Since it’s comfort food season, I’ll occasionally throw in chili, tomato soup & grilled avocado & cheese sandwiches, or minestrone and paninis into our dinner mix. Mac and cheese is another easy staple to add as a side dish.
I’ve tried countless vegan mac & cheese recipes and they usually require a ridiculous amount of ingredients and never resemble the cheesy comfort dish. So I got basic and created my own, the same way I make it for my family, using only 4 ingredients and the result is amazing! This isn’t the type of measured recipe, but it’s super simple and can be made all in one pot! To add to the deliciousness, drizzle black truffle oil on once served!
Brown Rice Pasta
Daiya Cheddar Shreds
Earth Balance Butter
Original Unsweetened Cashew Milk
Pink Himalayan Salt, Fresh Ground Black Pepper
Truffle Oil (optional)
Boil the brown rice pasta until cooked. Strain, rinse in strainer and return to pot. Add 1-2 TBSP butter, and stir until melted. Add cheese by the handful as you are stirring, until melted and reached desired cheesy consistency. Add Cashew milk for creaminess, while stirring. Sprinkle salt and pepper to taste. Serve in bowls and drizzle with truffle oil.
I always look forward to my go-to breakfast, a tofu scramble loaded with veggies, cashew cheese, a drizzle of hot sauce and a slice of toast, but there’s something about Sunday mornings that makes me crave sweet indulgences. This weekend, I decided to try to whip up strawberry chia seed jam. I can’t believe I haven’t tried it in the past, it was so quick and easy and tastes absolutely delicious! It was amazing on sprouted grain toast with Earth Balance butter, but I can’t wait to try out thumbprint cookies for Christmas using the fresh jam! The fact that it’s guilt-free makes is an added bonus!
1 Bag Organic Strawberries, frozen
Agave Nectar (I use Organic Agave Five, only 5 calories!)
Place a bag of frozen organic strawberries into a pot and mash with a potato masher as they begin to cook. Once cooked through and mashed, add agave nectar to taste. Next add a generous amount of chia seeds until a thick consistency is reached. Transfer to a glass jar or bowl and let cool. Once cooled, seal the chia seed jam and place in the fridge to let flavors marry, for best taste!
I couldn’t be more excited for Spring weather and more fresh veggies available. I like to switch up my salads frequently with a variety of proteins, veggies, healthy fats and omega-3s. I swap out everything from vegan chicken, to sunflower seeds, to beets to keep it from getting boring. Prepping veggies early in the week, make this simple, yet nutrient packed salad easy to throw together for lunch or dinner.
Start out with a base. I love fresh romaine, and I wash and cut it up early in the week so salads are easily accessible. I deseed veggies like cucumbers and tomatoes, and cut up red onion. Healthy fats like fresh avocado, walnuts and sunflower seeds keep it filling. I always add a couple protein options like garbanzo beans, tofu, tempeh or veggie chicken strips. My favorite vinaigrette is equal parts Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Organic Red Wine Vinegar, mixed with Pink Himalayan Salt, Fresh Ground Black Pepper, Granulated Garlic and Oregano.
One of my favorite lunch spots serves healthy Lebanese-American food. I love that they offer healthy and nutritious options on their menu like quinoa, kale, brown rice and fresh veggies. A dish I usually crave is made with well seasoned brown rice, beans, cooked vegetables, and topped with fresh Lebanese Salata. I had a serious craving for it and decided to recreate a version of my own. If you like food with a spicy kick, the mix of flavors is amazing!
Rice & Beans
1 Cup Della Basmati Light Brown Rice, uncooked
2 Cups Hot Water
1 “Chicken” Bouillon Cube (I used Celifibr Gluten Free Vegetarian Chicken Bouillon)
3 Cloves Garlic, minced
2 Tablespoons Parsley, dried
2 teaspoons Cumin
1 teaspoon Tumeric
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Pink Himalayan Salt, to taste
Fresh Ground Black Pepper, to taste
1 Carton of Simply Balanced Organic Low Sodium Three Bean Blend (at Target), rinsed
1/2 Cup Organic Frozen Peas
1 Organic cucumber, chopped
Campari Tomatoes, deseeded, chopped
Juice of 1 Lemon
1/4 Cup Parsley
Pink Himalayan Salt
Fresh Ground Black Pepper
Add bouillon cube to 2 cups hot water, mix well, and set aside to dissolve.
In a large pot, on medium heat, add olive oil and garlic and cook 1-2 minutes.
Stir in spices and rice and mix well, cooking for 5-7 minutes.
Add bouillon water and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 25-30 minutes, or until water has absorbed.
While Rice is cooking, chop cucumbers and tomatoes. Add to a medium bowl, and add lemon juice, parsley, granulated garlic, and salt and pepper to taste.
When rice is done cooking, add frozen peas, and beans, and stir well. Let cook 5-7 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Add rice & beans to your bowl and top with fresh salata. Enjoy!
*You can easily add grilled chicken to this dish, as well!
Happy National Pizza Day! Pizza is one of my biggest weaknesses and (& biggest cravings!) So I try to make it as guilt-free as possible whenever I make it myself. Gluten free/vegan crust isn’t exactly the most cooperative recipe to make most of the time. I found this recipe, which if rolled out thinly, and added flour, it has been the most successful crust recipe I’ve made thus far.
Vegan Pizza Toppings
San Marzano Tomatoes, blended in blender
Daiya Vegan Mozzarella
Fresh Basil, chopped
After following the crust recipe, and baking accordingly, I evenly spread the pureed San Marzano tomatoes to the crust by the spoonful. Next I sprinkle granulated garlic. I cover with vegan cheese shreds, then top with sliced mushrooms and fresh basil. The ingredients marry together so well for a subtle burst of flavor.
This homemade “chicken” soup is essential this weekend, while I’m feeling under the weather. I switched up this recipe a little by adding gluten free noodles and vegan chicken. It can easily be swamped with chicken, for a non-vegan version.
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3. Looking for Fall inspo? Check out the tablescapes, decor and recipes that have me inspired.
I’ve been making this insanely delicious banana bread since college. I adapted the recipe from this cookbook, and swapped some of the ingredients to make it gluten-free. Even though it’s vegan, people still rave about it being the best banana bread they’ve ever had. It’s a must try for Sunday morning!
**Update replace, 1 cup mashed banana with 3 overripe medium organic bananas for best consistency **
It’s been feeling like Fall as of late (and I love it!) I had a serious craving for tortilla soup yesterday and I found this amazing recipe. Using fresh veggies from a local farm, this soup was so delicious! It’s vegan and gluten free, but you can easily add shredded chicken to it for a chicken tortilla soup. I added gluten free, GMO-free tortilla strips, instead of making my own. Such a great dish for a Summer transition into Fall.