I came across this fudge shop in Northern California this weekend and I just got inspired! I mean this little lady and her kids are just whipping out fudge like I've never seen before. To honor her, I made my own vegan fudge with a peanut butter base (obviously!) and fudge all over it! Yum Yum!
I love the idea of getting up in the morning and making a batch of cupcakes. My favorite cupcake is the vanilla cupcake. It's simple. It's warm. It's reminds me of being seven in the summertime.
Heck, I love vanilla cupcakes. And guess what? November 10 is National Vanilla Cupcake Day! Yep. So,it would be a crime NOT to make some sweet vegan vanilla cupcakes. Since we are celebrating the vanilla cupcake, I decided to add rainbow sprinkles to the mix, funfetti birthday style.
When the holidays are over and I am savoring the memory of sitting around the table for Thanksgiving, I can almost taste the pumpkin pie on my lips. Pumpkin pie is perhaps my favorite holiday dish. And my pumpkin pie is not-so-traditional (go figure!). It's made with coconut milk and pumpkin puree. No eggs or dairy, and barely any sugar at all. I love pumpkin as it was meant to be eaten.
BUT my most favorite thing about pumpkin pie, or any pie for that matter, is the crust. A good, cold butter crust made with just the right amount of flour and salt. Not mixed too much and generously pressed into a pan. Mmmm....crust. I could totally make a pie crust and eat it raw without any filling. I could half bake it and eat it without filling. I really love pie crust.
Woe is me though...I only have pie crust a few times each year. The rest of the year, I must go without it. That can be really difficult when I am dying for a slice of pumpkin pie. Not to worry though! I've come up with a way to enjoy pumpkin pie without the crust...and I usually eat it for breakfast.
Every day, no matter what is going on, my daughter does this thing, and then I always know what's coming next. She wiggles from the bedroom where's she's been pretending to be a ninja for the past two hours and says, "Mooommm..."
"Yes?" (And I know what's coming because she says it)
And what used to ensue after this comment was a fifteen minute conversation about what she did and what she didn't want to eat. It became too much and decided that I wanted to streamline her afternoon snack so that she only had 2-3 options from which she could choose.
Long story short, I compiled 14 snacks that she loves and I rotate them each week so I know she is eating a diverse plate of food. And the best part is that she knows what her options are and that nothing else is available. Problem solved.
Since you may be struggling with a kid who doesn't know what he wants to eat, or hell, a kid who knows what he wants to eat, but you aren't offering it, I wanted to give you my list of kid-approved snacks.
And while these snacks are geared toward kids, you could totally make them for yourself to take with you for work. I broke these up based on calorie load: 100 calories, 200 calories, and 300 calories.
Did you know that January is National Oatmeal Month? Thank god because all we do in this house is eat oatmeal. And to make it extra special this month, I am going to feed my kids cookies for breakfast. At least that's what they think they are...but not to worry-- these aren't your traditional, sugar-loaded cookies
My vegan oatmeal cookies are loaded with protein and packed with fiber. And you know what? My kids love them and they make great portable meals for when we are out and about --- because I have one of those kids who grazes all freaking day long and she is never not hungry. Seriously. The kid has a six pack too! Geez...
These oatmeal cookies contain protein powder, peanut butter, oats, honey, soy milk, vanilla, and raisins...which are totally optional because I hate raisins. Just swap it out for dark chocolate.
And if you are concerned about soy in the diet, take a look at this article to a fuller view on the current soy information.
Yesterday was the first day of school for the little genius and I thought that it would be appropriate to celebrate with pancakes. But wait! These pancakes aren't the kind that cause a sugar rush or interfere with attention spans or anything...they are delicious, protein-packed pancakes with a few butterscotch chips tossed in (literally, 5-6 per pancake).
These are the sort of pancakes that make you smile. They are sweet and salty and hit that "gotta have carbs" spot in your belly...or in my case, in my heart. Because I love carbs. Carbs love me. It's a win-win situation.
Anywho, let's get straight to the point because I hate those bloggers that go on and on and on with their story about their pancakes. You want the recipe. Let's do this thing. The recipe DOES NOT require bananas or any special egg tricks, but it does require protein powder. If you don't have protein powder, I would add a few tablespoons of flour, but no guarantees here.
**Because I love you, I have placed links to the ingredients that we used. Of course, you can use what you want, but as you know, I am an Amazon addict and these are the best deals for this stuff. GF cooking is freakin' expensive.
Our day-to-day oatmeal and collard wraps lifestyle doesn't appeal to the folks that often ring our doorbell. None of my immediate family lives a whole foods diet without the cheese or eggs or pasta...and I can't blame them. I love a big, piping hot bowl of cheesy pasta as much as the next person, but hey, I just don't dig into it.
That doesn't mean I don't have a delectable and savory macaroni and cheese recipe for the evenings that company is over and I need to make a dish that appeals the big and little tastebuds. I always serve it alongside braised collard greens and hope for the best.
My macaroni and cheese is creamy and gooey and hits the spot. I make it once, maybe twice per year, usually when we hold our annual board game night. The dish is simple to whip up, totally scoopable and there's never leftovers...ever. Which is good because I'd lick the platter clean if there were!
Don't judge the taste of these yummy banana muffins based on my shitty picture, okay. I'm not perfect. These banana muffins will be your best friends when you are in a crunch and not feeling up to making breakfast.
I make these muffins on Sunday, pop them in the fridge and pair them with pumpkin seeds for times when we just don't have time to make a "real" breakfast. Good thing these muffins are real breakfast! And they are egg and grain-free., which is great because I can't remember the last time I bought any flour...I'm lucky to have these ingredients in the house...my family just loves me.
Looking to fend off an admirer? Go on and eat this soup! Garlic soup is rich and filling, while providing immune-supporting antioxidants. I like to look at this soup as a base for other soups, but it is perfectly acceptable to eat it as-is.
The first time I made this soup, I was little overwhelmed, but it grew on me. Make this soup any time of year or right before cold season to keep your body ready to fight the bad guys. So, don't be afraid if it tastes weird at first...try it again and I bet you'll love it.
If you find this too overpowering, add in cubed potatoes, carrots, celery, white beans and cauliflower to make a one-pot dinner.
It's getting hotter. Can you feel it? When the summer heat creeps up on us, I go into total anti-cook mode, scouring my arsenal for as many raw or no-cook inspirations as possible.
One of my favorite breakfast recipes for the family is no-cook Swedish oatmeal. We eat a lot of oats and I really don't feel like standing over the stove in 90 degree weather at 6AM. Enter cold oatmeal. Delicious. Flexible. Kid-friendly.
This no-cook kid-friendly oatmeal is made the night before and ready for morning. I love that I can make this breakfast right before bedtime or as I am cooking dinner knowing that the family will have a nutritious breakfast for the next day.
Butternut squash is one of those winter veggies that most people shy away from because they are not sure how to prepare it or they think they might not like the flavor. Well, let me say this, this squash is loaded with a crisp, sweet, and refreshing flavor that will make anybody fall in love with it.
Thanksgiving is all about using the fall bounty, and squash is just right for this holiday because it represents the vegetables that orginated in America. The ones the Native Americans shared with our ancestors. This Thanksgiving make this dish and watch everybody come back for seconds! Or just make it for lunch...screw those hungry guests.
Ginger is a very flexible root. It adds flavor in just the right places and is often forgotten about in the world of cooking, but not today. I love ginger, it is one of my favorite tastes. I am working on a banana-ginger recipe and this is my second version of these fantastic day or night muffins. Try them with a dot of honey or all alone...
Ingredients and Directions:
In the medium bowl mix together:
In a larger bowl mix together:
1. Combine the medium bowl into the larger bowl, one half at a time. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes. Yummy!
Festivities are great reason to design new little finger foods that help shape the ambiance of any party. Recently, I was asked to create an appetizer menu for a small literary event. I knew that I wanted to deliver finger foods that appeased both vegetarian and meaty options.
I came up with seven appetizers that were healthy, delicious and down right perfect for events. I would suggest making these for large or small groups of friends and family over for holidays, or an impromptu party.
Chilled soup can make a great main dish during the fall because it is not cool enough for hot soup, and that is why gazpacho makes a great soup. Give this one a try, I promise the flavors will have you wishing you made enough for seconds!
Take the sweetness of autumn corn and toss it with the tang of kalamata olives, and you get a delicious corn salad. I love this salad because you can turn it into a main dish or hell, get crazy and make it a dip by skipping out on the lettuce.
I love to make this whenever I am strapped for time but still want something that uses all of the fresh produce and takes great. Place this along side a roasted turkey or butternut squash soup.
Okay okay, so you all know that I live for a smoothie in the morning. I mean, I practically sleep with my blender. Smoothies are a great way to get a HUGE amount of nutrients into your body in one go. Most of my smoothies have some veggies in it, but this one doesn't.
The nectarine raspberry smoothie is my sweet tooth option for mornings that I need to energize. And energize quickly. The smoothie blends together pears, nectarines and raspberries together for the ultimate breakfast treat.
So what does a sweet potato do for your body? Well, quite a bit, more than it is given credit for! It provides fiber, over 200% of your daily value of vitamin A(don't worry you will not OD your child, part of this is not digested), plus it is a complex carb. The great thing about a sweet potato is that it is naturally sweet and children love the taste!
The warm fire and the cozy sweater that my nanny got me for Christmas was all that I needed this morning to make a fresh loaf of banana bread Goodness, do I live for baking. The combination of measuring ingredients out as a chemist would in a lab alongside the musical stylings of AWOLnation just gets me worked up. And not to mention greasing my favorite bread pan...the one that I bought ten years ago when I began baking.
This banana bread follows a standard recipe that I created years ago for cranberry walnut bread. That is the beauty of the recipe. It interchanges without fail and can be a staple for any design that you create (hello, zucchini bread, carrot bread, and even lemon poppyseed lavender bread). My suggestion for this bread is to watch the oven carefully to avoid burning the bottom of the delectable bread.
Do you know what I miss more about living in San Diego? Good barbecue. Deliciously good BBQ baked beans, creamy coleslaw (with a bite of acid), and skillet cornbread. I made myself a promise the other night that I would go back to my home flavors and make BBQ baked beans that wouldn't come from a can. Gritty, honey cornbread too. Recipe to follow.
If there was a food that I could marry, it would be stuffing. Boxed stuffing; homemade stuffing; stuffing at a restaurant...Fuck, it is so delightful. The way the toasted bread soaks up the broth and herbaceous flavors. The way it tastes even better the day after you make it. I think I like stuffing so much because I don't eat a lot of bread. And by that, I mean that you will not find a loaf of bread in my cupboard, ever. Bread enters my house on special occasions. That's final. I could tell you all about that on another day...get the stuffing recipe below.
Dips are so taboo. Everybody dipping the same chip or slobbered on carrot into the bowl. Ew. I never ever eat dips at other people's events. EVER.
But that doesn't mean that I don't make them at home. Dips are a family thing. Everybody gets around a hot pan filled to the brim with melty cheeses, seasoned herbs and veggies that come together for the ultimate night. My favorite dip is spinach artichoke dip.
I make it for game night, game day, movie night, lazy afternoons...dips can be very unhealthy, so I must warn you that this isn't for a
nybody looking to "save" calories. Just eat this in moderation (ahahahahhahaha, I dare you!).
I've been on a major sweet potato kick lately. Almost every night, there is a plate of sweet pots of the table. Mmm. Some nights I chop them and other nights, I like to wedge them. A batch takes about 20 minutes to cook under the broiler -- yes, the broiler. Never use the "oven" to bake sweet potato fries because you will end up with half-cooked potatoes or having to wait 1 hour to eat them.
Chili is a great way to have a dinner party. Yes, I'm serious. A chili dinner party. Throughout my undergraduate education, I held monthly dinner parties for friends and classmates. Instead of slaving away over a plate that requires 3 components cooked to perfection (in my tiny kitchen, no way), I made of pot of something delicious that puts a smile on everybody's faces.
Given that some of my friends are vegetarians, vegans, or otherwise, I always made the dish eater-friendly. No meat. No dairy, and a gluten-free side. My three-bean chili with soyrizo always won people over.
It is rich, hearty, and healthy. The soyrizo lends a textured spicy addition to the beans. The chili can sit on the stove for hours, making it a great set-it and come back to get it dish. I make cornbread with the dish, but it does great on its own too.
Ranch doesn't make its way into this house very often. And I can tell you that ranch dip or packets never, ever, ever come through this door. But every now and again, I decide to make delicious honey "buttermilk" ranch for sweet potato fries. It starts with fresh parsley from the garden, garlic too.
Somewhere between white vinegar, a whisk and honey, sauce magic happens. This is one of those sauces that you will want to triple triple or quadruple because it disappears. You can store some in a little jar for another day too.
Food + Beer= Happy Life
For a woman who loves food, I sure am picky about it.. As a vegetarian who sometimes eats an animal (I prefer "Only Eat Animals if You're Willing to Go Out and Kill it Yourself Minus the Dairy Because That's Just Yuck" Label), I prepare non-processed, home-grown dishes that can be made with any choice of protein that your stomach (psyche) desires.
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