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

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

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

Roasted Root Vegetables

This dish couldn’t be simpler and more versatile. You can use whatever potatoes (or any root vegetables really!), spices, and oils you have on hand.

It takes about 10 mins of prep (from washing to potato to doing the dishes). Then you just pop it in the oven and do whatever else needs to get done! After 45 minutes or so, a healthy real dish is ready (plus it’s vegan and gluten free to boot!).

This dish naturally makes a great side. But with a few simple adjustments it can easily be served as an appetizer or entree (just add a big salad or serve yourself a plate full and you’re all set). Continue reading

Basic Acai Bowl

Acai bowl – the smoothie you eat with a spoon

 Until I tried this myself, I was quite the acai bowl skeptic. I’m not the biggest fan of smoothies so I didn’t really get the hype or huge pull.

Boy, was I wrong. Being able to eat with a spoon (and even chew!) made me slow down and really taste each bite.

Three huge pluses with acai bowls

  1. Easy. Prep, clean up, and shopping are all a breeze. Can also be prepped before and blended in the AM!
  2. Nutritious. Fruit, nuts, seeds, milk – need I say more?
  3. Customizable. Between the blender ingredients and the toppings, the options are nearly endless.

Continue reading