Best Spinach & Artichoke Balls

Need an appetizer that’s quick and delicious? Try these vegan spinach and artichoke balls at your next party (or for yourself tomorrow night). They are low prep and high success! They make a great passed hors d’oeuvres plain or a plated appetizer with marinara dipping sauce. This is also a delicious addition to your brunch menu!

I have been on a quest to recreate the comforting flavor of the spinach balls of my past… The crunch on the outside, the gooey inside… But I was trying to do it without the cheese, the oil and the butter. The results are delicious! I know because I ate the entire last batch myself with all intentions of saving some for my napping kids. They woke up to PB&J… and a very happy mama:) Try it out and let me know what you think!!

 

Spinach & Artichoke Balls

 

Top 10 Gifts for Your Vegan Dad

Looking for the perfect gifts for Dad? Look no further! I’ve compiled the BEST and widest range of ideas perfect for your favorite Vegan Dad!

Father’s Day is right around the corner and dads can be so hard to buy for! Here is a list of great vegan-friendly gift ideas that are a hit in my house. My favorite gifts are those that once you give them, you can revisit and refresh them year after year… So- be on the lookout for one of those on this list!

CoffeePeet’s Major Dickason’s Dark Roast is the only coffee we drink at my house. We got hooked on it a few years ago and now most of our family is also hooked. All it took was one major holiday, and everyone was asking what kind of coffee they were drinking. We also grind the beans. I thought that was SO ridiculous until I tasted the difference! So, spoil your guy with coffee or an awesome grinder (or both)! Here is our favorite grinder… and we’ve had a few over the years!

Air Fryer… These are all the rage right now. If you are trying to avoid oil in your diet, but miss the crispy crunch of the foods from your past, this is for you. We have this Go Wise Air Fryer.

Unique Wallet... My best friend has the coolest wallet ever. His girlfriend got it for him as a gift, and everyone NEEDS one. It’s super strong because it’s made of Tyvek. Hey! If it’s strong enough to build a house- I trust it with my cash! There are also a bunch of cool designs.

Insta Pot… Another cooking trend. These gadgets are great because they are pretty “all in one.” They can do what your pressure cooker does and what your crock pot does, and also help you can things and make yogurt. I have not gotten as adventurous as yogurt YET… but it is on my to do list! Right now, I have some go to recipes that are quick to make in the Insta Pot, shortened from the all day commitment they once required. Here’s the one we have and love.

Vegan Candies… Everyone has a sweet tooth. Even if it only comes out on occasion, it’s nice to feed it what it wants from time to time. At our house- our go to candies are Sour Patch Kids and Swedish Fish- both vegan. Here’s an exhaustive list of candies that happen to be vegan.

Spices… Whether you give the gift of herbs to grow at home, or jars of dried spices- this gift idea is a win! Some vegan recipe staples that would be great to have more jars of include: Nutritional Yeast, Cumin, Curry Powder and Chili Powder.

Tortilla Maker… If you are avoiding oil in your diet, this is a fabulous gift! It’s so hard to find oil free tortillas, that many people simply make their own. A tortilla press makes that work much simpler.

Food Dehydrator... This is a great gift for someone hoping to hold on to the bounty of the harvest just a little bit longer! Our littlest is hooked on dehydrated pears and apples, and they are SO expensive to buy. We promised ourselves we’ll dust off our dehydrator before we buy another bag.

Hip T-Shirt… Who doesn’t love a comfy t-shirt? Especially one with a dinosaur! Tell dad he can put his feet up for the day, by giving him just the right clothes for the occasion!

Refresh-able Picture Frame… Let Dad show off those faces that gave him his title! Make it this year, and this gift will give and give for years to come! I’m sure I found this frame at Michael’s or JoAnn’s last year- and I’m even more positive I used a 50% off coupon… even though I knew this gift would be my husband’s Father’s Day gift many times. Why not get a deal, right? So, get yourself a coupon- TWO wooden letters- and keep them in your car for a couple of weeks. Whenever you feel inspired, stage your kids and the letters. On Father’s Day morning you can share all the hilarious outtakes too! Then, set a reminder in your phone about where you stashed the letters so you can find them again next year;)

This post is not sponsored. These are items my family uses and loves! This post includes affiliate links. When you purchase something through one of these links, a small percentage goes back to help support my work on this site. Thanks for your support.

Fastest Most Versatile (oil-free) Pesto Ever

Once stored in my freezer, this pesto gets all the mom-love my former self would have given a box of Macaroni and Cheese. Let’s be honest, at least once a week you need to feed someone (maybe yourself) quickly. The best part of solving that problem with this pesto is that in addition to it being quick and easy, it also happens to be incredibly nutritious!

I love pesto. And most other things you can pour over pasta. This recipe though, has saved me more times than I can count, from being ill prepared for meal time… or for company… or for starving kids… or for my most hangry self. It should probably be called Last Minute Annie’s Pesto. Once stored in my freezer, this pesto gets all the mom-love my former self would have given a box of Macaroni and Cheese. Let’s be honest, at least once a week you need to feed someone (maybe yourself) quickly. The best part of solving that problem with this pesto is that in addition to it being quick and easy, it also happens to be incredibly nutritious! Leafy greens? Yup. Healthy Fats? Yup! And if you’re searching for foods to give picky eaters, jazz this up with a name like “Green Monstah Pasta” or “Slime Covered Elbows” and watch your kids devour it! This pesto also makes an amazing spread. When I make an hors d’oeuvre board, the ramekin of this gets refilled before the hummus and the salsa. Someone always asks for the recipe.

Spinach Pesto

Baked Curry Bites or Nuggets

These baked curry bites are the perfect nuggets for my little nuggets. They are delicious with all kinds of dips- and plain too.

These yummy curry bites were the answer to a weeks long food rut at our house. Sometimes it takes days of PB&J and plain elbows & beans to create a recipe at delicious as this one. So… kids, I’m not sorry! It was worth it!

 

These bites were inspired by a recipe in one of Jenna Helwig’s cookbooks that I used to make quite often for my oldest when he was a baby. Back then, we were doing our best to eat healthy foods- but that didn’t mean vegan. Now, we are working hard to eat only whole, plant based foods… unfortunately that meant those old curry bites were out.

So when I finally couldn’t bare to make another PB&J last week, I got busy recipe tweaking and testing. They are a deliciously neutral base for dipping. Our favorite way to eat them has been dipping them in marinara sauce. It’s reminiscent of a mozzarella stick to me. The consistency is great. They DON’T last long. We make them long and thin- kind of like those scooping chips, and they get crispy this way. You can’t resist them when you pass them in the kitchen. So expect no leftovers.

 

Baked Curry Bites

 

Green Foods Fit for a Leprechaun

Looking for healthy, festive and green holiday food to serve your family for St. Paddy’s Day? Here’s a whole food, plant based menu free of oils and sugars for just that occasion!

St. Paddy’s Day is fast approaching and that means things are about to get a whole lot greener! Here are some whole food, plant based snacks that will delight your favorite little leprechaun! There’s no oil or refined sugar here- so grab a green beer and RELAX.

 




Yogurt… Have it Your Way

If you’ve been reading the labels on the yogurt options at the grocery store, you might be as frustrated as me. It seems impossible to find yogurt without tons of added sugar! It hard to even find yogurt that has more protein than sugar, and even harder to find any options in full fat yogurt. I’m pregnant and feeding…

If you’ve been reading the labels on the yogurt options at the grocery store, you might be as frustrated as me. It seems impossible to find yogurt without tons of added sugar! It hard to even find yogurt that has more protein than sugar, and even harder to find any options in full fat yogurt. I’m pregnant and feeding a toddler, so if we’re going to do yogurt, full fat is a priority for me… and we avoid refined sugar like the plague.  My son is 19 months and yogurt is his first real exposure to dairy products. We first started thinking we might give it a whirl after reading about the impact of probiotics on eczema. We like the idea of him getting some of those live cultures regularly, but could do without the sugar… and I’m not up for “making” my own yogurt. Not yet at least!

 

Here’s what we’ve tried: We’ve been buying the best plain, full fat yogurt we can find and flavoring it ourselves. We experimented with adding raw fruit first, and found that the sour flavor of the plain yogurt was still too overpowering. Next, we tried topping the yogurt with a fruit reduction. We just simmered some sweet fruits with a little water on the stove and mashed them up a bit. Once cool, we topped our baby food jars that were 2/3 full of plain yogurt. This looked beautiful- like a fancy parfait! What we discovered though… was that it was hard to mix up in the jar when we were ready to serve it, so while my little guy liked the fruity bites, he made the fish face pucker for a whole bunch of plain bites in between. Last week, I think I found the best solution so far. I reduced a medley of fruits on the stove- just adding a little water. I mashed it up a bit and let it cool, leaving some chunky bits of pineapple and mango for texture. Next, I poured the whole 32 ounce container of plain yogurt into a big mixing bowl and added the fruit. I mixed it together with a rubber spatula until all of the yogurt had changed color and seemed to be blended evenly. Then, I poured and stored the new mix- and saw no fish face puckers when serving it! We’ve also introduced this crispy cereal as an occasional topping, which my little guy LOVES! He points to the cabinet we keep it in and signs, “more more” whenever we serve him something that he thinks needs some crunch these days…  

 For this mixture, I reduced about a cup and a half of frozen fruit from the giant Dole Fruit Medley bag that we keep on hand for smoothies and added a handful of frozen raspberries. I was able to pour and store 18 individual servings of the yogurt mixture in my Kiddo Feedo freezer containers.
For this mixture, I reduced about a cup and a half of frozen fruit from the giant Dole Fruit Medley bag that we keep on hand for smoothies and added a handful of frozen raspberries. I was able to pour and store 18 individual servings of the yogurt mixture in my Kiddo Feedo freezer containers.