Lunch Archives | Stephanie Dreyer

Lunch Archives | Stephanie Dreyer

July 9, 2019

These Falafel Burgers might just be my favorite Trader Joe’s meal hack yet! Using their falafel mix as a base, I added in some of my favorite Greek condiments to make a tasty burger (that tastes like an oversized falafel). I topped it with a quick DIY garlic dill aioli and easy pickled red onions for a Mediterranean burger that is bursting with flavor. I’d serve these with homemade steak fries, seasoned with Penzey’s Spice’s Greek seasoning and a drizzle of red wine vinegar. Yum! 

But these Falafel burgers aren’t just for inserting between buns or pita pockets – crumble them on salads, chop them in Mediterranean bowls or layer them in a Greek casserole. I’m excited about all the ways to use these in all kinds of ways! This recipe makes a big batch and they freeze well so store them to reinvent into new recipes again and again.

Falafel Burgers with Garlic Dill Aioli & Pickled Onions (Vegan)

Servings 30 burgers


For the Falafel Burgers

  • 1 box Trader Joe's Falafel Mix
  • 3 1/2 cups water
  • 1 cup spinach chopped
  • 1 cup sun-dried tomatoes coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup Kalamata olives coursely chopped
  • 15 pita bread rounds

For the Garlic Dill Aioli

  • 1/4 cup dairy-free mayo such as Wildwood Garlic Aioli
  • 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp dried dill
  • 1 clove garlic grated

Pickled Onions

  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 red onion sliced in rings


For the Falafel Burgers

  1. Combine the falafel mix and water. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour. If batter is too thick, slowly add in up to a half cup more of water until desired consistency is reached.

  2. Stir the remaining ingredients into the burger "batter".

  3. Using a cookie scoop, spoon a full scoop onto a greased baking sheet. Flatten the scoop so that it looks like a hamburger patty. The patties will be looser than traditional veggie burgers, but they should stay together and not be runny. Continue with the rest of the batter. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. 

  4. To serve, slice a pita in half. Spread with the Garlic Dill Aioli. Insert a falafel burger and a few of the Pickled Onions. 

For the Garlic Dill Aioli

  1. Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and stir well.

  2. For the Pickled Onions

  3. Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and set aside for at least 20 minutes (the longer, the better).

January 6, 2019

You don’t have to cook everything from scratch or spend hours in the kitchen to make a delicious, homemade meal. I’d never been able to get a home cooked meal on the table every weeknight if I followed those “rules”!

This Zoodles with Roasted Chickpeas & Pesto recipe is an example of just that. I used a store bought pesto and roasted the chickpeas on Sunday during one of my batch cooking sessions so the total meal was on my table in less than 20 minutes!

The zoodles store well for 1-2 days so I always spiralize a big batch and eat the leftovers for a quick and healthy weekday lunch.

Try this recipe for Zoodles with Roasted Chickpeas & Pesto for an uber healthy and homemade meal that you can make in 20 minutes or less with a little help from the store.

Zoodles with Roasted Chickpeas & Pesto

Serves 4


  • 1 cup of store-bought pesto (such as Trader Joe’s Vegan, Kale & Cashew Pesto)
  • 1 cup of cherry tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon of sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon Italian Herbs blend
  • 4 zucchini squash, spiralized
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, such as Violife


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Spread the chickpeas on a baking sheet lined with a parchment paper. Toss with the oil, salt, and herbs. Roast for 20-30 minutes.
  3. Divide the zoodles between 4 serving plates and top each pile with 1/4 cup of pesto, 1/4 cup of chickpeas and 1/4 cup of sliced tomatoes.
  4. Garnish with Parmesan cheese.

April 15, 2018

Get your cruciferous veggies on with this crunchy and tangy salad. I used a salad mix from Trader Joe’s as the base, but you can also make your own from scratch using cabbage, Brussels sprouts and kale.

Try this Cruciferous Crunch Salad for a zesty lunch option. The tangy tahini dressing gets better the longer it marinates, so make it in the morning on Monday and enjoy it all week long.

The salad dressing is everything in this salad. Its tangy and salty – full of umami flavor. I have to hold myself back from eating the whole bowl! My 12 year-old daughter loves the taste too – a great way for me to get her to eat kale and cabbage!

Try this Cruciferous Crunch Salad for a zesty lunch option. The tangy tahini dressing gets better the longer it marinates, so make it in the morning on Monday and enjoy it all week long.

This salad gets better the longer it “marinates,” so I typically make it in the morning while I am prepping breakfast and lunches for the kids. I refrigerate it until lunch so that the flavors have time to meld.  Slice in the avocado just before serving.

Cruciferous Crunch Salad with Tangy Tahini Dressing

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Author Stephanie Dreyer


  • 1 bag of Trader Joe’s Cruciferous Crunch Blend (or 3 cups chopped curly kale, 3 cups shredded red and green cabbage, and 3 cups shaved Brussels sprouts)
  • 1 jar capers, drained
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 6 teaspoons tamari (gluten-free soy sauce)
  • 3 tablespoons tahini
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained and rinsed
  • 2 small organic avocados, chopped


  1. Whisk together the vinegar, tamari, tahini and nutritional yeast.
  2. Stir in the vegetable mix and combine well.
  3. Add in the capers and the garbanzo beans. Mix well.
  4. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving. Stir in the avocado just before serving. Stores well in an air-tight container (without the avocado) for 3-4 days.

Try this Cruciferous Crunch Salad for a zesty lunch option. The tangy tahini dressing gets better the longer it marinates, so make it in the morning on Monday and enjoy it all week long.
















March 15, 2018

This dairy-free Creamy Pasta and Broccoli Bake is a great recipe to batch cook on the weekend to have ready to pop in the oven when it’s time for dinner. Plus, it serves a crowd – great lunch leftovers for the rest of the week! I use cashews for the silky delicious sauce in this pasta and broccoli bake. I layer it with a homemade vegan parm cheese that has more cashews – nut protein! My family prefers penne but use whatever tubular pasta makes your family say, “Yum!”.

Creamy Pasta & Broccoli Bake


  • 16 ounces penne or other tubular style pasta
  • 5 cups broccoli florets about 12 ounces

For the cream sauce:

  • 2 cups cashews soaked for 2 hours or overnight and drained, if not using a high powered blender
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast
  • ¼ cup lemon juice about 1 lemon

For the vegan Parmesan cheese:

  • 1 cup of cashews
  • ¼ nutritional yeast
  • 2 small garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon salt


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta according to the package directions.
  3. While the pasta cooks, make the sauce and Parmesan. For the cream sauce, combine all of the ingredients in a high-speed blender and mix until smooth. For the cheese, combine all of the ingredients in a food processor and pulse until it resembles crumbs.
  4. Drain the pasta and combine with half of the sauce and all of the broccoli florets.
  5. Spread ½ of the pasta and broccoli mixture into a 13x9” casserole dish.
  6. Sprinkle half of the Parmesan cheese over the pasta. Spread the remaining pasta on top.
  7. Pour the remaining sauce over the pasta. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese.
  8. Bake for about 15-20 minutes, until heated through and the broccoli is crisp, yet tender to the fork.















February 26, 2018

This Vegan Beef and Bean Chili is hearty and kicking with flavor! Loaded with 3 kinds of beans, and two types of Beyond Meat, (one of my favorite plant-based proteins), this chili satisfies! Make a big pot on Sunday and eat it all week long.

I like my chili smoky, so I started with some of Lightlife’s Fakin’ Bacon (tempeh) for that hickory flavor. After the tempeh, I loaded in the vegan “beef” with some help from Beyond Meat. I used a combination of their Beyond Burger and Beefy Crumbles for a variety of texture in the chili.

This Vegan Beef and Bean Chili is kicking with flavor! Packed with 3 types of beans and Beyond Meat's plant-based protein, this hearty chili satisfies!!

I am not the greatest at handling spice and wanted this to be edible for the kids, so I didn’t add too much heat to this Vegan Beef and Bean Chili recipe. If you like it spicy, feel free to heavy up on the chili powder. I found a half a tablespoon to be perfect for my family, but 1-2 tablespoons is probably more on par with spicier chilis.

Vegan Beef and Bean Chili


  • 2 red bell peppers diced
  • 1 large yellow onion diced
  • 25 cloves garlic minced
  • 4 Beyond Meat Beyond Burgers
  • 1 package Beyond Meat Beefy Crumbles
  • 1 package Lightlife Fakin' Bacon chopped
  • 3 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 1 ½ tablespoons Liquid Smoke
  • 1 25 ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 12 ounces light beer
  • 2 cups vegetable broth such as Imagine's No-Chicken Broth
  • 2 15.5 ounce cans pinto beans
  • 2 15.5 ounce cans kidney beans
  • 1 15.5 ounce can black beans


  1. In a large stock pot over high heat, add 1 tablespoon of oil.
  2. Add bell pepper and onion and cook until caramelized, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add garlic and saute a minute longer.
  4. Add Fakin' Bacon, and all of the Beyond Meat. Stir together and cook until the meat is cooked through, about 5-7 minutes.
  5. Add in the garlic powder, chili powder, paprika, cumin, coriander, cayenne, salt, and pepper. Cook for 1 minute.
  6. Add in the crushed tomatoes and stir for 2 minutes.
  7. Stir in beer and vegetable stock.
  8. Add beans and Liquid Smoke. Stir together.
  9. Lower heat and simmer for 30 minutes to an hour.

For extra smoke, I added a splash of Liquid Smoke at the end before simmering. To serve, cut up some lime wedges for squeezing on top. Dairy-free sour cream and diced avocado are some of my other favorite toppings. Don’t forget the chips! I highly recommend a handful of Trader Joe’s restaurant-style chips. Enjoy!

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February 21, 2018

I love a good steak – vegetable steak that is! Portobello steaks were my go-to when I first went vegan. They are chewy and “beefy” like a regular steak, and can be seasoned and marinated similarly too. However, recently cauliflower has taken the main stage as the power ingredient in cauliflower rice and pizza crusts. Sliced and grilled, cauliflower also makes a hearty steak.

This Cauliflower Steak with Black Bean Relish is an elegant choice for entertaining - as beautiful to look at as it is delicious to eat!

It’s an unsuspecting choice for entertaining that will impress your guests. Make a pesto, cream sauce, or this Black Bean Relish and you’ve got an elegant meal that is as beautiful to look at, as it is to eat!

Pan roasting the cauliflower steak is another alternative to grilling, or pan fry it. I like to slice and cook a whole head ahead of time for the week. The relish is very simple and is oil-free, making this dish even healthier.

This Cauliflower Steak with Black Bean Relish is an elegant choice for entertaining - as beautiful to look at as it is delicious to eat!

Cauliflower Steak with Black Bean Relish

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 23 minutes
Servings 4 steaks


  • 1 head cauliflower sliced into steaks
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 roma tomatoes diced
  • 1 onion diced
  • 3 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley finely chopped
  • 1 can black beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 lime juiced (+ more to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • freshly ground sea salt (to taste)
  • freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
  • 1 avocado, sliced (for garnish)


  1. Coat the cauliflower steaks with the olive oil and either pan fry, roast at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes, or grill.

  2. Combine the tomatoes, onions, parsley, black beans, lime juice, and cumin in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Add more lime juice, if needed.

  3. To serve, place the cauliflower steak on a plate, and generously spoon the black bean relish on top. Garnish with sliced avocado, if desired.

This Cauliflower Steak with Black Bean Relish is an elegant choice for entertaining - as beautiful to look at as it is delicious to eat!








January 24, 2018

I am kinda obsessed with the new vegan salad dressings at Trader Joe’s. The Almond Butter Turmeric dressing has me experimenting in the kitchen with lots of different dishes to pour it over. This Carrot Noodle Bowl is my latest.

This Carrot Noodle Bowl with Almond Butter Turmeric Dressing is crunchy and satisfying - and all you need is 10 minutes and 5 ingredients! #veganbowl

Vegetable noodles are a great replacement for pasta if you are watching calories or just want to add more veggies to your diet. I used my spiralizer to make my carrot noodles for this bowl, but you could also easily swap shredded carrots if you don’t want to spiralize (but it’s so much fun!).

Snap peas and peanuts are crunchy toppings that taste great with the dressing. I piled it all on top of a bed of kale, because I can never get too many leafy greens.

This Carrot Noodle Bowl with Almond Butter Turmeric Dressing is crunchy and satisfying - and all you need is 10 minutes and 5 ingredients! #veganbowl

Now, for the dressing. All you have to do is shake and pour for this one. It’s all natural and plant-based with just a few ingredients: almond butter, cold-pressed lemon juice, ginger, turmeric, and black pepper. I usually like to make my own dressings to control the sugar, salt and fat, but with only 60 calories for two tablespoons and 2g of sugar and 4g of fat per serving, I am taking some help from Trader Joe’s and enjoying it!

Carrot Noodle Bowl with Almond Butter Turmeric Dressing

Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 1 bowl


  • 2-3 carrots spiralized
  • 2 handfuls of kale chopped
  • 1/4 cup sugar snap peas
  • 2 tablespoons peanuts
  • 2 tablespoons Trader Joe's Almond Butter Turmeric salad dressing


  1. Layer all ingredients into a bowl, starting with the carrots and adding the rest on top in piles around the bowl.
  2. Drizzle the dressing on top.


This Carrot Noodle Bowl with Almond Butter Turmeric Dressing is crunchy and satisfying - and all you need is 10 minutes and 5 ingredients! #veganbowl



January 17, 2018

Roasted vegetables are one of my favorite things to batch cook each Sunday. I eat them all week long as a dinner side dish, tossed in tofu scrambles… and my favorite, piled into vegan bowls. This Italian Roasted Vegetable Bowl is a delicious way to eat up leftover veggies or roast a pan especially for this bowl like I do! I prefer plump, juicy tomatoes and cauliflower for the veg mix, but sub your favorites. The key is to roast them with whole garlic cloves and herbs. I use the Italian seasoning blend from Penzey’s Spices (my favorite local spice store).

A good bowl is full of layers, so in addition to the roasted vegetables, you’ll find a mound of lacinato kale, cannellini beans, and orzo. I sauted the canned beans with garlic, olive oil, and thyme for taste bud pleasing results. Sure, you could just rinse and drain a handful of beans directly into the bowl, but I find that it’s the bursts of flavor from each component in the bowl that take an average bowl to wow status. Lentils would also be a great sub for the beans. I used orzo instead of a grain in this recipe because of its Italian status and similarity in texture to rice, but risotto would be a nice swap if you want a grain.

This Italian Roasted Vegetable Bowl is full of flavor. Topped with a creamy, dairy-free dressing, it's a complete meal to lunch on all week long.

Drizzled on top is a luscious, dairy-free Caesar dressing that adds just the right amount of tangy to each bite. Soaked cashews are the creamy base for this otherwise, quick and easy sauce that comes together in less than 5 minutes in your high-powered blender. Dijon mustard and capers add bright, vibrant flavors to this traditional recipe.

This Italian Roasted Vegetable Bowl is full of flavor. Topped with a creamy, dairy-free dressing, it's a complete meal to lunch on all week long.

You can cook and prepare all of the ingredients, as well as the dressing ahead of time and store them for the week, making it quick and easy to throw this meal together all week long. Lunch is served! Give it a taste and let me know what you think.

This Italian Roasted Vegetable Bowl is full of flavor. Topped with a creamy, dairy-free dressing, it's a complete meal to lunch on all week long.

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes


For the Creamy Caesar Dressing:

  • ¼ cup cashews soaked for 2 hours or overnight and drained
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 tablespoon shoyu or tamari
  • 1 tablespoon tahini
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 tablespoon capers
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

For the Bowl:

  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 1 head cauliflower broken into florets
  • 10 garlic cloves peeled
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil divided
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 can cannellini beans drained and rinsed
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
  • 6 leaves lacinato kale chopped
  • 1 cup orzo dried


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Toss the vegetables, garlic cloves, olive oil, and herbs on a sheet pan until coated. Roast for about 30 minutes until the cauliflower is fork tender.
  3. While the vegetables are roasting, bring a pot of water to a boil. Cook the orzo and drain.
  4. Heat a saucepan with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the minced garlic and saute for 1 minute until fragrant. Stir in the beans and thyme. Cook for 3-4 minutes until heated through. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. For the dressing, combine all the ingredients in a high-speed blender and mix until smooth.
  6. To assemble the bowl, start with a layer of kale on the bottom. Top with the orzo, beans, and vegetables. Drizzle the dressing on top.

This Italian Roasted Vegetable Bowl is full of flavor. Topped with a creamy, dairy-free dressing, it's a complete meal to lunch on all week long.

January 10, 2018

Vegan bowls are one of my favorite lunch meals. They are easy to prepare and quick for the lunch rush I am inevitably juggling as I race to get my work and to-do list completed before I pick up the kids from school. Most times I make a bowl, I just pull together whatever ingredients, leftover veggies, or legumes I have in the fridge or pantry (it’s a really great way to eat up your leftovers!). Sometimes, I will put a little more thought into my bowl obsession and plan my veggies and proteins ahead of time, like my BBQ Tofu Bowl. Today’s Green Goddess Zucchini Noodle Bowl recipe is one of those bowls, but it won’t take you more than 15 minutes to throw together.

This Green Goddess Zucchini Noodle Bowl is light, fresh, and ready in just 10 minutes with 4 ingredients! #dairyfree #veganbowl #greengoddess

In my opinion, the secret to any great vegan bowl is the dressing or sauce. The new Green Goddess Salad Dressing from Trader Joe’s is the inspiration for this bowl. It’s all natural and vegan, containing just a few ingredients: avocado, green onion, cold pressed lemon juice, chives, parsley, basil, garlic, water, apple cider vinegar, and an olive oil blend. Two tablespoons are only 20 calories so indulge in a generous pour over the rest of this bowl’s ingredients.

This Green Goddess Zucchini Noodle Bowl is light, fresh, and ready in just 10 minutes with 4 ingredients! #dairyfree #veganbowl #greengoddess

I chose spiralized zucchini noodles for the base of this bowl and topped them with sliced radishes, chopped chives and tomatoes (I was out of cherry, so I used roma instead). That’s it! Super easy. Super healthy. Super delicious! Give it a try and let me know what you think!

Green Goddess Zucchini Noodle Bowl

This Green Goddess Zucchini Noodle Bowls is light, fresh, and ready in just 10 minutes with 4 ingredients! 

Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 1


  • 1 zucchini, spiralized
  • 1/4 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 radish, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp chives, snipped
  • 2 tbsp Trader Joe's Green Goddess salad dressing


  1. 1. Layer all ingredients into a bowl, starting with the zucchini and adding the other vegetables and herbs on top.

  2. 2. Drizzle dressing on top.

This Green Goddess Zucchini Noodle Bowl is light, fresh, and ready in just 10 minutes with 4 ingredients! #dairyfree #veganbowl #greengoddess

November 1, 2017

Fall is here and I am loving the varieties of squash that greet me at my local Trader Joe’s. Just seeing those unique shaped beauties puts me in a fall state of mind. I didn’t particularly like squash when I was kid. I mean, it’s scary looking, and the texture can be off-putting to picky palates. As an adult, however, I crave the comforting taste of a sweet and savory stuffed delicata squash or the fun “pasta” dinner made with spaghetti squash.

This plant-based Taco Stuffed Acorn Squash recipe is reminiscent of the flavors of Fall with the spicy taste of Taco Tuesday! #vegan #dairyfree #meatless

Acorn squash is one of my favorites. It is the perfect vessel for stuffing or turning into a “bowl” of some kind. It’s subtle sweet flavor combines well with savory flavors, and is the star ingredient in a happy experiment that came to be this Taco Stuffed Acorn Squash recipe.

I was making myself lunch last Wednesday and opened the fridge to find some baked squash that I had batch cooked over the weekend. Sitting next to it was some leftover taco filling from the night before. I added my homemade pico de gallo, and came up with a quick and easy smoky, chipotle avocado sauce…and lunch was served!

This plant-based Taco Stuffed Acorn Squash recipe is reminiscent of the flavors of Fall with the spicy taste of Taco Tuesday! #vegan #dairyfree #meatless

This meal is very satisfying, but doesn’t leave you filling heavy. It is reminiscent of the flavors of Fall with the spicy taste of Taco Tuesday! I hope you’ll try it and let me know what you think.

Taco Stuffed Acorn Squash


  • 2 acorn squashes skin washed, cut in half lengthwise, and seeds and string removed

For the filling:

  • 1 package of meatless ground “beef”
  • 1 can black beans drain and reserve half the liquid
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 2-3 tablespoons taco seasoning or more, if desired
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • ½ cup water

For the pico de gallo:

  • 2 Roma tomatoes finely chopped
  • ½ yellow onion finely chopped
  • ¼ cup cilantro finely chopped
  • ½ the juice of 1 lime or more if desired
  • Salt to taste

For the Smoky Avocado Sauce:

  • ½ -1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce
  • 1 avocado
  • ¼ cup water
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Salt to taste


  1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Drizzle each squash half with ¼ teaspoon of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place cut side up on a baking pan and roast 25-30 minutes, until tender. Set aside.
  2. While the squash roasts, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion. Saute for five minutes, until translucent.
  3. Add in the meatless ground “beef” and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in the beans with the liquid
  4. Add in the taco seasoning and water. Stir well to combine. Reduce to simmer and allow to simmer 10-15 minutes until the filling becomes thick and the water is cooked through.
  5. While the meat is cooking, prepare the pico de gallo. Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl and set aside.
  6. Place all of the ingredients for the Smoky Avocado Sauce in a food processor. Pulse on low until combined and creamy. Add salt to taste.
  7. To assemble, scoop a generous amount of filling into the middle of each squash half. Top with the pico de gallo and a dollop or more of Smoky Avocado Sauce.

This meal is very satisfying, but doesn't leave you filling heavy. It is reminiscent of the flavors of Fall with the spicy taste of Taco Tuesday! I hope you'll try it and let me know what you think.



September 6, 2017

We’ve had a few cooler days the last week or so and although, I am not quite ready to give up summer, my body has been craving heartier salads than the usual bowls I tend to throw together. The Harvest Grains blend from Trader Joe’s is one of my favorite side dishes, but I was inspired to turn it into a salad for a beach outing last weekend. The grain medley includes Israeli couscous, orzo, baby garbanzo beans, and red quinoa. It’s all kinds of awesome and makes a great alternative to pasta in a traditional pasta salad, which is what I was craving when I created this Kale Harvest Grains Salad recipe.

The grains blend is tasty on its own but I added more flavor with some cubed dairy-free mozzarella, sliced baby tomatoes and chopped basil. When it comes to dressing, any vinaigrette will do. I made a homemade Greek style dressing with Penzey’s Spices Greek seasoning blend. It wouldn’t be a salad without some greens! I started with the Power to the Greens blend from Trader Joe’s (kale, chard, and spinach) and topped it with the grains salad mixture and drizzled it all with my dressing. It’s a simple yet satisfying recipe that I have been enjoying all week. I hope you do too!

If you try my Kale Harvest Grains Salad, please be sure to tag me. I love to see your creations with my recipes!

Kale Harvest Grains Salad

The grains mixture stores well for about 3 days. Store your greens and dressing separately until you are ready to eat it. It also makes a great lunch to pack for work.


Kale Harvest Grains Salad


  • 1 package Trader Joe's Harvest Grains Medley
  • 2 cups Imagine No-Chicken Broth
  • 1 cup chopped basil
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, sliced
  • 4 ounces dairy-free mozzarella, diced
  • 2 cups mixed greens (such as kale, chard and spinach)
  • Greek or Italian Salad dressing vinaigrette (such as red wine or balsamic)


  1. Prepare grains medley according to package directions, using the broth. Set aside to cool.

  2. While the grains cook, chop the basil, slice the tomatoes and dice the cheese. Prepare the salad dressing if not using store-bought.

  3. Fluff the grains medley with a fork and add the basil, tomatoes and cheese.

  4. Place two cups of greens on a plate, along with a 1/2 cup of the grains salad mixture. Toss with 1-2 tablespoons of dressing.

  5. Store leftover greens, dressing, and grains salad separately for additional servings.

Kale Harvest Grains Salad







August 16, 2017

I created this vegan caprese sandwich for my eldest daughter, Gaby, who loves everything Caprese! It’s her favorite and her go-to whenever we are anywhere that offers one on the menu. I went straight to Miyoko’s Kitchen’ VeganMozz for the perfect vegan mozzarella. It’s soft, salty, and creamy – everything a mozzarella should be! They now offer a Smoked VeganMozz! Dairy-free cheese dreams do come true!!

Vegan Caprese Sandwich

This vegan caprese sandwich is perfect for summer with bright juicy tomatoes, fresh fragrant tomatoes, and creamy dairy-free mozzarella cheese. My family is big on its bread, so don’t under think this ingredient. I chose a Ciabatta roll and toasted it before I layered it with the VeganMozz, basil leaves and fresh tomato slices. Heirloom tomatoes are gorgeous this time of year, so if you have those available, I highly recommend using those. I added a little something extra by spreading some vegan pesto on each slice of toasted bread. I make mine with basil leaves, garlic, walnuts, olive oil, and some nutritional yeast.

Vegan Caprese Sandwich

To kick this Vegan Caprese sandwich up further, don’t toast the bread, but layer everything onto the bread slices and press on a panini maker for a gourmet sammie! If you go the panini route, try swapping sun-dried tomatoes for fresh for a whole other flavor kick. I hope you enjoy the recipe!

Vegan Caprese Sandwich


  • 1 Ciabatta roll , sliced
  • 4 slices plum tomato (or sun-dried tomatoes)
  • 3 slices Miyoko's Kitchen VeganMozz
  • 4 basil leaves , rinsed and dried
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons vegan pesto (purchased or homemade)


  1. Toast the bread.
  2. Spread each slice with the pesto.
  3. Layer the bottom slice of bread first with the VeganMozz, then the tomato, and last with the basil.
  4. Place other slice on top.

Recipe Notes

* For a variation, don't toast the bread at the beginning, but compile the sandwich and press in a panini maker.

Vegan Caprese Sandwich



May 31, 2017

I recently discovered Gardein’s Golden Fishless Fillet and can’t believe how much it tastes like the real thing.  Well done, Gardein, although I am not surprised as every product they put out is high quality and tastes delicious.  I typically don’t eat these faux meat products often, but I will make an exception for these fillets!  Not only are they eerily tasty, but they are also flaky and consistent from a texture perspective too.  They’d make a great “fish and chips” dinner, but I decided to have some fun and turn them into tacos!

Upon my discovery of these fishless fillets, I also discovered Follow Your Heart’s Tartar Sauce.  Truth be told, I have been eyeing the jars of this sauce in my Whole Foods for months now, but didn’t have anywhere to use them…until now.  The creamy topping on these tacos is indeed, this tartar sauce.

This recipe is so simple that I am not sure I can even call it a recipe.  It’s really just opening a bunch of packages and jars, chopping, and then tossing them with a few things.  It’s a great meal solution for a busy weeknight after sports or activities and you only have about 30 minutes to get dinner on the table with no time to prep.  Try this recipe!

Vegan Fish Tacos with Cabbage Slaw & Tartar Sauce


  • 12 corn tortillas
  • 1 package Gardein Golden Fishless Fillets
  • 1 jar Follow Your Heart Tartar Sauce
  • 1 package shredded cabbage
  • 1 tomato , chopped
  • 2 green onions , thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup shredded carrots
  • Juice of 1-2 limes
  • 2 avocados , sliced
  • Salt to taste


  1. Prepare Fishless Fillets according to package directions (bake 10-12 minutes at 425 degrees).

  2. While fillets bake, prepare the slaw: Toss the cabbage, carrots, green onions, tomato and the juice of 1 lime in a bowl. Sprinkle with salt and taste for seasonings.

  3. When fillets are ready, heat one tortilla at a time on a stove burner, until the tortilla becomes pliable. Chop the fillets into small pieces. Spoon some of the slaw into each tortilla with about half of one fillet. Add in a few avocado slices, and top with a dollop of the tartar sauce.

May 10, 2017

I have worked and worked to create the perfect lentil burger. I have tasted and tried dozens of other people’s lentil burgers, studying their methods and scrutinizing their ingredients list. I started experimenting with my own recipe creations for the perfect lentil burger over a year ago. I have had many fails. They were flavorless, or fell apart too easily. They were too fussy to make. I couldn’t get the seasoning blend right. Finally, I think I did it. To me, this lentil burger is perfect.