While the world is beginning to *slowly* embrace veganism, many people are still under the false assumption that it’s expensive and too complicated.

In all actuality, eating plant-based foods can be cheap (and easy!) if you shop smart and plan ahead. Yet when I speak to others about making alternative food choices, there’s one struggle that echoes out over all the rest:

Time. Management.

Because juggling the challenges of life can be difficult all on their own, before the task of eating healthy. Add homemade meals into the rotation, and well, your juggling days may come crashing to the floor (it happens).

That’s why I decided to make a vegan bean ball that requires just 5 ingredients and 10 minutes to prep, since we all deserve a go-to weeknight dinner that’s not complicated and takes only 30 minutes start to finish.

And did I mention it’s cheap too?

Beans are often viewed as the “bread-and-butter” of vegan living, but at around $1.30 a box, it’s actually a smart choice for those that are trying to conserve money!

Furthermore, white beans are the perfect basis for creating a “meatball” that is 100% soy-free & cruelty-free, while still maintaining nutritional value.

My favorite step in this recipe though, has to be busting out my bad-ass mini ice cream scoop.

Because the “difficult” part about making your own bean balls is the time it takes to roll your balls by hand, making it messy and time consuming (go ahead, insert ball joke here lol). Yet having a mini ice scream scoop means you aren’t elbow deep in your balls *lol*, making this recipe MESS FREE as well.

All you have to do is blend, transfer, and bake.

To finish, just boil some pasta and bust open a jar of marinara and you’re good to go.

Alternatively, you can serve these bean balls in hot dog buns with a little marinara and a sprinkle of this Easy Vegan Parmesan Cheese.

Of course I feel I should mention, it’s IMPOSSIBLE for me to eat these bean balls without busting out some “Wedding Singer” reference: “THAT’S A GOOD MEATBALL.”

I’m sure you’ll feel the same way. ♥

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5 Ingredient Dairy-Free Mozzarella Bean Balls

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Some of us “reward” ourselves with takeout on the weekends, when the paycheck is fresh and we’ve got money to spare, but you know what?

I’ve always liked to break the rules.

Making your own “takeout” at home tastes superior to any MSG-laced concoction you could get down the street, is overall better for your health, and can be served any day of the week!

You don’t need a bunch of stir-fry sauces or exotic ingredients to get a mouth-watering dinner either. All you need is 30 minutes to spare, which is one of the main reasons I LOVE this “Broccoli in Garlic Sauce”: it’s simple and quick to execute, making it a win-win on any weeknight!

On those nights when you’re just too tired to go the extra mile, try this EASY homemade takeout instead!

Especially on rainy days, this is the perfect remedy to get you feeling nice and cozy. When serving my own homemade takeout, I love pulling out the chopsticks and fancy dishware to make it fun and extra special for the kids. Sometimes I’ll even turn on Asian-style music and light candles for the ultimate ambiance, and other times…

Well, I’ll just turn on a good episode of Seinfeld instead and watch Elaine attempt to steal eggrolls:

But you want to know the BEST part of all?

“Broccoli in Garlic Sauce” is a traditional favorite on any Chinese takeout menu, so you don’t have to use substitutions, or convince your family to “try this vegan meal (pretty please)”. There’s no tofu or unfamiliar ingredients to taste test, and it’s 100% gluten-free.

No frying here: roasted broccoli is all you need to make this dish really pop.

And don’t forget the health benefits you receive from stuffing your face with a generous amount of broccoli and garlic.

Garlic is one of my favorite medicinal herbs, as it can help combat colds, reduce blood pressure, and improve cholesterol. Broccoli, on the other hand, is rich in fiber, and can help strengthen bones, control diabetes, improve your immune function, and even reduce the risk of cancer.

Truly, this is simplicity at its best.

This week, grab just 30 minutes and make some easy vegan takeout…and don’t forget the chopsticks!

30 Minute Vegan Takeout: Broccoli in Garlic Sauce (Gluten-Free!)

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When you’re in a constant rush, you need something QUICK to throw together while still remaining healthy. Enter the beloved kale.

Sure, it’s the leafy green vegetable that is gloriously praised by the health community while being brutally mocked by stand up comics on the daily (Jim Gaffigan I’m looking at you mister).

But the truth is, you don’t have to be a raging hippy OR enjoy the taste of cardboard to like this controversial food. Because kale, when done right, is one of THE yummiest (and healthiest) greens to incorporate into your meals. Drizzle a moan-worthy *medicinal* dressing on top and you’re good to go. 

And this salad?

OH BOY. The flavors are absolutely POPPIN’ while delivering a healthy dose of vitamins and minerals: kale is high in antioxidants, vitamin K, and vitamin C (plus can help lower cholesterol levels), while turmeric can help fight inflammation, easing joint pain and arthritis. Cayenne, while kept light in this recipe, is a great herb for digestion and your metabolism…and I’m just barely scratching the surface of the powers of these plants.

Plus, that’s not even the best part.

The best part, is that it ONLY TAKES 5 MINUTES TO MAKE. Yup, you heard me. 5 minutes. That’s as long as a commercial break or a crazy cat video on Youtube. Seriously!

And if you’ve been wondering what you can throw together *quickly* before you run out the door, I highly recommend giving this kale salad a go- it’s the perfect base for any number of additional toppings, plus can be used in sandwiches, wraps, and more! Personally, I’ve used it stuffed in burritos, rolled up in flatbread, layered with juicy tomatoes on wheat, as well as loaded down with red cabbage, shredded carrots, avocado, green onions, olives, and even nutritional yeast. #drools

Oh, and for the days I’m craving a light lunch, I LOVE munching on my kale salad while I gulp down a chilled chocolate smoothie. Afterwards I feel fresh and energized, which is a must for any mama of three.

I love this kale salad because:

  • It’s EASY to make with a limited amount of time.
  • Terrific on it’s own, but can also be enjoyed as a topping, in between two slices of bread, or stuffed in soft tacos or wraps.
  • The versatility makes it a perfect candidate for any ON THE GO vegan meal.
  • Dressing contains medicinal herbs that, when paired with kale, impacts your health in a positive way.
  • Is low-histamine, cruelty-free, gluten-free, oil-free, and refined sugar-free.

With this many benefits, it’s hard not to scream “KALE YEAH” at random strangers or small children from your car window.

And if you do, it’s okay- just blame me:)

5-Minute Kale Salad (Low-Histamine, Vegan, Gluten-Free, Oil-Free, Refined Sugar-Free)

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We’ve all heard about making our own vegetable broth by boiling veggies in water and reserving the liquid. You know what the problem with that is though?

Number one, it’s pretty wasteful, if you ask me. You spend a lot of time cutting up those vegetables, only to toss them in the compost or garbage.

Number two, it’s not very flavorful. You have to use A LOT of veg to get a good brew, which just means you’re cutting up MORE veg, only to circle around back to problem numero uno.

The solution? Making your own VEGETABLE BOUILLON! Not only does this cut down on waste, but you get a powerful punch of flavor to boot. With a handy food processor, it also cuts your chopping time in half (quite literally).

veggie bouillon

Now you may be asking yourself WHY you’d want to make your own bouillon in the first place, and I’m here to tell you exactly why you should jump on this bandwagon. By using the DIY method, you:

  • Save money (boo-yeah!). DIY vegetable bouillon will yield more cups than if you were to buy that overpriced box of organic liquid salt they are hocking in the grocery isle. Fresh veggies can be bought on the cheap when shopping smart- check out this article for tips on saving on produce.
  • Save your health (double boo-yeah!). Most (if not all) of those packaged broths and cubes are loaded with sugars, preservatives, and chemical additives, all so they can sit on the shelf longer and ACTUALLY taste good at the same time. With homemade bouillon, you are cutting out all the excess JUNK and using REAL, WHOLE foods. The only added “preservative” is salt, and you are in complete control with  how much you add.

Oh, and if you’re following a low-histamine vegan lifestyle, this bouillon can be a life-saver: many folks who follow LHV are sensitive to prepackaged foods and can have negative reactions to them. This bouillon contains ONLY low-histamine vegetables and herbs, plus is stored in the freezer, which helps preserve the mixture AND keep histamine levels at bay (histamine levels rise the longer food sits, but by freezing, you are slowing the process WAAAAY down!). Use it as a flavor enhancer to boil veggies in, or create LH gravies and soups with just a couple tablespoons (see recipe for ratios)!

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And for the record, this vegetable bouillon is AMAZING. I’ve been making variations of this recipe for years, so feel free to venture off and create your own combination of vegetables if you wish.

For this recipe, I decided to use a few of my favorite vegetables and herbs. From leeks to fennel to medicinal turmeric, this blend creates a delightful and delicious concoction that can be used in any number of soups, stews, gravies, sauces, and more!

In fact, I love using this when making stew- it adds an extra layer of flavor that takes your dish to the next level.

Oh, and did I mention this makes a great go-to when someone in the house is ill? Yep, just heat a cup of water and add a couple tablespoons to serve. It has always been a relief to anyone who is feeling under the weather in my house.

And don’t worry mama, this doesn’t take very long to pull together. It takes me less than 30 minutes, including chopping and packaging. The bouillon will last approximately 3-6 months too, depending on the season and how often you use it (I go through more of this during the winter months, when I’m making soup on the regs), so it’s well worth the effort!

Lastly, I want to mention the salt content: when I first came across the idea of making your own bouillon (from 101 Cookbooks), the suggested amount was a whopping 9 OUNCES! The reasoning for this is for freezer preservation- the higher the salt content, the easier you can “scoop out” your bouillon. However, you have complete control in this recipe to add as much (or as little) salt as you’d like, but I’d keep in mind that the lower you go, the higher the chance your bouillon will turn into a block in the freezer.

My happy compromise is about 5 ounces for one batch- that amount makes sure that it won’t freeze into a brick, yet I don’t have a heart attack pouring my salt. And remember, when using this, you don’t have to add extra salt to your food later on.

And if you’re looking for the healthiest salt? Try using Himalayan pink salt, which is unprocessed and has major benefits compared to the regular table salt we all are accustomed to. Pink salt helps balance the body’s PH, regulates blood pressure AND blood sugar levels, controls the levels of water in your bod, plus can help with your sleeping patterns (and more!).

I hope you try this comforting bouillon and say bye-bye to processed cubes and liquids!

Simple Vegetable Bouillon (Low-Histamine Vegan)

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