Healthy Vegan Friday #72: Holiday Dishes & Season of Change

December 6, 2013

Healthy Vegan Friday collage for Holiday Dishes

Hi there and happy Healthy Vegan Friday! This post is bittersweet as this is the last week I’ll be co-hosting the recipe link-up party. After 72 weeks(!), my co-hosts and I have decided it’s time for a break and a possible change in leadership. Don’t worry, it’s nothing dramatic, we all still love each other, but we collectively decided that it’s the right thing to do to free up more time for other projects.

One aspect of this link-up that is so cool is seeing how international the world of healthy vegan food bloggers is. We routinely have submissions from Canada, Israel, Europe, Australia, Asia, and California (we are a country unto ourselves, ‘dontcha know? HA!). I believe that Healthy Vegan Fridays is just one of several ways that the blogosphere further develops our community and it has truly be an honor to act as a creator and co-host for the past year and a half. Thank you.

I know some of you may be disappointed by this change, but I can promise you that the time saved for me will be used productively. While continuing to work on developing original whole food recipes using minimal oil, salt, and added sugars, I’ll also be debuting a brand new blog project at the first of the year that is gonna be cool, I promise. For more about changes in my personal life, please see the end of this post.

Also, if you are interested in acting as a host or co-host of Healthy Vegan Fridays, please shoot me an e-mail: carrieonveganATgmailDOTcom.

Okay, onto the top recipes from this past week.

Reader Favorites (as selected by the total number of clicks):

1. Raw Gingerbread Cookies from The Healthy Maven:

Raw Gingerbread Cookies from The Healthy Maven

2. Cardamom Eggnog from Ragdoll Kitchen:

Cardamom Eggnog from Ragdoll Kitchen

3. Chocolate Frosting Oatmeal from Egginon:

Chocolate Frosting Oatmeal from Egginon

My favorites (including recipes made with minimal oil, salt, and added sugars). All of these recipes are special and would be fantastic as part of my ideal healthy vegan holiday menu. Now who wants to come over and cook them all for me?:

Stuffed Bell Peppers from Because I Like Chocolate:

Stuffed Bell Peppers from Because I Like Chocolate

Black-Eyed Pea and Sweet Potato Chili from Lymie Eating Coconut:

Black-Eyed Pea and Sweet Potato Chili from Lymie Eating Coconut

Gluten-Free Vegan Stuffing from Strength and Sunshine:

Gluten-Free Vegan Stuffing from Strength and Sunshine

Spaghetti Squash Stir Fry from Rock My Vegan Socks:

Spaghetti Squash Stir Fry from Rock My Vegan Socks

Jamaican Jerk Cranberry Blackberry Sauce from Yup, It’s Vegan:

Jamaican Jerk Cranberry Blackberry Sauce from Yup, It's Vegan

Avocado Hot Chocolate from Hello Veggy:

Avocado Hot Chocolate from Hello Veggy


I finished the last class for my master’s degree in public health nutrition this week. This is a big change for me, but I cannot tell you how ecstatic I am to be done. You probably don’t know this, but I’ve been studying nutrition on a part-time basis for almost 10 years now, between taking the undergraduate classes in nutrition when I wanted to be a registered dietitian to then transitioning to the master’s degree program instead. Needless to say, it’s time for me to bring my academic career to a close, although I won’t say that I’ll never pursue a doctorate in public health at some point like, maybe, when I’m 60.

The first question I’m getting asked by friends is “what are you going to do now?” Great question! My best answer is that I want to continue practicing public health and inspiring healthy, compassionate living through my blog, app, and other projects.

I have decided, though, that it’s time to evolve the format of my blog to really highlight whole food, plant-based recipes using a minimal amount of oil, salt, and added sugars. What this means is that I need more time for reseach, testing (and re-testing!), writing, and photographing. So, for at least the near future, my blogging frequency is going to slow way down.

I’m letting you know ahead of time so you don’t worry. I know some of you have followed me for several years now and have read many intimate details about my emotional and physical health including my experience with PCOS, disordered eating, and stupid cancer. I want to assure you that I am doing great, I am probably feeling the best I have ever felt, and my first priority remains taking care of myself and my little family (hubby and fur-babies) so I can do my best work. I am very excited about the next chapter of my life and am enormously grateful for the opportunity to do what I love. Thank you for all of your amazing support.

I also wanted to say that even though I wrote last week about experimenting with intermittent fasting, I’ve amended that post with an update and you can see it here. The bottom line is that while IF gave me a chance to re-connect with my hunger cues, it’s not something I am continuing consistently long-term and I wanted to keep you current.

I have two recipes I’m perfecting that I can’t wait to share with you soon. As always, you can keep in touch with me through the comments on my blog, email, or on FacebookTwitterPinterestInstagram, or Google+.

Lastly, don’t forget to enter my giveaway for a copy of Dr. Fuhrman’s Eat to Live Cookbook; I’m picking a winner on Monday.

Have a wonderful weekend!

{ 43 comments… read them below or add one }

Suzanne @ hello, veggy! December 6, 2013 at 6:32 am

I’m so proud of everything you have accomplished, Carrie! Thank you for sharing your stories and recipe with us!



Carrie December 6, 2013 at 6:46 am

Thank you for the words of support, Suzanne! I’ve always loved reading about your progression through school and I think you are so fantastic. Sending you a giant virtual hug!


Shannon December 6, 2013 at 7:01 am

Carrie, I’m honored to be featured on the last Healthy Vegan Friday {for now}. Participating has introduced me to many amazing bloggers and recipes. I appreciate all the time & hard work you have put into it! Also, congratulations on finishing your master’s classes… very exciting. All the best & I hope that you take some time to relax!!


Carrie December 6, 2013 at 9:33 am

Thank you, Shannon!!! :)


Miachel (Spiced Curiosity) December 6, 2013 at 9:21 am

Love all these tasty vegan holiday dishes! :)

I’m sharing a simple, tasty recipe for Miso-Roasted Brussels Sprouts. They’re a big hit with my family.


Miachel (Spiced Curiosity) December 6, 2013 at 9:22 am

I got so excited I didn’t read all the way.

Thanks for hosting all these Vegan Fridays…you’re always so warm and enthusiastic. Can’t wait to see what great things you do in the future!



Carrie December 6, 2013 at 9:34 am

Ha ha, no problem, Miachel! I’ll swing over to your blog to check out your latest recipe. Take care and have a great weekend! :)


Laura S. December 6, 2013 at 10:56 am

Congrats on all you’ve worked so hard for. I am sad to see Healthy Vegan Fridays go but we all totally understand and will be here whenever you are!! xoxo Laura


Carrie December 6, 2013 at 11:25 am

Thanks for the note, Laura! I won’t be away from the blog long, it’s still my passion and and I really depend on the community. It will be nice to slow the pace, though. :) Hope you are well and have a wonderful holiday season. Xoxo.


lymieeatingcoconut December 6, 2013 at 11:05 am

Everything looks great. Sorry to see it go but I am interested in helping keep it going.

Thanks for posting about my chili! I could use a cup right about now. :-)


Carrie December 6, 2013 at 11:25 am

Got your e-mail. Yay! :)


Jennifer December 6, 2013 at 11:23 am

So sorry to see it go! But Looking forward to the new project! YAY! Congrats in advance!


Carrie December 6, 2013 at 11:25 am

Thanks, Jennifer! :)


Diane December 6, 2013 at 11:43 am

Sounds like a wonderful time to be pregnant or to adopt and start a family, Carrie! :)


Renard Moreau December 6, 2013 at 2:11 pm

[ Smiles ] Carrie, you are the greatest.

I have never had raw gingerbread cookies before; it looks most interesting and thank you for another great vegan recipe!


Mallory December 6, 2013 at 4:36 pm

Thanks for sharing my peppers! Have a great weekend!


Emma December 7, 2013 at 9:48 am

Thanks for all your hard work with HVF! I’ve so enjoyed taking part and seeing everyone’s creations week after week and hope somebody decides to take over the running of it :)
All the best with new projects and enjoy a break!


Lori December 7, 2013 at 1:14 pm

I’m a recent “Carrie convert”. I’ve enjoyed reading over some of your recent blog posts and trying several of your amazing recipes on your app. Congratulations on completing your Masters Degree. What a wonderful accomplishment! Wishing you the best of luck in all your new adventures! :-)


Carrie December 7, 2013 at 2:16 pm

Hi Lori! Thanks for the awesome message. I’m feeling so loved by everyone’s comments and more motivated than ever to keep making my blog and recipes better and better. Sending you big hugs!!! :)


Alexandra @ Made to Glow December 7, 2013 at 1:34 pm

Congratulations on finishing your MPH, Carrie, and I can’t wait for all of your new projects! You are such an inspiration. Thank you for sharing with us and cheers to your future projects.


Carrie December 7, 2013 at 2:17 pm

Thank you, Alex, and I can’t wait to finish writing my guest post on your fantastic website. Yay for MPH holders! :)


Linda5sons December 7, 2013 at 2:17 pm

I love your blog, and I’ve loved HVF posts each week. While I’m sad to read that HVF is taking a hiatus, I am glad that you know what direction you want to take and are ready to take that plunge. You are an encouragement to so many people!
And PS, I usually enjoy looking even at the non-Nutritarian submissions, because they offer inspiration for recipes I can create which further healing in my body while tantalizing my (and my family’s) taste buds.


Carrie December 8, 2013 at 7:06 am

Thanks for the comment, Linda! I’m sad to not host HVF’s anymore, but so happy to have more time to develop recipes. The good news is that there has been a ton of interest to continue HVF with new hosts, so I’ll be letting you know soon where to find the link-up in the future. I agree, I have gotten a ton of recipe ideas from all of the submissions. Have a great day!


Patty December 8, 2013 at 7:35 pm

Well, this is lovely Carrie. I am so happy for you that your master’s program has come to a conclusion (even though you may pursue a doctorate in the future, which I know you’d do great with), and that you are feeling better than ever. All great news. I’m exciting for your cool blog changes in the new year….I can’t wait to read all about it. I agree with you that the IF has many benefits, but in my personal experiences whenever I do something like that it usually breaks me and makes me want to binge later and obsess over food. So, for me, I’m learning to just go for balance in the majority of my meals and days, and this is when I do best. Occasionally, but pretty rarely, I’ll do all juicing, or all smoothies, for a just few days. And, I enjoy exercising, as you do. I have a lot of work to do in still healing from somewhat recent injuries, and need to reduce my weight that I put on being depressed and in pain. I think you recently shared about some personal work you’ve done for overall stress management and emotional health, and these are things I continue to struggle with. If you have time, and don’t mind sharing, I was wondering if you’d email me with some of the resources you used to work on those things, books, methods, etc. Then I could look up those things and maybe benefit from them as well. I really feel unless I do some work like that, that I’ll continue to turn to overeating on a yo-yo. When I can afford it, I’d like to do some therapy as well. Thank you!
Much love and respect,


Carrie December 9, 2013 at 6:56 am

Thank you, Patty, for your wonderful words of support. I know I always say this, but I can’t thank you enough for the words of encouragement and overall positive voice you bring to my blog (and my life)! :) I will e-mail you some of my resources on emotional health.

I have done a ton of work this past year with a professional therapist (I have actually gone the group therapy route), but it’s ongoing and I will likely need continuing support to stay in balance. I’ve chosen to go the non-medication route to deal with depression and anxiety (and stress and family issues and overeating, etc.), but that means that the burden is on me to make sure I take care of myself. It’s a big responsibility and for anyone reading this comment who does need professional help or medication, I want to encourage him or her to take those necessary steps. Life is too short and each of us is too valuable not to share our love and talents with the world.

Love and respect back to you, Patty! Xoxo.


Patty December 9, 2013 at 4:35 pm

Thank you, Carrie!! That means so much to me! xo :)


janet @ the taste space December 9, 2013 at 6:20 am

Congratulations on everything, Carrie. I look forward to your changes with the blog. To be honest, I was never sure how you 3 had the energy to do HVF every week but it was a great way to discover new blogs… it was how I found yours! :)


Carrie December 9, 2013 at 6:57 am

Thank you, Janet! Your contributions to Healthy Vegan Fridays were always among my favorites and I really admire your creativity in the kitchen as well as your beautiful photographs. I’m happy to tell you that there has been a lot of interest in continuing HVF with new leadership, so it will live on! Do you have any interest in co-hosting, btw? :)


janet @ the taste space December 9, 2013 at 7:01 am

Thanks for the kind words, Carrie! Someone else suggested I co-host HVFs but I really try to keep my blog as a fun hobby and I know I wouldn’t be able to commit to it (other than sharing my recipes, as always). :)


Carrie December 9, 2013 at 3:08 pm

Sounds like a good plan, Janet! Sometimes I forget that most bloggers have “real” jobs, too, ha ha. :)


Alex Caspero MA,RD (@delishknowledge) December 9, 2013 at 11:05 am

Great post Carrie! While I am sad to see you give up your position as they lead on HVF, I am excited for all of the opportunities that lay ahead for you! Congrats on you’re masters!


Carrie December 9, 2013 at 3:07 pm

Thank you, Alex! I really appreciate the words of support. I am also sad to step back from HVFs, but I’m so happy I was able to connect with other fabuloso bloggers like you over the last year and a half. I was planning on e-mailing you this week because I would love to feature some of your recipes on Vegan Delish. I’ll shoot you an e-mail soon. Xoxo. :)


kimmythevegan December 9, 2013 at 6:30 pm

Oh… I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t disappointed about HVF. It’s my favourite blog hop. It would be nice if it continued… but it wouldn’t be the same without you awesome ladies.
It sounds like you are at a very exciting chapter in your life – finished school and ready to tackle new & exciting things =)
Looking forward to seeing more of your wonderful creations.
Oh and thanks for highlighting my recipe!!!! =D


Jeanette | Jeanette's Healthy Living December 11, 2013 at 4:59 pm

Congratulations Carrie! I know how hard it is to go back and get a degree, so it is quite an accomplishment and one to be proud of. Can’t wait to see where you go from here. Very exciting times!


Carrie December 12, 2013 at 8:40 am

Thank you, Jeanette! I really appreciate your words of support. Let’s keep in touch and let me know how your studies progress. I love the MPH degree because it’s broad and allows for so many different areas of interest. Happy holidays!!!


Sandra from December 13, 2013 at 1:23 pm

Hi Carrie
totally understand your decision – just putting together the cookies event was a big time commitment… and running an event like HVF regularly is a totally different ball game…

Congrats to finishing the last class of your degree course – what an achievement – and abundance of knowledge. I will be interesting what direction you’ll take with all of this. But it will be nice to explore and find what you love doing. I’ll watch this space ;-)

All my best,


Carrie December 13, 2013 at 4:14 pm

Thank you for the kind words of support, Sandra, and for including me in your holiday cookie round-up! I love that you got the image of Cookie Monster in there, he was one of my fave characters as a kid. Oh, who am I kidding, he’s still one of my favorites! :)


Sandra from December 14, 2013 at 1:13 am

Thank you Carrie. He’s one of my favorites too :) My partner’s dad met Jim Henson when he was doing work for The Labyrinth movie with David Bowie and my partner was still a kid. Jim apparently brought some of the puppets to the set and let my partner play with them – how cool is that?! Why didn’t I know my partner then ey ;-)


Carrie December 14, 2013 at 1:12 pm

Oh my goodness, such a cool story and now I want to re-watch Labyrinth, that was one of my favorites movies!!! :)


Sandra December 14, 2013 at 10:15 am

Hi, I will miss the blog hop, I used to submit weekly, but haven’t had time to post recipes on my blog recently and have a very busy life. Still hopefully it will come back even if someone else hosts it. I would be interested in co- hosting it, but it may be something thats difficult so not sure. Best of luck with new ventures.


Carrie December 14, 2013 at 1:11 pm

Thank you, Sandra! I enjoyed seeing your recipes on Healthy Vegan Fridays. If you are interested in co-hosting, would you e-mail me: carrieonveganATgmailDOTcom? Thanks! :)


Deborah Davis December 22, 2013 at 5:58 pm

Hi Carrie,
I am happy to hear about your latest achievements and your plans for the future!
All the best to you and happy holidays!


Carrie December 23, 2013 at 6:34 am

Thank you, Deborah!!! Happy holidays to you, too. :)


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