I think winter is really starting to get to me. I’ve been craving things I usually make in the summer like these Very Veggie Enchiladas. I always make these on our family summer vacations to the lake. We all take turns making dinner for our group of 14, and I pretty much always make this. I love how tangy the enchilada sauce is and the veggie filling is perfection! It’s a perfect Make Ahead solution for lunches or dinners for the week. Just simply reheat and you can have a Mexican fiesta any night of the week!
2.5 cups of tomato sauce*
1 T chili powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp ground cumin
½ tsp oregano
2 T olive oil
16 ounce of sliced mushrooms
1 green bell pepper diced
1 yellow onion sliced
3 T taco seasoning*
3-4 cups of shredded sharp cheddar cheese
8 flour tortillas
Chopped cilantro for topping
Directions (makes 10 enchiladas)
I found a recipe for a “cake batter smoothie” by Oh She Glows almost 10 years ago. I fell in LOVE with that dessert smoothie/shake and shared it with all of my family and friends as an alternative for a shake like dessert! As the years went on, I found that I was craving the flavors of this smoothie in the morning, so I adapted it to make it suitable and healthy enough for breakfast, but... trust me, it doesn’t taste healthy at all! My sister recently told me that it was a life-saver for her in the early stages of her pregnancy when she couldn’t stomach very much. I hope you enjoy this delicious Make Ahead of Monday favorite!!!
1 cup unsweetened almond or oat milk
1 frozen banana
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
1 T cocoa powder
1 T Peanut butter**
1 T raw hemp seed*
1 handful of fresh spinach
2 ice cubes
Directions to Make Ahead of Monday -
Directions to make RIGHT NOW -
*We like peanut butter best because it has the most protein content among the nut butters, but other nut butters taste great too!
** Raw hemp seed can be found at Whole Foods and Trader Joes. It’s a great source of plant based protein and can be added to smoothies, and cereal.
I first discovered jackfruit on our vacation to Tucson this fall. I had the very best jackfruit tacos at this incredibly popular vegan Mexican restaurant called Tumerico. If you are in the Tucson area, you should check it out! I couldn’t believe how authentic the jackfruit taco tasted and how filling it was. Since then I have made a few jackfruit recipes and have been experimenting with it in various ways (more to come!). My first creation turned out great and I couldn’t believe how easy it was to use this unripe canned jackfruit! If you do not wish to venture into jackfruit, I have an equally yummy option to add chickpeas instead, which can be found in the “notes” section. Chicken noodle soup was always my favorite when I was a meat-eater and this is the closest I have come to replicating those flavors. The best part about soup, is that it’s make-ahead friendly and also can be frozen for a quick meal in the future. I hope you enjoy this Vegan Jackfruit “chicken” Noodle soup!
Vegan Jackfruit “chicken”Noodle Soup
Makes 8 servings
2 - 20oz cans of Jackfruit (in brine or water, not in syrup!)**
2 tsp poultry seasoning
2 tablespoons of olive oil plus more for sauteing jackfruit
5 cloves of garlic chopped
4 large carrots peeled and chopped
4 large celery stalks chopped
1 large yellow onion chopped
1 cup of chopped fresh curly parsley leaves
1 tablespoon of dried basil
8 cups of veggie broth
Salt and pepper to taste
Cooked noodles - preferably Rotini
Vegetarian Taco Dip
The holidays are upon us and there are many parties, events and gigs to attend and prepare for. I was asked to bring an appetizer for our Christmas day gathering and I had very little time to prepare. I was craving something with Mexican flavors so I decided to create a taco dip with the items I had in my pantry and freezer. I ended up using mostly Trader Joe products such as their Vegan refried Beans and my absolute favorites, Pepita Salsa and their Frozen Mexican style roasted corn! We enjoyed the dip with Trader Joe’s Corn Dippers chips! It was a huge success and I thought I should share it as an easy Make Ahead for your next holiday gathering! Enjoy!!
1 can of vegetarian refried beans
1 bag of TJ’s Mexican Style Roasted Corn cooked to package directions (optional)
½ jar of TJ’s Pepita Salsa or any salsa of your choice
1 ½ cups of shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Chopped green onions
Unsweetened Greek Yogurt or Sour Cream
Directions to Make Ahead -
Growing up, I used to hate Thanksgiving foods. I really disliked the taste of turkey (probably a predictor to my vegetarian future), and didn’t care for stuffing and all that jazz. I would basically eat a plate full of mashed potatoes and bread. A few years ago, I was asked to make a dish for my boyfriend’s Thanksgiving celebration. My now husband’s aunt, known as Auntie, requested Sweet Potato Casserole. I have to admit, I wasn’t that excited, because all I could recall about sweet potatoes was a sugary marshmallow mush. I happened upon an AMAZING recipe for Sweet Potato Casserole from Oh She Glows, and it became my FAVORITE Thanksgiving food and I’ve made it every Thanksgiving since! As I was brainstorming creative breakfast make aheads I thought, why not try to recreate that dish for breakfast? I combined creamy and perfectly spiced mashed sweet potatoes with steel cut oatmeal and topped it all with roasted pecans! It was a true recipe WIN! If you like the flavors of Sweet Potato Casserole, you’ll be sure to love this recipe!!
Sweet Potato “casserole” Oatmeal
1 large or 2 small sweet potatoes diced in 1 inch cubes
1 cup of steel cut oats
4 cups of almond or oat milk
1 cup of chopped pecans
2 T butter
½ tsp vanilla
1 -2 T maple syrup (I used 2)
½ tsp cinnamon
Dash of nutmeg
Pumpkin Protein Pancakes
My most favorite recipe for pancakes is actually one of the healthiest versions I have ever come across. These Peanut butter Protein Pancakes from Minimalist Baker have been our go-to ever since I first found the recipe about a year ago. However, when I made them for my family, my sister said she did not like the peanut butter taste. That got me thinking about possible modifications to this recipe. Today I found a solution that we loved, I adapted this recipe to eliminate the nut butter and added … you guessed it, PUMPKIN! :-) Hey, it’s still fall so I’m allowed to eat as much pumpkin as possible right? These still contain protein from the ground up oat flour and the added egg! They are also gluten free, and CAN be made vegan if you prefer. These pancakes last 3 days in the fridge, and are great reheated for your Make ahead of Monday needs!
½ cup of almond milk
½ tsp apple cider vinegar
1 egg whisked (or one flax egg if making vegan)
1 Tbsp maple syrup
½ tsp vanilla extract
1 Tbsp pumpkin puree
1 Tbsp coconut oil or other vegetable oil
½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
¾ cup of oat flour (to make your own, add rolled oats to a blender and blend on high until flour forms)
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
¼ tsp cinnamon
Directions (makes 6 pancakes)
Recipe inspired and adapted from Minimalist baker
This recipe is not only perfect for a Make Ahead but also for the holidays! It’s easy to assemble and adaptable and can be made ahead two ways (see recipe for details). I used my favorite combinations of veggies but feel free to be creative! I was excited when I found soy free veggie by Hilary’s sausage to add some extra flavor to this vegetarian casserole. I hope you enjoy!!
1. Grease an 8x8 oven safe casserole dish with oil and set aside.
2. Melt some butter or oil in a frying pan and line the pan with your hashbrowns. Season them with a dash of salt and pepper and let them get slightly brown before adding them to your 8x8 casserole dish. Wipe your frying pan of any residue.
3. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
4. Add and heat a bit of oil to your frying pan then add and lightly saute the diced green peppers, baby portabella, and green onions for 1-2 minutes. Season with a dash of salt and pepper and then add to your casserole dish on top of the hashbrowns.
5. Add your cooked and crumbled veggie sausage to your casserole dish.
6. Crack 6 eggs in a clean bowl along with the milk and ¼ teaspoon of salt and ⅛ teaspoon of pepper and whisk.
7. Add the whisked eggs to your casserole dish.
8. Sprinkle the extra sharp white cheddar cheese on top
9. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until the eggs are set.
This casserole will last in the fridge for 4 days OR can be assembled and baked the next morning.
I have to admit, I am not always organized and on top of my goals. I particularly have trouble on those weekends that are packed with gigs, and family events. This is my go-to recipe for those weekends! The key ingredient is the amazing Roasted Potatoes with Peppers and Onions from Trader Joes. I couldn't believe how flavorful they were on their own, and when added with all of the other ingredients in this recipe, they shine! I recently started adding a dollop of Trader Joes Pepita Salsa to top the dish! This is completely optional, and of course you can add your own favorite salsa as well. I hope you enjoy!
Ingredients (makes four bowls)
12 ounces of Trader Joe’s Roasted Potatoes with pepper and onions
½ cup of shredded white sharp cheddar cheese divided
4 tablespoons of Trader Joe’s Pepita salsa (or any salsa) divided
Salt & Pepper to taste
Tis the week before Thanksgiving break and as a teacher, life is CRAZY. Everyone is ready for a break. I created this smoothie to give you a taste of Thanksgiving break days to come. I hope you enjoy!
½ cup of almond milk
⅓ cup of pumpkin puree
1 frozen banana
⅛ cup of raw pecans
½ tsp of cinnamon
¼ tsp of pumpkin pie spice
4 ice cubes
1 tablespoon of cacao nibs
1 tablespoon of raw hemp seeds
Optional - a dollop of maple syrup (it doesn’t need it, but I know some like it sweet)
Add all of the ingredients to a blender and blend on high!
To make ahead - Add the banana, pecans, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, ice cubes, cacao nibs, hemp seeds to a bag and freeze the night before. In the morning, add the contents of your smoothie pack along with the almond mile and pumpkin puree to the blender, blend on high and enjoy!
At this time of year, I can’t get enough Pumpkin in my diet! I am always on the lookout for creative ways to incorporate this nutritious and delicious fall staple.
After doing some research on the benefits of pumpkin I was even more hooked than before! According to WebMD, eating pumpkin can slow digestion and help with weight loss, is rich in vision benefiting vitamin A, can help fight off colds and can boost immunity, and can contribute to younger looking skin when applied to your face… pumpkin face masks for the WIN!! Check out the article here!
Today I am going to share my latest pumpkin recipe, Pumpkin Pie Steel Cut Oatmeal! It will fill your home with amazing fall scents and is great for make-ahead breakfasts too!
I also decided to try Trader Joe’s new “Non dairy Oat beverage” with this recipe but you can use almond milk or any milk you prefer. I found that I barely needed to add any sweetener after using the oat milk, so I do recommend trying it. Be creative with your toppings, I was craving warmth on this cold day, so I went for a light drizzle of maple syrup, some freshly roasted pecans and some dried cherries! ENJOY!
Pumpkin Pie Steel Cut Oatmeal (makes 4 servings)
4 cups of oat milk (I used Trader Joes)
1 cup of steel cut oats
½ cup of pumpkin puree
1 tsp of pumpkin spice
½ tsp of cinnamon
1 tsp of vanilla
Optional toppings - Roasted pecans, maple syrup, pepitas, dried cherries.
1. Add the oat milk to a saucepan and bring to a boil
2. Add the pumpkin puree and lightly whisk to incorporate
3. Add the steel cut oats, pumpkin spice, cinnamon and vanilla and whisk to incorporate all of the spices
4. Reduce to a simmer and set the timer for 20-25 minutes or until oats are tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed. Whisk every few minutes to avoid having the oats stick to the pan.
5. Top with toasted pecans, a dash of cinnamon, a light drizzle of maple syrup and dried cherries!
-To make ahead -
Once oats have cooled, evenly divide them into individual glass containers. Keep toppings in a separate container because you may have to add a splash of milk or water before re-heating in the microwave.
I am a music teacher, professional musician and a vegetarian. I created this site with the mission to share recipes that make life a little more organized, and enjoyable!