Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Your Daily Vegan Needs Your Help!

Have you heard about Your Daily vegan blog yet? It is an awesome vegan online community with vegan news, recipes, events, reviews, giveaways, health info, shopping and much more.
The wonderful girl who runs this blog needs our help. In the beginning of February her dog Ollie got very sick. After several trips to an emergency room her doggie died. That tragedy was followed by her kitty Lakini getting very sick. In one month she had to deal with a serious illness in two animals and a loss of one. Lakini is now fighting for her life, but the future does not look very bright. My heart aches for KD and her family. KD is dealing with so much right now, including a very large vet bill for over $5,500 ! She did everything she could for Ollie and is doing everything she can for Lakini. I am trying to help her raise some money to cover some of her vet bills to ease her worries. You can read more about Ollie here . KD is selling shirts to raise money for her vet bills. Please, head on over to her YDV Souvenir shop and buy a shirt (or two). Or you can donate money directly without buying a shirt here. Every bit helps, even $1 helps! If you cannot donate any money, please, donate your time and share this with your friends and on your Facebook and Twitter. Dear vegans, let's help KD and show her that the vegan community is supportive!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Ensalada Catalana (Catalan Salad)

I took a Mediterranean Cooking Class last month. All recipes were amazing, but the only recipe that I made at home so far, is this potato and bean salad. I made it several times already, it is sooooooo good! I will be making the other recipes soon. This salad is pretty easy to make and it looks beautiful! It is just cooked potatoes, green olives, onions, bell pepper, tomatoes, lima beans and some lettuce or mixed herbs as a base, and a herbal salad dressing.
When I first made it, I used the recommended amount of oil for the dressing, 1 full cup of olive oil blended with fresh herbs (thyme, parsley, basil and marjoram), vinegar and a liquid sweetener. The original recipe calls for honey but I used agave nectar instead. All that gets blended in a blender into a smooth, creamy green dressing. It smells divine! However, 1 cup of oil was too much for me so when I made it again, I used mostly water as a base and a tablespoon of oil. It was still very good, but not as greasy.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Healthy Eats

Here are some healthy (or relatively healthy) meals that I have been eating lately. Enjoy!

Baked falafel with tzatziki sauce (garlic, cucumber, dill, lemon juice and plain-unsweetened soy yogurt), all made from scratch. The falafel was good, but I think that the deep fried, traditionally made, falafel tastes million times better :-) Falafel is usually served with some tahini sauce, but I like this refreshing Greek sauce better.

Brown rice with roasted chickpeas, Garlicky Cheezy Kale , and steamed broccolini.

Mashed potatoes with mashed Brussels sprouts blended together, and served with roasted chickpeas.

My first ever spinach strawberry salad with poppyseed dressing. The poppyseed dressing was creamy, but it was too rich for me.

Warm mashed polenta (homemade for the first time) with steamed chopped greens.

Brown rice spaghetti with homemade tomato and chickpeas sauce.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Sweeeeeet Life

I made homemade vegan truffles for my husband for Valentine's day. I used Ikea's heart shaped ice cube trays for that. One truffle was chocolate cherry (a mixture of melted chocolate chips with chopped cherries that was solidified in the fridge), and the other was chocolate with creamy peppermint centers. The chocolate with peppermint centers took me about an hour to make. I melted some vegan chocolate chips with a dab of melted vegan shortening that I stirred into a smooth, creamy consistency. Using a food paintbrush, I carefully brushed a thin layer inside of each heart shaped mold. I placed that into the freezer for a few minutes to firm up the chocolate. Meanwhile, I made the creamy centers by mixing vegan powdered sugar, a bit of almond milk and peppermint oil. I carefully filled each heart shaped shell with the creamy peppermint mixture and placed that into the freezer again, until it was firm. Then I brushed the tops with more melted chocolate and put everything into the fridge. About an hour later I gently removed the truffles from the tray. The results were beyond my expectations :-) My husband loved it very much and I enjoyed a few pieces as well. I will make it again soon.

I was craving a banana pudding recently so I made my own. I used Czech vegan vanilla pudding mix that I prepared in almond milk. I topped the pudding with bananas and broken animal crackers :-) Soooooo good!

Exciting new logo and a blog color makeover

I am so excited to share my new, custom made blog logo and a Czech Vegan blog official mascot with you. It is a cartoon version of my English Cocker Spaniel Shelly in an apron. She is holding Czech veganized kolache (traditional Czech pastry), and a teapot, which represents my love for baked goods and tea. Also her apron has some important details that are a big part of my life, such as vegetables and fruits, plus cooking and baking. I had a very detailed vision in my head for the past year and recently my friend's husband, an amazing artist, made my vision come to life! I could not be happier with the results! He captured my Shelly so perfectly I almost cried when I saw the final work. How do you like it? I also changed my blog color from green and red to pink, but I might go back to green or go with yellow in the future. What do you think?
Have a great weekend!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

New Vegan Blog/Website

I am so excited to share this wonderful news with you! My friends Elena and Seth started a very unique vegan website-blog with articles, videos, useful tips, events and their vegan culinary adventures. They cook recipes from cookbooks, magazines and other sources and then rate the meals. Please, check them out at Vegan ESP :-)
And check out Elena's informative article about tofu aka The Tofu Manifesto .