Summer Party Ideas & Recipes

Hello everyone,

Are you busy preparing for the long holiday weekend? If you’re like me, that means three trips to the grocery store to pick up all the items you keep forgetting and hours in the kitchen obsessing over which side salad to make for your guests. Well I’ve got a helping of 4th of July Party Ideas & Recipes ready to go. And the one thing I know I don’t have to worry about is which faux meat to grill.

LightLife Jumbo Smart Dog LightLife Jumbo Smart Dog LightLife Jumbo Smart Dog LightLife Jumbo Smart Dog

My hands down, favorite veggie dog is the LightLife Jumbo Smart Dog. This slightly larger dog actually fits the length of traditional hot dog buns, and it has the perfect texture + taste combo. Try it topped with a little mustard, ketchup, red onion and vegan cheese.

It’s so good and without the guilt—it’sonly 100 calories with 3.5g of fat and 4g carbs, plus it has 13g of protein! Even better, they are vegan and non-GMO. Healthy and hot dogs don’t exactly go together like pb&j, but this veggie dog seems to do the trick!

These veggie dogs are especially good if you lightly char them on the grill. And I do mean lightly. If you let them go too long, they’ll blacken and get a little “rubbery.” However, if you cook them just long enough, it makes for the perfect summer snack! If it’s a rainy day youcan also use a griddle. As you head to the store this weekend, remember to pick some of these up. Right now you can save $2.00 off any two LightLife products through Mambo Sprouts.

Okay. So now you know which veggie dog to cook. What else? Well for me, I’ll probably whip up a creamy, vegan old-fashioned coleslaw or maybe opt for an asian-inspired slaw. Of course, I have to make my signature macaroni salad, and maybe a summer bean salad, too. Plus, you can’t forget dessert! Perhaps I’ll go with vegan Rice Krispie Treats or maybe some melty, satisfying s’mores if the weather is just right for a fire.

Tell me, what are you planning for your holiday weekend?

Cheers!

Jocelyn

* Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. Additionally, I received Light Life coupons for free products in return for my honest review. As always, all opinions are my own!



Recipe: Vegan Zucchini Roll Ups

Hello everyone,

If you know me, you know that I love pasta, but sometimes I want something a little lighter with drastically less carbs. Spiralized carrot or zucchini is certainly on trend, but for whatever reason I simply want my noodles to taste like noodles. I can’t help it! Not to worry – there are many other healthy pasta alternatives, and my new favorite is a hearty helping of vegan zucchini roll ups.

This recipe includes all the flavor you seek in an Italian dinner, but no heavy pasta. You simply use finely sliced zucchini, sort of like a lasagna strip. The dish also includes my new favorite nut cheese which uses a mixture of pepitas, tofu, and Daiya mozzerella. It’s so, so good, and it’s much better for you than traditional ricotta cheese. Aside from the rich flavor, the best part of this recipe is that it has a quick cook time, and the “rolling” is actually quite fun.

I think this would be the perfect dish to make with your loved ones help! Please give it a try and let me know what you think!

Cheers and happy cooking!

Jocelyn

* Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. As always, all opinions are my own!

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Recipe: Japanese Curry with Fried Eggplant

Hello everyone,

If you’re like me the word “curry” triggers thoughts of rich, creamy coconut milk- based goodness or a nice Indian meal. If so, you’re missing out! 

For years, I too, was ignorant that there is yet another type of curry that should not be missed. It’s Japanese Curry! This style of curry is thick, indulgent and delicious! Simply put — it’s a must try. The base of the dish is more of a gravy than sauce so it’s certainly a splurge meal, but it’s worth it. 

The basic components include white or brown rice, the sauce, and a slew of steamed or sautéed vegetables. My partner was feeling particularly ambitious, so we added breaded eggplant to our dish. The result was an amazing meal meant to be enjoyed with friends. 

Give this recipe for vegan Japanese Curry with Fried Eggplant a try, and let me know what you think!

Cheers & happy eating!

Jocelyn

* Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. As always, all opinions are my own!

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How to Make Fattoush Salad

Hello everyone,

I love Middle Eastern cuisine. Baba ghanoush, falafel, tabouli, you name it— it’s some of my favorite food. I was craving a feel good meal this weekend, so I decided to try my hand at a classic, fattoush salad.

Fattoush (فتوش) is a levantine bread salad which originated in Lebanon, but is also common in Syria and other Middle Eastern counties. Fattoush includes toasted or fried pieces of pita bread mixed with greens and fresh vegetables. It generally also includes cucumber, tomato, and other ingredients depending on season, location, taste, etc.

The dressing is slightly sour and acidic, using a healthy serving of lemon juice and sumac. Since I didn’t have sumac, I used zatar seasoning to give the salad a full flavor. I also used store bought pita chips to save time, but I’m sure this recipe would be even better if you used homemade pita bread for the crunch. This is a deceptively easy salad to make considering the robust flavor combinations. Why not give it a try?

What’s your favorite Middle Eastern recipe?

Cheers,

Jocelyn

* Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. As always, all opinions are my own! Continue reading “How to Make Fattoush Salad”

Recipe: The Best Vegan Lasagna

fullsizerender_2Hello friends!

I’m Italian so the holiday season means something special for me and my family – PASTA – and lots of it! Every winter I look forward to carb-loading on delicious Italian staples that remind me of my childhood.  This year we opted for my roasted garlic vegan lasagna, aka the best damn vegan lasagna. I hesitate to say that, but it’s meatless, it’s dairy free, and it will fool any omnivore.

I know, I know. Lasagna can be a lot of work. I mean there are layers. There is prep work. And there is a lot of time in the oven. But I promise you, for this recipe, it is all worth it. Plus, if you make extra servings, lasagna keeps well – some might even prefer it as leftovers! I added a few time saving, multi-tasking steps below, but this recipe certainly isn’t for a quick week night meal. Why not give it a try for your next special occasion? You won’t regret it!

Cheers!

Jocelyn

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