Double Coconut Blueberry Muffins. My Bed & Breakfast-Style Recipe.

The first day back from vacation is the worst. In a hazy, dreamy state you roll yourself out of bed and your pre-vacay routine kicks in. At your desk, you reluctantly pull open your laptop or unsleep your screen and just stare at your computer for a moment as if it is a foreign object. The clunky keys and hard edges appear cold and unfriendly. Hmm. Now what?

Dread. Back to work blues. Or as I am calling mine: PMB. Post Maui Blues.

Today's back-to-work recipe to ease me back into work-ish things: A vacation-infused bakery treat. Vegan Double Coconut (Coconut Oil) Blueberry Muffins.


Strawberry-Lime Nutty Flax Coconut Oil Muffins. Gluten Free.

You know good muffins? I mean really good, moist and fluffy, warm-from-the-oven, steamy insides, smells like heaven, crispy-edged muffin tops, sweet and comforting muffins? They are so addicting! Thus is the case with my coconut oil muffin recipe that I posted just a few days ago. Well you guys asked for a gluten free version. So you ask and I deliver. And OK, I was craving a fresh batch of these heavenly, plump baked gems, so into the kitchen I went.

Is it ever a bad time for muffins? Don't think so.

Strawberry Lime Nutty Flax Coconut Oil Muffins. Sweet strawberries, warm zesty lime, nutty flax, a generous coating of caramelized sugar on top. And silky coconut oil, all luscious and amazing. Fan-tab-u-lous.

This recipe is similar to the blueberry version, but I think these sassy sweet lime and strawberry flavors just scream summertime muffins. Make these or my double coconut blueberry version and have yourself a very cozy, summer-is-coming sort of weekend...


6 Summer Slaws to Try! + My New Easy Vegan Summer Slaw.

This new vegan cole slaw recipe is one of my favorites for spring and summer. I call it my Easy Peasy Creamy Perky Summer Slaw because it is all those things. Super easy to make, lightly creamy, perky and flavorful and ready to serve a crowd as a summer BBQ side dish or pile it on top of a veggie burger as a sandwich topping. Or do like I do and store it in small grab-n-eat containers for easy snacking at any hour of the day. You can even add a few sticky maple tempeh triangles on top and make it a meal. Or you can always pair it with the perfect veggie burger for a perfect summertime meal. Rainbow Sangria or lemonade frosty on the side.

Grab this recipe and make it all summer long!..


Reinvent your Summer with Nokia Lumia 928: Enter to Win $5,000! (Plus, summer recipes #reinvented)

Summertime should be filled with fun. And this post certainly is!..

1. Cool Phone. Check out how I'm reinventing my summer with my new Nokia Lumia 928 Windows Phone.
2. Win! Enter to win $5,000 or one of ten brand new Nokia Lumia 928 (NL928) phones.
3. Ice Cream. As part of this NL928 summer series, I will be reinventing a few fave summer recipe classics. First up: 8 Ways to Veganize Your Summer Ice Cream Sundae Party!


DOLE/HHL "Smoothietude!" Contest & Giveaway! Entry Details.

A few days ago, I hinted at a big announcement. Well here it is.. In the spirit of 365 Vegan Smoothies, I am happy to announce my DOLE Bananas & DOLE Salads "Show Me Your Smoothietude" Contest & Giveaway! $2000 in prizes to be awarded.

Prizes: (3) $449 Vitamix's will be given away, (2) $150 Smoothie Lover Kits, (6) 365 Vegan Smoothies books & an HHL tee! (whew!)

All you have to do is -> Show me your smoothietude! ..... So what is smoothietude? To me it is.. Love, excitement and enthusiasm for smoothies. And how smoothies make their way into your daily routine to mingle with your mood, personality and culinary cravings.

You may remember my DOLE-sponsored "Show Me Your Salad-tude Contest" .. well this is like that, only with smoothies. And Vitamixes. :) Entry details + see my example entries for the contest..

All for the love of smoothies...

Showing off my #smoothietude (contest entry examples)..

..this recipe is direct from 365 Vegan Smoothies...

I like my bananas speckled for making smoothies. DOLE calls these "cheetah" bananas!..

Of course they are oh-so-pretty like this too..

About the prize-sponsor: Thank you to DOLE Bananas and DOLE Salads for contributing this generous array of prizes! DOLE Bananas: Peel the Love - Bananas make every smoothie so much better. I always have a giant bowl of frozen bananas in my freezer and a few ripening bananas in my fruit bowl as well. The motto in my house: you can never have too many bananas.

DOLE salads can also find a way into your smoothie blends via one of my faves: green smoothies! (And sidenote: be sure to check out DOLE Salad's Taste of Spain summer contest going on now too....)

NOW, lets get to the #smoothietude contest!.. Show Me Your Smoothietude Contest Entry Details:
entry period: May 23-June 23, 2013

Three Ways to Win: --> (giveaway, pin-it-to-win-it & featured contest)

1. GIVEAWAY. Enter the giveaway via the Punchtab App below. One winner, chosen by a random drawing.
giveaway prize: (1 winner, random drawing) - Vitamix TurboBlend VS

2. PIN IT TO WIN IT! Enter by pinning the image of my new book 365 Vegan Smoothies - image below. Be sure to tag your pin #smoothietude to be entered. Image should link back to this post / page URL. (Make sure that your Pinterest account has some way to contact you enabled.)
pin-it-to-win-it prize: (1 winner, random drawing) - Vitamix TurboBlend VS

Pin-it Image of 365 Smoothies!..

3. FEATURED CONTEST. Show Me Your Smoothietude! Contest. Get featured on HHL as a finalist + enter to win amazing prizes!

How to enter:
1. Make it. Head into your kitchen and make your favorite smoothie.
2. Photograph it. Grab your camera and snap a few photos of you enjoying your smoothie .. aka showing off your smoothietude! Get creative and have fun. Note: you must create a new and original image for the contest and you must be in the photo since you are showing off your smoothietude.
3. Edit it. Edit your photo(s) and be creative. You may add text, a recipe or more. (See entry samples below!)
4. Make it official. Add a "contest badge" somewhere on your photo entry.
5. Share it. Post your photo entry image somewhere online. Options: Feature it in a blogpost, pin it on Pinterest, share it on Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr or Twitter. (note: privacy settings for your photo must be public if sharing via a social network account) Use the hashtag #smoothietude
6. Enter it. Email the URL/permalink to where you shared your entry online -> email to along with your name, email address, state. You can submit up to 5 entries. Enter by June 23, midnight PST.
-> Who wins: a selection of finalists will be chosen by me. Then co-judge Gena Hamshaw and I will decide together on the final prize winners - announcement of winners in late June. (I am happy to have Gena help me choose the contest winners since she wrote the foreword in 365 Vegan Smoothies.)

featured contest prizes: (8 winners, chosen by judges)
(1 winner) Grand Prize Winner: Vitamix TurboBlend VS (or a culinary store gift card for $449.00 in value) + copy of 365 Vegan Smoothies + an HHL tee + featured in blogpost on HHL!**
**If the grand prize winner already has a high-speed blender they can request a gift card of equal value in its place.
(2 winners) First Prize Winners: $150 Smoothie Lover Kits: includes and assortment of ingredients & products (hand-selected by Kathy)
(5 winners) Honorable Mentions: Kathy's 365 Vegan Smoothies Book


More Smoothietude Contest Examples!..

I cannot wait to see your smoothietude! :)

* Contest and giveaway open to USA and CANADA only. (for shipping reasons)
* You must respond to claim your prize(s) within 14 days or prize will be forfeited.
* HHL is not responsible for lost entries or communication errors upon prize notification.
* This contest/giveaway is hosted by HHL and the prize is sponsored by DOLE Bananas and DOLE Salads - Taste of Spain and Peel the Love. This is not a sponsored post and no fee was retained for this contest. Only prize donation was administered.
* Judging of contest will be based on: creativity, recipe quality (if included) - note only vegan-friendly entries please, photography
* HHL has the right to exclude entries that do not meet the criteria for entry or are inappropriate in any way.
* entry period: May 23-June 23, 2013, midnight PST for contest entries


Want to enter another cool contest? Check out DOLE's Taste of Spain Contest. Want to win a $40,000 trip to Spain? (Ya, me too!!) Well you can enter to win that and a wide array of other prizes on Dole's Taste of Spain page. Taste of Spain game..

I even embraced their "Taste of Spain" inspiration by blending up a Sangria Smoothie! Check out my sangria smoothie recipe below.

Spain-inspired smoothie.. Sangria Smoothie Mocktail - recipe..

Also check out how to stock your smoothie kitchen: 10 Things Every Smoothie Lover Needs in their Kitchen And be sure to pre-order 365 Vegan Smoothies so you will be one of the first to receive it!


The 10 Things Every Smoothie Lover Needs in their Kitchen!

Corny voiceover voice: Do you consider yourself a smoothie lover? Me: "Yes, yes, yes!"

You too? Smoothie cheers to that!

And since I literally wrote the book on smoothie-making, I want to share with you what I think are the ten things every smoothie lover should have in their kitchen. So hop in your kitchen and give your smoothie tools, ingredients and goodies a good look to see how many of these ten items on my list you already have, which ones you want to add soon and which ones will be on your "smoothie kitchen dream list."

..Everyone needs a smoothie kitchen dream list, right?

So stock your kitchen with these goodies and you will be more than ready for summer. Many creative, delicious, wellness-enhancing smoothies and shakes await you. My list plus some exciting CONTEST news ahead...


NYC Trip! The Seed, Choosing Raw, Pure Food & Wine, Rainy Days...

My whirlwind trip to NYC is just about to come to a close. (I'm typing this from my hotel room, and my plane leaves in about ... 8 hours.) Three nights alone in a hotel room could seem a bit daunting, but not when you are in NYC surrounded by amazing people, food, events and this city I love so much.

This morning I was thrilled to speak at The Seed event in SoHo with my BFF Gena of Choosing Raw. We had so much fun and thank you to everyone who came out to see us on this VERY rainy Sunday. Ahead I have plenty of photos to share with you from my trip!..


HHL Tees! On Sale.. now!

I am super excited to launch my Healthy Happy Tee Store! I have seriously been living in these tees since they arrived on my doorstep a few days ago.

These tees are both super soft and perfect for those days when you just want to throw on a pair of jeans or leggings and a soft, fun, colorful tee. No-fuss hair and not a stitch of makeup on! Those are the best days, right? And this is your new fave tee for that happy casual day!

Two colors to start things off, heather grey American Apparel track tee and a soft white 50/50 tee. Check out some of my tee pics ... yes I played "model" for a day for my tee photoshoot...


Easy Triple Peanut Butter Swirl Cheesecake. (Vegan)

So tomorrow (eeks, tomorrow?!) I fly to NYC for a fun-filled weekend. I am presenting at The Seed event in Soho at 10:45 am on Sunday morning. My trusty presentation companion -> miss Gena Hamshaw of Choosing Raw of course. The topic -> smoothies!

So I'm kinda in crazy-busy mode this afternoon as I pack, run errands, confirm travel plans and pamper my kitty as much as possible because she gets so sad when I leave her. And today, just before I fly out the door I am sharing something I know you all will love. My Triple Peanut Butter Swirl Vegan Cheesecake...


Creamy Fresh Blackberry-Acai Sorbet. Blend, Freeze, Scoop, Serve!

I don't care who you are or what your taste buds tell you on a normal day. When a HOT weather day hits your city and the beaming sun zonks you into a sweltering zombie, you will suddenly find yourself face first, perched at your open freezer. Peering past the frozen peas, you will be in search of something cool and creamy to scoop into a bowl. Spoon in hand, you will rustle past the frozen spinach, under the frozen pizza, hoping and wishing that you hid away some sort of a frosty, creamy, frozen dessert treat long ago that you simply forgot about.

Well stop searching and start blending. The answer to your creamy-frosty spoonful dreams is right under your nose. Make sure you have frozen bananas and a few other goodies in your kitchen and you are just a few minutes away from cool bliss. And the best part is that this creamy sorbet is incredibly healthy and totally guilt-free. Eat a giant, mountainous bowlful and feel GOOD about it. Antioxidants, fiber, vitamins and fresh fruit energy.


Ginger Peanut Coconut Veggie & Tofu Stir-Fry over Rice.

I was in the mood for Asian flavors so this Ginger-Peanut-Coconut Tofu Veggie and Rice Stir-Fry really hit the spot. The warm spicy ginger mingling with rich, nutty peanut flavor, cool, captivating coconut milk, bright citrus and a hint of miso and tamari. Colorful Asian veggies like broccoli florets, snow peas, edamame, carrots and water chestnuts are heated in a sizzling skillet, tossed in sauce and plated on top of fluffy white rice. Plump pillows of seared miso-ginger tofu cubes on top. A ring of freshly sliced citrus, orange zest aroma, to accent the platter. Sake on the side. And an extra bowl of fluffy rice too.

There is just something about a side bowl of fluffy rice that makes me happy.

This dish rocks as a "leftovers" meal too. Served cold or warm. Craving stir-fry? Give this vegan meal a try!..

And some thoughts of the day: On Single-tasking..


Vegan Flour-Free Oat Chocolate Chip Cookies.

I did muffins. I did cake. So it seemed only natural that I experiment with my beloved "flour free" baking method with cookies. Success!

These Oat Chocolate Chip Cookies (I used chocolate chunks) are quite fabulous. If you love rustic-textured, nutty, oat-y cookies these babies are for you. (Just thought-read that in an SNL Stephan voice. anyone?) Cookies: Right out of the oven they are moist and super chewy with melty bits of semi-sweet/vegan chocolate. (Still Stephan voice-ing! And giggling.) I used silky-rich virgin coconut oil as my "oil/fat" so when they cool they firm up a bit. These lovely cookies are reminiscent of oat-y granola bars. (Actually I crumbled a few over top my smoothies as a sort of cookie-infused granola topping!)

You can keep the homemade oat flour very thick and textured like I did for a more "nutty" cookie. Or you can blend your oats into a superfine powder for a less textured cookie. Either way, these lovelies are flour-free (and gluten-free if you are OK with rolled oats). OK, OK enough chatter, here is the recipe for your weekend baking!..


Oh She Glows, Angela Liddon: Veggie Girl Power Interview!

The second amazing lady I am featuring in this year's Veggie Girl Power Interview Series is Angela Liddon of the blog Oh She Glows. If you a fan of vegan recipe blogs I'm guessing you already know of Angela and her inspiring recipes, so get to know this talented lady a little more in my VGP interview!..


Vegan Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting: Healthy Dessert!

This recipe for Vegan Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting started out as something called a "Carrot Cake Breakfast Bake" Simply because the ingredients are reminiscent of a sort of baked carrot cake oatmeal. But after one bite of this moist and rustic treat I realized it was totally dessert-approved and could easily rival traditional frosted carrot cake. And the best part: this cake is free of refined flour and there is no powdered sugar in the cream cheese frosting.

Flavors. Nutty walnuts, thick bits of sweet carrot, spices, orange zest, tender sweet organic raisins and that cream cheese frosting on top is everything you want from a carrot cake frosting .. minus the animal products. Try my recipe and you will be enjoying this healthy-delicious, easy carrot cake in a flash!..


Juicy Mango Margarita (Mocktail) + 21 Vegan Cinco de Mayo Recipes!

Cinco de Mayo is my favorite food holiday. I say it every year and it is true. Growing up in California, I have acquired a passionate love of authentic and creative Mexican-inspired food. Guacamole, tacos, red rice, limes, simmering black or veggie refried beans, freshly fried tortilla chips, oven-baked enchiladas, homemade corn tortillas, spicy salsa, salsa verde, sticky sweet plantains, tender sweet corn cakes, vegan cashew or tofu sour cream, vegan melty cheese, jalapenos and on and on and on... Hungry yet? Me. Too. Lets throw on our fiesta hats, shimmy into the kitchen and start our own little fiesta feast.

Juicy Mango Margarita. <- And this beverage will hit the spot! You can make it a mocktail as I did - or a real tequila-infused bevie if you desire. This is my favorite beverage using fresh, juicy, sweet, vitamin-A rich mangoes and you really must try it! Fresh lime juice, frosty peach and a generous amount of freshly diced mango cubes. Join me and make something amazing this weekend. Heck, if all you make for you Mexican fiesta is guacamole and THIS drink - you will be just perfect!..


Simone Reyes: VGP Interview!

VGP 2013. As I mentioned in last week's VGP-update interview with Chloe Coscarelli, this year's Veggie Girl Power Interview Series will be stretched over a few weeks, instead of back-to-back. More room to squeeze in vegan recipes. And first up, is the passionate, glowing, tells-it-like-it-is chicka -> Simone Reyes.

You Know Her.. You may recognize Simone from television, as she appeared in the Oxygen-network reality show Running Russell Simmons. A show that followed business mogul/celebrity/vegan Russell Simmons and his staff (which includes Simone). But besides being a bubbly, fun, celeb-staffer, that oozes personality, and has reality-show-credits, Simone is first and foremost a passionate animal lover and activist. See what Simone has to say about life, veganism, animals, vegan celebs and what is next for her!..


Vegan Shake: Peanut Butter Chocolate-Dipped Frozen Banana.

Need a frosty treat this week? (I sure did!) Try this Peanut Butter Chocolate-Dipped Frozen Banana Shake. It is actually a lot healthier than is appears and I love it because it combines two desserts in one. Chocolate-dipped bananas and a peanut butter-swirled chocolate "milk"shake. Oh and I have news to share about my book..


Basic Vegan Vanilla Baking Batter. All-Purpose. Easy. (Updated Recipe!)

Happy, healthy, red, white and blueberry day! Aka, the Fourth of July. I hope you are all enjoying some relaxing summertime fun this weekend.

Today I want to share with you a basic vegan baking batter that you can use for a wide variety of recipes: muffins, pancakes, waffles, tea bread and more. It has a zesty lemon-vanilla flavor perfect to pair with a wide variety of summer fruit or bolder flavors like spice and chocolate...

UPDATED! - 5/2013 - I updated the recipe to reflect my new love of coconut oil. Plus a I simplified and tweaked a few things. You can use this recipe for cupcakes, cakes, waffles, pancakes and more!

Happy 4th from Nelly!..

Flag waffles with vegan cream cheese + berries:

Mini Muffins..

Happy Holiday. Give yourself a day off and recharge. I know we are all hard-wired to check our cell phones and email as often as we can - but I've found that if I just "turn off" for a few hours - or even an entire day (challenging, I know!) - when I "turn back on" I am all the more energized, vibrant and ready to attack the day.

..and a great way to "turn off" is to get in the kitchen and bake. This batter recipe is lovely paired with whatever fresh summer fruit you may have on hand.

Vanilla. Subtle Lemon. Batter. There is a nice dose of lemon juice in this batter - I call it my secret brightening ingredient. It gives such a light and summery flavor to the batter. Subtle lemon is perfect for pairing with berries, peaches, banana, apples - any fruit really. Yet the flavor is clean enough to pair with bolder ingredients like ginger, spice, cinnamon and even chocolate - as in chocolate chip mini muffins. Yum.

Use your imagination and enjoy this versatile baking recipe.

Perfect for strawberry short cake round too! Soy whip swirled on top..

Easy Vegan Baking Batter
makes enough for about 15 muffins

2 cups flour (basic white flour works best for fluffy traditional cakes, but any flour can be used)
2/3 cup organic sugar (wet or dry can be used)
1/2 cup coconut oil (or sub with veggie oil: safflower, or melted vegan butter. If using vegan butter omit the added salt)
3/4 cup non-dairy milk, warmed (I used unsweetened almond)
2 tsp baking powder
3 Tbsp lemon juice (+ some optional zest for extra lemon-y flavor)
1/4 tsp vanilla extract (optional for vanilla flavor)
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp ground flax seeds + 3 Tbsp water or non-dairy milk (vegan "egg replacer")*
*for added binding power, add in 2-3 tsp of ground chia seeds too!

1 mashed banana (totally optional, for added texture and flavor)
Spices like cinnamon, ginger and more..

For use: Muffins, Waffles, Pancakes, Coffee Cakes, Tea Bread - more!

Basic Directions:

1. Combine flour, baking powder, salt.
2. Grind seeds, stir with water. Set aside.
3. Warm the non-dairy milk and add to dry ingredients. (You do not want any cold ingredients or the coconut oil will harden up)
4. Soften coconut oil and blend with sugar. Add the oil, sugar mixture to the mixture. Blend well.
5. Fold in the flax mixture and optional vanilla. Last, fold in the lemon juice and blend well. The batter will start to puff up.
6. You can now use the batter to fill cupcake tins, for pancakes, waffles, cakes and more. Grease pans well!
Note: You can reduce the oil if you'd like, just be sure to use something to substitute for it. A mashed banana works very well or vegan yogurt or even some chopped nuts for added body. If it is fall and winter, pumpkin puree is also an excellent add-in or way to replace some oil. Good luck and happy baking!!

baking times (approx):
* mini muffins - about 13-15 minutes
* muffins - about 18 minutes
* pancakes and waffles - until browned on edges
* fruit loaf - about 25 minutes

mini muffin trio skewers..