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I Heart Keenwah Giveaway

Happy Valentines day, if you’re a person who cares about Valentines Day 💕 Personally, I could care less but! There is something that I do care a great deal about and that, my friends, is snacktime.

Snacktime is the most important time(s) of the day, and when you add a little peanut butter & chocolate, or chocolate and sea salt to the mix… it only gets better. I was lucky enough to get some of that chocolate-peanut butter-sea salt amazingness in the mail from a great company called I Heart Keenwah and you’re lucky too because they were kind enough to host this giveaway so that one lucky reader will win two bags of their Chocolate Puffs- Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter and Dark Chocolate Himalayan Pink Salt!   

You’re probably asking yourself was these even are, so let me tell you: They’re chocolate covered quinoa puffs. Yes, quinoa. Imagine puffed rice… only quinoa. It’s a new concept, but I promise it’s a good one! 

They’re also a “healthy indulgence”, with only 140 calories and 6 grams of sugar per serving, plus 3-4 grams of protein. They’re also made with organic fair trade certified dark chocolate, and of course, they’re vegan. They’re also gluten-free. 

They come in two flavors, and Dark Chocolate Himalayan Pink Salt was by far my favorite. I’m not the biggest chocoholic, and I loved the way the salt made these taste so sweet. Not overly sweet, but sweet in that way salt does with chocolate. You know what I mean. 

I Heart Keenwah Giveaway

The Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter puffs were delicious too, although they didn’t have that hint of sweet. If you’re one of those death by chocolate people, I predict these ones will be your favorite. 

I Heart Keenwah Giveaway


The Giveaway

One lucky reader will win Two Bags of Chocolate Puffs from I Heart Keenwah, one in each flavor! To enter, leave a comment below telling us how much you love chocolate, and if you save it for treats or eat it for breakfast!  Contest ends Sunday, February 19th 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!

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BBQ Chick’n Pizza. Easy. Vegan.

Delicious and easy vegan BBQ Chick'n Pizza from thatwasvegan.com

It’s been a shockingly long time since I’ve shared a pizza recipe! It’s not that I haven’t been eating pizza… I’ve just been ordering it from Uncle Maddio’s, my fave vegan-friendly spot. But sometimes the pizza craving is so specific, so precise, that there’s nothing on the menu that will satisfy it. Hence my BBQ Chick’n Pizza. Lots of flavor from my homemade chick’n seitan, sweet n’ spicy bbq sauce, and the bite of red onion and cilantro! 

I actually made this a couple weekends ago, the same day I made the Spicy Sweet Potato Hash with Roasted Poblano Peppers. It was this pizza (and my need for the seitan) that necessitated using tofu in the hash, which turned out to be brilliant, if I do say so myself! 

Delicious and easy vegan BBQ Chick'n Pizza from thatwasvegan.com

You know what’s not brilliant though? Having a cold. I’m currently fighting a whopper of one right now, and actually missed two days of work because of it. I currently have the upper hand though (after two days of non-stop napping and Gilmore Girls, which is apparently the best cold remedy around!?), and fingers crossed it wont turn into anything nasty like bronchitis. 

But it’s Thursday, the week is almost over, and I’m looking forward to a lot more sleeping this weekend. And maybe some pizza? 

Delicious and easy vegan BBQ Chick'n Pizza from thatwasvegan.com


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Gather: Organic, vegan pet food

My dogs aren’t fully vegan (especially not Teddy after that squirrel incident, yikes!) but the food I buy for them definitely is. I don’t want to contribute to the suffering of animals in factory farms, and that goes into all the purchase decisions I make- both for myself and my pets. 

There are actually quite a few vegan pet food options on the market right now, which is both a little surprising and awesome! Whether you’re shopping at a fancy boutique or the Petsmart in your local strip mall, you have options, which I think is fantastic. And now… you have another option as well: Gather Endless Valley, from Petcurean! I (or, rather, Sally and Teddy) agreed to test out a bag of the vegan kibble, which is full of all the good stuff:

  • Certified organic & sustainably grown peas
  • Omega 3 & 6 for healthy skin and radiant coats
  • Complex carbohydrates for quick energy, and 
  • Antioxidants for increased immunity

They also skip the bad stuff, so there are no GMOs, no by-products, no antibiotics, and no artificial colors or preservatives.  

Gather: Organic, vegan pet food

This is very clearly *not* one of my dogs, but I wanted to show how small the kibbles are. Sally is just a little cocker girl, and they weren’t too big for her at all. And while I can’t give any firsthand opinions on the flavor, I can tell you that my dogs gobbled it all up! Of course, I started by mixing it in with their previous food to avoid any upset tummies (there weren’t any!) but within a few days they were eating 100% Gather. 

I also think Petcurean is very responsible and forward-thinking for including a vegan recipe in their product lineup, and I appreciate that. They have a great article on their website about dogs and vegan diets that will probably answer all your questions, if you’re thinking about having Fido go vegan for the first time. You can also find local retailers and even score a $5 coupon

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

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(Not My Mom’s) Corn Chowder: A Redo

 

Thick, creamy, delicious corn chowder from www.thatwasvegan.com

In case you’re all “Huh!? What’s a redo?” it’s like this: I revisit an old recipe from my early days of blogging, see if the recipe needs any sprucing up, and take some better pictures.  This chowder, based on my absolute favorite meal my mom used to make, originally appeared in February 2012. Meaning it was in my first few months of blogging, and the picture appears to have been taken in a dark closet. With a flash. 

The version my mom always made had some questionable (to me, now) ingredients such as ham and velveeta cheeze, but back in the day I just couldn’t get enough. And now I can’t get enough of this version! I made it on Sunday afternoon and immediately devoured two bowls of it. Along with some french bread. 

It was just one of those days. If you live in Denver, you know the weather Sunday was fantastic! I took Teddy for a run, then spent at least an hour sitting outside in the sun with a book. It was glorious. Then I moved the party inside, traded the book for a few glugs of pinot grigio, and got to cooking. 

Thick, creamy, delicious corn chowder from www.thatwasvegan.com

I did make quite a few changes to the recipe this time around. First, I noticed a glaring mistake in the first edition which resulted in not nearly enough corn. In the corn chowder. Crazy right? I also added the roux back in. I was on some sort of health kick when I created the first version and wanted to cut out the white flour. I also added a few slices of Daiya cheddar to mine. Totally optional, but it gave it a little more… richness. The good news is that this version is WAY thicker and WAY creamier and WAY more decadent than the last! 

So head on over to the original post to check out the recipe, and make yourself some chowdah before winter is over! 

 

 

 

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Spicy Sweet Potato Hash with Roasted Poblanos

Spicy Sweet Potato Hash with Roasted Poblano- And easy breakfast or brunch that's full of flavor! www.thatwasvegan.com

It never occurred to me to even wonder if my dogs read my blog, because obviously they have more important things to do with their days. Plus I’ve never told them the wifi password. But then I whined to you guys about how Teddy was trying my nerves by eating everything he’s not supposed to… and then all of a sudden he seems to have smartened up! He’s warming up to me and hasn’t been bad in weeks days.

The only possible explanation is that he read the post about himself and realized it was time to shape up, right? Well, regardless of the reason, I’m happy to report that my big boy is acting more like a pet dog and less like a feral cat, which is wonderful and makes me so happy.

I’m allowed to love on him way more than I used to be, and most of the time when I’m petting him now he remains standing and wagging his tail, rather than flattening himself out on the floor. And he lets me rub his ears! Oh how I love his ears. They’re so soft. One of his nicknames is “Wolfie ears” and I’d rub those little things 24/7 if I could. Sally is “Poodle butt”, by the way. I don’t even remember why.

Spicy Sweet Potato Hash with Roasted Poblano- And easy breakfast or brunch that's full of flavor! www.thatwasvegan.com

The other big news is that I’ve been cooking more. It was as though I lost the joy of cooking for a while there. It felt like a chore… and blogging about it felt like a prison sentence. But I’ve slowly been getting back into it which is good because recommitting myself to TWV? is one of my 40 Before 40.

This past weekend I was craving something brunchy. Something filling and healthy but disguised as many not all that healthy, if that makes sense? So I came up with Sweet Potato Hash with Roasted Poblanos. It really didn’t take all that long, and came out so delicious. I’ve been eating leftovers all week (for lunch, not breakfast, for some reason) and will be sad to see them go.

A lot of hashes, especially of the non-vegan variety, are topped with an egg. You could easily recreate that with a FYH egg or vegan egg yolk, but I chose to keep it simple. Hashes also tend to contain some sort of crumbled meat mixed in, and you could use a vegan sausage crumble if that’s your jam. I was planning to crumble up a loaf of my chick’n-style seitan and use that, but there was only one loaf left in the freezer and I also wanted to make a BBQ Chick’n Pizza that afternoon (I’ll be sharing that deliciousness next week!) so needed to save it. Long story (slightly) short, I decided to run a block of tofu through the food processor, and brown it up a little in a pan with some oil and a ton of spices. It wasn’t meant to be a scramble, I was thinking of it as a meat replacement. And it worked!

You roast the poblano yourself in your oven while the taters are cooking, and it adds such a deep almost smoky flavor, without being that spicy. You can easily up the spice factor, though, but adding some chili powder to the tofu!

Spicy Sweet Potato Hash with Roasted Poblano- And easy breakfast or brunch that's full of flavor! www.thatwasvegan.com


 

Spicy Sweet Potato Hash with Roasted Poblanos
Serves 4
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
35 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
35 min
Ingredients
  1. 14oz block extra firm tofu
  2. 2 medium sweet potatoes
  3. 1 large poblano pepper
  4. 2 generous tablespoons of olive oil, plus 1-2 teaspoons
  5. Salt & pepper
  6. Smoked bbq salt
  7. 1.5+ teaspoon montreal chicken seasoning
Instructions
  1. Put the tofu in your presser, and set aside.
  2. Wash and dice the potatoes, and place them on a baking sheet. Top with the olive oil and stir until they're all coated. Sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. Stick the pepper on the baking sheet as well - no oil or seasoning.
  3. Turn broiler on high, place tray on 2nd to top shelf and leave for 5-7 minutes. Flip your pepper and stir the potatoes, then put back in for another 5-7 minutes. Remove the pepper and set aside, under and overturn bowl, and put the potatoes back in for another 3-5 minutes.
  4. Crumble to tofu in a food processor. You want little crumbles. Heat 1-2 teaspoons oil in a frying pan and add the tofu, montreal seasoning, and smoked salt. Cook over medium heat stirring occasionally until hot. Taste and add more seasoning as needed.
  5. Peel your poblano, removing all the burnt pepper skin, and remove the seeds. Run under water if needed. Dice and add to the tofu, along with the potatoes. Stir everything together, taste for seasoning, and serve hot!
Notes
  1. The smoked bbq salt is very important, it really gives the tofu a ton of flavor! And if you want this spicier, add some chili powder to the tofu as well.
That Was Vegan? http://www.thatwasvegan.com/
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Sari Nutritional Yeast Giveaway!

Sari Nutritional Yeast Giveaway | www.thatwasvegan.com

Nutritional yeast (or as we vegans lovingly refer to it, Nooch) is one of those amazing foods I likely never would have discovered if I never gave up animal products. And that’s really one of my favorite things about being vegan (other than, you know, saving animals and all that), the way it challenges you to test your limits and try new things! And nooch is such a wonderful thing! It tastes like cheese and can be added to nearly any recipe, soup, salad… you name it!

The Nooch I’m sharing with you today is from Sari Foods, a company committed to “empowering conscious consumers to return to high nutrient, plant-based and pure foods as our source of life and sustenance – just as nature intended.” Who can argue with that? 

You may notice the packaging reads “Non-Fortified”. This means it doesn’t contain vitamin B-12. Sari believes non-fortified is a healthier option because nooch is rich in other naturally occurring B vitamins such as B1, B2, B5, and B6 as well as 18 amino acids and 15 minerals. I have to admit a bit of ignorance on my part here, because I’m certainly *not* a whole foods, clean eating expert… but check out their website, they have a ton of great information on the topic! 

So now you’re thinking- Okay, I win (or buy) this huge bag of nooch, how will I use it all? The thing about nooch is you can sprinkle it on anything, but here are a few specific ideas for you:

Make a batch of my insanely delicious Chick’n Style Seitan:

My Favorite ("Chicken-style") Seitan Recipe | www.thatwasvegan.com

Mix it in with these Breakfast Stuffed Sweet Potatoes for an extra bit of cheesy flavor:

Vegan Breakfast Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

Sprinkle it over these Beer Cheese Nachos

Vegan Daiya Beer Cheese Nachos

Top your favorite soups! Any would do, like my Cauliflower Corn Chowder

Cauliflower Corn Chowder | www.thatwasvegan.com

Or my Baked Potato Soup!

Vegan Baked Potato Soup

Or use it to add another layer of flavor to this Lemon Butter Quinoa!

Lemon Butter Quinoa | www.thatwasvegan.com

Just a few ideas to get you started! Okay, now for the good stuff… 


 The Giveaway

One lucky reader will win an 8oz bag of 100% Natural Non-Fortified Nutritional Yeast from Sari Foods! To enter, leave a comment below telling us about the craziest food you’ve ever put nooch on!  Contest ends Sunday, January 29th 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!

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Red’s All Natural Bean & Rice Burrito

I love burritos. Breakfast, lunch… all burritos, really. If I’m being honest, I’m a huge fan of any handheld food, but now I’m getting off track. Burritos! They’re a total comfort food that’s perfect for any meal, and if you’re like me and are always hungry appreciate an occasional convenience food, then I bet you love having burritos in your freezer, just waiting to be warmed and eaten. 

I guess my biggest complaint with frozen burritos is finding ones that are vegan, and if you’re concerned about eating organic that can be a problem too. So when Red’s All Natural contacted me and said they have a vegan option with their Bean & Rice Burrito I was pretty excited to try it. The burrito is vegan, USDA certified organic, and has 9 grams of protein at just 270 calories. My favorite part is the ingredients list- it’s all real foods and seasonings that you’ll recognize – things like long grain brown rice and anaheim peppers and garlic. At first glance the ingredients list seems too long, but that’s only because they had to include the word ‘organic’ before each item. 

I’ve eaten three of them so far. They’re not huge, but they are filling which is nice. My first one I heated in the oven, which is the ‘preferred method’ listed on the packaging, and added a little salsa and a slice of Field Roast cheese:

They don’t photograph so great because beans and rice and tortillas are all kinda the same color but I promise they were quite tasty. They weren’t spicy-hot, but spicy-flavorful. And when cooked in the oven, the tortilla was nice and crisp at the corners, the way I like it. 

The other two I brought to work for quick n’ easy lunches. This one I enjoyed much more than the super sad book I was reading…

Even in the microwave, they still reheat well. The tortilla was softer and bit chewier than when I baked it, which is what happens in the microwave and not a big deal at all. Still delicious! 

I’ll be buying a few more of these to keep on hand, the next time I’m at Sprouts. Here’s the locator so you can find them near you- in my experience not all stores carry the vegan one (they have a ton of non-vegan options as well), just an FYI. 

 

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

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What I Eat (When I’m Not Blogging) Part 12

You guys, I feel really crummy about badmouthing Teddy the other day. He IS a good boy. Well… sometimes at least. And the rest isn’t his fault.  I’m resolving to be more patient and let him take all the time he needs. Because his is (mostly) a good boy 😉 

Okay, now the food! Here are some of the wonderfully vegan things I’ve noshed on lately, starting with my favorite thing- a delicious cocktail! Mom and I went furniture shopping a few weeks ago and then stopped at Seasons 52 for a short happy hour- I had the Cranberry & Sage (Prairie organic gin, white cranberry juice, cranberries, candied sage leaf) and Mom had the Bourbon Berry Bramble (which is what I usually order- bourbon, elderflower liqueur, raspberries, blackberries, lime). I adore their bar, everything about it screams (whispers?) decadence. And the shopping? Well someone bought herself some new bedroom furniture for Christmas!

Another day, another boozy shopping trip with Mom! This trip was to Homegoods and Gordman’s to find new artwork/stuff for our homes. I bought an awesome painting for my living room, and Mom found a great wall hanging for her master bath. We toasted our shopping skillz with a pint of beer at this little brewery in the shopping plaza. The place wasn’t anything special but the beer was good! 

Flashback: Here’s my Christmas dinner plate, cooked by Mom… She made us a little Field Roast, green beans, corn, mashed taters, cranberry sauce, and I contributed my Butternut Mac n’ Cheese. Yum! And yes, I mix my cranberry sauce and potatoes because I’m a child and I like my potatoes pink. So what? 

Healthy dinner alert! A Chef Ernesto burger from the Dollar Tree wrapped in lettuce and topped with pickles and tomatoes and onions, a huge side salad, and some leftover roasted beets. This is the kind of dinner I eat when I’m hungry but not super motivated. 

And another healthy yet easy dinner: A baked potato topped with salsa and a little Daiya, plus another big @ss salad. 

I keep eating these falafel sandwiches so I’m gonna keep sharing ’em! They’re from a little Syrian place a couple blocks from my office and they’re to die for. The white sauce on there is some sort of garlic and eggplant mix, totally vegan! 

Pizza! A bbq chick’n pizza, to be specific. With red onion and cilantro, so good! It wasn’t quite perfect yet, which means I have to make it again so I can photograph it and blog it. Poor me, right? 

Hmmm… what else? Oh boy, this was one of THE BEST sandwiches I’ve ever eaten! The Buffalo Po’ Boy from Sputnik, it was stuffed full of deep-fried tempeh, house-made buffalo sauce, onions, tomatoes, pickles and ranch slaw, served on a toasted hoagie roll with a side of sweet potato fries. I was so full after, but very, very happy! If you live in Denver, you gotta try Sputnik. Their vegan menu is fantastic!

One night for dinner I made my Tofu Scramble with a ton of maple syrup on it, because I’m from NH and forget about Vermont- NH maple syrup is where it’s at!

I’ve been doing a lot of projects at home lately (which demand their own post) and all that work makes a girl hungry. I had some leftover bbq tofu in the fridge, so the other afternoon I made this super quick quesadilla with Field Roast tomato cayenne cheese… and extra bbq sauce on the side!

That’s it for now. I promise to deliver on the projects update soon… and I’m making SO MUCH progress on my 40 Before 40 that I’m dying to share too.  Muah!

 

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Good Dogs and “Bad” Dogs

This is Sally. She is a good dog. 

This is Teddy. He is not a good dog who has a lot of naughty moments and tries to drive me crazy. 

Don’t get me wrong. I love him and he will live with me the rest of his life and I will always make sure he’s safe and happy and healthy but OMG am I struggling with this boy. He had a very tough life before he came to me, so it makes sense that he’s not warming up the way I’d like (no snuggles yet, although he does let me love on him when he first wakes up in the morning!), and since he was never a pet before (he was a working sled dog) it makes sense that he never learned the difference between his toys and my shoes/books/mail/slippers/socks/blankets/food/candles/mittens… But this weekend, he took it all a step further. I’m going to spare you the details because this is a vegan blog and you’re all animal lovers too and I don’t want you to experience the trauma I felt on Sunday morning, so I’ll leave it at this: Teddy caught one of the squirrels he’s always chasing around the yard. It was horrible. For the squirrel, obviously, and for me. And my floors and rug. It’s really hard to feel warm feelings for a dog who’s face is covered in blood. 

But, of course, it wasn’t Teddy’s fault in that he didn’t know he was doing something wrong. Nature and all that. And, squirrel aside, I should thank him for helping me keep my house clean and decluttered, right? Anyway… I’m just venting. Teddy and I will be fine. Thank you for letting me get that off my chest!

 

 

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Healthee Organic Brown Rice Bowls

I wont lie… all some days I don’t feel like creating a whole meal from scratch, and I know I’m not alone in this. The problem is that we, as smart and healthy vegans, don’t want to rely on bland products made with subpar ingredients, right? We want products that will help us at the end of a busy day that are also delicious!

Enter Healthee and their line of fully cooked, ready to eat brown rice bowls that are organic, gluten-free, non-GMO, and vegan.  They’re available in three flavors:

  • Fried-Style
  • Coconut
  • Turmeric

I’ve already eaten all three, and enjoyed them all. Here’s a shot of the Fried-Style Brown Rice topped with water- sautéed carrots, zucchini and kale… with a little spicy BBQ sauce. 

It took maybe 10 minutes to make this healthy dinner. I sliced the veggies and put them in a pan with a little water, and cooked them till they were lightly done (I like my veggies with a bit of toothsomeness). While they were cooking I put the rice in the microwave, and when the veggies were done I drained the water and stirred in some sauce, then plated it all together. EASY.

The rice was flavorful and the texture was spot on. Light, fluffy… just as good, or better than, those boxed rices that you actually have to cook. 

For some reason that’s the only picture I still have, but I did similar dishes with the other rice flavors as well. The Turmeric Brown Rice was my favorite- I steamed some broccoli and carrots with a bit of turmeric, mixed them with the rice and then topped it all with some Follow Your Heart vegan ranch (based on this recipe).

The Coconut Brown Rice was also great. It had a light coconutty flavor that I think would pair well with an Asian-style sauce/veggie duo. 

It’s a new year and we’re all trying to eat healthier, or maybe save time for the things that truly matter to us, and this product can actually help with both. Check out their website to find where they’re sold near you, and grab a couple boxes!

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

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