Sip This -> Wild Blueberry Shake!

I had a fantastic birthday yesterday (32 already? Geez, time flies!) and this Wild Blueberry Shake with antioxidant-rich wild blueberries, sweet banana, frosty watermelon cubes (my secret ingredient) and creamy vanilla almond milk was my birthday shake "smoothie break." Get the recipe and a few pics from my celebration day!..


Orange Spice Chia Energy Muffins. With Maca!

I wasn't expecting to fall in love with these tender little muffin gems. But I totally did!

These Orange Spice Chia Energy Muffins are infused with warm spices including cinnamon and a hint of cayenne. Tropical banana, energizing citrus and an undertone of vanilla in each bite. These muffins have a dose of super food maca powder which adds a nutty, butterscotch-ish, malt-y accent. Crunchy chia seeds are speckled throughout to add fiber and enhance the pillow-y muffin texture...


Chocolate Avocado Mousse Recipe. Two Ingredients. Easy Bliss.

This vegan Chocolate Avocado Mousse is creamy, rich and decadent. Silky dark chocolate flavor in every velvety spoonful. But the best part about this recipe is how incredibly easy it is. Two base ingredients!

And if you are worried that avocados do not belong in chocolate mousse .. think again! One taste and you will understand why everyone raves about chocolate avocado mousse recipes...


Creamy Baked Potato Soup. Vegan. Secret Ingredient Recipe.

This vegan Creamy Baked Potato Soup is velvet-y and soothing, winter white in color. This simple ingredient blend with a slightly peppery, mild cheezy flavor is topped with crispy bits of roasted potato, caramelized onions and smoky tempeh bacon bits or some spicy chopped vegan seitan. Freshly chopped chives or parsley on top. Some tomatoes, vegan sour cream or even a sprinkling of plant-based 'cheddar' shreds would also be nice.

Free. The base soup recipe is soy free, dairy free, gluten free, 'plant milk' free and cream free. Simple whole food ingredients. Yet it blends up ultra creamy with the help of a secret ingredient! This Loaded Potato Soup was a successful special request recipe I hope you love!..


Walnut Lovers' Chocolate Chip Cookies. Vegan. (+giveaway)

I do not throw this phrase around lightly, but i have to say it.. "These may be the best batch of cookies I have ever baked." Yup. These Walnut Lovers' Chocolate Chip Cookies are studded with thick, buttery, crunchy California walnuts, velvet-y mini chocolate chips, a sprinkling of rolled oats, cinnamon and an undertone of rich vanilla extract in every chewy, air-y bite. Get my recipe and enter an awesome giveaway too! (Cookies + giveaway = double happy post!)..


Bow Tie Pasta Primavera. Avocado-Pesto on Top.

Tonight's dinner: Bow Tie Pasta Primavera. Avocado-Pesto on Top. So excited about this colorful, inviting bowl. This recipe gave me a taste of spring or sunny summer in a the middle of winter. (Although, I do have to admit that LA has a bright blue sky today...) Lunch or dinner approved.

The Dish. Tender veggie-colored bow tie pasta is tossed with an array of colorful veggies: red bell pepper, bright green broccoli, zesty red onion, lively black olives, sweet crunchy carrots and optional capers too. This creamy melange of pasta and veggies includes a lemon-tahini-pepper dressing to start, then another rich pesto sauce on top, the side or folded in to create ultra-creamy pasta bliss. Serve this dish warm or chilled. Healthy veggies, comfort food pasta and rich delicious pesto all in one very cheerful bowl. Leftovers are amazing too! Get my recipe..


Dynamic Duo: Quickie Tomato Soup + Grilled Vegan Cheese.

This dynamic food duo really needs no introduction, but I'll humor you. Today's recipes are simple yet cravable, slightly indulgent, but with definite healthy qualities, cozy to share or enjoy solo. I give you a vegan spin on, Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese.

Creamy, bright, opaque red tomato soup (topped with some nutritional yeast for extra cheezy flavor) pairs perfectly with a sizzling hot grilled cheese sandwich with golden toasty edges, all buttery and bronzed. Melty cheese oozing out the sides, the edges becoming browned, crispy and caramelized from the hot skillet. This spin on tomato soup is fast and infused with some fiber and protein from a secret ingredient.

Hope for a cozy rainy day to cuddle up to this dynamic food duo!..


Green Power Tower Salad. Tahini. Citrus. Protein.

This Green Power Tower Salad is a tall tower of green fuel for your busy day! My Sunny Maple Tahini Dressing coats a mix of sturdy, sweet winter greens including kale and Swiss chard. Protein-rich chickpeas and silky avocado mingle with the flavor-infused, ribbon sliced greens. Sweet winter citrus on the side. I added omega3-rich oil over top too!

This healthy-delicious salad is under 500 calories and has over 20 grams of protein. Devour it as an entree salad or split it with a friend as a side dish. This blend is loaded with iron, calcium, fiber, vitamins A and C, manganese and more! Get the recipe..


Peanut Butter Chocolate Vegan Cupcakes. (Two Ways!)

Dreamy cupcakes are always a treat. These vegan Peanut Butter Chocolate Cupcakes are perfect when you are craving a pb cup flavor. Made using creamy peanut butter, rich cocoa powder and more, these cupcakes are perfect for a special event or everyday baking project. Whip up some cupcakes and put a smile on your face!

Get two recipes, one with peanut butter frosting and chocolate cake - and vice versa!..


Lemon Tea: The First Thing I Drink Every Morning.

The first thing you put into your body in the morning is pretty powerful. It can change the way you eat and feel for the rest of the day. Throughout my life I have tried several approaches to my "upon rising" food or drink. But above every trial and error, this mug seems to be the thing that makes me feel the best for the rest of the day. No, this is not breakfast, but this is the first thing I drink every morning upon rising, about an hour or so before breakfast. It hydrates me, gives me a splash of energy and a clean feeling from the inside out to start my day.

Get the recipe for my Lemon Tea and try it for yourself!..


Spaghetti & No-Meatballs. Vegan.

Spaghetti & No-Meatballs it is. Rolling, round, plump, tender balls piled high on a steamy swirl of spaghetti, bright marinara sauce spooned on top. A pinch of basil or parsley, and dusting of vegan Parmesan. A thick, sweet aroma of garlic and tomato wafting through the warm kitchen air. Dive into this Italian bowl, fit for a vegan pasta-night feast! Try this classic-inspired dish..


(Secret Ingredient) Vanilla Shake

For a quick pick-me-up treat, blend up this thick, creamy, frosty Vegan Vanilla Shake. I add protein powder for extra nutrients. Simple ingredients, and one secret pink ingredient!..


Amazing Chunky Carrot Soup.

This is my new favorite soup recipe guys. I call it Amazing Chunky Carrot Soup because the signature ingredient is large rounds of thickly sliced organic carrots. Also making a delicious appearance in each steamy spoonful: diced onion, fresh parsley, chopped garlic, tender pasta, vegan chipotle "sausage" and large cubes of potato. Oh and a few secret ingredients too.

Plus get my 3 favorite ingredients for making any vegan soup taste amazing!..


Citrus Radish Avocado Platter.

Back from a quickie weekend in Vegas, I was craving a sunny, colorful platter of vibrancy-boosting fruit and veggie flavors. This Citrus Radish Avocado Detox Platter really hit the spot! A simple citrus dressing splashed on top, a few very fresh ingredients and my vibrant plate was ready. Recipe + Vegas pics!..


Vegan Peanut Butter Cookies. Warm. Chewy. Peanut Butter-y.

These vegan Peanut Butter Cookies, all warm, chewy 'n peanut butter-y are accented with real vanilla extract, a touch of cinnamon (and gobs of creamy peanut butter flavor.) Get my recipe and get that freshly baked cookies are in my oven smile on your face!..


Sweet Citrus Avocado Dreamboat. Green Smoothies + Inspiration!

It is a sort of madness we all seem to brush off as normal. One day we are passing around shiny silver trays stacked with holiday cookies, festive treats, calorie-laden everything and sparkly glasses filled to the brim with fizzy pink champagne.

Then boom.

Midnight hits. A new year and suddenly we are in detox mode. (A word so sinister, it sounds as if we have all been chugging chemicals all year long.) We trade in our bag of chocolate chips, jar of vanilla extract and extra-large bag of white flour for a bunch of kale, bag of chia seeds, a bowl of lemons and some cayenne and apple cider vinegar. An overnight shift from holiday mode to healthy makeover mode. We find ourselves stumbling through Whole Foods, loading up our baskets with armfuls of greens and veggies, not really knowing the recipe plan ahead.

I have heard this one before.. Hi. I just bought a bunch of kale, red radishes, two yellow bell peppers, some celery, an avocado, two gallons of coconut water, a knobby bit of ginger and nine lemons. What do I do now?


Top 30 Posts of 2012!

Thank you Healthy Happy Life readers for making 2012 a fantastic year! My blog had over 12 million pageviews in 2012 - over 28,000 fans on Facebook and over 100,000 followers on Twitter - and that means many people were checking out how delicious, rewarding and fun a vegan life can be!

My other site, Finding Vegan also had an amazing year! The site reached over 20,000 posts! Recipes submitted from bloggers all over the web. I was also happy to continue to bring vegan recipes to Disney's site as a Family Kitchen daily content contributor.

I was so glad to share my vegan creations with you guys and I loved hearing from all of you about how my recipes turned out and how your friends and family enjoyed them. You guys are what makes my job so special and rewarding. So thank you! I am excited to venture into 2013 when I will share more recipes, wellness tips and bring you guys my first book: 365 Vegan Smoothies, published by Penguin Group!

But for today, check out the Top 30 Posts of 2012 - ranked by number of pageviews. And I think number one is no surprise ;) ...


Thrive Forward Vega Lover. Chocolate Chip Shake!

Happy New Year everyone! I couldn't think of a better way to start off 2013 than to serve up a delicious vegan shake recipe + a fantastic giveaway here on my blog, featuring one of my favorite vegan brands: Vega!

The Shake: Peanut butter meets chocolate in this choco-chip banana peanut butter shake - featuring Vega's Maca Chocolate and All-in-One Shake. SO good! (And healthy!)

This month, Vega is proudly launching an inspiring (free!) program called Thrive Forward - to help you get healthy in 2013. Thrive Forward was designed by vegan athlete Brendan Brazier...