Mother of Dragons Bowl

As we reach the peak of summer’s heat I am constantly looking for refreshing eats to cool down and this beautiful dragon fruit (or pitaya) smoothie bowl does the job! I personally enjoy making these for breakfast but they are also great as a snack or healthy dessert. The combining flavors of the blended dragon fruit, assorted fresh cut fruit, and granola give it a fantastically sweet taste with a crunch!

bowl 4 (1 of 1)

Smoothie base:

  • 2 cups of PitayaPlus frozen dragon fruit – This super fruit, indigenous to Central America, has great health benefits such as being high in fiber and also being a great source of magnesium and riboflavin (Vitamin B2; normally sourced by non-vegans from eggs, milk, and meat). You can sometimes (in my experience) find fresh dragon fruit at farmer’s markets to cut and freeze yourself, but I normally buy a pack of PitayaPlus already frozen dragon fruit since it is more accessible and easy to find in most local supermarkets (in the frozen fruit section).
  • ¾ cup of Coconut water

Toppings:        AMOUNTS BASED ON PREFERRENCE

  • Strawberries
  • Kiwi
  • Banana
  • Blueberries
  • Kashi GOLEAN Chocolate Crunch granola

When I began my vegan journey, smoothie bowls were (and still are) my favorite go-to because they are undeniably delicious, healthy but also large and filling. The beauty of these is also that there are so many ways to make one using a different fruit for the smoothie base and adding whatever fresh fruits and non-fruit toppings your heart desires. There are no rules!

bowl 3 (1 of 1)

Vegan Summertime BBQ Noms!

Summer time is upon us so naturally this means it’s beach, barbeque, cook-out season, etc! Usually, this means some sort of hearty sandwich is being prepped for lunch with some savory sides to indulge into after a long morning of [insert your favorite recreational sport] with your pals! Thankfully, for us plant-based folk we have many delicious options when we are in need of a fat, tasty sammie!

Exhibition A: Pulled BBQ Jackfruit Sandwich with Mac N’ Cheez, Baked Beans, and Coleslaw

WTF is Jackfruit? (great question!) – Jackfruit is the largest tree-borne fruit native to the tropical lowlands of Southeast Asia. It is a large, green, oval-shaped fruit that has hundreds of individual flowers inside with fleshy petals, which is what we eat. This is what makes it so perfect and easy to emulate the texture and visual appeal of pulled pork or pulled anything! The important part with any vegan meat replacement is the sauce or seasoning to give it the flavor we are craving!

Lucky for us there are some easily accessible jackfruit options such as the Upton’s Naturals brand who sells the jackfruit flesh already pre-marinated in a couple different sauces. The one I used for this mouthwatering meal was obviously the BBQ jackfruit pictured below. Admittedly so, I added extra BBQ sauce for just a little more of that smokey flavor. I used Annie’s Naturals Organic BBQ Original Recipe Sauce.

bbq sandwich (1 of 1)

As for the sides, I used Daiya’s Deluxe Cheddar Cheezy Mac, Amy’s Organic Vegetarian Baked Beans, and whipped up the slaw with Veganaise and a few other ingredients listed below.

coleslaw ing (1 of 1)

Coleslaw

Ingredients:

  • 1 Long green onion (finely chopped)
  • 1/3 cup of vegan mayo (I use Original Vegenaise)
  • 1 tbsp vegan sour cream (I use the Tofutti brand)
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp celery salt (or celery seed)
  • 1 tsp ground mustard
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 package of cabbage mix

Directions:

  • Combine all ingredients EXCEPT cabbage mix in a large mixing bowl to make the dressing
  • Add cabbage mix a little at a time while stirring/tossing so that it all gets coated with the dressing
  • Add salt and pepper to taste
  • Let sit for 30 minutes in refrigerator before serving (TIP: work on this first and it will be ready by the time you finish the rest of the meal)

Mac N’ Cheez (Daiya Deluxe Cheddar Style Cheezy Mac)

Directions:      FOLLOW FROM PACKAGE

  • Boil 2 qt. of water in a medium saucepan
  • Stir in macaroni pasta
  • Cook until tender (7 – 8 minutes), stirring occassionally
  • Drain and return to saucepan
  • Massage cheezy sauce packet to mix thoroughly
  • Squeeze cheezy sauce over hot macaroni and stir until blended
  • Serve

Beans (Amy’s Organic Vegetarian Baked Beans) 

Directions:

  • Carefully open can and pour beans into small saucepan
  • Place saucepan over medium heat
  • Stir over heat until it reaches desired temperature

BBQ Pulled Jackfruit Sandwich (Upton’s Naturals Bar-B-Que Jackfruit)

Directions:

  • Empty jackfruit package onto a plate or cutting board
  • Pull the jackfruit apart more than it already is for a nicer, shredded consistency
  • Place jackfruit in a skillet over medium heat
  • Add extra BBQ sauce (to taste) as you stir jackfruit in skillet
  • Keep jackfruit over heat (occasionally stirring) for 5 more minutes
  • Scoop and serve onto buns!

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So, if you are perpetually hungry like me and/or if you still want to be able to participate in weekend Barbeque festivities this is the perfect meal and it is super easy to prepare. So no excuses, you got this!