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

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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

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

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

Vegan Cinnamon Berry Fig Bars | Oil-Free, Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free, Fat-Free, Dairy-Free

Well friends, it is officially the first day of fall. I am so looking forward to all the things this season brings – chunky knit sweaters, homemade soups, cool evenings at the park, orange colored trees, and baking like it’s my job. This is such a comforting time of year. I wanted to kick it off with a new recipe, so I got my little 3 year old sidekick in the kitchen and we came up with these – cinnamon berry fig bars. The perfect “first day of Autumn” breakfast.

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Ingredients:

3 ripe organic bananas
1/2 cup organic unsweetened applesauce
1 1/4 cup organic gluten-free oats
1/4 tsp natural salt
1 tsp organic baking powder
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
1 cup mixed frozen berries
2-3 figs

To a large bowl, add:

3 ripe organic bananas
1/2 cup organic unsweetened applesauce
1 1/4 cup organic gluten-free oats
1/4 tsp natural salt
1 tsp organic baking powder

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Pour into bowl and mash all together. Add 1 tbsp ground cinnamon.

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Mix well. Spoon half the oat mixture onto parchment paper and spread into desired shape.

Next, to your food processor add:

1 cup blended frozen berries (I used pomegranate, strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries)
2/3 figs (fresh or dried)
Blend on high until all if combined and easily spread.

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Add the rest of your oat mixture in top and spread to cover the berry layer. Bake at 375F for 30-35 mins or until firm in top.

Let cool and then cut and serve!

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Hope you all enjoy them as much as we did this morning. Happy fall to each of you – from my little one and me!

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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