Healthy Happy Life

Lemon + Garlic Fresh Artichoke Spinach Dip


This post is sponsored by Ocean Mist Farms.

On Oscars Sunday, my husband and I were busy diving into today's recipe for Lemon + Garlic Fresh Artichoke Dip. This flavorful vegan dip is served warm and cheesy. It was SO GOOD. And surprisingly easy, btw. But before I get to the recipe... Three things.

- Number one, I grew up in Santa Cruz California, just a short drive away from Castroville, the "Artichoke Capitol of the World." We drove by that iconic giant artichoke so many times on our way down to Monterey!
- Two, I write a vegan food blog for a living and have published two cookbooks. I cook a lot. Especially with veggies.
- Now here comes the crazy part, number three, I have never worked with fresh artichokes in my kitchen. Whaaa? Madness.

Like most people, I have used artichoke hearts many times. Artichoke hearts that come in a jar or can, where you can have access to 10-15 hearts just by twisting a lid. But trust me, the prep work with using fresh artichokes is worth it! And you get access to those lovely, edible leaves as well.

As I worked with my beautiful fresh artichokes from Ocean Mist Farms, I learned a few things! I am excited to pass on my newfound knowledge to you. And hopefully inspire you to buy fresh artichokes the next chance you get.

Get the recipe, see my how-to-prep video, plus get details on an amazing culinary getaway prize up for grabs!...

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Easy Avocado Tortilla Pizzas!


If you love avocado toast and you love pizza, this recipe is for you! Easy Avocado Tortilla Pizzas are a "Mexican pizza" inspired recipe. This meal combines all the goodness of smashing an avocado on a warm base (bread/tortilla) plus adds all the fun and variety of loading on a bunch of healthy pizza toppings. This versatile recipe is easy, fun, delicious and healthy.
Get the recipe and a few variations..

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Fudgy Vegan Peanut Butter Buckwheat Sweet Potato Brownies


I hate to admit this, but I was having a vegan + gluten-free baking dry spell. It happens. My baking experiments the past few weeks have not been meeting my expectations. So I entered into today's 'sweet potato brownie' baking experiment with a bit of hesitation. I needed a win. That, and chocolate.

Then in swooped these brownies. Thank goodness!

These Vegan Peanut Butter Buckwheat Sweet Potato Brownies are everything I was craving. Fudgy and rich, yet fluffy and slightly cake-y. It's all here: the peanut butter crumbling on top and around the edges, the fudgy insides, dense with chocolate and coconut oil. So much YES in each bite. These are not too sweet, but also a perfectly decadent treat, with a healthy side.

True story: these just may be my fave brownie recipe yet. But I am not terribly surprised by that, I mean the whole 'sweet potato brownie' thing is pretty perfect. Sweet potatoes can do no wrong in my book! They keep your brownies egg-free, while adding some serious texture and fudginess AND natural sweetness. Boom. Brownie heaven awaits you!..

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Vegan Dijon "Chickn" Sandwich with Cheese and Avocado


Today I am sharing a fan fave recipe, and when I say 'fan' I actually mean, husband. This Vegan Dijon Chickn Sandwich with Cheese and Avocado has loads of "classic food memories" appeal, all mixed into a totally vegan and even gluten-free recipe.

And this sandwich can be whipped up in just about fifteen minutes. So technically, maybe this is fast food.

Get the recipe..

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Vegan Cookies + Cream Ice Cream


This Vegan Cookies & Cream Cashew-Based Ice Cream is one of the best desserts I have ever made. Cookies and Cream has always been a favorite flavor of mine when it comes to ice cream, but I really could never find a perfectly amazing vegan version at the store. They are good, don't get me wrong, but they lacked some richness or they were too sweet or the creaminess just wasn't there. But this stuff is gold. And I have sweetened it with cookie alone! Meaning no added sugar, just the sugar in the cookies.

Plus, the best part is you get so much cashew goodness in each bite that you *almost* feel like this treat is good for you! Almost.

Scoop a bowl of this rich and super fluffy amazing ice cream!..

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Vegan Nachos (You Want These.)


Ok, so the Super Bowl was last weekend. But I am still posting this recipe for all your future nacho-needing events. These best ever Vegan Nachos were perfect for snacking on while watching the game ... commercials ... or Gaga being amazing. More on Gaga in this post. But nachos are a good idea for just about any TV watching event, so I'm posting them 'post-super-bowl' anyways. I mean these could very well be Oscars party nachos, so red carpet ready guys.

These nachos were SO good! Like "omg-why-don't-I-make-nachos-more-often??" good. And the funny thing about nachos is that if you pile on the veggies, in a strange way they are actually pretty healthy! I mean if you curb your chip munching appetite and focus on those veggies. Plus, DIY the 'sour cream' with cashew cream. My trick is to limit my chips and pile on the excess toppings. When crafting your nacho platter, aim for more toppings, less chips and you are good to go.

So the next time you crave a super satisfying, sharable snack, make these!

The best vegan nachos are waiting for you..

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Easy 3-Step Peanut Soba Noodle Bowl with Tofu & Broccoli


Sometimes you look at the clock and realize it is three or four PM. Hm. You don't feel so hot. You had that smoothie for breakfast then were running around, fueled by adrenalin and anticipation for the next thing on your "to-do" list and now you are suddenly exhausted and starving and somewhere in between lunch and dinner. You don't want a snack, you want a meal, but you don't want to spoil your appetite for dinner. Or do you? Your relationship status with your stomach at this moment is: complicated. You are hungry and have zero plans to feed yourself. You waited too long. Blood sugar dropped. Hangriness set in. But then you say screw dinner and give me something amazing and hearty.

Sometimes you fail at "food" for the day. Even though feeding yourself is part of Life 101. But it happens to all of us. Sometimes way too often.

Then other times, angels sing, rainbows sparkle and you have your culinary act together and know exactly what you want to eat and how to get it. Maybe you are even making it yourself and BOOM you have all the ingredients on hand. Nothing tastes better than that type of meal. Hashtag nailed it.

This recipe is your way to prepare for one of those times! So when deep hunger kicks in, the type where an apple or a pbj or some hummus and carrots or a snack bar or even a giant smoothie just won't do, how about this. Some hearty peanut buttery soba noodles with tender, fluffy cubes of tofu and perky green broccoli all smothered in the best peanut sauce ever.

This is that.

Today we make my Easy 3-Step Peanut Soba Noodle Bowl with Tofu & Broccoli!..

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