Smoky Chickpea Salad

Smoky Chickpea Salad

This is a delicious and healthy alternative to tuna salad. I like to use this on sandwiches, in wraps, on top of salads, or even by itself. This recipe is a winner for kids’ lunches too.

Ingredients

3 cups chickpeas (cooked and drained)
4 tsp dijon mustard
4 tsp vegan mayo*
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp paprika
1 tbsp real, cultured dill relish
1/8 tsp liquid smoke**
sea salt and pepper to taste

*You can make your own vegan mayo or use store bought.

**If you don’t have liquid smoke, you can use smoked paprika instead of regular paprika in the recipe. The flavor will be a bit different though.

Directions

1. Pulse chickpeas in a food processor until they are all broken up and resemble a crumble. Do not over-process; we are not making hummus, right?

2. In a large bowl, combine the ground chickpeas with all of the other ingredients and mix together with a fork.

3. Store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator. This keeps for one week.

Enjoy!

Sweet Potato Toast That Can Be Made in a Toaster

Sweet Potato Toast That Can Be Made in a Toaster

‚ÄčI cannot take credit for the brilliant idea of cooking sliced sweet potato in a regular toaster. I have to wonder if these potentially accidental or perhaps purposeful strokes of genius take place when people are stoned, drunk and hungry. “Dude, what if sweet potatoes could be toasts?”

Nonetheless, I am thankful to whoever came up with the sweet potato toast idea (because it is delicious). Here is my take on the recipe.

Ingredients:

1 Japanese sweet potato*, sliced lengthwise
1 small avocado sliced (or guacamole)
1/4 cup chopped tomato
1/4 cup black beans
3 tbsp chopped green onions
3 tbsp roasted corn (not pictured)
sea salt and pepper, to taste

*Japanese sweet potato is incredibly delicious in this recipe, but if you cannot find those, regular orange sweet potatoes are great too.

Directions:

1. Slice raw sweet potato lengthwise in 1/4-1/2 an inch thick slices, depending on your preference.

2. Place two slices of the sweet potato in a regular toaster, as you would two slices of toast, and toast on high 2-3 times, depending on your toaster. The outside will be lightly toasted and crispy and the inside should be fully cooked. Perfection. You can also make these in a toaster oven instead.

3. Top with your desired toppings. This time, I used avocado, tomato, black beans, green onions, sea salt and pepper. Roasted corn would be outrageous too.

Sweet potatoes are satiating, healthy, and a nutrient-dense replacement to toast, so you really cannot go wrong here.

Enjoy!

Homemade Vegan Sour Cream

Homemade Vegan Sour Cream

When I went vegan, one of the foods I missed most was chilled sour cream, especially on top of soups, chilis, and baked potatoes. But over the years, I have found two worthy replacements: chilled/whipped avocado and this homemade cashew sour cream that I am about to share with you now. There are many variations of this recipe circulating the internet, but this is what I use.

Ingredients:
2 cups raw soaked/drained cashews*
1/2 – 1 cup water**
1.5 tbsp raw apple cider vinegar
3 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
A pinch of sea salt

*You should soak the cashews in water for at least four hours prior to making this recipe, but I was pressed for time. I actually just put everything in the blender without pre-soaking the cashews, and it still came out great. I have a high-speed blender, so if you do not have a great blender, pre-soaking the cashews is non-negotiable.

**The amount of water you will need will depend on whether or not you soaked the nuts as well as the desired consistency you are trying to achieve. Start with 1/2 cup and work your way up from there.

Directions

1. Place the ingredients in a high speed blender and blend until creamy.

2. Store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator. It will keep for at least a week.

You can use this as a topping on just about any savory dish. You can also mix this into pasta and potato salads. It’s incredibly delicious. Enjoy!

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Stuffed Baked Potatoes: A Satisfying Meal

Stuffed Baked Potatoes: A Satisfying Meal

For all of you busy people out there, preparing healthy, filling, and cost-effective meals can seem daunting. But I have found one of the most satiating and versatile foods to be a solution to weekly meal preparation woes: the potato. Potatoes are not only delicious, they are filling, and can be baked in advance. Cooked baked potatoes store well in an open bowl in the refrigerator.

When you are ready to eat, you can grab a pre-cooked potato, reheat it, and top it with whatever you like: mustard, ketchup, relish, avocado, sauteed onions and peppers, vegetables. If you are in a real pinch, you can simply go with mustard and a side of vegetables. Use what you have on hand. The possibilities are endless.

Here are three ideas for ways you can top your baked potatoes.

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Fiesta Stuffed Potato: Topped with salsa, lime juice, cilantro, kidney beans, and fresh mango
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Buffalo Ranch Stuffed Potato: Topped with sauteed veggies in hot sauce and maple syrup glaze, cashew ranch dressing, veggie queso made from nutritional yeast, almond milk, corn starch, and garlic powder, and green onion (recipe inspired by The Happy Herbivore)
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Epic Veggie Stuffed Potato: Topped with pico de gallo, cherry tomatoes, chopped spinach, green pepper, basil, and chickpeas

Basil Cashew Cream Spread

Basil Cashew Cream Spread

My basil cashew cream spread is quick and simple to make and perfect for collard wraps, zucchini noodles, raw lasagna, or as a dip for veggies and crackers. I hope you enjoy the creamy texture and fresh basil flavor.

Ingredients
1 cup raw cashews
juice of 1 lemon
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 handful fresh basil
1/2 tsp sea salt (or to taste)
pepper to taste
water

Directions

1. Place cashews in a bowl and cover with filtered water. Let them soak in the fridge for 5 hours.

2. Next, drain and rinse cashews

3. In a high speed blender or food processor, put in the cashews, 1/4 cup water, and remaining ingredients.

4. Blend well until a creamy texture is achieved. You may need to add more water to achieve the desired consistency you are looking for.

This is a versatile recipe; you can make the spread thick or thin it out with more water for noodle dishes. I made collard wraps, using beautiful collard leaves that were growing in my garden.

Thanks for reading!

Be the light,
Mary

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Spicy Mango Avocado Raw Tacos

Spicy Mango Avocado Raw Tacos

This is one of the most satisfying raw vegan dinners I have ever created. I think you will love it, if you like fresh meals with a kick.

Ingredients
8 romaine lettuce leaves
1 tomato sliced in strips
1 mango sliced in strips
1 avocado sliced in strips
1 tbsp Mazi habanero harvest hot sauce (or any hot sauce you choose)

Directions
1. Double layer the lettuce leaves to reinforce them. You are making four lettuce tacos with this recipe.

2. Fill the lettuce boats with the tomato, mango, and avocado. You can also add chopped lettuce or other greens to the filling. Then top with hot sauce (to your taste).

3. Pick it up and eat it like a taco. I give you permission to eat this whole recipe – or share. This is also easily doubled. If a whole avocado is too much for you, then use half, or as much as you desire.

Enjoy!

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Fresh Mango Cilantro Quesadilla with Kimchi & Avocado

Fresh Mango Cilantro Quesadilla with Kimchi & Avocado

This homemade, gluten-free and vegan quesadilla was so fresh and filling; the flavor combinations were exceptional. I am really proud of this one, and I hope you enjoy it too.

Ingredients
1 brown rice tortilla
1/4 of an avocado, smashed
1 handful of arugula
1/8 cup cilantro
1/4 of a ripe mango, sliced
1 tbsp soy-free veganaise
1/2 of a tomato, sliced
1-2 tbsp kimchi*

Always opt for fresh, organic, local ingredients whenever possible.

*Make sure you purchase organic, real kimchi or make your own. Many kimchi brands are filled with chemicals and junk your body does not need.

Directions
1. Lightly grill tortilla in a nonstick pan on low-medium heat for about 20 seconds on each side to soften

2. Layer your tortilla as desired. My best tip: Place smashed avocado on one side and the soy-free veganaise on the other side and then layer from there. This helps everything to bind together.

3. Fold the tortilla in half and then cook each side until golden brown and lightly crisped.

Enjoy!

Recipe yields one tortilla, but you can easily make as many as your heart desires.

I’ve priced each organic quesadilla at approximately $3.25 to make.

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