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GF, Vegan & Raw/ RECIPES

6 Vegan Recipes I Want To Make This Week

6 vegan recipes for this week

My local health food store makes a recipe similar to this that I love. The apple and curry go together so well, surprisingly!  Eager to see how this tastes.  

2. Snicker Doodle Blondies @ Chocolate Covered Katie

Vegan Snickerdoodle Blondies! Gooey, cinnamon-y, and made healthy by adding 1 1/2 cups of beans!
3. Superfood Bliss Bowl @ Healthy Happy Life
I’m intrigued by this recipe.  The cacao cream sounds delicious and the brown rice would make it a very filling after school snack for my girls.
I have a can of pumpkin I need to use and I have not made these in awhile. They are moist and delish.
5. Spicy Bean & Sweet Potato Burritos @ Tali’s Tomatoes
Another item I frequently buy at my local health food deli. I love the combo of black beans and sweet potatoes. Time to save money and make my own!

6. Lowfat Vegan Nacho “Cheese” @ Happy Herbivore

She calls it the best nacho cheese on the planet. It is made creamy by pureeing cashews.  We shall see!
I know my kids will eat #2, #3 (minus the nuts) #4 & #6.  
Keeping my fingers crossed with #1 & #5.  
Pinterest vegan recipe board
I found all of these recipes on my Vegan Pinterest Board.  Click here to see more!
GF, Vegan & Raw/ Meals/ RECIPES

5 Minute Raw Nut Taco “Meat”

raw nut taco "meat"

5 Minute Raw Nut Taco “Meat”

Once in a while, I make a recipe that I end up getting giddy excited to share with you.  This 5-minute raw nut taco meat is one of those recipes!  Can you imagine not having to deal with the greasy mess of browning hamburger meat for tacos, but still have the amazing flavor of taco meat?  This recipe keeps your stove off and will please even the meat eaters in your life.

I served this to my kids last night and said, “I’m trying out a new recipe.  It is chopped up nuts that are flavored with taco seasonings.  Nuts are super good for you and will give you the protein and good fats that our bodies need.  Try it and let me know if you like it.”

Okay, so I only told 2 of my daughters that.  My youngest HATES nuts, so I did not tell her what was in her taco until she devoured it.  Hee!  Sneaky Mom!  She looked at me with wide eyes and a dropped jaw when I told her.  Then crossed her arms over her chest and said “Mom!  Why didn’t you tell me?”  I answered, “I thought just maybe you were getting old enough to start liking nuts, but I was not sure.”  She was not sure if she liked that answer!

red chili pepper and cumin
5 Minute Raw Nut Taco "Meat"
Prep Time
5 mins
Resting Time
10 mins
Total Time
5 mins

Such a great meat alternative for those Taco Tuesdays or Meatless Mondays! My family now prefers this over ground beef. Bonus: no heating up the oven or stove!

Recipe Type: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: food processor, meatless, Mexican, raw, vegan
Servings: 5
  • 1/2 cup cashews
  • 1/2 cup almonds or walnuts
  • 1/3 cup sun dried tomatoes packed in oil
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp cumin or to taste
  • pinch red pepper flakes or more for heat
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp salt to taste, start with 1/4.  If using salted nuts, you may not need salt!
  • 2-4 tbsp olive oil (or hemp, or flax, etc)
  1. Put all ingredients into food processor.  Pulse until you get desired consistency.  Add more oil if it looks too dry.  Do not over process or it will be a paste!  The flavor is best once it sits a bit.
raw cashew pieces

I used unsalted nuts.  The original recipe I found on Pinterest.  It is from Raw Veggies & Yoga.  It called for an entire teaspoon of salt, which just about ruined my batch.  It was WAY too salty.  Fortunately, I had enough ingredients to double my batch and I ended up saving it.

food processor

I went for years without a food processor, and now I don’t know how I lived without it.  I use mine all the time.  I have a 7 cup Kitchen Aid Food Processor.  I love using it for chopping onions and veggies for soups, for making nut butter and date pastes, and my yummy healthy chocolate mudballs.

sun dried tomatoes

I am new to the world of sun-dried tomatoes but bought them for a pasta recipe that I will be sharing with you soon.  I am now a HUGE fan.  The flavor they add to this recipe is key.  I had no idea how much flavor these packed!  I now keep a jar in my refrigerator at all times.

Trader Joe's chia seed flour tortillas

I used these Chia Seed Flour Tortillas that I just found at Trader Joes this week.  They are my new favorite.  Boy, do they fill you up with all that extra fiber from the Chia.  New to Chia?  Read all about this mega superfood here.

raw nut taco meat
This is the finished Raw Nut Taco Meat.  Oh. My. Yum!
I make a large batch of brown rice each week in my rice maker, and keep it in small mason jars.  I love to freeze it, too, so I always have it on hand.  Using brown rice instead of white keeps your blood sugar level and gives an extra punch of fiber.
Notice we only use a VERY light sprinkling of cheese on our tacos.  We eat very little dairy around here, really just shredded cheese, but small portions.

I just put the tortilla on a plate, added some rice and cheese.  I microwaved it for 30 seconds until the cheese melted and the tortilla was soft.  I put the Raw Nut Taco Meat right on top.

Raw nut taco meatraw nut taco meat
We topped it with lettuce and wrapped it up.  My husband had his with some salsa, and loved it.  I can’t wait to sprinkle it on top of my salad today for lunch.  I will add some black beans and crunch with tortilla chips. Taco Salad! Mmmm.
5 minute raw nut taco "meat"

Would you consider having a meat-free meal once a week?  Do you think you could get your family to try this recipe?

GF, Vegan & Raw/ Meals/ RECIPES

Baked Falafel With Aioli Sauce–Gluten Free

{A guest post from Meghan @ eat. live. make.}

 We’ve gone greek and are loving it! We had some new friends over a few nights ago and wanted to give them a fun gluten free culinary experience. It was their first time to eat totally gluten free and vegan, and we wanted to show them how much fun and delicious it can be.

Our menu consisted of this Falafel, Middle East salad, Hummus, “grape leaf wraps” and gfcf black bean brownies. I’ll be sharing most of these recipes with you throughout the week and month. 

Falafel Ingredients:

  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained
  • 1/4 C. cilantro leaves
  • 1 t. ground cumin
  • 1 t. coriander
  • 1 t. salt
  • 1 flax egg
  • 2 T. chickpea flour
  1. Place all ingredients (except flour) into food processor and process until smooth.
  2. Remove and place in large mixing bowl and add flour and flax egg. Stir to combine
  3. Heat oven to 400 degrees and place 2 T. size balls onto oiled baking sheet.
  4. Place in oven. Cook each side for 15 minutes or until browned. 
Aioli Sauce Ingredients:
  • 1/4 C. tahini
  • 1/4 C. vegan mayo
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/2 t. salt 
  • 1/4 C. water
  1. Combine all ingredients and whisk together until smooth.


Hello friends! My name is Meghan and I blog over at I am a Celiac who loves to get creative in the kitchen. I’m a health nut and am always soaking up ways to live a healthier, simpler and more peaceful life. There are several things that make my heart happy: Jesus, my husband and our family and friends, our dog Dakota, photography,playing outside,creating things and traveling! I’d love for you to come over and pay me a visit. Say hi and stay a while! 

GF, Vegan & Raw/ Meals/ RECIPES

Orzo Pasta With Caramelized Fall Vegetables & Ginger

This pasta was so very comforting and hit the spot!  The orzo pasta is chewy, and the caramelized vegetables add layers of flavor to the pasta.

The garlic, ginger and sage add wonderful flavor, just enough; not overpowering.  I love a pasta that is so flavorful that it does not need any type of sauce, and this is exactly that!

This Orzo Pasta dish is very simple to put together.  After boiling the orzo pasta, you only need to use one skillet for this dish.

Have everything chopped up and ready to go before you start to cook, ready to go in and caramelize in steps.  This is important.

It is not complicated, but you need to follow the instructions below.  You put the sweet potatoes in first, cook until they start to brown a bit, then push them to the side and throw in the onions.

Once the onions start to caramelize, you push those over and add garlic.  Do the same with ginger and mushrooms.

Use one large skillet over fairly high heat, add the ingredients in order according to instructions, pushing them to the side of the pan as they cook. Easy!

My favorite part was deglazing the pan with a mixture of soy sauce and balsamic vinegar.  I am a huge balsamic vinegar fan, so I loved that this recipe utilizes this ingredient.

You serve this hot, but I liked it cold the next day eaten as a pasta salad, too.

It is hearty and filling, and it is vegan if you leave the Parmesan cheese off.

My girls loved it and were bummed the next day when I ate the leftovers for lunch and there was not any left for them. They wanted it as an afternoon snack!

I wondered if the green kale would throw them but it is chopped so finely that it looks like an herb and they didn’t even notice it.

It makes a lot and would make a great main dish for vegetarians or a great side dish for meat eaters!


Orzo Caramelized with Fall Vegetables & Ginger
serves 4 as a main dish and 6 as a side dish


1/2 pound orzo pasta
Grapeseed, peanut, or vegetable oil
1 large sweet potato (about 3/4 pound)
2 medium onions (about 1 pound), finely diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
3-inch piece fresh ginger — peeled and grated, about 1 tablespoon
6 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and caps diced
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
3 big leaves chard or kale, stalks removed and leaves finely chopped — about 2 cups
Freshly ground black pepper
Parmesan, optional

Heat a large pot of water to boiling and salt it generously. Cook the orzo until barely al dente — about 6 to 7 minutes. Drain and toss with a generous drizzle of oil so that the grains of orzo are lightly coated with oil. Set aside.

Peel the sweet potato and dice it finely into cubes about 1/4 to 1/2 inch to a side. Heat a large sauté or frying pan (the largest you have — you want plenty of room and hot surface) over high heat. Drizzle in a little grapeseed or vegetable oil (not olive oil — you want an oil with a high smoke point) and heat until very hot. Add the sweet potatoes and arrange them in one layer. Cook them over high heat until they are beginning to caramelize and turn brown — about 4 minutes. Flip them over and cook for another 3 minutes or so.

Turn the heat down to medium and push the sweet potatoes up in a pile against one side of the pan. Add the diced onions to the center of the pan and sprinkle them lightly with salt. Cook, stirring occasionally until the onions are beginning to turn brown. Add the minced garlic and grated ginger and stir them into the onions. Push the onions off to the side of the pan, next to the sweet potatoes, where they will continue to caramelize.

Add the diced shiitake mushrooms to the hot center of the pan and cook them for 4 minutes without turning them. Then flip and stir them and cook for another 4 minutes.

At this point everything should be getting well-cooked; the onions should be quite dark brown and the garlic should be golden and soft. The potatoes should be softening.


Whisk together the vinegar, soy sauce, and 2 tablespoons of oil. Pour this into the pan with the vegetables and mix everything together, scraping the bottom as you go. Cook all the elements together for about 3 minutes on medium heat. Then turn the heat up to high, as high as it will go.
Add the orzo gradually, shaking in a cup at a time, and stirring and scraping constantly. Cook the orzo over high heat with the rest of the vegetables for about 5 minutes, letting the orzo get browned on the bottom of the pan, then scraping it up. You are developing a little more color and flavor on the pasta, and helping all the flavors combine.

Finally, toss the chopped greens into the mix and cook for 1 more minute or until the greens are barely wilted. Turn off the heat and taste. Add salt and pepper if needed. Serve hot, with shavings of Parmesan if desired.


GF, Vegan & Raw/ Healthy Eating/ Meals/ RECIPES/ Sides

A Lunch Salad Full of Plant Protein!

This is my favorite on-the-go and go-to salad.  It is very filling, healthy, delicious, and full of wonderful plant protein! Edamame, quinoa & chickpeas make this a plant protein powerhouse! I pick it up at Trader Joes, but don’t worry if you do not live close to a Trader Joes, because this salad can easily be made at home!

Here are the ingredients:

Spinach –about 2 cups

Cherry Tomatoes –2-4

Shredded Carrots – a palmful

Quinoa –1/2 cup cooked (directions here)

Chickpeas –1/4 cup, drained & rinsed

Dried Cranberries–palm-ful

Edamame –1/4 cup, cooked

Pumpkin Seeds –palm-ful

Salad Dressing —Carrot Ginger or your choice.

These are ingredients I now have on hand at home most of the time, exempt pumpkin seeds.  I live right by a health food store that has pumpkin seeds so that is not a problem.  The Carrot Ginger Miso Salad dressing it comes with is really good, but I have made this at home and really this salad goes well with any type of dressing.  For some salad dressing inspiration, click over to my Salad Dressing Pinterest Boards.

GF, Vegan & Raw/ Meals/ RECIPES

I Found My Go-To Chili Recipe

Michael of Koinoia is a friend of ours and had us over to recently to watch the Nebraska football game. {GO HUSKERS!}  When we walked into his home, the most amazing aroma of chili greeted us.  He made his famous chili for us, AND made a whole pot of meat- free chili just for me!  He shares his recipe and thoughts about fall here at his blog.  He has some other great recipes, like Bruschetta, that you must check out, too.  While you are there tell him Amy said hello.

I have made his exact meat- free version twice and we just love it.  His recipe uses a can of  Bush’s Chili Starter which is really good but a little bit high in sodium, plus– as you all know, I like to do one- stop shopping for my groceries at Trader Joes –but they do not sell Bush’s brand there but they do sell organic canned beans.  I decided to try my own Trader Joes version and using a can of their Vegetarian Chili in place of the Bush’s Chili Starter and it turned out yummy!  I still think I like Michael’s original version better as far as taste, but if I want to keep my shopping in one spot and keep things organic, at least there is a alternative.

I you want meat in your chili, (and a pic of the finished product) click here to go to Michael’s blog for the recipe.

Here is the meat-free version:

My Vegetarian Go-To Chili Recipe

2 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 red bell pepper, diced
15 oz can seasoned Bush’s chili beans, in sauce
1 can Bush’s Chili Starter
15 oz can Bush’s black beans, drained
15 oz can Bush’s red kidney beans, drained
15 oz can Bush’s white northern beans, drained
46 oz tomato juice
2-4 Tbsp chili powder
salt, pepper and cayenne to taste

Put olive oil in a large stock pan over medium heat.  Add diced onion.  Cook until translucent.  Add red pepper & garlic.  Cook about 5 minutes, careful not to brown the garlic.  Add all beans, tomato juice, & spices.  Let simmer for at least an hour up to 3.

Enjoy with your choice of toppings.  We love it with Trader Joes organic version of Frito type corn chips or crackers.

*To buy all ingredients at Trader Joes, get Trader Joe’s brand beans and substitute Trader Joes Vegetarian Chili for the Bush’s Chili Starter.

Do YOU have a favorite chili recipe?  If so, please share in the comments!

GF, Vegan & Raw/ RECIPES/ Sides

Past Posts: Healthy No Fat Pumpkin Bread

This is a past post from the New Nostalgia archives.  I love visiting post from the past, especially seasonal type posts.  It is a great reminder to me of what I love, and what was post worthy!  I will be taking a trip down “past posts” road occasionally in the month of October, as it is a month where we will be out of town the last 2 weeks.  We are going on our very first big family trip where my girls will the fly for the first time and see the ocean for the first time!  More on that in posts to come…for now, enjoy this Healthy No Fat Pumpkin Bread post from the past!

I am so very happy to have found this recipe!  I have made it twice in 4 days and may make some more tomorrow…it is THAT good.  It is a vegan recipe, but it would be a keeper even if I were not vegan.  It is a recipe by Happy Herbivore that has been getting lots of attention on twitter, so I am not the only one who loves it.  

Speaking of Happy Herbivore, I own her cookbook and it is one of my favs!

Back to the was super moist but had a nice crunch on the sides and bottom.  Loved that.  I cut the brown sugar down to 3/4 cup, that was plenty.  I used almond milk.  I loved that there was no fat used, and if you are out of eggs, NO PROBLEM, for there are no eggs in this recipe.  It is amazing how much cheaper a recipe is with no butter and eggs!

Healthy No Fat Pumpkin Bread Recipe–Vegan!

Servings: 12

 The Happy Herbivore Cookbook (p. 52)


  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 15 ounces pumpkin
  • ¼ tsp lemon juice
  • ¼ cup non-dairy milk


Preheat oven to 350F. Grease or spray a standard bread pan. Whisk non-dairy milk and lemon juice together until bubbly and set aside. In a medium mixing bowl, cream pumpkin, sugar, syrup and extract together. In a large bowl, whisk pumpkin pie spice, flour, baking soda and baking powder together. Pour both wet mixtures into dry mixture and stir until just combined. Pour into bread pan, using a spatula to evenly distribute and smooth out the top. Grab a large piece of aluminum foil and make a tent over the pan. Bake for 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Once the bread has cooled but is still slightly warm, gently remove it from the pan and on to a serving plate.