Thank You All So Much!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Wow! Over 60 followers and over 900 blog views in just a couple months! Thank you all so much for following/visiting my blog, for giving recipe feedback, and for hanging out on the interwebs with me! Shredder and I will try to continue bringing you all the latest and greatest the Wisconsin Vegan-land has to offer!

If you have any suggestions, or things you'd like to see featured on here, please let me know!

Ooey, Gooey, Cheesy Vegan Nachos

Monday, August 30, 2010

Alright, so I’m not gonna lie…my favorite days of the year are Award Show Sundays. Maybe it’s the “Hollywood” in me, but I love every second of it! I spend all day watching the set-up, the pre-show discussions and speculations as to who is going to win what, who is going to look the best, the worst, who is going to bring their mom/mistress/priest, etc. I love it all! So award show days are my veg days when they happen, where I don’t want to do a lot of cooking, and I want junk food! Well, I found a recipe that someone posted on The Kind Life website for a “cheesy queso sauce”…HELLO! I could seriously re-write the entire “Favorite Things” song from The Sound of Music to incorporate all things cheese, and to be honest, I haven’t missed it too much, until it comes to nachos. Nachos have always been a sweet spot for me, and when I saw this recipe heading, it was the first thing that came to my mind. Being able to enjoy a plate of nachos while watching one of my favorite guilty pleasures was the perfect end to the week! Now, this recipe is super easy. It honestly takes about 3-5 minutes…that’s it! So let’s get going!

Sweet-Spot Vegan Nachos
¼ cup Nutritional Yeast
¼ cup flour
1 cup water
2 tblsp. Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Spread
1 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. cayenne pepper (I added this…it can be omitted it you’re not into spicy)
½ lime’s worth of juice (I added this too for more of a Mexicali flavor…it can also be omitted)
1 can of RoTel Diced Tomatoes and green chiles, drained or ½ cup of your favorite salsa)

Put nutritional yeast, flour, salt, garlic, and pepper in a saucepan. Add in water and stir constantly over medium heat until mixture becomes thick and bubbly. Remove from heat and add vegan butter. Stir until melted. Add tomatoes/salsa and lime juice and return to heat, stirring until tomatoes are warm. Enjoy!!

New Look!

Friday, August 27, 2010

So, if you haven't noticed (which I think is pretty much impossible), my blog has a new look! I spent the better part of the evening educating myself on nerdy, techy stuff to try and make my blog a little easier to read and navigate. I'd love to hear your thoughts on the new look!! And as always, thanks for stopping by!

Shredder and I worked very hard last night, so we hope you like it!

Insanely Cheesy Summer Squash

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Okay, so I’m pretty sure that this next recipe deserves some sort of award?? Why, you ask? Well let me tell you why…this meal literally gives you a big, comforting bear hug with all its super-creaminess and deliciousness, all for under *drumroll* 200 calories per serving!!! Yes!!!!

Yesterday, while at work, I was thinking about what I wanted to make for dinner (a curse for someone who is always hungry!). I knew that I had some squash in the fridge that needed to be used soon, or it would just become compost, and this girl does NOT let squash go to waste! Usually, I don’t like to mess with squash. I like to let it speak for itself…either eating it raw or lightly steamed. But I was in the mood to try something a little different, and this is what I came up with! Now, it’s basically like a casserole, and I used the “cheese” sauce that I make my Mac ‘n Cheese with, adding some crushed saltines for a little crunch, and wow! Amazeballs! Now, I used yellow and green squash, but I know that this would taste delish with any type of squash you have. The best part: This recipe makes about 6 servings, and coming in at only 196 calories a serving, you can afford to have seconds (which you will, I promise!)!!

Danielle’s Super Amazing Comfort Food “Cheese” Sauce (recipe below)
25 Multigrain Saltine Crackers
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
1 tablespoon chopped thyme
3 summer squash, such as zucchini or yellow squash, cut into 1/2-inch-thick rounds
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon lime juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

“Cheese” Sauce Recipe (this recipe has been halved from the original)
1/4 cup Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Spread
1/4 cup flour
1 3/4 cups boiling water
1 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. Braggs Liquid Aminos or Shoyu
1 tsp. garlic powder
Turmeric to taste
1/8 cup oil of your choosing (for this, I just use regular Canola Oil)
1/2 cup nutritional yeast

In a saucepan, melt Earth Balance over low heat. Mix in the flour. Stir continuously over medium heat until smooth and bubbly. Stir in the boiling water, salt, liquid aminos, garlic powder, and turmeric. Continue whisking until dissolved. Once the sauce thickens and is bubbling, stir in the oil and the nutritional yeast flakes.

Casserole Directions
Preheat oven to 425°F. In a medium bowl, toss together cheese sauce, cracker crumbs, parsley, onion and thyme. In another bowl, toss together zucchini, oil, lime juice, salt and pepper. Arrange squash in a 9- x 13-inch casserole dish. Scatter cheese mixture evenly over the top and bake until melted and golden brown and squash is just tender, about 20 minutes.

Sexy, Sassy, Vegan Shoes!!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

I’m writing this as I anxiously await notification that my latest delivery has arrived. Having moved from Los Angeles to Madison, I had prepared myself to have a hard time finding good vegan food, restaurants, groceries, etc., but have been pleasantly surprised since being here at the abundance of it in this area. The one thing I do miss though, is (insert witty L.A. stereotype here) shopping!! Shopping has always been something that I love to do, and well, no offense Madison, but you’re not really known for your fashion! After moving here, I went 5 months before purchasing a new pair of shoes, which I am pretty sure is some kind of record for me, because, even after scouring nearly every shoe store in Madison, I found NOTHING that was currently cute or trendy! Call me superficial all you want, but this girl loves her shoes!!

Well, my mother turned me on to this amazing website. It’s basically like a “shoe of the month” club! It’s $39 a month (but you only pay this on the months that you want something…if you don’t get anything for 6 months, you don’t pay the money for those months…you’re not locked into anything!). Each month, you have a selection of ten or so pairs of shoes that are straight off the current runways in your “showroom”. You also have a selection of purses and jewelry. Now, when my mom told me about the site, my first response was “are the shoes vegan?” She said she was unsure, but because of the low price, was pretty sure they didn’t use any real leather or anything. But, before I started a membership, I emailed the company. I had an email response within an HOUR! Talk about customer satisfaction! Their response was “all of the shoes constructed with man-made materials and therefore vegan.” Yay! So, I signed up, took their “fashion quiz” (this gives them an idea of the styles of clothing you like, so they know what kinds of shoes you’d like to see each month) and the next day, had tons of amazing shoes and bags to pick from! Now remember, every single thing is only $39…and this includes shipping! Plus, if you get something and it doesn’t fit, or you don’t like it anymore, you get free shipping back to them! They will either send you a different size (if that’s what you want) or give you a credit which you can use on anything else, whenever you want!

Now, let me just say, the shoes are not only cute and vegan (which, cute vegan shoes are hard to find anywhere!), but they are super comfortable, too! Every time I wear a pair, I get stopped all through the halls at work and on the street, people complimenting me on my shoes. So, if you like shoes as much as I do, I seriously suggest you check this site out. And, if you want to sign up, let me know before you do! If I “refer” you, you get 20% off your first order!! But, the only way to sign up via a referral is if you sign up via a link I have to email you. So, you can send me an email at with the email address you will use to sign up, and I’ll send you a ShoeDazzle referral for your 20%!
So, take a look, and enjoy!!

The following photos are some screenshots of shoe selections, as well as personal shoes from them!

Ninja Turtle Super Juice!!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

I have a new obsession…


I’ve always been a smoothie-kind of girl, but I had been seeing on a couple of other blogs, bloggers talking about all these yummy juices they make with all kinds of stuff I had never thought about putting in liquid form! I must confess, as much as I hate admitting to it, that I tend to “overstock” my vegetables, and it does happen more often than not, that we buy more than two people can realistically get through before it goes bad. I hate composting things that are not “used” so it was getting quite frustrating, but I always felt that if we bought less, than we wouldn’t have enough! Well, we went out and bought this lovely Waring Juicer on sale at Target a couple weekends ago, and the poor thing hasn’t gotten much rest since then! And, we haven’t had any produce go to waste, either! When something looks like it’s getting “close” to not being edible, in the juicer it goes! I’m having so much fun with it, I’m getting way more veggies in my diet, and so far, I haven’t made anything that hasn’t tasted good!

My beautiful new toy!

Another thing that I like about juicing is that you get this really great fiber/pulp leftover stuff in the juicer. It’s super great to pop in the compost…and I’m super excited to use my compost for a nice balcony garden next year…by then I should have lots of good stuff to use!

So, for one of my favorite recipes that I have come up with in the juicer. It’s really quite simple, and super tasty. Also, it’s GREEN!! You can’t go wrong with Ninja Turtle-green juice! Okay, so the Ninja Turtles were soaked in green “ooze”, but it made them big and strong and I think that this juice can do the same!

2 Handfuls of Spinach
1 Handful of Purple Kale (I’m sure green would be fine, too, but I buy the purple because it’s pretty!)
2 Green apples
1 Carrot (you get more juice out of the carrot if it’s at room temperature, fyi)
4 Pineapple cubes
Pop it all in the juicer and enjoy!!

Rum-Soaked Banana Goodness!!

Monday, August 16, 2010

In follow-up from my last post about vegan booze, I felt it only right to give you a recipe using said booze in one of the most deliciously simple desserts I've ever made. Now, the recipe is not mine; I give full props to Vegan Pandamonium for this most incredible recipe. I served these booze-soaked bananas over Vanilla Rice Dream Vegan Ice Cream sprinkled with pumpkin pie spice, and I cannot even tell you how fast this disappeared between my man and me. So, without further adieu, enjoy the recipe!

Ooey, Gooey Rum Bananers

3 bananas, cut into quarters
2 TBL vegan margarine
2 TBL agave nectar (I used vanilla agave for added sweetness)
1/2 TSP vanilla extract
3 TBL spiced rum
1 1/2 tsp crystallized ginger, minced
1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
garnish with shredded coconut (I didn't do this, but if you like coconut, go ahead!)

In a small saute pan, melt margarine over medium heat. Add the agave nectar and turn to high heat so that it begins to bubble, thicken and brown a bit.

Once the color starts changing, turn the heat to low and add bananas.

Add the vanilla extract and stir until the vanilla aroma begins to subside. Next add the rum and let it cook down for a few minutes. Add the crystallized ginger and the pumpkin pie spice and stir up well. Garnish with shredded coconut.

Now if this doesn't get you salivating, then WAKE UP!!! Enjoy!

Party Like a (Vegan) Rockstar!!!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Art by Norman "Sailor Jerry" Collins...also who my favorite *vegan* rum is by!!

Hey all! Sorry it’s been quite some time since I’ve updated, but this week has been busy, a bit stressful, and really hasn’t left me too much time to update this! For the past month, my new medication has really put me on a wacked-out schedule, and I honestly feel like I’m getting worse, and not better. I have felt super stressed out, and although it’s not the best thing for me, sometimes a cocktail or five at the end of a week like this is just what the Doctor ordered!

One of the things that vegans may not realize, however, is that a lot of alcohol is NOT vegan-friendly! Did you know that sometimes FISH BLADDERS are used to filter alcohol when being processed?!?! Talk about a major yuck-factor! Not to mention how many different beers and liquors are made with dairy products, or honey (I know some vegans aren’t opposed to honey, but some are). In fact, there can be a lot of animal products found in that tasty little stress-reliever-in-a-high-ball that you will never know about, because they are not required to put those things on the labels of alcohol. Which leads me to one of my ultimate-favorite websites:

This website has nearly every brand/type/bottle of booze you can think of on it, and it lets you know whether or not it’s vegan, vegetarian, or neither. The sources on the website have come direct from the distilleries themselves, and have been fact-checked, so they are very accurate. And seriously, if you cannot find a certain type of alcohol on this site, you can either send them a request to investigate, or what you’re drinking is probably some type of moonshine! It has EVERYTHING!! You can check this site before heading to your favorite watering hole or liquor store, so you know that everything you plan on indulging in is in fact, cruelty-free! So Happy Friday the 13th!! Have a great weekend! Live it up! And of course, be responsible out there!!

This Bull is a Rockstar!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Reading this story brought tears to my eyes upon reading it. Although it wasn't a happy ending for all, one brave bull survived, and brought himself quite a bit of positive attention as well as allowing people to see face to face, where their precious food comes from...and a huge thank you to the Farm Sanctuary in Watkins Glen, NY, for saving this beautiful creature. I'm sure he still has not gotten over the terror he saw or felt, and probably never will, but at least he'll be able to live out the rest of his life in a peaceful, and tranquil place where he'll never have to worry about being hurt like this again...

WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. – August 5, 2010 – A witness at the crash site called it “the worst thing I’ve ever seen.” Cattle walked the road smoldering or still on fire. Others lay dying on the pavement, with wounds so bad that their bones were showing. Out of this catastrophic nightmare bolted a lone determined bull, who despite suffering severe burns of his own, was so desperate to stay alive that he attempted to vault over a 3-foot concrete median. Early next week, this brave animal will arrive to a hero’s welcome at the upstate New York shelter of Farm Sanctuary, the nation’s leading farm animal protection organization, where his wounds will be gently treated and his traumatic ordeal put behind him. Soon, he will roam green pastures, bond with new friends, and live freely, as all cattle should. Late Monday night, amid the sirens, flashing lights, terror, and confusion, nothing could have seemed further away.

The accident happened just before midnight, when a 1999 Peterbilt semi hauling 34 cattle headed west on I-94 crashed into a 2011 Volvo semi at State Road 49 near Chesterton, Indiana. The driver of the cattle trailer was on his citizens' band radio talking to another driver when he hit the rear of the other truck. According to Indiana State Police, the tractor caught fire and ruptured, releasing the terrified animals onto the highway. The truck's driver dove out his window to escape the fire, but 18 of the 34 cattle perished, and others were injured. Of the 16 cattle who survived, seven attempted to escape with their lives, but as of 6 a.m. Tuesday, all had been accounted for, except one. According to Indiana State Police Sgt. Ann Wojas, the determined 2-year-old bull attempted to jump the 3-foot concrete median into the eastbound lanes but didn’t make it. After eluding capture for 12 hours and winning the respect and admiration of local residents moved by the story of a slaughterhouse-bound bull who literally rose from the ashes to save his own life, the courageous animal was caught by local officials and taken to the Porter County Animal Shelter, where he currently awaits safe transport to Farm Sanctuary.

“Farm Sanctuary is happy to take in this bull, who has experienced unimaginable horrors over the past several days,” said Farm Sanctuary National Shelter Director Susie Coston. “Every year thousands of animals die in transport accidents like the one witnessed by Indiana residents on I-94 last week. All too often, animals who survive these accidents are shot on site; rarely are they afforded veterinary care. To see so many people come forward and make a concerted effort to save this animal’s life shows a level of compassion seldom extended to animals raised for food, who deserve as much consideration as any other animal. We hope that his story of survival will help spread compassion for these animals far and wide and bring awareness to the need for laws that better protect farm animals during transport.”

The runaway bull follows in the footsteps of other daring animals who famously made dashes for freedom and now spend their days enjoying the peace and abundance of Farm Sanctuary’s New York Shelter — including two crafty cows named Maxine and Queenie, both escapees from a Queens slaughterhouse, whose stories have changed thousands of hearts and minds about animals and food.

To read the full story, click here.

Want to help animals like this bull, but cannot make it to New York?? Look into helping at our local farm sanctuary, the Heartland Farm Sanctuary right here in Madison!

Mike Tyson Drops Meat, Drops 130 Pounds!!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

I always love hearing the positive stories about how veganism can literally transform a person’s entire life. One of my favorite stories right now is that of Mike Tyson. Now, before you get all “Mike-Tyson-is-a-crazy-no-good-woman-beating-ear-biting-good-for-nothing,” just chillax a little bit. I was about 13 or 14 when I first heard of this guy. And believe me, it wasn’t a good impression. I was not into boxing, but recall him being all over the news for weeks after biting off part of his opponent’s ear in a boxing match. For years, this was my one and only impression of the guy, followed by allegations of abuse, drug addiction, and various other problems. Clearly, he was not on my radar as being someone I looked up to.

Fast forward about 12 years from that point (about a year ago), when I realized that, as much as I hate when people judge me, I was no different in my perceptions of a man I didn’t even know! Julian and I went to see his documentary in Los Angeles, because the reviews were astounding, and curiosity was getting the better of us both. What in the world was everyone so interested in seeing from him?! Well, I quickly saw for myself what an incredibly complex human being he was. Now, I’m not saying that some of the stuff he did in his past was right, but I am saying that you need to get to the core before you judge. Did you know that the first time he ever fought someone was because he was protecting an animal?! I had NO IDEA!!! He used to see the pigeons as his only friends, and loved these animals. To this day, he still has a close bond with these animals. I would have never thought that compassion for an animal could lead to a life built on smashing people’s faces in, but you never really know! Anyway, after a personal tragedy and battling some demons, Mike Tyson stumbled upon the world of veganism about nine months ago. I’ve been following it pretty closely, because that was also around the time when I decided to give up 100% of the animal products I’d been putting in my body.

Recently, an interview was done with Mike Tyson on ESPN where he revealed his amazing 130 pound weight loss all credited to veganism…rock on, Iron Mike!! Here is what he had to say on the weight loss:

"I became a vegan. Vegan is where no animal products. No livestock products. Nothing. I just did a lot of training and try to become more faithful in life. I wanted a different life. I felt like I was dying. I had an incident in life where I lost my 4 year old daughter in a tragic accident at home. I don't know. I didn't want to live anymore. So I said, that in order to go there, I had to change my life. I am going to change everything I dislike about myself. I changed everything that I was as a human being. I started that journey in October or November. … I don't smoke anymore. I wanted to give up everything. I had to change my life. I didn't have a problem with drugs or nothing. I had a problem with thinking. My thinking was broken. That was the solution of my broken thinking using drugs and living crazy. It was just the way I was thinking."

Now if that isn’t inspiring, than I don’t know what is! And if you haven’t seen the documentary Tyson, I highly recommend you do. Fan or not, it really gives you a new perspective on how the cards your dealt in life can always be played in your favor…it’s all just up to you!

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