Black Bean Corn Salad or Salsa. Vegan. Gluten Free.

Black Bean Corn Salad or Salsa.  Vegan.  Gluten Free.

Black Bean Corn Salad or Salsa. Vegan. Gluten Free.

This is the quintessential summer salad plus it gets better as the flavors meld together.  This vitamin and mineral packed dish that is perfect to take to your 4th of July BBQ, pool party or to make ahead and have for lunch or dinner.  I also love this on tacos straight up.  Seriously, I could eat this entire batch.  Truth.  This again, is super easy.  I love making it a day ahead of and put it in a fun covered glass jar (this is perfect for a BBQ to keep bugs at bay) or in a lovely serving bowl.  You can eat this as a side, main or as a salsa with chips.  Yum!
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— Knead to Cook

Breakfast chickpea scramble. Vegan. Gluten free.

Breakfast chickpea scramble.  Vegan.  Gluten free.

Breakfast chickpea scramble. Vegan. Gluten free.

It’s the end of June!  Wow…. crazy to think the 4th of July is creeping up on the calendar in a mere few days.

So I took this past Sunday off as a rest day after running a 50 mile week.  I slept in. It was lovely!  After a marathon of swim meets, planning events, studying and taking my food handling certification, driving to New Jersey endless times and life, in general, being crazy – I needed it.  When my husband got home from his ride he was craving something other than a smoothie.  So I went to my go-to favorite breakfast that is reminiscent of a classic favorite but it’s vegan – and protein-packed.  This recipe is so easy and a great go-to, post workout meal that refuels and restores.  I hope you give this one a try.
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— Knead to Cook

Let’s talk training and Vega Sport fueling. Plus a giveaway!

Sport Bundle - Full Marathon

I was thinking about how long it’s been since I went vegetarian and then vegan.  I became a vegetarian 3 years ago and one month.  It was shortly after that, about 5 months, that I realized dairy was wreaking havoc with my stomach.  My husband suggested I tested out removing it.  Once I did, it was the most enormous change in the way I felt.  The way I preformed.  The way I looked.  But my next big question was… how do I train on a vegan diet?  How would I get enough protein to rebuild muscles and turn them over fast enough for training.  I’m not a fan of processed foods.  I avoid ingredients I cannot identify.  So I turned to my running friends/advisors that help me all the time and they all suggested Vega.  I made a few connections and my journey with Vega began there.

I train 6 days a week.  Strength.  Running. Cycling.  I have trained for my second full marathon completely fueled by a vegan diet in March with over an hour personal record.  Training now for something larger.  I eat completely plant-based with my fitness fuel all from Vega Sport exclusively.  Now I’m running about 40-45 miles per week.  Strength training 2-3 times per week.  Cycle once per week with my husband.  It’s relentless but I love it.
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— Knead to Cook

Raw Espresso Cacao Bars. Vegan. Gluten Free.

Raw Espresso Cacao Bars. Vegan. Gluten Free.

Raw Espresso Cacao Bars. Vegan. Gluten Free.

I’ve been so excited to share this recipe with you all since I posted a teaser on Instagram last week.  I created this recipe for some customers and they turned out perfectly! I also shared with some friends who aren’t vegan/clean eating and they admitted to me that they loved them!  This makes me very happy. People normally turn their noses up when I mention raw, vegan – blah blah blah but the taste… I promise – it’s fabulous.  These are super easy.  Have a little caffeine kick.  They are just perfection.  You can maybe even skip your morning java.  Well… I said maybe.

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— Knead to Cook

Gazpacho. Vegan and gluten free.

Gazpacho.  Vegan and gluten free.

Gazpacho. Vegan and gluten free.

I think of gazpacho as just an enormous bowl of my favorite salsa sans the chips.  Am I alone?  I love fresh salsa.  Despite not having fresh tomatoes from my garden YET, I did have some lovely cherry tomatoes I used to make this recipe.  I added fresh ingredients and herbs. I’ll admit that I can down one very large bowl of this easily.  Packed with tons of vitamins and nutrients… plus absolutely no guilt – this makes the perfect healthy, light lunch or dinner.  I do make this a bit chunkier but you certainly can puree it longer for a more blended texture.  Think of the easiest Meatless Monday dish ever!  All of my recipes are merely a guideline… do what you love and adapt as necessary.
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— Knead to Cook

Easy Pickled Carrots and Jalapeños. Vegan. GF.

Easy Pickled Carrots and Jalapeños.  Vegan.  GF.

Easy Pickled Carrots and Jalapeños. Vegan. GF.

I don’t know about you but I’m a huge pickle fan!  Actually anything (or almost) I could devour.  These are great for an appetizer board with other veggies/dips for summer parties.  Great with sandwiches or veggie burgers.  You can use whatever vegetables you prefer in this recipe too.  Cauliflower works great!  Fix it and forget it.  The longer they sit the better the flavors develop.  I created this recipe with my running guru as my inspiration…. I hope you love these x444.
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— Knead to Cook

Hearts of Palm Summer Salad w/Dijon Lime Dressing. Vegan. GF.

Hearts of Palm Summer Salad. Vegan. GF.

Hearts of Palm Summer Salad. Vegan. GF.

I picked up two jars of hearts of palm this past weekend at Costco, forgetting my love for it and knew I wanted to make a fresh summer salad with it.  Hearts of palm is a great source of protein – YES, protein!  4 grams per serving.  Fiber – 2 grams per serving along with calcium, potassium, fiber, vitamin C and iron.  Extremely low in calories.  So you thought it was hard to find protein in plants?  Not at all.  If you’ve never had hearts of palm it comes in long tubular sticks (think of a thick carrot but softer).  Reminds me of artichokes in flavor minus the brine.  Comes from a certain type of palm tree.  Economical and so easy to use.  You can eat it raw or sauté it.  This recipe I used it raw.
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— Knead to Cook

Raw Veggie Slaw with a Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette. Vegan.

Raw Veggie Slaw with a Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette. Vegan.

Raw Veggie Slaw with a Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette. Vegan.

Happy Monday everyone! Well after an uneventful weekend… I’m bracing myself for the craziness to ensue this week.  My youngest starts back to tennis.  My oldest is in the throngs of summer swim, working and meets.  Board meetings, doc appointments, traveling… Deep breathing shall commence.  I know I’m not the only one out there doing it all… but I start to get a bit overwhelmed.  Isn’t it summer?  Shouldn’t life be relaxing?

This weekend I did work on creating recipes to share this week so I didn’t neglect my blog.  I have two salad recipes that are summer-inspired and awesome to keep in the fridge making dinner super easy.  Vegan or not… you can add a protein of your choice and you are good to go.  And one pickling recipe that is so addictive.  While taking pics, my husband and I stood over the jar devouring the finished product.  I’m embarrassed to admit it but … it’s the truth.

Okay I’ll stop babbling and start with this fun and delicious recipe.
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— Knead to Cook

Almond Butter Vega Protein Overnight Oats. Vegan. GF.

Almond Butter Protein Overnight Oats.

Almond Butter Protein Overnight Oats.

Overnight oats are one of my most favorite on-the-go breakfasts!  They take minutes to prep at night and you’re set  for next morning.  Post workout breakfasts for me consist of Vega green smooties or overnight oats.  I thought I would combine the two this round and it turned out beautifully.  Plus ice cold oats post a super muggy run is heavenly.  Plus topping it with nuts and seeds… count me in!
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— Knead to Cook

Tofu cheese. Vegan. Gluten free.

Tofu cheese.  Vegan.  Gluten free.

Tofu cheese. Vegan. Gluten free.

There is just one thing I miss going vegan (now almost 2 years ago)… no not bacon, not pulled pork-  It’s my seasoned bocconcini mozzarella that I always had marinating in the fridge.  I would serve it over pasta or in a salad with freshly picked tomatoes from the garden.  So with two packages of tofu about to expire in my fridge I thought I would try my recipe with it.  After all, what do I have to lose, right?

I’ll put it out there – I very much dislike tofu unless it’s blended in something else like pudding.  I also love a tofu scramble at vegan restaurants (which I still need to attempt at home) but baked or fried – it’s a no-go for me!  That is until now.
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— Knead to Cook