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

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

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

Roasted Pumpkin Soup

It is that cold time of year again where all I want to eat is soup. I love the warmth and comfort every bowl of soup has. It is like drinking a hug. With the long cold nights, this roasted pumpkin soup is sure to warm your tummy. Plus, it is dairy, egg, and gluten free. So, your warm tummy will also be a happy tummy.

Roasted pumpkins

Let’s get started by talking about pumpkins. I choose two smaller pumpkins. I used a Wee-Be-Little, and a Sweet Sugar Pie. I wanted the sweetness of the pumpkin to be accented in the soup without adding sugar. The benefit of using a Wee-Be-Little is because they are small, and perfect for roasting. They are meaty for their size, and really help drive the pumpkin flavor home in the soup.

You could use canned pumpkin, but you will loose out on most of that fresh flavor. I love roasting pumpkin, and keeping it in the freezer for the next time I need to add a burst of flavor to a soup, pasta sauce, or just wanting some good old fashioned pumpkin pie.

I am not going to lie, this soup is so easy. You can basically dump anything in your fridge, and it will add amazing flavor. If you are missing any of the ingredients, you can leave them out, and try them next time. I used carrots and apples in this recipe because I needed to use them up before they went bad. If you don’t have them, no worries. you will still have an amazing flavorful soup. You will need an immersion blender or just a regular stand blender for this recipe. Nothing beats the silky texture of a beautifully blended hearty soup.

Ingredients

  • 2 small 2-3 pound pumpkins (this will give about 5 cups)
  • 1 large white onion
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 1/2 inches of grated ginger (or 1 1/4 tsp dried ground ginger)
  • 2 cups chopped carrots
  • 2 hearty apples (I used granny smith)
  • 1 jalapeno
  • 2 cans full fat coconut milk
  • 2 cups veggie broth
  • 1 tsp clove
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne
  • salt and pepper
  1. 1/2 the pumpkins, and remove seeds (Save the seeds for later as a garnish, or amazing snack). With the varieties I used, the skin was so thick, I scooped the pumpkin out with no issues. Other varieties, you might have to peel before putting them in the oven. Place in a 450 degree oven until fork tender (it took about 45 minutes for my pumpkins to get there).
  2. Chop the onion, garlic, ginger, and jalapeno (remove ribs and seeds if you want a milder soup). Place in a large pot over medium heat. Cook for 5-10 minutes
  3. Add chopped carrots and apples. Allow the onions to finish cooking all the way through.
  4. Add veggie stock, coconut milk, and coconut cream. Cover and let simmer for 20 minutes.
  5. By this time, your pumpkins should be almost done roasting. Scoop out the flesh, and add to your simmering soup.
  6. Add clove, cumin, red pepper flakes, cayenne, salt, and pepper.
  7. Blend soup until it is smooth and silky.
  8. Return to heat for 15-20 minutes.
  9. Garnish with pumpkin seeds (chopped fresh apple or pomegranate seeds would make an amazing garnish as well).

Serves 6-8

I love making large batches of soup. You can freeze leftovers. Or my favorite way is to make it into a pasta sauce for later in the week. Because this soup is thicker, you can add it to your favorite noodle, or ravioli. If you want a thicker sauce you can add some arrowroot powder. Start with a teaspoon, and go from there.

I hope you enjoy this soup as much as we do!

Love, Liv

Vegan French Toast Bake

Fall is in full swing here in Wisconsin. With a chill in the air and the leaves changing color, it reminds me of cozy Saturday mornings inside by the fire place in my parent’s house. My parents are both amazing cooks. Since going vegan, I have been trying to convert their delicious meals into their vegan sister dishes. Today I have for you a family  favorite Vegan. French. Toast. Bake. Talk about all the fall feels. BESIDES, WHO DOESN’T LOVE FRENCH TOAST?! Enjoy this easy recipe for you and your family. This recipe can be made gluten free by using gluten free bread.

Vegan French Toast Bake

Ingredients:

  • 3 c. almond milk
  • 2 tsp. maple syrup
  • 2 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. ground clove
  • 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 2 tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 c. brown sugar packed (organic to ensure it’s vegan)
  • 1/2 c. vegan “buttermilk”
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. chia seeds ground
  • 1 loaf vegan day-old vegan bread (I used a vegan sourdough)
  • 2 tbsp. vegan butter

I have talked about the vegan “buttermilk” in my lemon blueberry muffin-top recipe found here. But-for a refresher, whisk 1/2 cup of almond milk with 2 tsp. of apple cider vinegar and let sit for 5-10 minutes. The vinegar will cause the almond milk to slightly curdle, and make the buttermilk.

  1. Pre-Heat oven to 350°.
  2. Cut the loaf of bread into 3/4 or 1 inch pieces. Place in large bowl for later.
  3. In a smaller bowl mix together 1/2 cup almond milk with 2 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar. Put aside.
  4. Take 1 1/2 tablespoons of chia seeds, and grind them. I used a coffee grinder
  5. In a large mixing bowl combine: almond milk, maple syrup, ground cinnamon, ground clove, ground nutmeg, vanilla extract, brown sugar, ground chia seeds, and vegan buttermilk.

    Chopped Chia Seeds
    Chopped Chia Seeds
  6. Pour 1/3 of the liquid mixture over the bread, and carefully mix. Repeat until the liquid mixture is combined into the bread.
  7. Grease a 9×13 baking dish. Add the bread and liquid mixture into the baking dish.
  8. Chop the 2 tablespoons of vegan butter, and place sporadically over the top.

    Chopped Butter on top French Toast Bake
    Place chopped butter on top the French Toast Bake
  9. Bake covered for 35-40 minutes
  10. Bake uncovered for another 15 minutes.
  11. Top with candied pecans and pure maple syrup.

Serves 6-8

BUT WAIT! 

If you need a recipe for candied pecans, look no further!

Candied Pecans

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp. vegan butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar (organic to ensure it is vegan)
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  1. Heat a skillet over medium heat
  2. Add vegan butter to the skillet, and wait until you see bubbles start to form
  3. Toast pecans for 2-3 minutes in the skillet
  4. Add brown sugar
  5. Stir continuously until the sugar melts
  6. Remove from heat, and cool on a baking sheet

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I did.

Love, Liv