Search This Blog

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Breakfast you say?

Morning Oatmeal to fill you up and start your day!

I eat this probably 3-5 times a week, I'm a creature of habit. I change it up now and then and you can tailor to your liking. It isn't complicated and the only real "unique" thing is the homemade berry jam.

Old fashioned Oatmeal
1/2 Banana
1 Tbsp all natural Peanut or other nut butter (unsweetened, no added oils)
1-2 Tbsp Raspberry or other berry Jam ( see recipe below)

 This one you don't even need me to tell you...make the oatmeal, add the toppings...and Voila!

But here is the recipe for the Jam..courtesy of


  • 3 cups frozen berries of choice
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • maple syrup or honey
  • lemon juice (optional) for changing up the flavor
  • Thaw berries  in a bowel on counter for a couple hours until easily mashed.
  • Add in 1-2 Tbsp of maple syrup to desired sweetness, and/or lemon juice or honey
  • Mash all together, then throw in chia seeds and stir
  • Put bowl in fridge with lid for at least 2 hours to let the chia seeds do their thing.
  • Enjoy! Stays good in fridge for  up to 2 weeks and can be frozen :)

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

But I Need My Comfort Foods....Jalapeño Popper Mac N Cheese

So this Mac N Cheese is another family favorite and can be used as your main meal or a side dish! We often eat it for dinner by itself. It can be as spicy as you want it, just leave the seeds in if you want a spicy dish. If you take all the seeds out, then this dish isn't spicy at all. Let me know what you think. I always top mine off with some hot sauce!

This one comes courtesy of another of my favorite vegan websites...

  • 1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked in water overnight, or at least for a couple hours... then drained ( I often soak a bag full and then freeze for future use)
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 2 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tbsp avocado oil (or vegetable oil) You can also omit this if you want oil-free
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, seeds removed (or left in for more flavor) and finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp vegan cream cheese, regular cream cheese if your not strict vegan
  • 250 grams pasta of choice (I use Banza chickpea cavatappi, the trick with chickpea pasta is to immediately rinse in cold water after cooking to keep from getting mushy)
  • 1/2 cup seasoned croutons, crushed ( I probably use a lot more than a 1/2 cup)
  1. Start with making your cashew sauce. Put the cashews, water, nutritional yeast, dijon mustard, salt and pepper into your high speed blender and blend until smooth and creamy.
  2. Cook your pasta according to your package directions. Reserve 1/2 cup of your pasta water before draining. Drain pasta and set aside.
  3. Next, sauté your onion for 2 minutes on medium-high heat using the oil, or you can just use splashes of water if you want oil-free. (If you use an oven safe pan here, then you can save yourself some dishes at the end)
  4. Add jalapeños and garlic gloves to onions and saute for another minute.
  5. Reduce heat to medium and add the cream cheese and cashew sauce and stir around to all is incorporated. 
  6. Now, add pasta and the 1/2cup pasta water you saved from earlier, stir and let cook another 2-3 minutes or until creamy and thickened some.
  7. You can now transfer to baking dish or leave in oven proof pan and sprinkle the top with as much croutons as you desire. :)
  8. Broil in oven for 1-2 minutes or just until those croutons look nice and browned.

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

My Morning Greens

Casi's Original and Habitual Morning Smoothie

So this is literally the second thing I consume every day...right after coffee :) This recipe will make enough that you can have today's shake and tomorrows ready to go. (Unless you decide to share) If storing for the next day, make sure and store in an airtight, preferably glass container, and shake before drinking. You can really tailor this one to your liking, adding more fruit if you have a sweeter taste. I started with more pineapple in mine and then as time went on and we became accustomed to the "green" taste we weaned it to be more green then yellow. When choosing fruit, keep in mind that your berries and other reds, will make this smoothie brown instead of green. No big deal just an eye sore. Also make sure and add the ground ginger and turmeric for you best health benefits. There is a lot of information on the web about the benefits of these great roots. For easiest use, keep in the freezer still in the skin and just use a microplane grater right over your blender every morning. Enjoy!

  • About 2 large handfuls of Greens: I usually use a mix of Spinach and Baby Kale. You can use whatever your taste prefers. I have even used the Power Green Mix from Costco with baby chard in it. Also great but definitely more "green" tasting
  • 1-2 cups water to get the right consistency. 
  • One banana
  • 1-2 cups frozen pineapple (or fresh, just would need to add ice to make this more of a smoothie)
  • 1-2 Tbsp grated ginger root
  • 1-2 Tbsp grated turmeric
  • 1-2 Tbsp Chia seed or ground flax (If you use whole chia seeds, keep in mind that unless you have a powerful blender you will still have some seeds to drink)
  • Place all ingredients in your blender depending on your blender instructions. My Vitamin is very picky about the order of ingredients :) But it comes out so smooth
    • I would start with the lower end of the water amount and add as needed while blending.

Friday, February 28, 2020

So You Want Me to Bring a Dip?!

The I can't believe it's Vegan Spinach Artichoke Dip!
Ok...this one comes from my dear friend Emily who let me literally pester her until I got this recipe to make tonight....yeah, I'm that friend. 🙋


  •  1/2 cup cashews soaked in water for 2-4 hours or overnight
  • 1 Tbsp Nutritional yeast (it's a powder usually found in the baking yummy and cheesy tasting)
  • 1/2 Tbsp lemon juice (fresh is best)
  • Dash of Salt ( I love Kosher Coarse Grind)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 can artichoke hearts chopped
  • 1 bag frozen spinach, thawed and drained
  • 1/4 cup Veganaise
  • Salt to tast
  • Jalapeños or hot sauce if desired
  • Slice bread, crackers, pita, naan...really whatever vehicle you want to use to get it in your mouth!

  1. Place drained cashews, nurtritional yeast, lemon juice, dash of salt and 2 cloves garlic in a small blender, food processor or Nutri bullet. Blend until peanut butter consistency. (Not Peter Pan, but like good ole natural peanut butter😄
  2. Now mix all the other ingredients together. This is where you can tailor to your taste..have fun add more veganaise to make creamer, add salt, add jalapeños, add hot sauce.
  3. Heat if desired on 350 for 20 min or until nice and hot and a little brown on top....or just go cold 
  4. I like to serve with sliced baguettes, but you can use whatever you have or like.

When you really want that Chinese Takeout

Instant Pot Not so Fried Rice
This is  your quick and easy, hit-the-spot, fried rice recipe. It's vegan, its healthy with only 1 Tbsp oil and of course Veggies are the star of the show!


  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil, sesame oil or for oil free you can also skip this step and just use water...see note below
  • 1 red onion
  • 2 cups Shredded Carrots- see note below
  • 3 celery stalks chopped
  • 1 cup diced red bell pepper (or whatever is your favorite)
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen peas
  • 2 clove garlic minced or pressed
  • 1 Tbsp  minced ginger
  • 3 cups cauliflower rice (frozen) or 2 lbs cauliflower cut up into florets
  • 1 cup edamame (optional)
  • 1/2 cup Soy Sauce or Tamari if GF
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 3/4 cup roasted, salted cashews
  • Chopped green onions and sesame seeds for garnish
* Oil Note: To sauce without using oil, you can just add to already heated pot and use small amounts of water (about 1 Tbsp at a time to keep vegetables from sticking. (I'm going to try and do a whole post on Oil-free cooking once I complete my Forks Over Knives Cooking course)
* Note: instead of using the shredded carrots, peas and diced peppers, I have also used my organic "Mixed" veggies and just added until it "looked" like a good mix.


  1. Press Sauté on the Instant Pot (if you don't have an instant pot with a saute setting then simply sauté in a separate pan and transfer to instant pot after). Add olive oil, or skip, once pan is hot add the onion and other vegetables listed, except peas, or what you have chosen. Saute until softened, about 4 minutes. Stir in the garlic and ginger and saute until fragrant or about one minute more. Press Cancel on the Instant Pot. (If using a separate pan, the place all items in Instant Pot now)
  2. Add the cauliflower rice, or cauliflower florets, soy sauce and salt to the Instant Pot. Stir. Place lid on Pot and place valve in sealing position. Select Manual/Pressure Cook to cook on hight pressure for 0 minutes. (No that is not a typo)
  3. When done, immediately release pressure by moving valve to Venting position. Remove lid when no longer venting and if you used cauliflower florets use a potato masher to break them up into small pieces. Don't worry if you get the other veggies too.
  4. If your using peas, you can add them now along with the cashews and just give it all a good stir and let it rest a couple minutes to warm/cook the peas.
  5. Serve with chopped green onions, sesame seeds, or whatever you like.

Thursday, February 27, 2020

A Bowl For Everyone

One of my family's favorites that is also very customizable...always a winner! Plus it's great for get togethers because everyone can make it "their" way and you can even add a meat, gasp!, for your non plant-based friends. But I prefer to make vegan "chorizo" and let them unwillingly eat plant-based for the night. :) Shh.....

Everyone's Happy Mexican Bowls

Courtesy again of wonderful Faithful Plateful...

This recipe can be prep-intense, so take your time and maybe get your limes squeezed, jalapeño and cilantro chopped prior to starting.

Cilantro Lime Rice
  • 1 1/2 cups brown rice (I tend to get brown basmati)
  • cups water
  • juice of 2 limes
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
Black Beans
  • 2 cans black beans (or 3 cups, cooked)
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 bay leaves
  • tsp garlic salt (or 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp garlic powder)
Corn Salsa
  • 4 ears corn on the cob or one bag of frozen cooked just under done and then chilled
  • 1/2 large jalepeno (or as much as you would like, take seeds out for less heat)
  • 1 handful chopped cilantro
  • juice of 1 lime
  • tsp salt
Guacamole and Salsa and/or any other "taco" toppings you like; there are some great Vegan Queso recipes (I will post at some point)

1. I start things off by getting my rice going, so place your 3 cups water and "rinsed" brown rice into a pot and start it boiling. Cook for the recommended time on the package, usually about 30 min.
2. While rice is cooking, start making your corn salsa. This one is easy. Just cut, squeeze, dump and stir the ingredients together. If your using corn on the cob, then you are shucking the corn off the cob into a bowl. I then like to place this in the fridge to marinate and cool until dinner.
3. Now is a great time to make your yummy guacamole ,if you want it, or you can just add avocados on the top, or skip all together if you're not a fan. 
4. Place cans of black beans in pot and add water, cumin, bay leaves, and garlic salt. Let this all simmer together while rice is cooking.
5.While rice continues to cook, place the rest of the rice ingredients in a small blender or magic bullet. So that's the lime juice, garlic, cilantro and salt. I de-stem my cilantro but you can do whatever you like. Blend all together until consistently mixed and all ingredients are smooth. Once rice is done then you simply add this to the rice and stir.
6. Next set out all your toppings! I like to use guacamole, salsa, vegan queso, hot sauce, chopped greens, crushed tortilla and whatever else I can find that needs used :)
7. Now put in your rice and beans and all your toppings! It's time to eat :)

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

The First Family Favorite

Lentils Madras

Original recipe found at FaithfulPlateful She has a TON of yummy things....and additional instructions for slow cooker and stove top directions.


  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp grated ginger root (keep in freezer, makes it super easy to grate with peel)
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 15-oz can tomato sauce 
  • 1 cup lentils, uncooked and rinsed
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika 
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • optional for more Indian flavor: 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 can small red beans (I've used kidney, red and black beans..they all are good)For lower salt drain and rinse beans
  • chopped cilantro for garnish
  • Brown Rice
Start your brown rice and cook per bag instructions.Set Instant Pot to Saute setting. Saute onion, bell pepper, garlic, ginger, and spices until onions are fragrant and starting to get soft. Add tomato sauce, vegetable broth, and lentils to the pot. Set Instant Pot to High Pressure for 20 minutes. Let it quick release. Stir in can of red beans, and serve over rice and top with cilantro, avocado, hot sauce and whatever else you like.