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!

Roasted Brussels Sprout Pasta

If you’re a fan of crispy roasted brussels sprouts, you’ll love this super easy pasta dish!  It can function as either a side or main meal depending on what you’re serving.  You can use any type of pasta that you prefer.  I’ve personally utilized everything from traditional Italian wheat pastas to legume and lentil pastas (which are great for a gluten free and protein-packed alternative).

Speaking of protein, if you’re looking to add in a little extra, the addition of a chopped sausage (either traditional meat or veggie-based) would be a delicious option.

If you’d like to prepare the dish for a group, simply multiply these single serving measurements by the amount of diners.  For optimal taste and texture, it’s best to eat this one right away while the brussels sprouts are still warm and crispy from the oven!

Servings: 1

Ingredients:

FOR THE BRUSSELS SPROUTS

1 Pound Brussels Sprouts

1-2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil (enough to thoroughly coat)

Sea Salt (to taste)

Black Pepper (to taste)

FOR THE PASTA

1 & 1/3 Cups Pasta Of Choice (dry)

1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Sea Salt (to taste)

Black Pepper (to taste, generous amount recommended)

TO SERVE

Finely Grated Parmesan Cheese

Directions:

FOR THE BRUSSELS SPROUTS

Preheat the oven to 400°

Cut the bottoms/tips off of the sprouts and peel off the outer layer

Cut each sprout in half (smaller ones can be left whole)

Toss in a bowl with the olive oil, salt, and pepper

Spread evenly on a baking sheet

Cook for about 35 minutes (stirring/flipping halfway) or until the outside is brown and crispy

FOR THE PASTA

Based on the cooking time for your pasta of choice, prepare it according to the package instructions timed to finish around when the sprouts will be coming out of the oven

Once cooked and drained, add pasta to serving bowl

Coat lightly with the olive oil

Season with salt and pepper to taste

TO SERVE

Mix the roasted brussels sprouts into the pasta

Add additional salt and pepper if needed after taste testing

Add parmesan cheese to taste when serving

Enjoy!

Baked Broccoli Mac & Cheese

If you’re looking to transform mac and cheese from a simple weeknight meal into a restaurant order copycat, I have the secret: A crispy breadcrumb topping!  It makes all the difference!

This pasta bake is quick and easy with only simple ingredients needed.  It’s also quite customizable.  Should you have a preference to use a different type of cheese or vegetable, it can be made entirely your own.

That being said, I highly recommend this particular combination!  The broccoli is very complimentary in both taste and texture, and there’s just the right amount of subtle kick from the pepper jack that really ties all of the flavors together.

The contrast of the crispy cheese and breadcrumb topping paired with the saucy pasta center makes this meal perfect to serve hot from the oven, but in a smaller household it can easily be stored as leftovers for readymade meals or sides in the days to follow.  This recipe makes 6 servings, and whether you’re feeding a group or meal prepping for yourself, it’s designed to make the cooking as easy as possible. (Cue the cheese slices in lieu of shredding!)

Servings: 6

Ingredients:

3 Cups Elbow Pasta (dry)

4 Tbsp Unsalted Butter

1/4 Cup White Whole Wheat Flour (or flour of choice)

1 Tsp Sea Salt

Black Pepper (about 10 total rotations from the grinder)

1/4 Tsp Cayenne Pepper

1 1/4 Cups Oat Milk

1 3/4 Cups Vegetable Broth

8 Slices Mild Cheddar Cheese

5 Cups Broccoli (measured while frozen/raw)

1/4 Tsp Paprika

2 Slices Muenster Cheese

2 Slices Pepper Jack Cheese

1/2 Cup Panko Bread Crumbs

Directions:

STEP 1

PREP

Preheat the oven to 350°

Grease a 9 x13 inch baking dish

Cook the broccoli (I microwaved from frozen), cut into small pieces, and set aside

STEP 2

COOK THE PASTA

Prepare the elbow pasta according to the package instructions.  Be sure to rinse it with cold water once drained

STEP 3

CREATE THE SAUCE

While the pasta is cooking, in a wok/vessel of similar size, melt the butter

Stir the flour into the melted butter until evenly combined

Stir in the sea salt, half of the black pepper (about 5 rotations from the grinder), and the cayenne

Add in the oat milk and vegetable broth, cooking and stirring on medium heat until well blended

Melt in the 8 slices of cheddar, stirring until smooth

STEP 4

COMBINE THE FILLING ELEMENTS

Add the cooked pasta into the sauce

Add in the cooked broccoli pieces

Add in the other half of the black pepper (5 rotations from the grinder) and the paprika

Transfer into the greased baking dish

STEP 5

CREATE THE TOPPING

Tear the 2 muenster slices and the 2 pepper jack slices into small pieces, and evenly disperse over the top of the pasta

To follow, top with the bread crumbs

STEP 6

BAKE

Bake for around 17 minutes

To brown and crisp the top, broil for an additional 2 and 1/2 minutes.  Rotate the pan, then broil a second time for 1 and 1/2 – 2 minutes (or until lightly browned)

Remove from the oven and let cool slightly

If desired, an additional sprinkle of salt can be added when serving

Enjoy!

[Leftovers can easily be stored in the refrigerator by simply covering up the cooking dish and storing it in there as is.]

Ingredient recommendations linked!

Pumpkin Mushroom Pasta

This pumpkin pasta is the perfect way to enjoy your favorite autumn flavors year-round and can easily be whipped up on a busy weeknight.  It can function as a vegetarian main course or as a side dish.  I used a traditional Italian durum wheat pasta, but feel free to use whatever type you like if you are gluten free or have other preferences! 

Ingredients:

16 oz Baby Bella Mushrooms

1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 Tbsp Unsalted Butter

3/4 Cup Half and Half

3/4 Tsp Sea Salt

Black Pepper (about 10 rotations from the grinder)

1/4 Tsp Garlic Powder

1 Pinch Ground Nutmeg

1 15 oz Can Pumpkin Puree

1 Tsp Saigon Cinnamon

1.5 Tsps Light Brown Sugar

7 Tsps Finely Chopped Fresh Sage

13 oz Pasta Of Choice

Additional sea salt and black pepper for topping/serving 

Directions:

In a medium to large-sized pan, add the extra virgin olive oil and mushrooms

Cook the mushrooms on medium heat until thoroughly tender and brown

Set the mushrooms aside

In a wok, or vessel of similar size, turn the heat to a low-medium setting and melt the butter

Add in the half and half and stir until well blended

Stir in the sea salt, black pepper, garlic powder, and nutmeg

Turn the heat down to low

Stir in the pumpkin puree

Add in the saigon cinnamon and brown sugar

Mix in the cooked mushrooms

Add in the sage

Prepare your pasta

Add the cooked pasta into the wok and mix evenly in the sauce

Add additional sea salt and black pepper liberally (to taste) when serving

Enjoy!

[Leftovers can be stored sealed in the refrigerator. This recipe makes approximately 3 servings.]

Ingredient recommendations linked!

Oven Roasted Brussels Sprouts

If you’ve never been a Brussels sprouts fan, these will convert you!  When they’re crispy, crunchy, and salty it’s very hard not to eat the whole batch at once.  They’re such a versatile side dish, and so easy to whip up when you’re short on time.  They’re also always a crowd pleaser at holiday gatherings, and taste best when they’re fresh from the oven!

Ingredients:

Brussels Sprouts

Extra Virgin Olive Oil (roughly 2 tablespoons per 16 ounces of spouts)

Sea Salt

Black Pepper

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400°

Cut the bottoms/tips off of the sprouts and peel off the outer layer

Cut each sprout in half (smaller ones can be left whole)

Toss in a bowl with extra virgin olive oil, sea salt, and black pepper

Spread evenly on a baking sheet

Cook for about 35 minutes (stirring/flipping halfway) or until the outside is brown and crispy

Add additional sea salt and black pepper if needed after taste testing

Enjoy!

Oven Roasted Sweet Potato Circles

They’re so basic, so easy, and the perfect nutritious and delicious side to have on hand.  This is a Thanksgiving classic at our house!

Ingredients:

Sweet Potatoes

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Sea Salt

Black Pepper

Directions:

Peel and chop the sweet potatoes into medium-thin slices | You can leave the peel on if you prefer!

Toss with extra virgin olive oil | I do this in a ziplock bag – 1 tablespoon per potato

Bake at 425° for 45-50 minutes | Or until they’re crispy on the outside and soft on the inside – flipping at the halfway point

You can include your sea salt and black pepper either before or after baking

Enjoy!