Stephanie Dreyer, Author at Plant Based, Family Friendly Meal Planning by Stephanie Dreyer, Los Angeles

October 19, 2017
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Oh my yumminess! These dairy-free caramel apples are just as tasty and a whole lot healthier than their dairy counterparts. I had so much fun playing in the kitchen to test this recipe. They really couldn’t be simpler either, with just maple syrup and almond butter. They are almost too easy – you’ll be wanting to make a batch every weekend!

These #vegan dairy-freed caramel apples are a healthier alternative to the traditional version - and super easy with just 2 ingredients for the caramel.

Traditional caramel apples use caramel that is made with milk. I can’t remember the last time I had a candy apple. You know those fantastically decadent apples at Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory? Those apples! It’s been over 6 years! With Halloween upon us, I was inspired to try and create a healthier dairy-free caramel apple that was just as tasty and full of crunch with chocolatey adornments. My dairy-free caramel apple was born!

These #vegan dairy-freed caramel apples are a healthier alternative to the traditional version - and super easy with just 2 ingredients for the caramel.

Prep your toppings ahead of time so that as soon as your “caramel” is ready, you can dip and roll in seconds. These do get messy so don’t distress if everything doesn’t look perfect. Just dip ’em and roll ’em and pop them in the fridge to harden up. I used Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips and sliced almonds for my toppings. Chocolate and almonds are my favorite combo. You could also use sprinkles, chopped pistachios, or any other crunchy topping you are craving!

These #vegan dairy-freed caramel apples are a healthier alternative to the traditional version - and super easy with just 2 ingredients for the caramel.

For even easier dairy-free caramel apples, you can use Nature’s Charm Salted Caramel Sauce. I’d love to see how your apples turn out. Tag me in your creations on social!

These #vegan dairy-freed caramel apples are a healthier alternative to the traditional version - and super easy with just 2 ingredients for the caramel.
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Healthier Dairy-Free Caramel Apples

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup almond butter
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 4 small Granny Smith apples
  • 3 skewers or candy sticks
  • mini chocolate chips
  • sliced almonds

Instructions

  1. Heat the almond butter and maple syrup in a sauce pan. Remove from heat just as it is starting to boil.
  2. Insert sticks or skewers into the apples and dip the apple into the caramel sauce.
  3. Roll the apples onto shallow bowls filled with chocolate chips and almonds to decorate the apples.
  4. Chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour or until ready to eat.

These #vegan dairy-freed caramel apples are a healthier alternative to the traditional version - and super easy with just 2 ingredients for the caramel.

This post contains affiliate links. All opinions are my own.

 


October 19, 2017
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To make these vegan deviled potatoes, you first need to prepare the potatoes.  These will be your shell in place of the egg.  Look for the small baby gold potatoes, but you could also use the purple and red potatoes of the same size for a colorful dyed Easter egg inspired look!  To prepare the potatoes, just slice and bake.

These vegan deviled potatoes are a plant-based alternative to traditional deviled eggs. #eggless #dairyfree #vegan #vegetarian

The filling is super easy and delicious.  I used a blend of cannelini beans with the cooked potato (scooped out), along with some turmeric to give it a yellowish color. To fill your potatoes, use a pastry bag with star tip for a fancy presentation, or you can be lazy like me and use a cookie dough scoop instead! A note about scooping out your potatoes after they bake…use a small spoon (or melon baller) and be careful not to scoop all the way through to the skin.  You just need a small hole for these vegan deviled potatoes.

These vegan deviled potatoes are a plant-based alternative to traditional deviled eggs. #eggless #dairyfree #vegan #vegetarian

To serve, garnish with a sprinkle of paprika (that’s how my mom always does it!) and some chopped chives. Aren’t they pretty?!! These vegan deviled potatoes just sing Spring to me when served on chives. I think the kids will have so much fun with these!

These vegan deviled potatoes are a plant-based alternative to traditional deviled eggs. #eggless #dairyfree #vegan #vegetarian

 

These vegan deviled potatoes are a plant-based alternative to traditional deviled eggs. #eggless #dairyfree #vegan #vegetarian
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Vegan Deviled Potatoes

Ingredients

  • 15 baby Dutch potatoes washed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 can cannelini white beans drained and rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 6 tablespoons vegan mayo
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Paprika and chopped chives for garnish

Instructions

  1. Halve the potatoes and toss with salt and olive oil. Roast at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, cut side up.
  2. Cool 5 minutes and scoop out a small circle out of the potato, being careful not to scoop through to the skin.
  3. Blend the scooped potato and the remaining ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Add a little bit of water 1 tablespoon at a time if the batter is too thick.
  4. Using a pastry bag with a tip, or a cookie scoop, fill the hole in the potato.
  5. Garnish with paprika and chives.

These vegan deviled potatoes are a plant-based alternative to traditional deviled eggs. #eggless #dairyfree #vegan #vegetarian

 

 

 


October 18, 2017
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I am not one of those moms who loves to bakes, but I do enjoy a homemade baked treat! These homemade-ish Chocolate M&M Cupcakes are just my style. I made these cupcakes in about 30 minutes, using some help from Julie’s Original vegan and gluten-free baking mixes, and UnReal chocolate gems. If you haven’t discovered Julie’s Original baking mixes, you are in for a treat. She has a chocolate fudge brownie mix, which I used to create these cupcakes. She also has a white cake mix that can be used for cakes, crumbles, biscotti and more! The results are moist and flavorful, unlike most of the other vegan and gluten-free mixes on the market. I like them because they not only taste amazing as the straight box recipe, but they also make a great base for lots of baking creations.

These M&M Chocolate Cupcakes are easy and delicious, made with some of my favorite pre-made ingredients, including Julie's Original baking mixes.

Unreal has been life changing for me! I discovered them at last year’s Natural Foods Product Expo West. I have missed my Peanut M&Ms since going vegan, but I no longer have to. Their Dark Chocolate Peanut Gems are Unreal! I used their Dark Chocolate Crispy Quinoa Gems for this recipe and they were delicious.

I didn’t feel like making homemade frosting so I used some Coconut Fudge Sauce from Nature’s Charm, which made these extra gooey, and fork worthy – more of like a cake than a cupcake. Regular buttercream-style frosting would be delicious as an alternative.

These M&M Chocolate Cupcakes are easy and delicious, made with some of my favorite pre-made ingredients, including Julie's Original baking mixes.

These Chocolate M&M Cupcakes were very simple to make, and hit the spot. I hope you try them and tell me what you think!

These M&M Chocolate Cupcakes are easy and delicious, made with some of my favorite pre-made ingredients, including Julie's Original baking mixes.
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M&M Chocolate Cupcakes (Vegan & Gluten-free)

Ingredients

  • 1 box Julie’s Original Fudge Brownie Mix
  • 1 ½ cups almond milk or other non-dairy milk
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 2/3 cup Unreal Dark Chocolate Crispy Quinoa Gems
  • 1 14 oz jar Nature’s Charm Coconut Fudge Sauce

Instructions

  1. Combine the brownie mix, milk and oil in bowl. Stir well to combine.
  2. Stir in the chocolate gems.
  3. Fill 16 cupcake liners about 2/3 full.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
  5. Frost with the fudge sauce (or other frosting of your choice). Decorate with the extra chocolate gems.

These M&M Chocolate Cupcakes are easy and delicious, made with some of my favorite pre-made ingredients, including Julie's Original baking mixes.

 

 

 

 


October 4, 2017
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Beyond Meat Beefy Crumbles are one of my favorite plant-based products on the market (and I promise, they aren’t paying me for this post!).  The texture is just like real beef and the flavor is fantastic.

 

These vegan beef and black bean tacos are meaty without the meat! Beyond Meat Beef Crumbles stand in for a delicious meatless taco.

I make these tacos every week for my family and they never miss the real beef. I love to serve these tacos topped with homemade pico de gallo and guacamole, (my son makes a delicious batch for us every week). They meat and bean mixture is scrumptious in a fried corn shell, but equally mouth-watering eaten in a crisp romaine leaf.

These vegan beef and black bean tacos are meaty without the meat! Beyond Meat Beef Crumbles stand in for a delicious meatless taco.

For more “meaty” recipes with Beyond Meat, check out my Beef Nachos, Beef and Cheese Taquitos, and Fiesta Dip.

 

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Vegan Beef & Black Bean Tacos

Ingredients

  • 1 package Beyond Beef Beefy Crumbles
  • 1 can black beans with liquid
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 3-4 tablespoons taco seasoning
  • 1/2 yellow onion chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Instructions

  1. Heat olive oil in a saute pan and add onion.  Cook about 5 minutes until softened.
  2. Add in the Beyond Beef Beefy Crumbles.
  3. Drain half the liquid from the can of black beans and stir them into the beef mixture along with the remaining liquid.
  4. Sprinkle in the seasoning and mix to combine. Stir in the water.
  5. 5.Simmer on low for about 10 minutes, or until the liquid is absorbed.
  6. Serve warm inside corn tortilla shells, topped with your favorite taco fillings.

These vegan beef and black bean tacos are meaty without the meat! Beyond Meat Beef Crumbles stand in for a delicious meatless taco.

 


September 20, 2017
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I love, love, love Sunday brunch!  Unfortunately, as a mother of three active kids with weekend games and religious school, I rarely have the opportunity to indulge in it.  An eggless frittata is one of my favorite ways to get my brunch on! Tofu stands in for the eggs in this dish with the same substantial texture and protein power.  Artichoke hearts, asparagus and sun-dried tomatoes add delicious flavor and color to this festive breakfast frittata.  I hope you enjoy it!

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Vegan Artichoke, Asparagus and Sun-Dried Tomato Frittata

Ingredients

  • 1 medium sweet onion , chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic , minced
  • ¼ cup vegetable broth
  • 12 ounces asparagus , tips cut in ½ inch pieces
  • 1 cup sun-dried tomatoes , chopped
  • 1 14 ounce can artichoke hearts in water , coarsely chopped
  • ½ cup water
  • 14 oz block of firm tofu , drained
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • Salt and pepper , to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Grease a spring pan.
  2. Heat the broth in a medium sauté pan. Add the onion and garlic. Stir in the
  3. asparagus, tomatoes, and artichoke hearts. Cook for 3-4 minutes.
  4. In a food processor, add the tofu, water, and yeast. Blend until smooth. Stir into the
  5. saucepan with the vegetables.
  6. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  7. Spoon the mixture into a spring pan. Bake for about 30-40 minutes.
  8. Cut into wedges and serve.

Artichoke hearts, asparagus and sun-dried tomatoes add delicious flavor and color to this festive breakfast eggless frittata.


September 19, 2017
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This bean soup is one of my favorites and it pairs nicely with a light salad.  It is hearty, healthy, and packed full of protein with its wonderful medley of beans.  I use cannellini, kidney, black-eyed peas, black, garbanzo, lentils, and pinto in my mix. I like to top mine with a few fresh baby spinach leaves. They wilt deliciously into the hot soup. Enjoy!

Easy Bean Soup
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Bean Soup

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of dried beans, any mix you like (soaked overnight and rinsed)
  • 64 oz vegetable broth
  • 1 cup onion, chopped
  • 1 cup celery, chopped
  • 1 cup carrot, chopped
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 can chopped canned tomatoes (drained)
  • Handful fresh spinach, optional
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Heat olive oil in a stock pot and saute onion, celery, carrot, basil and garlic until soft.
  2. Pour vegetable broth into pot, followed by the beans.
  3. Combine mixture and add remaining ingredients.
  4. Simmer covered for about 1 hour to desired tenderness. Add broth if liquid dissipates. Remove bay leaf.
  5. Salt and pepper to desired taste. Ladle into bowls and top with spinach leaves.

Easy Bean Soup

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


September 19, 2017
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I love my slow cooker.  It makes cooking so easy – just pour all the ingredients into the pot in the morning and have a home cooked meal in the evening without any work or fuss.  I like to break out my crock pot on those days when I have back-to-back commitments all day, and am running my kids to and from activities.  This chili is a favorite in my slow cooker. Almost all of the ingredients are from my favorite grocery store, Trader Joe’s, and spiced spiced up with some of my favorites Penzey’s Spices seasonings.

 

Slow Cooker Vegan Chili
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Slow Cooker Vegan Chili

Ingredients

  • 1 can kidney beans , drained and rinsed
  • 1 can black beans , drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup quinoa , rinsed
  • 1 14.5 ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 14.5 ounce can crushed tomatoes with green chiles (Trader Joe’s)
  • 1 jar , roasted garlic Chipotle salsa (Trader Joe’s)
  • 1 15 oz package fire roasted frozen corn
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons Adobo seasoning (Penzey’s Spices)
  • 1 teaspoon Chili 9000 seasoning (Penzey’s Spices)

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients in the slow cooker. Cook on low heat for 8 hours.
  2. Top with vegan sour cream, cream cheese (I love Go Veggie!) or cheese shreds. Serve over polenta slices (optional).

Slow Cooker Vegan Chili

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


September 19, 2017
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Although our winter has been fleeting here in sunny Southern California, we have had a few cooler days here recently.  I always crave a warm cup of soup during those times and was inspired to reinvent an old non-vegan favorite. This Lentil Tomato soup is loaded with sweet tomatoes. The cumin and thyme flavors give it something a little extra special. Surprisingly, my husband who is not typically a tomato fan, loves this soup.  I always make an extra batch and freeze for later whenever I make it.

Lentil Tomato Soup
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Lentil Tomato Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 cup brown lentils
  • 2 yellow onions , chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic , minced
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 4 celery stalks , diced
  • 3 carrots , diced
  • 1 1/2 quarts vegetable stock
  • 2 14 oz cans diced tomatoes , 1 drained
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons red wine
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, cover the lentils with boiling water and allow to sit for 15 minutes. Drain.
  2. In a large stockpot, heat the oil and saute the onions and garlic. Stir in the salt, pepper, thyme and cumin.
  3. Add the carrots and celery and saute 10-15 minutes until vegetables are tender.
  4. Add the vegetable stock, tomatoes, and juice from 1 can, along with the tomato paste and lentils. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer uncovered for 45 minutes until the lentils are cooked through.
  5. Check the seasonings. Add the red wine and serve hot, topped with avocado (optional).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


September 17, 2017
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I think these apple walnut pastry puffs are adorable, if I do say so myself!! They look like mini purses – just like the one my sister made me for my wedding. Little pouches bursting with apple walnut goodness. I was inspired to make these apple treats in honor of Rosh Hashanah. Rosh Hashanah is the Jewish New Year and a very festive time of year for Jews. Rosh Hashanah, along with Yom Kippur are the holiest of Jewish holidays so I like to make a little extra fuss over the food we eat on these holidays.

Apples Dipped In Honey

Apples and honey, (or agave, for us vegans), are traditional foods eaten during these holidays. We eat them to usher in a “sweet new year.” I am a big fan of puff pastry when it comes to sweet treats. It is super versatile and easy to use, and if I am being honest, it looks beautiful no matter what you do to it. It’s a heck of a lot easier than making my own pie crust, which I never do! I prefer Aussie’s brand, which is eggless and dairy-free.

These apple walnut pastry puffs are a simple and elegant choice for fall entertaining and celebrating the Jewish holidays.

The filling in these apple walnut pastry puffs is a reinvented haroset recipe from Passover – an apple/nut mixture that is spread on matzah. Each pastry sheet makes 6 puffs, so you get a full dozen treats from one package of puff pastry. To make things extra special, I brushed some melted Earth Balance over the puffs and sprinkled them with cinnamon sugar before baking them.

These apple walnut pastry puffs are a simple and elegant choice for fall entertaining and celebrating the Jewish holidays.

You can prep and bake these within 30 minutes if you thaw the puff pastry before hand. So simple and elegant!

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Apple Walnut Pastry Puffs

Ingredients

  • 1 package puff pastry (dairy and egg free)
  • 2 red apples (any variety), finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup walnuts , chopped
  • 1/4 pomegranate juice (or juice blend)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbl agave
  • 2 tbl Earth Balance , melted (or other non-dairy butter)
  • Cinnamon sugar for sprinkling

Instructions

  1. Thaw puff pastry for about 45 minutes. Roll out and cut each sheet into 6 squares.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  3. Combine the apples, walnuts, juice, cinnamon, and agave in a bowl.
  4. Place a heaping spoonful of the apple mixture in the center of each pastry square. Gather the sides and pinch together in a "purse."
  5. Brush with the melted butter and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.
  6. Place on a cookie sheet with cooking spray and bake for about 10 minutes until golden brown.

These apple walnut pastry puffs are a simple and elegant choice for fall entertaining and celebrating the Jewish holidays.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


September 13, 2017
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If you’ve never had this Italian stuffed bread, you must try this recipe! It’s a family favorite in my house. Olives and pepperoncinis are a wonderful complement to the vegan ham, (which I purchased from The Herbivorous Butcher.) The mildness of the Chao regular slices worked really well for this recipe. My kids are not a fan of dairy-free cheese but this one melts really well without a strong flavor, which they enjoyed in this dish. A dairy-free mozzarella would be delicious too.

This vegan stromboli is a delicious plant-based variation on the traditional meat stuffed Italian bread and simple to make with store-bought pizza dough.

This makes a great appetizer for Italian night. It also makes a great main, serving a couple of slices with a tossed green salad and an antipasto platter. Change up the ingredients for countless stromboli options!

This vegan stromboli is a delicious plant-based variation on the traditional meat stuffed Italian bread and simple to make with store-bought pizza dough.

Vegan Stromboli
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Vegan Ham and Olive Stromboli

Ingredients

  • 1 package of whole wheat pizza dough
  • 3 Chao Creamy Slices (Field Roast), sliced in half
  • 1/2 cup olive tapenade
  • 1/4 cup sliced pepperoncinis
  • 3 slices vegan ham (or other plant-based “meat”)
  • Sprinkling of Penzey’s Spices Pizza Seasoning (or any Italian Herb seasoning and garlic powder)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Go Veggie! grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil , divided
  • Marinara sauce , for serving

Instructions

  1. Take the dough out of the refrigerator and let sit 30 minutes to an hour to allow to rise.
  2. Roll out dough on a floured service into a large oval.
  3. Brush the dough with 1 1/2 tablespoons olives oil and sprinkle with the seasoning.
  4. Layer the cheese slices down the length of the pizza dough, leaving a 1 inch border around the entire oval.
  5. Add the vegan ham on top.
  6. Spread the olive tapenade over the cheese and ham. Sprinkle the pepperoncinis on top.
  7. Bring both sides of the dough together and fold over each other to make a seam. Tuck and seal each end.
  8. Turn the roll over and place on a greased baking pan. Brush with remaining olive oil and dust with the Parmesan cheese.
  9. Bake at 475 degrees for 10 minutes.
  10. 10. Allow to sit 5 minutes and slice. Serve with marina sauce for dipping.

This vegan stromboli is a delicious plant-based variation on the traditional meat stuffed Italian bread and simple to make with store-bought pizza dough.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


September 6, 2017
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We’ve had a few cooler days the last week or so and although, I am not quite ready to give up summer, my body has been craving heartier salads than the usual bowls I tend to throw together. The Harvest Grains blend from Trader Joe’s is one of my favorite side dishes, but I was inspired to turn it into a salad for a beach outing last weekend. The grain medley includes Israeli couscous, orzo, baby garbanzo beans, and red quinoa. It’s all kinds of awesome and makes a great alternative to pasta in a traditional pasta salad, which is what I was craving when I created this Kale Harvest Grains Salad recipe.

The grains blend is tasty on its own but I added more flavor with some cubed dairy-free mozzarella, sliced baby tomatoes and chopped basil. When it comes to dressing, any vinaigrette will do. I made a homemade Greek style dressing with Penzey’s Spices Greek seasoning blend. It wouldn’t be a salad without some greens! I started with the Power to the Greens blend from Trader Joe’s (kale, chard, and spinach) and topped it with the grains salad mixture and drizzled it all with my dressing. It’s a simple yet satisfying recipe that I have been enjoying all week. I hope you do too!

If you try my Kale Harvest Grains Salad, please be sure to tag me. I love to see your creations with my recipes!

Kale Harvest Grains Salad

The grains mixture stores well for about 3 days. Store your greens and dressing separately until you are ready to eat it. It also makes a great lunch to pack for work.

 

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Kale Harvest Grains Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 package Trader Joe's Harvest Grains Medley
  • 2 cups Imagine No-Chicken Broth
  • 1 cup chopped basil
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, sliced
  • 4 ounces dairy-free mozzarella, diced
  • 2 cups mixed greens (such as kale, chard and spinach)
  • Greek or Italian Salad dressing vinaigrette (such as red wine or balsamic)

Instructions

  1. Prepare grains medley according to package directions, using the broth. Set aside to cool.

  2. While the grains cook, chop the basil, slice the tomatoes and dice the cheese. Prepare the salad dressing if not using store-bought.

  3. Fluff the grains medley with a fork and add the basil, tomatoes and cheese.

  4. Place two cups of greens on a plate, along with a 1/2 cup of the grains salad mixture. Toss with 1-2 tablespoons of dressing.

  5. Store leftover greens, dressing, and grains salad separately for additional servings.

Kale Harvest Grains Salad

 

 

 

 

 

 


August 30, 2017
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If you like to batch cook your snacks for the week, you are going to love this recipe!  With school back in session next week, this will become part of my weekly Sunday prep. I will pack it in my kiddos’ school lunches all week long. My husband loves it too! This is a savory blend, but you could also make it sweet by using Cinnamon Sugar.  This is also easily made this gluten-free by using gluten-free pretzels.  Try it out and let me know what you think!

Snack Mix
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Snack Mix

Ingredients

  • 6 cups pretzels
  • 6 cups rice “Chex” style cereal
  • 6 cups Earth Balance Buttery Popcorn
  • 1/4 cup Earth Balance Butter Spread, melted
  • 1 1/2 tbl seasoning mix of your choice (I use Penzey’s Spices Sandwich Sprinkle)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Spread pretzels and cereal in a single layer on a cookie sheet.
  3. Pour Earth Balance melted spread over the mix. Sprinkle your seasoning on top and toss until well combined.
  4. Bake for 10 minutes.
  5. Remove from oven and allow to cool about 10 minutes. Stir in the popcorn.
  6. Store in an airtight container for about a week.

Snack Mix

 

 

 

 

 

 


August 23, 2017
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August 24th is National Waffle Day. Let’s celebrate with breakfast pizza waffles! This recipe can be as easy or as complicated as you want to make it. Use frozen waffles or make your own from scratch. Whichever way you go, choose a neutral flavored waffle that can either go sweet or savory. If you’re in a waffle mood, top your pizza with an extra waffle and make a waffle sandwich.

Breakfast Waffle Pizzas

There’s really no right or wrong way to make these. Heat up the toaster or waffle iron, spread out your toppings and sauces and have some delicious, breakfast fun with the family!

 

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Breakfast Waffle Pizzas

Ingredients

  • Your favorite vegan toaster waffles (or homemade waffle batter)
  • Sweet and/or savory toppings
  • A variety of sauces

Instructions

  1. Toast the waffles until they are half way done. While they toast, prepare your sauces and toppings. Slice and chop your fruit. Cook your veggie meats and hash browns, if using. If making homemade waffles, prepare your waffle on a waffle iron and continue to step two to add your toppings.

  2. Once the waffles are semi-toasted, place them on a baking sheet. Spread desired sauce and toppings on top of the waffles. Place the baking sheet under the broiler for 2-3 minutes.

Everyone has their own pizza favorites, but below are some ideas to inspire delicious creations.

For savory waffles, try these toppings and sauces:

  • Chopped or crumbled veggie bacon
  • Veggie breakfast sausage
  • Shredded hash browns
  • Soyrizo
  • Avocado
  • Tomatoes
  • Red onion
  • Capers
  • Salsa
  • Dairy-free cheese shreds or slices
  • Dairy-free cream cheese or spreads

Breakfast Pizza Waffles

For sweet waffles, try these toppings and sauces:

  • Sliced berries and fruit
  • Toasted coconut
  • Chopped nuts
  • Dairy-free mini chocolate chips
  • Mini Dandies vegan marshmallows
  • Hemp, chia, and/or flax seeds
  • CocoWhip
  • Nut butter
  • Jam
  • Agave or maple syrup

 

Breakfast Pizza Waffles

How are you celebrating National Waffle Day? If you make one of these pizzas, please be sure to tag me. I love seeing your creations with my recipes!!

 

Breakfast pizza waffles

 

 

 

 


August 16, 2017
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I created this vegan caprese sandwich for my eldest daughter, Gaby, who loves everything Caprese! It’s her favorite and her go-to whenever we are anywhere that offers one on the menu. I went straight to Miyoko’s Kitchen’ VeganMozz for the perfect vegan mozzarella. It’s soft, salty, and creamy – everything a mozzarella should be! They now offer a Smoked VeganMozz! Dairy-free cheese dreams do come true!!

Vegan Caprese Sandwich

This vegan caprese sandwich is perfect for summer with bright juicy tomatoes, fresh fragrant tomatoes, and creamy dairy-free mozzarella cheese. My family is big on its bread, so don’t under think this ingredient. I chose a Ciabatta roll and toasted it before I layered it with the VeganMozz, basil leaves and fresh tomato slices. Heirloom tomatoes are gorgeous this time of year, so if you have those available, I highly recommend using those. I added a little something extra by spreading some vegan pesto on each slice of toasted bread. I make mine with basil leaves, garlic, walnuts, olive oil, and some nutritional yeast.

Vegan Caprese Sandwich

To kick this Vegan Caprese sandwich up further, don’t toast the bread, but layer everything onto the bread slices and press on a panini maker for a gourmet sammie! If you go the panini route, try swapping sun-dried tomatoes for fresh for a whole other flavor kick. I hope you enjoy the recipe!

Vegan Caprese Sandwich
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Vegan Caprese Sandwich

Ingredients

  • 1 Ciabatta roll , sliced
  • 4 slices plum tomato (or sun-dried tomatoes)
  • 3 slices Miyoko's Kitchen VeganMozz
  • 4 basil leaves , rinsed and dried
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons vegan pesto (purchased or homemade)

Instructions

  1. Toast the bread.
  2. Spread each slice with the pesto.
  3. Layer the bottom slice of bread first with the VeganMozz, then the tomato, and last with the basil.
  4. Place other slice on top.

Recipe Notes

* For a variation, don't toast the bread at the beginning, but compile the sandwich and press in a panini maker.

Vegan Caprese Sandwich

 

 


August 9, 2017
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August 10 is National S’mores Day so I am celebrating with this rice crispy treat riff on a traditional s’mores! Rice crispy treats are already full of marshmallows, so I only needed to add rich chocolate and crunchy graham crackers to achieve the campfire favorite trifecta!

These are simple to make with just five ingredients. I crumbled graham crackers between my rice crispy treats, but you could also add them on top of the melted chocolate. Is there really a right or wrong way to eat a s’mores?!!

S'mores Rice Crispy Treats

S'mores Rice Crispy Treats
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S'mores Rice Crispy Treats

Ingredients

  • 1 bag vegan marshmallows (such as Dandies)
  • 3 tablespoons dairy-free butter (such as Earth Balance)
  • 6 cups brown rice cereal
  • 1 bag vegan chocolate chips or chunks (such as Enjoy Life)
  • 1/2 box vegan graham crackers
  • vegan mini marshmallows (optional)

Instructions

  1. Melt the butter in a pan and add the marshmallows. Keep stirring until melted.

  2. Stir in the cereal 1 cup at a time until combined.
  3. Press into a greased 13×9 inch pan.
  4. Use parchment paper to press it down and spread it out.
  5. Refrigerate 1 hour. Once hardened, cut the treats into graham cracker sized squares. Cut each square in half width-wise to create two squares.

  6. Crush the graham crackers by hand, or pulse in a food processor to create crumbs.

  7. Melt the chocolate chips in a saucepan or microwave. Spread chocolate on top of of one square, sprinkle on the graham cracker crumbs, and top with another rice crispy square. Repeat for all the treats.

  8. Spread melted chocolate on top of each s'mores rice crispy treat and decorate with more graham cracker crumbs and mini marshmallows, if desired.

Vegan S'mores Rice Crispy Treats

 


August 2, 2017
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During these warm summer days, all I want to eat is salad! But, sometimes I crave something a little heartier from the salad family…which takes me back to my days by the pool as a kid. My aunt would fill a huge Tupperware bowl with a delicious pasta salad. It was full of raw veggies and my favorite – olives! She’d toss it all with Paul Newman’s Italian dressing and we’d feast on it all day.

This salad is my Mediterranean twist on the traditional pasta salad. I don’t need many reasons to whip up a spread, but give me some guests (even if they are impromptu), and you can guarantee that I will use it as an excuse to throw together a few appetizers or a meal for everyone to enjoy. That is exactly what happened when I created this recipe for Mediterranean Pearl Couscous Salad.

Mediterranean Pearl Couscous Salad

It was a weekend of busy. Wonderful busy – seeing friends, family popping in during an out-of-town visit, other family coming over to watch a movie. So much fun! We had just gotten home the night before so I knew I was going to have visitors for lunch, but had not thought about what to make. I settled on paninis (my favorite go-to lunch for feeding a crowd) and thought I would make my roasted vegetable orzo salad to go with it. I had a few zucchinis to use thanks to the bounty I was gifted from my dad’s best friend, which was one of the key ingredients. After checking my pantry, I realized I was missing a key ingredient – orzo – so I used pearl couscous instead. I also realized I had an abundance of cherry tomatoes to use (also from my dad’s best friend), and decided to roast those with the zucchini.

As I roasted those, I saw some artichoke hearts and kalamata olives calling my name, so the dish instantly transformed into a whole other recipe altogether. One of my favorite moves is the shredded parmesan cheese from Follow Your Heart. I use any excuse to sprinkle it on everything! That was the final touch to this recipe, and my Mediterranean Pearl Couscous Salad was born. I hope you enjoy this salad doing something fun this summer with lots of friends and family!

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Ingredients

  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 1 zucchini, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons olive oil (divided)
  • 1 can quartered artichokes, in water (drained)
  • 1/2 cup Kalamata olives, sliced in half
  • 1/2 cup basil, sliced in a chiffonade
  • 8 oz pearl couscous
  • 1/2 cup shredded vegan Parmesan cheese, (such as Follow Your Heart)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Greek seasoning blend
  • Juice of 1 lemon

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Spread the zucchini, tomatoes and garlic on a baking pan. Drizzle on the olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Mix the vegetables so that they are thoroughly covered with the oil and seasonings. Roast for 30 minutes.
  3. While vegetables are roasting, prepare the couscous according to package directions. Drain and cool when cooked.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the lemon juice, 1/4 cup of olive oil, and the Greek seasoning blend. Whisk together until well blended.
  5. Stir in the couscous, artichoke hearts, roasted vegetables (with juices), basil, and Parmesan cheese.
  6. Serve at room temperature or refrigerate until ready to serve.

Mediterranean Pearl Couscous Salad

 


July 26, 2017
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These Vegan S’mores Sundaes are my fun frozen take on the traditional s’mores sandwich you make around the campfire. With summer upon us, this cold dessert is perfect for backyard campouts and sleepovers. They are simple and fun to make too! Kids will love getting in on the action by just layering the ingredients on top of each other:

graham cracker crumbs

chocolate ice cream

marshmallows

chocolate chips

whipped cream

My favorite brands are So Delicious ice cream, Coco Whip whipped cream, Dandies marshmallows, and Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips. These can get messy just like traditional s’mores so consider yourself warned!! That is also part of the fun though, right?!!

 

Vegan S'mores Sundae
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Vegan S'mores Sundaes

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup vegan graham crackers, finely ground or coarsely chopped
  • 2 scoops vegan chocolate ice cream
  • 1/4 cup vegan marshmallows, plus more for garnish
  • 4 tablespoons cup mini chocolate chips, plus more for garnish
  • Vegan whipped cream

Instructions

  1. Layer a glass or bowl first with 2 tablespoons of graham crackers, followed by a scoop of ice cream, then 1/8 cup of marshmallows and 2 tablespoons of chocolate chips.
  2. Repeat with another layer.
  3. Top with whipped cream and more marshmallows and chocolate chips for garnish.

Vegan S'mores Sundaes


July 19, 2017
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I don’t know what it is about a popsicle that makes me feel like a kid again, but I am almost giddy when enjoying a frozen pop. I remember the local ice cream truck singing through our neighborhood on summer afternoons. The rocket molds I used for these take me back to those red, white, and blue pops that were so popular. Remember those?!!

It is really easy (and healthier) to make your own popsicles. It is also a really fun activity to do with the kids. I came up with the flavor blend for these Pomegranate Berry Popsicles because my kids love pomegranates and berries. This is an easy formula that you can change up with whatever ingredients your family loves. Start with a cup or so of a liquid (fruit juice, water, non-dairy milk, or lemonade) and mix with a cup of fruit. Add in any other nutrient boosts (e.g. chia seeds, hemp seeds, spirulina), an optional sweetener (agave, maple syrup), and you’ve got a blend ready to pour into your favorite mold.

 

Pomegranate Berry Popsicles
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Pomegranate Berry Popsicles

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups pomegranate juice
  • 1 cup frozen berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries)
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup (optional)

Instructions

  1. Mix all ingredients in a high speed blender.
  2. Pour into popsicle molds.
  3. Freeze for several hours until completely frozen.

Pomegranate Berry Popsicles


July 12, 2017
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We love stuffed potatoes in our house. Just stuff them with whatever protein, green, and sauce you want and it’s a meal! I like to swap out Russets with sweet potatoes for added nutrition. I was inspired to make these BBQ stuffed spuds by a bag of Beanfields Snacks BBQ chips I had in the pantry. It got me thinking about all of my favorite things at family BBQs – baked beans, grilled corn…and this recipe was born!

I grilled the corn, but you could also use canned or frozen fire roasted. I love kale, but spinach would also be tasty. Make sure you serve with extra chips for scooping out your potato – added mealtime fun! I turned to my favorite spice company, Penzey’s Spices, to create a homemade dairy-free ranch dressing with their Peppercorn dressing blend, but you could simplify things by using your favorite store bought ranch (Hampton’s Creek makes a great one).

 

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BBQ Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

Ingredients

  • 4 sweet potatoes
  • 3 kale leaves chopped
  • 1/2 cup grilled corn
  • 1 15 ounce can baked beans
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1 pinch sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 bag Beanfields Snacks BBQ chips
  • 1/4 cup dairy-free ranch dressing

Instructions

  1. Heat the olive oil in a skillet and add the garlic. When it is fragrant, stir in the kale and cook 5 minutes.

  2. Add in the corn, baked beans and salt. Stir to combine. Simmer for 10 minutes.

  3. Meanwhile, wash and pierce 4 sweet potatoes with a fork all over. Cook in the microwave about 8-10 minutes.

  4. Slice the sweet potatoes in half. Mash the inside. 

  5. Spoon about 1 cup of the filling into each sweet potato. Top each potato with 3 chips broken into pieces. Drizzle with ranch dressing and serve with more chips on the side.


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Summer is here, and although I am excited for the break in routine in my kids’ school schedules, I am a bit nervous about how I am going to balance everything the next couple of months. I started working again in March after only working for myself the last 4 years. I used to work full-time and then, part-time with my kids until my youngest was 4. Fast forward today! My personal circumstances have caused me to jumpstart my freelance business and take on clients other than myself! It’s exciting but scary all at the same time!! After an overwhelming three months, I am back to full-time hours. I am grateful that as a writer, I can do my work from home, but it is an enormous juggling act with the kids. I am finding my way and will have to get creative this summer. I usually plan lots of outings and activities to keep the team enriched and un-bored, but I am going to have to rethink things this time around.

One of my strategies has been to think about how I can get the kids involved with some of my cooking projects. I love being in the kitchen with my kids and so do they! They don’t even want me in there with them most of the time so they can just do their own thing!!! My oldest, Gaby, just asked me last week to show her how to use the juicer and has started making her own juices. My middle daughter, Alex, started making morning smoothies earlier this month. Proud mama! I love seeing them experimenting in the kitchen.

As I was thinking about what I wanted to share on the blog this month, I had my kids on my mind. I try to make all of my recipes family-friendly and kid approved, but I was especially inspired to come up with some ideas this month that they would have fun making themselves…which brings me to popsicles! These Strawberry Lemonade Pops are double the fun! Not only are they easy for the kids to blend up on their own, but they are also pretty to look at. I’m thinking popsicle party!!!

I kept things all natural in this recipe by juicing organic lemons and Granny Smith apples together. No sugar added! This flavor combo is sweet success. Sliced strawberries are not only pretty in these picturesque popsicles, but they also add some extra flavor and texture.

I also made a variation of these by sliced cherries and dropping those in the molds first instead of strawberries – equally delicious results! These Strawberry Lemonade Pops are a delicious frozen alternative to glasses of freshly squeezed lemonade at the neighborhood stand this summer. I hope you’ll try them and let me know what you think. Who else is making popsicles this month?

 

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Strawberry Lemonade Pops

Ingredients

  • 4 lemons, peeled
  • 4-5 Granny Smith Apples
  • 1 cup strawberries, sliced

Instructions

  1. Juice the lemons and 4 apples. Taste for sweetness/tartness and juice additional apples as necessary to achieve your desired flavor.
  2. Add 4 sliced strawberries into 10-12 popsicle molds.
  3. Pour in the lemonade, leaving about an inch of free space at the top of each mold
  4. Freeze for 5 hours.

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