Red Velvet Brownies with White Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Yes, it's been quite some time since my last post. My mother is still in a very critical state of being, and the kind words of encouragement on this page, my facebook page, and my email have been overwhelming and very meaningful. I've been working on a recipe that is Christmas-y, while incorporating some of my mom's favorite things to make for her this holiday season, and I think I have finally created the "Mom's-favorite-things-Christmas-Dessert"! So without further adieu, I give you my Red Velvet Brownies with White Chocolate Buttercream Frosting!

3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
2 oz red food coloring **sidenote, look for a red food dye that is made with Red #40...this is derived from coal and not insects)
2 tsp pure vanilla extract, divided
1/2 cup (8 tbsp) Earth Balance, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups granulated vegan sugar
2 egg replacements (I use Orgran Gluten-Free No Egg, but a lot of folks like Ener-G egg replacement as well)
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup (8 tbsp) Earth Balance, at room temperature
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
4 oz vegan white chocolate, melted (I used Vegan Sweets Vegan White Chocolate Chips)
1 – 2 tbsp vanilla almond milk

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray an 8″x8″ baking pan with non-stick aide.

In a small bowl, slowly stir together the cocoa powder, food coloring, and 1 tsp vanilla into a thick paste, almost like toothpaste. Set aside.

With a hand mixer or bowl mixer beat together the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add egg replacement, then stir in the remaining 1 tsp of vanilla. With the mixer off, add in the cocoa mixture, then turn the mixer to medium and beat the two mixtures together until they are one uniform color. Slowly add in the flour and salt and mix on medium-low speed, just until combined. Do not overmix.

Remove the bowl from the mixer and stir up the batter with a rubber spatula once or twice just to ensure all of the flour has incorporated from the sides of the bowl and there isn’t anything stuck on the bottom of the bowl. You’ll want one uniformly colored (red) batter.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center of the brownies. Allow brownies to completely cool in the pan on a baking rack, about 45-60 minutes.

Cream butter until soft and fluffy then beat in the vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add in powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time; allow the sugar to mix in before adding the next 1/2 cup. Once all of the sugar has been added, beat on medium speed for 30 seconds and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add in the melted white chocolate and beat on medium speed until incorporated. With the mixer on low, add in almond milk 1 tbsp at a time and beat at medium speed until the frosting has reached your desired consistency.

The Big C

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

I'm sure most of you have noticed, but the blog has been pretty....well....blank lately. I do apologize, but there have been a great many things that have been keeping me from keeping it updated. So, here goes...

My mom has cancer. Not just any cancer either. She has been diagnosed with Rhabdomyosarcoma, which is one of the rarest forms of cancer, only affecting around 150 people a year WORLDWIDE. Of that small group of people, only 1-3 people diagnosed with it are over the age of 12, so her being an adult makes it that much more rare. Because of how rare it is, it was very difficult for the doctors to figure out what was wrong with her, but as her body continued to grow tumor after tumor, they knew it was SOMETHING. Now, my mother has been fighting this thing like a true champion, and really taking it head-on. But she's only fought the first few battles in this epic war against her body's attackers, so there's still a long way to go.

My mother is my best friend. When life goes awry, she's the one person who has always had my back...even when I have made that hard, haha. She's even written a guest blog on my blog, which you can read here. She is the most important person in the world to me.

Anyway, I'm telling you all this because I'd love your help! One of my mothers' friends entered her photo on the "Stand Up to Cancer" fan page on Facebook. Every time someone clicks "like" on her photo, $1 is donated to aid in Cancer research. That's it! You don't even have to "like" the page, just the photo. I mean, how hard is that?! I'm asking all you wonderful readers to just click the link, and like the photo...five seconds...for my mom, and for the millions of other brave, strong people out there fighting this awful battle.

Thank you so much for reading, and I promise, when things get better (and they will, I know it), I'll be back to blogging more frequently.

Here's the link!,id_1131

Here's the link!,id_1131

Here's the link!,id_1131

Here's the link!,id_1131

Here's the link!,id_1131

My 3-Day Kaeng Raeng Raw Vegan Cleanse!

Friday, June 17, 2011

If you're a reader of Alicia Silverstone's website, The Kind Life, then I'm sure you've seen her rave about the Kaeng Raeng system numerous times. Well, I am happy to say that, I was the winner of the last giveaway on her site, so I got to try the 3-Day Cleanse for free! Now, I'd been wanting to try this for a long time, but I'm wary of cleanses, mainly because so many of them are terribly unhealthy and very hard on your body. Upon receiving my system in the mail, I read all of the nutritional info, and was SHOCKED at how absolutely full of vitamins and nutrients this program be honest, it was probably more nutritionally "full" than my daily diet is!

The packets were clearly labelled and you drank 3 a day, and could incorporate raw fruits and veggies into it as well. You could also mix the packets with non-dairy milks or juices for different tastes and such, which made this not feel like a "fast" or any other "cleanse" I'd ever been on. So, I stocked up on fruits and veggies, got my juicer ready to make some pure orange and apple juices to blend my mixes with.

Day 1:
I started my morning in a bit of a rush, so I wasn't able to juice. I mixed my first packet, which was the blueberry one, with ice and water and a banana and tossed it in the blender quick. Maybe it's my slight aversion to blueberries, but I was not a fan...HOWEVER, it did keep me extremely fact, by the time lunchtime rolled around, I still had about a quarter of it left and I was STUFFED!

Lunchtime, I had the Mango Peach Pineapple pack, once again just mixed with ice and water. Now this one, I could get into! As full as I was from breakfast, I wanted the full effect of this so I really guzzled my 32 ounces down. I loved the fact that there were chunks of real fruit floating in my made it feel much more wholesome!

Dinner: For dinner, I had the raspberry and strawberry pack, and I blended it with some fresh strawberries, ice and water for a delicious, almost dessert-like, dinner. I went to bed completely full and not feeling like I was lacking a thing, and I didn't even have to supplement with additional foods, aside from the banana and strawberries!

Day 2:
I got through the blueberry smoothie much easier this morning after blending it with fresh orange juice. It is still my least favorite, which is why I continued to drink it in the morning, so I could "get it over with" essentially! I blended my lunch drink with orange juice as well for something a little different as well.

This day, I did get the munchies between lunch and dinner...probably more out of the need to "chew" on something, so I snacked on an apple and some carrots in between.

Dinner, I threw a banana into the mix and it was super delicious as well.

Day 3:
Day 3 was the hardest, as it was the day before my birthday, and I started dreaming of birthday cake...hahaha. But, I successfully made it through, with a banana, apple and carrot snack in between each "meal" and all blended with homemade OJ.

I woke up on day four feeling so much...cleaner, clear-headed, and rested...and the 4.6 pounds lost wasn't bad either! The great thing about it was the weight lost wasn't just "water weight" but it was all the toxic junk that was stored up in my body, because once I started eating again I didn't gain it back like you do with water weight. It stayed off and really did help me jump-start my weight loss!

Overall, I give the Kaeng Raeng 3-Day cleanse an A-, and the minus is only for the fact that I'm picky and didn't really care for the blueberry drink mix! I HIGHLY suggest this cleanse to anybody out there looking for something to detox their system jump over to their website *here* and give it a shot!

Easy Cream Cheese Banana Bread!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Alright, so I've definitely been having my share of fun with this next recipe...using it to make bread....muffins...adding get the picture!

So the other day, I had a terrible craving for pancakes, but I wasn't feeling too well and didn't feel like whipping them up from scratch, so it was off to the grocery store for me to track down a vegan pancake mix. I stumbled across Aunt Jemima's Whole Wheat Blend mix, saw that it was vegan and brought it home. Well, by the time I got home, this Gemini mind of mind had changed and didn't want pancakes anymore! So now I have this box of pancake mix that, unless I do SOMETHING with it, will sit in my pantry from now until eternity. So, I started rummaging around the kitchen looking for something to do with it, and let me tell you, not only did I have major success, but everyone I work with was absolutely salivating over these muffins they were so delicious! So without further blabbing from me, here's the super-easy recipe!

Danielle's Cream Cheese Banana Bread (or Muffins, your choice!)

2-3 bananas, ripe
8 oz. (1 container) Galaxy Cream Cheese Alternative
2 egg replacers (I use Orgran Gluten-Free No-Egg but I know lots of people like Ener-G too)
1/4 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. vegan white sugar
2 c. Aunt Jemima's Whole Wheat Blend Pancake Mix
1 tblsp. Cinnamon
Chocolate Chips (Optional)

Preheat Oven to 350.

Soften the cream cheese and mix with the sugars until smooth and creamy. Add in your bananas and your "eggs" and mix until smooth and well incorporated. Add in pancake mix, cinnamon, and anything else you care to add (walnuts, chocolate, etc.) and mix well.

Pour into breadpan or muffin pan. For one loaf of bread, bake for 45-50 minutes. For muffins, bake for 18-20 minutes.


(For the glaze that I made on the muffins, I used 1 c. vegan confectioners sugar (I find it at Whole Foods) and mixed it with 3 tablespoons of organic apple juice....delish!)

Nutrition Facts Per Serving (surprisingly low-cal!)

Calories: 186
Sodium: 415 mg
Fat: 6g
Protein: 3g
Fiber: 3g
Carbs: 29g

Cream Cheese Mexican Pizza!

Friday, June 3, 2011

(Sorry for the crummy photo, had to take it on my crummy phone because my crummy camera didn't feel like turning on :-()

So I was rummaging through Whole Foods the other day, and noticed that they sold vegan pizza dough made in-store! Obviously, being the pizza fiend that I am, I HAD to pick some up! I decided to make a Mexican-style pizza with a cream "cheese" base instead of sauce and it was to...die...for! So, here's what's included:

Cheesy, Creamy Mexicali Pizza
Whole Foods Vegan Pizza Dough
Galaxy Cream Cheese Alternative - 1 Container
Taco Seasoning (many have milk products, so make sure it's vegan!)
Black Beans (I used canned this time, because I found some canned with jalapenos!)
Rotel Diced Tomatoes and Green Chiles - 1 Can
Lightlife Mexican Style Grounds - 1/2 package
Galaxy Rice Vegan Cheddar block
Chipotle-Style Tabasco Sauce

Preheat your oven to 425.
Roll out your pizza dough into whatever shape you can get it (I can't make mine round for some reason, so I mold it into a baking sheet!).
Mix about half the packet of taco seasoning with the container of cream cheese until incorporated. Spread evenly on pizza crust.
Spread the beans, tomatoes and green chiles on the pizza.
Mix the remaining half of the taco seasoning with half a block of the Smart Grounds. Toss onto the pizza.
Shred about half a block of Galaxy Rice Vegan Cheddar and sprinkle on your pizza. Drizzle with some Chipotle-Style Tabasco sauce and toss a few sliced olives on there, if that's your flavor.
Throw in the oven for about 20 minutes, or until the crust is a golden brown.

Throw down some tequila and enjoy!

Easy, Cheesy, Low Cal Caulipots!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Hello Blogosphere! I know it's been a while, but I've taken on a new task in my baking and cooking, and have had to test numerous recipes trying to make them perfect for my readers. My newest task has been to reduce, reduce, reduce! I'm trying to make ALL of my dishes either low/no-fat or low-cal or BOTH! While this may seem easy, because people have an impression that vegans only eat grass and carrots, it's actually been quite a task! But, I made some DELICIOUS Caulipots last night that I am so excited to share with you! At only 142 calories per serving and less than 1 gram of fat, these are the perfect addition to any meal. Hell, you can have them FOR your meal if you choose to! I hope you enjoy as much as I did!

Easy, Cheesy Mashed Caulipots (Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes)

3-4 Medium sized Russet Potatoes, sliced into 3/4 inch slices
1 Medium head of Cauliflower, broken into florets

NEW Low-Cal/Low-Fat Cheese Sauce! (Modified from Happy Herbivore)
1-1/4 cup unsweetened rice milk
1/3 cup Nutritional Yeast
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
2 tablespoons corn starch
2 tablespoons yellow miso paste

Place the potatoes in cold water, with about 4 inches of water on top of them in a large pot. Bring to a boil. Once boiling, add the cauliflower florets and bring down to a simmer. Let simmer about 20 minutes, or until veggies are tender. Drain and bring back to the pot to mash with a potato masher.

Cheese Sauce: Whisk together all ingredients over medium heat, until boiling. Reduce to a simmer and stir continuously until sauce thickens. Incorporate into the Caulipot mixture, add some chives and parsley, and enjoy!

ShoeDazzle Cares! Vegan Shoes for Lupus!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Shoedazzle is my favorite shoe company. They sell vegan shoes, both casual and dressy...from sneakers to sky-high pumps and stilettos, you can find your vegan dream-shoe at Shoedazzle. Now, after me and various other ShoeDazzle fans with Lupus bombarded their PR department for a couple of months, Shoedazzle is donating to a cause that is VERY close to my heart, and featuring two shoes in my favorite color!

Shoedazzle Cares, folks! For every new person who signs up with this link and makes a purchase, if you enter the code "BUTTERFLY" at checkout, Shoedazzle will donate $5 to the Lupus Foundation of America! This cause is close to my heart, as my Grandmother died very young of Lupus complications and I have it as well. Since it's Lupus Awareness Month, I thought this was can get a hot new pair of shoes for summer AND donate to a good cause! Does it really get any better than that?!

A Personal Victory, Thanks to Veganism

Monday, May 2, 2011

May is finally here!

Now, my birthday aside, May is a very special month to me. Flowers bloom, farmer's markets have beautiful foods, there's an energy in the air that is happily contagious. May is also Lupus Awareness Month, and I want to share why that is special to me...

I have Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, or SLE Lupus. Basically, a "healthy" body creates antibodies, which are like little armies of cells that attack the bad things that enter your body, such as disease and illness and such. Well, my body's antibodies can't tell good from bad, so not only do they attack the bad things, but they also attack my healthy tissue, in my muscles, joints, and certain organs. It causes me to be exhausted all the time, my brain functions like someone who is legally intoxicated most of the time, causing me to slur my words often, be constantly dizzy and such. I have to have bi-annual kidney biopsy's to make sure that my body hasn't attacked my kidneys to the point of needing dialysis or chemotherapy. I get terrible swelling in my joints, much like someone with severe arthritis, and I get these super awesome (/sarcasm/) rashes on my face and shoulders any time the sun makes contact with my skin. In a nutshell, this is my every day life.

Now, before you go feeling sorry for me or anything, I want to share with you what a POSITIVE impact my VEGAN diet has had fighting my Lupus!
First off, my Rheumatologist firmly believes that the ONLY reason that my Lupus has not attacked my GI system is 100% because of my dietary choices I have made. He also believes that, of the inflammation that I have, people who have lupus as severe as mine tend to have about triple my inflammation, which is largely due to a poor diet consisting of red meats and dairy products. Basically, if it weren't for my vegan diet, I could be unable to work, I could be in MORE pain, and I could even be on permanent dialysis to keep my kidneys functioning. My VEGAN diet has kept all this from happening!

Secondly, there are MANY studies that show how a vegan diet is beneficial to those with Lupus. Beef and dairy products are rich in phenylalanine and tyrosine, which are not only unhealthy for anybody, but are chemicals that wreak havoc on somebody who has Lupus, causing severe damage to organs like your liver and heart. It has also been proven that a vegan diet that is at least 80% vegetable-based has had a profound effect on causing skin rashes and lesions that occur due to Lupus to disappear. I know that every time I get a rash, I try to make my diet as vegetable-based as possible, and my rashes not only stop itching and burning, but they tend to go away within days, as opposed to the weeks to months that they typically last!

Dr. McDougall's vegan diet has also had such success stories that Lupus has actually gone into full blown remission from switching to his diet from the Standard American Diet....seriously, how cool is that?!

So in honor of Lupus Awareness Month, which also happens to be one of my favorite months of the year, I encourage you, if you don't already, to give veganism a shot. Even if it's one day a week for the month of May, or maybe do some research on what a Vegan Diet can do for you in your life! Give some of Dr. McDougall's literature a read, or check out Kris Carr's Crazy Sexy Diet, to see what a profound effect her diet had on her health.

Happy May, and here's to good health!

Community Gardening!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

It's that time of year! And although with all the crazy weather we've been getting here in the Dairyland it may not seem like it, it's time to bust out the shovels and gloves and scruffy clothes, because it's GARDENING SEASON!!
Now I'm sure I'm not the only one who wants a garden but lives in an apartment...and I doubt my landlords would appreciate me tearing up a patch of grass to start my own garden. HOWEVER, that's where Community Gardens come into place! What is a community garden? Well, Madison, as well as many cities around the country, are sprouting these guys all over! Cities are turning empty lots into places where people can buy/rent/donate to a small plot of it, and grow as they please. You can get a tiny plot, or a huge plot, whatever best suits your personal needs, and the cost is usually super low for the growing season. Not only that, but you get the personal satisfaction of being able to care for and grow your very own food! Most plots you rent or buy, and others you can use for free if you donate the harvest to local food banks, which is also pretty sweet.

Now, if you're looking in your area, you can always Google "Community Gardens [city, state]" or you can check out to see if your area is located on their national map! So check it out, and get growing!

Easter Breakfast Tarte

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Simply Delicious!

Let me preface this with the fact that this is probably one of THE easiest recipes you'll ever make, and yet it will make you the superstar of any brunch you bring this to! It's simple, and you can use any flavor fruit preserve in it that you like for a different flavor.

Boysenberry Cream Cheese Breakfast Tarte

1 roll of Pillsbury seamless dough (yes, it's vegan! And if you can't find it, their croissant dough works fine, too)
Boysenberry Preserves, or whatever flavor jam or preserve you choose
Galaxy Vegan Cream Cheese

Way Better than Tofutti!!!

Preheat oven to 375. On a cookie sheet, place wax paper down to avoid the tarte sticking to the pan. Roll out dough into a long rectangle onto the wax paper. On one half, spread the Galaxy Cream Cheese evenly throughout. On the other half, spread evenly your fruit preserves.

Fold in half the long way, and poke holes in the top with a fork. Press the edges closed so all the yummy goodness doesn't seep out while baking.

Place in the oven, and let bake for 12 minutes, until the crust is a golden brown. Let cool, and serve!

Told 'ya it was simple and delicious!!!

Simplicity at it's finest!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Simple Lunch:
1 Gardein Scallopini
1/8 cup artichoke hearts, drained
Drizzle of olive oil
A few shakes of crushed red pepper flakes
Perfect simple lunch!

Huba-Huba Chocolate-Dipped Strawberry Cheesecake

Monday, April 4, 2011

So I've been drooling over an image over at VeganPandaMonium's blog for a while now, and while I had an excellent cheesecake recipe, I couldn't STAND the taste of Toffutti's cream cheese substitute. WELL, my grocery store finally started carrying the NEW cream cheese substitute made by Galaxy Nutritional Foods, so I figured it couldn't possibly be as nasty as Toffutti's, so I finally gave it a chance. Now, the idea for this cheesecake is definitely not original, but I used my cheesecake recipe instead of the one on Veganpandamonium's blog, just because I'm more familiar with the outcome. Just incorporated some of her smooth moves to make it pretty, and I must say this was probably one of the easiest, tastiest desserts ever. Seriously simple, and the Galaxy Cream Cheese substitute is not only amazing, but PERFECT for this recipe!

Huba-Huba Chococlate-Dipped Strawberry Cheesecake

16 ounces, or two tubs of Galaxy Non-Dairy Cream Cheese
1/2 cup agave nectar (or sugar)
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 pie-crust (Danielle got lazy and bought a pre-made vegan one this time!)
Vegan Chocolate Chips

Preheat your oven to 350. Put the "cream cheese", agave nectar, lemon juice and vanilla in a blender and blend on low until smooth. Add in the cornstarch and blend until incorporated. Pour mixture into your piecrust, reserving about 1/4 to 1/3 of the batter. Add the cocoa powder to remaining batter and blend until incorporated. Pour into piecrust, and swirl together with a knife. Bake for 40-50 minutes, depending on your oven time, until the top is a golden color. Let sit for about an hour, then put in the refrigerator for a few hours before eating.

While cooling, melt down some chocolate chips in a double boiler (or, place a heat-resistant bowl over the top of a pan of water on medium heat). Slice the stems off your strawberries diagonally, making the heart-shaped top, then slice lengthwise, to get perfect strawberry hearts. Dip half in your melted chocolate and set on wax paper to cool. Add to your cheesecake as a garnish.

"Bacon" and Petite Pea Creamy Risotto

Friday, April 1, 2011

Risotto - One of those things you really can't go wrong with. If you enjoy risotto, I think you're going to love this deliciously creamy, simple dish!

Bacon and Petite Pea Creamy Risotto
Serves 2:

1 and 1/3 cups orzo rice
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 small diced onion
4 slices vegan bacon, I use Lightlife Smart Bacon.
3/4 cup frozen petite peas
1 litre vegetable stock, I made mine with 1 tsp marigold vegan bouillon powder
4 Tbsp nutritional yeast, I like to grind mine to a finer powder in a mortar and pestle so it dissolves more easily into the risotto.
smoked sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan then add the onion, fry on low heat until soft and transparent. Add the dry rice and stir, making sure all grains are coated in oil for about 2 minutes. Start adding the stock a little at a time, making sure all liquid is absorbed between additions.

Meanwhile, fry the Lightlife bacon in a tiny bit of oil until heated through, about 2 minutes a side. Remove from the pan and chop up.

When you have a bit of stock left add the petite peas and when all the stock is added and the rice is tender stir in the nutritional yeast and bacon. You may need to add a bit more water if the rice isn't cooked. Season with the smoked sea salt and black pepper.

Yum, yum, yum, yum, YUM is all I have to say about this recipe! Enjoy!

Grillin' up those onions!

The best "bacon" alternative out there!

Fryin' up that vegan bacon!

I wish you could scratch and sniff, because this smelled delicious!

Green Owl Cafe Vegan Groupon!!!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The best vegan food in Madison is half-off with this Groupon deal! Click here to buy yours!

Spicy Buffalo Tempeh Salad with "Bacon-Ranch" Dressing

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

So last week, the sun was finally shining, the snow was finally melting, and it was really beginning to feel like Spring. Today is not one of those days, but I thought I’d share a yummy recipe that is delicious on a warm spring or summer day with you all!

Now I don’t know about you, but I crave different things depending on the weather. I made stew last night because it was cold and snowy, but when it’s warm and sunny, I crave cold things, like salads. I threw this salad together using some of my favorite Lightlife products, and a tempeh recipe from my favorite cookbook, Appetite for Reduction. I really like also that the author gives you all of the nutritional information on the food. This salad is not only delicious, but each serving comes in at just under 300 calories….when have you EVER had a salad with Ranch Dressing, Bacon, and Buffalo Protein that came in at so little?! Never! So give this one a shot, you won’t be disappointed. Here we go!

Spicy Buffalo Tempeh Salad with “Bacon-Ranch” Dressing

For the Tempeh:

1/2 cup Organic Vegetable Broth
1/2 cup Red Hot Cayenne Pepper Sauce (I used Franks Hot Sauce)
6 Cloves of Garlic
2 tsp Dried Oregano
8 oz Tempeh (I used Lightlife’s awesome tempeh)

Cut tempeh into smaller pieces (cookbook suggests 8 wedges).

Steam tempeh for 5 minutes.

Mix together the marinade ingredients in a medium mixing bowl.

When tempeh is done, immediately transfer to marinade for 10 - 60 minutes.

Preheat large skillet over medium-high heat. Spray the pan with a bit of non-stick cooking spray. Add tempeh and reserve marinade. Cook the tempeh for 10 minutes, flipping often, until it has browned a bit.
Add the remaining sauce and turn up the heat to high. Let the liquid boil and cook down for about 5 minutes.

For the Bacon:

4 strips of Lightlife Smart Bacon
Oil or spray for the pan
Liquid Smoke

Lightly oil or spray a small skillet and let it heat up a bit. Lay down the bacon strips and give each strip a few shakes of liquid smoke. After a few minutes, flip your bacon, and give the other side a few shakes of the liquid smoke. Cook until crispy. Allow to cool, then break apart into tiny pieces.

Now, I added the “Bacon Bits” to my own “Ranch” dressing, and shook it up so the bacon mixed in well. I tossed a salad of romaine, spinach, cucumbers, tomatoes, olives, and fried onions with the dressing, then topped with my buffalo tempeh. I really wish I had a picture of it, but I was so excited at how good it looked and smelled that I dug right in without even thinking about taking a shot! BUT, if you want to see how good it looked, make it for yourself, and see how awesome it looks/tastes/smells. The recipe looks like a ton of steps, but it’s really simple, so don’t be too overwhelmed by the amount of steps!

Cupcakes, Cupcakes, and More Cupcakes!

Monday, March 21, 2011

I went to visit my mother in Washington, D.C. this weekend. One of my favorite places to stop when I get there is the vegan bakery/cafe Sticky Fingers, which was actually just featured on the Food Network as they blazed through and won the Cupcake Wars, beating out non-vegan cupcake bakers and leaving them in their cruelty-free tracks! Little did I know that, while I was drooling over their counter deciding which cupcakes I wanted to try, my mother was at home, trying her hand for the first time at baking me vegan cupcakes, too! Needless to say, the house was full of these little treats when I got home!

Now, I have to give my mom props, because, for her first attempt at vegan cupcakes, they were probably the tastiest things she's ever made, and that's saying a lot considering my mom has been paid to make people's wedding cakes and other treats ever since I can remember! Amazing, light, fluffy, and oh so decadent, I felt I had to share the recipe she used here.

While at Sticky fingers, I had to try the cupcakes that won her Cupcake Wars, and those were equally as delicious! So, if you're in D.C., be sure to hit up Sticky Fingers! If you're not, then get in that kitchen and start baking this delicious recipe! I promise you won't be disappointed!!!!

The Strawberry Daquiri Cupcake which helped win Cupcake Wars filled with Kiwi....yum!!

Carmelized Banana, Chocolate Seltzer Cupcake, also a Cupcake Wars contender and equally delicious!!

But nothing beats homemade!!!!

Triple Chocolate Banana Brownies, oh my!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

(You won't be able to eat just one!)

Okay, so I saw this recipe on one of my favorite blogs, "Yeah, that "Vegan" Shit", and I knew instantly that I'd have to try them as soon as possible! I tweaked the recipe a bit, used 3 different chocolates instead of just one (equal parts 85% dark cacao, semi-sweet, and mexican), used rice instead of soy milk, and followed the rest of the recipe exactly how it was. After they came out of the oven, I torched the top a bit with a kitchen torch to give the bananas a "creme brulee"-type feel/texture, and boy oh boy, Elvis would be proud of me these are so good!! So hop on over to the recipe here and try them out...right now!!! Seriously, go! These only pack 168 calories per brownie....what's stopping you?!

A Vegan Hair Salon - Can it Be?!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Have you ever taken a trip to Target for toilet paper and ended up spending ten times as much as you should have? Then, when you get home and unpack your bags, discovering all the things your hands somehow snuck into your shopping cart you stumble upon that box of hair dye you bought? Excited, you rush to the bathroom and start mixing all those little bottles until the colors blend together and you pour this “stuff” all over your head without thinking twice about it. Your scalp starts to burn, your nose bleeds from the fumes, and you have to turn on every fan in your apartment because the stench of toxic chemicals is so overbearing that your cat has begun walking like someone who’s drunk in public? I know you know what I’m talking about. But seriously, does anybody REALLY know what their “natural” haircolor is anymore? I doubt it. We live in an age where looks and beauty and pampering yourself is in the forefront, and yes, even us vegans need to feel pretty! So what do we do? We KNOW that nearly all haircolors bought at Target or at your high-end salon are tested on animals, filled to the brim with harmful chemicals, and just plain aren’t GOOD for you. But you want to look and FEEL a certain way.

My hair color and/or cut changes with the moon phases. Seriously. It’s not a thing of vanity, but of self-expression for me. Being sick, there are many things about myself that I cannot change, but I still have control over my hair, so I express myself through it. And thank Mother Nature that I finally found a salon in Madison that caters to my need to express as well as my desire to be as eco-conscious as possible!

KODE Salon. Founded and owned by three of the most talented hair designers in the Midwest, and as someone who has lived coast to coast, I’d say in the country! You walk into the salon and just *know* that your experience here is going to be different from any other salon you’ve been to. From the hairstylist stations that were built from recycled barn floors, to the amazing nook the salon is nestled in in one of the coolest, most eco-friendly neighborhoods in Madison, to being tossed a beer as you walk in to wait for your appointment, this place has it going on!
KODE strives to source their resources as locally as possible, keeping money in the community.

The products that they use are not only vegan, but gluten-free, too! Now, out of sheer curiosity, I HAD to do some of my own research on this, because, well…I’m not good at taking things at face value. So I researched the brands and products they use and was so happy to see that, as far as a salon goes, this one is about as cruelty-free as it gets, folks! From Davines Haircolors, which even come in eco-friendly packaging on top of their cruelty-free stance and ingredients, to Surface styling products, which are all vegan and gluten-free and amazing in general!

But what about your HAIR? Does it look good when you leave? Let me just say, I’ve been to some of the most expensive and well-known hair stylists in the country and I have never left a salon more happy than when I left Kelly Z.’s amazing hands for the first time. The stylists spend massive amounts of time formulating a look that is not only 100% “you”, but one that is simple to maintain, grows out nicely, and a look that you will be more than happy about. I’ve only seen Kelly Z. when I go, as she’s my go-to-gal there, but I’ve seen the work the other stylists do and it’s also nothing short of awesomeness.

So, if you live in Madison and have been desperately searching for a place to get cut up, dyed out, or waxed off, then hit up KODE Salon. And afterwards, hop across the street to the best vegan restaurant in town, the Green Owl CafĂ©. Yes, it’s right across the street! I told you it’s located in the best neighborhood in town! So what are you waiting for?! Check them out and “fan” them on Facebook!

*All photos from the KODE Salon Facebook Page*

And the Winners Are....

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Thanks to all who participated in the giveaway!

I'm here to announce the winners today...and they are...

Making it in Madison - Congrats! You have won the Arbonne Eye Cream, my personal favorite!


Claire Vegahn from the Facebook Fan Page - Congrats (and cute play on words in your name)!! You have won the Arbonne 5-1 Massage Oil!!

Please send me an email with your name and shipping address to

And thanks for playing everyone!

Monday, February 28, 2011

This is absolutely hilarious, and so true, too!

One More Day to Enter the Giveaway!!!

There's only one day left to enter my Arbonne Giveaway! Winners for both products will be chosen by first thing Wednesday morning, with the cutoff time being midnight. So head on over, and get yourself looking fresh and glam vegan-style with these amazing products!!


If you have logged a comment as "anonymous" user, you are not entered in the contest! You have to connect through or Google connect so that there is an actual name attached to the entry!

5-in-1 Massage Oil for getting all the kinks worked out!

FC5 Hydrating Eye Cream - AMAZING stuff!!!

Vegan Breakfast - Biscuits and "Sausage" Gravy!

Friday, February 25, 2011

I took a recipe for biscuits and gravy from one of my favorite blogs to read, Vegan Pandamonium and had to try it, because this was seriously my favorite food - period - before going vegan and I've been trying and failing when it comes to making a good substitution. I didn't follow the recipe exact, as I used things I had around the kitchen. I used Pillsbury rolls (vegan!) instead of the Publix ones she used (is that a store???) I used Rice Milk instead of soy, and I used Lightlife Smart Grounds instead of the sausage substitute she used.

I think the photo speaks for itself. Seriously delicious. You MUST try these!

Recipe Here!

Godfather-Approved Easy, Cheesy Broccoli Alfredo

Thursday, February 24, 2011

I'm pretty sure that the creamy alfredo sauce I concocted last night in my kitchen laboratory was so good even the Godfather himself would approve! And seriously folks, this is easier than mixing together that chalky mac n cheese powder with cold butter that we all grew up learning to love. Yes, it really is that simple!

Godfather-Approved Easy, Cheesy Broccoli Alfredo

1/4 c. Earth Balance or your favorite vegan butter
1/2 c. Tofutti Vegan Chive Cream Cheese
1-1/2 tsp. Garlic Powder
2/3 c. vegan milk (I use Rice)
1/2 c. Nutritional Yeast

While the noodles of your choice are cooking, melt the butter in a small saucepan on low heat. Once melted, whisk in the cream cheese until it is melted as well. Whisk in the garlic powder and milk and when everything is nicely combined, whisk in the nutritional yeast, whisking until it's combined well and thickening up a bit.

Steam up some of your favorite veggies (I used broccoli), drain your pasta (I use rice fettuccini) and toss it all together for a meal you'll want to write your Italian Grandmother about...even if, like don't even have an Italian grandmother! Simple, delicious, and I promise, this will become a comfort food staple!

While you're here, be sure to stop by my giveaway! There's still time to enter!!!!

Too Cute to Not Share

Monday, February 21, 2011

Had to share my baby dragon's new buddy...who would have thought that these two creatures could get along?!


Friday, February 18, 2011

Alright folks...I've noticed my subscriber numbers growing, and I've been posting less and less, and for that, I apologize. BUT...I want to make it up to you all by having...


I've seen a lot of people on many different vegan and vegetarian forums who look for beauty products but struggle in finding ones that are not only cruelty-free, but that actually work. There are two brands and two brands only that I use, because not only are they cruelty-free, but they are absolutely amazing! The products I use are Lush Products (their solid shampoo bars are the best thing ever) and Arbonne. Arbonne was introduced to me by my mother, and I use their facial cleansing system, body oil on my rough, patchy skin when have my Hypothyroid or Lupus flareups, and I also take their vegan Omega-3 supplement. I have two amazing products that I want to give away, so here we go!

Giveaway #1:

Arbonne FC5 Hydrating Eye Creme - $30 for 0.5 fl. oz.

The FC5 product line from Arbonne is my favorite. It is all natural, vegan, and is NEVER tested on animals! It's for all skin types, and it helps minimize the appearance of dark circles and fine lines to help revitalize skin, promoting a more youthful look. (and really, who doesn't want a more youthful look?!)

Giveaway #2:
Arbonne Seasource 5 in 1 Massage Oil - $45 for 6 fl. oz.

From the Arbonne website: This essential oil blend contains stimulating, marine-derived ingredients to help remove toxins and deliver nourishing minerals. Deep skin conditioning is provided by linoleic acid. Bisabolol provides calming and anti-irritating effects. Its 5-in-1 formula preps skin for further detox treatments and can be used for body and facial massage, as a bath additive, as a purifying facial steam and for relaxing aroma­therapy.

So there you have it! Now, how do you enter? A few ways:
1. "follow" my blog!
2. comment on this post and tell me what you'd like to win!
3. "like" the VeganRockerGirl Facebook Page and leave a comment there
4. Link back to this giveaway on your blog, and let me know in a comment
5. Be located in the USA...sorry international folks...maybe next time <3

It's that simple!! The giveaway winners will be drawn through and will be announced on Tuesday, March 1st. Good luck to you all!!!

And remember, for every ad you click on this page, 100% of the money generated from it goes to a local animal rights organization in Wisconsin, so click away!

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