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!


Gnocchi with Roasted Vegetables

GnocchiMy mom made this dish for me a few weeks ago and I’ve been anxious to make it for the family. It’s so easy to prepare. The only difficult part was actually finding this fancy little product . .

DSC08073My mom had used Knorr’s Vegetable Homestyle Stock, but I had a hell of time finding it—or I should say, finding the vegetable flavor. Of course the beef, chicken, and low-sodium chicken ones seemed to be available, but us vegemites seem to get left out. I eventually found them at Safeway, but only one of the two Safeways in town (Taft and Drake for you locals). Anyway, this stock is ideal for this dish. It’s extremely concentrated; like a paste, so all I had to do was add a little water, and volia! it was ready.

The gnocchi on the other hand, was pretty easy to find . . .



1 butternut squash, peeled and diced
1 large red onion, cut into big slices
1 large zucchini, cubed
1 large yellow squash, cubed
2 C carrots, cut into cubes/chunks
2-3 C mushrooms, quartered
Olive oil
Balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper
2 tubs of Knorr Vegetable Homestyle Stock
2 (16-oz) pkgs. gnocchi


Preheat the oven to 400. Prepare all of the veggies. (When peeling a butternut squash, a decent potato peeler works just fine). Combine all the veggies (except the mushrooms) in a large bowl. Drizzle with just a tiny bit of olive oil and teensy bit of balsamic vinegar. You don’t want the veggies dripping with oil; use enough to just barely coat them. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a baking sheet. I used two pans—the vegetables won’t roast evenly if the pan is too crowded; they’ll steam instead.

DSC08071I roasted them for about 30 minutes before adding the mushrooms (that I prepared with some olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper). All ovens run differently and cooking time also depends on how large the vegetables are cut. Roast another 10 minutes or so. A good time to start the water boiling for the gnocchi would be right before you throw the mushrooms in.  In a small measuring cup, combine two tubs of the Knorr stock with about 1/2 C of water. Heat in the microwave for about a minute.

knorrThe gnocchi will only take 3-5 minutes. I divided the drained gnocchi in half and added them to the two pans of veggies. I then poured 1/4 C of the stock to each pan and coated everything well. I ended up combing both pans into one . . .

DSC08078That’s it! So delicious . . . enjoy!

Cherry-Zucchini Bread


Sorry for my absence. We were all hit with a pretty nasty cold and it’s taken a couple of weeks to return to normal. The break did, however, give me way too much time to veg out and thanks to Hulu and PBS, I watched all three seasons of Downton Abbey. (If they keep killing off beloved characters, I’m going to have to stop watching; my heart can’t take it). Anyway, I’m back in the kitchen and it feels great. We spent the afternoon with our friends (both human and animal) at Beakon Hill Farm and Education Center. Their newest residents are a trio of adorable lambs. They took them in when they were just less than 24 hours old and have been bottle-feeding them for weeks. Randy and Teresa are such amazing people and are working toward making Beakon Hill a non-profit. It is home to some of the most wonderful animals: goats, horses, alpacas, hens, roosters, ducks, and many more.


The Eighth Grader bottle-feeding one of the lambs



Shiro’s just like a puppy, but with horns. His latest game is to push against you with his head.


 Zee Man liked to follow us around as we shoveled poop from the pens . . .


So I figured I’d bring along this amazing bread to share (with the humans) of Beakon Hill. The recipe is adapted from Hell Yeah it’s Vegan, because I made a few changes and added some ingredients. That’s the beauty of making two loaves; share the love!

INGREDIENTS: (Makes 2 loaves)

4-1/2 tsp Ener-G Egg Replacer
1/2 C warm water
1-1/4 C brown sugar
1/2 C applesauce
1/2 C canola oil
1 tsp vanilla
2 C zucchini, grated
2 C flour
1 C whole wheat flour
1 Tbs baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 Tbs cinnamon
2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp salt
1 C dried cherries
1/8 C chia seeds (optional . . . I was out of them, but I would have definitely put them in if I had any)!


Preheat oven to 350. Grease two 8x4x2″ loaf pans and set aside. In a large bowl, mix together the egg replacer and warm water. Add the brown sugar, canola oil, vanilla and applesauce. I don’t usually keep applesauce on hand, but we definitely have plenty of apples, so I just pureed two apples in the food processor.


Add the zucchini and blend until smooth. In a medium bowl, combine the flours, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and chia seeds (if using). Little by little, add the dry ingredients to the batter.


Fold in the dried cherries. Divide the dough between the two loaf pans.


Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until done in the middle (check using a toothpick or knife).


Let them cool on a rack and lay a piece of foil loosely over the top to keep in the moisture while they cool. Slice and enjoy!


Me holding Worf, the rooster.


Zucchini, Tomato & Ricotta Tart


This was so good and so easy to make! Yes, I know, puff pastry—even though it’s vegan—isn’t the healthiest of foods, but once in a while, it’s okay. In fact, it’s downright fun to come up with recipes using it. This is the perfect time to break out the mandolin slicer (if you’re brave enough). I’m still too freaked out to use it after my mishap with it.  Anyway, I used my go-to ricotta cheese recipe which makes more than what you need for this, but the rest will freeze well or keep in the fridge for 3-4 days. It’s great mixed in some cooked pasta with veggies, or small batch of a stuffed shells. You can also just halve the recipe if you’d like. This dish works as a main meal, or cut into small squares, is ideal as an appetizer. Check out these other tart recipes: Savory Vegetable Tart and Savory Asparagus Tart.


1 puff pastry sheet, thawed
1 medium zucchini, sliced thin
2 tomatoes, sliced thin
Olive oil
Salt and pepper


14-oz tub of extra firm tofu, drained and pressed
1 tsp basil (sometimes I use fresh basil–about a cup)
1 tsp rosemary (Again, you can use 1 Tbs of freshly chopped rosemary)
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 Tbs lemon juice
1/3 C nutritional yeast
Optional: 1/4 to 1/3 cup of vegan mozzarella, shredded


Preheat the oven to 350. On a floured surface, roll out the puff pastry to fit an 11″x17″ cookie sheet. It’s ok if the edges go over the side—just tuck them in. Stick with a fork in several places.


Bake for 7-10 minutes (check it to make sure it’s not browning). You want it just toasted:


To make the ricotta, combine all of the ingredients (except the cheese, if using) in a food processor. Transfer to a bowl, then stir in the cheese.


Spread about a cup or so of the ricotta onto the puff pastry. You can use as little or as much as you’d like. Top with the tomato slices. I got about 9 slices, so I spaced them evenly on top.


Next, layer on the zucchinis. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.


Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the edges of the crust brown the zucchinis are tender.


Transfer to a large cutting board, then cut 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!


Field Roast and Veggie Tacos

I’ve used Field Roast in breakfast burritos, so why not tacos? ( As you can see, I had a taco fiesta foul with one of the shells, but it worked out ok. :) ) Somehow, zucchini reproduced in my fridge so I had to use some of them up—they’re ideal for tacos.  I also had some chipotle-flavored olive oil from Rocky Mountain Olive Oil Company—the perfect opportunity to use it.


1 Tbs olive oil

2 tsp garlic, minced

4 Field Roast Chipotle-flavored sausages, thawed and crumbled

4 medium zucchinis, cut into sticks

2 red bell peppers, sliced

1 onion, sliced

Corn taco shells

All the other fixins (optional): Daiya cheese, Tofutti sour cream, avocado slices, fresh cilantro, and salsa


In a skillet, heat the olive oil and garlic. Add the onions, and cook 4-5 minutes.

Next, add the zucchini, peppers, and Field Roast. You don’t necessarily have to add the sausages at this point since it’s only a matter of heating them through, but I like to get the flavors incorporated with the veggies early on.

Cook over medium heat, stirring often, for about 20 minutes, or until tender. I like to cover and let the steam help cook the veggies. Serve with your favorite taco fixings and 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!

Cabbage and Portobello Tacos

Sorry for the absence! I’m back and ready to cook! These veggie tacos were certainly well-received last night by the family. Maybe it’s because I haven’t had much time to cook for them lately, but whatever the reason, they made this vegan trio happy.


2 tsp garlic, minced

1 Tbs olive oil

3 large portobello caps, sliced

1 medium onion, sliced

2 medium zucchinis, cut into matchsticks

3 C red/purple cabbage, sliced into wide strips

Corn taco shells

Seasonings: (mild)

1 Tbs chili powder

2 tsp onion powder

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp paprika

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp oregano

1 tsp sugar

1/2 tsp salt

The rest (optional): fresh cilantro, sliced green onion, salsa, or avocado slices


Heat the garlic and olive oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet. Add the onions, zucchini, and cabbage; cook 10-12 minutes, or until they begin to soften and brown. Combine the seasoning ingredients and add to the pan along with the portobellos.

Thoroughly combine everything. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook the mushrooms until they soften and reduce in size, 7-9 minutes. You may want to cover the pan and let them cook.

Serve in warmed corn taco shells and top with any of the optional ingredients. This is a fabulous (and quick) gluten & soy-free meal! Enjoy!

Gluten-Free Tetrazzini-Stuffed Peppers

The Seventh Grader wanted spaghetti for dinner; I wanted stuffed peppers. We compromised, which turned out to be a very delicious compromise! You’ll only need 4-5 ounces of spaghetti to fill 6 halves of peppers, but I used 8 ounces and had some leftover tetrazzini for a future lunch. Otherwise, I find 3 ounces of dry pasta, useless. I made these gluten-free by using quinoa pasta, and rice flour, but feel free to use any variety you’d like.


8-oz quinoa spaghetti

3 bell peppers, cut in half, stems removed and cleaned out

1 Tbs olive oil

2 tsp garlic, minced

1 medium zucchini, diced

1/4 C onion, diced

1/3 C rice flour

2 C almond milk

1/4 C nutritional yeast

1 Tbs onion powder

1 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

1/4 C panko

Daiya cheese, optional


Preheat the oven to 375. Break the spaghetti into thirds and cook according to package instructions. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil and garlic. Add the onion and zucchini; cook until softened.

In a blender, combine the rice flour, half of the almond milk, nutritional yeast, and seasonings. Blend until smooth. Add the sauce to the veggies and over low to medium heat, stir, adding the rest of the almond milk. This should only take a few minutes.

I used kitchen scissors to cut the drained spaghetti a bit more, then added it to the sauce. Combine well.

If you’d like, sprinkle some Daiya cheese in the bottoms of the peppers, then stuff with the spaghetti mixture. Top with some panko, then cover with foil.

Bake for 20-25 minutes. Enjoy! 

Vegan Scalloped Yams and Zucchini

I found myself with several yams and sometimes, I don’t always know what to do with them. So why not scalloped potatoes? I threw in some zucchini and onions, and topped it with some Daiya and panko. Delicious!


2 large yams, peeled and sliced thin

1 small onion

1 medium zucchini, sliced, then quartered

1 Tbs olive oil

2 tsp garlic, minced

2-1/2 Tbs arrowroot

1/4 C nutritional yeast

2 C almond milk

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

1 Tbs fresh rosemary, minced

1/4 C panko

Daiya cheese


Preheat oven to 350. Boil the yams in a large soup pot for about 10 minutes, or until tender. Drain and set aside.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil and garlic. Add the onions and cook 3-4 minutes. Add the zucchini and cook until softened. Add the seasonings.

Whisk together the milk, arrowroot, and nutritional yeast. Pour it into the skillet with the onions and zucchini. Stir continuously until the sauce begins to thicken.

Layer half of the yams into an 8″ baking dish. Pour half of the onion mixture on top and spread evenly around. Layer on the rest of the yams, then the mixture. Top with some cheese.

Cover and bake for 15 minutes. Uncover, sprinkle with the panko and bake another 15-20 minutes. Enjoy!

Stuffed Portobellos and Steamed Bok Choy

Portobellos are such a versatile fungi.

They make great burgers, a main stir-fry ingredient, and of course, an ideal vessel for other veggies. I wanted to make something wheat and soy-free, which is tough as a vegan, but these really fit the bill. But what to have with them? Before, I would have served bread, but since I that’s out, I decided to steam some bok choy. By the way, you’ll be seeing more wheat and soy-free recipes (although I may use miso from time to time) on my blog, as I am working on eliminating these from my diet. Why? Well . . . you see, I have endometriosis, something I’ve had to deal with for the last seven years, and I’ve now opted to treat it with diet, herbs and acupuncture. Endo is an inflammatory disease, so processed flour aggravates it. It’s also said that estrogen feeds the disease, so there goes soy with its natural estrogen!

TMI? Sorry. I won’t go on about it, but I wanted to explain my reasoning for my decision and to also let other women know that it’s possible to live with endo and not rely on drugs and/or  surgery (at least, that’s my plan). Otherwise, I want to make clear that I have nothing against soy. In fact, it’s worth pointing out that Dr. Neal Barnard has determined that soy consumption is not only safe, but highly encouraged. Oh, and I want to make clear, I’m steering clear of wheat, not necessarily gluten. There’s a difference between the two, so fortunately, whole grains aren’t out of the picture for me, just processed wheat.

So, on to the recipes!


4 portobello caps, washed and stems and gills removed

1 box Near East Long Grain & Wild Rice mix

1 small red onion, diced

1 small zucchini, diced

1/2 C fresh parsley, chopped

2 tsp olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

Salt and pepper, to taste

Daiya cheese


Preheat oven to 350. Prepare the rice mix according to the package instructions. This will need to cook for 30 minutes. When the rice has about 6 minutes of cooking time left, heat the olive oil and garlic. Add the red onion and cook for about 3 minutes. Then add the zucchini and cook another 3 minutes or so.

Stir in the cooked rice and parsley; season with salt and pepper.

Place the portobellos upside down in a large baking dish. Sprinkle some Daiya cheese on the bottom and fill each mushroom cap evenly with the rice mixture, piling it high.

Pour a little water into the bottom of the pan. This will help steam the mushroom caps. Bake for about 15 minutes, then top with a little Daiya cheese and bake another couple of minutes.

While these are baking, I got started on the bok choy.

I think this veggie is so underrated. Low in calories, this lightly sweet and crispy veggie is loaded with vitamins C and A as well as calcium. I cut up some mushrooms and together, steamed the veggies with some (soy-free) Earth Balance for about 7-9 minutes.


Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread

This fabulous recipe is from Colleen Patrick-Goudreau’s The Joy of Vegan Baking. The original recipe doesn’t include the chocolate chips, but I thought it would be a great addition. Because of this, I reduced the amount of granulated sugar a little to 1-1/2 cups. That may seem like a lot of sugar still, but this recipe makes 2 loaves. Patrick-Goudreau also notes that you could reduce the oil (1 cup) by using 1/2 oil, 1/2 unsweetened applesauce. Either way, you won’t be disappointed with this delicious bread!


3 Tbs ground flax seed
1/2 C water
1 C canola oil
1 Tbs white distilled vinegar
2 C granulated sugar
2 C grated zucchini (about 1 medium zucchini)
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 C flour
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 C chocolate chips (Ghirardelli’s semi-sweet chips are vegan)
1/2 C chopped walnuts (optional)
1/2 C raisins (optional)


Preheat oven to 325. Lightly grease two 8x4x2″ loaf man, 4 mini loaf pans or 2 muffin tins. In a food processor, combine the flax meal and water and blend until thick and creamy. You can also an electric mixer (which I did). Add the oil, vinegar, and sugar, and combine. Stir in the zucchini and vanilla.

In a separate bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add the nuts, raisins, and/or chocolate chips, if using. I left out the nuts and raisins. Stir into the zucchini mixture. Divide the batter evenly into the two loaf pans (or pans of choice) and bake for 60-70 minutes. (40-45 mins for mini loaves; 30-35 for muffins).  Enjoy!

Breaded Zucchini with Bok Choy and Couscous

This was fab-freakin’-tastic! I had made a similar dish, using lentils and rainbow chard, and it was a bit hit with the family. This time, I decided to change things up again and wow . . . even better than the first version!


1 large zucchini, sliced

3 baby bok choy (about 8 stalks)

1-1/2 C mushrooms, quartered or sliced

1 box Near East Pearl Couscous

2 C panko

2 tsp dried thyme

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

1/4 C egg-replacer powder + 1/8 C water

Olive oil


In a shallow bowl, combine the egg-replacer and water. The amounts I list are approximate–you may need to adjust slightly. In another shallow bowl, combine the panko, thyme, salt, and pepper. Steam the bok choy and mushrooms for 12-15 minutes.

Start the couscous about the same time. It’ll take around 15 minutes. Heat some olive oil in a skillet. Dip each slice of zucchini in the egg-replacer mixture, then cover with the panko mix. Over medium-high heat, fry the zucchini slices until each side is browned.

Zucchini actually cooks up pretty fast, so don’t worry if you have a few thick slices—they soften quickly. Keep the cooked slices warm under some foil until you’ve finished frying all the zucchini. You can also do this in the oven. Spray a foiled baking sheet with olive oil and place the breaded zucchini on it and bake each side for about 5 minutes at 400.

Serve the zucchini slices on top of the couscous and bok choy and enjoy!

Zucchini and Field Roast Stuffed Peppers

I feel a little guilty that I’m not participating in VeganMoFo this year. I was out of town the first couple days of October on a writing retreat and came back to a full plate of projects. October is just going to be a busy month. But a vegan’s gotta eat, so I’ll share new recipes when I can. (And no this isn’t a repeat post—we do love stuffed peppers around here). They’re simple to make and ideal for fall. You can also stuff zucchinis, squashes, and eggplant, too.


3 large bell peppers, any color

1 Field Roast sausage, Mexican Chipotle flavor, crumbled

1-1/2 C zucchini, diced

1-1/2 C mushrooms, sliced

1/2 a large onion, diced

1/2 C fresh cilantro, chopped

1/3 C vegan cheddar, shredded

1 Tbs olive oil

1 tsp garlic, minced


Preheat oven to 375. Cut the tops off the peppers and clean out the innards. Place into a baking dish, preferably with high sides, and sprinkle a little bit of vegan cheddar on the bottom; set aside.

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil and garlic. Add the zucchini, onion, and Field Roast. Cook until the zucchini and onion begins to soften, then add the mushrooms. Cook another 3-4 minutes, then stir in the cilantro.

Evenly divide the stuffing amongst the 3 bell peppers. Bake for 22 minutes. Top with remaining cheese and bake for another 4-5 minutes. Enjoy!

Coq Au Vin Fondue & Dipping Sauces

This is one of those meals that will make you wish you wore your elastic waistbands pants. It’s actually pretty easy to throw together because you can do a lot of the prep work ahead of time. So invite your friends over and don’t be shy, put on some sweatpants or yoga pants and sit down to a long evening of fondue!


Coq Au Vin Fondue:

3-1/2 C vegetable stock

1/2 C Burgundy wine

1/2 C mushrooms, sliced

1 Tbs garlic, minced

2 green onions, sliced

Cilantro-Yogurt Dip:

1 C soy yogurt

4 green onions, minced

1/4 C cilantro, chopped fine

2 tsp fresh ginger

1/4 tsp garlic powder

Salt and pepper, to taste

Sour Cream & Horseradish Dip:

1-1/4 C Tofutti sour cream

5 tsp prepared horseradish

2 Tbs lemon juice

2 Tbs red onion, chopped fine

1/4 tsp cayenne

Salt and pepper, to taste

Sesame-Soy Sauce:

1/2 C tamari

1/4 C rice wine vinegar

2 tsp toasted sesame oil

1 tsp agave

1 Tbs garlic, minced

1-1/2 tsp fresh ginger

1 green onion, sliced thin

1 Tbs sesame seeds, toasted

2 Tbs fresh chives, chopped

Butter-Mustard Sauce:

1/2 C Earth Balance margarine

3 Tbs Dijon mustard

5 Tbs Worcestershire sauce

The rest:

Whole mushrooms

zucchini/yellow squash



bell peppers



It’s best to make the dipping sauces ahead of time. The Butter-Mustard Sauce is served warm, so you can do that one last minute. To make the Cilantro-Yogurt Dip, combine all the ingredients and refrigerate. To make the Sour Cream Horseradish Dip, combine all ingredients and refrigerate. To make the Sesame-Soy Dipping Sauce, combine all ingredients and set aside. Refrigerate if not using right away. To make the Butter-Mustard Sauce, combine all ingredients in a small saucepan and melt together–takes only a few minutes.

When you’re ready to eat, make the Coq Au Vin Fondue, by combining all the ingredients in a fondue pot and bring to a boil.

Divide the dipping sauces evenly among everyone.

The potatoes will take the longest, so it might be best to zap them in the microwave first, just to soften them a little. Everything else will take 3-5 minutes. Enjoy! (And you’ll know you’re done eating when you pass your fondue forks over to The Husband who will most likely continue to eat for another 45 minutes)!

Raw Alfredo with Zucchini Noodles from Vegangela

I saw this recipe from Angela at Vegangela earlier this week, and it’s all I could think about. I had to wait until the reboot was over since it contains cashews. She came up with the sauce based on the creamy cashew sauce. Using non-pasteurized miso will make it raw and I think zucchini makes ideal noodles. Thanks for another amazing recipe, Angela!


4 medium zucchinis

1 C raw cashews

3/4 C water

1 tbsp lemon juice

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1 tsp thyme

2 garlic cloves, minced

salt & pepper, to taste

1 Tbs light miso paste (optional)

2 Tbs nutritional yeast (optional)

Fresh basil (optional)


Soak the cashews for minutes in water. While that’s going on, remove the peel of the zucchinis. Using a peeler, peel the zucchinis from one end to the other, rotating until the core is too small to peel anymore.

Next, grind the cashews in a food processor to a fine consistency. Add the other ingredients and blend until fairly smooth.

You can mix the noodles with the sauce or spoon it over them. Top with some fresh basil and enjoy!

Quinoa with Sun-Dried Tomatoes & Zucchini

This recipe comes from Whole Foods and originally had broccoli in it. The broccoli in my fridge had seen better days, so I decided to use zucchini. The recipe also says to not use sun-dried tomatoes packed with oil, but that was all I had, so I went ahead and used them. I think it came out delicious and I served it with open-faced TVP burgers—an ideal (and protein-packed) combo!


1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes (not packed in oil–your choice)

1-1/2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth, divided

1 cup finely chopped red onion

3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

3/4 cup dry white wine

1/4 cup lemon juice

1 cup uncooked quino

1 small zucchini, sliced, then quartered

1/2 cup roasted cashew pieces

2-4 green onions, thinly sliced


If using (dried) sun-dried tomatoes, soak them in hot water for 15 minutes, then chop them once they soften. Bring 1/2 cup of the vegetable broth to a simmer. Add the onion and garlic; cook for 5 minutes. Add the chopped sun-dried tomatoes, the remaining 1 cup of the broth, white wine, and lemon juice. Bring to a boil. Stir in the quinoa. Reduce heat to a low and simmer, covered for 20 minutes. Add the zucchini to the top and cover; simmer another 10 minutes.

Once the zucchini is softened and the liquid has been absorbed, toss well to combine. Serve garnished with the cashews and green onions. Enjoy!

Vegetable-Barley Soup

Yes, I am on a barley kick. Since I started using it (Vegetable-Barley Chili) I’ve been hooked. It has a lovely chewy texture that is ideal for soups and stews. In addition to the rainy weather, I  needed to clean out the fridge of some veggies, so this soup worked out beautifully. Amazing flavor and ideal with some garlic toast or rolls.


4 C vegetable broth

3-4 C water

1/3 C pearled barley

1 zucchini, sliced then quartered

4 stalks celery, sliced

2 C mushrooms, sliced/quartered

3 medium carrots, sliced

4 large green onions, sliced

1/3 C light miso

1/3 C sherry

3 Tbs dried minced onion

2 Tbs dried chives

1 C fresh parsley, chopped

1 tsp black pepper

3/4 C almond milk


Combine the broth, barley, zucchini, carrots, celery, minced onion, chives, and pepper in a large soup pot; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook 25-30 minutes, or until the vegetables soften. Add 1-2 cups of water along with the mushrooms, green onions, miso, and sherry. Cook another 5-7 minutes. Add more water if you feel it’s too thick. Stir in the parsley. Serve and enjoy!

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!

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.

Breaded Zucchini and Rainbow Chard with Lentil Pilaf

This one’s a keeper. The Husband ranked this an 11 out of 10, but the Sixth Grader didn’t rank it quite that high. He loved the zucchini the most though. I received our box of produce yesterday from Green Buffalo which is good since I wasn’t planning on hitting the grocery store until today. The rainbow chard wooed me with its fresh, vibrant colors. I used 3 of the 5 zucchinis I got and added some lentil pilaf—packed with vitamins and protein, this meal will be a regular thing at my house.


12 stalks of rainbow chard

3 medium zucchini

3/4 C panko breadcrumbs

2 Tbs fresh thyme

1/4 tsp salt

1/8 tsp pepper

2 Tbs olive oil + 1 tsp, divided

1-6.75 oz box Near East Lentil Pilaf


Start the pilaf—it takes 35-40 minutes. In the meantime, prepare the vegetables: slice the zucchini lengthwise, then in half; set aside.

Next, chop up the chard—both stems and leaves. Transfer to a bowl. (It reminds me of that ribbon candy you see at Christmas time)!

Combine the panko, thyme, salt and pepper in a shallow bowl.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat 2 Tbs of olive oil. (I’d start this when the pilaf has about 20 minutes left). Bread the zucchini, pressing down firmly to coat it with the panko. Cook for about 2 minutes per side and transfer to a plate; cover with foil to keep warm.

Once the zucchini is done, reduce heat to low and wipe out the pan with a paper towel. Add the remaining olive oil and chard to the pan.

I added a tiny bit of water after a couple of minutes and covered it to let the chard steam for a bit. Stir occasionally as the chard begins to wilt. If you have any of the panko mixture left, add that, along with salt and pepper, if you’d like. Continue cooking it for another few minutes. The pilaf ought to be done about the same time.

Top individual servings of the pilaf with a large spoonful of chard and 2-3 slices of the zucchini. Yuuummmm….Enjoy!

Lasagna Roll-ups

This is an easy twist on a classic. I’ve seen these done where you place the roll-ups on the side so the cute, frilly side of the noodle faces up, but I could just see things going wrong for me, so if you’re feeling brave, by all means, go for it!


My go-to tofu ricotta:

1 14-oz firm (or extra firm) tofu, drained and pressed

1/3 C nutritional yeast

1 C fresh basil

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

2 Tbs lemon juice

1/2 C vegan mozzarella, shredded

The rest:

2 tsp garlic, minced

1 Tbs olive oil

18 lasagna noodles

3-1/2 C fresh spinach, chopped

2 small zucchini, sliced very thin

10 mushrooms, sliced very thin

8-0z vegan mozzarella, shredded

1 jar marinara sauce


Preheat oven to 350. Cook noodles for about 7-8 minutes. Make sure you don’t cook them all the way—it’ll be easier to use them if they’re very al dente. Crumble tofu into a food processor. Add nutritional yeast, basil, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and lemon juice.  Puree well. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the 1/2 cup of vegan mozzarella.

In a large skillet, heat the oil and garlic. Add the zucchini and cook 3-4 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook just another 2-3 minutes.

Put a thin layer of marinara on the bottom of a 15″ baking pan (I forgot to do this, but its no big deal). Use a spoon or rubber spatula to spread about 1-2 tablespoons of the ricotta mixture on a lasagna noodle. Next, layer on some spinach, zucchini mixture (only about 8-10 pieces) and a little cheese.

Carefully roll up noodle and place in the pan.

Once all 18 noodles (one of mine was broken, so I have 17) pour the rest of the sauce over the rolls and sprinkle the rest of the cheese on top.

Cover with foil and bake 30 minutes. Uncover and bake another 3-5 minutes. 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!

Tempeh and Peanut Stir-fry

This is another quick meal to make when you’re short on time. You can substitute the soba noodles with rice if you’d like and add other ingredients such as bamboo shoots or Chinese snow peas.


1 pkg tempeh, diced

1 Tbs olive oil

1 med zucchini, sliced then quartered

1 red bell pepper, cut into large pieces

1/2 a med onion, cut into large pieces

8-10 mushrooms, quartered

1/2 C lightly salted peanuts

12-14 oz soba noodles or 2 C cooked rice


1 Tbs cornstarch

1/8 C water

1/2 C shoyu, tamari, or soy sauce

1 tsp mirin

1/2 tsp brown rice vinegar

1 tsp toasted sesame oil

1/4 tsp ginger

2 Tbs Hoisin sauce


Heat olive oil in a large skillet. In the meantime, cook the noodles or rice. Add the zucchini, tempeh, onion, and bell pepper to the pan and saute for about 15 minutes. Drizzle with a little mirin. While these are cooking, combine the cornstarch and water in a small bowl. In another small bowl, combine all of the sauce ingredients, then whisk the cornstarch mixture into the sauce mixture. Add the mushrooms to the skillet and cook just a few minutes–I don’t like shriveled mushrooms, so I always add them last. Stir in the sauce and the peanuts and combine well. Let it simmer a couple of minutes, then serve on the noodles or rice. Enjoy!

Zucchini Cakes with Herbed Cream Cheese

The zucchini cakes are from my new favorite cookbook, The Vegan Table (thanks, sis)! and they’re wonderful! You can shred the zucchini in the food processor, but I found just grating it with an upright cheese grater worked just fine. I made about 22 or so cakes, but you can easily make larger ones–up to you. I decided to throw together the herbed spread with some sage as a garnish, but the cakes are delicious by themselves, too!


Zucchini cakes:

2-1/2 C peeled and grated zucchini (about 5 small-size zucchini)

2 Tbs Earth Balance, melted

1 C breadcrumbs, seasoned or plain

1/4 C minced yellow onion

1 tsp Old Bay Seasoning

1/4  tsp salt, or to taste

Ground black pepper, to taste

1/4 C all purpose flour

Canola oil, for frying

Herbed Cream Cheese:

4 oz Tofutti cream cheese

1 tsp garlic

1/2 tsp Italian seasoning

1/8 tsp salt

1/8 tsp onion powder

1 Tbs almond milk

Sage leaves


Spread zucchini on a kitchen towel, and roll up jelly-roll style. Twist towel to wring out as much liquid as possible. You may need to do this twice with two different towels. (This is very important to do, otherwise, the cakes will be too wet).

In a large bowl, combine zucchini and Earth Balance. Stir in breadcrumbs, minced onion, Old Bay Seasoning, salt, and pepper. Mix thoroughly to combine.

Coat your hands in oil and shape mixture into patties. Coat each patty in flour. In a skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat until hot. Fry patties until golden brown on both sides. (About halfway through, I wiped out the skillet to remove some of the charred bits).

To make spread:

Combine all ingredients (except sage) with an electric mixer. Either using a spoon, or a pastry bag, put a dollop on each patty and garnish with a sage leaf.


Vegetable Lasagna

This lasagna is delicious, simple and healthy! I used the same tofu mixture recipe as the Stuffed Shells and it was perfect for this meal. I used the no-boil lasagna noodles since they’re such a time saver–just make sure that every inch gets covered with sauce, otherwise, any bare spots won’t cook and will be crunchy.


2 Tbs olive oil

12 no-boil lasagna noodles

2-1/2 C zucchini, sliced thin

2-1/2 C portobello mushrooms, sliced

2/3 C onion, chopped

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

1 jar marinara sauce, divided into thirds (I like Newman’s Own)

1/4-1/3 C nutritional yeast

1 C fresh basil, chopped

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp ground black pepper

2 Tbs lemon juice

8-oz vegan mozzarella, shredded


Preheat oven to 375.

To make tofu mixture: Add tofu, basil, garlic powder, salt, pepper, nutritional yeast, and lemon juice to a food processor and process well until the mixture resembles ricotta cheese. Stir in 1 cup of the mozzarella cheese.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, saute the onions, zucchini and mushrooms in the olive oil for about 5-8 minutes, just enough to soften them.

In a 15″ baking pan, line the bottom with 4 of the lasagna noodles. Top with half of the tofu mixture, half of vegetables, sprinkle with a layer of cheese and then 1/3 of the sauce.

Top with another 4 noodles, the other half of the tofu mixture and other half of veggies. Add another thin layer of cheese and 1/3 of the sauce. Top with remaining 4 noodles, rest of sauce and rest of cheese.

Bake uncovered for 30-35 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes before cutting. Enjoy!

Baked Zucchini Fries (and other stuff…)

I really like to experiment with vegetables and spices and see what I can cook up. I had some zucchini in the crisper (which weren’t getting any crisper), so I decided to make fries out of them. I served this with spaghetti and they tasted extra yummy dipped in the spaghetti sauce.


3 medium zucchini, cut into long wedges
1/2 C plain bread crumbs
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1/8-1/4 C toasted sesame seeds
1/8 C vegetable oil
1/4 C lemon juice


Preheat oven to 375. Line a baking sheet with foil. Combine lemon juice and oil in a small bowl. In another bowl, combine bread crumbs, sesame seeds, paprika, and garlic salt. Coat zucchini slices in the lemon juice mixture and then coat them in the bread crumb mixture. Place on baking sheet.

Bake for about 25-30 mins until they start to brown. The toasted sesame seeds really add a nice flavor. Like I said, I served these with spaghetti, so I ladled a little extra sauce in small bowls for dipping, and they were even more delicious!
Since it was just boring, ol’ spaghetti, I wanted to spice it up, so I sauteed about 10 sliced mushrooms in olive oil and Burgundy cooking wine.

Once sauteed until tender, I added them to the warmed sauce. It just gives it a bit more flavor and then it’s not just boring old spaghetti anymore.

This is my favorite red cooking wine. It’s actually just a really cheap table wine, and for 4 whopping liters of it, it’s only about $12! It is great for sauteeing, adding to soups and pretty much anything requiring red cooking wine–but I won’t attempt to drink it though! There’s a particular “gourmet” dried soup mix I get at my favorite kitchen store–Hungarian Mishroom–and I always add a couple splashes of this wine to it and it is the perfect addition! Anyhow, I thought I’d share it with everyone.