Vegan Living

ZERO Waste Gift Basket for the Eco-Friendlies

I’ve gotten into the habit of including a useful basket when gifting instead of purchasing the common gift bag/tissue paper combo.  Most people just throw the wrapping away without skipping a beat and I hate the thought of a perfectly good bag ending up in a landfill instead of being reused.  With the exception of a few slip ups, I have managed to reuse most of the bags, boxes, bows, tissue paper, etc. my family receives from gifts.  The 3 main benefits of reusing these items are less waste (win for the environment), less money spent (win for your wallet) and the convenience of not having to go fetch these last minute items on top of the gift (win for your time).

This is one of the first gift BASKETS I created and it focused on zero waste & conscious living.  All the items shown were found at TJ Max and Marshalls here on the East Coast.  I used a cotton bath towel to play the role as tissue paper and kept the theme going with some other bathroom/spa essentials.  You can do the same thing perhaps with a bathrobe instead, or a bunch of hand/face towels.  The options are endless!  You can never go wrong with a candle and I was lucky enough to score an amazing vegan soy wax one along with bamboo toothbrushes, reusable face towels/pads and a container to hold said pads. Some items not pictured that were also added to the basket include a shampoo bar with a soap saver baggie and some knitted reusable cotton pads.

I had a blast creating this basket and it felt good knowing the items play a beneficial role in improving our planet and health all around.  I intend to incorporate more conscious living items whenever possible as gifts to my loved ones and clients!

Vegan Dishes

Not So Boring Spicy Vegan Chickn Salad

Salads don’t have to be boring…especially full blown, plant based salads! There are limitless options to keep them exciting. This one was literally created on the whim.

Romaine lettuce with broccoli sprouts, cucumbers, tomatoes, yellow corn, red onions and cubed up vegan spicy meatless Quorn patties.

I placed all the ingredients in this container to make it easier to shake up with the dressing. I started with the lettuce, sprouts, then added cranberries and sunflower seeds which are always staples in my salads. Then I threw in everything else before pouring my cruelty free ranch dressing all. over. it.

The outcome was amazing even though I was missing another staple, onion crisps. The hubby loved it and it filled us both up for dinner. Keep the creativity in the salads and they never have to be boring. And may I just say, being vegan doesn’t mean you’re missing out on any meals. Luckily, everything can be veganized these days and the animals don’t have to suffer… That’s the best part!

Vegan Dishes, Vegan Living

My Vegan-ish Pup

V-Dog Pupper!

My almost 6 year old Irish Terrier pup, Cooper has been a vegan in training for the past 9 months. Luckily, he took to the V-Dog brand, so I didn’t have much challenges with that. He’s always been a spoiled pup and likes his dry food mixed with some heated up, fresh food. This is a plus for my V-Dog budget since I can stretch out his stash, while saving money making his fresh food at home.


I usually buy a 30 pound bag every 3 months and give him one cup per day (half a cup for breakfast and half a cup for dinner). He gets half a cup of dry and half a cup of the homemade food twice a day. His fresh food varies from a potato or rice base with mixed veggies. Since our family is plant based and we try to cook whole plant based foods more often than not, I just bump up the portions of whatever we’re having for dinner and set some aside for Cooper, unseasoned. Although there are plenty of safe seasonings for pups, I only use nutritional yeast for him at the moment. I do have a goal to start making his fresh food more in bulk instead of relying on family dinner leftovers. Perhaps once I get into this habit, I’ll dress up his fresh food with some different spices.

I’ve been more cautious on his treats also being plant based.  I have luck sometimes at Wal-Mart and Target finding accidentally vegan biscuit treats.  I invest in V-dog long lasting bones (pictured above) when there’s a great deal to buy in bulk. 


Of course there is always Pinterest as well, to get some homemade vegan dog treat recipes.  Some non vegan treats slip through the crack when my husband buys them.  I know that if I kept up with the treat supply, he wouldn’t take it upon himself to buy any, so I try not to nag him for it.


I advise anyone who is thinking of transitioning their companion animal to a plant based diet to do their research.  There is plenty of evidence in favor of a plant based diet for dogs since they are omnivores (can eat both plants and meat).  Cats are a bit more tricky since they are ultimately carnivores, but there are plenty of supplements and plant based diets that cater to cats needs and at the very least, worth looking into further. 

Regardless, there are plenty of resources that mention just how un-fresh meat intended for pet food is.  They literally separate the rotting corpses of these once beautiful, innocent beings and whatever they deem isn’t “suitable” for human consumption, is then sold to pet food companies.  If you knew just how un-fresh pet food really is, trust me you’d explore better options for your furry family members.  

At the end of the day, living a vegan lifestyle in a non vegan world will have its challenges.  The transition can last months and sometimes even years for people and companion animals.  As long as you make sure you’re doing your best while not being too hard on yourself, your and your family’s vegan journey will be more successful and enjoyable.  One day and one treat at a time! 

Vegan Dishes

Brusselized Green Goddess Pasta!

Who else has felt like a super hero when needing to incorporate the almost spoiled veggies into dinner and have it turn out successful?? I had one of those nights tonight, yay me!  I needed to use up a gigantic, family size bag of brussel sprouts for dinner and a handful of ripped avos that were already 6 hours past their prime.  Pasta was on the menu, so I figured some shells with a bunch of greens mixed in an avocado cream sauce would do the trick.

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I roasted about a thousand brussel sprouts that I cut into quarters, at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for about 35 minutes.  *I should of trimmed the ends off better in the beginning because most ends were too tough and I had to trim them again before adding them in the mix. 
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Next, I boiled the pasta and steamed some frozen peas and fresh baby spinach.  While that was happening, I blended 3 ripped avos with garlic, basil, lemon juice, water, salt, pepper, and of course some nutritional yeast.  None of this was measured.. I had to play around with the consistency so I say just base your measurements on your taste/texture preferences.  Next time, I’ll add veggie broth instead of water to see if that makes it more flavorful.

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Lastly, all ingredients were ready to be mixed together and I was finally able to apply to face!

Vegan Dishes

Fired Up Plant Based Tacos Supreme

It’s safe to say I didn’t hold back when designing these classy tacos..It’s even safer to say they’re on the healthier side since I left out the vegan cheese and sour cream.  What I didn’t leave out was some rice (I used pilaf), black beans, onions, roasted corn, lettuce, cilantro, tomato, avocado (obviously), and Mexican Chipotle Field Roast sausages.  I heated up the sausages then chopped them up nicely to be taco compatible.  After dressing up the shells, I garnished them with lime before applying to face.  Another successful home made, cruelty free meal for the win!

Vegan Dishes

Fancy Vegancy (boxed) Mac & Cheese

To be honest, I’d love to say that I always make my vegan mac and cheese from scratch using purred sweet pots, cauliflower, onions, etc., but that’s just not the case.  Although I most certainly prefer the homemade healthier versions, time is of the essence more than I’d like to admit.  Boxed mac & cheese will just have to do more often than not; but that doesn’t mean it has to be boring!  I feel like mac & cheese is one of the easiest recipes to dress up.  This has always been one of my favorite dishes and was the one I was most worried about “giving up” when I went vegan.  Little did I know just how much better (AND HEALTHIER) the cruelty free versions can be.
I almost always add spinach or broccoli and tomatoes but I’ll switch up the vegan meat with Field Roast sausages or Beyond Meat burgers.  I recently diced up cubed pieces of the QUORN spicy chickn patties and it came out amazing!   Get as creative as you want adding veggies like broccoli, peas, asparagus, or carrots.  Ground up some veggie burgers or vegan meat burgers and mix… Dinner (or lunch) is served!
Vegan Dishes

Cruelty-Less Pizza!

Vegan pizza has been by far my favorite to whip up.  It’s amazing how creative you can get with toppings.  I’ve used mock meats, grounded up veggie patties, jack fruit, you name it!  The ones pictured below are a tomato, basil, spinach, with red onions and mozzarella along with a BBQ jack fruit with roasted corn, green onions and cheddar cheese.  Delicious!

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