Recipes, Uncategorized

Winter Kale Salad

Winter Kale Salad | Vegan Living by Danielle


Salad –

  • 1/4 cup dry quinoa (I think red or tri-color quinoa look the best)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 8 cups of kale, thick stems removed
  • 1/4 cup hemp seeds (walnuts work well too, we have a nut allergy in the family so I sub hemp seeds)
  • 2 apples, chopped (I like fuji and honeycrisp best, but chose your favorite apples!)
  • 1/2 cup of pomegranate seeds (sub dried cranberries)

Dressing –

  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp maple syrup


  1. Put dry quinoa in a small pot with of water.
  2. Set timer for 15 minutes once the burner is turned on.
  3. Move the temperature to low or medium-low once water is boiling. (You’ll know quinoa is fully cooked when the kernels opened and look fluffy.)
  4. Remove the thick stems from kale and cut into bite-size pieces.
  5. Put all kale in a pot to steam with about 1-2 cups of water. Stir kale and repeat until all kale is very slightly cooked.
  6. Once kale is cooked, drain the pot and pat kale dry with paper towel if needed.
  7. In a small bowl, mix the apple cider vinegar, olive oil, lemon juice, and syrup.
  8. In a large bowl, combine cooled kale, cooled quinoa, fruit, seeds/nuts, and dressing.
  9. Toss until mixed thoroughly and dressing is evenly distributed.
  10. Enjoy!

Makes about 4 side salads, or 2 lunch-sized salads!

Recipes, Uncategorized

Lily’s Favorite Chili

Lily's Favorite Chili Award | Vegan Living by Danielle
Won the “Most Creative” category at a Chili Cook-Off!

Remember: you can alter this to your preferences! I left out the kale last time I made it because I didn’t have any and it was still great. I added carrots instead and threw them in about 20 min after the sweet potatoes


  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed (about 1/2 inch cubes)
  • 1 (28 oz) can of ground, crushed, or peeled tomatoes (get crushed if you don’t like stewed, cooked tomatoes; no need to drain)
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, finely diced (optional for spice lovers)
  • 1 cup dry quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp oregano
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp of cayenne (optional for spice lovers)
  • 1 (15.5 oz) can kidney beans, drained
  • 1 bunch of kale, stems removed


    1. Place olive oil, garlic and diced onion on low in a crockpot.
    2. Cut up the sweet potatoes.
    3. Add sweet potatoes, tomatoes, quinoa, water, jalapeno pepper (if desired), and all the spices to the crockpot.
    4. Rip or cut kale leaves to bite sized pieces.
    5. Stir occasionally.
    6. Once the quinoa grains have opened, add kidney beans and kale.
    7. Stir occasionally.
    8. Ready to serve when the sweet potatoes are soft (approx. 8 hours).
    9. Serve warm and enjoy!

This recipe is a good one to meal prep! Cooled chili can be separated into freezable Tupperware containers and kept frozen until they are ready to be eaten.

For this, and almost all recipes, I recommend leaving the peel on and just washing all veggies well. The peel contains a lot of the nutrients, and we wouldn’t want to waste all that goodness by throwing it out!

I also usually add stems, but didn’t include them in this recipe because some don’t like the texture. If you’re like me, I recommend cutting into 1/2 inch pieces.

Recipes, Uncategorized

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad | Vegan Living by Danielle


  • 1 cup dry quinoa
  • 2 cups vegetable stock (could substitute water, but stock is much more flavorful; low-sodium stock highly recommended)
  • 1/8 cup fresh parsley, chopped or 1/2 Tbsp dried parsley flakes
  • 1/2 cup red onion (about 1/4 of a larger onion), chopped
  • 1/2 can chickpeas, drained
  • 1 med cucumber with the seeds removed, diced
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • juice of 1/2 lemon (roughly 1 1/2 Tbsps)
  • juice of 1/4 lime (roughly 1/2 Tbsp)
  • 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 3/4 tsp black pepper
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup kalamata, green, or black olives (optional – depending on your taste), halved


  1. Put dry quinoa and stock in large sauce pan over high heat.
  2. Reduce heat to medium-low when the pot is boiling and cover.
  3. Let quinoa cook for a total of approximately 15 minutes, or until all kernels are open and fluffy. Stirring is not necessary or recommended. Best results come when the lid is left on during the whole cooking process.
  4. Once quinoa is thoroughly cooked, move it to a bowl and refrigerate to cool.
  5. While the quinoa is cooking and cooling, prepare remaining ingredients, and mix in a bowl.
  6. When quinoa has cooled, combine quinoa with remaining ingredients and mix well.
  7. Serve cool and enjoy!


It is the season for barbecues, picnics, and grad parties. I highly recommend doubling this recipe to bring to these events! It is definitely a real crowd pleaser. Also, quinoa and chickpeas have a good amount of protein for you, so it’s definitely a good thing to bring with you to picnics to be sure there is a vegan option for you that has a substantial amount of protein.

I like to take a bit of it with me as my lunch, or serve a few scoops on the side of dinner!

Lifestyle Tips, Uncategorized

Quinoa: Faux Fancy

Quinoa (keen-wah) certainly sounds very fancy, which makes it seem like a rare delicacy. Contrary to how the name makes the food sound, it is super easy to cook and very accessible! If you’re going vegan, it’s time to get cozy with quinoa! It is an excellent source of lean, vegan protein (about 8 grams of protein per 1 cooked cup; as stated by the USDA), it goes with pretty much anything you want to cook, and it’s tasty served cold or warm. Quinoa barely takes any time to prep and takes 15 minutes to cook thoroughly.

Here’s how easy it is:

  1. Measure your desired serving of quinoa and put that in a pot.
    • One cup of dry quinoa fits well in a standard small sauce pan. It makes for about 4 servings once cooked depending on the recipe and your appetite!
  2. Double the size of your first serving for the amount of water.
    • If you used 1 cup quinoa, that’s 2 cups of water.
  3. Cook on high until the water comes to a boil.
    • Start a timer for 15 minutes from when you turn the stove on.
  4. Once it comes to a boil, cover and put the burner on low or low-medium for the remainder of the time.

Quinoa makes a good base for many dishes, and its flavor compliments so many different meals. It is also pretty delicious cooked without spices and served as a side!

*Vegan Pro Tip: If plain quinoa is too bland for your liking, try substituting the water in the recipe for vegetable broth! Super easy and super yummy. 😉

Where do I find quinoa, you ask? You can find quinoa in major grocery stores (also at Target and Walmart) in the same aisle as rice or in the natural foods section if they have one. Also, if you have a membership at a wholesale club like Costco, Sam’s Club, or BJ’s, this might be an ingredient to save for your trip. It’s definitely better to buy grains in bulk!

Quinoa varies in color: white (or “traditional”), red, and black. These different grain colors don’t affect the taste noticeably, but some claim that the texture of the traditional quinoa is more fluffy and red or black grains can be more crunchy. Personally, I haven’t noticed much of a difference other than the colors!

Stay tuned for some quinoa based, protein packed recipes!