Creamy Vegan Roasted Corn Chowder

Soup in the summer?  Hell, yeah!  I am infamous for my love of soup and try to have one in the fridge at all times.  I am also infamous for my love of corn.  I have been known to go to a $30 a plate all-you-can-eat brunch buffet and come back with a giant plate of corn.  Yeah, hubby was less than thrilled with that.  The best part?  I seemed to have passed that love down to my 2.5 year old.  Love it.

It can sometimes be tricky getting a creamy texture in a vegan soup without adding a non-dairy creamer or non-dairy sour cream, which can add a lot of fat.  This recipe allows the veggies to create it for you by blending half and adding it back.  The roasted corn gives a lot of depth and smokiness as well as the oh-so-good sweetness you’d expect from a corn chowder.  Add a pop of color from the zucchini and red pepper, and voila, a beautiful yummy bowl of goodness.

Ingredients:

  • 6 ears sweet corn
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 red potato, chopped into 1/4th to 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1 red pepper, chopped into 1/4th to 1/2 inch cubes
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups non-dairy milk ( I use Enriched Organic Rice Dream)
  • 2 cubes vegetable bouillon ( I use Edward & Sons Non-Chick’n Bouillon)
  • ½ zucchini, chopped into 1/4th to 1/2 inch cubes
  • ½ yellow summer squash, chopped into 1/4th to 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1 tomato, gutted, peeled and chopped into 1/4th to 1/2 inch cubes
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • pinch pepper
  • chives, to garnish

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Shuck and rinse corn. Rest an ear of corn vertically in a large bowl and carefully cut the corn off of the cob. Repeat for all ears. Add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil to the bowl and stir well. Place the corn on a large baking sheet and spread evenly into one layer. Stirring every 10 to 15 minutes, bake for 50 minutes or until the corn is tender and some are browning slightly. Set aside.

2. In a large pot, heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook for 5 minutes until soft, stirring often. Do not let the onion or garlic brown.

3. Add the potato and red pepper and sauté for another 2 to 4 minutes.

4. Add water, milk, bouillon, zucchini, squash, and corn. Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium low, cover, and cook for another 5 minutes.

5. Reduce heat to low. Take 4 ladles of the soup (a little less than half) and place in a high powered blender or vitamix. Blend on high until the mixture is smooth. Pour the liquid back to the soup pot. Add the tomato and stir well.

6. Add the salt 1/2 teaspoon at a time, tasting in between to season appropriately. I used 2 teaspoons, however this will vary depending on your choice of bouillon. Do not over salt. Add a pinch of pepper. Stir well. Garnish with chives and serve.

(Serves 8)

Creamy Vegan Roasted Corn Chowder Recipe Card

Alt=”Creamy Vegan Corn Chowder”

Did you make this recipe?
Please let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and share a picture using #gingerveganista on Instagram and tag @TheGingerVeganista or Twitter and tag @GingerVeganista or Facebook and tag The Ginger Veganista.  Can’t wait to hear from you!

Vegan Mexican Potato Salad

Sometimes I get tired of the same rotation of side dishes when grilling…corn on the cob, baked beans, fruit.  Don’t get me wrong, they are all delicious, but occasionally you just need to shake it up a bit.  This potato salad is super easy, taking about 15 minutes to make, and can be served warm or chilled, both equally as good.  I prefer it warm.  My husband prefers it cold.  To each their own.

A good alternative to an all-mayo based or an all-vinegar based potato salad, this recipe encompasses the creaminess and tanginess of both, while resembling neither.  The onions give it a little crunch, the chilies give it a little bite, the citrus juice gives it a little punch, and the beans give it the creamy texture.  Together…perfection.

Alt=”Vegan Mexican Potato Salad”

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound baby red potatoes, quartered
  • 1 cup vegan refried beans (I use Amy’s Organic Traditional Refried Beans)
  • ¼ cup vegan mayo (I use Earth Balance Mindful Olive Oil Mayo)
  • 1 tablespoon green chilies, chopped
  • ½ tomato, gutted, peeled, and chopped into 1/4 inch cubes
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • 3 tablespoons red onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
  • juice from 1/2 lemon
  • juice from 1/2 lime
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • chives, to garnish

Directions:

1. Wash and quarter the potatoes. Boil uncovered in salted water for 5 – 7 minutes until cooked through and soft. Drain and set aside.

2. In a large bowl, combine refried beans, mayo, green chilies, tomato, green onions, red onion, cilantro, lemon juice, lime juice, cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, and salt. Stir well.

3. Add drained potatoes to the bowl and stir gently, but thoroughly. Serve warm or place the salad in the refrigerator to cool and serve chilled. Garnish with chopped chives.

Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Vegan Mexican Potato Salad Recipe Card

Alt=”Vegan Mexican Potato Salad”

Did you make this recipe?
Please let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and share a picture using #gingerveganista on Instagram and tag @TheGingerVeganista or Twitter and tag @GingerVeganista or Facebook and tag The Ginger Veganista.  Can’t wait to hear from you!

Savory Herb Vegan Butter Spread

Specialty butters make a big impact at any event and can turn a boring bread course into the wow factor you are looking for.  (also see my Sugar and Cinnamon Spiced Vegan Butter Spread recipe here).  This savory herb butter has an amazing flavor that makes you want more and more…pace yourself, though.  After all, it is butter.

This spread is rustic, earthy, salty, and garlicy.  It takes me back to the flavors of Thanksgiving and Christmas and quite simply, just puts a smile on my face.  Not only can you spread this on bread, you can easily cook with it as an easy way to add flavor.  Roasting potatoes?  Brush with this spread to kick it up a notch.  Sautéing mushrooms?  Scoop a dollop into your frying pan for an instant finisher.  There are endless uses for this herb butter.

There is a bit of a prep time that comes a long with this recipe.  While fresh herbs are by far better than dried, it takes longer to prepare them.  Since you only use the leaves, you must separate them from the stems, which can be tedious, but so so worth it.  After the herbs are prepped, the rest is cake.  You can certainly enjoy it right away, but it is best if you let the flavors meld overnight.

I’d love to hear how you use this savory herb vegan butter spread!

Alt=”Savory Herb Vegan Butter Spread”

Ingredients:

  • 1 13 ounce tub Earth Balance, softened (approximately 33 tablespoons)
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • cup fresh sage, roughly chopped leaves
  • cup fresh oregano, roughly chopped leaves
  • cup fresh rosemary, roughly chopped leaves
  • cup fresh thyme, roughly chopped leaves
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Directions:

1. Place garlic and herbs in a food processor and pulse until the contents are finely chopped.

2. In a bowl, combine softened butter, herb mixture, and salt. Stir until completely mixed.

3. Place the butter back in the tub, into a mold, or place in saran wrap and form into a log. Refrigerate.

Savory Herb Vegan Butter Spread Recipe Card

 

Alt=”Savory Herb Vegan Butter Spread”

Did you make this recipe?
Please let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and share a picture using #gingerveganista on Instagram and tag @TheGingerVeganista or Twitter and tag @GingerVeganista or Facebook and tag The Ginger Veganista.  Can’t wait to hear from you!

Sugar and Cinnamon Spiced Vegan Butter Spread

I’m so fancy…   That is literally what I sing every time I make this.  It is so easy to class up any get-together or dinner party by preparing a specialty butter (see my Savory Herb Vegan Butter Spread recipe here).  Your guests are impressed and you barely had to lift a finger.

I’m not sure there is a better combination than sugar and cinnamon.  Maybe chocolate and peanut butter, or potatoes and onions, or mangoes and strawberries…okay so maybe I’m getting a little carried away, but sugar and cinnamon…yes, please.  Yum.  I will usually make this if we are having company, but it can really be used anytime and it is very simple to make.  Throw everything in a bowl and you’re done.  It is great on bread and so so amazing on pancakes and waffles making syrup unnecessary.  No syrup?  You’re getting carried away again, you say?  As a self diagnosed syrup hog, I am telling you, you don’t need syrup when you have this on hand.

Because this makes an entire tub, it will last you a long time, unless you make it for a party…

Alt=”Sugar and Cinnamon Spiced Vegan Butter Spread”

Ingredients:

  • 1 33 ounce tub Earth Balance, softened (approximately 33 tablespoons)
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground clove
  • ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

Directions:

In a bowl, combine all ingredients. Mix well. Place the butter back in the tub, into a mold, or place in saran wrap and form into a log. Refrigerate.

Sugar and Cinnamon Spiced Vegan Butter Spread Recipe Card

Alt=”Sugar and Cinnamon Spiced Vegan Butter Spread”

Did you make this recipe?
Please let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and share a picture using #gingerveganista on Instagram and tag @TheGingerVeganista or Twitter and tag @GingerVeganista or Facebook and tag The Ginger Veganista.  Can’t wait to hear from you!

Vegan Jalapeño Dip Two Ways

A chilled jalapeño dip and a creamy baked jalapeño dip, this is what happens when I can’t make up my mind.  Not only are both of these so very delicious, but they are super easy, essentially throwing everything into a food processor.

The chilled dip has a cool, fresh, mellow flavor with some heat rising on the back end that doesn’t linger too long.   The creamy baked dip has a bit more of a robust flavor with a more intense heat.  I like spicy and I think it’s perfect.  My husband is not always a fan of spice and he thought it was great and not too overpowering.  Of course, you can always adjust the amount to your taste.

Jalapeño Dip

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups cashews
  • 1 cup non-dairy milk
  • 2 jalapenos, whole, with seeds
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 cube not-chick’n bouillon (I use Edward and Sons brand)
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
  • ½ tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Directions:

1. Soak cashews in 2 cups of water for 2-3 hours until soft. Drain.

2. In a food processor or vitamix, combine drained cashews, milk, whole jalapeños minus the stem, garlic, bouillon, juice of one lemon, thyme, rosemary, nutritional yeast, and salt. Blend on high until the mixture is smooth.

3. Refrigerate until chilled. Serve with crackers, pita chips, bread, or veggies.

Jalapeno Dip Recipe Card

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Alt=”Jalapeno Dip”

Alt=”Creamy Baked Jalapeno Dip”

Creamy Baked Jalapeño Dip

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups cashews
  • 1 cup non-dairy milk
  • jalapenos, whole, with seeds
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 1/2 cube not-chick’n bouillon (I use Edward and Sons brand)
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
  • ½ tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup silken tofu
  • 1 cup vegan mozzarella, shredded

Directions:

1. Soak cashews in 2 cups of water for 2-3 hours until soft. Drain.

2. In a food processor or vitamix, combine drained cashews, milk, whole jalapeños minus the stem, garlic, bouillon, juice of one lemon, thyme, rosemary, nutritional yeast, salt, tofu, and mozzarella, setting a pinch of cheese to the side. Blend on high until the mixture is smooth.

3. Place the mixture in an oven safe bowl. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until it bubbles and cracks. Serve hot with bread or crackers.

Creamy Baked Jalapeno Dip Recipe Card

Alt=”Creamy Baked Jalapeno Dip”

Did you make this recipe?
Please let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and share a picture using #gingerveganista on Instagram and tag @TheGingerVeganista or Twitter and tag @GingerVeganista or Facebook and tag The Ginger Veganista.  Can’t wait to hear from you!

 

Pacifica Hair Care

 

Pacifica Beauty is a 100% vegan and cruelty-free company that has a full range of cosmetics, perfumes, and skin care.  It can sometimes be hard to find vegan and cruelty-free products in main stream stores, but aside from being able to order online, you can find a variety of Pacifica products in many stores near you such as Target, Whole Foods, and Ulta.

I love anything coconut, so when I saw the Coconut Power shampoo and conditioner at Ulta, I snatched it up.  My hair can get pretty dry and frizzy, especially in the DC heat and humidity, so I also purchased an anti-frizz serum and moisturizing oil to complete my regimen.

Coconut Power Shampoo and Conditioner

There very first thing I noticed was the smell.  It should not have been surprising since the founder’s first interests included the art of scents and making her own fragrances.  It is really amazing and lasts long after you shampoo.  The coconut aroma is sweet and strong, so if coconut is not for you, you may want to pass on this variety.  I did receive quite a few compliments about smelling nice while using the products.

The shampoo is gentle and cleanses well.  I cannot attest to which product is responsible, as I used the shampoo and conditioner together, but my hair was super soft both wet and dry.  I thought this would pass, since sometimes I notice that after using a product for awhile my hair reverts back to its rough texture, but for the entire month I used it (washing every other day), it remained soft.

Alt=”Pacifica Coconut Power”

 

Anti-Frizz Serum and Nourishing Oil

The Dragon Tamer Anti-Frizz Serum can be used on wet or dry hair and before or after blow drying.  Now, having two small children, my showers occur in the evening after they are FINALLY asleep and usually end with me going to bed with wet hair and almost NEVER ends in blow drying.  I either put my hair up in the morning or break out the flat iron, usually the former.  With no product, my hair gets pretty frizzy.  I tried the Dragon Tamer both on wet hair right out of the shower and on dry hair the next day and found the frizz factor definitely decreased, but didn’t take it away completely.  That being said, I have zero expectation that any product would take away all frizz on its own.  Now, using the Dragon Tamer in conjunction with the straight iron…perfection.  Much better than straightening without any product.

The Native Flower Nourishing Oil is to be used on dry hair and a little goes a long way.  The oil definitely was a nice finishing touch making my hair shiny and smooth without weighing it down.  A couple of times I used too much on the ends and the result was not pleasant, but that was more due to me not paying attention.

 

Products:

Coconut Power Strong and Long Healing Shampoo – $10 for 8 ounces

Coconut Power Strong and Long Healing Conditioner – $10 for 8 ounces

Dragon Tamer Anti-Frizz Serum – $14 for 1.7 ounces

Native Flower Nourishing Oil – $14 for 1.6 ounces

Overall, I give these products my full approval.  I have used them since my first purchase and will continue to use them in the future as part of my rotation.  I absolutely adore the smell and love how soft and smooth my hair feels.  Have you tried Pacifica hair care products?  What did you think?  Leave a comment below!

Wilted Kale and Beans

This is just about one of the easiest recipes to make, using only six ingredients.  Do you see a theme coming from me lately…easy and simple…  Eventually, I’ll master being a  supermom, you know, making crafts that would put Pinterest to shame, preparing four course meals every day, sewing all of our clothes, and growing our own organic produce all while kissing away boo boos by day and saving the world by night, but for now, all I have time for is a six ingredient recipe.  Baby steps.

The concentrated broth packs a lot of flavor, which is intensified as the liquid boils off leaving a rich savory taste with little effort.  Kale can be tricky, though.  It needs to be cooked long enough to get rid of the bitter taste.  The time spent wilting, then cooking off the liquid seems to be just right to bring the kale to its sweet spot.  Want to know what else I love about this recipe?  No oil, just the necesities.  I tend to make this as a side dish for holidays, for get togethers, or just for a regular Tuesday dinner, but this time it has been my lunch and my dinner and I am already looking forward to eating more for breakfast.

You can get fancy with it if you have the time.  Sometimes I throw in sautéed onions and minced garlic.  Adding curry powder and garam masala is also a fun twist to take it in a different direction.

Ingredients:

  • 12 ounces kale, cleaned and chopped
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 vegetable bullion cubes (I prefer Edward and Sons bullion)
  • 3 15.5 ounce cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • ½ tablespoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Directions:

1. Place two cups of water and two vegetable bullion cubes into a microwave safe bowl and heat until cubes are dissolved.

2. Place the kale and one cup of vegetable broth into a large pot and heat over medium heat covered for five minutes.

3. Uncover and increase the heat to medium high. Add the beans and garlic powder. Stir well until no liquid remains at the bottom of the pot. Continue to add one tablespoon of broth at a time and stir until no liquid remains, repeating until the broth is gone. Add salt to taste.

(Serves 8)

Alt=”Wilted Kale and Beans”

Wilted Kale and Beans Recipe Card

Did you make this recipe?
Please let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and share a picture using #gingerveganista on Instagram and tag @TheGingerVeganista or Twitter and tag @GingerVeganista or Facebook and tag The Ginger Veganista.  Can’t wait to hear from you!

Grilled Asian Bella Skewers

So after about a two month hiatus, I am finally back at it.  My family moved into a new house and between the move, unpacking, decorating, and all the craziness that comes with having two babies, I’m lucky to have my sanity.  Fortunately, I have a great husband and plenty of red wine that pulled me through.

Summer = Grilling Season.  Yes, please.  Sign me up.  Anything that I can grill, I will.  Nothing comes close to the flavor and the crispy char you get from an open flame.  This recipe is a great go to when you don’t want anything too complicated or time consuming, but want lots of flavor.  You basically throw everything into bowl, let it marinate, and grill. I marinated mine overnight because, frankly, I had to tend to a sick kid so it sat in the fridge until the next day.  You’d probably be fine marinating for 4 – 5 hours if you don’t want to wait.

Alt=”Grilled Asian Bella Skewers”

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup soy sauce
  • cup water
  • cup rice vinegar
  • ¼ cup sesame oil
  • 4 teaspoons agave nectar
  • teaspoon Chinese five spice
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds, to garnish
  • 1 tablespoon chives, to garnish
  • 16 ounces baby portobello mushrooms, cleaned and sliced 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick

Directions:

1. To make the marinade, combine soy sauce, water, rice vinegar, sesame oil, agave nectar, Chinese five spice, garlic, and garlic powder in a tupperware container.

2. Clean baby bellas well. Slice them into 1/4th to 1/2 inch slices and place them in the marinade stirring gently to submerge all of the mushrooms. Marinate overnight, occasionally stirring the mixture.

3. Carefully skewer the mushrooms and grill over medium flame basting with the marinade until desired crispness. Garnish with roasted sesame seeds and chives.

Alt=”Grilled Asian Bella Skewers”

Grilled Asian Bella Skewers Recipe Card

Did you make this recipe?
Please let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and share a picture using #gingerveganista on Instagram and tag @TheGingerVeganista or Twitter and tag @GingerVeganista or Facebook and tag The Ginger Veganista.  Can’t wait to hear from you!

Bare Bones Body: Cross Bone Special

I stumbled across Bare Bones Body Care on Instagram and immediately felt the brand calling my name.  The company was started by owner, Monica, after years of allergic reactions to mainstream body care products.  She was tired of all the chemicals and decided to make her own products.  Most of the products have less than 8 ingredients and they are all natural, non-toxic, vegan, and cruelty-free!  Raise your hand if you’re sold, yet…

Well, my skin is pretty sensitive.  In fact, I recently recovered from a pretty severe allergic reaction to a facial cleanser.  I used said cleanser and woke up in the middle of the night super itchy and eyes swollen nearly shut, so yeah, that was fun.  I had to go to the dermatologist and spend weeks applying hydrocortisone and using every ounce of willpower not to scratch my face off.  Even after the swelling went down, I would have flare ups of itchy red spots on my eyelids and forehead (cute, right?), so it’s been a struggle to find something gentle enough that works.

You can imagine how excited I was to find Bare Bones.  Monica’s story sounded a lot like mine and any product that is vegan and cruelty-free gets two thumbs up from this ginger. The icing on the cake is the simplicity of the formulas.  Anyone that knows me knows that added chemicals are my nemesis.  Keep it simple, keep it pure… Bare Bones delivers.  I absolutely love the adorable skull and cross bones logo and all of the products, except the lip balm, come in reusable glass bottles.

There are a variety of products, all super affordable, which I’ll list at the end of the article.  Today I am reviewing the Cross Bones Special Gift Pack, which includes the cleanser, toner, moisturizer, and two lip balms.  The package is $35, $5 less than purchasing the items separately.

Cleanser

What’s in it:  Vegetable glycerin, organic rose water, organic tea tree oil

How to use:  Apply to dry face in circular motion, rinse with warm water

Thoughts:  First of all, the cleanser smells fantastic, which I assume must be the rose water.  It also tastes pretty darn good…not that I recommend drinking the stuff, but if some were to accidentally get on your lips and you were to lick them, it wouldn’t be terrible…  Now this cleanser feels different than most main-stream cleansers…it does not foam and it is very thin, almost the consistency of water.  It instantly makes your face feel smooth. Because of the thin consistency with no foam or lather, it is easy to think that it may not be working, but there is a really easy way to test that…use the toner.  Is there dirt or makeup on the cotton pad?

DSC_1229

 

Toner

What’s in it:  Organic lemon juice, witch hazel

How to use:  Apply after cleanser with a cotton pad in upward motions on your face and neck

Thoughts:  I just love that this is made with only two ingredients.  After applying with a cotton pad, your skin feels fresh, clean, cool, and a bit tingly.  Did the cleanser pass the test?  Yep!  Not a single speck of makeup on that puppy.

Alt=”Bare Bones Body Toner”

 

Moisturizer

What’s in it:  Organic shea butter, organic olive oil, organic coconut oil

How to use:  After face wash and toner, apply to face and any other thirsty skin

Thoughts:  I love this moisturizer.  It leaves your face super smooth with no traces of dryness.  Normally, I use coconut oil as a face and body moisturizer so I am used to an oil based one.  If you normally use a cream based lotion, this will definitely feel different to you.  First thing to know is that you need to use a lot less than you think.  If it doesn’t absorb into your skin, you’ve used too much.  After a week of using this, my face was noticeably softer.  My two year old sat on my lap, stroked my face, and said, “Nice.  Nice.”  Adorable.

 

Lip Balm

Peppermint Balm – What’s in it: Organic cocoa butter, organic coconut oil, candelilla wax, organic peppermint essential oil

Spiced Balm – What’s in it: Organic cocoa butter, organic coconut oil, candelilla wax, organic cinnamon leaf essential oil, organic tangerine essential oil

Thoughts: These balms melt right on your lips and make them soft as can be.  There is a little tingle that happens with the peppermint balm which is nice.

 

Products:

Deodorant – 2 oz stick for $8.  Made with organic coconut oil, shea butter, candelilla wax, baking soda, arrowroot powder, and different essential oils depending on what scent you order.  This is not an antiperspirant, however is Bare Bones’ top seller.  It moisturizes and keeps you smelling fresh.

Cleanser – 4 oz bottle for $10.

Toner – 4 oz bottle for $10.

Face Oil – 2 oz bottle for $25.  Made with organic hemp seed oil, organic grape seed oil, organic jojoba oil, organic palmarosa essential oil, and organic grapefruit essential oil. Man I wish this was included in the package.

Moisturizer – 4 oz for $14.

Lip Balm – $3-$4 per tube.  Bare Balm, Peppermint Balm, Spiced Balm, Coffee Balm, and Citrus IPA.  Made with organic cocoa butter, organic coconut oil, candellila wax, and various organic essential oils.

Tattoo Balm – 2 oz for $10.  Made with organic shea butter, organic coconut oil, organic olive oil, and candelilla wax.  I cannot wait to try this.  I am finishing up my sleeve in the next few months!

Black Magic Mask – 2 oz for $18.  Made with organic matcha green tea powder, bentonite clay, and activated charcoal.  This looks awesome, although I might scare my kids if they see me with it on!

Cross Bones Special Gift Pack – $35 for the set.

 

Overall, I just love Bare Bones.  It gives you the warm fuzzies to support a small business while buying products that were neither tested on animals, nor use animal products.  Knowing exactly what is going on my skin, without having to research an extensive label, is such a relief.  I haven’t had any more bouts of itchiness yet.  And most importantly, I don’t have to worry about what kind of residue is rubbing off of my skin onto my adorable baby boys.

Have you tried Bare Bones?  What did you think?  Leave a comment below!

 

 

Garlic Brussels Sprouts and Roasted Tomatoes with Crispy Leeks

Brussels sprouts tend to be a pretty divisive vegetable, people either love them or hate them.  I fall in the ‘love’ camp.  I truly believe people that dislike them may have just not had them cooked properly or seasoned correctly…either that or they really do just hate them, but that is just such a sad notion to me so I choose to believe they just need the right recipe.

What makes everything better?  Yep, garlic and butter.  The sprouts in this recipe melt in your mouth and the pop of tang from the tomatoes make for a great combination.  The crispy leek topping is good on so many different things, my favorite being mashed potatoes and brussels sprouts.  This recipe makes enough for a side dish, however I tend to double it and eat it as a main course.  It is always a hit at holidays and pot lucks.  Enjoy!

Alt=”Garlic Brussels Sprouts and Roasted Tomatoes with Crispy Leeks”

 

Ingredients:

Brussels Sprouts

  • 2 pounds brussels sprouts
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ cup earth balance
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Tomatoes

  • 1 pint grape tomatoes
  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pinch salt

Leeks

  • 3 leeks
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 pinches salt

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with tin foil. Half each tomato longways. Toss tomatoes, olive oil, and salt into a quart sized zip lock bag and seal with plenty or air inside.  Shake the bag to coat the tomatoes in the oil and salt. Dump the bag onto the baking sheet and make sure the tomatoes lay in a single layer. Roast in the oven for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and gently stir. Return to the oven to continue roasting for another 15 minutes, or until the tomatoes begin to break down and brown slightly.

2. While the tomatoes are roasting, prep the brussels sprouts, garlic, and leeks:
– Wash the brussels sprouts well. Trim off the stem and remove some of the rough outer leaves. Quarter the brussels sprouts by cutting in half vertically through the core, then in half again through the core.
– Mince the garlic
– To prep the leeks, slice off the dark green end, trimming to the part where the color is a pale green. Cut off the root end. You should be left with a stalk approximately 4 inches long. Slice the leeks in half lengthwise. Rinse well to remove any dirt between the layers. Place the stalks cut side down and slice thin half moons.

3. Heat a large pot over medium heat. Add the garlic and earth balance. Sauté for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the brussels sprouts, salt, and garlic powder. Stir well to coat the sprouts with butter. Cover and cook for 30 to 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. I like my brussels sprouts very well done and a bit mushy, so I cook longer. If you like them al dente, remove when the desired texture is achieved.

4. Heat the olive oil in medium sauté pan over medium heat. Add the leeks and salt. Stir often and cook until leeks turn a dark brown and become crispy, approximately 10 to 15 minutes. Remove and let rest on a paper towel to continue to crisp.

5. Place brussels sprouts and tomatoes in a bowl. Toss gently. Top with crispy leeks and serve.

Garlic Brussels Sprouts and Roasted Tomatoes with Crispy Leeks Recipe Card

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Alt=”Garlic Brussels Sprouts and Roasted Tomatoes with Crispy Leeks”