Pasta With Cauliflower “Cream” Sauce

Hey everyone! Happy Friday! I hope you all had a great week :) I’m jealous it’s not my weekend yet but it will be soon enough I guess. In the meantime, I have a fun new recipe to share!

Here’s a hint:

Well, I guess you already knew it was vegan ;) I still had some cauliflower mash left and decided to get crazy with it and turn it into a “cream” sauce for pasta! I used to love fettucini alfredo and thought this would be a fun, healthy version of it!

Check out this gorgeous bowl of creamy pasta! I used gluten free angel hair pasta but you can use whatever you like. I’m just an angel hair girl :)

Pasta With Cauliflower “Cream” Sauce

Ingredients:

1 serving pasta of choice (with some cooking water reserved)

1/2 cup cheesy cauliflower mash

1/2 cup steamed spinach (and other veggies of choice)

salt, pepper, garlic to taste

1 tbsp nutritional yeast

Directions:

1. Cook pasta according to package. Drain and reserve some of the cooking liquid.

2. Heat cheesy cauliflower mash in a small saucepan. Thin sauce with pasta cooking liquid to desired consistency. I like mine thick and creamy. Add nutritional yeast and mix well.

3. Add veggies to sauce and add pasta last. Season with salt, pepper and garlic to taste.

This pasta is rich and creamy and decadent with absolutely none of the guilt! Definitely give this a try, I think you’ll like it!

I’m also submitting this recipe for Healthy Vegan Friday!

That’s all for tonight my friends! Have a great evening!

Thursday November 29, 2012

Hey everyone! Happy Thursday :) I still have a long week ahead of me. Full days in the studio on Friday and Saturday and my last wedding of the year on  Sunday. I’m definitely going to be resting during my free time, as well as doing some thinking :) Dangerous right? ;)

I have some of what I’ve eaten today to show you. I haven’t eaten dinner yet, but I don’t anticipate it being too exciting!

For breakfast today I had a banana with some of the Raw Cacao Cereal and almond milk. It was really delicious and very filling. It looked pretty too :)

Return of the hummus plate! I missed my stuffed grape leaves ;)

Organic Bosc pear for a snack. These are my favorite kind of pear :)

So that’s what I’ve eaten so far today. I was also lucky enough to find an amazing treat waiting for me when I got home today!

The lovely Laura over at Delightfully Vegan was sweet enough to send me treats to sample! The came beautifully packaged (and you know how much I love some good packaging) with a sweet note, a recipe (!!!) and some treats :)

I was obsessed with her Gluten Free Vegan Pumpkin Roll from the second I read it and she was sweet enough to send me a slice to try! I can’t wait to eat it, it looks so pretty!

She also surprised me by including one of Chocolate Covered Katie’s Vegan Butterfingers (which she modified and made gluten free)!

Thank you so much for the treats Laura! If you haven’t already, please check out her blog. She’s so talented!

That’s all for today. I see that pumpkin roll happening tonight. Mmm.

Have a great night friends!

 

Just A Little Something

Hey guys! Hope you are all doing well. It’s been really hectic over here so I haven’t been able to photograph too much but I do have two really great meals to show you!

How gorgeous is this parfait?! I’m not one for making parfaits too often, mostly because I’ve had a hard time finding vegan yogurt that I like, but the stars aligned today! I made sure to try the So Delicious vanilla greek style yogurt before assembling and it passed the test (still need to get used to it a little though) so I gathered up my banana and some of the Raw Cacao Cereal I purchased from Whole Foods! I had a glass jar saved (from preserves I think) and layered it up all nice and pretty. It was so good, really filling and the cacao cereal is amazing! I can’t wait to to get more! And try more fun raw things from Whole Foods :)

Here is some leftover tofu and stir fry. It was yummy :)

That’s all for tonight! Hope you all have a great day tomorrow!

Grocery Haul and Sunday Brunch

Hey everyone! Today’s post is going to be kind of quick since I have to head out to babysit Delilah soon but I  just wanted to show you some yummy stuff I have going on. I am not going to be able to bake like I wanted to today but I’m going to get on that tomorrow morning :)

Woke up early and hauled ass to Whole Foods. Check out the haul:

A neti pot and some neti salt. Getting kind of desperate for ANYTHING that will help, especially after I had my second straight migraine yesterday.

I forgot I had already bought Earth Balance Sticks so I bought more. No worries though, they’ll get used ;) 2 containers So Delicious Mint Chocolate Coconut Milk. Why 2? I was desperate to try it last year and couldn’t find it ANYWHERE! As we learned with the Candy Cane Joe Joe’s when I finally find something I want, I hoard. Organic almond milk and one chocolate and one vanilla greek style So Delicious yogurt.

Baby spinach, baby carrots, some rosemary, a lemon and some organic pears.

Organic Yellow Corn Meal, Oat flour, vegan chocolate chips, black sesame seeds, pistachios (they only had shelled roasted, salted pistachios of course so I had to sit and crack every single one of them for a recipe I’m not even making today, haha) and some Raw Cacao Crunch Cereal

The cacao crunch cereal a little closer. Just got a little to try because it sounded interesting! Whole Foods is seriously stepping up their game in the raw department. There were TONS of bins in the bulk section with raw, sprouted ingredients and cereals. It was so hard to choose!

After I finished putting everything away I decided to make myself a really lovely vegan brunch… mostly because I couldn’t wait to get my hands on my new waffle iron! Obviously waffles were on my mind so check out my AMAZING breakfast!

Blueberry Cornbread Waffle anyone?! I used Isa’s Cornbread Waffle recipe from Vegan Brunch and added some blueberries to it. I also made it gluten free by subbing out the regular flour for oat flour. Isn’t it perfect?!

The waffle itself wasn’t sweet at all really but the blueberries and maple syrup I drizzled on top brought out a hint of sweetness that was just perfect. It had a great texture. I’m so excited about my waffle iron, haha!

That’s all for today! Hope to be back tomorrow with some baking projects I have in mind. Have a lovely Sunday!!

Fun Friday – What’s On Deck

Hey everyone! Happy Friday! One more day of work for me until I have my weekend :) I scheduled another appointment with my Dr. for Monday since I told her I was uncomfortable waiting another month before moving forward. So that will hopefully help lead to some answers a little quicker.

So it has been a while since I’ve done a Fun Friday post! I’ve been pinning and printing recipes like a madwoman so I thought it may be fun to show you the recipes I’m hoping to make in the upcoming weeks (click the “source” link to go to the page)!

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First, I absolutely MUST make this Peanut Butter Banana Bread with Chocolate Chips. I will be working on a vegan and gluten free version to share with you.

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How amazing do Herbed Chickpea and Sesame Crackers sound?! I’m moving back toward a completely gluten free diet so snacks like these will be great to have on hand!

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Isn’t this Gluten Free Pumpkin Roll absolutely gorgeous?! Laura is such a talented baker and I’m so glad she posted the recipe for this beauty because I really can’t wait to try it!

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I think this is going to be one of my first projects in the kitchen. These are Gluten Free, Sugar Free Pistachio Date Cookie Slices. They look so delicious and I have a few changes I want to make and I can’t wait to try these!

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How cool are these Waffle Iron Baked Cookies? They supposedly bake up in 90 seconds on a hot waffle iron. And I can try these now because I now have a waffle iron!! My mom got one for me and I’m so excited! I think I’m going to make a bunch of waffles this weekend (oat flour for me, regular for Delilah ;) )

 So that’s all for today! Do you have any projects or recipes lined up for the winter? What are you making? I’m nosy ha!

Hope you all have a great night! Work tomorrow then freedom!

A Very VaVa Thanksgiving ;)

Hey guys! Happy Thanksgiving! Or Happy Thursday if you don’t like/celebrate Thanksgiving ;) I spent my day with the family over at my brother’s house and had a lovely time. I’m sorry to say I didn’t get any pics of Delilah because she’s like a tornado, tearing around the house at full speed!

Just wanted to do a quick post to show you what I enjoyed as my Thanksgiving dinner.

A cute little sweet potato that I roasted up all yumlike, some quinoa mixed with cheesy cauliflower mash and roasted brussels sprouts. Yum!

What did you guys do for Thanksgiving! Hope you all had a great day! I’m so thankful to be surrounded by an amazing family and great friends and I’m thankful for all of you! I consider you all my friends and I thank you for your continuous support! You are amazing!

If you haven’t already, please check out Alter Eco’s Thanksgiving Challenge and learn how you can give back this holiday season! I love their ideas for fun ways to spread knowledge, I can’t wait to see what everyone comes up with!

Have a great night and if you have the rest of the week off enjoy! I have to work tomorrow and Saturday, boo!

Back to Basics & Some Results

Hey everyone! Hope you are all well. Very excited that there is just one work day until Thanksgiving! Do you all have plans or are you going to be mellow. We are all going to my brother’s house (although my mom and I do most of the cooking, ha) and it’s going to be fun I’m sure :)

So before I get into any food I have a mini update from my Dr. appointment yesterday. There was so good news and some bad/annoying news. The good news first is that she seems confident that I do not have Lupus, which was what we’ve been testing for and I’ve been completely stressed about this whole time. However, I still have absolutely zero answers as to what the hell is wrong with me. I’m getting very frustrated because they have been testing and re-testing the same thing over and over. And I still have no answers. From what I understand, my vitamin D was very low (and I did ask why it could be since I’m outside all summer so she is just re-testing that too which is kind of silly), I have a slightly elevated ANA (which can be a marker for autoimmune disease and why I was referred to a rheumatologist in the first place) and a VERY elevated ESR which is a nonspecific marker for inflammation. The high end of it tends to be around 20 and my level was a 55. I am in limbo right now because my next appointment isn’t for 4 weeks but when they call with my new vitamin d results I’m going to see if I should come in earlier because I’m really tired of waiting. I’m really frustrated by the whole thing and I’m sure that isn’t helping anything at all. So I guess I’ll have to wait and see what she says.

Now onto the fun stuff, here’s some food!

For breakfast I combined all of these ingredients together and made…

my favorite Cherry Chocolate smoothie! I’ve noticed that the cherries I get frozen from the store don’t taste anywhere near as good as the cherries I froze over the summer. I’m so bummed that the 3 servings I had left had to get thrown out because of the power outage :( Sad business.

For lunch I brought some of my yummy Chunky Veggie Soup. It was really filling and very delicious. They flavor got even better as time goes on :)

And finally for dinner I had my new favorite meal ;) A layer of 1/2 cup of Alter Eco pearl quinoa topped with a layer of 1/3 cup of corn and then topped with a generous portion of my Cheesy Cauliflower Mash. So good!

And speaking of Alter Eco, just when I thought this company was at the height of awesomeness, they went ahead and topped themselves. They are holding a Thanksgiving Challenge with the goal of giving thanks to those around you. Check it out, it’s a great way to start thinking about how you can give thanks and create awareness :)

That’s all for today! Hope you all have a great night! I’m exhausted so hopefully I’ll get to sleep early tonight.

Mini Grocery Haul and Some Soup

Hey everyone! Happy Sunday! Sunday is officially my favorite day of the week. I get to enjoy the laziness of it AND I still have the next day off! It doesn’t get any better than that. And today I made sure to make the most of my Sunday. By 9 am I had already made quick trips to Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods and by noon I had a big pot of soup finished and ready to shove into my face ;)

First I’ll show you my small grocery haul. This was mostly stuff to fill in.

Cauliflower, mirepoix, Earth Balance sticks (for baking), Sweet Potato Tortilla Chips, Candy Cane Joe Joe’s (These are hard to find in stock so when you see them you grab them! I am going to use them in baking I’m sure), Daiya backup, zucchini, peppermint extract, medjool dates, hummus, macro sushi and potatoes.

So a little after I got home from grocery shopping I decided to not be a lazy ass and to actually make the pot of soup I was intending to make this week. Believe it or not, I’ve never actually made a home made veggie soup before so I was kind of making it up as I went along. It came out so delicious, I’m so happy with it!

Here it is simmering away on the stove. I’m a big fan of really chunky soup so I chopped up my veggies nice and large so I can actually taste them. I’m so happy with the results and I figured I’d share my recipe with you!

Chunky Veggie Soup

Ingredients:

2 tbsp olive oil

1 large clove garlic, minced fine

2 large carrots, diced

2 large stalks celery, diced

1 large onion, diced

2 medium-large white potatoes, diced

2 medium zucchini, diced

1 small head cauliflower, chopped

1 can red beans, rinsed and drained

6 cups vegetable broth or water

salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

1. Heat olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Once your oil is hot, add carrots, onions and celery.

2. Cook until translucent, 5-7 minutes then add garlic. Saute another minute or two. Add potato and cook for another 2-4 minutes.

3. Add your broth or water, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Drop heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 minutes. Add cauliflower, zucchini and beans and simmer until veggies are fork tender.

4. Ladle into bowls and enjoy!!

Check out this gorgeous, hearty bowl of soup. It’s nice and chunky, just the way I like it. You can cut everything smaller if you like but I prefer large chunks. I made mine even easier by getting the container of pre-chopped mirepoix from Trader Joe’s and just dumping it in the pot with oil to saute rather than chop everything separately.

I’m also submitting this soup recipe for Healthy Vegan Friday this week! It is a perfect recipe with Thanksgiving and some cold weather coming up :)

I hope you are all enjoying your day! I spent a little time with Delilah before and now I’m just going to relax and hang out for the rest of the day. I see some tea in my future too :)

Tomorrow is my follow up appointment at the Dr. to get my test results. I think she is also planning on doing another vitamin D test to see if 4000 iu per day is enough. Hopefully I get good results all around! I’ll let you know!

Have a great day everyone!

Cupcakes!!

Hey everyone! Hope you are all doing well. It has been a crazy couple of days with some baking disasters which were saved and eventually came out with great results!

As I mentioned before, today is Delilah’s 2nd birthday :) My sister in law asked me to bake some cupcakes for her class for tomorrow since a few of the kids have milk allergies. I was debating between the chocolate chip cookie sandwiches and some cupcakes. I decided on the chocolate chip sandwich cookies but then had a mini disaster and ended up with the best of both worlds in the end!

Look at these beauties! You wouldn’t believe what an ordeal these turned into. I made my cookies but since they were smaller than the original time I made them (I wanted to make mini ones this time) they weren’t as chewy and I didn’t think they would make good sandwiches. So, I decided to scrap that and make some cupcakes.

I had to skip the almond milk because nuts are a no no too so I subbed rice milk instead because I didn’t know if soy was ok. Wouldn’t you know the rice milk doesn’t curdle when mixed with apple cider vinegar. I didn’t know if that made a difference but I didn’t want to risk it and have another disaster on my hand so I double checked that soy was ok and used that instead.

I didn’t want to waste the cookies so I thought it would be cute to decorate the cupcakes with them! I cut some in half and topped the cupcakes with them and I love the way they turned out!! I used the vanilla cupcake and frosting recipes from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World and I used this cookie recipe.

I’m really happy with how these came out! I hope the kids like their treats :) It was fun to get into the kitchen and bake again, even though it took the course of two days from start to finish with work in between. It was a bit tiring but it was totally worth it!

And now I just wanted to show you my lunch from today!

This was one of those meals that surprised me with just how tasty it was! After putting the cupcakes together at 6:45 am and having to shower, eat breakfast, make lunch and get to work by 9, I didn’t have much time to think. I grabbed some stuff from the fridge, put it together in fun layers and waited for lunch time. The bottom layer is some Alter Eco quinoa, then I put some corn and on top was my leftover cheesy cauliflower patties. When I heated it up the patties got warm and soft and gooey from the cheese and I mixed it all up and chowed down. And it was SO FREAKING GOOD. The whole bowl got creamy from the cheesy cauliflower mash and it was a really delicious, surprising meal. I love when meals that are thrown together turn out to be one of my favorite meals of the week!

That’s all for today! I’m not sure if I’ll be posting tomorrow but if I end up eating anything fun or shareworthy I will try to get back on! My throat has been feeling a bit funky and I’ve been coughing a lot so hopefully I won’t end up getting sick. I think I kind of want to make a big pot of soup this weekend… just in case ;)

Have a great night my friends!

Alter Eco Review and Coconut Sticky Rice Breakfast Pudding

Hey everyone! I’ll warn you right off the bat that today’s post has a ton of pics :) I couldn’t help myself, I was so excited to be contacted by Alter Eco Foods to sample some of their amazing products. I really love this company and what they stand for. They promote sustainability and responsibility through the sale of fair trade, organic, minimally processed foods. They maintain direct relationships with farmers and promote socially just and environmentally responsible practices. This company is absolutely amazing and provide high quality products that you can enjoy completely guilt free.

Thank you so much to Alter Eco for sending me so many amazing products to try! I was so excited to open my package, and even more excited to find such a nice variety of products to try!

I was lucky enough to receive three chocolate bars to try! There was a Dark Quinoa bar, Dark Blackout Bar and a Dark Coconut Toffee Bar. The Dark Coconut Toffee bar is not vegan so my mom inherited that one and she said it was absolutely delicious!

The Dark Blackout bar is an absolute dream for all dark chocolate lovers and purists. This chocolate is intense, pure 85% bittersweet dark chocolate. It tastes fruity and bold and is a perfect treat for anyone that loves high quality dark chocolate.

The Dark Quinoa bar was my favorite of the two because of the texture that the quinoa adds. The chocolate is also high quality dark chocolate that is rich, fruity and delicious and the toasted, nutty quinoa adds an amazing crunchy texture. Love this bar!

I was also lucky enough to try the Organic Royal Pearl Quinoa, the Thai Sticky Purple Rice (so excited about this one!) and Organic Mascobado Cane Sugar.

Another thing that I love about this product is that they tell you exactly where they get each and every product. As you can see, the quinoa came from Bolivia. Every single package contains the country of origin information.

I decided to try out the quinoa using a recipe featured in a Healthy Vegan Friday post that sounded AMAZING. I made up a batch of Ashley’s Cheesy Corn Quinoa and I am so glad I did. First, Alter Eco’s quinoa cooked up so quick and easy and it was incredibly fluffy with a slight crunch to it. It is definitely a high quality quinoa.

Ashley’s recipe was really amazing too. The fluffiness of the quinoa, sweetness of the corn and creaminess of the melted cheese came together as a really delicious satisfying and comforting meal. I’m so glad I got to use Alter Eco’s quinoa to try out this recipe.

Finally, the ingredient I was most excited about trying was the Thai Sticky Purple Rice and it certainly did not disappoint! It has the most gorgeous purple color and a nutty, slightly sweet flavor. It may sound weird but I loved the way it smelled when it was cooking. It was nutty and also almost smelled a little bit like popcorn. It may sound weird but it smelled amazing!

I decided to make a Thai Sticky Purple Rice breakfast pudding. It is slightly flavored with coconut to keep up with the Thai theme but I also added some almond for crunch. Isn’t it gorgeous? The color is so rich and lovely, and the pudding came out so creamy thanks to the stickiness of the rice and the addition of a special ingredient: coconut butter!

Coconut Sticky Rice Breakfast Pudding

Ingredients:

3/4 cup Alter Eco Thai Sticky Purple Rice, cooked

1/2 cup So Delicious Unsweetened Coconut Milk

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tbsp shredded coconut

1 tbsp sliced almonds

1 tsp coconut butter

cinnamon to taste

stevia or agave to taste

Directions:

1. Combine cooked rice with coconut milk in a medium saucepan and heat to a simmer.

2. Once simmering, add the rest of your ingredients except coconut butter. Cook until most of the milk thickens and is mostly absorbed.

3. Add coconut butter at very end. Turn off heat and stir in coconut butter. As it melts your pudding will become rich and creamy.

4. Transfer to a bowl and top with more sliced almonds and shredded coconut. Enjoy!

I haven’t had a chance to try the sugar yet, but I will definitely let you know how it is. It is Vegan and said to have notes of caramel and vanilla. It sounds amazing and I can think of a million different ways to use it! I’ll definitely keep you posted on that!

Thank you so much again Alter Eco, not just for sending me amazing products to try, but also for doing the right thing and promoting sustainability, protecting and supporting farmers, and maintaining socially just and environmentally responsible practices. Please go support this company and all of the wonderful things they are doing to bring high quality foods to our homes will taking care of the farmer’s that produce them. You can’t ask for more than that!

I hope you all have a great day!