Tag Archives: vegan

Garlic White Beans with Thyme

One of my favorite chain restaurants to frequent is Zoe’s Kitchen.  I love that there’s something for my hubby, my son, and me!  (My other two sons cannot eat at restaurants–ARG!)

It’s light and fresh–and one of my favorite side dishes there (that is Vegan friendly for me) is a side of white beans.  So filling, inexpensive, and full of flavor.

I figured it might save a little money to make a recipe similar to the one I dig, and I really love the result.


They truly are easy to make AND are also easy on the budget.

I love using thyme in this recipe because it reminds me of pot pie and the beginning of fall soup season.

You could serve these beans as a side dish or as more of a main course over rice and with a Caesar Salad!

Enjoy 🙂

Garlic White Beans with Thyme
  • two cans Great Northern beans, drained
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ cup veggie broth
  • ¼-1/2 t sea salt
  • 1 t dried thyme
  • dash pepper
  1. Heat oil in saucepan over medium heat
  2. Add garlic and sauté 1-2 minutes
  3. Add beans and stir for 2 minutes or so or until sticking to pan.
  4. Add veggie broth and spices. Stir to combine.
  5. Cook until heated through.
  6. To reheat, add a little more veggie broth to the beans so they aren't dry.
  7. Enjoy!


Southwest Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes

Y’all know some of the best recipes come from mix-maxed pantry items and a desire to save money.

This recipe was JUST THAT.


I fed the kids and the dishes were done (a miracle!) so I had a few extra minutes to make a quick, yet tasty meal for myself.  These days, my food routine has been ROUGH.  While we’re living in Nashville, I’m by myself doing all the housework, cooking, etc since my hubby hasn’t joined us here yet.

Usually, I’ll get everything done and be too tired to make anything extravagant for myself, so I settle for a salad or pre-made soups from Whole Foods.  It’s not ideal–mainly because I LOVE CREATING IN THE KITCHEN.  But this is my season.  Whew.

Maybe I’m happy today because it felt like fall walking to the bus stop, or maybe it’s because I eating leftovers that I made myself (yes, this makes me happy). Either way, I’ll take it!

So here it is.  An interesting taste of sweet, salty, and crunchy.  My favorite palate!

*This recipe serves 2. Doubling it would be easy to feed a larger family or guests.

* This is a main entree for me because it is so filling and packed full of protein, but I would also serve this with a side salad to make it complete.

*This is the brand of tomatoes & chilis I use, but Rotel would work just fine too.

Southwest Twice Baked Potatoes
  • 1 large/extra large sweet potato
  • ½ cup cooked black beans
  • ½ cup frozen corn
  • ½ cup canned tomatoes with green chilis (Rotel)
  • 2 T nutritional yeast
  • 2 T tahini
  • 1 T lemon juice
  • 2 T almond milk
  • ½ t garlic powder
  • ¼ t sea salt
Cashew Sour Cream:
  • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked at least two hours
  • ¾ cup water
  • juice of one lemon
  • 1 t apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ t sea salt
  • ¼ cup raw pepita seeds (raw pumpkin seeds)
  • ½ t oil
  • sea salt, to taste
Other Suggested Toppings:
  • sliced avocado
  • green onions
  1. Before you start cooking, make sure to soak the cashews or you can forego the cashew sour cream and have your favorite sour cream on hand.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  3. Bake large sweet potato until soft and a knife can slide in easily. (about one hour)
  4. While the potato is cooking, combine filling ingredients and set aside.
  5. Combine sauce ingredients and set aside.
  6. Put all cashew sour cream ingredients in blender and blend until smooth.
  7. During the last few minutes of baking the potato, bake the pepita seed topping until seeds turn slightly brown and fragrant, about 4-5 minutes.
  8. Take sweet potato out of oven and slice in half.
  9. Scoop out all of the flesh and place in medium bowl.
  10. Smash sweet potato with a fork, then stir in the sauce ingredients until creamy.
  11. Add in the filling ingredients and stir until combined.
  12. Fill the sweet potato halves back up with the mixture and bake 10 more minutes.
  13. Top with cashew sour cream, avocado, toasted pepita seeds or any other desired toppings.


A Few of My Favorite Things

I’ve been meaning to write this post for a while, but maybe you can relate to the crazy, busy life that is associated with the end of school. This is our first year living in GA, and us Georgians get out of school in May. This blows my mind! As a SC native, school has ALWAYS ended in June. Growing up, it was so perfect for this June 2nd birthday of mine.

We’ve been working hard to balance two full time working parents, normal life, fun things, travel, food, the stupid disease, hospitals, interviews, and more.

Today, I have no advice for living. Actually, it’s Mother’s Day, and I’ve locked myself in my bedroom. I WILL WRITE A BLOG POST TODAY. Right?

My sweet hubby is in the kitchen making me an amazing Mother’s Day breakfast (I requested these pancakes and almond cheese grits), my kids are cleaning (ahhh), and I’m sipping on my favorite morning hot tea.

This is a list of things that are making my world go round as of late, and I wanted to share! I can’t even type the title without pretending for just a moment that I’m Julie Andrews. You know, after the bad news we got about our children’s current medical treatment, it sure does feel like the dog has bitten and the bee has stung.  And oddly enough, this list of things truly does make me feel better. Since I know that there won’t be any “snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes” any time soon, I’m gonna settle for red wine and pickles.  With me?

Because I’m plant-based, you’ll see lots of veggie and dairy-free products. If you’re plant-based too, you should be excited!!! If you’re not, my goal is always to introduce you to new things–to broaden your horizon just a bit.

I get all of these products at our three favorite grocery stores around: Kroger, Earthfare, and Whole Foods. If your health food store doesn’t have them, you can always ask the store to order the product for you and they will! Or you can purchase on the respective websites, Amazon, or an online grocery store like Thrive Market.

I’d love to know if any of you have tried these products–or if you’re excited to learn about any of these!

1. French Vanilla Coconut Creamer

coconut creamer


I don’t drink coffee, so I don’t know what this tastes like in coffee, but I’ve been loving it as the base of Tropical Coconut Ice Cream for a special summertime treat.  It’s so, so, so, so good.

2. Coconut Bacon

coconut bacon 2

This stuff is addicting. Like in the worst way. I’ve been sprinkling these coconut bacon bits on everything from salads to baked potatoes.  Can’t. Stop. 🙂

3. Kite Hill Almond Cheese


This cream cheese like spread is made with almonds and has been a lifesaver for one of my kids who can eat almonds.  It’s become a favorite of mine as well, and I use it on almost everything. I’ll put a dollop in soups, spaghetti sauce, and grits to add a creamy, cheesy-like flavor.  There are also versions with herbs that are great on crackers!

4. Paromi Chamomile Lavender Tea

lavender tea

I never have taken medicine to help me fall asleep.  Sometimes that’s a curse because my mind will race for hours.  But I have found a product that genuinely helps me fall asleep like I’ve taken medicine.  I have no idea if it works like this on anyone else, but this Chamomile Lavender Tea has been amazing.  It has the BEST smell, soothes my crazy soul, and calms me down enough to fall asleep quickly.

5. Chao Cheese


There hasn’t been ONE processed vegan cheese I have liked until I discovered Field Roast’s Chao Cheese.  I don’t really love it on everything, but when I make a grilled cheese (my favorite combo is Just Mayo on Ezekiel bread with Chao Cheese) I’m telling you I can’t tell it’s not cheese.  I don’t miss much about real meat and cheese except maybe a good grilled cheese and a bowl of tomato soup, so this “cheese” has been a game changer for me!

6. Organic Zucchini Noodles

zucchini noodles

I love making zucchini noodles for fun, but my spirializer is somewhere in my storage unit.  I bought these the other day at Whole Foods and was surprised at how firm they were, despite being packaged.  I love that they are organic and easy!  You can eat them raw or steam them a little if you prefer. You can top with spaghetti sauce, or make any kind of sauce to go on top.  They are a great alternative if you want more veggies in your life or are gluten free!

7. Garlic Dill Pickle Sauerkraut


We all know that we are supposed to be protecting that good bacteria in our guts, but it’s not easy to keep up with what we are actually supposed to do!  I do not take probiotics daily (I take them if I’m sick), but I do eat things like sauerkraut or yogurt to keep that bacteria alive. Sauerkraut really isn’t as weird as once thought it was.  It’s just fermented cabbage.  And THIS one? Oh my! It tastes EXACTLY like pickles and makes it easy to incorporate into your life.  You can throw on hot dogs/veggie dogs, sandwiches, chicken/tuna/mock salads, or just enjoy a small bowl of it.  It’s another one of those addicting products!

8. Field Roast Products


These vegetarian products are made by the same company as the Chao Cheese, and they truly have changed my life.  For whatever reason, Whole Foods stopped carrying the Frankfurters, so I definitely need to check on that because they are hands down the best veggie products around.  In all honesty, it isn’t worth spending money on any other veggie products. They are grain and vegetable based (so they won’t work if you’re strictly gluten free) and are packed with spices.  My husband is a meat lover, but he adores these products as well and will even sometimes choose these veggies dogs over regular.  I’ve made the Celebration Roast for holidays to keep it simple and it is amazing topped with homemade cranberry sauce!  These products are definitely something to try!

9. Frey Wine


It’s so sad, but not all wine is created equally.  I haven’t done much research on it, but I do know that not all wine is vegan/vegetarian.  Even if I ate meat, I don’t think I would want fish guts or gelatin remnants in my wine.  When buying wine, I pretty much stick to Frey because I trust them, and because it happens to be the tastiest wine for my little taste buds.  My favorite is the regular red blend from Whole Foods for $10.  Yes, it might be a little pricier than a cheap bottle of wine, but I will gladly pay an extra $3-$5 to ensure that I’m getting organic, sulfite-free wine!

10. Yerbe Matte Tea

yerbe mate

Yerba Mate tea has changed my life, y’all. If you know me well, you know that I just don’t like coffee. But there are days that I NEED caffeine.  I’m not one of those people who likes to take pills to sleep and caffeine to wake up. I much rather prefer to develop a lifestyle that helps me do both.  For me, that means de-stressing my life, prioritizing, and living a life of purpose and passion.  I try to use natural ways to sleep (like the Chamomile tea and nighttime Essential Oils in my diffuser) and natural ways to wake like getting enough hours of sleep (which helps me wake up), spending time in my Bible in the morning, or a morning stretch/simple yoga session.  I enjoy Yerbe Mate tea because it has natural caffeine from plants.  On really crazy days, I drink the cold version in a can, which has some sugar, but goodness gracious it amps me up to get through the hard times.

I hope you enjoyed this post, and I’d love to hear what you think after you try some of these products!

Coconut Bacon

I know this post might be a bit tough for some of you, my friends.

Cause we’re talkin’ about bacon.

I promise I’m not gonna get into how bad it is for us, I’m really not.  It’s a personal choice, in my opinion.

I’m also not here to argue over how good bacon tastes. Remember, I’ve only been a vegan for two years.  I REMEMBER how good bacon tastes.

But I do know that some people can’t or don’t eat bacon, or truly want healthier options.

There is something amazing about this coconut bacon thing. Drool.

Coconut Bacon

It has a crunchy texture and a smoky flavor and really tastes about as close to bacon as it gets.  These little bites are more like bacon “bits,” but to me they taste a million times better than the bagged bits.

coconut bacon 2

I love to eat coconut bacon on salads, in wraps, with mixed nuts, or on a “loaded” baked potato!  The possibilities truly are endless.

coconut bacon 3

Someone make this pronto, and let me know what you think!

*I find large flaked coconut at a health food store like Whole Foods Market or Earthfare or on Amazon if you don’t have access to those stores!

Coconut Bacon
  • 1 cup large coconut flakes
  • 2 T organic soy sauce (or Tamari if gluten free)
  • 1 T maple syrup
  • ½ t liquid smoke
  • ¼ t smoked paprika
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a pan with parchment paper.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and stir gently with a spatula.
  3. Spread evenly on pan.
  4. Bake for 6 minutes.
  5. Take out of oven and stir.
  6. Bake for 6 more minutes.
  7. Use your discretion here to see if it needs more time. It should be golden, but not black. Be very careful, as 30 seconds can make a big difference.
  8. Let cool completely (they harden as they cool).
  9. Store in freezer safe dish or bag in the freezer.


Tropical Coconut Ice Cream

It’s the last night of Spring Break here in Georgia, and the Masters Golf Tournament, which is less than one mile from our apartment, has just finished.

I ate too much food and drank too many Azaleas this week. Tomorrow I will definitely make sure to eat a little more “green.”

But tonight, it was one last hoorah for me.  A big plate of homemade french fries and my new favorite summer-y ice cream.

This is a recipe that my cousin made for me every night I was staying at her home in Nashville last time I was there.  It’s so good that I knew I had to share it.  It’s perfect for anyone who wants to escape to the island (especially a dairy free one)!

Tropical Coconut Ice Cream

For the base, you’ll need So Delicious brand French Vanilla Coffee Creamer because it’s thicker than milk.  You can find this at any health food store and also in the organic section at stores like Kroger.  Try some in your coffee, and then make this for dessert.


Tropical Coconut Ice Cream
  • 1 cup So Delicious French Vanilla Coconut Coffee Creamer
  • ½-1 frozen banana
  • 1 cup frozen tropical fruit blend (mine was strawberries, pineapple, mango)
  1. Pour the creamer in your blender.
  2. Add frozen fruit.
  3. Blend until smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides when necessary. Be patient rather than adding more liquid or it will not have ice cream consistency.