Happy Thursday, everyone, and Happy Wellness Weekend! I’m amazed at how the summer is just flying by (especially since here in Toronto, it’s barely begun. . . we’ve had such weird weather so far!). Once again last week you amazed me with all the fabulous recipes. I think summer would be a great time to have a massive pot luck in which we all share these dishes in a huge park somewhere, wouldn’t it? A gal can dream. . . .
Really, what tells Dad “I love you” more than cooking a special meal just for him?
When I was growing up, the only meal we could all count on as a family (since my dad worked crazy-long hours during the week, and we had all scraped the last bits of food off our plates long before he even got home) was Sunday brunch. In those days, it was a heavily meat-laden affair, with eggs over easy, rye toast and the occasional oatmeal porridge. Still, brunch remained the meal we used for family celebrations, such as my mom’s birthday, my parents’ anniversary, or Father’s Day.
It wasn’t until I moved to Toronto and discovered “going out to brunch” as an institution that I really began to consume pancakes on a regular basis. In the old days, my friends and I would frequent The Golden Griddle at Eglinton and Roehampton, where you could get a bottomless cup of coffee, stacks of moist, golden buttermilk pancakes for less than $5.00, and ny (then) very-favorite potato puffs (a full plate of which I once left entirely untouched during a 3-hour period between 11:00 PM and 1:00 AM while I sobbed into my coffee cup, and my buddy Gemini I consoled me over the dissolution of my marriage).
Today’s recipe came about as the culmination of an email exchange I began several months ago with Francis, one of the owners of the family-run company Yoso. Yoso makes dairy-free yogurt and dairy-free soy-based spreads and dips. At one point, Francis mentioned that he and his brother were about to launch a new coconut-based yogurt in my area, and would I perhaps be interested in trying some out?
Of course, I replied with my usual spiel: I can’t eat anything with sugar, I don’t “do” processed ingredients, but maybe if you have an unsweetened version, I’d consider it, blah blah blabeddy-blah-blah. I kind of expected that the spate of tweets would just end right there. . . but no.
Francis responded with this list of the ingredients in their unsweetened coconut yogurt: Water, Pure Organic Coconut, Rice Starch, Chicory Inulin, Natural Flavors, Non Dairy Lactic Acid, Tricalcium Phosphate, Carob Bean Gum, Xanthan Gum, Non Dairy Bacterial Culture (Lactobacillus Acidophilus). Well, hooboy! I can work with that! Pretty impressive, if you ask me.
Now, as you all know, I rarely eat processed foods. These days, as I ease back into more “normal” eating from the strict phases of the ACD, I do sometimes allow myself the rare dried fruit (such as goji berries or golden berries), agave, or a prepared food of top-notch quality. And if I am going to eat a packaged yogurt, there’s nothing in this one that would deter me. I emailed back with a hearty “yes, please!”.
A few days later, I received a box containing the following:
Needless to say, I immediately opened all three cartons and took a spoonful of each (what? that isn’t what everyone would do?). Now, I’ve tried other nondairy yogurts before, and while they were. . . okay. . . I wasn’t exactly besotted. The first thing I noticed about the Yoso was the texture: luxuriously silky and smooth, thick, creamy, even more rich-tasting than the dairy-based yogurts I remember.
And the flavor was divine! I offered a spoonful the chocolate flavor to the HH after dinner and, well, I’ll just say that before I knew it, we were practically on the floor wrestling (no, no, not that way! For the yogurt, people!). Yes, he liked it that much. I loved the vanilla, too, though the sweetness level (with agave) was perhaps just a tad too much for me now that I’m so accustomed to stevia or no sweetener at all in most things. The unsweetened was perfect: smooth and thick, but still with a pleasant, mild flavor even without added sweeteners. I adored it.
And while I would have been perfectly happy to consume the entire carton of unsweetened straight up (as we did with the vanilla and chocolate), I decided that I wanted to create something a little special with the yogurt, too. And since Father’s Day is right around the corner, I opted for these pancakes.
Made with frozen cherries and oats, they’re hearty, fruity, not-too-sweet and very satisfying. They’ll rise up high and cakelike, with intermittent splashes of juicy crimson in between. A perfect filling brunch dish to lure Dad away from the BBQ on Sunday.
GIVEAWAY ALERT! YOSO IS OFFERING A PACK OF THEIR NEW YOGURTS TO A DDD READER! TO ENTER THE GIVEAWAY, JUST SKIP ON DOWN BELOW THE RECIPE.
1 Tbsp (15 ml) sunflower or other light-tasting oil, preferably organic
1/4-1/3 cup (60-80 ml) unsweetened plain or vanilla almond or soy milk, or coconut beverage, as needed [for nut-free, use soy milk]
1/2 cup (120 ml) sliced cherries, fresh or frozen
In a large bowl, mix together the flour, oats, protein powder, psyllium, flax, baking powder, baking soda, stevia and salt.
In a small bowl, whisk together the yogurt, milk, vinegar, oil and vanilla. Pour the wet mixture over the dry and stir just to blend–do not overmix! Gently fold in the cherries.
Heat a large nonstick frypan over medium heat. Using a large ice cream scoop or 1/3 cup (80 ml) measuring cup, pour batter onto the pan and spread out with the back of a spoon or a silicone spatula to flatten. Cook 4-5 minutes, until the tops are just dry, then flip and cook another 3-4 minutes, until deep golden. As the batter sits, it may thicken up; add extra milk, about a tablespoon (15 ml) at a time, to retain desired consistency. Makes 8-10 pancakes. May be frozen.
The fine folks at Yoso have agreed to ship out the same package they sent me (a carton each of the unsweetened, vanilla and chocolate coconut-based yogurts) to a DDD reader within their current territory (Ontario, Quebec and Manitoba). You’ll also receive some amazing recipes using the yogurts!
Only Canadians (yep, for once, the apology goes out to US folks–sorry!) in Ontario, Quebec and Manitoba.
Follow the instructions in the Rafflecopter form, below, to enter. Once you check the first box and leave a comment, options for other entries will open up to you.
I’ll choose a winner at random at 11:59 PM on Father’s Day, Sunday, June 16th.
Happy Thursday, everyone! Hope you are having a great week. Well, it’s about to get better, anyway: time for Wellness Weekend! As always, thank you to all of you for dropping by and sharing your incredible recipes. I love seeing what you cook up each week!
Hello Everyone! It’s Thursday once again, which means another Wellness Weekend, of course! And can you believe it’s the last WW of May?! How the heck did THAT happen?
Well, at least the weather is finally summery here in Toronto. Your amazing recipes from last week really evoked the hazy, lazy days of summer, too. . . everything from picnic-friendy salads to iced coffee to caramel sauce (great on ice cream) and crock pot corn on the cob!
Hi Everyone! Welcome to this week’s Wellness Weekend.
By the time you read this, I will be on my way to this year’s Vida Vegan Con, the premier vegan bloggers’ conference! I’m really excited to meet up with so many vegan bloggers whom I’ve come to know via the internet. And, of course, will report back to you all when I return–with lots of stories and FOOD pics!
And speaking of food–well, as usual, you all outdid yourselves last week! Thanks for all the incredible recipes and inspiring ideas. I can’t wait to see what you share this week.
Hi Everyone! Welcome to this week’s Wellness Weekend.
I’ve been slowly getting back into the swing of things over the past two weeks and glad to be back on track. With summer around the corner, I can’t wait to spend more time outdoors with The Girls! (Oh, yeah, and the HH, too, of course–ha ha!). Your fabulous recipes from last week were geared toward warmer weather, too, with lots of raw dishes in the mix.
Hi Everyone! Hope you’re all having an awesome week and enjoying some down time outside (here in Toronto, it’s been in the high 20s/low 80s and sunny all week! Can’t ask for better than that.
I was a bit MIA last week, but did get a chance to check out your delectable entries to Wellness Weekend. From the Frosted Vanilla Cupcakes to the Raw Coconut Fudge to the Mexican Chili Salad Wraps to the Vegan Cheese Biscuits, I loved ‘em all! My “to make” list is just getting longer and longer. . . !
[What might be hiding under this neatly wrapped tissue? Read on to find out!]
I’ve been thinking about the perfect giveaway for Mother’s Day. Something that would make life easier for Mum. Something filled with good food that everyone could eat.
With this Tasterie box, I think I’ve found it. (Disclosure: I received a free Tasterie box and am on the Tasterie advisory board. Tasterie is also providing a prize for one of my readers. The opinions in this post are my own). Even though I lost my own mom years ago, there are still many moms in my life that I love and value. And I know that all mothers out there appreciate a little help–and recognition for what they do!
I first learned about Tasterie last year when I was contacted by the company’s owner, Lama Rimawi, to see if I’d be interested in sitting on the advisory board for her new company. Tasterie is an allergy-safe food and snack box that is delivered right to your door each month. They have a dozen (yes, 12!) different types of boxes to cover virtually any kind of allergies or diets, from simply “gluten and wheat” or “egg” allergies to “top 8″ or “vegan and gluten-free” (the one I got). And each box is packed by hand and overseen by their attentive and educated staff.
Rimawi is herself a pediatrician and mom. She created the company as an antidote to endless hours scouring the store shelves to find safe foods for her two young sons with multiple allergies. As she says,”The lack of allergy-safe and great tasting food products available is ridiculous! I can remember standing in the aisles of supermarkets trying to read labels, sleep deprived, with a newborn at home and a toddler running around my legs wanting an easier and better option. All I wanted was to find something to eat that wouldn’t cause a reaction in my little son.” The result was Tasterie, which has been growing steadily since its inception.
Can you trust the foods you receive in a Tasterie box? Absolutely. Again, I think Rimawi says it best when she describes the procedure her company uses to source and pack the items in each Tasterie box. She points out, “We search the globe to find the most amazing foods and snacks that fit your food allergy and dietary needs. As a food allergy mom, I place safety as our top priority.” They also have in place a “rigorous selection process developed by physicians and industry experts. This quality controlled, multistep process has been peer reviewed to make sure that it is as thorough as possible.” Rimawi also taste-tests every item in the box first, with her family, to ensure that the foods and snacks are delicious and will appeal to kids. (It’s a tough job, but somebody’s gotta do it!).
My May box contained seven items:
Farmstand Split Pea Soup (a dry mix to which you add water or vegetable broth);
Really Great Foods Vanilla Muffin Mix (the mix itself is vegan; can be made with egg or egg substitutes);
Ener-G Crackers (a great gluten-free version of saltines);
MiniPops – itty bitty butter (popped sorghum grain–like mini popcorn!);
Tasty Brand Fruit Snacks;
Barney Butter Almond Butter; and
Bumble Bars – chocolate flavor (a sesame/seed bar).
Bonus: coupons for most of the items in the box!
I should note that this is not a sugar-free box, so I couldn’t taste everything, but the items I did sample were terrific. I’m going to make the muffins for the HH so will report back! I tried a nibble of the cracker (just like those saltines of yore), the mini-pops (a fantastic snack for just 100 calories), the Barney Butter (which I’ve been pining after since I first heard about it–not available in Canada), and the Bumble Bars (yum). Each month is a different selection, so you’ll have the chance to try out different foods from these as well, of course.
I think a delivery of a Tasterie box would be a great gift to help ease the pressure on Mom, don’t you?
If you’d like to win a free sample Tasterie box for June, enter the giveaway using the Rafflecopter form below. I’ll choose a winner on Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 12, so check back on that day to see if you’ve won for your mom!
Eligibility: US residents (apologies to my Canadian and international friends!)
How to Enter: Use the Rafflecopter form to leave a comment (required), below. Click on the green +1 to open the box, then leave a comment in the comments section below the post. Clicking on “I commented!” allows you to access the other options. Then, increase your chances with any of the other options, if desired (not required).
Deadline: Contest ends at 11:59 PM EST on May 11th. Winner announced Mother’s Day, May 12th.
Good luck, everyone, and enjoy the special day with Mom this Sunday!
["Sounds great, Mum! We're happy to help you eat your vegan and gluten-free snacks, but wouldn't it be great if they started a Canine Treat Box, too?"]
Hi Everyone! Welcome back to this week’s Wellness Weekend!
I’m popping in to say that I may be absent for a few more days on the blog. I hadn’t expected to be gone for a whole week this past week, but have been having some health challenges and I’m not sure when things will be resolved. For now, I’m going to take a little hiatus until things are sorted out. I’m hoping that will be soon.
So, I apologize that there are no Newsy Tidbits this week. I hope to be back up and running by next week’s event.
In the meantime, thank you all as always for your support. And please do share all your wonderful recipes this week! I hope to peek in and see what you all have cooked up.
I look forward to chatting with you all again soon!
We had 38 mouth-watering entries last week, with everything from TWO Banana-Based pies to Earth Day Rice to Gingerbread Almond Butter (mmm!) to shakes, soups and sandwiches. As always, your recipes impressed me with how delicious and creative they are! Keep ‘em coming! And now, for this week’s news. . . .