Jan
12

Mini Pizzas

Don’t ask me how I got the idea to make these mini pizzas on Wasa Crispbreads, the idea came to me years ago. I was probably a young, single girl… looking for a quick meal to make, that wouldn’t take much effort… 

Wasa Crackers

I probably purchased these Wasa Crackers for the first time out of curiosity and then somehow discovered that I could use them to make pizzas. I’m not sure what else I would do with these crackers? When I see them they scream “MINI PIZZA” at me! 

Mini Pizzas

To make these mini pizzas, there are 3-4 things you need:
1. Wasa Crispbreads (any flavor you choose)
2. Pizza Sauce
3. a Variety of Veggies
4. Shredded Cheese (optional)

I tend to keep a jar of pizza sauce in the pantry and I keep either these Wasa Crispbreads on hand because pizza makes for a quick meal that you can whip up on nights that you just don’t feel like putting forth much effort. 

I’ve always got veggies laying around, so I use whatever I have to make these pizzas. Some of my favorite veggies to use on this pizza include: crushed garlic, onion, broccoli, corn, bell pepper, olives, and tomatoes

Mini Pizzas

It is quite easy to craft these Mini Pizzas: 
1. Warm the pizza sauce and line your crispbreads with it.
2. Add chopped veggies (& cheese) to the crispbreads.
3. Bake in the over at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.

Mini Pizzas

These Mini Pizzas are not only great for a quick, cheap meal but they would also work well as finger foods for parties and/or gatherings (Superbowl approaching!).

I can also imagine a “make-your-own pizza” night for kids OR adults.

Love

Crista


Dec
20

Bread Pudding with Eggnog Cream Sauce {vegan}

Are you drooling at the sight of this Bread Pudding?
I thought so. It’s gooooood. 
Eggnog Cream Sauce drizzled over this Bread Pudding makes this dish perfect for the holiday season.
The big question is: Would you eat this for breakfast or dessert or both?
I say both.

Bread Pudding with Eggnog Cream Sauce {vegan}

{vegan} Bread Pudding with Eggnog Sauce
Prep time: 
Total time: 
 
Ingredients
  • 1 loaf whole wheat/grain bread (vegan and/or gluten-free), cubed
  • 2 cups non-dairy milk
  • 3 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 2 tablespoons ground flax seeds
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Preheat the over to 400 degrees.
  2. In a bowl, whisk together the almond milk, flax seed, cinnamon, vanilla, and mashed bananas.
  3. In another bowl, pour the wet mixture over the cubed bread and toss.
  4. Line a baking dish with vegan butter or non-stick spray then evenly layer the bread mixture in to the dish.
  5. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until the top is brown and crispy.
  6. Drizzle with Eggnog Cream Sauce (recipe follows) and serve.
Notes
Add a handful of walnuts or almonds to the bread pudding prior to baking.
Eggnog Cream Sauce {a vegan recipe}
 
Ingredients
  • 1½ cup (12 fluid ounces) eggnog
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon brandy (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
Instructions
  1. Whisk all ingredients together in a small saucepan.
  2. Over medium to high heat, bring to a boil, stirring frequently.
  3. Boil for one minute until sauce thickens, stirring constantly.
  4. Remove from heat.
  5. Serve warm or cold.
  6. Store excess in the fridge.

I made this dish vegan by using a vegan bread and vegan Eggnog however you can choose whatever type of bread you’d like to use (gluten-free is a possibility) and you can use dairy Eggnog if that’s your jam. If you like nuts and/or raisins in your bread pudding, then add them. If you don’t, then don’t add them.

When you make that Eggnog Cream Sauce, make extra. It’s delicious over Pancakes, Waffles, French Toast…

Bread Pudding with Eggnog Cream Sauce {vegan}

Love

Crista


Nov
25

Organic Produce

I typically do my Vegan Thanksgiving meal the day AFTER Thanksgiving but this year is different. Thanksgiving is coming early – TOMORROW!!! I’m practically starving myself today in preparation of filling my belly with so much yummy food tomorrow. I can hardly wait! 

Organic ProduceOrganic Produce

Over the last few days, I got all of my grocery shopping done and reviewed all of the recipes I’m using again. I definitely need to alter a few of the recipes, one of them I’m adding persimmon to which wasn’t in the original plan. Those persimmons were looking so good at the market, I couldn’t resist them!! 

Organic ProduceOrganic ProduceQuinoa

I pre-cooked my quinoa and It’ll chill overnight. I’ve also made pie crusts for my mini pumpkin pies. It was m first time making a pie crust using nuts and dates! It was messy, but worth it!! 

Pumpkin Pie Crust

I’m getting hungry….. xox

Love

Crista


Nov
15

Virtual Vegan Potluck

Today, I am part of the Virtual Vegan Potluck, where 150+ bloggers contribute vegan, plant-based recipes. I wish this were a potluck in real life (OMG I would die)….. come to think of it, I HAVE been part of a vegetarian potluck, it was at a yoga retreat… I guess I didn’t die BUT I WAS in pure heaven. I filled my plate 3 times before giving up. Meditation was a bad (or maybe a really good) idea to do after that lunch, I may or may not have almost fallen asleep during meditation due to the comforting food coma I was in. Yum! Just reminiscing about it brings me gratitude and happiness.

So anyway, today’s potluck is the second-best thing: virtual. After you check out this Apple Parsnip Recipe, you can scroll through the other dishes that were “brought to the potluck” by way of the buttons at the bottom of this post. 

apple parsnip mash

 I have only seen a few recipes for a “mash” blending apples and parsnips together, none of them as good as mine and none of them vegan – which blows my mind considering that this recipe is one of the easiest plant-based dishes you can make. If you eat a plant-based diet, you probably already have most of the ingredients in this recipe (ok, maybe you don’t have parsnips at home… or maybe you do?)

I think all of my recipes are delicious, and I probably say that in every post, but THIS recipe is decadent. Before making it,  I would have not have predicted how fragrant, subtle, and rich this dish is – as creamy as mashed sweet potatoes, and as sweet as Honeycrisp apples are, WITHOUT any added sugar or dairy.

apple parsnip mash

Apple Parsnip Mash
 
Ingredients
  • 1 pound of Honeycrisp apples, peeled, cored, and cut into ½-inch pieces
  • 1 pound of parsnips, peeled and cut into ½-inch pieces
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup almond milk
  • 2 tablespoons vegan butter (Earth Balance)
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • sea salt & pepper to taste
  • fresh sage for garnish
Instructions
  1. In a medium saucepan, sautee the parsnips and apples in butter until they start to soften (about 5-8 minutes)
  2. Add the almond milk, water, and spices to the saucepan and bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce heat to medium and simmer, until parsnips are completely tender, approximately 15 minutes.
  4. Transfer the mixture to a food processor and puree until smooth.
  5. Add sea salt & pepper to taste.

apple parsnip mash

I encourage you to give this Apple Parsnip Mash a whirl and then go check out the other vegan dishes that were brought to the Virtual Vegan Potluck! xox

 

final_leaf_plgo_forward

Love

Crista


Nov
14

It’s that time of year again, my favorite time of the year, I get to plan my annual {vegan} Thanksgiving Feast that I’ll prepare on Black Friday for myself and anyone else who is interested in indulging. Every year I use different recipes that I find on vegan and/or vegan-friendly blogs instead of using my own recipes – it’s more fun and festive that way.

Last years feast included Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash, Cranberry, Pecan, & Pecan Wild Rice Pilaf, and Sugared Cranberries, it was delightful and I know it’ll be hard to top this year, but I’ve found some pretty decent recipes that I’m really excited about.

Vegan Thanksgiving Feast 

Annual Vegan Thanksgiving Dinner Menu

Ruby Applesauce with Cranberries
from gluten-free GODDESS

Nutty Quinoa & Cherry Salad
from JL Goes Vegan

Brussels Sprout Kale Salad with Pomegranate, Hazelnuts, and Creamy Avocado Dressing
from Good Things Grow

Braised Red Cabbage with Apple & Onion
from Martha Stewart

Rosemary & Garlic Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Kale
from One Part Plant

Sweet-Spicy Glazed Cocktail Balls
from Babble

Creamy No Bake Pumpkin Pie
from Minimalist Baker 

 

…….looks like I’m going to be busy……..

Here is my menu from 2012: Thanksgiving Recipes
And the photos of that feast: Food Porn: Thanksgiving Feast

Love

Crista


Nov
01

Today is World Vegan Day and Day 1 of World Vegan Month!!
Established in 2004, the day is celebrated by vegans all over the world.
Whether you are a devout vegan or you’ve just flirted with the idea, you can join in on the celebration!
Here are some ideas:

CHOOSE ONE (OR TWO, OR THREE) DAYS OF THE WEEK TO EAT VEGAN. FOR INSTANCE, MANY PEOPLE DO THIS ON MONDAYS FOR “MEATLESS MONDAYS”

READ THIS BLOG POST: MAKING THE TRANSITION

TRY ONE (OR ALL) OF THESE VEGAN RECIPES:

colorful kale salad with jalapeñoColorful Kale Salad w/Jalapeños 

garlicky kale + white bean stewGarlicky Kale + White Bean Stew

vegan black eyed peasBlack Eyed Peas

spaghetti squashSpaghetti Squash Spaghetti

Applesauce Drop CookiesApplesauce Drop Cookies 

marinated mushroom & broccoliMarinated Broccoli & Mushrooms

CHECK OUT MY PINTEREST BOARD FOR MORE VEGAN RECIPES: VEGAN FOOD PORN 

“Let us not look back in anger, or forward in fear, but around us in awareness.”
{James Thurber}

Love

Crista


Oct
29

spaghetti squash
I love love love love love me some spaghetti. psghetti. However you say it. BUT. I try to not eat too much pasta. Ok. Sometimes I don’t care. When I get a craving for pasta, I MUST eat pasta. I’m not unlike anyone else.

I will never forget the day that I was introduced to spaghetti squash. A coworker of mine was in the break room at work eating spaghetti squash slathered in butter and parmesan cheese. I almost didn’t believe that she wasn’t eating spaghetti. The squash looks exactly like spaghetti! Well, not exactly. (I was young) 

spaghetti squash

So years ago, after I saw that woman eating her spaghetti squash, I decided to make spaghetti with spaghetti squash and it’s been a meal I’ve been making ever since. It’s easy, cheap, and healthy.

I cut my spaghetti squash in half and roast it in the oven for 25-30 minutes OR I microwave it for about 5-8 minutes. I like to add a little olive oil, salt, and pepper prior to roasting. I make sure the squash gets soft enough that I can pull the strands away from the skin, but before doing that I discard the seeds and pulp. I’m careful to not burn myself as I remove the strands – ouch!

While the squash is still hot, I top it with spaghetti sauce and vegan meatballs and voila! dinner is served.

spaghetti squash

Love

Crista


Sep
22

Have you ever made apple crisp in a skillet?
We just recently did it for the first time ((using apples fallen from our tree)) and we were super impressed with the result. The apples cooked thoroughly and quicker than they would have in a traditional baking dish. apple-crispapple-treeapple-tree
Isn’t this apple tree gorgeous? 

apple-treeapples-from-treeapple-crisp
For the apple crisp, we used the Apple & Pear Crisp recipe that I made last winter but we didn’t any pears this time. I will say that the pear + apple combination was the bomb… but I will also say using homegrown apples was the bomb. 

apple-crisp
To help you avoid guilt and allow you pleasure while eating this apple crisp, here are 6 benefits of eating apples. How’s that for an excuse to have dessert?
(I had this apple crisp for breakfast, whoops)

Love

Crista


Sep
13

amana-orange-tomato
Tomatoes are in season! I’ve mentioned several times that we’ve got more than we know what to do with in our garden.

I never liked tomatoes as a kid but as I grew up, I learned that tomatoes play an important role in many food dishes so I learned to cook with them. It wasn’t until a few years ago – when I started gardening and growing my own tomatoes, that I grew an appreciation for different varieties of  tomatoes, and it wasn’t until then that I started to enjoy eating tomatoes raw. Now, I actually catch myself in the garden popping little tomatoes in my mouth as I pick them off the vine. There is nothing quite like a vine-ripened, organic, home-grown tomato.

Many of the recipes you see on my blog feature tomatoes as one of the ingredients, below I share six of those recipes hoping to inspire you to use some juicy red tomatoes in to your recipes.

smallCHICKPEAsalad
Chickpea & Tomato Salad with Fresh Basil

peach & tomato skewersPeach & Tomato Skewers

garlicky kale & white bean stewGarlicky Kale + White Bean Stew


Heirloom Tomato Chutney
S piced Heirloom Tomato Chutney

corn tomato basilCorn & Tomato Salad

Love

Crista


Sep
13

grandmas-recipe-cards
Last week, my mom and I sat down over breakfast and started looking through some of my grandma’s old recipe cards. I know that my grandpa has been doing the same thing (in fact he is transferring the recipes to digital files) but I know it is overwhelming for him. I’m sure grandpa is looking for the easy recipes that he can make and my mom had the idea that we do the same thing – EXCEPT we’ll modify & update the recipes to be more “healthy”.

The stack of recipe cards we have been going through are mostly baking recipes, things like: Apple Cake with Lemon Sauce, Waldorf Astoria Cake (which we call Red Velvet Cake), Butterscotch Pie, Orange Drop Cookies, and Rhubarb Crunch. A few of the recipes I am dying to try are the Great Pumpkin Cookies, Skillet Cookies, Applesauce Cup Cakes, and Honey Balls.

grandmas-recipes

While my grandma was somewhat of a hoarder, she did keep an organized mess. All of her recipes include the source and/or who shared it with her and some are even labeled with the year she collected them. I found a recipe dated as far back as 1940! -that particular recipe was pulled out of a magazine. She also collected recipes off the radio and from the state fair. She labeled some of them “very good” or “delicious” if she really really enjoyed them.

I found a recipe for Pretzel Jello Salad (yuck!) which reminded me off this Carrot & Orange Jello Salad that Grandma would top with Mayonnaise. (yuck! again) I asked my mom about it and she remember it being good…. I guess she just didn’t know any better. You know what else is yuck: LARD was used an ingredient in a few recipes. Ew

Wish me luck as I search for alternatives to the lard and crisco and brown sugar alternative that grandma used. I look forward to living vicariously through grandma’s life by way of re-creating her recipes.

Love

Crista