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

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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

Easy Hummus

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Hummus is a serious staple of a vegan diet. The chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans) are full of protein (28 g in this recipe), fiber, and unique antioxidants.

This recipe is so easy! All you have to do to make fresh, chemical free hummus is open a can, add a few ingredients, and turn on the blender (or food processor). That’s all it takes!

I love enjoying hummus with fresh peppers, cucumbers, and carrots. Its also delicious on pita bread or with crackers. Pair it with some tabbouleh and falafel and now we’re really talking.

Feel free to add as much garlic and spice as you’d like! Like many of the recipes on Flavors of Living, this is meant to serve as a base to get you more comfortable in the kitchen and to allow you to find what you enjoy eating. So experiment away! Red pepper and olive are two of my favorite add-ins.  Continue reading

English Muffin Ideas

English muffins (whole wheat or sprouted) rock my vegan diet for three reasons –

  1. Good source of protein and fiber. In the muffin alone, the protein averages 5g-6g with about 3 g of fiber. Add to that the protein and fiber from whatever I top them with and it’s not bad for an easy snack.
  2. Endless possibilities. From sweet to savory and breakfast to dessert, it’s all good.
  3. Affordable. Whole grain/sprouted English muffins range in price from $.48-.61 a piece. With the cost of toppings you’re looking at a total of less than $2 (max) for a great meal. Compare the cost and nutrient density of these meals to those at McDonald‘s or Dunkin Donuts the choice is clear.
  4. Quick and easy. They are honestly simple to make. All are delicious and require minimal clean up. In addition, they pack well and are pretty portable.

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Avocado Tomato

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Sprouted english muffin + 1/2 avocado + tomato slices + nutritional yeast + pepper

  • Calories – 387
  • Potassium – 835 mg (24%)
  • Fiber – 14.1 g (56%)
  • Vitamin A – 13%
  • Vitamin C – 34%
  • Iron – 5%

Cranberry Peanut Butter

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Sprouted english muffin + 2 tbs peanut butter + chopped dried cranberries + chia seeds + ground flax

  • Calories – 512
  • Potassium – 600 mg (17%)
  • Fiber – 19 g
  • Protein – 23 g
  • Calcium – 30%
  • Iron – 50%

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Cooking Without Recipes

                Knowing how to cook and create in the kitchen (without spending hours or your whole paycheck) is a huge step towards empowering yourself to live a healthy life. 

Whether you’re looking to transition to a plant-based diet or trying to eat healthier, learning how to cook (without a recipe) is a good place to start.

Despite the overwhelming evidence that the standard American diet is literally killing us, people still have endless reasons about why they don’t eat a healthy diet. Though there are many variations of them, these excuses are usually centered around three issues –

  1. Not having the time.
  2. Not having enough money.
  3. Not enjoying the taste.

Some of these excuses simply don’t have merit. By saving you time and money (while increasing how much you enjoy your food), learning to cook without a recipe helps solve all three of the root excuses as to why you can’t eat healthy.

If you’ve ever felt frustrated that things aren’t going smoothly in the kitchen and like you’re spending too much time making meals, I’m here to tell you that I’ve been there! Like most people, when I began trying to eat healthier, I was relying on recipes for most meals (especially for dinners or entertaining).

Every meal took a few trips to the grocery store, required so many dishes, and took forever. But, I felt like I would end up with an inedible mess if I didn’t consult the recipe every 90 seconds. Relying on the directions so heavily was exhausting and made cooking a chore. Even though I was cooking more and more, I still felt so unsure of myself in the kitchen.

After one too many frustrating 8pm dinners, I stopped searching Pinterest for my meal planning and started with what I knew (the basics..). As I began to gain some confidence at the stove, I started experimenting with my meals. I was the chef and I knew what I liked to eat better than anyone so, why not make it just how I liked it?

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