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Vegan Spinach Falafel

Vegan Spinach Falafel

March 28th, IT’S MY BIRTHDAY!! Ah, I’m 24 years old. Nobody cares once you get past the 21 year mark or maybe that’s just me. I did have a fabulous pre birthday weekend. Friday night I went out to dinner with some friends and they got me vegan cupcakes-how cute. Saturday, I went out to lunch for sushi with my boyfran and the food was super tasty. I always get two avocado rolls and one veggie roll with brown rice. Sunday was spent doing lots of homework and celebrating with my family. They got me the most divine lemon frosted vegan cake. I have never had a better tasting cake. No one in my family had ever tried vegan cake before and they loved it, but they did say that vegan cake is more dense than non vegan. It may be more dense but it was still baked to lemony perfection. All in all, I felt the birthday love and feel super blessed! Now, on to my #meatlessmonday dish. Falafel is already really really good and it’s really really really good made with spinach. The green color is out of this world and so is the taste. I pan fry the falafel in a little bit of olive oil because I prefer the pan fried taste to baked. Pan frying them will also give the falafel a beautiful brown crisp outer layer. In my opinion, the ingredient that takes this dish to another level of yum is green onions. They’re pretty mild in flavor but green onions have a distinct taste. I use 2 cans of chickpeas, 3 cups of spinach and 1 cup of oat flour, so we’re talking super healthy falafel. As always, hummus never fails as the perfect topping but tahini would be equally as awesome. 



I processed the falafel until all of the ingredients were fully combined as opposed to a few pulses. However, since I add one cup of oat flour, the falafel sticks together and fries to perfection in the pan.

Vegan Spinach Falafel

Look at that green! These falafel look so healthy and fresh. I know you’ll love them as much as I do.

vegan recipes quick and easyVegan Spinach Falafel

Vegan Spinach Falafel
Serves 8
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Prep Time
7 min
Cook Time
7 min
Prep Time
7 min
Cook Time
7 min
  1. 3 cups spinach
  2. 2 cans rinsed and drained chickpeas
  3. 4-5 tbsp green onions
  4. 2 tbsp lemon juice
  5. 2 tbsp olive oil
  6. 2 cloves garlic
  7. 1 cup oat flour
  8. Dash of oregano
  9. Salt and pepper to taste (I used 1 tsp salt)
  10. 3-4 tbsp olive oil for pan frying ( I used 4)
  1. Put all of the ingredients except the olive oil for frying into a food processor and pulse until ingredients are completely combined.
  2. Pour the olive oil into a medium or large frying pan.
  3. Shape falafel into medium sized patties.
  4. Fry falafel using medium heat for 3-4 minutes per side or until golden brown.
  5. Top with hummus or tahini.
  6. Enjoy!
UpBeet and Kaleing It http://upbeetandkaleingit.com/
Easy Vegan Mac and Cheese

Easy Vegan Mac and Cheese

It’s mac and cheese time!!! The best time, always. Pretty much everybody and their brother loves mac and cheese because it is a dish that brings about feelings of nostalgia. In grade school, it was a treat to indulge in it every now and then at lunch. And boy was it good. The cheesiness and creaminess of the sauce doused atop the noodles cannot be matched by too many other dishes. Fast forward like 15 years and this chick is finding ways to make the sauce with vegetables and pumpkin puree, lol. Oh, how times have changed. But hey, the sauce is still phenomenal and best of all, it’s actually healthy. My Easy Vegan Mac and Cheese sauce only has 5, yes you read it correctly, 5 main ingredients!! It’s low fat too because the sauce is comprised of one large russet potato and 1 cup of pumpkin puree. How awesome is that? You’re going to absolutely love the depth of flavor this vegan mac and cheese brings to the table along with it’s “cheesy” texture. Don’t worry, even though my dish is meatless and dairy free, it is the ultimate healthy comfort food!

IMG_4430IMG_4409Easy Vegan Mac and Cheese

I feel like I’ve seen a lot of beautiful sights throughout my young life and this beauty is no exception. Easy Vegan Mac and Cheese truly is a wonder of the earth. The Vegan Mac and Cheese is adorned with some paprika, which is of course optional.

Vegan Recipes Quick and EasyEasy Vegan Mac and CheeseEasy Vegan Mac and Cheese

Enjoy your #meatlessmonday lovelies! If you recreate my dishes, tag me on Twitter/ Instagram and now I’m on Pinterest @ upbeetandkaleingit. I would love to see your work!

Easy Vegan Mac and Cheese
Serves 6
A simple and delicious vegan mac and cheese dish!
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Prep Time
7 min
Prep Time
7 min
  1. 2 cups of cubed russet potatoes (I cube mine into bite sized pieces for cooking)
  2. 1/2 or 1/3 cup chopped white onion
  3. 1 cup pumpkin puree
  4. Olive Oil for sautéing
  5. 2.5-3 cups vegetable broth
  6. 1/2 tsp stone ground mustard
  7. 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  8. Salt and Pepper to taste
  9. 4 cups noodles of choice (I used red lentil & quinoa by Ancient Harvest)
  1. Cook the noodles according to the package.
  2. Sauté the onions in a little bit of olive oil for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Then, add 2 cups of potatoes and 1.5 cups of vegetable broth along with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Cook on medium heat for 8-10 minutes.
  4. Next, add the pumpkin puree, mustard and 1 to 1.5 cups vegetable broth. Cook for another 7 minutes depending on size of cubed potatoes (cook until a fork easily pierces the tender potato). I used a lid to speed up the cooking process.
  5. If you need more vegetable broth, add a little more at a time.
  6. Put the sauce mixture in a blender or food processor and pulse until full combined and creamy.
UpBeet and Kaleing It http://upbeetandkaleingit.com/
Vegan Cincinnati-Style Chili

Vegan Cincinnati-Style Chili

Top of the mornin’ to ya! 

I hope that you all had an awesome weekend :). Mine was pretty low key. Friday I went to Ann Arbor for dinner with my family and Saturday I cooked/baked. My favorite past time. Going out to eat is always sort of tricky but it’s nice to find delicious items on the menu. Even though we were at a seafood restaurant, I was able to order a quinoa and basmati rice dish with a side of jumbo baked asparagus. Super yum! Sooooo, are you wondering what I whipped up for #meatlessmonday? Hmmmm, well it’s a Cincinnati staple. Some of you have probably heard of Cincinnati style chili or some of you may know it as something else. It is absolutely positively awesome and so different. Chili is used as a topping for spaghetti or in this case, spaghetti squash. You can get it two-way, which is just spaghetti and chili, and all the way up to five-way. One-way, two-way, five-way, 50-way, I WANT IT ALL. I know that you’re going to love every part of this dish. 


Those beautiful toppings include avocado and cashew cream along with some soy free and dairy free “cheese”. Heck yes. “Cheese” on everything makes the world go round. 


Spaghetti Squash is a fabulous and healthy alternative to pasta. The flesh is this beautiful and bright yellowish orange color. Once you bake it, take a fork, scoop it out and the flesh looks like strands of spaghetti!


Personally, this is my favorite #marysmeatlessmonday dish thus far. It’s really hard to come up with vegan dishes sometimes but I look for inspiration all around me. I lived in Cincinnati last year and it never crossed my mind to recreate its staple dish. Well, better late than never!


Enjoy friends!

Vegan Cincinnati-Style Chili
Serves 4
A delicious vegan and comfort food dish made with spaghetti squash
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Prep Time
7 min
Prep Time
7 min
  1. 2 small or medium spaghetti squashes
  2. Olive oil
  3. Chili powder
  4. Salt & pepper to taste
  5. Chili
  6. 1 large red bell pepper
  7. 1/2 medium white onion
  8. 8 oz bag of lentils
  9. 1 can garbanzo beans
  10. 32 FL oz vegetable stock
  11. 2 cans tomato sauce
  12. 1 can water
  13. 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  14. 1/4 tsp paprika
  15. 1 tbsp brown sugar
  16. 1-1.5 tbsp chili powder
  17. Salt & pepper to taste
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Cut the spaghetti squashes in half, scoop out the seeds and brush the inside with olive oil.
  3. Sprinkle light chili powder, salt and pepper on top.
  4. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until tender depending on size.
  5. Take out the flesh of the squash with a fork.
  6. For the chili, sauté the onion and bell pepper for a couple of minutes in olive oil.
  7. Then, add everything but the garbanzo beans and can of water.
  8. Let the sauce cook on medium heat for 30 minutes.
  9. Then, add the water and garbanzo beans. Cook the sauce another 25 minutes.
  10. Top the spaghetti squash with the chili and favorite toppings.
UpBeet and Kaleing It http://upbeetandkaleingit.com/
Easy Vegan Lunch Options for Students

Easy Vegan Lunch Options for Students

Happy FriYAY everyone!! I hope that you all have some fun weekend plans. It’s snowing here in good old Ohio! How lovely. Yeah one week it’s 70 degrees and I pull out my spring clothes but the next day it ends up looking like Mt. Everest, so I’m not even bothering until June. Sooooo anyways, I love this new post because I think that it can appeal to a lot of people, you know, the kind with books always in their hands. The ones who stress out at 2 am about the test they have to take at 8 am. The ones who wake up every morning and work their bums off day in and day out to be successful. The ones who quickly inhale protein bars and anything convenient because they know there is only so much time before their next class. STUDENTS. 

I teamed up with two of my awesome blogger friends, Sydney and Haley, to provide you with three vegan on the go lunches for students. We know all too well how difficult it can be to maintain a healthy lifestyle while being a student. It’s so hard, but there are some really easy and tasty plant-based on the go options. I hope that you like ours!

  1. Yours Truly

Easy Vegan Lunch Options for Students

1/2 cup Black Bean & Quinoa Pasta
1/3 cup Garbanzo Beans
1/4 cup Marinara Sauce
1/2 Large Sweet Potato
Steamed Kale
I love this on the go lunch because it’s easy to eat in between classes and it’s super delicious. Black bean & quinoa pasta with garbanzo beans and marinara sauce is a delicious and easy combination to put together. Adding some sort of green is always a must in my lunches and I love steaming organic kale in vegetable broth! Sweet potatoes add substance and balance out the savory foods. I have one piece of fruit in addition to this, which usually happens to be a banana. This lunch is versatile too. You could swap out the pasta with brown rice or quinoa, and it would still taste awesome. If you’re not a kale fan, swiss chard would be super yummy! Same with the sweet potato, you could definitely opt for a russet potato, perhaps with a little guac on top.


 2. Haley from Hungry Haley

Easy Vegan Lunch Options for Students


2 slices cracked wheat sourdough bread
1/2 cup black beans, rinsed and drained
2 tbsp. hummus
1/2 avocado, mashed
2 tbsp. nutritional yeast
1/2 zucchini, chopped and steamed
1 tomato, sliced thinly
spinach or lettuce
Optional: mustard, spices, hot sauce, vegan cheese, etc.

  1. You know how to assemble a sandwich, right? Good, then we can stop here and move on. 

This is my go-to meal because 1) sandwiches pack and stay well in my backpack, 2) it doesn’t involve much actual cooking, and 3) I feel perfectly satisfied with this sandwich and an apple for lunch. I always pack a few extras like an apple, some carrots, and a chewy sweet That’s It fruit bar, just in case I need something sweet 🙂 


 3. Sydney from syd_healthyn’fit 



1/2 cup brown rice
1/4 cup chickpeas
1/4 cup black beans
dash of liquid amino
1/2 avocado with turmeric powder 
I love this lunch because it is a great balance of complex carbs, healthy fats, and protein. The mixture of the brown rice and legumes gives you a complete protein source and keeps your hunger at bay throughout your day. The avocado also helps in keeping you full and giving your body those healthy brain fats that they need everyday, especially in school. You can always substitute the grain for a different grain or pick a different protein, but this is by far one of my favorite combinations. Quick, easy, and delicious!


I hope that eating plant-based and healthy on the go lunches will be a little bit easier for you now that you have a few ideas! Enjoy your weekend!

Potato and Polenta Gratin

Potato and Polenta Gratin

It’s Mondaaaaaaay!

You know what that means? Of course I’m going to present you with one heck of a meatless and dairy free dish. Hashtag MeatlessMonday. On the menu today-Potato and Polenta Gratin. Oh polenta? What is that? Well, Polenta is technically just boiled cornmeal and I put it in this dish to add substance and because it’s just so yummy. I used Ancient Harvest Classic Italian, so delicious.

Oh vegan dishes, how you can be so complicated and difficult when attempting to emulate non-vegan foods. BUT NOT THIS TIME. Cauliflower once again saves the day and makes the creamiest most divine sauce. I love this gratin for a side dish at a dinner party. Gratins are so hearty and versatile. If you want to swap out the potato for other veggies, go for it. I just love me some potatoes. Same with the polenta. If you’re not a fan, you could totally leave it out or switch it with something else. May I recommend adding mushrooms or zucchini? 

But for now, this particular gratin has my heart<3


I don’t know about you but I am super hungry while writing this post and staring at these pics. I may or may not be drooling. This Gratin is just straight up comfort food.


This dish kind of reminds me of a cheesy potatoes casserole, just a lot healthier and more kind to my tummy.

You and the fam will love this gratin and you’ll definitely leave the dinner table feeling satisfied!

Potato and Polenta Gratin
Serves 6
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Prep Time
7 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Prep Time
7 min
Cook Time
1 hr
  1. Sauce
  2. 1 large head of cauliflower
  3. 1 clove of minced garlic
  4. 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  5. 1/4 tsp onion powder
  6. 1/4 tsp paprika
  7. Juice of 1 lemon
  8. 3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
  9. 1 tbsp olive oil
  10. Salt and Pepper to taste
  11. Filling
  12. 27 oz Ancient Harvest Traditional Italian Polenta (1.5 packs)
  13. 3 lb bag of russet potatoes+ 1 large russet potato
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Boil the cauliflower for about 12 minutes or until very tender.
  3. Place ingredients for sauce in a food processor and blend.
  4. Slice the potatoes and polenta into thin pieces.
  5. Place a layer of potatoes at the bottom of the pan, top with a layer of sauce and then add a layer of polenta.
  6. Repeat until layers reach the top of the baking pan.
  7. The last layer should be sauce.
  8. Sprinkle extra paprika on top (optional).
  9. Cover the baking pan with foil and bake Gratin covered with foil for 40-45 minutes depending on how thin slices are.
  10. Bake uncovered for another 20.
UpBeet and Kaleing It http://upbeetandkaleingit.com/
Carrots, Kale & Potato Enchiladas

Carrots, Kale & Potato Enchiladas

Dear Monday,

You come rather quickly but you are always made better with delicious vegan food. Particularly enchiladas. Not just any ordinary enchiladas but carrots, kale, potatoes, beans and rice enchiladas. Then you’re not so bad. 

Potato Enchiladas

Potato Enchiladas

Well, I think it’s safe to say that I am a walking enchilada since I make them 24/7 and adore them more than most meals. This is a particularly easy and fast recipe, which is awesome! It’s important to make your enchiladas hearty enough to feel satisfied between meals but also keep them healthy. I think that the potatoes and brown rice are a wonderful duo and provide just the right amount of substance. I serve these enchiladas with a little bit of guac on the side because after all, what are enchiladas without guac? 

I’m tellin ya…. AMAZING. 



Wooooow. Do those look good or what?! I love the addition of the kale because I think that every dish needs a little bit of green in it.


Good enchilada sauce is pretty expensive. I really love Hatch Enchilada Sauce, so I bought 1 can of Hatch red sauce and also added 1 can of regular tomato sauce to save some George Washingtons. It was a good move.


Enjoy this recipe!!

This post contains amazon affiliate links. Please help support upbeetandkaleingit.com when you purchase through my blog. Thank you!

Carrots, Kale & Potato Enchiladas
Serves 12
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  1. 4 large carrots chopped
  2. 2 medium russet potatoes chopped
  3. 1 bunch of kale
  4. 1 can beans of choice
  5. 2 cups cooked brown rice
  6. 2 cloves garlic
  7. 4 tbsp olive oil
  8. Vegetable stock
  9. Salt and pepper to taste
  10. 12 tortillas of choice
  11. Sauce
  12. 1 can enchilada sauce
  13. 1 can tomato sauce
  14. 1 tsp chili powder
  15. 1 tsp garlic powder
  16. 1 tbsp brown sugar
  1. Cook the rice according to the package.
  2. In a large pan, sauté the carrots and potatoes in olive oil for about 7 minutes. Then, add the garlic, kale, beans, salt/pepper and more vegetable stock to cook the veggies. Let the enchilada filling cook on medium heat until the veggies become tender. This will probably take another ten minutes.
  3. Then, combine the filling with the cooked brown rice and sauce. Stir until combined.
  4. Stuff the tortillas with the filling and pour some sauce on the bottom of the pan to keep the enchiladas moist. You can also top the enchiladas with leftover sauce.
  5. Bake the enchiladas at 375 degrees for ten minutes covered with foil.
  6. Remove the foil and bake them without for another 5-7 minutes.
UpBeet and Kaleing It http://upbeetandkaleingit.com/
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