Today I have 10 Drink and Cocktail Recipes To Keep You Cool This Summer! The heat is here and that means it’s time to crank up your drink game! Whether you are into something boozy or looking for an energizing smoothie to start your day, I’ve got you covered in this round-up! OH and bonus points if you like vegetables in your drinks – I have a surprising number of veg-focused cocktails…
This Fruit Salad with Tahini Granola and Creamy Yogurt recipe is a modern hybrid between a parfait and fruit salad for a crowd. It’s cooling, crunchy, tangy, and juicy making it the perfect light dessert on a warm summer day.
This recipe was the product of having people coming over for an impromptu grill-out and me wanting to whip up a dessert based on what we had on hand already. I drew inspiration from a traditional fruit salad that is covered in whipped cream and overly sweet marshmallows but swapped those ingredients out for tangy yogurt, syrupy fruit, and crunchy granola. I also wanted layers (so you could see everything) while serving for a stunning presentation and the results ended up being almost like a big parfait. The big difference between this and a parfait though is that they are usually personalized in little cups and I wanted something I could just put on the table with the rest of the food for people to scoop onto their plate along with the grilled goodies.
Today we are talking all about growing your own food! I’ll be covering all I know about starting a vegetable and herb garden. Please note that this post was sponsored by Harvest Organics but All opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make VV possible.
If you’ve been following me for awhile, you know that I plant and maintain a decent-sized garden every summer. Since I don’t live in a huge metropolitan area, I can’t always find certain heirloom varieties of vegetables, herbs, and edible flowers so my solution is just to grow my own! Plus, there is nothing more rewarding than being able to walk outside your door and pick your own herbs to throw into dinner. Today I’m going to share what I grow, why I use raised beds, and lots of other useful tidbits and answers for folks out there thinking about starting a garden but not knowing where to start.
I’m pumped to be partnering with Harvest Organics for this post as I get lots of questions about my garden (the edible flower one in particular) and this collaboration has inspired me to finally sit down and write more about my gardening experience!
This bubbly Pomelo Gin Fizz cocktail skips the egg whites and uses citrus to bring a subtly sweet and tart tang to your next happy hour.
They say that life happens in waves and I definitely feel like I’m riding one of the big waves right now. After a week in the Pacific Northwest exploring and photographing, I came home for 2 days (one of which we looked at a house and then immediately put a bid on it) and then hopped back on a plane for a vacation in southern Florida. For the first time in my Midwestern life, I smelled the salt of both the Pacific and the Atlantic in the same week! And if two adventures across the country weren’t exciting enough, the bid we put in on the house was accepted and we will be moving into the next phase with that this week!
This Walnut Meat Tacos with Peach Tomato Salsa recipe can be made in under 20 minutes and requires minimal cook time which makes them perfect for quick weeknight meals. They are also gluten-free, vegetarian, and can easily be made vegan by omitting the yogurt or sour cream. This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Mission®. All opinions are entirely my own.
If you follow me on Instagram stories then you have probably noticed that I make quinoa taco “meat” almost weekly. We loveeeee tacos around here because they are such an easy way to load up on vegetables and a protein without having to spend hours preparing a bunch of different courses. The only drawback to quinoa meat for me is that it does take a good 45 minutes to make which can feel like all night when you’ve been working all day and just want something to eat right when you get home. And that is exactly why I’ve been turning more and more to walnut “taco meat” lately because it requires less than 5 minutes of cooking and you can have dinner ready in under 20 minutes without compromising flavor or texture.
Today’s simple Sunday post is a recipe for this Herb and Green Tomato Salsa. It’s best enjoyed on roasted veggies, topped on baked eggs, swirled into soups, or drizzled on salad.
Keeping true to the simple Sunday philosophy, I’ll keep this short! I love making this sauce when my garden is overflowing (or on it’s last leg) since you can use whatever kind of herbs you have on hand. I used a mix between the green tomato variety that is green when ripe and a few unripened cherry tomatoes to give this sauce a variety of texture. You can use whatever color tomatoes you have on hand to yield the same results (I just loved the pop of green). Be careful to use too many unripened tomatoes in this though as I’ve heard it can cause upset stomachs for some.
This Sweet Beet Strawberry & Tarragon Vodka Smash is a unique and fun summer cocktail. The savory sweet beet tarragon simple syrup blends perfectly with juicy strawberries. This recipe was made in partnership with Prairie Organic Spirits.
I’m really excited to share today’s drink recipe with you. If you are a regular around here then you probably already know that I make a hobby out of throwing vegetables and unlikely fruit pairings into my cocktails for a unique flavor boost. Today’s recipe is no exception. Although my favorite profile flavor combo has always savory and sweet, earthy and sweet has slowly been creeping in at a close second.
This Sweet Beet Strawberry & Tarragon Vodka Smash covers all the bases: sweet from the fruit, earthy from the beets and tarragon, boozy from the vodka, and refreshing from the top off of sparkling water. It is whipped up in a pitcher for a quick turnaround for your guests.
You need to be careful when making the beet tarragon syrup as the tarragon can quickly over flavor the entire syrup if it steeps for too long. A tiny hint of tarragon brings an extra level of herbiness to this drink but too much tarragon flavor will leave the cocktail with an unappealing licorice taste. If you don’t have tarragon or are not a fan, you can skip adding any herbs to the syrup and then muddle a few mint leaves with the strawberries for a brighter and fresher cocktail.
I used Prairie Organic Vodka for this cocktail and was excited to find the mellow flavor left no bad alcoholic aftertaste for these. I must say that I always seek out organic produce but never thought to do so with my alcohol until now! This vodka is smooth and doesn’t overpower the cocktail like a cheaper brands might. Make sure your strawberries are ripe and juicy because we want them to be adding a natural sweetness to this cocktail that will be missed if the strawberries are dull.
This Sweet Beet Strawberry & Tarragon Vodka Smash is a unique and fun summer cocktail. The savory sweet beet tarragon simple syrup blends perfectly with juicy strawberries.
- 3 medium golden beets peeled and chopped
- 1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 cup water
- 3 sprigs fresh tarragon
- 1/4 cup Beet Tarragon Simple Syrup
- 2 cups fresh strawberries tops removed
- juice from 2 limes
- 1 cup vodka
- 2 cups sparkling water
- thinly sliced golden beets
- Lime wedges
- Fresh mint and tarragon
Add golden beet chunks, granulated sugar, and water into a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, lower to a simmer, and let simmer for 10 minutes.
Remove from heat, add tarragon, cover, and let sit for another 15 minutes.
Strain syrup into a clean jar. Let cool completely before using.
Add syrup and strawberries to a large pitcher. Use a muddler or handle of a wooden spoon to smash the strawberries in the bottom of the pitcher. Add lime juice, vodka, and sparkling water.
Garnish with beets, strawberries, tarragon, and mint.
This post was made in collaboration with and sponsored by the generous folks at Prairie Organic Spirits but all opinions expressed are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make VV possible. Enjoy responsibly, 21+ only.
This Roasted Miniature Eggplant with Tahini Yogurt and Plum Salsa is the perfect vegetable side dish for any weeknight meal.
I’m at that point of summer where my mind keeps wandering to fall – the smell of crisp leaves on the ground, piling sweaters over flannel just to enjoy a cup of coffee on the porch, wandering the apple orchards on a cool afternoon, and whipping up cozy curries on the stovetop. Really the only thing keeping me sane during this last leg of this hot and muggy summer is the abundance of produce at the market right now.
This Tomato & Cherry Kale Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette recipe is light but filling and ideal for a quick late summer starter or side.
Okay – it’s the middle of August and the summer has been flying by! It’s about time for a check-in, yeah? Here is what I’ve been up to lately:
- I’ve been keeping super busy with interviews and event promotions for Vegetarian Heartland. It’s weird to think that the book only came out 6 weeks ago! I’ve loved reading all of the Amazon reviews, seeing the book on Anthropologie, and being able to walk into Barnes and Noble to pick it off the shelf. Very exciting time, to say the least!
- June and July were super busy with wedding and family events so we’ve spent most of August enjoying the thriving garden and cooking up all the in-season produce. What have been your favorite recipes lately? This salad (listed below) has been on repeat for us (it’s so easy to throw together since Taylor Farm’s salad kit already has so much included) as well as this White Bean Caprese. Tomatoes on everything, please!
- We’ve been on both the house hunt and a dog hunt (still can’t figure out which will come first). I really think it would be fun to have a small dog around here since Tuko is so big. Tuko may be a big boxer but he is also a big baby so I can already see the little dog bossing him around (which would be very good for his spoiled only child personality). We are thinking either a pug or chihuahua (whichever we can find at the shelter first).
- Ive also been thinking that it’s time for a new blog design layout around here. I want something completely fresh and a little more unique than what I have right now – maybe a magazine style photo layout or even have it show up like a fancy menu or something? I’ve been trying to take inspiration from sites outside of the blogging world but haven’t figured out quite how to translate that yet. I just know I want something modern, simple, and different. Have you seen any site designs that you’ve been crushing on lately? I love this one.
And now lets talk about this salad! In the past, I usually just bought my greens on their own and made my salad based on what I had on hand but I was surprised by how much I appreciated that this Taylor Farm’s Salad Kit did all the heavy lifting for me. As someone who usually only makes one item for dinner a night, it was nice to be able to have use this salad kit as a healthy side without it feeling like a ton of extra work. The lemon dressing is tangy and bright which pairs wonderfully with the juicy tomatoes. I love the addition of the crunchy croutons (which are already included in the kit for – again – an easy assembly!) as they add another layer of texture. I also added a dash of salt and pepper at the end to bring out all the flavors.
Is your garden or farmers market bursting with tomatoes? Are you craving a little healthy in your life? What are you waiting for? Go make this Tomato & Cherry Kale Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette!
- 1 Taylor Farm's Kale Chopped Salad Kit
- 2 medium heirloom tomatoes (or 2 small heirloom tomatoes and a few cherry tomatoes) sliced
- 1/2 cup cherries sliced (and pitted, if you'd like)
- 1/4 basil torn
- salt and pepper
Remove the dressing, asiago cheese, and croutons from the the Taylor Farm's Kale Chopped Salad Kit and set aside.
Add chopped salad to a serving bowl and mix in the croutons, tomatoes, and cherries.
Drizzle the dressing packet that came with the salad kit over the salad and serve right away.
This post was made in collaboration with and sponsored by the generous folks at Taylor Farms but all opinions expressed are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make VV possible.
Today’s Simple Sunday post features this Mint Feta Lime Melon Salad Recipe which is beyond easy and quick to prep. This juicy fruit salad is the perfect sweet and savory starter for any gathering.
This easy summer salad is my new favorite go-to for cookouts and summer parties. I kept seeing those ‘melon salads’ with the perfectly circular melon balls that someone meticulously scooped out and knew there had to be an easier way. So instead of pulling out the melon ball tool and setting in for an hour of prepping, I just cut my melons into slices and laid them in a line on a serving tray. I personally think the presentation is just as stunning and it saved me so much time.
This Green Matcha Sangria recipe is a perfect mix between earthy matcha and sweet white wine.
Remember when Starbucks made matcha lemonade a big thing earlier this summer? Well it got me thinking about other ways I could enjoy matcha during the hot summer months (because, let’s be honest, a steaming hot full-fat matcha latte is not very appetizing in the muggly heat that is August) and my mind immediately wandered to alcohol. A matcha gin and tonic? No, too simple. A matcha mojito? Already overdone. And then the light bulb went off – what about in sangria? I did a quick search on my blog to find that I’ve never done a sangria recipe (which is absurd because it’s always been a drink of choice between my mother and I ever since I was old enough to drink).
White Bean Caprese Panzanella is the perfect simple summer meal. This six ingredient recipe takes less than 10 minutes to make & is perfect for one.
It is very not often that I share a recipe this simple (outside of my ‘Simple Sunday’s series). But it’s summer and no one wants to slave away in the kitchen all day on a gorgeous afternoon that could be spent at the lake or pool. And, I don’t know about you, we’ve been busy busy busy with out of town engagements and family visiting so I don’t think I could even find the time to spent a whole day in the kitchen if I wanted. Luckily, summer’s bountiful harvest lends itself to light and easy meals since fresh herbs and juicy tomatoes are flavorful enough to steal the show (without much cooking involved).
I’ve been calling this recipe the ‘lazy girl’s lunch’ because it literally takes 5 minutes to whip up and only has 6 ingredients. It’s sort of a mix between a caprese (without the pesto) and a panzanella salad. Because the recipe requires so few ingredients, make sure they are all high quality and at their peak moment – tomatoes should be at their juiciest and go out of your way to get a fresh loaf of bread from a local bakery. Also, try to use a robust and quality olive oil if you have it.
Additionally, I added a punch of protein with the white beans which are so mellow that they don’t steal the show but help keep you full through the afternoon. Now what are you waiting for? Go whip this up for lunch!
- 2 Tbsp olive oil divided
- 2 pieces small sourdough loaf, torn
- 6 cherry tomatoes, halved, or 1 heirloom tomato slices
- 2 oz torn mozzarella
- 1/2 cup canned white beans drained and rinsed
- 6 small basil leaves torn
- salt / pepper
Heat a small saucepan over medium-high and add 1 Tbsp olive oil. Add torn sourdough and a dash of salt and pepper. Toss bread until completely coated in oil and seasoning. Cook for five minutes, tossing the bread often so it evenly toasts on all sides. Remove from heat and transfer to a bowl.
Add tomatoes, mozzarella, remaining 1 Tbsp olive oil, and white beans to the bowl and toss to combine. Garnish with basil leaves and season with salt and pepper.
Enjoy right away.
This Tomato and Stone Fruit Crostini with Whipped Feta is an easy summer entertaining appetizer perfect for any type of get together.
A few weeks back, I had the pleasure of spending a long weekend on a farm in Portland, OR for a dreamy farm dinner hosted by Lundberg Family Farms. It was a whirlwind of a weekend with a few of my favorite food blogger friends – Eva from Adventures in Cooking, Sasha from Tending the Table, Trisha from Eat Your Beets, and Holly and Natalie from The Modern Proper. We explored the grounds, hung out with the chickens, cooked insane amounts of food, and drank just enough wine to make the plane ride back home foggy. keeping up with these blogger friends online has always been enjoyable but cooking and sharing a meal together brought our bonds to a whole new level. I could go on for days about how magical this weekend was but I do think that the photos speak for themselves.
The dish I contributed to the menu was an appetizer of Tomato and Stone Fruit Crostini with Creamy Feta. The drizzle of tangy feta over juicy tomatoes and sweet stone fruit over a crispy rice cracker is my new favorite. Not only is this recipe ridiculously easy to whip up but it gives for a stunning presentation for pops of red, green, and orange. I used Lundberg’s Thin Stackers for the perfectly light crunch which complimented the juicy tomato topping. You could also use toasted bread slices if you’d like to make this crostini more traditional.
This easy Almond Peach Blueberry Crumble Slices recipe is perfect for summer entertaining. Make sure to wait to make this recipe until peaches are in peak season.
This space often times gets marked as a ‘health’ blog or ‘diet’ space by marketers and other websites. I guess I get it – eating vegetarian and vegetable focused meals can be healthy but there is no where on here that I ever call it that. Sure, I love me some quinoa taco meat and a protein smoothie but I also love buttery baked goods, chocolate (so much), and an alcoholic drink here and there. In fact, I’m pretty sure that VV has a high ratio of baked goods recipes because baking is how I like to relieve stress and get playful in the kitchen. I think that what I am getting as is that this recipe is in no way “healthified” – it’s just a darn good and delicious crumble recipe that focuses on the fresh fruit our bountiful summer is supplying.
Fruit & Yogurt Granola Tarts recipe from Vegetarian Heartland Cookbook + an all vegetarian picnic spread worthy of any lazy afternoon!
I just f’king can’t believe it. There are not enough words in the world to describe what I’m feeling today. Today is the day that Vegetarian Heartland, my first cookbook, is finally out in the world! I still remember April 18th, 2014 like it was yesterday – I called my parents and then my grandma to tell them I would be signing with a literary agent to work on my first cookbook. My grandma’s first question was ‘when does it come out?’ and after I explained to her that it would probably be a few years as I still needed to write a proposal, get a publisher, write the entire book, and then photograph the whole thing, she scoffed and said ‘well I’ll be dead by then’! Fast forward 1,115 days (3 years, 2 months) and here it finally is! 80+ vegetarian recipes + all the photos you could image that include adventuring around food + my last few years documented in cookbook form. Oh and I’m happy to report that my grandma is still kicking and thriving at 87!
Today’s recipe comes from Aine Carlin’s cookbook, The New Vegan. This book is such an amazing reminder of how far along the vegan food culture has come in the last decade. I always try to get vegan at least a few days out of the week and became really into cooking vegan at home when I discovered Isa Moskowitz’s approachable vegan cookbooks in college. Aine takes it to a whole new level with not only approachable and simple recipes but insanely gorgeous modern photos to accompany the recipes. Unlike a lot of vegan cookbooks I’ve come across, she doesn’t rely on processed meat substitutes (tofu, seitan, etc) and instead focuses on whole foods and loading her recipes with veggies (my favorite thing to do for meal time). In addition to breakfast recipes like this one, you’ll find snacks, sweets, weeknight meals, and big gathering recipes in her delicious book.
This Strawberry Rhubarb Gin & Tonic recipe is the perfect spring (/ early summer) twist on a gin and tonic. It’s light, refreshing, and has the tiniest hint of sweet.
I’ve been feeling pretty scatter brained lately so it only felt nature to write this post in the same form. Here are a few things that have been on my mind lately:
This easy vegetarian Summer Pasta Salad with Dill Vinaigrette is the perfect accompaniment to your summer grill outs. Serve it Nicoise Salad style or toss everything together for a more traditional serving option.
Today I’ve partnered with Alessi Foods to bring you (what I hope to be) your new favorite summer salad recipe! With Memorial Day weekend on the horizon, I can’t be more pumped for grilling season. Here in Indiana, we get very wet and damp springs that make it almost impossible to plan for outdoor hangs ahead of time. Memorial Day weekend always feels like the kick off of summer with the weather quickly changing from damp to constant sunshine. It’s also the first weekend that I start to feel like my garden is healthy enough to begin pulling from (hello gorgeous dill plant) which means it’s official veg season! Needless to say, I’m already planning and am so excited for a weekend of hanging out at the lake and pulling out the grill for the first time this season!
These Crostini with Macadamia Ricotta and Corn-Zucchini Succotash are the perfect meat-free picnic food! They are light, delicious and easy to transport!
I’m extra excited about today’s post because we are going to dive a little deeper into my upcoming cookbook, Vegetarian Heartland. My publisher, Chronicle Books, was kind enough to organize a little blog tour featuring recipes from the book and this post is kicking it off! Here is the schedule so you can follow along over the next week and a half!
How to make Quick Pickled Radishes which are the perfect tangy veggies to top on salads, tacos, and eggs. These even take less than 30 minutes to make!
First off, Happy Mother’s Day! I hope everyone was able to take a few minutes today to be thankful for the women in their lives – whether it is your birth mother or a woman that has played a nurturing role in your life. I had the pleasure of taking my Ma out to brunch and a hike earlier and it was a wonderful.
Today’s Simple Sunday is all about these easy and tangy quick pickled radishes which are the perfect topping for your tacos, omelets, and salads! This 3 ingredient recipe is as easy as it gets – throw everything into a bowl and let it sit for 20 minutes. That is it! Quick picked radishes are best enjoyed the same day but last up to 24 hours if stored in an airtight container in the fridge.
My favorite way to enjoy these is on top of this Vegetarian Quinoa Taco Tostada recipe which we make and eat almost weekly!
Quick Pickled Radishes recipe below:
- 1 bunch red radishes , thinly sliced
- 1 cup vinegar (I use red or white wine)
- 1 cup filtered water
- 2 tsp salt
- Optional add-ins: star anise , peppercorn, red chili flakes, honey, garlic cloves
Add radishes into a bowl or jar and cover completely with vinegar and water. Stir in salt and any add-ins you'd like to include.
Let sit for 20 - 30 minutes. Serve right away or store in an airtight container for up to 24 hours.
This Strawberry Pink Peppercorn Protein Smoothie recipe is great as a filling breakfast or post workout drink.
If you know me in person then you know that I’m a big day dreamer. Some of my day dreams have turned into reality (hellloooo book deal) and some of them are just crazy (helloo mansion on the ocean with an indoor / outdoor kitchen and 3,000 square foot studio room). I think that Wyatt often times takes my day dreaming remarks as signs of not being happy but really I just like to make up scenarios and play them out over conversation. I think I probably got this from my parents who, when my brother and I were little, used to take us for drives in the “gated communities” and talk about what it would be like to own one of the million dollar homes.
One of the big things I talk about is what it is like to move to another city; I think it is because we kind of organically ended up where we are instead of intentionally saying we were going to take root here. It’s funny because I am actually terrible at change but my mind still starts to wander to other life scenarios after things have been normal for too long.
I’ve been thinking a lot about my day dream tendencies lately because I’m headed to Portland tomorrow for a weekend trip. Portland was one of the places I dragged Wyatt to after college because I was certain we should move there. We absolutely loved the city and all it had to offer. However, as with all of the trips I drag him on to check out new cities, it didn’t feel like home and we were happy to return to our little college town in the Midwest. BUT it’s still a wonderful place to visit and I’m so excited to go back – any recommendations for places I should see / eat / hang out while there?
Moving on to this smoothie, I’m pretty beyond stoked to have smoothie season back again. With our brutally cold winters here, I can’t bring myself to drink smoothies between September and April (all I want is hot tea). As the weather warms and I start to move my body more, it also craves refreshing fresh vegetables and fruit so smoothies are the easiest way for me to feed those cravings. To be honest, my usual go-to are green smoothies but I was feeling something a little more sweet this time around (although a cup of spinach would still be fantastic in this recipe if you wanted the extra green boost).
The secret ingredient here is the pink peppercorn. As with most spices, we are only using the tiniest amount to enhance the overall flavor of the smoothie without completely overwhelming it. We want the end result to have the faintest peppery bite without anyone (besides you since you are making it!) being able to put their finger on exactly what is creating that spice.
Also, I rarely make the same smoothie twice because I’m always just using what I have on hand. Here are a few mix-ins that I bet would be great with this smoothie: 1 cup spinach, ground flaxseed, or even beet powder (which I weirdly have on hand because I’m a total food nerd).
Strawberry Pink Peppercorn Protein Smoothie recipe below:
- 1 cup Silk High Protein Nutmilk
- 1/2 cup chopped strawberries
- 1 banana , peeled
- 1 carrot (grated if you don't have a high speed blender)
- 1 Tbsp maple syrup (or honey if ok w/ it not being vegan)
- Dash of ground pink peppercorn (about 1/4 tsp)
- 1 cup ice
- Optional mix-ins: 1 cup of greens (spinach, kale, etc), 1 tsp ground flaxseed, 1/2 tsp ground beet powder
Add all ingredients into a blender and blend until completely smooth.
Transfer to a glass and enjoy right away.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Silk. The opinions and text are all mine.
Pink Grapefruit Cucumber Rose Skin Quencher recipe from Lily Diamond’s new cookbook, Kale & Caramel, is a simple natural beauty drink recipe.
Heyyy friends! Today is extra special because it’s my dear friend Lily Diamond’s book launch day! She was one of my favorite friends to confide in through the writing process for Vegetarian Heartland and I hope she feels the same for Kale & Caramel. When it comes to writing a book, there are a ton of stressful deadlines and so many highs and lows as you bring this giant project, that you’ve put your whole self into for years, into the world. With Lily also having a spring ’17 book launch, she went through these processes at a similar time as me so we were able to bounce experiences off of each other and cheer each other on.
This Vegetarian Quinoa Taco Meat Tostadas recipe is a quick and simple meat-free weeknight main entree. The quinoa taco meat is a healthy substitute for crumbled beef and a must-try for any vegetarian!
I so wish I could take credit for inventing the amazing thing that is quinoa taco meat. It’s smokey, slightly spicy, a complete protein, and even looks like taco meat from afar! But alas, I came across it on Pinterest way back when and it seems to have become most popular through Minimalist Baker. I’ve toyed with even adding it to VV since it’s already done so well in places but this is one of those recipes that I make weekly for dinner (and use the leftovers in quesadillas for lunch) so it seemed so silly to hide this recipe from you. Also, after making it so many times on the regular, I’ve tweaked the recipe here and there and have come up with what I consider the best version. My secret ingredient is smoked paprika for a smoky (almost meat-y) flavor.
Make sure you use white quinoa for this recipe as I find tri-colored quinoa to be a bit temperamental because, for me, it doesn’t always seem to cook evenly. I’ve kept the topping servings general below as the amount needed is all going to depend on how many of the toppings you serve and how much toppings people like to use. I’d recommend planning for about 1 cup of toppings per person (per every 2 tostadas).
I do think the quinoa taco meat is even better the next day. To store, place in a sealed container and keep in the fridge. When ready to enjoy, either warm in the oven or in a skillet on the stove-top – either work great!
This Iced Cocoa Coffee Smoothie is the perfect morning or afternoon booster with iced coffee, blended dates, chocolate OLLY Smoothie powder, and vanilla all coming together to create a healthy iced coffee concoction.
I’m going to start out by mentioning I’m not a smoothie girl. Sometimes, because this is a meat-free blog, VV gets grouped into these ‘special diet’ categories with all the other folks working on their yoga poses, superfood salads, and beautiful smoothie bowl game. Don’t get me wrong, I’m down with all those things on occasion but I just don’t identify with them. You know what I do identify with? Chocolate. You know what else? Coffee. Dang – do I love coffee. This drink I’m sharing today is called a ‘smoothie’ for lack of a better word – really, it’s like a super mix between a light chocolate shake and a dang fine cup of iced cold brew.
I first discovered a similar shake (smoothie? frozen coffee concoction? frappucino?) a few months ago at a juice bar in Minneapolis. Our host didn’t have coffee but she had a big jug of a similar drink in her fridge. I still can’t remember exactly what was in it but I remember thinking it tasted like the best iced coffee I’ve ever had. I started making my own version when I got home and couldn’t get over how sweet that dates made the drink with zero refined sugar (and gave it a little creamy vibe as well). I usually make this for an afternoon pick-me-up with any leftover coffee I still have lingering on the stove. When OLLY mentioned they’d be sending me some nourishing chocolate smoothie powder, I couldn’t believe I hadn’t thought to put chocolate into it earlier. The OLLY powder gives both an additional nutrition boost AND an indulgent jolt from the chocolate.
Afternoons can be rough for me. I wake up beyond excited to start the day and find my mind the clearest and most creative in the AM. From there lunch is great because well…I’m eating and I love to eat. But then around 3 or 4, I tend to crash – I’ve tried eating big lunches (to see if they would get me through dinner but they just bog me down even earlier) and light lunches (which leave me starving and without energy by 3) so I’ve accepted my body needs something else in the afternoon. This healthy drink has been the answer for the last couple months – it doesn’t leave you with a sugar crash and I get a little bit of caffeine boost without the afternoon shakes that would come from a strong cup of coffee. Oh and I bet the boost of vitamins from the OLLY powder is a big help as well. You ever feel the afternoon slump as well? Try this drink – it positively could change your afternoon energy level forever!
Note: Some days I’ve had enough caffeine by 11 AM to know when enough is enough. This drink is just as delicious with decaf if you’d prefer to switch to that in the afternoon. Also, I sometimes only blend together 1 cup of ice and reserve the rest to throw into my drink after to give it more of an iced coffee vibe – totally your call on how you’d like to do it!
PSS Don’t worry, I’ve already been recipe developing a warm version of this for the colder months. I’m hoping to share that recipe later this season!
BONUS! OLLY was kind enough to offer a giveaway for a chance to win over $1000 in prizes. To say thanks for playing, they’ll send you a $5 off coupon for target.com! ENTER HERE by Monday, October 17th!
Iced Cocoa Coffee Smoothie recipe below:
This Garden Tonic Punch is worthy of any summer cocktail party. It’s made up of the herb and vegetable bounty found in my own backyard. A cold-pressed tomato simple syrup combined with an easy herb syrup creates a refreshing summer gin cocktail ideal for big batches.
Guess what!? Today I am celebrating these two things with this Garden Tonic Punch: 1. #drinkthesummer which is a fun little virtual cocktail party where all my favorite bloggers get together and mix up something fierce (see the full list of cocktails below) and 2. Vegetarian ‘Ventures FIVE year anniversary! Can you believe this space is FIVE years old (okay, it *technically* happened last week but who is keeping track)? Like imagine this space was a kid – she’d be HUGE by now… wanting to play dress up to look like mom and picking out her own ice cream flavors. But really, back to this space being a blog, this little space has grown up to host thousands of pictures, 534 posts, thousands of comments, millions of views (!!!), writing in the form of dreams and desires, fears and worries, and a whole heck of a lot of recipes. Pretty cool, right?