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…

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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Smoothies // Smoothie bowls

Homemade Almond Mylk

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I have always heard of making dairy free milks but it just seems like such a process…  Right???? It does, util you actually do it. Then you actually realize, other than having to plan a tiny bit, it isn’t that hard after all. By planning, I mean, soaking the almonds 6-8 hours before. The blending and everything else takes like 10 minutes…

What is really amazing about making anything homemade, especially milk, you know what is going into it. You know that there aren’t any chemicals or harsh additives being put in. I also always feel so align and so good about pouring my time, love, and energy into my homemade goods! there are so many additives and sweeteners and preservatives now a days, that I just wish we could stop and get back to our grounding roots, which is why I try harder each and every day to make most of my meals. It isn’t as time consuming as you think, ONCE YOU GET THE HANG OF IT!

So here we go…… Almond milk!! Unsweetened without refined sugars, lightly flavored with vanilla, and VIOLA!! It is easy and it will last a few days fresh and honestly, thats all it would last in the household anyways… I mean if you like smoothies, lattes, and oatmeal…

Almond Milk (Vanilla)

-4 Cups water

-1 Cup Almonds (soaked for 6-8 hours)

-3 Dates (soaked if possible)

-1 Tablespoon Coconut oil

-1 teaspoon Vanilla
-Pinch os sea salt
Method
-Allow Almonds to soak overnight or for at least 6-8 hours. Place almonds in high speed blender with water and blend on high. For about 2 minutes.
-Strain milk in a mesh nut milk bag. Throw the milk back in the blender with coconut oil, salt, vanilla, and dates, and blend for about a minute.
-Place in an airtight container for up to 5 days in the refrigerator.

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breakfast

Overnight Oats

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I am always on the go. Being on the go, means the need for quick and simple recipes to make sure I’m set up for success and prepared to fuel my body correctly. Because so many of us are similar in that sense, we might come to a crossroads where we have to compromise what we eat for breakfast. By making something a head of time, we can just “Grab and Go…” With this easy recipe, you can literally grab it from the fridge, and go!! whether you open and eat it immediately, or take it to work and eat while in a morning meeting or whatever else it is that seems convenient. Breakfast is a huge part of your day, it is what sets the tone for your body. Don’t skip breakfast, your body and mind need it.

Growing up, oatmeal was definitely a staple in our house. It is full of fiber and it gives you energy. It is actually one of the more nutrient dense foods with so many vitamins and minerals such as, magnesium, iron, calcium, B1, and many more. Oats have something called beta-glucan which not only helps with lowering cholesterol and stabilizing blood sugar, but also helps create healthy bacteria in the gut. Oats also can promote weight loss by helping us feel full.

You can really make your oats many different flavors. I use to love the maple & brown sugar or the Apple and cinnamon flavors!! As I grew up, I realized how much sugar unfortunately was added to these packets, so I started buying the unflavored/ unsweetened packets and would add my own fruit and sweetener. Instant oats are very processed, I’m not saying if that’s all you have to not eat them, but if you have the choice to have rolled oats or groats, I say go for that so it takes a little longer to digest. Here I have created a really quick, homemade recipe with Gluten Free rolled oats. You can make a few servings the night before and then place it in your fridge to soak until morning. By keeping the oatmeal in the fridge, it will keep its freshness for up to 4-5 days. In the morning you can grab your breakfast right away and eat it cold or warm it up with a little added liquid.

Get creative with flavors, you can add whatever nuts or fruits you would like. The possibilities are endless. I have created a pretty basic overnight oats recipe that you can add and subtract from, as long as you keep the main guidelines in mind. When you make anything at home, you know what quality ingredients have been put into your food, as well as no added preservatives, and made with your own personal love & care. Instead of maple syrup to sweeten, you can use stevia (an herb) OR blended or mashed up fruit.

You are more than welcome to use store bought non dairy milk or use my homemade almond milk recipe

or to use my

If you make the recipe, I would love for you to comment or tag me!! I always love hearing from you and what your inner creator has decided to come up with!

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Overnight Oats:

1/2 Cup Rolled Oats

1/2 Cup Almond milk (unsweetened Vanilla is my favorite)

1 Tablespoon Chia seeds (navitas brand)

1/4 teaspoon Cinnamon

A pinch of salt

1 Tablespoon Maple syrup

Topping: If you would like to add some fruit topping, have some chopped up fruit ready to throw on top in the morning. Bananas, blueberries, apples, strawberry, or Mango go well!! So in the morning you can quickly top and go!

Instructions:

-Add all the ingredients in a jar or bowl, with an airtight lid. Mix the ingredients well and then put the lid on, and pop it in the fridge! Let the oats sit overnight and then consume the following morning. Top with sliced fruit if preferred. Enjoy within a few days and then repeat the process for the next few days again. If you prefer your oats warm, you can quickly heat them straight out of the fridge, its a bit thick with the chia seeds, so adding a little extra liquid the next day is totally fine and I usually do myself!

Dont forget to tag me if you make this. I wanna seeeeeee!! Enjoy beautifuls.

 

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appetizers

Mexican Pan Corn

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Have you ever had Mexican Street Corn?? It has such a nice flavor and it has just a little more complexity than seasoned corn with seasoning salt or garlic salt. I had only had it once, a while ago. I was recently asked to recreate it, so I was up for the challenge of trying something new, that I had never personally made before. I looked up a few non vegan recipes and came up with my own version.

You can totally use canned corn in this recipe, but make sure you look for BPA free cans. Whenever possible, I try to cook with fresh ingredients. So I used fresh corn on the cob from the local farmers market. I do realize that canned corn is slightly faster and easier, so please do whatever feels best to you. At the end of the day, I want to provide yummy and helpful recipes to get you to the next level of health. Lets make this fun and easy!

One note I would like to make about this recipe, is to play around with the different vegan cheeses. I used a store bought shredded cheese because I didn’t have anything like Cotija cheese, which most recipes call for. I am sure there is something similar in the stores, something more dense and crumbly. Or I’m sure that there is a way to make something like the cheese, but for this recipe I just wanted to create something similar to enjoy. Again, you are the creator now, you can play and change as you see fit.

Corn is high in fiber and rich in Vitamin A, B, E and minerals. Because corn is nutrient dense and full of antioxidants and fiber, it can help prevent disease and keep a healthy lifestyle. Corn is so versatile, we eat it in stir fry, tortilla chips, and tacos. I love plain old corn on the cob, with a little drizzle of Vegan butter and salt. Changing it up and making Mexican corn will add some awesome flavor to your life. I don’t mind eating the same things over and over, especially when they’re tasty, I know they’re nutrient dense, and that they’re good for me. But, why not make something slightly different every once in a while? Go ahead, try this one out. Take your taste buds for a little ride!

When creating recipes try to be aware of what cookware you are using. There are so many toxic chemicals that can be leached into our foods, using the right utensils can help in one aspect of chemicals finding their way into our body. Traditional non-stick coatings are manufactured with chemicals harmful to you and the environment. I like to use //ws-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&OneJS=1&Operation=GetAdHtml&MarketPlace=US&source=ac&ref=qf_sp_asin_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=thesuperfoodg-20&marketplace=amazon&region=US&placement=B00JXOA59U&asins=B00JXOA59U&linkId=dd93763cb3d6c257bb4b54a72a4979d9&show_border=false&link_opens_in_new_window=false&price_color=333333&title_color=0066c0&bg_color=ffffff“>Ceramic non-stick cookware, because it is high heat resistant, it doesn’t chip, and it will not leach toxins into your food. The Pan I am using currently is //ws-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&OneJS=1&Operation=GetAdHtml&MarketPlace=US&source=ac&ref=qf_sp_asin_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=thesuperfoodg-20&marketplace=amazon&region=US&placement=B00N5F9NMS&asins=B00N5F9NMS&linkId=e48dfa1c73d37cb15136c6abce2259dd&show_border=false&link_opens_in_new_window=false&price_color=333333&title_color=0066c0&bg_color=ffffff“>GreenLife.

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Mexican Pan Corn

4 Cups Corn (Cut from about 4 ears, or canned)

Tablespoon butter

1 Tablespoon Mayonnaise

1/4 Teaspoon Salt

1/2 teaspoon chili Powder

Pinch of cayenne

1 Tablespoon Lime Juice

2 Tablespoons finely chopped Red onion

1/4 Cup cheese

1/4 Cup Cilantro

Method:

-If using fresh corn, remove the kernels and set aside.

-Heat the butter in the pan, then add the Corn, Mayonnaise, chili powder, cayenne, and salt. Stir on and off for 3 minutes.

-Remove from heat and transfer to a bowl. Add the lime juice, red onion, cheese, cilantro, and toss.

-Serve with extra lime wedges and cilantro for garnish.

Enjoy!!

Love, Stephie XoXo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

recommendations

Maya Kaimal

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Maya Kaimal is a brand created by a wonderful woman who wanted to bring people together through eating. Growing up, it was very important to her family to socialize together and eating was always part of that. Though cooking can be therapeutic and fun, sometimes in our lives we feel we are too busy or don’t have enough time to create a full meal from scratch. It can be time consuming and that means less time with the ones we love. Maya has made it super simple to not only be able to eat a healthy meal, but to also have time to socialize and be around our loved ones.

There are many different products Maya Kaimal offers! Not all the products are vegan, but many are, and the others are vegetarian. Don’t you worry, she still took just as much care and love creating the vegetarian items as the vegans items.

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For example, she has made some amazing shelf stable simmer sauces. I truly enjoyed making my Indian Nachos with the Madras Curry sauce. I have yet to try a few of the other vegan flavors, and I cannot wait! They’re so simple and so flavorful, all you have to do is chop a few of your favorite veggies, you can even throw in some beans/lentils/ or tofu, pour the sauce over them in a pan, and simmer. Viola! You have a quickly home made and amazing dish that your guests will love, and you’ll have more time to spend with them instead of spending so much time cooking. Plus, not all of us are wizards in the kitchen, able to make amazingly spiced Indian food, lets be honest…

There are also some Chickpea chips and pita chips. They are yummy, crunchy, and made with tons of love. I used the chickpea chips for my nachos because they are gluten free, but Pita chips would probably be so yummy too, for those of you that don’t mind eating gluten.

Now for the Everyday Dal packets. Oh my goodness, the pouches are are a flavor punch and basically a full meal. Most would add some rice or quinoa to make it seem more hearty. I was on a camping trip and easily tore open the pouch, poured it into a sauce pan, and heated it on the gas burner for just a few minutes. Again, the meal was easily made, ready quickly, I knew it was healthy, and that I would be eating tons of loving vibes. I think the Red Lentil Butternut Squash Dal so far has been my favorite, but again, I truly enjoyed all the flavors. Go check them out, love on them, and I am sure they would love to hear from you.

You can check them out on their website or follow their Instagram at:

http://www.mayakaimal.com/

@Mayakaimalfoods

appetizers, entrees

Indian Nachos!!

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Say what??!! Indian inspired nachos. Yes, I said what you read, Indian Inspired nachos!! As some of you may have noticed by now, I WILL do whatever I can for an excuse to make and enjoy nachos! I also like to be different, and I like a challenge. So of course, why not take so many of our favorite dish, nachos, and use different flavors? I recently found this fantastic company Maya Kaimal, who I will be doing a product review in more depth shortly on another post, and I thought, “I am going to use one of their wonderful simmer sauces and flavor some yummy veggies, then throw them onto chickpea chips with vegan cheese!!! Whoo hoo!!

The first year of becoming vegan, I was holding onto some of my favorite meals pretty strong. So you can bet that Plant based nachos, caesar salad, pizza, burgers, and mac & cheese were constantly in the mix. Of course, all of these things are still highly processed. So once I got use to being plant based and I felt more knowledgable, I felt more comfortable to branch out and try less processed meals. I started using more whole foods and beans or lentils to substitute for “meat.” Beans and mushrooms have a meaty like texture, or at least the firmness some of us crave in a meal. I find when it looks and feels similar with colors & texture and it has a great seasoning and flavor, it makes it easier to be satisfied with meals we are use to eating.

I took some vegetables that I am use to eating with Indian food, like cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, and garbanzos and sautĂ©ed them with Maya Kaimal’s Simmer Sauce! It is so easy because the flavor is already all there in the sauce, SO DELICIOUS! All you have to do is chop the vegetables, add the simmer sauce, cook, and then plate over the chips and cheese. It is just a fun spin on your usual Indian dish with just rice or potatoes.

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Indian Nachos

Ingredients:

-1/2 Medium Onion

– 2 Cloves Garlic

-1 Tablespoon Coconut oil

-1/2 Cauliflower Head

-1/2 Broccoli

-1/2 Bell Pepper

-1 Yellow Zucchini

-1 Can Garbanzo beans

-1 Jar of Maya Kaimal’s Madras Curry Simmer Sauce (or if you find another flavor of their many flavors, use that)

-Shredded Mozzerella (Or any other dairy free cheese you like)

-1 Bag of chickpea chips

Method:

-Chop all the veggies in smaller portions so they fall over the chips better. Start to sauté the Onions until translucent (about 3-5 minutes on medium heat). Then add the garlic to the onions and sauté for 2 more minutes. Add the broccoli and cauliflower and sauté for another 8 minutes.

-Add Zucchini, Simmer sauce,  bell pepper, beans and sauté for another 10 minutes.

-While the vegetables and sauce are simmering, in between stirring every 2 minutes, start plating them chips. Get a nice pile of chips and either sprinkle the cheese on top of the chips, so that when you put the hot topping on it melts, or just add it to the mix of vegetables. Either way is fine and up to you. Own it! Enjoy it. Be proud you made something new and fun!

Love, Always, Stephie <3

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breakfast

Breakfast Nachos!!!

 

Who doesn’t like Nachos?? And don’t we all enjoy a good breakfast meal or brunch?? Well, I do, thats for sure! So often I am asked how breakfast can ever be the same again after going plant based, or how it is even possible to have a good breakfast meal. I PROMISE you, it can happen. There are loads of options, you just have to get creative. Breakfast, especially a good scramble, has always been my favorite meal. So naturally, I figured out how to make a breakfast scramble pretty quickly. Once I had that covered, I felt like the next step was to get even more creative and add a twist… I could have nachos at least once a day. I don’t know if it has something to do with the crunch of the chips, or perhaps the creaminess of the sauce and all the flavors coming together, BUT I LOVE THEM!! Heck, I would even order loaded veggie nachos without cheese or sour cream, ADD ALL the guacamole and still be a happy camper at a non vegan restaurant. Though lets be real, the creamy cheesiness makes me pretty happy.

So I decided I would make breakfast nachos! DUH! It was one of those spur of the moment decisions I made for mothers day Brunch last year and it was a hit!! Get ready though, these aren’t just regular nachos with salsa, guac, and cheese… I like to add ALLLLL the toppings. K, BYE! Just kidding, I’m not going anywhere yet, I still have to write the recipe. Here is the thing that is beautiful about nachos, you can add and subtract whatever you please to the dish. I am only writing an outline to you, it’s your decision if you want to go out on a limb and get creative and magical and substitute anything else you would like. Or maybe this time you make it ingredient for ingredient and then add a spin to your next batch..? Life is about creating! Get creative, Be creative! Happy Tuesday loves.

 

Breakfast Nachos

For the Queso:

-1 Cup White Beans

-1/4 Cup Water
-1/4 Cup Nutritional Yeast
-1/4 Red Bell Pepper (cut into 4 pieces)
-1 Tablespoon Jalepeno
-1 Tablespoon Lemon
-1 teaspoon Salt
-1/4 teaspoon Garlic Powder
-1/4 teaspoon Onion Powder
-pinch of Cumin
  • Put all ingredients in a high speed blender and blend until creamy; for about a minute.
For the scramble Topping:
-1/2 Large Onion
-3 Cloves Garlic
-1 1/2 Zucchini
-1 1/2 Cups Broccoli
-1/2 Bell Pepper
-10 Mushrooms
-1 package extra firm tofu
-1 Handfull of Spinach
-1 Package of Soyrizo
Optional Toppings:
Guacamole (make your own, or use my recipe in the dips section)
Sour Cream (Tofutti brand is great)
  • Chopp the onion and sautĂ© with a pinch of salt on medium heat for about 5 minutes, or until translucent. Then add the garlic and sautĂ© another 2 minutes. Add zucchini and broccoli and sautĂ© for about 5 minutes, add taco seasoning or salt+black pepper+cumin+cayenne to season. Then add bell pepper and mushrooms and sautĂ© another 5 minutes. Take the tofu out of the package, drain the water, and crumble it over the pan to give it a “Scrambled” look. Add more seasoning and cook another 5-10 minutes to allow the tofu to soak up all the flavors. At the end, I like to add a heaping handful of spinach, which will look like a lot at first, but it will wilt down pretty quickly. Once the spinach is wilted down the scramble topping is ready.
Towards the end of cooking the scramble, empty the soyrizo into a different pan on low heat and add a little water to break up the mixture. Let it warm up for about 5 minutes and it will be ready to serve.
Option to add black beans as well. Warmed up or straight out of the BPA free can. BOO-YA.
After you have all of the components ready, THROW THAT ON A PLATE AND PILE HIGH!!! Well, if I were you, I would pile high. That means more nutrients and more food. Not that I am advocating to over eat, but ya know, I am sure you’ll want to eat now… Enjoy Beautifuls!