Thursday, November 29, 2012

what do you mean, it's not vegan?! : ruby red grapefruit juice

today's culprit...


whaaaaat? what the hell kinda animal product would be in juice?


this one surprised me. i looove me some grapefruit.

according to the ingredients,
this product contains COCHINEAL EXTRACT.

the cochineal is an insect native to mexico and south america.  
the extract is a by-product made from the raw dried and pulverized bodies of these insects. 
look at all the tasty buggies on the cactus below...

this extract has been linked to diarrhea, anaphylaxis, asthma, 
hives, and hyperactivity in children!  yayyy! fun.

your best bet is to juice your own grapefruits
or make sure you read the labels carefully to avoid these critters
if their extract bugs you! (lol, pun...)

read the labels!

Friday, November 23, 2012


you have 24 hours to respond to the emails i just sent... 

GRAND PRIZE (FIVE eye shadows): 

RUNNER UP #1 (TWO eye shadows): 

RUNNER UP #2 (TWO eye shadows): 

update:  thanks for responding to my emails! 
i sent all of your information to the sponsor!  
thanks again for entering, 
and i hope you enter more of my giveaways in the future!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

what do you mean, it's not vegan?! : worcestershire sauce

today's culprit...


whaaaaat? what the hell kinda animal product would be in this?


quite a few vegan i have spoken to did NOT know
that this was a typical non-vegan condiment.
and it is used in a LOT of recipes.

but there are SOME brands that are vegan!
annie's naturals, wizard's, some trader joe's varieties,
edward and son's, robbie's worcestershire,
biona, kroger brand, world harbors,
kikkoman delicious sauce,
wa jan shan...

or make your own!
check out a recipe for vegan worcestershire on
martha stewart! 

so there you have it folks... 
read the labels!

holidays: roasted green beans

i am not very fond of green bean casserole-- 
but i am willing to try any recipes of a vegan version 
if you wanna throw some my way 
(hint hint, email me)


our version of holiday green beans is simply tossing them with a few ingredients 
and throwing them in the oven.

its simple, tasty, and cheap =]


(once again, no exact measurements!)


  • whole green beans, fresh
    (ends removed and washed of course)
  • olive oil
  • green beans
  • sea salt
  • fresh cracked black pepper
  • garlic
    (you can use fresh and minced or garlic powder)
  • optional: smoked paprika

  • preheat oven to 325*
  • in a casserole dish or rimmed cookie sheet, toss your beans with olive oil, sea salt, garlic, and pepper. you don't need a ton of olive oil... just a light drizzle for flavor and to make the other ingredients stick.
  • bake in the oven for approx. 20 minutes until the green beans are tender and have some light golden brown spots. 
  • optional... sprinkle some smoked paprika on top before you serve 'em!

Friday, November 16, 2012

holidays: vegan smashed potatoes

tired of not being able to eat your aunt's "famous mashed potatoes" at the family holiday dinner 
because they are loaded with butter and heavy cream? then make your own "famous" VEGAN mashed potatoes! 
knock your aunt's recipe outta the park!



(once again, no exact measurements!)


  • your favorite potatoes cut into cubes for easy mashing
  • (we use yukon gold!)
  • vegenaise
    (other flavors of vegan mayo do not taste as good in this...)
  • soy creamer
    (original, not vanilla) 
  • vegan margarine
  • garlic
    (you can use fresh and minced or garlic powder)
  • onion powder
  • sea salt
  • optional ingredients: chives, scallions, dried parsley, vegan bacon bits
    (if you are sticking to a gluten free version, don't use the bacon bits)

  • boil your potatoes in salted water, then drain.
  • mash your potatoes!
  • mix approx. 1/4 cup of vegenaise and 1/2 cup of soy creamer into your mash.  
  • add a small amount of vegan margarine for a buttery taste... just a few pads usually will be enough.
  • taste! add sea salt, onion powder, and garlic to you and your family's liking.  we like lots of garlic! add other spices or ingredients that you may want =]
  • if you want your mash creamier, add more vegenaise and soy creamer until you find that magic texture! we like our potatoes fairly creamy, but really thick like concrete, haha!

note: if you don't have vegenaise, tofutti better than cream cheese is also a tasty option! just soften it a little bit before you try to mix it in!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

what do you mean, it's not vegan?! : some orange juice

today's culprit...


whaaaaat? what the hell kinda animal product would be in this?


it even has a nice little side note stating
"contains tilapia, sardine, and anchovy."

since freaking when do fish grow on orange trees?
and this ingredient is not that uncommon...
read the labels!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

what do you mean, it's not vegan?! : frosted mini-wheats

it is pretty exciting when you stumble across a food that 
was "vegan this whole time?!"  and you never even knew it! 
oreos? awhhh yeahhhhh... 
peanut chews? awesome! 
ghirardelli hot chocolate? whoaaa!

but what about the things you ASSUME are vegan and really aren't?

i am gonna start posting those various items that vegans get duped by
at least once a month to give you a heads up.
(hey, even i get fooled sometimes!)

today's culprit...


whaaaaat? what the hell kinda animal product would be in this?


and for those who are unclear as to what gelatin is made from exactly,
i will give you a quote from the gelatin manufacturers institute of america...
"the primary raw materials used in making gelatin are 
bovine bones, bovine hides, porcine skins, porcine bones, and fish skins."

oh yummy! 
i so wanted some ground up cow hide and pork bones in my cereal!

but have no fear! 
there are yummy and sweet alternatives that may surprise you:
life, frosted flakes, cinnamon life, apple jacks, fruity pebbles,
reese's peanut butter puffs, apple cinnamon cheerios,
peanut butter crunch, kix, trix, golden grahams, 
fruit loops, special k red berries, chocolate malt-o-meal,
coco roos, nature's path crunchy vanilla sunrise, 
gorilla munch, annie's fruity bunnies, peanut butter puffins, 
kashi strawberry fields, kashi island vanilla,
and many more!

so there you have it folks... 
read the labels!

Friday, November 9, 2012

madison street beauty review and an amazing giveaway

 cosmetics are a tricky, tricky thing in the vegan world... 
not tested on animals? finished product not tested on animals?
animal-friendly? contains no animal ingredients?
vegan-friendly? all-natural? huh? huh?

and your head is spinning because
you want to keep your make-up bag cruelty-free, 
but you want quality products, too!

well, guys, guess what i have found...

their etsy shop states that they offer "100% natural mineral makeup 
including eye shadow, foundation, eye liner, blush, 
bronzer, lip balm and a wide selection of vegan cosmetics."

and oh boy is it true! 

i bought a gorgeous eye shadow color called mossy mauve.
it looked like a deep mauve with mesmerizing flecks of gold and green.
and now, it is my favorite eye shadow!

it glides on so easily!
the soft, mineral make-up can go on wet or dry. 
either way, it will make a bold statement.

looking for another color?
take a look at THIS 

wow, right? 
no more dull and boring vegan browns and tans!
madison street beauty has an entire rainbow 
of vibrant and bold pigments for you to choose from!

have a hot date ?
want a sexy, smoky look? 
try silver star
an opaque gunmetal gray 
with shimmery silver undertones.

feeling sassy? want a bright pop of color 
to match your fun mood?
try electric periwinkle 
a semi-opaque, bright periwinkle 
with electric blue undertones.

are you shy? sweet? 
looking for the perfect eye shadow 
to show youinnocence
try parisian pink -  
an opaque, powdery pink  
with light sheen.

the quality of these shadows will knock your socks off!
they rival the biggest names in eye make-up and eye pigments
at a fraction of the cost!
they are natural, fragrance free, hypoallergenic, 
non-comedogenic, gluten free, and oil free! 

spending tons of money
on expensive, name brand 
mineral make-up?
well, stop it!
try a mineral foundation 
they are soft, silky, 
and provide full coverage 
while improving the look 
and health of your skin.

if you have trouble 
finding your perfect skin match, 
try picking up a sample or two!
all of their mineral foundations 
can be purchased in a sample size 
to make sure you are fully confident before you purchase a full-sized product.

madison street also sells aloe airbrush setting powder! i purchased a jar myself, 
and i think it is amazing! it doesn't cake or look unnatural, it minimizes pores, 
diminishes redness, and best of all, it didn't bother my sensitive skin one bit!

and just like the big name brands, 
they also have highlighters, mineral blush, and bronzer!
get an all-over, all day glow that your wallet 
and the animals will thank you for!
what a gorgeous way to show how much you care!

lastly, one of my favoritestestest things 
(don't you love how i make up words? lol)
about this company is that they don't 
package their mineral make-up in leaky plastic bags! 
your amazing products will be packed in jar with a sifter! 
you have full control of how much you use!
no more dusty, colored fingertips 
and no more countertops smeared with wasted color!

i cannot say enough about this company and their make-up.
they get a top review score from me!

overall score:


wanna win some of this fantastic make-up?
enter the rafflecopter below!


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

the vegan holiday lush

it is snowing today in pennsylvania! woohoo! 
 it may be autumn now, but winter is already creeping up...
its getting closer to the holidays...

ah! those holiday family get-togethers...
as your relatives are "being merry" with their mixed drinks 
and stuffing themselves stupid on roasted meat,
do you find yourself nibbling on carrot sticks  
and drinking a shirley temple?

not anymore!

now you can act the fool with the rest of those party animals! awhh yeh... 
breakdance with grandma! talk politics with drunk uncle larry! 
build a kayak out of those carrot sticks!
( i am not telling you to get drunk, i am saying you COULD haha)

for a list of some of the BRANDS of liquor are vegan, check out ! 
the website is a work-in-progress.

p.s. best news ever-- pinnacle flavored vodka is vegan.  hellls yeahhhhh.

p.p.s. i am not gonna tell you what kinda glass this stuff goes in-- 
frankly, once the relatives get together,  the red plastic cups come out and the glasses go away!

p.p.p.s. all of these autumn / winter holiday recipes are

piña colada
believe it or not, MOST recipes for this drink are vegan already.
if you have a crazy aunt that likes to "thin it down a little" with milk, 

she is just wasting ingredients as far as i am concerned.

1 1/2 oz rum 
2 oz cream of coconut
2 oz pineapple juice
1 cup crushed ice

blend. garnish with a slice of pineapple and a maraschino cherry or twelve.

o-r-e-o speedwagon
you should've seen by the look in my eyes, baby...

2 oz kahlúa 
2 scoops vegan vanilla ice cream
2 - 3 oreo cookies, crushed

pour kahlúa into a blender. throw in the cookies and ice cream. blend until smooth.
don't fight the feelin anymore.

irish cream
got this recipe from a friend who got it off a friend 
they met on the internet. say that three times fast. 

1 can coconut milk (not cream of coconut)
2 tbsp sweetener (brown sugar is what they recommend)
1/4 cup silk french vanilla soy creamer
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 to 1/3 cup coffee or espresso
1/4 - 1 cup whiskey (how strong do you take it?)
optional dollop of chocolate syrup

blend. serve. be merry.

santa claus came at 4am mimosa
this is also great for holiday parties when you have to be up early to cook!

1/4 cup grand marnier
2 tablespoons sugar (to rim the glasses)
1 cup orange juice (pulp content up to you)
750 ml bottle of champagne

put the sugar onto a plate. pour the grand marnier in a bowl. dip the rims of your glasses (about 5) in the grand marnier and then dip them in the sugar. take the remaining grand marnier and mix it with the orange juice. pour into glasses and top with as much champagne as you like. drink while the kids fight over their presents.

peppermint pattie shots
whoooosh... get the VEGAN sensation! 

2 oz peppermint schnapps
chocolate syrup to taste
vegan whipped topping
optional holiday-colored jimmies

mix in a shot glass. top with some vegan whipped cream like soyatoo or you can make your own. sprinkle with jimmies. down the hatch.

hot buttered pumpkin rum
a tasty spin on a classic drink minus the animal ingredients.
p.s. this makes a lot of drinkage.

1/2 stick of earth balance vegan margarine
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1/3 cup trader joe's pumpkin butter
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
pinch of sea salt
2 oz of rum per mug
hot water

vegan whipped topping
optional cinnamon stick
cream together the earth balance, brown sugar, pumpkin butter, pumpkin pie spice with a hand mixer. add approximately 2 tablespoons of butter mixture to the bottom of a mug. add 2 ounces of rum, and fill the mug the rest of the way with hot water. mix. top with vegan whipped cream and a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice. throw in a stick of cinnamon to be fancy. bottoms up!

pineapple upside-down cake martini
a few of these and you will be upside and down all right...

2/3 cup chilled pineapple juice 
1/3 cup whipped or vanilla pinnacle vodka
dash grenadine
pineapple wedges and maraschino cherries for garnish.

mix together. pour. garnish. drink in the deliciousness. mmm liquid cake.

white russian
На здоровье! cheers!

1 cup vodka

1 cup kahlúa
1/4 cup soy creamer (vanilla is yummy)

mix vodka and kahlúa. pour into glasses full of ice. top with soy creamer. imbibe. have another.

drunkin punkin apple cider
who doesn't like cider?! i mean c'mon! its like the perfect autumn party
it's-starting-to-get-colder beverage!

1 1/2 oz pumpkin puree
1 1/2 oz vanilla or whipped vodka
2 oz apple cider of your choice
1 1/2 oz spicy ginger ale (like reed's or goya ginger beer)

in a cocktail shaker (or some plastic cups) mix together the puree, vodka, and cider with some ice. strain and pour into a glass full of ice. top with the spicy ginger ale. get drunkin' with punkin'.

arrrrr! brin' me t' grog, wench
this will brin' ou' th' sea dog in any cove. oh me hearties, be blunderbustingly careful.

2-3 oz rum
1/2 oz lime juice (freshly squeezed, if possible)
1 tsp of brown sugar
3-4 oz hot water
stick o' cinnamon
slice o' orange

mix all th' ingredients in ye mug. garnish wiv a slice o' orange and a cinnamon stick, me buckos. 

berry merry xmas
candy cane and berry flavor that is sure to put a holiday smile on your face

3/4 oz berry vodka (like pinnacle)
3/4 oz white crème de cacao
3/4 oz peppermint schnapps
a splash or more of grenadine
soy creamer
optional soda water 

in a shaker with ice, mix the vodka, crème de cacao, schnapps, and grenadine. pour into your glass and top with soy creamer. you can add a splash of soda water if you want.  this is also really tasty in a glass rimmed with crushed candy canes!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

left over kimchi... let's make soup!

this is my take on kimchi soup / stew in my household.
i am no chef or expert in korean cooking-- this is our ghetto version.
it varies depending on what veggies we have around...
experiment and try different stuff!

the original recipe base came from my cousin, 
but our family is full of modifiers!


(once again, no exact measurements!)



  • 1 to 2 cups of kimchi from your favorite market
    (you can chop it into bite-sized pieces if you prefer. do 
    not drain!)
  • trader joe's beefless strips
    (or your fave mock beef or pork strips)
  • a small onion, diced 
  • sliced shiitake mushroom
    (i like two packages of fresh shiitakes, or portabella when i can't find shiitake!)
  • minced garlic cloves
    (i use about 4 or 5)
  • approx. 1/2 cup of scallions.
    (chop them into 1/2" chunks or slice them into coins. it is up to you.)
  • ginger to taste
    (you can use fresh or dried.  we use dried mostly for this... about 1 to 1/2 tsp)
  • water
    (it depends on how thick you want it. i usually add enough to coat everything-- about 1 and 1/2 cups to 2 cups of kimchi-- and make a more stew-like dish.  some people use a 2 part water to one part kimchi ratio)
  • a package of tofu, cubed or sliced
    (i personally like using firm tofu, but feel free to use silken) 
  • mirin to taste
    (sweet taste, start of with a tablespoon)
  • rice vinegar to taste
    (sour taste, start off with a tablespoon)
  • soy sauce or braggs  to taste
    (salty taste, start off with a 1/2 tablespoon. sometimes the kimchi you get can be really salty!)
  • sriracha or other hot sauce to taste
  • red pepper flakes, optional
  • optional veggies: zucchini, sprouts, fresh napa cabbage, daikon, carrots, hot peppers, etc

  • drain your kimchi, but keep the juice in a separate bowl! YOU NEED THE JUICE!
  • in your soup pot, sauteed your onion in sesame oil. add the garlic, and beef-less strips. 
  • add the shiitake mushrooms and juice from your kimchi to the saute. add any other veggies here as well.
  • add your water.
  • add ginger, mirin, rice vinegar, and soy sauce to the pot. adjust these ingredients as you wish.
  • stir until everything is well combined! 
  • bring to a boil. 
  • taste! add sriracha to your liking. i like it super spicy! you can also add your optional red pepper flakes.
  • add the tofu and simmer until everything is flavorful and the kimchi is tender.
  • ladle into bowls and top with scallions.  yum!