Warmed Portobella “Steak” Salad…yes it’s Vegan!!!

Warmed Portobello “Steak”  Salad



2 Portobello caps (stems removed) and cut into 1 inch sections

1 cup vegetable stock

2 tbsp. tamari (or soy) sauce

4 cloves of garlic (minced)

1 tbsp. of rice wine vinegar

Mixed greens salad (romaine, spinach, anything you want!)

Cucumber diced

Tomato diced

Half of an avocado


1 tbsp. of each: rice wine vinegar, tamari and sesame oil, sunflower seeds.


1. Take first 5 ingredients and sauté or wok for about 5 minutes on medium-high heat. This will create a nice glaze on the mushrooms but not turn them into mush.

2. Take the next 4 ingredients and toss together to make the salad.

3. Take the dressing ingredients into a glass jar and shake to mix.

4. Pour dressing over salad mixture, then top with the warm mushrooms. Garnish with some sesame seeds and cilantro. Eat immediately. The warm mushrooms will start to melt the avocado and it’s so yummy!!!


African Sweet Potato and Peanut Soup


African Sweet Potato and Peanut Soup

This recipe was a failed attempt at making an amazing soup by a local restaurant in Gainesville, FL called Tempo Bistro to Go. Even though mine is no where near as good as their’s


1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 large onion, chopped

3 cloves  garlic, minced

2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger root

1- 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin

1- 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 pinch ground cloves

3 medium tomatoes, chopped

1- 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped

1  carrot, peeled and chopped

4 1/2 cups water

1 teaspoon  salt

1/4 cup chopped, unsalted dry-roasted peanuts

1 pinch cayenne pepper

2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter

1 bunch chopped fresh cilantro


1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Saute the onion 10 minutes, until lightly browned. Mix in the garlic, ginger, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, and cloves. Stir in the tomatoes, sweet potatoes, and carrot, and continue to cook and stir about 5 minutes.

2. Pour water into the saucepan, and season the mixture with salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes.

3. Remove the soup mixture from heat. In a food processor or blender, blend the soup and peanuts until almost smooth. Season with cayenne pepper. Return to the saucepan. Whisk in the peanut butter, and cook until heated through. Serve warm topped with fresh cilantro.

Vegan Biscuits and Gravy…Just like The Top’s!!!

Recipe recreate: from The Top in Gainesville, FL

Recipe recreate: from The Top in Gainesville, FL

Hi everyone!!!

Thank you all so much for continuing to read my blog and grow my following!! Big things are happening and it’s such an exciting time. As my last blog post mentioned I have moved from my native Florida to the mountains of North Carolina. I am loving the “no-ac-needed” type of weather. I love putting the top down on my car and driving through the blooming mountains, and I really love making new friends! But even with all these awesome things happening for me, I was still a little homesick last weekend. Sunday’s in Gainesville, FL are known for brunches! So many restaurants serve an amazingly vegan friendly brunch in Gainesville, and here in the mountains….well you can go to the pancake breakfast at the church, but it’s not very vegan 🙂 Anyone that knows me, knows that I don’t give up without a fight though, so I decided I would try to recreate the famous Top’s Vegan Biscuits and Gravy. I expected to have to test the recipe out many, many….MANY times, but actually I rocked it on the first try. So without any more rambling, here is the super easy, super yummy, not for everyday, recipe!!!


1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 Tbsp of Baking Powder

1 Tsp of Sea Salt

1 cup of original almond milk (or soy milk…just not flavored)

4 Tbsp Earth Balance (or non-dairy margarine)

Directions for Biscuits:

1. Preheat over to 425

2. Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl.

3. Using a fork, press margarine into the flour until there are little flour coated pebbles in the bowl

4.  At milk and combine till dough is slightly uniform. It will be lumpy…don’t over work the dough.

5. Spoon balls of dough onto an ungreased baking pan. Place them so that they touch (biscuits like to be close to one another and will rise together.

biscuits raw

6. I dropped a small droplet of olive oil on the top of each dough ball and then salted the tops.

7. Bake for 12 minutes


2 cups of tempeh chopped

1 cup of unflavored almond milk

2 Tbsp of olive oil

1 Tbsp of corn starch


*added seasoning could be a Cajun hint to the sauce…I used Old Bay seasoning because it reminds me of southern foods

sausage startDirections for Gravy:

1. Saute tempeh chunks in 1 tbsp of olive oil to brown. Use medium heat.

2. After tempeh is browned, do not remove from pan, but push to one side of pan. Add the additional 1 tbsp of olive oil and cornstarch. Lower temp to medium-low heat and whisk the oil and cornstarch. You just slightly want to cook this combination, probably won’t take longer than a minute.

3. Add almond milk and whisk together. Simmer for a few minutes as it thickens. This should happen quickly.


When the biscuits are done, split one open and spoon that gravy over it! Yummy!!!

biscuits cooked


Pomegranate barley with butternut squash and pistachios

Hi all!!!
Today while running I caught a great breeze and it almost felt like fall. Early fall is time for pomegranates, and I’ll be honest. I pretty much only eat these once or twice a year because they are such a pain to eat! But I found a little gem hiding at Trader Joes….

Hello Beautiful!

Hello Beautiful!

Credit to Vegetarian Times

3 Tbs. Olive Oil, divided
1 cup barley
1.5 lbs of butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
1 small sweet onion, diced
1/2 tsp of red pepper flakes
2 Tbs. finely chopped parsley
1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
1/3 cup roasted pistachios

1. Toast raw barley in 1 Tbs of oil for 2-3 minutes over medium-high heat in a medium saucepan. Then pour in 2 1/4 cup of water, and bring to summer. Cover, reduce head to low and cook 45-55 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. You can also follow the directions on the container of barley (there are instant brands out there).
2. Once barley is cooked, spread it all out onto sheet pan to cool. Add s/p.
3. Bake butternut squash in 1 Tbs of oil at 425 degrees for 35 to 40 minute.
4. In the last Tbs of oil, sauté onion until translucent. Add red pepper flakes and barley and cook for about 5 minutes or until warmed. Stir in parsley and squash carefully so that you don’t crush it. Cook 2 more minutes.
5. Remove from heat, stir in pomegranate and pistachios. Serve warm or room temp.

Mango Coconut Ice Cream….Tracy-style dessert!

Hi everyone!!! Ok I’m back at some recipe testing and back to my “zenplicity” roots. I try to keep things simple and wholesome. Easy to make but a wide variety of flavor of your tongue. 5 ingrediaant or less, easy to make, but will become a stable in your plant based whole foods recipe book.

Anyone that has ever eaten dinner with me, knows that I normally skip dessert. I don’t have much of a sweet tooth, but during the summer months, I like a sweet treat to cool down with sometimes. While there are tons of vegan ice cream options out there, it’s easy to make your own and it won’t have those long crazy worded additives in it.


Mango Coconut Ice Cream



can of full fat coconut milk

bag of frozen organic mango chunks from Trader Joes


mango chunks

Yes!! that’s it…now if you want to get all fancy, you could top it with shaved coconut, or pistachios, I have even thrown grapefruit juice into the mix….and a friend of mine (definitely not me!) even put rum into this mixture. All turned out great!

Directions (silly to even have these):

1. put everything (whole bag of chunks and whole can of milk) into blender and blend. Add water to thin if needed. If you would like it sweeter, add full leaf stevia or agave to it, but it should be pretty sweet already.


Avocado Pesto Mini Tarts…Vegan and Raw!

Hi all!!!

With the summer is full swing, my basil plant is now a basil bush! I needed to find a way to use it quickly! I researched and found a few recipes that gave me some inspiration for this one!

Avocado Pesto Mini Tarts

Avocado Pesto Tart

Avocado Pesto Tart

Tart Crust:tart pan
2/3 cups raw almonds whole
4 Tbsp. sesame seeds
4 Tbsp. flax seeds ground
4 Tbsp. sunflower seeds roasted/salted
2 small cloves of garlic, grated through micro plane
3 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
4 Tbsp. Cold Pressed Extra Virgin Olive oil
S/P to taste

1. Add all ingredients into blender (I used the Ninja) and blend….duh!!!
2. Brush mini tart pan with olive oil and press crush into the pan (pan should hold anywhere from 8-12 tarts)
3. Place into fridge to prepare filling.

Filling…aka Avocado Pestopesto
3 cups of tightly packed fresh basil (I used a combination of Sweet Basil and Box Basil which is what I got growing like wildfire in my garden).
1/2 cup almonds
1/3 cup sunflower seeds
2 garlic cloves
4-5 Tbsp. of cold press olive oil
2-3 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 Haas Avocados
S/p to taste

1. Blend all ingredients in blender (Ninja or Vitamix).
2. Spoon into chilled crust cups
3. Chill some more (at least an hour)
4. top with any seasoning you like and serve chilled (I like nutritional yeast and garlic salt).
filled tart pan

I’m Fennel crazy!!!

Every year at the same time, I tend to get on a big fennel kick and I’m kicking hard now!!! If you haven’t tried fennel before…please don’t be afraid…just try it!
Enjoy this recipe, but please be careful using your mandolin to thinly slice the fennel. I sometimes call the mandolin the “finger snipper” since they cut so many people.

Red Grapefruit, Avocado and Fennel Salad



3 large ruby red grapefruits (I’m lucky and have a coworker that brings me grapefruits in huge bagfulls from their yard!)
1/4 cup macadamia oil (or grape seed oil, if you are on a budget!)
1 tbsp of lime juice
corse sea salt and fresh ground pepper
2 avocados, peeled, pitted and sliced
1 large fennel bulb sliced thinly on a mandolin
****note when using fennel, yes you can use those frilly green ends in recipes, but I don’t like it…I like to cut that all off and just use the bulb. Experiment with it though. They should taste a little like licorice when fresh
1 small bunch of mint (I currently have orange mint..one of those neato new hybrid mints…in my garden and it’s amazing!)

1. “supreme” the grapefruit….I know I know this is one of those crazy culinary terms. It mainly means you need to peel the grapefruit and then cut the little segments from the fruit membrane. Save any juices that come out! Check out this pic…
2. In a small bowl whisk together, oil, lime juice and a few tablespoons of the grapefruit juice with salt/pepper.
3. Add sliced avocado into the oil juice mixture and toss gently. Move to larger bowl.
4. Add remaining ingredients and mix it.
5. eat it!!!