Friday, November 26, 2010

Oh, What a Feast! and A Few of My Favorite Things

Yesterday's Thankful Day meal was truly a feast! I made Allison Rivers Samson's Meatloaf Remixed, Mushroom and Apple Stuffing with Mushroom Gravy, Healthy Exposure's Sweet Potato, Pear, and Chickpea Tzimmes, Bryant Terry's Citrus Collards Redux (with cranberries instead of raisins), C'est La Vegan's Chocolate Chip Date Cake, and Jennifer Raymond's never-fail Pumpkin Pie.


The most fun I had all day was whipping up the Soyatoo for the pumpkin pie!


Today is Black Friday, the day when consumerism runs at its most rampant. I prefer to celebrate Buy Nothing Day today and thought that instead, it would be a great day to share a few of my favorite things that you might like to buy on some other day. (It goes without saying that whiskers on kittens are a few of my favorite things). Any of these would make a wonderful gift for yourself or someone you love. Enjoy!

I can't begin to express how much I love my Moo minicards! They're half the size of standard business cards and are a creative, fun way to introduce yourself! They're completely customizable, and you have the option of selecting a different photo for every card. Here are just a few of my cards featuring photos from my food blog in all of their full-color glory:


Lulu's Raw Chocolate Alchemy Bars are handcrafted in small batches and made with low-glycemic coconut palm sugar and organic, fair-trade cacao beans.


I once read a blog in which someone said they thought that maca tastes like feet. Well, I don't know what feet taste like, but admittedly, I'm not a huge fan of the taste of maca. But I am impressed with all of the health benefits attributed to maca, including its ability to: increase energy, stamina, and endurance, regulate hormonal imbalances, enhance memory, and act as an anticarcinogen and antioxident. So when I heard that Lulu's Chocolate Bars contain maca, I thought this might be a delicious way to get some maca into my diet and indulge my chocolate obsession at the same time. My favorite flavor is the Coconut Cin Bar, which ... well ... doesn't contain any maca. It's an infusion of cinnamon, dark chocolate, coconut, and the sensuously smoky flavor of my new favorite superfood: mesquite! I also love the Aztec Crunch Bar, and Chocolate Maca Chunk, which does contain maca.  The Maca Green Bar and Chocolate Maca Chunk are also very tasty ways to get your daily boost of maca.


Anyone who has ever met Robert Cheeke can't help but be wowed by his energy, enthusiasm, effervescent personality, and yes, his stunning physique. He's a walking bundle of compassion in action, who lays to rest the myth that award-winning muscles of steel can only be built upon a diet that contains animal protein. In his book, Vegan Bodybuilding & Fitness, Robert shares an inspiring road map to help you go from flab to fab no matter what your starting point, and from unhealthy omnivore to totally ripped, lean, mean, and vibrantly healthy vegan, if that's your goal. Robert's motivational style of writing got me pumped up enough to get my butt back into the gym. And if this book can do that for me, it will make the perfect gift for anyone who needs a little fire lit under their tush to help get them off the couch or away from the computer and back into action.


You've heard of Latisse? It's touted as "the first and only FDA-approved prescription treatment for 'inadequate or not enough' lashes." Nothing could horrify me more than the idea that a healthy woman would use a glaucoma drug to grow longer, darker, or fuller lashes. What I find most astonishing, is that when you look at the before and after photos on Allergan's website, there is nothing wrong with model's lashes in the before photos! Now, what woman wouldn't love to have longer, fuller, darker lashes? I know I would. But would you really want to use a drug that can permanently change the color of your from blue or green to brown? And is it really worth the the risk of any of a number of other "side" effects like eye redness and irritation, uveitis, macular edema, cataract, reduced intraocular pressure, and vision problems, just for longer, more luscious lashes?

There are many non-prescription products on the market that will do the same thing, without such harmful side effects and for significantly less than the $120/month Latisse will set you back. One such product, GrandeLASH-MD recently came to my attention. I wanted to be sure that this was a cruelty-free product, so I wrote to the company's owner, Alicia Grande. She promptly replied, "GrandeLASH-MD has not been tested on animals. It was tested on 55 humans through a plastic surgeon and opthamologist. There are no animal-based ingredients, and it's paraben-free." Made with peptides, vitamins, and botanicals (see the full list of ingredients here), the company claims that you will see results in as little as 4-6 weeks. Of course, I was skeptical. While I would love longer, darker, fuller, lashes, I felt that my wimpy eyebrows needed more immediate help, so I decided to try GrandeLASH-MD on my eyebrows first.


Seeing is believing! The before and after photos were taken 60 days apart. And although I have no idea how it works, I am astounded by the results.

Lunchsense lunchboxes intrigued me for quite a long time before I finally got my hands on one. I'd seen them at trade shows and thought they were the ultimate in lunchbox organization.


The lunchbox is lead free, and all the nifty little storage containers it comes with are lockable, microwave, freezer, and dishwasher safe, 100% airtight and watertight, stain resistant, and BPA free.  It comes in three sizes, and I chose the medium sized one for myself, but wish I would have gotten the large size since Mark is the one who packs a lunch everyday. Still, I packed up Thanksgiving leftovers for him to take to work today, and it all fit! Get yourself one of these babies, and it's guaranteed to be the last lunchbox you'll ever buy!


Here's one of those it's got-nothing-to-do-with-the-holidays-but-it's-a-delicious-discovery-nonetheless ideas. I've never been a huge fan of deep-fried foods, but since becoming a McDougall girl, one of the foods I've sorely missed is onion rings. Then I came across a post for Isa's OMG Oven-Baked Onion Rings (that woman is a vegan culinary genius!), and I couldn't resist trying them. They are better than any fried onion rings I've ever eaten in my life! They've got so much flavor and none of the greasiness!

19 comments:

Evita said...

Love the inspiration of all the yummy food and nifty products!!!

And I LOVE your site - the whole look and feel of it! Especially the tag line "because compassion tastes good".

Thank you for spreading the love and I am so with you about spreading awareness about all of these topics, including the whole consumerism game people play with their obsession with stuff.

Let us focus on more love, that is what we need in our lives today more than anything, not more stuff.

Vegiegail said...

Thank you very much, Evita, especially for this heartfelt thought:

"Let us focus on more love, that is what we need in our lives today more than anything, not more stuff."

No truer words were ever written! I don't know how you found my little blog, but I'm honored that you did and delighted that you took the time to leave a comment.

Randy said...

Your Thanksgiving plate looks so delicious, and I'm looking forward to trying Allison's meatloaf recipe and Isa's onion rings (wow!)

You've got some great gift ideas here. I've been wanting to get a copy of Robert Cheeke's book, and one of the lunchboxes would be perfect for my nephew. Like you, I'll won't be making any purchases today. Such madness!

Helen said...

What a spread! You just seem to outdo yourself every year! Could you please stop tempting me and invite me over next time? Love your Moo cards and that raw chocolate sounds divine.

Rhonda said...

I'd like to dive right into that bowl of Soyatoo!

Victoria said...

It certainly looks like you had a delicious Thanksgiving! Thank you for the links to the recipes. I can't wait to try Allison's meatloaf and Isa's onion rings!

Thank you also for the great gift ideas. I know just the right person for Robert's book and I would love those raw chocolate bars!

Justine said...

Everything looks stunning and delectable! I love my moo cards, too. We'll have to trade sometime!

Sarah said...

How yummy looking everything is! Thank you for sharing links to some of those recipes. Grease-free onion rings? Hell, yeah!

AllisonsGourmet said...

Now that's a beautiful plate of yumminess!! I hope we're sharing Thanksgiving together next year. At lest I could make an appearance somehow on your plate though. ;-)
I wish you lived nearby – for many reasons, but the one I'm thinking of now is that I have yet to make Isa's onion rings, but they look AMAZING and I want some!
My wish for everyone is that we all get the opportunity to experience having 'enough'. In some cases, abundance is overrated. That's why I like to give people delicious, consumable gifts that don't contribute to clutter. hint, hint. ;-)

Vegiegail said...

Thank you so much for commenting, Allison! Your gourmet confections and baked goods are many of my favorite things! And if I'm lucky, we will spend Thanksgiving together next year!

Note to my readers: I've written about Allison's Gourmet treats on this blog. (I'm a huge fan of her pecan brownies and chocolate fudge!) I encourage all of my readers to grab some indescribably delicious vegan treats this holiday season at http://allisonsgourmet.com

avegangirl said...

Your pumpkin pie and that date cake look delicious. And it looks like you're either wearing eyebrow pencil or you dyed your brows in the "after" photo. That's pretty amazing!

Shear Sensations said...

Gail...looks like you and me ate tooooo much.

Vegiegail said...

Maybe, Millie, but it was all cruelty-free and oh, so delicious!

Angel said...

Wow! So glad I just happened to cruise by your blog today. I think I'd like everything on your favorites list, and I think they'd make great gifts for people on my gift list this year, too. So thanks for sharing! And oh, those onion rings? I really can't wait to try them!

VeganMarr said...

OMG, send some T-giving leftovers thru the computer, NOW! :-)

Janet said...

Oh I miss onion rings too...it's hard to find them VEGAN (usually something animal in the batter) let alone low fat! Guess the key is the seasoning!

Lynn said...

I could dive into that bowl of Soyatoo! Yum! Is your pumpkin pie recipe real pumpkin-y? Good pie spices in it? Sometimes hard to find a real flavorful pumpkin pie, when you buy one...

Vegiegail said...

Hi Lynn! Yes, the pumpkin pie is very "pumpkiny" tasting! That's why I refer to it as Jennifer Raymond's "No-miss" recipe. I've tried many different vegan pumpkin pies, but this is the one I like best. You'll find the recipe here: http://hungryvegan.blogspot.com/2006/11/outrageous-holiday-pumpkin-pie.html

Marly said...

Looks like you were busy cooking a lot of great vegan food!