Grandma Sandrey's Irish Soda Bread - Vegan!


Irish Soda Bread is a piece of cake to make vegan - pardon the pun.

My grandmother's recipe doesn't even include an egg - it uses vinegar as an active agent that interacts with the baking soda/powder instead - so it was super easy to veganize - I simply subbed cows' butter for a combination of vegan butter and coconut oil and cows' milk for a plant based variety.


Now, this isn't the healthiest bread on the block but Irish Soda Bread, scented with caraway and dotted with sweet raisins is so nostalgic for me, so having the taste and texture spot on makes all the difference. And what is food if it cannot be enjoyed?! Don't get me wrong, I FULLY enjoy all the healthy recipes I share (if not, I wouldn't share them) but I do think that the way we feel when we're eating a certain food alters the way it digests and is ultimately transmuted into our bodies. If we approach an eating situation or a certain food with guilt, then we are not going to enjoy it or feel good afterwards - but if we eat something (even a slightly 'unhealthy' treat) with joy and good feelings then it is going to make us feel wonderful no matter the calorie count. Wow, that came out of nowhere. Ha! End rant. 

Enjoy the recipe. 

Makes: 8 thick wedges • Prep Time: 10 minutes • Bake Time: 65 minutes


  • 2 1/2 cup spelt flour (sub regular, whole wheat or 1-to-1 gluten free flour blend)
  • 2-4 tbsp. stevia baking blend sugar (sub coconut or regular sugar)
  • 2 tbsp. ground flax seed
  • 3/4 cup raisins
  • 3 tsp. caraway seeds
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt


  • 1 cup vegan butter or coconut oil, melted (I used a blend of the two)
  • 3 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 3/4 cup almond milk
  • 3 tbsp. plant milk + 1 tsp. course sugar for topping


Preheat oven to 400*F.

In a large bowl mix together all dry ingredients together - make sure raisins are evenly distributed in the flour mixture.

Make a well in the center and add all of the wet ingredients at one time - use a wooden spoon to bring the mixture together gently - DO NOT overmix! The batted should be relatively dry and sticky.

Turn out onto a floured surface and knead 4-5 times only.

Spray a pie pan with coconut oil spray and form the bater into a round and use a knife to score the bread as pictured. Coat the top with a bit of plant milk and sugar for a nice finish.

Bake at 400*F for 15 minutes, then turn down the oven to 375* and bake for another 50 minutes.

Allow to cool slightly. Cut into wedges and enjoy warm or cool with a little vegan butter. 

Keeps well for a few days in an airtight container




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Coconut + Matcha Protein Pancakes


Lets address the elephant in the room right off the bat - Yes. This is a "healthy" pancake recipe.

Yes, this recipe includes spinach, matcha powder and apple cider vinegar. 

Yes, I said spinach and NO you can't taste it. I promise.


So if you are looking for a healthy, high powered meal to start your day or fill you up post workout, then you have found your new, very green, best friend.


It is no coincidence that I am posting this so close to St. Pattys day. I've had pancakes on the brain lately (can you tell I miss my job making breakfast for guests every morning). I was thinking about different combinations of flavors, different textures, different colors and that's when it hit me - last year I made an incredibly healthy and nearly spot-on version of a 'Shamrock Shake' and this year (check that out, btw) so this year I wanted to bring a little health to another tasty treat. Not that green pancakes are a St. Pattys day thing but hey - you only live once and if you want to start this often indulgent holiday off right, this is your recipe!


Don't let the look of these guys scare you, the whole process is honestly SO EASY and in terms of equipment all you need is a blender and a skillet. It's basically a riff on my old standby gluten-free 'blender' pancakes but with a few modifications to make it more fun, festive, high-powered and I start by adding matcha powder and spinach to create the green color and to give you an extra boost (matcha is green tea powder loaded with clean caffeine) and some extra minerals (spinach has them all). And again, I promise you CANNOT taste the spinach - the earthy matcha, vanilla protein powder and sweet coconut completely mask it's flavor. These are really good, pure and simple.

Give this recipe a try and let me know how you like it!

Makes: 6 pancakes (serves 1-2) • Prep Time: 5 minutes • Cook Time: 15 minutes


  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1 cup GF rolled oats
  • 1 cup lightly packed baby spinach
  • 2 tbsp. vanilla protein powder (I used Vega Vanilla Protein + Greens Powder)
  • 1 tbsp. coconut oil *optional
  • 2 tbsp. coconut flakes *optional
  • 1 tsp. chia seeds *optional
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt


  • 1 cup coconut milk (I used the Califa farms brand, but any plant milk will do)
  • 1/2 tsp. apple cider vinegar


Coconut flakes, pumpkin seeds, Lavva Plant Based Yogurt (plain), Maple Syrup


Combine all wet and dry ingredients in a high speed blender and process on high til the batter is totally smooth.

Allow the batter to sit and thicken for 1-2 minutes as you heat a non-stick skillet on medium heat.

Pour apx. 1/3 cup of the batter into the skillet and use the back of a spoon to help spread the batter into a circular shape (it will be a little thick so the spoon does help).

Cook on the first side on medium heat for apx. 1.5 minutes or until you see a few bubbles and the edges look done. Spray a spatula with a light coating of coconut oil spray and flip the pancake - cook on the other side for apx. 45 seconds to one minute until the pancake puffs up slightly and is golden brown on both sides. 

NOTE: With this recipe, I cook one or two pancakes at a time. If your skillet is huge and you have good control of your stoves heat, by all means make more but I find that slow and steady wins the race with these bad boys - you can always keep your oven warm and stick them in there on a sheet tray so they don't get cold.




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Braised Red Cabbage, Apple and Cranberry Slaw

With St. Patty's day right around the corner I wanted to make something, well, uh, "festive" - last year I blogged my super healthy, vegan version of a shamrock shake which is seriously epic (go check it out) but this year I wanted to reinvent something a little more challenging. 


Cabbage isn't really anyone's favorite when it comes to traditional St. Patty's side dishes but this kicked up version is sure to change minds! First, I start with red (purple) cabbage instead of the regular green, I slice it thinly and combine it with sweet apples, onion and tart cranberries. I then braise the mixture for a long time in apple cider vinegar, asian five spice powder and maple syrup. This makes for a tender, vibrant hued, sweet, tart, tangy masterpiece that you will want to eat hot or cold with every single meal. I suggest making a lot because it's so versatile and well, addictive - I also find it super filling. 

On top of it being so incredibly delicious, you could not make a dish any better for you if you tried. Red cabbage is not only gorgeous, it is a water-rich food that is loaded with essential vitamins and minerals. Apples are filled with good-for-the-gut fiber. Onions are antimicrobial, and as we know, cranberries are great for UT health. As festive as they are, caraway seeds are also literal magic when it comes to digestion - seriously look it up. Five spice powder (cinnamon, cloves, fennel, star anise, and Szechwan peppercorns) acts a powerful anti-inflammatory and it's sure to help Caraway make digestion a breeze. 


Serve this dish up alongside a nut-roast or over curried lentils. You can serve it cold on top of a salad or on it's own eaten straight out of the fridge.

P.S - You can leave out the fresh cranberries if you can't find them at this time of year, sometimes you can get them in the freezer section but how much do you want to bet that you have your own bag left over from thanksgiving just sitting in your very own freezer just begging to be used?! Another great sub would be raisins!

Ready to transform your cabbage connotations? Give this recipe a try and let me know how much you love it.

*recipe adapted from Deliciously Ella

Serves: 6-8 • Prep Time: 10 minutes • Cook Time: 1 hour

  • 1 small red cabbage 
  • 1 medium sweet onion
  • 2 small gala apples
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen whole cranberries 

NOTE: you can use dried, naturally sweetened cranberries with a slightly different end result

  • the juice of one orange *optional
  • 1/2-1 tsp. caraway seeds *optional
  • 1 tsp. five spice powder ( or any combination of cinnamon, cloves, fennel, star anise, and Szechwan peppercorns)
  • 2-4 tbsp. maple syrup (depending on desired sweetness)
  • 2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp. sea salt (helps to draw the water out and tenderize the cabbage)
  • 2-4 tbsp. water* if nessesary

Preheat your oven to 375*F. 

Core and chop the cabbage in thin 1/2" slices. Chop the onion and apple (no need to peel) at similar widths. Add in the cranberries and toss together in a large, oven-safe baking dish with a lid (if you don't have a lid, you can over with aluminum foil)

Add in the spices, orange juice, AVC, maple syrup and water - toss well. 

Cover with the lid and add to a hot oven and bake for at least 1 hour or until the cabbage is very tender and the cranberries have all "popped" and released their juices. Check occasionally - giving the mixture a stir - if you notice it looking dry after halfway through the cooking time, add a little water.

*Alternatively, you could give this a shot on the stovetop. I have not tried it myself but I imagine it would be quite a similar process - just keep an eye on it, you may need to add a bit more liquid and continue to stir frequently to prevent burning.

Remove from the oven - serve hot, at room temperature or cold.




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Ayurvedic Spring Cleanse - My Kitchiri Recipe (BONUS: Breakfast Kitchiri Recipe)


Ayurvedic Spring Cleanse - My Kitchiri Recipe (BONUS: Breakfast Kitchiri Recipe)


So, I am no ayurvedic expert but the ancient sister science to yoga is something that has been of deep interest to me for a long time. I first became aware of ayurveda through my mother by way of THE Deepak Chopra - I remember taking a dosha quiz and reading about my dominant constitution when I was still in middle school - it was so spot on and that had always stuck with me. When I began my yoga teacher training at Kripalu years later I had no idea we would spend so much time on ayurveda and the ideas around living a yogic lifestyle but again I was pleased to learn as much as I could (except for the part I watched my teacher scrape her own tongue in from of 50 people, that was kinda weird). Then again, while working at YogaWorks in Los Angeles I was exposed to other aspects of ayurveda as a good friend was going through an intensive training. It is one of those things that I soak up like a sponge  - I always tune in when it comes up because it is just fun for me to know about (kinda like the Revolutionary War and Ancient Aliens but those are topics for another day).

Now, I do not by any means obey all the ayurvedic principles all the time - I don't eat much oil (recommended to dampen my constitutions' airy qualities), I seldom dry brush or practice self massage and I don't always rise before the sun (thanks a lot, daylight savings) BUT I when I do apply ayurvedic practices, I notice that the yogic high I experience on the mat begins to seep into my daily life - routine becomes ritual, self care becomes sacred and food becomes nourishment. I love how ayurveda lets me slow down and truly recognize all the mundane 'life stuff' for the gift that it is.  



For the past few months the ayurvedic practice of panchakarma (a fivefold detoxification treatment involving massage, herbal therapy, and other procedures) has been popping up for me over and over again. "Panchakarma is a Sanskrit word that means “five actions” or “five treatments”. It is a process used to clean the body of toxic materials left by disease and poor nutrition". A true panchakarma is a serious (read: expensive) thing and involves a ton of highly involved treatments like, um, oil-enemas (which I'm not hating on at all, I'd totally do it, but ya know $$$). By very principal, panchakarma is to be performed away from the home over a week or more under the supervision and care of more than one ayurvedic practitioner, but, as they say "ain't nobody got time for that" so I decided to create my own toned-down ayurvedic cleanse inspired by some of the principles outlined in this ancient practice.

Albeit intensive, I love the idea that I can make my own ayurvedic cleanse not about full-on withdrawal from daily life. Believe me, I am all for a good juice detox every now and again (heck I even wrote a book on it, which you can find here) but this type of mono-food cleansing sounded do-able and heck, even enjoyable to me this time around. It's approachable and because you can do a lot of meal prep it's easy to do without full on retreat from life. I love that when performing the practices I outline below, I am integrating them into my day-to-day life which hopefully will transform into a deeper awareness around self care. 


I was inspired to this at-home mini panchakarma as a counterweight against the uprootedness I have felt over the past few months - packing up, moving and traveling across the country, then relocating back to my hometown with a 'way-to-flexible-for-my-liking type of plan'. To be honest, it has not been an easy transition leaving remote Northern California and trying to integrate back into busy tri-state life and I really did not expect the ...ahem, feelings I'd be having. Not to mention, I have a strange uneasiness about spring - most people welcome the change but for me it has always brought on a little bit of anxiety (similar to the feeling others get around winter equinox). Anyway, it's safe to say I am so ready for a detoxifying, nourishing, grounding, cleansing pause from all of the emotional and physical stress I've taken on. 

Here's what I am hoping to get out of it:

  • A sense of groundedness 
  • A handle on my digestion (which has been, ahem, all over the place lately)
  • A daily routine that fell by the wayside with all the moving
  • A better read on my feelings and a means to translate them into action (or inaction)
  • The ability to S-L-O-W-the-F-D-O-W-N and process, consider and plan before I react


In a panchakarma there are a few days of cleansing/detoxifying where, among other things, the participant is to solely consume kitchiri - a porridge of jasmine rice, split mung beans and traditional indian spices (I got my kitchiri spice blend from Banyan Botanicals on Amazon). A friend of mine who lived in Tibet refers to kitchiri as the 'chicken soup' for that part of the world and I can see why - it is SO damn comforting. A few great things about kitchiri:

  • It's cheap
  • It's tri-doshic, meaning it will suit you no matter your ayurvedic constitution or the time of year
  • It digests super easily -rice and mung beans are easy on the intestines
  • It's a complete protein (all those amino acids do a body good)
  • It's satisfying and sustainable (unlike other cleanses where you're starving)
  • It's totally customizable - this goes along with kitchiri being tri-doshic, you can customize each serving with different fruits, vegetables, chutneys or nut butters to make it savory, sweet, light or filling.

The spice mixture featured in most kitchiri includes brown mustard seed, turmeric, mineral salt, cumin seed, ginger, asafoetida and fenugreek which are all great at aiding in digestion thus helping to get the body back in a balanced rhythm. You can go as light or as heavy with the spices as you wish but  don't worry, it isn't spicy but rather full of flavor and actually slightly bitter. But be warned - due to the golden glow of turmeric (which is great for fighting inflammation) you need to be careful that you don't wind up with yellow-stained everything like me (sorry wooden spoon, sorry fingers). You can of course buy these spices separately, toast them and grind them but I like to take the shortcut with the package from Banyan - it's 97% organic and really tasty. 

Spring, ayurvedicly speaking, is kapha season (think heavy, cool, dense and wet) and winter is vata (think airy, cool and dry) so balancing those two energies -especially with three NorEasters to deal with - will be a challenge - that's where your kitchiri additions come in. As an ideal, all three doshas (vata, kapha and pita) are somewhat balanced in the body - in a state of flux just like the seasons, but equal overall. In order bring our equalize our doshas we can focus on certain practices to bring out one quality or another and eat certain foods to suppress others. First you need to center in and listen - see what types of ailments or discomforts are coming up for you before you do your research to see what your body may need.

I think ayurveda has hit the nail on the head in that it considers elimination (poop, yes, poop) to be the ultimate testament to health - if we are not eliminating properly, how can we expect anything else to ...ahem, flow? 

Here's a short little breakdown of additions you can make to increase your personal agne (or inner fike aka digestion) and pacify any dominant dosha. If you want to dive deeper, check out this link.


  • Cooked root vegetables or winter squashes
  • Brown rice in lue of white jasmine rice
  • Garnish with cilantro and green onion


  • Millet or quinoa in lue of rice (grains often don't sit well with kaphas)
  • Bitter greens like broccoli rabe
  • Garnish with cilantro and lemon juice


  • Use coconut oil instead of ghee to encourage cooling
  • Add summer squash and celery
  • Garnish with cilantro and lime


A FEW THINGS TO NOTE: I am vegan - which means I do not use animal products of any kind. Traditionally, kitchiri can be started with ghee (or clarified butter) OR oil. Now, while ghee is recommended for balancing my vata energy, I choose coconut oil in lue of the animal based product. If you know me, you know I avoid oil all together but I do think its important add it in this particular instance. The ghee thing however is just a principal of mine that I will not compromise so the recipe below reflects that. Also note, Vata's should use a 'warmer' oil such as sesame but I can't stand the taste of the stuff so....coconut it is. 

I wanted to keep this cleanse very simple, I essentially used the basic recipe on the back of Banyan Botanicals Kitchiri Spice Blend - adding only a few additional ingredients as this is meant to be a break for your digestion. 

Serves: 3 meals for 3 days, divide according to amount desired (apx. 1.5 cups/meal) • Prep Time: 15 min • Cook Time: 45 minutes



1. Soak the brown rice and mung beans for 15 minutes in a large bowl, rinse well.

2. In a large pot, melt the coconut oil on medium heat and add in the kitichiri spices - toasting them gently for a minute or two.

3. Then add in the rice and beans - gently toast for a minute more before adding the water and seaweed. Stir well.

4. Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce to a simmer and cook for 45 minutes or until the rice is tender and the mung beans have all but disappeared.

NOTE: Depending on your desired consistency, and taking into account that the mixture will continue to thicken, you may wish to add more liquid once you have removed the pot from the heat. I added apx. 2 cups more water as I like a consistency that is similar to a thin stew.

5. Store in an airtight container in the fridge and scoop out your desired portion to reheat at all of your meals - adding toppings as desired.


  • Steamed kale, chard, asparagus or broccoli 
  • Roasted sweet potato, carrot and parsnips
  • Roasted butternut or kabocha squash
  • Cilanto
  • Lime/lemon juice
  • Tahini
  • Sea salt/pepper
  • Nutritional yeast (for that B12, yo)
  • Hot sauce

I enjoy sweet breakfasts to savory so kitchari doused in green onion and cilantro in the morning doesn't sound super appetizing to me so I will be making a 'sweet' version for breakfast, read below for more...



  • Coconut milk
  • Maple Syrup
  • Sweet potato or yams
  • Raisins or dates
  • Blueberries
  • Cinnamon + Cardamom
  • Sea salt


Kitchiri is just a part of my at home ayruvedic cleanse. Here's what a week of cleansing will look like for me: 

NOTE: If you are planning on doing your own cleanse, do your research and make it your own. This is all about filling your well so you can show up better for others and it's important that you choose the aspects that best serve you.


  • Morning meditation + journal
  • Eat lightly
  • Drink 3L + of water
  • Warm dandilion tea before bed
  • No caffeine
  • At least 1 hour of exercise
  • Morning and night self care routine - dry brushing, self massage, tongue scraping, stretching 


  • Morning Meditation + journal
  • Kichiri for breakfast, lunch and dinner (3 square meals)
  • Drink 3L + of water
  • Self massage x2
  • Warm dandilion tea before bed
  • No caffeine
  • At least 1 hour of exercise
  • Morning and night self care routine - dry brushing, self massage, tongue scraping, stretching


  • Eat lightly + journal
  • Drink 3L + of water
  • Self massage x2
  • Warm dandilion tea before bed
  • No caffeine
  • At least 1 hour of exercise
  • Morning and night self care routine - dry brushing, self massage, tongue scraping, stretching


  • Thoroughly chew my food, be present when eating and focus only on eating
  • Stay present, don't reach for the phone each time an uncomfortable emotion comes up
  • Confront problems head on
  • Rest when I need to
  • Be selective with my energy

Are you interested in ayurvedic cleansing? Will you do this on your own? Would you want to do one as a group together over the spring equinox complete with recipe guide and facebook group? Let me know in the comments below!



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Coconut Quinoa Breakfast Bowl with Roasted Figs

coconut quinoa breakfast porridge with roasted figs

I am back! Moving across the country and diving back into 'reality' head first has proven to be very different and much more exhausting than my idealistic mind had dreamed of. It has always been my goal to be honest and real here on LCK, so while I am still in the throws of finding my way I ask for your support, understanding and patience as I might be at a 'slower roll' than usual with recipes, inspiration and more. 

Now that that's out of the way I really am excited to share this recipe with you because i have been dreaming of testing and posting it for the last month! I developed this energizing breakfast based off a dish I had at a cute little cafe in Santa Fe, NM on our way across the U.S last month. I LOVED the nutrient profile and unique flavor combination but wanted to make it my own with coconut milk and cardamom - so here is my take.  

I cook protein loaded quinoa with creamy, sweet coconut milk and spices to create a warm, nourishing base to nestle sweet and plump roasted figs, antioxidant rich berries and crunchy toasted nuts. This is all topped with tangy coconut yogurt that balances the flavors perfectly.

As with all my breakfast meals I look for a balanced ratio of proteins, carbohydrates and healthy fats because that will leave you feeling fully satisfied and ready to start your day. A bowl like this gives you sustained energy, a boost of protein and a kick of micronutrients and it's great for mornings where you want something slightly more elevated than your old breakfast standards -oats, cereal, granola, avo toast, pancakes. Yes, roasting figs make be a little 'extra' and it may take a bit more time but trust me, it's so very worth it.

As always, let me know how you customize this recipe - it's so easy to top it with whatever you're craving and I can imagine any number of things would be amazing piled atop this creamy quinoa porridge - raspberries, coconut flakes, goji berries, etc.

Serves: 2 • Cook Time: 20 minutes

Quinoa Porridge

  • 1/2 cup quinoa (I used a multi-color variety but white or red quinoa will work nicely here as well)
  • 1 cup coconut milk from a can (or tetraback for less creamy consistency)

NOTE: If you're in a colder climate, the fat solids and liquid from the coconut milk will be separate in the can. You'll need an homogenous mixture for this recipe - simply pour the entire contents of the can into a small pot and simmer on medium heat while using a whisk or fork to combine. Once combined, pour the mixture into a storage vessel, measure out your required amount and use the rest to pour over the porridge or in a smoothie or over granola!

  • Maple syrup to taste (I used 1-2 tbsp.)
  • 1/2 tsp. cardamom (you can sub cinnamon or vanilla)
  • Pinch of pink salt

Roasted Figs

  • 8-10 dried figs (I used both blonde and mission varieties)
  • 1/2 tsp. coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp. maple syrup


  • Spinkel of toasted slivered almonds
  • Dollop of coconut yogurt (or sub any type of plant-based yogurt or even coconut cream, aka a bit of the solids from the coconut milk can)
  • Handful of blueberries
  • Splash of coconut milk
  • Sprinkle of cardamom and pink salt


Preheat your oven to 375*F. Add quinoa, coconut milk, maple syrup, cardamom and salt to a small pot off the heat and stir to combine. Simmer on medium heat for about 15 minutes or until the quinoa is tender and fragrant, stirring every few minutes. The quinoa should absorb most of the coconut milk without being overly dry, if it dried out too soon, add more liquid.

While the quinoa is cooking, remove the stems from the dried figs and slice them in half so that the seeds are exposed. You can also use fresh figs if they are in season although the roasting time will be longer. Add the figs to a silpat or parchment lined baking sheet. Massage them with coconut oil and maple syrup and cook in the over for 10-12 minutes until they are plump, fragrant and caramelized.

NOTE: Allow the figs cool for at least 5 minutes before plating so the sugars have a chance to harden, otherwise they might have a "tacky" texture.

Add the cooked quinoa into two bowls and top with the roasted figs and all other desired toppings. 




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Copal Clean Beauty Giveaway!

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Copal Clean Beauty Giveaway!

Enter to win a slew of goodies from our friends at Copal Clean Beauty to help celebrate their launch! 

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My Whole-Food Plant-Based Pantry Staples


As I prepare to move out of my current dwelling in Northern California I have started the arduous task of packing up my kitchen. Moving is crazy - it's exciting, scary, sad, happy, its so damn bittersweet. Mendocino county is the most magical, wild, healing place I have ever been. Visiting here two years ago I could not have expected my life to line up as it did - it has solidified my purpose, inspired my soul and ignited my spirit. With my vision clear I feel called back to the place where I was born, the Connecticut shoreline - to make a difference and share my purpose in the community that is closest to my heart. I could go on but I'll save the sappiness for another post.

As I clean out my pantry I wanted to share with you the things I have kept regularly stocked for the past two years to help inspire your own whole-foods plant-based kitchen. I want to show you that eating this way doesn't have to be expensive, complicated or full of mystery powders and potions - as you'll see below most of my pantry staples are cheap, easy to find and quick to prepare. I buy most of these items in bulk (either online or at the health food store) to cut down on waste - when I can I always try to buy glass containers as opposed to plastic and I recycle my cans and reuse my containers. The items below are things I use at least once a week and that I know you'll get frequent use out of, too! I've linked a lot of the items I love and buy frequently on Amazon for your convince. Check it out and then let me know - what are your favorite pantry staples?


I love experimenting with different flours which I always buy in the bulk section of my natural foods grocery store. In my pantry right now I have chic pea flour (great for savory pancakes), whole wheat flour, buckwheat flour, rye flour (makes incredible bread), brown rice flour, almond meal (great in baked goods) and Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free 1-to-1 Flour. Experiment and find your favorites! 



A lot of people are scared of sugar, and I totally get it. While I don't do the whole processed 'white sugar' thing I do like my stuff sweet and I want to encourage you to keep natural sugars in your diet, but in moderation. As you reduce your sugar intake your taste buds balance out. Eventually, it will take less natural sugars to make things taste sweet and delicious; my friends always laugh at me when I remark how sweet a piece of broccoli or romaine is - but thats how I know my taste buds are in check!

  • Pure Maple Syrup - I buy this stuff in bulk because it is my #1 go to sweetener and I like my shit sweet. It can be expensive but purchasing a 32 oz. jar every 2 months is better than buying a tinyyyy little bottle for $10 every week. I love it's rich delicious flavor in breakfast, granola and even in my coffee.
  • Coconut Sugar - I sub any other form of processed sugar a recipe may call for for coconut sugar. It has a lower glycemic index and a slightly molasses-y flavor akin to brown sugar - YUM.
  • Blackstrap Molasses - This stuff is awesome. While it is a bit of an acquired taste it makes a great addition to spiced cakes and other treats. It also has a super dense nutritional profile including iron, vitamin A and much, much more.
  • Medjool Dates - Sticky, sweet, and the best little energy boost money can buy. I buy these babies in bulk. I eat them stuffed with cashew butter as a quick snack or use them in baking or raw treats.

Plant Milk

Almond, cashew, macadamia, hemp - whatever! Try them all and discover your favorite. You can buy them in the store or make your own (if you have millions of hours to do that kind of stuff). Store-bought unsweetened plant based milks are delicious, fortified, affordable and have no-nasties like hormones and puss (side eye, cows milk). You can get them flavored with vanilla for your cereal or buy them 'plain' to use in savory dishes as well.

Nut Butter/Tahini

  • Almond Butter - I use almond butter at least a few times a week - on toast, in baking, in smoothies, or honestly - by the spoonful. I love to make my own using whole almonds and my trusty food processor but when looking for store-bought wait for a sale and stock up as this stuff can get pricey!
  • High Quality Tahini - Do yourself a favor and get some high-quality authentic Middle-Eastern-style Tahini. The "Americanized" version does not compare. This pourable liquid gold makes for a great alternative to oil in baking or as the base for the most deliciously creamy dressing you could ever dream of.
  • PB2 Powder - If you love peanut butter, go grab this now! With 80% less fat, I find it must easier to work with when adding to smoothies, baked goods or savory Thai-style sauces. The flavor is strong and when you mix it with a little water and maple syrup it makes a great dip for sliced green apples.


I used to be afraid of nuts for their high fat content but as I spend more time experiementing with my diet I have made nuts a staple. They are versatile, delicious and they keep you fuller for longer. I buy my nuts and seeds raw and in bulk - this way I can use them in many applications and keep my costs lower. I often store nuts in the freezer so they don't spoil.

  • Cashews - High in nutrients and perhaps the most versatile nut. Sweet, creamy Cashews are great in so many applications - chopped up and added to rice dishes, in smoothies, over oatmeal. When I am feeling extra fancy I soak them to use in as a raw cheesecake base or blended with a little water, salt and garlic to make cashew cream. I also chuck them in the food processor with nutritional yeast and seasonings to make an incredible vegan "parm" that sprinkle over everything savory.
  • Walnuts - Rich in omega 3's, Walnuts are a close second to cashews in terms of versatility. You can use them in anything - they're my favorite nut to add to chocolate smoothies.
  • Almonds - My favorite nut. I love buying raw almonds in bulk when they're on sale and using them in baking or to make my own almond butter.
  • Brazil Nuts - High in essential minerals, I love to snack on brazil nuts wrapped in dates - they are the perfect pre-workout pick me up.
  • Pumpkin Seeds - Sprinkled over salads, add in granola, mix into baked goods. 
  • Hemp seeds - High in protein and super filling, I love the delicate texture of these little gems.
  • Chia Seeds - Ohhhhh chia. I use chia nearly every day - in smoothies, in overnight oats, and ground up with a little water in baking to replace eggs. I love these filling fiber-rich seeds.
  • Ground Flax Seeds - Flax is similar to chia in that it gels when added to water - I love the body that ground flax gives to smoothies. 

Beans (Canned or Dry)

In 'How Not to Die' Dr. Greggor states that research shows us that one of the best things you can do for your health is to eat 1 cup of beans a day because in short, FIBER. While I don't think I eat that much I do love beans - I always add them to salads and soups and often make my own hummus with a bit of tahini. Canned beans are convenient and fast - just make sure you give them a super good rinse!

My favorite beans include, garbanzo beans, kidney beans and black beans.


Other Canned Goods

  • Coconut Milk - For use in curries, raw desserts and anything that you want to give a rich, creamy body.
  • Tomatoes - Pureed, diced, fire roasted, whole, etc. I ALWAYS keep a variety of canned tomatoes on hand for quick soups, sauces and stews. One of my go-to quick and easy dinners  is a can of fire roasted tomatoes, a can of chic peas and a ton of wilted greens spiced with red pepper flakes. 
  • Pumpkin Puree - While I may not use pumpkin once a week I do use it year round. It makes a great addition to curries, pancakes and even smoothies.


Ohhhh, grains. Personally, I have a love-hate relationship with these guys as some of them leave me feeling like a balloon animal (ugh) but they are so versatile, cost effective and full of energy so I think they should play a role in most any balanced diet. I love experimenting with different grains like farrow, bulghur and amaranth - there's something so ancient and human about grains; humanities' great civilizations were founded around their cultivation so yea, I am not on the paleo wagon. That said, I am not gluten free but I do notice I feel a bit better when I limit my gluten intake so here are my top grains...

  • Quinoa - You will never, ever find me without quinoa prepped in the fridge. I buy it in bulk and make a few cups every week to use for quick breakfast, lunches and dinners throughout the week. Quinoa, which acts like a grain, is technically a seed that is super rich in protein and other nutrients. It is my #1 go to "grain".
  • Rice - Personally brown rice (and lentils) don't digest great for me so I stick to white jasmine rice, black rice or my favorite, Japanese sushi rice (I make a lot of my own sushi). I don't cook it all the time (because I am impatient AF so when I do it's in bulk - I will often portion and freeze it once cooked so I have it ready-to-go.
  • Oats - I am a self admitted oats addict. For me, they digest so well and I love the texture - I could eat them for every meal. I often cook down old fashioned oats with cinnamon, mashed banana and a tablespoon of almond butter for an easy, hot breakfast or soaking steel cut oats overnight with cashew milk, chia seeds and maple syrup for the ideal on-the-go treat. I also use oats to make oat flour (great for baking and raw protein bites) and even in smoothies.
  • GF Quinoa/Brown Rice Pasta - Because every one wants pasta but not everyone feels great after eating the flour varieties. This brand is so easy on my digestion and it cooks up just like traditional noodles.
  • Buckwheat or Rice Noodles - I eat Thai/asian style noodles A LOT so this is something I always keep on hand. Noodles are generally are super cheap - I add a ton of veggies (fresh or frozen) and some peanut sauce and, voila,  I have an impressive, whole-foods plant-based dinner.
  • Buckinis - I like to add these crunchy little guys to granola or on top of smoothies bowls. 

Seasoning ... Spices/Sauces

When people tell me they love meat because of "the flavor" I am tempted to reply, "you know thats seasoned with ah, hem, vegan spices, riiiight?" Flavor is what makes food taste good, so here are my most commonly used...

  • Pink Salt or Celtic sea salt - anything but iodized table salt. Salt makes food taste good, we also need sodium to survive but we don't need to consume it in the amounts we so often do. I like larger flakes so I can really see how much I am adding to a dish.
  • Chili Powder - I like Mexican food a lot so this gets used often - mixed into beans, sprinkled over corn tortillas, and of course added to a spicy bean chili. 
  • Curry Powder/Paste - This mix of spices makes for a quick and easy veggie curry. I love trying different brand and varieties - red thai curry paste, yellow curry powder, garam masala, etc.
  • Garlic Powder - Because this lazy girl can't be bothered to peel garlic most days.
  • Smoked Paprika - This is my latest spice obsession. I sprinkle it into to everything - soup, salad, avo toast. Some varieties are spicy and others are sweet - read the label carefully!
  • Turmeric powder - I use this powder for it's color and health benefits. I love the hue it gives to vegan cheese sauces. In order to receive all of the inflammation reducing benefits, be sure to have it with a bit of cracked black pepper for max. absorption (thank you Dr. Greggor).
  • Cumin - I add paprika, garlic powder and cumin to potatoes to make THE BEST breakfast hash browns. It's kinda my holy spice trinity.
  • Red Pepper Flakes - The quickest way to add a hit of heat to your dishes.  
  • Cinnamon - As if I needed another reason to add cinnamon to everything (including coffee) it naturally regulates your blood sugar level. Heck yea.
  • Cardamom - I am OBSESSED with this sweet, spicy, totally unique flavor. I love adding it to anything sweet as you would cinnamon.
  • Vanilla Bean Paste - Worth the extra cash! This thick, rich paste is way more concentrated than it's liquid counterpart and it's flecked with real vanilla bean seeds which honestly makes all the difference. 
  • Spicy Mustard - I mostly use mustard in dressings - combine a little tahini, maple syrup and spicy mustard with some apple cider vinegar and you've got a super tasty sauce/dressing.
  • The Pepper Plant California Hot Sauce - This is my personal favorite hot sauce. When buying sauces, look for a small ingredient list with no added sugars and a limited amount of salt. 


Here's all the stuff I couldn't fit into the categories above but use ALL - THE - TIME - vinegars, powders and more! Check it out!

  • Nutritional Yeast - Yes, it looks like fish food. But, vegan or not, you need all the B-12 vitamin you can get and this is a super tasty source.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar - Here's another one I use nearly everyday. With a benefits list a mile long I love to use it as the base for dressings and sauces. I also like to add a splash or two to some cold water with some hibiscus flowers and a bit of maple syrup - it's like rose for people who don't drink. Make sure you buy a brand that includes "the mother". 
  • Rice Wine Vinegar - I love adding this slightly sweet, delicate vinegar to asian-style sauces.
  • Coconut oil - I generally avoid oil but when I do need to use it (in things like granola) I always opt for unrefined coconut oil. I honestly can't 'taste the coconut' like some people say, but hey, to each is own. BONUS: I have replaced all body lotions and hair oils with this same coconut oil - it works better, is more affordable, stop spending money on chemical laden skin products!
  • Coconut Aminos - I use this savory brown liquid as a dip for sushi in as an alternative to way-too-salty soy sauce or as a part of a delicious, savory dressing. 
  • Maca Powder - I know, I know. This is technically a 'superfood' - which I generally denounce (every plant food is superfood, AM I RIGHT?!) BUT I LOOOOVE the taste of maca - it has a nutty, malted flavor that is great in smoothies and baked goods...and if it increases libido and energy to boot - count me in. 
  • Cacao Powder - It's raw chocolate powder that you can add to literally anything, I mean, do I need to explain? I use it in smoothies, baked goods and raw treats. Love, love, love the stuff.
  • Coconut Milk Powder - I sprinkle this into curries when I don't want to use a full can or to make an incredible hot chocolate base mixed with a little bit of cacao powder and maple syrup - it makes everything thick and rich without the use of oil
  • Protein Powder - I love to change up my protein powder each time I run out because there are so many out there to try but this brand is my go-to. It doesn't bother my stomach and touts a great ingredient list. I don't think you need a protein powder to supplement a vegan diet ("But where do you get your protein?!") ... yet as an active person I do like to add them to my smoothies for that extra boost.
  • Dried Hibiscus Flowers - Ever get bored of regular water? Add a few of these gems to a pitcher and leave it in the fridge overnight - you'll get a gorgeous rosey-hued iced tea that has an addictively tart flavor and some great detoxing benefits. I find them super cheap at any Latin/Mexican Grocery store.
  • Dried Mushrooms - Add these bad boys to the base of soup and they will take it from 0 to 60. Everyone will wonder what the heck you did to get all that flavor in there.
  • Roobius Chai Tea Powder - I make a roobius chia tea with this powder and a little almond milk nearly every night, plus I add this to smoothies and baked goods for an extra boost of flavor.
  • Nori sheets - I make a lot of veggie sushi but nori is also a great snack. I love to tear it up into a salad for another layer of interesting texture.
  • Dried Fruits - I'd rather have my fruit fresh but I love keeping at least one of the following in my cabinet to use over porridge, in granola and as a snack - raisins, dried mango, sour cherries, dried blueberries or goji berries. 



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Golden Roasted Squash Soup


I know, I know. It's been a while! Between the holidays and working on a lot of 'behind the scenes' LCK projects, the blog has taken a bit of a back seat. Bare with me for the next month or so as I am moving back home to the east coast - more on that super exciting news soon! But I am back for now with a super simple, healing, delicious soup perfect for a winters night!

This soup isn't a revolutionary concept but it is just plain good if you're feeling a little 'dull' this time of year. It is the perfect thing to ignite your tastebuds, get your skin glowing and your digestion, ahem, flowing. Turmeric, coconut, ginger and garlic round out the sweetness of roasted butternut squash in all the best ways - you will want bowl after bowl of this creamy, comforting concoction which is fine because all of the ingredients are full-on superfoods.


Here's a little breakdown:

- Butternut squash is packed with nutrient dense healthy fiber that keeps your digestion moving in the sluggish winter months (and, heck, in the spring, summer and fall too)

- Coconut milk is a healthy fat that provides long lasting energy 

- Turmeric contains powerful anti-inflamitory compounds and leaves your skin glowing (make sure to crack some fresh black pepper into your soup as it aids in the absorption of curcumin in the body)

- Ginger is wonderful at healing any disease within your stomach

- Garlic is an anti-microbial and is great, natural way to keep the sniffles (or the flu) at bay


Okay, are you convinced you need to make this soup yet? If none of the benefits win you over, I promise the simple method and the flavor will - and I mean, just look at that golden color! 

Serves: 2-4 • Duration: 1 hr, 15 min 

  • 1 small butternut squash, seeds removed + roasted
  • 2-4 cups low sodium vegetable broth - adjust according to your desired thickness
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, to taste
  • 1 16 oz. can 'lite' coconut milk
  • 1" fresh garlic cloves, peeled and grated
  • 1/2"-1" fresh turmeric, peeled and grated
  • 1/2"-1" fresh garlic, peeled and grated
  • Salt and fresh cracked black pepper, to taste

Preheat your oven to 400*F. Slice your butternut squash in half length wise and remove the seeds. Lay a piece of parchment down on a sheet pan and spray with a little bit of coconut oil spray and place the butternut squash skin side up on the tray. Place in the oven and roast for 40-1 hr - depending on how large your squash is - you want a knife to puncture the thickest part of the squash with little resistance before removing it from the oven. 

Remove the squash from the oven and allow to cool for 10-15 minutes (you can of course roast your squash ahead of time and store in the fridge until you're ready to blend). 

Once cool enough to handle, carefully remove the skin and add the flesh to a blender along with the rest of the ingredients, starting with 2 cups of vegetable stock and increasing as you pulse the mixture until fully smooth.

NOTE: If you are using a high-powered blender like a Vitamix or Blendtec, you'll want to pulse instead of blend this soup - full on blending over airates the texture - leaving it a little too 'light-and-fluffy' 

Once you've reached the desired thickness, transfer the soup to a large pot and simmer on medium-low heat, covered for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. You may have to add a little more stock or water as the soup will begin to reduce as it warms. 

Adjust seasonings to taste before serving. 




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Maple Roasted Butternut Squash with Spicy Kale Stuffing


Maple Roasted Butternut Squash with Spicy Kale Stuffing


Looking for a healthier main for your holiday celebrations? Maybe you looking for a flavorful recipe that is fast and easy to prepare the midst of all the crazy? Or do you just want a simple winter meal that leaves you totally satisfied? Get back into balance with this nourishing whole-food-plant-based dinner recipe!


I know you're gonna love the combination of the spicy kale, tomato and white bean filling (reminiscent of my winter favorite - Portuguese spicy kale soup) paired with the creamy, sweet roasted butternut squash - it's hits all the flavor notes you'd want in a warming winter meal but without all of the fuss! 

This dish is PERFECT for unexpected guests - pop the squash in the oven when they arrive and prep the filling in the last ten minutes of cooking - leaving plenty of time for you to catch up out of the kitchen (it's also great for those solo nights when you need to decompress and treat yourself right but don't feel like doing a big "thing" for dinner).


Plus this recipe is packed with plant based protein, healthy carbs and the king of greens, good-ol' curly kale. With zero gluten, grains or other additives you know you are feeding your body the simple, whole plant nourishment it needs.

Serves: 2-4 (depending on how hungry you are) • Pan to Plate: apx. 40 min- 1 hr.


  • 2 organic small butternut squash, sliced in half, seeds removed

Note: Look in the organic section for smaller squash - organic produce is usually smaller in size, theres A TON of tiny-baby butternuts in my neck of the woods this time of year and they are just SO sweet and tender! If you can only find large butternut squash, then you may want to select acorn squash instead - same process! 

  • 2 tbsp. coconut oil (optional, if avoiding oil)
  • 2 tbsp. maple syrup
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 400*F and line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Mix together the coconut oil and maple syrup in a small bowl. 

Slice the squash from stem to end and remove the seeds. Coat the flesh side of the squash in a thin layer of the maple syrup and oil mixture. 

Place the maple-rubbed squash halves face down on the baking sheet and roast in the oven for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, use tongs to flip the squash over and continue roasting for another 20 minutes or until the flesh is slightly caramelized and a fork is inserted into the neck of the squash and comes out tender. 

Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly. 


  • 2 cups packed kale, stems removed, roughly chopped
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes OR 1 can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 can low-sodium white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped fine
  • 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • Fresh rosemary to taste

In the last ten minutes of roasting, turn a large pan on high heat and add the tomatoes and garlic with just splash of water - cover with a lid for 5-7 minutes until some of the juices have released. Then stir in the kale, beans and spices and cover for another three minutes or until the kale has slightly wilted. Remove the lid and cook for another minute or two so that the water evaporates. 

VEGAN "PARM" SPRINKLE (makes a small jars' worth)

  • 3/4 cup cashews, brazil nuts or walnuts
  • 1/3 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 garlic clove
  • salt to taste

Add all ingredients to a food processor and pulse until a fine parm-like texture is reached. Stores well in an airtight container in the fridge for weeks!


Spoon a heaping cups worth of filling into the butternut squash's cavity. Sprinkle with vegan "parm" and add back into the oven for 3-4 minutes. Serve immediately. If there's leftover filling you can serve it on the side or store it for later!





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Creamy Sun-dried Tomato Pesto Pasta


Tangy. Savory. Spicy. Sweet. Man. Oh. Man. 

This pesto is insane - all you need is a blender and a few minutes and you're on your way to a super impressive plant-based pesto pasta dinner. Actually, I don't know if you can call this a pesto, I'm not going to google what constitutes one so, please, don't call the pesto police on me. Anyway, this, ahem, SAUCE  is one for the books...and by books I mean blog. 

I've heard a lot of talk about bean-based creamy sauces lately which are a lower-fat alternative to the overtly rich and oh-so-popular nut based vegan sauces. Using beans as a base means your sauce is inherently high in protein aka really filling which is always great and I could totally see how a soft, white bean would create a really nice base for many different flavors.

After some disappointing experimentation, I decided to pair the beans with sweet sun-dried tomatoes, red chili flake and fire-roasted red pepper for a multi-layered flavor parade - sweet, acidic, smokey, spicy and slightly 'cheezy' thanks to the holy-grail combination of nutritional yeast, apple cider vinegar and cashews. 


This sauce is super well rounded and it tastes good on everything - not just pasta but is magic when enrobing linguine and the like. The recipe makes enough sauce for two meals so be sure to save the extra for tomorrow's dinner - just see my tip about thinning it out below!


Take a stab at this one and let me know what you think!


Serves: 2-4 • Prep Time: 10 minutes • Cook Time: 10 minutes

  • 1 can low sodium white/canilleni beans
  • 1/2 cup packed oil free sun-dried tomatoes (I used Trader Joe's dry-packed variety)
  • 1/4 cup raw unsalted cashews
  • 1/3 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 whole red pepper, roasted on a gas stovetop OR 1/2 jar of roasted red peppers in water, drained
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 low sodium veggie boullion
  • 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar, more to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. chili flakes, salt and pepper
  • 2-2 1/2 cups water, plus more if you like a thinner sauce

1. Add all of the ingredients to a high speed blender but hold back half the water. Use a tamper to ensure an even blend and stop a few times to scrape down the sides. 

2. Once fully blended, add in the other half of the water. Check for desired consistency and flavor profile - adjust as needed.  Blend again until fully smooth.

NOTE: The sauce will thicken up a bit as it sits, I used some of the cooking liquid from the pasta to thin it out when preparing the dish but I did notice upon reheating the leftover sauce the next day that I had to add a significant amount of water just to get it back to the right consistency. If re-heating, Just play it on the safe side, adding a little water at a time - that way you won't risk over-thinning the sauce. If the sauce does come out too thin, simply bring to a low simmer on the stove for 5-10 minutes to allow it to reduce slightly. 

1. Cook the pasta according to packaged directions. Drain and rinse the pasta with cold water (skip the rinse if using regular pasta), carefully reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid in a small cup or dish.

2. In a large shallow pot, steam the spinach and tomatoes in a small amount of water until the tomatoes begin to release their juices and the spinach is fully wilted.

NOTE: I added the tomatoes in first, cooking for about 3 minutes before adding the spinach as it wilts so quickly.

3. Once the vegetables are cooked, turn the heat to low and add in your pasta, cooking liquid and half the sauce - stirring gently to pull the sauce and veggies through the noodles. 

4. Plate up the pasta and top with nutritional yeast or vegan parmesan. 




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