Category Archives: Food

vegan mac and cheese throwndown 1

Vegan Mac & Cheese Throwdown | GF So Delicious v. Annie’s

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. I was not approached to review these products or paid to review either of these. I purchased both products with my own money. 

We eat a whole lot of mac and cheese in this house and while having little ones could be my excuse it’s really just because we simply love mac and cheese. I have probably made about 40 different versions of mac and cheese that ranged from amazing to absolutely dreadful.

The thing that we don’t often have though is boxed mac and cheese so I have decided that I want to try them all. I mean who else grew up on Velveeta Shells and Cheese or Kraft Mac and Cheese or if you were so lucky to grow up in Canada like my hubby you would have had Kraft Dinner which is completely different that Kraft Mac and Cheese. I am on a mission to find the best boxed vegan mac and cheese out there because frankly I think it will be fun.

For this first round I went with two that I didn’t even know existed until the other day at Whole Foods. The first is Annie’s Homegrown organic and gluten free elbows with a creamy sauce. 

Vegan Mac and Cheese Throwdown - annie's homegrown

Ingredients required: non-dairy milk and optional non-dairy buttery spread (I used unsweetened almond milk and Earth Balance)

Cook time: Pasta was supposed to cook in 8-10 minutes but really took closer to 12.

 Texture & Consistency of Pasta: chewy and slimy and not what I would describe as elbows.

Photo on the box v. actual dish: Close but the photo on the box shows off more flexible noodles and a thicker sauce

Taste: sweet, funky, disgusting

Thoughts: I’ll tell you “elbows and creamy sauce” should have been a giveaway that this was no real mac and cheese but alas we tried it anyway – oh and by tried it I mean Edith, Alder and myself all put one bite in our mouth and promptly spit it out after a few seconds of chewing.The sauce for this one is a base of sweet potato and pumpkin and now reflecting on the ingredients I don’t see anything in it that would make it remotely cheesy. Anyway regardless of whether or not this was intended to be a vegan mac and cheese (which I think it was because it is listed under vegan mac and cheese on the Annie’s website)  or not this creamy sauced pasta was dreadful. 

Would I Purchase Again? I wouldn’t even take a box if I found it for free. 
vegan mac and cheese throwdown- annie's homegrown

Next up we have the Gluten Free So Delicious Dairy Free Mac & Cheese Cheddar Flavor. vegan mac and cheese throwdwon - so delicious cheddar

Ingredients required: non-dairy milk (unsweetened So Delicious coconut milk recommended) and non-dairy buttery spread (I used unsweetened almond milk and Earth Balance)

Cook time: Pasta was supposed to cook in 9 minutes and it did!

 Texture & Consistency of Pasta: I thought that the pasta was great for gluten free pasta.

Photo on the box v. actual dish: I think it was pretty close to looking just like the photo.

Taste: creamy, sort of cheesy, a little tangy

Thoughts: So this mac and cheese was okay. I didn’t find it overly wonderful and I honestly thought it had a bit of a sour or off taste to it but it was edible. I ended up eating a small bowl of it with a ton of sriracha, Edith had a few bites but I think she wasn’t over the moon about it, however Alder ate his plate and most of Edith’s as well so we had at least one fan! 

Would I Purchase Again? I would eat it if someone served it to me but I don’t think I would go out of my way to purchase it again. I will however be trying the pizza flavor because I’m curious to see how it is. 

vegan mac and cheese throwdown - so delcious gfClearly the winner of this throwdown is the Gluten Free So Delicious Dairy Free Mac & Cheese Cheddar Flavor. 

Which two vegan mac and cheese should I try next? 

2-Ingredient Salted Caramel Almond Bark header

2-Ingredient Salted Caramel Almond Bark

This post is sponsored by Blue Diamond Almonds. 

My sweet tooth is pretty limited to coconut milk “ice cream” and chocolate. I hate to admit that I have been indulging in both a bit too much lately but c’est le vie. One of my favorite combinations with both coconut milk “ice cream” and chocolate is salted caramel a trend that I will be riding out until the end (and beyond).

Of course when these salted caramel Blue Diamond almonds arrived on my door step my first thought was these would go fantastic with chocolate and guess what? I was right. 

Blue Diamond Almonds 2 ingredient Salted Caramel Bark instagram For this (non)recipe you will need two things: Blue Diamond Salted Caramel Almonds and dark chocolate chips. Easy as that. 

Once you have acquired these two items you will also need a sheet of parchment paper. Measure out about 1/4 cup of dark chocolate chips and set aside. Measure out another 1/2 cup of chocolate chips and melt in the microwave in 30 second increments stirring in-between  until melted. Stir the reserved 1/4 cup of chocolate chips until melted as well; this will help to cool down the chocolate mixture faster. Then stir 2 heaping tablespoons of Blue Diamond Salted Caramel almonds into the mixture and then pour the mixture on to a sheet of parchment paper and smooth out into a thin layer.

Sprinkle the top of the chocolate bark with leftover chocolate chips and almonds. Place in the fridge and cool for at least an hour and store in the fridge. 
Blue Diamond Almonds Salted Caramel Bark instagramI tell you this is an easy (not really a) recipe that pairs two delicious things together. Now I’m off to steal another piece or two for an afternoon treat. 

What is your favorite flavor/food to combine with chocolate? 


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How Local Can You Go? | Local Food Challenge + Giveaway

Eating local is something that is pretty important in our house. We make an effort to purchase locally produced products and locally grown produce and we are lucky that we have so many great farmers markets in the area and that the grocery stores we frequent the most such as Whole Foods has so many locally produced products and fruits and veggies.  For the month of August we [our family] are putting even a greater focus on eating locally and we are participating in the Oregon Food Bank Local Food Challenge

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The Local Food Challenge is an opportunity for you spend one month really focusing on where your food comes from and to track how much you spend while you do it. Here are a few things to think about before and during the challenge:

  • Local food supports the local economy: Money spent on local food stays close to home and is reinvested in the community.
  • It’s easier on the environment: From helping to maintain farmland and open spaces to reducing the carbon footprint.
  • Locally grown food is full of flavor: Food grown nearby is less likely to have lost nutrient value since the time between harvest and market is shorter.
  • It builds community: Shopping at a farmers market can encourage you to explore the neighborhood, make new friends or reconnect with old ones.

I would say in July we probably only spent about 25% of our monthly grocery budget on local products/produce. So for the month of August we are taking the Oregon Food Bank Local Food Challenge and we are challenging ourselves to spend 50% of our food budget locally. It might be a bit of a lofty goal but I think ultimately it will force us to eat more whole foods and shop the farmers markets and farm stands around us more often. 

Don’t worry you don’t have to have a lofty as a goal as us. You can participate in the Local Food Challenge  with goal to dedicate at least 10% of your food budget on foodsgrown, raised, or caught within 200 miles of where you live. For the average person that’s just $5/week. We’re excited to join Oregon Food Bank for the Local Food Challenge , a month long initiative to eat locally August 1-31. Register today and make a commitment to eat local!



To make shopping locally easier Whole Foods is kindly offering a $50 Gift Card for one lucky RWT reader. Also if you are local to Portland don’t forget to check out one of the Whole Foods Meet The Makers events going on this month. 

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8 Ways to Enjoy Almondmilk

This post is sponsored by Almond Breeze Almondmilk.

8 Ways to Enjoy Almondmilk

I have a tendency to be a little erratic when it comes to my grocery shopping. There are very few items that are guaranteed to be on our shopping list every week but Blue Diamond Almondmilk is one that always makes the list without fail. We use almondmilk for so many recipes or simple in our cereal or as a beverage to drink. Here are 10 ways that we like to enjoy our almondmilk. WeekendSnapshots-Milk Bubble Blowing-4

1. A big cold glass. I’ve never really been a huge milk drinker of any kind but sometimes a nice cold glass of almondmilk is in order. Cool, creamy and a perfect snack.

2. In your favorite cereal. We don’t do dairy around here so almondmilk is our liquid of choice to wet our cereal. Edith and I love to drown our cereal in almondmilk while Neil likes to use the least almondmilk possible to wet his. 

3. In mac and cheeze. If you have been a reader for a while you know that mac and cheeze is a weekly occurrence at our house. My favorite version involves almondmilk, nutritional yeast, shredded vegan cheddar cheeze and spices. 

4. A dipper for cookies. I grew up with cookies and milk and still as an adult I love to enjoy a glass of almondmilk with my cookies especially chocolate chip cookies.Blue Diamond Dark Chocolate Almond Lactation Cookies

5. Smoothies! This one is probably pretty obvious but there is nothing better than a creamy smoothie made with almondmilk. I love almondmilk, banana and chocolate protein powder because it tastes just like a milk shake.

6. In sauces. I use almondmilk as a milk alternative in dairy heavy sauces such as the mac and cheeze I mentioned above or a béchamel sauce to name a few. Side note the unsweetened almondmilk works really well to make a béchamel; once made use it for a yummy vegan lasagna or add pesto for a creamy pesto pasta.

7.Acai Bowls.Who else is on the acai bowl train? I can’t get enough of them. My favorite base is acai, banana, strawberries, vanilla protein powder, almond butter, almondmilk and ice; simply blend and top.

8. Lastly Almondmilk is perfect for……
Milk Bubble Blowing-1

…blowing bubbles in. 

Cooking & Eating in The Great Outdoors – A Call For Help

Cooking & Eating in The Great Outdoors

We have caught the camping bug and we are just running with it. We have already been yurting and tenting and we already have plans for more tenting and also a stay in some vintage trailers. I’m also currently searching for more tenting spots and have plans do a little cabin/yurt camping this Fall/Winter (yay for heated cabins and yurts!) While I am thrilled to be camping I still haven’t quite figured out the whole cooking/eating thing. I either am too ambitious, too boring or I over pack. 

Last night we met up with friends and our littles to see a local children’s musician. After the show we headed out from dinner and since we both had just arrived home from camping that day we of course got to talking about our camping trips and the topic of food came up. When asked what we made I was really wishing I could have share some really fun and creative meals but instead all I could say was veggie dogs and veggie chicken sandwiches – can we say boring?

While I wish I was sharing a bunch of tips and inspired recipes I am instead asking (begging) for your help. Go crazy in the comments and share your favorite camping recipes, tips and foods. TIA!

#WIAW | Camping Edition

Sunday Neil and I celebrated our 7th Wedding Anniversary with a camping trip (with the kids) to the Oregon Coast. We lucked out and were able to get a yurt at Cape Lookout for Sunday and Monday nights. We had beautiful weather on Sunday so we spent most of our time at the beach but Monday was dreary and wet so we explored the coast a bit before heading back to the campground for a hike and a wet walk on the beach. The weather got the best of us in the end as it started pouring just as we started to make dinner and poured all night and morning. Either way we had a great time and I’m so happy we were in a yurt! 


Let’s get to the food though because that what this post is all about. These are all of my eats from Monday June 1st while camping at the coast. 


#WIAW Camping Edition

For breakfast I started with a mug of coffee and a big bowl of berries. We had planned to do up a scrambled tofu and potatoes but our potatoes didn’t workout from dinner the previous night so we kept things light. #WIAW Camping Edition - Good Habit Box

Since I was feeling like I needed just a bit more to eat I broke into my Good Habit Box and Neil and I shared the Forest Berry Oatmeal. This was the first time I had tried anything from my Good Habit Bo and I really loved the oatmeal. There were no added sugars just simply gluten free oats, goji berries and some other dried fruit. I added in some strawberries and it was perfect. #WIAW Camping Edition - Good Habit Box - Exceptionally Tasty Oatmeal

Since it was raining we headed towards Pacific City and Lincoln City to see if we could find anything to do. On the way there Neil and I shared the Rosemary Almonds & Apricots which were pretty good and the Peanuts, Pineapple & Seeds which I think were my favorite of the items in the box because they had a nice sweet and spicy thing going for them. We tried the other two snacks on the way home yesterday. #WIAW Camping Edition - Afternoon Boost

We stopped for lunch in Lincoln City and I had a veggie burger and fries. It wasn’t anything special but it was still good. #WIAW Camping Edition  3 After lunch we headed back to the campground to go on a hike and then we walked along the beach in search of crabs. While we walked I munched on a Chia Bar. I picked up the coconut flavor to try and it was pretty good but I have to say the coffee one is still my favorite. #WIAW Camping Edition  4

After our hike and beach adventure we were all pretty hungry so we headed back to the campsite and brought out the veggies, vegan onion-dill dip and sparkling water while we got a fire and dinner started. #WIAW Camping Edition 2

Just as I was finishing up the potato bundles to go on the fire it started to rain and that rain quickly turned to pouring rain. Thankfully Neil took over dinner and he cooked us up some veggie dogs and tended to the potatoes. Not a too exciting dinner but it was good.#WIAW Camping Edition  5

The end.


We are headed out camping again in a few weeks and I’m trying to up my food game – what are your favorite foods to cook or bring with you camping?  

Disclaimer: Good Habit Box sent me a free box to try out. I received no compensation for this post. I was not required to write a post or a review. However I liked the box so much I signed up for a subscription after trying it. If you’d like to try out a Good Habit Box you can get 20% off your first box with code REFER20 (this is not an affiliate code). 

#WIAW: NadaMoo! | Dairy-free and Delicious


Apparently I have a real sweet tooth lately because once again here is another dessert What I ate Wednesday. This past weekend we met up with friends for a picnic and a little ice cream social at Cathedral Park here in Portland. 

If you are a Naturally Family (NF) reader you know that we do weekly playdates with a few other families and if you have a toddler you know playdates usually revolve around food. That being said our playdates have become snack dates that we feature almost weekly over on NF. This week it was all about the NadaMoo coconut milk frozen dessert. 


I actually wasn’t planning on sharing about our ice cream social over here but these vegan “ice creams” are just so good I thought that you guys might be interested as well. I’ll also admit two of the flavors didn’t make it to the park with us because as soon as the package arrived Neil and Edith felt the need to dive right in.  I was out at a blogger event and received a text message of Edith diving into a pint of Cookies & Creme. Of course the following night I felt the need to try what was left of the Cookies & Creme but after a spoonful I just wasn’t really digging it so I decided to dive into the Chocolate Almond Chip and I ended up finishing off most of the pint on Saturday (#keepinitreal). 


What stood out to me about these coconut milk “ice cream” (frozen dessert) was just how rich, natural and clean the flavors were. The Chocolate Almond Chip had a really rich cacao flavor and it honestly took me about 3-4 bites before I started to get a really good taste for the chocolate. It’s much more bittersweet tasting so I feel like the flavor through me off a bit but as I ate more of it the more I loved it. Also loved the almonds. The almonds were whole and just had a natural nutty taste to them – my description is really not doing it justice. The Maple Pecan was the same way – just such amazing nuttiness. 


So Monday came and so did our picnic date. I packed everything up and adults, tots and even two of the three babies gave NadaMoo a try. Head on over to Naturally Family to find out which flavors came out on top.

Also Portland Area Friends NadaMoo is coming to New Seasons in June and Haggen this Summer! 

Which flavor would you like to try? I really want to try the PB & Chocolate and the Chai.