Yummy Protein Goo Ball Bites

I have been doing my best to get as much protein as possible lately. (Thank goodness for Brendan Brazier’s Vega Bars!) I have made many versions of this snack throughout my life, but never added protein powder before and it really was such a perfect addition! I made both vanilla and chocolate versions to enjoy 🙂 Awesome!

These were so super fast to whip up and even faster to eat haha so make sure you make some extra for the perfect on the go snacks.

Yummy Protein Goo Ball Bites

Chocolate Version

1 scoop chocolate protein powder (as I mentioned above – I love Brendan Brazier’s products from Vega and his Shake & Go Smoothie Chocolate is amazing!!!!)
2 tablespoons Artisana coconut butter (this is the best stuff ever!)
2 teaspoons honey or agave
1 heaping teaspoon organic peanut butter (or other nut butter)
1/2 cup unsweetened dried shredded coconut
1/4 cup light coconut milk

Vanilla Version

1 scoop vanilla protein powder (my absolute favorite vanilla powder – Life Time Lifes Basics Plant Protein)
2 tablespoons Artisana coconut butter
2 teaspoons honey or agave
1 heaping teaspoon organic peanut butter (or other nut butter)
1/2 cup unsweetened dried shredded coconut
1/4 cup light coconut milk

Combine all ingredients. You might need a little more protein powder or coconut if too wet or some coconut milk if too dry. Roll into balls in your hands.

Optional add ons:

  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
  • Extra shredded coconut

Melt chocolate over a double boiler and dip the bites in the bowl. Then sprinkle coconut over and freeze until firm.

Avocado Kale Salad #3

I recently had a not so great Kale Salad at a restaurant. The menu ingredients sounded fabulous but with Kale you need to massage it a bit with your hands so it “wilts” and this one wasn’t. Here is my take on it, yum!!

We like a lot of kale salad and it keeps really well for a few days. But if you don’t want as much just half the recipe.

Avocado Kale Salad 

  • 3 heads lacanato kale, chopped
  • 1 avocado
  • 3-4 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3-4 tablespoon Braggs, tamari or nama shoyu
This is just a base…Combine and Massage the avocado, lemon juice and braggs into the kale. Then add whatever is fresh, you have in the house or love in a salad.

The Base - before adding the toppings

I added — raw sunflower seeds, diced raw red onion, shredded carrots and diced red pepper.

Zucchini and Green Zebra Tomato Lasagne with Basil-Pistachio Pesto

I have made this dish many times over the last couple of years, sorry for waiting so long to share it with you! It is one of my faves!! And you can use each component on its own in other dishes as well 🙂 SO versatile and deelish! A total crowd pleaser – beautiful and amazing! Plus it has been one of their top sellers at the restaurant for years!

Zucchini and Green Zebra Tomato Lasagne with Basil-Pistachio Pesto
Recipe by Matthew Kenney of Pure Food and Wine
Serves 6

Lemon-Pignoli “Ricotta”

2 cups raw pignoli nuts, soaked in water for at least 1 hour
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon sea salt
6 tablespoons water

Place the pignoli, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, and salt in a food processor, and pulse a few times, until thoroughly combined. Gradually add water, and pulse until the texture becomes fluffy, like ricotta. Place in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and set aside.
Tomato Sauce
2 cups good-quality sun-dried tomatoes (dry-packed), soaked in water for at least 2 hours
1 medium ripe tomato, diced
1/4 small onion, chopped
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon agave
2 teaspoons sea salt
Pinch hot-pepper flakes

Place all ingredients in a Vita-mix or high speed blender, and process until smooth.
Basil-Pistachio Pesto
2 cups packed basil leaves
1/2 cup raw pistachios
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
Pinch freshly ground black pepper

Place all ingredients in a Vita-mix or food processor and process until well combined but still slightly chunky.

Lasagne
3 medium zucchini, ends trimmed
3 medium green-zebra tomatoes (or other heirloom variety)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh oregano
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
Pinch of sea salt and fresh pepper

Garnish: whole basil leaves

  1. Using a mandoline or vegetable peeler, shave zucchini lengthwise into very thin slices, then cut in half crosswise. Cut the tomatoes in half, and each half into thin slices.
  2. Line the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with two layers of zucchini slices. Brush the zucchini lightly with olive oil, spread 1/3 of the tomato sauce over it, and top with small dollops of “ricotta” and pesto, using 1/3 of each. Layer on 1/3 of the tomato slices, and sprinkle with 1/3 of the oregano and thyme. Add another double layer of zucchini and repeat twice more with the tomato sauce, pesto, ricotta, tomato slices, and herbs. Serve immediately, or cover with plastic and let sit at room temperature for a few hours. Garnish with basil. (or make individual portions by layering into square shapes on plates)

Honeydew Gazpacho

This was super simple and a perfect pool day lunch. It was HOT last week as many of you know 😉 and this was a great light lunch to cool us off. So simple yet very complex flavors. Deelish!
Honeydew Gazpacho
Serves 4
  • 2/3 cup slivered blanched almonds, separated
  • juice of 1 1/2 limes
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 6 plum tomatoes, cored and roughly chopped
  • 1 honeydew; cut in half – 1 half seeded, peeled and chopped &
  • other 1/2 diced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Blend 1/3 cup almonds, lime juice, vinegar, tomatoes, and chopped honeydew until smooth. Either serve right away or chill. When serving, place diced honeydew and almonds in a bowl and pour soup over. Enjoy!

Kale Salad #1

We Kale!! Pretty much all things Kale. So I am taking on another challenge, Kale Salads! Cooked kale is deelish but raw kale salads are amazing. Normal salads you dress and then they wilt, kale just gets more tender and deelish!


Kale Salad #1

1 bunch of kale, any kind
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 Tablespoon Nama Shoyu and Tamari
2 tablespoons sesame seeds,  toasted
2 tablespoons pepitas, toasted

  1. Remove kale leaves from stalk. Roll up the leaves up cut into ribbons.
  2. Massage the dressing into the kale and let it sit for 30+ minutes. (this can last a few days in the fridge as is!)
  3. Toast the seeds in a dry frying pan, shaking constantly for a few minutes. Toss in the seeds and serve.

Creamy Basil Dip

This was super yummy and sooo quick and easy to make. Love it! I love making meals that I can “snack” while eating. This was also great to have over for company. Yum, vegan, creamy and deelish!

Creamy Basil Dip

1 cup of cashews
1/2 cup water
2 garlic cloves
1 lemon, juiced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon onion powder
A dash of coarse black pepper
One big handful of fresh basil, leaves only (most of one bunch)

Blend all ingredients except the basil until smooth and creamy. Then add basil and pulse – you still want there to be green flecks in the sauce.

Lisa Dawn’s Vegan Stuffed Shells with Cashew Ricotta Cheese!!

I am super excited about having my amazing friend Lisa Dawn Guest Blog!! She has just started her own fabulous blog, Lisa’s Project:Vegan with deelish vegan recipes which almost all take less than a half hour to make! She was the inspiration behind the Coconut Lentil Soup, which if you tried I know you loved! The Vegan Stuffed Shells with Cashew Ricotta Cheese below looks out of this world. I know I will be making this soon myself!! Thanks Lisa!

About Lisa Dawn: I am a vegan mom and wife and I love to cook. I became vegan over four years ago for several reasons – the health and welfare of the animals, myself, and that of the world. My husband has been vegan since he was a teenager and together we are raising our son vegan. It is a challenge to do so in this world but it makes it that much more fun to be creative and to cook delicious meals that people really enjoy. Everyone who joins us for a meal leaves fully satisfied and with a handful of recipes!

My cashew ricotta cheese is outstanding and I use it in a lot of dishes. But nothing beats stuffed shells! You can vary the filling (e.g., you can use butternut squash or just plain cashew ricotta). My family loves it! It is not as hard as you think to make this and it is very satisfying!

Stuffed Shells

Cashew Ricotta
1 lb cashews (soaked overnight)
water
salt
nutmeg
fresh lemon juice
Stuffed Shells
1 box shells (to make it gluten free, use rice pasta shells)
1 small bag frozen spinach
garlic powder
1 jar of tomato sauce (or make your own)
Cashew Ricotta
Soak cashews overnight.  In the morning, drain them and then place 1 cup at a time into the in the food processor.  Process the nuts until fine and then add 3/4 cup of water, a pinch of salt, a pinch of nutmeg, and a dash of lemon juice.  Process and then place in strainer (with very small mesh) over a bowl to drain excess water.   Repeat until you finish all of the cashews.  Let this strain for a few hours.  The top might get slightly hard but don’t worry, just mix it back in.  When it seems like all the excess water has drained out, place in a container and use it when ready.
Stuffed Shells
Preheat oven to 350.  Boil up shells according to package directions.  Use lots of salt in the water to season the pasta.   While they are boiling, place frozen spinach in small pot with a little water and set on a high flame to defrost quickly or do this ahead of time.  Either way, make sure you drain all of the water out.  Mix the spinach with the cashew ricotta.  Add some garlic powder and mix.  Taste it and decide if you want any more seasoning, e.g., salt and pepper.
Coat the bottom of a baking dish with tomato sauce.  When the shells are done, carefully strain them.  Assemble your shells by stuffing them with the mixture and placing them into the baking dish.  Pour tomato sauce in between and around the shells.  Place in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes so they are thoroughly heated through.

Enjoy!

Party Time! Fun Vegan Snack/Apps Ideas

I am super excited about the Jets game this weekend!!! I wanted to share some past ideas for fun snack ideas to serve for the big game (or really any party :)) I know that sometimes we can end up at a party without any good vegan grub (potato chips don’t count!) so I like to always be prepared and bring something fun with me 🙂

Have a great weekend! Go J-E-T-S!!

Cheesy Baked Penne with Cauliflower and Crème Fraîche VEGAN Version! SO GOOD!

Sweet Potato Fries with Raspberry Dipping Sauce

Beet Ravioli with Herb Cheese Filling

Garbanzo Guacamole

Meltaway Peppermint Patties

Vegan 7 Layer Dip

Vegan Eggplant Pecan Pesto Dip

Herbin’ Ranch Dip

Babaganush

Chocolate-Covered Katie’s Banana Butter

Chocolate Banana Oatmeal Cookies

Chopped “Liver” Spread

Kelp Noodles & Veggies in Peanut Sauce

Kelp Noodles are AWESOME! They are just seaweed yet you can eat them like noodles! Love it 🙂 They would go great with many different sauces. Have fun and experiment with them. They come out of the package a little crunchy. But after you rinse them and mix them with a sauce (containing some citrus or vinegar) they soften up and are super yummy!

I can never get enough ‘Peanut Sauce’ haha so I had to give this one a try. YUM! And with the grated daikon and carrot it was the perfect meal. I put the bowl in the Dehydrator for 30 minutes and it was great to have a slightly warmed meal.

Right out of the package they need a little help. But afterwards they were so good!

Kelp Noodles & Veggies in Peanut Sauce
Adapted from The Sunny Raw Kitchen

1 package kelp noodles

‘Peanut’ Sauce
3 tbs almond butter
2 tbs tahini
2 garlic cloves
2 1/2 tbs lime juice
1 tbs tamari
1 tbs raw sesame or coconut oil
1 tbs olive oil
1/2 tbs grated fresh ginger root
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 – 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (depending on how hot you like it)
1/2 tsp salt
3 tbs agave
1/4 cup water

Blend until smooth. If necessary, add more water until desired consistency is reached.

Veggies
1 cup grated carrot
1 cup grated daikon

Place rinsed noodles and veggies in a large bowl. Toss with desired amount of Peanut Sauce. Let sit on the counter or in the Dehydrator for 30 minutes before serving.

Raw Fudge Brownies with frosting

The fudge brownies are delicious! The frosting on top really added to how yummy they were. It gave the brownies 2 different textures, awesome! I love how amazing raw desserts can be. Make a batch of these and keep them in the fridge. All you need is little slices, just a taste is enough. These will stay great for over a week.

Raw Fudge Brownies
adapted from Raw Lou Lou

1 Tablespoon melted cacao butter
2 Tablespoons cacao nibs
2 Tablespoons cacao powder
1/2 teaspoon hemp protein powder
1 Tablespoon carob powder
1 cup soaked macadamia nuts
2 Tablespoons ground flax seeds
1 handful goji berries
2 Tablespoons almond nut butter
1 Tablespoon coconut oil
1  1/2 Tablespoons agave
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Blend all of the above in a Vitamix or a food processor. Press into a loaf baking  pan and set in fridge.
Chocolate Frosting
1 avocado
1 Tablespoon agave
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 Tablespoon cacao powder
Blend all of the above together and spread on top of the fudge brownie mix and leave to set in the fridge. Enjoy!

Before Frosting

with the yummy frosting!

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