Vegan Apple Crisp

Recipes

Fall is finally upon us and that means all of the warm comforting foods I can handle! I love everything apple, pumpkin and squash so I am so excited that the weather is finally cooling down and letting way to all of my favorite fall recipes. The smells that have been filling my house recently, some from candles and some from food, are some of my favorite scents of the year, and this apple crisp is no exception. Lately, I’ve been attempting to eat as close to vegan as possible (minus the whole egg thing, but maybe that’s another post entirely), so when I decided to make this recipe, I wanted to leave out any dairy products. Honestly, it’s not too difficult to switch most recipes to the vegan variety. It’s usually a matter of switching an ingredient or two to a dairy-free substitute. For this recipe, you can always use real butter instead of vegan if you’re not into doing the whole vegan thing, but I did not notice a difference in flavor without it.

This recipe is super fun and super easy. Since it’s just me and my husband in our house, I like to create smaller servings of desserts so that we don’t have too many leftovers or end up having to throw anything out. I’m seriously weird about wasting food, so whenever I can try to avoid it I do. I made this apple crisp in a portion size that fit two medium sized ramekins. You could also fit this portion size into 4 small ramekins, but we wanted ALOT of apple crisp this night (yes, sometimes it’s okay to splurge). If you don’t have ramekins, feel free to use an 8″x8″ baking dish or pan, an 8″ pie pan or something similar.

I can’t wait to make more fall desserts. On my list currently is a vegan peach cobbler and of course all of the pumpkin recipes. I will continue to attempt to switch them to vegan options and posting them here, I hope you enjoy!

Vegan Apple Crisp

Filling:

3 medium sized apples, cut into bit sized pieces (peel if preferred) I used Fuji, but I think any kind will do

1 squirt of lemon juice

1/4 cup sugar

1 Tbsp cornstarch

1/2 tsp cinnamon

Pinch of nutmeg

1/8 cup of water

Topping:

1/2 cup old fashioned oats

1/4 cup flour

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/2 tsp cinnamon

3 Tbsp vegan butter

Pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 350°F. Mix the filling items together and place in the bottoms of your ramekins or whatever dish you’re using. Mix the topping items together (using the same bowl if you want less mess!) and place evenly over the top of your fillings dishes. Place your ramekins in the oven and bake for about 20-25 minutes. Once baked, let sit for about 10 minutes. Top with some vegan ice cream and you are on your way to autumnal bliss!

Vegan Fiesta Bowl Meal Prep

Recipes

Here we are again, another week of meal prep! Seriously, these last few weeks have been so great as far as lunches go. I’ve been on top of my ish! Which is great because being on top of it makes me want to stay on top of it. So here is another yummy, yummy lunch that I made for the week. It’s super easy and the ingredients are super cost effective – saving you time and money! Luckily for me, the items were also on sale at my local grocery store so that’s always a plus too. I actually made this particular lunch set on a Monday morning before work – that’s how easy it is!

For this recipe, as with most of my recipes I share here, all items can be substituted if you don’t care for specific ingredients. Furthermore, all of these items could also be subbed for fresh ingredients as well, I just did cans this time around because they were easier and on sale. This meal is great because it has the protein you need but is still super tasty and keeps me full until dinner. Pair this bowl with some tortilla chips and you have a real winner!

Vegan Fiesta Bowls

White or brown rice (I didn’t have brown rice on hand or I would have used that. You could also use quinoa)

1 can sweet corn, drained

1 can whole black beans, drained and rinsed

1 can rotel, drained

Guacamole (I like using premade guac because it doesn’t brown as fast)

Cilantro, chopped

Limes

Add rice, corn, beans, rotel and guacamole to your container. Top rice with cilantro and cover all ingredients with fresh squeezed lime juice and salt and pepper. When ready to eat, you can either eat cold or microwave. I like to take the guac out before microwaving and then add back in. Stir everything together and enjoy. It’s that easy!

Vegan Hummus Wrap

Recipes

The last 3 weeks I’ve been trying to eat as healthy as possible. Well, actually, I’ve been eating healthy during the week and sort of cheating on the weekend – haha. Anyway, this hummus wrap is something that I made for lunches last week and was able to spend a small amount of money to have healthy delicious lunches for the entire week. All of the ingredients cost me a total of around $15. This makes saving money so much easier versus eating out everyday and it gave me a lunch I could actually look forward to. I purchased all of the ingredients and was able to prep the vegetables. Prepping consisted of simply slicing the tomatoes and cucumbers and placing them in containers. The wraps and avocado and spinach I brought with me to work so I could make the wraps at lunch. This was better for me because I didn’t want the wraps to get soggy throughout the week.

This wrap is easily one of my favorite lunches and is so easy to make. You can substitute any of the veggies if you’re not a fan of cucumbers or tomatoes, and the hummus could also be plain if you don’t prefer the red pepper type. I also brought the avocados to work with me along with a knife so that I could cut those open as I went throughout the week. This kept the avocado from going brown. Simply stack the ingredients on top of each other and wrap the tortilla around it (or eat like a taco in my case, because I put way too many ingredients into my wrap). I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I did last week!

Vegan Hummus Wrap

Gluten free tortillas

Red Pepper hummus

Spinach

Cucumbers, sliced

Tomatoes, sliced

Avocado, sliced

Simply layer the ingredients in the order shown in the image above. Wrap as best as possible and enjoy!

Vegan Breakfast Smoothie

Recipes

Smoothies are a great way to get in a quick meal while sticking to healthy goals. This particular smoothie is one of my favorites for breakfast because it is a great source of protein that keeps me full until lunch. It’s nice too because it only requires 5 ingredients (or less) and blends up quickly. Cocoa powder is an added ingredient that you can leave out if you wish. My husband and I like the cocoa because hello, chocolate. This smoothie would even work great as a dessert, you can even leave out the chia seeds. I like to use almond butter for this recipe because of it’s high protein content and also because it has less fat than peanut butter, but any nut butter will work. Same with the almond milk – if you prefer soy or a different non-dairy milk feel free to use that as well. Another added step is to freeze your bananas. This removes needing to add ice to your smoothie to make it cold. I prefer this method because the consistency of a frozen banana is better to me than using crushed ice. Just toss all of your ingredients into a blender and enjoy!

Vegan Banana Breakfast Smoothie (for two!)

2 frozen medium banana – cut or broken into halves

3-4 Tbsp of almond butter

10 oz of almond milk

1/2 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder

1 Tbsp chia seeds

Add all items to your blender and blend for 2-3 minutes. Serve immediately.

Salad in a Jar Meal Prep

Recipes

Meal prepping is a great way to save money but it’s also helpful in sticking to healthy eating goals. Personally, I am far more likely to stay eating healthy if I have food that is already prepared making it easier to make good decisions. One of my favorite ways to meal prep for lunches at work are salads in mason jars. I had seen posts on Pinterest for them here and there and eventually thought I would try my hand at my own mixtures. They are quick and easy to make, and last much longer than a salad put into a plastic container. The larger mason jars also make it so that you have a good sized portion so that you don’t get hungry or tempted to snack later in the day.

This particular salad recipe is one of my new favorites, but you can make any sort of combination you want with salads in a jar. The main trick is to make sure that all of your wettest items are stacked towards the bottom. This keeps the items that you want to stay fresh from getting soggy. In each case, you always want to have your dressing at the bottom of the jar. This keeps it from getting mixed up with other ingredients like your fresh greens. The items you place on top of the dressing should be more solid resilient vegetables that can stand up to a little bit of moisture. For example, this salad has raw broccoli stacked on top of the dressing,and then blueberries on top of that. I did not want to mix the beets with the dressing since the liquids of each would mix together. The way it’s layered here gave the broccoli and berries a tasty dressing without making them soft or soggy. Greens always get placed at the top of the jar, or furthest away from the wettest ingredients, to keep them fresh. I hope you enjoy this salad recipe. Let me know in the comments below if you have any mixtures that you like to put into jars for the week!

Blueberry Broccoli Salad in a Jar

Arrange the ingredients in this order per jar. If you’d like to swap any items feel free, just remember the stacking rule!

1-2 Tbsp of dressing per jar

1 handful of raw broccoli florets, chopped

1 handful of fresh blueberries

Approx. 1/2 cup of canned shoe string beets (I used one can across 3 jars)

Approx. 1/2 cup garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained (again, 1 can across 3 jars)

1 large handful of fresh baby spinach (stuffed into the top of the jar)

Keep in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Dump jar into a bowl or plate and enjoy!

Vegetarian Eggs Benedict

Recipes

I’m calling this recipe a benedict, but really I think it might just be a fancy toast. The main reason for this being that I royally screwed up my hollandaise sauce. But does a benedict have to have sauce? Does a benedict have to have meat? If so, then this is totally not an eggs benedict, although it still feels like one when you’re eating it. I’d like to think that the main components of a proper eggs benedict are the english muffin and the poached egg. I’d like to believe that as long as you have these two components you can mix in whatever other ingredients you like and still have some version of an eggs benedict. And so, with that notion, I give you, Vegetarian Eggs Benedict.

The most difficult part of this recipe is the timing and the cooking of the poached egg. I just started poaching eggs myself as I’ve always been terrified by the process, but it turns out it’s actually quite simple. To begin, I fill a pot of water and place it on the stove to boil. Once it reaches it’s boiling point, I turn down the heat and it’s ready to use. I use a spoon to stir and stir and stir until a small whirlpool-like element is created in the middle of my pot. I then take my egg, which I’ve already cracked into a bowl, and pour it gently into the middle of the whirlpool. This creates the spherical shape of the poached egg. The egg sits for about 3-4 minutes and then gets pulled out with a slotted spoon and rests on a plate to release excess water before adorning my meal. It’s a simple process, but it can take a while to make multiples. I’ve got some plans in the works on how to rectify that, but for now I just make one poached egg at a time.

I like eggs on bread. Something about it just screams breakfast, and this recipe is no different. What makes eggs and bread even better? Avocado. I mean, let’s face it, avocado makes everything better. This recipe also calls for spinach. In other versions of this dish I’ve seen people sautee their spinach. You are more than welcome to do this, however I did not care for the somewhat soggy consistency it created once topped upon my english muffin. I prefer my vegetables to be fresh and crispy. I’d imagine you could use a variety of different greens on this. Spinach is a good option for me because it tastes good and provides an extra nutritional boost to my breakfast/brunch. So without further adieu, let’s give you this recipe.

Vegetarian Eggs Benedict (for two!)

2 english muffins, halved and toasted

4 poached eggs

2 handfuls of spinach

1 tomato, sliced

1 avocado, pitted and sliced

Salt and pepper to taste

Prepare all of your ingredients first (ie. slicing, pitting etc.), then start your eggs. Once the eggs are going add your muffins to the toaster. Once they are complete, place the muffin first, then the spinach, tomato, avocado and lastly the egg. Top with salt and pepper. Enjoy!

Easy Vegetarian Sheet Pan Nachos

Recipes

Sometimes I get home from the gym knowing exactly what I want for dinner. This event is rare, but it does happen every so often. The night I made these nachos was one of those times. It was hot, I was tired and lazy and was craving something salty. I started to think about what I had at home to work with and the only thing I could think of was Trader Joe’s Beef-less Ground Beef. What could I make with crumbles that would be satisfying and easy? Immediately into my head popped NACHOS. I hadn’t made them at home in a while and that made me wonder why. They can be incredibly filling, easy to make and ready in less than 10 minutes. And so, I headed to the grocery store to buy a few inexpensive ingredients that I knew would combine into a giant plate of nachos that would satisfy my cravings.

One of the best ways to keep a dinner easy is to make the clean up easy. Meals that only require one pan to create are the perfect solution. This nacho recipe only uses one sheet pan, and you can cover it in foil to make clean up even easier. What makes this recipe even better is that you can use any combination of ingredients that you like. My recipe is simply a guideline. I enjoy refried beans with the crumbles since the beans help the crumbles stick to a chip. However, you could totally use whole beans (or both!) if you prefer. I also added corn for a sweet crunchy element and tomatoes with chiles for a spicy kick. You could also make this recipe vegan by using a vegan cheese option. Make sure you purchase one that has a nice melting consistency as that is the best part of eating nachos.

Vegetarian Sheet Pan Nachos

1 package of meatless crumbles – any brand you desire. If using something that comes frozen, make sure you thaw before cooking in the oven

1 can refried black beans

1 can corn, drained

1 can Rotel, drained

2 cups Mexican style cheese blend

1 bag tortilla chips

  1. Preheat oven to 400° F
  2. Layer items on foiled sheet pan in this order – chips, beans, crumbles, corn, rotel, cheese.
  3. Bake for 5-7 minutes or until cheese is melted

Seriously, it’s that easy! Enjoy!

Berries and Cream Crepes

Recipes

Crepes are probably one of the fanciest breakfast foods I can think of. Of course you could also serve them for dessert or any other meal really, but I think they feel especially fancy in the morning accompanied by a steaming cup of coffee. Sometimes the weekends call for fancy. These crepes were a perfect reason to stay home and concoct a special dessert-breakfast. They are sweet as hell and filled with a cream cheese mixture and fresh berries and topped with homemade whipped cream. Seriously, does breakfast get better than this? I don’t think so.

Keep in mind, that this crepe recipe can be stuffed with other things too if you’re not feeling particularly sweet. Some ideas would be scrambled eggs with your favorite veggies, caprese salad ingredients, or even peanut butter and jelly. If you’re sweet tooth is calling out more than usual you could also make it even sweeter – hello, Nutella and bananas. However you spin it, crepes are such a versatile ingredient and I can see myself using this recipe again and again. I do want to mention that I found this recipe on https://www.yourhomebasedmom.com. Her blog is so incredibly beautiful and filled with so many great recipes. I wish my post was as pretty as hers, but hey, I’m still here sticking to my resolution so whatevs.

Making crepes can be time consuming and a bit daunting. This was my first time ever making them and I was impressed with how easy they actually were. The most important part is to remember to pay attention closely while you are cooking the crepes to make sure they don’t overcook and to really focus on the swirling of the pan to ensure they are thin when they are done. Otherwise, it’s like making very thin pancakes. I’ve burnt more pancakes than crepes if that tells you anything. Seriously, if you want to impress someone with food, make them crepes. It seems like the most difficult thing in the whole world until you do it and then you feel like a kitchen boss. I’ll be making these again soon. I can already hear the Nutella and bananas calling my name!

Crepes

2 C all-purpose flour

3 eggs, beaten

1 Tbsp vegetable oil

2 C whole milk

1/4 tsp salt

Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and whisk together until smooth. You could also use a blender as the link above suggests. Pour batter in 1/4 cup fulls into a heated non-stick pan. Swirl pan in circles to evenly coat the bottom of the pan and make the crepes thin. Once the bottom is lightly browned, flip over and cook the other side.

Cream Filling

8 oz cream cheese, softened

1 C powdered sugar

4 Tbsp unsalted butter

1 tsp vanilla

Mix all ingredients together until smooth. Fill crepes with filling and some berries and roll like a burrito.

Whipped Cream

1 C heavy cream

1 Tbsp powdered sugar

Chill a mixing bowl and a whisk for best results. Mix together on high setting until peaks are formed. Careful not to over mix.

Top your crepes with whipped cream and more fresh berries and enjoy!

Creamy Vegan Pesto Pasta

Recipes

During the summer months it can be difficult to know what to make for dinner. The heat can make the thought of any warm meal sound horrible even if it’s delicious. And let’s be honest, we can only eat so many salads for dinner. This is where this Creamy Vegan Pesto Pasta comes in. It’s served either at room temperature or cold to avoid raising body temperatures while also giving you a bomb of flavor.

This recipe was super fun for me because the star ingredients were actually harvested from my garden. I love being able to use what I’ve grown to create yummy dinners and love even more that it doesn’t go to waste. For this recipe I harvested fresh basil and a big batch of cherry tomatoes. My basil plant was going crazy and flowering so it was great timing. I also couldn’t believe the size of my cherry tomatoes, they seem huge this year (although I’m not complaining in the least). It’s always a joy to head to the backyard instead of the grocery store for ingredients. I really need to get myself a producing lemon tree as that was one of the only items I had to purchase from the store for this recipe. That and avocados, but avocado trees take SO long to produce and I’m not sure how well it would do in our hot climate. I keep bugging the hubs to build me a greenhouse, but that probably won’t happen until at least the fall when it starts getting a little cooler.

I had some whole grain spaghetti on hand which I thought would be a great addition to this recipe. What’s great about it is that you basically throw everything in a blender or food processor while the pasta cooks and voila! Dinner is served. Simply mix whatever pasta you have on hand with your creamy pesto sauce, top with your favorite fresh veggies and your done. Seriously, it’s so fresh, so delicious and so easy it’s perfect for a summer evening meal. You could also use this with zoodles or other vegetable noodles for a low carb option, or mix it with some cooked quinoa for a protein punch.

I was fortunate enough yesterday to have time to make fresh bread for dinner to go with this pasta. I used my Easy French Bread recipe. It was perfect because I came home from work, started the dough, let it rise while I was at the gym and then was able to come back and finish it up. This pesto sauce is also delicious spread on bread and would be great for sandwiches or toast. I can’t wait for the weekend to have toast with a poached egg on top with this sauce, oh and of course some more tomatoes! I imagine this pesto would also do well on pizza, although I haven’t tried this avocado version like that yet (note to self, must try later). It should be mentioned that if you wanted to leave the avocado out for a lower fat option you totally could. However, keep in mind that the creaminess of this recipe does come from the avocado. If you were to leave it out it would still pack an intense pesto flavor it just would not have the same consistency. Overall, I really love this recipe and can’t wait for my basil plant to grow back so I can harvest more! I hope you enjoy it!

Creamy Vegan Pesto Pasta

1 big bunch of basil leaves, washed and packed, about 2 cups

2 avocados

3 cloves garlic

1/2 cup raw walnuts

1/4 cup raw cashews

1/2 cup olive oil

1/3 cup lemon juice

Salt and pepper to taste

Cherry tomatoes, quartered – I used about 20, you could also use large tomatoes for this or omit entirely if you don’t like tomatoes

Whole grain spaghetti – or whatever pasta you have on hand

  1. Cook the pasta according to the package directions.
  2. While pasta is cooking add all ingredients except cherry tomatoes and pasta to a blender or a food processor. Blend until smooth.
  3. Once pasta is done cooking, drain and rinse with cold water until you can handle the noodles without burning your hands.
  4. Add pasta to a large bowl and mix in pesto sauce gradually until you reach your desired consistency. Place remaining pesto sauce in a sealed container and place in the fridge for future use.
  5. At this point you can either add the tomatoes and stir them in like I did, or wait to top each individual serving with tomatoes.
  6. Serve with bread and vegan butter.

And there you have it! It’s literally one of the easiest dishes of the summer and tastes so fresh and delicious you’ll be craving it all year. Let me know what you think in the comments below!

Until next time,

MelissaRose

Soaked Oat Groat Cereal

Recipes

Groats. According to Wikipedia, groats are the hulled kernels of various cereal grains, such as oat, wheat, rye, and barley.

Groats are whole grains that include the cereal germ and fiber-rich bran portion of the grain, as well as the endosperm.

Groats are an excellent source of fiber as well as potassium iron and zinc which all help fuel a healthy diet and prevent disease such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular issues. They are also very filling which makes them a great addition to any meal if you’re trying to watch your caloric intake.

My mom introduced me to groats one day with a bowl full of something cinnamon raisin scented. I took a bite and was impressed with the crunchy but chewy texture and the simplicity of the recipe. My mom said that all she did was soak the oats in water overnight and then added raisins and cinnamon. Instantly, I thought of my usual overnight breakfast oats using regular Quaker brand oats, and I wanted to find a way to use these oat groats instead. I liked that the texture was different from the usual sort of mushy overnight oats. But I also liked that I didn’t need to add yogurt, milk or sweeteners to make a delicious easy breakfast or early lunch. My mom sent me home with a care package that day that included a bag of oat groats, a jar of homemade almond milk as well as some other items, and I knew almost right away how I wanted to try out this new recipe.

I love fruit with oats. It’s pretty much a must for me, especially if I’m not adding and sweeteners. Dried fruit is even better in my opinion because it lends another interesting texture to the mix. For this recipe, I wanted to stick to items I already had at home, so I ended up using dried cranberries instead of raisins. I also used my mom’s homemade almond milk instead of water to hopefully lend a hand in softening the oats while also providing more nutrients than with just plain water. Lastly, I added a sprinkle of cinnamon to the top which I think paired well with the cranberries and gave the oats a little bit of kick in flavor. Overall, the recipe was super easy to concoct and was super filling and delicious as lunch the next day. The next time I try it out, I think I will try soaking the oats a bit longer than just overnight to see if it softens the groats even more. I was satisfied and full after eating it though and so I thought I’d share my recipe here. I hope you enjoy!

Soaked Oat Groat Cereal

1/2 cup raw oat groats

1/2 cup almond milk (or milk of your choice)

A handful of dried cranberries (or dried fruit of choice, in small pieces)

A dash of cinnamon

Place all ingredients in a small jar and shake until well combined. Place in the refrigerator to soak at least overnight or longer. That’s it, enjoy!