The Big Announcement!

Hello, everyone! We have been crazy busy these last few months. We have taken the plunge into the world of semi-professional cooking with catering events and pop-up dinners. It has been a complete and total joy for us to prepare food for our guests, and the feedback has been incredible.

Along with some new business endeavors in the works, we have a big announcement to make: We are changing our name! That’s right, we will be re-branding ourselves with something completely new. Something that we think will take us into the future. A new business name to serve as a solid foundation that will allow our business to grow. We are still the same two girls that love making delicious things, but we needed to find a new direction.

You may be wondering why. And, yes, there is a reason. It is uncomfortable to speak about, but more important than ever. It has been brought to our attention recently (in a very polite and respectful way, may I add) that our name, Ahimsa Vegan Eats, is appropriative. And they are right.

For those that are unfamiliar with cultural appropriation, it is the use of elements of one culture by another, particularly when elements of a minority culture are used by members of the cultural majority.

3 years ago, we decided to take on the world of vegan cooking. We were both still fairly new vegans, but we knew this was the path for us. As many vegans know, there is something (well, a lot of somethings) that changes inside of you when you make the commitment to veganism. Your whole world becomes wrapped up in it. You begin to see everything differently. It changes who you are and how you approach the world around you. This change allowed us to find our true passion. Food has always been important to us, but it wasn’t until going vegan that we realized that it was our future. We both liked to cook, and were decent at it, but once we realized that all the things that we loved so much were no longer readily available to us, we had a challenge. A challenge that we eagerly accepted.

We began reading and testing and learning all the weird little secrets to making plants taste like different things. We would take our families recipes and recreate those flavors and textures. It was addictive, and so, so tasty. That is when we decided to move forward with plans for a business. We wanted this to be our livelihood. We began brainstorming and researching and doing our best to find something that encompassed our principles. During this time, we learned of Ahimsa, meaning “do no harm” in Sanskrit. This immediately spoke to us for obvious reasons, and that was it! Ahimsa Vegan Eats was born. We loved it. It summed up who we were and what we believed in one sweet sounding little package.

We moved forward with our blog, and eventually began branching out and becoming a bit more known. We have been greatly supported, and began to feel some momentum in our business. It wasn’t until we became a bit more public that this issue was brought up, but we are so grateful that it was.

When it was brought to our attention that our name is appropriative, we immediately realized that we had misstepped in our attempt to “find ourselves”. We had stolen a concept of virtue from Indian religions and claimed it as our own, to use and to profit from. While our intent was never malicious, we realize the insensitivity that it shows and deeply apologize.

We decided to take this as an opportunity to reinvent ourselves. To reassess who we are, what our mission statement is, and where we want to be in the future. And we want to do this with respect for all.

 

With that being said, we would like to introduce you to the NEW us: Newfangled Foods.

 

We feel like this represents who we are and who we want to be: modern, advanced and unexpected. We want to bring you food that you never thought you would eat again. Food that is classic AND food that is unique. We want to constantly strive to be better, and bring you all our new discoveries.

Over the next few weeks, we will be updating our various platforms, including our blog page, to reflect our new brand. Please bear with us during this transition; we promise to make it as seamless as possible.

We hope that you will continue to support and follow us on our journey. We truly think that the best is yet to come, and we are proud to move forward with a commitment to being ourselves, while showing the utmost love, respect and gratitude to those around us.

 

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Scalloped Potatoes

Autumn is coming. Summer barbecues are winding down, and we are preparing for cooler weather, and warm, hearty meals. We have always enjoyed the more comforting side of food. The stick-to-your-bones feeling of stews and casseroles. We are lovers of all things carbs. We love cheese and potatoes and cream and butter. The rich and decadent foods that make you gain 5lbs just thinking about them, and give you an instant stomach ache from all the dairy..those are the ones we crave. Of course, we enjoy an outstanding salad from time to time, but deep down, all we want is comfort food. We have a few favorites that our mom made for us growing up that we have enjoyed revamping, and we make them often- in times of sadness or celebration, or just because sometimes you need a hug from your mom and making her food is the closest you can get for the moment. 

One of the dishes that we enjoyed most was her scalloped potatoes. They were so rich and creamy, with little strings of sweet, crunchy onions throughout. This was usually a side dish to a meatloaf, which we still enjoy pairing it with (mostly because we LOVE making meatloaf sandwiches with the leftovers). Our rendition of this classic dish allows you to feel like you are being bad without any of the guilt (or lactose induced stomach aches)! Now, we wouldn’t say this is a LOW FAT dish, but when you are eating whole foods, who needs to count calories anyways?! This is a decadent, herbaceous dish that will be a welcome addition to any meal, and we hope you love it as much as we do.

NOTE: A mandoline is recommended for ease of preparation and consistency of thickness of both potatoes and onions. If you do not have a mandoline, hand cutting is fine. Just try to keep pieces as even as possible so that they are all cooked through by the end. 

Scalloped Potatoes {recipe}

Servings 6-8

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 medium potatoes, cleaned and scrubbed (peeled if you prefer, I left skins on)
  • 1 small or medium white onion (depending on preference)
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • salt & pepper

Cheese Sauce:

  • 1/2 c raw cashews
  • 2 TB sundried tomatoes
  • 2 TB miso
  • 2 tsp dry vermouth (or white wine)
  • 2 TB tapioca starch
  • 1/4 c nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 c water

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 400º.
  2. Thinly slice onions (I used the thin setting on the mandolin). Slice potatoes 1/8” (I used the thick setting on the mandolin). 
  3. Blend all cheese sauce ingredients in a high-speed blender until smooth. 
  4. Spray a 9x13” pan with coconut oil or non-stick cooking spray. 
  5. Pour a little sauce on the bottom, just enough to cover.
  6. Layer 1/3 of the potatoes, season with salt, pepper & thyme. Sprinkle on 1/3 of the sliced onions.  pour about 1/3 of the sauce over potatoes and onions. 
  7. Repeat the layers until finished. 
  8. Bake for 1 hour covered. Then 15 minutes uncovered. Test with fork to make sure potatoes are cooked all the way through.
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Mango-Orange Julius

Orange Julius

Summer is officially here. Beach days, camping, barbecues, swimming. There are countless activities that make this time of year so great. 

One of the most wonderful gifts this season has to offer is an abundance of incredible produce. Squash, tomatoes, artichokes, nectarines, cherries- the list goes on and on! This is probably one of our favorite seasons for produce, as we love the rich, sweet, earthy flavors that come with so many of the Summer crops. Living in the Bay Area, we are gifted with tons of local fruits and vegetables, some of which we grow in our own gardens. We are lucky enough to have family that have figured out the fine art of growing food (we are far from experts ourselves, but have managed to have a few tasty results). Visiting our Grandma’s house is the equivalent of attending a small farmer’s market. We also are close by local grocery stores that provide “discount produce”- the stuff that is perfectly good,  but ready to be eaten IMMEDIATELY. This is something that we often utilize, as money is always tight (remember how we mentioned living in the BAY AREA?!) and food waste is high all over the country. We like to see what is available and decide what to make based on those items. 

On a recent visit to our Grandma’s we ended up with about 3 trash bags worth of oranges from the 30 year old tree in her backyard. Man, are those things delicious. The plan was to take them all, juice the majority of them to have fresh juice on hand, and lots in the freezer, with a few oranges left to eat. SPOILER ALERT: they never made it to the freezer. 

Mango’s have been abundant on the discount shelf lately, as they all seem to go ripe at the same time, causing the store to try and move these tropical treats quickly. We have been in mango heaven. The accessibility we have had to these fruits the last few weeks, as well as the heat and desire for cold, refreshing things, has prompted us to make a rendition of a dairy laden treat that we loved as kids- the Orange Julius. We added frozen mango to the fresh oranges (if you don’t have the time, will power or abundance of mango to freeze your own, mango from the freezer section of your local store will work beautifully) with a few other simple ingredients to create a super delicious, refreshing frozen drink that is perfect for those hot days when you can’t even muster up the energy to eat. It is quick to prepare and is sure to please all ages. No mango? No problem! Just add some frozen oranges in place of the mango for a more classic take on the Orange Julius. Now go relax; it is Summer, afterall!


 

Mango-Orange Julius {recipe}

Servings 2

 

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 large orange, peeled
  • 1 cup frozen mango
  • 1/4 c non-dairy vanilla creamer
  • 1/4 c non-dairy milk
     

METHOD

  1. Place all ingredients into a high speed blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Pour into 2 glasses and serve with orange or mango segments. 
  3. Enjoy!
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We're BACK!

Hello, friends! Sorry we have been away for so long, but we are back and feeling more inspired than ever!!

We would like to tell you a bit about what we have been doing this last year. We have been tossing around about a million different business ideas, but no matter how awesome they were, there was something holding us back from really diving in...confidence (and money, of course). We knew that we needed to do some real work if we wanted to feel like we could be successful turning our passion into a career, and Rouxbe Cooking School was there to make that happen! We both signed up for the Plant-Based Certification Course, and the next 7 months were dedicated to learning. Of course, that was in addition to the full time jobs, raising a tiny vegan, losing pets and loved ones, the holidays, moving and managing relationships. Looking back, it is no wonder we lost track of the blog! But many months later, here we are. Both proud graduates and Plant-Based Certified. Yes, it’s true...we are certified vegans. How silly and awesome at the same time! We learned a TON, and are ready to move forward with our futures- NO MORE EXCUSES (although, I’m sure we could still come up with plenty..like that money thing).

We have been exploring lots of different business avenues, including personal catering, meal prep and even a food truck! It is very exciting to live in an area with so many new, amazing restaurants popping up, and they are thriving! The possibilities are endless around here, making it very tricky for us to find our niche.

We recently had a very wonderful opportunity come to us (which is still in the works) which resulted in us hosting a tasting for some very special guests. Many of the guests were vegetarian, but most were omnivores with various dietary preferences. It was very intimidating to feed OUR food to such inspiring business owners, after all, their job for the evening was to tell us what was wrong with our food, and even ourselves! We are “behind the scenes” types, so inviting judgement and critique (you know, the nice word for criticism) was very scary. But we did it. And we did it well. 10 different dishes for 9 guests. What. A. Night.

We have never had so much knowledge of marketing and business ownership and management together in one place before! It was really incredible for us, especially being the newbies that we are. They were very thoughtful in their questions to us, and their constructive criticism. We learned so much, but of course our heads were spinning by the end of the night. So much to wrap our minds around!

Overall, our food was well received. We have a lot of work ahead of us, but it was encouraging to have (mostly) strangers enjoy our food. The exhilarating feeling we were left with after weeks of planning, testing, prep and cooking..that feeling is enough to make us do it all over again.

Big things are coming, and we are excited for the journey. Also terrified, but that should go without saying. We look forward to taking you along for the ride!

Oh, by the way, one of the favorite dishes that we served them was a breakfast sandwich made with Tofu Bacon and egg, both of which are easily made at home by following our recipes featured in the “breakfast” section of the blog. Enjoy!!

 

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English Toffee + Easy Gift Idea

toffee

The holidays are a crazy time of year for most people. It is expensive, time consuming and exhausting. Everyone is having holiday parties and there are a million family obligations. Of course, you never want to show up empty handed! Gift giving can be a huge source of stress and anxiety, and can become quite impersonal. It never fails that SOMEONE will give you a gift that you were not expecting to receive, and you suddenly feel a weird obligation to return the favor. It can be very difficult to come up with individual presents and it never hurts to have some back ups! Hand making gifts can be a wonderful and inexpensive way to have something for everyone, and allows your loved ones (or other acquaintances) the opportunity to reap the benefits of your talent. When it comes to us, the main thing we want to share with those around us is food! We decided to make a sweet treat that practically everyone is familiar with, and show them how good it can be when made VEGAN!

English toffee is a delicious and easy confection made up of mostly butter and sugar. Add some chocolate and almonds, and what’s not to love?? It is also a very pretty candy, and is nicely shown off in glass mason jars! Top your jar with a cute and festive sticker, and you are ready to go! Everyone will be thrilled to receive a tasty treat made with love and compassion, and it will hardly cost a thing. This year, relieve some of your stress with this simple and sweet recipe that everyone will surely love. Happy holidays!

English Toffee {recipe}

Makes 12 - 1/2 pint jars

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 15oz tub earth balance vegan butter
  • 2 c sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 c vegan chocolate chips
  • 1/4 c chopped almonds

METHOD

  1. In a heavy bottom saucepan, cook butter, sugar and salt until mixture reaches 300° F will be foamy and bubbly, stir often.

  2. Once it reaches 300°, take off heat and stir in vanilla until bubbles and foam subside.
  3. Quickly pour onto parchment lined cookie sheet, making sure mixture is even. 
  4. Let rest for a few minutes so toffee begins to harden.
  5. Sprinkle chocolate chips over the toffee. Allow to sit a few minutes for chips to melt.
  6. Spread and smooth chips to form a chocolate coating.
  7. Sprinkle almonds on while chocolate is still melted.
  8. Place in fridge or freezer to set.
  9. Once completely cool, use a butter knife and mallet to break toffee into bite size pieces. or use clean hands to break apart.

 

NOTE: Feel free to add in your favorite nuts to the toffee for a delicious nutty brittle.

 

EASY GIFT IDEA!

  1. Stack into 1/2 pint mason jars. (Makes 12)

  2. Print & cut labels (download here) place under ring, give as gifts!

 

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