Vegan Pumpkin Lasagna

Hi Savvys,

I have been making this lasagna for years and have finally been able to put the recipe down on paper for you!  This pumpkin lasagna recipe uses the pumpkin puree I have frozen from my Halloween Jack-O-Lantern Pumpkin, but you can use store bought pumpkin puree in this recipe as well.

This lasagna recipe has such a subtle pumpkin flavour while still having the heartiness of a traditional tomato-based lasagna.  The pumpkin cream sauce makes this dish really decadent and goes perfect along side garlic bread or a salad.  My little one really loves eating this as well since there are so many textures from the vegan tofu ricotta to the TVP meat filling.

Hope you guys try out this recipe.  It is one of my favourites to make and you can surely make it ahead for an easy weeknight meal!

Now set forth and be savvy!

Ingredients

  • 1 block of firm tofu, drained (420 G)
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp granulated garlic
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  •  ¼ tsp black pepper
  • 1 package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained (300 g)
  • ¼ cup non-dairy milk

Ingredients

  • 1 package beyond meat or lightlife ground
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp fennel seed
  • 2 tsp dried Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 cups TVP, rehydrated
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 1 can 28-ounce diced tomatoes

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp vegan butter
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 2 cups non-dairy milk
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp nutmeg

You will also need:

  • 9 lasagna noodles
  • 1 cup shredded vegan mozzarella style cheese

Directions

  1. Cook 9 lasagna noodles according to package directions.  If you are using no-boil noodles, then you can start making the lasagna filling
  2. Vegan Ricotta Filling
    • Blend all of the ingredients in a food processor until smooth
    • Set aside and prepare the meat sauce
  3. Meat sauce:
    • Heat a sauce pan over medium heat
    • Add the veggie ground and let it brown, about 3 minutes as you break up the pieces with a potato masher or a wooden spoon
    • Add in the onion and garlic and sautee together until fragrant, about 2 minutes
    • Add in the spices and toss until fragrant, about 1 minute
    • Add the soy sauce and the rehydrated TYP and mix until it is well incorporated into the veggie ground mixture
    • Add the salt, pepper and canned diced tomato and let simmer over medium-low as you prepare the pumpkin sauce mixture
  4. Pumpkin Sauce:
    • Make your roux by melting the butter over medium heat
    • Once the butter is melted, add in the flour and mix until the flour is combined
    • Add in the rest of the ingredients, whisking until there are no clumps over medium high
    • Once the sauce comes to a boil, turn the heat down to medium low and continue whisking until you get a smooth sauce
  5. To layer the lasagna:
    • Preheat oven to 375 degrees
    • Add a thin layer of the meat sauce to the bottom of a 13 x 9 in baking dish
    • Add a layer of noodles
    • Add half of the ricotta tofu mixture on top of the noodles
    • Add 1/3 of the meat sauce on top of the tofu mixture
    • Pour ½ of the pumpkin sauce on top of the meat mixture
    • Add another layer of noodles
    • Add the rest of the ricotta mixture on top of the noodles
    • Add 1/3 of meat sauce on top of the ricotta mixture
    • Pour the rest of the pumpkin sauce
    • Add a final layer of noodles
    • Add the rest of the meat sauce
  6. To bake the lasagna:
    • You can make this ahead of time and bake it when you are ready to eat – just be sure to put the cold lasagna tray into the oven as you are preheating it to prevent the tray from cracking
    • Place the baking dish on top of a cookie sheet to prevent spillage in your oven
    • Place another cookie sheet on top of the lasagna dish to create a lid
    • Bake at 375 for 45 minutes
    • Remove the cookie sheet lid and sprinkle the vegan cheese on top, bake for 15 minutes
    • Remove the lasagna from the oven and let it sit for 15 minutes before serving

Bali, Indonesia in 3 Days

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Hi Savvys,

If you read my previous post where I shared my 1-day itinerary in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, then you already know that this is the final country we visited on our 16-day Asia trip that spanned 4 countries and 6 cities!  As mentioned, we had started and ended our trip in Singapore because it was the cheapest way to travel to Asia from Canada (Toronto specifically).  We had decided to spend 3 days in Bali just to get a taste of the city while we were on this side of the world.  To get to Bali, we flew from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia via Air Asia.

Here is some general information of our time in Bali, Indonesia:

Transportation from the Airport to our Hotel: We had arrived to Bali International Airport Airport (DPS) at around 1AM.  Since we had arrived really late at night, I decided to book a round trip taxi service which cost about $33 CAD.  Luckily, we had our international SIM (more details below) since we needed access to WhatsApp to reach our taxi driver.  You could also take a grab or a taxi, but after reading about the taxi service in Bali (more specifically the taxi mafia), I was a bit weary and was more comfortable with the taxi service.

Transportation in and around Bali: Bali itself is quite large and there are many areas where you can stay.  We stayed in the Kuta area.  We chose this location because we were able to walk to the beach, restaurants and the mall.  However, when we took our day trip to Ubud, we did book a private taxi which was convenient because we got to see many things in and around Ubud.

WIFI Access:  I will leave the same comments as my previous post as it is still relevant here.  Connection was only available in our hotel room and some public establishments.  To get around this, what I have done in the past, and also implemented on this trip, was to load our itinerary on Google maps and download the map for offline navigation.  This method works most of the time, however sometimes the GPS gets confused and doesn’t know where you and ends up restarting.  You end up having to use the map the old way (aka without a GPS and finding your own directions like a traditional map).  However, I do recommend just purchasing an international SIM card that you can use and be connected to at all times (if you need to).  Personally, for me, I preferred to be connected the entire time since the offline google maps kept restarting and was unable to locate us.  It is also useful if you plan on using Grab while in the city.  This was the first time travelling internationally where we had purchased an international SIM to be able to be connect to internet and I must say that now I am a converted.  The international SIMs are very affordable and offer a lot of data (we would also turn it off if we were going to be in a given location for an extended amount of time to preserve data and batter power) and we were able to use the same SIM for the remainder of our entire trip in all of the other countries.  We did end up using 3 different types of connection, but I recommend the last option so that you can be connected the entire time:

  1. International SIM (purchased at the airport) – Once we left Singapore and arrived to Phuket Airport, there were lots of boots that were selling international SIMs. We ended up purchasing one of these at a booth called Smile and they connected it for me – it was super easy to use however kind of confusing because I couldn’t understand how much data I had left so we used it sparingly during our visit in Phuket and Chiang Mai.  Because we paid in cash, I unfortunately do not recall how much we spent, but it was definitely less than $10 CAD.
  2. Rented WIFI Device – I had actually rented a device when we were in Singapore for our visit in Bangkok since we were going to be here for 3 days without any excursions. We rented a pocket WIFI which we picked up at the BBK airport via Klook.  In total it cost $26 for the 3 days (which at the time we thought was a bargain) – they do have to hold a deposit which is refundable once you return the device, so make sure you have enough cash to avoid the change in exchange rates on your credit card.  It was also not clear how much data we had but I think it was unlimited.  I didn’t mind the hand held device since we had used one when we visited Tokyo, however I definitely would recommend an international SIM when possible.
  3. International SIM (purchased online and picked up at airport) – After doing more research while in Bangkok and realizing that the convenience of being connected to data became a growing need, which was already 6 days into our trip, I did more research on Klook. I found SIMs available for 15 countries in South East Asia, which meant that for the remainder of our trip (still 7 days), we could be connected in all of the countries (Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore) and not have to worry about finding WIFI.  We found a great deal with the SIM only costing $8.90 for 4GB of data from Klook.  This option ended up being the best because not only is it a one-time purchase (no need to return anything like we had for the rented WIFI device), but you can actually download an app that came in English that tracked how much data you had.  If you did go over the allotted data, you had to option of adding more data if necessary.  I really liked the convenience and visibility of this option the best and felt in full control.

Hotel in Bali:

We stayed at the White Rose Kuta Resort.  We had different expectations since the previous 10 days were spent at hotels in the city, so it was a very nice change of pace staying at a resort.  We had never stayed at a resort in South East Asia before and didn’t realize that it is very similar to staying at resorts in the Caribbean.  Even though we arrived very late, at around 1:30 AM, there was someone at the front desk to greet us.  I really liked the villa feel of the resort, and it was quite large that you didn’t really run into other patrons on the premises.  They also had a lovely breakfast buffet that was included in our room rate.  I enjoyed the congee, noodles and fresh fruit every morning of our stay.  We had also visited the spa on our last day which was actually quite affordable and very relaxing.  The location of the resort is great as well – they had security that checked all of the cars and vans coming in and you could only enter if you were actually a guest of the resort.  It was also in walking distance to the beach and restaurants.  We really enjoyed our stay here and would highly recommend in the future.

Budget: We had budgeted $88 CAD cash per day, which was meant to be used for food, transportation and shopping.  We knew credit card wouldn’t be readily available in most establishments so we carried more cash than Thailand.  Again, I also used Budget your Trip to gauge how much expenses to expect per day.  See below for the breakdown of our actual expenses (keep in mind this is for 2 people):

  • Airfare from Kuala Lumpur to Bali for 2 people: $300
  • Hotel: $197 (for 3 nights)
  • Cash (mostly for meals): $265 CAD
  • Meals (on credit card): $85
  • Shopping and other expenses (on credit card, which includes our excursion, souvenirs and laundry): $258
  • Transportation (credit card): $33 (Shuttle taxi)
  • Total cost of trip for 3 days: $1138

Excluding airfare, we actually spent $280 per day, or $139 a person.  If we exclude the cost of the excursion, laundry and souvenir (we bought a painting), we actually only spent $97 per day per person, which is closer to the $88 per day approximation found on Budget your Trip, however we did splurge on some of our meals which we charged to our credit card, so I still highly recommend this website as a great resource in budget planning.

See below for the full details. Don’t forget to also check out some highlights from our trip (video above).

For the itineraries from the other areas we visited, see below:

Singapore in 5 Days

Phuket, Thailand in 2 Days

Chiang Mai, Thailand in 2 Days

Bangkok, Thailand in 3 Days

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in 1 Day

TheSavvyPantry_Bali3Days_Title_Day1-SeaTurtleKutaBeach

Since we arrived after midnight, our first day was a true full day and we intended to take full advantage of it.  Since our hotel included breakfast, we decided to walk over to Kuta beach right after breakfast to take advantage of the morning.  From our hotel, it was less than a 10-minute walk.  The beach itself is huge and even though it was really sunny, we had a nice breeze.  We spent about 2 hours here relaxing and soaking up all of the sun.

Around 11:30 AM we were getting hungry for lunch so we decided to walk around to look for a place to eat.  We stumbled upon Paper Boy.  We loved that they had vegan options and a patio where we could sit outside and enjoy the sun.  It is beautifully decorated and the owner came and spoke to us for a bit as well.  We each ordered a smoothie and shared an avocado toast and tofu poke bowl.  I highly recommend visiting here.

After lunch, we walked around a bit for some sight seeing and also went back to Kuta beach.  We have planned to visit the Bali Sea Turtle Society where they release baby sea turtles back into the ocean daily, however this was later in the afternoon.  You will need to follow their facebook group to get the exact times and days they release the baby turtles as it can vary based on how many turtles hatched.  The day we were going to visit, it was scheduled to start at 4:30 PM however it was recommended that we arrive 1 hour before since it is first come first serve.  When we arrived, there was already a huge crowd of people.  It is a lottery system that they had set up, and everything is by donation so you have to line up and wait until they hand out tickets to be able to participate in releasing the baby turtles.  I also really liked that while we were waiting, they also demonstrated how they wait for the turtles to hatch and provided background on why they are an endangered species.

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After releasing the sea turtles, we went back to the hotel to wash up before heading over to Gabah Restaurant for dinner.  Gabah was on the higher end and we ended up paying for our dinner with credit card, but it was well worth it.  We had their Sayur Mebrata, which is a vegetarian dish, as well as their Ayam Betutu.

TheSavvyPantry_Bali3Days_Title_Day2-Ubud

When we had planned to come to Bali, I knew I wanted to spend a day visiting Ubud.  When researching, it was recommended that we spend the night here however since our time was limited, we opted for a day tour.  We booked our tour through Get your Guide and it included a visit to the Waterfall, Rice Terraces and Monkey Forest, to name a few.

We hadn’t realized this but the tour ended up being a guided private tour.  Our driver picked us up at our hotel at 9 AM and we began our trip to Ubud.  We really like the idea of having a driver since they’re able to give us history and background information of the sites we were going to visit.

Our first stop was to visit the Tegenungan Waterfall.  It is quite touristy here with lots of shops and photo ops.  We had the option of bringing our bathing suits and swimming in the falls (which we did not do on this trip), however it was quite packed with other tourists.  The falls itself are wonderful and it was a nice visit here.  They also had monkeys on the premises playing in the water as well.

After a 30 minute visit to the waterfalls, we headed over to Teba Sari Bali Agrotourism where we learned about local herbs, spices, teas and coffee.  It seemed that a lot of guides add this as a stop to their tour, which was quite informative and a nice break especially if you were swimming in the waterfalls.  When we arrived, we were met by another private guide where he talked about the various trees and plants that were grown.  After that he brought us to a shaded picnic bench where we got to have a tea and coffee tasting.  We enjoyed this very much because we were able to bring back some tasty teas for our families to enjoy back in Canada.

After about a 45-minute visit, we headed to our private van.  Since it was still pretty early for lunch, our tour guide asked us if we were interested in artwork.  My husband has made it a goal to pick up a piece of art on every trip that we take, so we decided to opt for a visit at Semar Kuning Artist Cooperative.  This place is huge with many different halls with different styles of paintings, ranging from modern to traditional.  We picked up a traditional painting of an Indonesian dragon that cost about $100 (there is also room to bargain at these places).  We were both quite pleased about this purchase and excited to hang it up in our home.

We headed straight over to the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary before heading over to lunch.  We learned that one of the reasons that the forest was built was to keep the monkeys safe after the area was industrialized.  It was to prevent the monkeys from being harmed when roaming around Ubud looking for food – this way food is brought to them daily and they are left to roam free as they would in the wild.  When visiting, our guide did warn us not to look the monkeys directly in the eyes as to not show aggression – it was also interesting to see how familiar all of the guides were with the monkeys, such as knowing that they love papaya leaves and will go through your bags looking for food.

For lunch, our guide dropped us off at Bebek Teba Sari Restaurant for about an hour.  This restaurant was full of other tourists and was quite busy when we arrived.  We did have to wait about 20 minutes before our food arrived, however we didn’t mind since our day was very busy so it allowed us time to relax and unwind.  We were seated at the top level of the restaurant, which is set up almost like a tree house.  We got to see the great views of the farm while we enjoyed our lunch.

After lunch, we headed over to the Tegalalang Rice Terrace.  It was actually very serene to see all of the greenery and flowers grown on the premises.  There was also lots of tourist activities, such as biking or swinging over the rice terrace.  Even though there were lots of other tourists, this place is huge with lots of paths that you can walk along.  It was a great ending to the packed day that we had.  After this, we headed back to our hotel where our day trip to Ubud ended.

After our day trip to Ubud, we decided to walk over to Warung Nusantara for dinner.  Since we had an extravagant meal the night before, we were looking for a local restaurant with simple food that showcased what Bali had to offer.  Most of the food here was fried, and it went really well with their hot sauce.  The food was delicious, cheap and fast.  It was a great way to end the day.

TheSavvyPantry_Bali3Days_Title_Day3-BeachwalkMall

This was our last day in Bali.  We had a return flight at 7:30 PM to Singapore, so we really only had a half day.  We decided to head over the Kuta beach again after breakfast to soak up the last bit of Bali before leaving.  After the beach, we headed over to the Beach Walk Shopping Mall for some well-deserved AC and exploring.  This mall is huge and had lots of floors, with the top floor dedicated to food.

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We spent about an hour here before heading over to Fat Chow for a late lunch.  We had actually come here twice the day before to try to get a table for lunch and dinner but they were always packed.  Because we came here at an odd time (around 2 PM), we didn’t have to wait at all.  The food was so delicious and if we had more time here, I definitely would have visited again.  I loved their fried shallot condiments so much that I brought back 3 jars for myself and my sister to enjoy.

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After lunch, we headed back to our hotel where we had each booked a massage.  The only thing I regret is not getting more massages while visiting South East Asia since we had done a lot of walking and would have benefited from more relaxation.  After our massages, we headed over to the airport for our final trip to Singapore.

Vegan Layered Pantry Brownies

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Hi Savvys,

It’s a crazy time out there right now!  I want to start off by saying that I hope you and your family are safe at home and practicing social distancing.  Naturally my husband and I are home bodies so staying at home for the 3rd week has been quite pleasant – we are fortunate enough to still have our jobs and are able to work from home.

Practicing social distancing (or more, physical distancing) means that I’ve had to reduce the number of trips I make to the grocery store.  That compounded by the fact that I have more free time at home now (since I’ve cut my commute down to 0% and can no longer go to the gym), I’ve had a lot of free time on my hands to explore my pantry and become inspired again.

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This is how I came up with these vegan layered pantry brownies a.k.a quarantine brownies.  I started off by reviewing what ingredients I had in my pantry that I hadn’t touched in a while (and when I say a while, I mean probably 6 months to a year) and then googling what I could make with it.

These vegan layered pantry brownies were born out of boredom and a necessity to use up old ingredients in my pantry.  I also admittedly have been snacking a lot more so I wanted to make these brownies slightly healthier by omitting the traditional sugar filled condensed milk and filling it with a chickpea batter instead.  I also didn’t have enough graham crackers so half of the crust is made from ground up ice cream cones, though you can skip that part!

I hope you guys like this recipe and feel inspired to explore your pantry during this time.

Now set forth and be savvy!

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TheSavvyPantry-VeganLayeredPantryBrownies-Title-GrahamCrust

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs
  • ½ cup vegan butter, melted

TheSavvyPantry-VeganLayeredPantryBrownies-Title-ChickpeaBatter

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cup chickpeas (about 1 can)
  • ½ cup tahini
  • ¼ cup quinoa flour (or whatever flour you have on hand like oats or almond)
  • ½ cup aquafaba (reserve chickpea water)
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla

TheSavvyPantry-VeganLayeredPantryBrownies-Title-MixIns

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut shreds, reserving about 2 tbsps
  • 1 cup butter scotch chips, reserving about 2 tbsps
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips, reserving about 2 tbsps
  • ½ cup chopped nuts of your choice (pecans, peanuts, walnuts, almonds etc)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Mix the melted butter and graham cracker crumbs in a bowl.
  3. Press into the bottom of a 9 x 9 baking dish.
  4. Mix all of the chickpea batter ingredients in a blender until smooth, scraping down the sides.
  5. Using a spoon, mix all of the mix in ingredients into the blended chickpea mixture
  6. Pour the mixture onto the crust
  7. Mix the reserved mix ins together and sprinkle on top of the chickpea mixture
  8. Bake for 30 minutes
  9. Let cool for minimum 20 minutes before digging in

Schmidt’s Lavender and Sage Natural Deodorant Review

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Hi Savvys,

I recently received Schmidt’s new Lavender + Sage Natural deodorant for review from Chickadvisor and wanted to share my thoughts!

If you’re new to the world of natural deodorants, they often come in different formats and states.  Some come as crystals, roll on liquids or even solid forms.  They are also free of aluminum-based ingredients which have been shown to cause cancer, while still maintaining its effectiveness at keeping you feeling and smelling fresh.  Schmidt’s natural deodorants are also made with essential oils and plant extracts, making it the ultimate natural deodorant.

Upon opening the deodorant, I immediately felt a sense of calmness and relaxation from the lavender and sage essential oils found in the product itself.  I love the smell of lavender and found that the sage helped balance it out really nicely.  This deodorant comes in a solid stick format and the directions do say that you need to warm it up a bit to soften the oils.  After warming it by letting it touch my skin for a few moments, I did find that it did glide on chalky and left a residue behind.  However, after running it over a few times with the applicator, the residue absorbed right into my skin.

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I also wanted to find a deodorant that would leave me smelling fresh after a full working day as well as my work out, since I work out at least 3 times a week after work.  I usually do find that natural deodorants fall short of keeping me protected after the 8-hour mark, however this one did leave me feeling fresh even after my workout into my shower.

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Finally, I love that these products are cruelty free, Leaping Bunny Certified and Certified Vegan.  It makes me happy to see high quality products available and accessible for those who are concerned with living a sustainable lifestyle.

Hope you guys enjoyed this review!

Now set forth and be savvy!

GoodFood Meal Kit Review

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Hi Savvys!

I am always on the look-out for new inspiration and new flavours that I can add to my repertoire.  With all of these new meal kit subscription boxes, it is a great way to test new flavours and recipes without having to commit to too many ingredients since they provide you everything you need for the recipes!  I especially love how a lot of these companies have huge discounts for first timers since it allows me to test the different recipes and ingredients out there.

When I saw that GoodFood had a special on their boxes (I paid $24 for 3 vegetarian recipes for 2 people), I knew I wanted to try it out.  Like many meal kit subscription boxes on the market today, they offer fresh ingredients that come with step by step recipe cards.  What sets GoodFood apart from other companies is that they are committed to donating a meal for every meal kit purchased to a local school in need.  I love companies that give back to the communities in which they operate in!

What I would say however is there is still an opportunity to reduce plastic waste associated with these subscription boxes.  Though the plastic does serve as a way to protect the freshness and integrity of the ingredients, I do believe that there are still opportunities to preserve the ingredients without having to use single use plastics.  I do like how some of the ingredients do come in mini plastic containers that I can reuse in the future for home use.  The ice packs also come in handy for road trips and BBQs!

See below for my reviews for each recipe.  Don’t forget to check out the full video and leave your comments!

Now set forth and be savvy!

TheSavvyPantry-GoodFoodSubscriptionReview-CauliflowerQuasedillas-Logo

I don’t think I’ve ever actually had an quesadilla before and am not typically craving it however I chose this as part of my box because I wanted to see for myself what it was like!  This recipe was pretty easy – the longest part was waiting for the cauliflower to roast.  The spices that came with this recipe was actually really tasty and I’d love to use it again for future dishes and other veggies.  It was flavourful and very easy to make.

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TheSavvyPantry-GoodFoodSubscriptionReview-SundriedTomatoMafaldine-Logo

Who doesn’t like a baked pasta dish?  I’ve never had mafaldine pasta before but after trying this recipe, I am addicted.  I love the shape – it reminds me of miniature lasagna noodles.  It’s perfect for tomato sauce and the spices were really great as well.  I also like how this was served with green beans to really round out the meal with a serving a veggies. In the future, I probably wouldn’t bake this as cooking it over the stove top was already delicious all on it’s own.

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This recipe actually was a pretty big portion and made enough for 4 servings, which is great value.  I always make Thai curry at home and received a very similar curry paste in the recipe, so this was one of the least exciting recipes for me.  However, I really enjoyed the pairing over red rice since this is something that I never thought to do.  It’s great that I am still able to learn something new!  I also added more veggies that I had in the fridge which was perfect since we were able to have leftovers for lunch the next day.  I also noticed that the tofu was probably frozen beforehand and thawed out due to the chewy consistency.  This is actually a hack a lot of people do, in order to make the tofu more meatier in texture, you can freeze it and that before using!

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2 Meal Prep Breakfast Recipes using Eggcitables Egg Alternative – Chipotle and Garlic & Chive Flavours

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Hi Savvys!

With Veganuary upon us and of course it being a new year, I wanted to share 2 easy vegan meal prep recipes you can make for breakfast that is healthy, full of nutrients and most importantly easy to make. These recipes use the new Chipotle and Garlic & Chive flavours that Eggictables recently launched.  I’m loving how versatile these flavours are and how easy the egg alternative product is to use.

For more recipes using Eggcitables Egg Alternative, check out my blog post here.

Hope you guys enjoy these recipes.  Don’t forget to tag me on Instagram @thesavvypantry and leave a comment below!

Now set forth and be savvy!

TheSavvyPantry-MealPrepBreakfastEggcitables-Chipotle

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Ingredients

~recipe below is for 1 sandwich

  • 2 tbsp of Eggcitables Chipotle flavour egg alternative
  • 2 tbs of water
  • ½ tsp grapeseed oil (or any neutral tasting oil)
  • 1 strip of bacon tempeh (optional)
  • 1 English muffin
  • 1 tbsp salsa (homemade or store bought)
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 tbsp vegan plain yogurt or vegan sour cream (I used sour cream from Tofutti)

Directions for Egg mixture

  1. In a small bowl, mix the Eggcitables Chipotle flavour egg alternative with the water
  2. Add the oil to a non-stick frying pan over medium heat
  3. Add the mixture and cook for about 4 minutes, folding the mixture onto itself so that it is roughly the shape of the English muffin and flipping halfway through
  4. Once cooked, set aside
  5. If you are using the bacon tempeh, cook it now according to the directions on the package

 Directions to assemble Sandwich

  1. Toast the English muffin (optional)
  2. Starting from the bottom layer, add the salsa on the bottom of the English muffin
  3. Place a few slices of avocado
  4. Place your cooked Eggcitables Chipotle egg on top
  5. Break the tempeh bacon in half and place on top of the egg
  6. Finish by placing a dollop of plain yogurt or sour cream on top of the tempeh
  7. Place the top of the English muffin on top
  8. Enjoy!

TheSavvyPantry-MealPrepBreakfastEggcitables-GarlicChive

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Ingredients

~makes 24-34 mini quiches

  • 1 cup Eggcitables Garlic & Chive flavour egg alternative
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ cup soy milk (or non dairy milk of your choice)
  • 1 tbsp grapeseed oil (or any neutral tasting oil)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 mushrooms, diced
  • 1 cup packed spinach
  • 1 roma tomato, diced
  • 2 green onion, diced
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • ¼ tsp salt

 Directions

  1. Pre-heat over to 375 degrees
  2. In a large bowl, mix the Eggcitables egg alternative with the water and soy milk. Set aside
  3. In a large skillet, heat 1 tbsp oil over medium heat
  4. Add the garlic clove and sautee for 1 minute
  5. Add the diced mushrooms and sautee for 2 minutes
  6. Turn off the heat and add the spinach. Keep mixing the mushroom and spinach mixture until the spinach is completely wilted
  7. Add the mushroom and spinach mixture to the bowl with the wet ingredients
  8. Add the diced tomato, green onion and pepper and mix well
  9. Pour the batter evenly into a 24 mini muffin tray
  10. Bake for 30 minutes

Nena Skincare Routine

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Hi Savvys!

Happy New year, new you!  If you haven’t already heard of Nena Skincare, let me give you the lowdown on this Canadian company!  Nena Skincare products are made using Glacial Oceanic clay harvested from British Columbia.  The natural properties of oceanic clay make these products great cleansers as they help remove toxins from your skin while tightening your pores and adding back moisture at the same time.

Continue reading below for a review on each product!  Don’t forget to check out my skincare routine using Nena products!

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I am always on the lookout for new facial cleansing products so I was excited to try the Nena Cleansing cream.  Since it’s a cream, it was a bit thicker and creamier than I’m use to, however I did immediately notice the look and smell of the Glacial Oceanic clay within the product.  Because of its creamy and thick consistency, a little goes a long way and it left my face feeling and smelling fresh right after the first treatment!

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According to the directions, the next step in my routine was to apply the clay mask.  The clay mask was a bit runnier than I am used to (since other clay masks tend to be very thick and sticky), however I think prefer this type of texture since it was very easy to apply and again, I didn’t need to much product to cover my face with.  I only had to wait about 5 minutes before the mask dried completely.  And because of the thin texture, it was very quick to wash away, leaving my face feeling super supple and pores looking noticeably smaller.

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I love adding toners to my skincare routine because it just makes my face feel very light and fresh.  The texture is thicker than usual toners and resembles a serum more than a toner.  I like how I can control how much toner I am using and the fresh feeling it leaves on my face.

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The last step to any skincare routine is always a good moisturizer.  When I am feeling too lazy for the full routine, this moisturizer is the only thing I put on.  This moisturizer is thick and creamy and makes my skin feel so soft.  There’s the added bonus of walking around smelling like a spa which means you will feel refreshed and relaxed all day!

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Hope you guys found this review helpful and try out these Nena products.  Since I am trying to be more disciplined with following a skincare routine at least once a day, Nena makes it easy by providing all of the necessary products so I can achieve my new year goals! I love that these are Canadian, cruelty free and use high quality ingredients.

Now set forth and be Savvy!

 

What I Eat in a Day in Zurich

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Hi Savvys!

Since we came to visit Zurich as a tag-along to Sean’s conference (which was in February 2019 FYI!), this meant that I had 1 full day to roam around the city by myself while he was at his conference.  This gave me a chance to check out all of the vegan restaurants I wanted to try in Zurich and re-visit some of the sights we had seen earlier in the week.

See below for all of the food that I ate in a day in Zurich!  It wasn’t much, and to be honest I thought I would have eaten more food.  But Zurich was really expensive so I am glad that the food was very filling.

The first restaurant that I tried was Roots and Friends.  This restaurant was within a 5-minute walk from the train station which was perfect because I was pretty hungry when I arrived in the city.  I arrived around 11 which was perfect because it was right before the lunch rush.  Right after ordering and sitting down, there ended up being a huge line up of people picking up orders to go, so it was nice to get a seat and people watch while I ate my meal.  Though February in Zurich is much milder than in Canada, it was still a bit chilly so I opted for a miso soup (which unfortunately is no longer on their menu according to their website) with a matcha latte on the side.

The soup was wonderfully flavoured with miso but also had a slight Thai curry flavour as well.  It was filled with lots of raw veggies like cabbage and carrots and topped with fresh cilantro and mint.  The matcha latte was the perfect dessert to go alongside my meal and was wonderfully creamy but not too sweet.

After lunch I walked around the city to visit some sights as I made my way over to the popular grocery/department store Co-op.  I wanted to make a trip here because I heard that they had a huge selection of vegan foods (check out my vegan food haul found here) and wanted to bring some treats home.  I probably spent an hour here because it was so nice to explore and discover all of the different foods that they.

On my way to my next destination, I wanted to visit a different Hiltl location (we had visited one on our first day for lunch) just to check out the selection.  I really like this chain since both times I’ve been, they offered different selection of food which is great because it will keep you wanting to visit over and over again.  However, the food is weighted so it does add up pretty quickly.

On my way back to the train station, I wanted to get some ice cream and bring back some dinner to the hotel.  I was happy to have found The Sacred which had a nice vegan ice cream bar at the front as well as a weighted buffet with a great selection of food so that I can bring back to share with Sean.  The front also had a little section where you could purchase soy and vegan products to cook at home.  The owner was super nice and let me sample a few ice cream flavours before I chose the pistachio.  I wish I had a chance to visit this restaurant again because there was so many things I wanted to try.  For dinner, I took home a selection of veggie curries and some almond feta which was delicious.

Hope you guys enjoyed the list of restaurants that I checked out during our visit.  There were so many more that I didn’t get to check out since I only had a few days to explore.  But I will definitely keep a list handy for if we ever visit Zurich again.

Now set forth and be savvy!

Yves Rocher Nourishment Hair Care Routine

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Hi Savvys!

I was so excited to have received the new Yves Rocher Nourishment Hair Care Routine!  I received the 2 in 1 Cream Mask, Shampoo and Rinsing Vinegar.  Continue reading below for a review on each product!

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I’ve never used a nourishing cream before but the directions were self-explanatory.  You could use it as a treatment before your regular hair wash routine, or as a leave in solution after you wash your hair.  I prefer to use it as a treatment before my regular routine, which was convenient because you only have to leave the product in your hair for 10 minutes prior to rinsing it out.  The mask is thick, creamy and a little goes a long way.  I noticed my hair felt softer until my next wash after using the treatment!

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I used the shampoo after the cream mask.  I love that the shampoo has avocado oil in it as it left my hair feeling really soft.  In my usual hair care routine, I tend to only wash my hair after 3 days, with the 3rd day desperate for a wash.  However, with using this shampoo, I found that even on the 4th day my hair was still soft and clean looking.

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I’ve never thought to use a rinsing vinegar before but will definitely consider adding this to my routine in the future.  This vinegar solution left my hair smelling like raspberry for days and in combination with the mask and shampoo, it really left my hair feeling soft and volumized, even after 4 days of no washing.

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Hope you guys found this review helpful.  Overall I really like how these new Yves Rocher products use 95% natural ingredients, are silicone free and vegan.  It’s great to see such large companies making a change with their formulation to adapt to changing demands within the beauty world.

Now set forth and be Savvy!

3 Giftable Vegan Sweet Treats: Toffee Crackers, Chocolate Covered Pretzels and Gingerbread Energy Bites

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Hi Savvys,

We’ve made it through a month of vegan holiday recipes!  With this final video, I wanted to share recipes that had a dual function: dessert and a gift.  These are so addicting because of their sweet and salty quality, so be sure to make a big batch to giveaway and the snack on at home!

Hope you guys enjoyed the recipes in this series.  Leave a comment below on what you’d like to see in the new year.  Now set forth and be Savvy!

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Ingredients for the Toffee Crackers

  • 1 sleeve of saltines
  • 1 cup of vegan butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup dark chocolate, melted
  • ½ cup shredded coconut
  • 1 tsp sea salt

Directions for the Toffee Crackers

  1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper – this step is vital
  3. Lay out the saltine crackers in 1 single layer over the parchment paper
  4. Melt the butter in a pot and let it come to a bubble
  5. Add the brown sugar and mix, allowing the mixture to come to a bubble, about 5 minutes
  6. Take off the heat and pour over the layer of saltines
  7. Bring a small pot half filled with water to a boil
  8. Place a small heat safety dish on top of the pot.  Once the pot comes to a boil, reduce heat to medium low
  9. Fill the dish with the chocolate and melt gently, stirring constantly
  10. Once all of the chocolate is melted, pour over the caramel mixture
  11. Sprinkle with the shredded coconut and sea salt
  12. Bake for 10 minutes
  13. Let cool, and separate the saltine crackers

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Ingredients for the Chocolate Covered Pretzels

  • 24 large pretzels
  • 4 candy canes
  • 1/2 cup chocolate

Directions for the Chocolate Covered Pretzels

  1. Place the candy canes in a food processor and pulse for 10 seconds so that you still have some large pieces of candy cane
  2. Fill a small pot halfway with water. Place a small bowl on top (ensuring that the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water), and place the chocolate in the bowl
  3. Bring the pot of water to a boil and slowly melt the cholate over medium heat, stirring constantly until smooth
  4. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  5. Dip one side of the pretzel in the chocolate and sprinkle some crushed candy cane on the chocolate
  6. Set on parchment paper to dry, about 3 hours

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Makes 24

Ingredients for Gingerbread Energy Bites

  • 20 dates
  • 1 cup pecans, 1 cup walnuts
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 tbsp flax seed
  • 1 tbsp hemp seeds
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp molasses
  • ½ tsp cloves
  • ¼ tsp salt

Directions for Gingerbread Energy Bites

  1. Place all ingredients into a food processor
  2. Mix until the mixture sticks together when you pinch it, about 2 minutes
  3. Scoop into small balls and roll out with your hands