Thursday, 30 October 2014

WIN MY RAW VEGAN DESSERTS COOKBOOK!

Exciting news! Vegan Cuts is doing a cookbook and vegan snack box giveaway, and you have the chance to win! You can either win my best-selling raw, vegan, gluten-free desserts cookbook, Rawsome Vegan Baking, or a few other amazing ones from other bloggers I love: The Blender Girl, Thug Kitchen and The Vegan Zombie. The prizes for this giveaway are four snack boxes paired with four cookbooks, so there will be four winners who each win a snack box and - you guessed it - a cookbook!

Enter the giveaway here for you chance to win!


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Tuesday, 28 October 2014

THIS RAWSOME VEGAN LIFE NOW HAS T-SHIRTS!

Come to the rawsome vegan side, we have t-shirts.


WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

I am so stoked to announce I will now be selling custom-designed t-shirts for my blog! (There is also a hoodie option available.) I have partnered with a neato company called Teespring, and we have developed some amazing tees for you guys to wear with plant-based pride! I think they all reflect the clean, fun and positive attitude that my blog has become known for. Nothing extreme, just simple, fun pictures of happy fruits and vegetables celebrating the rawsome vegan life. I have to admit I did not design them myself, but I'm just gonna see how you guys like this first one and if there is demand for others, and/or some designed by me I am happy to do make more designs available! Let me know. For now I am more than pleased with this first t-shirt. The drawings are done by a children's book illustrator!

You can buy the t-shirt here.

Although there are three different designs I love, I'm just gonna start off by selling one in order to gauge how popular it and others might be. If a whack load of people buy this one, I will definitely start selling the other two, and probably more. I wanna make you happy, after all.

Right now we I've got one design available that reads "I HEART THIS RAWSOME VEGAN LIFE", where the heart is a juicy red strawberry. I absolutely love this and can't wait to wear it all over the place. It represents what I try to promote on my blog: that healthiness is happiness, and that simplicity is beautiful.

Now, you might be thinking: "That's great that you have some cool t-shirt designs, Emily, but what about the material? I am a responsible, environmentally-conscious and morally-discplined individual and I demand that the actual t-shirts be made by fairly-paid workers and with sustainable fabric." First of all, thank you for caring about that stuff. Second, I do too! So don't worry your fabulous brain about it. The t-shirts these designs are printed on are all ethically made in the USA. It's all good here and everyone is happy! 

If you think buying ORGANIC is important, I have an organic cotton t-shirt option for you too. It costs a few dollars more, but depending on your priorities, it's worth it. Plus, when you buy the organic cotton t-shirt, $3.00 of your payment will be donated to the World Animal Protection organization!

These would also make great gifts... just sayin'. Well that's about all I have to say, folks! I hope you love these designs as much as me, and consider buying a t-shirt or hoodie! Hehe. Let me know what you think! I always love to hear from you. x




Saturday, 25 October 2014

WHIPPED COCO CREAM TART with FRESH BERRIES


An ode to tarts:

Precious tart,
so elegant and sweet,
you tempt me with your textures... 
a slice I cannot help but eat.
Who was your inventor?
They were indeed a genius.
Your taste and colour are sublime,
nothing is more luscious.
From your crust to your cream
and the fruitiness in between,
I love you for your simplicity, 
I'll see you in my dreams.

So that was really tacky and incredibly lame of me but sometimes ya just gotta write love prose to your fave dessert. Right, guys? ... GUYS? In all seriousness though I do adore raw vegan tarts. They're easier and quicker to make than cakes, and most of the time they come out looking like super stars. You make the crust which is usually just a mix of dates and nuts, press that into a tart pan, and then you make your filling which is normally a simple blending up of bananas, coconut or nuts with  a healthy sweetener, and finally you decorate it with something pretty like fruit. Done. You now have a gorgeous, delicious, uber-good-for-you treat to impress everyone with. This is why I love raw vegan desserts.

I made this recipe a few months ago and am posting it now to remind me of the wonderful berry harvests of the summer. I will miss the sun dearly for the next couple seasons. We basically get straight rain for the next five months here in British Columbia. The only way I survive is by daydreaming about the vibrant berries we had the pleasure of eating in the previous warmer months. Until the next fertile epoch I will be consuming a lot of frozen fruit, apples, greens, carrots and potatoes. I am trying to eat more food that is grown locally, and as I have said before: it's easy to do that when you have TWO winter farmers markets in your city. Yep, we locavore Vancouverites are spoiled.

Another bonus to buying local - in addition to being more connected to your food system, minimizing your carbon foot print, and supporting ethical, environmentally-concious farmers in your area - is the quality of the produce you are getting. Yes, it can be more expensive and usually is (though sometimes you can actually SAVE money at farmers markets) the flavour, colour and texture of locally grown organic food versus internationally shipped stuff from the grocery store is incomparable. What I do now is buy "the dirty dozen"(i.e. the ones most contaminated by pesticides, etc.) if they are available at the farmers market, or at least organically-grown kinds from the grocery store. That way I find a happy balance for my wallet AND still support the local farmers and enjoy amazing produce. Is buying organic important to you? Is buying local important to you? Why or why not? Let me know in the comment section! Have a great day, beautiful people, and try making the tart! x


WHIPPED COCO CREAM TART with FRESH BERRIES

Crust:
1 cup pecans
1/3 cup hemp seeds
1 1/2 cups dates
Pinch Himalayan salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Coconut cream:
Follow this recipe.

Fruit:
3 cups fresh berries
2 bananas
1 tablespoon coconut nectar (optional)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

To make the crust: pulse the pecans and hemp seeds into powder in a food processor, then add the rest of the ingredients and process until it all begins to stick together. Press into a lined tart tin and put in the fridge for a couple hours.

To prepare the fruit: wash and slice the berries and bananas then coat with the coconut nectar (if using) and vanilla and put in the dehydrator for 30-60 minutes, this softens and sweetens them.

Assembly: spread your coconut cream into the crust and top off with your berries. MMM.

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

ROASTED VEGGIES with BUTTERY GARLIC + SPINACH SALAD


It doesn't get much simpler than this when you wanna prepare a wholesome, easy, delicious recipe for yourself. We've got oven-baked sweet potatoes, potatoes, eggplant and garlic paired with a spinach salad, all topped off with tomatoes, sunflower seeds and bell peppers. This meal is also pretty cheap to make because it's mostly sweet potatoes and potatoes (I can get these for $1.00/lb at the grocery store and farmer's market). In case you didn't already know this magical fact, I will let you in on it now: when garlic is baked it basically turns into garlic butter. Praise the heavens and all that is good. The cloves hidden under their skin transform into creamy, flavourful pockets of garlic spread that you can cover your meal in. It's fabulous to the maximum.

I will ACTUALLY be posting more and more savoury recipes for you all to enjoy, because meals like this are what my dinner looks like every night now. For awhile there, I didn't wanna share my dinners because they didn't have much colour. I was eating a lot of rice, potatoes and cauliflower. Healthy? Yes. Vibrant-looking? Not so much. But Instagram has inspired me! I kept seeing all these gorgeous lunch and dinner pics and realized: where's the colour in my meals!? So I have added it back in with salads, sweet potatoes, yams, tomatoes, peppers, broccoli, pumpkin seeds, and more. Once I found grocery stores that sold sweet potatoes for a dollar per pound, I rejoiced. I absolutely adore sweet potatoes (especially since Jack's grandma showed me the light of baking them whole in the oven) and they are one of the most nutritious foods on the planet! Some tribes and civilizations historically have lived mainly off sweet potatoes or yams! Firstly because they have trouble hunting/gathering enough other food but they also ARE ABLE to live off mostly sweet potatoes or yams because they have so much of what you need! Calories, carbs, nutrients, vitamins, hurrah! It's like nature decided to throw one nearly perfect meal into a singular root vegetable for our convenience! Evolution doesn't work like that at all but still, you get where I'm comin' from. Besides, that orange colour is such a winner. Buying organic sweet potatoes and yams is certainly better than buying conventional ones, but around here that usually means at least double the price. Since they are a staple of my diet, and also one of the least contaminated conventionally grown foods, I am okay purchasing non-organic ones, but I do like to treat myself sometimes. I always buy my potatoes organic because we can get amazing ones here for good prices from the farmers market, so I can't pass that up. Support local!

ROASTED VEGGIES with BUTTERY GARLIC + SPINACH SALAD

Veggies:
1 sweet potato or yam
1 cup baby potatoes
3 small eggplants (mine were super tiny)
1 head of garlic
1 teaspoon coconut oil

Salad:
3 cups spinach leaves
Juice of a lime
1 teaspoon maple syrup
2 chopped heirloom tomatoes
1 chopped red bell pepper
1 tablespoon sunflower seeds
Black pepper and sea salt (optional) 

To prepare the veggies: preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Wash your root veggies and dry them. Poke some holes in the sweet potato/yam. Slice the eggplants and rub them in a little coconut oil. Bake everything on a parchment paper lined pans and bake for 30 minutes, then see how it's all doing. My little potatoes, eggplant, head of garlic and sweet potato were all soft by this point so I took everything out, but if you have a large sweet potato/yam it will take longer to cook. (And yes, I did simply throw a head of garlic into the oven and it ended up perfect. You just have to peel off the skin to get at the goodness once it's done baking.)

To make the salad: mix the greens with lime juice, maple syrup, black pepper and salt (if using). Throw on the tomatoes and pepper, and sprinkle with sunflower seeds. Pair this with all your baked treasures and enjoy! 

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Sunday, 19 October 2014

PERFECT RAW VEGAN GRANOLA (+ PERSIMMON STRAWBERRY SMOOTHIE)


Hello, hello! And happy Sunday! I have spent the entire morning working at my new standing desk (which I got on Craigslist for $30, whaddup), trying to figure out how to make my blog more beautiful and efficient for you. My conclusion is that it's gonna have to wait. I am so busy these days with school, promoting my second book (pre-order your copy now!) and trying to maintain a life that I don't have the time to build a whole new website... yet. However, I want you to know it is something I am planning on doing. I wanna update my recipe index, take better pictures, give you more recipes, focus on putting out great YouTube videos (like recipes demos and FAQ's), and in general just keep improving This Rawsome Vegan Life. I hope that's cool wit you. Don't worry - I'm not gonna turn it into some bland, generic webpage. TRVL is my heart and soul and I always mean to show that in this cyber corner of the 'net. But you don't wanna hear about me and GALANT here wishfully searching for unicorn HTML code... you wanna hear about granola.

Let's talk about granola. This recipe is the bomb! 

Friday, 17 October 2014

CARROT CAKE CUPCAKES with WHIPPED COCONUT CREAM + CHOCOLATE


WOAH. Let's slow things down for a second to acknowledge that these cupcakes are vegan, gluten-free, and made with whole foods. THANK YOU, EARTH.

They're also made with leftovers. Yup. I bought a bag of carrots from the farmers market last week and juiced them, then I was left with all this beautiful carrot pulp. I didn't wanna just compost it so I thought "Hey! I could make carrot cupcakes!" Then I did that. I know, my stories are always so exciting. The cupcake recipe is pretty basic - mostly carrots, nuts, raisins and spices - but that don't stop some epic flavours from being created. Then I topped 'em off with vegan gold AKA whipped coconut cream. Technically coconut cream is not raw, but I give you a raw cashew cream option since I'm inclusive like that. I swirled the cream with raw chocolate sauce because... raw. chocolate. sauce.

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

BE LOVE RESTAURANT REVIEW


This restaurant review is coming a bit late because I've been so busy with other things, and it always seems like I have another recipe to share. Nonetheless, visiting Be Love in Victoria (on Vancouver Island) was one of the most delicious dining experiences I've ever had, so I must tell you about it. The restaurant uses all vegan, organic and locally sourced ingredients, so you know you are tasting the highest quality food around. All of downtown Victoria is beautiful and peaceful, thus Be Love's location - 1019 Blanshard Street, Victoria, BC - is no different. The actual building it's in is really cool too, it has huge windows and sky-high ceilings so you feel like you're in church! The church of heavenly vegan food, that is. I went with my sexy-ass vegan girlfriend, Eva, and my wonderful partner, Jack (who is basically 100% vegan now). We shared everything. First we ordered some fancy dranks... made with SUPERFOODS! Eva got some vibrant concoction with gin and spirulina, and Jack got a glowing glass of whiskey/tequila (?) and fresh ginger and herbs! Even I tried some, and that says a lot. Then came the foooooood. Oh my LAWD. Never have I experienced such perfectly balanced flavour explosions at a restaurant. Jack got the raw burger, I got a green bowl, and Eva got something with tomatoes and pesto. Be Love uses organic, locally grown ingredients and you can tell. You hardly need to add any other flavourings besides the food itself, but the tiny bit the Be Love chefs DO add is perfectly harmonious with the plate as a whole and frankly takes your taste buds to lands they have never been to. Ah, my mouth is watering just thinking about eating there again. Must go back.


Saturday, 11 October 2014

CHOOSING RAW {cookbook review + smoothie recipe)


When the glowing raw vegan pioneer Gena Hamshaw asked me to review her new cookbook - titled Choosing Raw (her amazing blog has the same name) - I couldn't say no. Gena's recipes and website were a huge inspiration to me when I first started becoming interested in raw food and in blogging. She provides a plethora of easy, healthy, whole foods vegan recipes with a big focus on the importance of raw ingredients. It's no wonder she's so popular! What's not to love? When you look at her blog you can immediately tell she is dedicated to sharing the steps to a healthy and long life with anyone who wants to learn, and she makes it almost effortless for you. Her blog is a source for all things wholesome and plant-based: desserts, snacks, meals, drinks, raw, cooked, gluten-free, and more! You find it all at Gena's beautifully designed page: www.choosingraw.com. 

Friday, 10 October 2014

VEGAN BODY CARE PRODUCT GIVEAWAY from JUST THE GOODS!


Note: this giveaway is only available for US and Canadian residents - sorry everyone else! I really am! *crying sad face* 

Good news, babes! You have the chance to win $50.00 to spend over at Just The Goods, one of my favourite, all-natural, vegan beauty and body care companies. See my review of Just The goods products here. The gorgeous Milena is the woman behind the herbal elixirs and she is letting me host a giveaway for her company! Simply enter the contest by doing any of the options in the giveaway box below and you will be entered to win one of three $50.00 gift certificates. Come back everyday and enter again to up your chances. This giveaway will run from today (Oct 10) until Oct 15. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Monday, 6 October 2014

THE GLOW BOWL: baked sweet potato with pesto pasta, tomatoes + pumpkin seeds


I called this The Glow Bowl because all the ingredients are superb for your skin so it's gonna make you glow from the inside out (sweet potatoes, greens, pumpkin seeds, and whole grain pasta - click the foods for their skin benefits!) But that awesome aspect aside, this recipe is so damn DELICIOUS I don't even care about the nutrition it gives me. I was shovelling this in my mouth in between gasps of pleasure and exclamations such as: "I CANNOT BELIEVE HOW YUMMY YOU ARE!" Seriously, I must have looked 100% nuts, but again, I don't care. This meal tasted perfect and that's all my mind - and mouth - could focus on while I devoured it. I have a little story to tell you now.

I am the worst cook ever.


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