After Easter feast, my body needed to cleanse. A raw vegan diet is the best way for me to get rid of all the pies and cakes I indulged in and not to mention, my mac and cheese that’s made with six cheeses.
But a girl still needs a little something sweet in her life. My Carrot Cake Bites does the trick every-time. Now on my blog I do have this recipe, but the bites are shaped into balls. To make them square bites, you will need to pour the mixture into a square pan and gently smooth out, you want the bites to be about 1 -1 1/2 inches thick. Put them in the fridge for one hour or over night to firm up, cut them out into squares, top each one with dried coconut and Enjoy. These go well with a cup of cinnamon tea. Remember to always Set the Table with Love. 💕💕💕💕
1 cup gluten free rolled oats
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 shredded unsweetened coconut, set aside 2 tbsp for garnish
3/4 cup dried raisins
1 cup grated carrots, peeled
1 tsp maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg
¼ tsp cloves
¼ cup water or more if needed
Blend oats, sunflower seeds, 1/2 cup coconut in vitamix (food processor should work too) until you get a fine consistency like flour.
Add in dried raisins, pulse a few times to break them up then add carrots, maple syrup, vanilla and spices.
Slowly add in water. You looking for a consistency of nice slightly wet cookie dough,
4. Pour the mixture into a square pan and gently smooth out, you want the bites to be about 1 – 11/2 inches thick. Put them in the fridge for one hour or over night to firm up, cut them out into squares, top each one with dried shredded coconut
As I promised here is another healthy Easter side dish you can prepare super fast, but fast doesn’t mean you are skimping on flavor. Yes, I love how the shaved parmesan pulls this dish together. Enjoy and Always Set the Table with Love. 💕
TIP: The vinaigrette will last for a week in he fridge. Put it in an air tight container.
Ground Mustard Champagne Vinaigrette
• 1/3 cup Champagne vinegar
• 2 tsp ground mustard
• 1 lemon, juiced
• 1 small shallot, finely diced
• 1 tsp honey
• 1/4 tsp salt
• 1/4 tsp pepper
• 1/2 cup olive oil
Add all of the ingredients except the olive oil to a mixing bowl and whisk together. Slowly add the olive oil and whisk vigorously until the dressing is combined.
Drizzle over the asparagus, right before serving or toss the asparagus in the dressing top with shaved parmesan (optional)
• 1 bushel of asparagus or more based on how many you are serving.
• Salt and pepper to taste
1 Heat blanching water: Fill a medium saucepan halfway with lightly salted water. Bring to a boil.
2 Prep the asparagus: While the water is heating, prepare the asparagus. Rinse them thoroughly; break off any tough, white bottoms and discard.
Cut the spears into 1 to 2 inch sections, slicing the asparagus at a slight diagonal.
3 Blanch the asparagus: Add the asparagus to the boiling water and lower the heat slightly to maintain a simmer. Parboil the asparagus for exactly 2 minutes. Drain the hot water.
4 While the asparagus are still hot, toss them in a bowl with a generous amount of the Ground Mustard Champagne Vinaigrette or plate the asparagus on a pretty platter and drizzle the vinaigrette over it and shave parmesan over top.
Salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm or room temperature.
Easter is in a week and everyone is getting their menus ready. The typical Easter dishes usually includes, of course a Baked Ham with Brown Sugar , Classic Deviled Eggs, Macaroni and Cheese and perhaps Scallop Potatoes. Just listing all of that makes me hungry. I love these dishes and I will definitely be making my Four Cheese Macaroni and Cheese, but I do enjoy a few lighter side dishes. One of my favorites and it’s super easy, is my Roasted Parmesan Brussels Sprouts. They are crispy on the outside from the parmesan and nice and soft on the inside. I get it, not everyone is a brussels sprout fan, but throw some cheese on something and honey they will eat it. All kidding aside these are pretty good and they are super easy.
If you are the one that is preparing Easter dinner, my advice, do not make every dish super complicated. I leave that to about two or three dishes and the rest is delicious and easy side dishes. Entertaining is all about spending time with the ones you love and sharing lots of laughs and memories, over family favorites.
For this recipe, I add a balsamic glaze sometimes with beautiful green basil leaves to give it some freshness. It’s Spring after all and herbs are an excellent way to add more flavor and brightness.
Oh yeah! Do not forget to Set the Table with Love. Enjoy!
1 1/2 lbs brussel sprouts (trimmed & halved)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
balsamic glaze (optional)
basil leaves for garnish
Heat oven to 425 degrees. Add parchment paper to a cookie sheet.
In a bowl, combine the trimmed and halved brussels sprouts with the remaining ingredients. Toss together to coat all the brussels sprouts.
Lay the brussels sprouts onto the cookie sheet, separate them, so they do not touch. This will help them bake and steam.
Add a little more parmesan cheese on top of each one, to help created a crust.
Cook 16-18 minutes. Serve Immediately or add balsamic glaze and basil as a garnish.
So in the state of Georgia we all felt last week that Springtime was coming a little early, that wasn’t the case, of course. But that doesn’t mean a girl didn’t get inspired by the warm days to whip up something little and refreshing.
This is one of my favorite spring/summertime pastas to make. Don’t get intimidated, it’s a pretty simple pasta recipe. I found this one on Martha Stewart’s website, it is wonderful with my roasted tomatoes. The mint and lemon zest, just says summertime in your mouth.
The great thing about making this pasta is you can use your imagination to create other version of it. I love to add chickpeas, sautéed kale or spinach to the recipe with a little bit of parmesan cheese and red pepper flakes. Let your imagination go wild and while you are at remember to Set the Table with Love. 💕
2 cups semolina flour, plus more for baking sheet
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1 cup water, divided, plus more if needed
1. Mound semolina and all-purpose flours and salt in 3 separate piles on a large, clean work surface.
2. Using your fingers, swirl ingredients together until combined.
3. Gather flour mixture into a pile, and create a well in center. Pour 1/2 cup water into well.
4. Gradually incorporate flour mixture into water using your fingers.
5. Once all the water is absorbed, continue adding water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until mixture begins to form a dough.
6. Start to gather and knead dough, working it until no dry flour remains on work surface.
7. Continue to knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes.
8. Divide dough into 16 equal portions, and cover them with a clean, damp kitchen towel.
9. Roll 1 portion of dough into an 18-inch-long rope.
10. Use a knife to cut and drag a 1/3-inch piece of dough from end of rope facing you — a grainy wooden cutting board helps grip the dough.
11. Holding knife at a 45-degree angle to work surface, press and roll dough toward you.
12. Unfurl each piece of dough over your thumb in the opposite direction to form a concave shape, and transfer to a rimmed baking sheet lightly sprinkled with semolina flour. Repeat with remaining dough. Orecchiette can be stored at room temperature in a single layer overnight; cover with a clean kitchen towel or plastic wrap.
Roasted Cherry Tomatoes
4 pints cherry tomatoes
Good olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup Parmesan cheese
12 -15 mint leaves
Extra virgin olive oil to drizzle at the end
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Toss the tomatoes lightly with olive oil on a sheet pan. Spread them out into one layer and sprinkle generously with kosher salt and pepper. Roast for 15 to 20 minutes, until the tomatoes are soft.
3. Transfer the tomatoes to a serving bowl and sprinkle with sea salt. Add in a little pasta water to help make a sauce, then add in drained pasta, lots of parmesan cheese, olive oil, mint leaves and lemon zest and gently toss. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
This is simple and super easy! But here’s the twist. You eat this soup for breakfast!! What?!! Yes, breakfast. Soup for breakfast has incredible health benefits.
Having soup in the am helps with better digestion and elimination. When we are cleansed from the inside , we have more energy and our immune system is able to function better. This will help us ward off all those yuckies that our kids lovingly bring home to us.
Here’s a few benefits:
1. They are quick and easy, especially when you are in a hurry. Pour it in a Yeti thermal and go.
2. They are loaded with lots of nutrients,. A super easy way to get what you need all at once.
3. They help with digestion, because of the high fiber content and the liquid from the broths, which also helps with elimination.
4. The options are endless. You will never get bored with soup.
5. You feel fuller longer, because they are nutritionally dense.
So, why not?
Here’s my go to:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon ginger, powder
1/2 cup onions, peeled and chopped
1 teaspoon ginger, peeled and chopped
1 large garlic clove, peeled and chopped
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional
2 sprigs of thyme, remove leaves to use in the soup
Sea salt and black pepper to taste
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 large zucchini, chopped
1 large yellow squash, chopped
1 1/2 cup cauliflower florets
1 /2 cup red bell pepper, chopped
1 cup kale, finely chopped, fresh or frozen
32 fl oz. Vegetable or Chicken Broth
In a medium pot or Dutch oven add the olive oil over medium heat. Next add all your spices, stir and cook the spices for 15 seconds. Add the aromatics and sea salt and pepper, ginger, garlic, onions, red pepper flakes and thyme leaves , stir and cook for 1 minutes. Add the vegetables except the kale, Stir and cook for 5 -7 minutes, until the pot starts to get brown pieces at the bottom. Add the broth, stir and taste. Adjust seasonings, add more of the previous seasoning, to taste , plus add more salt or pepper, if needed. Turn up the heat and bring everything to a boil. Then turn the heat down to medium and allow to cook for 20 minutes, until the carrots and cauliflower are soft, but still has some crunch. Add chopped kale and cook for another 3-5 minutes. Serve immediately.
I adore beets. They are loaded with lots fiber, vitamin C and they help with inflammation in the body, which mean they are good for you, but they also taste amazing. I love to add beets to my salads, smoothies, and they are awesome sautéed, roasted or just raw.
Today I was craving a salad, but not the lettuce type. I looked in my fridge and remembered, I bought diced beets already marinated from my favorite beet company, Love Beets ! They made this salad easy to make, because everything is seasoned and ready to assemble. I just had to slice the red beets.
I wanted this to look a bit fancy, so I used one of my metal rounds to assemble the dish, but you can easily, slice your beets, top with the pesto and drizzle some of your orange vinaigrette on top and toss. However you decide to do it, just remember to Set the Table with Love.
1 pack of Love Beets diced marinated golden beets
1 pack of Love Beets marinated red beets thinly sliced
For the Parsley walnut pesto:
1 cup shelled walnuts, about 3 1/2 ounces
2 cups chopped parsley, about 1 bunch
1/2 cup grated pecorino or parmesan cheese or if vegan nutritional yeast
3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup olive oil
1. Put the walnuts, parsley, cheese, garlic, and salt in a food processor and pulse for a few seconds to combine. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then pulse again.
2. Drizzle in the olive oil while the machine is running just long enough to incorporate the oil, about 20-30 seconds.
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon-style prepared mustard
2 teaspoons honey
1/8 teaspoon cracked black pepper
Pinch of salt
In a small jar with a tight-fitting cover, combine the orange juice, vinegar, mustard, honey and pepper. Cover and shake well until combined. To store, refrigerate for up to 1 week. Shake well before serving.
Place your metal round on a pretty plate. Inside the round, layer the thinly sliced red beets, then top with the diced beets, stacking them on top of the red beets slices, until you have no space left. Add some pesto, then start the process over, until you end with a layer of pesto on top of the golden beets. Place on fridge to set for 30 minutes. Gently remove the metal round and drizzle with the vinaigrette and serve immediately. 💕
Here’s the recipe, running out for an event, but wanted to share this with you guys. Always Set the Table with Love.
• 1 large cauliflower, cut into florets
• 2/3 cup water
• 1/3 cup cornstarch, plus 1 teaspoon
• 1/3 cup flour
• 3 tablespoons coconut oil
• 4 cloves garlic, minced
• 1/4 cup onions, minced
•. 1 teaspoon ginger, minced
• 1 large orange, zest only
• 1/4 cup orange juice, from zested orange
• 2 tablespoons soy sauce
• 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
• 2 teaspoon sweet chili sauce
• 1 teaspoon brown sugar
• vegetable oil for frying
1 In a bowl, whisk together the water, 1/3 cup of corn starch, the flour, and 1 tablespoon of the oil. Set aside.
2 In a sauce pan, over medium heat, combine the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil, minced garlic, ginger and onions, orange zest and juice, soy sauce, sweet chili sauce, brown sugar, and vinegar. Bring to a slight boil.
3 Stir 1 tablespoon of cornstarch into 1 tablespoon of water until dissolved. Whisk into the sauce and reduce heat to a very lower simmer.
4 Next, heat the vegetable oil in a deep saucepan to 375 degrees.
5 Coat each cauliflower floret in the flour mixture.
6 Carefully place each floret into the hot oil. Fry each piece until golden brown – about 3 minutes. Remove from the oil and allow to drain on a paper towel lined baking sheet.
7. Toss the cauliflower in the sauce mixture, pour into a bowl and spoon the remaining thick, hot sauce over top. Garnish with some cilantro or sesame seeds and thinly sliced green onions, (optional).
It’s back to school and here’s an easy recipe that will be a go to for you and your family. I love making this for my family because it’s quick, healthy and fills their bellies. When school starts back we all are in the grind of life, adjusting to a new school year schedule. There are footballs practices, ballet rehearsals, music recitals and a thousand other things we have to focus on, so let dinner be one thing, you pour Love into, but not lots of time. But hey it can taste like it. 😉
Note: A short cut here for this recipe is to precooked the potatoes the night before or use frozen potatoes. I prefer to precook fresh potatoes the night before, fresh ingredients really does make a difference. If you do, cook them until they are mostly tender and not mushy. They will cook later in the recipe.
2 Tablespoons olive oil
4-5 Sweet Italian Turkey sausage links
10 medium red or purple hasselback potatoes, cut in half
1 large yellow onion, sliced
3 bell peppers, any color, sliced into strips. I used what was in the fridge.
2 garlic cloves, minced
3/4 cup Low Sodium Vegetable Broth
1 tbsp Italian seasoning ( optional)
Sea salt to taste
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
Add the potatoes to a pot of boiling water, cook until mostly tender, they will cook in the saucepan with the sausage and peppers later. Drain and set aside.
*If you are using precooked potatoes or frozen, skip this step above.
While the potatoes are cooking, Poke each sausage a few times with a paring knife or fork (this helps release steam as they cook).
In a large skillet with a lid, heat olive oil over medium heat. Once hot, add sausages and brown gently and slowly. Cook for 3- 5 minutes, turning occasionally to gently brown on all sides. (They should not be fully cooked.) Once browned, remove sausages to a plate. Set aside.
Increase heat to medium high. Add onion and pepper slices. Toss to coat in oil and sear vegetables until slightly browned, stirring often. Add garlic and cook for 1 more minute.
Add vegetable broth, to deglaze the saucepan, scraping bottom of pan with a wooden spoon to release bits. Simmer the vegetable broth until reduced by half.
Add Italian seasoning ( optional). Stir well to combine. Add sausages and the potatoes. Add salt to taste and gently toss. Bring to a simmer then reduce the heat to low. Cover and simmer until potatoes and peppers are soft and sausages are cooked.
Broccoli and Parmesan Cheese with a twist
This is a simple recipe, but it has a twist. Instead of using water to steam the broccoli you use vegetable broth. It gives the broccoli so much flavor. In a sauce pan add a bit of oil on heat the stove on medium heat . Toss in 2 cups of broccoli florets. Stir the florets around in the pan to help coat them with the oil. Add in a 1/3 cup of low sodium vegetable. Place the lid on top of the pan and allow to steam until the liquid has evaporated. Remove from heat and add parmesan cheese on top, place lid back onto the pan to help the cheese melt. Serve immediately. Enjoy
Who doesn’t love sweet potatoes? Yes. Everyone does! Okay I just going to pretend that everyone does. The rest of you guys will be converted after this post! LOL.
So here it is, sweet potatoes are not only nature’s little candy, because they are super sweet, but they are loaded with nutrients. Here are a few benefits why you should eat sweet potatoes:
Stabilizes blood sugar levels.
They are high in antioxidants
Need a brain boost, sweet potatoes helps with brain function.
They also are known to help enhance you immunity
They promote vision health.
Need to drop a few pounds, they also help with weight loss.
I know you are thinking about trying them now, with those impressive health benefits, but if you are not totally convinced, check out these two awesome recipes. The recipes below are vegan and plant based, but you can add an egg to them to boost your protein, if you are vegetarian or eat meat. The best thing about both recipes is that you can get super creative.
Sweet potato toast is the new craze out there, if you are trying to cut back on the bread. I love this new take on toast. The toppings are endless, you can go sweet or savory.
Sweet potato toast is simple to make and you make several slices of the toast and keep them in the fridge for up to 7 days and pull them out when you need them and add your favorite toppings. Here’s the easy recipe:
Sweet Potato Toast
1 large sweet potato
Preheat the oven to 400ºF and line a baking sheet with parchment paper to help prevent sticking.
Peel the potato. This is optional. I peeled the the ends of the sweet potato off, cut the potatoes in 1/2 inch slices.
Bake until the slices are tender and easily pierced with a fork, about 20 minutes. Serve warm with your favorite toast toppings.
Store any leftover sweet potato slices in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. To reheat for an easy breakfast, just add to your toaster on the medium setting to heat up, remove and add your favorite toppings.
1 sweet potato, cut into 1/4 inch slices
Peel your potato and add it to your toaster. It may take you three times to cook and toast the sweet potato completely. Every toaster is different, so you will know it is done when the sweet potato is tender and brown on the edges. Remove it from the toaster and add your favorite ingredients: nut butters, avocado, jams, jelly, granola, nuts, apples slices, whatever, you get creative.
Sweet Potato and Poblano Pepper Hash
1 large organic sweet potato peeled and cubed
1 small red onion, diced
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 poblano peppers, diced
1 small red bell pepper, diced
1 small yellow pepper, diced
1 cup broccoli pearls
1 cup of black beans
1 handful of cilantro, roughly chopped
a pinch or two crushed red pepper, to taste
salt and pepper, to taste
Heat olive oil in a cast iron skillet over a medium-high heat. Add the onions and peppers and cook for about 2 minutes until they begin to soften, add the sweet potato, broccoli pearls, salt, and crushed red pepper. Cover and cook about 5 minutes, until the potatoes begin to soften. Add beans and cook for about 3-5 minutes until the beans are warmed up. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary. Top with cilantro and garnish with lime ( optional) .
How can you take 4 prepackaged vegetable skewers and make several meals?
What I love about using the skewers is they have all my favorite veggies, big plump portobello mushrooms, crunch red bell peppers, zucchini, yellow squash and red onions. The first day I marinated them in a balsamic glaze with olive oil and herbs and paired it with a red quinoa vegan tabbouleh. The next day I took the two of the vegetables skewers and took off the vegetables and sautéed them in olive oil, herbs, sea salt and cracked black pepper. I put the veggies in a bowl, add kalamata olives, sundried tomatoes, banana peppers and chickpeas. I added a little olive oil, balsamic glaze and toss. I chopped some fresh parsley over top and you have your second skewer meal. I took the last one and made a simple stir fry with eggs.