vegan mac and cheese, v2.

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My go-to mac and cheese recipe is here.

But I recently branched out and tried something new. Its kind of a hodge podge of recipes I have come across – mostly inspired by the veg news mac and chesese, which is one of the best but has SO. MUCH. EARTH BALANCE!

I found a way to make something similar. I love this recipe because it actually has vegetables in it. And you can mess around with it and make it your own.

  • 1 box macaroni
  • 1 cup peeled and diced yellow or red potatoes
  • ¼ cup peeled and diced carrots
  • ⅓ cup chopped onion
  • ¾ cup vegetable broth
  • ½ cup raw cashews (if not using a high speed blender, make sure to soak these first!)
  • ¼ cup plain almond milk (or coconut milk!)
    3 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon salt (or more to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 tspn smoked paprika
  • lots of fresh black pepper
    1. Start the water for your macaroni noodles while you are prepping the sauce. When the water is boiling, add and start cooking the noodles.
    2. Bring several cups of water to boil in a small pot. Place chopped potatoes, carrots, and onion in the boiling water, and cook for about 10 minutes, or until vegetables are tender and soft enough to blend.
    3. When veggies are soft enough to blend, use a slotted spoon to remove them from cooking water, and place them in your blender. Add all the ingredients in your blender as well.  If
    4. Blend until smooth.
    5. Pour sauce over your cooked macaroni noodles in a dish of your choice, taste for salt, and serve.

      I love to serve with roasted brussel sprouts and topped with uptons bacon.  Roasted brocolli is good too! or throw some fresh spinach in the hot water right before the noodles are done and serve with the wilted spinach mixed in.

      Also, you can make the sauce ahead of time, and keep in the fridge for a few days for when you are ready to go.This meal doesnt take long to begin with, but its extra speedy, when all you have to do is heat up your sauce in a sauce pan while you are boiling the water for your noodles. You may want to add a little more veg broth if your sauce seems too thick when reheating. just be sure to heat on low-medium and stir often!

      Enjoy!

lego crayons.

legocrayons
Milo’s birthday was earlier this month – and we made some lego crayons to go into the lego goodie bags i created for the kiddos. As you can probably guess, Milo is REALLY into legos.

This is a super easy project that uses up all those cracked, broken, old crayons you might have laying around. They are fun to make solid colored, or use hues of the same color and make a multi colored crayon.

heres what you need

Silicone Mold (I bought mine these on amazon!)
exacto knife
crayons

Preheat your oven to 225 degrees.
Use an exacto knife and slice the wrapper off your crayons.  Break the crayons into small pieces. Fill the silicone molds as much as possible, Place mold on a cookie sheet to avoid spilling when you take them out, then bake for 15-20 minutes. Take these out of the oven very carefully, as they will be all liquid at this point. Let sit for about 5-10 minutes until starting to set, then put into the freezer for about 10 minutes. Once completely cooled, remove from the tray.
Be careful when

creamy cauliflower and white bean pasta.

CAULIFLOWERPASTAI’ve been eating alot of mac and cheese this winter…and into this spring. Its just so creamy and comforty and its the perfect meal to make on a monday night. However, when I do make it, I always try to incorporate vegetables in there somehow. So when I saw how to make a ‘cream’ sauce out of cauliflower, I thought this could be a good way to mix up my usual way.

I looked for a few recipes and then did a combination of ingredients that I felt would work well.  The result was a garlic-y, creamy sauce with hidden gems like cauliflower and white beans!

1/2 head cauliflower, about 2 cups worth
1 cup white beans (drained and rinsed if using canned)
1 – 1 1/4 cup almond milk
olive oil
1 medium onion
4-5 cloves garlic
2 T nutritional yeast
salt & pepper to taste
1 cup kale or spinach
your favourite cooked pasta

Cut the cauliflower into large florets and add them to a pot of boiling water.  cook until soft, about 10-15 minutes, then drain.  while the cauliflower is cooking, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a pan and saute the onions until softened and lightly browned. Mince the garlic. Add garlic and kale to the pan, until the kale is wilted. Set the kale aside.

Place the cooked cauliflower in a blender along with the white beans, almond milk, onions and garlic, nutritional yeast, salt and pepper, and about 1 T olive oil.  Blend until really smooth.  season to taste with more sea salt & pepper.  Pour over cooked pasta; add in the kale and enjoy!

quilted potholders.

potholders
I took a stab at using some fabric scraps to make these simple potholders.  It was pretty easy, and took almost no time to complete! you will need:

insul-brite lining
fabric, 2 pieces cut 10×10 inches, and a little more for the strap
sewing machine
thread
pencil
Iron

1. Cut two fabric square pieces 10 inches by 10 inches.
2. Cut two or three batting pieces depending on their thickness , 10 inches by 10 inches.
3. Cut one strap 10 inches by 2 1/2 inches.
4. Lay your strap flat, right side down on ironing board. Fold over the edges a bit and iron flat. Fold piece in half and sew seam.
5. Attach the batting pieces to the WRONG side of one of the fabric pieces.

7. Take the strap and lay it on the RIGHT side of the fabric piece in the top left corner.
8. Now lay the other piece of fabric on top of the fabric piece with the strap on it.
9. Pin all the layers together.
10. Sew all of the layers together with a 3/8 inch seam allowance. Leave a 2-3 inch opening on one of the sides.
11. Trim the corner edges of the potholder.
 13. Pull the potholder through the gap you left unsewn. Pop out your corners of the potholder.
14. Iron the potholder flat, ironing the little gap closed.
15. Topstitch around the potholder edges with a1/4 inch seam allowance, sewing the gap shut.
15. Draw straight lines in both directions on the potholder with chalk or a pencil. Make them evenly spaced, about 2 inches apart. Stitch on the lines, quilting the potholder.

banana bread bites.

bananaWe were having a little sweets craving the other day, and these seemed to do the trick. Not quite a cookie, not quite banana bread – but definitely a combination of them both!  Good stuff!

Found the recipe over here.

2 very ripe medium bananas
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch sea salt
2 Tbsp flax seed
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbsp peanut butter
2 Tbsp agave nectar or maple syrup
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 cup  flour
3/4 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup semisweet dairy-free chocolate chips

  1. Preaheat the oven to 375. In a large bowl, mash the banana then add baking soda, baking powder, salt, flax seed, vanilla extract, peanut butter, agave nectar, olive oil and stir with a wooden spoon until well combined.
  2. Add in the flour and rolled oats and stir.
  3. Add  the semisweet chocolate chips and stir until just combined.
  4. Scoop slightly rounded 1 Tbsp measurements of the batter and drop onto a prepared baking sheet  Space about 1 inch apart, then slightly press down with back of spoon.
  5. Bake for 10-11 minutes or until they appear set. You aren’t going for brown edges – you want them moist and just cooked. Let cool slightly on cooling rack and serve warm or at room temperature. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

incredible hulk smoothie.

hulkMy friend anna posted a recipe similar to this on instagram recently, and due to a large amount of avocados laying around my house, I knew I needed to try it out.  That was four days ago – so needless to say, I’m hooked. The addition of the avocado makes it so smooth and creamy. I love it.

I call it the incredible hulk smoothie, for obvious reasons – and it makes it fun when I serve it up to milo, who drinks it without even flinching.  Im sure there are alot of ways to mix this up – i think the addition of mango might even be nice!

Put in your blender:
1- 1 1/2 cups almond milk
1/4 of an avocado (more if you want a more creamier texture)
1 frozen banana1 small apple

Mix in your blender and serve immediately.

super easy pickled onions.

pickedlonions

Sometimes you make a sandwich and you just need some pickled onions!
Now you can easily have some…

I also found these are great in a salad!

  • 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • Mason jar with lidWhisk first 3 ingredients and 1 cup water in a small bowl until sugar and salt dissolve. Place onions in mason jar; pour vinegar mixture over. Let sit at room temperature for 1 hour. DCover and chill. Drain onions before using.

carrot and oat dog cookies.

dogcookies

These are a simple cookie to make for your dogs. My dogs sat patiently while I was making these, watching my every move – they were excited to get a homeade treat of their own.

This is a rare instance where I’m posting a non-vegan recipe. This recipe uses eggs and it acts as the binding in the cookie. I bet you could substitute an egg replacer like a flax egg, which would also give it some added nutrients!

1/2 cup carrot juice
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 large eggs
1-3 tablespoons natural creamy peanut butter (you decide depending on how your dog likes peanut butter)
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 T flax
1/2 cup coarsely ground cornmeal
1/2 cup rolled oats

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F, with a rack in the center of the oven.
Line a baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper and set aside.

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and stir to combine and form a thick dough. Flour your surface well, and turn the dough out onto the board.

Sprinkle flour on top of the dough and onto a rolling pin, and roll the dough to approximately 1/4″-1/2″ thickness. Be sure to use plenty of flour, as this dough is very sticky!

When the dough is rolled out, dip a cookie cutter into flour and cut out the biscuits.

Transfer the cut out biscuits to the prepared sheet pan, leaving about 1/4″ of an inch between each treat. These don’t spread out, so you can fit upwards of 40 onto a baking sheet at a time.

Bake at 400 degrees F for 20 minutes, or until light golden brown.

Remove the baking sheet from the oven and allow the biscuits to cool completely.

Transfer the biscuits to an airtight container, where they will keep at room temperature for up to two weeks.

tissue paper chicks.

IMG_6363
Easter is right around the corner and I had to rush to get our craft on! This is an easy craft that you can put together with your little one in no time. Milo liked doing this project because he got to do just about all of the work, even the cutting.

heres what you need:
IMG_6360Paper
glue
tape
googly eyes
orange pipe cleaner
yellow tissue paper or streamers
feathers

Cut a circle shape to your desired size out of white or yellow paper. Cut your tissue paper into all kinds of shapes and sizes. this is a great step for your child if you have child-scissors because tissue paper is really easy to cut and there is no exact science here. Put some glue all over the circle and have your child place the tissue paper on it until its totally covered. Glue the eyes and nose in place. Glue (and tape for extra support) the feathers to the back of the piece, as wings. Cut your pipe cleaner to four pieces (two longer, two short). bend the short piece around the long piece to make the feet, and affix with glue (and tape!) to the back of the chick.

Display proudly!

Here’s another fun easter craft we worked on last year.

peanut butter muffins.

peanutbuttermuffins

Peanut butter, chocolate and bananas are like the ultimate baking trifecta.

Here they are in muffin form. I found the original recipe here, and modified it a bit to my liking. You can probably use any oil, but I especially love the sweet coconut-y flavor that coconut oil brings to the mix.

These muffins are so good served right out of the oven with a smear of peanut butter in the middle.

dry ingredients:
1 1/4 cups flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/3 cup rolled oats

wet ingredients:
1/4 cup almond milk + 1 1/2 tspn flax meal
1 large banana, mashed
1/2 cup agave syrup
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp vanilla extract

warmed:
2-3 Tbsp virgin coconut oil
4-5 Tbsp peanut butter

fold in: 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips, vegan

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Mash the banana. set aside. Combine the flax seeds and almond milk and let sit for a few minutes.
3. Combine dry ingredients in large bowl. Add in the wet ingredients.
4. Warm the oil and peanut butter in the microwave until soft and liquid in texture. Pour into your batter and fold well. The batter should be about room temperature at this point – you don’t want it too warm or it will melt the chips.
5. Fold in the chocolate chips.
6. Pour into muffin cups.
7. Bake for about 18 minutes at 350 degrees.

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