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Quesadilla Casserole

A delicious, easier to eat and less messy version of my quesadilla recipe.  The cheese sauce is made in a high powered blender and comes together pretty quickly.  (I often make double/triple batches of the cheese sauce and freeze the extra.)  Once that’s made, it’s easy.  You can serve topped with salsa or guacamole if you wish.



  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
  • 4 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/3 cup unsweetened original almond milk or other unsweetened original non-dairy milk of your choice
  • 3 Tbsp miso paste, optional
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 3 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 cup roasted red pepper (easiest if you get out of a jar)
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • cayenne pepper, to taste (optional – I skip if serving with spicy salsa)


  • 4 cans pinto beans
  • 1 tsp salt (if pinto beans are unsalted)
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 tsp garlic powder


  • 6 large (burrito size) whole wheat tortillas, all cut in half
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro


Preheat oven to 350.

Combine cheese sauce ingredients in a Vitamix or high powered blender and blend until smooth.

Smash pinto beans with a potato masher (or pureé) with spices and mix well.

Grease the bottom of a 9×13 casserole dish.  Arrange 4 half tortillas (2 whole) on the bottom by putting their straight edges against each of the 4 sides.  Spread about half of the bean mixture on top.  Pour on a little less than half of the cheese sauce.  Sprinkle some of the cilantro.  Again place a layer of 4 half tortillas, followed by the rest of the beans, and almost all of the sauce.  Top with the last 4 half tortillas and the remainder of the sauce.  (Save the remaining cilantro for topping once baked.)

Bake for 20-25 minutes.  Top with cilantro and cut into squares to serve.  Top with salsa and/or guacamole, as desired.


Thai Sweet Potato Coconut Salad

My daughter loves going to Modern Market and ordering their Thai Coconut Salad with Mango Peanut Dressing (without chicken).  Here’s my version that we make at home, which she luckily loves just as much!


  • 1 head lettuce, washed, and chopped (or 12 oz mixed greens)
  • 1 cucumber, sliced
  • 2.25 lb sweet potatoes, peeled
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut


  • 3 heaping Tbsp peanut butter
  • 3 heaping Tbsp almond butter
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp ginger powder
  • 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp lime juice
  • 4 chunks (about 1″) frozen mango
  • 6-10 Tbsp water

Poke peeled sweet potatoes several times with a fork and microwave for 3 minutes.  (This makes them a little softer and easier to shred.)  Shred the sweet potatoes.  Microwave shredded sweet potatoes for another 10 +/- minutes or until fully cooked/tender.  Place in fridge (or freezer) to cool while preparing the rest.

Combine dressing ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth, adding water to reach a pourable thick dressing consistency. Place in fridge (or freezer) to cool while preparing the rest.

In a bowl, combine lettuce, cucumber and shredded coconut.  Add cooled sweet potato shreds.  Either dress the entire salad all at once, or if saving some for leftovers, dress just what you are serving and store the salad and dressing separately in the fridge for the next day.  Enjoy!

DIY Deodorant

Ok, so I’m officially crunchy when I’m making my own deodorant!  But this stuff actually works impressively well.  If you google DIY deodorant, you’ll find several options…  I saw this one repeated several places and I had all the ingredients on hand, so I picked this one to try!  I would say it works 85 – 90% as well as my aluminum based deodorant, but without the aluminum and any other unwanted ingredients.


  • 3 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 Tbsp100% shea butter
  • 3 Tbsp baking soda
  • 2 Tbsp tapioca starch (or arrowroot powder or some other thickening agent)
  • if you wish – a few drops of essential oils; I used melaluca (tea tree oil) and geranium (I don’t really know much about this subject….)
  • a small jar with lid for making and storing

Place coconut oil and shea butter in the jar.  Fill a small saucepan with several inches of water and place the jar in it.  Heat on medium-low until contents of jar melt, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, mix baking soda and tapioca starch in a bowl.  Once the jar contents are completely liquid, stir in dry ingredients.  Add oil, if you wish.  Stir well.  Allow to cool (in fridge for faster cooling).  Once cool, put a lid on the jar for storing.  Apply to armpits like a thick lotion.

**I hear you can reuse an empty deodorant stick and pour the mixture in while still liquid and then allow to cool.  If I try that next time, I’ll report back!  🙂