Fo Reals Life

January 07, 2014 January 07, 2014/ Morgan

 I have to tell you.. this post is SO HARD FOR ME TO WRITE. Why? Because the pictures are making me starving! I want to eat this all over again! I might just make some more… yum.. Oh now my stomach is growling, great. 

Alright with that confession out of the way let’s get down to business. These are vegan plant strong chili cheese fries. That is just an amazing thing anyway that we can make such yummy foods as vegans, isn’t it? It’s all oil free, nut free, baked not fried yummy awesome… chili cheese fries. YES! 

I had to quickly post two other recipes for this one – the chili and the chili cheese sauce. Now we make those, bake up some crispy seasoned fries and get busy! Busy eating it, that is. Because really, I am so so hungry. 

 While this looks crazy indulgent, it is actually part of my Get Skinny Again in The New Year plan! HA! Isn’t that awesome? Yeah somehow I can eat things like this and the crazy good Double Chocolate Berry Overnight Oatmeal Parfait and still lose weight every week. Thank you Dr. McDougall, Jeff Novick and most of all… thank you potatoes. Haha! 

What else should I tell you? The family LOVED this, of course. I LOVED this. And I’m betting you’re going to be excited about these as well! NOW GET COOKING! (They’re really not hard and it’s so.. SO… SOOOO GOOOD!!!)

You will need the following: 

  • 1 batch Easy 3 Bean Veggie Chili – recipe here (or your favorite chili)
  • 1 batch of Vegan Chili Cheese Dip – recipe here
  • Russet potatoes – my rule is to have 1 large potato per person or 2 small/medium. You can’t have too many fries! 
  • 1 Tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Fun garnishes: cilantro, green onions, avocado, salsa, sliced black olives, sliced jalapenos, hot sauce, chopped tomato, etc!

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat non-stick baking mat. Wash your potatoes and peel them if you want to. Then cut them into steak fries/ thick cut fries (about the width of a woman’s finger? Work with me here, people! haha!) Toss with the chili powder and salt. Spread into a single layer and put them into the oven. Bake for 20-30 minutes. I start to check after 15 minutes and then every 5 minutes after that. Recently I discovered that I don’t even need to flip them for them to turn out good. I just wait until they start to lightly brown in spots on the tops and sides and then I know they are done! 

Once they’re done, top them with the chili and cheese dip (make sure they are both piping hot!) Then throw your extras on top and serve. Grab a drink, crash on the couch and ENJOY!  

December 11, 2013 December 11, 2013/ Morgan

I am supposed to write some nice things here about these cinnamon rolls. I don’t know how much I can write to tempt you to try these though – I mean, come on, they’re freaking cinnamon rolls! AND these are whole grain. And have sweet potatoes. And have no oil, or margarine or buttery stuff at all. That’s enough to tempt you, right? How about some yummy pictures to go along with that? 

You know, I’m really sorry if you’re on a super strict diet and can’t make these but honestly they are super duper wholesome. There’s got to be a way to fit these into any diet, am I right?!

Mmm yeah! Sticky sweet and oh so delicious. Talk about the perfect holiday morning breakfast. Or cold morning breakfast. Or birthday breakfast. Or any time dessert! Looking at these again makes me feel like I’m about to pull out my stash from the freezer and bake some more. 

Mmm and they are covered with maple glaze. MAPLE, PEOPLE!!! Maple and sweet potatoes = best friends forever and maybe a little more than friends. Seriously. Yum. 

And check it out below – SO MUCH CINNAMON FILLING. We aren’t messing around here. It’s sweet and cinnamony all the way. (Yeah not really a word but I’m okay with that.) 

And! Just so you don’t have to feel like you have to eat them all at once I include how to freeze them so you can just take them out and bake them whenever you get the craving!

**You can make these with a combination of all-purpose flour and whole-wheat flour if you aren’t ready for the full blow whole wheat version. Using WHITE whole wheat flour helps combat the usual “grittiness” that comes along with using whole grains. If you use more all purpose flour you may find that your dough is extra sticky (all purpose does not need as much liquid to hydrate) so add some extra flour if necessary. **

-makes about 20


  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • 1 package dry active or instant yeast
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup mashed sweet potatoes (just bake em, peel em and smash em up!)
  • 1 & 1/2 cups almond or soy milk (or your favorite non-dairy milk)
  • 4 cups white whole wheat flour (or a combination of all purpose and whole wheat)
  • 1 teaspoon salt


  • 1/2 cup mashed sweet potatoes
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 Tablespoon flour 


  • 1.5 cups sifted powdered sugar
  • 4 Tablespoons maple syrup
  • 4 teaspoons maple extract 
  • 2 teaspoon cinnamon

Combine the warm water and yeast then set aside for about 10 minutes. 

Get a medium sized bowl out and mix the sugar, sweet potatoes and almond milk together until smooth. Add in the water and yeast mixture and stir until combined. 

Now in a large bowl mix your flour and salt together. Slowly stir in the liquid mix. The dough should be pretty sticky. Dump out onto a floured countertop and knead a few times until it forms a ball.

Place the ball of dough in a large clean bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Cover with a towel and place in a warm spot to rise. It should take an hour or so for it to double in size. Make sure you wait until it has completely doubled. 

Once doubled place on a floured piece of parchment paper and roll out into a thin rectangle  The parchment paper helps you roll it up in the end and I LOVE using it for this! 

Mix all of the filling ingredients together and spread over the entire rectangle. Starting at one end tightly roll up the dough. Place the roll seam side down and cut into about one to two inch sections with a serrated knife or a string of unflavored dental floss. Place the rolls in a pan that you have lightly sprayed with oil or lined with parchment paper. Cake pans and casserole dishes work great for this. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and let rise again for about 30-45 minutes. 

While they are rising preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Once they have risen remove the plastic wrap and bake for about 20 minutes or until the bottoms begin to slightly brown. 

Take out and let cool for about 5 minutes. Then mix the glaze ingredients together and pour over all of the rolls. Eat and enjoy! (And don’t feel bad if you have two!) 

You can wrap them up and freeze them if you aren’t wanting to eat 20 or so rolls at once. I wrap them up after they have been sliced into rolls and are in a pan. I just wrap it with plastic wrap first and then with foil. Mark the foil and freeze. Then take them out within a few months, let them thaw out (and rise) and then bake! Yum! You can also freeze them after they have been cooked and glazed. Just wrap them up, freeze and when you’re ready to eat them thaw them out. You can heat them up for a few minutes in the oven to make them extra awesome. 

December 11, 2013/ Morgan/ December 09, 2013 December 09, 2013/ Morgan

I realize that the last SEVERAL recipes I’ve posted have had sweet potatoes in them. And the next few will as well. It’s the season, am I right?! Also they happen to be delicious, full of nutrients and I got a TON of them for super cheap. I love finding new ways to eat and enjoy them. 

This is a spin on the classic combination of sweet potatoes and black beans. Somehow those two go together so perfectly. Adding spicy cranberry sauce really takes the dish up from a “yeah this is yummy!” to “Oh my gosh don’t talk to me this is SO GOOD THAT I JUST WANT TO SAVOR IT ALONE!!!” At least that’s how my family and I felt about them. They are really that good. 

It just serves as a great reminder to me that being vegan doesn’t mean giving up flavor. I swear that I eat more delicious and flavorful foods now than I ever had before going “Plant-Strong.” I am more creative and more excited about new and unusual combinations these days. All I’m sayin’ is that you should really try this out even if it sounds bizarre to you because IT IS CRAZY GOOD! Oh and crazy healthy. And look at the ingredients list – crazy simple too! Be crazy and make these, yall! 

Cranberry, Sweet Potato and Black Bean Enchiladas

  • 3 cups cubed Cooked Sweet Potatoes (I bake mine in the slow cooker!)
  • 1 & 1/2 cups black beans (1 can drained)
  • 1/2 batch Easy Spicy Cranberry Sauce (recipe also below) 
  • 1/4 cup minced cilantro
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 12 corn tortillas
  • 1 batch, can or bottle of your favorite enchilada sauce or salsa (We used Trader Joe’s tomatillo salsa – I HIGHLY recommend it!!) 

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Prepare a large baking dish (such as a 9×13) for the enchiladas by lining it with parchment paper. Add a bit of your sauce to the bottom of the pan before making the enchiladas.

Mix the cubed sweet potatoes, black beans, cranberry sauce, lime juice and cilantro in a large bowl until combined. 

Heat the corn tortillas up (I use the microwave and cover them with a moist paper towel so they don’t crack.) and add some filling to each. Roll and place on top of the sauce in the baking dish. Continue until you run out of tortillas or filling. (If you have extra filling it is really good as a burrito or in a breakfast hash!) Top with more sauce and cover the dish with foil.

Bake for 20 minutes or until everything is warm and toasty! Serve with extra cranberry sauce on the side or on top.  

Spicy Cranberry Sauce

  • 2 cups fresh cranberries
  • 2 minced jalapenos or serrano peppers (leave the seeds and everything)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • juice and zest of 1 lime

Mix everything together in a small pot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Once it’s boiling turn it down to medium and let simmer. Cook until the cranberries have all “popped” and the sauce is thickened. Once cooled store it in the fridge for up to a week. 

November 19, 2013 November 19, 2013/ Morgan

I don’t usually call recipes the BEST.. but when it is, it is. If you can’t tell from the pictures it’s been snowing up a storm here and I wanted to bake something yummy. I’ve also got about 30 pounds of sweet potatoes so it had to have some in it. I’m so glad I made these, yall!

They are ultra tender AND on top of that they contain NO OIL, NO MARGARINE and are made with whole wheat flour! That means they are plant strong, folks!! You don’t say! Somehow even with all of that healthy goodness they still taste decadent. 

The only part that you need to plan ahead for is the baked sweet potatoes. Sure, you can poke them with a fork and microwave them but my favorite way is to cook them in the slow cooker! They turn out perfect every time!!! 

Oh and I topped them with the ginger orange cranberry sauce I made for my Stuffed Sweet Potatoes. Not required but if you like cranberry sauce you’ve got to try it out! 

  • 2 & 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 cup sweet potato puree (just bake some sweet potatoes, peel and blend!)
  • 1 cup soy or almond milk (or your favorite non-dairy milk) 
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 Tablespoon brown sugar 
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 

Measure out your soy milk and stir in the lemon juice. Set aside for 5 minutes. 

In a large bowl mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt together.

Add the soy milk mixture and sweet potato puree to the dry mix. Mix until JUST COMBINED. A few little lumps is okay. Add additional flour if it seems way too sticky

For drop biscuits just spoon it out onto your parchment lined baking sheet.  

For cut biscuits lightly dust flour on your work surface. Dump the just combined dough onto the surface and pat into a 3/4″ tall round. Cut out your pieces and then combine the scraps, pat together again and repeat. These will be very delicate and may slightly pull apart while moving them if you are not careful. Just be gentle and pat them back together once they are transfered to the pan. 

Bake the biscuits for 15 – 18 minutes or until they just begin to lightly brown.

**For a yummy savory sweet potato biscuit add about 1 Tablespoon of finely minced rosemary. Mmm!!!! 

November 16, 2013 November 16, 2013/ Morgan

Now don’t run away! This sounds a little fancy but its really easy which I am really about this time of year. I bake the potatoes in the slow cooker and double this sauce so I can have this whenever I want. Shh sometimes I’m feeling too lazy to even heat it up!

I know that sometimes vegan (or plant-strong) food can seem complicated, or boring, or even tasteless. I want to tell you that it need not be ANY of those things! You can have your easy tasty meals and feel healthier than ever.. really!

If you can’t find edamame (or you don’t eat soy) you can always use you favorite beans here like chickpeas. Or you can leave it out entirely and just enjoy the potato with the cranberry sauce. Mmm. Also, I think this would make a GREAT holiday side dish, don’t you??

Sweet Potatoes Stuffed with Edamame and Ginger-Orange Cranberry Sauce

  • 1 cup fresh or frozen whole cranberries
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons fresh grated or minced ginger
  • 4 baked sweet potatoes (THIS is my favorite way to bake them!) 
  • 1 cup cooked shelled edamame
  • minced cilantro to taste

Combine the cranberries, orange juice, orange zest, sugar, and ginger in a small pan and bring to a boil. Once it’s boiling turn the heat down and let simmer for 5-10 minutes or until the cranberries have all “popped” and the sauce is slightly thick.

Split your sweet potatoes. Top with 1/4 cup edamame, 1/4 of the sauce and cilantro if you wish! 

The sauce should keep well in the fridge for 3-4 days (minimum, really!) and it goes great with all sorts of foods so don’t be afraid to slather it on your next peanut butter sandwich!