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Miyoko’s Kitchen Sneak Peek!
Exclusive sneak peek into Miyoko’s Kitchen via VegNews. Ah man, would’ve loved to be on that tour! I am so excited for the opening of Miyoko’s Kitchen. Her artisan vegan cheese recipes are really outstanding, but definitely take some effort. How great to just be able to stroll in & buy a delicious vegan cheese? Woot! 

vegnews:
Ever wonder what goes into building a state-of-the-art vegan cheese company? So have we! Yesterday, we took a private tour of the soon-to-open Miyoko’s Kitchen in Fairfax, CA, where artisan vegan cheese will be made and shipped around the world. Check out the exclusive photo tour here!

Miyoko’s Kitchen Sneak Peek!

Exclusive sneak peek into Miyoko’s Kitchen via VegNews. Ah man, would’ve loved to be on that tour! I am so excited for the opening of Miyoko’s Kitchen. Her artisan vegan cheese recipes are really outstanding, but definitely take some effort. How great to just be able to stroll in & buy a delicious vegan cheese? Woot! 

vegnews:

Ever wonder what goes into building a state-of-the-art vegan cheese company? So have we! Yesterday, we took a private tour of the soon-to-open Miyoko’s Kitchen in Fairfax, CA, where artisan vegan cheese will be made and shipped around the world. Check out the exclusive photo tour here!

(via petitvour)

Native Pals Supports Farm Sanctuary & More!

Hi Compassionate Friends! Have you heard? Native Foods recently launched a partnership "Native Pals," a “new giveback program” where they bring all of their restaurants together to work for great causes. Native has partnered with three amazing national organizations: Farm Sanctuary, Surfrider & Mercy for Animals. Starting (today!) Monday July 28th, all Native Foods locations will begin monthly “give backs” to one of these three groups & offer a free special dessert with purchase of entrée, side & drink.

Today’s benefit honors Farm Sanctuary.The mystery dessert is a very special “Bruno’s Blueberry Crumble.” Bruno (pictured above) is one of Native Foods adopted cows!

So, be sure to visit your local Native today, eat some yummy vegan food & support the wonderful efforts of Farm Sanctuary! You can read more about the "Native Pals Partnership" here. Now go get your charity grub on!

Miyoko to Launch Vegan Cheese Company!
Did you guys hear this miraculous news?? Miyoko Schinner, queen of the vegan cheese & author of "Artisan Vegan Cheese" is launching a cheese company, & eventually opening a vegan cheese shop. Whoop! Whoop!
I’ve got the book, but let’s face it…I don’t wanna spend all that time trying make it, I just want it to magically appear so I can eat it! Soon it will be possible! Eeeeeeeeee!
vegansaurus:

MOTHEREFFING HIGH ALERT, Y’ALL:
MIYOKO SCHINNER IS STARTING A VEGAN CHEESE COMPANY. This is huge news because her vegan cheese is litereally the best vegan cheese in all the land. THE. GD. BEST. 
From her Facebook page:

Vegan cheese! I’ve kept it fairly quiet about my cheese company, & I’m not quite ready to blast all the details to the world, but here’s the initial scoop: Construction is well under way at our facility in Fairfax, California, & the package design is just about to start! I can’t announce yet what the brand name will be, but will do so soon enough. We will have a range of 5 to 10 cheeses available both online & in stores, & will eventually have our own retail store. For more news or to get updates, sign up at http://miyokoskitchen.com/wordpress2/

YES!!!!! I repeat: YES!!!! True story: I went to a holiday party that she catered & ate an entire brie wheel. And half of another entire brie wheel. Then I drank a carafe of fondue & fell asleep on a chunk of cheddar. It was digusting/the best night of my life. 
SO EXCITED.

Miyoko to Launch Vegan Cheese Company!

Did you guys hear this miraculous news?? Miyoko Schinner, queen of the vegan cheese & author of "Artisan Vegan Cheese" is launching a cheese company, & eventually opening a vegan cheese shop. Whoop! Whoop!

I’ve got the book, but let’s face it…I don’t wanna spend all that time trying make it, I just want it to magically appear so I can eat it! Soon it will be possible! Eeeeeeeeee!

vegansaurus:

MOTHEREFFING HIGH ALERT, Y’ALL:

MIYOKO SCHINNER IS STARTING A VEGAN CHEESE COMPANY. This is huge news because her vegan cheese is litereally the best vegan cheese in all the land. THE. GD. BEST. 

From her Facebook page:

Vegan cheese! I’ve kept it fairly quiet about my cheese company, & I’m not quite ready to blast all the details to the world, but here’s the initial scoop: Construction is well under way at our facility in Fairfax, California, & the package design is just about to start! I can’t announce yet what the brand name will be, but will do so soon enough. We will have a range of 5 to 10 cheeses available both online & in stores, & will eventually have our own retail store. For more news or to get updates, sign up at http://miyokoskitchen.com/wordpress2/

YES!!!!! I repeat: YES!!!! True story: I went to a holiday party that she catered & ate an entire brie wheel. And half of another entire brie wheel. Then I drank a carafe of fondue & fell asleep on a chunk of cheddar. It was digusting/the best night of my life. 

SO EXCITED.

Hipster Food’s Easy Almond Milk
We’re all about the homemade almond milk around here! While store bought nut milks are better than cow’s milk, they can still be loaded with a lot of junk - added sugars, preservatives & carrageenan. Think making nut milk is a hassle? Think again! While it is a process, with some advanced planning - soaking, blending, draining, straining - once you get the hang of it, it’s a breeze. It took me a long time to ditch the carton in favor of the DIY, but once I did, I’ve never gone back. As long as you subscribe to Isa’s “Always Be Soakin” mantra, you’re always good to go!
Don’t have time to hassle with soaking? This "Homemade Hemp Milk" from The Chalkboard is even easier! Up for the almond milk challenge? My pals at Hipster Food got ya covered with their guide for "Easy Almond Milk." Check it out! 
hipsterfood:

Easy Almond Milk
We just realized that one of our kitchen staples, homemade almond milk, wasn’t fully posted on our blog. Technically we had a post, THREE years ago (!) but it wasn’t extremely comprehensive. Here’s how to make some almond milk for yourself!
Obviously you can buy it, but I like making my own when I need a LOT or if I’m out of it, which is often because it usually comes in such small containers. Also, you save a lot on packaging & shipping by making it yourself.
What you’ll need:
~ almonds, about .5-1.5 
~ water!
~a blender
~ a mesh bag 
~ a funnel
~a large bowl, preferably with a spout
~bottles/jars with tops for storage (we use old pasta sauce jars, very useful things)
How to make it:
1. Pour the almonds into the large bowl, then     cover with water. Leave them to soak for a couple   of hours, ideally 8 hours if you have a less powerful blender. The longer you soak them, the creamier your outcome. I usually go with 1.5 cups almonds, which makes enough milk for a week’s worth in our house and fits nicely in our blender. I don’t think it needs to be exact, just check the consistency as you go to make it how you want/need it.
2. Drain the water and rinse the almonds. Pour them into a blender with enough water to cover, then about a cup or two more. Blend on high for a few minutes, or until the almonds are completely pulverized and it’s creamy and smooth.
3. In your large bowl, place the mesh bag in it, folding it over the sides of the bowl so that you don’t make a mess. Pour the milk into the bag, lift the sides of it and squeeze the liquid out into the bowl. Do this until all that’s left in the bag is dried almond pulp.*
4. Pour the strained liquid into your storage jars, using a funnel if necessary. Repeat the straining until everything in your blender is gone.
5. Pour 1/4 tsp vanilla and a dash of cinnamon into each jar, then stir to combine. If you’d like sweetened milk, add in 1 tbsp maple syrup or other liquid sweetener and give it a shake. (I like to add these after straining so you get the full flavor.)
*If you’re interested in not wasting a bit of this process, save the almond pulp! You can either use it again to make more milk (great for baking) or use it in baked goods such as pie crusts, crackers, or in batters. Just store it in a sealed container in the fridge for up to two weeks. (I haven’t tried storing it longer than that, though I’m sure you could.)
This milk lasts about 5-7 days in the fridge - use it in cereal, baking, curries, hot chai, or to make creamy smoothies! I’ll be using it tomorrow for my birthday cake, which might grace the blog ;)
If you’re looking for more non-dairy milk recipes, we have a REALLY comprehensive guide in the Spring 2013 issue of Chickpea Mag - there are recipes to make use of the almond pulp, how to make make milk out of pretty much any nut/seed/grain, best techniques, and best add-ins for each type. Check it out here in print or digitally.
Enjoy! :)

Hipster Food’s Easy Almond Milk

We’re all about the homemade almond milk around here! While store bought nut milks are better than cow’s milk, they can still be loaded with a lot of junk - added sugars, preservatives & carrageenan. Think making nut milk is a hassle? Think again! While it is a process, with some advanced planning - soaking, blending, draining, straining - once you get the hang of it, it’s a breeze. It took me a long time to ditch the carton in favor of the DIY, but once I did, I’ve never gone back. As long as you subscribe to Isa’s “Always Be Soakin” mantra, you’re always good to go!

Don’t have time to hassle with soaking? This "Homemade Hemp Milk" from The Chalkboard is even easier! Up for the almond milk challenge? My pals at Hipster Food got ya covered with their guide for "Easy Almond Milk." Check it out! 

hipsterfood:

Easy Almond Milk

We just realized that one of our kitchen staples, homemade almond milk, wasn’t fully posted on our blog. Technically we had a post, THREE years ago (!) but it wasn’t extremely comprehensive. Here’s how to make some almond milk for yourself!

Obviously you can buy it, but I like making my own when I need a LOT or if I’m out of it, which is often because it usually comes in such small containers. Also, you save a lot on packaging & shipping by making it yourself.

What you’ll need:

  • ~ almonds, about .5-1.5 
  • ~ water!
  • ~a blender
  • ~ a mesh bag 
  • ~ a funnel
  • ~a large bowl, preferably with a spout
  • ~bottles/jars with tops for storage (we use old pasta sauce jars, very useful things)

How to make it:

  1. 1. Pour the almonds into the large bowl, then     cover with water. Leave them to soak for a couple   of hours, ideally 8 hours if you have a less powerful blender. The longer you soak them, the creamier your outcome. I usually go with 1.5 cups almonds, which makes enough milk for a week’s worth in our house and fits nicely in our blender. I don’t think it needs to be exact, just check the consistency as you go to make it how you want/need it.
  2. 2. Drain the water and rinse the almonds. Pour them into a blender with enough water to cover, then about a cup or two more. Blend on high for a few minutes, or until the almonds are completely pulverized and it’s creamy and smooth.
  3. 3. In your large bowl, place the mesh bag in it, folding it over the sides of the bowl so that you don’t make a mess. Pour the milk into the bag, lift the sides of it and squeeze the liquid out into the bowl. Do this until all that’s left in the bag is dried almond pulp.*
  4. 4. Pour the strained liquid into your storage jars, using a funnel if necessary. Repeat the straining until everything in your blender is gone.
  5. 5. Pour 1/4 tsp vanilla and a dash of cinnamon into each jar, then stir to combine. If you’d like sweetened milk, add in 1 tbsp maple syrup or other liquid sweetener and give it a shake. (I like to add these after straining so you get the full flavor.)

*If you’re interested in not wasting a bit of this process, save the almond pulp! You can either use it again to make more milk (great for baking) or use it in baked goods such as pie crusts, crackers, or in batters. Just store it in a sealed container in the fridge for up to two weeks. (I haven’t tried storing it longer than that, though I’m sure you could.)

This milk lasts about 5-7 days in the fridge - use it in cereal, baking, curries, hot chai, or to make creamy smoothies! I’ll be using it tomorrow for my birthday cake, which might grace the blog ;)

If you’re looking for more non-dairy milk recipes, we have a REALLY comprehensive guide in the Spring 2013 issue of Chickpea Mag - there are recipes to make use of the almond pulp, how to make make milk out of pretty much any nut/seed/grain, best techniques, and best add-ins for each type. Check it out here in print or digitally.

Enjoy! :)

Help Kickstart Vegan Macarons!

It’s no secret around here that I am a francophile! Traditional “French” style macarons are one of my all time favorite indulgences. I had authentic French macarons for the first time at Laduree in Paris, & have been slightly obsessed ever since, only 1. they’re not vegan, & 2. I’m not in Paris. So obviously haven’t been able to indulge in these sweet treats, & that is probably a good thing! But then I heard about "Feel Good Desserts" a Los Angeles based bakery that makes…wait for it…French Macarons that are vegan & made with organic ingredients. Hello!!!! And now they’ve created a kickstarter campaign to help grow their bakery, so their treats can reach a further audience! Vegan French Macarons? Oui, Oui! Sign me up! 

Here are all the details: 

We’re asking for funding to help fully equip our bakery for Organic, GMO Free, & Gluten Free certification. Right now we only lease the fully vegan bakery part-time & share it with the maker of a non-organic product. Taking over the full lease will let us bake our Macarons & other products, such as raw brownies & raw cakes, as certified. Such certification will put you, our customers, at ease, & ensure the highest level of quality & ingredients are made for your taste buds.

In addition, our ovens are working 24/7 & can’t support any more baking. This funding will help us buy a larger oven, mixers, & other equipment that enable us to distribute our goods nationwide.

Delicate French macarons are not to be confused with American macaroons. A macaron is a specialty pastry comprised of a crunchy, yet delicate outer shell with a soft almond meringue inside. Each macaron is filled with a decadent cream or a delicious chocolate ganache. American macaroons can be prepared in 10 minutes, but it actually takes five hours to make French macarons! 

These elegant sandwich cookies are beloved by the French, especially in Paris. The bite-sized treats have become trendy there. They pop up at brunches, bridal showers, & wedding dessert tables. And they make a delightful morning treat with a cup of tea.

The ingredients we use include almond flour, organic unrefined cane sugar, vanilla, organic coconut spread, tapioca starch, & organic maple syrup.

The natural colors & flavors are always organic & based on fruit, vegetables, or edible flowers. The cookies come in raspberry, blueberry, banana, green tea, chocolate, coffee, hazelnut, & vanilla flavors.

The French have perfected a quality of life that allows them the luxury of slowing down long enough to do things right. They know the art of perfecting a craft & using high quality ingredients. We’ve done our best to capture that French spirit in our delicacies so we can share it with everyone and offer little luxuries that make people smile.

In Southern California you can find our animal cruelty-free goods at Lassens, Mothers Markets, Follow Your Heart, Viva La Vegan, Erewhon, Full O Life, PC Greens Malibu, Rainbow Acres, & other stores. Once we launch nationwide others, including you, will be able to find our treats at your local health food store!

The funding would cover half the entire project’s cost. Our soft goal is $30,000 and our ideal goal is $55,000. This is the exact Kickstart we need, & we’d be very grateful for it. =)

So please, if you can, lend a bit of support to this awesome vegan company! They’ve got some super cool rewards waiting for you, too! Visit their kickstarter page for all the info! C’est Magnifique!

Wellness Wednesdays: A Superfood Breakfast with Katie’s Healing Kitchen

We’ve all been told a thousand times that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but many of us still find ourselves skipping it, as we rush in the mornings to get out of bed, ready for work, & out the door. Not a good idea at all! Raise your hand if you need a little help in the healthy breakfast, but short on time department.

IMG_5484

If it’s raised, you’re in luck, as today my dear friend Chef Katie Gluck, of Katie’s Healing Kitchen is here to share her tips & a recipe for a delicious & nutritious “make-head” breakfast that can be thrown together instantly & effortlessly, even on the busiest days. Take it way Katie!

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Winter Wellness … What does that mean to me?

Between managing work, family & friends, along with day to day life, it can be difficult to stay healthy. Exercise, meditation & smart eating choices can fall at the bottom of the to do list. And when time finally frees up in a hectic schedule, motivation can lack in starting (or restarting) healthy habits. I know the feeling.

Well I’ve discovered a way to stop stressing about eating healthy. It’s as simple as this: take a few hours a week to prep a few items. I designate one day a week to prep sauces, grains, lentils, pre-cut veggies & make a few other staples that make meal time a snap!

One of my favorite ways to start the day is with an acai bowl topped with a super simple nutritious granola that can be made ahead of time. Just the thought of this breakfast makes me roll out of bed in no time. I make the granola at the beginning of the week and keep it in tupperware on the counter. I double the acai smoothie mixture & stash it in a glass jar in the fridge. I simply pour the desired amount of acai in a bowl and top it with a handful of granola, chia seeds & plenty of fresh organic berries. In less that 2 minutes I have a healthy breakfast that keeps me satisfied until lunch.

We all get busy & our health can go on the back burner. But I’ve found that by taking an hour or two a week to prep quick & healthy meals, everything in life seems to go smoother.

I’m not going to lie, I’m not a perfect health guru. Some mornings I sleep through yoga, have cupcakes for dinner & I’ve never really gotten the hang of this mediation thing… but I do the best that I can under busy circumstances & try not to stress about the days when I fall short.

IMG_5485

"Superfood Granola"

Ingredients:

Wet ~

  • 1/3 cup dates, packed
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted

Dry ~

  • 1 cup oats
  • 1 cup quinoa flakes
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/3 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/3 cup walnuts
  • 1/3 cup hemp seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup dried fruit (goji berries, raisins, dried cranberries)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a high speed blender combine wet ingredients & blend until smooth (adding coconut oil last).
  3. In a large bowl combine all dry ingredients (except dried fruit). Pour wet mixture over dry ingredients. Stir to combine. 
  4. Evenly spread mixture onto baking sheets.
  5. Bake for 15 - 20 minutes, taking trays out & stirring every 5 minutes.
  6. Remove from oven & place in a large bowl, add dried fruit & enjoy!

*Keeps up to ONE week in a sealed container

"Antioxidant Acai Bowl"

Ingredients:

  • 1 sambazon acai pack
  • 1 banana, frozen
  • 1 cup non dairy milk
  • 1 stevia packet
  • handful of greens (spinach, kale, etc…) 
  • optional Garnishes: granola, sliced fruit, hemp seeds, goji berries

Instructions:

  1. Blend all ingredients until smooth. 
  2. Garnish with desired toppings.

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I can confirm & attest that this is one yummy & healthy breakfast, as Katie taught & served this at her Brunch Class last weekend! It is definitely a recipe to add into the regular rotation. You can learn more about Katie, sign up for her newsletter, & see her upcoming class schedule at katieshealingkitchen.com. 

Enjoy & eat your breakfast!

Wellness Wednesdays: Rethinking Dairy with Reinventing Nutirtion

Hello! It’s Wednesday…again. Is it me, or are these weeks flying by? Well, here we are with yet another Wellness Wednesdays guest post. I hope you have been enjoying the series. It has certainly been an honor to feature such inspiring folks. Today’s post comes from another new friend that I have made through the San Diego Vegan Ladies Cooking Club, the gorgeous & wise, Jennifer Nemeth of Reinventing Nutrition.

jenn-nurse1

Jennifer’s driving passion is to "reinvent what you know about nutrition." She is a Registered Nurse & Nutritionist who desires nothing more than to guide her patients to better health. She has seen first hand the devastating effects of the "Standard American Diet" (SAD). Many are suffering the effects of diseases that need not exist, which is indeed sad. Seeing the need for education that does not emphasize more medications & surgical procedures, Jennifer has dedicated her career to inspiring others & providing the tools to their best health. She has a degree in Dietetics, earned a Certificate in Plant Based Nutrition from Cornell University, & is a certified instructor for "Food For Life", an award-winning Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) program designed by physicians, nurses, & registered dietitians that offers cancer, diabetes, weight management, kids, & employee wellness classes that focus on the lifesaving effects of healthful eating. 

Today, Jennifer discusses the misconceptions about cows milk & calcium from a health & nutrition perspective. Many of us were raised to believe that dairy is necessary for strength, growth, bone density, but it is just the opposite. It is refreshing to hear her take from a nutritionist’s perspective,  especially after attending a “Fighting Cancer with Foods” class, where the ill affects of dairy on health were not addressed. It’s unfortunate that this is often overlooked by many healthcare professionals, so thank you, Jennifer, for spreading the good word & promoting a plant-based diet. 

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"Running to the Udders for Calcium"

For more than 20 years, I was mislead to believe that dairy is the supreme source of calcium. This was fueled early on in school when it has highly advised to be a participant in the lunch milk program. We could choose between plain, chocolate or a bizarre but ever popular strawberry flavored. And remember those famous advertisements with an athlete or celebrity, smitten with a cheesy smile & a milk mustache? Those are just two examples of the many ways the dairy association “educated” (aka brainwashed) us early on the importance of getting enough calcium.

udders

Have you ever stopped to think where calcium really comes from? It’s from plants! Cows eat the calcium-rich plants & it’s passed through to their milk. The only problem is dairy often comes packaged not only with calcium, but with artificial hormones, saturated fats & growth factors. These growth factors enable a calf to quickly develop into the size of an adult cow. When humans consume dairy, those same growth factors are an excellent life source to growing tumors. Milk is high in protein, which creates an acidic environment within our bodies. Our bodies are in a constant state of trying to balance the pH levels of our blood between 7.35 & 7.45. When an acidic state occurs, calcium is leached from our bones to neutralize. This same process happens with high animal meat consumption. 

Winter-Greens-Swiss-Chard-Kale-Collards

Some plant sources of calcium include green leafy vegetables, broccoli, tofu, figs & calcium fortified orange juice. Another important component is the need for vitamin D to adequately absorb calcium. Vitamin D can be attained through about 15-30 minutes of sunlight exposure or through mushrooms or products enriched with vitamin D such as soymilk. Taking a multivitamin with vitamin D added is okay but be careful not to overdo it with additional vitamin D supplements. Vitamins A, D, E & K are fat-soluble, meaning extra doses are stores in your fat & can build to toxic levels. Finally, just as exercise builds muscle mass, it also strengthens your bones. So get moving & do some weight-bearing exercise! Got “Non-Dairy” Milk?

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Thanks so much for joining us today, Jennifer, & sharing your wisdom! This is such helpful information to have at our fingertips for the next time someone hassles us for passing on the dairy-based cheese plate, or for sipping on a soy milk latte. For more information on Jennifer, what she has to offer, cooking class schedule & how she can help you, visit her website at reinventingnutrition.comYou can also follow her on Instagram at "reinventingnutrition".

Cauliflower Pizza from Raw. Vegan. Not Gross.

If you’re not subscribed to Tastemade’s You Tube Channel so you can keep up on the latest installment of Raw. Vegan. Not Gross. then you are sadly missing out. Laura Miller, of San Fran’s Side Saddle Kitchen, is charming, adorable, oftentimes hilarious, & makes totally delicious, all vegan & raw-ish food. This is one of may all time favorite online cooking “shows” & I look forward to it every week. So get to it!!

Aaahhh cauliflower. Broccoli’s pale & bland cousin! I happen to love it, now. But it took a long time, & it wasn’t until I tried it roasted & smothered with tons of lemon-tahini sauce, that I gave it a fair chance. I loved it when Laura said, ”Cauliflower is like the kid that got picked last in gym class,” so true. And, I happen to think that raw cauliflower tastes & smells like musty gym socks. Not that I know for sure, mind you, I’ve never actually tasted gym socks, nor do I ever plan to…it’s my imagination running wild. Oh, just nevermind…

Poor cauliflower. Such a bad rap!

I’ve been seeing recipes for “cauliflower pizza” popping up all over the web & I must say I am intrigued. In this video, Laura shows the step by step process of putting together a raw vegan pizza with a cauliflower crust & it sounds pretty amazing. 

Well that settles it. I need really want a dehydrator. Not that I have the space for ANOTHER kitchen gadget, but whatevs…I have a birthday coming up…hint, hint!