Creamy Cashew Cream Pasta with Lemon, Spinach & Tempeh Bacon Bits

I love cashew cream pasta, aka Vegan Alfredo. But I wanted to lighten it up a bit, add the sauce to taste, add some greens and lemon and tons of flavorful crispy little bits. AND make it into a one bowl wonder meal. This Cashew Cream Pasta succeeded in all those things and more!

Pasta Night. Cashew cream pasta with lemon, organic spinach wilted in and smoky-maple tempeh bacon bits. What a winner for dinner! Yes, that rhymed. I must be on a roll here. The best part is how fancy yet easy this meal is. 30 minute meal approved. I did not even pre-soak my cashews. Have this fancy-casual, date-night-meets-family-dinner meal. I used a gluten free quinoa-brown rice pasta, but you can use any pasta you'd like! Pasta night awaits you..


Sunny Blues Breakfast Cookies

If you made my DIY sunflower butter, which I hope you did because it is super yummy, you might have a bit leftover in a tub in your fridge right now. Like I did. Well I decided to test out my sun butter for cookies. Because that was one of my main reasons for making nut-free butter - to make sure sun butter could easily take the place of peanut or almond butter in cookies for kids who might be allergic.

Well, I was thrilled when these vegan Sunny Blues Breakfast Cookies turned out to be dee-li-she-oh-so. Like really good guys. Rich from all the sun butter, creamy and textured from the banana and oats and super nutty and fluffy. Like a muffin top. Gluten-free too! Plus they have plump and juicy blueberries for added nutrition and maximum yum factor. Give these a try and have cookies for brekky!..


The Best Sunflower Butter! (for People Who May Not Like Sunflower Butter...)

I recently chatted with a friend about how her five year-old daughter who is deathly allergic to peanuts, is now also allergic to almonds. My mind quickly went to "What will she have on her sandwiches and in her nut butter cookies??"

I felt awful for this sweet, wide-eyed, feisty little girl especially because I have always, always hated the go-to nut butter alternative: Sunflower Seed Butter. Well, until now that is. This stuff in insanely yummy, and I share both a silky, light, oil-free version -- and a thicker, chunky, richer version. Blend up some yummy Sun Butter today and fall back in love. Fun in the sun..


THAT Grilled Cheese Sandwich from Chef: Vegan Version! + giveaway!

This is not your everyday, kinda-cheezy-but-still-mostly-healthy, vegan grilled cheese sandwich. This vegan grilled cheese with toasty, buttery layers of bread hugging melty, swirling American and provolone cheeses is a grilled-cheese-sandwich-lover's kind of sandwich. Your nutritional conscience might be wagging its finger at you, but I promise that after your first bite of this toasty bliss, you will not care. Get my recipe and WATCH me make it in a how-to video! Plus, see what movie inspired this post! ... AND enter a giveaway to win a HUGE sampler pack of the vegan cheese I used..


Vegan Chocolate Chip Muffins

Break into a warm, steamy, fluffy, homemade, melty-chocolate-chip-filled, vegan Chocolate Chip Muffin and I promise your day will be a little bit cozier. Fresh from the oven, these classic muffins are delicious as a snack or sweet treat. I love one paired with a steamy mug of chai tea or a frothy soy latte. Let the aroma of vanilla, nutty oats, chocolate chips and a hint of peanut butter says hello to your senses. Plus get my parchment paper jumbo muffin trick..


My First Time at SXSW in Austin!

Last week I had an amazing experience traveling to Austin Texas to attend South by Southwest 2015, aka SXSW. I submitted my "vegan meetup" session to the panel picker and I was thrilled when it was chosen to be an official SXSW event. So having never been to Austin or SXSW before I packed up a bag and flew out to Texas for an adventure...


Peanut-Ginger Curry Chickpeas over Fluffy Brown Rice

peanut ginger curried chickpeas and rice
Back from a busy long weekend at SXSW in Austin, hosting the official vegan meetup, I was craving comfort food! And before I post my SXSW wrap-up post, expect that later this week, I was just dying to post a recipe. So I pushed my giant pile of papers off my desk, they crashed onto the floor as I tossed my head back and laughed sinisterly, while concurrently ripping up my long to-do list as I strolled over to my kitchen and clicked on the stove. Ok, ok so I didn't really do that, I did hop in the kitchen, but the desk-side destruction part was all in my quite active imagination. But cooking on a Monday afternoon just feels so good, it had to happen. I hope YOU can hop in your kitchen tonight or sometime this week and inhale the lively aromas from this recipe and feel the same sense of "Ahhhhhhhh, home-cooked food, yes. This." That I did.

This Peanut-Ginger Curry Chickpeas over Fluffy Brown Rice is so incredibly yummy, I seriously cannot wait to eat more of it for dinner tonight! Peanut buttery, spicy curried ginger, chickpea bliss, fluffy rice, sweet and sassy goodness...


10 Cool Things This Week

It has been a busy few weeks and that means I have way too many things I want to post about, so instead of making myself (and you guys) crazy, I am doing a round-up of all the fun stuff I have to share. From ExpoWest to SXSW, green smoothies and a cookbook giveaway, launching an App and being part of an amazing (huge) blender giveaway and video. Many cool things to share with you, experience, talk about and get excited for .. before I collapse on the couch and binge watch Netflix with a mug of cocoa in my lap. That sounds pretty darn COOL to me right now too. Lets put that on my calendar ASAP...


Meyer Lemon, Ginger Garlic, Turmeric Curry, Pasta-Potato Soup.

A few nights ago I posted a photo of this soup on Instagram, and many of you requested the recipe. And I do not blame you! This creamy, vibrant, warming, wellness-infused soup is off-the-charts delicious and healthy. I hope you can cozy up to a bowl of this soup very soon! Get my recipe for Meyer Lemon, Ginger Garlic, Turmeric Curry, Pasta-Potato Soup..


Half and Half Cookies: Peanut Butter Brownie. Vegan. Give these a try!

If you can never decide on what cookie flavor to make: here is the cookie technique for you! Get ready for some half and half cookie fun with these Peanut Butter Brownie Cookies. Kinda like a peanut butter cup all in one cookie...


Support for Sarma. Pure Food and Wine Reflection.

Through the satin green leaves on fluffy trees lining the gritty silver streets of the Gramercy Park neighborhood in New York City, there sits a special spot to me and to many. Pure Food and Wine Restaurant, and around the corner, One Lucky Duck juice bar + takeaway.

Pure Food and Wine is a place where towering raw zucchini lasagna with its bright green pesto and glossy layers, vibrant vegan salads, the best vegan tamales you have ever tasted, velvety Mallomars and rippling Chocolate Mint Sundaes are carried out on shiny dishes by passionate people, amidst twinkling lights, glowing faces sipping Sake Tinis and a hum of something magical in the air. Kind of like Disneyland for people who like plants. And in place of Walt, we have miss Sarma. In the place of Mickey, we have a duck. A duck logo who Sarma says she created with kid-appeal in mind,

"..enough of a cuteness factor that kids would find it (the logo) appealing too, which is important if we’re talking about changing the future too." And in terms of changing the future, Sarma was succeeding.

If you know anything about the PFW + OLD brand, you will know Sarma's face. Shiny bobbed blonde hair, low key smile, duck tattoo, Swan Greens juice in hand, pumpkinseed salad munching at her desk, rescue pets speckling her Instagram, like her blonde-eared pitbull Leon, and Sarma's candid blog posts and voice  -- all things synonymous with her brand.

But a few weeks ago I was saddened to hear that Pure Food and Wine was closed amidst a financial scandal that was playing out on a grand, hurtful, public scale..


5 Ways Essential Oils Improved My Wellness

Hello April! I have so many exciting things going on this month that I will be sharing with you all in just about every post. Lots of updates for you guys. And for today, I want tell you all about an amazing company called WellScent. Their products are PERFECT for anyone whose minds and bodies are working overtime and in need of some serious rejuvenation. And seriously, aren't we all? Essential oils to the rescue.

Get my 5 Ways Essential Oils Have Changed My Wellness Game + enter to win $250 worth of their amazing products, giveaway!..


Super Dreamy Medjool Date Salted Caramel Sauce, in a Vitamix. Fat-Free!

I am always trying to use Medjool dates in more of my recipes because I love them so much. They are so sticky-sweet and amazing all on their own - they don't need much! I love blending them for raw crusts for pies and tarts, stuffing them with cashew cheese, slicing them over top salads or nibbling them just as they come, as a super healthy dessert treat. But my absolute favorite thing to do with dates is to make this Medjool Date Salted Caramel Sauce. It is fat free, super simple in ingredients and blends up in about a minute. Slather it on pancakes, toast, over top cakes and brownies, on top of vegan ice cream or use it as a dipping sauce for fruit and even veggies! Natural sweetness for just about anything. Raw recipe, no heating involved. Get the recipe and check out my new blender review video which compares the Vitamix S30 to the NutriBullet Magic Bullet!..


Elvis Peanut Butter Pancakes from Katie Higgins

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday weekend! Since it is a Monday. And many of you are either on spring break or have kids who are on spring break, Monday-pancakes felt very perfect. And since I have been meaning to share this recipe and a cookbook from one of my fellow bloggers, well today is that day.

These Elvis Peanut Butter Banana Pancakes by Katie Higgins, are just the thing to start a "hubba hubba" good day. With this tall tower of silver dollar pancakes, maple syrup glistening on top, you will have everyone at the breakfast table singing your praises with "thank you, thank you very much." So do not get "all shook up" about what to serve for brekky. And "don't be cruel," just make these pancakes. Because you "can't help falling in love" with them.

How's THAT for silliness? The recipe..


Easy Vegan Queso in Minutes! Warm, Spicy + Creamy Dip or Sauce.

I am currently obsessed with this super easy Vegan Queso Dip. I made it in minutes (soak free version!) and drizzled it on just about everything last night at dinner. Cheezy, with loads of spice, a hint of lime and fresh cilantro on top. This silky, cashew-based dip or sauce is a versatile, boldly flavored recipe that I hope you try!..


How to Start a Blog in 5 Easy Steps!

Since you already love reading blogs, and hooray for that! What about YOU starting your own blog. If you love being in the kitchen, trying and sharing recipes and exploring the ever-curious world of food (or another blog topic!) lets chit chat..

"How Do I Start a Blog?" ..I am often asked this question. Well, this post is your starting point. Start a blog today with my 5-Step Quick Start Guide. Also read my Guide to Successful Blogging for bonus blogging tips for long-term success. (read on for both)

Start telling your story, documenting your adventures and sharing your own raved-about recipes. You never know what might bloom from your blogging journey. Let me show you how!..