healthy eating Archives |

June 19, 2019
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We didn’t have a pool when I was a kid but my aunt had a friend who did. We spent many summer days splashing inside and lounging poolside. My aunt always brought a huge round Tupperware of pasta salad – raw chopped veggies, sliced olives and rotini tossed with Newman’s Own Italian dressing. Simple but delicious. I still think of that salad today whenever I’m at a pool party. It’s synonymous with summer living and pool fun for me.

A poolside pasta salad is easy breezy for summer fun. I fancied things up in this Italian Roasted Vegetable Pasta Salad that takes things back to my Italian roots. I roasted the vegetables to pack a powerhouse of flavor into the pasta without adding in a heavy or greasy dressing. Except for roasting the vegetables, the rest of this recipe comes together quickly. And it’s portable and can sit out for a bit without worry so you can have your poolside fun in between bites!

 

Italian Roasted Vegetable Pasta Salad

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 10 people

Ingredients

  • 1 cup baby bell peppers chopped
  • 1/2 cup kalamata olives
  • 1 can artichoke hearts in water drained and sliced in half
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 10 cloves garlic
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp Italian herb seasoning
  • 1 Tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 package orecchiette pasta
  • 1 can white beans drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup dairy-free mozzarella cheese (such as Follow Your Heart) cubed
  • 3 Tbsp balsamic or red wine vinegar
  • 1 cup basil sliced in chiffonnade

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and set a pot of salted water to boil.

  2. Place parchment paper on a baking sheet and spread peppers, olives, artichoke hearts, cherry tomatoes and garlic cloves on top.

  3. Drizzle the vegetables with the olive oil and sprinkle with the Italian herbs, garlic powder and salt. Roast for 30 minutes.

  4. While the vegetables roast, add the pasta to the boiling water. Cook according to package directions. Drain and add to a large serving bowl.

  5. When vegetables are cooked, add them to the bowl with the pasta. Stir in the white beans and cheese.

  6. Toss with the vinegar and fresh basil.

  7. Serve at room temperature or store in the refrigerator until ready to eat.

What’s your favorite food to eat poolside? Tell me in the comments below!

 


June 12, 2019
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Caesar Smashed Potatoes!!! I’m so excited about this easy and delicious recipe. It’s the perfect side dish for all your summer grilling.

I’m not sure what inspired the vegan Caesar dressing on top of these smashed potatoes but it’s delicious drizzled on top (although my kids said they loved them plain). You be the judge!

I microwaved the potatoes first instead of boiling to save time so adjust your prep by about 20 minutes if you plan to boil instead. The longer you roast the potatoes after smashing, the crispier they get. I used olive oil to “baste” them, but I bet Miyoko’s dairy-free European Cultured Butter would be equally delicious. The process for the smashed potatoes is simple so you can top these a thousand ways for a variety of fun side dishes – or alternatively, you could set up a bar with various toppings and sauces and let your fam make their own. I love a tasty DIY food bar!

Vegan Caesar Smashed Potatoes

Servings 6 servings

Ingredients

For the Smashed Potatoes

  • 6 medium Yukon gold potatoes
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup flat leaf parsley chopped

For the Vegan Caesar Dressing

  • 1 1/2 cups cashews raw and unroasted
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 lemon juiced
  • 2 Tbsp capers
  • 2 Tbsp tamari (or soy sauce)
  • 2 cloves garlic

Instructions

  1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

  2. Clean and pierce the potatoes with a fork. Microwave for 20-25 minutes until fork tender. Alternatively, set potatoes in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and cook for 20 minutes until fork tender.

  3. Place potatoes on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Drizzle with the oil and season with salt and pepper to taste.

  4. Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake for 30-40 minutes until desired crispiness.

  5. Meanwhile, make the Caesar dressing. Place all ingredients in a blender and process until smooth.

  6. To serve, drizzle the potatoes with desired amount of dressing and top with the chopped parsley.

I’d love to hear what you think of these vegan Caesar Smashed Potatoes. Tell me in the comments below!


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I’m obsessed with the Roasted Garlic Chipotle Salsa at Trader Joe’s. It’s smoky and garlicky in all the right ways. It’s one of my favorite snacks alongside limy tortilla chips. Yum!

I created my own homemade version of TJ’s salsa with delicious results! Mix up the tomato blend for variety in flavor. Play with the texture by how much you process the ingredients. The flavors gets better overnight so make it a day ahead to allow the flavors to “marinate”.

I love serving my Roasted Garlic Chipotle Salsa on a snack platter with homemade taquitos, chips, guacamole and cucumbers. 

Roasted Garlic Chipotle Salsa

Ingredients

  • 12-16 small garden tomatoes
  • 1 chipotle in adobo sauce
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 tsp salt or more to taste
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 2 Tbsp of olive oil

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Place the tomatoes and garlic cloves on a baking sheet. Drizzle them with extra virgin olive oil, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Roast for about 30-40 minutes until the tomatoes slightly burst and are juicing.
  3. Transfer the tomatoes along with their juices into a blender or food processor with the rest of the ingredients. Pulse until you get the salsa to your desired consistency.
  4. Refrigerate the salsa for at least an hour before serving.

Photo: Canva


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I love gazpacho any time of year but it’s even more delicious around May when the tomatoes are beautifully in season. My recipe below is super simple and tastes even better with heirloom tomatoes.

Top with chopped avocado and cucumber before serving.

Easy Vegan Gazpacho

Ingredients

  • 2 plum tomatoes quartered
  • 1 English cucumber or 2-3 Persian cucumbers sliced in chunks
  • 1 red bell pepper cut into chunks
  • 1/4 red onion
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp vegan Worcestershire sauce

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a high speed blender until smooth.
  2. Chill for 2 hours or more.
  3. Serve cold topped with freshly chopped avocado and/or cucumber.

Photo: Canva


April 24, 2019
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Take your taste buds on a trip to the islands with this recipe for Tropical Tempeh Kebabs.  The best part?  You can feel like you are on vacation because you barely have to cook.  This homemade-ish recipes uses a store bought marinade, saving you time and energy in the kitchen.

Pineapple chunks, mushrooms and bell pepper are skewered along with the tempeh and basted in a teriyaki sauce. I used a store bought sauce to make these Tropical Tempeh Kebabs quick and easy, but you could have some fun creating your own tropical sauce blend.

They cook quickly on the grill, making it a perfect destination dinner! Check out the recipe below!

 

Tropical Tempeh Kebabs

Ingredients

  • 2 packages soy tempeh
  • 1 red bell pepper cut into bite-sized "squares"
  • 16 button or cremini mushrooms cleaned
  • 1 pineapple core removed and cut into chunks
  • 1 jar Soyaki Teriyaki sauce available at Trader Joe’s
  • 8 bamboo skewers soaked in water at least 15 minutes
  • 1 Tablespoon coconut oil

Instructions

  1. Cut each tempeh block into about 16 cubes. Place in a bowl along with the bell pepper and mushrooms. Pour half the bottle of marinade over the tempeh pieces and vegetables. Allow to marinate at least an hour.

  2. Divide the tempeh, pineapple and veggies among 8 skewers and stack them in any combo you please.
  3. Heat oil on a grill or in a grill pan on the stove. Grill the skewers on each side, approximately 3-4 minutes. Baste with reserved marinade before turning the skewers.


April 9, 2019
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A bounty of asparagus landed in my lap, along with a big, beautiful watermelon radish in my Imperfect Produce box…and this salad was born. With all the crunchy, bright vegetables, it sings Spring to me!

Layers of veggies are tossed with a simple red wine vinaigrette and topped with a sprinkle of the delectable Kite Hill Ricotta cheese.

Simple, fresh and delicious. It makes a great side dish to grilled tofu but would also make a great addition to an Easter or Passover menu.

 

Chopped Asparagus Chickpea Salad

Ingredients

  • 2 bunches asparagus trimmed
  • 1 watermelon radish chopped
  • 1 English cucumber chopped
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes halved
  • 1/2 cup Kalamata olives sliced in half
  • 1 cup chickpeas drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup Kite Hill ricotta crumbled
  • 3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lemon juiced

Instructions

  1. 1. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Insert the asparagus and blanch for 3 minutes.

  2. 2. Remove the asparagus from the boiling water and transfer to an ice bath immediately.

  3. 3. Chop the asparagus into bite-sized pieces.

  4. 4. Combine the asparagus, chickpeas and olives with the rest of the vegetables.

  5. 5. Whisk the vinegar, olive oil and lemon juice together. Pour over the salad and toss to combine. 

  6. 6. Sprinkle the ricotta on top. Serve immediately.

This Asparagus Chickpea Salad is beautiful display of crunchy, bright vegetables. Tossed with a simple red wine vinaigrette, it's a fresh and easy side dish for your Spring menus.


April 3, 2019
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Homemade vegan ramen is a labor of love so I’m super excited about this Easy Vegan Miso Ramen that is ready in 5 minutes. Five minutes!!! Thanks to Trader Joe’s, you can put together this soup with just 5 ingredients. And if you have instant hot water like I do, all you need is 5 minutes to make this meal. Oh and it’s delicious…so so so good! It’s also very healthy and low calorie. Miso soup for everyone!

It all starts with the Vegan Instant Miso Ramen from Trader Joe’s. Yep, that’s right – instant soup! I use pre-cooked and pre-shelled edamame so it will take a little longer if you buy frozen. To make this recipe, you’ll chop your vegetables while the water boils or the soup steeps. Then, it all gets stirred together and this Easy Vegan Miso Ramen is served!

This is supposed to make 1 serving (which I eat all by myself every time), but realistically, this could easily serve 2 (or more if you’re serving it as a first course and not a meal). 

Easy Vegan Miso Ramen

Ingredients

  • 1 container Trader Joe's Miso Ramen
  • 1 stalk baby bok choy chopped
  • 2 green onions sliced on the diagonal
  • 4 shiitake mushrooms sliced
  • 1/3 cup edamame beans shelled and cooked
  • Dash Trader Joe's Umami seasoning (optional)

Instructions

  1. Add boiling hot water to the contents of the Ramen cup along with the seasonings. (I toss the oil packet).

  2. While the soup steeps, prep the vegetables.

  3. After 5 minutes, stir in the vegetables, edamame and Umami seasoning, if using.

  4. Add more boiling water if desired. (I like to add a little more because the broth is so delicious.)


March 27, 2019
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I’m fairly new to the world of pressure cooking. I’ve become a fast fan of my Breville Fast Slow Pro! As a working mama with three meals to get on the table every day, this handy dandy appliance takes prep and cook times down to under 15  minutes. It’s my secret weapon on busy evenings or on nights when I’m working late. This Tofu Salsa Verde can be on the table in minutes!

I love the tangy goodness of tomatillos so salsa verde is one of my favorites. The super firm tofu from Trader Joe’s is perfect for this recipe. If you want things a little soupier, add another 1/2 cup of salsa or don’t drain your beans. 

I like to serve this with tortilla chips to scoop everything out of the bowl. Enjoy!

Tofu Salsa Verde

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 16-oz super firm tofu (such as Trader Joe's)
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 1/2 cups salsa verde
  • 1 can black beans drained
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1 lime juiced and zested
  • 1 1/2 cups jasmine rice

To serve:

  • avocado sliced
  • lime wedges
  • cilantro chopped

Instructions

  1. Cube the tofu into bite-sized pieces.

  2. Add olive oil, onion, garlic, spices, broth, salsa, beans, corn, rice, lime juice and zest to the pressure cooker.

  3. Cook on high pressure for 5 minutes, then do a quick release of the pressure. It will take about 10-15 minutes to come to pressure, then 5 minutes to cook.

  4. Remove lid and let rest for 5 minutes.

  5. Divide among bowls and top with cilantro, avocado and lime wedges.

This Tofu Salsa Verde is a Mexican inspired green rice bowl featuring tomatillo salsa, black beans and extra firm tofu. Topped with avocado, cilantro and lime wedges, this is delicious comfort food served straight from the slow cooker or instant pot.


March 19, 2019
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We all have our favorites and Beyond Meat and Kite Hill are two of my go-to plant-based brands. Beyond Meat is taking the plant-based meat world by storm and with good reason. I’ve used their Beefy Crumble to make tacos and chili, and their Beyond Meat burger to craft my grandmother’s Italian meatballs. Equally, Kite Hill is my cream cheese of choice – not only for schmearing on bagels, but also for my homemade spreads and dips (especially this Caramelized Onion household fave).

In this Vegan Sausage, Kale and Ravioli Stew, Beyond Meat and Kite Hill are a perfect pair. This isn’t the first time I’ve paired this dynamic duo. My Stuffed Ricotta Burger insists on Kite Hill’s ricotta for the filling and the Beyond Meat Burger for the surrounding patty.

In this recipe, Beyond Meat’s tasty sausage is the perfect complement to Kite Hills pasta pillows. I combined the two to make a hearty meal for when you want a bowl of comfort – and this Vegan Sausage, Kale and Ravioli Stew is just that. Easy to make, but full of flavor, you’ll enjoy every last spoonful of this  robust soup.

This hearty Italian stew is pure comfort in a bowl. Featuring the dynamic flavors of artisan products by Beyond Meat and Kite Hill, this plant-based soup bursting with robust flavors.

Vegan Sausage, Kale and Ravioli Stew

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 package Beyond Meat Italian Sausage
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 Tbsp Italian seasoning
  • 8 cups kale chopped
  • 10 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 packages Kite Hill Spinach Ravioli
  • 1 can Great Northern Beans drained and rinsed
  • salt to taste

Instructions

  1. In a large stockpot or Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium heat and add the onion and garlic. Cook 3-5 minutes until translucent.

  2. Crumble in sausage and cook 5 minutes until "browned." 

  3. Stir in the broth, kale and Italian seasoning. Cook 10 minutes.

  4. Add in the ravioli and beans. Cook covered 4 minutes.

  5. Season with salt to taste.

This hearty Italian stew is pure comfort in a bowl. Featuring the dynamic flavors of artisan products by Beyond Meat and Kite Hill, this plant-based soup bursting with robust flavors.

 


February 9, 2019
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Experimenting with ingredients in the kitchen is one of my favorite things to do! I didn’t intend to create a recipe when I was making this Rainbow Minestrone Soup. I was just “playing” at my stove, craving something warm and cozy. I threw a bunch of veggies together that sounded good and voila! This recipe for Rainbow Minestrone Soup was born.

I’m calling it Rainbow Minestrone Soup because it has all the colors of ROYGBIV: RED tomatoes, ORANGE + YELLOW carrots, GREEN spinach and beans, and PURPLE cabbage (well, almost..BLUE stumped me!)

This vegan Minestrone Soup has lots of veggies going on! It's simple and quick to make. Just let it simmer on the stove until you're ready to spoon in. Serve with freshly grated vegan Parmesan cheese and a chunk of crusty Italian bread.

When it comes to soup, I always start with onions and garlic. That’s actually the first step in most of my recipes! Quality ingredients are key so I insist on Imagine No-Chicken Chicken Broth and San Marzano tomatoes. These two ingredients really do make a difference in the taste of the recipe (in my opinion!).

I serve this Rainbow Minestrone Soup with freshly grated Violife Parmesan cheese and it’s heaven. A chunk of crusty Italian better would take this meal to nirvana! I hope you enjoy it. Tag me (#veegmama) if you do try it. I love seeing your versions of my recipes.

Vegan Sausage, Kale and Ravioli Stew

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 package Beyond Meat Italian Sausage
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 Tbsp Italian seasoning
  • 8 cups kale chopped
  • 10 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 packages Kite Hill Spinach Ravioli
  • 1 can Great Northern Beans drained and rinsed
  • salt to taste

Instructions

  1. In a large stockpot or Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium heat and add the onion and garlic. Cook 3-5 minutes until translucent.

  2. Crumble in sausage and cook 5 minutes until "browned." 

  3. Stir in the broth, kale and Italian seasoning. Cook 10 minutes.

  4. Add in the ravioli and beans. Cook covered 4 minutes.

  5. Season with salt to taste.

This vegan Minestrone Soup has lots of veggies going on! It's simple and quick to make. Just let it simmer on the stove until you're ready to spoon in. Serve with freshly grated vegan Parmesan cheese and a chunk of crusty Italian bread.

 


January 26, 2019
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I love lettuce wraps! They surround flavorful fillings with lots of crunch while adding tons of veggie power. And if you’re counting calories, you don’t have to count the number of wraps you’re eating!

These Black Bean & Corn Romaine Tacos are a tortilla-less twist on my Taco Tuesday standby. The filling is a simple saute of black beans, onions and corn. I topped it with my favorite pico de gallo, red cabbage for more color, and of course lots of chopped avocado!

I serve it with additional lime wedges. (The more lime, the better in my book!). I hope you enjoy this veg-tastic taco alternative. Tag me if you make it (#veegmama). I love to see you cooking my recipes!

Black Bean & Corn Romaine Tacos

Ingredients

For the filling:

  • 1 can black beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 can corn drained
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 3 Tbsp taco seasoning

For the pico de gallo:

  • 4 roma tomatoes finely chopped
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup cilantro finely chopped
  • 1 lime juiced
  • salt to taste

To serve:

  • 1/2 cup red cabbage chopped
  • 2 avocados chopped
  • 12 romaine leaves

Instructions

For the filling:

  1. Saute the onion in 1 Tbsp of olive oil for 3 minutes until translucent. Add the beans, corn and taco seasoning. Cook for 5 minutes until heated through.

For the pico de gallo:

  1. Combine all of the ingredients for the pico de gallo in a bowl. Set aside.

To serve:

  1. Spoon 3 Tbsp of filling into a romaine leaf. Top with the cabbage, pico de gallo, and avocado.

  2. Serve with lime edges.

 

Try this veggie twist on Taco Tuesday. These tortilla-less Black Bean & Corn Romaine Tacos surround a savory filling with lots of crunch. With fresh pico de gallo, red cabbage and avocado, these lettuce tacos add lots of plant-power to Taco Tuesday!

November 5, 2018
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These Tofu Lettuce Wraps are an easy weeknight dinner and an instant hit with the kids. I mean, what kid doesn’t like to eat with their hands?!!

Serve the filling and lettuce leaves family style and let the family go to town making wraps and stuffing their faces 🙂

These Tofu Lettuce Wraps are an easy family friendly weeknight dinner. Serve alongside steamed rice and let the family have fun wrapping and eating!

Got a busy week and can’t even spare the 20ish minutes to get the filling made? Batch cook it on the weekend.

I serve these alongside veggie potstickers (frozen from Trader Joe’s) or vegan egg rolls. My kids love rice so a steaming bowl typically makes an appearance too.

Tofu Lettuce Wraps

Ingredients

  • 16 ounces Trader Joe's Organic Tofu Super Firm minced
  • 2 celery ribs minced
  • 2 small carrots (or 1 large) minced
  • 2 inch piece of ginger peeled and finely minced or grated
  • 8 ounce can of water chestnuts drained and minced
  • lettuce leaves (such as romaine, Bibb, or iceberg) for serving
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/3 cup shoyu (or soy sauce)
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 6 green onions (white and green parts) finely sliced and minced

Instructions

  1. Heat sesame oil in a large saucepan.

  2. Add all vegetables except the green onions, the ginger and garlic. Cook 5-7 minutes until vegetables are tender.

  3. Add tofu, shoyu and rice vinegar. Cook 10 more minutes.

  4. Remove from heat and stir in the green onions.

  5. Serve with lettuce leaves.

These Tofu Lettuce Wraps also make a great appetizer for a destination Asian meal. Enjoy!

 

These Tofu Lettuce Wraps are an easy family friendly weeknight dinner. Serve alongside steamed rice and let the family have fun wrapping and eating!

 

 

 

 

 


February 26, 2018
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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

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  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!

Please prepare an hour presentation on the two subjects listed above. I. Highlights for 2017 a. What did we achieve b. What did we learn? (Best practices and failures) c. What would we do differently and how? II. Key trends a. What are the latest trends? (Respective to your industry & functions) i. Please evaluate around luxury brands vs mass b. How could we implement efficiently and with a lean strategy?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


February 21, 2018
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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

Ingredients

  • 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)

Instructions

  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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


February 15, 2018
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I hope your family enjoys these Lentil Walnut Meatballs as much as mine! As a vegan Italian, plant-based meatballs are a staple in my house. There are some great ready-made options at the store by Gardein and Trader Joe’s, but my family prefers homemade. My Beyond Meat vegan Italian meatballs are always a win, but I recently played with my lentil burger recipe to create an Italian meatball that is free of faux meat.

These Lentil Walnut "Meatballs" are a delicious plant-based alternative for topping spaghetti and/or vegetable noodles. Top them with my easy marinara.

These lentil walnut meatballs start with a saute bath of mushrooms in garlic, onion, and olive oil. The smell is insanely delicious. There is nothing like the aroma of onion and garlic in my opinion! That’s the most “strenuous” part of the recipe. After that, you just combine the rest of the ingredients in a food processor and pulse until smooth. Make them gluten-free by swapping out the breadcrumbs for a gluten-free option.

These Lentil Walnut Meatballs are a delicious plant-based alternative for topping spaghetti and/or vegetable noodles. Top them with my easy marinara.

I used a cookie scoop to form these lentil walnut meatballs. Make sure the oil is hot enough and covers the bottom of the pan well before placing your meatballs inside. You don’t want to walk away from these or be multi-tasking (I have tried and burnt them!). Monitor your meatballs and keep rolling them so that they get crispy all around.

I have also included a recipe for a quick and easy marinara sauce. I throw all of the ingredients for the sauce in a pot before I start the meatballs so that it can simmer, allowing the flavors to be enhanced.

I like to serve these meatballs over a combo of zoodles (zucchini noodles) and spaghetti. I toss the raw zoodles with the spaghetti and it blends in nicely. It’s the only way I can get my kids to eat zucchini!

These Lentil Walnut Meatballs are a delicious plant-based alternative for topping spaghetti and/or vegetable noodles. Top them with my easy marinara.

Please try these Lentil Walnut Meatballs, and let me know what you think. My non vegan kids aren’t always fans of the faux meats so having whole foods plant-based option like these is a great go-to recipe for our family. For more Italian recipes that my family loves, try my Dairy-Free 3-Cheese Rigatoni, my Vegan Beef Lasagna Rolls, or Italian Stuffed Ricotta Burger.

Lentil Walnut "Meatballs" with Marinara Sauce

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 8 people

Ingredients

For the "meatballs"

  • 1 14.5 ounce cans lentils or 1 3/4 cups cooked lentils
  • 2 cups breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 2 cups sliced mushrooms about 8 ounces
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the sauce:

  • 2 28 ounce cans crushed tomatoes
  • ½ onion diced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Sauté the onion and garlic in the olive oil until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes.
  2. Stir in the mushrooms and cook about 10 minutes.
  3. Combine the mushrooms, walnuts, lentils, breadcrumbs, garlic powder and onion powder in a food processor and pulse until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  4. Form into small golf-ball sized meatballs.
  5. Heat olive oil in a pan. Place the meatballs inside and cook, turning often until golden brown and crispy all around.
  6. For the sauce, the onion and garlic in 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the tomatoes, oregano, salt, and balsamic vinegar. Simmer for 15 minutes. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste.
  7. To serve, cook 8-16 ounces of spaghetti, spiralize 2-4 zucchinis, or use a combination of both. Top with the sauce and "meatballs".

These Lentil Walnut Meatballs are a delicious plant-based alternative for topping spaghetti and/or vegetable noodles. Top them with my easy marinara.

 

 

 

 


February 8, 2018
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One of my favorite ways to show my love is through a home cooked meal. This Vegetable Wellington is a sexy meal to please vegans and carnivores.  Filled with leeks, artichokes, and sun-dried tomatoes, it is big on flavor, but not too heavy to weigh you down – perfect for a romantic evening for two!

Vegetable Wellington

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup olives, pitted
  • 12 garlic cloves
  • 1 can artichokes in water drained
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • 1 package cremini mushrooms
  • 1 sheet vegan puff pastry dough I use the brand, Aussie Bakery, available at Whole Foods
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Thaw puff pastry according to package directions, about a half hour before starting.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  3. Place the garlic cloves, olives, and all the vegetables on a roasting pan. Toss with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven.

  4. Unwrap dough on a non stick cookie sheet or jelly roll pan. Stretch and roll dough out slightly to give more length to the pastry.
  5. Spoon half of the vegetables into the middle of  the pastry dough lengthwise, leaving about a 1/2 inch border all around. Reserve the rest of the vegetables to serve on the side.

  6. Take each side of the dough and fold them together forming a seam in the middle. Carefully, flip the Wellington over so that the seam is faced down.
  7. Pinch the open ends together to seal the sides.
  8. Bake for approximately 30 minutes. Slice into pieces for serving.

http://www.worldofvegan.com/vegan-mom-omni-family/

 

 

 

 


February 8, 2018
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I love a good creamy sauce to pour over my family’s favorite pasta. This Sun-Dried Tomato Alfredo Sauce is smooth and luscious with just a few ingredients — and your blender. Make it in minutes. Instead of milk, this dairy-free sauce uses cashews to achieve its silky velvet texture. It all comes together in just minutes, and is easy clean up with only the blender to wash!

My kids love this over farfalle, jumbo shells, or regular spaghetti. Sometimes, I will cook penne, toss it with broccoli and the sauce and bake for 20 minutes for a baked dish that has some extra plant power.

You won't miss the dairy in this creamy Sun-Dried Tomato Alfredo Sauce - perfect for pouring over your family's favorite pasta! #vegan #dairyfree

This Sun-Dried Tomato Alfredo Sauce is my go-to cream sauce for my recipes. Leave out the sun-dried tomatoes and add roasted red peppers for a twist or leave out the tomatoes all together for a creamy white sauce that is delicious in its own right. Enjoy!

Sun-Dried Tomato Alfredo Sauce

Servings 1 cup

Ingredients

  • 2 cups cashews soaked for 2 hours or overnight and drained
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast
  • ¼ cup sun-dried tomatoes in oil drained
  • ¼ cup lemon juice about 1 lemon

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a high-speed blender and mix until smooth.

You won't miss the dairy in this creamy Sun-Dried Tomato Alfredo Sauce - perfect for pouring over your family's favorite pasta! #vegan #dairyfree

 

 

 

 


February 7, 2018
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This Jackfruit Noodle Soup recipe is the product of a lot of testing! I have been experimenting with jackfruit for about a year, ever since it started popping up in vegan recipes. Back then, I had to order it online. Today, you can find it at Trader Joe’s! Jackfruit is a fast-growing tropical Asian tree related to the breadfruit. It’s found mostly in India and has a texture that is similar to hearts of palm or artichoke hearts. It doesn’t smell fantastic or taste like much straight from the can, but once you rinse and flavor it, jackfruit is a fabulous substitute for shredded chicken, pork, or beef. You can find lots of recipes for it in vegan pulled pork, sloppy joe, and faux fish dishes. I have used it in enchiladas with great results, but have been hankering to try it as a chicken sub in the classic Chicken Noodle Soup.

The seasoned jackfruit is delicious on its own. I might make a batch in the future and use some of it in burritos or spooned over rice. I use two forks to shred it apart, which reminds me of what my mom used to do when she'd make shredded chicken for enchiladas. Yep, definitely going to have to try an enchilada recipe with the jackfruit!

My first attempt at this Jackfruit Noodle Soup was in a slow cooker with mediocre results. The jackfruit got too mushy and the seasonings weren’t right. I kept working at it, and found the best results came when I seasoned the jackfruit separately and added it at the end, right before serving. My Dutch oven also turned out to be the best way to make the soup instead of using a slow cooker.

The seasoned jackfruit is delicious on its own. I might make a batch in the future and use some of it in burritos or spooned over rice. I use two forks to shred it apart, which reminds me of what my mom used to do when she'd make shredded chicken for enchiladas. Yep, definitely going to have to try an enchilada recipe with the jackfruit!

The seasoned jackfruit is delicious on its own. I might make a batch in the future and use some of it in burritos or spooned over rice. I use two forks to shred it apart, which reminds me of what my mom used to do when she’d make shredded chicken for enchiladas. Yep, definitely going to have to try an enchilada recipe with this jackfruit!

The seasoned jackfruit is delicious on its own. I might make a batch in the future and use some of it in burritos or spooned over rice. I use two forks to shred it apart, which reminds me of what my mom used to do when she'd make shredded chicken for enchiladas. Yep, definitely going to have to try an enchilada recipe with the jackfruit!

I am finally pleased to share the fruits of my Jackfruit Noodle Soup labor with you! I shared it with my family and my kids  gave it a thumbs in the middle, while my husband gave it an enthusiastic thumbs up. I hope you’ll try it and let me know what you think. I want to give a special shout out to Denise B. for the encouragement with this recipe – you inspired me to keep at it. I hope you enjoy it!

Jackfruit Noodle Soup

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 10 servings

Ingredients

For the jackfruit:

  • 1 20- ounce can of green jackfruit in brine or water
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 ½ teaspoons oregano
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ cup of water
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice

For the soup:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion diced
  • 2 large carrots diced
  • 2 stalks of celery diced
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 12 cups vegetable broth preferably Imagine No-Chicken Vegetarian Broth
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 cups of rotini or other curly noodle
  • ½ cup fresh parsley chopped

Instructions

  1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in the onion and saute for 2-3 minutes until softened and slightly golden. Add in the garlic, thyme, oregano, and salt.
  2. Stir in the jackfruit, lemon juice and water. Cover and simmer 10 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat. Using a fork, smash and shred the jackfruit.
  4. While the jackfruit is cooking, heat the oil in a Dutch oven or medium-high heat. Add the onion, carrot, and celery, and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. The vegetables should be lightly browned and tender. Stir in the garlic and cook for one more minute, until fragrant.
  5. Add the broth, thyme, bay leaves, and salt. Bring to a boil and add the noodles. Cook about 12-14 minutes, until the noodles are al dente.
  6. Turn off the heat and remove the bay leaves. Stir in the jackfruit and parsley.

The seasoned jackfruit is delicious on its own. I might make a batch in the future and use some of it in burritos or spooned over rice. I use two forks to shred it apart, which reminds me of what my mom used to do when she'd make shredded chicken for enchiladas. Yep, definitely going to have to try an enchilada recipe with the jackfruit!

 

 

 


January 24, 2018
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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

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  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
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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

Ingredients

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

Instructions

  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.


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