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Cucumber Hummus Boats

Hummus is a great, high protein vegan spread, but all that health can take a wrong turn when you pair it with a Costco sized bag of pita chips (I am very much singling out my boyfriend here).
For a light snack or app that looks festive, make these simple cucumber hummus boats. They are easy to make and the combo of creamy hummus and crispy crunchy cucumbers is on point. Any type of hummus or really any type of dip/spread will do for that matter. I’ve used sriracha hummus, black bean dip and more and they all work great!

Ingredients:
2 cocktail cucumbers
2 tablespoons hummus of choice
4 cherry tomatoes
1 teaspoon sesame seeds

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Directions:
Slice cucumbers in half and using a small spoon or grapefruit spoon, remove seeds to create a boat like shape.
Scoop a half tablespoon of hummus into each cucumber half and spread evenly.
Slice cherry tomatoes and place on top of hummus.
Sprinkle each cucumber boat with ¼ teaspoon of sesame seeds.

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Cheesecake Popsicles

Even though my OG favorite dessert will always be ice cream, sometimes a more portable and lighter alternative is exactly what I’m craving.
I came up with this recipe after realizing I had perfectly good cottage cheese in the fridge that had an expiration set for the end of the week. Not sure what else I would do with it, I decided to craft a recipe.
Thanks to the cheese-ness of the cottage cheese and creaminess of Greek yogurt, these pops really do have the essence of cheesecake.
These are also the perfect light snack with under 40 calories and 3 grams of carbs, yet almost 7 grams of protein! So have a pop, or 2 or 3!

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Ingredients:
1 cup cottage cheese
½ cup plain Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
1-2 tablespoons milk of choice
Sweetener to taste
Optional ¼ teaspoon cinnamon

Directions:
Place cottage cheese in a blender and blend u too curds are broken up and consistency is smooth.
Place remaining ingredients in blender, optionally adding more milk if mixture is too thick.
Evenly pour mixture into 6 Popsicle molds.
Freeze 5-6 hours or overnight.

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Garlic Balsamic Mushrooms

One of my favorite items at the Whole Foods salad bar is the balsamic mushrooms. The simple flavor combo gave me the inspiration to make my own super quick mushroom side dish. What’s great about this recipe is it only takes minutes to make but has rich flavor without all the added oil.

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Ingredients:
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
¼ teaspoon onion powder
½ teaspoon black pepper
½ tablespoon Vegetable broth/water
1-2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Directions:
Spray a pan with coconut or olive oil and place minced garlic in the pan. Stir around for a minute to lightly sauté the garlic.
Add in the sliced mushrooms.
Stir the mushrooms around frequently and add in your veggie broth/water so mushrooms begin to sizzle. Allow mushrooms to cook for an additional minute and then drizzle on the balsamic vinegar along with the onion powder and black pepper. Mix around mushrooms thoroughly so they are evenly coated by the balsamic vinegar.
Once mushrooms achieve a browned color with golden edges, they are complete.

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5 Minute Tofu Cabbage Roll-Ups

This recipe is another one of my more idea recipes than an actual step by step one. I end up making these a lot actually either for a snack or dinner when I am in a pinch. I generally go for the spicy route but you can use whatever seasonings you desire. Get creative with your marinade or make it easy for yourself and use a store bought sauce such as teriyaki or BBQ. I also like to place my filling in cabbage leaves but feel free to use taco shells or wraps!

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Ingredients:
Tofu
Marinade: I used 1 tablespoon siracha, ¼ teaspoon each of chili powder, paprika, onion powder and garlic powder, ½ tablespoon rice vinegar, 1 ½ tablespoons tomato paste with salt and pepper to taste
Cabbage leaves
Salsa/pico de gallo/vinegar based slaw
Optional: additional vegetables, seeds or herbs for topping

Directions:
Mix together marinade ingredients into a bowl. Once fully whisked, crumble tofu into the bowl with the marinade. Toss to coat and let sit for at least 10 minutes in the fridge. For added crispiness, you can add almond flour or an other flour of choice into the mixture for a more “breaded” texture.
Spray a sauté pan with coconut oil and once heated, place marinated tofu into the pan. Using a wooden spoon, continuously mix around the tofu so it does not stick to the pan. You want the tofu to brown and become crispy.
Once complete, remove tofu from pan and place desired amount in lettuce cups. Top with sauce and veggies of choice.

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Served with salmon wrapped asparagus and garlic toast topped with bruschetta

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Vegan Cheezy Tofu Topped Eggplant

With eggplant’s peak season coming into full swing, I thought it was the perfect time to post a recipe using one of summer’s best vegetables. Whenever I am at the market, I always make sure to pick out an eggplant with firm and glossy skin. I also make sure that it seems a bit heavy for it’s size and then I know ift is going to be a good one!
I came up with this recipe the other night as I wanted something hearty and flavorful, but also healthy and full of protein. Thanks to the tofu and vegan cheese, this recipe is protein packed but also vegan so it won’t weigh you down.
Enjoy the full dish for dinner or just one open sided half as an appetizer.

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Ingredients:
1 eggplant
Oil of choice
½ cup tofu, crumbled
½ cup marinara sauce
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon onion powder
¼ teaspoon dried basil
¼ cup sliced mushrooms
2-4 tablespoons shredded cheese of choice (vegan, nutritional yeast, parmesan, mozzarella, etc.)
Salt and pepper to taste
Optional: fresh basil or parsley

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400F.
Rinse Eggplant and cut off top and bottom and then slice in half, lengthwise.
Score inside of eggplant sides to create checkerboard pattern. Either brush insides of eggplant with olive oil or use cooking spray and season with salt and pepper.
Place eggplant halves cut side down on a baking tray and place in oven for 35-40 minutes until tender.
When eggplant halves have about 5 minutes more to cook, begin to saute mushrooms. Once beginning to brown add in tofu and spices and stir. Finally, add in marinara.
Remove eggplants from oven and flip over.
Serve each eggplant half with half of the tofu mushroom mixture.
Optionally top with fresh herbs.

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Mixed Berry Mint Sorbet

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With summer in full swing, there is nothing better than kicking back and enjoying a sweet cold treat. One of my favorite summer desserts is sorbet. Though my true love will always be ice cream, sometimes you need a lighter and fruitier alternative, and that’s where this super lightened up and tasty mint mixed berry sorbet comes in.
This recipe is vegan, just a few wholesome ingredients, and could not be easier to make.

Ingredients:
1 cup mixed frozen berries
1 juice from a wedge of lime
3-5 mint leaves
Sweetener of choice (stevia, agave, honey, coconut sugar, etc.)
Water, as needed

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Directions:
Place all ingredients into a blender and begin blending. You do not need to use sweetener but it definitely adds to the flavor. I used a combo of a bit of stevia and some coconut sugar for a nice depth of flavor.
You will definitely need to shake up the blender as you are going as you want to add as little water as possible to achieve a true sorbet consistency. When the mixture will blend no more, add water by the tablespoon, blend, and if needed, add some more.
Scoop and devour!

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Spiced Skillet Apples

Hello friends and happy earth day!
It’s been a while I know since I last posted but I have been making recipes but have been just too busy to think about uploading.
Anyways today I am coming at you with a super simple yet delicious recipe. It is sweet on its own but the addition of a tad of natural sugars makes it taste especially decadent yet it is healthy enough to have for breakfast!

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Ingredients:
1 apple
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg and ground ginger
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon honey/coconut sugar/agave (can omit)

Optional for topping: Shredded coconut, oats, yogurt, chia/hemp seeds, nuts, etc.

Serves 1

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Directions:
Chop your apple into about 1/2 inch cubes.
Place cubes into a skillet heated to medium heat (if you’re worried about sticking spray with some coconut oil).
Add in spices and stir around to coat.
Cover apples to allow them to soften for 1-2 minutes.
Lift lid and continue to stir occasionally.
Meanwhile in a small bowl mix vanilla, salt and sweetener of choice with a tablespoon if water and drizzle it over the apple mixture and stir.
Once browned and coated, remove apples from skillet and top with toppings of choice!

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Cauliflower Alfredo

The problem with so many creamy fattening foods is that they are so darn delicious. You can go to the store and buy many “light” alternatives, but while these options may be lower in calories, they are often sky high in chemical additives and strange ingredients you can’t pronounce.
So what’s a health and taste conscious person to do? Experiment and make your own recipes of course!
I’ve been using cauliflower a TON lately as a swap for things from rice to oats to mashed potatoes. One night while I was making a cauliflower mash I noticed the creamy texture you can get from pureeing cauliflower and thought, wow this could make an awesome sauce!
This recipe is super simple and you can adjust it to your own tastes with additional seasonings like cayenne, or a more buttery flavor with a tablespoon of butter or olive oil. With a vegan option and 2 ginormous servings for 60 calories, it’s an all around win.

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Serves heaping ½ cup servings or 4 heaping ¼ cup servings

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups raw cauliflower florets (160g)
2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
2-4 tablespoons grated parmesan or nutritional yeast (to desired cheesy taste)
1 cup unsweetened cashew milk
¼ teaspoon dried oregano
¼ teaspoon onion powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper

Directions:
Place all ingredients into a medium pot and bring to a boil. Cover the mixture and let it simmer for around 15 minutes until cauliflower is completely soft.
Using a blender or food processor, blend the mixture until smooth.

Serve on top of pasta, zucchini noodles, veggies, or just about anything! Maybe not ice cream though…

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Vegan Sugar Free Meringues

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I was pretty skeptical when I heard you could use chickpea brine (now called “aquafaba”) to make into meringues. Even if they did whip up, wouldn’t they taste like hummus meringues? Not that there is anything wrong with hummus but it’s not necessarily what I would consider a good flavor for a dessert cookie.
Despite my skepticism, I decided to give it a shot and I was happily surprised! Though they did not hold their shape like meringues made with egg whites, they were a nice sweet treat with a great crunch and they certainly fluffed up like regular ‘ol egg whites.
I made my meringues with stevia which could be one of the reasons that the meringues didn’t hold their shape as well, but I played around a bit with the stevia I used when making several batches of these meringues and my findings were as follows-
Do NOT use liquid stevia. I put my meringues in the oven using liquid stevia and asked my boyfriend to take them out when the timer rang when I was on a run and he was very confused when he took out an empty tray from the oven… I’m guessing the liquid stevia didn’t hold up so the meringues just became liquid again and then cooked off. As far as granular stevia, a lot of the brands don’t mix well. My best suggestion is to blend your granulated stevia in a food processor or blender to make a powdered stevia so it mixes well into the mixture and doesn’t have the same strong after taste as the straight granulated stevia.

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Ingredients:
Chickpea brine from a 16oz can of chickpeas (approximately 3/4 cup)
2/3 cup sugar of choice (coconut sugar, white sugar, stevia, etc.)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Pinch of cream of tartar

Directions:
Preheat oven to 250 F.
Strain chickpeas and place all chickpea brine/ aquafaba into a large bowl. Using a stand or handheld mixer, beat mixture on high for 10-15 minutes. You’re going to want to kill me for how long this takes but I promise it’s worth it!
Once the brine has reached stiff peaks, gently beat in your sweetener, vanilla and cream of tartar.
Now like a sheet pan or tray with parchment paper or a silpat and begin placing your meringue mixture on the pan. You can either try making a more traditional meringue shape by spooning your mixture into a pastry bag (or a makeshift one like I did by snipping the corner of a ziploc bag) or you can simply spoon the mixture by the 1 1/2- 2 tablespoons full.
Bake the meringues for 60 minutes.
Remove from oven and allow to cool for at least 10 minutes before removing.

Enjoy!

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Spiced Cauliflower Tomato Soup

Soup is the best thing in the cold months. Even out here in California, temperatures are dropping and I love warming up a nice cup of soup when I come home.
To really get full though, I like thick or chunky soups and this recipe certainly does not disappoint.
This soup is super tasty, ultra thick and under 60 calories per cup. Oh it’s vegan, gluten free (duh) and 3.5 grams of fiber!

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Makes 5 1 cup Servings

Ingredients:
1 large white onion
3 cloves garlic
4 cups cauliflower
1 small hot chili pepper
3 cups organic vegetable broth (add more for thinner soup)
¾ -1 cup diced no salt added tomatoes
½ teaspoon each oregano, thyme and black pepper
¼ teaspoon cumin
Salt to taste

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Directions:
Cut onion into smaller pieces and mince garlic cloves.
Spray the bottom of a large pot with olive oil over medium heat. Place onions and garlic in the pot. Stir occasionally until onions soften.
Cut chili pepper and place it into pot along with cauliflower. I used frozen cauliflower but fresh works well too.
Stir around until cauliflower softens (around 5 minutes).
Add in vegetable broth and tomatoes, stir, and turn up heat and wait until soup comes to a boil.
Once at a boil, turn flame down to a simmer, cover pot, and let cook for 25-30 minutes.
After the 25-30 minutes are up, add in spices. Taste mixture to see if you would like to adjust your spices.
Using an immersion blender or a regular blender, blend the entire soup and then you’re done!
Note- this freezes well so feel free to keep out what you will eat within a few days and freeze the rest in an airtight container!

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