Category Archives: reviews

Dagoba Chocolate

I was making some matcha tea bread with a chocolate filling, so I needed to get some chocolate. I thought I would get a chocolate bar instead of chips to put in the recipe and found myself standing in front of the chocolate section trying to narrow down my choices (not an easy task for a chocoholic). I found a brand that was on sale, so that helped to narrow my choices a little. I new I wanted a dark chocolate, narrowing my choices still further. I ended up looking at Dagoba Chocolates, they have quite a few dark chocolates, so I looked at the percentage of cocoa in the bars and settled on two choices: the Eclipse bar with 87% and the Xocolati with 74%. I figured I would use the Eclipse bar in the recipe, but since I was buying chocolate, I might as well have one to nibble on during the week too. I tasted a little of each kind just to be sure and here is what I think of them.

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Tea

Tea.  My favorite drink next to water.  I like it warm or cold, with a meal or just on its own.  I like green, black, white, red (rooibos), herbal, oolong, they are all good.  Personally, I don’t care for tea bags, I prefer loose tea, and I found a great place to get my tea and an easy (and quicker) way to brew my tea.  I was researching loose teas a couple of years ago and came across Adagio Teas (Adagio Teas – Best Tea Online) and fell in love with their products.  They have high quality, yet affordable teas.  My first purchase was their Tea Starter:
Tea Starter Set

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Quinoa Salad with Black Beans and Mango (on the side)

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Last nights dinner is found on page 84 of Veganomicon.  If you already have cooked quinoa (or other grain), this comes together in 15 minutes, if not, it’ll take you a little over 1/2 an hour.  A great quick and easy weeknight meal.  This salad contains quinoa, cilantro, scallions, red peppers, black beans, and mangoes.  My husband absolutely does not like mangoes, so I chopped those up and put them in a separate bowl because manogoes are probably my favorite fruit (at least I got to eat them all!).

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Portobello Salad with Spicy Mustard Dressing

Tonights dinner was brought to you by Veganomicon.  I made the Portobello Salad with Spicy Mustard Dressing on page 87 tonight for dinner.  It does require some planning ahead.  You need to roast the portobellos for an hour before you make the salad, so keep that in mind when you make this one, but definitely make it!  The only differences I made to the recipe was to replace the grape seed oil with ground flaxseeds and water and for the portobello marinade I just left the oil out.

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Cookbook Giveaway

Some of you know that I have been doing recipe testing for an awesome lady – Carla Kelly. Well, her cookbook – Vegan Bake Sale – is finally out and she is doing a giveaway! Check out her site & leave her a comment, see if you win 🙂  I can tell you that the recipes are amazing! Easy to make and absolutely delicious.

Turtle Mountain Coconut Milk Yogurt & Ice Cream

The health food store in town finally got the new Turtle Mountain products in.  They have made yogurt and ice cream out of coconut milk so that they are soy and dairy free! 

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It comes in Plain, Vanilla, Raspberry, Blueberry and Passionate Mango.  I tried all of the yogurts, which tasted really good, but the texture was just a hint off for me.  It mixed well with granola (which helped the texture) and tasted good on their own too.  I baked a cake with the plain one and it baked up beautifully. 

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Here are the ingredients and nutritional information for you.  I like that it has 3 grams of fiber in it!  If you aren’t used to eating a lot of coconut, just remember that it is a natural laxative, so you don’t want to go overboard and eat 3 or 4 of them a day.  Stick to one a day and you should be fine.  Although, if you mix it with the coconut milk ice cream, you may want to work up to eating them both in a day:

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These taste amazing!!!  They come in a variety of flavors, but I have only tried these two.  I started with the coconut flavored one:

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The flavor was great, but since it also had shredded coconut in it, the texture for me was a little off:

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The mint chocolate chip one:

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Wow, I could eat the whole pint in one sitting!!! (That would be bad though)

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I’m drooling just looking at it.  Wow, yum.  Of couse, mint chocolate chip has always been my favorite flavor of any kind of ice cream (second would be Purely Decadent Cherry Nirvana), so I’m a little biased. 

If you are allergic to soy, or are just trying to stay away from it, these are a great alternative.  Get out there and try some this week!

Sheese!

Sheese?  What is Sheese? 

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Sheese is a vegan cheese from Scotland. 

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It comes in a variety of flavors.  I ordered 2 of them, the smoked cheddar and the blue cheese.  I ordered the blue sheese for my dad for his birthday (he’s lactose intolerant), so I only got to sneak a small taste, but it was really good.  I like the smoked cheddar, but it is a little too rich tasting for me, I think I would prefer the cheddar better.   The first night these came in, I made quesadillas for dinner with refried beans.  YUM!  I’ve had it in burritos and on a veggie sandwich (a little too strong for that one).  I liked them best on mexican food though because of the smokiness. 

I totally recomend trying these.  A little goes a long way, so even though they are a bit pricey (around $8.00 depending on where you order them from), they last a long time. 

What tofu do you like?

For baking with tofu or making pudding, etc. I always use Mori Nu –

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This works really well.  It blends great for salad dressings, & puddings.  It also makes a great egg replacer in baked goods. 

For cooking, this is my favorite tofu to use:

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It comes in firm and extra firm.  Even without pressing it, it stays firm and soaks up whatever flavoring you put with it.  This is my hubby’s favorite dinner item, especially if its paired with Hoisin sauce!

Some Yummies & taste tests

Here are some food items that I have tried this past year:

First up: Raspberry Preserves from Costco

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Walls Berry Farms Raspberry preserves is sooooo good!  It tastes amazing on croissants, and makes an awesome raspberry sauce for anything chocolate.  If you can find it (only offered seasonally at Costco, I always get 2 when they have it), give it a try.  Tres Yummy!

Next up, Naked Juice Orange Juice

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I really like this juice.  We use this every morning in our smoothies.  Sometimes I’ll combine it with pomegranate, cherry, grape, or apple juice (which is also good).  It has a nice fresh taste and mixes in really well and doesn’t overpower anything in our morning smoothies.

What’s next? Organic Food Bars – Vegan and Active Greens

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There are numerous other flavors and I have liked all of the ones that I have tried (blueberry and chocolate chip are both yummy).  These make a great meal replacement for those days when you are running around doing errands, or are on a long hike.  It works great too for when your hubby is out all day and you know he’s not going to stop to eat anything, so I make sure he has one of these with him.

Lastly, Whole Soy Yogurt

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I like this yogurt too.  I use the plain & vanilla flavored for baking, and once in a while I’ll get the fruit flavored ones to mix with granola for a nighttime snack.  Whole Soy & Co. is usually a little cheaper than Silk, so that’s why I go with it. 

Bonus pix:

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Some yaki soba – I’ll share the recipe later, it was yummy!!