Monday, July 31, 2017

Vegan Queso Dip

Hey scholars!

When I first became a vegan almost two years ago, I was not knowledgeable about vegan cheeses. I was like, well, consider any cheese dishes I used to enjoy in the past. The vegan cheese industry is booming. According to research, it is on track to be worth billions by 2020! This speaks to consumer buying power, shopping trends, and the popularity of non-dairy lifestyle changes. Cheese is amazing and can make or break a sandwich! Who doesn't love nachos. I know I do. I needed to make a cheese dip. Here is the queso dip I whipped up.


1 cup of nut based milk, I used almond milk
3 tbsp nutritional yeast seasoning
1.5 cups of cheddar vegan cheese, I used Daiya 
2-3 tbsp green chilies
1 diced tomato
black pepper and sea salt to taste 
green onions, optional


In a saucepan, bring the milk and yeast to a boil
Add the cheddar
Whisk the mix until it thickens up
Add the chilies and tomatoes 
Turn off the heat
Add salt and pepper 

Eat with chips or make nachos! 


Sunday, July 30, 2017


Hey scholars!

If you love guacamole, finding your perfect combination of ingredients is crucial. Guacamole is a food you should always make yourself. Once you do, you will not want store bought again. Let's face it, I love some brands, but the price does not add up. I rather make my own, which is delicious and cost effective. 


3 Avocados
1 Jalapeno
1 small red onion
1 roma tomato
garlic powder
sea salt 
black pepper
1 lime, juiced


Add everything to the food processor and blend until well mixed; you may also use a fork, or a mortar and pestle. 

As you see in the photo, I paired the guacamole with Way Better Snacks Sweet Chili chips. I also had the "Tastes Like 'Tuna' Spread." 


Saturday, July 29, 2017

Blends: Watermelon Juice and Cherry Tea

Hey scholars!

In the mornings during the summer, I like to get creative with my beverages. Since the morning hours are hot as hell, I like to cool off with tea. Here in the south, sweet iced tea is usually the way to go, but not for me. One, I do not like added sugars in my tea, and two, I never really drank iced tea, until now. This morning's blend is a naturally sweet, refreshing, candy like drink. 


2 cups of watermelon juice, I used the red traffic light juice
1 black cherry tea bag, I used this brand
1-3 lime slices
A few splashes of coconut water or regular water 


Add ice cubes to the bottom 
Place the tea bag and lime slices on top
Add more ice cubes
Pour watermelon juice until full; leave room for the water

I make these teas a couple of hours before I leave the house each morning and place them in the freezer, so that by the time I get to work, they are still cold and stay that way for a few hours. 


Friday, July 28, 2017

Tastes Like "Tuna" Spread

Hey scholars!

Before I became a vegan, I loved tuna. Since changing my lifestyle, I never thought that I would have something like it again. This recipe is essentially the same as the Garbanzo Bean and Avocado mixture, however, there a a couple of changes in the ingredients as well as the technique. This recipe may be the best sandwich I have made. Probably better than any tuna salad I have ever made. Lets get into it.


1 can of garbanzo beans
1 avocado
1 stalk of celery
2 sprigs of dill
1.2 lime, juiced
1/4 red onion
1/4 tomato
3 tablespoons of Vegenaise
1 tablespoon of mustard
a few dashes of: cayenne, garlic powder, paprika, pepper, sea salt 


Drain the beans; cut the avocado and remove the seed; dice the celery, onion, and tomato; remove the dill from the stem; add everything to the food processor. I pureed everything until well mixed. The texture made me think it would not be good or have a pleasant feel, but everything about it is really good. I could have eaten the spread right out of food processor's bowl.  

This may be eaten as a spread or dip or a sandwich. I used a Flatout Foldit 5 Grain Flax because it is all I have at the moment. I would recommend using a pita or sliced bread. Jazz it up a bit with lettuce, tomato, cucumbers, peppers, etc. I used none of those things because tomorrow it grocery shopping day!! I am also enjoying a jar of the green traffic light juice I made a couple of days ago. 


Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Traffic Light Juices

Hey scholars!

I am not the type to use my journey to force people to see things my way and become a vegan and achieve perfection. No, I am no health nut or guru. What I am interested in though is using my journey and platform to help people become informed on my lifestyle and maybe, just maybe, try a recipe or two. And maybe, just maybe, look to incorporate some of them into their daily diets and lifestyles. I love juicing. I love that in a few steps I can quickly breakdown down and flush out unwanted matter in my body while hydrating and nourishing my temple without taking drastic measures or wreaking havoc on my digestion system. Juicing is an excellent way to build immunity, lose weight, improve digestion, improve sleep, gain energy, boost your sex drive, and not only fight off diseases, but reverse chronic illnesses. If you want to do this as well, give juicing a try. There are good juicers for virtually every budget, so do anything that will bust your bank. My advice when it comes to juicing is to be open to ingredients and juice the rainbow. Try different colors each week or each day if you can. Just make sure that whatever decisions you make are yours to make. Today, I made three different juices that serve different purposes. Here are the juices.

Red for hydration:
1 3 pound watermelon
2 cups coconut water 

Orange for cellular energy:
3 bags of carrots
5 green apples
2 inch thumb ginger
2 cups of coconut water

Green for alkaline fluids, chlorophyll, and micronutrients:
3 stalks of celery
1 bundle of kale
4 green apples
1 lemon juiced 
2 cups of coconut water

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Garbanzo Bean and Avocado Sandwich

Hey scholars!

Since becoming vegan, the only sandwich I have had were the occasional subs from Subway. Other than that, no sammiches fam! I miss having a sandwich for lunch. So my grocery shopping trip today was to get fixings for sandwiches with the hope that it turned out to be good. These sandwiches consists only of produce. I am not brave enough yet to try vegan "lunch meats." 


1 can of chickpeas or garbanzo beans
1 ripe avocado
1/4 cup cilantro, diced
1 lime, juiced
1/8 cup dill
3 stalks green onions , chopped
1/4 red onion, diced
1 stalk celery, diced 
2 slices of tomato
garlic powder, sea salt, and pepper to taste  
Bread- I used pitas 


Drained the chickpeas or garbanzo beans, add to bowl (you may peel the outer skin from the beans, this is optional)
Add avocado to bowl and mash the beans together with a fork or potato masher (I found that using a fork was not working well for me and I never had any use for a potato masher, so I used the food pusher from my blender.)
Once the beans and avocado is mashed well together, add all the ingredients except the tomato slices.
Place the tomato slices into the pita
Add the mixture to the pita

You may also add stuff like sprouts, spinach leaves, and lettuce. If you want, you may use this as a dip and eat with chips or fresh veggies. 

I paired this delicious sandwich with a mango and kombucha, which is locally made and black owned!!! 


Friday, July 21, 2017

Sunshine in a Jar Juice

Hey scholars!

This week, I have been juicing according to color. For example, I began the week with a green juice. Today, I wanted a yellowish orange juice. Tomorrow, I will be making my Ginger and Carrot juice. The recipe for this sunshine juice is new, I have not made this before. Not only does it look like sunshine in a jar, but it tastes like it too. Here is what I used: 


6-8 fresh squeezed oranges
3 peaches
4 mangoes
1 pineapple or 3-4 cups of pineapple juice 
2 lemons juiced
4 cups coconut water 

I used a lemon juicer for the lemons, a citrus juicer for the oranges, and my Breville Juice Fountain for the peaches, pineapple, and mangoes. I strain all the juices into a large glass bowl. Then I poured the coconut water over the juice. Pour into jars. Enjoy! 

Thursday, July 20, 2017

90s Nostalgia: Black Movies

Hey scholars!

Part three of my 90s nostalgia posts is movies I grew up on, have fond memories of, and still watch to this day and quote on almost a daily basis. I see many posts like this from fellow 80s babies, 90s kids, and see where my lists differ. I could add so many movies to this list, but to avoid making it really long, I kept it to twelve black movies. No descriptions or quotes or commentary, because I am lazy or because I have to write a scholarly article, work, and think about my dissertation. It's because I do not want to. Here are the movies I watch for 90s nostalgia. 

1. Just Another Girl on the I.R.T

2. House Party

3. Friday

4. Soul Food

5. Eve's Bayou

6. Poetic Justice

7. Boyz in the Hood

8. Set it Off

9. Waiting to Exhale

10. Crooklyn

11. Love Jones 

12. Our Song- this came out in 2000, but...

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Favorite Snacks: Nature's Bakery

Hey scholars!

While most of my grocery shopping is me spending an astronomical amount of time in the produce section, I like to venture to other aisles for convenient vegan friendly snacks that are not exactly junk food. There is the assumption that just because something is vegan that it is automatically healthy. Not the case, there are many junks foods that are vegan (probably accidentally, meaning they were not created to target vegans specifically) on shelves that people consume everyday without thinking about the ingredients. Check out this list, you will probably find something you eat and did not know it was vegan. I do try to make sure that most of what I eat is healthy, like anyone else, I have my indulgences. One of my favorite snacks that I get from time to time are Nature's Bakery fig bars and brownies. I have tried most of the fig flavors as well as the double chocolate brownies, and I have not been disappointed. If you like figs and/or brownies, or have never tried figs, give these a try.       

Here is the link to the website for more of their snacks. 

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Watermelon and Strawberry Juice

Hey scholars!

This muggy, hot ass day, calls for a refreshing juice. I had a giant watermelon that needed to be used ASAP. I also have a couple pints of strawberries that needed to be consumed. Light bulb, juice them!!


1 5 pound watermelon
2 pints fresh strawberries
16 ounces coconut water

Juice. Strain. Pour. Enjoy! 

Friday, July 14, 2017

3 Ingredient Green Smoothie

Hey scholars!

I just whipped up a super simple, yet really delicious green smoothie on this thunderous and rainy Friday evening. I kind of want to watch movies and I kinda of want to sleep. One thing is for certain, I am enjoying this smoothie. 


1-2 stalks of kale
3 frozen bananas
2 cups almond milk

Blend. Pour. Enjoy!! 

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Vegan Yogurt: Silk

Hey scholars!

Since becoming a vegan August 2015, I have not had yogurt! Honestly, I have missed it. It is an easy breakfast choice on the go. It makes for a nice snack that you can jazz up. I have heard about a few vegan brands, but I have not been moved to try any of them until recently. I decided to try the Silk brand. Let me say, I was not disappointed. 

What I like about this brand is that is tastes like yogurt. Typically, vegan or plant-based versions of foods tend to taste like an alternative and nothing like what you want, but is tasty enough to consume. This yogurt does not taste like an alternative. It has the thick, smooth consistency of dairy based yogurts What makes it even better is that it does not taste really sweet like dairy based yogurts, some of which I have always found to be too sweet. Silk is on point. The fruit flavors are on point. The texture is on point. I just love it. I can go back to making recipes with yogurt again. Sometimes I add granola, raisin, and cranberries to it enjoy as a parfait. Try this, you may like it, if yogurt is your thing. Silk, I am going to need yawl to make frozen yogurts. Thanks! 

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Green Juice

Hey scholars!

Here is another green juice recipe. Alter it however you see fit. 


1 bag baby spinach
1 pineapple
1 cucumber
1 pear
1 lemon juiced
5 green apples
32 ounces coconut water 

Run the everything but the coconut water and lemon juice through the juicer. Strain the juice and mix in the lemon juice and coconut water. Stir. Pour. Enjoy! 

Friday, July 7, 2017

Ginger Tropical Juice

Hey scholars!

I tried a new combination of ingredients for a juice. This juice is spicy because I am heavy handed with ginger, for me, the more, the merrier. Adjust wherever you want and need to. 


5 green apples
32 ounces coconut water
1 diced papaya
2 thumbs ginger
1 cucumber

Run everything through the juicer. 

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Body and Hair Frosting

Hey scholars!

Since I have begun my natural hair journey several years ago, I have been learning my hair. What I mean is, what it likes and what it doesn't in terms of products and styles. During this process, I have found many products to be a waste of money and some to be quite magical. The most beneficial products have been oils and butters that I can mix together and whip up my own skin and hair potions, like the one I am sharing today. 

1 cup shea butter
1 cup mango butter
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 tbsp avocado oil
1 tbsp almond oil
20 drops vanilla essential oil

I used a hand mixer and a bowl to whip butters together first and then added the rest of the ingredients. 

This mixture has me smelling like a vanilla funfetti cupcake. It got my skin glistening like dulce de leche. 



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