Easy Broccoli Rabe & Mushroom Pasta
A bowl of pasta is the ultimate comfort food to warm up a snowy winter evening. Pair with your favorite red wine and some candlelight and you’ve got yourself a romantic dinner. This vegetable-rich dish comes together fast – perfect for busy weeknights.
What You Need:
1 bunch broccoli rabe, woody ends discarded, roughly chopped (Did you know? The leaves, flowers, and stems of broccoli rabe are all edible)
8 oz. white mushrooms, stemmed and sliced
8 oz. cremini mushrooms, stemmed and sliced
1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
4-6 cloves garlic, sliced
2 T. vegan butter (such as Earth Balance)
2 T olive oil
16 oz. casarecce pasta or your favorite shape/kind (whole wheat, gluten-free, etc)
Salt & pepper to taste Continue Reading…
Disney FREE Dining is Here… But Is It Worth It for Vegetarians or Vegans?
This is not a drill! Disney released the popular free dining promotion early this year for summer/fall Walt Disney World vacations.
What is Free Dining?
Free Dining is a popular promotion that adds on a “free” dining planing to a minimum required package. For 2019, this means a non-discounted hotel stay of at least 4 nights and a 4+ day park hopper or park hopper plus for every person in your party. The “free” dining plan is Disney’s Quick-Service Dining Plan with Value and Moderate Resort hotel packages and Disney’s Dining Plan with Deluxe and Deluxe Villa Resort hotel packages). You can choose to pay the difference to upgrade your “free” plan to the Standard or Deluxe plan.
When is Free Dining 2019?
2019 Free Dining at Walt Disney World is available for arrival dates July 5th through September 30th, 2019. You must book by February 10, 2019 and availability is limited.
What is Included in the Dining Plan and How Much Does it Cost Normally?
For members of your party 3 and older:
Quick Service – 2 Quick-Service Meals (includes 1 entree + 1 beverage), 2 Snacks Per Night of Stay
- Cost $52.50 per Adult & $23.78 per Child 3-9, Per Night
Dining Plan – 1 Table-Service Meal (Breakfast: entree + beverage or 1 buffet; Lunch/Dinner: entree, beverage, dessert or 1 buffet), 1 Quick-Service Meal, 2 Snacks Per Night of Stay
- Cost $75.49 per Adult & $27.98 per Child 3-9, Per Night
Deluxe Dining – 3 Table-Service Meals (same as above with appetizer included at lunch dinner), 2 Snacks Per Night of Stay
- Cost $116.25 per Adult & $43.49 per Child 3-9, Per Night
All dining plans include a refillable drink mug for all guests 3 and older, which can be refilled at self-serve kiosks a select Quick-Service locations at any Disney Resort hotel.
Beverages can be alcoholic for guests 21 and older, where available.
Guests ages 3 to 9 must order from a children’s menu, where available. Note that some restaurants may require 2 Table-Service Credits per person per meal. Gratuities are NOT included.
FREE is great, right?
Yes and no. In order to get the free dining promotion, you have to purchase a rack rate room and non-discounted Park Hopper tickets of 4+ days for every member of your party. If saving money is your #1 priority, then the savings from the dining plan needs to be more than what you could save by purchasing a discounted room, discounted tickets from an authorized vendor (possibly without Park Hopper), and paying for food a la carte. Continue Reading…
7 Easy Vegan Snacks That Take 5 Minutes or Less to Prepare
We start off the morning with good intentions, willpower, and often a good kick of coffee/tea. Sometime around 3 pm, however, those office donuts start to look awfully good even though we know we’ll feel even worse afterwards. The best offense is a good defense – having a healthy, delicious pre-proportioned snack ready to go to eat before the cravings hit. Snacks don’t have to be elaborate or fancy. The best snacks include carbs and protein for a long-term energy boost. Avoid “healthy” energy bars that are really just heavily-processed candy bars with some vitamins added in.
Here are some super easy options to pack in the morning or grab on the fly to keep your energy up:
Hummus & Veggies – This is my go-to for the afternoon. Sliced cucumbers, broccoli spears, cherry tomatoes, bell peppers, celery, and carrots all make great dippers. You can slice some up when making dinner the night before to save time. Costco has individual serving sized containers of hummus that make it super easy.
Apple or Pear Slices and Peanut Butter – An apple a day keeps the doctor away. The combo of protein-fat-carbs from the fruit and peanut butter is filling.Continue Reading…
10 Micro-Resolutions to Make 2019 Your Best Year Ever
Happy New Year! January 1 is a popular day to start anew with resolutions to overall your diet, social life, career, etc. Too often, however, we set goals that are too big or don’t fit our life in reality, miss a milestone, get discouraged, and revert back to old habits before February has even begun. That’s not to say that New Years resolutions aren’t useful – the mental beginning of a new year can help make changes stick. My favorite way to this is through micro-resolutions that contribute to a larger goal (or just to the general goal of living my best life).
What are micro-resolutions? Small changes that work towards the life you want to create for yourself and your family. When making micro-resolutions, you want to make them almost so small that it would silly not to meet them — think “I will always make dinner on Sunday nights” vs. “I’ll never order take out again”. Even if you throw together a PB&J or pour a bowl of cereal, you’re meeting that goal and still saving $10-15 a week (takeout is pricey!). It’s fine to go above and beyond your goal posts but keep them small enough that you can still meet them that inevitable week when your boss has you staying late, your little one has the flu, the cat has to go to the vet, your computer crashes, and “oh-my-gosh is that water dripping from the living room ceiling?”.
Finally, be kind to yourself. Life happens and it’s better to miss a few weeks of reading and jump back on then stop because you missed your goal for a few weeks. Every time you meet a micro-resolution is a victory. Celebrate! Do a happy dance, put a gold star on a chart, sneak a piece of dark chocolate before dinner, whatever! If in doubt, think how you would support your best friend/spouse/child/dog/cat/favorite aardvark. You wouldn’t tell them they’re a horrible person because they didn’t drink 8 cups of water today. You’d give them a hug and start singing “There’s always tomorrow, for dreams to come trueee…”.
Without further ado, here are 10 micro-resolutions that you can use to make your 2019 rock:Continue Reading…
5 Most Popular Posts of 2018!
2019 is almost here (where did the past year get to?!?). Before we move forward, it’s always fun to look back at the ending year. This year, the top 5 most-viewed posts on The Vegan Wifey were:Continue Reading…
Vegan Easter Basket Stuffers + Amazon Gift Card Giveaway!
Easter is one of my favorite holidays, not only because it’s central to my faith, but also because I have very fond memories of dying eggs, waking up to find Peter Cottontail hid the eggs, eating my weight in cheap milk chocolate bunnies and jellybeans, and family Easter dinners with a loaded feast of ham and spring veggies. When I made the switch to a vegan lifestyle, Easter was the hardest holiday to adjust because just about every tradition centers on animal products. However, it doesn’t have to be that way and it gets easier every year as companies catch up with the vegan lifestyles. There are now dyeable ceramic eggs, which I just ordered to try out (so excited!). You can now crown your Easter dinner table with a Tofurky Ham Roast (also trying for the first time this year!). And it’s easier than ever to fill an Easter basket to the brim with vegan goodies. Of course, the best baskets balance candy with other fun surprises to avoid a sugar overload. Here are some of my top Easter basket stuffers for vegan families:
The rest of this post contains affiliate links.
Candy & Chocolate
No Easter basket is complete without something sweet to eat. The classic Easter bunny is a great standby and there are now some great vegan options, such as the “milk chocolate” Franky the Laughing Chocolate Easter Bunny or the easy-to-find Lindt Dark Chocolate Gold Bunny If creme eggs are more your thing, make sure Peter Cottontail orders you some Cream Veggs in time for Easter morning. YumEarth’s Sour Jelly Beans are vegan friendly. And of course, most high-quality dark chocolate bars (check those labels!) are dairy and egg free.
Toys & Games
If you have young ones (or are preparing a basket for the young-at-heart), toys and games are a great way to encourage some movement after the candy coma. Spring or Easter themed toys like the Hatchimals 12-Pack Egg Carton or a Sweet Stuffed Bunny add a nice touch. Small toys in a theme your child loves – like these My Little Pony Minis – are perfect for hiding in eggs instead of candy. Wooden toys, like these neat cars from Hape, are a durable and more eco-friendly addition. Continue Reading…
Vegan Slow Cooker Corned Beef and Cabbage with Horseradish Sauce
Slow cooker meals are a working parent’s best friend — prep in the morning and sit down to a delicious warm meal with little to no evening prep. Corned beef is simply beef brisket cured in brine and boiled. Seitan makes a great vegan beef substitute and when you add onion, garlic, carrots, potatoes, and cabbage, you’ve got yourself a delicious complete meal. To give it that corned beef flavor, a spiced brine is poured over the ingredients and let to simmer all day. While corned beef and cabbage is traditionally associated with Saint Patrick’s Day in the US, it makes a hearty meal on any cold night. This recipe makes a full 6-quart slow cooker. You can halve the recipe for smaller families or just freeze the leftovers. Sláinte mhaith! (Irish Gaelic for “Good health!)
Vegan Corned Beef and Cabbage Ingredients:
2 large onions, cut into 1″ chunks
6 garlic cloves, halved lengthwise
6 carrots, halved lengthwise and cut into 2″ pieces
10 baby potatoes, halved or quartered into 1″ chunks
16 oz seitan (2 packages), sliced into 1/4 in. slices
1 head cabbage, cored and sliced into 1-1.5″ wedges
4 c. vegetable broth
2 T. brown sugar
1/4 c. apple cider vinegar
1 t. coriander
1/4 t. allspice
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. black pepper (sub in smoked black pepper if desired)
3 T. brown mustard (or 2 T. brown mustard and 1 T. horseradish mustard if you have on hand)
2 T. red wine (optional)
Horseradish Sauce Ingredients:
1/3 c. vegan mayo
2 T. prepared horseradish
1 T. water or lemon juice Continue Reading…
Saint Patrick’s Day Brunch: Vegan Irish Soda Bread Scones
Happy St. Patrick’s Day! It’s not too late to get in the holiday spirit with these yummy Irish Soda Bread Scones. “Authentic” Irish Soda Bread contains only four ingredients – flour, baking soda, salt, and buttermilk. This scone recipe builds on that base, adding in a touch of fruit and spicing for a delicious Irish-ish breakfast. As added bonus, they’re whole grain and, of course, vegan. Top o’ the mornin’ to ya!
2.5 c. whole wheat flour
1 t. ground cinnamon
1/2 t. baking soda
1/4 t. coarse salt
3/4 + 2 T. non-dairy milk, such as almond
2 t. apple cider vinegar
3 T. maple syrup
1/2 c. dried cranberries, raisins, or currants
8 t. coarse raw cane sugar (optional)
Sheet Pan Dinner: Gnocchi and Roasted Veggies
Sheet pan dinners are amazing for busy nights — just toss everything together on a baking sheet (or two, if your family eats like ours) and roast away. I never knew you could bake gnocchi in the oven and I love how they come out – slightly crispy on the outside and pillowy soft on the inside. Use whatever veggies you have on hand to clean out the fridge – sweet potatoes, zucchini, summer squash, beets, peppers, and eggplant would also be delicious. The trick to roasting mixed veggies without a mix of burnt pieces and partially raw veggies is to be mindful of size when prepping – larger pieces for fast to cook veggies like peppers and smaller ones for root vegetables that roast slower so that you end up with evenly cooked veggies. Don’t skimp on the oil – veggies and gnocchi should be evenly coated (but not dripping). Use a second baking sheet if needed – overcrowded veggies won’t crisp up properly. Bon Appétit!
1 lb. shelf-stable gnocchi (add a 2nd package for big families)
1 red onion, cut into 1 inch chunks
6 garlic cloves
1 lb asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1.5″ pieces
1 pint grape tomatoes
8 oz cremini mushrooms, trimmed and halved
3-4 multi-colored carrots, cut lengthwise and into 1.5″ pieces
2 T – 1/4 c. organic extra virgin olive oil
1/4 t. dried oregano
1/4 t. dried basil
Salt & pepper to taste