Dreamy Cheese Sauce

This is definitely one of my signature recipes and for good reason. It is a healthy and easy to make sauce that is super versatile. I use it for a delightful Mac&Cheese, as a dip sauce, sauce in or over burritos, over open sandwiches, anywhere and everywhere I can think of. The sauce’s signature status was also confirmed when my 10 year old son claimed it was better than ketchup! It’s that good lol. The recipe is below.

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Chocolate Hazelnut Energy Bars

I always try to keep a delicious and healthy treat in the freezer to ward off dessert cravings, so I am quite fond of super easy, no-bake recipes like this. These delicious little ones have a lot going for them. I love the taste and crunch of the hazelnuts, the chocolatey goodness and the fact that it comes loaded with protein. Treat it as a protein bar, or an energy bar, or simply as a special treat for me time. The recipe is below.

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Moroccan Carrot Salad with Tagine Sauce

I love carrots, love their vibrant color and the texture. But by themselves, they can be a little boring to be honest 🙂 That’s why I get excited when come across a simple way to transform them.

I have used Mina Harissa sauces extensively in the past and I was itching to try their newest additions to their product line, namely the tagine sauces. With Moroccan carrots in mind, this sounded like a perfect fit and it lived up to all the expectations.

The fish tagine sauce (vegan) is quite flavorful, you can definitely pick up the herb flavors alongside well balanced spices. So it delivers a mild heat, a bit of zestiness and lot of deliciousness. This worked so well to round out the sweetness of carrots and transform them into treats. This is going to be a favorite appetizer for me. The recipe is below:

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Vegan Smoked Salmon

Red bell peppers, peeled and marinated, with a flavor and texture reminiscent of smoked salmon. Of course it is not a 1 to 1 imitation of salmon that would pass as one in blind taste tests, that’s not the intention. But rather it functions as one as a wonderful toast topping, sushi or sashimi component, or a stand alone appetizer.

Nowadays, I am totally into experimenting with marination, fermentation, and playing with textures to manipulate the ingredients into developing deeper flavors and invoking different senses. Removal of the bell pepper skin makes it more flesh like and reduces the pepper crunch. And it also allows the pepper to be infused better with marination. The sweet and spicy taste of the red pepper is well complemented by the deeply umami miso and the smoke. With the light cooking in the end, the result is an intense and colorful flavor profile that lights up the taste buds.

The recipe, along with a video description is below:

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Non-mushy Falafel

Falafel is a superstar in plant-based cooking, but this seemingly simple dish is kind of hard to nail down in terms of texture. One simple trick to step up your falafel game, and to say goodbye to the mushiness, is to use dry chickpeas instead of canned. Canned chickpeas is definitely practical but it just doesn’t deliver the same flavor and texture. Soaked 24 hours in water, the dry chickpeas hydrate and soften. It is not even necessary to boil them, so it is not an added effort, you just need to decide a day before that you will be making falafels. The rest of the recipe is remarkably simple as well, see below:

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Vegan Matcha Zebra Cheesecake

I am definitely a tea person, and of all the varieties, matcha has a special place in my heart. One reason, of course, is that it is super high in anti-oxidants. Actually it is much more potent than regular green tea. But another, perhaps more important, reason is it’s smooth and delicious flavor. Lastly, that pretty vibrant green definitely needs a mention. This all makes it a great ingredient, not only for drinks, but for desserts!

Merging my love of the matcha tea with that of vegan cheesecakes, I set out to make this vanilla matcha zebra cheesecake. I used the Carrington Farms Matcha Tea Powder and I couldn’t be happier with the result (as expected with my experience with other Carrington Farms products so far). The dessert turned out creamy but light, absolutely delicious and flavorful, and very pretty 🙂

See below for the full recipe and a video description of the zebra layering.

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Pina Colada Protein Smoothie

The best way to look forward to a workout is to have a delicious treat ready for after. This pina colada smoothie bowl definitely feels like a celebration while delivering a good kick of protein, thanks to Carrington Farms organic coconut protein blend. The blend actually has only 3 wholesome ingredients: Organic coconut powder, organic pumpkin powder and organic pea powder. Note the lack of sweeteners! This simple combination is certainly clean, but it is also potent, delivering the 20g protein from 3 different plants with complementary amino acid profiles.

Every protein powder has a certain taste, and most of the protein powder products take the unfortunate route of masking that taste with a heap of sugar and artificial flavors. While this particular protein powder chooses to stay clean and simple, the taste is not overpowering. The use of coconut powder is actually a welcome addition in many ways, and the pumpkin and pea taste is minimized in a fruity smoothie (or a chocolate one? I will be trying that as well). Carrington Farms has an array of clean and wholesome products; oils, seeds, grains, superfoods. I am glad they added a protein blend option that I can feel good about.

The recipe for the smoothie bowl is below:

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