Sunday, March 31, 2013

Quinoa, Asaparagus, and Corn with Lemon Sauce

I made this recipe a few weeks ago. It was very easy, fast, and full of flavor. I had a bunch of asparagus that was needing to be cooked so it was a great reason to make this again. It was a perfect side dish to accompany a slice of Lentil Loaf. Enjoy!

Adapted from this recipe by LaaLoosh

Ingredients (serves 4-6)

  • 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa (I used an organic, rainbow quinoa)
  • 1 bunch of asparagus, each stalk cut into thirds
  • 4 scallions (green onions), diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup corn, canned or frozen (Or you can use fresh, just boil corn cobs first and remove cooked corn kernels from the cob)
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp dairy-free butter
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Cook quinoa according to package directions then set aside.
  • Place a medium skillet over medium-high heat, melt butter then add asparagus and garlic. Cook until asparagus is tender and bright green, about 5 minutes. Then add corn and honey to skillet. Cook until heated thoroughly.
  • Next add the quinoa to the skillet, along with the scallions/green onions and lemon juice. Mix gently to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Serve warm.


    Lentil Loaf

    Happy Easter! What are you eating today? I just whipped up this vegetarian lentil "meatloaf".
    Up until two weeks ago I was afraid of lentils. Just wasn't sure what they were, how to cook with them, how they tasted, etc. I avoided them. However, I saw this recipe for lentil tacos over at Healthy Junky. And she was right they are so good! I highly recommend you try her lentil tacos! Previously, we were buying Fantastic Foods vegetarian taco "meat" to make tacos with. I have to say, I think we like the lentil tacos better! And the added bonus is that they are cheap! I paid $1.00 per bag and the bag is usually enough for 3 meals. Also when I looked at the nutrition facts, lentils are a great fiber and protein source. I am now a lentil lover :) Hopefully, I can make you one, too.

    Inspired by this recipe


  • 1/2 cup brown lentils
  • 1 cup vegetable stock or broth
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 3/4 cup bulgur or steel cut oats
  • 1 cup water, boiled
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 3 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 2 tablespoons ground chia seeds or ground flax seeds (flax meal)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetarian Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons tahini or sunbutter
  • 2 teaspoons molasses
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • pepper to taste



    • 4 tablespoons of ketchup
    • 1 teaspoon vegetarian Worcestershire sauce OR 2 tsp bbq sauce

    Method (Serves 5)

      Combine the lentils, vegetable stock, 1⁄3 cup of water, and bay leaf in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, then decrease heat to low, cover, and cook for approximately 25 minutes, until all liquid is absorbed. Once done, add in the bulgur or oats and 1 cup of boiling water, cover, and simmer for an additional 9 minutes. In the meantime, preheat the oven to 375°F and coat a glass or non-stick loaf pan with cooking spray. Combine the sauce ingredients in a small bowl. Once the bulgur or oats have cooked, remove the bay leaf  from the mixture, remove saucepan from heat, and add all the rest of the ingredients to the saucepan (except sauce). Thoroughly mix all ingredients. Transfer the mixture to the sprayed loaf pan. Gently press the mixture towards the bottom of the pan in order to make a "loaf" shape. Drizzle the sauce over the top of the loaf. Cover the loaf pan with aluminum foil and bake for 25 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 8 minutes. Remove loaf from the oven and let it rest for 10 to 15 minutes before slicing.

    Saturday, March 30, 2013

    Pumpkin Cake with Vanilla Almond Icing

    I am a sucker for cake with icing, especially when the cake has all nutritious ingredients like this one. When we were grocery shopping last night, I promised my fiance I would make him a cake so he would leave all the boxed cake mixes at the store. I came across this recipe earlier this week and I immediately thought of it as he was asking for some cake.

    I ran 10  miles this morning so after dinner, I was still pretty hungry. I enjoyed a piece of this cake and....I couldn't resist....I added some of my banana cream on top (2 bananas, 1 stevia packet, 1/4-1/2 cup of non-dairy milk in the food processor, processed until smooth).

    Man, these pictures look so good it is making me want another piece! :)

    Recipe adapted from Straight up Food by Cathy Fisher

    Pumpkin Cake Ingredients (Serves 9)

  • 10 dates, pitted and diced
  • 34 cup water
  • 1 ½ cups oats, ground into flour (I processed oats in the magic bullet until a flour consistency was reached)
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 15 ounce can cooked pumpkin
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup non-dairy milk
  •  2 stevia packets

  • Method

    Preheat oven to 375. Place the dates into a bowl with the water and soak for at least 15 minutes. Place the oat flour and pumpkin pie spice in a large mixing bowl. In a blender, blend the soaked dates, the water the dates soaked in, the vanilla, and the non-dairy milk until smooth (2 minutes). Pour the date mixture into the bowl of oat flour. Then add the pumpkin and mix thoroughly. Spray a glass or non-stick 8x8 baking pan with cooking spray then transfer batter to pan. Bake for 25 minutes.
    Let the cake cool 10-15 minutes minimum before cutting and serving. Top with Vanilla Almond Icing (see recipe below). The "Banana Cream" I mentioned above is highly recommended. This cake is not overly sweet so the Banana Cream really tasted excellent with the pumpkin cake. Store cake in the refrigerator.

    Vanilla Almond Icing Ingredients

  • ½ cup almonds soaked in ½ cup of water for 15-30 minutes
  • 6 dates, pitted and diced, soaked in ½ cup of water for 15-30 minutes
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • Method

    After the almonds and dates are done soaking, drain the almonds. Process drained almonds, un-drained dates (use date water), and vanilla until desired creaminess is reached. I used the Magic Bullet, but you could use a food processor or blender. Add a small amount of non-dairy milk if the icing is too thick.

    Vegan Alfredo Sauce

    So today was the day I finally got to make this excellent vegan alfredo sauce. I made it once a few months ago and I haven't forgotten about it!
    I made this for a family potluck dinner. I decided not to combine the pasta and sauce at home because I was afraid it would turn to mush by the time we made it to my dad's house. So I made the sauce in the blender at home and put it in a mason jar so I could easily take it to go. Once I got to our destination, I made the pasta and heated up the sauce on the stove so it could thicken. Then I tossed everything together. I think everyone liked it, too!
    Alfredo sauce is usually used for pasta, of course, but this sauce is pretty versatile. You could use it for dipping, for a white pizza, or even for garlic bread. Just replace it where you like to use alfredo. I hope you enjoy it as much as me!

    Adapted from: Vegan Yumminess


    (makes enough sauce for 1lb of pasta)

  • 1 can coconut milk (I used full fat, but I think light coconut milk would work also)
  • 1/2 cup cashews (if you use salted cashews you may not want to add salt to the sauce)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt or salt to taste
  • 1 tsp of onion powder
  • 1-2 garlic cloves (use 1 if you prefer a more subtle garlic flavor)
  • pepper to taste

  • Method

    Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Transfer sauce to a pan and simmer until thickened slightly. Keep a close eye on sauce and stir frequently. Once sauce is thickened, pour sauce over cooked pasta (if using). Serve immediately with more salt and pepper to taste.


    I have been asked about nutritional yeast, namely, "what the heck is it???"
    I think this blogger gives a good explanation and bonus! you can check out her recipes while you are there : what is nutritional yeast

    Friday, March 29, 2013

    Kale, Lemon, and Cilantro Sandwiches

    Have you heard of the Engine 2 diet? Love the book, the philosophy, and the recipes! I am so excited about their new recipe book that is coming out soon! I am going to have to go pre-order it on Amazon and I don't think I have ever pre-ordered a book before! Anyways, back to the sandwich.
    When I first read over this recipe in the Engine 2 diet book, I will admit I was not attracted to it at all. It just sounded so boring and with way too many greens to actually taste good. However one rainy day, I am not sure what came over me, but I decided to try this sandwich. OMG. It was so so good! I was missing out every time I skipped over the recipe! I have since learned to try everything in that book even if it doesn't sound overly appealing on paper. That dude Rip knows what he is talking about!
    Try this sandwich and let me know if you don't think it is amazing. I'll be over to pick it up and take it off your hands! Oh and speaking of hands-this is a messy, messy sandwich. Have lots of napkins available! Enjoy with a side of hummus and carrots.

    From the Engine 2 Diet


    • 1 bunch of kale, rinsed and drained
    • 4 slices of whole grain bread, toasted (I recommend using Ezekial brand with this sandwich)
    • 2-3 T White Bean Hummus or hummus of choice
    • 4 green onions (scallions), sliced thinly 
    • 1/2 bunch of cilantro, rinsed and chopped
    • Juice of 1 lemon
    • zest of 1 lemon


    Tear kale leaves away from the stem then tear into bite-size pieces. Steam kale until bright green and tender, about 3-5 minutes. Alternately, you can place kale in a large pot filled with 4 inches of water and boil for 3 minutes. When kale is done cooking, toss with lemon juice and lemon zest. Toast bread to your liking then spread each slice of toast thick with hummus. Place green onions and cilantro on the slices of toast. Then pile on your lemony kale. Top with remaining slice of toast. Enjoy!

    Avocado Caprese Bites

    With the somewhat warm temperature today, I was anxious to make something a little "summery".
    Nothing reminds me of summer more than fresh basil. We grow our own basil in the summer (so easy) and always have tons of it all summer long. I love using basil to make homemade pesto, but I also love using it for caprese salad. It's such an easy, delicious appetizer!
     I am a recovering mozzarella addict! So I substituted some ripe avocado for the fresh mozzarella that is traditionally used in caprese salad. The results were super yummy AND I did not miss the cheese!


    (serves 2)

    • 2 Roma tomatoes
    • 1/2 ripe avocado
    • 8 fresh basil leaves
    • 1-2 T balsamic vinegar (get the high quality stuff, it's worth the money!)
    • 1T extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
    • salt and pepper


    Slice each tomato into 4 slices so that you have 8 slices total. Then slice avocado into 8 pieces. Arrange tomato slices on a large plate and place one fresh basil leaf on each tomato slice followed by a slice of avocado. Drizzle EVOO  and balsamic over caprese bites. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!

    Thursday, March 28, 2013

    Cauliflower Alfredo

    Who doesn't love fettuccine alfredo? I love this recipe because it uses a whole head of cauliflower as the base for the alfredo sauce. It is a very tasty way to get your veggies and a great alternative to cream and butter alfredo.
    We get a crate from a local farmer's market weekly. I try and center our meals around whatever is in that crate. After having steamed cauliflower week after week, I was excited to find a recipe like this. Cauliflower Alfredo and mashed cauliflower (recipe coming soon!) are my new favorite ways to cook this yummy vegetable. Enjoy!

    Inspired by this recipe


    (makes 2 large or 3-4 small servings)
    • 1 small-ish head of cauliflower, chopped
    • 1.5 cups vegetable broth
    • 8 ounces whole grain fettuccine pasta
    • 1 teaspoon EVOO
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1/2 cup soy milk
    •  salt and freshly ground pepper
    • 3/4 cup frozen peas
    • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese substitute or parmesan cheese
    • 1 tablespoon vegan butter
    • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
    •  lemon zest from 1 small lemon (optional)


    Place cauliflower in a pot with vegetable broth and 1 cup of water. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Cook until cauliflower is very soft, about 15-20 min. Once cooked, remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Then place cauliflower, broth, and water mixture in a blender. Puree until very smooth.
    While cauliflower is cooking, bring a pot of water to boil and cook pasta according to package directions.
    Next, heat oil in a large skillet. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add cauliflower puree and milk to the skillet. Bring to a simmer and allow to cook for 5 minutes to thicken. Once thickened, season with salt and pepper then add in peas. Cook two additional minutes. Then toss in pasta, parmesan substitute, butter, parsley,and lemon zest if using. Garnish with additional parsley and parmesan substitute. Enjoy!
    I don't know about you, but I'm now ready for dessert! Maybe a chocolate chip muffin or two ? :-)

    Wednesday, March 27, 2013

    Oatmeal Cookie and Milk Smoothie

    I've been wanting to make this smoothie all week! It is such a good one! We had some sweet potatoes that were taking forever to bake in the oven and I was super hungry so...PERFECT excuse to make these for a pre-dinner nosh. And it was just the right amount when you share with someone! By the time I made the smoothie and got a few shots of it, our sweet potatoes and veggie burgers were done. So this turned out to be like the milk shake you get to drink with your burger and fries! Although, swap those for veggie burger and baked sweet potato ;0) Drink this and drink it often!

    Adapted from The Happy Herbivore

    Ingredients (makes 1 large or 2 small smoothies)

    1. 2 frozen bananas
    2. 1/4 cup uncooked oats
    3. 1 T raisins
    4. 1/2 tsp cinnamon
    5. 1 cup of non-dairy milk
    6. 1 packet of stevia
    7. additional cinnamon and raisins for garnish


    Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until desired consistency is reached. Garnish with additional raisins and extra cinnamon. Drink and enjoy!

    Tuesday, March 26, 2013

    Pumpkin Frappuccino

    I got off work a little early today and had lots to do at home. As soon as I got home and ate lunch a wave of fatigue hit me. I felt like I needed a little bit of an afternoon pick me up. I had some pumpkin leftover from making these Chocolate Chip Muffins and remembered this pumpkin frappuccino recipe from the Fall. I thought I could doctor it up as I was short on time and didn't have time to freeze the coffee like the original recipe required. It turned out pretty yummy and got me through my spin class a few hours later. It was a sweet reminder of Fall on this beautiful Spring day!
    Inspired by this recipe: Pumpkin Pie Frappuccinos

    Ingredients (serves 2)

  • 3/4 cup milk of choice
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  •  1 1/4 cup of very strong coffee (regular or decaf)
  • 3 packets of stevia or 3 T of sugar (or sweetener of choice)
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 25 ice cubes


    Brew coffee. I used 8 T of coffee to 12 oz of water in my coffee pot. Combine coffee with cold milk so that coffee cools slightly. Add coffee-milk mixture along with all other ingredients to a blender. Blend until slushy. Pour into two glasses and enjoy.



    Monday, March 25, 2013

    White Bean Hummus aka Best Hummus Ever!


    Whenever I come home from the gym in the evening, I am always starving. Tonight I had a major hummus craving. Up until a few months ago, I was buying store bought hummus. Then I realized store bought hummus is expensive and potentially full of preservatives. I also realized making your own hummus is very easy and so much more flavorful. I have been using this recipe from Oh She Glows every time I make hummus. The blog and its recipes are AMAZING! One of my favorites for sure.
    I was feeling kind of creative tonight and I was inspired by a "white bean hummus" I had over the weekend. With this inspiration, I decided to swap my usual garbanzo beans with cannellini beans in the hummus recipe. The result was a smidge more creaminess, but it still tasted like my favorite hummus. I love hummus with carrots! What's your favorite way to eat hummus?


  • 1 can or 2 cups cooked cannellini beans, rinsed and drained (or garbanzos for traditional hummus)
  • 1 tsp salt, or to taste
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/3 cup tahini
  • 7-8 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp water
  • 4-8 drops of Tabasco sauce, to taste
  • Olive oil, for garnish
  • Paprika, for garnish



    Place all ingredients in a food processor and process until very smooth. Transfer to a bowl and drizzle with olive oil, then sprinkle with paprika. Will keep 5 days in the fridge. Enjoy!

    Sunday, March 24, 2013

    Vegan Spinach Artichoke Pasta

    I have a slight obsession with making recipes vegan. I was perusing Pinterest today and saw this recipe pinned by Erica at The Healthy Junky. It sounded so amazing! I knew I had to attempt my veganization! Weekends, especially Sundays, are the times I really like to spend a lot of time in the kitchen. However, this was a very quick Sunday dinner!

    I was a little nervous about using the called for (vegan) cheese. I have tried several brands, including daiya, over the past 6 months and I just did not like them at all. However, recently since I have been cutting down on cheese, I decided to try a few of the vegan cheeses again. The second time around I could say I almost liked them! They are a bit pricey so I use them sparingly and I don't buy them all the time. I have found a few brands that I buy when I want to create recipes such as this. I have also found that if you use the vegan cheese as an ingredient verses eating it plain, it seems to taste better.  :)

    Adapted from The Pioneer Woman


    (makes 2 large or 3-4 small servings)

    • 3 T vegan butter
    • 2 cloves of garlic minced
    • 1 bag of spinach
    • 1 can of artichoke hearts, drained and quartered
    • 1.5 T flour
    • 1 1/2 cups soy milk
    • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
    • salt and pepper, to taste
    • 1/2 cup  vegan parmesan cheese substitute (I used rawmesan)
    •  3/4 cup vegan mozzarella substitute (I used daiya)
    • 1/4 cup vegetable broth (less or more)
    • 6 ounces penne pasta or pasta shells (preferably whole wheat) cooked until al dente
    • 1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
    • crushed red pepper, to taste 


      Melt 1 tablespoon of vegan butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Saute garlic for one minute and then add in the spinach. Cook until it's wilted, about 2-3 minutes. Remove spinach from pan and set aside in a separate bowl.
      Add 1 tablespoon of vegan butter to the same skillet. Add in the halved artichokes and cook about 1 to 2 minutes. Remove the artichokes from the skillet and set them aside.
      Reduce the heat to low. Add 1 tablespoon of vegan butter to the same skillet. When melted, sprinkle in flour and whisk until it's combined. Pour in soy milk and whisk to combine. Let it cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until starting to thicken. Add parmesan substitute, mozzarella substitute, salt and pepper, and cayenne pepper. Stir to melt, and if it's thick, add in vegetable broth as needed (I did not need to add).
      Add artichokes and pasta, tossing gently to combine. Gently fold in spinach, then pour the pasta into a serving bowl. Sprinkle the top with crushed red pepper flakes and plenty of panko breadcrumbs for crunch.

    Thai Quinoa Salad

    I had originally planned on making a vegan fettucine alfredo using coconut milk for my brother's birthday gathering today. However, with all this nasty weather we had to reschedule. Bummer. Will have to make that recipe soon and since it's a little indulgent-it's best for sharing! Anyways, I decided to make something a little lighter for this snowy Sunday. This salad is vegetable-heavy dish so I could use up some of my fresh, farmer's market produce. Ingredients like quinoa and peanut butter add some good protein, too. I hope you enjoy!

    From Vegangela





    (Serves 2-4)
    • 1 cup quinoa (I used an organic rainbow quinoa)
    • 2 cups water
    • ½ cucumber peeled and cut into julienne strips
    • 1 carrot shredded or cut into julienne strips
    • 1 red bell pepper, deseeded and  cut into julienne strips
    • ¼ cup cilantro chopped, plus additional for garnish
    • 3 T smooth peanut butter
    • 3 T rice vinegar
    • 2 T tamari or soy sauce
    • ½ tsp hot red pepper flakes, more or less to taste
    • 1 small clove garlic, minced
    • chopped peanuts (optional)


    1. Bring 2 cups of water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add quinoa and simmer until quinoa is tender, about 15 minutes.
    2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine peanut butter, vinegar, soy sauce, hot red pepper flakes, and garlic. Add enough hot tap water (about 1-2 tablespoons) to thin the mixture to sauce consistency.
    3. When quinoa is ready, transfer it to the bowl, along with the veggies and cilantro, and toss to combine.
    4. Can be served immediately, but the original recipe suggested refrigerating for 30 minutes prior to eating.
    5. Garnish with additional cilantro, peanuts, and serve with addtional tamari, Bragg's, or soy sauce to taste.

    Saturday, March 23, 2013

    Dairy-Free Chocolate Chip Muffins

    Have you ever had vitatop muffins? I really like them! I don't have the biggest sweet tooth, but periodically I get cravings for these yummy muffins. You can toast them and put some "banana cream" (frozen bananas processed in the food processor with some non-dairy milk) in between two vitatops. It's like a healthy ice cream sandwich. The downside of vitatops are the cost which is usually 4-5 dollars for a box of four. They are also made with eggs and I am trying to avoid animal products as much as possible. So I was excited when I found a recipe to make your very own dairy-free vitatops muffins. We had a late lunch today so we ended up having a dessert for dinner night featuring these muffins.

    From Chocolate Covered Katie


    (makes 12)
    • 4 T non-dairy milk of choice
    • 4 T oil (I used coconut and EVOO with success)
    • 1 T vanilla
    • 2 T ground flax or 2 tsp energ powder
    • 1 cup  pumpkin
    • 1 cup all-purpose flour (I used 1/2 whole wheat flour, 1/2 all purpose)
    • 1/2 tsp baking soda
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1 tsp baking powder
    • 4 T cocoa powder
    • 4 T raw sugar (or white sugar)
    • 3 2 stevia packets (or 2 T of additional sugar)
    • 1/2 cup dairy-free chocolate chips


    Preheat oven to 350 F, and grease a muffin pan or line a muffin pan with liners. In a mixing bowl, combine first 5 ingredients. In a separate bowl, combine all remaining ingredients and stir well. Now mix wet into dry and stir until just combined. Don’t over-mix. Distribute batter evenly among 12 muffin cups. Bake 15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out of the muffins clean, then allow to cool 5-10 minutes before removing from the muffin tins.

    Optional: Serve warm with Banana Cream!

    Friday, March 22, 2013

    Shamrock Shake!

    Yes, I know St. Patrick's was last weekend, but I have made this recipe three times since then! I love it and had to share! I can't believe it took me so long to discover the amazing treats you can make with frozen bananas-this shake being one of them. I used to trash all my overly ripe bananas until I heard about "Yonanas". It is a very special small appliance that turns frozen bananas into a vanilla soft serve. Now all of my overly ripe bananas get peeled and placed in a Rubbermaid container in the freezer. Once frozen for 24 hours, you can make some yonanas or a good shake (smoothie) recipe such as the one below ;)

    Adapted from Healthy Vegan Shamrock Shake

    Shamrock Shake

    • 1 frozen ripe banana cut into pieces
    • 1/4 of an avocado
    • 2 lettuce leaves ( I think anything but iceberg would work or you could use a handful of spinach or kale)
    • 1 cup of unsweetened almond milk (may sub any non-dairy milk)
    • 1/4 tsp of peppermint extract
    • 1/4 tsp of vanilla
    • 1 scoop of protein powder (I used hemp)
    • 2-3 mint leaves (optional)
    • 1 packet of stevia (sweeten to taste)


    Blend all ingredients until shake is smooth.

    It didn't last too long!

    Wednesday, March 20, 2013

    Angel Hair with Kale and Lemon

    So my fiance is not the biggest pasta fan. Darn. Even worse, he isn't a pasta with marinara (red) sauce fan. I love pasta with marinara. My favorite pasta meal was always very simple: angel hair with marinara and parmesan cheese. Total conflict with his tastes. Therefore, I am always on the look out for a good pasta recipe to convince him that pasta really is extremely delicious. Here is the recipe I made tonight as part of my endless quest. Inspired by Spaghetti with kale and lemon from Bev Cooks

    Angel Hair with Kale and Lemon

    (makes 2 large or 3-4 small servings)
    -7 oz of whole wheat angel hair
    -2 T EVOO
    -3 garlic cloves, minced
    -pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
    -1 bunch of kale (preferably organic) chopped or torn
    -2 T sunflower seeds
    -zest of 1 lemon
    -3 T lemon juice
    -1/2 cup of dairy-free parmesan or parmesan ( I used rawmesan vegan parmesan substitute)
    -salt and pepper to taste


    Bring a large pot of water to boil and cook pasta al dente according to package directions saving 1/2 cup of pasta water. While waiting for water to boil, heat oil in a large skillet then add garlic and red pepper allowing to cook for 1 minute. Add kale with salt and pepper to taste. Cook until kale wilts, about 3-5 minutes. Stir in lemon juice, lemon zest, and sunflower seeds. Add cooked angel hair to kale mixture. Then add reserved pasta water followed by parmesan cheese or cheese substitute to skillet. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!
    I enjoyed my pasta with some extra rawmesan and Asian stir fried green beans that the fiance made. They were so yummy! I finished with one of these pieces of primal fudge for dessert.

    Note: You can make your own Parmesan substitute by processing nutritional yeast with walnuts or cashews. This is my favorite recipe I have found so far Garlic Cheeze










    Tuesday, March 19, 2013

    Dairy-free Spinach Artichoke Dip

    I LOVE Spinach Artichoke Dip. I usually only ate it as an app when out to dinner. It was so filling that I didn't have room for my entree. I also usually felt a touch of guilt thinking about the potentially crappy ingredients that I was consuming. I had never made it myself, but when I saw this dairy-free version I knew I had to try it. And man was it amazing!
    Inspired by Chef Chloe Coscarelli

    Spinach-Artichoke Dip
    2 tablespoons olive oil
    1 onion, chopped
    3 cloves garlic, minced
    1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper, optional
    5 oz. baby spinach or kale
    1 14-oz. package silken tofu
    1/2 cup nutritional yeast flakes
    2 tablespoons lemon juice
    1 teaspoon dried basil
    1 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
    1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    14 oz. of artichoke hearts, drained
    tortilla chips for serving

    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray  a 1-quart baking dish.
    In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat and sauté onions until soft. Add garlic and red pepper and let cook a few more minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-low and add spinach or kale. Let cook, stirring gently, until greens are wilted.
    In a food processor, blend tofu, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, basil, salt and pepper until smooth. Add artichokes and spinach mixture, and pulse until vegetables are to your desired texture. Transfer to the prepared baking dish.
    Bake for 30 minutes, or until lightly browned on top. Let cool a few minutes and serve with tortilla chips.


    So here goes...more than a year after saying I was going to start a food/fitness blog...I'm trying again. Lately, (inspired by my upcoming wedding) I have been very inspired to get healthier. What that means may be a little different for everyone. That is something I have recently learned. To me, healthier means eating more plant-based foods, focusing on whole foods, incorporating all types of fitness that I love, and exploring what makes me happy...and going for it!
    I have a history of jumping on the latest diet bandwagon. I have abandoned that philosophy and am so much happier.
    I am excited to share my recipes with you!