The Little Miracle That Helps You Power Through a Long Day

When I first learned about Little Miracles at Food Fete, I was drawn in by the bold packaging and innovative spin of combining energizing tea with antioxidant-loaded juice. Also worth noting: They clock in at 90 calories a bottle, are certified organic and have no artificial colors, flavors or sweeteners. So yes, perhaps the headline is a bit of a trap–we all know there’s no “miracle” that can replace a healthy lifestyle and clean eating–but come 3:00pm slump time, these “little miracles” sure as heck hit the spot.

For a quick afternoon refresher, I combined the following: Little Miracles White Tea & Cherry, one ice cube (I got fancy and used a circular one, but any will do), three frozen raspberries and a quick spritz of seltzer to top it off (Oh and, I hear vodka muddles really well with the aforementioned…). Voila! Afternoon sipping never tasted better. Serve in fancy class for maximum….je ne sais quoi.

3 Surprising Pantry Staples Vegans Can’t Live Without

PETA’s Libby Awards made me really happy. Best vegan cheese: Food for Lovers queso cheese? Yay! Best vegan-friendly restaurant chain: Tropical Smoothie Cafe? Double Yay! (Can’t get enough of their Beyond Meat options) Best vegan meat: Gardein Sizzling Schezuan Beefless Strips? Got ’em in my freezer and can’t wait to toss ’em into this Chinese Stirfry tonight from The Ginger People. And best vegan snack: Dole Banana Dippers with Almonds and Dark Chocolate make a great friend for any sweet tooth, if you ask me. But here are a few simpler treasure troves of vegan deliciousness that you can find at almost any supermarket. P.S. Your stomach will thank you if you start throwing them into your rotation more often.

1. Really good cinnamon.

I love Frontier’s Organic Vietnamese cinnamon, but any nice variety will do. Add it to the obvious dishes like oatmeal and smoothies, but it also makes a welcome addition stirred into savory meals like stews or spicy marinades.

2. Rice Cakes.

Sounds a bit strange to ask you, dear readers (all 12 of you!), to keep these crunchy cakes on hand, but they’re a lifesaver when you’re in a pinch the day or two before grocery shopping. I crumble them up into a salad with balsamic vinaigrette dressing as makeshift croutons or have them for breakfast with a thick layer of almond butter, banana slices and a sprinkle of that ever-handy cinnamon on top.

3. Nutritional Yeast.

I’m consistently amazed on how well these bits of flaky goodness (you can buy it powdered too) dazzle in pasta dishes that call for parm or mixed into a big tossed salad. Basically, whenever I feel like I’ve been forgetful with taking that B12 supplement, I sprinkle these vitamin B12 flakes over whatever I’m eating.

How Do You Get Fresh Herbs Year Round?

Yeah, I had no idea either. Until I stumbled upon my new vegan flavor boosting obsession: Litehouse Freeze-Dried Herbs. Since one of my New Year’s Resolutions is to not sprinkle sea salt as much, on well, everything, I tried the instantly fresh salad herb blend (parsley, red onions, chives, shallots, garlic and dill). All you do is add a bit of water once you sprinkle some out to de-freeze dry them, and voila! Fresh herbs in a jiffy on a raw tomato dish, but the blends also work great in soups, pasta sauces and sprinkled atop baked potatoes. They also have other varieties like basil and oregano so if your winter garden is anything like mine and a #wintergardenfail, having these in your pantry makes flavorful cooking easy and more affordable than that $9 parsley bunch you bought for a recipe calling for a tablespoon just to have 80% of it go bad before you can even use the rest…