For me, Christmas should always involve two things: picturesque snow views outside my window and delicious moan-worthy vegan cookies. I usually get the cookies, but the snow…well, snow in December is one of those rare things that *close to never* happens in the south.

So I was more than surprised this past weekend, when dreams became a reality yo!

Our little snowstorm, which is now being referred to as “The Fast and the Flurry-ist 2017”, crept up with a quickness and dropped itself down without apology. Experiencing a massive hit of snow on a late Friday afternoon was enough to make me feel merry and bright, but waking up on Saturday morning to a stunning winter wonderland in my backyard???

I was over. the. moon. 😀 Or as Stimpy would say, “JOOOOOOOYYYY!”

And yes, I’m still allowed to have the same response as a 5 year old when I see snow. So there.

I’m also allowed to act like a 5 year old when I get snow AND cookies simultaneously.

And yes, I’m referring to these deliciously simple Gluten-Free Vegan Sandwich Cookies, which have been “hit by a truck load of mixed nuts” and squished with melted gooey marshmallows.

Because what holiday would be complete without mixed nuts, the food AND the film!? #snowdayandamovie

If you’re a fan of “Mixed Nuts” the movie, then you’re in good company. It sure doesn’t feel like Christmas until I see Liev Schreiber dance with Steve Martin, Madeline Khan rap in an elevator, and Adam Sandler play the ukulele.

True, there are so many things for me to wonder Adam, but I got 99 problems and these cookies ain’t one.

So if you want to get into the holiday spirit and kick back with a few laughs, I highly recommend watching this movie while you enjoy a few stacks of these sandwich cookies! They only take about 15 minutes of active prep + 10 minutes bake time. Plus? There’s no shame when your treats are gluten-free + dairy-free + egg-free + peanut-free + cruelty-free!

I can only dream that the snow will come back in time for Christmas, but luckily, “in every pothole there is hope”, and I can still live it up with my cookie fix.

So from me to you, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Raising my glass to you and yours, with many thanks and hopes for 2018. Woot woot! ♥

♥ Attention Choco-holics!! ♥

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Holiday GF Vegan Mixed Nuts + Marshmallow Sandwich Cookies

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Vegan party food can be tricky to serve if you are trying to satisfy tastes across the board.

Picky eaters, or guests that think vegan food is “weird” can certainly throw a wrench (or candy cane?) into your holiday festivities. When I first went vegan back in 2010, I can testify that I personally struggled with trying to create dishes that would satisfy both the veg and the anti-veg, in hopes of being spared from any furrowed brows or open attacks.

Thankfully, despite self-doubts that set in minutes before any party, I’ve always had an overall positive reaction to my vegan party food.

Yes, there have been times when someone got a little too sloshed on spiked cider and rolled out their list of complaints about vegans, or got hung up on the letters V, E, G, A, N, written in that exact order on the index card in front of my party dish. But mostly, I’ve been quite successful in my attempts to please the hungry crowd (and avoid the line of fire).

Because at the end of the day, when your food tastes good, it makes people happy.

And I always aim to make people happy, ESPECIALLY when it comes to food.

Which is why I know that these BBQ Cranberry Bean Balls are the perfect vegan appetizer for any holiday party. Not only are they sweet and tangy with a hint of smoke and fresh herbs, but are gluten-free, soy-free, and can be made from start to finish in less than 30 minutes! And if you’re really pressed for time, it ain’t no thang to make them a day ahead of time, pop them in a travel dish, and heat on arrival.

Giving you more time to pick out the right shoes and ask your husband for his opinion on color swatches 5 minutes before it’s time to walk out the door.

Either way, I’m sure you’ll have a Merry Christmas serving these BBQ “appys”, while singing a little bit of the Ramones. I don’t know about you, but I “don’t want to fight tonight” over what’s being served at the food table.

Let’s just all get along, k?

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Vegan Party Food: BBQ & Cranberry Bean Balls

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I have a confession guys: I’ve made pumpkin pie TWICE already this month. And you know what? I don’t even feel bad about it.

If there is one person to blame though, I can certainly point fingers at my son, who has been pestering asking me since September to please please please make pumpkin pie mom. Thankfully, I finally caved- I mean, how many times can I say no to a 5-year-old AND pie in the same day? Especially when it takes only 10 minutes of my time and is vegan + gluten-free, there’s just no reason not to be granter of wishes.

Besides, when it comes to Thanksgiving dinner, I can barely make it to the dessert; I’m usually stuffed to the rafters and strung out on gravy. Even if I try to “shake my food down to my toes” (doesn’t everyone do that?), I can still only manage to moan-eat a sliver of pie.

All the more reason to just say “screw it” and make pie NOW.

However, if you like to “save” treats like this for special occasions, this pie is not only a classic but the easiest thing you can make for Thanksgiving dinner. With a no-bake filling and frozen pie shell (*gasp!*), you can have it done in no time, leaving you to tackle the rest of your holiday prep.

Because who has time to make a pumpkin pie from scratch these days?

Personally, I can live with myself and take a few shortcuts. If you want to be adventurous though and make your own pie crust, by all means, go for it! I’ve been making this easy filling for years, and used it with a variety of crusts, from raw to store-bought to homemade. It’s always delicious, no matter what you choose!

On a serious note, I’m so thankful for you dear reader. Here’s me sending you lots of gratitude for stopping by today and supporting something I’m passionate about. Things may slow down on the blog over the holidays (it’s that life thing you know), but rest assured, I’m looking forward to another year of sharing easy plant-based recipes (and some surprises too!). I’m super thankful that I’ve been able to devote as much time as I have towards “Bohemian”, so here’s raising my invisible glass to that:)

I hope you all have a beautiful holiday, filled with lots of love, family, and friends. You deserve it.

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Quick Gluten-Free Vegan Pumpkin Pie (10 Min + No-Bake Filling!)

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Halloween is officially over and Thanksgiving is in our very near future…but are you prepared if you have allergies or tummy trouble? Everyone is so sensitive these days to food, myself included.

From gluten allergies, to soy, to peanuts, histamines, and beyond, I’m wondering how long until we are all just eating white rice. Or cardboard. Or cardboard rice?

It’s no surprise when you think about it, considering the amount of food we consume that is processed and tampered with on a daily basis. The majority of us are so removed from what we eat (and what it actually takes to get from point A to B), that it can be difficult when our bodies start REACTING negatively to foods in our diet.

Pinpointing exactly WHAT is bothering us can also be very daunting- it took my husband years to figure out that he is sensitive to peanuts and other foods, such as avocados, chickpeas, and black eyed peas. And it took me just about as long to realize I have reactions to soy and nightshades in large amounts.

Let’s just say that dinner parties at our house can get very interesting; some would say even annoying.

Nevertheless, one thing I’ve found that works for us is making our basics from scratch, versus buying them prepackaged. This includes items such as vegan butter, vegetable bouillon, and homemade whole wheat bread (perfect for Thanksgiving stuffing! See recipe notes below).

Whole wheat, despite it’s bad rep, contains a wealth of nutrients and can help with issues such as anemia, breast cancer, chronic inflammation, mineral deficiencies, and more*. As a heart healthy food, wheat can also help you balance cholesterol levels.

Now, I know some people would look at the title of this blog post and question it working for sensitive tummies, considering that it contains gluten. However, it isn’t always gluten that is bothering people when it comes to bread- many times it can be the endless amounts of preservatives, dough conditioners, and additives.

Also, where you get your flour (and whether or not it’s organic) is a factor. I’ve spoken to many people in real life who have found that purchasing freshly ground flour or wheat berries and grinding them at home has helped significantly in how they react to the bread. I’ve been lucky enough to try freshly ground wheat while making my own bread, and let me tell you…it’s like HEAVEN and totally different.

Yes, I do also realize that the “Little Red Hen” approach is not necessarily something everyone is up for, BUT if you think you may be having reactions to certain foods or want to kick the Wonder Bread, making it yourself is always a good option to consider.

Because let’s face it: all the bread at the grocery store is made to LAST. Ingredients that shouldn’t necessarily be in there, are there because they need that shelf life. And those added ingredients won’t always agree with your system.

Personally, I love this bread because:

  • It’s easy to make and the active prep time is about 10 minutes.
  • I feel physically (and mentally) better using less ingredients (and I know exactly what went into the bread).
  • It costs less than store-bought bread, and I get to use organic flour.
  • It’s perfect for those who are sensitive to chemical additives, or those following a low-histamine diet (please see notes below).
  • It tastes AH-MAZING!!!

And a note on low-histamine diets…I’ve read some controversy about whether or not you should consume yeast or wheat; the yeast precautions being a bacterial issue, the wheat being a gluten issue. My thoughts personally (and I’ve done a lot of reading online, cross referencing lists and info, etc.) is that it’s worth a shot trying homemade bread, since fresh breads (and wheat) are generally listed as OK on most low-histamine lists. And as for the yeast: histamine-sensitivity.com states that “yeast-containing products and leavened breads are quite safe on a histamine-restricted diet” since there is “no histamine involved in the process” when it comes to yeast rising dough.

So once, again, you have to decide what works for you. For our family, homemade bread has been an excellent decision and a great alternative to expensive (and chemically laced) store-bought bread.

But enough talking. I hope you get to try this incredible recipe, your tummy will thank you for it! And while you’re at it, lather on some homemade dairy-free butter, would ya?

Whole Wheat Homemade Vegan Bread for Sensitive Tummies

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