Vegan MoFo 2017 Day 31, Last day. Vegan Trunk-Or-Treat

Hey, so I am able to post after all.

Tonight I went dressed as a silly unicorn lady and gave out Surf Sweets vegan gummy heart candy and lollipops to a bunch of vegan kids. I also decorated my trunk with a unicorn, “vegan love” theme. I knew most people would do stuff that was scary or animal themed, so I wanted to do something different that reminds us why we’re vegan: because we have compassion.

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My favorite local vegan business, Like No Udder (ice cream), was there too handing out free cones. They offered a choice of orange creamsicle with chocolate pieces or cookies and cream in cones.

I didn’t know many people there, but it was nice to give out candy to the kids and see their costumes. I was so happy to be able to do something like this because as far as I know, this is the first all-vegan Halloween event for kids in our state. It was put on by Rhode Island Vegan Awareness as well. I’m so glad kids and their families will now have a safe and fun all-vegan event to go to that they can trust each year.

I didn’t take photos of the other trunks except for one. This trunk belonged to the president of RIVA, who also is named Laura (see my post from yesterday for more on RIVA and Laura), and since I knew she’d give me permission to post it, I felt comfortable asking to take a picture to post. They were parked right next to me.

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Pretty cool, right?

Happy Halloween, and hope you all had a great Vegan Month of Food! I’ll be back posting stuff after a quick break, not as frequently as I did for MoFo, but hopefully more frequently than I was before it started.

And I’ll definitely keep you all updated on the progress of my Vegan Unicorn Book.

Be sure to check out the Instagram account, @unicorns.eat.vegan for more stuff like what I was doing this month! Plus soon I’ll be posting about some cruelty-free craft ideas!

And, as always, if you haven’t yet “liked” my facebook page for Banana Curl, Vegan Girl, go ahead and do so! I usually post when I make a new blog post, and sometimes some other stuff, so it is definitely a good way to keep on top of my updates.

XOXO

Laura

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Vegan MoFo 2017 Day 27: Meals for the young (at heart) unicorn bento

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Obento is the Japanese art of lunch making that is not only healthy and delicious but also visually appealing. In the United States where I (Laura) live, bento box lunches have caught on a bit, although they often don’t follow the Japanese tradition as much, which usually has a good portion of the meal as rice.

I love looking at pictures of creative bento boxes. They have bento box pictures for almost any animal or cartoon character you can think of. I especially like when the compartments of the box all work together to create one image, but I’d say that’s a more advanced bento artistry skill than where I am at now.

Usually the pictures I see feature nonvegan foods in them, so naturally, I was interested in contributing some vegan pictures of bento box lunches.

I know when I was in school as a vegetarian, other students used to make fun of my lunches because they looked weird or I ate different kinds of food. Though I don’t have kids of my own, I wonder if, especially with younger ages, bringing colorful and artistic bento lunches could get vegan kids to feel more comfortable at lunchtime. Other kids would hopefully be curious and excited to see what’s in the child’s lunch every day, especially if you take a creative approach to it. It would lessen the chance of bullying, and even maybe get them interested in vegan food.

It does take a bit of planning and time, although, it actually took me less time to make it than most of the meals I make for myself.

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The bento box I used was from PlanetBox (of which I get no benefit from promoting, I just liked them) which is an eco-friendly company. They have several different styles and come with little sealable containers as well. Each box style has the option to get decorative magnets included (free of charge). Obviously, I chose the Rover for its rainbow unicorn magnets. It appears that those magnets are currently sold out on PlanetBox’s website when I just looked, I wonder if they’ll be making them available again or not.

Because I wasn’t going to be taking my lunchbox anywhere or letting it sit in the fridge for awhile, I may have been able to get away with a little more. I wonder how transporting the food would work. I think the compartments keep the food well separated, but it did say in the instructions that came with it to put particularly juicy or runny foods in sealed containers rather than let them be freeform. So, that’s something to keep in mind if you’re going to use it as an actual lunch. I like the structure and challenge creating a bento box provided me. It helped me think differently about creating a complete meal.

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Here is what I did with mine:

  • I made a vegan coleslaw and added extra purple cabbage to make it more worthy of a unicorn.
  • I placed a tea sandwich shaped like a unicorn and decorated it with sriracha. For kids, I’d recommend some other squeezable sauce unless they like sriracha and spiciness.
  • I took the unicorn corn-on-the-cob holders and used them as skewers for rainbow fruit salad. You could use toothpicks or other decorative pointy items as well. Just remember that most schools have a no-tolerance policy for anything that resembles a weapon, so don’t go putting them on fake mini-swords or something. Use common sense, know your kids’ schools’ rules. If you want to avoid the skewer idea, you could use small cookie cutters and cut fruit into shapes.
  • I made some kettle popcorn out of kernels in my Whirley Pop. When it was all popped, I mixed in melted vegan butter, purple colored sugar, sprinkles, and a kettle corn flavored popcorn shaker that I got from the grocery that happened to be vegan. It came out delicious. If you want to save time though, buy a bag of kettle corn and add sprinkles of your own.
  • I put Just Ranch in a container for dipping gluten-free pretzels in.
  • I put a few Surf Sweets vegan heart-shaped gummy candies in the middle. You could also put some vegan fruit snacks, a small amount of rainbow colored candy, small cookie, etc.

 

There are many more options! Get creative.

Other items that would be neat:

  • Rainbow dipping veggies (especially if you can find some baby purple carrots)
  • Hummus or nut/seed butter
  • Rice or noodles
  • Salads (greens, potato, pasta, etc)
  • Vegan hot dogs/sausage (you can make them shaped like octopi by cutting them into small pieces horizontally and then cutting legs with vertical cuts
  • Tofu scrambles or tofu no egg salad
  • Breakfast for lunch with some kind of colored pancake in a cool shape or design or as a pancake sandwich, options are unlimited
  • Etc.

There are lots of bento box props, tools, and other neat stuff you can buy online or in stores. A lot of Asian markets will have stuff like this as well as bento boxes. Small cookie cutters, squeeze bottles, containers, cupcake liners, stuff found in the baking section of craft stores, pretty printed parchment paper, foil, old toys, etc. can all enhance your design or serve a function in the bento box as well.

Remember, as Fluffy says:

Fat Unicorn

 

 

 

Vegan MoFo 2017 Day 19: Minimalist White Chocolate Fudge

Today’s theme is Minimalist (5 ingredients or less!) vegan recipes. May I present vegan white chocolate fudge fit for a unicorn! This stuff is really good, and it’s almost as hard to find vegan white chocolate as it is to find a unicorn, so it seems fitting. I usually get culinary cocoa butter online, but I believe places such as Whole Foods sell it in the nutritional supplement/superfoods section. Just be sure you’re buying food grade and not cosmetic grade as I believe there is a big difference between the two! 

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Here is the recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups cocoa butter (I used a brand that was recommended by Food Empowerment Project)
  • 1 can sweetened condensed coconut milk
  • 2 cups organic powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Toppings of choice such as Dandies Mini Marshmallows, a variety of freeze dried fruit slices, crushed up cookies or candy, sprinkles, etc. I used Sweet and Sara’s rainbow cereal marshmallows I got before they announced their closure.

Directions:

  1. Melt the cocoa butter and condensed coconut milk until all the cocoa butter bits are liquified. It will become a bit of a golden brown liquid, that’s okay.
  2. Slowly stir in one-half cup of the powdered sugar at a time until smooth and no longer clumpy. Unicorns don’t like clumps.
  3. Grease an 8×8” pan and spray the bottom and sides with a nonstick spray. You may also want to line it with parchment paper to make it easier to remove from the pan later.
  4. Pour the liquid fudge into the pan. Spread the toppings across the shiny surface. They should float to the top like a mermaid who has come to the surface of the ocean.
  5. Make sure the top is pleasing to the eye, cover, and place into the fridge for at least 2 hours or overnight until set.
  6. Slice into cubes and serve.
  7. Store in the fridge in an airtight container for up to two weeks.

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Vegan MoFo 2017 Day 7: Dessert!

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As the first week begins to come to a close, I, Fluffy the Vegan Unicorn want to remind you that there’s no need to shame yourself or others for indulging in vegan desserts.

In fact, I had Laura whip up this drawing so you could see a sampling of my favorite desserts and my favorite types of vegan sugar you can use in them.

And here are some more of my favorite desserts not listed on the pyramid:

Marshmallows

Chocolate

Marzipan

Cotton candy

Bubblegum

Gelatin-free gummy candy

Fudge

Frosting

Macarons

Pie

Pastry

Aquafaba meringues

Tell me, what is your favorite vegan, unicorn worthy dessert?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Favorite Things

I want to post more often here, but am finding it hard right now to find time to create my own recipes due to a busy summer full of classes, volunteering, and other events.

So, I figure I might as well post some other vegan food related stuff, as I’ve always done, and not beat myself up for not creating new recipes as frequently.

I actually have a recipe I created awhile ago that I’ve been saving in hopes that I could use it for my youtube channel I want to start eventually. It was a cupcake recipe, that was not gluten free at the time, and now since I cannot eat it, it doesn’t make sense to hold onto for the video. So, keep an eye out for that.

For now, I want to make a post about some of my new favorite vegan food things.

Rice Paper Bacun:

Ohemgee, this is a life changer, and completely gluten free (although some brands of rice paper are not, so read the ingredients carefully!) If you follow vegan food trends at all, I’m sure you’ve heard of this somewhere. If not, here is the scoop: You cut rice paper (the stuff you use to make summer rolls) into strips, soak it quickly in warm water, dip it in a marinade (this is the marinade I use–warning, there are a lot of spelling errors but don’t let those annoy you too much, it’s delicious despite a bit of confusion), and then fry it in a pan with some coconut oil until crispy. You can apparently bake them too, but I don’t think the results would be as good.

Here are two pictures of it, one for breakfast and one used in a salad.

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Red Pepper Jelly:

Somewhere on the vast corners of the (vegan) internet, I got the idea to try red pepper jelly on gluten free toast with Kite Hill plain almond cream cheese.

It is too good for my own good.

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It’s the perfect ratio of spicy to sweet.

Fakemeats.com:

I discovered some amazing new products at fakemeats.com. You can get discounts when you order a certain amount of certain products, like Louisville Jerky. Including their limited edition pepperoni flavor!

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I have tried all but that sausage looking thing so far. All delicious. I proceeded to make a gluten free pepperoni cashew cheeze vegan pizza with the jerky. So good! (This picture is also missing the 6 bags of soy curls I purchased with free shipping at a really good price).

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Best for last:

Finally, and this is definitely a case of saving the best for last…*drumroll please* THERE NOW EXISTS A VEGAN PEANUT M&M ALTERNATIVE!!

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Yes, this is a picture of an empty package. Yes, my mom (who hasn’t had peanut M&Ms for over 20 years because she is lactose intolerant…longer than I can say…) and I ate these all in the car ride home from the grocery. They are that amazing. They taste best when you eat them one after the other…;)

Anyways, there’s the vegan food stuff I’ve been most excited about lately. Let me know if there’s something else I should investigate like these that would be up my alley!

Take care and have a fun week!

 

 

 

Better than Cadbury Cream Eggs! (vegan, fair trade, and gluten free) with update for palm free/gmo free recipe

Hi!

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I’ve been wanting to make a vegan chocolate cream egg since…well…every year I’ve been vegan. This year I finally decided to take action.

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I bought an egg shaped mold from a craft store and everything. However, I found a recipe on one of my favorite blogs, Hell Yeah It’s Vegan which does not require a mold (and I think comes out better if you don’t). Please check the blog out beyond this recipe. It’s amazing!

Originally I just made some simple adjustments to the recipe. Instead of using yellow and red food coloring, I made the yellow out of water and powdered turmeric. I also changed the method a bit, instead of using two disks I used one and just free-styled the yellow part of the egg by placing it in the center and wrapping the white part around it and shaping it into an egg shape. It was actually really easy in terms of making candies and other stuff.

The chocolate I used was Equal Exchange Fair Trade chocolate chips which I am really passionate about buying from now on. Not only are they conflict/child labor/slave labor free and on the Food Empowerment Project chocolate list, but they’re also the best tasting chocolate and worked like a dream.

But I was annoyed that I was making these with Earth Balance, which has palm oil in it, and corn syrup, which is often gmo and not organic (genetically modified). So I had to totally revamp the recipe. It works just as well if not better. The updated recipe is below!

Of course, these are also gluten free and also nut free (if you don’t consider coconut a nut!)

Chocolate Creme Eggs–vegan, gluten free, palm oil free, fair trade, organic

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp brown rice syrup
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp refined coconut oil (solid) –plus 2 tsp for the chocolate
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 3 cups organic/gluten free powdered sugar
  • Ground turmeric and water, as needed
  • 8 oz (or more, just use the full bag) fair trade, vegan chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. In a stand mixer, cream the brown rice syrup, coconut oil, vanilla extract, and water together.
  2. Slowly incorporate the powdered sugar into this mixture, blending until well combined. If it is hard to mix add a small amount of water, no more than an 2 additional teaspoons.
  3. Place a small amount of the mixture into a small bowl (a third or less of it), and sprinkle the turmeric powder and a small amount of water (you do want this to get a little runny), use a small whisk or spoon to stir it together until it all incorporates and is a bright yellow color. It will be hard to combine at first.
  4. Cover both bowls and place them in the refrigerator for an hour or more. If you are short on time you can place them in the freezer for no more than 30 minutes.
  5. Cover two cookie sheets with parchment or wax paper.
  6. With a small spoon, place little blobs of the yellow mixture onto the tray. You want to aim for about 15 nickel size pieces.
  7. Then shape the white mixture into 30 flat egg shaped discs and place on the other tray.
  8. Place the white ones in the fridge and the yellow in the freezer for 20-30 minutes.
  9. Take one white disc, place the yellow blob and put it in the middle, then place another white disc to form a sandwich. Smush together and then shape by rolling in between your hands into an egg shape. Continue on with the rest of them. It’s okay if some of the yellow is oozing out, it gets better looking results that way.
  10. Place again in the freezer for a half hour (or more).
  11. Melt the chocolate with 2 tsp coconut oil in the microwave or a double boiler.
  12. Dip the frozen eggs fully into the chocolate one by one, placing on a cookie sheet with a fresh sheet of parchment paper or wax paper to set. I have found that the best method is to use a spoon to roll the egg in the chocolate and then carefully take out of the chocolate, letting the excess drip off back into the chocolate, and then placing onto the tray. They will not be perfect, you may have some drips that deform the egg shape. Once you let them set you can break those off a little bit.
  13. Place in the refrigerator or freezer to set fully. I like to keep a big batch of them wrapped in foil in the freezer, and when there is a day that I want one, I place it in the fridge for a few hours, let it sit out for a little longer at room temperature, and then dig in! They are so good.

 

 

 

 

 

Just a quick pic to share of what I’ve been up to

Hey!

Since Vegan MoFo ended, and then I wrapped up my first term at school, I’ve just needed a bit of a break from blogging. I’ll be back more regularly soon, I promise!

My birthday is next Wednesday! I’m turning 30! Aaaaaaah! In honor of the event, tomorrow I am running a 5k, and I hope to share some pictures of that, because they will contain a special (and hilarious) surprise for those who don’t know what I’m up to yet.

I also have a special recipe I created for my birthday to share, as well!

In the meantime, here is a picture of mostly raw candy apples I made from a recipe in Vegan Health and Fitness Magazine!

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I hope you are all enjoying your fall!

Vegan Junk Food Review

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The other day I received a package of goodies I had bought myself from veganessentials.com and was a bit too excited. If you can’t tell, I ordered 2 cans of Jackfruit for some future culinary creations, Kettle Brand Maple Bacon flavored potato chips, cola flavored gummy candy by Goody Good Stuff, and a grapefruit flavored lip balm stick by Crazy Rumors.

Now, I was very hesitant to buy the potato chips because I’ve been hearing in vegnews how good they are, and I am trying to be good about not eating too much junk food and getting healthy. But I figured as long as I do not eat them every day or more than a single serving each day I will be fine. So far, I have been good about that.

My Review of Kettle Brand Maple Bacon Potato Chips:

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I was so excited to try an actually vegan flavor like this!

 Hmm, so I haven’t had many potato chips by this brand recently (or potato chips in general really!) but I really liked the thickness and crispy-crunchy texture of the actual chips. I was sort of disappointed with the flavor, as it is stronger on the maple notes and weaker on the smokey bacon flavor. I was hoping it would be a bit more balanced. However, they’re still delicious regardless. I give them a 4 good bananas, 1 bad rating!

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My Review of Goody Good Stuff Cola Breeze Gummies:

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1 serving of these babies!

Well, first of all, these are not the junkiest junk food you could choose. 9 pieces of them are 99 calories, and they are truly fat free and with very low sodium. However, they’re basically just empty calories from sugar and the stuff they use to make them gummy. Basically they have zero nutritional value, but they’re definitely a nice treat!

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I also noticed a spelling error/typo (as I almost always do on things like these if there is one)…they wrote “demending” instead of “depending.” Anyhow, on to the review of the taste, which is probably what you are waiting for. I was a little disappointed because it has a very strong citrus flavor and a less strong cola flavor which I was really wanting. There is more of a subtle cola flavor. I still would rate it a very good for a number of reasons. First of all, it’s very tricky to find specialty candy like this that is vegan. I believe these are imported from Europe somewhere, so that somewhat illustrates how hard it is to find. Second, they have a great sour type flavor which I really like, and a great texture. I’m going to rate them 4 good bananas, 1 bad.

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This company, Goody Good Stuff, makes other types of gummy candies in different flavors, so if you’re interested in trying them, check out where I found them, in the candy section at veganessentials.com!

That’s all for today! I hope you enjoyed this post and that it helped you decide whether you should try these items or not.

Also, keep an eye out (next week perhaps) when I finally try the Jackfruit I bought. I’m going to try a recipe I have in the Bake and Destroy cookbook I have by Natalie Slater, review it, and then try to make my own creation after I understand a bit more how it works and what it tastes like! I’m excited for that!