Citrus Lane Subscription Box for Baby Review – Newborn Box – September 2014

Citrus Lane September 2014 - Newborn

As a momma-to-be, I’m in love with all things baby right now. Combine that with the idea of a subscription box and I’m one happy vegan wifey :)  This month, I’m reviewing the Citrus Lane Subscription Box. Citrus Lane sends 4-5 products for birth to age 5 each month for $29 a month (discounted rates are available for longer subscriptions).

Included in the September 2014 box:

  • Tea Collection Body Suit
  • Dr. Smith’s Diaper Rash Ointment (Sample Size)
  • Mrs. Meyer’s Radish Dish Soap (Sample Size)
  • Rainbow Rattle from Hape

Citrus Lane September 2014 - Newborn

1. Tea Collection Body Suit

This was my favorite item in the box!  The body suit is the 6 month size (good, as I doubt my little one will ever fit the newborn size) and came in a cute gender-neutral gray print. The fabric is very soft and will be perfect for my January baby-to-be.

Dr. Smith's Diaper Cream

2. Dr. Smith’s® Diaper Rash Ointment

I was a bit less excited about this item. We’ll probably keep the sample on-hand for a backup but it won’t be in our regular rotation because of some of the ingredients (petrolatum and thymol) that give me cause for concern. However, the overall rating on EWG’s Skin Deep is pretty good so I’m still open to trying it in a pinch.

IMG_4823

3. Mrs. Meyer’s Radish Dish Soap

This one I can use before the bambino comes! It’s a sample size of Mrs. Meyer’s dish soap. However, I’m not quite sure what it’s doing in the newborn box (maybe they assume you’ll bottle feed?).

Hape Rattle

4. Hape Rainbow Rattle

I love the bright primary colors of this Hape Rattle (ages 0+) and that it’s made of wood, string, and water based paint. I can’t wait to play with the baby with this.

Overall Impression

I was thrilled with the body suit and rattle, less so with the diaper cream and dish soap.  For $29 a month, it does seem a little pricey but it could be a could be a pretty good deal if you choose one of their longer plans (as low as $19 a month for an annual plan). I’m not going to renew right now, but I’m open to joining again after baby is here and would be excited to receive a subscription as a gift.

Hungry Man’s Vegan Oatmeal Recipe

HungryMansVeganOatmealRecipe

As a very hungry person from childhood, I have searched long and hard to find filling and delicious food

to contain my rumbling stomach. This recipe is extremely simple and quick to make in the morning, and

it leaves me feeling satiated but not unpleasantly stuffed. It has a lot of calories and is sizable, so please

adjust the portions to ones that suit you best. With 34 grams of protein, 24 grams of fiber and a heck of

a lot of whole grain complex carbs, this is a fantastic way to start your day. Oh and did I mention that it’s

also vegan?

 

2 Cups old-fashioned oats

1⁄2 Cup almonds

1⁄4 Cup raisins (or craisins/dried cherries/etc.)

1 Tbsp. wheat germ

1 Tbsp. ground cinnamon

(Almost boiling water)

 

First add the oatmeal to a heat resistant bowl or plate along with the wheat germ and cinnamon. Add

the hot water directly into the bowl, enough to cover the oatmeal and a little more. The water can be

boiling but doesn’t have to be, anything that’s steaming is good enough. The idea is that you don’t want

the oats to be “soupy” but you don’t want them to be too dry either. A couple of practice runs will let

you know what your ideal oatmeal will taste like. Let the oats absorb the water for about one minute.

Add in the raisins and almonds, which will absorb the rest of the excess water and become nice and

fluffy. Wait 30 seconds and enjoy, this is going to be good!

 

Nutrition Facts:

Calories: 1050

Protein: 34g

Fiber: 24g

What else is important to you? Let us know in the comments!

Top 6 Most Objectively Manly Vegan Foods

Vegan Oatmeal with Berries

6. Mushrooms

From Portobello burgers to mushroom gravy, you just can’t go wrong with some delicious manly

mushrooms. Tons of varieties to choose from: bellas, whites, morels, oysters, shitakes and many more.

Touting a high protein content and a meaty/chewy texture, it’s a guy’s go-to.

5. Bread/Pasta

Hearty black bread has been eaten by the toughest of men for centuries. If it was good enough for

medieval knights, it’s good enough for you! Don’t believe me? Just watch any movie about men in

taverns, fields or caves. What are they eating? Loaves of black bread. Enough said!

4. Corn

Anything you can grill is automatically considered a manly food. You will find corn in almost any BBQ or

family gathering for vegans and non-vegans alike. It’s surprisingly caloric and is healthy (as long as it’s

non-GMO and you don’t lather it completely with salt and vegan butter). Additionally, corn is often

added to chili, which is notoriously known to be a man’s dish. And this point brings us to…

3. Beans

Bean chili is just about as manly as you can get. Add jalapeno peppers and chili powder to make it spicy

beyond belief and impress your man friends. Of course, beans are a musical fruit, but that never

stopped men from consuming them in copious quantities. In fact, that just makes beans even MORE

manly! Beans are found in cooking from all over the world including mouth-watering Indian, Latin,

southern, and even Asian cuisines.

2. Potatoes

“Po-ta-toes. Boil ‘em, mash ‘em, stick ‘em in a stew!” There is just no end to the versatility, and of

course manliness, of potatoes. They are delicious. They are nutritious. And you can find them in just

about any manly gathering. From French Fries, to any eastern European meal, to good ol’ southern

cooking, potatoes are enjoyed by manly men all over!

1. Oatmeal

Why do I say that oatmeal is the most manly vegan food? Because I’ve seen grown men who can eat a

huge steak whimper away after eating a mere quarter cup of oatmeal. Oatmeal is high in protein and

fiber and is just flat out delicious. I add nuts, berries or cereal to my 2-3 cups (dry) of oatmeal when I eat

it for breakfast, which blows most guys minds. How manly am I hu?! ;-)

 

Is your favorite manly food not part of this list? Have a delicious recipe that uses food from the list?

Comment and let us know what your favorite manly food is!

The Gentleman’s Guide to DATING a Vegan

Vegan Love

(Guest post by The Vegan Hubby!)

A quick guide to dating someone who doesn’t eat meat or dairy.

 

Dating can be tough at the best of times. Adding in the vegan wild card into the mix can make your head

explode. But have no fear! Here is a handy-dandy list of things to know when the girl/boy that you are

courting eats no meat or dairy:

 

1. It takes a while to get the hang of things

Expect to make mistakes. A lot of mistakes. You will have a ton of good intentions that go awry,

but that’s okay. Vegans are a very grateful group as a whole and they will appreciate your

efforts. Yes you might have spent a full afternoon looking up recipes and cooking up a storm and

envisioned your vegan counterpart to be bedazzled by how amazing you are. Don’t let your ego

get destroyed when you missed some ingredient that you’ve never heard of that turns out to

not be vegan, forcing you to order out.

2. One size does not fit all vegans

As crazy as it might sound, not all vegans have the same food beliefs. Find out exactly what your

special someone is comfortable eating. Things like honey may or may not be fine to eat. Plus

some “cheat” a little more than others. Either way, you will never know until you ask.

3. Think ahead, but most importantly think

Perhaps you’ve been going to a particularly nice restaurant that has made previous dates fall

in love with you. Don’t assume that this place will work for a vegan date as well. Surf and Turf

might swoon a regular date, but it will leave you with a hungry and annoyed vegan date. Think

ahead and call the restaurant to make sure that they can accommodate a nice vegan meal.

Better yet, take them to a vegan restaurant and branch out a little yourself. You’d be surprised

how good vegan restaurants can be! Plus you get bonus points.

4. There’s more to this than just food

Don’t harp on the vegan subject for the entire date. Vegans get asked so many questions about

what they eat that sometimes it seems like they don’t get to talk about anything else. While it

may be mind-blowing to you that someone can go a day without cheese, they’ve been there and

done it so many times it just not that interesting anymore. Have some fun and be someone who

stands out from the rest of the boring “but what do you do for protein?!?” people.

5. Don’t be stupid

Being a vegan is serious. At least in the food poisoning sense. If you haven’t eaten any meat in

years, you can be quite sure that you will not have a fun date if your vegan date ends up eating

some. Taking the pieces of chicken out of the chicken soup does not make it vegan soup (I’ve

made this mistake myself when I first started dating my wife and it seemed very reasonable at

the time. It seems flat out stupid now). Yes it’s annoying that you have keep figuring out new

ways to cook but you will be happy you did in the long run!

Continue Reading…

The Gentleman’s Guide to Being a Vegan

Veggies

(Guest post by The Vegan Hubby!)

The 4 basic things you need to know about being a classy vegan.

 

Living a vegan lifestyle is important on a multitude of levels. Unfortunately, some vegan’s forget their

manners when interacting with their meat-eating counterparts. Follow these 4 simple rules to always

being a classy vegan, which really is the best kind of vegan.

 

1. Keep it simple, Vegan

When talking to non-vegans always remember to keep the conversation relatively simple. This

is different from talking to them like they have the IQ of a cow (don’t do that either!). You

have spent countless hours pouring over information on diet, nutrition, exotic foods and vegan

cooking. Most people have not! Do not start off a conversation telling people about which

brand of B-12 supplement is legitimate and which is run by corporate moneybags. Nor should

you tell them all about which enzymes digest which nutrients at which point in the digestive

process, not unless they specifically ask of course. It might be fascinating to you but it zooms

over their heads like a high flying bird. Not only did you just not get your point across, but you

have effectively made sure the person stopped listening to you altogether. While they may have

genuinely been interested in the vegan lifestyle before, they have made up their mind that it’s

too complicated for them. All they wanted was some good food.

 

2. Don’t give vegans a bad rep

You might be crazy in the rest of your life, but when talking about vegan subjects, keep the

craziness to a minimum to keep people from thinking that vegans are the crazy ones. One of

the biggest complaints I hear about vegans is their general tendency to be, to put it nicely,

unpleasant. I was talking with one vegan girl who tried to argue the point that people who eat

meat/dairy are modern day Nazis. Such an argument was not only outrageously ignorant but it

also made me wonder if all vegans are this crazy. Yes there is a lot of animal cruelty that goes on

for the sake of meat and dairy production, but there are ways to talk about it without accusing

people of being Nazis. Thankfully I recognized that this might just be an isolated incident, so my

faith in the vegan community was not shaken. Be crazy on your own time.

 

Continue Reading…

Can’t Believe It’s Vegan Pancakes

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To a non-vegan, the highest complement they can think of to give your culinary efforts is “I can’t believe it’s vegan”.  Kind of subtly insulting, but they usually mean well. These are great for introducing a newbie to vegan cooking or just as a delicious, melt-in-your mouth standby for Saturday mornings.  This recipe serves 2-4, depending on what you consider a serving.  For my weekend indulgence, serving sizes get a little bit more, um, “American sized”.

Ingredients:

1.5 c. unbleached flour (or whole wheat if you’re feeling extra virtuous this morning)

3.5 t. baking powder

1/2 t. salt

1 T. sugar (only if using unsweetened almond milk)

1.25 c. vanilla or plain almond milk (or your favorite non-dairy milk)

1 t. vanilla extract

Vegan chocolates chips (or other add ins)

2 T. Earth Balance margarine, melted

+ Earth Balance to grease skillet

Recipe:

Sift (or stir well) together dry ingredients.  Stir in vanilla, non-dairy milk, and melted non-dairy butter.  Mix until smooth.  Heat skillet (cast iron is best) over medium heat.  Grease. Add 1/4 c. batter per pancake to skillet.  Top with chocolate chips, blueberries, whatever.  Flip.  Remove when fluffy and golden on each side.  Serve with warm maple syrup.

New Blog Posts Coming Soon!

Although I’ve had this blog for a year now, I’ve posted sporadically at best. That’s all about to change – stay tuned for new recipes, reviews, and giveaways coming soon! Let me know in the comments what you think I should cover.

Food for Thought

First Spring Blooms

~ ~

“There is nothing like looking, if you want to find something.”
J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit

The Top 5 Vegan Cookbooks for New Vegans

Vegan Cookbooks

Vegan cooking suffers from an image problem.  There are some amazing vegan cookbooks out there, but there are also too many cookbooks that require 27 hard-to-find, expensive ingredients per recipe or feature yet another flavorless veggie patty idea.  An Amazon search for “vegan cookbook” gives you a cool 2,832 options vying for your hard-earned money (I, on the other hand, make no money off you purchasing any of the below).  Here are the Top 5 Vegan Cookbooks that won’t be collecting dust on the shelf:

The Kind Diet: A Simple Guide to Feeling Great, Losing Weight, and Saving the Planet - Alicia Silverstone

Pros: Healthy, delicious recipes, clear directions, a wealth of information about making the transition to veganism

Cons: Some of these recipes do require a special trip to the store until your shopping habits catch up to your new lifestyle

Everyday Happy Herbivore: Over 175 Quick-and-Easy Fat-Free and Low-Fat Vegan Recipes. - Lindsay S. Nixon

Pros: You actually have these ingredients in your pantry (ketchup, oats, beans, etc.), Recipes are quick and easy, Great for budget cooking

Cons: Some of the desserts are too high in sugar

Skinny Bitch: Ultimate Everyday Cookbook: Crazy Delicious Recipes that Are Good to the Earth and Great for Your BodKim Barnouin

Pros: This is the cookbook that should have followed up the original Skinny Bitch  (let’s all forget the over-processed horror that was Skinny Bitch in the Kitch) – beautiful photography, unique but still easy to follow recipes, lots of information about the vegan lifestyle

Cons: These are not 5 minute recipes – be prepared to actually spend time in your kitchen

The Mediterranean Vegan Kitchen by Donna Klein

Pros: Healthy Mediterranean style recipes that don’t rely on meat substitutes

Cons: No pictures.  Recipes are geared at experienced cooks.

Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World: 75 Dairy-Free Recipes for Cupcakes that Rule by Isa Chandra Moskowitz, Terry Hope Romero, Rebecca Bent and Sara Quin

Pros:  Delicious treats. Many varieties for varying skill levels.

Cons: Remember, vegan doesn’t necessarily mean healthy.  These are still cupcakes.

 

What cookbooks do you recommend for new vegans? Are there any that you would recommend new vegans not buy? Leave a comment below!

Hot Fudge Brownie Pudding Cake

Hot Fudge Brownie Pudding Cake

Delicious chocolately goodness that makes an amazing dessert for company and an even more amazing breakfast treat.

Hot Fudge Brownie Pudding Cake

1 c. flour (white whole wheat)

3/4 c. organic sugar or evaporated cane juice

2 T. cocoa

2 t. baking powder

1/2 t. salt

1/2 c. unsweetened almond milk

1 t. vanilla extract

2 T. olive oil

3/4 c. chopped walnuts (chopped fresh)

1/2 c. brown sugar

1/4 c. cocoa

1.75 c. boiling water

Mix first 8 ingredients and spread in greased 8×8 pan.  Combine walnuts, brown sugar, and cocoa in separate bowl.  Add boiling water to nut mixture and mix well.  Pour over batter in pan.  Bake at 350 for 45 minutes.  Do not overbake or you will lose the pudding part and be left with a mere chocolate cake/brownie.  Serve warm.