Easy Spice Mix Guide

A huge misconception that people have is that healthy food is bland or unsatisfying or just plain boring… Not true!!

Spices really elevate a dish into something fantastic. These spice mixes can serve as a base for many dishes. They’re great to add to ROASTED VEGETABLES, mashed potatoes, SOUR CREAM (makes a great dip), pasta, and more.

Cajun Spice Blend

2 tbs cumin + 2 tbs coriander + 2 tbs paprika + 1 1/2 tsp salt + 2 tsp pepper + 1 tbs oregano + cayenne pepper to taste

Chili Seasoning

2 tbs chili powder + 1 tsp cumin + 1 tsp coriander + 1 tsp garlic powder + 1/2 tsp onion powder + 1/2 tsp salt

Taco Seasoning

@ tbs + 2 tsp cumin + 1 tsp onion powder + 1 1/2 tsp garlic powder + 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper + 1 tsp salt + 1/2 tsp oregano

Greek Spice Blend

1 tbs garlic power + 1 tbs dried basil + 2 tbs oregano + 1 tsp salt + 2 tsp pepper + 2 tsp dried sparsely + 2 tsp rosemary + 1 tsp dried thyme

Pumpkin Spice Blend

1/4 c ground cinnamon + 3 tsp ground ginger + 2 tsp nutmeg + 1 tsp ground cloves

Corn Black Bean Relish

Can you use a can opener? Can you chop a few vegetables? Then you can make this.

Shout out to my mom for showing me how to make this way back when. It’s so so simple (and affordable!). All you have to do is open a few cans, chop a few veggies, and top with your favorite spices or hot sauce. Then mix and enjoy a big (lunch all week big) bowl of deliciousness for less than $4! Continue reading

Chicago Diner

Chicago Diner is heaven on earth. The menu is all meat-free (since ’83)! Tons of options are gluten-free and all of them are easily made vegan.

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Reuben and Sweet Potato Fries (V) My all time favorite. The flavorful corned beef seitan, grilled onions and peppers, tangy sauerkraut, vegan creamy thousand island and cheese, on marbled rye make this a knock-out. ($12.00, served with pickle and side) (5/5)

Loaded Cookies

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Normally I’m a pure chocolate kinda gal but these babies break that rule. So much  deliciousness. These cookies barely have time to cool before the whole family is rushing to grab a few.

Loaded with chocolate chips, dried cranberries, pecans, cinnamon, and allspice these are the perfect balance of sweet with a hint of savory.  Continue reading

Warm Lemon Water

So, I’ve become a huge fan of water, particularly lemon water. Warm lemon water in the morning wakes up me up and gets my day started on the right note. It wakes me up (sans the caffeine jitters I get from coffee) and rehydrates me after my 8 hours of shut eye!

Beyond tasting great, there’s a ton of real benefits to drinking warm lemon water (especially first thing in the morning!)

  1. Aids digestion. Drinking warm water first thing in the morning helps to flush the digestive system, re-hydrate the body, and encourages the production of bile.
  2. Easy, natural flush. While you sleep your liver is busy! Drinking water in the morning helps to make sure your liver and lymph systems are functioning. properly. Think about it – after sleep you haven’t drank anything for 6-8 hours!
  3. Vitamin C. Lemons have about 30-50 mg of vitamin C. Drinking lemon first thing in the morning increases the body’s absorption of the vitamin C, which can provide a slight immune boost, improve adrenal function, and improve skin.

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Mediterranean Pasta Salad

You (yes, even you) have the skills, budget, and time to make lunch for a whole week. img_4984

For this delicious Mediterranean-inspired pasta salad, all you need to know how to do is boil a pot of noodles and chop vegetables. Seriously, it’s that easy to eat home-cooked, nutritious meals.

It takes less than 20 minutes and under $9 to feed yourself for the whole week! Your wallet and waistline will thank you for bringing you lunch this week. (travel adventures >> lunchtime carry out.. in my opinion)

Like most recipes on here, please customize as you like!! No red pepper? Use some broccoli. Gluten free? Quick sub of quinoa pasta and you’re good to go. Omnivore? Feel free to add some feta. Continue reading

5 Tips to Thrive During Your First Vegan Week

Deciding to transition to a plant based diet is a big (exciting) decision. You’re probably about to change your diet and eating habits in pretty significant ways. These changes will positively impact your health and wallet.

At first, any change can seem difficult or overwhelming. Be patient and enjoy all the new experiences and tastes!

It’s important to be openminded. If you spend all your time thinking about how much you miss cheese or view your new diet as a punishment, you probably won’t be the happiest vegan on the block. Life advice – bad attitudes never help a situation.

With the tips below and the other RESOURCES and MEALS posted on Flavors of Living you realize eating healthy (plant based or not) .

1. Crowd out animal products.

Rather than focusing food you’re removing from your diet, focus on all the new foods you’ll be adding. Last year, I had no idea how to use a chia seed and was intimidated by tofu. Now, I eat them daily and in a variety of ways.

Don’t  run out and buy a bunch of things you’ve never tried before. One day at a time! Changing to a plant-based diet can be overwhelming. So, start simple. Chances are, you already have a good amount of ingredients to get you started and can buy the rest at any grocery store. Take it one step at a time and enjoy your new diet.

To begin, make a list of fruits, vegetables, grains, beans and other animal free ingredients like and of those you would like to try. Next to those, list several ways you would like them prepared. Think about which items might pair well together. Tomatoes, onions, and pasta or HUMMUS, cucumbers, red peppers and PITA BREAD for example. Loaded baked potatoes and smoothies are a great way to combine your favorite fruits and vegetables. Continue reading