Tag Archives: #whatveganseat

The Best of Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Bonanza

I don’t know if any of you have made it to Trader Joe’s this year, but dear lord, they are killing it with the seasonal pumpkin overload! While most of it isn’t vegan, there are quite a few veg friendly items that are definitely worth a try. Of course, I bought all the vegan items to indulge my pumpkin fanaticism and they are all tasty (except for the body butter, I didn’t taste that. … yet.)

vegan seasonal treats

  1. Pumpkin Joe-Joes- Let me say that these are probably my most favorite Trader Joe’s treats ever. They are like Oreos, but the vanilla cookie ones, with pumpkin filling. Can I repeat that? PUMPKIN FILLING! Ok now that you heard me, let me tell you how amazingly yummy these are. I bought one box and it was gone in a day. Then I bought the second box. It was gone in hours. (Husband and I are not pigs I swear, we just gorge ourselves once in a while. No big deal.)
  2. Pumpkin Spice Roobios Tea- This is a smooth, spicy, tea that’s great for winding down from a long day. This tea is a great substitute to those pumpkin spice lattes that everyone loves and is especially good for people who are avoiding coffee or caffeine. I like to brew it and then add some almond milk so it kinda feels latte-y.
  3. Country Pumpkin Spice Granola- Eat it as a snack. Eat it for breakfast. Eat it hot. Eat it cold. You can even throw this on top of some yogurt. I tried it all ways and its fabulous.
  4. Pumpkin Body Butter- Ok, Trader Joe’s is not the first place I go for lotions and potions but I saw this by the register (damn impulse buys) and I decided to check it out. After a quick check to make sure it was vegan and cruelty-free, it ended up in my basket. It really smells mostly of cinnamon and nutmeg but it feels luxurious when you slather it on. This is a super silkily, delicious fragrance that will have you smelling spicy all day long.

Have you tried any Trader Joe’s seasonal goodies? Which ones are your favorites?

Fiesta Friday: Vegan Nachos

It’s Fiesta Friday here in the House of Snuggles! Ole!

Not only does Fiesta Friday mean a Calypso Dance Party (she just loves to dance) but also some type of southwestern style dish. This Fiesta Friday, I choose nachos.

Did someone say, Dance Party?

Did someone say, Dance Party?

Yes, I know, not entirely healthy but we are going to make them about as healthy as we can. Ever since I relocated to the Great American Southwest, Mexican food has become a staple in my life and this girl is not complaining.

Nachos are super easy and quick. These are great for those night when you need to get out and boogie but want some quick and delicious that will be ready in 20 minutes or less (faster if you prepped your veggies ahead of time.)

The Two Most Important Ingredients.

First things first, you need a good quality tortilla chip. I use the chips that Whole Foods makes in their bakery. They are thick and salty and they go really well with guacamole. Drool…..

Next is cheese. You can use any non-dairy cheese that you please(ha ha, I rhymed.) My preference is almond cheese, it browns, it stretches, and it tastes awesome. I use Lisanatti Foods Cheddar because it’s oh so tasty and they also have a jalapeño jack style for those days that you want extra spice. Daiya cheddar works pretty good too.

Now that you have picked out your tortilla chips and cheese, let’s get on with a recipe!

House of Snuggles Fiesta Friday Basic Nachos

*Adjust the ingredients size to your own preference. I feel that make individual servings of nachos is way easier than trying to make a large portion to share. Plus, who wants to share nachos? (Don’t you dare touch my chips loaded with Mexican-style goodness or you’ll get your hand slapped)

Ingredients:

  • Tortilla Chips (About a couple handfuls)
  • Cheddar or jalepeno jack style non-dairy cheese, shredded
  • 1 Green bell pepper, chopped and seeded
  • 1 Red bell pepper chopped and seeded
  • 1 14oz can of black beans (or you can use prepared dry, your preference really)

*Adjust topping amount to your liking, I don’t really measure it out, I just keep adding until it looks good

* Garnish with green onions, sour cream, guacamole, and a good salsa

*Additional fun toppings: black olives, jalapeños, banana peppers, tomatoes, taco style “meat”, red onions, lettuce, anything southwestern-y.

First, turn your oven on to broil, for those of you with fancier ovens, I would choose the low setting (my oven only has one setting.) Next, get out a baking sheet and spread out your chips, you’ll want to layer the chips and cheese, if you prefer taller nachos, but I feel one layer works the best and will evenly melt your cheese. Next, you’ll want to spread your cheese, followed by your toppings. Then slide your baking sheet into the oven, onto the top rack and keep a close eye on it (the chips will burn pretty easily if you don’t watch them). Once the cheese is melted (about 3-5 minutes), pull your nachos out, toss some green onions on top and go to town with your dips.

Vegan nachos

I find that pouring yourself a margarita, throwing on some salsa music and having a dance party afterwards makes Fiesta Friday night a success! Just ask Calypso, she loves a dance party.

What are some of your favorite nacho toppings?

 

 

Lazy Sunday Funday, 3-30-2014

Well, it’s that time of week again. It’s time for the House of Snuggles Lazy Sunday Funday Weekly Roundup! Let’s get started!

vegan, cats

Hot Topic of The Week: Polar Vortex May Mean Miserable Allergy Season

Got Allergies? With the polar vortex hopefully behind us, allergy experts are predicting that if it warms up fast we will be in for a bad allergy season. Lucky for you, there are a lot of home remedies to beat allergies without taking a Beanfield's vegan chipsbunch of chemicals.

Vegan Product of the Week: Beanfield’s Bean and Rice Chip 

I know March has been a snacky type month for us here at the House of Snuggles, so here’s another snack! Beanfield’s Bean and Rice chips are super yummy and have an incredible crunch. They come in a few different fun flavors including Nacho and Sea Salt, with Pico de Gallo being my favorite. Oh and by the way, it’s really easy to eat the whole bag.

Snuggles Belly Rub Rating: 5 out of 5

What’s Cooking in The House of Snuggles This Week:

Breakfast– Homemade Vegan Waffles

  • I love making breakfast on the weekends. Why? It means super fun leftovers and more interesting breakfasts for during the week. Waffles freeze well and can be reheated by toasting, you know, kind of like an Eggo but better. You can do a variety of topping like traditional maple syrup or even try doing peanut butter and jelly!

Lunch- Field of Greens Salad with homemade dressing

  • Greens make a great lunch. Besides that boost on vitamins, the chlorophyll in greens are a great pick me up for a mid-day meal. Try pairing with a chik’n salad sandwich or vegan creamy tomato soup.

Dinner- Baked potato with baked beans and steamed veggies

  • This is an awesome budget friendly dinner. Easy, cheap, and delicious baked potatoes and beans will fill you up and keep you satisfied. Try steamed carrots, broccoli or even asparagus to top it all off.

Snack Time- Almonds

  • Almonds are packed full of protein, as well as, vitamin E, manganese, biotin and copper. A handful really does go a long way and will bring you up from your afternoon slump.

Peaceful Dumpling Contribution of the Week:

Ever wonder about seeing a Naturopath? Here I give  a few pointers on what to expect at your first visit.

What You Should Know About Seeing a Naturopath

And last but not least, I want to leave you with this video. It’s a video from Edgar’s Mission Farm Sanctuary. It is a beautiful video showing 752 factory farm chickens being released from their cages and experiencing the outdoors for the first time. It’s a tear-jerker but a goody.

Missed Last Week’s Roundup? Well, here it is!

Lazy Sunday Funday Weekly Roundup 3-23-2014

Lazy Sunday Funday Weekly Roundup March 23rd, 2014

Welcome back, Snuggles Friends to another Lazy Sunday Funday Weekly Roundup. I have some exciting things for you this week so let’s get to it!

lazy sunday funday vegan

Snuggles Hot Topic of the Week: Moby: Why I’m Vegan.

Electronic music master, Moby wrote an article for Rolling Stone this week about why he’s vegan and how he feels people should spread the word about veganism. His piece is beautifully written and from the heart, and I happen to agree with him 100%:

“To be clear: Just because I’m a vegan I’m not saying you should be a vegan. It would be ironic if I refused to force my will on animals but was all too happy forcing my will on humans.” Moby

Vegan Product of the Week: Yours Truly by Tofutti

These are what they look like. A veganized version of those oh so delicious, Drumsticks. Actually, They are better. The chocolately coating has a hint of coconuttofutti vegan ice cream in it to make it interesting. The vanilla Tofutti ice-cream complements the chocolate lined cone and the crunchy chocolate shell making this an awesome frozen sweet treat. Get ready Summer, Tofutti is here.

Snuggles Belly Rub Rating: 4 out of 5 Belly Rubs

What’s Cooking in the House of Snuggles This Week:

This week’s menu is about being cost-effective and delicious. We are having simple, easy to make meals that are inexpensive. Check out our sample menu:

Breakfast: Fruit Smoothies

Lunch: PB and J on homemade bread

Dinner: Pizza with homemade sauce and crust

Snack: Carrots and hummus

Peaceful Dumpling Contribution for the Week: Can Gut Health Affect Your Mood?

Your gut flora not only affects your health but also your mental health as well.

Can Gut Health Affect Your Mood?

That concludes another Lazy Sunday Funday Weekly Roundup. I hope you had as much fun as I did! I want to leave this week with a video of a baby marmoset. It’s super cute and makes me want to go into wild animal rescue.

Missed previous editions of Lazy Sunday Funday Weekly Roundup? 

Lazy Sunday Funday Weekly Roundup 3-16-2014

Lazy Sunday Funday Weekly Roundup 3/9/2014

Easy Peasy Vegan Shepherd’s Pie

Now that St. Patrick’s day has passed and spring is here, my thoughts are turning to lighter fare but before we switch modes here at the House of Snuggles, I want to do one last post about comfort food.

I really enjoy the chilly months here in the great state of Arizona. The weather is just about perfect and I don’t have to shovel snow, dig my car out of ditches, or freeze my ass off walking from my car to my door (I had 27 years of this and then I finally said enough.) Even though the desert is more temperate during the winter, the season still makes me crave comfort food and one of my favorite comfort dishes is Shepherd’s Pie (must be the Irish in me and my love of potatoes.)

Shepherd’s Pie is a marathon of sorts but the end result is totally worth it. There are three main components that are combined together and baked into one delicious casserole type thingy. You have a meat and veggie layer, a gravy layer and a mashed potato layer. This recipe is adapted from the Sundays At Moosewood Restaurant cookbook. This is a really awesome vegetarian cookbook that has hundreds of recipes from countries around the world. All the recipes are super easy to veganize and all the ones that I have tried taste amazing.

The original recipe calls for defrosted tofu to get that ground beef texture. I have made it this way before and it is pretty good. This time I decided to experiment and substituted TVP (textured vegetable protein.) It has a protein content equivalent to meat and works really well as a ground beef in anything that might call for that type of texture (it’s really awesome in chili.)

VEGAN SHEPHERDS PIE

“Meat” Layer

1lb package of Extra Firm Tofu, frozen, de-thawed, and shredded. (Best to do this a day or so in advance) or 1C of reconstituted TVP

1 medium onion

2T vegetable oil

1/2 tsp of ground coriander

pinch of ground black pepper

1/2C of walnuts, toasted and chopped

juice of 1/2 lemon (approx 1T)

1-2tsp of tamari

In a large skillet, heat vegetable oil on medium-high heat. When oil is heated, sauté onions with the coriander and pepper, until translucent. Add chopped walnuts and shredded tofu, stir to mix. Add lemon juice and soy sauce and remove from heat and set aside.

*I like to add extra veggies, like carrots, peas and corn, to give this some added nutrition. There are no rules here, add whatever you think might be tasty.*

Mashed Potato Layer

1lb potatoes, cubed

3T of  vegan butter, such as Earth Balance

1/2 of non-dairy milk, I prefer almond milk

pinch of salt

Place cubed potatoes into a large pot and add enough water to cover. You should have about a couple of inches of water above the potatoes. Bring to a boil. Let boil until potatoes are easily pierced with a fork. Strain but make sure you reserve your potato water for your gravy. Return to a large bowl, add butter, milk and salt and mash everything together. Set aside.

Mushroom Gravy

2T vegetable oil

1/2lb of white mushrooms, sliced

3T tamari

Pinch of ground pepper

1 1/2C potato water

2T cornstarch dissolved in 1/2C of water

Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms, tamari, and black pepper and sauté until mushrooms are tender. Add the potato water and bring to a boil, then down to a simmer. While simmering, slowly stir in cornstarch mixture, and simmer and stir until the gravy is clear and thick.

Assembly

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. In a 9×9 casserole dish, lay down your first layer of “meat” and veggies. Next layer your mushroom gravy on top of the meat layer. Lastly, smooth your mashed potatoes evenly across the top. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until the top become golden and crisp.

That’s it. Not a difficult recipe but it is kind of tedious so this would be a good recipe for a day when you have some time.

Related Post:

A Very Vegan St.Patrick’s Day

A Very Vegan St. Patrick’s Day

Good Morning, Snuggle Friends and Happy St. Patrick’s Day to you!

I think this is one of my top 3 favorite holidays of the year! I do have a fair amount of Irish pride (my great-grandmother instilled it in me at a young age) so my love for this holiday may be a bit biased.

Here are a few interesting facts about St. Patrick’s Day:

  • St. Patrick’s Day is an American holiday. It began being celebrated in the 18th century by Irish immigrants to show solidarity and reconfirmed their ethnic bond.
  • St. Patrick died on March 17th
  • You have a chance of about 1 in 10,000 of finding a four-leaf clover
  • St. Patrick didn’t drive snakes out of Ireland. It’s a metaphor for driving out pagan traditions and converting pagans to Christianity.
  • St. Patrick’s Day was a dry holiday until 1970.

(Want more fun facts check this out here.)

Now my favorite part of St. Patrick’s day is spending time with my people and enjoying delicious Irish fare. Since I became vegan, it’s been on the difficult side to find vegan irish food out and about (at least in my corner of the world), so this has now become a holiday spent at home with Husband and fur-babies. Since I love to cook, I whip up my favorite dish, Shepherd’s Pie, pour myself some good irish whiskey and dance a jig with the kitties (Calypso is a dancing queen!)

VEGAN SHEPHERDS PIE

My Top Five Favorite Things About St. Patrick’s Day:

  1. Green Beer
  2. Irish Food
  3. The Color Green
  4. Shenanigans
  5. Good Times with Good People

What are your favorite St. Patrick’s Day traditions?

Vegan on a Budget: The Farmer’s Market

One of the most challenging aspects of being vegan is getting a variety of produce for the best prices. I know I am on a super tight budget so I am always looking for a way to save money. Growing my own veggies is out of the question because my patio gets full sun which is equivalent to taking a walk on liquid hot magma. My little tomato plants are sad and wilty faster than you can blink. So I’ve come to rely on farmer’s markets and local CSAs until I can fulfill my organic farm fantasy.

FARMERS MARKET. CSA, BUDGET FRIENDLY, VEGAN, HEALTHY FOOD

The Pros of Shopping at the Farmer’s Market:

  • Produce is local– By shopping locally, you help support the little man and keep money in the community instead of supporting giant corporations with no local connections.
  • Connecting with your fellow man- You get to meet the people who are growing your food and get a better understanding of the local climate and all the toil that goes into putting food on your table.
  • It’s cheaper-Not only is the produce more fresh, it also costs a heck of a lot less than going to Whole Foods. Most of the time, the produce will also be organically grown but check with your local market to make sure.
  • You can also get other neat shit- Not only can you get awesome, fresh produce but you can explore other local businesses and get anything you desire from local baked goods, handmade soaps, and knick knacks.

Need help finding a local Farmer’s Market? 

Check out Local Harvest. This is your super awesome tool to find all local farmer’s markets and CSAs.