Tuesday, December 25, 2018


which means it’s time for Veganuary! If you’ve not heard of Veganuary before, it’s a campaign that challenges people to try out the vegan lifestyle for the month of January and this year over 40,000 people are taking part.
So if you’re one of those people and you’re wondering what on earth to make for dinner when you get home from work, then below is a round-up of 21 super simple meals that can be made in under 30 minutes, with minimal fuss.

But if you’re feeling extra lazy, there are always shortcuts you can take. Being vegan doesn’t mean hours of prep and cooking every day, like some people assume.

A few extra-lazy bonus ideas:
  • Frozen mixed veg + vegan-friendly curry sauce + microwave rice
  • Baking potato + baked beans
  • Vegetarian sausages + mashed potato + onion gravy
  • Shop-bought fajita kit (with spices, sauce and tortilla wraps) + mushrooms & peppers + guacamole
  • Vegan mince or tinned lentils + shop-bought bolognese sauce + dried spaghetti + (optional) vegan cheese or nutritional yeast
  • Shop-bought, vegan-friendly pizza dough + pizza sauce + toppings of choice + (optional) vegan cheese or nutritional yeast
  • Vegan burger + burger bun + chips + ketchup
  • Falafel (egg-free) + pita wrap + hummus + tahini + salad

The above meal ideas aren’t all necessarily “healthy” but for when you’re on the verge of giving up, feeling lazy or just want some fast food, these will definitely hit the spot. Just make sure you always check the ingredients to watch for added dairy, particularly in sauces and baked goods.

But now for some real, delicious, easy, quick, vegan homemade meals…

1. 10 Minute Creamy Vegan Bean and Aubergine Casserole


Get the recipe

2. Creamy Mushroom Risotto Creamy Mushroom Risotto (Vegan + GF)

Get the recipe

3. Easy Vegan Chickpea Curry with Potatoes

Get the recipe

4. Vegan Bolognese


Get the recipe

5. Penne with Chickpeas in Smoky Tomato Sauce

Get the recipe

6. Easy Spicy Peanut Noodles with Vegetables

Get the recipe


Monday, December 17, 2018


What is “black velvet” you ask?  Oh, it’s just like red velvet, only jet-black.  It’s sweet, chocolatey, and 100% delicious.  Because it’s so dang hot out here in Texas, instead of baking a cake, I decided to make a no-bake treat…  cookie dough it is!  Not only is this Healthy Black Velvet Cookie Dough safe to eat raw (yup, no eggs here!), it’s got a secret ingredient too.  Can you guess what makes it black?  Hint, it’s not yucky artificial food coloring…

No need to pinch yourself because you’re not dreaming.  This is real life.

So what’s in this cookie dough?  Lemme tell ya:

Oat Flour
Brown Rice Protein Powder
Almond Butter
Black Beans
Chocolate Chips
Activated Charcoal Powder (yes, for real)
Surprised by the ingredients?  Surprised at how CHARCOAL got into your dessert?  Don’t be.  You don’t taste it at all.  I was seriously skeptical myself at first, but couldn’t detect it one bit.

This Healthy Black Velvet Cookie Dough tastes just like regular cookie dough — it’s sugary sweet (without the refined white sugar), it’s buttery rich (without the butter, synthetic margarine, or hydrogenated shortening) and it’s doughy in texture (without the refined and bleached white flour).

This Healthy Black Velvet Cookie Dough is meant to be eaten raw, so no hassle or baking required for this sweet, sweet indulgence.

No eggs = lick the spoon (and bowl) all you want!


Healthy Black Velvet Cookie Dough
Prep Time
20 mins
Total Time
20 mins

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Cookies & Crackers
Servings: 2 ½ cups
Calories: 330 kcal
  • 84g (½ cup, packed) Chocolate Brown Rice Protein Powder
  • 60g (½ cup ) Oat Flour
  • 2 tbs Unsweetened Natural Cocoa Powder
  • 1 tbs Activated Charcoal Powder
  • ⅛ tsp Salt
  • one 15oz can Black Beans (drained and rinsed well! (~1½ cups beans))
  • ⅔ cup Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
  • 64g (¼ cup) Roasted Almond Butter
  • 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 tsp Natural Butter Flavor
  • 1 tsp Stevia Extract
  • ½ cup No-Sugar-Added Dark Chocolate Chips
  1. In a large bowl, add stir together the protein powder, oat flour, cocoa powder, charcoal powder, and salt.
  2. In a blender (I used my NutriBullet), puree together the beans, almond milk, almond butter, vanilla extract, butter flavor, and stevia extract until smooth. Scoop this mixture over the dry ingredients and fold together.
  3. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  4. For the best texture, cover and refrigerate overnight.  Otherwise you can serve it immediately for a slightly softer brownie batter texture.  Enjoy!

Nutrition Facts
Healthy Black Velvet Cookie Dough
Amount Per Serving    (0.5 cup)
Calories 330 Calories from Fat 117
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 13g 20%
Saturated Fat 3.5g 18%
Sodium 115mg 5%
Total Carbohydrates 34g 11%
Dietary Fiber 11g 44%
Sugars 1g
Protein 23g 46%
Calcium 15%
Iron 35%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Here is the recipe’s nutrition label:

Wow.  Wow, wow, wow, wow, WOW.  Can you believe this cookie dough is packed with a whopping 23g of protein and 11g of fiber??  Plus, it’s free of the deadly trans fats and has none of processed white sugar typical to storebought cookie dough.

I’d go as far as to say that my recipe is guilt-free.  I mean, it’s filled with complete proteins, complex carbohydrates, healthy fats, and essential vitamins and minerals.  I could go on, but I think I should let you go so you can make some of this cookie dough for yourself 😉

I am still a little shocked at how delicious and addictive this Healthy Black Velvet Cookie Dough is.  I could NOT stop eating it.  I mostly ate it straight up with a spoon, but it’s also delicious with graham crackers and animal crackers.  Try it.  It’s just TOO GOOD!


With love and good eats


Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Walking Tacos Recipe

This Walking Tacos recipe is such a nice and easy idea for any party.

Just pick up a bunch of snack sized bags of Doritos or Fritos and add a few other toppings for your guests to choose from.

I love that each person has the ability to customize their own Walking Tacos!

Walking Tacos Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 lb Ground Beef
  • 2 tbsp Taco Seasoning (Homemade Taco Seasoning Recipe)
  • 7 Lunch size bags Nacho Doritos, Cool Ranch Doritos and/or Fritos
  • Shredded Lettuce
  • Shredded Cheese
  • Diced Tomatoes
  • Jalapeno Slices
  • Taco Sauce
  • Sour Cream
Basically all the taco toppings you can think of!

How to Make Walking Tacos

 This recipe seriously couldn’t be any easier, which is why it is one of my favorites for backyard barbecues or birthday parties.

First brown the ground beef and drain off the grease.

Add taco seasoning and 1/4 cup water.

Simmer for 15-20 minutes.

Gently crush chips in each bag.

Open top and roll down edges of bag.

Add a meat and cheese and your favorite toppings and gently toss with a plastic fork.

How fun is this recipe!!

Walking Tacos
 Author Kristie Sawicki
  • 1 1/2 lb Ground Beef
  • 2 tbsp Taco Seasoning
  • 7 Lunch size bags Nacho Doritos Cool Ranch Doritos and/or Fritos
  • Shredded Lettuce
  • Shredded Cheese
  • Diced Tomatoes
  • Jalapeno Slices
  • Taco Sauce
  • Sour Cream
  1. Brown ground beef and drain.
  2. Add seasoning and 1/4 cup water.
  3. Simmer for 15-20 minutes.
  4. Gently crush chips in each bag.
  5. Open top and roll down edges of bag.
  6. Add a meat and cheese and your favorite toppings and gently toss with a plastic fork.


Monday, December 10, 2018


When I have to make breakfast for a crowd, whether it be family or a potluck, I am looking for easy and delicious. As the mom of small kids, I don’t have lots of time in the morning. My favorite breakfast recipes are those where I can do all of the meal prep the night before and just pop something in the oven in the morning when things are more hectic. This Sausage, Egg and Biscuit Breakfast Casserole contains all my favorite breakfast items in one dish. If you have ever indulged in a biscuit with sausage and egg at your local fast food establishment then you know those flavors just work. Did I mention that it’s super cheesy too? Just because. When you’re done here, try our Cheesy Bacon Breakfast Casserole or this collection of Breakfast Casserole Recipes.

This breakfast casserole recipe is so easy to prepare because it uses refrigerated biscuit dough.

I cut each biscuit into six pieces. The easiest way to do this is to use a pizza cutter.

For this Sausage, Egg and Biscuit Breakfast Casserole recipe I used a 3 quart casserole dish. I am all about my casserole dish with carrier. It makes it so easy to take this breakfast to a meeting or gathering.

I used eight frozen sausage patties for this breakfast casserole. Just heat and cut into small pieces. Bacon would work well too. Mmmmm…bacon.

You just layer all your ingredients into the casserole dish.

Add some eggs and milk.

Don’t forget the cheese! Once your pour the eggs and cheese on top you can bake it or place it in the refrigerator overnight and bake it the next morning.

When you wake up, pop it in the oven and try and be patient as this Sausage, Egg and Biscuit Breakfast Casserole cooks up. It is worth the wait and is so good you won’t have a crumb left just like our Tater Tot Breakfast Casserole.
Sausage, Egg and Biscuit Breakfast Casserole

Sausage, Egg and Biscuit Breakfast Casserole - Food Fun Friday

This hearty breakfast can be made the night before and is perfect for a holiday morning!
 Course Breakfast
 Cuisine American
 Prep Time 15 minutes
 Cook Time 35 minutes
 Total Time 50 minutes
 Servings 8 pieces
 Calories 381 kcal
 Author Vicky
16 oz container of biscuits
6 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1 1/2 cups of shredded cheddar/jack mix
2 cups cut up breakfast sausage
Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a 9x13 casserole dish with cooking spray.
  2. Open up a package of biscuits and cut each into 6 pieces.
  3. Spread cut biscuits in the bottom of the greased casserole dish.
  4. Cook breakfast sausage according to package directions. Cut into bite sized pieces and spread over top of biscuits.
  5. Sprinkle 1/2 cup of shredded cheese over the sausage.
  6. Beat 6 eggs with milk and pour over the biscuits and sausage.
  7. Sprinkle remaining cheese over the top and add a shake of salt and pepper.
  8. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes until the eggs are set.
Nutrition Facts
Sausage, Egg and Biscuit Breakfast Casserole - Food Fun Friday
Amount Per Serving
Calories 381 Calories from Fat 198
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 22g 34%
Saturated Fat 8g 40%
Cholesterol 154mg 51%
Sodium 786mg 33%
Potassium 239mg 7%
Total Carbohydrates 28g 9%
Sugars 2g
Protein 15g 30%
Vitamin A 8.5%
Calcium 21.6%
Iron 15.1%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Have you heard about Eat At Home Meal Plans? If the cost of eating out or the decision of what to make for dinner each night is stressing you out, then you must try these. When you sign up, you get access to four separate meal plans each month (Traditional, Wholesome Traditional, Slow Cooker, and No Flour/No Sugar). All you do is print the plans, color-coded grocery lists, and recipes you want for that month. Don’t worry, there are lots of options, so even picky eaters will find something they like.Then when it is time for dinner, make that night’s recipe (choices include make-ahead, freezer meals, slow-cooker recipes, and other time-saving strategies).
That’s it! Dinner is on the table and you can enjoy a home cooked meal with the family – without the stress!

We all have more important things to do than meal planning. Let someone else do it for you with Eat At Home Meal Plans. Monthly, quarterly and annual plans are available.


Saturday, December 8, 2018


Happy Monday!

It’s the kids’ first day back to school, and I’m SO sad about it. I’m not going to lie, things get pretty crazy, loud and messy having all 5 kids home during the summer, but I kind of love it. I just feel more content and at peace knowing all the kiddos are home with me. Having said that, I know the kids love school and I also love hearing all about what they’ve learned and what they’ve done in the classroom. I’m really hoping both Gav and Lily come home happy. 🙂

Speaking of things that make us happy…

I have another delicious dessert for you today. You guys know I have a thing for layered desserts and today’s Cookie Delight happens to be one of them. This time, there is a cookie base, cream cheese layer, pudding layer and then it’s all topped off with cool whip and mini chocolate chips. Yes, it’s decadent but it’s DELICIOUS! The kids all agreed it was (in their words) “AMAZING!!” The hubby and I agreed, so if you like chocolate, and you LOVE cool treats, then you’ll love this recipe. 😉


5.0 from 4 reviews
Cookie Delight

Serves: 15-16
  • 1 tube (16 oz.) refrigerated chocolate chip cookie dough
  • 1 (- 8 oz. cream cheese bar, softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tub (16 oz.) Cool Whip
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1 small box (3.4 oz.) instant chocolate pudding
  • 1 small box (3.4 oz.) instant white chocolate pudding
  • mini chocolate chips for topping
  1. Soften Cookie Dough on counter (dough at room temp will make it easier to spread).
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  3. When dough is soft, gently spread into greased 9x13 baking pan. Bake for 14-18 minutes or until golden brown.
  4. In a medium bowl, mix together cream cheese and powdered sugar until smooth. Fold in half of the Cool Whip.
  5. Once your cookie base is completely cooled, spread on cream cheese mixture.
Pudding Layer: In a medium bowl, combine chocolate and white chocolate puddings with cold milk. Whisk together until smooth. Let it set for about 2 minutes. Spread pudding mixture on top of cream cheese layer.
  1. Refrigerate until ready to serve (or for at least 30 minutes).
  2. Right before serving, spread remaining Cool Whip on top and sprinkle with mini chocolate chips. ENJOY!

Recipe adapted from the Country Cook.

{We combined regular chocolate pudding with white chocolate pudding for a double chocolate pudding layer that is so tasty!}

{If the chocolate chips are too much just add some chocolate sprinkles of chocolate curls.}

You guys – this dessert is AWESOME! It’s one of those desserts that everyone would love and one that would be devoured in .2 seconds at any function. 😉

I’m telling you… I have a thing for layered desserts. 😉

White Chocolate Lasagna

Brownie Delight

Caramel Creme Squares



Oreo Cake – also called Oreo Delight or Chocolate Dessert Lasagna. It’s a no-bake dessert with creamy layers of vanillia pudding, cream cheese and cool whip!


This is my family’s most favorite dessert! It’s sooo popular and a guaranteed hit with guests. Plus, it’s really easy to make (and take)!

In our house this dessert is known as Oreo Cake. It’s really not a cake at all, but creamy layers of whipped cream, cream cheese and pudding on an Oreo crust.

It’s sometimes called Dessert Lasagna or Oreo Delight. This version is different from all the others because it’s made with vanilla instead of chocolate pudding. Now I am a total chocolate lover, but I swear it’s better with vanilla!

We started calling it Oreo Cake because in my family it was often requested in lieu of birthday cake. Beware of using birthday candles on it though – the Oreo crumbs can get everywhere when blowing them out!

I speak from past experience. 😀 Mom actually had to get out the vacuum it was so bad. Luckily, not many people get upset with being covered in Oreos for some reason.

So that’s why we call it Oreo Cake. The original name has long been forgotten, but this recipe continues to be the hit of every party.

Just last week Dad brought one to a graduation party and the graduate didn’t even get a slice it disappeared so fast! Can’t blame them though, it’s so good you just want to dig in!

Luckily, Oreo Cake is a breeze to put together. File this one under “family favorites” or “desserts that disappear fast.”

Update: we love no-bake dessert recipes so much that I’ve since created some tasty variations. Be sure to check them all out!

There’s a chocolate cheesecake pudding dessert for all the chocolate lovers, as well as a lemon cheesecake pudding dessert that tastes like one of my favorite Girl Scout cookies!

My current favorite right now is this Mint Chocolate Lasagna–it’s to die for!

When the cool weather hits, we turn to this pumpkin oreo dessert. If you’ve never had pumpkin and chocolate together, you’re in for a big treat!



Prep time
15 mins
Cook time
4 mins
Total time
19 mins

The most amazing no-bake dessert! Rich, creamy layers of cream cheese, pudding and whipped cream, all on an Oreo crust!
Author: Rebekah | Kitchen Gidget
Serves: 12-15
1 package (14.3 ounces) Oreos, divided
8 tablespoons butter, melted
2 boxes (3.4 ounces each) vanilla pudding mix (not cook & serve)
3 1/2 cups cold milk
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 tub (8 ounces) whipped topping, thawed
Separate 10 cookies, crush or chop and set aside.
Crush the remaining cookies into fine crumbs and combine with the melted butter. Firmly press into a 13×9-inch pan. Set aside to cool.
With a stand or hand mixer, blend the pudding mix, milk and cream cheese until smooth and creamy. Pour onto prepared crust. Next add a layer of whipped topping. Top with reserved crushed cookies. Cover and refrigerate 4 hours or until set.


Friday, December 7, 2018


Chicken Fajita Quesadillas – sautéed onions, red and green peppers, perfectly seasoned chicken breast, melted cheese, between two tortillas. Simply yummy.
Ah Tex-Mex! I love Tex-Mex flavors.

Especially when it’s in the form of a quesadilla. There’s this restaurant right next to where I work and whenever we go there for lunch I always order quesadillas. I just think you can’t go wrong with quesadillas. It’s like a sandwich but better. But I also love to make quesadillas at home sometimes on weekends, because they’re so easy to make and hubs simply loves loves quesadillas. Actually he loves anything that’s between two pieces of tortillas or bread. He’s a simple man to please.

I, for one, love anything with melted cheese on it. I don’t care what, just put some cheese on it and melt it and I will eat it.

Chicken Fajita Quesadillas - sautéed onions, red and green peppers, perfectly seasoned chicken

But these quesadillas are like this. Sauteed onions and green and red peppers, chicken breast, plus some or lots of Tex-Mex seasoning, topped with loads of Tex-Mex cheese, place these yummies in between a couple tortillas and you’ve got L.O.V.E. It’s as simple as that, my friends, my webbie peeps.

Can I just say that we inhaled these quesadillas! Hubs could barely wait for me to finish the pictures, because he was trying his hardest with his Vulcan mind meld to will me to feed him. Well you can’t blame the guy. When he’s hungry, he’s hungry. And when it’s something he loves, well you better stay out of his way. Nothing goes between him and his quesadillas! Well maybe except the dog, but that’s a story for another time.

If you guys love this recipe, and most importantly make it yourselves, please let us know. Take a picture and tag it #jocooks on Instagram so we can see it. I always love to see what you guys come up with!

Chicken Fajita Quesadillas - sautéed onions, red and green peppers, perfectly seasoned chicken breast, melted cheese, between two tortillas. Simply yummy.
4.84 from 12 votes
 Print  Pin  Rate
Course: Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 578kcal
Author: Joanna Cismaru
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp fajita mix
  • 3 chicken breasts boneless and skinless
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 2 onions
  • 1 cup Tex Mex cheese or cheddar cheese
  • salsa
  • sour cream
  • 8 tortillas
  • 2 tbsp butter

  1. Clean and chop up the onion into long strips. Slice the peppers into long strips. Clean and slice the chicken breasts into long strips and place in a bowl.
  2. Add a tbsp of the fajita mix to the chicken breast and mix well.
  3. In a large skillet, heat 1 tbsp of the olive oil and add the chicken to it. Cook the chicken for 5 to 10 minutes until it's fully cooked and no longer pink, and it's slightly charred, but not burned.
  4. Remove chicken from skillet, and wipe the skillet clean.
  5. Add another tbsp of olive oil to the skillet and heat it up. Add the onion and cook for a couple minutes until it's slightly translucent. Add the peppers and the fajita mix and mix well. Cook for a couple more minutes so the peppers cook slightly. Add the chicken to the skillet, mix with peppers and onions and cook for a minute.
  6. In a clean skillet, add a bit of the butter and melt. Add a tortilla and move it around until it's buttery. Add a little bit of the chicken and onion mixture on top of the tortilla, and about 1/4 cup of cheese, depending on how you like it. Add another tortilla on top and pat it down.
  7. Now flip it over and cook on the other side until the other side is nice and golden. Remove from skillet and cut into quarters. Repeat these steps with the remaining tortillas. Serve this with some sour cream and salsa.
Please keep in mind that nutritional information is a rough estimate and can vary greatly based on products used.
Calories: 578kcal | Carbohydrates: 30.5g | Protein: 42.7g | Fat: 31.8g | Saturated Fat: 13.1g | Cholesterol: 142mg | Sodium: 337mg | Fiber: 5.4g | Sugar: 5.4g
tried this recipe? rate it below

Nutrition Facts
Chicken Fajita Quesadillas
Amount Per Serving
Calories 578 Calories from Fat 286
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 31.8g 49%
Saturated Fat 13.1g 66%
Cholesterol 142mg 47%
Sodium 337mg 14%
Total Carbohydrates 30.5g 10%
Dietary Fiber 5.4g 22%
Sugars 5.4g
Protein 42.7g 85%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


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source: www.jocooks.com