Savory Veggie Cakes, Two Ways

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Today we’re sharing two versions of savory veggie cakes, perfect for an appetizer or even as a whole meal. Nikki shares her cheesy vegetarian quinoa cakes while Jess shows you how to make spicy lentil cakes. The quinoa cakes are paired with an addicting spicy lemon and garlic aioli (it’s vegan!) that makes it feel like you are eating something way more guilt-ridden than quinoa! Both are protein and nutrient packed and perfect for a Meatless Monday or sneaking in some veggies.

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Breakfast “Egg” Muffins, Two Ways

Today we’re sharing an easy breakfast recipe that is perfect for busy mornings and full of nutrients. Jess will show you how to make a vegan version, tofu egg cups, while Nikki shares a healthy, yet carnivore-friendly, turkey bacon and kale egg muffin. Both are quick and easy to make and everyone in your household is sure to love them. Check out both recipes by clicking on the link below. Enjoy!

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Super Snacks: Vegan Spinach Artichoke Dip

The Superbowl is tomorrow-we’re getting hungry and excited planning our snack menus! So far this week we’ve shared Nachos two ways & Jalapeño Poppers two ways. To conclude snack week we’re sharing another classic favorite, Spinach Artichoke Dip. Jess has veganized the recipe into a creamy, salty, savory fan favorite dip. Plus it’s a little healthier than the traditional version, and Paleo too! I served most of the dip in little ramekins, but then I had a brilliant idea and rolled the remainder of the dip inside of Pillsbury crescent rolls. Little pockets of breaded, creamy dip-yum!!!

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Spinach Artichoke Dip

(VEGAN)

Ingredients:

  • 1 14 oz can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
  • 2 cups fresh spinach, measured and then sliced in thin strips
  • 1/4 yellow onion, thinly sliced or diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • sprinkle of salt, black pepper and red pepper flakes, seasoned to taste
  • 1 1/4 cups raw cashews, soaked overnight
  • 1 cup hot almond or soy milk
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons and 1/2 teaspoon tapioca starch/tapioca flour
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
  • Crescent roll dough (optional)
  • Bread, sliced veggies or crackers for serving

Preheat oven to 350. In a medium mixing bowl, mix together artichoke hearts, spinach, onion, garlic and generous sprinkling of salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. Toss to combine and set aside.

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In a food processor, blend together remaining ingredients for about 1 minute or until smooth.

Pour the mixture into a small pot or saucepan and heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally. When the sauce begins to thicken, stir continuously, turn down the heat a tad, and continue for about 2 minutes. Tapioca starch does amazing things to make sauces stretchy and thick!

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Pour the sauce over the veggie mixture and stir well. Add any spices you feel are lacking and pour into a baking dish, divide into ramekins, or roll into Pillsbury crescent rolls. For the crescent rolls, I laid a piece of dough out flat, spooned a small amount of dip at the base of the triangle and then rolled it forward as you normally would with a roll.

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The bake time will vary according to your dish, the crescent rolls take about 15 minutes to bake, while the ramekins took about 40. Keep your eye on the oven, you want the dip to get nice and golden on top. Serve warm with bread, crackers, sliced carrots or bell peppers.

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If you’re looking for more snack ideas try our popcorn, potato skins, or brussels sprouts!

Loaded Chopped Salad with Vegan Dressing

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Keeping up our healthy diet through January has been a challenge. But, let’s not give up just yet! After all, we are only three weeks into 2016! Today we’re sharing a super easy, loaded chopped salad. I don’t know about you, but I totally think lettuce tastes a little better with lots and lots of crunchy toppings. This salad couldn’t be easier to make, and better yet, it is LOADED with nutrients. We topped it off with a 5 minute vegan mustard vinaigrette that we’re sure you will continue to use over and over again for other salads. As we’ve mentioned before, from-scratch salad dressings are easier than you might expect and so much better for you! Ditch all the preservatives and added sugars and start making your own dressings and vinaigrettes today, we promise it’s simple! This one is kid-tested and mom and dad approved. Pick and choose your toppings and get creative! The salad we are showing has hard boiled eggs and turkey bacon on it, so leave those out if you are vegan (obviously!). You can also add cheese if your diet is dairy-friendly. The options are endless!

Ingredients:

Salad:

  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
  • 4-6 strips turkey bacon, cooked and cut into bite size pieces
  • 1 bag fresh green beans or haricot vests, chopped
  • 1 cucumber, chopped
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped
  • 1 bunch radishes, chopped
  • 4 hard-boiled eggs, roughly chopped
  • 1 container cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 head romaine lettuce, chopped

Dressing:

  • 2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Agave syrup
  • 6-8 Tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Simply wash and chop/dice all of the salad ingredients as listed above. Arrange them in a large salad bowl with the lettuce on the bottom and other ingredients on top.

To make the dressing, add the mustard, vinegar and Agave to a medium size bowl. Whisk together with a fork until well combined. Slowly drizzle in olive oil, a little at a time, continuing to whisk. When the olive oil is evenly incorporated, season with salt and pepper as needed. Drizzle dressing over salad and serve immediately. Check out the video below for step-by-step instructions!

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Buffalo Chicken Salad, Two Ways

Happy New Year! Our New Year’s Resolutions are in full effect and whether you’ve vowed to eat healthier, eat at home more often, try new foods, or eat your greens, these salads have you covered. We’re sharing a traditional and vegan take on Buffalo Chicken Salad, a tried and true favorite for most everyone, and to take it a step further, we’re sharing homemade ranch recipes. Both recipes are super easy and nutritious and we even venture to say you’ll never eat store-bought ranch dressing again!

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Click the link below to get spicy & saucy!

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Grown-Up Granola Bars

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Hi there! Today I’m sharing an easy recipe for what I like to call, Grown-Up Granola Bars. This nutrient-packed snack is so easy, with just a few ingredients and no baking required. They make a great mid-day snack that feels like a guilty pleasure without all the added sugar and calories. I know kids and adults will equally enjoy them. The agave and vegan chocolate chips sweeten them up but don’t be fooled! They are also full of a lot of protein and fiber. Let’s get started!

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NO BAKE GROWN-UP GRANOLA BARS (VEGAN)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup sunflower seed butter (can also use creamy almond butter)
  • 1/2 cup agave (can also use honey if you are not vegan)
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup steel-cut oats
  • 1/2 cup vegan mini chocolate chips, like these
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut, like the one found here
  • parchment paper
  • 9×13 baking pan

Directions:

  1. Measure out the agave(1/2 cup) and sunflower seed butter (1 cup).

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2. Mix the agave and sunflower seed in a small pot over low heat until combined and smooth. Remove from heat.

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3. Meanwhile, prepare a 9×13 pan with parchment paper. Spray the corners of the pan with nonstick spray so the parchment paper sticks to the pan.

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5. Mix the mini chocolate chips and the oats together in a large bowl.

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6. Pour the agave-sunflower seed butter mixture in with the oats and mix until evenly combined.

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6. Pour mixture into prepared pan and press down with the back of a spoon to spread evenly.

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7. Sprinkle shredded coconut over mixture.

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8. Refrigerate for 1-3 hours. Lift the parchment paper out of the pan and lay flat. Cut the mixture into bars with a knife. Enjoy!

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Meatless Monday: Tostada Salad

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Hi there! I hope all of you had a wonderful and safe Halloween with family and friends. Personally, I consumed one-too-many pieces of Halloween candy and I’m trying to get back on track this week.

Today, for our Meatless Monday meal, I’m sharing a fresh and flavorful “tostada” salad that is full of fresh produce yet still fills you up. It is topped with a tasty chipotle-agave vinaigrette. If you’re looking for an easy dinner that is healthy yet satisfying, look no further!

While there is not a lot of cooking and/or time needed for this salad, most of the work involves washing and chopping the salad ingredients, which can be tedious. So, get your best knife and cutting board ready!

TOSTADA CHOPPED SALAD (VEGAN)

Ingredients:

For the salad:

  • 3-4 hearts of romaine, chopped
  • 4 radishes, sliced and cut into quarters
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed
  • 1 container cherry tomatoes, each tomato cut in half
  • 2 fresh corn on the cob, shucked with kernels cut off
  • 1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds
  • 1 cup tortilla strips
  • 1/2 cup shredded white cheddar or dairy free cheese (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon cilantro, chopped
  • Salt and pepper

For the dressing:

  • 5 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons agave (or honey)
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 chipotle peppers in adobo with 1 tablespoon of the adobo sauce
  • 3 garlic cloves

Note: Feel free to add more chipotle peppers and/or adobo sauce if you like things spicy! As is, the dressing does have a kick to it.

Directions:

First, wash and chop all the salad toppings: romaine, radishes, green onions, cherry tomatoes, and cilantro.

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Next, drain and rinse the black beans under cold water.

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Now, it’s time to roast the corn. Cut the corn off the cob. Add the olive oil to a skillet over medium heat.

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Add the corn kernels and chopped cilantro, stirring to mix. Continue to stir until corn is roasted to a golden brown color. Remove from heat and set aside.

Next, we make the dressing. This dressing is so good and much better than store-bought with all of those added preservatives. Add all of the dressing ingredients to a food processor and blend until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste.

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Combine all the salad ingredients in a big bowl. Top with pumpkin seeds, tortilla strips, and cheese or non dairy cheese. Drizzle with dressing and toss. Enjoy!

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Overnight Oats

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As we delve into the busy fall season, I am always searching for easy breakfasts that require little-to-no prep. These overnight oats could not get any easier! They basically make themselves while you are resting away. Also, I found this great Super Seed Blend at Trader Joe’s that is totally optional but makes for added nutrition and deliciousness with cranberries, coconut chips, chia seed, buckwheat, and hemp seed. You can add whatever you’d like to your oats when they’re done, including cinnamon, honey, nuts, dried and fresh fruit, almond butter- the options are endless. I used steel-cut oats for this recipe, but you can use traditional rolled oats instead, just cut back on the amount of almond milk you add.

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OVERNIGHT OATS (VEGAN)

Ingredients:

  • 1 2/3 cup steel-cut oats
  • 4 cups almond milk
  • 1/4 cup Trader Joe’s Super Seed Blend (optional, can also use plain chia seeds)
  • 1 large Tupperware/food storage container, with lid
  • fresh fruit for topping

Directions:

  1. Mix the oats and almond milk together in a large bowl. Transfer to a large food storage container.
  2. Sprinkle Super Seed Blend on top of the oat and milk mixture. Seal container with lid.
  3. Refrigerate oats overnight.
  4. When ready to eat, warm up oats in the microwave and top with fresh fruit or any other desired toppings.

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Almond Pulp Granola

Earlier this week we made easy, creamy almond milk, which left us with some almond pulp, perfect for making gluten-free, paleo granola.  Granola is definitely one of my guilty pleasures, and this version is one of my favorites, as it feels much less like a guilty pleasure and more like a healthy breakfast food. Feel free to get creative with this recipe, adding and substituting your favorite granola ingredients!

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Almond Pulp Granola

(VEGAN)

Ingredients:

  • Almond pulp from a batch of almond milk
  • 2 tablespoons melted cooconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon agave or maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread the almond pulp evenly over the sheet.

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Bake at 350 for about 15-20 minutes, until the pulp begins to turn golden.

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Remove from the oven and pour the pulp into a mixing bowl. Add all other ingredients and mix well.

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Pour the granola back onto the sheet and bake for another 15-20 minutes, until brown. Enjoy with your almond milk, over yogurt, or gift it with a jar of almond milk!

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Easy Homemade Almond Milk

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I think everyone has asked themselves at least once (or googled!), while enjoying a delicious glass of creamy almond milk, “How do you milk an almond?” All of your questions will be answered with this recipe (hint: you don’t milk an almond, you blend it). Making homemade almond milk sounds a lot more intense and consuming than it really is. Once you’ve soaked your almonds the whole process takes about 10 minutes, and even less to drink it! I love making almond milk from scratch because I can control how sweet I make it, and it is free from extra preservatives and additives that the store-bought variety contain. Because this milk is preservative free, you should enjoy it within the first three days of making it. A jar of almond milk and a box of homemade cookies make a great gift! Plus, check back later this week and I’ll share a tasty, gluten free recipe using the almond pulp you’ll yield from the almond milk.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup raw almonds, soaked overnight
  • 3 1/2 cups water
  • 3 medjool dates, pitted
  • sprinkle of cinnamon
  • sprinkle of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
  • nut milk bag or cheese cloth (you can find these at some grocery stores, Whole Foods, or online.)

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If this is your first time soaking nuts to make milk or cheese, (welcome!) place the nuts in a jar or container and fill with water until the nuts are covered. Place in a cool, dry place, and forget about them for at least four hours, but I usually choose to leave them overnight.
After the nuts are soaked, drain and rinse and plop them in the blender with all of the other ingredients and blend for about 1 minute.

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I highly recommend using a nut milk bag for the straining portion of this recipe, as it is a lot easier than a cheese cloth. If you are using a cheese cloth (as shown here), I recommend using a shallow bowl so the cloth is easier to manage. Slowly pour the blended mixture through the bag, (do this in small batches if using the cloth) and allow to drain in a mixing bowl. Squeeze the excess milk out of the bag.

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Transfer the milk to a jar and-look at that! You’ve successfully milked an almond. What’s left in the bag is called almond pulp or meal. Store it in a ziploc bag or tupperware in your freezer; I’ll be sharing a recipe later this week using the almond pulp! Zero waste recipe right there.

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