Meatless Monday: Vegan Southern-Style Dressing

Whether you call it “stuffing” or you live in the south and call it “dressing,” no Christmas or Thanksgiving meal is complete without it! 

  • 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. nondairy, non-hydrogenated butter (Earth Balance)
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 celery stalks, diced
  • 8 oz. button or cremini mushrooms, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp. dried sage
  • 1tsp. dried thyme
  • ½ tsp. dried rosemary
  • ½ tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/8 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1 tsp. Kosher salt
  • ½ tsp. fresh ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 cups vegan stuffing mix (see below)
  • 1.5-2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth  


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large sauté pan, heat the oil and butter over medium-high heat until melted. Add in the onion and celery and let cook until the onion is translucent. Add the mushrooms and let cook until softened and browned, about 5 minutes. Mix in the garlic and the seasonings.
  2. Add the parsley and the stuffing mix to the sauté pan. Mix well. Moisten the stuffing mixture with broth until it is soft but not wet. Remove the bay leaf and let the mixture cool.
  3. Transfer the stuffing to a large casserole dish that has been brushed with some oil or cooking spray. Bake, uncovered, for 30-40 minutes. 
  4. Enjoy!  

Guacamole Potato Skins with Ranch Dressing

These guacamole potato skins are perfect to snack on for Meatless Monday Night Football.  


  • 5-6 small Russet potatoes, about 3″ long
  • 2-3 tablespoons Earth Balance (vegan butter), melted
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly cracked black pepper


  • 3 ripe avocados, halved, seeded, and flesh scooped out
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne
  • ½ medium onion, diced
  • ½ jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 green onions, sliced thin
  • 1 jalapeño, sliced thin, optional, for garnish
  • fresh cilantro, chopped, optional, for garnish

Ranch dressing

  • ¼ teaspoon lemon juice
  • about ¼ cup unsweetened unflavored Silk almond milk
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, peeled, smashed, and minced
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chives, chopped
  • 1 cup Just Mayo (vegan mayonnaise)
  • ½ cup Follow Your Heart Vegan Sour Cream
  • A couple drops of white vinegar
  • Fresh dill, to taste, optional
  • Cayenne pepper, to taste, optional
  • Paprika, to taste, optional
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste


    Make the Ranch Dressing

    1. Make the “buttermilk”by pouring lemon juice into a measuring cup then filling to ¼ cup level with almond milk. Set aside and allow to curdle, about 10 minutes.
    2. On a cutting board, sprinkle some kosher salt on the minced garlic cloves and then, with the back of a fork, begin to smush and mash the garlic and salt into a paste. 
    3. Combine garlic-salt paste, parsley, chives, vegan mayonnaise, and nondairy sour cream in a medium bowl; whisk until smooth. 
    4. Add “buttermilk” mixture, as necessary to thin to desired consistency. When desired consistency is reached, add a couple drops of white vinegar and any other additional ingredients, as desired. Taste and adjust the seasonings, adding more salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. 
    5. Chill in the refrigerator and allow flavors to meld while you make the potato skins.

    Make the Potato Skins: 

    1. Preheat oven to 400ºF. 
    2. Wash potatoes well and pierce all over with fork. 
    3. Place potatoes directly on middle oven rack and bake until skins are crisp and a knife or fork pierces the potatoes easily, about 50 minutes. 
    4. Let the potatoes cool for about 10-15 minutes, until they are cool enough to handle.

    Make the Guacamole:

    1. In a large bowl combine the avocado meat and lime juice and toss to coat. 
    2. Drain the lime juice off and reserve in a small bowl. 
    3. Add smoked paprika, salt, cumin, and cayenne and mash with a potato masher, leaving some chunks for texture. 
    4. Fold in the onions, jalapeño, tomatoes, cilantro, garlic, and 1 tablespoon of the reserved lime juice. 
    5. Set aside while you…finish the potatoes 

    Finish the Potatoes:

    1. Once the potatoes are ready, remove and let cool about 10 minutes on a wire rack, or until the potatoes can be handled. 
    2. Set oven to broil.
    3. Slice each potato in half, lengthwise and use a spoon to scoop out the flesh, leaving about ¼” of the flesh intact. 
    4. Using a pastry brush, brush the insides of the potatoes with the melted, nondairy butter and season well with salt and pepper. 
    5. Turn the potatoes over and brush the skin sides with butter, and again season well with salt and pepper. 
    6. Place potato halves skin-side up on a baking sheet and broil them until the skin begin to brown and crisp, about 2 – 3 minutes (watch carefully so they don’t burn). 
    7. Flip skins over and broil another 2 – 3 minutes, or until beginning to brown and crisp.
    8. Remove potato skins from oven and place on serving platter. Spoon dollops of guacamole on the potato skins and garnish with sliced green onions, sliced jalapeños, and chopped cilantro. 
    9. Serve with ranch dressing immediately.

    Join the Meatless Monday Nights Sideline Meat challenge!

    Recipe adapted from 40 Aprons


      Spooktacular Treats for Halloween

      Halloween has always been one of my favorite holidays. Dressing up in costume is so much fun, and since I have a son, the whole family really gets into it. Yep, we’re one of those families who does a group costume! It’s such a fun way to get everyone involved and make the day a little more special. Another way to add fun to the day? Spooky foods!
      Whether you’re hosting a Halloween bash or just want some tasty snacks before heading out to trick-or-treat, these recipes are sure to be a hit. Here are a few ideas to get your evening off to a boo-tiful start.

      Halloween Apple Bites from Oh She Glows

      Banana Ghosts from The Vegan Woman  

      Candy Corn Fruit Parfaits  

      Satisfy your sweet tooth with some fresh pineapple, oranges and nondairy whipped cream, with a couple pieces of candy corn on top!


      • pineapple, cut into bite sized chunks
      • oranges, cut into bite sized chunks (or use the small Cuties)
      • nondairy whipped cream
      • candy corn

      Directions: In a clear glass, layer pineapple, then oranges and top with whipped cream and a couple pieces of candy corn. Serve right away or refrigerate until ready to serve. 

      Spiders on a Log  

      Things you’ll need: Celery sticks, Natural peanut butter and Plastic spiders

      Directions: Slice celery sticks crosswise. Fill each stick with peanut butter and arrange on a platter. Decorate theses snacks with plastic spiders … just be sure to remove them before digging in!

      Halloween Graveyard Salad from Fork and Beans  

      Happy Halloween!!!


      Vegan Pumpkin Waffles

      Although it doesn’t feel like late October outside (75 degrees yesterday), it sure does look like fall!

      These vegan pumpkin waffles come together quickly and are perfect for a relaxed weekend breakfast. Delicious, whole grain spiced pumpkin waffles that are crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside. This pumpkin waffle recipe’s secret ingredient is oat flour! 


      Vegan Pumpkin Waffles
      (Yield: 2-4 waffles)


      • 1 cup oat flour
      • 2 teaspoons baking powder
      • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
      • ½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
      • ⅛ teaspoon salt
      • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
      • ½ cup pumpkin puree
      • ¼ cup packed dark brown sugar
      • 1 tablespoon melted coconut oil
      • 1 flax egg (1 tablespoon flaxseed meal + 3 tablespoons warm water, mix then set aside for about 5 minutes or until consistency of egg white)
      • Coconut oil spray (or other cooking spray)


      1. Whisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, and salt in a medium bowl. 
      2. In a separate bowl, vigorously whisk together the wet ingredients until the mixture is thoroughly blended.
      3. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and combine. Let the mixture sit for about 10 minutes while your waffle iron heats up.
      4. Preheat a waffle iron and coat with spray coconut oil or cooking spray. 
      5. Once 10 minutes is up, give the batter one more, gentle swirl with your spoon. The batter will be pretty thick, but don’t worry… Your waffles will turn out great!
      6. Spoon about ⅓ – ½ cup batter per waffle onto iron and spread batter out to edges. Cook according to waffle iron directions, repeating until all batter is used.
      7. Cook 5 to 7 minutes or until steaming stops; repeat procedure with remaining batter. Once the waffle is deeply golden and crisp, *transfer it to a cooling rack or baking sheet.   
      8. Repeat with remaining batter and serve with desired toppings on the side.


        Don’t stack your waffles on top of each other or they’ll lose crispness. If desired, keep your waffles warm by placing them in a 200 degree oven until you’re ready to serve .

         FREEZE IT: 

        These waffles freeze nicely. So, you might want to make a big batch and treat yourself to pumpkin waffles are busy weekday mornings. Just store in freezer-safe plastic bags and pop individual waffles into the toaster until warmed through and you’re good to go!

        Happy National Pumpkin Day!!!

        © Copyright 2010 CorbisCorporation

        Stress and your Skin

        Have you ever noticed that when you are stressed, you break out more?

        According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), the feelings we have on the inside can affect how we look on the outside. The key to healthy skin lies far beyond the type of skincare products we use. Feelings of stress can affect how the skin ages by influencing certain processes in the body that lead to oxidation and inflammation.
        Here’s the gist: Chemical processes in the body produce molecules called free radicals. These enemies of the skin can damage healthy cells in a process called oxidation. Factors such as sun exposure, smoking, air pollution, poor diet and excess stress can speed up the production of free radicals. 
        The body also produces antioxidants that remove free radicals from the body before they can do any damage. By taking care of yourself and reducing your stress, you can increase the production of these molecules to save the look of your skin.

        Skin and Stress Connection 


        Stress can have the following effects on the skin:

        • Adrenaline produced from anxiety redirects blood away from the skin to the muscles so that it becomes pale and washed out.
        • Anger, excitement, irritability and frustration releases chemicals that stimulate the sebaceous glands which produce oil. This blocks pores and can cause acne to form.
        • Stress makes muscles tense and prevents blood from bringing oxygen and nutrients to the skin. Tension can also slow the removal of waste from underlying tissue.
        • Excess strain slows down the cell turnover rate so new cells take longer to reach the skin. Consequently, a lot of their moisture is lost, making the skin look dull.
        • Constant stress increases cortisone secretion, which suppresses immunity. As a result, the skin is not as resilient, and can become more irritated by outside chemicals and pollutants.
        • Excess stress can make psoriasis and rosacea conditions worse and acne lesions more inflamed. It can also worsen fever blisters and dermatitis.

        Stress-Free Skin Solutions


        • Practice stress management techniques, such as breathing exercises, yoga, meditation, or visual imagery to relax your mind and body.
        • Seek out professional assistance through a psychologist (therapist) or psychiatrist to identify what triggers in your life are causing anxiety and stress.
        • Don’t neglect your skin. Take care of your skin, even if you’re tired or stressed.
        • Get regular exercise. It’s good for your skin and the rest of your body.
        • Take time for yourself to do something you enjoy, even if you only have ten minutes. Take a bath or listen to some relaxing music.
        • Get enough sleep. Seven to eight hours each night is ideal.
        • Say no. It’s OK to set limits and boundaries to lower your stress.
        • Visit a dermatologist to treat your specific skin problems. Clearer skin may start diminishing your stress, as you’ll have more confidence and will look better. 

        What is your skin saying?


          Fresh Pumpkin Cake with Lemon Cardamon Glaze

          With fall in the air, I’m always in the mood for the sweet smells of pumpkin baking in the oven.


          Use a 6×9 inch loaf pan.



          • ¾ cup spelt flour
          • ¾ cup whole wheat pastry flour
          • 1 tsp baking powder
          • ½ tsp fine sea salt
          • ½ tsp baking soda
          • 1/2 cup unrefined coconut sugar 
          • 1 tsp ground cardamom
          • ¼ tsp ground clove
          • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
          • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
          • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
          • 2/3 cup pureed fresh pumpkin (roasted in oven until for tender, then scoop from skin)
          • 1/2 cup almond or coconut milk 
          • 2 tsp organic apple cider vinegar
          • 1 1/2 tsp pure organic vanilla extract

          Before you mix the ingredients, lightly oil the pan and preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit with the rack in middle.


          1. In a medium bowl combine the nondairy milk and vinegar set aside.
          2. Use a large sifter and place it over a large bowl – combine the flours, baking soda, sea salt, baking powder, sugar and spices. 
          3. Use a whisk to mix the dry ingredients through the sifter and mix again with the whisk once it passes through the sifter and is in the bowl.
          4. In a separate bowl combine the pumpkin puree, oil, vanilla extract and mix well then add the non-dairy milk and mix again.
          5. Now add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix well using a whisk just until combined – don’t over mix (the batter will be very thick).
          6. Add quickly to the oiled loaf pan and bake on the middle rack for 38-40 minutes. A toothpick inserted should come out clean or a few moist bits is fine.
          7. When done, let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes on a wire rack. 
          8. Carefully take out of the pan by flipping over onto a plate and then back on to the rack right side up and continue to cool.
          9. The cake should be cool before adding topping.

          Lemon Spice Glaze  

          • ½ cup organic powdered sugar
          • ¼ tsp cardamom
          • ¼ tsp cinnamon
          • 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
          • 2 tsp non dairy milk 


          Instructions (for Lemon Glaze):

          1. Sift sugar into bowl and add all other ingredients.
          2. Drizzle on the cake.
          3. Enjoy! 

          Recipe adapted from Flip Flops and Avocados.


              Meatless Monday: Two Bean Pumpkin Chili

              Warm up on a cool fall evening with some Pumpkin Chili. Throw all ingredients into your slow cooker in the morning so you’ll come home to a steaming bowl of chili. Pair with tortilla chips for the ultimate comfort food.  
              Two Bean Pumpkin Chili
              Makes 8-10 servings


              • ½ Tbsp olive oil
              • 1 onion, diced
              • 4 cloves garlic
              • 1 jalapeño, chopped
              • 1 red bell pepper, diced
              • 1 tsp cumin seeds
              • 1 tsp coriander seeds
              • 1 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
              • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
              • 2 (15oz) canned pumpkin purée 
              • 2 (28 oz) cans diced tomatoes
              • 2 Tbsp oregano
              • 4 Tbsp chili powder
              • 1 (15oz) can kidney beans
              • 1 (15oz) can black beans
              • 2 cups corn (fresh or frozen)
              • 2 Tbsp vegan Worcestershire sauce
              • 1 Tbsp organic  brown sugar
              • Salt and pepper, to taste


              1. In a pot, sauté onions, garlic and jalapenos in oil until onions are translucent about 5-7 minutes.
              2. Add all ingredients into slow cooker and cook on low for 5-6 hours.
              3. Enjoy!!!