Shaking Up Traditional Nicoise/Shaking Off 2016

This year was a rough one. Whew doggie! For a lot of people. On a macro level there was the seemingly never-ending execution of my childhood heroes by the powers to be. Oh and that whole election thing, there was that. The anxieties of the world were heavy on all of our shoulders this year. So many shoulders. Shoulders big and small.

And then there was me dealing with the stuff that was mine alone. I can honestly say 2016 was one of the most difficult, challenging, sanity-testing years of my entire life. And that is saying a lot. Cause my life has been pretty weird and extraordinary so far. However it was also the year that I made a decision to change everything. I changed my entire lifestyle, my social circle, my spiritual life. I left a 15 year career behind that was doing me more harm than good at this point. I worked incredibly hard to heal my body from a lifetime of various abuses including disordered eating and body image. I left behind an identity I had fought hard to create, and did successfully….mostly to avoid having to face all the things I now have no choice but to face. But I see now how everything falling apart earlier this year was such a tremendous gift from the universe. Dare I say, from God? I hope to one day look back on this year, reflect on the painful moments, and feel true gratitude for the person I’ve become *because* of that pain. I’m not quite there yet but I work hard EVERY SINGLE DAY to be a better person than I have been in the past. And there are many times I have been a less than good person. So this New Years Eve is bittersweet for me…BUT…I am so so SO excited for this new chapter in my life that I am about to surf, with my new longing for grace and humility. And prehaps a little moxy because duh, i’m me.

Ok so back to FOOD. If your holiday went anything like mine, it was a full on empty carb and sugar BONANZA. It was worth it, believe that, but now my body is crying for all the greens and antioxidants and protein and superfoods and yeah maybe still a Red Velvet cupcake but I must ignore that for now. I have been focused on injecting vegetables straight in to my veins. So the day after Christmas when deciding what to make for dinner I knew that all I really needed to get back on track was a big ol’ bomb ass salad.

I hadn’t ever made a Nicoise salad. I have eaten them. I liked the simplicity of the dressing, the various colors, the high protein and I love me some fishy flavors. But of course I had to do something a little different for the blog, because there are already a million proper recipes out there already. So I switched out the cold potatoes for cold golden beet and I wasn’t really feeling boring ol’ tuna and olives so I whipped up this variation with smoked salmon and capers. I toyed with the idea of doing crab meat but I wanted that lox/capers combination in my mouf bad. Needless to say, it was amazing.

I used Vital Farm eggs which are the best eggs I have ever had. Thanks for the recommendation mom!

This recipe also happens to be by default, gluten free, dairy free, oil free and Paleo friendly.

Lox & Golden Beet Nicoise Salad (For Two) 



  • 2 golden beets, boiled and cubed (you can buy them pre-cooked at Whole Foods)
  • 2 organic cage-free eggs
  • 5 ounces, french green beans
  • 4 large radishes, sliced
  • 6 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 cups green leaf lettuce
  • 4 slices lox
  • 2 tablespoons capers
  • fresh parsley for topping


  • 1 tablespoon minced shallot
  • 2 tablespoons dry white wine
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • salt & pepper to taste


Hard-boil two eggs. Peel and set aside. Steam green beans. Set aside.

Cut and wash other veggies and set aside ready for assembly.

In a small bowl combine all dressing ingredients and wisk well.

In two bowls assemble starting with the chopped/cleaned lettuce at the bottom of the bowl, tossed in the homemade dressing.

Add the chilled, steamed green beans to the top and split the hard-boiled eggs. Arrange around the edges of the bowls, cold beets, tomatoes, radishes.

Slice the salmon and roll up to created “roses” in the middle of the bowl. Top with a spoon full of capers.

Sprinkle entire salad with chopped parsley. Grub down.

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE! Thank you SO much for following me! I will be working hard to amp up this little blog in 2017.



Meditating on Winter Soup w/Purple Potatoes

So a couple of weeks ago I went on my first daylong meditation retreat. I have been meditating seriously ( very serious, man) for about 8 months now. I tried a few different schools and techniques, including Zen Buddhist meditation before stumbling upon Perfectly Here Mindfulness Center in the SFV, CA. What I liked about it was it seemed like a science-based approach to meditation and I am all about science. Science is cool. I wanted to learn exactly WHY the brain benefits from meditation, not just left alone to stare at a wall for 45 minutes when I had no idea what I was doing. I started with the level 1 class and I have just wrapped up the level 2. I have definitely picked up some positive habits taking these two courses and noticed that I have been handling STRESSFUL SITUATIONS…a lot better. So I figured the next step was to attend a daylong.

I had ZERO idea what to expect but I knew it would involve a lot of meditating, for a long time…like all day…hence, daylong. I was really worried that it would be too much for me, that I would run out screaming, interrupting everyone else’s journey to serenity. Luckily that totally didn’t happen. The time flew by and we changed up the meditation styles so frequently I never got bored. And I found the group meditation environment actually helped me meditate better, which is weird, right?

My favorite part was lunch. Obviously, yeah, cause food. But this wasn’t just regular eating this was MINDFUL eating. Everyone prepared and set up for lunch in complete silence, and we all sat together in complete silence. It was a little weird at first (especially hearing everyone chew) but it was also strangely intimate. We were served a vegetable stew that was so comforting and belly warming in it’s simplicity. Especially on a chilly, dark day. And keeping with the mindful teachings I thought about the journey of the vegetables…growing in the dirt, being picked by farm workers, riding in the truck, being displayed in the stores. I thought about another woman at the retreat who I knew had been given the task of chopping the vegetables for the soup. How we were all eating the outcome of her labor. And suddenly the moment became beautiful and exciting. Not to mention the soup was fabulous.

I decided then that I was going to make a veggie soup too! I wanted it to be colorful and comforting and belly warming and encourage the same thoughts of gratitude the retreat soup had given me. The perfect soup for the crisp December weather.

I knew I wanted to have sweet potatoes in the soup because that was my favorite part about the retreat soup. When I went to church (aka Whole Foods Market) to buy supplies I came across these gorgeous Japanese PURPLE sweet potatoes. I fell in love with the vibrant color and felt like it radiated the vibes I wanted my soup to have. So I picked up some purple baby reg potatoes too, you know, to double the purple power. Two kinds of purple potatoes and kale provide the OOMF for this hearty soup. I hope you love is as much as we did in my home. We served it with some dark, crusty rustic bread.



2 cups Japanese purple sweet potatoes, cut

1 1/2 cup purple baby potatoes

2 bunches kale, chopped

1 yellow onion, chopped

1 cup white mushrooms, chopped

4 cloves garlic, chopped

1 can white beans (or kidney beans), drained and rinsed

4 tablespoons organic miso

6 cups veggie broth

2 cups water

1 tablespoon turmeric

salt, pepper to taste

Prep time: 20 minutes Cook time: 1 hour

In a large pot, combine veggies, water and broth. Bring to a boil. Once boiling reduce heat.

Add spices and let cook on low about 45 minutes or until potatoes are begin to get tender. Add the miso and beans and cook for 15 more minutes.

Serve alone or with crusty bread. Keeps excellent in the fridge for leftovers. Grub down!






Snack Attack: Favs of 2016

Snacks are a very hot topic…a sensitive, deeply personal subject. So obviously this is just my opinion. It’s personal, man. I’m not a hardcore snacker but I am only human and a woman with hormones so sometimes I NEED crunchy or I NEED salty or I NEED chocolate and that’s just the way it is. I believe in listening to your body…that’s all the justification I need. Works for me! Here are some snacky snacks I munched on this year that I found exceptional, the snackiest of all.



I asked friends on FB what their favorite snacks were and though only 3 answered me (thanks guys) they all had one grub in common. Popcorn. Popcorn is awesome and fun to eat. It makes movies better and if it’s not soaked in mystery oils, you can eat a lot with a low caloric consequence. Like BOOM CHICKA POP is only 70 calories a cup for the Sweet and Salty flavor. The problem is it’s so freaking good and addictive you really can’t eat just one cup. So I have vowed to never buy it again. But I probably will because seriously it’s so freaking good.

I went to Cost Plus World Market to look for interesting foods from all around the world because Cost Plus has the most awesome inventory of interesting foods from all around the world. I could live there, it has everything you need, seriously. I find the most ridiculous things there. Like these Marmite Cashews. I’ve never been into Marmite or Vegemite but I do love cashews with just about anything on it. I bought it as a wacky experiment but it ended up being super good. Salty…in a good way. And the cashews are oven baked. I find myself randomly craving these and will definitely pick more up when I go back for Christmas shopping.



Alter Eco sea-salt truffles. Holy shit. Are you kidding me? I am in love with this company. They are organic, made with coconut oil, gluten-free, fair trade…this is my new favorite chocolate, ever. The best part is that one serving is three…so if you eat one you can be like “oh hell yeah I didn’t even eat a whole serving” and still get a nice chocolate fix…and if you eat three you can be like ” oh hell yeah I can eat THREE of them and that’s only one serving!.” You can’t lose.

I had to throw in So Delicious Cashew Milk ice cream because even though I did a whole post about this product, it’s so good I had to bring it up again. Read my full review here:


Halo Top. What can I say about you that hasn’t already been mentioned by EVERYONE WHO HAS THE INTERNET. If you follow food/cooking/fitness social media accounts you have definitely seen this product come up. I’ve heard the raves but was skeptical…I had heard similar praise about Arctic Zero which I took one bite of and threw directly into the trash. *shudders*…Halo Top actually looks and tastes like real ice cream, not a gross vaguely chocolately ice block. It’s really amazing. These people must be so rich and they deserve it. Healthy ice cream??? High protein/low carb and sugar? I don’t know how it tastes as good as it does but it really really really does.

The major selling point of Halo Top is that you can eat the ENTIRE pint for 240-380 calories…which is basically every woman’s wildest fantasy. You can miserably measure out a 1/4 cup of Ben & Jerry’s for the same calories as a whole pint of this magical stuff. And I never end up eating a whole pint. But knowing I could if I wanted to (and it would actually fuel my workouts)…this is the stuff of dreams. My favorites so far are Birthday Cake, Mint Chip and Lemon Cake. The Birthday Cake has sprinkles!




I discovered Hope Organic products via Whole Foods. I found the Jalapeño Cilantro hummus first and thought it sounded fun. I use it to dip veggies in. It tasted so good I assumed it had to be filled with gross ingredients or heavy creams or chemicals. But I was super surprised when I checked the label. It had very minimal ingredients, all clean and whole foods, healthy AF. I tried the Kale Pesto next which was equally fire, this one is good for spreading on sandwiches in place of mayo. They have a DARK CHOCOLATE hummus but I haven’t been brave enough to try it. But one day I will…for like, research.

Matcha Green Tea Chia Pudding


I ❤ this recipe so much because…

  • It’s incredibly easy to make. In fact your refrigerator does the heavy lifting.
  • It’s made with Matcha green tea.
  • It’s full of nutrients and health benefits!
  • Matcha. Green. Tea.
  • It’s dairy free and refined sugar free.
  • It tastes so good that I feel like I am eating a decadent dessert that I shouldn’t be eating.


Ok if you haven’t already guessed i’m kind of obsessed with Matcha green tea. I have at least one cup every day and I adore all things matcha flavored, ice cream to baked goods to Boba. I love that you can add this precious, antioxidant packed powder to just about anything (Matcha pancakes anyone?).

And I love Chia seed pudding. I love that I can take 5 minutes to prepare it the night before, stick it in the fridge and BAM…I have a post workout meal ready for me the next morning. And i’m not even a crazy busy person. Imagine if you were crazy busy and never had time to make breakfast or a healthy dessert? You need this. Have I mentioned this is super easy to make?

I use a mason jar to make my Chia pudding. Not because i’m a hipster, because it’s a perfect vessel, has a nice tight lid, is fun to eat out of and a cinch to clean and reuse. Let’s do this!


4 tablespoons raw organic Chia seeds

3/4 cup almond milk

2-3 teaspoons Matcha powder

1/4 cup organic 100% pure maple syrup

1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Add almond milk, maple syrup and vanilla to a mason jar. Wisk until well blended. Slowly add in Matcha powder will wisking or fast stirring with a fork to reduce lumps. Stir in Chia seeds.

Put lid on the jar and stick in your fridge over night.

The next morning top with cool things like: shredded coconut, raw nuts, fruit, dark chocolate chips, nut butters, etc etc etc.

Snarf down.




Veggie Italian Meatballs (GF)


As I mentioned in previous posts, a tradition was recently started in my household. Monday is homemade pizza night. And so it has been for the past ten Mondays or so. Yesterday the chain was broken however, as the suggestion of good old-fashioned spaghetti and meatballs caused great enthusiasm. I blame the Sopranos. 

About 5 years ago, when I lived by the beach, me and my boyfriend at the time decided to watch the entire Sopranos series from the beginning. I had never seen it and he had watched it back when it originally aired. From the very first episode we were mesmerized. It took over our lives, we couldn’t stop. The only other time I recall a TV show abducting my life in such a way, it was Battlestar Galactica. The kind of show where you stay in your pajamas for days, order in, turn to your partner and say “just ONE more?”…and of course it’s never just one more. That’s what happened with The Sopranos. And if you have watched the show you know they are ALWAYS eating. Always. Especially Tony. Pasta, bread, ziti. And watching that made us crave that red smothered, cheese covered American-Italian style grub so freaking bad. Almost every night we ordered in pasta. In was a high-carb time. But I survived.

Back to the present, there has been some discussion recently in my current home about re-watching The Sopranos. But there are concerns. Will it derail my life? Will I want pasta 24/7? Can my body afford such cravings? Will watching the show again destroy all my new healthy practices? I don’t know man. I don’t know. I just know that even the mere suggestion was so powerful, I started to crave that simple, childhood triggering, red sauce smothered, all-American spaghetti and meatballs.

The seed was planted. There was no stopping it.

But of course, being me, I had do something a little different and experimental so I would have something to post about. There are a billion recipes on the net for traditional spaghetti and meatballs, the world doesn’t need another. So I decided to attempt a veggie based “meat” ball. It was important to me that the texture be as close to a traditional meatball as possible, and that it look like one too, without using “fake meat” products. Because honestly I think fake processed meat taste kinda gross. 

I saw a lot of recipes for veggie versions online made with everything from tofu to beans to quinoa to zucchini. I struggled a little deciding what ingredients to use for the “base” and because I couldn’t decide I ended up using zucchini AND garbanzo beans. I was worried it might end up tasting more like falafel balls than meat balls but surprisingly, and probably because of the spices used, it didn’t. It turned out…pretty awesome. I am proud of this recipe. Really proud. When your carnivore partner can’t believe there isn’t meat in it, you know you did good. *pats self on head*

I used gluten-free Panko and pasta, hence the GF tag but of course these are optional, any type of Panko crumbs will work and of course any kind of spaghetti. This recipe uses an egg but can be easily veganized with flax egg or your favorite vegan egg substitute. It’s really just used as a binder for the balls.

I used my trusty Vitamix to make the garbanzo/zucchini “dough”, but a food processor will also work. I also freezed half of the mixture for an easy future dinner, because I will definitely be craving this again!

Tony Soprano might have me taken out for this, but I’d like to think he would happily gobble it up and tell me it was pretty fuckin’ good for a “Madigan”. 🙂





2 large zucchinis, cubed

1 can Garbanzo beans, rinsed

1 medium white onion, finely chopped

4 garlic cloves, chopped

1/4 cup chopped parsley

1 egg

1/2 cup nutritional yeast

2 cups Panko bread crumbs

Olive oil for skillet

Spices I used: oregano, thyme, paprika, Himalayan salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, Flavor God lemon garlic powder.

Jar of favorite marinara sauce



Place rinsed garbanzo beans, parsley and chopped zucchini in a bowl. Toss together. Process together in a Vitamix or food processor until ground well and but not too smooth or pureed, you will want some small chunks for texture. I pulsed on low until I got the texture I wanted. You should be able to still see pieces of zucchini. I actually blended in two separate batches. Set aside.


In a skillet sauté the onions and garlic until soft and translucent. Set aside.

In large mixing bowl pour in the zucchini/garbanzo mixture. Add the cooked onions and garlic, nutritional yeast, egg and desired spices. Mix with a flat spatula while adding the Panko 1/2 cup at a time until the batter is not too wet and forms a nice firm dough that can easily be formed into balls that stay together. For me that was about 2 cups.


With clean hands form the dough into ping-pong sized balls and place in olive oil heated skillet on a medium heat. Should make approx 20 balls.

Cook the balls, turning over, until golden brown on all sides and place on paper towels to absorb excess oil.

Wipe the excess oil from the skillet and pour in the marinara sauce. Place on a low simmer heat and when lightly bubbling, add the balls back in. Simmer covered for about 10 minutes then flip them over and simmer for another 10 minutes so the steam and sauce can cook through the middle of the ball. This also helps with the texture.

Serve on top of your favorite pasta! Crave it hardcore for the next few days!

Dark Chocolate Double Oat Cookies


The holidays are making me cookie kookoo, I have been searching recipes trying to get ideas for what cookies i’m going to bake for Christmas and I am testing some out. I love to give them as gifts. It started in my mid 20’s but I have graduated from pretty tin boxes to much hipper (and cheaper) mason jars. I can’t help it ok? They are cute and CHEAP to buy in bulk and they keep the cookies fresh and you can tie with ribbons and it’s all very very adorable.

Ok I was rambling so yes, last night I was craving dark chocolate. And I am ALWAYS craving oatmeal. And my home is full of all kinds of oats, quick oats, steel cut oats, oat flour. So yeah, you can see how that kind of came together…also PMS.

I’ve been trying to pump up the jam (the jam being my blog) and working harder on taking better pictures, etc. I see all these AMAZING professional food bloggers on Instagram and their photos are so amazing and wow, I need to learn to do that. One thing I always see is people like…holding up their food from cool angles and depth perception and showing off the insides of whatever they are eating. It’s a thing. So I tried it. See above. Luckily I just had a cute manicure so my hands were perfect models for ooey gooey dark chocolate closeups. Pretty happy with how the picture came out but more importantly how these cookies came out. They are ONE BOWL, easy to make, NO REFINED SUGAR (depending on the quality of chocolate you use), gluten-free depending on the oats you use. Dairy-free which is good for me. They are NOT vegan, they require eggs for the recipe I did, however you can use a vegan alternative for chicken egg (flax eggs, apple sauce) and bam, veganized.

This makes a nice big batch if you make little cookies. About 15-18 cookies. I baked them all on one large cookie sheet. Then I froze half of them to give away, ate 3 and then my roommate ate the rest. It was a full on cookie party.


The other good thing about making them small is being able to fit them in a mason jar. 🙂


2 cups quick oats

1 1/2 cups oat flour (I used Bob’s Mill)

2 organic eggs

1/2 cup organic pure maple syrup

1/2 cup coconut sugar

3 tsp baking powder

4 tbsp coconut oil

1 cup dairy free dark chocolate chips (60% or higher)

2 tsp vanilla extract

2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp salt

Optional: dried cranberries, cherries, raisins, chopped nuts



Heat oven to 325 degrees

In a large bowl mix together quick oats, oat flour, baking powder, cinnamon, sea salt and coconut sugar. Make a hole in the flour mixture and crack in the eggs, maple syrup, vanilla extract and coconut oil. Mix together, creating a thick dough. Add the chocolate chips and any additions and mix.

Set the dough in the fridge for 30-40 minutes to set.

On a large non-stick cookie sheet or pan with parchment paper line up chilled dough, rolling into little balls, the size of a ping pong ball (or smaller like a large gum ball for smaller more bite-size cookies). Press the balls down with the bottom of a glass (I used a champagne glass, i’m fancy) to desired cookie shape/thickness.

Bake for 12 minutes. Let cool but definitely snatch a warm melty one for yourself!

Store them in mason jars. If you want. You don’t have to. BYE!



Spaghetti Squash Casserole with Dairy-Free Cream Sauce (V/GF)


It’s November. Do you know what that means? Well I’ll tell you. That means it’s officially time for HOLIDAY RECIPES!!!! Can you tell I am very excited? I am. Last night I got crazy experimental in the kitchen…just me and a spaghetti squash and a vision. I WAS going to make spaghetti squash fritters but you gotta just go where the inspiration wave takes you, you know?

One of my favorite Thanksgiving dishes of all time has always been a traditional all-american green bean casserole. You know the one with the can of cream of mushroom soup, soggy beans and french fried onion toppings. LOVE that gross stuff. I would always make it even if I was the only one eating it! This will actually be my first year NOT making it. I have been trying very hard to cut dairy from my diet for health reasons. Even though I totally cheated the other day with some Froyo…which I regretted very much…I have been VERY good lately.

The cool part about the “cream” sauce in this dish is that there is NO freaking dairy. None. Nada. It’s made with Cannellini beans. BEANS. It’s crazy. And a few more ingredients and my trusty Vitamix. I was pretty stoked when I tasted this sauce. Very reminiscent of those Campbell’s cream soup in texture, but way healthier. It would be excellent in a green bean casserole ( hell, maybe I WILL make it after all), also as an alternative to Alfredo sauce with a pasta. I am not going to lie, I am pretty proud of this and excited to share, even if like only five people read this…


I had some frozen peas and carrot left over from my Shepherd’s Pie Stuffed Pumpkins, but the cool thing about this dish is that you can really add any veggies you want! You do you.


1 small spaghetti squash

2 cups raw spinach

1 cup white mushrooms

1/4 cup veggie broth

1 can Cannellini beans

1 cup nutritional yeast

1 cup almond milk

4 whole garlic cloves

1/2 cup organic extra virgin olive oil

1 cup gluten-free Panko breadcrumbs

1.4 cup more nutritional yeast for topping

paprika or turmeric



Heat oven to 400 degrees.

Cut the spaghetti squash in half, length wise. Spray each half with cooking spray. I used Coconut oil. Place face down in a cooking pan. Roast for 40 min.

Remove spaghetti squash from oven and let cool completely. Then scape the soft cooked insides with a fork to create the spaghetti and place into a bowl. Set aside.

Change oven temperature to 350.

In a large saucepan sauté the peas, carrots and mushrooms in some veggie broth (just enough to not soften them without burning or sticking to the pan. When soft add the spaghetti squash, spinach, salt and pepper and mix together on a medium heat for about 10 minutes. Spoon veggie mixture into a casserole dish leaving about a half inch or so from the top and set aside.


In a Vitamix or equally powerful blender OR a food processor toss in the beans, cup of nutritional yeast, olive oil, garlic, almond milk and desired amount of salt/pepper. Blend on medium for about 20 seconds or until thick and smooth like Alfredo sauce.

Pour the sauce over the veggie mixture in the casserole dish and spread evenly with a large wooden spoon, pressing down lightly so the sauce soaks through the veggies.

Place dish in oven and bake for 30 minutes.

While the base is baking mix the panko crumbs, about another 1/4 cup of the nutritional yeast, salt, pepper and paprika or turmeric in a small bowl and toss together.

Remove dish from oven and sprinkle the top with the bread topping. Spray on a *little* cooking spray over it to help it brown and place back in the oven for another 10 minutes or until topping is lightly browned.

Take out of oven and stuff your face. Try pairing it with a nice simple salad. Bring this to your Thanksgiving shindig maybe?





Pesto Soba Noodles with Tofu

Here is a dinner I whipped up last night and wanted to share with y’all because it was just so quick, easy and most importantly, packed with crazy awesome flavor. A while back I scored some buckwheat soba noodles in bulk from and have been using them with stir-frys and curries instead of rice buuuuuut I wanted to try something a little different…and the experiment worked out very well for all tummies involved. 

If you eat oil-free this is definitely NOT the recipe for you as it uses a lot of olive oil but I adore olive oil so yeah, that’s what’s up.

I used my Vitamix for the Pesto because I use my Vitamix for EVERYTHING (I’m obsessed) but a food processor or nutribullet type blendy thing will also work.


1 package buckwheat Soba noodles

1 cup white mushrooms sliced

1 package organic extra firm tofu, cubed 

2 cups fresh spinach leaves

1 bunch fresh basil leaves

1/2 cup pine nuts, split

4 cloves garlic

1/2 fresh lemon, squeezed 

1/2 cup olive oil

Salt/Pepper to taste

In a Vitamix or food processor blend the basil, lemon juice, 1/4 cup of the pine nuts, olive oil and garlic on a high setting until well processed and smooth. Set aside.

Boil the Soba noodles according to package, drain and run under a cold water. Set aside.

In a large skillet sautée the mushrooms and tofu in olive oil until the mushrooms are soft and the tofu is lightly browned. Season with salt and pepper. Switch to low heat and add the spinach and the Pesto sauce, stirring continuously just enough to wilt the spinach and heat the Pesto. Turn off heat, add the Soba noodles and lightly toss until noodles are coated. 

Heat a separate small pan on the stove and add the remaining 1/4 of the pine nuts and dry toast, tossing until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. 

Top the noodles with the toasted pine nuts and grub down in front of some Gilmore Girls.

❤ KA

Test Run: Vegan Tex Mex Pizza (V)


A neat tradition kind of just happened in my household. Monday has become homemade pizza night. Every Monday night I have made a totally different homemade pizza. I literally NEVER EVER over delivery pizza anymore since I started making my own. It all started with the Sardine pizza, and since then there have been several different pizzas…from goat cheese/arugula to clam. I have been wanting to do a totally vegan one for a while now, to see if I can make a pizza that is both delicious and totally meat/dairy free. This was my first attempt. I give it a 7 out of 10. It was pretty darn good but here is what I would have done differently next time, which is totally my own personal taste…

1.) I wouldn’t have used the southwest Daiya flavor dairy-free cheese. I actually like the mozzarella and cheddar Daiya flavors but I did not like the southwest. It was something to do with the spices. It had a weird flavor to me that distracted me from the rest of the flavors. FLAVOR OVERDOSE.

2.) I would have used a regular red enchilada sauce over the sauce I used so that’s what I will recommend in the directions!


Otherwise, it was pretty dope. Here is what I used:

  • Vegan pizza dough of choice. (here is a SUPER easy one.
  • 1/2 cup red enchilada sauce ( I actually used Frontera Ancho Pepper Adobo sauce but will be using regular enchilada sauce next time as the flavor was a little bitter for my taste also TOO MANY FLAVORS)
  • 1 bag Daiya vegan cheese
  • 1/2 cup organic sweet corn, drained
  • 1/2 cup organic black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 small can sliced black olives
  • 1/2 avocado, sliced
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • small can diced green chiles
  • Cilantro to taste
  • Hot sauce to taste


Heat oven to 400 degrees. Roll pizza dough out on a non-stick pizza pan, or any non-stick round or square pan.

Spread on enchilada sauce and half the bag of vegan cheese. Next top with corn, black beans, olives, green chiles and tomatoes. Top with the rest of the cheese.

Bake for 15-20 minutes until crust gets golden brown.

Remove from oven and cool for 5 minutes. Then top with sliced avocado, cilantro and hot sauce. Make it look real pretty. Stuff your face.

I will be making a vegan pizza again soon, totally different flavor and will post it until I freaking PERFECT it! 🙂



Quickie Bolognese (w veggie option)


This sauce happened when I went to grab my usual jar of Whole Foods brand pasta sauce and then was like “No no…you’re better than this. Not like, a lot better, but better enough.” Instead I grabbed a can of crushed tomatoes and figured i’d start there. I ended of throwing together a pretty damn good “pressed for time” sauce that took about 30 minutes to make yet had big homemade flavor. I felt much better about ditching that pre-bottled stuff.


I made mine with organic ground turkey but I added enough chunky veggies that I believe this sauce would be equally bomb and hearty without the meat, so simply omit it if you swing that way. Either way, this simple sauce is PACKED with vitamin rich veggies.



1 28oz can crushed tomatoes (with or without basil)

1.2 6 oz can tomato paste

1 yellow onion chopped

3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

2 cups white mushrooms, lightly chopped

2 cups raw spinach

1 pound organic turkey meat (if desired)

1 cup sliced black olives

Spices: salt, pepper, oregano

Olive Oil


Add some olive oil to a large skillet on medium heat. Sauté onions and garlic until lightly browned. Add mushrooms and turkey if using meat. Cook until turkey is browned or mushrooms start to soften (about 10 minutes). Add spinach to mixture.

Pour in the can of crushed tomatoes and tomato paste and mix until blended. Add black olives and spices to taste.

Lower heat and simmer about 15 minutes.

Serve over your fav pasta. I almost ALWAYS use this TINKYADA brand brown rice pasta when I need my pasta and I always undercook a couple minutes cause i’m about that al dente life. You can get it at Whole Foods or Thrive Market.