Strawberry Lemonade Smoothie. Frosty...

My Strawberry Lemonade Smoothie is the perfect frosty sip to cool you off on a sunshine-filled day. It's sweet, zesty and simple to make. It's rich in potassium, fiber and vitamin C. Get it...

I've always loved strawberry lemonade. There was a little cafe in my California hometown that served up fresh strawberry lemonade with lunchtime sandwiches and homemade potato chips. Blackberry pie for dessert. So good. This smoothie takes me back to those sunshine flavors.

This smoothie takes that sweet-tart fruity flavor of strawberry lemonade and blends it into a thick and frosty smoothie. I even added in a handfuls of raw cashews to add texture - as well as some added fiber and healthy nut goodness.

You can use fresh or frozen strawberries - I like a blend of both. You can use store bought lemonade or make some fresh yourself - sweetened with agave or maple syrup is my favorite.

Party Bevie. You can even substitute some of the lemonade for a few shots of vodka - if you want to make this into a frosty party cocktail.

Summer sunshine approved. Feel like a true surfer girl or boy as you sip this bright pink glass of refreshment! Ocean breeze not included.

Strawberry Lemonade Smoothie
vegan, serves 2

2 cups lemonade
1 1/2 cups frozen strawberries
1 large frozen banana
2 Tbsp raw cashews
1 cup coconut water (or regular) ice cubes
squeeze of fresh lemon juice
lemon slices and/or mint leaves for garnish
optional: fresh strawberries blended in

Blend and Serve!

Raw Cashew Bits Add Texture:


Vegan BBQ Menu! Plus my 20 Foods I Love to Grill List.

Happy BBQ Weekend! I hope you are able to relax, soak in some sunshine and have some fun adventures with your family or friends. And when folks gather, they eat! So as the last stop in my Paninis and Grill Marks Series - here are a few vegan ideas to spice up your weekend get-together BBQ. Get my veg BBQ menu - plus my top 20 Vegan Foods to grill / panini press. Grillfest Inspiration...

BBQ Sauced Grilled Peaches:

Vegan BBQ Menu Ideas:

Sweet Chili Marinated Cucumber Salad
Savory Trio Boardwalk Fries: Yam, Yucca, White
Lemon Pepper Two Bean Salad
Frozen Grapes
Red, White, Blue Flag Fruit Plate
Super Rouge RED Salad
California Backyard Salad
"Better" Hex Party Mix Snack
Vegan Classic Cole Slaw
Crunchy Cool Jicama Slaw

Burgers and Sandwiches:
Mean Green Edamame Soy Burger
Sweet Potato 'Thanksgiving in July' Backyard Burgers
Classic Club Sandwich - veganized
Chickenless Salad Sandwich
Paninis from the Grill Marks Series
Vegan Beach Dogs

Dips and Sauces:
Vegan BBQ Sauce - better than bottled
Ranch Dressing/Dip
Raw Almond Dip (Spicy, Sweet or Snappy)

Spicy Carrot Sunrise Mimosa
Fruity Fizz White Sangria
Peachy Lychee Daiquiri
Ginger Pear Frosted Lemonade
Red, White and Blueberry Smoothie
Totally Tropical Smoothie
Cool Soy Coffee Blended

*Download my Smoothies! IPhone App - perfect for summer sipping*

Cherry Apricot Pie Bars
Lemon Custard Bars
Chocolate Fruit Dessert Panini
Vegan Smores
Rice Crispy Treats - veganized

...still not hungry?? this will kickstart some cravings --> Are You Hungry? Video.

List: 20 Vegan Foods I Love to Grill.

*in no particular order*

20. Seitan Skewers.
Grilled seitan in crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. Black-charred edges. I add a light brushing of a balsamic vinegar/EVOO/black pepper mixture to the seitan before and during grilling. You can also get more elaborate by marinating your seitan overnight. BBQ sauced seitan is also delicious. I like to add big chunks of red or vidalia onions to my seitan skewers. Soak the skewers in water to avoid a charred, breaks-apart stick.

19. Seasonal Fare. Fiddleheads Ferns and Ramps.
For a seasonal taste of the grill choose unique short-lived produce items like Fiddlehead Ferns and Ramps. I like to wrap these small, tender items in a foil packet with a tinge of EVOO, garlic, salt and pepper. Grill until tender.

Fiddleheads over Sauerkraut Grill Packet:

18. Bell Peppers.
Thick slices of bell pepper are perfect for grilling. Grill until tender, or skewer with other chopped veggies like onion and squash.

17. Vegan Sausages.
Field Roast Spicy Chipotle sausages are my favorite to grill. I halve the sausages and place directly on the grill. They are ready to eat in just under 4 minutes!

16. Garlic.
I place whole, peeled garlic chunks inside a foil packet - add a bit of EVOO and grill. Garlic will take about 5+ minutes to get tender - maybe longer. Sometimes I place the garlic cloves directly on the grill to half-roast them.

15. Sweet Potatoes.
Slice them thin. Add a brush of EVOO and maybe a drizzle of maple syrup. Grill until tender and serve!

14. Cinnamon Toast.
Grilled cinnamon sugar toast is so much fun on a Saturday morning. I add thick slices of bakery fresh - crusty bread to the grill, spread a bit of vegan buttery spread on top and sprinkle on a layer of cinnamon sugar. Panini press for 3-4 minutes and cinna-sugar bliss is served. Side of papaya doughnuts would be my recommendation...

13. Vegan Hot Dogs.
Fresh diced veggies on top...I love black-charred vegan hot dogs. The soy dogs and veg sausage dogs are all pretty yummy - especially when you pile on the toppings and spicy mustard. You can even try Veg Chili Dogs.

12. Corn.
Classic summertime veggie that tastes amazing on the grill. I slather my frilled corn in some vegan buttery spread for an extra special summertime treat. Add cayenne and chili powder for that spicy grilled corn flavor.

11. Green Tomatoes.
Instead of battered fried green tomatoes - I do EVOO/peppered grilled green tomatoes. Be sure to use a nice brushing on EVOO on the tomatoes or they will stick to the grill. I like to add a sprinkle of sunflower seed or vegan cheese on top.

10. Tempeh.
Grilled tempeh is fantastic. Here is how I prepare it in a flash...
2 cups Tempeh, sliced thin and triangled.
1-4 Tbsp EVOO
1/4 cups apple cider vinegar and/or lemon juice
2-3 Tbsp maple or agave syrup
optional: garlic powder, cayenne, other dry run spices/herbs.
Hot To: Marinate in the above ingredients for about 5 minutes. Place on panini press or grill until dark grill marks appear and tempeh is tender to a fork poke. Remove, cool. Add fresh black pepper and sea salt to taste.

9. Portobella Mushroom Caps.
You'll be amazed at the amount of natural flavor in portobella mushrooms. Simple soak in a tiny bit of balsamic vinegar and EVOO prior to placing on the grill, grill until tender, add salt and pepper to taste. A sprinkle of vegan cheese over top is also a nice touch. Slice thin and spread over salads. Or add to a bun for a vegan porto burger.

8. Artichoke Hearts.
I love grilling artichoke hearts - from a can even! So fast and easy - yet the grilled hearts add tons of dense flavor to salads and even sandwiches and veggie burgers. I simply pull the hearts from the can or jar, slice in half and place right on the grill! It's that easy. You can brush some EVOO over top if you'd like.

7. Tofu.
Grilled tofu has a black-charred flavor that simply can't be beat by any other preparation of tofu. Grilling tofu allows the outside to firm up while leaving the inside moist and tender. Grill marinated tofu, slather tofu in BBQ sauce and grill or simply do a super fast grill of straight from the box tofu and add your seasonings post-grill. Tofu grills up in a matter of minutes. Easy! My favorite flavors for marinating tofu:
Asian: soy sauce and agave and mandarin oranges
Southwest: BBQ sauce
fiesta: lime, EVOO, chipotle powder and garlic powder
Simple American: Maple, Apple Cider Vinegar, black pepper
Picnic: Lemon, Orange juice, citrus zest, Grapeseed Oil

6. Onions.
Onions become sweet and tender on the grill. Simply place thick slices directly on the grill - or attach thick chunks to a skewer and grill. Add grilled onions to burgers, sandwiches, salads or pitas. Soak onions in a sugary substance prior to grill to get a nice caramelized effect.

5. Asparagus.
Asparagus is delicious when grilled. And it cooks in about 3-5 minutes. Simply add lemon juice, pepper and a sprinkle of course sea salt to the grill marked finished product. Serve hot!

4. Bread.
This may seem obvious, but grilled bread is the perfect addition to a big veggie meal. Add triangled grilled bread slices to the side of a big salad bowl. Grill baguettes for bruschetta, or grill bagels and rolls for sandwiches. You can grill bread dry or add a brush or EVOO. Just don't over grill - or your grilled bread will turn into toast!

3. Brussel Sprouts.
I tried grilling brussel sprouts last week and loved the results. I halved the brussel sprouts and added a brush of EVOO to the outer leaves. A quick 4-5 min grill, a little salt and pepper and lemon juice and they were a delicious addition to my dinner plate.

2. Apples, Pineapple and Peaches. And Citrus.
I'm not a big fan of grilling fruit - simply because I prefer to eat fruit raw. But sometimes a nice slice of grilled apple or pineapple is the perfect addition to a sandwich or salad. I grill the fruit naked - no need for oil or seasoning. Grilled fruit is also delicious is a grilled fruit dessert. Scoop of vanilla soy cream over top some grilled peaches and maple syrup=yum!
Also, grilled citrus slices make a beautiful garnish for your plate. I love grilled oranges for a Mexican enchilada plate.

1. Marinated Mushrooms.
I toss sliced mushrooms in a bit of vinegar and EVOO - salt and pepper - additional herbs and spices optional. Then I wrap them in a foil packet and simply place the packet on the grill. I press my panini press down and in 5 minutes my mushrooms are perfectly cooked in those delicious marinated juices. Flavors I love to add: chopped leeks/ramps, rosemary, thyme, finely chopped jalapenos, chopped parsley, lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, sunflower seeds.

Flag Fruit Plate:

Bonus: The Apple Prop. My Smoosh-Free Panini Grill Tip: If you are panini pressing delicate foods and don't want to over smoosh them - add a grill block. I add a halved apple to the grill to prop up the panini press so that it doesn't weigh too heavily on whatever i am grilling. However, most paninis and flat grilled veggies can handle the full weight of the press. Apple props work best on delicate items like marinated artichoke hearts, tomatoes and soft flat bread.

See the entire Paninis and Grill Marks Series here.


DOLE California Cook Off Photos


Black and White Panini. Olive. Horseradish. Daiya. Vegan.

My Grill Marks series is winding down, and I saved my favorite panini recipe for last! I adore this recipe. My Black and White panini is a comfort-food recipe with salty, spicy, sweet, cheesy flavors. And it looks oh so elegant - for a grilled cheese sandwich anyways. I'd gladly stroll through a black tie event with this two-tone panini dream in-hand. No caviar on toast for me thanks. Try my b&w creation...

Black on White on Bread. The cute little panini book that came with my panini press had a recipe for a Black and White panini. But is was very far from vegan. Caviar, mozzarella cheese...not really my style. But I loved the b&w theme. So I veganized it...

Black. Olive Tapenade and rich creamy balsamic vinegar provides the 'black' portion of the sandwich. The balsamic vinegar is also what provides a slightly sweet flavor to the panini. Salty, sweet, zesty, creamy, peppery,'s all in there.

White. Horseradish spread and Daiya white cheese acts as the 'white' portion of the sandwich.

Daiya Cheese. I am super lucky to have found a store in my neighborhood that sells bulk priced Daiya cheese. But many of you will have trouble finding it. I suggest scouring your neighborhood - then try to buy Daiya online at Vegan Essentials. And if you need a second vegan cheese option, I suggest Follow Your Heart Monterey Jack cheese. Delicious as well.

My Black and White kitty gives two paws up to this recipe. Totally lickable...

Kitty Lovers: more kitty pics.

And if you are craving more Panini Pics - check out this vegan grilling photo slideshow I just posted.

Now onto my recipe...yum yum yum

Black and White Panini
vegan, makes 2 sandwiches

4 slices of sandwich bread, whole wheat
2 Tbsp Olive Tapenade
*homemade Olive tapenade recipe below
1 1/2-2 Tbsp Horseradish spread
4 Tbsp Daiya Cheese Italian Blend or other white cheese, shredded
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
fresh black pepper

Pure Olive Tapenade
1/2 cup cannellini beans, drained
1 can black olives, 6 oz.
*I used basic black olives, you can use kalamata or green olives if you choose.
1 Tbsp EVOO
a few grinds of fresh black pepper
*olive dip recipe post here


1. Gather your ingredients and prepare olive tapenade (if making fresh).
Quickie Olive Spread: You can also choose from several store bought brands. Le Pain Quotidien has a fabulous olive spread - and there are several brands I've tried from Whole Foods that are delicious. However, I do adore my olive dip/tapenade recipe - homemade is the less expensive route.

2. Spread olive tapenade onto one side your sliced bread.

3. Spread horseradish onto other slice of bread. Use enough of each spread so that the entire surface is lightly coated. Use more horseradish for more spiciness.

4. Drizzle 1 tsp of balsamic vinegar on top of the olive tapenade. Grind some pepper over top. Smear vinegar into spread with a butter knife or spoon.

5. Place 'black' slice onto panini press or grill. Top with Daiya or other 'white' cheese. Place 'white' horseradish slice of bread on top of the cheese. Optional: Rub outer sides of bread with a bit of EVOO. Not needed, but an extra-decadent touch.

6. Grill until cheese melts and sides of bread are a deep brown grill-marked color. Grill marks are swoonable...

7. Remove from grill. Cool for a few minutes. Slice.

8. Serve! I like little triangles. Serve on a black or white or brightly colored plate.

Daiya Cheesiness:



Lil Triangles...

Olive Tapenade/Spread:



Dessert Panini: Smashed Choco PB Covered Cherry.

My Smashed Chocolate Covered Cherry dessert panini combines the luscious flavor of fresh juicy cherries with creamy spreadable chocolate. Sometimes a simple, classic flavor combination can create a new recipe worth sharing, repeating and making your own. Get my recipe...

Make it your own: Cherries or Berries. Cherries and chocolate is a classic combination. But for a fruity spin on this recipe you can substitute fresh strawberries, fresh blueberries or even fresh raspberries. Because sometimes cherries are hard to find. And sometimes a smashed chocolate covered blackberry panini sounds just divine.

Choco-PB Spread. I chose to make today's panini with cherries and chocolate. I used a dark chocolate peanut butter spread . But you can use your fave spreadable chocolate brand. There are more than a handful of brands on the market. If you need help finding a vegan option - let me know in the comments.

I love this recipe so much I entered it in the Great PB Exhibition. Theme fruits/veggies.

I Won! Thrilled that this recipe won first place in's recipe contest "produce" category. I received an amazingly awesome prize pack from one of my favorite brands: Peanut Butter and Co.
Thanks PB Boy and PB&Co - I'm peanut-butter-happy today!!

Prize Pack *yum*:

..and I was shocked and thrilled to read that the baking mixes are certified vegetarian and kosher parve - after reading each ingredient closely - yes vegan as well! PB Brownies for me.

Here's my choco-peanut-cherry-licious recipe. Side of ice cold soy milk on the side...

Smashed Chocolate Covered Cherry
makes 1 panini

5-6 fresh cherries, halved and de-pitted
*or sub another fresh fruit - berries are best
1 heaping Tbsp chocolate spread
*I used peanut butter chocolate
2 slices sandwich bread
*I used a sliced whole wheat pullman loaf


1. Prep cherries by halving and de-pitting.

2. Spread chocolate onto one slice of bread.

3. Place other slice of bread on panini press or grill and add fresh cherries. Use enough cherries to cover the surface.

4. Add top chocolate-spread bread slice.

5. Grill for 3-5 minutes.

6. Slice and serve warm.


Spicy Harissa Cucumber Cheddar Panini: Fire 'n Ice.

Hot and cold. Fire and ice. Spicy and chill. My Harissa Cucumber Cheddar Panini is lovingly called "the Fire and Ice". Super spicy Le Pain Quotidien tomato harissa and Follow Your Heart vegan cheddar is panini pressed between two slices of Amy's walnut-wheat bread - a juicy Farmer's Market tomato slice on top. The hot panini is removed from the grill and then the cool-off cucumber magic begins. Oh boy, I'm loving my Paninis and Grill Marks Series. Get my recipe...

Hot and Cold Panini. This panini is a two-faced, veggie-stacked, cheddar-melted sandwich with a serious Jekyll and Hyde flavor complex.

The harissa is a bold blazing spicy tomato spread - and my recipe spreads it on thick. But don't worry, the chilled crunchy cucumber slices will cool off the spicy bite. So if you can't decide on your food mood, this sandwich is for you...

If you can use Farmer's Market produce - go for it. The freshness and flavor is superb...

Farmer's Market Hothouse Tomatoes and Seedless Cucumbers:

Fire and Ice Panini: Harissa Cucumber Cheddar
vegan, makes 2 sandwiches

4 slices grain bread
*I used Amy's Bread Walnut-Wheat
1 medium hothouse tomato, sliced
1/2 seedless cucumber, chilled and sliced
6 thin slices of vegan cheddar
*I used Follow Your heart Brand
2 tsp of harissa spread
*my fave brand is Le Pain Quotidien's Harissa
black pepper
optional: soak cucumbers in a squeeze of lemon juice and maple syrup for a tart sweet flavor.
optional: EVOO as you desire
optional: fresh basil leaves


1. Slice your tomatoes and cucumbers. Grind some fresh black pepper over top and set aside. Optional: Soak cucumbers in a bit of chilled lemon juice and maple syrup.

2. Slice or grate your cheese. Spread harissa on bread.

3. Place your bread on your grill or pan. Add the cheese and tomato slices. You can add a bit of EVOO to the outer sides of the bread or to the tomato slices - if you'd like.

4. Add the top layer of bread and panini press or grill until cheese is lightly melted.

5. Remove from the grill and remove top of bread.

6. Add the chilled cucumber to the inside of the sandwich.

7. Replace the top bread.

Ready to slice!

8. Slice.

9. Serve!

Note: Fresh basil would be a lovely flavor addition to this panini if you have it on hand.