Fruit Basket Giveaway with Melissa’s Produce

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Did you know that Melissa’s Produce sells a large variety of gift baskets on their website (search their Gifts page) and they supply fruit for companies such as Harry & David and Williams Sonoma for their gift baskets?!  I didn’t know this until recently myself!  Best gifts for vegans, ever!!! ❤

Just in time for the holidays, I have a special GIVEAWAY for all you fruit-lovers!  I teamed up with my amazing friends at Melissa’s Produce to give away a Deluxe Exotic Tropical Fruit Basket!!!

SUPER SIMPLE contest rules:

1) Like & repost this photo

2) Follow & tag @melissasproduce & @yvonne_deliciously_vegan 

3) In the caption of your repost, hashtag #MEKgiveaway & #vegan

That’s it!

The winner will be selected randomly via the #MEKgiveaway hashtag! This contest runs until this Sunday, December 14 at 11pm, PST.  You may enter once a day on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter!

Get posting and good luck! ❤

 

Sorry, this contest is only open to those living in the lower 48 states in the US.  However, I still have another #VegGenGiveaway going on with @raisingvegans that my International friends can enter! See previous post for details!! I just love the season of giving!!! ❤❤❤

 

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Creamy Mushroom Rice

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This scrumptiously creamy mushroom rice is a great hearty side dish for the holiday table.  Who doesn’t love mushrooms?!  What I enjoy most about this rice is the rich mushroom flavor and different textures and overall flavor.

This is one side dish that I would suggest making the day that it is served!  The rice base is prepared similarly to that of a rice pilaf–as it cooks in vegetable broth, the rice is infused with bay leaf and thyme.  Jasmine added more texture by adding sauteed mushrooms and other vegetables and herbs to the mix.  To add creaminess, she then added a cashew cream.  If you want the cream sauce to shimmer just a tad more, add about 2 tablespoons of cold-pressed olive oil to the cashew cream mixture.  However, I enjoyed it very much as it is.

My friend, Jasmine, and I created a bountiful feast for our readers to enjoy, which consists of 13 delicious recipes!  We’re referring to this collection of recipes as our Sweet Eclectic Thanksgiving celebration!  We hope this recipe, and the other recipes in our collection, make their way to your holiday table.

Photo Credit: Jasmine Briones

Please make sure to tag us on Instagram: @yvonne_deliciously_vegan  @sweetsimplevegan Twitter: @yvonnemrod  @sweetsimpleveg 

and hashtag #SweetEclecticThanksgiving #MyEclecticKitchen if you recreate any of our recipes!  We would love to see your photos and Thanksgiving feasts!

 

Creamy Mushroom Rice 

Time: 1 hour 5 minutes

Servings: 5-7

Diet: V, GF, SF, SRF

By Jasmine Briones / Sweet Simple Vegan

 

Ingredients

Infused rice:

4 cups low sodium vegetable broth or water

2 cups uncooked brown rice

½ Tbsp coconut aminos or tamari

1 bay leaf

1 sprig of thyme

 

Vegetables:

¼ cup low sodium vegetable broth or water

¾ cup leeks, finely chopped

1 medium carrot, peeled* and chopped small

1 stalk of celery, chopped small

2 cups mushrooms, sliced

1 Tbsp fresh sage

1 clove garlic

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, as needed

 

Sauce:

1½ cup raw cashews, soaked

3 Tbsp nutritional yeast

¼ cup water + more as needed

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

 

Directions

1. Soak the cashews for the sauce for 2 hours in 2 cups of filtered water. Drain.

 

Infused Rice:

1. In a medium pot, bring the vegetable broth to a boil. Add the rice, soy sauce, bay leaf and thyme and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover and allow it to cook until all liquid is absorbed, about 25-30 minutes.*

 

Vegetables:

1. In a pan, heat ¼ cup vegetable broth or water until warm. Add leek and mushrooms, and cook until the leeks are transparent. Add in the carrots, celery, sage. Cover, and let cook until all vegetables are tender, opening it and stirring a few times. Season it with pepper to taste.

 

Sauce:

1. In a high speed blender, combine all of the sauce ingredients and process until smooth.

 

Assemble:

1. Mix rice and vegetables in a large baking dish/ Pour the sauce over and mix until everything is covered.

  1. Bake, covered, for 25 minutes.*
  2. Remove from the oven and cool 10 minutes before serving.

 

Notes: Adapted from It Ain’t Meat, Babe.

If you use a different type of rice, the cooking time may vary.

You may leave the carrot skin on, I just peel out of preference.

If you would like a crust on the top layer, remove the lid and broil for the final five minutes.

 

 

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Spring and Easter Sweets and Treats!

Some of the things that I enjoy most about Spring are that we have more daylight, warmer weather, fruit trees and flowers in bloom, and Easter. In celebration of Easter or the magical wonders of the Spring season, I want to share a few of my favorite sweets and treats that have been proven to please everyone, vegans and non-vegans alike!

The first dessert is my husband’s favorite.  It is reminiscent of a New York-style cheesecake– my Vanilla Bean “Cheese”cake with Mixed Berry Compote.  It looks sinfully delicious and, yet, there is nothing really sinful about it.  Unlike the original, cholesterol-ridden version of this “cheese” cake, my version is vegan, gluten-free, and raw.  It does not contain any cholesterol and its powerful vitamins, minerals, and enzymes still remain intact.  Eating a slice of this is like eating a healthy handful of nuts and fruit.

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Another favorite of mine is my Nutty Creamy Chocolate Cake.  My non-vegan friends are awestruck when they take a bite into this silky smooth piece of deliciousness– they cannot believe there is not one drop of dairy in this luscious, creamy cake.  I have been told many times that this tastes like a decadent truffle cake.  At some point, I may even change the name to “Chocolate Truffle Cake” since it is so fitting.

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These Dreamy Creamy Vegan Berry and Vanilla “Cheese”cake Tartlets are the size of cupcakes, and they are even better than cupcakes.  The combination of the vanilla and the berry cream with the sweet date and nut crust in these tartlets is incredible.  I gave these as gifts to some friends who aren’t vegan, and they raved about how amazingly delicious they are.
photo-117As you can probably tell from my favorite sweets so far, raw vegan cashew “cheese”cakes, are high up on my list.  I have yet to meet one person who doesn’t appreciate the silky smooth, decadent, and delicious vegan “cheese”cake!  This next recipe is basically a raw vegan cashew-pistachio “cheese”cake with a whisper of rose and kiss of cardamom.  I made this beauty, filled with popular Middle Eastern flavors: rose, pistachio, and cardamom– for my in-laws who are Persian-American.  They not only were impressed by the aesthetics, but loved the flavors and textures.  I call this a Creamy Pistachio Rose Dreamcake.

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I’m a big lover of chocolate, so of course, I need to add a chocolate brownie to my list of favorites.  These are my favorite Black Bean Brownies.  If you make them for your loved ones, play the guessing game.  Have them try your vegan and gluten-free brownie first, then tell them to guess what the secret ingredient is!  Best served chilled as a stand-alone treat or served with a scoop of vanilla ice “cream” for brownie a la mode.
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My next favorite are Raw Goji-, Cranberry, and Coconut Truffles.  They are the quickest to make, and they go fast–either in your fridge at home (by you) or displayed in front of a crowd of guests.  These truffles are chewy with the perfect amount of sweetness from coconut, coconut nectar, cranberries and goji berries.  I am shocked that the pickiest of eaters will pick one of these up and go back for seconds and thirds.  These are great to give out as gifts, too, packaged in recycled jars, tied with pretty ribbon.

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Thin Mint Cookies are loved by all.  My friends and family, and my readers who have made them for their families have told me they are even better than the original Girl Scout version.  Within the snappy chocolate coating lays a crisp chocolate mint cookie.  They are minty fresh.  If you and your loved ones enjoy mint and chocolate, you will be in heaven with these cookies!

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My Yayfair Chocolate Candy are a delight, and are a lot of fun to make, too.  This is my vegan version of what used to be one of my favorite nuts and chews candies from See’s Candy Store– the Mayfair candy.  This recipe tastes like the real thing, only it’s not bad for you.  No cholesterol or refined sugar.  It’s simply chocolate candy with dried cherry, walnuts, hemp seeds and vegan date “caramel.”  It’s raw and such a wonderful, guilt-free treat!          IMG_6522

Last but not least, everyone’s favorite, the classic Chocolate Chip Cookie or Chocolate Chai Cookie.  These are easy to make and they are divine.  Amazingly, the texture of these cookies is soft, like a Keebler soft-batch cookie. The key ingredients are the garbanzo flour and coconut sugar– the combination of the two helps achieve its soft, chewy texture.  I love the flavor of the Chocolate Chai Cookie and must warn you that they are addicting.  Since they are so popular among my readers and within my circle of friends and family, I usually give these cookies as gifts.

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I hope this post has given you some good ideas for what to cook up this weekend!  If you haven’t tried any of these sweets and treats, a good time to try them is now!

I love seeing your My Eclectic Kitchen recreations!  Please continue to tag #myeclectickitchen and @yvonne_deliciously_vegan on Instagram, or tag ‘My Eclectic Kitchen’ on Facebook when you post photos of your re-creations!  Who knows, I may feature your post on Instagram and Facebook!

One last thing, if you are interesting in an Instagram shout-out, don’t forget to enter my Instagram Shout-out Contest!  Ends this Friday, April 18th.  Simply:

1) repost any of my photos

2) follow @yvonne_deliciously_vegan and tag #YvonnesShoutoutComp

I hope you are having a wonderful week so far!

In Love and Health,

Yvonne

 

 

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