Friday, November 18, 2011

Garlic Rosemary Roasted Potatoes

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Makes 2 servings


1 Russet Potato, washed and quartered
2 tsp olive oil
1-2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
Salt and pepper to taste


Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees.

To slice potato, lay each quarter on the flat side and thinly slice (about 1/4 inch or thinner).

Add half the potato slices, olive oil, garlic, and rosemary to a bowl and toss to combine everything. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Transfer to a lightly greased baking sheet. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned. (stir or shake the pan halfway through).

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Softies

Soft, cake-like, chocolately pumpkin goodness!  I make these vegan by using egg replacer and for the flour I use a combination of whole wheat and all purpose.  Recommended: eat them warm!

Makes 12-15 cookies


1 1/2 cups flour (I use a combination of all purpose and whole wheat)
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice (optional)
1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 can pumpkin (just shy of a cup)
1 egg or egg replacer

3/4 cup chocolate chips

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix dry ingredients in a bowl and set aside.

In another bowl, add brown sugar, graulated sugar, vanilla extract and oil.  Stir to combine.  With a mixer beat in pumpkin, then egg (or egg replacer).  Slowly beat in the dry ingredients until everything is combined.

Stir in chocolate chips.

Drop heaping tablespoons onto greased cookie sheet and bake 12-14 minutes.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Lentil Walnut "No-Meat" Loaf

This tasty no-meat loaf makes the perfect vegetarian/vegan main course.  Smother it with Amazing Vegan Mushroom Gravy and serve with a side of Mashed Faux-tato and you've got a meal!

4-6 servings

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1 cup dry green lentils
3 cup vegetable broth
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
½ a medium onion, diced
2 large celery stalks, diced
1 tsp salt
1 cup frozen shredded potatoes, thawed
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp poultry seasoning
½ tsp black pepper
1 flax egg (1 Tbsp ground flax seed mixed with 3 Tbsp warm water), or regular egg
2 Tbsp whole wheat flour
2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
1 cup chopped walnuts (preferably toasted)
½ tsp salt


Heat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease 8-9 inch loaf pan with oil or cooking spray and set aside.

Bring vegetable broth to a boil and add lentils. Cover and simmer over medium heat for 25-30 minutes until lentils are tender and most or all of the liquid is absorbed. Drain any excess liquid and transfer to a large bowl to cool. Note: It’ important to let them cool or they will be too mushy when mashed.

Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a skillet and add onion and celery, saute over medium heat 3 minutes. Add potatoes, garlic, poultry seasoning, and pepper and continue cooking 3-5 minutes, or until vegetables are tender. Remove from heat.

With a potato masher, mash cooled lentils (not to the point of being pureed). Add vegetable mixture and continue to mash to combine. Next add the remaining ingredients and mix in - using your hands works best.

Transfer to loaf pan and press the mixture in, smoothing out the top so it’s even.

Bake for 25-30minutes or until top and edges look lightly browned.

Serve with Amazing Vegan Mushroom Gravy

Amazing Vegan Mushroom Gravy

Makes about 1 1/2 cups

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Vegetable broth for sauteeing
1 cup crimini mushrooms (aka baby bellas), stems removed and diced
1 small shallot, finely diced (about ¼ cup)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1 Tbsp Bragg’s Liquid Aminos or low sodium soy sauce
3 Tbsp flour
1 Tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tsp red wine vinegar


In a small skillet, add enough broth to cover the bottom. Add mushrooms, shallot and garlic and cook 5 minutes, or until mushrooms are tender. Add red wine vinegar and cook 2 minutes longer. Remove from heat and set aside.

In a small pot add vegetable broth and liquid aminos (or soy sauce) and whisk in flour and nutritional yeast.  Bring to a boil over medium heat. Add in mushroom mixture. Cook a few minutes longer, stirring frequently to prevent clumping, until gravy thickens to desired consistency.

If desired, the gravy can pureed either in a food processor or with an immersion blender.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

So Easy Sweet Potato and Squash Soup

Warm up with a delicious Fall soup that brings together the flavors of butternut squash, sweet potato, and apple.  This recipe uses already prepared butternut squash soup with fresh sweet potato and applesauce. The light coconut milk lends extra creaminess and richness as well!

Serves 3-4


1 Sweet Potato or Yam, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
2-3 cups Prepared Butternut Squash Soup (such as Imagine Foods or Pacific)
3-4 Tbsp Unsweetened Apple Sauce
Light coconut milk (optional)


In a large pot add about an inch of water and heat just until it begins to simmer. Add sweet potato, reduced heat to medium-low and cover. Cook for 10-15 minutes until sweet potatoes are tender. They should be easy to mash with a fork.

Drain any excess water and let sweet potatoes cool. Transfer to a food processor, add 2 cups butternut squash soup and 3 Tbsp apple sauce. Process til smooth. Add additional soup and apple sauce to reach desired consistency and taste. If using, add a few tablespoons of light coconut milk for creaminess.

Transfer to bowls and serve!

Freezing: You can also freeze this is small tupperwear (about 8oz) for individual ready-to-heat and eat servings! I recommend NOT adding coconut milk to any portions that you are going to freeze as I’ve found it doesn’t freeze well.

Nutrition Info (1/4 recipe): 112 Calories, 2g fat, 2.5g fiber, .5g protein
(based on 3 cups the soup, 1 medium sweet potato, 4 Tbsp applesauce, and 3 Tbsp light coconut milk):

Monday, October 31, 2011

No-Bake Apple Crisp

My super easy and fast apple crisp made in a skillet!  To make it a little healthier just skip the butter, put a little water in the pan with the apples, cover and steam.

Makes 1 serving


1 Tbsp butter (or vegan Earth Balance)
1 Apple, cored and diced
1 tsp Cinnamon
1 Tbsp Agave Nectar
1/4 cup Granola


Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat.  Add apples, sprinkle with cinnamon and stir.  Cook until tender 5-8 minutes. 

Drizzle apples with agave nectar and stir to evenly coat. Cook an additional 1-2 minutes until nice and gooey!

Remove from heat, transfer to a bowl and top with granola.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Easy Tomato Florentine Soup

This is a super easy tomato florentine soup that uses pre-made tomato soup, with beans, orzo, and spinach to make it a complete meal.  So yummy and goes great with some crusty bread, or even grilled cheese if you want to induldge! 
Note:  you can also subsitute any other small pasta or grain for the orzo.

Printable Recipe


½ cup dry orzo
1 32oz carton tomato soup (I recommend Imagine Creamy Tomato - its non-dairy too)
1 15oz can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups fresh baby spinach

Basil oil for garnish (optional)

1 frozen basil cube, thawed
2 tsp olive oil


Cook orzo according to package (I recommend slightly under cooking), drain and set aside.

In a small dish mix basil and olive oil, set aside.

Add tomato soup to a pot with cannellini beans and cook until heated through. Add spinach and orzo and cook until spinach is wilted. Remove from heat.

To serve ladle into bowls and with a small spoon, drizzle the basil oil in the over the center of each bowl (this will make it look like something out of a restaurant). Take a moment to look at it and say “wow, that’s so pretty”, then eat!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Mexican Stir-Fry

1. Who loves Mexican?  I do!  2.  Who loves a meal that can be quickly thrown together in one pan?  I do!This is a go-to meal for those days when you're starving and need to whip something up in a jiffy.  This recipe is in a pretty basic form and can easily be jazzed up to suit your tastes. 

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Makes 2 servings


1/2 green pepper, diced
1/2 small onion, diced
1 cup cooked black beans (if from a can then drain and rinse first)
1/2 cup canned diced tomato*
1/2 cup frozen corn
1 Tbsp taco seasoning**
1 cup cooked brown rice
hot sauce (optional)
Salt to taste

Spray skillet with cooking spray and saute green pepper and onion over medium heat until onion is translucent (just a few minutes).

Add the rest of the ingredients and cook 3-5 minutes.  Just spoon into a bowl and top with cheese, avocado, olives, jalepenos, etc. and voila! 

Nutrition Info (1/2 the recipe): 300 calories, 1.5g Fat, 10g Fiber, 13g Protein

* The leftover tomatoes can be frozen in one or two small tupperware to be used later. 

** I make it even simpler by using an all-natural taco seasoning (Simply Organic or Trader Joes both make good ones), but you can also mix up your own blend of cumin, chili powder, garlic powder and cayenne (if you like it spicy).

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Tofu Scramble Tacos

These tofu tacos are a quick, easy, vegetarian meal and makes enough for dinner and lunch the next day.  I keep an all-natural taco seasoning on hand to use in these but you can easily use your own blend of spices.  They're versatile and can be jazzed up with olives, jalepenos, cheese, avocado, or pico de gallo.   This can also be just as tasty eaten on it's own or over brown rice.

Makes 4 tacos

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1/3 block of extra-firm tofu, rinsed, drained and pressed*
1/2 cup diced green pepper
1/4 cup diced onion
1/2 cup canned diced tomato (preferably with green chilis)
1/3 cup corn (if frozen, thaw first)
2-3 tsp of taco seasoning
Salt to taste
4 corn tortillas


Cut tofu into 1 inch cubes and add to a skillet coated with cooking spray.  Cook tofu over medium heat until lightly browned.  Flip as needed to cook evenly.  Transfer to a small dish and set aside.

Re-spray pan with cooking spray.  Add green pepper and onion and saute a few minutes until onions are translucent.  Add tofu, corn, tomatoes and taco seasoning.  Stir to combine everything and use spatula to break up tofu into smaller pieces.    Cook for a 3-5 minutes or until extra liquid from the tomatoes has cooked off. 

Fill tortillas and top as desired.  Enjoy!

Nutrition Info (2 tacos): 236 calories, 6g fat, 4g fiber, 12g protein

*Note:  Here are some tips on how to drain and press tofu as well as how to freeze and save the remainder of the block.  I also like to freeze the rest of the tomatoes in small tupperware containers (about 4 ounce size) so that I have ready to use for future recipes.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

I'll just say it...these are amazing.  Make them immediately.

Makes 12 muffins


1/3 cup Unsweetened Soy Milk
1 Tbsp Fresh Lemon Juice
1 cup All Purpose Flour
1/2 cup Whole Wheat Flour
1/2 cup Quick Oats
1 Tbsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Cinnamon
1/3 cup Earth Balance Vegan Butter, softened
1/4 cup Sugar
1/4 cup Light Brown Sugar (packed)
3 Ripe Bananas (medium-large size), mashed
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1/2 cup Chocolate Chips


Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a muffin pan, set aside.

Mix lemon juice and soy milk in small bowl and set aside.
Whisk dry ingredients in a bowl (flours, oats, baking powder, salt, cinnamon), set aside.

In another bowl add butter, sugars, mashed banana and mix with an electric mixer on low speed for about a minute or two.  Next whisk in the soy milk/lemon, and vanilla. Whisk together until mixed.

Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and stir until just combined (you don't want to over mix). Gently fold in the chocolate chips. Batter will be thick. Spoon into muffin tins and bake for 20-25 minutes.

Note: my favorite way to make these is to use a combo of semi-sweet chocolate chips and dark chocolate chips.  And these are also good with walnuts.
Nutrition Info (1 muffin): 219 calories, 8g fat, 2g fiber, 2.5g protein

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Fajita Style Black Beans (Fat-Free)

This is a super easy and quick recipe for black beans that can be used in tacos, burritos, on salads or even by itself it's like chili.  To make it even faster and easier just hit the salad bar at the supermarket for some already diced peppers and onions and any toppings for tacos.  This way you can also get just as much as you need so nothing goes to waste.

Makes 4 servings (approx. 1/2 cup each)

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1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup vegetable broth
1/3 cup diced onion
1/3 cup diced green pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp chili powder
Pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)


Add everything to a saucepan, stir and bring to a boil.   Reduce to medium-low heat and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Makes 4 servings - each serving enough to fill 2 taco size tortillas.

Note:  I like to drain excess liquid prior to filling tacos.  However, if some of the mixture you can leave in the liquid and freeze in a tupperware.

Nutrition Info: 106 calories, 0g Fat, 4.5g Fiber, 6g Protein
(add 2 corn tortillas for about 120 calories)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Iced Lemon Blueberry Muffins

Still on a muffin kick and sticking with something light for summer, I made some healthy, vegan muffins that combine the flavors of lemon and blueberry.  A personal favorite!

Makes 12 muffins
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1 cup All Purpose Flour
1/2 cup Whole Wheat Flour
1/2 cup Quick Oats
1 Tbsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Salt
2/3 cup Sugar
1/4 cup Vegan Butter (like Earth Balance), softened
1/2 cup Unsweetened Applesauce
1/3 Unsweetened Soy Milk
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp lemon zest (about 1 lemon)
1 cup fresh bluebrries

Lemon Glaze

1 Tbsp Lemon Juice
½ cup Powdered Sugar

Pre- heat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a muffin pan, set aside.

Whisk dry ingredients in a bowl (flours, oats, baking powder, salt), set aside.

In another bowl add sugar, butter, applesauce, soy milk, vanilla, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Whisk together until mixed. Add dry ingredients to and stir until just combined (you don't want to over mix). Gently fold in the blueberries. Batter will be thick.

Spoon into muffin tins and bake for 20-25 minutes.

Once muffins are cool and ready to glaze, make the the glaze by whisking the lemon juice and powdered sugar together in a bowl. Drizzle over muffins.

Nutrition Info: 165 calories, 4g fat, 2g fiber, 2g protein

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Strawberry Peach Muffins

Delicious, healthy and vegan muffins using summer fruit.   This recipe can also be made as a bread in a loaf pan (cooking time will be doubled).   I prefer making them as muffins because they're already portioned and freeze better this way.

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Makes 12 muffins


1 cup All Purpose Flour
1/2 cup Whole Wheat Flour
1/2 cup Quick Oats
1 Tbsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
2/3 cup Sugar
1/4 cup Vegan Butter (like Earth Balance), softened
1/2 cup Unsweetened Applesauce
1/3 Unsweetened Soy Milk
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1/4 cup Pecans, finely chopped
1 Large Peach, peeled and diced small
1 cup Fresh Strawberries, hulled and diced small

Pre- heat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly grease a muffin pan, set aside.

Whisk dry ingredients in a bowl (flours, oats, baking powder, salt, cinnamon), set aside.

In another bowl add sugar, butter, applesauce, soy milk, vanilla, and pecans.  Whisk together until mixed.   Add dry ingredients to this and stir until just combined (you don't want to over mix).  Gently fold in the fruit.  Batter will be thick.

Spoon into muffin tins and bake for 20-25 minutes.

Nutrition Info: 165 calories, 6g fat, 2g fiber, 3g protein


- In lieu of oats you can use another 1/2cup of whole wheat flour or if you have rolled oats I'd recommend giving them a a few pulses in the food processor.
- You can substitute light brown sugar for half sugar
- For the applesauce I recommend buying a pack of the individual cups which are 1/2 cup.  This way you won't have to worry about a whole jar going bad if you don't use it.
- If you put the butter in the microwave to soften it, make sure you give it some time to cool a bit.  You don't want it to be scorching hot when you mix it with the other ingredients.
- I recommend dicing the fruit small, (about the size of a blueberry) and the totally should be about 1 heaping cup.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Couscous with Pine Nuts and Currants

This side dish is super easy to make yet seems sophisticated.  I created this recipe in an attempt to duplicate a delicious couscous Whole Foods had in their prepared foods section.  I used this Food Network recipe to adapt from and made it healthier and vegetarian (also vegan!) by using whole wheat couscous, vegetable broth, and Earth Balance vegan butter. 

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Makes 2 cups


2 tsp vegan butter (like Earth Balance)
1 small shallot, finely chopped (approx. 1/4 cup)
1 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
1/2 cup whole wheat couscous
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
1/4 cup currants
1/4 tsp salt

Melt butter in a small saucepan.  Add chopped shallot and simmer for about 2-3 minutes, stirring a few times.

Add vegetable broth and bring to boil.  Once boiling remove from heat and add couscous.  Give it a quick stir and cover.  Let it sit covered for 10 minutes.

While it's sitting toast pine nuts.  Put the pine nuts in a small pan and cook over low-medium heat for about 3-5 minutes, until the nuts are fragrant. Shake the pan around a few times too.

 Lastly, add the pine nuts and currants to the couscous and stir to combine everything.

* TIP - You can buy the pine nuts and currants in the bulk section of Whole Foods or some supermarkets so that way you don't have to get more than need.

Nutrition Info (1/2 cup): 121 Calories, 5g fat, 1g fiber, 2g protein

Monday, May 30, 2011

Falafel Frenzy

Falafel, pita and hummus... three of my favorite things on a plate.  Of course traditional deep fried falafel is great but definitely not healthy.  Luckily I've finally created my own recipe for baked falafel which also happens to be vegan as well.  These will freeze well too so you can always have some ready to go!  Also see below for my favorite healthy store-bought falafel.

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Makes 10 patties

1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1/4 cup of diced onion
1/3 cup flat leaf parsley
1 Tbsp tahini
2 Tbsp whole wheat bread crumbs
1/2 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp white pepper
1-2 Tbsp water
1 Tbsp whole wheat flour
Olive oil

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Mash chickpeas in a bowl with fork until it's a crumbly mixture. Set aside.

Add garlic, onion and parsley to food processor and process until finely chopped and combined.

Next add the mashed chickpeas to food processor along with tahini, bread crumbs, coriander, cumin, salt, and pepper. Process until combined, adding the water 1-2 Tbsp of water as needed. You may need to scrape down the sides with a spatula in between processing.

Once combined, empty into large bowl. Add the flour and mix, you should be able to form into large ball. If the mixture is too dry and crumbly, add a Tbsp of water. If it's too wet, add an additional Tbsp of flour.

Form into 10 small patties (approximately 2 inches). Place on baking sheet lightly greased with olive oil or cooking spray. Bake for 5-6 minutes on each side or until lightly browned.

Nutrition Info (2 patties): 96 calories, 3g fat, 6g fiber, 5g protein

Store Bought Falafel

My new favorite and top pic is by Falafel Republic.  These are very tasty and are also gluten-free and dairy-free. They get nice and crispy when cooked in the toaster making them a good substitute for the traditional fried falafel.  I've spotted these at Giant but the website also has a store locator.

My second pick is the Olive Valley falafel sticks.  These have a pretty good flavor and crisp up pretty well in the toaster.  They're also pretty low in calories and fat.  They also make them in round patties but those are uncooked so you would have to fully bake or fry them.  These guys were spotted at Whole Foods with the frozen foods.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Mashed Faux-tato

After hearing for a long time that cauliflower made a good substitute for mashed potatoes, I gave it try.  A little skeptical?  Of course.  But oh boy did that mashed cauliflower prove me wrong.  The texture is obviously less starchy, but close enough.  I also threw in some crushed garlic for added deliciousness!

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Serves 2

1 bag cauliflower florets (or 1/2 head)
2 tsp Earth Balance vegan butter
1/2 tsp jarred crushed or minced garlic or 1 frozen garlic cube
Salt and pepper to taste

Fill a medium to large pot with water and bring to boil.  Break up the large cauliflower florets in smaller pieces as this will help it soften faster.  Then add to boiling water and cook for 15 minutes.  Cauliflower should be tender and break apart easily.  Drain and reserve some of the water (1/2 - 1 cup is fine).   Return cauliflower to pot, add vegan butter, garlic, salt, pepper and a little of the reserved water.  Blend with an immersion blender, adding water as necessary to reach desired consistency.  Alternatively you can also blend in a food processor.

This will make approximately 2-3 cups depending on how much water you add.   I only used about 1/4 cup so that it had a thicker consistency.

Nutrition info (1/2 recipe): 84 calories, 3g fat, 5g fiber, 4g protein

Monday, April 18, 2011

Vegan Veggie Pizza

This pizza made with homemade whole wheat dough, topped with lots of veggies and vegan Daiya cheese shreds, which is the best melting vegan cheese I have found.  This would even be good without the cheese.

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1 recipe pizza dough (see below) or store bought
1 cup tomato sauce
1/2 a zucchini, thinly sliced
1 small bell pepper, diced
1/2 a small onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives, sliced
1 cup Daiya vegan shredded cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 

For the pizza dough I used the following recipe and halved it for one pizza and used half whole wheat flour and half all purpose.

Spray a 9x13 cookie sheet with cooking spray, spread dough onto the pan and place in oven for 5-8 minutes.  Remove from oven and top with sauce, veggies, and cheese.  Return to oven and bake until cheese melts and the edges of crust are lightly browned (approx 8-10 minutes).

Monday, January 24, 2011

New Vitalicious Breakfast Sandwiches!

Just spotted the brand new Vitasandwiches by Vitalicious (aka the maker of those delicious Vitamuffins).  These new egg and cheese breakfast sandwiches come in plain and veggie and they're delish.  Each sandwich only has 150 calories, 2 grams of fat, 7 grams of fiber and a whopping 14-15 grams of protein that makes them super filling!  And let's not forget the added vitamins and minerals.  Click here to locate them.