Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Cheap and Easy Peanut Noodles

Not healthy really, but GOOOOOD!

Peanut Noodles - 
2 sets of noodles from 2 packs Ramen noodles
1 packet Oriental seasoning (save other packet for another time)
2 c. water 
2 TBSP Peanut Butter

Boil water, add 2 sets noodles and stir until soft, add seasoning packet and peanut butter. 

Stir and cook until liquid is absorbed. 

Cool and serve cold or room temperature.

Add green onions and sesame seeds, if desired.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Roasted Cranberry Walnut Sweet Potatoes & Barley Lentil Pilaf

These 2 recipes would make great additions to the Thanksgiving table, not to mention, they are both SO simple and easy to throw together, so you spend less time slaving in the kitchen (especially if you leave out baking and stuffing big ol' turkey!!)

Even my 2 year old liked both and asked for more!  If that's not a rave review, I don't know what is!

Roasted Cranberry Walnut Sweet Potatoes

This sweet and savory side dish is a nice alternative to the sticky sweet marshmallow sweet potato goo most people serve at Thanksgiving.  I've always found that too sweet, but this dish is a nice balance of flavors and is more elegant on the table!

*Adjust ingredients to suit the size of guests you are serving (this recipe served 2 adults)

Preheat oven to 400

Spray a Pyrex with cooking spray


 1 Large Sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1 "  cubes
1/2 c. Craisins or other dried cranberries
1/2 c. Walnuts (raw)1/2 tsp. Powdered ginger
1 TBSP Cinnamon
1 TBSP Brown Sugar

1-2 TBS Coconut Oil (this makes all the difference in flavor, but you could use butter)
*Coconut oil can be found in health food stores, vitamin shops or Whole Foods, it comes in a jar and is solid, but melts at 70 degrees.  It can be pricey, but it is worth it for the flavors and the fat is the "good fat"
1/2 tsp. Salt


Mix all together, except cranberries and pour into Pyrex
Bake, checking every 15-20 min. until sweet potatoes are tender when pierced with a knife
*Add cranberries in during last few (10 min. or so) minutes of baking - otherwise they tend to burn  

Barley Lentil Pilaf

This dish is so easy it almost makes itself!

Full of nothing but whole grains, fiber and protein, it makes a hearty side dish or quick and simple main dish.


6 c. cooked pearl barley (we make ahead and freeze it, so it only takes 5 min. to thaw!)
1 can green lentils
1 packet Lipton Recipe Secrets Beefy Onion or Onion, made as soup with 4 c. water
*Yes, these are both vegan! The Beefy Onion makes a GREAT vegan gravy for Thanksgiving as well!  Just follow the directions on Lipton's site for making gravy with the packet!


In a large soup pot, combine cooked barley with soup
Add lentils and simmer until most of the liquid is absorbed, about 30 min.
(more liquid will absorb after it cools)

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Pumpkin Apple Spice Cookies

These cookies are cakey and soft, like a mini muffin, perfect for breakfast on the go, especially for little ones like my 2 yr. old!

Makes approx. 25-30, 2" cookies

Preheat oven to 350°F

  • 1/2 can Canned Pumpkin
  • 1 Apple, finely chopped (I use the Ninja)
  • 1/2 cup Oil (Used coconut oil, but you can use vegetable oil)
  • 3/4 cup Brown Sugar - This cookie is not overly sweet, so add more white or brown sugar if you want them sweet like a traditional cookie or muffin
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  •  2 TBSP Ground Flax mixed with 6 TBSP hot water - Equivalent of 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp Ginger
  • 1/4 tsp salt
 *Add  handful of dark chocolate chips for extra yumminess (I didn't this time)


Mix all of the ingredients together (I used the Kitchen Aid mixer), adjust spices to your taste, and chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

Roll into golf ball sized dough balls and place on parchment on cookie sheets 

Bake for 15 minutes

Monday, October 3, 2011

Ethiopian Yellow Split Peas

Yum, Yum, YUM is all that can be said.  Just make them.

So yummy my 2 year old didn't want to wait until dinner to eat them.  Even got his "More Fingers" going from his old baby sign language classes,while SAYING "MORE!"  He wanted me to know he wanted them THAT MUCH.

Serve over rice or if you want authentic Injera bread, you can get some in Raleigh at

3 c Vegetable Broth
1 c dried yellow split peas
2 TBSP olive oil
1/2 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 TBSP fresh ginger, finely chopped (or 1-2 tsp ground ginger)
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp salt


In a frying pan:
Heat olive oil 
Cook onion until translucent
Add garlic, ginger and turmeric, salt
Add about 2 tablespoons water
Stir and cook a few minutes
Set aside

In a large soup pot:
Combine broth and the peas
Heat over high heat to boiling. 
Reduce heat to medium
Cook until tender (20-30 minutes)
Check frequently, stir often to make sure the peas don't stick or burn! 
Add garlic/ginger mixture from frying pan

Simmer again until peas are very soft, about 30 more minutes (adding more water, if needed). 

Again: Check frequently, stir often to make sure the peas don't stick or burn! 

 Injera, Red Lentils, Yellow Split Peas and Kale (in place of collards)

Thursday, September 22, 2011

"Beefy" Lentil Barley Soup

1 Envelope Lipton Beefy Onion Recipe Secrets (yep, it's vegan!  Also makes a great vegan gravy! Recipe for that can be found on the box)
4 c. Water
1/2 Bag Frozen Mirepoix, heated in microwave until hot (carrots, onion, celery)
1 Can Lentils, Drained
1 c. cooked pearl Barley (We pre-cook and freeze in containers so it's easy to defrost and eat whenever)
1 TBSP Cornstarch mixed with a few tablespoons COLD water

In a large soup pot heat up 4 c. water with the Lipton packet whisked in
Add in heated Mirepoix, lentils and barley
Add in cornstarch/water mixture
Simmer to heat through

Serve with bread and salad

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Peanut Noodles with Kale Salad - Using Trader Joe's Items

You don't need to use Trader Joe's items, but that's what I had on hand.

This recipe is super easy to throw together and is very filling even though it doesn't seem it would be.  Packed with protein from the nuts and tofu and super vitamins from the kale!


1 tub of extra-firmTofu in water, drained (Trader Joe's)
1 c. Soyaki marinade (Trader Joe's)
1/2 c. milk (I used almond milk)
2-3 c. finely chopped Kale and 1 c. finely chopped carrots (I use the Ninja for this), or sub in 1 bag of Coleslaw Mix
Slivered Almonds (Trader Joe's)

1/2 c. Smooth Peanut Butter or Almond Butter (Trader Joe's)
1/2 box Spaghetti, cooked and drained - we use whole wheat spaghetti for extra fiber - Barilla is a good brand


In a container, pour marinade over drained tofu and marinate at least a half hour (but can be left overnight, covered)

Pour off marinate into a cup and set tofu aside to fry
Cube tofu into 1 inch chunks
Fry tofu in a little oil until lightly browned, set aside

In a blender (we use Vitamix), combine the reserved Soyaki marinade and peanut butter with milk, blend until smooth
Pour over noodles

Mix chopped kale and carrots together and pour a few more tablespoons of Soyaki over them and stir to combine

Layer each serving bowl with kale salad mixture, noodles on top, topped with fried tofu and slivered almonds

Monday, September 19, 2011

Mexican Casserole Bake (Using Sweet Potato, Quinoa, Spinach and Pinto Beans)


2 Flour Tortillas
1 Can Pinto Beans
1/2 c. Frozen Spinach, microwaved until hot1 Sweet Potato, sliced into thin rounds and microwaved in a container with a little water until cooked through (about 5 min.)
1 c. Cooked Quinoa
1 Can Tomato Soup
1/2 c. Sour Cream (we use Tofutti vegan sour cream)
1-2 TBSP. Mexican Taco Seasoning

Lay 1 tortilla in a round Pyrex that has been sprayed with cooking spray
On top of that, layer the sweet potato rounds

In a bowl, combine the quinoa, beans, spinach and sour cream
Spread over sweet potato
Top everything with another flour tortilla

In a bowl, mix together the tomato soup with taco seasoning
Pour over tortilla

Bake in oven at 400 for 20 min.

Serve with sour cream, guacamole, chips etc.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Barley and Lentil Primavera - Produce Box Dinner

Fresh vegetables and filling lentils go into this Italian seasoned sauce, to serve over barley (or grain/pasta of choice). 

Full of flavor, nutrients and fiber!


2 c. Barley, cooked and set aside (we cook ours in bulk and then store it in small containers and freeze it, making it easy to microwave in a few minutes!)

 1 can Lentils, drained
1 Zucchini, diced
4 Roma Tomatoes (or 1 can Diced Tomatoes)
1/2 White Onion, diced
1-2 Carrots, chopped
1 c. Kale, finely chopped (I use the Ninja to make it small, coarse ground particles of kale)
1/2 Jar of Spaghetti Sauce
2 Cloves Garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. Sugar
Oregano, Salt, Pepper to taste
Olive Oil

Add oil to saute pan and heat
Add in all ingredients except spaghetti sauce and lentils and saute until vegetable are tender

Pour in 1/2 jar spaghetti sauce and heat through
Add in lentils - stir

Serve sauce over barley or grain/pasta of choice - add a side salad for even MORE veggies in your life!


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Quinoa Black Bean Bowl

This dish reminds me of the "burrito bowls" some places serve, like Chipotle, only I am using quinoa in place of rice.  Quinoa is a complete protein and takes on whatever flavor you add to it.

Since we make many batches in bulk and freeze them, this recipe only takes minutes to put together!

2-3 cups cooked quinoa
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 ear corn, cut from cob or 1/2 c. frozen kernels, defrosted
1 tomato, diced
1/2 c. red onion, diced
1 TBSP prepared salsa

Chili Powder
Chopped Cilantro *optional

Make sure quinoa and beans are hot, then all remaining ingredients, stir to combine and serve
Top with sour cream *optional (we used Tofutti vegan sour cream)

We served with a side of guacamole and chips

Monday, September 5, 2011

Tangy Asian Slaw with Tofu

1 Bag Coleslaw Mix
1 Package of Firm Seasoned Pressed Tofu (I used Five Spice from the Asian market but you can buy similar tofu at Trader Joe's etc.)

1 c. Chopped Fresh Pineapple (or used canned and drained pineapple)
2 Clementines, peeled and segments cut in half (or use canned an drained Mandarin Oranges)
1/2 c. Slivered Almonds
1/2 c. Asian Dressing (I used Trader Joe's Sesame Soy Ginger)
Sprinkle Toasted Sesame Seeds *Optional (buy these in a shaker at Asian Market)

Combine all and serve
Refrigerate until ready to eat

Creamy Potato Salad (using secret White Beans)

This recipe adds fiber and creaminess without extra fat by using beans

The carrots add crunch and extra nutrition as well

1 Can Northern Beans, Drained and Rinsed - Pureed in Ninja with a little water until smooth
Red Potatoes (about 10), skin on, diced and boiled (about 10 min.)

2 Stalks Celery finely chopped (using Ninja)
1/2 c. Baby Carrots finely diced (using Ninja) *Optional

2 TBSP Mayo (I used Vegenaise)
1 TBSP Brown Mustard
1 tsp Sugar
1 TBSP Cider Vinegar
2-3 Green Onions, Chopped
Salt and Pepper to taste

Take half of cooked potatoes and mash with hand masher, combine with cooked diced potatoes in a large bowl

Stir in pureed beans and rest of dressing ingredients

Stir and refrigerate until ready to serve

Monday, August 15, 2011

"Ground Beef", Sweet Potato and Spinach Burritos with Green Chile Sour Cream Sauce

(Scaled to make 2 servings:
Adjust ingredients to suit your family or gathering)

Set oven to 350 and get out a Pyrex glass baking dish


2 Flour Tortillas
1 c. Morningstar "Beef" Crumbles, thawed in microwave and mixed with 1 TBSP Taco Seasoning
1/2 c. Frozen Spinach, thawed in microwave
1 Large Sweet Potato, pierced and microwaved until soft - remove skin and mash

In a skillet sprayed with cooking spray, combine all above ingredients except flour tortillas

Once it is all heated through, spoon mixture evenly between 2 tortillas and fold and roll into burritos

Spray Pyrex glass baking dish with cooking spray and lay the folded burritos in it

Green Chile Sauce

In a measuring cup whisk together:

1/2 c. Sour Cream (we use Tofutti vegan sour cream)
4 oz. can Diced Green Chilies
Sprinkle in some salt, pepper, garlic and cumin

Pour sauce over burritos in Pyrex pan

Bake burritos at 350 for 15 min.

Serve on a bed of salad with chips and salsa/guacamole or Spanish/Mexican rice

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Tomato Basil Pasta with White Beans and Spinach

 (Makes 4 generous servings)

More "Beans, Greens and  Grains" - the essential nutrient combo!  Protein, folate, fiber and more...

And, it's simple and easy to throw together with shelf stable/canned/frozen ingredients - 

Just make sure you have FRESH basil and garlic and you can't go wrong!


1/2 Box Whole Wheat Pasta of choice (I used mini shells) - Cooked, drained and set aside
1 can Diced Tomatoes, undrained
1 Can White Northern Beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 Bag Frozen Spinach, thawed in microwave
1/4 c. FRESH Basil, torn or shredded
2 Cloves Fresh Garlic, sliced thinly
1 TBSP Olive Oil
1 TBSP Balsamic Vinegar
1 tsp Sugar
1 TBSP Butter (We use Earth Balance)

Salt and Pepper to taste
3 TBSP Nutritional Yeast (optional)
Toasted Pine Nuts (optional) - Buy raw and toast in a dry pan, stirring frequently to prevent burning about 5 min.


In a large and deep frying pan, heat olive oil
Add sliced garlic and fry a few minutes
Add in spinach, tomatoes, beans and pasta and simmer
Add in rest of ingredients and stir to combine

*Butter adds a nice depth of flavor to the dish, but is optional

Top with toasted pine nuts, if desired, and serve with side salad, and a nice crusty bread

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Coconut Curry Vegetables with Fresh Thai Basil

(Serves 4)


1 Water Packed Extra Firm Tofu, drained and cut into cubes
3-4 cups Mixed Veggies of Choice - I used fresh zucchini and red pepper and frozen broccoli, carrots and edamame
4 Cloves Garlic, minced
1 Can Coconut Milk (I used Light from Trader Joe's)
Vegetable Oil for Frying
Handful of FRESH Basil, chopped

In a large frying pan, heat 1 TBSP Oil
Fry tofu on all sides until slightly browned
Add in garlic, vegetables and fry 5-10 more minutes
Add in Coconut Milk
In a measuring cup, mix together ingredients for "sauce" (below)

 6 TBSP Soy Sauce
1 TBSP Brown Sugar
1 tsp Ground Ginger (or use fresh grated)
1 tsp Curry Powder (I use Penzey's Sweet Curry)
1 tsp Cornstarch mixed with a few TBSP COLD water
*Add in hot chile oil, Sriracha sauce or cayenne pepper to taste if you like it spicy

Add sauce to veggie/coconut milk mixture in frying pan and cook a minute or two
Turn off heat and add in some chopped basil

Top dish with chopped basil and serve with rice (we used jasmine brown rice)

Thursday, August 11, 2011

10 Minute Lentil Soup

Add a side salad and crusty bread and dinner is set - Serves 4


1 Can Lentils, Drained
1/2 Bag Frozen Spinach, thawed in microwave
1/2 Bag Frozen Mirepoix, (chopped carrot, onion, celery) thawed in microwave
1 Can Diced Tomatoes, undrained
1 Can Whole Potatoes, diced (or 1 can diced potatoes)
4 c. Water with 1 cube vegetable boullion disolved in it or 4 c. Vegetable Broth
2 Cloves Fresh Garlic, minced
1 TBSP Olive Oil
Dried Oregano Flakes
Salt & Pepper


In a large soup pot, heat oil
Add minced garlic and fry 1-2 min.
Add all canned and thawed veggie ingredients
Slowly add vegetable broth until desired soup thickness
Keep on stove simmering on low until ready to eat
Add salt and pepper to taste (I also sprinkled in a bit of dried oregano)


It's that easy!!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Breakfast Cups - Sunday Brunch!

I decided to try these with tofu instead of eggs to see how they would turn out.

It's a twist on the "Ham & Egg" baked breakfast cups.  Pretty easy and tasty.  Even Little B. who is 2 liked them.


1/2 block extra firm tofu, drained
Tofurky Deli Slices (I used original flavor)
1/2 c. plain soy milk
1 tsp. turmeric (for orange/yellow color)
1 tsp. granulated garlic
1 c. finely chopped frozen broccoli (I used the Ninja chopper after microwaving broccoli)
*You can sub in any chopped veggie or spinach etc.

5 TBSP Nutritional Yeast
1 tsp each salt and pepper
1/2 c. Shredded Cheese (vegan or dairy - I used dairy mozzarella)


Get out a 6 cup muffin tin
Set oven to 400 degrees

Spray a muffin tin with cooking spray
Line each cup with a slice of Tofurky
Set aside

In a blender, combine:
Tofu, soy milk, spices
Pour into a mixing bowl and fold in cheese and broccoli

Spoon mixture into Tofurky slices in the baking tin

Bake for 25-30 min.
Let cool slightly (5-10 min.) before removing tofu cups so that they firm up some as they cool

We served with fried potatoes, toast and veggie sausage

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Fresh Tomato and Basil Capellini Pomodoro


16 oz. Container of Grape Tomatoes, cut into quarters
1 White Onion, finely chopped
1 handful Basil leaves, fresh chopped (3 TBSP chopped)
5-6 cloves Fresh Garlic, minced, reserving 1 TBSP minced garlic
3 TBSP Olive Oil
1 TBSP Balsamic Vinegar
1 tsp White Sugar
1/2 c. Jarred Pasta Sauce
1 tsp each Salt and Black Pepper
Angel Hair Pasta (or pasta of choice)

In a soup pot, heat the olive oil on medium heat
Once hot, add the chopped onion and cook until lightly browned, stirring occasionally so it doesn't burn (10-20 min. depending on pan size)

Add in chopped garlic (except for 1 TBSP you are reserving)
Add in vinegar, sugar, jarred pasta sauce, salt, pepper
Add in tomatoes

Keep on stove, stirring occasionally about 20 min.
Take sauce off stove and stir in the 1 TBSP raw chopped garlic and all of the chopped basil

Cook 1 box Angel Hair Pasta

Serve sauce over pasta

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Mexican Spiced Potato Salad

We've decided to keep cooking to a minimum and make almost every night either "Salad Night" or "Veggie Burger Night" until the baby is born.  Makes things easier for quick dinners after the pool!

Tonight is "Black Bean Burger Night", so to go with that theme, I came up with this side dish recipe, which we'll serve with corn on the cob.

1-2 Potatoes, scrubbed, cubed and boiled about 10 min. until just tender, not mushy - set aside to cool
1 c. Sliced Celery
1 c. Carrot, finely chopped
1/2 c. Red Onion, finely chopped
1 Med. Red Pepper, finely chopped
*I use the Ninja Master Prep for all chopping, makes things VERY easy and beats hand chopping!

1 tsp Brown Mustard
1/2 c. Mayonnaise (I use Vegenaise)
1/2 tsp. Vinegar (White)
1 tsp. Sugar
1/2 tsp each Salt & Black Pepper
1 TBSP Taco Seasoning

Combine all in bowl and stir
Serve room temperature or cold

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Kale (not Cole) Slaw


3-4 handfuls of  kale (stripped from stems), chopped in food processor
1/2 c. carrot, grated

2 TBSP squeezed lemon juice
1 tsp Dijon-style mustard
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/3 c. olive oil

Whisk together all except kale and carrot
Pour over chopped kale and carrot and toss to combine.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Panang Curry with Tofu and Green Beans

Panang Curry is my all time favorite Thai dish, it's slightly sweet and spicy and the sauce is creamy, nutty and wonderful.

 If you do not have or like green beans, you can sub in any combination of stir fry veggies you like, fresh or frozen.

I just made this version to use up the fresh green beans from our Produce Box.

(Makes 4 servings)


1 Block Extra Firm Tofu in water, drained and if you are able, pressed (we use the TofuXpress, which is a quick and easy way to get out excess water)

Fresh Green Beans, steamed until tender
*Or 2 c. stir fry veggies of choice

1-2 TBSP Grated Ginger

2 TBSP Chopped Garlic

1 can Unsweetened Coconut Milk, regular or Lite (we get ours at the Asian Market or Trader Joe's)
1/4 c. Almond or Peanut Butter (I used a combination of both)

2-3 TBSP Lime Juice
1 tsp Cumin
1 tsp Sriracha or other chili paste *optional (use more or less depending on how spicy you like it, we left it mild so we could all eat it)
1 TBSP Brown Sugar


Cut drained and pressed tofu into cubes and pan fry in large frying pan in oil until browned on all sides
Add in garlic and ginger and fry 1-2 minutes longer
Set pan off heat, add in steamed green beans

In a blender combine all ingredients listed under "sauce" until smooth

Pour over cooked tofu and green beans and put back on medium heat until heated through

Serve over rice

Monday, July 25, 2011

Vegan Gyros & Lentil Quinoa Tabbouleh

This post is just to let people know that if you NEED a vegan gyro, it IS possible  :)

Simply marinate seitan ("wheat" meat substitute sold at Whole Foods in refrigerated section by the tofu)
(1 Box of cubes setian makes about 2 pita half sandwiches)

Olive Oil
Lemon Juice
Cavendar's Greek Seasoning *Essential for the flavor
(one part olive oil to two parts lemon juice, add Cavendar's to taste - about 1 TBSP for 1 box seitan)

Adjust marinade ration for # of boxes of seitan.
Combine all ingredients and marinate at least an hour in refrigerator.
Pour off marinade and pan fry until browned.
Serve in pita with desired toppings and tzatsiki (yougurt cucumber dip)

Lentil Quinoa Tabbouleh

Traditional tabbouleh uses bulgar (wheat), but we like to use quinoa for added protein - it has a nice texture too.

We pre-make containers of quinoa and freeze them so making this is VERY easy.  About 4 c. of cooked quinoa per frozen container for this recipe.


Quinoa (4 c. cooked)
1 can cooked lentils, drained
2 tomatoes, diced
1 cucumber, peeled and diced
1/4 c. red onion, diced
4 TBSP chopped parsley
Olive Oil - eyeball it and adjust to taste
Lemon Juice -eyeball it and adjust to taste
Salt & Pepper to taste

Combine all and serve room temperature or cold

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Coconut Curry

Simple and super easy to throw together in minutes - the hardest part is peeling and boiling potatoes, but even that you could simplify by buying canned potatoes.

This meal took me 15 min. tops to make, start to finish!

*We make rice and quinoa in large batches using a rice cooker and freeze in Tupperware, dinner is SUPER easy this way, only 10 min. to microwave to defrost and you're done!

1 can Chickpeas, drained
1 can Diced Tomatoes, undrained
1/2 can Peas, drained

1 Large Potato, peeled, diced and boiled until tender (about 10 min.)
2 Handfuls Kale, finely chopped (I use the Ninja)

Spices: Ginger, garlic, cumin, to taste - Garam Masala if you have it, and cayenne pepper if you like it spicy

1 Can Carrots, Drained
1/2 can Light or Regular Coconut Milk (we buy ours at Trader Joe's - 99 cents)
*Reserve the rest of the can for later use - Suggestions:
Add to coffee
Puree with banana and refrigerate for a quick "pudding"

Stir with extra rice and cinnamon and raisins for an easy "raisin pudding"

In a pot, combine the chickpeas, tomatoes, peas, potato and kale
Add spices

In a blender, combine carrots and coconut milk and puree until smooth

Combine sauce with veggies and spices in pot and stir
Warm through if serving immediately, or transfer to microwave safe container to heat later

Serve over rice or quinoa

Powerhouse Pancakes

This is more of a suggestion, than a recipe - but I do this frequently when I make pancakes - throw a bunch of nutritionally dense things into boxed pancake mix.

For this morning, I combined in a blender heaping handfuls of kale, almond milk, a banana and almond butter and blended until smooth and milky.  Add to boxed pancake mix, until desired consistency for cooking.

The kale is "invisible" in this - you can't taste it!  But you'll know you are doing something good for yourself.

I used Trader Joe's boxed mix (which has buttermilk, so is not vegan), but you do not need to add eggs, only the suggested amount of oil on the side of the box (a couple of TBSP)

For Little B. I cooked them up this way, and for the adults, I added in a handful of Ghirardelli semi-sweet chocolate chips

Top with your favorite syrup

Monday, July 18, 2011

White Bean Alfredo/Balsamic Marinated Peaches

This recipe uses white beans to replace heavy cream in what is usually a very fat laden and heavy dish. 

 (Serves 4)

Boil 1 box of past of choice (we used spaghetti)
Drain, mix with 1 TBSP oil or butter and set aside (to prevent sticking and drying out)

In a blender, combine:
1 can White Northern Beans (undrained)
1 tsp each black pepper and salt
2 TBSP chopped Garlic
4 TBSP Nutritional Yeast (optional - provides a "cheesier" flavor)
1 c. Nondairy milk of choice - I used Plain Almond tonight

Pour sauce over pasta and stir

I served ours over sauteed kale and mushrooms, and topped with sliced Gardein Scallopini

I also topped ours with chopped parsley and chopped fresh basil and threw on some toasted pine nuts

For dessert we had Balsamic Peaches:

Dice up a few peaches

1/4 c. Orange Juice
1/4 c. Balsamic Vinegar
1 TBSP Brown Sugar

Whisk together

Pour marinade over diced peaches
Marinate at least 15 min.
Pour off marinate

Serve with vanilla yogurt or ice cream

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Homemade Taco Bowls

If you have oven-safe (I have stoneware) cereal sized bowls these are VERY easy.  They are also nearly fat free since they are baked and not fried.

Set oven to 425
Spray a large tortilla with cooking spray on both sides
Press tortilla into cereal bowl so it makes a bowl shape

Set on cookie sheet and bake for 5-10 min. (check at 5 to make sure they are not burning - mine burned a little bit at 7 minutes)  The tortilla will crisp up as it cools.

Let it cool a bit and remove it from the bowl
Fill with your favorite salad mix and taco toppings (we used fresh raw corn, black beans, avocado, salsa, and Trader Joe's Beefless Strips) and made a dressing out of Tofutti Sour Cream and taco seasoning whisked with a little water.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Honey Dijon Potato Salad

 Produce Box dinner night!  Still using last week's veggie's up - Potatoes, corn, tomatoes and cucumber this week.

I'm making this potato salad to go along with corn on the cob and a tomato/cucumber salad, probably to be served with a Gardenburger Riblet or Gardein Scallopini Cutlet.  Would also go well with veggie burgers, but we save the veggie burgers for quick lunches usually.

 This recipe is vegan if you leave out the honey and sub in either sugar or agave


3 Handfuls small new potatoes - red or Yukon gold, halved
3 TBSP Dijon Mustard
2 TBSP Rice Vinegar (or any vinegar if you don't have rice vinegar)
1 Tsp Honey
1/2 tsp. each Salt & Pepper (*and Bacon Salt, optional)
3 Green Onions, diced
*Bacon Bits, optional


Place halved potatoes in salted water and bring to boil
Boil 10-15 min. until tender, but not mushy
Drain and set aside

In a bowl or measuring cup, combine:
Dijon, vinegar, honey, salt and pepper
Whisk to combine
*Bacon Salt works well in this recipe - a "go to" favorite for adding bacon flavor without adding bacon fat - it is sold at most grocery stores now, we get ours at Kroger)

Toss potatoes with the dressing and mix in green onion
(and a nice touch would be to sprinkle on imitation Bacon Bits right before serving)

Serve warm or room temperature

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Free Range Egg Casserole (dairy-free, not vegan) with Malt Vingegar Roasted New Potatoes

Hubby's birthday is today!

He woke up to breakfast ready to go and a new coffee to try out.  The least I could do for the man who gets up every day and gets our 2 yr. old ready - all while trying to get ready for work himself, just so I can sleep in an extra minute or two!  :)

(Thanks to my mother in law for making a great whole wheat walnut bread - it went into the casserole to make breakfast extra special)

Egg Casserole

6-8 Eggs - We buy directly from local farmers at the Raleigh Farmers Market
1/2 c. Non-Dairy milk of choice, I used unsweetened almond milk
5 Morningstar Veggie Sausage Patties, microwaved and then cut into small cubes
1 c. Broccoli (or you could sub in any veggie like spinach, peppers etc.), finely chopped (I used the Ninja)
2 slices of Bread, in large cubes
Spices of choice - Salt, Pepper, Garlic Powder etc.


Whisk together egg, milk and spices
Fold in broccoli

Spray a round Pyrex with cooking spray
Lay down bread cubes
Top with veggie sausage

Pour egg/broccoli mixture over bread/sausage

Bake at 350 for 25-30 min.

Roasted Vinegar New Potatoes

2 handfuls of small new potatoes cut in half or quartered  (or you can use any potato, cubed into 1" cubes)
4 TBSP Olive Oil
4 TBSP Malt Vinegar
Salt, Pepper

In a bowl, combine cut potatoes with vinegar, oil and spices
Let sit a few minutes to soak up the vinegar

Bake at 400 in a small glass Pyrex for 30 min., stir to break up any sticking and bake again for 10-15 more minutes until potatoes are nicely browned.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Spinach Pie (Spanakopita) (vegan) with Quinoa & Corn Tabouli

Pepperidge Farm has some yummy and convenient vegan products -

FYI:  Their stuffing is vegan, just sub in Earth Balance for the butter and vegetable broth instead of chicken broth.  Comes in handy at a vegetarian Thanksgiving!

Their puff pastry is also vegan, and that is what I used for this spinach pie.


1 Package of Pepperidge Farm puff pastry, thawed according to package (2 sheets per package)
1 Pack of Frozen Spinach, thawed and drained
1/2 White Onion, chopped
2 TBSP Chopped Garlic
1/2 Block Extra Firm Tofu, Drained and crumbled with fingers

1 TBSP Lemon Juice
Olive Oil
1 tsp Dill
Salt and Pepper


Heat Oven to 375

Spray a round Pyrex with cooking spray
Lay 1 sheet of the puff pastry in the bottom
Set Aside

In a large frying pan, heat a little oil
Add in the onion, spinach, garlic and fry about 10 min., until liquid is absorbed
Add in crumbled tofu and combine
Stir in dill, salt, pepper
Set aside to cool a bit

Top the puff pastry in the Pyrex with all of the spinach mixture from the frying pan
Top with the other sheet of puff pastry

 Step 1

Step 2 - Ready to Bake

Put Pyrex in oven set to 375 for  25-30 minutes

Finished Baked Spinach Pie

Quinoa & Corn Tabouli


2 c. Quinoa made ahead (we make ours in the rice cooker and freeze it in batches and just microwave to thaw it)

2 TBSP Lemon Juice
2 TBSP Olive Oil
2 Green Onions, diced
1 Large Tomato, diced
1/2 Cucumber, Diced
2 Ears Corn, raw and cut from cob
1/2 c. Parsley, finely chopped
Salt and Pepper


Combine all in a bowl and refrigerate until ready to serve

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Produce Box Dinner Night!

Lentil & Kale Shepherd's Pie 

Corn, Tomato, Cucumber Salad

Using up a bunch of red potatoes, corn, cucumbers and tomatoes!


1 can Lentils, drained
1/2 White Onion, finely diced
2 c. Fresh Kale or Spinach, chopped finely (I use the Ninja, when I chop kale this way it's as finely chopped as when you use parsley in a dish)
1/2 can each:  Carrots, Peas, Green Beans
2 c. Mashed Potatoes (however you like to prepare them)
Olive Oil
1 TBSP Chopped Garlic
*Shredded Mozzarella, optional


Make mashed potatoes (boil cubed potatoes 10 min., mash with butter, garlic, milk etc.)
Set Aside

In a large frying pan, heat 1 TBSP Olive Oil
Add chopped kale/spinach and onion/garlic
Fry 5 min., Stirring so it doesn't burn
Stir with drained lentils and set aside

Spray a round Pyrex with cooking spray

Layer on mixture of carrot, peas and green beans
Top with Lentil/Kale mixture
Top with remaining mashed potatoes
Sprinkle on shredded cheese, if using

Bake at 400 for 20 min.

Serve with side salad

Corn, Tomato, Cucumber Salad

Adjust veggie ratio to suit your needs, I made about 4 servings using:

1 Cucumber, peeled and diced
2 Medium Tomatoes, diced
1/4 Red Onion, diced
3 Ears Corn, raw and cut from cob

Combine all in bowl and mix with dressing


Red Wine Vinegar
Olive Oil
Dijon Mustard
Minced Garlic
*Adjust measurements to size of salad

Whisk and pour over salad
Stir and let marinate in refrigerator until ready to eat

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Mediterranean Night - Israeli Salad (Tomato, Cucumber, Green Pepper and Red Onion)

Israeli Salad -

Very simple, light and refreshing - A a good side dish to a more heavily seasoned main dish.

We're having it along with our Gyros tonight (made with seitan, which is a wheat "meat" - You can get it at Whole Foods etc. for about $4 a box)  I marinate it in Cavendar's Greek seasoning, olive oil, lemon juice and garlic and then fry it and put it in pita bread with tomatoes, lettuce, cucumber, onion etc and usually top with tzatziki (yogurt/cucumber dip), either home made or store bought.  Very tasty!

Israeli Salad

Adjust quantity of veggies to how many servings you need - for about 4 servings this is what I used:

2 Tomatoes
1/2 Cucumber
1/4 Red Onion
1 Small Green Pepper 
2 TBSP Olive Oil
2 Tsp Lemon Juice
Salt & Pepper to taste

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Indian Potato, Eggplant and Lentil

I followed it exactly except for the spices -

I added 1 TBSP Ground Ginger
1 TBSP Garam Masala
1 tsp Paprika
1 tsp Turmeric
And a little water

Then I added a can of lentils, drained and rinsed

We're serving it over quinoa and topping it with cilantro and sour cream

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Cellophane (Clear/Glass) Noodles with Tofu and Broccoli


2 bundles cellophane noodles (these are the thin, clear noodles sometimes called glass noodles - We buy ours at the Asian market but I believe they sell them in chain grocery stores too

1 TBSP Sesame Oil

1 T Ginger powder or fresh minced ginger

1 box of water packed tofu, drained and cut into cubes-

1 c. Vegetable Broth

1/2 c. Veggies of Choice


In a glass measuring cup or bowl, microwave 2 c. water until almost boiling
Place cellophane noodles in the hot water and let sit 10 min. (these are no-cook noodles)

Fry tofu cubes in a little oil until browned on all sides (I added a bit of soy sauce)
Sprinkle on ginger

Microwave veggies of choice with a little water (I used fresh broccoli only) and then added 1/2 c. red onion raw to frying pan

Add cooked veggies and raw onion to pan of tofu, add the 1 c. vegetable broth and simmer and stir until liquid is absorbed

Monday, June 27, 2011

Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes

I made these for Little B. for his 2nd birthday to take to his Mom's Morning Out.

The recipe is very easy, with with no "strange vegan" ingredients so it's good to keep handy if you know anyone with egg or dairy allergies or are baking for a vegan.

The icing is Pillsbury Cream Cheese flavor, which surprisingly, is vegan!  I topped the cupcakes each with a Teddy Graham, which are vegan except for honey - Some vegans are stricter than others on this, so if you need a cookie alternative, Oreos are also vegan - Yes, they ARE! 

(For a fun list of more things that are shockingly normal and vegan, follow this link:

Basic Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes
(based on the recipe in the book "Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World" - they also have a vegan cookie book as well

Preheat oven to 350 and line muffin tin with liners

In a large measuring cup, whisk together:
1 c. Soy Milk (I used Vanilla Silk) and 1 tsp. Apple Cider Vinegar and let it sit until it curdles (about 5-10 min.) - This acts as a "buttermilk" in the recipe!

In a KitchenAid Mixer (or a bowl using a hand held electric beater) beat together:
"Buttermilk" soy milk mixture
1/3 c. oil, 3/4 c. sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. other flavor extract, or more vanilla (I used coconut)

In a large bowl, combine:
1 1/4 c. white flour
2 TBSP cornstarch
3/4 tsp. Baking Powder
1/2 tsp. Baking Soda
1/4 tsp. Salt
Stir it well with fork, or sift (I stirred with a fork and never have the patience to sift)

Fill cupcake liners 2/3 of the way full (less is better, these puff up quite a bit)

Bake 20-22 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean

Cool completely and then frost


Saturday, June 25, 2011

MJ Tribute Dinner - Mexican Lasagna and "Rock-A-Mole"

Supposedly Michael Jackson was very fond of Mexican food and was a part-time vegetarian (eating chicken and fish but no other meat).

From the looks of him, I don't know if he ever ate MUCH but his personal chef, Kai Chase, did post a recipe for her famous guacamole.

And let's face it...I'm just looking for any excuse to eat avocados and Mexican food and a tribute to Michael is good enough for me!  Plus I get to have a virgin margarita on the rocks - Yum!

Pair that with an "after-the-kid-goes-to-bed" viewing of "This is It" and it's a perfect "Remembering MJ Night"!

Mexican Lasagna

3 Large Flour Tortillas
1 Can Vegetarian Refried Beans
1 1/2 c. Morningstar Veggie Ground Beef Crumbles - microwaved until hot
Taco Seasoning to taste
1 small White Onion, diced
1 Can Tomato Soup, undiluted

In a large frying pan, heat 1 TBSP oil
Fry onion and garlic until onion is clear
Add in Morningstar Crumbles
Add Taco Seasoning

Spray a round Pyrex with cooking spray
Lay down 1 Tortilla
Spoon Veggie Beef/Onion/Garlic mixture on top of tortilla
Cover with Another Tortilla

Microwave 1 can refried beans, adding in some salsa if desired
Spoon on top of tortilla that is covering the veggie ground beef
Top with another tortilla

In a measuring cup, mix together can of tomato soup with salsa
Spread over top tortilla and cover with shredded cheese (optional)

Bake at 350 for 20 min.

(Based on the recipe by Kai Chase -

2 Avocados
1/2 c. red onion, diced1/2 c. chopped cilantro
1/2 tsp. granulated garlic
1 tsp lime juice
salt and pepper to taste

Combine all in bowl and mash avocado flesh with fork until creamy, leaving some chunks, if desired

Serve meal with tortilla chips and salsa

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Saucy Black Bean and "Ground Beef" Burritos

I've found this recipe to satisfy anyone's craving for a hearty, "meaty" and 
gooey comfort food.  It is convincingly beefy in texture and taste.

Eating meatless like this once a week does so much not only for your health, but the environment and of course the animals:  

(I made these today for a friend who just had a baby, as a "meals for moms" dinner.  Her family is not vegan or even vegetarian so I used real cheese in this recipe.  You can make it vegan simply by leaving off the cheese or substituting real cheese for Daiya shreds, which you can get at Whole Foods.) 

I hope you try it and enjoy it on your next "Mexican Night" - No need to go out to get good Mexican food anymore!  Save your money, stay home and eat in front of the tv with a good dvd!  :)

(Serves 4)

2 Cans Black Beans, drained and Rinsed
1 Bag Morningstar Meal Starters, Veggie Ground Beef Crumbles (in Frozen section of Grocery Store)
4 Large Burrito Tortillas (We use La Banderita, Burrito Grande - get at Harris Teeter)
1 Can Tomato Soup
1 White Onion, finely diced
1 small Red Pepper, finely diced
1 clove garlic, chopped or 1 TBSP jarred minced garlic
1 c. Salsa of choice
1 packet Taco Seasoning or 1/2 c. if you buy in bulk (we get ours at BJ's Warehouse)
1 c. Mexican Shredded Cheese Blend


Pour Morningstar crumbles into a microwave container and heat until warm and defrosted about 2-3 min.

Warm large frying pan with a TBSP or more of oil
Add onion, garlic and red pepper and fry a few minutes, until onion is translucent
Add Morningstar Crumbles and Taco Seasoning with 1/2 c. water, stir
Add in Black Beans, stir to combine

Spoon mixture evenly between 4 tortillas and fold into burritos
In a large measuring cup or bowl, mix can of tomato soup with salsa (enough to make approx.  3 cups)

Spray 9x13 Pyrex with cooking spray
Cover the bottom of Pyrex with a light layer of the salsa/soup mixture
Place the 4 burritos in the Pyrex
Cover the burritos with the remaining salsa/soup mixture and top with shredded cheese

Bake at 350 for 20 min., until bubbling

Top with green onions, guacamole, sour cream, cilantro etc.

Serve with Mexican Rice and tortilla chips and salsa