November 17, 2014

Vegan Chili Mac

Meet one of our new favorite go-to dinners! We all love it, including our toddler who gets super excited and usually asks for seconds. Although she has trouble pronouncing "chili" so it comes out more like "gooey mac" :) That name is just as great because it actually describes it pretty well. I love this recipe so much because it's amazing comfort food with simple ingredients yet maximum flavor. It's healthy, filling, and slightly creamy/cheesy from the nutritional yeast. I can't rave about it enough. What brings it over the top is that it only takes 30 minutes to prepare, is super easy to make, and is full of pantry staples that I usually have on hand (beans, pasta, onion, tomato sauce). It's not spicy when using a mild chili powder, so add smoky chipotle powder if you'd like to kick it up. It's a perfect family-friendly meal loved by kids and adults alike. Gooey mac for the win!

Vegan, gluten-free (with gf pasta)
Adapted from Fatfree Vegan Kitchen
Makes about 5 servings

8 oz. elbow pasta (about 2 heaping cups uncooked)
1 onion
15 oz. can tomato sauce
15 oz. can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 1/2 cups corn (I use frozen)
3 Tbsp. nutritional yeast
3-4 tsp. mild chili powder
1/2 cup water
3-4 oz. spinach
Salt to taste
Optional: garlic, chipotle powder

Cook pasta, leaving al dente. Drain when finished.
While pasta is cooking, dice onion.
In a large pan over medium heat, saute onion about 8 minutes or until translucent.
When onion is soft, add pasta and all other ingredients except spinach.
Reduce heat and cook 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add more water if it becomes too dry.
Meanwhile, roughly chop spinach.
Add spinach and cook 3 minutes. Salt to taste.

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More quick and easy vegan dinners:

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November 9, 2014

Chocolate Hemp Power Smoothie

Alright guys, I'm gonna come right out and say it. This smoothie makes me feel like superwoman. The first time I thought it was a coincidence, but then it kept happening. Every time I drink one of these bad boys I get a crazy burst of energy and feel the urge to throw on a cape and take over the world. It's so chocolatey, thick, and dense; jam-packed with protein and nutrients that give an undeniable boost. And it just so happens that it tastes delicious too. The trick is using a ripe banana (think: lots of brown spots) since those are much sweeter and more flavorful. Grab your capes and let's do this! ;)

Vegan, gluten-free
Inspired by Oh She Glows

1/4 cup hemp hearts
1 small avocado
1 ripe banana (frozen, if desired)
1/2 cup almond milk (I use vanilla, unsweetened)
3 Tbsp. cocoa powder
1 Tbsp. agave/honey
3-5 ice cubes

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until relatively smooth.
Taste and adjust if necessary (i.e. more agave/honey for sweetness, etc.)

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Chocolate craving still going strong? More healthy indulgences here!
2-Minute Healthy Chocolate Milkshake
Chocolate Oat Balls
Vegan Fudgesicles

Come join me on Instagram - I love to see what you guys are cooking up! :)

November 1, 2014

Creamy Black Bean Avocado Dip

Happy weekend friends! I'm extra giddy to watch football this weekend because my Larry Fitzgerald jersey just arrived in the mail - eeeeee! Fitz and Tony Gonzalez are tied for my favorite NFL players of all time, so it was about time I got one of their jerseys to show my love. They're both crazy amazing players and seem like all-around awesome human beings. In the wake of my giddiness, I got inspired to make a new snack to munch on during the games. I quickly decided on a healthy, flavorful black bean dip. Bonus? It only takes 5 minutes to throw it together... 5 minutes! Blending avocado with the black beans makes it so creamy and luscious - perfect for scooping up with your favorite chips. What I love even more is there are so many possible flavor variations. Chipotle for a smoky kick, nutritional yeast for a cheesy flavor, cayenne to heat it up, or cilantro and lime for a different flavor profile. Game ON! :D

Vegan, gluten-free
Inspired by Cookin' Canuck

15 oz. can black beans
1 avocado
1/2 cup salsa (I use roasted tomato with chipotle)
1/4 cup water
1 clove garlic, minced
3/4 tsp. cumin
1/8 tsp. salt, more to taste
Optional: nutritional yeast, chipotle, cilantro, lime, jalapeno, cayenne, etc.

Rinse and drain black beans. Set aside about 1/2 cup of the beans.
Place remaining beans and all other ingredients in a blender or food processor.
Blend until it reaches desired texture*. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.
Place in a bowl and stir in the remaining black beans.
Garnish with cilantro, nutritional yeast, etc. if you wish. Great served warm, cold, or room temp!

*Note: If your blender isn't great (ahem, ours) you may need to help it along, stirring with a spatula to get it going. You can also add a touch more water if needed.

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