Fun Holiday Gifts for Vegan Cooks

Although I’m not the biggest shopper (except for my two substance abuse problems of buying way too many books and going slightly nutty at kitchen supply stores), I do love buying gifts for others. This is especially fun for me when the person I’m giving a gift to has a particular hobby or obsession. Something that only the people that know them well will know to get. My mother in law for instance, insists that gifts for her need to be gifts for her, i.e. clothes, jewellery, accessories, etc. She just doesn’t get why my favorite gifts to receive are appliances or gadgets for the kitchen, not to mention a great cookbook. Gift giving is sometimes hard because we think our gift recipient will love what we love getting, but that is often times not the case. To give the perfect gift one must walk a little bit in the other person’s shoes. What do they really need? What do they secretly wish they would have? What would make them smile when they tear up that wrapping paper?

It can be hard to find the perfect gift, but if you have a vegan foodie or cook in your life, I can certainly help you with that because I’m one of them! I love getting tools and inspiration, not to mention cool ingredients to work with in the kitchen, so in today’s post and podcast episode I’ll be helping you with a list of amazing holiday gifts you can give to a vegan cook.

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Kitchen Hacks and Tricks for Making Traditional Holiday Favorites

It’s that time of year in which many of us spend double the amount of time in the kitchen and of course on Pinterest looking at all the gorgeous holiday decor and recipes. This year I had to live vicariously through you for Thanksgiving (since my kitchen is going through a BIG remodel), but as you can imagine, the second the kitchen is finished I’ll be going bananas with the candy canes and Christmas decor. The fact that my dream kitchen will probably be ready just in time for Christmas makes it all the more exciting, since it will be the first time I’ll be cooking for the many holiday gatherings we host in a kitchen that has space for all my culinary adventures. Finally!

There are so many delicious holiday recipes out there, and following a recipe will of course give you amazing results. You can even check out our collection of Holiday recipes here! Today however, I wanted to give you some quick hacks, tricks and tips for those of you who are getting adventurous and want to add a holiday twist to everything you’re making. You may have that yummy vegan roast covered, but how can we transform simple ingredients into the perfect dish for the Holidays? If we’ve got some veggies lying around, how can we give them that beautiful cozy winter and Christmas feeling? That’s what I’m going to give you today, a list of some cooking tricks and tips for making delicious vegan dishes for the Holidays.

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5 Reasons Why Food Matters that Have Nothing to Do with Nutrition

In this wellness era that we’re currently living in, it can be a bit challenging to be a blogger who talks about the great change that veganism could create in the world, and who also talks about improving your relationship with food, leaving dieting and restriction behind AND also be someone who is a trained cook. We’ll have a post soon in which I’ll talk about which of these aspects of me came first, and which followed, but one thing is for sure, nothing has preceded my love of food and cooking, my passion for ingredients and flavor combinations, or my undying love for reading cookbooks like they were novels in the New York Time’s Bestseller list. If there’s one thing you can be sure I am, and always will be, it’s a cook.

Food is so important to me, it makes up such a huge part of my day, and once upon a time we had an unhealthy relationship, sure, but it was precisely my issues with food that brought me where I am today, and gave me all those big aha! moments that made me understand why food is so important.

I get questions from our readers and listeners almost every single day, and so many revolve around nutrition, weight, and the fear we’ve developed over certain foods. It’s common in this wellness era, and especially within the vegan arena, in which making a switch to a kinder alternative has sometimes gotten mixed up with so many rules of “shoulds” and “shouldn'ts”.

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Meal Prepping Before a Massive Kitchen Remodel (or Anything Else that Will Keep you Out of the Kitchen)

If you’ve listened to some of our previous episodes in the podcast, you probably know that right after the big launch of The Roadmap (our brand new online course that teaches you how to go vegan step by step), we were heading straight into a MASSIVE kitchen remodel. When I shared this, a lot of you wrote saying that you thought our current kitchen looked so great in our videos and you were wondering what on Earth we were going to do with it. Here’s the deal, and this might come as a huge surprise if you haven’t heard me confess it before. The kitchen you see in our videos is not our real kitchen!

What?!

Well, yes that is the truth.

When we first started filming for brownble we filmed one yummy recipe in our real kitchen and it has forever been under lock and key! The light wasn’t good enough and our lights for filming didn’t fit comfortably in the kitchen. Carlos had trouble moving around the kitchen with the cameras and tripods, not to mention the mic stand, or the fact that I’ve never really loved our kitchen and we’ve been wanting to change it practically since we moved into this apartment about 9 years ago. As we were pondering at night how we might be able to improve the quality of the videos filmed in our kitchen, Carlos suddenly had a stroke of genius and he began to plan and draw up a set for filming. Aka, our video “kitchen” set that was, and still is, very beautiful, but which we have to take down and set up after and before each new video.

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Our 100th Episode! Your Questions Answered (Part 2)

Boy did we have an exciting 100th episode party in the podcast last week. I had intended to make it just one episode but halfway through we thought that it would be so much better as a two-parter, and today of course, it’s time for part 2!

In this edition of our 100th episode celebration, I’ll be answering many more questions from our dear readers, listeners and members, including what it’s like to open an online business with your husband (and whether such a thing is actually recommended), giving proper care to our pets (and a bit on what to feed your dogs and cats if you’re vegan), what made me decide to go vegan, what some of the big challenges of opening a small online business are, the vegan recipes and meals I’m currently obsessed with, dream holidays, being an immigrant and moving to Spain, whether Spain is vegan friendly, and so much more!

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Our 100th Episode! Your Questions Answered! (Part 1)

Having Brownble in our lives has been so strange. I can remember the day we filmed the very first video like it was yesterday. I remember the day we hit the publish button on our online program and the day the first member arrived, like it happened last week, and still, it feels like we’ve been doing this forever.

It’s been three years so far and I honestly can’t remember what we did with our time before Brownble was such a huge part of it!

I can also remember the day we started the podcast, and how Carlos and I got dressed and went out to brunch to celebrate, planning to film the announcement video when we got back from eating our vegan croissants. We left the café, and we said, let’s film it right here, right now, walking down the street (it was the most gorgeous spring day). So we then proceeded to walk up and down a street like loony birds because something kept happening every time we tried it. Finally, we got this, and you can tell I was way too excited, totally out of breath, and a total novice at the walk and film part of the equation. Here it is just for fun, just the same:

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Moving Forward with Positive Changes without Shame or Overwhelm Attached

Now that The Roadmap is finally live and so many of you have already signed up and are enjoying the course, I thought it was time to discuss the topic of making positive changes and why sometimes we can start feeling overwhelmed when we realize there are so many different levels and choices within any new habit.

In today's episode we'll be talking about the wonderful changes we're all trying to make. Whether they're regarding our self care, health, activity levels, our relationship with food, our body image, etc., or whether they have to do with trying to help animals, our environment, our fellow humans. Every choice we make has even more choices and options within it, and it can be so hard to navigate this without feeling overwhelmed, and without judgement. Today I want to give you my two cents on this issue, and how we can keep the train moving forward and create wonderful changes in this world and for ourselves, but how this will vary for each of us, and why there needs to be space for that too.

I share a 3 step process that will help you keep the ball rolling with any habit change you’re trying to create, and I talk about the importance of knowing your own template. Yes, that’s right, we have a template! It can help us so much to understand it, especially when it comes to adjusting new changes to the way we are, so that they last and so we’re comfortable.

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Pumpkin Chocolate Pecan Bars

Oh the fall. Is there ever a season as wonderful as this one? If you’re a pluviohpile like me, a Hygge addict like me, if you love the colors, the vegetables, the warming comforting meals, and that chill in the air, chance are, you’re in your very favorite season right about now.

I love the autumn and I partly blame The Gilmore Girls for my particular fall obsession. To me it felt like that show always took place in the fall, except of course for Lorelai’s classic smelling of that very first snowfall of the year, and who could forget the best spring break episode ever, in which The Shins make an appearance.

I love everything about the fall season. I mean, just think about it for a second: scarves, warm cute knitted hats, boots, Halloween, Thanksgiving, the rain, the beautiful golden warm colors in the leaves, cinnamon, ground clove, and yes… pumpkins!

The recipe I have for you today made Carlos raid the fridge so often that I think I only managed to eat a couple of these bars in total after we filmed them. They are so yummy to make, and a quick and easy vegan fall dessert.

This recipe is perfect to serve for Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, or anytime you’re craving something absolutely yummy and that tastes like pumpkin pie and chocolate chips or Sausalito cookies had a baby.

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