Tag Archives: vegetarian

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.


What I Ate Wednesday 4-22-15

Let me say that I took these pictures on Monday…I was coming off a late night–we got back from Nashville around 10pm, and I woke up to a long list of chores, whiney kids, and no groceries.

In my fruit basket was a mound of nasty looking oranges.  But I had nothing else.  So I used my citrus hand juicer (the one I use for my lemon each day–super easy) and juiced these babies up.  They might have had some nasty skin, but it produced the best OJ I’ve ever had.  Hands down.



My next mission after taking all the kids to school was to grab a few things at the grocery store.  Since we were leaving again for Greenville, SC, I didn’t buy much, especially things that go bad quickly like greens.  The grocery store always stresses me out BUT I love it (anyone else?), so I grabbed a smoothie for breakfast.  Yes, it made me feel better, and I was too lazy to make one on my own. So yeah, I paid $5 for this.  My kind of Starbucks 😉



This smoothie had blueberries, banana, kale, almond butter, and almond milk.  It’s one of my favorites!

When I’m not in my kitchen for a few days, my happy place is to come back and work there…as long as it’s clean!! So coming off my beautiful weekend in Nashville where I was SO inspired, I tried to recreate a wonderful, light dish I had at the supper club I attended.  It isn’t exactly right, but I actually LOVED my own version.  I’ll definitely be posting this recipe soon. This plate had one honey crisp apple, one large grapefruit, and one orange.  I ate the whole plate around noon!


For a late lunch (I’ve been splitting it up lately), I made sweet potato fries and whiskey BBQ ketchup. I know you might be sick of seeing these fries, and I think I’m almost sick of eating them. Almost!  I’ve had a good run with them.


Naptime at its finest.  Music, magazine, food, and quiet.  YES!

It was a crazy night with baseball, and washing clothes, and homework, and life, so I took my Glowing Green Smoothie to the ball field.  I sat amongst the french fries and boiled peanuts.  And yes, people made fun of me.  Yes, I was polite.  I held my ground.  And I said “to each his own” a lot. I used to make excuses.  Now I tell the truth.  That I actually like the stuff.  Nothin’ wrong with that.



Earlier in the day, I made a big bowl of pad thai.  It was actually my first shot making it.  I made it similar to many recipes, but to be honest, I really didn’t like it.  I didn’t want to waste it, so I ate a small bowl of it.  But honestly, it wasn’t good.



It really didn’t satisfy me–and I was in a bad mood- and had no idea what I wanted.  I settled on sprouted Ezekiel bread toast with almond butter and honey.



This is one of those days that didn’t feel glorious.  Partly because I didn’t have a lot to choose from but partly because I was blahhhhhh.  🙂

I figured I’d show Andrew’s dinner–so there’s evidence that I actually do cook meat in this house. Turkey bacon & eggs!!!



So here ya go—-my What I Ate Wednesday when I’m tired, blah, and being a total girl 🙂

Love y’all…

What I Ate Wednesday Post 3-18-15

Y’all.  Little League baseball season has started.  And I thought last year was rough!!

Whew.  7 year olds are grown up.  This is the first year they play with rules…and the first year they need a catcher…and guess who it is??? I’m so excited for McCall to start a new position.  He takes pride in working hard and being the best he can.


These spring days at the ball field remind me of my childhood, and my high school years chasin’ after this boy named Andrew Hydrick 😉

I love being a mom to boys. I truly do!

Speaking of boys–we have an extra 7 year old living with us for 10 days because his mama is out of the country.  Good thing they’re on the same baseball team!!!!

But let me tell you, I honestly, honestly need TONS of fuel to stay on top of the schedules and everything that comes with four boys in a house! The way I used to do that was with candy, and energy drinks, and diet coke, and sugar….That left me shaky and faint and with energy that roller coastered up and down.

That’s why you’ll see lots of photos coming up of fruits and veggies.  Y’all know I’ve been a vegan for a while, but I’m taking it up a notch with adding more raw meals, and eating a big plate of cooked food at night.  I’m not one of those vegans that thinks everyone should be.  I gladly cook bacon, and chicken, and turkey for my family.  For me, it truly is a personal choice, and where my body gets the most fuel and energy. I have spent years trying to figure it out–learning to change with the changes in my life.

If you are not a vegetarian, you could easily add a piece of grilled chicken or fish to some of these meals.  I do think, however, that whatever diet lifestyle you choose, that any time you can get more fruits and veggies in your diet, the better off you will be!

First thing in the morning I had a big mason jar of lemon infused water (and kept refilling it during the day–I ended up drinking 3 of the big jars’ worth). Then, as I drove the boys to school, I ate this apple and almond butter.


On Tuesdays I have bible study, so this was my snack.  It was a whole 16 oz carton of organic strawberries sprinkled with coconut palm sugar.


After bible study, I had planned to eat 2 bananas, but Beckham wanted one so I shared with him 🙂


I had one of those days where I literally had no time to breathe.  I didn’t have time to make myself a lunch, so while I was at Humanitree House picking up my weekly juices, I grabbed this smoothie and kale salad.  The smoothie was strawberries, blueberries, cacao powder, bee pollen (I still eat this as a vegan for allergy purposes!), and almond milk.


Once I got the kids settled and in bed for naps, I enjoyed an episode of Drop Dead Diva (don’t judge 🙂 ) and my kale salad.  It was my ONLY breather moment of the day!

kale salad

Next it was off to one of FIVE baseball practices this week.  I snacked on these in the car.  I LOVE these dehydrated onions.  Onions happen to be one of my favorite vegetables anyways, but these taste like the healthier version of Funyuns.  You know what I’m talkin’ about–everyone’s favorite gas station splurge.  These are great as a snack or for a crunch on a salad!  Locally, I find them at Earth Fare, but you can also order them on Amazon.

onion rings

While my husband helped coach baseball practice, I took the two babies to the playground.  I rested on the bench with my St. Patty’s Day treat.  This juice is green, but it really does taste like lemonade.  It’s so refreshing!

green juice

Then it was home to fix a million dinners, do a million bedtimes, homework, brush teeth. Craziness.  It’s all craziness!!!  I managed to roast a sweet potato and a piece of corn (I just wrapped the corn in foil and added some coconut oil & spices) while all that was going on–and then added some leftovers to the plate (Shells n’ Cheese & Roasted Broccoli).


Eating like this has satisfied my palate in a way I’ve never experienced.  I don’t crave chocolate or sugar or candy or sweet tea at all.  I feel light, and full, and thankful.

Don’t forget about this week’s citrus infused water challenge….how are you doing??

I hope you enjoyed my post.  I say this every week, but these are my favorite posts I do.  Enjoy 🙂

Shells & Cheese

Set Image

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!