Posted by Noelle on June 27th, 2012
Categories: Pasta, Salads, Sides
Tags: ,,,,

I am so excited to present my very first giveaway! I entered a contest for Hodgson Mill's "Summer Pastabilities" and in return, they are allowing me to give one lucky supporter a nice sampling of their whole grain pasta... isn't that awesome?!?! So the first person to follow Hodgson Mill on pinterest, then go "like" my recipe on pinterest via this link, and sends me an email that they did wins! You will receive $25 worth of free pasta :-). The pastas are great, very healthy and the perfect base for some fabulous vegan food. I hope you'll support me in this contest too. Peace!

Tomato and Herb Pasta Salad

Heirloom Tomato and Herb Pasta Salad


  • 1 - 10 oz box of Hodgson Mill Whole Wheat Bow Tie Pasta, cooked according to package
  • 3 cups of diced heirloom tomatoes, or any tomatoes will do
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 T extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 4 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 T fresh basil, minced
  • 1 tsp fresh Italian parsley, minced
  • 1/2 tsp fresh thyme, minced
  • 1/2 tsp fresh oregano, minced
  • 3/4 tsp light agave syrup
  • 1 tsp salt
  • black pepper, to taste
  • Directions:

    While pasta is cooking, heat oil, garlic, and pepper flakes in a small non-stick skillet over medium heat. Once garlic begins to sizzle, cook for 1 minute more and then remove from heat. Set aside. After pasta is done cooking, drain and rinse with cold water. Shake the pasta well in strainer to dry. Place pasta into a large bowl. Top with garlic and oil mixture and all the remaining ingredients, tossing gently with a wooden spoon until well combined. You can serve the pasta salad now, or cover with plastic wrap and chill until ready. Enjoy! Serves 6-8 as a side.

    Vegan Heirloom Tomato Salad

    Vegan Heirloom Tomato and Herb Pasta Salad

    Posted by Noelle on June 25th, 2012
    Categories: Desserts
    Tags: ,,,

    I am a lucky girl. Not only do I have the best hubs ever, I got to grow up with a Hungarian grandma. My Mema is the absolute best cook I have ever known. She has colored my life with amazing memories of not just food, but of being super special and truly loved. That my friends is a true gift. That is the kind of stuff that makes your heart smile even 30 plus years later... She used to make me toast, butter it up perfectly, and then cut it into 4 triangles instead of the 2 most people do. When you are 5, that is pretty freaking amazing. And that was just one of the things my Mema did for me. She also used to take me to get the best ice cream ever at Ashecombe Farm. On the way to the farm we would pass the Ashecombe mansion. In my youth, I was quite sure that it was a castle. This was mostly based on the fact that this mansion had a turret and well, they aren't too common when you grow up in rural Pennsylvania. My Mema would tell me this elaborate story about the princess who lived in the castle and the treasures within. So with my head filled with visions of rubies, gold, and princess gowns we would head to the ice cream counter. And guess what kind of homemade ice cream they always had? Yep, Black Raspberry. For my little girl self, it was the perfect shade somewhere between pink and purple, like the color of lilacs. And the taste, to die for. I truly felt like a princess standing beside my Mema, eating ice cream and learning about hidden treasures. So this is not only a creamy, dreamy ice cream recipe... This is an homage to my Mema. Love and thanks to my Mema and to yours, God bless Grandmas!

    Vegan Black Raspberry Ice Cream

    Black Raspberry and Chocolate Chip Ice Cream


  • 2 cups of black raspberries
  • 2 - 14oz cans of coconut milk
  • 1/3 + 1/4 cup agave syrup, I used light
  • 1/4 tsp almond extract
  • 2 pinches of sea salt
  • 1/3 + 1/4 cup of chocolate chips, I used mini
  • Directions:

    Make sure you have the container for your ice cream make in the freezer for at least 24 hours. Puree the raspberries in a food processor, until very smooth. Push raspberry mixture through a fine mesh sieve, this step is to remove the seeds, you can skip this is you don't mind them. In a large bowl, whisk the puree, coconut milk, agave, extract, and salt together until completely combined. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or until mixture is thoroughly chilled. Then follow the instructions on your ice cream maker. You may want to process a little longer until nice and creamy. Add the chocolate chips in the last 5 minutes so they get mixed in. I processed my ice cream for about 35 minutes total. Place ice cream into a glass dish and press plastic wrap down onto the top of it so it's not in contact with the air. Add a lid too if you have one. Let freeze for an hour or two, then get ready to scoop some creamy purple loveliness! Keep in mind this has no added "gums" to keep it soft in the freezer. It will eventually freeze hard, so remove an hour ahead for softer, more scoop-able ice cream. Serves 1, just kidding!

    Vegan Black Raspberry and Chocolate Ice Cream

    Posted by Noelle on June 25th, 2012
    Categories: Sides
    Tags: ,,,,

    This is one of our go-to sides for the summer, well... this, sweet corn, and sliced tomatoes. This is super easy to make, requires minimal ingredients, and you will be a rock star when you serve this to your friends and loved ones. You could go all out and serve this on top of pasta or even risotto if you like, but it's fantastic on it's own. In fact it's so good that we can often be caught eating this with our fingers in our house... who has time for a fork and knife? Besides that's what napkins are for. I know, I wish we were more civilized at times, but then again I am just grateful that everyone in our little family is so enthusiastic about the beautiful vegan food. So let's talk about asparagus... Please, please always smell your asparagus before you buy it. If it stinks, do not buy it. Use your sniffer people, it's the best test for freshness. Next, when trimming asparagus, I use the snap method. Hold a spear at both ends and bend it until it breaks, discard the lower, thicker stem portion (or save it for broths), and only use the upper portion. Sometimes people will test this snap method for one or 2 spears, and then chop the remaining asparagus based on the approximate length of where the tester pieces broke. I enjoy all the extra work of doing each individual piece by hand, but mostly I just hate it when you get the tough part of the stem. Use whatever method works best for you, just don't forget to do it with love 🙂 Peace!


  • 1 lb bunch of asparagus, trimmed (or whatever size bunch you find)
  • 2 T Balsamic vinegar
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • fresh black pepper, to taste
  • Directions:

    Preheat grill to medium-high heat. Place asparagus in a shallow dish and top with remaining ingredients, vinegar through pepper. Use your fingers to gently toss everything until the asparagus is well coated. When grill is ready, place asparagus on grates, close lid, and let cook for 2-3 minutes. Then, using tongs, flip asparagus over and grill the other side for another 2-3 minutes. You want them to to have good grill marks, but not get too soft. They should still be bright green and somewhat stiff when you remove them from the grill. Place them back into the shallow dish and serve. Depending on the amount of asparagus used, 1 lb serves approximately 4 people.