How to Roast Pumpkin Seeds

Recipes

Fall is pumpkin season! Pumpkin bread, pumpkin pie, pumpkin spice lattes – everyone is going crazy for pumpkins! But let’s not forget the rest of the pumpkin – let’s remember to roast the seeds. Letting food go to waste is not the business, especially when that food can be a bit pricey when purchased in stores. Roasted pumpkin seeds make a nutritious snack that’s worth the time it takes to make them. Keep reading to learn how to roast your own pumpkin seeds at home.

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

  • The seeds of at least one pumpkin
  • Salt, pepper or other seasonings you desire (some use pumpkin pie spice, you can also use chili powder – get creative!)
  • Olive oil, if desired
  1. Once you’ve removed the pumpkin seeds from the pumpkin, remove as much of the pumpkin “guts” as you can with your hands and place in a large bowl of salted water (the amount of salt varies depending on your tastes, I use about 1/2 cup) and let soak overnight.
  2. Once the seeds have soaked, remove from the water and let dry on a foil lined baking sheet to dry overnight – cover with a paper towel if desired to help dry and keep covered.
  3. Preheat your oven to 300°F. If you would like to use olive oil, drizzle some over your seeds now and mix with your hands to coat. Add desired seasonings and mix again.
  4. Bake seeds for about 1 hour, stirring half way through. The seeds are done roasting when lightly browned and their aroma fills the air.
  5. Store in an airtight container such as a food container or mason jar and enjoy!!

Vegan Potato Salad

Recipes

Spring transitioning into summer months is probably my favorite time of the year. The days aren’t too hot yet and the evenings still cool down enough to wear a sweatshirt. It’s the perfect weather for barbecuing. Cooking and eating outside is a warm weather activity that I wait for all year, and luckily, living in California affords me the opportunity to do this far more often than most. When I first transitioned to eating a more vegan diet I was worried that I wouldn’t have many options for barbecue-type foods, but fortunately, there are so many more options than I originally thought. Vegan burger patties, vegan sausages, vegan hot dogs, ALL of the things you would think of for an outdoor cookout. And beyond that, there are so many ways to change up your sides recipes to make them vegan. This is one of those recipes that I’ve been playing with for a while and is one of my favorite barbecue/cookout sides – potato salad.

This potato salad recipe uses red potatoes, but any type of potatoes will do. You can also peel them if you prefer – I like skins on for the extra nutrition boost and the whole less work and time argument. I used Follow Your Heart vegan mayo which is my absolute favorite. I’m actually not usually a mayo person at all, but this mayo is bomb. I also used fresh dill from our garden, but you could use dried, just be sure to use less if doing so (about half of what you’d use fresh). Without further rambling, let me just post the recipe…

Vegan Potato Salad

4-5 cups of red potatoes, cut into about 1 inch pieces

1/4 c red onion, diced

1/4 cup dill pickle, diced

2-3 Tbsp of fresh dill

1/2 c vegan mayo

1 Tbsp mustard

Salt and pepper to taste

  1. Boil a large pot of salted water and once boiling add potatoes. Cook potatoes for about 10-15 minutes or until pierced by a fork, stirring occasionally to avoid the water boiling over. You can also turn the heat down a bit once a boil is reached to avoid this.
  2. While potatoes are cooking slice and dice all other ingredients and add to a large bowl for mixing.
  3. Drain potatoes and rinse with cold water. Let potatoes sit for a while to cool off. You don’t want to mix your mayo with super hot potatoes or it will melt and be an icky looking mess. If you’re in a rush, leave cold water running over potatoes until mostly cool or slightly warm.
  4. Add potatoes to bowl with all other ingredients and mix. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Let sit in the refrigerator for at least 2-3 hours before serving.
  6. Enjoy!

Vegan Butternut Squash Soup with Sage Croutons

Recipes

During times like these, it’s comforting to have food that has a long shelf life. Butternut squash, along with most other winter squashes, will last 1-2 months if stored in a cool, dark place like a pantry. This makes it a great pantry stocking option that is nutritious as well as tasty. Another great reason to get some butternut squash these days is that it’s high in Vitamin C and boosts immune systems. It’s also high in potassium, fiber and vitamin A, making it a great vegetable to add to your diet.

I absolutely love this soup. It is so warming and flavorful that sometimes I make it in double batches and put half in the freezer for later. It’s a seriously comforting soup that when paired with some crispy sourdough sage croutons makes you crave those colder rainy soup days. It is easy to make, but it can take some time to roast the squash fully so make sure you account for that. I suppose if you wanted to save time, you could cut up the squash before cooking, but I haven’t tried that myself. Once the squash is cooked this recipe is easy peasy to complete. I use my immersion blender for this soup (and many of my other soup recipes). If you do not have an immersion blender, carefully use a regular blender to blend soup to your desired consistency. Let’s get to it!

Vegan Butternut Squash Soup with Sage Croutons

1 large butternut squash, halved and seeds scooped out

1 apple, I like granny smith but any apple will do, diced

1/2 yellow onion, diced

5 fresh sage leaves, dry could work too, chopped

2 cups of vegetable broth

1 can coconut milk – place in the refrigerator so you can scoop out the cream layer

1/2 cup water

Salt and pepper to taste

Sourdough Sage Croutons

A couple pieces of sourdough bread, ripped into bite-size chunks

3 fresh sage leaves, chopped

1/2 tsp or less of oil, this is just to add a drizzle to the pan for cooking the croutons

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F and stab the fleshy parts of your halved squash all over with a fork. Place on a baking sheet (you could add foil or parchment paper at this point to keep clean up easy). Bake for about an hour or until your squash is soft when pierced with a fork. Don’t start the next part until the squash is done or close to being done, or you will finish too early.
  2. Place diced apple and onion in a large pot with a little bit of water (maybe a couple Tbsp – you could also use oil here if you wish). Over medium heat, cook apple and onion until onion becomes translucent and apple is soft, stirring frequently. This takes me about 5-7 minutes, but may take longer depending on your stove. Add chopped sage and stir to combine.
  3. When the squash is finished cooking, remove from the oven and you can let it cool before this next part or be crazy like me and try to do it while it’s scalding hot – just be super careful. Scoop out the fleshy inside of the squash and add to your pot (which is still over medium heat). Keep scooping until all flesh is removed and in your pot.
  4. Add broth, water, coconut cream and some salt and pepper and stir to combine.
  5. Turn the heat to medium high and bring to a low boil. Once boiling point is reached, lower the heat and let the soup simmer for at least 20 minutes. I like to simmer a little longer to really get the sage flavor out, but it’s up to you.
  6. While the soup is simmering, make your sage croutons. Add a small drizzle of oil to a pan and heat over medium-high heat.
  7. Place ripped bread chunks and sage into the pan with the oil and stir. Dash a little bit of salt and pepper.
  8. Continue to stir frequently over medium-high heat until the chunks become crispy.
  9. Once soup is done simmering, use an immersion blender to blend the ingredients until smooth or to desired consistency.
  10. It is now ready to serve! Sprinkle your croutons over your soup and maybe add some vegan parmesan cheese. YUM!

Vegan Buffalo Sweet Potatoes

Recipes

Things are getting crazy here in California amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. I won’t get too much into it in this post (might do another one later), but what I will say is there are some silver linings mixed in with the chaos. One of those silver linings is having the time at home to prepare delicious and healthy meals. It’s so important right now to eat healthy and keep your immune system in tip-top shape. There are several documentaries and series out there that describe vegan diets as one of the best ways to guard against sickness and disease. It makes me happy that I’ve decided to make the switch, and I hope that I can inspire others to do the same with this blog.

This recipe (adapted from Running on Real Food) is delicious as all hell, super easy to make and can be made with mostly pantry items. If you don’t have avocado (thanks quarantine), you could use guacamole or leave it out all together. Another good green option is spinach or any type of salad mix, or you can leave that part out all together and it’s still so tasty. The ranch that I used is Follow Your Heart vegan ranch. I think it tastes better than regular ranch (and better for you), but I digress. If you’re in a rush, half the sweet potatoes before cooking and cook for 30 minutes instead of the 45-60 minutes. The last thing I want to mention is the HEAT. This recipe is spicy, at least to my standards. If you like more spice, you can sub the Frank’s wing sauce for a spicier version, if you want it less spicy choose a buffalo sauce that is more mild. Okay, enough chit-chat, let’s get to the recipe…

Vegan Buffalo Sweet Potatoes

2 sweet potatoes (or garnet yams)

1 15oz can garbanzo beans

1 bottle of Frank’s RedHot Buffalo Wings Sauce

Follow Your Heart Vegan ranch (or something similar)

1 avocado, halved and sliced

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F and line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper. Poke holes all over the sweet potatoes with a fork and bake for 45-60 minutes or until the potatoes are soft when pierced.
  2. Drain and rinse the garbanzo beans and place in a small sauce pan over low heat. Add buffalo sauce until all beans are covered. Heat over low until warmed through, and smash some of the beans with the back of your spoon to give some variety in texture.
  3. Once the sweet potatoes are done, cut them in half and remove the skins (or you can skip this part if the skins don’t bother you). Lightly mash the sweet potatoes and top with the buffalo chickpeas, then the avocado slices then the ranch.
  4. Enjoy!

Vegan Teriyaki Tofu Bowls

Recipes

Tofu is not something we eat very often in our house, but when I do make it, I want it to be as flavorful and least tofu-like as possible. This teriyaki bowl recipe is a great vegan substitute for a typical chicken teriyaki bowl with vegetables and rice. If you prefer to not include tofu, you could also just increase your serving of vegetables since edamame and broccoli are decent sources of protein. Ordinarily, I would probably also make this with brown rice, but was in a rush so decided to go with white rice instead.

Tofu is best when as much liquid is squeezed out as possible and replaced with a marinade or sauce. Whatever sauce you use will soak into the tofu lending it that particular flavor. This teriyaki sauce recipe is adapted from Mayim Bialik’s cookbook Mayim’s Vegan Table. It is a good sauce for when you’re in a little bit of a hurry, since it puts out strong flavoring without too much marinating time needed. I hope you enjoy!

Vegan Teriyaki Tofu Bowls

White or brown rice, prepared according to package instructions

2 red bell peppers, chopped

2 small broccoli crowns, chopped

1 cup of edamame

3/4 cup soy sauce

1/2 cup mirin

2 Tbsp 100% natural maple syrup

1 package of extra firm tofu

1. Wrap tofu in paper towels and press to release fluids. While tofu is pressing create sauce by whisking together the soy sauce, mirin and maple syrup.

2. When fluid is sufficiently removed from tofu, cut into 1/4 inch slices down the short side of the block of tofu. Place slices into sauce, making sure every piece is covered in sauce as much as possible.

3. While tofu soaks, prepare your vegetables. Tofu should soak for a minimum of 10-15 minutes for best flavor. Once the rest of the ingredients are prepared, place the vegetables and a few tablespoons of water into a large skillet over medium heat. Place lid on pan and let vegetables steam, stirring occasionally.

4. Cook the tofu in a separate nonstick pan while vegetables cook. Place pieces of tofu into heated nonstick pan over medium heat. Cook 4-5 minutes per side. Repeat until all pieces are cooked. You can use remaining sauce to flavor vegetables if desired. Pour sauce over steaming vegetables.

5. Serve bowls with a scoop of rice, a large scoop of vegetables and 5-6 slices of tofu.

Quick & Easy Vegan Enchiladas

Recipes

I could probably eat Mexican-style food every day for a year and not grow tired of it. Even eating as a vegan without real cheese, Mexican food is hands down some of the tastiest and satisfying type of food out there. I love this recipe in particular because it’s packed with veggies, it’s quick and it’s easy to make. The most time consuming part is either the chopping or the rolling of the enchiladas themselves, but if you’ve got even a small amount of skill in the kitchen these tasks should take no time at all.

These enchiladas go great with some rice on the side (add some cilantro and lime to your rice for an extra delicious side) or eat them on their own – they are pretty filling! I like to make these with flour tortillas, but you could totally use corn if you prefer. I should also mention that I did eat these for leftovers but the avocado does turn dark after only a night in the fridge. It didn’t taste bad, but if you’re looking to use these for meal prep, maybe leave the avocado out until you’re ready to serve. I can’t wait to make these again!

Quick & Easy Vegan Enchiladas

7-10 tortillas (flour or corn is fine, I only had giant burrito tortillas on hand so I used those. Have enough to fill whatever pan you’re using)

1 avocado diced

1 large tomato diced

1/2 red onion, diced

8 oz corn (I used frozen because that’s what I had, but canned or fresh would work too)

1 8oz can green chiles

1 15oz can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 28oz can green enchilada sauce

Your choice of vegan cheese for topping

Other topping ideas – olives, salsa, more avocado

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Place all ingredients except tortillas, enchilada sauce and toppings in a large bowl and gently mix together.
  2. Grab a 9×13 baking pan and pour about 1 cup of sauce into the bottom of the pan.
  3. Place a tortilla in the pan and smother with the enchilada sauce you just poured.
  4. Fill tortilla with the vegetable mixture and roll up like a burrito (see gallery above for step by step images).
  5. Continue step 3 and 4 until you have filled the pan. I really like to squeeze them in there. If you run out of sauce along the way, just pour more in. This really isn’t an exact science, just make sure your tortillas are nice and saucy.
  6. Once your pan is full, top the enchiladas with more sauce, vegan cheese and any other desired topping.
  7. Bake for about 25-30 minutes. Let sit for about 5-10 minutes before serving.
  8. Enjoy!

Easy Vegan Cauliflower Alfredo

Recipes

I love pasta! Who doesn’t, right? Red sauce is fairly easy to replicate as a vegan dish. It’s easy because it’s made of mostly vegetables. Simply omit the meat in meat sauce and you have a vegan red sauce (at least, usually). Alfredo can be a bit more tricky. It’s creamy and thick and has loads of cheese and dairy in it. But it doesn’t have to! This recipe is the perfect example of how eating plant-based can be easy, oil and gluten free and still just as delicious as a traditional alfredo. The main ingredient is cauliflower, and I never would have guessed that blending up this sometimes misunderstood vegetable would be so tasty!

This recipe is incredibly easy. It takes a handful of ingredients and about 20 minutes or less to make depending on how you time it out. I used gluten free fettucine, but of course you can use whatever pasta you like. Pair this pasta dish with your favorite veggies – we did broccoli – and enjoy a creamy bowl filled with pasta entirely guilt free. I think next time I’ll throw in some Beyond Meat “chicken” strips, YUM!! Let’s show you the recipe…

Easy Vegan Cauliflower Alfredo

12 oz. gluten free fettucine, cooked and drained

1 head of cauliflower, cut into florets (size for this isn’t super important, since you’ll be blending it up later on, just make sure the sizes will fit in your blender)

1/2 cup vegetable broth

1/2 cup unsweetened plain almond milk (or dairy-free alternative of your choice)

1 tsp onion powder

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp lemon juice

salt and pepper to taste

  1. Fill a large pot with water and cauliflower, cover and place over high heat until it comes to a boil.
  2. Once mixture is boiling, reduce heat to low or medium-low and let simmer for about 10 minutes or until cauliflower is softened. (You can use this time to cook your pasta if you like, or do like I did and wait for the cauliflower to be finished so you can use the same pot.)
  3. Drain cooked cauliflower and then place into your blender along with all other ingredients (except pasta) and mix on high until smooth.
  4. Taste mixture to see if you need more seasonings and for salt and pepper.
  5. At this point, you can add directly to your cooked pasta, or you can put your sauce back on the stove to stay warm.
  6. Once you’re ready to serve, mix the sauce and pasta well. Top with pepper and fresh herbs of your choice. Serve with a side of steamed broccoli.
  7. Enjoy!

Vegan Penne Primavera

Recipes

I’ve almost reached 2 whole months of eating vegan, and I gotta say, I like how it’s going. The food is delicious, made of fresh ingredients, and I don’t feel like crap after eating it. This particular recipe is going to be a new favorite in my house because I always seem to have random unused veggies and pasta (usually gluten-free or whole wheat). I love how the aroma of the vegetables filled the house and went so beautifully with the herbs. It was super easy to make too. The most time consuming part is chopping all the veggies, but so many grocery stores sell these pre-sliced now you could always go that route if you wanted to save even more time.

Feel free to sub in whatever veggies you have on hand for this dish. Just be sure to add them at the right times for cooking. For example, I added the broccoli first since I knew that would take the longest and the roma tomatoes last since I knew I really only wanted those warmed and not super mushy. You can also use whatever type of pasta you prefer. I like penne because it’s easy to get a good bite with pasta and vegetables in it all at once. This particular penne was gluten free so you could always do that as well, or heck make some zoodles if you’re looking for something without any carbs. Lastly, feel free to leave the oil out of this as well and instead add a small amount of water when cookies the veggies. I did use oil in this dish this time. I have been leaving oil out of my food for the last three weeks or so, so I didn’t feel like a tablespoon or two of good olive oil would hurt. I hope you enjoy!

Vegan Penne Primavera

12 oz of your favorite penne – cooked and drained

1 zucchini, halved and sliced

1 squash, halved and sliced

1 head of broccoli, chopped

2 carrots, thinly sliced

2 roma tomatoes, halved and sliced

1 Tbsp olive oil (or water for cooking the vegetables)

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 tsp thyme

salt and pepper to taste

Non-dairy mozzarella for topping, if desired

  1. Add the broccoli and the carrots to a large skillet over medium high heat with olive oil (or water) and let cook covered for about 5 minutes
  2. Add zucchini, squash, and garlic and cover. Cook for another 5 minutes, or until vegetables reach desired consistency.
  3. Add roma tomatoes at the end and stir to combine. Add thyme and salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Once all vegetables are cooked, mix in the penne pasta.
  5. Top with non-dairy mozzarella or parmesan if desired.
  6. Enjoy!

Vegan Applesauce Ginger Oatmeal

Recipes

Oatmeal is an easy and filling breakfast staple. Mix it with fruit and you’ve got yourself something really tasty. This particular version uses my Easy Sugar-Free Applesauce recipe, or you can use your favorite applesauce instead. I do add sugar as well but if you prefer to leave that out feel free to do so. I love the kick of the ginger especially as a morning pick-me-up and the almond milk added at the end gives this oatmeal the perfect creamy texture. The portions here make about 4 servings so adjust as necessary for your family. It also keeps well as leftovers in the fridge for a few days if you enjoy meal-prepping.

Vegan Applesauce Ginger Oatmeal

1 cup old fashioned oats

2 cups water

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1 cup applesauce

2 tsp brown sugar

Pinch of salt

Almond milk, or other milk alternative for topping

  1. Bring water and oats to a boil over medium-high heat. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium and allow oats to cook fully.
  2. Add all ingredients except almond milk and mix well.
  3. Make sure all ingredients are warmed through.
  4. Serve in a bowl and top with desired amount of milk alternative.
  5. Enjoy!
roasted stuffed sweet potato

Vegan Oil-Free Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

Recipes
roasted stuffed sweet potato

Sweet potatoes are one of my favorite ingredients. They are versatile, easy to cook and inexpensive, making them a great option for any meal. This particular meal is great because you can eat it any time of day depending on what ingredients you use. I used this recipe for lunch for the last couple of days and it is so filling and delicious! The other great part is that this recipe does not use any oil making it an especially healthy plant-based dish.

Like I said before, this recipe is incredibly versatile. You can sub out whatever ingredients and spices you like and use them to stuff your sweet potato. These particular ingredients were what I had on hand which made it super easy to make for a somewhat quick and healthy lunch. I’ve seen breakfast variations as well that include almond butter and bananas and maple syrup and definitely think I will have to try that next.

Vegan Oil-Free Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

2 medium to large sweet potatoes, washed

1/2 red onion, diced

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 can corn, drained

1 cup quinoa, cooked

1 large tomato, diced

2 tsp chili powder

1 tsp cumin

Juice of 1 lime

Salt & pepper

Toppings: guacamole, Fritos, cilantro, vegan cheese

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Poke sweet potatoes all over with a fork and roast in preheated oven for 30 minutes or until soft when stabbed with a fork.
  2. Meanwhile, cook onion in a pan over medium-high heat until soft.
  3. Once cooked add beans, corn, spices, lime juice and quinoa and mix until well combined.
  4. Cook ingredients until warmed through.
  5. Remove sweet potatoes from the oven and once cool enough, cut them in half.
  6. Place one half in a bowl and top with quinoa mixture.
  7. I topped mine with homemade guac, some fritos and some vegan cheddar cheese. Top with whatever you like or have available! Enjoy!