Saturday, September 29, 2012

Vegan Food Gifts is OUT NOW!

Vegan Food Gifts is now available!
The book is out now!  I am super excited about it. It's perfect timing, too, because we are just heading into fall, and the holiday gift giving season.  There are tons and tons of awesome holiday gift ideas in this baby.  And everything has a packaging idea attached to it, with make-your-own packaging step-by-step-fully-illustrated (by Kurt Halsey!) instructions.  And let's not forget about the pictures.  The amazing and wonderful Celine Steen has outdone herself again, with some of the best pictures yet!

So, to celebrate, what do you say I give a few away?  Ok, here's the deal.  Leave a comment below telling me the best (or worst) home made gift you've ever received.  I will pick 3 of you at random on Saturday, October 6 at 11am PST to receive a signed copy of the book, as soon as I get them in my hot little hands.

The giveaway is now over and my husband picked the winners at random.  Congrats to #14, #27 and #2!

And to get you in the crafty, gift making and giving mood, here's a little tutorial to show you how to make your own super duper cheap and easy (and super duper cute) cupcake liners...

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Vegan MoFo 2012

I am super excited to announce that I will again be participating in the Vegan Month of Food. I have participated since the very first year, and so much has happened since then!  So many amazing vegan cookbooks and products and restaurants and even a Vegan Blogging Conference have transpired since the inaugural year.

For this year, instead of a theme, I am going to follow a weekly schedule for my posts:

Mash Up Monday:  
Combing ingredients/flavors that wouldn't normally go together.  A special post will be made on October 15th in conjunction with Blog Action Day and the theme for this year is "The action of WE."  And I feel that topic is easily adaptable to the vegan movement as well.

Two for Tuesday:  
Two recipes using the same main ingredients.

Worknight Wednesday:  
Recipes thst are quick and easy, or utilize leftovers for easy worknight meals, or meals that make enough for perfect next day lunches.

Thoughtful Thursdays: 
Vegan book reviews.

Freedom Fridays:  
Anything I want!

Saturdays and Sundays:  
Bonus posts, nothing scheduled, but if I'm up for it, I will post.

I am so looking forward to this year's event, as hundreds of blogs are participating and Vegan MoFo International Headquarters will be doing daily round ups, giveaways, and providing us will an amazing RSS feed of all of the participants.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Product Review: Feed Your Face Vegan Caramels from Vegan Cuts

I am in the middle of a sweet, delicious sugar high fueled by a Feed Your Face Caramel Sampler  packed with 20 different flavors of soft, chewy, hand made caramels.  

The fabulous Melisser of The Vegan Girl's Guide to Life contacted me to see if I was interested in trying out some Vegan Caramels from Vegan Cuts.  Umm, duh!  Of, course I would.

The box arrived this morning, and when I brought it in, my little man was quite curious!  In fact, I wondered if one of the flavors might be Catnip...  

I wrestled them away from him, and sampled a few flavors.  So far I have loved each and every soft, chewy, intensely caramel-y bite.  The Carrot Cake was unbelievable, and the Double Ginger packed a spicy punch.  I am looking forward to savoring each one individually, like a full dessert course slowly picking out the nuances of each lovingly chosen ingredient.  

20 different flavors!  So many flavors to chose from: Traditional flavors like Vanilla and Dark Chocolate, seasonals like Mulled Apple Cider, fancies like Hawaiian Sea Salt,  and exotics like Spicy Mango and Lemongrass Coconut.
And after I finish my last one, I will hurry over to buy a new bag at Vegan Cuts.

The fine folks over at Vegan Cuts have a VIV (Very Important Vegan) rewards program.  If you get your friends to sign up you can earn points towards special gifts and members only offers.  To get your link, just sign in or create a Vegan Cuts account here.

PLUS, Vegan Cuts is offering JustTheFood readers a special discount!  Enter the code: BLOGFRIEND and save an additional 10% off your order (Doesn't apply to shipping) Expires Oct 31, 2012

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Fusion Tacos with Sesame Carrot Coleslaw (Vegan and Gluten Free!)

Fusion Tacos with Sesame Carrot Coleslaw
Now I am totally and fully aware that you cannot tell that the above is a picture of tacos, however I thought it really showed off all of the amazing colors these fusion tacos boast.  GREEN onions and cabbage, ORANGE carrots, PURPLE onions, BLACK sesame seeds, RED chili flakes, PEACH creamy spicy sushi sauce, YELLOW corn tortillas, and BROWN taco meat.

I am not sure what's gotten into me lately, but I am having so much fun mixing different types of foods together.  Now, of course, mixing Mexican food with Asian influenced flavors is nothing new.  There are fusion food trucks and restaurants popping up all over the place.  But, I haven't seen many vegan options out there.  I've got a few others up my sleeve I will be sharing soon.

Spicy Sushi Sauce tops the Fusion Tacos made with TVP Taco Meat
For the Sesame Carrot Coleslaw:
1 cup finely shredded cabbage
1/2 cup finely shredded carrots
1 teaspoon black sesame seeds
1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons rice vinegar

Toss together all ingredients to coat, and refrigerate until ready to use.

Yield: 1 1/2 cups (enough to generously top 4 tacos)

Nutrition Facts for Sesame Carrot Coleslaw
For the tacos:
4 (6 inch) corn tortillas
TVP Taco Meat  (If you would rather avoid soy, and you don't have gluten intolerance, try Celine's  Seitan Chorizo Crumbles instead!)
Sesame Carrot Coleslaw (recipe above)
1/2 cup finely diced red onion
3 stalks green onion, chopped
Spicy Sushi Sauce

To assemble the tacos:
In a dry frying pan on a grill, cook the tortillas until lightly browned on each side.
Add first, the TVP Taco Meat, then pile on the 'slaw.  Top with red and green onions, then give it all a real liberal squirt of delicious Spicy Sushi Sauce.

Yield: 4 (6 inch) tacos


A big yummy mess! And proof they are actually tacos!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Cookin' Crunk: A Book Review

Cookin' Crunk by Bianca Phillips

Cookin' Crunk: Eatin' Vegan in the Dirty South is the newest addition to my family of vegan cookbooks, and it is quickly becoming a favorite.  I flipped through the pages, last night, trying to decide what to make for dinner.  Having had the opportunity to preview the book before its actual release date, I have been salivating over the recipes for a while now.

If you follow this blog, or even know me just a little bit, you would know that I am a sucker for comfort foods, and this book takes comfort foods to a whole new low...and by low, I mean down to the Dirty South.  Bianca lovingly recreates childhood favorites and puts her own crunk into Southern classics.

Fried Tofu Chicken Wafflewiches with Maple-Dijon Sauce from Cookin' Crunk by Bianca Phillips
Last night I decided on the  Fried Tofu Chicken Wafflewiches with Maple-Dijon Sauce (page 64.)  I picked this particular recipe, because it contained a few sub recipes that I also wanted to try out.  Four in fact.  That way, I am able to give y'all a review based on 5 recipes out of the book, and not just one.

Let's start with that crispy delicious Southern Fried Tofu Chicken.  The Tofu Chicken Marinade, alone, is reason enough to buy this book.  It's rich, savory, and just the right amount of salty.  The batter is also flavorful, and the double dredge makes it nice and thick before hitting the frying pan, ensuring a thick, crispy coating all around that soft flavorful tofu inside.

Next, let's take a look at those Savory Sandwich Waffles!  Perfectly golden and crispy on the outside, while soft and pillowy on the inside.  The perfect "bread" for this sandwich.

Now on to that Maple-Mustard Sauce.  The picture above doesn't do the sauce justice, so here's an open faced shot:

That Maple-Mustard Sauce in Incredible!
I admit to eating a couple of pieces of that "chicken" dipped right into the sauce.  I couldn't get enough of it.  Tangy and sweet...just, mmmmm!  I highly recommend making a double, triple, or even quadruple batch of it, as the amount in the recipe just wasn't enough for my voracious appetite.

The sandwich all together was a huge success, and I can see myself making it, as well as many other recipes from this book again and again.

So go buy this book!  And if you can't buy it right now, well, enter the giveaway.  Simply leave a comment in the comments section below telling me your favorite childhood comfort food, and whether or not you've been able to recreate it as a vegan dish.  Who knows, maybe I will be able to take on a challenge or two!  I will select one of you at random on Friday, September 21 at 4 pm Pacific Standard Time to receive a free signed copy of the book.  Yes, I will ship internationally. 

The contest is now over.  Congrats to #18, T.M.!  (Randomly selected by my husband, Dan, who really, really likes this book, almost as much as me!) 

2012 Copyright/Permissions/Disclaimers

All recipes written by me, Joni Marie Newman, unless otherwise noted. Please feel free to refer to or link back to any of my recipes, but please ask for permission, and remember to give credit when reprinting recipes in their entirety. I do provide links to affiliate programs (such as Amazon) in which I receive a small commission for items purchased. I do not provide paid reviews. All reviews done on products or books are of my own unsolicited opinion. On occasion I may receive a book or product to review. I will note when this is the case, but rest assured, it will not affect the authenticity of my review. Thanks!--Joni