Casa Vegan 

Once upon a time there were 3 young actresses who moved to Los Angeles to pursue the seemingly impossible dream, although they trailed from 3 very different places Brighton, (UK) Bourne End, (UK) and Perth (Australia) they soon found each other as “valley girls” residing in the community of Sherman Oaks.

They quickly learned that late night acting classes led to late night snacks at the many Mexican restaurants in L.A, for the class of out of work actors a place where there was free chips and dip and cheap margaritas suited just fine!

Having 2 vegetarians in our party the menu was to suit, but as one transitioned to vegan the menu got a lot smaller; and chips and dip were the only option and not just by cheap default.

I love Mexican food, but it can be unhealthy if always eaten out. I find it’s become quite a staple for me in my vegan diet as rice and beans is an instant complete protein, so I’ve tried to make healthier options while retaining the flavour and Mexican feel.

So here is one of my ideas I have used when I feel like I want to add a bit of spice to my life and feel the nostalgia of late night L.A talks about acting, annoying people in class and how we shouldn’t be eating the chips because we’d been at bootcamp all week and wanted to keep our “bootcamp bods” intact. -but that conversation is for another post…

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Burrito Bowls!

So this is one of the healthier and simple options for Mexican….

Beans, Rice, salsa, veggies and guac!

 
Burrito Bowl …
– As a base I use kale or spinach (slightly steamed)

– cooked Rice and/or Quinoa -add paprika, garlic powder

– Steamed Black or Kidney beans

– Steamed Corn

– Homemade Guacamole – mash an Avocado with a fork, add fresh finely diced clove of garlic, finely diced 1/4 of a red onion & (diced tomato, jalapeños, salt & pepper -optional)

– Homemade Salsa – tinned diced tomatoes, add paprika, Mexican chilli powder, garlic powder (to taste)…can add real chilli if you like it hot 🔥 (I use this because store bought salsas etc have a lot of added sugar …I save my sugar for chocolate 😜🍫) (can add tomato paste if you want it thicker)

– Cashew Cream Aioli (recipe click on link) https://luxuryveganstyle.wordpress.com/2016/07/12/cashew-cream-4-flavours/

– Melted Vegan Cheese (optional – bio cheese is best)

 
This recipe is low sugar, is a complete protein, has magnesium and iron, aswel as other benefits; and you can have some cheeky chips to scoop it up aswel if wanted!

 
Shout out 🙌🏻 to Casa Vega 💃 and El Torito🌯 in Sherman Oaks – the restaurants we frequented whilst living in L.A.🌮

 
More Mexican to come…
**watch this space**image

Love and Chihauhas,

Michaela 💃🏼

 

 

The Snowman Cookie


It was a crisp New York day, as two sisters fled their toasty hotel room, a rush of cold air filled their cheeks, scarfs wrapped and jackets on – it still didn’t feel like enough!

After a day spent walking 5th avenue, Central Park and roaming Times Square they decided to slow down on their way back and get some tea, a craft we noticed Americans had struggled to pick up!
(Sorry, but how hard is hot water before the tea bag?)

As we stopped at “just another” Starbucks, but also a brand that was a luxury for two girls from Perth, my sister noticed a snowman cookie;
seeing as we had already had sweets that day she said she shouldn’t and dismissed it from her order.
She kept peering in the glass case at the last snowman cookie, the same way we were looking at the diamond collection in Tiffany’s earlier that day.

“Just get the cookie” – I said. “Oh, it looks so good how the icing is so smooth…no I won’t!”.
We left Starbucks with her still talking about it; and when returning to the many Starbucks we would see, we didn’t see it again!

Until this day she still talks about the Snowman cookie she wished she bought in New York. – just a funny story! but should tell you, to live in the moment because
what you want isn’t always there when you go back!

Luckily I lived just a hop, skip and a jump away from Gelson’s in L.A, and they too sold similar cookies and she was all over that come Thanksgiving!

These cookies always looked great to me, but when I did try them they tasted a little plastic and too processed, especially the icing ….so I made my own Sugar Cookies …Vegan Friendly- of course!

 
Sugar/Shortbread Cookie Recipe:

190-250 grams Dairy Free Butter – I use Nuttelex (I add more as I go, as needed)
2 Cups Flour
1/2 cup Caster Sugar (I know some vegans aren’t happy with the use of white sugar-most sugars should suit)

Almond meal (optional) -replace 1/2-1 cup flour with almond meal
Vanilla Extract (optional)

Pre heat oven to 170 FF
Mix with hands to shape dough, when it’s at the right consistency – roll out and cut to desired shape – place on cooking tray.
Cook for 12-25 minutes or until golden, I like to avoid them going too hard or crunchy.

Icing sugar ….make baking paper piping bag for decorating 
and without being facetious to my American friends…

How to make Tea:
Boil water, preferably in a kettle
Add tea bag to cup/mug and pour, or place teabag or tea leaves in a teapot
Leave bag or leaves to brew for 2-5 minutes (depending if you like it strong)
Milk before or after is your call (Fun Fact: they say back in the day people who put milk in first meant their class level was on the lower spectrum, as they were wary not to shock their cheap tea cups with hot water to avoid cracks)

but for vegans I’ve only found soy or oat milk sits in tea right, but I prefer mine black.

Love and red cups ☃🍪,

Michaela 

photo credit: https://news.starbucks.com/multimedia/file/7944

            

         

     

                 

             

Michaela Hiley 

Sugar/Shortbread Cookies

image Recipe:

190-250 grams Dairy Free Butter – I use Nuttelex (I add more as I go, as needed)
2 Cups Flour
1/2 cup Caster Sugar

Almond meal (optional) -replace 1/2-1 cup flour with almond meal
Vanilla Extract (optional)

Pre heat oven to 170 degrees FF
Mix with hands to shape dough, when it’s at the right consistency – roll out and cut to desired shape – place on cooking tray.
Cook for 12-25 minutes or until golden, I like to avoid them going too hard or crunchy.

Icing sugar for dusting or add water for decorating!

(can also melt some dairy free chocolate for writing and decorating, using a homemade piping bag out of baking paper)

 

 

 

Read the story that inspired the recipe …

https://luxuryveganstyle.wordpress.com/2016/07/10/the-snowman-cookie/