What To Do When U Get a Watermelon as a Gift

A lovely gentleman gave me a watermelon the other day.  It was not expected and a nice surprise.  I couldn’t see myself eating the whole thing any time soon so my I had to come up with ways to use it and not let it go to waste.  Here’s what I came up with so far using part of the watermelon:

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Munch Better teams up with Enjoy Life foods May Allergy Awareness Month

Munch Better is a Canadian company that puts about 5-8 products together and sends a snack box out to you for a  small charge. You subscribe, they deliver and what you get in the snack box? It’s like Christmas. You don’t know until you receive it. Seriously, isn’t that the best? I love a good surprise. They even have a snack box for small companies, so tell your boss to subscribe! Happy employees are more productive right? Tell them I  have scientific proof, ok it’s not all that scientific, but I know when I’m happy, the boss is happy.

This month Munch Better and Enjoy Life Foods have teamed up together for May allergy awareness month. They sent me a snack  box to try.What I received was:Enjoy Life chocolate chip crunchy cookies (2 cookies), Enjoy Life SunSeed ctrunch bars (full sized box) Enjoy Life Plentils- Sea salt (snack bag), Enjoy Life mini chips (full sized bag),  Enjoy Life not seed and fruit mix- Mountain Mambo (full sized bag) Enjoy life caramel apple bar (1 bar) and a dollar off coupon. Not bad right? I say it was a pretty nice surprise. (click on the links for more product info).

Their chocolate chips are my go to, so I was really happy about that. The chocolate chip cookies tasted like more. Even my fussy daughter who doesn’t really like chocolate said there should be more. I told her there will be. I just need to buy them.Love the Plentils. They are a crispy  goodness that satisfies your crunching needs without the grease. Unlike other chips, you don’t feel guilty about eating them, they don’t make you feel gross afterwards. It’s easier for portion control- at least for me.  I “couldn’t” sample the chewy bars as I don’t eat honey. But my son LOVES them, and was happy that his sister didn’t want any in her lunch the next day. She said she liked them, and did eat the one she opened, but didn’t ask for another one after that. I will buy these bars for him, as I find that they are healthier than the other bars that’s full of wanna be healthy. Just because it has oats in it, it doesn’t mean it’s healthy. It’s like the fake whole wheat bread out there. But with Enjoy Life, you can trust their ingredients. They are a NON GMO company, which is important to most of us.

All and all I’m pretty happy with everything that we received. My only suggestion to Enjoy Life foods, is maybe subbing the honey out with agave or maple syrup in their chewy bars. I’m not sure about the other bars. But these two flavors do contain honey.

Thank you Munch Better and Enjoy Life Foods for teaming up together and making May more delicious and raising awareness, free of almost everything but taste.We were happy 🙂 Use the handy store locator to find out what stores carry this gem of a company. (Click on Munch Better to take you directly to their site). You can thank me later.  I will be writing more about Enjoy Life Food’s brand new GF baking line. Finally a good pizza crust that doesn’t taste like cardboard. That’s all the hints I’m giving you for now. You will have to stayed tuned for more.

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What is you fav Enjoy Life product? Drop us a line- we want to know.

 

Eaternity

More than 150 deliciously easy vegan recipes for a long, healthy, satisfied, joyful life by Jason Wrobel– will have you eating for better sex, good sleep, weight loss, happiness and good mood, more energy, detoxification, brain power, more muscle, immunity, strong bones, great skin, strong eyesight, a healthy heart, for less stress…. did I mention better sex?!?!

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He grew up in Detroit,  as a vegetarian for the few years of life due to a lactose intolerance,  but he did start eating SAD (standard American diet). His grandfather was diagnosed with a metastasized tumor, 30 years after he had prostate cancer. He unfortunately  lost the battle to cancer in 1995. After dealing with his grandfather’s battle, Jason did a ton of research and went vegan at the age of 20.

Each recipe has down to earth REAL food. Some recipes do call for some protein powders, taco shells, tempeh but they are few and far between. You are able to buy 98% of all ingredients from your favorite  grocery store.

Each chapter explains more about what the title is about. He gives you some stats and a list of super foods to help you eat better. This is more than a cookbook, it’s more than a reference. It’s, in my opinion, a complete guide in healthier eating. He even has a chart of the bad, better, best foods to eat.

Chapter 1. Top libido boosting foods: asparagus, spinach, watermelon. Try his coconut lemongrass risotto, Thia Pad, Cream of asparagus soup.

Chapter 2. Top foods for great sleep: banana’s, rice, kale. Try his walnut taco’s, veggie fried rice, creamy coconut chickpeas with sweet potatoes.

Chapter 3. Top foods for healthy weight loss: honeydew melon, almonds, hemp seeds. Try his pineapple kale green smoothie, nacho cheesy popcorn, apple pie smoothie.

Chapter 4. Top feel good foods: asparagus, lemon, spinach. Try his pasta marinara, supreme vegan nacho’s, cinnamon sugar bunuelos.

Chapter 5. Top energy boosting foods: asparagus, spinach, cherries. Try his Fruit pizza, masa harina pizza, quinoa falafel with avocado tahini sauce.

Chapter 6: Top detoxifying foods: beets, cinnamon, garlic. Try his The impasta bowl, cheesy cauliflower popcorn.

Chapter 7. Top brain boosting foods: cocao, tomatoes, turmeric. Try his wrapatouille, chocolate pecan crunchy balls, pear apple crisp.

Chapter 8. Top muscle building foods: beans, brown rice, raspberries. Try his buckwheat breakfast bars, cauliflower parsnip mash with neatballs, black bean veggie burgers.

Chapter 9. Top immune boosting foods: watermelon, almonds, garlic. Try his golden turmeric milk, cream of mushroom soup, glorious green juice.

Chapter 10. Top Bone building foods: almonds, bok choy, spinach. Try his buffalo cauliflower bites with cashew dill dipping sauce, the burgerrito, roasted brussels sprouts with coconut bacon.

Chapter 11. Top foods for healthy skin: kale, green tea, hemp seeds. Try his superfood Caesar supreme salad, kale BLT salad,  pear and pecan salad.

Chapter 12. Top foods for strong eye sight: kale, blueberries, red wine. Try his spaghetti squash primavera, butternut squash mac n cheese, mixed berry parfait.

Chapter 13. Top heart healthy foods: beets, oranges, spinach. Try his Thai cucumber peanut salad, dark chocolate pancakes, squash crostini.

Chapter 14.Top stress reducing foods: banana, broccoli, peanuts. Try his peanut butter ice cream, cream of broccoli soup, spicy jackfruit taco’s.

Most of the recipes in the book are gluten free. Actually at first I thought it was a GF book because it wasn’t until several recipes into it that I actually found one that had gluten it in. Jason does list a lot more TOP foods in each chapter, I was only mentioning three. But as you can see- real foods will improve your over all wellness. Including a better sex life.

With permission from Hay House Publishing, I’m able to share a recipe with you. It’s called Nacho Cheesy Popcorn. This is from the Chapter Recipes for Weight Loss.

popcorn

 

2 tablespoons grapeseed oil

¾ unpopped popcorn seeds

¼ cup melted organic virgin coconut oil

¼ nutritional yeast

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon garlic powder

½ teaspoon sea salt.

 

  1. Heat the grapeseed oil in large saucepan over medium high heat. Add the popcorn seed and place the lid on the lid on pan. Shake vigorously to coat the kernels with oil. When the corn starts to pop, shake the pan constantly until the popping stops, about 5-7 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and pour the popped corn into a large mixing bowl.
  2. Drizzle the melted coconut oil over the hot popcorn and sprinkle with the nutritional yeast, chili powder, cumin garlic powder and sea salt. Stir thoroughly and serve immediately.

I didn’t use his method of popping the corn I used my air popper. Therefore I didn’t use the grapeseed oil. OMG!!! I loved it. Actually I had this for supper one night. Yes, you can have popcorn for dinner- try it sometime. Plus I scored bonus points for being a cool Mom. Sometimes I make my kids popcorn for breakfast- and this is a non guilty pleasure. If your kids are not a fan of spice, omit the chili powder- it will still be awesome.

Published and distributed by Hay House Inc. 2016. Cover and Interior photography: Jeff Skeirik, Interior food photography: Jackie Sobon, Food Styling: Jackie Sobon and Michelle Marquis, Recipe formatting:  Michelle Marquis, Indexer: Jay Kreider

CONTEST CLOSED- Congratulations to Jenn G and Jo-Ann B they both won a copy of Eaternity. 

Hay House publishing did send me out a copy of Eaternity for review and is offering a giveaway. We are able to give 2 copies of this masterpiece away. Kayla and I decided to hold a contest for Canadian Residents and one for American Residents. So, please make sure you click on the right link. Good luck to all who enter. Again as before, we will contact the winner (s) by email. You will have 24 hrs to contact us, or we will have to choose another winner. The contest will run for one week.

American residents enter here.

Canadian residents enter here.

Try the popcorn and let us know what you think. Leave a comment. It’s good, and we give you permission to eat it for dinner 😉

 

Gluten free Blueberry oats to go 

Bob’s Red Mill sent out some samples of their oats to go for me to try. So I decided on trying the blueberry and hazelnut with flax and chia. First of all- I have to warn you I am not a fan of blueberries. I don’t like the way they look, or turn my food to a different color – the texture, taste- sorry to those who are a fan of them- it just means more for you to eat.

With that being said, in my to go cup thankfully there was only maybe 6 pieces of little blueberries. I did try one, I found it to be undercooked and yes, I still don’t like blueberries. I did eat the rest of the oatmeal because I DID like the flavour of it. Loved the hazelnuts and appreciated the colouring from the blueberries it made plain oatmeal look berry pretty. (Yes, I did mean to say berry).

With 7 grams of fibre, 8g’s of protein, 10% iron-  you can’t go wrong with this grab and go cup. Plus it takes a minute to cook, let sit for two minutes and boom- breakfast is done.

I can’t wait to try their maple and brown sugar next. But I’m saving it for last. I’m going to have the classic one first.

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If you haven’t read what I had to say about their apple cinnamon one yet, check out the pervious post. I wish that cup never ended. It was so good!!

What is your favourite flavour of oatmeal?

Apple Cinnamon Gluten Free Oatmeal

Bob’s Red Mill kindly sent me some samples. I haven’t tried all of them yet, but will be posting as I try them. I made the apple cinnamon gluten free oatmeal the other day. Fill the cup to the indicator line, zap in microwave for a minute, let sit for 2 minutes. Breakfast in under 5 mins. I love that there’s real chunks of apples in it (not to mention there’s 8 grams of fiber and 7 grams of protein). It’s so easy that my 8 year old can make this on her own. The oatmeal to go cups are satisfying. They fill you up without weighing you down. Perfect for breakfast, lunch or even a snack. Sweet, but not sickening sweet like some oatmeal packets. My only regret or disappointment is not saving this one to the last. I would recommend this oatmeal to everyone. You do not need to be gluten free to enjoy this, but to all my gluten free friends- if you haven’t tried this yet you should. It doesn’t taste gf- read it doesn’t taste like cardboard.

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For more information including how to order some- click here.

Things Vegans Fry Book review and interview

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I had the “guilty” pleasure of being one of the recipe testers for Things Vegan Fry by Chef Johnna Gale. It’s not your every day cookbook but you will want to use it for Game Night, or movie night instead of pizza. Heck even when you just want some good ol’ comfort food.

Chef Johnna explains the different types of oils including a favorite oil blend. All recipes are clearly written, with photo’s. There’s recipes for  dips and sauces.I wish there was a garlic or ranch dip included (that garlic dip in the pictures is my own recipe). I love, love, LOVE the fried onions the most. So flippin’ tasty. Purchase your copy from amazon.

Chef Johnna Gale has agreed to an interview with us. Which is exciting.

Thank you, Johnna, for taking the time to answer the questions. We wish you all the best with all of your upcoming adventures!

FG-Was cooking always your pleasure?

J-I was cooking before I could reach the kitchen counter. My grandmother had me standing on step stool in her old kitchen. It was laid out like a galley. Stretched out almost the length of the house. I helped her make bread and cakes. I graduated to mixing and chopping. Eventually I was allowed to take hot things out of the oven and off the stove, and stir the food.

I also cooked at home starting at the age of 7 or 8 years old. By the time I was 10 or 11 I was making full dinners for my older brothers and father. As I got older I tried to fight the cooking thing, but found working in kitchens easy money.

When I went to college I took a different direction. I studied film and video, graduating with a B.F.A in Media Arts. During college, and after, I was always cooking and investigating new recipes. After college I found myself back in professional kitchens. I was 33 and stayed there until I was 53.

 

FG-Were you always a vegan Chef? Of not, why did you decide/ what was your eye opening moment that made you choose this lifestyle?

 

J-No I was not. Working in the industry one has to make all the food. I didn’t really have a choice in the matter. When my spouse and I got together, they were vegetarian. I cooked veggie at home. I investigated and studied vegetarian and vegan cuisine, and got over my fear of tofu.

Working in the industry really taught me how our food is handled from the farms to the factory to the table. The more I became aware the less I wanted to support the industry by being a part of it.

The cool thing was that learning vegan cuisine was to my advantage. I was a front runner cook when it came to cooperating with diners and their special diets. I was the “go to” vegan chef at the fine dining restaurant I worked at. While my peers scoffed at me for specializing, I’m grateful now. The industry is really changing and opening up its doors to different kinds of diners.

My eye opening really took a long time. I was exposed to vegan/vegetarianism in my early 20’s, and lived with a vegan for several years. While I didn’t understand it, I have a love of food and kept investigating what this way of eating/way of life means. Finally after running a blog for so many years and reading and learning about the farming industry, I felt it was time to go fully vegan myself.

 

FG-What motivated you to write your second book The Things Vegan Fry? As a recipe tester, it was extremely fun- and my kids loved every moment and recipe of it- but why fry everything?

J-Who doesn’t love fried food? The longest line at the vegan street fairs and festival are the fried food trucks. People give themselves permission to eat like that when they go to these things, why not make it vegan?

I put the book together because I figured out that I had amassed an insane amount of fried food recipes and methods. I felt the need to share with the rest of the world. Especially coming from the perspective of a Chef. I’ve deep fried a wide variety of foods. Why should the omnivores get all the fun?

I don’t fry everything – but it is one of my favorite methods of cooking. There’s a satisfying sizzle when dropping something into the deep fryer.

I hope everyone enjoys this book. It’s kid friendly, and full of comfort food. And you can find more fried food recipes on my website.

 

FG-I see Things Vegan Fry as a perfect game night book, any tips on how to make 2 or more recipes and keep them fresh until everything is ready to be plated?

J-Sure: Pair the Tater tots and French Fries and make a “combo basket”. Turn the oven on to warm, stick em on a plate and into the oven until your guests are ready to eat! If you want to go a little more “healthy” make the pakoras, a mix of the vegetables and the onion and serve with the various chutneys listed at the back of the book.

FG-What is type of fryer do you prefer?

J-Well, my preference is the kind you find in a professional kitchen. We call them standing fryers, but I no longer work in those environments, my second preference would be a Waring Professional. I’ve only had one countertop fryer and I bought it from a thrift store. I used it for a month and it broke. Right now my “fryer” is a heavy bottom seamless stockpot I purchased off a neighbor for $10.00. I firmly believe that you can stock your kitchen and not break your bank account.

FG- What services do you provide? Do you offer catering? Personal cooking classes? Make ahead meals?

J-Great question. I offer cooking classes, online and in person. I can help you with Recipe development: If you have an idea, I can walk you through it. I also offer to help you convert your grandma’s recipes into vegan versions. I also offer culinary coaching, much like a life coach, but I go through your kitchen with you, help you find useful tools and get rid of the junk. I can teach you how to shop, chop, and cook meals for a week.

I’m also available for cooking demos and parties. We call it edutainment. For a fee, I’ll come to your party and put on a cooking show. Then you and your guests get samples. It’s way easier than catering, and I don’t have to work as hard.

FG-Are you working on any projects right now? Anything you can share? Maybe a hint?

J-There’s a new e-cookbook I’m starting, but can’t reveal the topic just yet. I’m also in the process of making more recipe videos. We just released How to Make Falafel, it’s a companion video to the recipe book Things Vegans Fry.

My spouse and I have also started a brand new project that is not related to cooking called Radically Reducing. We are shedding 90% of our stuff. The plan is to get an RV and travel and live full time on the road. I’m hoping to line up demos and cooking classes around the country in order to make some money. And maybe even head up your way into Canada. This project is also deeply involved with video recording and editing, writing, and of course figuring out how to get rid of our stuff (selling, donating, tossing). Its nice to be doing work related to my college degree.

FG-Things Vegan Fry is your second book. Your first book is about soups, who doesn’t love soup? Where can one buy the soup book?

J-The same place: Both my books are available on amazon Kindle. Remember you don’t have to own a kindle to get a copy. There’s an app available. Head over to our website Kitchen Shaman , and order from there.

FG-Where can someone find you on the Internet, so they can enjoy the food porn, stories and connect with you?

J- www.kitchenshaman.com

@kitchen shaman on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google Plus, and pinterest. I’m not terribly active on pinterest, but I do post my books and recipes from my blog.

You can find our other project over at artistic nomads.

 

FG-Is there a recipe you want to share?

J-Sure! Onion rings are always a crowd pleaser!

 

Onion Rings the Vegan Way

 

2 cups soy milk (or other non-dairy milk)

1 tsp raw apple cider vinegar

1 onion, sliced into rings

1 1/2 cups gluten free flour

1/2 cup oat flour

3 tbsp xantham gum

1 tsp salt

1 tsp pepper

1 tsp paprika

 

Add the raw apple cider vinegar to the soy milk. Let sit for about ten minutes. The soy milk will start to curdle. This is what it is supposed to do. Just mix it up. Add the onions.

Let the onions soak in the milk for 45 minutes. Mix them around every once in a while.

Mix together the spices and the flours. Set aside.

Once the onion rings soak, drain them and coat them in the flour mixture.

Heat up a heavy bottomed sauce pot filled with frying oil to 375 degrees.

Drop the onion rings into the oil. Turn them over every so often while cooking. Cook until golden brown. Be really careful with the hot oil.

Serve with Ketchup, tamarind chutney, and cilantro chutney.

 

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What is your favourite deep fried food??