Very Vegan Basil-Cilantro Pesto with Follow Your Heart Dairy-Free Parmesan Style Shredded Cheese

Don’t you just love when you have a taste for something and you have all the ingredients to make it in your kitchen? That is winning at its best! Well, today I had a taste for some pesto! I have this beautiful basil plant that has grown quite a bit, so I took a bunch leaves from it. They smelled wonderful! I didn’t have as much basil as I hoped so I used a handful of cilantro as well. If you’re not a fan of cilantro, just use double the amount of basil. Either way is tasty.

Parmesan Style Shredded Cheese Alternative Follow Your Heart

I also had some Follow Your Heart Dairy Free Parmesan Style Shredded Cheese Alternative that had been dying to use. They were really good and tasted very similar to traditional Parmesan cheese. I was very pleased. These shreds were the perfect addition to this pesto.

I gathered the rest of my ingredients; olive oil, walnuts, garlic, and salt. What I love about this recipe is that you can just throw all of the ingredients into the blender or food processor; blend and you’re done! That’s it! Who’s ready to make pesto?

Very Vegan Basil-Cilantro Pesto

1 cup fresh basil

1 cup fresh cilantro (Use another cup of basil if you’re not a cilantro fan.)

1 cup olive oil

1 cup walnuts

1/2 cup Follow Your Heart Parmesan Style Shredded Cheese Alternative

3 garlic cloves (peeled)

1 tsp salt (additional salt and pepper to taste)

Combine all the ingredients in a blender or food processor; blend until smooth.

Check other vegan cheese alternatives from Follow Your Heart by visiting followyourheart.com.

#NationalVeganMonth

* I was given Follow Your Heart Parmesan Style Shredded Cheese Alternative in exchange for my honest opinion. All thoughts and opinions are that of my own.

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Best Ever Vegan Cheez Sauce

Today is National Nacho Day! I just love a full dressed pile of nachos in front of me! I decided that this would actually be the perfect lunch situation on this tasty Tuesday. To keep with this month’s theme of celebrating National Vegan Month, today’s nachos will be vegan. Now, this was going to be quite a challenge. I could have just piled up some tortilla chips and covered them with some vegan cheese and called it a day. I needed more depth, more flavors. I went on Pinterest to find some inspiration and found quite a few vegan cheese sauce recipes. Nothing really struck me as a go-to recipe. After much trial and error, I came up with a most delicious and more importantly cheesy like cheez sauce.

This recipe calls for two ingredients you wouldn’t expect in a cheese sauce. Potatoes and carrots! In fact, it is the base of the recipe so you can pretty much eat this all day long. What gives the sauce it’s cheesy like flavor is the nutritional yeast. Nutritional is a staple in the vegan diet as it provides additional proteins, minerals, vitamin as well as great taste to foods.

I added smoked paprika and chili powder to give the sauce a little kick. It’s amazing how a carrot, a potato and few seasonings can imitate cheese. I mean it was good! It almost didn’t make it to the chips! It was so perfect for my grandiose pile of nachos.

Vegan Cheez Sauce

Serves 4-5

Ingredients

1 large potato (peeled and cut into chunks)

1 large carrot (peeled and cut into chunks)

6 tbsp nutritional yeast

3 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp smoked paprika

1/2 tsp chili powder

1 1/2 tsp sea salt

1/4 cup of reserved water

Directions

1. Place potatoes and carrots in large pot of water. Boil for about 25 minutes or into tender.

2. Remove potatoes and carrots from pot and place in a blender along with 1/4 cup of the water they came out of.

3. Add remaining ingredients.

4. Purée ingredients until smooth and cheese sauce like. If it’s too thick, add more reserved water.

5. Enjoy with tortilla chips!

Vegan Tropical Matcha Smoothie Bowl #NationalVeganMonth

So this morning I woke up wanting pancakes. I hopped on Pinterest and found a recipe for vegan pancakes. I follow all the directions, but they did not come out anything like the picture from the recipe or I would be sharing that experience instead. They were very tasty but did not look very appetizing. And recipe only made three pancakes, not the 6 that were promised. So of course after eating my one pancake, ( my daughter ate the other two) I was still hungry. I wanted something quick and light on the stomach. I figured a smoothie bowl would do the trick. I love smoothies because they are so easy to make. And you can pretty much tweak them to meet any dietary needs.

This month, I’m taking the National Vegan Month Challenge so my smoothie bowl will completely vegan. In replacement of the dairy, I chose to use Blue Diamond’s Almondmilk Coconutmilk Blend. This product is everything! I use it for my cereal too. I also added an avocado and a large frozen banana for some sweetness and another layer of flavor. I had a super ripe pineapple, so I cut that up and put that in there too. For some add nutritional value, I add some matcha powder. To finish it off a bit of blue agave. Now that everyone’s all happy in the NutriBullet, I give a whirl until it’s nice an smooth.

Now for the fun part! After making the smoothie pour in a bowl and put your creativity cap on. It’s time to decorate your smoothie bowl. You have as many options as you have in your kitchen. Fruits, nuts, seeds, granola. All great options. I get major inspiration from smoothie bowl Instagram accounts like @smoothiebowl, @smoothiebowls, and @beautifulsmoothies. Share your smoothie bowl creations with me by using #swhsmoothiebowl!

Vegan Tropical Matcha Smoothie Bowl

Vegan Smoothie Bowl

Makes 1 bowl

Ingredients

2 frozen bananas

1 avocado

1 cup fresh pineapple

1 cup almondmilk coconutmilk blend (Blue Diamond )

1 tbsp blue agave (Simple Truth)

1 tsp matcha powder

Toppings of choice (I used blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, granola, hemp seeds, chia seeds)

Directions

1. Combine all ingredients in a NutriBullet or blender.

2. Blend until smooth.

3. Pour into your favorite bowl.

4. Get creative and top with your favorite fruits, nuts, and seeds.

5. Enjoy!

#NationalVeganMonth

Fall Grilling with Follow Your Heart | Grilled Portobello Mushrooms w/ Vegan Smoked Gouda Style Cheese

Yes! You read the title right. I’m over grilling and we’re well into Fall. It may be 45 degrees, but that not stopping me. I picked up these amazing portobello mushrooms up at the farmers market yesterday and they are screaming to be fired up on the grill! It’s the second day of National Vegan Month, so I thought I would heat things up a bit.

Follow Your Heart Smoked Gouda Style Slices Vegan

What’s even more exciting is that I just got a special delivery from the good people at Follow Your Heart. They hooked me up with some amazing vegan cheese alternatives. I thought that Smoked Gouda Style Slices would be perfect for this burger. And it was! It melted perfectly and tasted much like the dairy version. Mmmmmm. I can’t wait to make this again!

Grilled Portobello Mushroom Burgers w/ Vegan Smoked Gouda Style Cheese

Vegan Grilled Portobello Mushroom Burger

Makes 4 burgers

Ingredients:

4 large portobello mushrooms

For Marinade:

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

1 tbsp organic sugar

4 tbsp liquid aminos

1 tbsp olive oil

2 tsp dried rosemary

2 tsp steak seasoning

4 Vegan Buns (O’Doughs Thins)

Smoked Gouda Style Slices (Follow Your Heart)

Original Vegenaise (Follow Your Heart)

Swiss Chard

Onion

Pickles

Spicy Mustard

Instructions

1. Clean mushrooms and remove stems.

2. Combine marinade ingredients in a ziplock bag.

3. Add mushrooms to a ziplock bag and put in refrigerator for 1 -3 hours.

4. Heat grill to medium heat and cook for 5-6 minutes on each side. Place buns on grill to toast when you flip the mushrooms.

5. Top mushrooms with Smoked Gouda Style Cheese immediately after removing from grill.

6. Top with your favorite burger topping.

7. Enjoy!

#NationalVeganMonth

*I was given Follow Your Heart in exchange for my honest opinion.