Vegan Pasta with Creamy Butternut Squash Sauce

I’m already making every meal with a Fall twist…. while still trying to be healthy. Recently, I discovered Banza Pasta, which is a high-protein, chickpea pasta. Not only is it relatively low-calorie but it is made out of CHICKPEAS! It tastes like pasta and is a great, healthy alternative if you are a pasta lover like me.

Tonight, I made Banza Rigatoni with a vegan Butternut Squash sauce. This entire meal was 250 calories- normally a pasta dish with any sort of cheese sauce can get up to close to 1000 calories!!

Now for the quickest vegan pasta dish you will ever make….


  • 3/4 cup of dry Banza rigatoni
  • 1 cup of roasted and cubed butternut squash
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 cup of unsweetened, original almond milk
  • 1/2 tablesoon of Bragg’s Nutritional yeast
  • 7 Whole Cashews
  • 1 teaspoon of salt (more to taste)



Begin by cooking the Banza per the instructions on the box. Once the water is boiled, it usually only takes 7-8 minutes to cook through. While the pasta is cooking, prepare the sauce. I prepared mine in my Ninja blender. I had already roasted the butternut squash with cinnamon the night before, which made making the sauce even easier. Add the squash, almond milk, cashews, nutritional yeast and salt to the blender and blend until everything is completely pureed. It should not be too running or too thick. Once the pasta is cooked, drain and add 1/4 of the sauce (about 4oz). I heated everything up on the stove so that it was nice and hot to eat!


I will definitely be making this again soon. You could taste just the right amount of cinnamon, and paired with the creaminess of the butternut squash & almond milk, it was amazing! Tastes like Fall…

I then added a handful of spinach that I sautéed!



Fall Inspired Breakfast Burrito

Typically, for breakfast in the summer, I just want something light so I go for my usual green smoothie- which i will do a post on soon! However, since the weather is starting to change I have wanted to incorporate some warmer foods into my breakfast.

This morning I made a simple, but delicious breakfast burrito. The combo of flavors may sound weird, but it was delicious.



  • 1 Maria and Ricardo’s Tomato & Basil Tortilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kerrygold butter
  • 1/2 cup spinach
  • 1 cup butternut squash roasted with cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon of hummus of choice


First, heat up a pan with the Kerrygold butter and scramble the eggs. While they are cooking, soften your tortilla in the microwave for about 10 seconds. Then spread the hummus on the tortila and add the spinach and roasted butternut squash hash. Then add the eggs. Roll up into a burrito and then roll that in parchment paper, and cut in half.


I only ate half along with my green smoothie and that kept me full for about 4 hours!

Roasted Sweet Potato Fritters

Now that it is finally Fall, even though still scorching hot in NYC, I’m beginning to make warmer recipes. Starting off with one of my favorite vegetables…Sweet Potatoes. There are so many different things you can do with sweet potatoes: roast them, make curry with them, make mash potatoes, and my latest favorite….make them into sweet potato cakes.

This recipe is beyond easy and pretty much fool proof. With little to no oil, it is also extremely healthy…these carbs are good!

Ingredients needed:

  • 4 medium sweet potatoes
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1 1/8 cups of almond meal
  • 1/4 cup of almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon of coconut oil (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • Cinnamon (optional topping)


First, clean your sweet potatoes and skin any parts that are brown. Without adding any oil place them on a baking sheets at 400 degrees and cook until soft. About 3/4 of the way through cooking i find it easiest to to chop them into smaller pieces. Once the potatoes are cooked all the way through, and soft, add them to a high powered blender, along with the onions, coconut oil and the almond milk. I use the Ninja Auto IQ and I really love it. it doesn’t leave any chunks unless you want it to! Puree until it looks like mashed potatoes and place in a separate bowl.

Add almond meal, garlic/onion powders, and sea salt, and baking powder/soda, and combine thoroughly. Then on a baking tray with parchment paper, form patties about the size of a regular burger and about 3/4 inch thick.

Place in the oven on 400 and cook until slightly crispy on the outside. Time will vary depending on your oven but this did not take more than 25 minutes for me. Make sure to flip the patties half way so that both sides are crispy. IMG_3235


Top with some salt and cinnamon. Serve with basically anything…I made roasted brussel sprouts. Et voila! The perfect Fall & Vegan dish!

Vanilla Bean Coconut Cashew Butter

One of my favorite snacks is nut butter. I add it to crackers, apples, toast and eat it any chance I get. Usually, I go for peanut butter… but lately (in an attempt to be healthier) I have been eating Trader Joe’s nut butter, which is Whole 30 compliant.

I completely failed at Whole 30, but when I started it I had to eat the nut butter instead of peanut butter. And honestly, it is very good! Not mealy like other almond butters.

Some other nut butters which i have tried, and loveeeddd, are the Honey Vanilla and Brown Sugar Cinnamon from Batch Nashville. Trying Batch’s nut butter inspired me to make my own.

I suggest buying large bags of nuts (almonds, pecans, walnuts, cashews) from places like Costco or Thrive Market.

The ingredients you will need for this recipe are:

  • 2 cups of roasted cashews
  • 1/4 cup of unsweetened coconut flakes (Traders Joe’s brand)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla extract


Roast 2 cups of cashews for 15 minutes on 350 degrees. Remove and place into ninja processor, along with coconut flakes and begin by pulsing. It will start by forming a meal and you will need to periodically scrape down the sides. Continue pureeing/pulsing for around 10-12 minutes. Then once the meal starts to turn into a paste, add the vanilla extract. Continue pureeing until you get your desired consistency, but….it should have the consistency of peanut butter.

DSC_0659DSC_0660DSC_0665DSC_0666DSC_0675IMG_3219IMG_3223IMG_3225IMG_3228I just gave it a try and OMG it tastes like CAKE BATTER!!! Use to top toast, fruit, and baked goods!

The nut butter will be hot, so let it cool then store in a mason jar. I prefer in the fridge!

xo Kate

Brunch at The Butcher’s Daughter

The best thing to do on the weekend in NYC is Brunch! Bottomless mimosas, french toast, eggs, pancakes, fancy juices and smoothies, and rustic hipster vibes- the perfect hangover cure! There are so many great restaurants uptown, but when you head downtown there are endless hidden gems.

Yesterday, my friends and I made our way downtown in search of brunch. After hearing about The Butcher’s Daughter from our friends and seeing pictures of it’s food all over Instagram we though it would be the perfect spot.

dsc_0486dsc_0492dsc_0487The restaurant is super tiny so we had to wait a little bit to get in, but once you get in the cozy atmosphere is totally worth it. The walls are decorated with succulents, rustic lights and hanging bowls of fruit. Very insta-worthy.

dsc_0518Everyone is served large glass bottles with fresh mint. dsc_0496dsc_0527dsc_0498dsc_0529dsc_0500dsc_0504The vibe in the Butcher’s Daughter is extremely relaxing and homey- definitely what i want my future kitchen to look like. Andddd the food is delicious!

csc_0600dsc_0530dsc_05317-grain French toast made with almond milk. dsc_0532dsc_0533Monterrey Eggs with Market Salsa and Potato Hash- so good!dsc_0535Smashed Avocado Toast Benedict- the favorite!

dsc_0512dsc_0515dsc_0537dsc_0539dsc_0516dsc_0542The Butcher’s Daughter address is 19 Kenmare St. in Nolita. Super close to a lot of great shopping- or at least window shopping in Soho. dsc_0543Definitely, definitely, definitely worth a try!

xo Kate

Liz, Dick, and Puerto Vallarta

In 1962, Elizabeth Taylor began filming Cleopatra in Italy. Although she was married to Eddie Fischer at the time, she began an affair with Richard Burton. Their affair spiraled into a relationship that would go on to become one of the most famous in Hollywood history. While Richard was filming Night of The Iguana in Puerto Vallarta, Liz joined him.

Puerto Vallarta soon became their favorite vacation spot. Richard Burton bought Casa Kimberly and the bungalow across the street for Liz on her 32nd birthday. He then built a bridge connecting the two houses, which resembles Venice’s Bridge of Sighs. The best part about Casa Kimberly is that it is set back in the mountains in a quaint neighborhood. Besides seeing the bridge that connects the two homes, you might miss it if you weren’t looking for it, which makes it the perfect celebrity getaway. After Richard died in 1984, Liz Taylor was famously quoted saying “after Richard, the men in my life were just there to hold the coat, to open the door. All the men after Richard were really just company.” For someone who was married to seven different men, Liz made it very clear that Richard was the love of her life.


Liz eventually sold Casa Kimberly paving the way for it to become a Puerto Vallarta hot spot. Casa Kimberly is now completely renovated into a luxury spa, restaurant, and boutique hotel. I went to Casa Kimberly’s restaurant The Iguana for Easter dinner and it is easily my favorite restaurant. Plus, while you are eating, the most amazing mariachi band plays songs such as “Besame Mucho” and “Volare.”

This is the pool that is waiting right over the bridge from Casa Kimberly.

Sculpture of Liz & Dick in the entrance to Casa Kimberly. 

The Iguana is not only the most beautiful restaurant I have ever been to, but the food is also amazing. The sea bass, chicken enchiladas, and stuffed squash blossoms are delicious. If you are in Puerto Vallarta, make sure to make a reservation! 

Puerto Vallarta has so much to offer, including amazing food!

xo Kate


St. Thomas, USVI

For Spring Break this year my friends and I went to St. Thomas. I had never seen clear caribbean water before so I was amazed when we first got there! We stayed at the Frenchman’s Reef and Morning Star Marriott Beach Resort, which had beautiful views of the ocean!


The bar at the pool had amazing, but expensive, drinks. Get the Mango Tango. There are three big pools at the resort and a couple of hot tubs! Our favorite was the infinity pool for obvious reasons….


The resort has four restaurants on site and the closest towns are cab rides away. Unfortunately, the food is not great. However, two restaurants at the resort are pretty good, our favorite being Sandbar and Coco Joe’s. Coco Joe’s has amazing Jerk Chicken wraps and Fish Tacos!

Also, at the front desk of the resort you can sign up for activities like snorkeling or night kayaking. My friends and I did the night kayaking and it was amazing. You got to see sea turtles and lots of fish through the clear kayaks. We didn’t bring our cameras which we regret because we did not get wet at all!


On the beach you can kayak, paddleboat, paddle board and sail! And another great thing about St. Thomas is that you can island hop…..

more to come….

xo Kate

Best Restaurants in Rome

The thing I was most excited about when first traveling to Italy was the food! I have a list of my favorite restaurants and gelaterias to visit if you are ever in Rome…

My favorite restaurant in Rome is Osteria il Sostegno. It is located on Via delle Colonelle down an alleyway. Definitely make a reservation if your are planning on going because it is super small. My favorite dishes are the Cacio e Pepe and Tagliolini alla Checca. The restaurant is close to the Pantheon and Piazza Navona, so there is a lot to do in the area.I think I ate here 5 times during my last month in Rome!

OsteriaSostengo*picture from restaurant website*

My next favorite restaurant is Dominico’s in San Giovanni…


*Also has amazing Cacio e Pepe!

Another restaurant I love is Angelinas located in Trevi…

food2One of my favorite pastas, gnochhi.

Some other restaurants I love are Trattoria da GinoDar Poeta, Pizzeria Baffeto and Trattoria da Francesco!


My favorite gelato places….


Della Palma; over 100 flavors!!food16
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Hidden Treasures in Rome

The best part of Rome is that  you will almost always come across some ancient site or church, even when you aren’t looking for one. The cobblestone streets are very charming and it is easy to just wander and get lost, which is what my friends and I happily did almost every day.

roaming1roaming8Piazza Navona
roaming9roaming7Largo Argentina. This is where Brutus stabbed Caeser (~Mean Girls ~)

Oftentimes after dinner, we would wander around the city for hours. It seemed so huge, yet once you figure it out it is really easy to get around! Don’t use the metro-just walk! We spent a lot of time near the Spanish Steps/Spagna because there were great restaurants and amazing shops that you could easily walk to.

My favorite sunglasses are from Dolce and Gabbana
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Living in Roma

Last year, I studied abroad in Rome for four months. It’s safe to say that I know some of the best places to eat, shop and site see, and a lot hidden treasures that you might not find in your typical guide to the city. It is one of my favorite places in the world and I miss it (and the pasta!) everyday.

When we first arrived after an 8 hour flight, it was a bit of a culture shock! Especially for me as I barely knew any Italian.


But, we immersed ourselves in Italian culture immediately! Starting with getting a typical Italian breakfast at a local cafe. Breakfast isn’t really a thing in Italy, besides grabbing an espresso. We lived near a great cafe in Garbatella, called Eden Caffe.

rome3rome2This was our typical breakfast before we started cooking at home! Cornetto con nutella and a cappuccio, per favore.

It is amazing to live so close to some of the most beautiful and well known sites in the world. As we were trying to find dinner our first night out, we got out of the metro and the Colosseum was right in front of us.


Being typical tourists we settled on a tourist trap for dinner. We thought the food was good but we had no idea what Italy had to offer. My one suggestion for restaurants is to never go into a restaurant where there are a lot of tourists! Go find the Italians!

Rigatoni alla Cacio e Pepe

Cacio e Pepe is my favorite dish in the whole world and I pretty much ate it at every restaurant we went to. I’m a bit of a Cacio e Pepe expert. I will share my favorite restaurants in one of my following Roma posts!

Completely amazed by our first night in Rome, we navigated the metro back to our apartment in Garbatella.

We lived near an area called Testaccio where there are restaurants, night clubs, and markets. So, the next day with our group from school we headed to il Mercato di Testaccio. It has amazing food and produce!


Our first week in Rome was orientation. We were taught basic Italian phrases, which cafes to go to, and how to get around. We also went to a vineyard outside of Rome, where we had a typical Italian lunch. Tons of bread, meats, and cheese. Followed by pasta and meat. And wine!

This was a very good vegetable lasagna.

While I was a little bit homesick for a couple days, I was having so much fun that I forgot about it! I have so much to share from the best 4 months ever!

xo, Kate