Monday, November 23, 2015

Animals Perish in Fire Overnight

A local animal shelter very close to us had a fire overnight. They lost everything in the fire. All animals perished except for 4 dogs and one cat. The shelter is Sweetpea Friends of Rutland Animals. You can read the article that the T&G put out today. Sweetpea has a GoFundMe page setup today. Really horrbly sad. Hope the shelter can rebuild! RIP to all the animals that died. :(

{Picture of my Dog, Mini. She was rescued right off the street}

My husband and I had a fire in 99', right after we were married. It was horrible, but so many wonderful people came forwards to help us rebuild our life, we will most definitely be donating to help the shelter rebuild. Wish I had heard about it sooner, I'd have been over there with buckets of water, if that would have helped. Please check out their GoFundMe Page and help!! Thank you, Heather :)

Saturday, November 21, 2015

ThanksLiving Menu

This is the plan for ThanksLiving Dinner with my family this year. It's really a rough draft though. I might change things up, like do the typical green bean casserole (vegan style of course) and add carrots or some other veggies to the lightly steamed Kale. We shall see. *Yes a lot of the time we eat high raw, vegan here for health reasons, but Holidays are for fun and comfort foods. So I'm a little lax for the kids & hubby on holidays & for eating out. Our breakfast will be raw, probably a green smoothie or a bowl of fruit. I'll most def be having some ginger Kombucha with the meal, perhaps an apple or something raw just a little bit before the meal. Some of the desserts I've linked are raw, so I might just have my entire meal raw. I found some amazing Satsuma oranges the other day. I could eat a bunch of those for a meal! But generally I begin my days fully raw & try to fill up so I'm not that hungry for other stuff. If I wanted to stay fully raw for Thanksliving I'd have water, fruit smoothie for breakfast. Bring a fruit salad for my meal & then have some raw dessert a bit later on. Dinner when I get home (if I'm still hungry) will be chard wraps & a green juice.

Here is the list of recipes (I've linked every one for your ease) I'm following this year. I never fully follow a recipe to the T. I always omit or add something to make it my own, but this is where I got my ideas from.

We have already done a test run on the Butternut Vegducken. Technically, once you eat that, you don't really need any other veggies as it's like 5 or 6 veggies in one. Vegducken recipe on Epicurious. This is so easy, you spice it and baste it like once or twice. Super simple and super wonderful. We did it for dinnner recently, it went over really well. My boys both loved it! They'd much rather eat vegan junkfood for lunch, dinner and breakfast, but they really loved this & I heard no complaints and several times they came back for more! Below is the Vegducken photo. So many different veggies you could use here. This time I used carrots, onion, zucchini, garlic, brussel sprouts.

Vegan Zombie Lasagna Rollups. I don't bother with the faux meats at all for this recipe. I make my own tofu cheese instead of cream cheese. Tofu cheese is so easy too. 1/2 a brick of tofu, pink salt, basil, garlic, onion, tiny bit of water or milk--into the blender. Blend, blend blend, done! So simple. I use this sub for riccotta in regular lasagna too.

Vegan Cherry Clafoutis, you can replace the cherries for cranberries like I did. Altho cherry would be magnificent too. I so love cranberries and this is a fun way to do them for ThanksLiving. We did a test run of this today! So yummy and delish! It was really easy and so pretty, my favorite kind of food to make! I'm still torn though. I grew up with canberry and honestly, I adore canberry. I mean it's only once a year and it's yummy and they do have BPA free linings in cans now. My dad later on in life, probably around high school used to whip up cranberry-orange sauce and that's excellent too.

Next up on the test run list is; Stuffing-Muffins with Mashed Potatoes and Gravy! I found the recipe here on The Colorful Kitchen. I am really looking forward to trying this recipe out! I mean really. Mashed potatoes, gravy AND stuffing?? Is there a better food on the planet? I don't think so! Add some cranberry and a slice of Gardein roast to that & turn Netflix on! Biscuits I did a test run on these recently too. Didn't get any pics, they were gone too fast. Didn't see anyone eating them either. They must have inhaled them. I found a recipe here, that is pretty close to mine. I didn't use almond milk, I had plain coconut and I didn't use lemon juice either. Other than that, pretty much the same recipe. I will also test run some gluten free vegan rolls to see if they even notice. I'd much prefer they eat gluten free as much as possible. As for stuffed mushrooms, I'll probably just add some stuffing to mushroom caps & bake them off. Simple & easy. Altho this recipe looks promising too.
I'll post my recipe at the end of this post, for mushroom gravy--SOOOO YUMMY! Here is a raw pumpkin pie recipe and here is raw vegan pecan pie. I'm looking at this recipe too for pecan pie. I'm kind of a cook or baker or chef that looks at recipes, skims them, runs into the kitchen and tosses stuff into a bowl. I'm constantly making substitutions for ingredients I have. Sometimes I'll use guar gum or tapioca instead for thickening. Or I'll use agave instead of maple syrup or vice versa. Oh and for gluten free bread you cannot go wrong using a Bob's Redmill bread mix! Been using that for years for our bread replacer here. Flax seeds are my egg replacement, I also found out that flax seeds allows gluten free baked good to remain softer and chewy, just like wheat or gluten bread. I use apple blended up for the oil. Since I have raw, flax seeds that are whole. Into the blender the apple, water and flax all goes.

Below a graphic that you can use for egg replacers in baked goods and other items from Majer

Last, but not least my recipe for mushroom gravy!

My Favorite Mushroom Gravy by Heather O'Connor

Into your blender; 1/4 cup of washed mushrooms
Splash of ACV and water
Two stalks of celery--roughly chopped
Clove of garlic

Blend til smooth, then pour into a small pan w/ a pat of butter or coconut oil. Heat till warm, let cool, add spices to taste. I like Adobo it's a mix of several kinds of spices. Simply Organic makes the version we use. (*Adobo is also a genius addition to tofu scramble. So much in fact, we don't bother with nooch (nutritional yeast) anymore.) You can also use your own favorite spices, if you like the spices, odds are you will love the gravy. Same kind of thought of using wine that you would drink, if you're planning on cooking with it. Sea salt or Pink Himalayan Salt to taste--if needed. Set this mixture aside letting it cool down somewhat. After cooling I like to also run this mixture through a strainer and take out some of the "pulp" or fibers from the celery.

In a skillet with a bit of coconut butter already melted add 1/2 onion chopped, couple of two three four large (one portabella ought to do it. If they are baby bellas or white mushrooms, use 3-4 of them) mushrooms chopped up, green onion, some more adobo and ACV (apple cider vinegar) and heat on med-high till the mushrooms are wilted. Add some sea salt or pink himalayan salt to taste if needed. Mix this mixture without blending it into the blended mixture. Taste it, see if it needs any additional spicing or thickening agent. When I made my test batch I needed like a tablespoon of rice flour mixture to thicken it somewhat. You can use corn starch, guar gum, or regular flour. I've used all these thickening agents in my years of cooking & they all do it perfectly. The rice mixture I used is Bob's Redmill Gluten Free All Purpose flour. The one in the blue printed plastic bag, not the red, but the red version will do it too.

(Sneaky tip for thickening & no lumps: Put a small amount of the gravy & flour or other thickening agent into the blender & blend it. Then mix it into the rest of the hot gravy. Perfection every time!)

When doing the test run with this recipe, I had some gluten free, vegan bread freshly made. I chopped up half of the loaf of bread, mixed 1/2 of the gravy, the mushroom stems, some green onion, and stuffed and baked it into mushroom caps. I think stuffed mushrooms are reason enough to celebrate! Who needs a party? ;) I love mushroom caps, can you tell?

I also had enough gravy 'left over' to add some to brown rice, stuffed into pumpkins, plus more for the top of the rice stuffed pumpkins & even a little bit more for each person to have on their plate with the stuffed mushroom caps & pumpkin w/ rice. Add in some wilted kale or spinach and dinner is served!

Happy ThanksLiving to you & your family! <3 Heather :)

Often I receive a freebie, or coupon for my blogging opinions. Contact the above email address if I can be of help. <3 :)

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Save the Deer

WE MUST SPEAK OUT NOW. Call Governor Baker and Demand an End to the Hunt. 617 725 4005.... The Hunt begins Nov 30th 2015 at 5AM. There will be another demo this Sunday in the Blue Hills. Hope to see you there!

Thank you, Heather :)

Monday, November 2, 2015

Winners for my Blog Giveaway!

Thank you to the participants! Winners have been emailed! Have fun at the event! Hope to see you there!

Thanks for stopping by! --Heather :)

Sunday, October 18, 2015

9th Annual Natural Living Expo in Marlborough, MA!

Plus a Giveaway! My blog is giving away two free tickets to get into the Expo for free!

MARLBOROUGH, MA – The 9th Annual Natural Living Expo, New England’s largest holistic health and wellness expo, returns on November 14th and 15th to the Best Western Royal Plaza Trade Center on Rt. 20 West off 495. Attracting over 8,000 attendees last year, this is the alternative health event of the year not to be missed! Live your best life with access to information about the body-mind-spirit connection, healthy and green living, and healing therapies from 225 exhibitors. Shop fair trade and local artisans from the creative marketplace just in time for the holidays. Take part in over ninety empowering workshops, yoga and movement classes presented by leaders in the holistic health field. Experience a guided meditation. Gain culinary inspiration from the healthy cooking demo stage. Enjoy a delicious breakfast, lunch or dinner at the healthy food court including plenty of raw, vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options. Take home samples of natural and organic foods and beverages, beauty care items, vitamins/supplements, healthcare and pet products from over forty natural brands at the free sample bar. This year’s featured keynote speakers include:

John Holland - See one of the country’s top psychic mediums connect with Spirit to deliver messages from your loved ones who have crossed over to the other side.

Sonia Choquette - Step into a more energetically uplifting life that places you in the right place at the right time with this world renowned author, spiritual teacher, transformational consultant.

Plus a Giveaway for two free tickets to get into the Expo for free!

Dan Millman - Learn about the three causes of illness and three keys to health and vitality with this former world champion gymnast and bestselling author of Way of The Peaceful Warrior.

Dr. Adiel Tel-Oren - Learn how to non-surgically eliminate skin and colon cancer risks forever with this European-trained MD, Minnesota-licensed nutritionist and preventive medicine expert.

Phyllis Light - A traditionally trained, practicing herbalist, Phyllis shares the rich and fascinating history of Southern Appalachian Folk Medicine and the healing benefits of its herbal remedies.

Linda Howe - Discover your soul’s life path with this spiritual author and teacher through the Akashic records, an energetic archive of your soul’s journey.

Toby Christensen - Join “The Healing Drummer” for this interactive 5-element drumming event and feel the transformative energy of elemental rhythms. Bring drums if available!

Also of special note to my Vegan readers, Lisa Kelly of The Vegan Pact will be here too with cooking demos.

All tickets on sale now! Visit Arrive early — the first 200 attendees in line will receive a free Bruce Cost Ginger Ale gift bag stuffed with natural products from the expo.

Weekend admission is $12 in advance, $15 at the door. Free re-admission on Sunday with your wristband! Onsite parking is FREE! Make it a retreat! Visit for Expo discounts on weekend accommodation at local hotels.

The expo is presented by Spirit of Change Magazine, New England’s source since 1987 for holistic health information, thoughtful living and local wellness practitioners, classes and professional trainings. Visit

I'm really looking forward to this expo! Looks like a great group of speakers coming! My blog is also giving away two free tickets to the event, so you can get in free! If you leave me a comment on my blog, and share this on social media I'll take your name & use a random number generator to find two winners that will get in free! I'll pick a winner on or about Halloween, so folks have plenty of time to get their tickets.

Hope to see you there! Thanks for stopping by! <3 Heather :)

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Save the Date!

SAVE THE DATE: November 14-15, 2015 9th Annual Natural Living Expo Royal Plaza Trade Center, Marlborough, MA.

You can see their FB page here & website to learn more!

I have two tickets (30 dollar value) for this event to giveaway too! Stay tuned!

--Heather :)

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Cancer Study By Harvard University

This post will be quick & painless. I'm going to link you to a write up by PCRM on Harvard Universities' study on cancer.

LINK here. Click Here!

Just thought more people should know! If you're coming here to my blog, the least I can do is save your life. Or maybe someone you know can be helped by the information. There is tons more info on this online. If you want a something to watch try Forks Over Knives. I believe Netflix has it. If you rather more in depth you can read The China Study. I have read it myself, it's not a fun read, but it is for sure very enlightening.

If you need more information, please google it up. There's lots out there online. Lots of medical journals you could peruse.

<3 Heather :)