VVP Favourites

Hey friends 🙂

How’s your week going? Mine is flying by! I don’t mean to rush my life away but my guy is traveling for the week and I’m looking forward to having him back for the weekend. On Friday we are going to the sold out NB Spirits Festival (formerly, Whiskey Festival) with a group from work. It’s a tasting event with various brands of spirits and ticket holders get discounts on the featured products. I’m not a big spirits drinker but I love the buzz of a big event!

With Friday in mind, I’ve been trying to be extra good this week. Zucchini noodles with my favourite raw alfredo sauce has been my go-to dinner for the past few nights.

Oct 4 004

If you recall my No Cheats November commitment, I did say I was going to be flexible for holiday events, Friday being one of them. I will be limiting my drinks and avoiding the hors d’oeuvres. I will also be sure to get a workout in on Sat or Sun. Today is day 10/34 since I am sticking to this until Dec 15.

Did you get a chance to stop by the November 2013 Virtual Vegan Potluck? Simply stated, the VVP is an event that is now held twice a year to virtually bring vegan bloggers together for a potluck. Everyone “brings” their favourite dish and the potluck is linked up from start to finish, blogger to blogger, with buttons to “go back” and “go forward” to lead you along the virtual table.

vvpstackoplatestext-708x1024

November 2013 was my first time participating in the potluck. I brought Spinach & Artichoke Dip for an appetizer and appreciate everyone who stopped by and left a comment 🙂 Over the past few days I was able to make my way through every recipe on the list and do some Pinning. There were so many original ideas, veganized childhood comfort meals, and new-to-me foods from bloggers all over the world.

Did you know:

  • pomegranates are native to Israel? It’s even a national symbol. Apparently Israel is an amazing food experience too. Thanks for that Andrea!
  • you shouldn’t have fat in your post-workout recovery drink? This totally makes sense to me now. Fat slows the digestion of the protein and carbs that you want to immediately replenish after a workout.
  • beets are so much more versatile than you’ve ever imagined? They were incorporated into every category of the potluck and in every form, including the juice pulp and the beet greens!

beet root (source)

In case you didn’t get to visit the potluck, I’ve highlighted a few of the recipes that caught my attention. They were all amazing but the following stood out to me for specific reasons; often because they were healthier options or foods I haven’t had since making the plant-based transition.

November 2013 Virtual Vegan Potluck Favourites

Raw Vegan Holiday Cheddar Cheese Ball from Vedged Out

Cheese Ball

The cheese ball used to be one of my favourite holiday foods. So much tastier and so much more fun than a conventional block of cheese. Not only does this recipe look & sound to die for, but Somer says you can whip it up in just 10 minutes! When reading the ingredients list I realized I even had almost everything on hand. A heads up to my family: there will be a vegan cheese ball this Christmas!

Sweet Potato and Korean BBQ Bites from That Was Vegan?

korean bbq bites

Barb’s blog title serves her well. The first thing I thought when I saw this appetizer was, ” Wow, that was vegan?!”. My boyfriend would flip over these BBQ bites. We don’t follow the same diet but he will eat whatever I make at home so I often try to cook things that make him forget about the absent meat 😉

Apples with Roasted Beet Tartare, Cashew Cheese and Candied Walnuts  from Luminous Vegans

Beet App

This just looked too potluck-perfect not to share. What a simple hors d’ouevre to pass around at a holiday party. I love something that I can take one of and not have to worry about hanging around the dip bowl (though I do love dips!)

Potluck Harvest Salad with Pumpkin Vinaigrette from Chic Vegan

harvest salad

The only thing better than a harvest salad is a harvest vinaigrette. I love eating salads for lunch anytime of the year, but my salad styles changes with the season. In summer I like berries, citrus fruits & light, fruit vinaigrettes. In the colder months, I like something like this with a rich, possibly warm, dressing. Yum!

Edamame Power Salad with Avocado Lime Dressing from 86 Lemons

edamame salad

Another salad because I am the salad queen! My go-to protein option for salads is usually chickpeas but I often opt for edamame as a lower carb source of protein. I also can’t wait to try it with the avocado lime dressing, another good option for winter salads.

Chocolate Protein Recovery Tonic from The Veggie Nook

chocolate tonic

This was definitely something different for a potluck, but it am in love with the idea of a hot smoothie! I had a smoothie for breakfast almost everyday from May to November but now its just too cold in the mornings. Thought I love my oatmeal, I miss how light I feel after a smoothie for breakfast. This is the perfect solution plus a great post-workout drink!

Rosemary Scalloped Sweet Potatoes from Girl Eats Greens

scalloped potatoes

Do I even need to say anything? Scalloped potatoes were one of my all time favourite childhood foods. Whether it was homemade or the Betty Crocker packaged version (blush) I was crazy for it. This is the first plant-based scalloped potato recipe I’ve came across and I bet it would be just as lovely with white potatoes. Thank you Jamie!

Quinoa Lentil Soup from Quinoa, Kale and Exhale

quinoa lentil soup

A few months ago I was really into quinoa & lentil salad. I would mix up a big batch of quinoa, lentils, tomatoes, lemon juice, and loads of spices. I ate it for sides, atop greens, mixed with other veggies, etc. Then I ate myself sick of it. Then I couldn’t decide what to do with all of the quinoa and lentils in my cupboard. THIS is what I will do 🙂

Vegan Onion Rings from The Fresh Direction

onion rings

Who doesn’t love onion rings? This recipe post features a BBQ veggie burger but it was the side of onion rings that really caught my eye. Onion rings normally aren’t vegan because of the egg in the batter but to be honest, I usually avoid anything deep fried anyway. Not only are these babies veg-certified, but they are actually fairly healthy!

Layered Coconut Mousse with Chocolate Brownie and Caramelized Nuts from Poppy’s Patisserie

mousse

“This dessert isn’t overly sweet but it is very decadently rich – a little goes a long way…” – Poppy. I’m sure the dessert as a whole would be totally amazing but I was drawn in by the brownies. I’ve been struggling in the vegan brownie department and Poppy said they were the best brownies she’s ever eaten. Must. Make!

{Raw} Deep Dish Caramel Apple Pie from Vegan Heritage Press

caramel apple pie

Every holiday my mom makes us her Best Ever Homemade Apple Pie. It’s pretty darn good. Ask anyone! Now, me being me, I would LOVE to contribute a healthy plant-based dessert to the holiday dinner sometime. This apple pie looks super easy to make plus it won’t kill your diet. It uses dates and raisins for sweetness (not sugar) and has a nut crust. It can even be made raw if you have a dehydrator!

So tell me…

Did you find any keepers from the VVP?

Are you drawn to recipes that are healthier or more decadent?

Liz xo

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18 thoughts on “VVP Favourites

    • I bought a spiralizer on Amazon. The brand is Paderno World Cuisine and it was only about $40. I love it! As for beets, I’ve actually never cooked with them besides juicing and shredding on salads. The potluck gave me lots of ideas but I also heard it takes some practice to get a feel for how they’re supposed to look/feel/taste.

    • I was actually surprised I didn’t see more of the bloggers I regularly follow on the potluck. The next one will be in May 2014 and I’ll be sure to pass along the details 🙂

    • You’re very welcome! When I see something I like I have to share it 🙂 I would love to have a real potluck with the vegan blogging community sometime… I think it’s a future possibility 😉

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