I have written about Native Foods before. I love them. Like, love love. I want to open one here in Vancouver. Not so that I can promote the brand and make some cash, but so I could eat there every single day. And honestly, I think I would. I have never not loved anything I have ordered at Native Foods and they make all their own products right down to their vegan “cheese” sauce. I am always amazed at the selection of items available and have come to have a few favorites that I am always looking forward to trying. So naturally about 15 minutes after me and The Kid touched down at LAX we were in my sister’s car heading to the closest Native Foods location for a quick lunch. I promised myself that I would try something new (even though the jackfruit sandwich and oatmeal cookie cream pie are pretty much my last meal items) and as luck would have it (and to my horror) my favorite items were not available. So I decided I would give the Classic Deli Reuben a try.
It was awesome. I got all the sauces on the side and didn’t really have much on the sandwich. I really quite liked it the way it came without all the extras. I did add a little bit of the Russian dressing and it was awesome. Of course I got fries on the side as well. My Kid ordered the “chicken” nuggets (as always) with a side of veggies and brown rice which I love. Kids meals don’t always need to come with fries right?
I was devastated when I found out that my favorite dessert wasn’t ready yet. I begrudgingly decided to try the peanut butter parfait. It was pretty ridiculous as well. It had layers of a peanut butter mousse with banana bread type crumbles and chocolate chips. It was also gluten free which was a nice added bonus. I can’t believe I ate the whole thing. But oh, I did.
If you want affordable, fast, amazing vegan food you must try Native Foods. They are constantly expanding and there is a location in a number of major U.S cities now. I’m hoping and praying Seattle is next. Native Foods are you listening!? Please!! Please!!!!!!!
Please let me start off my saying, my favorite treat is ice cream. Let me also point out that most vegan ice cream tastes more like ice than cream. SIGH. I was recently visiting my sister and stinking cute new nephew in L.A and had The Kid with me so naturally we had to find ice cream one afternoon. I also needed to try on some new running shoes so I dragged The Kid along with the promise (re: bribe) of going for ice cream right after I was done. I asked the store manager if there was anywhere nearby for decent ice cream and he suggested a new place called Quenelle. He mentioned that the owner was somebody well known and it would probably be pretty good.
Feast your jealous eyes on this bad boy.
Oh Em Gee. It was so good. This was the soy based peanut butter fudge and it was pretty much to DIE for. The Kid selected a traditional option of marscapone vanilla and he inhaled it. I really think this was the best thing I ate on our trip (more posts to come on that) and I hit all my favorite spots. L.A is probably the most vegan friendly city in the United States with New York City vying for the top spot. Regardless, if you want a serious treat (they also had about a dozen other gourmet flavours as well as some popsicle options!) head over to Quenelle next time you are in the Los Angeles area. You will love me forever. And maybe them too….
A good friend of mine is trying to eat healthier these days and has been doing great but has had some challenges finding new healthy foods that actually taste good and appeal to her whole family. Wait what? Hubs and kids that don’t want to eat healthy foods. Weird… Sigh.
But I digress. I had her and her beautiful kids over this week and thought I would try something that had caught my eye this week on findingvegan. Raw, vegan, chocolate pudding. Made from avocado no less. I was in. I found about two dozen different recipes and I was a bit surprised to find that so many of them called for totally different ingredients and quantities of ingredients. I threw caution to the wind and mixed a whole bunch together to create this beauty:
The friend loved it. My kid did too. Hubs thought it was not so chocolatey. But what does he know anyways. You can play with the cinnamon and the amounts of cacao and maple syrup to make it more your bag.
Here’s what you need:
2 ripe avocados
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup Pure Maple Syrup (you could add more if you like a sweeter pudding)
1 Tbsp Pure Vanilla
1/4 (heaping) cup Cacao powder
Pinch of sea salt (or kosher if that’s all you have)
Fresh berries for garnish (I used raspberries and it was perfect!)
Here’s what you do:
Toss everything in the food and blend until very well blended. You may need to scrape down the sides of the bowl once or twice in the blending process. Fill 4-6 bowls with pudding and refrigerate for at least an hour to set. Garnish with fresh berries and nom nom nom!!!
Do these three words usually go together? I suppose not for most people, but honestly, these raw/vegan/gluten free chocolate macaroon are unbelievable. During my yoga teacher training one of my beautiful and talented classmates decided to make a treat for the group one day. Not surprisingly, there were about 17 different food allergies/preference/aversions/sensitivities and general healthy eating-ness going on. She made these chocolate macaroons and they were so yummy. When we all asked her to post the recipe I was tickled to find out they were inspired by my favorite store bought (Whole Foods of course) vegan macaroons by Hail Mary. I knew I had to make them again. I’ve made them twice already and everybody I’ve shared them with have loved them and were super impressed that they were vegan, let alone raw and vegan. I think I have found my go-to treat. And of course, as always they are ridiculously easy to make. I say that a lot but seriously, there are so few ingredients and they are super simple and you likely have everything you need to make these in your kitchen already. Now, the big question, what did the Hubs think? Oh well, you know, he hates coconut. These little bad boys are all mine baby. Oh yaaaaaaaa.
Here’s what you need:
1 heaping Cup Unsweetened Shredded Coconut
1/4 Cup Coconut Oil
5 Tbsp Cocoa Powder
2 Tbsp Pure Maple Syrup
1/2 tsp Vanilla (gluten free if that’s how you roll)
Here’s what you do:
Put the above listed items in your food processor. Blend for 15-30 seconds until well mixed. Scoop with a small scoop or roll into little balls and place on a dish lined with parchment paper. Toss in the fridge for half an hour. Devour!! I put mine in an air tight container once they were cool but make sure you leave them in the fridge. You could freeze these as well if you’re so inclined. I have sensitive teeth so that wouldn’t be my first choice but hey, nice to have options.
So let me first say that I’m not a huge fan of donuts. I would pretty much choose any pastry over a donut. There are good vegan donuts, great ones even. I like Mighty-O’s but then I have to drive all the way to Seattle and no donut is worth a two hour drive. Actually, I would like to restate that, there is now a donut that is worth a two hour drive. Cartems Donuterie in Vancouver is beyond words. Let me instead show you some photos and then try to do them justice with a short spiel about how amazing they are and why
Okay so that little beauty up there. With the flowers on it. That was the vegan one. I’m not going to lie, all the other ones were not, but honestly, who cares. Look. At. That. Donut. I believe it was a Earl Grey and it was ridiculous. Unlike most vegan donuts, it was light and fluffy and had a sweet but not cloyingly sweetness to it. The rose petals (which I hate) did not lend any rose-y flavours thank goodness and it was just perfect. They also had Gluten Free AND Vegan ones but since I don’t have a gluten intolerance I didn’t go that route, but there is something for everyone. The Kid that the chocolate one with the little balls (Triple Chocolate Threat) and HOOVERED it in about two minutes flat and the Hubs pretty much ate all the other ones. No seriously. He had three. I took a tiny bite of the powered sugar one that was stuffed with real blueberries and was amazing as well. The salted caramel one was also pretty sick and he was all over the bacon one. Barf. Whatever.
What I also loved and appreciated was the locally sourced and mainly organic ingredients. LOVE. I think we will be weekly visitors now. Might have to start biking there to negate the calories of course…..
Okay yes, I have been MIA for a while but I’m back and have an AWESOME recipe for you! Look at this bad boy!!! Friends again?
Looks like an ice cream cone right? Wrong! It’s a cupcake! I saw a recipe for this ages ago and thought it was just the cutest party idea ever. We had planned for a bbq that got a bit weathered out by the recent wonky weather here in the Pacific Northwest so we just had a few friends over with kids the same age as The Kid. I figured I would make these and see if they were decent. I may have made a bit of a misstep by putting them in the fridge after I made them but I was a bit scared the vegan butter cream would start to melt. I think next time I would just wait until the very last minute to ice them because the cones were not crispy at all and it lended them an odd texture. The cupcake part and icing were great though and I would make these again in a heartbeat!
Here’s What You Need:
Basic Vegan Cupcakes:
1 cup almond milk (I used vanilla because that’s what I had)
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
3/4 cup coconut sugar
1/3 cup mild oil (avocado would be good but any veg oil would work too)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup unbleached all purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2-3 tablespoons of sprinkles if you want to make them “funfetti” cupcakes which is what I did.
4-5 tablespoons of vegan chocolate chips to sprinkle in the bottom of the cones (why leave this step out!)
Here’s What You Do:
Preheat oven to 350.
Mix the almond milk and vinegar to make buttermilk. Mix the dry ingredients together. Add the oil, vanilla and sugar to the “buttermilk” and then slowly stir into the dry ingredients until combined. Add the sprinkles if you want and then drop a tsp or so of chocolate chips into the bottom of each cone. Stand the cones in a regular muffin tin and fill each with the batter (I poured the batter into a spouted measuring cup for easier pouring) until almost full.
Bake in the middle rack for 20 minutes or so. Test them at 18 minutes to see if a toothpick comes out clean. Cool on a rack until completely cool. Make your favorite vegan butter cream icing. Vanilla or chocolate or both and ice them to look like ice cream. sprinkle more sprinkles on top if you like or add a drizzle of melted chocolate. YUM.
First let me say that I am fully aware that my Hubs often eats my vegan food and chokes it back and smiles and says, “um ya, it’s not bad” which I know is code for “okay, I have to eat this because she will get mad if I don’t, but this is so not my thing”. Gotta love him for it. Can’t win’em all right? These brownies on the other hand? He took one and started eating it and then slowly turned to me, looked at me and deadpanned said, “these aren’t vegan are they?” Yes silly meatatarian!! Of course they are!!!
I have said this over and over again that baking vegan treats is the easiest thing to do. There are such good products on the market these days that make it super easy to recreate traditional baked goods loaded with eggs and butter in a vegan way. These are a prime example.
I will take this opportunity to remind everybody that vegan does NOT always mean healthy! I did use white flour and white sugar (be sure to check and make sure that your sugar is not processed with bone char as that is most definitely NOT vegan!)
Hubs was happy to point out that these are officially the yummiest vegan treat I have ever made. I think I have to agree. The chew that the marshmallow bits provide and the tiny crunch from the sprinkles (they were not in the recipe but I was taking them to an end of the year preschool party so I figured why not add more sugar ha!). I think I will make these again (and again and again and again) and maybe try to put them on a stick since they would make pretty neat looking brownie pops!
You MUST MAKE THESE BROWNIES!!!!!! Thank you to the Tolerant Vegan for this wicked recipe. I don’t think The Hubs will want any other treat ever again.
Here’s what you need:
- 3 tablespoons water
- 2 tablespoons ground flax ( I left this out and I don’t think it made any difference!)
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (unbleached is always best)
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 7 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 3/4 cup vegan semisweet chocolate chips (Enjoy Life was my brand of choice here)
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup boiling water
- 1 1/2 cups refined sugar
- 3/4 cup non-hydrogenated vegan butter substitute (I used Earth Balance)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup roughly chopped vegan marshmallows (I used Dandies)
- 2 cups vegan semisweet chocolate chips
- 2 tablespoons vegetable shortening (I also omitted this and I don’t think it had a negative impact at all
- Vegan sprinkles
Here’s what you do!
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and move your oven rack to the lowest position. If using the flax, stir it with the water and set aside.
Line an 8” square baking dish (mine was glass) with parchment paper, allowing the paper to rise over the sides of the pan to make it easier to remove the brownies from the pan once they are cooled.
Whisk together the all-purpose flour and baking soda in a medium bowl. Set aside.
In a separate bowl, stir together the cocoa, chocolate chips and salt.
Pour the boiling water into the bowl of chocolate and stir continuously until all chocolate chips are melted.
Continue to stir while adding in the sugar, vegan butter substitute , vanilla and flax + water combo (if you are using it).
Stir in the flour + baking soda mixture until all ingredients are fully combined. The batter will become very thick. You will need to put a bit of muscle into it.
Add in the chopped marshmallows and continue to stir.
Pour the batter into a baking dish.
Use your fingers or a spatula to spread the batter evenly in the pan.
Bake the brownies for 35 minutes or until a toothpick can be inserted and come back out clean.
Transfer the brownies in the pan to a wire rack and allow the brownies to cool in the pan for about an hour.
Lift the parchment paper to remove the brownies from the pan, and allow them to continue to cool on a wire rack until completely cool. Make sure that they’ve fully cooled down before moving on.
While the brownies are still on the parchment paper, place them in the freezer for 30-40 minutes, until they are firm.
Remove the brownies and cut into bars or any other shape that tickles your fancy!
Line a baking sheet with wax paper.
Place the chocolate chips and shortening (if you are using it) in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave in 20-30 seconds increments, stirring each time you remove them, until it’s smooth and melted.
Lift the brownie with your fork and dip into the chocolate and you might need to flip it over to get both sides covered.
Allow the excess chocolate to drip back into the bowl.
Place the brownie on the wax paper and sprinkle with well, sprinkles.
Let them stand until the chocolate sets.
Store in an airtight container out or in the fridge if you prefer a slightly firmer exterior.
Make sure you eat one before you serve these, or you won’t get one. For REALS.