strawberry quinoa smoothie


strawberry quinoa smoothie recipe from sunny vegan

Let’s kick off  i Heart Quinoa week with a strawberry, thyme and quinoa smoothie.
I eat tons of veggies, but I am not as good as eating fruit so smoothies are a great and delicious way to get the added nutrition of fruit into your diet. By why add quinoa? Well, it’s affordable, easy to make and store and is chock full of protein, magnesium, vitamin B6 and iron. We will learn more about quinoa this week, but lets start with with this easy yummy smoothie, shall we.

This is not a super sweet smoothie, but very filling and earthy with the quinoa and thyme. Add any liquid sweetener such as maple syrup or agave to taste if you don’t have simple syrup on hand.


Ingredients: 2-1 cup servings

3/4 cup vegan milk ( almond, coconut, soy)
1/4 cup quinoa, cooked and cooled
1/2 cup ice cubes
1 1/2 cup frozen strawberries
2 Tablespoons thyme infused simple syrup *optional, recipe below



place all ingredients into blender and blend well for 60-80 seconds. garnish and serve immediately.


Simple syrup is frequently used in mixed drinks and is basically equal parts sugar and water warmed on the stove. To infuse it with thyme, simply add thyme sprigs  to the sugar and water mixture after the sugar has dissolved, remove from heat and allow to steep for 10 minutes. Remove the thyme and use the simple syrup in smoothies, tea or cocktails.

Tomorrow, I’ll share one of my favorite quinoa salads with you along with some quinoa cooking tips.



diy- lemon coconut salt scrub recipe

How has summer been treating your skin? If you are dry, flaky and maybe a bit splotchy then this easy diy coconut lemon salt scrub is just what you need. I love to have the time to pamper myself, but in reality it’s quite rare. By having a scrub with ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen right now, there are no more excuses. Get to mixing  then get your scrub on people!

Another great scrub option is my olive oil sugar scrub, still only 3 yummy ingredients.


1 part ( 1/4 cup) coconut oil
1 part (1/4 cup) Himalayan pink sat
1 teaspoon lemon zest *adjust to your salt/oil ratio
1 teaspoon lemon juice


over very low heat, melt coconut oil and stir in remaining ingredients. allow to cool and transfer to an airtight container.

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.


cherry chip ice cream~ and a Cuisinart giveaway!

So what happens when you have gorgeous cherries, vegan chocolate chips and a Cuisinart ice cream maker?  You make cherry chocolate chip ice cream of course!
and I want you to make some too, so don’t forget to enter this fun contest below. Not only do I want YOU to win an ice cream maker, I want to give 2 so that you can give one to a friend. Yup, I’m cool like that.

One of the biggest complaints about vegan ice creams is that the texture isn’t what you are used to. If you are used to full fat ice cream, then you are right. Most of the vegan ice cream I make is more like an “ice milk” , much lighter in fat, flavor and has an icier texture. But this ice cream is freaking creamy and full of fat ( well, you asked for it). There is good news though, the fat in coconut is thought to be healthier than other fats and since it’s not from an animal, it’s also cholesterol free.


a Rafflecopter giveaway


2- 13.5 cans full fat organic coconut milk
3/4 cup agave, maple syrup or turbinado sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon organic vanilla extract
dash salt
1 Tablespoon cornstarch
1 Tablespoon vodka
1 1/2 cups pitted cherries
2/3 cup vegan chocolate ships


shake cans of coconut milk then pour into medium saucepan. over low heat, add sweetener, salt and whist until dissolved.  whisk in corn starch until combined. remove from heat, add vanilla and vodka. allow mixture to cool, occasionally whisking to keep ingredients combined. once cooled, follow ice cream maker instructions byturning machine on then slowly pouring mixture into pre-frozen base. once mixture is mostly frozen, approximately 10-15 minutes, add cherries and chocolate chips through top of machine and mix just until incorporated. transfer mixture to freezer safe container and freeze until solid, about 4 hours.
* my cherries were heavy and wanted to sink to the bottom, occasionally stir ice cream mixture together for even distribution while freezing.

July 18, 2014 - 8:19 am

Mabel - I would give the other one to my sister.

July 18, 2014 - 8:20 am

Nan - I would love to win this and I would give one to my awesome friend Joan!

July 18, 2014 - 8:40 am

Katie G - I’ve been eating vegan for a few months now and have been missing ice cream like crazy! I showed this giveaway to my roommates and we would all love to start doing Sunday Sundae’s, starting with this sweet recipe!! As for the ice cream maker for a friend, I’d definitely give it to my best friend, my Mamma. 🙂 Such a delicious giveaway, thanks for doing this!!

July 18, 2014 - 5:29 pm

sarah - my mama!

July 20, 2014 - 3:07 pm

Nicole - Happy national ice cream day! I would give it to the friend that needed the most cheering up.

July 20, 2014 - 9:27 pm

Lynda @MommyPowers - My SIL!

July 21, 2014 - 7:32 am

brett - I would give it to my best friend with this recipe!!!!!!

July 21, 2014 - 7:37 am

Adriane - I would give it to my friend and old roommate, Jen!

healthy chickpea salad

Salads get such a bad rap for being boring but THIS chickpea salad is anything but! With the best of summer’s veggies like tomato, spinach and cucumber highlighted by a fresh lemon vinaigrette, this had become a staple in our house.

If you don’t like spinach (what are you, crazy?) you can sub romaine lettuce or your fave leafy green instead. I tend to throw chia seeds onto everything for a nutritional nutty crunch, but they are not necessary.

What is your favorite summer salad?


Ingredients: 4-6 servings

1 1/2 cups chickpeas, rinsed and drained or prepared if using dried beans
1/2 cup red onion- thinly sliced
1/2 cup cherry or grape tomatoes
1/2 cup cucumber- cut into bite sized pieces
2 cups baby spinach
2 Tablespoons finely chopped parsley
2 Tablespoons chia seeds *optional
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon lemon zest
1/3 cup veg or olive oil
1-1 1/2 teaspoon agave or turbinado sugar



combine first 4 salad ingredients in a large bowl. in a small bowl or jar, combine all dressing ingredients and mix well. pour dressing over salad mixture and refrigerate for 1/2 hour. add parsley, spinach and chia seeds just before serving, mix well and serve immediately.


strawberry arugula salad

easy #strawberry arugula #salad from sunny #vegan

I’m a sucker for pretty food! Fresh produce is so beautiful this time of  year that I am always trying to find new ways of combining my favorites and this strawberry arugula salad is chock full of beauty.

I eat lots of vegetables but have a harder time eating fruit for some reason. By adding strawberries to the salad, I get the nutritional benefits in a beautiful salad. If you think salads are boring, you may want to give this easy one a try.


Ingredients: 2-4 servings

4 cups baby arugula- washed
1 cup strawberries – thinly sliced
1/2 red onion – thinly sliced
1/4 cup crumbled tofu – optional


1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 Tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper to taste


layer arugula, berries and onions into bowl or plate, top with crumbled tofu and drizzle dressing over top. toss if desired, serve immediately.




May 21, 2014 - 9:05 pm

Erika - It looks absolutely delicious! I also like adding pear or fresh peaches to baby mixed greens 🙂 I’ve never tried the salad with tofu, as I usually eat it with goat cheese… but that’s not very vegan…

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