3 Ingredient Vegan Sour Cream

A vegan sour cream you can use on your quesadillas, tacos or as a base for a chip dip! It's EASY too!

Makes a little over 1/4 cup.


  • 2 tablespoons vegan mayo (I used Sir Kensington's brand)
  • 1/4 cup vegan plain yogurt (I used So Delicious Coconut Milk Unsweetened Yogurt Alternative)
  • Pinch of salt


  1. Place all ingredients in a small bowl and mix well.
  2. Enjoy!
 Photography by Carolyn J. Braden

Photography by Carolyn J. Braden

Chocolate Peanut Butter Anytime Oats With a Protein Punch

One of my go-to creamy, dreamy and sweet breakfast or dessert treats! The recipe is super simple, ready in 20 minutes and delicious any time of the day.

Serves: 1


  • 1/2 cup Gluten-Free Old Fashioned Rolled Oats (I used Bob's Red Mill brand)
  • 1/2 cup chocolate almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon chocolate protein powder (I used Tera's Whey brand, Dark Chocolate flavor)
  • 1/2 cup vegan yogurt (I used So Delicious Coconut Yogurt Alternative)
  • 1 tablespoon coconut sugar
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter
  • 1-2 tablespoons mini chocolate chips (add more or less as you prefer)


  1. Mix all ingredients in a glass jar or bowl.
  2. Let sit in the refrigerator for 15-20 minutes. (The amount of time you let them sit depends on how soft you want the oats).
  3. Eat and enjoy!

Notes: You can allow this recipe to sit overnight. Doing so will make it a thicker consistency. Eat as is if you like a thicker consistency or add a bit more milk to make it thinner.

 Photography by Carolyn J. Braden

Photography by Carolyn J. Braden

Vegan "Franks n' Beans" Hot Dogs

My new favorite quickie meal that I can't get enough of: Vegan Franks n' Beans Hot Dogs! Ready in 30 minutes or less and it is simply scrumptious.

As always, have fun with this recipe! Add your own toppings and twists and see what you can come up with. That's how this came about for me. I wanted Franks n' Beans and my husband wanted hot dogs with "ketchup only". So, he got his hot dog with "ketchup only" and I got my Franks n' Beans AND a new recipe!

Not vegan? Create it with regular hot dogs, baked beans and a smoky shredded gouda. YUM!

Serves 6-8


  • 2 cans baked beans (I used Amy's Vegetarian Baked Beans)
  • 1 package veggie hot dogs (I used Lightlife Smart Dogs)
  • 1 package hot dog buns (I used Ezekiel 4:9)
  • 1 package shredded vegan cheddar cheese (I used So Delicious brand)
  • olive oil cooking spray (or your favorite cooking spray)
  • 1 recipe of my Vegan Smoky Cheddar "Cheese" Sauce

How To:

  1. Make the Vegan Smoky Cheddar "Cheese" Sauce. Set aside.
  2. Heat the baked beans according to the can directions. I put mine in a saucepan and heated them on the stove top (on medium heat). I'm sure you could heat via a microwave too.
  3. While the baked beans are cooking, coat a grill pan with olive oil spray. Warm the pan on medium high heat for about 5-8 minutes. Place the hot dogs in a grill pan and cook for 10-15 minutes. (You could also grill your hot dogs on an outside grill or boil them if you prefer).
  4. When the beans are warm and hot dogs are cooked, assemble your meal. Place a hot dog inside a bun. Top with a couple of spoonfuls of baked beans, shredded cheddar cheese and drizzle with Vegan Smoky Cheddar "Cheese" Sauce.
  5. Serve and enjoy!

Notes: I served mine with a side of Alexia's baked fries coated in Old Bay Seasoning.

 Photography by Carolyn J. Braden

Photography by Carolyn J. Braden

Vegan Roasted and Stir-Fried Carrot Hoisin Bowls

An easy and fast lunch or dinner bowl! A delicious Asian cuisine inspired meal! My husband devoured it, so it's gotta be good!

Serves 2-3


  • 25 (approx.) baby carrots
  • 1 small yellow onion
  • 1 inch knob of fresh ginger
  • 2 limes
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil (divided)
  • 1/2 block of extra firm tofu (8 ounces)***
  • 2 cups shredded cabbage
  • 1/4 cup hoisin sauce (I used a bottled hoisin sauce from Whole Foods)
  • 2 tablespoons Liquid Aminos (I use the brand Bragg, or you could use soy sauce)
  • salt and pepper (for seasoning only)
  • Optional toppings: avocado (I used 2), chopped cilantro, chopped green onions, sesame seeds

***I use Twin Oaks tofu (I found it at Whole Foods). I use Twin Oaks tofu because you don't have to drain or press it. I cut one of their 16 ounce blocks in half for this recipe. If you use tofu that has been soaking in water in the container, drain and press some more of the water out of it for a few minutes (using paper towels or a tofu press) prior to using.


  1. Heat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Cut the baby carrots in half, lengthwise.
  3. Slice the onion in half and then slice into thin pieces.
  4. Put the carrots and onions on a baking sheet covered in parchment paper. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of olive oil on the mixture.
  5. Peel the ginger. An easy way to peel? Use a spoon! It easily slides the peel right off! Grate it on top of the carrot mixture.
  6. Cut a lime in half and squeeze both halves over the carrots mixture.
  7. Sprinkle a bit of salt and pepper over the mixture and bake for 25-30 minutes or until the carrots are soft. (I stirred the mixture at the 15 minute mark to ensure an even roast).
  8. While the carrot mixture is roasting, crumble the tofu into a mixing bowl with the shredded cabbage, hoisin sauce, liquid aminos (or soy sauce) and the juice of the other lime. Mix well.
  9.  Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet on medium high heat. Add the tofu mixture. Cook for 10-15 minutes (stirring often), or until the cabbage is soft.
  10. When the carrot mixture and the tofu mixtures are both done, it's serving time! Serving suggestion: Place some carrot mixture into a bowl. Top with some tofu mixture. Top with avocado (I used 2), chopped cilantro, chopped green onions, and sesame seeds!
  11. Enjoy!
 Photography by Carolyn J. Braden

Photography by Carolyn J. Braden

 Photography by Carolyn J. Braden

Photography by Carolyn J. Braden

Vegan Stuffed Shells That My Italian Grandmother Would Be Proud Of

I love Italian food! All the cheese and dairy that comes along with it, however, is not a friend of my husband. He still wants to indulge in pasta though, so now we have to be more creative. I created this Vegan Stuffed Shell recipe that even my Italian grandmother would be proud of. They taste super close to the real deal and the recipe is EASY!

***Note: I used a high speed blender (my Magic Bullet) to create the sauce and ricotta for this recipe. If you don't have one, be sure to soak all of the nuts in water or vegan milk for 30 minutes to one hour if using a food processor or blender.

Servings: 3-4


Vegan Ricotta:

  • 1 cup almonds (whole)
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons vegan parmesan cheese (I used Go Veggie and found it at Whole Foods)
  • 1 tablespoon prepared basil pesto (I used a jarred Whole Foods brand)

Garlic Basil Cream Sauce:

  • 1 cup cashews
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon vegan parmesan cheese
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 5-6 large fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon arrowroot powder (you could use cornstarch or tapioca starch instead as it's just used for thickening purposes)

Additional Ingredients:

  • 20 jumbo pasta shells
  • 1/4 cup marinara sauce


  1. Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Boil the pasta shells according to package directions. Drain and let cool a bit. Set aside.
  3. Make the vegan ricotta by putting the almonds, 1 cup almond milk, lemon juice and 1 teaspoon salt in a high speed blender.*** Process until smooth. Transfer to a mixing bowl. Add in the pesto and 3 tablespoons vegan parmesan. Mix with a spoon and set aside.
  4. Make the Garlic Basil Cream Sauce by putting the cashews, 1 cup almond milk, 1 tablespoon vegan parmesan, garlic, 1 teaspoon salt, apple cider vinegar, basil leaves, and arrowroot powder into a high speed blender. Blend until smooth.
  5. Grease an 11x7 inch baking dish (I used an olive oil spray). Evenly spread the marinara sauce in the bottom of the dish.
  6. Place the cooked pasta shells in the dish one at a time. I laid out 2 rows of 8 shells. (You'll have some shells leftover. I always cook a few extra in case any break while boiling).
  7. Fill each shell with about 1 tablespoon of vegan ricotta. If you have any leftover, keep adding more to the shells until you use it all.
  8. Drizzle about 1/2 of the Garlic Basil Cream Sauce over the shells.
  9. Bake for 20-25 minutes.
  10. Serve by pouring a little extra Garlic Basil Cream Sauce on top of them and adding some fresh cut basil on each portion. My husband took the leftover shells for lunch the next day and used the rest of the sauce then.
 Photography by Carolyn J. Braden

Photography by Carolyn J. Braden

 Photography by Carolyn J. Braden

Photography by Carolyn J. Braden

 Photography by Carolyn J. Braden

Photography by Carolyn J. Braden

Easy Vegan BBQ Chickpea Salad Sandwiches

Get your napkins ready, cause this is a deliciously, picnic-y, yummy meal or side dish!


  • 2 Cans Chickpeas (I used 15.5 oz. 365, Whole Foods brand)

  • 3 Tablespoons Barbecue Sauce (I used Annie's Organic Original brand)

  • 1/2 cup Vegan Mayo (I used Sir Kensington's Fabanaise)

  • 1 Tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar

  • 1/2 Tablespoon Mustard (I used Dijon)

  • Bread (If serving as a sandwich. You could also serve it on crackers).

  • Optional sandwich toppings: My delicious Vegan Smoky Cheddar "Cheese" Sauce, spinach, avocado, tomato.


  1. Rinse and drain the chickpeas. Place them in a mixing bowl. Use a fork, spatula, or a potato masher to smash them. It's okay if you leave some whole.

  2. Add in the rest of the ingredients (BBQ sauce, mayo, apple cider vinegar, mustard).

  3. Mix well.

  4. Serve on crackers (like Nut Thins) or on toasted bread.

See how I made mine into sandwiches with my Vegan Smoky Cheddar "Cheese" Sauce in the photos below.


  • This recipe serves approximately 6-8 hungry peeps.
  • Cut the recipe in half for a smaller crowd.
  • I served mine on sandwiches with a side of Amy's Vegetarian Baked Beans.
 Photo by Carolyn J. Braden

Photo by Carolyn J. Braden

 Photo by Carolyn J. Braden

Photo by Carolyn J. Braden

Easy Vegan Smoky Cheddar "Cheese" Sauce

I LOVE this easy sauce so much! Put it on sweet potatoes, make it as a base for potato salad, put it on sandwiches and more! It's the perfect meal topper for all your summer barbecues!


  • 3/4 Cup Cashews
  • 1 Teaspoon Liquid Smoke (I found mine in the grocery store by the BBQ sauces)
  • 1 Tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons Nutritional Yeast
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 Cup Almond Milk


Place all ingredients in a high speed blender and blend until smooth. Enjoy!


  • This recipe makes about 8 oz.
  • If you don't have a high speed blender (like a Vitamix or a Magic Bullet, my favorites!), then soak the cashews in the almond milk for about 30 minutes before mixing in a regular blender.
  • You could also make this in a food processor, but may need to blend a little longer to make it smooth.


 Photo by Carolyn J. Braden

Photo by Carolyn J. Braden

 Photo by Carolyn J. Braden

Photo by Carolyn J. Braden

Easy "Cheesy" Vegan Ramen Noodles for 1

The easiest, creamiest and dreamiest lunch or snack for those on the go!


  • 1 square ramen noodles (I used Lotus Foods Rice Ramen)
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tbsp vegan butter (I like Earth Balance)
  • 2 tbsp almond milk
  • 1/2 tsp salt

How to:

  1. Cook the square of ramen noodles according to package instructions. Drain and return to pot.
  2. While the noodles are still hot, add the rest of the ingredients to the pot of noodles. Stir, eat and enjoy!

Tips and tricks:

  • Double or triple the recipe if others are around because they will be jealous of all the goodness you create and will try to steal yours!
  • Not vegan and want to use dairy? Swap out the almond milk for regular milk, use regular butter, and use about 1/4 cup of shredded cheese (instead of the nutritional yeast).
  • I've done this with macaroni noodles too when my "plain mac and cheese" niece came for a visit. She loved it!
 Food and Photography by Carolyn J. Braden

Food and Photography by Carolyn J. Braden

Chocolate Hazelnut Microwave Mug Cake

A new spin on my chocolate peanut butter mug cake recipe : Chocolate Hazelnut Mug Cake! 
Want a single serve dessert fast and crave chocolate hazelnut flavor? (Think Nutella) This is your answer!  

Mix these ingredients all in a mug:

  • 3 tbsp flour (I used Bob's Red Mill 1 to 1 Gluten-Free Flour)
  • 1 tbsp oat flour

(you could just use 4 total tbsp of flour in lieu of the 3+1 ratio of oat and regular, but I think the oat flour adds a bit more flavor) 

  • 1/4 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 cup chocolate almond milk (or use regular chocolate milk)
  • 1 tbsp coconut sugar (or regular sugar)
  • 3 tbsp cashew butter
  • tiny pinch of salt

After mixing the ingredients well, drop 1 tbsp hazelnut spread in the center. Microwave for approximately 70 seconds.



 Food and Photo by Carolyn J. Braden

Food and Photo by Carolyn J. Braden

Vegan Roasted Curry Veggies with Vegan Honey Cashew Sauce

Vegan Roasted Curry Veggies with Vegan Honey Cashew Sauce

By Carolyn J. Braden


Serves 2-4


·       1 head of cauliflower, rinsed and chopped in bite size pieces

·       1 bunch of carrots, washed and chopped into bite size pieces

·       1 can of chickpeas, rinsed

·       ½ of a sweet yellow onion, chopped

·       ½ tsp hot curry powder (or regular curry powder)

·       1 tbsp olive oil

·       ½ tsp salt

·       Dash of pepper

·       1 handful of fresh spinach

Honey Cashew Sauce:

·       1 cup cashews

·       ½ cup almond milk

·       ½ tsp curry powder

·       Dash of ginger powder

·       1 tbsp honey

·       ½ tsp salt


·       Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

·       Put all prepared veggies (cauliflower, carrots, onions) and chickpeas onto a cookie sheet covered in parchment paper. Drizzle olive oil onto prepped food and then sprinkle with salt, curry powder and pepper.

·       Roast for 15 minutes. Toss veggies and then roast for 15 more minutes.

While veggies are roasting:

Put all ingredients for the honey cashew sauce in a high-speed blender* (I like the Magic Bullet). Blend until sauce is smooth. Add some more almond milk if the sauce is too thick.

Suggested serving:

Serve in a wrap with spinach.


Serving Options:

·       Place the roasted veggies and chickpeas in a bowl. Top with honey cashew sauce.

·       Serve on top of a cooked grain like quinoa or white jasmine rice. Adjust seasonings to your liking.


·       Make it a salad! Place veggies and chickpeas on top of extra fresh spinach.

·       Add ¼ cup of additional almond milk to the honey cashew sauce to make a dressing.

·       Serve the dressing on top of the veggies, chickpeas and spinach.

* Notes:

·       If you do not have a high-speed blender, a food processor will work too.

·       If you only have a regular blender, soak the cashews for approximately 30 minutes in water and drain before blending.


 Photo by Carolyn J. Braden

Photo by Carolyn J. Braden