Category Archives: dinner.

sweet potato soup.

Sweet Potato Soup

Super easy vegan sweet potato soup recipe to share with you on this windy spring day! Just a few minutes in the kitchen to make a bubbly pot of soul-warming nutrition for the ones you love! Continue reading

vegan layered bean dip.

vegan layered bean dip

After finally trying and loving a spin on vegan cheesy sauce, visions of vegan layered bean dip danced in my head. I have an unfortunate affection for (translation: addiction to) tortilla chips in spite of their obviously oil-drenched inappropriateness for fitting into an otherwise healthy diet. Maybe I rationalize them as my guilty pleasure…or my attempt to make sure my health-nut status isn’t too over the top…or shall I call it what it is? Hello, my name is Jessi, and I have a chip problem. Continue reading

crockpot sweet bean burritos.

sweet bean burritos

This time of year things can get so hectic it’s easy to end up unprepared for dinner and resorting to unhealthy convenience foods. Along with the added stress of the holiday seasons, as we celebrate with friends and family we also tend to overindulge in unhealthy, fatty foods and lots of sweets. Not surprisingly, this time of year is also known for an increase in the occurrence of colds and flus. We create a perfect storm sort of a situation. Stress hormones are at large wreaking havoc on our bodies. The bloodstream is crowded with an abundance of unhealthy fats, compromising the flow of nutrients and energy to our cells. The immune system is further weakened up to 40% for 3-4 hours after consumption of refined sugars. So taking the time to feed your family well is even more important than usual right now. Continue reading

nut-free vegan cheesy sauce.

vegan cheesy sauceCheese. If following a whole-foods, plant-based lifestyle is new to you, I probably don’t need to say more. Cheese. Please. I remember what cheese was like ~ salty, creamy deliciousness that overpowered the flavor of every other food and somehow made everything seem to taste better. Almost every drool-worthy savory recipe plastered across Pinterest is oozing with cheese. You would think it was a near impossibility to cook without it. We are creatures of habit and we tend to crave foods similar to what we are used to. And so, we try to recreate the look, feel, and taste of the foods we are familiar with. Continue reading

veggie fajita burgers.

veggie fajita burgers

I asked my son what he wanted for his special birthday dinner today. What was his favorite thing that I could make for him? His answer? “Hamburgers. But not veggie burgers mom. Real hamburgers.” Yes, it’s true. The boy likes meat. And it’s what everyone else eats as far as he’s concerned. And so, for his special occasion, real hamburgers it shall be. Continue reading

crockpot black bean soup.

crockpot black bean soup

My family was out of town this weekend. I missed them terribly, but I was also very busy getting A LOT done. I wanted them to come home to a good meal so we could sit around the table and swap stories, but I didn’t want to be stuck in the kitchen before or after they arrived.

Sometimes you know you are going to have a crazy busy day and making a good dinner is going to be a challenge. But thanks to the slow cooker, it’s not impossible. Continue reading

crockpot black bean burritos.

crockpot black bean burritos

So how about that snow last week? I saved myself all kinds of time cleaning up the garden before winter by…not cleaning up the garden before winter. I’m sure all that organic matter will break down under the snow and fertilize the soil for next year, right? Continue reading

split pea, lima bean, and mushroom soup.

split pea lima bean and mushroom soup recipe

Today is a good day. The weather is beautiful. The house is clean. The boys are  resting. Dinner is made. And it’s only 3 pm. The day is young! Continue reading

vegan lunchbox muffins.

vegan lunchbox muffins

If I told you that for lunch I served my kids roasted zucchini and carrots over a bed of fluffy rice, millet, and oats, topped with toasted nuts/seeds and served with a side of sliced apples and bananas, you might think I was super-mom. If I told you I made them muffins for lunch and called it good, you might think I need to work on fine tuning my super-powers. A lot. BUT…what if it could be a best of both worlds sort of situation? Sometimes you need a simple lunch to pack that still fits the bill for eating well. Enter vegan lunchbox muffins!! Continue reading

garden vegetable crockpot soup.

garden vegetable soup

The crispness of autumn air is just around the corner. School is back in swing. Life is getting busy. Time for crockpots and lots of soup! This “recipe” for garden vegetable crockpot soup is one of the simplest meals to prepare early in the morning. I wrote out the recipe for what I made for tonight’s dinner for those of you who are afraid to be creative, but there’s no real formula for what to include. Just fill up the crockpot with whatever is abundant in your garden (or that somehow made it into your fridge!), top it off with 6 cups of water, add some fresh or dried herbs, and let it cook all day. Continue reading

how to live a plant-based life.

life.unlabeled. 6-week challenge

I am so excited to share this with you today! (Even if it’s l–o–n–g after I’d hoped to share it!) I am the organized planning type, so making meal plans, schedules, and lists is just part of my world. I used to think sometimes that I was wasting my time and I should just go with the flow, but then one day I realized that the work I do to plan for my own family could really help someone else who would like to learn a new way of eating well without the headache of figuring it all out. So alas, my efforts aren’t in vain!

Trying your hand at a whole-foods, plant-based lifestyle has never been so simple. Change is never easy, but I have taken the guess work and planning out of the equation for you to help you get started. You CAN learn how to live a plant-based life. Using the recipes and information in the life.unlabeled. 6-week challenge, all that’s left for you is to follow instructions to learn what to buy and how to prepare delicious and satisfying food to fuel your healthy life. After 6 weeks, you should have a good idea of what you like, what you don’t, and how to bring it all together. At first, every day may feel like a new culinary adventure, but after you’ve made it through 6 weeks, you’ll have new “regulars” that you are comfortable preparing quickly and easily and you can start to add new dishes to your repertoire as your time and creativity allow. Continue reading

crockpot lentil soup.

I need a computer connected to my brain…I swear my best writing is in my head…while I’m doing the dishes…in the shower…while I ought to be sleeping…man there’s some good stuff in there! And then I sit down to actually write for an uninterrupted 10 minutes and 29 seconds while everyone is napping and I’ve got nothing. Hmmm.

crockpot lentil soup

A-n-y-way…I have a quick and easy crockpot recipe to share with you today.  I’ve made lentil soup a lot of different ways from a lot of different recipes, and they are all about the same.  But this one is the family favorite.  Lentils can actually cook pretty quickly, so I had never made lentil soup in the crockpot until I saw a recipe for Slow Cooker Red Lentil Soup on Vegan in the Freezer last fall. Continue reading

black bean and quinoa tacos.

black bean and quinoa tacos

Nine years ago today was the day my oldest son was born.  But before I share a recipe for black bean and quinoa tacos, one of his favorite dinners, will you let me share what’s been bouncing around in this busy mind of mine?  If you’ve ever had children, you know how much my life changed that day.

Continue reading

grilled un-cheese sandwiches.

grilled un-cheese sandwiches

I recently read “What Should Food Bloggers Write About?” by Lindsay at Pinch of Yum and it made me realize that I don’t have to write exclusively about my illusions of culinary ninja skills.  Starting life.unlabeled. was a result of my personal desires to have an outlet for creativity and to share what I know about real food and real health from life, research, and formal studies.  But ultimately I do what I do every breakfast, lunch, and dinner not so that I can write about it but so that I can take the best care of the sweet little bodies I’ve been given the privilege of caring for.  It is my hope and prayer that someday what I have to offer will also benefit someone outside my little world.  But for now, I am quite happy serving my family.  All that to say, “you’ve been warned.”  If you’re following my posts, it could get personal… Continue reading

creamy wild rice and carrot soup.

creamy carrot & wild rice soup

There’s nothing quite like a hot bowl of soup on cold, gray, windy days.  Having read one of the boys’ favorite stories, The Tawny Scrawny Lion, I was in the mood for something hearty like the carrot stew the little bunnies make for the lion in the story.  Maybe you remember this story from your childhood?  Here’s a little recap.  You see, the Tawny Scrawny Lion was scrawny because he was always so busy chasing every meal…elephants, monkeys, kangaroos, zebras…being a carnivore was exhausting!  So the animals decided that a little bunny should talk to the lion to see if they could work something out.  The bunny invited the lion over for dinner and when the lion found out the little bunny had 10 fat sisters and 9 fat brothers, he decided he could wait to eat that one little bunny so that he could eat them all.  But to his great surprise he found that the carrot stew that the bunnies had prepared for him left him feeling so good and full that he wasn’t even hungry for bunnies, or elephants, or monkeys, or kangaroos, or zebras…  In storybooks even lions can go vegan 😉 . Continue reading