Monday, October 15, 2018

Utama Spice Sonoma Yi Diffuser Review

Today I'm going to review the Sonoma Yi Diffuser, kindly sent to me by Utama Spice.

The package for the diffuser included four essential oils: mint, clove, lemon and a 'deep calming' blend. As I've never used one before, I felt a little intimidated by the product, but that's what instructions are for!
I should note that I have never used a diffuser before, so I was excited but also had no idea what to expect. Utama Spice's website describes the product as a:

"Luxury ultrasonic diffuser, air humidifier and LED lamp."

It adds that the "elegant clean design" with a "natural wood base" and "pure-white ceramic lid" is the perfect addition for the "home, studio, spa, or salon."

I quickly read up on the instructions, and really appreciated how many options it had, and how easy-to-use the diffuser was. You can set it up to run a continuous or intermittent mist, or schedule it for one-, three- or eight-hour intervals--all with just a few clicks of a button. The lamp is also adjustable and has three different settings, with a very cool and soothing "breathing" option.

I decided to try it out with the deep calming essential oil blend, which is a mix of lavender, rose, bergamot, cananga and orange essential oils. I poured in some water, added a few drops and set my timer for the safest option: one hour. The scent almost immediately took over the room, and the diffuser actually emits a very calming sound, something I didn't even consider.
In terms of my overall sleep, I can't really say what the impact was. I was tired and would have fallen asleep fairly quickly with or without the diffuser. But the scent was definitely pleasant and calming and the sound of the diffuser was surprisingly relaxing. Perhaps on a day where I have a lot on my mind the effects of the oils and diffuser will really come into play to promote a peaceful sleep.

I've even begun to use the lamp in place of my original one as it is much softer and I love how the light doesn't interfere with my sleep if I use it in the middle of the night.

To sum up, a diffuser was something I never really thought to add to my room, but the three-in-one aspect (sound, scent and light) of it has definitely made me a fan, and I find myself using it more and more frequently--even during the day with different 'stimulating' essential oils!

If you would like to learn more about the Sonoma Yi Diffuser or try it out yourself, you can visit this link!

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Vegan Yogurt/Մածուն + Tan/Թան Recipe!

My latest video recipe is all about vegan yogurt! I also include a mini tutorial on how to make tan, a savory yogurt-based drink!

You can watch the video below or click the link here. Enjoy :)

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Falafel Burgers! [VEGAN]

I am so happy with this recipe! I filmed a video showing you how to make falafel burgers + all the fixings on YouTube! Besides the shape of the falafel and the way it is cooked, the recipe/ingredients are the same as with regular falafel.
Watch the recipe below and if you make it, let me know! Enjoy :)

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Vegan Spinach/Feta Bureg Recipe! [+VIDEO]

This recipe has been a long time coming! While you can create vegan-friendly bureg/byureg with just spinach or potatoes, the feta/spinach combination has always been my favourite and I wanted to veganize it.

It is an easy recipe for such a delicious outcome, but like traditional bureg, it does require a few steps. I will have the recipe in video format below so you can see it all in action.

Step 1: Feta (my recipe is an adapted version of Chef Skye Michael Conroy's. To see his recipe, visit this link)
What you need:
-1/2 block (7oz) tofu (firm or extra firm)
-1/4 cup melted refined coconut oil (refined eliminates the coconut flavour)
-4 tsp citric acid
-1 TBSP apple cider vinegar
-1 tsp Italian herb mix (optional)
-2 tsp dried mint (optional)
-Pinch of onion powder (optional)
-Sea salt to taste
-Drain all water from your tofu package and wrap the half you will use in a kitchen towel. Place something heavy over it (tray, book, etc.) so all the water is pressed out
-After an hour, crumble the dry tofu in your food processor and add all of the ingredients
-Process until completely smooth (try it to see if it needs more salt/seasonings)
-Cover it well in plastic wrap and place it in a container to refrigerate for at least 6 hours so it hardens

Step 2: Bureg 'Broth'
What you need:
-1 cup dairy-free milk (I used unsweetened homemade almond milk)
-2 heaping TBSP of nutritional yeast
-A few pinches of black salt/kala namak (provides "eggy" flavour the broth traditionally has)
-Blend all ingredients together until well combined

Step 3: Bureg Assembly (my bureg was made in a 8x8 pan, this recipe is for that size)
What you need:
-7 sheets of phyllo/filo
-1 cup spinach
-1/3 cup vegan butter (I used Becel's non-dairy option)
-White & black sesame seeds (about a TBSP for each)
-Coarsely chop your spinach, then add a sprinkle of salt and massage it to wilt it
-Butter your pan thoroughly
-Place your phyllo dough in your pan and coat with the bureg broth x 2
-Place your third phyllo in your pan and generously coat with butter x 2
-For the fifth one, coat it again in broth
-Crumble in your feta and distribute it well. Add your spinach
-Top your spinach/feta mixture with a phyllo and coat it in butter
-Add your final phyllo and coat it in broth
-Use a butter knife to gently tuck in all sides of the bureg
-Pour your remaining broth on top of the assembled bureg
-Cut it before you bake it
-Sprinkle white and black sesame seeds on top
-Bake it for 35-40 minutes at 350F

Enjoy! Mine was really nice and crunchy, but if you prefer yours to be softer, just add more broth. To see the recipe in action, watch the video below:

Friday, March 2, 2018

Vegan Sahleb Recipe! [+Video Recipe]

It's still cold and snowy in Canada, so I decided to warm up my taste-buds with sahleb (sahlab/sahlep), a delicious caffeine-free Middle Eastern drink!

Sahleb is very easy to make from scratch, and although you can buy the powdered ready-to-use version (which is usually vegan), the store-bought options do tend to contain a lot of sugar, making the drink almost painfully sweet. Sahleb has such a delicious flavour, and too much sugar really distracts from that. So make it at home with this simple recipe (or watch it here)!

-Cornstarch (if you can find it, real sahleb is made with the starch of the orchid plant, but as they are endangered, corn starch is regularly used)
-Dairy-free milk (go for a nice thick option to mimic full-fat milk)
-Rose water
-Sugar/sweetener (I used brown sugar in this recipe and the colour was not affected)
-Mastica (optional)
-Cinnamon and ground pistachios (toppings)

-If you are using mastica, pulverize a small piece or grind it. It must be very fine for it to melt properly
-For every cup of vegan milk (I used unsweetened rice milk), add one tbsp of corn starch. If you prefer it very thick, make it a heaping tbsp. So if you are making two cups of sahleb, add 2 tbsp of corn starch
-Combine milk and corn starch in a pot and mix it well (no clumps)
-Put the pot on your stove top and cook it on medium until it thickens--it is very important to keep stirring to make sure the bottom does not burn. It will take about 10-15 minutes for it to thicken
-Add rosewater (I add 2 tsp/per cup)
-Add mastica powder (optional)
-Add sugar/sweetener (to taste)
-Stir very well so the mastica melts, and once you see that the mixture is beginning to boil, turn off the heat, stir, and let it sit for a few minutes
-Serve warm and top with cinnamon and crushed pistachios!

You can also watch it in action right here:

Friday, February 9, 2018

Vegan 'Bone' Broth Recipe!

Hello dear readers! I made this soup about five times already this month so I figured it was time to share the love. You all must remember the bone broth craze of 89 2017, right? Everyone was posting about it and it annoyed me enough that I made my own version, fully vegan and bone-free! It is perfect for the winter time and to boost your immunity! Maybe I will dedicate a video to this recipe--it's just that good.

-1 TBSP miso (I used the light beige kind)
-Homemade vegetable broth (two ice cubes worth) OR 2 heaping tsp of a store-bought kind (low sodium!)
-3-5 garlic cloves
-Big chunk of ginger (there's no such thing as too much ginger in this soup)
-4-5 bay leaves
-1 TBSP ground black pepper
-3 tsp hot red pepper flakes
-3 tsp turmeric
-3 TBSP dried mint (don't skimp on this!)
-Juice of 1-2 lemons
-2 TBSP sesame seeds
-Nutritional yeast (optional, but really tasty)
-Optional: vegetables (broccoli, spinach, celery, green onions) to make it more filling

-Heat up a lot of water in your kettle. Add the miso to a pot and pour just 1 cup of water over it and stir until it dissolves.
-Put the heat on low-medium and stir in the veggie broth until it dissolves.
-Grate your ginger in and either grate your garlic cloves or crush them and toss them in. Make sure to stir!
-Add all of the water and add the bay leaves, both kinds of pepper, and turmeric. Keep the heat low and close the lid, allowing everything to just cook together. If you're going to add veggies (I tend to add frozen broccoli and chopped spinach, add them now)
-After about 10 minutes, add the mint, stir well, turn off the heat and close the lid for another 10 minutes.
-When ready to enjoy, add nutritional yeast to your bowl first, pour the soup on top so it melts it and then add sesame seeds on top for a nice little crunch (and calcium!). Squeeze in some fresh lemon, give it a good stir and enjoy!

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Updated: Chocolate Covered Dates Recipe! [+VIDEO]

Hello once again! I am updating my original recipe for Chocolate Covered Dates (the photos are so bad) and including a video now as well!

I still agree with my original post that dates--and medjool dates in particular--look/feel like well-fed bugs but they taste so good so I can never resist. Anyway, on to the recipe:

What you need:
-About 30-35 medjool dates (more if you use a smaller kind)
-150g dark chocolate (you can use dark chocolate chips, a bar, baker's chocolate or homemade)
-1 cup of halved walnuts or pecans (optional, for the "stuffing")
-3/4 cup ground coconut flakes 
-3/4 cup ground pistachio (can swap this & coconut for any other topping* you prefer!)
-1 tsp sea salt

-Get our your playlist ready cause your hands will be sticky for a while. Pit your dates and if you are going to stuff them, do it now to be efficient.
-Double boil your chocolate.
-Set up your date-rolling station by lining a tray or large flat plate with parchment paper. Using either your hands or a shish kebab wooden skewer, dip the dates in the chocolate, scrap them on the side of the pan to remove any excess chocolate, and then simply roll them in the toppings.
-Once you've coated all dates, put the tray or plate in the fridge for at least 15 minutes so the chocolate hardens.
-Ready, addictive & delicious! I make a lot and keep it in the freezer :)

You can watch it all in action here:

*Some other topping ideas: ground hazelnuts, sesame seeds, cinnamon, cardamom, etc.!