Monthly Archives: March 2012


I am so excited for Easter and the start of Spring. ¬†This is easily my favorite time of the year! ¬†A recent trip to Target inspired this recipe. ¬†I have a hard time saying “no” when I see a really cute serving dish, especially when I can justify it by saying that I will use it for this website. ¬†I came across the ceramic egg carton / pastel cracked eggs and snatched them up knowing that I would find a way to use them and when I glanced through the pantry to see the ingredients I had on hand this recipe quickly came together.

INGREDIENTS –¬†Makes 10-12 ‚Äúeggs‚ÄĚ

1 cup vegan marshmallows
1/2 cup light brown rice syrup
1/4 cup coconut butter
1/3 cup crushed freeze-dried berries (about ¬Ĺ cup prior to crushing)
1 ¬Ĺ cups crisp brown rice cereal

Melt the vegan marshmallows, brown rice syrup, and coconut butter in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat while stirring constantly.  While the mixture is melting, crush the freeze dried berries (they should be small, finely chopped pieces).  Once the mixture has melted completely add the crushed freeze dried berries and mix well.  Remove from heat.

Add the brown rice cereal and mix making sure the mallow mixture completely coats each piece of cereal.

Allow the cereal / mallow mixture to cool slightly and form into egg shapes.  If the mixture is sticking to your hands, coat your hands LIGHTLY with coconut oil.

For a printable version of this recipe click here.


Filed under Dessert, Gluten Free, Holidays, Recipes


I was first introduced to¬†Hugo Naturals¬†in 2011 when I first attended¬†Natural Products Expo West.¬†¬†Hugo and Debra Saavedra, the founders of the company were so warm and inviting when I visited their gorgeous booth. ¬†I could tell from the instant that I met them that they absolutely loved their company and products. ¬†Debra spent a great deal of time with me going over their products and why they were so proud of the fact that they were the first body care company to¬†remove all traces of gluten from their products¬†(certified by¬†the Celiac Sprue Association, or CSA, the largest celiac support organization in the United States). ¬†That really resonated with me. ¬†Never before had it occurred to me that I needed to be careful about the lotions, etc. that I used on my gluten intolerant daughter’s skin, but it made so much sense. ¬†Our skin is our largest organ…of course it matters what we put on it!!!

Flash forward to this year’s expo and in my opinion, Hugo Naturals once again had the most gorgeous booth in the entire expo (the pictures just do not do it justice). ¬†This year Hugo walked me around the booth and showed me the amazing soap carvings that had been and were being made right before my eyes…gorgeous!

I enjoy their products so much that this year I gave my friend Jodie some of their bath products for her birthday…Hugo’s¬†fizzy bath bombs¬†are out of this world, so naturally I had to make sure I included one in her gift bag.

One of my children was sick for a few days this past week and when I suggested that they take a bath to help make them feel better they asked me if I had any of those “awesome fizzy bath balls” for the bath. ¬†Regrettably¬†I ran out (time to re-stock!), but that lets you know how truly wonderful they are.

Besides the fact that I thoroughly enjoy their products, I feel good about purchasing them because their entire product line is vegan, and is also certified cruelty-free by the Coalition for Consumer Information on Ingredients ( Hugo Naturals has also completely removed soy (and gluten) from their recipes.

Hugo Naturals has very graciously offered to provide a wonderful giveaway to one lucky Veggie Grettie reader.

The following FULL SIZE products will go to one lucky winner:


Earn one entry for each task completed:

  1. Become an e-mail subscriber of Veggie Grettie by entering your e-mail address in the e-mail subscriber box at the top right of the page under the header image of corn chowder (If you are already a subscriber, let me know in the comments)
  2. “Like” Veggie Grettie on Facebook (click¬†HERE)
  3. Follow Veggie Grettie on Twitter (click HERE)
  4. Follow Hugo Naturals on Twitter (click HERE)

You will receive ONE ENTRY for EACH task completed. ¬†You MUST leave a comment below stating which tasks you have completed (you can leave it all in one comment if you’d like).

The contest will run through 4/08/12 midnight PST.  The winner will be chosen randomly and must be a resident of the United States (includes Alaska & Hawaii). 


Filed under Giveaways, Gluten Free, Product Reviews, Vegan, Vegetarian


This is someone’s lucky day (Nikki’s to be precise). ¬†I chose a winner for the Veggie Grettie Mystery Giveaway through last Thursday and never received a response from her, so today I went back to and chose a new winner. ¬†The winning comment was from:


I‚Äôm a subscriber and I just ‚Äúliked‚ÄĚ you! Hooray!

Nikki please contact me at gretchen (at) veggiegrettie (dot) com with your mailing address and I will mail that heavy box of goodies to you ASAP.



Filed under Giveaways

BOOK REVIEW – Skinny Bitch Book of Vegan Swaps

Kim Barnouin’s “Skinny Bitch Book of Vegan Swaps” is such a fun read! People are constantly asking me what my favorite brands and products are, which products are good substitutes for non vegan foods, and which products don’t make the cut ¬†(I could and chat for hours [and have] about these very topics).

Reading Kim’s newest book feels like chatting with a girlfriend about those very same subjects. I thoroughly enjoyed reading her product recommendations and how she highlighted the differences between each, i.e. which vegan cream cheese was the tangiest, which is the softest in texture, etc. As for the product recommendations, who knew there was a vegan version of condensed milk (Soymilke Condensed Milk)??? I am really looking forward to researching this product more.

I recommend this book to everyone from omnivores trying to add more plant based foods to their diet, to newbie vegans trying to find subs for their old favorites, to seasoned vegans wanting to know more about new vegan products on the market.

Kim highlights a few of her go to recipes in the book, one of which is now in my permanent lunch rotation. I am hooked on the “Deb’s Chili” recipe that she included in the book. Kim’s friend Cathy got the chili recipe from her mom (some of the best recipes come from moms) and it is an absolute winner along with a snap to make.

The publisher has very kindly agreed to let me share the recipe with you.  I fortunately had the forethought to take some quick pictures of the chili while it was piping hot and before eating it!

DEB’S CHILI –¬†Yields 6 servings

2 Tbs grapeseed oil (I omitted this)
1 medium onion, finely diced
1 (4-ounce) can green chilis, diced
1 envelope taco seasoning
1 (28-ounce) can tomatoes, diced
1 (15-ounce) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup salsa
2/3 cup vegan cheddar cheese, shredded
1/4 cup vegan sour cream

In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat and sauté the onions until soft, about 5 minutes (I water sautéed mine). Stir in the chilis, taco seasoning, tomatoes, kidney beans, and black beans. Let the mixture simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes (after water sautéing the onions I threw all of the ingredients in the slow cooker around lunchtime and kept it on low until dinner).

Serve with salsa, cheese, and sour cream.


Filed under Beans/Legumes, Books, Crock Pot, Gluten Free, Main Dish, Product Reviews, Quick, Recipes, Vegan, Vegetarian


It is the height of citrus season here in California. ¬†A few weeks ago I went to the farmer’s market on Friday and couldn’t help but bring home a huge variety of citrus. ¬†Blood oranges, tangerines, Cara Cara’s (one of my new favorites), and some of the sweetest grapefruit I have ever had followed me home. ¬†It was a gorgeous day and nothing sounded better to me for lunch than a nice plate of citrus.

One of the vendors was selling gorgeous mint, so naturally that needed to come home with me too.

INGREDIENTS – serves one

Cara Cara orange
Blood orange
5-6 large mint leaves, in a chiffonade (click HERE for a “How To”)
2-3 large Medjool dates, soaked in water just to cover for 15-30 minutes

Cover the dates in filtered water.

Cut the rind from the citrus being careful to remove all of the pith while preserving as much citrus meat as possible.  Once the skin and pith is removed, slice the citrus horizontally.  Plate the prepared citrus by alternating varieties.

Pour the dates and soaking water in the high speed blender and blend until smooth.

Lightly drizzle the citrus with some of the date syrup and sprinkle with mint.

For a printable version of this recipe click here.


Filed under Dessert, Fruit, Gluten Free, Raw, Recipes, Salad, Vegan, Vegetarian

UTI REMEDY REMINDER & Mystery Giveaway Winner

When I woke-up yesterday I went into the bathroom and WHAM… I thought, “Uh oh… I am getting a UTI.” ¬†The first half of the day was VERY uncomfortable. ¬†I had to take the time to pee during pilates class despite the fact that I used the bathroom when I left my house to drive there AND when I got there (the studio is only 2 minutes from my house).

I have clearly crossed into the “TMI” category with this post, but I really want to emphasize that it is possible to fix a UTI under certain circumstances without antibiotics. ¬†I work hard to keep all the good bacteria in my gut and I don’t want to take antibiotics that would wipe all the bacteria out of my body if I don’t have to.

Point being, I feel AWESOME today!!! ¬†Trust me, I worked at fixing the problem yesterday and I am still working at it today, but it seems as though everything is under control now. ¬†PLEASE NOTE – If I wasn’t feeling better this morning, I would have called my doctor.

This is what I did yesterday to try and heal my UTI naturally:

  • Took 1 dose of D-Mannose powder EVERY WAKING HOUR for the first day
  • Drank 4-5 Liters of water throughout the day
  • Ate lots of fruits and veggies

For those of you interested in reading more about natural remedies for UTI’s, click HERE to read my column about it over at Chic Vegan.

Now, on to happier topics…


Lola G is the winner of the Mystery Giveaway.  Thank you to everyone who entered.  This is my favorite giveaway to date.  I really appreciate all of the wonderful comments you left for me (talk about an ego boost!).  Some of you requested a sneak-peak at the contents, so I opened the box-up this morning and took a quick snap-shot (pictured at the top of the post).  Let me tell ya, this box is filled to the brim!

I definitely plan on doing another mystery giveaway in the future.  Maybe the next one will be a box filled with some of my personal favorite products???  You will just have to wait and see.

Lola, please e-mail your mailing address to me so I can get the box headed your way gretchen (at) veggiegrettie (dot) com


Filed under Education, Giveaways, Urinary Health

HUNGRY FOR CHANGE – Free Worldwide Online Premier



Hungry For Change, a movie from the makers of Food Matters, is hosting a FREE 10 Day Worldwide Online Premier MARCH 21 Р31 2012.  I just watched the movie trailer and am really enthused about how eye-opening this film promises to be.

“This inspiring film has the power to¬†transform your health!” ~¬†Anthony Robbins

According to the producers:

HUNGRY FOR CHANGE¬†exposes shocking secrets the diet, weightloss and food industry don’t want you to know about. Deceptive strategies designed to keep you craving more and more.¬†

Could the foods we are eating actually be keeping us stuck in the diet trap?

In this free online premiere event you’ll discover:

  • How to navigate your supermarket – what to buy and what to avoid
  • The real truth behind “DIET”, “SUGAR-FREE” and “FAT-FREE” products
  • How to overcome food addictions and cravings
  • Why fad diets dont work
  • What food additives to avoid and how to read labels
  • What is fat and cellulite and how do we get rid of it for good
  • The most effective detox and cleansing strategies, and
  • How to eat for clear eyes, glowing skin and healthy hair

I was really excited to see two of my favorite experts on the trailer, Kris Carr and Dr. Christiane Northrup. ¬†This looks very promising…
Click HERE to sign-up for the premier.


Filed under Alkaline, Cancer, Cholesterol, Cleansing, Diabetes, Education, Fat, General Vegan, pH, Research, Research, Vegan, Vegetarian, Video, Weight Issues


So, I have this crazy idea… I want to make your favorite family baking recipes healthier.

You know the recipes I am talking about…the ones that ALWAYS get served at family gatherings, made for birthdays, and holidays. ¬†We all have those dessert recipes that still tug at us despite the fact that we have adopted a healthier lifestyle. ¬†Maybe your extended family is not ready to go vegan, or they don’t have gluten intolerance, but maybe, just maybe they are willing to start using a new healthier version of the family dessert ¬†favorite and that is where I come in.

To begin this series, I want to focus on baking.  Send me your favorite recipes for all things baked along with a short story about what the recipes means to your family and I just might choose your recipe to veganize, healthify, and make gluten-free.

I have been reworking some of our family favorites (which I will share at a later date) and I can’t wait to start reworking yours.

Send your recipes to gretchen (at) veggiegrettie (dot) com


Filed under Dessert, Favorite Family Recipes - Healthified, Gluten Free, Recipes


I had been meaning to try cauliflower rice for a long time.  I know people who follow the Paleo Diet swear by it, so a few days ago I FINALLY tried it.

The verdict? ¬†I like it. ¬†I took a head of organic cauliflower, chopped it up, and put it in the food processor (If the head of cauliflower is large, you may have to process it in two batches). ¬†I “pulsed” it until it resembled the texture of rice and it was done. ¬†Simple.

When dinner time rolled around I put the stir-fry I made over the raw cauliflower rice and it was surprisingly good. ¬†In the next few days I plan on trying to make my stand-by fried rice recipe with the cauliflower rice to see how it turns out. I don’t want the “rice” to get mushy, so I don’t plan on cooking it long at all.

Come to think of it, I think I need to share with you my fried rice recipe! ¬†Post to come soon…


Filed under Grains, Raw, Recipes, Sides, Vegetables


As you all know, I have WAY too many samples from the Natural Products Expo West to consume myself and I want to make sure nothing goes to waste, so I have decided to share a BIG box of them with you (click HERE if you didn’t see Monday’s post).

I completely FILLED the Large USPS Flat Rate Box pictured above with samples and it will go to one lucky winner. ¬†Note that not all of the products are gluten-free (thought many many are) and there may be some honey in there…with so many samples, I couldn’t find the time to check them all, so if honey is an ingredient you avoid, please make sure you check the ingredients.

To enter you must complete the following:

1. ¬†Become an e-mail subscriber (if you aren’t already)¬†by entering your e-mail address in the box on the upper right hand corner of this page under the header image.

2. ¬†“Like” Veggie Grettie on Facebook (click HERE).

3. ¬†Leave me a comment below telling me that you have become (or already are) an e-mail subscriber, and that you have “liked” Veggie Grettie on Facebook.

I will choose a winner randomly and the winner will be announced March 22nd, 2012

*** THE CONTEST IS OPEN TO THOSE WITH A US ADDRESS…if you live outside of the US, you may have the box shipped to a friend in the States ***


Filed under Giveaways, Vegan, Vegetarian