Healthy + Vegan Winter Veggie Bowl with Crispy Tofu

PERFECT for meal prep and packed lunches! 

PERFECT for meal prep and packed lunches! 

The other weekend I decided it had been way too long since I had made my beloved winter roasted veggie bowls for lunch and even longer since I had posted a recipe! I got all of these ingredients (sans tofu) at my local Aldi store. 

This recipe is PERFECT for meal prep and packed lunches! It is simple, budget-friendly, healthy, delicious and filling. That's really all we can ask for in life, am I right? 

Winter Veggie Bowl with Crispy Tofu

Vegan, gluten-free, grain-free, soy-free

What you'll need: 

  • Butternut squash
  • Broccoli (or Brussel sprouts) 
  • Large red onion
  • Garlic 
  • Extra-firm tofu
  • Olive Oil
  • Black Pepper
  • Sauce of choice: I reccommend Balsamic vinegar
  • Grain of choice
Veggies before being put into the oven to roast!

Veggies before being put into the oven to roast!

What you do: 

Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Prep your veggies for roasting! Use a potato peeler to remove the skin on your butternut squash. Cut it in half (with a hefty knife) and then scoop out the seeds. Chop it up, you can try to make them the same size-ish so that they cook evenly but it isn't life or death. Next, cut up your broccoli. If you are using Brussel sprouts, cut them in half. Chop your red onion, I like to leave some of mine stuck together so that they don't cook as fast. Go ahead and get your garlic out of the coating. Place all of your veggies on a non-stick cooking sheet and drizzle 1 Tablespoon of olive oil over them and toss them to be evenly coated. I sprinkle on black pepper, but you can use salt or any other of you favorite seasonings. 

Put veggies into the oven. You will want them to cook for 10 minutes and you will flip them. While they are cooking, press your tofu. I have a tofu press but you can also use heavy objects like I used to, however, I would really suggest the tofu press. Leave this in the press for now. 

After 10 minutes have passed, take out your veggies and flip them. I removed my broccoli at this point because they were done but if you are using a sturdier vegetable, you might want to continue to cook them. Place the veggies back into the oven to cook for another 10 minutes.

No oil crispy tofu! 

No oil crispy tofu! 

HEALTHY CRISPY TOFU HACK. Don't you love crispy tofu at Thai or other Asian food restaurants? It is so good! But it is fried and not the most healthy. A lot of recipes for crispy tofu require you to toss them in cornstarch or do extra steps. Here is how I make my crispy tofu: Take your tofu out of the press and cut up into uniform squares. Place onto a nonstick cookie sheet (do not use foil or parchment paper, you want it directly on the sheet). Your oven should already be super hot at this point, so just place your tofu on the sheet and place it into the oven for ~8 minutes. Take it out and flip the tofu onto the other side. It should already be crispy on the side that was touching the pan. Cook for another 8 minutes. 

Budget-friendly Aldi finds for the win! 

Budget-friendly Aldi finds for the win! 

While your veggies and tofu are finishing up, make your grain. For the simplest method, I suggest finding a steamable grain like these that I found at Aldi. They are already flavorful and much quicker to cook. They are pretty foolproof as well and friendlier for the apprehensive cook. Go ahead and steam up your grain per the directions on the package. Your veggies and tofu should be ready to come out now. 

Toss all of your ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. Add any sauce that you might like, I usually opt for Balsamic vinegar! Separate into your Tupperware for the week and enjoy. 

As always, let me know if you make this recipe by tagging me in your photos! 

Simple Vegan Dog Treats

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Are you a dog owner that is conscious about what kinds of foods you put into your own body? Have you considered that you may be harming your beloved four legged best friend by providing them with processed and questionable foods? Find a simple recipe below that uses real food and don't harm your dog, any other animals or the world! These are also safe for you or your children and are super delicious for a snack or crumbled on top of a smoothie.

 Ingredients:

  • 4 Sweet potatoes
  • 1/2 c - 3/4 c raw unsalted peanut butter
  • 1 1/2 c oatmeal

Method:

Preheat oven to 350F. Steam your sweet potatoes in the microwave. Make sure you puncture the skin so they can breathe. I didn't include the skin, but you probably can. Steam them with the skin on and it will peel right off after steaming. I steamed mine for about 5 minutes in the microwave (regular setting). Mash your sweet potatoes and add in the oatmeal. Stir in your peanut butter. I found fun silicone molds on Amazon which work great! Press mixture into molds and bake for 20 minutes (may need to bake longer depending on your mold)

Follow my pup on Instagram: @Zodiacthemutt

Follow my pup on Instagram: @Zodiacthemutt

Store well in the refrigerator for up to a week! Dog (and human) approved.

CauliBerry Smoothie

Low sugar - Long lasting full feeling

Low sugar - Long lasting full feeling

Cauliflower Berry Smoothie

  • 1 cup frozen riced cauliflower
  • ½ cup frozen berries (I used strawberries here)
  • ½ avocado
  • ¼ cup coconut shavings
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 2 tablespoon ground flax meal
  • 2 dates
  • 1 ½ cup nondairy milk of your choice

Place all your ingredients in the blender and blend on high. Stop and scrape down the sides, blend again until desired consistency. I like to top mine with puffed cereal, cacao nibs and chia seeds!

This makes quite a large amount of smoothie, it keeps me full for hours and is very low in sugar! The healthy fats are what maintain that full feeling for longer. I have been loving this for breakfast lately, it has helped me curb all of my late night snacking cravings. Start your day with a big breakfast full of this goodness!

 

 

Frozen Chocolate Mousse Smoothie Bowl

Topped with coconut, cacao nibs and fresh strawberries

Topped with coconut, cacao nibs and fresh strawberries

As you should know, I love using zucchini (and even cauliflower) in my oatmeal to make it more voluminous without the caloric density of added oatmeal. I had been hearing more and more about using vegetables as a base for smoothies but hadn't bothered to try it - UNTIL NOW

By using a vegetable base you are allowing for a low sugar smoothie, but this particular recipe is almost like a fluffy mousse texture, so delicious! I have already had this smoothie twice in 24 hours (this is not an exaggeration) and this recipe was adapted from Rachlmansfield.com ! I plan to experiment with more flavor combinations and also different vegetables for the base - comment below if you would like for me to blog various vegetable based smoothie recipes that I come up with.


Ingredients:

  • 1/2 c frozen zucchini
  • 1 cup frozen spinach
  • 1/2 cup frozen berries
  • 1/2 fresh avocado
  • 1 tablespoon nut butter
  • 1 scoop protein powder
  • 1 tablespoon cacao powder
  • 2 dates
  • 1 teaspoon maca powder *optional
  • 1 scoop Natural Citizen Organic Digest *optional (coupon code available!)
  • 1 cup nondairy milk

Place all ingredients in a high speed blender and blend on high until combined. Top with desired toppings such as coconut flakes, fresh fruit or cacao nibs. Enjoy!

Go Green Protein Bites

Organic Greens have only 4 ingredients and very little flavor, perfect nutritious punch of the spirulina without the typical overpowering flavor

Organic Greens have only 4 ingredients and very little flavor, perfect nutritious punch of the spirulina without the typical overpowering flavor

Go Green Protein Bites

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon The Natural Citizen Organic Greens
  • 1 cup quick oats
  • 1 mashed ripe banana
  • 1 scoop plant based protein (like Garden of Life or The Natural Citizen)

Method:

Mash banana with a fork, stir in oats and mix well. Add protein and Organic Greens and stir well. It will become thick and that is okay. Roll into 1 inch balls. Refrigerate for up to a week.


I have been using The Natural Citizen powders for about a year, and I love their stuff. I also love the people behind the stuff. They genuinely care about their customer, they put effort into the packaging, into their customer service and into the message that they put out into the world. I have partnered with them as an ambassador, that means when you use my coupon code, I get a portion of the sale. I never want to be salesy or pushy, but when it comes to a few companies and products that I REALLY believe in, I want you to know about it. There is a link on my Collaborations page that I would be super grateful if you would use to shop, and if you do order, at checkout you can use K8CANRELATE for 15% off your order (free domestic shipping!)

Thank you guys for continually supporting me and cheering me on, and let me know if you make some Go Green Protein Bites!

Organic Greens are also perfect to add into a smoothie in place of (or in addition to) kale or baby spinach as the Vitamin A and Iron content is so high!

Organic Greens are also perfect to add into a smoothie in place of (or in addition to) kale or baby spinach as the Vitamin A and Iron content is so high!

Mary's Cashew Cookie Nicecream Sandwiches

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup raw cashews

  • 1 cup pitted dates

  • 2-3 ripe frozen bananas

  • ¼ to ½ tsp beet powder (optional)

  • ¼ cup dairy free chocolate chips

Directions:

For the cookies - Blend cashews and dates in a food processor or high speed blender until they form a sticky dough. (some large chunks of cashews can remain) Remove from the processor or blender and form a ball with the dough. Place the dough between two sheets of parchment paper and roll out with a rolling pin or flatten with hands to about a quarter inch thick. Use a super cool cookie cutter to cut out as many cookies as you can. My little heart cookie cutter made 16 cookies and left a little extra dough for a snack. Place cookies onto a parchment lined cookie sheet and let them chill in the freezer.

For the nice cream - Wash and dry your processor or blender so you can use it for your nice cream! Throw your frozen bananas in there and blend em up, occasionally stopping to scrape down the chunks of the sides of the processor or blender until smooth. Add beet powder (or not!) and blend until pink.

Initial assembly - Scoop the nice cream into a piping bag with a round tip in it (or Ziploc bag, trimming one corner to create a circular hole once filled and zipped) Removing your cookies from the freezer, carefully pipe a layer of nice cream on half of your cookies, and return them to the freezer for about five minutes. After five minutes have passed, remove the cookies from the freezer and carefully place the remaining cookies on top of the nice cream ones, creating sandwiches. You can give them a gentle tap to make sure the nice cream fully meets the cookie, but be super gentle! Return the cookie sandwiches to the freezer once more.

For the chocolate drizzle - Melt your chocolate chips in a non-stick pot over medium heat stirring constantly until completely smooth. (alternatively you can melt them in the microwave in a safe dish, stopping every 20 seconds to stir). Remove from the heat, pull cookie sandwiches from the freezer, and drizzle chocolate with the edge of a spatula or fork onto them. Be as fancy and neat or messy and generous as you'd like, but watch out for melty nice cream! Work as quickly as possible, and pop em in the freezer for as long as possible. Anywhere from an hour to overnight will make them ready to enjoy! (And you will definitely enjoy them...you may not even want to share!!!)

Find Mary on her YouTube channel or on her Instagram page: VeganLoveAdventure

Find Mary on her YouTube channel or on her Instagram page: VeganLoveAdventure

Mary is a friendly, Harry Potter obsessed, yoga practicing human who also happens to be a vegan and a wife and a lover of daily trips to the ocean. She is in love with being alive and free, adventuring as often as possible, attempting to live in a state of near-constant optimism and is convinced that we hold the power to manifest our own wonderful happenings. Follow along on her adventures, and find more vegan recipes too, on her YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/veganloveadventure

On why others should eat plant based:

Everyone should eat plant based for three reasons – the animals, their own health and the health of our planet. When you eat a plant based diet, no one has to suffer or die for your meal. The animal thank us; our bodies thank us; and the planet thanks us. If you find yourself wanting to know more about how animals are treated at organic and “free range” farms, please check out PETA’s article (http://www.peta.org/issues/animals-used-for-food/free-range-organic-meat-myths/) entitled, “The Organic and ‘Free Range’ Myths”. If you want to learn more about how consuming animal products affects our health, check out any of Dr. Michael Greger’s videos on http://nutritionfacts.org/ or the pages of his novel, How Not to Die. And if you’re looking to learn more about how eating vegan can save the planet, look no further than Cowspiracy, an eyeopening documentary that you can watch for free on Netflix.

Acai Maqui Bowl

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Who doesn't love a creamy cold smoothie bowl? A perfect way to kick start the spring season! Spoiler alert: I never had an acai bowl before. I tried out the Sunfood Acai Maqui Bowl Mix and it was heavenly!

What are the benefits? ALLLL the vitamins! It's basically like a superfood vitamin in icecream form. WAY better than Flintstone's vitamins, and that is a tall order!

  • Vitamin A which may contribute to healthy immunity, vision, bone health and cell integrity
  • Vitamin C which may function as an antioxidant as well as contribute to healthy immunity and bone health
  • Vitamin B1 which may contribute to mental function and metabolism
  • Vitamin B3 which may help regulate metabolism and support normal cell growth
  • Omega-3 essential fatty acids which may contribute to mental function and hearth health
  • Calcium which may assist in supporting strong bones
  • Potassium which may help maintain healthy blood pressure in combination with a low sodium diet
  • Magnesium which may contribute to normal bone health and immunity
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Acai Bowl

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tablespoons Sunfood Acai Maqui Bowl Mix
  • 1.5 frozen bananas
  • 1/2 cup nondairy milk

Method:

Combine in the blender or food processor until creamy. Toppings are the best part, go crazy! Delicious and nutritious, just how I like it.

Kelly's Blue Spirulina N'icecream

@_takingmylifeback

@_takingmylifeback

Meet my friend, Kelly. I found her through Instagram (you can find her too @_takingmylifeback) I sort of joke with her and tell her she is my life goals, but, kind of not joking. She is a fierce feminist warrior who is out to make this world a more magical place. She encouraged my gratitude practice (you can find my write up on that under the blog tab!) to be what it is today and I have much thanks to give to her for cheering me on through my journey to a better me. I asked Kelly to share her creamy dreamy signature blue n'icecream recipe with us so that we could whip up this healthy and beautiful concoction in our own kitchens. Scroll to the bottom of this post for more on Kelly as I wanted her to talk to you about her own story, I know many of you will relate!


Spirulina is a type of blue-green algae that grows in both salty and fresh water. It may be the single most nutrient-dense food on earth.

Spirulina is a type of blue-green algae that grows in both salty and fresh water. It may be the single most nutrient-dense food on earth.

  • 1-2 frozen bananas
  • ½ - 1 c frozen pineapple
  • ⅛ - ½ tsp Blue Spirulina (more for a darker color of blue)
  • 1-3 Tbs coconut butter
  • 1-2 scoops plain protein powder (white if possible)

Process all of this together in your food processor or blender until creamy! Scoop into a bowl or cup or if you want a more smoothie-like consistency, add liquid of your choice and blend further. 

Garnish with white chia seeds, unsweetened coconut flakes, almond slivers, blueberries, GoRaw cookies, Larabar Cashew Cookie or anything else you love. 

It really depends on how big you want it to be. I range between sizes. (I think there's a 'that's what she said' joke in here somewhere, Kelly ;P)


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"Hi! I’m Kel. I am a chick who’s all about girl power, mother earth, and nurturing my mind and body inside and out. My health journey began a few years ago when I found the shining light of positivity that is FullyRawKristina and became a member of her organic food co-op in Houston, TX. She introduced me to juicing and the raw vegan lifestyle. I began dabbling in juices and smoothies while still remaining physically stagnant and filling the other 75% of my food time with pizza, oreos, nachos, and burgers. Not only did the scale continue to rise, so did my blood pressure,  cholesterol, blood sugar, and inflammation markers. Stress was ruling my life. Then I remembered, I control me. I can take my life back: back from stress; back from bad eating habits; back from a couch potato stagnant lifestyle that I had led for so long. So, I sold my favorite designer bracelet and used the money to buy a bicycle, dusted off my juicer and Vitamix, and got to work. 3 years later, I’m healthier than I have ever been. The scale is lower and more importantly, all of my internal health markers are better than they were even in my 20s. Always a student of nutrition and health as a hobby, I’m constantly researching new tonics and tinctures and superfoods that are delicious and nourishing. I have learned that eating mindfully is the only true way to success for me. I know what makes my body and soul feel good and choosing those things over the ingrained “easy” choice makes me feel more alive than any fitness program, pill, or fad diet I have ever tried. And I have tried them ALL. There is no magic formula and no quick fix. Learning to love yourself and put your well being first is the true key to success. I am not vegan or even 100% vegetarian, but I eat 85-90% plant based and my body feels better for it.  When I slide into old habits, I feel the difference. My skin immediately shows a difference and my energy levels dip drastically. So, I try to be mindful of how I will feel later with every food choice I make. Juice and smoothies make me feel alive.

I am also very passionate about our planet and how we treat our environment. I’m a reduce, reuse, recycle kind of soul. I support companies who believe in those principles. I believe in doing what we can to reduce our footprint on this planet and not mindlessly consume and waste and repeat.

I live each day with intention. Every moment is about a choice. I have lived my entire life with calculation and decision. My choices are mine. Good and bad. I view every choice is an opportunity to learn and grow.

Life is good. I am literally living my dream. I am healthy. I have a job that I love and a life partner who I love from the bottom of my soul who mirrors that love to me. We support one another 100% and even after 26 years, our love grows each day.

In my free time, I like to make pretty food and take food pics, spend time in nature, relax with my 3 kitties, read books that speak to my soul, travel to tropical locations, and spend time with those I love. I love scuba diving and have a fascination with sharks that dates back to 5 years old. That’s a long time ago, Y’all. I love love love juicing. It’s such a zen activity for me. I love cracking wise with my friends and watching obscenely funny TV, movies, and theater. But one of my favorite pastimes is spreading sunshine. If I can smile at a stranger and connect for even one brief moment in time getting a smile in return, my day is made. Sometimes it’s a literal smile to a stranger on the street and sometimes it’s a virtual smile in the form of a like or comment on social media. We all matter. I like to give little reminders of that.

Kaitlyn asked me to share some things about myself and I didn’t really know where to begin. These things are me, but only a small part of who I am. We are all so many things. But most of all, we are love."

Overnight Oats

Chocolate Oaties

Chocolate Oaties

If you have followed me for any length of time on Instagram, you know that my faaavorite food is oatmeal. I have oatmeal every single day, in some way. Usually in the form of overnight oats. It's so versatile and easy to change up the flavors. Below you will find my base recipe for the infamous oaties that stole my heart.

Overnight Oatmeal Base Recipe:

1/3 cup rolled oatmeal

2 tablespoon chia seeds (I use Salba brand)

1 teaspoon hemp seeds

1 teaspoon turmeric

dash black pepper (to help the body absorb turmeric)

1 serving protein powder (this can be one or two scoops depending on the brand you use)

Stir and cover with non-dairy milk of choice. Keep in mind that it will thicken up, so add enough milk so that it is a little more liquid than you would typically enjoy. Once stirred, refrigerate overnight (up to 5 days)

It really is that simple! You can do MANY variations such as adding cinnamon or cacao powder. You can add in shredded zucchini or pumpkin puree for more volume and more nutritional value.

Topping choices are endless. I usually top with fresh fruit of some kind, nuts and/or nut butter and raw pumpkin seeds. Don't add your toppings until the morning of or they will get soggy!

Apple Cinnamon Oaties

Apple Cinnamon Oaties

Kale Banana Smoothie Bowl

Topped with Good Mix Superfoods Blend 11, Dang Foods coconut chips, One Degree sprouted granola and fresh blackberries

Topped with Good Mix Superfoods Blend 11, Dang Foods coconut chips, One Degree sprouted granola and fresh blackberries

It has been unseasonably warm this winter so far (NO complaints here) and i woke up this morning craving a smoothie bowl (sorry oatmeal, we aren't breaking up, I just needed some space). 

Ingredients:

2 frozen bananas *

A few cubes of ice

Hand full of kale or other dark green

1/2 cup unsweetened nondairy milk of choice

! tablespoon blackstrap molasses 

Dash of turmeric

Dash of black pepper

Toppings: I listed the toppings that I used under the photo but you can use anything that you think is delicious. Go crazy!

I always blend my greens with my nondairy milk FIRST and get it to a green milk consistency, otherwise you will have pieces of kale that don't get blended up. I use my Magic Bullet for this.

The reason I use black pepper is because your body better absorbs turmeric this way. Just trust me, you can't taste it. Put all of your ingredients into a high-speed blender or food processor, blend, scrape down and blend again. It will come out to be a really nice thick icecream-like texture which is how i prefer my smoothie bowls. Throw your toppings on and ENJOY.

**you totally do not have to use frozen bananas, it just makes for a more icecream texture which is what i prefer.