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Nocciolata Dairy Free Hazelnut & Cocoa Spread Giveaway!

Yes, this is exactly what you think it is- a deliciously decadent hazelnut and cocoa spread that is both organic and vegan, and is all that much better than that other version you’ve heard of. 

Rigoni di Asiago (which may just be my favorite company ever, based solely on this 9.5oz jar of heaven) has created Nocciolata, an organic Hazelnut & Cocoa Spread that is all kinds of wonderful:

  • All ingredients farmed with no environmental pollution 
  • No palm oil or trans fats
  • No artificial aromas or colors
  • No artificial flavors
  • Vegan certified
  • Gluten-free certified
  • Dairy free
  • GMO-free certified

And they’re going to share a bottle with one of you!

The first thing I did when I received my bottle in the mail was to bake a loaf of zucchini bread (recipe coming soon) and slather it on:

Nocciolata Dairy Free Hazelnut & Cocoa Spread Giveaway!

As I’ve said before, I’m not the biggest fan of chocolate, yet I loved this spread! It’s so creamy and mild and not overwhelming at all. I’ve been eating it straight out of the bottle with a spoon, although I limit myself to small tastes, because otherwise I’d have none left. 

I also used it on that ice cream pie a while back… And I’m pretty sure it would be delicious on anything.

So Delicious Ice Cream Pie

So! Go ahead and enter (make sure you get as many entries as possible!) and check back soon for that zucchini bread recipe. And in case you don’t win the giveaway, check out the huge number of grocery stores it’s also available in!

The Giveaway

One lucky reader will win one jar of Nocciolata Dairy Free Hazelnut & Cocoa Spread! To enter, leave a comment below sharing how you’d use this delicious spread. On cookies? On ice cream? On your finger? Contest ends October 130th at midnight (mountain time). One winner will be chosen at random and announced the following day. Be sure and log your comment into the Rafflecopter to make it count! Open to residents of US only, good luck!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

 *I was provided free product to review but the opinions are 100% mine!


Sunwarrior Vanilla Bean Protein Waffles

Sunwarrior Vanilla Bean Protein Waffles

Waffles. We all love to eat them, but we don’t always want to make them from scratch. It’s a lot of work for one (usually early) meal! So here’s what I propose: make extra and put them in your fridge and eat them for snacks throughout the week! #SnackWaffles

And what makes Snack Waffles even better? When they taste amazing because they’re full of vanilla protein powder and then are even more perfect for a post workout snack! Sunwarrior sent me a bunch of their protein powder packets to try out. Last time I used them to make a dessert-y smoothie, but this time I craved something more substantial. Something that would require me to chew. 

Sunwarrior Vanilla Bean Protein Waffles

Sunwarrior was kind enough to send me three flavors: Mocha, Aztec Chocolate, and Vanilla Bean, and since I’m not the biggest chocolate fan, the choice was shockingly simple. The strawberries were also a no-brainer because strawberries and vanilla go together like peanut butter and chocolate, IMO. 

All I did was combine the protein powder with some Papa Tom’s waffle mix, along with Follow Your Heart vegan powdered egg mix, and voila. Snack waffles. 

So here’s the thing- These don’t really have a recipe, more a rule of thumb. Use whatever waffle mix you prefer and follow the package instructions, but for every 8 waffles you’re preparing, you’ll want to sub in 80 grams of the Sunwarrior vanilla bean protein powder. So, for example, if you’re using X number of cups of that waffle mix you just bought that makes 8 waffles, scoop out 80 grams of the mix and replace it with the protein powder. Easy! 

*I was provided free product to review but the opinions are 100% mine! 


Mile High Vegan Eats: Esters Neighborhood Pub

Mile High Vegan Eats: Esters Neighborhood Pub

Esters is the perfect neighborhood pub. It’s quiet enough to bring my mom there. It’s chill enough for me to sit at the bar and have lunch and a glass of wine with a book. And it’s fun enough to bring a date! 

They’re really close to my house (they’re in Virginia Village, for you locals), and the atmosphere is just fun and friendly. There are tvs for all your sports-watching needs, and they have an outdoor patio area as well. Combine that with 22 beers on tap, and what more do you need?

Mile High Vegan Eats: Esters Neighborhood Pub

Here are a few of my very favorite things to order when I’m there: 

Pizza made with Daiya cheese and all the veggies you could ask for. Their crust is fantastic and they never scrimp on anything!

Mile High Vegan Eats: Esters Neighborhood Pub

Their hummus is always fantastic too- topped with olives and chopped veggies, it’s served with a TON of fresh soft pita. So delicious, but make sure you order the hummus without the cheese topping!

Mile High Vegan Eats: Esters Neighborhood Pub

They offer a rotating, seasonal selection of salads – this one had kale, avocado and roasted red peppers. Again, you have to request no cheese, but that’s easy. 

Mile High Vegan Eats: Esters Neighborhood Pub

Want more Denver-area restaurant reviews? Check out my Mile High Vegan Eats page!


Green Chile Casarecce & Pasta Lensi Giveaway!

Green Chile Casarecce & Pasta Lensi Giveaway!

We all love pasta, but we also know we shouldn’t eat too much of the bleached white stuff… which is where Pasta Lensi comes in! They’ve created single ingredient pasta, using just chickpeas, black beans, or red lentils. That’s all! Just one ingredient! 

Green Chile Casarecce & Pasta Lensi Giveaway!

They currently offer three varieties, all of which are vegan:

  • Chickpea Casarecce made with flour ground from chickpeas and reflects the flavor and sandy color of its single ingredient. It pairs well with fresh, chunky sauces, and provides 22 grams of protein and 12 grams of fiber per 3.5 oz serving. It is also gluten free, vegan, low fat, low in sodium, cholesterol free, and a good source of potassium and iron.
  • Black Bean Sedani made with flour ground from black beans and has a dark, rich color. It makes an excellent complement to Latin American flavors, and provides 21 grams of protein and 17 grams of fiber per 3.5 oz serving. It is also gluten free, vegan, low fat, low in sodium, cholesterol free, and a good source of potassium and iron per serving.
  • Red Lentil Fusilli made from ground red lentils and has a rich red hue that brings brightness to any dish. It catches sauce between its curls and provides 26 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber per 3.5 oz serving. It is also gluten free, vegan, low fat, low in sodium, cholesterol free, and a good source of potassium and iron.

I had a jar of vegan green chile that I had been waiting to use, and the chickpea casarecce seemed like the perfect choice. So I cooked the pasta per package instructions and just added in the green chile, and boom- lunch was served!

I’m not strictly gluten free (not even close), but I do buy gf pasta from time to time, and this is one of the best that I’ve tried. It stayed firm, and it had a great texture. I also love that there’s only one ingredient- I don’t need to worry about the crazy chemicals and additives I can’t pronounce!

The Giveaway

One lucky reader will win THREE boxes of Pasta Lensi (Chickpea Casarecce, Red Lentil Fusilli, and Black Bean Sedani) plus a $50 gift card to Walmart, so you can buy all the other ingredients for the fabulous meals you’re about to make! To enter, leave a comment below sharing what your go-to pasta comfort dish is. Straight up mac n’ cheese? Lasagna? Contest ends October 16th at midnight (mountain time). One winner will be chosen at random and announced the following day. Be sure and log your comment into the Rafflecopter to make it count! Open to residents of US only, good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*I was compensated for this review, but the opinions are 100% mine!


Mini Vegan French Bread Pepperoni Pizzas

Mini Vegan French Bread Pepperoni PizzasPizza and dogs. Dogs and pizza. Does it get any better?

These are the four sweet faces that currently greet me every time I walk through the door:

all the dogs

I’m sure you recognize Sally and Teddy, the other two belong to my ex husband, Zuma and Maggie. Maggie was actually a foster of mine back in the spring, when her name was Kay! Zuma had come to visit and they got along so well, he just had to adopt her.

Don’t you just love when things work out perfectly?

In other dog news, it’s been a year since Cooper went to the rainbow bridge. Part of my marking this passage of time was to paint a picture of him.

Cooper paintingAnd here’s the picture it was painted from:

Cooper pic

Totally looks like him, right? My friends Denise and Leslie and I took an afternoon class at a local Pinot’s Palette, one of those wine and paint shops, and had a great time. I’m going to go back and paint Sally and Teddy and Betty too, and hang them all along my stairway. It’ll make me so happy each time I look at them!

And now, pizza. When I was little my brother and I spent most weekends at grandma’s house where she spoiled us silly and bought us all the processed, pricey foods our mom didn’t. One of my very favorite things to pick from the grocery store freezer were those Stouffer’s French bread pepperoni pizzas. You know the ones?

I’ve been wanting to veganize them forever, but never got around to it. Until now.

Mini Vegan French Bread Pepperoni PizzasThey’re so easy. I used the Yves vegan pepperoni, Daiya mozzarella shreds, and these little dinner rolls sliced in half lengthways. I also added some stewed tomatoes because I already had a can open. They were delicious and really hit the spot!

Mini Vegan French Bread Pepperoni Pizzas


Mini Vegan French Bread Pizzas
Just as good as the frozen ones of your youth!
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  1. Pre-cooked dinner rolls
  2. Your favorite pizza sauce
  3. Yummy toppings like tomato bruschetta, veggie pepperoni, bell peppers, etc.
  4. Daiya mozzarella shreds
  5. Salt & pepper
  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Slice the rolls in half lengthwise and poke the cut sides with a fork- it helps the sauce get down in there! Top each one with ~2 tablespoons pizza sauce. Add any additional toppings then finish with the cheese. Bake for 6-8 minutes or until everything is warm and the cheese is melty. Give them 15-30 second under the broiler if you want them a little more melted. Sprinkle with just a little salt and pepper.
  3. Serve hot!
That Was Vegan? http://www.thatwasvegan.com/

So Delicious Ice Cream Pie


So Delicious Ice Cream Pie

I’ve been so absent from blogging that I’ve failed to share with big news with you guys- My mama finally lives in Denver! And my grandma too-


I left NH for LA when I was 21, and that was the last time I lived near them. That’s like 10 years 15 years a long time ago! It’s been wonderful having family nearby again, and of course they’re loving it here, because Denver is just the best city, IMO.

One of the fun things we’ve been doing is good old fashioned Sunday Family Dinners, the best part of which is of course dessert!  This means that recent shipment from So Delicious really came in handy… They sent a box of their cashew milk ice creams, along with a tub of their coco whip (which if you haven’t tried it yet, you’re really missing out!). I’ve always been a fan of So Delicious ice creams, but their cashew milk based selection is some of my favorite, especially the salted caramel cluster. And the snickerdoodle.

What to do with the ice cream and whip? Well I took these ingredients and did what anyone in my position would do… I made an ice cream pie!

There’s no real recipe here- I just started with a store bought graham cracker crust, and left the ice cream out for 10-15 minutes until it softened up. Then I spooned the ice cream into the crust with a big spoon, in layers so each piece cut would have a bit of both.

So Delicious Ice Cream Pie

Then I topped it with chopped up oreos and a few dabs of this vegan chocolate hazelnut spread that I’ll be reviewing soon.

So Delicious Ice Cream Pie

Cover and pop into the freezer for about an hour and then voila- you have dessert. Don’t forget the cocowhip!!

So Delicious Ice Cream Pie

*I was provided product to review but the opinions are 100% mine!



What I’ve Been Reading (and Tweeting)

You’ve all watched The Night Of, right? If yes, did you love it as much as I did? If you haven’t watched it yet, I promise no spoilers… except this one. I proposed to Riz Ahmed during his recent QnA on twitter… and he accepted!


Yes, I’m a dork, but we already knew this. 


I’ve been reading A TON lately, and even though I gave up on that whole ‘reading with intention‘ project, I still want to share. 


Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier – How is it that I never read this classic? Especially since so many people compare it to Jane Eyre which is my all time favorite. Amazing, timeless story, so well written. I love a good love story, especially a tragic one. 

The Ballad of Black Tom by Victor LaValle – A look at the racism of the 1920’s through the lens of magic… It’s a short novella, a very quick read, but it pulls you in quickly. I never read the Lovecraft book this is always compared to (and now that we know how shitty of a human being Lovecraft was- do I want to) but most reviewers say this is much, much better.

All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders – I am really not a fan of science fiction or YA but loved this book- which makes me think all those who categorize it as such are just plain wrong. It’s whimsical, and it’s dark and it’s sad… but it’s also hopeful. Two outcasts who knew each other from childhood have gone on to two very different specialties as adults- science and magic. Then, you know, the apocalypse. Typical love story 😉

The Cartel by Don Winslow – Not true crime, but close enough! I sped through the 600+ pages of this book in less than a week. It’s a very real look at the lives lived and lost in the Mexican-American drug wars, from both sides. And it’s not always clear who the bad guy is. Don’t get me wrong- the cartels are horrific… but honestly so is the US war on drugs, IMO. If you like true crime, or gory fiction, you’ll probably like this.

The Girls by Lori Lansens – This starts out feeling very YA, and I almost put it down, but so glad I didn’t! It’s the story of a pair of conjoined twins named Rose and Ruby, and they life they lead. Their dreams and hopes and heartbreaks. It’s the kind of book where you really feel like you knew the characters by the end. Fiction, but doesn’t really feel that way.

After her by Joyce Maynard – If you read my podcast roundup a few weeks back you know I’m really into murder podcasts right now, and this book fit right in. It’s a “coming of age during a serial killer spree” story. Very well written. A bit predictable, but very enjoyable. I actually went on to read two more books by the same author right after (although didn’t enjoy either as much as this one).

What are you reading? Anything I might like?






Spicy Fajita Millet

Spicy Fajita Millet

Mmmm mmm millet! It’s healthy, full of nutrients like iron, magnesium, and B-6. It’s gluten-free if that matters to you, and it’s one of the least expensive grains you can buy. And when you cook it up with fresh veggies and spicy fajita seasoning, it makes a fantastic side dish or entree all on its own! 

I cook with millet a lot these days… “these days” being since I realized that I know a millet farmer who will share with me, haha! I’ve made Early Morning Maple Bacon Millet:

Maple Bacon Morning Millet Porridge | www.thatwasvegan.com

And I’ve made Peanut Butter Bourbon Buckeyes with Crispy Millet:

Peanut Butter Bourbon Buckeyes w/ Crispy Millet | www.thatwasvegan.com

Those buckeyes, OMG. You need to make them immediately. I need to make them immediately! The best thing about them (besides their amazing flavor and bitesized-ness) is that you can keep them in the freezer and just eat one or two or seven at a time. It’s not like a cake that you (feel like you) need to eat all at once before it gets stale, you know?

But before I get all sidetracked with dessert, let us focus on dinner, or lunch. Spicy Fajita Millet

So easy to make. While you’re cooking the millet in one pot, simple water saute some veggies and seasonings in another pan, and then mix them all together. I used mini sweet peppers because I love their shape and size, and half a sweet onion. And TONS of spice. I ate one serving right away for dinner, and the rest became lunches for the week.

Spicy Fajita Millet

I topped it with a few sliced scallions, but you could go more decadent and use a little vegan cheese or sour cream- that would be delicious too!

Spicy Fajita Millet Bowl
Serves 4
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  1. 1 cup uncooked millet
  2. 8 sweet mini peppers
  3. 1 small sweet onion (or half of a regular sized one)
  4. 3 tablespoons fajita seasoning plus 1 teaspoon (store bought or homemade)
  5. Couple shakes chili powder and crushed red pepper flakes for extra flavor
  6. Salt & pepper to taste
  7. Toppings like vegan cheese, sour cream, sliced scallions, etc!
  1. Cook millet per package instructions, adding in 1 teaspoon of the fajita seasoning
  2. Slice the peppers into pretty little circles, halve and slice the onion (for shorter strips)
  3. Water saute the veggies over medium-high heat for 2-3 minutes. Add the rest of the seasonings and more water as needed, and continue to saute for 5-6 more minutes. You want the veggies cooked but not mushy.
  4. Combine with the cooked millet stirring well. Taste and add salt and pepper, or more spice. Top and serve!
That Was Vegan? http://www.thatwasvegan.com/


I miss my foster kittens! Last Saturday they hit the two important milestones- 8 weeks old and over 2lbs, which means they were ready to be spayed and find their new homes. Mama too. Of course, as you can see in the photo above, they had just learned how much fun it is to climb up and down my headboard, so I supposed it’s for the best, before their tiny little claws cause too much damage. So goodbye Squirrel, Mouse, Bunny, and Chipmunk. I hope you have long, happy, healthy lives full of catnip and silly toys! 💖

Other important updates? Two weeks and counting until my Grandma Josie moves here!

My NH Visit | www.thatwasvegan.com

She’s 86 and this will be her first time living in a city, which she finds very exciting. I can’t wait to have her here and help her get settled in. I’m sure she’ll miss the beautiful lake house, but she’ll still have White Russians here in Denver, haha! And even better, a couple weeks after that, my mom will be moving here too – talk about exciting changes! I haven’t lived near my Mama since I left NH in 1999, and I’ve very happy that will soon be changing. 

In the meantime, here are some yummy bits I’ve had to eat… 

From a recent shopping spree at Nooch Vegan Market here in Denver, my favorite Earth Balance White Cheddar Puffs! I also splurged and tried two new products, the Late July Bacon Habanero Chips and WayFare Nacho Cheddar Dip. Both were amazing. The chips were spicy and had a really strong bacon flavor, but the cheese dip stole my heart. The best pre-made vegan queso I’ve ever had, by far.


Buffalo Seitan wings (with vegan ranch!) and fries from City O’ City… the ultimate happy hour snack, right!? And no, I didn’t eat them all myself, they were shared with two other girlfriends – I swear!


I wont lie… by the end of August, if you were to cut me open, I’d probably be bleeding Gin & Tonic. But I feel like that’s okay because limes are a fruit and add a nutritional legitimacy to my summer drink of choice. Right? 


Dinner the other night was a baked sweet potato, steamed kale, and BBQ baked tofu. I don’t usually have such healthy, well-rounded meals so I’m always careful to document them when I do 😉 


Speaking of which, this was from the weekend before last at a friend’s BBQ- My Spicy Pasta Salad, a corn and avocado salad another friend made, a boca burger, and saw raw veggies and fruit. Everything was fantastic, and I need to get the recipe for that corn salad. It had feta in it, but she set aside a cheese-free portion for me, how sweet is that?


I always forget about my Hummus Veggie Melts which is a shame because they’re really delicious, easy, and healthy! And when paired with a salad, they make a great lunch or dinner.


And finally, a little Tex-Mex feast: Seitan fajitas, brown rice mixed with cumin and chili powder and sweet corn, and black beans. I used my own homemade seitan (which is easier to make than you probably think!) and added a little vegan sour cream. Mexican food is probably my most favorite, if I had to choose. 


And speaking of spicy flavors, I’ll be back Thursday with a recipe for my new, favorite way to enjoy millet! 


My Fave Podcasts and a Beautiful Brunch

My Fave Podcasts and a Beautiful Brunch

Who says online friends can’t become IRL friends? Not I! Angie and I first became acquainted in October 2012 through the old monthly vegan swap. Bloggers and readers would sign up to participate, and we’d be matched… and send each other boxes of vegan deliciousness. It was a lot of fun, although also a lot of work for the organizers which is probably why it no longer exists. Anyway, back then Angie had signed up and drew my (lucky) name… and proceeded to send me the best box I ever received- mostly because of these chocolate chip cookies from Loving Hut. And also because I had just spent a day flying back from DC with a broken foot, had lost my car at DIA, then had to drive over an hour home and got there after midnight. It was a rough day, but this box was waiting for me on the front step and it made everything better. 

Fast forward a bit and Angie now has two great blogs: Angie Eats Peace, where she shares her vegan journey, and Spiritual Bahana where she and her spiritual “sister” blog about religion and spiritualism. They call it “A girl, a gay, and God” which I love.  

So we were reading each other’s blogs and even guest posting for each other here and there, but we still hadn’t met in person. But we finally did! We had brunch the other morning in Boulder at Tangerine. The food was delicious, but the company was even better!

We each had The Vegan, which was tempeh, avocado, fresh arugula, sauteed spinach, eggplant caponata, pinto beans, almond romesco sauce and walnut pesto. Delicious, and healthy, and perfect for brunch on a hot day.

My Fave Podcasts and a Beautiful Brunch

And Angie? She’s that person who can only be described as beautiful, both inside and out. She emanates gentleness and understanding and empathy, and just being around her is calming. She really makes me want to do more yoga haha! Her MIL lives in Estes Park, so we’re hoping to plan a snowshoeing outing this winter, which would be great. Angie, I’m so glad we finally met! 

Okay, podcasts!

I take the bus back and forth to work most days, and I’ve found this is time best spent with my earbuds in and a “Don’t talk to me” look on my face. Sometimes I’ll listen to audio books or music, but mostly I’m listening to podcasts. There are a few that I really love, and wanted to share with you in case you’re looking for any new ones to listen to.

In no particular order… 

  • Lore with Aaron Mahnke: I know lots of people have jumped on the Lore bandwagon, but I have to brag and say I’ve been a listener since the get.  Mahnke has an incredibly voice and is a great story teller, which really draws you in… but the stories themselves are of course the hook. True life scary stories is what this podcast is all about, many of which are quite historical. And there is a tv show in the works (from the producers of The Walking Dead, no less), which I will definitely be DVRing!
  • Awesome Etiquette with actual relatives of Emily Post: The premise of this one is simple – listeners send in emails with etiquette questions, and these two answer. Very much like the Emily Post columns back in the day, except way more fun! These two are young, hip, hilarious AND very polite. You’ll actually learn from this podcast, but you’ll also laugh and be amused. 
  • My Favorite Murder with Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark: I’ve only recently started listening to this one, but I literally can’t get enough. I listen on the bus. I listen at home while playing with the kittens. While cleaning the kitchen. Also, I want to be BFFs with both of these women. They are so funny and witty and uproarious and over-the-top. Nothing would delight me more than to have them over for wine and snacks and murder talk. Basically these podcasts are the two of them comparing the true crime stories they like best. They’ll say the things that it’s not always socially acceptable to say (for example, that you’re obsessed with true crime stories), and they’re willing to admit their weaknesses (they’re both scared silly of being home alone after dark). The two things are certainly related. 
  • Fresh Air with Terry Gross: Probably everyone already listens to this one, but I never get tired of Terry. She’s so smart and the topics she explores are all so interesting (How the New England Colonists Embraced the Slave Trade, or Bracing for Zika in the US). I especially love when she interviews book authors- some of the best book recommendations have come from Fresh Air! 
  • Young House Love Has a Podcast: I feel rather basic for admitting that I enjoy this podcast, but I do. I love DIY and “real life” design (as opposed to design that costs a gazillion dollars), and I always used to read their blog. If you liked the blog, you’ll like the podcast. If you found the blog annoying, well… you get it. 

I have an iphone so I get my podcasts directly from My Podcasts, but these are also available via iTunes or Stitcher. Tell us, what are your favorite podcasts? 

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