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GF, Vegan & Raw/ Meals/ RECIPES

Healthy Nachos

I have already posted about this Garbanzo Bean Taco Seasoned “Meat.”  I wrote about how to make Tacos & Lettuce Wraps, but I must say, I think this may be my favorite way to enjoy these taco seasoned beans.  This was amazing, and tasted just as good as any restaurant nachos I’ve ever had!

If you have never roasted garbanzo beans you are in for a treat.  You just drain them, rinse them and toss them with seasoning, then roast.  Within 20 minutes they turn so yummy and crunchy!

If we are just going to eat them as a snack, I leave the beans whole.  If using in tacos, nachos or lettuce wraps, I pulse a couple times in the food processor to make into a “meaty” texture.

This is a fun and easy addition to the nachos.  I think the added flavor of these fajita vegetables are what make these nachos so good.  Just slice onion & peppers, (I love using my favorite mandolin) add some grill seasoning, and use a grill pan on high heat to soften them.  Easy!

Garbanzo Bean “Meat” Nachos

1 recipe Garbanzo Meat filling

Tortilla Chips

Cheese of your choice (almond, soy or dairy)

Fajita vegetables (optional, directions above)



Make garbanzo meat filling according to directions.  Put tortilla chips on a plate.  Add the beans & fajita vegetables.  Sprinkle with cheese of choice.  Microwave until cheese melts.  Serve with lettuce and tomatoes.

GF, Vegan & Raw/ Meals/ RECIPES

Garbanzo Bean Taco “Meat”

I get so excited when I find plant-based recipes that are easy, healthy and my whole family loves.  This is one of those recipes.  I will make it again and again!

Even if you do not consider yourself vegetarian or vegan, it is still a great thing to incorporate more plant foods in one’s diet.  Even one meat-free dinner a week will help your health, and your budget!  Beans are much cheaper than meat!

This recipe is from Happy Herbivore.  She has done it again with a fast and easy recipe that will find it’s way into my regular rotation recipe box.

All you do is drain a can of garbanzo beans (or chickpeas if you will) and then toss them with taco seasoning, tamari (or soy sauce), & lemon juice.  Then roast.


While my beans were roasting, I decided to use up some of the veggies I had on hand and sliced them thin with a mandolin slicer, then softened them up in my grill pan.  I added a little grill seasoning (21 Salute Seasoning from Trader Joes.)  This added a layer and texture that really made these tacos.

When the beans are done, they are nice and crunchy on the outside.  I pulsed them in the food processor for a minute, as suggested by others who commented on this recipe.  Leaving the beans round can make for very messy eating.  This also gave them what I consider a “meaty” texture.

I did make sure I saved a few whole beans out for snacking.  My sister-in-law recommended this recipe to me and said that her husband just ate the leftover beans as a healthy, crunchy snack.  Yum!

Another way to eat this is wrapped up in lettuce.  This was super good and refreshing lunch that I made the next day with leftovers.

Garbanzo Bean Taco “Meat”

15 oz can garbanzo beans, drained & rinsed

1 tbsp tamari (or soy sauce)

2 tsp lemon juice

1 recipe taco seasoning (I used 1/2 of a Trader Joes Taco Seasoning packet.  Can use 3 tbsp of this recipe if desired)

Preheat oven to 400.  Toss tamari, lemon juice and seasonings.  Add beans and toss until coated.  Place on a tray, spray with oil.  Bake 20-25 minutes until crunchy.

Assemble tacos with lettuce and tomatoes and fajita vegetables (optional) & enjoy!


GF, Vegan & Raw/ Healthy Eating/ How-Tos/ RECIPES

How A Sip Of Soda Impacts Your Health


I’m a visual person, so when this came up in my Facebook feed, it caught my eye.  We all know soda is bad for you, but this image helped me understand why it is bad.

I was at the pool with my kids when I first saw this, and they asked for a pop, and this image was enough for me to say NO!  I gave them ice water, they gulped it up & jumped back into the pool.

If your reaction is “but it TASTES good” and you are one that loves fizz, then try this recipe:

Fresh Lime Soda

This recipe is easy, and will not spike your blood sugar!  Even my kids love it.


GF, Vegan & Raw/ RECIPES/ Sides

Quinoa & Black Bean Salad

I love it when I find a recipe that after tasting it, I immediately know it will be a recipe that I will be making and enjoying often.  This is one of those recipes.  A staple.

It uses quinoa, a grain (a seed, actually) that is gluten free and high in protein.  Quinoa contains all 9 essential amino acids making it a complete protein. The addition of beans in this recipe makes it super healthful and full of protein.  It is a great example of how plant foods can be filling and make a full meal.

Quinoa is super easy to prepare.  It is very much like making rice, 2 parts liquid to one part quinoa.  The only difference is that you need to rinse quinoa to avoid a slight bitter taste.

Quinoa is super mild in flavor, and ends up taking on whatever flavor you add to it, again, much like rice.

Quinoa & Black Bean Salad
Yield: 10 servings
1 teaspoon vegetable oil {I used coconut oil}
1 onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, diced
3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
3/4 cup uncooked quinoa {I used red quinoa}
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup frozen corn kernels
1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro {I skipped this}
Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Add the onion and pepper, and saute until lightly browned.  Mix in the garlic and heat until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Stir in the quinoa, then pour in the vegetable broth.  Season with cumin, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper.  Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 20 minutes.
Stir in the frozen corn and continue to simmer about 5 more minutes, until heated through.  Remove from the heat and stir in the black beans and cilantro.  Serve warm or cold.

This recipe can be eaten warm, at room temperature, or cold.  It makes the perfect pot luck dish, and a great grain salad to keep in the refrigerator for a quick and filling lunch.

I like to take it to go in a small mason jar, and eat it outside, sitting in the springtime sun while writing.

Try it!  Let me know what you think.

GF, Vegan & Raw/ RECIPES/ Sides

Cream Of Broccoli Soup-No Dairy!

I don’t eat much dairy anymore, so I had been on a search for a dairy-free, creamy, broccoli soup.  My sister-in-law also eats a plant based diet, and at a family gathering she brought the most amazing soup recipe.  It was creamy and had layers of flavor, and I really couldn’t believe it was dairy free!  When she shared the recipe with me, I saw that from Forks Over Knives Cookbook, which made me smile, as it was a recipe that had caught my eye and I had even marked the page of my Forks Over Knives cookbook.

This soup recipe starts like most of my other soup recipes, with chopped onion, celery and carrot.  This mix from Trader Joes is reasonably priced and very convenient.  I felt a little lazy and not in the mood for chopping, so I grabbed it.
Such pretty little layers!


Look how healthful these ingredients are!  Bet you can’t guess what makes the soup creamy!


The bag of cashews became this creamy base thanks to my food processor.  What a great trick for non-dairy eaters!


This recipe does take some chopping.  I didn’t get to be lazy after all.  My sister-in-law used frozen chopped broccoli in hers and honestly, I could not tell the difference.


I get way too excited seeing photos full of plant color.  I get even more excited knowing I can get them into my body in the form of a delicious soup!  The recipe calls for potatoes, I didn’t have any, so I used sweet potatoes instead.  It slightly changed the color of our soup, but really added a nice flavor.


Cooking down the veggies.


Adding the cashews


Mix and cook down.


Puree using a hand held blender.  I have this one by Cuisinart and I love it.


A hand held blender makes pureeing soups so easy and is much safer than trying to transfer hot soup to a blender!  I love mine and use it all the time.


Delicious, creamy, full of flavor (Non-) Cream Of Broccoli Soup!
Cream Of Broccoli Soup
6 cups vegetable stock or bouillon
1 rounded cup raw cashews
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
1 large carrot, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 large red bell pepper, chopped
2 medium unpeeled potatoes, cubed
1 large head broccoli, including stem, chopped (about 4 Cups if you use frozen broccoli & stems)
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1. Puree 1 cup of the vegetable stock with the cashews in a blender until smooth. Set aside.

2. In a large pot, cook the onion, celery, and carrot over medium heat in 1 cup of the vegetable stock for 5 minutes. Add the garlic, bell pepper, and potatoes and cook for 2 more minutes. Add the remaining 4 cups of vegetable stock and the broccoli, thyme, salt, and black pepper.  Bring to a boil over high heat. Cover and simmer until the broccoli and potatoes are soft, about 10 minutes.

3. Add the cashew mixture to the soup and stir until mixed. Remove the pot from heat and puree about half the soup, in small batches, until smooth. Return pureed soup to the pot and reheat, stirring well. Serve. 


Have you seen Forks Over Knives yet?  It is a great film, one that really changed my views on food.  Below is the trailer.  I believe it is on Netflicks, or you can buy the DVD here.


GF, Vegan & Raw/ Meals/ RECIPES

Easy Spaghetti Sauce

{Aren’t those labels cute?  Click here for more.}
I can’t quite put my finger on why I liked this sauce so much.  I think it is because it is so easy, makes a ton of sauce, and tastes just like some of the great sauces you can buy at the store, minus the added ingredients (like high fructose corn syrup)! The red pepper gives it the perfect bit of spice, barely noticeable.  
I was skeptical of a sauce with no onion or garlic, but that is the beauty of this sauce, no chopping!  I did use my hand dandy hand blender to chop up the tomatoes.  My family does not like chunks.
Easy Spaghetti Sauce (inspired by My Recipes)
2 (28-ounce) cans diced tomatoes
1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
1 cup water
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon dried oregano
1/8 teaspoon red pepper

16 ounces spaghetti, cooked (I prefer whole grain)

Stir together first 8 ingredients in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.
Reduce heat, and simmer, stirring occasionally, 60 minutes.
Serve over pasta.

*leftover sauce freezes well

**if you prefer, you can add some thawed but fully cooked Italian Meatballs (or meat-less balls) to the sauce the last 20 minutes.

GF, Vegan & Raw/ RECIPES/ Sides

My Go-To Easy Black Bean Soup

Do recipes ever make you giddy?  They do me.  Especially when they are cheap, easy and full of goodness.  This recipe for Easy Black Bean Soup makes me giddy.  I’ve made it every week for the last 3 weeks.  It is gooood!

With all the amazing recipes on the Internet, and especially with Pinterest, I rarely buy recipe books.  I recently made an exception.  I am a huge fan of Happy Herbivore.  She has a great blog and is in the middle of writing her 3rd cookbook.  I bought her second cookbook, called Everyday Happy Herbivore: Over 175 Quick-and-Easy Fat-Free and Low-Fat Vegan Recipes

I have been working hard at eating a more plant based diet.  We have been replacing meat dishes with vegetable dishes a few times a week, which really helps boost our vegetable intake around here.  It has been a bit of a switch, and finding recipes that are easy and not intimidating was key.  That is exactly what I found in this cookbook.  I will be featuring many of her recipes on the blog, since I blog what I do and I’m using her book all the time!

Soups are huge in our home, especially at lunchtime for me and the hubs.  He eats homemade soup everyday, and I am trying to do the same, which keeps me from spending too much at my local health food co-op deli!  Todd watched me make this soup in minutes, and commented that even HE could make it, which made me smile because he DOES NOT cook. Yes, it is that easy.

This particular soup is great to have on hand.  I have used it thick in wraps.  I have used it as a tortilla chip dip.  I have added carrots, squash and corn to it.  It is very forgiving and versatile, and really, it is perfection made just as the recipe states.

Easy Black Bean Soup
{happy herbivore}

15 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup frozen corn, thawed (or not:))
1 cup salsa
11/2 cups vegetable broth (more or less, depending on desired thickness)
1/2 tsp cumin
dash of hot sauce
salt and pepper to taste

tortilla chips (optional)

Place 1 cup beans, salsa, broth and cumin in a blender and puree until smooth. Transfer to a medium saucepan and add remaining ingredients except chips. Stir to combine and heat thoroughly over low. Once warmed, serve and garnish with broken chips.

Can add cooked carrots, as I did in the above picture.

Nutritional information
Nutrition Facts Serving Size 1
Servings Per Batch 2
Amount Per Serving Calories 308 Fat 3g Carbohydrate 57.70g Dietary Fiber 14.70g Sugars 7.30g Protein 17g


To make it even more easy, use a hand blender! I own the above Cuisinart blender, and I love it.  If you don’t have one of these, you just might want to get one.  I use mine ALL THE TIME!  It is so much easier to stick this right into the pan instead of pouring hot liquid into a blender.  Much safer, too!

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