back roads and mason jars

live country. eat plants. be happy.


scared of tofu

i dip. you dip. we dip.

Since I have never had a sweet tooth, I crave salty snacks like chips, pretzels and of course, the dips that go with them.  There are so many dips that you probably enjoy now that are naturally vegan like salsa, bean dip and – oh my! – guacamole!  It is so easy to make almost any dip vegan by just making a few substitutions.  Today I will share my take on a super easy and fast recipe that has quickly become my favorite.

  Vegan Spinach & Artichoke Dip


10 oz bag of frozen spinach (thawed – yields approximately 1 cup)

12 oz jar of quartered artichokes in water, drained

8 oz of Tofutti plain cream cheese

1/4 cup of Tofutti sour cream

1/4 cup of Just Mayo

1/3 cup of Go Veggie Grated Parmesan

1/4 tsp of Salt

1/4 tsp of Pepper

1/2 tsp of Garlic Powder

1/4 cup of Follow Your Heart Shredded Parmesan (optional)


  1. Thaw the spinach.  While that is thawing, go ahead and prep the rest of the ingredients.  Drain the artichokes and chop into smaller pieces.
  2. Put the thawed spinach and chopped artichokes into a saucepan.  Bring to a boil and let simmer for about 3-5 minutes.
  3. In a microwave safe bowl, melt the cream cheese in the microwave for about 15 seconds at a time while stirring in between cooking intervals.  Once melted completely, add the sour cream, mayo, grated Parmesan, salt, pepper and garlic.  Stir until combined.
  4. Drain your cooked spinach and artichokes and add them to your cream cheese mixture.  Mix until fully combined.

Your dip is done!  I like to serve mine with tortilla chips, carrot sticks and sugar snap peas.


If you want to take it up a notch, place your finished dip from above in a baking dish.  Top with Follow Your Heart Shredded Parmesan and broil until brown and bubbly!


Now you are ready for a quick dip to take to your next event whether it is a work potluck or tailgating at your favorite stadium!  To keep it warm, just put the dip in a small crock pot to serve with little effort.

Bye y’all!

are you scared? part 1

What’s stopping you from being vegetarian or vegan?

Are you scared of tofu and meat alternatives?

Are you scared of being deprived?

Are you worried you’ll never get enough protein for those gains you’re working on?

Are you scared you’ll never have anything to eat?

Is it just too expensive for you?

But I can’t live without cheese!


I’ve been there with you.  I’ve had these hesitations and fears too.  I’m here to tell you that it’s OK.  The biggest advantage you can give yourself is to be open minded.  That changed everything for me.  I also challenge you try eating a few vegetarian or vegan meals each week.  If you do, let me know how you feel – Did you enjoy it? Did you hate it? Did you feel better or worse? What did you try?  Over this Friday mini series, I’ll show you that it is possible and worth it to try more plant based meals in your rotation.

Are you scared of tofu & meat alternatives?

Image result for tofu turkey everybody loves raymondI know what you’re thinking.  Tofu is what TV sitcom nightmares are made of in disguise as a tofu turkey at Thanksgiving dinner.  It can be so good!  My favorite use of tofu is baked crispy in an Asian stir fry, a tofu scramble as an egg replacement or silken tofu added to frozen fruit in a smoothie to add a delightful texture and protein boost.

In addition to tofu, there are LOTS of companies that have spent a ton of time and resources creating delicious replicas of your favorite meals as well.  Some of my favorite companies for meat alternatives are Gardein, Beyond Meat, Boca, Morningstar and Field Roast.  Most of the nutrition is comparable to the meat version or less in terms of calories and packed with protein.
pizza-watermarkGardein provides lots of options like fish, crab cakes, sweet and sour pork and even pizza pockets!  What’s better than cholesterol free pizza?



Beyond Meat is the new standard for beef beyond-watermarkalternatives and they do not disappoint.  Currently they provide a seasoned and original ground beefless product and a variety of chicken alternatives.  These delicious sliders pack 23 grams of protein in a single serving! Not too shabby!



boca-watermarkBoca and Morningstar make vegetarian and vegan options but the products are labeled clearly to distinguish which diet you follow.  My favorite Boca products are their beefless crumbles, chick’n nuggets and they have the BEST spicy chick’n pattie.  Morningstar offers more vegetarian products than vegan options.  The morningstar-watermarkvegetarian options that we enjoy are the wings – buffalo and parmesan garlic flavors, chipotle black bean crumbles and corn dogs.  Our favorite vegan option, hands down, is the hickory BBQ riblets.  Most of these products are found in the frozen food section of a lot of grocery stores.



field-roast-watermarkField Roast provides exact replicas of breakfast sausages, frankfurters and burgers that are worthy of any backyard BBQ.  These are usually found in the natural section of the grocery store.



Bye y’all!

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