Red Apple Recipes

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Today, December 1, is National Eat a Red Apple Day!

This day encourages us to enjoy an apple…and not just any apple but a red skinned one.

Why?

Apples play a crucial role in fighting inflammation of all kinds. They calm the systems of the body by reducing viral and bacterial loads that cause inflammation. In addition, the phytochemicals in apples feed the neurons of the brain and increase electrical activity. That makes them brain food!

Red skinned apples are especially beneficial. The pigments that create that rosy color have anti-obesity properties and strengthen the digestive system. They are the best colon cleanser. Pectin from a red apple rids the intestinal tract of bacteria, viruses, yeast and mold. It also helps to eliminate debris that clogs pockets in the intestines.

And this powerhouse fruit helps to pull heavy metals from the body and detoxifies the brain of MSG. Apples hydrate the body at a cellular level, providing trace minerals and salts and electrolytes, making them ideal to consume after exercise or a stressful day.

To help you get your “apple a day”, try these healthy red apple recipes.

Red Apple Recipes title meme

Red Apple Recipes

Click on the underlined titles below for these delicious red apple recipes.

Healthy Fried Apples

This recipe is a great way to use up apples that are a bit past their prime.

Fragrant with cinnamon, this easy recipe does not contain refined sugar or butter. It’s vegan and gluten free. And it makes an excellent side dish, stand alone meal or simple dessert.

Red Apple Recipes fried
Red Apple Recipes – healthy fried apples

Raw Applesauce

Another way to use an overabundance of apples is with this super simple recipe.

Raw applesauce comes together in minutes, and it’s so good. I purposefully leave my applesauce slightly chunky, however you can make it smooth as well. I add my applesauce to fruit or veggie bowls. You can use it in the next recipe too!

Applesauce Cake

Applesauce cake is extremely easy to create, using a few basic pantry items. The recipe adapts well to adding extras such as nuts, raisins and grated apples and tastes great with or without icing.

This cake is vegan, of course, and also gluten free. And as a bonus…it smells amazing as it bakes! Try serving it with fresh berries.

Red Apple Recipes cake
Red Apple Recipes – applesauce cake

Apple Porridge

This yummy recipe uses raw apples as well. Apple porridge makes a great breakfast alternative to cereal. Use a food processor to finely chop apples, leaving the skin on, and then top with walnuts, raisins or shredded coconut.

Beyond enjoying apple porridge for breakfast, try a bowl with afternoon tea or as a simple dessert.

Apple Crisp

Packed with red skinned apples, this vegan and gluten free crisp is easy to make. It’s perfect for a chilly winter evening. Enjoy with a cup of hot herbal tea to experience bliss!

Apple Crisp comes together in minutes and the result is a hot, fragrant, good-for-you dessert. For the best health benefits, leave the peeling on the apples.

Red Apple Recipes crisp
Red Apple Recipes – apple crisp

Rustic Apple Galette

Galette is the French word for a flat, round cake or pastry, usually open faced with fruit piled in the middle. This rustic dish is a healthy version that can be enjoyed without guilt or the ill effects sugar and gluten cause.

This beautiful dessert is perfect for fall and makes a wonderful treat to serve guests.

Favorite Ways to Enjoy Red Apples

The easiest way to benefit from red apples is to simply cut one up and eat it, plain or with a spoonful of sugar free organic nut butter. However, when the mood for something fancier strikes, the possibilities are endless.

I hope you found a new way to bring more red skinned apples into your diet. Their health benefits truly do help keep the doctor away.

What are you favorite recipes for red apples?

Red Apple Recipes galette
Rustic apple galette

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Sweet Potato Chili Fries

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November is Sweet Potato Awareness Month. It’s an appropriate time to recognize the sweet potato, given that many serve it in Thanksgiving meals.

Although sweet potatoes are often smothered in butter, brown sugar and marshmallows, they are much more versatile than that.

Enjoy this fall staple with this quick and simple recipe…sweet potato chili fries…as a flavorful side or as a stand alone meal. And for a delicious pop of flavor, serve the fries with this wonderful vegan lemon dill aioli.

Sweet Potato Chili Fries title meme

The Goodness of Sweet Potatoes

Why include sweet potatoes in your meals?

Sweet potatoes are wonderful for the digestive system. They promote productive bacteria in the stomach, small intestine and colon, while starving out unproductive bacteria and mold. They enhance the body’s production of B12. And they help to prevent megacolon, an expansion of the large intestine due to bacteria, and alleviate narrowing of the intestinal tract due to chronic inflammation.

Sweet potatoes have an abundance of vitamins, minerals and nutrients. Their orange flesh is packed with carotenoids. Those phytochemicals are powerful, drawing radiation from the body and protecting against skin, breast, reproductive, stomach, intestinal, esophageal and rectal cancers.

Additionally, sweet potatoes rid the body of unstable, destructive, cancer causing estrogen that interferes with the body’s hormone function. These estrogens come from plastics, pharmaceuticals and environmental toxins. And for those struggling with insomnia, sweet potatoes provide a critical form of glucose that stimulates the development of neurotransmitters, which aid in sleeping soundly. (Info from Life Changing Foods by Anthony William.)

Sweet Potato Chili Fries basket
Sweet Potato Chili Fries – basket of sweet potatoes

Sweet Potato Chili Fries

I love roasting potatoes and sweet potatoes in the oven. For me, they make a comforting and satisfying meal.

These roasted sweet potato fries take flavor to the next level with the addition of chili seasoning. And they are wonderful accompanied by the vegan lemon dill aioli.

Sweet Potato Chili Fries

Roasted sweet potato fries flavored with chili seasoning
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 2

Ingredients
  

  • 2 large sweet potatoes or 4 small
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tsp chili seasoning
  • 1 tsp sea salt

Lemon Dill Aioli

  • 1 tbsp fresh dill, chopped
  • 1/4 cup vegan mayo
  • 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 garlic clove, finely minced

Instructions
 

Sweet Potato Chili Fries

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Peel sweet potatoes and cut into 1/2 inch wide fries
  • Place fries into a bowl and drizzle with olive oil. Add chili seasoning and sea salt. Mix well to coat fries.
  • Spread fries in single layer on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
  • Bake for 30 minutes, turning fries halfway through, until fries are browned on outside and tender inside. Serve with lemon dill aioli. Makes two servings.

Vegan Lemon Dill Aioli

  • In a small bowl whisk together all ingredients. Makes a little more than 1/4 cup. Store leftovers in refrigerator.
Keyword Sweet potato fries, Sweet Potatoes
Sweet Potato Chili Fries peeled
Sweet potatoes ready to become fries.

Tips for Making Sweet Potato Chili Fries

If you like your roasted fries rustic, leave sweet potato peeling on.

May substitute coconut oil, or another high quality oil, for the olive oil. Add another tablespoon of oil if needed.

I love the slight spiciness that the chili seasoning adds. You may use cumin, paprika, garlic powder and/or onion powder if desired.

Parchment paper helps fries to brown evenly and makes clean up a snap.

Fresh dill may be purchased in the produce section at the grocery store. Or substitute 1 teaspoon of dried dill.

I purchase vegan mayo at Natural Grocers. However, more and more grocery stores are carrying vegan products, such as mayo.

The vegan lemon dill aioli is good with so many things! I love it.

Sweet Potato Chili Fries plated
Sweet Potato Chili Fries ready to eat. Served with vegan aioli and vegan fried green tomatoes.

What’s Your Favorite Way to Enjoy Sweet Potatoes?

Are sweet potatoes on your Thanksgiving Day menu?

They might show up on mine as a vegan sweet potato casserole. Beyond the holidays, however, sweet potatoes are often “what’s for dinner” in my house.

Let me know if you try these yummy fries and the vegan lemon dill aioli!

Sweet Potato Chili Fries with lemon dill aioli
Sweet potato chili fries with vegan lemon dill aioli.

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Chickpea Salad

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I love the versatility of chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans. They are the foundation for hummus, make a delicious curry and pair well with many other veggies, such as sweet potatoes.

Over the next two weeks, I’m experiencing a cleanse. That means although I am already plant based, I’m focusing on consuming fruits and vegetables only. During the cleanse I’m avoiding grains, except for gluten free oats, fermented foods, sugar, salt and oils and eating very little fat. This allows my digestive system to reset and toxins, bacteria and viruses to flush out of my body.

Even with the limitations, it’s not difficult to enjoy hearty, highly nutritious meals. This chickpea salad, loaded with fresh veggies, is an excellent example.

Chickpea Salad title meme

Hearty Chickpeas

Chickpeas are a legume, cultivated originally in the Middle East. They’ve been around for more than 9,500 years. Chickpeas are used in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine. They are also a key ingredient in Indian foods such as curry. Today India produces 70% of the chickpea crop.

These legumes are a rich source of protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals. Additionally, chickpeas offer a variety of health benefits including improving digestion, aiding in weight management and reducing the risk for diseases such as diabetes, cancer and heart disease.

Quick and Easy Chickpea Salad

I enjoy chopped salads, heavy on veggies and light on lettuce. And I appreciate chickpeas. This tasty recipe combines the two for a perfect light meal or as the main dish in a bigger one.

Craving some chickpeas today, I made this salad in a few minutes, with what I had on hand. And because I’m avoiding oils right now, I adapted a simple recipe for an oil free dressing that uses the liquid in the can of chickpeas.

You may use canned chickpeas for this recipe…which is what I did…or start with dry beans and cook your own. Save at least 1/4 cup of liquid, either way.

Chickpea Salad

This quick and easy salad combines hearty chickpeas with freshly chopped veggies.
Prep Time 15 mins
Total Time 15 mins
Course Salad
Cuisine Mediterranean
Servings 4

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cans chickpeas, drained and saving 1/4 cup liquid or 3 cups cooked chickpeas
  • 1 medium red, yellow or orange pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 large green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/4 red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 12 grape tomatoes, quartered

Dressing

  • 1/4 cup liquid from canned or cooked chickpeas
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1 tsp tahini
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • pinch black pepper

Instructions
 

Salad

  • Drain chickpeas, reserving 1/4 cup liquid for dressing
  • In a large bowl, combine chickpeas and remaining veggies. Stir gently to combine.

Dressing

  • In a small mason jar, combine liquid from chickpeas, lemon juice, tahini, parsley and black pepper. Cap and shake jar well. Pour over chickpea salad and stir to coat veggies. Serve immediately or store covered in the refrigerator. Makes approximately 4 servings.
Keyword Chickpeas, Salad

 

Chickpea Salad
Quick and easy chickpea salad

Tips for Making Chickpea Salad

This is a great recipe for using canned goods or, if cooking chickpeas for another recipe, cook extra for this salad.

I used the vegetables I had on hand, chopping them as I would for a typical chopped veggie salad. The peppers add color and powerful nutrients. I had a bag of mini orange, red and yellow peppers and used four of those in this recipe.

Feel free to include any other veggies of choice, including cabbage, red cabbage, zucchini, cucumber, carrots, olives or pepperoncini.

Chickpea or bean liquid is called aquafaba and useful for many other recipes. I saved ALL the liquid from my two cans of chickpeas so I could experiment with the aquafaba. Watch for recipes!

Fresh parsley may be substituted for dried, in the dressing.

Tahini is sunflower seed paste. It is rich in omega-6 fatty acids and makes a healthy salad dressing. Purchase online or in health conscious food stores. I used a small amount in the dressing, rather than oils.

Taste Test

The fun part of creating a new recipe is tasting it!

I made the recipe with the intent of enjoying it for lunch. And enjoy it I did. The taste is fresh, with all the veggies, while the chickpeas add a mild, nutty flavor and some density to the meal. This is one of those dishes that is sure to taste even better the next day, as the flavors all mingle.

I really liked the simple chickpea liquid, lemon juice, parsley and tahini dressing. It added just the right amount of flavor without overpowering the chickpeas and vegetables. When I’m back to consuming small amounts of sea salt, I’ll add a bit to the dressing. Otherwise, I won’t change a thing! Add sea salt and black pepper to taste to the salad and/or the dressing.

Eat this chickpea salad alone or add roasted sweet potatoes and steamed broccoli for a larger meal.

Let me know if you try this satisfying meal!

Chickpea Salad fresh

More Chickpea Recipes

Looking for more chickpea recipes? Try these:

Curried Chickpeas

Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Chickpeas and Kale Bowl

Hummus

 


 

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Easy Vegan Peach Cobbler

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August is National Peach Month, the perfect time to enjoy these fruits as they reach their delicious peak.

As I did last month, for National Blueberry Month, I wanted to create a simple, healthy dessert.

Check out last month’s Blueberry Crumble. And then enjoy Easy Vegan Peach Cobbler this month, with fresh peaches.

Easy Vegan Peach Cobbler title meme

Benefits of Peaches

Peaches are a stone fruit…or drupe…that originated in China more than 8,000 years ago. With their fuzzy peels and yellow or white flesh, peaches are a summer favorite.

Peaches are rich in vitamins, minerals and beneficial plant compounds. This fruit provides vitamins A, C, E and K, niacin, potassium, copper and manganese. Plus they are packed with antioxidants that combat oxidative damage to cells and protect the body against aging and disease.

The health benefits from peaches include:

  • aids digestion
  • improves heart health
  • protects skin by helping it retain moisture
  • prevents cancer, especially breast cancer
  • reduces allergy symptoms
  • boosts immunity
  • removes toxins from body
  • lower blood sugar levels

Fresh peaches are higher in antioxidants than canned. For this recipe, use fresh peaches if possible. Or use frozen after allowing them to thaw.

Easy Vegan Peach Cobbler peaches
Easy Vegan Peach Cobbler – sliced peaches and cinnamon

Ingredients for Easy Vegan Peach Cobbler

This simple dessert is vegan, gluten free, refined sugar free and oil free.

I used four fresh peaches, gluten free oats, oat flour, unsweetened applesauce, pure maple syrup and cinnamon.

Additionally, this recipe requires a couple of mixing bowls and an 8×8 or 9×9 baking dish.

Easy Vegan Peach Cobbler

This delicious dessert is vegan, gluten free and oil and sugar free.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 8

Ingredients
  

  • 4 fresh peaches, peeled and sliced
  • 1 cup oat flour
  • 2 cups gluten free oats
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly spray 8x8 or 9x9 baking dish with cooking spray or coat lightly with coconut oil
  • In large bowl, combine oat flour, applesauce, maple syrup together. Add oats and mix well.
  • Press about 1/3 of mixture into bottom of baking pan, forming a crust.
  • In small bowl, mix peeled peach slices with cinnamon. Pour into baking dish.
  • Spoon remainder of oats mixture on top of peaches, spreading evenly over fruit.
  • Bake for 30 minutes, checking after 25. Crust should be lightly browned and peaches tender. Cool slightly then serve warm. Makes 8 servings.
Keyword Gluten Free, oil free, Peach Cobbler, sugar free, Vegan

Tips for Easy Vegan Peach Cobbler

This simple dessert cobbler is similar to a crisp, except it has a bottom crust. The texture of this crust resembles baked oatmeal making it ideal for breakfast as well.

Oats are naturally gluten free. However, they are typically processed in facilities with other products that contain gluten. Look for packages of oats that specify gluten free, if you have a gluten sensitivity, meaning they were prepped in a facility without contamination with other products. I use Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Oats.

I use gluten free oat flour as well. Any flour, gluten free or regular, is fine for this recipe. Unsweetened applesauce is available in packages of half cup containers, making them easy to use for recipes.

Leave the peeling on the peaches, for more a more rustic peach cobbler.

Cover leftovers and store on the countertop or in the refrigerator.

Easy Vegan Peach Cobbler
Ready to eat

Easy Vegan Peach Cobbler Taste Test

I love baking with anything containing cinnamon. The aroma drifting out from the kitchen is tantalizing.

After allowing the peach cobbler to cool slightly, I enjoyed a bowl with a cup of hot peppermint tea. The cobbler is slightly tart and so yummy. While the maple syrup adds a hint of sweetness, this cobbler is not very sweet at all. If you want more sweetness, add a bit more maple syrup, or add coconut sugar to the sliced peaches.

This cobbler is the perfect way to use peaches during their time of abundance and also enjoy a healthy, low sugar treat.

Do you love peaches? What is your favorite way to enjoy them?

Bowl of Peach Cobbler
Bowl of vegan peach cobbler

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Easy Vegan Blueberry Crumble

 

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July is National Blueberry Month. These superfood berries are at their peak of ripeness as summer gets underway.

In honor of the month, I created a new…and super simple…healthy blueberry treat. Using items I keep on hand…that you probably do too…this dessert came together in a few minutes, while supper simmered on the stove.

Try this easy vegan blueberry crumble for your next get together, tea time or for a simple after supper dessert.

Easy Vegan Blueberry Crumble title meme

Benefits of Blueberries

I love these delicious berries. And, it turns out, they love me too.

Although domestic blueberries are beneficial as well, it’s the wild blueberry that brings the most health benefits.

They contain extremely high levels of antioxidants, delivering healing to any damaged part of the body. Wild blueberries effectively eradicate heavy metals and other toxins from the body. Plus they are a powerful brain food and amazing at restoring the liver.

Wild blueberries can help prevent any type of cancer and they are so restorative that they are beneficial for any symptom, whether physical, emotional or spiritual. (Info from Life Changing Foods, by Anthony William)

I keep a bag of frozen wild blueberries in the freezer, to add to morning smoothies or vegan treats such as scones.

If you don’t have wild blueberries, use fresh or frozen domesticated blueberries, which are those typically found in the produce or freezer sections of the grocery store.

Easy Vegan Blueberry Crumble wild berries
Easy Vegan Blueberry Crumble – wild blueberries mixed with gluten free flour

Ingredients for Easy Vegan Blueberry Crumble

For this simple treat I used frozen wild blueberries, gluten free flour, vegan butter, coconut sugar, vanilla and cinnamon. These are all ingredients that I keep on hand.

Besides the ingredients, you just need a couple of mixing bowls and an 8X8 baking dish.

Easy Vegan Blueberry Crumble baked

Easy Vegan Blueberry Crumble

This easy dessert is vegan, gluten free and refined sugar free.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 35 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 6 Servings

Ingredients
  

  • 4 cups fresh or frozen wild or regular blueberries
  • 2 tbsp gluten free flour
  • 1/2 cup plant based butter
  • 2 cups gluten free oats
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • coconut oil for baking dish

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Rub coconut oil in 8x8 baking dish.
  • If using frozen blueberries, measure 4 cups into a colander and let thaw slightly.
  • Melt plant based butter. Combine oats, coconut sugar, butter, cinnamon and vanilla. Mix well.
  • Transfer blueberries into a bowl. Add two tablespoons of gluten free flour and mix gently.
  • Place blueberries into prepared 8x8 baking dish. Top with oat crumble.
  • Bake for 35 minutes. Allow to cool slightly. Makes 6 servings.
Keyword Blueberry Crumble, Vegan

 

Tips for Easy Vegan Blueberry Crumble

If using frozen blueberries, wild or regular, allow them to thaw slightly in a colander.

Any gluten free flour is fine. I used a 1:1 gluten free flour, meaning one cup of the gluten free flour equals one cup of regular flour. You may also use almond or oat flour. And if you don’t have a gluten sensitivity, use whatever flour you have on hand.

I also use plant based butter. There are several good brands available, in regular grocery stores or health conscious stores. The coconut sugar is darker than refined sugar and tastes more like brown sugar, but less sweet.

You can add chopped nuts to the crumble topping, if desired.

Easy Vegan Blueberry Crumble ready to bake
Easy vegan blueberry crumble ready to bake.
Easy Vegan Blueberry Crumble baked
Easy vegan blueberry crumble fresh from the oven.

The Taste Test

As supper finished up, the kitchen filled with the wonderful aroma of baking blueberry crumble. I let it cool for a short time, and then tried it with a cup of hot peppermint tea.

This blueberry crumble is a winner with me! It’s rich with juicy blueberries and I love the slightly crunchy oat topping. The crumble isn’t overly sweet, which is perfect for me. And I can prepare this treat quickly, whenever I want something a bit more than plain fruit.

Are you a fan of blueberries? I hope you’ll enjoy this easy crumble.

And try something from this round up of blueberry recipes. Share your favorite way of enjoying blueberries in the comments below!

Ready to eat blueberry crumble
Yummy blueberry crumble!

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Vegan Southwestern Layered Salad

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It’s summer! Warm temps, water fun, star filled nights and days of play are here. With that warmer weather and those days of enjoying the outdoors, who wants to spend time in the kitchen?

This easy to prepare salad is perfect for summer days. And Vegan Southwestern Layered Salad is versatile too. Add your favorite toppings or mix things up every time you make it.

Recipe below!

Vegan Southwestern Layered Salad title meme

Keeping It Simple

Feel free to prep ingredients for this salad before serving it for dinner. Or…my favorite when it’s hot and muggy outside…buy ingredients that combine easily and quickly so that lunch or supper is served in minutes.

And it truly doesn’t get much easier than this tasty, satisfying salad.

Start with Greens

Using a large bowl or container, start with a layer of greens. I used about 4 cups of chopped arugula. Mixed greens work well too, an assortment of spinach, kale and arugula. For the best nutritional value, skin iceberg lettuce.

Vegan Southwestern Layered Salad arugula
Vegan Southwestern Layered Salad – arugula

Add Black Beans and Corn

Next add cooked black beans. You can cook these yourself, however for a quick meal, used one can of beans, drained. No need to heat up canned beans. I use organic canned black beans. Pick your favorite brand.

Next add a layer of organic, non GMO corn, frozen or canned. If using frozen corn, cook first. No need to heat up for canned corn.

Vegan Southwestern Layered Salad corn and beans
Vegan Southwestern Layered Salad – non GMO corn and black beans

Add Chopped Red Onions

Chop 1/2 of a small to medium red onion. I use a mini chopper to do this quickly.

Vegan Southwestern Layered Salad red onions
Vegan Southwestern Layered Salad – chopped red onions

Add Chopped Tomatoes

Next add fresh tomatoes, chopped into bite sized pieces. I don’t have ripe tomatoes from my garden yet. I purchased small organic tomatoes and used six of those. Diced tomatoes from a can may be used as well, if fresh tomatoes aren’t available or if you want to sped up the prep time. Drain well first.

Vegan Southwestern Layered Salad - tomatoes
Vegan Southwestern Layered Salad – chopped tomatoes

Add Diced Green Chilies

I purchased a small can of diced green chilies, medium spice level. Dice your own favorite peppers, from green bell peppers to hot jalapenos, or add diced canned mild green chilies, drained. Or omit this layer if you don’t want any heat.

Vegan Southwestern Layered Salad green chilies
Vegan Southwestern Layered Salad – green chilies

Add Vegan “Chicken”

This layer, and the next one, are totally optional. I seldom use vegan “meats” however, for this salad, it seemed perfect. I used Gardein Plant Based Vegan Seven Grain Crispy Chick’n Tenders. While I assembled the layers, I heated these tenders on the stove top. After they crisped up, I allowed them to cool slightly and then sliced up the tenders. Omit this layer if desired.

Vegan Southwestern Layered Salad vegan chick'n
Vegan Southwestern Layered Salad – vegan chick’n

Final Layer Vegan Cheese

For the final layer of my salad, I added shredded vegan cheese. Vegan cheeses have come a looooong way in recent years. Made from plant based milks, such as almond or coconut, these cheeses are flavorful and behave like dairy cheese.

I added a shredded mix of cheddar and mozzarella plant based cheese.

Omit this layer if desired.

Vegan cheese
Vegan Southwestern Layered Salad – vegan cheese

Other Tasty Options

This layered salad is so versatile, making it easy to use what you have on hand. Normally, diced avocados go into any salad I make. I was out of them when I made this one. Feel free to add any of the following to your layered salad:

  • diced zucchini or yellow squash
  • slivered or chopped almonds
  • black or green olives
  • shredded carrots
  • chopped green onions instead of red onions
  • halved cherry tomatoes
  • shredded cabbage
  • avocados or guacamole
  • chickpeas
  • chopped red, yellow or orange sweet peppers
  • any other veggie of choice
  • salsa

The Dressing

For this layered salad, I added sides of non GMO corn tortilla chips, plant based ranch dressing and sugar free barbeque sauce. What a perfect combination…slightly spicy barbeque sauce and creamy cool ranch. That’s why I wanted the vegan chicken as a layer, for the tangy barbeque sauce.

Use a favorite dressing, plant based, or create your own.

Plant based dressing and barbeque sauce
Ready to eat salad with chips, plant based dressing and barbeque sauce
Vegan cheese

Vegan Southwestern Layered Salad

Enjoy this quick and easy layered summer salad.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 15 mins
Course Main Course, Salad
Cuisine American

Ingredients
  

  • 4 - 6 cups chopped greens: arugula or mixed
  • 1 can black beans, drained
  • 1 can non GMO corn, drained may use frozen corn instead...cook first
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 5 - 6 small tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 small can diced green chilies, mild to hot, drained may substitute pepper of choice
  • 1 package Gardein plant based chick'n, cooked and sliced may omit this layer
  • 1 cup shredded vegan cheese, cheddar or mozzarella may omit this layer

Instructions
 

  • Prepare plant based chick'n according to package directions.
  • While cooking plant based chick'n, layer each ingredient above in a large bowl or container, ending with shredded plant based cheese.
  • Serve with non GMO corn tortilla chips, plant based ranch dressing and sugar free barbeque sauce. Or serve with dressing of choice. Serve immediately. Store leftovers in refrigerator. Makes 4 - 6 servings.
  • Other options: add diced avocado, black or green olives, chickpeas or any other veggie of choice.
Keyword Layered Salad, Vegan

Check Out These Additional Salad Recipes

If, like me, you want to spend as little time as possible in the kitchen this summer, check out these eight fresh salads. Loaded with nutrients, they are perfect lunch or supper meals.

Have a happy…and healthy…season! What summer plans do you have?

Ready to Eat
Vegan Southwestern Layered Salad – ready to eat

 

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Eight Fresh Salads

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May is not only National Salsa Month, it’s also National Salad Month.

As one who embraces a plant based lifestyle, salads are an important mainstay of my diet. However, get the idea of boring salads, with limp iceberg lettuce and tasteless store bought tomatoes, out of your mind. My diet is most definitely NOT boring. And my salads aren’t either!

Check out this round up of eight fresh salads and make one…or all of them…in celebration of this versatile and healthy dish. Simply click the title of each salad below, to go to the recipe.

Eight Fresh Salads title meme

Chopped Veggie Salad

For a highly nutritious salad that works as a stand alone meal or a side dish, you can’t go wrong with a big bowl of chopped veggie salad. Light on greens, this salad includes a wide assortment of chopped veggies from zucchini to chickpeas to red onions. In fact, I use whatever vegetables I have on hand, and top the whole thing with diced avocado.

This mix of veggies is so good…and good for me…that I frequently crave a chopped veggie salad. Top with a sugar free dressing or make your own salad dressing.

Eight Fresh Salads chopped veggies
Eight fresh salads – chopped veggie salad

Lentil, Pomegranate, Kamut Grain Spiced Sumac Salad

From my blogging friend Megan, and her blog Basil and Bay, comes this wonderfully filling salad. Megan combines an ancient grain, called kamut, with lentils, red onion, almonds, pomegranate seeds, dried fruit and pumpkin seeds. This delightful salad combines crunchy, chewy, sweet, and salty ingredients for the perfect balance of flavor.

I can’t wait to try this salad! It looks amazing. Visit Megan’s blog to see all that she offers.

Eight Fresh Salads lentil pomegranate
Eight fresh salads – lentil, pomegranate, kamut grain. Photo from Basil and Bay website.

Radish Cucumber Dill Salad

This simple salad says “summer time” to me. It’s a great way to use garden fresh produce. And any salad with dill in it is a favorite of mine! I grow dill in my garden and love snipping sprigs to include in salads and homemade salad dressings.

This salad is versatile as well. Combine tomatoes, cucumbers and dill. Or add thinly sliced red onion.

Eight Fresh Salads radish cucumber
Eight fresh salads – radish cucumber dill

Orange, Avocado and Green Olives

Although it sounds like an unlikely combination, this salad is delicious and one of my favorite lunches. It combines the flavors of sweet, citrusy Cara Cara oranges, creamy sliced avocado and pungent green olives. I typically add a navel orange to the mix as well, even though I am a Cara Cara orange fiend! Add a sprinkle of chopped cilantro for extra flavor.

Eight Fresh Salads orange avocado
Eight fresh salads – orange, avocado and green olives

Arugula, Potato and Asparagus Salad

From author and teacher Anthony William comes this wonderful salad full of healing foods. It combines asparagus, brussels sprouts, and potatoes with fresh leafy greens, herbs, onion, and a simple dressing. The result is a highly nutritious and delicious meal. Click title link to find the recipe. Or purchase Anthony’s recently updated and revised book Medical Medium, now full of healing recipes.

Eight Fresh Salads arugula potato
Eight fresh salad recipes – arugula, potato, asparagus salad. Photo from Medical Medium website

Vegan Waldorf Salad

One of my favorite salads as a child, I love the combination of juicy red grapes, crisp apples and crunchy celery and walnuts. What about the mayo though? I was a happy lady when I discovered vegan mayonnaise. Waldorf salad is back in my life!

This light salad makes a great lunch or side dish. Look for the vegan mayo in health conscious grocery stores.

Eight Fresh Salads vegan waldorf
Eight Fresh Salads – vegan waldorf salad

Persian Shirazi Salad

From my blogging friend Maya comes this quick and easy salad full of simple, wholesome ingredients, dressed with olive oil and lime. Maya shares that the salad, named for the city in southwestern Iran, is found on almost on every Iranian table at practically every meal.

I can see why! This salad combines cucumbers, tomatoes, red onion, green bell peppers and herbs for a flavorful dish that serves as a main meal or a side dish. Check out the recipe and Maya’s blog, Stirring My Spicy Soul, for more salad recipes and other delicious dishes.

And use a high quality extra virgin olive oil for your salad, such as Nina’s Olivar Almeria Gold. I can highly recommend it. I just ordered another bottle.

Eight Fresh Salads persian
Eight fresh salads – Persian Shirazi Salad. Photo from Stirring My Spicy Soul website

Potato and Herb Salad

This summer favorite gets a healthy twist! I love potato salad. This version, from Anthony William, uses fresh herbs such as chives, parsley and dill. It is full of flavor without using sugar, dairy products or eggs.

Try it at your next family gathering. Or eat the whole salad yourself!

Eight Fresh Salads herbed potato salad
Eight fresh salads – herbed potato salad

Which Salad Will You Make?

Do you love all these fresh salads? I got hungry, just typing up this post. One of these salads is on the menu for lunch tomorrow!

I hope you’ve seen that salads do not have to be boring. They are one of the most versatile and easily prepared dishes. And the recipes are forgiving. Add ingredients or take some away and discover just how fun it is to come up with your own amazing salad recipes.

Which of these eight fresh salads will you make?

Eight Fresh Salads ultimate salad

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Six Easy Vegan Salsa Recipes

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The month of May is National Salsa Month. And today happens to be Cinco de Mayo. It’s the perfect time to celebrate with freshly made salsa.

And not just any salsa.

These six easy vegan salsa recipes come together in a few minutes, using healthy, wholesome ingredients.

At your next gathering or for a cozy family night watching Netflix, delight the taste buds with one of these delicious salsas and a bowl of chips.

For each recipe, simply click on the title link below.

Six Easy Vegan Salsa Recipes title meme

Black Bean and Corn Salsa

This is my favorite snack salsa. It makes an excellent appetizer to put out while family members or guests wait for the main meal.

This flavorful salsa comes together quickly using canned black beans and canned non GMO corn. Add the chopped veggies and the juice of two limes and let it chill for at least an hour. As the flavors blend the taste skyrockets! Serve with non GMO tortilla chips.

Six Easy Salsa Recipes black bean and corn
Six Easy Vegan Salsa Recipes – black bean and corn

Fresh Tomato Salsa

This Pico de Gallo recipe comes from Happy Kitchen.Rocks. Pico de Gallo is a salsa made from fresh diced vegetables. This yummy salsa features fresh tomatoes, cilantro or parsley, garlic, onions and diced jalapeno. Scoop it up with chips or top a Mexican inspired veggie bowl.

Six Easy Vegan Salsa Recipes pico de gallo
Six Easy Vegan Salsa Recipes – pico de gallo (photo from Canva)

Pineapple Salsa with Lime and Cilantro

This salsa with a sweet pineapple twist is the perfect accompaniment for summer cookouts. From Vegan Heaven, this salsa includes fresh pineapple and bell peppers. Serve along with grilled veggies and vegan burgers or as a light meal on its own. And for fun, serve the salsa in a pineapple bowl!

Six Easy Vegan Salsa Recipes pinapple
Six Easy Vegan Salsa Recipes – pineapple (photo from Vegan Heaven)

Homemade Restaurant Style Salsa

Love the free chips and salsa served in restaurants? Now you can make your own restaurant style salsa at home and enjoy it any time. In 10 minutes this easy recipe from Aromatic Essence is ready to eat with chips. Or use this salsa in any recipe that calls for it.

Six Easy Vegan Salsa Recipes restaurant style
Six Easy Vegan Salsa Recipes – restaurant style (photo from Aromatic Essence)

Avocado Mango Salsa

This sweet yet tangy treat from Rainbow Plant Life is another fresh salsa that pairs well with grilled veggies and vegan burgers. Or serve it up with non GMO chips for a great anytime snack. Simply chop veggies, mango and avocado and combine.

Six Easy Vegan Salsa Recipes mango and avocado
Six Easy Vegan Salsa Recipes – mango and avocado (photo from Rainbow Plant Life)

Tomatillo Avocado Salsa Verde

This verde salsa uses roasted tomatillos and avocados for a full of flavor green salsa. The recipe from Wholesome Yum provides simple step by step instructions for roasting the veggies in the oven and then blending them all for a yummy snack served with chips or as a salad or veggie bowl topping.

Six Easy Vegan Salsa Recipes tomatillo avocado verde
Six Easy Vegan Salsa Recipes – tomatillo avocado verde salsa (photo from Wholesome Yum)

Celebrate National Salsa Month

I don’t know about you, but I’m now hungry for salsa!

Celebrate National Salsa Month for the next four weeks by trying a different salsa recipe every week. With the variety offered here, you won’t get tired of salsa. Then again, does anyone ever tire of salsa??

Whether you are grilling outdoors, looking for a quick and easy appetizer, feeding your family on meatless Taco Tuesday or setting out snacks for game night, there’s something for everyone and every occasion here.

And best of all, these healthy recipes are made from fresh, wholesome ingredients. You know exactly what’s in your salsa. And although you can select your favorite brand of tortilla chips, I highly recommend non GMO chips. Look for some of my favorite brands after the post.

Which salsa recipe will you try first?

Six Easy Vegan Salsa Recipes black bean and corn
Six Easy Vegan Salsa Recipes – black bean and corn

Salsa Finds from Amazon:

 


 

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Vegan Chocolate Avocado Mousse

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During March’s National Nutrition Month, a healthy, delicious dessert made from simple wholesome ingredients became a favorite. A local cafe featuring vegan food inspired me to make my own vegan chocolate avocado mousse.

I’ve read about combining avocado with cocoa powder to make this creamy dessert. However, until sampling it at The Veggie Table, I’d never eaten it. Let me tell you, it’s amazing.

This vegan chocolate avocado mousse comes together quickly. And, it’s a great way to use up ripe avocados. I mentioned the recipe in Creating Highly Nutritious Meals. Here is more info about the dessert and my perfected recipe.

Vegan Chocolate Avocado Mousse title meme

Avocados, the Secret Ingredient

Avocados are extremely nutritious. They are fruits, which is why it appears on my list of highly nutritious foods under that category.

This pear shaped fruit is loaded with healthy fats, fiber, protein and 20 different vitamins and minerals including vitamins B5, B6, C, E and K. Avocados contain more potassium than bananas. Plus the good fats contain oleic acid, associated with reducing inflammation in the body and fighting cancer.

Avocados are also high in antioxidants that improve eye health. Additionally, the fruit increases antioxidant absorption from other foods.

Incredibly, a recent study shows that people who eat avocados are healthier than people who don’t. Those who add avocados to their diets have a higher nutrient intake and are 50% less likely to develop metabolic syndrome, a cluster of symptoms that are major risk factors for heart disease and diabetes.

The edible part of the fruit, the yellow/green flesh inside, is rich, smooth and creamy, making it an ideal addition to salads, salsas…and mousse!

Vegan Chocolate Avocado Mousse avocados
Vegan chocolate avocado mousse – start with ripe avocados

Tips for Making Vegan Chocolate Avocado Mousse

Start with ripe avocados. You know the joke about avocados…you wait for them to ripen and then suddenly, they’re overripe.

You want ripe avocados for this mousse recipe. The outer skin appears dark, black almost, and the fruit feels soft and gives to pressure, when the avocado is perfectly ripe.

Using a knife, cut through the skin of the fruit from end to end, on both sides of the fruit, and separate into two halves. Remove the large pit. Using a spoon, scoop out the soft flesh inside.

Use freshly cut avocado right away, as oxygen causes the fruit to oxidize and turn brown. When making the mousse, I cut the avocado last, right before adding it to the blender.

Vegan Chocolate Avocado Mousse half
Vegan chocolate avocado mousse – a freshly scooped half
Vegan Chocolate Avocado Mousse

Vegan Chocolate Avocado Mousse

This creamy, healthy dessert comes together in minutes
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 mins
Chilling Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 10 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 3 ripe avocados
  • 1/4 cup plant based milk
  • 6 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 3 tbsp cocoa powder
  • dash sea salt

Instructions
 

  • Halve avocados, remove pits and scoop out flesh. Combine with remaining ingredients in a blender.
  • Blend on high speed for 30 seconds. Stop and scrape down sides. Repeat two more times. After scraping down the third time, blend on high for 60 seconds.
  • Scoop mousse into four dessert cups. Cover and chill for at least an hour. To serve, top with fresh berries or fruit.
Keyword Avocado, Chocolate, Mousse, Vegan

 

Vegan Chocolate Avocado Mousse blender
Ingredients for Vegan Chocolate Avocado Mousse in the blender.
Vegan Chocolate Avocado Mouse ready to chill
Vegan chocolate avocado mousse – ready to chill

Enjoying This Dessert

It only takes a few minutes to create this dessert. While dinner simmers on the stove, there’s plenty of time to blend the mousse and pop it into the refrigerator to chill. The smooth and creamy pudding-like dessert is ready to eat fresh from the blender. It thickens up immediately. However, I love the mousse chilled.

When serving, top with fresh berries such as blueberries and sliced strawberries. Raspberries or blackberries make excellent toppings as well. Or add a dollop of whipped coconut milk, chopped nuts or a sprinkle of unsweetened shredded coconut.

Then enjoy. Vegan chocolate avocado mousse is the perfect end to a meal. And it makes a pretty little “fancy” dessert for guests or for a special occasion such as a birthday or anniversary meal.

Have you tried chocolate avocado mousse? Is there another avocado recipe that you enjoy? Share with me your favorites in the comments below.

Vegan Chocolate Avocado Mousse
Vegan chocolate avocado mousse, ready to enjoy.

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Vegan and Gluten Free Banana Pudding

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November is Banana Pudding Lover’s Month. I grew up enjoying that classic dessert. My mom layered vanilla wafers, sliced bananas and creamy vanilla puddling and topped it with whipped cream.

Since switching to a plant based, low sugar, gluten free lifestyle, regular banana pudding is not on my acceptable list. I can enjoy a banana but the rest of the ingredients are not good for me.

In honor of the month, and remembering that banana pudding I grew up with, I wondered if a vegan and gluten free banana puddling recipe existed. It does!

I found an easy recipe on Pinterest and adapted it slightly.

Vegan and Gluten Free Banana Pudding title meme

The Birth of Banana Pudding

The first recipe for banana pudding, served over sponge cake, showed up in the US in 1888. Good Housekeeping published the recipe in its magazine.

The availability of the exotic fruit enabled cooks to create new desserts. An early banana pudding recipe showed up in “The Kentucky Recipe Book” in 1903.

The introduction of Nabisco’s Nilla Wafer in the 1940s popularized banana pudding. Nabisco printed the recipe on every box of cookies.

Rodgers Pudding Company launched Banana Pudding Lover’s Month after a successful National Banana Pudding Festival in 2010. The two day festival was held in Tennessee.

Vegan and Gluten Free Banana Pudding vanilla wafers
Vegan and Gluten Free Banana Pudding – gluten free vanilla wafers

Vegan and Gluten Free Banana Pudding Recipe

This quick and easy recipe, adapted from the Southern In Law website, only uses six ingredients and comes together in minutes.

This banana pudding is gluten, egg, dairy and sugar free.

Gluten free cornstarch or potato starch may be used. And any dairy free milk is fine. I used almond milk.

I purchased gluten free vanilla wafers from Natural Grocer’s. Omit the cookies, if desired. And I topped my banana pudding cups with non dairy coconut whipped topping, also purchased from Natural Grocer’s.

Vegan and Gluten Free Banana Pudding ready to chill
Vegan and Gluten Free Banana Pudding – ready to chill
Vegan and Gluten Free Banana Pudding

Vegan & Gluten Free Banana Pudding

journeywithhealthyme
This quick and easy recipe is gluten, eggs, dairy and sugar free.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Chilling Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 20 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 8 Servings

Ingredients
  

  • 3 large ripe bananas, mashed
  • 3 cups almond milk
  • 1/4 cup corn or potato starch
  • 1/8 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 1 box gluten free vanilla wafers

Instructions
 

  • Combine mashed bananas, almond milk, vanilla, maple syrup and corn or potato starch to a large saucepan.
  • Over medium heat, stir mixture until it just comes to boiling.
  • Reduce heat slightly and continue to stir while mixture simmers. Cook and stir until pudding reaches desired consistency, about 3 - 5 minutes. Stir continually to prevent scorching. Pudding will thicken more as it cools. Remove from heat.
  • In individual bowls, add 1 or 2 gluten free vanilla wafers to the bottom of each container. Pour pudding into bowls. Add 4 - 6 vanilla wafers to pudding cups, pushing cookies into mixture around the edges of bowls. Cover with plastic wrap and chill at least one hour.
  • Before serving, top with dairy free coconut milk whipped topping, crushed vanilla wafers or sliced bananas. Makes 8 servings.
Keyword Banana Pudding, Gluten Free, Vegan

Celebrating Banana Pudding Lover’s Month

I tried a banana pudding cup today, after lunch, in celebration of the month.

My initial verdict: this dessert is delicious. The pudding texture is lighter than the classic dessert but I can live with that. The taste is just right. This recipe provides an excellent healthy alternative to classic banana pudding. The gluten free vanilla wafers added that necessary cookie component and the dairy free whipped topping made the dessert perfect.

I’ll certainly make this dessert again, in November or any other month of the year!

Do you love banana pudding?

Vegan and Gluten Free Banana Pudding cups
Vegan and Gluten Free Banana Pudding cups

Amazon Finds:

 


 

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