Raw Vegan Cauliflower “Rice” Rainbow Salad with a Creamy Avocado Tahini Dressing

I think cauliflower may be one of the most versatile vegetables available to us. We always have at least one head of fresh organic head of cauliflower in our fridge and 2-3 bags of frozen. I use it for sushi “rice”, steamed and pureed like mashed potatoes, in pizza crusts, roasted, raw dipped in hummus, and it even makes a great binder in some desserts. It has a mild flavor which makes it easily adaptable to all kinds of recipes! This is one of my favorite ways to enjoy cauliflower – raw, blended into “rice”. You can use it in burritos, salads, even fry it up in the skillet with some vegetables like fried rice. Today we’re going to keep it raw and throw in a ton of fresh raw vegetables to give it a great mix of flavor, then make a really creamy dressing to pair with it!
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Ingredients:

1 head of organic raw cauliflower
1/2 cup diced cherry tomatoes
1-2 tbsp minced fresh cilantro
1/2 diced orange bell pepper
1/4 cup diced red onion
1/2 chopped cucumber
3 tbsp fresh lime juice
2 tsp sriracha
1 tsp garlic powder
sea salt/cracked pepper to taste

Wash a dry your cauliflower, then chop and add to your food processor. Pulse until you have a fine rice consistency. Add all other ingredients and mix well. You can let it set in the fridge for a few hours if you want to let all the flavors combine – it’s better after it’s sat together.

Creamy Avocado Tahini Dressing:

1/2 ripe avocado
2 tbsp Vitacost tahini
1 tbsp fresh cilantro
1/4 cup lemon juice (more or less depending on how thick you want it)
1/4 chopped cucumber
sea salt to taste (optional)

Blend well in a high speed blender. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.

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I prefer to mix this dressing into the salad and store it that way.
This is a great salad to store in a container and take to work or school if you are needing to pack a lunch.
It keep exceptionally well, and tastes even better the second a third day in the fridge!

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If you aren’t a fan of a particular ingredient I encourage you to experiment with flavors your do enjoy! These recipes are so easy to adapt, so please don’t ever feel like you must go 100% off someone else’s ingredient list.

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I hope you all have a great week!
xo Sarah

Raw Vegan Gluten-Free Hawaiian Vegetable Wraps

There are many days where I wake up craving dark leafy greens. I know this will sound a little bizarre to some, but if you’ve eaten a plant-based diet high in earthy green foods you know what I mean. Our bodies begin to crave the flavor, texture, and feeling they provide our cells with!

If you are someone who is not crazy about dark greens just yet, these wraps are a great way to introduce them to your pallet. I’ve combined the raw leafy flavor of collard leaves and spinach with fresh raw vegetables and my favorite vegan fat free sweet Hawaiian ginger dressing. I’m such a burrito lover myself, so these are something I have often!

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Ingredients:

Makes 2 –

2 large raw collard green leaves washed and dried,
thick part of the bottom stem removed

2 organic juicy ripe tomatoes

1 thinly sliced orange bell pepper

1 cup of raw broccoli slaw (shredded broccoli, shredded carrot, shredded purple cabbage)

1/2 sliced naval orange

2 tbsp Bragg’s Fat Free Hawaiian Dressing
(made from organic Noni juice, organic pineapple, organic mango,
organic passion fruit, organic raw ginger, apple cider vinegar, and stevia)

cracked pepper

Directions:

Fill your large leaves with your ingredients and wrap tight. Enjoy!

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These are awesome to pre-make and pack with you to take for a lunch at work or school.
The collard leaves are strong and thick enough to hold up without getting completely soggy.

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I hope you try and enjoy. Have a beautiful day everyone!!
xo Sarah

Vegan Gluten-Free Southwestern Sweet Potato Black Bean Quesadillas

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Holy guacamole. I think quesadillas should have their own food group. Since going plant-based vegan a few years ago this is the first time I’ve recreated them in a healthy animal-free way, and I have NO CLUE what took me so long! These are wholesome, filling, guilt-free, low-fat, PACKED with nutrients (sweet potatoes are one of the best foods you can possibly eat), and even better than I remember them being in restaurants. I will also add  my really simple guacamole recipe, because it should be smothered on most everything – especially these!

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Ingredients:

1 Food for Life Gluten Free Brown Rice Tortilla
1/2 mashed sweet potato
1/2 cup slow cooked black beans
1/2 clove minced garlic
1 tbsp minced onion
1/4 diced seeded jalapeno (more of less depending on how hot you like it)
1 diced Roma tomato
1 tbsp fresh minced cilantro
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375F. In a skillet, cook minced garlic and onion on low for 3-5 minutes, then add black beans and cumin powder. Cook until beans are heated through. Skin your steamed sweet potato and mash half, then stir in your black beans, and all the other ingredients. Spread the mixture on half of your tortilla then fold over the other half and bake for 8-10 minutes on each side. Serve with a big scoop of guacomole and fresh pico de gallo.

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Creamy Guacomole:

1 ripe avocado
1 tbsp diced seeded jalapeno
2 tbsp diced cheery tomatoes
1 tbsp diced sweet onion
1 tbsp fresh minced cilantro
2 tbsp fresh lime juice
cracked pepper/sea salt to taste

Combine all and mash until you get your desired consistency.
I like mine very creamy and easily spreadable, so I add a bit more lime juice as I go to get a creamier texture. Do what you like!
This makes a small batch – double or triple to make more at once. It keeps well sealed in the fridge.

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I always have some pre-made to spread on toast, salads, fresh vegetables, or whatever else is laying around! Avocados are such an excellent source of healthy fats and this delicious side dish is full of great vitamins and nutrients for your body.

 

If there are any of your favorite dishes you’d like to see “veganized” please comment them below! I always love a good challenge. Have a great week everyone!
xo Sarah

Raw Vegan Mint Cucumber Noodle Salad with sliced Strawberries and sweet Purple Grapes || Gluten-Free, Refined Sugar-Free, Fat-Free, Oil-Free, Dairy-Free, Egg-Free, Raw, Vegan

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I’m not much of a “juice cleanse” type of girl, so when I’m wanting to detox my body I go straight for the foods that I know do the trick! Cucumber and strawberries are wonderful natural detoxifying foods that help flush your system and leave you feeling vibrant and refreshed. I use cucumber daily – sliced thin as “chips” or hummus and dips, noodled, diced to add crunch to a salad, or just simply chopped up with a bit of sea salt and cracked pepper. It’s extremely low calorie and can be eaten in abundance, so if you’re looking for a crunchy hydrating snack it’s definitely one to go to!

This recipe couldn’t be easier! It’s one I do often because the flavors are sweet and subtle, and the hint of mint from the fresh mint leaves gives it such a fresh airy flavor.

Ingredients:
2 cucumbers
5 strawberries
1 handful of grapes
5 large fresh mint leaves

Directions:
Noodle your cucumbers (I use a Vegetti, you can purchase one on Amazin for very cheap – it works great!), slice you strawberries and your grapes, and add everything to a container.
Mix with your mint leaves and store sealed in the refrigerator for about 2 hours, so the flavors have time to set together.
Toss, drain as needed (the cucumbers may have sweated a little water), and remove your mint leaves. Serve cold. If you like extra sweetness, you can sprinkle on a little pure stevia and mix it in!

I hope you try and enjoy! Have a blessed day everyone.
xo Sarah

Garden Vegetable Pizza with a 4 Ingredient Crispy Garlic Whole Wheat Crust || (Vegan, Fat-Free, Oil-Free, Sugar-Free, Dairy-Free, Egg-Free)

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I love pizza. Who doesn’t?! It’s one of those foods that tops the list for just about everyone. Unfortunately it also tops the list of unhealthy, fat-filled, processed junk foods that we get to feel guilty about eating immediately after. Most pizzas are covered in sugary sauces, cheeses high in saturated fat, and greasy processed meats that literally pile on pounds. This is definitely not a meal you’d typically think of as being healthy, full of good complex carbs, bright colored vegetables, deep leafy greens, and packed with cell-fueling, cancer fighting ingredients. Well let me introduce you to my version!

This crust has just 4 simple ingredients. Let’s get to the recipe!

Crust:
3 cups organic whole wheat flour
1 1/4 cup warm water
1 packet rapid rise yeast
2 tsp garlic salt

Toppings:
Swiss Chard
Spinach
Kale
Zucchini noodles
Chopped zucchini
Chopped red bell pepper
Chopped yellow bell pepper
Chopped sweet onion
Chopped tomato
Chickpeas
Banana peppers

Instructions:

Combine 1 cup warm water and 1 packet of rapid rise yeast – let this set for 3 minutes then combine with your flour and 1 tsp garlic salt. Mix well, adding the 2 extra tbsp of water as needed.
Kneed well into a ball and separate into fourths – roll out one ball very thin and then sprinkle on the rest of your sea salt/garlic powder mix.

Bake on parchment at 400F for 5 mins, take out and add your toppings.
Place back in the oven and reduce heat to 350F. Bake for another 15 minutes or until crust is crispy and fully cooked.

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I like my crust very well-done and very crispy! You can adjust the cook time to your liking.

As far as toppings go, the more the merrier! Pile on your favorites vegetables. If you like pizza sauce, it’s so easy and simple to make your own – just find a recipe that suites you. I’ve also used things like hummus, pesto, and butternut squash puree in place of sauce, all of which are very good! But my favorite is just pure vegetables with a generous squirt of fresh lemon juice on top.

Considering there isn’t any salt in the actual dough, I am generous when sprinkling it on the top.
You can easily leave it off completely if you prefer!

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If you like a thicker crust, you can make a flatbread pizza using this same recipe.
Simply roll out the dough and leave it slightly thicker – it’s delicious as well! (Pictured below!)

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I served this flatbread with a simple zucchini noodle salad – zucchini noodles, Swiss chard, kale, spinach, peppers, lime juice, and garlic salt.

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I hope you try and enjoy! Have a blessed day everyone.
xo Sarah

Roasted Garlic & Smoked Paprika Okra

Any time I eat okra, I can’t help but think of my sweet Nana. I remember vividly as a child, watching her cook in her little kitchen – a small framed woman bursting with this warm gentle spirit. She made everything from scratch, and without measuring a single ingredient, her recipes came out perfect every time. A good motto for us in our kitchen is “WWND” (what would Nana do). She’s not with us anymore, but she is missed greatly by all the people she left behind here – that precious woman left her mark in many hearts.

One of my favorite things she use to make was her homemade crunchy fried okra. I can’t promise that her recipe was healthy, low fat, or low calorie – but it was delicious. Like, eat 3 plates full and crawl to the living room for a 5 hour nap/coma kind of delicious. My diet has evolved pretty drastically over the years, but my love for okra stays the same. My recipe is different though – I bake instead of fry, and use fresh seasonings instead of breading. It brings out the true taste of the vegetable that I love so much, and allows me to still enjoy a meal that brings back such sweet memories.

Take a bowl full of fresh okra and cut into large piece

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Add 2-3 tbsp vegetable broth to coat, so the seasoning sticks.

Sprinkle of garlic powder, smoked paprika, and natural pink salt.

Bake on non-stick foil at 375F for 40-45 minutes, flipping halfway through.

 

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Easy as that – delicious, oil-free, baked seasoned okra. I hope you enjoy, friends!

 

Have a beautiful day!

xo Sarah

Spicy Vegan Chickpea Burgers | Gluten-Free, Diary-Free, Low-Fat, Egg-Free, Oil-Free, Vegan

My love for chickpeas really knows no end. I think they are one of the most versatile tools in a vegan cooks “ingredient-belt”. I use them for dips, brownies, falafels,  muffins, cookies, and one of my favorites – burgers! Since they are so mild and neutral in flavor, they pair well with bold spices. This is one of my favorite easy recipes! Quick to throw together and just the right amount of heat. It’s also high in protein, and VERY low in fat, making it perfect for a post-workout meal!

 

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Ingredients:

1 can rinsed organic chickpeas

1/4 cup organic corn

3 baby carrots

1/2 cup organic GF quick oats

handful of spinach/kale

1 tbsp sriracha

2 cloves minced garlic

1/2 tsp onion powder

1/2 tsp cumin powder

1 tsp smoked paprika

1/2 tsp salt

Directions:

Blend all ingredients in your food processor until combined.

 

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Form into patties and cook on parchment at 375F for 45  minutes, then broil for 5 more minutes.

Let set for 5 minutes then serve warm.

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You can absolutely serve them on bread – I just prefer to use spinach.

These are amazing in wraps and on salads as well!

Get creative with your toppings – some of our favorites include onion, avocado, tomato, cucumber, and sprouts.

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I hope everyone is having a beautiful day!

xo Sarah

The Perfect Oil-Free Baked Potato Wedges with Vegan Sriracha Cashew Cream Sauce

My goodness, is there anything more satisfying to the soul than warm carbs? A big plate of fresh baked wedges, my cozy bed, and a really good book (deep sigh..) – now, I know the typical french fry is seen as one of those foods we dare not eat unless we want it stuck to our thighs, but that isn’t even close to what the real thing is. I’m talking slightly crispy on the outside, warm and soft on the inside, bursting with natural flavor – void of the excess chemicals and oils that our friendly fast food chains love to coat on. These are the kind of complex carbs our bodies thrive on!

Carbohydrates get a bad rap here in the US. I am constantly hearing about the fad “low-carb diets” that allow you to drop weight quickly – but there is nothing about these fad diets that will sustain a healthy lifestyle or a healthy weight in the long run. Our bodies need these complex carbs – GOOD carbs, to live an active life! So don’t quit the carbs, quit the chemicals. Quit the processed “foods” that are literally created in labs, and start indulging in more fuel from the earth. Your body will thank you for it, I promise.

 

The Perfect Baked Wedges with Sriracha Cashew Cream Sauce| southernblondevegan.com

Baked Oil-Free Wedges:

Simply wash and peel 1 sweet potato, and 1 regular potato.
Cut into wedges and dump in a large bowl.
Pour enough vegetable broth over the fries to evenly coat.
Season with garlic powder and my favorite pink natural salt (pictured below) – bake at 375F for 45 minutes on non-stick foil, flipping halfway through.

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Let them crisp up for 3-4 minutes on the sheet after you take them out.

Sriracha Cashew Cream Sauce:

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1/2 cup soaked (overnight) cashews
1 tbsp Sriracha (more if you like more heat!)
1/4 cup unsweetened original almond milk
1 clove minced garlic
1 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tsp pink natural salt

Blend on high in your food processor until creamy. Enjoy friends!

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I also recently did an interview with a herohealthroom.com – (Interview with Sarah Argo of SouthernBlondeVegan.com)-  about some of my personal reasons behind a vegan diet, raising my toddler vegan, and advice I would give to anyone interested in making the transition. Definitely check out this website for great healthy inspiration!

 

I hope your week is lovely. Life is good today.

xo Sarah

 

 

 

Homemade Marbled Vegan Chocolate Espresso/Cinnamon Vanilla Creme Banana Bread

The smell of banana bread filling my little house, permeating every corner is enough to ensure a good day ahead. There is something so comforting about baking to me – just getting in the kitchen and experimenting with all my favorite flavors and textures until I come up with something new. A new recipe to add to the book I plan to hand down to my daughter, that she can add to, and one day and hand down to her babies. Getting in the kitchen with her and watching her little hands as they carefully add in the flour, try to peel the bananas, and attempt to spoon in the cacao powder (which spills out just a bit, every time) – just does things to my mamma heart. Life is about these little moments. These sweet little moments, that create richness and a calm to these crazy lives we lead.

So here is our creation of the day. Our hands got messy, our counters got dirty, and our tummies got full. That is a successful Sunday morning my friends.

Homemade Marbled Vegan Chocolate Espresso/Cinnamon Vanilla Creme Banana Bread

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Ingredients:

1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour (can sub for gluten free flour if you need to!)
4 super ripe bananas
3 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup melted coconut oil
2 tbsp pure raw maple (can use raw agave if you prefer)
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp cacao
1tbsp strong brewed coffee
1 squirt vanilla Creme Stevia
1 tbsp ground cinnamon

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Instructions:

Blend together first 6 ingredients and divide in half. To one half – add cacao and strong brewed coffee and blend. To the other half, add vanilla creme and cinnamon and blend. Add chocolate espresso mixture to oiled bread pan, then add cinnamon vanilla creme mixture on top and swirl together. Bake at 350F for 40 mins. Serve warm.

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I hope your Sunday is sweet – full of delicious little moments to calm the busy in your life.

All the love,
xo Sarah