Wednesday, April 4, 2018

vegan quesadillas

What do you call a quesadilla without cheese? If the literal translation is "little cheesy thing" then how do we call its vegan version? Verdurdilla? I don't think that's a word, but neither is "zoodles" or "chick'n", so making words up is totally legit in the world of vegan food. For now, before I coin verdurdilla, I'll just stick with vegan quesadillas. It's easily translatable to an edible equivalent and won't sound like gibberish in more than one language.

Life without cheese seems impossible to a lot of people. It is the number one reaction I get when I talk to people about eating vegan, "I could never give up cheese!" And I was the exact same way! Trust me, it isn't easy at first. No one is asking you to give up the things you love most, but when you start to eat more plant based, your mindset shifts. Sure, I saw changes in my body, my skin was clearer and my digestion more consistent, but I also started to pay a lot more attention to what my food is made of, where it comes from, and how it makes me feel. So do I still miss my cheese? Not a chance.

The same thing happened to my husband. He was convinced that a sandwich wasn't a sandwich unless it had cheese. Then, slowly but surely, he started cutting out the cheese and is now completely cheese free! His sandwiches are full of any fresh veggies, roasted veggies, roasted potatoes or sweet potatoes, veggie burgers, tofu, tempeh, hummus, pesto, and sometimes some smoked salmon or hard boiled eggs, but no cheese. There's no room for cheese anymore.

My brother and sister-in-law have a similar story. Cheesaholics turned vegan who have now been 100% plant based for almost two years! I know, you want me to get to the recipe, I'm getting there! I just wanted you to know that you are not alone and that if others have overcome their cheese addiction, so can you.

Ok, moving on.

sweet potato quesadillas
  • roasted sweet potato
  • olive oil
  • mushrooms
  • onions
  • spinach
  • 2 tortillas (at least)

Start by roasting a sweet potato in the oven, about 30-40 min at 400 degrees F. Check if it's done by piercing with a fork. Slice onion and mushrooms and saute in olive oil. 

Season veggies with salt and pepper and set aside. I scraped them onto a plate so I could use the same pan to grill my quesadilla. Sprinkle the bottom of the pan with salt and lay down the bottom tortilla. Spread it with mashed sweet potato, some greens (spinach, kale, chard, arugula, etc.), and mushroom and onion mixture. 

Top with another tortilla and turn on the heat! There is obviously no cheese here to melt so pay attention to how crisp the tortilla gets, this is your call when to flip and crisp up the other side. 

Remove from heat and slice up to serve. I didn't even need toppings for this bad boy but fresh salsa or guacamole would compliment it nicely. Enjoy! 

Thursday, January 25, 2018

chocolate mint protein bites

I'm almost there! Day 23 of the Arbonne 30 days to healthy living and beyond program! No alcohol, coffee, dairy, soy, gluten, or refined sugar! I'm also almost done with my 7-day body cleanse, a more intense liver and kidney cleanse focused on elimination and detox. I'm feeling fabulous, sleeping great, and have a clear and focused mind and glowing skin.

I have been having fun creating some protein snack recipes using Arbonne protein powder! I am usually very picky about protein powders because I find that so many have a weird tangy taste or chalky aftertaste that I can't stand! Not Arbonne though, their plant based protein is made with pea, rice, and cranberry proteins to create a complete amino acid profile, and it tastes amazing!

These little morsels stem from a previous creation on the blog, mint chocolate truffles, but are packed with protein. If you don't have fresh mint available you can substitute 1/4 tsp peppermint extract, but by adding those fresh leaves you are getting extra phytonutrients as well!

chocolate mint protein bites
  • 20 dates, pitted and soaked
  • 1 cup fresh mint leaves
  • 1/2 cup almond butter
  • 2 scoops Arbonne chocolate protein powder
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
Soak the pitted dates in hot water for a few minutes to soften them up. Drain them and transfer to a food processor. Add the mint, almond butter and protein powder. Blend in the food processor until smooth, you'll have to stop a few times to scrape the sides or incorporate chunks.

The end result will be very ooey gooey. Transfer this into a mixing bowl and fold in the coconut flour with a spatula until fully incorporated. It should now be a malleable dough that you can easily shape into a container of your choice. Line the container with parchment paper and press the dough down evenly, you can place another piece of parchment paper on top to smooth out the surface.

Place in the freezer for about 20 minutes. Remove from the container using the sides of the parchment paper and slice into bite sized pieces! Store in the refrigerator for up to 10 days! Yum!

Sunday, January 14, 2018

bok choy + soba noodle salad with basil tahini dressing

It's a new year and time to reset, recharge, and reinstate those healthy habits we threw out the window over the holidays! Or at least I did! I am currently cleansing by eliminating allergens and inflammatory ingredients from my diet: alcohol, coffee, gluten, soy, dairy, and refined sugar! Today is day 10 and I'm feeling fansastic! It's a good thing too because I've just started my last semester at school and am busier than ever!

To enhance my cleansing I am following Arbonne's 30 days to healthy living and beyond program! I am stocked up with 100% vegan protein powder, probiotics, fiber supplement, greens powder, energy fizz sticks, and detox tea. These products will help maximize my nutrient intake while assisting my body with elimination and proper absorption.

I'm so excited to have found a botanically sourced brand that I can trust! Arbonne products adhere to strict European guidelines and are free of toxic chemicals, gluten, and all animal biproducts. For all of you reading this that have not heard of Arbonne, I've just started my own business with them and will be hosting my own 30 days to healthy living challenge starting January 29! To check out the brand visit my website at, and to learn more about the challenge or to partake in the cleanse message me directly!

This recipe is perfect for meal prep or an easy dinner, and it works on the cleanse too! Did you know that buckwheat is gluten free? Be sure to buy 100% buckwheat soba noodles and prepare them and dressing ahead so you can throw it all together!

basil tahini dressing
  • 1 cup tightly packed fresh thai basil leaves
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 2 tsp Bragg's amino acids
  • 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water

Add all ingredients to a high powered blender or nutribullet and blend until smooth. Refrigerate until ready to use.

bok choy + soba noodle salad
  • 2 bundles 100% buckwheat soba noodles
  • 2-3 cups chopped fresh bok choy
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • toasted sesame seeds or other nuts for garnish

Cook the soba noodles according to the package. Be sure to drain and rinse them thoroughly with cold water before chilling them in the fridge. 

To prepare the salad portion out the noodles first, cover with a decent amount of bok choy, dressing, then green onions and garnish, I used chopped cashews for this bowl!