Vegan Nacho Dip

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I guess this is more of an idea than a recipe, just because the possibilities are endless! This is my husband’s most favorite thing to eat, so I make it almost every week. It’s one of those meals that keeps getting better everyday, so, it’s very convenient to throw together and pre-bake, then just scoop out what you want and reheat. Not to mention, it makes so much, it feeds us for several meals! It’s also colorful, which is something I like in a meal. πŸ˜€

I’ll list what I have in mine, but get creative and add/subtract things that align with your tastes! πŸ˜‰

Vegan Nacho Dip

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Here’s what I used:

  • 2 cans Vegan Refried Beans (Be aware that many contain lard, which would not be vegan!)
  • 3 Avocados – mashed & mixed with 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 cups cooked Brown Rice seasoned with salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion flakes, cumin and chili powder
  • 1 cup Vegan Nacho Cheese Sauce (Blend together: 1 c cashews (soak overnight if not using a high powered blender), 1/4 c almond milk, 1/2 tsp salt, 2 T Vinegar, 4 T Nutritional Yeast, 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder, 1/8 tsp Turmeric, 1/8 tsp Black Pepper, 1 Can Tomatoes and Green Chilies)
  • 2 cans Black Beans – drained and rinsed
  • 1 Onion – chopped
  • 2 Green Onions – sliced
  • Handful of Grape Tomatoes – quartered
  • 5 Small Bell Peppers – chopped (I use the mini multicolored packs of bell peppers)
  • 1 Small Can Black Olives (drained and rinsed)
  • 3 T Jalapenos – chopped
  • Handful of Pumpkin Seeds

Here’s what I do:

  • Preheat oven to 375.
  • Layer 9×13 baking dish with ingredients starting from the top: refried beans, avocado, brown rice, vegan nacho cheese, black beans, onion, green onions, grape tomatoes, bell peppers, black olives, jalapenos, pumpkin seeds.
  • Bake for 45 minutes or until bubbly.
  • Remove from the oven and let sit for 10 minutes.
  • Scoop and enjoy with tortilla chips, brown rice tortillas, on top of a salad, or just on its own! ❀

I’d love to hear what variations you used!

 

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Weekend Workout – April 6th

Happy Friday!!! πŸ˜€

Great job on the Fit Test on Monday everyone! It’s a hard one, and like I said, even if your time didn’t improve, that doesn’t mean that you haven’t improved. You might be running faster or longer, or doing the harder versions of the exercises, so that means you’re getting stronger! We’ll revisit this Fit Test again at the end of April.

So, you’ll notice that your Weekend Workout is nothing other than the exercises on the Fit Test. Same thing, just without the 3 laps running. Really focus on doing the exercises with correct form. Taking a little longer to do them right is much more beneficial than blowing through them doing them incorrectly or only halfway.

You got this! ❀

4-6

Vegan Gluten Free Hot Cross Buns

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Before I met my husband, I had never even heard of Hot Cross Buns. Then once he made some… OMG! I was hooked! All of the spices mixed with the fruit in a warm, slightly sweet cinnamon bun…YUM!

Needless to say, when we went vegan and gluten free, this was one thing we thought was off limits. I’m not one to give up on things, so I gave a vegan, gluten free version a shot and we were both really surprised and pleased with the results! Now, anyone that bakes gluten free knows that the texture will never be the same as regular flour. The texture of these is somewhat like a cake, but the taste is spot on!

Vegan Gluten Free Hot Cross Buns

Here’s what you need:

Wet Ingredients

  • 2/3 Cup Almond Milk
  • 1 T Coconut Oil
  • 2 T Coconut Sugar
  • 2 1/4 tsp Yeast

Dry Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 Cup Gluten Free Flour Blend (I used this recipe: Gluten Free Flour BlendΒ )
  • 3/4 Cup Almond Flour (not almond meal)
  • 2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/3 Cup Coconut Sugar
  • 4 T Cold Coconut Oil
  • 2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Allspice
  • 1 tsp Ginger
  • 1 tsp Cloves

Fruit Mixture

  • 1/2 Cup Raisins
  • 1 Apple (chopped in small pieces)
  • Zest of an Orange
  • 1 tsp Orange Juice
  • 1 tsp each of: Cinnamon, Ginger, Cloves, Allspice

Topping Options

  • For the cross piping: GF Flour + enough water to make a paste.
  • Apricot Jam
  • Vegan Frosting (I brushed the tops with this: Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting)

Here’s what you do:

  • Heat almond milk in microwave until it’s about the temperature of warm bath water (not too hot, not too cold).
  • Stir in the rest of the wet ingredients and let it sit for about 5-10 minutes to let the yeast activate. (It should be poofy on top.)
  • While the yeast mix is activating, combine all the fruit mixture ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together all of the dry ingredients.
  • Add the yeast mixture to your dry mix and stir well with a wooden spoon.
  • Gently fold the fruit mixture in.
  • Lightly coat a pie plate with coconut oil.
  • With a 1/3 measuring cup, scoop out dough, not completely filling the measuring cup, and drop onto pie plate.
  • Continue until you have about 8 equal size buns.
  • If you are piping the cross, do this now by placing your paste in a baggie with one corner cut off or a piping bag.
  • Preheat the oven to 350
  • Cover the pie plate with plastic wrap and set on top of the preheating oven for 30 minutes to proof.
  • Remove plastic wrap and bake for 25-30 minutes or until the tops are golden brown.
  • Brush with your preferred topping as soon as they come out of the oven.
  • Enjoy! ❀

 

 

 

Healthier Vegan Turtles

Turtles

One of our favorite Office episodes has a reference to Turtles, so, it’s becoming a common saying in our house…Β  LOL!

Turtles are typically made with milk chocolate and caramel, so lots and lots of refined sugar. These Turtles are made with simple ingredients and the sweetness comes from dates! When we want a sweet treat, these are our go-to!

Healthier Turtles

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Here’s what you need:

  • 60 Pecan Halves
  • 10 oz bag of Vegan Chocolate (I use 72% Simple Truth Chocolate Chips)
  • 20 Large Pitted Dates
  • Optional: Peanut Butter (Peanuts and salt as the only ingredients!)
  • Optional: Chopped Almonds

Here’s what you do:

  • Soak dates in hot water for about 10 minutes.
  • Drain water, then add to a food processor.
  • Blend together until it becomes a creamy paste. (You may have to stop a couple of times to scrape down the sides.)
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil & lightly spray or wipe down with coconut oil or other neutral tasting oil.
  • Drop date paste in small teaspoonful balls on baking sheet. (You may need to use a knife to rake it off of the spoon.) **Should make about 20.
  • Place 3 pecan halves on top of the date paste balls and lightly mash them in to make them look more like patties.
  • Using a knife that has been dipped in coconut oil, slide it under the date paste and flip them over so that the pecans are now on the bottom.
  • If you are adding peanut butter, do this now. Place a small amount on top of each date patty.
  • Place the baking sheet in the freezer.
  • Put your chocolate in a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 60 seconds. Stir and repeat in 30 second intervals until the chocolate is melted.
  • Remove the baking sheet from the freezer.
  • Using a fork, dip the bottom of the turtle in the chocolate, then turn it over to coat the top. Flip it back over and lift it out pecan side down…let the excess chocolate run off.
  • Place it back on the baking sheet and top it with the chopped almonds if you are using those. Because they are cold from being in the freezer, the chocolate will harden faster.
  • Once all of the turtles have had their chocolate baths, place them back in the freezer to set, 10 minutes or so.
  • Keep any leftovers in the freezer.
  • Enjoy!

 

 

Weekend Workout – March 30th

Happy Friday Campers!

I hope you are all ready for your Fit Test next week! You all have been working so hard, I know you will make huge improvements!

Your workout this weekend is an Every Minute on the Minute workout just like we did on Wednesday. At the start of the minute, you start the exercise and if you finish before the minute is up, you get to rest! You get to pick the 3 from the list you’d like to do, then go for 4 rounds.

Have Fun! ❀

3-28

Vegan Chili Mac

One of our favorite meals before we became vegan was Chili Mac. Over the weekend, I veganized it! It turned out really great, so I thought I would share! We had wanted to try this new shredded cashew cheese that we found at our health food store (for all you locals, it was Village Foods). It was made by Parmela Creamery, and had far less ingredients than Daiya, so of course we wanted to give it a taste! Let me tell you… this stuff is DELICIOUS!

This is so super easy to make and it makes a lot! It’s one of those meals that’s even better the next day. πŸ˜€

Vegan Chili Mac

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Here’s what you need:

  • 8 oz Package of Gluten Free Brown Rice Elbow Pasta (I used Field Day Organic)
  • 2 Cans Pinto Beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 2 14.5oz Cans of Tomatoes and Green Chilies (I used Muir Glen Organic Fire Roasted Tomatoes with Medium Green Chilies)
  • 1 Package Beyond Meat Feisty Crumbles
  • 2 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 2 tsp Onion Powder
  • 2 tsp Cumin
  • 1-2 tsp Sea Salt (depends on your taste)
  • 1-2 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1 T Chili Powder
  • 1 Package Shredded Vegan Cheddar Cheese (I used Parmela Creamery Aged Nutcheese Shreds)

Here’s what you do:

  • Preheat oven to 350.
  • In a large bowl, stir together the pinto beans, tomatoes with green chilies, the package of Beyond Meat Crumbles (I tossed them in frozen), and all of the spices.
  • Cook pasta for approximately 7 minutes. Since it will be baking, it doesn’t have to be completely done.
  • Drain pasta and rinse with cold water.
  • Add pasta to the other mixture and stir well.
  • Pour into a 9×13 baking dish and put in the oven to bake for about 30 minutes uncovered.
  • Remove from the oven, and sprinkle the cheese all over the top.
  • Place back in the oven until cheese is melted -or- if you like it a little crispy on top, put it under the broiler for about 5 minutes or until it’s as crispy as you like it.
  • Let it cool for about 5 minutes before serving.
  • Enjoy!