Vegan Beauty, Sheet Pans, Sausage …. and a Contest!

I have a stack of cool kitchen books for you once again. And this one covers a large spectrum of interests: from sausage maker, quick sheet pan meals, to mixing all your own vegan beauty products. Plus enter the contest to win one of these kitchen books!

Yes I am mixing meat and vegan beauty recipes together in one swoop, call me crazy, but my interests vary. I have trouble focusing one one subject very long and my mind wanders 🙂 Maybe your interests change a lot too and you are looking to explore new untapped skills! Here are a few suggestions for you to try. Or perhaps these books could become great gift inspirations. After all Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa … they are not really that far away!

I am including not one but two beauty recipes for you to try right now! PLUS win your own copy of the The Compassionate Chick’s Guide to DIY Beauty book. Find the details of the contest down below!

Matcha Green Goddess Facial Mask spooned
Tasty reading ahead, KEEP GOING… →

4 Brazilian Dishes to Eat as You Watch the Olympics

With most of the world’s attention focused on the Olympics in Rio, it is a perfect time to discover some delicious Brazilian dishes.

So when was the last time you enjoyed a meal composed of Brazilian dishes? I am willing to bet it has been quite a while, if ever. Luckily I have sourced 4 Brazilian recipes from CulturEatz’s archives for you to try in honor of the 2016 Olympics in Rio. They are are mix of traditional recipes with a twist, a vegan version of a classic dish, a sandwich made with a tapioca crepe, and a refeshing drink made with Coca Cola.

Brazilian Dishes

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Not Yo Mama’s Neapolitan

Nothing beats the summer heat like a Neapolitan frozen treat. Yonanas comes to the rescue with a healthy fruit “ice cream” which will also be kind to your bikini line.

It’s really summer and it is officially frozen dessert season here in the Northern Hemisphere. As you all know I am a huge fan of ice cream but I have been watching what I eat and when I look at the calorie count of ice cream…yikes. That does not mean I will completely deprive myself of ice cream pleasures but for everyday treats finding a healthier alternative is a huge step in the right direction.

Yonanas Neapolitan

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Crunchy Colorful Thai Cabbage Salad & the 4th annual Food Film Marathon

Do you have a jar of coconut oil at home? If so, you are joining and ever growing crowd of fans of this most delicious and versatile oil. I bought my first jar a while back and I must admit at first I did not use it much. I just did not really know how to use it. But once I broke away from the ‘fear of the unknown’ I became addicted. If you are still hesitant as to howto incorporate this oil, or any coconut product, than I would suggest you check out The Complete Coconut Cookbook.

There are so many intriguing dishes and sweets to pick from in the cookbook but the Crunchy Colorful Thai Cabbage Salad recipe was the perfect dish to prepare for my 4th annual Food Film Marathon which took place this past weekend.

Thai Cabbage Salad

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Bean Vegan Lately? Brazilian Vegan Feijoada & Red Bean Ice Cream

More beans are good for you! Here are two great recipes to add to your recipe rotation: Vegan Feijoada and Japanese Red Bean Ice Cream.

For as long as I can remember my mom has been on the hunt for good recipes with beans and legumes. This has influenced me a bit too as I may not search for such recipes as actively but if they fall in my lap my curiosity will be piqued. When I was offered the Vegan Beans from Around the World cookbook for review I could hardly say no. The ‘around the world’ part obviously increased my interest. Would it love up to my high expectation? Let’s find out with the two recipes I prepared from this cookbook: the Brazilian Vegan Feijoada and the Japanese Red Bean Ice Cream.

vegan feijoada

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The No Cook No Bake Cookbook: Tofu Carpese Stacks and Fig Chia Jam

Its a scorching hot and humid summer heatwave, the 7th day in a row, and you just spent your day traveling to and from work in an hot steamy airless packed subway and bus.  There is a respite for a few hours at work, thankfully there is AC there. When you do get home you strip and plop yourself on the couch with your fan on High aimed right at you because you only have AC in the bedroom. After 30 minutes of ‘chillin’ a horrible thought comes to mind: there is NO WAY I am cooking dinner but what am I going to eat? Panic stricken, you remember to reach for the new practical book you just got: The No Cook No Bake Cookbook!

Tofu Carpese Stacks

Tasty reading ahead, KEEP GOING… →

Breakfast Chocolate Coconut Rice Pudding

OK, I will have to come clean: I love rice pudding. It seems people hate it or love it, but no in between. I have always enjoyed this dessert. So when I fell on a recipe that suggested it as a healthy breakfast option I was of course all over it. It’s a nice change from oatmeal or cream of wheat. And since this recipe calls for coconut milk it is vegan as well. I am sure you could try it too with rice, almond or soya milk.

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I came across this recipe as I was searching for a dish that included cocoa beans. My friend Susan brought back a few coca beans for me from a trip to Mexico about 3 years ago. Well those cocoa beans got lost in the jungle I call my food pantry. Too bad I waited so long, I never cooked with this ingredient before but now I am hooked. There is not a huge amount of cocoa beans in this recipe so the taste is subtle and earthy, perfect for breakfast in my opinion.
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Cocoa beans is the main ingredient of chocolate. Once the bean has dried and fermented (which removes the bitterness), one can extract the cocoa solids and cocoa butter. The cocoa butter counts for 50% of the bean’s composition, the rest being protein, sugar and starch. The beans are also packed with antioxidants, serotonin, vitamins, minerals and phenylethylamine, a natural antidepressant. So in small quantities, eating cocoa beans or dark chocolate can be beneficial to your health. A lot of people who have tasted the bean straight complain it is bitter. That means it was not a fully fermented bean. I ate one and found the texture to be like a fatty coffee bean, with a sublime intense chocolate nutty flavor, not sweet and not bitter.

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And with the addition of brown rice, molasses and toasted coconut, this rice pudding has nice rich deep flavor. If you do not have molasses you could substitute with brown sugar. And if you want to turn this breakfast meal into a dessert you can simply add a bit more molasses and/or sugar to taste. If you cannot find cocoa beans (or nibs) you can use chocolate chips, just keep in ind it will melt, unlike the beans.

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Yields 5

Breakfast Chocolate Coconut Rice Pudding
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  • 2 cups short-grain brown rice
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil or coconut spread
  • 4 to 5 cups of unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut, flakes or shredded
  • 3 tablespoon molasses
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup cocoa nibs


  1. Preheat oven or toaster oven to 350 degrees. Spread the coconut in a thin layer over a baking sheet with ridges and bake on the lowest rack setting for three to four minutes. Keep an eye on the coconut to make sure they don't burn, and stir if necessary.
  2. In a heavy, medium saucepan, melt the coconut oil. Add the rice and brown it for about four minutes. This will give the rice a nutty flavor.
  3. Once browned, add the coconut milk and vanilla. Bring to a boil, cover the saucepan, and reduce heat to low, simmering lightly and stirring periodically until the rice is tender and the mixture thickens.
  4. Add the molasses, coconut flakes, and cocoa nibs towards the end of the cooking process to preserve crunch. It will take 45 minutes to an hour to cook the rice, so add the additional ingredients 30 to 50 minutes in, depending on how fast the liquid is absorbing.
  5. When the rice is done and a small amount of liquid has retained, turn the heat off and let the rice sit under the closed lid for 10 to 15 minutes. Serve warm or chilled.
Recipe Type: Breakfast & Brunch