Chocolate Banana Bread (v, gf)

Alright. I’ve done the math and finally solved it. Banana bread consists of 1% banana, 99% perfection. Does anyone else go through banana bread phases? I’ll bake 3-4 loaves back to back and smash it, then forget for months until the phase repeats and I fall in love over again. How can something so simple be so good?!

This phase is chocolate banana bread. This simple recipe is vegan, gluten free, sugar free, and oil free. It is quick to make and doesn’t leave you with a kitchen full of dishes. This chocolate banana bread is sweet, moist, and a healthy snack to have around!

I love the light, cakey texture of this specific banana bread. This is coming from the coconut flour in the recipe! I purchase this coconut flour; if you don’t have coconut flour, you could use extra ground oats or another flour such as buckwheat or spelt. However, you will have to use less almond milk and the texture won’t be as cakey. All good, nonetheless!

Banana bread pro tip: place your banana bread in the fridge to get cold before you eat it! I swear that banana bread is 50x better cold than room temp. What do you think!? Try out this vegan chocolate banana bread recipe for yourself and let me know what you think. :)

chocolate banana bread

Chocolate Banana Bread (v, gf)

Makes: 10 slices

  • 3 ripe bananas
  • 1.5 cup oats, ground into a flour
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1/4 cup cacao powder
  • 1/4 cup baking stevia
  • 1/2 TBSP baking powder
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  1. First, mash the ripe bananas. Add the ground oats, coconut flour, cacao powder, stevia, and baking powder. Mix well.
  2. Slowly stir in the almond milk. If batter is too thick, slowly stir in more almond milk until a batter consistency is reached.
  3. Spray a 4×9 loaf dish with nonstick spray and pour the batter in. Bake at 350F for 50 minutes.
  4. Remove from the oven and let cool for 15 minutes.
  5. Cut into 10 slices, and enjoy!

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Vegan Beef Stew (Slow-Cooker Friendly)

Sometimes you just need a big bowl of vegan beef stew to come home to and make you feel at ease. This vegan beef stew recipe is wholesome, hearty, and can be make in a slow-cooker while you’re out and about. This recipe is entirely vegan, sugar free, and dairy free!

vegan beef stew

I was never big on beef stew as a kid, and it never really struck me as a go-to type of food. For some reason, though, last week I was hit with a massive craving for it. Weird? Possibly. Feel so right? You betcha. There’s nothing quite as pleasant as the smells of stew permeating the house as you tuck in for dinner. Long day, PJs on, stew in belly. Just the way I like it.

This vegan beef stew recipe is fairly mess-free to make; it can either be made in one single pot, or in a pan and a crockpot. You know I like easy cleanup these days.

I love the addition of the beefless tips here as the vegan meat substitute. They are flavorful and hearty, which leaves you very satisfied. You could also add peas if you’d like, or swap the celery with peas as the green ingredient.

Let me know if you try this out! Comment below or tag me on Instagram if you do!

vegan beef stew

Vegan Beef Stew (Slow-Cooker Friendly)

Serves: 4

  • 1 bag of Gardein Beefless Tips
  • 1 TBSP olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and sliced into coins
  • 2 celery stalks, sliced into coins similar size to the carrots
  • 2 potatoes (I used Yukon Gold) cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 1 TBSP tomato paste
  • 1 TBSP liquid smoke
  • 1/2 TBSP paprika
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 3 TBSP flour
  • 1 TBSP cornstarch
  1. Heat a large pan or pot and add the beefless tips and olive oil. Cook for 7-8 minutes, until the sides of the beefless tips are crisp and browned.
  2. Once browned, fill a large pot with the beefless tips and the remaining ingredients (except for flour and cornstarch). **See Notes for Slow Cooker Instructions
  3. Bring the contents to a boil. Once boiling, let simmer for 30-45 minutes, until the potatoes are tender and the sauce starts to thicken.
  4. Once thoroughly cooked and thick, mix the flour and cornstarch in a small bowl. Add 3-4 TBSP water to the bowl and mix thoroughly until no clumps remain. Once mixed, pour into the simmering pot and stir well. Cook for another 5-6 minutes; the contents will begin to thicken further.
  5. Remove from heat and enjoy! The stew will thicken further after cooling.

**If using a slow cooker, place all ingredients (except for flour and cornstarch) in the slow cooker at step 2. Let cook for 2 hours. Proceed to step 4; allow the slow cooker to run another 1 hour after stirring into the flour/cornstarch mixture. Enjoy!

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Vegan Red Beans and Rice with Sausage (gf, sf)

Deep dive with me in this vegan red beans and rice with sausage. The new vegan Beyond Meat sausage is blowing me and my expectations away. This meal is so savory, comforting, and extremely simple to make. It is vegan, gluten free, soy free, and packed with protein!

I don’t know what I expected from this Beyond Meat sausage, but it definitely wasn’t this. Innovation is amazing. Most vegan sausage are okay…but not even close to “real sausage”. They’re usually soft and dry if you ask me, so I’ve never been big on getting them. It’s not necessary. This Beyond Meat sausage is so realistic it’s a little freaky. It has an exterior crispy casing like regular sausage. It oozes oils and grease as you cook it which is amaaaazing. And it’s full of flavor of moisture! It’s got me excited and feeling ~☆*°inSpIred~~*°☆ in terms of creating recipes with it. They also have regular brats and sweet Italian flavor.

This recipe is a true comfort food, all while being healthy. This is very win-win. You get tons of protein from the beans and sausage. There’s no soy or sugar or oils. The flavor is savory with a little kick that keeps you coming back for another bite. This is perfect after a long day or a tough workout to help you feel recharged and satisfied.

This vegan red beans and rice recipe is so simple to follow and you will already have most ingredients/spices on hand. It can be made in a single pot. Gotta love easy cleanup! Not to mention, it gets the whole house smelling delicious and soothing.

Try out this vegan red beans and rice yourself and let me know what you think! Have you tried the new Beyond Meat sausages yet? I’m interested to see how others are using them!

vegan red beans and rice

Vegan Red Beans and Rice with Sausage

Serves: 6

  • 3 Hot Italian Beyond Meat sausages
  • 1.5 cups uncooked rice
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 can kidney beans (rinsed and drained)
  • 1 cup fire roasted tomatoes
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • salt & pepper to taste

Slice the sausages and cook in a pan or large pot on medium heat until lightly browned (about 8-9 minutes). Once the sausage is browned, place the sausage in a large pot with the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil, then let simmer until the liquid cooks down and the rice is fully cooked, about 20-25 minutes. Enjoy!

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Dairy Free Halo Top [REVIEW]

Halo Top recently launched 7 NEW dairy free halo top pint flavors to add to their already current 7 dairy free flavors!! With the flavor options up to 14 now, I decided to review the 7 new dairy free flavors! I am beyond excited about this launch, and I can’t wait to see what Halo Top has in store in the future! I remember enjoying Halo Top’s dairy flavors and helping them grow as a small business before I was vegan (3+ years ago), and my heart always yearned for them after becoming vegan . Seeing a company recognize their audience’s desires for dairy free products and providing that seriously says a lot about the company; Halo Top has a big place in my heart.

I pride myself in providing superfluous, detailed reviews, so I hope this helps you make a decision of which flavors to try! If you want me to retroactively review the original 7 dairy free flavors, let me know! Conclusion from this review: EVERY dairy free flavor is great except you could skip birthday cake and cinnamon roll.

PANCAKES AND WAFFLES – This one initially didnt rank high on my excite-o-meter but wow…..I have a strong feeling this is going to replace my addiction to sea salt caramel and caramel macchiato. The maple swirl is WOWOW and I love that the “waffle” mix-ins aren’t hard and crunchy, they’re just soft and melt. Kinda reminds me of snickerdoodle cookie dough? Love. The future is vegan with food this good.

CANDY BAR – To be honest, I wasn’t initially eager about trying this one. Everyone always said “oh its like a snickers! A snickers! Its chocolate with peanuts!” and I’m like okay cool? So basically like the peanut butter cup flavor but not? Well WHAT EVERYONE FAILED TO MENTION. IS. Theres also a CHOCOLATE and a CARAMEL SWIRL??? Why didn’t yall tell me that!!! This flavor is absolutely great and I love how dynamic it is. I hope you can see all the aspects in the pic. The base is like a soft nougat flavor/texture, almost like the inside of a 3 Musketeers. Then you’ve got the peanuts, caramel swirl, and chocolate swirl of a Snickers. The candiest bars of all candy bars.

VANILLA MAPLE – I like this flavor?? I assumed it would be the most boring and you’d easily taste the earthy vegan protein, but I was wrong. This is sweet and creamy (takes a couple more mins than some flavors to thaw, but becomes creamy). I don’t taste maple, but my boyfriend does. To me, this tastes like a pleasant vanilla beannnn cream. There’s something so right about a classic vanilla bean ice cream. I prefer this well over the dairy free bday cake flavor and I’ll be buying this flavor again when I’m needing a creamy classic fix! would be great on oatmeal/10

CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE DOUGH – This flavor does not disappoint when it comes to mix ins. It’s always upsetting if you’re left hunting for mix-ins, but this flavor has cookie dough a plenty!!! Always some dough in site and it is so delicious. I thought I’d hate the chocolate chips bc crunch in ice cream is gross imoooo…but these chips are teeny and not crunchy; too good. I can’t quite pin the flavor of the base cream (this one is so smooth in texture!)….the color makes me expect chocolate but I don’t taste any at all – it’s just neutral? I supposeeee I must have another; for science.

CHOCOLATE ALMOND CRUNCH – I read pretty bad reviews of this but I actually like it. I dont get any chocolate taste; that’s fine. The base is a creamyyy almond extract flavor (love) and theres bits of almonds throughout. I thought I’d hate crunchies inside but theyre the perfect small size and texture. I can see how many people wouldnt be a fan of the almond extract flavor, but I personally love it and this flavor. Just call it ‘almond 2 tha maxXx’ instead.

TOASTED COCONUT – This is one of those products where you sit back and go “wait…this is vegan? This is rather enjoyable. How is that possible.” I wasn’t expecting the creaminess of this since many coconut ice creams are icy. The flavor is SPOT ON toasted coconut. Not coconut. Toasted coconut. Only thing about this is I’m not always in the mood for the texture since the coconut shreds are heavyyyy present. But then other times I’m like yes gimeeee all them shreds. Iono just an observation that may change if you’ll like it or not.

BIRTHDAY CAKE – I’m just not a fan of this. I tried multiple pints, hoping it would grow on me, but it just doesn’t. The flavor is artificial and the texture isn’t anything spectacular. Maybe I’m trying to directly compare this to the dairy version I remember having many years back? It pales in comparison, and just doesn’t satisfy the craving I’m expecting. I can taste the protein undertones in this, which is never great.

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My 2017 in a Nutshell

This took me wayyy too long to write (It’s already February aha ha ha), but I wanted to make sure I didn’t forget anything! In past years, I always took the time in January to write things I looked forward to in the upcoming new year. I found it to be very helpful in battling depression and sadness. Something to look forward to, you know? But as the years progressed and the lists got longer, it became more beneficial to compile what I did rather than what I expected to do. I love having these memories to keep. The delay was because this year, I actually made a full scrapbook of everything!! What a project that was. But it’s done and so worth it because I have it forever now. <3 It was a good hobby to soothe my churning mind through the winter months.

All the biggest memories of 2017:

  • Tom Segura comedy show
  • Concert – Falling in Reverse, Motionless in White, Issues
  • Ice Skating with Nick
  • So much vegan food!!!
  • Cooking with Nick
  • Improv comedy show
  • Concert – A Perfect Circle
  • Concert – Metallica, Avenged Sevenfold
  • New York City vacation with Nick
  • Cirque du Soleil “Paramour” on Broadway
  • Seeing Leah & my cousin in New York City
  • Georgia Renaissance Festival
  • Nintendo Switch fun – Mario Kart!!
  • Getting my first Pokémon games (Sun, Y, Omega Ruby, Ultra Moon) + animal crossing for Nintendo 3DS
  • Baseball games in the new braves stadium Suntrust Park
  • Moving in with Nick and being the proud mommy of 1 puppy (Pesto) plus 2 step puppies (Leo and Cabri)<3
  • Concert – Chevelle
  • Competing in my first Century Bike ride (96/100 miles completed, middle of July/August with 90%+ humidity. what. a. ride.)
  • I finally dyed my hair blue!!
  • Anime Weekend Atlanta 2017
  • John Mulaney comedy show
  • Haunted House (called Containment – so good)
  • Concert – Motionless in White (Halloween show!)
  • Investing in cryptocurrency!!
  • Nick and I’s first Christmas together & a bigggg Christmas tree
  • Purchasing my first car (2015 Mazda CX-5)
  • Finally getting breast augmentation – best decision ever
  • 10 inches of snow in early December & more in late December!!
  • Securing my job for 2018 & many years after

I cannot wait for 2018 and what it has to offer! I can’t even begin to predict what the year has in store.

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Peanut Butter Banana Bread (gf, vegan)

I made the yummiest peanut butter banana bread this weekend. This recipe is simple, sugar free, vegan, and can be gluten free! That’s hard to beat when a recipe tastes delicious and is good for you.

There’s something about banana bread that is so irresistible. The sweet taste, the cakey texture, the comfort of it… I used to always keep banana bread around in the fridge, but I guess I got sick of it and didn’t make any for months! That seems crazy. But I’m back on a kick and I’m on my third loaf in less than 2 weeks, ha.

I like playing around with flavors each time, but this peanut butter banana bread recipe, in particular, is a clear winner amongst others. I topped my banana bread with with peanut butter icing & Doughbar Doughnuts new chocolate crisp protein treat for a heavenly sandwich of chewy, crunchy, sweet, smooth goodness. I can hear Xhibit now – “I heard you like peanut butter so I put peanut butter on your peanut butter banana bread so you can peanut butter while you peanut butter.”

Answer me this – Do you have banana bread on hand right now? If not, FIX THAT. Try this out and let me know what you think! It’s great once it cools, but the real secret here is that it’s even more amazing after it’s chilled in the fridge. I don’t know why or how, it just. is.

Peanut Butter Banana Bread

Serves: 12

  • 3 bananas
  • 2 cups raw oats
  • 1/2 cup spelt flour (or more oats, if gluten free)
  • 1 cup peanut butter powder
  • 1/4 cup baking stevia (Optional)
  • 1/2 TBSP baking powder
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. Mash the bananas in a bowl. Grind your oats into a flour, and add to the mashed bananas. Add in the remaining dry ingredients and mix. Slowly add the almond milk while stirring. Continue to mix everything until homogenous and no dry lumps remain.
  3. Pour the batter into a bread loaf pan and bake at 350F for 50 mins.
  4. Let cool 10-15 minutes, slice into 12 slices, and enjoy!

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