05 March, 2015

HappyCow's app: The answer to the vegan’s prayers

I first heard about HappyCow during our Thailand vacation. We accidentally found a vegan restaurant and the owner asked if we'd found them through HappyCow. It's a wonderful site that helps you find vegan and vegetarian restaurants. Unfortunately many cities in South Africa don't have any listings yet, but I have started submitting restaurants I find great food at to help out travellers. HappyCow now also has an app which makes it even easier to find a place to eat while travelling. I already have the app on my Android phone and I have a guest, Delia Ball, to tell you more about it.

More about Delia: Delia has been a cooking at home for her family since she as far back as she can remember. Although, she now has a hectic working schedule, that doesn't stop her from dedicating her weekends to improving her culinary skills, in particular baking. When not cooking or working, Delia enjoys reading and practicing yoga.

Veganism is an ethical, sustainable, and healthy lifestyle to adopt, but it’s definitely not the easiest. Vegans have to face everyday struggles, such as reading labels for grocery items, expanding one’s repertoire of vegan recipes, and dining out with others that don’t share the same eating habits. The disadvantages of being a vegan, and even a vegetarian, often deter people away from the meat-free lifestyle.

But common issues, such as figuring out which establishments to eat at, no longer trouble the vegan, thanks to health fanatics that are fueling growth in health app development. The increased adoption of smartphone usage is facilitated by growing internet capabilities, as told by GamingRealms, the mastermind behind mobile casino PocketFruity. Expansion in mobile internet is triggered by new functions in smartphones, particularly ones related to health. According to Flurry, growth in health and fitness apps is 87 percent faster than the mobile app industry itself. These health apps range from exercise and weight loss apps, to restaurant locators for vegans and vegetarians.

One app that would be particularly useful for the vegan looking to have a meal out is HappyCow’s Veg Travel Guide for Vegans & Vegetarians. An app developed by a company dedicated to finding vegan, vegetarian, and other healthy options for travelers, this is a great resource for anyone traveling to a new city, or simply trying to find a vegan restaurant within the neighborhood.

Veg Travel Guide contains many useful features that are guaranteed to minimize the number of challenges that vegans have in their daily lives. It includes an interactive map, with numerous search options that will easily filter your dining choices, and even save favourites. Popular searches can be found on the quick browse mode. For those exploring a new city, travelers can pre-plan which restaurants they can eat at. Additionally, diners can submit pictures and reviews of the establishments they dined at, so they can share their advice to the rest of the HappyCow online community.

This app received 4.5 stars in the iTunes App Store. For just $2.99, you can download the app onto your iPhone, iPad, or your iPod Touch.

I hope this article was helpful and will benefit you on your travels.

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23 February, 2015

Roasted sweet potato and lentil salad

I made this delicious salad for the first time in January and it has fast become one of my favourite dishes. I cook this for lunch at least once a week. The flavours are interesting, but comforting and there's not much active time. I chop the sweet potatoes and put them in the oven to roast. Then I start frying the spices and chop an onion to add to the pot. When the onion is cooked I add the lentils and stock and leave it to cook. I can then go on with my work until everything's cooked and add the herbs and red wine vinegar. Another thing I love about this recipe is that it's still good if you change the ingredients. I have left out the cumin seeds and red wine vinegar before and it was still good. I have also replaced the rocket with coriander and spinach and both worked. I think this is the perfect affordable, healthy and satisfying meal.

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12 February, 2015

Free printable Valentine's Day card

Can you believe Valentine's Day is in only two days? I'm still struggling to accept that it's 2015 already.

I want to share the cute pangolin that Martinus painted for a free card we're offering on Terrapin and Toad. We're also going to be giving away the original painting on Valentine's Day so check back on Saturday if you like it. If you'd like to download the card, you can find it here.

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02 February, 2015

Banana oatmeal cookies

I've been craving cookies for a few weeks now, but the craving only became strong enough for me to act on last weekend. Shop bought cookies can only satisfy you for so long before you just have to get up off the couch and bake something. Luckily I found a really easy banana oatmeal cookie recipe and I didn't have to spend too much time in the kitchen over the weekend.

I added half a cup each of pecan nuts, dried cranberries and dark chocolate to the cookies and this combination was perfect. The cookies were especially good right after I baked them because the chocolate was still slightly soft. You can use either a half or whole cup of sugar in this recipe. I only used half a cup and I think more would have made the cookies much too sweet.

I love these cookies and I'll definitely make them again. They are chewy and have crunchy, sweet, chocolatey pieces. They're also more filling than regular cookies and I couldn't eat more than a few at a time despite wanting to.

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My name is Natasha. I live in a beautiful coastal town in South African with my little human/dog family. I love cooking and share new recipes I've tried here. Sometimes I even create my own recipes. I spend way too much time on Pinterest and blogs, but I'd like to be a neat, productive person one day. We're also starting a new business. You can read more about that at terrapinandtoad.com

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