Girls on Food

Fit Food

Jillian’s Fully Loaded Vegan Mac n’ Cheeze

Cheesy! Cheesy! Cheesy! I love anything and everything cheesy, and thanks to the miracle of vegan cheese and nutritional yeast, I never have to live without it. #blessed ❤️

In all seriousness, this is a really yummy recipe that is perfect for those comfort food cravings that everyone gets, even gluten-free vegans ? Not only is it free of animal product and tons of over-processed ingredients, it’s kind of healthy and contains wonderful things like turmeric, veggies, and raw cashews. That means it also contains protein, healthy fats, and antioxidants. High five!

This dish is great for lunch, parties, or to make a big batch and take to work with you. It’s incredibly filling and satisfying, and easy to reheat. Now that I’ve talked up this creamy, savory bowl of cheesy heaven, read on to see how simple it is to make Fully Loaded Vegan Mac n’ Cheez!

fully loaded vegan mac n' cheez

Here are the ingredients you will need:

  • 1 box of gluten-free macaroni (I used a quinoa based one)
  • favorite sauteed veggies
  • Beyond Meat Beefy Crumble

unnamed-1For the sauce:

  • 1 cup of raw cashews, soaked overnight then drain and rinse
  • nutritional yeast
  • salt and pepper
  • garlic powder
  • ground turmeric
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • non-dairy milk (I like cashew milk)

Super simple instructions:

  1. Cook macaroni according to directions on the box.
  2. Drain and rinse the cashews. Blend with the rest of the sauce ingredients until smooth.
  3. In a pan, saute your favorite veggies (I used mushrooms, broccoli, and kale) in a little bit of olive oil along with Beyond Meat Beefy Crumble. Season if desired.
  4. Put macaroni back into the pot, add the sauce and mix until evenly distributed. Add in the veggies & beefy crumble and stir.

Look how creamy this sauce is! Thanks, raw cashews. You da best ? You can stop there if you want, it’s delicious without the veggies and beef crumbles. You can top it off with a sprinkle of nutritional yeast or if you’re super fancy some chopped parsley.

Even though I haven’t tested this recipe on kids, I’m pretty sure they’ll love it. Makes a great main course, but would also be yummy as a side dish. I hope you enjoy this recipe! Cheese it up buttercup ?

Jillian ?


Cheat Eats in SOFL: Phil’s Heavenly Pizza & Dandee Donut Factory

Phil’s Heavenly Pizza
2647 E. Atlantic Blvd, Pompano Beach, FL 33062

Most people make New Year’s resolutions, and you can bet that at least one of those resolutions is to lose weight. Maybe you made that same resolution at the start of the year. But, here you are. On a food blog. Lusting over all the posts and pictures about tacos, beer, and desserts. Don’t worry. No one is going to tell your trainer or workout partner that you are desperately craving a cheat day. In fact, I’m going to let you in on what my cheat day meal looks like. I have a pretty structured workout and diet plan, but let’s be honest. Every now and again, I want some pizza and a dessert, and I am completely fine with just going for it.


In South Florida, there are tons of local pizza joints. I happened to come across Phil’s Heavenly Pizza because I worked in the same plaza that the restaurant is located. The owners take the Lord and their faith seriously (hence the name), but it’s a totally chill place. They have this divine $5.00 special that includes two slices of cheese or pepperoni pizza and a drink. When I was in that two-week-waiting period after I just got hired at my job a few years ago, this deal came in handy. I have been paid a few more times since then so I can spring for a whole pizza now! Moving. On. Up!


Even though I don’t work in that plaza any longer, my CrossFit gym is across the street from Phil’s Heavenly Pizza, so I can always keep my eye on the cheat day prize. Last week I treated myself to their meat lovers pizza. It was loaded with pepperoni, ham, sausage and ground beef. Typically, I don’t like ground beef on pizza, but when you order from Phil’s, you just trust that it is going to be good. Of course, it did not disappoint.

IMG_20160419_155627One of the biggest reasons I love this place is because they have a traditional brick oven, which gives the pizza crust an unmistakable crunch on the outside while managing to keep the base of the pizza soft without being undercooked. If you are like me and don’t like tons of sauce on your pie, then this is the place for you. Phil’s Heavenly Pizza uses their house-made sauce, and they are careful not to drown your pizza in it. The thin layer of sauce is a nice compliment to perfect amount of cheese that gives way to lots and lots of glorious meat. After all, it is a cheat meal, and I may as well do it right.


Dandee Donut Factory
1422 S. Federal  Highway, Deerfield Beach, FL 33441
Dandee Donut Factory Facebook Page

As luck would have it, I was able to complete my cheat meal close to home because there is a new donut shop right behind my house. This is both a blessing and a curse. Dandee Donut Factory is not your run of the mill donut shop either. First, let me declare… I don’t LOVE donuts. My mother has been trying to cultivate a love of donuts in me for at least a decade to no avail. The only reason I tried this place is because it was convenient, locally owned and, well, I write for a food blog and it is my duty to try new things and write about them. To the outside world, donuts are not a new thing, but to me, they are as unusual as Kobe beef or oysters are for others.  


As you can see, I went for it again. I could not just get one donut, so I figured I should get a baker’s dozen and try them all. Full disclosure, I did not try them all. I did try the double chocolate sprinkle donut, which was super rich and chocolatey. Honestly, the donut tasted like a full-on Oreo cookie, but it was distinguished from the Oreo donut by the sprinkles on top. That is probably why I did not care for it much. Confession time: I don’t like Oreos. If you do, this would be right up your alley. Next up was the signature Dandee donut pictured next to the chocolate log on the right. I have to say it was something special. It was extra sweet with a light crunch that was the result of the crushed cereal finish covering the entire donut. I enjoyed this one a lot.


But, my absolute favorite was the sour cream glazed donut featured right next to the Dandee donut (far right) above. The flavor was simple. The texture was dense and reminded me of pound cake. The glaze was light, sweet and not at all overwhelming. It was a great addition to an already good donut. I can say this donut finally made me understand my mom’s love for the treat. It was so good I called my mom to apologize for not getting on the donut bandwagon sooner. Dandee Donut Factory. If you’re in the South Florida area, definitely check them out.

Kiss From a Rose: H2r0se Water


I was recently approached to taste test H2R0se for GOF. With a lot of my life up in their air right now the promise of decreasing occasional, temporary stress, anxiety and enhancing your mood sold me right away.  I was so excited because the list of other benefits of Rose Water and Saffron had me wishing my samples were sent overnight.

The packaging alone is so beautiful I was hesitant to open the bottles.  There were four flavors, Apple, Mango, Peach and Wild Berry.  I wasn’t sure what to expect at all, and I was slightly hesitant that they would taste like old lady perfume.  I am beyond thrilled to report they did NOT!!! There was a distinct theme with all the flavors; they were light and refreshing. Flavored waters are often very sweet, almost syrupy even, the H2R0se water is not.

The first thing you tasted was the flavor of either peach, mango, berry or apple and that was followed by a slight hint of rose, but you definitely felt like you were drinking water.  Almost like the water you get at a spa, with fresh fruit floating in pitchers of iced water. You felt good drinking this water because it didn’t feel sweet and sugar and there are only 80 calories in 12 ounces.


My favorite out of all the flavors was the Mango.  The mango flavor married well with the rose and I was slightly disappointed that I let my photographer take that bottle back to his office.

_MG_1385-EditThe Peach flavor was a close second.  There was a strong peach taste, and I could imagine this would be amazing on a hot summer afternoon.


The Berry flavor has a lightly sweet fruity flavor, and I could imagine this in a popsicle with fresh fruit.

appleThe Apple was the lucky winner because someone gave me a small bottle of Fireball and I mixed them together.  The hint of apple mixed with the cinnamon was just incredible.


H2r0se promises to improve skin texture and appearance, improve digestive health, increase satiety (decreases appetite), and improve emotional health. It is also a strong natural antioxidant and natural mood enhancer.  All of these promises are another thing that makes it even easier to drink this water.  Currently, H2r0se is only available in California, but they do ship.  They sent me my samples to Nashville and each bottle was individually wrapped in bubble wrap, a box full of popcorn peanuts, and fragile stickers all over the box.  My bottles all came completely intact.

Photos by: Ray Palumbo


Summer’s Chocolate Avocado Pudding

Avocado. The magical fruit chocked full of all the things that are good for you. What things would that be you ask?  Well let me give a brief rundown: they are full of healthy fats, high in vitamin C, they got more potassium than bananas and let us not forget about the fiber. Avocados are pretty much the superhero of the fruit world. Since I have been trying to find new ways to make my favorite part of the meal (that would be dessert) a little healthier I decided to give avocado pudding a try.

I gathered the following ingredients and concocted a pretty decent pudding.


Summer’s Avocado Pudding

Just a reminder I do not measure anything I just eyeball it and go by taste so the measurements listed are based off that. 

Coconut milk  1/4 cup and a splash (if you need it)

100% Raw Cacao Powder 1/4 cup

Vanilla Extract 2 tsp

Maple Syrup 1/4 to 1/2 cup (this is entirely up to you, the more syrup, the sweeter it is. Also you can add stevia or honey for a sweeter taste)

1 and 1/2 ripe avocado


Take all the ingredients and add to a blender and blend until smooth and creamy.


Dish up into serving bowls, cover tightly with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for a couple of hours.

Finished avocado pudding

When all done garnish and serve. I used fresh strawberries and shaved coconut. This is a basic recipe, and there are so many awesome things you can add. Peanut butter is a delicious choice, as is bananas. Play around. Don’t forget to share your thoughts in the comments below.


Summer’s Peachy Coconut Cream Popsicles

Spring is in the air; the temperature is rising, and there is nothing better than a cold sweet treat to keep you cool. My favorite kind of treat is ice cream. I LOVE ice cream. Like I love it so much, I would marry it. Seriously, I wouldn’t even need a ring. The problem is ice cream is all about that dairy. At least, the flavorful, good ones are. Since dairy is pretty much my arch nemesis, I needed to find an alternative. Something a little healthier without sacrificing taste. Enter coconut cream. Fluffy and smooth just like a pillow. Now, I have used coconut cream for many things, yet for whatever reason it never dawned on me to use it for a delicious frozen treat until now.

I started rummaging around my kitchen and found the following in my cupboard and freezer.


It was a sign; I needed to make peaches n’ cream popsicles.

I kind of did everything by taste and eyeballing it… with that said here is an estimation of the actual ingredient measurements.


I like using maple syrup to sweeten things because it is healthier and vanilla extract is pretty much a no-brainer since it makes everything taste better. You can also use stevia or agave syrup.

I chopped up the frozen peaches so that they were more bite size.

I then put everything except for the peaches into a bowl and mixed it all up.

Mixing it

After that, I started spooning the delicious mixture into my nifty dollar store popsicle holders.

filling the container

After a few spoonfuls of the coconut mixture, I dropped a few pieces of peaches in and repeated the spooning, peach dropping process until the popsicle molds were full.

ready to freeze

Place the tops on and freeze overnight.

I was super excited to wake up and try out my delicious treat the next day. I’m not going to lie; they were a little tough to get out. (maybe I should have invested in popsicle molds that were more than a dollar) I had to let them sit on the counter for a couple of minutes to loosen up. I tell you what, though, they were worth the wait!!

me with popsicleThis recipe is totally customizable. I think strawberries, pineapple, kiwi would all be awesome choices as well.

Give them a try and let me know what y’all think in the comment section below!






Jillian’s Healing Tropical Turmeric Smoothie

healing tropical turmeric smoothie

This smoothie is my everything. ?✨??

Not only does it contain plant-based healing properties, but it’s refreshing and delicious, and the beautiful bright orange color doesn’t hurt either! Smoothies have become part of my daily diet, and I feel like 5 million percent better than my pre-smoothie life. Humans are so used to eating processed foods, even the healthier versions of them, that sometimes eating basic raw fruits & vegetables can be a daily struggle. I know that even if I slip up and eat a whole bag of potato chips or something fried or containing gluten, I feel better knowing that smoothies got my back, and I don’t have to have a meltdown because I ruined my day with junk food.

Enter the Healing Tropical Turmeric Smoothie ? ? A coconut based smoothie with healing turmeric and ginger, banana and peaches for natural sweetness, and carrots for fiber and a pop of color.

Check out my very first recipe video for this easy to make smoothie! I’m sure there are tech-savvy 10-year-olds out there that could create a better video than this, but it was super fun to make, and I’m sure my video skills will improve from here on out. Let me know what you think!

The photo and video don’t do justice to the deep orange color you get with this smoothie. And the longer it sits, the richer the color ?

Smoothies are great to eat before a meal to curb your appetite, so you don’t overeat, and the raw fruits & veggies also help your body break down nutrients more efficiently.

Turmeric, in particular, is best consumed with a healthy fat to ensure all the amazing benefits of it are absorbed.  I used coconut water in the video, but coconut milk would be a great choice thanks to its healthy fats. And if one tsp of ground turmeric is too overwhelming for your taste buds, try 1/2 teaspoon.

For another excellent turmeric drink and to see a list of the health benefits of this yellow spice superfood, check out my recipe for Turmeric Milk. It’s so tasty!

I recommend using all organic ingredients for this recipe, which you should be able to find easily at your local grocery store. The most expensive of all these ingredients is the organic ground turmeric, but it will last you a little while and is totally worth it ?


Jillian ?

Bonnie’s Sweet Potato Soup – Without The Cream!


sweet potato soup text

Creamy Sweet Potato Soup WITHOUT the cream? What?  How can this be?

Oh – it be!  Thanks to your handy-dandy blender.

We’ve just finished trudging along Weight-Gain Road – that period between Halloween and New Year’s Eve. Parties, Potlucks, and homemade goodie plates! Stop the madness!!! It’s time to prepare ourselves for a guilt-free Valentine’s Day, not to mention swimsuit season.

Soup is one of my favorite diet tricks. Besides warming the cockles of my heart, it fills me up without a lot of calories. Creamy Sweet Potato Soup is one of my favorites.

bonnie & yam soup text

Which brings me back to the blender. (See how I did that?  I returned us seamlessly to the beginning of the blog.) Did you know if you purée soup in a blender it gets creamy, even if there’s no cream in it? It makes you feel like you’re indulging in something decadent.

NOTE: As far as the coconut milk goes, you can use either canned or powdered (See photo below).  Canned is more accessible in my town, but I prefer the powdered, so I just order it online. If you use the canned, you’ll need to decrease the amount of vegetable stock since there’s water in it already. By using the powdered, I can play around with how much coconut goes into the soup. Also, I can make half the recipe and don’t have to worry about what to do with the remaining half. Plus the powder takes up less cupboard space. But, at the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter as far as taste is concerned which you choose.


ADDITIONAL NOTE: The sweet potatoes need to be cubed for faster cooking (about 1″ squares). This is important: no matter how much of a hurry you’re in, DON’T stack the sweet potato slices to cube them. They’re very hard and very slippery. If you do, the top slice is liable to slide under pressure, yielding a nasty cut on your finger. Resist the urge; one slice at a time!

sweet pot slicing

FINAL NOTE (I promise!): I always peel my sweet potatoes.  But, since this soup is blended, you can try not peeling, if you like, to benefit from the nutrients in the skin.

sweet pot peel

SWEET POTATO SOUP – makes 10 cups

  • 9 cups sweet potatoes or yams, peeled & chopped
  • 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1½ tsp dried cumin
  • 1½ tsp dried coriander
  • 1/3 tsp dried ginger
  • 1/3 cup coconut milk powder (or 1  14 oz can)
  • 4 cups vegetable stock (or 2¼ cups if using canned coconut milk)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • few twists of pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • optional:  toasted pumpkin seeds

Heat the olive oil in a large stockpot and sauté the onions about 5 minutes – until they begin to brown.

onions sauteing

Add the cumin, coriander, ginger, bay leaf, salt, and pepper. Stir for another minute to bring out the flavors.

sweet pot soup spices

Pour in the sweet potatoes, coconut powder, and vegetable stock. If you’d like to make your own stock (which I ALWAYS do), you can find my recipe by clicking on VEGETABLE STOCK. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer until the sweet potatoes are tender – about 20-30 minutes.

sweet pot soup add yams

Let the soup cool down a bit and REMOVE THE BAY LEAF (Notice the caps – this is important!).

sweet pot soup remove bay leaf

Pour into your blender (in batches, if need be) and purée. Serve either hot or cold.

sweet pot soup pureeing

Toasted pumpkin seeds are a tasty topping – and they’re visually appealing.


Be sure and check out my blog:  VEGETARIAN COOKING FOR CARNIVORES BLOG.

Quinoa with Sauteed Veggies & Gravy

quinoa with sauteed veggies & gravy

quinoa with sauteed veggies & gravy

I think I can say it’s officially fall in Texas, which means I can use all autumn related emojis… ? ? ? ☕️ ??

While other states have already gotten snow and freezing temps, I’m down in Texas like… it’s November ? ??

Here in the Lone Star State we like pumpkin spiced everything & cozy sweaters just like the rest of you, and the thought that maybe-just-maybe we’ll actually get to use our fireplaces at least once this year. It may have hit 75 degrees yesterday where I live, but that won’t stop me from making delicious, seasonal dishes that make me feel like we have autumn for more than two seconds in Texas.

Cue today’s post ☝️ because how fall/autumn does this dish look?! Quinoa with Sauteed Veggies and Gravy – I mean, how often do vegans get to eat gravy, am I right? I created this recipe after buying a box of Pacific Mushroom Gravy for the first time and then realized I had no idea what to use it for ? Then I came up with this yummy, filling (not to mention healthy) entree. It consists of fluffy quinoa with sauteed garlic, onions, squash & mushrooms, and all simmered in savory mushroom gravy ? ?

quinoa with sauteed veggies & gravy

Start by soaking 1/2 cup of quinoa in a sealed container with filtered water. I like to soak it overnight, or you can start soaking in the morning if you aren’t making this dish until dinnertime. Soaking the quinoa in water allows the removal of acids and makes it easier for your body to digest it and absorb the nutrients. When you’re ready to prepare the dish, rinse and drain the quinoa.

Bring 1 cup of water to a boil, add the quinoa, and turn down to low heat. My quinoa cooked freakishly fast, probably because I soaked it for longer this time (about a day and a half), so keep an eye on it while cooking and turn down to the lowest setting if necessary. Normally it should take about 20 minutes. You want the quinoa to be nice and fluffy.

quinoa with sauteed veggies & gravy

While the quinoa is cooking, dice up a couple slices of yellow onion and mince a few medium cloves of garlic. In a large sauce pan, heat up a little coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil. Toss in the onions and when they start to become translucent, add the garlic. Once they both start browning, add one sliced squash and a handful of sliced mushrooms. You can sub any veggies you like, I just really like the squash and mushroom combo. Cook on medium heat and add liquid as necessary (water, chickpea broth, etc).

Season the cooked quinoa with salt, pepper, garlic powder and about 1 tbsp of nutritional yeast (if you like). Once the veggies are all cooked and browning, add salt, pepper, and garlic powder. I like to have my veggies resting on a comfy bed of quinoa as opposed to a heaping mess of savory goodness (nothing wrong with that but for photographing and serving purposes I like to be fancy ?). Scoop the veggies out of the skillet and set them aside. Line the pan with a layer of quinoa, lay the veggies over, then pour gravy over everything like you just don’t care ? If you want to be real fancy, you could make your own mushroom gravy.

Cover the saucepan with a lid and let it sit for a few minutes to heat the gravy and let everything simmer together. Chop up some parsley for garnish and it’s ready to serve! It tastes best served fresh but if you eat it as leftovers later, I would suggest adding a little more gravy because it soaks into the quinoa after sitting. This recipes serves two, but it’s super easy to double or triple!

quinoa with sauteed veggies & gravy

Other suggestions: Substitute the quinoa for millet, which has a similar texture and taste, as well as numerous health benefits. Add some tofu for a heartier dish. Serve straight from the skillet and top with some generous sprinkles of nutritional yeast.

quinoa with sauteed veggies

This is the perfect dinner recipe for a crisp autumn night, or if you live in Texas, a humid semi-autumn night. Either way, it’s delicious and easy to customize. And dat gravy ?

Jillian ♥

Orangetheory Fitness: Sunday Funday Can Be a Fitday!

Sunday Funday is a time for so many activities of note. Some of us worship at the altar of fantasy football; others gather around swanky downtown tables for a boozy brunch while I took the time to journey to the magical Mall of Yeah Old Staten Island for The Orangetheory Fitness celebrity breakfast. 
Offering up generous portions of bagels and schmears for free while patrons could hear the mission of Orangetheory currently gearing up to open up a location nearby on Staten Island. Outfitted with licensed personal trainers- Orangetheory offers the client a customized exercise program that provides specialized data to track your progress while working out. It’s like Fit Bit times a gazillion and with real live people touting the trendy logo “Orange Is The New Fit”. However, you won’t be sent to jail for the hardcore training program these ladies will set you on.

I had a chat with local food celeb, Staten Island’s own Frank Bilotti from Fox’s Hell’s Kitchen, who told me about the joys of getting yelled at by Gordon Ramsey and explained the origins of his sweet tattoo. Designed personally, it’s the contents of stock, the base of any good meal.

Stand-up comedians Mike Bocchetti and Stacey Prussman, who regularly appear on The Artie Lange Show, were in attendance to bring some comic relief to the event. See above as Stacey tests out their state of the art water rower. Audience members were encouraged to compete row for row in hopes of winning prizes.

The event included raffles, a spirited question and answer session about the new Staten Island location, and cheeky live blogging shenanigans.

Former NY Jet Rob Carpenter was on hand to make the ladies of Orangetheory go wiiiiilllllld and of course, lend his hand to pulling raffle tickets.

If you’re looking for a way to burn calories and feel like a celebrity every day, look no further than the staff at Orangetheory. You’ll get a workout as personalized as a monogrammed L.L. Bean backpack circa 1996 but like… will also give you a super hot bod and who doesn’t want that?