• Box Review: Vegan Tuck Box! 

    Vegan Tuck Box is UK’s first 100% vegan box scheme that delivers vegan snacks, and treats to your doorsteps! They have a variety of different Vegan boxes as: Health Kick, Chocoholic, Starter, Selection, Ultimate, Variety, and a new one for pre-order called the Vegan Easter Tuck Box. They collaborate with different high quality food brands to bring new collections of 100% Vegan snacks for every box. Wether you want the box to be gluten-free or not, is up to you. Vegan Tuck Box donates 10p from each sold box to Vegan causes, and animal sanctuaries. Their offices are powered by solar panels, their box and print outs are also made from recycled materials, and vegetable ink. If you’re not sure about the box, which can be canceled at any time, their website sells Vegan/Gluten-free treats individually. You can use the code ‘Blog20’ to get 20% off of your first box! 


    Planet Organic Lemon Rawkin’ Roons:

    These are raw macaroons made with unrefined coconut sugar, and real lemon juice. I believe that this one is by far the best raw snack I’ve ever had in my life. The melt in your mouth macaroons aren’t really that sweet, they’re in fact a little salty, but they’re really good!


    Anada Foods Chocolate Raspberry Marshmallow Lolly:

    Unfortunately, the marshmallow stuffed chocolate heart was crushed. My sister found the raspberry sprinkles very bitter, but the marshmallow, and chocolate were okay.  

    Crazy4Cocoa Truffles:

    3 different handmade Belgian chocolate truffles, with different fondants, soft caramel, passion fruit ganache, and raspberry ganache. 


    Gillie Food Cucumber Crackers:

    I’ve never heard of, or seen this food brand before, but I can tell that they’re quite geniuses. Who would’ve thought of making cucumber chips, they’re called crackers, but they’re actually more like chips. The ingredients are actual perfection, they used real cucumber, tapioca flour, and salt. How simple, and it tastes amazing! They’re really light, not greasy, or too salty!


    Brad’s Raw Broccoli Peppers:

    I’m familiar with this brand, I used to love their kale chips. This one is made with broccoli, which oddly made it look exactly like weed. The taste is super over-powering, citrusy, and a little cheesy. I wouldn’t mind the flavor if it was 50% decreased.


    Premium Chocolatiers Peanot Cups:

    Identical to Reese’s cups (which I’ve never had), but these have no dairy, and no nuts either. My sister says they’re a bit salty, but really delicious, and well made! 


    Plamil Lots of This None of That Bar:

    The packaging is adorable! When dairy food/snacks have a cow on the packaging, this vegan dark chocolate has a pretty happy cow with a no symbol on it! 



    Kwan’s Kitchen Sweet Chilli Stir Fry Kit:

    I can’t really have spicy food, so I gave this one to my sister, and she followed the steps on the back of the packet. The whole house smelled so good, and she admits that it gave the stir-fried vegetables a delicate flavor of sweet, and spicy! 


    Kwan’s Kitchen Sweet Chilli Stir Fry Kit:

    I can’t really have spicy food, so I gave this one to my sister, and she followed the steps on the back of the packet. The whole house smelled so good, and she admits that it gave the stir-fried vegetables a delicate flavor of sweet, and spicy! 


    Ara Chocolat Chocolate Covered Hazelnuts:

    Hazelnuts covered with high quality vegan chocolate, my sister loved these. It’s made by an artisanal company in Paris, super fancy, right?  

  • Still in USA: Washington DC, it Was? 

    Oh my, is Washington DC crowded! The streets are never empty. Families, couples, and even single workers are always roaming around Washington streets. Traffic is also bad, and you have to wait for traffic lights way longer than you usual do. You might also hear a horn or two, which is something I’m not familiar ever since I came here. I feel as if I’ve learned much more of Washington through this visit than the times before, and that maybe due to usually being distracted reading magazines, or playing with my phone in the backseat. 


    We make a stop at a very famous museum in Washington, and I see benches with seated couples, and families, enjoying a meal from the smelly food trucks that are parked, and lined next to them, and in front of the back entrance of what’s supposed to be the museum. I suddenly get a feeling that I might be mistaken in following the directions to the museum, so after several turns around the building, it still seemed impossible to reach the front entrance of the ginormous museum. We finally decide to step out of the car, and give the hidden back door a try, and there was one indeed. After entering, I see that there are lines of people waiting to get through security, and once I’m through, I realize that there were no required fees, and that suddenly explains why the place was crowded in the first place (yuk!). 



    There were different entrances after security, and I chose the glass one that had day light coming through it, and it turned out to be a learning field for kids, and teenagers. Even though I’m no longer a kid, nor a teenager, I knew it was the place to be. The hall was super bright, and had many equipment, microscopes, and drawers full of dead insects, and what’s left of dead animals which I didn’t appreciate at all. I went to the upper half-lever, the place that’s supposed to be for toddlers, to take a picture of the hall from above. There were books for kids, and stuffed animals, if I recall correctly. The drawers didn’t only have insects, and animals, but also plants, rocks, minerals, native americans’ accessories, human skulls that didn’t look like it belonged to actual humans at all, and more. Each glass box that contained the items had a coloured tag, if it’s green, you can go ahead, and take it out of the box, touch it, and even review it under the microscope, if it’s a yellow tag, you’ll need to reach out for assistant, and if it’s red, then you can’t open it at all. I didn’t bother to check the tags, because opening the drawers itself was a big task, since there way too many of them. When I was done, I entered one of the other main entrances, and there were three shops, a cafe, and a restaurant, but the place was rather dark, and crowded. I went upstairs, and didn’t enjoy it so much, so I left immediately. 



    It was so refreshing to get out of there, and inhale the fresh air, such an describable feeling it was. Unlike where I live, Washington DC has many Vegan restaurants, and I’m not a dining out sort of person anymore, but I felt like I had to. Right in front of the restaurant was a guy standing, and enjoying a huge slice pizza in the cold weather, as if he was in the comfort of his home, very New Yorky, right? Then another guy comes running out Whole Foods, which is right next to SweetGreen (the restaurant I was heading for), with a bottle of wine, and yes, he was literally running. Did I mention it was New Year’s Eve that day? The restaurant was uncomfortably warm, too warm to a level where I felt as if my skin cells were burning off. 

    The way it works when you come to order is that you have the option to fill your bowl, with about 5-6 ingredients, with a base of farro quinoa, rice, or whatever available at that local branch, and then veggies, tofu, other legumes, then a topping, a dressing, and then finally a piece of bread which can be discarded if the person doesn’t eat gluten. It was super healthy, super delicious, the sort of food I make for myself at home. We ate outside, and it wasn’t that cold because there were heaters outside too. 



  • Recipe: 3 Ingredient Pumpkin Stew 

    Served with bread, over quinoa, rice, or any other grain, this recipe is super scrumptious, and one that is almost similar to my Slow Cooker Lentil Dahl. However, this time I’ll use the stove instead of the slow cooker. Like the earlier one, I’ll be using Vegan Gluten-free Not-Beef Cubes A.K.A my life saver, which only contain vegetable powders, and salt, therefore, no more seasoning will be necessary. For the thick consistency, I’ll be using canned Pumpkin. It’s basically only pumpkin puree, with no artificial flavourings, or colours, and no added salt or spices, how healthier could such canned food be? The last but not least ingredient is fresh  pumpkin, butternut squash, buttercup squash, or acorn squash, which is what I used. 


    Last week, I was so stressed out, and whenever it was lunch, or dinner time, I’d immediately think of comfort food, since my tummy would turn against me when I’m stressed. I’d make rice for the most times, or pasta which is totally weird because I’m not a fan of it. Instead of having them bland, I either top them with Lentil Dahl, or this pumpkin stew recipe. Both are so good, and healthy. If you know me, you’d know that I never eat food leftovers, and I don’t keep any in my fridge, but with stews, and ‘curries’ that I usually make, I totally do save the leftovers, because their texture, and taste don’t ever change, and they make it easy for me to prepare a meal in 5-20 minutes by only heating them, and placing them over quinoa, pasta, and rice. 




    The ingredients: 

    - 1 medium size acorn squash or any other squash (but has to be equalize 4 to cups of cubed squash) 

    - 1 Libby’s canned pumpkin (15 oz) 

    - 3 cubes of Edward and Sons Not-Beef Natural Bouillon Cubes


    Boil the squash/pumpkin cubes (without skin, or pulp) in 3 cups of water on high temperature for a couple of hours until 1/4 of the water had evaporated, and the squash cubes had turned a bit mushy, by then, scoop out the canned pumpkin in, along with the seasoning cubes, and let it cook on medium heat until the consistency suits your taste. I let it cook until it’s pretty thick, but that’s up to you to choose. Serve it on rice, couscous, quinoa, pasta, or whichever you like. Once leftovers are at room temperature, they can be kept chilled for few days. 

  • Recipe: Vegan Gluten Free Crab Cakes! 

    I’ve never had an actual crab cake, or crabs in that matter, and never will. Crabs and lobsters’ shells are meant to protect them, and make it hard for anyone to kill them, so in order to kill them, they are frozen, boiled, or microwaved to death, and sometimes they have their shells ripped apart. It’s hard for me to write this as it’s hard for me to imagine how they are tortured like that. Even if you weren’t vegan, nor vegetarian, eating lobsters/crabs is against your humanity! I’ve heard of crab cakes, and thought of veganizing it. I knew it would be a cool challenge for me, and at the same time I thought of sharing it, and hopefully make others to like it as much as the ones with tortured crabs. 


    One of the reasons I thought of it as a challenge is due to not attempting to make vegan patties of some sort, ever. I wasn’t a burger or meat eater before becoming vegan, so I didn’t feel the need to substitute burgers. Another reason is the fact that the ingredients don’t include something mushy to make the process easier like tofu, tempeh, or beans, therefore, messing up is a big possibility. Nevertheless, they actually turned out pretty good, and that made me feel very good about myself. I recommend you trying it, and you don’t have to use the same ingredients. I’ll write the substitutions beside each ingredient in case you don’t have the original ones around your kitchen. 


    The idea here is to get a mixture that will form patties, and before frying, I much rather sautéing the vegetables in order not to get raw crab cakes from the inside. Another thing you should probably do is drying the excess oil after sautéing each vegetable with tissues, or a clean towel. With heart of palm though, use very little oil, and by that, it will dry out any excess water in it while it cooks, and shrink in mass. 


    The ingredients: 

    - 200 grams of heart of palm (I took out half of what’s in an 800 grams can with liquid, which is 200 grams without the liquid), or you can use canned artichokes

    - 1/3 cup of chopped white onion (or scallions)

    - 1/4 cup chopped celery (or bell pepper)

    - 1/4 cup vegan mayo

    - 4 tbsps of chopped parsley (dill, or celery leaves)

    - 1 tbsp oat flour (or cornmeal)

    - 4 tbsp almond meal for breading (or cornmeal)

    - 1 tsp Old bay seasoning (or seafood seasoning which is what I used)

    - Olive oil for frying


    First thing, sauté your onions in a saucepan with some olive oil until they’re caramarlized a little, and transfer them into a plate. Then shred the heart of palm and saute them until they’re crispy and golden in color, and transfer them aside. After that, sauté the celery, and put all the ingredients in a large bowl (except the 4 tbsp of almond meal for breading), and mix them up. Next, form them into patties, and with this recipe, you can make two large ones. Then use the breading to cover them, and without forgetting the sides. In a large saucepan, fry them in olive oil, one at a time in order not to burn them. Make sure you move the pan around to cover the sides, if not much oil is used. 


    You can serve these alone, with veggies, or in sandwiches as burgers. They’re really good, and any leftover crab cakes can be kept in the fridge, and baked in the oven (not refried).

  • Recipe: Easiest Slow Cooker Lentil Dal (Vegan & Gluten-free)

    I’ve been having horrible stomachache, and with that, I have to eat the least stomach irritating foods. Whenever I think of ‘Comfort food’, my sweet potato wedges, and rice topped with lentil are the first to pop into my head. This recipe is obviously not a traditional Lentil Dahl recipe, for the original one contains a lot of spices, and coconut products. None of them my stomach can handle, and therefore I had to come up with my own version. It’s too good, and tasty that you won’t need to add any spices or salt to your rice at all. Only two ingredients needed, and to cook it, well, you won’t… The slow cooker will. What could be better? 


    The reason behind not using spices, but still coming up with a delicious dish is my Not-Beef Bouillon Cubes. They’re Vegan, Gluten-Free, and taste nothing like beef (thank god). It’s Absolutely delicious and only contains natural ingredients, and there’s no need to add garlic/onion to your food because the cubes already have it. These can be used as vegan broths, stews, or simply added to soups, rice, and my favorite use for them would be as a seasoning for my stir-fry, or baked veggies. They save so much time, and add the best taste to dishes.


    - 2 cups lentil (washed)

    - 3 Not-Beef Bouillon Cubes


    Place lentil, and the cubes in a slow cooker, add 3 cups of water, set it on high for 4 hours, or low for 8 hours. Please do stir it half way through if you can. It’s preferred to serve it on rice, but you can also serve it on quinoa, or cook it an hour longer to thicken, and serve it with bread. You can keep leftovers chilled in the fridge, and have it reheated when needed.

  • Recipe: Vegan Gluten-Free Sesame Candy!

    Who doesn’t like sesame seed candy? Okay, maybe my mom doesn't, and million other people, but this recipe is for the rest gazillion who do. I was buying organic ones sometime before thinking they were healthier, until I read the ingredients list. They used refined sugar, which sounded disgusting to me, so I was motivated to make my own sesame seed candy. I used cane sugar instead, organic vanilla bean powder rather than vanilla extract, and of course sesame seeds, also organic. Only 3 ingredients are needed, but to be honest, it’s not really easy to make this recipe, as you have to be very meticulous about everything. I messed up more than a couple of times at first, but what’s good about this recipe is that you’re able to take the batter back to the stove, and re-heat it if it didn’t workout (being either too crumbly, or soggy). Add a teaspoon of water or so, and reheat it until it’s ready to be spread out on the greased pan again.


    The ingredients:

    - 1 cup sesame seeds

    - 2 cups cane sugar

    - 1/4 tsp vanilla bean powder


    First of all, you have to toast the sesame seeds. Do it on an ungreased skillet, and on high heat, but with constant stirring. It’ll take about four to five minutes to get them golden brown, and once they’re done, transfer them into a bowl or a plate. Next, using the same skillet (no need to wash), cook sugar, vanilla, and three tbsp of water over medium heat. Keep stirring until all of the sugar has melted (about ten minutes), then add the sesame seeds while stirring. 


    You shouldn’t transfer it into a pan until it’s thickened, so if it’s still syrupy, then you’ll have to keep stirring until it’s ready. Immediately spread the mixture on a greased baking pan as soon as it gets harder to stir, and press it using a steel spatula to even it out. Wait for it to cool down (about fifteen minutes) before cutting. These are good to eat by themselves, with ice-creams, or even sorbets. 



  • Recipe: Baked Sweet Potato Wedges

    There’s nothing better than having a quick and healthy recipe that you could pop in the oven, and have it ready in no time. I’ve always loved sweet potatoes, but this recipe, which I have first tried, and got addicted to in my senior year of high school, is a life saver. It’s really easy, and super delicious. I can’t explain how much I love sweet potatoes! It’s also good to know that sweet potatoes are higher in fiber, and vitamin A than regular potatoes.  


    The ingredients: 
    - 1 sweet potato (washed & peeled)
    - 1 tsp Olive oil 
    -Sea salt (optional)
    After peeling, and washing your potato, cut it in half. Then slice it into even wedges. Then, grease a baking pan that has tiny holes to enable the fries to bake well. I used Crossini nonstick baking sheet, but you can use a pizza’s pan instead. 
    Place the wedges on the pan, without adding anymore oil unless you like your fries soggy. Then pop them in the over which has been set on the highest temperature (480 degrees). They’ll bake quickly, so keep an eye on them, and take them out when they’re browned.
    I honestly let them bake until they’re burned a little just to make sure they’re well broiled. Also because they taste even better, and get crispier on the edges. Take out the ones that are well baked, and if there are few that are a bit hard, then let them bake for extra few minutes. 
    You’re all done! You can add salt if you like, but I enjoy mine without it most of the time. These work great for a side dish, and are too easy, and delicious too. You can’t go wrong with this recipe, so why don’t you give it a try? 

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