Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Lentil & Vegetable Crockpot Soup


Fall is officially here, and what better way to celebrate than to break out the crockpot. This is a simple and easy to make soup that is perfect for a chilly evening.


Crockpot Lentil & Vegetable Soup
Vegan, Gluten Free

2 C dry green lentils
4 C water
4 C vegetable broth
1 yellow onion, diced
3 carrots, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 14oz can diced tomatoes
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp oregano
1 bunch spinach, stems removed
optional: top with toasted pepitas

Soak the lentils in water for a few minutes and remove any debris. Drain and add to crockpot.
Add the water and broth, chopped vegetables, tomatoes, and seasonings.
Cook on low for 6-8 hours.
About 10 minutes before serving, stir in the spinach.

Top with toasted pepitas if desired.


This makes a huge batch of soup. I had a ton of leftovers and even froze some for later.
This would be great with a bunch of different veggies in it, so feel free to add in your favorites.

Thanks for stopping by!


Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Cinnamon Peach Bundt Cake


I'm finally set up and baking again in my new kitchen! I had a potluck brunch to go to and this cinnamon and fresh peach bundt cake was the perfect thing to bring along. It is quick and easy to make, is just as good as any coffee cake, and just requires a quick sprinkle of powdered sugar to look delicious and presentable. The peaches are amazing this summer, so they were the perfect addition to this sweet bundt cake.



Cinnamon Peach Bundt Cake
 adapted from the misfit baker

3 1/2 C Flour
1 1/2 C sugar
3 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking soda
2 C water
2/3 C canola oil
3 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 peaches, diced
powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease your bundt pan.
Mix together the dry ingredients: flour, sugar, cinnamon, salt, baking soda.
Mix the wet ingredients: water, oil, apple cider vinegar, and vanilla - then add into the dry ingredients and stir together.
Gently fold in the diced peaches then pour the batter into the bundt pan.

Bake for 40-50 minutes and let cool. Top with powdered sugar and serve!



What is your favorite dish to bring to a brunch potluck?

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Vegan in Vegas

In between all the fun of moving and unpacking, I got the chance to go to Las Vegas for a couple days since my husband was going for work. I had never been there before and wasn't sure how much I'd like it. I'm not usually a fan of big crowds and have no interest in gambling, but I ended up really having a great time!
The first stop was at a Whole Foods for some snacks where I was greeted by the "Welcome for our fabulous Las Vegans" sign!

I found a tasty veggie wrap and a smoothie at Tropical Smoothie Cafe, which is located on the strip across from the Cosmopolitan where we were staying. It's a great inexpensive option if you're looking for a bite.

This delish vegan soft serve is from Pop Up Pizza which is located in downtown Las Vegas, inside the Plaza Hotel.

Of course we had to stop by the Bellagio to see the fountain show which was pretty amazing!

We paid a visit to Slice of Vegas Pizza, which is located in the Shops at Mandalay Place on the strip. They have a whole vegan menu, which I forgot to take a photo of, but there are tons of choices. Pictured above is a pesto garlic bread, roasted cauliflower, and a veggie sandwich - everything was great!

Our evening at the Wynn hotel seeing the impressive show "Le Reve" and having dinner at Red 8 was extra amazing. Vegan Dim Sum?! I was so excited, and it did not disappoint! The Wynn and Encore hotels both have vegan options at all the restaurants, so make sure you pay a visit to some of the great places there.

While in Downtown Las Vegas we found Le Thai, which was a delicious dinner stop! I tried the tofu and veggie stir fry, plus a cucumber salad with peanut sauce - yum! This was totally our kinda place, wish it was closer to home.

Lastly I wanted to talk about the Cosmopolitan hotel, where we stayed. Check out the beautiful pool above! I figured out that going to the pool right at 8am when it opened was perfect. No crowds, but it was already like 90 degrees out so perfect for a swim. I also tried out the vegan burger at Holstein's which is located inside the Cosmopolitan on the 2nd floor. Thanks to fried dandelions, who mentioned it in her vegas post!

It was a quick trip but also a nice break. I was able to get work done during the day but go out to eat fun food and see shows and museums at night! I could get used to that. :)

To see some more of my travel photos, you can follow me on instagram.

Have a favorite vegan dining spot in Vegas? Please share in the comments!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Fava, Butternut & Couscous Bowl


What to make when you have most of your kitchen packed up for a move and are craving something quick and easy? This easy bowl of grains and veggies, of course! I got these lovely fresh fava beans from from my produce delivery this week, and decided to pair them with some Israeli couscous and butternut squash for a filling and fast meal.


Fava, Butternut & Couscous Bowl
serves 2
1/2 C Israli couscous, cooked
1 tsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/2 C shelled fava beans
1 C butternut squash cubes (I used frozen)
2 Tbsp pine nuts
Lemon juice
Salt & Pepper

Cook the couscous and set aside. In a skillet heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the garlic and let cook under slightly browned. Add the frozen butternut squash cubes and cook for a few minutes, then add the fava beans. Cook until heated through and slightly browned. Add the pine nuts and toast until just browned. Place the couscous in a bowl and top with the squash and fava beans. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and toss with a little lemon juice and agave.


I'm looking forward to completing our house move so I can get my new kitchen set up. I need to get back to cooking and baking. Sorry for the lack of posts around here - I'll be back to normal soon!

Got any tips for setting up a new kitchen or any must-haves? 


Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Basil Pesto & Tomato Pizza


Life has been a little crazy over here! Sorry I haven't posted that much recently. I'm in the middle of several projects, but the biggest one is that we are in the final stages of buying our first house! I would say I'm excited, but as any of you that have gone through this process before know - it's exhausting! I'm just looking forward to the part when we can move in and I can pick a new tile back splash for the kitchen. If anyone has any moving/remodeling/new house advice for me, I'd love to hear it. I could use all the help I can get!


So enough about that - what's up with this tasty looking thin crust pesto pizza, right!? Well, this may be one of the easiest things I've ever made, but it's so delicious. It comes together super fast which is great when you have company over and have to make another one because the first one is already gone! You can add on whatever else you'd like on this too. The other one I made had thin slices of zucchini, and another time I added some caramelized onions. Customize to your heart's content.


Basil Pesto & Tomato Pizza
makes 1 pizza

1 pre-made refrigerated pizza dough (check the ingredients!) I used a thin crust variety.
1 jar prepared basil pesto (again, make sure to check ingredients. Out of 5 brands at my store only one was vegan!)
4-5 roma tomatoes, sliced and de-seeded
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp agave
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1 Tbsp fresh basil, chopped
1 Tbsp fresh oregano, chopped

Preheat oven to 450.

Unroll your pizza dough on a greased baking sheet. Spread the basil pesto in a layer across the dough. (As much as you like - I didn't end up using the whole jar.) Top with the sliced tomatoes.

Bake at 450 for 10-12 minutes, or following the time on your pizza dough.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl mix together the olive oil, lemon juice, agave, garlic, and garlic salt. 

When the pizza comes out of the oven, top with the chopped basil and oregano, then pour the olive oil mixture evenly over the top of the pizza. Slice and serve.


This pizza is great for quick dinners, or even when you have company over. The olive oil and lemon dressing really gives this a extra pop of flavor - so don't skip that part. You could also add some vegan cheese to this if you like. What are your favorite go-to pizza toppings?


Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Creamy Spinach & Mushroom Spaghetti



Are you on the lookout for a quick and easy weeknight meal that can come together in 20 minutes? Look no further! This pasta dish is simple and fast, and is also creamy and delicious. I used to always avoid creamy dishes because of the dairy, but using vegan cream cheese and sour cream in this dish makes it taste rich without the worry.


Creamy Spinach & Mushroom Spaghetti
serves 4, adapted from mouthwatering vegan

1/2 lb spaghetti
olive oil
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 C mushrooms, chopped
3 C fresh spinach leaves, or 1 C frozen spinach
1 Tbsp nutritional yeast
2 Tbsp vegan cream cheese
1/2 C vegan sour cream
1 tsp oregano
1/8 C almond milk
panko bread crumbs

Boil your spagetti, then drain and set aside.
Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat and cook the garlic until browned. Add the mushrooms and cook through on medium heat.
Add the spinach and cook until wilted. Stir in the nutritional yeast, oregano, vegan cream cheese and vegan sour cream. Stir well and let cook for a few minutes until the cream cheese and sour cream have melted and been combined. Add in the almond milk and stir well until sauce thickens slightly.
Pour the sauce over the spaghetti noodles and toss. Serve topped with panko bread crumbs.


As you can see, my mushrooms are in super small pieces. Feel free to make them whatever size you like - I am trying to like mushrooms after a lifetime of avoiding them. I've realized if they are mixed up in things and I can't really see them, then I don't mind them as much!

Are there any foods you are trying harder to like and eat? Any tips for me?


Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, May 31, 2013

Friday Flashback: Southern California

We spent memorial day weekend in California for a wedding in Malibu, and to hang out and soak up some sun! Here are some of the food highlights of the trip.

Native Foods Cafe in Santa Monica -
My first time trying this vegan chain restaurant - it was super delicious! Happy to learn there is a location in Boulder too.


Mandarin Lotus near Malibu (Agoura Hills) -
This is a tiny Chinese food place located in a strip mall that you might usually just pass by... but if you are anywhere nearby you need to make a stop here for amazing food! The whole back of the menu was vegetarian and vegan, and the owners were so nice and helpful. The orange tofu, above, was delicious and they also made me some vegan hot and sour soup.


Veggie Grill in Long Beach -
Another vegan chain that I tried for the first time. I am jealous - wish we had some more places like this in Colorado! Of course I had to try the chocolate pudding. :)

Cafe Ambrosia in Long Beach -
One of our favorite meals on the trip, this cute restaurant in Long Beach is a must stop. A whole page of vegan options, gigantic portions, and delicious greek food - how can you go wrong? Our waitress was super nice too and brought me extra sauces to try out once she found out I was vegan.

Anandamide - Long Beach
We just stumbled on this place while checking out "Retro Row" on 4th street and I had to stop in for some raw vegan chocolates.

Steamed Organic Vegetarian Cuisine - Long Beach
We had a great afternoon riding bikes around to vintage shops and stopping in for tasty lunch at Steamed.


Sura Korean BBQ - Long Beach
If you've tried any of my recipes before you can probably guess I am not a fan of spicy foods. This was my first time trying Korean BBQ and although I loved that they announce their vegan-friendliness on their website and in their window, I have to say that I don't think Korean BBQ is for me. These tofu tacos look pretty though, don't they? I think they were tasty too, but I can't say for sure because my face was kind of on fire. But if that is your thing - check it out!

The Source Cafe - Hermosa Beach
Stopped in this cute cafe for a quick breakfast and grabbed some fresh iced tea and lemonade too. Their bagel with red pepper spread was really good!

I know there are TONS of places I missed out on in this area, and I will have to visit the next time I go back. Anyone have any favorites in Southern California?

For more photos from my travels, follow me on instagram.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Banana Quinoa Breakfast Pudding



I'm not sure if it's a vegan trend or just my thing, but I usually do not feel confined by the normal breakfast foods at breakfast time. I've been known to chow down on a salad, make some brown rice, grab some dinner leftovers, or really whatever sounds good at the time. Actually now that I think of it, I think I've always had that tendency (cold pizza for breakfast, anyone?) That's why I'm pretty excited about this recipe. It's quinoa - but totally hiding out as a sweet and filling dessert-like breakfast pudding. It's like a cross between rice pudding and oatmeal. I guess I don't know quite how to label it, other than being delicious.


Banana Quinoa Breakfast Pudding
makes 4 servings, adapted from weelicious

1 C quinoa
2 C almond milk (or 1 C almond milk + 1 C coconut milk)
2 ripe bananas, mashed
3 Tbsp agave
1/2 tsp cinnamon
splash of vanilla extract
almond slivers

Rinse your quinoa in a fine mesh strainer. Place into a pot with the almond milk and bring to a boil. Cover and let simmer for 15 minutes. Mix in the bananas, agave, cinnamon, and vanilla and stir over medium heat until thickened. Place in serving dishes and top with almond slivers. Serve warm, or chill for 1-2 hours.


This recipe is easy to make, can be served either warm or chilled, and keeps well as leftovers. I think this might just be a big hit with kids, too! You could go crazy and mix in all sorts of different flavors, fruits, or nuts. 

What is your favorite healthy breakfast?

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Artichoke & Chickpea Salad

Thank you for voting this recipe as the best side dish in the
May 2013 Virtual Vegan Potluck!

Welcome Virtual Vegan Potluckers! I hope you'll enjoy your stay here at Vegan Fling.
I am very excited to be participating in this event for the 3rd time. It's always so much fun!


I know, I know... I am in the Side Dish category but my post title says "Salad". This is not your typical salad dish though, and it works wonderfully alongside almost anything. It can be two things at once because it's just that tasty!


I loved that this dish was quick and easy to make. After spending a huge part of my day baking up a double batch of my Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Cookies for an event this weekend, I needed something uncomplicated, fast, and filling. This dish delivers on all three!


Artichoke & Chickpea Salad
serves 4-6, adapted from vegan yum yum

1 Tbsp oil
1 15 oz can Chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 clove garlic, chopped
5-7 large artichoke hearts, drained and sliced
1/3 C sliced almonds
1 tsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp salt
2 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped

In a skillet over medium-high, heat the oil. Add the chickpeas and cook for 10 minutes. Remove from pan and set in a serving bowl. Add the garlic to the pan and saute for a minute, then add the sliced artichokes. Cook until slightly browned. Remove from the pan and add to the chickpeas. Toast the almonds until just slightly browned, and add them in with the chickpeas and artichokes. Add the lemon juice, salt, and parsley, and toss well. Serve warm.


I enjoyed this side dish next to some roasted cauliflower with brussels sprouts, and some simple vegetable risotto, but it would be delicious with so many different other meals and flavors. You could always change up the spices to suit your other dishes too - it's super versatile!


Thanks so much for stopping by, and don't forget to check out the rest of the Virtual Vegan Potluck!

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Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Chocolate Chip Muffins



Sometimes the simple treats are the best. I do love interesting combinations of flavors, and fancy baked goods, but more often than not my cravings are for the classics - like these simple chocolate chip muffins. They are easy to make and last awhile, so bake up a batch on the weekend for a crowd, or keep them all to yourself!


Chocolate Chip Muffins
makes 12, adapted from my baking addiction

2 C all-purpose flour
1/4 C agave
1/3 C sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 C vegan butter, melted and cooled

2 flax eggs (2 T flax + 6 T water)
2/3 C almond milk
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 C vegan chocolate chips or chunks (I use the Enjoy Life brand)

Preheat oven to 400 F. Line muffin tin with 12 papers.
Combine the melted butter, flax eggs, almond milk, vanilla, and agave in a large bowl and mix well.
In another bowl whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet mixture. Mix together until combined, Fold in the chocolate chips.
Divide the batter into the muffins tins and bake for 17-20 minutes.
Let cool and enjoy!



What is your favorite classic muffin flavor?

Thanks for stopping by!

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