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

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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

Vegan Butternut Barley Risotto || Dairy-Free, Egg-Free, Fat-Free, Oil-Free, Vegan

One grain I don’t see used too often is barley. I think it’s one of my very favorites and it’s really so easy to make. You can use barley in soups, salads, in place of rice or meat in just about any dish, or just by itself it is so nutty and delicious! Barley is high in fiber, and has been proven to help prevent type 2 diabetes, breast cancer, and gallstones. It’s among the list of the world’s healthiest foods.

I came up with this recipe the other day playing around with a few of my favorite vegetables and flavors, creating a super creamy, savory, satisfying sauce to coat my cooked barley creating a “risotto”.

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Ingredients:

1 cup hulled barley
3 cups low sodium vegetable stock
1/4 cup steamed butternut squash
4-5 steamed baby carrots
1/4 cup drained rinsed chickpeas
3-4 tbsp unsweetened almond milk
1 clove mined garlic
1-2 tsp fine sea salt
1/4 cup chopped steamed broccoli
parsley flakes (optional)

Instructions:

To cook your hulled barley, add 3 cups of stock to 1 cup barley in a large pot with a pinch of salt and bring it to a boil. Once it’s boiling stir well and turn the heat down to a simmer. Continue to simmer for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally. Take off heat and cover for 10 minutes, then “fluff” well.

To make your sauce, add all ingredients to your high speed blender or food processor and blend until smooth and creamy. Pour sauce over your barley and stir well.

Add in your chopped broccoli and mix well. Salt and pepper as desired!

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I also added parsley flakes on top. It would be great with fresh parsley mixed in! My husband enjoyed this so much, I think it will now be part of our Christmas meal.

I hope you all are able to enjoy this week and the holidays with the ones you love! I wish everyone a very Merry Christmas!

xo Sarah

Vegan Chocolate Pistachio Brownie Batter “IceCream” || Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Refined Sugar-Free, Egg-Free, Vegan)

I love throwing healthy delicious vegan ingredients in my blender and somehow coming up with something that tastes even better than the rich sugar-filled desserts I grew up eating. I named this chocolate pistachio “brownie batter” ice cream because it literally tastes like cold, thick, creamy brownie batter! I also believe chocolate and pistachios belong together whenever possible. There is a delightful dance of flavor combinations in this “dessert”, which is actually healthy and nutritious enough to be eaten for breakfast!

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Ingredients:
4 frozen RIPE bananas
1 1/2 tbsp raw cacao or unsweetened cocoa powder (whichever you prefer)
1 handful of raw pistachios
2-3 squirts of vanilla creme liquid stevia (optional, but soooo good)
Small splash of cold strong brewed coffee
Additional crushed pistachios for topping

Directions:
Blend your ingredients, and too with crushed pistachios. Way too easy!

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Don’t ever feel like you have to give up delicious foods to live a healthy plant-based life! It’s just not true. This lifestyle provides so much flavor and indulgence, stay tuned and I’ll show you!

I hope you try and enjoy!
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

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

Cinnamon Roasted Figs and Fuji Apples

How heavenly are figs? I have yet to meet someone who eats them and doesn’t respect their gooey creamy delicious sweetness! I love to really play these bad boys up by slow roasting them with my favorite apple (Fuji, of course!) and let the flavors intensify and melt together like the heavenly gifts from God that they are! If you think I’m being dramatic, you just need to try this. You’ll become a bit zealous for them too!

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Simply slice 3 organic figs and 1 organic fuji apple into bite size chunks and sprinkle with cinnamon
and a bit of organic Stevia (optional) – roast at 375F for 15 mins on foil.
Take out of the oven and fold foil over to steam them together. Eat warm. Eat slow.

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I hope you enjoy! God bless the rest of your day.
xo Sarah