Food Friday: Vegan Chai Frappucino

I became addicted to Starbucks chai lattes years and years ago. The sweet & spicy flavors blended so well with mellow soy milk that I couldn’t get enough. Eventually, I quit Starbucks cold turkey. Only occasionally do I pop in  – mostly because we’ve found a great little indie coffee place in downtown Raleigh called The Morning Times (more on them another day).

 

Earlier this week, an email from Amy’s Healthy Baking appeared in my inbox and sure enough, she had a recipe for a frozen chai treat. After whipping up Amy’s recipe, I made a few modifications and came up with another great version. Head over to Amy’s Healthy Baking – she’s got tons of great recipes: some are vegan & some are veganizable!!

 

Vegan Chai Frappucino

1 c super strong chai tea, chilled
½ c almond milk
1 tsp organic cane sugar (I use wholesome sweeteners)
2 c ice cubes
  1. Steep the chai for 30-45 minutes (the longer, the stronger) in freshly boiled water
  2. Put chai in fridge to chill it (about 20 minutes)
  3. Add all of the ingredients to a blender, and pulse until smooth.

Note: I’d be willing to bet you could make a bunch of chai at once, keep in a airtight container in the fridge and make a frappucino as often as you like. I may have to try this… 

 

We’ve been bad…

You may have noticed we’ve been a little silent as of late… and there is no excuse. We’ve been busy making thousands of soap bars for you and other vegan soap supporters across the country & in Canada.

 

Being busy is a great problem to have – certainly no complaints. We recognize our lack of posting and we have a ton of great posts coming soon.

 

In the meantime, have you seen our new website? Do you like the new look of the blog?

 

Namaste!

 

Food Friday: Vegan Fried Green Tomatoes

By Megan Vick

 

My most favorite restaurant in the world is closing soon and I have been heartbroken since I got the news. Friends are out of jobs, customers are out of delicious local food, and I am out of pickled ramps and butternut squash gnocchi (not served together, I swear).

 

During our last visit there, we had delicious fried green tomatoes and I have been determined to recreate them. I think I’m doing pretty well so far… the best part is, instead of frying them, I’ve baked them in the oven for a healthier version. This recipe makes a great appetizer for 2 or small meal for 1 person. They were so good I forgot to take a picture – shocking, I know.

 

Here’s what you need:

 

  • 2 large green tomatoes (preferably organic)
  • 1/3 cup almond mik (either plain or unsweetened… I’m sure any plant milk would work here)
  • 1/2 cup flour (almond, chickpea, all- purpose… anything you like)
  • Salt, pepper, garlic powder to taste

 

Here’s how to do it:

  • Preheat oven to 425F
  • Slice your tomatoes into thick slices (or quarters if you want to be fancy)
  • Put almond milk into bowl – set aside
  • Combine flour, pepper, salt, garlic powder together and mix well in another bowl – set aside
  • Dredge tomato slices in milk, then in the flour mixture – be sure to cover both sides completely
  • Put slices on a baking sheet, pan, or dish
  • Bake at 425 for 15-20 minutes until coating is golden brown

 

Pro Tip: Serve with some vegan ranch (a la Native Foods Cafe) for dipping or a balsamic reduction – Divine!!

 

You can thank me later! Enjoy and Namaste

Shorganics Shenanigans

By Megan Vick

 

Vegan Shenanigans

 

You may not know this, but “Shenanigans” is one of my all-time favorite words. According to Google, Shenanigans means: “secret activity or maneuvering. silly or high-spirited behavior; mischief”

 

Thanks sounds exactly like what’s been going on at Shorganics. We definitely have some secret, and not-so-secret, stuff happening – and it’s all the shenanigans that have caused me to be delinquent in posting. Apologies, my dears.

 

You may have noticed we’re working on updating our website! This is very exciting and our new site is SOOOOO much more powerful and more awesome than our last site. Be sure you check it out as soon as it’s up!

 

The secret stuff is still secret – sorry. It’s the reason we’ve been so busy and so MIA in many respects. We can give you hints…

 

We hope you’re subscribed to the best vegan beauty box which is delivered to your door monthly!!

 

and the final hint:

Hint hint - coming soon!

 

That’s all for now! Namaste

Food Friday Feature: The Fiction Kitchen – Raleigh, NC

By Megan Vick

 

On Thursday, July 24, Matt and I made time to treat ourselves to dinner – a fancy dinner. Despite the encroaching rain, we headed to beautiful downtown Raleigh to the all-vegan restaurant, The Fiction Kitchen. The Fiction Kitchen opened a couple of years ago and we went shortly after it opened. It was great back then, but we lived about a 40 minute drive away. Now, we’re a quick 10 minutes from the restaurant – and believe me, we’ll be there a lot more often.

 

We were greeted and seated right away and we had water on the table before I could blink my eyes. After much debating about what we would have, we decided to get the vegan tasting plate as an appetizer and some house-made root beer. Then, Matt ordered the chicken and waffles while I ordered the evening’s special, the tomato pie.

 

Tasting Plate: local crackers, spiced pecans, blueberries, peach jam, smoked cashew cream, tempeh pate, and cashew cream.

Tasting Plate: local crackers, spiced pecans, blueberries, peach jam, smoked cashew cream, tempeh pate, and cashew cream.

 

Let’s talk about this tasting plate for a minute… wait, sorry… I’m drooling. Anyway, the smoked cashew cream was maybe the greatest thing I’ve ever had. Matt and I had a great time mixing and matching different combinations. The tempeh pate with the smoked cashew cream was exquisite and the cashew cream with a little peach jam topped with spiced pecans was divine. We even ordered extra crackers so we could savor the cashew cream combinations and before our wonderfully attentive waitress took our plate, she let me scrape up the extra goodness with my finger. Oh yeah, I was that girl. Poor Matt – he just can’t take me anywhere.

 

Vegan Food

Matt’s Chicken & Waffle

 

What you’re seeing there is The Fiction Kitchen’s house made “chicken” breaded and fried better than the Colonel himself could do it. He’s also got a light and fluffy Belgian waffle under all that chicken along with blueberries and arugula. There were pros & cons with this dish. Pro: It was so good, Matt devoured it. Con: It was so good, Matt devoured it and I didn’t get any.

 

raleigh vegan food

Nightly Special – Farmers Market Tomato Pie with Fried Chicken

 

My picture of my meal did not do it justice. I didn’t turn on my flash because I didn’t want to disturb the other guests at the restaurant. I have an heirloom tomato pie with cashew creamed corn topped with fried chicken. The chicken was an additional suggestion by our waitress (did I mention how awesome she was? I think her name was Taylor…). Even though we already had an appetizer, I went for adding the vegan protein to the meal because why the hell not?! It’s North Carolina – how often do you get deliciously wonderful vegan fried chicken??

Not to mention, I had seen it coming out of the kitchen for several minutes while we ate our tasting plate and it looked so good, I couldn’t say no. I have no self-control when it comes to food. 

The tomato pie itself was delicious and the tomatoes were some of the sweetest I’ve ever had. It was quiche-like, minus the eggs, of course. And that cashew-creamed corn… Holy Southern-Style Vegan Food Batman! I could seriously eat that ALL.DAY.LONG. It was sweet and creamy, like creamed corn should be, but had a little bit of an extra kick to it too.

 

Vegan Food Raleigh

Vegan Peanut Butter Cheesecake with a Pretzel Crust

 

Ah yes, the piece de resistance – Vegan Peanut Butter Cheesecake. It’s so good, it deserves to have all the words capitalized. It was light and fluffy with a crisp, but not crispy, pretzel crust. Best of all, it was topped with soy whip. Matt suggested we share a piece and I (reluctantly) agreed. I was ridiculously full, so I am glad we shared the cheesecake. Despite the sharing, I still want to cradle the cheesecake in my arms and whisper, “My Precious,” over and over. Because it was that good.

 

Long story short – go to The Fiction Kitchen in Raleigh. If you’re a local – visit often! If you’re not a local, make time to grab some food during your visit. And if you’re travelling alone – let me know because Matt & I won’t even hesitate to join you.

 

Thanks to The Fiction Kitchen for being awesome and letting us linger in the restaurant for damn near 3 hours while we ate, talked, laughed, took pictures of food, ate some more, and drank the best root beer ever. Y’all rock. <3

Treatment Tuesday: A Little Goes A Long Way

By Megan Vick

 

Stahp

That’s right. Just stahp!

 

You’re using too much lotion!!! This might be a little bit of a rant, but it is something that needs to be addressed – and quickly.

 

We love going to sell at our local farmers market. It gives us a chance to connect with you, our customer, who we may not otherwise get to meet and talk to when we sell to stores. One thing that we’ve noticed a lot lately is the interest in our lotions and hand creams. Several people have come up to us and asked if our lotions are greasy. Let’s talk about that:

  1. Our lotions are not greasy – it’s one of our most common compliments. Not to mention: no lotion maker will ever admit to having greasy lotions. It’s best if you ask for a sample right off the bat and judge for yourself.
  2. All lotions will be greasy if you squeeze an entire ounce of lotion into your hand just to rub on your forearms.

 

We’ve seen not one, not two, but four (4!) different women approach our booth, squeeze a 1/2 – 1 ounce of lotion into their hand and slather themselves with it. Now, that may work in winter. In Iceland. But you will absolutely feel disgustingly greasy if you do that with any lotion – especially if you add the fact that you’re standing outside in July heat and humidity in North Carolina.

 

Ranting aside, the point is to conserve your lotions and creams. You can always apply more to your body if you don’t feel hydrated enough. You can’t, however, get rid of that slippery, slimy feel after you’ve applied too much. Believe me, I want you to use the hell out of our products – but don’t overuse and abuse them to the point you begin to dislike the brand.

 

Namaste.

Family Vacation – The GRAND Canyon (part 2)

By Megan Vick

 

It’s hard to believe that 3 days in the Grand Canyon warrants 2 full posts, but it’s true! There is so much to see and do – no matter where you turn, it’s a new view with new colors depending on where the sun hits the canyon. In addition to spending a day hiking** around the canyon’s rim, we also managed to fit in a jeep tour and a helicopter tour. By the way, there are a ton of pics in the post, so KEEP SCROLLING!

**By hiking, I mean sticking to the mostly-paved pathway which winds itself a breathtaking, yet safe, distance from the rim.

 

Pink Jeep Tours

Remember I mentioned the ill-fated mule ride? We decided to do a Pink Jeep Tour after a recommendation from an awesome friend. He saw Pink Jeep Tours in Sedona when he was on vacation and came back to tell me all about them.

We were able to hop in an open-air Jeep with the whole fam and 2 new friends to see some of the less-traveled areas of the Grand Canyon. I have no idea where we were (maybe the east side of the south rim…) but it was absolutely gorgeous! Mike, our driver, was so much fun, so knowledgeable, and even let us gallivant a little longer than usual. He also indulged my quest to find elk – and we found 2!

If you ever have the chance to do a Pink Jeep Tour – whether it’s at the Grand Canyon, Vegas, or Sedona, it is well worth it. Consider this my verified recommendation.

 

 

jeep

Matt & me in front of the Pink Jeep. The whole family was there, but there wasn’t a good picture of all of us.

 

 

boy elk

A young male elk – I stalked him for about 20 minutes to get this shot. He was very nice about it.

 

 

lady elk

A young female elk. She was kickin it in the brush by the restroom… just loving life.

 

 

Mike

Mike, our friendly driver!

 

 

 

 

Maverick Helicopter Tours

After another recommendation, we took a chance (an expensive chance) on a morning helicopter tour over the Grand Canyon. Bennett, our delightful pilot, played awesome music (Def Leppard, anyone?) and told us some incredible facts about the canyon. We opted for the earliest tour they offer because we were told that once the sun comes up, the canyon can get hazy which doesn’t make for the best views or pictures. With about 5 minutes left in the flight, the sky got hazy and we could no longer see the mountains in Flagstaff (which is really far away!).

We looked at a lot of helicopter tour companies, but Maverick got some of the best reviews and came personally recommended. Now, I’m personally recommending it to you!

 

The group!

The group!

 

Colorado River

Colorado River

 

heli 2

 

Bennett, our pilot, with everyone!

Bennett, our pilot, with everyone!