Vegan “Cheez” and Healthy (GF) Crackers

crazy seed crackers

Before going vegan, I was vegetarian for many years and LIVED on cheese and crackers. It’s one of my favorite snacks in the world, but I found myself addicted to cheese. At parties I would hover over the cheese plate instead of socializing. I was hooked! Unfortunately, crackers are highly processed and cheese is dairy so, rather than deny myself something I love, I set out to make a healthier version.

I found a tempting recipe for grain-free, low sugar, gluten-free healthy crackers that would pair well with a zippy vegan cashew “cheez” spread.

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Alexia’s 5 Minute Smoky Chipotle Salsa

5 minute smoky salsa

5 minute smoky salsa

I knew when I stood at the counter and polished off an entire bowl of this incredible smoky salsa, that I wanted to share this recipe on the blog. My friend Alexia, whipped together this tongue craving salsa in 5 minutes as I sipped delicious wine and watched her cook (she always serves the best wine and champagne). I kept the conversation flowing as I watched her toss a few ingredients into a mini-chop food processor, zip, zip, zip and emptied the contents into a bowl which she placed on the counter in front of me. After inhaling the entire bowl of salsa and the chips that went with it, I begged for the recipe.

This salsa combines the sweet taste of fresh tomatoes with the deep smoky flavor of chipotle peppers (the ones in adobo sauce – how cute is that word??). A touch of white vinegar adds a tangy brightness that makes this salsa highly addictive (fair warning).

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My Favorite Roasted Tomato Salsa

Mexico (10)

roasted-tomato-salsa

Picture yourself sitting at a primitive wooden table with your toes in the warm Mexican sand dipping tasty chips into this deliciously addictive roasted tomato salsa while sipping an icy cold Pacifico served with a fresh wedge of lime. The aqua blue ocean stretches out before you and festive Mariachi music plays on a small radio. Ahhhhh Mexico….a return to the simple pleasures.

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Healthy Hummus and Why You Want to Make Your Own

roasted-red-pepper-hummus-2

roasted-red-pepper-hummus-4

I love this Roasted Red Pepper Hummus. It’s got a velvety smooth texture that melts in your mouth. The roasted red peppers in this tasty recipe not only create a super creamy texture (without any added oil) but they add a deep, warming flavor that is enhanced with a pinch of cayenne. The result is a healthy, delicious dip with toasted pita, carrots, snap peas, cucumber, celery, or grainy crackers.

Hummus is a healthy dip but store-bought hummus can be deceiving and less healthy than you think. This post shows you how to make amazing hummus at home and what to avoid when buying it at the store.

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High Protein Edamame Hummus

High Protein Edamame Hummus

High Protein Edamame Hummus

My love affair with hummus began in college when I was invited to a party at my Armenian friend’s house. I loved meeting his family and tasting all the delicious handmade dishes prepared so lovingly by his grandmother. But I kept returning to the plate of hummus that was replenished several times on my behalf.  It was the creamiest dip I’d ever tasted and I couldn’t stop scooping it up with warm, doughy pita.

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Yummy Hummus

Hummus

Oh hummus how I love you, let me count the ways! Hummus is a staple in my fridge. Whether it’s white bean, lima bean, edamame, almond pulp (raw hummus)  or traditional, there is almost always a tasty dip available to dollop on salads or snack on with carrots.

I’ve been making hummus for years and while the ingredients remain the same, I’ve yet to lock down exact measurements. I take a fluid approach allowing my intuition to guide me. A little more lemon, another roasted garlic clove, a sprinkle of cayenne, a dash of salt – blend, taste and adjust.

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Smooth and Creamy Guacamole

Authentic Guacamole

When my good friend Melanie Boyer, a talented yoga and Pilates instructor moved to Punta Mita (Puerta Vallarta), I was lucky enough to be invited to stay with her. I had an amazing time and learned a lot about living in Mexico. I tasted my first Michelada (without Clamato juice), a refreshing glass of icy cold beer poured over a generous layer of fresh lime in a salt-rimmed glass. I also had THE BEST creamy guacamole I’d ever tasted.

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