Quick Fix Vegan Nachos

Today I had a sandwich thin with 1 tbsp and PB and an apple sliced up on top for breakfast

Then midmorning I had a protein shake with 1 scoop of spirutein + 8oz unsweetened vanilla almond milk + 4 oz water and crushed iced. I blended at my desk with my blender bottle (love this thing!). I also had a chocolate chip zee bar without the chocolate icing. These turned out really good and more like chocolate chip blondie bars but with 10g of protein!

lunch was my zaater-rific quinoa salad (recipe coming soon) over mixed greens and a banana

For my afternoon snack I had 5 dried figs. Luckily they were in my desk drawer because I was really hungry. I need to replenish my snack stash. I now 1 tea bag and a couple packets of stevia…hardly snacks

I hadn’t really planned dinner so I came home and immediately decided I must have nachos! Someone at work was talking about them and then Clean Eating Chelsey was talking about Mexican food and I realized I just HAD to have nachos. In comes the dilemma…I decided to stop using store bought dairy free cheeses parading as vegan cheeses… well and vegan cheese because they are too expensive and full of way too many ingredients. I swear I had recently seen a recipe for baked vegan nachos. At the time this didn’t appeal to me but now I wanted those vegan nachos sooo bad and could not find what I was looking for. I didn’t have time to soak cashews for 2+ hours. I had just gotten back from jogging with my dog. This was a quick fix nacho craving situation. So I made up my own cheese sauce and prayed for delicious results. If you saw my mexican soca pizza attempt you could probably guess I was both skeptical and nervous… but behold …DELICIOUS RESULTS

Quick Fix Nacho Cheez Sauce

1/4c roasted cashews –nachos are a craving food and no one has time to soak cashews for 2 hours when a craving strikes

1 small pepper – I happened to have an orange one which yielded a wonder faux cheese color

1/3c vegetable broth – I did not use low sodium. enter mini rant: why is low sodium broth more expensive than regular!

1 tbsp miso -I used white

2 tbsp lemon juice –yes I used it from a bottle so sue me

1 tbsp cornstarch or thickening agent of your choice

1/3-2/3c nutritional yeast –I used 1/3c then needed more cheesiness and accidentally grabbed the 1/4c measuring cup. This made the perfect amount of cheesiness for me but yields an awkward recipe for user. Use your best judgement also known as your tastebuds

dash liquid smoke

salt and pepper to taste

put all ingredients in food processor and blend until smooth

For the nachos i tore 2 corn tortillas in pieces and placed them under the broiler for a couple minutes each side. I sauteed up 1 portabello mushroom cap with a drizzle of soy sauce, some paprika, salt, pepper, cumin, and garlic and herb seasoning. Once browned and softened I added some leftover brown lentils I had in the fridge. I layered that on top of the tortillas, then the cheez sauce, the diced jalapeno, and tomatoes. Under the broiler for a couple of minutes. I added green onions, salsa verde, franks red hot, and more cheez and then I preceded to devour the whole plate. I did use a knife and fork. Not because I’m civilized but because there really wasn’t any other option and tool make it easier to shovel things into your pie hole faster 🙂 These nachos were not only everything I hoped they would be but they were everything I had hoped the socca pizza would be too. I have tons of cheez leftover and rather than gorge myself on faux cheese I decided to share the wealth and make this tomorrow night for dinner. Boyfriend loves Mexican even more than I do and I really just want to excuse to make these nachos again.


Sunshine: the cure for getting out of a funk

I know I went on a big rant about being a better blogger then I went MIA. Truthfully I’ve been in a funk. I don’t know why. This has been going on for about a month now. Ever since we got Zooey and I got sick the first time. I got out of my routine and wasn’t working out consistently (except for walking Zooey about 3 miles per day). When I’m not working out I get weird. I get crabby. I definitely get depressed. It’s just not good all around. Things have been better since yesterday. I woke up and even though I lost an hour of sleep I felt great. I wasn’t grumpy. It took me a while to get motivated but the sun definitely helped. I’m hoping to get back into the swing of things and feel normal again. I’ve also made a big decision. I’m going for it! I’m going vegan for real… with a couple of exceptions. This is the beauty of not labeling yourself. I’m not going to call myself vegan because I’m making my own version of vegan that I can live with. FLEXIBILITY.

That means I’m not giving up fish. I know that fish and shellfish are animals you don’t have to lecture me. I only eat certified sustainable seafood that is caught in the wild. Click the link for a great resource.

I will probably not give up honey either. You may not agree or think it makes sense but these are my thoughts on honey: I don’t know much about honey production so I want to do more research but I don’t think that honey production does much harm to the bees. Bees of all kinds are definitely in danger and their numbers are seriously dwindling. Because human are selfish I figure they are more like the work towards helping bees if it benefits them. By this I mean monetarily because sometimes even though people are told things about how the environment is in danger they don’t see how grave the situation is (like global water supply, global climate change, etc.) So in my twisted logic me consuming honey might actually in some small way help the honey bee population. I have to point out that I don’t actually use honey very often but it’s the principle fact that I don’t see any need to give it up that I even mentioned it. Lastly chocolate. I will not give up chocolate and will not spend over $5 on a bag of vegan chocolate chips. Sorry these are my rules.

This weekend I did make homemade vegan sausage and I must say I was extremely excited and impressed with myself. Boyfriend and I had friends over for dinner. One is a true vegan, her husband is mostly vegan by default, and a definite not vegan who loves meat. I made the italian sausage the night before because it takes 40 minutes to cook. I sliced it up and sauteed it with an onion, spinach, mushrooms, white beans, and tomatoes and served it over linguini. It was a HIT! My friend who loves meat ate the most out of anyway. I may have converted him.

Back to feel human again and the return of hot sauce!

Last night’s dinner went really well. I made white wine poached chicken. It was good but lately the texture of chicken has been really gross to me which is why I have really made the jump to eat even more vegetarian. I forced myself the whole thing because I am in serious need of protein after the past week not to mention I lost almost 3 pounds without even trying or working out last week. I made plain white right (the frozen steam in a bag kind) and added some sautéed mushrooms and green onions. It was very good. The boyfriend even liked it which is surprising because I thought he would complain it was bland. He didn’t even break out the hot sauce! We had roasted carrot sticks on the side which he did dip in ketchup because he said they were like carrot fries. I did not dip mine in ketchup because I loathe ketchup. If you asked me to name the number one food I would never eat it would probably be ketchup (tied with pickles and olives) I don’t know why but I am extremely repulsed by it. Anyway all is well with my stomach so far. I expected to wake up in the middle of the night feeling like death but thankfully my stomach has been lulled into submission.

This morning I stuck to plain toast topped with banana slices and then later at work I ate greek yogurt with frozen blueberries. I haven’t been eating yogurt since I’ve been trying to eat mostly vegan and I forgot how much I love it.

Lunch consisted of a salad of mixed greens, tomatoes, and avocado with a scoop of hummus

Snack today were 2 rice cakes with peanut butter and raisins and 8 oz of pomegranate kefir.

I am feeling really good today. I mean REALLY good. Maybe it’s just because I was feeling really bad all of last week. Is it just me or is it a strange coincidence that Tina over at carrotsncake has a Colitis flair up during the exact same time I was having my problems which seem to match up to the symptoms of a Colitis flair up. WEIRD!

I wish I would have taken a picture of dinner but I was starving and demolished it before my brain could think about blogging (this happens too often). I made The Quarter Pounder Beet Burgers with steamed asparagus. I have been dying to try this recipe for the past week. Can I just say I LOVE Isa Chandra! I did put half a slice of real cheese on the burger and ate it on a refined white Kaiser roll. I’m not actually sure if the actual burger tasted amazing because I was so eager to eat hot sauce again I doused it in Sriacha. My mouth was burning and I loved every minute of it. Hoooray for healthy tummies!

Digestive Woes

So I planned on doing this great cleanse this past week and feeling wonderful and doing yoga every day. Let me tell you life never works out the way plan… especially if you are me. Ever since Tuesday I have been having some major stomach problems. My stomach had not been feeling so great to begin with which is what prompted the cleanse. The only day I actually stuck to my plan was Monday. Tuesday morning I woke up with some serious problems and they continued until Saturday morning. Let me tell you it has been a rough couple of days. Things finally got under control once I bit the bullet and started eating the BRATTY diet.








I’ve also been eating potatoes, plain pasta, and sauerkraut (a natural probiotic). I NEVER I repeat NEVER eat white pasta, white rice (except sushi), white bread. I guess because I’m so used to whole grain version I just prefer them now. I have not been happy the past couple of days. I do not like bland food. I drown practically everything in hot sauce. Eating a diet of everything white and bland is no fun but after this week I’m afraid to eat real food again. From what I’ve read I have to slowly introduce my regular foods back into my system. Tonight I’m making chicken and rice. I’d prefer not to eat the chicken but its supposed to be a good safe protein for someone with digestive problems. Hopefully the fact that I rarely eat chicken won’t matter :/ I’m going to try adding some mushrooms to the rice and some carrots on the side. Wish me luck. I found some great recipes that I really want to be able to make this week so I’m hoping that I am able to get back to my normal life. I’m making a doctors appointment this week because I honestly think there is something really wrong with me. This was definitely not a stomach bug or food poisoning. Updates to come shortly

 Sunday night…



Sunday night’s dinner was amazing! So amazing that boyfriend requested I make a second batch of tofu for him to eat for lunch Monday We had crispy tofu and Asian dumplings with sweet and spicy dipping sauce. I really wanted some leftovers for today but wonton wrappers aren’t vegan. This is a travesty. I make tofu like this quite often (it must have been the dipping sauce that put it over the edge). I pressed it for  about an hour then dredged it in equal parts flour and nutritional yeast and seasoned the mixture with garlic and herb seasoning and pepper. I baked the slices at 450 degrees for about 15 minutes per side. The dumplings were another use it up! About ½ bag of shredded carrots and ½ small head of cabbage from the blue cheese coleslaw I made for boyfriend last weekend. Then I added some chopped mushrooms and seasoned to taste with sesame oil, rice vinegar, fish sauce, soy sauce, miso, ginger and garlic. Boyfriend was in charge of frying the dumpling and they got really crispy so they were more like potstickers but regardless we could NOT stop eating them!  

Yesterday and I today I had a smoothie and over night oats about 3 hours in between.

The rest of yesterday’s food:

12:00 I had about 1 1/2c serving of lentil soup. It was TJ’s canned that I had leftover. I like to thin it out with veggie broth so 1 can lasts for about 3 servings. I also had about 3 stalks of celery with 2 tbsp hummus and 1 ½ necterines

My afternoon snack was a small mashed sweet potato (1 c) with cinnamon and a splash of almond milk + 1 of my chocolate cherry truffles (see yesterday’s post) + the last of my kale chips (must make more, the perfect crunchy salty snack for a cleanse)

I’ve been drinking a lot of hot water with lemon and I had some black cinnamon and vanilla tea this morning instead of coffee.

I was super hungry so I walked the dog when I got home and then tried to put dinner together. I didn’t even end up doing yoga 😦 I had planned on making spaghetti squash but when I stopped at the store on my way home they didn’t have any. I finally decided on soca pizza. Clean Eating Chelsey recently posted a Mexican Soca Pizza and since I had tons of canned pinto beans I wanted to try it. Well I usually used 1/2c of chickpea flour and 1/2c of water. I cut it down to 1/3c and this made the crust thin so it ended up sticking to the pan and making a mess and burning in some spots. I was practically read to gnaw my arm off waiting for it to come out of the oven. I thought this would defeat the purpose of my vegan cleanse so I didn’t. Just a bit of advice: even if you are cleansing do not let yourself get so hungry that you consider eating extremeties. I topped the failure pizza with mashed seasoned pinto beans, tomatoes, nutritional yeast, and avocado. It was actually really good espcially after I doused it in hot sauce.Image

Clean it up

Tomorrow I will be starting a little cleanse to hopefully restore some balance to my digestion system. It is pretty typical for me to do a cleanse for a week when I have gone through a period of unhealthy eating. Mind you, my idea of “unhealthy eating” is still pretty healthy by normal standards. I think because I am so used to eating healthy, whole foods, that deviating from that routine even the slightest bit takes it toll on me more than the average person or it may be just because I have always had a sensitive stomach and digestive system. Anyway cleansing for me is simply about the following:


1 . processed foods with the exception of things like tofu, store bought hummus (TJ’s brand), brown rice protein powder, sprouted grain bread (in moderation), almond milk, and nut butters (I’m actually going to avoid peanut butter this time)

2. refined sugars and artificial sweeteners and limiting natural sugars (I do continue to use Stevia regularly)

3. coffee (as much as I LOVE coffee, it upsets my stomach quite a bit)

4. meat and animal products with the exception of seafood once or twice a week (fairly typical anyway)

5. alcohol (everyone can use a break once in a while)

Focusing on…

1. making sure to include healthy fats

2. eating small mindful meals

3. include yoga practice everyday

4. drinking green tea and hot water with lemon

5. load up and fruits, veggies, whole grains, and legumes

A girl needs to have a sweet treat even during a cleanse though. One of my favorite treats at any time are balls. The internet is crawling with balls these days… recipes for nutritious snacks in ball form that is. I have tried many different recipes and decided to make my own today. These turned out exactly as I wanted them too. Chocolatey, cherry, gooey, with a bit of crunch. If you really wanted to indulge you could dip these little gems in melted chocolate and serve them as actual chocolate truffles to company and nobody would know they weren’t some fancy candy. I used bran flakes from Trader Joes. They do have 6 grams of natural cane sugar in 3/4 cup but I figured using 1/2 cup in the entire recipe and only eating 2 at a time at the most would be fine.

Chocolate Cherry Cordial Truffles

½ c bran flakes

¼ c rolled oats

12 dates

¼ c dried unsweetened cherries

2 packets stevia

2 tbsp unsweetened almond milk

1 tsp vanilla extract

½ tsp almond extract

2 tbsp cocoa powder

Milled flax seed for rolling

1. pulse the oats and bran flakes in the food processor a couple times. You still want some texture so you get a good crunch. Pour into a small bowl and mix in cocoa powder and 2 packets Stevia.

2. now place dates, cherries, extracts, and almond milk in food processor and process until smooth.

3. added everything to the bowl and mix with a spoon.

4. Use a 1/2 tbsp scoop to make the balls and roll them in milled flax seed.

5. Place in freezer to set. I usually just leave mine in a bag in the freezer and either pack one in my lunch or just eat one frozen.

This made 23 balls which works out to be about 25 calories per ball! That’s right… 25 calories! I was actually pretty shocked when I did the calculations.


Hectic Lifestyle + Increase In Processed Food = Time to Get Back to Clean Eating

Life has been so crazy the past couple weeks not in a bad way though. I like being busy. Last weekend however, was awful. Friday I went home during lunch to take Zooey out but I ended up being in such a hurry to get back to work on time that I locked us out. I tied Zooey up while I tried to shimmy up the balcony to the second floor where I thought I might be able to get it (fat chance!). Long story short she wiggled her skinny butt out of her harness to come find me and ended up running away. I chased her for 3 hours around our city. That is a fact that an exaggeration! If you know anything about Shiba Inus you know they will escape any chance they get no matter how much they love their owners. It finally took 5 people, 2 nets (1 butterfly, 1 fishing), and a male giant poodle (hussy) to corner and catch her. If only you could have seen me running down the street with a giant net chasing after this little dog who did not want to get caught. She has been very good this week trying to make up for it. While all of this drama was going on I found out my great aunt passed away early that morning. Needless so say I slipped into a funk all weekend, especially with the wake Sunday and funeral Monday. I honestly cannot remember if I went grocery shopping. Meals have been a little mish mosh this week and I haven’t been eat all that great. More animal products and processed foods that usual have been finding their way into my tummy and it is not happy about it… or it is just not happy. So I think I need a little cleanse time again. I do this from time to time  because my stomach is sensitive. It is a good possibility I have some food intolerance considering my brother is both lactose and gluten intolerant (you try telling a 16 year old boy not to eat pizza) I’ll have to figure out exactly what I am going to be eating and report back.

Other than the fact that last weekend is kind of a blur I began questioning whether or not I went grocery shopping last night because I went to make some scrambled tofu and found that I had neither onions nor garlic. This NEVER happens! I couldn’t even remember using them up. It must have been that Use it Up Tuscan Soup. I really did use it up! So last night I ended up using garlic and herb seasoning and green onions (where did they come from?) in my scrambled tofu. I added some spinach, shriveled tomatoes from the back of the fridge, and some veggie shreds. Definitely not as good as the last time I made it. I had it with a sweet potato (with cinnamon) and some organic foursome for more veggies.


I’m trying to use of up my veggie shreds. Apparently in my quest to eliminate most animals products I have been a little lax in reading my food labels. I cannot believe I have been buying this 1. because it has casein (milk protein) anyway. I might as well have been eating real cheese. 2. it has an ingredient list a mile long. Like I said I really need a cleanse. I may just do my stomach a favor and the throw the rest of this “cheese” away.

Jump back! Someone actually read my blog!

Despite forgetting to take my vitamins today I am feeling pretty good. Yesterday I had the worst stomach ache ever. I think it was because I had eaten a turkey sandwich (or I made myself sick thinking about the turkey sandwich). I had a funeral to go to and I was starving and I went against my better judgment and ate a turkey sandwich. I’ll chalk it up to momentary lapse of judgment due to grief. I don’t know why I get so worked up over these things. Sometimes I think 1. Whats the point of being a flexitarian if most of the time when I eat an animal product I feel guilty and 2. I feel weak because I can’t just commit and be completely vegan even though 90% of what I do eat is vegan which is definitely more than the average person.

Today I started out with a smoothie while I got ready before work. This is pretty typical. I pretty much have the same smoothie everyday with different combo’s of frozen fruit. Today’s smoothie: 8 oz water + splash orange juice + 1 true lemon packet + 1 tbsp brown rice protein powder + 1 tbsp phyllium husk fiber + frozen mango chunks

 At work I had my usual a cup of hazelnut coffee with 2 stevia packets. Lately I have preferred my coffee without almond milk. Around 9:30 I had overnight oats. Today’s oats: 1/3c multigrain cereal + 1/3 c almond milk (unsweetened vanilla) + cinnamon + 1 packet stevia + 1 very ripe banana. I add more water before microwaving. I skipped the peanut butter today and I really missed it.

 I was craving a comforting bowl of soup so Monday I made a big batch of what I called “Use it up Tuscan Soup”. I had that and half a peanut butter sandwich for lunch. This really sustained me which is hard to do. I didn’t feel grossly full but I didn’t even need an afternoon snack before walking the dog and doing 40 minutes of yoga.

Yes I know this picture sucks. Don’t judge. Scroll down, read the recipe, clean out your fridge and make some soup for goodness sake!

Use it up Tuscan Soup

½ eggplant that got shoved to the back of the fridge and ultimately froze

½ onion

3 cloves of garlic

2 veggie sausage patties

3 small potatoes

½ bunch of kale

4 c vegetable broth

About 1 glass of sauvignon blanc

1 can great northern beans, drained and rinsed well

1 large handful of sundried tomatoes finely chopped

Couple dashes liquid smoke

Freshly ground pepper to taste

A couple shakes each of fennel seed, basil, thyme, rosemary, and oregano

I basically made this soup how I make any other soup. Saute onions and garlic in a little olive oil. Add diced potatoes. Cook about 5 minutes. Add other ingredients except for kale and beans. (When making soup beans should always be added at the end otherwise they will get mushy and break apart). I simmered it for… a while… 45 minutes maybe then added the kale and cooked for a couple more minutes.

I am having a little difficulty with blogging because I have what I call grandmother recipes. I make a lot of stuff on the fly. Even if I use a recipe I make my own changes based on my tastes or what I may have on hand. It’s difficult for me to write stuff down and take pictures as I go. I am an extremely messy cook too. I use my phone to take the pictures for my blog and it usually ends up getting caked with bits of food which is DISGUSTING. I just got an email that someone actually read my blog and based a recipe off of my carrot muffins. I was shocked. I guess this means I have to stop being so lazy and actually work on this blog a bit more. I’m hoping I’ll just pick up some momentum and it’ll really take off.

Do you have a blog? How do you find time to blog and do everything else you have to do? Does it take you longer to prepare meals because you have to take the time to write things down and take pictures?

Curried Coconut Roasted Banana Nut Muffins

The other day I picked up some of the new Earthbound Farms snack mixes. The Mandala Spice Coconut Cashew is definitely my favorite (and boyfriend approved). I almost ate the entire bag in one sitting which is something I never ever do.

I immediately had 2 thoughts: 1. this sweet and savory combo would be great in some kind of baked good 2. I absolutely must include bananas… and so these muffins were born… I mean baked.

Dry Ingredients

1c coarse ground oats

1 1/4c whole wheat flour

1/2c chopped cashews

1tsp baking soda

1 tsp curry powder (plus more for sprinkling)

Wet Ingredients

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2tsp coconut extract

1/3c coconut oil

1/4c honey

3 medium bananas (ripeness does not matter)

1/4c blended tofu (about 1/8 block)

2 flax eggs (1 tbsp ground flax seed + 6 tbsp water)

Topping Ingredients

Sucanant or sugar of your choice

More curry powder

Large flakes of coconut

First preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

I decided to roast my bananas (a tip I learned from my mom) to get a richer, sweeter flavor from them. I roasted mine for 20 minutes. You can skip this step just make sure you use really ripe bananas.

Bananas before…

Bananas after!

Assemble the dry ingredients: I ground 1c of oats in the food processor. You can just use oat flour if you want but I wanted to add a little texture so I ground them myself so that they ended up a little coarse. Combined with baking soda, flour, cashews (I used roasted unsalted) and curry powder. The curry powder I used also had salt. If yours does not you probably want to add 1/2tsp.

Next I took 1/8 of a block of tofu and ran it through the food processor until it was creamy. You can use 1/4c of soy yogurt but I never have it on hand. I always have tofu! Add tofu, liquid coconut oil (melt if necessary), flax eggs, honey, vanilla and coconut extracts, and cooled mashed bananas.

Wet ingredients meet dry ingredients….

Stir well but try not to overmix. Then spoon into greased muffin tins. You can use those fun little papers but my muffins always come out of the tin so beautifully I don’t bother. I topped my muffins with flakes of coconut, a sprinkling of curry powder, and a little bit of sucanant (you can use any sugar you want). Don’t bother toasting the coconut. It will get nice and toasted while the muffins bake.

Now into the 350 degree oven for 25 minutes. I cannot tell you how much self control it took to not open the oven door and grab a steaming hot half baked muffin and shove it into my mouth. The kitchen smelled THAT good! and I hadn’t eaten anything yet. So 25 agonizing minutes later (plus a few extra for cooling time) I sunk my teeth into one of these exotic beauties.

After creating this recipe I realized I have pretty much only blogged about muffins. This is rather humorous because eEven though muffin is one of my nicknames I rarely eat or bake them. I did a quick calculation of the calories in these muffins and remembers why really amazing ones usually aren’t a very good breakfast. They are extremely delicious though and good for an occasional treat.