Category Archives: FOOD + DRINK

Recipes, Restaurant Reviews, and Product Reviews.

Mama Kate’s Potato Salad

Like many people, I learned how to cook from my mother.  I began cooking and baking when I was 8-years-old and adored that time spent with Mom.

Whenever I make one of her recipes, I get nostalgic and sometimes, it feels like Mom is right there with me in the kitchen.  Yesterday marked 9 years since she has passed away and the moments I miss most were those times we slaved away well into the wee hours of the morning cooking for holidays.  We’d laugh so hard and listen to music and talk about anything and everything.

The thing about Mom’s recipes, though, besides being delicious, they were never vegan or measured out.  Hell, I still don’t measure anything, unless I’m creating a recipe to post on the blog.

Mom’s potato salad is one recipe that can easily be made vegan.  I had my siblings be the judge on comparing the taste and they gave it a family stamp of approval.

This potato salad wins over any crowd, even those who don’t generally like potato salad.  It even won a contest at a barbecue with my friends a few years back.  The ingredients are simple and the hardest part of this recipe is boiling, cutting and peeling the potatoes!  But if you hate peeling like I do, and love tater skins, use red potatoes, keep those skins on and you’ll love it just the same!

MAMA KATE’S POTATO SALAD [VEGANIZED]

SERVINGS: 10+

INGREDIENTS:
5lbs Red Potatoes
1.5 Cups Vegan Mayonnaise (I use Follow Your Heart’s Vegenaise)
1 Onion, chopped
1 TBSP White or Apple Cider Vinegar
A few splashes Nondairy Milk
2 tsp Salt or to taste
1 tsp Pepper or to taste
1 TBSP dried or fresh Parsley, plus more for garnish

Step 1: Wash potatoes and peel if desired. Place in pot with water and boil until a fork can easily go through potato.

Step 2: Run cold water over potatoes for a few minutes and set aside to cool off.

Step 3: Once potatoes are cooled down, slice into chunks.

Step 4: Stir together chopped onion and potatoes.

Step 5: Season potatoes and onions with salt, pepper and parsley. Mix together.

Step 6: Add vinegar and nondairy milk and mix before adding in mayo. If potatoes look dry, add more mayo.

Step 7: Store in refrigerator overnight preferably or for a few hours. The flavor will set in and it will taste much better the next day. If salad looks dry, add a little more nondairy milk and/or mayo.

Step 8: Garnish with parsley.

*Non-vegans: Mom used Hellman’s mayonnaise only (swore by the stuff) and also used about 3 crumbled hard-boiled eggs in this recipe.

Trying out this recipe?
Post your photos and tag @SandyLoMedia on Instagram! 🙂

Funky Monkey Stuffed French Toast

I’m very much the unplanned cook.  I don’t purchase ingredients with recipes in mind, I create recipes from what I have on-hand.  This system can fail, but often, I enjoy the challenge and come up with some pretty creative ways to incorporate things from my pantry.

This stuffed French toast recipe was inspired by something I saw online, but I have changed quite a bit.  It’s easy, vegan and customizable!

funky monkey french toast 2FUNKY MONKEY STUFFED FRENCH TOAST

SERVINGS: 3

INGREDIENTS:
Filling
1/2 Banana, the riper, the better!
1/4 cup Nut Butter (I used Almond, but I bet PB would be fantastic!)
1 TBSP Cacao or Cocoa Powder
1 TBSP Cacao Nibs or Nondairy Chocolate Chips
2 TBSP Brewed Coffee

Batter
1 tsp Vanilla
1 TBSP Brewed Coffee
Dash Ground Cinnamon
Dash Ground Turmeric
1/2 cup Nondairy Milk
1 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar
1 tsp Lemon Juice

6 Slices Whole Grain Bread (or any bread you want!)
2 TBSP Coconut Oil

Optional Toppings: Sliced Banana, Maple Syrup, Cacao Nibs, Powdered Sugar, Cinnamon, Walnuts, Chocolate Sauce, Honey or Agave

Step 1: Mix ingredients of batter with a fork and let sit for a minute.  This will allow time for the mixture to curdle to make a buttermilk consistency.

Step 2: While waiting for the batter to curdle, mix together the ingredients of the filling.  Mixture should be spreadable.  If it is too runny, add more banana or almond butter.

Step 3: Spread filling on 3 slices of bread.  Place the other 3 slices on top to make sandwiches.  Cut diagonally.

Step 4: Heat a pan on low to medium heat.  Add the coconut oil to the pan.

Step 5: Soak sandwich halves into batter, making sure the bread gets wet on all sides.  Don’t soak too long though – you don’t want the bread to fall apart!  Immediately, place in pan.*

Step 6: Cook for 1-2 minutes on each side.  Serve on a plate with maple syrup and banana slices or your toppings of choice.  Enjoy!

*Author’s Note: Some breads get soggier than others, so choose wisely.  The first time I made this, the bread I used barely got soggy, which upset me – I want my French Toast to be a little doughy.  I switched to Multigrain Sunflower Bread from Costco and it was the right choice – but I had to be very quick with the batter process or else it would have fallen apart.

Trying out this recipe?
Post your photos and tag @SandyLoMedia on Instagram!  🙂

 

 

Celebrate National Blueberry Month with these Recipes!

July is National Blueberry Month and I’m celebrating the smurfish fruit with cool, summer time treats featuring Bai’s Brasilia Blueberry antioxidant drink!

If you haven’t heard of, or tried Bai’s drinks, you’re missing out!  I became a huge fan of these drinks last year due to their low sugar/calorie content, yummy taste and healthy ingredients with mild caffeine for energy from coffeefruit and white tea extract.

Bai drinks (which also has carbonated drinks) are a great alternative to bad for you sodas and fruit juices with excess sugar, and can now be found in almost any grocery store.

With only 1 gram of sugar and 5 calories a bottle and truly packed with delicious flavor, Bai makes a great treat on its own or in smoothies, sangrias, punches or popsicle recipes!  Check out some awesome recipes below to try out for National Blueberry Month, or any time you want!

The Blueberry Pie

bai1Ingredients:
8 oz of Brasilia Blueberry Bai
1/2 Cup of Oats
2 Frozen Bananas
2 Cups Frozen Blueberries
1 Cup of Nondairy Vanilla Yogurt
Optional: Scoop of Vanilla Protein Powder (I prefer Vega brand)

Directions:
Blend all ingredients in a high powered blender and blend until ingredients are smooth, adjusting amount of Bai to control thickness.  Pour into a glass or bowl and enjoy with either a straw or spoon depending on how thick you like your smoothies.

The Peanut Butter Jelly Timebai2

Ingredients:
6oz of Brasilia Blueberry Bai
1 Cup of Fresh Strawberries
1/4 Cup of Oats
1 Frozen Banana
1 tbsp of Natural Peanut butter

Directions:
Blend all ingredients in a high powered blender and blend until ingredients are smooth, adjusting amount of Bai to control thickness.  For added nutrients: add a scoop of açaí powder.  Pour into a glass or bowl and enjoy with either a straw or spoon depending on how thick you like your smoothies.

Blueberry Lemonade Popsiclebai3

Ingredients:
Brasilia Blueberry Bai
Blueberries
Fresh Lemon Juice
Organic Evaporated Cane Sugar or Stevia (Optional, I think these are sweet enough)
Water
Pure Sea Salt

Directions:
Mix all ingredients together in a pitcher.  Pour in popsicle molds.  Let freeze for 3-4 hours.

Very Berry Iced Tea SangriaBerry-licious-Iced-Tea-Sangria-Culinary-Hill-4

Ingredients:
7 cups of Unsweetened Black Iced Tea (I used Teavana or Tazo, but Lipton works just as well)
1 (750 mL) bottle Red Moscato or other sweet red wine, chilled
1 18oz bottle of Bai Brasilia Blueberry
2 lbs. of Mixed Berries (sliced strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, and raspberries)

Directions:
In a large pitcher, combine tea, wine, and Bai. Chill for at least 4 hours to blend flavors.  To serve, add fruit to pitcher or divide among glasses. Pour sangria over the fruit.

What are some of your favorite ways to eat blueberries?  Share with me by commenting below or tagging me on Instagram: @AuthorSandyLo!  I will repost 🙂

*I have NOT received compensation of any kind to write this post.  I am truly a fan of all brands mentioned, and especially of Bai.  They supplied the first 3 recipes and I have tweaked them to meet my recipe requirements (vegan).  The Sangria recipe is one I have adapted from culinaryhill.com and I had prepared it for a party with Bai Brasilia Blueberry a few months ago – so delicious and there wasn’t any left within a couple of hours!

Ben & Jerry’s Vegan Flavors Reviewed!

By now, you’ve probably heard the news… world renown, commercial brand, Ben & Jerry’s released 4 vegan flavors of ice cream.  Lactose-intolerant and vegans everywhere rejoiced at the news and desperately searched their local grocery stores for their fix. (I found them at Publix!)

While the release of vegan flavors from this ice cream brand giant is an amazing thing in the vegan community, it doesn’t mean all of the flavors are worth a lick.

Plenty of dedicated vegan brands, like So Delicious and Luna & Larry’s, make top-notch ice cream that give the better-known Ben & Jerry’s a lesson in nondairy.

My top picks: Luna & Larry’s Salted Caramel & Chocolate, made with coconut milk and So Delicious’ Salted Caramel Cluster, made with cashew milk — okay, so I’m a bit of a salted caramel fan!

Here is my breakdown of the flavor profile of B&J’s nondairy line.

Chunky Monkey
I’m not all that familiar with the dairy version of Chunky Monkey, but the nondairy version fairs well.  It’s not something I would normally pick out — I prefer actual bananas to banana flavored ice cream, but the walnuts and fudge pieces do a decent job of breaking it up.

Coffee Caramel Fudge
An original almond milk flavor, this one, which I was most excited to try was the most disappointing!  There was no richness to the flavor or texture; in fact, there was a cardboard after taste that overpowered anything else.

Chocolate Fudge Brownie
I’m not much of a chocolate-on-chocolate person, and the quality of chocolate used in this vegan version was just okay.  It was a decent frozen treat, but I’ve had way better.

PB & Cookies
This was the winner by a long shot!  Peanut Butter swirls mixed with Oreo-style sandwich cookies in vanilla ice cream… yum!  Finally a flavor that didn’t feel like it was lacking due to it being nondairy.  This is also the only flavor they currently serve by the scoop in Ben & Jerry’s stores.  I hope B&J learn what they did right with this flavor and revamp the rest.

Have you tried the new Ben & Jerry’s nondairy line?  What did you think?  Or share with us your favorite vegan ice cream!

Mother’s Day Cocktail: Cruzan Peach Sparkler

CRUZAN-PEACH-750Like Mimosas, but are kind of bored with the traditional brunch fare?  Cruzan makes a Peach Rum that is great with orange juice or you can add a splash to iced tea for a spiked peach tea!  Cruzan Peach is light and summery, but still has a punch that you want from rum.

If you want to get fancier for Mother’s Day, try this recipe and impress your friends and family.

Cruzan® Peach Sparkler

1 1/2 parts Cruzan® Peach Rum
2 1/2 parts Sparkling Wine
2 1/2 parts Soda Water
1 Lime Wedge
1 Strawberry

Method: Squeeze lime wedge into a champagne flute and add remaining ingredients. Stir and garnish with a strawberry.