Hey Gluten-Free: WIN a LIFETIME SUBSCRIPTION

I have emerged from my winter hibernation to share something with you that is coming this spring and that I’m super excited about! Hey Gluten-Free is a brand new subscription that will deliver a box of delicious and healthy gluten-free treats right to your door each month! What I love most about this new service is that Hey Gluten-Free promotes small businesses by advertising their products in their boxes. I cannot wait to receive a box of surprise goodies that are completely gluten-free certified, non-GMO, low/no sugar and low in sodium. Being able to sample a whole bunch of gf products so you’ll know which ones you actually want to buy a larger quantity of is AMAZING and oh so friendly to your wallet. How disappointing is it to find a new product, buy a big ole bag of it, and then realize that it’s only “meh”? Stop that cycle and sign-up for Hey Gluten-Free!!!
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I don’t know when the official launch date is but you can sign up HERE to be notified of the launch date and also for a chance to WIN a free lifetime subscription! How crazy amazing is that? Clearly I’ve already signed up…a lifetime of free goodies delivered right to my door? YES PLEASE!!! So like I said, SIGN UP HERE!!!
In other news…look how cute my pup is! I’ll post again soon with pictures of our newest family addition. Have I mentioned that we got another pup? I can’t remember…but we did!!! Pictures soon 🙂
Wayne
xoxo Erin
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BLUSHBABY SMOOTHIE- Vegan, Grain-Free & Refined Sugar-Free

Ever wanted something that tasted like a dessert but was filled with veggies?

Blushbaby SmoothieWell you’re in luck because Leanne Vogel’s newest cookbook Vibrant Life Cleanse Program & Cookbook (that I introduced the other day) is filled with juice and smoothie recipes that are absolutely delicious. There’s even an entire chapter in the book dedicated to dessert smoothies. Now that’s my kind of chapter! I’m honestly drooling just thinking about all the recipes I cannot wait to try!

Leanne was kind enough to let me share a recipe with you. This recipe is fantastic because it’s a smoothie made with fresh juice. A bit more labour intensive than just a smoothie or just a juice, but the flavour is unbelievable. It’s definitely worth the extra effort. I would suggest making a double serving when you make this. Believe me, you won’t regret it.

Blushbaby Smoothie

Shared with permission of Leanne Vogel. 

Serves 1 (Makes 500ml)

Ingredients:

1 orange, juiced

4 carrots, juiced

1 golden beet, juiced

8 frozen mango chunks

6 strawberries

3 ice cubes

Directions:

Juice the orange, carrots and golden beet.

Pour the juice into the jug of your high-powered blender, followed by remaining ingredients in the order they are listed.

Blend on high for 1 minute, or until smooth.

Transfer to a glass and serve immediately.

To store: pour into a glass container and keep in the fridge for 1-2 days. Alternatively, pour into a plastic container and freeze for up to 1 month.

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Grab your copy of the cookbook here and after you do, immediately flip to the dessert smoothie chapter!!! Just do it.

xoxo Erin

Vibrant Life Cleanse Program & Cookbook!!!

Feeling sluggish? Lost your mojo?

Before you officially cancel today and crawl back into bed, I have just the thing: My pal, Leanne just launched her new book, Vibrant Life Cleanse Program & Cookbook.

Cover

I’ve posted about Leanne’s magnificent work before and you can check out my posts about her other two cookbooks here and here. Leanne is not just a cookbook author, she is also a holistic nutritionist and the mastermind behind Healthful Pursuit. She has dedicated her career to creating delicious recipes that are healthy, nourishing and allergy friendly . That’s right, all of her recipes are gluten and dairy-free. She’s also got a tone of recipes that are vegan and a tone that are grain-free.

But this cookbook is different. And special. This cookbook is focused on juices, smoothies and cleansing. I rarely follow cleansing programs when I come across them because I find that they are usually too strict for my liking. I like choice. I don’t like being told what I can or cannot have. Vibrant Life Cleanse Program & Cookbook is different though. This book has over 55 juice and smoothie recipes that are all vegan and gluten-free and it has cleanse programs that let you decide what smoothie or juice you’re going to enjoy. That’s right, Leanne has organized her smoothies and juices into categories and the cleanse programs are based off of the categories, not specific recipes. But not to worry, if you are someone who prefers cleanses to be created fool-proof with grocery lists and all, her cookbook also has some of those too!

Sample Cleanse

Like all of Leanne’s cookbooks, Vibrant Life Cleanse Program & Cookbook is filled with beautiful, mouthwatering photographs. I honestly did not know it was possible to make smoothies and juices look like Leanne does. Healthy food porn at it’s finest, no joke.

Inside-The-Book

So, what are you waiting for? Grab your copy HERE! And stay tuned because later this week I’ll be sharing a smoothie and a juice recipe from the book 🙂

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xoxo Erin

Note: I am an affiliate of Vibrant Life Cleanse Program & Cookbook and receive a percentage of the sales that are generated from this blog. I would NOT have agreed to be an affiliate though if I did not 100% believe that this cookbook is high quality and worth every penny 🙂

PROJECT LIGHT & LEAN: Muffin & Bread Chapter (Fruity Muffins)

I’ve been procrastinating to write this post because I’m missing a photo of one of the muffin recipes. And not just any muffin recipe, my favourite muffin from the entire chapter! In hindsight this happened because I loved the muffins so much that I ate them all without realizing I hadn’t taken a picture of them yet. I held off writing this post because I intended to make another batch of the muffins this weekend so I could get a photo but I couldn’t find cranberries at the store. Since cranberries are what make the muffins so amazing I decided to hold off on making them again until I had cranberries. Okay, that’s enough excuses for one post. Here are my thoughts on the final three muffin recipes in the Muffin & Bread Chapter in Happy Herbivore Light & Lean.

Like I said in my last review of Happy Herbivore Light & Lean muffins, for all of the recipes reviewed today I used the gluten-free mix that is in the cookbook. Any gluten-free all purpose flour will work though as long as it has xanthan gum or guar gum in it. If your mix does not have either of these just add 1 tsp for every cup of flour you use.

Single Serving Blueberry Muffin, page 50

Single Serving Blueberry Muffin

These muffins were good but I had to cook them for 10 minutes more than the bake time listed. This extra cooking time was a little frustrating because having the oven on for 30 minutes to bake two muffins (I doubled the recipe) felt like a waste of electricity. Even though I love the idea of single serving baking recipes, I prefer when these recipes cook in 15-20 minutes. Regardless of the baking time, these muffins were yummy and had a nice traditional muffin texture. My fiance also liked the muffin and gobbled it up. I probably wouldn’t make this recipe again though. When I crave blueberry muffins I’d opt for either my own recipe or for the Blueberry Yogurt recipe that I’m also reviewing in this post.

Ruby Chocolate Muffins, page 41

These muffins were the best. I loved everything about them. Like I already said, I liked them so much that they were all eaten before I realized I had yet to take a photo, whoops! Anyway, the best part of these muffins was the fresh cranberries that just popped with tart deliciousness when you bite into them. The tartness of the cranberries contrasted perfectly with the sweet chocolatey muffin goodness that surrounded the cranberries. I may or may not be drooling a little as I’m remember eating these muffins. My fiance also liked these muffins, however, I don’t think he loved them as much as I did.

Blueberry Yogurt Muffins, page 48

Blueberry Yogurt Muffins

I started to make these muffins before I checked to see if I had all of the ingredients, so I had to leave out the lemon zest. This was probably a bad idea. I think the lemon zest would have added that extra special flavour that would have sent these muffins over the top. Regardless of my missing ingredient, these muffins had a perfect texture. They were soft and fluffy yet heavy and filling. I also had to bake these muffins for an extra 10 minutes past the recommended baking time but this didn’t bother me since I got 12 muffins out of that 30 minutes of baking. My fiance liked these muffins but did comment that they would have been better if their tops had been more crunchy.

And that does it for the Muffin & Bread chapter. Next is Sandwiches, Tacos & More!

xoxo Erin

Previous Project Light & Lean Review:

         Scones

PROJECT LIGHT & LEAN: Muffins & Breads Chapter (Decadent Muffins)

Decadent might be a bit misleading of a label. I didn’t know what else to call this group of muffins and decadent was the only word that came to mind. In the context of a cookbook that is focused on low-calorie plant-based recipes, I use decadent to describe chocolate or peanut butter. Like I said in my last review of Happy Herbivore Light & Lean muffins, for all of the recipes reviewed today I used the gluten-free mix that is in the cookbook. Any gluten-free all purpose flour will work though as long as it has xanthan gum or guar gum in it. If your mix does not have either of these just add 1 tsp for every cup of flour you use.

Chocolate Chip Muffins, page 44

Chocolate Chip Muffin

 

This was my least favourite muffin recipe. I made them to be a part of our Christmas morning breakfast and unfortunately there were plenty leftover after the breakfast. I think the name of these muffins is a bit misleading because they definitely taste like banana chocolate chip muffins. This is important for me to mention because I know some individuals who have a strong aversion to banana anything so these muffins definitely come with a warning that they taste strongly like banana. I love banana, but appreciate that not everyone does. I also found these muffins to be very dry and dense. I’m not sure if this is a result of making the muffins with gluten-free flour instead of the white whole wheat flour the recipe calls for. These also stuck significantly  to the paper liners I used, so that wasn’t overly fun. My fiance did try one and said it was dry. I tried to make him eat the last two that I didn’t want but he didn’t want them either. Basically , finishing off these muffins felt like a chore and I may or may not have thrown out the last one or two because I just couldn’t do it. I’d love to hear others feedback about this recipe because I can’t help but wonder if I messed up the recipe somehow and that’s why they were so dry and dense. If you’ve made these, let me know your thoughts!

“Cheater” Peanut Butter Muffins, page 43

Cheater Peanut Butter Muffins

These muffins were okay. I found the texture to be a bit gummy and I think this may have been because the recipe called for 1 apple. With the apple you chop it and set aside 1 cup chopped and put the rest in the food processor with the other wet ingredients. I must have used an apple that was larger than it was supposed to be and the extra wet ingredient caused the gummy texture. Needless to say, I prefer recipes that give measurements instead of “1 apple”, specifically for baking because baking can be very finicky. If I were to make these again I would just use the 1 cup of chopped apple. To be honest I don’t even remember much about the flavour of these because the gummy texture threw me off so much but they all got eaten so they must have had a flavour good enough to compensate for the texture. My fiance said that these muffins were okay and agreed that the texture was off but he still ate a bunch of them.

Banana Chocolate Chip Scones, page 52

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Now, this was a good recipe! These scones were absolutely scrumptious. I wasn’t expecting to like them all that much as scones aren’t really my thing, but these ones surprised me. They were not like a traditional scone in the way that their exterior was harder like a scone, but their center was soft like a muffin. Basically if a chocolate chip scone and a banana muffin had a baby, this is what you’d get. This recipe also came with a recipe for a sugar glaze to put on top if you’d like. I did not use the glaze but the next time I got to a breakfast potluck I would strongly consider making these and I’d add the glaze to give them that extra something. My fiance gobbled these up and said that he liked them better than traditional scones, which he does like. If you have Happy Herbivore Light & Lean, I would strongly recommend giving these beauties a try this weekend. 

That’s all for now, but I’ve got one more post from the Muffins & Breads chapter and it will be focused on the fruity muffins 🙂

xoxo Erin 

Previous Project Light & Lean Review: 

       Veggie Muffins

Pumpkin Muffin

 

PROJECT LIGHT & LEAN: Muffins & Breads Chapter (Veggie Muffins)

My review of muffins and breads from Happy Herbivore Light & Lean has finally arrived. I meant to post this a week or so ago but life intervened, as it always does. Since things have been so busy for me lately I’ve rediscovered weekend relaxation. And by rediscovered, I mean discovered, because to be honest, relaxation was never something I was very good at. I really only began appreciating relaxation after we got our puppy, Wayne. I enjoy being busy and always thought I was at my happiest when I had a million things going on. Turns out I’m at my happiest when I have a million things going on during the week and nothing going on during the weekend. Oh relaxation, how I hope to never let you go!

All this reminiscing about relaxation is distracting me! Back to muffin and bread talk. Overall I’d say I had success with the muffin and bread recipes from Happy Herbivore Light & Lean. I definitely liked some recipes more than others and there was only one recipe that I struggled to eat all of the muffins…but I’ll review that recipe in another post. The recipes I’m covering today are the recipes that had vegetables in them! I love when muffins have vegetables in them because, well because I love vegetables.

I should also note that for all of these recipes I used the gluten-free mix that is in the cookbook. Any gluten-free all purpose flour will work as long as it has xanthan gum or guar gum in it. If your mix does not have either of these just add 1 tsp for every cup of flour you use.

Pineapple Carrot Muffins, page 47

Pineapple Carrot Muffins

I liked these muffins. They had a nice texture and I did not use the optional applesauce. I think they would have been too moist if I had used it. These muffins were also easy to make. The hardest part was grating carrots. And grating carrots isn’t hard, so that’s pretty awesome. These muffins were also not overly sweet, which is something I like in a muffin. My partner liked these muffins but described them as “healthy”, which is his code word for “I’ll eat it but if you don’t make them again I won’t notice”. Also, the recipe says it makes 12 muffins but I only got 9 out of the batter. I used the scoop that I always use when I make muffins so I’m not sure what was up with my minimal batch.

Cornbread, page 55

Cornbread

Mmmmm this cornbread was super yummy. I did not use the optional sugar and I still found the bread to be sweet. I actually enjoyed this bread as a dessert with some strawberry chia seed jam my best friend made for me and also as a side to soup. Basically this bread did not last long in my house! My partner also really liked the bread and ate it both as a sweet treat and as an accompaniment to soup. It is very likely I will make these bread again!

Pumpkin Muffin, page 50

Pumpkin Muffin

This recipe was a single serving recipe, which I think is brilliant. Sometimes I’m not interested in committing to making 12 muffins and eating them all week long (yes I could freeze them, but I never do). Anyway, I loved this recipe because it was a single serving and also because the flavour and texture were perfect! They were moist and fluffy and full of pumpkin flavour. I haven’t made this muffin for my partner yet but I think he’ll like it…especially if I throw some chocolate chips in there.

Lemon-Zucchini Muffins, page 45

Lemon Zucchini Muffins

I really love lemon so naturally I really liked the flavour of these muffins. Their texture was also very light and fluffy, which matched very well with their bright and clean lemon flavour. I gave a couple of these muffins to our realtor because we were seeing her the day I baked them and she also loved them. In fact, she now frequently reminds me that she’s open to receiving any of my baked goods 🙂 My partner also said he liked these muffins, however, he also said they would make a good dinner roll. So that’s kind of confusing. He had a bad cold at the time so I think it’s likely he couldn’t taste the lemon flavour at all and was just basing his review off of their texture. Oh, and I had to bake these beauties for 10 minutes past the upper limit of the recommended baking time. I don’t know if this is because of the gluten-free flour or if my oven is just different.

Breakfast Corn Muffins, page 51

Breakfast Corn Muffins

Meh. That was my reaction to these muffins. They were okay, not bad but not overly exciting either. They were very dense, which is not my favourite when it comes to muffins. The recipe also called for 2 carrots minced and I think it would be better if a volume measurement for carrots was given instead (e.g. 1 cup shredded carrot) because carrots definitely vary in size. I used what I thought were two average sized carrots but the batter looked very carrot dense. My partner thought these muffins were okay and only ate them with some butter spread across them.

Stay tuned for more muffin reviews!

xoxo Erin

Other Project Light & Lean Reviews:

Oatmeals

Pancakes & Granola

Savory Breakfasts

PROJECT LIGHT & LEAN: Breakfast Chapter (Savory Breakfasts)

Last week when I started posting Project Light & Lean reviews I had a posting schedule and I was sure that I would follow that schedule. Two days in…and I was already off the schedule. I was initially frustrated with myself that my plan didn’t work. How could I have fallen off of my posting schedule so soon? Should I even have committed to this project if I couldn’t even stick to the schedule I created for myself? What does this say about me?

Project Light & Lean

And then a moment of clarity emerged through my mental chaos. That moment of clarity said “who cares!” and with that my mind cleared. My frustration, doubts and criticism floated away. I was finally able to look at the situation and reflect on what was going on. And what was going on was I created expectations of myself that were not realistic and it resulted in me feeling negative. Isn’t it fascinating the impact expectations can have on our experiences? Me falling behind on my posting schedule doesn’t actually have any impact on whether or not I finish the project. Sure, it will likely alter the time frame but who cares! At the end of the day it’s the process of completing the project that is important, not the final outcome of the project being finished.

With all of that said, I think it’s time for more breakfast talk. Today I’m talking about the savory breakfasts from Happy Herbivore Light & Lean. Overall, I am not generally a fan of savory breakfasts. Why would I eat something savory when I could eat something sweet? Obviously that is just my taste preference. I’d eat breakfast and dessert for every meal of the day if I could without feeling completely “blah” after a day or so. I should note that I actually ate all of the savory breakfasts for either lunch or dinner. Yes, I’m cooking my way through the cookbook, but I’ve make no commitment to eating the recipes for the meal they were intended for 🙂

Breakfast Tacos, page 25

Breakfast Tacos

I did not completely follow this recipe as I was suppose to. Since I was making it for lunch I doubled the amount of steamed greens. I also used taco shells instead of corn tortilla’s because the only gluten-free corn tortilla’s that I’ve been able to find are frozen and fall apart very easily. Because of the changes that I made to the recipe I had a difficult time fitting all the fillings into the shell. Basically it was hard not to make a mess while eating but since they tasted pretty good I wasn’t bothered by the mess I made. These tacos were sweeter than I was expecting and in hindsight I could definitely enjoy these babies for breakfast. They were super quick to throw together so they would make a good weekday breakfast. My partner did not try this recipe because I made them when he was not home and to be honest they are not something I would expect him to like so I didn’t go out of my way to make them for him.

Tempeh Bacon, page 36

Tempeh Bacon

This recipe was interesting. I liked the tempeh bacon when I made a sandwich with it but I wouldn’t eat it by itself. I don’t really know how to explain it, but there was an after taste that I noticed when I ate a piece by itself that I didn’t notice when I ate it in a sandwich. My partner only had a bite of this recipe but I was surprised when he said that it wasn’t bad and that he would eat it if it were in a sandwich. I should note that I never made him a sandwich with the tempeh bacon so I have no concrete evidence that he would have eaten it. I don’t think this is a recipe I’ll be making again because it took some forethought to have the tempeh marinate for 4 hours before cooking and I wasn’t overly impressed with the recipe in general. To be fair, I have yet to find a recipe for tempeh bacon that I really like. This probably means that tempeh bacon and I are just not meant to be.

Drop Biscuits, page 33 and Olive Gravy, page 34

Drop Biscuits & Olive Gravy

Okay, I need to start this review by saying that I do not like biscuits and gravy. It was not something that I grew up eating and not something that ever looked appealing to me. I’m sure it comes as no surprise that I did not like these biscuits. I did, however, like the gravy and I would say the meal overall was okay. Like I said, a dry biscuit is not appealing and had the gravy not been so flavourful, I probably would not have been able to finish my serving. If I liked biscuits and gravy though I think this recipe would have been fantastic. The gravy had a gentle salty flavour that paired well with the garlic that was also in the gravy. I didn’t make this recipe for my partner because I was not expecting to like it myself and figured if I didn’t like it than there was no way he would like it. Both the biscuits and gravy are not gluten-free, however, they were easily made gluten-free by substituting an all-purpose gluten-free flour for the white whole wheat flour the recipe called for. Just remember to make sure that your all-purpose blend has either xanthan gum or guar gum!

Tofu Scramble, page 35

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I usually like tofu scrambles and I definitely liked this one. It was very quick to make and it had a really bright flavour. The texture was different than your typical scrambled eggs because it doesn’t have that fatty taste, but this dish is so much more filling than eggs that I think even an egg lover would appreciate it. I made this tofu scramble for my partner but put it in a wrap for him to eat on the go and he really liked it. I’m learning that he’s more likely to eat something if I just hand it to him and don’t let him know what’s in it. I feel fairly confident that had I told him his wrap was filled with tofu scramble he would have turned his head. Since I told him it was a breakfast wrap though he bit into it without thinking and liked it. I’m slowly cracking his code, MUAhaha!

And with that, this post concludes the breakfast chapter in Happy Herbivore Light & Lean. In case you didn’t notice, every recipe was either naturally gluten or easily made gluten-free, awesome! Next is the Muffin & Bread’s chapter…

xoxo Erin