Raw strawberry margarita cheesecake cups

Raw Strawberry Margarita Cheesecake Cups

Strawberries signal the start of summer, and being a Southern California girl, strawberry margaritas are the next step! There’s nothing better that a cool refreshing fresh strawberry margarita, I have enjoyed both the virgin and the adult variety, and either way they relax me to the core. So it was natural for me to turn one of my favorite drinks into a family friendly creamy vegan dessert.

Raw strawberry margarita cheesecake cups

I wanted this sweet treat to be delicious but also healthy, a no guilt eat with your bikini on type of dessert. So I focused on using fresh strawberries and limes and sweetened with the natural goodness of dates. The flavors complement each other beautifully and the creaminess of the cashews is the perfect touch. The crust adds an extra layer with a touch of salt to offset the sweetness of the filling, but again uses purely dates to achieve that rich nutty taste. My kids loved indulging and I had no problem saying yes to seconds! All natural sweeteners, fresh in season fruit and a taste you’ll love. It’s a no fail dessert. Time for that summertime party you always wanted to throw!

Raw strawberry margarita cheesecake cups

Click here for full recipe…

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Philly Portobello cheese steak sandwich

Philly Portobello Steak Sandwich

Meatless Mondays just went to a whole new level. I have seen a ton of drool worthy vegan “cheesesteaks” out there, and I wanted to create one that was simple and easy to make, something we could turn to on those crazy nights where no one wants to put a lot of effort into dinner but a healthy meal is still necessary. This pretty much hit the nail on the head. I left out the “cheese” part of the dish since I really haven’t found a vegan cheese type sauce that I love, however I did include the option of making the Alfredo sauce I created as a creamy addition to the sandwich. It gives it a creamy feel, which you will love.

I made this meal many times before I posted it here. Mostly because I wanted to see if there was a difference between throwing all the ingredients in a pan, cooking and serving or taking the time to sauté each veggie separately to achieve the perfect cooking temperature for the individual ingredients. Well, from my trials, it worked just as great doing it the easy way! I actually even sliced everything the night before, threw it all in a bag, then when we were ready to eat I sautéed everything together and added all the other necessary add ins. It worked beautifully and everyone loved it. I even include a spicy option, a few of my favorite cherry bomb peppers, for those of you spice fans like me. They are really tasty and although hot, there is still some great flavor. Hope you enjoy and use this on those busy nights!

Philly Portobello cheese steak sandwich

 

Philly Portobello cheese steak sandwich

Click here for full recipe…

Chipotle sofritas veggie burrito

“Bite” of the Month- Chipotle and an Amazing Giveaway!

Chipotle has been loved by my husband since it first appeared in our neighborhood in Southern California. Me, not so much. For some reason, I didn’t quite get his love for this new “fast” food joint. I rarely ate fast food, not that this was your typical fast food restaurant, but the options were limited in their menu and that deterred me. Then one day, they started serving brown rice, so I gave them another chance. Better, still not my first pick for those “need to eat quick” days, but they were on my list and I would now go without a huge fuss. Then along came Sofritas…and this is when Chipotle and I reconciled our differences and started our courtship.

I love spicy, and spicy Sofritas are, but they are definitely still very flavorful. For me and my love of all things hot, they are perfect, but it may be a nice option to have a less spicy version for those who are not spice fans. Their veggie burrito however, is another great option and that is not hot at all, unless of course you add hot sauce like I do! The only thing Chipotle is missing before I can declare them a true love affair, is a whole grain tortilla. Although we do gluten free as much as we can, when it comes to tortillas we opt for whole grain or sprouted wheat because the taste is much better than all the gluten free burrito sized tortillas out there. Overall, I give Chipotle a two thumbs up…but get that healthy tortilla and I’ll be waving my thumbs way up high!

Click here for the details for an amazing give away…

Blueberry mango banana breakfast popsicles

Blueberry Mango Banana Breakfast Pops

Summer is now in full swing allowing us to enjoy cold treats at least once a day. Smoothie bowls have been the highlight of our morning, the kids love this “ice cream” for breakfast treat. They top their bowls with delicious healthy ingredients like hemp seeds, fresh fruit and cacao nibs just as one would top a sundae, and devour it with the same excitement. When I got a text a few days ago from a good friend who supports my blogging journey by feeding me inspiration from time to time, I was very intrigued by her genius way of serving her kids breakfast. She told me that she froze some fruit and yogurt and called it a morning. And of course this got my blogging brain going, I had found my next blog post.

I decided to base this recipe off of our smoothie bowls. I wanted the first ones to be simple and easy, without a lot of fancy ingredients, but I also wanted them to be all encompassing in the health department. I decided on blueberries for those antioxidants, banana for our natural sweetener, mango for added flavor, hemp and chia seeds for protein and all the other goodness they have, and even snuck in some spinach! These came out perfect. Delicious, filling, healthy and my kids LOVED them. Picky eaters? These may be your answer.

Blueberry mango banana breakfast popsicles

Blueberry mango banana breakfast popsicles

Click here for full recipe…

4th of July with Veggies Don’t Bite

Recipes and menu for the fourth of July

Are you looking for a healthy way to celebrate our amazing country? Well, I’ve got you covered! Here’s a menu that won’t disappoint, from starting your day right with an antioxidant filled smoothie bowl, to finishing off with healthy, no refined sugar, cookies. These recipes will be a hit with adults, kids, vegans and non vegans alike. Check them out! Have a safe and happy 4th of July!

Click here for my 4th of July menu…

Arugula white bean tomato polenta bruschetta and miso balsamic dressing

Arugula White Bean Polenta Bruschetta with Miso Balsamic Drizzle

Ever since I created my Miso Balsamic Dressing I have been looking for other ways to use it. When I got invited to participate in the #TuscanyNowCookOff, it was a great opportunity to find another creative way to incorporate it into a dish. The sweet but tangy taste of the miso balsamic went really well with tomatoes so I decided to create a bruschetta type appetizer as an entry into the cook off. Because polenta was something I was playing around with, I decided to use it as my base instead of bread. I wanted it crispy so I baked it in the oven trying many different methods. There was plain, brushed with olive oil, coated in almond meal, and brushed with oil then coated in almond meal. Surprisingly the best method for the crispiest and most tasty polenta was the good old plain way, nothing on it, just slice and bake. It came out perfectly crispy and delicious!

The bruschetta topping I decided to add was a combination of white beans for protein, fresh tomatoes for that Italian authenticity and arugula for an added level of spice. I kept the seasoning simple and traditional with fresh garlic, salt, pepper and a squeeze of lemon, then livened the dish up by drizzling my new Miso Balsamic Dressing over the top. The flavors were so different, yet blended together very well. I loved how easy this appetizer was to make, but how unique it was too. Next time you’re looking for a fresh and fun dish, give this one a try!Arugula white bean tomato polenta bruschetta and miso balsamic dressing

Arugula white bean tomato polenta bruschetta and miso balsamic dressing

Click here for full recipe…

Strawberry banana blueberry spinach smoothie bowl

Patriotic Smoothie Bowl: Red, White & Blueberry

July is almost upon us and that means the heart of summer! Picnics, beach days, concerts in the park, the 4th of July and best of all my birthday, my husband’s birthday and our anniversary! It’s a big month for us over here and we do a LOT of celebrating. Celebrations usually mean cashing in the 10% of our diet where we don’t stress. But with that there needs to be balance and a lot of the time I find that balance in a good healthy nutrient filled breakfast.

Smoothie bowls have helped us beat the heat these days and they are a great way to sneak in those greens. Starting your day off healthy always feels great, there’s nothing better than beginning the day on a high note! This smoothie bowl is a treat the whole family will love. It’s easy to make and fun to put together, so celebrate America with this little taste of summer!

Strawberry banana blueberry spinach smoothie bowl

Strawberry banana blueberry spinach smoothie bowl

Click here for full recipe…

Portobello black rice burger with miso balsamic arugula

Portobello Black Rice Burgers with Miso Balsamic Arugula

I am slightly obsessed with creating veggie burgers. Maybe it’s because I have had so many awful ones, I’m not really sure, but one thing I know is that I love them! I have wanted to create a portobello burger for a while, but I wanted it as more of an ingredient versus the main burger itself. Needing a binder, I turned to black rice for its sticky consistency, sweet nutty flavor and powerful antioxidants. It worked fabulous and didn’t fall apart at all, which is a sign of a good veggie burger. I haven’t tried grilling these on the barbecue yet, but I bet they’d hold up well! Plus I love that the deep dark color of this rice gives you so many amazing nutrients! Filled with the same antioxidants found in blueberries and other deep dark foods, this rice is a great choice for any recipe.

I kept the seasonings simple in order to showcase the natural flavor in these burgers. Black rice is delicious, especially if cooked with veggie broth instead of water. It pairs really well with portobello mushrooms and the shallots and thyme add an extra level of flavor. I also hid some kale in here, because why not?! I used baby kale to avoid a strong taste, but you can also de-stem regular kale.

Because there is a hint of sweetness to the black rice I used, I wanted a topping that would complement it well. Putting my thinking cap on, I came up with a super simple and really delicious combination: miso and balsamic vinegar! I used chickpea miso and mixed it well with some balsamic, the result with an amazing flavor that made my taste buds happy. Sweet, tangy and the perfect dressing for some spicy arugula. This topping turned my burger from every day barbecue to gourmet lunch!

This dinner was a hit in our house, my kids loved the black rice and kept asking for more! So if you’re tired of the same old bean based veggie burger give these a try! You won’t be sorry.

Portobello black rice burger with miso balsamic arugula

Portobello black rice burger with miso balsamic arugula Click here for full recipe…

Baked truffle curly fries

Baked Truffle Curly Fries

Baked fries are a staple in our house, always served with our veggie burgers. I’ve switched it up using different types of veggies like my Asparagus Fries, used fun dips like my Garlic Chive Aioli, but until now the shape has stayed the same. A few weeks back I got my first spiralizer, which I love, so I decided to take a stab at using it for curly fries. I enlisted the help of my 3 year old, who was thrilled to be by my side in the kitchen, and together we made our first batch of curly fries. To give them a fun twist, we used some delicious truffle salt. It is so easy to do that even a 3 year old can do it, literally! So what’s stopping you? Get yourself this great spiralizer, grab a kid and get to work! You won’t regret it.

Baked truffle curly fries

Click here for full recipe…

watermelon-mint-cooler-12-2

Watermelon Mint Cooler

Summer is upon us and so is the shift to cool and refreshing recipes. This quick and easy drink was thrown together on a warm sunny day and boy did it hit the spot. The first time I made it I used fresh cut watermelon, which was delicious. I decided to freeze the watermelon for round two…best move ever! It is frothy, refreshing and a huge kid pleaser! There is no need for added sweeteners since watermelon has plenty of sweetness on its own, so this is a great way to give your kids a “treat” without compromising in the health department. So cut up some watermelon, freeze and try it out!

Watermelon mint frozen cooler

Click here for full recipe…

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