Posts tagged with vegan:

Hi Madde! I am a soon to be sophomore at the University of North Carolin at Chapel Hill. My freshman year was horrific due to the fact that I left behind my vegan diet. There were many causes, one of the most important being time. I was wondering how you made or found the time to cook your own vegan meals, since it is more convenient to buy take out or fast food. Also, most of my friends are not vegan, or even vegetarian. Do you have any advice for that?

- Asked by Anonymous

Hey there!

I will do my best to answer these questions, but if you want to tell me a little bit more about your specific lifestyle (kitchen availability, access to appliances, dining halls, food climates etc.) so I can help you more, please email me at or stop by my Ask Box (That goes for anyone else out here on the Internet, I love getting emails and asks!)

About making time to cook—-
I was also a sophomore in college when I became vegan, so I understand the time constraints. My best advice here would be to get into a cooking routine and keep the recipes simple. While in classes, I make a smoothie or peanut butter toast with banana for breakfast nearly every day. Lunch is a salad, pasta with veggies, or a sandwich with hummus and veggies that I can easily take to campus in Tupperware. Dinner is some variant of stir fry. Either rice with veggies, cashews and soy sauce, or a quinoa bowl with veggies and tahini-based dressing. Snacks are popcorn, almonds and carrots with hummus. If you make a bunch of rice or quinoa on Sunday, it will last you through the week and then the veggies are really easy to microwave/steam and add. While the rice and quinoa are cooking you can mix salads together and store them in Tupperware in the fridge, they’ll be ready to go for the rest of the week. You can also check out my Five&Under recipes, they all have 5 ingredients or less and usually take less than 30 minutes to make.

About fast food—-
Yes, fast food will always be more convenient. But you have to decide what your priorities are. If you only eat fast food, you will conveniently feel like shit. If you make your meals for the week one hour on Sunday night, you’ll feel better. However, I’m also not in the business of deprivation. If you want to have pizza or Chinese one night of the week with your friends, go for it! And don’t beat yourself up about it. As long as you moderate the fast food, you’ll be fine.

About non-veggie friends—-
I would hope that your friends would be supportive of your diet choices, but I know how awkward it can be when they want to go somewhere to eat that doesn’t have any healthy (or veggie) options. If you’re in a student center/food court situation, it’s totally okay to bring your own food even if everyone else is buying. (And it will save you money!) If it’s a restaurant you don’t want to go to, just politely tell them that there isn’t much you can eat. They know you would do the same for them if it were somewhere they didn’t want to eat. And remember, pizza can always be made with no cheese and extra veggies, and Thai/Japanese/Chinese have TONS of veggie options.

I hope this helps, but please reach out if you have any more questions!

Southwestern Baked Potatoes



There’s two ways to make these potatoes: regular or twice baked. Both ways kick ass, but twice baked requires more effort. Choose whichever way you have the time for.

You’ll need:

  • 1 russet potato
  • olive oil (optional)
  • 1/4C corn (frozen, canned or fresh)
  • 1/4C black beans
  • 1 roma tomato, cubed
  • 1/2 avocado, cubed
  • Salsa, to taste
  • Hot sauce, to taste

For twice baked potatoes:

Rub potato with olive oil, stab with a fork a few times, wrap loosely in foil and bake at 425 for 45 minutes. Remove from oven, and transfer potatoes onto a cookie sheet. Cut potatoes in half, and scoop out most of the potato, being very careful to not break the skin. In a separate bowl, mash the scooped-out potato with olive oil, corn, tomato and black beans. Scoop the new mixture back into the potato skins, patting it down to avoid air bubbles in the potato. Broil for 5-10 minutes, until the top of the potato browns. Remove from oven and top with avocado, salsa and hot sauce.

For regular baked potatoes;

Stab your potato with a fork a few times, wrap loosely in foil and bake at 425 for 45 minutes. Alternatively, stab with a fork an microwave for 5 minutes, turn over and microwave for another 5 minutes. Remove from oven/microwave and transfer potato from foil to plate or bowl. Chop in half and throw everything on top of it. It will be equally messy and delicious.

Note: Cooking times in your oven may vary. If the potato does not seem soft after 45 minutes, continue to cook in 10 minute intervals until its easy to cut or scoop out. If you’re microwaving, continue to cook in 1 minute intervals.

What’s your favorite way to bake a potato?

Dill Potatoes & Lemony Asparagus


You can’t go wrong with mashed potatoes and gravy, ever. Don’t let anyone ever tell you otherwise. I like to dress mine up with dill, and serve them with a lemony green vegetable, like asparagus or green beans. 

For the mashed potatoes:

  • 2-3 russet potatoes, washed and cubed
  • Almond milk
  • Olive oil or buttery spread (optional)
  • 3 garlic cloves, diced (or 1T garlic powder)
  • Handful of fresh dill

Boil a large pot of water, and add cubed potatoes. Stir occasionally. When you can easily smash a piece of potato with a fork, they’re done. Drain the water. Return potatoes to the pot, add a few splashes of almond milk, garlic, salt, pepper and optional olive oil or buttery spread to taste. Mash everything together. Add most of the dill, and whip with a fork. Reserve the rest of the dill 

For the gravy:

  • 1C vegetable broth
  • 1/4C nutritional yeast
  • 1t mustard
  • 1T soy sauce or tamari
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1T thickener (corn starch, arrowroot, flour)
  • 2T tahini
  • 1.5 blackstrap molasses
  • 1/2t agave nectar or brown rice syrup
  • 2T olive oil

Blend all of the ingredients in a food processor or blender until smooth. Heat on the stove and serve! This is my favorite gravy recipe, from the Oh She Glows Thanksgiving menu.

For the asparagus:

  • 8-12 stalks of asparagus
  • 2T lemon juice,
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Herbs de provence (optional)

Chop the woody ends of asparagus off, and then cut the stalks in half. Heat a few tablespoons of olive oil in a pan, then reduce to medium heat and add asparagus, lemon juice and optional herbs. Add a few tablespoons of water if the asparagus start to stick to the pan. Saute the asparagus, shaking the pan frequently for 8-10 minutes, until asparagus is fully cooked.

What’s your favorite comfort food?

Raw Zucchini Lasagna




My roommate introduced me to raw zucchini lasagna, and I think I owe her my life for it. It’s that good. If you like spice, I recommend making a spicy pesto to give this recipe an extra kick.

What you need for 2-3 servings:

  • 2 zucchini
  • 2-3 tomatoes
  • Pesto (homemade or bought, I made some with sundried tomatoes)
  • Cashew cream to keep it raw, or other cheesy topping. I used Daiya jalapeno harvarti style cheese to give it a kick.

What you’ll do:

Use a mandolin to very thinly slice the zucchini. If you don’t have a mandolin you can use a knife, but be careful to slice it very thinly. Slice the tomatoes as well. They should be thicker than the zucchini, but still relatively thin slices. Lay down four zucchini slices so that they slightly overlap. Spread the pesto. Add tomato slices. Top with cheese or cheese alternative. Add another layer of zucchini and repeat until you are satisfied with your tower of lasagna. Enjoy!

Romaine Tacos


Romaine tacos are one of my favorite summertime foods. It’s a great way to use tons of veggies from your kitchen, and feel full and satisfied without the greasy feeling that your average taco leaves your with. These also make for a great “make your own taco bar” and are fun for family dinners or small dinner parties.

Part One - The Shells

  • Use a fresh romaine head, the outer leaves will be the largest and the best for building tacos. Bagged romaine leaves tend to be smaller than fresh romaine
  • Radicchio lettuce shells work well for smaller tacos, but have a bitter flavor

Part Two - The ‘Meat’

Part Three - The Fillings

  • Chopped tomatoes
  • Caramelized onions
  • Red pepper, sliced thinly
  • Avocado, cubed
  • Salsa 
  • Corn
  • Daiya cheese (I used the jalapeno harvarti kind)
  • Cashew cream

Part Four -The Leftovers

Chop up the romaine shells that are too small to make a substantial taco, add the leftover toppings, and you’ve got a southwestern chopped salad ready to go! 

Hazelnut Milk & Chocolate Chunk Cookies



When in doubt, I turn to Oh She Glows. Her recipes get me through all of my uninspired days. I don’t think there’s anything of hers I’ve made that wasn’t a crowd pleaser, but the hazelnut milk served with chocolate chunk cookies is one of the most heavenly combinations your mouth will encounter. Guaranteed. This is not your average milk and cookies.

One Bowl Double Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Instead of two tablespoons of almond milk, I used two tablespoons of strong espresso.

Coffee Shop Worthy Caramel Vanilla Bean Hazelnut Milk
The whole vanilla bean is worth it. You can usually find a single bean for sale in the spices section of your grocery store.

Juice Cleanse Review & Tips

If you had told me even just a year ago that I would do a three day juice cleanse, and actually enjoy it, I would have called you crazy. But lo and behold, I did it. I went on a juice cleanse and I loved it. Here are some things I learned during those three days:

  • Know your motivations before diving in. Some people want to lose weight, some want to kickstart healthier habits or just cleanse their system. A clear intention will motivate you to stick to the cleanse.
  • Have a juice cleanse buddy. Giving up solid food, even for a few days, is difficult. It goes against our natural instincts, and having someone supporting you can go a long way. I was lucky that roommate was cleansing with me, so we didn’t have any food in the house and could keep each other on a routine. If you’re cleansing by yourself, ask a friend to be your motivational coach for a few days,
  • You will get sick of the juices very quickly. Six juices a day doesn’t sound like a lot, but drinking one every other hour, with tons of water in between, is exhausting. Buy some straws and just power through.
  • End the day with a nut milk. My cleanse included a cashew milk with vanilla, sea salt and cinnamon at the end of the day. I cannot even explain to you how much I looked forward to this drink. After nonstop green and citrus juices, the creamy cashews made me sane again.
  • Light exercise is important. You will have less energy while cleansing since you’re not eating enough calories, so skip the gym. But light yoga and going for walks will help boost your energy.
  • Treat yo self. After the cleanse, don’t reward yourself with your favorite junk food. Your newly clean digestive system will not thank you. Go the mani-pedi route instead.
  • Buying versus DIY. Purchasing juice cleanses can be expensive, but check Groupon or Living Social, because they have deals all the time. You can juice at home, or blend and strain, but preparing, juicing and cleaning your juicer six times a day is A LOT of effort.

I finished my cleanse last Friday, have been eating mostly raw since then, and feel fantastic. Junk food seems especially hard to avoid during the summer, and cleansing for three days really made me appreciate the healthy food that’s so easily available to me. 

Apart from feeling physically better, I have to say that it was fascinating to realize how much I took buying, cooking and eating food for granted. You don’t realize what you have until it’s flaunted in front of you while you’re one a juice cleanse.

Have you ever been on a juice cleanse? What did you and didn’t you enjoy about it?

Juice Cleanse

Just finished my first ever juice cleanse! I’ve been drinking these three juices every day for the last three days. Review will be posted tomorrow, but in the mean time, the cold pressed juices from left to right:

  1. Kale, cucumber, green apple, lemon, ginger
  2. Lemon, lime, alkaline water, organic agave, cayenne
  3. Kale, spinach cucumber, celery, green apple, parsley
  4. Pear, pineapple, green apple, lime, mint
  5. Spinach, kale, apple, celery, lemon, ginger
  6. Cashew milk, organic agave, organic vanilla, sea salt, cinnamon

Have you ever done a juice cleanse? How did it go? What’s your favorite juice?

Lindsay’s Famous Quinoa Bowl


In addition to being an incredibly talented musician, my roommate, Lindsay, makes the best quinoa bowls in the world. You’ll be seeing a lot of her recipes on the blog this summer. Check out her beautiful music here, and her famous quinoa bowl recipe below:

  • 1-2 Servings of quinoa
  • 1/4 Cup shredded carrots
  • 1/2 Cup steamed broccoli
  • 1/2 Cup steamed kale
  • 1/2 Avocado, cubed
  • 1/4 Cup sprouted lentils
  • 1 Beet, cubed (we like buying Love Beets)
  • 1/2 Cup sauteed mushrooms and pearl onions
  • 2T Nutritional yeast
  • Salt and pepper
  • Annie’s Goddess Dressing (or any other tahini-based dressing)

While not the fastest recipe in the world, this is easily one of the healthiest. Get your quinoa on the stove, and while it’s cooking, steam your broccoli and kale, and saute the mushrooms and pearl onions in olive oil. Shred the carrot, cube the avocado and beets. Mix all of this in a bowl. Top with sprouted lentils, nutritional yeast, salt and pepper. Add your dressing and enjoy!

Note: These are rough measurements. Use as much or as little veggies as you like!

Iced Tea Lemonade



I despise the heat and humidity that July brings. However, I welcome the excuse to drink excessive amounts of iced tea lemonade. This is a very flexible recipe, so don’t take the measurements too seriously.

  • Juice of three lemons (or 3/4-1C lemon juice)
  • 1/4C sugar (white, brown or coconut)
  • 4C strong iced tea
  • 1C water

Stir the lemon juice and sugar together, add the water and continue stirring. Add the iced tea last and stir until the sugar fully dissolves. Let chill and enjoy! Makes a pitcher.

Note: I used Gold Rush from David’s Tea, but any iced tea would work— black, white, green, jasmine, fruity etc. You can either cold brew it, or make it hot and let it chill.

Red, White & Blue Coconut Ice Cream


Happy Birthday America! I can eat as much dessert as I want as long as it’s red, white and blue. That’s how 4th of July works, right?

My roommate, Lindsay, and I got real fancy yesterday. Coconut ice cream (Coconut Bliss is my favorite brand) with strawberries and blueberries is delicious on its own, but adding Espresso Balsamic Vinegar and Vanilla Sea Salt took it to the next level. Vinegar and salt on ice cream? I know it sounds strange, but it had a ‘sea salt caramel’ affect on the ice cream. I couldn’t recommend it more.

So the next time you find yourself at a farmers market, or a specialty oil, vinegar or spice store, you should stop in and splurge a little. 

Note: I bought the espresso balsamic vinegar from the Boston Olive Oil Company, and it was one of the better decisions I ever made. Lindsay supplied the vanilla sea salt.

When Mama Comes to Town


When the mama comes to town, you make the mama a feast. It’s the law. So of course I made my mom a huge dinner when she came to visit Boston this weekend. I ended up making my favorite Avocado Alfredo with spinach/berry salad and lots of sides, I’d recommend this for any summertime dinner occasion!

Main Dish: Avocado Alfredo


  • Spinach and parsley
  • Strawberries
  • Blueberries
  • Pepitas 
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Balsamic vinaigrette


  • Hummus and Mary’s Gone crackers
  • Sliced mango
  • Mesquite almonds
  • Lemon and garlic olives

What’s your favorite summertime dinner?

Summertime Gazpacho


I’ve found people either love or hate chilled soups, and I fall into the former category. Especially Gazpacho. It’s one of my favorite summer dishes, mostly because my mom fed me gallons of it over the last 20ish years, but also because all it requires is chopping vegetables and throwing them in a blender. 

  • 4 cups vegetable juice (like V8)
  • 1/3C red wine vinegar
  • 1/4C olive oil (cold pressed to keep it raw)
  • 3 tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 medium cucumber, peeled and chopped roughly
  • 1 red onion, peeled and chopped roughly
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped roughly
  • Salt, pepper and hot sauce to taste

Pour the liquids in the blender, followed by the rest of the ingredients. If you have a vitamix like I do, blend for 3-5 seconds and call it a day. If you have a smaller blender, you may need to chop the ingredients more and blend in batches. Mix batches together in a large bowl, and let chill in the fridge for an hour. Serve with crackers or crusty bread! 

Note: Adapted from Vitamix recipe

Hey lady! For someone allergic to soy and a handful of tree nuts, where can i find some vegan friendly options for summer cook outs? A lot of vegan burgers are made out of soy so Im looking for an alternative. Any recipes?

- Asked by Anonymous

While most pre-made or frozen veggie burgers in the grocery store will be soy-based, tons of recipes are black bean, garbanzo or mushroom based. Here are a few of my favorites:

The one thing I will say about homemade vs. store bought veggie burgers, is that the homemade ones never hold together as well. So if you’re planning on grilling it I would recommend either freezing it first, wrapping it in foil or placing it on a small cookie sheet on the grill to cook.

You could also skip making a veggie burger altogether and grill a portobello mushroom instead. Here’s a great recipe from the Post Punk Kitchen Those make for excellent sandwiches.

Hope this helps!


Vegan-Friendly Cookouts


My dad is THE grill king. Rain? Snow? Incoming category five hurricane? He’s still in the backyard grilling. Since I first became vegetarian when I was 10 years old, he’s had 12 years of grilling veggies for me, and I have never felt left out at a cookout or barbecue. Here are some vegan-friendly ideas on what to make for (or bring to) a cookout:

Grilled Veggies:

Grilled Fruit:

  • Pineapple
  • Peaches
  • Apples sprinkled with cinnamon
  • Avocado
  • Strawberries (trust me on this one!)

Main Course:

Things to Bring:

  • Chips, salsa and guacamole
  • Watermelon
  • Lemonade
  • Watermelon Lemonade
  • Hummus and veggies (go ahead, be that person)
  • Vegan potato salad
  • Cucumber salad
  • Fruit salad
  • Salads-that-aren’t-salads