Vegan Sushi Sandwiches!

Welcome back!

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For this week’s post, I thought another vegan recipe might be fun to do. I can across this recipe a few weeks ago when I was binge watching CheapLazyVegan on Youtube. I came across this video, and I knew I had to try it. I made it last week, an it has already become one of my favorite new meals. It’s great because it’s easy to make, healthy and filling. It’s one of my new go to school lunches. Without further adieu, here is my recipe for onigirazu (aka “sushi sandwiches”)

*Disclaimer* I don’t normally use measurements when I cook, so any measurements that are present in this recipe serve more as a guideline than an exact rule to follow.

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What you’ll need:

1. Nori
2.1 cup sushi rice
3.1 1/2 cup of water
4.Various veggies (I used cucumber and avocado, but you can really use anything)
5.Rice vinegar (optional)
6.Sugar (optional)
7.Salt (optional)
8.Sriracha
9.Soy Sauce
10.Plastic wrap

The first step is to make the rice. I’m going to suggest that you make the rice according to the package, because that is what I did. However, I will say that you should definitely rinse the rice before cooking it because it will get rid of excess starch. I put my rice in a bowl, filled it with water, stirred the rice around and then drained it. I did this about 3 times until the water was clear.

Once you have finished cooking your rice, place it on a plate and let it cool. I wouldn’t recommend sticking it in the fridge to let it cool, because I have heard that it can cause the rice to no longer be sticky, and it need to be sticky for this recipe. If you want tradition sushi rice, you can add rice vinegar, sugar and salt to the rice before you let it cool. I didn’t do that because I was feeling lazy :D. It tasted just fine without it.

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Now that the rice has cooled, place a sheet of plastic wrap on a cutting board or on your counter. Take a sheet of nori and place it on the plastic wrap with the rough side facing up.

Next you’re going to take about a handful of rice and form it into a diamond shape. Then you can place it on your nori.

Now you can start working on your vegetables. As I said, I used cucumber and avocado, but any veggies would work here. You can used bell pepper, carrots, tofu, spinach, pretty much anything you want. The possibilities are endless! Place your veggies on top of the rice.

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After veggies are placed on the rice, take some more rice and make another diamond shape. Place that on top of your veggies.

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Now comes for the wrapping. Take a corner of the nori and place it so that it lays in the center of the diamond. Repeat on all sides until you have something that looks like this:
Wrap up your sandwich and set it aside before you eat it, that way the nori can settle and stick to the rice better. This will make it easier to cut into later, if you decide to do that.

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That is it! Your sushi sandwich is done! I personally like to mix up some sriracha and soy sauce and use that as a dipping sauce for it, but feel free to use anything you sauce you want.

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I hope you enjoy this recipe and decide to try it out for yourself. Please let me know if you do!

Stay fabulous!

Vegan Sushi Sandwiches!

(Yummy) Ugly Gluten free, Dairy free, Vegan cake

Helllooo,

It’s been a while since I wrote to you guys. Things were a little rough, but what doesn’t a sinfully delicious chocolate cake not solve?

I think the best cure for the blues is whipping out the batter and the oven with your little sister. All this while listening to Crank that by Soulja boy.

Here is the recipe for the wonderful cake:

https://minimalistbaker.com/1-bowl-chocolate-hazelnut-cake-vegan-gf/

And here is how it turned out:

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It looks very appetizing (I know) but not very pretty. But sometimes that food is the best tasting food out there. What matters is that it was made out of love and extreme enthusiasm. It made me and my sister dancing all over the kitchen and laughing.

This is home and this delicious chocolate cake it only an evidence of how home makes everything better for me.

(Yummy) Ugly Gluten free, Dairy free, Vegan cake

Vegan Eats: Part 3

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Hello, hello everyone!

This post marks the final installment in my mini-series “Vegan Eats”. In case you’re new to the site, my last two blog posts have been about have to find great vegan replacement foods for those day when you are missing your old favorites. If you’re looking for some recommendations/inspiration, check out my last two posts which can be found here and here!

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1. Califia Farms
This brand is probably the one that I have the least experience with, but I have only good things to say about it. They make plant milks, coffee creamer and coffee itself. And everything is plant based! My personal favorites are the Toasted Coconut Almond Milk and the Vanilla Almond Milk. I love to use them for oatmeal in the morning. Even though I’m not a huge coffee drinker, I’m also a fan of their Salted Caramel Cold Brew Coffee. Overall, If your looking for a good replacement milk, Califia Farms is a great place to start out.

 

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2. Earth Balance
I have been eating Earth Balance products for years. I remember when I first was introduced to them. I was in high school and I was vegetarian at the time. My step-dad had issues with high cholesterol, so he wanted to stay away from real butter. My mom picked up Earth Balance Butter from Whole Foods, and the next thing I knew, that was all either one of them was eating. They both loved it. I was against it at first, thinking that nothing could be as good as real butter, but one day I decided I would try it anyway. I was blown away, and from that day I have not eaten regular butter.

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Since then, I have tried a lot of their products, and now it is one of my most trusted brands. I really love their Vegan Cheddar Puffs, Cheddar Squares and their popcorn. Something else that I really like about this brand is that their websites offers vegan recipes, and info about the benefits of a vegan lifestyle. It is truly a great resource from an awesome brand. Check out the website here.

 

 

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3. Tres Pupusas
This brand is not entirely vegan, however it deserves a mention on this list because the vegan products they do make are wonderful. For those of you who don’t know, a pupusa is a traditional Salvadoran dish of a thick corn tortilla filled with various ingredients. In short, they are deliciousness wrapped in more delciousness. My Father’s family is from El Salvador, so I was excited to see a vegan version of a traditional dish that I usually had to stay away from.

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Tres Pupusas offers two vegan options: Black Bean and Sweet Corn and Kale and Pinto Bean. My personal favorite is the Black Bean and Sweet Corn. These have become a staple in my household because they are delicious and super simple to make. They are perfect for nights when I don’t know what to make, or I don’t have time to cook. I love these little guys, and I don’t know where I would be with out. Thanks, Tres Pupusas, for looking out for us vegan Latinas.

 

And, that concludes this mini-series! I had a lot of dun writing it, and I truly hope that it will help you in your vegan journey. As always, please feel free to ask me any questions that you may think of after reading this. Also, feel free to leave suggestions for future posts and other mini-series. I would love to hear your thoughts.

As always…

Stay Fabulous!

 

-Gianna

Vegan Eats: Part 3

Vegan Eats Part II

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Hello Everyone!

These past few weeks have been pretty crazy as I was gearing up for finals. Unfortunately, that meant that the blog had to take a back seat, but I am happy to say that I am back! Before I took my brief hiatus, I started a mini-series where I list some the essential transitioning vegan food. This list is intended to guide you to some great tasting food for those times when you’re missing your old favorites. I do want to say that most of these foods are not part of what I would call a “healthy” vegan diet, because most of these items are processed. The healthiest vegan diet is the one that pretty much entirely made up of whole plant foods. But, everything in moderation, am I right?

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1. Luna & Larry’s Organic Coconut Bliss Ice Cream
In my last post, I mentioned “Yours Truly” by Toffuti, and how it’s some of the greatest vegan ice cream known to mankind, I have to say that Coconut Bliss is pretty high up there on my list too. I really like this ice cream because not only is it absolutely delicious and comes in a wide variety of flavors, but the ingredients list is also pretty simple.

That means that when you eat this product, you’re not ingesting a bunch of crazy chemicals. It’s mainly just coconut and agave and whatever else is needed for the flavor itself. My favorite flavors are Chocolate Peanut Butter and Ginger Cookie Caramel, but you’d be safe buying any one of these flavors. I haven’t been disappointed yet!

 

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2. Field Roast Sausage Links
I’m just to go ahead and say that these right here are the best vegan sausages I have ever had. These are my go to 100% of the time now. As far as I know, they are only available in three flavors: Mexican Chipotle, Smoked Apple Sage and Italian.

My personal favorites are the Italian flavor and Mexican Chipotle, but Smoked Apple Sage is delicious as well. Field Roast as a brand is absolutely wonderful because I haven’t had one product I didn’t like. Their meats are so flavorful, I guarantee you won’t miss eating the real thing. I highly recommend any and all of their products, but especially the sausage!

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3. Amy’s California Veggie Burger
I mentioned in my last post that I have invested a lot of time in finding good veggie burgers. Today, I am proud to present to you another great veggie burger for your consideration. When I first bought these, I hadn’t heard anything about them either way. But after trying them, they quickly became one of my go-tos and favorites. What I love about these burgers is that they have a wonderful flavor on their own, but you can easily put any kind of toppings you want and it will be good. Anything you throw at these burgers will be great.

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4. Gardein Ch’kn Strips
Last, but certainly not least are the Gardein Ch’kn Strips, which is some of the best tasting fake chicken I have ever had in my life! This company had a very impressive range of mock meats, and their “chicken” is some of their best. I honestly don’t even know if I would know that this wasn’t real meat if nobody told me! I know many vegans now who have made this product a staple in their diet because of how remarkable it is. If you’re a huge fan of chicken and you miss the taste, look no further, because Gardein has got you covered.

So that concludes my post for this week! I hope you all enjoyed it and found some of these suggestions helpful. Also, please keep in mind that I’m suggesting all of these products because of personal experience, and you may find that you like other products better. That’s totally fine! This list is meant to be a guide if you are having trouble finding things you like, or you feel stuck in a rut. As always, if you have any questions, please feel free to ask!

Thank you all for reading.

(P.S. The top I am wearing in the first picture was made by Feminine Boutique’s own Marta! She is quite talented, and these tops are perfect for the summer. She wrote a post about her new business not long ago and I highly recommend checking her tops out.)

Stay Fabulous!

Vegan Eats Part II

Vegan Eats: Part 1

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Hey Guys!

Sticking to the vegan theme from my last blog post, I decided that I would start a short little series where I review/recommend the vegan foods that helped to make my transition easier. Now that I have been vegan for a few years, my diet consists of a mostly whole foods such as fruits, veggies, grains, nuts, legumes etc.

I don’t eat as much processed vegan food as I used to, but every now and then, I get a craving for something not so healthy. Also, I know that with the increasing availability of vegan food, sometimes it can be a bit overwhelming trying to figure out what replacement products are good. This mini-series is aimed to help with that! Without further adieu, here is the part of the list of my favorite vegan replacement/ junk food products.

YoursTrulyVanilla-2501. Yours Truly by Tofutti
Toffuti changed the vegan ice cream with this one. They have got your vegan back, my friend!! You might look at the packaging and think that this is nothing special, that they are just your average everyday ice cream cone. Let me tell you right now that if you are thinking this at all, you are dead wrong.

I don’t remember who picked these up for the house, but I do know that once I had one, my life was forever changed. I don’t think I could ever truly do this product any justice just by telling you how good it is. It’s one of those things that you just have to experience yourself. So, the next time you’re in the mood for a cruelty free ice cream, grab a box of these beauties. You’ll thank me later.

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2. Beyond Meat ‘The Beyond Burger”
Next up on the list is a newer product that deserves just as much praise. Veggie burgers have always been something I have loved, so I have dedicated a lot of time and energy to finding really good ones to recommend.

These burgers are hands down the most authentic tasting veggie burger I have ever tried. Even the way it cooks in the pan/ on the grill will confuse the crap out of you because it looks pretty damn real. The first time I ate one, I almost had a heart attack because I thought that I had somehow messed up and gotten real meat burgers. But I was wrong! There is no trace of an animal product anywhere near this guy, but it sure as hell tastes like there is. 10/10 Would recommend. Seriously. Go out and get a package now.

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3. Parmela Creamery Creamy Nut Cheeses
I know that I have raved about the other two products like they were the greatest things since sliced bread (which they are), and I’m about to do it again. My mind goes into a state of complete euphoria when I see this on the shelf. I won’t even be thinking about it, and then I see it, and all of a sudden nothing else matters.

This cheese is made out of cashews, but I swear you would never know that unless someone told you. I recommend this product to anyone who will listen, and so far, everyone who I have told about this product loves it. I love to eat it on crackers, but I am also totally okay with eating it straight out of the container. My only complaint about this cheese is that it doesn’t come in giant tubs. Parmela, you should make that happen. Sincerely, your favorite customer, Gianna.

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4. Uncle Eddies Vegan Cookies
And last, but most certainly NOT least are Uncle Eddies Vegan Cookies. These, my friends, need to become a staple of your junk food diet if they are not already. If you are a cookie addict who is having withdrawals because you haven’t found any decent vegan cookies, look no further. Uncle Eddie is here to save the day.

My personal favorites are the Chocolate Chip with Walnuts and the Oatmeal Chocolate Chip. Honestly guys, Uncle Eddies deserves a slow clap, standing ovation, encore, world tour, 16 Grammys and an Oscar for these cookies. I really don’t what else to say except that my life is that much better knowing that these cookies exist.

I hope this list gave you some ideas and maybe makes your transitioning a little easier. As always, please feel free to ask an questions that you may have regarding what I have written here, or veganism in general. I’m here to help, and I would love to clear anything up for you.

Stay Fabulous!!!

-Gianna

Vegan Eats: Part 1

Vegan Curry Recipe

Hello!

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Lately I have gotten lot of questions about what exactly I eat as a vegan, so for this post I am going to share with you one of my favorite dishes to make: curry. I’ve been making this dish for a little over a year and a half now, and it’s become staple in my diet. My family loves it and I enjoy making it. Now, a little disclaimer before I continue, I am not a professional chef or even a professional food blogger, so my methods for doing something may not be the “proper” way of doing it, but I think my instructions will get the job done. I also hardly ever measure anything when I cook, so the measurements provided below are more of a guideline to get you started rather than an exact measurement you must follow.

Without further adieu, here is my recipe for curry:

Ingredients
2 or 3 cans of Coconut Milk
Red Curry Paste (Or green, what ever you prefer)
1 can of Garbanzo Beans
Broccoli
Red Bell Pepper
2 to 3 medium sized carrots
4 to 5 medium sized Yukon potatoes
One medium sized red onion
Peas
Corn
1 cup of Basmati Rice
Coconut Sugar/Brown sugar
Curry powder
Cayenne Pepper
Sea Salt
Olive oil
Black sesame seeds (for garnish)

Preparation

  1. The first thing I always do when I make curry is prepare the potatoes. I chop them and put them in a pot with water and turn the stove on high heat. When the potatoes are finished, you’ll be able to tell because some of them will start to float to the top of the water. Stick a fork in one of them to make sure they are finished. Strain them and put them aside.red-curry-paste
  2. Next, I chop the rest of the vegetables. For the onion, I chop and use about half of it.
  3. When that is done, I start working on the curry itself. Put about a tbsp of curry powder in the pot with a lit bit of olive oil on a low heat. When you start to smell the curry, put in the coconut milk and turn the heat up to medium to high heat.
  4. Then add the coconut or brown sugar, cayenne pepper, salt, curry paste and onions. The curry should be a light reddish orange color and I personally like it more on the spicy side with a hint of sweetness. (Also, if you do decide to use coconut sugar, you’re going to have to use more of the sugar than you would if you used brown sugar)f6e5a20eced4e04dc8bd8d7066c8a441
  5. Once that is done, I put in the garbanzo beans, broccoli and carrots. I leave out the bell peppers for now because I don’t want them to overcook. Broccoli and carrots are tougher vegetables, so they won’t get soggy too quickly. Personally, I like for these vegetables to still have a crunch when the curry is done, so I turn the heat down to a medium to low heat, so they don’t overcook. Let that sit for a few minutes and stirring occasionally.
  6. Once that is done, add the potatoes, peas, corn and red bell pepper to your curry. Turn the heat down to simmer and let that sit while you prepare your rice. Stir occasionally.
  7. 073416402041-1Basmati rice is fairly simple to make. Start off by rinsing the rice until the water runs clear. This cleans off the starch and ensures that the rice won’t be sticky. However, if you want sticky rice, that’s fine. Fill pot with 1 3/4 of water and let that boil. Once it boils, put in the rice and stir. Let the water come back to a boil and once it does, turn the heat down as low as possible, cover and let it cook for 15 minutes. Fluff the rice with a fork once it’s done.
  8. Now you are ready to serve! I sometimes like to add black sesame seeds on my rice, but that’s completely optional.

 

There you have it! I love making this curry because it’s cheap, delicious, healthy and it lasts for a long time. Please feel free to ask any questions or ask me to clarify anything that confuses you. I hope you enjoy this as much as my family and I do.

Stay fabulous!

Vegan Curry Recipe

6 Tips for Your Curly Hair

Hello Everyone!

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In my last blog post I talked about how embracing my natural hair made me appreciate who I am as an individual. Building off of that idea, I figured that I would now tell you guys about some of the tips and tricks that I learned over the years which helped me learn to love my hair.

I didn’t really start getting into truly learning about what was good for my hair until about four years ago. When I first started my curly journey, I was using certain products that worked well, but that weren’t at all natural. As I learned more about the cosmetics industry, I decided that I no longer wanted use products that were laden with synthetic chemicals on my hair.

When I graduated high school, I moved out to LA for college, and I noticed that my hair changed. I grew up on the east coast, and the climate tend out there tends to be very humid. The humidity usually made my hair frizzy, as is the case with most curly-haired folks. The drier climate in LA made my hair a little softer and I liked the change. My hair needs changed a little, so I started to pay more attention to what worked for my hair and what didn’t.

Because of this, I slowly but surely I started to create a natural hair routine for myself. This routine of mine developed from a mix of trial and error, and watching Youtubers who described their own personal hair journeys. This list is just a sample of some of the things that I have learned work best for me over those years.

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1.Don’t Brush Your Hair!
This might sound weird at first, but what I like to do instead is finger comb my hair with coconut oil. That way, as I get the tangles out, I also can nourish and condition my hair. Plus, the coconut oil can help you get out the really tangled parts of your hair without causing too much damage. Once I get the big tangles out, I comb the rest of my hair out with a wide-tooth comb.

 

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2. Acure
Acure is one of my favorite cosmetics brand ever! They make wonderfully effective vegan and cruelty free products from natural and simple ingredients. I am also a huge fan of their skincare line, but I’ll talk about that a little later. For my hair, my favorite products to use are the Repairing Conditioner, Clarifying Shampoo and the Leave-In Conditioner.

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3. Shea Moisture
I absolutely love Shea Moisture. They make effective natural products that work so well for curly hair. Since I have discovered their products, I haven’t looked back. Seriously, if you have curly hair and you haven’t been using Shea Moisture, you need to fix that now. My personal favorites are the Coconut Hibiscus Curl Enhancing Smoothie, Raw Shea Butter Deep Treatment Masque and the Raw Shea Butter Restorative Conditioner. I use the Curl Enhancing Smoothie right after I wash my hair, and periodically through out the week to refresh my curls. The other two products I only use when my hair feels especially dry.

4. Coconut Oil
My mom has used coconut oil our hair since before I can even remember, but I have only just realized how amazing it truly it. Coconut oil is great for all hair types, not just curly hair and I highly recommend that you use coconut oil in your regular routine. It’s great for strengthening, and conditioning your hair. It also making styling my hair a lot easier.

 

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5. LOC Method
LOC stands for Leave-In, Oil, and Conditioner. I recently came across this and I have found that it keeps my hair shiny, and moisturized for longer. The idea behind this method is that you first hydrate your hair with the leave-in conditioner, then you seal in that moisture with the oil and then you close the hair cuticle with the conditioner. My favorite products to use are Acure’s Leave-In Conditioner, then coconut oil and lastly the Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie I mentioned earlier.

6. Wash With Conditioner
Shampoo is not as great for our hair as we have been taught, especially if you have curly hair like myself. Using shampoo too much can strip your hair of natural oils that are essential for healthy hair. I only use shampoo very sparingly, I usually just use it to clean my scalp and let the rest wash down my hair under the shower head, but I don’t work it through the body of my hair. I use conditioner to wash the rest of my hair and sometimes, I’ll put the deep treatment masque that I mentioned earlier and wash that out after I’ve let it sit for a while.

These are just a few of the tips that I have learned over the years, and I hope that you find them as helpful as I have. If you have any questions, or want me to elaborate, please feel free to let me know in the comments!

-Stay Fabulous

6 Tips for Your Curly Hair