Vegan Banana Bread Muffins

Banana bread muffins

Breakfast, Recipes | February 21, 2016 | By

Our household goes through bananas at an alarming rate. With Cameron and I munching a couple a day, and Athena getting the occasional bite or two, we end up running out quite often. I will sometimes even make a trip to the grocery store just to replenish our stock! (*Insert “dad joke” here about our consumption being “bananas”)

But, what happens when you overstock and they start to turn brown? Don’t throw them away! Mash those babies up into Vegan Banana Bread Muffins!

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Tangy Grapefruit Smoothie Recipe

sliced grapefruit smoothie

Recipes, Smoothies | February 14, 2016 | By

tangy grapefruit smoothie recipeI know what you’re thinking; “a grapefruit smoothie!?” Just hear me out!

When I brainstorm new recipes to try, the first thing I look at is what produce is in season. Aside from testing me with ever-changing ingredients, buying in-season also happens to be cheapereasier on the environment, and healthier for us!

Grapefruits are in season now and they look amazing. Even better, they were on a great sale! I ended up buying a four pound bag, reminiscing of the delicious taste.. Unfortunately, I quickly discovered that the happy memories were completely made-up. The first bite reminded me how much I reaaally don’t like the fruit. Oh no!!

Determined, I tried broiling grapefruit with a cinnamon-sugar topping. People keep claiming it “reduces the tartness”, yeah right! It was basically just extremely hot (just as bitter) grapefruit.

pouring grapefruit smoothie

And thus, the Tangy Grapefruit Smoothie Recipe was born!

Even though it’s only February, it has already been in the upper 80ºs here in Arizona, perfect smoothie weather! I love using smoothies as a way to sneak healthy, (semi-unappetizing) food into my diet! Whether it’s Kale, Beets, Spinach… or even Grapefruit.

 

grapefruit smoothie recipe

Speaking of, everyone here seems to be getting this weird “end-of-season” cold/flu thing, so I am loving the impressive nutritional profile. One medium Grapefruit alone provides more than 100% of your daily Vitamin C! I was amazed to find how delicious the grapefruit becomes when paired deliciously in a smoothie. When naturally sweetened with organic frozen fruit (never sugar in a smoothie!), the bitterness becomes more of a slight tang! This tasty grapefruit smoothie is absolutely irresistible way to kick off smoothie season!


Serves 1 Tall Glass

Tangy Grapefruit Smoothie Recipe

Deliciously crisp and refreshing, this grapefruit smoothie will have you rethinking the entire fruit!

10 minPrep Time

10 minTotal Time

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Ingredients

  • 1/2-1 grapefruit (skin removed (adjusted to tartness preference)
  • 1 cup chopped spinach and/or kale (frozen)
  • 1 Tbsp ground flaxseed (or chia, optional)
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil (optional)
  • 1 scoop of SunWarrior plant-protein, unflavored (optional)
  • 1-2 cups organic mixed berries (frozen)
  • 1 banana
  • 6-10 oz 100% coconut water (about half of the can)

Instructions

  1. Remove the outer skin, and peel the grapefruit into large chunks. (Don’t worry about removing all of the pith (the white stuff), it’s good for you!)
  2. Place the greens in the bottom of the blender, the heavier stuff of top will push them through the blades better
  3. Add the flax, oil, protein, berries, banana, and finally the grapefruit
  4. Top it all off with the coconut water. Since grapefruit is pretty juicy, you don’t have to over-do the moisture
  5. Run on high speed until smooth
  6. If it is still too bitter, experiment with adding more berries to counteract the grapefruit
  7. Pour into a sexy glass and enjoy!
Recipe Type: Smoothie
7.6.4
50
ESHA Logo
Calories
141 cal
Fat
5 g
Carbs
24 g
Protein
4 g


Click Here For Full Nutrition, Exchanges, and My Plate Info

 Smoothie Tips!

  • No matter what kind of smoothie, always include an omega source, greens, healthy fats, and a protein source (isolated, or whole-food)
  • Place the greens on the bottom of the blender to ensure smoothness
  • I prefer to use frozen produce, as it eliminates the need for ice. (Contrary to popular belief, freezing produce actually preserves nutrients, rather than deteriorating during shipping and aging.)
  • You can save your fresh greens from spoiling by freezing! Simply wash, tear into large chunks, and freeze (storing in a ziplock). These pre-frozen bits are just as good as the fresh variety!

Vegan Jalapeno Mac and Cheese Recipe

vegan jalapeno mac and cheese recipe in white bowl

Mains, Recipes | February 7, 2016 | By

Before we get to the Jalapeno Mac and Cheese recipe, I want to get one thing straight… I never thought I would live a completely plant-based lifestyle.

That being said, vegetarianism was easy-peasy! I never enjoyed the taste of meat. I simply switched out proteins, dressing the meal up exactly the same. I felt renewed! Digestive woes had begun to subdue, and I lost some excess body fat.

vegan whole wheat macaroni noodlesvegan mac and cheese ingredients

Unfortunately, it was still normal for me to binge eat entire boxes of Cheez-Its (sorry mom!). Each time being reminded of why I never wanted to be a vegan. I grew up smothering cheese on everything!
I’m talking about the giant bags of Costco brand “Mexican Blend” in our fridge 100% of the time!

Turns out, cheese is chock full of naturally occurring chemicals called Casomorphins. These cause a “morphine-like addiction” with symptoms of “sedation, sleep induction, and depression“. This completely explains the feeling of physical addiction. It feels like deprivation at first, but after a few short weeks I was free of the strong desire to smother it on everything.
Going vegan would have been way less intimidating if I had known beforehand!

overhead vegan jalapeno mac and cheese

 

vegan jalapeno mac and cheese

Long story short…

I still love the taste of cheese, especially if I have the munchies 😉 ! Nothing is worse than a bad Vegan Mac and Cheese recipe makeover. It’s practically an insult to call the that typically bland, goopy mess “Mac N Cheese”!! This is why I am completely ecstatic to share this Vegan Jalapeno Mac and Cheese recipe. The creamy, cheesyness of this recipe has yet to be beat! The nutritional yeast and spices do an excellent job turning the soaked cashews into a thick, creamy “cheese” sauce. Jalapenos complete the recipe by adding the perfect amount of heat!

The recipe is actually my partner’s, and luckily the heat is completely adjustable. His recipe originally included one Jalapeno (seeds included) and I could barely tolerate the heat. He stealthily increased the amount each time. Months later I asked why it seemed to be a tad bit hotter, he informed me that a full six jalapeños were used. Woah!


Serves 9 Bowls of Mac

Vegan Jalapeno Mac and Cheese Recipe

4 hr, 15 Prep Time

20 minCook Time

4 hr, 35 Total Time

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Ingredients

  • 1 cup raw cashews (soaked 4-6 hours (or overnight))
  • 10-12 oz whole wheat macaroni noodles
  • 1/2 yellow onion (diced)
  • 1 1/2 cup vegetable broth (low-sodium)
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1-6 fresh jalapeños (with seeds and stems removed)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Oil for sautéing and greasing
  • Bread crumbs and vegan cheese for topping (optional)

Instructions

  1. Soak cashews for 4-6 hours, or overnight
  2. Preheat oven to 375°
  3. Boil macaroni for 5-6 minutes (we don’t want it to overcook!)
  4. Sauté the onion until translucent
  5. Add the soaked (and drained) cashews, cooked onion, vegetable broth, cornstarch, and spices to a high-speed blender
  6. Process until smooth and creamy
  7. Add the half-cooked macaroni to a baking dish lightly greased with olive oil
  8. Pour the sauce mixture over macaroni, and stir to coat noodles
  9. Finish with the optional bread crumbs and cheeze
  10. Bake for 15 minutes, you’ll see the mixture bubbling nicely
  11. Let cool before devouring!

Notes

I opted for low-sodium Vegetable Broth and completely Organic ingredients Start with one Jalapeno, feel free to deseed if necessary!

7.6.4
51
ESHA Logo
Calories
99 cal
Fat
7 g
Carbs
7 g
Protein
2 g


Click Here For Full Nutrition, Exchanges, and My Plate Info

nick abell serving realnessAlso, despite the hesitation, I just celebrated my five-year veganniversary. I have never been so happy in my life 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Perfect Vegan Chocolate Cookie Recipe (with Cashews)

Recipes, Sweets | January 31, 2016 | By

 

I’ve had a mad craving for a good vegan chocolate cookie recipe for a loooong time now.. I need a cookie that is beautifully tall, moist, and fluffy. Ideally, it would be an almost cake-like texture. Everyone knows how obsessed with chocolate I am, it was only a matter of time until I introduced my perfect vegan chocolate cookie recipe.

vegan chocolate cookie recipe dough close-upvegan chocolate cookie recipe dough

Creamy Raw Cashews go Perfectly with a Delicious Vegan Chocolate Cookie Recipe

Cashews have been a long-time favorite food of mine.. I wait for sales and buy large amounts in bulk to keep in my freezer! Nuts last 1+ years when sealed and cooled properly, and it saves a ton of money. Boasting an impressive nutrition profile, I try to always have keep them in stock!  I love the creamy texture, I’m sort of obsessed with how raw cashews melt in your mouth. They have a very neutral flavor, so I knew it would be a beautiful pairing with the chocolate!
(I am fully aware that the raw cashews are no longer considered raw as they are being baked, but I like to pretend they will maintain their chewy texture.)

Speaking of chocolate, the cookie base itself tastes likes brownies. No joke. These could very well be called “Vegan Brownie Bites” because of how decadent they are! I specifically designed a recipe using cocoa powder, as it’s more common than baker’s chocolate. I was worried about the color and flavor, but the result is divinely rich and absolutely stunning.
Chocolate extract isn’t as easy to come by, and is completely optional. It will, however, enhance the chocolate flavor beautifully and is absolutely worth the extra effort!

vegan chocolate cookie recipe doughgooey chocolate cookie recipe

 

Serves 24 cookies

Perfect Vegan Chocolate Cookie Recipe (with Cashews)

15 minPrep Time

10 minCook Time

35 minTotal Time

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Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cup vegan butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 flax eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon chocolate extract (or more vanilla)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cups cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 cup raw cashews, roughly chopped

Instructions

  1. Cream the softened butter and sugar together until smooth
  2. Beat in the flax eggs until uniform and creamy
  3. Gently mix in the vanilla and chocolate extract
  4. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt
  5. Slowly incorporate dry ingredients into wet on a medium speed, just until mixed
  6. The dough is going to be very dense. I used my hands to gently massage the cashews in
  7. Scoop by the Tablespoon onto parchment. They don't spread out very much, so feel free to pack them in there
  8. Bake for 8-10 minutes
  9. Remove from oven, let cool for 10 minutes on the pan, and finally transfer to a cooling rack
  10. Cool completely before devouring!

Notes

Keep in ziplock bag at room temperature to maintain moisture.

7.6.4
27
ESHA Logo
Calories
71 cal
Fat
3 g
Carbs
10 g
Protein
2 g


Click Here For Full Nutrition, Exchanges, and My Plate Info

Nothing beats coffee and chocolate, what’s your favorite flavor combination??

vegan chocolate cookie recipe with coffee

Vegan Pasta Recipe from Scratch (with Homemade Tomato Sauce!)

homemade vegan pasta recipe

Mains, Recipes | January 24, 2016 | By

homemade tomato sauce ingredientsI finally did it! I made vegan pasta and sauce completely from scratch. I’ve had the itch for sometime now, but have heard plenty of stories of how pasta-making turns into an all-day nightmare. Ain’t nobody got time for that! 

A vegan pasta recipe as simple as it should be!

homemade vegan pasta doughWe decided, instead, to go with the Kitchenaid route*! We already had the unit, and the attachment set isn’t that expensive.
After using, I can honestly say it is completely worth it. I was shocked at how much time it shaved off of the process. Not only does the attachment roll the dough, it kneads along the way! I absolutely recommend for anyone wanting to make homemade pasta dough.
(*Not a paid-link, simply an honest review!)

fork twirling vegan pasta from scratch

peeled vegan tomato sauce recipeFresh ingredients produce a tastier homemade vegan pasta!

Why cook a homemade vegan pasta recipe and top it with store-bought sauce! Adorn that beauty with a flavorful homemade tomato sauce that pairs wonderfully.
I had grown so accustomed to using canned tomatoes for sauces, I was fearful to try anything new. It makes such a difference! Using fresh tomatoes honestly took my partner’s classic recipe to the next level!  It hardly takes any more time and is absolutely worth the extra effort.
I also added turmeric powder to the pasta dough not only for its countless health benefits, but for the vibrant yellow hue! Makes for a healthy and visually stunning pasta recipe.

Serves 8 Servings

Vegan Pasta Recipe from Scratch (with Homemade Tomato Sauce!)

30 minPrep Time

5 hrCook Time

5 hrTotal Time

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Ingredients

    For the Sauce
  • 10 medium vine-ripened tomatoes
  • 1/2 yellow onion, finely diced
  • 3-5 cloves of garlic (depending on size and preference)
  • 2 tablespoons loosely packed oregano
  • 3 large basil leaves
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt (I used Himalayan pink salt)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 6oz can of organic tomato paste
  • 1 bay leaf
  • For the Pasta Dough
  • 2 cups semolina flour
  • 3/4 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 3/4 cup + 2 Tbsp warm water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon grond turmeric (optional)

Instructions

    Let's start with Sauce
  1. Cut small X's into the top of tomatoes
  2. Place in boiling water for 45-50 seconds, the skin may begin to peel back already
  3. Immediately transfer to ice bath and peel the tomatoes (the skins will remove effortlessly!)
  4. Transfer 2 of the now peeled tomatoes to a food processor (or similar blender) and process until smooth
  5. Roughly dice the rest of the tomatoes
  6. Combine tomatoes into a large crock pot set on "high"
  7. Add the onion, garlic, oregano, and basil and gently stir with spatula to incorporate
  8. Continue to cook on "high" for 2.5 hours (great time to make pasta!)
  9. After waiting, start to incorporate the rest of the sauce ingredients
  10. Gently stir with spatula while also gently pressing larger chunks of tomatoes to encourage softening
  11. Finish by adding the tomato paste and bay leaf
  12. Leave to cook for another 1.5-2.5 hours
  13. We prefer to scoop straight from the crock pot, now set on "Warm", straight onto the freshly cooked pasta!
  14. The Pasta!
  15. Whisk the dry ingredients to quickly incorporate
  16. Transfer to a stand-mixer and use the dough hook to work in rest of ingredients
  17. Mix on medium for 6-8 minutes, stopping often to scrape down the sides of the bowl
  18. If the dough isn't pulling away from the sides, or seems too dry, add a tiny bit more water
  19. Dough should be very slightly sticky, and semi-tacky. If it seems too wet, and a tad of flour
  20. On the other hand, if it is too firm and un moldable, add a tiny bit of water
  21. Allow the dough to sit uncovered for 10-20 minutes
  22. Separate dough into 1/4ths and gently coax into the pasta roller on setting "1"
  23. Fold dough in half, crosswise, to "knead" as it rolls back together through setting "2"
  24. Fold again for roller setting "3"
  25. And fold one last time for setting "4"
  26. Repeat this folding/rolling technique for each section of dough
  27. Run flattened dough through spaghetti cutter
  28. I fed mine through a wire-hanger as you quickly realize how long and unmanageable the spaghetti strands become
  29. Either boil for 1-3 minutes to eat or let dry uncovered for 12-24 hours
Cuisine: Italian | Recipe Type: Pasta

Notes

Most recipes advise to cook for 5 minutes, but these seem to become way too starchy if cooked very long, keep the cook time short!

7.6.4
26
ESHA Logo
Calories
213 cal
Fat
1 g
Carbs
43 g
Protein
7 g


Click Here For Full Nutrition, Exchanges, and My Plate Info

A homemade pasta recipe goes amazingly well with this quick lemon pesto sauce!
vegan pesto recipe with spoon

Quick Vegan Pesto!

What’s your favorite way to eat pasta?

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