Our Favorite, Dairy-Free “Cheese” Sauce

Hello everyone,

I hope that you are having an incredible weekend!  It is cold and rainy here in San Diego, which means it’s the perfect time for a warm meal….maybe Mac and cheese?!

Here is a recipe for our favorite, dairy-free (and warm) “cheese” sauce.  This recipe was originally found on a blog called Vegan Yumminess and we have modified it slightly.  I hope that you enjoy it.

Dairy-Free Cheese Sauce

IMG_2499

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup chopped yellow potatoes
  • 1/4 cup chopped carrots
  • 1/3 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 3/4 cup water (use the warm water from the pot of boiled veggies)
  • 1/2 cup raw cashews
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/8 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • a few drops of Sriracha (optional, this will kick up the spice!)

Directions:

  1. Wash and chop veggies.
  2. Bring a medium to large pot of water to a boil.  Add the chopped potatoes, carrots and onions.  Cook for about 10 minutes or until vegetables are soft enough to blend.
  3. In the meantime, put the remaining ingredients into a blender or Vitamix.
  4. When the veggies are done, drain the water (leaving 3/4 cup water to add to the blender).
  5. Add the soft veggies and water to the blender or Vitamix.
  6. Blend all of the ingredients until smooth.
  7. Pour the warm sauce over pasta for Mac and cheese or use it as a sauce for baked potatoes.  The sauce is also great for dipping veggies or on a sandwich.
  8. Enjoy…and make sure to tag me on Instagram if you make this recipe :). I would love to see your creations.

 

The Easiest Vegan and Gluten Free Dessert Recipe

Hello everyone,

We are just days away from Thanksgiving and you may still be wondering what amazing, vegan dessert you can bring to your holiday meal.  Well, look no further!  This recipe is incredibly easy to make, involves no baking, and is gluten free.

*This recipe has been modified a bit.  The original is from Fresh Creations.

Vegan Pumpkin Pie Cheesecakes (12 servings)

IMG_3383.jpg

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cups Raw Pecans
  • 1 cup Medjool Dates (soaked in warm water for 10 minutes)
  • 1/4 tsp Sea Salt

 

  • 1 cup Cashews (soaked in hot water for 1 hour)
  • 1/2 cup Light Coconut Milk
  • 1/2 cup Canned Pumpkin Puree (BPA free can preferred)
  • 1/2 cup Maple Syrup
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1/4 cup Lemon Juice

Directions:

  1. Soak the cashews for one hour and soak the dates for 10 minutes.
  2. Line a muffin tin with plastic wrap or liners.
  3. Make the crust in a food processor: blend the pecans until ground, then add the soft dates (without the pits), and sea salt.  Pulse well until combined.
  4. Transfer the mixture into the muffin tin and press down until crust is formed.  The crust is really sticky and it helps if you use your fingers to press it down.
  5. Place tin in the freezer for 15 minutes.
  6. In the meantime, prepare the filling.  In a high speed blender, blend all of the ingredients for the filling until smooth and creamy.
  7. Remove tin from the freezer and pour the filling over the pecan crust.
  8. Freeze the cheesecakes for about 3-4 hours, or until firm.
  9. Let them thaw for a few minutes before eating.
  10. Enjoy!

IMG_3364.jpg

 

IMG_3365.jpg

How to Eat Out as a Vegan

Hello everyone and happy Friday!

Since the weekend is approaching, I thought that it would be a great time to discuss how to eat out as a vegan.  Honestly, this was something that I was hesitant about when I first made the transition, but we have found it easier (and more fun!) than ever!

First, because I have readers in many different parts of the world, I would recommend downloading the App “Happy Cow” on your phone (you can also pull up their website).  This is a fabulous resource; all you have to do is type in your zip code, and it will tell you all of the vegan restaurants in your area.

Unknown

Second, I highly recommend studying the menu of the restaurant you will be visiting before you go.  Most places have vegan menus or vegan options.  However, you can also look at the ingredients in meals and stay away from eggs, meat, dairy, cream, gelatin, honey, fish, whey, chicken stock, bone broth, etc.  If you have a difficult time choosing something, don’t be afraid to ask your server for help.  You may need to explain what “vegan” is to them, but they should be happy to offer suggestions.  If you get really stuck, stick to the basics like a salad or baked potato (no butter).

Some of our favorite places to dine in or pick up food from are:

*Rubios (nothing like a veggie burrito or veggie bowl.  Stay away from the chipotle cream sauce though)

*Chipotle (we love their Sofritas!  Add those to a burrito or a veggie bowl.  Do not add cheese or sour cream)

*Veggie Grill (enough said!)

*On the Border (ask your host/hostess for the “vegan” menu)

*Sushi Lounge (we have found that sushi is incredibly easy to make vegan.  You can order all kinds of vegetable rolls, sushi rice, miso soup, edamame)

*California Homemades (this is for all of my local friends.  They offer a full vegan menu)

*Jimbos (order all kinds of vegan sandwiches and sides from their deli menu daily.  They also have an enormous, salad bar and smoothies)

*Craft and Taco (this is also for my local friends.  They offer a vegan taco menu)

IMG_2359.JPG

If all else fails, stick with bean burritos at Mexican restaurants, pasta and marinara at Italian restaurants and veggie stir fry at Chinese restaurants.

I hope that helps a little!  Please contact me if you need more assistance.  Also, I would love to hear from you.  Where are your favorite, vegan options for dining or taking out?

 

 

“Cheesy” Kale Casserole (Great for Thanksgiving!)

Hello all,

Yesterday we discussed why I think it is important to leave turkeys off of our tables (on Thanksgiving and always).  You may be wondering what to make for your holiday meal instead.

This was one of the many recipes that we made during our cooking class last week and it is incredibly delicious.  Plus, it is comforting, warm and perfect for this time of year with its’ main ingredient being pumpkin.

I hope that you will give it a try and let me know what you think.

*This recipe has been modified from Fresh Creations.  For more information, check out @freshcreationssd on Instagram.

“Cheesy” Kale Casserole

(4 servings)

IMG_3301.JPG

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 lbs Pureed Pumpkin (*we used organic, pureed pumpkin from cans instead of whole pumpkins. The directions below are for the canned option)
  • 1 Yellow Onion (small dice)
  • 3 Garlic Cloves (minced)
  • 1 can Organic Coconut Milk (15 oz can)
  • 2 cups Kale Leaves (removed from stem and leaves cut thin)
  • 1 tbsp Fresh Sage (minced)
  • 1/4 cup Nutritional Yeast
  • 2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 1/3 tbsp Bread Crumbs (*we used gluten free)
  • 1 Bag of Macaroni (*again we used gluten free)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. In an extra large sauce pan or skillet, heat oil over medium heat and cook onions for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add minced garlic and sage and continue cooking until onions are carmelized.
  2. While onions are carmelizing, cook pasta of choice using directions on package. Strain and set aside.
  3. Add pureed pumpkin, coconut milk and nutritional yeast to carmelized onion sage and garlic mixture. Stir/mix together. Cook 4 minutes.
  4. Add shredded kale leaves, stir everything together and let it simmer for 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Combine pasta with pumpkin and kale mixture.
  6. Scoop into individual ramekins or a 9×9 baking dish. Top with bread crumbs of choice. Bake for 10 minutes or until bread crumbs are golden brown.
  7. Garnish with green onion or chili pepper flakes (you can also add some tempeh bacon).

 

I truly hope that you enjoy this recipe!  Please remember that it is absolutely possible to have an amazing, and satisfying, holiday meal without consuming animal products ❤

 

 

 

Baked Potato Nacho Recipe

Hello everyone,

Happy Food Friday!  Today I wanted to share one of my new, favorite recipes.  This recipe has been modified from Medical Medium’s Thyroid Healing book. I tried to make this for the first time this week and may now be making it every day!  It was absolutely, mouth-wateringly delicious!

IMG_3034

Makes 2-3 servings

Ingredients:

  • 6 medium potatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 1 cup diced tomato
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 jalapeño, minced (optional)……I used the whole thing by accident.
  • 2 limes
  • 1/4 cup cashew cream (see recipe below)
  • a drop of olive oil/coconut oil to dust potatoes with

Cashew Cream (modified from The No Meat Athlete Cookbook)

  • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked in hot water for 1 hour, then drained
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ to 1 cup water
  • 1-2 teaspoons dill (we like a lot so I tend to just pour in a ton!)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.  Slice the potatoes into “chips” that are 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch thick.  Lightly dust them with your choice of oil and add the sea salt.  Arrange the potatoes on a baking sheet, lined with parchment paper.  Bake the potatoes for 20 minutes, flip, and then bake for 10 more minutes (or until crispy to your liking).
  2. While the potatoes bake, combine the avocado, tomato, onion, cilantro, jalapeño, and the juice of both of the limes in a small mixing bowl.
  3. Make the cashew cream sauce by simply blending all of the ingredients together. Add more water to create your desired consistency.
  4. When the potatoes have finished cooking, arrange them on a plate/serving tray.  Top them with the salsa and add some cashew cream sauce.
  5. Enjoy!

 

SAVE THE DATES: Fall Events and Online Programs

Hello everyone,

I am super excited for Fall and for the approaching holiday season.  I have two events coming up that will help us all feel more healthy, happy and confident for those family pictures and gatherings.

The first is one that everyone, all over the world, can participate in.  I am running a “Fall in Love with Fitness” online challenge.  It will consist of short workouts that can be done from the comfort of your own bedroom (I personally love to workout in my pajamas).  It is only $25.00 for the entire two weeks and starts on November 5th!

Fall in Love with Fitness-2

The second event is for all of my local friends.  I am co-hosting a “Fall in Love with Food” Vegan Cooking Class on November 8th from 6:00-7:30pm.  During the class we will eat a 5 course meal (including wine) and will learn some basic cooking skills.  Everyone will leave with a recipe packet so that you can make these amazing meals at home (and for those holiday gatherings).  The entire evening is only $55.00/person.  *Please note that you absolutely do not have to be vegan to attend.

Fall in Love with Food

Please contact me to sign up for either one of these events.  Also, please share with anyone who you think may be interested.  I truly appreciate all of your support!