Vegan Food

Vegan Tom Ka Kai Recipe (Thai Coconut Milk Soup)

TKKFinalNoBread.jpgMy husband and I are adventurous eaters, well as adventurous as a vegan and a carnivore can be. Either way, one of our favorite cuisines is Thai and like every diner who feels like a food critic, we order Tom Ka Kai or Tom Ka Gai at every thai restaurant we try, and continue to compare, judge and rate. I know you do it too. Anyways, I decided it was time to walk the walk so wanted to try making a batch of thai coconut milk soup with tofu myself! It’s actually way easier than I thought and took very little effort. Most of the elbow grease goes into sourcing the ingredients. So, tie on your apron and get ready for the ultimate soup test.

Vegan Tom Ka Kai (aka Tom Ka Gai or Tom Kha Gai) Recipe

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Ingredients

1 cup shitake mushrooms (or mushrooms of your choosing)
1 cup diced onions or shallots (about a quarter-inch in size)
1/2 cup lime or lemon juice (use as much or as little of this as you like–the soup authentically has a very acidic taste so I err on the side of more)
2 lemongrass stalks
1/2 cup water
2 tbsp. crushed red chili pepper (or to taste)
2 small green or red chilies
2 tomatoes
1 package of firm tofu
1 can coconut milk
4 tbsp. liquid aminos

Directions

  1. Prep your ingredients: Cut the lemongrass stalks into about 1-inch long pieces. Slice the mushrooms into edible sizes, dice your onion, dice your chili peppers, slice your tomatoes into edible sizes, cube tofu into size of your choice.
  2. Heat a large pot until it sizzles when you sprinkle in some water. Now add the 1/2 cup of water, lemongrass, mushrooms, onions and lime juice and bring to a boil.
  3. Once boiling, add the diced chilis, red pepper flakes, tomato, coconut milk and tofu.
  4. Add the liquid aminos and stir for about 5-10 minutes or until it reaches your desired level of thickness.
  5. Remove your pot from the heat and stir in lime or lemon juice to taste.
  6. ENJOY!

Once you’ve made it, you’ll hands-down think your soup is the best you’ve ever had. I mean, that’s how it always works, right? 😉

Let us know what you think if you’ve made it and if you have any variations. I’d love to try how you change it up!

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Question of the Day

What’s one food you always compare whenever you eat out?

 

 

 

Mothers Day Gift Guide 2018
Gift Guides, Vegan and Cruelty Free Beauty, Vegan Fashion, Vegan Food, vegan lifestyle

VCF Mother’s Day Gift Guide (for procrastinators)

…did you know Mother’s Day is this Sunday? Literally two days away? Surprise! Well it shouldn’t have been, but now that your heart is beating faster because you’ve RSVPd’ yes to brunch without a gift in hand, I’ve come to the rescue. Whether you’re mama is vegan or not, concerned about cruelty-free or not, or said “no gifts” (no one ever means that, okur), this gift guide is for you. Best of all, you can pick up most of these things in store, or if you buy them tonight on Amazon, especially Prime (where are you if you don’t have Prime), then you’ll get it at some point on Sunday and you can casually surprise moms at some point during the day like that was your plan all along 😉

Mothers Day Gift Guide 2018 for procrastinators

1. Drunk Elephant Rise + Glow Duo | 2. Pretty Vulgar Nail Liquor | 3. Tarte Highlighting Eyeshadow Palette | 4. Silpat Oven Mat | 5. Tea Forte Large Tin Sampler Gift | 6. Nutribullet | 7. Purple Carrot | 8. Wheat grass Growing Kit | 9.  Zafu Meditation Pillow | 10. Jawbone Activity/Sleep Tracker | 11. Vegan Gym Bag | 12. S’well Water Bottle

Vegan and Cruelty-Free Mother’s Day Gifts for the Beauty Loving Mama

If your wife, mom, sister, grandma or any “mother” in your life is always on-the-go or simply loves feeling pampered, help her feel her best with these vegan and cruelty-free beauty gifts. This Drunk Elephant Duo is the perfect gift or gift topper to help mama feel wide awake after long days tending to the kids or your fur babies. The Tarte Highlighting Eyeshadow Palette is a quick trick to make her look (and feel) like she had a peaceful morning with her cup of coffee cause that woman will be glowing from cheek to cheek with these many color options. Lastly, you can never go wrong by giving this beautiful woman a moment to herself at the spa with a gift certificate to get a manicure, pedicure or facial. (For you true procrastinators out there–this is your best option! As in you can roll out of bed Sunday morning, and pick this up on the way to Mother’s Day Brunch. Also, shame on you).

Vegan and Cruelty-Free Mother’s Day Gifts for the Vegan Foodie or Cook

Mamas love to feed us, especially if you have an Indian mom like I do, who loves to cook, then shove rice and curry into our mouths all day long–why I ever complained about this growing up is beyond me. I literally look forward to visiting the parents now for this reason only, oh and to see them of course…anyway, if your lady loves to cook, consider Silpats, they make baking and cooking mess free. Literally all gunk rolls right off and they withstand a high temperature in the over, toaster, etc. FYI Costco sells a similar version, just not Silpat brand. Another #procrastinationhack. You’re welcome.

The Nutribullet is also an easy last-minute option–you can buy them virtually anywhere. As is the Wheat Grass growing kit–a fun way for mom to experiment in the kitchen. If she enjoys food but wants a break from cooking, give her a chance to relax with her choice of tea with this Tea Forte sampler pack, or you can buy a bunch of boxes of tea you think she would like, throw them in a basket, add a Starbucks gift card, and boom. Last-minute Mother’s Day present.

If you have zero time at all, then consider an order of the Purple Carrot Meal Delivery service. You can buy her a subscription as a gift. It comes with all the measured ingredients, the recipe and directions to make a quick and easy meal. You can print out the sheet that says you’ve ordered it, roll it up, tie a bow around it, and voila.

Vegan and Cruelty-Free Mother’s Day Gifts for the Active Mama

The active mama, gym rat or simply health-conscious individual sometimes needs a moment away from all the activity, and the Zafu Meditation Pillow may give her just that. On the opposite note, if she wants to rack up #alltheactivitypoints, then help her realize how awesome she’s doing with the Jawbone Activity/Sleep Tracker. Whether she’s crazy active or just likes to take a morning stroll, it’s important to stay hydrated. Help her fuel up stylishly with this S’well Water Bottle. Lastly, give her a bag to put all of these things in that’s both super adorable and functional, like this Vegan Gym Bag. Lululemon also makes some cool bags (but do people know if they’re VCF?).

In reality, whether you got her something ages ago or are scrambling for a last minute idea, all mama wants is time with her babies. So spoil her with all of your time and shower her with love, because she brought you into this world (and she can take you out). JK.

HAVE A GORGEOUS MOTHER’S DAY, VCF FAM!

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Califia Farms Almond Milk Cold Brew Latte Review
Vegan Food

Vegan Almond Milk Latte: Califia Farms Review

If you’re anything like I am, you’re skeptical of store-bought vegan anything. I much prefer to make things on my own, but sometimes, ya girl’s in a pinch…like when you wake up with 10 minutes to spare to shower, brush, walk the dog, take out the trash, watch a couple Netflix series etc. etc. SO, I went on the hunt for a morning caffeine push that didn’t require much thought…enter Califia Farms.

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Vegan Cafe Latte Cold Brew Coffee with Almond Milk Review

Nutrition:

At 90 calories per serving, I think the Califia Farms Cafe Latte with Almond Milk makes the perfect treat. A serving is 8 ounces or 240 ml for those who are counting. While a glass of it may seem small, it actually tastes quite creamy and rich, so you can actually savor it while binge-watching something or talking to your dog (me 100%).

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Consistency:

That brings us to consistency. It’s rather creamy! It’s almost the exact consistency of almond milk, but a little thicker.

Taste:

Be forewarned, it tastes really sweet…well compared to a glass of coffee. I should note that I abhor the taste of coffee. In fact, I can only drink it with vegan creamer in it, but this is actually the best middle ground between a frappuccino and black coffee. Honestly, you won’t understand until you try it.

Vegan?

Yes! According to their FAQs: While our full line is not organic, all Califia Farms products are 100% plant-based, non-GMO, carrageenan-free, gluten-free, vegan and made with no artificial ingredients. It sounds like all Califia Farms products are made with sustainability and vegans in mind, so go buy yourself a bottle and enjoy! [#notsponsored, but happy to be if you’re reading this CF ;)]

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Question of the Day

How do you take your coffee or tea? Black or as beige in color with creamer as you can get it?

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Friday Face Off, Vegan Food

Friday Face-Off: Vegan Cream Cheese

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Want some carbs with that schmear? I’ve been obsessed with Everything Bagels and cream cheese for breakfast lately. Something about half of a Whole Foods Everything Bagel covered with some cream cheese makes my mornings so right—wait, what?! Cream cheese?! You heard that right! Vegan cream cheese is almost indistinguishable from it’s dairy-filled counterpart, but probably tastes way better—if you get the right one that is. To help make your decision-making much easier, we’re going to compare two of the most popular cream cheeses on the market, at least where I live.

Tofutti Cream Cheese

TofuttiConsistency

At first glance, this cream cheese has the color of tofu (that almost off-white egg shell color) and the consistency of cream cheese mixed with a touch of gelatin. The tofu color probably comes from that fact that the second, third, and fourth ingredients are: expeller processed natural oil blend (soybean, palm fruit and oil), maltodextrin, soy protein, tofu.

While this cream cheese is marketed as “Better Than Cream Cheese,” I would have to staunchly disagree. However, if you’re in a pinch and jonesing for vegan cream cheese, it’s not…bad. The only reason I don’t like it is because of the consistency and some what due to it’s taste.

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If you’re interested in buying this, I bought it at the “alternatives” section of my Jewel-Osco. I think it’s fairly accessible at regular grocery stores.

Vegan? Yes!

Taste: 5/10

Price: ~ $3.99 (depends on where you live)

Kite Hill Cream Cheese

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Where do I start about Kite Hill cream cheese? When I opened it, it looked like real cream cheese. Note that the first time I tried it, I bought the chive flavor which was the only flavor that was available.

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The consistency is super creamy (the Jalapeno flavor is a tad bit gelatinous, but truly only 2% more). The taste is even more amazing. I had meat-eaters try it and they love it. My husband tends to favor it as well!

KiteHillConsistency

The only place I can find Kite Hill cream cheese in my neighborhood is at Whole Foods. They have plain, chive and jalapeno. According to Kite Hill, you can find them at Sprouts, Publix, Target and other retailers across the U.S. in addition to Whole Foods. You can use their Store Finder to locate it near you.

Vegan? Yes!

Taste: 9/10 (only because I wish the flavor was a little stronger)

Price: ~ $5.99 (the packaging recently features a 50 cent coupon, which I always use at checkout…the site also features a $1.00 off coupon here)

The Verdict? Kite Hill winds by a landslide.

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Question of the Day

What’s your favorite dairy-free product? And what do you usually eat for breakfast?

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Vegan Food, vegan lifestyle

5 Tips on How to Become a Vegetarian or Vegan in 2018

There are two theories on setting resolutions for the New Year: 1. Yaaass honey fresh start clean slate I’m gonna slay this year, or 2. Ahem, you shouldn’t have to wait 365 days to start a new resolution. I hear you both. But there is something especially special (redundant?) about January 1st this year…it lands on a Monday. What’s more resolutiony than that? Whether you decided to stop eating meat (yay you!) On November 25th or want to start fresh at the beginning of a new year, more power to you! It never matters when you start, it just matters that you start a change and most importantly, that you stick to it. Here are 5 steps to help you become a vegetarian or vegan so that you can make 2018 better not only for you, but for the plant and all the animals on it.

Step 1: Tell Everyone

There is absolutely zero shame in you wanting to a) better your health and b) better the planet. The latter is pretty much the foundation of every religion, right? And no one will bash you for what you believe in (go away trolls!). And if you do happen to deal with those negative naysayers who make fun of “vegan food” or act negative around you, just shroud it out with your good vibes cause that’s all you’re putting out and lettin’ in sistah. Some show on Blue’s Clue’s (hi, 80s baby here) told me that if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it. If you’ve tried to nicely explain your way of life or amazing decision to stop eating meat to someone and they just don’t get it…move on. You do you.

Step 2: Expect Bumps In the Road

Giving something up is never easy. If you’ve eaten meat your whole life, it’s hard to go cold turkey. Know that you may have a setback here or there but one setback isn’t the catalyst to failure. Just get back on the buggy.

Step 3: Educate Yourself

Piggybacking on step 2, the main reason most people fail at resolutions, regardless of what it is, is because they’re doing it for the wrong reasons. Someone may want to lose weight because they just want to be skinny and may get there the unhealthy way. Setting up a resolution should come from a desire for change. If you want to become vegetarian or vegan, but aren’t sure why or what to say when people ask you why, then it’s time to educate yourself! Once you feel compassionate about your cause, your resolution becomes less of a goal and more of an intrinsic belief. Check out numerous documentaries on Netflix and YouTube, get a vegan starter kit from PETA, and follow inspirational social media influencers to surround yourself with likeminded individuals.

Step 4: Plan for Success

You may be stuck on your daily ham and cheese sandwich for lunch or chicken and broccoli for dinner. As with every resolution, becoming vegetarian does need some work, but minimal at best. Googling vegetarian versions of your favorite recipes, new recipes all together, finding inspirational meal planners on social media or YouTube, these are all things that can help you plan for success.

The easiest way to start is to take a weekend and meal prep 2-3 vegetarian meals or vegan meals you can use for lunch and or dinner. It’s as easy as even preparing the ingredients you need to pull the meal together in minutes once you get home from work or after picking the kids up from school.

I have some What I Ate Wednesday videos on my YouTube channel with ideas to get you going!

Step 5: Enjoy the Journey

This resolution you set to not eat meat shouldn’t be a stressful one. Your body takes about a month to detox all the blood, spirit and chemicals from the meat products you’ve eaten over the years. Expect withdrawals, bad skin (a part of detox) which turns into amazing skin, stress and pressure. But all this in such a small period of time will lead to your best self.

Please always consult your physician before making any drastic physical or dietary changes.

Question of the Day

What is your resolution for the New Year?

I’m giving up processed sugar of any kind for the month of January. If all goes well, then another month after that and so forth.