Monday, November 29, 2010

CSN Stores Giveaway!! [CLOSED]

Ok, it is, the ultimate CSN Stores giveaway:

A $65 gift certificate to any of CSN's stores!!

These guys carry everything under the sun, from toys, to luggage, to furniture, like counter height stools! This is a perfect time to get your holiday gifts.  They've got an amazing cookware selection for all sorts of pots and pans, kitchen gadgets, and appliances you could ever want.

Look what great finds they've got:

Organic Baby Rattle

Go Green Glasslock container set
Blendtec Blenders!!!

...and tons more cool stuff.  You'll be stuck browsing CSN Stores for hours! I always am.

The rules to enter the giveaway:

Mandatory Entry: 
Leave a comment here telling me what your favorite (or least favorite) thing is about Winter.

Extra Entries:
1. Tweet about this giveaway and include @TanyaTheViolist 
2. Follow me on Twitter
3. "Like" my Facebook page and leave a nice comment there
4. Add me to your blogroll
5. Blog about this giveaway and leave a link
6. Follow me via Google Friend Connect
7. Go to my music website, find the audio clips and tell me which tune you liked the most!

Please leave a comment here for EACH entry and include your email address if it's not accessible via your profile. Open to the U.S. and Canada only. 

Deadline: Sunday, December 5th, 2010 at Noon CST.
Good Luck!

Eat smart,

Eating Tasty Things

So I ran into a slight glitch with my CSN Stores giveaway. Not to soon as it's fixed, I will let you know! Oh wait, I just got the email from it turns out, I will post the giveaway later this evening!!

And while I'm on the topic of giveaways, I will be having a Tasty Bite giveaway next month!

I recently won an awesome totebag and cookbook from Kathy over at Healthy.Happy.Life. blog!

And check it out....Kathy's got her own recipe in there!!

Thanks so much, Kathy!!

On to more stuff I've eaten in the past week or two:

Chocolate Banana Soft Serve with a cocao/agave sauce and crumbled brownies

Kidney Bean Chili

Chocolate Zucchini Bread (absolutely amazing!!)
(used soymilk instead of coconut, 1/3 cup oil, 1 1/2 cups sugar & whole wheat flour)

Roasted Veggies with Tomato Sauce

Green Smoothie for 2 (see below)

Brownie topped with Purely Decadent Ice Cream

Green Smoothie for 2:

1 1/2 cups cold, filtered water
1 apple
1 carrot
3-4 large kale leaves
2 stalks celery

Blend in a high speed blender. Has just a hint of bitterness (from the kale).

Coming up: A CSN Stores giveaway, a Tasty Bite giveaway and my Kale and Carrot Salad recipe!

Eat smart,

Friday, November 26, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010

Hope those of you that celebrate Thanksgiving had a nice day yesterday (and those of you that don't celebrate too)!  It was a busy day for me, but I still got time in to do some walking.

So here's the lowdown on our Vegan Thanksgiving table:

A trio of appetizer dips/sauces (arugula pesto, butternut squash dip, & lemon cashew cheese):

Tofurky Roast and gravy (we saved the dumplings for another time, and alas, no Amy's Chocolate Cake or coupons in the box, apparently I got an older box):

Field Roast Cranberry Hazelnut Roast

Roasted Root Vegetables (around the Field Roast):


Cranberry Bread:

Whole Wheat Herb Biscuits:

Kale and Carrot Salad:

Pumpkin Pie:

Pumpkin Gingerbread with Spiced Buttercream:

And of course tart cranberry sauce! Our friends brought some extra cranberry sauce, fruit salad, beer, wine, and some non-dairy ice cream :)

My recipe sources:

Lemon Cashew Cheese (scroll down to download the pdf of all recipes, it's on pg. 4)
Pumpkin Gingerbread (I used all whole wheat flour & unsulphured molasses, also had to do the icing in a food processor  and then put it in the fridge to firm up)
Cranberry Orange Sauce
Kale & Carrot Salad (coming soon!)
Pumpkin Pie (I used a pre-bought crust I had leftover)
Stuffing (my mom's recipe...veganized)
Cranberry Bread (I used whole wheat flour and cut down the sugar a bit, used canola oil instead of shortening and used EnerG egg replacer instead of egg)
Herbed Whole Wheat Drop Biscuits (from "Vegan Brunch", used canola oil instead of shortening, was a bit salty)
Roasted Root Vegetables (from "Local Bounty")

So there you have it. Another year, another Thanksgiving!
We had a couple of friends over to share all the food and we had a good time :)

Yesterday it was 80, today it's 50.  The wind is so cold.....

Another CSN Stores giveaway coming soon!

Eat smart,

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Quick Pre-Thanksgiving post

Just a quick post to wish you all a happy Thanksgiving! And I will get back to the blog afterwards, with lots of pictures of our Vegan Thanksgiving.....

Our  meal will include a Tofurky (it's tradition at this point), the new Hazelnut Cranberry Roast from Field Roast, some roasted root vegetables, stuffing, cranberry bread, cranberry sauce, fresh whole wheat bread, and some appetizers and desserts I'll share with you after the holiday.

Have a good one!
Eat smart,

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

My CSN product review: Zojirushi's Mr. Bento

So when CSN contacted me a few weeks ago about doing either a review or giveaway, I thought I'd do a review this time, since I'd already done a couple of giveaways.  I always drool when I go to their cookware site, because I pretty much want everything there. But I found this cool "lunchbox" type container made by Zojirushi. And since I already own a Zo rice cooker and bread machine and LOVE them both, I thought I'd try this thing out!

Zojirushi's Mr. Bento Stainless Lunch Jar:

(photo from 

We often have to take food to work with us and this looked like the perfect thing to use, especially with the bag that comes with it. It has both a handle and a shoulder strap.  It's very Japanese, in that the containers are all quite small, but we were able to fit my food into the large container and S's into two of the smaller containers. And of course, our dessert fit into the tiniest container! 

All of the containers stack perfectly one on top of the other and are BPA-free (yes, I emailed Zojirushi directly to ask). They are also microwaveable, although I don't usually have access to a microwave at work, so I haven't tested that out.  The bottom two containers are supposed to keep your food either hot or cold (but not both).  My potato salad was still quite cold by the time I ate it, around 3 1/2 hours later. The bottom container is supposed to be for soup, but I just put more potato salad in it.  We don't eat a ton for lunch, but I suppose this would be better suited for one person. Maybe down the line I'll get another!  I was able to put a little apple on top of the whole container in the bag and close it up.  It also comes with a spork (not plastic!). I just added another fork of my own, as there's still room around the edges of the container inside the bag.  And all around the bag, on the outside, there's a pocket (though you can't close the pocket). I put a bunch of little salt packets in there (S loves salt).  You can pack some napkins in there too. And the containers were super easy to clean by hand. They are NOT dishwasher safe.

So I love this thing! But I think maybe I need my own :)  Well we do have another lunchbag we can use, if we need more space, I suppose.  Zojirushi is an awesome brand and they offer a few other kinds of these lunchboxes. So go check out CSN's cookware site, as they have them all.  And ordering there is really easy too. Lots of their items come with free shipping and it's very fast!  Go get your Mr. Bento :)


Hurry up, there's still time to enter Bitt's Emmy's Organics giveaway, but it ends today!

Coming up: Chocolaty Baked goods

Eat smart,

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Tasty Stuff

Last week we got a HUGE amount of produce at the market: lettuce, mixed greens, radishes, turnips, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, shiitakes, kale, swiss chard, satsumas, sprouts, mustard greens, broccoli, green beans, and cucumbers.

I sort of made Robin Robertson's Fusili with Potatoes, Green Beans, and Lemon Basil Creme from her cookbook, "Vegan On the Cheap". I made noodles...udon noodles.  I left out the potatoes. I left out the oil & used almond milk instead of soy. Basically, I made her sauce and spooned it over the udon noodles with steamed vegetables (yellow squash, zucchini, & carrots). Then I had leftover sauce spooned over a baked potato with steamed veggies. Both were delicious! I'll definitely make this one again.

The other night, we had a friend over and I needed something quick for a starter, while I finished cooking my main meal. I found a recipe for Sun-Dried Tomato Hummus in "Ani's Raw Food Kitchen."  I thought I had sun-dried tomatoes.....I KNOW I have them.  I couldn't find them. Oh well, it's basically made from zucchini, which I DID have.  So I made the recipe, and just left out the tomatoes.  It was pretty good....perhaps a bit too much tahini for my taste. Next time I won't put in as much, and will add maybe a bit more salt or lemon juice.

Then for the main meal I made two parts: my mix 'n mashed potatoes and one of my Indian dishes. You can find them on my recipes page.
(the curry is in the front, the potatoes in the back)

BROWNIES! I've been craving something sweet and chocolate for a while now. I hadn't baked anything in a while, so I finally made some brownies the other night.  Found a recipe in Alicia Silverstone's "The Kind Diet" for Coffee Fudge Brownies.  They're excellent! And I just happened to have some decaf coffee from the morning, still around. How convenient :)

I used whole wheat flour only and used raw cane sugar (1 1/4 cups).  I did add oil (what??). I mean, the recipe called for oil and I used some, but not all. I usually leave out the oil entirely. I also left out the nuts & glaze. Didn't really need the extra calories on top of the brownies themselves. The brownies were very cake-like. So if you like dense brownies, these are not for you. They are delicious though!

Remember when I went to NYC and brought back Murray's whole wheat everything bagels??? I finally pulled one out of the freezer the other day and smothered it with Tofutti Cream Cheese.  The fine folks over at Tofutti sent me some coupons for free products so I thought I'd pick up some of their cream cheese and sour cream.  They both use NON-HYDROGENATED oil! I don't use these products all that often, but for once in a while use, like my 'once every couple of weeks'  bagel n' cream cheese, it's really delicious!
(my half bagel with Tofutti Cream Cheese)

And for the sour cream, I made my Sour Cream Dip! So good!

Coming up: My CSN Store item review. It's a very cool item!
If you missed it, check out my own recipe for Vegan Queso.

What are your thoughts and experiences with these stores? Which are your favorites? (I've only shopped at Pangea & Cosmo's so far)

Pangea Vegan Store
Cosmo's Vegan Shoppe
Vegan Essentials

Eat smart,

Monday, November 1, 2010

Happy World Vegan Day!!! (and some vegan queso)

I'm sure you've all heard of Nacho Mom's Vegan Queso by now.  It's amazing stuff. I just can't tell you how much I love it.  And since it's not yet available down here in stores, I had to come up with my own recipe temporarily. Don't worry, it certainly doesn't replace that delicious thick sauce in the jar. But I think it's pretty darn good :) Anyway, I'll get to that later....

This week's market produce: cucumbers, sweet potatoes, bay leaves, kale, zucchini, yellow squash, green onions, satsumas, turnips, spinach, green beans, mixed greens, and cremini mushrooms.

Made some eggplant caponata today with eggplant my friends, Yuki & Doug, gave us. Served it over leftover brown rice with some Parma Zaan (love the stuff) sprinkled on top! Yum.

And here it is, my little recipe for Cheeezy Sauce (new and improved):

2/3 cup nutritional yeast
1/2 cup whole wheat flour 
1/2 large tomato, chopped
2 TB dried jalapenos (1 TB if you only want it slightly spicy)
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp Creole Seasoning
2 1/2 cups water
1/2 tsp Tomato Powder (optional, but gives a good flavor and added color)
salt to taste

Mix the dry ingredients in a small pot (except the salt & jalapenos).  Add 1 cup water and whisk well so there are no lumps.  Turn heat on medium-low.  Slowly whisk in the rest of the water.  It will take a little while for the mixture to start slowly boiling.  When it thickens some, stir in the tomatoes and jalapenos and continue to stir for another few minutes. When it reaches your desired thickness, it's done. Now add in your salt to taste!  *mixture will thicken overnight in the refrigerator, so it will be even thicker the next day.(PS-it's quite spicy. Halve the jalapenos or leave them out entirely if you don't do spicy.) The key is almost constant stirring, so there are no lumps. Start with a whisk and after adding the tomatoes, use a spoon and make sure to scrape the sides and bottom of the pot as you stir.

I hope you enjoy it.....I did.  It's not Nacho Mom's, but it's tasty nonetheless.

Just returned from tasting several Belgian beers....I do love a good sour ale.

Eat smart,


Vegetarian Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog Directory