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.

9228CE19-EBB3-46F7-AD43-D15E3C1FB936

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, 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. ❤️💜🌱🥦💋

 

 

breakfast

Overnight Oats

64FE4AB0-47F5-45F1-9366-A4AC7324588C

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!

00A1AA7D-6223-429C-9D6B-B65E216F8280

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.

 

14B86A16-A79E-4C0B-8970-1DB2D0D74C13

 

 

recommendations

Maya Kaimal

IMG_3608

 

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.

A77869ED-BF4C-49DB-BAA3-1B30302689D1

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