Saturday, June 30, 2012

June Foodie Penpals Reveal Day!

   It's my new favorite time of the month... Foodie Penpals reveal day!  I'm like a kid in a candy store when my parcel arrives in the mail.  Actually, it doesn't really "arrive", I have to go pick it up because I live in an apartment and have the world's smallest mailbox.  But I don't care because it's totally worth it!
   I lucked out this month and got matched with Kristy from Gastronomical Sovereinty.  She's a fabulous food blogger who appreciates fresh, local, organic ingredients.  Some of her recipes look simply mouthwatering!  I say "some" because she isn't a vegan foodie, so she does cook with meat.  Check her blog out once you're done ogling my goodies

The Lean Green Bean

Check it out...

  I loved the wrapping - especially the pink tissue (although the polka dots were a close second)!  I couldn't wait to unwrap and see what was inside.

   1 & 5.  Sweet Potato Chips!  Homemade by Kristy and as an extra touch she attached the recipe to it.  The chips were super yummy and full of flavor.  Definitely going to make these again!  Kristy said she made the sweet potato crisps because she knew I loved sweet potatoes.  How thoughtful!
   2.  A lemon saver!  Actually it's a grapefruit saver but she said that this one looks better than the lemon one, so I'll take her word for it!  I haven't used it yet since I am so lazy I just throw my lemons on the top shelf of the fridge, even if they are sliced open.  I promise I'll use it this weekend!
   3.  A lovely note from Kristy!
   4.  Homemade Salsa!  With the recipe attached as well. :) Actually it was a kind of Bruschetta mixture and it was delicious!  She also made this because she read that I love salsa. 
   6.  Fernwood Coffee Beans straight from her 'hood!  Organic, fair-trade and climate friendly packaging... what more could you ask for?  Oh yeah, a great brew!  And this coffee did not disappoint.  It was so rich in aroma and flavor.  Yum!

Oh, and the salsa was so good that I couldn't resist adding it to a wrap that I was making for dinner that night. 

   I added a veggie burger that I chopped up, along with more greens and nutritional yeast.  The salsa definitely added some pizazz to my plain weekday dinner wrap!
Big thanks to Kristy for all of my amazing goodies!

   This month I sent a package of goodies to Colleen who doesn't have a blog.  Colleen and I share a tiny bond in that both of our parents (her in-laws) live near Digby, Nova Scotia.  Small world!

If you are new to the Foodie Penpals here is the DL:

On the 5th of the month, you will receive your penpal pairing via email. It will be your responsibility to contact your penpal and get their mailing address and any other information you might need like allergies or dietary restrictions.
  • -You will have until the 15th of the month to put your box of goodies in the mail. On the last day of the month, you will post about the goodies you received from your penpal!
  • -The boxes are to be filled with fun foodie things, local food items or even homemade treatsThe spending limit is $15The box must also include something written. This can be anything from a note explaining what’s in the box, to a fun recipe…use your imagination!
  • -You are responsible for figuring out the best way to ship your items depending on their size and how fragile they are. (Don’t forget about flat rate boxes!)
  • -Foodie Penpals is open to blog readers as well as bloggers. If you’re a reader and you get paired with a blogger, you can choose to write a short guest post for your penpal to post on their blog about what you received. If two readers are paired together, neither needs to worry about writing a post for that month.
  • - Foodie Penpals is open to US, Canadian residents & UK residents.  
Please note, Canadian Residents will be paired with other Canadians only. We’ve determined things might get too slow and backed up if we’re trying to send foods through customs across the border from US to Canada and vice versa. So, I’m going to keep two separate lists and match US w/ US and Canada w/ Canada! ***If you’re in Europe, please contact Carol Anne from This Is Rock Salt at to get involved!

Thanks as always to Lindsay over at the Lean Green Bean for creating and hosting this foodie penpal link up party!

'Til next time...


Friday, June 29, 2012

Have a Kind Long Weekend!

   It's the day before the Canada Day long weekend!  Some of you may have taken an extra day off work, starting your weekend early and to that I say, Luck You!  I'm off to work and hoping I don't melt in this heatwave that we're having.
   I thought I'd leave you with some 'kind' food ideas for your long weekend eats.  There's a little something for whatever you have planned.  Whether it's a BBQ cookout, cocktails by the pool, or a sweet tooth while watching the fireworks, I've got you covered.

Start by enjoying some...

 Sweet Potato Crisps while lounging by the pool sipping margaritas.

If it's BBQ fare that you're after try whipping up some...

  Beet Burgers, or...

 Bean Burgers along with...

 Coleslaw - vegan, of course - and

Vegan Caprese Salad.  Then wash it down with...

a Chocolate MacashakeFinish it all of with 

Chocolate Chip Cookies, of course (a side of [vegan]vanilla ice cream wouldn't hurt either!).

Have a safe and wonderful long weekend full of deliciously kind eats!

Ves xx

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead

   Have you seen this film?  I've been wanting to watch this for a really long time and I'm so glad that I finally did.  This was a very inspiring movie.  And as someone who likes to sing the praises of a green juice any chance that I get, I was thrilled with the content and information in this film.  Joe Cross drank nothing but juice for 60 days to get his health back, while traveling 3000 miles across the country.  This movie chronicles his journey to do exactly that.

Here is an excerpt about the film from the website:
100 pounds overweight, loaded up on steroids and suffering from a debilitating autoimmune disease, Joe Cross is at the end of his rope and the end of his hope. In the mirror he saw a 310lb man whose gut was bigger than a beach ball and a path laid out before him that wouldn't end well— with one foot already in the grave, the other wasn't far behind. FAT, SICK & NEARLY DEAD is an inspiring film that chronicles Joe's personal mission to regain his health.
And check out the trailer:

So what are you waiting for?  Go and see this movie!

Happy Juicing!
Ves xx

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

WIAW #4 OR What I've Been Nibbling On...

   Guess what time it is?  That's right, it's time for another episode of What I Ate Wednesday! Or actually, what I've been snacking on lately.  My meals have been a bit boring these past couple of days, so I thought I'd share some snacks with you instead.
Let's dive right in, shall we?

You may not think of it as a snack but I'll have one anytime, not just in the morning.
Blueberry Smoothie
I got this at my health food store.  It was my treat while grocery shopping. Yum!
Fruit and Granola!
This was a morning snack and it was so tasty.  Strawberries, grapes, banana and a bit of granola sprinkled on top.  With a side of almond milk... So good.
Trail Mix!

Veggie Sticks
Late afternoon snacking.  Yum!
No soy, no dairy, just almonds!
I'm most excited about this snack because I haven't had yogurt since I became vegan.  I can't stand the taste of soy so I was super excited when I found this Almond yogurt!
Peanut Butter Cereal!
This happened to be on sale at my health food store so I snatched up a box.  It's vegan and has about 5 ingredients which I love.  I added this cereal to my yogurt bowl.
Yogurt Bowl!
 Peanut Butter Puffins, blueberries, ground flax, and almond yogurt.  Yum-o!
Green Smothie
I made this after my workout and it totally hit the spot.  Spinach, blueberries, banana, sunflower sprouts, hemp seeds, flax seeds and maca powder.
Nighty Night
When I need a little help falling asleep I brew this organic Nighty Night Tea.  It works like a charm and tastes delicious.  Even if you're not a fan of tea, I think you'll like this.

That's it for my snacks.  Thanks as always to Jen for hosting this link up party!
Ves xx

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

You Had to Put the Ice Where?

   Hello all!  Just a quick post for today as I wanted to share with you how ridiculously sore my body is!  Let me explain.  I've been a little lazy lately with my workouts.  I try and keep moving by going for brisk walks around the neighborhood, doing a little yoga in the living room, jumping rope, etc., but nothing really vigorous.  Well, I finally decided to change that and get back into a workout routine.
So, I got my act together, I dug out my Jillian Michaels DVD, and actually put it to use.  Ugh, it seemed like a good idea at the time!  I felt really good while doing the workouts but I'm paying for it today!  I never realized how out of shape I've become.  I'm just hoping it will be less painful each time I do the workout!

Here's a clip from the video: 

   I'm only on Week 1 and I can only imagine the kind of hell that's waiting for me in the next 3 videos!  
Wish me luck and maybe feel just a tiny bit sorry for me too! Ha. 

On a happier note, I received my package from my Foodie Pen Pal today!  Stay tuned for my post about that at the end of this month.

Until next time...
Keep moving!
Ves xx

Monday, June 25, 2012

There's No Vegan In It!

   That's actually an inside joke between my parents and me.  They were at a grocery store one day and asked the manager if he knew if a particular packaged food item was vegan.  His response was a very enthusiastic, "Oh no, there's no vegan in it!"  When he said it he actually meant that the product was vegan.  We say it all the time now, except that when we say it we actually mean "there's no vegan in it!" (As in, I definitely can't eat it.) Ha.  That was definitely the theme of my week in Nova Scotia.

Fort Anne National Historic Site, at Annapolis Royal
     We spent a lot of time touring around Nova Scotia during the last few days of my visit.  We took a drive to Annapolis Royal (gorgeous), Lunenburg (so much history) and then over to Mahone Bay (adorable).  The next day we drove to Cape Forchu to see the Lighthouse and of course make fools of ourselves on the giant Adirondack chair.   We also made our way to Mavillette Beach which is absolutely stunning and very clean (especially considering the beaches here in Hamilton). 
I was so thrilled to find a Health Food Store. I bought Goji Berries to add to our Trail mix!
We laughed so hard while we were in this chair!  I dare you to hop in and not laugh!
Fisherman's Memorial at Lunenburg
   As a special treat, we wanted to stop at one of the lovely restaurants along the way.  It turns out that trying to find a restaurant that serves something other than seafood was harder than we thought.  I am so lucky that my parents are patient and made sure that I could study the menus before entering the restaurants.  I'm also lucky that a lot of restaurants these days post their menus outside of their establishments.  
   The first restaurant we ate at was in Lunenburg called Grand Banker.  

The menu was not super extensive but I was able to find a couple of items on the Appetizer side to order.  My mom decided to share with me so we ordered three different appetizers and asked them to hold the cheese on two of them.  If I ever go back in the cooler weather I would totally try the Honey Roasted Apple and Butternut Squash Soup.  The day we were there the weather was really warm and I definitely did not want something hot!

Here's what we ordered...
Bruschetta, Mediterranean Style, sans cheese!
Veggie Tapas Flatbread, hold the cheese please!
Sweet Potato Fries!
   The food was good and reasonably priced.  I tasted the Veggie Tapas Flatbread first and really liked it.  My mom tried the Bruschetta first and found that when she tried the Veggie Tapas it lacked in flavor.  We actually added the toppings from the Bruschetta onto the Veggie Flatbread and man was that good!  The sweet potato fries were really yummy and crispy but we were too full from the other two dishes to finish them.
    The next day while driving around Yarmouth we stopped at a little restaurant called Marco's Grill and Pasta House.
One of the seating areas at Marco's
 There was actually only two things that I could eat at this restaurant (three if you count the Garden Salad).
Here's what I ordered...
Sundried Tomato Rustica
   This dish turned out to be super delicious.  I didn't eat the garlic bread because it was smothered in butter.  But, I scored the lemon from my step-dads dish and added it to mine which took the flavor of the veggies and pasta to a whole new level.  I really should have popped over to the kitchen and shared that tip with them.  (Haha, kidding!)
   I was lucky enough to try one more restaurant during my stay in Nova Scotia.  This time it was in Halifax at the Waterfront.  We spent most of the afternoon there.  Unfortunately, it was one of the coldest days of my vacation.  No bueno when you are walking along the Boardwalk with the Atlantic Ocean to your right (or left, I suppose)!  BRRR!
The view from the Boardwalk.  It was beautiful but freezing!
   There were quite a few restaurants along the boardwalk but it was hard to find a place with decent options.  Luckily we stumbled upon this cute place called Hart & Thistle Gastropub.

   There were so many options to choose from I actually had a hard time figuring out what to order!  My mom and I decided to share again so this meant I could sample more things. 
Here's what we ordered...
We started with a cup of the Vegetarian Chili which went perfectly with the cold, rainy day we were having.
We shared this Grilled Vegetable Salad...
along with this Quinoa Salad.
   They also had a Veggie Burger with tofu in it on the menu but, after talking to the waitress I found out that they probably bind it with an egg and if not then they definitely put cheese in it.  Bummer.  I was really looking forward to trying it.  However, the food at this restaurant was our favorite!  I absolutely loved everything I ordered and would definitely come back for seconds (it's a toss up between the Chili and the Grilled Veggie Salad!)  
I hope you enjoyed my eats during my stay in Nova Scotia... I sure did!

Til next time...


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

WIAW #3 and Where Have I Been All This Time

  After spending over a week helping my parents (as much as I could) pack up their entire house, they have finally made the move to Digby, Nova Scotia.  Last week I spent a lot of my spare time running over to their old house feeding and playing with their cats.  My parents drove to Digby from Hamilton, and driving for a few days with cats is not ideal.  So they had them stay at the house for a few days and on Thursday I flew out with the little kitties.  Have you ever flown with cats?  I don't recommend it, especially if you are the kind of person who has a wild imagination and stresses out easily (ahem, me).  But the cats made it just fine and were pretty much back to their old selves that evening.
   Since I've been here, we've been exploring different parts of their new town.  It's really a cute little area and if you go downtown it's a little touristy and very kitschy (which I love).  My parents live near the water and my mom and I have been down to the water's edge every day for a little walk.
Steps to the water
Nothing but beach!
   This town is full of creative people and just a little drive down the road you see many shops selling super cute antiques, handmade quilts, and all kinds of kitschy decor items for your home.  
Just one of the little stops along the highway.
   My mom and I can spend hours in the shops just looking at all the little items on the shelves.  This of course builds up quite an appetite.  Nova Scotia isn't really well known for it's vegan cuisine.  In fact, a lot of my friends commented on how it was too bad that I didn't eat seafood because that is the specialty in Nova Scotia.  It's basically a fishing and logging town.  So if you love lobster, scallops, etc. then you'll be in heaven around here.  If you are like me, you will be happy to know that there are a couple of farm markets in the area selling local produce, as well as a really nice organic section at the local supermarket.
One of the local Farm Markets off the road.  Only local produce!
   On with the food and another WIAW!  Here's what I ate so far while in Nova Scotia...


 My mom has been spoiling me by having my water ready when I get up.  She also has a thermos of coffee waiting along with a mug.  I feel like I'm staying in a hotel!
PB & J
Mostly I've been making toast with peanut butter and jam.  But the other day I treated myself to a Tofu Scramble with sauteed spinach and a slice of toast.  So yummy.  I always have a glass of almond milk to go with my breakfast as well as a green smoothie.  My mom felt bad that I didn't have a blender here to make my smoothies so she bought a bottled green smoothie for me.  I am so spoiled!
Tofu Scramble
We're not really "lunch" people so I don't have any photos for lunch.  Lately we've been stopping for a coffee at Tim Hortons and that's been our lunch.  Ha.  Well, that along with some sort of snack. 

'No-Spray' Strawberries
   These strawberries, which came from the Farm Market, were super sweet, 'no-spray' and local!
We've also been eating a lot of trail mix as well as these yummy Skinny Sticks.

 We sauteed this gorgeous Swiss Chard from the farmer's market in town.  It was so delicious.
Kale salad, couscous, and a veggie burger sprinkled with Daiya Cheese.
Every night we have been preparing some leafy greens, either raw or sauteed, along with some kind of grain.
Spring salad with balsamic dressing and spaghetti with a fresh, homemade tomato sauce.
   This is pretty much what I've eaten while on vacation here in Digby.  I'm trying to get better at taking pics of my food so stay tuned for some more yummy meals!  I'm also hoping to visit some local eats but, like I said earlier, most of them focus on seafood so I'm not sure if that will be happening.

Until next time.. 
Happy Hump Day!

Ves xx

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