Cheesy Ro-tel Stuffed Spaghetti Squash (vegan and gluten-free)

While I was in college at Ole Miss, I discovered Ro-tel Dip. For those of you that don’t know what Ro-tel is – it is melted Velvetta Cheese and a can of Ro-tel, which is a can of green chili and tomatoes. There are different varieties of Ro-Tel in varying degrees of hotness and spiciness. Anyway, I could sit and eat an entire bowl of Ro-tel Dip. The processed cheese dip is so bad for you, but I admit – it tastes so good. Of course, my stomach would be a mess after, but I was young and clueless!

The other day I was reminiscing about Ro-tel and picked up a can at the store. I had prepped a spaghetti squash on my Sunday food prep day to save time, along with all of my other veggies for the week; I highly recommend doing this to save yourself some serious time! So when I was wondering what I could make for dinner and felt like I had nothing in my house to eat, I got an idea when I saw this small spaghetti squash and a can of Ro-tel in my pantry. I created a vegan stuffed spaghetti squash with Mexican flavors. It’s a healthy Ro-tel dish!


cheesy rotel stuffed spaghetti squash

Cheesy Ro-tel Stuff Spaghetti Squash (vegan & gluten-free)

  • Servings: 4 serving
  • Difficulty: easy
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A healthy version of a vegan Ro-tel Dip stuffed Spaghetti Squash with Mexican flavors.

Tip: (1) I’ve been playing around with vegan “meat crumbles”. My favorite is Beyond Meat Feisty Crumbles. However, I feel like they still need some extra flavor. I added extra taco seasoning, If you’re not vegan you can just use regular ground beef if you’re not vegan, or just omit all “meat”. (3) Taco Seasoning – 1 teaspoons is mild and 1 tablespoon is spicy! (4) Be aware of the spiciness of your Ro-tel and buy the can best suited to taste/heat tolerance. I got the one with Diced Tomatoes With Lime Juice & Cilantro Mexican Festival. (5) Buy a large Spaghetti Squash and double the recipe. I made a large one (~7.75 cups of cooked squash) that served 10.

Credit: My Real Dish



  • 1 Small Spaghetti Squash (~4 cups cooked squash)
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1 can Ro-tel (I used Ro-Tel Diced Tomatoes With Lime Juice & Cilantro Mexican Festival, drained)
  • 1 cup “Meat Crumbles” or Ground Beef if not vegan (optional)
  • 1 teaspoons to 1 tablespoon taco seasoning depending on desired spice (I used Trader Joe’s see tips for more info)

Vegan Cheese Sauce

  • 1 cup cashews (soaked for 4 hours, or soaked in boiling water for 10 minutes)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon (~1 small lemon juiced)
  • 2.5 tablespoons tapioca starch
  • 1 teaspoon real salt
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup vegetable stock (gluten-free, MSG-free)


  1. Boil water for cashews and soak them in boiling water (if you didn’t soak them in advance)
  2. Heat oven to 400.
  3. Prepare your spaghetti squash next. Slice the squash in half, place the squash insides down into a roasting pan, add a little water (~1/2 inch) to the roasting pan, and cook squash for 30 – 45 minutes until it is tender when pricked with a fork. Begin prepping the rest of the meal while the squash cooks. Or, be like me and prepare the squash in advance so you can come home and whip together a healthy meal in 25 minutes!
  4. While the spaghetti squash is cooking, prepare the vegan cheese sauce. Rinse the soaked cashews thoroughly until the water runs clear (this helps you easily digest the nuts). Place Vegan Cheese Sauce ingredients in the Vitamix or high powered blender and mix until thoroughly combined and smooth.
  5. Scoop out the seeds and discard (I use an ice cream scooper), scoop the squash out of the shell and place in a mixing bowl, with cheese sauce, taco seasoning, can of Ro-tel (drained), meat crumbles, peas, and corn. Stir until evenly combined.
  6. Place squash back into the shells into the pan and cook for 20 minutes in the oven or until browned.


What is your favorite junk food?



Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with Raisins and Sweet Onion Dressing

Every day I am rushing. So when I accidentally bought three bottles of Wildtree Sweet Onion Dressing last week, I wasn’t surprised because I was in a hurry to get my order out since I was out of Chipotle Lime Rub and I thought I would FREAK. Now I’ve been creating new recipes to use finish this extra savory sweet tangy dressing. Today was a win! I present this roasted chipotle lime butternut squash with golden raisins, avocado, and cucumbers. You can buy the Sweet Onion Dressing and Chipotle Lime Rub here.

butternut squash salad with raisins & sweet onion dressing

Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with Raisins and Sweet Onion Dressing

  • Servings: 2 large servings
  • Difficulty: easy
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This salad features roasted butternut squash with agave, grapeseed oil, and Chipotle Lime Rub from Wildtree, golden raisins, avocado, cucumber, and Sweet Onion Dressing.

Tip: This dish serves two large 5 cup portions or can be a side dish for 5.

Credit: My Real Dish


  • 2lbs butternut squash (32 oz, 907 grams)
  • 1 teaspoon Chipotle Lime Rub
  • 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil (I used Wildtree’s)
  • 1 tablespoon agave syrup
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  •  2 avocados
  • 1 cup sliced cucumbers
  • 10 cups romaine lettuce


  1. Heat oven to 500 degrees.
  2. Chop the butternut squash
  3. Coat the butternut squash with 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil, 1 teaspoon Chipotle Lime Rub, and 1 tablespoon agave syrup, place squash on a glass baking pan and roast for 20 minutes or until tender.
  4. Peel and slice cucumbers and cut lettuce.
  5. Put the remaining ingredients in a bowl, drizzle with Sweet Onion Dressing and serve.

It’s no secret that my favorite spice blend is Chipotle Lime Rub by Wildtree – you can find these recipes with it on my blog: Peach Mango Rice with Chipotle LimeChipotle Lime Roasted Sweet Potato SaladChipotle Lime Chickpea Salad, and Southwestern Chopped Ranch Salad (Vegan). What’s your favorite seasoning or rub?




Purple Sweet Potato Soup

This crazy cold April weather made me take advantage of making a warm soup while I still can! Trader Joe’s has purple sweet potatoes and they called my name! This soup has only nine ingredients; it’s delicious and EASY! Sometimes the simplest dishes are the tastiest!


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Purple Sweet Potato Soup

  • Servings: 3 large servings
  • Difficulty: easy
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This Purple Sweet Potato Soup has only 9 ingredients, it's easy, filling, delicious, naturally gluten-free, vegan and paleo.

Tip: This dish serves three large portions or can be a side dish for 6. I ate this as a main dish with Schar Gluten Free Baguettes. I love to dip the bread in the soup!

Credit: My Real Dish


  • 2 medium-sized sweet potato
  • 1 bag baby carrots (16 oz / 1 lb)
  • 1 medium-sized yellow onion
  • 3 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 1/2 cups gluten-free vegetable stock
  • 1/2 teaspoon Redmond Real Salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
  • 3 tablespoon olive oil


  1. Heat oven to 400.
  2. Wash, peel and slice potatoes about 1/4 inch thick
  3. Chop the onion and mince the garlic
  4. Place half of the onions, 2 teaspoons of garlic, 2 tablespoons olive oil, and sweet potatoes in a glass pan, add a pinch of real salt and pepper. In a second small glass pan, add the baby carrots with the remaining 1 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tablespoon garlic, and add a pinch of real salt and pepper.
  5. Roast sweet potatoes for 20 minutes (until they are tender), and remove them from the oven. Roast carrots for ~25 minutes or until they are tender. Turn after 10 minutes.
  6. Add roasted veggies (including the onion, olive oil, garlic) to slow cooker along with salt, pepper, and cinnamon (if desired) and vegetable stock – cook on low for 1.5 hours. Or, put roasted veggies in a pot on the stove, with vegetable stock, cinnamon (if desired), bring to a boil and then turn to simmer on low for 20 – 30 minutes stirring frequently.
  7. Using an immersion blender, puree soup until smooth. Or, transfer soup to a Vitamix or blender to puree.



Allergy-Friendly Reese’s Easter Eggs

As Easter approaches, I hear the whining about what candy my egg-free and gluten-free daughter can have, and what dairy-free, egg-free and peanut-free candy my son can eat. My son can’t have peanut butter, he’s intolerant and it makes his stomach hurt. He always feels left out when everyone is enjoying their Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs that he can’t have. So I thought that I would try to make him happy by making him some peanut-free Easter egg candies.

Last year I bought this HOMECOOKER 2PC Silicone Baking Mold Set Green Easter Set Eggs Set on Amazon, and I experimented with cashew butter eggs. However, they had a bit of a strange aftertaste, my kids didn’t eat them, and they were a flop. My friend at work said that they needed crunch; she also loves chips on her sandwiches and is all about the crunch. Considering her feedback, I started brainstorming how to achieve the right flavor and texture this time.

This year, we successfully celebrated with nut-free, vegan, and gluten-free Easter Reese’s Eggs. The crunch comes from Rice Krispies, and the secret ingredient is not Wowbutter or SunButter, but rather a jar of tahini from Trader Joe’s. I was feeling inspired by my Tahini Cookies. It sounds weird, but it is the perfect mix of chocolate, sweetness, and crunch! Another bonus – they also are easily made refined sugar-free without sacrificing taste. WOOOOO HOOOOO!


easter egg cover.jpg

Allergy-Friendly Reese's Easter Eggs

  • Servings: 12 large eggs
  • Difficulty: easy
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These dark chocolate Easter egg treats are nut-free, vegan, gluten-free, and refined sugar-free (if desired), but still have the perfect balance between chocolate, sweetness, and texture.

Tips: (1) If you don’t eat rice or don’t want the crunch from the cereal, you will most likely NOT need the dairy-free milk. (2) If you do not have Easter egg molds, you can form the tahini butter filling into balls, freeze them for 10 minutes, dip them in melted chocolate, and place them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper in the freezer to firm. (3) The Baker’s Unsweetened Chocolate is very bitter. The Lily’s Dark Chocolate is sweetened with stevia. The Dark Chocolate is balanced by the sweetness of the ‘peanut butter’ filling.

Credit: My Real Dish


Nut-Free ‘Peanut Butter’ Filling

  • 1 – 10.6 oz (300 g) jar of tahini (I bought Trader Joe’s Organic Tahini)
  • 1 1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar (make it refined sugar-free with Xylitol Powdered Sugar)
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 cup Rice Krispies Cereal (optional, but delicious)
  • 1 teaspoon gluten-free vanilla extract.
  • 1 tablespoon dairy-free milk (I used Trader Joe’s soy milk)

Chocolate Shell


  1. Melt eight ounces of the chocolate with 1 tablespoon coconut oil. You may use a double boiler or microwave mixture in 30-second increments in a glass bowl, stirring in between until melted. Break chocolate into the bars before melting in order to achieve the results more quickly.
  2. Place molds on a cookie sheet (this keeps molds from shifting and deforming when you place them in the freezer).
  3. Spoon a very small portion of the melted chocolate mixture into the silicone molds. Spread the chocolate into the outer crevices of the molds, just enough to coat the outside of the egg using a small spatula.
  4. Freeze molds for 10 minutes. This hardens the outer shell of the egg and allows you to place the ‘peanut butter’ mixture inside.
  5. While the molds are hardening, prepare the ‘peanut butter’ mixture. Using a mixer, I used my Kitchen Aid, combine Tahini and powdered sugar or Xylitol Powdered Sugar.
  6. Add coconut oil, gluten-free vanilla extract, and dairy-free milk, and mix until smooth.
  7. Add 1 cup Rice Krispies Cereal (if crunch is desired) and stir by hand until evenly distributed. Note, you will most likely not need to use the milk if you don’t use the cereal.
  8. When the molds have hardened, fill them with the ‘peanut butter’ mixture leaving room on the sides and the top for the second chocolate layer.
  9. Repeat step #1 in order to melt the chocolate with the remaining eight ounces of chocolate and 1 tablespoon coconut oil. You may use a double boiler or microwave mixture in 30-second increments in a glass bowl, stirring in between until melted. Break chocolate into the bars before melting in order to achieve the results most quickly.
  10. Pour chocolate over the filling to cover and seal the eggs. If you get a little on the edges of the molds, don’t worry because the chocolate breaks off when you take pop them out of the freezer to serve.
  11. Place cookie tray in the freezer in order to harden the chocolate and set the eggs.
  12. After they are hardened (~10 minutes) you can easily pop them out of the molds and serve. I stored my extras in a container in the freezer so that we can enjoy them on Easter.

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What are your favorite Easter treats? How will you be celebrating this weekend?


FYI – I participate in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites. However, all of the products I am recommending in this post are my personal favorites that I frequently eat, make, enjoy and have on hand in my pantry.

Roasted Carrot Soup With Chickpeas, Pumpkin and Butternut Squash

In St. Louis we are having this rainy cool weather and I felt like it was my last week or so to make a soup before it starts getting warmer. So I made this easy creamy soup with 10 ingredients, and I served it with a gluten-free vegan baguette from Schar. It is a filling veggie soup that doesn’t leave me starving! Since it’s perfect for Easter, I’m going to bring it to my Dad’s house this weekend.


carrot soup

Roasted Carrot Soup With Chickpeas, Pumpkin and Butternut Squash

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

This easy creamy roasted carrot soup is easy, filling, and delicious with 10 ingredients. It is naturally gluten-free, vegan and paleo.

Credit: My Real Dish


  • 1 can 15 oz Butternut Squash
  • 1 can 15 oz Pumpkin
  • 1 can 15 oz Chickpeas / Garbanzos
  • 1 can 15 oz can coconut milk (full fat)
  • 1 1/2 cup carrots
  • 1 onion
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon Redmond Real Salt
  • 5 grinds of pepper


  1. Heat oven to 400
  2. Chop onions, carrots, and garlic
  3. Place onions, carrots, garlic, and toss with olive oil on a cookie sheet; roast for ~20 minutes until onions are translucent and carrots are tender.
  4. Drain chickpeas (I like to keep the brine in the fridge to make a vegan meringue) and rinse the chickpeas until the water runs clear.
  5. Combine roasted veggies with all other ingredients in a slow cooker. Cook on low for 1.5 hours. Or cook in a pot on the stove on low for 30 minutes stirring often.
  6. Using an immersion blender, puree soup until smooth. Or, transfer soup to a Vitamix or blender to puree.
  7. I served with a dash of cinnamon and a toasted gluten-free baguette. Roasted chickpeas on top would also be scrumptious.


What are your Easter food traditions? Making anything special this weekend?


Peppermint Lemon Sugar Scrub

In the most recent blog post, Prepare Your Skin for Spring in Time, Mia Taylor shared some great skin tips, and I’m going to follow-up with a series of my favorite DIY essential oil recipes that I’m using to get ready for flip-flops and swimsuits! My feet and legs need a little TLC before I head to the beach next week for Spring break, so I made this yummy Lemon Peppermint Sugar Scrub! I got this recipe from a friend in my essential oil chat group, but when I was making it I forgot to add the lemon essential oil (it called for 5 drops). But, I really liked how soft my skin felt after. The sugar and lemon juice gently sloughs off dry skin, the coconut oil moisturizes and the peppermint provides a mood boost. Plus, it’s a cute way to celebrate St. Patty’s Day too!


lemon peppermint scrub

Peppermint Lemon Sugar Scrub

  • Servings: 3 - 4 oz jars
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

This peppermint lemon sugar is a great way to gently slough off and moisturize dry skin, and the peppermint provides an energizing and uplifting aroma.

Tips: Add 5 drops of Lemon Essential Oil for a mood boost!


  • 1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • zest of 1/2 lemon (optional)
  • 10 drops peppermint essential oil


  1. Zest 1/2 of a lemon if desired, the zest helps slough off dry skin.
  2. In a bowl, mix together sugar, coconut oil, lemon juice, zest and peppermint oil.
  3. Put in jars and enjoy!



Prepare Your Skin for Spring in Time

Spring skin cover.jpg

Cold wind, snow, and brisk weather can wreak havoc on your skin. Even with all the hydration, care, and nourishment, winter is still the season that harms skin the most. Therefore, you should try your best to help it recover and make it glowing and plump for the blooming spring. With a full spectrum of treatments, masks, serums and skin care products, your skin will be ready to shine during springtime.



Removing the dead skin cells is essential for good skin care. Only after you’ve exfoliated your skin thoroughly will your moisturizers be able to penetrate deeply into your skin and hydrate it properly. Make sure you don’t use too invasive a scrub if you have sensitive skin prone to irritation. If you wear makeup for a long period of time, try your best to exfoliate your face at least twice a week.


lemon water.jpgHydration is an essential part of a skincare regimen, so make sure you drink plenty of water to keep your skin plump and healthy. Considering that water makes up the most of your body, it needs to be constantly infused in order to prevent toxins from building up. This will in return keep the skin elastic and blemish free. What’s more, after you’ve gotten rid of the dead skin cells, make sure you apply a moisturizing lotion or body butter, and let the skin soak it in well. This will improve your skin’s elasticity, making it smooth and soft. It would be best if you threw on a layer of lotion right after you’ve stepped out of the bathtub, allowing the moisturizer to penetrate deeply into your skin through open pores.

Switch to lightweight makeup

makeup pic.jpgHeavy makeup is a great choice for the wintertime, because it protects the skin from the harmful effects of the cold weather. However, once the temperature is higher, the skin will start to sweat more, making your full coverage foundation feel too heavy. Not only will the heavy foundation mixed with sweat be a bad choice for your complexion, but it’ll also wreak havoc on your skin, by blocking your pores. Vegan and cruelty-free cosmetics is gaining in popularity each day, since it offers equally amazing results as any other makeup, while it protects and nourishes the skin as well. Therefore, think about switching to a lightweight maquillage and try Inika organic mineral makeup as soon as possible. Organic makeup is the perfect choice for every skin type, because it causes no irritation and keeps your skin flawless.

Replace creams with serums

serums.jpgCold winter months call for deeply moisturizing face oils to protect the skin from harsh weather, but once spring comes, your skin will need something lighter. To avoid breakouts that may appear due to heavy moisturizers that can clog your pores, start using water-based serums with vitamin E and retinol. Furthermore, light lotions or gels are the perfect alternative to heavy face creams, and they will offer your skin an equal amount of vitamin C, glycolic acid, and hyaluronic acid. Thanks to its lightweight formula, the skin will absorb a gel quickly without leaving any film on the surface.

Slather on SPF

spf.jpgWhile winter is the best time for repairing your skin, spring is certainly great for prevention. This means you should be proactive with protecting your skin from the damaging UV rays and start slathering on the creams and lotions with SPF, alongside the hydrating serum. So, forget all about sticky creams infused with natural oils, and go for lighter moisturizers that will offer rich hydration and the ultimate protection.

Taking good care of your skin should be your priority all year long. However, you need to remember that, just as you change the type of wardrobe you wear each season, you should switch up skin care regimens according to the weather. Therefore, forget all about the heavy-duty makeup and oil infused moisturizers and switch to organic and lightweight formulas. Remember to exfoliate the dead skin cells regularly, drink plenty of water and protect the skin with lotions with SPF.



mia taylorMia Taylor is a fashion and beauty enthusiast from Sydney and writer for She loves writing about her life experiences. Travelling and enjoying other cultures and their food with her husband is a big part of her life. She is always on the lookout for new trends in fashion and beauty, and considers herself an expert when it comes to lifestyle tips.
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