Lightened Up Spanish-Style Rice (Vegan & Gluten-Free)

I have a new recipe to share today, and it’s a good one! This is one of those meals that I just threw together on a whim one night, with few expectations, but both David and I liked it so much that I’ve been making it on the regular ever since. I struggled with what to call this because it’s half cauliflower rice, half brown rice, with sort of a hodgepodge of ingredients. At the end of the day though, it reminds me of Spanish rice, with a few extras (like beans and kale) thrown in. So that’s what I’m calling it! Continue reading “Lightened Up Spanish-Style Rice (Vegan & Gluten-Free)”

Fudgy Chocolate Hummus Dip (Vegan & Gluten-Free)

A few months ago my sister introduced me to the hummus brand, Delighted By. Have you heard of it? Delighted By makes dessert hummus flavors like Brownie Batter and Snickerdoodle that are absolutely delicious and made with clean ingredients. Dessert hummus? Now why didn’t I think of that?! You probably don’t associate chickpeas with chocolate or anything else sweet for that matter, and it may strike you as gross, but trust me when I tell you that you’d never know chickpeas are the main ingredient in this dip. Seriously, my mind was blown when I first tasted it. Continue reading “Fudgy Chocolate Hummus Dip (Vegan & Gluten-Free)”

Veggie Tortilla Soup (Vegan & Gluten-Free)

Spring is technically a week from now but it snowed here yesterday so soup is still very much in the regular rotation. Rather than make a tried and true soup this week, I decided to try something a little different and I’m so glad I did! I think I’ve found my new favorite soup recipe. If you’re a fan of Mexican tortilla soup, you have to try this one! Most traditional recipes call for chicken, but this version is insanely flavorful and delicious sans meat. It consists simply of black beans, tomatoes, veggies, and spices. I was honestly surprised at how good it was, but I guess I shouldn’t have been because it has lots of fresh cilantro, which I adore. I think the key to the flavor is the cilantro and lime juice. I was in heaven from the aroma of cilantro and lime in my kitchen and I could almost feel summer. There’s just something about that combination that makes me think of fresh guac, margaritas, and sunshine! Continue reading “Veggie Tortilla Soup (Vegan & Gluten-Free)”

Tofu & Vegetable Curry (Vegan & Gluten-Free)

Just a few short months ago I posted about our first snow of the season and how magical and exciting it was. That feels like forever ago now and after many snowy days since, I’m officially over winter! We had yet another snowstorm on Wednesday and it caused power outages and school closings across the state and beyond. This is less than a week after another nor’easter took out power lines all over the area. Enough already winter! Can we get a break? Seriously though…. Continue reading “Tofu & Vegetable Curry (Vegan & Gluten-Free)”

Veggie Fajita Bowl (Vegan & Gluten Free)

Veggie Fajita Bowl

Some weeks I’m good about meal planning. Others, not so much. During those weeks when I haven’t planned out what we’re going to have for dinner each night, I inevitably find myself staring into the refrigerator, trying to come up with a wholesome, balanced meal with whatever food we have left. This was me last night. I’m sure others out there can relate! It can be tempting to order out in situations like this, and when we lived in NYC, we often did (more than I’d like to admit!), but now that we’re living in the suburbs and adhering to a tighter budget, I’m trying to cook at home the majority of the time. Fortunately, it’s usually not very difficult to piece a meal together since I keep lots of veggies and whole grains on hand at all times. Sometimes it just takes a little creativity! And it’s always worth it. Continue reading “Veggie Fajita Bowl (Vegan & Gluten Free)”

Heart-Healthy Raspberry Chia Smoothie (Vegan & Gluten Free)

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Good morning and happy Valentine’s Day! Are you doing anything special? Truthfully I’ve never been big on Valentine’s Day and I don’t have any plans to celebrate this year, but in honor of the day, I’m sharing a recipe for a yummy heart-healthy smoothie. A smoothie is probably not the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Valentine’s Day, but there’s really no better way to show yourself or your family a little love than by making something delicious and nutritious that does the body good. Am I right? Continue reading “Heart-Healthy Raspberry Chia Smoothie (Vegan & Gluten Free)”

Lentil Pasta Primavera (Vegan & Gluten Free)

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So somehow it’s Friday again already. I’m not complaining because it’s my favorite day of the week (well maybe after Saturday). I’m just wondering where the days went! This week seemed to go by in a blur for some reason. Anyone else?

Anyway, I’m popping in today to share one of my favorite new-to-me recipes, courtesy of my mother-in-law, Carol. When Carol came to visit us shortly after we had Jackson (back in 2016), she made a pasta dish for dinner one night that completely knocked my socks off. It was essentially just pasta tossed with sauteed vegetables that were seasoned with olive oil, spices, and lemon juice. If it sounds super basic, that’s because it is, but don’t let that fool you! The flavor is fantastic. I was honestly surprised at how much I liked it because I’m typically much more of a tomato sauce person when it comes to pasta and never choose to order an olive oil-based dish when I go to restaurants. I liked it so much, though, that I’ve now added the recipe to my shortlist of standbys, and I request it every time Carol comes to stay with us! Continue reading “Lentil Pasta Primavera (Vegan & Gluten Free)”

Peanut Butter Banana Oat Muffins (Gluten & Dairy Free)

I’ve been dealing with an annoying sinus infection for the past few days (oh the joys of pregnancy!) and, in addition to lots of tea and soup, I’ve been craving baked goods like crazy. Go figure. I had a few bananas that were on their last leg, so I decided to whip up some fresh muffins. To satisfy my desire for comfort food, I wanted to try a version that includes peanut butter. Peanut butter is one of my all-time favorite foods, so anything with peanut butter as a main ingredient is guaranteed to be a treat! Continue reading “Peanut Butter Banana Oat Muffins (Gluten & Dairy Free)”

Almond Butter Granola (Vegan & Gluten Free)

Almond Butter Granola

During my last Trader Joe’s run I discovered an almond butter granola and couldn’t resist picking it up. In all honesty, I may have liked it a little too much because it didn’t last more than two days in my house! Oops. There are certain things that I have a hard time eating in moderation (like chips) and apparently granola is one of them. Rather than buy it again, I decided to try my hand at making my own, healthier version, which I won’t be as tempted to inhale in a few sittings (or at least if I do, I won’t feel so bad about it!). The batch I whipped up uses a short list of very basic ingredients and is super tasty, but it’s free of the excess sugar and fat that’s common in traditional granolas. Continue reading “Almond Butter Granola (Vegan & Gluten Free)”

Quinoa, Chickpea & Veggie Bowl (Gluten Free & Vegan)

Quinoa, Chickpea & Veggie Bowl

When it’s freezing out and I’m not in the mood for soup, I often turn to a warm and filling bowl of some sort for nourishment. With grain or Buddha Bowls or whatever you want to call them, there are so many options you can throw together, and pretty much anything goes. They’re the perfect combo of easy, healthy, and delicious. You really can’t go wrong!

This version I threw together includes quinoa as the base, topped with chickpeas, garlic-seasoned cruciferous veggies, and a little bit of almond parsley pesto. I mainly chose this combination because I had the ingredients on hand and needed to use them, but I also think they go very nicely together, not to mention that they pack a serious nutritional punch!

The key to this bowl is to roast the veggies to ensure the best flavor and crunch. Roasting vegetables is almost always my preferred way to cook them; it really does make such a difference in how they taste. There’s nothing I love more than a crispy batch of Brussels sprouts fresh out of the oven! Anyone else with me? Growing up I never really ate them but now I am obsessed and I’m making up for lost time! Brussels sprouts, where have you been all my life?!

As for the pesto, it was a total impulse decision at the end and I definitely don’t think it’s necessary for the dish (I had parsley that I needed to use up), but I think it takes the flavor up a notch. Since I hadn’t planned on making any kind of pesto in advance, I had to use what I had available, and that’s why the ingredients may seem a bit random. Although it was a total shot in the dark, I think the parsley-garlic-lemon combo works. If that’s not your cup of tea though, you can skip the pesto and still enjoy a delicious and satisfying bowl.

I plan on experimenting with many more plant-based bowl combinations this winter, and I’ll be sure to post whatever I love. I’m always looking for inspiration, so if you have any favorite bowl-based meals, do share!   

Quinoa, Chickpea & Veggie Bowl

Quinoa, Chickpea & Veggie Bowl

Quinoa, Chickpea & Veggie Bowl

Quinoa, Chickpea & Veggie Bowl


For the bowls

  • 2 cups dry quinoa
  • 8 cups broccoli florets
  • 6 cups Brussels sprouts
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • salt & pepper to taste

For the almond parsley pesto

  • 1/4 cup raw almonds
  • 1 cup parsley
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 1 tsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp water
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder


For the bowls

  • Preheat the oven to 415 degrees and line two baking sheets with tin foil.
  • Chop the stems off the broccoli so that you’re left with florets. Make sure that the florets are about equal in size so that they cook evenly. Put the broccoli florets in a mixing bowl and add 1 tbsp olive oil, ½ tsp of garlic powder, and ¼ tsp onion powder. Mix with your hands until all the florets are coated.
  • Spread the broccoli florets out in a single layer on one of the baking sheets and set aside.
  • Chop the Brussels sprouts into halves or even thirds or quarters if they are very large. As with the broccoli, you want the sprouts to be relatively equal in size.
    Add the sprouts to a mixing bowl and add 1 tbsp olive oil. Mix with your hands until all the sprouts are coated.
  • Spread the Brussels sprouts out in a single layer on the second baking sheet.
  • Place both baking sheets in the oven and roast for about 25-30 minutes, until the veggies are tender but crisp. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • While the veggies are roasting, cook the quinoa. Add 4 cups of water to a pot along with 2 cups of dry quinoa (check the package to see if it needs to be rinsed first). Bring water to a boil and then cover the pot and reduce the temperature to low, letting the quinoa cook for about 15 to 20 minutes, or until the water is fully absorbed.

For the almond parsley pesto

  • Add almonds to a food processor and pulse until ground
  • Add the lemon juice, water and olive oil, and pulse again until mixed.
  • Add the parsley, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, and salt, and pulse until evenly combined.


Quinoa, Chickpea & Veggie Bowl