Mango salsa

In honor of World Meat Free Day {today}, I am posting this delicious totally vegan/vegetarian party snack to celebrate! Go veggie!  


1 mango

1 avocado

1/2 sweet white onion

6 medley tomatoes

3 tbsp. Sesame, sunflower, or olive oil

1 tsp. lemon juice

Sprig of fresh cilantro

Pinch of salt

Pinch of freshly ground black pepper

1. Chop up the mango, avocado, white onion and tomatoes into small bits. 

2. In a large bowl, mix the veggies with the oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. 

3. Chop up cilantro and sprinkle on top. 

4. Enjoy with blue corn tortilla chips! 

Roasted Carrots and Parsnips

We have the best farmers market ever (yes, ever!) here in Athens, Ohio. Today’s harvest consisted of various squash, potatoes and parsnips. I love parsnips, but I only knew a couple of recipes for them so I bought them as a challenge. If anyone has some good parsnip recipes for me, put a link in the comments!

All of the credit for this recipe goes to Ina Garten at Food Network.


2 whole parsnips, peeled

2 whole carrots, peeled

3 tablespoons olive oil

pinch freshly ground black pepper

pinch of sea salt

pinch of parsely


1. Preheat oven to 425.

2. Cut the carrots and potatoes into quarters so that your pieces are large enough to cook down.

3. Place the carrots and parsnips in an oven-safe baking pan and drizzle olive oil over top. Sprinke on salt, pepper and parsely.

4. Bake, uncovered, for 15-20 minutes or until the vegetables are tender (check with fork).

5. Enjoy with a salad or as a side dish.

Twelve Days of Christmas – Day 7 (Vegan Chocolate MugCakes!)

Ladies and Gents, soy-free souls alike, we can now eat mini chocolate mugcakes, that are baked in the microwave! All thanks to this lovely blogger at!

Happy holidays everyone! Here’s the recipe:

Twelve Days of Christmas – Day 7.

Greek Salad Dressing

1 cup of high quality extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup of red wine vinegar
1 tbsp. of lemon juice
1 tsp. of parsley
1 tsp. of minced garlic
1 tsp. of oregano
1/2 tsp. of crushed rosemary
1/4 tsp. of ground black pepper

1. Simply mix these ingredients together until it becomes a smooth even texture.
2. You can make a greek salad to accompany it, by mixing together your choice of lettuce, romaine or spinach and add feta cheese, green or black olives, baby yellow pepper, and red roma tomatoes.
3. Refrigerate after use. Enjoy!

Chia Berry Smoothie

Chia seeds are an amazing superfood, but they are widely ignored when it comes to cooking and baking. They are packed with omega 3s – essential fatty acids as well as protein, fiber and antioxidants! They smell like fresh back tea, but don’t have any taste! It’s like a magic secret ingredient! I’m still working on incorporating them in my recipes but smoothies are a great start! You can add a tablespoon to any kind of smoothie, but here’s my recipe:


1 tbsp of Chia Seeds

1 cup of coconut milk strawberry ice cream

2 tbsp of almond, coconut or rice milk

1 tsp of lemon juice

1 banana

1 cup of mixed berries

Handful of ice cubes



1. Cut the banana in small chunks to make it easier on your food processor or blender.

2. Measure out the ingredients and pour them into the food processor or blender. Add the chia seeds last so they don’t get lost under the blades.

3. Blend the ingredients until it is evenly mixed. If it’s still too thick, add a little more milk.

4. Enjoy the tasty and filling smoothie for breakfast as a great start to your day!


Mini peach cobbler (serves 1)


1 sliced peach or 5 or 6 slices of canned peaches

2-3 tbsp of Rice Krispies cereal

1/2 tbsp of cornstarch

sprinkle of cinnamon


1. It’s simple and it’s all about layering. You can use a coffee mug or a small ramekin. The first layer is the peaches.

2. Next is the Rice Krispies cereal, make sure it totally covers the layer of peaches.

3. Now sprinkle the cornstarch over the cereal.

4. The final layer is the cinnamon, add as much as you like!

5. Pop it in the microwave for 3 minutes and voila! Peach Cobbler!

Enjoy with a nice tall glass of milk 🙂

Cheesecake Stuffed Strawberries (makes ~15)


3/4 c. raw whole cashews, soaked in water overnight (8 hours)

2-3 tbsp. water

1 tbsp. coconut oil

2 tbsp. lemon juice

1 tbsp. Grade B maple syrup (or raw agave nectar if you’re following a strict raw diet)

1 tbsp. cacao nibs or chopped dark chocolate

1 lb. strawberries, hulled

1 tbsp. ground flaxseed

1 tsp. ground cinnamon


1. First thing’s first, soak one cup of whole cashews in 2 cups of water for 8 hours or just overnight. Drain them the following morning.

2. Next, blend the cashews, lemon juice, 2 tbsp. of water, coconut oil (I used refined), and maple syrup in a blender or food processor until the mixture is smooth. If it’s too thick to blend, add that extra tbsp. of water.

3. Now, fold in the cocoa nibs (I just chopped up my favorite dark chocolate bar from Trader Joe’s).

4. Transfer the mixture into a bowl, cover it, and let it chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours.

5. In the meantime, you can hull the strawberries (about 15 large ones) and clean up the mess.

6. Before you take the mix out of the fridge you can combine the flaxseed and cinnamon in a small bowl. Once the mixture is solid enough you can scoop it into the strawberries. Simply sprinkle the cinnamon mix over the strawberries and voila!

This post is courtesy of Oh My Veggies!

Tell-All: substituting ingredients

So your grandma gave you her ancient family recipe and you notice that it has ingredients that you can’t consume. Don’t freak out and definitely don’t throw that precious recipe away, it can be saved! I have found substitutes that actually work well for almost everything! Here’s a list for all your substitution needs.

Photo Courtesy of PopSugar

Photo Courtesy of PopSugar

Egg: Chia seeds are the best substitute! Grind up 1 tablespoon of chia seeds and combine it with 3 tablespoons of water. Let it sit for about 5 minutes and voila! A gooey, egg-like, substitute! Chia seeds are dark so you can often see them in your baked goods but they don’t alter the taste whatsoever. They are also a superfood! A great source of Omega-3s and antioxidants!

Cow’s milk: Well, this one may seem obvious but I’ll tell you anyway. I use almond milk as a substitute for milk in almost everything. I say almost because the almond flavor can be a bit overbearing in things like mac-n-cheese. It has practically the same consistency as cow’s milk so you should never have to add more then the original recipe suggests. If you’re allergic to nuts, rice milk is also quite tasty. I try to cycle my intake of almond and rice milk so that I don’t gain a sensitivity to either of them. Rice milk also has a more neutral flavor than almond milk.

Vegetable oil: Also another obvious one. Just use canola, it’s the same consistency and is just as cheap. I prefer to use olive oil in most of my recipes because it’s healthier. But, it’s also thicker so it’s not great for everything. I also use palm oil, sunflower oil and coconut oil when I can, for all their individual benefits.

Vanilla: Just use imitation vanilla. It’s a little cheaper and you would never guess that it tastes any different. I like to add a drop to my morning coffee to make a vanilla cappuccino.

Breadcrumbs: Meatloaf always calls for breadcrumbs and you’ll find that the grocery store hardly ever has breadcrumbs that don’t have soybean oil in the ingredients. Heck, soy-free bread in general is hard to find.  There are two ways you can go about your recipe.

  1.  If you are lucky enough to have a loaf of bread that doesn’t contain soy then set it out and let it harden. Once its rock solid you can grate it into powdery bread crumbs. You can’t just use any bread though, it should be bakery bread, less preservatives and more flavor.
  2. You can use rice! I know it sounds crazy but try it! Add uncooked white rice to your mixture until it is the desired consistency and cook it up! The rice absorbs the juices in your meatloaf or whatever you’re making and softens up. It takes away some flavor but it is a healthy alternative to breadcrumbs and with a little salt your dish will still be delicious.

Butter: There are so many ways to substitute butter I can’t even find all of them for you. First of all, there is soy-free butter. It’s by Earth Balance (The greatest company on the planet). I find it at Walmart but I’m sure there are other grocers who carry it. I use it for all recipes that call for butter, spread or margarin. It is wonderful and honestly, I think it tastes better than any butter I remember, it’s so good I eat it off the spoon (shhh). Before I found this lovely butter I used olive oil on things like baked potatoes and popcorn. It wasn’t the best and I still couldn’t cook with it like I could butter.

  • You can also use coconut oil. It is solid and has practically no taste at all. It’s the same consistency of butter so it works for things like baked goods because it can hold your mixture together.
  • I’ve also heard of but have not attempted to use fat free greek yogurt as a substitute. I’m reactive to yogurt so I can’t testify for it.
  • I’ve even heard applesauce is a good substitute! But, I was never so lucky to get the chance to try that out. I’d be interested to know if you have!

Shortening/Crisco: You might be surprised to know that there is a soy-free shortening made by Spectrum! They also have a buttery tasting shortening for your baking needs as well! You’re welcome.

If there is anything else you’re struggling to substitute, let me know!

Fried Honey Bananas


1 slightly under-ripened banana, sliced

1 tablespoon honey

1 tablespoon water


Olive oil or coconut oil


1. Lightly drizzle oil in a skillet over medium heat.

2. Arrange banana slices in pan and cook for 1-2 minutes on each side.

3. Meanwhile, whisk together honey and 1 tablespoon of water.

4. Remove pan from heat and pour honey mixture over banana.

5. Allow to cool and sprinkle with cinnamon.

This recipe and photo is courtesy of Rachel Schultz

Beef Stew (serves 4)


1 lb of beef chunks

4 potatoes

4 helpings of baby or crinkled carrots

1 bag of frozen mixed veggies

1 container of Pacific Beef Broth

1 tsp of salt

1 tsp of rosemary

1 tsp of parsley

sprinkle of pepper

½ tsp of cornstarch

1 cup of water

3 tbsp. of olive oil


1. Plain and simple, just peel and dice the potatoes and throw everything in a deep pot. Bring to a boil then low heat for 90 minutes (or until beef is cooked through). Done in a jiffy and tastes great with Italian bread or salad!

  •  I attempted to cook the stew in a crock pot on high for four hours and it is NOT good. Only stove top this one folks!