Healthy Happy Life

Perfectly Chunky Mango Guacamole


This Perfectly Chunky Mango Guacamole is a delicious combo of smooth and chunky, sassy and sweet, rich and salty. All those things in a dip. This guacamole is chunky enough to have some oomph, but smooth enough to be able to scoop and spread with ease.

I love this dip served with a giant bowl of salty tortilla chips, warm corn or flour tortillas or even scooped over top a salad or inside a baked sweet potato with some black beans on top.

And the best part about this no-frills, easy as can be recipe, is that it only has two main ingredients and a special process to get the 'perfectly chunky' texture...

Video too!..

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Top 31 Recipes of 2016


I'm a little late in posting this end of the year round-up, but better late than never! 2016 was a fun year on the blog. I really tried to post more frequently and give you guys recipes that were simple and flavorful. So if you missed out on anything this year, here are the post highlights! I hope you enjoyed 2016 and I am excited for this coming year in recipes. So many ideas. Check these out, Top 31 Recipes of 2016!..

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10 Things About Birthdays


*photo by Sabrina Hill

Today, this birthday girl share 10 Things About Birthdays.

#1 Being Lazy is Awesome.

It's 3:29pm. I am still in my pajamas. And have been 0% productive today.

Yup, today is my birthday, so I win all the games and I get to do absolutely nothing all day, guilt free. My type A part of my personality is squirming, but my birthday brain says this is perfection. Go with it.

Ok, ok so I am writing this reflection blogpost. Maybe 5% productive today? Oh and I will eat some cake and have someone else cook for me, outside the house, which might require putting on real clothes, unless we get takeout (which doesn't sound too bad right now) but besides that, yup, laziest birthday ever. #NailingIt

The good, the bad and the unexpected: 10 Things About Birthdays..

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The Perfect Blend Cookbook by Tess Masters


I am really happy to be sharing this stunning book by my friend Tess! The Perfect Blend by Tess Masters is a cookbook that everyone with a blender should own. And though it is a "blender" book, this book gives you so much more than soup and smoothie recipes. From salad dressings and dreamy sauces to decadent desserts, spreads, dips and the best part: complete meal solutions (salads, casseroles, stews, dinner ideas, breakfasts, snacks..) and more. This book is packed with wellness, deliciousness and inspiration.

Read my five fave things about this book! Plus, a recipe..

Today I am sharing Tess's recipe for French Toast with Caramelized Bananas because I am totally making this for my husband tomorrow morning for Valentine's Day!..

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Vegan Cookies and Cream Cupcakes


Just like most food bloggers, I usually like to bake something special around my birthday, January 30th. And this year I went all in with one of my favorite desserts, Vegan Cookies and Cream Cupcakes!

Cupcake cheers to my 36th year on this crazy-beautiful planet, and a few birthday party memories!..

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Vegan Portobello Pizzas!


I love pizza. I love mushrooms. I love vegan cheese. I love tomato sauce. You too? Well today's recipe is all those things in one super delicious bite. Portobello Mushroom Pizzas are here!

Today we have a pizza party! Minus the traditional crust. So if you are into 'grain free' and 'gluten free' recipes, these are for you. Or if you just lovvvvvve mushrooms and pizza and can't wait to eat pizza mushrooms, *raises hand*, that's great too. These cuties are delicious for just about everyone. Serve them as a snack or eat a giant platter for a meal.

Watch my how-to video and snag my recipe ahead!..

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Carrot Ginger Soup. Just 4 Main Ingredients.


Today, LA has been beautifully stormy. The wind has been rustling through the palms as a dark grey sky hangs overhead. Drippy roofs shine in the pale daylight as a busy stream of rain races to the puddle-filled ground. The air is cool and fresh and fluffy.

Perfect soup weather!

I made this super easy, vegan, Ginger Carrot Soup yesterday and then again today! Yup, we went through four pounds of carrots this weekend. I hope I don't turn orange. Luckily, there are plenty of leftovers from today's batch for tomorrow's lunch. This recipe is just so good and easy I couldn't resist. I crave that hum of warmth from the ginger, accenting the sweet carrot flavor.

Get the recipe + my how-to video!..

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Garlic-Rosemary Cauliflower Potato Soup with Smoky-Maple Chickpeas


This time of year I am constantly trying to think of easy ways to enjoy soup as an entree. One way is to basically take a bunch of chopped veggies and maybe some legumes like lentils or pasta or rice and throw it all in a big pot. Simmer and make some soup magic. Serve in big bowls, seconds welcome. But besides the "throw it all in a pot" method, another route is to puree your soups. Hello Vitamix.

For pureed soups, I love sweet potato, carrot, broccoli, butternut squash, corn, mushroom and many more. I love the thick texture of pureed soups and how they hold their heat well - especially potato soup! Pureed potato soup is comfort food in a bowl. You could top with vegan cheese or accent veggies, croutons or shiitake bacon or try out today's recipe for a brand new spin.

Adding cauliflower to potato soup really evens out the potato-starchiness. Today's recipe is a soothing creamy soup that I will keep coming back to. To make it a meal, I add heaping spoonfuls of my favorite skillet chickpeas. Toast on the side.

Today we whip up Garlic-Rosemary Cauliflower Potato Soup with Smoky-Maple Skillet Chickpeas - plus a video!...

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Vegan Peanut Butter Cookies


Peanut butter cookies are always welcome! And this one is a sturdy vegan recipe that uses a nifty flax egg and includes a how-to video. Peanut Butter Cookies are probably my favorite cookie ever, so I never tire of them. thus why I have a handful of pbc recipes here on the blog.

So ya, this is another peanut butter cookie recipe, but I feel you do need this one in your life! These cookies are unique because they are of course vegan, but have a nice mixture of richness from a hint of vegan butter and loads of rich peanut butter, with a natural sweetness of earthy-sweet maple syrup as the sole sweetener. Flax egg plumped up, modifications ahead. And maple, vanilla and cinnamon all roll together to accent the chewiness of these tender baked bites.

Ok, life wise, I seriously don't have much new to share today guys. My last few posts were more interesting. All I have for you is... c o o k i e s. :)

Oh! And a video for this recipe too! Boom. I knew I had something else up my sleeve for this one.

Ok then. Let's bake!..

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Garlicky Two Bean Soup


The rain is pouring down outside my window right now, a big puffy grey sky hangs between me and the far away sun. The room is lit with a bright white glow and the air is fresh. And I love it. I am so freaking giddy with this wet weather we have been having in la la land the past few weeks. (ps. Have you seen La La Land? Loved it!) I got to wear my rain boots this morning and stomped around just like a happy five year old. And rain and coziness and winter means one thing.. soup!

Soup season is in full effect and I was craving beans! Bean soup. Savory, flavorful, garlicky, bay leaf-infused, peppery, smoky, veggie-surrounded bean soup. This Garlicky Two Bean Soup with veggies like carrots, spinach and onion is super easy to pull off on a busy weeknight, and it serves a packed table of hungry people. I loved devouring this soup three nights in a row and when it was finally gone I wanted to make more. It is even better the next day because the flavors marinate the veggies and beans. Swoon. The flavors are bold and warming and there is enough goodness and depth in each bite to make this your hearty meal for the night.

Hope you love it! (I include a recipe video too..)

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Peanut Butter Chocolate Swirl Banana Bread Cupcakes. Vegan.


After an amazing weekend of being all fancy at a wedding, I was craving cupcakes. Fluffy amazing cupcakes. These Peanut Butter Chocolate Swirl Banana Bread Cupcakes fit the bill and are simply dreamy. I was so happy that the cupcake part came out so well, moist and fluffy! (Oh, and everyone who hates the word moist, is it ok to use when describing cupcakes? Pondering this..)

The cupcakes are so good that you could totally eat them frosting-free, but for extra amazingness, swirl on some choco-pb frosting and pat yourself on the back for being an impressive little baker. Oh, and fun fact, my fancy frosting tube tool totally went missing right before I needed to frost these babies, so I had to macgyver-up a tool using parchment paper and plastic bags. Not very elegant but it sort've got the job done. Moral of the story is, your frosting doesn't have to be perfect for these to be the best cupcakes ever. Don't be intimidated by perfect frosting swirls you see online - cupcakes are so easy!

Hope you love these and have a cupcake-worthy day...

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Blissful Basil Cookbook Review + Book Giveaway + Ashley's Vegan Chili Recipe


*photo credit: Ashley Melillo
One of my favorite bloggers is Ashley from Blissful Basil. Not only does she churn out gorgeous blogposts, but she is one of the sweetest people ever and I am so happy to have gotten to know her via the virtual blogging community.

And today I am celebrating Ashley by raving about her new cookbook, Blissful Basil, Over 100 Plant-Powered Recipes to Unearth Vibrancy, Health and Happiness.

Today I am offering up my review, a giveaway opportunity and an entree recipe from Ashley's book!..

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Vegan Baked Rosemary Fries with Maple-Mustard Dipping Sauce


You know a recipe is good when.. you just finished your breakfast smoothie, but still, you can't stop snacking. And I couldn't stop nibbling on these yummy, Vegan Baked Rosemary Fries with Maple-Mustard Dipping Sauce. Fries for breakfast? Sure! Rules schmools. And just to be clear, yes, that also means you can have ice cream for dinner and waffles for lunch.

I whipped these up today on a whim. A mushroom whim. I always seem to have mushrooms on hand and want to do creative things with them, but they always end up in a quick skillet sauté. But not today! Mushroom fries it was.

I hesitated posting these guys today simply because my presentation hasn't been mastered yet, as you can see. Yup they are a bit messy -- and awesome -- all at the same time. They tasted so good I had to share.

The key to vegan breaded fries is figuring out how to apply the goo, aka the vegan 'egg' wash, aka the flax wash, and then the flour, without making a big clumpy mess. I have a few tips for that and the full recipe ahead!..

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Vegan Bean and Cheese Quesadillas


This is one of my favorite go-to meals or snacks. A vegan quesadilla. I love these Vegan Bean and Cheese Quesadillas because they are filling and savory and you can get creative with the veggies that you add to them. I love to load in the beans and add as many veggies as I can. The cheese acts as a perfect rich and savory accent.

These take only about 15-20 minutes to make and are a huge crowd pleaser because quesadillas are such a familiar food. To make this recipe a meal I like to add a side salad or a side of Mexican rice, soup or skillet plantains. And guacamole or diced avocado is always welcome. Hope you and your family love this recipe for the new year!....

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