appetizers

7 Layer Bean Dip

374E99E3-0479-44B1-A91C-C8073EDB5079Ok, So I’m going to be real honest here. Growing up, dad wasn’t really around. So football parties and get togethers weren’t a huge thing around our house. BUTTT for whatever reason… Superbowl parties always took place at our house! If I had to work during the game I found myself so bummed! I realized shortly after this behavior that it wasn’t that I was bummed to miss the game, but I was bummed to miss the party and eat food. LOL. Yes, it bummed me out to miss the food. I want good food too ok?! I was always in charge of making the dips. Bean dip, Onion dip, and Ranch dip. Of course, as you can probably imagine, 7 layer bean dip isn’t traditionally made vegan. So naturally I had to veganise it.

I am pretty sure I ave said this to you all before. When you are first transitioning, find a few of your favorite dishes and make them vegan! When your comfortable making something its so much easier to make it healthier with different swaps. So that is exactly what I did. I think Tofutti Brand makes a nice “sour cream” and for the cheese on top, Earth Island, formerly known as Follow your heart, makes a good shredded cheese. You do need to check your refried beans and make sure that they are also vegan. I was actually surprised that many refried beans still contain lard or other animals fats in them. I get it, they make it taste better, i guess… But they have been time and time again been called out for being unhealthy. But whatever, not trying to call anyone out here right now. I am just saying, check your beans at every meal.

If you wanted to keep it super wholesome and real, you could make a sour cream out of nuts, homemade, and you could take some black beans and spices and blend them into a dip to make “refried” beans. That is totally fine with me and I actually encourage it, I just know not everyone has the time to do that or learn it, at least perhaps not at this present moment.

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7 Layer Bean Dip

-1 can refried beans

-1/2 package taco seasoning

-1/2 package of sour cream (I like Tofutti)

-Home made or store bought guacamole 

-1/2 package of vegan cheese (I like Earth Island or Daiya)

-6oz Can of sliced olives 

-3 tomatoes chopped 

-4 scallions finely chopped

Method:

-Mix almost the entire half package of taco seasoning, save a little to sprinkle over the sour cream later, then save the other half package for next time you make this. 

-It’s a pretty easy layering game. Put the ingredients into a square Pyrex dish in the order the list goes. 

-Serve immediately, or cover and place in the fridge to set for a few hours. You can keep this dip up to 3-5 days. Bring this to a party and don’t say it’s dairy free, see if anyone says anything…

entrees

Creamy Alfredo Sauce

39A6CA8F-130B-4AEB-BFB6-52975BA9AD27I am a sucker for anything creamy! Cheese, dips, sauces, anything. Unfortunately so many options today have dairy in them. I love Italian food and when I first started eating plant based, the easiest things for me to create and cook were things I was use to eating and making . I suggest any of you looking for healthier plant based options, to just find a few dishes you really love and then veganize them! Stick to what you know and are somewhat comfortable with! I think my first few recipes I learned how to make over and over again we’re Caesar salad, pasta recipes, taco salad, and tacos! There are so many possibilities.

Nuts are really the star in cheesy and creamy recipes. Cashews and macadamia nuts are the creamiest, but almonds, sunflower seeds, Brazil nuts, etc., work just as well. As you dive into using different nuts to make different meals, you’ll start to get use to which ones work best for you and the many recipes you’ll be making. You’ll notice which ones have certain consistencies that end up working better for different recipes as well…. In this recipe, cashews take the win. If you or a loved one have a nut allergy, you can try raw and soaked sunflower seeds in place of cashews!

As much as I tell you about what brands have great dairy free options, I like to try eating as close to the source and as homemade, if possible. Even though plants are healthier, by over processing we sort of miss the point as well. So eventually, after you find your swaps and get comfortable with what you can use instead of actual dairy, I urge you to try getting even closer to Whole Foods like using nuts for creaminess and using beans or lentils instead of fake meats. But that is for another time, for now let’s just make some really yummy Alfredo sauce!

So as I said, there are so many options that you can exactly swap for another, especially in the dairy department. For example, to make a traditional Alfredo sauce that uses butter, cream, and Parmesan cheese as the main ingredients, you can find the vegan versions of those and be fine. I took it a step further to make it from unprocessed and whole food ingredients to bring you an even healthier version. Let’s get cooking towards some yummy and creamy goodness, shall we????

Creamy Alfredo Pasta

-1 package of Store bought Zoodles or spiralize 2 large zucchini. (You can spiralize other squash 94 sweet potato too)

-1/2 medium onion (chopped)

-1 Garlic Clove (minced, I put mine through a garlic press)

– 12-14oz package of Brussels sprouts or 1 head of broccoli, or really any veggie you would like to add (chopped)

Creamy Decadent Alfredo Sauce

-1/2 C Cashews (soaked for 2-4 hours)

-1-2 Cloves Garlic (I used my garlic press)

-1/2 C Water

-1/3 C nutritional yeast

-1 teaspoon Pink Himalayan salt

-1 teaspoon lemon juice

-1/4 teaspoon pepper

Method:

– Place chopped onions in a pan and heat on medium for about 3 minutes with a pinch of salt. Then add the minced garlic and stir for 2 minutes.

-Add your veggies and sautée them until tender, about 8 minutes. Add the zoodles and let them warm with the veggies for about 4 minutes.

-While stirring and sautéing the veggies, you can make the Alfredo sauce by placing all the ingredients in a high speed blender or if you don’t have a good blender, a food processor should work just as well. The consistency should be somewhat thick. If you like your Alfredo a little more runny, add a little more water.

-Then add the Alfredo sauce and coat all the zoodles and veggies and let it warm together for about 3-5 minutes and Viola!!! Now please don’t burn your mouth as you hurriedly scoop the pasta onto your plate and devour!!

***Optional: You can use gluten-free pasta noodles or any other zoodle pasta instead of zucchini, such as sweet potato or carrots, etc…too. And you can use any variation of veggies or no veggies at all if you want to keep to just a simple Alfredo pasta.

***Remember, my recipes are just a guideline to the magic you can create in the kitchen. 😍😍😍😍

 

 

 

 

 

 

appetizers

Spicy Roasted Cauliflower

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I love cauliflower! It is so healthy and so versatile in cooking. So many people have gotten crazy creative with how to use it in cooking and baking. It is so great!!! You can steam it and then throw it in a blender in order to add creaminess to a non dairy soup. You can also make rice or mashed potatoes out of it. Some people are using cauliflower as a pizza crust and many vegan restaurants are making buffalo cauliflower appetizers, which is probably one of my top favorites out there! If you haven’t tried buffalo cauliflower bites, that is a total must!

Cauliflower yields some great nutrients and antioxidants! It is very high in vitamin C! One medium size head is more than your daily intake of Vitamin C needed and is about 11g of protein! It is also high in Vitamin B-6, Potassium, Magnesium, and calcium. Cauliflower contains a good amount of fiber. Fiber is important for digestive health and can even reduce the risk of several chronic diseases, especially those relating to your bowels. It is also high in fiber and antioxidants which are great in helping your body and cells combat disease, such as cancer.

To be completely honest, growing up, I did not care much about cauliflower. I thought it smelled bad and when I grew up it took me a while to get around to cooking it. I had memories from childhood and was slightly scared of it because I didn’t even know where to start in trying to cook this awkwardly hard and  rough plant. Once I got over the hump and cooked it once, I decided it wasn’t so bad. Moral of the story, if you’re like me, and have never cooked with it and are a little frightened, just try making it once or twice and you’ll get the hang of it. The first time I attempted to cook it, I steamed in for about 9 minutes and then threw it into my high speed blender to make a creamy soup. Now, I also enjoy baking it in the oven or chopping it up small and sautéing it. The other night, I finally tried the cauliflower pizza from Trader Joe’s, AND IT CAME OUT BOMB!!! Anyways, we’re talking about baking it, so shall we get to that portion??

Recently, I went to this really great Italian restaurant with some friends. The Cauliflower appetizer, minus the butter it normally would be cooked in, was one of the things I could eat on the menu. Normally it’s made drizzled in butter so I asked the waiter if he’d mind asking the chef to use oliv oil instead. He said, “YES!!!” So the way they prepped it was with chili, oil, and capers. Myself and my non plantbased friends thoroughly enjoyed it. My friends even said they thought it was the best thing out of everything on the table they had eaten! Win! Well… Naturally, I had to make this at home, IMMEDIATELY!! And I did. It’s pretty simple. Here’s the recipe. Enjoy my beautiful friends!!

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Spicy Roasted Cauliflower: 
-1 Head Cauliflower
-3 Tablespoons olive oil
-1 Tablespoon Chili Sauce (I used sambal) you can also use 2 Tablespoons for you spicy lovers!!
-1 teaspoon Pink Himalayan Salt
-1 teaspoon Black Pepper
Method:
-Preheat oven to 425.
– While oven preheats, wash and cut the cauliflower. The way I do it, is by sticking a knife slightly slanted at the base where the root is, almost as if to cut a hole in the bottom. You’re basically trying to take the root out. Once you’ve done that, you can break the pieces off and cut the big pieces into smaller pieces.
-Throw all the pieces into a bowl adding all the ingredients and mix it well to evenly coat the cauliflower. Sometimes adding half the ingredients and mixing, and then adding the rest works a little easier for coating!
-Once the cauliflower is coated, oil a baking pan or dish and put in the oven. Roast for 25 minutes.
-Cauliflower should feel a bit softer. If you like it crunchier, check it at 15-20 minutes.
-Take it out and let it cool. Then top it with capers for an added flavor burst.
-Enjoy.
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appetizers, entrees

Pasta Salad

97C40395-84C4-4B85-9858-3EA2C9596699Im going to be quite frank with you… I LOVE PASTA!! I could eat it with an oil based sauce, such as vegan butter or olive oil, I could do red sauce, pink sauce, cheezy sauce, pesto sauce, etc… So which genius decided to make it cold and add vegetables and serve as a lunch or side??!! I’m going to say, probably a wonderful Italian woman! Maybe I’m wrong, correct me, contact and tell me!!

Anyways, pasta salad… It is a great side dish or even served as lunch! I had it for lunch today and it was super satisfying. It’s been really hot in Southern California and I am not seeing the fun in cooking and baking during the day, so most of my dishes during the day are left overs from the night before, salads, or smoothies and nice cream, hehe.

I made this pasta salad last night and let it sit in the fridge to develop all of the flavors. Sitting overnight with any food is truly my favorite, it soaks up the flavor more and it’s always so easy to place out to eat or warm up, in this case, just get it out of the fridge, it’s suppose to be cold.

The flavors of the Italian dressing and crispy raw vegetables go together so great! The slight tang from the vinegar and flavor from the Italian seasoning is wonderful! I suggest you try this recipe and if you’d like to add anything you’re more than welcome. I mean, at the end of the day, this is a salad and who is to yell you exactly what you can or can’t put in it…???

I love olives and I messed around with a few different kinds. I think my favorite combo was black olives and kalmata olives. Either or would be fine too! If you’d like to add a little vegan cheese or some garbanzo beans for extra protein, GO RIGHT AHEAD! Create that shizzzz!

 

Pasta Salad

-1/2 package Spiral pasta

-3 Green onions or 1/4 white onion

-1 small can Black olives or 1/2 jar Kalmata olives

-1/2 Bell pepper (any color you want)

-5 Tablespoons Italian dressing

-Salt & pepper to taste

*Optional: vegan cheese, kidney beans or garbanzo beans.

Method:

-Cook pasta to package directions, then let it cool down or run it under cold water. 

-While the pasta cooks, chop all the ingredients and place in a bowl and toss with the dressing.

-Once your pasta is cold, toss it with the other ingredients and if you can’t wait, then serve it right away, ORRR for better results, let it sit for 4 hours or overnight.

***If you decide to add the other options I listed, make sure you add those as well! Beans add healthy nutrients and protein!

AND remember: Tag me with your creations, I LOOOOOVE seeing your recipe creations! Peace and Love my friends. ❤️💜🌱🥦💋

 

 

appetizers

Coleslaw

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With the Fourth of July coming up, I thought it would be appropriate to post a healthy recipe of Coleslaw. It is pretty straight forward. Coleslaw is great alone, with your BBQ items, on sandwiches, and even a topper on some yummy tacos. Traditionally coleslaw uses mayo and sometimes buttercream as well. This is still a creamy version but it leaves out the cholesterol and other unhealthy features. Instead of using sugar, I used date Syrup! Dates are full of antioxidants, they’re  less sugar than honey, they’re vegan, gluten free, and rich in potassium and minerals. I really enjoy D’vash brand

I recently made some pulled jackfruit sandwiches and I added the coleslaw on top. It added a nice, light, creaminess to the sandwiches and just all around flavor. Let me know when you try this and how you like it, I am interested to know what you use it on or eat it with. -Happy eating!! And Happy Fourth Loves!!

-XoXo, Stephie

 

ColeSlaw

-14 Oz Package of Cabbage

-1 Carrot Shredded

– 1/2 C. Vegan Mayo

– 1 Tablespoon Date Syrup (d’vash)

– 1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice

– 1 Tablespoon White Wine Vinegar

– 1/4 teaspoon Salt

– 1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper

Method:

Combine all ingredients in a bowl, except the cabbage. Once you’ve made a dressing, add the cabbage and toss well, about 2-5 minutes. Then set aside and let marinate in the fridge for at least 3-4 hours, OR BETTER YET, overnight!

 

 

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breakfast

Matcha Pancakes 🥞

breakfast, matcha, tea, healthy, blog, nutrition, blogger, navitas, superfood, antioxidants, cancer fighting, healthy fat, low cholesterol, protein, nutrition, blogger, vegan, glutenfree, healthy, plant based, dairy free, recipe, fitness, eat, yummyI am so in love with Matcha! It has such beautiful benefits for our bodies and is full of antioxidants and cancer fighting qualities.

Matcha is of the highest quality grade teas, great for sustained energy, focus, and stress reduction (from L-Theanine levels). It is nature’s most abundant source of the antioxidant EGCG and equals as many antioxidants as 10 cups of green tea! As EGCG gains credibility in the health world, it’s an incredible nutrient vital to many systems of the human body. It promotes optimal cellular function and by adding this to our daily routine, we can be assured our cells are thriving happy and healthy.

So why not be fun and put a twist on your not so normal YUMMY pancakes, and add some amazingness with a scoop of Matcha? I mean, why not? And NO, you’re not going to have caffeine overload or anything like that, it will help ease your mind.

Love you guys. Enjoy breakfast and tag me or email me if you make this, I LOVE seeing your creations.

 

•Matcha pancakes!!
-1 cup (200g) GF/Vegan pancake mix (Arrowhead Mills has a great one)
-1 Tbsp coconut oil (melted)
-1 medium banana
-3/4 unsweetened vanilla coconut milk
-1 1/2 tsp matcha (I like navitas brand )

-1 tsp vanilla
-1/4 tsp cinnamon
-1tsp stevia

This is good for thick pancakes… I wanted them slightly thinner (still pretty thick) so I added 1/4-1/2 cup more milk… gauge it to how you like

Instructions:

-In a blender, combine all ingredients but the pancake mix. Then transfer to a medium size bowl and add the pancake mix. I like to put it through a sifter to ensure even mixing.

– let Pan warm up on medium heat for about 3 minutes. If you put a drop of water on the pan it should sizzle, if not, wait 1-2 more minutes. Then in 1/4 cup portions, gently pour the batter into the pan and let the pancake cook for about 2-3 minutes. Bubbles should start to form on the uncooked part on top, you can also slide a spatula under slowly to see if it pulls up, then flip the packets and cook another 2 minutes.

bbq, party, summer, hot dog, beyond meat, protein, burger, veggie, lifelight, protein, nutrition, blogger, vegan, glutenfree, healthy, plant based, dairy free, recipe, fitness, eat, yummy
entrees

Labor Day and Summer BBQ

Summer lovin’ happened soooooo fast! And I’m havin’ a blaaaast…. something like that?? Haha.

Labor Day is upon us. I know that means get togethers, BBQs, fun, laughter, and tons of food. Yum! My favorite, FOOD, and good food that will nourish me in the correct way as to fuel me through the day. Why not try something new this year and dabble with some plant based products and add them to the mix. Many people are starting to eat more consciously so if your hosting or adding to a party, it’s not a bad idea to get your plant based options in line.

Everyone loves a great grilled burger right?! I really enjoy the, Beyond Meat, patty, which grills nicely and packs a 23 grams of protein punch. Make it a cheese burger with, Follow Your Heart, sliced cheese. I don’t mind if you even grill up some onions & mushrooms, sliced tomatoes, and avocado for the win. I mean, bye, you can find me in heaven after that.

I also really enjoy, Lifelight, hotdogs if your hot like that. Again, grill those up and top em with you favorite toppings, like grilled onions, bell peppers, or sauerkraut, if your into a little probiotics while you party. If you want gluten free hotdog or hamburger buns you can go to a specialty store like Whole Foods, or sometimes Sprouts and Trader Joe’s will have them too. I’m happy to help this grilling season, you can message me and ask for other tips if you need them. I’m happy to help! Happy summer loves.

 

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Smoothies // Smoothie bowls

Cacao Superfood Smoothie

Cacao Superfood Smoothie

 

As a little girl, I loved when my mom would make anything with chocolate in it. I loved chocolate sauce on my ice cream, peanut butter cups, chocolate chip cookies, you name it, I wanted to be eating and enjoying it. As I grew older, I realized chocolate had dairy and refined sugar in it. I still purchase Dark Chocolate and certified dairy free now, but I try to keep it on occasion. This smoothie helps me to still be able to enjoy chocolate and I know its good for me.

I love Chocolate so much!! Don’t you? If you would like to slurp something super nutrient dense and also yummy tasting this smoothie is fantastic. At the end of the day, not only do I want to have a good meal that tastes good, but I also want to make sure it is packed with optimal nutrients. Cacao has magnesium, antioxidants, and healthy fat. It is great for a little kick in energy and satisfies that chocolate bar craving. I also added maca root and beet powder for added energy. I am so thankful to be be able to have these ingredients at hand to put into a smoothie in order to fuel myself. Feel free to add other ingredients that sound good to you.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 tablespoon Flaxseed
  • 1 Banana
  • 2 Dates
  • 1/2 Cup Spinach
  • 1 Tablespoon Beet Powder (I like MRM brand)
  • 1 teaspoon Maca Powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1-2 Cups Non Dairy Milk (Trader Joes has a great unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk)
  • Go Raw Cacao Granola For topping 🙂
Process:
If you have a powerful blender like the Vitamin or Kitchen aid, or blend tech, etc. I like to throw in and grind the seeds dry first so that they become a powder.
Then put all other ingredients into the blender and blend. You can add liquid to desired consistency and ice if you would like it colder.
I LOVE eating smoothie bowls. So I usually use a little less liquid so I can create a bowl thats thick enough to hold sliced bananas, unsweetened shredded coconut, cacao nibs, goji berries, and hemp seeds! The possibilities are endless, Enjoy loves.

 

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appetizers

Jalepen-YO Face

IMG_9774Do you have a fun summer party, get together, or house party you’re attending or hosting? Why not create a simple cheezy jalapeño appetizer that’s going to get everyone Lit? I Love using this recipe for Super Bowl parties too.

I love creamy and silky textures in a recipe. When I went plant based I was so afraid of leaving cheese, yogurt, ice cream, and other dairy items. I thought for sure that I would never be able to enjoy creamy foods in my diet. Little did I know of the great creamy alternatives and even that nuts like cashews are very creamy when soaked and blended with liquid. A tip I will give you, when working with creamy dishes, add the slightest bit of crunch on top to balance texture and enhance the complexity of the dish.

If you are bringing this as an appetizer don’t tell anyone its plant based and just see what they say. It is truly my favorite thing to see people enjoy the dish and later in conversation see their face light up when they realize it was Vegan and has no cholesterol.

Ingredients:

• 10 Jalapeños, cut in half length wise and seeds removed
• 1 tub non-dairy cream cheese (you’ll use half-so you can also double this recipe)
• 1/2 C. Dairy free cheese (I like Daiya pepper jack shreds)
• 1/4 C. Nutritional Yeast
• 1/4 teaspoon Paprika
• 1/4 teaspoon Pink Himalayan Salt

Create process:

– preheat oven to 350 degrees.
– Rinse and slice jalapeños in half, remove seeds and any white extra flesh inside.
– Place jalapeños on a baking dish and bake for 6 minutes.
– Combine all the ingredients in a mixing bowl with a spoon or spatula while jalapeños get a quick pre bake.
– Let jalapeños cool, then fill them with the mixture.
– For added cheezy look place a few shreds of cheese on each jalapeño separately.
– Cool for 12 minutes. Take out and cool.
– Option to garnish: green onions or fakin bakin bits

*** Don’t eat before your guests arrive or before you get to the party, people WILL be disappointed….

Love,   Stephie