Beluga Lentils Caviar

Beluga Lentil Caviar Appetizer

This vegan-friendly Beluga Lentil Caviar recipe features black beluga lentil salad served on top of crackers with cream cheese, and is the perfect cold weather appetizer for your dinner party! champagne-tastes.com

Beluga Lentil Caviar

This vegan-friendly Beluga Lentil Caviar recipe features black beluga lentil salad served on top of crackers with cream cheese, and is the perfect cold weather appetizer for your dinner party! 

Each year, as the air gets cooler and the leaves change color, the food in my pantry also shifts.  The lighter, summery meals switch over to heartier ones, and with that comes lentils.  My lentil obsession is probably obvious at this point– if you open my pantry you’ll find red lentils, french green lentils, brown lentils, split peas, (which are almost lentils) and of course, the black Beluga lentil.  Beluga lentils get their name from their resemblance to– you guessed it– the Beluga whale Beluga caviar!  (You guessed the whale first too, right?!)

Normally, I make Beluga Lentil Salad with these flavorful little gems, but they can also be turned into a deliciously tricky faux-caviar appetizer.  Pile some lentils onto a cracker and cream cheese (or vegan cream cheese), top it with dill, and you’ll be fancy enough to go to a party at the Ritz.  (Imagine how impressed everyone would be if you served these on Ritz crackers AT the Ritz? … And I wrote that joke for free, boys and girls!  This post is not sponsored by Ritz– cracker or Hotel).  These Beluga Lentil Caviar bites are vegan-friendly, simple to prepare, and make a perfect hors d’oeuvre.

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This vegan-friendly Pumpkin Spice Latte with REAL Pumpkin is a healthier alternative to the coffee-shop version. Do yourself (and your wallet) a favor, and make this tea latte at home! No artificial dye, no artificial flavoring, and REAL pumpkin. Champagne Tastes - http://champagne-tastes.com

Pumpkin Spice Chai Latte

This vegan-friendly Pumpkin Spice Latte with REAL Pumpkin is a healthier alternative to the coffee-shop version. Do yourself (and your wallet) a favor, and make this tea latte at home! No artificial dye, no artificial flavoring, and REAL pumpkin. Champagne Tastes - http://champagne-tastes.com

Pumpkin Spice Chai Latte

This vegan-friendly Pumpkin Spice Latte is a healthier alternative to the coffee-shop version. Do yourself (and your wallet) a favor, and make this tea latte at home!  No artificial dye, no artificial flavoring, and REAL pumpkin. 

How many cups of coffee do you drink a day?  One?  None?  Seven?  As a former coffee-addicted, jittery madwoman, I now limit myself to one cup of the dark, caffeinated, liquid gold per day.  What do I drink the rest of the day?  Tea, of course!  Sometimes, I even skip the coffee altogether, and swap it out for tea– because I’m a little wild like that.  When Starbucks started flaunting their notorious Pumpkin Spice Latte back in the middle of summer (it was early, right?!), I immediately started craving pumpkin EVERYTHING.  Of course, I made my own PSL (with REAL pumpkin), but what about when I wanted a refill?  What then???  How can I get my fill of pumpkiny deliciousness without drinking coffee all day long?  Well, my friends– meet the Pumpkin Spice Chai Latte.

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Apple French Toast Bake with Raisins, Dates, and Pecans - An easy, vegetarian breakfast bake!

Apple French Toast Bake

Apple French Toast Bake with Raisins, Dates, and Pecans - An easy, vegetarian breakfast bake!

Apple French Toast Bake

This Apple French Toast Bake is made with fresh apples– cooked down and softened into a chunky applesauce– dried dates, raisins, nuts, and chunks of French bread all tossed in a custard sauce and baked to perfection.

Have you ever been assigned a food to bring to a party?  As in– handed a recipe and told ‘bring this?’  Awhile back, I was helping organize a brunch party, and that’s exactly what happened.  I was supposed to make a baked pumpkin French toast– and, of course, I did.  As excited as I was to try it, I was a little teensy bit skeptical.  You see, I ADORE French Toast.  I’m convinced (and I’m pretty sure that I’m right) that regular French toast, made with a thick French loaf of bread, is just about the best breakfast on the planet.  How can you improve on perfection?  Why try?  Once the smell of baked fall yumminess started wafting through my entire apartment, however, I was sold.  I immediately decided that baked French toast was brilliant– and then promptly forgot all about it.  Recently, however, with the fall air returning and gorgeous seasonal apples showing up in the stores– I remembered the tasty baked breakfast, and decided to make an apple-icious version.  This Apple French Toast Bake is made with fresh apples– cooked, seasoned, and mashed into a chunky applesauce– as well as dried dates, raisins, nuts, chunks of French bread, and a custard sauce.

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This decadent, vegan-friendly Salted French Hot Chocolate (Chocolat Chaud) is made with crushed chocolate, whole milk and cream (or coconut milk and coconut cream), and topped with flavorful gourmet salt. The salt for this recipe was provided by J.Q. Dickinson Salt-Works.

Salted French Hot Chocolate

This decadent, vegan-friendly Salted French Hot Chocolate (Chocolat Chaud) is made with crushed chocolate, whole milk and cream (or coconut milk and coconut cream), and topped with flavorful gourmet salt. The salt for this recipe was provided by J.Q. Dickinson Salt-Works.

Salted French Hot Chocolate

This decadent, vegan-friendly Salted French Hot Chocolate (Chocolat Chaud) is made with chocolate, whole milk and cream (or coconut milk and coconut cream), and topped with flavorful gourmet salt.  The salt for this recipe was provided by J.Q. Dickinson Salt-Works.

It’s been “officially” fall for a few weeks now, but summer has been holding on for dear life, doing its best to make sure I stay warm for just a little while longer.  I’m taking this as further proof that the universe really does revolve around me.  (I’ll pause here so that you can wonder if I’m joking.)  At any rate, at this point– fall has definitely arrived here in Central Appalachia.  The days are still warm, but the nights are cooling down, and the leaves have started to turn.  This, of course, means it’s time for cozy warm drinks– like this Salted French Hot Chocolate.  This cocoa is rich– richer than your normal hot cocoa– and is made with whole milk and cream (or coconut milk and coconut cream), and lots of crushed chocolate.  Top it off with some extra delicious gourmet salt, and you’re all set for those chilly fall evenings.

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Easy, Fluffy, Dairy Free Coconut Waffles

Dairy-Free Coconut Waffles

Easy, Fluffy, Dairy Free Coconut Waffles

Dairy Free Coconut Waffles

These easy-to-prepare Dairy-Free Coconut Waffles are light, fluffy, crispy, and delicious, and are ready in about 30 minutes.  This post is sponsored by Cuisinart, and features their counterspace friendly (and amazing!) Vertical Waffle Iron.

Do you have favorite breakfast for lazy mornings?  An indulgent, decadent way to start your weekend?  The husband is a pancake fan, and of course, you know I love French Toast.  However, there’s a special place in my breakfast-loving heart for waffles.  And not just any waffles, I want the pinnacle of waffles– the crowning glory of waffledom– the fluffy, crisp, and enormous Belgian Waffle.  These Dairy-Free Coconut Waffles are full of the rich, nutty flavor from coconut milk, coconut oil, and of course– shredded coconut.  Best of all, they’re ready in about 30 minutes.

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These savory, vegan-friendly stone ground Overnight Grits are cooked in a slow cooker while you sleep. Top them with green onions and diced tomatoes, or cheese and a runny egg.

Overnight Grits

These savory, vegan-friendly stone ground Overnight Grits are cooked in a slow cooker while you sleep. Top them with green onions and diced tomatoes, or cheese and a runny egg.

Overnight Grits

These savory, vegan-friendly stone-ground Overnight Grits are cooked in a slow cooker while you sleep.  Top them with green onions and diced tomatoes, or cheese and a runny egg.  Or all of the above!

Do you love grits?  Personally, I adore grits, and would be happy eating them at any time of day.  I have a special place in my heart, however, for grits that are ready for me to eat when I wake up in the morning.  (Who am I kidding?  I love any food that’s ready for me when I wake up!)  Sometimes this happens when the husband takes pity on my pitiful, sleepy self, and makes breakfast for me.  Other times, however, it happens when I throw (literally– THROW!) food into the slow cooker before bed.  (Okay, you’re on to me.  I’m not nearly coordinated enough to ‘throw’ food… I ‘pour’ it).
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Pumpkin Spice Latte with REAL Pumpkin. Ready in 15 minutes, or Prep the pumpkin puree the night before, and it's ready in 5 minutes!

Pumpkin Spice Latte with Real Pumpkin

Pumpkin Spice Latte with REAL Pumpkin. Ready in 15 minutes, or Prep the pumpkin puree the night before, and it's ready in 5 minutes!

Pumpkin Spice Latte with Real Pumpkin

This vegan-friendly Pumpkin Spice Latte is made with spiced, lightly sweetened REAL pumpkin, steamed milk (or coconut milk), and espresso.

Does anything scream “Fall!” more than the Pumpkin Spice Latte?  Well yes, probably.  The mornings get chillier, the leaves start to turn, and we all start scrambling to remember where we stored warmer clothes (or is that just me?)  Pumpkins and other squash begin proudly flaunting their brightly colored skins, daring us to take them home and devour them.  And of course, I do.

The other, albeit unofficial, start to delicious autumn goodness is when Starbucks begins selling its Pumpkin Spice Latte.  At $5-$6 a cup, however, it’s a pricey habit to maintain.  Even if you have the cash to guzzle down one of these spiced coffee drinks daily, the chemical flavoring and excessive sweetness mean that this drink isn’t exactly the healthiest option.  Instead, try this recipe for a Pumpkin Spiced Latte with REAL pumpkin.  Making this latte is quick– the most time-consuming, 10 minute part of the recipe can be completed ahead of time, meaning you don’t need to wake up any earlier to enjoy pumpkin deliciousness at home before starting your day.

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Glamping: Vegan Bean Burritos with Chipotle Peppers. Ready in about 5 minutes, Easy to prepare, Packed with Protein

Glamping: Bean Burritos with Chipotle Peppers

Glamping: Vegan Bean Burritos with Chipotle Peppers. Ready in about 5 minutes, Easy to prepare, Packed with Protein

Bean Burritos with Chipotle Peppers

“Glamping”– or, Glamour Camping– is the perfect way to enjoy time ‘with nature,’ while still feeling happy and full at the end of the day.  This series of “Glamping” recipes will focus on cooking outdoors, with recipes as exciting and fulfilling as your camping trip.  

Hello campers, hikers, and adventurers!  If you’re planning on cooking outdoors soon, and want to catch up on any of the ‘Glamping’ recipes from my trip Out West, click here!  This past summer, when I wasn’t hiking into canyons and sleeping under the stars, I was eating.  We cooked most of our own food along our route, but I found out something about campground cooking– it’s HOT.  Standing over a campfire or camp-stove to prepare a meal was just fine in the mountains of Yellowstone, but when we got to the desert in Utah, I was over it.  I wanted something fast, with minimal heat exposure, so that I could go dive into a pool.  The solution to my dinner dilemma?  Burritos.  These Bean Burritos with Chipotle Peppers are flavorful, protein-packed, and are ready start-to-finish in about 10 minutes.  Best of all, only a few minutes are spent standing over the heat.
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Vegan Navratan Vegetable Korma- Easy to Find Ingredients, Step by Step Directions

Navratan Vegetable Korma

Vegan Navratan Vegetable Korma- Easy to Find Ingredients, Step by Step Directions

Navratan Vegetable Korma

This recipe for Navratan Vegetable Korma is vegan-friendly, made with easy to find ingredients, and has step-by-step directions.

What do you order when you go to Indian restaurants?  Do you stare in a panic at a list of unfamiliar food names, and then pick something at random?  Do you stick to the buffet, and get a little bit of everything?  The husband and I like to order one ‘safe’ meal, and one new, unfamiliar curry.  My trusty, always delicious, go-to meal is Vegetable Korma, a creamy curry filled with roasted spices, blended cashews, and seasonal vegetables.  One of my favorite things about korma is that, depending on who prepares it, variations in spice choices, and what vegetables are in season, the dish changes from kitchen to kitchen.  That means, of course, that Vegetable Korma is NEVER boring.

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Glamping: Vegan Red Lentils with Spinach | Palak Dal

Glamping: Palak Dal (Red Lentils with Spinach)

Glamping: Vegan Red Lentils with Spinach | Palak Dal

Glamping: Red Lentils with Spinach | Palak Dal

“Glamping”– or, Glamour Camping– is the perfect way to enjoy time ‘with nature,’ while still feeling happy and full at the end of the day.  This series of “Glamping” recipes will focus on cooking outdoors, with recipes as exciting and fulfilling as your camping trip.  

If you’ve spent your day scrambling over rocks, looking for trail markers, and guzzling bottle after bottle of Gatorade-infused water, by dinnertime you’re probably ravenous!  Chances are, those snack bags of trail mix haven’t left you full and satisfied, and what you really want (and need) is a delicious, flavorful meal to end the day.  For those of you camping, however, getting that meal might be a little trickier.  When you find yourself at a campsite without electricity, refrigeration, or an oven– have no fear!  With a little preparation, you can easily end your day by devouring a bowl (or two) of Indian-style Red Lentils with Spinach (or Palak Dal).

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