Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

If Thanksgiving had a specific taste, I think it would be this recipe. This butternut squash macaroni and cheese is the perfect alternative if you are living a plant-based lifestyle or if you simply can’t tolerate dairy.  This meal is simple, comforting, and can be paired well with a simple green salad for a perfect meatless meal. I think you may have just stumbled across your new favorite fall dish!

Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

Yield 8


1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and diced

1 small shallot, quartered

1-1/2 cups oat milk

1/2 cup vegetable broth

1/2 tsp. Vitacost Himalayan Fine Pink Salt

1/4 tsp. white pepper

1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg

1 lb. box elbow pasta, cooked

1-1/2 cups vegan cheddar cheese

1/4 cup vegan Parmesan cheese


In a pot over medium-high heat, add the butternut squash, shallots, oat milk, vegetable broth, and salt. 

Bring to a simmer and reduce heat to medium-low; cover and cook until squash is tender. Check with a fork after 20 minutes.

Using an immersion blender, purée the squash and milk mixture until smooth. Mix in the nutmeg and pepper. 

In a large bowl, combine the pasta with the squash sauce. Add the cheddar and Parmesan cheese. 

Stir until the pasta is well combined and the cheese has melted. 

Serve and enjoy. 

Chef’s tip: For an added bonus, crisp up some sage leaves in vegan butter. Drizzle some of the sage butter on top as well.


Other Fall Favorites…

Strawberry Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing

Strawberry Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing

When it’s hot and humid outside (like it is here in sunny SoFla), this refreshing strawberry salad with homemade poppy seed dressing is the meal you need to beat the heat. One of the best parts about it is how easy it is to make and how versatile it can be! Whether you want to add other fruits or nuts – or even a different dressing, the options are endless.

Strawberry Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing

Yield 4


1 package spinach

1 cup strawberries, sliced

1/2 red onion, sliced thinly

1/3 cup pecans, chopped


Poppy Seed Dressing:

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

1-1/2 Tbsp. avocado oil

1-1/2 Tbsp. poppy seeds

1-1/2 Tbsp. agave

1/2 tsp. dijon mustard

1/2 tsp. kosher salt

2 Tbsp. lemon juice



In a large bowl, lay the spinach down and top with strawberries, onion, and pecans.

In a smaller bowl or mason jar, combine the dressing ingredients and give a good mix until well combined.

Pour on top of the salad and serve.

Mexican Pasta Salad

Mexican Pasta Salad

Mexican Pasta Salad

In the summertime when the weather is hot, this chilled Mexican-inspired pasta salad is the perfect go-to dish for a picnic, pool day, or just because! It may be a mild dish, but rest assured each bite is loaded with a fiesta of flavors!

Mexican Pasta Salad

Yields 7 servings


3 cups mini farfalle pasta, cooked

2 (14.75 ounce) cans roasted corn, drained

1 large avocado, diced

10.5 oz cherry tomatoes, cut in half

4 green onions, sliced

1 medium red bell pepper, diced

2 Tbsp. cilantro

1 Tbsp. jalapeño, optional

1/2 cup black beans, optional

2 Tbsp. hemp seeds


3/4 cup vegan mayonnaise

1/4 cup fresh lime juice

1/4 tsp. ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika 

3/4 tsp. Chili powder

1 tsp. hot sauce, optional

Salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a well salted pot filled with water, cook the pasta according to the box instructions. Remember to drain, rinse, and cool the pasta once done cooking; Set aside. 
  2. Add the drained corn, diced avocado, green onions, cilantro, bell pepper, jalapeño, and black beans. 
  3. Pour the dressing over the pasta salad and stir until well mixed.

Chef’s tip: Add sriracha to spice it up!


Citrus Infused Israeli Couscous

Citrus Infused Israeli Couscous

Citrus Infused Israeli Couscous

This spring should be filled with light, flavorful, and most importantly- tasty food! If you’ve never had couscous pearls before, I highly suggest giving this grain a go! (Or grain-a-go) It is a great dish to accompany any picnic, barbecue, or any party. If you wanted to liven it up any further, you could always add some arugula and sliced cherry tomatoes.

Citrus Infused Israeli Couscous

Yields 2 servings


1 cup couscous

1-1/2 cup filtered water

1/2 tsp. Vitacost Himalayan Fine Pink Salt

1 Tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped

2 tsp. lemon juice

1/4 tsp. ground pepper

2 tsp. vegetable broth or avocado oil


  1. Bring water to a boil; add the couscous and salt.
  2. Cover for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally; set aside.
  3. Once cooled, transfer to a bowl. Add the parsley, pepper, lemon juice, and vegetable broth.
  4. Serve immediately.


Chef’s tip: Feel free to dice up cucumber and mint leaves!


Roasted Broccoletti

Roasted Broccoletti

For as long as I can remember, broccoli has always been something I’ve enjoyed. My Roasted Broccoletti is the best alternative if you are looking for a different kind of broccoli at dinner. The mix between the crunchy stems and the fluffy florets are what I love about this vegetable the most.

Roasted Broccoletti

Yields: 2 servings


1 (8 ounce) package brocoletti

1/2 Tbsp. avocado oil

1 tsp. garlic, minced

1/8 tsp. Gustus Vitae Smoked Salt

1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Place your broccoletti onto the baking sheet and drizzle with avocado oil.season with garlic, smoke salt, and red pepper flakes.
  3. Roast broccoletti for approximately 15 minutes; flipping halfway through.
  4. Serve immediately or serve on top of my Creamy Garlic-Parmesan Polenta.


Chef’s tip: Slice a medium shallot and add it to the brocoletti before roasting it.

Creamy Garlic-Parmesan Polenta

Creamy Garlic-Parmesan Polenta

Creamy Garlic-Parmesan Polenta

If you haven’t had the chance to make polenta or even try it, this recipe will surely urge you to do so. This dish is made by a handful of ingredients and takes minimal effort to make. Polenta itself is made from coarsley ground cornmeal and gives a light, fluffy, and creamy texture. Feel free to give this a go and pair it with some roasted broccoletti! Recipe to come soon.

Creamy Garlic-Parmesan Polenta

Yields 4 servings


4 cups filtered water

1/2 tsp. Vitacost Himalayan Fine Pink Salt

1/2 cup vegan Parmesan cheese

1/2 tsp. garlic, minced

1/4 tsp. ground black pepper

1 cup Bob’s Red Mill Polenta

1/8 cup nutritional yeast

2 Tbsp. vegan butter

Parsley for garnish, chopped


  1. In a pot on medium-high heat, bring the water and salt to a boil. Add the polenta while continuously whisking to prevent lumps from forming. Once polenta has thickened, roughly 2 minutes, reduce heat to low.
  2. Cook for 10 to 14 minutes, stirring occasionally being careful to not get splattered on. Once you are finished cooking the polenta, add the butter, nutritional yeast, Parmesan, pepper and more salt to taste.
  3. Serve topped with roasted brocoletti.


Chef’s tip: If polenta becomes too thick, you can stir in a splash of vegetable broth or oat milk for a more creamy approach.

Easy Cheesy Biscuits


Turn plain biscuits into something special with this Easy Cheesy Biscuit recipe! It is 100% plant-based, dairy free, and insanely delicious. Whether you are enjoying biscuits and gravy in the morning or having a family dinner, these biscuits will do the trick.


Yields 24 biscuits

Serves 10-12 people


2 cups King Arthur organic flour

3/4 cup oat milk

1-1/2 Tbsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. cream of tartar

1 cup shredded vegan cheddar cheese

1/2 cup avocado oil

1/4 cup green onions, chopped

1/2 tsp. Vitacost Himalayan Fine Pink Salt

1/8 cup nutritional yeast flakes


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. In a bowl, mix together the flour, oat milk, nutritional yeast, oil, salt, cream of tartar, and baking powder.
  3. Once dough-like consistency forms, fold in the cheese and green onions.
  4. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and lightly spray it with oil.
  5. Remove dough from the bowl on to a lightly floured area. Roll dough into 1/2″ round and use a biscuit cutter to cut the dough. Place onto the lined baking sheet until all dough is used.
  6. Baked for 15-18 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool for 2 to 3 minutes.
  7. Serve immediately


Chef’s tip: Pair this with my Sunflower Haché “Sausage” and Gravy.

SunflowerFamily Haché "Sausage" Gravy

Gravy Recipe, click here.

Plant-Based Taco Burger

Plant-Based Taco Bureger

Plant-Based Taco Bureger

This taco “burger” topped with avocado, lettuce, tomato, and onion is 100% plant-based and extremely tasty! If you’re in a jam for a quick meal, then I have the perfect thing for you made by @neatfoods. Their original burger mix is delicious and perfect if you’re like me and want to use your own spices. They also have their own Mexican style mix, which is also delicious, if you’re looking for something unique and tasty! Feel free to give this one a go. It’s super easy and something your family or friends will enjoy.

Plant-Based Taco Bureger

Yields 4 patties

Serves 2-4 people


1 pouch Neat Original Mix

1/2 cup filtered water

1/4 cup diced red bell pepper

3 Tbsp. yellow onion, minced

2 Tbsp. yellow corn

2 tsp. Chili powder

1/2 tsp. cumin powder

1/4 tsp. dried oregano

1/4 tsp. smoked paprika

1 garlic clove, minced

Pinch of Vitacost Himalayan Fine Pink Salt

Pinch of ground black pepper


  1. In a mixing bowl, combine the pouch contents with the water and mix accordingly to the directions.
  2. Add red pepper, corn, onion, oregano, chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, minced garlic, salt and pepper. Mix until well combined and form into 4 patties.
  3. In a skillet on medium-high heat, and about 2 tsp. vegetable broth (or water) for an oil-less approach. Add the patties once hot and cook for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, or until lightly browned.
  4. Place the patties onto toasted buns with avocado, lettuce, tomato, and onion.
  5. Serve immediately


Chef’s tip: Feel free to make a sauce with vegan mayo and sriracha!



SunflowerFamily Haché “Sausage” Gravy

SunflowerFamily Haché "Sausage" Gravy

SunflowerFamily Haché "Sausage" Gravy For some of us, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Instead of de-fueling your body with processed cereals or sugary doughnuts, fuel it with nutritious, plant-based options like what you see here! Using @sunflowerfamilyusa sunflower haché to replace meat in this recipe, I’m able to recreate the perfect texture for the plant-based sausage and gravy.SunflowerFamily Haché "Sausage" Gravy

Yields 4 cups

Serves 3-4 people


1 (9 oz) package sunflower haché 

2-1/2 cups oat milk 

1/4 cup King Arthur organic flour

1/2 tsp. white pepper

1-1/4 cup water

1/4 tsp. Vitacost Himalayan Fine Pink Salt

1/4 tsp. garlic powder

1/4 tsp. onion powder


  1. In a frying pan on medium heat, and water and haché. Cook for 2-3 minutes until water has soaked into the textured protein.
  2. Add the flour and mix around to coat. Slowly pour in the oat milk, mixing while the gravy thickens. Season with pepper.
  3. Serve with Easy Cheesy Biscuits


Chef’s tip: This recipe is also great for a veganized country fried steak using my “chicken” Milanese recipe located on Vitacost.com #VitaVibes Blog, click here.

Sweet Cucumber and Onion Salad

Sweet Cucumber and Onion Salad

Sweet Cucumber and Onion Salad

One of my favorite things I recently acquired a taste for are my grandmothers cucumber and onion salad, which is marinated in vinegar and sugar overnight. The sweet taste and tangy flavor from the two ingredients give this side dish the perfect touch it needs.

Sweet Cucumber and Onion Salad

Yields 2 cups

Serves 2-3 people


1 medium onion, sliced very thin

1 English cucumber, sliced thin

1/4 cup vinegar to start then 1/2 cup of more

1-1/2 tsp. organic cane sugar


  1. Thinly slice the onion, cucumber, and add to a mixing bowl.
  2. In another bowl, add the vinegar, sugar, and stir combined. Pour over cucumber and onions and give a good toss.
  3. Place into the fridge for 3-4 hours or overnight for best results.


Chef’s tip: Allow the cucumbers, onion, and “brine” to meld overnight for maximum flavor.