Grilled Veggie Sandwiches with Hummus & Avocado

GrilledSandwichesAll right. I have two confessions. First, these aren’t technically grilled, nor do they have avocado on them. *GASP* I know, I’m sorry. But let me explain. So, it’s very early spring here in Colorado and the outdoor grill, much like my legs, are still winterized. But, I do have the spray tan of grills . . .
20140414_175759 Now, about that avocado. I’ve had 4 avocados sitting in a paper bag on my counter for about 5 days and they are still rock solid. I made the mistake of trying to cut into one and it was like stabbing a butternut squash. And if that wasn’t enough, I tried a second avocado and ended up with the same results. In fact, I couldn’t even get the halves apart! I was all ready to place the beautiful slices of avocado next to the fresh basil . . .

noAvocadoIn spite of these culinary catastrophes, I assure you, the “grilling” process worked beautifully, and the avocado would be a grand addition to these sandwiches.



1/2 C balsamic vinegar
1/2 C red wine
1/4 C olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced

The rest

2 small zucchini, sliced length-wise
1 red bell pepper, cut into wide strips
1 eggplant, sliced length-wise, then again length-wise
1/2 large onion, cut into wide strips
1 avocado (preferably real and not imaginary), sliced
1 C fresh basil leaves
1/2 C hummus, homemade (easy) or store bought (even easier)
6 French rolls, or other sandwich bread


Combine the marinade ingredients in a large zip bag. Add the veggies and let them marinate in the frige for about an hour. Turn the bag over halfway through. Spray the grill pan with a small amount of cooking spray and heat pan over medium heat. Using tongs, place the veggies in the pan. I recommend putting as many slices of bell pepper on as you can because they’ll take the longest to cook. I also suggest flattening them out a little so that you can turn them over to cook both sides. The zucchini and eggplant will take about 3-4 minutes per side.
20140414_181655I continued cooking all of the zucchini and eggplant, transferring the cooked slices to a large sheet of foil and sealing it up while everything else cooked. Everything stayed nice and hot. I then added the onions while the peppers continued to cook.
20140414_182013Once the vegetables are cooked, start assembling your sandwiches! (You can toast the bread first, if you’d like). Spread on some hummus, add the veggies, basil and of course, a few beautiful slices of avocado. Enjoy!


Mexican Pasta Casserole


I’ve made a similar casserole, but I didn’t have all of the ingredients. I changed things up given what I had to work with. I love how easy and delicious these kinds of casseroles are—they make for the perfect winter meal.



1  14.5 oz can diced tomatoes (or a can of Rotel with green chilies), undrained

1/2 C Tofutti sour cream + any extra for serving on top

1/4 C nutritional yeast

1 packet of seasoning mix (taco, burrito or fajita)

1/2 C shredded  Daiya pepper jack cheese

1/4 C almond milk

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

The rest:

2 C uncooked pasta (any variety—I had a mixture of ziti and elbow mac)

1 Tbs olive oil (I used chipotle-flavored)

2 cloves garlic, crushed or minced

1/2 of a bell pepper (any variety—I used orange), chopped

1/2 C onion, chopped

1-1/2 to 2 C mushrooms, chopped or sliced

1  15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed

4-5 green onions, sliced

1 C cilantro leaves

Optional ingredients: black olives, diced avocados or guacamole


Preheat oven to 375. While cooking the pasta, heat the olive oil and garlic in a large skillet. Over medium heat, saute the bell pepper and onions until they begin to soften, then add the black beans.



Cook for another 3-4 minutes, then add the mushrooms.


Cook until the mushroom cook down a little—just a couple of minutes.

In a medium bowl, combine all of the sauce ingredients and mix well. Drain the pasta and add it to the skillet, along with the sauce; blend well. Transfer to a 13×9″ baking dish.


Cover and bake for 20-25 minutes. Top servings with some green onions and cilantro and any other optional ingredients. Enjoy!

Mushroom and Barley-Stuffed Peppers


I know, stuffed peppers again?! But they’re so easy to change up and try new ingredients combinations. Like most stuffed peppers, these are easy to make, but allow some extra time, especially using barley as it takes 45 minutes to cook.


3 bell peppers, cut in half and seeds and stems removed

1 C pearl barley

2-1/2 C veggie broth (I like to use Better than Bouillon vegetable base)

1 Tbs olive oil

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1/2 a large onion, diced

1-1/2 C mushrooms, diced

1/4 C pepitas (shelled and toasted pumpkin seeds)

2 Tbs fresh rosemary, minced

1/2 to 1 tsp shallot salt

Black pepper, to taste

2 Tbs white wine

3 Tbs of Earth Balance, divided

Parmezano sprinkles, optional


In a medium sauce pan, bring the broth to a boil. Add the barley, reduce heat to low, cover, and let simmer for 45 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375. In a medium skillet, heat the olive oil and garlic. Add the onions and cook until tender and slightly browned. Add the pepitas, rosemary, shallot salt, and pepper. Cook another 5 minutes over medium to low heat.


Once the barley is cooked, add it to the skillet, along with the mushrooms, and stir well to combine. Add the white wine and cook over medium heat for 3-4 minutes.

Stuff the peppers with the filling and press down, adding as much as possible to each one. Place them into a large baking dish. Add a cup of water to the dish, cover with foil, and bake for about 30 minutes. Once baked, top each pepper with a half a tablespoon of Earth Balance, replace the foil, and let sit for 5 minutes. Top with the Parmezano Sprinkles, and enjoy!

Cashew Stir-fry with Noodles

Sorry for the absence…I haven’t been making new dishes over the last couple of weeks, but instead, have been relying on some old favorites like enchiladas, creamy cashew pasta, and tofu sandwiches. We are leaving Wednesday for Santa Fe and Taos, so it was a good time to use up the veggies in the fridge. I’m excited to bring you lots of wonderful vegan food and news from New Mexico. It’s been ten years since we’ve there and we’re  looking forward to going back. Of course, any road trip is not complete in my household without an accident/injury a day or two before leaving. (Last year, the Eighth Grader got his two front teeth knocked out during a trampoline incident. We were supposed to drive to Southern CO for a wedding. It didn’t happen. Spring Break this year was altered after the kid’s appendectomy). It was my turn, I guess. I got a little too excited trying out my new mandolin slicer Sunday night…

I should have seen it coming. I’ve heard the horror stories associated with the mandolin, but I bought one the other day anyway. First time I use it, I slice a pretty large chunk off my right pinkie finger. I’m lucky though, it could have been worse. I was millimeters short of taking off bone and nail! Yikes. Good thing I married an Eagle Scout. He kept me calm and got it wrapped up. I ended up going to urgent care yesterday morning and they cleaned it up good, wrapped it, and I have to go back today to have it looked at. The doc said it will take several months to heal. :-(  The mandolin is in timeout.

Had I not been an idiot and lost part of an appendage, I probably would have used it to make this stir-fry, but I decided to stick with a good old-fashioned knife. It was slow-going, but I had some help. I picked up some East-West Stir-fry Sauce and these awesome ramen noodles from Hakubaku. Both were outstanding. The sauce had a mild flavor with just a tiny bit of zip. I used about 1/2 the jar, but feel free to use as much or as little as you’d like.



2 medium zucchinis, cut into sticks

6 mushrooms, quartered

6 celery stalks, sliced

1 bell pepper, cut into chunks

1 can bamboo shoots, drained

6 green onions, sliced thin

1-2 handfuls of cashews

3 Tbs freshly grated gingerroot

1 jar East-West Stir-fry Sauce

9.5 oz Hakubaku noodles

Olive oil


Heat about a tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet. Add the zucchini, celery, and bell pepper. Cook until they begin to get tender, about 7-9 minutes.

Add the bamboo shoots and ginger. Cook another 5 -7 minutes.

The noodles will take four minutes to cook in boiling water, so when you toss them in to cook, add the mushrooms, green onion, and cashews to the skillet. Cook 2 minutes…then add the sauce. Stir well to combine and saute to heat the sauce.

Drain the noodles and serve them topped with some stir-fry. Enjoy!


Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

The (soon-to-be) Eighth Grader picked these out from Lightlife. The original recipe is for 12 rolls, but one large head of cabbage had about 8 good leaves to use, so we had some leftover filling. If you plan on making 12, you’ll probably want to pick up 2 heads of cabbage. These we actually pretty easy to make and were really flavorful and delicious, not to mention healthy. One roll is only 275 calories! You can also customize these rolls to suit your tastes—mix it up by adding your favorite ingredients. Next time, I’ll try mushrooms and zucchini. Keep in mind, the recipe calls for cooked rice, so you’ll want to get that going first. Also, you’ll need to steam the leaves ahead of time as well.


1 pkg Gimme Lean “beef”

2 Tbs olive oil

8-12 cabbage leaves

1 large onion, chopped

1 green bell pepper, chopped

2 cloves of garlic, minced

2 C cooked rice

15 oz can tomato sauce

Salt and pepper, to taste

2 tsp vegan Worcestershire sauce

3 Tbs brown sugar

3 Tbs cider vinegar

2-4 Tbs water


Preheat oven to 350. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the cabbage leaves, remove from heat, cover, and let sit for 10 minutes. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the garlic, onions, and peppers and cook until tender.

Add the Gimme Lean. You could chop it up before adding it, or just dice it up with a spatula in the pan. You’ll want small clumps, or pieces. Add the Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper and continue cooking until the “beef” begins to brown.

Add the rice…

In a small bowl, whisk together the tomato sauce, brown sugar, and cider vinegar. Reserve a 1/4 cup; set aside. Add the remaining sauce to the pan and combine it well with the veggie mixture. After you’ve drained the cabbage leaves, pat them dry. Lay a leaf out flat and add about a 1/3 cup of the mixture in the center.

Fold in the sides, then roll up. You can also secure it with a toothpick if needed, but I found that these rolled up fine and stayed put.

Place the rolls in a 9×13 baking pan. Pour about 2-4 Tbs of water int he bottom of the pan to keep the leaves moist.

Mix 2 Tbs of water with the reserved 1/4 cup of sauce and pour it over the rolls.

Cover and bake for 35-40 minutes. Enjoy!

Quinoa-Mandarin Stuffed Peppers

The Seventh-Grader was nice enough to share his cold with me. I can’t remember the last time I was out of commission with a cold, and I don’t plan to let this one win. So far, I’ve kept it somewhat at bay with lots of juiced veggies and kale. Never under estimate the healing powers of vegetables. That may be why I was drawn to making these. Bell peppers, particularly orange and yellow ones, are packed with vitamins C, A, and B6. (Although the heating process will deplete them a bit). But I’m certain they still retain many of their healthy benefits. These also have mushrooms which are a great source of B vitamins, selenium, vitamin D, and potassium. Now on to the zucchini…these guys have tons of vitamin C and A which are actually anti-inflammatory agents. Zucchinis are also high in fiber—an added bonus! And let’s not forget that quinoa is an ideal source of protein, too! Let the healing begin!

Oh, and remember Operation Save Basil from October?

I’m happy to report that it has bounced back beautifully. It looks like there’s room to add another basil plant, but for now, I’m thrilled the basil’s back, baby!


3 large bell peppers (preferably orange, red, or yellow) sliced in half and innards cleaned out

1 C quinoa

1-15oz can mandarin oranges (look for no sugar added), juice reserved

1 C water

1 tsp tamari

1 Tbs olive oil

2 tsp garlic, minced

1/2 C slivered almonds

1 C mushrooms, sliced

1 small zucchini, sliced then quartered

1/2 C fresh basil, chopped

Salt and pepper, to taste


1 C almond milk

2 Tbs arrowroot

2 Tbs nutritional yeast

2 Tbs yellow miso

dash of nutmeg

dash of garlic salt


Begin with the quinoa: Combine the quinoa, reserved Mandarin orange juice, water, and tamari in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and cover. Let simmer for 12-15 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 375. While the quinoa is cooking, heat the olive oil and garlic in a skillet. Add the slivered almonds and cook them for 5-7 minutes, stirring often.

Add the zucchini, mushrooms, salt, and pepper; cook another 6-8 minutes on medium heat.

Once the veggies are tender, remove from the heat and stir in the oranges and basil.

Stir in the cooked quinoa and evenly fill the pepper halves.

Sometimes I pour about 2 cups of water in the bottom of the pan before covering with foil. This will help soften the peppers without overcooking the filling. I think this is especially important when using cheese or fake meats in the filling. Bake 20-25 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the sauce. In a small saucepan, whisk together the sauce ingredients over high heat, stirring constantly. After a few minutes, reduce heat to medium-low and let it simmer. Stir frequently so it doesn’t burn. Don’t worry about getting the sauce thickened; it’s meant to seep and ooze into the filling. :-)

Ladle the sauce over the peppers and enjoy!

Kale & Cabbage Salad with Lemony-Almond Butter Dressing

Ok, this is probably my favorite dressing I’ve made so far. Love it! It has just a hint of lemon and with the ginger, goes fabulous with the almond butter. There’s some prep work involved here, but if can, make this the night before and you won’t be able to wait for lunch!



2 large bunches of kale, stems removed and chopped

1/4 of a red/purple cabbage, diced

1 bell pepper (red, orange or yellow), diced

1 C carrot, shredded or finely chopped

3 stalks celery, chopped

1 small red onion, diced small

1/3 C sunflower seeds


1/4 C tahini

1/3 C + 1 Tbs almond butter

1″ piece of ginger, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

2-3 Tbs lemon juice

1 Tbs miso (light, yellow or red)

1/4 C nutritional yeast

1/8 C water


In a large bowl, combine all of the salad ingredients.

Combine all of the dressing ingredients in the blender—except the water—just start with a little and add more as you blend it to reach the consistency you want. You may need more than the 1/8 cup. It also depends on how lemony you want it—you can thin it out with more lemon juice if you’d like. Blend until smooth.

You can pour the dressing over the salad, just a little at time to coat the salad, or serve on the side and mix into individual servings. Yields about 1-1/2 cups. Enjoy!

Layered (Deep Dish) Pizza

This brings deep dish pizza to a whole new level; five levels to be exact. Since the Mexican Lasagna turned out so great, I thought I’d make a pizza version. It was delicious! This may be my new favorite way to eat pizza.


5, 8″ flour tortillas

1 Tbs olive oil

3 Field Roast sausages, Italian Seasoning flavor, crumbled

1 green bell pepper, chopped

2 -1/2 C mushrooms, sliced

4-5 C fresh spinach, chopped

1 C fresh basil, chopped

1, 15-oz can Glen Muir pizza sauce

1-1/2 C Daiya cheese, mozzarella flavor


Preheat oven to 350. In a large skillet heat the olive oil and add the bell pepper; cook until slightly tender. Add the crumbled Field Roast and heat through.

Add the mushrooms, spinach, and basil. Cook just until the spinach wilts a bit. Bake the tortilla shells about 2-3 minutes per side. Spray the bottom of a 9″ cake pan with cooking spray, then pour a small amount on the bottom. Lay one tortilla on the bottom, add some sauce, veggie mixture, then sprinkle some cheese on it.

Repeat, top with last tortilla, rest of sauce and cheese.

Bake uncovered for 30 minutes. Enjoy!

Stuffed Bell Peppers with Field Roast, Ricotta & Spinach

I love stuffed pasta shells, but I don’t always love filling up with carbs and wheat from the pasta. This is a fabulous and healthy alternative, which the family raved about. My hegans agreed that these were the best stuffed peppers I made. You can check out the other recipes here.  I used my go-to ricotta recipe, as well as The Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook’s Parmezano Sprinkles–both very easy to whip up.


My go-to ricotta:

1 14-oz pkg extra-firm tofu, press and drained

1/3 C nutritional yeast

1 C fresh basil

2 Tbs fresh rosemary

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp black pepper

2 Tbs lemon juice

1/4 C Daiya mozzarella

Parmezano Sprinkles:

1/2 C blanched almonds

2 Tbs nutritional yeast

1-2 tsp light miso

1/4 tsp salt

The peppers:

4 bell peppers, washed, tops removed and innards cleaned out

1 tsp olive oil

2 tsp garlic, minced

1 C onion, diced

2 Field Roast sausages, Italian flavor

2 C mushrooms, diced

4 C fresh spinach, chopped

1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes, drained

Salt and pepper, to taste


To make the ricotta, crumble the tofu into a food processor. Add the rest of the ingredients (except for the Daiya) and blend until somewhat smooth. You don’t want it too smooth. Stir in the cheese.

To make the parmezano sprinkles, grind the blanched almonds to a fine consistency. Add the nutritional yeast, miso, and salt. Combine well. Store in an airtight container in the fridge. When you get read to use it, give the container a shake to loosen it all.

Preheat oven to 375. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil and garlic. Add the onions and cook until they just begin to get tender. Using your fingers, crumble up the Field Roast sausages and add to the skillet. Cook for another 5 minutes.

Add the mushrooms and diced tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes, or until the mushrooms soften. Stir in the spinach and cook 5 minutes, or until the spinach cooks down a fair bit.

Remove from the heat and let sit for about 10 minutes. Drain any excess tomato juices if you need to. Then, stir in 1 cup of the ricotta mixture.

Stuff each pepper with the mixture, pressing down with every scoop.

Bake for 30 minutes. Top with some of the parmezano sprinkles and bake another 5 minutes.


Grilled Vegetable Fajitas

It’s that time of year to fire up the grill! For its 2011 inaugural grilling, we went with vegetable fajitas. Since I do most of the cooking, the Husband revels in the opportunity to be King of the Grill. I’ll gladly delegate that method of cooking to him. This is an easy, healthy meal to jump start your spring (as well as your grill)!


2 bell peppers, sliced

1 large onion, sliced into strips

1 medium zucchini, julienned

2 avocados, diced

1-1/2 C vegan cheese, shredded

Tofutti sour cream


Fresh cilantro

6 flour tortillas


1/4 C olive oil

1/8 C red wine vinegar

1/8 C lime juice

1 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp Ancho chili powder

1/2 tsp garlic salt

1/4 tsp black pepper

1 tsp cumin


Using a large Zip-lock bag, or bowl, combine all of the vegetables.

In a small bowl, whisk together all of the marinade ingredients. Coat the veggies with the marinade and let sit for about an hour. Preheat grill to medium-high heat. We used a grill basket and while stirring often, we (I mean, the grill-master) cooked them for about 20 minutes.

On a warmed tortilla, add some Tofutti, veggie mix, cheese, avocado, cilantro, and salsa. Makes 6. Enjoy!

Barley-Stuffed Bell Peppers

Stuffed bell peppers are one of my favorite meals. They’re easy and versatile. This time, I decided to try something different: barley. In addition to being high in fiber, barley is also high in selenium, phosphorus, copper and manganese. And also because of its high B vitamin content, it has also shown to help lower cholesterol. Go barley!


1 C pearled barley

2-1/2 C water or vegetable broth

3 large peppers, or 4 medium ones

1/2 red onion, diced

1/2 C pimentos, diced

6 large mushrooms, diced

1 Field Roast sausage, Apple Sage flavor (excellent source of protein)!

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp olive oil

3/4 C vegan cheddar, shredded

1/3 C Tofutti sour cream

Salt and pepper, to taste


In a large saucepan, bring the broth to a boil. Stir in the barley, reduce heat to low, cover, and cook for 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375. Cut the tops off the peppers, clean out the innards, wash, and set aside. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil and garlic. Add the onion and Field Roast, which I just chopped up.

Add the mushrooms and cook for about 3 minutes. Add the barley, pimento, cheese, and sour cream. Combine well.

Stuff the peppers with the barley mixture. Press down with every scoop to maximize the full capacity of the pepper :) Place into a baking dish.

Cover and bake for 35 minutes. Uncover and bake another 5 minutes. Enjoy!

Vegetable-Barley Chili

This morning, I awoke to this:

And this is how it is now . . . (same day, folks):

Living in Colorado my whole life, I should be used to this kind of schizophrenic weather, but it still amazes me when it happens. The good thing about this morning’s freak snow storm is that it kept me sequestered inside and busy writing. I planned on making just spaghetti for dinner, but like the weather, I switched it up and made this chili. I didn’t have all the ingredients I normally use, but I remember a friend telling me recently, that she uses barley in chili. I decided to give it a whirl. The family actually liked it better than my original chili recipe. If you’re not used to that much fiber (between the beans and the barley) I suggest easing up on the beans, perhaps.


2 14-oz cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed

28-oz can diced tomatoes

1 small can tomato paste

1 large onion, chopped

1 green bell pepper, diced

3/4 C pearled barley

1 Tbs olive oil

5-6 C water and/or vegetable broth

1 pkg chili seasoning or . . .

Home-made chili seasoning:

1 Tbs Ancho chili powder

2 tsp cumin

1 tsp oregano

1 Tbs dried minced onion

1 tsp paprika

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

1 Tbs ground dried chilies


Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot; saute the onions and bell pepper until slightly browned. Add the beans, tomatoes, tomato paste, and about 3 cups of water. Bring to a boil and then add the barley. Combine all the seasoning ingredients; add to the pot. Partially cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add more water (or broth) if needed in order to reach the consistency you want. Continue simmering for 10-15 minutes. Serve with some shredded vegan cheese and/or a dollop of Tofutti sour cream. Enjoy!

Warm Pasta Salad

I tend to make cold pasta salads in the spring and summer and I think I’ve been craving them, but I went with making it warm—just seemed like the thing to do. It came out delicious and I’m anxious to try the chilled leftovers!


1 lb bow-tie pasta

2 C fresh spinach, chopped

1 C parsley, chopped

1/2 C fresh basil, chopped

3 green onions, sliced

1 bell pepper (any variety), diced

2 tomatoes, chopped

Optional: vegan Parmesan


3 Tbs balsamic vinegar

1/2 tsp truffle oil

2 tsp garlic, minced

1 Tbs Dijon mustard

1/3 C Tofutti sour cream

Salt and pepper, to taste


Cook pasta according to package instructions; drain. Return to the pan and add the spinach, basil, parsley, green onion, bell pepper, and tomatoes.

In a small bowl, whisk together all of the dressing ingredients; add to the pasta mixture and coat well and enjoy!

Vegan King Ranch Casserole

Kelly at Vegan Thyme posted this recipe last week and knowing that the he-gans I live with love casseroles (especially of the Mexican kind), I figured this would be a winner over here. And no surprise, it was. The original recipe calls for Morning Star Vegan Chicken Strips, but I couldn’t find those—at least not the vegan ones. They make vegetarian ones, however. So I opted for Boca Chick Patties instead.

The great thing about this recipe that Kelly pointed out, is that you can use your favorite vegetables and seasonings—there’s no right/wrong way to make this casserole. Next time, I’ll add some guacamole or diced avocados on top, otherwise, it was perfect.


4 Boca Chicken Patties, slightly thawed and diced

1 large red bell pepper, diced

2 medium zucchini, sliced, then quartered

1 small onion, diced

2 tsp olive oil

12 corn tortillas, sliced into strips

1 C vegan shredded cheese (I used a mixture of pepper jack and cheddar)

1 C fresh cilantro, chopped

1 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp cayenne

Salt and pepper

4 scallions, sliced

1 C black olives, sliced

3 Tbs Earth Balance

3 Tbs flour

1-1/4 C almond milk

1/4 tsp nutmeg

Optional ingredients: Tofutti sour cream, salsa, avocados/guacamole


Preheat oven to 400. Lightly spray a 9×13 baking pan with cooking spray; set aside. I recommend having all the ingredients chopped, shredded and measured before you get started—it’ll just make things easier on you. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the bell pepper, zucchini, onion, and chick patties; cook 10 minutes. Stir in the cumin, cayenne, and cilantro.

Meanwhile, in a small sauce pan, melt the margarine. Whisk in a tablespoon of flour to thicken it up. Gradually add the other two while whisking, forming a paste. Whisk in the milk and continue stirring over medium-high heat until it begins to thicken. Remove from heat and season with nutmeg, salt, and pepper.

Pour a third of the sauce onto the bottom of the baking pan and spread as evenly as you can. Next, add a layer of tortilla strips. There’s no rhyme or reason to this step—you can layer them down willy-nilly, just as long they evenly cover the bottom.

Pour half of the vegetable mixture on top of the tortilla strips, then another layer of tortilla strips. I then drizzled another third of the sauce on top.

Repeat layers once more and then top with the vegan cheese, scallions, and black olives. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes. Let it cool 5 minutes before diving into it. Enjoy with sour cream, salsa, and/or guacamole on top.

Field Roast and Sweet Potato Breakfast Casserole

Yesterday’s nearly 80 degree day turned to a cloudy and soon-to-be rainy day today, so a breakfast casserole seemed quite appropriate for the morning. It didn’t disappoint and has proved to be ideal for a cozy day in. Turn it into a breakfast burrito by wrapping some up in a flour tortilla.


1 Tbs olive oil

1 small sweet potato, peeled and diced

3 small russet potatoes, diced

1 large red bell pepper, chopped

1 C mushrooms, chopped

2 Chipotle-flavored Field Roast sausages

1-1/2 C fresh spinach, chopped

1/2 pkg silken tofu

1/3 C nutritional yeast flakes

8-oz vegan pepper jack, or other favorite vegan cheeze, shredded

1/2 C Tofutti sour cream

3/4 C almond milk

1/4 to 1/3 C panko bread crumbs


Preheat oven to 350. Lightly spray a 13″x9″ baking pan with cooking spray; set aside. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil and add all of the potatoes. Cook, covered, on medium heat for 15 minutes, or until they just begin to soften (stir them often).

Add the bell pepper and Field Roast; cook another 5 minutes. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together the tofu, cheeze, sour cream, nutritional yeast, and almond milk. Stir in the spinach.

Add the mushrooms to the skillet and cook until they begin to soften, 2-3 minutes.

Then combine the potato mixture to the tofu mixture and stir well to combine. Pour mixture in the pan and top with the panko.

Cover and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake another 5 minutes. Let sit a few minutes, then dig in and enjoy!


Holy mackerel, Andy! (as my father used to say) This is another winner from The Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook. It’s cheezy, tasty, and creamy comfort food that I guarantee you’ll love. Not only that, it’s simple to make. The recipe also gives you ideas to add more protein such as 1-3/4 C chickpeas, 1/2 lb smoked or seasoned cubed tofu, cubed tempeh, or seitan. I went with a couple of sliced Tofurky hot dogs—Field Roast sausages would also be a great option. The recipe makes enough to feed a crowd of 6-8, so it’s great for get togethers. I highly recommend making the Parmezano Sprinkles for this, too—they add the perfect topping.


1 lb spaghetti, broken in half

2 Tbs olive oil

4 C thinly sliced mushrooms

1 red bell pepper, finely diced

1 C flour

4 C nondairy milk (I used almond milk)

1/2 C nutritional yeast flakes

1 Tbs onion powder

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 C frozen peas, thawed (I left these out since I didn’t have any)

1/2 to a cup of Parmezano Sprinkles


Preheat oven to 350. Cook the spaghetti according to package instructions. Drain and transfer to a large bowl. Meanwhile,  in a large skillet, heat the oil and saute the mushrooms and bell pepper until tender.

Combine the flour, 2 cups of the milk, nutritional yeast, onion powder, garlic powder, and salt in a blender. Blend until smooth, then pour over the mushroom mixture. Add the remaining 2 cups of milk. The recipe says to remove from heat, but I just turned it to low. This is when I added the Tofurky hot dogs, too. Constantly stir it as it will begin to thicken and bubble within a couple of minutes.

Combine it with the spaghetti.

Pour it into a lightly greased 4-quart baking dish, top with the Parmezano Sprinkles, and bake for 35 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve immediately and enjoy!

Field Roast-Stuffed Bell Peppers

These are one of my favorite things to make, especially since the the filling can be changed to suit your tastes and what you have lying around the kitchen. I used Field Roast’s Chipotle flavored sausages which has great flavor and seasonings, that there was no need to add any spices. These were creamy, spicy and filling. The recipe is for 4 bell peppers, but I had 3—luckily, the stuffing makes a great breakfast burrito filling.


4 bell peppers, any variety

1/2 C arborio rice

1 C vegetable broth

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 Tbs olive oil

2 Field Roast sausages, chipotle-flavor, crumbled

1 medium onion, diced

1-1/2 C mushrooms, diced

2 small tomatoes, diced

1 C vegan cheddar, shredded

1/4 C Tofutti sour cream


Preheat oven to 375. In a small saucepan, combine the vegetable broth and arborio rice; bring to a boil. Cover and simmer on low for 10-15 minutes, or until all the liquid is absorbed. Slice the very tops off of the bell peppers and clean out the innards; set aside.

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil and garlic. Add the onions and Field Roast and saute until the onions start to soften and brown, then add the mushrooms and tomatoes. In a small bowl, combine the cheese and sour cream and then stir it into the Field Roast mixture.

Spoon the Field Roast mixture into the peppers—firmly pack it in. Place into a 8″ baking dish.

Cover with foil and bake for 35 minutes. Uncover and bake another 5 minutes and enjoy!

Creamy Veggie Bake (Made possible by Green Buffalo Food Co.)

When one door closes, another one opens. In this case, when one CSA ends, another comes! We had our last week of our CSA this last Monday, and luckily, I met another food delivery company in my area, at an event for our Writers Association. Green Buffalo Food Company delivers organic, locally-grown/raised food right to your door. I was very enticed by the fact that they don’t require a contract–just weekly or bi-weekly delivery and we can tell them what we don’t want in our delivery. I have 3 butternut squashes on my counter, so I can wait on getting more. Oh, and fruit! It includes fruit!

We received our first delivery today and let me tell you . . .I get excited over home-delivered organic vegetables! Christmas came early.

Isn’t it a gorgeous box of produce?! (potatoes are in the bag). Organic is of course wonderful, but it  isn’t always the prettiest—or the very large, so I was very impressed with what we got.  And everything is packed so carefully and sweetly (which is fitting because Ali and Ryan, who own GBF, are incredibly lovely people). (sorry, that’s a lot of adverbs). I was giddy with vegan excitement as I perused through the box, wondering what to make for dinner. I had to refrain from using everything—reminding myself that it needed to last the week. I opted for a vegetable bake that didn’t use up everything and certainly didn’t disappoint.


1 Tbs olive oil

2 tsp garlic

1 large zucchini, sliced, then quartered

2 C mushrooms, quartered

1/2 large onion, chopped

1 green bell pepper, chopped

1-8oz pkg. tempeh, cubed (small)

2 small broccoli heads, florets only

1/2 C almond milk

1 pkg Silken tofu

1/2 C nutritional yeast

1 tsp garlic salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

1 C vegan cheddar (I used a combo of cheddar and mozzarella)

1/2 C bread crumbs


Preheat oven to 375. In a large skillet heat olive oil and garlic. Add the zucchini, broccoli, bell pepper, onion, and tempeh. Saute on medium heat until they just barely begin to soften. Add mushroom and saute another 5 minutes. Meanwhile, combine the tofu, nutritional yeast, almond milk, garlic salt, and pepper in a food processor. You can also just whisk it in a bowl; stir in the cheese.

Lightly grease a 9×13″ baking dish and layer half of the sauce on bottom. Add the vegetable mixture, then top with the rest of the sauce. Stir around to combine everything.

Cover and bake 40 minutes. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs on top and bake another 10 minutes.

Let sit for about 5-8 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

Cabbage Rolls

Vegan MoFo, Day 27

I had such high hopes for this dish, but frankly it was a disaster. Well, the journey to the end result, that is. The first red flag was that the cabbage had been sliced, so the leaves weren’t very usable. So I opted for romaine leaves and the second red flag was that they had gotten frozen in the fridge, so some of them were damaged. Did that stop me? Of course not, but it wasn’t without some colorful language. It was like a horror movie. I knew I should have turned around from the ominous signs in the  kitchen and got the hell out of there. But I stayed. I fought. And crawled out from the carnage a hour later. There had to be a easier way. Iceberg lettuce. I think that would have worked so much better. No horror movie re-enactments necessary.


Olive oil

1 tsp garlic, minced

1 C rice, uncooked

1 C vegetable broth

1/2 red bell pepper, diced small

1/2 small onion, diced small

1-1/2 C shiitake mushrooms, diced

1 Apple-Sage Field Roast sausages, torn into small pieces

1/3 C walnuts, chopped

8-10 large iceberg lettuce leaves

Salt and pepper, to taste


1/2 tsp dried marjornam

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

4 green onions, or 1 large leek, chopped

4 Tbs Earth Balance margarine

1/2 C vegetable broth

1/2 C sherry

2-4 Tbs flour


Preheat oven to 300–just to keep stuff warm. In a medium skillet, cook the rice in the vegetable broth. In a large skillet, heat olive oil and garlic. Add bell pepper and onion. Saute for 3 minutes, then add the Field Roast and shiitake mushrooms. Saute until the mushrooms soften, then stir in the cooked rice.

So here is where the Wes Craven-esque stuff started to happen. I couldn’t get the cabbage leaves apart in one nice piece. I was able to get a few unscathed leaves, so I steamed them for just a couple of minutes to soften them a little. I didn’t have enough, so I pull out some (half-frozen) romaine lettuce which wouldn’t cooperate and roll up well.

I did the best I could . . .

I placed each roll in a 9×13″ pan, covered with foil, then placed them in the warm oven. To prepare the sauce, heat the margarine in a small saucepan, add the leeks or green onions. I had about 3 shiitake mushrooms leftover, so I diced them up and added them then, too. Combine the flour, marjoram, salt, and pepper in a small bowl, then whisk into the saucepan. Immediately add the broth and sherry and whisk thoroughly. Add more flour, if needed, to reach a desired consistency. Serve with rolls with sauce ladled over them.

So the end result was good, but the process was so much more painful than it needed to be. Have you ever tried a similar recipe?  Have any suggestions?

Wild Rice-Stuffed Portobellos

Vegan MoFo, Day 24

I have been dying to make these for a while now. They did not disappoint. I used about 2 cups of cooked wild rice for five mushrooms, but the recipe makes enough for six. Also, I recommend using vegetable broth when making the rice—keep in mind, the rice will take about 45 minutes to cook. Typically, I steam or slightly saute the mushroom caps before stuffing them, but this time I decided not to—and I’m glad. They came out perfect; not soggy or too soft. When looking for portobellos for this dish, try to pick out ones that are very bowl-shaped. They’ll flatten a little as they bake, so the curvier, the better. (I like that, curves are good)!


6 portobello mushrooms, stemmed and de-gilled

2 C wild rice, cooked

1 red bell pepper, diced small

3 large green onion, diced

1/2 a can of artichoke hearts, diced small

1 Tbs Earth Balance

2 tsp garlic, minced

1 C vegan mozzarella, shredded

1 Tbs fresh rosemary, chopped

Salt and pepper, to taste


Preheat oven to 350 and line a baking sheet with foil; set aside. In a large skillet, heat the margarine and garlic until hot. Add bell pepper, green onions, and artichokes. Saute 3-5 minutes and add rosemary, salt and pepper.

Saute another 5-7 minutes and transfer to a bowl. Add the cooked rice to the bowl and combine the two mixtures.

Place the portobello caps on the baking sheet—upside down. Sprinkle some vegan mozzarella inside the caps, then spoon the rice mixture into each cap evenly.You can season with some more salt and pepper, if you’d like.

Top with remaining cheese and bake, uncovered, for 10-12 minutes. Enjoy!


Latin-Inspired Coleslaw

Vegan MoFo, Day 3

I have become enamored with coleslaw this year. I guess it’s because we’ve received so much cabbage from our CSA, and before, I never really gave cabbage that much thought. I’ve made regular coleslaw and Asian coleslaw, so of course, it was only natural to make a Mexican-style one. This is great on its own, or wrapped in a tortilla.


1 large head of cabbage, shredded

1/2 C carrot, shredded

1 large red bell pepper, sliced thin

1 C fresh cilantro, slightly chopped

3 large green onion, chopped (both white and green parts)

1 Tbs pimento, diced

1/2 C Tofutti sour cream

1/2 C Vegenaise

1 Tbs almond milk

1 tsp lime juice

1/2 tsp liquid smoke

1/4 tsp Ancho chili powder

1 tsp cumin

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 C vegan cheddar shredded (or vegan pepper jack for an added kick)


In a large bowl, combine cabbage, bell pepper, carrot, cilantro, and green onions. In a small bowl, combine sour cream, Vegenaise, almond milk, lime juice, liquid smoke, pimento, chili powder, cumin, and salt. Add the sour cream mixture to the cabbage mixture and combine thoroughly. Stir in cheeze. Enjoy!

Stuffed Bell Peppers

OK, I wasn’t kidding when I said I was going to make stuffed peppers. We happened to get a TON of green bell peppers from our CSA yesterday:

This is just a third of what we received–the rest went to my 2 other neighbor who share in the CSA with us.

I guarantee you will LOVE these stuffed peppers. I debated on what to put in them, but when it came down to it, I wanted to make them as simple as possible. As the Sixth Grader said,”These are cooked perfectly; they cut like butter!”


11 small bell peppers, or 6-7 large peppers

1/2 C Arborio rice (risotto)

3/4 C water

1-1/2 tsp Earth Balance margarine

4 C fresh spinach, chopped small

1 large tomato, diced

6 -oz Tofutti cream cheese

1 tsp cumin

1 Tbs dried minced onion

1/2 C Tofutti sour cream

1/4 C fresh cilantro, finely chopped

1 Tbs lime juice

1/8 tsp garlic salt


In a small saucepan combine water, rice, and butter. Bring to a boil, stir, and cover for 15-20 minutes. Preheat oven to 375. Wash the peppers and cut the tops off. Clean out the insides of seeds and other innards.

Combine cream cheese with cooked rice (in the same pan) and blend thoroughly. Since the rice is warm, it’ll make it easier to to blend. Stir in cumin and minced onion. Add spinach and tomatoes and combine well.

Fill each pepper with the rice mixture. You can pack in quite a bit of the rice mixture, just press down with a spoon—pretend you’re stuffing a sleeping bag into its stuff sack. Place in a 8″ square pan.


I had about 3/4 C of left over rice mixture, but if using larger peppers, you can probably squeeze it all into those.

Bake covered for 40 minutes. Uncover and bake another 5 minutes. While these are baking, combine sour cream, lime juice, cilantro and garlic salt in a small bowl.

Add a few dollops of the sour cream mixture on top of the pepper servings and enjoy!

Vegetable Soft Tacos/Fajitas

Between school, tae kwon do practice, errands,  and well . . . life, I love meals that make themselves. Ok, well,  they don’t exactly make themselves, but pretty close.  I had lots of veggies to use up, so fajitas/tacos were perfect. I added lime juice and cilantro for a flavorful combination. I served them with some warmed refried beans topped with vegan cheese for some protein.


1 small summer squash, cut into 2″ pieces

1 small zucchini, cut into 2″ pieces

1/2 large onion, cut into 2″ pieces

1 red bell pepper, cut into 2″ pieces

1-2 Tbs olive oil

1 avocado, sliced

1-oz pkg fajita seasoning

1/8 C water

1/8 C lime juice

1 C fresh cilantro, chopped


Vegan cheddar, shredded

Tofutti sour cream

Flour tortillas, warmed


In a large skillet heat the olive oil. Add the squash, zucchini, bell pepper, and onion.

Saute covered for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened. Combine the fajita mix with the water and lime juice. Add to the vegetable mixture and combine well. Stir in the cilantro.

On a warm tortilla, layer on some sour cream, veggies, avocado, salsa, and cheese. Enjoy!

Field Roast Sausage and Vegetable Hash

When I began to make this, just throwing stuff together, I wasn’t planning on posting it, but then I tasted it and damn, I knew I had to share it. Even The Husband called it hands-down the best, most phenomenal breakfast burrito/hash he’s ever had. Wow. Now that my “chef-ego” is inflated, here you go:


2 Field Roast sausages, Italian flavor

3 small potatoes, peeled and diced

1 small green bell pepper, diced

1/2 a large onion, diced

1 small zucchini, sliced then quartered

1 C sliced mushrooms

2 Tbs olive oil

vegan cheddar, shredded

Flour tortillas, warmed

Garlic & Wine seasoning, to taste (So this is a blend that we got from The Melting Pot a million years ago and here’s what’s in it: salt, soya flour, garlic, sherry wine flavor, cracked pepper, select imported spices, citric acid, and parsley).


Saute the potatoes in the olive oil for about 10 minutes, or until they just  start to soften. Add the green pepper, onion, and zucchini. Over medium heat, cover and let saute for about another 10 to 15 minutes, or until soft. Season with the garlic blend and then add the sausage (I just tear it apart into small pieces) and the mushrooms. Season again with the garlic blend and cover another 4-5 minutes until the mushrooms are just softening.

Scoop some onto a warmed tortilla and add a little cheese. YUM! Enjoy!

Quick Szechuan Stir-Fry

CAUTION: this can get hot very quickly—that is, when I make it. I tend to get a little heavy handed with the hot spices, much to the dismay of the rest of family. Once again, I put a little too much heat on this stir-fry, earning a few glares from the Husband and 6th Grader. They agreed that it was really tasty and liked the udon noodles a lot, but the numb lips interfered a little. Next time I’ll go easy on the szechuan sauce.


1-8oz pkg Koyo Organic round udon noodles

1/4-1/2 C szechuan sauce like San-J brand

1/4-1/3 C tamari sauce

1 red bell pepper, cut into 1″ pieces

1 garlic clove, minced

1-2 Tbs olive oil

1 small summer squash, cut into small pieces

1 can sliced water chestnuts

8-10 mushrooms, sliced

4-5 green onions, sliced

Toasted sesame seeds


Cook noodles according to package instructions (they take about 7-8 minutes). Heat olive oil and garlic in a skillet. Add bell pepper, water chestnuts, and squash; saute for about 15 minutes, or until softened. Add mushrooms, green onions, tamari, and szechuan sauce. I’d start with about a 1/4 cup of the szechuan sauce and go from there. Cook for another 5-7 minutes, then add the cooked noodles to the pan and stir to combine everything. Top with sesame seeds. Depending on how hot you make it, serve it with a hankie to wipe the brow! Enjoy!

Stuffed Mushrooms

I needed to come up with an appetizer to feed a crowd, so I came up with my own vegan version of stuffed mushrooms. They were pretty easy to make and were gone in no time. Another great ingredient to add is a couple of Field Roast Italian Sausages–just thaw, chop and add to the food processor with the bell pepper.


About 30 mushrooms, washed and stems reserved

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 red bell pepper

5 green onions

3-4 Tbs Earth Balance margarine, divided

1/2 C bread crumbs

6″ of a garlic scape

Salt and pepper, to taste

1/2 to 1 tsp cayenne pepper

3/4 C vegan mozzarella (like Vegan Rella), shredded


Preheat oven to 325. Saute the mushroom caps in 2 tablespoons of margarine until they just begin to brown on each side. Then set aside.

Chop up the mushroom stems, red bell pepper, green onions and scape. Here’s a scape:

Add all four to a food processor and chop up until fine:

Transfer to the same pan that you used to saute the mushrooms caps in, and saute the pepper mixture in 2-3 tablespoons of margarine for 3-4 minutes. Add bread crumbs, salt, pepper, and cayenne.

Remove from heat. Stuff each cap with about 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of the pepper mixture and a medium pinch of cheese.

If you are making these ahead, you can stuff them and refrigerate them, but add the cheese just before baking. Bake for 15 minutes and enjoy!

Baked Tofu and Roasted Asparagus Pasta Salad

This is a flavorful salad that is ideal for those summer get togethers, both served cold or warmed up. Roasting the asparagus only takes 10 minutes and is perfect in this salad.


16-oz farfalle, cooked, drained and rinsed in cold water

1 pkg Westsoy Garlic and Herb baked tofu, cubed

1 red bell pepper, chopped

1 bunch asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1″ pieces

2 Tbs fresh thyme, chopped

2 Tbs balsamic vinegar

1 Tbs lemon juice

2 Tbs olive oil, divided

3-4 Tbs jarred or homemade basil pesto

Salt and pepper, to taste

1 C walnuts, chopped and toasted


Preheat oven to 425. Line a baking sheeting with foil.  In a small bowl, mix asparagus pieces with 1 Tbs of olive oil, add salt and pepper to taste. Layer onto baking sheet and roast for 10 minutes. In a large bowl, combine the pasta with the pesto, bell pepper, and tofu. Once asparagus has cooled (it won’t take long) add to the pasta mixture. Mix in the thyme and salt and pepper to taste. In a small bowl, combine balsamic vinegar, lemon juice and remaining 1 Tbs of olive oil. Pour over pasta mixture and combine well. Refrigerate for a couple hours and when ready to serve, mix in the walnuts. Enjoy!

Western Tofu Scramble

This is a great way to start the morning! Especially when the morning is snowy. Yes…snowy. It’s the end of April, right? Well it snowed last night, so instead of heading out for my morning walk, I decided to cook up a protein-packed breakfast and tackle that walk later when things clear up.


1 Tbs olive oil

1 garlic clove, minced

1-14oz pkg. extra firm tofu, drained, pressed and crumbled

3 Tbs fresh cilantro, chopped

1/2 a large orange or red bell pepper, diced (about 3/4 C)

4 green onions, sliced (or 1/4 C of diced yellow onion)

1/2 tsp cumin

1/4 tsp turmeric

1/3 C salsa

1/4-1/3 C vegan cheddar or pepper jack cheese, shredded

Salt and pepper, to taste


In a large skillet, heat olive oil over high heat. Add garlic and bell pepper. Reduce to medium heat and saute until pepper is softened, about 5 minutes. Add the green onion and saute another minute, then add the cumin and turmeric. Add tofu and stir to combine–the turmeric will immediately turn the tofu yellowy-orange, like real scrambled eggs. You don’t have to use it–totally optional. Stir in the cilantro and season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the salsa, then the cheese. Serve alone, or wrap in a warmed flour tortilla and enjoy!

Sweet and Sour Seitan

This is a really quick and easy meal to throw together–less than 30 minutes. Tofu can easily be substituted for the seitan and other vegetables can be added as well.  The original recipe calls for frying the seitan in 2″ of oil, but I’m not a fan of deep-frying so I sauteed the seitan instead, which worked out great. This recipe makes quite a bit if you use 2 packages of seitan–it’ll feed 4-6. For a small crowd, I’d do just 1 package and halve the other ingredients.


2 packages seitan cut into bite-sized chunks
3/4 cup flour
2 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup water
Peanut oil (I used olive oil)
1 green pepper cut in chunks
1 red pepper cut in chunks
1 onion cut in chunks
1 can pineapple chunks (drain, but reserve 1/4 C of juice)
Jar (11.5 oz) of sweet and sour sauce (I like Kikkoman’s brand)


Mix together flour, water, cornstarch, salt and baking soda in medium bowl.

Stir seitan into batter until well coated.  Heat 2-3 Tbs of olive oil in a large skillet. Add seitan. Because of the batter, the pieces will stick together–use a metal spatula to turn sections of seitan and cut apart later. Cook until golden brown, then remove from heat; keep warm.

Combine green pepper and onion and sauté for 5 min.  Add pineapple and reserved juice, and sweet and sour sauce. Let simmer for 15 minutes. Pour over seitan–I recommend not adding the seitan to the pan because the coating may come off. Serve with rice and enjoy!

Recipe source: Vegweb

Pineapple-Cashew-Quinoa Stir-Fry

This was so flavorful and delicious!

It helps to have all the ingredients ready and chopped up before your start and the recipe calls for chilling the quinoa once it’s done, but I didn’t have time for that, so I filled the sink with cold water and placed the pan of quinoa in the sink–it worked beautifully. I also made some other changes to the recipe, but I’ll list the original and my alterations.



1 C quinoa, well rinsed and drained (I like Ancient Harvest brand–already rinsed)

1 C pineapple juice (I used a cup from the canned pineapple you’ll need for the stir-fry)

1 C cold water

1/4 tsp soy sauce


4 oz cashews, raw and unsalted

3 Tbs peanut oil (I used olive oil)

2 scallions, sliced thinly

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 hot red chile, sliced into very thin rounds (When I started this, I realized I didn’t have one…oops)

1/2″ piece ginger, peeled and minced

1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced (I also added one diced yellow bell pepper)

1 C frozen green peas or cooked edamame (I used the edamame)

1/2 C fresh basil leaves, rolled and sliced thin shreds

2 Tbs chopped fresh mint

10-oz fresh pineapple, cut into bite sized pieces (about 2 C–I used canned)

3 Tbs soy sauce

3 Tbs vegetable stock

1 Tbs mirin

Lime wedges for garnish (I drizzled jarred lime juice on top)


Prepare the quinoa first: Combine the quinoa, juice, water and soy sauce in a medium-sized pot. Cover, place over high heat, and bring to a boil. Stir a few times, lower heat to medium-low, cover and cook for 12-14 mins until all the liquid has been absorbed and the quinoa appears plump and slightly translucent. Uncover, fluff and let cool. For best results, place the quinoa in an airtight container and refrigerate overnight, or chill for 1 hour. Like I said, I cooled it in a sink of cold water.

To prepare the stir-fry: Use a very large skillet–at least 11 inches. Place the cashews in the dry pan and heat over medium heat, stirring them, until lightly toasted, 4-5 mins. Remove the cashews from the pan, raise the heat to medium and add the oil, scallions, and garlic. When the garlic starts to sizzle, add the sliced chile pepper and ginger. Stir-fry for about 2 mins then add the bell pepper(s) and peas (or edamame).

(Such a colorful dish)!

Stir-fry for another 3-4 mins, until the bell pepper is softened. Add the basil and mint and stir for another minute before adding the pineapple and quinoa.

In a measuring cup, combine the soy sauce, vegetable stock and mirin. Pour over the quinoa mixture. Stir to incorporate completely and coat the quinoa. Continue to stir-fry 10-14 mins, until the quinoa is very hot.

(I see why the recipe called for a very large skillet)

The recipe didn’t say anything else about the cashews, so I added them the last 5 mins of stir-frying.  Serve with lime wedges and additional soy sauce to season individual servings to taste. Serves 5-6.  Enjoy!

Recipe source: Veganomicon

Seitan Fajitas

I love that there is a tasty alternative to meat! Even my husband went so far as to say that he liked these better than chicken. This…coming from a man who  absolutely loves chicken!  Maybe it’s because seitan really, truely has the same texture and similar flavor to meat, particularly chicken, but none of the saturated fat, hormones and antibiotics. These were super easy to make and I served them with a scoop of refries with vegan cheddar melted on top. Talk about a yummy, protein-packed meal!


2 pkgs seitan, break up or slice into pieces (I like Westsoy brand)
1 Tbs olive oil
1/2 large red onion, sliced
1 large red bell pepper, sliced into thin strips
3 cloves minced garlic
1 packet fajita mix + 1/2-3/4 C water
Tofutti sour cream
Vegan cheese, shredded, cheddar flavor
cilantro, chopped
sliced avocado (optional)
Flour tortillas (I like Whole Foods brand–organic and small. They come in whole wheat, fat free and Homestyle (white). I like the taste and that they are the perfect size. Small, so I don’t feel like I have to load up a large tortilla. I can always make 2 if I want more).


Saute onions and garlic in olive oil until tender, 3-5 mins. Add seitan and saute for 10-12 mins. Combine the fajita mix with the water and add to the pan. Coat veggies and seitan and cook for 2 mins on med-high heat. Reduce heat to low and cover for about 3 mins.

I like to spread a Tbs or so of Tofutti sour cream on a warmed tortilla, then add a bit of cilantro, then seitan mixture and top with vegan cheese and salsa. If I have avocado, I’ll add 1-2 slices on top. Roll up and enjoy!