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27 cheap vegan meals that are sure to please your taste buds and your wallet! These delicious recipes will fill your belly but they won’t break the bank!

One thing that really bugs me is the misconception that it’s more expensive to eat a vegan diet than it is to eat an animal-based diet.

Yeah, that’s a big fat lie. 

I don’t spend any more money on our grocery budget now as a vegan family than I did when we ate animal products. If anything, I spend less money. I’m saving money by eating vegan! 

Meat is expensive, people! Beans, vegetables, tofu, and grains are not! Making cheap vegan meals is easy and you can do it too! Use the following techniques to get the most bang for your buck without having to sacrifice the quality of food that you’re eating.

Shop Around To Save Money 

I definitely don’t just buy whatever I feel like whenever I feel like it– I shop the sales and I shop at different stores to get the best price on products.

I buy fresh organic produce twice a week at my local market or at Whole Foods (their Amazon Prime discount is awesome!), I buy most of my bulk grains, nuts, seeds, and frozen fruit at Costco, and I make a trip to Trader Joe’s once a month for random items that I have found that they have the best price on (like my favorite vegan organic wine and coconut aminos!).

Here’s my personal vegan shopping list for Trader Joe’s and Costco, I hope it helps you!

Are There Any Coupons For Vegan Products? 

It takes a little effort to save money but I was doing that way before we transitioned to a vegan lifestyle. A few years back, I was majorly into couponing. BIG TIME couponing. Like, I would go to the register with a stack of 30-50 coupons and get money back from the store for shopping there. I made money grocery shopping!

I don’t do the big couponing trips anymore because I don’t buy many processed products. There are coupons for healthy products but you have to search for them a little bit! This is my favorite healthy product coupon website to print coupons from.

Occasionally, I’ll splurge and buy Field Roast sausages (get a $1/1 Field Roast coupon here!) to make this delicious Italian vegan sausage and rice skillet, Beyond Burgers for a grilling holiday, or fakin’ bacon for our favorite Whole Foods copycat TTLA sandwiches. But on a regular basis, I plan our meals around produce sales and inexpensive healthy vegan staples.

Cheap Vegan Meals Staple Pantry Ingredients

The following shelf-stable items are inexpensive ingredients that I always have in my pantry and I recommend that you do the same!

  • Black beans
  • Chickpeas
  • Red, green & french lentils
  • Brown rice
  • Quinoa
  • Pasta (I keep noodles in the freezer)
  • Oats
  • Oat flour
  • Nutritional yeast
  • Chia seeds
  • Shredded coconut
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Pumpkin seeds

I tend to build meals around one of these staples and add whatever produce I found on sale that week. Lentil soup, roasted red pepper pasta with roasted tofu, and Instant Pot black beans with magic yellow rice happens a lot at our house! You can find all of these recipes for the meals below on my Instagram page @stacey_homemaker. 

I buy most of these items from the bulk section at the local market or in bulk from Costco. Make sure you always check the price per ounce so you can figure out where to get the best deal.

Want more easy vegan recipes? Join our vegan Facebook community below!

11 Ways to Cut Your Grocery Budget
  1. Check the sales flyer before you shop.
  2. Buy produce that’s in season.
  3. See if your store has a clearance table for products or produce that’s a little past it’s prime.
  4. Buy frozen fruit from a bulk store.
  5. Check product websites for coupons (I’ve also had success emailing a company and asking them to send me coupons).
  6. Buy the store brand. Usually, it’s just as good but a little cheaper.
  7. Plan meals around food you already have.
  8. Only buy enough groceries for 2-3 days to reduce food waste.
  9. Shop around at different stores to find the best deals.
  10. If you find a great deal on produce, stock up on it, portion it out and freeze it for the future.
  11. Don’t waste leftovers!

If you incorporate all of these tips then I’d be really surprised if you didn’t start saving money on your monthly grocery budget. Want to see what delicious cheap vegan meals you can make on a budget? The following list has 27 tasty options for you to choose from! Let me know at the end which recipe you want to try first!

Cheap Vegan Meals You Can Make on a Budget

1 – 30-Minute Veggie Barely Soup

2 – Italian Inspired Tomato & Chickpea Stew by Sprinkles & Sprouts 

3 – Kidney Bean Burgers by Vegannie 

4 – Oven Baked Garlic Mushrooms Rice by A Virtual Vegan

5- Crispy Hawaiian Garlic Tofu by Rabbit and Wolves 

6 – Curried Red Lentil & Vegetable Soup by Yay! For Food

7 – Santa Fe Quinoa Stuffed Peppers by Vegan Huggs

8 –Vegan Jambalaya by The Stingy Vegan

9 – Vegan White Bean Soup by Little Sunny Kitchen 

10 – Vegan Shepherd’s Pie by Fit Foodie Nutter

11 – Ranch Cauliflower Tacos by Vegan in the Freezer 


12 – Lemon One Pot Pasta by V Nutrition 

13 – Vegan Meatballs with Spaghetti by Vegan Heaven 

14 – Instant Pot Vegan Baked Beans by Nora Cooks 

15 –Easy Minestrone Soup by Veggie Inspired

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This is the easiest vegan pizza that you’ll ever make! Get a vegetable-loaded easy vegan dinner on the table FAST with this quick easy pizza crust hack! Vegan.

***This post contains affiliate links. If you’d like more information about what that means you can read my disclosure policy here.

If I could choose only one food to eat for the rest of my life, I would definitely pick pizza.

What would you choose?

I love alllll types of pizza. Actually, I don’t think I’ve ever met a pizza that I didn’t like!

We make pizza quite often at home. If I’m trying to watch our gluten intake that week than I make this gluten-free quinoa crust pizza— it’s so good! If I have a couple free hours I’ll make pizza dough from scratch, but to be honest, that doesn’t happen that often. If you do have the time, this is our favorite homemade pizza dough recipe.

Most nights I don’t have a lot of time to cook and I just need something fast and healthy for dinner, like this 15-minute pistachio pesto pasta. This quick easy pizza crust hack is one of my favorite ways to get a yummy easy vegan dinner ready super fast! Plus, you only need to use one sheet pan for the whole meal! Less clean-up, yay! 

Want more easy vegan recipes? Join our vegan Facebook community below!

What’s The Quick Easy Pizza Crust Hack? 

I’m sure you’re dying to know what the pizza hack is, right?!

This quick easy pizza crust hack is to use store-bought plain ol’ pita bread instead of making the dough from scratch! I use the organic pita bread (I like the Middle East Bakery pita) that comes in a pack of 5-6 from the frozen case at the grocery store. Spruce it up with flavorful tomato sauce (homemade or store-bought is fine) Italian seasonings, vegan mozzarella cheese, and your favorite roasted veggies and you have a delicious easy vegan dinner that’s ready in 30 minutes!

Flatbread comes in a variety of different shapes but the for this quick easy pizza crust dinner I use the small 6-inch pita bread rounds. It’s the perfect size for an individual pizza for kids or I make 2 for me and 3 for Travis.

This is my favorite quick easy pizza crust ever for two reasons…

  1. You don’t have to make the pizza crust dough from scratch so it’s quick and easy.
  2. The pizza gets crispy in the oven and tastes like homemade pizza dough!
How to Make Pita Pizzas in 30 Minutes

Step 1 – Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Roast vegetables for 20-25 minutes.

Step 2 – Put 2-3 spoonfuls of sauce on each pita bread.

Step 3 – Sprinkle vegan cheese on each pita bread.

Step 4 – Top each pita with roasted vegetables.

Step 5 – Set oven to Broil on high and cook the pizzas for 5-7 minutes or until golden brown on the edges.

Step 6 – Let the pizzas cool for 1 minute, slice, and top with fresh basil.

You can customize the pizzas any way you like by using a variety of veggies or just one or two like we had. I found a great deal yesterday at the market on organic red peppers that were just a few days past their prime, but they were perfect to be roasted for pizza! Mushrooms are my #1 favorite pizza topping so it was a given for me to use roasted mushrooms + red peppers as the pizza toppings! BTW it’s a delicious combo!

Roast your veggies on the sheet pan and then transfer them to a bowl, lay down a clean piece of parchment paper (if the last one is wet or oily) and build your pita pizzas on the same pan. I like to use only one pan to keep cleaning up at a minimum!

Is Most Pizza Dough Vegan?

I’ve found that most homemade pizza crust recipes are naturally vegan (only flour, yeast, water, salt, and seasonings). You really have to be careful when eating out because some places brush the crust with butter or an egg wash or they might add a sprinkle parmesan cheese.

Most store-bought pita bread, naan bread, and larger flatbreads are vegan as is too but as always– make sure you read the labels!

Top Tips For Making The Best Quick Easy Pizza Crust
  • If you want to use a variety of vegetables for toppings, try to pick veggies that cook for a similar amount of time.
  • Try not to overload the pizza pitas with too many toppings so it won’t be hard to pick up once it has been sliced.
  • Using store-bought sauce is perfectly fine for this quick recipe.
  • The pitas and vegetable toppings are already cooked so you only have to put the pizzas into the oven on broil for 5 minutes– just long enough to melt the cheese and warm the sauce and crust. Be careful not to overcook the pizzas unless you want the pita to turn into a hard cracker board.
  • Don’t buy tortillas instead of pita bread on accident. Pita is thick and puffy so it makes a crust that you can actually put toppings on and pick up without it falling apart.
  • Fresh or frozen pita bread is fine. If you buy frozen just make sure you defrost it before adding all the pizza toppings.
Vegan Side Dishes To Serve With The Pita Pizzas 

Creamy Broccoli Salad 

Mandarin Orange Kiwi Quinoa Salad

Zucchini Tomato Pesto Bake

15-Minute Arugula Quinoa Salad 

Avocado Arugula Cherry Tomato Salad

If you liked this quick easy pizza crust hack, please remember to rate the recipe and let me know what you thought of it in the comments below, I love hearing from you! You can also FOLLOW ME on FACEBOOK, TWITTER, INSTAGRAM and PINTEREST to see more delicious vegan recipes + our monthly trips to Disney World!

My Favorite Quick Easy Pizzas Crust

This is the easiest vegan pizza that you’ll ever make! Get a vegetable-loaded dinner on the table FAST with this quick easy pizza crust hack! Vegan.

Roasted Vegetables –
  • 1/2 lb button mushrooms, (sliced)
  • 2 medium red bell peppers, (sliced)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp Italian seasonings
  • sea salt and pepper to taste
Pita Pizzas –
  • 4 vegan pitas
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 cup vegan mozzarella cheese ((We like Follow Your Heart))
  • 1 tsp Italian seasonings
  • 1 oz fresh basil leaves
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Put the sliced mushrooms and peppers on a parchment lined tray. Drizzle olive oil, Italian seasonings, garlic powder, salt, and pepper over the vegetables. Toss to combine and roast for 20 minutes. Remove the tray from the oven and carefully spoon the roasted vegetables into a bowl, set aside.

  2. Set the oven to broil on high. Lay a new piece of parchment paper down on the tray and arrange 4 pitas to fit without overlapping. Spoon 2-3 spoonfuls of tomato sauce on each pita. Add vegan cheese, mushrooms, and peppers. Sprinkle Italian seasonings over each pita pizza. Bake for 5-7 minutes or until the edges of the pita pizzas are golden. 

  3. Let the pita pizzas cool for 1 minute and then slice them into quarters. Garnish with fresh basil. 

  • If you want to use a variety of vegetables for toppings, try to pick veggies that cook for a similar amount of time.
  • Try not to overload the pizza pitas with too many toppings so it won’t be hard to pick up once it has been sliced.
  • Using store-bought sauce is perfectly fine for this quick recipe.
  • The pitas and vegetable toppings are already cooked so you only have to put the pizzas into the oven on broil for 5 minutes– just long enough to melt the cheese and warm the sauce and crust. Be careful not to overcook the pizzas unless you want the pita to turn into a hard cracker board.
  • Don’t buy tortillas instead of pita bread on accident. Pita is thick and puffy so it makes a crust that you can actually put toppings on and pick up without it falling apart.
  • Fresh or frozen pita bread is fine. If you buy frozen just make sure you defrost it before adding all the pizza toppings.
 


I hope you try this quick easy pizza crust hack! What veggies would you use for toppings? Let me know in the comments! 

The post My Favorite Quick Easy Pizza Crust Recipe appeared first on Stacey Homemaker.

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Learn how to make pesto sauce that’s VEGAN, super creamy, and loaded with flavor! Plus, variations to make it oil-free + a recipe for our favorite 15-minute pistachio pesto pasta!

***This post contains affiliate links. If you’d like more information about what that means you can read my privacy policy.

The first time I tried pesto pasta was at Maggiano’s when I was 17 (I know, how did I go so long without trying it?!). At first, I was a little hesitant to taste it because it was so…green. However, I did try it and I fell in love with pesto after that first bite! I loved the bright flavor of the basil mixed with the tangy parmesan and the buttery pine nuts combined with hot noodles…ohhh be still my beating heart!

After that, I taught myself how to make pesto sauce at home and I started trying all kinds of substitutes for the pine nuts because they are very expensive. Cashews, almonds, walnuts, and pistachios are all great substitutes for pine nuts in pesto. I’ve also used pumpkin seeds in a pinch and that was yummy too. The only version I didn’t love was pesto made with hemp seeds, it just had a weird flavor that I couldn’t mask with other ingredients.

When Travis and I transitioned to a vegan lifestyle, I thought that I would have to give up pesto because we couldn’t eat dairy anymore. I wondered if pesto would still be as delicious without the parmesan cheese?

Great news, it’s still delicious!

After trying a bunch of vegan pesto ingredient variations, I’ve found that learning how to make pesto that’s vegan is SO simple– and it’s really not that much different than the regular version.

Want more easy vegan recipes? Join our vegan Facebook community below!

How To Make Pesto Sauce From Scratch 

I want the quickest and easiest way to make pesto, so I definitely won’t be pulling out a mortar and pestle to crush the basil and nuts into a pesto paste.

I use a small food processor or my Nutribullet (depending on what I already have out on the counter) to quickly blend all the ingredients into a sauce that I can slather on sandwiches, mix into pasta, or add to cooked quinoa.

Step 1 – Add all the ingredients to the blender cup.

Step 2 – Blend until smooth and creamy. Taste for salt.

Step 3 – Use the pesto sauce to make this delicious 15-minute pistachio pesto pasta recipe below!

15-Minute Vegan Pistachio Pesto Pasta Recipe! - YouTube

Tips On How To Make Pesto Sauce Taste Amazing! 
  • Always use fresh ingredients! Dried basil, garlic powder, or artificial lemon juice just won’t cut it for this recipe.
  • Use a blender for a smoother pesto sauce or use a food processor for a chunkier pesto sauce.
  • ***Before juicing the lemon*** Place the whole lemon on the counter, put your hand on top of the lemon, press down and roll it back and forth a few times. This helps to release the juices so you get more juice out of the lemon!
  • If you use pistachios (my personal favorite for a buttery creamy texture) don’t ruin your nails trying to remove the shells. Open one nut and then use one of the shells as a tool to pry open the other shells.
  • Don’t skip the avocado! It’s the secret ingredient that makes the sauce so rich and creamy.

Why This Pesto Recipe Works
  • The avocado adds healthy fat to the pesto which makes it taste super creamy.
  • Using pistachios (instead of pine nuts) make the pesto sauce taste rich and buttery + you get the added bonus of all the nutrients from the pistachios!
  • Traditional pesto doesn’t always call for lemon juice but I think adding it gives the pesto a brightness and an extra layer of flavor.
  • Reducing the amount of oil normally used in most pesto recipes makes this a healthier option (in the recipe notes there are instructions for omitting it completely.
  • By making this delicious avocado pistachio pesto homemade you can control the amount of salt that it’s made with.
Related Vegan Pesto Recipes 

Pesto Spinach Quinoa Stuffed Tomatoes 

Roasted Red Pepper Tomato Soup with Basil Pesto Quinoa

Zucchini Avocado Grilled Cheese Sandwiches with Pesto Sauce

Skillet Zucchini Tomato Pesto Bake 

How to Make Pesto Sauce + 15-Minute Pistachio Pesto Pasta Recipe

Learn how to make pesto sauce that’s VEGAN but still SUPER creamy and loaded with flavor + options to make it oil-free + a recipe for 15-minute pistachio pesto pasta!

Avocado Pistachio Pesto –
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves ((about 2 ounces without stems))
  • 1/2 cup pistachios ((shelled))
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 large avocado
  • Juice of 1/2 medium lemon
  • 2 tbsp olive oil ((or water or non-dairy milk))
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
Pasta
  • All of the avocado pistachio pesto sauce that you just made.
  • 1/2 cup hot pasta water ((reserve 1 cup just in case))
  • 1 cup green peas
  • 5 oz package baby arugula
  • 16 oz orecchiette pasta
  1. Add the basil, pistachios, garlic, avocado, lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper to a food processor or blender and blend until smooth and creamy. If you have any trouble blending the ingredients, add 1 additional tbsp of olive oil (or water or non-dairy-milk). 

  2. Cook the orecchiette pasta according to package instructions and drain it. Pour the hot pasta into a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add all of the pesto sauce and stir to coat the noodles. If the pesto sauce is too thick, add 1/2 cup at a time of the reserved hot pasta water, it will help loosen the pesto sauce.

  3. Add the cooked peas and arugula to the pan and stir to mix everything together. Leave the pan on the heat for 2-3 minutes to make sure the pasta is hot but not long enough that the arugula will wilt. 

  • You can substitute cashews, almonds, or walnuts for the pistachios. 
  • If you want to add a “cheesy” flavor to the pesto sauce, add 2 tsps of nutritional yeast. 
  • If you want to omit the oil from the pesto recipe, you can use water or unsweetened non-dairy milk instead (coconut, almond, or cashew).
  • You can use fresh, canned, or frozen green peas for the pasta recipe. Just make sure if you use frozen peas that you let them fully cook in the pan first before you add the pasta. 
  • You can substitute baby spinach or sliced kale for arugula. 
  • You do not have to use orecchiette pasta, you can use whatever you have on hand. I just like how the sauce fills up the little pockets. 
  • Before you drain the noodles, reserve 1 cup of the hot pasta water. I only used 1/2 cup but you might prefer the pesto sauce to be “saucier.” 


If you found this how to make pesto sauce tutorial helpful, please remember to rate the recipe and let me know what you thought of it in the comments below, I love hearing from you! You can also FOLLOW ME on FACEBOOK, TWITTER, INSTAGRAM and PINTEREST to see more delicious vegan recipes + our monthly trips to Disney World!

I hope this tutorial helped you learn how to make pesto sauce! How will you serve the pesto sauce? Let me know in the comments! 

The post How to Make Pesto Sauce (Vegan) + 15-Minute Pistachio Pesto Pasta Recipe appeared first on Stacey Homemaker.

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This quinoa salad recipe has it all! Crisp carrots, peppery baby arugula, tender artichoke hearts, crunchy toasted walnuts, and tart dried cherries tossed in a tangy oil-free dressing. It’s easy to make and it pleases allll the tastebuds! Vegan, gluten-free, soy-free.

***This post contains affiliate links. If you’d like more information about what that means you can read my privacy policy.

Last year, on this day, at this exact moment, I was onboard the Disney Fantasy ship with my husband, Travis, eating lunch at Cabana’s and waiting for to set sail on our eastern Caribbean honeymoon cruise! I sure wish I was doing the same thing right now! I am very excited though because we’re planning another Disney cruise later this year and I can’t wait to share it all with you! (If you’re thinking about going on a Disney cruise make sure you read this post of 159 Disney cruise tips you need to know before your cruise!)

Luckily, I have all the ingredients ready to make this delicious everything-but-the-kitchen-sink quinoa salad recipe in the fridge so I can make a quick lunch and get back to watching our honeymoon cruise youtube videos and planning our next Disney cruise!

This easy-to-make arugula quinoa salad is ready in only 15 minutes (perfect for a quick lunch!) and it’s loaded with healthy ingredients like nuts, seeds, and veggies! Don’t worry, this salad is not a greens-only salad. As much as I love greens, arugula is not enough to fill me up. I need something more substantial, hello quinoa! Quinoa is the perfect ingredient to make this salad super filling!

Want some more easy vegan recipes? Join our vegan Facebook community below!

How Do You Make Quinoa Taste Good? 

I’ve heard so many people say that they don’t like the taste of quinoa!

What? How is this possible? 

Quinoa is a very neutral tasting seed (it’s not a grain!) that is soft and fluffy once it’s cooked. The only thing that I can think of that would make it taste bad is if you don’t rinse it before cooking it. I had a quinoa dish at a restaurant once that was so bitter I couldn’t even eat two bites of it. I believe it was because the quinoa wasn’t rinsed first.

So make sure you rinse your quinoa before cooking it (or buy pre-rinsed quinoa like this brand that I get at Costco + my Costco vegan shopping list!) and it should taste absolutely delicious!

Read this article for more in-depth information about preparing and cooking quinoa!

Top Tips For Making The Best Quinoa Salad!
  1. Cook the quinoa in vegetable broth instead of water for extra flavorful quinoa!
  2. Let the quinoa cool completely (or even better let it chill in the fridge overnight) before adding all the salad ingredients to it! If you don’t let it cool then the arugula will wilt and everything will clump together. It will still taste good but the presentation won’t be as pretty.
  3. Use store-bought shredded carrots for even quicker prep time. (I prefer Calorganic rainbow shredded carrots for a crisp pop of color!)
  4. Use artichoke hearts in water, not oil, for a healthier option.
  5. Toast the walnuts in a pan over medium heat (you’ll know they’re done when you can smell them!) before adding them to the quinoa salad.
  6. Sprinkle any type of additional nuts or seeds (hemp seeds, sunflower seeds, pecans) over the top of the salad for an extra boost of protein and nutrition!
Why This Quinoa Salad Recipe Works
  • It’s easy to throw together at the last minute.
  • You can add any leftover veggies, greens, beans, seeds, or nuts that you have to the quinoa salad. It’s a great way to use up all those odds and ends!
  • The dressing is easy to make and it’s ready in one minute!
  • This quinoa salad recipe is delicious cold.
  • This is the perfect recipe to make a big batch of and then pack for lunch throughout the week.
What Other Dressings Can You Use For Quinoa Salad? 

In this quinoa salad recipe, I use a sweet and tangy dressing made of balsamic vinegar + nut butter + maple syrup and it’s absolutely delicious!

Buttt if for some reason you’re not feeling these dressing ingredients there are lots of dressings to choose from that go great with quinoa! The following are some of my favorites:

Related Quinoa Recipes You Might Also Enjoy

5-Ingredient Quinoa Pizza Crust

Chipotle Walnut Quinoa Taco Meat

Easy Quinoa “Fried Rice” Veggie Lettuce Wraps

Roasted Red Pepper Soup with Basil Pesto Quinoa  

15-Minute Arugula Quinoa Salad Recipe

This quinoa salad recipe has it all! Crisp carrots, peppery baby arugula, tender artichoke hearts, crunchy toasted walnuts, and tart dried cherries tossed in a tangy peanut butter dressing. It’s easy to make and it pleases allll the tastebuds! Vegan, gluten-free, soy-free. 

Dressing –
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter ((or almond butter))
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • Pink sea salt to taste
Quinoa Salad –
  • 5 oz container or baby arugula
  • 3 cups cooked and cooled quinoa
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded carrots
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries ((or cranberries))
  • 1 large beefsteak tomato (diced)
  • 8 artichoke hearts, (halved)
  • 1/2 cup roasted walnuts ((or pecans))
  • 1 tsp chia seeds ((or hemp seeds or pumpkin seeds))
  1. Whisk all the dressing ingredients together until smooth and creamy. 

  2. Add all the salad ingredients to a large mixing bowl, pour the dressing over the top and toss to combine. Garnish with chia seeds and serve. 

  • Make sure you use cooked quinoa that has cooled completely. If you use hot or warm quinoa it will make the arugula wilt. 
  • Spinach, kale, thinly sliced cabbage, or beet greens would be a delicious substitute for arugula. 
  • Use store-bought shredded carrots to save prep time. 


If you’ve tried this quinoa spinach salad or any other recipe on the blog, please remember to rate the recipe and let me know what you thought of it in the comments below, I love hearing from you! You can also FOLLOW ME on FACEBOOK, TWITTER, INSTAGRAM and PINTEREST to see more delicious vegan recipes + our monthly trips to Disney World!

Would you eat this arugula quinoa salad for lunch or as a side dish with dinner? Let me know in the comments!

The post 15-Minute Arugula Quinoa Salad Recipe appeared first on Stacey Homemaker.

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Easy Mother’s Day decoration ideas for hosting a beautiful flower-themed party. From the smallest details to setting a flower-inspired table + a recipe for rose-shaped vegan dark chocolate cherry cordials!

This post contains affiliate links***

Mother’s Day is one of my favorite holidays because I love to celebrate my mama and make her feel special! She does so much for us every day of the year that she definitely deserves a day to be pampered and spoiled.

On Sunday, my parents came over to my house so we could celebrate my special mama and spend the day together. We had so much fun that I wish we could re-live the day over again!

It’s never too early to start planning Mother’s Day decoration ideas for next year! 

Mother’s Day Decoration Ideas 

I chose a bright and colorful watercolor flower design for the party theme because I wanted it to feel happy! Flowers are so beautiful, elegant, and feminine that it just feels natural to use them as a decoration for Mother’s Day. The watercolor design gave it a sense of whimsy that made it feel fun and casual!

Hosting a themed party that feels cohesive might seem daunting but it’s really pretty easy when you break it up into 6 simple categories. It’s all in the details and all the details need to mesh together to create the ambiance!

  • Table setting (tablecloth, napkins, dishes, glassware, utensils)
  • Table centerpiece
  • Gift wrap (gifts don’t have to match the theme)
  • Outfit (Yes, your outfit should be complementary to the theme!)
  • Food (Match by style or flavors)
  • Small details (cards, pictures, surprises)
Steps to Create a Flower-Themed Party Pick a Flower Tablecloth + Matching Napkins That Catch Your Eye

Most important step–> Pick a tablecloth that matches your theme! I always do this step first and then pick out pieces to match it so everything feels cohesive.

I chose a very colorful watercolor flower tablecloth (similar to this one) as the focal point of the party. I wanted it to draw your eye as soon as you walked into the room.

Luckily, there were matching napkins available to purchase. I folded them using the accordion style napkin fold but instead of putting in a glass, I put a napkin ring (like this set) around it and placed the napkin on the plate like a fan. It was just the right pop of color!

If you don’t like the accordion fold, a rose napkin fold would be gorgeous on the plate too!

Note – If your tablecloth doesn’t come with matching napkins, don’t just pair any set of flower napkins with it. Different flower prints don’t always jive. I would recommend picking a solid colored set of napkins that match one color in the tablecloth.


Choose Complimentary Dishes That Don’t Clash With The Tablecloth

After you’ve decided on a tablecloth and matching napkins, it’s time to pick dishes. You don’t need to buy brand new expensive dishes, I prefer new-to-me-and-inexpensive thrift store or garage sale dishes. You could even use dishes that you already have.

As you can see in the picture of my table setting, I used plain white dishes. Those are actually our everyday dinner plates and they just happened to match! I used white dishes because the tablecloth print is so vivid and busy that I didn’t want the dishes to clash.

I also like to layer plates with chargers or placemats because it adds interest to the place setting. If it was a fancier dinner, I would have used gold chargers (these are the ones I have) but since it was a casual dessert table, I used rustic brown placemats (like these placemats).

Pick Coordinating Flatware That You’ll Actually Use

The color scheme and pattern of the tablecloth will help you to decide what color utensils pair with it. I’ve been on a gold kick lately, it just looks so pretty with bright colors. If you’re on a shoestring budget, these plastic “gold” utensils will work just fine. If you can splurge a little bit, this “gold” flatware will make your place setting pop!

You might also notice that I only set the table with forks. No, I didn’t forget to put the rest of the flatware out, it’s because we were going out for dinner and only having dessert (that you would need a fork for–no ice cream) at my house. There was no point to set out knives and spoons too.

Think about what you’re going to serve and plan accordingly. I don’t go by what’s “proper,” that doesn’t really matter to me. However, if it’s important to you, then by all means, set the table for a 7-course meal.

Select Glassware That You Can Use Again

Last but not least…glassware!

Depending on how casual or fancy the table setting is will help you to choose a what size and shape glass to use. Since the pattern is pretty busy I chose a simple stemless wine glass.

Another factor that determines which glasses I use depends on what I already have! Glassware takes up a lot of space to store. I do my best to be minimalistic with glasses so I have a few core sets that use over and over. So try to pick a set of glasses that you really the shape and style of so you’ll want to use it again.

Once you’ve assembled all the pieces of your table setting, it’s time to think of what the centerpiece will be.


What Type of Centerpiece Should You Use? 

Originally, I wasn’t going to use a centerpiece for this table setting because the pattern is so busy. I didn’t want it to fight the tablecloth. However, I set the table and lived with it for a few days to help me decide if it needed a centerpiece or not.

I eventually decided that the table did need a centerpiece. My eyes would look over the table and not know where to land.

You could use fresh or faux flowers in a vase, candles, a present, or a hand-crafted item as a centerpiece. I decided on making a paper flower centerpiece (get the easy tutorial here!) for the table. I used sparkly neutral-colored cardstock to make the flowers (so it wouldn’t clash with the flowers in the tablecloth) and then glued them to a piece of cardboard that I covered with green scrapbook paper and cut out in an “S” formation.

I thought it would be too busy to put it in the center of the table, so I put it in the back to draw interest there too. It would also be fine to place it in the front of the table.

Note – If you think the table will look too busy with a centerpiece, I would make a sign or decoration to hang behind the table. For my Mother’s Day table set up last year, I made this Happy Mother’s Day paper flower sign. You can change the color of the paper to match your theme (Get the instructions here).

What About Gifts + Giftwrap?   

I loveeee specialty gift wrap. It’s my mom’s fault, she always wrapped our presents in pretty paper and now it’s ingrained in me to do the same. It just makes the gift look so special when it has beautiful wrapping paper.

I always, always, always match the gift wrap to the theme of the party or event that I’m going to. If it’s a princess party, you better believe the gifts will be wrapped with Disney princess paper!

I was ecstatic when I found a watercolor flower gift wrap at Tjmaxx. Lately, I’ve been finding a lot of high-quality premium wrapping paper at Tjmaxx, Homegoods, and Marshalls. If you can’t find any gift wrap that you like at the store, this 6-roll selection is pretty close!

It’s so important to pay attention to these little details because when everything flows together it makes such a beautiful presentation!

Does My Outfit Have To Match The Theme? 

In my opinion, yes!

It doesn’t have to be matchy-matchy over the top identical. However, I did wear a flower dress (similar to this dress) for Mother’s Day to match the decorations and theme of the party and it looks really nice in the pictures.

A solid color dress that is in the color scheme would be perfectly fine too.

I would stay away from clashing colors or anything with a busy pattern that aren’t flowers for this theme.


Are There Flower-Themed Recipes? 

Yes, there sure is! I’m so glad you asked!

When you are deciding what flower-themed food to make, think of complementary colors (yellow, pink, light blue, purple, green), seasonal recipes (think spring or summer), shapes, and flavors (lemon, raspberry, blueberry, strawberry, guava).

It doesn’t have to be a flower-shaped cake. It could be spring-inspired lemon cupcakes with an edible flower or flower icing design on top, or the cake batter could be made of flower flavors like hibiscus, lavender, or rose paired with a simple vanilla icing.

Also, take into consideration the flavors that the person you’re celebrating likes!

My mama loves lemon and cherry so I chose to make vegan lemon cheesecake bars (very bright and spring-like!) and vegan dark chocolate flower-shaped cherry cordials.

Get the lemon cheesecake bar recipe here.

I looked for organic edible flowers to put on top of the lemon bars but the ones I found at the store were all wilted and sad looking (you could also check with an organic nursery or grow your own!), so I went with mint leaves instead. They were a hit!

The cherry cordials turned out so delicious! Of all the goodies my mom had to choose from, she said the cherry cordials were her favorite! They are so much better than the overly sweet store-bought cherry cordials because I used juicy organic cherries and let them simmer until they made their own thick filling– almost like a compote. They are so decadent!

The cherry cordials look fancy but are really easy to make! I first discovered the joy of food molds last Easter when I made these bakery-quality dark chocolate truffle Easter eggs.

I found a food-grade silicone multi flower-shaped mold to make this cherry cordial recipe. I love that it matched the theme and had a spring-like flavor that my mom loved. We ended up loving the rose-shaped candies the most so next time I would use this rose-shaped mold.


Vegan Dark Chocolate Cherry Cordial Recipe

These super decadent vegan dark chocolate cherry cordials are easy to make and are filled with a delicious compote-like organic cherry filling. Vegan. 

  • 2 cups frozen organic whole cherries ((without pits))
  • 1/2 cup agave
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • Splash of almond extract
  • Splash of brandy
  • 1 tbsp arrowroot powder
  • 1 tbsp water
  • Pinch of pink sea salt
  • 8 oz bag of vegan dark chocolate chips ((I always use this brand))
  • 1 15-piece silicone flower mold ((make sure it's food grade silicone))
  1. Add cherries to a medium saucepan and cook over medium heat until the cherries are fully defrosted. 

  2. Add agave, vanilla extract, brandy, and almond extract. Bring it to a low simmer.  

  3. Add arrowroot and water to a small bowl and whisk it together. Add it to the pan. Reduce the heat to low and let it reduce until the sauce is thick and sticks to the back of a spoon. Season with a pinch of salt.

  4. Set aside and let the filling cool before you add it to the candy molds or it will melt the chocolate. 

  5. Melt the chocolate chips in a double boiler.

  6. Spoon a small amount of chocolate into each flower mold (about 1 tsp) and use the back of the spoon to swirl it around and coat all the sides evenly. 

  7. Flip the candy mold upside down onto a parchment lined tray and put it in the freezer to set for 15 minutes. (Putting it upside down will help the chocolate distribute evenly and not settle on the bottom of the mold.)

  8. Remove the candy mold from the freezer. Spoon about 1/2 tbsp of cherry filling into each chilled candy mold (about 2 cherries + sauce). Then fill up the remaining space with a little bit more melted chocolate and smooth it over. Freeze for 20 minutes or until solid. Remove the tray from the freezer, pop each candy out of the mold, and serve immediately.  

  • Store the leftover cherry cordials in an airtight container in the fridge. 
  • You can substitute frozen blueberries, blackberries, or raspberries for the cherries. 
  • Vegan cherry cordials inspired by this recipe
  • If you use fresh cherries make sure you remove the pits before cooking them. 

Don’t Forget The Small Details! 

You thought that was it, right?

As they say, it’s all in the details!

This couldn’t be truer.

Once you’ve picked the style, found all the matching pieces, wrapped the gifts, and planned which recipes you’re going to make, you need to think of a few small details that weave all of these Mother’s Day decoration ideas together! I like to use sentimental items at the small details because that’s what matters most to the person you’re celebrating!

  • A picture of your mom being a mom.
  • A handwritten card that tells her exactly how you feel.
  • Something that says, “best mom ever!” (Like this plaque)
  • A playlist of her favorite songs playing in the background.

Add a few of these personal touches to your Mother’s Day decoration ideas and you’re mom will be so touched, my mama definitely was!

I hope all these Mother’s Day decoration ideas help you to throw a beautiful celebration for your mama! You could also use these flowery ideas for a baby shower, bridal shower, or feminine birthday.

What do you think of these Mother’s Day decoration ideas? Are you a fan of flowers? Let me know in the comments!

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If you’re vegan and you shop at Costco then you need this list of 51 Costco vegan products! Every item on my shopping list is label-checked, taste-tested, and picky husband-approved!

This post is not sponsored by Costco but it does contain Amazon affiliate links. These are the Costco vegan products that I buy and use on a regular basis. 

I recently shared a list of my favorite organic + vegan products at Trader Joe’s— not just a list of ALL the vegan products at TJ’s but a list of the vegan products that I actually buy and use. So many of you reached out and told me how much it helped you to have a realistic shopping list for Tj’s that I thought sharing my Costco vegan products shopping list would also be helpful to you!

Please leave a comment if there are any other stores you’d like to see vegan shopping lists for!

I do a majority of my grocery shopping at three stores: I buy bulk items at Costco, organic produce at a local market, and specific products (inexpensive organic vegan wine, coconut aminos, my favorite vegan granola bars) at Trader Joe’s when I can make a trip there.

Even though you have to buy a membership to shop at Costco ($60 for one year), I still think it’s worth it because they offer lots of perks in addition to low prices.

I’ve done a lot of price comparison research on the following organic + vegan products and Costco -by far- has the best prices. That’s why it’s worth it to me to buy things in bulk because we’re on a budget and I cut every corner possible so we can afford all of the fresh organic produce that we could possibly eat.

Make sure to check back later this week to read my list of 50 Cheap Vegan Dinner Recipes! 

Let’s get to it! The following list has all of my favorite Costco vegan products that I really buy and use on a regular basis. Have you tried any of them? Did I miss any of your favorite vegan products? If so, comment below!

Note – Costco’s products tend to vary by store and they also seem to go through a seasonal rotation on products so don’t be surprised if you don’t find all of these products at your local store today but they might pop up in a few months! 

My Favorite Costco Vegan Products

1 – Organic Coconut Clusters

These coconut clusters are insanely delicious and addicting! I bought it with the intentions of sprinkling it over rawnola bowls that we like for breakfast but it’s so tasty on its own that we end up just snacking on it right out of the bag.

2 – Organic Quinoa

This is the best price I’ve found for organic quinoa anywhere! The price occasionally goes down to $8.99, so if you see that– stock up! What makes this quinoa even better is that it’s already washed, so it saves you a step while you’re cooking!

Not sure if you like quinoa? Try it in quinoa crust pizza or in quinoa taco meat!

3 – Organic Brown Rice

We eat a lot of brown rice and this is a great price! It’s inexpensive, it’s versatile, and it goes with so many recipes–> Try this spicy vegan sausage and peppers rice skillet, it’s fantastic!

Note – If you’re worried about weevils growing in a bag of rice this big, just pop it in the freezer for 24 hours (or store it there indefinitely, that’s what I do) and any eggs that are already in the rice will die.

4 – Amy’s Organic Soups Multipack

I make an effort to cook everything from scratch but sometimes you just need something that’s already cooked. We live in Florida, and last September, we lost power for one week after Hurrican Irma hit. We practically lived off these soups during that week…in case you were wondering, they’re delicious hot or cold, and the cans are BPA-free.

I hope you never need this list but just in case you have to deal with a hurricane one day, check out this list of 30 non-perishable vegan staples you should stock up on for a hurricane.

Amy’s soups are much more expensive when you buy them individually so this is a great deal to have a ready-to-eat item on hand just in case you need it.

5 – Banza Chickpea Pasta 

I’ve tried a lot of gluten-free pastas and so far, chickpea flour noodles are my favorite! They hold their shape, taste like a regular noodle, and they’re loaded with protein!

6 – Mariani Organic Pitted Dates

I use dates for any recipe that I want natural sweetness –> like in rawnola breakfast bowls or in mango coconut dark chocolate bites.

I also like to cut the date in half, add a dollop of peanut butter, then dip the stuffed date in melted dark chocolate and freeze it until set. You can thanks me later…It’s AMAZING!

7 – Organic Fire Roasted Red Peppers 

I like to have a jar of these fire roasted red peppers in the pantry at all time! I like to blend them up into a sauce for pasta or slice them and put them in wraps or on sandwiches. It’s a huge jar and you can do so much with them!

Not sure what to make with fire-roasted red peppers? Try this recipe for 15-minute fire roasted red pepper pasta!

8 – Organic Sweet Pickled Beets

If you like beets you have to try these pickled beets! They’re so sweet and tangy, we are obsessed– I even got my mom hooked on them too! I always add a few to our salads or we just eat a couple slices as a snack. They’re addicting!

9 – Organic Tomato Basil Sauce 

You always need to have a few jars of tasty tomato sauce in the pantry for nights when you don’t have time to cook.

Or you might have time to cook these delicious lentil meatballs but you don’t want to make your own sauce. It’s totally okay to use shortcuts once in a while, especially when this sauce is lower in sodium and sugar than most other jarred sauces out there.

10 – Organic Peanut Butter

This is the best price that I’ve found for (2) 28oz jars of organic peanut butter! It’s super creamy and has a delicious nutty flavor.

We go through peanut butter as a spread on toast, in salad dressing for my favorite quinoa arugula salad, and in carob peanut butter dessert hummus!

11 – Organic Black Beans

Before I got my Instant Pot, I always bought these 8-packs of organic black beans. The cans are BPA-free and at only $.85 per can– you can’t beat the price of convenience. Another plus– compared to most canned black beans, they’re extremely low in sodium, only 85 mgs!

Eat a lot of black beans? Try these 30-minute sweet potato black bean burritos or this colorful rainbow salsa recipe!

12 – Organic Pasta 6-Pack 

If you’re not gluten-free, you have to try these noodles! I don’t know what it is about them but they have the best texture and the shapes are super fun.

Try the spiral noodles with this vegan beet pasta sauce, it’s naturally bright pink! Perfect for anyone who likes colorful food or for dinner on Valentine’s day!

13 – Himalayan Pink Sea Salt

This is the only salt that I use! According to this article, it is believed that Himalayan pink sea salt has up to 84 minerals and trace elements in it and that it is lower in sodium than table salt.

This container of pink sea salt is a great price. They also have a grinder if you prefer it but it’s more expensive and you get less salt.

14 – Organic Olive Oil

I try not to use too much oil in our diet but I just can’t roast or sauté without a little bit. I can’t find it but I read an article a few years ago comparing the different brands of olive oil and how most brands are really blends. However, the Kirkland brand is pure and high-quality. I’ve bought it ever since and been very happy with it.

Like roasted vegetables? Try these roasted mushroom veggie quinoa wraps, we love them!


15 – Organic Seaweed Snacks 

16 – Organic Maple Syrup

I try not to use any refined sugar in my recipes so whenever I need a liquid sweetener (like in this carob peanut butter dessert hummus) I use this maple syrup. It’s delicious drizzled over oatmeal too!

17 – Organic Apple Cider Vinegar (2-pack)

This is a great value! If you buy organic raw ACV at a natural market you’ll pay this price for one smaller bottle! Just remember to cut up and recycle the plastic handle, save the turtles!

Just remember to cut up and recycle the plastic handle, save the turtles!

18 – Organic Oregano and Basil

I buy most of my organic spices from the bulk section at the organic market I shop at but I do buy my oregano and basil from Costco because it’s such a great deal!

19 – Organic Flaxseed 

This is a great price for such a huge bag of ground flaxseed! I use it for smoothies, in rawnola, and as the binder (egg substitute) for lentil meatballs.

20 – Organic Somersault Crackers

My whole family LOVES these little sunflower puffs! They’re so delicious and addicting but they’re good for you so I’m totally okay with that. I like to bring a bag of them with us to Disney World when we go to the parks so we have something healthy to snack on!

21 – Organic Agave Syrup

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This spicy Italian sausage and peppers recipe has quickly become a staple in our house. Each bite is loaded with so much flavor that you won’t believe it’s ready in only 30 minutes. Vegan, dairy-free, soy-free, nut-free.  

***This post contains affiliate links. 

I’ve been having trouble writing this week. I sit down to write but nothing about the Italian sausage and peppers recipe comes out.

Is writer’s block a symptom of grief? The only words that come to my mind are about my aunty. I know that you’re here for a delicious vegan recipe not a depressing post about death and how it impacts people but this is my real life so it’s hard to turn it off.

The thing that gets me is that I want to share the recipe and I know my aunty would want me to write and share the recipe, but it’s taking me days to write this post. It’s so frustrating!

I just miss my aunty and it doesn’t help that yesterday marked one month since she passed away. How has it been one month already? On one hand, it feels like it happened yesterday, but on the other hand, it feels like we’ve been dealing with the grief for years. None of if makes any sense!

If you’re interested, last week, I shared the recipe for my favorite vegan spanakopita that I dedicated to my aunty. It’s delicious and I know she would have loved it so I hope you’ll give it a try too.

Ugh, dealing with grief is hard. Really hard. However, I’m going to keep plugging away and get this Italian sausage and peppers recipe posted because I know that’s what aunty would want me to do.

How Can This Vegan Recipe Have Sausage In it?

Yes, this Italian sausage and peppers recipe does have sausage in it– vegan sausage, of course.

I resisted using meat substitutes for the longest time but I eventually caved because I was curious. I’d heard so much about them but I didn’t want to try them because I assumed they would be full of artificial ingredients and preservatives but they’re not! They’re a little high in sodium but I’m not going to worry about eating it once in a while when I need a quick meal.

I’m so glad I tried them because vegan sausages are delicious! I know what all of the ingredients (all real food and spices) so it doesn’t make me feel guilty at all to use a store-bought shortcut. I like the Field Roast Italian or apple maple sausages (this is not a sponsored post I just really like them) for this Italian sausage and peppers recipe. Both flavors are delicious, you can’t go wrong!

If you don’t want to use vegan sausages in this Italian sausage and peppers recipe you could substitute pan-fried or crumbled tofu, sliced tempeh, or any variety of beans for protein.

Vegan Italian Sausage and Peppers Recipe

What you need to know about this vegan Italian sausage and peppers recipe is that it’s extremely delicious, it’s ready in 30 minutes, and it makes great leftovers!

This Italian sausage and peppers recipe is loaded with flavor from the tomato paste, garlic, onions, peppers, and my new favorite ingredient –> smoked paprika! I’ve been obsessed with smoked paprika lately and I’ve been putting it on everything. I can’t believe that I’ve been cooking for the last 6 years without it! It has such a delicious flavor by itself, just wait until you taste it with the tomato paste, garlic, and onions! It’s heavenly!

This Italian sausage and peppers recipe is loaded with healthy veggies and satisfying brown rice. It’s like healthy comfort food that your whole family will love! We love it so much that I added it to our monthly meal plan!

Related Vegan Faux Meat Recipes 

Italian Lentil Quinoa Meatballs & Linguini 

Super Saucy Vegan Meatball Subs 

Slow Cooker Whiskey Pineapple Jackfruit Sliders

Easy Lentil Sloppy Joe’s 

Slow Cooker Jackfruit Wild Rice Soup

Is This Italian Sausage and Peppers Recipe Really Spicy? 

No, I don’t thinks this Italian sausage and peppers recipe is overly spicy. My husband and I both love the amount of heat, it’s juuuust enough that you feel it just a little right after you swallow. Of course, you can adjust the amount of cayenne pepper to your liking or omit it completely if you’re making it for the kiddos.

With all of the other flavors in this Italian sausage and peppers recipe, I really don’t think that you’ll miss the heat it’s just a nice extra kick of flavor at the end.

I hope this 30-minute Italian sausage and peppers recipe becomes a family-favorite recipe at your house too! Enjoy!


Spicy Italian Sausage and Peppers Recipe (Vegan)

This spicy Italian sausage and peppers recipe has quickly become a staple in our monthly meal rotation. Each bite is loaded with so much flavor that you won’t believe it’s ready in only 30 minutes. Vegan, dairy-free, soy-free.  

  • 2 + 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, (diced)
  • 2 large bell peppers, (sliced)
  • 5 garlic cloves, (minced)
  • 5 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/2-2 cups vegetable broth ((Depending on how saucy you like it))
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 4-pack vegan sausage, (sliced)
  • 5 cups cooked brown rice
  1. In a large pan, saute the onions, peppers, and garlic in 2 tbsp of olive oil for 8-10 minutes or until soft. 

  2. Add the tomato paste, smoked paprika, cumin, Italian seasonings, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper to the veggies. Mix to combine and let cook for 2-3 minutes. 

  3. In a separate medium pan, cook the slices of vegan sausage in 1 tbsp of olive oil over medium heat until they’re lightly browned on each side (about 2-3 minutes). Make sure you watch it because they brown quickly. Set aside. 

  4. Add the vegetable broth and bring it to a low simmer. Reduce the heat to low and stir in the cooked brown rice. Mix well to coat everything in the sauce. 

  5. Add the cooked vegan sausage slices to the pan. Stir to combine and serve with a garnish of parsley. 

  • If you don’t like spicy food then you should omit the cayenne pepper. 
  • f you don’t want to use vegan sausages in this Italian sausage and peppers recipe you could substitute pan-fried or crumbled tofu, sliced tempeh, or any variety of beans for protein. 

If you make this vegan Italian sausage and peppers recipe, please share your picture on Instagram and tag @StaceyHomemaker so I can see your delicious creation! 

Want to start your own healthy food blog and share all of your delicious recipes?
Learn how to do it in just 3 easy steps + check out the 10 tools that all new bloggers need to be successful!

Do you think your family would like this vegan Italian sausage and peppers recipe? Let me know in the comments!

 

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You might also like…

Super Saucy Vegan Meatball Subs

The post Spicy Italian Sausage and Peppers Recipe (Vegan) appeared first on Stacey Homemaker.

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Stacey Homemaker by Stacey Homemaker - 3M ago

Flavorful lentil meatballs nestled into a hoagie bun and topped with tomato sauce and melted vegan cheese. These super saucy vegan meatball subs are healthy comfort food and picky husband approved! Vegan, dairy-free, soy-free. 

***This post contains affiliate links. 

My husband loves vegan meatball subs!

What’s not to love?

  • Protein-packed tender lentil quinoa meatballs
  • Super flavorful tomato sauce that coats every nook an cranny
  • Melted ooey-gooey vegan cheese
  • Warm toasty buns to hold it all together

I mean he really really loves them! He would also like me to tell everyone that it was his idea to serve the lentil meatballs as subs and top it with tomato sauce and melty vegan cheese. I’ve been making lentil meatballs with spaghetti for years but I guess he thought that was pretty basic. LOL

The recipe for lentil quinoa meatballs was one of the first posts that I shared on my blog and it’s been super popular ever since. It’s held the test of time!

Vegans Don’t Eat Meatballs! Right? 

I recently had someone ask me why I would make “meatballs?” Vegans don’t eat meatballs! Right?

Well, yes and no. Vegans don’t eat dead rotting flesh meatballs but some vegans do eat healthy, flavorful, protein-packed, plant-based lentil balls!

Travis and I didn’t stop eating meat because we didn’t like the way it tasted, we stopped eating meat because of the cruelty, health issues, and its effect on the environment. Still being able to eat food that resembles meals that we used to eat before we transitioned to a vegan lifestyle makes it easier to not have cravings.

There are also some vegans that don’t want any food that resembles meat even if it’s plant-based. I totally get that! Do whatever works for you!

How do you feel about eating faux meats?

That being said, these vegan meatball subs are freaking delicious and they definitely look like real meatballs. So, if you aren’t into faux meat meals then don’t make these vegan meatball subs– try this spicy red Thai curry chickpeas and veggie recipe instead!

Related Vegan Recipes

Spinach Artichoke Dip Stuffed Shells

Spicy Buffalo Cauliflower Tacos 

Veggie-Loaded Cheesy Quesadillas

Slow Cooker Whiskey Pineapple Jackfruit Sliders

Easy Lentil Sloppy Joe’s 

What Should You Serve With Vegan Meatball Subs?

Vegan meatball subs are fun food! They would be great for a game day or anytime you want a healthy comfort food.

Since it’s a fun meal, my husband likes to have his favorite Trader Joe’s kettle chips (read this post to see my complete Trader Joe’s vegan shopping list) on the side while I prefer to have roasted veggies.

The recipe for roasted balsamic mushrooms, radishes, and brussel sprouts that you see in the picture is coming soon! It’s delicious, don’t miss it!

Besides kettle chips or roasted veggies, avocado arugula cherry tomato salad would be a super tasty side dish too.

Why You’ll Love Vegan Meatball Subs

I really think you’re going to love these vegan meatball subs!

Mainly because the recipe for my lentil quinoa meatballs have gotten rave reviews!

“I just made these and they are delicious!” – Lauren

“I made these meatballs tonight and they were AMAZING.” – Beth

So adding tomato sauce, vegan cheese, and toasty buns are just going to make the lentil meatballs 100x better!

The meatballs are truly yummy. The Italian seasonings give the lentil meatballs a delicious flavor, they have a lot of texture, and they hold together perfectly. Besides being really tasty, the meatballs are gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, and plant-based. Basically, it can work for many different diets!

Before putting the lentil meatballs into the subs, I like to heat the tomato sauce in a pan and put the lentil meatballs right into the sauce and swirl them around for a few minutes to let them absorb the flavor of the sauce. The sauce gets into all the nooks and crannies and it’s sooooo goood.

I hope you love this recipe as much as we do! Vegan meatball subs are:

Satisfying

Healthy comfort food

Easy to make

Cheesy 

Saucy


Vegan Meatball Subs

Flavorful lentil meatballs nestled into a hoagie bun and topped with tomato sauce and melted vegan cheese. These vegan meatball subs are healthy comfort food and husband-approved! Vegan, dairy-free, soy-free. 

  • 10-12 vegan lentil meatballs ((large))
  • 2 cups tomato sauce
  • 4 slices vegan cheese, cut in half ((I like Follow Your Heart Pepper Jack Cheese))
  • 4 hoagie buns ((or hot dog buns) )
  • Pinch of dried parsley
  1. Click here for the Lentil Quinoa Meatball Recipe. 

  2. Assemble the lentil meatballs and bake them for 15-20 minutes. Place the baked meatballs into a pan with the warm tomato sauce. Use tongs to roll the meatballs around the pan to coat them in the tomato sauce. 

  3. Open a lightly toasted hoagie and place 2-3 large lentil meatballs into the roll. Spoon a little bit more tomato sauce over the top and lay slices of vegan cheese on top. 

  4. Put the subs into the toaster oven just long enough to melt the cheese. Garnish with a sprinkle of parsley. 

  • You can make the lentil meatball recipe into 10-12 large meatballs or 22-24 small meatballs. You can use either size for the vegan meatball subs but I usually make the larger size and put 2-3 meatballs on each sub.
  • The cheese is optional. I don’t always put the cheese on my sub and it’s still delicious. 
  • Store-bought tomato sauce is perfectly fine for this recipe, it doesn’t have to be from scratch.

If you make these vegan meatball subs, please share your picture on Instagram and tag @StaceyHomemaker so I can see your delicious creation! 

Want to start your own healthy food blog and share all of your delicious recipes?
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What side would you serve with these vegan meatball subs? Let me know in the comments!

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Italian Lentil Quinoa Meatballs 

The post Super Saucy Vegan Meatball Subs appeared first on Stacey Homemaker.

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Vegan spanakopita is just as delicious as the classic spanakopita that everyone knows and loves. My version is loaded with a super flavorful mixture of spinach, garlic, onions, and almond ricotta (store-bought), between multiple crispy layers of filo dough. It’s the best! Vegan, dairy-free, soy-free.  

***This post contains affiliate links.

I’ve been trying to write this post all week but I just couldn’t get it finished. I’d start, stop, start again, stop again. I couldn’t completely focus on it and honestly, I just didn’t feel like writing.

I’ve taken the last two weeks off from my blog and life in general because my super-special Aunty (my mom’s twin sister) unexpectedly passed away on March 30, 2018.

I’ve never lost anyone so close to me in my life before so the last two weeks have been very difficult to get through. Partially, because her death literally came out of nowhere so it’s really hard to process. It still doesn’t feel real.

We had a beautiful celebration of life for Aunty last week. It was very hard to get through but what made it a little easier was all the people that showed up to tell us about how much they loved Aunty. She helped so many people. Maybe her heart was just too big or she gave too much of it away, I don’t know. What I do know is that I miss her with all of my heart and I always will.

I want to dedicate this vegan spanakopita recipe to the memory of my Aunty because anytime either of us would make a delicious dinner we would take pictures of it and send it to each other. The pictures in this post are my not typical posed blog pictures, they are the real cell phone pictures that I sent to my Aunty the first time I made it. Pictures are a memory and I don’t ever want to forget how supportive she was of all my recipes, not just the staged food pictures that made it to the blog.

The text below is her response to the pictures of the vegan spanakopita that I texted to her…

Aunty was one of my biggest cheerleaders and blog supporters. She always told me how proud she was that I turned her (and my mama’s) love of food and photography into a job. I’m truly going to miss her unconditional love and support. I always knew that I could go to her for anything, she was the best Aunty.

I know that she would have loved this vegan spanakopita and I wish that I could’ve made it for her. I hope that you can make this vegan spanakopita for someone special in your life.

I didn’t want to say anything cliche like “life is short” but it’s really true. Aunty was only 63 years young, she was still so healthy and vibrant! She had so much life in her. So much spirit. So much love. I feel extremely lucky to have had her in my life for 29 years but I just wish it was longer.

As you can see from the pictures below, she had a beautiful life but she should have had more time, it’s just not fair. I wish I had done more for her to show her how special I thought she was. I hope she knew how I felt. I just always thought we would have more time.

What I hope you’ll take away from this post is that none of us know how much time we have left and we have to do the best we can while we’re on this earth.

  • Help someone without expecting to be noticed or rewarded!
  • Take the trip you’ve always dreamt of, don’t put it off!
  • Spend time with the people who matter the most to you!
  • Don’t let stress or anger get the best of you, find happiness in little things!
  • Do the best you can but remember that it’s not a competition, we’re all on this journey with the same ending and it matters how you treat people along the way!
Aunty’s Vegan Spanakopita

I think Aunty would get a kick out of people making this vegan spanakopita recipe in memory of her so I hope you’ll try it! It’s quite delicious if I do say so myself.

I would eat vegan spanakopita every day if I could, it’s one of my favorite meals. The flavorful spinach filling and the super crispy, flaky layers are so addicting. This recipe will definitely be a new family favorite! Just listen to that crunch in the video below!

What Kind of Spinach Should You Use?

I use a ton of spinach in this vegan spanakopita recipe, it’s loaded with 2lbs of frozen organic spinach! You could use fresh spinach but I found it easier to use frozen because it’s already sliced and all you have to do is heat it up and drain it. Draining the spinach realllllly well is very important because you want the filo layers to be crispy, not soggy, from excess water.

After I saute the spinach, I put it in a strainer and use a spoon to press the spinach against the mesh to drain a majority of the excess water out. Then I put the spinach in a cheesecloth or thin hand towel and squeeze the remaining water out.

Once you ring all the water out, you’ll be left with a baseball-sized ball of spinach. Don’t worry– once you mix in the onions, garlic, and almond ricotta, it will spread out and fill up the pan.

I like to make this vegan spanakopita in a 9.5×9.5 baking dish, each piece is about 2 1/2 inches high. It’s the perfect slice!

This is the baking dish that I use for the vegan spanakopita –>   

What Does Almond Ricotta Taste Like? 

I use store-bought almond ricotta in the vegan spanakopita filling. It’s creamy, tangy, and dairy-free! You could definitely make your own tofu-based tofu-based ricotta but I like to save a little bit of time by using this shortcut. I like to use Kite Hill almond ricotta, it’s so delicious! (Their chive cream cheese is bomb too!)

I prefer to use Kite Hill almond ricotta, it’s so delicious! (Their chive cream cheese is bomb too!) This recipe is not sponsored by Kite Hill, I just really love their products. 

Click here to print a $1/1 product coupon!

I hope you enjoy this vegan spanakopita recipe as much as I do!


Aunty's Vegan Spanakopita Recipe

Vegan spanakopita is just as delicious as the classic spanakopita that everyone knows and loves. My version is loaded with a super flavorful mixture of spinach, garlic, onions, and almond ricotta (store-bought), between multiple crispy layers of filo dough. Vegan, dairy-free, soy-free.  

  • 2 lbs frozen spinach
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, (diced)
  • 6 garlic cloves, (minced)
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp pink sea salt
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper
  • 2 (8 oz) packages of almond ricotta
  • 14 layers vegan fillo dough
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice (or more to taste)
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. 

  2. In a large pan, cook the frozen spinach over medium heat until warmed through. Put the cooked spinach into a strainer and use a spoon to press out most of the water. Then transfer the spinach into cheesecloth or a thin dish towel and squeeze the remaining water out. You want the spinach to be as dry as possible.

  3. In the same pan, saute the diced onion in 1 tbsp of olive oil for 5 minutes. Add the minced garlic and saute for 1 additional minute. Add the drained spinach and almond ricotta. Mix well to break up the spinach and combine all the ingredients. You’ll end up with a creamy filling that should be thick, not wet. 

  4. Lightly brush the bottom of a 9.5×9.5 baking dish with olive oil. Cut 6 layers of fillo dough to fit your baking dish and then brush each one with olive oil and arrange 6 layers on the bottom. Add the spinach filling and use a spatula to smooth it out evenly in the dish. Top the spinach pie with 8 pieces of fillo dough (make sure each layer is lightly brushed with olive oil.) 

  5. Use a sharp paring knife to score the pie into 9 square pieces. It’s much easier to cut it now before it’s crispy. Bake the pie for 25-30 minutes or until the top layer is brown and crispy. Let it rest for 5 minutes before removing it from the pan. 

  • If you don’t drain all of the water out of the spinach and the mixture turns out wet, use a paper towel to blot and absorb the extra water.

 If you make this vegan spanakopita recipe, please share your picture on Instagram and tag @StaceyHomemaker so I can see your delicious creation! 

Want to start your own healthy food blog and share all of your delicious recipes?
Learn how to do it in just 3 easy steps + check out the 10 tools that all new bloggers need to be successful!

What would you serve with this vegan spanakopita? Let me know in the comments!

NEVER MISS A STACEY HOMEMAKER CREATION!

FACEBOOK / INSTAGRAM / PINTEREST / TWITTER

Add me on Snapchat to see what I’m cooking today! – StaceyHomemaker

CHECK OUT MORE RECIPES HERE

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The post Aunty’s Vegan Spanakopita Recipe appeared first on Stacey Homemaker.

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This is a realistic Trader Joe’s vegan shopping list of (healthy & organic) products that I actually buy and use on a daily basis, it’s not just a list of everything that’s vegan at Trader Joe’s. Every item has been label-checked, taste-tested, and husband-approved!

***This post is not sponsored by Trader Joe’s but it does contain affiliate links.

I love grocery shopping in general but I really love shopping at Trader Joe’s. It’s such a fun store! The produce is always fresh, their return policy is great, and I love getting a coffee sample to sip on while I shop. It’s the little things, people! 

I do most of my grocery shopping at three stores: a local organic market, Costco, and Trader Joe’s.

I only make it to Trader Joe’s once every few months because it’s a little bit of a drive from my house. The local organic market and Costco are right down the street from where I live so I get most of my fresh produce and bulk items from those stores but I always look forward to going to Trader Joe’s! There are a few staple products that I love that I can only get at TJ’s, so I always make sure to stock up on them.

Trader Joe’s has lots of healthy, organic, vegan products but they also have a lot of processed vegan junk food too. I’m very picky when it comes to the products that I buy. I want to know exactly what’s in the food that I’m eating, where it came from, and it has to be organic and vegan.

That’s why I called this post a realistic Trader Joe’s vegan shopping list because it’s not just a list of all the vegan products at Trader Joe’s, it’s a real list of the products that I actually buy for my family.

I know for some people, especially new vegans, that going grocery shopping can be very overwhelming if you don’t know what you’re looking for. I hope that sharing my personal Trader Joe’s vegan shopping list will save you time and help to guide you through the aisles at the store while you’re grocery shopping.

I’ve already read all the labels and done all the research for you– all of the following products are approved by one very picky vegan and her not-so-picky-vegan-husband. Every product on the list is delicious, organic, and vegan.

A few things that you won’t see on this list and why…

  • Canned beans – Now that I have an instant pot, I like to cook all my own beans. If I do buy canned beans, they have to be organic, and the can must be labeled BPA-free. Trader Joe’s canned beans (at my store) are not BPA-free.
  • Jarred sauces – TJ’s has a whole wall of delicious looking sauces but, unfortunately, none of them are organic.
  • Frozen food – The frozen entrees that everyone loves are loaded with sodium and preservatives. Don’t put that in your body! TJ’s does have frozen organic fruit but I’ve found that the bulk bags of frozen organic fruit at Costco are a much better deal.
A Realistic Trader Joe’s Vegan Shopping List

The following Trader Joe’s vegan shopping list has all of my favorite organic vegan products on it. I buy most of these items every single time I shop!

Look for this label on the list –> Stock up Item! This label means that I usually buy multiples of that item. It’s delicious, it will last awhile, and it’s a great price. 

1 – Pretty much everything in the organic produce aisle!

The apples, potatoes, onions, sweet potatoes, pomegranates, and fresh basil are always a great price. Skip the bananas, they charge a base price per banana instead of weighing them individually. That’s a good deal for the store, not for the customer.

2 – Organic Lemons & Limes

The bags of lemons and limes are a great deal! I’m used to paying $.89 for one lemon, so $1.99 for one lb of lemons is fantastic!

You can never have too many lemons! I like to use them for pomegranate lemon smoothies, lemon artichoke orzo soup, or lemon garlic cauliflower steaks!

3 – Organic Kiwis 

I usually pay $.89 for one small kiwi, so $2.99 for 8 (1 lb) kiwis is an awesome deal! We go through them like crazy, we love having kiwis in our rawnola breakfast bowls or cherry mango kiwi chia seed pudding cups.

4 – Organic Ezekial Bread (Stock up Item!) 

Ezekial bread is our favorite bread, we love it with (26 grams of protein) avocado toast. It’s loaded with nut and bean flours and it’d delicious! It’s usually $5.49 at the health food stores in my area so I always buy a few loaves when I go to Trader Joe’s to save a few bucks. It freezes really well and lasts for quite a while.

5 – Organic Chia Seed Bars (Stock Up Item!)

I love love love these chia seed bars, they’re chewy and packed with nuts and seeds! I hate when you read the ingredient list of most granola bars and they’re full of cheap ingredients like white flour and sugar. The first ingredient of these granola bars is chia seeds–they’re loaded!

I usually buy three boxes to last me a few months because I like to bring these to Disney World with us or Travis takes them to work for a snack.

6 – Organic Unsweetened Applesauce

Applesauce is a baking necessity– you need this in your pantry! It’s a delicious substitute for eggs or bananas in quick breads and muffins.

7 – Organic Coconut Aminos 

I don’t have an issue with soy but soy sauce has wayyyy too much sodium. I love the flavor in my Asian-inspired recipes (like riced cauliflower quinoa lettuce cups) but lately, I’ve been substituting coconut aminos in its place and we love it! It has a lot less sodium but tons of flavor!

8 – Organic Pomegranate Vinegar

This pomegranate vinegar makes a delicious salad dressing!

9 – Organic Tahini

If you like to make your own hummus you need to have tahini in your pantry!

10 – Organic Ketchup

This is a great price on ketchup. Try using it to make these lentil sloppy joes— they’re delicious and one of our favorite inexpensive vegan meals!


11 – Organic Mustard

This is a great price for mustard!

I always keep two bottles of mustard in the fridge at all times. One bottle is for eating and the other bottle is for burns. Yes, burns! When I used to serve in a restaurant, I saw the cooks putting mustard on their burns. I tried it on myself and it really helps to reduce the blistering and pain.

12 – Organic Cacao Powder

I always have a bag of cacao powder in my pantry– it’s a staple! I use it for chocolate peanut butter oatmeal, chocolate muffins, and chocolate rawnola breakfast bowls.

13 – Organic Raw Walnuts

Raw walnuts are a staple in our house + they’re my husband’s favorite nut to snack on. I always put a few on the plate with our avocado toast for breakfast and they’re the base of rawnola bowls. We also love walnut quinoa taco meat!

I’ve found that it’s usually cheaper to look for “halves and pieces” instead of whole walnuts.

14 – Organic Pasta

I love the colors of this delicious vegetable-based radiatore, it makes such a pretty pasta salad!

On the same shelf, you’ll find lentil pasta (tastes okay, a little bland) and black bean pasta that is awful! I had to force myself to eat it because I hate wasting food.

15 – Organic Flaxseed

Flaxseed is a staple in my pantry because it’s my favorite vegan egg substitute. It’s especially delicious in these vegan lentil quinoa meatballs. You can also add it to smoothies, muffins, granola, or bread!

16 – Organic Sprouted Tricolor Quinoa

We eat a lot of quinoa, it’s just so versatile and delicious! Plus, it’s naturally gluten-free and you can prepare it so many different ways–> use it for pizza crust, mandarin quinoa spinach salad, cilantro lime quinoa, pesto quinoa stuffed tomatoes, or quinoa stuffed pepper soup… and that’s just a few of our favorite quinoa recipes!


17 – Organic Coconut Sugar

Anytime a recipe calls for refined sugar (white, brown, or cane) I swap it out 1:1 with coconut sugar. It’s delicious and you can’t even tell the difference.

This is my all-time favorite granola recipe! Try it. You’ll love it, I promise.

18 – Young Green Jackfruit (Stock Up Item!)

Jackfruit is our favorite vegan meat substitute. I think it tastes like a cross between pulled pork and pineapple. If you want to use it as a meat substitute, you need to use the young green jackfruit in brine (rinsed really well)– not fresh jackfruit. Fresh jackfruit is sweet.

We love eating whiskey pineapple jackfruit sliders (one of my husband’s favorite recipes!) and slow cooker jackfruit wild rice soup!

19 – Organic Oregano

I wish that Trader Joe’s had more organic spices, this is the only one I found. However, I use oregano all the time and this is a great price.

20 – Organic Brown Rice Quinoa Spaghetti

This pasta is so delicious! We’re not gluten-free but I like to switch it up and this is the perfect swap. Usually, I don’t buy rice noodles because they get so soft and mushy but with the addition of the quinoa, these noodles have a great consistency!

The quinoa spiral noodles are quite tasty too.

These noodles would be perfect to serve with vegan lentil quinoa meatballs!

21 – Organic Dried Mango 

Dried mango is one of my favorite sweet treats. I especially love it in these tropical mango coconut candy bites. OMG they’re so good!

22 – Organic Kettle Chips

I normally don’t buy processed junk food but my husband loves kettle-style chips and at these are delicious, organic, and a good price. So, occasionally, I’ll surprise him with a handful of these chips alongside his vegan BLT sandwich for lunch.

23 – Organic Vegan Wine (Stock Up Item!)

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