Totspot Breakfast: Chunky Monkey Oatmeal

Chunky Monkey Oatmeal


Fall is here! I love autumn – the changing leaves, pumpkin spice everything, and best of all, Halloween!! Halloween is hands down my favorite holiday and when the leaves start turning orange, I know it’ll be here soon.

The only thing I don’t love about autumn is the sudden cold breeze it blows in with. I love winter when everything’s covered in snow and I can curl up in front of the fire with some hot vegan buttered rum. I don’t mind the cold. It’s just this in between stage I don’t love, where you never know if you should wear shorts or jeans, and you’re doomed to always be too hot or too cold. Plus it always seems to be smoky here from the inevitable forest fires somewhere in California. Yuck.

I know there are a ton of autumn lovers out there; I hope I’m not offending you. I truly adore everything the season symbolizes, and all the great traditions throughout it. I just don’t love the actual weather. Maybe I just need to move. I’m sure autumn in San Diego is quite lovely!

Sadly, we didn’t wake up in sunny California today and it was super chilly! It’ll still get up to 80 degrees today, but morning was cold! We needed something warm and sweet to fill our tummies. I immediately thought of Oh She Glows’ Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal. We made just a couple changes. First, I caramelized the banana in almond milk rather than oil. Second, I stirred in all the peanut butter rather than using half as a topping. I used a little extra too, probably closer to two tablespoons. I’m trying to cram as many calories into Torin as I possibly can. And he loved it. Like, double fisted, smear it all over your face, can’t shovel it into his mouth fast enough, loved it. I think you will too.

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Totspot Breakfast: Peanut Butter Rollups, Fresh Peach, & Rice Krispy Multigrain Shapes

Peanut Butter Rolls, Peaches and Rice Krispy Multigrain Shapes

Guess what?! Torin loves peanut butter and isn’t allergic like his big brother Gabe! This is a HUGE deal in our house. Nut allergies are a thing I wouldn’t wish on anyone. I was really nervous about having a second nut allergic baby since it frequently runs in families. Luckily, Torin seems to have dodged that bullet. He drinks almond milk, macadamia milk, coconut milk, and he eats peanut butter, cashew butter, and cashew cream sauces all the time! We’re super careful about cross-contamination issues for Gabe. We’ve been very fortunate in that he doesn’t seem to be affected by airborne particulate the way others can be. The number of children affected by food allergies right now is staggering. If you’d like to learn more, please visit the Food Allergy and Research Education website. They are a wonderful resource and we’re huge supporters of all the work they do.

Back to breakfast! Have you tried Rice Krispy Multigrain Shapes?

Rice Krispies Multigrain Shapes
I usually give Torin a handful of cereal to tide him over while I prep the rest of his breakfast. I thought these would be perfect – they’re multigrain, they’re bigger and easier for him to grasp than regular Rice Krispies, and they’re made into adorable little shapes. They claim to only have two more grams of sugar than regular Rice Krispies, but they taste really sweet to me. Sweeter than I feel comfortable feeding to my little guy on a regular basis. I probably won’t buy these again.

What’s your favorite breakfast cereal? Bonus points if it’s organic or at least whole grain!

Cloudy with a Chance of Vegan Meatballs

Cloudy FInal

Welcome to my first official VeganMoFo post! I’m focusing on making vegan food fun with meals inspired by our childhood favorites. We’re kicking the month off with a meal from one of my all-time most loved movies, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs!

Cloudy Logo

Huge shout out to the book too!

Cloudy BookThe book is a beloved classic for sure, but there’s just something I love so much about the movie. The nerdy love story! The female empowerment! Saving the day with science! Mr. T layin’ the smack down!


And best of all, the incredible food! There are so many meal opportunities with this story; it’s hard to choose just one. Ultimately, I had to go with the title dish and make mashed potato clouds unleashing a spaghetti twister and flinging meatballs over a field of broccoli.

Cloudy Vegan


This recipe is super easy to make, it hardly qualifies as a recipe at all. I plan to post my favorite mashed potatoes recipe soon, but in the meantime any recipe you like will do. I highly recommend Isa’s Fluffy Mashed Potatoes! I currently have a little love affair going with Wildwood’s Meatless Meatballs so I used those, but feel free to use your personal favorite as well.


cloudy ingredients

I recommend eating this delicious carb heaven of a meal while watching Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. Maybe even read the book first. And don’t forget dessert! Vegan gummy bears!!

Gummy Bear


Cloudy with a Chance of Vegan Meatballs
Prep time
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Total time
Recipe type: Pasta
Serves: 4
  • 1 batch mashed potatoes
  • 8 ounces whole wheat spaghetti, cooked
  • 2 cups marinara sauce
  • 8-12 vegan meatballs, cooked (I like Wildwood's)
  • 2 cups steamed broccoli
  1. Scoop mashed potatoes onto top of plate, using ice cream scoop to form into cloud-like balls
  2. Toss spaghetti noodles in marinara sauce
  3. Form spaghetti into triangular funnel shape beneath mashed potato clouds
  4. Place meatballs on and around spaghetti tornado
  5. Line bottom of plate with steamed broccoli

Marinara Sauce in a Snap

Marinara Sauce

I love three day weekends. We get three whole days to relax, catch up on our favorite shows,  eat too much, relax… Did I mention relaxing? Yeah right! Our weekend was jam packed with baseball, golfing and a pool party. Gabe and Grig had a four game tournament on Saturday and Sunday. Grig just turned 9 but was invited to play on the 10U team. This was his first tournament with them. He played wonderfully and earned his place as the team’s starting catcher.

Grig MavericksGabe’s team is starting to come together quite nicely. He pitched a great game. The highlight of the tournament weekend was when they played against Lassen Blaze. In the 3rd inning, we were down 7-3. We got two runs, and then they got a double play. With two outs, we managed to score 16 runs! 16!! It was unbelievable. Part of me hates seeing slaughters like that, but these boys have been working so hard and they really deserved a big victory. It was so exhilarating.

Gabe MavericksI absolutely love going out to the baseball fields and supporting my boys. Unfortunately, they aren’t exactly great for vegan eating. I had a green smoothie before I left each morning, but as soon as we got to the park, all healthy bets were off! I had a couple soft pretzels with mustard, some tetris shaped tater tots that looked cool but I immediately regretted (henceforth referred to as death tots) and way too many Spicy Sweet Chili Doritos. I technically ate vegan, but it certainly wasn’t healthy! By the end of the second day I was desperately craving something nutritious. We got home late and I whipped up some whole wheat linguini with marinara sauce. I ate it with a big bowl of steamed broccoli. Never has broccoli tasted so nourishing.

We eat a lot of marinara sauce. I mean a lot. We love it on everything: pasta, brown rice, quinoa, broccoli, baked potatoes, grilled Daiya cheese sandwiches. I could go on but I think you get the idea. With as much marinara as we eat I really want something homemade, delicious, and most importantly, fast and easy. I hope you’ll love this sauce as much as we do!

Marinara ingredients


This sauce contains 5 cloves of roasted garlic. I’m not gonna lie, I could happily add 2 or 3 more and still love it. I love garlic in pretty much everything. I’ve been roasting it a lot lately. I occasionally buy pre-roasted cloves to cut down on time, but I’ve found I like it even more roasted in vegetable broth instead of oil. I’ll roast several heads at a time, let them cool, and then just peel and freeze. Then I always have some on hand. I’ll do a full posting just on roasting garlic in broth at some point. Enough about garlic, onto the amazing Marinara Sauce in a Snap recipe!

Marinara Sauce in a Snap
Prep time
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Total time
This is a super versatile marinara sauce your whole family will love! The Prep and Cook Times shown include roasting the garlic. If you have pre-roasted garlic, The total time is less than 15 minutes.
Recipe type: Sauce
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 4
  • 1 head of garlic
  • ½ cup vegetable broth
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans tomato sauce
  • 5 roasted garlic cloves, peeled (you can use store bought roasted cloves)
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon dried rosemary
  • ½ teaspoon sugar (vegan)
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon black pepper (to taste)
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F
  2. Trim the top off the head of garlic, exposing the cloves
  3. Loosely wrap in foil and place in a muffin tin cup
  4. Open the foil and pour broth over the garlic head
  5. Close foil back up
  6. Roast in oven for 35-45 minutes
  7. Allow to cool before peeling cloves
  1. Pour tomato sauce in large sauce pan and stir in all remaining ingredients
  2. Use immersion blender to fully blend in roasted garlic cloves
  3. Bring sauce to a simmer over low heat
  4. Cover and allow to simmer for 10 minutes
  5. Enjoy over pasta, brown rice, quinoa, broccoli, the possibilities are endless!

Peaches & Green Smoothie

Peaches & Green Smoothie

Ah, my very first real recipe post. How exciting! I’ve been trying to drink green smoothies for breakfast more often. This morning I found some luscious beautiful peaches at the store and knew what I had to make – a peaches and green smoothie. I added banana to really play up its creaminess, plus a few dates to sweeten it up even more. I really wanted the juicy peach flavor to stand out so I opted for a milder green, a romaine heart. And that’s it. Super simple. peach green smoothie ingredients Want to hear my trick for getting all the boys in my home to love green smoothies? Fancy glasses! Everything tastes better in a goblet, it’s a proven fact of science. Silly straws work great too, but we’ll save those for another day. I don’t think this smoothie needs any trickery, just ripe juicy peaches and love.

Peaches & Green Smoothie
Prep time
Total time
Recipe type: Smoothie
Serves: 2
  • 5 Dates
  • 1 Heart of Romaine
  • 1 Banana
  • 2 Peaches
  • Ice
  1. Soak the dates in 1 cup of water for about 10 minutes.
  2. While the dates are soaking, wash the lettuce and peaches, then chop into smaller chunks.
  3. Pour the dates and water into blender and blend thoroughly.
  4. Add the lettuce to blender, blending thoroughly again.
  5. Add the banana and peaches, blend.
  6. Add a large handful of ice and blend, baby, blend! (You can skip the ice if using frozen peaches or banana)