Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Compassion Company Shirts

I love my new vegan Compassion Company shirts!

This shirt has pictures of different fruits and veggies, and it says Cruelty Free on the bottom :-)

Check out my little ZOO representing some of the animals that I save by not eating them :-)

I love showing off my veganism and compassion towards animals everywhere. And what is a better way to show it off than by wearing a shirt with a vegan message? I outgrew my old PETA shirts with vegan, anti-fur and anti-animal testing shirts. I no longer buy shirts from PETA for personal reasons, but I used to support them for years. I am happy that I recently found beautiful, organic, cute, vegan and well made shirts that are sweatshop free as well.

My very old fake leather purse got a fun makeover :-)

Vegan owned and operated, Compassion Company provides shirts that allow people to announce their cruelty free lifestyle to the world. They believe that the best way to affect social change is to lead by setting a positive example. They want everyone to feel proud about where their clothing came from at every point during production. To achieve this, all their designs feature original hand drawn art that you won’t find anywhere else. Their shirts are made from ultra soft recycled or organic cotton printed with water based and discharge inks to create clothing that is not only extremely comfortable but also minimizes environmental impact. The shirts themselves are sweat shop free, assembled by workers in South Carolina that are treated with respect and provided with benefits such as health, dental, paid vacations and more. All their screen printing is done by hand exclusively by their long time vegan friends at Leave Your Mark Screen Printing in Florida.
I love supporting a company that has these values and that is cruelty-free and vegan owned and operated. Also their designs are very unique and beautiful! And the quality of the shirts is amazing, they wash well and they look pretty day after day. The shirts are extremely comfortable, too :-)
When I got my first shirt I picked the wrong size but Compassion Company happily exchanged the shirt for a size that fit me better. Their customer service is outstanding! The women's shirts run a but smaller (tighter) so keep that in mind when placing and order. Follow their handy size chart to get the correct size here. I scored free shipping (via Vegan Cut). I got some pretty buttons and a sticker so I can spread the vegan message even better :-)

Here are some of their other cool shirt designs (the following pictures are from the Compassion Company website)

Compassion Company donates 5% off every sale to an organization that promotes animal rights and cruelty free lifestyle. They pick a different organization every three months. From August 1st to October 31st, this donation will be made to For The Animals Sanctuary located in Blairstown, NJ. Compassion Company views the contributions of farm sanctuaries to the struggle for animal liberation as absolutely vital and For The Animals Sanctuary is one piece of that puzzle. They have been lucky enough to meet several of the awesome folks who volunteer their time at the sanctuary working their own table at several of the vegfests they have attended. Not only are they all totally radical people but they also make some really incredible buttons and jewelry to help cover some of their expenses.

At the sanctuary, animals that would have lived a life of deprivation, pain, and constant fear are able to enjoy life, nature, companionship, and receive life-long veterinary care. And of course, they are showered with abundant love, attention, and compassion. Additionally, they actively engage in vegan outreach and invite people to enjoy the benefits to themselves, the animals, and the earth, of living a compassionate vegan lifestyle. For The Animals Sanctuary also provides a loving home to abandoned and homeless domestic animals in need of a place to call home.
Compassion Co. hopes you will take the time to learn more about the sanctuary by visiting their website where you can check out their wide array of animal liberation and vegan themed buttons and jewelry as well as make any additional donations.

Compassion Company has several shirts on sale via Vegan Cuts (including free shipping for a limited time).
Use a discount code BLOGFRIEND to save additional 10% off your next order (does not apply to shipping. This offer will expire October 31 2012. (Sign up for more discounts at Vegan Cuts)

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Monday, September 17, 2012

Liz Lovely cookies review

I think that I lived under a rock until recently because I had not tried Liz Lovely vegan cookies until a few weeks ago. I am a bit embarrassed, considering that this company started in 2003........long before I became a vegan. Liz Lovely makes vegan cookies (many of which are gluten free), using only pure, 100% natural ingredients in their artisan bakery in the Green Mountains of Vermont. They don't cut corners or prioritize profits over people or the planet. They create sustainable jobs that support the American dream. They bring hope and joy to people living without dairy and eggs, and even people on gluten-free diet. They promote cruelty-free food by being a certified vegan bakery. And they use green packaging alternatives as much as possible.
If you don't have a sweet tooth, or don't like cookies in general, these will surely change your mind! My husband who normally does not eat sweets was hooked on these and I had to hide some of the cookies from him......

These beautiful vegan cookies and Mint Lovely Oh's were awaiting me after my raw food detox. My shipment arrived in a perfect condition, nothing was broken or melted despite traveling a long distance in the hot summer weather. These guys know how to pack and ship their goodies! Each baggie had 2 giant cookies and the container with Mint Lovely Oh's had 8 perfectly sized dark chocolate coated vegan sandwich cookies.

Mint Lovely Oh's
These cookies live up to their name, oh, they are lovely! These Oreo style vegan cookies are coated in a thick layer of 100% dark chocolate, without added waxes or disgusting glaze. Two chocolate sandwich cookies with a white creamy center are surrounded by dark chocolate. What a genius idea!
The thick chocolate layer is infused with cooling and refreshing peppermint oil. I ate my Mint Lovely Oh's at room temperature, and straight from the fridge. They became much firmer and crunchier after being in the fridge. I even tried one warmed up in the microwave and the chocolate layer melted nicely but the cookies stayed firm. Yummy mess on my plate :-) I can have these every day and not get tired of them! I cannot wait to order the Peanut Butter Lovely Oh's (same concept but with peanut butter filling and minus the peppermint). They also make original version Lovely Oh's without the peppermint, but I liked the minty addition to these cookies a lot.

Peanut Butter Cookie with Dark Chocolate (Gluten Free)

Ok, I have had some gluten free cookies and let me tell you, most of them tasted weird. I had to double check the package on this cookie to see if it really was gluten free because it did taste like a "normal" cookie, nothing weird about it! This cookie was a little bit more fragile compared with wheat based cookies, but it was still holding up well. Rich, sweet peanut butter cookie is brought to perfection by a dark chocolate bottom layer, and chocolate swirls on the top. Amazing!

Chocolate Moose Dragons
This decadent cookie will pleasantly surprise any cookie aficionado or a cookie snob. This beats any chocolate cookie that I have ever had! Sweet, fudgy, rich and very chocolatey cookie is sprinkled with crunchy cacao nibs to bring this cookie to a whole new level of awesomeness! What a cookie! It is so rich, a half of one cookie immediately satisfied my chocolate cravings. Not sure if you want a cookie or a big piece of chocolate? Why not having them both! I even froze one and ate it frozen which was a whole different sensation, kind of like a brownie ice cream :-)

Snicker Dudes

Lovely snickerdoodle cookie! Cinnamon and sugar combo makes everything more festive :-) This soft, buttery cookie is hand-rolled in warm, spicy cinnamon and sweet, crunchy sugar. A classic cookie made with better ingredients and cruelty-free. This cookie was especially great with hot apple tea. Mmmmmmmm

I like the fact that you can freeze Liz Lovely cookies for up to 6 month so you can stock up and save money on shipping. Speaking of money saving, if you use a promo code LOVELIZ you will get 5% off your next order on Liz Lovely website. I am certainly using that code next time!
Chocolate covered pretzels are on my list to buy soon, along with Peanut Butter Lovely Oh's and some other cookies ( Gluten Free Coconut Macaroon sounds heavenly!)

Check out Liz Lovely website for more awesome cookies
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Thursday, September 13, 2012

START! Hot Curry Sauce Review

Move over Tabasco, there is a new sheriff in town!
His name is START! Original Curry Sauce and he has been in my kitchen for a few weeks now, taking my dishes to a new level of awesomeness. This sauce is vegan, all natural, sugar free, oil free, non-GMO, preservative free, MSG free, and it has zero calories :-) And here is what blows my mind, unlike other hot sauces that give food burning heat and no flavor (or minimal flavor), START! Original Hot Curry Sauce gives food a flavor spin with a pleasant touch of heat. The heat of this sauce is not scorching and burning, but rather an exciting spicy sensation that nicely compliments the full curry and red pepper flavors. The aroma reminds me of my favorite German curry ketchup and the taste is a cross between tangy red pepper hot sauce and curry with an emphasis on red pepper, garlic, ginger and red chillies. It also has a nice sourness to it.
I have been using this interesting hot sauce in my boring cabbage and parsnip soup, many vegetable soups, lentil stews, enchiladas, chili, red beans and rice, chickpeas meals, tacos, and in stir-fries.
Have you tried it yet?

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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Kur Delights Review

Recently I was honored to become part of the Vegan Cuts team as one of their blogger product reviewer :-) Vegan Cuts is a fun place where you can find yummy vegan food, snacks and treats, pretty jewelry, cruelty free fashion, natural body care and everything in between. Free membership at Vegan Cuts brings you great deals, rewards and daily sales.

My first product that I received for a review was adorable, sweet, healthy and raw! I could not ask for more!

Kur Delights by Kur Organic Superfoods truly live up to their name! They are delightful!

I love the cute boxes that these raw treats come in! Abbey is checking out what I am so excited about :-) She is upset that the box is empty and that I did not leave any raw "candy" for her...hahahaha

Kur Delights were originally created in Denmark and because they were so popular, they found their way to USA and later to me :-) These sweet beauties are made with pure raw, organic, gluten free, non-GMO and vegan ingredients. The main ingredients are dried fruit and nuts. These treats are very sweet despite the fact that they don't have any added sugar.
They are sophisticated enough to be served at a fancy party. They would also make for an amazing alternative to truffles or box of chocolates, and they would cheer up the most bitter person :-) And this indulgence has only 60-75 calories per treat.

I shared these with my husband who normally does not like candy or sweets....... He was begging me for more Kur Delights! I wish they came in a jumbo or extra jumbo size treat, because I cannot unwrap these treats fast enough, I want more and more.


Oh, my God! I like the combination of chocolate and orange so I knew I would enjoy these little brownies before I tried them. But they have exceeded all my expectations! When I took a first bite I was in love! The dense, chewy, sweet chocolate brownie is mingled with a real orange oil. Pure bliss! No fake orange taste, just intense and pure orange flavor inside a rich chocolaty experience.

Coconut Cream

Sweet, sticky and nutty treat. Creamy and smooth with crunchy cashew chunks, and all that sprinkled with shredded coconut.

Dark Chocolate Mint

These moist, fluffy and soft chocolate treats have a refreshing peppermint kick, and fun crunchy cacao nibs topping. The flavors are perfectly balanced between rich cacao, sweet dates, crunchy deep chocolate topping, and cooling peppermint oil that leaves a very refreshing aftertaste.

If you are looking for raw, delicious, healthy and beautiful treats, these will surely become your favorites. Make sure you order extra for friends and family because they make for really pretty and delightful presents!

Take an advantage of a special sale while it lasts on Vegan Cuts
Use a discount code "BLOGFRIEND" to save additional 10% off your order (does not apply to shipping). This discount expires October 31th 2012.
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Healthy Carrot Raisin Cookies

I created healthy, high fiber, low fat, oil free, no sugar added cookies that taste sweet :-) Enjoy!

Healthy Carrot Raisin Cookies

1 cup old fashioned rolled oats
2 cups finely shredded carrots (or carrot pulp after juicing)
1 ripe medium banana, mashed
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup raisins
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves

In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients together using your hands. Make sure that the oats are moist enough, adding a splash of water if needed. Let sit about 20 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease cookie sheet with coconut oil or line with parchment paper.
Form about 7-8 large cookies with your hands and place them on the cookie sheet.
Bake 10 minutes, flip and bake 10 more minutes.
Store them in the refrigerator for up to a week.

The Simply Bar Review

After receiving a few bars from The Simply Bar company for a review, I am happy to announce that my search for a light, easy to digest, low sugar and high protein bar is over!
Most protein bars are loaded with excess sugar and calories so having a lighter option that fills me up without sugar overload and too many calories is great! I have tried four flavors of The Simply Bar and I am going to share my thoughts about my experience with these revolutionary bars.
Each bar has GMO-Free soy crisps and low glycemic brown rice syrup base. Each bar has whopping 16 grams of protein, 4 grams of filling fiber and only 3 grams of sugar. The fat is pretty low too, around 3-4 grams of fat in the bars that I tried. All of the ingredients are vegan and gluten free. Each bar has 10 ingredients or less so no super long ingredients list to study makes this bar more convenient, too. And you can pronounce all of the ingredients :-)
This bar makes an awesome post workout, gluten free, low carb, low glycemic and high protein snack. When I ate these bars after my long run, weight lifting and other workout, I felt good. The bars filled me up without being too heavy or overly sweet. They were really easy to digest and did not cause any bloating or sluggish feelings unlike some other high protein bars or high protein snacks that I tried. And knowing that I only consumed 150-160 calories I did not feel guilty about eating them after breaking a sweat. These bars are light, crispy and "airy", not dense and heavy.

Cinnamon Pecan Protein Bar
This bar smells and tastes almost like a crunchy pecan pie. It is sweet and it has very strong pecan and cinnamon flavor.

Lemon Coconut Protein Bar
This bar has a lovely lemony aroma and strong, fresh lemon taste with a pleasant hint of coconut.

Caramel Peanut Protein Bar
Yummy! I love sweet and salty combinations, and this hit the spot! Well balanced crunchy and salty peanut with sweet caramel flavor.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Protein Bar
Who does not like chocolate and peanut butter combo? This classic, sweet and salty combination was very chocolatey with a nice hint of peanut butter.

This chart compares The Simply Bar with other popular protein bars. Check it out!

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Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Spiced Lentil Soup with Collard Greens

Spiced Lentil Soup with Collard Greens

1 cup green lentils, uncooked
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 cup diced carrots
1 15-oz can diced tomatoes, including the juice
2 bay leaves
1 tsp onion powder
1 Tbs Baharat spice mixture (allspice, black pepper, nutmeg, cinnamon, coriander and cloves)
3 large collard green leaves, tough stems removed
1/2 tsp salt (or more to taste)

Cut the collard greens into thin strips/ribbons, about 2-3 inches long. Set aside.
Place lentils into a large pot and cover with 7 cups of hot water. Add carrots and diced tomatoes. Bring to a boil. Add minced garlic, bay leaves, onion powder and Baharat spices. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 30 minutes. Add collard greens and cook another 20 minutes, or until lentils are tender. Remove bay leaves. Season with salt to taste.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Raw Nuts and Chocolate Covered Raisins-Living Nutz review

Last week The Living Nutz company generously sent me several of their raw treats to review and I have been happily snacking away ever since. I received a fun assortment of raw, flavored pistachios, almonds, and walnuts, and some raw chocolate covered raisins.
At Living Nutz, they don't bake or roast the nuts, which keeps all their enzymes intact. They germinate the nuts and then marinate them over five days and dehydrate them at low temperatures to maintain optimal nutrition and digestion.
One of the interesting thing that I noticed about Living Nutz is the fact that despite all the wonderful seasoning, each and every nut keeps its own unique, distinctive flavor that is complimented by the seasoning.


I almost jumped through the roof when I saw the Rawzins (100% Raw Living Chocolate Organic Raisins)! It has been over 6 years since I had chocolate covered raisins (since I became vegan). It is extremely hard to find vegan chocolate covered raisins since most are made with dairy (milk chocolate), or they are covered with confectioner's glaze when it comes to the dark chocolate varieties. You ask what is the problem with confectioner's glaze? It sounds so harmless and vegan friendly, doesn't it? Well, confectioner's glaze aka "beetle juice", is a resin produced by a beetle. The production of this resin is similar to the bee's production of honey. I am not that familiar with the whole confectioners' glaze production, but even though the beetles might not be harmed during this process, I think that it is plain gross (and sad if they do indeed harm them). Confectioner's glaze is on so many things, chocolate covered candies, nuts and fruit, and in cake decorating.
Luckily, Living Nutz Rawzins are 100% vegan. They are also completely raw, living foods. Organic raisins are coated and blended with a perfect mixture of raw cacao, raw agave, spices and himalayan sea salt. Rawzins are juicy, sweet, chocolatey, and lightly smokey raisins clusters. The himalayan sea salt highlights the chocolate flavor nicely.
Rawzins are AMAZING!!!! I am so addicted to these! These are already in my wishlist when I place an order with Living Nutz.

Chocolate Walnut Divine

These raw walnuts are better than a candy! Chocolate Walnut Divine has only a small handful of ingredients, but the flavor spectrum is so much wider than I would expect from reading the label. Could it be the mesquite powder?
I detected buttery, toffee-like, caramel, rum and lightly spiced chocolate flavors. Even the beautiful aroma is intoxicating! The combination of these is dangerous for my weight loss program since I cannot stop eating them...... I have never had anything like this! It almost reminded me one of my favorite non-vegan German candy called "Toffifee" ( which is a blend of caramel, nougat, chocolate and hazelnuts). I will be ordering them soon.

Zesty Almond Bliss

Beautiful almond taste with garlicky, salty flavor and a pleasant heat from cayenne pepper and black pepper. Overall very good, but not as impressive as the other flavors I tried from Living Nutz.

Galactic Garlic Onion Pistachios

OMG! The aroma of these pistachios is stunning! The flavor is out of this world! Salted onion and garlic flavor punch with a serious heat from cayenne pepper and lovely pistachio taste. These pistachios are addictive and I will be ordering them soon.

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