5.28.2013

Have you tried Daiya's new vegan cheese slices? Now you can!

In case you've been living under a cruelty-free rock for the last three months or so, you know the infamous vegan company Daiya recently debuted their latest collection of goodies. From pizza and cream cheese to the long-awaited cheese slices, the vegans in my area have long awaited these treats.

And finally, they're here.

Actually, they've been here for about three weeks or so, but I wanted to put them to the test (aka consume mass amounts of them) before I committed to making them my next giveaway.

And guess what, they did not disappoint.

Two or three months ago I read a review from a fellow vegan who had a chance to taste test Daiya's swiss, provolone and cheddar cheese slices at the natural foods expo. I was less than enthused to read her less than positive review of the new options.

Not to discredit that blogger, but either she ain't eating what I am or Daiya did some serious recipe twisting.

Because I'm pretty sure I came up with any and every possible way to use those vegan provolone slices.

Between grilled cheeses, vegan breakfast sammiches and even good ole' apple pie (did you know people put cheddar cheese on apple pie!?), my absolute favorite concoction we created in the Chubby Vegan household was our Daiya provolone toasted bruschetta. (We even reinvented the toppings using green onions, cherry tomatoes and cucumbers from our first-ever CSA box.

The problem with Daiya slices? Not everyone has had the opportunity (or availability) to try them.

That's where I come in.

I'm going to ship (cold, freezer packs and all) one of each kind to a very (VERY) lucky winner. And not just that. Oh no no. I take my vegan cheese very serious. I'm going to throw every variety of vegan shred and vegan wedge Daiya has to offer. That's close to $75 in products, ya'll.

How do you win this gem?

It's easy! For starters, live in the United States (sorry overseas friends, I don't know how this travels long distances). Just become a fan of Chubby Vegan Mom on this blog, my Chubby Vegan Mom Twitter or my newly-created Chubby Vegan Mom Facebook page and tell me what fabulous cheesy delight you'll be making if you win. It's that simple! Feel free to do all of the above if you want more chances to enter!

And, just in case that's not enough, feel free to share with all your friends that you're entering this contest and they should too!

Already a fan of all three? Just leave a comment answering what cheesy deliciousness you'll be cooking  up on any social media platform and share away!

A winner will be chosen by random on Friday, June 7. Please make sure to include an email address if it's not already connected to your account. (You'd hate to win but not be able to be notified, am I right?)

Congrats to Heather, who is a fan on Facebook and Twitter! She will be making a  bacon, cheese and tomato sandwich with her winnings! I'll be sending an email to you shortly to gather information.

Don't worry, we've got another awesome giveaway just around the corner! Keep your eyes peeled to Facebook for the next announcement!

Let the cruelty-free, cheese-filled games begin!

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5.21.2013

Green garbage pizza, more delicious than it sounds

My husband and I have been participating in our CSA (community supported agriculture) for nearly a month now and so far, we're doing pretty well. We get 20lbs of random, fresh, organic produce delivered to our door every Wednesday evening.

It's kind of like having mini-Christmas every week, as we have no idea what's going to be stored in the big box.

So far, we've been knee deep in several kinds of greens; butter, romaine and red leaf lettuce, spinach, cabbage, kale and radish greens to be exact. Apparently greens are all the rage this time of year, so we've been trying to come up with new and delicious ways to use all this stuff without having a salad every night for dinner (although, I could probably use a few more salads in my diet).

Besides the chunky, green concoctions smoothies my husband has been making in the mornings for breakfast, we've sauteed, baked and wrapped our fair share of greens.

But because we fell in love with a pizza pan you toss on the grill last week while out shopping, we decided a green pizza was in order.

And because we had bright, red radishes with all sorts of fluff greens attached (yes, you can eat these bad boys for an extra dose of peppery flavor), we didn't want to waste anything we paid for. So I strapped Braeburn on (because it's the only way to get things done around this house) and started kneading some dough. If you can't figure out what to do with a bunch of ingredients, throw them on a pizza.

Hence, the green garbage pizza. It's not for the faint of heart or tongue, but it's a great way to eat pizza without feeling totally terrible about it.


Green garbage pizza
(Makes one 12-inch pizza)
Wheat Flatbread Pizza Crust Ingredients:
3 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups water
1 package active yeast (it's a little over 2 tsp)
1 TBS pure maple syrup
1 TBS olive oil
2 tsp garlic powder

Radish Green Vegan Pesto
2 BIG handfuls of radish greens (just cut them off fresh radishes and wash them thoroughly)
1/3 cup nutritional yeast
1/3 cup raw cashews
1/3 cup olive oil (you can add more/take away to create a consistency you want, more olive oil results in a slightly soupier pesto)
2 TBS water
2 tsp lemon juice
Dash of salt and pepper

Topping Ingredients:
1 bunch of fresh asparagus
Half a bunch of spinach (1/2 pound, we used regular leaf, not baby, cut into skinny strips)
2 green onions (diced)
2 roma tomatoes (cut into thin slices)
4 radishes, diced
1/3 cup Daiya mozzarella cheese

Directions:
Mix together all the dry crust ingredients. Add water, olive oil and maple syrup. Knead and roll into a medium-sized ball. Set aside while you prepare the other components.

Chop up asparagus spears into small pieces and boil for 10-15 minutes, or until soft. Drain water and set aside.

In a food processor (or really, really strong blender), toss in radish greens, nutritional yeast, cashews, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper and water. Pulse until a pesto-paste consistency forms.

Take your ball of dough and cover it in a light film of flour. Roll out into a 10-12 inch pizza crust (the larger you make it the thinner the crust). Spread your radish green pesto all over the dough (this is your sauce). Sprinkle Daiya cheese over the pizza. Top with cooked asparagus, spinach, onions, tomatoes and radishes.

You can bake this in an oven on 375 for 15-20 minutes or you can use an awesome grill pizza pan and toss it on the grill (around 350-375 degrees) for 10-15 minutes.

I highly recommend the grill pan, the crust was quite possibly the best we'd ever had.

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5.19.2013

Bucket lists, 10Ks, bachelors and bachelorettes

I think I need to be one of those people that carries around a little notebook.

Over the last two weeks I've had so many fabulous post ideas and witty quips to delight you with, but that's the problem, they're just ideas.

Things have been so utterly busy in the Chubby Vegan household I've hardly had a minute of time to myself. Between our daughter turning three, planning a bachelor/ette combo party for our best friends, running a 10K with my cousin and planning a birthday party for my daughter and niece (they were born the same day 15 minutes apart) over Memorial Day weekend, it's been a very busy May. In fact, June is shaping up to be as busy as well, from a wedding, a birthday party for our best friends' daughter to a half marathon.

Normally, I thrive for business. I enjoy the chaos, burning the midnight oil and all those other cliches, but honestly, I'm ready for a vacation. Speaking of vacation, I'd love to take a mini-family weekend away, but I don't have the slightest clue where we should go. If any of you have taken a long weekend getaway with the family feel free to clue me in on what the best trips to take are!

My cousin and I ran our first 10k this past Saturday. We thought it would be a brilliant idea to work our way up to the half marathon we're running in October. Which, it kind of was, except for the fact that I'm scared to death to double the amount we just did. If 6.2 miles felt hard then how am I going to get through 13? Despite being both thrilled and scared, I'm excited to cross this off my bucket list. And you better believe I'm going to be getting one of those sticker things for my car.

I don't actually have a bucket list. There are things I know I want to do in my life, it just seems like now is a great time to start them. I'm not quite sure what else will accompany a half-marathon on my list, but I'm going to start honing in on the things that are really important to me.

My husband and I are in a wedding in two weeks. Our best friends are getting hitched and we've got best man and maid-of-honor duties. While we're still tweaking our speeches for the reception, we got to check-off one of the most fun parts about being in their wedding this past weeked: throwing the bachelor/ette party. They opted to have one big ole' throwdown together, so it made it even more fun and convenient to be planning with Chubby Vegan Dad.

Weddings and birthdays have a way of shining light on the simple, but amazing things we should be celebrating the hell out of every chance we get. Sure, Pear might not remember the lengths we've gone to plan a birthday party for her every year, but we know and we'll always have the memories, so that makes it worth it. We'll keep the memories for her when she's too young to remember.

I promise to squeeze a little more blogging time in though, because I've got a lot of fun stuff ahead. And as I mentioned on my Facebook page, I've got a killer giveaway coming up involving Daiya cheese that you don't want to miss.

Unless you don't like Daiya. Which, is basically unheard of.

In the meantime, I'm going to be getting up close and personal with my flip camera. Which means, you guessed it, a whole bunch of vlogging fun headed your way.

Are you on the edge of your seats yet? You should be, we're about to have some fun over here.

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5.13.2013

Do you like snacks? Who doesn't? Then this box of goodies is for you!

Every now and then someone fabulous emails me and showers me with vegan goodies.

It's a rough life blogging about veganism, parenting and pooping infants.

This month I had the opportunity (I should really say privilege) to receive devour and review the Vegan Cuts snack box!

Not hip to Vegan Cuts? It's essentially like the world's greatest thing for vegans, vegetarians or people who like delicious and healthy plant-based goods. Think Groupon meets anything your vegan heart could desire.

Anyway, in addition to some awesome deals, they offer a monthly delivery service for their snack box. The snack box is $19.95 per month with free shipping to the U.S. (but fear not worldwide friends, it's $8 extra to ship it to Canada and $15 worldwide). So basically, every month a box containing 7-10 kick-butt, vegan goodies will arrive on your doorstop. Not down with gluten? No problem! The company strives to make sure roughly 80% of the snacks included are gluten-free.

It's like the vegan snack fairy, for reals.

The best part? (Other than the delicious goodies of course). Not knowing what amazingness is going to show up at your house!



The snack box we received at the Chubby Vegan Household contained a plethora of awesome stuff, from sweet, to salty to olivey. Haha, no really!

My favorite thing was the tiniest, cutest jar of Milas Food's bruschetta blend. I dipped some carrots from our CSA in it and boy did it jazz those bad boys up.

Chubby Vegan Dad couldn't wait to get his hands on the 22 Days Protein Powder. It was a gluten-free drink mix that he added a banana to for a delicious chocolatey, peanut butter breakfast.

I also had to stop him from tearing into my 22 Days PB & Chocolate Chip Nirvana Bar, because it was that good (and for you!)

Our little girl was all about the sweet potato chips we got from Food Should Taste Good, and I really can't blame her because after we finished off that bag we actually bought a larger one at our health foods store!

Honestly though, the box was full of such great stuff it's hard to pick what the absolute best was. .

We had Meow Meow Tweet's lip balm in Rosemary Eucalyptus (see, it's not all food and games, it's vegan products too!), Oloves deli-style snackable olives with a mega-low calorie count, Teeccino Herbal Coffee Tea Bags and some Skinny Pop (guilt-free) popcorn! We were super pumped to find the Skinny Pop at our local Sam's Club, we got a bag big enough to bathe in.

And I can't forget about Chicago Vegan Foods Teese! It's another non-dairy cheese in the vegan market and I was thrilled to finally be able to try it (it's hard to find around these parts).

Not sure if the snack box is for you?

Quit guessing and just order one. You can cancel at anytime and seriously, it's hooked us on so many good products that we didn't even know were out there.

And if you won't do it for yourself, might I suggest you do it for someone else (or me, whatever, it was delicious)? It would make a superb gift for that picky vegan or healthy eater in your life that you have no idea what to purchase for.

It's the gift that keeps on giving, literally.

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5.05.2013

Vegan buttery berry bars (that won't make you TOO fat)

So Chubby Vegan Dad and I signed up for a CSA (community supported agriculture). We're lucky to be within driving distance to so much great, fresh, organic produce, but even better, we're lucky enough to live so close that they deliver!

We signed up for the "standard" option, which means we get 20lbs of awesome organic produce every single Wednesday. We didn't do the full-on locavore program yet (we make our own baby food and we need a constant stream of stables like sweet potatoes and bananas), so a minimal amount of our box get's filled with wholesale organic produce.

It's really the best of all worlds.

So because we're getting all vegged out in our household (you should see some of the smoothies Chubby Vegan Dad is coming up with), we're basically making it a point to use up every last stem of produce we get each week.

We were lucky enough to have a fresh batch of AH-MAZ-ING (I know it's not spelled like that, but that's the only way to really convey how amazing it was) raspberries, so I snatched them up before Chubby Vegan Dad could steal them for one of his "concoctions."

And because we're getting gobs of produce now, we're trying to eat a lot healthier (that and we want to be the slightly-less Chubby Vegan Clan), so that means I'm trying to find the right balance between ridiculously tasty desserts, but not the kind that are going to give me an extra butt cheek.

These bars totally fit the bill.

They're perfect for breakfast or for an after-dinner dessert; they're filling, but not fatty filling and they're sweet, but not too toothache-inducing.



Buttery berry bars
(makes 12 bars)
Ingredients: 
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour (quick tip, if you can't find any, just mix a 2:1 ration of whole wheat flour and cake flour)
1 1/2 cups oat flour (I just took some regular oats and threw them in my Vitamix, it pulsed them enough to be powdery and floury, but left some little flakes for a nice texture profile.
2/3 cup applesauce
3 TBS pure maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 TBS vegan butter (I used Earth Balance)
2 TBS coconut sugar
(maybe a little water depending on the consistency of your applesauce)
2 cups raspberries (fresh or frozen) or some other delicious berry blend

Directions::
Preheat the oven to 350. Spray or grease a square 9X9 pan. Mix together your flours and then separate, placing one third of the mixture in a small bowl and the rest in a large bowl. In the large bowl, add applesauce, maple syrup and vanilla extract. Stir the good-ole-fashioned way (by hand with a big spoon) until the mix reaches a doughy consistency. If the applesauce you used was a little on the thick or chunky side, simply add about 2 TBS water to the dough. Once this is mixed, press into the bottom of your greased pan.

If your berries are large, smash them up in a bowl before placing on your crust. I found a nice combo of berry goo and berry pieces was the right consistency. After they're smashed, spoon berry mixture over top the crust.

In the small bowl, cut in vegan butter (or toss it into your food processor for like a three-second pulse) and blend until a crumb forms. Take this crumb (it'll be a little sticky) and sprinkle it over your berry mixture (this won't completely cover the top, you'll see berry mixture peeking through). Top with your coconut sugar (it'll give the crumbly top a nice crunch) and bake on 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Take out and cut after it cools. Enjoy in the morning or after dinner.

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