Happy 4th of July Weekend Everyone!

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When starting off this holiday weekend don’t forget to prepare yourself for the BBQ vegan style!  The worst is when you show up to a BBQ, and then you realize there was nothing for you anyway, and you probably should just eat the lettuce.

That’s why you have to bring your own stuff.

Featured above is a photo from my Instagram (@razzledazzlelove) from my last BBQ.  They are fabulous veggies skewers!  They have onions, potatoes, tofu, tomatoes, peppers, and zucchini on them.  I would recommend cooking the potatoes first in another fashion, maybe baking them before putting them on the skewer or they do not cook at the same rate as the other veggies.

If you’d rather not put in the effort for skewers, there are those sweet grilling baskets that you can buy for anywhere from $15-$30 in a grilling section of almost any store.

Happy and safe BBQ-ing to all!

Cruise Adventures and Being Vegan

IMG_20150327_085715So I went on a cruise… And the Vegan part, lets just say it was way easier than I expected.

I used to flip through magazines and say “oh hey look there is a vegan cruise! But it’s 9x the cost of a regular cruise” and then not go on a cruise.  This time, I said, “The heck with it” and took my chances with the run of the mill budget cruise.

So it was a Carnival cruise… and first of all, the fruit selection was AMAZING.  The fact that there are options at any hour of the day/night for the duration of the cruise is also AMAZING.  Additionally, on Carnival, the room service was free, so even when the only thing that was open was the pizza place and the ice cream parlor at 1 am, I could order free fresh fruit and oatmeal delivered right to my room!  I mean, I didn’t even have to walk to get my vegan fix, how great is that?

Also on cruises, the BF and I try and jump start our healthy lifestyle choices.  I would say this is my favorite part.  So healthy fruits, fresh raw options, and some jogging with a side of salsa dancing?  I’ll take it.  We went jogging on the track, swimming in the pools, dancing in the clubs, and even visited the gym to check it out.  Overall, cruises make me happy 😀

Oh, and if you go to the service desk when you first get on the boat, and tell them you have special dietary requirements – they tell the kitchen! And at your dinner time, since you have the same wait staff every night, they come up to you and alert you that they were told about your food preferences.  I was offered to select an entirely vegan cooked meal not on the menu for every single night.  The only caveat was that I had to let them know the night before, but they usually gave me two or three choices to pick from.

Needless to say, I will be cruisin’ more often for vacations!  Less work for food prep, and fresh fruit around the clock! Sign me up!

 

Vegan Nacho Cheese

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I have been wanting to make this vegan nacho cheese recipe for awhile… It was posted on my Facebook page from a friend literally a year ago.  I know, I’m slow.  Anyway, Alissa’s recipes over at Connoiseurus Veg’s website are always pretty awesome looking, so it’s about time I made this one.

I tried it out on Christmas eve.  Then tried it out again the other night.  I must say, it was pretty consistently good, even with my variations.

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The recipe calls for 1 sweet potato.  The first time that was what I used, and it was tasty.  The second time, I diced up one sweet potato and two other potatoes that I picked out at the super market, and it still came out tasty.

So I diced up the potatoes and boiled for about 15 minutes until they got soft.  Then I drained and mashed.  After that, all you have to do is add some flavor!

For the flavor, I put in various amounts of sriracha sauce, lemon juice, soy sauce, salt, garlic powder, and nutritional yeast flakes.  Alissa has measurements on her original recipe, but I find it’s just better for me to do it by taste.  For example, I held back on the sriracha sauce a bit because I don’t like things too spicy.  I also used less olive oil to reduce the amount of fat going into it. And I didn’t peal my potatoes.

Basically, this recipe is awesome – all you have to do is mix a few things together and in about 25 minutes you’re done and dipping nachos in this cheese!

I see a lot of potential here!

Chickpea Salad

 

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This Chickpea salad was modified from Oh She Glows.  The origional has additional ingredients like onion, pepper, cilantro, and peanuts.  My sister and I chose to make this salad with other ingredients because we like the flavors of carrots and tomatoes better.  Either way, I am sure the original is great too! It was simple to make, and easy to modify, which makes it a perfect salad to me!

Snacks Snacks and More Snacks!

It seems like I eat a lot of snacks 🙂  I have to make sure throughout the day that I am getting enough calories.  So between meals I have little fruit salads, or veggie platters, or hummus plates.   I’m wondering how everyone else makes sure they get enough calories and what kind of snacks they eat?

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Raw Vegan Brownies – Beware – lots of sugar.. But soooo goood!

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YES!

AMAZING!

SUGAR!

That’s how I feel right now.  I am amazed.  I just made the no-bake raw vegan brownies from minimalist baker, which you can find here.

As always, I did things a bit differently, but they still turned out fantastic!!

I always use my Ninja blender, because that’s all I have for mixing.

I used ALL the dates, and I didn’t put them in the blender a few at a time.  I just threw half in, blended, and then the other half right after.  No time for single dates!

I used only half the coconut oil since I don’t like it that much.

I used a little less sugar, and a finely granulated sugar not a powdered sugar, so my frosting came out more dense and less fluffy.

I didn’t have any baking pans available today and I didn’t want to wash them, so I shaped my brownies into a heart to surprise bf when he gets home.  Hooray!

 

Here are some snapshots along the way:

No Bake Vegan Brownies Progression Photos

BBQ Tempeh Sandwhiches

 

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Quick and easy BBQ taste! And on a nice vegan English muffin.  Now that’s what I needed for my carb-and-main-stream-food-craving!

I basically crumbled my Tempeh into a pan, added some onions, peppers, and some BBQ sauce, and heated with a tablespoon of oil.  Then added some salt and pepper and put it on my toasted English muffin.  It took about ten minutes to make.

It’s Sushi Time

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I have wanted to make sushi for so long! I always thought, why am I paying so much money to get sushi, when I can make it at home exactly the way I want it?  Well the answer to that is because I had no idea how to make it.  Now I do.

I went to the Asian store and bought two bamboo rolling sticks, sushi rice, nori (which is the seaweed paper), and of course I had to get a cute plate to put it on.  Then I sliced up some veggies, and watched this tutorial on youtube, and off I went!

My final product, shown below, came out great before I cut it.  I didn’t have a sharp enough knife to cut through the nori without squishing the sushi a bit, so that is now on the shopping list for next time.  It still tasted great!  I’d like to experiment by adding different veggies for next time.  I am so excited!

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My Best Banana Ice Cream Yet – Raspberry

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It was so delicious, so tart, and I spent extra time blending it so I didn’t add more almond milk.  That gave it a creamier consistency.  Fantastic!

2.5 Bananas (some frozen)

12 oz. Raspberries (frozen)

A splash of almond milk to help it blend.