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5 vegan things to do on a last summer weekend!

vegan end of summer recipes


sunny vegan gardein grilled teriyaki chick




Fall is just around the corner but don’t forget to savor these last gorgeous summer weekends. We have had a great summer and I am definitely going to do these things this weekend with my girls before the school stuff gets super busy and we are running in 20 different directions.

1. make some popsicles.
use up the seasons last strawberries and basil in this popsicle.

2. host a vegan bbq.
with grilled gardein, veggie dogs and grilled veggies.

3. make sun prints.
this one is just for fun, but you can use it to discuss nature and conservation before the leaves start to fall.
simply lay leaves, branches etc on colored construction paper and leave it in the sun, fun prints will be left behind.

4. savor the summer salad.
get in that last gorgeous summer produce in a salad using tomato and peaches, strawberry and arugula, and radishes.

5.make vegan ice cream.
it’s easy, healthier, and the kids love making their own. this one is one of our faves, cherry chip ice cream.

strawberry basil popsicle recipe healthy and vegan

What are you end of summer plans?

September 23, 2015 - 7:06 am

Jessica Lane Massingill - I seriously love your blog. Will be following it 🙂

super simple spinach salad #EatRightForYourSight

Spinach is one of my fave veggies, especially in a salad. While I eat lots of salads, there is something that keeps me coming back to delicate organic baby spinach. The amount of spinach I go through is almost comical. I toss it into smoothies, pasta, vegan creamed spinach, and tons of salads. This is one of my faves – first, because it is so simple, and second because it’s delicious!

sunny vegan spinach salad with apples and walnuts   copy

When I was contacted by the American Macular Degeneration Foundation about their #EatRightForYourSight campaign, I was totally in. I truly believe that food has the power to heal or make you sick and focusing on foods hight in antioxidants, omega 3’s and healthy fats can be great for your eyes. Just one cup of spinach has lots of of lutein and zeaxanthin—two nutrients that do wonders for your eyes. Walnuts contain those omega 3’s as well as zinc and the olive oil in the dressing has healthy fats for you too.

I hear all the time that eating healthy is TOO complicated, I don’t have time to prepare fresh food and blah, blah, blah. This salad took less than a minute to make and I’m sure you can spare a minute to improve your health. So eat up my friends!

Ingredients: 4 servings

6 cups organic baby spinach
1 organic fuji apple
1/3 cup organic raw walnuts
1/4 cup red onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup crumbled extra firm tofu


1-2 teaspoon shallots, finely chopped
2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup olive oil
1-2 teaspoons dijon mustard
salt and pepper to taste


layer salad ingredients into bowl or onto serving dish. combine dressing ingredients in large bowl and whisk until combined. drizzle over salad mixture and serve immediately.

sunny vegan spinach salad with apples and walnuts recipe   #eatrightforyoursight


I'm Blogging for Eye Health, #EatRightforYourSight

grilled Gardein teriyaki chick’n skewers #meetchef

sunny vegan gardein grilled teriyaki chick

I’m all about healthy food that tastes delicious, looks gorgeous and is ready in minutes!

When the opportunity to showcase Gardein products AND share a coupon with you came up, I was totally thrilled.
Everyone in my house loves Gardein, from the #meetchef Teriyaki  Chick’n Strips to Fishless Filets, it never occurred to me that you all didn’t already know about this amazing company and their products, so make sure you grab your $1 COUPON and give them a try.

While I am vegan ( ummm- the site is sunny vegan) I hope to let people know that you don’t have to be vegan to make a difference. Did you know that reducing your meat intake just 1 day a week can have a considerable impact on your health. It increases life expectancy while reducing the risk of heart disease, cancer, obesity and diabetes. So why not give meatless Monday, or Thursday, a try and see how you feel?

I’ve never had chicken, but I always thought skewers look so delish, I just had to make my own version with Chick’n Strips. This recipe is so easy, took 6 minutes to cook, it’s now in heavy rotation for a quick weeknight meal. I can’t wait to serve this at summer barbecues too.


sunny vegan gardein grilled teriyaki chick

for the skewers-  if using bamboo, soak for 15 minutes before grilling to prevent them from burning.
I used a grill pan, no soaking necessary
Ingredients: 3 servings

1 package Gardein Teriyaki Chick’n Strips
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 cup pineapple, cut to approximately same thickness as Chick’n Strips
2 green onions, sliced *optional
1/4 cup chopped cilantro *optional
1 Tablespoon sesame seeds *optional


pre-heat grill or grill pan. thaw Chick’n strips for a few minutes, just until soft enough to insert skewer without it cracking. cut each strip in half, then alternate Chick’n and pineapple until skewers are all full. brush or spray with olive oil and grill each side for 2-3 minutes. drizzle Teriyaki sauce ( included with Gardein ) over chick’n and pineapple, top with optional garnish and serve immediately.

sunny vegan gardein grilled teriyaki chick

for the asian slaw


3 cups shredded green cabbage
1 cup shredded purple cabbage
1 cup shredded carrots
1/4 cup green onion, chopped
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 Tablespoon sesame seeds

1 glove garlic- minced
1 lime – juiced
1/4 teaspoon lime zest
1 Tablespoon soy sauce
1 Tablespoon rice vinegar
1 Tablespoon agave
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 Tablespoon sesame oil


combine all salad ingredients in a large bowl. in a small bowl, combine all dressing ingredients and whisk until combined. pour dressing over salad mixture, stir and allow to stand for 15 minutes. top with sesame seeds and serve.


May 11, 2015 - 5:22 pm

Debbie - These look delicious! I’m loving checking out all the Gardein posts. So many great recipes!

May 12, 2015 - 8:08 am

Susie @ SuzLyfe - Pineapple, teriyaki, and “chicken” are a match made in heaven!

rosemary lemon sugar scrub – spring shape up!


easy rosemary lemon doterra body scrub recipe - sunny vegan

It’s that time again, time to peel off the winter wear and bare those lovely legs and shoulders. Nooooo!
Despite having a mild So-Cal winter, my skin looks like I have been hanging at the north pole for the past 4 months. And we are leaving for spring break to a warmer climate so I will be wearing shorts and tank tops soon. To ensure that I don’t scare the general public with my paper white, dry legs, I need to do something now!
I generally like my Spring shape up time because it forces me to take a little time to take care of myself but I have been super busy and would rather spend money on our vacation than expensive body scrubs, so this quick fix is perfect! Chances are you have the ingredients in your kitchen right now so you too can get your scrub on.



1/2 cup olive oil
1 cup turbinado or brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon lemon zest
1-2 Tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped
5-7  drops lemon essential oil- I use doTERRA


combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well.


Usage Instructions:

in the shower, scoop up a small amount of scrub and rub into skin in a circular motion, paying extra attention to knees and elbows. rinse well and follow with your favorite lotion.
Common Sense Notes- avoid eyes and mucous membranes, use of oil will make your shower or bath slippery so be careful.

5 tips to drink more water

Most people know they should drink water daily, but how many of us actually do it? The truth is that drinking water is a constant struggle for me, I know I should do it but I am constantly dehydrated!

Why exactly is water important anyway? Well- it helps control calories, energizes your muscles, helps to control body fluid balance and gives you glowing skin.

Here are 5 tips that have helped me to get more water in:

1. track your water.
you can use bracelet beads, a notepad or an app like myfitnesspal or waterlogged, but just track it!

2. use a filter.
filtered water does taste better, so get a filter you will actually use.

3. have a glass (or two) before each meal or snack.
frequently, thirst is confused for hunger so drink a big glass of water before you eat.

4. sneak in extra water with tea, fruits and veggies.
the tea is pretty self explanatory, but remember that fruits and veggies contain water and a fiber bonus.

5. Flavor it!
sometimes I will just add cucumber or a slice of lemon, but this spa water recipe is one of my favorites.

take 5 spa water recipe with watermelon and cucumber recipe via sunny vegan

Ingredients: per 1 serving

2 cups chilled filtered water
1/4 cup cucumber, sliced very thin
1/4 cup watermelon, sliced or cubed


combine ingredients in glass, allow to stand for 5 minutes.


Another problem I have struggled with is keeping feminine pads where they need to be. You know those pads that slip and slide out of place and don’t do their job? Yeah, that can make it very difficult to stay motivated and keep active. Luckily I found  STAYFREE® Ultra Thin® Ultra with Wings. They were inspired by athletic wear and are flexible to move with you during your run, workout or yoga practice.
Not only that, Stayfree® is giving you 30 days of FREE yoga!
They have made it so easy for you too, just go the myyoga.stayfree website where you can look up where to purchase products ( luckily TarJay, I mean Target, has them) upload a copy of your receipt and start 30 days of free yoga with Gaiam. You can read more about it here, but hurry as this offer ends March 12th.

Stayfree Free Yoga


I’d love to hear your best water trick or struggle too!

Thanks again to  Stayfree® and Sverve for sponsoring this discussion, as usual, all opinions are my own.


February 25, 2015 - 12:29 pm

Robert - My best water drinking trick is to strategically place cups around the house. This way, when I see the cup, it reminds me to fill it up with water!

February 27, 2015 - 7:11 pm

Kayla @ TheEclecticElement - I always, ALWAYS forget to drink water during the day. It’s not like I don’t like it, I enjoy it immensely! I just forgot to drink. I also have that issue with eating, too. I love your tips though, they’re all great! I’m going to have to try that recipe for flavored water 🙂

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