I’m Back and a Green Smoothie Challenge!

Well I’m back! And I’m determined to keep myself and my family healthy by eating better. After a really loooonng hiatus, I am using this blog to keep myself accountable of the food choices I make for our family. I have gone paleo-ish and committed to drinking smoothies more. Smoothies are great for getting your fruits and veggies in and I found a great way to keep up with drinking at least a smoothie a day – the green smoothie challenge! I’m so glad I found this site, Simple Green Smoothies where they are holding a 30 day challenge starting today! Thankfully I was able to great all the fruits and veggies and milks for this week.

Today I made a Mango Green-a Colada (Serves 1) which consisted of:

  • Kale – 1 cup
  • Frozen pineapple chunks – 1/2 cup
  • Frozen mango chunks – 1/2 cup
  • Unsweetened coconut milk – 8-10 oz depending on how liquidy you like it

Mango Green-a Colada

I haven’t used kale in forever and the smoothie was good without any additional sweetener. I love it! Even my little one – who is a big brother now and is 3 years old! loved it. I am so happy he likes smoothies. We call green smoothies “Mike Wazowski” smoothies (after the monster in Monsters Inc.) so he will want to drink it. And he does everytime. He’s become a bit more picky but he is thankfully eating more – I pick my battles with it every day.

Other than that – stay tuned, I’m planning to post more going forward because I’m now exploring the paleo diet and there are just SO many great recipes to try!

Egg Avocado Salad Sandwich

I am absolutely a fan of browsing Pinterest for food ideas. I was browsing Pinterest on my iPhone as I was relaxing before going to bed and saw this recipe for Egg Avocado Salad. I haven’t had egg salad in forever, and the idea of adding avocado totally appealed to me because I love avocado on toast. So I had to try this out for myself. Luckily, it’s a very easy recipe and takes no time at all.

All it takes is some hard boiled eggs, a ripe avocado, mayo, lemon and salt and pepper. Add it to your favorite type of bread with some tomato, bacon (for a salty touch) and lettuce for a hearty sandwich that will keep you pretty satisfied for a while. As for my pregnant self, I had a smoothie with my sandwich so it still is holding me over for a little while longer. This baby seems to be always hungry!

photo 1_1

Egg Avocado Salad Sandwich | Serves 4


  • 4 hard boiled eggs (I boiled mine for about 15 minutes)
  • 1 ripe haas avocado
  • 1 tbsp of lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp of mayo
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Boil the eggs and when done, peel, and cut into chunks.
  2. In a separate bowl put the avocado and mash into a bowl.
  3. Add the eggs to the bowl of mashed avocado.
  4. Add the lemon juice, mayo and combine, then the salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Add to your favorite sandwich bread (I used multi-grain bread), with some sliced tomato, bacon (optional of course) and lettuce. Done!

Egg Avocado Salad Sandwich

Yes, It’s Been Awhile!

Looking at the last time I posted here, made me realize how much has changed since that post. August 11 was a time where I was feeling good, keeping track of what I ate, being more mindful and healthier. Fast forward to today, my eating habits have changed as well as my appetite.

First, I’m no longer a strict vegetarian. I have brought myself back to eating the way I used to before I made the change to vegetarianism. Although I thought it was better for me at the time, it really isn’t for everyone. It doesn’t mean that I’m an unhealthy eater too. I’ve realized this after much thought and thinking I was a horrible person to be eating meat again.

Second, I’m currently with child and have a crazy appetite! I eat a lot more, and gained a lot of weight, obviously. I was really sick in the beginning of my pregnancy with a lot of morning sickness. I didn’t really eat much overall since I was throwing up a lot of what I ate. But now, at 24 weeks, my appetite has come back full force and I eat. A lot.

Third, I miss blogging here! A lot has changed but my love for food hasn’t one bit. We are living back home with my husband’s parents for a while and hopefully one day we can have a place of our own again. I know it may be a challenge to make meals in someone else’s kitchen but I am determined to share the meals I make again, along with some food adventures too! Cooking healthy on a budget is my goal this year, that’s for sure! We have to save as much as we can.

And of course in randomness, this was one of my cravings when I needed to fill my demanding baby belly. Chocolate chip waffles with vanilla ice cream on top! Very delish if you ask me. The waffles were crispy and with the ice cream on top it was a good complement to the entire snack. :)

Waffles & Ice Cream

Chickpea Coconut Cashew Curry

When I saw this recipe on a blog friend’s Instagram, I knew I had to make it! I love all kinds of curry dishes, and I love love love Indian food. I’ll admit this was a lot of work to make, and I ended up not making the dish with all the different spices listed, instead I did what worked for me – used garam masala.

You can try the recipe using the spices listed here, but this version worked for me, and it tasted delicious! Another Indian dish to add to the rotation, which makes me super happy.

Chickpea Coconut Cashew Curry

Chickpea Coconut Cashew Curry

Serves 4 | Adapted from SeriousEats


  • 1 tbsp garam masala (separated into 1/2 tbsp)
  • 1 small onion, finely minced
  • 3 big cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger, finely chopped
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 cup cashew nuts – I used whole
  • 1 can of coconut milk (standard can 14 oz)
  • 2 cans of chickpeas (standard can 14 oz)
  • 1 bunch of spinach leaves
  • salt
  • juice of 1 lime (or 2 if you want more lime flavor)
  • 1/4 cup of fresh cilantro, chopped


  1. Heat a pot at medium-high heat with 3 tbsp of water and (keep some on hand to add if necessary)
  2. Add the onion, garlic and ginger and cook, stirring frequently until golden brown and starting to burn in spots.
  3. Add cayenne, cashews and 1/2 tbsp of garam masala, stirring constantly until fragrant, about 15-20 seconds.
  4. Add coconut milk and remove from heat. Scrape any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
  5. Take this mixture into a blender and blend until smooth. Return to the pot.
  6. Add chickpeas, spinach and remaining tbsp of garam masala stirring constantly on low heat until the spinach is wilted, about 5-10 minutes. Add salt and lime juice to taste and add in the cilantro.
  7. You may want to add more lime juice when eating if it’s not lime-y enough, as well as salt. I served this with brown rice, and it was delicious!

Chickpea Coconut Cashew Curry

Veganized Baked Ziti

Happy August 1st! A new month always makes me feel hopeful to do better than the last month. Last month was full of busy-ness, food and being sick. I’m looking forward to what this month will bring, and the summer is slowly winding down too.

After a long day at work, I just wanted to relax and eat leftovers but I then remembered that I wouldn’t have lunch for the next day, so I decided to cook something that would be enough for dinner tonight and lunch tomorrow. I never mind eating pasta dishes the day after so Baked Ziti was something appealing to me, not to mention a veganized version of it!

The last time I ate Baked Ziti was probably sometime last year. I was pretty stoked when I found this recipe, and yes it’s a Happy Herbivore one once again. I just love her recipes and the simplicity of them. The “meat” I used was called TVP “meat” which stands for textured vegetable protein. It is a soy protein that is dehydrated and when wet, turns into a texture similar to ground beef. It may sound off putting, but the best part is that when flavored correctly, it looks similar and tastes better (in my opinion) to ground beef.

There are a bunch of different recipes to make this Baked Ziti, but it didn’t take me more than an hour to make. I liked how you could prepare on part of the ingredients while something else was cooking or didn’t take long to make in general.

Veganized Baked Ziti

Veganized Baked Ziti

Serves 4 | From the Happy Herbivore Cookbook


  • 2 cups of uncooked ziti pasta
  • 2 1/2 cups of tomato and basil pasta sauce
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 recipe of the TVP beef crumbles (recipe below)
  • 1 recipe of vegan cheese sauce (recipe below)


1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and grease a 8 inch casserole dish and set aside.

2. Boil the uncooked ziti pasta according to the package directions.

3. While the pasta is cooking, make the TVP beef crumbles.

For the TVP beef crumbles, you’ll need:

      • 1 cup of TVP
      • 1 tbsp vegan worcestershire sauce
      • 1 cup of no-beef broth (recipe below)

Whisk the following with 1 cup of water in a small saucepan:

        • 1 tbsp soy sauce
        • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
        • 1/2 tsp vegan worcestershire sauce
        • 1/4 tsp granulated onion powder
        • 1/4 tsp granulated garlic powder
        • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
        • 1/8 tsp black pepper
        • salt, to taste

4. Combine all the ingredients to the beef broth. Then, set aside the TVP beef crumbles and prepare the vegan cheese sauce (recipe below)

Whisk the following in a small saucepan:

      • 1 cup of non-dairy milk (I used unsweetened almond milk)
      • 1/4 cup of nutritional yeast
      • 2 tbsp cornstarch
      • 2 tbsp whole-wheat pastry flour
      • 3 tsp lemon juice
      • 2 tsp yellow miso
      • 1 tsp granulated onion powder
      • 1/4 tsp granulated garlic powder
      • 1/4 tsp dry mustard powder

5. Heat mixture on high until it starts to bubble, then reduce the heat, and constantly stir until it thickens. Set aside.

6. Drain the pasta and mix in the tomato sauce, salt and pepper, then the TVP beef crumbles. Put everything into the greased casserole dish and bake for 20 minutes.

7. Add the cheese sauce on top and bake for another 5-10 minutes.

Yum! Enjoy.

Veganized Baked Ziti

Chocolate Chip Scones

I’ve been thinking about this little blog of mine a lot lately. Being sick is not fun, and when you’re sick, you pretty much have no drive to do anything but rest. I feel like I’ve neglected this place and it makes me a bit sad that I have for what seems to be so long. But, for the most part, I feel better now.

For one thing, I never stopped cooking/baking. I think I eat at home more than I ever have and I am okay with that. It’s fun for me!

This morning, I decided to make scones. To be honest, I never had a scone before, and after seeing the recipe from a Happy Herbivore cookbook I decided to try it out. Surprisingly, it was pretty easy to make and didn’t take long at all. I’m a big fan of quick cook recipes. They gravitate to me. I also like recipes that don’t require a ton of ingredients, which falls under this criteria also.

Chocolate Chip Scones

Chocolate Chip Scones

Makes 12 scones | From the Happy Herbivore Cookbook


  • 1 1/4 cup of non dairy milk
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 3 cups of whole wheat pastry flour
  • 2 tbsp baking powder
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1/3 cup of sugar (i use organic)
  • 1 cold banana
  • 1/2 cup of chocolate chips
  • dash of cinnamon


  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease a cookie tray and set aside.
  3. Whisk the non dairy milk and lemon juice together and set aside.
  4. Combine the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar in a bowl.
  5. Combine the cold banana to the flour mixture in a blender and when you see the flour with little pebbles of banana, transfer back into the bowl. If you have a food processor, this process is probably a lot easier! I had to use my little blender!
  6. Pour the wet mixture into the flour mixture and chocolate chips and cinnamon.
  7. Using a 1/4 cup measuring cup, scoop onto the cookie tray and bake for 15-20 minutes.
  8. Once done, they should be firm to the touch.

I thought they came out delicious, not too sweet, but the chocolate chips gives the sweetness you would want. They’re a great snack!

Teriyaki Chickpeas

It’s been a while since my last post! I know… I’ve been under the weather (and still am), as well as the little one. Not even sure how we got sick, or where, which is scary, but hopefully in a few days we’ll both be back to normal!

I still haven’t stopped cooking even with the sickies, so I’m proud of that.

I wanted to share something I made last week. Chickpeas have become on our meal rotation weekly now, because they’re just so versatile and delicious. I never thought that adding teriyaki to chickpeas would work, but it did!

Teriyaki Chickpeas

Teriyaki Chickpeas

Serves 2 | From Happy Herbivore’s Get Meal Plans


  • 1 can of 15oz chickpeas – drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup teriyaki sauce
  • 2 tsp hot sauce
  • 1 bunch of kale
  • 1 green onion chopped


  1. Combine the teriyaki sauce and hot sauce to the chickpeas in a skillet and cook over medium heat.
  2. Stir frequently and cook until the sauce is caramelized/brown and the liquid has absorbed.
  3. Steam kale in a small pot, lined with some water and cover until cooked.
  4. Add to teriyaki chickpeas, top with the green onion, and if you want more bulk in your meal, add some rice too!

Such a delicious, quick meal with kick! Yum!

Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies & Homemade Almond Milk

As the weekend winds down, I like to relax by baking. Cooking practically all of our meals, I take great pride in what goes into our food, and if I don’t make it myself, I make sure by checking what ingredients are in it. Especially snacks. Have you read about Pepperidge Farms and how they use GMO (Genetically Modified Organisms) in their snacks? I was pretty appalled when I saw this post about it, because I used to let my son Ricky eat Goldfish crackers all the time. Even their cookies are made the same way, probably to help cut costs.

For me, I rather bake my own cookies, so here is the recipe I use to make chocolate chip cookies (made vegan!)

Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies & Homemade Almond Milk

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Makes 10-12 | Adapted from DarthVegan


  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp organic light brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup canola oil (or vegetable oil)
  • 3 tbsp almond milk (or any non dairy milk will work)
  • 2 tsp corn starch
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 vegan chocolate chips (I use Ghiradelli Chocolate chips – which are vegan)


  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine sugar, oil, milk, corn starch and vanilla extract into a bowl and whisk using a fork until it has a somewhat caramel consistency.
  3. Add flour, baking soda, and salt into the mixture and mix to combine, then fold in chocolate chips.
  4. Grease a cookie sheet and using a tbsp spoon, scoop the cookie dough, roll and flatten into a cookie and place on the cookie sheet. Repeat until all the dough is used.
  5. Bake for about 8-10 minutes.

I also found that some of the plant based milks contain an ingredient called carrageenan. This seaweed derived ingredient is used in many foods such as yogurt, ice cream and milk. This ingredient can cause inflammation and stomach issues, so it’s best for people who regularly suffer from these types of symptoms – like IBS for example to avoid foods with carrageenan. I’ve noticed that in most almond milk I’ve found at Whole Foods to have this ingredient, except their 365 brand, but unfortunately they don’t currently carry it because of “shipping issues” – at least at the stores here in South Florida. You can learn more about carrageenan here and see what foods have carrageenan in them too.

So, I decided I’d just make my own almond milk for now – and it wasn’t so bad for the first try!

Homemade Almond Milk


  • 1 cup of unsalted, whole almonds – organic is best


  1. Soak almonds in water for about 10-12 hours
  2. Drain the water, and place into a blender. Combine 4 cups of filtered water and blend. It will look like milk, but you’re not done yet!
  3. Using a strainer (or cheese cloth or nut milk bag – which will make sure there aren’t any almond bits in the milk) pour into a bowl.
  4. Pat down the ground almond to get more of the milk out. Place the ground almond on a cookie tray and bake for about 15 minutes at 350 degrees – save in a plastic bag and freeze to use for any recipes that require almond meal!
  5. I kept the almond milk in a container with a tight lid and refrigerated right away. The almond milk should be good for about 5 days.
  6. To sweeten you can use agave or honey, with a touch of vanilla extract if you want. I kept mine plain, but put a batch aside to sweetened to drink alone.

I will be using this method going forward as I feel there aren’t any options for carrageenan-free almond milk right now. The homemade consistency isn’t as creamy, but it’s still good! I used this batch of milk to add to smoothies or baked goods that use almond milk. Hopefully I can find a more creamier version that can be enjoyable alone! :)

Happy 4th of July! With Masala Burger & Fries…

Happy 4th of July! Hope everyone is enjoying the day off with family and friends. I am grateful I am able to speak freely and share yummy recipes with all of you. :)

I don’t know why, but when I think the 4th of July, I immediately think about burgers and fries, because obviously that is what is commonly made at a BBQ or cookout, which a lot of people do today. Also, burgers and fries are part of the American culture. Since I gave up meat, I knew I had to find a burger that was just as satisfying and delicious than the beef burger I used to love. I really did love beef burgers, (before I really realized where our beef comes from) but now that I am on a plant based diet, I look for flavorful dishes, in this case, a (non animal) burger.

Enter the bean burger… bean burgers are delicious and the best part about it is that the possibilities are endless. By combining a variety of spices, you can get a delicious burger that probably even tastes better than your typical beef burger! (And by the way, have you seen what people have been doing to the beef burger lately? I see lots of greasiness that can’t be healthy for you) The burger I made was filled with a variety of spices and tasted absolutely delicious. It was filling too!  I know the spices in this burger are more Indian than American, but I love Indian spices and that is what I was craving at the moment!

Masala Burger & Fries

Masala Burgers

Serves 4 | From the Everyday Happy Herbivore Cookbook


  • 1 15 oz. can of kidney beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 3 tbsp ketchup
  • 1/3 cup of instant oats – I only had rolled oats, so I just pulsed them in my blender 3-4 times, which should be equivalent


  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees
  2. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or grease
  3. In a mixing bowl, mash the beans with a fork until you don’t see any whole beans
  4. Add the spices, oats and ketchup and stir to combine
  5. Divide the mixture into 4 equal portions and roll into balls, then flatten with your palm and place on the cookie sheet
  6. Bake the patties for 10 minutes, then gently flip over and bake for another 8 minutes. If they seem dry, you can spray with oil.
  7. The burger texture can be a bit crumbly, so be careful when placing onto your plate or a bun.
  8. I placed the burger on top of arugula, but of course you can eat however you want, with or without a bun.


To make the fries – serves 2-3


  • 2 small potatoes


  1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees
  2. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside
  3. Cut your potatoes into thin strips – try to make them of even size
  4. Place on the parchment paper and bake for about 10-15 minutes
  5. Then, broil the fries for about 2 minutes but keep an eye on them to make sure they don’t burn. (Ovens vary)
  6. Once done, enjoy!

Hope everyone has a wonderful 4th of July! Be safe!

The HH28 Challenge: It’s A Wrap!

So I completed the HH28 challenge that the Happy Herbivore posted up a month ago. I have to say, this challenge was tough at times, but for the most part, I did it! I didn’t think I’d stick to eating more plant based after a week, but following many of Lindsay’s recipes had made me realize how good food could really be if you made it yourself!

I honestly can’t go back to eating processed, oily food. It’s like, you really appreciate a true homecooked meal with love. And I felt like ever meal I made had that love – because I truly kept in mind what I was eating. It really does make a difference!

I even surprised my husband, Glen with some of the recipes that I made. He actually liked a lot of them and encourages me to keep on cooking and making these recipes going forward. The little one also enjoyed some of things I made – especially the cakes, cookies and muffins. :)

I cooked and baked out of that Everyday Happy Herbivore cookbook, as well as meals laid out in the Get Meal Plans that I received every week. Creating a laid out plan of what I am going to make that week, buying those ingredients and cooking/baking them has changed my life. I love doing it. I’m more passionate about food more than ever, and it shows in how I look and feel.

I’m inspired, and after many attempts at food blogging, I am more passionate than ever.

Here are some of my food pics from the HH28 challenge, which I am sure you have seen if you follow me on Instagram or Twitter!

Starting the HH28 with a healthy breakfast!

Chai Oat Cookies & Blueberry Breakfast Cake

Chana Palak Masala

Caribbean Black Bean Bowl

Caribbean Black Bean Bowl

Caribbean Peas & Rice with Kale

Chickpea Marinara

Peanut Butter Chocolate Smoothie

Peanut Butter Chocolate Smoothie

If you want to try some of these recipes out, you can get the Everyday Happy Herbivore cookbook! It’s worth it, and you will definitely eat some delicious food, and all plant based, low fat and oil free! I definitely recommend it if you’re looking to eating healthier!