Recipe: Vegan Quesadillas! (In collaboration with Dani from Little Mixico)


Dani Rios is a (non-vegan) foodie & style blogger + YouTuber from Dallas, whom I’ve only met a handful of times.  What I can immediately tell about Dani: she is high energy, super sweet, and loves food!  She recently texted me to let me know that she’s “veggie curious” but afraid of giving up cheese (sound familiar??) and wondered if I’d like to get together and make something cheesy-but-vegan…And of course, I jumped at the chance!  If you know me, you know I’m always eager to improve my culinary skills (it’s an uphill battle, guys), and some easy-but-delicious vegan quesadillas sounded like just the thing.

Ingredients (we got all for about $25-$30, and this can feed several people and/or make for multiple dinners):

  1. Tortillas (Most are vegan! But check on the back to just make sure there is no dairy listed in ingredients.)
  2. Vegan Butter (I recommend Earth Balance)
  3. Olive Oil
  4. Beyond Meat Chicken-Free Strips
  5. Red & green bell pepper (sliced)
  6. Onion (sliced and/or diced)
  7. Garlic (minced)
  8. Vegan Cheese (we recommend Follow Your Heart brand; we used cheddar and pepper jack, but it is also great with provolone; experiment with combos! Either shredded or sliced works.)
  9. Red pepper flakes
  10. Chili powder
  11. White wine vinegar
  12. OPTIONAL: salsa; avocados/lime/seasonings for guacamole; and/or vegan sour cream


  1. Heat olive oil in a large, non-stick pan over medium-high; add the chicken-free strips and cook for 1 minute or so
  2. Add a splash of vinegar, onion, garlic, bell peppers, red pepper flakes and chili powder.  Stir and sauté for about 4 more minutes. Remove from heat.
  3. Coat another non-stick pan in vegan butter.  Place one tortilla in the pan over medium-high. Sprinkle shredded cheese evenly over the tortilla, or place slices evenly.
  4. Once cheese begins to melt, layer some of the veggie and chicken mixture over the cheese.
  5. Top with a second tortilla. Cook until golden brown on both sides, or for approximately 2-3 minutes on each side.
  6. Remove quesadilla from pan, and repeat with remaining ingredients.
  7. Cut each quesadilla into triangles with a pizza cutter; serve hot.

vegan quesadillas

vegan quesadillas

vegan quesadillas

vegan quesadillas

vegan quesadillas

vegan quesadillas

photos by Manny Rodriguez


(Recipe was massively inspired by my friend Jessica Hoar‘s Instagram story!)


Link to Dani’s YouTube vid (step-by-step making of the vegan quesadilla)


Green Chef | Vegan Meal Kit!

Martha Stewart, I am not.  But as it turns out,  I can read & follow directions (especially when given the pre-measured ingredients) with the best of them!   

I’m talking about Green Chef, an organic, gluten-free meal kit delivery service.  This is how it works:

  1. You select which meal plan option you’d like (cough cough VEGAN cough), as well as how many people you plan on feeding (i.e.: Two people? A family of four?).  Pick your subscription plan and which day you’d like your deliveries, and VOILA — they come delivered to your doorstep like magic!
  2. Once they arrive, you put on your cutesy “kiss the chef” apron and get to cookin’!  Each meal only takes about half an hour, and the directions/recipes are pretty much foolproof.  
  3. Pat yourself on the back and eat your delicious, beautiful meal!  

The menu and recipes change every single week, and are truly restaurant-quality.  

As amazing as Green Chef is, they are not the only meal kit company out there. There are, however, several things that set them apart from the rest and make them my personal preferred service:

  • Green Chef is the first USDA-certified meal kit company, and they serve more organic ingredients than any other company in the industry.  So you’re getting organic ingredients with no GMOs, synthetic pesticides, antibiotics, growth hormones, or steroids. Just healthy and pure, REAL food.
  • Green Chef is also the first meal kit company to receive Gluten-Free certification through the Gluten Intolerance Group’s Gluten-Free Food Service program.
  • The menu is simply better than other services I’ve used.  The options are always flavorful, filling, and delicious… i have literally not had a single meal from them where I was left feeling “meh.”  My fiancé even went as far as saying that one of our meals, the Kung Pao Cauliflower dish, was “the best meal he’s had in YEARS” (!!!!!!!)  He has been SO impressed, which is so important to me since he is in the process of going 100% plant-based.

This past week, I made 3 new Green Chef meals, all of which I loved:  Roasted Sweet Potato Bowl; Portabello Steak; and Kung Pao Cauliflower.  I’ll attach photos below, but excuse the lack of photographic evidence for the cauliflower; my husband seriously gobbled it up before I could even get my camera out!  Sigh.

portabello mushroom steak green chef vegan

vegan meal green chef

green chef sweet potato bowl vegan meal

sweet potato bowl vegan meal green chef

All in all, I am addicted to Green Chef.  You’ll see them a lot from me moving forward, not only because it is an easy and cost-effective way to feed my little fam with plant-based, organic, gluten-free goodness, but ALSO because this service is actually teaching me how to cook!  I am such a novice, but the Green Chef really breaks the preparation and execution of these recipes down to where I can actually grasp what I need to do, and is getting me familiar with my kitchen it’s accoutrements. I am so excited about them, and I know that you will be, too!

Click below to get started.  Go to “menu” and select Vegangreen chef logo



*This post is done in collaboration with Green Chef.  All opinions are my own.



vegan dog food (featuring v-dog): is it animal cruelty? is it healthy? and just… why???

Hey guys!  I have been waiting patiently for July (the first ever #VeganDog month!) to talk to you about my dogs’ diet.  I am excited because I really believe in this diet for my fur kids, and have seen their health improve with my own eyes… But I’m also a tad nervous because I know that for every open-minded “oh wow, thats cool, I’m so interested to hear how dogs thrive on a plant-based diet,” there’s a judgmental “you’re abusing your dogs by forcing your belief system on them.”

So–  let me get this out of the way: I did not decide to make my dogs go vegan simply because I am vegan.  HELL no. I love my babies. And as strict and passionate a vegan as I am, I would feed my dogs meat in a heartbeat if I thought they’d be unhealthy without it.  Without hesitation.

I was suspicious of store brand dog food way before even becoming vegan myself.  Did you know that dog food may legally contain “4-D” meat: meat from dead, dying, diseased and disabled animals? Typically, these dog food brands also include mill floor sweepings (which they call “grain”) cheap fillers like corn (that are often contaminated with high levels of pesticides and have thereby been deemed illegal to feed humans).  Think about it, you guys… Would YOU eat this stuff? If not, why would you feed it to your best friend who depends on you for survival?

I was vegan for almost a year and a half before I put my dogs on a veggie diet. I spent that year and a half slowly and thoroughly researching the history of vegan dogs, the teeth and nutritional history of dogs, the current state of the dog food industry and the ingredients of the so-called healthy dog food brands I had bought in the past. I kept on hearing about V-Dog, a family-owned, American, plant-based dog food company, so I decided to check it out. And now we are hooked!

Why I love V-Dog:

  1. It’s healthy!  24% pea protein, L-Carnitine, Taurine, and vitamins. No fillers, only fresh and wholesome ingredients like peas, lentils, brown rice, and quinoa. I mean… I would eat this stuff.
  2. It’s easy!  I have a subscription, so every month I get 4 bags of kibble and a bag of bones delivered to my doorstep. Zero thought is put into it… Yay!
  3. It’s made in the USA, which is always my preference. Also, eco-friendly, sustainable packaging!
  4. My dogs THRIVE on V-Dog.  Most of my friends’ dogs are overweight (in fact, over 40% of dogs are overweight, and this shortens their lifespan substantially), but my dogs are lean and fit.  My pitbull used to have super watery eyes (allergies) and ever since being on V-dog, its completely gone away.  EVERY veterinarian I’ve ever come into contact with demands to know what I feed them to keep them so lean and shiny with healthy teeth (literally, this happened this morning when I took my youngest baby to get some shots), and they are shocked when I tell them that it’s vegan dog food.  ***IMPORTANT NOTE!!!!! It is important to remember that vets have had little to NO nutritional training, whatsoever. So if your vet throws shade at your dog’s vegan diet, it’s always good to listen to a professional, but my advice is to take it with a grain of salt and do your own research.

Oh!  Before I forget, be sure and check out these Top 5 Vegan Dog Myths and Facts.  This page drove me to do a lot of my own digging and eventually get on board with the concept of a plant-based diet for my dogs.

Alright, y’all.  If nothing else, I urge you to simply CONSIDER what you are feeding your beloved animals.  We owe them that much.  Do 5 minutes of research.

As usual, please let me know of any questions you have about V-Dog, vegan dog food in general, or whatever else.  I am here to help!



vegan love apparel + my favorite avocado toast recipe

On my not-so-good-at-adulting days, I sleep in until it’s 10 minutes before my first appointment and then rush out in a crazed state without eating breakfast.  On good days, I wake up about 30 minutes to an hour beforehand, make a decent breakfast (my trainers at Fit180 would be proud!  It’s all about the metabolism, people!).  On the BEST days, I wear a cutesy shirt and bring some of said breakfast to my fiancé in bed.  Today was one of those days!

[The Top]

“You’re the avocado to my toast” … Could this tank by Vegan Love Apparel get any more perfect? I love comfy, soft tanks to wear around the house.  If you know me, you know that I am loud and proud about my plant-based lifestyle, and I love supporting animal-loving clothing companies.  Vegan Love Apparel has something for everyone.  Major bonus: their materials are eco-friendly!  If you are a fellow earth-lover, check them out HERE.

[The Toast]

  1. Put wheat toast in oven at 350 until crispy
  2. Mash up an avocado half (per piece of toast) and spread it on toast
  3. Apply a layer of washed and peeled chickpeas atop the avocado
  4. In a zig zagging motion, throw on some Sriracha

That’s it!  Trust me, you’ll LOVE it.  Optional: top with nutritional yeast or salt & pepper.



Check out:  Avocado Toast 5 Ways by Gluten Free Vegan Pantry


subscription box : vegan cuts

Subscription boxes are all the rage these days, obviously.   People order these in order to have a new monthly stash of bows for their kid, toys for their dog, makeup for their face, plants for their garden– you name it.   I’ve never gotten very involved in all of that, as I’m trying (mostly unsuccessfully) to live a bit more minimalistic, material-wise.  However,  I am discovering that I cannot say no to the monthly Vegan Cuts boxes.

They have the snack box, which is what I tried this month.  It contained drinks, cookies, snacks… You name it.  ALL vegan, mostly fair-trade and organic.  I especially love this because my fiancé is slowly going more and more vegan, and I really love to have as much variety around the house as possible for him to snack on, which shows him how totally unrestrictive the lifestyle can be.  Additionally, the box has introduced me to some of my very favorite pantry staples!   So, whether you are new-ish to being vegan or vegetarian, whether you are an omnivore who simply likes snacks, or whether you’ve been vegan for years and just want to add new and fun snack items to your rotation, I highly recommend this monthly box.

(Pssst!  They also offer a beauty/cosmetics/skincare box!

Go check them out, let me know what you think!




vegan supplements… should i take ’em?

I have wanted to write about vegan supplements for a long time, but I held off so that I could have a few months of experience with them in order to give my honest take.  Throughout my life, I’ve never been super responsible about taking ANY type of medication or vitamin daily.  It is just one more thing to remember in the morning, and I am not a morning person.  Plus–  half of the vitamins you peruse in any given grocery store aisle either is not vegan, or else it is hard to tell if they were vegan.  And finally, lab results from all of my physical exams since going vegan have always been perfect, so if it aint broke don’t fix it… Am I right?

Mehhh I’m not so sure I was right, actually.  A plant-based diet has been proven to lower your risk of heart disease (the #1 killer of Americans), diabetes, and cancer.  But, regardless of your diet, we live in a society where we are constantly “on the go,” and it is easy to skimp on some vital nutrients.  I, for one– seeing that a lack of B12 has been linked to an increased risk of Alzheimer’s Disease, and lack of taurine has been linked to depression and anxiety– am going to make good on my 2017 resolution to “live intentionally,” even if that means taking an extra minute each morning to play it safe and take some dang supplements.


vegan supplements fashionveggie

  1. A MULTIVITAMIN.  Anyone who is vegan/vegetarian needs to be sure that they are getting enough of:  B12, Zinc, and Selenium.  If you are a woman who gets a period, I would say to go ahead and add some Iron in there for good measure.  I recommend New Chapter’s Every Woman multivitamin… and consider grabbing an Every Man multi for your boyfriend or husband, if you have one.  If you don’t take any other supplement on this list, be sure that you do consider this one.  (USA made, ethically sourced, gluten-free.) 
  2. MUSCLE SUPPLEMENTS.  This is especially for those of y’all who spend some time in the gym.  Some people do find that when they initially give up meat, they have a harder time building and maintaining muscle.  This is because vegans tend to have lower levels of Taurine, Carnitine, and Creatine. Rare Myo Capsules are the solution for anyone concerned with their muscle health and metabolism–  the levels of Taurine, Carnitine, and Creatine in the once daily vegan supplements are just enough to match a small serving of red meat, but not to the point where it would “bulk you up.”  (USA made, ethically sourced, gluten-free.) 
  3. VITAMIN D + CALCIUM SUPPLEMENT. These two go together in one pill commonly, because Vitamin D is responsible for Calcium absorption; they complement each other.  I recommend New Chapter’s Bone Strength Slim Tabs for bone support, joint flexibility, and heart health. vegan vitamins and supplements
  4. BEAUTY VITAMINS!  It never crossed my mind to take this type of supplement, but I actually learned about VitaFive from one of my favorite vegan beauty bloggers, Sunny, at Vegan Beauty Review.   I am now ADDICTED to these things.  Y’all, these gummy vitamins taste seriously amazing, can be tailored to you, are prepackaged like a little bag of gummies,… AND, Sunny even has a discount code for you to use if you want to order on the VitaFive website (type in “sunny30” at checkout).  I hope this helps!  If you have any questions or have favorite vegan supplements you think I should try, I would love to hear. XO

(Photos:  Mary Summers)

(Dress: vintage ; Corduroy hat: Free People)


vegan holiday drinks at starbucks you need to try

Drink responsibly… But don’t be afraid to get into the holiday spirit!  Thankfully, there are lots of festive vegan holiday drinks at Starbucks for veg-heads to enjoy.  Bring on the red (green? blue? whatever) cups!  (PS: watch out for three delicious “secret menu items” below… they are some of the best ones!)

1. Chestnut Praline Latte

My personal fave.  Ask for soy, coconut, or almond milk!

2. Peppermint Mocha Latte

Again– get it with your favorite nondairy milk!

3. Caramel Brulée Latte

Pick your milk, say no to the caramel brulée sauce, then add toffee nut AND caramel syrups. Note: The brulée sprinkles are plant-based!

4. Holiday Spice Flat White

Ask for soy milk!

5. S’mores Hot Chocolate

This secret menu item (!) adds the chestnut praline syrup (and sprinkles) to your hot chocolate. So good!

6. Gingerbread Latte

Pick your dairy-free milk and make sure to skip the whipped cream.

7. Candy Cane Frappuccino

Another pick from the secret menu!  The vanilla bean crème frap with peppermint syrup is heavenly. 

8. Apple Cider

Ask for steamed apple juice and add the Oprah chai syrup.

9. Christmas Cookie Frappuccino

Another secret menu item!!  Basically, you get the vanilla bean crème frappuccino, then add peppermint and toffee nut syrup, and lastly sprinkle a raw sugar packet on top.

There you have it!  I hope you try these vegan holiday drinks at Starbucks. Whoever says that being vegetarian or vegan is “limiting” has no idea what they are talking about… It is almost 2017, and there are wonderful options everywhere you look.  Please pass this post to anyone you think might be interested in exploring a gentler, more plant-based lifestyle… Make it easy for them!  And if you want a list of bomb Starbucks drinks (not holiday drinks, just year-round ones) that are vegan, you can find that info HERE.  

Thank you for caring about your health, the environment, and animals!