Tag Archives: vegan

Single Serve Chocolate Banana Ice Cream

Sometimes you need a little single serve soft serve.

In my book, “sometimes” has a definition more like “almost daily.”

You may be like me or you may be the salty type, but I pretty much have to have something sweet after lunch and dinner.  It’s not a bag of Laffy Taffy like year’s past.  It might be a square of dark chocolate or something like this Chocolate Banana Ice Cream.

I don’t live in guilt and shame–I live in freedom when it comes to food.  And I can tell you, there’s nothing to feel guilty about with this dessert.

Chocolate Ice Cream Final

It helps with portion control, but it’s also lightly sweet and satisfying.  You could easily double or triple the recipe if you’re making for friends, but it’s great just like it is so you can have a tiny treat every now and again.

First you’ll need to do two things:

-Have frozen bananas always ready.  Read this to see how!

-Make a batch of my coconut cream.  I love having this handy anyways because It’s great on oatmeal, smoothies, and desserts (or just with strawberries!)

Once you’ve got these two things, you are ready to go!

Single Serve Chocolate Banana Ice Cream
  • 2 frozen bananas, roughly chopped
  • 2 T coconut cream (recipe link in blog post)
  • 1 T raw cacao powder (or cocoa powder)
  • Maple syrup (optional for added sweetness)
optional toppings:
  • cacao nibs
  • dark chocolate
  • more coconut cream
  • fruit
  1. Let the frozen bananas sit on the counter for 5-10 minutes so they aren't rock solid. You don't want them mushy, just not hard like ice
  2. Place bananas, cream, cacao powder in a food processor and blend until creamy. You may have to stop and push the sides down a few times.
  3. TASTE TEST! Taste your mixture and see how you like it. If you need it sweeter, add a drizzle of maple syrup. Make it to your liking!
  4. Place in a small bowl and put in the freezer for 10-20 minutes or until desired consistency.
  5. Top with more coconut cream and fruit and enjoy!


Avocado-Dill Chickpea Salad

Avocado-Dill Chickpea Salad Final


The easiest way to maintain a clean eating lifestyle is to always have good eats in your fridge.  In the spring and summer months, for me, that means having an array of salad choices to pick from.

I love a green salad, but there sure is a benefit to having these pre-made salads ready in your refrigerator–it makes lunches or a quick dinner very simple.

On a typical summer week, I make two salad dressings and a few cold salads–and to make it easy, I pair them a bowl of fruit or some greens–and lunch is done!

This Avocado-Dill Chickpea Salad ranks at the top, along with some of my other favorite recipes:

1) Chilled Quinoa-Cranberry Salad

2) Clean “Tuna” Salad

3) Shredded Brussels Sprouts Salad

I hope you enjoy this light, flavorful salad!

Avocado-Dill Chickpea Salad
  • 2 15 oz cans garbanzo beans (chickpeas)
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 2 t Dijon mustard
  • 1 t coarse ground mustard
  • 1 T Vegenaise (or organic mayo)
  • 1.5 T fresh dill, chopped
  • ¼ cup red onion, diced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Drain and rinse the garbanzo beans and place on a kitchen towel. Fold the towel over the beans and pat the beans dry, using a rolling motion.
  2. When you pull the towel back, you'll see that the skins will be coming off the chickpeas. You can keep rolling the towel to get as many off as you can. You don't have to take the skins off, but it sure does make the salad much better!
  3. Place the skinned chickpeas in a bowl. Using a fork or potato masher, mash the chickpeas, leaving some intact for texture.
  4. In a food processor, blend the avocado, mustards, and mayo together until smooth. Alternatively, you can mix in a bowl with a fork.
  5. Add avocado mixture to chickpeas and stir.
  6. Add dill and red onion and stir to combine.
  7. Add a large sprinkle of salt and a shake of fresh pepper and stir.
  8. Now for the fun part--taste the mixture and adjust if necessary. Sometimes I like more dill, or salt, or even mustard.
  9. Serve with toast, crackers, romaine lettuce, pickles, or fruit.


What I Ate Wednesday 4-1-15

Today (Tuesday) was such a beautiful day in South Carolina.  I’d say that if the air weren’t so yellow, that it’d be the perfect day.  It kind of smelled like the Masters and the weather begged us to stay outside.

But again, enter yellow.  And then coughing and sneezing and nose dripping and junk in your throat.

Anyone else?

I notice that this year has not been as bad for me–and I have no idea why.  It’s twenty million times worse for my oldest son, McCall, so I don’t have a clue what’s wrong with me.  But–I’ll take it!

The lighter days continue to make me crave lighter foods, and it makes me feel light. I’ve spent the last few weeks feeling so great on the inside…and just so, so satisfied.  It’s such an empowering feeling!

I ended up in a rush this morning and didn’t have time to make my warm lemon water, but I drank two glasses of water while I was rushing around.

Part of my breakfast was this smoothie on the go in the car.  I decided to incorporate the in-season fruits we talked about this week, but I used frozen fruit (which is just as good, sometimes better than fresh!).  For this smoothie, I used frozen banana, strawberry, and mango with hemp hearts and coconut water.  It tastes like a tropical island!


When I got to Bible Study, I snacked on two oranges. One of my absolute favorite fruits!


I brought the guilt-free caramel dip with me to bible study, so I had a few bites of that with apples and grapes.  It’s so, so yummy.  And did I mention, guilt-free???


The middle part of the day got crazy with two doctors appointments, picking up kids at different times, and errands to run, so I made sure to pack something that would fill me up until I could get home to make a salad!  I shared these Brazil nuts with my youngest Beckham….He also ate two bananas and some strawberries (I always pack snacks for the car!)


I ended up getting home too late for the kids to nap, so I let them play outside instead of sleep.  Mom of the year over here! 😉

I made this salad for a late lunch:  leaf lettuces, black beans, red onion, tomatoes, corn, and dairy free ranch dressing.

lunch salad

For a mid-afternoon snack, I ate a bowl of watermelon. I know it’s not in season at the moment, but I sure am getting an early taste of summer when I eat it!  It helps on all those rainy days we’ve been having!


I had one of those days that was just frazzled. Usually on those days, I need to create–because that always makes this girl feel better.  I used what I had in my fridge/pantry and came up with this.

dinner bowl

This is roasted asparagus, roasted sweet potatoes, and sauteed kale over quinoa with a Smoked Paprika Tahini Dressing topped with Cashew Parmesan and Sriracha. It was so interestingly beautiful–and I’m so glad I wrote down the steps as I made it, because it’ll be coming to you soon!

I signed up to make desserts for Beckham’s Easter party. It’s really just so I have an excuse to make something chocolate :).

These chocolate covered rice krispy treats are SO EASY TO MAKE!!!! And they aren’t full of nasty ingredients like high fructose corn syrup.  They are kid-friendly and are always a hit when I make them! (Great for gluten, soy, egg, and dairy free friends!)


I ate TWO large pieces!!! 🙂  I just had to make sure the kiddos would like them, right?!

How are you doing incorporating your greens and fruits??? Don’t give up, even if you have a bad day! Enjoy this Wednesday!

Guilt-Free Caramel Dip

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What I love most about switching to a whole foods, real foods lifestyle is that I don’t have to deprive myself of things that I love.  Yeah, they might end up looking a little different, but I don’t live a life of “without.”

In fact, that’s the thing that drives me crazy about people on diets. And it’s why I hate diets.  If I want to eat a cookie, I’m going to eat a cookie. BUT, I take pride in choosing the best cookie I can for my body–by making them with the best ingredients I can and for only eating until satisfied without binging.

That’s why I love this Guilt-Free Caramel Dip.  It’s one of those things that you’ll eat and wonder how it tastes like Caramel.  But it DOES!


Sure, it won’t taste like sugar and oil and corn syrup.  It has a fresh, light, fruity caramel flavor.  The amazing thing is that you can enjoy things that “diets” might consider forbidden.

Ingredients of the popular Marzetti Caramel dip:

Ingredients in this recipe: dates, water/almond milk, vanilla, coconut oil.

Now, I wouldn’t sit down and eat this whole bowl in one sitting.  In fact, it kind of rich, so I don’t need to.  Nonetheless, it’s a wonderful treat that you can feel good about serving your kids or any dinner party.  Plus, it’s naturally dairy free for those that are concerned about that.

I hope you enjoy this like I do!


-Serve with fruit, or on oatmeal, or your favorite ice cream.  If you want it more like a drizzle, you’ll need to add more liquid.

-If you are nut-free, choose the water option for the liquid in the recipe.

-If this isn’t sweet enough for you, try adding a little pure maple syrup.

-You can buy Medjool dates at a health food store.  I buy mine in the bulk section at Whole Foods!

-This dip tastes amazing the second day, so feel free to make this the night before you need an appetizer or dinner party dessert. It will keep in the refrigerator for about 5 days.

Guilt-Free Caramel Dip
  • 1 [packed] cup Medjool dates, pitted and cut in half
  • ⅓ cup unsweetened almond milk or water (if you use water, save the water you soak the dates in and use that)
  • 2 Tablespoons coconut oil, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ¼ t sea salt
  1. Soak the dates for about two hours to get them very soft.
  2. Drain and reserve liquid if you are using water.
  3. Add all ingredients in a food processor or high powered blender and blend until smooth and creamy, adding more liquid if necessary.
  4. You will need to stop and press the sides down with a spatula often.
  5. Adjust taste to your liking.
  6. Chill and serve!


Shells & Cheese

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I wouldn’t have made it through high school & college without Kraft Easy Mac.  Shoot, I wouldn’t have made it through my childhood with regular ole’ Kraft Macaroni and Cheese with ketchup on top (YES!) or Velveeta Shells n’ Cheese.

Between those things and Spaghettios, that was my diet.

I’m always open about my diet previous to eating a whole, real foods lifestyle to show you how far I’ve come. And far each of us can come.

I know that not everyone needs to stay away from dairy and gluten.  But for those that do, mac & cheese is one of those things that we just MISS.

I have made/tried many alternatives, and this happens to be my favorite.  I love Detoxinista’s version, but hers has cashews in it, which can become expensive.  Plus, I love having a nut-free option for those who need it.


If you’ve never tasted Nutritional Yeast before, this might be a little bit of a different taste for your buds.  It’s not nearly as weird as its name sounds (I actually love it!) and you can find it in the organic section of the grocery store.  I prefer to buy mine from the bulk bins at a health food store.  It’s SUPER cheap that way!


Unlike Kraft who uses chemicals and preservatives to create that yellow-y orange look, I use mustard, turmeric, mustard powder, and nutritional yeast to make these shells and cheese a bright yellow.  It’s creamy, it’s flavorful, it’s inexpensive, and it’s a wonderful alternative for those needing to avoid major allergens!

Optional add ins:  Roasted Broccoli or English Peas

Shells & Cheese
  • 2 T non-dairy butter (Earth Balance) or coconut oil
  • 2 T tapioca flour
  • 1.5 cups unsweetened almond milk (or other non-dairy milk for nut free version)
  • ½ cup Nutritional Yeast
  • 2 t Dijon mustard
  • 1 t lemon juice
  • ½ t dry mustard
  • ½ t turmeric
  • ½ t garlic powder
  • ¼ t onion powder
  • 1½ t sea salt
  • 8 oz gluten free shells, cooked according to package directions
  1. Melt butter over medium heat.
  2. Whisk in the tapioca flour and whisk until thick roux forms.
  3. Gradually add in the milk, whisking until all lumps are gone.
  4. Bring to a slow boil.
  5. Remove from heat.
  6. Add in all other ingredients and stir until well combined.
  7. Add the cooked pasta to the pan and gently stir until combined.
  8. Enjoy!