60 Must-Read Health and Fitness Blogs for 2012

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Great Coffee Date

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Made with love at Cafe for Contemporary Arts, North Vancouver. Photo by Suzanne

Yesterday my daughter took me for a beautiful coffee date. This is the designs made with creamy almond milk poured beautifully into organic fair trade coffee. This was an awesome coffee date and one of the better coffees that I have had in a long time – filled with love. Cafe of Contemporary Arts in North Vancouver.  They offer good vegan food and an interesting interior complete with paper for drawing upon should you feel the urge plus wi-fi and awesome location.

Photos by Suzanne

Decadent Warm Fig Delight

Recipe, Design and Photo by Suzanne

This is an amazing delicious dessert perfect for cold winter nights after dinner. In this recipe I put everything into a beautiful earthen bowl and warmed in the oven. To the bowl I put chunks of vegan chocolate cake and broken pieces of vegan muffins in the bowl. I added chopped figs, slivered almonds, crushed walnuts, coconut flakes, chia seeds, dark chocolate pieces, goji berry, a dab of coconut oil. I mixed together Almond Coconut Milk with a dash of Vanilla Almond Milk and I mixed in some Cacao then poured it over the cake seeds mixture and popped into a warm / hot oven to heat up and slightly bake. Careful when removing from the oven as the bowls will be hot to touch. Top with freshly chopped fig and serve hot to warm. Oh man this was goooooooooooood. The chocolate pieces melted into the cakes and milk – so decadent. Delicious. Some variations / alternatives could be: you could use Coconut Milk from tin or Coconut Cream; perhaps a cap of liquor (not for the kids though) that you enjoy dripped on top. Knock it out of the park with anything you want to add and wow your family and friends with an incredible heart warming dessert or treat.

D-Licious Soup

Recipe, Design and Photo by Suzanne

Its getting cold around here and soups come back onto the menu for warm comfy food to warm the body from the inside. This soup was born of a previous Potato Leek Soup. I made the broth from a base of the Potato Leek Soup and dropped into the saucepan chunks of onions, a variety of dried beans, legumes, quinoa, celery coarsely chopped, baby tomato’s chopped added some water stirred and tempted into a slow easy bubbling broth with all the yummy fillings. Stir in a Tbsp. Miso and give the broth a shot of red wine to flavor. Bubble Bubble Toil and Trouble. Leave it alone apart from a few loving stirs with a wooden spoon.

When ready – serve piping hot in a beautiful bowl top with Nutritional Yeast and lots of freshly chopping quality garlic. I added some freshly chopped shallots to this one too Serve in a warm bowl is a very nice added feature – there is nothing worse than serving soup in a cold bowl – that’s a pet peeve of mine. I always pop the bowls on the stove as the soup is building it start warming of them.

We all said ” it’s so D-Licious”. So D-Licious is my name for this soup. No two soups taste alike this is important and why I like to make soups from scratch or bend recipes.

Have fun play with your recipe and make your soup with attention and love in mind – I believe the soup is a reflection of the maker. A little goes a long way.

Serve with some corn chips or really good bread toasted.

Make a big pot and perhaps freeze some for a later time like when you arrive home from a tropical holiday have some that you can quickly pull out from the fridge – ah we’re home!

P.F. Chang’s – Waikiki – Good For Vegetarians/Vegans

Vegetarian Lettuce Wrap

Below is a small sample from their menu. We like it here as it offers good selection for Vegans with the staff very helpful in a great location offering open tiki torch deck and plenty of room inside with a huge upstairs. It is very busy however it doesn’t take long, especially for small groups e.g. couples, three or four in your group. We had to wait for maybe 10 minutes and that was fine – good people watching  🙂 or enjoying a drink from the bar … Warm welcoming place accommodating those with different food interests. Not full Vegan or Vegetarian. This is one of the few places we found that caters for Vegans/Vegetarians with more than just hummus and chips or avocado. We have enjoyed the Buddha Feast, the Mushroom Combo, Asparagus small plates along with the Tofu Lettuce Wrap.

vegetarian MA PO TOFU
Sichuan’s famous dish of crispy silken tofu in a vegetarian sauce with steamed broccoli 11.5

vegetarian BUDDHA’S FEAST
Vegetable medley with five-spice tofu served steamed or stir-fried 9.95

vegetarian COCONUT CURRY VEGETABLES
Stir-fried mixed vegetables, crispy silken tofu and peanuts in a vegetarian coconut curry sauce 10.95

vegetarian spicy STIR-FRIED EGGPLANT
Tossed with scallions in a savory chili pepper sauce 10.95

vegetarian spicy VEGETABLE CHOW FUN
Soft, wide rice noodles and vegetables in a vegetarian sauce 11.5

vegetarian VEGETARIAN FRIED RICE
Our fried rice in a savory vegetarian sauce 12.5

Spicy and Vegetarian Legend View our Nutritional Information
All entrees are served with a choice of steamed brown or white rice.

If you have a food allergy or special dietary restrictions, please notify a manager or chef and we will try to accommodate you.

Hawaii (Waikiki)Traveler Vegan Food Finds from Ruffage Natural Foods and Alaska Airlines

We flew to Hawaii on Alaska Airlines and we noted last time that they offer a Vegan/Vegetarian Pack which is pretty good and includes these yummy olives, hummus pack, corn chips, dark chocolate piece in a 100% recycled cardboard box pack. For a short flight this works well and costs $6 paid by CC (no cash). NOTE: Alaska Airlines does separate waste in flight for recycling and I found out they gathered enough last year for 3 more jets or plenty of upgrades which they appear to be always doing – so that’s kinda cool and a two thumbs up for their initiatives in this area.

Ruffage Natural Foods in Waikiki area offers good options for Vegans/Vegetarians – here is the Acai Banana Bowl we had for breakfast with Acai, Blueberries, Banana and Granola – we took out the honey but that is usually on this item.  Cost $6.99 for small (picture shows the small) and $8.99 for large and could share.

Pictured above is the Super Antioxidant Smoothy which was Banana, Papaya, Acai, Goji, Pomegranate, Noni and Mangosteen. It’s pretty good. We also had the Organic Peanut Butter with Banana Smoothy which is excellent for a good protein starter of the day.  Cost $5.99 and could share.

Tofu Scrambler with Toast from Ruffage which had Earth Balance Butter. Note the toast is nothing special no grains just a plain brown bread but it did the trick and we don’t eat much bread so that was different and wished they offered better bread but hey travel as Vegan is often an interesting challenge. Cost $8.99 and could share.

Ruffage sells the Kombucha Drinks with a good selection – I tried this one for the first time the Grape and Chia Kombucha – its AWESOME!

Ruffage Natural Foods offers what the Vegan / Vegetarian traveler wants. You can expect the food to be pretty good for the most part however the customer service experience is lacking from the owner and her staff. Don’t expect a big smile and warm welcome with conversation.  To be honest we have been there enough to know that we only only certain items and have low expectations from a customer service experience. They offer a health food store style with vitamins and bags of nuts, chips, assortment of drinks, chocolates, etc.  This not exclusive Vegan so know that animal products are on the menu which could pose a challenge to some.

I recommend the Smoothies, The Tofu Scramble, The Veggie Burrito and that’s about it.

All in all Hawaii can be difficult if you want more than fruit and basic salads for Vegan travelers so you do have to make some efforts to look around and ask questions (the shops offering smoothies or acai bowls are made with yogurts so DO ASK QUESTIONS) or go to the supermarket which we do and get some items that suit you. Restaurants are big on seafood and meats. Perhaps changes are slowly coming so look for it, ask for it and give feedback for it.

We didn’t starve nor did we spend alot of cash on food. We were wanting to eat well on a budget and we did with some effort and work it was all good and of course mainly we were there for beach sun fun and the food was secondary but still important.

Always have fun and make the experience a good one.

All photos by Suzanne expect for the image below which is a postcard I found.

Everybody Say “Vegan Nacho’s”

Vegan Nacho’s – Recipe, Design and Photo by Suzanne

Ok, everyone loves Nacho’s. Vegan Nacho’s are so easy to make everyone loves them.  Here is my very easy and ever so yummy Vegan Nachos.

Turn oven on to bake or broil at 400 degrees. Take some really good quality tortilla chips pop them into a pan or bowl that is oven safe.

Cover tortilla chips with vegan cheese of choice, in my case we use Daiya Cheese and its delicious melts beautifully and a serious winner on the vegan cheese front.

Melting the cheese means watching the oven as this will burn easily so STAND BY THE OVEN AND CHECK OR PUT TIMER ON FOR SMALL 5 MINUTE INTERVALS but please DON’T WALK AWAY FROM THIS.

Daiya Cheese can be frozen so if we see it on sale we buy it freeze it for such moments as friends popping in or hungry kids after school. This is a great item to have on hand in your vegan kitchen.

Once melted to my hearts content I will usually add some sprinkles of nutritional yeast and some fresh salsa plus avocado to make fresh yummy treat that wins hearts makes friends perfect treat for kids great for parties.

You can add finely chopped green onions or beans of course. Make the experience fun and the outcome delicious with this easy to Vegan Nacho idea.

You can make big plates of this filled with beans, avocado, tortilla and cheese or small individual ones – flexible recipe is a good recipe.

Takes 5 minutes to prepare, 10 to melt, 5 to eat, 1 to say “hmmmmmmmmm”, 6 to say “is there more” 🙂 and off you go again 🙂

Always – have fun and make it a great day.

Everybody say “Vegan Nachos” 🙂