The Best Cruelty Free Mac & "Cheese"

Friday, November 27, 2015





Before I became vegan I was an expert on Mac & Cheese. I am a true starchavore. I will pick savory over sweet any day and this dish was high on the list. Here is a non dairy, cruelty free, and healthy option that squashes all of those strong cravings. This recipe does not disappoint, its rich, creamy and full of that sharp, tangy cheddar flavor. 


Ingredients

5 small white potatoes
1/2 of a yellow onion
6 baby carrots
1 cup of unsalted roasted cashews
1 tsp of fresh garlic, chopped
1/2 of lemon, juiced
4 Tablespoons of Nutritional Yeast
1 Tablespoon of yellow mustard
Salt & Pepper to taste
1 box of brown rice elbow pasta


Directions

One hour before you make this Mac & Cheese soak one cup of cashews in water to soften them. In a small saucepan boil the potatoes, carrots, and onion until soft. I keep the peel on the potatoes for extra fiber. In another saucepan cook your elbow pasta until al dente, drain and return to saucepan. Pour the vegetables and the remaining water from the boil to a Vitamix or a high powered mixer. Add to the mixture, the drained but softened cashews, garlic, lemon juice, Nutritional Yeast, mustard, and salt. Blend all of these ingredients on high and until the mixture is smooth. Taste and add more of any other spice you would like. Sometimes I add more garlic, or nooch (nutritional yeast) depending on the day. 
Pour the hot creamy sauce over your freshly cooked noodles and stir to coat. This is when I add the freshly cracked pepper. 

Enjoy and remember to always be mindful and eat with compassion!   



Dino Kale Salad...Rawr!

Saturday, November 21, 2015





Lots of people turn their nose up to kale because they don't prepare it correctly.  I crave this salad and find myself eating it at least three times week, it's that good. This recipe is my version from the restaurant True Food, my recipe is a bit spicier and minus the cheese of course.


Ingredients

1 large bunch of Dino Kale
2 Tablespoons of olive oil
1 Tablespoon of Apple Cider Vinegar
1 lemon, juiced
2 tsp of chopped fresh garlic
1 tsp of red pepper flakes
2 slices of Ciabatta bread, toasted
Salt & pepper to taste


Directions

Wash and remove the kale leaves from the stem. The stem is very bitter so you defiantly do not want to eat this part of the kale leaf. Chop up your kale leaves and place them in a large bowl, I use a wooden bowl because I swear it makes the salad taste better. Add the olive oil, apple cider vinegar, garlic, lemon juice, red pepper flakes, & salt and pepper. With a clean hand massage all of these ingredients into your kale for at least 3 to 5 minutes. This step is very important you want tender kale leaves.  Next let this mixture marinate into the kale leaves for a good hour before adding the chopped toast on top and serving. 

Enjoy and remember to always be mindful and eat with compassion! 

Butternut Squash & Sage Risotto

Thursday, October 29, 2015








 My favorite season is here and I'm excited to start cooking comfort food. This rich healthy dish will warm you from the inside out. I love the nuttiness of roasted butternut squash and when paired with sage the flavors pop and really compliment each other, perfect on a cozy fall evening. 


Ingredients


1 1/2 cups of Arborio rice
1 yellow onion chopped
2 cups of cubed butternut squash
2 Tablespoons of chopped garlic
1 Tablespoon of chopped fresh sage
1 bunch of asparagus, chopped
2 cups of white wine
4 cups of vegetable broth 
1 Tablespoon of olive oil
Salt & pepper to taste


Directions


On a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper lay out your cubed butternut squash and dry roast it in the oven at 425º until soft and starting to get golden brown. Take the butternut squash out of the oven and set aside. Next in a large saucepan on medium high heat add olive oil and the chopped onion let this cook until the onion is caramelized. At this point add the dry Arborio rice and lightly toast the rice in the sauce pan stirring constantly. When the rice is lightly toasted turn down the heat to medium and add 1 cup of white wine to deglaze the pan, stir the rice mixture constantly until all the liquid is absorbed. 

Next add the chopped garlic and sage along with another cup of white wine. When you add liquid to the Arborio rice you have to stir constantly until all the liquid is absorbed, this will be an arm workout but well worth it. Next add the dry roasted butternut squash and 1 cup of vegetable broth. Stir and repeat adding the vegetable broth cup by cup 3 more times. At the end add the chopped bunch of asparagus and stir in. At this point your mixture should be thick and creamy and your rice should be fully cooked. If your rice isn't cooked all the way through add another cup of vegetable broth and repeat the process of stirring until the liquid is absorbed. The rice should be completely done at this time. Add salt and pepper to taste and serve. 

Enjoy and remember to always be mindful and eat with compassion!



Coconut Curry Squash Soup

Friday, June 26, 2015


I know its summertime but a big bowl of butternut squash soup sounded so good. This recipe is so simple but so creamy, rich, and delicious. This soup would be a great dish to whip up when guests stop by unexpectedly. I'm going to be making this soup a lot this fall.


Ingredients

2  butternut squash, whole
3/4 cup of light coconut milk
1 tablespoon of curry powder
1 1/2 cups of hot water
1 tsp of salt
Basmati rice
Broccoli



Directions

Skin and chop your butternut squash into small cubes. Place cubes on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet and roast in a 425 oven for 30 mins or until tender. (your house will smell amazing at this point)
While the squash is roasting put the basmati rice on to cook. Scoop all of the cooked butternut squash into a high speed blender like a Vitamix. At this point add the coconut milk and half of your hot water and blend until smooth. Then add the curry spice and the salt, along with the rest of the hot water. Blend on high for several minutes until the soup is smooth and soup consistency. You might want to add more water if you like a thinner soup. Steam the broccoli last so it remains warm. Serve like pictured. 

Enjoy and remember to always be mindful and eat with compassion!


Red Potato Salad

Sunday, May 3, 2015



Anyone who knows me, knows that I am obsessed with potatoes. When I was little I would eat them raw, that's how much I love them. The classic potato salad recipe just spells comfort food, maybe it's the German in me. Being vegan of course we do not eat your traditional mayonnaise made with eggs. Instead I used Just Mayo an all plant based mayo which is heavenly, in fact Just Mayo is better than the traditional mayo. Just Mayo is tart and sweet all at the same time giving this salad an awesome plant based kick. 



Ingredients

3 tbsp of Just Mayo
2 tbsp of organic extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp of grainy Dijon mustard
Juice and pulp from one lemon
2 tbsp of white wine vinegar
6 medium to large red potatoes
4 stalks of celery, chopped 
2 green onions, chopped
3 tbsp of fresh parsley, chopped
Sea salt & freshly ground pepper


Directions

Wash and chop your raw potatoes into bite size chunks. Add your potatoes to a pot of boiling water with about 2 tablespoons of sea salt. let them boil until tender. Meanwhile in a large bowl add your Just Mayo, olive oil, Dijon mustard, lemon juice, and vinegar. Whisk all of these ingredients until its almost fluffy. Then add the chopped celery, sliced green onion, and parsley. When the potatoes are done cooking drain and add them to the Just Mayo mixture. Stir until all the ingredients are well mixed. Then season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Refrigerate until the salad is cold and then serve. 

Enjoy and remember to always be mindful and eat with compassion!

Vegetable Dumplings

Thursday, April 16, 2015




This recipe is a little time consuming but easy enough for kids to make. Who says vegans don't eat delicious foods, these dumplings are really yummy and so flavorful. They go great with fried rice, stir-fries, salads, or even in soups.  



Ingredients

3 cups of shiitake mushrooms, chopped 
3 cups of green cabbage, chopped
2 cups of shredded carrots
5 Tbsp of chopped garlic
3 Tbsp of minced ginger
5 green onions chopped
1 cup of bean sprouts, chopped
1 package of vegan wonton wrappers
2 Tbsp of sesame oil
3 Tbsp of low sodium Tamari sauce  
2 Tbsp of rice wine vinegar 


Directions

Chop all of your vegetables and combine them in a large bowl. To the vegetable mix add the Tamari sauce, rice wine vinegar, garlic, and ginger mixing well. In a large saute pan add one tablespoon of the sesame oil turn the pan to medium high. Add all of the vegetable mixture to the pan and stir just until the mixture starts to wilt then take off the heat. Next lay out ten sheets of wonton wrappers and fill with a little more than one teaspoon of the vegetable mixture in the center of the wrapper. If you over fill them they will break. 

Dip your finger in water and wet the edges of the wrapper, this is so the sides will stick together. Fold the wrapper into a triangle pinching the edges together, then take the two long edges of the triangle and bring them together dab with water so they stick together. 

I cook my dumplings 10 at a time, again I add a little sesame oil to the pan at a medium heat so they do not burn. Gently add your dumplings to the oiled pan and let them brown on both sides. Then carefully add a couple of tablespoons of water to the pan. Be extra careful the oil will pop up. Place a lid on the pan and let the dumplings steam for a couple of minutes. With tongs gently take the dumplings out of the pan and place on a cutting board to cool. Repeat the process until you have used all of the wrappers. This recipes will make a bunch of dumplings but they will go fast!

Enjoy and remember to always be mindful and eat with compassion!

Linguini Margarita

Sunday, April 5, 2015


I love making up pasta recipes, even more I love eating pasta. This dish is light, zesty and perfect for this warm spring weather. I try to keep my recipes simple with fresh ingredients, this dish is that to a tee. This recipe might be one of my personal favorites because of  the raw fresh garlic. Garlic contains a compound called Allicin which has potent medical properties, such as boosting the immune system. 


Ingredients

1 package of brown rice or plain linguine 
3 fresh organic Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
6 cloves of fresh garlic, chopped
1/4 cup of olive oil
2 lemons, juiced
Zest from one lemon
1 tablespoon of agave   
1 large bunch of fresh basil, chopped
Fresh ground pepper


Directions

Prepare your tomatoes, garlic, and basil. Cook your pasta and in a large bowl add your chopped garlic to the warm pasta. In a separate smaller bowl add your olive oil, lemon juice and lemon zest. Whisk the lemon mixture until it emulsifies. Add this mixture to your pasta and toss. Then add your chopped tomatoes and fresh basil. When serving add a generous amount of ground pepper. 


Enjoy and remember to always be mindful and eat with compassion! 

Spring Veggie Ciabatta Sandwich

Friday, March 20, 2015


Happy Spring Equinox, the weather is finally getting warmer and it's exciting to get outside and grill a bit! I had been craving grilled zucchini when I thought of this recipe. This chewy sandwich is fresh and savory, it's so good! The secret ingredient of this sandwich is the Ciabatta loaf. Ciabatta bread is usually vegan, but always check to make sure there are no animal products. 


Ingredients


1 loaf of ciabatta 
4 Tbs of hummus (Engine 2 has a real yummy oil and salt free hummus)
2 whole marinated roasted red peppers
2 big zucchini cut length wise into thin long strips
1 cup of marinated artichoke hearts
3 cups of fresh arugula 
Balsamic vinaigrette
1/4 cup Brianna's French vinaigrette 
(If you cannot find this vinaigrette, any Italian vinaigrette will work.)  
Fresh ground pepper


Directions


Cut your ciabatta in half and slather the hummus onto the bottom part of the loaf. Thinly slice your two zucchinis length wise so you have long ribbons. Place your zucchini in a storage ziplock baggie and add the Brianna's vinaigrette and let the zucchini marinade for about an hour. Warm up your grill and grill up the zucchini just until they start to get grill marks on them. On top of the hummus lay the roasted red pepper, and then all of the zucchini, next the artichokes. Sprinkle the vegetables with fresh ground pepper, then top with arugula. On the top half of the ciabatta loaf turn it upside down and drizzle with balsamic vinaigrette, let the vinaigrette soak into the bread for a minute before you finish the sandwich. Gently smash the sandwich together and cut the sandwiches into serving slices. 


Enjoy and remember to always be mindful and eat with compassion! 



Veggie Noodle Stir Fry

Wednesday, March 11, 2015


I love the simplicity of noodles and fresh vegetables. This dish is packed full of vitamins and so satisfying. Eating a plant based diet does not mean you have to skimp at all, and no animals were hurt in the process. Which is a win, win for everyone! 


Ingredients


1 box of brown rice Pad Thai noodles or fresh stir fry noodles
1 cup of broccoli
1 cup of snow peas
1 cup of mushrooms
1 cup of julienned carrots
1 cup of shelled edamame
1 cup of julienne red pepper 
1 cup of vegetable broth 
1/2 cup of coconut sugar
3 Tbs of a salt free Chinese 5 Spice
1/2 tsp of garlic powder
2 Tbs Tamari


Directions


I used fresh stir fry for the pictured dish, you just need to put them in a large non stick frying pan and along with the vegetable broth and all of the vegetables let this simmer so the vegetables can steam. Then add the sugar, tamari and the spices. Stir the mixture, cook until the sauce reduces then serve. 

Enjoy and remember to always be mindful and eat with compassion! 


Raw Vegan Carrot Cookies

Wednesday, March 4, 2015


Some of you already know this but I suffer from a couple of auto immune diseases the most debilitating one is Rheumatoid Arthritis. I became vegan mainly for my health and also being an avid animal lover. Health is wealth, I eat to live not live to eat. But every once in a while you just need something chewy and cookie like but without the guilt. Here is a raw cookie recipe that won't last long, they are that good! You will need a juicer for this recipe. Instead of throwing out the pulp from the juiced 5 carrots it becomes the base for the this yummy recipe. This recipes inspiration came from the one and only fabulous Tanny Raw or @tannyraw on Instagram. Thank you for the inspiration Tanny! Hey, Hey. 


Ingredients

Dry pulp from 5 juiced carrots
6 dates, pitted
2 Tbs of cinnamon
1" of fresh ginger
1 Tbs of allspice
1 tsp of nutmeg
1 Tbs vanilla
1/2 cup of Craisins, chopped
1 Tbs of chia seeds
1/2 cup of water


Directions 

In a large bowl take the dry pulp from the 5 juiced carrots. (enjoy the fresh carrot juice as a snack!)
In a food processor add the pitted dates, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, ginger, vanilla, and water. Blend this mixture until a smooth paste is made. Add the date mixture to the carrot pulp. Coarsely chop the Craisins and add to the mixture along with the chia seeds, mix everything together well. With a cookie scoop, scoop out balls of the cookie mixture and place on a dehydrator. If you do not own a dehydrator place parchment paper on a cookie sheet and bake at the lowest setting of your oven. Slightly flatten your cookie balls so they dry out faster. If using a dehydrator dry at 110 ̊ for 4 to 5 hours or until the cookie is dry but still chewy. 

Enjoy and remember to always be mindful and eat with compassion!

Vegan Waldorf Salad

Monday, March 2, 2015


Something magical happens when you combine all of these ingredients together to make this take on the classic Waldorf salad. This salad is so flavorful and satisfying you defiantly do not need oil or any animal ingredients for flavor. Those ingredients just clog your arteries and make you sick. Eating healthy can be easy. This salad is low in fat and salt free keeping it clean and nutrient rich. If you eat mindfully and with compassion, you will live a long, healthy and happy life. 


Ingredients

1 large Gala apple
5 stalks of celery
1 cup of Craisins 
1/2 cup of chopped pecans
1 Tbs of chia seeds
Juice from one lemon
1/2 cup of fresh orange juice
1 bag of Spring lettuce
1 bag of baby spinach


Directions

Cut your Gala apple into small cubes. Chop your celery into small cubes. Coarsely chop your Craisins, this insures you get a chewy bit with every bite. Coarsely chop the pecans. Add the apples, celery, Craisins, and pecans in a big bowl. Juice one whole lemon onto your mixture, also add your orange juice at this time. Mix all the chopped ingredients together. At the end add the chia seeds and mix again. To assemble your salad, add all of the Spring lettuce to a serving bowl. I then chop the baby spinach and add this to the top of the Spring mix and then top with the chopped apple mixture and serve. 


Enjoy and remember to be always mindful and eat with compassion! 

Thai Coconut Curry

Sunday, March 1, 2015


There is something very comforting about a warm curry. This dish is so easy to make and full of fresh vegetables, healthy fats. I keep my fats very low in all my dishes. A good tip to always remember is, the fat you eat is the fat you wear. That being said some fat is good for you and they all should be plant based. Some healthy fats are avocados, coconut, and nuts.


Ingredients

2 cups of sushi rice (you can use any type of rice, I just happen to love sushi rice because it's sticky)
4 cups of chopped fresh vegetables (I used, sugar peas, carrots, and zucchini)
1 cup of low sodium vegetable broth 
1 can of light coconut milk
1 lime
2 Tbs of Thai curry powder
Red pepper flake
Toasted sesame seeds


Directions

Cook your rice and set aside. Chop all of your vegetables and lightly steam them. I like my vegetables warm but to still have a little crunch to them. In a sauté pan on medium heat add the vegetable stock, and the coconut milk and stir until the two are combined. Then add the curry powder and the juice from a lime. The lime will give it lots a flavor with no need for salt. Whisk this mixture until combined and cook the sauce util it starts to thicken a little bit. 

To assemble the dish I scoop 2 cups of rice into a bowl and turn it out onto a serving bowl. I then ladle the curry sauce around the rice, then add the vegetables. Garish with sesame seeds and red pepper flakes. 


Enjoy and remember to be always mindful and eat with compassion!

Raw Vegan Mushroom Lettuce Wraps

Wednesday, February 25, 2015



I believe that ultimate health and well being can be achieved if the majority if not all of your diet is full of raw fruits and vegetables. (raw meaning, not cooked) I love eating raw, I know I am getting the full nutritional benefits from my meals. I never feel slow or sluggish instead I feel alive and vibrant. These lettuce wraps are fully raw and are so delicious.


Ingredients

2 cups of white button mushrooms, chopped
1/2 can of sliced water chestnuts, chopped
1/2 cup of dry roasted, unsalted cashews, chopped
3 green onions, sliced
1 cup of julienned carrots
Butter lettuce leaves

Marinade

3 Tbs of low sodium Tamari
2 splashes of apple cider vinegar
1 healthy dollop of Sriracha
1 Tbp of coconut sugar
1/2 inch of fresh ginger, minced


Directions


Chop all of your nuts and vegetables and put it all in a big bowl. Mix all of the marinade ingredients in a separate bowl, then pour the marinade over. Let your vegetable mixture marinade for at least an hour at room temperature before spooning the mixture into your lettuce cups.


Enjoy and remember to be always mindful and eat with compassion!

Cherry Chia Seed Smoothie

Tuesday, February 24, 2015


Each morning I start my day with a 32oz of fresh water followed by a fruit smoothie. Fruit smoothies give me proper energy and mental clarity I need for a successful day. I make sure each smoothie is packed full of revitalizing and nourishing nutrients, such as chia seeds. Chia seeds are natural energy boosters, they are packed full of wonderful plant protein, calcium, and omega-3 fatty acids.


Ingredients

2 cups of frozen cherries
4 ripe bananas
3 cups of coconut water
1 Tbs of chia seeds


Directions

Add all of your ingredients to a blender (I use a Vitamix). I usually add the frozen fruit first so its close to the blade and mixes well. Blend for several minutes until the desired creaminess is reached. If you like your smoothies not as thick add a bit more water until you reach the desired consistency. Pour your smoothie into a glass or mason jar and serve.


Enjoy and remember to be always mindful and eat with compassion!

Asparagus Walnut Pesto Pasta

Sunday, February 22, 2015



I try not to use a lot of oil in my cooking because of the added fat. I try to keep my meals low fat but a dollop of vegan pesto is alright now and then. This plant based dish is hearty and very flavorful. Toasted walnuts are the star ingredient in this pasta dish. Walnuts alone are so flavorful but when slightly toasted they are unbelievably yummy! Walnuts are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, they boost heart health, and also have anti-inflammatory benefits making them a delicious super food.  


Ingredients

1/2 package of gluten free brown rice spaghetti pasta
1 Tbsp of vegan Pesto (read the ingredients, pesto is usually made with parmesan cheese)
6 cloves of roasted garlic, chopped
1/2 bunch of organic asparagus, chopped
1 handful of organic whole walnuts, toasted and chopped
A dash of red pepper flakes


Directions

Cook your pasta until its al dente, rinse and set aside. In a nonstick pan toast your walnuts on medium high heat until fragrant. Add your chopped asparagus to this pan along with your chopped roasted garlic. Let this mixture cook for about 2 minutes add the pesto to the pan along with your pasta toss until the pasta is well coated. Serve and sprinkle with red pepper flakes for a little kick. 


Enjoy and remember to be always mindful and eat with compassion!

Coconut Blackberry Nice-Cream

Saturday, February 21, 2015



Everyone enjoys a cold creamy treat now and then. This nice-cream, is non dairy, a guilty free treat that tastes amazing. This nice-cream isn't just for dessert lovers it's healthy enough to indulge in for breakfast. You won't believe the texture and flavor of this treat, it really is wonderful. 

The secret to a creamy nice-cream is to use ripe bananas. Ripe bananas are covered with dark brown spots and their stems are black. The bananas should be falling off the stems, this means perfect ripeness. Fully ripened bananas have higher levels of antioxidants, immunity enhancement qualities, and are easier to digest.  



Ingredients

1 cup of fresh organic blackberries, plus a few for garnish
1/4 cup of organic unsweetened coconut flakes
6 ripe frozen bananas
1 Tbs of vanilla
1/2 cup of cold water


Directions

Place all of your ingredients in a blender (I use a Vitamix) blend for several minutes until all of your ingredients have made a creamy ice-cream consistency. Spoon your creamy nice-cream into a bowl and top with your leftover blackberries and a sprinkle of coconut. 


Enjoy and remember to be always mindful and eat with compassion!

Mediterranean Pasta Salad

Friday, February 20, 2015


I have a love for cold pasta salads, they remind me of warmer days in the dead of winter. Here is a fresh pasta salad that is simple to throw together and munch on for lunch during the week. I love to add dark leafy greens to pasta loading this salad with lots vitamins and antioxidants, helping in decreasing the risk of cancer and other diseases. Spinach may also play roll in slowing down the aging process.


Ingredients

2 cups of gluten free brown rice pasta (I used a variety of different shaped pasta)
5 cups of fresh organic spinach leaves
1 pint of organic cherry tomatoes, halved 
1/2 cup of pitted and halved kalamata olives
1 cup of marinated artichokes with red peppers (I get these from the olive bar)
1 Tbs of salt free greek seasoning 
Fresh cracked pepper


Directions

Cook your pasta until al dente drain and rinse in cold water, set aside to cool. Halve your olives and tomatoes and add them to a large bowl along with the spinach, artichokes and dry seasoning. The artichokes will be soaking in a bit of marinade which will mix with the dry seasoning and make a tasty natural dressing. Once your pasta is cooled add it to the bowl of vegetables and toss to mix all the ingredients. Top with freshly ground pepper.


Enjoy and remember to be always mindful and eat with compassion.

 
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