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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  • 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)


  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!


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

99 cal
7 g
7 g
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)

vegan chocolate cooke recipe

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 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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    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)


    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


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!

213 cal
1 g
43 g
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?

Muddled Raspberry with Vodka Drink Recipe

vegan raspberry vodka drink recipe

Alcoholic, Recipes | January 17, 2016 | By

table shot muddled raspberry vegan vodka drink recipeIt’s no secret, not much can bring adults together quite like alcohol! At a party, bar, or even a night at home, alcohol can certainly help loosen up conversations and can lighten the mood.

Being far too prone to hangovers myself, I don’t drink very often. I do, however, believe in indulging with a wholesome drink whenever appropriate!

Introducing muddled raspberry vegan vodka drink recipeThe Muddled Raspberry with vodka drink recipe!

Organic vodka, lemon bitters, chocolate mint (yup, that’s a thing!), fresh raspberries, and seltzer combine for an irresistible, refreshing alcoholic beverage. I don’t have much to say about the drink other than to try it! The fresh raspberries provide a delicate texture, making for a fun, festive libation.

chocolate mint

Fresh chocolate mint

Enhanced with chocolate mint, the result is an incredibly smooth vodka drink recipe with hints of lemon, chocolate, and mint. (And everyone knows how much I love pairing chocolate with mint *swoon* )
The vodka is the first organic variety I have ever mixed with, and I am in love! It is seriously the smoothest, cleanest tasting vodka I have ever had (no more nail-polish remover here!)

Ingredients matter!prep muddled raspberry vegan vodka drink recipe

When I do drink, vegan vodka cocktails are my go-to! I recently stumbled upon Ocean brand organic vodka (look at that beauty!). Admittedly, I fell in love with the bottle, but some research quickly found it is; “Naturally gluten-free”, and “contains absolutely no GMOs (genetically modified organisms), herbicides, or pesticides all of which ensure the cleanest, purest, most refreshing cocktail experience.”

pouring vegan vodka drink recipeSounded pretty impressive! (also, even though it totally sounds like an advertisement, these are definitely not paid links! Simply an un-biased product review.)

I’ve paired the drink with another vegan alcohol brand, in the form of lemon bitters! The bitters add a beautiful lemon undertone to the entire drink that is exquisite. You only need a few dashes to dramatically change an entire drink!




Serves 1 Tall Glass

Muddled Raspberry and Vodka Drink Recipe

10 minPrep Time

5 minCook Time

15 minTotal Time

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  • 2 oz organic vodka
  • Small handful of fresh raspberries
  • Fresh chocolate mint leaves (optional)
  • 2 dashes of lemon bitters (optional)
  • Natural seltzer (I used raspberry flavored)


  1. Pour berries into tall glass and add vodka
  2. Mash berries and mint leaves with muddler until a smooth-ish consistency is achieved
  3. Add any optional bitters you may have
  4. Top off with seltzer, gently stir, and garnish with lemon slices and mint leaves
Recipe Type: Alcohol
50 cal
12 g
2 g

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

Have a Favorite mixed drink recipe? comment below! 😀IMG_0051What are you waiting for!? Get mixing!


Quick and Easy Vegan Pesto Recipe

vegan pesto recipe with spoon

I have a confession.. I’ve never actually made a vegan pesto recipe before. It wasn’t even until I started working at a vegan restaurant that I had a taste! I fell in love immediately. The way lemon sensually pairs with basil is almost too perfect. Known for being notoriously easy to make, I dove right into the recipe-writing and testing!

vegan pesto recipe featured

vegan pesto recipe on pasta

Fresh ingredients for a simple and delicious vegan pesto recipe.

I wanted to keep things simple, but also felt compelled to experiment (of course!). Nutritionally, hemp seeds and pine nuts are both powerhouses. I went with a blend for the base of the pesto. They get along perfectly, both having a semi-neutral flavor and extremely similar texture. Hemp seeds also happen to be way cheaper per pound! Yay!

(Feel free to substitute the hemp seeds for more pine nuts, as needed. It should turn out similar!)

pesto on pasta

Whole cloves of garlic, fresh basil, lemon juice, and nutritional yeast combine for a taste surprisingly similar to the non-vegan style! My partner couldn’t believe how much it tasted like parmesan, and was shocked to find out it was nutritional yeast based! (he practically hates nooch!)

A vegan pesto recipe for every occasion!

I purposefully lessened the sometimes overwhelming lemon flavor for a multipurpose pesto sauce. This is perfect on pasta (duh!), but also goes amazingly well on toast, bread, veggies, or even as sauce on pizza! The options are virtually endless! Even better, it takes less than 15 minutes to prepare, so you can throw it together last-minute.

Serves 1.5 cups

Quick and Easy Vegan Pesto Recipe

Fresh and delicious, simply combine in food processor and is ready to serve. Packs an impressive 9 grams of protein per serving!

5 minPrep Time

10 minCook Time

15 minTotal Time

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  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 cups basil
  • 3 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 2 tablespoons hemp seeds (or more pine nuts)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2-3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup olive oil (or more)
  • 1/3 cup nutritional yeast


  1. Pulse garlic in food processor until diced
  2. Add rest of ingredients (save the nutritional yeast) and pulse a couple more times to pulverize
  3. While on lowest speed, slowly pour in olive oil and combine until desired consistency. (I prefer a thicker pesto, if you would rather a smoother consistency experiment with adding more oil)
  4. Stir in nutritional yeast by hand and serve!
Cuisine: Italian | Recipe Type: Sauces/Spreads


Keeps in airtight container in fridge for up to a week.

48 cal
1 g
6 g
5 g

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

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