My Favorite Cashew Cream

Have you ever tried cashew cream? If you haven’t, you’re in for a treat! My husband always teases me that my love for cashew cream and avocados will be engraved on my headstone when I leave this world lol. He knows me well :).

Use cashew cream in place of sour cream. It is non dairy and tastes SO MUCH BETTER than sour cream!! My favorite is to use it on all of the Mexican dishes I make.

Cashew Cream

  • 1 c. Organic Cashews (I like the organic Costco)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Lemon Juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 scant cup of water

Blend in a high speed blender like a Vitamix for a minute or 2 until well blended. Cashew cream should not be grainy at all. If it is, blend it some more. Let me know how you like it :).

If you don’t have a high speed blender, boil cashews for 20 min before mixing them in blender.

Vegan Fajitas with Cashew Cream

Good Morning Protein Smoothie

In the morning I get a good workout in and then I love whipping up my Good Morning Protein Smoothie. It is one of my favorite breakfasts. Making this smoothie is easy, it’s quick and I put it in an insulated cup with a big straw(not shown) and head out the door for work. It’s nutritious and delicious and filling. I buy all of the ingredients at Costco, but you can get these ingredients at your local grocery store (maybe not the protein powder). This plant based protein powder really is the best. I’ve tried other brands and I like this one best.

Good Morning Protein Smoothie Recipe

  • 1 C Unsweetened Almond Milk
  • 2 Scoops (1 serving) of Orgain Organic Vanilla Protein Powder
  • 4 Large Frozen Strawberries
  • 2 Handfuls of Kale (I like to freeze mine)
  • 1/2 – 1 C Water

Put all ingredients into a high speed blender (I use a Vitamix) and mix on high until ingredients are all mixed in and it is smooth. If the mixture is too thick add more water. Pour into an insulated cup or into any cup. Makes a good size smoothie. Approx. 20 oz.

Please let me know if you try this recipe! It’s a good one! Cheers!



Peanut Butter Energy Bites — sooooo good!

St. George is hosting the World Ironman Championship this weekend and I couldn’t be more excited! This city is BUZZING with enthusiasm for the athletes competing. They come from all over the world and we couldn’t be more proud to host. I have four friends that are participating, so I made each of them a goodie bag that included these scrumptious energy bites. When I did the IM, I loved having these on the bike portion because they are real food and they didn’t make my stomach upset. I wish all of the athletes GOOD LUCK!!

These are good for a quick snack, quick to make and made from wholesome, delicious ingredients.

Peanut Butter Energy Bites

1 C. Natural Peanut Butter

1 C. Old Fashioned Oats

1/3 C. Honey or Maple Syrup

1/4 C. Flax Seed

1 Teaspoon Vanilla

1/2 C. Enjoy Life Mini Chocolate Chips

1 C. Coconut (I like Trader Joe’s unsweetened shredded), toasted (I’ll give instructions)

For the Coconut:

Take a large skillet and add coconut. Put heat on medium, stir it, and watch closely. It won’t take long until the coconut starts to brown a bit. When it gets to this point, watch very carefully because it can burn quickly. Continue to stir and turn down heat until it browns nicely and then remove from pan to cool. MAKE SURE COCONUT IS COOLED COMPLETELY BEFORE ADDING TO THE REMAINING MIXTURE.

I like my coconut a little bit more fine so I put it in my food processor and give it a couple of pulses until it looks like this:

Next, add all of the above ingredients together except the coconut. I like to wash my hands and mix it with a wooden spoon.

When coconut is completely cool, add to mixture with your hands. Go ahead, don’t be afraid, just grab it and squish it. Haha. It’s great!! And a great way to take out any frustrations you have in the day lol.

Please let me know if you make these and how they turn out for you! I love hearing from my readers. You’re all the best!




My daughter introduced me to gnocchi in Portland. She is an amazing cook and has introduced me to a lot of different foods. Well, she is a dietician and that helps too. Gnocchi has come to be one of my favs.

The other night when I got home from work and the “What’s for dinner?” question entered my head, as my stomach was growling, I needed to make a quick dish before I smacked myself to death, I remembered I had some gnocchi in my pantry that I’ve been wanting to cook. I originally was thinking of a mushroom marinara for this dish, but at the last minute I changed my mind (definitely a woman’s prerogative haha) because when I tasted the white wine mixed with the mushroom broth and spices it tasted fantastic.

If you want to make this sauce creamy, blend up 1/2 c cashews in about 1/4 c vegetable broth in a high speed blender and add it to the dish at the end. Make sure you blend this up well so you don’t get that gross grainy texture. Another trick is to soak the cashews for 15 min in boiling water, drain it before adding it to the blender with broth. Now to the recipe…..


Serves: 4 but if you have big eaters I would double.

Cook Time: 30 min.

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 small red onion

2 c. mushrooms sliced

1 bunch broccolini or regular broccoli (see recipe below)

1 package gnocchi, prepare as directed on package and set aside

1/3 c. dry white wine

1/2 c. vegetable broth (I like to make this with the “Better than Bouillon” brand

1 T. oregano

1 T. parsley

(Or in place of oregano and parsley add 1T. Italian seasoning)

1 tsp. salt

Prepare broth. Add 1/4 c. broth to a medium size Dutch oven or large rim pan and turn heat to medium high. As soon as pan is hot, add garlic and sauté for 2 min continuously stirring until it smells fragrant.

Add onion and sauté about 5 min or until slightly translucent. If you need to add more broth here to keep it from burning, do so. Add mushrooms and sauté these for 10-15 min or until a nice liquid broth forms from the mushrooms, add white wine and keep sautéing for 7 min or so until the alcohol burns off.

Add oregano, parsley and salt. Taste the mixture to see if it is to your liking. From here you can make a the cashew cream as mentioned above or leave it out. I thought it tasted good as is, so I opted not to. Add gnocchi and roasted broccolini. Mix well and taste once again to make sure it is properly salted and spiced. Enjoy.


Preheat oven to 425 degrees with baking rack on the top slot of the oven.

Place as much broccolini on a baking sheet pan as you want to serve.

Sprinkle broccolini with vegetable broth and salt and pepper.

When oven is up to temperature, place broccolini in the oven and set timer for 7 min. After 7 min stir broccolini on baking sheet and put back in oven for about 4 min or until it’s cooked to your liking.

Remove from oven and serve or add to cooking dish.


Bowls, bowls, bowls (thats what I call them) are one of our favs to whip up on a busy work night.  It’s very simple to make and you can make a very colorful, nutritious meal in no time at all.  I mean look at all of these beautiful bowls.  You can use whatever grain, veggies, tofu or no tofu haha, edamame or nuts you have on hand.  The combinations are endless!!

First, choose the grain:

Pearled farro, quinoa, brown rice, white rice.

I have to say pearled or perlato farro is my personal fav.  Pearled cooks faster than the regular farro because the the outer layer is peeled off, so make sure you buy the pearled, otherwise, you’ll be cooking your farro for A LOT longer to get it tender. We buy ours at the local grocery store, Harmons, in the bulk section.  My hubby is the master at cooking farro.  This is the way he likes to cook it—

Pearled Farro Recipe

Makes 4 small servings

Wash the farro throughly.  Farro 3 to 1 ratio vegetable broth to farro, so 1 c. farro to 3 c. broth.  Bring to boil, turn heat down to minimum, put lid on and cook 15 min, drain off access liquid

It’s that easy and so tasty.

If you choose to make quinoa.  The Vegan Corner has the best recipe:

Or here is his recipe for Quinoa:

How to cook quinoa


1 cup quinoa (6oz)

1½ cup water (12.5oz) (I like using vegetable broth)


  1. Thoroughly wash the quinoa to remove the bitter-tasting saponins from the outer layer. Drain the Quinoa properly before moving on.
  2. Place a small pot over high heat, pour in the water and bring it to the boil.
  3. As soon as the water starts to boil add the Quinoa to the water, give it a good stir with a fork and cover the pot with the lid.
  4. Lower the heat to the minimum and cook the grains for 15 minutes.
  5. Once that time is up, turn off the heat and let the Quinoa rest for another three minutes before removing the lid.
  6. Fluff the quinoa with a fork, transfer it onto a dish and spread it. This will stop the Quinoa from coking any further.

If you choose to make brown or white rice, you can cook according to directions or in your rice cooker.

Next–choose your veggies:

Broccoli, butternut squash, cauliflower, asparagus, onion, mushrooms, carrots, tomatoes, corn, peas, beans–just any veggies.  You can prepare them by steaming them, roasting them in the oven at 425 for 20-30 min and sprinkle them with a bit of vegetable broth.  Make sure your veggies are cut the same size to equalize cooking times because some veggies cook faster than others.  You can put your veggies in columns on the cooking sheet and pull out the ones that cook faster.  Cover with foil to keep warm.

The last step:

Choose a crunch and a sauce (if you want sauce :).

For the crunch and a little protein:

Edamame, cashews, peanuts, or you can add some tofu and/or beans here too.

This is my favorite BBQ sauce because it has no oil and I can read all of the ingredients ha.  Always a good sign of a good product.  I found this brand at Harmons, but I’m sure other grocery stores have it too.


I am also in love with this Miso Tahini Sauce in my Isa Does It Cookbook.  This is the recipe:

Miso Tahini Sauce

For the dressing:
1/4 cup mellow white miso
1/4 cup tahini
1 cloves garlic
1/2 cup to 3/4 cup water

Place all ingredients in Vita Mix or other blender and mix well.  Start with 1/2 c water and add more.

I hope you enjoy these bowls as much as we do!  Please tag me on Instagram @itsapegslife when you make this recipe.  I want to see what you come up with :).

Garlicky Thyme Tempeh; Healthy Meal Planning & A Free Trial Offer from :)

Ahhhh the dreaded task of meal planning.  I remember 15 years ago when my kids were little (WOW, that makes me feel so old haha), my sister-in-law, Tami, and I would meet at McDonald’s every week, let the kids eat (ewww) and play and go to work meal planning.  We would bring recipe books galore and 3×5 cards, so we could share recipes, make a meal plan and write out our grocery list.  It would take us at least a couple of hours and that wasn’t even doing the grocery shopping! The feeling of checking that off our weekly to-do list was quite a sense of accomplishment and it still is, but now there is an easier way and I mean waaaaay easier.  Hurray for technology!!!  A few years ago my neighbor told me about this awesome new site she was using for meal planning and that if I joined, we could be friends and could have access to each other’s recipes.  Well, this was a no brainer for me because my neighbor was one of the best cooks and I wanted her recipes!!  It has made my life so much easier and I have an offer for you from my favorite site :).  I seriously LOVE this site!!  It’s so simple to use.  Here is the link to get a special trial offer from them.   Plan to Eat  Try it out yourself and see if it works for you.  You can upload recipes from different blogs, key in your own recipes, plan out your weekly menu and also have your grocery list done for you.  Lickity split!!

Now let’s talk a bit more about meal planning…………

A few weeks ago, I did a short presentation for the local girls biking club on healthy meal planning, so I thought I would share that with you. Click on the link and you may find some ideas to help.

Healthy Meal Planning 

Here is a recipe that I tried this week that was sooooo awesome!!  I also uploaded it to my plan to eat account and shared it and, of course, it’s from one of my favorite cookbooks right now “Isa Does It :).  I served it with roasted veggies and brown rice.  I liked crumbling the tempeh up so a little bit was in every bite.  It would also be good crumbled up on a salad too.  Delicious!

Add to Plan to Eat

Garlicky Thyme Tempeh


Course: Main Course

Cuisine: Asian

Main Ingredient: Tempeh

Serves: 4 Scale


  • 8 oz tempeh
  • For the marinade:
  • 2 T soy sauce (or tamari)
  • 4 cloves garlic smashed
  • 12 C veggie broth
  • 2 T white balsalmic vinegar (or 1 tablespoon regular balsamic)
  • 3 T fresh lemon juice
  • 14 C fresh thyme leaves whole, soft stems roughly chopped
  • 2 T olive oil (optional)


  1. If your tempeh is a rectangle: slice it into 2 squares. Slice those squares into two thin squares across the middle, sort of like a clamshell. Now slice each square corner to corner, into triangles. You should have 8 thin triangles.
  2. If your tempeh is square: slice in half into two rectangles. Slice each rectangle across the middle, sort of like a clamshell. Then slice in half, into squares. You should have 8 thin squares.
  3. Steam the tempeh for 10 minutes. It’s going to smell like baking bread!
  4. In the meantime, mix all mariande ingredients together in a big bowl. When tempeh is ready, transfer it directly into the marinade.
  5. Let marinate for 1 to 4 hours, flipping occasionally.
  6. To grill:
  7. Preheat lightly oiled grill on medium high (indoor or outdoor). Cook tempeh for 5 minutes on each side, flipping with a metal spatula, so that it doesn’t stick. Tip: rub thyme and garlic on each side. Some will fall off, but not all of it.
  8. To broil:
  9. Preheat broiler. Keeping a close eye, broil tempeh on a baking sheet places 2 to 3 inches away from flame. 3 to 5 minutes each side. Baste with some of the liquid when you flip.
  10. Serve immediately!

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Stay tuned next Friday for an awesome Friend Friday Post :).

Tofu & Vegetable Teriyaki Bowls

This recipe was a keeper! We have eaten tofu for years, but now we are eating more and it’s a great source of protein for us since we have gone plant based. I used brown and white rice cooked together, but you can also use quinoa, either works great. I prefer rice with teriyaki.

Tofu & Vegetable Teriyaki Bowls

Brown & white rice cooked together

1 package Tofu, firm or extra firm, cut in half lengthwise, and cut into a checkerboard

2 carrots cut into thin slices

1/2 onion, coarsely chopped

1/2 green and red peppers, thinly sliced

1-2 c. mushrooms

1/2 teaspoon sea salt, (optional)

1 package of edamame, cooked according to package directions

sliced green onions, for garnish

Peanuts for garnish

Teriyaki Sauce:

6 tablespoons liquid aminos, or tamari

2 tablespoons pure maple syrup

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1 teaspoon minced ginger

Mix teriyaki marinade together and gently toss over cut up tofu. Set aside.

Sauté the onion, peppers, carrots. Salt and pepper. Cook for approx. 7 minutes or until tender. Instead of using oil, I sautéed the veggies just a few min then added a tiny bit of water so they wouldn’t burn. It works great and much healthier.

Add tofu and teriyaki sauce to veggies. Cook approx. 5-7 min or until tofu is heated through. And that’s it! So quick and so easy!



Tiffany is an amazing athlete. The first time I met her, she was just finishing up a swim at the lake, training for the St. George, Utah Ironman. My husband and I just arrived and I chatted with her for a minute and I was thinking, “Wow, she looks like an IM pro.”  You could definitely tell, she knew her stuff about IM training.  My husband and I were training for our first IM, so she was quite an inspiration to me.  Her accomplishments “WOW” me, especially with the obstacles that she has overcome………… AND she is my sister’s neighbor and she speaks very highly of her. I’m so very excited for her post today. She is going to share with us some inspiring accomplishments about herself, a family favorite recipe and some really great fitness tips. Thanks so much Tiffany for sharing with us today. Also, for those of us who live in the STG area, Tiffany can help you reach your optimal performance at the Dixie Regional Health & Performance Center. They have a sports package that includes a Bod Pod (calculates body fat %), VO2 Max, and basal metabolic testing that would be very helpful for training. I am looking forward to getting tested. STG Marathon and NY are right around the corner! Okay, so let’s get to it! Here’s Tiffany………………..❤️

I guess you could say that I am a wellness nerd. I graduated from Utah State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science and a minor in Dance. I love to learn, so I decided to go back to school and get my Master’s in Sports Nutrition. I have to admit that my grades are much better now that I’m older and understand the value of education. Who would have thought that I could get a 4.0 GPA? HAHA!

My job as an Exercise Physiologist at Intermountain Live Well allows me to share my passion for wellness with others, and the rewards of seeing clients pursue a healthy lifestyle is priceless. I also empower others to chase their dreams as owner of TG Triathlon and Fitness. As a World National Olympic Distance Age Group Qualifier in 2012-2016, I have been chasing my own dreams by competing in over 175 triathlons, including 16 Ironman finishes. From 2012-2016, I received Ironman All World Athlete by placing in the top 10% in the world for my age division. (I’m old…. hitting 50 on my next birthday). J

Despite my accomplishments in 2010, I suffered 3 strokes which lead to heart surgery. These obstacles have lead me to have a great desire to infuse balance and gratitude in my life. When I’m not training or races, I enjoy hiking, cooking, sewing, reading and SUP. My greatest accomplishment is being a wife and mother of three kids ages 25, 20, and 14. My family is the heart of my success.

This recipe is one of my family’s favorite. I will usually double the recipe so that we can have left overs. It can be used in whole wheat tortillas, taco shells, on tops of nachos for a hearty meal, or on top of mixed greens for a yummy salad. (That’s my personal favorite) J

One Pot Quinoa Taco Dinner


• 1.25 lbs. of Ground Turkey or Beef (You can leave this out for vegetarian option)

• 2 Bell Peppers Diced

• 1 Onion Diced

• 2 Tomatoes Diced canned or fresh from the garden

• 1 Can of Corn (drained) or Frozen works great too

• 1/2 cup salsa

• 1 cup Canned Black Beans (about half a can) I like to rinse them off first

• 1 cup Water

• 1 cup Beef or Vegetable Stock Low Sodium

• 1 cup Long Grained Rice (not minute rice) or Quinoa

• 1 and 1/2 teaspoons of Cumin

• 1 teaspoon garlic powder

• 1 teaspoon chili powder

• 1 cup Cheddar Cheese

• Taco shells, whole wheat tortillas or mixed greens (depending on what your family enjoys)


1. Begin browning meat in skillet. Drain the fat. (I like to add crushed garlic too).

2. After slightly brown, add diced onion and diced peppers and cook until meat is completely browned.

3. On medium heat, stir in water, beef stock, beans, and rice or quinoa. (I’m added both rice and quinoa sometimes)

4. Stir in cumin, garlic powder, and chili powder.

5. Add in the corn and tomatoes

6. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes, (quinoa takes a bit longer 20-25 minutes) or until rice is completely cooked and liquid has absorbed.

7. Stir in the cheese and top with your favorite taco toppings! We love adding sour cream and guacamole to ours. Enjoy!

I love this recipe because you can adapt it to what your family likes. If you are vegan leave out the meat and switch the beef broth to vegetable. If you have fresh garden tomatoes, use those. I can’t really say where I got this recipe from, because I adapted it from an original and made it fit my family and their needs. One word of advice is you should do just that. Look at a recipe and make it fit your taste and your family. Same way when you eat out. If you don’t something on the menu, as if they can create something for you based on what ingredients is found in the other menu items.

 Fitness Tip-

“Start where you are, don’t compare yourself to others, and enjoy the journey.” Tiffany Gust

There is no magic bullet for optimal health. Just eat real food and then you don’t have to worry about all the fads and diet craze. Listen to your body and try to make movement a part of your everyday life. Engage in activities that you enjoy and encourage those around you to become active with you. Spending time with family and friends can make movement and exercise enjoyable and rewarding, while building the bonds in the relationship.

If you struggle to enjoy fitness, then learn to enjoy the feeling of success when you have completed a hard workout. Enjoy the freedom you feel when the endorphins have amped up your energy. Work around your limitations if you are dealing with health issues or an injury. Trust me, I know how it feels to have your whole life flipped around and going from being a successful athlete to having health issues that only allow you to go for a walk or a short swim. Don’t focus on what you can’t do, focus on what you can. Bask in the gratitude that you have for still being alive and well. Anchor into the moments that can get you through those hard times. Do things that will allow you to feel success and make your heart smile. Find ways to enjoy nature and peace in your life. Now, go out and CHASE THOSE DREAMS!!! J


Ham and Havarti Panini with Bosc Pear

One day while talking with my dear friend, Heather, at the gym, she suggested to me to put a pear on my panini and my reaction was, “WHAT?????”………… and then I tried it and it was oh, so very good.  I did not doubt my friend knew what she was talking about, but it just sounded ………. different, but I soon found out that this was going to be one of my favorites and paninis are such a quick fix!

Here is what I love on my panini, but use whatever meat and cheese you like, and use pear slices :). I hope you love it as much as I do. 

I love Boars Head ham and Havari cheese on my panini and, of course, a little bit of mayo :). 

Put mayo, ham and cheese on your favorite bread (some of my favorites are Great Harvest Dakota, Dave’s Organic Good Seed, and Kneaders 12 Grain Hazelnut bread). Spread a little butter on both sides of the bread and put it on the panini maker or when I didn’t have one, I put it in a fry pan, cover it with a lid and cook it on medium heat. Turn and cook on the other side.

Remove from heat and add pear slices.  I added some iceberg lettuce to mine but it’s great with just the pear.  And that’s it! Dinner is ready in about 10 min!!  Enjoy 🙂 and don’t forget the pear 🙂

Peg’s Sautéed Chicken with Mushrooms in White Wine Sauce and Roasted Broccoli with Rice (a fast fix, no really. I’m not kidding. :)

Ahhhhhh what should I make for dinner tonight?  Isn’t that the question of the day some times?  You may be very organized and do not have this problem and if you are props to you, Sista!!🙌🏻 I like to have a menu planned ( #lifesavor) and do most weeks, but this weekend was a pretty busy weekend for this bunch, so a menu for the week was not planned.  I thought I would do a little something more adventurous tonight. You know those cooking shows where the chefs have to make something out of the ingredients the host places before them?  Well, tonight I decided to do my own version of that, except I would use only the ingredients that I had on hand, which are the following:   

First thing I did was start the sticky rice in my rice cooker.  I like using the Nishiki brand (white or brown is delish). 

The next step is to start the roasted broccoli.  Here is the recipe:

1/2 Package of broccoli (I like Costco:)

Sprinkle with olive oil and kosher salt and pepper. 

Place aluminum foil on a cookie sheet, spread broccoli on foil  (try not to overlap), and slices of red onion (optional).  Sprinkle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Preheat oven to 425 degrees and place broccoli in oven for 7 min. Take out, stir and put back in oven for another 5 min or until your liking. 

Make sure you set the timer on your broccoli!  I’ve had to learn the hard way haha. 

While the broccoli is cooking, prepare the chicken:

4 Chicken breasts, sliced lengthwise 

1 c. Flour or cornstarch, if you have celiacs 

2 Eggs, whisked together with kosher salt and pepper

2 T. Butter

2 T. Olive oil

For the sauce:

1 Clove Garlic (not shown in pic. 😂Okay, you got me. I cheated a little😝)

1 Pkg Shiitake mushrooms

2 T. Flour or cornstarch 

1/3 c. White wine

1 c. Chicken broth

1 c. Parmesan cheese

Lemon, just a drizzle though. You don’t want this to over power your sauce. Add at the very end of cooking. 

Directions for chicken:

Lightly dredge chicken in egg mixture and then in flour, set aside. 

Tip:  Do not stack the chicken breasts on the plate or the coating will come off. 

Heat large pan on medium-high heat and melt the 2 T. Butter and olive oil together. Place chicken in pan once the oil/butter mixture is hot. Let cook for about 5 min or until it is nice and brown looking and don’t worry if some of the coating comes off. It’s okay. Turn and cook the other side about 5-7 min, depending on how thick your chicken breasts are. I like to cut into one of the thicker ones just slightly to make sure there is no pink. Remove from pan and place on platter. Cover with aluminum foil. 

Now–don’t forget about that broccoli in the oven. It should be done by now or close to it :).  When it’s done, tent with foil to keep warm. 

Directions for the mushroom sauce:

Drizzle olive oil in pan (you can use the same pan as you cooked your chicken in. Just scrape off the flour that came off the chicken while cooking and discard) on med-high heat. Add garlic and cook until fragrant then add mushrooms. Sauté until mushrooms are done–around 5-10 min. Add 2 T. flour or cornstarch, stir.

Now it’s time to add the white wine.  Cook about 2-3 min until alcohol burns off and then slowly add the 1 c. chicken broth. Cook for a couple of minutes or until thickened.  If it is too thick add a bit of water to thin.  

Add the chicken to the mushroom sauce.

Sprinkle with 3/4 c. Parmesan cheese and drizzle with fresh lemon, not too much.  I didn’t even use a quarter of a wedge for mine.  I topped this with the remaining parm cheese and chopped tomatoes.  Sooooo good!  Enjoy!!