Vegan, Gluten-Free, Soy-Free Teriyaki Sauce and Stir Fry

Vegan Teriyaki Sauce and Stir Fry

Ahhhhhh what a wonderfully long title. I’m always looking out for recipe names labeled like that since I have food sensitivities and preferences myself. Is it just me? Or do any of you with food sensitivities get super excited when you see a recipe online somewhere that’s already labeled soy-free or gluten-free or plant-based in the title? I was craving some sweet teriyaki stir fried veggies and had the perfect combination of veggies fresh out of the garden.

I love the changing seasons! It’s so much fun to switch up my favorite recipes depending on the weather. I’m soooo done with green salads. Unless they’re steamed! Yum. Steamed salads are great!

Vegan Teriyaki Sauce and Stir Fry

Ingredients

  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 2-3 medium sized carrots, sliced
  • 3-4 cups broccoli florets and peeled stems, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp toasted sesame oil, divided
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced (or triple that if you’re my dear friend Alicia, Queen of Garlic)
  • 1 tsp grated fresh ginger
  • 1/3 cup Coconut Aminos
  • 1 Tbsp mirin
  • 3 Tbsp brown rice syrup
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 3-4 Tbsp filtered water
  • 1 Tbs. sesame seeds, optional
  • White or brown rice for serving

Begin by heating 1 tablespoon sesame oil in skillet on medium heat. Saute onions until translucent. Add carrots and saute until just tender. Toss in broccoli and saute until tender.

While veggies are cooking, heat remaining sesame oil on medium in saucepan. Add garlic and ginger and saute for 1-2 minutes.

Add coconut aminos, mirin, and brown rice syrup. Whisk until thoroughly combined.

In a small bowl or cup, whisk together water and cornstarch until totally dissolved. Pour dissolved cornstarch into sauce and whisk. Let simmer and thicken. Once thickened, remove from heat.

Pour sauce over stir fried vegetables. Serve over rice and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Enjoy!

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If you haven’t checked out the Virtual Vegan Linky Potluck 16, please do! Join in, too!!

DIY Ombre Throw Blanket

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I’ve been dragging this blanket around like Linus from Peanuts… Anyone else love their DIY projects so much that whenever they make something new, it becomes your sidekick?  This DIY cost me $5. Five dollars! That’s all! I found one similar online for $70. I actually didn’t plan on make this but I bought this dye to alter my halloween costume, and since I still had plenty left I grabbed this cream colored blanket off my bed and ran outside with this as well. And I’m stoked about how it turned out!

My life is finally slowing down enough that I have time to get back to DIY projects, well-planned meals, and relaxing outside. My blog will finally get some much need attention again! It’s a relief. Such a relief.

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Supplies

  • Dye in whatever color you choose.
  • Light colored cotton blanket (I got mine at a thrift store for $1 and washed it several times to be rid of stranger germs.)
  • A large tub or tote
  • Water

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Begin by preparing your dye bath as directed on your dye package. I like to put my dye in a large plastic tote so I have plenty of area to work with and keep from spilling over.

Wet the blanket in area where you want the topmost stain of your dye to cover. The dye will creep up the wet area on it’s own accord and give it a more natural gradient.

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Dip the blanket in the dye reserving 3 inches or so of the already wet area. Lift blanket 6-10 inches out of dye bath and leave remaining end of blanket in dye bath. Leave for a half hour or more, depending on how intense you want the color to be.

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After the blanket has been in the dye for the desired amount of time, rinse dyed end of blanket with cold water. 

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Hang blanket out to dry or put in a dryer. Make your bed or toss over the back of your couch and enjoy!

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Apple Cider Vinegar Natural Facial Cleanser and Toner

Apple Cider Vinegar Natural Facial Cleanser and Toner

As I’ve expressed in quite a few posts before, I’m pretty picky about what I put on and in my body. My general rule is that if I can’t easily read an ingredient or don’t know what it’s sourced from, I won’t use it. I honestly cannot remember the last time I bought some sort of facial cleanser or any facial product.. It’s probably been about ten years. I’ve just been using a mild soap with warm water to cleanse my face, and I’ve been pretty successful. A few weeks ago, I was paging through the book my mom has on her coffee table about different uses for vinegar and I happened upon a paragraph about using it as a skin cleanser.

I figured I’d give it a go, and for a couple of weeks now, I’ve been using apple cider vinegar on my face. It works as a cleanser, astringent, and toner. I’ve noticed that my skin seems softer, smoother, and not oily. I don’t have acne, but sure, I do get blemishes. Perhaps coincidentally (but only time will tell), I’ve not had any breakouts since I started using this on my skin.

Apple Cider Vinegar has antibacterial and antifungal qualities as well as helps balance the pH levels of skin. It can sting a bit if you mix it too strongly, so be sure it’s diluted properly. From my research I found that some people with acne experienced their skin getting worse before it got better, but I think that holds true to switching almost any facial cleanser. Also, it does stink a little when you first put it on, but as it dries, the smell disappears.

The ingredients are simple and inexpensive….

1:4 Ratio of Organic Apple Cider Vinegar to filtered water (if you have really sensitive or dry skin, I would recommend starting with a 1:8 ratio, so that it’s more diluted and you can see how your skin reacts)

I pour my mixture into a small mason jar and keep it sealed on my bathroom shelf.

After I’ve washed my face with a mild soap and water, I dip a cottonball or cotton pad in this solution and wipe my face with it. I let it dry and add moisturizer if I feel I need it, but I find that the ACV wash cleanses my skin without drying it.

Have any of you ever made your own facial cleanser?

Garden Veggie Juice

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Since my garden is finishing up, I’m trying to enjoy every last bite of my harvests. I’ve been especially enjoying a lot of root veggies. I haven’t had to buy a cucumber or green bean in months.

I don’t have a juicer, but when I’m craving juice, I find that I can blend my fruits and veggie together and just strain them. I know, I know, juicing removes almost all of the fiber from the produce, but sometimes I just want juice. Anyways, my blender is sorta crappy and greens don’t get all the way broken down when I blend a smoothie… Which I tolerate somedays, and other days I just don’t feel like it.

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Ingredients

  • 2 medium sized beets, peeled and chopped
  • 1-2 medium sized carrots, washed well and chopped
  • 1/2 cup grape tomatoes and/or chopped fresh garden tomatoes
  • 4 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 handful kale
  • 2-3 cups filtered water

Blend well and strain through mesh strainer. I like to strain into a large graduated pitcher or bowl, then pour into a mason jar. It may be a little more clean up than a smoothie, but, like I said, sometimes I just don’t want to drink a thick smoothie!

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What’s your favorite juice?

DIY Fall Wreath

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Fall is my favorite season. I’ve been daydreaming about halloween costumes since… Well, since last Halloween. Why don’t we have more holidays on which we get to wear costumes?!

Anyways, I finally took my spring wreath down. Heck, it looked good for summertime too, so I just left it up. My friend Julia, who I mentioned in my post about camping at my favorite state park, helped me make this wreath (as well as the one from springtime). I love sitting around with a wonderful friend and crafting and catching up.

I was shopping at a dollar store with my sister and my nieces and there was a huuuuge selection of fake flowers (and halloween decorations, yahooo!). So my niece Sophia and I set about finding the perfect combination of flowers for a wreath. I think I spent about ten dollars on the flowers, which was fine with me. I can reuse the flowers for another project if I should decide, or I can just hang this wreath up again and again. I enjoy projects that I can disassemble and make into something new again.

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Supplies

  • Variety of fake flowers in corresponding colors
  • Twig wreath (I got mine at JoAnn Fabrics)
  • Wire cutters

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If your flowers aren’t already singles and have connected stems, cut them so that they are separate from each other. You want about 5-6 inches of stem remaining.

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Wind stems into twig wreath, filling the front side of the wreath with different colors. I like to try to keep mine from looking too much like there is a set pattern, so I just fill it in and readjust and then fill in any open spaces.

Trim any excess stems that are sticking out.

Hang on the door (or a wall or mantle) and enjoy!

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Have you started decorating for fall/halloween yet?!

 

 

Garden Progress

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This might be one of my final garden progress posts for the summer. The weather is starting to get cool, and I also have to put a load of black dirt in this space. We didn’t do it this spring because, well, there just wasn’t time to deal with it. So, this summer I’ve been working with some pretty sad soil, but hey, things grew. I did record my progress and lessons learned in my garden journal. I’ve had very few problems. Potato bugs, cruddy soil, millions of mosquitoes, and deer that ate off the tops of several kinds of plants, but other than that, I’ve eaten so very many wonderful veggies from my garden. For that I feel truly blessed and grateful.

Moving on, things that are still growing… Ground cherries, in the above picture. Have you ever had them?

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Planted some fall radishes… hopefully I can get some out of the ground before we’ve got to put in the black dirt. I miss garden fresh radishes! My spring radishes burned up pretty early on in the summer.

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Fall peas, hopefully.

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My cruciferous vegetable forest. My brussels sprouts are trimmed and I’m realllllllly hoping I can at least get some baby sprouts, but I really doubt it. My broccoli is producing, though.

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My kohlrabis are almost done. I took this before the deer came through and ate the tops off of all of the beets. Ahhhhhh. What can I do?!

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Still some carrots in the ground…

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The cucumbers are dying off.

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I loooove how thickly the pole beans and cucumbers grew in together.

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A deer ate about a foot off of the top of the beans. I am pretty sure I know which deer it was, too. I’ve seen her in there before.

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My sunflowers. These sunflowers are just so amazing. One is about six feet tall. I’ve never grown sunflowers before. They’re so neat!

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The tomatoes are so sad this year. Still producing, but sad.

Anyways, did any of you guys have a garden this year? What items grew best in your garden?