blueberry ginger cinnamon buns (29)

Blueberry Ginger Cinnamon Buns

Morning can be a magical time of the day (really every moment is magic, because we are all part of the infinitely beautiful biological miracle blooming out of Earth. It’s such a trip! But that’s a topic for another time). So here’s a recipe for you to make and share on some magical morning. One great thing about this recipe is that you can make the cinnamon rolls the night before and let them rise in the fridge overnight. Then just pop them in the oven first thing in the morning! That way you get to spend more time stretching into the day and enjoying the company of whatever beings you’re sharing this precious moment in time with…not mixing up flour and rolling out dough. These cinnamon buns are sweet, sticky, gingery spicy, and make your whole house smell great. Hope y’all like ’em!

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Vegan Pomegranate Pistachio Cheesecake

I’m so happy December is here, y’all. It’s inspired me to start cooking again! First thing, Pomegranate Pistachio Cheesecake 😊

2016 has been a doozy of a year and it’s finally coming to an end…but it’s ultimately left me feeling contemplative. I’ve been thinking a lot about human nature and our sheer existence. Why are we here? What is our higher purpose on this planet? Do we even have one? Why do we seem to be okay with destroying our precious Earth? I get discouraged because I want so badly to help facilitate big changes here on this planet, but sometimes I feel so lost it’s like I don’t even know where to start. I dream of a world where all of us as humans can empathize with the suffering of others, and in reaction, attempt to relieve that suffering. I like to think of my veganism as a simple and easy form of everyday peaceful protest against the violence and oppression on this planet. So that’s a pretty cool thing, the fact that with every meal we have the opportunity to stand in opposition to all this violence we see going on today. Obviously, it’s not going to solve all of our problems…but hey, it’s a start!

So anyways, I’m praying for all of us Earthlings today. I pray for peace, love, compassion, awareness, and forgiveness. I’m sending out so much love to you all and remembering that together we can be a powerfully changing force for peace.

So moving along to the food… here’s my recipe for a vegan Pomegranate Pistachio Cheesecake. I hope you get to share these upcoming holidays with people you love. If you do, go ahead and share this cheesecake with them too! It’s smooth, creamy, light, tart and sweet. The pistachio crust is crumbly, nutty and crunchy. You will need to plan ahead in order to soak the cashews overnight. You’re also going to need a high-quality food processor or blender to get the right creamy consistency for the filling. If you don’t have a springform pan, any similar size cake pan should work fine.

Happy December! Enjoy the cheesecake!

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We miss Mendocino already

10 Tips for Vegan Road Trips and a Giveaway Announcement!

Following a series of unfortunate events I have decided to move away from one of the most magical places on Earth: Mendocino, California. It’s bittersweet to leave that gorgeous piece of coastal land, but I’ve decided to drive back home to hot and sunny Atlanta, Georgia. I miss my friends and I miss my family, but I just left Mendocino and my heart already aches for the coast too. Will I ever feel settled anywhere? Ironically, I sometimes feel the most at home while on the road so this trip is, for me, a celebration of this little bit of summer we have left.

As a seasoned vegan road-tripper I can show you how easy it is to eat healthfully and compassionately while traveling with the help of a just a little planning ahead.

As I travel across the country I’ll be collecting a prize pack full of my favorite vegan and organic goodies to send off to one lucky winner! My hope is to inspire whoever wins to go out on their own grand adventure and explore this beautiful planet we live on together! There are three different ways to enter:

  • Sign up for the Eat Love Now mailing list (if you’re already signed up, congratulations you already have one entry)
  • Follow @Eat_Love_Now on Instagram
  • For ten bonus entries, make any recipe from the blog and post a photo on Instagram with the hashtag #EatLoveNowRoadTripGiveAway

It’s that easy! You have until I make it to Atlanta to enter!

Now for my list of the 10 Ultimate Vegan Road Trip Tips:

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buffalo tempeh nuggets

Buffalo Tempeh Nuggets

Just before I decided to go vegan about 7 years ago I was eating tons of hot wings. I just really liked them, I loved how they tasted, but I knew each chicken only had two wings and seeing huge piles of them on plates or in baskets just made me feel so sad…even though for a while I still kept eating them. But eventually (after watching tons of documentaries on Netflix… first Food Inc. followed by Forks Over Knives, Earthlings, and anything else I could find about food and farm animals) I could not handle the guilt I felt for continuing to enjoy those tiny little wings. So inspired my love of both animals and hot wings I started making these Buffalo Tempeh Nuggets. For 7 years I have made these for all kinds of people; meat lovers, tempeh haters, health nuts, and picky eaters. They all love these Buffalo Tempeh Nuggets, but my recipe has always been time intensive and required dirtying a lot of dishes. But yesterday I mad a marvelous discovery and figured out how to cut the prep time by quite a bit, create much less of a mess to clean up, and make these taste even better than they always have! This isn’t what I would consider a health food but it’s so much better for you than nuggets made out of chickens and such a delicious alternative for anyone who wants to make compassionate choices when it comes to food. They are hot and spicy, crispy, hearty, and filling. Dip them in some vegan ranch or bleu cheese dressing to satisfy a nostalgic craving (I just finally got to try the Ranch and Bleu Cheese dressings made by Daiya and was blown away by how thick, creamy, and accurate both of the flavors are).

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A Beginner’s Guide to Vegan Sushi + Best Ever 2 Ingredient Spicy Mayo

If you follow me on Instagram you know that sushi is one of my favorite things to eat and to make. I love the ritual involved in rinsing the rice. I love dreaming up endless combinations of flavors, textures, and colors. Arranging the sushi rolls delicately on the plates is always fun too. The beauty of this food is that it can be simple and straightforward or fantastically creative! Making sushi is fun and expressive, in a way that goes beyond just a means to fill your belly.

I’m going to walk you through the process of making sushi, step-by-step and give you the recipe for one of my favorite sushi accompaniments, Spicy Mayo! If this is your first time rolling sushi, be patient and forgiving with yourself, because it can take a little practice. But don’t worry, I’ve got all the info you need right here, you’ll be a pro in no time!

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Watermelon and Avocado Salad with Fresh Herbs

I was recently introduced to a beautiful poem by Frank O’Hara that begins:

“Light clarity avocado salad in the morning”

I immediately fell in love with the verse and then started dreaming of avocado salads. There are so many possibilities. For this salad, the juicy watermelon is a nice compliment to creamy avocado slices, and the fresh lemon, mint, and basil add a brightness that is perfect for the morning.

Here are some of my other “avocado salad in the morning” ideas. Perhaps I’ll be making more avocado salads soon…

  • Avocado + Strawberry + Basil + Lemon
  • Avocado + Roasted Garlic + Cherry Tomato + Olive Oil
  • Avocado + Arugula + Lemon + Walnuts + Olive Oil
  • Avocado + Mango + Sticky Coconut Rice + Black Sesame
  • Avocado + Grapefruit + Ginger + Macadamia Nuts
  • Avocado + Watermelon + Heirloom Tomato
  • Avocado + Braised Kale + Croutons
  • Avocado + Grilled Pineapple + Mint

I could go on and on…

Read on for the Watermelon, Avocado and Fresh Herb Salad recipe.

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PB and J Cupcakes

Peanut Butter and Jelly Cupcakes: small yellow cakes filled with organic raspberry preserves, and topped with Salted Peanut Butter Frosting. These sweet little vegan treats are certain to be crowd-pleasers, honestly, who doesn’t like PB and J? Combine that flavor with cupcakes and you’ve got yourself one tasty dessert! The frosting is nice because the peanut butter mellows out the sweetness of the frosting and is balanced with a pinch of salt.  Feel free to use whatever your favorite jam or jelly is, mine has always been raspberry…with the seeds.

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Root Beer Float Cakes

These mini cakes are perfect for anyone who loves root beer as much as I do. I was inspired to make these remembering the Coca Cola Sheet Cakes that are so popular down in Georgia. Those super sweet cakes were always such a special treat when they showed up at pot luck dinners or cake walks. These are just a mini version of that classic southern Coca Cola Cake, but made with less sugar, a bit healthier (and much more compassionate) ingredients, and obviously root beer instead of cola! Enjoy!

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Beer Battered Coconut Tofu

Some of my fondest childhood memories involve family trips to Florida, where we would spend all day at the beach and the rest of the evening sitting on screened in porches of seaside restaurants where my parents would enjoy a beer and we would all enjoy some fried food.  This dish encapsulates the flavor of those memories.  I’m also including the recipe for a Horseradish Marmalade Sauce to dip in, but if you’d rather just buy a sauce already made, go for a sweet chili sauce (probably any kind is good but my favorites are Grama’s Sweet Chili Sauce and Mae Ploy Chili Sauce)

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Garlicky Miso Glazed Noodles with Sesame Roasted Veggies

These noodles are probably my favorite noodles ever. They are the perfect vehicle for this garlicky miso glaze, and they’re incredibly quick and easy to make.  This recipe calls for wide flat rice noodles.  Probably the easiest to find in your local supermarket would be these by Taste of Thai.  But my favorite ones are the Pad See Ew noodles from Nona Lim.  They are fresh rice noodles that have the perfect consistency and take only 30 seconds in boiling water to cook. I was super excited to find them in the cold case in my local Safeway. The one’s from Taste of Thai are dried in a box, and take a little longer to cook, so read the directions on the package of noodles and allow yourself a little more time if using the dried, boxed kind. Definitely check out your local Asian market if there’s one around you though, you’re liable to find some really good noodles there, and probably at a fraction of the price.  Use any of your favorite veggies, it doesn’t have to just be brussels sprouts and mushrooms, about 4 cups total. Add some baked Gardein Mandarin Chicken at the very end too if you want to really bulk out the meal and make it super filling.

*Note:  If you’d like to make this gluten free, just use tamari instead of soy sauce.

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