Welcome

Welcome to Flavors of Living!

I’ve been sharing my health journey (with lots of yoga, delicious vegan foods, and a healthy dose of self care) casually on social media for a year now. Over that time, I’ve started to hear from more and more individuals with questions or positive feedback about something I had shared.

Driven by the desire to reach more people, to better provide resources and recipes, and to show that healthy living can be easy and affordable, I created Flavors of Living (the blog!).

Flavors of Living will feature easy recipes to help you feel your best, affordable meals for busy lives, and ways to lead a healthy, compassionate lifestyle.  

To get started –

Check out some of my favorite recipes- Nut Butter Wrap IdeasTofu Scramble Tacos, and Easy Chocolate Chip Cookies.

Check out beginner cook/vegan resources- Cooking Without RecipesGrocery ListVegan Resources, and Recipe Resources

Check out healthy lifestyle posts- 15 Simple Acts of Self Care6 Reasons to Stay Hydrated

I welcome and encourage your feedback! Flavors of Living will change based on feedback in order to meet the community’s needs and desires. I wish you much health and happiness on your wellness adventure and look forward to sharing this small piece of it with you.

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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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Everyday Dinners

Reminder – you do not have to be a skilled chef (or spend tons of money) to eat healthy, real foods that taste great.

You have the power to make simple changes that make significant impacts on the way you eat and feel. Eating healthy doesn’t always mean a fancy meal, a picturesq dish, everything from scratch, or always following a recipe. Sometimes a healthy meal is simply putting together whatever’s in the pantry or leftover from last night.

It is very possible to make healthy changes in your life without spending a ton of money or spending hours in the kitchen. These meals didn’t even require a recipe or measuring cups! Start to learn how to cook without a recipe by learning a few basic cooking techniques and refining your taste (AKA getting into the kitchen and experimenting!).

These are my 100% real, everyday dinners. You’ll see lots of leftovers, salads, and potatoes. Why? They’re versatile and I’ve always got them on hand. Plus, they’re full of lots of good nutrients and minerals.

For each meal I’ve provided an estimation of some key nutritional highlights. They’re not perfect, but should give you a glimpse into where my vitamins are coming from. Noted- I do take some supplements as well! More on that coming soon. 

I focus on getting a variety of foods on my plate and use spices to keep it interesting. I’m always trying out new creations. I’ll keep updating here to show you what I’m cooking up next. But, to make sure you don’t miss a thing, be sure to follow me on Instagram! Share your creations with #FlavorsOfLiving.


 

Lentil Stuffing Bake

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Stuffing = lentil, mushroom, kale, cranberry (recipe coming soon)

  • Calories – 148
  • Protein – 8 g
  • Iron – 16%
  • Vitamin C – 8%
  • Calcium – 3%

Crust = Pillsbury crescent roll 

  • Calories – 100
  • Protein – 2 g

All American

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Vegan sloppy joe with beefy crumble + manwich + mustard

  • Calories – 255
  • Protein – 18 g

Baked russet potato + nutritional yeast

  • Calories – 130
  • Protein – 6 g
  • Vitamin C – 45%
  • Potassium – 620 mg

Side salad with tomato + onion w/ oil + red wine vinegar

  • Calories – 25
  • Protein  – 1 g

 

Southwest Roll Up

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Sprouted tortilla + Tofutti cream cheese + mashed sweet potato + mashed black beans w/ fresh cilantro + hot sauce

  • Protein – 12 g
  • Fiber – 11 g
  • Calories – 315

    Freezer Shepard’s Pie and Village Salad

Shepherd’s Pie (recipe coming soon!)

  • Calories – 348
  • Protein – 17 g
  • Potassium – 1442 mg (41%)
  • Irong – (32%)
  • Vitamin C – (75%)

Village Salad

  • Calories – 70
  • Fiber – 3 g
  • Protein – 2 g
  • Vitamin C – (17%)
  • Iron – (7%)

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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

Recipe Resources

Food is so important to me. Cooking for others is one way I show I care. Creating new flavors in the kitchen is one way I express my creativity. Eating healthy, whole, plant-based meals is one way I respect myself and my world.

Because of that, I really leaned into cooking when transitioning to a plant based diet. I found some awesome websites, books, and real kitchen inspirations. Every recipe doesn’t turn out how you envisioned but that’s part of the process. It’s all about learning so just get started.

I’ve included some below for your references. Check them out and get cooking!

                                                                         Follow me on Instagram for the latest updates and show me what you’re up to by using #flavorsofliving


Thug Kitchen

‘eat like you give a f*ck’

I started cooking from this blog well before I transitioned to a plant based diet (I may have been eating chicken when I first tried it..) I was hooked. The recipes are that good. Plus, the hilarious, raunchy language pulls you in.

I have both cookbooks (The Official Cookbook and Party Grub from TK). Both have been well worth the investment. Since I’m always drawing inspiration from TK, its nice to have the books to keep notes and adaptations in.

The Official Cookbook is awesome for beginner cooks or vegans. There’s a whole section on how to stock your pantry, what different cooking terms mean, and more great info. 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.

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Tofu Scramble Tacos

Is it still brunch if it’s after noon?

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This tofu scramble was fantastic. I have to admit I was a little skeptical but the flavor is perfection.
I get questions all the time about how I get enough plant powered protein. The trifecta of beans, tofu, and veggies has 18 grams of plant protein!!

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