Author: Jackie Smith


Why Do Men Get Enlarged Prostates?

The prostate is located under the bladder and surrounds the urethra. It is the male reproductive gland responsible for producing the fluid that carries sperm during ejaculation.

Urinary dribbling, inability to completely empty bladder, and pain while urinating are considered lower urinary tract symptoms and are all side effects associated with enlarged prostates.

Medical authorities explain causes of enlarged prostates are unknown. However, they do indicate a couple factors that possibly facilitate this occurrence, but these observations are merely preliminary.

What Is an Enlarged Prostate?

Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), the abnormal increase in prostate cells, is a noncancerous condition that may develop into an enlarged prostate. It is said only around half of men with BPH will go on to develop an enlarged prostate.

As the prostate gland grows, it may encroach on neighboring organs, specifically the bladder and urethra. This interference squishes the urethra, causing it to narrow which results in the aforementioned side effects.

Although they may share similar symptoms, prostate cancer and prostate gland enlargement are considered entirely different.

There are several speculations surrounding possible causes of an enlarged prostate.


As men age, their cells become less responsive to signaling. In this case, an imbalance in prostate cell proliferation and apoptosis (programmed cell death) occurs. As a result, prostate cells grow and form excess tissue and increase prostate muscle tone, which may block the urinary tract.


Hormonal balance in older men is also a possible contributor to developing an enlarged prostate.

One theory states androgens (male hormones) play a role in enlarged prostates, especially a testosterone-converted dihydrotestosterone (DHT). During puberty, it is DHT that causes the prostate to grow quickly to a healthy size. Thus, medical authorities suspect DHT may be a culprit.

Estrogen levels are also thought to be associated with enlarged prostates. The New York Times explains, “As men age, testosterone levels drop, and the proportion of estrogen increases, possibly triggering prostate growth.”

In a supporting Japanese study, data reveals estrogen “may play a pathophysiologic role in benign prostatic hyperplasia.”

High-Fat Diet

Another developing theory links high-fat diets to benign prostate growth. This is evidenced in a study published in the journal The Prostate.

Dr. Gupta and his team studied high-fat diets in mice as they analyzed prostate weight and growth in mice for 12 weeks. Quoted on, research led Dr. Gupta to say the following, “This study strengthens the link between a high-fat diet – typical of “Western style” high fat diet – as a potential cause of prostatic diseases including BPG and prostate cancer.”


Lowering chances of BPH may help men reduce occurrence of an enlarged prostate.

One comprehensive literature review, published in the Journal of Urology, shows obesity significantly increases the risk of BPH. In relation to this theory, researchers also believe physical activity decreases the risk of BPH occurrence.

Get Rid Of Unwanted Facial Hair Forever With This Natural Recipe

Facial hair has shown to be a real beauty issue for women over 30. Apart from the face, they can show up on your hands, legs and back. Our newsletter subscribers answered a poll conducted by our beauty ‘squad’, on how much facial hair reduces their self confidence? The poll’s answer was as expected, a lot!

Facial hair – the self confidence killer

Over 82% of our female subscribers answered that they couldn’t go to a job interview without removing their facial hair first! Facial hair can be a nasty date ruiner. Exactly 89% voted that they would cancel a date if hair would be visible on their face. As such, unwanted hair on the face can easily ruin self-confidence, so people try and get rid of it.

Causes for facial hair to appear

The reasons for the appearance of hair can be:

  • hormonal imbalance,
  • medication,
  • irregular cycle,
  • pregnancy.

Ways to remove unwanted facial hair

You can remove hairs in many ways:

  • laser,
  • car wax,
  • shaving,
  • electrolysis,

but keep in mind, they all take time and can be quite expensive!

Nature, however, helps, while at the same time it’s drastically cheap. Here’s a recipe that is made by only two ingredients, but it is extremely effective.

Recipe to remove facial hair

You’ll need:

  • a cup of baby oil
  • 1 tablespoon iodine 2%

Preparation & applying

The preparation is simple as mixing them together in a glass or plate, and that’s it.  Apply the final mixture on the skin for 2 minutes, then wipe the area with a damp cloth. Repeat the procedure for 7 straight days. Facial hair will then disappear by itself.

ps: Eagerly waiting for feedback in the comments section.

1-Pan Mexican Shredded Chicken

This dish has become a weeknight staple anytime we’re craving tacos, burrito bowls, salads, enchiladas, and basically anything Mexican inspired.

It’s easy, requiring just 1 pan and 30 minutes to make, and you likely have all of the ingredients you need on hand to make this dinner happen like right now.

Ingredients for our recipe showing How to Make Shredded Chicken

How to Make Shredded Chicken

To make shredded chicken, fully cook chicken breast(s) and shred into bite-size pieces with two forks. Shredded chicken can be prepared a number of ways, including:

  • boiling in water or broth then shredding
  • cooking in a slow cooker until tender then shredding
  • baking then shredding

Our preferred method, however, is in a cast-iron skillet on the stovetop because it’s fast, easy, and maximizes flavor.

Skillet of cooked Mexican-seasoned boneless skinless chicken breasts and limes

For seasonings, we went with classics like ground cumin, chili powder, smoked paprika, and sea salt for a balance of smoke and heat. When it comes to spices, we don’t go light and basically coat the chicken in spices. What can we say? We like flavor.

Once the chicken is cooked to an internal temperature of 165 F (74 C), shred into bite-size pieces using two forks, then add your chipotle pepper in adobo sauce and vegetable broth. Simmer briefly to infuse even more flavor into the chicken.

Add a squeeze of lime juice for some acidity to balance the salt and heat.

Using two forks to show How to Shred Chicken for our Mexican Chicken recipe

We hope you love this chicken! It’s:

Perfectly spiced
Quick & easy to make
Virtually foolproof
& Incredibly delicious

Wooden spoon in a skillet of Mexican Shredded Chicken topped with cilantro and limes

1-Pan Mexican Shredded Chicken

How to make tender, shredded chicken in 1 pan and 30 minutes! Seasoned with Mexican-inspired spices for big flavor. Perfect for burrito bowls, tacos, enchiladas, and more!

PREP TIME 5 minutes
COOK TIME 25 minutes
TOTAL TIME 30 minutes
Servings (Servings)
Course Entree
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Mexican-Inspired
Freezer Friendly 1 month
Does it keep? 2-3 Days



  • 1/2 tsp sea salt, divided
  • 1 tsp ground cumin, divided
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika, divided
  • 1 tsp chili powder, divided (NOT cayenne or just ground chilies — see notes*)
  • 1 Tbsp avocado oil (or other neutral oil, or sub water)
  • 2 (~8 ounce) chicken breasts*, boneless skinless (and organic, pasture-raised when possible)
  • 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce (omit or reduce for less heat)
  • 1/4 cup vegetable or chicken broth
  • 2 Tbsp lime juice

FOR SERVING optional

  • Fresh cilantro
  • White rice


  • Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat (we prefer this cast iron skillet).
  • While the pan is heating, add half of the salt, cumin, paprika, and chili powder to one side of the chicken breasts so it’s evenly coated. There should be plenty of spices and you should barely be able to see the meat.
  • Once hot, add oil to the pan. Then add the chicken, seasoned side down. Add the remaining spices and salt to the unseasoned side of the chicken. Cook for 4 minutes.
  • Flip the chicken again and lower heat to low. Top with a lid but leave it slightly off-center/cracked so steam can escape. Cook until the center of chicken reaches 165 degrees F (74 C) — about 8-10 minutes.
  • You can flip the chicken a couple more times, but we find once to be enough if you lower the heat adequately (to ensure the underside doesn’t burn).
  • Once the chicken is cooked, turn off the heat and use two forks to shred the chicken into bite-size pieces (go as finely shredded as you desire). Then add the chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, vegetable broth, and lime juice. Stir to combine.
  • Turn heat back to low and cover. Simmer the mixture for 5-8 minutes, stirring occasionally to blend the flavors. Then turn off heat and enjoy. This would be ideal for burritos, burrito bowls, tacos, enchiladas, salads, and more! You could also just serve alongside rice and garnish with cilantro.
  • Store cooled leftovers covered in the refrigerator up to 2-3 days (assuming your chicken was fresh), or in the freezer up to 1 month. Reheat on the stovetop and rehydrate with vegetable / chicken broth or water as needed.


*To keep this recipe vegan, we’d recommend subbing jackfruit, or a mixture of cooked lentils and shredded carrots. You could also sub 1 block extra firm tofu, sliced in half and seasoned / grilled as instructed.
*Chili powder should contain a mix of the following: chili powder, onion, garlic, cacao (optional), oregano, red pepper, cumin, cinnamon, and cloves.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated without optional ingredients.

Nutrition (1 of 4 servings)

Serving: 1 servings Calories: 184 Carbohydrates: 2.9 g Protein: 26.4 g Fat: 6.9 g Saturated Fat: 0.9 g Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.6 g Monounsaturated Fat: 2.6 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 80 mg Sodium: 504 mg Potassium: 49 mg Fiber: 1 g Sugar: 0.4 gVitamin A: 550 IU Vitamin C: 9.1 mg Calcium: 10 mg Iron: 0.9 mg

How To Make Vegan Parmesan Cheese

Cashews, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, and salt for making our simple Vegan Parmesan Cheese recipe
Food processor filled with ingredients for making our Vegan Parmesan Cheese recipe
Jar of homemade Vegan Parmesan Cheese
Food processor filled with a fresh batch of our Vegan Parmesan Cheese recipe

How To Make Vegan Parmesan Cheese

Easy, 4 ingredient vegan parmesan cheese that’s perfect on top of pastas, pizza and anywhere you’d usually use parmesan cheese!

PREP TIME 5 minutes
TOTAL TIME 5 minutes
Servings (1-Tbsp servings)
Course Cheese, Vegan
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Vegan
Freezer Friendly 3 months
Does it keep? 3-4 Weeks


3/4 cup raw cashews

3 Tbsp nutritional yeast

3/4 tsp sea salt

1/4 tsp garlic powder


  • Add all ingredients to a food processor and mix/pulse until a fine meal is achieved. Store in the refrigerator to keep fresh. Lasts for several weeks.
  • I love vegan parmesan on top of chilaquiles, vegan pizza, breadsticks, pastas and gratins. It’s also a great addition to vegan meatballs and can be converted into mexican cheese 3 ways!



*This is not my original recipe, but one I learned from other vegan bloggers and have adapted for my own use!
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate.
*Recipe (as originally written) makes ~1 cup.

Nutrition (1 of 16 servings)

Serving: 1 one-Tbsp servings Calories: 44 Carbohydrates: 3 g Protein: 1.8 g Fat: 3 g Saturated Fat: 0.6 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 92 mg Fiber: 0.7 g

Easy Gluten-Free Lasagna (Dairy-Free!)

If given the choice of one final meal, there’s a good chance we’d choose lasagna. No really, we seriously love lasagna!

Lasagna is just one of those meals that’s the perfect balance of comforting, filling, and delicious, and it can feed a lot of people with minimal effort.

This version is our dairy-free and gluten-free take on classic-style lasagna . And it’s about as simple as it gets, requiring just 10 ingredients to prepare. Let’s do this!

No boil noodles, ground beef, marinara, and other ingredients for making our Dairy-Free Gluten-Free Lasagna Recipe

Origins of Lasagna

Perhaps like many of you, we were under the impression that lasagna originated in Italy. Turns out, its origin history is more complicated!

Some say the concept originated in ancient Greece where layered dough sheets (called laganon) were cut into strips and baked. Others claim it resembles a Roman dish recorded in a cookbook in the 1st century AD. And still others place its origin in England or Italy in the 14th century, where cookbooks describe the concept of layering cheese and pasta in a dish and baking it. (source)

But it wasn’t until the 16th century that tomato-based versions were recorded that more closely resembles today’s lasagna. These versions came from Italy. So to everyone who ever contributed to the invention of lasagna, we’re forever grateful!

How to Make Lasagna

Making lasagna is pretty straightforward in terms of assembly. But the ingredients can be swapped out for just about any dietary preference. Start by preparing your three layers:

  1. Sauce (ground beef or lentils + marinara + seasonings)
  2. Noodles (we chose Capello’s gluten-free & grain-free for this version)
  3. Cheese (homemade dairy-free macadamia nut or storebought)

Our sauce is prepared by sautéing garlic, red pepper flake (optional), ground beef, and salt until the meat is browned. Then add in your favorite marinara sauce and season further with optional Italian herbs and sweetener.

Next, the noodles are boiled and drained. Or — our preference — opt for no-boil gluten-free lasagna noodles such as Capello’s.

The homemade “cheese” comes next. Simply add macadamia nuts (or slivered almonds or soaked cashews) to a food processor along with lemon juice, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, and sea salt. Blend it up, slowly adding water until it resembles ricotta cheese! Or, sub store-bought (our favorite being Kite Hill Ricotta).

Finally, let’s layer!

Dutch oven filled with our ground beef marinara sauce for making Dairy-Free Gluten-Free Lasagna

How to Layer Lasagna

We like to use a little jingle to remember the order: Sauce, Noodles, Cheese. (Repeat x2).

And then on the fourth repetition: Sauce, Noodles, SAUCE!

Once you make lasagna enough times, you won’t even have to look up the order!

Then at the very end, add a sprinkle of homemade vegan parmesan cheese for even more flavor.

Using a spoon to spread sauce over dairy-free cheese and gluten-free noodles for making lasagna

How Long to Bake Lasagna

To allow the flavors to develop, we like to bake the lasagna until it’s nice and bubbly with crisp edges.

Baking uncovered on the middle rack at 350 degrees F (176 C) for 40-45 minutes is perfect.

Holding the handles of a pan of our Dairy-Free Gluten-Free Lasagna recipe

We hope you LOVE this lasagna! It’s:

& So delicious!

This lasagna is perfect for make-ahead meals, feeding a crowd, or any time you’re craving a simple, filling dinner. It’s delicious on its own, but also pairs well with salads or other greens.

Plate with a slice of lasagna beside fresh basil, garlic, red chili flake, and a pan of the rest of the batch

Easy Gluten-Free Lasagna (Dairy-Free!)

AMAZING Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free Lasagna! Made with a hearty sauce, easy nut cheese, and no-boil noodles. Just 10 ingredients required!

PREP TIME 15 minutes
COOK TIME 1 hour 5 minutes
TOTAL TIME 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings (Servings)
Course Entree
Cuisine Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Italian-Inspired
Freezer Friendly 1 month
Does it keep? 4-5 Days



  • 1 Tbsp avocado or olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flake (optional)
  • 1 lb grass-fed ground beef
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt, plus more to taste
  • 2 25-oz jars favorite marinara sauce
  • 1-2 tsp dried Italian herbs (basil and oregano // optional)
  • 1-2 tsp sweetener of choice (such as maple syrup, cane sugar, or stevia // optional)


  • 2 ¼ cups raw macadamia nuts (or sub slivered blanched almonds or raw cashews soaked for 1 hour in hot water, then drained)
  • 3 ½ Tbsp lemon juice
  • 4 Tbsp nutritional yeast (plus more to taste)
  • 3/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/3 scant tsp sea salt
  • 2/3 – 1 cup water (if using soaked cashews, add 1 Tbsp / 15 ml water at a time)


  • 1 9-oz box gluten-free lasagna noodles (we like Capello’s brand)

FOR SERVING optional


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (176 C). Set out a large baking dish (9×13 inch or similar size) and lightly grease.
  • Begin by preparing sauce. Heat a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Once hot, add oil, garlic, red pepper flake (optional), beef, and salt and begin sautéing, stirring occasionally for about 8 minutes, or until meat is browned. Use spoon to break meat into small pieces.
  • In the meantime, if using noodles that require boiling, bring a large pot of water to a boil (if using no-boil noodles, skip this step). Once boiling, add a healthy pinch of salt and your lasagna noodles (or other pasta shape). Cook according to package instructions to achieve an al dente texture — tender with a little bite. Then drain and set aside. Optional: Drizzle pasta with a little oil to prevent sticking.
  • To the pot, add your marinara sauce and stir to combine. Cook on low for about 10 minutes to marry the flavors. Then taste and adjust flavor as needed, adding salt to taste or red pepper flake for heat. You could also add dried Italian spices and/or sweetener of choice to balance the flavors at this time (optional). Turn off heat and set aside.
  • Next, make your “cheese.” Add macadamia nuts (or sub soaked cashews) to a food processor or a high-speed blender along with lemon juice, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, and sea salt and mix/blend into a loose paste.
  • Add lesser amount of water (2/3 cup or 120 ml as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size). Continue mixing, scraping down sides as needed. Then add more water — 1 Tbsp (15 ml) at a time — until a thick paste forms. I find I get the best texture results with a food processor, but a blender can work, too. It just generally requires more scraping and more liquid. For texture, you’re looking for a spreadable soft “cheese.”
  • Taste and adjust flavor as needed, adding more nutritional yeast for cheesy flavor, salt for saltiness, lemon juice for acidity/brightness, or garlic powder for garlic flavor. Blend again to combine.
  • To begin assembly, add a thin layer of marinara sauce to your baking dish. Spread to ensure even distribution. Then add a layer of the cooked pasta noodles (or uncooked noodles if using no-boil). Top with a thin layer (roughly 1/3 of the mixture) of your nut cheese and spread into an even layer.
  • Add another thin layer of marinara sauce and use a spoon to spread over the cheese layer to coat. Then add another layer of noodles. Top with another 1/3 of the cheese and spread into an even layer.
  • Add another layer of marinara sauce and spread into an even layer. Then top with another layer of noodles and remaining 1/3 of the cheese, and spread into an even layer. Top with another layer of marinara sauce and spread into an even layer.
  • Top with another layer of noodles and, finally, remaining sauce. Optional: Top with a sprinkle of vegan parmesan cheese.
  • Cook on the middle rack of your preheated oven for 40-45 minutes uncovered, or until the sauce is bubbly and/or the edges are browned.
  • Carefully remove from the oven and let cool 5-10 minutes before serving. Then slice, serve, and enjoy. We recommend garnishing with additional vegan parmesan cheese and fresh chopped basil or parsley. See notes for freezing instructions.*


*To make this recipe freezer friendly, prepare sauce, cheese, and noodles and layer as instructed. Once assembled, cover well and freeze up to 1 month. To bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees F (176 C), cover with foil, and bake for 30 minutes (if thawed) or up to 45 minutes – 1 hour (if frozen). Then remove foil and bake for another 5-10 minutes or until sauce is bubbly and hot.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated with Capello’s lasagna noodles and without optional ingredients.

Nutrition (1 of 12 servings)

Serving: 1 servings Calories: 422 Carbohydrates: 49.6 g Protein: 14.9 g Fat: 31.6 g Saturated Fat: 5.9 g Polyunsaturated Fat: 2.06 g Monounsaturated Fat: 17.93 g Trans Fat: 0.3 g Cholesterol: 49.6 mg Sodium: 655 mgPotassium: 676 mg Fiber: 6.2 g Sugar: 10.7 g Vitamin A: 908 IU Vitamin C: 16 mg Calcium: 79.06 mg Iron: 3.41 mg

Veggie Brown Rice Sushi

About once a week, I crave sushi. As in:  give it to me I gotta have it.

Thankfully, we have an amazing sushi shop within walking distance from our place, but every once in a while, I get the itch to make it myself.

Sure, it takes more time. But it’s very affordable to make at home. Plus, you can customize your fillings and create your dream veggie roll. Let me show you how.

Sliced carrots, bell pepper, carrots, sprouts, ginger, and brown rice for making vegan sushi

Origins of Sushi

Sushi is a common dish in Japan and in Japanese restaurants around the world. But it’s thought that it may actually date back to the 2nd century BC where it originated from a Chinese dish called narezushi. It’s believed to have then spread to Japan in the 8th century. And by the 18th century, sushi restaurants were wildly popular in Japan.

The following is our inspired, veggie-packed version made with brown rice instead of white rice.

How to Make Brown Rice Sushi

I picked up a mat for this version.

It may look complicated, but sushi is truly easy to make. I compare it to rolling spring rolls. Sure, your first few are a little imperfect. But once you get the hang of it, it’s so easy and you feel incredibly accomplished making your own restaurant-worthy food at home.

All in all, this sushi requires just 10 simple ingredients (more or less depending on your fillings of choice) and comes together in less than 1 hour.

Spreading rice onto a sheet of nori for making homemade vegan sushi

It starts with wholesome brown rice that’s mixed with a vinegar mixture to sweeten it slightly and make it sticky so it’s easier to work with.

I tested it without the vinegar mixture, and trust me, it did not go well. You need the rice to be sticky so it forms a roll.

Bamboo mat with Vegan Brown Rice Sushi ready to be rolled up

For fillings I went with roasted red pepper, cucumber, sprouts, and carrots.

I also love veggie rolls with avocado, asparagus, radish, and pickled veggies. Dream big, friends. The options are endless.

Perfectly rolled plant-based sushi on a bamboo mat

I hope you all love this recipe! It’s:

& So delicious

Make this for weeknight meals when you want something hearty and other than a salad (although no shame in a salad).

Rolls of homemade plant-based sushi on a cutting board

Veggie Brown Rice Sushi

Easy, 10-ingredient sushi with sticky brown rice and vegetables. Hearty, healthy, and delicious. Methods provided for with and without a sushi mat!

PREP TIME 30 minutes
COOK TIME 25 minutes
TOTAL TIME 55 minutes
ServingsCourse Entree
Cuisine Chinese-Inspired, Gluten-Free, Japanese-Inspired, Vegan
Freezer Friendly No
Does it keep? 2 Days



  • 1 2/3 cups water
  • 1 cup short grain brown rice, rinsed
  • 3 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp organic cane sugar
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt


  • 4 sheets nori (dried seaweed)
  • 1 roasted or fresh red bell pepper* (sliced)
  • 1 cup thinly sliced carrots
  • 1 cup thinly sliced cucumber
  • 1 cup sprouts (Alfalfa is best)

FOR SERVING optional

  • Tamari (or soy sauce if not gluten-free)
  • Pickled ginger
  • Wasabi
  • Sesame seeds


  • In a medium saucepan, bring water to a boil then add rice, swirl to coat, and lower heat to low and cover. Simmer until water is completely absorbed and rice is tender – about 18-25 minutes. Drain off any excess water if there is any.
  • In the meantime, add vinegar, sugar and salt to a small saucepan and heat over medium heat stirring occasionally until sugar and salt are dissolved. Place in a jar or dish and cool in the fridge until rice is ready.
  • Once the rice is done, kill the heat and add the cooled vinegar mixture and stir with a rubber spatula or fork as to not overmix. It will appear wet but will dry up as you lightly stir to release heat. It should be sticky and completely dry once it’s ready.
  • While the rice finishes cooking, prep your veggies by chopping them into thin pieces. If they’re too bulky they won’t allow the sushi to roll well.
  • Now it’s time to roll: Grab your sushi mat and top with a sheet of nori. Using your hands dipped in water (to avoid sticking), pat a very thin layer of rice all over the nori, making sure it’s not too thick or your roll will be all rice and no filling (see photo).
  • Then, arrange a generous serving of your veggies or preferred filling in a line at the bottom 3/4 of the rice closest to you (see photo).
  • Start to roll the nori and rice over with your fingers, and once the veggies are covered, roll the mat over to mold and compress the roll. Continue until it’s all the way rolled up. I find slicing with a very sharp serrated knife yields the best results. Repeat until all rice and fillings are used up – about 4 total rolls (amount as original recipe is written // will vary if altering batch size).
  • Serve immediately with pickled ginger, tamari or soy sauce, and wasabi. Best when fresh, though leftovers keep covered in the refrigerator up to 2 days.


*You can buy roasted red peppers at the store to save time.
*If you don’t have a sushi mat (I got mine super cheap here).
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated without optional ingredients.

Nutrition (1 of 4 servings)

Serving: 1 serving Calories: 241 Carbohydrates: 53 g Protein: 10.1 g Fat: 2.3 g Saturated Fat: 0 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 402 mg Potassium: 210 mg Fiber: 11 g Sugar: 9.3 gVitamin A: 7300 IU Vitamin C: 81.7 mg Calcium: 80 mg Iron: 3.8 mg

Portobello Steaks with Avocado Chimichurri

Friends, welcome to grilling season.

I know what you’re thinking. Here we go with the fake meat substitutes and crumbly veggie burgers.

But not so fast! Here’s my new, go-to plant-based option: Grilled portobello mushrooms in a saucy marinade with spicy avocado chimichurri.

Marinating mushrooms for Grilled Portobello Steaks

This recipe is inspired by my absolute favorite veggie burger at the moment, which is in our (new and improved, entirely plant-based31 Meals eCookbook!

They take about 30 minutes and are insanely easy to make. Just marinade, make your chimichurri, grill the mushrooms, dig in. It’s go time.

Whisking together ingredients for Avocado Chimichurri

When I was first conceiving recipe, I thought chimichurri* – a citrusy, classic “steak” sauce with loads of parsley – would be a perfect pairing. And when I tasted it, I knew something was missing. Avocado to the rescue for seriously buttery texture and loads of nutrients.

Oh avocado, what can’t you do?

Cooking Portobello Steaks in a cast iron skillet for a healthy plant-based summer meal

These steaks are great on the grill or on the stovetop! I personally prefer a cast iron skillet since the entire surface gets browned and caramelized.

I hope you LOVE these steaks! They’re:

Buttery from the avocado
Extremely nutritious
& SO easy

This is the perfect option for all your summer grilling needs. They’re great on their own but would also pair well with salads, mashed potatoes, or cooked quinoa or rice (links below!).

Using a fork to cut into a Grilled Portobello Steak with Avocado Chimichurri

Portobello Steaks with Avocado Chimichurri

Grilled, marinated portobello steaks with a spicy avocado chimichurri sauce! An incredibly hearty and flavorful 30-minute plant-based meal!

PREP TIME 15 minutes
COOK TIME 10 minutes
TOTAL TIME 25 minutes
ServingsCourse Entree
Cuisine Argentinian-Inspired, Gluten-Free, Vegan
Freezer Friendly No
Does it keep? Best when fresh



  • 3-4 large portobello mushrooms (stems removed, wiped clean)
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
  • 3 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 Tbsp steak sauce (optional // vegan friendly, like A1)


  • 1 1/2 cups parsley (finely chopped // either kind will work, but flat leaf Italian parsley is best)
  • 3 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 medium shallot (minced)
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flake
  • 3-4 Tbsp olive oil (extra virgin when possible)
  • 3 Tbsp lemon juice (for more traditional chimichurri, sub red or white vinegar)
  • 1/2 tsp each sea salt and black pepper
  • 1 small ripe avocado (cubed // a non-traditional addition, but one that adds healthy fats, fiber, and creaminess!)


  • Add portobello mushrooms to a shallow baking dish or large freezer bag. Set aside.
  • In a small mixing bowl, whisk together balsamic vinegar, olive oil, cumin, black pepper, paprika, garlic, and steak sauce (optional). Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
  • Add sauce to the mushrooms and use a pastry brush to brush on all sides. Marinate on one side for 5 minutes, then the other side for 5 minutes.
  • In the meantime, prepare chimichurri by adding parsley, garlic, shallot, red pepper flake, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper to a medium mixing bowl and whisking to combine. Taste and adjust flavor as needed, adding more lemon juice for acidity, salt for flavor, or red pepper flake for heat. Add avocado and toss to combine. Set aside.
  • Heat a grill or a large skillet over medium heat. Cook on each side for 2-3 minutes, or until caramelized and deep golden brown. Brush on any remaining marinade while cooking to infuse more flavor.
  • To serve, top portobello steaks with avocado chimichurri. This makes a great standalone meal, but would also pair well with my Pecan Apple Salad, Pear Walnut Salad, or Vegan Mashed Potatoes! They would also pair well with grilled asparagus and/or cooked quinoa, millet, or brown rice. Best when fresh.


*3 cloves of garlic yield ~1 1/2 Tbsp minced garlic.
*Chimichurri sauce loosely adapted from Bon Appetit.
*Mushroom marinade adapted from my Portobello Mushroom Burgers in our 31 Meals eCookbook!
*For added protein, top with toasted pumpkin seeds or serve with cooked millet, quinoa, or brown rice!
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated with 4 portobello mushrooms, all the olive oil, and without optional steak sauce.

Nutrition (1 of 4 servings)

Serving: 1 portobello steaks with sauce Calories: 354 Carbohydrates: 14.4 g Protein: 3.7 g Fat: 32.8 g Saturated Fat: 4.5 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 322 mg Potassium: 673 mgFiber: 4.4 g Sugar: 6.3 g Vitamin A: 1950 IU Vitamin C: 54.5 mg Calcium: 60 mg Iron: 2.3 mg

Moment Gigantic Alligator Is Seen Stomping Across Florida Golf Course

Golfer Jeff Jones filmed a gigantic gator stomping its way across the Florida golf course before submerging itself in the lake nearby.

Golf is exciting on its own, but no other golfer has ever experienced the thrill Jeff Jones did at Valencia Golf and Country Club in Naples! Netizens were shocked to watch the video of a massive gator he spotted stomping its way across the Florida golf course!

As Hurricane Eta swept through the area, the golfer filmed the gigantic beast strutting across the fairway before submerging itself in a nearby lake.

In the terrifying video, one golfer can be heard:

‘Holy …This guy out for a stroll — oh, my God!’

People online were terrified to see a gigantic gator caught on video while stomping its way across a Florida golf course

Golfer Jeff Jones recorded the massive beast at Valencia Golf and Country Club, in Naples

Florida Fish and Wildlife estimate there are around 1.3 million in the region, and the biggest ever caught reportedly measured up to an amazing 17.4 feet long! The one in the footage is extremely large as well, and people online could not help but asking numerous questions about it.
Alex Hoffman wrote:
‘That is Godzilla, that is not a gator.”
Josh Helmuth agreed it’s no gator, but a ‘walking, living dinosaur.’
One lifelong Floridian admitted he has seen several gators in his life, but “never one that big”, with a tail that must ” weigh 100 pounds.”
These gators can grow up extremely large, and the biggest one ever captured in Florida measured up at a staggering 17.4 feet-long

The one caught on video was not far off the record measurement

Many were puzzled by the length of its legs, and others explained that alligators use a high walk while moving longer distances, but they are typically seen in a crawling posture, which they tend to use when traveling short distances.
Some users joked about the huge creature not wearing a mask during the pandemic, and one added:

‘Where is he going? Mar-A-Lago is the other way.’

Joking aside, the sight must have been a real-time horror!

Cashew Ricotta Cheese (Soy-Free, Fast, Easy!)

Lately we’ve been on a pizza and pasta kick, and it’s no secret that we also have a thing for dairy-free cheese. It’s also no secret that Italian food and cheese go hand in hand.

But what’s pasta and pizza without cheese? So we remedied this by experimenting with a SUPER quick vegan ricotta cheese made with 5 simple ingredients: quick-soaked cashews, fresh lemon juice, garlic powder, salt, and nutritional yeast.

The result is a light, fluffy ricotta that comes together fast in a food processor or blender. Let us show you how it’s done.

Cashews, nutritional yeast, lemon slices, garlic powder, salt, and water

Origins of Ricotta

Ricotta is a soft, mild “cheese” popular in Italian cuisine and used in dishes such as ravioli, lasagna, tortellini, and crepes. It’s believed to have roots dating back to ancient history (source).

But did you know that ricotta is not technically cheese (source)?! We were surprised too! It’s actually made from whey, which is a by-product of cheese making.

Either way, we love its taste and versatility, but wanted to make a dairy-free version for those who can’t or choose not to consume dairy products!

How to Make Vegan Ricotta

There are many ways to make vegan ricotta. We’ve previously made versions using almonds, macadamia nuts, and even tofu! But this cashew version is our current favorite.

Cashews are used as the base to mock the richness of dairy ricotta, while lemon adds tang and nutritional yeast adds a “cheesy” element. Then garlic powder and salt add even more flavor.

Cashews and nutritional yeast in a food processor

It all gets blended up in a food processor (or blender) with water until it turns into a thick yet spreadable paste. And voila! You have homemade vegan ricotta made with real food ingredients!

We typically keep it in the fridge where it will last up to 1 week, but it can also be frozen for longer-term storage.

Though it may be tempting to try making a smaller batch instead of freezing extra ricotta, we’ve found it doesn’t work well because there isn’t enough volume. But if you have a small food processor, it may be more possible.

Food processor of vegan cashew ricotta cheese

We hope you LOVE this vegan ricotta! It’s:

Slightly sweet
& Delicious!

It’s delicious on pizza, pasta, lasagna, salads, and more! Or enjoy as a dip with crackers and sliced veggies. The possibilities are endless!

Top down shot of a bowl of vegan ricotta cheese with lemon slices and fresh parsley

Cashew Ricotta Cheese (Soy-Free, Fast, Easy!)

Quick, fluffy vegan ricotta cheese made with 5 simple ingredients including cashews, lemon, and garlic. Comes together in a food processor or blender and is perfect for pasta, pizza, salads, and more!

PREP TIME 40 minutes
TOTAL TIME 40 minutes
Servings (~2-Tbsp servings)
Course Appetizer, Dip, Side Dish
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Italian-Inspired, Vegan
Freezer Friendly 1 month
Does it keep? 5-7 Days



  • 1 ¼ cup raw cashews
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp nutritional yeast, plus more to taste
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp sea salt (plus more to taste)
  • 4-6 Tbsp water

FOR TOPPING optional

  • 1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley or cilantro


  • Soak cashews in very hot water for 30 minutes to 1 hour, or overnight (or 6 hours) in cool water. Then drain, rinse, and set aside.
  • Add soaked, drained cashews to a food processor (or a high-speed blender) along with lemon juice, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, sea salt, and lesser amount of water (4 Tbsp or 60 ml as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size). Mix/blend, scraping down sides as needed. Then add more water 1 Tbsp (15 ml) at a time until a thick paste forms. I find I get the best texture results with a food processor, but in a pinch, a blender can work too. It just generally requires more scraping and more liquid.
  • Taste and adjust flavor as needed, adding more nutritional yeast for cheesy flavor, salt to taste, lemon juice for acidity, or garlic powder for garlic flavor. Blend again to combine.
  • At this point, the “cheese” is ready to enjoy! The flavors continue to develop and thicken when chilled. Delicious on things like pizza, pasta, lasagna, salads, and more.
  • Best when fresh. Store leftover nut “cheese” in the refrigerator for up to 5-7 days or in the freezer up to 1 month (let thaw at room temperature or in the refrigerator before serving).


*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated with the lesser amount of salt and without optional ingredients.

Nutrition (1 of 8 servings)

Serving: 1 two-tablespoon serving Calories: 117 Carbohydrates: 6.8 g Protein: 4.3 g Fat: 9 g Saturated Fat: 1.6 g Polyunsaturated Fat: 1.59 g Monounsaturated Fat: 4.83 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 76 mg Potassium: 158 mg Fiber: 0.9 g Sugar: 1.3 g Vitamin A: 0.11 IU Vitamin C: 0.84 mg Calcium: 8.66 mg Iron: 1.41 mg

Gluten-Free Vegan Sausage Pizza

When craving pizza night, this is the recipe I go for: a simple gluten-free crust (either store-bought or homemade), simple red sauce, quick sautéed veggies, our homemade vegan sausage, and nut cheese.

The result is an incredibly comforting meal made with 9 real, whole food ingredients that taste AMAZING. Let us show you how it’s done!

Red onion, bell pepper, basil, vegan sausage, marinara, vegan cheese, avocado oil, apple cider vinegar, and spices

Pizza Crust

For this version, we used Simple Mills Gluten-Free Crust (NOT SPONSORED, we just love it!) to keep it quick and easy so we could focus on the homemade toppings.

Using a wooden spoon to stir gluten-free pizza dough

To make the Simple Mills dough, simply add the box mix to a mixing bowl with vinegar and oil (olive or avocado are good choices). Then add water a little at a time until it becomes a semi-tacky dough that doesn’t stick to your fingers or crumble.

Shaping vegan gluten-free pizza dough on a baking sheet

Once the dough is the right consistency, form it into a disc and place it on a baking sheet between two sheets of parchment paper. Then use a rolling pin (or a tall, smooth glass) to roll it out to about 1/4-inch thick.

Then bake it for 12-14 minutes, depending on whether you prefer a softer or more crispy crust.

Using a rolling pin to roll out pizza dough between sheets of parchment paper


For toppings, we like to use homemade vegan sausage, jarred marinara, sautéed veggies, and homemade cashew ricotta. Serious flavor bomb!

But there’s room for flexibility here! While homemade tends to be more flavorful and wholesome, using store-bought alternatives is an option for added convenience.

We like having the best of both worlds and tend to prep the vegan sausage, ricotta, and parmesan in advance to use throughout the week in various meals.

Sautéing red onion and bell pepper with oregano

Making the sautéed veggies is super quick and simple! Add bell pepper and onion to a skillet and sauté in oil (or water) with salt and your favorite seasonings. Oregano, basil, red pepper flakes, and other Italian seasonings pair nicely.

Or, if you prefer crunchier veggies, you can also skip this step and add the raw peppers and onions to the pizza.

Vegan pizza on a baking sheet ready to go in the oven

Once the crust is partially baked and the sauce and toppings are prepped, it’s ready for assembly!

To assemble, add marinara sauce to the crust and spread it into an even layer. Then top with the veggies, vegan sausage, and a dollop of nut cheese (optional but recommended for added richness).

Then bake the pizza for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown.

After baking, we like to add vegan parmesan, red pepper flakes, and freshly chopped basil for an extra something special.

Veggie and Sausage Vegan Pizza on a parchment-lined baking sheet

We hope you LOVE this pizza! It’s:

Quick & easy
& the ULTIMATE comfort food!

It’s perfect for vegan pizza night and plenty filling on its own.

Red onion, bell pepper, vegan parmesan, and red pepper flakes next to plates with slices of vegan pizza

Gluten-Free Vegan Sausage Pizza

Looking to upgrade pizza night? This vegan, gluten-free sausage pizza is the trick! Made with 9 simple, whole food ingredients, customizable toppings, and BIG flavor!

PREP TIME 15 minutes
COOK TIME 30 minutes
TOTAL TIME 45 minutes
Servings (Slices)
Course Entree
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Italian-Inspired, Vegan
Freezer Friendly 1 month
Does it keep? 3-4 Days



  • 3/4 cup Vegan Sausage , crumbled or roughly chopped (or sub store-bought plant-based sausage of choice)
  • 1 cup favorite marinara / red sauce (or store-bought)
  • 3-4 Tbsp Cashew Ricotta Cheese or Macadamia Nut Cheese or store-bought vegan cheese (optional)


  • 1 9.8-oz box Simple Mills Gluten-Free Pizza Crust (or make this Vegan GF Pizza Crust and disregard the following crust ingredients // NOT SPONSORED — just love the brand)
  • 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp oil (such as olive or avocado)
  • 4-6 Tbsp water


  • 1 Tbsp oil (or sub water but double the amount)
  • 1 ½ cups sliced raw vegetables (we like red bell pepper and red onion)
  • 1 healthy pinch salt
  • 1 healthy pinch dried oregano


  • Heat oven to 350 degrees F (176 C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper (or prepare your pizza stone as you normally would).
  • If preparing your vegan sausage and marinara sauce, do so now. Otherwise, if they’re already ready or you’re using store-bought, proceed with the recipe.
  • For the crust, if making homemade, prepare now. Otherwise, use the Simple Mills box mix. Add the contents of the bag to a medium mixing bowl and top with the vinegar and oil. Stir to combine. Then add water a little bit at a time until a semi-tacky dough is achieved (see photo). You should be able to handle it without it sticking to your hands. But it shouldn’t be crumbly or feel dry. If too dry, continue adding water. If it gets too wet, you can compensate with a little gluten-free flour or almond flour.
  • Place the dough in the center of your baking sheet or pizza stone and form into a 1-inch thick disc. Lay another sheet of parchment paper on top and then use a rolling pin to roll into a roughly 1/4-inch-thick pizza crust in the shape of a circle or square. Then use your hands to form or mend any cracks.
  • Bake on the center rack of your preheated oven for 12-14 minutes, or until it appears slightly puffy and golden brown. If you like a crispier crust, bake for 14 minutes. If you prefer it softer, bake for 12 minutes. Then remove from oven, set aside, and increase the oven temperature to 375 degrees F (190 C).
  • If you prefer crispier veggies, skip this step. Otherwise, while the crust is baking, heat a large rimmed skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add a little oil or water and your veggies and season with salt and seasonings of choice (such as dried oregano and basil or red pepper flakes). Sauté until just tender — about 3-4 minutes. Then turn off heat and set aside.
  • At this time you can also optionally toast your vegan sausage in a skillet over medium heat for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally for crispier texture (see photo).
  • To your crust, add your marinara sauce and spread into an even layer. Then top with veggies and sausage, and dollop on nut cheese, such as Cashew Ricotta, if using.
  • Then bake at 375 F (190 C) for 12-15 minutes, or until the edges of the crust appear crispy and golden brown and the toppings are browned. Bake longer or use the convection oven setting for an even crispier crust.
  • Top with desired toppings, such as fresh basil, vegan parmesan cheese, or red pepper flake, and serve immediately.
  • Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator up to 3-4 days, or in the freezer up to 1 month. Reheat in a 350 degree F (176 C) oven until hot.


*Prep time does not include preparing sausage, marinara from scratch, or nut cheeses.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated with olive oil, 3/4 cup each red bell pepper and onion, and without optional ingredients.

Nutrition (1 of 8 servings)

Serving: 1 slice Calories: 273 Carbohydrates: 25.9 g Protein: 6.4 g Fat: 17.2 g Saturated Fat: 1.1 g Polyunsaturated Fat: 1.8 g Monounsaturated Fat: 4.91 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 303 mg Potassium: 189 mg Fiber: 5 g Sugar: 4.2 g Vitamin A: 456 IU Vitamin C: 27.25 mg Calcium: 85.58 mg Iron: 1.75 mg