Chocolate Chip Walnut Banana Bread

Post by Megan Stulberg

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You ever get a really bad craving and just roll with it? That’s me, all the time. That being said, I just HAD to whip up some banana bread this weekend! Or else I’d die! No, but it certainly felt like that in the 48 hours leading up to it.

The recipe is gluten-free and vegan, and can be made both nut-free and refined sugar-free very easily.

You can get the recipe on my personal site, meganstulberg.com, here: http://meganstulberg.com/2016/08/24/chocolate-chip-walnut-banana-bread.

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Loaded Nachos!

Recipe by Megan Stulberg 

Los Angeles has this crazy effect on me where all I want to do while I’m here is eat junk food and sleep in. That being said, making these nachos just had to happen! Super easy to make if you want a lazy but filling snack to share with a pal. Also, please note that I’m a total DUMMY and took these photos before adding the vegan sour cream, tomato, guacamole and green onions. Total food blogger faux-pas, derp.

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INGREDIENTS:

  • 2-4 heaping cups lightly salted corn tortilla chips, organic if possible
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1/2 package Beyond Meat “chicken” strips
  • 1/2 tomato, chopped
  • 1/4 white onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup salsa verde
  • 1/4 cup Follow Your Heart pepper jack and cheddar shreds
  • 2 heaping tbsp refried pinto beans
  • 2 heaping tbsp sliced black olives, canned is fine
  • Dollop of Tofutti sour cream (not pictured)
  • OPTIONAL: additional chopped tomato, green onions
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

    DIRECTIONS:

    1) Preheat oven to 400F.
    2) Line baking sheet with aluminum foil. Plop some sort of cooking oil (olive or coconut is best) to prevent sticking.
    3) Lay tortilla chips down in a relatively flat layer on aluminum foil.
    4) Sprinkle pepper jack and cheddar shreds evenly across chips.
    5) Add sliced black olives, refried beans and Beyond Meat.
    6) Bake in oven 15-20 minutes, or until all the “cheese” melts. All ovens will vary so check on nachos every few minutes.
    7) While nachos are baking, make the guacamole by mashing up the avocado with a fork and adding the lime juice, chopped onion, tomato, salt and pepper.
    8) Remove baking sheet from oven. Scoop nachos onto plate. Add guacamole, salsa verde, vegan sour cream, green onions and additional chopped tomato if desired.

    Enjoy! Serve hot hot hot. Makes 2 servings.

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Real Brewed Moments with Pure Leaf Iced Tea

Review by Megan Stulberg 

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I drank 6 bottles of Pure Leaf real brewed tea in 24 hours, and lived to tell the tale! Seriously though. I decided to start taking photos for this blog post on Sunday, and it was super humid that day so I drank them all in a row without thinking twice about it. So having all of these bottles on hand was basically a lifesaver. I stayed hydrated and realized how easily these teas can be incorporated into every day life at the same time.

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Here’s a breakdown of what my Sunday with Pure Leaf looked like.

Bottle one, 10am: I chugged a bottle of peach tea back before running off to a barre exercise class.

Bottle two and three, 1pm: Two bottles of Pure Leaf green tea with honey were chugged back with lunch (a bunch of yummy take-out avocado sushi, my favourite).

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Bottle four, 2pm: I brought an unsweetened lemon Pure Leaf tea with me on a little adventure. And by that, I mean to run errands. And by THAT, I mean going to the grocery store to buy garbage bags. Very important business but hey, that’s real life for you.

Bottle five, 4pm: Honestly, I took a 30 minute nap because I work like a maniac and needed one. Then I woke up, groggily did a bit of reading (Jack Kerouac gets me right in the feels every time) and enjoyed an unsweetened lemon Pure Leaf tea.

Bottle six, 5pm: I liked the peach tea so much that I saved the 2nd bottle of it for last. I did freelance work from about 5pm onwards until I eventually dragged my sorry butt back to bed. Having a home studio is both a curse and a blessing!

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Pure Leaf tea is the perfect addition to my daily routine! I can celebrate real moments with Pure Leaf Iced Tea because it’s real brewed tea, made from real tea leaves. No preservatives or added colour to make me sluggish or stop me from doing all the things I need to check off my to-do list.

For more details about their products, follow Pure Leaf on Instagram at @PureLeafCanada.

*Disclaimer*: This is a sponsored post for Pure Leaf, but all views are my own. For inquiries about sponsored posts, please email vegangirlfriend@gmail.com and/or megstulberg@gmail.com.  

#pureleafcanada #realbrewedmoments

Vegan Girlfriend’s Tofu Pad Thai!

Post by Aine Davis, Megan Stulberg and Alexandra Courts

We all live very busy lives (Megan works full-time as a social media specialist, Aine’s a sketch comedian and Alex has her own no-bake dessert company), so it’s a rarity that the 3 of us get to produce content for Vegan Girlfriend as a group. But, lo and behold, we managed to whip up this delicious tofu pad thai together!

We even created a video to accompany the recipe, which you can watch here. A huge thank you to our friend Andrew Olivares for filming and editing this video for us! We’ve also *finally* set up a YouTube account, we’ll have toooons more videos coming your way soon, so subscribe to us here.


INGREDIENTS:

For the sauce…

  • 1 cup organic peanut butter
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup wheat-free tamari
  • 1/4 cup Sriracha or hot sauce of your choice
  • Juice of 3 limes

For the rest…

  • One package of organic nigari firm tofu, pressed and cubed
  • One package of rice noodles, prepared as per package’s directions.
  • 1 cup chopped shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 cup bok choy, washed and broken apart
  • 1/4 cup green onions, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Handful cilantro

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Prepare rice noodles by placing on large bowl full of boiling water.
  2. In a hot skillet, heat coconut oil. Add garlic. Sautée until garlic is fragrant.
  3. Add in chopped mushrooms.
  4. Once mushrooms have reduced in size, add in cubed tofu.
  5. Squeeze the juice of one lime over mushrooms and tofu. Cook evenly on all sides, flipping throughout.
  6. To make the sauce… In a pot, boil one cup of water. When the water reaches a rolling boil, whisk in peanut butter, tamari, sriracha and lime juice. Reduce to medium heat.
  7. Once all the ingredients have been combined, pour half of the sauce into skillet with tofu. Sautée the mushrooms and tofu in the sauce until the tofu is slightly crispy.
  8. While mushrooms and tofu saute, heat bok choy in separate skillet on medium heat until slightly wilted.
  9. Serve tofu over warm rice noodles. Use ladle to coat with sauce. Top with cilantro, bok choy, green onions, and lime slices. Voila!

Makes approximately 4 meal-sized servings.

 

Tweak your Tea: Pure Leaf Cocktail Hacks

Review by Megan Stulberg

It’s that time of the year where all I want to do is chug lemonade while window shopping or sip hard cider on a patio. Those drinks have zero nutritional value though, so why not swap for tea? Tea does a body good: it’s packed with antioxidants and is even anti-inflammatory. When Pure Leaf offered to send me their new unsweetened flavours (0 sugar, 0 calories, 0 artificial sweeteners), I got a big dumb smile on my face because I’m a sucker for anything iced in summer. It’s brewed from real tea leaves, too.

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Here are a couple of iced tea-based cocktails I whipped up. These are perfect to enjoy on your own, with a couple of girlfriends, or served to a smokin’ hot date! You can also omit the alcoholic ingredients to turn ’em into mocktails, and enjoy with breakfast or even as a rehydrating post-workout treat.

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SPIKED BLUEBERRY PEAR COCKTAIL 

Ingredients…

  • 1 cup Pure Leaf unsweetened green tea
  • 1/4 cup Absolut vodka (warning: add less if you don’t want it strong, taste as you go)
  • 2 tbsp agave
  • Handful fresh blueberries
  • 1/2 small pear, sliced into bite-size chunks
  • Pinch ginger
  • Ice cubes

Directions…

  1. Combine Pure Leaf unsweetened green tea, vodka, agave and ginger. Stir vigorously.
  2. Add fruit and ice. Serve immediately.

Makes 1 cocktail.

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LEMON LIME GINGERITA 

(My take on a margarita)

Ingredients…

  • 1 cup Pure Leaf unsweetened lemon tea
  • 1/4 cup Don Julio Blanco tequila (same warning as above)
  • 2 thin lemon slices
  • 2 thin lime slices
  • 2 tbsp agave
  • Additional lime for garnish
  • Ice cubes

Directions…

  1. Combine Pure Leaf unsweetened lemon tea, tequila and agave.
  2. Add fruit and ice. Slice halfway through a lime slice and place on side of glass accordingly for garnish.

Makes 1 cocktail.

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Pure Leaf unsweetened tea acts as an awesome cocktail alternative to juice if you’re looking to lighten up this summer without sacrificing flavour. For more recipe ideas and details about their products, follow Pure Leaf on Instagram at @PureLeafCanada.

*Disclaimer*: This is a sponsored post for Pure Leaf, but all views are my own. For inquiries about sponsored posts, please email vegangirlfriend@gmail.com and/or megstulberg@gmail.com.  

#pureleafcanada #tweakyourtea

A (Vegan) Pizza Party with Panago

Review by Megan Stulberg

Ain’t no party like a pizza party. You know that “Touch My Butt and Buy Me Pizza”phrase that’s been making its rounds (and then some) on the internet lately? It’s popular because it’s relatable. Butts are nice, pizzas are even nicer, and Panago’s pizzas are the nicest.

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Honestly…the thing I’ve missed most since going vegan is pizza. I don’t view meat as food anymore (feel free to disagree), but there’s something about the combination of pineapple, ham and bacon on a classic Hawaiian slice that still makes my mouth water. Canadian chain Panago Pizza recently launched a new vegan deluxe pepperoni pizza for spring — which is a freaking GAME CHANGER. Pepperoni! Meat-free pepperoni!

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This brand new pizza comes with Italian tomato sauce, meat-free pepperoni, black olives, green peppers, red onions and dairy-free Daiya “cheese”. Not into it? You can veganize any of their other pizzas by making substitutes, and also all of Panago’s crust options are 100% vegan friendly (pictured is the gluten-smart crust).

I paired this ‘za with two of Panago’s vegan dips: Italian Tomato & BBQ. I also tried one of their build-your-own salad options, which was basically a delicious pile of veggies, smothered in their vegan classic Italian style dressing. You could say I went “all out” on my Panago adventure and also tried two of their organic fusion juices: grapple (grape/apple) and orango (orange/mango).

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Panago’s vegan deluxe pepperoni pizza exceeded my expectations. Doubtful? Look at the photos! Still don’t believe me? Further proof: I carried all my Panago goodies home in an Uber, and the driver actually got kind of mad at me because he was really hungry and kept saying that the pizza smelled “too good”.

Panago likes to spread the vegan love every now and then, so make sure to follow them on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook because you never know when a #RandomActsOfPizza may come your way!

Want to know more about what you can and can’t eat at Panago? Check out their vegan-friendly options here.

*Disclaimer*: This is a sponsored post for Panago Pizza, but all views are my own. For inquiries about sponsored posts, please email vegangirlfriend@gmail.com and/or megstulberg@gmail.com. 

No-bake chocolate mocha cream cups

Post by Megan Stulberg

Last year I went to a naturopath because I had a hunch that something I was eating daily was unknowingly making me sick. Turns out I have to avoid amaranth and sesame, but honestly I breathed a sigh of relief because I was worried that I might be allergic to chocolate or coffee. Chocolate and coffee are two of my favourite flavours, so it only makes sense for me to combine them into one super dessert.

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Ingredients…

For the base:

  • 1 cup honey dates, pitted
  • 1 cup almonds, soaked 1 hour
  • 1/4 cup raw cacao powder
  • 2 tbsp ground coffee
  • Pinch of sea salt

For the cream:

  • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight (if possible, or at least 2-3 hours)
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp 100% maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp ground coffee
  • 1 tbsp organic vanilla extract

For the topping:

  • Sprinkle of additional ground coffee
  • Approximately 20 whole coffee beans (optional)

Directions…

  1. Combine all “base” ingredients in a high-speed food processor or blender.
  2. Line cupcake sheet with long strips of wax paper or cling wrap. Press mixture into base of each cup firmly with fingers or fork to create an even layer.
  3. Set tray aside in freezer for at least 30 minutes.
  4. While waiting for base layer to set, blend together all “cream” ingredients until, well, a cream-like consistency has been reached!
  5. Remove tray from freezer. Scoop dollop of cream onto each cup, then smooth out evenly with back of spoon. Sprinkle additional ground coffee on top, then garnish with 2 whole coffee beans per tart.
  6. Let cups set in freezer overnight, or at least 1 hour. Remove and let thaw before serving.

Makes approximately 9 tarts. Serve chilled, store chilled.

Salted Chocolate Cookies with Lemon Frosting (Raw, GF, V)

Post by Megan Stulberg

I made these back in February for Valentine’s Day (*bursts into tears because of how long it’s taking to catch up on posts*) but these treats are appropriate for any ol’ time of the year! Pair a few of these with a bottle of champagne for a romantic evening with that special someone, or whip up a batch strictly for yourself to enjoy because you deserve nice things. SELF LOVE, PEOPLE.

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Ingredients…

For the base…

    • 1 cup medjool dates, pitted
    • 1 cup raw almonds, soaked 1 hour
    • 1/3 cup raw cacao powder
    • 1 tsp raw pink salt

For the icing…

  • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight (if possible)
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp 100% maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • Fresh seasonal fruit, for garnish

Directions…

  1. In a high speed blender or food processor combine all base ingredients (dates, almonds, cacao powder and pink salt) until thoroughly incorporated. Mixture should be similar to a loose “dough”.
  2. Transfer “dough” onto baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Use rolling pin or simply press down with fork to create an even layer about 1cm thick.
  3. Press heart-shaped cookie cutter (or whatever) into dough, remove surrounding dough, then place cookie onto second piece of parchment paper. Roll dough out into an even layer again, then repeat this step over and over until all the dough is used. Set in fridge at least 1 hour.
  4. Combine icing ingredients (cashews, lemon juice, maple syrup, coconut oil and vanilla extract) in blender until creamy and smooth in consistency.
  5. Remove cookies from freezer and spread icing onto each cookie. Leave a bit of a border around the edges.
  6. Place back in freezer so the icing sets a bit. Remove in advance before eating, then serve with additional lemon slices and strawberries as garnish.

Let thaw before serving. Keep in refrigerator or fridge.

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Mushroom Gravy Poutine (Vegan, GF)

Post by Megan Stulberg

I’m Canadian. Like, grandparents-are-from-Nova-Scotia Canadian. That being said, I don’t mess with boring poutine! This poutine recipe is a delicious, healthy alternative to the OG dairy version.

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Ingredients…

For the gravy:

  • 2 cups gluten-free vegetable stock
  • 1 cup chopped cremini mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup gluten-free brown rice flour
  • 1/4 cup almond or soy milk
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 red onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tbsp ground sage
  • 2 tbsp vegan butter-style spread
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • Cold-pressed EVOO, as needed

Other:

  • 3 large potatoes
  • 1/2 bag shredded vegan mozzerella “cheese” of your choice (I used Daiya)
  • Sea salt and black pepper, throughout

DIRECTIONS…

  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. Scrub and wash potatoes to remove any dirt, then peel. Cut length-wise into long, thin strips. Toss in 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, sea salt and black pepper.
  3. Line a baking pan with aluminium foil or parchment paper smothered in olive oil to prevent burning and sticking. Lay fries out in an even layer on baking pan.
  4. Bake in oven for around 35 minutes, flipping every 10 minutes or so.
  5. While the fries are baking, prep the gravy:
  6. Heat EVOO in large skillet over medium-high heat.
  7. Add onion and saute for 3 minutes until browned. Add sage, garlic, mushrooms, almond milk, nutritional yeast, salt and pepper. Cook until mushrooms are browned, stirring regularly.
  8. Add vegetable stock and vegan butter-style spread, lower heat to simmer. Once most liquid has evaporated, add vegetable stock and brown rice flour. Stir occasionally and cook for an additional few minutes. For thicker gravy, feel free to add additional flour by the tbsp.
  9. Reduce heat to low simmer, stirring occasionally, to keep gravy warm.
  10. Remove fries from oven and wait to slightly cool. Plate the fries, take a handful of vegan “cheese” and sprinkle it on top, then pour the hot gravy over everything.

Serve hot! Makes approximately 2 servings.

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Mini apple pies (raw)

Post by Megan Stulberg

This were so good. Like, TOO good. Is there such thing? Well if there is, these are exactly that! I made these little food dudes a while back. I prefer making bite-size versions of desserts because I honestly tend to just make a huge mess whenever I attempt to slice into a large cake or whatever, but you could totally modify this easily by using a pie pan instead!

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Ingredients…

  • 3 medium apples, peeled + chopped into small chunks
  • 2 cups pitted dates, soaked overnight
  • 1 cup raw almonds (walnuts work)
  • 1 cup water
  • Pinch cinnamon
  • Pinch nutmeg
  • Pinch sea salt

Directions…

  1. Line a muffin tray with plastic wrap or long, thin strips of wax paper (the latter is easier).
  2. Use a high-speed blender or food processor to combine almonds with 1 cup pitted dates. Press mixture firmly into each muffin cup to form base/crust. Pat down with fork if needed. Set aside in freezer for at least 30 minutes.
  3. While crusts are setting, prep the apple pie filling! Combine remaining dates with water, cinnamon, nutmeg and sea salt in blender into a sauce that’s gooey and semi-liquid in consistency (think caramel). Peel the apples and cut into small, bite-size chunks. Mix everything together in bowl (or if your blender has a removable blade, combine in there and save yourself from doing extra dishes) until the apple chunks are thoroughly coated in the sauce.
  4. Remove muffin tray from freezer. Pop crusts out of each cup and place on large cutting board or plate. Spoon filling into each cup so that it’s full well over the top of the crust, but the sauce isn’t overflowing over the side.
  5. Place back to freezer at least 1 hour to set. When ready to eat, partially thaw and serve immediately. Enjoy cold! You could even top with a dollop of coconut whipped cream.

Makes approximately 9 individual treats.

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