Tacoless Salad


Ingredients:

1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 head romaine lettuce
1 cup frozen corn kernels
½ cup cilantro
¼ cup broccoli sprouts
½ cup cherry tomatoes, halved
2 ribs celery, thinly sliced
1 avocado
lime juice
sea salt
½ tsp chili powder
½ tsp cumin
½ tsp garlic powder
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
Smoked Tomato Dressing OR salsa!

Directions:

In a dry non-stick skillet over medium heat, warm corn kernels, stirring frequently. Remove from heat when they begin to brown.

In the same skillet, add black beans, and season with spices. Adjust spices to taste, adding additional spices if desired! Remove from heat when beans are warmed and mixed well with seasonings.

Wash and dry all veggies. Remove pit from avocado and cut into cubes. Drizzle cubes with lime juice and a sprinkle of sea salt. Slice lettuce and distribute among 2 plates. Top with remaining ingredients and dressing or salsa.

Grown Up Potato Salad


Ingredients:
1 pound baby potatoes
3 small golden beets, scrubbed clean
1 stalk celery, thinly sliced
sea salt
3 Tbs Dijon mustard
3 Tbs white wine vinegar
scant half cup olive oil
¼ cup (packed) fresh dill

Directions:
Wash potatoes and halve any that are too large so that they are all around the same size. Boil until tender. At the same time (in a separate pot) boil beets until very tender. The beets will take longer than the potatoes. Allow both to cool.

When beets are cool, remove skins by rubbing with a paper towel. Chop beets into small pieces.

In a blender or food processor (Magic Bullet is great for this) combine mustard, vinegar, dill, and sea salt. Slowly add olive oil, until it’s all blended in.

Now, pour dressing over potatoes, beets, and celery. You don’t have to use all the dressing if you prefer it to be on the dry side. I used most of mine. Refrigerate until ready to serve; the longer the better!

Sassed Up Soup


Ingredients:
1 can Amy’s Organic Chunky Tomato Bisque
½ cup water
2 sausage-style patties, like the kind by Morningstar
1 cup whole wheat rotini
½ can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup broccoli slaw, like the kind by Mann’s
½ tsp Italian seasoning
¼ tsp red pepper flakes
¼ tsp garlic powder

Directions:
Cook pasta according to directions on package. Microwave sausage patties for about 45 seconds, until they are thawed. Crumble sausage patties into pieces.
Add all ingredients to a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer 10 minutes.

Unchicken Salad


Ingredients:

1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
2 Tbs dill relish
1 Tbs fresh dill
1 Tbs dijon mustard
2Tbs vegannaise
1 Tbs nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp low sodium soy sauce
S&P, to taste

Directions:

Mash chickpeas and mix with all other ingredients. Alternatively, you can pulse the chickpeas a few times in the food processor. Do not overprocess them or they’ll turn into a paste. Serve as a sandwich, wrap, or on a salad!

Happy Cow Stew

Ingredients:
1 pound extra firm tofu
4 large carrots, chopped
4 russet potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 medium sweet onion, finely chopped
5 Tbs cornstarch, mixed with water until no longer lumpy
1 quart vegetable stock
4 Tbs vegan Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbs low sodium soy sauce
3 Tbs Earth Balance
2-3 cloves garlic
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp basil
1 Tbs tomato paste
1 Tbs brown mustard

Directions:
Freeze tofu then thaw completely. Press as much water as possible from the tofu, then cut into 1 inch cubes. Place cubes on baking sheet and bake at 200 degrees, checking every 10-15 minutes. The tofu should be dry but not browned.
While the tofu is baking, prepare the remaining ingredients, and add them to the crock pot. Add dry tofu to crock pot and stir to combine. Cook for 6-8 hours on high heat. Enjoy!

Puffins


Ingredients:

1 package Pillsbury Crescent Creations Seamless Dough Sheet
12 slices vegetarian pepperoni
1-2 ounces mozzarella (I used non-dairy mozzarella)
3/4 cup pizza sauce
1/2 cup broccoli slaw, roughly chopped
Parmesan cheese to sprinkle on top (I used Vegan Parma!)

Directions:

Roll out dough sheet on a flat surface. Using a pizza cutter, slice into 12 equal squares. Press each square into an ungreased nonstick muffin tin. Fill each cup with about a tablespoon of sauce, and some broccoli slaw. Top with cheese and pepperoni. Bake at 375 degrees for about 10-12 minutes. Sprinkle with parm and enjoy. Careful, they will be HOT!

Taco Pizza


Ingredients:

1 whole wheat thin pizza crust
1 can refried black beans
1/2 cup taco sauce or salsa
1 cup broccoli slaw
shredded lettuce
chopped cilantro
1/4 cup shredded cheese (optional)
1/2 can diced jalapenos, drained
1 avocado, sliced into cubes and tossed with lime juice (to prevent browning)

Directions:

1. Begin by preheating your oven to 450 degrees (I actually set mine to 425 because the oven runs hot).

2. Spread the pizza crust with refried beans. Use as much of the can as you like (I didn’t quite use the whole thing).

3. Evenly spread diced jalapenos over bean layer. I used about half the can and it was pretty spicy. Feel free to adjust accordingly.

4. The next layer is taco sauce or salsa.

5. Now, sprinkle on the broccoli slaw and cheese if desired.

6. Now you’re ready to bake! Throw it in the oven for 10-12 minutes.

7. Sprinkle on shredded lettuce and chopped cilantro.

8. Chop your avocado. Feel free to sprinkle it with a little sea salt.

9. And now, slice it all up and portion your avocado on top.

Laissez les bon temps rouler!

Hey y’all! I hope everyone has had a beautiful weekend! It’s been raining here all day! Correction, it rained all day…and then it snowed. Sigh. Just when I thought winter was over. Guess we still have a few more days until spring.

In other parts of the world, Mardi Gras celebrations are in full swing! I used to live in Louisiana, so this time of year has a very special place in my heart.

(That’s me and my college roomie/bestie Janice in New Orleans FIVE years ago!) To celebrate, I’ll be cooking up some very special cajun and creole dishes. Get excited!

I honestly wasn’t even going to cook tonight because my tummy has been a little upset all day, but Boyfriend convinced me. The compromise was that it had to be something using ingredients I already had on hand. When in doubt…turn to Tony’s.

Jambalasta

Ingredients:

4 Tbs flour
4 Tbs Earth Balance
2 ribs celery, finely chopped
1 green bell pepper, finely chopped
1 small or medium onion, finely chopped
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 Tbs cajun or creole seasoning
1 Tbs hot sauce, such as Tabasco or Frank’s
2/3 cup unsweetened almond milk
2 Tbs vegan cream cheese
1 dash cayenne pepper
1 tsp lemon juice
14.5 ounce can whole tomatoes
1 pound whole wheat penne, cooked according to package directions
4 vegan sausage links

Directions:

1. Begin by making a roux: Melt butter in a large pot over low heat and add flour. Stir or whisk mixture constantly for about 15 minutes, until the mix is light brown and smells nutty.


2. Increase heat to medium and add celery, onion, and pepper and saute until softened. Add garlic and continue cooking another 2-3 minutes.

3. Add tomatoes, cajun seasoning, cayenne, and hot sauce and mix well. The tomatoes should “melt” so that there aren’t any big chunks.

4. Whisk in milk and cream cheese, allowing cream cheese to melt. The mixture will become thick and creamy. Stir in lemon juice and reduce heat to low.

5. Slice vegan sausage into rounds or half-moons, and cook in olive oil until lightly browned.

6. Add cooked sausage to the pot, and serve over pasta.

We decided to call this Jambalasta because it’s kind of a mix of jambalaya and cajun pasta!

The whole time I was making this, I didn’t know how it was going to turn out. I literally went into the cupboards and fridge and just started pulling out things that I thought would taste good together. Happily, it turned out great!

A few notes on the recipe: I have to confess I didn’t actually use onion because I didn’t have any. Luckily, there is this magical stuff called Onion Onion by Tastefully Simple, which is kind of a dehydrated onion product. I used 2 tablespoons, which is the equivalent of 12 tablespoons of chopped onion. Also, if you want to stretch the sauce out a bit, or if you just like your sauce a little bit thinner, you should add 1-2 ladles of the pasta cooking water.

While I was cooking, Boyfriend decided to pull out a bottle of wine we’ve been saving for a bit. Amazing.

A delicious meal, a lovely glass of wine, and perfect company. It’s no Mardi Gras, but it was pretty much a perfect Sunday evening. Lucky me :)

Time to get ready for bed and another exciting week! Have a great night cher!

Thought for the day: Faith makes all things possible; love makes all things easy.

Reason #987,583 why Boyfriend is the greatest.

Hey friends! Hope y’all are having an awesome Saturday!

We went out with some friends last night for a happy hour that turned into happy 5 hours! We ended up grabbing dinner while we were out (I promise we weren’t standing around drinking for 5 hours!).

Brie, avocado, corn, and sun-dried tomatoes on french bread. This cost $10. Slightly ridiculous. I wanted to get every penny’s worth so I ate my garnish as well.

This morning I got up and got ready to RUN.

Cow bum. Heh heh.

Grilled banana and almond butter wafflwich hit the spot!

Unfortunately, after all the fueling and preparation work I did, I remembered that I actually had to, in fact, run. 6 miles, to be exact.

You know how I said one of the best and worst things about running is that you never know if you will have a great run or a terrible run? Yeah well today was a GREAT run! I was so surprised at how good I felt. I think part of it was just being so grateful that I could run outside instead of on the dreadmill for once.

Around mile 3 I was starting to get a little hot, when lo and behold I saw…Boyfriend running at me with a huge bottle of water! He walked/ran the loop while I ran so that I could bump into him and get water. It was so sweet. Reason # 987,583 why I love him.

When we got home, we BOTH needed a reward so I made an awesome lunch.Can you guess what was on the menu?

Vegetarian reubens! So easy and SO yummy. These bad boys are about a million times healthier than any version you’d get at a restaurant. I used a Laughing Cow Light for the swiss (only 35 calories!) and organic dressing and sauerkraut. And then the best part…instead of disgusting meat, you get avocado!!!

It was a great mix of carbs and healthy fats, and I had a greek yogurt as well for protein! Perfect post-workout lunch.

And now we’re off to eat again! We’re having dinner with my parents tonight and I’m super excited! What are you darlings getting into this evening? Hope you make the most of it!

Thought for the day: “What you get for reaching your destination is not nearly as important as what you will become by reaching your destination.” – Zig Ziglar

A Flop and a Milkshake

Sometimes I have these ideas in my head for recipes that I think are going to be AMAZING. And they are amazing, in theory. And then I try to make them, and it’s not quite as amazing as I imagined.


For a few weeks now I have been ruminating on what I thought was a brilliant idea. Remember our Super EZ Crazy Cheesy Shepherd’s Pie? I thought it would be a good idea to swap out baked beans for the veggie protein and mashed sweet potatoes for the regular mashies. Sweet potatoes + baked beans are an awesome combo, so this idea is fantastic. In theory.


In reality, it was a little too wet with all the bean juice, and it definitely needed to be served in a bowl. (Boyfriend of course loved it and ate almost the entire pan hehe) If you drained the beans a bit I think it may hold together better. You know, I’ve just decided right now that I’m not ready to give up on this one yet. Feel free to attempt your own, but I hope to come back to you one day with a better version.


I went out for a bit, and when I came home I noticed that Boyfriend had done this:


He’s so silly.

Since I was still hungry (all that running!!) I decided to do something crazy and make vegan milkshakes.

Vegan Toasted Marshmallow Milkshakes

Ingredients:
½ cup nondairy vanilla ice cream (like the kind by So Delicious)
½ cup unsweetened almond milk
¼ tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp almond extract
4-6 vegan marshmallows (like Dandies)

Directions:
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and arrange marshmallows on paper. Bake at 350 degrees for several minutes, until they are lightly toasted and puffed up. Be sure to watch them very closely so they don’t burn! Combine the marshmallows with all the other ingredients in a blender. Garnish with an extra toasted marshmallow.


Super yummy. I didn’t over-blend these, so there were still chewy chunks of marshmallow in each sip. I’m already brainstorming ways to make this even better. Toasted coconut? Chocolate? Whoa.


It was the perfect Pre-Jersey Shore Snack!

On a side note, my BFF Rhea is running the Rouge-Orleans tomorrow and Sunday! This race runs 126.2 miles along the levee from Baton Rouge to New Orleans. She will be running in a three person relay team with two other rockin chicks, each running a total of around 40-42 miles. Is that not crazy?! I’m so impressed! Anyway, just wanted to give them (and all the other inspiring competitors) a shout-out. You make my attempt at 13.1 miles look pathetic, and for that, I thank you. Good luck girls!

Well in case you haven’t noticed, it’s FRIDAY and that means it’s time to get the party started! Have a great night my friends and I’ll see you tomorrow!

Thought for the day: “Whether you think you can or whether you think you can’t, you’re right.” – Henry Ford

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