Easy Vegan Fruit & Seed Smoothie

This 4-ingredient snack couldn’t be easier to make!  Keeping a stash of a variety of frozen fruit in the freezer is so helpful when creating smoothies on a whim.  I love combining handfuls of it with some sunflower seed butter and water which beautifully blends into a sweet, creamy, and refreshing snack that just so happens to be vegan and gluten free!

This is a snack-size portion, but if you were looking for more of a meal you could easily double the measurements.  I love drinking this as a side with a sandwich at lunch, or as a mid-afternoon bite.  It’s one of my favorite ways to add a couple extra servings of fruit into my day!

Servings: 1

Ingredients:

1 Large Frozen Banana (sliced before freezing to ease blending)

12 Frozen Dark Cherries

2 Large Frozen Strawberries

2 Tbsp Sunbutter

2/3 Cup Water

Directions:

Blend and enjoy!

Ingredient recommendations linked!

Berry & Peach Sunbutter Smoothie

This high protein smoothie is nearly a milkshake it’s so thick and creamy, but that’s my preference when it’s functioning as a meal!  It’s perfect as a filling breakfast, post-workout recovery fuel, or a mid-afternoon snack.  If you’ve ever loved the addition of peanut butter in your smoothies, this offers a very similar flavor profile in the way that it compliments the fruit and the yogurt.  The added bonuses are that it makes it more allergy friendly as well as nutritionally diverse if you’re looking to mix up your ingredients!

Ingredients:

1 Serving Frozen Strawberries (approx. 1 cup)

1 Serving Plain Greek Yogurt (I used nonfat)

1/2 Cup Apple Juice

2 Tbsp Sunbutter

1 Serving Frozen Peaches (approx. 1 cup)

Directions:

Add the strawberries, greek yogurt, and apple juice to your blender and blend

Add in the Sunbutter and blend again

Add in the frozen peaches and blend a third time until smooth and evenly combined

Enjoy!

Ingredient recommendations linked!

Ratatouille-Italiana

Ratatouille Italiana

An Italian twist on the French classic, this dish is extremely versatile. It can be enjoyed on its own, over pasta, as a side, however you like! Plus it’s vegan, dairy free, and gluten free.

We personally loved it over pasta with sausage.

Ingredients:

1 white onion

4 cloves garlic

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 eggplants

3 medium zucchini

1 jar Mezzetta Artisan Ingredients Italian Plum Tomato Marinara

1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley

cayenne pepper

black pepper

sea salt

Directions:

Dice the onion

Finally chop the garlic or use a garlic press

Peel & chop the eggplant into small cubes

Chop the zucchini into small cubes

Add the onion, garlic, and first 2 tablespoons of olive oil into a pan and sauté over medium heat until the onions are translucent

Add in the eggplant and the third tablespoon of olive oil, then continue cooking until eggplant is soft

Add in the zucchini

Once the zucchini is thoroughly cooked as well, turn down your heat to low and stir in the marinara

Stir in the parsley as well as small dashes of cayenne pepper and black pepper, plus a pinch of sea salt to taste

Enjoy!

Nut-Free Pesto

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It can easily be made vegan as well!

I absolutely love pesto. However, as someone with nut allergies, 9 times out of 10, I’m not able to eat it. Most restaurants and grocery brands make their pesto with pine nuts. This pesto is 100% nut-free, and can easily be made vegan if you leave out the parmesan or use a vegan alternative.

Ingredients:

3 cups fresh basil leaves (packed)

4 cloves garlic

1 cup extra virgin olive oil

sea salt and black pepper

3/4 cup finely grated parmesan cheese

Directions:

Wash and prep the basil leaves.

Combine basil leaves and garlic in a food processor, and then add in the oil to make it easier to blend until all of the oil has been added.

Add in sea salt and black pepper to taste and mix again.

Pour the pesto into a bowl and stir in the cheese. (This can be skipped, or subbed with a vegan alternative.)

Add extra sea salt and black pepper if desired, but do a taste test first on your pasta or meal of choice and see what you prefer.

Enjoy!

Tomato Basil Asparagus Pasta

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Being part Italian, I cannot stress my love of pasta enough!

There are so many ways to dress it up, make it healthy, and keep it simple.

Here’s one of my favorite quick dinners.  I went with Ancient Harvest Gluten-Free Supergrain Pasta (though of course you should use your personal favorite pasta!)

This recipe makes 1 large serving.

Ingredients:

5-6 large asparagus stalks

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 servings of your favorite pasta

1 cup tomato basil pasta sauce

black pepper & cayenne pepper to taste

optional topping – a sprinkle of parmesan cheese

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees

Cut off the ends of the asparagus, then place the stalks into a gallon-sized plastic bag

Pour the olive oil into the bag and make sure it covers all of the asparagus

Place the asparagus on a baking sheets and cook in the oven for about 12-14 minutes

Cook and drain the pasta, then mix in the pasta sauce to keep it from sticking

Remove the asparagus from the oven, chop into small pieces, and mix that into the pasta

Add black pepper and cayenne pepper to taste, and then sprinkle on some parmesan if you wish!

Sweet Potato Carrot Soup

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I seriously could eat fall flavors year round!

You only need 7 ingredients for this simple soup, but the flavors really pack a big punch.  Added bonuses: It’s vegan, and dairy/gluten-free!

The sweet potato taste combined with both the cinnamon and the pepper, cumin, and olive oil result in a nice “sweet and savory” combination.  It’s a thicker consistency, which makes it feel quite hearty.

This recipe makes 1 very large bowl, or two side bowls.

Ingredients:

1 sweet potato

3 cups baby carrots

3 cups vegetable broth

2 heaping teaspoons olive oil

1 heaping tablespoon cinnamon (sweet saigon cinnamon preferably)

a sprinkle of cumin

a sprinkle of black pepper

(optional: larger quantities of the above spices, added to taste at the end)

Directions:

Thoroughly cook both the sweet potato and carrots until very soft.  (When I’m in a hurry I cook them all in the microwave, though roasting them in the oven or steaming them on the stovetop would be equally effective!)

In a large bowl, use a potato-masher to mash the cooked carrots and sweet potato together until they are as pureed as possible

After it has cooled, transfer the puree into a blender (or your preferred blending appliance) and puree until totally smooth

Add the vegetable broth into the blender and blend again until it’s evenly mixed

Transfer the mix into a pot and heat back up on a low setting

Stir in the olive oil, cinnamon, pepper, and cumin

Taste test, add in your preferred extra spices if desired, and voila!