Veganized: Cookie Cheesecake Bars

Happy New Year!!

As a vegan living in a predominately non-vegan world, we all have seen recipes we would like to veganize. Daily, on Facebook, I see those fast tutorial recipe videos that look so delicious and so easy! Recently, I stumbled upon Slutty Cheesecake Bars from Delish.com stating (they are so good), they “will get around”. They looked amazing and easily veganizable.

Serves 9


1 package Pre-made Cookie Dough (I used Eat Pastry Chocolate Chip)

1 package Oreos

2 8 ounce Vegan Cream Cheese (I used Tofutti Better than Cream Cheese)

1/2 Cup Cane Sugar

3 teaspoons Ener-G Egg Replacer (blended with 4 tablespoons warm water)

Dash of Salt


1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees and grease an 8×8 pan.

2. Press cookie dough evenly throughout bottom of pan.

3. Add layer of Oreos.

4. Combine cream cheese, sugar, salt and Ener-G Egg Replacer.

5. Add cream cheese mixer to pan.

6. Crumble Oreos on top.

7. Bake for 35 minutes.

8. Place pan in refrigerator and let chill for 3 hours minimum but preferably overnight for best consistency.

9. Cut into 9 squares and enjoy!


These are a few of my favorite things: Cheese Edition

Let’s face it, nothing will replace the taste, texture, creamy, gooeyness of cheese. There are many equally delicious substitutes for other cruelty free items such as meat, milk and butter but cheese? Could there ever be? Will there ever be? I think at this point I have tried almost everything out there in terms of vegan mainstream supermarket cheese scene and have found some pretty wonderful replacement for my pre-vegan cheese obsession.

Best Cream Cheese:
Kite Hill Cream Cheese Style Spread

Kite Hill
Flavors: Original and Chive
“Philadelphia cream cheese who?” This newer cream cheese alternative is a game changer when it comes to vegan cream cheese. It is almond based and has a creaminess factor that surpasses anything I enjoyed as an vegetarian or omnivore. In the past, I would tell people “Yeah vegan cream cheese is good but do not eat it alone”, Kite Hill has changed that. I would gladly eat this cream cheese with a spoon.

Best Grilled Cheese “Cheese”:
Daiya Cheese Slices

Daiya Cheddar
Flavors: Cheddar, Swiss and Provolone
Some cheeses just do not melt. Then there are others that overmelt. This is something every vegan has gone through. Daiya cheese slices do the perfect combination of melting and stretching which is perfect for a grilled cheese.

Pro tip: Do not overuse or there might be too much melting and stretching. Moderation with this cheese goes a long way.

Best Cheese Sandwich Cheese:
Field Roast Chao Slices

Chao Cheese Slices

Flavors: Creamy Original, Coconut Herb and Tomato Cayenne
I sure love a good cheese sandwich, side of chips and pickles. Who doesn’t? The Chao cheese slices make vegan sandwiches perfect. Think traditional American cheese slices veganized. Throw them together with some Tofurky slices, tomato, lettuce, onion and Just Mayo, you may actually think you are mistakenly eating a non-vegan hoagie.

Best Pizza Cheese:
Daiya Shreds – Mozzarella

Daiya Mozzarella Shreds
Not to sound redundant but these cheese just melts correctly. It is perfect for your at home, run of the mill pizza craving.

In conclusion, vegan cheese should be left to the vegans, dairy sensitive or lactose intolerant.  My words to all non-vegan and not even trying to be a little bit vegan friends: do not eat vegan cheese.  You will not like. It does not compare. You will probably have a rude remark about it.  But hey, for us vegans this is as good as it gets and it tastes pretty great of for us.   We love it and its cruelty-free nature.

Miss Rachel’s Pantry

For as far as I can remember, in my vegan life, I have always wanted to try Miss Rachel’s Pantry.  I had attended the Be Well Philly Boot Camp in 2013 and sat in on a cooking demo with Rachel.  I became thrilled that there were vegan chefs of her “vegan cutie” caliber, in Philadelphia, catering and holding weekly dinner parties. I wanted in.  Busy life took over and conflicting schedules got in the way, but finally the stars aligned and I met my Miss Rachel’s Pantry fate…

One day, last month, I received a message from Kiera Smalls of City Fit Girls asking to attend her dinner party… at… Miss Rachel’s Pantry! I jumped at the invite.  The dinner would consist of 10 like-minded, vegan, health and fitness conscious, awesome, passionate  girls from Philadelphia and its surrounding area.  The night was perfect but I am sure everyone is more interested in the menu and food for the night.

Mini Biscuits – homemade margarine, berries, walnuts

Takia - Apps

 BBQ Tempeh-Walnut Slider Trio, caramelized onions, celery slaw, mezza arugula

Kiera - BBQ Tempeh

 Savory Tofu Scramble Enchilada, bean puree, cilantro chimichurri, chipotle cream

Miss Rachel's Pantry 7

Salt-Roasted Golden Beetroot Salad, indigo rose and other exciting heirloom tomatoes, cashew cheese, basil vinaigrette

Miss Rachel's Pantry 9

Chill Cucumber Bisque, crushed pistachios, grilled jalapeno, avocado, coconut bacon

Miss Rachel's Pantry 8

Creamy Elbow Mac, Smoked Seitan Roast, caramelized kale

Miss Rachel's Pantry 2

Seared Maitakes, whipped coconut milk and horseradish butterball potatoes, garbanzo shoots, truffle jus

Miss Rachel's Pantry 1

Key Lime Pie, whipped cream, candied lime, graham crust

Miss Rachel's Pantry 4

Flourless Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake

Miss Rachel's Pantry 3

In conclusion, I highly, highly, HIGHLY recommend planning a you next dinner party at Miss Rachel’s Pantry, or considering having an event catered.  The deliciousness of the food cannot be put into words.  All that can be said is all 10 girls with full bellies and extremely happy mouths on Saturday.

End note: It was very lovely meeting all the girls at the dinner party!  Everyone should go check out these fierce vegan woman on their social media platforms.  They are all inspiring!

Group(Left to Right)


Meagan, pastry chef at the awesome Vegan Commissary, City Fit Girls ambassador and cross fit super women. Me :), office worker by day, vegan food finder and consumer by night. LJ, vegan Twitter Queen. Kiera, half of the City Fit Girls empire and boot camp babe! Joy, New Jersey loving vegan runner.


I AM TERRIBLE WITH REMEMBERING NAME (SORRY:( ), Rachel’s sous chef and creator of our sweet desserts! Lia, cyclist, runner, and iron women for the animals. Rachel, kickass Philadelphia director of the Humane LeaguePam, webivore LARGELY responsible for that lovely Philly Veg Dining Guide oh and light bulb behind our dinner. Melissa, awesome holistic health counselor and donkey mom! Alli, vegan Philadelphia implant and super smart engineer chick! Takia, second half of the City Fit Girls empire and farmers market enthusiast! Rachel, thee Rachel of Miss Rachel’s Pantry and ultimate vegan cutie.

Quinoa Protein Balls

In prepping for camping this weekend, the job I volunteered for was meal planning and prep! I was obviously excited to do this.  Food for camping must be compact, with little refrigeration needed.  Stay tuned for the full menu early.  In the meantime, take a look and try the recipe for these compact, semi-raw, quinoa protein balls.  The perfect camping snack!  I just hope bears don’t like quinoa!

Homemade 26


Quinoa Protein Balls
Makes 20 Golf-sized Balls

16 pitted Dates
3/4 cup Nut Butter (I used peanut butter for these)
1 Scoop MCT Lean Vegan Protein Blend Vanilla or Chocolate
1 cup cooked Quinoa
1 tablespoon Flaxseeds
1 tablespoon Chia Seeds
1 teaspoon Maca Powder
1/4 cup Chopped Walnuts
1 tablespoon Hemp Seed Hearts



  1. Add dated to food processor.  Pulse until chopped.
  2. Add nut butter. Pulse until combined.
  3. Add cooked quinoa. Pulse.
  4. Add remainder of ingredients. Pulse until combined.
  5. Roll into balls.
  6. Refrigerate for 2 hours minimum.  The longer the better.
  7. Enjoy!


Vegan Protein Smoothie

Whether it is running, cycling, swimming, hiking, long walks or some mix of all or some of them.. Vinny and I keep active.  Fueling and replenishing our bodies after a long bike ride or run means consuming a bit more protein.   We have tried Vega and Raw Protein but our favorite protein powder is by MCT Lean.  The taste is on point.  We use it in shakes and smoothies as well as baked good (stay tuned for protein packed recipes).  A little extra protein does the body good!  The possibilities are endless with this powder.  Below is our favorite smoothie recipe featuring MCT Lean Vanilla Vegan Protein Blend.  The kale, ginger and banana make this protein smoothie delicious and with 27 grams of protein, filling!



Green Protein Smoothie
Serves 1

2 Scoops MCT Lean Vegan Protein Blend Vanilla
½ tablespoon MCT Oil
1 tablespoon Ground Flaxseed
1 tablespoon Raw Shelled Hemp Seeds
1 ½ cup Unsweetened Almond Milk
1 medium Banana (frozen bananas work well and make the smoothie cold)
1 cup Raw Kale
1 teaspoon Ginger
½ tablespoon Chia Seeds


  1. Add almond milk to blender.  I prefer the Nutribullet.  Adding the almond milk first prevents the dry ingredients from sticking to the sides of the blender.
  2. Add all other ingredients.
  3. Blend till smooth.
  4. Enjoy!


Vegan Buffalo Chicken Dip

As a vegan, everyone thinks you cannot eat super delicious foods.  It is a common stereotype that I shoot down constantly.  When invited to a party, everyone thinks you’ll bring hummus, or just vegetables, or maybe a fruit salad.  Little does the typical omnivore know, vegans are capable of SO much more.  They are even capable of the cream of the crop party dip. The one that is finished first. The one that is anticipated most.  The great Buffalo Chicken Dip.  Below you will find my adaptation of the dip… a recipe so good, even your non-vegan friends will enjoy.

Buffallo Chicken Dip

Vegan Buffalo Chicken Dip
Serves party of 8

1 package Beyond Meat Chicken-Free Strips – Lightly Seasoned
1 package (8 ounces) Vegan Cream Cheese (any variety works)
½ cup Hot Sauce (I use Texas Pete because of its lower, but still high, sodium content)
½ cup Ranch Dressing (see recipe below)
½ cup Daiya Shreds (either cheddar or pepper jack)

Vegan Ranch Dressing
Yields 1/2 cup

1/4 cup Vegan Mayo (I prefer Hampton Creek Just Mayo)
1/4 cup Unsweetened Almond Milk (I use Whole Foods 365 brand – carrageenan-free)
1 teaspoon Onion Powder
1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
½ teaspoon black pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine all ingredients until smooth in medium baking dish.
  3. Bake for 20 minutes or until everything is melty and hot.
  4. Serve with your favorite vegetables, crackers or my personal favorite, a sliced multi-grain french baguette.  Hell! You can serve this dip with anything, it could make cardboard taste good.
  5. Enjoy… while it lasts!


Vegan Chocolate Chunk Almond Cookies

Chocolate chunks? Raw Almonds? Cookies? Who does not love all three?   After using other people’s recipes till now, I have formulated my own.  Hope you enjoy them as much as we did!



Vegan Chocolate Chunk Almond Cookies
Yields 40 Mini Cookies

4.5 teaspoons Ener-G Egg Replacer (found in the baking isle at Whole Foods Market)
6 tablespoons Water
½ cup Earth Balance Buttery Spread
½ cup Mashed Avocado
¾ cup Vegan Cane Sugar
¾ cup Brown Sugar
2 teaspoons Pure Vanilla Extract
1 1/8 cup Whole Wheat Flour
1 1/8 cup All-Purpose Flour
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
½ teaspoon Sea Salt
1 cup Dark Chocolate Baking Chunks (I use Whole Foods 365 brand)
1 cup Raw Almonds (chopped)
Olive Oil cooking spray


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Whisk or blend, Ener-g Egg Replacer and water. Set aside.
  3. Combine Earth Balance, mashed avocado, sugars, vanilla extract and lastly Ener-g Egg Replacer mix.
  4. Combine flours, baking soda, and sea salt.
  5. Add flour mix to sugar mix, a little bit at a time, until all is well mixed.
  6. Fold in almonds and chocolate chunks.
  7. Arrange ping pong sized cookie dough balls on greased baking sheet.  Press down just a bit.
  8. Bake for 9 minutes.
  9. Let cool on pan for 5 minutes then transfer to cooling rack.
  10. Enjoy!