Avocado Avenger from The Perfect Blend Cookbook - An easy chimichurri sauce covering delicious, filled avocados! #ThePerfectBlend #vegan #vegetarian

Avocado Avenger – The Perfect Blend

Woohoo, the weekend is here! What better time to try a new recipe out of The Perfect Blend cookbook? This book is the latest from the exceptional Tess Masters, of The Blender Girl. Tess has 4 cookbooks under her belt, and her website it filled with tasty, plant-based recipes. Today I’ll be sharing her recipe for the Avocado Avenger from the new book, as well as giving a copy away!

Avocado Avenger from The Perfect Blend Cookbook - An easy chimichurri sauce covering delicious, filled avocados! #ThePerfectBlend #vegan #vegetarian

This book is laid out in chapters such as “energy”, “anti-inflammatory”, “feed the soul” and more. So, you can find delicious meals just for your perfect blend. (see what I did there?) When it comes to explaining the benefits of ingredients used in each chapter, Tess is supremely thorough. We find out why parsley is great for detoxing, why chiles and pears are great for weight loss, and pomegranate powder is terrific as an anti-inflammatory.

Avocado Avenger from The Perfect Blend Cookbook - An easy chimichurri sauce covering delicious, filled avocados! #ThePerfectBlend #vegan #vegetarian

Contradictory to what your first impression may be, this book is not filled with soft, blended creations, for those without teeth. Tess does a great job of utilizing her blender for at least one component in each recipe; making great sauces, soup bases, and dressings. Like I mentioned before, this book is absolutely stunning. The photography is eye-catching, and with fresh ingredients, the colorful dishes jump out at you.

Avocado Avenger from The Perfect Blend Cookbook - An easy chimichurri sauce covering delicious, filled avocados! #ThePerfectBlend #vegan #vegetarian

For that reason, the Avocado Avenger triggered my appetite! Not only because I am enamored with avocados, but also because the chimichurri sauce it is covered in sounded (and is) so good. The recipe comes together very quickly, and would be great served to a group of people. I cut up leftovers into a pseudo-bruschetta for toast, which was delectable.

Avocado Avenger from The Perfect Blend Cookbook - An easy chimichurri sauce covering delicious, filled avocados! #ThePerfectBlend #vegan #vegetarian

And now, here is the Avocado Avenger recipe from The Perfect Blend! Enter the giveaway at the end of the post, open to US residents, 18 & older.

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Butternut Squash Bacon Soup - Warm, comforting, smoky and VEGAN, made with 10 ingredients! #vegan #vegetarian #spon #SweetEarth

Butternut Squash Bacon Soup

People often have thoughts that eating healthy means eating solely salads and green smoothies. This is not the case! You can still be comforted by warm dishes, and eat a little lighter, by making easy changes to your diet. For example, if you don’t eat a plant-based diet, you can switch to vegan meats to lower the fat and cholesterol in your meals. So, today, I’m showing you how to do this with a delicious Butternut Squash Bacon Soup, made with Sweet Earth Foods Benevolent Bacon!

Butternut Squash Bacon Soup - Warm, comforting, smoky and VEGAN, made with 10 ingredients! #vegan #vegetarian #spon #SweetEarth

If you need further convincing to try this Benevolent Bacon, check out these stats, per serving:

  • 75% less fat than animal bacon
  • 57% fewer calories
  • Only 120 grams sodium
  • 10 grams of protein

And that doesn’t even count the positive environmental impact!

Butternut Squash Bacon Soup - Warm, comforting, smoky and VEGAN, made with 10 ingredients! #vegan #vegetarian #spon #SweetEarth

And honestly, it just tastes good. The hickory sage seasoning is bold, the seitan-based bacon crisps nicely when fried, and is easy to prepare. For this Butternut Squash Bacon Soup, I roasted squash with onion and bacon pieces, then paired it with a seasoned broth and butter beans for extra protein, fiber and creaminess. Then, topped it with pan-fried bacon, following SEF’s package instructions and ta-dah.. All-in-all, there are about 10 ingredients!

Butternut Squash Bacon Soup - Warm, comforting, smoky and VEGAN, made with 10 ingredients! #vegan #vegetarian #spon #SweetEarth

Butternut Squash Bacon Soup - Warm, comforting, smoky and VEGAN, made with 10 ingredients! #vegan #vegetarian #spon #SweetEarth

Another great thing about this product, is that it is easy to find. I saw it all over the country when I was on my book tour! But, you can use their store locator to see what’s closest to you. (I have 6 stores within a 3 mile radius that sell it, woohoo!)

Butternut Squash Bacon Soup - Warm, comforting, smoky and VEGAN, made with 10 ingredients! #vegan #vegetarian #spon #SweetEarth

Now, onto the Butternut Squash Bacon Soup!

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Buckwheat Green Apple Cranberry Avocado Salad - Sweet and savory, with creamy avocado to make this filling and refreshing! From the Blissful Basil cookbook #honoryourbliss #vegan #glutenfree #soyfree #nutfree

Buckwheat Green Apple Cranberry Avocado Salad

Happy New Year, Everyone! (I can still say that, right?) It’s nice to be back from a holiday semi-break, and to have a bright and shiny blog post for you. Today, I’m talking about Ashley Melillo’s newest book, Blissful Basilwhich is also the name of her beautiful blog. Plus, we get the benefit of trying out and sharing her recipe for Buckwheat Green Apple Cranberry Avocado Salad!

Buckwheat Green Apple Cranberry Avocado Salad - Sweet and savory, with creamy avocado to make this filling and refreshing! From the Blissful Basil cookbook #honoryourbliss #vegan #glutenfree #soyfree #nutfree

What peaked my interest in this book was not only the beautiful “plant-powered” recipes and their accompanying photos, but how Ashley also talks about her mental health. Something I don’t mention on here, almost at all, is how I have Anxiety Disorder. In the scheme of things, I’ve only had tangible issues with anxiety for a short amount of time (about two and a half years); but wow, has it changed my life.

Buckwheat Green Apple Cranberry Avocado Salad - Sweet and savory, with creamy avocado to make this filling and refreshing! From the Blissful Basil cookbook #honoryourbliss #vegan #glutenfree #soyfree #nutfree

There are times when my brain goes on a frenzy, like a runaway train where the conductor is yelling everything that could possibly go wrong at any given moment. And if it’s really bad, I’ll get that feeling a few times a day for weeks. All that to say, I love how Ashley talks about her battle with anxiety and how eating better and living a more healthful life has helped her immensely. In this book, she gives you tips on what to eat, how to stock your pantry, and interspersed between the recipes and photos are personal anecdotes.

Buckwheat Green Apple Cranberry Avocado Salad - Sweet and savory, with creamy avocado to make this filling and refreshing! From the Blissful Basil cookbook #honoryourbliss #vegan #glutenfree #soyfree #nutfree

Reading Blissful Basil reminded me that while anxiety sucks, I can do my best to help myself, at the very least. It doesn’t hurt that Ashley’s photography is stunning, and the dishes are vibrant and enticing. If you’re looking to be inspired by whole-foods recipes, this book is a great one!

Buckwheat Green Apple Cranberry Avocado Salad - Sweet and savory, with creamy avocado to make this filling and refreshing! From the Blissful Basil cookbook #honoryourbliss #vegan #glutenfree #soyfree #nutfree

Now, back to the Buckwheat Green Apple Cranberry Avocado Salad! The description nails it when it talks about the good balance of sweet and savory, all complimented by creamy avocado. This salad is hearty, but also very refreshing. Perfect for the new year!

Buckwheat Green Apple Cranberry Avocado Salad - Sweet and savory, with creamy avocado to make this filling and refreshing! From the Blissful Basil cookbook #honoryourbliss #vegan #glutenfree #soyfree #nutfree

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Savory Tomato Cobbler with Vegan Cheddar Chive Biscuit topping! Delicious, hearty and perfect for a weeknight dinner. #nutfree #dairyfree #sponsored #DoPlants

Savory Tomato Cobbler with Cheddar Chive Biscuits

The food-centered holidays may be over, but it’s still cold and I’m craving hearty food. Only now, I’m leaning towards something with a better nutritional profile than say,  Double Chocolate Peppermint Cookies. I need some salt to balance out the immense amount of sweets I’ve made in the last week or so! This Savory Tomato Cobbler really hit the spot, while not going too overboard.

Savory Tomato Cobbler with Vegan Cheddar Chive Biscuit topping! Delicious, hearty and perfect for a weeknight dinner. #nutfree #dairyfree #sponsored #DoPlants

The idea came from a cobbler-type dish that I threw together for Christmas Day dinner at my cousin’s house (you may have seen it in my Instagram stories). A can of vegan chili, another can of vegan fire-roasted soup and some added greens with extra spices, topped with homemade biscuits. The biscuit topping is a variation of the recipe I have for the Biscuit Nacho Bowl in Vegan Bowl Attack!.

Savory Tomato Cobbler with Vegan Cheddar Chive Biscuit topping! Delicious, hearty and perfect for a weeknight dinner. #nutfree #dairyfree #sponsored #DoPlants

This time around, I thought I’d change it to something like a grilled cheese with tomato soup, but a bit different. The savory tomato filling is made up of fire-roasted tomatoes, white beans (cannellini) for protein, greens and Silk’s Organic Unsweetened Soy Milk for some low-fat creaminess. Plus, some dried basil, oregano and red pepper flakes for extra punches of flavor.

Savory Tomato Cobbler with Vegan Cheddar Chive Biscuit topping! Delicious, hearty and perfect for a weeknight dinner. #nutfree #dairyfree #sponsored #DoPlants

Next, the drop biscuit topping is fluffy, with a crunchy outer-crust, filled with fresh chives and vegan cheddar shreds. Mmm.. The textures and tastes of this dish are SO good! Another great thing about this Savory Tomato Cobbler, is that it comes together pretty easily. So, it’s perfect for serving at a potluck or for a family dinner.

Savory Tomato Cobbler with Vegan Cheddar Chive Biscuit topping! Delicious, hearty and perfect for a weeknight dinner. #nutfree #dairyfree #sponsored #DoPlants

Even though it’s not totally necessary, I served my cobbler with a vegan sour cream, made with raw cashews and again, the Silk soy milk. I love how versatile unsweetened non-dairy milks are! You can find Silk near you using their store locator, and follow their newsletter for coupons and product updates.

Savory Tomato Cobbler with Vegan Cheddar Chive Biscuit topping! Delicious, hearty and perfect for a weeknight dinner. #nutfree #dairyfree #sponsored #DoPlants

Now, to the recipe!

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Double Chocolate Peppermint Cookies - Rich treats filled with chunks of peppermint and drizzled with vegan white chocolate. Served on a beautiful Lenox platter with hot cocoa! #nutfree #lenoxusa #spon

Double Chocolate Peppermint Cookies

With winter holidays come some of my favorite treats: cookies! I love spending a day baking in the kitchen; especially when it has been wet and chilly like it has here. The warm oven, terrific aromas, and the quality assurance testing for each batch… 😉 So, for this season’s cookie platter, I used a couple of my favorite recipes! Plus, a new recipe for delicious Double Chocolate Peppermint Cookies, just for you (and maybe me).

Double Chocolate Peppermint Cookies - Rich treats filled with chunks of peppermint and drizzled with vegan white chocolate. Served on a beautiful Lenox platter with hot cocoa! #nutfree #lenoxusa #spon

Now, while I was thinking of what this cookie party would consist of, a few things came to mind. Firstly, there needs to be variety of tasty treats, secondly, they need to be seasonal-ish, and third, it’s great if they all look and taste pretty differently! Another important factor in this equation is what to serve these on. I don’t have many platters, and certainly only one fairly large one. It’s pretty plain looking, and right now I’m feeling quite festive!

Double Chocolate Peppermint Cookies - Rich treats filled with chunks of peppermint and drizzled with vegan white chocolate. Served on a beautiful Lenox platter with hot cocoa! #nutfree #lenoxusa #spon

Enter: Lenox’s Holiday Oblong Platter. This gorgeous piece is 15″ long, so you can really pile on the cookies. There’s also a cute holly design that decorates the plate, and a gold rim that is oh-so-fancy — while still being dishwasher safe and currently 50% off! I found it really lightweight and perfect for serving up my Glazed Cranberry Orange Scones (minified), my Salted Triple-Chip Cookies (from my VegNews column in issue 101), and these rich Double Chocolate Peppermint Cookies.

Double Chocolate Peppermint Cookies - Rich treats filled with chunks of peppermint and drizzled with vegan white chocolate. Served on a beautiful Lenox platter with hot cocoa! #nutfree #lenoxusa #spon

No party-goer, nor Santa, could be disappointed by being served sweet treats, and especially not on this beautiful platter! It also doesn’t hurt to serve hot cocoa in some huge, matching mugs. 🙂 You can find Lenox glassware and dishware at Bed, Bath & Beyond and Macy’s.

Double Chocolate Peppermint Cookies - Rich treats filled with chunks of peppermint and drizzled with vegan white chocolate. Served on a beautiful Lenox platter with hot cocoa! #nutfree #lenoxusa #spon

Now, to the recipe! Huge chocolate chunks, chopped candy cane, cocoa cookies and a vegan white chocolate drizzle. Need I say more?

Double Chocolate Peppermint Cookies - Rich treats filled with chunks of peppermint and drizzled with vegan white chocolate. Served on a beautiful Lenox platter with hot cocoa! #nutfree #lenoxusa

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