Nicobella Lifestyle Blog

Creamy Avocado Dill Potato Salad Posted on 18 Sep 19:56 , 0 comments

 

The rich full taste of this completely plant based potato salad will have you fooled when you see how simple it is to make! No processed oils needed here! Just the power of plants! Having some savory potato cravings? Try this recipe to mix it up!


What you will need:

  • 1.5 lbs small gold potatoes
  • 1 ripe hass avocado
  • 2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • ½ diced red onion
  • 2-3 Tbsp freshly chopped dill
  • ¼ tsp cumin
  • ½ cucumber, diced
  • 1 tsp fresh lime juice
  • Sea salt & pepper to taste

What to do:

  1. Wash and chop potatoes
  2. Steam potatoes over boiling water for about 10-15 minutes, or until they are easily broken apart with a fork
  3. While steaming, mix together all other ingredients into a smooth consistency. You will want to use a fork to adequately mash your avocado.
  4. Allow you potatoes to cool off before mixing everything together

And that is it! You are now ready to enjoy this delicious side dish at any lunch or dinner!

 

Addie Dulaney Majnaric, RDN graduate of West Virginia University, where she received her dual Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise Physiology and Human Nutrition and Foods and minor in Strength & Conditioning. Addie recently finished her supervised practice rotations, and passed her licensure exam to become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist. She is very excited to begin helping people reach their happiest and healthiest selves through a vegan diet!


Southwest Sweet Potato Fries! Posted on 28 Aug 18:00 , 0 comments

 

This fun blend of spices & flavors is sure it step up your fry game as well as give you a healthier option to this commonly craved indulgence! As our long Labor Day weekend approaches, consider adding this fun side dish to your BBQ menu! These no oil sweet potato fries are full of vitamin A, fiber and a plethora healthful herbs & spices!  


What you will need

  • 2 large sweet potatoes
  • 1 bundle of fresh cilantro
  • 1 lime
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • Salt & pepper to taste

What to do

  1. Preheat your oven to 450
  2. Line your baking sheets with parchment paper
  3. Wash and peel your sweet potatoes
  4. Cut your desired fry shape (we chose large wedges)
  5. Place the wedges on the parchment paper so they are not stacked on top of one another
  6. Sprinkle your fresh lime juice over the fries
  7. Next add your spices and top it off with freshly chopped cilantro (*have some cilantro to add as a garnish if you would like)
  8. Bake for 20 min, then shuffle your fries around and bake for another 10-15 minutes depending on how thick they are cut

These fries are delicious on their own, or paired with a smoky and sweet BBQ sauce! Enjoy this side & have a wonderful holiday weekend! 

 

 

 

Addie Dulaney Majnaric, RDN graduate of West Virginia University, where she received her dual Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise Physiology and Human Nutrition and Foods and minor in Strength & Conditioning. Addie recently finished her supervised practice rotations, and passed her licensure exam to become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist. She is very excited to begin helping people reach their happiest and healthiest selves through a vegan diet!  Addie has been vegan for 6 years, and promotes her recipes, love for animals, and nutrition journey on her blog: https://beansandblessingsblog.wordpress.com. In her free time, Addie enjoys running, creating vegan meals and baking, spending time with her husband Nathan and her best friend and sidekick, Kimba the rescue German Shepherd! Addie Dulaney Majnaric, RDN graduate of West Virginia University, where she received her dual Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise Physiology and Human Nutrition and Foods and minor in Strength & Conditioning. Addie recently finished her supervised practice rotations, and passed her licensure exam to become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist. She is very excited to begin helping people reach their happiest and healthiest selves through a vegan diet!

Addie has been vegan for 6 years, and promotes her recipes, love for animals, and nutrition journey on her blog: https://beansandblessingsblog.wordpress.com. In her free time, Addie enjoys running, creating vegan meals and baking, spending time with her husband Nathan and her best friend and sidekick, Kimba the rescue German Shepherd! 


Cruelty & Guilt Free Plant-Based Queso! Posted on 07 Aug 18:09 , 0 comments

This queso not only tastes amazing, but you will also be getting a much bigger bang for your buck in the nutrient department! This recipe, unlike its high fat dairy friend, is providing inflammation fighting antioxidants, fiber, and plant based protein. The butternut squash base adds a high amounts of Vitamin A, C, E, (all wonderful antioxidants) and B-6, as well as folate, pantothenic acid, and manganese. You will also be consuming a great source of potassium and calcium. The soaked cashews provide a rich creaminess that you will not be able to get enough of! As you can see this queso is guilt free, so whip up this recipe soon to enjoy!

 

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 butternut squash
  • 1 ½ cups raw cashews
  • 8-10 chopped garlic cloves
  • 2 Tbsp Soy sauce
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • ½ - 1 chopped jalapeño
  • 1 tsbp smoked paprika
  • ¾ cup original, plain almond milk
  • Sriracha to taste**

    To begin, you want to soak your raw cashews for at least 1 hour. When you are ready to cook, begin with the squash. Peel and dice the squash, and add it with your garlic, and cashews in a pot of water, bring to a boil, and cook until the squash is very tender. I ladled off about 1-2 cups of the water and then added the remaining contents into a blender, plus the vinegar and the almond milk. Blend until smooth. Then add your other ingredients & spices to taste.

    This is queso goes great as a dip for chips & veggies, on top of your favorite bean burrito, and also as the perfect addition to your plant-based chili! 

 

 

Addie Dulaney Majnaric, RDN graduate of West Virginia University, where she received her dual Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise Physiology and Human Nutrition and Foods and minor in Strength & Conditioning. Addie recently finished her supervised practice rotations, and passed her licensure exam to become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist. She is very excited to begin helping people reach their happiest and healthiest selves through a vegan diet!

Addie has been vegan for 6 years, and promotes her recipes, love for animals, and nutrition journey on her blog: https://beansandblessingsblog.wordpress.com. In her free time, Addie enjoys running, creating vegan meals and baking, spending time with her husband Nathan and her best friend and sidekick, Kimba the rescue German Shepherd! 

 


Bok Choy, Pomegranate, Tangerine Salad with Sliced Almonds Posted on 24 Jul 17:51 , 0 comments

   

Brighten up your Monday, or any day, with this snazzy summer salad! This blend of simple yet beautiful plant foods will be sure to fill your mouth with flavor, and your body with all the nutrients it is craving on these hot summer days! 

Salad:

  • Bok choy (rinsed and raw)
  • Tangerines
  • Pomegranate Seeds (fresh or frozen)
  • Sliced Almonds

Dressing:

  • 3 Tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 1 tsp agave nectar 

Addie Dulaney Majnaric is a recent graduate of West Virginia University, where she received her dual Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise Physiology and Human Nutrition and Foods and minor in Strength & Conditioning. Addie recently finished her supervised practice rotations, and will be sitting for the RDN licensure exam this summer. She is very excited to begin helping people reach their happiest and healthiest selves through a vegan diet!

Addie has been vegan for 5 years, and promotes her recipes, love for animals, and nutrition journey on her blog: https://beansandblessingsblog.wordpress.com. In her free time, Addie enjoys running, creating vegan meals and baking, spending time with her husband Nathan and her best friend and sidekick, Kimba the rescue German Shepherd! 


Blueberry Blender Waffles! Posted on 17 Jul 18:04 , 0 comments

Waffles are a fun breakfast option, however, they typically are not very nutrient dense and made with processed grains and sugars. Because of this, they are seen more like a dessert than an healthy breakfast. So next time you are craving a pancake with abs, try these Blueberry Blender Waffles! They are a true game changer, filled with whole grain goodness, antioxidant rich berries, and a TON of flavor! Not to mention they are incredibly easy to make!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup oat flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • ¼ cup non-dairy milk
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)

How to make: 

 Place all of your ingredients in your high speed blender and blend until smooth. Put the blue batter in your heated waffle iron and wait until they are ready to go! This recipe will yield around 2 large waffles. Feel free to double or triple the recipe for larger groups or for freezing to have a fun treat throughout your week!

Top them off with bananas and walnuts as show, with your favorite maple syrup, nut butters, or even one of our delicious munches like the Omega, Maple, or Coconut Munch!

Addie Dulaney Majnaric is a graduate of West Virginia University, where she received her dual Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise Physiology and Human Nutrition and Foods and minor in Strength & Conditioning. Addie recently finished her supervised practice rotations, and will be sitting for the RDN licensure exam this summer. She is very excited to begin helping people reach their happiest and healthier selves through a vegan diet!

Addie has been vegan for 5 years, and promotes her recipes, love for animals, and nutrition journey on her blog: https://beansandblessingsblog.wordpress.com. In her free time, Addie enjoys running, creating vegan meals and baking, spending time with her husband Nathan and her best friend and sidekick, Kimba the rescue German Shepherd! 

 


Spooky Eye Ball Black Bean BOOgers Posted on 31 Oct 18:16 , 0 comments

Happy Halloween! To get the whole family into the Halloween spirit here is something fun you can do with pretty much any home-made black bean burger. Make it into a Spooky Eye Ball Black Bean BOOger by rolling it into a ball, baking it then adding your eye ball of choice. I chose hummus and red pepper with extra hummus on the side for dipping.  You can add carrot, tomato, avocado or any other veggie.  What a fun way to get the kids to eat more veggies! The original recipe below calls for chili spice, but it's completely optional if you choose to leave it out. You'll just need to taste it before baking to see if it needs more garlic, salt or pepper. 
Makes approximately 40 eye balls
Ingredients
  • 1 c cooked brown rice*
  • 1 c raw walnuts 
  • 1/2 Tbsp coconut oil, plus more for cooking (I used unflavored coconut oil)
  • 1/2 white onion, diced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 Tbsp each chili powder (optional) and cumin powder
  • 2 tsp garlic
  • 1/2 tsp each sea salt and black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp coconut sugar 
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked black beans*, well rinsed, drained and patted dry
  • 1/3 cup almond flour

How to Make
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Cook brown rice as instructed on the package.
  3. Heat skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add raw walnuts and toast for 5-7 minutes, stirring frequently, until fragrant and golden brown. Set aside and allow to cool.
  4. In the meantime, heat the same skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add 1/2 Tbsp oil, onion and pepper. Season with a bit of salt and pepper and sauté for 3-4 minutes, or until onion is fragrant, soft, and translucent. Remove from heat and set aside.
  5. Once walnuts are cooled, add to blender or food processor with chili powder, cumin, garlic, salt, pepper and coconut sugar and blend to a fine meal. Set aside.
  6. Add drained, dried black beans to a large mixing bowl and mash well with a fork, leaving only a few whole beans.
  7. Next add cooked rice, spice-walnut mixture, sautéed onion, almond flour and mix thoroughly with a wooden spoon for 1-2 minutes, or until a moldable dough forms. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
  8. Form 1-2" balls with your hands (depending on size you prefer) and set on an oiled or parchment paper lined baking sheet .
  9. Line eye balls on the baking sheet.
  10. Bake for 12-15 minutes, turning halfway in between. 
  11. Take out of the oven and add garnish eye of choice! Suggestions: vegan mayo, vegan BBQ sauce, carrots, tomato, or avocado.
  12. Happy Halloween!


Autumn Veggie Ginger Soup Posted on 19 Oct 21:37 , 0 comments

The first time during this season that I saw autumn veggies appear in the grocery store I became so ridiculously excited and giddy that I purchased several of each fall vegetable. Inspired by the beautiful colors, seasonal nutritional value and crisp air I was a little overzealous and probably purchased more than I was ready to prepare. Flash forward three weeks later I still had some of those veggies in my fridge. They were starting to look sad therefore I had to get creative since wasting food absolutely kills me. So this is my mash-up version of carrot ginger soup with random fall veggies, lots of spicy ginger and basil leaves from our basil plant (uh, tree) that is slowly taking over our balcony. 

Makes approximately 12 servings

Ingredients

  • 8-10 carrots
  • 2 parsnips
  • 1/2 c cubed butternut squash
  • 1 red bell pepper 
  • 2-3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 c ginger, peeled and sliced into 1/2" pieces (less ginger if you don't love it super spicy)
  • 1 large yellow onion or 2 small-medium yellow onions, diced 
  • 4-5 cloves of garlic, minced 
  • 1 cup almond milk or veggie milk of choice
  • 2 1/2-3 cups water
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • basil and cashew cream to taste (optional)

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or brush with vegetable oil. Wash, peel and cut the carrots, parsnips, butternut squash and red pepper into 1/2-1" pieces. Place all in a large mixing bowl, add 1-2 Tbsp olive oil, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. Mix well until vegetables are coated with olive oil. Spread onto the baking sheet, making sure they are spread out nicely along baking sheet to ensure even baking. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until soft. 

Meanwhile, on the stove top, heat a skillet or wok on high heat with the remaining 1 Tbsp of olive oil. Add the onion and ginger. Cook on medium heat for 2 minutes or until the onion is translucent. Add the garlic and cook another 1-2 minutes. 

Once the carrot, parsnip, squash and pepper mixture is finished cooking add them to a blender along with the onion, ginger and garlic mixture. Add 1 cup of almond milk, 2 1/2 cups of water and salt. Blend on high speed until mixture is creamy. If soup is still thick add more water until desired consistency. Add pepper and red pepper flakes to taste and if you like it spicy! Add more salt if needed.

Alternative option: Instead of using almond milk and water you could add 4 cups of veggie stock to the veggie mixture. I did not have any on hand, therefore used the milk and water as the base. 

For the topping you can use vegan sour cream, cashew cream, basil, leafy greens (mix them into the soup), nuts or seeds. Lots of options here!

Invite friends and family over because you'll have lots to share! 

Let me know what you think. :)

 

 

 


Kids Corner: Grilled Cheese Bites With Avocado and Tomato Posted on 03 Oct 20:50 , 0 comments

Yum! Just the thought of eating grilled cheese again makes me feel very nostalgic and extremely excited. But this is for kids so let's focus on kids in this moment. No doubt that grilled cheese is a kid's favorite. What happens when you are trying to raise a vegan child? You have vegan grilled cheese. There are so many incredible vegan cheese options from which to choose that there is truly no excuse to never eat grilled cheese again. (Yes, I'm talking to you too, adults. No deprivation here.)

After I made this, I took photos and placed the grilled cheese in a container to test it later and see how it holds up in tupperware. After walking out of the room for no more than five minutes I went back to the kitchen to find an empty container and a husband with chipmunk cheeks, chomping away! Admittedly I was a little annoyed and let him know that it wasn't his, but at the same time was happy that they must have turned out pretty good! He made it up to me ten minutes later with a new grilled cheese sandwich. And, yes, it was indeed very yummy. 

If you are vegan as well as gluten free you can always choose a vegan gluten free bread, but I chose Dave's Killer Bread because, even though I do not have a big affection for bread, I do love Dave's. It's super seedy, nutty, grainy and packed with fiber which makes it healthier than most on the market. Plus Dave's story is pretty awesome and, through it, he created the Second Chance Project, Dave's Killer Bread Foundation which empowers entrepreneurship and decreases negative impact of mass incarceration and recidivism in America. Pretty cool. 

For the cheese, I chose Follow Your Heart American Slices because of the simple ingredients (Filtered Water, Coconut Oil, Modified Food Starch, Potato Starch, Sea Salt, Natural Flavor-Plant Sources, Olive Extract, Paprika Extract and Beta Carotene for Color). To be honest I wasn't sure how it would melt. It wasn't the most creamy, drippy, melty cheese, but I feel like it has a good balance between decent ingredients and ability to melt. Another favorite is Chao Cheese Slices, also because of the ingredients (filtered water, coconut oil, modified corn and potato starch, potato starch, fermented chao tofu-soybeans, water, salt, sesame oil, calcium sulfate, sea salt, natural flavor, olive extract and beta carotene). On a scale from one to ten it's meltability is about a five. But it's so delicious if you're really craving cheese and the ingredients are pretty simple compared to other cheese alternatives.

Because I feel that kids, just like adults, should always have lots of color with each meal through fruits and vegetables, I added sliced avocado, tomato and a layer of spring leaf lettuce to the sandwich. It's a simple way to sneak in some wholesome nutrients such as lutein and beta carotene (avocado), vitamin C and potassium (tomato) and iron and fiber (spring greens). 

Yogurt is another kids favorite. So Delicious Unsweetened Coconut Yogurt is tasty by itself. Add raspberries and coconut munch to it for a very serious treat!

Grilled Cheese With Avocado, Tomato and Spring Greens

Ingredients

  • Sliced bread of choice
  • vegan cheese of choice
  • avocado slices 
  • tomato slices
  • a few spring leaves
  • coconut oil or vegan butter spread 

How to Make

Just like the way you used to make it, not much instruction needed here. Spread coconut oil or vegan butter on one side of each slice of bread. Add a slice of cheese to one slice and a slice of cheese to the second slice. Top one slice with spring greens, avocado, and tomato then add the other slice on top. Grill on the stove top on medium heat for 2-3 minutes each side or until slightly browned and cheese is melted. Let cool and slice into grilled cheese finger bites. *Make sure to let it cool before adding it to tupperware to avoid it becoming soggy and you getting a full lunch returned from school.

Include raspberries and coconut munch in the lunch box with coconut yogurt on the side for fun dipping!

 


Kids Corner: Cucumber "Sushi" Rolls With Sweet Potatoes, SkinnyPop + Munch Posted on 26 Sep 16:53 , 0 comments

If you saw the Today Show this morning you may have caught the segment on school lunches and what your child is really eating. The reporter went through several lunch boxes packed by mom or dad that appeared healthy, but, in fact, some of them had up to 50 grams of sugar! As a reference, it's recommended that kids get no more than 25 grams of sugar per day. Yikes. So, which foods seem nutritious but are really jam-packed with sugar? Some granola bars, yogurt, fruit juice, nut butters and spreads may contain 15-30 grams of sugar per item. That's a lot!

Most kids love fruit. Instead of packing fruit-flavored snacks, pack the whole fruit that is packed with fiber, vitamins, water and other plant-based nutrients, plus a bit of natural sugar. When choosing granola bars look for 6 grams of sugar or less per 100 calories. Or, get the kids in the kitchen with you and have fun making your own granola bars! Here's one we love from Minimalist Baker

The Cucumber "Sushi" Roll lunch incorporates power-packed foods such as red peppers, avocados, cucumbers, carrots, and hummus followed by SkinnyPop Popcorn mixed with Maple Nut Munch for a fun after lunch treat.

Cucumber Sushi Rolls

You can use any vegetables to roll with the cucumbers! Mix it up week to week. We chose carrots (beta carotene for healthy eyes), peppers (vitamin C for a strong immune system), avocado (healthy fats for brain function), spinach (iron to prevent anemia) and hummus (protein for growth). Plus the cucumbers are packed with water to help kids stay hydrated. As a bonus, sesame seeds are sprinkled on top for a little calcium boost. 

Ingredients

  • 1 cucumber, peeled then cut into quarters
  • 3-4 Tbsp hummus of choice
  • 3-4 leaves of spinach
  • 1 small carrot, peeled
  • 1/4 red pepper, sliced
  • 1/4 avocado, sliced
  • sesame seeds to garnish

Peel the skin off the cucumber then slice the cucumber into quarters (about 2" in length). With a paring knife, thinly slice the cucumber around (see photo below). Lay the cucumbers flat on a plate. Spread hummus on top as the first layer. Add a spinach leaf to each cucumber. Roll the cucumber, hummus and spinach into a "sushi" roll, leaving space in the center to add sliced avocado, pepper and carrots. Place the rolls in the lunch container and add the sliced peppers, avocado and carrots. Sprinkle sesame seeds on top and add some extra hummus on the side for some fun sushi dipping!

 

Sweet potatoes, cubed, coated with olive oil, salt and pepper then baked at 375 degrees for approximately 20 minutes (turning after 10 minutes).

Sliced apples

SkinnyPop Popcorn mixed with Maple Nut Munch (super yum, sweet and salty!)

This lunch is packed with nutrients! Even the popcorn and munch snack provides fiber and protein, plus plant-powered nutrients from the chocolate that help with focus and concentration. 

What's your kids favorite healthy school lunch? We would love ideas that can be shared with others!

 

 


Warm Kelp Noodles with Nutty Miso Dressing Posted on 26 Aug 11:20 , 0 comments

By now you've heard that eating sea vegetables can be good for your health. Asian cultures (where risk of heart disease, cancer and osteoporosis is the lowest) have consumed sea vegetables for thousands of years, but they are just now gaining western attention due to more research that is emerging about their nutrient content and potential benefits.

But first, what are they? Sea vegetables are classified as algae and include dulse, kelp, nori, hijike, wakame and kombu. Because they absorb nutrients from their surrounding marine environment they tend to be an abundant source of iodine and other trace minerals such as calcium, magnesium, iron and potassium. They are also high in chlorophyll, fiber, and vitamin C, as well as sulfated polysaccharides, which are complex carbohydrates that have been shown to contain anti-viral and anti-clotting properties. 

What's great about sea veggies is that they can be consumed cold or hot and added to a variety of meals such as salads, stir fries or soups. 

Kelp, in particular, is a type of brown seaweed that is especially high in minerals, specifically iodine. Incorporating iodine in your diet assists with optimal thyroid function and metabolism. However, be cautious of too much iodine, as excessive amounts can be harmful. Basically, no need to take iodine supplements in addition to consuming high iodine foods. Incorporating foods with adequate sources of iodine provides sufficient amounts of iodine that your body requires. Another note about sea vegetables, since they absorb substances from their surrounding environment, they have the ability to absorb harmful metals such as arsenic, cadmium and lead. Make sure to purchase organic sea vegetables to avoid these toxic metals. 

The recipe below can be made cold or hot, cooked or raw. Let us know what you think and how you prepared it!

Ingredients

1 package of kelp noodles (personal fave is Sea Tangle)

Sauce

  • 1 Tbsp white miso
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp peanut butter (peanuts and salt)
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp almond butter (almonds and salt)
  • 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 1-2 tsp chili paste (depending on the amount of spice you prefer)
  • 1 tsp Tamari
  • 3/4 cup water

Add all ingredients to a blender and mix well. You can also add 2-3 cloves of garlic and 1 Tbsp of ginger to the blender as a part of your sauce. I added garlic and ginger to the wok (below). Either option would work well. Also, you have the option of using only peanut butter or only almond butter. Personally, I like to use a blend to get the nutrient benefits from the legume and the tree nut.

Veggie Options

These can be cooked or raw and you can pretty much use any veggies. I lightly heated mine in a wok just because I tend to digest lightly cooked and heated veggies better than raw. Here's what I heated in a wok with about 1 Tbsp of coconut oil:

  • broccoli
  • asparagus
  • orange bell pepper
  • tomato
  • okra
  • 1/2 c green onion, chopped
  • 1/2 c chopped cilantro
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp minced ginger

Once the vegetables were cooked to my liking I tossed the sea kelp into the wok for less than a minute, just to slightly warm it. I added everything to a bowl, poured the dressing on top and mixed it well. Finally, add some extra cilantro and peanuts for an additional boost of flavor and crunch. 

 

Let us know what you think!