Vegan Cherry Cheesecake

It is 9pm on June 30th. I have one more recipe to post before I reach my Summer15 Series goal and gosh darn it, I'm restraining myself from crashing on the couch to bring you this post. Goal accomplished. High fives to all. We finished off June with a bang. A pop. Some fireworks in the sky. Happy July, here is your final recipe for June!..

And this one is a yummy one. Let's finish with a dessert, shall we? Always.

This Vegan Cherry-Topped Cheesecake is rich and creamy with bobbles of gooey summer cherry sauce on top. Fork dive in to recipe #15 lovely readers..


Pesto Pasta with Black Olives

I am really into super simple meal ideas with cravable flavor pairings like today's simple entree recipe.

Today's recipe for Pesto Pasta with Black Olives is such a simple meal, but there is something so lovely about a creamy, nutty, fragrant fresh avocado pesto sauce combined with the sharp saltiness of black olives. I used a gluten free rice and potato based spiral pasta, that I purposefully overcooked a bit to make to pasta very soft and tender. Then I topped everything with a bit of nutritional yeast. You could also use a vegan Parmesan. I loved this simple dish so much that I plan on making it a comfort food recipe regular! Give it a try..


Rich and Creamy, Vegan Peanut Butter Cookie Ice Cream, No-Churn!

Hello fresh new week! Aka, Monday. Today I have a Peanut Butter Ice Cream recipe you are going to looooooooove.

Monday Morning. So today, instead of hopping out of bed and 'getting a move on' I lazily sunk back under the warm covers, a snoozing kitty cat still curled up on my feet, and I spent about twenty minutes looking for the perfect Monday morning Twitter GIF. I mean, social media is part of my job, so technically, I was working. After scrolling through rainbow-colored ponies, Zach Morris, 90's Britney, Disney princesses and a few GOT GIFs, I finally settled on Ferris. As in Ferris Bueller. In it, Ferris is talking to the camera from his bathroom, with messy hair, bathrobe attire, and the text quotes his famous movie line,

"Life moves pretty fast, if you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it."

I feel like Ferris saying that is the "stop and smell the roses..." line of my generation. Maybe someone should write a book, "Ferrisisms, and other stuff I learned from 80's and 90's movies and TV." I'd read it...


Summer Salad: Chili-Lime Mango Avocado Quinoa Power Salad

Chili-Lime Mango Avocado Quinoa Power Salad
Well I have to say my Summer 15 Challenge (15 new summer recipe posts in 30 days!) has been harder than I thought. Only because come summertime, posting gets harder and harder simply because there is so much more to enjoy outside, under the blue sky than in front of a computer.

But hey, a girl has to eat, right?

So on this busy Friday, I returned home from a quick beach morning with a friend, and I knew I had to post something to keep to my schedule. And I was also hungry for a late afternoon lunch. So, as often happens, lunch became work! This Chili-Lime Mango-Avocado Quinoa Power Salad is so flavorful, cravable and energizing with juicy summer mango and buttery avocado, all soaked in zesty lime juice and a hint of smoky paprika. Protein and fiber-rich quinoa tosses with yummy spinach and a few black bean tortillas on the side. I loved this easy vegan lunch and hope you do too!..


Creamy Vegan Cheez Sauce! For Kale Mac 'n Cheese, Potatoes and More.

Comfort food in summer? During a heatwave? Yes!

This is actually a really great recipe for summertime because it only requires some stovetop cooking for a complete meal. Plus it can be whipped up in minutes leaving more time for ping pong playing, summer sprinklers, pool splashing, beach adventuring, sunset strolling and firefly frolicking.

This recipe for Creamy Vegan Cheez Sauce is perfect for a wide variety of dishes. I used it to make vegan Mac and Cheez with kale. It was such a delicious dinner that combined loads of leafy greens with creamy, dreamy, cheezy pasta.

The next day, I used the cheez sauce leftovers on top of some vegan chili with skillet plantains and hot sauce. Yum!

You could also use this sauce as a topping for baked potatoes, steamed or roasted broccoli or cauliflower and much more. Get it!..


DIY Pink Drink. Naturally Sweet.

"Pink Drink! Pink Drink!" I don't know why I have to say it like that when I serve this drink (twice and enthusiastically), but I do.

Happy first day of summer to you. We are having a bit of a heatwave here in Los Angeles, with temps creeping into the triple digit range. And that has me reaching for tall frosty drinks all day long. Like this simple, sweet, refreshing, summer berry DIY Pink Drink, inspired by a hashtag..


Vegan S'mores with Nut Butter

S'mores and summer are best buddies. The summer sun slides down the fading blue sky and sinks into the horizon, allowing twinkly stars to perk up their sleepy heads and spin into the cool evening sky. Then comes a crackling summer bonfire and a big cozy blanket to huddle under. A platter of s'mores ingredients, and instant smiles appear. "S'mores!"

I actually don't think you can say s'mores without having a bit of excitement in your voice. "S'mores!" or shmores.

So today's vegan s'mores have a dreamy nut butter spin: Almond Butter S'mores. Plus, get my ideas for 10 summer fun activities + a cool summer footwear giveaway!


Mother of Dragonfruit Smoothie Bowl

I almost called this a Blueberry-Pitaya Smoothie Bowl. I mean, that would be the safe, obvious, descriptive choice, right? But what fun would that be? Especially during GOT season!

Put a little Mother of Dragonfruit Smoothie Bowl power in your morning smoothie bowl with this super delicious and nutrient-rich vegan, gluten-free recipe. The only spoiler ahead, is that this smoothie bowl is delicious.

To somewhat quote Tyrion Lannister, I eat smoothie bowls and I know things...


Vegan Cherry Pie Cookies

I have been baking cookies all morning. Not a bad way to spend a Monday. Noon rolled around and I completed my usual morning work tasks like approving Finding Vegan submissions and doing some social media posts. Then I paused and said, hm, bake cookies or go work out for an hour? Bake cookies? Work out? Bake cookies? Work out? You know how this story ended up..

So today I share these Vegan Cherry Pie Cookies. These are the perfect cookie dessert for anyone who loves the flavor and coziness of summer cherry pie ... without the entire pie baking process. Cookies are much easier and quicker than pie, this I know. #Summer15hhl continues!..


Avocado Hamil-toast: Avocado Toast with Skillet Plantains. (Plus, my Hamilton pics!)

Today I am sharing a few things with you guys. First off, this yummy recipe for avocado toast, Avocado Hamil-toast - avocado toast with warm skillet plantains on top, with lime and a hint of garlic. SO good! This toast is inspired by one of my favorite things right now, Hamilton the musical, created by the genius Lin-Manuel Miranda. (I'll explain the toast-flavor connection a few paragraphs down!)

The Tony Awards are this Sunday June 12th. I will be "toasting" Hamilton and Lin-Manuel with some Avocado Hamil-toast. Hamilton has 16 Tony Award nominations.

So in the spirit of the toast, I mean this post, the second thing I am sharing, a few of my pics from when I visited NYC and saw Hamilton a few weeks ago -- one of the most inspiring and beautiful theater / life experiences ever! Alexander and avocados...


Sticky-Sweet Apricot BBQ Tempeh Salad - with Avocado and Toasted Almonds

This Sticky Sweet Apricot BBQ Tempeh Sunshine Salad with Avocado and Toasted Almonds is a summertime favorite. (And recipe #5 in my summer series!) Protein, greens, antioxidants and loads of dee-licious flavors: sassy sweetness from the apricots, buttery avocado, perky greens, crunchy nutty almonds and of course warm, sticky-sweet BBQ tempeh. Give this salad a try and soon you'll be craving it!..


Vegan Green Tea Frappuccino

One of my favorite summer beverages is an ice cold, frothy-blended Green Tea Frappuccino. This Starbucks-inspired copycat recipe has a swirl of rich coconut cream on top and plenty of sweet matcha flavor in every sip. This summertime favorite drink is so easy to DIY, and make at home. Save some cash this summer and move your "coffee budget" into your "vacation budget." Get the recipe and a how-to video!..


Freshly Picked Summer-in-a-Jar Salad

Summer is a busy season. I mean, there are vacations to go on. Sunshine afternoons to soak in. Beach days to enjoy. Cool drinks to sip. Daydreams to have. Farmer's markets to stroll through. Lazy evenings of relaxing twilight sounds. Sangria to sip. Picnics to pack. Hikes to go on. Smoothie bowls to garnish. And adventures to take. With that kind of schedule, it can be tricky to squeeze in long hours in the kitchen.

But really, summer meals are the best because you can use fresh ingredients, keep the "cooking" to a minimum and make things simple. This Freshly Picked Summer-in-a-Jar Salad is a perfect example of that!

This salad is loaded with some of my fave summer flavors like white peaches, avocado, summer corn, collard greens and more - a sassy sweet maple-mustard dressing too. Vegan and gluten-free and perfect for "in-a-jar" preparation. Make a day ahead of time or make it in the morning and bring it with you on your summer adventures.

And follow along, this is my third recipe in my Summer 15 Series!..


Pink Flamingo Vegan Cheesecake Bars

No-bake, gluten-free Pink Flamingo Vegan Cheesecake Bars, made from creamy cashews, rich coconut oil, hot pink pitaya, zesty-sweet grapefruit and enchanting vanilla. Fuel your imagination with each flamingo pink bite. Get the recipe and some imagination-inspiration..


Summer Corn Fritters with Avocado-Lime Salsa, Vegan + GF. Plus, the Summer 15!

On this super sunny morning the kittens were lounging by the open window, the birds were chirping and I was in the kitchen cooking up a storm. I love this time of year for cooking all day long. There are longer hours of good photography light and the farmer's markets are loaded with inspiration. And today's inspiration was sweet, golden, fresh summer corn.

These Fresh Summer Corn Fritters with Avocado-Lime Salsa are fluffy and flavorful with spicy-salty-sweet flavors in every bite. The buttery avocado salsa on top is citrusy, bright and zingy -- a perfect contrast to the cozy corn fritter. And yes, you can even bake these fritters instead of pan-frying them, if you want. Gluten-free and rich in corn goodness. Let's start husking..

Plus find out what my Summer15 is all about! (Promise, it has nothing to do with bikini season.)