Happy Herbivore Blog

Celestial Seasonings Winner

Posted by: Lindsay S. Nixon |

I pick all my winners randomly -- but if I went on comments alone, I would have had to pick Victoria L. who left this comment: "I toured the factory for my honeymoon! Top that..."

She's right! You just can't top that! However, random.org is a little more impartial than me (which is why I use it!)

Congrats to Michelle of The Vegan Kitchen! 

Thanks to everyone who participated! I'll try to host another contest again soon. If you want to double your chances in future contests or just have a head start on knowing what and when they'll be -- sign up for the Happy Herbivore Newsletter! Thanks!

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A little trivia about me: I don't like taking medicine. It's not because I don't like the taste or I have difficulty swallowing pills, it's bigger than that. I have always felt that my immune system is cheapened, if not weakened, anytime I take something. I'm sure if my life depended on it or I was so sick or in so much pain that it was unbareable, I'd take something, but so far I haven't found that limit. 

Of course, I hate having a cold and flu symptoms as much as the next person (though I've found since going vegan I get sick much less than my peers and when I am sick, recover more quickly) but I choose to 'medicate' naturally with rest, fresh fruits and vegetables and teas, particularly blends with Echinacea. 

I was first turned on to Celestial Seasonings when I lived in Boston and wanted something to keep me warm that wasn't as stimulating as coffee. I quickly fell in love with their herbal fruit teas and stocked our apartment with every flavor they offered. I've even made oatmeal with tea. (It's really good!)

If you follow me on twitter, you might remember my tweets this winter on how I was desperate to get my hands on Celestial Seasonings Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride seasonal tea. (A twitter friend ended up mailing me a box all the way from Florida! <3) 

Not too long later, Celestial Seasonings asked if they could send me some of their teas to try. They ended up sending me some of their wellness teas since its cold season. I graciously accepted (I swear by wellness teas!) and have been busy sampling these teas all week. I'm really loving the new vanilla sleepytime tea and I find their decaf green tea is great when served as an iced tea with lemon slices and a bit of stevia.

Whole Wheat Vegan Irish Soda Bread

Posted by: Lindsay S. Nixon |

Category: Recipe

Just in time for St. Patty's Day! Traditional Irish soda bread is made with just four ingredients: flour, buttermilk, salt and baking soda. Since buttermilk is easily made vegan by combining 1 tsp lemon juice or apple cider vinegar to every 1 cup of non-dairy milk, I thought this would be an easy recipe to veganize and I was right!

I added a little raw sugar and raisins for my own personal preference but you can omit them or add caraway seeds if you like. You can also add more sugar for a sweeter bread or an Irish soda bread-cake. You won't believe how easy this recipe is! Now if I can just think up a way to make vegan corned beef...


Recipe:Irish Soda Bread

Description

A whole wheat vegan version of the Irish comfort food! Perfect for spreading jam or dipping into coffee or tea. Lemon juice may be substituted for the apple cider vinegar. You can also increase the sugar to 4 tbsp for a sweeter bread.

Ingredients

Instructions

Combine the apple cider vinegar with non-dairy milk and set aside for at least 5 minutes. Grab a really big mixing bowl (the biggest you have) and add the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt and raisins. Whisk until it's evenly combined and well incorporated. Whisk the non-dairy milk mixture a few times until it's light yellow and curdled. Slowly pour non-dairy milk mixture into the flour, stirring as you go with a wooden spoon until it's wet and dough-like. You may not use all of the liquid.  Knead the dough once or twice to shape it into a ball but be careful not to over knead or it will be tough. Place dough on a greased cookie sheet or a greased cast-iron skillet (how the Irish do it). Using a serrated knife to make an "X". Bake 30 to 45 minutes @ 425F, until it's golden and cooked thoroughly. Check by pushing a long, wooden skewer or thin chopstick into the center. If it comes out clean, it's done. Also add an aluminum foil tent over top after 20-25 minutes if the top is burning or getting too dark.  

Happy Herbivore meets Emeril Lagasse

Posted by: Lindsay S. Nixon |

Category: News

Even though Emeril is on team meat he is still one of my idols -- someone I aspire to be, or to be like. I have always adored him (I even own all his cookware!), and now I may even love the man. Here's the story:

Earlier this week my friend Briana called saying she had an extra ticket to a taping of Emeril Lagasse's new show. Briana is a chef at one of Tom Colicchio's restaurants and she's always getting to go to these neat food events.

Anyway, when we arrived at his studio Briana told me Jennie Garth was also going to be on the show. I was a devout 90210 fan when it originally aired and am not embarassed to admit I watch the new version, too -- I was thrilled. A few minutes later we passed the sound room and noticed Lonestar was setting up on one of the monitors!!

I'm not a country gal by any means, but "I'm Already There" is easily in my top 25. (It got me through a rough patch when my then-boyfriend was stationed overseas). I was feeling giddy, but trying to keep it together.

An hour later we're finally in the studio (in the back row, but I'm not complaining), the bands are playing and we were getting ready to start the show when suddenly... the producer grabs me and Briana and says "come with me!"

I thought we were in trouble!! Two seconds later I'm sitting in Emeril's "kitchen" As in -- Briana, at any time, could reach over and touch the stove top. We were literally bumping elbows with Emeril.

Sure, that's exciting... but panic hit me immediately when I realized there was a table in front of us. Oh, god. What if he tries to feed me something?! He didn't, thankfully.

The theme of the show was Down Home cookin' (hense Lonestar's guest appearance) but in additional to baby back ribs (ick!) he made not one but TWO vegetarian dishes! He talked about how important it was to eat your veggies AND he used whole wheat pasta in one of them -- I was so excited and proud I could hardly contain myself.

Then (just when I was sure it couldn't get better) Emeril started plugging the importance of a low fat diet and how his dishes were both very low in fat and that he couldn't believe how hard it was to cook without fat (okay Emeril, are you talking to me directly?). Briana squeezed my hand so I knew she was flipping out too.

In between cuts Emeril came over to say hello. He is so cute and adorable -- and nice. He kept winking and me and smiling at Briana throughout the entire show (I'm beginning to realize why we were put down there!) and Jennie was nice, too.

Lonestar was clear across the room, but still within 20 feet... I've never been so close to a band before and it was exciting... I'm pretty sure the keyboardist had a thing for Briana because he kept looking over and winking at her. Briana insists Cody Collins (the lead singer) was looking at me, but I'm more inclined to believe he was looking at the camera near me.

The show won't air until May, but I'll keep you informed -- they got Briana and I a few times during the taping. I also want to veganize all his recipes (ribs, roasted bell pepper mac n' cheese, vegetable pot pie & banana pudding) in time for the show's airdate, too! His new show airs April 18 on ION (formerly PAX).