All Posts By:

Kinzey Ray

  • Food

    Chicken Crescent Pockets

    Chicken Crescent Pockets Recipe Dinner Dairy Free Kinzey Ray

    These Chicken Crescent Pockets aka Chicken Muffins are one of my favorite recipes inspired by my sister!! This is my own remix of Pillsbury’s Chicken Crescent Squares, my sister made this recipe once and it was good…but was missing something to make it AMAZING! After many years of tweaks and experimentation, I’ve finally made it into a perfect masterpiece that my whole family loves.

    When I first went dairy-free this was the one recipe I was SO sad about saying goodbye to, since it’s made with cream cheese and butter. I really try to limit my use of “dairy-substitutes” but this is one recipe I make an exception for and have been able to swap out some products to make it dairy-free. You obviously can choose to make it with regular cream cheese and butter or use dairy free options, either way it is DELIGHTFUL!

    Chicken Crescent Pockets

    Ingredients:

    • 1 package (8 oz) Daiya Dairy-Free Cream Cheese, softened
    • 1 tablespoon Earth Balance Dairy-Free butter, softened
    • 2 cups cubed cooked chicken (I season my chicken with Montreal Steak Seasoning)
    • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
    • 3 stalks of celery, chopped
    • 1 tablespoon flavorless liquid cooking coconut oil
    • 1 tablespoon jalapeño pepper, seeded & minced (optional) – I like a little spice to these, by seeding the pepper the spice is very subtle
    • 1/2 lb (approx. half a bag) sweet baby peppers, chopped
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
    • 2 tablespoons dairy-free milk (I use almond or cashew milk)
    • 2 cans (8 oz) Pillsbury™ refrigerated Big & Flakey crescent rolls (you only use a can and a half, so you’ll have a few extra crescents for later!)
    • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
    • 3/4 cup seasoned croutons, crushed
    • Non-Stick cooking spray
    • Large Muffin Pan (optional but highly recommend)

    Instructions:

    1. Heat liquid coconut oil over medium heat, add chopped onions, peppers, and celery, stirring occasionally, cook until soft and onions are translucent (about 10-15 minutes)

    2. Heat oven to 350°F.
    In medium bowl, mix cream cheese and 1 tablespoon softened butter; beat until smooth.
    Tip: Heat cream cheese and butter into the microwave for 1 minute to soften, then beat until smooth

    3. Add cooked chicken, sautéed veggies, jalapeño, salt, pepper, and dairy-free milk to cream cheese and butter mixture; mix well.

    4. Spray large muffin pan with non-stick cooking spray

    5. Separate dough into rectangles, firmly press perforations to seal. Once you have a rectangle, take two sides of the rectangle and firmly press edges together to seal create a little triangle looking cup. Place the cup into the muffin pan. Tip: It’s easier to make one dough cup at a time, fill, make the next cup, fill, etc.

    6. Spoon chicken mixture into your little dough cup, (a few spool fulls) You want to fill the cup but don’t fill it too full or you won’t be able to close the top and seal it. Once filled, take the two edges of the dough and cross them over the top, pinch edges to seal.
    Tip: It took me forever to figure out how to seal these little pockets quickly and easily, practice definitely makes perfect. You don’t have to use a muffin tin to make these, the original recipe has you seal the dough into squares, but I found using a muffin tin the easiest way to fill and seal the dough.

    7. Brush tops of “chicken muffins” with 1 tablespoon melted butter; sprinkle with crushed croutons.
    Tip: I toss the croutons in a food processor to crush

    8. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown.
    Tip: These can get a little messy while cooking, some of the filling will start to spill out in the oven. I place the muffin tin on a baking sheet when I put it in the oven, so any overflow that falls out of the muffins will land on the baking sheet instead of making a mess in the oven!

    Chicken Crescent Pockets Recipe Dinner Dairy Free Kinzey Ray
    Chicken Crescent Pockets Recipe Dinner Dairy Free Kinzey Ray
    Chicken Crescent Pockets Recipe Dinner Dairy Free Kinzey Ray
    Chicken Crescent Pockets Recipe Dinner Dairy Free Kinzey Ray

  • Food

    Veggie Tacos

    Veggie Tacos

    If you’re a huge fan of Taco Tuesday like myself, you are going to love these black bean and veggie tacos! These are another one of my favorite go-to meals, they make lots of left overs that you can easily turn into a bowl and eat with chips for lunch the next day…or go ahead and make more tacos! Let’s be honest, you can never have too many tacos! I also like to make taco bowls with this recipe and use brown rice instead of tortillas, so many options to switch this recipe up!

    Veggie Tacos recipe

    Veggie Tacos

    Veggie Tacos

    • 1 yellow onion, chopped
    • 3 zucchini, chopped
    • 1 bag of sweet baby peppers, chopped
    • 1/2 tsp. garlic salt
    • 1 tsp. cumin
    • 2 tsp. chili powder
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1 bag or can of black beans
    • Flour or corn tortillas
    • Fresh cilantro
    • Romaine Lettuce
    • Your favorite guacamole & salsa
    Veggie Tacos recipe

    Veggie Tacos

    Instructions:
    Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees

    Chop up veggies and put in large bowl, toss in olive oil and seasonings until evenly coated

    Put veggies on baking sheet and cook 20-30 minutes, until soft

    Rinse & drain black beans, add to skillet, heat on medium for 3-5 minutes till heated through. Serve immediately

    Once the veggies are cooked and the beans are heated, now it’s time to make yourself the tastiest little taco, likely multiple tacos! Top with your favorite taco toppings and enjoy! I love to add cilantro, guacamole, salsa, lettuce and hot sauce to my tacos!

    Veggie Tacos

    Veggie Tacos

  • Food

    Chickpea Salad

    Chickpea salad lunch idea

    I get so many messages for this recipe when I share it on Instagram, so here it is ladies and gents! Your new favorite lunch! If you love chicken salad, you’re going to love this. I came up with this recipe when I was working on cutting down my meat consumption. Swapping out the chicken for chickpeas was a super easy swap to make and still equally delicious! This lunch is so easy to prep and an easy option to take to work. You can mix it up by eating it with crackers, on a croissant or with your favorite bread!

    Chickpea Salad lunch idea

    Chickpea Salad

    Chickpea Salad

    • 1 can of chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
    • 3 stalks of celery, diced
    • Seedless red grapes (I cut up the celery first and then do equal parts grapes)
    • 1 tablespoon yellow onion, minced
    • Mayonnaise or Vegenaise 1-2 tbsp.
    • Salt and pepper to taste

    Chickpea Salad lunch idea

    Chickpea Salad


    Chickpea Salad lunch idea

    Chickpea Salad


    Instructions:
    Rinse and drain chickpeas, put them in a large bowl and mash with a fork for texture.

    Dice up equal parts celery and grapes, add to bowl

    Mince onion, add to bowl. You can add more or less onion to taste, I prefer less onion in mine.

    Add mayonnaise or Vegenaise 1 tablespoon at a time till you reach desired amount. Start small, you can always add more but you can’t take it away.

    Salt and pepper to taste.

    Enjoy with crackers or make a sandwich with your favorite bread!

    You can easily make this into chicken salad, use 1-2 cups of cooked chicken. I try to make the grapes, celery and chickpeas or chicken about equal parts. You can adjust quantities based on how much you want to make! This recipe usually gets me through about 2-3 lunches! Easy make ahead item, it will stay good in the fridge for a few days.

    Chickpea salad lunch idea

    Chickpea Salad

  • Food

    Fiesta Bowl

    Healthy recipes, vegan, plant-based

    If I’m being totally honest, I just made up the name for this recipe on the spot. But it’s basically a party of deliciousness in your mouth, so I’m fine with it. I was inspired to create this recipe from an amazing dish I am totally obsessed with at Pulp Lifestyle Kitchen. I kept dreaming about their Sano bowl after I first had it and knew I had to figure out how to make it for myself. This recipe is an amazing meal prep recipe to make at the beginning of the week since it makes so much food! The toppings are also super easy to switch up so the flavor never gets old! The recipe below is the quantity I use to make my initial big batch, then it will make several days of leftovers to get me through the week!

    Fiesta Bowl

      Base:

    • 4 or 5 large sweet potatoes, roasted (Roasted Sweet Potato Recipe)
    • 1 bag mini sweet peppers, chopped
    • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
    • 1 tsp. Chili Powder
    • 1/2 tsp. Garlic Salt
    • 1/2 tsp. Cumin
    • 1 tbsp. Olive Oil
    • 2 cups dry brown rice
    • 1 can black beans (I usually buy a couple cans/boxes of black beans to get me through the week since this will be the first thing to run out)
    • Toppings:

    • Cherry tomatoes
    • Avocado
    • Cilantro
    • Pico de Gallo
    • Hot Sauce

    Instructions:
    Cook 2 cups of brown rice, following instructions on package. (takes about 40-45 minutes, start rice first)

    Chop and roast sweet potatoes in oven, click here for instructions. (30-35 minutes)

    While sweet potatoes start roasting, chop onions and peppers.
    Toss chopped onions and peppers in a bowl with olive oil, chili powder, garlic salt, and cumin. Once mixture is evenly covered, put on baking sheet and in the oven with sweet potatoes. (Roast about 20-30 minutes @ 450 degrees)

    While you wait for everything to finish cooking, prepare and chop any desired toppings

    Wait till the very end to rinse and drain black beans. Throw the beans in a skillet, cook on medium till heated through. (3-5 minutes)

    Now mix all this magic together, add desired toppings to create your own beautiful fiesta bowl! Enjoy!

    Plant based, healthy, recipes

    Fiesta Bowl

  • Food

    Roasted Sweet Potatoes

    Roasted Sweet Potatoes

    Roasted sweet potatoes are my new guilty obsession. For years I literally would not touch sweet potatoes, for whatever insane reason I told myself and the world I didn’t like them?? What was wrong with me?! I have finally seen the light and understand how wrong I was for so many years. But the good news is, I have plenty of time to make up for all my wrong doings and eat all the sweet potatoes. When I finally decided I loved sweet potatoes and needed them in my life…I had no idea how to cook them!! So, here is my newly discovered and favorite way to indulge in all the sweet potato glory. Luckily, they are super easy to make! This recipe makes extra for meal prep, adjust accordingly.

    And if you’re at the store wondering is it a yam or a sweet potato…I got you. The grocery store I shop at has the sweet potatoes and yams miss labeled…everyone is confused on the topic.

    Sweet Potato VS Yam

    Sweet Potato VS Yam


    Thanks Colin Purrington for this awesome breakdown.

    Sweet Potato VS Yam

    Sweet Potato VS Yam

    Roasted Sweet Potatoes

    • 4-5 large sweet potatoes
    • 2-3 tbsp Olive Oil
    • Salt & Pepper

    Instructions:
    Heat oven to 450 degrees

    Chop sweet potatoes into small bite size pieces, the smaller they are the easier they are to cook. I don’t peel my potatoes, I think they roast better with the peel and we all could use more fiber in our life.

    Toss sweet potatoes in a bowl with olive oil, add desired amount of salt and pepper

    Once potatoes are coated evenly, spread on baking sheet. Depending how many potatoes you used, you may need two baking sheets. You don’t want the potatoes stacked on top of each other or they won’t roast properly.

    Roast in oven for 30-35 minutes, stirring every 10-15 minutes. Cook until soft and slightly browned.

    These potatoes can be used in so many ways, I love to eat them with eggs, in a fiesta bowl, or all by themselves! Enjoy!

    Sweet Potato Breakfast

    Sweet Potato Breakfast


    Plant based, healthy, recipes

    Fiesta Bowl

  • Braces

    First Week with Adult Braces – Must Haves, Tips, & More!

    Surviving the first week with adult braces

    Well I survived my first week with adult braces, only 103 weeks left to go! Here are my main take-aways from adjusting during the first week of getting braces, the products I’m so happy I had on hand, and some tricks I’ve learned so far that have helped me have a more pleasant experience. I’m no expert yet, but I think I had a very positive first week experience, here’s what I found help me get through it with virtually no problems!

    I bought a whole mess of stuff before my braces appointment, things I found recommended in groups and youtube videos. This is my first time having braces so I truly was stepping into a whole new world. I wasn’t sure what was actually necessary, so I bought it all! Here is a list of the things I’ve used so far and am super happy I had on hand, 10/10 recommend stocking up on this stuff before your appointment. In the video below I explain how and why I used these items to make for an easy first week!

    Get a full list of everything I bought by clicking here, but these were the top few things that saved my life this first week!

    Surviving life with adult braces, braces must haves

    Braces Survival Kit

    Another thing to note as you start your braces journey, is your teeth are going to be SORE. It will be really hard to chew a lot of things, so you will have to be prepared with easy to eat food during the first week or so. Here are some recipes that saved my life this week!

    Overall it’s been a really great first week experience, minimal pain (just hard to chew, especially with these buttons). The biggest adjustment has been the new oral hygiene routine, learning how to use these new gadgets and how to best clean around this hardware. The lisp is slowly but surely going away and I’m still happy I made the decision to embark on this journey. I will keep you up to date with more tips and tricks as we continue forward. Join for the daily updates on instagram @themetalmouthmermaid

  • Braces, Food

    My Favorite Oatmeal Recipe

    Healthy Breakfast Oatmeal with fruit

    This has been a staple of my diet for so many years! I’m always surprised when people ask me for the recipe on Instagram, I always assumed everyone knew how to make this because it’s so easy! I used to be queen of buying the single serve instant oatmeal cups with the dried fruit and who knows what else is in there (look at the ingredients, it’s scary!) They are expensive, not that delicious and packed with sodium and sugar, so I started making my own and haven’t gone back since. This recipe is super versatile, I’m always switching up the dairy-free milk and fruit for a change of flavor so it never gets “old”. Feel free to add whatever you feel might be delicious, chances are you’ll be right!

    Since I wanted to share some recipes for easy to eat food as you start your adult braces journey or get an adjustment and your teeth are sore, I will post the exact recipe of the oatmeal I’ve been eating this first week of getting braces! I’ll share some of my other favorite combos below too!

    Coconut Banana Oatmeal

    • 1/2 – 3/4 cup rolled oats
    • 2-4 ounces coconut milk
    • 1 Banana
    • Honey (Optional)
    • Cinnamon (Optional)
    Coconut Banana Oatmeal Healthy Breakfast Recipe

    Coconut Banana Oatmeal

    Instructions:
    You can cook it stove top, but I’m usually on a time crunch so I put the rolled oats and dairy-free milk in the microwave for about 2 minutes. Add cinnamon and/or honey if desired, top with the fruit of your choice. Sometimes when I’m feeling fancy I will add some granola as well.

    My other go-to dairy free milk is Almond Milk, I’m loving the limited ingredients in the brand Milked Almonds these days! I always love topping this recipe with peaches and/or strawberries during the summer when they are in season. If you’re an apple fan, my top picks to use with this recipe are Granny Smith or honey crisp apples! Tag me on Instagram if you give this a go, let me know what you think! @kinzeyray

    Peaches & Cream Oatmeal, Healthy Breakfast Oatmeal with fruit

    Peaches & Cream Oatmeal