Pumpkin Pie Bread Pudding

Pumpkin Pie Bread Pudding

Can’t let some good (not cheap) plant based gluten free bread go to waste! Plus since the first time I tried some of this bread as toast, I thought about how it would be perfect for a bread pudding. So I did a good amount of bread pudding research, both vegan and not. I discovered, most traditional ones had way too much oil and way too much sugar for my liking. Luckily when I looked into pumpkin bread pudding, the oil was reduced. But I did it with minimal oil. I think you could almost omit it if you were trying to do things oil free.

I found this awesome plant based gluten free bread from Little Northern Bakehouse at Sprouts in the refrigeratorated bread section, it’s also at Mother’s Market if you are in Southern California. The best vegan gluten free bread I’ve had from a store. 

6 pieces of stale bread, ripped into small chunks

3/4 Cup Pumpkin (cooked)
1/2 Cup Coconut Sugar
2 TBS Coconut Oil (softened)
*4 TBS Aqua Faba (chickpea water)
1/2 TBS Pumpkin Pie Spice
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1/4 Cup Maple Syrup
3/4 Cup Nondairy Milk of choice

Optional Chocolate Drizzle
1/3 cup vegan chocolate chips
1/2-1 TBS nondairy milk
1/2 tsp vanilla
pinch of salt

*Aqua Faba is the water/liquid that is drained from a can of chickpeas, it works as an excellent egg replacement that has no taste.

Heat oven to 350 F.
Place bread chunks into a glass pie container or square pan, a brownie (rectangle) pan will likely be too big. If the bread it’s stale, you can leave it out for a few hours and it will help it get stale, or you can stick it in the oven for 8-10 min (at 350) to help dry it out some.
In a separate bowl combine ingredients from pumpkin through cinnamon. After they are combined then add the maple syrup and nondairy milk. This just makes it so that the coconut oil doesn’t clump up.
Once all mixed, pour over the top of the torn pieces of bread. I like to make sure all of the bread has been coated with the pumpkin liquid, but isn’t all underneath it.
Bake for 45-50 min or until top has sufficiently browned.

For the optional chocolate drizzle:
While pumpkin pie bread pudding is in the oven, get a cereal size bowl half way full of water and microwave it for 1 min. Don’t worry, you aren’t going to be using it for anything other than a heat source. In a smaller bowl (to fit inside the cereal bowl) place chocolate chips and other ingredients. Take that bowl and allow it to be surrounded by hot microwaved water, just make sure there isn’t too much water that it will come into the smaller bowl. If there is, pour some out. Let the chocolate mix sit for a couple minutes to give the chocolate time to melt. You may want to even just set it on the stove while the bread pudding is cooking. After a few min, softly stir the chocolate around so it starts to mix together. If you have to take it out of the larger bowl so water doesn’t get in, that’s fine but know it will cool it down, so you will have to put it back quickly. I make sure there isn’t too much water but that my small bowl is surrounded, and then just keep stirring. Takes like 2 min (maybe more if you have big chocolate chips) and you have a chocolate sauce that you didn’t have to worry about burning on the bottom of a pot.

After you take the pumpkin pie bread pudding out of the oven, allow to cool for at least 5 min and then add drizzle if you are adding it. If not, it would be served will with coconut whipped cream or nondairy ice cream. But I happen to think it’s great alone as well!!


Cherry Watermelony Cocktail


🍉 There was a Watermelon eating contest at work last week and there was one melon leftover, so I took it home! 🍉

I decided to make Watermelon (ball) Salad. In it was Quiona, cucumbers, purple onions, squeeze of lime, some mint and drizzle of balsamic reduction. I still ended up having leftover watermelon after that salad! Then I thought, juice ’em! Then I can enjoy it tomorrow after yoga.

Watermelon, lime and chia seeds.

Then… another idea popped up…

Use that juice to make a Cherry Watermelony Cocktail?!

I say YES! 🍉



16 oz Watermelon Juice (I made my 36 oz. of juice from 1/2 of a watermelon, 1 lime and several mint sprigs)
3 Lime Wedges
Several of sprigs of mint
2 shots of 360 Cherry Vodka


To assemble:

If you don’t make the watermelon juice yourself with mint, take a few mint springs and muddle them in your cup. Then squeeze of two lime wedges, toss in 4 ice cubes with two shot of cherry vodka. Fill the rest of the way with Watermelon Juice. Garnish with Lime Wedge and Mint. See picture below 😍









Restaurant Review: Mi Ranchito Grill


Mi Ranchito Grill is Mexican Restaurant along with Buffet, they have three locations, but only provide the Vegan at their Salt Lake City Location: 3600 South State Street, Salt Lake City, Utah 84115
They only serve the 100% Vegan Mexican Buffet on Fridays from 5:00-10:00P and offer a Vegan Menu (not buffet) on Mondays to Fridays. The buffet doesn’t have the exact same items every week, so that keeps it fun.

What we’ve seen there. 

Homemade Tortillas, Chips, Chikn Enchiladas, Meatless Enchiladas, Cheeseless Enchiladas, Spanich Rice, Black Beans, Pinto Beans, Corn on Cob, Grilled Portobello Steaks, Vegan Tortas, No Fish Taco, Vegan Pupusas, Mulitas, Vegan Pozoles soup, Tortilla soup, Taquitos, custom build of Nachos, Burritos, or Tacos, Chile Rellenos,

Fruit and Salad Bar: melon, pineapple, oranges, honeydew, pasta salad, Vegan Ceviche, green salad (two Vegan Dressings from Follow Your Heart) Salsa, Guacamole, cilantro, red onions,

Desserts: Vegan Tes Leches Cake, Dessert Tamales: Strawberry or Pineapple, Rice Pudding with Soy Milk, Flan, Vegan “Nice” Cream Sandwich, Ice Cream, Layered Tres Leches Cake, and Ice Cream!

There is several Gluten Free and Soy Free options, just ask Victor Ivan Barragan Razo, Winner of PETA’s Sexiest Vegan 2015 and he will happy to show to you!! He got this vegan buffet up and going, his baby. 








Copycat Suja Fuel Juice

Copycat Suja Fuel Juice

This juice is one of my husband’s favorite juices. Any time we buy Suja’s juices, this one has to be in the mix. So, of course, a copycat was in order. I changed it a tiny bit from their recipe, just because I like to do a little less sugar, although it’s not super crazy. Sometimes I am not able to find fresh turmeric root, so I go with just ginger. Suja’s Fuel uses turmeric and no ginger.

Yield 30 oz juice

10 medium-large carrots
1 large orange, peeled
½ large green apple
½ large lemon, peeled
chunk of pineapple, about ¼ cup
1 inch piece of ginger root and/or turmeric root


Send all the stuff through your juicer and enjoy!!


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Beet Dip


I want to share with you what I’ve learned about Beets…. My mom and I went to the Downtown Farmer’s Market on Saturday morning. I had to purchased some beets to satisfy my insane craving for Beet & Walnut Dip like they make at Zest. (http://www.zestslc.com/) I had it over Mother’s Day weekend.

We talked with a farmer who was selling beets.  We asked why they all are different sizes and if that made any impact or difference.  He told us that the small beets are sweeter than big beets. The big beets are more tart and earthly.


Preheat oven at 400 degrees

6 small/medium beets: washed, peeled, and dried. Wrap them in foil and bake for an hour till they are tender and easy to poke with a fork.

3/4 cup of walnuts: toast them on medium heat, keep eye on it so they don’t burn!

In your blender:
2 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
3 Garlic Cloves (4 if they are small)
3 Tbsp fresh squeezed of Orange Juice (I used my juicer! But, Any orange squeezer works)
1/4 tsp of Pepper and Salt
4 TBSP Tahini
1/2 tsp of Cane Sugar, Optional

Black and White Sesame Seeds, Sprinkle.



My work provided lunch from Apple Spice Junction, so I ordered Vegetarian sandwich and omitted the cheese and mayo. I remembered that I have Beet Dip in the fridge, I knew that I had to use it as spread to add more flavor and exciting color… oh my, it was amazing!

My mama ate it straight out of the bowl with spoon like she does with hummus.


Not only that, I also created Sushi and Pizza with it!






Juice Monday

Basic Definition: Only drinking veggie-fruit juices on Monday(s), no eating/chewing.

Tips & Suggestions

Doing a one day juice cleanse once a week is easier than doing a three or four day juice cleanse once a month. It’s a great start for your week too, get things going off on the right foot. Having done #JuiceMonday for almost two years now, I have had a bunch of different experiences and can give my words of wisdom.

  • Cleanses are generally 6 different juices. Try and make it so you have 2 hours or more between juices. Between juices try and drink another 2 cups of water. You FEEL like you are hydrating enough, because you are just drinking all day, but try and think of the juices as food rather than hydration. Yes, you will be going to the bathroom a lot. It’s a cleanse, you want to be cleaned. The water helps you not feel starved as well.
  • Most cleanses end with a ‘dessert’ type juice that is a form of nut milk. It’s your heaviest drink with the most calories by far. I’ve found that I need to have it split in half at least. It tastes good, but is very filling. You don’t realize how filling for a few minutes though. To help with that I usually drink it in 1/4ths or 1/3rds and wait at least 20 min between. Drinking the last part and going to bed immediately following hasn’t fared me well. Needs to be some digestion time. In actuality, I don’t always finish the nut milk/dessert juice because it’s so much. I happily save the other half for some time later in the week.
  • Juices with added charcoal are popular currently. I love them. If you take medication, make sure not to take it within 40 min of drinking this one. Charcoal absorbs things and will make your medication less effective.
  • If you have a lot of traveling that is going to be done on a juice day, I recommend putting your juice in the freezer for a couple hours before you head out. It won’t freeze it through, but will give it some ice crystals and make it colder. Then put them in a cooler bag with hopefully some freezer packs and be on your way. If it’s a warm day out, just bring the cooler bag indoors with you when you go inside. Many gym lockers have held my cooler bags filled with juice.


So you don’t eat anything?  No actual solid food. That’s correct. Just the juices and water. You will get enough calories and nutrients from the juices.

Is this just to lose weight? Nope, not just to lose weight. Generally weight loss happens in the process, and your belly gets flatter, but that isn’t the only reason for it. You end up consuming way more produce on juice day than you almost ever would on a typical day. I eat a lot of produce, but this is like getting a shot of it. Your RDA (recommended daily amounts) of vitamins and minerals are off the charts!

What kind of juice? Cold Pressed (non pasteurized) fruit and veggie juice. Preferably more vegetables than fruit. You want as much nutrients as possible without sugar over dosing yourself, like if you just drank apple and orange juice all day. Whoa sugar!  Cold pressed juice doesn’t last as long as the pasteurized stuff, for good reason, it’s got a bunch more of the good stuff in it. It wasn’t killed in the sterilization and stabilization process. It’s unheated and left to give its goodness to you when you drink it.

Where can I get it? First off, if you haven’t done a full day juice cleanse before, I wouldn’t recommend going out and buying a juicer to do so. I highly recommend buying at least a one day cleanse from somewhere. So, where? Some of the places I get mine when I’m lazy and don’t make them myself (there are plenty out there, I just haven’t tried them all)…

In California, Phoenix and Las Vegas (and some TX): Pressed Juicery or Nekter Juice Bar

In Utah: Vive Juicery

Online all of these places ship throughout the US: Suja Juice www.sujajuice.com Pressed Juicery www.pressedjuicery.com Nekter Juice Bar www.nekter.com


Will I starve? No, you won’t starve. You get plenty of nutrition. The real test is the test of your will. To not eat/chew is generally the most difficult part of juice cleanses. It’s a habit to eat, especially if you are an emotional eater or a situational eater. Juice cleanses help break that. Just know that while doing a juice cleanse you are likely going to be getting WAY more nutrients than you do from your normal diet. A recent cleanse I did, one of my juices had 6170% of the RDA for Vitamin C in it. That was just ONE bottle of juice, and in that bottle had 880% of Vitamin K. Point being, pllllllenty of nutrients.

Can I take my medicine still? Absolutely! The only caveat would be if you have a juice that has charcoal in it (it will say in the ingredients list, plus the juice will be almost black). Charcoal is an amazing detoxifier and it sucks up stuff. In turn it will make your medication less effective if you take it around the time that you drink that. Just space it out at least 30 min from any medication or supplements.  

Happy Juicing!

Long Live #JuiceMonday

Here are some pics of historic juice Monday’s.


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Creamy Mango Vinaigrette


Creamy Mango Dressing two ways. First Mango Orange, which is a bit sweeter and creamier. It doesn’t taste like orange though, just bright cheery mango dressing. The Mango Lime is a great vinaigrette that has just the right amount of sweet with a nice amount of tart. It doesn’t taste like lime, it has more of a blended vinaigrette with some sweet. I’ve actually made it using lemon juice instead of lime, but like lime better. Feel free to give lemon a try though!

Creamy Mango Tango Dressing 2 ways

Mango Orange Vinaigrette (makes about 9 oz)
1 cup mango
1/3 cup orange juice
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (to make it oil free, use favorite nondairy milk)
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 garlic cloves
1-2 inch piece of ginger
1 TBS maple syrup
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp onion powder
1/8 tsp paprika
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)


Mango Lime Vinaigrette (makes about 9 oz)
1 cup mango
2 limes, juiced
3 TBS extra virgin olive oil
2 TBS water (to make it oil free, use favorite nondairy milk in place of oil & water)
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 garlic cloves
1-2 inch piece of ginger
2 TBS maple syrup
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp onion powder
1/8 tsp paprika
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper



Put all ingredients in your blender and blend medium to high until completely smooth. I let mine blend for around 30 seconds.
Want to know how to best cut a mango? watch this handy 3 second fast motion video.


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Veggie Nacho Cheese Sauce

Veggie Nacho Cheese Sauce

I’ve had a decent amount of vegan versions of cheese sauce. One of my favorite made from scratch cheese sauces I discovered on VegNews. It’s used for Vegan Macaroni & Cheese it’s so good! I took many of the things I liked about that one and applied it to mine. I changed this to be more of a nacho cheese sauce and made it not so calorie heavy, no added oil and far less fat.
This was fabulous for nachos and I love it over cooked or steamed broccoli & cauliflower. Sometimes I bake cauliflower and then use this as a dip for it, same goes with potatoes! You wouldn’t necessarily think that a sauce that has potatoes in it would be good with potatoes, but it doesn’t taste like potatoes, I promise.

I would call this potato cheese sauce, or potato cauliflower cheese sauce, but there are enough other veggies in it that I feel like that’s not really a fair name. So, veggie nacho cheese sauce it is!! ENJOY!!!

Veggie Nacho Cheese Sauce

  • 2 red or yellow potatoes, chopped
  • 1/4 onion
  • 3 small carrots, chopped
  • 1 cup fresh/raw cauliflower, broken into medium pieces
  • 1/2 red bell pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tbs salsa
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 tbs dijon mustard
  • 1 tbs hot sauce
  • 1/8 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/4 cup raw cashews
  • 1/2 c cooking water


In a small pot, bring about 2 cups of water to a boil, then add in first 4 ingredients. If the water doesn’t cover all the vegetables, add some more. Boil until potatoes are tender (poke with a fork) and cooked throughout. Remove from heat and allow to cool for about 5 min.

While boiled veggies are cooling down, load up the blender jar with the rest of the ingredients up to the 1/2 c cooking water. Now you can dump your boiled veggies into a strainer/colander and save some of the liquid OR use a fork and transfer veggies out of the pot into the blender jar and measure out 1/2 cup of the left over boil water and pour it into the blender.

Blend on high for 1 min (longer if you don’t have a high powered blender) so it’s nice and creamy and smooth! It’ll still be nice and hot from the hot vegetables and hot water, perfecto for nachos!!


Homemade (from mostly veggies) vegan nacho cheese from scratch, no oil and not full of nuts!

ready to be blended

Homemade (from mostly veggies) vegan nacho cheese from scratch, no oil and not full of nuts!


p.s. I topped my nachos with chopped tomatoes, chopped red bell pepper, salsa and green onions. I bet it would be good with some beans and avocado too! Maybe guac, maybe some cooked up Beyond Meat Crumbles!?  Oh the possibilities of nachos! Wow I’m hungry now!


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Oatmeal Cookie Healthy Banana Ice Cream


I adore ice cream and all things that behave similar to ice cream. So, frozen bananas blended with other stuff that end up seeming like ice cream, count me in.  This is an easy blender recipe with not many ingredients, keep things simple.

After it was all blended, I put it back in the freezer for 30 min to harden a bit more

ready to eat

now REALLY ready to eat! Topped with cacao nibs and mulberries

  • 2 frozen bananas, in chunks
  • 1/4 cup (or less) rolled oats (I did less)
  • 1/2 cup ice cubes
  • 1/4 cup nondairy milk of choice
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup (or less) nondairy chocolate chips
  • optional 10-15 drops of vanilla stevia


Toss everything except the chocolate chips in the blender and blend. I used a Blendtec Twister Jar and the ice cream setting on the blender, worked out perfect. If you don’t have that, any other high powered blender will work, you just may have to turn off the blender to scrape down the sides then turn it back on again couple of times. Blend until smooth, put the chocolate chips in and blend for about 5 seconds.

I put mine in the freezer after I made it, to harden up a little bit while I was cleaning up my mess and such. I topped it with cacao nibs and dried mulberries too!

p.s. if you haven’t had dried mulberries over ice cream/smoothie bowls/acai bowls/etc, you should! They get hard and crunchy and are amazing!


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Banana Cleanse

Banana Cleanse

In the spirit of trying new things and education via experience, I made a trip to Banana Island. What the heck is Banana Island? Just a fun term for a mono-meal diet of bananas. Bananas, bananas and more bananas. I had read about it and seen people talk about it online, so, decided to test it out myself. I love trying new potentially odd things like this.   It’s up to 3 days, all you consume is bananas, you can add in greens if you please. So like bananas and spinach, kale or lettuce. Maybe cucumber or celery. Bit of unsweetened almond milk is fine as well. Why in the world would you do this (other than liking to try new stuff)?


Reset. Physically and mentally.

Lose weight.

Minimal effort.


What do you do?

Literally eat bananas. 10+ bananas a day. 10 bananas puts you at about 1100 calories, if you are working out as well, you will likely want/need more. Drink lots of good clean water too, at least 10 cups. Listen to your body, if you feel hungry, eat (or drink). Keep up with your eating so you don’t feel famished. If you can’t stand chewing another banana, make it into another form.

Some ideas…

  • Straight up bananas, just peeled
  • 3-4 bananas blended with spinach and 4 or so cups of water (maybe with a cup or less of almond milk replacing 1 cup of water)
  • Banana ice cream using 3-4 frozen bananas, a bit of almond milk, optional cinnamon & vanilla extract, maybe some stevia
  • Banana lettuce wraps using lettuce as the base, filling it with chopped banana and cucumber
  • Barnana chewy bites, the plain kind (not coconut or chocolate) is just dried banana with banana flour. Totally allowed!
  • Freeze dried banana, usually in sliced
  • Dried banana, below is a pic of one I found. It’s hard to find without added sugar or oil though

banana              organic


freeze dried dried bananas

Benefits of Bananas

Bananas are one of the most popular fruits on earth. They are easy to carry around and easy to eat, plus are delicious. It’s generally known that bananas are high in potassium, which actually helps lower blood pressure. Along with potassium, benefits include magnesium, fiber, vitamin C, B6 and believe it or not a bit of tryptophan.

1 banana = 110 calories

  • Carbohydrate – 30 g
  • Vitamin B6 – .5 mg
  • Potassium – 450 mg
  • Manganese – .3 mg
  • Vitamin C – 9 mg
  • Fiber – 3 g
  • Magnesium – 34 mg
  • Folate – 25 mcg
  • Vitamin A – 81 IU
  • Protein – 1 g



When you are just eating bananas, you don’t have anything to prepare. Loads of time saved! No food stress. Time that you can pay attention to other stuff. If you are an emotional or habitual eater, this is a good reset. I know for myself, certain things, other than hunger, trigger me to eat. I drive from appointment to appointment throughout the day and it’s a major habit for me to get in the car and start snacking. When I’m home for the evening, that’s my other weak snack time. When all you have is bananas to eat, there is a lot less eating ‘just to eat’. Helps you reset your brain, kind of like a juice cleanse does, but you get to chew.



When I’ve done this, I’ve lost a minimum of 2 pounds each day I did it. It wasn’t from starving myself, promise. One day I dropped 4 pounds, but I think that was an anomaly. I had just come back from vacation and was abnormally heavy. Whenever I get back to my usual workouts and not eating so much (and no alcohol) I generally shed the pounds I had gained almost as quickly as I put them on. Eating only bananas makes for a much flatter stomach. All possible bloat is gone. Beautiful thing!

Only 3 days, you won’t go dying from any sort of ‘malnutrition’ or deficiency. Think about people who live off junk food with the nutrient profile similar to cardboard? Crappy fast food or microwave things. Yeah, bananas for a few days really isn’t an issue.

Yes, bananas are high in sugar. People often avoid them when they are trying to lose weight. Their calories can certainly add up if you are combining them with other stuff, they aren’t a low calorie fruit.  There are a lot of different theories out there and reasons for doing things, I have followed eating certain ways that omit bananas. Doing so makes sense in different instances and works for what is trying to be accomplished (ie. low sugar focus, strictly alkaline).


If you make a trip to Banana Island, let me know how it goes. I always love to hear other people’s experiences with things. I know my experience isn’t the same as others. I also know that each time I do something I have a slightly varied experience as well. I’ve done the banana cleanse diet twice and had the results be the same, my emotions and feelings during it were different though.

Happy Banana-ing!

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