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Lemon and Nut Protein Bites

Lemon and Nut Protein Bites

When I think of quick go to snacks, I automatically think of protein bites. These little balls of goodness tie me over when I don’t have time to sit down and enjoy a snack in between meals. Last semester, I was so busy on Mondays and Wednesdays with classes from 9 am to 9 pm, 2.5-3 hour lectures each. Yikes. There was not a lot of time to eat fresh produce. This semester is better and I find myself having much more time to make fresh snacks but next semester it’s back to protein bites. And I’m not complaining because I LOVE protein bites. There is nothing like taking a bite into a cakey perfectly portioned snack with a little bit of sweetness.

Want to know what I love most about protein bites? Their versatility. Oh, the options are endless. Chocolate bites, vanilla bites, mint chocolate chip bites, peanut butter bites, cookie dough bites and currently lemon nut bites! You name the flavors, you can probably make them into a protein bite. Another plus? Zero baking required. Woohoo! Yep, these are no-bake bites that you can make in a bowl or a food processor, roll into a ball and devour with no guilt. When it comes to protein, I haven’t found a vegan brand that compares to Sunwarrior. Nope, nada. Sunwarrior Protein tastes amazing and I strongly encourage you to try it if you’re looking for vegan protein! I use Classic Vanilla in this recipe.  

IMG_4202Lemon and Nut Protein Bites No Bake

Lemon and Nut Protein Bites No Bake

How cute are they!? I’m going skiing soon and you bet I will have these deliciously lemony, zesty friends in my ski coat ready to inhale at any moment. 

IMG_4235Lemon and Nut Protein Bites No Bake

I used liquid stevia to sweeten my Lemon & Nut Protein Bites and added roasted almonds for a little extra protein. The almonds also add a delicious toasty flavor. Almonds really take these to the next level!

Lemon and Nut Protein Bites No Bake

Lemon and Nut Protein Bites
Yields 12
A delicious vegan on the go snack with protein! This recipe makes 10-12 depending on size.
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  1. 2 scoops Classic Vanilla Sunwarrior Protein
  2. 2 cups oat flour
  3. 6 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  4. 1 tsp vanilla extract
  5. About 2/3 cup almond milk (May need slightly less so add a little at a time to monitor texture)
  6. Sweetener of choice (if wanted)
  7. 2 tbsp chia seeds
  8. 1/2 cup chopped roasted almonds
  1. Mix everything but the almonds together in a bowl with a fork until fully combined.
  2. Then, fold in the almonds and form dough into balls.
  3. Refrigerate before serving (optional).
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/
Beet & Berry Power Bowl

Beet & Berry Power Bowl

I’m feelin’ super upbeet about this one. Yep, that was cheesy.

But happy breakfasting! Holy mother of breakfasts. The ultimate power bowl packed with fruits and veggies to keep you satisfied until lunch rolls around and possibly then some. Now this is what breakfast should look like every day!

I’m tellin’ ya, this smoothie bowl will not leave you feeling disappointed. It has been on repeat for breakfast lately and I’m now obsessed with this combo. The avocado gives the smoothie a perfect creamy texture and the strawberries add a slightly tart element. Two dates and a beet add a fabulous sweet component to satisfy that morning sweet tooth but in a healthy way.

So, I’m not exactly the queen of fitness, in fact, I call it a good day if I hit over a mile on MyFitnessPal. However, if you are into getting in an early gym session, this smoothie bowl is for you. It’s packed with nutrients and healthy fats to keep you going.



The color is absolutely phenomenal. The true color is sort of a dark and deep magenta but the lighting makes it look more red in the pictures. Nonetheless, you win in the color department, Beet & Berry Power Bowl. 




Raspberries would also work really well in this recipe if you’re not a huge fan of strawberries. I hope that you love this smoothie bowl recipe and make it over the weekend to share with the ones that you love <3


Beet & Berry Power Bowl
A delicious and vegan smoothie bowl!
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Prep Time
5 min
Prep Time
5 min
  1. 1 medium beet (boiled and peeled)
  2. 1 and 1/4 cup strawberries
  3. 2 dates
  4. 1/2 medium avocado
  5. 3/4 cup vanilla almond milk
  6. Light ice
  7. Toppings
  8. Granola
  9. Melted Dark Chocolate
  10. 1 small Banana
  1. Put everything into a blender or nutribullet until fully combined.
  2. Warm up 2 tbsp of dairy free dark chocolate chips with 1 tbsp of almond milk and drizzle on top of smoothie bowl along with other toppings.
UpBeet and Kaleing It http://upbeetandkaleingit.com/
Dark Chocolate Sweet Potato Brownie Bites

Dark Chocolate Sweet Potato Brownie Bites

Dark chocolate and sweet potato???

Yesssss! They work together all too well. If you can combine veggies with chocolate, then you can 100% count me in. These brownie bites are the perfect little taste of dark chocolatey goodness. You know, just the perfect bite sized treat that will satisfy your sweet tooth cravings without going overboard. A couple of these little guys after dinner sounds like the perfect dessert to me. 



I am actually on Day 1 of my first 3 day juice cleanse and let me tell you, I have to get these babies out of the house ASAP! They’re all going to my boyfriend’s house. I may have had a few last night but today is another sad story. 





Preparing quick little treats such as these brownie bites within a matter of 10 minutes saves so much time and also keeps me from digging into other not so nice little treats. We all have those days. 


I used cacao powder and also added some melted dark chocolate chips for a greater depth of chocolate flavor. I added 2 tbsp of sugar because caution: if you don’t, things could be looking a wee bit bitter. No worries though, a little sweetener of some sorts will do the trick! Agave would be great too. 





Enjoy these brownie bites lovelies!


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

Dark Chocolate Sweet Potato Brownie Bites
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Prep Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
  1. 1 cup brown rice flour
  2. 2 tbsp sugar
  3. 1/3 cup cacao or cocoa powder
  4. 1 small sweet potato
  5. 3 heaping tbsp melted dairy free dark chocolate chips
  6. 3 tbsp soy free earth balance
  7. 2 tbsp almond milk
  8. 1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce
  9. 1/3 cup dairy free dark chocolate chips
  1. Cook the sweet potato in the microwave until it's completely tender.
  2. Warm up the 3 tbsp chocolate chips and 3 tbsp earth balance in the microwave for 30-40 seconds or until completely melted.
  3. Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl and then add the wet. Mash the sweet potato with a fork and combine brownie mix until everything comes together. You could also use a food processor.
  4. Fold in the 1/3 cup chocolate chips.
  5. Form brownie mix into small bites and let them harden in the refrigerator for 1 hr before serving.
UpBeet and Kaleing It http://upbeetandkaleingit.com/
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