A Witch's View - Purple Carrot - White Bean Ball Subs

This is my second recipe from Purple Carrot.  We had a bumpy road with Purple Carrot with the quality of the veg and with missing (and this time extra) ingredients.  I ended up canceling this service but wanted to do a review on the recipes since I had them.  I decided to continue with GreenChef and I highly recommend them.

Today I'm reviewing the White Beanball Sub with a salad.  I ended up with all my ingredients, however I had double of the flaxseed flour, which makes me wonder if someone was missing theirs??

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson 
Hubby prepped the onion and the peppers for this recipe while I prepped the bean ball ingredients.

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson

 In the processor we added the beans, a clove of garlic, nutritional yeast, the flaxseed flour and salt.

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson
 I used an ice cream scoop to make the balls and then just patted them round and added them to the pan.  Looking back, these were way too big. I would probably make 8 balls instead of six out of this much bean mixture.  Also the instructions said to "coat the balls in oil"  I had no idea how to do that so I just put oil on the pan.

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson
Next we cooked up the onions and the peppers and then added the sauce.

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson
 They had this mixture of panko, fresh parsley and a "lemony salt" mixture that was included in the package.  It was ok.  I think they were going for something that looked like Parmesan cheese on the top of the sub.

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson
 Over all the meal was ok.  The salad was dressed with lemon juice and salt.  Pretty simple. The beanballs desperately needed flavor.  Maybe some more garlic or oregano and basil in the mixture. Something to give it a little life.  I did appreciate the fact that this recipe taught me how to make these "balls" so I can easily now make my own black bean burgers or even sub sandwiches using this method.

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson
Next week we're reviewing the final recipe from Purple Carrot.

Witchy Wednesday - Weaving Magic

It has been a while since I shared any of my wire work.  I'm extremely pleased how some of my new pieces are turning out.  So for this week I thought I would share some photos (and maybe a video or two) from the newest ones.

Photo and Wire Art by Renee Sosanna Olson

I'm really in love with these blue labs now.  Here's some info I found about Copper/Labradorite on the web.

This labradorite pendant is so impressive and amazing. It is modern and elegant. Blue flashy labradorite is eye-catching in a classy way. 

A stone of transformation, Labradorite is a useful companion through change, imparting strength and perseverance. It balances and protects the aura, raises consciousness and grounds spiritual energies. Excellent for strengthening intuition - promoting psychic abilities. Also just plain drop dead gorgeous of a stone!

Copper is said to promote love, sensuality, friendship, positive relationships of any kind, negotiations and peace. Healing work, fertility spells, prosperity spells, and spells to attract love.

Angel: Haniel
Gods/Goddesses: Shamash, Innana, Astarte, Ishtar, Aphrodite, Venus
Chakra: crown, heart, solar-plexus
Element: water
Astrological Sign: Taurus
Planet: Venus;
Sabbat: Midsummer or Litha;
Tree of Life: Netzach
Tarot: The Empress

Copper is 100% recyclable without loss of quality. There is anecdotal evidence that copper can be used in the treatment of wounds and skin diseases, as well as internal diseases, anemia, cancer, rheumatoid arthritis and heart disease. It can also help improve the circulation of blood, increasing energy and detoxifying the body. It is primarily said to benefit the Root and Sacral Chakras, but may also benefit the Heart Chakra.

Photography and Wire Art by Renee Sosanna Olson
You can find my work on Etsy and Amazon Handmade.

A Witch's View - Purple Carrot Review - Happy Pancake

If you've been following along you know that I am testing out several home delivery meal services. For the next three posts I'll be looking at Purple Carrot.  My big challenge living out in rural NC is I don't have a lot of choices for food that is good for you.  Everything here is deep fried, loaded with fat and sugar or just plain bad for you.  Being Vegan makes this a much more desperate situation. I literally have one restaurant I can eat at because it has a salad bar and I can choose items that normally wouldn't have animal products in them.  So these home delivery deals with Vegan options are really important for me.  I tried Blue Apron originally but they didn't have a Vegan option.  Next I tried GreenChef, which I still have  because they have really awesome recipes.  They only deliver 3 meals and ideally I would like six different meals a week.  So I added Purple Carrot to see how it was.  My next three posts will review the meals they sent me on flavor, ease of preparation and quality of the ingredients.

When my box arrived from Purple Carrot I was a bit disappointed.  The ingredients were a bit lacking. The herbs were wilted and the veg was brown and mushy. I contacted the company on Facebook to get some assistance with that and they asked me to send in an email.  Again, a bit annoying.  But I continued with the first recipe.

The Happy Pancake, is neither.  It has to be one of the worse dishes I have ever had in my entire life. It the pancake was mushy and had zero flavor even after I added my own Tumeric because mine was left out of the box.

Here's the first recipe.  

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson
When I opened the box the first thing I noticed was how poor the quality of the veg was.  The herbs were wilted and my green onion was brown.

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson
 You can see here the onion and the greens for another meal.  Wet, wilty and just nasty.

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson
 One of my spice packets was just dust.  As you can see below there's really nothing in this. Luckily I had some Turmeric on hand to replace it.

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson
 Hubby prepped the veg while I prepared the pancake batter and the dressing.

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson
 The dressing came in four little bottles which I combined in a bowl.  It was really heavy on the sesame oil.  It was very similar to a Bimibap sauce.
Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson
 Hubby started the veg in the frying pan.

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson
 The pancake batter was water, rice flour and turmeric. It said add a bit of salt and pepper which I did, but it was still very very bland.

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson
 The salad consisted of shoots and some mixed greens.  I had to toss out the greens they sent because they were so bad.  I did have some salad in the frig, so I added that to the dish.

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson
 The finished pancake was a soggy mess.  It had zero flavor and was just awful. I took this photo, one bite and then tossed it in the trash.

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson
At this point you can probably guess that my Purple Carrot days were numbered.  When I contacted support on Facebook about the pour quality of the ingredients they referred me to the website/email contact.  When I emailed no one replied.  Getting nervous about the next up coming meals I put my entire cart on skip mode to wait for a reply.  When no reply came I went to look on how to cancel.  It said you had to email or call in to cancel the service.  On the Facebook page all the claims of getting sent more food after canceling really scared me so I decide to email in to cancel.  I figured, well, I have that one week coming and maybe if I like those next dishes, I can just reconnect my account. The next morning I got up and I went to check on my Purple Carrot page to see if reconnecting was easy to do.  I was surprised to not only see my account canceled but my next shipment canceled as well.  So this review will only consist of the three meals I have currently. Based on what I have seen so far and the condition of the veg in my fridge right now, I probably will not be reordering Purple Carrot.  I did decide to check out a new service called Mama Sezz.  This is a plant based meal service where the food is already preppared.  Not really want I wanted but I figured why not give it a shot.

Next I'm reviewing the White Bean Ball Subs.  

Witchy Wednesday - Practical Magical Flowers

No walk through a witch's yard would be complete without the witch's garden.  Some put rosemary by the garden gate, some do so much more.  There is much more to magic than just spells.  There is an energy around it. Bring some color into your life and and music.  After all witches just wanna have fun.

Here's a few of my favorite garden flowers and their magical properties. (Properties sourced from witcheslore.com)

1. Azalea (temperance – passion – womanhood – fragility)

Azalea - Renee Sosanna Olson

2. Daisy – (feelings shared – innocence – purity – beauty – simplicity – loyalty – love) also known as (“flowery mead”)

Daisy - Renee Sosanna Olson

3. Hibiscus – (delicate beauty)

Hibiscus - Renee Sosanna Olson

4. Rose – (love – remembrance – beauty)

Rose - Renee Sosanna Olson

5. Shamrock (good luck – the luck of the Irish – lightheartedness – good fortune)

Shamrock - Renee Sosanna Olson

6. Calla Lily – (magnificent beauty)

Cala Lily - Renee Sosanna Olson

How can we reference gardens, flowers, fun and Practical Magic without Midnight Margaritas!

...and sometimes we just add certain flowers to our garden because we have a personal connection with them.  Here are a few of my favorites.

Gerber Daisy - Renee Sosanna Olson

Hydrangea - Renee Sosanna Olson

Cactus - Renee Sosanna Olson

Keeping a witch's flower garden can lead to some amazing things.  What's in your garden?

Oh and if you didn't get enough of Practical Magic in this post here's a fantastic playlist I found on Youtube.  Check it out!

A Witch's View - GreenChef Review - Black Rice Stir-fry

This week I'm reviewing GreenChef's Black Rice Stir-fry. Over all I've been pleased with my first week of GreenChef.  They are one of the few places that deliver restaurant quality meals that I can prepare in 30 mins and are completely organic and vegan.  I have continued my subscription and will have another delivery next week.

My delivery this week as a 2 out of 3 ain't bad deal.  The first two were really good.  I enjoyed them a lot.  This last one however, I'm not sure if I didn't cook the rice long enough or if the Kimchi was just over the top for me but it wasn't something I was happy with.  If I was dining out, I would have sent this dish back.  It just wasn't for me.  It turned out really beautiful though.  And perhaps some one with a broader taste may like it.  I will say that it has red bell pepper which I hate in it, but I didn't taste the peppers at all.  That makes me more willing to try more recipes with them in the future.  So over all I didn't lose out completely.

So here's what we got:

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson
 We started by coating the sweet potato in olive oil and salt and pepper.  They go into the oven to bake while we were getting everything else together.

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson
 Hubby diced up the remain veg, while I cleaned the cilantro and got the rice and soybeans together.

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson
After the Bok Choy is cooked we set it aside.  Next the bell pepper gets cooked in olive oil until tender.

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson
 Next you add all the veg to the pan with the bell pepper and cook
Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson
 Everything cooks for about 2-3 mins and then you serve.  As you can see the dish was lovely.

It just wasn't for me.  I'm not sure what it was about it, but there was this spicy after taste that I really didn't care for.
Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson
 So that's my review. I don't like to end on a sour note (pun intended) so I think I may follow up with another set of three just to get a good over all sense of how this food delivery system works.  If you think you'd like to try GreenChef out here's a link to sign up.  Portion sizes for the meal for two are very generous. We had extra with each meal we tried.

This is what's on the menu for the next two weeks.  I'm really excited about these.
Screenshot - GreenChef.com
Screenshot - GreenChef.com

Witchy Wednesday - Nature Continues

As the days grow warmer I find myself longing for the outdoors more and more. This last week, I was able to go and out get some great photos.  I believe that the majority of our magical power comes from our ability to connect to the natural world around us.  Be it in a park, by a stream or even at the ocean's edge; we need to connect back to earth.  I found a few ways of connecting over the weekend.  I wanted to share them with you now.

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson

Being able to feel the energy of the plants around you is the first step into coming of age for a witch. Only then, after understanding their energy, can one effectively work to mold and shape that energy into what you want it to be. A witch without an understanding of the natural world is destine to create havoc in the same.

A Witch's View - GreenChef - A Review - Unstuffed Enmoladas

This week I'm reviewing GreenChef's Unstuffed Enmoladas.  This is by far one of the best dishes I have had with any of the delivery services.  It was really good.  I omitted the onions in mine because I just don't like them.  But this is what is how we did it.

The produce was really fresh.  I did however find that the tortillas were a bit crumbly.  A couple of them tore as I was trying to prepare them.

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson

The Salsa was really good.  I made the mistake of substituting the coconut oil for olive oil.  You don't want to do that.  Because coconut oil solidifies as a lower temperature my salsa seized up. I had to set it in a bowl of warm water, like you would a double boiler to make where I could stir it again. Over all it was really tasty.

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson
 I added my avocado to the salsa after taking hubby's portion out. He's allergic.

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson
 Next we had to cook the tortillas for 30 seconds on each side.  I found them to be a little oily. But over all while I was working on the mole sauce they dried nicely.  You then just put them in the mole to coat them and serve.
Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson
This was my finished dish. It turned out to look pretty attractive. Mine doesn't have the onions on top but otherwise picture perfect.  As I said, this was my favorite dish so far.  I highly recommend checking out GreenChef.  For the price it is a great way to get restaurant quality dishes to your home, completely vegan and completely organic.  I love it.

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson

Witchy Wednesday - Connecting with Nature

As the days warm up, I'm finding myself itching to be outdoors more.  I work a 9-5 and then run BaubleSmith with the hubby so getting free time is pretty limited. Still, I like to be able to go outside from time to time. We are in the process of looking for a new house, so we're actually looking for a place that we can spend time outside without being carried away by the mosquitoes. A back deck/porch that is enclosed would be amazing. I'll need a wooded area as well, just a place to dig in the ground a bit and do ... you know, witchy stuff.

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson

On the property we have now, we have access to a stream that feeds into a larger river, perfect for cleansing spells or memory clearing spells.  Just toss those fears (figurative) into the river and watch them roll down the stream and leave your mind for good.  We also have about four acres that are completely wooded.  The outside is lined with Hawthorne and Devil's Walking stick.  I couldn't be more protected from negativity than I am here.  It is indeed, our safe harbor from all things that attack.

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson

As Spring begins to come alive in the north, it is a great time to start adding some of these trees/plants to your area to help you not only spend more time outside with nature but also to add a bit of magic to your space.

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson

Here's a few I have on my property:

Hawthorn is associated with love, marriage, health, fertility, chastity, protection and death.
Rosemary is associated with fidelity, enhancing memory, to dispel jealousy and to keep away nightmares.
Rose of Sharon is associate with protection against negativity and evil, improves psychic ability and attracts good spirits.
Cedar is associated with cleansing and creating ritual spaces, longevity and power.
Honeysuckle is associated with money, desire and fidelity.

Finding magical plants to empower your natural area is easy to do with containers as well.  If you have a deck or even an open space next to a window you can create a nice little herb garden to brighten up your space. So what do you have growing in your space?  How are you connecting with nature as the days warm up?  Feel free to share in the comments!