5-Minute Vegan Banana Chia Pudding

One of my mom’s favorite dessert recipes to tackle, aside from the perfect cheesecake, was banana pudding. I remember going to the store and grabbing that big yellow box of ‘Nilla wafers, the bananas, the jello. Nothing beats the smell of bananas, vanilla wafers, and whipped cream combined. Before I went vegan, I was also a big fan of Marie Calender’s Banana Crean Pie. Back then, I didn’t care that Mrs. Calender’s pies were loaded with Partially Hydrogenated Vegetable Shortening (trans fats) and Sorbitan Monostearate (synthetic wax), all I knew was that I liked the taste.

Nostalgia for my mom’s cooking, and a desire to make a healthier, more nutritious banana dessert inspired me to tackle a 5 minute vegan banana chia pudding recipe. No offense to Mrs. Calender, but please step away from her pies. Check out my recipe for 5 minute vegan banana chia pudding after the jump.

Enjoy!

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Vegan Tacos 5 Ways

Vegan tacos are the perfect way to add some variety into your meals if you are newly vegan It is also a great dish to use for weekly meal preps because you can pre-cook various fillings, toppings and sauces and simply store them away in the fridge for easy access through out the week.

Today, I am showing you how to make 5 different vegan taco recipes that are as delicious as they are simple. Battered cauliflower tacos, jackfruit tacos, quinoa as taco meat tacos, and finally, black bean and potato tacos are all listed below for your tastebuds’ pleasure. There’s also a video tutorial at the end of this post.

The best things about vegan tacos? The possibilities are so vast that I can assure you I will probably do a part two to this recipe so I can try out more combinations. You can make the various fillings simultaneously for the sake of variety. If you do that, these servings will last you 2-3 weeks but you can increase or decrease the servings as necessary.

As always, please let me know if you have any questions, try any of these out, or let me know if you have your own go-to vegan tacos recipe you’d like to share.

Let’s get started!

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DIY Non-Toxic Hand Sanitizer

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Is conventional hand sanitizer doing more harm than good? Learn how to DIY hand sanitizer for family and friends.

Have you ever accidentally tasted your fingers after applying hand sanitizer and almost lost all your tastebuds? Then this post is for you.

Damn you, ETHYL ALCOHOL!

I’m going to show you how to DIY hand sanitizer that is vegan, easy, and cruelty-free. But first, what’s wrong with conventional hand sanitizer?

Ethyl Alcohol is the main active ingredient in almost every conventional hand sanitizer on the market (even the ‘green’ ones), usually reaching percentages as high as 70%. There’s even more alcohol in the inactive ingredients in most conventional hand sanitizers in the form of Isopropyl alcohol.

There have been many studies on the effectiveness of hand sanitizer and some doctors suggest that over-sanitizing leads to antibiotic resistance. In a 2011 study by the Epidemic Intelligence Service at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, researchers found that health care employees who were most likely to use hand sanitizers over soap and water were nearly six times more at risk for outbreaks of Norovirus, which causes most cases of acute gastroenteritis.

Sad news for all you germaphobes out there.

Not only are conventional hand sanitizers potentially harmful, but they can leave your hands feeling extremely dry. I’m talking scrubbing the floors all day Cinderella-style dry. After all, the active and inactive ingredients in most hand sanitizers can double as industrial cleaners, no wonder they are so drying.

Here’s another reason to give up conventional hand sanitizers: they’re shady. Legally, companies are not required to disclose all of the ingredients used to make whatever fragrance is added to the product. What does this mean for you? It means that you could literally be rubbing an unknown toxic soup onto your hands, and then inadvertently into your mouth, onto your food, and onto your kids….

Yikes.

Are you put off by conventional hand sanitizer yet?

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Jackfruit Quesadillas (Dairy-free)

easy vegan jackfruit quesadilla recipe

Easy Vegan Jackfruit Quesadillas

So…Jackfruit. Ever heard of it? This fruit is a vegan GAME CHANGER. The possibilities are literally endless and the taste and texture will make you side-eye meat for the rest of your life. After you cook with it, you’ll realize (if you haven’t already) that meat is utterly obsolete.

Trust me 😎

Do you miss shredded chicken? Pulled pork? Fish tacos? No matter what meat you’re Jonesing for, there’s a jackfruit for that. Easy vegan jackfruit quesadilla recipe after the jump.

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DIY Non-Toxic Mineral Sunscreen

☀️ It’s officially summer and that means people are rushing out to buy sunscreens all over the world. Sunscreen for their face, sunscreen for their body, spray on sunscreen, makeup with sunscreen in it, sunscreen for your lips, etc., etc., etc. Learning how to make your own DIY Non Toxic Mineral Sunscreen is a lot easier than it sounds.

In case you haven’t heard, sunscreen is a big deal to a LOT of people.

It should be simple enough: it’s summer, you need sunscreen, you go out to buy sunscreen from your favorite store or just the most convenient store and you expect all the sunscreen options they offer you to be safe because…why wouldn’t they be? Would companies really put harmful, toxic and even carcinogenic products in sunscreen? Could the very disease you are trying to prevent (cancer) really be lurking in that bottle of Coppertone? Could that really expensive sunscreen from Sephora with the French name really just be chemical soup in a pretty bottle?

The answer is yes. There are a TON of toxic chemicals in the most common and the most exclusive sunscreens on the market. So what is a person covered in skin supposed to do?

Well, you can spend a few hours online sifting through the varying (and contradictory) reports on the safety of sunscreen which will eventually cause you to abandon the reconnoissance mission and reach for a bottle of wine instead…

OR…you can scroll down and read up on the research that I’ve found and, as a bonus, watch a video on how I made my own sunscreen. (I know, it just keeps getting better 😉)

It’s about to get reaaaal simple 😊

First thing’s first:

  • There are TWO types of sunscreens: chemical and mineral and I bet you can guess which one is better for you.
  • SPF stands for Skin Protection Factor, SPF protects against UVB rays, and it is actually unnecessary to entertain SPFs higher than 50 as the added protection of higher SPFs is minimal
  • SPF 15 blocks 93% of the sun’s UVB rays. SPF 30 blocks 97%. SPF 50 blocks 98% and SPF 70 blocks 98.5%. See what I mean?
    • A lot of companies touting 70, 90, and 100 SPF don’t mention that for that fraction of increased protection you’re actually getting almost double the toxic ‘inactive’ ingredients. So, make sure to use a sunscreen that is at least 30 SPF and no higher than 50 (unless you made it yourself and used non-toxic ingredients)  *A great rule of thumb for skincare and cosmetics: if the ingredients list is more than 10, pull out your phone and get to Googling those 11+ word ingredients and see what you find. Chances are, it won’t be pretty.
  • UVA vs UVB rays
    • UVB rays are what causes sunburn
    • UVA rays cause radiation, aging, and skin cancer

Ok, so SPF protects against UVB rays which cause sunburn…whoop-dee-do, they’re annoying but they’re not deadly. UVA rays sound way more scary so how the heck do you protect yourself from those? Is that even possible?

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Cauliflower Wings 5 Ways

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When I went vegan, I assumed I’d never eat anything resembling a chicken wing ever again. When I learned that cooked cauliflower has a similar consistency to cooked chicken, I had to judge for myself. When I tasted the buffalo cauliflower wings from Sage Vegan Bistro in Echo Park, I was sold. Not only can you re-create delicious buffalo wings using cauliflower, you can also make ANY kind of chicken wing flavor using cauliflower. Check out my recipes for cauliflower wings 5 ways below.

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Vegan Buffalo Cauliflower Wings

Course Side Dish, Snack
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes

Ingredients

Batter

  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup non-dairy milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper

Buffalo Sauce

  • 3/4 cup Tabasco buffalo sauce (purchased at Sprouts)
  • 1 tbsp Earth Balance butter

Ranch Dressing

  • 1 cup Veganaise (or any vegan mayonnaise)
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp dill
  • 1 tsp chopped parsley (preferably dried)

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees

  2. Cover cauliflower in batter, shake off excess batter and place on a non-stick baking sheet or parchment paper

  3. You can turn over the wings and bake for another 20 minutes if desired. 

  4. In a sauce pan, combine the vegan butter and buffalo sauce and bring to a slight boil, remove from heat and set aside. 

  5. Once wings are cooked, toss wings in buffalo sauce, cook for an additional 6-8 minutes. 

  6. Remove from heat and let cool. 

  7. Mix ranch dressing ingredients in a small bowl.

  8. Serve

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Vegan Mexican Food Meal-Prep

vegan mexican food meal prep

Did you know walnuts can be used as a substitute for meat? I am not taking crazy pills, I swear. When you throw walnuts into a food processor along with certain spices, you end up with a taco meat-like consistency that is an EXCELLENT source of protein, 12 grams to 1 cup, to be exact. If you’re someone who wants a creative and cholesterol-free way to get your protein, then I highly suggest you try walnut meat tacos.

I’ve also cooked up some other Mexican-inspired recipes to compliment the walnut meat and these recipes can also double as a meal prep for one week. Mexican quinoa salad, and spicy potatoes au gratin after the jump.

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Walnut Meat Tacos

Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine Mexican
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes

Ingredients

Walnut Meat

  • 2 1/2 cup raw walnuts
  • 2 tbsp Bragg's liquid aminos
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp cumin

Toppings

  • 3 portobello mushrooms (diced)
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 yellow bell pepper
  • 1 orange bell pepper

Instructions

  1. Satuee mushrooms in olive oil for 5-7 minutes on low heat. Sautee bell peppers on low heat for 3-5 minutes. Drain. Mix in with mushrooms

  2. Mix walnut meat ingredients into a vitamix or food processor on the low setting. Drain.

vegan mexican food meal prep

vegan mexican food meal prep

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Vegan Greek Recipes Meal Prep

My favorite type of food is Mediterranean/Greek. Haven’t made it to that side of the world yet but if I ever do, I might never come back. I slightly altered a few recipes from the amazing The Greek Vegan. Please check out her site for delicious vegan versions of traditional Greek recipes. I chose to make a zucchini orzo dish, lahanorizo (cabbage and rice), and a yummy giant bean salad. Now we can both fantasize that we live in a place with amazing weather and even better food. Or is it the other way round? Anyway, check out the zucchini orzo dish below and the other recipes after the jump.

vegan greek recipesrecipe from here

Vegan Greek Recipes Meal Prep

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Zucchini Orzo

Course Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine Mediterranean
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 cups uncooked orzo
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 cups water
  • 3-4 medium green or yellow squash (1.5-2 lbs or 3 cups diced)
  • 1/2 sweet onion
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 2 tbsp dried oregano
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice

Instructions

  1. Cook orzo in 4 cups veggie stock and 2 cups water for 8-10 minutes until soft but not completely cooked. You want the orzo to still be a little firm. 

  2. Drain the orzo and toss with 1 tsp olive oil and set aside.

  3. Sautee onion and zucchini in olive oil on low until onions become translucent. Stir frequently to prevent zucchini from browning. 

  4. Add salt, pepper, oregano, and white wine to the zucchini. Mix well and cook uncovered on low for 10 minutes. 

  5. Add cooked orzo and mix thoroughly. Add lemon juice and then cook uncovered for 10 minutes. 

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