Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Super Easy Pumpkin Spice Dip, Whipped Topping, or Ice Cream

2 cans of full fat coconut milk refrigerated for at least 24 hours. (The brand I use is pictured below.)
1/4-1/2 cup canned pumpkin pie mix
1/4 cup (or more to taste) of granulated sugar (I use sugar in the raw.)
Dried Spices: ground cinnamon, ground ginger, ground nutmeg
I use this brand of coconut milk. I have found that this brand works the best. The coconut fat seems to get the hardest and rise to the top the best. Do not use canned coconut cream. It does not stay as firm as full fat coconut milk. 


Open both cans of coconut milk. The coconut fat will be at the top. With a butter knife, carefully scrape the sides of the can to loosen the coconut fat. With the knife still in the can and between the cans edge and coconut fat, carefully pull the coconut fat out. Be sure not to use any of the coconut juice at the bottom of the can. If you do, your mousse will not thicken properly. Put the coconut fat into a mixer or bowl if hand mixing. 

This is what the coconut milk looks like when you take the fat out of the can. Pictured is four cans of the coconut fat. 

Add the canned pumpkin, sugar, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and nutmeg to taste. 

Mix until peaks form from the coconut milk. Refrigerate until serving. 

Here is the finished product still in the mixing bowl.

If serving as a dip, serve with graham crackers, ginger snaps, ginger thins, or apples.

This can also be used as a whipped topping on pumpkin pie.

You can also freeze the leftovers and eat as pumpkin spice ice cream. It is soooo good!!!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Best Ever Chocolate Mousse!

Some people at the CrossFit that I go to have been doing a clean eating challenge. One part of the challenge is consuming NO sugar, including agave nectar and maple syrup. This honestly has been the hardest part for me. Sugar is in so many things! 

An old friend was in town and I was going to a get together to see her and a bunch of my parent's friends. I wanted to bring something tasty, but healthy for everyone to try. I've made coconut cream dip with pumpkin, cinnamon, and nutmeg before and it was delicious. Since strawberries are in season (and I've been craving chocolate) I wanted to make a chocolate mousse version. I wasn't sure  how my creation would turn out with no sugar, but it was pleasantly amazing! Everyone seemed to love it. One person even ate the leftovers out of the bowl once the strawberries were gone! :) 

This mousse is light, chocolaty, and totally guilt free! It can be eaten on its own or with your favorite fruits!

2 cans of organic full fat coconut milk, refrigerated for at least 4 hours. (I used Thai Kitchen organic coconut milk.)
1/3 cup of unsweetened cocoa
1 teaspoon of 100% pure vanilla extract
6 packets of stevia (I used Sweet Leaf natural stevia sweetener.)

Open both cans of coconut milk. The coconut fat will be at the top. With a butter knife, carefully scrape the sides of the can to loosen the coconut fat. With the knife still in the can and between the cans edge and coconut fat, carefully pull the coconut fat out. Be sure not to use any of the coconut juice at the bottom of the can. If you do, your mousse will not thicken properly. Put the coconut fat into a mixer or bowl if hand mixing. 

Add the vanilla extract, chocolate, and stevia to the bowl. Mix at a medium high speed, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed. Mix until you have a creamy consistency and peaks start forming. This should be relatively fast. 

Pour the mixture into your favorite dish and serve! Voila! You're done. If you are making this for later, keep in the refrigerator until serving. :)

I hope you enjoy this! Please let me know if you make this recipe! I'd love to know if you enjoyed it as much as my friends and family did. :)

Friday, January 10, 2014

Raw Vegan Zucchini "Alfredo"

A couple of weeks ago Jake brought me home a raw vegan dish from Roaming in the Raw at  the Englewood Farmer's Market. It happened to be Raw Zucchini Alfredo. I was seriously in LOVE. I had never had zucchini noodles and I now had to buy a spiralizer. I went on Amazon and bought the Spirooli Spiralizer ($22). Today was my first attempt at making Raw Zucchini Alfredo. I was pleasantly surprised! I went to follow a recipe from Choosing Raw.Com and ended up changing up the recipe a bit because I did not have the miso and I felt that the Alfredo sauce was a bit too lemony for me.

I added nutritional yeast, garlic powder, and a bit more salt to the Alfredo sauce. I also used zucchini and carrot "noodles" only. I did not add the other veggies listed in their recipe. I did however add mushrooms to my dish.

This was seriously the easiest recipe to make!  I know many of you have never tried raw zucchini and carrot noodles as well, so I wanted to share this with you!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Collard greens, black eyed pea, and tomato soup!

Happy New Year! I wish you all a happy and healthy new year! This year Jake really wanted some collard greens and black eyed peas to celebrate the beginning of 2014. I decided to make a soup with both of them. This soup definitely hit the spot today. I had 3 bowls! At least it's healthy! :) :) :) I hope you enjoy it as much as we did! 

6 cups vegetable broth
2 cups water
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 sweet onion
1 can diced tomatoes
2 6oz cans tomato paste
1 diced tomato
1 large carrot sliced into small pieces
5-6 cups cleaned and chopped collard greens
1 16oz package of frozen black eyed peas. 
6 diced red potatoes with skin
2 tbs salt (or more to desired taste)
1 tbs onion powder
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp basil 
1 tsp cayenne pepper

Cooking Method:
In a large pot sauté garlic and onion on medium heat until slightly transparent. Add all other ingredients. Cook on medium heat until boiling then cook on low heat for 1 1/2-2 hours. Once the potatoes and carrots are tender it's done! Enjoy! 

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Vegan Pad Thai with Spaghetti Squash Noodles!

I've been off from work for almost a week and a half now. I'm a teacher and always get winter break off....Yay! Trust me, us teachers need these breaks! I'll be honest and say that I have been pretty lazy since I got back from our anniversary trip to NYC. I was surfing Pinterest and came upon an idea to make Vegan Pad Thai with spaghetti squash. The recipe below is Pinterest inspired, but I came up with my own recipe for the peanut sauce. I have made my peanut sauce recipe again since making the spaghetti squash and have used it on tofu, and roasted veggies. I love it so much that I had Jake bring me home veggies and spaghetti squash to make it again. If you make this recipe, I strongly encourage you to use FRESH ginger. I don't think the recipe will taste quite the same without it.

Vegan Pad Thai with Spaghetti Squash Noodles
(Enough for 3-4 people)


1 large spaghetti squash, cut in half with seeds removed. 
Olive oil to lightly coat the top of the spaghetti squash
1 large carrot, thinly sliced
1/2 pound of brussel sprouts, cut in half or quarters depending on size OR you could use cabbage, bok choy, etc... ( I didn't have cabbage or bok choy, so I used brussel sprouts.)
**Optional: You could also add red pepper to this as well.

Peanut Sauce Ingredients:

1 tbs garlic ( I used powdered because I did not have fresh garlic.)
1 cup vegetable broth 
3-4 tbs agave nectar
5 tbs rice vinegar
2-3 tbs liquid aminos OR soy sauce (to taste)
1-2 tbs fresh minced ginger (to taste) I love fresh ginger so I used a lot of it!!!
3 tbs creamy natural or organic peanut butter
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp crushed red pepper (or more if you like it spicy)

Cooking Method: 

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Once the oven is preheated, put the spaghetti squash cut side up on a baking sheet. I sprayed a little olive oil on top of the spaghetti squash before putting it in the oven. Bake for 40-50 minutes. You want the noodles to be firm and not too mushy so start checking your squash around 40 minutes. 

While the squash is cooking, saute the garlic (if using fresh), carrot, cabbage or bok choy and any other veggies if using on med heat. Cook until tender, then set aside. (I roasted my brussel sprouts along with the spaghetti squash in the oven because Jake was making something else at the same time.)

In another sauce pan, add some of the veggie broth and a little bit of the peanut butter. Stir until creamy. Keep adding a little at a time so that it mixes well together. Once all is added start adding the other sauce ingredients. Make sure to keep stirring. Taste as you go along when adding the ginger so you have the right amount of ginger according to your taste. 

Once the sauce is made you can add the sauteed veggies back into the peanut sauce. Coat thoroughly and keep on low heat.

After about 40 minutes check on your spaghetti squash. When the spaghetti squash starts to separate into noodles with a fork it is done. Remove the spaghetti squash from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes. 

Once cooled, but still warm, add the spaghetti squash to each bowl, then top with your sauce/veggie mixture. Mix all the ingredients together in your bowl, then enjoy! 

Friday, November 29, 2013

What do vegans eat for Thanksgiving?

Since I am the only vegan in my entire family and group of friends, I always get questions about what I eat. For Thanksgiving, I was particularly getting this question a lot. I love taking ordinary dishes and veganizing them to show people that vegan food does taste amazing. This year I made green bean casserole, cinnamon glazed carrots, mashed potatoes, dressing, maple pumpkin pie, whipped cream, and caramel apple cider. It was all vegan, and tasted absolutely amazing! My family didn't miss the usual animal ingredient infused dishes, and actually preferred my vegan dishes instead. 

Below are the recipes I used for these dishes. I found some on Pinterest, but others I made up on my own.  Please let me know if you try any of them. Christmas is just around the corner and all of these dishes would be perfect for any of your holiday dinners. 

(NEW) This Aint Your Grandma's Sweet Potato Casserole. 

(Picture from Oh She Glows)
Vegan Sweet potato casserole Last week when I asked you to send in your favourite Thanksgivi:

Seriously, this is everyone's favorite dish out of all the ones I have listed. It is from Oh She Glows. Go ahead, make it. You won't be disappointed! Promise! 

Click to get the sweet potato casserole recipe HERE!

Click the link: Vegan Maple Pumpkin Pie from the Cake Duchess: 

I used a store bought vegan and gluten free pie shell from Earth Origins, but I made the filling in this recipe. I also added allspice and nutmeg to the pie mix as well. I just tasted as I was mixing the mix together. 

As I was cooking the mix in the oven, I was nervous because the mix was so runny. The mix will not set to a a very thick consistency in the oven after baking. I was nervous because of this, but it ended up thickening overnight in the fridge. Just an FYI so you don't become nervous as well. :)  This pie was super moist and delicious. 

Jake actually told me that he doesn't usually like pumpkin pie, but that this one was absolutely delicious. He went back for seconds. :) 

Vegan Whipped Cream: (My recipe) 

*1 large can of full fat coconut milk (put in the fridge for a couple of days so that the fat rises to the top of the can and so that it can thicken)
*1/2- 1 TBS of pure vanilla extract (I tasted as I mixed the ingredients together for the right amount)
*1/8- 1/4 cup of granulated sugar (I used organic sugar in the raw, but you could use coconut sugar if you wanted to make this paleo too. I also tasted as I mixed the ingredients for the right amount.)

Open the can of coconut milk. Make sure not to shake the can or turn it upside down. The fat from the coconut milk should be on top of the can when you open it. Using a butter knife, scrape the sides of the can to loosen the fat. The fat should easily come out of the can, but if not you can use a spoon to get the fat out. Put the fat in the mixer. Do NOT put the liquid in the bottom of the can in the mixer. The cream will not have the right consistency if you use the liquid at the bottom of the can. 

Turn the mixer on medium speed. While the coconut milk fat is creaming, add the vanilla extract and sugar. Taste as you go so you can get the right flavor for your whipped cream. In the past I have also added cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice to the mixture for a pumpkin spice whipped cream. It is actually amazing with those spices. :) 

The whipped cream is done once it forms peaks, just like regular dairy whipped cream. Put into another container and let it set in the fridge until you are ready to use it. It will thicken more in the fridge.

Click the link: Vegan stuffing from the Savvy Vegetarian: 

Instead of making the dried bread cubes myself, I used prepackaged organic bread cubes from Earth Origins. I followed most of the rest of the recipe, but added more vegetable broth since I felt that the amount in the recipe didn't seem to be enough. I wanted to make sure the bread was moist enough, but not too soggy. 

Vegan Mashed Potatoes:  (My Recipe)

Since I didn't measure everything out for this, I am just going to tell you what the vegan replacements were for butter and milk.

I cut and boiled my potatoes until they were soft and ready to be mashed. Then, I added vegan "butter." I use the brand "Earth Balance." Then, instead of dairy milk, I used unsweetened original almond milk. I added, salt and pepper to taste and VOILA! The mashed potatoes were done! Easy as Pie! 

Vegan Gravy? I usually make my own with vegan butter, flour, and vegetable broth. This year I used Imagine brand organic wild mushroom gravy (found at Earth Origins). I like my version better, but this one did the trick. 

Vegan Green Bean Casserole: (My recipe)

*1 lb of fresh green beans, trimmed and cut
*3 cloves of garlic, minced
*1 large handful of mushrooms, sliced
*1 1/2 cups-2 cups of Imagine brand creamy portobello soup (It is vegan, in a cardboard container like broth is sometimes in,  and found at Publix or most natural food stores)
*2-3 TBS of Briggs Liquid Aminos, or Soy Sauce
*1 small package of fried onions. (You can use French's, but I used the Wal-Mart brand.)
*3-4 TBS of corn starch
salt and pepper as needed

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Put your trimmed and cut green beans in an oven safe casserole bowl. I used a medium sized round dish.

Saute the mushrooms and garlic on medium heat for several minutes. Add the mushroom soup and liquid aminos (or soy sauce if using). Taste and add more as needed. Add the corn starch and mix until slightly thicker.

Once the soup mixture is warmed, add it to your dish with the green beans. The soup mixture should just slightly cover the green beans. 

Add about half of the fried onions to the top of the dish. Bake for 20-30 minutes. Cover your dish with tin foil and cook for an additional 30 minutes, or until the green beans are tender. Add the remaining fried onions to the top of the dish and cook uncovered for an additional 5 minutes. 

Vegan Cinnamon Glazed Carrots: (My Recipe)


*6 medium sized carrots, peeled and sliced in equal widths.
*2 TBS of Earth Balance "butter" melted
*2-3 TBS of light agave syrup (or more if you want it really sweet. I tasted as I went along)
*1-2 tsp of cinnamon
*1/2 tsp of nutmeg

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Mix the sliced carrots, melted "butter," agave syrup, and spices together. Make sure the carrots are coated evenly.
Bake in the oven, uncovered for at least one hour. 
Every 15 minutes, mix the carrots to coat them with the agave/butter mixture and to keep them moist. 

AND....Vegan Caramel Apple Spiced Cider  (My Recipe)

I wish I had a picture for you! 

1/2 cup all natural apple cider
1/4 cup club soda OR ginger-ale 
1 shot of Pinnacle Caramel Apple Vodka.

Mix Together and drink! Oh My Yumminess!!! This was amazing! Seriously, you  have to try it!!!! 

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Living With a Meat Eater

One of the biggest dilemmas most people might have with converting to a vegan diet is that their husband and/or kids are not on board.

My husband eats meat and dairy and for some vegans this could pose a problem.  I don't feel that it is fair if I completely eliminate all the foods he loves from his diet. I do try to make most of our meals vegan, but I will still cook him meat, fish, and use cheese on some things.   Obviously I do not eat the meat, fish, or cheese. I'll be honest and say it would be totally awesome if he ate vegan too, but I'm not going to force him to do anything he doesn't whole heartedly believe in. If he decides to make the change in the future, that is his choice. I don't want him to change because of me.


I'm here to tell you that it really is not as hard as you think to make meals that everyone will enjoy!

Here are some quick changes you can make to ordinary meals that everyone will love.

I do have to say though, that I do not eat processed fake meats, cheeses, or foods anymore. They are good if you are new to trying vegan foods or on occasion. These are just suggestions, but I am now eating a whole foods, vegan diet. My list below included everything that can be bought that is vegan. Most people are surprised by the all the vegan choices there are. :)


milk-If a recipe calls for milk, simply use almond milk or soy milk. Easy right?

Baking and need eggs- Use a banana or egg replacer. You can find Egg Replacer at Publix here in Florida and most health food stores.

chocolate- You can buy vegan chocolate chips from the brand "Enjoy life." You can find these at Publix and most health food stores.

marshmallows- Most health food stores have a vegan version of marshmallows. Non-vegan marshmallows have gelatin in them.

gelatin- You can buy vegan gelatin at most health food stores.


Eggs-  Make the tofu scramble on my blog for yourself. I bet your kids and husband would like it too. Don't tell them its not eggs! I bet they wouldn't even know. LOL.  OR if you don't want to do that, you can always make an omelet or scrambled eggs for them as well.

Oatmeal- . This is something that everyone can eat! Add fruit, brown sugar, maple syrup, or cinnamon and apples. Yum.  

Cereal- Tons of cereals are vegan. You can get Apple Chex or Cinnamon chex. For the milk try changing to Vanilla Almond milk. When I stopped drinking milk, I had to do the vanilla flavor first, but now I am used to it and can easily drink the unsweetened almond milk. Your kids and/or husband will love the vanilla almond milk in their cereal. You can always try soymilk or coconut milk as well.

Fruit Smoothie- Use soy or coconut milk yogurt in the place of regular yogurt. Add ice and your favorite fruit. OR you could freeze your fruit and add some almond or soy milk. Want some more protein? Add a scoop of your favorite vegan protein shake or peanut butter to your smoothie. I use Vega brand protein shakes. This can be found at Earth Origins in Port Charlotte.

Waffles- Vans has awesome egg free and dairy free waffles. You can get them in the freezer section at Publix or most health food stores. They seriously are amazing.

Toast- Use your favorite vegan bread and add jelly or peanut butter to it. (You can read about breads below. Most breads are actually vegan. :)

Lunch/ Dinner:
Making or ordering pizza- Order or make a veggie pizza and only put cheese on half of it. When I make the pizza at home I usually cut the crust in half before I put the cheese on Jake's half. This way the cheese doesn't ooze its way onto my side. :) IF you can not stand to go without cheese on your pizza you can always use Daiya cheese. It is the best substitute I have found. You can find Daiya cheese at most health food stores and Publix. I try not to eat it because it really has no nutritional value, but it would be okay to have once in a while.

Spaghetti- Make spaghetti like normal (or make my spaghetti squash) and cook the sausage, chicken, meatballs, or whatever other meat in a seperate pan. Add the meat to your family's plates only. You can also add cheese to their plate at this time too. (Most pasta is vegan. Obviously egg noodles are NOT vegan.)

Making Tacos- See my recipe on this blog! I promise that it is amazing. Jake actually likes the taste of the hamburger crumbles.

Hamburger- Make my portobello mushroom burger on my blog in its place. Or you could make a turkey burger/hamburger for your husband/kids and make yourself a veggie burger. Gardein has the most amazing veggie burgers! (You can find these in the freezer section at Publix.)

Kabobs- Make veggie kabobs for yourself and your family. Make meat kabobs seperately for your family. This is actually a better way to cook kabobs. When you mix the meat and veggies the meat tends to cook faster than the vegetables, so you get raw veggies and overcooked meat. You could also marinate tofu and make yourself some grilled tofu. :)

Wraps/subs/sandwiches- Put meat and cheese on the sandwiches for your family along with whatever veggies they want. For yourself, just don't add cheese or meat. You can have a veggie wrap OR add tofurky slices to your sandwich. I've tried several of the tofurky meats and the only one that I did NOT like was the roast "beef" variety. The turkey flavored one was actually pretty good and these vegan "meats" are NON-GMO. :)

Bread- Most breads are vegan. Just read the label. If it has milk, eggs, lactic acid, or honey in it, it is NOT vegan. Arnold wheat bread is vegan. Most white breads are too. A lot of tortilla and corn wraps are vegan too. Again, look at the ingredients. I buy frozen brown rice tortillas (found in the freezer section at Publix) and gluten free potato and zuchinni bread (freezer section at Earth Originis). I am trying to do gluten free, but if you are just starting out, I suggest sticking to breads that everyone is familiar with rather than changing everything at once.

Soups- Make my lentil and quinia veggie soup that is on my blog. Also, Muir Glen makes some amazing vegan soups that the whole family will love. My favorites are the southwest black bean and the lentil soup. You can get these at Publix or most health food stores.

Salads- Make a salad with all the lettuce and veggies you want. Add nuts, edamame, or beans.  You can always add meat to your husbands or kids salads. For salad dressings you can buy seperate dressings or buy vegan dressings. Most balsamic and italian dressings are vegan. Just read the labels.

I am trying not to buy snack foods. I am a bad snacker! lol. BUT  here are some vegan snacks that everyone will enjoy! With anything you should always look at the ingredients to make sure.

-Chocolate chip Teddy Grahams
-Most pretzels (not honey wheat variety)
-Back to Nature: Chocolate Chip, Chocolate Vanilla Cream, Peanut Butter cream, round crackers, etc..
-Almonds and other nuts
-Pita Chips
-Tortilla Chips
-Most Potato chips (check flavored chips for milk ingredients and honey)
-fruit and veggies with peanut butter or almond butter

As I add to my blog I'll make sure to add more ideas to this post. Here are just some ideas to get you started. :) Feel free to contact me if you have any questions. I'm here to help!