When life gives you lemons…

Make lemonade, preferably lavender lemonade. But, since it’s October and not really lemonade season, I’m thinking this immune-boosting fall drink will do the trick!


I have developed a new found love of essential oils, they have transformed our lives every since we started using these oily bottles of love. You can learn more HERE. But, more on all of this later!

I’m feeling optimistic and I’m embracing my can-do attitude. Just like the over-used proverb constantly reminds us that we can prevail with the right attitude. I know I have a compulsion to share, that’s why I blog in the first place. My reason for stopping my favorite outlet for creativity had many reasons. Negativity from outside sources was at the heart of it all. It’s been a rocky journey, but I’ve been blessed to have my family and friends during these times that have helped me immensely.

I was asked this question by a dear friend, “Do you know your “why”?” That glaring question is out there, I’ve seen it and I’m sure you have too. But, I’ve never been asked or asked myself that question, let alone answered it. What about YOU? Do any of us know our true purpose in life? Hey, and don’t worry I’m not going to get all philosophical on y’all, but I’m simply going to show you my “why”.

These beauties.


And this guy – be still my heart.

photo credit Denise Crull Photography

This is my “why”. My purpose and inspiration to powerfully move forward in the direction I want to go. To continue to share health, wellness and abundance with the people closest to me and to all that I will meet on this crazy journey.

So, this is happening =)


I am so excited for the launch of my new website and it is everything I originally set out to do with this whole blogging thing, and so much more!

But before that happens, how about a little Q&A Juicing collaboration with Williams-Sonoma? Sometimes the universe answers me in many ways letting me know to continue to pursue my dreams. That I am on the right path.




Vegan Lifestyle Magazine and the Winner of Vegan Slow Cooker for Beginners Cook Book



Today I wanted to introduce you to a new AMAZING digital monthly magazine called Vegan Lifestyle Magazine.

Whether you are vegan, vegetarian, raw foodie or just looking to get healthy, Vegan Lifestyle Magazine will provide you with all the information you need to live a kind, gentle, and healthy life.

This magazine is colorful and informative, providing amazing, beautiful raw and vegan recipes from the quick-and-easy to gourmet. The magazine showcases videos, articles, news, vegan clothing and accessories, personal care, gardening, pet care, and of course travel.

I’m excited to share that in the current issue of Vegan Lifestyle Magazine, my recipe for Portobello Wellington is featured on page 79.


As I recently felt utterly defeated in maintaining this blog, it was nice to get this awesome feature. Getting published is a great honor and I’m proud to share this great news. Virtually Vegan Mama will be staying around and you can expect some new and exciting things in the near future. Thank you for all the wonderful emails and comments I received, you guys rock!!!

You can subscribe to the magazine HERE

Monthly Subscription U.S $3.99

Single Issue Price U.S $4.99

Annual Subscription U.S $32.99
You can also find Vegan Lifestyle Magazine on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter. Definitely give them a *Like* and a *Follow* to spread the word! Thanks!
Now for the winner of Vegan Slow Cooker for Beginners:
Congratulations to Rachel who won the giveaway and thanks to all who entered. I will definitely continue to share giveaways as well, I love reviewing products and cook books.
For some reason my review of Neat Foods did not get delivered through email so please go check out the review and recipe HERE.
It’s a delicious meat substitute made of all natural ingredients, easy to prepare and versatile. If you can’t find it at a store near you, it can be purchased on their website Neat Foods or on Amazon.com links below.
Have an AMAZING day!

Vegan Cuts Snack Box Review


By now most of you have heard about Vegan Cuts, and if you haven’t, I’m here to tell y’all about it.  Vegan Cuts is a monthly subscription box full of vegan and natural food products and snacks. They offer two monthly boxes – The Vegan Snack Box and the Vegan Beauty Box. I was lucky enough to try out my sample for review and I absolutely love this concept. You get to sample many products that you normally might not find in your local supermarket. A lot of the products were unfamiliar to me, so I was really excited to try them out.

This is what I received in my Sample Snack Box:


Mostly every product that I received was new to me except The Good Bean and The Chia Drink. I immediately ate The Good Bean because even though I had seen this product before I hadn’t tried it. I love roasting my own chickpeas at home for a snack, but it’s nice to see these being packaged. I loved this product and look forward to ordering some to keep in my pantry. It’s a great snack to have on hand for the family!

I’ve seen a lot of Hemp Hearts out there, but hadn’t gotten around to buying them and was so excited that these were in my snack box. I sprinkled them over salad and loved this product. The gluten-free Mary’s Gone Crackers and the Bumble Bar were really tasty. The Salted Caramel Peanut Butter from The 3 Nuts was heavenly and dangerous – I’m glad there was only a small sample of this because who knows what might of happened. I spread it on some dark chocolate and oh boy! YUM! It was nice to get some Mighty Leaf tea samples because I always love to try new flavors. The Green Tea Tropical and Organic African Nectar teas were truly delicious. The Skratch Labs Hydration Drink the tastiest sports drink I have tried yet. However, I never drink these types of drinks, so it’s not something I will probably buy, but still good if you like sports drinks.

Lastly, the Mario Camacho Olive Snack Pack was SO GOOD. I am an olive addict and I am definitely going to have to order these to have with my salads everyday.

I really love that Vegan Cuts’ Snack Boxes are getting vegan products out to more people. There are so many wonderful companies popping up with great products and most of them are not available at stores yet. I love the idea of being introduced to healthy, quick and on-the-go treats that I haven’t had before. We all need more of those! The monthly subscription for Vegan Cuts is $19.95 which is a fair price when I think of all the times I’ve purchased a product that I didn’t like and had spent hard-earned money to just throw it away. With this you can sample a few products and figure out what you like for future purchases.

Have you tried Vegan Cuts before? If not, is it something you would try? I definitely want to sign up to receive a monthly snack box and I’m really interested in their Beauty Box too!




Vegan Slow Cooker for Beginners Cookbook Giveaway


Vegan Slow Cooker for Beginners (Rockbridge Press) will take the time and frustration out of cooking vegan at home. This cookbook has 150 easy and delcious vegan slow cooker meals perfect for the busy vegan.

This is a great starter book for creating hearty vegan slow cooker meals. There are recipes for breakfast, snacks, sides, appetizers, soups, stews/chilies, beans/grains and vegetables.

Vegan crowd-pleasers, such as Black Bean Breakfast Burritos, Vegan Eggplant Parmesan, and Chocolate-Peanut Butter Cake – this cookbook has it all!

I had to offer up this wonderful chili recipe for the giveaway today. It is Superbowl weekend – if you didn’t know – and who isn’t looking for a chili recipe to serve at a party? I know I am!

This is a super easy chili to make, it took no time at all to throw all the ingredients into the slow cooker and hit the timer. It’s cooking now and it smells delicious! So, make it today for Superbowl because chili is ALWAYS better the next day.

Black Bean and Chipotle Pepper Chili

blackbeanchili (1 of 1)

Black Bean and Chipotle Pepper Stew/Chili
Chipotle Peppers are ripe red jalapeno peppers that have been smoked and dried. Chipotle literally means "smoked chili." The vast majority of these peppers come from Chihuahua, a state in northern Mexico
Recipe type: Stew/Chili
Serves: 6-8
  • 4 (15-ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 3 cups vegetable stock
  • ¾ cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
  • 1 large red onion, diced
  • 1 large green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 large red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 or 2 chipotle peppers
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Sea salt and cracked pepper to taste
  • Chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish
  • Diced avocado, optional
  1. Combine the beans, tomatoes with their juices, vegetable stock, quinoa, onion, green and red bell peppers, garlic, and chipotle peppers in the slow cooker.
  2. Stir in the chili powder, coriander, cinnamon, sea salt, and black pepper.
  3. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours or on high for 4 hours.
  4. Removed the chipotle peppers
  5. Ladle the stew into bowls, garnish with the fresh cilantro, and serve hot with diced avocado, if desired.
I diced the chipotle peppers and did not remove them. I also cooked the quinoa separate. Reheat the quinoa when ready to serve the stew/chili and stirred it into each serving.

***** This Giveaway is now closed ******

And now for the GIVEAWAY and Good Luck!

To enter the contest, leave a comment sharing some of your favorite Superbowl recipe.

Don’t forget to leave your contact information so I can let you know if you win. =)


You MUST leave each entry as a SEPARATE comment or only one comment will count.

  • Like Virtually Vegan Mama on Facebook and leave a comment on my wall.
  • Subscribe to Virtually Vegan Mama
  • Follow Virtually Vegan Mama on Twitter
  • Follow Virtually Vegan Mama on Pinterest
  • Tweet about this giveaway and tell me that you tweeted in the comments section; “I just entered to win Vegan Slow Cooker for Beginners! @virtveganmama”
  • Share this giveaway on your Facebook Page and tell me that you did so in the comments section
  • Pin it

All entries must be completed no later than Saturday, February 8, 2014,  at 11:59 p.m. EST.

Winner will be announced on Sunday, February 9th, 2014, on my blog, and the winner will also be notified via the email address they provided in the comments section.

Giveaway open to U.S. and Canada residents only. =)

Good Luck!



Can’t wait and you need this book now. Well, don’t fret, you can buy it here: Vegan Slow Cooker for Beginners

Neat Foods Review and a recipe for Polish Golabki (Stuffed Cabbage)

I was very excited when Neat Foods asked me if I wanted to sample/review their product. I had never heard of Neat before, but I loved the sound of it.

Neat is derived from nuts, beans, whole grain oats and other natural ingredients. This product is an easy-to-make, great tasting replacement for ground beef.It’s healthy, it’s quick to make, and it tastes awesome! It’s 100% VEGETARIAN — SOY FREE — GLUTEN FREE — GUILT FREE. I absolutely love this stuff and I’m so glad I was able to test it out and share it with you all. It’s definitely going to have a permanent home in my pantry.

Neat comes in three different flavors: Original, Italian and Mexican. We made these awesome stuffed cabbages below with the original mix.


 We also enjoyed these perfect tacos with the Mexican mix – SO GOOD!


We made Neatballs with sauce with the Italian mix, but alas I didn’t get any pictures of that, but it was just as incredible as all the other recipes. I will however share with you our favorite recipe that my husband made for us. This was inspired by Food Network’s Diners and Drive-in’s and Dives that my hubby has been watching. He’s been loving this show lately and wanting to veganize everything he sees. Love that. =)

Enjoy this recipe and check out Neat Foods, you will not be disappointed with this product. YUM!

5.0 from 1 reviews
Polish Galabki (Stuffed Cabbage)
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Polish
Serves: Makes 12 Polish Cabbage Rolls
  • 1 whole head cabbage
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 package Neat Original Mix
  • 1½ cups cooked brown rice
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup vegetable stock
Cashew Cream Tomato Sauce
  • ¼ cup raw cashews, soaked for 2-4 hours
  • 1 (28) oz. can whole peeled tomatoes
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ⅛ tsp black pepper
  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Remove core from cabbage. Place whole head in a large pot filled with boiling, salted water. Cover and cook 15-20 minutes, or until softened enough to pull off individual leaves. You will need about 12 leaves.
  3. While cabbage is cooking, prepare tomato sauce. Combine cashews, whole peeled tomatoes, salt and pepper in a blender and puree until smooth. Transfer sauce to medium-sized sauce pot and heat on medium until it simmers.
  4. When leaves are cool enough to handle, use a paring knife to cut away the thick center stem from each leaf, without cutting all the way through.
  5. Chop the remaining cabbage and place it in the bottom of a casserole dish.
  6. Add the chopped onion to a non-stick skillet. When onions start to stick, add 1 tbsp of vegetable stock or water and stir. Saute onions until translucent, adding small amounts of vegetable stock or water if onions start to stick. While onions are cooking, prepare Neat according to package directions. Add Neat Original Mix to a non-stick skillet and brown on medium, breaking it up as you would meat, for seven minutes or until browned.
  7. Mix onions with Neat, cooked brown rice, garlic, salt and black pepper until well combined.
  8. Place about ½ cup of filling on each cabbage leaf. Roll away from you to encase the filling. Flip the right side of the leaf to the middle, then flip the left side. You will have something that looks like an envelope. Once again, roll away from you to create a neat little roll.
  9. Place the cabbage rolls on top of the chopped cabbage in the casserole dish. Pour vegetable stock over rolls, ladle tomato sauce on top and cover. Place in oven and bake for 45 minutes.
  10. Serve cabbage rolls with pan juices and tomato sauce.
Neat Vegan Instructions:

1. Prepare EnerG according to the box to replace 2 eggs: 3 teaspoons EnerG,
4 T warm water

2. Prepare neat according to package: 2T water & Prepared EnerG

3. Then for the vegan prep only, add an additional 3-4T water so the mix becomes moist

4. Cook according to neat instructions: 7 min in a non stick skillet, breaking it up as you cook, as you would ground beef.


Adapted from Polish Golabki Recipe About.com – there are some nice step-by-step instructions there if you need some.