Mango Nice Cream

 
This cooling summer dish is smooth, creamy, and has just the right amount of spice!
 
 

Click above, to watch my video tutorial
 

Since creating this blog, I have paused to introspect and determine why The Funky Spork platform matters. I created this platform for a couple important reasons, including the following:
 
1.    To share delicious and healthy plant-based recipes, that use attainable ingredients.
 
2.    To promote local & sustainable food systems.
 
This Mango Nice-cream recipe falls within both of these missions. The ingredients for this dish are very simple, as they only involve three ingredients: mangoes, bananas, and chile powder. That simple! This dish also incorporates local food systems, by utilizing mangoes that are locally grown, and in season (it’s currently summer time). If you’re not from Florida, mangoes are grown during Florida’s summertime and thrive between June through October. If you are looking for practical ways to practice sustainability, eating locally and seasonally are great strategies.
 
Just a couple tips, before you begin to create this dessert:
 
1.    I go for a 5:1 ratio, where I will utilize five ripened bananas for every mango used.
2.    The riper your bananas are, the sweeter, and tastier the dish will be. When I say ripe, I mean banana-but bread-worthy ripe.
3.The mango nice cream is gluten-free, vegan, and is minimally processed. You may be scratching your head, and wondering why I would be so crazy as to incorporate chile heat into this dish. You’ve got to trust me when I say that the spiciness of the chile with the sweetness of the mango and banana works. In fact, the incorporation of chile seasoning is inspired by the scrumptious Mexican Mangonada delicacy. This dessert is so delicious, and has so much flavor, that all I can do is allow the recipe to speak for itself. So…let’s move along, and learn how to create this nice cream!  
 
Ingredients:
 
·         5 frozen bananas, peeled
·         1 fresh mango
·         1 tbsp. chile powder  (optional)

Appliances:
 
·         Food processor high speed blender
·         Freezer-friendly container (minimum size 16 oz.)
Directions:
 
1.    Slice each banana into approximately one inch pieces. Set aside
2.    Slice your mangoes in half, peel the skin off, and dice each mango until the pieces are roughly 1” in size. Set aside.
 
3.    In your food processor, place your mango slices. Then place the diced bananas, and chile powder. Make sure that you first place the mango, because that will make the blending process much easier. Pulse the fruit mixture for about 3-4 minutes, or until the mixture resembles a smooth puree. Stir at least two minutes in to ensure smooth blending consistency.
4.    (Optional step) Take puree mixture and gently pour into freezer-friendly container, and spoon the top of the mixture until it is smooth on top. Place in freezer, and let it set for at least thirty minutes, or until the nice cream texture is at a firmer consistency to your liking. Otherwise, you can immediately consume the mixture.
5.    Enjoy with friends on a hot, summer afternoon!
Makes four servings.
 
Nutritional information per serving:
184 calories/ 2.3g protein/0.84g fat/46.7g carbs/ 5.3g fiber
 
 
 


Watermelon Nice Cream

The perfect desert to enjoy with your friends and neighbors on the front porch during a warm & muggy July evening…!



One of my ongoing life goals is to be more intentional with what I eat-seriously! It’s a mantra that I really have to love up to. And to be frank, I’ve been slacking.

With all of this being said, I recently facilitated a community summer cooking demo, where I was charged with showcasing two original recipes that featured seasonal, local ingredients. Being a Florida gal, I figured that the utilization of watermelon seemed like the obvious produce of choice. The watermelon is so refreshing, and the creaminess of the banana really helps to give this a nice, custard-like consistency. Some of the perks?  The Watermelon Nice Cream dish is completely vegan, dairy-free, inexpensive, and super easy to make!

Just a couple tips, before you begin to create this dessert:
1.       Because watermelon is comprised of mostly water (at a rate of about 90%), you will NOT want to overdo it with your incorporation of the melon. Otherwise, the consistency will be too watery, and will have a thickness closer to a smoothie (but if that’s what you’re going for-ham it up!). With this in mind, I go for a 5:1 ratio, where I will utilize five ripened bananas for every 1 cup of fresh watermelon used.
2.       The riper your bananas are, the sweeter, and tastier the dish will be. When I say ripe, I mean banana-but bread-worthy ripe.
3.       This dish goes beautifully with either shredded coconut and/or basil sprinkled over. MMMM!

Here’s the recipe!

Ingredients:

·         5 frozen bananas, peeled
·         1 cup of fresh watermelon (cubed)
·         1/8 tsp. salt
·         3 tbsp shredded coconut (optional)
Appliances:
·         Food processor high speed blender
·         Freezer-friendly container (minimum size 16 oz.)


Directions:

1.       Slice each banana into approximately one inch pieces. Set aside.

2.       In your food processor, place your watermelon cubes. Then place the diced bananas, salt, and coconut. Make sure that you first place the watermelon, because that will make the blending process much easier. Pulse the fruit mixture for about 3-4 minutes, or until the mixture resembles a smooth puree. Stir at least two minutes in to ensure smooth blending consistency.

3.       (Optional step) Take puree mixture and gently pour into freezer-friendly container, and spoon the top of the mixture until it is smooth on top. Place in freezer, and let it set for at least thirty minutes, or until the nice cream texture is at a firmer consistency to your liking. Otherwise, you can immediately consume the mixture.

4.       Enjoy with friends on a hot, summer afternoon! 🙂

Makes four servings

Nutritional information per serving (without shredded coconut):
143 calories/ 1.84g protein/0.54g fat/36.6g carbs/ 4g fiber

Pasta Primavera-ish!

 A dish that’s so rich and creamy, that you’ll feel like you were in Italy (maybe?!?!)

A couple weekends ago, my fiancé and I wanted to go on a little getaway to this adorable Florida town called Mount Dora. First of all, if you currently live in Florida and have never visited that little town, GO!! Second of all, if you’re planning your next vacation to Florida, consider adding Mount Dora to your list of places to visit. Why? Well, for such a small town with a population of under 14 thousand residents, there is SO much to do!! Here’s some stuff that comes to mind:
·         There’s so much beautiful nature, the area is part of the Harris Chain of Lakes (leading up to Jacksonville!)
·         A lot of great art (including a Modern Art museum with a HUGE collection of David Bowie’s furniture)
·         A serious commitment to small business vitality
·         Over 20 eateries within their downtown area, alone!
It’s just a place that you’ve got to experience, for yourself.
One of the coolest things that we did that weekend was an afternoon food tour, led by John and Paula, the owners and founders of the Taste of Our Town Mount Dora Food tour. During that tour, you learn about Mount Dora’s history, and also get to learn about the town’s diverse culinary landscape. In that DELICIOUS tour, we explored six different eateries, and left with a realm of knowledge and appreciation for Mount Dora’s heritage and gastronomy.
A fun group pic of  the coolest husband and wife: John (left), Paula (second from left), me, and my fience Jeremy! (right)
Out of all the places that we went to on the tour, we hit up this eatery called Olive Branch Mediterranean Bar & Grille. I indulged the heaping sample portion of the Pasta Primavera dish that was served to me. The dish was rich, creamy and felt so incredibly comforting to eat. I was in Heaven, for sure. That dish was so memorable, that I was determined to try recreating it, myself. Since their version was dairy-based, I accepted the challenge of veganizing it and utilizing available ingredients around my kitchen…and boy. Was the dish AMAZING!!!! I really felt like I had made a beautiful replica of the dish, and could NOT stop licking all of the sauce off my spoon, and bowl. It was that delicious. I present you with this delicious, creamy & easy to make sauce!
[pic of the life-changing pasta primavera]
LET ME SHOW YOU HOW I CREATED THIS DELICIOUS REPLICA…keep on reading to learn how I made my Pasta Primavera-ish!!
Ingredients:
8 oz Angel Hair pasta
1 cup thawed frozen peas
2 cups raw spinach
½ cup cashews (raw OR roasted are equally fine!)
1 ½ cup vegetable broth
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 tbsp nutritional yeast (nooch)
½ tsp garlic powder
1 tbsp Italian seasoning
½ cup unsweetened pain almond milk
1 tsp miso paste (or ¼ tsp salt)
Directions:
1.       Pasta prep-In large pots, fill about ¾ full with water, and add some salt. Set on medium high to begin boiling. Once boiling, add angel hair pasta, and let it boil for about 6-7 minutes, or until al-dente.
2.       While the pasta is cooking, boil cashews in vegetable broth for 20 minutes in a spate sauce pan (a small sauce pan should do!)  
3.       Add boiled cashews AND broth to blender.
4.       Add the remaining ingredients to blender: tomato paste, nooch, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, unsweetened plain almond milk & miso paste (or salt). Blend on high for about 2 minutes or until the consistency is rich & creamy!
5.       Add the sauce to the drained angel hair pasta, and gradually stir in the peas and the spinach. Let the mixture sit covered for about 3 minutes, until the peas have warmed up.
6.       Enjoy!
Makes 4 servings
Nutritional Information (per serving):
333 Calories/ 9.7g protein/ 18 grams fat/ 37 grams of carbs/6.5 grams fiber


Spinach-Basil Pesto

 

I will show you how to make my favorite kind of pesto-with a lovely twist!
 


Last time, I showed you how I make my Creamy Bell Pepper & Carrot Pesto. This time, I’m going to show you how to make more of a traditional pesto-but with a nice little vegan touch.
 
Before I delve into my yummy recipe, let’s first address a major question: What exactly is pesto? Pesto, or, more formally pesto alla genovese, is a sauce that originates from Genoa, the capital city of Liguria, Italy. Some historians believe that the recipe dates back to the Roman Era, but became a more refined staple around the mid-1800s. The traditional pesto sauce consists of fresh basil leaves, crushed garlic, pine nuts, coarse salt, olive oil, and a hard cheese such as Parmigiano-Reggiano (think of your classic non-grated Parmesan cheese). The following ingredients are traditionally blended together by finely hand chopping or hand-crushing them down with the utilization a mortar and pestle (pictured below).
 
Photo courtesy: Artur Rutowski
My recipe has a few exceptions which deviate from a traditional pesto alla genovese. First, this recipe is completely dairy-free and therefore vegan. But don’t worry about missing out on the cheesy bite. Nutritional yeast and lemon juice serve as the perfect substitute for the traditional hard cheese required. As you can see by the recipe title, this recipe also incorporates the utilization of fresh spinach. I understand that not everyone has access to fresh basil leaves, be it because of availability, cost, or a combination of the two factors. The spinach, while light in flavor, serves as a perfectly viable alternative if you have zero access to fresh basil. Finally, this recipe has a 21st century instantaneous twist by relying on a food processor (but if you DO have a mortar and pestle-the traditional mixing tool, it works perfectly, as well! It will just take a tad bit more time and elbow grease to prepare  🙂 ). Nevertheless, this remixed version of the traditional pesto recipe is super simple to prepare. Most of all, the flavor is absolutely delicious! Just like my bell pepper-carrot pesto, this yummy sauce goes wonderfully with pasta or over a baguette, risotto or any other vessel you like to serve your pesto with.
 
Do you want to know how I make my version of pesto? Keep on scrolling!   
 
Spinach Basil Pesto
 
Ingredients:
·         2 packed cups of fresh spinach leaves
·         2 packed cups of fresh basil leaves*
·         3 cloves of garlic
·         ¼ cup of nutritional yeast
·         2 tbsp. lemon juice
·         1 tsp. salt (coarse or kosher is preferred)
·         ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil (evoo)
·         ¼ cup of pine nuts or roasted sunflower seeds
 
Directions:
 
1.  In a small skillet, set it on medium high and allow it to preheat for a couple seconds. Take your pine nuts and place them into the skillet and allow them to toast up for about 2-3 minutes until they form a light golden brown around the edges. Stir the nuts frequently in the process. Once the nuts area toasted, remove from heat and set aside. You can skip the toasting step if you are utilizing pre-roasted sunflower seeds. Simply set those to the side.
 
2.   Take each garlic clove place each clove on the cutting board. Gently place your knife over the garlic clove with the blade resting parallel to the garlic clove (away from you), ball your fist, and smash the knife. Doing so breaks each clove down, while also cracking open the skin. Repeat until all the cloves have been mashed and skin completely unpeeled. Then, coarsely chop each of the cloves until the pieces are roughly about the size of small grains of rice. Set aside.
 
3.  Blending method 1-Food processor: Take all of your ingredients and add them all into a food processor. Let the mixture pulse for about 2 seconds each time and repeat about 6 times-1 minute until the pesto has a smooth consistency, but still chunky enough to the point where you can see pieces of the spinach and garlic. Stir the mixture in between each pulse.  (do not exceed pulsing over 2 minutes).
 
4. Blending method 2-Mortar and pestle: First, grind your garlic and salt down with the mortar and pestle for about 30 seconds-1 minute, or until it turns into a chunky mash. Then gradually add in your toasted pine nuts or sunflower seeds and mash it down until the garlic/nut mixture forms a paste. Afterwards, gradually add in the basil and spinach, handful by handful and grind that into the mixture until the leaves are very tiny. Gradually, add in the rest of your ingredients, with the olive oil as the last ingredient to add in, and keep mixing everything for a few minutes (3-6), and continue mashing until the pesto has a smooth consistency, but still chunky enough to the point where you can see pieces of the spinach/basil and garlic.
 
5.     Enjoy over your favorite edible vessel! 🙂
 
* Note: If you are unable to access fresh basil leaves, substitute the 2 cups of fresh basil for 2 cups of fresh spinach leaves.
 
Makes approximately 1 cup of delicious pesto (8 ounces)-6 servings
 
Nutritional Information (per serving):
 
156 Calories/ 6.2g protein/ 12.5 grams fat/6.9 grams of carbs/3 grams fiber / 4 WW smart points (green plan)
 
198% DV Folate, DFE/ 264% DV Vitamin B-1 (Thiamin)/ 202% DV Vitamin B-2 (Riboflavin) 115% DV Vitamin B-3 (Niacin)/ 300% DV Vitamin A/ 373% DV Vitamin K/ 17% DV Vitamin C

 


Creamy Bell Pepper & Carrot Pesto

I will show you how to make my favorite kind of pesto-with a lovely vegan twist!


I LOOOVE pesto…it’s GOT to be one of my favorite type of sauces, hands down. This recipe was really inspired as a result of preventing food waste. About a week ago, I had some bell peppers slowly beginning to wilt in the back of my fridge. I had been trying to figure out how to utilize them, and BAM! I came up with an idea: How about I try ‘sun drying’ the peppers, similarly to how you would with tomatoes? My thought process then evolved into seeing if it was remotely possible to make a pepper pesto. My thought was Why not?

Let me tell you, this pepper pesto has turned into my crack. Slow roasting the peppers brings out the natural sweetness in the peppers. Team that with the creaminess of roasted carrot and garlic, and your taste buds are in Heaven.  The dairy substitution of nutritional yeast and Miso paste gave this a wonderful, rich and savory sense of umami. I actually find this pesto to have an almost cheesy quality to it (something that I was not intending to aim for!). It goes wonderfully with pasta or over a baguette, risotto or any other vessel you like to serve your pesto with! 

In lieu of the sun, I utilized my trusty oven for these peppers. As you’ll see, I let these babies roast for a while. Don’t let the 8 hour oven time intimidate you-these peppers can either be slow-roasted overnight or while you’re at work. This sauce does take some time to prepare from start to finish…but I PROMISE you that it will be worth the wait!


Let me show you how I made this!

Creamy Bell Pepper & Carrot Pesto

Ingredients:
·         5 large colorful bell peppers, or 8-10 miniature bell peppers
·         3 cloves of garlic
·         2 carrots
·         3 tbsp nutritional yeast
·         1 tbsp miso paste
·         2 tbsp lemon juice
·         4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (evoo)
·         ¼ cup of pine nuts or sunflower seeds
Directions:
1.       Roasted peppers-Preheat oven to 170 degrees Fahrenheit. Take each bell pepper and slice directly in half, lengthwise and remove the saps and seeds.  After slicing and de-seeding, take a large baking sheet and line with parchment paper. Place your pepper halves on the parchment paper and drizzle 1 tbsp of the evoo and massage over each of the pepper pieces until they are all oiled. Place baking tray in middle rack and allow the peppers to slow-roast for 7-8 hours, or until the peppers start to wrinkle. Be sure to check them after 7 hours to ensure that they do not burn!

2.       Roasted Carrots and garlic-Preheat oven to 400. Coarsely chop carrots until they are about 2 inches in size. Take your carrots and unpeeled garlic cloves, lightly drizzle with evoo and let them roast for about 20-25 minutes, until the carrots are fork tender. Afterwards, remove them from the oven and gently unpeel garlic clove. Should be relatively fork tender. If its not quite fork tender, leave the cloves in the oven for about 5-6 more minutes. Place your seeds in the oven to roast for the last 5 minutes.

3. Mixin it all-Take all of your roasted veggies and the remaining ingredients and add them all into a food processor. Let the mixture pulse nonstop for about 3 minutes, or until the mixture has the consistency of a smooth  hummus-like consistency.

4.       Enjoy over your favorite vessel of choice! 🙂

6 servings

Nutritional Information (per serving)
194 Calories/ 4.9g protein/ 13.6 grams fat/14.3 grams of carbs/4.4 grams fiber

Fancy-pancy-party-pizza!

I love Pizza. There’s something so delicious and nostalgic about biting into a cheesy slice of Italian goodness. Pizza pies are what brought me and my family together on weeknights. Eating an authentic slice of New York pizza was what drove my insane fiance to have us walk several snowy blocks around Manhattan just to seek the perfect slice of heaven. If I won the lottery right now., one of my bucket-list items would be to go on a gourmet pizza tasting tour around Italy. I’m just sayin’! 😉



Since going plant-based, I have made a very conscientious decision to cut dairy. This, unfortunately means that my fiance and I have stopped visiting local pizzerias (and Italian restaurants). However, i’d rather know that none of my my pizza compromised the welfare of animals. 
With that being said, I decided to make some semi homemade pizza for tonight’s Tuesday dinner. This included the cheese-YES. THE CHEESE. I made two completely vegan pizza cheeses that turned out to be absolutely delicious; The cashew ricotta cheese was so thick and creamy, while the vegan mozz was gooey and melty-just like you’d expect!
Tonight, I made two incredible pizza pies: both had a sun dried tomato pesto base, and were layered with the mozz and ricotta. The second slice, however, went a little crazy with roasted red peppers and (vegan) Italian sausage.

Want to know how I made my gourmet pizza pies?? Let’s jump to the recipe!

—-

Fancy-pancy-party-pizza!

Ingredients:

  • Pack of two thin pizza crusts
  • 2 Field roast Italian sausage links (sliced)
  • 1 large red bell pepper, sliced
  • 8 oz jar of sun dried tomato pesto
  • Italian seasoning mix (dried basil, oregano & parsley)
  • One serving of cashew ricotta cheese, chilled
  • One serving of gooey vegan mozz
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil
  • Pinch of garlic powder (optional)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. While the oven is preheating, sautee the Italian sausage and bell pepper with the cooking oil over medium-high. Sautee for about 6-8 minutes or until the sausage slices begin to lightly brown, and the peppers begin to wilt. 
Take both pre-made pizza crusts and spoon the entire sun-dried tomato pesto sauce mixture over both slices. You will have enough sauce to cover both pizza pies. 
Take the gooey mozz and gently spoon it over both pies. Make sure that the mozz sauce is cool enough to spread over both pizzas, to prevent yourself from getting burnt. I suggest to spoon several dollops around each pie, and then gently spread it with a spatula or small spoon, as it gets quite gooey. 
After spreading the mozz over both pies, place several large ricotta cheese dollops over both pies, and then sprinkle with Italian/oregano seasoning, for garnish. For the second pie, add the sliced bell pepper and sausage mixture by gently sprinkling it throughout the second pie. At this point, you can also lightly sprinkle a pinch of garlic powder on each pie. 
Once you are done topping both pizzas, place in the oven and allow to bake for about 10-15 minutes or until they reach the golden brown/level of your preferred crispiness. 
(optional step) to make the pizza slightly golden browned on top, broil on high for about 2-3 minutes until it reaches the golden-ness of your liking (watch carefully or the pizza & cheeses WILL burn! 
Once the pies are done baking, take out and allow to cool for at least 5 minutes & then slice and enjoy! 🙂 

Makes approx. 16 slices (total)

Nutrition Information (per slice):

415 calories/ 12.5 g protein/28.13 g fat/ 2.8g fiber


Gooey Vegan Mozz Sauce

So if you know me, know that I am not a huge fan of most of the store-bought vegan cheeses available. Honestly, I think most of them taste like cardboard. My frustration and dissatisfaction with the current variety of store-bought vegan cheeses has driven me on a quest to perfect the art of making delicious & irresistibly homemade plant-based cheese! 


The desire brought me to this gooey cheese sauce recipe. I wanted to find something easy, quick and had the classic, cheesy mozzarella ‘pull’. This search led me to Sam Turnbull’s It Doesn’t Taste Like Chicken recipe. The key behind her cheesy concoction was a generous portion of tapioca flour. Yes. Tapioca flour. Stick with me!! The starches and natural chemical composition provides properties that give things a sort -of elastic effect. If you want your plant-based cheese to have a classic cheese & melty ‘pull’, incorporating this magical flour will allow you to achieve this effect. 

Did I tell you that I absolutely love this recipe!?!?!? 

Now, now, now. I will say that while I was heavily inspired by Sam’s delicious recipe, I did make a couple tweaks of this dish, in order to make it my own. Here’s my adaptation of this crack-like sauce:

Gooey Vegan Mozz Sauce

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup soaked cashews (raw cashews are preferable, but I honestly think that soaked roasted cashews worked just as well)
  • 1 ⅓ cup of water (from the soaked cashews)
  • 1.5 tablespoons of nutritional yeast
  • 3 roasted or boiled softened & unpeeled garlic cloves
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 3.5 tbsp tapioca flour/ tapioca starch

Directions: 

Place all the ingredients into a high speed blender, and blend for about 1-2 minutes until everything is well-blended and turns into a very liquid consistency. (optional) in leiu of having the cashews soak overnight, you can have them boiled on medium-high for 15 minutes, until they become easily softened. 

Transfer the liquid mixture into a small saucepan, and begin cooking this on medium high & stir frequently for about 5 minutes. You will gradually notice that the mixture begins to clump up and turn chunky. Continue mixing vigorously for about 1-2 minutes until the sauce begins to solidify and sauce begins to have a very stretchy, melty consistency. 

Turn stove off and remove sauce mixture from heat & allow to cool off for at least 5 minutes. Enjoy as a dip or on your favorite recipe involving gooey cheese! 🙂 

Makes approx. 8 servings

Nutrition Information:

70 calories/ 2.24 g protein/3.9 g fat/0.5g fiber


My Favorite CREAMY Vegan Mac-n-Cheese!!

 

 

Tonight my fiancé and I were really craving comfort food, so I whipped up this vegan macaroni and cheeze dish, inspired by from Rachel Ama’s recipe-with my unique twist!  It was AMAZING and the star of the tonight’s meal. It was super thick, slightly creamy and incredibly filling.

 
If you are transitioning into a plant based way of eating (like me), just keep reminding yourself that the end product will NOT taste like cheese, because it’s not. However, it is no less delicious, and it has just as much creaminess as regular cheese does and actually does have a bit of a slightly sweet, Smokey cheese-like essence of flavor. I could not stop eating the rest of the cheeze mixture from the food processor, like eating cake batter. 


Here’s the recipe:
 
Ingredients:  
·    
     One 12 oz package vegetable tri color rotini (I honestly prefer that to macaroni pasta)
1 large sweet potato
·    1 small onion
4 garlic cloves
1 medium carrot
·    1 cup of raw pre-soaked cashews
·    1/2 cup water (I used water from cashews)
3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1/3 cup unsweetened plant based milk
Juice from 1/2 lemon
1/8 cup soy sauce
·    1 tsp black pepper
·    1 tbsp mustard (I used regular)
·    2 tbsp sriratcha
2 tsp smoked paprika
2 tsp turmeric 
2 tsp Evoo (extra virgin olive oil)
1 tbsp miso paste(optional)

Directions:

1. Roughly chop the sweet potato and onion into 1 inch cubes. Un-peel the garlic cloves. Place all these ingredients in a pot of rolling boiling water and let these boil for about 15-20 minutes until they are fork tender. Drain sweet potato mixture and rinse with cold water to stop cooking process. Sweet potato dices should be easy enough to gently remove skin from.
 
2. Boil pasta while veggies are boiling. Also a good time to measure out other ingredients. 

 

3. Once veggies are finished boiling, mix all ingredients (except pasta) into food processor until smooth and creamy. Add more milk if needed. 

4. Mix sauce with pasta and eat right away!!

5. (Optional) place the pasta mixture in a casserole dish and let it bake at 350 Fahrenheit for 15 minutes. 
 
Makes 6 hearty servings
 
Nutrition Information per serving:
431 calories/ 11.28g protein/25.7g fat/44g carbs/ 7g fiber

 


What’s YOUR favorite vegan pasta and cheeze recipe..? Comment below!


Tasty Scrambled Tofu!


I really don’t have much to say about this dish, except that it’s easy, delicious and pretty straight-forward to make. This is my go-to breakfast to prepare when I’m getting ready to go to work. It takes roughly 10 minutes to prepare and cook. The amount of protein in the tofu also keeps me filled and energized all morning, so that I can conquer each day with gusto!

Oh-there IS one thing that I forgot to add. There’s an ingredient that I like to add to my scrambled breakfast tofu: yellow mustard. Yes. The type that you squeeze on your hot dogs. The mustard gives this a surprising creaminess and umami, and gives it just the perfect little amount of zing to help bring out the flavors of the other spices used.

Ok, let’s get on with the recipe!

Tasty Scrambled Tofu!

Ingredients:
One 8 oz package of firm or extra firm tofu, drained
¾ tsp turmeric
¼ tsp garlic Powder
1 tsp Sriracha
1 tbsp yellow mustard
½ cup fresh spinach
¼ cup of water
2 tsp Cooking oil
A pinch of salt and black pepper

Directions:

1. Gently drain out tofu over a sink until most of the liquid has vanished. After draining, crumble the tofu with your hands until you get chunky pieces the size of egg scrambles.

2. Heat a skillet onto medium-high & melt your cooking oil. While skillet is melting, take all your other condiments and water and mix together in a bowl until mixture turns into a golden orange broth.

3. Place tofu chunks into skillet and let them sauté for about 3 minutes, until they begin to lightly brown. After those three minutes, gradually add in the broth and spinach and let the scrambled mixture finish cooking for another 3 minutes, or until the water evaporates. Stir frequently.

4. Turn off, serve on your favorite vessel, and enjoy! 🙂

Makes two servings

Nutritional Information per serving: 

171 calories/ 12.8g protein/ 11.5g fat/ 7.5g carbs/ 1.6g fiber


Tangy Curried ‘Chick-un’ Salad Sandwich


Today is the epitome of a lazy Sunday. I honestly haven’t even felt like cooking. However, I did not feel like eating out, either (I’ve got a wedding to save for and bills to pay!!).

So what did I do? Look through my pantry to see what was readily available, and I found the following items staring at me: My loaf of bread, frozen spinach, and a can of hearts of palm. After trying to figure out how I could mesh these elements together, the A-HA moment hit me:

Folks…I present to you my version of a VERY tasty curried chick-un salad sandwich.

This was my first time making and EATING hearts of palm, and I was NOT disappointed. It has a mellow, yet slightly tangy flavor-which I absolutely love. The texture of the brined hearts of palm is meat-like, so it makes the perfect natural plant-based substitute for any recipe requiring white poultry (or even seafood) meat. The flavor of the plant is light mellow enough that it can really absorb whatever seasonings and spices you’d like. You can even rinse out the brine for a few minutes in cold water, if you want to make the flavor as neutral as possible. One of my favorite things about these hearts? They’re actually quite affordable and pretty easy to locate at most grocery stores.

This is also low in carbs!

Anyways, enough jibber-jabber. Let’s get on with the recipe!
Ingredients:
·         One 14oz can or jar of hearts of palm, drained & rinsed (and coarsely chopped)
·         1 tablespoon of yellow mustard topping
·         ¼ teaspoon of garlic powder
·         2 teaspoons of extra virgin olive oil
·         ½ teaspoon of paprika
·         ½ cup of fresh spinach leafs
·         1 tablespoon veganaise
·         1 teaspoon of curry seasoning
·         2 dates (chopped into fine pieces)
·         Vessels for your ‘chick-un’ salad.
Directions:
1. Take a skillet and preheat and add the olive oil to the skillet.

2. Once the skillet is warm enough, add all of the ingredients (except veganaise) together, and sauté on medium-high heat for about 7-10 minutes, until the hearts of palm (chick-un) mixture has some golden brown charring.

3. Once the chick-un mixture has finished sautéing, turn off skillet & remove from heat. After cooling off for about 2 minutes, add in the veganaise, and mix well. Serve over your favorite type of bread (or wrap/ or leafy green wrap!) and enjoy!!

Makes two hearty servings

Nutritional information per serving (without bread):
140g calories/ 7.6g protein/6.3g fat/18g carbs/ 7.6g fiber