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!

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