Pad Thai Spaghetti Squash

I love Asian inspired dishes. They are sweet, salty, tangy and delicious. I do not love all the preservatives, MSG and other gross things hiding in most soy sauces in the grocery store. SO! I have a clean version for you that won’t break the bank to make.

Let’s talk about coconut aminos. It is the sap from coconut palms. After the sap ferments, salt gets added; this process gives the coconut aminos a very similar profile to soy sauce. BUT there has 73% less sodium than most soy sauce. Not to mention, the amino acids and B vitamins that are packed into the sap. Overall, it is a great replacement for soy sauce.

Hornstail Terrariums

Ingredients

  • Spaghetti Squash
  • Peas
  • Red Bell Pepper
  • Yellow Bell Pepper
  • Carrots
  • Onion
  • Garlic

Dressing

  • 3 tbsp coconut aminos (or a clean soy sauce)
  • 1/2 tsp agave nectar
  • 1/2 tsp chili paste
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1 1/2 tbsp creamy peanut butter
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (omit if you want non-spicy)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Roast spaghetti squash for 45-55 minutes or until fork tender.
  3. Mice garlic. Dice carrots, peppers, onion, and peas.
  4. Over Medium-High heat, saute vegetables for 5-7 minutes.
  5. Pull spaghetti squash out of oven, mix in vegetables and dressing.
  6. Enjoy!

This is such an easy dinner; it is perfect for a week night meal. I hope you enjoy it!

Love, Liv

Sweet Potato Curry Soup

Another snow storm, another soup. We are preparing for life to get shut down again this weekend as more snow get dumped on us here in Wisconsin. Whenever the weather starts to look gloomy, I start to crave soup. Because we have a record breaking year of snow fall, we have been eating soup by the gallon. I have for you a Sweet Potato Curry Soup. It is sure to fill you up, and warm your soul.

This recipe is SO easy. It is perfect for a week night meal. You dump everything in a pot, and wait about 30 minutes. I love recipes you put in one big container, let it hang out while you get homework with the kids done or a quick load of laundry, and BAM! Dinner is ready. Plus, everything is in one pot, so clean up is a breeze!

Introducing

Ingredients

  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • 2 large sweet potatoes
  • 5 medium yellow potatoes
  • 2 medium yellow onions
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 yellow bell pepper
  • 1 orange bell pepper
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 2 bay leaves
  • salt and pepper
  • 8 cups vegetable broth

Sweet potatos, yellow potatoes, and onion

Directions

  1. Place 1 tablespoon of coconut oil in a large stock pot over low heat.
  2. Add two minced cloves of garlic.
  3. Roughly chop: sweet potatoes, yellow potatoes, and onion into cubes. Add to the stock pot.
  4. Raise heat to medium. Stir frequently for 5-10 minutes, or until the onions start to release their juices.
  5. Add 8 cups of vegetable broth. 2 tsp curry, 1 1/2 tsp chili powder, pinch of red pepper flakes, 2 bay leaves, salt and pepper.
  6. Simmer for 20 minutes, or until potatoes are fork tender, and reduce to medium low heat.
  7. Roughly chop red, yellow, and orange bell peppers into 1/2 pieces. Add to soup.
  8. Simmer for 10-15 more minutes.
  9. Remove Bay Leaves, and Enjoy!

You can top with coconut cream at the last second to tone down the heat if needed.

This is a new household favorite-I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

Love, Liv

Vegan Sand Dollar Cookies

I am really excited for this recipe. It makes me dream of a warm place without 6 feet of snow, digging my feet in the sand, a over sized, floppy hat, and those fun drinks with little umbrellas in them. We are making Vegan Sand Dollar cookies today. Now, this recipe is not an every day cookie recipe. This is one of the recipes we have on special occasions because of how much sugar is in the cookies. You could substitute the sugar for maple syrup or agave, but it just does not have the same taste. Plus, it makes the dough extra wet, and you need so much extra flour. SO. Once in a while, we all need a “treat yo’self” recipe, and this is a house hold favorite.

Vegan Sand Dollar Cookies
Let’s talk about this raw dough. It is AMAZING. If you have an upcoming girl’s night or just need some raw cookie dough to eat, this is the cookie dough for you. It reminds me of eating full tubes of Pillsbury’s cookie dough when I was in college with my roommates. I would not advise eating the full batch of batter, but it is so easy to in this recipe.
Make sure to use organic sugar to ensure it is vegan
Dry Ingredients:
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose baking flour
  • 1/2 tsp aluminum free baking powder
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • dash of salt
  • 1 1/2 tbsp ground flax seeds (you could use chia seeds, but they leave little dots in the cookies. Flax seeds blend into the batter, and are undetectable)
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cream of tartar

Wet Ingredients:

  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp almond extract
  • 1 cup room temperature vegan butter

Topping Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 slivered almonds

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees
  2. Combine all dry ingredients. Put through a sieve/strainer. Make sure all the lumps are out.
  3. Add vanilla, almond, and butter. Mix thoroughly
  4. Place ping pong sized dough balls on a greased cookie sheet
  5. Press 4-5 silvered almonds into each cookie
  6. Bake in oven for 12-15 minutes or until cookies start to tun golden brown around the edges.
  7. Combine sugar and cinnamon.
  8. Once the cookies are done baking, coat in the sugar cinnamon mixture..
  9. ENJOY!

Makes about 4 dozen cookies

I hope you love these cookies!

Love, Liv

 

 

Pasta Salad

I am going to give you a super simple pasta salad recipe here. It is perfect for any potluck, family gathering. Plus, it is so simple. The homemade dressing is a basic Italian dressing seasoning. I was looking in the store at ingredients in most Italian dressings, and they contain everything from processed sugar to dyes. WHY?! So, if you want to ditch the processed ingredients, this will be your new favorite dressing.

Pasta Salad

For my pasta salads, I use an organic rigatoni pasta. I think the dressing coats the noodles best, and it has the best noodle-vegetable ratio.

Dressing Ingredients

  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1/8 tsp paprika or turmeric
  • 1/2 tbsp Italian Herbs (or 1/4 tsp of each: basil, marjoram, oregano 1/8 tsp of each: rosemary, thyme)
  • zest from one lemon
  • juice from 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsp vinegar (balsamic, apple cider, white, really any vinegar works here)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

And get creative with your Vegetables, throw whatever you have in the fridge in with the pasta. All of the measurements are for 1 box of pasta worth of noodles. I prefer the vegetables to be dices in about 1/2 inch cubes

  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 7-8 cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 cucumber
  • 1 head of broccoli
  • 1 bag snap peas
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 bunch asparagus
  • 1 box rigatoni pasta (or gluten free pasta)

You really cannot mess up this recipe. It is perfect to use up left over vegetables, or to have a fresh side salad for dinner. I hope you love the dressing!

Love, Liv

Bunnies in Snuggies

One of my favorite girls’ night snacks was pigs in a blanket. It is so easy, and oh so comforting. If you are looking for that familiar comfort, but in a vegan/vegetarian option-LOOK NO FURTHER. I have a recipe for you all, that is sure to satisfy on every level. Since they are not pigs in a blanket, we will call them Bunnies in Snuggies.

Bunnies in Snuggies (1)

For this recipe, I used regular, full sized carrots, and cut them into smaller pieces. To save time, you can just use baby carrots if you want. Use what you have, this week, we had regular carrots for a different recipe. You can definitely make your own vegan puff pastry, or, you can use pre-made. For this recipe, I used pre-made.

Before going in the oven

Ingredients

  • 1 bag baby carrots (or about 7 carrots cut into 2 inch pieces)
  • Vegan puff pastry
  • Olive oil

Dipping Sauce Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp vegan mayo (my favorite brand is earth balance)
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp stone ground mustard
  • 1/2 tsp agave nectar or maple syrup
  • salt and pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Cut carrots (skip if you are using baby carrots)
  3. Coat carrots in oil (about 2 tsp), salt and pepper, place on a baking sheet, and roast for 10 minutes.
  4. Remove from oven and cool.
  5. Lower oven to 350 degrees.
  6. Cut puff pastry into 1 inch by 2 inch strips. Eyeball it- it does not need to be perfect.
  7. Wrap carrots in puff pastry, place back on the baking sheet (put the overlap of the pastry side down)
  8. Brush with olive oil.
  9. Put in the oven for 15 minutes. Remove when they turn golden brown.
  10. Make your dipping sauce (you could just use mustard, but the dipping sauce is definitely worth making)
  11. ENJOY!

Serves 1.

Just Kidding! It serves about 5-6. I hope you use this recipe for your next girls’ night, or just a late night snack.

 

Love, Liv

Roasted Carrot Hummus

I am not going to lie, I did not plan on posting this recipe. There was a recent potluck I needed to bring a finger food to pass. So, I just threw a bunch of ingredients into a food processor, prayed over it, and it turned out amazing!  Long story short, I knew I wanted to share the recipe with all of you. You probably have everything you need in your pantry right now.

CAITLIN BLAKE

Disclaimer. I used canned carrots. I NEVER BUY CANNED CARROTS. One day, I was cleaning deep in the back of my cabinet where we have our cans, and back in Narnia, I found a can of carrots. I had no idea how to eat them. Basically, they are mush anyways; so, I decided to make them into hummus. It is super easy, next time I will probably roast fresh carrots. But hey, go with what you have.

 

Ingredients

  • 1 can chickpeas
  • 1/2 cup chickpea liquid
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1 1/2 cup sliced carrots (or 1 can)
  • Turmeric (2 drops essential oil or 1 tsp)
  • Lemon (5 drops essential oil or you can use the juice from 1 lemon)
  • Pinch of Crushed Red Pepper
  • Salt and Pepper

 

  1. Roast carrots and garlic at 400 degrees until they are fork tender. (15-20 minutes) Watch and make sure the garlic does not burn
  2. Strain chickpeas, keep the liquid
  3. Put roasted carrots, garlic, chickpeas, turmeric, lemon, 1/2 cup of chickpea liquid, crushed red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper into a food processor
  4. Blend until creamy. You may need some extra liquid if you need it
  5. Garnish with red pepper flakes

Serves 6-8

Try not to eat it all in one sitting, but I totally understand if you do.

Love, Liv

Hearty Sweet Potato Soup

People. It is cold out. I am over this polar vortex. It has been colder in Wisconsin over the past few days than it has been in Antarctica. You read that right. Colder than the place that has snow year round. I think people live here because they are frozen to the ground, and cannot leave. I need a warm an sunny beach vacation, because I am not about this cold life.

Since, we are all frozen, and cannot leave our houses; I have been making lots and lots and lots of soup to keep warm. This is one of those everything-but-the-kitchen-sink creations, and is sure to warm you up. Plus, it is super easy to dump everything in, let it simmer, and in 30-45 minutes you have dinner. YAY!

taxietiquettetips

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 1 small butternut squash
  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 8 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 can black beans
  • kale
  • 1 1/2 tbsp herbs de province
  • 2 tsp each: rosemary, basil, tumeric, marjoram (or 1 drop of essential oil if you have them)
  • salt and pepper
  • Optional: 1 cup quinoa

Directions:

  1. Place a large soup pot over medium heat
  2. Add sweet potato, squash, onion, garlic, quinoa, salt, pepper, and vegetable stock
  3. Let simmer until the sweet potatoes and squash are fork tender
  4. Add herbs, black beans, and kale. Simmer for 10-15 more minutes
  5. EAT!

It is perfect for a busy weeknight dinner, or a make ahead meal to eat throughout the week. This soup is hearty, and keeps you full. Plus it tastes delicious.

Stay warm, and send me warm thoughts!

Love, Liv

 

 

 

Overnight Oats

I love easy meals. I also rarely have time to make, let alone, eat breakfast. If you are like me, and love to hit that snooze button 16 more times before getting up-over night oats are the miracle breakfast food you have been waiting for.

overnight oats

Let’s talk oats. There are several varieties of oats, but I found that rolled oats are the best option for overnight soaking. Instant or Quick oats disintegrate into nothingness, and were not a pleasing texture to eat. Steel cut oats are too thick. They did not absorb the liquid, and were just weird. Rolled oats are perfect for absorbing liquid overnight. Plus, they hold their shape and texture, and do not dissolve into nothingness.

Next, we need to talk about the creaminess of the oats. I have made so. many. batches. of overnight oats. SO. MANY. If you use equal parts oats to liquid, the oats are not as silky and creamy. If you use one part oats and two parts liquid, not all of the liquid gets absorbed. For the best: oat texture,  liquid absorption, flavor consistency, it is best to use  1/4 cup of rolled oats to 1/3 cup of liquid.

Base Ingredients

  • 1/4 c. rolled oats
  • 1/3 c. plant based milk
  • 1/2 tbsp. pure maple syrup/agave
  • 1/2 tbsp. chia seeds
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt

Combine all ingredients. Place in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours. It is just that easy. We love adding things to our oats to give us variety of breakfasts.

Here are some of our favorites:

  • 1/2 tsp of cinnamon-add this before putting them in the fridge
  • 1 1/2 tbsp cocoa powder-add this before putting them in the fridge
  • 2 tbsp peanut butter-add in the morning before eating
  • bananas-add in the morning before eating
  • fresh chopped berries-add in the morning before eating

I hope you love these oats, and it saves you time in the morning! Hit that snooze button a 17th time.

Love, Liv

 

 

 

Banana Bread

One of my favorite childhood memories is baking banana bread with my mom. The recipe was out of an old tattered cookbook from a church picnic from when she was a little girl. It was one of those recipes that you can taste the love baked into the bread. Ever since I became vegan, I knew I needed to veganize this recipe. Who doesn’t love a warm piece of banana bread? The nostalgia of the smell coming from the oven alone is worth trying this recipe.

Banana Bread

There is no processed sugar in this recipe! Just maple sugar. My husband has the world’s BIGGEST sweet tooth; I am not kidding, about 3/4 of his diet is sugar. He thought the bread was perfectly sweet without anything extra added. If you need the extra sweetness, you can always add 1/3 cup of homemade apple sauce-also add an extra 1/4 cup of flour.

Ingredients

  • 4 Bananas (about 2 cups)
  • 2 c. flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda (1 1/2 tsp if using gluten free flour)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. chia seeds
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • pinch of clove
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/3 c. maple syrup
  • 2 tsp. vanilla

Those are the base ingredients. You can add flavors how ever you want. Here are some of my favorite to mix and match as you choose:

  • 1/2 c. peanut butter (you can make your own! Click here for the recipe)
  • 3/4 c. chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 c. chocolate chips
  • 1/2 c. cocoa powder

20190123_132746-e1548281535335.jpg

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Mash bananas
  3. Grind chia seeds (I used a coffee grinder. You want them to become a fine powder)
  4. Mix in maple syrup and vanilla.
  5. Add flour, baking soda, ground chia seeds, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, and salt
  6. Place in bread tin
  7. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until the edges start to pull away from the sides of the pan
  8. Remove from oven, and place on a cooling rack

I hope this recipe give you as much nostalgia as it did for me. It is delicious, and will make your tummy very happy.

Love, Liv

Refrigerator Pickles

Who does not love fresh pickles? My husband and I love anything pickled. Seriously anything. A few weeks ago, we were craving those salty, crunchy, delicious bites. So, I have a recipe for you all that requires NO sugar, fresh dill, or crazy ingredients.

For this recipe, I used dill seed, not dill weed. They are definitely not the same thing.  Dill seed are the little seed of the plant. While, dill weed, are the leaves of the plant. Dill weed goes great in potato salad, and dill seed is great for this recipe. It is not too hard to find dill seed in your local grocery store. Next year, I plan on drying the heads of dill, and making my own dill seed and sill weed. Stay tuned for the journey.

Refrigerator Pickles

  • 1 large cucumber
  • 1 and 1/2 cups water
  • 1 cup vinegar
  • 1 tbsp dill seed
  • 2 1/4 tsp pickling spices
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 2 dried chilies (or 1 and 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes)
  • 2 tbsp salt

This is probably one of my easiest recipes yet.

  1. Bring vinegar and water to a boil.
  2. Add salt, dill seeds, and pickling spices.
  3. Place garlic, cucumber, chilies into a jar.
  4. Pour liquid into the jar. Mix.
  5. Shake jar once per day.
  6. Let sit at least 3 days. For the best flavor wait at least 7 days.

I hope you find this recipe delicious as we do. Let me know how your batch turns out!

Love, Liv