Water You Really Drinking? GE’s New APF Technology

Post by Megan Stulberg (with help from Alexandra Courts and Aine Davis)

We love water! And we’re sure you do too, even if you don’t actively think about it. It keeps our skin clear, our digestive systems working and our bodies…well, alive. We rely heavily on water to make every Vegan Girlfriend recipe, whether it be cooking something on stovetop or rinsing out a blender. Personally, my favourite way to drink water is to chug an icy glass back after a long run.

A little birdie told us that according to an Associated Press survey, two in 10 Americans’ drinking water tested positive for pharmaceuticals including ibuprofen (Advil) and progesterone (found in birth control pills, WTF?). Yeah, no thanks. And then another little birdie told us that GE Appliances recently introduced Advanced Pharmaceutical Filtration Technology, which removes 15 different contaminants and 94-ish% of top 5 trace pharmaceuticals. To put it simply: GE Appliances figured out a way to make water cleaner and it’s worth the investment.

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If you’re reading along like “I thought this was a recipe blog, why should I care about water?” then think about it like this. A runner wouldn’t be able to perform to the best of their ability in worn-down sneakers. We are nothing without our relevant resources.

Having a reliable fridge is so, so important as a food blogger. I was in university when we started Vegan Girlfriend and when you’re a full-time student with a part-time job in downtown Toronto…your kitchen is going to be pretty bleak. That being said, our fridge/water situation was a disaster! We were skeptical about apartment’s water quality in the first place, so we used a filtration pitcher but could barely even fill it up in our tiny sink properly. Now that I’m a fully-formed adult with my own place and choosing a fridge is even an option…I’m definitely scoping a new GE fridge out as my next big investment.

So how does it work? GE offers the Advanced Pharmaceutical Filtration Technology (let’s call it APF for short) across its new, accessibly priced refrigeration collection. The water filters on all APF fridges remove chlorine taste and odour, cysts, lead, asbestos and other contaminants — like those pesky pharmaceuticals we mentioned earlier. Good riddance.

Alex and Aine will be posting some more about GE’s fridge perks on our Instagram feed over the next few days. In the meantime, you can learn more about GE’s APF Technology on their website here.

What would you fill your new water-friendly fridge with? Tell us in the comment section below!

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*Disclaimer*: This is a sponsored post for GE Appliances, but all views are our own. For inquiries about sponsored posts, please email vegangirlfriend@gmail.com.

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Vanilla Chia Pudding Parfaits (gf/v/raw)

Post by Megan Stulberg, Photos by Jenn McNaughton

These parfaits were perfect! I’m good friends with Jenn McNaughton, fashion blogger extraordinaire. Seriously though, check out her work at ethcsofstyl.com. Jenn recently interviewed me for the Ryersonian, and we discussed how the Human Rights Commission of Ontario has legally recognized veganism as an ideology with protection against discrimination. I headed over to Jenn’s apartment last Saturday, equipped with groceries and a hearty appetite, to whip up these treats for Jenn to photograph to accompany the article.

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Ingredients…

  • 3 cups unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/2 cup fresh strawberries,chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh whole blueberries
  • 1/4 cup 100% maple syrup
  • 9 tbsp (0.56 cups) white chia seeds
  • 2 tbsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened coconut flakesIMG_6221IMG_6232Directions…
    1. Whisk together almond milk, maple syrup and vanilla in large bowl or plastic storage container.
    2. Add chia seeds by the tbsp, stirring vigorously with spoon to prevent unwanted clumping.
    3. Cover bowl with cling wrap and leave in fridge overnight.
    4. Next morning, stir chia pudding then place back in fridge for 1-2 additional hours to help it further thicken.
    5. When ready to serve, scoop chia pudding into mason jars by the tbsp. Layer with fresh fruit and coconut flakes, or simply add after as toppings.

    Serve chilled. Makes 2 meal servings or 4 snack servings. Enjoy!

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Lentil “Meat”balls and Heavenly Homemade Tomato Sauce 

Post by Alexandra Courts 

There’s something special about fresh tomato sauce that doesn’t come out of a jar or a can. It’s aromatic, rich in flavour and incredibly versatile. This time around I’ve paired this homemade sauce with some nutrient-dense lentil “meat”balls. Whether it be served overtop a bed of pasta or sandwiched in bread, these two are a match made in heaven!

Keep reading to find out how you can recreate this lovely and comforting meal at home.


TOMATO SAUCE:

Ingredients…

  • 2 cans of diced tomatoes (14oz each)
  • 1 sweet onion (diced)
  • 4 cloves of garlic (minced)
  • 1/2 cup tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp dried basil
  • 1 tbsp coconut sugar
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper

Directions…

  1. Sauté the onion and garlic in coconut oil on medium heat in a saucepan until tender.
  2. Stir in the diced tomatoes, tomato paste, soy sauce, pepper, coconut sugar and basil.
  3. Simmer sauce on low heat slightly covered for about 20-25 minutes.
  4. Allow the sauce to sit while you prepare the lentil “meat”balls.

LENTIL “MEAT”BALLS:

Ingredients…

  • 2 cups chopped kale
  • 2 cups chopped mushrooms
  • 1 1/2 cups brown rice (cooked)
  • 1 1/2 cups lentils (cooked until very tender)
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup raw walnuts
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1 sweet onion (diced)
  • 5 cloves of garlic (minced)
  • 2 tbsp basil (fresh/dried)
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper

Directions…

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees farenheit. Coat an aluminium foil-lined baking pan with coconut oil.
  2. Sautée the onion and garlic in coconut oil on medium heat in a deep skillet pan until tender.
  3. Pulse mushrooms and kale in a food processor/blender. Ensure that the pieces aren’t too fine.
  4. Add the kale and mushroom blend to the pan. Sautée the combination for a couple of minutes before adding the soy sauce, brown rice and lentils. Mix the combination together throughly and then add in the tomato paste, nutritional yeast, basil and pepper.
  5. Continue to cook the mixture on low-medium heat. Pulse the raw walnuts and rolled oats in a food processor/blender. Ensure that the pieces are only coarsely combined. Mix into the “meat”ball mix. Allow this to cool before rolling.
  6. Roll the “meat”balls in your hands so that they are about 1.5 inches in diameter. Place them onto baking sheet.
  7. Bake for about 25-30 minutes or until they are golden brown.
  8. Enjoy!

Makes 2 servings.

No-Bake Gingerbread Men Cookies

Post by Alexandra Courts 

The holidays are approaching, so we’ve come up with a recipe for a no-bake version of a very classic treat. Say hello to these cute and fiesty little gingerbread men… shaped like ninjas, because why not? All you’ll need to recreate this festive goodie is a handful of ingredients and a dehydrator. Keep on reading for the lowdown!

  

Tools…

Ingredients…

  • 1.5 cups dates (pitted and soaked overnight)
  • 1 cup raw almonds
  • 1 cup rolled oats (gluten-free if desired)
  • 0.5 cup ground flaxseed
  • 2 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1.5 tbsp nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp ginger

Directions…

  1. Blend dates until a paste-like texture is formed. Set aside in small bowl while you complete next step.
  2. Blend raw almonds, rolled oats , flax and spices until a fine, ground texture has been reached. Combine with dates by folding “dough” repeatedly with hands.
  3. Roll out the combined mixture with rolling pin between two pieces of parchment paper. Ensure that “dough”is at least of 1/2 inch thickness.
  4. Use cookie cutter to shape your cookies. Repeat the rolling process until all is used.
  5. Place the cookies in a dehydrator at 150 F for 2 hours.

Enjoy! Yields 10-12 cookies.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Garlic Tofu

Recipe by Megan Stulberg 

I found myself craving Brussel sprouts in the produce section of a grocery store a couple of weeks ago, despite never trying them before. I mentioned this to my mum a few hours later, and she reminded me that my grandfather had passed away that day exactly two years ago. Apparently they were his absolute favourite food, which I didn’t know about. I’m sure it was coincidence, but like…how eerie, right?

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Ingredients…

  • 2 cups Brussels sprouts, washed
  • 1 standard block extra firm tofu
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely diced
  • 1/4 cup gluten-free soy sauce
  • 1/4 cold-pressed EVOO
  • 1/4 cup vegan “butter” spread (I used Earth Balance)
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 2 tbsp dried thyme
  • 2 tbsp red chilli flakes
  • Sea salt and black pepper, to taste

Directions…

  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. Chop stems off of Brussels sprouts and slice all widthwise.
  3. Toss Brussels sprouts in large bowl with vegan “butter”, sea salt and black pepper.
  4. Place on baking sheet covered with aluminium foil. Cook in centre oven rack and let roast for approximately 35 minutes. Flip every 5 minutes to prevent burning. Brussels sprouts will be light brown when done.
  5. While Brussels sprouts are cooking, press tofu block between pieces of paper towel with something heavy on top (book, cutting board, etc) until drained.
  6. Chop tofu into bite-sized chunks.
  7. Add EVOO to hot pan. Add tofu in a single layer and let cook until tofu begins to brown. Sprinkle soy sauce, garlic, nutritional yeast, thyme, chilli flakes, sea salt and black pepper on top. Flip tofu, and toss to coat with additional seasoning. Continue cooking until tofu is browned. Remove from heat and set aside.
  8.  Combine tofu and sprouts. Serve immediately.

Makes 2 servings.

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Breakfast Hacks: Overnight Oats

Post by Aine Davis

Overnight oats are a healthy (and easy) way to enjoy breakfast on-the-go! Prepare the night before, and they’ll be ready in the morning. Just mix everything in a jar and leave in the fridge overnight.

PUMPKIN SPICE OATS: 

Top with toasted pecans and walnuts, if desired.

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CHOCOLATE CHOCOLATE OATS: 

  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup oats (same brand as above)
  • 3 tbsp raw cacao powder
  • 3 tbsp raw cacao nibs
  • 2 tbsp blue agave or maple syrup
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Chop up your favourite granola or snack bar to act as a topping!

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Peanut Butter and Banana

  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1/2 cup natural peanut butter
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 whole banana

Serve with toasted pecans and your favourite jam!

Raw blueberry swirl cheesecake

Post by Megan Stulberg

Another (delicious) raw cheesecake recipe from Vegan Girlfriend? Shocker! If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

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Ingredients…

  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 2 cups raw cashews, soaked overnight
  • 1 cup medjool dates, pitted and soaked 1 hour
  • 1 cup raw walnuts, soaked 1 hour
  • 1 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/4 cup organic coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup 100% maple syrup
  • Dash of almond milk, as desired
  • Water, as needed
  1. Make crust by using food processor to chop walnuts and dates until thoroughly combined.
  2. Press mixture evenly (and tightly packed) into deep cake pan lined with plastic wrap. Set aside in freezer.
  3. Combine cashews, lemon juice, coconut, oil, syrup and almond milk in food processor until creamy in consistency. Pour 3/4 of mixture on top of crust and leave 1/4 in food processor. Set pan back in freezer for 30 minutes.
  4. Add blueberries and water to food processor. Continue blending until a thick liquid is formed.
  5. Pour blueberry garnish directly onto cheesecake. Use chopstick or fork to shift mixture to create a swirl pattern.
  6. Leave in freezer overnight to set. Place in refrigerator at least 3 hours before serving to thaw.

Serve chilled. Makes 1 cheesecake (approximately 6-8 slices).

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