Sunday, June 30, 2013

Gourmet Veggie Pizza (Vegan)

This recipe was inspired by my favorite veggie pizza from Eric's in Stockton, CA. I had to attempt a vegan version!


  • 1 ball of prepared pizza dough (use whole wheat if possible)
  • 1 tomato, sliced
  • 1/2 zucchini, thinnly sliced
  • 1/2 cup of sun dried tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup of red or white onion, sliced
  • 1/2 can artichoke hearts, drained
  • vegan cheese

Pizza Sauce Ingredients (inspired by this recipe)

  • 1 Tbsp of vegan butter
  • 1/2 Tbsp of EVOO
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 can of artichoke hearts, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • pepper to taste
  • 1 Tbsp of flour (may need more to thicken sauce)
  • 1 cup of soy or almond milk
  • 1/4 cup of fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp of nutritional yeast


Preheat oven to 350 and let pizza dough ball sit at room temperature.
Saute garlic in EVOO and butter. Add artichokes, salt, and pepper. Add in milk and basil. Cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add nutritional yeast and flour, stir to combine. Add more flour as needed to thicken sauce. Transfer sauce to a blender and blend until smooth.
Next grease a pizza pan. Press dough evenly over pizza pan and top with prepared sauce.
Add tomatoes, zucchini, onions, and artichokes to pizza. Top pizza with desired amount of vegan cheese. Bake pizza 12+ minutes until crust has browned and cheese is melted and bubbly. Enjoy!

Flourless Protein Brownies

This morning I attempted to make a lemon berry quinoa pancake recipe that I had been eyeing on Pinterest for awhile. As you can see from the photo above, the pancakes were crap. The first time I poured the pancake batter onto my skillet, the pancake totally fell apart. I quickly poured the batter from the skillet back into the batter bowl and added flour. What I got was what you see above, a pancake that held together a little, but still not too good. My next go round, I added 1-2 Tbsp of ground flaxseed to the batter because I obviously needed a binder.

Finally, I was able to cook a pancake without to much trouble. I thought I had saved the recipe...until I tasted them. They were not awful but.....I did not like them. Maybe it is just me coming to the realization that I officially do not like quinoa prepared sweetly. Sigh.

I have had a series of flops lately. First it was the vegan red velvet brownies, next it was the 3 ingredient cake balls, now the quinoa pancakes.

Although I will comfort myself with the thought that at least those recipe flops did not top my biggest kitchen mistake to date.

When I was living at a co-op in Berkeley, CA 13-ish years ago, I had signed up to make Sunday brunch for the whole co-op. I got up early and decided on scrambled eggs and pancakes. I pulled out The Joy of Cooking and went to work. The eggs were perfect and the pancakes- beautiful...until I tasted a pancake. Salt! I had accidentally used salt instead of sugar in the pancakes. One co-op member insisted he try a pancake before I trashed them- because they were so visually appealing. He promptly spit the pancake out in the trash can. Luckily, I had enough time to make another batch of pancakes before brunch started. :)

With all the recent flops, I needed a recipe that was sure to turn out. :) Enter flourless protein brownies!

From Yum Universe


  • 1 can of black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 cup of EVOO (you can use coconut oil if you like coconut flavor in your brownies)
  • 1/2 cup of cocoa powder
  • 1 apple, cored and chopped
  • 10 dates, pitted
  • 2/3 cup of vanilla or chocolate protein powder (I used Sunwarrior in vanilla)
  • 1/2 cup of raw sugar
  • 1/2 tsp of sea salt
  • 1 Tbsp of vanilla

Method (makes 16 small brownies)

Preheat oven to 350 and grease a 9 inch baking dish. Place all ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth. Transfer batter to your prepared baking dish. Bake 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the brownies comes out clean. Allow to cool before cutting. Store leftovers in the fridge.


*The original recipe added nuts. If you like nuts with your brownies, click on the link back to the original recipe for instructions on adding them. I omitted the nuts because I prefer a plain brownie.

*I also noticed the brownies were a smidgen more crumbly than I would have liked. Next time I might add in a flax egg for some extra binding (flax egg= 3 Tbsp of water mixed with 1 Tbsp GROUND flaxseed allowed to sit for 10 minutes until a gel forms).

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Vegetable Edamame Pasta with Vegan Basil Cream Sauce



Ingredients (Serves 4)

  • 5 cups of whole grain pasta, uncooked
  • 2 tsp EVOO
  • 1 cup of onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 orange bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 yellow or red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 zucchini, chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 cup of frozen edamame (or you can sub any bean)
  • salt, pepper, red pepper flakes to taste

Basil Cream Sauce

  • 1 avocado
  • 1 cup of fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup of lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp of water
  • 2 Tbsp of EVOO
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • pepper, to taste
  • red pepper flakes to taste


1. Cook pasta according to package directions.
2. Heat oil in a large skillet and add onion and garlic. Cook 5 minutes over medium heat then add peppers, zucchini, and edamame. Saute for an additional 10 minutes. 
3. Add tomatoes to the skillet with the other veggies and cook an additional 5 minutes.
4. While vegetables are cooking, add all cream sauce ingredients to a food processor and process until smooth. Set aside.
5. Add cooked pasta and cream sauce to the skillet with veggies. Season with additional salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes to taste. Serve hot or cold. Enjoy!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Raw-ish Taco Salad for Two and Overnight Oat Parfaits

I had a MAJORLY LAZY day, but I did manage to whip up a few good things to eat. I was inspired by all the recipes at (OSG)

First for an appetizer ;) I made, a Chocolate Cake Batter Smoothie from OSG. My fiance and I split it. Hence the two straws ;)

Then for dinner I made OSG's Layered Raw Taco Salad for Two. My fiance thought it was better than the taco salad he ordered at Crazy Bowls and Wraps!
I used OSG's recipe, but added fresh, just cut off the cob, corn....some carrots...and some organic baked tortilla chips.

AND I was going to make this for breakfast tomorrow, but it might be for dessert tonight instead!
Vegan Overnight Oat Parfaits (Overnight Oats layered with Banana Cream) !!!
OSG has so many different flavor combinations! I can't wait to try them all!

Last, some beautiful inspiration:

“Let whatever you do today be enough. Let go of the judgement you have about what you should be or could be doing, and today, allow yourself to simply be. Comparing yourself and your journey may be habitual, but it gets you nowhere. It makes you feel worse and it keeps you stuck. So stop fixating on where everyone else is, and start giving yourself permission to be exactly where you are. Quiet the voice telling you to do more and be more, and trust that in this moment, who you are, where you are at, and what you are doing is enough. You will get to where you need to be in your own time. Until then, breathe. Breathe and be patient with yourself and your process. You are doing the best you can to cope and survive amid your struggles, and that’s all you can ask of yourself. It’s enough. You are enough.” ~Daniell Koepke

CHOCOLATE Cake Batter Smoothie (Vegan)

From Oh She Glows


*makes 1 smoothie*
  1. 1/3 cup of oats
  2. 1 frozen banana
  3. 1 cup of non-dairy milk (I used almond)
  4. 1 tsp of vanilla
  5. 1 tsp of cocoa powder
  6. 1 tsp of agave
  7. 1 tsp of cinnamon
  8. handful of ice cubes
  9. 1 Tbsp of non-dairy chocolate chips
  10. 1 Tbsp of cashew nut butter or whatever nut butter you have on hand


If you aren't a big texture person, soak your oats in the milk for 1 hour before making smoothie. If you don't mind the oat-y texture, you can skip that step. I like texture so I did not soak my oats (I am also impatient when it comes to eating dessert!)

Combine oats (soaked or un-soaked), milk, and remaining ingredients, minus chocolate chips, in a blender and process until smooth. Add chocolate chips to blender and pulse until desired consistency is reached.
Serve immediately and ENJOY!

NOTE: I was thinking 1 tsp of almond extract would maybe give the smoothie a more cake battery taste, especially if you are not using cashew butter. I have not tried this, but plan to in the future. Let me know if you try it and if it worked or not?!?!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Corn and Herb Pasta Salad

From Thug Kitchen

Ingredients (serves 4+)

  • 2 cups of any combination of fresh herbs/onions, such as basil, cilantro, green onions, mint, oregano, dill, parsley
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 6 Tbsp of white or red wine vinegar
  • 4 Tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp of lemon pepper
  • 1/4 tsp of salt
  • 1 pound of whole grain pasta
  • 1 broccoli crown, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 cup of shredded carrot
  • 2 ears of corn, cut corn kernels off cob


In a food processor, combine herbs/onions, garlic, vinegar, oil, pepper, and salt. Process until smooth and set aside. This is the dressing for your pasta salad.
Cook pasta according to package directions. Add broccoli to the boiling water during the last two minutes of cooking pasta.
Drain pasta and broccoli then rinse with cold water.
Add pasta and broccoli to a large bowl. Next add in tomatoes, carrot, and corn.
Toss pasta salad gently with the prepared dressing.
Serve at room temperature or chilled.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Caramelized Onion and Artichoke Pizza (Vegan)

From STLVegGirl.....I want to be her when I grow up!....ILVegGirl? ;)


  • 1 Tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large red onion, cut in half then thinly sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Tbsp of brown sugar
  • 1 tsp of sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp of thyme
  • 1 prepared pizza dough or crust (use whole grain, if possible)
  • 1 cup of non-dairy mozzarella (I used Daiya)
  • 1 can of artichoke hearts in water, chopped
  • 2-3 Tbsp of high-quality balsamic vinegar or balsamic glaze


Preheat oven to 400. If using a dough which needs to be baked before adding pizza toppings, follow package instructions. In a medium to large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onions, garlic, brown sugar, salt, and thyme. Cover skillet, cooking onions until they soften. Once onions are soft, uncover skillet and cook onions until they start to brown, about 10 minutes. Stir onions frequently. Once onions are fully cooked, assemble your pizza: top crust with half of cheese, followed by onions, artichokes, and remaining cheese. Bake pizza 15-20 minutes or until cheese is golden brown and crust is crisp. Let pizza cool 3 minutes before serving then top with balsamic vinegar or glaze. Cut into 8 slices. Enjoy!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Easy Vegan Tomato Cream Pasta

From Oh She Glows

Are you pesto-ed out?
Friday night I decided to organize my recipe page into categories and I saw that I had four pesto recipes! I knew I had a few and will probably have a few more ;)
We are almost at the peak of basil season right now so my favorite herb is plentiful. This recipe uses a cup of fresh basil and let me tell you it was amazing! I will be making this again and again. It is incredibly quick and easy also...which is an added bonus!

Ingredients (Serves 2-3)

  • 8 ounces of whole grain pasta
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 cup of cashews, raw or unsalted
  • 1/4 cup of water
  • 1 Tbsp of tomato paste (I used 1 Tbsp tomato sauce with success)
  • 1 Tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced (use less if you don't love garlic)
  • 1 tsp of salt, more or less to taste
  • 3-4 Tbsp of  pasta water (or water or wine)
  • 1/2-1 tsp of pepper, more or less to taste
  • 1 cup of packed fresh basil, chopped


1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Saving about 4 Tbsp of pasta water.
2. While pasta is cooking, place tomatoes, cashews, 1/4 cup of water, and tomato paste in a blender. Process until smooth. Set aside.
3. Heat olive oil in a medium skillet and add garlic. Cook 1 minutes or until fragrant then add blended tomato sauce mixture. Add salt then simmer sauce for 4 minutes. While sauce is simmering you can add pasta water, water, or wine in order to thin sauce slightly.
4. Remove pasta sauce from heat and stir in chopped basil and 1/2-1 tsp of black pepper or to taste.
5. Add pasta sauce to cooked and drained hot pasta and serve immediately. Enjoy!

Friday, June 14, 2013

What I Ate Today

A lot of people ask me what I eat as a vegetarian who mainly eats plant based. I get a lot of questions like, "where do you get your protein, calcium, etc". So I picked a random day and here it is:

Meal 1

Iced organic green tea with almond milk and stevia
Peanut Butter Oatmeal Smoothie

*5 mile run, 1 hour strength training class*

Meal 2

Multigrain pita chips with this Hummus, made with organic garbanzo beans
2 pieces of  honey wheat bread with a Pinto Burger with lettuce and onion
Sliced organic strawberries and a piece of ghiradelli 72% dark chocolate

Meal 3

White Chocolate Macadamia Clif Crunch Bar

Meal 4

Medium 1/2 caf iced soy latte with one raw sugar packet
Organic baby carrots with hummus and multigrain pita chips

*1 mile walk with the dog*

Meal 5

1 O'Douls Amber (Non-alcoholic beer)
1 Grilled Bean and Rice Burrito with extra beans and rice on the side
1 heaping teaspoon of peanut butter mixed with 1 heaping teaspoon of coconut oil and a little stevia. I placed mixture on top of a ghiradelli 72% dark's like a Reeses PB cup (don't knock it until you try it!)

Meal 6

Huge bowl of organic pineapple and strawberries 

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Cake Batter Protein Smoothie

I have been wanting to put this recipe on the blog for awhile now because it is such a treat! This is my third time attempting pics of this smoothie and all I can say is the lighting in our house stinks when it comes to food photography. Maybe once the wedding is over I will take a class so that I can learn some skills?

From Naked Avocado

Ingredients (makes 1 serving)

  • 1 Tbsp of macadamia nuts or cashews
  • 1 Tbsp of coconut butter or oil
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 2 pitted dates
  • 1 cup of almond milk
  • 1/2 tsp of pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp of almond extract
  • 1 scoop of vanilla protein powder (I used Sunwarrior)
  • dark chocolate shavings and honey for garnish


Use a hand grater to shave a piece of dark chocolate or alternately you can place a handful of dark chocolate in your food processor or magic bullet to create some shavings. Place chocolate shavings on a small plate. Rim a glass for your smoothie with honey and then place the honey-ed rim onto the plate which has your chocolate shavings on it.
Next place all remaining ingredients in a blender and process until smooth. Transfer smoothie to your chocolate rimmed glass. Serve immediately and enjoy!


Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Pinto Burgers with Sweet Potato Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes

Inspired by this recipe

 Burger Ingredients (makes about 6-8 burgers)

1 can of pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 can of diced tomatoes with zesty mild chiles, drained
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp of onion powder
2 green onions, ends removed and chopped
1 cup of carrots, shredded or chopped
1 cup of cilantro
2 cups of oats

Serve with:

whole wheat buns or bread
garnishes such as tomato, lettuce, onion, and avocado


Place all burger ingredients, minus oats, into a food processor and process until smooth. Transfer ingredients to a large bowl and stir in oats. Form into patties and cook in a sprayed skillet until both sides are brown. Serve on buns with your desired garnishes. Enjoy!


Sweet Potato Cauliflower Mashed Potato Ingredients (Original Recipe!)

*serves 2-3* 

1 sweet potato, rinsed, peeled, and chopped
1 head of cauliflower, rinsed and chopped
1 Tbsp of vegan butter (I use Earth Balance)
1/4 cup of almond milk or any non-dairy milk
salt and pepper to taste


Steam sweet potato and cauliflower (I use a steaming basket) until vegetables are soft. Transfer veggies to a food processor. Add butter and milk to processor. Process until potatoes are smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately. Enjoy!


Sunday, June 9, 2013

Creamy Dairy-Free Pesto Pasta


*Serves 2*

6-7 ounces of pasta, cooked according to package directions

1 cup (packed) of fresh basil, rinsed

2 garlic cloves

2 ounces of dairy-free cream cheese

2 Tbsp of dairy-free Parmesan or nutritional yeast

Salt and pepper to taste


Place all ingredients, minus pasta, in a food processor and process until smooth. Serve immediately over hot pasta. Enjoy!

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Smoothie


This smoothie is my new obsession! I LOVE it for breakfast! I know oatmeal is good...I just like to eat it in a more unconventional way. Yum!

Inspired by the ingredients in the narrative of this blog post.


1 frozen banana
1 Tbsp of peanut butter
1 cup of almond milk
handful of ice
1 tsp of coconut oil
1/4 cup of oats
1 packet of stevia


Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until desired consistency is reached. You may need a spoon to help you eat this smoothie because it is a tad bit on the thick side. If you prefer a thinner smoothie, add more almond milk.


 Bonus Pic! My dog LOVES to eat. Here he is trying to decide how he was going to steal my veggie burger at lunch yesterday! Isn't he the cutest????

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Vegetarian Pad Thai

Adapted slightly from this recipe at Brownies for Dinner

Ingredients (Serves 2-4)

  1. 8 ounces of whole wheat pasta, such as linguine
  2. 2 Tbsp of brown sugar
  3. 2 Tbsp of lime juice
  4. 3 Tbsp of soy sauce or tamari
  5. 2 tsp of EVOO
  6. 4 scallions/green onions, ends removed and sliced
  7. 1 garlic clove, minced
  8. 1/2 cup of fresh cilantro, chopped
  9. 1/4 cup of peanuts, chopped
  10. 4 ounces of tofu, cubed (I used a baked teriyaki tofu)
  11. red pepper flakes to taste (optional)---I did not add


Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile whisk together soy sauce, brown sugar, lime juice, and red pepper flakes (if using). In a large skillet, heat EVOO. Add garlic and half of green onions to skillet. Cook until fragrant, about 1 minute, then add in tofu. Cook several minutes until tofu starts to brown. Add remaining green onions, pasta, and sauce to skillet. Toss ingredients to combine and cook for a few additional minutes until heated thoroughly. Top pasta with cilantro and peanuts. Enjoy!

Polenta Fries

When I was in California last Summer, my friend and I were at an Italian restaurant. We ordered polenta fries as an appetizer and I remember not really liking the dipping sauce they came with. However, I remember I thinking the concept was great! Recently, I found this recipe and it is so super easy. But if you feel like being extra crafty in the kitchen, the original recipe has a homemade garlic tomato sauce that looks superb as well as a link with instructions on how to make your own polenta. I took the easy route this time and bought pre-made polenta and used jarred pasta sauce. I like to be a lazy cook when I can ;)

Adapted slightly from this recipe at Oh My Veggies


  • One 24 ounce tube of polenta
  • salt
  • pepper
  • Italian seasoning
  • cooking spray or oil mister (Use Extra Virgin Olive Oil)
  • Jarred pasta sauce for dipping


Preheat your oven to 450. Remove polenta from packaging. Slice polenta in half and then into 1 inch slices so that the slices resemble a french fry. Spray a large baking sheet with cooking spray or EVOO. Spread polenta fries evenly on the baking sheet then spray fries with oil again. Sprinkle fries with Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper to taste. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until fries are golden brown. Serve immediately with your favorite tomato sauce. Enjoy!