Vegan

Vegan Cauliflower Mac and Cheese

I've recently become obsessed with making my own nut milks, specifically cashew milk, ever since coming across Ellie's Best nut milk bags. For some reason I was under the impression that it would be difficult, but it's SO quick and easy. I just soaked a cup of cashews in water for 2+ hours, strained and rinsed them, and tossed them in the blender with 3 cups filtered water and a pinch of sea salt on high for a minute or two. Filtered it through my nut milk bag, and BAM delicious, creamy, unsweetened cashew milk. You can use the code Stacy10 for 10% off your own Ellie's Best nut milk bag by the way!

So basically I've been going through cashew milk like crazy these days. It's so tasty, and the consistency is nice and creamy. So I thought it would be the perfect ingredient for some creamy, vegan mac and cheese. You guys know I'm veggie crazy, so I decided to add in cauliflower because it would just soak up the taste of the delicious sauce. And I decided to keep it gluten free and protein packed with some Ancient Harvest POW! Green Lentil Penne.

Here's What You'll Need:

-7 oz Ancient Harvest POW! Green Lentil Penne
-1/2 head cauliflower, cut into pieces
-1/2 cup unsweetened cashew milk
-1/4 cup nutritional yeast
-2 tsp Dijon mustard
-1 tsp lemon juice
-2 cloves garlic, minced
-1/4 tsp sea salt + extra
-1/4 tsp black pepper + extra
-1/8 tsp turmeric
-1/8 tsp chili powder (optional)
-2 tbsp avocado oil

Serves 2

Instructions:

1) Toss your cauliflower in the avocado oil with some sea salt and black pepper, and roast it in a preheated oven at 450 degrees for 15-20 minutes until it starts to brown and soften.
2) In the meantime, cook your pasta according to the directions.
3) Strain your pasta, and use the warm, empty pot to mix together the cashew milk, nutritional yeast, mustard, lemon juice, garlic, 1/4 tsp sea salt, 1/4 tsp black pepper, turmeric and chili powder.
4) Once cooked, remove your cauliflower and cut into smaller pieces.
5) Mix the cauliflower and cooked pasta into the sauce, serve, and enjoy!

Not into cauliflower? Feel free to swap it out with the veggie of your choosing! I also topped mine with a bit of red pepper flakes for some extra heat. Let me know how you play around and what you think in the comments below!

Chocolate Almond Butter Banana Protein Cookies (Vegan + GF)

Chocolate almond butter banana protein cookies - what a freakin mouthful, am I right? But each ingredient is so important and adds such an extra punch of flavor to this recipe that I couldn't leave one out. So chocolate almond butter banana protein cookies it is!

They're vegan. They're gluten free. They take only 8 (YES 8) minutes to bake. They're delicious. AND you can even eat the batter because did I mention they're vegan and delicious? Plus you get some great protein thanks to Naked Nutrition's Chocolate Less Naked Pea Protein Powder and almond butter. So let's not waste anymore time and get this thing started!

Here's What You'll Need:

-2 scoops Naked Nutrition's Chocolate Less Naked Pea Protein Powder
-1 tbsp cacao powder (I use this one)
-2 tbsp coconut flour
-1 banana
-1/2 tsp baking powder
-1/2 tsp vanilla
-2 tbsp unsweetened almond milk
-2 tbsp unsweetened almond butter (I use this one)
-1 tbsp maple syrup
-2 tbsp sweet almond coconut butter (optional; I use this one)

Makes about 8 cookies

Instructions:

1) Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
2) Mash the banana in a bowl until relatively smooth.
3) Add in all of the other ingredients minus the almond coconut butter and mix thoroughly until it forms a dough-like consistency.
4) Form the dough into balls about an inch in diameter and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
5) Flatten the balls slightly using your hand or the back of a spoon to form a cookie shape.
6) Bake in the oven for about 8 minutes, and then remove to cool.
7) (Optional) Warm up the almond coconut butter until it becomes semi-liquid and drizzle-able. Drizzle some on top of each cookie.
8) Allow the cookies to cool (and the almond coconut butter to harden).
9) Serve, and enjoy!

If you just can't wait, I do have to say that they're also great warm! Either way, they're a great pre or post-workout treat or just a great protein-packed snack or dessert. Also make sure to check out Naked Nutrition's other vegan protein products, and let me know what you think of the recipe in the comments below!

Vegan Apple Cranberry Stuffing

I can't believe that I'm about to say this, but Thanksgiving is just about a week away. Seriously where did the time go?! I'm pretty sure it was just August. Either way, I'm definitely not disappointed. I love getting to spend time with family and eating some delicious food!

I've recently been partnering with Whole Foods Market on Instagram to share some of my holiday traditions and recipes, and I decided that I wanted to create something new this year. The majority of my immediate family is either vegan or vegetarian, so coming up with Thanksgiving options isn't always so straightforward. I figured it would be best to start with a Thanksgiving staple, stuffing.

It was pretty easy to keep this recipe vegan given the goodies I picked up at my local Whole Foods, and I decided to give it a bit a twist with the added sweetness. It has officially been vegan family member approved (this dish was gone pretty much immediately), and as someone who isn't vegan, I can say that I think everyone at the dinner table will love it! The sweet and savory combo will make it the perfect side dish for your Thanksgiving dinner.

Here's What You'll Need:

-10 oz package of organic 365 Everyday Value multigrain stuffing mix
-1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
-1/2 cup dried cranberries
-3/4 cup walnuts, chopped
-1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
-1/2 large sweet onion, chopped
-1 celery stalk, chopped
-2 pink lady apples, chopped (can sub with other varieties of apples)
-1 tbsp fresh sage, chopped
-1 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped
-Olive oil cooking spray (optional)
-Sea salt to taste
-Black pepper to taste

Directions:

1) Preheat your oven to 400 degrees
2) Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium high heat.
3) Add in onion and celery, and cook for about 5 minutes.
4) Add in the apple, and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
5) Mix in the fresh sage, thyme, sea salt, and black pepper. Remove from heat.
6) Mix the apple, onion, and celery mixture into a large bowl with the stuffing package contents, dried cranberries, walnuts, and vegetable broth.
7) Spread the mixture evenly into a 2 quart baking dish, cover with foil, and bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes,
8) Coat the top of the stuffing with a quick spray of olive oil cooking spray (optional), and return it to the oven for an additional 15 minutes until browned.
9) Serve, and enjoy!

Let me know know what you think in the comments below! I'd love to hear how you incorporated this dish into your holidays!

Vegan Stuffed Poblanos (GF)

I headed to a local farm market yesterday afternoon with my niece. She gets to a point where she is just sick of being in the house (totally understandable), so she will find her shoes and come up to me and say, "GO". She's just under 18 months, so vocabulary is limited. But I'm pretty sure I've got this one figured out. Plus she's basically shoving her shoes in my face, so we put them on and do what she says, go.

Unfortunately it's been about 9723753892 degrees the past week or so, so the last thing I want to do is take her for a walk in her stroller. There are also limited places that I really want to take an 18 month old indoors, so I thought we could try this local farm that has a small market. I've taken her before. We spend 15-20 minutes looking at animals going over which is which. I let her walk about 5 feet until she tries to run away, and then I have to carry her to the little market.

But yesterday we got to the market, and I was already sweating. We walked over to the animals (half of whom were hiding in the barn because it was hot AF), she said goat, I took that as my cue to pretend I heard "go", and we headed to the farm's market. Seriously SUCH a relief! Once in the store, I felt obligated to buy something, but to my pleasure there was TONS of organic greens and other produce. I spotted some poblanos and instantly had a plan for these babies. So long story short, everything happens for a reason? I don't know. How about always say yes to organic, local poblanos.

Here's What You'll Need:

-4 poblano peppers
-2 cloves garlic, minced
-1/4 red onion, chopped
-8 oz cooked quinoa
-One 15.5 oz can chickpeas
-1 tsp cumin
-1/2 tsp Himalayan sea salt
-1/4 tsp black pepper
-2 tbsp olive oil, separated
-3/4 cup Herb 'n Zest tomato chive cooking sauce
-Salsa (optional)
-2 tbsp green onion, chopped (optional)

Serves 2-4

Instructions:

1) Turn your oven onto broil on high.Coat the poblanos in 1 tbsp olive oil. Cook the poblanos for 3-5 minutes per side until skin starts to blister.
2) Remove them from the oven, and switch it to bake at 375 degrees. Let the peppers cool. Once cool, remove the blistered parts of skin.
3) Use a small knife to remove the stem of the poblanos and make a slit down one side. 
4) In a skillet on the stove top, heat up 1 tbsp of olive oil over medium high heat.
5) Add in the garlic and red onion and allow to cook down for about 3 minutes.
6) In the meantime, strain and rinse the chickpeas. 
7) Add the chickpeas to the onion and garlic and cook for about 5 minutes.
8) Add in the sauce, cumin, salt, and pepper and cook until the sauce is heated (about 3 minutes).
9) Mix in the quinoa, and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat.
10) Equally distribute the filling to stuff each pepper.
11) Place, the peppers in a lightly greased baking pan, cover with aluminum foil, and cook for 10 minutes.
12) Take the peppers out, remove the foil, add any salsa if desired, and place the pan back into the oven (uncovered) for an additional 10 minutes.
13) Remove the pan from the oven, plate the peppers, top with green onions if desired, and enjoy!

Besides the obvious subject (poblanos), the real star of the show is this Herb 'n Zest tomato chive cooking sauce. This is just one of MANY ways you can use this delicious sauce. All of their sauces and condiments are vegan, gluten free, and use non-gmo ingredients. If you'd like give them a try, you can use the code GET25ARLTH to get 25% off their home chef starter pack which includes 6 sauces. You can click the picture below to go straight to checkout.

If you use this code, you'll be entered into their summer giveaway worth $50 if you post a picture of yourself with a jar of Herb 'n Zest to Instagram and tag it with the hashtag #herbnzest. The winner will be selected 8/15/16.

I honestly LOVE these sauces (or I wouldn't recommend them), so the home chef start pack is a great way to give them a try! Plus who doesn't love the chance to win a giveaway?

Gluten Free and Vegan Chocolate Chunk Almond Butter Banana Bread and French Toast

I'm pretty sure it must be a written rule somewhere that if it's a rainy day and you have ripe bananas, you need to make banana bread. Well, at least it should be a rule. Baking and rainy days are pretty much a must, and ripe bananas obviously mean banana bread. So banana bread it was!

I recently started using the Neat Egg (as I mentioned previously) as an egg replacement in some of my recipes. It has actually been wonderful! I'm not personally vegan, but my mom is. So it's nice to be able to bake something that I can actually offer her a piece of. Plus, you really can't even tell that there isn't an egg in the recipe, so the non-vegans will never know. 

I was fortunate enough to be able to team up with Neat over on my Instagram to give one lucky winner a full Neat prize pack which includes the Neat Egg and two Neat meat replacement mixes (original and Mexican). You still have a little time to enter (about 2 hours), so go check it out! In the meantime, let's get to the recipe!

Here's What You'll Need:

-3 ripe bananas
-1 Neat Egg
-1 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
-3 tbsp Gone Nuts Date Me almond butter
-1 cup coconut flour
-1 tbsp baking powder
-Pinch of sea salt
-1/2 of a 3 oz dark chocolate bar (I used an 88% cocoa bar, but that may be a bit bitter for some. Use whatever you like), broken into small chunks

Instructions:

1) Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
2) Using a small hand mixer (or a KitchenAid style mixer works just as well),  mix together all of the ingredients except the chocolate chunks.
3) Fold the chocolate chunks into the mixture using a wooden spoon.
4) Pour the mix into a loaf pan that is either lined with parchment or sprayed with nonstick spray.
5) Bake for about 1 hour. Ovens may vary, so keep an eye on the bread. When it's ready the top should be golden brown.
6) Remove the bread from the oven, and let it cool completely before removing it from the pan.
7) Once cool, you can remove the bread and slice it.
8) Top with some additional Gone Nuts or the toppings of your choice, and enjoy!

A few things about the bread, there aren't a lot of added sweeteners like sugar or maple syrup because the Gone Nuts almond butter contains dates, vanilla, and coconut oil. If you're swapping out for a different brand, especially an unsweetened almond butter, definitely take this into consideration. I also didn't want an overly sweet bread because you can always add more almond butter or sweet toppings, but you can't take it out. If you prefer really sweet, feel free to add in some maple syrup or the sweetener of your choosing!

I also ended up using the bread to make some delicious gluten free and vegan French toast which I highly recommend! All you need is about 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk, 1 tsp maple syrup, 1 tsp quinoa flour, 2 tsp nutritional yeast, and 1/2 tsp of cinnamon. Mix it all together in a bowl, and dip the banana bread slices into the mixture. Cook the slices in a pan on the stove top over medium to medium high heat, flipping half way through until each side is a golden brown. I topped mine with some maple syrup and more Gone Nuts, and it was SO GOOD.

Let me know if you give it a try and what you think in the comments below!