Cashew Chive Cream Cheeze

One thing I can’t seem to find as a vegan is a good Cream Cheese substitute. After trying store brands and continually being let down for one reason or another, I set out to make my own. This is super simple, delicious, vegan and gluten-free. You can spread on toast, bagels, baked potato or even a dollop on Pasta…it’s all good! 

 
1 Cup soaked Raw Cashews

2 Tbsp Nutritional Yeast

1 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar

splashes of Water (as needed)

1/2 bunch Chives (chopped)

Himalayan Pink Salt (to taste)

1/2 tsp Garlic Powder (optional)

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Soak Cashews overnight in a bowl of filtered water. Strain water and add Cashews to a high speed Blender or Food Processor. Add the Nutritional Yeast and Vinegar. Blend while adding tiny splashes of water to the mixture so the mixture smoothly blends. Don’t over-water or you will ruin the creamy texture. You may need to frequently stop/unplug the blender to stir the mixture and push into the blades before continuing. Once you get the perfect texture, transfer the contents to a small container with an airtight lid. Add in your seasonings and the Chives. Combine well and taste. Re-season if desired. Place lid on tight and refrigerate. Should be good for 3-4 days. 

Curried Chick Peas and Quinoa

Here is my recipe for Coconut Curried Chickpeas and Quinoa. It’s creamy and savory with a hint of sweetness. This is one of my favorite dishes to make!😋🌱😋🌱😋🌱

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1/2 Cup Rainbow Quinoa

1 1/4 Cup Water

1 Tbsp Coconut Oil

1/2 Onion (roughly chopped)

3 cloves Garlic (minced)

1/2 Red Bell Pepper (chopped)

1 can Chick Peas (drained)

1 Zucchini (quartered and cubed)

2 Campari Tomatoes (diced)

1 can Coconut Milk

1 Tbsp Curry Powder

1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper

1 Tbsp Brown Sugar

1/4 Cup chopped Cilantro

2 Tbsp Coconut Manna

Himalayan Pink Salt (to taste)

——–

In a small pot, combine the Quinoa and Water and bring to a low boil. Simmer for 15 minutes (until fluffy). While the Quinoa is simmering, prep your veggies and other ingredients. On another burner, put a large saucepan on medium heat. Add Coconut Oil. When oil is hot, toss in the Onion, Garlic and Bell Pepper. Sautée until veggies are a little soft but still have crunch. Now add the Zucchini, Tomatoes and Chick Peas. Sautée again until the Zucchini is tender but still has crunch. Hit it with a little Pink Salt. Now pour in the Coconut Milk and stir until well combined with the veggies. Turn the heat down to low/med and add in the Curry, Cayenne and Brown Sugar. Stir until the spices are all combined. Now add in the cooked Quinoa and stir. Add in the Coconut Manna and watch it melt; stir in. Add Cilantro and stir once more. Season with Pink Salt to taste. Serve in a bowl over some Brown Rice or on it’s own. Garnish with more Cilantro. Yum! 😘👌

Green Superfood Oatmeal

Tired of drinking freezing smoothies in the unforgiving chill of winter? Not me. 😉 But sometimes I just want something to heat me up. How about this Green Superfood Oatmeal? Delicious, nutritious, filling and chock full of immunity boosting antioxidant power! And it warms you up from the inside out.

The ingredient that ties this altogether is one of my most trusted and powerful superfoods; Vega Sport Performance Protein. After a tough session of swim training last night, I woke up with a true hunger. My muscles ached and they wanted to be fed! This clean, plant-based, whole food powder “sports” 30g of protein, 6g Glutamine, 6g BCAA, Probiotics, Tart Cherry and Turmeric. Now, let me just point out how genius this nutrition profile actually is. Protein, glutamine and ammino acids help repair and build new muscle while the probiotics, tart cherry and turmeric work on efficient digestion and anti-inflammation. Mind blown! For me, this is workout medicine after my body feels wrecked from running, cycling, swimming, lifting, etc. It will aid in recovery and get you back out there in no time.

On top of all that, it tastes great!
Ever since my health journey began, my tastebuds have changed immensely. What I used to cringe at; I now embrace wholeheartedly. Experimenting in the kitchen is one of my favorite things to do and this hearty superfood breakfast is the perfect example of that sentiment. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

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1 serving of your fav cooked oatmeal

Some fresh fruit like bananas, dates, berries (optional)

8oz plant-based Milk (almond, coconut, etc)

1 serving Vega Sport Performance Protein (Vanilla)

1 tsp Mushroom Matrix- Fit Matrix (Cordyceps and Reishi)

1 tsp Spirulina

1 tsp Maca

1 tsp Acai

1/4 tsp Camu Camu

Prepare 1 serving of your favorite whole grain oatmeal. While thats cooking, heat up your nut milk in a small pot on medium. When nut milk is hot, pour into your blender jar along with the Vega Sport and all of the other superfood powders. Place the lid on tight and begin blending working your way from low to high speed. Make sure lid is secure; liquid is hot! Blend until super smooth. In a large bowl, add your cooked oatmeal. Now pour the hot superfood smoothie contents into the bowl. Mix them together with a spoon. If desired, add some fresh fruit and sprinkle with some shredded Coconut.

Minestrone Soup (Vegan, Gluten Free, Paleo)

One of my favorite foods to prepare (especially during the colder seasons) is soup. I make many soups; some traditional, some invented, some on the fly but all are vegan, organic and delicious! I consider myself kind of a “soup wizard”, if you will.

Minestrone has always had a warm place in my heart and stomach. It’s chunky, full of flavor and is a super satisfying meal in a bowl. It runs the gamut in it’s variety of vegetables, legumes, pasta and it’s rich, tomatoey broth. Sometimes I change this recipe up a bit with different beans, juice pulp broths and sometimes I’ll even throw in some Italian style Tofurky Sausage (to get that subtly spicy, fennel bite in there).

I can assure you that if you use only the freshest and cleanest ingredients, you will truly taste the difference. Sure, you can get this from a can or a restaurant but nothing beats being in complete control of your food!

Ingredients:

3 Tbsp Unfiltered Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 medium Onion (diced)

1 large Zucchini (chopped chunky)

1 – 2 Cups Green Beans (trimmed/halved)

2-3 stalks Celery (diced)

3 cloves Garlic (minced)

4 cups Vegetable Broth (from juice pulp or homemade)

4 cups Filtered Water

1/2 Cup Red Kidney Beans (cooked or canned)

1/2 Cup Small White Beans (cooked or canned)

1 can (28oz) Crushed Tomatoes

1 cup shredded Carrot

1/4 Cup Fresh Parsley

3 tsp Dried Oregano

1 tsp Dried Basil

1/2 tsp Dried Thyme

Giant bunch of fresh Baby Spinach

1 Cup small shell Quinoa Pasta

Himalayan Pink Salt (to taste)

Ground Black Pepper (to taste)

Directions:

Pour oil into a large stock pot and heat on medium. When the oil is hot enough, add the onion, celery, garlic, green beans, and zucchini and sauté for about 5 minutes or so. 

Now add the broth, water, tomatoes, beans, carrots, herbs and spices. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer for 20 minutes. 

 Add the Spinach and Pasta and cook for another 20 minutes or so (or until Pasta is aldente). Adjust salt and pepper to taste. (makes a huge pot and feeds many; freeze extra and store for future meals)

Chocolate Spiced Pumpkin Ice Cream

I scream. You scream. We all scream…because it’s almost Halloween. Well, that and because ICE CREAM! And hey…what can I say? I woke up this morning with ice cream on my mind. “For breakfast”? Well, sure. A nutrient rich ice cream with the flavors of Autumn sounds splendid. “But aren’t you tired of Pumpkin Spice”? Nope. And let’s be straight here, making ice cream is not all that different than making a smoothie either; so file away those “I don’t have time” complaints right now.

It’s creamy, sweet and spicy all in one spoonful! And after you taste this, you’re probably going to want to throw away all those chemical and dairy-laden treats in your freezer; you won’t need them any longer. Escape the carton and enter a new world of wholesome ingredients. Did I mention that we’re adding Vega One to it as well? This is not only going to give it that rich chocolaty flavor but it’s also going to give you 20 grams of premium plant-based protein, 6 servings of greens, 50% daily intake of food-based vitamins and minerals, 25% DV fiber, 1.5 grams of Omega-3s, Antioxidants and 1 billion CFU Probiotics. I don’t know about you, but thats enough to make me want to escape “carton captivity”.

So, why don’t I hate on Pumpkin like everyone else is right now? Because I don’t see it as just a seasonal “flavor” to infuse into store-bought junk food and refined sugar-bomb lattes. Pumpkin is actually a very nutrient dense fruit from the berry family (betcha didn’t know that!). It’s high in Potassium, Fiber and Vitamins A/C and is very heart healthy. The beta-carotene in Pumpkin (as well as the other fruits/veggies of the orange variety) is known to support the eyes and prevent degenerative damage. Also, a study conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health’s Department of Nutrition has shown that beta-carotene can be a beneficial rival in the development of both prostate and colon cancers.

Theres a bunch of reasons for you to go make this recipe and eat it. You can sit here and weigh them all out or I can just scream ICE CREAM! I’m sure that’ll get you up on your toes.

Ingredients
2 Bananas (peeled/chopped)
1 Cup Pumpkin Puree
2 Medjool Dates (pitted)
1 serving Vega One Chocolate Protein
1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Ground Ginger
1/4 tsp Nutmeg

Instructions
1. Place Bananas and Pumpkin Puree in a covered bowl and store in the freezer for at least 2 hours to freeze.

2. After Bananas and Pumpkin are frozen, put them in the food processor along with the Medjool Dates. Pulse a few times to begin breaking down and then set to high speed until the mixture begins to get creamy (this step may take a while depending on how frozen the ingredients are). Once it’s smooth stop processing.

3. Now add in the Vega One and dry spices and process again on high speed until combined well.

4. Scrape all of the creamy goodness out of the container and into a bowl. Top with sliced Cranberries and Coconut shavings if desired. Now eat it before it gets too melty! You can also transfer the mixture to the freezer while you clean up to allow it to stiffen a bit.

Curried Chick Pea Leek Soup

I know it’s not quite autumn yet but I love soup more than you could imagine. At first I was just gonna throw together a plain old Potato Leek but came up with this evolved version which is packed with protein instead. Really fragrant and spicy too. Yuuuuuum 😘👌
—–

1 Tbsp Coconut Oil

2 cans Organic Chick Peas

4 Organic Leeks (trimmed, cleaned and chopped)

1 Clove Garlic (minced)

3-4 Cups Veggie Broth (depends on texture you desire…less broth for thicker soup)

2 Tbsp Curry Powder

1/4 tsp Cayenne Powder

1/4 Cup finely chopped Cilantro (stir in + garnish)

Himalayan Salt and Black Pepper (to taste)

handful of Pumpkin Seeds (to garnish)

—–

Heat oil in a large stock pot on Medium heat. Add in garlic and Leeks, stirring occasionally until soft. Now add Chick Peas and hit with a bit of Pink Salt and stir. Cook for about 3 minutes more and add in broth, Curry and Cayenne. Stir again to combine liquid and spices. Cook about 5 more minutes until just bubbling and Chick Peas are nice and soft. Remove from burner and (in batches) pour soup into blender or food processor. Begin on low speed! (you don’t want hot soup on your face, body or ceiling). Once all soup is blended and creamy, pour back into stock pot and heat through on low/med heat. Taste and season again to preference. Stir in chopped Cilantro and serve. 

“CHEEZY” MEXICAN CHICK-FREE OMELETTE

It’s been over one year now that I went 100% vegan. As a lacto-vegetarian (for over 20 years) I enjoyed eggs quite a bit (possibly too much). Since going vegan, I’ve experimented with all manner of egg substitutes such as Tofu scrambles, breakfast sandwiches; heck, I even made Tofu Florentine with a plant based Hollandaise Sauce I came up with. But the one thing I’ve missed out of all of it were those late Diner excursions where I’d order up a gigantic veggie and cheese Omelette. Or the many times I made them at home and smothered them in Salsa and Sour Cream. Those damn things were my weakness. Although, I’m not interested in ever going back to my old self…I can still recreate some of those memories from a brand new perspective. That said, in the spirit of overcoming past addictions and celebrating new cruelty-free, healthy habits; I came up with this extremely satisfying dish this morning.

There is plenty of margin for error when making an Omelette (I know this, as I’ve unsuccessfully attempted this once before), so I did some more research in hopes of finding a more tried and true batter for such a task. I came upon the Chickpea Omelette recipe by Fork & Beans. My version has definitely been spiced up and altered slightly but the basic foundation for the Omelette itself is entirely their creation (pure vegan genius if you ask me).

Well, don’t let me stop you from strengthening your breakfast game; get on with it. Remember to try and have fun in the kitchen and never be afraid to experiment with flavors (thats how we learn).

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“CHEEZY” MEXICAN CHICK-FREE OMELETTE
Adapted from: Fork & Beans
Makes 2 Large Omelettes

BATTER
3/4 Cup Garbanzo Bean Flour (Chickpea Flour)
3/4 Cup Unsweetened Almond Milk
2 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar
3 tsp Nutritional Yeast
1/4 tsp Ground Cumin
1/4 tsp Ancho Chili Powder
1/4 tsp Turmeric Powder
1/4 tsp Garlic Powder
1/4 tsp Baking Soda
Salt & Pepper to taste

FILLING
1/4 of a Red Onion (chopped)
4 Large White Mushrooms (sliced)
1/2 Red Bell Pepper (chopped)
3-4 Green Onions (chopped; reserve some for topping)
2 Tbsp Fresh Cilantro (chopped)
Salt & Pepper to taste
1 Slice of Field Roast Chao Tofu (or fav Vegan Cheez)

TOPPING
Your fav Salsa
Green Onion
Avocado Slices
(and/or whatever else you damn well please)

#1. Prepare the batter by combining all batter ingredients in a pourable bowl or large measuring glass. Use a whisk but do not over-mix; it should be pourable but still somewhat thick (like a good Pancake batter). Set aside.

#2. Add some Olive Oil (or Water/Veggie Broth if you don’t cook with oil) to a large, non stick frying pan and heat on Medium. Meanwhile, prep all filling ingredients. Now add them (except for the vegan cheese) to the pan and lightly sauté them until just tender. Transfer the cooked veggies to a bowl and set aside.

#3. In the same heated pan, add some more oil (water/broth). Now pour half of the batter into the center of the pan and gently rock the pan back and forth to spread out the batter more. You don’t want it too thin or too thick (pancake thickness or slightly thinner).

#4. Break apart your cheez slice into small pieces and arrange them to cover one half/side of the cooking batter. Scoop up 1/2 of the filling mixture and spread it out on the same side of the omelette (on top of the cheez). Continue to cook the Omelette for about 2 minutes; you should start seeing bubbles through the top and hardening edges (again, just like a pancake). Now gently fold over the bare side of the Omelette to cover the cheez/veggie mixture side.

#5. Cover the pan with a lid and remove from heat. Allow the trapped steam to continue cooking the Omelette through for about another 5 minutes or so. Clean messes up and such while you wait. Repeat all steps for the second one.

#6. Plate your awesome Omelette! Top it with your favorite Salsa, Green Onions and Avocado Slices. Other topping ideas are Fresh Cilantro, Mushrooms, Tomatoes and Vegan Sour Cream.

Enjoy!