Friday, December 30, 2016

Bulk Vegan Hot Chocolate Mix II

Bulk Vegan Hot Chocolate Mix II
Yields: 1 quart Mason Jar
dairy-free, oil-free, soy-free, gluten-free

  • 2 cups Powdered Sugar
  • 1 cup Cacao Powder
  • 2 1/2 tsp. Sea Salt

  1. Dump all ingredients into a 1 quart Mason Jar & shake to combine
  2. That's it!

  1. Microwave a mug of water for about 1-2 minutes, leaving about 1 1/2" of room
  2. Stir in 2 heaping spoonfuls of mix until completely dissolved
  3. Top off with a dash of Coconut Vanilla/Hazelnut Creamer (optional) or Vanilla Almond Milk

Friday, December 23, 2016

Merry Christmas Eve Kiddies Young & Old...

2016 Party Platter

If you invite me to a Christmas party, you know I am coming armed with my own party platter!  I've been making them for years and they make party navigation huge a relief.

This year's platter consists of vegan "Ritz" crackers (store brand), lightly salted whole cashews, a can of black olives and baby gherkins.  All of which can be easily found in your local grocery store.

The next few things might be require a little research - depending on where you live.

First up, Kite Hill plant-based, artisanal cheese.  I've been dying to try their cheese for years and they do not disappoint!  This almond-based delicacy is so rich and creamy it had all the non-vegan partygoers scarfing it down.  From crackers to chips this spread is delightful!

Next up, Daiya blocked cheese, cut into cute little bite-size pieces.  I opted for the cheddar and people were popping them down like popcorn!  But, just like the real deal, this cheese doesn't taste so great when warm, so dig in early. 

Last on the plate, a little vegan chocolate.  Just in case, I get a sweet tooth and well let's be honest, there will be nothing there for me to satisfy it; I come armed with my own vegan goodies.  Luckily, there is a local candy shop that offers vegan delights in my backyard of Lakewood, OH, Sweet Designs Chocolatier!  Their truffles are to die for!  If Ohio is not in your neck of the woods, check out my Sweet Treats page for online sites catering to anything you need to make your Christmas sweet!

If you're looking for me, I'll be over by my platter.

Keep it "healthier" this holiday season!

Friday, December 16, 2016

FINALLY! A Longwear Vegan Lipstick

Since going vegan in the food category, I have also been overhauling my make-up to be vegan as well.  I achieved this primarily with the help of 100% Pure, which uses 100% food grade quality ingredients, which are both vegan and organic (except for one bar soap that contains goat milk - WTH Pure?).

The last great hold out was my coveted longwearing lipstick.  I had been addicted to Revlon's ColorStay and Cover Girl's Outlast collections for years!  They really do last all day, through meal after meal and sometimes through to the next morning (can be a little hard to remove).  Needless to say, I was having a hard time finding a suitable vegan replacement.  Until now...

I am head over heels in love with Lime Crime's Velvetine's longwearing lipstick collection!

"Lime Crime products are PETA verified vegan and Leaping Bunny certified cruelty free. Our products do not contain any animal-derived ingredients. As part of the Leaping Bunny pledge, our suppliers also certify that no animal testing is ever performed at any point in our supply chain."

The colors are super rich & super saturated! These luscious liquid lipsticks dry to a matte finish, which can feel a little drying, but I found applying a gloss or lip balm over/under lessened the longwearing affects, so I just got used to it.

There are a tone of non-traditional, fun colors (black, green, gold, grey etc.), but I kept it tame with their Cashmere a grey beige and Teddy Bear a lilac brown.  Still, these colors standout and make your lips get noticed (in a good way).

Once you open the bottle, you instantly know that these are not your typical lipstick - the aroma of vanilla cookies hits you immediately and you can't help but giggle.

Now do they work - YES THEY DO!

You do need to avoid oily foods (no problem for this WFPBOF chick) and it's better to blot your lips rather than wipe after a meal, but other than that - expect your lip color to stay put with minimal, if any touch-ups (I think it depends on what you put your lips through...).  Check your teeth after applying, but beyond that, you won't get any transfer.

I make sure to apply a lip balm before going to bed, so that my lips are ready to go in the morning.  If my lips are dry and flaking, I use a warm, wet wash cloth to smooth them out.  At the end of the day,  I use coconut oil to remove.  I little bit of maintenance, but I say it's worth it!

Check it out!

Friday, December 9, 2016

Hoff's Super Quick Pancakes

Hoff's Super Quick Pancakes
Yields: 10-15 pancakes
dairy-free, egg-free, oil-free, soy-free, gluten-free

  • 1 1/2 cups Rolled Oats
  • 1 cup unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
  • 1 ripe Banana
  • 1/2 cup Vegan Chocolate Chips
  • 3 pitted Dates
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp. Baking Powder
  • Pinch of Cinnamon
  • Pinch Sea Salt

  1. Throw all ingredients (except Chocolate Chips) in a high speed blender, like a Vitamix
  2. Blend until smooth, about 30 seconds
  3. Turn to lowest setting and dump in Chocolate Chips until mixed in, about 5 seconds
  4. Cook like any other Pancake, but on a non-stick pan, using no oil

 Hoff Thoughts: I made these little babies on my Cuisinart Griddler - love that thing!  Check your batter while mixing, if it's too thick, add a touch more Milk.  Try subbing Blueberries for the C Chips!

Friday, November 25, 2016

Doc: Living On A Dollar A Day

http://livingonone.orgFour college friends leave the cushy Seattle life to experience and to document what it's like to live below poverty in Living On A Dollar A Day

They spent spent one summer living on $1 a day in a rural Guatemalan village.  They battled intense hunger, parasites and the realization that there are no easy answers.

What really struck me about this doc is how happy the people in this village are and how willing they are to help not only each other, but also four perfect strangers.  This film is a testament to the true human spirit.

But, the boys went beyond just a film, they have founded Living On One, a non-profit production and social impact studio that uses immersive storytelling to create films that inspire action around pressing global issues with a mission to help bring an end to extreme poverty.

Could you survive on $1 a day?

Check out the trailer:

Friday, November 18, 2016

Hoff's Fall Harvest Baked Apples

Hoff's Fall Harvest Baked Apple
Serves: 4
dairy-free, egg-free, oil-free, soy-free, gluten-free

  • 4 Apples (cored) (Jonagold, Fuji, or Honeycrisp)
  • 1/2 cup Water
  • 1/2 cup Old-fashioned Rolled Oats
  • 3 tbsp. Raisins/Dried Figs (chopped)
  • 2 tbsp. Brown Sugar
  • 1 tsp. Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • 1/2 tsp. Sea Salt
  • Maple Syrup
  • Honey

  1. Preheat oven to 350°
  2. Place Water in square baking dish
  3. Add Apples
  4. In a small dish mix Oats, Sugar, Dried Fruit, Spice & Salt together
  5. Stuff each Apple with filling
  6. Drizzle each Apple with Maple Syrup & Honey
  7. Bake apples uncovered 40-45 minutes
  8. Enjoy the harvest of fall!

Friday, November 11, 2016

Chocolate Cake In A Mug

Chocolate Cake In A Mug
Serves: 1
dairy-free, egg-free, oil-free, soy-free, gluten-free

  • 4 tbsp. GF King Arthur Flour
  • 3 tbsp. Coconut Sugar
  • 3 tbsp. Apple Sauce
  • 2 tbsp. Water
  • 1 tbsp. Cacao Powder 
  • 1 tbsp. vegan Chocolate Chips (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp. Baking Powder
  • Splash of Vanilla Extract (optional)
  • Pinch of Sea Salt
  1. Using a fork, whisk dry ingredients together in a microwave-safe mug
  2. Add wet ingredients & stir to combine
  3. Microwave for 90 seconds
  4. Dig in!

Hoff Thoughts: Need frosting?  Top with a little Hershey Syrup!

Friday, November 4, 2016

Veggie Burgers (IP)

This is an adaptation of Jeff Novick's Basic Black Bean Burger recipe.

Veggie Burgers (IP)
Yields: 10-12 Burgers
meat-free, dairy-free, egg-free, oil-free, soy-free, gluten-free

  • 1 15 oz. can Kidney Beans (rinsed & drained)
  • 1 15 oz. can Black Beans (rinsed & drained)
  • 1 1/2 cup of Rolled Oats
  • 1 cup Brown Rice
  • 1 cup Water
  • 1/2 cup BBQ Sauce
  • 1/4 cup Nutritional Yeast
  • 1 tbsp. dried minced Onion
  • 1 tsp. Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp. Onion Powder
  • 1 tsp. Sea Salt

  1. Combine Rice & Water in IP
  2. Lock lid in place and make sure pressure release valve is closed
  3. Select Manual setting on High Pressure & cook for 22 minutes
  4. Natural release pressure for 10 minutes, then Quick release
  5. Add Beans to IP & mash
  6. Mix in Oatmeal, BBQ Sauce & Seasonings
  7. Form into patties
  8. Allow to set-up in fridge for 20 minutes, uncovered before cooking or freeze
  9. Grill or broil until golden brown, about 10 minutes each side

Hoff Thoughts: Arts & crafts is not really my thing, so I'm not going to sit around forming uniform patties.  Instead, I cheat with this silicon (BPA-free) burger press mat - love it!  These babies cook up great on my Cuisinart Griddler!  An IP is not necessary to make the Rice, use the stove method, minute rice in a bag or even frozen Rice - whatever works best for you.

Friday, October 28, 2016

It's National Cat Day - Meow!

Ghirardelli - What The Hell Did You Do?!?

Dear Ghirardelli,

I have been a faithful and loyal customer since becoming vegan many years ago and discovering that your Semi-Sweet Premium Baking Chips were "accidentally" vegan.  We were such a devoted household that should we get below two bags at any given time, we would freak out and make a special trip to the store just to stock up in case of an "emergency."

So, imagine my shock & horror when upon our most recent stock-up trip, that I discovered that you've changed the recipe to now include, whole milk powder!  What the hell Ghirardelli!?!?!

You had a great product that vegans could use - I've even sited your Semi-Sweet Chips in several of the recipes on this blog, but now you've alienated 1 million of us!*

Here's just a taste of our bitter disappointment.

If you'd like Ghirardelli to return to their dairy-free recipe, let them know!

This is a sad, sad day for the vegan and chocolate communities and I hope with all sincerity, that you go back to the old recipe and stop messing with a good thing.

Until then, you are dead to me.

P.S. Healthy Hoffer's - do not fret, Enjoy Life has our vegan & dairy allergy backs - with their line of dairy-free baking chocolate!  Whether you need dark chocolate morsels, mini chips, or mega chunks - their dairy-free, casein-free, non-gmo, vegan certified products deliver the real deal.  I just scored a 5 lb. bag from AmazonCome to think of it, this may have been a blessing in disguise.  Adios Ghirardelli!


Friday, October 21, 2016

Hoff's Purple People Eater Pancakes

Hoff's Purple People Eater Pancakes
Yields: 10-15 pancakes
dairy-free, egg-free, oil-free, soy-free, gluten-free

  • 1 1/2 cup Rolled Oats
  • 1 cup unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
  • 1 cup Blueberries (frozen/fresh)
  • 1 ripe Banana
  • 1 tbsp. Coconut Sugar
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla
  • Pinch Sea Salt

  1. Throw all ingredients in a high speed blender, like a Vitamix
  2. Blend until smooth, about 30 seconds
  3. Cook like any other Pancake, but on a non-stick pan, using no oil

Hoff Thoughts: I made these little babies on my Cuisinart Griddler - love that thing!  Check your batter while mixing, if it's too thick, add a touch more Milk.  This picture does not do these justice, the purple color is amazing - perfect for a Halloween breakfast...

Friday, October 14, 2016

Basic DIY Yogurt (IP)

Basic DIY Yogurt (IP)
Yields: 5 servings
dairy-free, egg-free, gluten-free, oil-free, soy-free

  • 32 oz. room temperature Plant-based Milk (no preservatives, sweeteners, etc.)
  • 1 package Vegan Yogurt Starter (Belle & Bella)
  • 1 tsp. Arrowroot
  • Topping of choice (jam, fruit, nuts, etc.)

Directions (Instant Pot):
  1. Blend Milk, Yogurt Starter & Arrowroot together
  2. Pour into five single serving containers
  3. Carefully place containers in IP with no lids
  4. No need to add water or use trivet
  5. Lock lid in place and make sure pressure release valve is closed (IP will never come up to pressure)
  6. Select Yogurt setting & change time to 12 hours
  7. When complete, add Yogurt topping, put on lids & refrigerate up to one week

Hoff Thoughts: It's important to pick a plant-based milk with just the main ingredient & water, nothing else - for instance soy beans and water.  To accomplish this task, you'll have to look for self-stable plant-based milk and not the refrigerator kind.  For my containers I like to use wide mouth, half pint Mason jars - super cute!  You can stir, shake or blend your base yogurt ingredients - I prefer to use the Vitamix so I know everything is incorporated - this however yields a lot of foam which needs to be discarded.  Your IP will never come up to pressure and the timer will keep changing, just let it go and trust the process.  The end result is amazing, creamy goodness that will have you off the store-bought junk for good!

Friday, October 7, 2016

Hoff's Overnight Fall Harvest Oatmeal

Hoff's Overnight Fall Harvest Oatmeal
Serves: 1
dairy-free, egg-free, oil-free, soy-free, gluten-free


  • 2/3 cup Water
  • 1/3 cup Rolled Oatmeal
  • 1/3 cup Steel Cut Oatmeal
  • 2 tbsp. canned Pumpkin
  • 2 tbsp. dried Cranberries
  • 1-2 tbsp. Maple Syrup
  • 1/2 tbsp. Almond Butter
  • Dash of Pumpkin Spice
  • Pinch of Sea Salt
  • Splash Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk (reserved)

  1. Put Oatmeal in a small serving bowl, top with Water
  2. Oatmeal will soak up the Water as it sits
  3. Top with remaining ingredients, excluding Milk
  4. Place bowl in fridge overnight
  5. Next day, add splash of Milk to achieve your desired consistency
  6. Cook Oatmeal in the microwave for 2-3 minutes
  7. Stir & enjoy!

Hoff Thoughts: As I have Oatmeal every morning during the workweek, I double the recipe and make enough for two days to cut down on prep time.  If I had the space, I'd make enough for five can dream.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Vegan Cheezecake? Yes Please!

If a meltable vegan cheese wasn't enough - Daiya has done it again with their new line of vegan cheezecake!

Available in plain, key lime, chocolate and strawberry - there is a flavor profile to delight every cheesecake lover.  Personally, I haven't had cheesecake since going vegan and I missed it!  I dived into the chocolate and was not disappointed - neither was my non-vegan, very opinionated mother and that's saying a lot!

The cakes are a little small - think six reasonable pieces and a little pricey coming in around $8, but they deliver.

So good, even non-vegans will ask for seconds!

I plan to keep of couple of these babies in my freezer for unexpected guests. 

Check it out!

Friday, September 16, 2016

Hoff's Unrolled Cabbage Rolls (Instant Pot)

Hoff's Unrolled Cabbage Rolls (Instant Pot)
Yields: 5-6 servings
meat-free, dairy-free, egg-free, gluten-free


Directions (Instant Pot):
  1. Place Rice in IP
  2. Add Water & stir to combine
  3. Place Cabbage, Onions & Sausage on top of Rice (do not stir to combine)
  4. Lock lid in place and make sure pressure release valve is closed
  5. Select Manual setting on High Pressure & cook for 5 minutes
  6. Manual release pressure
  7. Add Spaghetti Sauce & stir to combine
  8. Season with Sea Salt if desired

Friday, September 2, 2016

Teriyaki Chicken, Broccoli & Rice

Thanks to a package of Butler Soy Curls, a jar of teriyaki sauce and my Instant Pot, this meal came together with very little effort or time.

First, I re-hydrated the curls by soaking in warm water for 10 minutes and then draining off the excess water.

Then I got 2 cups of Jasmine rice & 2 1/2 cups of water started in the Instant Pot - using the Rice setting.  (I finally figured out by allowing the steam to naturally release, the rice turns out fluffy and moist.  Quick release yields a sticky, dry rice.)

Then I water sautéed a head of chopped broccoli, adding the soy curls and teriyaki sauce after a few minutes.  Put the lid one and let everything simmer until the rice was done.

Super simple, quick & delicious!

Friday, August 26, 2016

Doc: When The Iron Bird Flies the Iron Bird Flies is a doc that explores the history and
migration of Tibetan Buddhism into western culture. 

This doc also explores the fine line between what is the practice of Buddhism and what is more cultural and tradition.  As someone ingrained in the western culture and struggling to learn and practice Buddhism I found this particular aspect very helpful and eye opening.

This is a well done documentary that is well worth the watch!

Check out the trailer!

Friday, August 19, 2016

Hoff's Basil Fried Rice (Instant Pot)

Hoff's Basil Fried Rice (Instant Pot)
Serves: 4-5
meat-free, dairy-free, egg-free, oil-free, gluten-free

  • 2 1/2 cups Veggie Broth
  • 2 cups Jasmine Rice
  • 1 cup frozen Peas
  • 1 cup frozen Organic Corn
  • 1/2 cup Braggs
  • 4 tsp. frozen Basil
  • 2 tsp. frozen Garlic
  • 2 tsp. frozen Ginger

Directions (Instant Pot):
  1. Combine all ingredients in the IP
  2. Lock lid in place and make sure pressure release valve is closed
  3. Press "Manual" button
  4. Decrease cooking time to 3 minutes
  5. When done, use manual release method

Hoff Thoughts: Find frozen spice cubes in the freezer section likely near the vegetables. When in season, garnish with a little fresh Basil!

Friday, August 12, 2016

Almond Yogurt & Berries

I'm really digging this new non-dairy, almond yogurt by Almond Dream!  For a light breakfast this morning I enhanced the vanilla yogurt with a handful of chopped blackberries, strawberries and topped with a little Uncle Sam cereal for crunch!

My mouth was happy!

Friday, August 5, 2016

Doc: Decoding Deepak

In Decoding Deepak, Deepak Chopra's son, Gotham, spends a year traveling with his father in an attempt to resolve the spiritual icon he is to the world with the man known to his family.

I wasn't sure what to expect from this doc at first - I guess I wanted to gain a greater understanding of the man that I personally have looked up to for years.  OK, maybe I thought understanding Deepak would give me insight into the greater meaning of life.  None of that was happening and I spent most of the film wondering what the point of it was and was I wasting my time.

Then it all became clear in the final scenes of the film - I had that "ah ha" moment.  I won't spoil it for you.  It's something you need to realize for yourself or the lesson is lost.  That being said, I still give this doc a "might be worth watching" rating, but not a must see.

Even if you miss the life lesson, you at least get a closer look at the life of Deepak Chopra.

Check out the trailer.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Doc: PlantPure Nation Nation is a documentary film created by Nelson Campbell, son of T. Colin Campbell, author of The China Study, one of the most comprehensive studies in nutrition to date. 

The film chronicles the Campbell's struggle to get the health benefits of a plant-based diet out to the masses utilizing government legislature.  After that fails, Nelson goes on to pilot the program on his own with great success that spurs a grassroots movement that not even the government can stop.

Aside from the inspiring story, this film highlights the utter dysfunctional nature of our governmental legislatures - people put into office by the people, to represent said people and paid for by the people and yet corporate greed wins out - totally disgusting.

The film is available on Netflix, but can also be downloaded or streamed right from the PlantPure Nation website.

Check out the trailer!

Friday, July 22, 2016

Almond Yogurt Snacky Snack

Since going vegan, I have been missing yogurt.

Luckily there has been a mass flood of plant-based yogurts hitting the market.

Which brings me to my latest snack obsession - Almond Dream Yogurt topped with Uncle Sam's Cereal.

It delivers the perfect combination of sweet, creamy goodness with a hint of crunch.

The perfect mid-morning snack, 3pm pick-me-up or after dinner dessert.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Aztec Secret Clay Mask
I love a good facial - so much that I see my aesthetician at least four times a year - once a season.  But, for the times in between I apply a facial mask once a week at home.

Typically, I use products such as 100% Purity Facial Cleanser + Mask or 100% Pure Caffeine Mask (this is really cool!).  But, recently a 100% natural product by the name of Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay Deep Pore Cleansing crossed my path.

There is quite the cult following for this little known wonder treatment and after reading several enthusiastic testimonials, I had to give this stuff a go!

Here's what I thought:

First off, you can't beat the price!  I was able to pick up a 1lb. container for $10 on Amazon.  The jar indicates that you can get 10-15 facials per container.  Sooooooooooooooo much cheaper than any organic, vegan facial mask that I have bought in the past.

Which brings me to the second thing I love about this clay - it's just clay.  Seriously, one ingredient: 100% natural calcium bentonite clay.  Which means, no additives, no fragrances and no animal products.  Bonus (and non-negotiable) it's not tested on animals! :)

The third thing I love is that while this clay is pulling gunk and impurities from your pores and skin, it's infusing the skin with over 50 naturally occurring minerals.  I'm a sucker for a multitasker.

Fourth, I love that you can actually feel this stuff working.  Aside from the drying, the clay causes your skin to pulsate.  Now for me, this didn't happen the first time and I was pretty disheartened.  But, others reported the same thing and just like them, the second time I applied this mask I experienced the weird/cool pulsating sensation.

Fifth, the clay helps with pimples, black heads and skin tightening.  It also helps with bug bites.  Some have reported a lightening of sunspots.

Sixth, Cleopatra used clay from the Nile River as part of our beauty ritual - I adore her!  Yes, I do picture Cleo as Miss Taylor - blame Hollywood.

Seventh, the clay comes from Death Valley, California - that just sounds badass.

I did experience mild redness and some skin sensitivity after removing the mask.  But, just as the jar stated, this resolved within 30 minutes.  So basically, don't apply this mask and then take off for a hot date afterwards - plan accordingly.

I know you're dying to try this stuff out, so here's some info to know:

  1. The clay is in powder form, so you need to mix it with equal parts water or apple cider vinegar to create a paste
  2. It's highly recommended that you opt for the vinegar - my go-to is
    Bragg Organic Raw Apple Cider Vinegar 
  3. I found that 1 tbsp. of clay to 1 tbsp. of liquid was more than sufficient for one face
  4. When mixing you need to use a non-metal bowl, measuring spoon and spoon - this clay does not like metal!
  5. Add a few drops of Tea Tree Oil to amp up the acne relief factor (100% optional)
  6. You can apply the mask using your fingers, but I prefer to use an old make-up brush to get a nice even layer
  7. You want to layer the mask so that you can no longer see your skin poking through
  8. Avoid the under eye area - when this stuff starts to dry you don't want to pull on that delicate skin
  9. Let the mask dry for 5 minutes if you have sensitive skin or 10-45 minutes for normal skin
  10. Try not to move your face while the mask dries
  11. DO NOT WASH DOWN THE DRAIN - the cult said this stuff is clogging drains all over town - I ended up removing with wet paper towels; a little time consuming, but better than calling the plumber 
  12. This is a very drying mask, be sure to follow-up with a good moisturizer, I like Dr. Bronner's Coconut Oil 
  13. If you are prone to acne, you will likely breakout with the first couple uses, this will pass and yield gorgeous skin thereafter
Check it out!

Friday, July 8, 2016

You Need A Wet Brush STAT!

Do you have a wet brush?


Stop reading and go buy one.

Oh, you need a little more info?

OK - here we go...

A wet brush is this magical new invention in which an ordinary looking brush is able to effortlessly glide through wet hair..

No yanking
No pulling
No expletives

Witchcraft you say!

No craft here, but it is magical.  The super soft and flexible bristles (some patented, technical tech stuff) allow the brush to effortlessly glide through straight out of the shower or towel dried hair, allowing you to evenly distribute hair products or simply get that tangled mess under control. To be fair the first glide is not completely effortless, there is some resistance to tangles, but after that, its smooth sailing...

I'm so in love with this brush that I even replaced my regular brush and use it on dry hair (like convertible, wind tunnel, whipped hair).  I love it so much, I don't even want to leave town without it, so I just picked up the pop and fold version for travel. (Snatch this one from the Wet Brush site for free shipping, because Amazon is charging a ridiculous amount!)

Got kids? You need this brush!

Got hair? You NEED this brush!

Where to get...

I picked mine up at my favorite place in the world - Amazon for a mere 9 bucks (ahem, free shipping for the regular brush).

Are you ready for healthier hair with no tangles, no split ends, less breakage and no swearing?

Check it out!