to eat it so I told him to just get a cup of it. That made him a happy camper. Now the gravy on the other hand needed a little TLC and when I say a little I mean a lot. I whipped out the sage, crushed red pepper, onion, cilantro, oregano and of course cornstarch because this gravy was like water. Once I doctored it up and got it to a thickness that made me happy the color was still too light. Soy sauce to the rescue! Soy sauce fixes everything plus it added just the right amount of salt.

  Every holiday Mama Crunk makes double of the traditional side dishes. One the old fashioned way and a vegan version. There a was hashbrown casserole and dressing,all of these recipes are in Cooking Crunk. Plus there was cranberry sauce, carrots with dill, green beans, sweet potatoes with cilantro and coconut milk, rolls, an Asian pear salad and a Dump Cake! Mama Crunk out did herself.

Now back to the unturkey. No one could get over the fact that it looked like a real turkey. It even looked like a turkey when we carved it. Scary. It was fiberous,  juicey and the "skin" was kinda chewy. Again no turkey was harmed. Vegan essentials created it using wheat gluten and soy isolate as well as spices. Next year if i opt for this as a main dish i'll have to use a favor injector because it did lack a bit of flavor. Other than that it was perfect for my first vegan Thanksgiving.

  After dinner we gathered around the tv to watch Too Cute Cats that Papa Crunk DVRed. Yes, we watched cat videos, what else do you do after Thanksgiving dinner? It was getting late so we had gathered our leftovers and hit the road for home. This Thanksgiving I am thankful for Bianca and her parents opening their home & kitchen to me and making my first vegan thanksgiving great

Thursday, November 28, 2013

A Jonesboro kinda Thanksgiving

Normally I loathe holidays because I spend them in the house alone and crying. My son always goes with his father's side of the family, I don't have a boyfriend and my friends are with their families, so Cassi is left alone. But not this holiday, back in October Bianca told Mama Crunk that I would be alone for Thanksgiving and she invited me to Jonesboro! So Wednesday, after work, we packed up Paul's truck and headed to Arkansas.

  I was only an hour drive was I wasn't to crazy from the drive but a Jonesboro night is different from a Memphis night. 21 degrees! Let me tell you Cassi was not a happy camper but the show must go one. After getting settled in Paul, Bianca and hit the town and I do mean town. I've never been to Jonesboro so the only thing i knew about it was it was in Arkansas and Bianca grew up there. Jonesboro is a DRY county, this was news to me. How do you drink in a dry county, I assumed we were going to a speakeasy. Nope wrong again, there is a downtown with a few bars but Bianca informed me we would need a MEMBERSHIP to drink. I was cold and confused, who needs a membership to drink.

  We ended up at Cregen's and when we walked in there was a notepad with signatures sitting on top of a barrel. It appeared we would have to sign in to drink. More confusion and maybe I said "we have to sign in" a little too loudly because a guy at the bar said "no go in, its ok I work here".  I'm not sure if he worked there or not but we walked in sheet unsigned ,membership be damned!

  After getting settled at a table and checking out the drink menu, Paul and Bianca settled on beer but I was freezing and Cregeen's has hot adult beverages. I ordered the Hot Cinnamon Apple, it is hot apple cider with cinnamon schnapps. Normally it comes with whipped cream but of course I had to leave that off. Even without the whipped cream it was still awesome. It was warm "cinnamony" apple goodness.

Of course the food menu was filled with meaty madness but they did offer a few veg-friendly options which was nice to see. Instead of ordering from the menu I decided to go rogue and picked a topping to eat. Skimming the menu I noticed one of the burgers had spicy sauerkraut as a topping. I was in! (Cregeen's is an Irish bar) The server said I could order it sans burger so of course I did. This sauerkraut was spicy goodness. It started off more sweet than sour but then the heat hit and when it hit it hit. I like spicy foods so this was perfect. Blanca on the on the other hand was having a bit of trouble with hers. We'll just blame it on the fact that she had a cold and is not a spice wuss.

  The group decided on another round and I didn't want another hot drink so I scanned the beer menu and they had a drink called Fuzzy Woody. Just because of the name I had to order it. Who doesn't want a Fuzzy Woody, ok I know a few guys who wouldn't but whateves I ordered it. The Fuzzy Woody is a Woodchuck beer with peach schnapps. Girly I know but it was delicious. I will continue to order this.

  Check back tomorrow to get the details on Thanksgiving day. There was a ton of vegan madness going on for my first vegan Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Who says vegans don't drink

  Once a month Bianca, author of the vegan cookbook Cooking Crunk, puts together a Vegan Drinks events. The only rules for choosing a location is that its has to have vegan food and drinks. This month we held our shindig at R. P. Tracks. Its a cool bar near U of M that has a good bar menu as plenty of vegan food. Something that should be a requirement near a college, if you ask me.

Our group is normally a younger crowd and we meet up right after work around 5:30.  Mainly because after working 8 hours who doesn't need a drink and yesterday mama needed a drink. We had a few newbies, one that even came as far as California but the regulars Autumn, Katie and Nathan were their as well.

  We arrived just in time happy hour. The special was a dollar off drinks so of course I decided on a wine and Tracks has boxed wine! It was the same Bota Box that I had at the potluck Saturday. It tasted a little different, maybe because I didn't get to pour it from the box myself but it was good wine all the same.  I only had one glass because it was a Tuesday and going to work with a hangover is not cute.

  I knew what I wanted, food wise before I hit the door. Buffalo Tofu Strips, I love theirs because they use extra firm tofu that is deep fried and dipped in Franks Red Hot Sauce. It was served with a side of celery and ranch dressing which is not vegan. That made me kinda sad because I may or may not have ordered it back in April, I don't remember. ( I was only a vegan for a month then. Mistakes were made.)

Just like any other Vegan Drinks meet up this one did not disappoint. We met new people, noshed on vegan bar food and had a few drinks.

I know I'm a day late but the winner of the cookie ornament is  girlgoesveggie with the peanut butter blossom cookie! My son loves anything with peanut butter. Email me so I can ship your prize.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Got me some wine, momma loves her wine!

  Now before anyone gets up in arms, I am not a booze hound. Normally when I am out I am the first one to stop drinking. I haven't found a beer a like, I can do without hard liquor but give me a good bottle or box of wine and I'm in! ( Yes there are good boxed wines)

  Last March on my way home from a P!nk concert I saw a billboard for Grinder's Switch Winery, it was Sunday, they were open so I was in. It was a bit of a detour off the highway but it was worth it. The tasting room is a cabin! It was beautiful, welcoming and filled with wine. There were also some pups on the property. After purchasing a few wine knick knacks and of course wine, I discovered that they have a wine club. I was already a member of another club but their wine is so awesome and affordable I couldn't pass up the chance to have it delivered to my door.

*Here is an overview from their website*

  ~Located on a 110 acre estate in the small town of Centerville, TN, Grinder’s Switch Winery is a country oasis that boasts of some of the best wine in region. Our wines have won awards and medals across the country including the prestigious “Wines of the South” competition.The vineyards and tasting room welcomes visitors far and wide and encourages guests to come and relax on the deck, take a walk through the vineyards or explore the surrounding countryside. The beautiful tasting room is nestled inside the cozy hand -built log cabin and offers an array of local hand made crafts and other unique gift items. Stop by today and enjoy the hospitality and the fantastic wine!~

  Their wine is delivered quarterly and you can choose from either a 3, 6 or 12 bottle shipment and  every with every shipment they include recipes as well as a gift. Next to wine there is nothing I love more than presents. The shipment I originally signed up for was the sweet but once I got it, it was a little to sweet for me but my girls Amy and Karen loved it. So this quarter I opted for the Dry, all you have to do is call before the shipment date and let them know your request. I am not sure if their wines are vegan but I am sure if you call and ask Jodie she can tell you. (Jodie commented below and informed me that their wines are indeed vegan, so stock up) She is awesome and will answer any question via phone or email. Plus she is a blogger so she is good in my book. Check out her blog Eatin on the Cheap.

  This month's shipment include one white and two reds. A Chardonnay which won a GOLD MEDAL, the Three – Eighty-Two which is a BRONZE MEDAL winner as well as a Colleytown. I can't find that one on their site which means I'm going to love and I won't be able to get more. That's always my luck. Also my gift this quarter is a holiday wine chiller, which is perfect for me because some days I don't have 30 minutes to wait for a bottle of wine to chill. I didn't receive any recipes this shipment but that may be because Jodie recently found out I was vegan. (she says I'm a brave woman lol)

  I can't wait until my Cookie Club party so I can uncork these babies. Make sure you check out their site and join the wine club. They are a great family owned winery, you won't be disappointed.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

When baking fails bring wine!

Once a month the Food awareness group that I am a member of hosts meetings at local vegan restaurants around town but this month we had a Thanksgiving themed potluck. There was food for days! Everything from soups to curried fingerling potatoes.

My planned dish a dessert was a dish from the newly released Pies and Tarts with Heart by Dynise Balcavage. The Easy Muffin Tin Pies seemed easy enough. I even purchased a new cupcake travel pan that also has a display. I previously made a pie crust for another recipe so I knew I could knock this recipe out. Yeah not so much. After three batches of pie dough I gave up and attempted another recipe. An apple cinnamon cupcake, another recipe i've made numerous times. Cassi failed again. At this point I was late to the meeting and near tears. I truly had a kitchen disaster on my hands.  I was defeated so I jumped in the car  with the plan to go to Whole Foods and grab something from their deli. My soul wouldn't allow me to take a pre made dish to a potluck. BOOZE! Every potluck needs booze so I went to Joe's to grab a bottle of wine. I walked in and asked for a cheap wine that will make up for my baking disaster. I was lead to a $12 bottle of Cab. It was pretty awesome.

By the time I arrived the potluck was in full swing. We had a large turn out and our host Barbara's house was amazing! It had a total Zen vibe to it and I was in love with it and totally mellowed out. So after a bit of mingling everyone grabbed a plate. This was my first meal of the day so my plate was loaded with vegan goodness and of course wine.

After the potluck ended a group of us had a major sweets craving and we missed out on the cookies that were in the spread. So we headed to Bianca's house to make doughnuts. I would not be defeated a third time! Success mini doughnuts for all! Bianca whipped up some pink icing and we used all the sprinkles we could find in her pantry. These mini wonders hit the spot and I redeemed myself in the kitchen.

Contest time!! I have a awesome circle of friends, a lot whom are artists. These chicks are great at what they do and with Christmas coming Funlola Coker made the most adorbs mini cookie ornaments. She is an alum of Memphis College of Art and makes mini food jewelry. Her work is amazing! Check out her tumbler page for more of her work. (Just click her name)  Want to win just leave me a comment telling me what your favorite holiday cookies is. To be fair i'll let Keithon pick the winner. I'll announce the winner on Tuesday.

Friday, November 22, 2013

My oh my what a pizza pie!

Normally Thursday nights I'm off "mommy duty" but last night Keithon was home so I decided to make his favorite dinner, PIZZA. Thursday is Ramen night but that's a soup and we know Keithon hates soup. Plus i'm not going to waste my "good" ramen on him! When I say ramen I'm not talking about that madness you get from Kroger for 29¢. But  anywho back to the pizza.

I attended Vegfest a few weeks ago and I picked up a few new release cookbooks as well as attending a few demos by the authors.  My favorite demo by far was by Annie & Dan Shannon, authors of the blog Meet The Shannons. They are so cute together that they almost make me what to remarry. ALMOST people almost! The dish they made is from their new cookbook Betty goes Vegan. It is the vegan version of the classic Betty Crocker book! Now we have all seen this classic book in someone's kitchen, now there is a vegan verison!

I have always hated Macaroni Salad or anything mayo based for that matter. Its the eggs. Cassi has always hated eggs, they are gross and they stink. So when they said the dish there were making was Black Pepper Tofu Macaroni Salad. Instant disappointment but they were just so cute and convincing that I gave it a try, after sniffing it of course. It didn't smell like mayo and it was freakin awesome! Anyone that can get me to eat a mayo based dish has my vote and a space on my bookshelf. So when Keithon picked the Margherita Pizza I threw caution to the wind yet again.

I was a little weirded out because it called for capers. I love capers but capers on pizza I wasn't to sure about it but I followed the recipe as written minus a few mistakes. Hey i'm still human. I discovered, after Keithon made the pizza sauce, that it didn't call for a tomato sauce. Since it was made I used it on mine, but Keithon followed the recipe right down to the capers.

The Shannons did it again! This pizza was amazing. The capers, garlic and sliced tomato are perfect together. The capers added the perfect amount of salt and bitterness. I prefered the recipe as written verses my tomato sauce based one. The recipe calls for Dayia cheese but I used my TJ cheese.

If you don't have a copy of Betty Goes Vegan get it! I call myself a pantry cook because if its not in my pantry i'm not using it or a may borrow it from Bianca. ( yes I have borrowed a tablespoon of a certain ingredient) Betty goes Vegan is a pantry cookbook, which I love and it is as thick as the original Betty Crocker cookbook. I'm sure if Betty was vegan she would be proud.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Let them eat soup!

Now before we start, I must say I fully intended NOT to post today but what can I say, here I am.

  There has been a coworker that has been mia at work for a week or so but today she returned, with her mouth wired shut. It wasn't my business so I didn't ask any questions as to what happened. Of course the fat girl in me asked, "What have you been eating?" Her reply "Nothings tastes right so i've been drinking Mt Dew."  I almost lost my shit! No ma'am you will not live on Mt. Dew!

So I put on my vegan cape and asked her what veggies she liked to figure out what soups I could make her. I LOVE soup! If it were up to me soup would be a food group all its own. Now as for Keithon, that boy loathes soup. He will go to bed with eating if I mention soup is for dinner. Sometimes I wonder if he is really mine.But we settled on a VEGAN Cream of Broccoli Soup. I was so excited because I get to make soup for someone that likes it. Its a very simple recipe that takes about 20 minutes or so. Of course I had to try it and if I do say so myself it is great. I will have to make a batch for myself.


2 bunches broccoli

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 onion, chopped

4 cups vegetable stock

1 russet potato, peeled, cut into 1” pieces

Spike, ( if you have it) Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


Remove and discard tough lower stalk of each broccoli. Peel remaining stalk. Finely chop stalk and florets (you should have about 4 cups). Set aside.

Heat oil in a medium heavy pot over medium heat. Add onion and sweat until soft and translucent, about 10 minutes. Add stock broccoli, potato and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until potato is almost tender, about 12 minutes. Remove soup from heat and purée in a blender until smooth. Season to taste with salt, pepper and Spike.

  Now Keithon and I had plain ol  black bean nachos for dinner but nachos aren't nachos without liquid cheese! Cheese was the one thing I missed when I went vegan. I had tried alot of vegan cheeses and of the course the one I am crazy about is from Trader Joe's. Sadly Memphis does not have one so when I get a chance to hit up a TJ's i'm stock up.

The recipe I discovered is pretty simple and i'm sure it will work with Dayia. I use one cup of soy milk and one cup of cheese. The trick is to keep stirring over low heat. Never let it boil. Add your favorite spices and you are good to go. If your cheese sauces seems a little runny sprinkle in about a teaspoon of corn starch to it. Once you take it off the heat it will start to thicken up.

Tomorrow i'm taking a blogging break so check back on Friday to see what i'm up to. Maybe just maybe i'll have a contest!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Its a Celebration

No, its not my birthday but it is another important day in my life. Its my VEGANVERSARY! Today I have been a vegan for 8 months and let me tell it has been a journey.

Now the first question people ask  when they find out I'm vegan is why did I do it? (no I don't announce i'm vegan, I just wait for someone to offer me food) The main reason I became vegan is health reasons. Yes, I love animals and want to protect them all but I have to accept that I can't and take care of my body so I can be the best Cassi I can be. My friends have always known me as a health nut (fast food is the devil to me) but when my eyes were opened when I learned how chicken was for lack of a better term killed. It hit me, I don't want that crap in my body. What you but in your body is what you get out.

When I decided to take the vegan leap I decided to go all in. I went RAW vegan. I borrowed cookbooks from my friend Bianca, my friends posted recipes on my Facebook wall, it was great. Then a cold snap hit, I missed soup and I wanted hot food. So no more raw vegan, normal vegan would have to do and I have barely looked back.

Now to celebrate my big day I made two favorite dishes. Chow mei fun, spring rolls and a glass of Charles Shaw "2 Buck Chuck". Who knew 2 Buck Chuck would be vegan?! I picked it up months ago on my first magical trip to Trader Joe's because it was cheap and if it tasted like crap, hey I only wasted 3 bucks. Let me tell you this wine is awesome! Best 3 bucks i've ever spent. Ok now back to the food.

Chow mei fun has always been my favorite because of the thin rice noodles. I always order it spicy, if its not spicy its not right but making it at home is fast and easy! Soak the noodles in warm water for about 10 minutes drain and place on a towel so you get all the water out. While that is happening saute your favorite veggies and then combine. Simple, yummy and ready in about 10 minutes.

Now my beloved spring rolls take a bit more work but once you get the hang of it you will be able to do it in your sleep. Spring Rolls are my favorite because they are not fried, I've never really cared for fried foods. (I'm sure a piece of Bianca's soul just died because I said that. That girl loves her fried food.) Spring rolls are fun because you can add whatever makes you happy. I love bean sprouts in mine,  my son loves tofu sticks in his so I put tofu in his and load up on the bean sprouts for mine.

Here is a recipe, trust me its not as hard as it seems. You can find the rice paper wrapper and noodles at Asian markets. If you can't find the items you need in the market just tell them you want to make spring rolls and they will be happy to help you. I use a mixture of soy sauce and chili garlic sauce to dip mine in. Keithon likes a little Sriracha with his. That's my boy!


Cellophane noodles (Bean thread noodles) 1 tablespoon seasoned rice vinegar Red or Boston lettuce leaves (leaves separated, rinsed, dried, and tough ribs discarded Fresh mint leaves, washed, dried, and coarsely chopped Fresh basil leaves, washed, dried, and coarsely chopped Fresh cilantro leaves, washed, dried, and coarsely chopped Coarsely shredded carrots Spring Roll Wrappers (rice paper rounds), 8 1/2-inches in diameter**


Cover bean thread noodles with hot water and let soak 15 minutes; drain well in a sieve or colander. Pat dry between paper towels and toss with rice vinegar. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

(1) Spring Roll Wrapper or Rice Paper Wrappers come out of the package hard and inedible, and they must be soaked in water before using.

Fill a pie plate or bowl with lukewarm water. Immerse rice paper in warm water for 10 seconds to soften them up just until soft but still flexible (work with one rice paper at a time, being gentle as they break easily when brittle). Remove from water and place rice paper on a kitchen towel and let rest approximately 30 seconds until it's more pliable.

(2) Arrange one piece of lettuce on bottom half of soaked rice paper, folding or tearing to fit and leaving a 1-inch border along edge. Top with some of the seafood, noodles, mint, basil, cilantro, and carrot (don't overfill). Make sure the ingredients are not clumped together in the center, but evenly distributed from one end to the other. Note: The fillings may be placed on the rice paper in any order your desire.

(3) Pressing down on the filling with your fingers (pressing down on the ingredients is particularly important because it tightens the roll), fold the bottom end of the sheet (side nearest you) over the top of the fillings and roll into a cylindrical shape halfway.

(4) Fold the left and right sides inward and complete rolling the remaining half (If rice paper is too dry to seal, moisten unsealed edges with a little more hot water). Transfer summer roll to a plate, seam-side down, and cover with dampened paper towels. Make additional roll in the same manner.

Now a celebration wouldn't be a celebration without a CUPCAKE and Mama loves her cupcakes!  Bianca surprised me last night with this yummy treat from an up and coming vegan baker. Now go whip up some spring rolls, you'll thank me later.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Living a Conscious Box life

I LOVE when my friends think about me! While I was in Atlanta, for Vegfest, my friend Aisha posted a link to Conscious Box on my facebook wall. I tried to order once before but they didn't carry a vegan box but now they do, as well as a gluten-free box! So I had to sign up. Being a "new" vegan I am still in the transition phase. Meaning, yes I still have some non vegan beauty and household products but instead of throwing them out I am slowly phasing them out and that my friends is a process.

Conscious is a small family owned company, which I love and the Conscious Box staff works hard at finding the best businesses that support a sustainable, healthy, and fulfilling lifestyle. They scour the marketplace to identify businesses both large and small, and use their experience in the sustainable goods industry to find products they know we'll love, every month. Plus, their new system watches what we received and helps prevent any duplicate items.

I was excited to get off work because I knew when I got home my box would be waiting on me. (they send tracking info and I tracked it like a stalker) When I pulled it from the mailbox I was a little disappointed because the box was kinda small but after I opened it that feeling was gone. Just like me, great things come in small packages.

When I opened the box a familar smell hit me, after digging around I discovered what it was.  It was the soap from Harmony Acres soap co. and the African Black Soap from Coastal Scents! Lemongrass and Shea butter. I. Love. Lemongrass. I cook with it, my shea butter has lemongrass in it and now I can bathe with it. Goodbye Bath and Body works hello Harmony Acres!

This box has a TON of items that I can't wait to try. Along with beauty products there is a snack from Yogavive that is only 35 calories per servings! The 1.4 oz bag of Apple Chips is 4 servings, I'm sure I'll nosh on the whole bag instead of just 1 serving but whatevs. The second awesome thing about this snack is it is CHOCOLATE and mama loves her chocolate!  Even though I ordered the vegan box I flipped it over because most chocolate has freakin dairy in it and that hurts my soul. Not this product its totally vegan and organic!

The next product that caught my eye was the Reboot. Its a destress detox that is meant to combat oxidative stress. What I hear is "drink this after a night of drink" and upon flipping it over that is one of the bullet points on what it does. I want to drink just to see how I feel afterwards. I'm sure i'll order more of this product because it states its good after workouts, for weight maintance and sun exposure and its only 20 calories. Its loaded with all types of good antioxidants. Dandelion root, licorice root and angelica root just to name a few.

There is also a 3 pack of Artisan Teas from Mighty Leaf, a lip balm from Ivre de Fleurs,  a natural perfume from Pour le Monde called Empower, eye therapy from Better Botanical and a sleep aid from MRM.

Conscious Box is a monthly subscription program that is $19.99 and ships free 2 day priority mail. They also take "a penny for your thoughts" seriously, when you sign up for an account, you can rate the products in your monthly box and earn money to use on future purchases from their store!

I can't wait to see what next month has in store. With the holidays coming they even have a gift box option, maybe I get a few for friends or just hoard them for myself.