Having returned from Italy about two weeks ago, I am already missing the abundance of fresh tomato, basil, and balsamic vinegar. Sometimes I get caught up in making complex and complicated food, but this recent trip to Europe reminded me that simple, fresh ingredients really are the best. Now that I am back, I had the chance to snag a bag of Miyokos Mozzarella (insert happy dance!!). What better to make than something simple, fresh, and Italian inspired, such as these Eggplant Caprese Stacks.
Spring is here and with it all sorts of great produce! I just picked up a box of Ranier cherries (my fav!), peaches, pears, figs, a huge watermelon, grapes, and cantaloupe. As I was unloading it all, I realized I had all the ingredients I used to make the Spring Green Smoothie recipe I entered into the JEM Raw Nut Butter contest last year. Of course I had to remake it and wanted to share it on the blog. I didn’t win the grand prize, but I did win a secondary prize and got 4 free jars of JEM, which was amazing!
Energy bites and bars are one of my favorite on the go snacks. They are easy to make, portable, and such a tasty treat. These Chocolate Cherry Energy Bars combine sweet cherries with cacao nibs and almonds for a sweet, protein filled, antioxidant rich snack. An added bonus–they come together in just a few minutes using a food processor! I brought a batch of these on of our Peruvian adventure and they were a lifesaver when we needed a quick snack.
A few weeks ago I had one of the worst colds of my life. It started off as a viral upper respiratory infection and then turned into an awful sinus infection. Long story short, after a few doctor visits I was given antibiotics and on the road to recovery. During this time I started eating yogurt religiously and put it in all my smoothies, including this Orange Dream Smoothie.
Cinnamon rolls, and any yeast based recipes, have always been very intimidating for me. I don’t have a cooking thermometer and am always certain that I will kill the yeast and be stuck with hard, flat cinnamon rolls. A few months ago I decided to overcome my fear and began scouring the internet for different recipes. I read all sorts of recipes and tips/tricks AND made about 4 dozen cinnamon rolls before I had a recipe that I liked AND was easy to make. The result was these delicious One Bowl Vegan Cinnamon Rolls with Vanilla Almond Icing.
Back in February I had the honor to help host one of my good friend’s baby shower. I was in charge of food which was perfect as she is vegan too. It turned out great and was so much fun! One of the treats I made were Vegan Rice Crispy Treat Baby Rattles. This version gives a slight fruity twist to the classic recipe and is super easy to make. To give you an idea of how easy, after I trialed the recipe once, my boyfriend made and assembled all of the rattles with minimal assistance from me.
Fall is here! And that means it is time for pumpkin everything. I definitely am a fan of pumpkin and always look forward to seeing what new pumpkin options come out every year. I was perusing the pumpkin section at the grocery store (yes, there really is a section entirely related to pumpkin items) and found Barbara’s Puffin Pumpkin Cereal. I quickly scanned the ingredients and was happy to see they used whole grains, real pumpkin, and only had five grams of sugar.
I generally don’t eat a lot of cereal, but have been enjoying a bowl of these on occasion. One morning it dawned on me that these would be perfect for a fall inspired puppy chow! Now, adding chocolate and powdered sugar definitely defeats some of the health benefits of this cereal, but it definitely makes for a yummy treat. For those who don’t know, puppy chow aka muddy buddies aka monkey munch aka reindeer food, is made by coating cereal with a bit of chocolate (and sometimes nut butter) and then tossing it in powdered sugar. It is so simple and insanely delicious. This Vegan Pumpkin Puppy Chow has just a hint of pumpkin spice mixed with the powdered sugar along with real pumpkin in the cereal.
Martin and I are off to Stuttgart, Germany and packed the last of this puppy chow as a fun snack for the airport, train rides, etc. We tried to pack a variety of snacks, as we aren’t sure how vegan friendly all of our destinations will be. So far we haven’t had much trouble, but are taking a couple of full day tours where I think our snacks will come in quite handy. Now, onto the best part, the recipe!
- 4 cups Barbara's Pumpkin Puffins (about half a box)
- ½ c favorite vegan chocolate chips
- 2 tbs Earth Balance
- ¾ c powdered sugar
- 1 tbs pumpkin pie spice
- Melt chocolate chips with earth balance until smooth either in microwave or using a double broiler. If using the microwave, stir every 15 seconds and melt ver carefully to prevent burning the chocolate.
- Pour chocolate onto cereal and mix, coating the cereal completely.
- In a separate bowl, mix powdered sugar and pumpkin pie spice.
- Place cereal and sugar mixture in a ziploc bag and shake, coating the cereal with sugar. You can also carefully mix in a large bowl, but it is more fun to shake.
- Remove from bag and enjoy!
Prior to becoming vegan, I was a huge yogurt lover. I ate it by itself, in smoothies, as a dip, in baking, and in regular cooking. I made a slow transition from a lifestyle filled with fruits and vegetables, but also low-fat cheeses and lean meats, to a vegetarian dairy filled diet, and finally to veganism and a plant-based diet. One of the foods I thought I would really miss was yogurt.
I tried a couple of vegan brands and they just didn’t really do it for me. Either the texture was off or there was a strange after taste. Recently, I saw one of my favorite brands, Silk, had come out with a new yogurt line and I decided to give it a try. I was surprised because I actually liked it! So far I have only tried the strawberry and cherry, but found both to be creamy and without any strange after taste. I love mixing it with fruit for a parfait and am excited to try it in baking as well.
If you haven’t noticed, I have been complaining about the heat a lot lately in San Diego. Even with AC it is hot. So very, very hot. Which is generally a bad thing, but did inspire me to make this easy vegan frozen yogurt, so I’ll take what I can get. This is super easy to make, literally just blend frozen fruit and yogurt for a perfect soft serve. You can use any flavor combination you would like and I can’t wait to play around with it some more.
- 1 cup frozen fruit (I used strawberry)
- 1 container Silk Yogurt (I used strawberry)
- Optional: Splash of your favorite vegan milk (see note)
- Blend ingredients on high using a high speed blender, stopping occasionally to scrape down the sides.
- Top with your favorite toppings, I used a raw Chocolate Sauce
It is so hot in San Diego right now. I had a meeting at work the other day and one of my coworkers applauded that I made it, as there is no air conditioning in my car and it was a very miserable 30 minute drive in rush hour traffic to get there. It took some serious self talk, especially because I had to leave my air conditioned house to get there. The car ride was slightly more bearable due to this Super Green Apple Smoothie.
I first made these Key Lime Pie Bliss Balls while preparing for our trip to Guatemala. One of my favorite desserts is key lime pie. I love the combination of tart lime with creamy filling. Unfortunately key lime pie isn’t particularly healthy. Balance in life is key, and I won’t say no to the occasional slice, but it is nice to have some healthier options. These Key Lime Pie Bliss Balls are full of healthy, whole food ingredients, but still have an indulgent taste, full of tart lime flavor.