vegan bacon avocado toast

Vegan Bacon Avocado Toast

I love avocado toast. My basic avocado toast recipe is usually enough to satisfy the craving, but sometimes I want to craft something “fancier.” Whether it’s a relaxing Sunday brunch or a breakfast option with extra protein before a busy day, this tempeh-topped vegan bacon avocado toast is a delicious version of this millennial favourite. Admittedly, I very much fit that cliche. 

Jump to Recipe

For a low-spoon, wait-free version of this recipe, you could use Lightlife’s smoky tempeh strips as your “bacon.” I haven’t tried it in this context, but I love them on their own! I have no doubt this would be just as tasty.

Or, you could switch out this simple avocado mash with the seasoned version from our brunch-worthy avocado toast. This version is ready for brunch already, but the extra flavour would take it up a notch!

Similarly, feel free to use the tempeh bacon from this recipe as a side for your other favourite brunch dishes. It’s plenty delicious on its own, too, of course.

Add a hot sauce drizzle or make your version of a vegan BLT. Make this recipe your own! All that matters is that you love the final, tasty result.

vegan tempeh bacon avocado toast

Vegan Bacon-Topped Avocado Toast

Prep Time 1 hr
Cook Time 15 mins
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Servings 8 slices


  • Skillet or griddle


  • 1 package tempeh sliced thin
  • 1 avocado
  • 1/2 tbsp lemon juice optional
  • 8 slices bread of choice

Vegan Bacon Marinade

  • 1/2 cup soy sauce or substitute
  • 3/4 tsp liquid smoke
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup sugar-free, if desired
  • 1/2 tbsp garlic powder
  • black pepper to taste
  • paprika to taste
  • nutritional yeast optional, for topping


  • Combine marinade ingredients in a small bowl and mix well.
  • Coat tempeh slices in sauce, ensuring each slice is submerged. Allow them to soak for at least half an hour, but preferably an hour or longer for optimal flavor.
  • Grease skillet, if necessary and cook tempeh “bacon” over medium-high heat.
  • Toast chosen bread. While it’s toasting, mash avocado, adding lemon juice to preserve colour if desired.
  • Top toast with mashed avocado, then finish with slices of tempeh bacon.
  • Optional: Sprinkle with nutritional yeast.
  • Serve & enjoy!
Keyword Avocado, Tempeh, Vegan, Vegan Bacon

Let us know in the comments if you’ve tried this vegan bacon-topped avocado toast, or tag us @anideallifeblog on your favourite social media platform!

White Bean-Avocado Salad

Like many people, I enjoy a cold sandwich option come summertime. It’s just too darn warm out to eat many hot options. And turning on the oven to cook? Ugh. For non-vegans, these are often made with simple deli meats or chicken, tuna, or egg salads. We vegans can use substitutes like Tofurky’s deli slices to replicate an omni sandwich. And, if you’ve used our referral link to order them through Instacart, you’ve saved $10 in the process! Or, we’ll use out signature creativity to come up with recipes like chickpea “tuna” or tofu “egg” salad…or this white bean-avocado salad.

Jump to Recipe

My go-to white bean-avocado salad can be eaten in a sandwich. But, really, the options are endless. This would be great atop a standard green salad, over toast, or even as a dip, especially if mashed a little extra! I’ve put guac on tortilla chips, I’ve put bean dips and hummus on tortilla chips, but not this white bean-avocado salad (yet)!

However you serve, I genuinely think you’ll enjoy this gluten-free/vegan recipe. The creamy avocado blends beautifully with the mashed beans, while the dijon and basil lend it a remarkable spice. Even the lemon juice, included primarily to keep the avocado from browning, offers a refreshing tang!

As with any of my recipes, I encourage you to add, substitute, and otherwise adjust the ingredients and methods to make a dish you’ll absolutely love. Be sure to share in the comments or @anideallifeblog if you find an especially tasty version of this or another An Ideal Life recipe!


White Bean-Avocado Salad

It may not be the prettiest dish on its own, but this white bean-avocado salad is a tasty, refreshing option for topping salads, making sandwiches, and more!
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 10 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 6 sandwiches


  • Potato masher or large fork


  • 2 15 oz. cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed or alternate white bean of choice
  • 2-3 avocados diced adjust according to size of fruits & personal preference
  • 1 tbsp dried basil or substitute 2-3 tbsp fresh basil
  • 1/4-1/2 cup dijon mustard to taste
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • salt, pepper, or preferred spices optional, to taste


  • Toss diced avocado in lemon juice to coat thoroughly.
  • Mash half of the white beans thoroughly, until mostly smooth.
  • Add avocado and remaining white beans to the puree and stir lightly to combine.
  • Begin mashing the mixture, then add dijon and basil or additional herbs.
  • Continue mashing, making sure to evenly distribute spices.
  • Chill until ready to serve, then enjoy atop a green salad, on a sandwich, over toast, or as a tasty dip!
Keyword Avocado, Dijon, White Bean, White Beans

Serve this at your next summer picnic or whip up a batch for an easy lunch. However you make it, it’s sure to be delicious!

Vegan Bean Soup

Mom’s Bean Soup Made Vegan

My family has been making variations of this simple, budget-friendly bean soup for decades. It’s been passed through generations with a swap or two every few years. As I was growing up, it was an absolute staple during our family picnics! Most recently, my mom and I set out to make this family recipe vegan. Today, I’m sharing the “secret” with you!

Jump to Recipe

Getting the right ingredients

Hurst’s bean soup mix offers a batch of 15 different beans, adding plenty of dimension to this soup. Even better, Hurst writes, “Currently, none of our seasonings contain animal products. Therefore, you can use our entire line of products in vegetarian recipes with delicious results.” This means the included seasoning packet is perfect for this meal! If you purchase a different brand, any vegan ham flavoured broth base can be added to taste. Or you can even substitute the water in this recipe for vegetable broth.

Like your soups extra creamy? Use an immersion blender on a portion of the soup. Prefer a bit of bite? Skip that step and enjoy your bean soup whole. Add your vegan bean soup to a bowl or mug and top it with some freshly ground black pepper or your spice of choice.

When to serve this vegan BEAN SOUP

While I always associate this soup with summertime thanks to our family tradition, it’s also perfect for winter. Can you imagine coming home from the cold to a crockpot of this waiting and steaming? Cosy and delicious!

A snowy winter day by the fire or a breezy summer afternoon at a picnic, this vegan bean soup offers homey flavour, room for customisation, and enough bulk to fill you up on its own. Or, it can be the perfect complement to the rest of a meal!

Vegan Bean Soup

Mom’s Bean Soup Made Vegan

My family has been making a simple, budget-friendly bean soup for decades. Then, my mom and I made this family recipe vegan!
Course Soup
Cuisine American
Servings 12


  • Immersion blender (optional)


  • one 20 oz. bag mixed beans soaked overnight
  • vegan ham seasoning to taste (if not included with beans)
  • 2-3 cans whole new potatoes, halved or quartered according to personal preference
  • black pepper to taste (sprinkle just before serving)
  • 8 cups water approximately


  • Drain your soaked beans and add to the pot, along with water, potatoes, and seasonings.
  • Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer for at least one hour.
  • Serve with black pepper and enjoy!
Keyword Beans, Cosy, Family, Soup

If you try this vegan bean soup, be sure to let us know in the comments or at @anideallifeblog. We’re so excited to see this family recipe move on to others!

antoni-inspired vegan hot dogs

Antoni’s Fancy Queer Eye Hot Dogs Made Vegan

I love Netflix’s Queer Eye and, while each of the Fab Five has something wonderful to offer, food and wine expert Antoni Porowski is my personal favourite. When he took the basic hot dog and made it “special” for Season 1, Episode 8’s fundraiser, I knew I’d have to try these unique topping options. Of course, hot dogs and each of these toppings are pretty far from vegan. That could only mean one thing—I would have to take Antoni’s fancy Queer Eye hot dogs and make them vegan!

antoni hot dogs queer eye

All rights belong to their respective parties—my recipe is inspired by Antoni’s but I lay no claim to the original, nor to related materials and images. 

Quick-Pickled Carrots & Sweet Dijon: Jump to Recipe

Chipotle Mayo & Potato Chips: Jump to Recipe

I’ve only tried these with Aldi’s Earth Grown veggie dogs so far (sorry, Antoni), but I’m sure the toppings would be delicious on carrot dogs or a similar substitute, too. Is topping a marinated carrot with pickled carrots an excess of said vegetable? Maybe, but, in my book, there’s no such thing as too much carrot!

Put your hot dogs on the grill for a vegan barbecue or simply heat them up indoors for a delicious lunch or dinner option.

Create your veggie dogs from scratch or buy them in a premade pack. Pick up your carrots pre-pickled, go all-out with your own pickling, or use a quick pickle like the one I use below, based on a recipe from The Minimalist Baker. Make your own aquafaba mayo or buy a jar of your favourite vegan brand and add chipotle. Make whatever accommodations you need to (especially if you’re low on spoons), but be sure to try these veggie dogs.

Inspired-by-Antoni Veggie Dogs with Quick-Pickled Carrots and Sweet Dijon

When Queer Eye’s Antoni Porowski made “fancy” hot dogs for a fundraiser in Season One, I knew I had to try a vegan version. This is an adaptation of his honey mustard/pickled carrot-topped hot dog!
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 5 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4 people


  • 4 veggie dogs premade meat substitute or plant-based option of choice (like carrot dogs!)
  • 4 buns gluten-free or otherwise (optional)

Quick-Pickled Carrots

  • 1 cup carrots cut small
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt or salt substitute
  • 2 tsp sugar or sugar substitute

Sweet Dijon

  • 3 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp agave


Quick-Pickled Carrots (make ahead)

  • Combine all ingredients but carrots in a saucepan and simmer until sugar and salt are dissolved.
  • Pour hot brine over carrots. Add additional water or vinegar as needed to cover them completely.
  • Seal the lid tightly and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, optimally 24 or more.

Sweet Dijon

  • Mix together dijon and agave until thoroughly combined.

Top your veggie dogs!

  • Cook veggie dogs as required/preferred, using an optional butterfly cut to help contain toppings.
  • If using bun or bread, drizzle with sweetened dijon before adding veggie dog.
  • Top cooked veggie dogs with pickled carrots, then drizzle with [more] sweet dijon to taste.
  • Serve & enjoy!


I tend to dice my carrots for a sort of pseudo-relish, while Antoni uses a julienne (“matchstick”) cut. Or, get your pickled carrots pre-made for a low-spoon option!
Extra pickled carrots? Enjoy them as a side, on their own as a snack, or in a different recipe!
Keyword Barbecue, Dijon, Vegan, Veggie


chipotle mayo veggie dog

Inspired-by-Antoni Veggie Dogs with Potato Chips and Chipotle Mayo

When Queer Eye’s Antoni Porowski made “fancy” hot dogs for a fundraiser in Season One, I knew I had to try a vegan version. This is an adaptation of his chipotle mayo/potato chip-topped hot dog!
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 5 mins
Total Time 15 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4 people


  • 4 veggie dogs premade meat substitute or plant-based option of choice (like carrot dogs!)
  • 4 buns gluten-free if preferred optional
  • 1/2-1 cup potato chips, crushed make your own or use your go-to vegan-friendly brand.

Chipotle Mayo

  • 1 tbsp adobe sauce adjust to taste
  • 1/4 cup vegan mayo use a store-bought brand or make your own (like aquafaba mayo)


  • Prepare vegan mayo if necessary, and stir in adobo sauce until well-combined.
  • Cook your veggie dogs as instructed/preferred, using an optional butterfly cut to help hold your toppings.
  • If using a bun, spread with a bit of chipotle mayo before placing your cooked veggie dog.
  • Add [more] chipotle mayo to taste, then top with crumbled potato chips.
  • Serve & enjoy!


Antoni uses ridged potato chips (my personal favourite), but I’m sure other varieties would be delicious, too!
Pick up a can of chipotle in adobo sauce for this recipe and save the rest for another recipe. Or, try your hand at making your own!
Keyword Barbecue, Vegan, Veggie

I hope to make these again soon, giving carrot dogs and some other veggie options a try and getting some more/higher-quality photos for this post. And, of course, I’m just plain looking forward to enjoying these Antoni-inspired veggie dogs once again!

Queer Eye Season 6 is currently filming and anticipated to premiere in fall 2021. Seasons 1-5 can be viewed on Netflix. Follow Antoni on Instagram for food, his cute pup, Neon, and plenty of the model-actor-chef himself, or pick up a copy of his cookbook, Antoni in the Kitchen.

Vegan Sausage Pasta Bake

Vegan Sausage Pasta Bake

Recently, a local market had a sudden influx of plant-based options—Lightlife Smoky Bacon Tempeh, Plant-Based Bratwurst, and Gardein sliced Italian saus’ge. This shop has constantly revolving inventory, so I knew I had to stock up, and stock up I did! I found that the “bacon” was quite tasty on its own (I love tempeh) and the bratwurst went beautifully with some simple broccoli. The Italian saus’ge slices reminded me of meatball pizza (which I had to make, of course). But that led to a bit of an Italian food streak, including a vegan sausage pasta bake.

Jump to Recipe

Now, I’m a big fan of pasta. I eat some sort of it at least once a week. More realistically, it’s far more often. Usually, it’s simple pasta with sauce, and maybe some Earth Grown (Aldi) or Gardein meatballs. Sometimes it’s my go-to vegan alfredo recipe. Now, it just might be this vegan sausage pasta bake!

Looking for some other vegan-friendly recipes? Check out our archive! 

Besides eating far too much of it, my favourite experience with this pasta bake actually has to do with my non-vegan sister. I made a dish of this pasta for the first time and sat it on the stove to cool a bit before diving in. I left the room and my sister went into the kitchen for something. When she saw the casserole dish of warm pasta, she thought it was something our mom had made. She had no idea it was vegan, and even commented on how good it looked! My family doesn’t quite “get” my veganism, so this was a huge win. And, of course, it doesn’t hurt that it taste pretty great.

Vegan Sausage Pasta Bake

I recently tried some new-to-me plant-based foods, including Gardein's sliced Italian sausage, which led to this easy vegan sausage pasta bake!
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 8


  • Oven
  • Casserole Dish, greased


  • 16 ounces pasta prepared
  • 24 ounces tomato sauce
  • 12 ounces non-dairy milk
  • 6-8 ounces vegan mozzarella
  • 4 ounces Gardein plant-based sliced italian saus'ge lightly browned
  • to taste oregano


  • Preheat oven to 375 F.
  • Add tomato sauce, milk, cooked pasta, and oregano to greased casserole dish and stir to coat.
  • Add sausage slices and cheese to taste (saving some cheese for topping) and stir to combine.
  • Top with cheese and extra oregano, if desired.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes or until cheese is brown and melted.
  • Serve & enjoy!


  1. I like to pour the non-dairy milk directly into the tomato sauce jar & shake to get the remnants in there!
  2. I typically use Earth Grown mozzarella shreds. But remember, some vegan cheese won't melt as well as their non-vegan counterparts—but they'll be delicious nevertheless! 
  3. Can substitute Italian seasoning blend in place of oregano, if preferred. 
Keyword Baked, Pasta

Mini - An Ideal Life

Mini - An Ideal Life

Have you made your own version of this pasta bake or another of my vegan recipes? Comment below or tag me at @anideallifeblog if you share on social media!

Brunch-Worthy Basic Avocado Toast

Like so many posts here on I’ve written, the story behind this recipe take place in England.  Really, avocado toast was my primary sustenance while living abroad (save, perhaps, for chips with a drizzle of vinegar)!  Whether I met up with a friend for brunch at Boston Tea Party or needed a filling breakfast before class, it was quick and delicious!  Over time, I’ve made my avocado toast recipe my own.

Jump to Recipe

The amounts below are largely estimated, since I “wing it” every time.  That being said, this recipe is extremely customisable. Originally, I topped it with a light sprinkle of red pepper flakes, but I soon realised I prefer it without. I’d occasionally try it with a bit of cumin or chili, but this is plenty delicious topping-free.  When I later discovered Aldi’s Who Needs the Bagel? seasoning, it was my go-to for a while. That’s the version pictured below!

Get your favourite Aldi seasonings delivered to your door with Instacart—and use our referral link for $10 off your first order!

In short, adjust to your heart’s content! A drizzle of sriracha would add some tasty spice, or you could add some other veggies for something even more nutritious. Or, try my tempeh-topped vegan bacon avocado toast for a version with more bulk and smoky flavour.

basic avocado toast

Basic Avocado Toast

Enjoy brunch-worth avocado toast without leaving home!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 5 mins
Total Time 10 mins
Servings 2 slices


  • 1 avocado large, ripe
  • 2 slices bread
  • 3/4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice approximately
  • 1/2 tsp salt approximately
  • 1/2 tsp cumin approximately
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder approximately
  • 1/2 tsp paprika approximately
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder approximately; can substitute garlic salt, but I usually hold the regular salt!
  • 1 pinch crushed red pepper optional
  • 1 pinch everything bagel seasoning optional


  • Toast bread. 
  • While toasting, halve avocado and scoop out the fruit. Mash with fork. 
  • Add oil and lemon juice, combine. 
  • Add salt, cumin, chili powder, paprika, and garlic powder.  
  • Scoop out half of the avocado mixture and spread on toast. Add remaining mixture to second piece of toast.  
  • Top with crushed red pepper flakes, everything bagel seasoning, or your preferred topping, if desired.  

Tried it?  Let us know what you think and be sure to share your version of my basic avoocado toast in the comments below or @anideallifeblog!

Vegan Ice Cream to Beat the Heat

Vegan Ice Cream Options to Beat the Heat

I’m not much of a fan of warm weather to begin with, but when summer hits here in Pennsylvania, I’m already waiting for autumn.  But, in the meantime, ice cream is the perfect treat to make even the most sweltering summertime heat a little more bearable. Luckily, there are lots of vegan ice cream options for us dairy-free folks!


Believe it or not, some of your favourite ice cream brands offer a non-dairy option—or a variety of flavours!  Here are a few of my favourites:

So Delicious

So Delicious is a huge player in non-dairy products, and for good reason!  They have dozens of options for dairy-free frozen desserts, with an assortment of “milk” bases.

Ben & Jerry’s

Ben & Jerry’s is a long-time favourite for so many people, and their vegan options are delicious!  Chocolate Fudge Brownie is a personal favourite.


Baskin-Robbins was a later addition to the vegan-friendy ice cream game, but better late than never! Try their non-dairy options, including strawberry streusel or chocolate chip cookie dough, at a BR near you for a cool, convenient treat.

Halo Top

Halo Top’s non-dairy options are some of my personal favourites!  Chocolate-covered banana is probably my top pick, but they’ve got more than a dozen flavours to choose from.  Candy bar was another favourite before we discovered my peanut allergy!


I actually had no idea that Häagen-Dazs had vegan options, before researching this post!  These are some I’ll definitely have to try ASAP.


Tofutti’s ice cream sandwiches were actually the very first kind I tried after going vegan!  They were available in my college dining hall, of all places.  I’m afraid I haven’t tried many of their many options since, but those cuties will always hold a special place in my heart!


This is another one that came as a total surprise to me!  Breyers truly seems to be everywhere, so I have no idea how I never knew they had vegan options.  I’m on a mission to find that non-dairy Oreo!


Vegan Vanilla Ice Cream, Loving It Vegan

A classic!

Cold Brew Coffee & Coconut Milk Ice Cream, Feed Your Beauty

Coffee is always the answer.

Chocolate Banana Ice Cream, Elephantastic Vegan

Bananas are a super common ingredient in “nice cream,” so this pairing is a must!

5-Minute Vegan Creamsicles, It Doesn’t Taste Like Chicken

Creamsicles have got to be one of the refreshing desserts out there!

Vegan Lavender Ice Cream, Homegrown Provisions

I love, love, love lavender, so this is one I’ll definitely have to try soon!

Vegan Key Lime Pie Ice Cream Sandwiches, Rabbit and Wolves

Merging delicious desserts can only make another delicious dessert, right?

Healthy Coconut Strawberry Banana “Ice Cream,” Tastefulventure

Strawberry banana is one of my favourite combinations!

Vegan Cookie Dough Ice Cream, The Loopy Whisk

Like coffee and chocolate, cookie dough is always a good idea.

Vegan Pumpkin Spice Ice Cream, Create Mindfully

Remember how I mentioned being ready for autumn?  This is the perfect transition dessert!

Aquafaba Ice Cream, The Hidden Veggies

Aquafaba is pretty much a vegan miracle ingredient!

Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream, Wallflower Kitchen

I always think of my first college roommate when I think of mint chocolate chip—it was her favourite!

Strawberry Shortcake Ice Cream Bars, Vegan Huggs

My memory’s a bit fuzzy, but I think they used to have the “normal” version of these at school every so often! It’s super exciting to find a vegan option, and the chance to have a taste of nostalgia.

Vegan Turmeric Ginger Ice Cream, Jessi’s Kitchen

Turmeric and ginger are both chock-full of health benefits…so this means ice cream can be healthy, right?

Chocolate Malted Vegan Ice Cream, The Cheeky Chickpea

I never liked malt as a kid, but I discovered it just before going vegan and have jumped on every chance to try a vegan sort since!

Local options Near You

Don’t want to make your own, but don’t want to run to the store either?  Keep an eye out for local vegan options!  Here in Pennsylvania, Vegan Treats offers delicious vegan soft serve, and I recently found out that Yogurt City in Dickson City offers vegan options, too!  As vegan offerings grow internationally, there’s a decent chance that you can find local options that are closer than you’d expect.  And, if not, you’ve got these brands and recipes on hand to keep you well-stocked through the rest of the summer!

Which vegan ice cream option is your favourite? Let us know in the comments!

Homemade (Accidentally Vegan) Cranberry Sauce

Homemade (Accidentally Vegan) Cranberry Sauce

I was never really a fan of cranberry sauce when growing up.  Besides just being a picky kid, I always pictured the gelatinous canned kind.  That was hardly appealing! But, when I discovered the homemade type, I was hooked.

Jump to Recipe


Ever since then, I’ve demanded (okay, maybe I asked rather nicely) we have my go-to homemade recipe alongside the jellied kind, if not as the main event (well, the main event in terms of cranberry-based dishes).

This yummy cranberry sauce is a billion times better than the canned version (in my clearly unbiased opinion).  And, with a bit of care in choosing your ingredients, it’s accidentally vegan, too! Pay attention to your marmalade, in particular—you want one that uses pectin rather than gelatin (which is non-vegan and, unfortunately, very prevalent).

cranberry sauce ingredients

Orange is a perfect flavour complement to the tangy cranberries.  Together, they’re the perfect accent to a heavy Thanksgiving dinner! And, though I associate this with Thanksgiving and the holiday season at large, you could make this any time of year, really.

Best of all, this recipe couldn’t be much simpler. Once you’ve got your cranberries hot enough & popping, you can largely relax while the sauce simmers. On Thanksgiving, in particular, that’s a welcome concept. We have enough food to prepare otherwise! You can even prepare your cranberry sauce the night before and refrigerate it until the big event.

Try it and let us know what you think!

Homemade Cranberry Sauce

This tangy-sweet topping is the perfect addition to Thanksgiving or any occasion!
Prep Time 0 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Servings 20


  • Saucepan
  • Stovetop


  • 24 ounces cranberries whole, fresh
  • 16 ounces orange marmalade vegan
  • 1 cup water
  • 3/4 cup sugar or sugar substitute
  • 2 tsp cinnamon


  • Add all ingredients to saucepan and heat on high, stirring frequently for 15 minutes.
  • Once cranberries start to pop, reduce heat and simmer for another 15 minutes.
  • Remove from heat, let cool, and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Keyword Thanksgiving


cranberry sauce ingredients - stovetop

Mini - An Ideal Life

salad stuffed shells

Salad Stuffed Shells

I love pasta salad.  But I also love veggies and recognise their importance. So, when I saw an image of salad stuffed shells on Pinterest (are you following us yet?), I knew I had to try it.  I got a few strange looks from my family—I won’t deny it, it does seem strange—but it was so delicious that I didn’t care.

Jump to Recipe

I kept the toppings separate so we could mix and match, but you could easily combine them all initially to make the “filling.”  Here, I just used some simple cherry tomatoes alongside the lettuce.

I used Italian dressing here, but feel free to grab your favourite!  I’m sure a creamy dressing would go beautifully with the pasta shells. Try it for yourself and see!

Really, the beauty of this recipe is in its versatility. Use your favourite greens and whatever you’d grab off a salad bar. Croutons, shredded carrots, or even diced red beets would add colour, flavour, and texture! However you fill them, these salad stuffed shells are a tasty, if unconventional, dish.

Closeup Salad Stuffed Shells

Salad Stuffed Shells

These salad stuffed shells are a great way to satisfy pasta cravings while getting your veggies in!
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Servings 6


  • 1 large head lettuce
  • 1 12 oz. box jumbo shell pasta
  • salad toppings (tomato, cucumber, or whatever you like best!
  • your favourite salad dressing


  • Cook the pasta according to directions on box.  Once cooked, drain pasta and allow it to cool.  
  • Meanwhile, chop/shred lettuce and prepare toppings as desired.
  • Add salad mixture to cooled shells individually. Top with dressing to taste.  
  • Serve & enjoy!

Super simple, and great for a hot summer day! Let us know in the comments if you try these salad stuffed shells for yourself, or tag us at @anideallifeblog.

Buffalo Cauliflower Wings

Buffalo Cauliflower Wings

One of the first recipes I posted on my previous blog, For the Sake of Good Taste, was an all-time personal favourite: a buffalo cauliflower sandwich. In a similar vein, I’m a huge fan of buffalo cauliflower wings.

Jump to Recipe


I first made a version of these buffalo cauliflower wings during my freshman year of college. A friend and I hosted a super bowl party for our larger friend group and I was hooked! Now, I can’t remember the recipe we used. But that’s okay⁠—it started my love affair with buffalo cauliflower in all its forms.

Since then, I’ve tried dozens of different recipes and adapted my own to come up with this one…though let’s be honest, I’ll almost definitely adapt it more.  I’ve made it with fresh and frozen cauliflower florets, homemade or store-bought buffalo sauce, and with or without the crispy batter and coating.

It’s delicious all of these ways and likely more! Find a new, creative take? Let me know in the comments so I can try too! Or, tag us @anideallifeblog on Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, or Facebook.

Superbowl party? Look no further than these buffalo cauliflower wings. Just looking for a tasty side? They work for that, too!

Looking for more cauliflower recipes? Try my go-to dijon-roasted florets or buffalo cauliflower sandwich!

Buffalo Cauliflower Wings

Buffalo Cauliflower Wings

Spicy and oh-so-delicious, these buffalo cauliflower "wings" are perfect for Superbowl Sunday, another game day, or a delicious everyday side!
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 4


  • Oven
  • Baking Sheet


  • 1 head cauliflower cleaned and cut, or 12 oz. package of cauliflower florets
  • 2/3 cup flour or almond flour, plus extra for coating (optional)
  • 1 tbsp white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup hot sauce adjust to taste
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup vegan butter or margarine melted


  • Preheat oven to 450 F.
  • Combine flour, water, and a dash of hot sauce to create a batter.
  • Coat each floret in batter and place on a lined baking sheet.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the batter has become golden brown.
  • While cauliflower bites are cooking, prepare your buffalo sauce by combining remaining ingredients.
  • Coat cauliflower in sauce. If desired, sprinkle with additional almond flour for an extra crispy exterior.
  • Return to oven for 5-10 minutes or until crisp.
  • Serve & enjoy!
Keyword Buffalo, Cauliflower, Sides

Mini - An Ideal Life