vegan treats giveaway!

Because who doesn't like free stuff?

So excited to do my first giveaway! This lot features some of my favorite vegan treats and staples I always have around my kitchen.

First up is Uncle Eddie's Vegan Cookies. This is a company local to the Bay Area that I've fallen in love with. When it comes to baking, I'm a lot less confident than cooking, so I have a great appreciation for people who can make seriously delicious vegan treats and these fit the bill. They come in tons of different flavors that are all amazing, but I chose my favorite, peanut butter and chocolate chip, to include here.

Next is Banza Chickpea Pasta. When I first discovered this at Whole Foods, I was like long have I not known this existed? I now make sure I have at least a couple boxes stocked in my pantry. As a self proclaimed pasta addict, my favorite guilty pleasure food is a simple bowl of pasta with Earth Balance and salt. Okay maybe two or three bowls. That's why I love this pasta so much - you wouldn't know, but it's made from chickpeas so it has twice the protein, four times the fiber and about half the carbs, meaning I can eat it all the time without feeling bad. It's like my pasta prayers have been answered.

This giveaway also includes Bragg Premium Nutritional Yeast, which if you're a veteran to plant-based cooking, is one of your kitchen staples. There's good reason nutritional yeast shows up in, I'd guess 70% of my recipes. It's that delicious. If you're wondering what it is and why I'm so obsessed with it, head over here.

Finally, a Health Warrior Chia Bar, which is the cutest little power bar that packs a major punch (you can learn about why chia seeds are so incredible here). This bar is such a great treat to have in your purse, at your desk at work or in your car for when you're feeling sluggish or need a snack between meals. With only 100 calories, 3g protein and 4g fiber, it provides just enough healthy energy to keep you going for whatever's next.

So there you have it! A few of my favorite treats I couldn't wait to share with you all and am so excited to send to one lucky reader. Enter below as many times as you can - I'll be picking a winner April 18th! Also, don't forget to add me on Snapchat at SprinklesandSat.

Note: I love all my international readers, but this giveaway can only be shipped within the U.S. 

Vegan Treats Giveaway

the ultimate avocado toast

Holy yum this is good.

Like chocolate and peanut butter, chips and salsa and tomato and basil, avocado and toast are one of those matches made in heaven. The crispy bread compliments the creamy, rich avocado so perfectly it's hard to think you could improve upon it. But I have. In a big way.

You might call me avocado toast obsessed since I eat it for breakfast almost every day of the week and have been for a long time. Not only is it delicious, it's super satisfying, keeps me full and provides tons of vitamins, minerals and healthy fats. 

One morning, I started thinking about creative ways to take it to a new level. I'd seen other recipes online and on Instagram for avocado toast with arugula, chili peppers or pink salt and it all felt a little, well... basic. Avocado toast deserves better than that. And I've found the perfect combination of ingredients to raise that already high bar even higher.

When it comes to avocado, you need salt, so we add dry-cured black Beldi olives, which are something wonderful all on their own but incredible in this dish. They might sound unfamiliar and difficult to find but they're not. Whole Foods has you covered at their olive bar. 

In addition to the olives, we add crunchy chickpeas, vibrant sun-dried tomatoes, fresh cilantro and parsley and finish it with a squeeze of lemon that adds brightness and brings it all together.

When it comes to the chickpeas, you have a choice for how you want to prep them. If you have a bit of extra time and really want that crunch, roast them in the oven. If you want this avocado toast and you want it right now, sautée them in a frying pan.

Another note: this is less of a recipe and more of a combination of components, so I'm not including measurements here. Honestly, who was going to break out their tablespoons and measuring cups anyway? This is toast! Not a three layer wedding cake. Just toss on as much of each ingredient as you want and I promise it's going to turn out amazing.

- Toast
- Avocado
- Dry-cured Beldi olives (found at the Whole Foods olive bar), roughly chopped
- Sun-dried tomatoes, roughly chopped
- Chickpeas
- Garlic powder
- Cilantro, roughly chopped
- Parsley, roughly chopped
- Lemon

- As I mentioned above, you have the choice of either roasting or sautéing the chickpeas. If you want to roast: preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and add chickpeas. Spray chickpeas with olive oil spray or lightly coat in olive oil. Sprinkle with garlic powder, salt and pepper. Roast for about 30 - 40 min, stirring halfway. 

- To sautée the chickpeas: spray a frying pan with olive oil spray or lightly coat in olive oil and add chickpeas. Sprinkle with garlic powder, salt and pepper and sauteé over medium-high heat for about 10 min, stirring occasionally so chickpeas have time to get crispy on the sides. 

- Top toast with avocado, then chickpeas, olives, sun-dried tomatoes, cilantro, parsley and finish with a squeeze of lemon.

vanilla raspberry & almond smoothie

As an ode to the beginning of spring, I've been sipping on this gorgeous and healthy smoothie that tastes like dessert.

I've been feeling a little off balance from the time change. Although I love how it stays light out later, waking up in the dark has felt unnatural and made it harder to get out of bed. This smoothie has not only brought more energy to my mornings but the refreshing flavors and beautiful color make me excited for all the fun aspects of spring, which feel like they're right around the corner.

There's also only five ingredients: raspberries, almond butter, almond milk, vanilla extract and dates. Meaning this recipe is not only easy to make but also easy to shop for. Once you stock up on all the ingredients, they will store well in the freezer and pantry for the next time you want to make this smoothie, which if you're like me is all the time.

Raspberries have a unique composition of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Several studies have shown that they can improve memory, support heart health and even protect eyes from UV light damage. Raspberries are also full of fiber, which helps you feel fuller longer and aids in digestion and detoxification.

Dates are another ingredient with tons of fiber. They're caramely flavor compliments the raspberries and vanilla so nicely in this smoothie and brings such a delicious, natural sweetness.

This smoothie would be the perfect morning pick me up or weekend refresher to enjoy as we welcome spring.

Ingredients (serves 1):
- 1 cup frozen raspberries
- 1 1/2 cups almond milk
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon almond butter
- 2 pitted medjool dates

- Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth.

rustic cherry tomato & kale bread pudding

This is the perfect thing to warm up a winter kitchen.

Tender cherry tomatoes are mixed with crispy kale and fresh basil, tossed with toasted breadcrumbs and finished with crunchy walnuts to create the most delicious winter meal.

We've been feeling the effects of el nino in San Francisco recently with plenty of rainy days. I've been making the most of it with Netflix marathons and yummy comfort food like this bread pudding, which I threw together based off what veggies I had in my fridge and staples in my pantry to avoid venturing outside.

Baking can be intimidating. There's less of a sense of control when you're combining ingredients, putting them in the oven and hoping they turn out alright. This is a bit of a loose recipe so it takes some of that pressure off.

In one of my smoothie recipes, I include nontraditional measurements like "a handful of spinach." I got feedback that it was refreshing to see realistic forms of measurement, because honestly who is portioning out their spinach in measuring cups anyway?

I improvised in this way while making this dish as well, so feel free to do the same. For example, you can add more bread if you'd like a thicker, more stuffing-like consistency or bake it for longer to get a similar effect. At the end of the day, you're combining fresh tomatoes, crispy kale, crunchy walnuts and bread so what's not to like? Enjoy!

- 2 lb cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 bunch of kale, stems removed and leaves torn
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 3/4 cup low fat coconut milk
- 3 tablespoons earth balance, cut into smaller pieces
- Small handful basil, coarsely chopped
- 8 oz whole wheat loaf of bread, cut into one inch cubes
- 1/2 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast

- Toast the bread under the broiler until golden brown, flipping half way and set aside.

- Preheat oven to 375. In a large bowl, massage the kale with olive oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Place half the kale on a baking sheet and roast for about 10 minutes, toss and roast for another 5 minutes or so until crispy.

- Increase oven to 425 degrees. In a large bowl, add the crispy kale, cherry tomatoes, coconut milk, basil, nutritional yeast, earth balance, salt and pepper and stir to mix. Transfer to an 8x8" baking dish; bake until coconut milk has reduced, about 25 to 30 minutes.

- Coat the walnuts in one teaspoon of olive oil. Stir toasted breadcrumbs into tomato and kale mixture, then scatter the walnuts and remaining kale over the top. Bake for another 10 minutes until kale on top is crispy. Let sit for 10-15 minutes before serving.

pasta with veggies in garlic white wine sauce

This dish is like that girl you know who always looks put together but never like she's trying too hard.

Whether you have a friend coming over for dinner, are cooking for your boyfriend for date night at home or just need something to elevate your meal for one, this pasta is simple but delicious and sure to impress.

What makes this even more effortless than the minimal ingredients and instructions is your ability to make it ahead of time and heat it up for an instantly tasty meal, which I ended up doing for lunch on Valentine's Day this year.

After shooting this recipe post the day before, I had a ton of leftovers in my fridge, which my boyfriend, Jack, found as he was scavenging through my kitchen for lunch before we ran out the door. I quickly heated it up in the microwave and tossed it with fresh parsley and toasted pine nuts, resulting in a delicious lunch that felt like it had taken hours but only took a few minutes. Instead of having a hurried meal before rushing out the door, we were able to slow down and really enjoy it, which made the holiday that much more special.

It also got me thinking that this pasta would be the perfect thing to make in a big batch on a Sunday and then enjoy throughout the week when you don't have any time or energy to cook. Just keep some fresh parsley on hand and you'll be minutes away from a delicious meal that you can proudly serve to others or enjoy all to yourself.

Ingredients (serves 2):
- 1/2 pound whole wheat fusilli
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 8 cloves garlic (about 2 tablespoons), minced
- 1 pound cherry tomatoes, halved
- 10 oz cremini mushrooms, sliced
- 1/2 cup white wine (I like Pinot Grigio)
- 2 handfuls spinach
- Pine nuts
- Italian flat leaf parsley

- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cook pasta according to package instructions in salty water until al dente. While the pasta is cooking, heat olive oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat and add garlic, cook for about 1 minute.

- Add tomatoes and mushrooms to garlic, season with salt and pepper and cook for about 5 minutes. Add wine and cook for another 5 minutes before adding the spinach and cooked pasta and cooking for a final minute or two.

- While veggies are cooking, spread pine nuts in an even layer on a baking sheet and bake for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring every couple minutes. These burn easily so watch them carefully! They will smell amazing and have just turned golden brown when they're done. Top finished pasta with toasted pine nuts and fresh parsley.

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