Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Maruca Design Eco-Chic Holiday Gift Giveaway!

For a myriad of reasons, I love supporting ethically operated small businesses that make 100% vegan products right here in the United States. All of the beautiful jacquard-woven handbags and accessories sold by Maruca Design are handmade in Boulder, Colorado, and their unique in-house-designed fabrics are all milled in the USA. 

How could you not be charmed by this fun Maruca Design tour video? It looks like such a fun place to work! (I wonder if they're hiring?)

From a variety of slings and accessories like these super cute Chicas, (don't you just want one in every color?!)

to these beautifully functional iPad sleeves, (see how happy my iPad looks!), their vast selection of styles, patterns, and colors will dazzle you! Each padded iPad sleeve has a zipper top and a zipped exterior pocket where you can store your charger along with any other small necessities.  

My beautiful Café sling has two exterior pockets and an adjustable web strap, and its zipped interior is large enough to hold my iPad with or without its sleeve!

When I'm not toting it around town, this colorful handbag is a work of art that blends beautifully with my office decor! (Don't you agree?)

All of Maruca's designs are fashionable, colorful, well-constructed, affordably priced, and artsy. You'll even find lots of great stocking-stuffers (cosmetics bags, coin purses, tissue holders, wallets ... ) on Maruca's websiteSo if you're on the prowl for a high-quality, hand-crafted gift idea for yourself or a friend, check out all of Maruca's lovely handbag and accessory designs. Click on over to Maruca Designand explore all of the stunning possibilities!

Update: Congratulations to Jenn of Jenn's Adventures! You won the beautiful iPad sleeve! Please email me your postal address, so I can ship it right out to you! Thank you everyone for participating! Stay tuned for my next post and giveaway, and happy holidays!!!!

Okay, my lovelies ... now for the giveaway ... One lucky winner will win one of the iPad sleeves featured in the photo above. The case is designed to hold an iPad 1 or iPad 2, but any comparably sized tablet will fit inside. To enter to win, simply visit Maruca's website, and enjoy browsing around. Then come back here, and leave a comment telling me which item or fabric design you love best. (I know, it will be next-to-impossible to pick just one!) But it will be so worth the effort, because one lucky reader will be selected at random and announced next Monday!* (Please make sure I have your email address, so I can contact you when you win!)

If you'd like to earn additional entries, you may do any or all of the following. Please leave a comment here for each item you complete:

1. Follow this blog by clicking the "follow" link in the upper left-hand corner of this page, subscribing via email, or through NetworkedBlogs.
2. Tweet the following message: Win a beautiful Maruca Design #iPad sleeve in @Vegiegail's #vegan #holiday #gift #giveaway! http://bit.ly/t83KAW 
3. Like Maruca Design on Facebook.
4. Follow @Vegiegail on Twitter!
5. Share this giveaway and link to this post on your own Facebook page or blog.

Happy shopping, and good luck!

*Sorry, international friends. You must have a valid US postal address to enter to win.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Quick-Fix Vegan
Book Review and Giveaway

When it comes to getting dinner on the table, I'm all about quick! Since I work at home, I'm sometimes still tapping away at my computer keyboard until well past the time I should have been figuring out what we're having for dinner. Vegan chef Robin Robertson has written more than twenty books, including a few of my favorites—Vegan Planet, Vegan Fire and Spice, Vegan on the Cheap, and along with husband, Jon Robertson, Vegan Unplugged(You can read my reviews of Vegan on the Cheap here and Vegan Unplugged here!) In Robin's latest book, Quick-Fix Vegan, she helps readers prepare fabulous vegan meals inexpensively and deliciously in 30 minutes or less! Drawing on culinary influences from around the world, the book is jam-packed with great-tasting recipes for the most sensational snacks, salads, soups, sandwiches, stove-top suppers, and sweets you'll ever eat!

Take for example, this spectacular gyro! I made it with Butler Soy Curls, instead of seitan, but Robin's seasonings and refreshingly light tzatziki sauce (which I made with So Delicious Greek-style Coconut Milk Yogurt), made this dish our new favorite sandwich!

We often enjoy tofu scrambles for dinner. (As well as pancakes, waffles, tofu omelets, and other breakfast foods!) Robin's Indonesian Vegetable and Tofu Scramble blends together a medley of Southeast Asian flavors to create a tasty twist on this staple dish.

It's hard to believe that this Moroccan Chickpeas with Tomatoes and Spinach sauté can go from stovetop to table in just fifteen minutes. And the blend of no fewer than eight aromatic spices make every bite so delectable, your family's taste buds will be fooled into thinking you spent hours preparing this dish.

I can't crack open a new cookbook and not hone in on at least one pasta or noodle dish. These Thai-inspired Primavera-style Coconut-Cashew Noodles combine the vibrant taste of fresh green vegetables with chewy pasta noodles and a dreamy-creamy, rich sauce. Want to try this delectable dish for yourself? The recipe is at the end of this post!

Rather than relying on packaged, highly processed faux meats and cheeses, I love that Robin's recipes are made from inexpensive, healthful, and hearty whole foods with modest amounts of minimally processed ingredients like tofu and seitan. More recipes from Quick-Fix Vegan that I can't wait to wrap my lips around are Romaine and Pear Salad with Sherry-Walnut Vinaigrette, Sloppy Portobellos, Curried Cauliflower Soup with Roasted Cauliflower "Rice," Catalan-style Crème Brûlée, and Apple Pie Parfaits! (Yes, there is a whole chapter filled with yummy desserts, too!)

With the holidays quickly approaching, it's the perfect time to treat yourself or someone (no—treat yourself and everyone!) you love to a copy of Quick-Fix Vegan! With the bounty of delectable recipes you'll find within its pages, this wonderful book will pay for itself over and over again by saving you time in the kitchen and money at the grocery store. And since I'm getting into the holiday spirit a little early, I'm giving away a copy of Quick-Fix Vegan to one lucky reader!* To enter, simply leave a comment here telling me why you'd like to win this book.

Update: Congratulations to Rebecca (Art You Dream About)! You won the giveaway! Please email me with your postal address, and I'll get your copy of Quick-Fix Vegan right out to you! Thanks to everyone for making this such a great giveaway! Stay tuned for my next post—I'll be sharing something completely different and wonderful, just in time for the holidays!

You can also earn additional entries by doing any or all of the following. Just leave a comment for each item you complete:

1. Follow this blog by clicking the "follow" link in the upper left-hand corner of this page, subscribing via email, or through NetworkedBlogs.
2. Tweet the following message: Win a copy of Quick-Fix Vegan from @Vegiegail & make delicious dinners in under 30 minutes! http://bit.ly/sEhr1n #vegan #giveaway #recipe
3. Follow @Vegiegail on Twitter!
4. Follow @GlobalVegan on Twitter!

Reprinted with the kind permission of Andrews McMeel Publishing, below is the recipe for Primavera-style Coconut-Cashew Noodles from Quick-Fix Vegan  by Robin Robertson. ©2011


12 ounces linguine
1 Tbsp neutral vegetable oil
5 scallions, minced
1 carrot, shredded
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
1 cup snow peas
1/3 cup fresh Thai basil, cilantro, or regular basil (I used Thai basil)
2 Tbsp cashew butter
1 Tbsp sriracha sauce
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp light brown sugar
1 13-oz can unsweetened coconut milk


Cook the linguine in a large pot of boiling salted water until just tender, about 10 minutes. While the pasta is cooking, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the scallions, carrot, ginger, and snow peas, and cook until the snow peas are softened, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the basil and cook, stirring gently, until hot.

In a small bowl, combine the cashew butter, sriracha, soy sauce, and sugar. Stir in the coconut milk until well blended. Stir the mixture into the vegetables and keep warm. Drain the cooked pasta and return to the pot. Add the sauce and vegetable mixture and toss to combine. Serve hot. Makes 4 servings.

*Sorry, international friends. You must have a valid US postal address to enter to win.