Vegan Walt Disney World: Top Resources for Planning Your Vacation
Going to the most magical place on Earth but worried about finding good vegan food? Worry no more! Walt Disney World is actually one of the best vacation destination for people with dietary restrictions. Cast members (Disney-speak for employees) are generally well educated and helpful in finding you a meal that meets your needs. However, any Disney vacation requires quite a bit of planning to be successful and if you follow a vegan diet, that planning can mean the difference between a week of meal after meal of veggie-burger-no-bun or a varied and delicious experience from tofu bowls to curries to sushi to vegan ice cream treats. Some restaurants are better than others and a bit of planning can make sure you are in the right place at the right time throughout your trip.
Later in this series, I’ll go over ideas on when to go, where to stay, what to pack, and where to eat. For now, let’s start with some good resources to use in planning your Disney adventure.
Official Disney World Website – Obvious, yes, but the Disney website will be your friend when making Advance Dining Reservations, reserving Fast Pass +, and for general planning
Touring Plans – Touring plans has a useful blog as well as their namesake touring plans to save you time in the parks. Their crowd calendar is extremely handy for planning when to visit. Some features are for subscribers but the fee is well worth it (around $15 for a year).
Oh Shiitake Mushrooms, TODAY is Valentine’s Day?
This post contains affiliate links.
Despite the annual recurrence of Valentine’s Day, many otherwise fine folks find themselves surprised every February 14th and desperately trying to find a gift on the way home from work that doesn’t look like it was picked up on the way home from work. If this is you, skip the grocery store chocolates and flowers (or get them too!) and read on for a more thoughtful gift that you can still give them right now. Then bookmark this list for the next time you forget a gift-giving holiday 😉
The first issue typically takes 4-6 weeks to come but you can print the confirmation off and include it your card (you did get a card, right?). A specialty magazine in something the recipient likes – yay, vegan cooking! – shows you put some thought into your gift.
Audible Subscription or Audio Book
To be honest, I just don’t “get” audiobooks. I process information much better written than spoken so audiobooks feel like too much work for me. However, many people love them (hello, hubby!) and you can personalize with an author or topic your recipient likes. Continue Reading…
Vegan Chocolate Bundt Cake
Bundt cakes should be in every baker’s secret arsenal. Bundt cakes look elegant and like you spent hours in the kitchen while in reality, your pretty pan did most of the work. Shhh – It will be our little secret! No frosting is needed for most bundt cakes, including this chocolate beauty. You can add a glaze if desired but the cakes are sweet and pretty enough to stand on their own. Right before serving, garnish with a sprinkling of sprinkles, powdered sugar, or edible flowers.
2.5 c. all-purpose flour
1.75 c. sugar
1 c. cocoa powder
1 T. black cocoa powder (optional)
1 t. espresso powder
2 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
2 c. unsweetened almond milk
2/3 c. EVOO or avocado oil
1/4 c. apple cider vinegar
1 T. vanilla extract
Recipe: Continue Reading…
St. Patrick’s Day Vegan Spirulina Chocolate Chip Oven Pancake Recipe
Some holiday’s seem to be begging for some fun food recipes. In feel like St. Patrick’s day is one of them so I decided to create a fun recipe of my own. In our usual style, the requirements were that it has to be healthy, delicious and obviously vegan. I am happy to say that the recipe turned out to be a complete success! Make this one as a surprise for your loved one(s) on St. Patrick’s for a fun little guilt-free breakfast. I’m actually starting to like oven cakes better than pancakes because they take less time and there is less clean up!
1 ½ Cups Whole Wheat Flour
3 Teaspoons Baking Powder
2 Teaspoons Spirulina
1 1/3 Cups unsweetened Almond Milk
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 Mashed up Banana
1 Tablespoon Avocado oil (olive oil should work fine too)
1/3 Cup Chocolate Chips Continue Reading…
Vegan Confetti Cupcakes
Just like you remember from childhood. Perfect for birthdays, holidays, Tuesdays…
Makes 12 cupcakes. Double recipe for two 9 inch layers.
1 c. non-dairy milk (such as almond, soy, cashew or coconut) + 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
½ c. (1 stick) Earth Balance vegan butter, softened
1 scant c. granulated sugar
1 t. vanilla extract
1 ½ c. all-purpose flour
1 ½ t. baking powder
½ t baking soda
¼ t salt
Optional: 1/3 c. rainbow sprinkles or nonpareils for Confetti cake
Optional: Your favorite frosting (my chocolate buttercream recipe coming soon – will link when posted!) Continue Reading…
Hello Fresh Thoughts and $40 Discount/Coupon Code- with Pics!
For those interested in getting the $40 Discount/Coupon Code is: 947T7A or simply follow the (affiliate) link Here
The subscription box industry has exploded lately with probably over a dozen different players joining. Everyone from Hello Fresh to Blue Apron to Home Chef and many more all wants to get in on the action. All have their pitch to sell and have their pro’s and con’s. Home Chef is actually one of our favorites (Our thoughts on it Here) but another solid box that is vegetarian friendly with easily veganizable recipes (for those meals that are not already vegan) is Hello Fresh.
Hello Fresh meals tend to be simpler, more common ingredients and the meals are very recreatable for those who like to get inspired in your day-to-day cooking. A number of our current staples that we make weekly originally came from a Hello Fresh meal. The portions tend to be smaller/less caloric than some of the other boxes so if you are big eaters, I would consider some other boxes like Home Chef. However, if you don’t want to overeat and have more portion control, this is a plus. Continue Reading…
Home Chef Thoughts and $30 Discount/Coupon Code- with Pics!
For those just looking for the Home Chef $30 discount code, without further delay:
$30 Discount: Simply follow the (affiliate) link Here
Thoughts: Wifey and I love cooking, we love eating well and we love trying new things to eat. Unfortunately, between having two kids, jobs, furry animals and everything that has to do with the joys of owning a house, we tend to inevitably cook the same few quick (but yummy!) meals all the time. This is where food delivery boxes come in like Home Chef come into the picture.
For at least 3 meals every week, more if we order a larger box from them, we eat 3 new great meals. Like anything else, some dishes we like more than others but for the most part we have a blast learning new recipes and eating new delicious meals all the time. One great thing about Home Chef is they often use ingredients that are either harder to find in our local supermarket, or we flat out never knew about, so we get to explore that way too.
Vegan Home Chef? Home Chef actually used to have a Vegan menu to choose from each week but have since limited their options so that those ordering 3 meals a week need to pick a mix of vegan/vegetarian meals (at least one meal is usually fully vegan and you could always order multiples of that meal instead of the vegetarian options). We simply swap any dairy items for vegan alternatives we keep stocked at home. I know this really bothers some vegans but the more interest the vegan/vegetarian meals get, the more likely they are to increase those options and offer excursively vegan ones. We just give the non-vegan items to a local food pantry or to someone who would better appreciate them.
Long story short, it’s totally worth it, I highly recommend them. Anyway, enough talking, let the pictures speak for themselves. Here is just a sample of some of the deliciousness that we enjoyed thanks to Home Chef:
- Full disclosure: for every person who signs up using the discount code/link above, we get a discount off of our Home Chef subscription. We appreciate and thank anyone and everyone who signs up this way!
How to Make Your Favorite Recipes Vegan: Dairy Substitutes
Vegetarianism has become so mainstream that most people have a basic understanding that meat is not essential for a healthy diet. Mention you’re vegan, however, and it’s still not uncommon for people get really confused how you live without dairy and eggs. The cool part for those of us who have been veggies for a while is that the last few years has seen an explosion of vegan-friendly products hit the market to supplement our homemade versions. Below are some common cow juice products and their vegan equivalents (many of which are even more delicious, like Coconut Whipped Cream and fresh almond milk).
Fluid milk consumption has been falling in the US since the 1970s, leaving a wide market for non-dairy alternatives. Almond milk, cashew milk, coconut milk, rice milk, and soy milk are just a few of the options now found in mainstream supermarkets. Each milk has a different flavor and consistency (and even the sweetened ones usually have less that the 13g of sugar found in one cup of cow’s milk). I prefer the unsweetened, unflavored versions (usually “original”, not vanilla or chocolate) for most recipes. Each milk has varying amounts of protein, calories, and other nutrients (very little in almond milk, more in soy milk, for example) so check the label to see which is best for you.
Butter is also easy to replace. Coconut, olive, avocado and other plant-oils can be used while cooking. For baking and spreading on toast, I prefer vegan butters such as Earth Balance. So good!
Vegan buttermilk is a cinch to make. Just stir in 1 teaspoon. apple cider or white vinegar per 1 cup vegan milk and let sit for two minutes. That’s it! The milk will be slightly curdled and thickened and has that important tang from the vinegar. Vegan buttermilk is especially good in buttermilk pancakes.
You may have heard of a little David and Goliath battle between vegan Just Mayo and Unilever (spoiler: Unilever dropped the suit, turns out eggs aren’t what makes mayo delicious). I also love Follow Your Heart’s Vegenaise with Grapeseed Oil but there are a lot of great vegan mayo options on the market now. You can also make your own at home but I like the commercial versions and haven’t tried it yet.
I can honestly say that even if dairy whipped cream was somehow magically plant-based, I would still keep making Coconut Whipped Cream because it’s simply yummier. Be sure to used canned coconut milk and not the kind that comes in the dairy case – the higher fat content is necessary for whipping. Continue Reading…
Coconut Whipped Cream Recipe
Coconut whipped cream is one of the best weapons in the vegan dessert arsenal. Coconut Whipped Cream turns an ordinary dessert into something special with a fluffy, creamy, delicious dollop of whipped cream on top. I keep a can of Trader Joe’s Coconut milk in the fridge at all times, just in case. The best part? The recipe is super easy.
1 14 oz can organic coconut cream or milk, chilled overnight
2 T powdered sugar (to taste)
1/2 t. vanilla extract
Before starting, chill mixing bowl 15-30 minutes (optional). Continue Reading…
What to Do with Stuff You Don’t Need
The holiday season brings more clutter to fill up our houses than any other time of year. Add that to being cooped up inside (at least here in the Northeast) for several months and you would be forgiven for wanting to throw everything out in a dumpster and just start over. However, a more realistic route is to spend a few weeks going through each room drawer by drawer (twice, you will always miss something) and weed out items that no longer have a place in your home. Pull out:
- Excessive multiples – You do not need 8 wooden spoons or 12 black tank tops if you only really use 1 or 2 regularly. A bed can only have one sheet set on at a time, plus one or two spares. Having 8 editions of the Bible does not make you more Christian.
- Aspirational items – Craft supplies you will not use (yes, you could start knitting again, but are you really going to?), clothes five sizes too small, items that you hold onto because they were expensive (if you don’t like a designer sweater, it’s still a sweater you don’t like or wear cluttering up your life), supplies for activities you wish you did (if your idea of roughing it is a Holiday Inn, get rid of the camping gear)
- Sentimental items – It’s okay to have a few sentimental items but most of us have way more. You are not going to wear your prom dress again and odds are your daughter will want something without the puff sleeves. Let her pick her own. Someone else can use it now. Keep one or two onesies if your youngest kid is now 6 and donate the rest. Your Grandma may have collected tea services but if you don’t drink the stuff, pick your favorite and let the rest go to someone who will use them rather than gathering dust in the closet. You get the gist.
- Previously useful items – Twin sheets if you updated to a queen. Old dressers, rugs, school supplies now that you finished grad school, children’s books and toys that your kids have outgrown, movies you only needed to see once, books you won’t read again
- Junk – Cheap plastic toys, company freebies (pens that don’t write well, random balls, etc.), gifts that made you question the gift-giver’s sanity (oh what a nice statue of One Direction. Umm, thanks)
If you don’t absolutely love an item or haven’t used it in the past year, it’s time to let it go. Odds are, you can afford to replace it in the very unlikely event you want to take up rollerblading again. Now the cool part is that someone somewhere would probably be quite happy to have your item. After you’ve pulled aside all unwanted items, divide into four piles: Continue Reading…