Spicy Taki Elotes

It is never a bad idea to treat yourself and indulge into a spicy vegan dish. If you know me, you know that I am always down to treat myself since I eat majority whole plant foods and fruit. These Taki elotes are definitely something I recommend you try out. I grew up loving Mexican corn "elotes" so making this one 100% vegan was a dream come true for me. 

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This spicy Taki elote surely will take your street corn dreams up a notch but in a good way. Get your mouth ready for this fiery goodness. 

 

Vegan Spicy Taki Elotes

Corn on a cob/husk

A bag of Taki Fuego flavor, crushed (fuego is one of the only Taki flavors that is vegan. I believe there is another flavor but please make sure you read the label before grabbing)

Chipotle veganise (vegan mayo; I use the Follow Your Heart brand but Hampton Creek makes one as well)

Regular veganise (vegan mayo)

3-4 tbsp lime juice 

Hot sauce (use one of your choice)

Dried or fresh and finely chopped cilantro, optional

Ziplock bag 

 

Instructions

Roast the corn on the grill and in the oven. (If using oven, bake on 350F for 30 mins.)

Spread the chipotle veganise on each piece of corn. 

Place the crushed Takis on a plate and roll each piece of corn in the Takis. Use your fingers to press them down a bit to make sure it sticks to the corn. 

Add a couple of drops of hot sauce onto each piece of corn. 

Place a couple of scoops (about 5 tbsp) of regular veganise in a bowl with the lime juice. Mix together and place the mixture into a ziplock bag. Poke a tiny hole in the bag and drizzle the cream onto each piece of corn. 

Sprinkle on the cilantro if you desire to add it. 

Enjoy! 

Sweet Potato and Mushroom Burger

SHE THICK! By she, I mean these delicious gluten-free and soy-free sweet potato and mushroom burgers. These tasty burger patties only take 5 ingredients to make and are truly mouth-watering. A sweet and savory combination is sure to have your taste buds going wild. Time to fire up the skillet and get to cooking. 

 

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Sweet Potato and Mushroom Burger (serving: 5 burger patties)

1 large sweet potato, skinned + diced

5 Bella mushrooms, sliced

1/4 red onion, diced

1/2 cup brown rice, cooked

2/3 cup of gf Panko breadcrumbs + extra 1/4 cup for rolling burgers (if not gluten-free, use regular panko breadcrumbs)

2-3 tbsp olive oil or coconut oil, for cooking 

 

Place diced sweet potato chunks into a pot with water over medium heat and let boil for 20 mins or until the pieces are softened. 

In another pot, place 1/2 cup of brown rice with 1 cup water and cook. 

Place chopped mushrooms and onion  in a saucepan over medium heat and sauté until grilled to your desire. 

Drain sweet potatoes and mash in a large bowl. 

Add cooked rice into the bowl with mashed sweet potato. 

Add in the grilled mushrooms and onion. Mix them in with the rice and potato. Use a potato masher to mash them together. 

Add in the 2/3 cup of gf panko breadcrumbs. Use a spoon to mix them in. 

Use your hands to turn the mixture into patties. 

Sprinkle the extra breadcrumbs on a plate and place each patty on the plate to pat the breadcrumbs on the top and the bottom. 

Add oil into a saucepan over medium heat. Cook each patty for 4 mins on each side or until each side is golden brown. Top with vegan cheese if you desire. 

Eat patty on a bun or lettuce wrap. Enjoy! 

Red Curry Mac and Cheese With Broccoli

Nothing screams comfort food more than a nice warm bowl of mac and cheese. Growing up, I settled for boxed Kraft mac and cheese for random weekday dinners which was not high-quality at all yet I was a sucker for it. Now that I am vegan and cook for a living, I decided to step my standards up a notch with this bowl of red curry mac and cheese with broccoli. It is gluten-free, soy-free and nut-free while being packed with vitamins and nutrients. Who said comfort food can't be healthy? 

A beautiful combination of the classic cheesy flavor of mac and cheese with a punch of spice that curry gives make this dish something that will stand out at a dinner table. 

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Red Curry Mac and Cheese with Broccoli

A head of broccoli, chopped in florets

Gluten-free macaroni or spiral noodles 

1/4 cup gluten free panko bread crumbs + nutritional yeast mixed together (optional)

1/4 cup of vegan cheddar shreds (I used So Delicious; optional)

Drizzle of olive oil

 

Red curry Mac and cheese sauce: 

2 cup potato (diced large)

1 cup carrot (diced large)

1 cup + 1 tbsp unsweetened original Plant based milk

2/3 cup Nutritional yeast

1 tsp Acv 

4 tbsp red curry paste (about a full 4oz jar)

1 tsp cayenne 

3 Garlic cloves minced 

Pinch of salt 

 

Preheat oven on 350 F

Place the diced potato and carrot into a pot in water over medium heat. Boil until softened. 

While potatoes and carrots are cooking, add broccoli florets into another pot in water over medium heat. Cook for 10-12 minutes or until the florets are softened. 

In another pot, cook pasta according to instructions on packaging. 

Once potatoes and carrots are softened, drain water and add into blender with the rest of the ingredients to make the red curry cheese sauce. Blend until you get a creamy consistency. 

Drain the broccoli florets and mix them into the drained pasta. Pour on the cheese sauce and mix well together. Mix in the cheese shreds if you choose to use them. 

Pour red curry Mac and cheese into a lightly-oiled baking sheet or case iron skillet. 

Drizzle some olive oil onto the bread crumb mixture and sprinkle it on top of the Mac and cheese. 

Bake for 20 mins + 2 mins on HI broil. 

Remove from oven and let cool for 5 mins before serving. 

Enjoy! 

Sweet Potato Bread With Cinnamon Glaze

If you are an avid follower of mine, you know that my sweet tooth is huge. I was craving my chocolate banana bread the other night but then I decided to turn it up a notch by switching it to sweet potato. What makes my sweet potato bread stand out from the rest is the cinnamon glaze. It adds a special sweet and cinnamon flavor that will go great with a cup of coffee or tea. 

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Sweet Potato Bread w/ Cinnamon Glaze

2 cups gluten-free rolled oats (to turn into oat flour; can use other flour but results can vary)

2 tsp cinnamon 

2 tsp baking powder 

1 tsp nutmeg 

1/2 cup coconut sugar (can use other kind of sugar as well)

1/4 cup peanut butter 

1 cup cooked & mashed sweet potato 

1/2 cup unsweetened plant milk

2 tbsp flax meal + 6 tbsp water (to make 2 flax eggs)

1 tsp vanilla extract 

1 tsp apple cider vinegar 

 

Preheat oven on 350 F

Mix the flax meal with water to create a flax egg. Sit aside

To make oat flour, blend the oats in a food processor or blender for 60-70 seconds.

Add the flour into a bowl with baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and sugar. Mix ingredients until well combined.

In another bowl, place the mashed sweet potato, peanut butter, plant milk, flax egg, vanilla extract and apple cider vinegar together. Mix ingredients together until blended well. 

Slowly add in the dry ingredients and mix together. 

Line your bread tin with parchment paper and pour in the batter. Smooth top with a spoon. 

Place in oven and bake for 60-70 mins or until toothpick is clean when inserted and removed. 

Remove and let cool in tin for 5 mins before removing. Let it cool completely before slicing. 

 

Cinnamon Glaze:

1 cup organic powdered sugar

2 & 1/2 tbsp vegan butter, melted 

1 & 1/2 tbsp plant milk

1 tsp vanilla extract 

1 tsp cinnamon 

 

Mix ingredients in a bowl and stir until well combined.

Once bread is removed from tin, pour glaze on top and use a spoon to evenly spread. 

Let cool before slicing. 

Enjoy! 

Pesto Pasta (Gluten-Free, Soy-Free, & Nut-Free)

I have a confession to make: I LOVE CARBS! Pasta, bread, potatoes. You name it, I love it. However, being gluten-free (well mostly because I am naughty sometimes) can make this a difficult thing. Thankfully it is 2018 and there are a lot of gluten-free options. My vegan pesto is included in this. Most pesto sauces are gluten-free, however, mine is also soy-free and nut-free as well. So no matter what allergy you have, you can enjoy this without feeling guilty. 

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1 cup packed basil

1/4 cup sunflower seeds

3 cloves of garlic

1/4 cup vegan parmesan or nutritional yeast

2 tbsp lemon juice 

4-5 tbsp water 

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

 

Blend all ingredients into a food processor until the consistency is blended well and is creamy. 

 

Store in fridge and use on pasta, salad, etc. Shelf life is 5-6 days. 

Beetroot Hummus

Almost every vegan I can think of have a deep love for hummus. Maybe this is because it is only of the only snacks we can munch on at parties and work events. Haha. All jokes aside, I am excited to share my famous homemade beetroot hummus recipe. I guarantee that this recipe will make you never want to purchase store-bought hummus again. 

I know that people have a love/hate relationship with beets. However, I have a deep love and obsession with them. I love them in salads, in cold-pressed juices and even in smoothies (I will discuss how I add it into smoothies in a future post). Beets have so many amazing health benefits. Beets are high in vitamin c, fiber, potassium (essential for healthy nerve and muscle function), and manganese (which is good for your bones, liver, kidneys, and pancreas). Beets can also lower your blood pressure, boost your stamina, fight inflammation, and had anti-cancer properties. All of this is all of the more reason to snack on this more often than not. 

 

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Beetroot hummus recipe: 

- 1 can of chickpeas

- 1 small beet, boiled to soften

- 1/4 cup tahini

- 1/3 cup + 2 tbsp lemon juice

- 4 garlic cloves, minced 

- 2 & 1/2 tbsp olive oil 

- 4-5 tbsp water (may need more depends on the texture you want)

 

Drain the can of chickpeas and rinse them. Peel the excess white coating off of each chickpea (peeling is optional but I highly recommend you doing this to get the smoothest consistency)

Put all the ingredients in a food processor or your blender and blend until you get the texture of hummus. (Best results is in a food processor) 

Can top with minced garlic, oil or extra lemon juice if you desire!

(if you are not a fan of beets, remove them and make regular hummus!)

Sweet Potato Biscuit and Fried Cauliflower Sandwich

Have you ever been lying in bed and come up with the most incredible recipe idea that you have to create just that second? No, just me? Haha. All jokes aside, this is one of my favorite creations to date and I thought of it after I awakened from a glorious Sunday afternoon nap. I cannot wait for you to recreate this to enjoy the moist sweet and spicy mixture that is truly heavenly. This sandwich is great for a nice Sunday brunch or even for a random dinner date with your boo or your friends. It is definitely a fun addition to any day regardless of the time or situation.

 

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Sweet Potato Biscuits

1 & 1/2 cup flour + extra flour for kneading dough (all-purpose or gluten free)

3/4 cup mashed sweet potato (about a medium sized sweet potato cooked)

1 tbsp baking powder 

2 tbsp coconut sugar

1/4 tsp sea salt 

1/3 cup unsweetened plain plant milk

1/4 tsp lemon juice

6 tbsp vegan butter (make sure it’s cold)

 

Preheat oven to 425 F

Place plant milk and lemon juice in one bowl. Set aside so it can form into a “buttermilk”

Place flour, baking powder, salt, and coconut sugar into a bowl and stir together. 

Add in the vegan butter and use a pastry cutter or your fingers to mix together until only small pieces remain and it kind of look like sand. Make sure you move fast so the butter will not get warm. 

Add in the mashed sweet potato and fold it in. 

Slowly add in the “buttermilk” mixture and mix together. You may not need the entire content of milk depending on how moist your mashed sweet potato is.

Sprinkle flour onto a surface. Turn the dough onto the surface 2-3 times with the palms of your hands until the mixture comes together.

Pat the dough so it’s 1/2 inch thick round. Use a biscuit cutter (you can also use a mason jar top, a measuring cup or almond butter top) to form the biscuits. Continuously form the dough together until all of the biscuits are made. 

Place biscuits onto baking sheet and bake for 12-14 mins or until the bottom is golden brown.

Remove from oven and let cool! 

 

Fried Cauliflower

1 head of cauliflower

1/4 cup unsweetened plain plant milk 

1/3 cup hot sauce 

1 cup flour 

1 tbsp corn starch 

1 tsp garlic powder 

1 tsp onion powder 

1 tsp cayenne

1 tsp paprika 

1 tsp pepper 

1 tbsp nutritional yeast

Dash of salt 

Oil for frying

 

Wash cauliflower and slice them into 1/2 inch slices (so they can fit on the biscuits; they should be sort of thin like chicken patties)

Place flour and spices into a bowl and blend together

Place the plant milk and hot sauce into another bowl and whisk together. 

Heat oil in a saucepan on medium heat on stovetop 

Dip a cauliflower piece into the wet batter first and fully coat using one hand. Use the other hand to add it into the flour batter and coat. Then use the wet batter hand to add it back in the wet batter. Coat it with the flour batter again. Repeat. (Make sure to use separate hands for the wet and for the flour batters.)

Add into the oil and fry until it’s golden brown. 

Strain excess oil and let cool. 

 

Use a knife to cut open a biscuit and place a fried cauliflower piece on top of the bottom slice of the biscuit. Drizzle some maple syrup or agave (optional) and add the top of the biscuit onto the sandwich. Enjoy!

 

Menstrual Cup Chronicles: Why I Recommend It + Tips

Okay ladies, let's tackle a topic a lot of us hate discussing: our period. It is an annoying topic for most women due to the reminder of the cramps, bloating and fatigue. Most importantly, we hate that trip to the drug store to grab pads and/or tampons every month as well. Well, I have a good solution to your issue: a menstrual cup. 

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A menstrual cup is great because it is cost efficient since it last for close to 10 years (YES, it will hold up for a decade and you can keep it inserted inside for 10-12 hours. Plus, it is healthy for your vagina and for the environment as well. Majority of the commercial pads and tampons contain polyethylene plastic which is an environmentally harmful pollution that end up getting soaked by the Earth and is released as pollution into the groundwater and air. Also, majority of pads and tampons contain chlorine, pesticides and insecticides which is harmful for your body and can lead to cancer and other vaginal and uterine issues. In the US alone, 12 billion pads and 7 million tampons pollute landfills annually. That is an insane number, but with you switching to a menstrual cup, you will no longer be contributing to harming the environment in this way. 

There are a couple of menstrual cup brands available for purchase, however, I am going to share the one I have which is the Luna Cup. It is only $14 on Amazon and come in both a small and a large. Sizes will vary when it comes to a menstrual cup depending on the brand (some brands only have a large aka a one size fit all) so be cautious of this when you order it as well. 

 

 

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I use a size Large but you can follow the chart above to decide which cup will be best for you. 

Here are some tips I want to give for insertion and sealing:

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1. There are a couple of ways to fold and insert the menstrual cup inside your vaginal cavity, however, the punch down fold is the best and easiest way to insert it in my opinion.

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I use this method and insert it and have any issues. However, the first couple of times is tricky.

2. I recommend running it under cool water or using coconut oil or lube to insert it the first time. It will make it easier for you if you do tense up while applying it inside of your vaginal cavity.

3. Be relaxed while inserting it inside. When you're tense, your vaginal walls start to close and tighten up which make it difficult to insert it inside of you. 

4. Be comfortable with your bodily fluids and yourself in general. Using a menstrual involves you to get blood on your hands so be ready and okay with that. I do not recommend that you change it in a public bathroom unless you truly do not have a choice due to how messy it can be during removal.

5. Make sure you seal the cup! Sealing the cup means that it is completely popped open inside of you to ensure there wont be any leaks. If it do not instantly pop open when inserted, either 1) tug at the end of the cup and wiggle it around until it pops up, 2) insert your fingers inside your vagina until you feel the rim on the cup and pop it open, or 3) use your fingers and twist the cup around. You will know when it is sealed because you will feel a tiny pop sensation or you can fill around the bottom of the cup and it should full completely round instead of folded.

6. To remove the cup, push down as if you are pooping or pushing out a baby (I know it is weird at first) and use your fingers to grab onto the bottom of the cup and remove it. Dump the blood inside of the cup.

7. Lastly, when it is inside of you, you will not be able to feel it. If you can feel it and it is painful, you did not insert it correctly. You can wear any kind of pants with the menstrual cup inserted as well and it last for up to 12 hrs of protection without leakage. 

Those are all the tips that I have. I hope this post is helpful in your menstrual cup journey. You can leave any questions or comments below if you want to add into the discussion and give extra tips that I possibly left out. Love you guys :)

Whole Food Plant-Based/Vegan Grocery List

The main question I get from people wanting to transition to a plant-based/vegan diet is "what foods should I shop for?". This question can be answered in a variety of ways, however, I am sharing my own perspective on the things I eat. I eat whole plant foods 95% of the time. I believe it is the best way for humans to eat. 

No, being vegan is not a diet; it is a lifestyle. You can eat vegan junk food and processed meat substitutes and still be vegan. There is nothing wrong with those things, but for optimal health, I choose to stick to whole plant fruit and veggies. I avoid oils and process sugar whenever possible. Coconut sugar is great when I do use sugar for coffee and tea because it is a natural sugar from the palm of coconut. Also, I forgot to mention a healthy fat which is avocados on the list but trust me, do not leave it out. 

Also, I avoid gluten and soy whenever possible due to a sensitivity to those things. If you can have those things, you can add tofu, tempeh and/or seitan onto your grocery list as well for more plant protein. Nevertheless, here is the list. Comment below any questions you may have! 

 

 

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Lemon "Shrimp" Scampi

I have a confession to make: I use to be obsessed with shrimp before becoming vegan. Lemon shrimp scampi was one of my go-to dishes when I ate at seafood restaurants with my sisters and friends. My vegan version puts all the previous plates of lemon shrimp scampi to shame! Did I mention that this dish is gluten AND soy-free?! Need I say more? 

 

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Gluten-free Linguine noodles (use regular linguine noodles if not avoiding gluten)

1/2 jar of Heart of Palm (3-4 pieces), sliced w/ middle removed

3 lemons, juiced 

1/2 lemon, sliced in 1/2 pieces 

Zest of 1/2 lemon

5 cloves of garlic, minced

5 tbsp soy-free Earth Balance butter (if not avoiding soy, get the regular Earth Balance) 

5 tbsp EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)

1 tsp garlic powder 

1 tbsp black pepper 

1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (could use more if like spicy)

Dried parsley 

Dried basil

 

Cook noodles as directed on package 

While noodles are cooking, place 2 tbsp of EVOO + 5 tbsp of vegan butter into a saucepan over medium-low heat. Add in minced garlic. Sauté for 1 minute. 

Add in sliced heart of palm and sprinkle on garlic powder. Sauté and let cook for 3-4 mins. Remove from heat and set aside.

Drain noodles and add them to the saucepan with the “shrimp” and sauce. Turn on the heat to medium-low heat again. Drizzle on 3 tbsp of EVOO and pour in the juice from the 3 lemons (you can just squeeze 3 lemons as well but it’s easier to juice them beforehand). 

Add on the crushed red pepper and lemon slices. Turn off heat and let sit for 2 minutes. 

Add to plate and sprinkle on parsley and basil. 

Enjoy!