Category Archives: Recipes

Strawberry Banana Muffins with a Cashew Crumble {dairy free + gluten free}

Day-to-day eating habits can be very individualistic. For instance, some people stick to three square meals a day, while others prefer smaller meals and a few snacks throughout the day. Though I have a set of general eating “rules” that I recommend for everyone, when I get asked what’s best in terms of frequency of meals, my answer is whatever really feels best for your body.

Personally, I’m a smaller meals and snacks kind of girl. I feel best eating something every 3-4 hours, rather than having big meals. The latter leaves me feeling like I can’t digest my food easily. I’ve definitely mentioned this before on the blog, and it’s the reason why I’ve shared so many snack recipes!

As for my go-to snacks, I like whipping up a smoothie, or eating a yogurt or fruit with nut butter. I also have protein and granola bars in every possible place in case hunger strikes.

It’s also a regular thing in my kitchen for there to be either freshly made muffins or energy bites. I like to whip up one or the other every week, then have them around as a quick healthy snack all week long.

Continue reading

Vegan Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana French Toast

One of the things that I love so much about connecting with other foodies and bloggers that are passionate about delicious eats is getting inspiration from them.

So often I’ll see a food combination in a recipe and think ‘What a great idea!’ and sometimes it really helps to spark creativity in my kitchen. I adore that I can get tips about eateries to check out via people I follow on social media, or fall in foodie love with pictures of a fellow food blogging friend’s recipe. I love food as it is, but this connection makes cooking, baking, eating, and recipe creating even more fun!

One of the food bloggers that I’ve been reading for years is Sarah from Making Thyme for Health, who I got to meet at Natural Products Expo West last year. Her and I share a passion for healthy, plant-based food, animals, travel, and the list goes on…and I always enjoy reading her blog. In fact, I have a birthday trip booked for this summer, and I was just on Sarah’s blog over the weekend reading her travel guide to this certain city as part of my research.

Recently Sarah shared a recipe on her blog for vegan French toast with lavender syrup, and I immediately was smitten with the idea of making French toast without the use of eggs. Instead, Sarah dipped the bread in a chickpea flour + non-dairy milk… and I knew that I had to try this out ASAP.

Continue reading

10 Blueberry Recipes to Make This Summer

I loveeeee me some blueberries. And now that it’s June, we’re in peak domestic blueberry season!

Blueberries are awesome for a lot of reasons: They’re packed with cancer-fighting antioxidants and full of vitamins, including iron, magnesium, potassium and zinc. Basically they’re full of good stuff that has been shown to help ward off heart disease, promote healthy digestion, maintain healthy bones, and lots more.

I find that a handful or two of blueberries is the perfect little something to eat while I’m waiting for my dinner to cook. I also often throw some of them on top of my cereal or smoothie bowls in the morning for a nutritional boost. While I love the fruit all on its own, I also love to incorporate it into recipes. Here are recipe ideas from myself and a few of my food blogging friends to try this summer while blueberries are at their peak!

1.) Baked Blueberry Coconut Oatmeal Bites. Made with oats, shredded coconut, almond butter, and hemp hearts, this is one of my recent recipes developed for Shape. They make for a great little bite or on-the-go breakfast!

2.) Blueberry Pistachio Coffee Cake via Cook Nourish Bliss. I have a hard time turning down a slice of delicious coffee cake, and this blueberry + pistachio combo sounds just too interesting to resist.

3.) Mixed Green Salad with Blueberries, Goat Cheese & Honeyed Walnut -n- Hemp Seed Clusters. This one’s an oldie but a goodie on the blog! I love these clusters so much, I think I might need to create another recipe with them sometime soon.

4.) Blueberry Chia Oatmeal Bars. These oat bars are great to make for a leisurely morning brunch!

Continue reading

10 Recipes to Try This Memorial Day Weekend

Who else is looking forward to their holiday weekend? Today’s post shares some healthy summery recipe ideas to try! 

If you’re a blogger that shares a lot of your personal life and adventures, having a blog is like having an online diary of travels and fun (…ya know, a diary that other people read that is!), and sometimes it’s neat to look back at what I was doing at this time in another year.

Floating around an infinity pool in Cabo last year with my hubs

Looking back at past Memorial Day weekends, I went on vacation to Mexico last year (surprised my love for his 30th with the trip!), spent the weekend with friends during a deployment of my hubby’s another year, and went on a wine tasting getaway to Napa and hiked around at Muir Woods when I was living in the Bay Area.

Wine tasting in Napa, circa 2013

This year, I have some fun things planned for Memorial Day weekend, including a road trip up to Los Angeles for a day of hiking + a vegan food festival. I’m excited! I also will be getting some time at home, and I’m sure I’ll be doing a bit of cooking & baking.

Since many of us Americans will be attending family gatherings, relaxing in our backyards, and getting a bit more time to cook & bake over the long weekend, I thought today it’d be fun to share some Memorial Day recipe ideas.

Of course, let’s not forget that the holiday is meant to honor the men & women who have died serving in our military. THANK YOU to all of our service members protecting America.

Let’s get to the food!

1.) Orzo Caprese Pasta Salad with Toasted Pine Nuts & Spinach. This is a recipe I created for Shape recently, and it kind of screams summertime party. It’s a crowd pleaser, and it’s easy to make!

2.) Loaded Mediterranean Avocado Toast [vegan, can be made GF]. AKA the best avocado toast ever! Perfect for breakfast on a leisurely morning, or as appetizers if you’re having guests over.

Continue reading

Chocolate Chip Cherry Almond Muffins {vegan + gf}

Hello, hello!

How was your weekend? With temperatures in the 80s, mine was a summery few days! My outdoorsy weekend activities included a few hours relaxing at the beach, tennis workout with my hubs, long walk at the park with my pup and gardening work.

Snacking on a Zing bar & reading a travel magazine at the beach on Saturday

Indoors, I  did some blog and photography work, and the hubs and I watched a movie and a few episodes of our current TV obsessions, House of Cards and Westworld. Who else is into those? We just recently started watching both, so we have a lot of episodes to keep us entertained during low-key nights for awhile!

I also got some baking and recipe creation experimenting in, including the recipe I’m sharing today: chocolate chip cherry almond muffins. 

Actually, over the past week I’ve been a recipe creatin’ machine! It seems like I tend to go a week or two where I don’t come up with any new recipes – whether because I’m traveling, super busy, or just lacking ideas (oh, and also if I’m having recipe fails!) – and then all of a sudden I’m hit with recipe inspiration and come up with a bunch of new successful creations. I love that when that happens.

But anyways, let’s talk about these muffins!

In the past I’ve only used dried cherries in muffins, but I decided to give it a shot with fresh ones, and it came out great! Pitting and chopping the cherries is a little tedious, but a nice way to use up some sweet cherries that are in season (and delicious!) right now.

Continue reading

Cashew Cake Batter Fruit Dip {Vegan + Gluten Free}

With the summer produce starting to pop up in markets around town, I’ve been loving all of the fruit lately. Sweet cherries, strawberries, and peaches have been my favorite. Nature’s candy is the best!

A strawberry banana protein smoothie bowl topped with locally grown cherries, shredded coconut, mini chocolate chips & cinnamon oat granola clusters

So naturally with all of my fruit consumption in recent weeks, I had to make fruit dip. Dipping fruit into a decadent tasting dip is one of my favorite desserts, especially when it’s healthy like today’s recipe!

I’ve been making a lot of cake batter recipes lately, including a few batches of energy bites, smoothies, and now, this fruit dip. I also think that cake batter cookies may be in my baking future.

To get that cake batter flavor, I combined cashew butter with shredded coconut, maple syrup, vanilla dairy-free yogurt, vanilla extract and cashew milk.

Continue reading

Chocolate Chip Butterscotch Cookies {vegan}

Hi friends!

How was your weekend? Mine was super low-key – which worked out since it was my first weekend home in a month. The San Diego area got a rare weekend full of rain and stormy skies, so I spent a lot of my time taking care of housekeeping stuff for the blog and actually for my house – it’s amazing how both my virtual mail and actual mail piles up when I’m out of town! – and in the kitchen baking and cooking.

I even made homemade bread, which I haven’t done in quite awhile. Making bread from scratch isn’t hard, there’s just a lot of time waiting for the dough to rise – but, being home doing about half a dozen loads of laundry, it fit in perfectly with my weekend. I decided to sprinkle some everything bagel seeds on top of the dough, and it came out like one giant everything bagel. Kind of awesome!

And speaking of baking, today I have a Monday treat to share!

A couple of weeks ago, a few of the women in my life had birthdays. In usual food blogger fashion, I wanted to give them homemade sweets as a little birthday treat.

And since I was feeling creative, I wanted to try a new recipe or two. I wound up making birthday cake energy bites, along with these chocolate butterscotch cookies.

I even brought a plastic container of treats with me in my luggage on my work trip to Vegas to give to my boss, whose birthday was that week, and got the thumbs up on the treats from her. What can I say, I like people to have sweets to enjoy on their birthday!

Continue reading

Blueberry Banana Oatmeal Protein Pancakes {dairy free + gluten free}

Hi friends!

Things have been quiet over here this week… because my real life has been hectic!

The “canals” in The Venetian in Vegas, where I had dinner one night this week

The past week has been a whirlwind, between getting through the busiest time of the year for my publicist job, celebrating a friend’s birthday locally in San Diego (with a private Pilates class & smoothie hangout!), then packing, getting organized, and setting off to Las Vegas for work. Last night I flew from Vegas to New Jersey, where we are in the midst of wedding busyness leading up to my brother’s wedding this weekend. So, as you can imagine, there has been a lot happening in my world.

BUT! Today I’m back to share one of my favorite recipes. It’s a goodie!

Pretty much everyone that knows me well knows about my love for pancakes. They’re my favorite fancy breakfast, hands down.

I’ve shared some very yummy pancake recipes on the blog before, but today’s recipe takes the [pan]cake.

See what I did there?

I actually shared a variation of these pancakes on the blog a couple years ago, but since then, my batter recipe has evolved a bit. Over the last few years, I’ve made these pancakes so many times, I can make them with my eyes closed. Sometimes I change them up a bit, subbing in chocolate chips for blueberries or topping them with strawberries, but the basic batter combination always remains the same:

Oats. Vanilla protein powder. Banana. Almond milk. A pinch of salt, cinnamon, stevia, vanilla extract and baking powder. And that’s all there is to it!

Continue reading

Chocolate Pistachio Energy Bites [gluten free]

I’m such a sucker for any kind of place where high-quality food is the focus. Farmers’ markets. Gourmet food shops. Italian markets. Bakeries. I love it all. It’s no secret that I love experimenting in the kitchen, and finding new foods and ingredients gives me inspiration to try new recipes… plus I just love eating food, obviously.

A few weeks ago, I was walking to a Starbucks to work for awhile before meeting a friend for dinner, when I passed by a spice shop. I’ve seen it before when it was closed for the day, but this time it was open.

Naturally, I walked in the shop and moseyed around smelling and tasting things. I wound up leaving with some goodies – all that were new to me, with the exception of local cinnamon infused honey (I pretty much buy that whenever I see it!).

For San Diego area locals, the shop is called Savory Spice in Encinitas, and it’s super fun to pop into if you’re a spice nut like I am!

One new-to-me thing that I bought was pistachio extract. I’m a fan of pistachios, but for some reason they’re a forgotten nut to me sometimes. I’m constantly all about peanut butter, almonds + almond butter, cashews + cashew butter… but pistachios seem to fall by the wayside. Then I make something with them and am reminded that I dig em.

Continue reading

Pasta Shells with Easy Arugula Cherry Tomato Sauce [vegan]

Sometimes keeping it simple is the best.

Every Easter when I was growing up – and really, almost every other holiday – my family would go over to my grandma’s for a big family get together. I’ve talked about my amazing grandma before, but she loved to cook for everyone – and she pretty much always overdid it with how much food she made.

There would be a ridiculous amount of dishes for everyone to enjoy. From a giant antipasto salad and homemade breads, to a gigantic spread for the main course, to probably half a dozen desserts, complete with her annual bunny-shaped Easter cake, my grandma always spent days preparing. She also always made me eggplant parmigiana because I loved it (and later on, I developed an allergy to it, probably from eating it too much!).

One type of dish that my grandma made for holidays was a simple pasta. It was usually designated as a go-to for the picky eater kids in my family, but everyone typically wound up scooping some onto their plates. She would often make a cavatelli pasta with just a homemade tomato sauce. It was maybe her most simple dish, but we all ate it every time.

Today, in honor of the upcoming holiday and my grandma, who we lost just about three years ago and I miss so damn much, I wanted to share an easy pasta dish. This one comes together in 30 minutes or less, and the stars of the sauce are heirloom cherry tomatoes and wild arugula.

Continue reading