Sunday, November 9, 2014

Nut-Free Cheezy Southwestern Dressing


Something kind of exciting is happening at my office tomorrow and we're having a little party to celebrate. The first woman to ever leave my company to have a baby is coming back to work! Well, at least I hope she is. 

She says she is.

I just haven't known that many women who actually went back to work after having a baby. Most of the women I know think that they will return, but once they have that baby, they change their mind.

So in honor of this momentous first at Luscious Verde, we're having a little pot luck and office fun. Our plant manager informed me that New Mom has communicated to him that she's interested in healthier eating (after having been a friend of the fast food chains for a good long time) and I was more than happy to commit to bringing a huge salad.

But which salad would I pick?


Well, let me tell you about this incredible salad that my cousin makes (actually, my husband's cousin's wife). She does catering on a small scale. Lots of salads. It's got romaine lettuce, tomatoes, corn, scallions (I think), avocado (you can leave that out of course), black beans, and tortilla chips (I recommend the baked ones, or bake them yourself). I never knew what was in her delicious Southwestern dressing, but you could tell that salsa was probably one of the ingredients.

One day, Cousin dropped a bomb on me. She told me that there was Earth Balance in her dressing. I about fell off my chair (if I was sitting, I can't remember--maybe I just passed out). 

I was like, "Why on earth would you put Earth Balance in a salad dressing?" I recommended replacing it with cannellini beans and left it at that, but feared the salad after that day. Which is such a bummer, because it is THAT good.

So tonight, I set about to right this ship. It happened pretty easily. I created a super easy to make, nut free, Vegan Southwestern salad dressing that I believe can replace Cousin's Earth Balance and salsa salad dressing, and I think it tastes just as good.

Let's just hope that New Mom actually does return to work tomorrow, and loves the salad as much as I think she will!

Edited to note: There it is! There's the salad (including my finger in the photo)! 
And it tastes exactly like the original dressing. Whoo hoo!

Cheezy Southwestern Dressing
Vegan. Oil-free. Possibly salt-free.


1 16 ounce jar of your favorite salsa (as spicy as you like it, salt free if you can get it)
2 cups alternative milk (if you want a totally nut free dressing, choose soy, rice or oat milk)
1/2-3/4 cup nutritional yeast (depending on how cheezy you like it)
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (if your salsa is not hot to begin with)
1/4 cup fresh cilantro
2 tsp dried onion 

Place all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Anytime Oatmeal Cookies



I have a confession to make.

The first time I tried these cookies, I thought they were gross. And so did my kids. I was encouraged to make them by my good friend and Health Coach Sharon McRae whose family was loving all over them. I was really bummed that they didn't work out for me and my family, and I didn't make them again for a very, very long time.

Until I hosted a HUGE women's only, 40th birthday, pot luck at my house (and not a plant based one). The theme of the meal was salads (I can only stray so far people!). Someone, I don't even know who, brought this big plate of cookies and they were being devoured. My nine year old was loving them. I was loving them.

I took one look at them and I knew--they were THOSE cookies. The ones with just two ingredients: bananas and oats.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Super Fast Fajita Hash Browns

I used to spend a lot of time preparing elaborate plant based meals for my family. I would wake up very early in the morning, bright eyed and bushy tailed, and head straight for the kitchen. I was so excited by this new way of eating that nothing could stop me from experimenting and it was all so very, very intoxicating.

Then I would get home from work and get right back into my Vegan cooking. It seemed I was tireless, and this went on for many years.

People used to ask me two things:

(1) How do you do it all?

and 

(2) Can you tell me some ideas for oil-free Vegan meals that are easy and fast?

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Speaking of Pie, Here's The World's Healthiest (and Tastiest) Apple Pie Recipe


I hope you enjoyed my last blog post about my plans for our 2014 Thanksgiving menu.

Thank you SO VERY MUCH to everyone who left comments with feedback about a few of the recipes that I haven't tried for myself yet. I will totally shift gears where I need to based on your input to make sure that I am not wasting my time, energy and money on the few new recipes that I had linked to that weren't a hit with your Thanksgiving crowd. If you haven't put in your two cents yet, and you've got experience with a WFPB Thanksgiving, please do!

I can tell you that if you are looking for a stellar Apple Pie recipe for Thanksgiving, that you can stop looking right now. I have make this recipe by Chef AJ countless times and it is phenomenal. I have served it at a number of pot lucks and it was very well received.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

My Epic Whole Food Plant Based, Turkey-Free Thanksgiving Recipe Line Up



It's not too early for me to begin thinking about Thanksgiving, is it? I mean, it is November. And if I'm going to pull this off, I need a lot of advance planning.

I have been doing at least some of the cooking for Thanksgiving for enough years now that it has become a real highlight of my year. I keep notes on all my recipes so that it gets easier and better each year. I want to share all that I have learned with you, so that whether or not you are an old pro at this or completely new to a plant based diet, you can get some good ideas and inspiration.

So here's the Official 2014 Healthy Girl's Kitchen Turkey-Free Recipe Line Up:

 
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