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Giveaway: SuperSeedz | www.thatwasvegan.com

I’ve shared this fabulously delicious, healthy, vegan, gluten-free snack with you guys before, and just because SuperSeedz is so awesome, they’ve agreed to sponsor another giveaway! One lucky winner will win a box of their new 1oz snack packs in each flavor! 

And ohmygawd they have the most amazing new flavor – Maple Sugar & Sea Salt! It’s sweet and salty. I love maple flavor so much I couldn’t stop eating them until they were gone. Which made me a little happy that I was only holding a 1oz bag because it limited the damage I could do, haha! Their other flavors are great too, and in addition to the Maple Sugar, the winner will also receive: Cinnamon & Sugar, Coco Joe, Sea Salt, Somewhat Spicy, and Super Spicy

In addition to being delicious, these little seeds have lots of other things going for them as well. They’re:

  • Allergen friendly
  • Peanut-free
  • Tree nut-free
  • Egg-free
  • Dairy-free
  • Fish-free
  • Shellfish-free
  • Soy-free
  • Gluten-free

They can be purchased at retailers like Costco, Sprouts, and Whole Foods, as well as online


 The Giveaway

One lucky reader will win a box of 1oz bags of SuperSeedz in 6 flavors! To enter, leave a comment below: What else are you doing while you snack? Driving? Hiking? Laying on the couch watching Netflix? You can also score extra points with Twitter and FB. Contest ends July 7th at midnight (mountain time). One winner will be chosen at random and announced the following day. Be sure and log your activities into Rafflecopter to make them count! Contest open to US residents only. Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

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

{ 17 comments }

Garlicky Cucumber Hummus | www.thatwasvegan.com

Hummus is wonderful. Delicious. Healthy, creamy goodness. But it can also have a ton of calories if you buy the kind made with a lot of oil. And no, I’m not an oil-free vegan by any means, but I do like to be healthy and save some calories where I can, especially when it doesn’t compromise the taste. So, once in a while, I like to make a big batch of homemade hummus to snack on at work during the week, and this is my current favorite: Garlicky Cucumber Hummus!

Just how garlicky is it, you may be wondering? If you’re thinking about making this for someone, and you ask them if they like garlic and they say “Yah, I guess…” then this is not the hummus for them. This is the hummus for people who love garlic. LOVE. 

It would also be a great snack for people with an obsessive fear of vampires.

Garlicky Cucumber Hummus | www.thatwasvegan.com

Seriously though, lots of garlic. Don’t eat it before kissing anyone new, that would be my advice. Me, I’m on a mancation and only kissing my dogs, so I can eat as much of it as I want. The garlic and the cooling cucumber work so well together!

You know what else works well together? Ice cream and the beach… My friend Lauren and her little baby Hannah and I took a girl’s trip to Siesta Key this past weekend, and we ate ice cream for dinner. Every night. 

Here we are, on our way!

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We stayed in a condo on the beach and it was lots of fun. So much sun and water and dolphins and ice cream. Mostly ice cream…

First night: Pistachio ice cream with rainbow sprinkles in a cone because it made me feel like a little kid.

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Second night: Strawberry ice cream with maraschino cherries, but in a cup.

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Third night: Peanut butter ice cream with strawberries and crushed oreo cookies!! This was, objectively speaking, probably the best of the 4.

IMG_0427Fourth night: Even thought (as mentioned) the peanut butter was the best, I had to go back to Pistachio, this time with cherries, because it was my absolute favorite flavor growing up and you so rarely see vegan pistachio ice cream anywhere! And don’t get me wrong, it was deeeelicious! Like how that cute little baby is photobombing my cone!? 

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Anyway, now I’m home and I swear it’s almost as hot in Colorado as it was in Florida except now I don’t have an ocean to go jump in. Guess I’ll just stick with hummus and Strawberry Basil Gin & Tonics!

Garlicky Cucumber Hummus | www.thatwasvegan.com


Garlicky Cucumber Hummus
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Ingredients
  1. 6 cloves garlic
  2. 1 small cucumber, peeled and quartered
  3. 3 tablespoons lemon juice plus zest of 1 lemon
  4. 2 tablespoons tahini
  5. 2 cans of chickpeas, drained plus 3 tablespoons of the bean liquid (save the rest in case you need to add more!)
  6. 1 tablespoon salt
Instructions
  1. Combine the garlic, cucumber, lemon juice, and zest in your food processor, and blend until the garlic is very, very fine. Add the remaining ingredients and blend until everything is smooth. Add additional bean liquid to get the consistency you like.
  2. Serve chilled.
Notes
  1. This recipe does have a serious garlic "bite", so if you're not a huge garlic fan, feel free to pare it back a little.
That Was Vegan? http://www.thatwasvegan.com/

 

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The Native Foods Summer Menu is Here!

Summer is here, and what better way to celebrate than with Native Foods Cafe’s new summer menu items!? Okay, that sounded like a cheesy commercial intro, but it’s true. I am a big huge unapologetic fan of Native Foods. I love that I can go in and order nachos or a fried chicken sandwich or a bacon cheeseburger, and it’s ALL VEGAN! So when they emailed and asked if I wanted to come over and try their new summer dishes, I didn’t even have to think about it. I was in. And so was Denise, my lucky +1. 

Here’s a glimpse of what we ate. I was going to try and order them by how much we loved each one, but that’s too hard. So I just kept them in the order we ate them in!

Grilled Avocado Plate: Freshly grilled with greens, tofu bacon, radishes and lemon vinaigrette. This was kind of a salad but really more of  an appetizer. The avocado was fresh and delicious, and the vinaigrette was great, very garlicky (but don’t let that scare you, they only put a tiny bit on there). The star of the show though was the tofu bacon. It was by far the best vegan bacon I’ve ever had. Literally. We joked that next time we’d just like an order of that bacon… but we weren’t really joking. 

native foods2

Korean BBQ Sub: Street style Korean seitan, pineapple slaw and crispy mushrooms on a baguette. I fully expected this to be my favorite, and it didn’t disappoint. You guys know how much I love Korean BBQ and I’ll order it any chance I get. The crispy mushrooms were very flavorful, and I really enjoyed the slaw. Denise says she doesn’t really like pineapple, but even she liked the slaw. It’s very mild, only a hint of pineapple but it goes perfectly with the bbq flavor. This comes with a side (we had the potato salad), and this would satisfy even the hungriest eater.

native foods1

Summer Berry Salad (GF): Fresh summer blueberries and strawberries tossed with kale, romaine, seasonal veggies and mango lime dressing. Denise and I proclaimed this salad to be the dark horse of our dining experience. The description sounded good but we were more focused on the other items. I suppose we were just less excited about eating a salad. We were very, very wrong though, because this salad was AMAZING! The berries were perfectly ripe, there was jicama in there, which is a huge favorite of mine, and that dressing was to die for. I hope the recipe for it is in their next cookbook because I want more. I want to put it on every salad I eat. It was sweet and tart and with just a hint of (I think?) salt, it was perfection. 

native foods

Last, but certainly not least… Blueberry Crumble: Summer berries with a crunchy oat crust. This was quite possibly the perfect dessert. It wasn’t overly sweet, even with the brown sugar crumble, and you could tell it was fresh. It was also surprisingly light- even after all that other food we ate, we weren’t sorry that we went with dessert too. 

native foods3

So if you’re lucky enough to find yourself near one of the 26 Native Foods Cafes, please stop in and try some of their new dishes. Or just stick with their nachos. You can’t ever go wrong with their nachos!

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

{ 4 comments }

The Bangkok Salad

The Bangkok Salad | www.thatwasvegan.com

I have a very favorite sub shop near my office. It’s called Subculture and it is phenomenal. Phe-nom-en-al. They’re fast and relatively inexpensive, and delicious. Oh, and they have vegan substitutes for pretty much everything, which means my choices there are virtually unlimited. The sandwich I order the most often is called The Bangkok (do you see where I’m going with this?), and it has “tempeh, sweet chili sauce, pickle, romaine, carrot, mayo”. It’s wonderful, and so that I can enjoy it more often (and in my pajamas), I’ve gone ahead and created a salad version: The Bangkok Salad! Tempeh cooked in a homemade Thai sweet chili sauce, dill pickles, tons of crisp romaine, all with a very special twist: the dressing. It’s a little bit of the sweet chili sauce combined with extra Thai hot chili paste and Vegenaise! 

This way I can have all the same flavors, but with about 200 times more lettuce. And no bread. In my pajamas. Win-win-win.

The Bangkok Salad | www.thatwasvegan.com

The Bangkok Salad | www.thatwasvegan.com

Tempeh and I have rather a love/hate relationship, but it’s just perfect in this salad. Look at that tempeh, all smothered in the sweet chili dressing! This is one of those salads that is just so flavorful, you’ll forget you’re actually eating a salad! 

The Bangkok Salad | www.thatwasvegan.com

I’ve been to Bangkok, and I remember eating tons of amazing food, but I don’t remember anything like this. I actually don’t think I ate anything with sweet chili sauce. Pretty sure it’s like Sriracha in that we have it here and call it “Thai”, but they don’t actually eat it? I expected rooster sauce to be everywhere over there, and I don’t think I saw a single bottle of this stuff. Interesting. 

Of course, I was all hopped up on Chang beer, so who knows?

Haha, get it? “Hopped” up on beer? 

The Bangkok Salad | www.thatwasvegan.com

 

The Bangkok Salad | www.thatwasvegan.com

If you’re interested in other salads that are hearty and filling and sort of outside the bowl (gawd I’m funny today!), give one of these a try!


 

Bangkok Salad
Serves 4
A flavorful salad that's hearty enough for the hungriest eater!
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
20 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 batch Thai sweet chili sauce (recipe below), with 1/4 cup set aside
  2. 1 package tempeh
  3. 4 tablespoons Vegenaise
  4. 1-2 teaspoons sambal oelek (Thai chili paste)
  5. 2 heads of romaine lettuce
  6. 2 large carrots, grated
  7. 3-4 dill pickle spears, chopped
Instructions
  1. Chop the tempeh into bite-sized pieces. Combine with the sauce in a small pan over low heat. Simmer uncovered for 10-15 minutes. When done, remove from heat and set aside. You want it to be warm but not hot when added to the salad.
  2. While the tempeh is cooking, mix the remaining sweet chili sauce with the Vegenaise and sambal oelek in a small bowl. Whisk with a fork to make sure it's completely combined. Start with 1 teaspoon of the chili paste, adding more to suit your tastes. Set aside.
  3. Build your salads, starting with the lettuce and carrots, then sprinkle the pickles and top with the warm tempeh. Drizzle with the dressing, and serve immediately.
Notes
  1. If you want to make this ahead of time, just don't add the tempeh or dressing to the veggies until you're ready to serve (and re-heat the tempeh in the microwave!)
  2. This may not seem like a ton of dressing, but it's totally enough for 4 salads, trust me. You might even have a few tablespoons leftover.
That Was Vegan? http://www.thatwasvegan.com/
Thai Sweet Chili Sauce
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Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup water
  2. 1/2 cup rice vinegar
  3. 1/2 cup sugar
  4. 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  5. 1 clove garlic, minced
  6. 2 teaspoons sambal oelek (Thai chili paste)
  7. 2 teaspoons corn starch
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients except corn starch in a small pan over medium heat, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and allow to simmer for 5 minutes, then whisk in the corn starch making sure there are no lumps. Allow to simmer for another minute or so then remove from heat and set aside until you're ready to use it.
Adapted from all recipes
Adapted from all recipes
That Was Vegan? http://www.thatwasvegan.com/

{ 2 comments }

Blueberry Pancakes!

Blueberry Pancakes and Sausage | www.thatwasvegan.com

I sold these delicious little babies short with my photography first time around. It was an early blog post, before I knew food wasn’t supposed to look so godawful orangey, haha!

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m on a really slow process of going back and replacing some old pics. Not all of them, just the worst offenders. You can get the recipe here.  It’s been a fun excuse to re-make some old recipes that I had pretty much forgotten about. 

Maybe if food were as naturally photogenic as this little lassy, life would be easier?

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Sally is just so pretty! She and Cooper went to the groomer on Friday and got their summer cuts, so they’re much cooler and happier. We also had Zuma over to visit for the weekend (that’s her butt photobombing Sally!), so there was plenty of dog fun to go around. 

Zuma and I discovered a new dog park on Saturday, in Lowry. Very, very nice! 

 

And we saw this. THIS WAS REAL. This awesome woman was riding her bike with pink handlebar tassels and three crazy little dogs. Cray. Z. I loved it!

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Oh, but PANCAKES!

Blueberry Pancakes and Sausage | www.thatwasvegan.com

 

Blueberry Pancakes and Sausage | www.thatwasvegan.com

 

Blueberry Pancakes and Sausage | www.thatwasvegan.com

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Giveaway: Mastering The Art of Vegan Cooking

I know you all know of Annie and Dan Shannon of Meet The Shannons fame, and if you’re like me you enjoy both their delicious recipes and their nerdy wit.  And you probably already know that their second cookbook has hit the streets: Mastering the Art of Vegan Cooking: Over 200 Delicious Recipes and Tips to Save You Money and Stock Your Pantry

What you may not have known, however, is that right here, right now, you have the chance to win a copy of your very own! The publisher has also allowed me to share an amazing recipe from the book, Rosemary Chicklins and Dumplins Stew! You can scroll all the way to the bottom to print it off. 

Giveaway: Mastering The Art of Vegan Cooking

I’ll admit it, I love me some dumplins. So much in fact, that I’d be happy just eating them in a bowl of broth, no vegan chicken or veggies required. Should I be ashamed of this? I don’t think so…

This is one of the most beautiful cookbooks I’ve gotten in a long time. It’s hardcover, which is something of a rarity, and the photos are utter perfection. I love the fact that each recipe has a per-serving cost breakdown, and I really appreciate their particular sense of humor that’s sprinkled throughout the book. I wish I had found more time to try out recipes before this giveaway, but this is a book I’ll be cooking from for a long time to come. 

Here are the two I did get to try (both of which you’ve seen if you follow me on insta!):

Cauliflower Alfredo Sauce 

Giveaway: Mastering The Art of Vegan Cooking

I really liked this flavor of this sauce, although I wouldn’t necessarily classify it as an Alfredo. To me it was more like a Creamy Artichoke Sauce, or something like that. It was very reminiscent of the lemony, artichokey pasta dishes I’ve always enjoyed (like this one). I paired it with whole wheat penne because that was what I had on hand, and sweet peas because, well, sweet peas. 

Tex Mex Quinoa Casserole

Giveaway: Mastering The Art of Vegan Cooking

Well, technically this is Deconstructed Tex Mex Quinoa Casserole because I was making it for lunches during the week, so I didn’t want the chips to get soggy! It was fan-freakin’-tastic! Full of protein and fiber, tons of veggies, and really easy to make. And most importantly, delicious. A really healthy way to get those Mexican flavors without resorting to a lot of oil and fat. 

And that’s just the tip of the vegan iceberg- this book is FULL of wonderful recipes, you’re really gonna want to enter this giveaway! And speaking of which… 


 

The Giveaway

 

One lucky reader will win a copy of Mastering The Art of Vegan Cooking by Annie and Dan Shannon! To enter, leave a comment below: What’s the best dish you’ve ever “veganized”? You can also score extra points with Twitter. Contest ends June 23rd 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 the US and Canada only. Good luck!

 
a Rafflecopter giveaway


Rosemary Chicklins and Dumplins Stew
Chicken and dumplings is a famous Southern dish. Maybe it’s because it’s so fun to say “dumplins” like a Sugarbaker in shoulder pads on Designing Women. But before the Great Depression, this dish was actually made famous by French-Canadian trappers, who were thought to have created this rustic version of coq au vin in the heart of the Great White North. During the Great Depression, it became all the rage in the United States because it was the perfect way to use leftovers from other meals. These days, it’s just beloved for being gosh darn delicious.
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Chicklins Stew
  1. 2 tablespoons olive oil
  2. 1 cup vegan chicken, defrosted and diced (we recommend Beyond Meat Chicken-Free Strips or Gardein Chick’n Scallopini)
  3. ½ cup whole wheat flour
  4. 5 cups vegan chicken broth or vegetable broth
  5. 1 cup nutritional yeast
  6. 2 tablespoons soy sauce or Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
  7. 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  8. 1½ teaspoons rubbed sage
  9. 2 teaspoons dried rosemary, crushed
  10. 1 teaspoon onion powder
  11. 1 clove garlic, minced
  12. ¼ teaspoon crushed black peppercorn, plus more to sprinkle over the top
  13. 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  14. ¼ teaspoon celery seed
  15. 2 bay leaves
  16. 2 carrots, chopped
  17. 3 stalks celery, chopped
  18. ½ cup frozen peas
Dumplins
  1. 2 cups all-purpose flour
  2. 2 teaspoons baking powder
  3. ½ teaspoon sea salt
  4. 2 tablespoons vegan margarine
  5. 3/4 cup soy milk
  6. 1 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
Instructions
  1. Make the chicklins stew: In your favorite Dutch oven or stew pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Toss in the vegan chicken and cook until it is browned and has crispy edges. Transfer it to a plate lined with a paper towel to soak up any extra oil, leaving the oil in the pan.
  2. Using a wooden spoon, stir the flour into the hot oil left in the pan. Add the vegan chicken broth and whisk in the nutritional yeast. Using a large wooden spoon, stir in the soy sauce, thyme, sage, rosemary, onion powder, garlic, peppercorns, parsley, celery seed, bay leaves, carrots, celery, and peas.
  3. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and let simmer for 15 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, make the dumplins: In a large bowl, combine all the dumplins ingredients and use an electric handheld mixer to mix the ingredients until they form a firm batter.
  5. If you like a large dumpling, roll a portion of the dough into a ball about the size of your palm—but if you want to get more servings out of one recipe, use a soup spoon to form smaller dumplings instead.
  6. Raise the heat under the pot of stew to bring it to a boil. Drop the raw dumplings into the hot stew one at a time and stir them in with a wooden spoon. Make sure the dumplings get completely covered so they cook evenly. Let the dumplings simmer in the stew for 10 to 15 minutes.
  7. Single out the largest dumpling for sacrifice, remove it from the stew, and break it open. If it’s firm on the inside, you’re ready to eat! Mix in the cooked vegan chicken before serving with a few pinches of pepper over the top.
Notes
  1. MAKES 4 TO 6 SERVINGS $1.99 PER SERVING
  2. Excerpted from the book MASTERING THE ART OF VEGAN COOKING by Annie and Dan Shannon. © 2015 by Annie and Dan Shannon. Reprinted by permission of Grand Central Life and Style. All rights reserved.
That Was Vegan? http://www.thatwasvegan.com/
{ 31 comments }

Mile High Vegan Eats: Freshcraft

Freshcraft is a casual little restaurant and bar in  the LoDo area of Denver, small but fun! It’s definitely hipster-ish and trendy, but also comfortable. I’d totally bring my mom here… but maybe not my grandma?

I stumbled upon it using yelp a few months back and was lucky enough to have a server who was vegan! Their menu clearly marks what’s vegan, but it’s always nice to have that extra input. She recommended we start with this beautiful salad… 
Mile High Vegan Eats: Freshcraft | www.thatwasvegan.com

It’s the Antioxidant Mix: Spinach, parsley, almond, red onion, poached apples, and whole wheat croutons tossed with strawberry pomegranate vinaigrette, and it’s listed as vegan on the menu, as-is. Gotta love that!

After that we wanted something snacky to go with the beer (did I mention they have a HUGE selection of craft beers?). 

Mile High Vegan Eats: Freshcraft | www.thatwasvegan.com

I’m not 100% sure, but I think these were the Southern Fried Pickles: House-made pickles and serrano pepper slices, dusted with fresh corn dust and fried. They’re listed on the menu as vegetarian, but I’m pretty sure our server explained that as long as we just had them with ketchup, they’d be vegan. Too much craft beer I guess!?

Then it was time for the main course: C.C. Crimini Tacos: Cocoa chili marinated and roasted crimini mushrooms, sliced thick and stuffed into warm corn tortillas. Topped with southwestern slaw, tomato chunks and cream Serrano citrus emulsion. These babies are both vegan and gluten free… and freaking amazing! So flavorful, and filling even though they’re not huge. If you like mushrooms, you’ll love these. 

Mile High Vegan Eats: Freshcraft | www.thatwasvegan.com

 Freshcraft is located on the south side of Blake Street, between 15th and 16th- which means you can even take the free shuttle bus to get there. SCORE! 

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

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Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread | www.thatwasvegan.com

Banana bread! Banana bread! Banana bread! 

Truly, that chant was going through my head while this was in the oven a few weekends ago. It was one of those unseasonably cold and wet days, and my entire place was filled with the scent of fresh banana bread. Within minutes it took me from feeling disappointed that I couldn’t be outside in shorts sipping a Strawberry Basil Gin & Tonic to exaltation that it was baking weather!

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread | www.thatwasvegan.com

And the timing couldn’t have been better. Lily’s had send me some dark chocolate chips to try, (vegan and gluten free!), and Maui Brand had sent me loads of their natural cane sugar too. Of course, I was still trying to decide what I should bake when one of the guys at work noticed my sad, over-ripe banana sitting on my desk and shouted “Banana bread!”… and then it all came together. 

Complete and total deliciousness. 

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread | www.thatwasvegan.com

I’m not a huge dark chocolate fan per se, but I really liked the Lily’s chips, and they were perfect for this recipe. The Maui Brand sugar was also great. It comes in resealing plastic containers perfect for the pantry, as well as in little single-serve tubes, great for your coffee station!


 

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread
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Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup Maui Brand raw turbinado sugar
  2. 1/2 cup Maui Brand white crystallized sugar
  3. 1/2 cup vegan butter, room temperature
  4. 3 very ripe bananas, mashed will with a fork
  5. 2 cups flour
  6. 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  7. 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk, mixed with 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  8. 1.5 teaspoons vanilla extract
  9. 1.5 teaspoons cinnamon
  10. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  11. 2/3 cup Lily's dark chocolate baking chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350, spray an 8x4 bread pan with non stick spray, and set aside.
  2. Whisk together the flour, baking soda, and spices (including salt)
  3. Cream together the butter and sugar with a hand mixer, then add in the bananas, milk, and vanilla. Combine the wet and dry mixes, using the hand blender to get them completely mixed.
  4. Fold in the chocolate chips, then pour into the bread pan. Bake for 60-70 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean!
Notes
  1. Yields about 12 slices
Adapted from Post Punk Kitchen
Adapted from Post Punk Kitchen
That Was Vegan? http://www.thatwasvegan.com/
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Giveaway: The Plant Power Way

 

Giveaway: The PlantPower Way | www.thatwasvegan.comThis giveaway has ended, congratulations to Kait! Another giveaway, another amazing vegan cookbook! This time we have The Plantpower Way: Whole Food Plant-Based Recipes and Guidance for the Whole Family by Rich Roll and Julie Piatt. He’s a vegan ultra-distance athlete and she’s a chef, so you know this one is going to be good!

This gorgeous book is full of practical advice, drool-worthy pictures, and (of course) fabulous recipes- including these delicious peanut butter cookies! Even better, the publisher has allowed me to share that recipe with you, so it’s a lucky day all around. And, of course, one lucky winner will also get a copy of the book! 

Giveaway: The PlantPower Way | www.thatwasvegan.com

 


 

The Giveaway

 

One lucky reader will win a copy of The Plantpower Way by Rich Roll and Julie Piatt! To enter, leave a comment below: What’s the healthiest side-effect you’ve noticed since eating more plant-based meals? You can also score extra points with Twitter. Contest ends June 14th 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 the US only.Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


 

Peanut Butter Cookies
Easily our all-time favorite cookies. Trapper is our family’s master cookie chef. He likes to roll them into 1½"-diameter balls and then press them flat using the tines of a fork to make a nice space for the chocolate square. The texture will vary depending upon the brand of peanut butter used. The cookie dough should stick together like play dough when pressed. If you find your dough crumbling, add water in increments of 1 tablespoon. If it’s sticky, add ground flaxseeds in increments of 1 tablespoon. In a word, perfection!
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Ingredients
  1. 1 teaspoon coconut oil
  2. 2 tablespoons ground flaxseeds
  3. 1/4 cup filtered water
  4. 1 cup organic, natural-style crunchy peanut butter
  5. 1 1/4 cups organic sugar
  6. 2 teaspoons high-quality vanilla extract
  7. 1 bar Mayan dark chocolate or high-quality organic specialty chocolate (vegan)
  8. 1 teaspoon large-grain Celtic sea salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and grease a cookie sheet with the coconut oil using a paper towel.
  2. To make a flaxseed egg, mix the ground flaxseeds and the filtered water. Let stand for 2
  3. minutes and then whisk until the mixture has an egg-like texture. Add more filtered water as
  4. needed to get the consistency of an egg.
  5. In a medium bowl, mix the peanut butter and sugar, flaxseed “egg,” and vanilla with clean
  6. hands until well combined.
  7. Roll 1 1/2 tablespoons of the mixture into smooth balls and place about 1" apart on the
  8. prepared baking sheet.
  9. Press flat using a fork, making a lined pattern on the cookies.
  10. Press one square of dark chocolate in the center of each cookie. Strategically place large sea
  11. salt crystals on top of the cookies.
  12. Bake, until golden around the edges, 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool until they are slightly warm.
  13. Carefully transfer to a serving plate using a spatula.
  14. Devour.
Notes
  1. Reprinted from The Plantpower Way by arrangement with Avery Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) LLC, A Penguin Random House Company. Copyright © 2015, Rich Roll & Julie Piatt
That Was Vegan? http://www.thatwasvegan.com/
{ 27 comments }

Strawberry Basil Gin & Tonic | www.thatwasvegan.com

After what felt like weeks and weeks of rain, rain, snow, more rain, and actually having to turn my furnace back on, it appears that summer may finally be showing her face here in Denver!

And what better way to celebrate that than with a tasty G&T, my favorite summer drink of all time!? This time around though, to make it just a tiny bit different, I went with a Strawberry Basil G&T, which still has that delicious gin flavor, but also a touch of summer. Because really, what could possibly taste more like summer than fresh strawberry and basil? It truly is just a touch, though. A slight hint. You could always add more strawberry and basil if you want the summer to shine through, so to speak. But me? I like my cocktails spirit-forward!

Strawberry Basil Gin & Tonic | www.thatwasvegan.com

Strawberry Basil Gin & Tonic | www.thatwasvegan.com

There was no question what kind of gin I’d use (although you can use your favorite!) – I went with Spirit Hound, which I picked up on a trip to Lyons. This gin is so good. If you live anywhere along the Front Range I highly recommend you take the time to stop by their distillery and tasting room. Especially the tasting room!

Strawberry Basil Gin & Tonic | www.thatwasvegan.com

Also, this. HAVE to share this:

kids

You see, it’s not just the changing weather that made today feel right for a cocktail post. It’s also a melancholy day. My step-brother Jamie and his family moved to Denver almost exactly one year ago- and today they’re leaving, heading back to Houston. Jamie and I were fairly close growing up- we were in the same grade and lived together since we were in the third grade, and I’m pretty sure he was the one who convinced me I should eat cow corn (yuck!), but you know how it is when you grow up… I moved to CA, he ended up in TX, and we only saw each other at weddings and family gatherings.  I hardly saw (or even got to know) his wife Kathy or their kids, and in fact I had only met the two youngest one time before they moved here. 

People who know me IRL know I’m sort of ambivalent towards kids. I don’t dislike them, but I’m also not oohing and ahhing over them. I certainly never wanted any of my own. So when I found out they were coming here and I was to be rebranded as Auntie Barb, I wasn’t really sure how it would go. Would I like these three little rugrats? Would they be clean and polite and well-behaved? Would I know what to talk to them about???

If you had told me a year ago that I would fall so in love with those kids, I’d have thought you were crazy… but it’s true! They are so wonderful and being around them makes my heart just about burst. They’re funny and smart and adorable and sweet (and (mostly) clean and polite and well-behaved!) and I could practically just eat them up. LOVE them! Jamers is a genius AND can mix a mean cocktail, Gaby loves dogs and is just so sweet and patient with Sally, and when little Squirtus climbs into my lap to snuggle, it is heart-meltingly sweet. They are probably the best kids ever. (They also have the best nicknames ever, right!?)

They’re even great enough to lure me to Houston for visits, which is really saying something! It was also fun to spend the last year boozing it up with Jamie, and finally becoming friends with Kathy, and I’ll miss them too of course, but it’s the kids that had me tearing up as I drove away from them the last time. I just hope they don’t grow up too fast in between visits. ❤️ you guys!!

Okay, enough tears… time for books!

reading june

 In May I read… 

  • Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Autobiography by Laura Ingalls Wilder, Pamela Smith Hill … Okay, so I’m sorry to report that I didn’t love this book. The story was of course wonderful, but there were more footnotes than actual story, and jumping back and forth really kept me from ever getting into the story itself. I understand what they were trying to do, and it was truly fascinating to read the historical facts behind so many of the stories I remember from the Little House books, but holy crap! I felt totally psychizo trying to read this! Plus it’s an enormous book and I couldn’t bring it on the bus. 
  • Revival by Stephen King … I liked this more than I thought I would. I’ve always really enjoyed King, especially the looong books that suck you in. This one had a really good ending too.
  • Fingersmith by Sara Waters … Love, love, love, LOVE! My second book by Waters, and now I’m completely dedicated to reading the rest. This story was phenomenal, and I loved how you don’t know until the end who knows what, who’s bad, who’s good, who’s just trying to survive!
  • Spinster: Making a Life of One’s Own by Kate Bolick … I know there was a lot of controversy over this book, but I enjoyed it. I really like Bolick’s voice and writing style- this book was a surprisingly quick read because of it. It’s basically a closer look at how society views and treats single women.
  • The Silent Sister by Diane Chamberlain … More fiction, but good. She’s pretty highly rated on Goodreads which I think is how this book ended up on my list. I read it over one weekend and enjoyed it. It’s the story of a family torn apart by a secret, and the remaining family members who try to put it back together. Touching, well written. Not a great book, but it’ll draw you in and go by fast.
  • Songs For The Missing by Stewart O’Nan … I was feeling under the weather one day and wanted to just lie in bed and read something by O’Nan, but didn’t feel like rooting through the boxes of books I haven’t unpacked yet <ashamed face>, and this was the first one I found that was available for immediate download from the library. It’s a great book, a perfect example of how O’Nan can A.) write amazingly well from a woman’s perspective (seriously, the guy nails it!), and B.) capture the day-to-day minutia of a family without ever letting the reader get bored. This book is about the family of a teenage girl who goes missing. It’s not my favorite, but ranks somewhere towards the middle of the pack- and yet I still love it. So just imagine how much I love his really, really good books!?

 Books for May 2015

  • Chance Encounters: Travel Tales from Around the World by Janna Graber … I love to travel, and when I can’t… I love to read about it!
  • A House in the Sky by Amanda Lindhout and Sara Corbett … another travel read. A “dramatic and redemptive” memoir about a girl who escaped a violent childhood through travel- first imagined then actual. She goes on to have some wonderful, and some very, very life-threatening, adventures. 
  • Selfish, Shallow, and Self-Absorbed: Sixteen Writers on Their Decision Not To Have Kids by Meghan Daum … So yah, this seems an odd choice in light of my loving words about my darling niece and nephews – or does it?- but I’ve been waitlisted at the library and it finally came up!
  • The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins … there is so much buzz around this thriller (and there was such a long waitlist at the library) I feel like it has to be good! It’s been compared to Gone Girl which I also really enjoyed, so we’ll see. 
  • The Women by TC Boyle … Another book by Boyle, and yes- another re-read, this one about the four main relationships in Frank Lloyd Wright’s life, told from the point of view of the women. Having read Loving Frank made me want to re-read this one again, to be reminded of all the other women in his life besides just Mamah. 

Strawberry Basil Gin & Tonic
Serves 2
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Ingredients
  1. 6 strawberries
  2. 4 basil leaves
  3. 6 oz gin
  4. 8 oz tonic water
  5. Ice cubes
Instructions
  1. Dice the strawberries and basil leaves and place into a martini shaker. Smash them with a fork or the back of a wooden spoon as well as you can. Add the gin and let sit for a minute or two.
  2. Fill your glasses with ice and pour in the gin and tonic, stir well and enjoy!
Notes
  1. If you don't have a shaker, you'll need some sort of strainer because it's really hard to enjoy your drink with bits of strawberry and basil getting caught in your teeth!
  2. As I mentioned, this recipe gives you just a hint of the strawberry and basil flavor. If you're not a fan of G&Ts and want it sweeter, I'd try doubling the strawberries, or maybe pureeing them in there!
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