Jan 012014

This Eggless Breakfast Taco is a simple and flavorful twist on a traditional breakfast burrito.

Get your new year started off on the right foot – with an easy, healthy, delicious and light breakfast. If you are tired of the same old oatmeal, this recipe will knock your socks off!

Plus I’ll share my food trend predictions for 2014!

Eggless Breakfast Taco ~ Made with Chickpea Flour

Eggless Breakfast Taco ~ Made with Chickpea Flour

I’m officially declaring this year to be the year of the chickpea ~ more specifically, chickpea/garbanzo flour. In the past few weeks alone I came across several delicious recipe ideas using this versatile ingredient. The first was when my friend Vivian mentioned making tortillas from chickpea flour and then, when challenged with creating an eggless vegan breakfast taco without tofu, I came across a recipe using the chickpea flour as a replacement for eggs. Of course I had to take it a step further and add a bit of delicious nutritional yeast and smoky coconut bacon.

Eggless Breakfast Taco ~ Made with Chickpea Flour

Eggless Breakfast Taco ~ Made with Chickpea Flour

While we’re at it, I’ll call the second hot ingredient for this year…..nutritional yeast!  Ok, so maybe this won’t be one that the experts predict, but I’ll go ahead and say it should be on the hot trends for this year.  If you haven’t tried it yet you simply must go out and grab some from the bulk bin. It is high in protein and b-vitamins and has a wonderfully cheese-like flavor.  What I love about mixing the bean flour with nutritional yeast (aside from the fabulous taste and texture) is that this mixture is both high in protein and high in fiber.  This combination is something you cannot get from animal foods since they do not contain fiber.  What you won’t see in this recipe is cholesterol, so for anyone battling heart disease this is a great alternative to eggs.

Eggless Breakfast Taco ~ Coconut Bacon

Eggless Breakfast Taco ~ Coconut Bacon

Miss the bacon you say?   I have a product you will fall head over heels for.  Coconut bacon!  Top your taco with this and say bye to pig forever.  You can even make a BLT with this product! Yes it is a bit on the pricier side, but a little goes a long way.  So while you are at Native Sun grabbing the nutritional yeast and chickpea flour, add coconut bacon to your list.  Plant based “bacon” is my third prediction as a hot item for 2014.

Eggless Breakfast Taco ~ Perfect with Fresh Coffee

Eggless Breakfast Taco ~ Perfect with Fresh Coffee

My hope for this year is that awareness for locally sourced foods will finally take hold with the mainstream population ~ that people learn what a CSA is and become wary of genetically modified foods.  As gas prices increase and access to fossil fuels decreases, prices for food that must travel long distances will go up.  This one factor may help people start to question why this is happening. My second hope we begin to realize that we need to consume a greater variety of vegetables than the standard lettuce, onion and tomato.  Cauliflower is supposedly this year’s “it” vegetable, so how about kicking it up a notch and looking out for Romanesco cauliflower? Time to diversify our intake of produce, just like we should diversify our portfolio!

What are your food trend predictions for 2014?

[If you like the sound of this recipe – please share it with your friends! Many thanks and may your 2014 be your best year yet!]

Eggless Breakfast Taco ~Made with Chickpea Flour

Eggless Breakfast Taco ~Made with Chickpea Flour

Eggless Breakfast Taco

Inspired by Oatmeal with a Fork
Serves 4 small tacos. For larger meal, double taco mixture.
Vegan, Gluten Free
Printable Recipe



2 tsp coconut oil
3/4 cup chickpea/garbanzo bean flour
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 cup water
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp onion powder
1-2 green onion(s), chopped
1/4 cup coconut bacon (optional, omit if soy-free is desired)
4 small gluten free (or regular) tortillas

Optional Mustard Sauce (makes extra)

6 Tbsp mustard (coarse ground, prepared)
6 Tbsp nutritional yeast
1/4 cup reduced fat or regular Vegenaise
1/4 cup unsweet original non-dairy milk
1 Tbsp agave (or local honey)


1. Mix chickpea flour, nutritional yeast, water, salt and onion powder in a medium bowl; stir in the green onions. Mix mustard sauce in small bowl (if using.)

2. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat; add 2 teaspoons of coconut oil and coat bottom of skillet evenly; pour the chickpea mixture into skillet and let sit 3-5 minutes, or until the edges begin to set and center bubbles; gently turn with a large, flat spatula and break apart mixture to create bite sized pieces with an egg-like consistency and the mixture is fully cooked; about 1-2 minutes.

3. Divide mixture evenly between 4 tortilla shells; top each with 1 Tbsp coconut bacon and 1 Tbsp mustard sauce (if using).

**Note: Non-dairy cheddar style cheese would be delicious as a substitute for the mustard sauce in this recipe.

Estimated Nutrition Info
4 Servings
Amount Per Serving 

Calories 192.8
Total Fat 8.0 g
Saturated Fat 3.2 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.1 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.2 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 628.1 mg
Potassium 188.2 mg
Total Carbohydrate 22.0 g
Dietary Fiber 8.3 g
Sugars 2.4 g
Protein 13.4 g

Vitamin A 0.2 %
Vitamin B-12 66.5 %
Vitamin B-6 240.4 %
Vitamin C 0.7 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 0.1 %
Calcium 9.4 %
Copper 3.2 %
Folate 30.3 %
Iron 10.8 %
Magnesium 2.7 %
Manganese 3.0 %
Niacin 140.1 %
Pantothenic Acid 5.1 %
Phosphorus 8.7 %
Riboflavin 282.6 %
Selenium 16.1 %
Thiamin 320.2 %
Zinc 10.6 %

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Mustard Sauce: Per Tbsp
Nutrition Facts
21 Servings
Amount Per Serving

Calories 24.8
Total Fat 1.1 g
Saturated Fat 0.0 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.2 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.7 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 122.9 mg
Potassium 48.0 mg
Total Carbohydrate 2.0 g
Dietary Fiber 0.6 g
Sugars 0.0 g
Protein 1.2 g

Vitamin A 0.1 %
Vitamin B-12 19.0 %
Vitamin B-6 68.6 %
Vitamin C 0.0 %
Vitamin D 0.3 %
Vitamin E 0.6 %
Calcium 0.4 %
Copper 0.9 %
Folate 8.6 %
Iron 0.6 %
Magnesium 0.8 %
Manganese 0.7 %
Niacin 40.0 %
Pantothenic Acid 1.4 %
Phosphorus 2.5 %
Riboflavin 80.7 %
Selenium 4.6 %
Thiamin 91.4 %
Zinc 3.0 %

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

May 272013

One of my most favorite ingredients ever!

Nutritional Yeast Vinaigrette

Nutritional yeast is a vegan support formula where yeast (a form of fungus/mushroom) is grown on molasses, heated to kill the yeast, and finally dried into the texture of flakes.  It may be fortified with B Vitamins and has about 70 calories and 8 grams of plant based protein in one 2 Tbsp serving. It has a delightfully cheese-like flavor and  I use it in place of any recipe that calls for Parmesan cheese.

Nutritional Yeast Vinaigrette

Some great uses for nutritional yeast, or “nooch” for short, are sprinkling it on popcorn, creating a cheese sauce for pasta, a thickener for soups, as a replacement for ground oatmeal in my favorite 10 minute, 5 ingredient black bean burgers or this super easy cheesy kale tomato sauce, I love sprinkling it on my daughter’s quesadillas for added protein and on her tortilla pizza for that cheesy flavor.

This perfectly balanced dressing is slightly tangy, a little sweet and savory at the same time.  It’s perfect to dress a salad or marinate tofu or tempeh.  Enjoy!

Nutritional Yeast Vinaigrette

Nutritional Yeast Vinaigrette

13 Tbsp
Vegan, Gluten Free
Inspired by one of my most favorite restaurants, the Manatee Cafe
Printable Recipe
**Ingredient on sale now at Native Sun Natural Foods Market May 7 through June 6


1/4 cup + 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup cider vinegar
2 Tbsp nutritional yeast**
2 Tbsp water
1/8 tsp salt
2 tsp agave or honey
1 rounded tsp coarse ground, prepared mustard


1. Mix all ingredients together in a small jar or dish.

Nutrition Facts
13 Tbsp
Amount Per Tbsp 

Calories 55.0
Total Fat 5.3 g
Saturated Fat 0.7 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.4 g
Monounsaturated Fat 3.8 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 21.6 mg
Potassium 29.2 mg
Total Carbohydrate 1.7 g
Dietary Fiber 0.3 g
Sugars 0.3 g
Protein 0.6 g

Vitamin B-12 10.2 %
Vitamin B-6 36.9 %
Vitamin E 3.2 %
Calcium 0.1 %
Copper 0.6 %
Folate 4.6 %
Iron 0.6 %
Magnesium 0.6 %
Manganese 0.9 %
Niacin 21.5 %
Pantothenic Acid 0.8 %
Phosphorus 1.4 %
Riboflavin 43.5 %
Selenium 2.5 %
Thiamin 49.2 %
Zinc 1.6 %

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Mar 102013

  PicMonkey Collage

I’ve finally discovered the secrets to making great tasting great veggie or bean burgers when they used to fall apart, turning into mush.

The first secret is some flour – any kind will do; add it a tablespoon at a time until the mixture is firmer but only just stays together.  (This does take some practice because if you add too much, it is firm before you cook it. but after it’s cooked it is too dry.)

Second, add some mila.  It acts as an egg replacer but is a whole, raw food instead of that powdered stuff you buy at the store. (More on mila below.)

Third, put avocado on top. Everything is better with avocado.

Savory Veggie Burger with Vegan Cheese

Savory Veggie Burger with Vegan Cheese

These burgers were actually a round two recipe for me – I used the leftovers from the Quinoa and Black Bean Stew and, using fresh beets from KyV Farm, I re-created the veggie burgers I had recently eaten at Manatee Cafe in St Augustine.  I don’t know what they put in those things but I could eat them every day. Maybe twice a day. Make that three times. They are GOOD.

These burgers are really flavorful with the Bragg Liquid Aminos (tastes like soy sauce), sweet raisins and fresh salsa in the mix.   Put them on a burger bun with some vegan cheese and avocado and I bet you won’t miss the beef!

For my mila lovers out there – this is a great use for it!  In this recipe it acts as an egg replacer and also happens to be a whole, raw food with 3000 mg of Omega 3’s.  This powerful little seed has TONS of benefits and has been all over the news in the past few weeks.  Mila  was recently featured on Good Morning America as a great aid for weight loss! (You can see my friends Greg and Rachel in the clip – SO proud of you guys!). How awesome to finally have a way to help lose weight that isn’t some fake powder shake, pill or pharmaceutical.  It is the seed used in Dr Bob Arnot’s new book the Aztec Diet and was also featured on Fox News. If you are wondering what the heck mila is – you can check it out here.

Veggie Burger

Veggie Burger

Savory Veggie Burger

Inspired by Manatee Cafe Veggie Burger

Serves 6
Vegan, Gluten Free
Printable Recipe
**Veggies from KyV Farm


2 beets**
2 cups finely chopped purple cabbage**
2 red onions with tops, chopped finely (or 1/2 cup chopped onion)**
1/4 cup cooked quinoa (or cooked rice or any grain)
1/3 cup cooked black beans (or beans of choice)
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
2 Tbsp flour of choice
1/4 cup raisins

Flavor punch!

1/2 cup salsa mixed with 2 Tbsp mila as binder (Mila is optional but I suggest trying an additional Tbsp flour without it; however, this has not been tested.)
1/4 cup Bragg Liquid Aminos (or tamari or soy sauce)
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp onion powder

Optional toppings

2 avocados
3 red onion slices, chopped
Vegan cheese slices


**This is a great place to use left over quinoa and black bean stew in place of the precooked grains and beans.   Another option is to use canned beans and quickly cook the quinoa.  Feel free to also precook the beets, cabbage and onion in step one the day before.

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Cut tops off beets and reserve for another use; wrap beets in foil and bake for 1 hour or until soft enough to be easily pierced by a fork; unwrap and cool enough to handle; peel and chop finely. Meanwhile heat a medium pot sprayed with nonstick cooking spray; add cabbage and onion and cook until softened, about five ingredients.

2. Mix the beets through the raisins, stir in flavor punch! Preheat broiler to high; spray a sheet pan with non-stick spray form veggie burgers into six patties; broil about 3 to 5 minutes but watch closely as broilers vary. Flip when firm enough to flip; broil an additional 3 to 5 minutes or until firm. Top each burger with a slice of cheese, and/or 1/3 avocado and a sprinkling of red onion.

Nutrition Facts (Without optional toppings.)
6 Servings
Amount Per Serving 

Calories 119.3
Total Fat 1.3 g
Saturated Fat 0.1 g
olyunsaturated Fat 0.6 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.1 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
odium 124.2 mg
Potassium 323.7 mg
Total Carbohydrate 21.6 g
Dietary Fiber 4.1 g
Sugars 7.9 g
rotein 6.8 g

Vitamin A 3.6 %
Vitamin B-12 44.4 %
itamin B-6 51.5 %
Vitamin C 25.5 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 1.6 %
Calcium 3.3 %
opper 7.2 %
Folate 15.2 %
Iron 8.3 %
Magnesium 8.4 %
Manganese 17.9 %
Niacin 36.7 %
Pantothenic Acid 68.6 %
Phosphorus 10.8 %
iboflavin 42.4 %
Selenium 1.3 %
Thiamin 42.6 %
Zinc 2.8 %

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Nov 152012

It’s a Clean Eating Cocktail Party at Cara’s Cravings!

Recently my dear friend Cara invited me to join a cocktail party over at her place, www.carascravings.com.  Of course I said, absolutely!

She got a bunch of us health food bloggers together and asked us to share a recipe we would serve at a cocktail party where the ingredients are as natural as possible.  I wanted to keep with my theme of simple, delicious, gluten free and vegan so I created this a Vegan Cheesy Broccoli Rice Dip that is sure to be a new go-to for parties or pot lucks.  It is light yet filling and the flavors shine through with minimal seasoning.

Vegan Cheesy Broccoli & Rice Dip

Vegan Cheesy Broccoli & Rice Dip

To see my recipe at the Clean Eating Cocktail Party please visit Caras Cravings!

Sep 242012

Stuffed Acorn Squash with Roasted Garlic Pumpkin Sauce and Squash Blossoms

What do you do with squash blossoms?

This was the question I heard over and over from customers at the KyV Farm tent set up at the St Johns Farmers Market at Alpine Grove Park last Saturday.  There are many fried and stuffed recipes on the internet so here is a unique one that showcases the fresh blossoms with their sweet, nutty flavor.  They create a beautiful presentation and taste without adding lots of calories – only about five per cup.

The St Johns farmers market is a newly established one right on the St Johns river.  They had a good number of fresh vegetable vendors as well as a great mix of art work, jewelry, crafts and personal care products.  I would like to see some more prepared food vendors (vegetarian would be awesome!), possibly a food truck and some live music, but overall it was a GREAT market and you can find KyV Farm there every week featuring their organic produce.  Please head out there to support this new market – it is every Saturday, 10AM to 2PM, 2060 State Road 13, Switzerland, Florida.

The acorn squash, spaghetti squash, blossoms and garlic are all organically grown from KyV Farm. In fact, the spaghetti squash I had from the end of last season, waiting patiently on the counter for me to use it – so this started out as a spaghetti squash recipe but quickly morphed into a stuffed acorn squash since I bought two of those fresh at the market on Saturday.  There were so many delicious elements in this recipe that I had trouble fitting them all in the title; sweet roasted garlic, aromatic sage and thyme, fresh rosemary, caramel-y roasted onions, squash blossoms and that creamy pumpkin sauce.  This dish incorporates all of the welcoming tastes of fall and if you are like me living in Florida, it is a great way to celebrate the new season, even if we are only just starting to see some cooler weather.

I am SO excited about this recipe and if you try it, I know you will be too!

Lastly, I hope you will follow me on facebook if you don’t already.  It is such a great way to connect with the people that support and follow my blog.  Thank you to all of you!

Stuffed Acorn Squash with Roasted Garlic, Sage, Pumpkin Sauce and Fresh Squash Blossoms

Stuffed Acorn Squash with Roasted Garlic, Sage, Pumpkin Sauce and Fresh Squash Blossoms

Inspired by my friend Caras Cravings
Serves 6 – 1 cup spaghetti squash, 1/2 acorn squash, 1/4 cup sauce

Vegan, Gluten Free
Printable Recipe

1 spaghetti squash**
3 acorn squashes
1 onion
2 small bulbs garlic or one large
Salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste

1/2 cup canned pumpkin puree
1/4 cup nutritional yeast (or Parmesan cheese for non-vegan)
1/2 cup plain non dairy creamer – I used Silk Original (or regular creamer for non-vegan)
1/2 tsp coarse sea salt
1/2 tsp dried sage
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 Tbsp fresh chopped rosemary
4 squash blossoms (optional)


1. Preheat oven to 350F.  Cut squashes in half and scoop out seeds, chop onion, cut tops off garlic and wrap in foil; prepare pans with non-stick cooking spray.   Place squashes face down on pans, add onions and garlic around squashes.  Bake 60 minutes.

2. Add pumpkin puree, nutritional yeast, creamer, salt, sage and thyme to small sauce pan; heat over medium, low heat.  Stir in roasted onions and garlic and simmer mixture, about five minutes or until heated through.

3. Place 1/2 acorn squash on each of six plates, top with 1 cup spaghetti squash and 1/4 cup sauce mixture. Slice squash blossoms; sprinkle evenly over 6 plates, top with sprinkle of chopped fresh rosemary.

**There may be some left over depending on the size of the squash.

Nutrition Facts
6 Servings
Amount Per Serving 

Calories 209.8
Total Fat 2.4 g
Sat Fat 0.2 g
Polyunsat Fat 0.3 g
Monounsat Fat 0.1 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 106.8 mg
Potassium 1,080.1 mg
Total Carb 46.7 g
Dietary Fiber 8.0 g
Sugars 12.2 g
Protein 6.2 g

Vitamin A 18.4 %
Vitamin B-12 44.3 %
Vitamin B-6 187.3 %
Vitamin C   52.6%
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 1.1 %
Calcium 12.0 %
Copper 12.8 %
Folate 33.3 %
Iron 14.1 %
Magnesium 24.0 %
Manganese 32.6 %
Niacin 107.5 %
Pantothenic Acid 17.9 %
Phosphorus 16.7 %
Riboflavin 192.1 %
Selenium 13.6 %
Thiamin 238.4 %
Zinc 11.5 %

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

May 022012
Welcome back to Wine Down Wednesday where I review a vegan dish paired with two different wines.

To pair wines with a meatless dish we must look at the spices and main flavors of the recipe – In this case, the Vinadloo spices – a mixture of coriander, garlic, cumin, ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, cayenne, mustard, black pepper and cloves.


Broadbent Malbec and Tierra De Antes Chardonnay
I chose this dish because pattypan squash and fresh, sweet corn are just coming into season in North Florida.  I was amazed at how the chowder actually tasted like a cream based chowder – and growing up in New England, I know my chowder.  This dish would be great with a wide variety of spices – keep it simple with some salt and pepper, try herbs such as thyme and rosemary, or, if you like Indian flavors, you’ll love this Vindaloo version.


Sweet Corn and Pattypan Squash Chowder
The Wines chosen to pair are:
Broadbent Malbec and Tierra De Antes Chardonnay.

Broadbent Malbec, (Mendoza, Argentina)
The Malbec grapes for this wine are grown in the desert-like conditions of Argentina and are irrigated with mountain spring water that flows through a series of canals that date back to the Pre-Columbian Incan Empire. Broadbent’s description is, ” This Malbec is fresh with delicious fruit character, spicy plum notes and a silky and seductive finish.”

Tierra De Antes Chardonnay, 2010 (Mendoza, Argentina)
The Tierra De Antes vineyards are planted in Barrancas, Maipú & Mendoza in Argentina. There is a portion of the Chardonnay that spends 8 months in oak. The emphasis of this wine is the fresh, tropical fruit character that Chardonnay can achieve in a moderate to warm climate as found in and around the Mendoza region in Argentina. An article in the Washington Post lists this wine as an excellent palate cleanser or “party white”
The rating info:

Category #1 – How well my dish turned out.
Category #2 – How well I like the wine.
Category #3 – Pairing notes – How well this wine pairs with the dish.

Rating Scale

Bleck -This wine is pretty bad.
Ho Hum- I could drink it if I was at a football game and there was nothing else in the cooler.
Nice -Good table wine. I would keep this in the wine cooler if it was a good value.
Yum – This is good, I would pay a fair bit more and have it for a special occasion.
Damn that’s Good – Self explanatory.
** We will use the same terminology for how the dish turned out and how well it paired.

Category #1 – The Dish

Rating of YUM – This soup is super fresh and creamy – though there is no sugar in this dish, the coconut milk and corn give it a mild sweetness and the Vindaloo is a bit spicy from Cayenne.  This is perfect for spring or the start of summer.

Category #2 – The Wines

Broadbent Malbec – Rating of YUM

Juicy! Buttery! Raisin and stone-fruit flavors.  Delicious with the perfect body and sweetness – the down the middle of the road – not too heavy and not too sweet – I would definitely buy this one again.

Tierra De Antes Chardonnay – Rating of Ho Hum

This wine was to mild and light it didn’t appeal to me.  The body was too thin for me and, though I tasted tropical flavors, it didn’t win me over.  In the context of the aforementioned article that listed this wine as a great “palate cleanser” or “party wine” this would work well.


Broadbent Malbec and Tierra De Antes Chardonnay

Category #3 – The Pairing

Broadbent Malbec – Rating of Damn That’s Good

Though I’m not as much of a fan of red wines any more, the Malbec definitely won out – the buttery texture was really nice with the creamy soup.  It balanced the dish out beautifully.
Tierra De Antes Chardonnay – Rating of Nice
The wine with the dish was a bit better.  It enriched the sweet corn flavor in the chowder and was nice and cool with the warm spicy soup.
Where to buy
All the wines will be for sale locally at the Grotto in San Marco. You can contact Mitch Woodlief, grottomitch@aol.com with questions and pricing (please call prior to heading over to ensure they are in stock) and anyone outside the Greater Jacksonville area can contact E-MAIL: info@broadbent.com PHONE: US +1 415-931-1725.


Sweet Corn and Pattypan Squash Chowder

Sweet Corn and Pattypan Squash Chowder

Serves 6
Vegan, Gluten Free
Printable Recipe

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 large sweet onion, diced
1 Tbsp Vindaloo seasoning (or curry powder)
2 cups yellow squash, I used summer squash and pattypan squash (I used KYV Farm)
1 about 3 to 4 fresh ears, kernels removed, or one 10-oz bag frozen sweet corn
1 14-oz can Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes
with Green Chiles, drained (I used Muir Glen Organic)
3 cups salt free vegetable broth, ( Iused Vivian’s Vivacious Vegetable Broth)
Sea salt and ground pepper, to taste
½ cup nutritional yeast
1 14-oz can light coconut milk

Optional Toppings
Fresh Cilantro or Culantro


1. Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in a stockpot over medium high heat.  Add onion and sautee about 7 minutes or until soft.  Add Vindaloo seasoning, squash and corn; cook until heated through, about 5 minutes.  Add tomatoes, broth, salt and pepper (if needed), bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, about 10 to 15 minutes or until squash is soft; stir in nutritional yeast and cook an additional minute. Remove from heat and stir in coconut milk.

Nutrition Facts
6 Servings
Amount Per Serving

Calories 134.9
Total Fat 3.9 g
Saturated Fat 1.0 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.4 g
Monounsaturated Fat 1.8 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 103.7 mg
Potassium 479.5 mg
Total Carbohydrate 20.7 g
Dietary Fiber 5.0 g
Sugars 3.9 g
Protein 8.1 g

Vitamin A 7.1 %
Vitamin B-12 88.7 %
Vitamin B-6 329.4 %
Vitamin C 30.0 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 1.7 %
Calcium 2.5 %
Copper 6.7 %
Folate 48.3 %
Iron 7.5 %
Magnesium 9.2 %
Manganese 11.6 %
Niacin 191.7 %
Pantothenic Acid 8.8 %
Phosphorus 17.5 %
Riboflavin 382.5 %
Selenium 22.1 %
Thiamin 431.6 %
Zinc 17.2 %

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.


Apr 272012
Vegan and Gluten Free Pasta
A while back I wrote in a post that I wasn’t going to buy and cook meat for my family any more. I will admit, sticking to my guns was tough at first – particularly because my daughter is allergic to soy and nuts.  I’m still working to overcome all the reservations of my family – but what has made the transition a lot easier is that my daughter absolutely loves Nutritional Yeast (a.k.a. “cheese”).  I know I’ve said this before, but don’t deterred by the name. It’s such a wonderful product!
I’ll only steal one bite Momma.
Vegan and Gluten Free Pasta
Nutritional Yeast has 8 grams of protein, 4 grams fiber, tons of B vitamins and only 70 calories per serving it is the perfect quick and healthy alternative to meat and delicious substitution for macaroni and cheese.
Can’t I eat YET?
Vegan and Gluten Free Pasta
My three year old daughter will eat just about any vegetable as long as it has Nutritional Yeast on it, so my go-to, super quick and no-thinking meal for when I’ve got lots of fresh veggies is this sort of pasta dish.   It is simple, takes only 15 minutes and dirties only one dish and one strainer.  I chop up whatever veggies I have on hand, throw them in with the cooking pasta to blanch, and top with Nutritional Yeast.
All three of us went back in for seconds.
Kid Friendly Vegan and Gluten Free Pasta

 Kid Friendly Vegan and Gluten Free Pasta with Mixed Beans, Sugar Snap Peas and Garlic

 Serves 6 (about 1 1/4 cup) servings
Vegan, Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Egg Free, Soy Free


3 cups gluten free brown rice pasta, I use Tinkyada (or any pasta will do)
3 cups fresh beans and/or peas; I used wax beans, green beans and sugar snap peas from KYV Farm
3 cloves garlic
1 bunch broccoli rabe, sliced into ribbons; I used KYV Farm
½ cup nutritional yeast, I use Red Star
Salt, pepper and garlic powder – to taste


1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Reduce heat and add rice pasta; set timer to package directions. During the last five minutes of cook time add the beans, garlic and broccoli rabe. Pour about ¾ of the mixture out at the end of the cook time, reserving some of the liquid. Rinse the strained veggies and pasta under cold water to stop the cooking process and return to pot to warm through. Stir in ½ cup nutritional yeast; season with salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste.

Nutrition Facts
6 Servings
Amount Per Serving

Calories 202.0
Total Fat 1.3 g
Saturated Fat 0.3 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.3 g

Monounsaturated Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 276.4 mg
Potassium 445.2 mg
Total Carbohydrate 32.8 g
Dietary Fiber 7.8 g
Sugars 1.3 g
Protein 12.7 g

Vitamin A 68.3 %
Vitamin B-12 88.7 %
Vitamin B-6 320.0 %
Vitamin C 66.7 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 0.0 %
Calcium 16.9 %
Copper 7.3 %
Folate 46.2 %
Iron 18.1 %
Magnesium 7.2 %
Manganese 12.6 %
Niacin 196.1 %
Pantothenic Acid 6.7 %
Phosphorus 13.8 %
Riboflavin 381.2 %
Selenium 21.3 %
Thiamin 437.2 %
Zinc 14.0 %
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Feb 062012

Sunday I woke up with inspiration.  I set out to create a delicious vegan casserole for the family that they would like and was met with major success!

But let me go back to the beginning.  The sauce.

I have been struggling with the fact that my family still eats meat and made a decision to listen to my heart and make another change.  Up to now, even though I gave up meat and dairy, I had still been buying organic free range meats, justifying the fact it was organic and free-range. 

Then I came across a tweet from my friend Maria with links to two great articles by Ari Solomon, one of which was this article.

This paragraph really got me, “There is a video making rounds on YouTube that shows a lone cow shaking in terror as she contemplates walking down the kill chute. She walks forward, then back. Animals can hear and smell the violence and death that awaits them. Their last moments are ones of abject horror and suffering. If you wouldn’t condemn your dog or cat to such a fate, how can you pay for others do it to these poor animals?”

We care about our dogs so much that we agonize over each little malady, but what about the cows, pigs, goats, ducks, lambs, chickens and turkeys?

And then there is the issue of what I thought was “humane meat”. Ari makes a really good point about that as well; he states, “Now, before you start at me with some “humane meat” “happy meat” bullshit please take note that all animals, whether they are raised in the nastiest of factory farms or grass-fed, free-range, blah blah blah, are all sent to the same slaughterhouses. That’s right, your organic steer is being sent to the same hell as a downer cow and will meet the same ghastly end. If you are a “humane meat” consumer, please take a moment and meditate on the whole concept of humane killing… bloody, fearful, struggling, screaming, despairing humane killing. It’s never pretty and it certainly isn’t “humane.”

A very good point indeed.

Ultimately I control what I buy and cook so I simply won’t buy meat and dairy.  It sounds like such a simple decision right?

But when you really think about it, it’s more challenging than that…especially when at this point my family doesn’t want to give up meat and my daughter is allergic to soy, wheat, dairy, eggs, peanuts, walnuts, tree nuts and seeds among a host of other foods.    

I need to come up with some really creative ways to make this change and that scares me a bit because I have limited time, they like meat, and I don’t have buy in from our extended families. As a full time working mom with my own interests as well…..there just isn’t enough time in the day. BUT, I think I can do it if I take one step at a time. I took the first steps of cutting the meat and dairy for myself and I can do this too.  I’m not saying I’ll be perfect 100 percent of the time, hey I’m human, but at least I’m moving in the right direction.

This sauce is my next delicious step.   (Casserole to follow.) 

Caramelized Onion and Cabbage Sauce
Serves 4 – about 1/4 cup each
Vegan, Gluten Free, Dairy Free
2 onions, peeled, halved and sliced thinly
3 cups or 1/2 head cabbage, sliced thinly
3/4 to 1 cup veggie broth (salt free, I used home made)
1/4 tsp sea salt (or more, to taste)
1 tsp garlic powder
1/4 cup nutritional yeast


1. Spray skillet with non stick spray and heat over medium high heat. Add onions and cabbage. Add salt, garlic powder and nutritional yeast. Cook 40 minutes, stirring regularly and adding broth when onion-cabbage mixture begins to stick.

2. Blend the heck out of the mixture using a high speed blender, adding additional veggie broth as needed until desired consistency is reached.  Taste and reseason if necessary.  Use in place of cheese sauce.

Nutrition Facts
4 Servings
Amount Per Serving

Calories 69.9
Total Fat 0.7 g
Saturated Fat 0.1 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.1 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 161.7 mg
Potassium 418.3 mg
Total Carbohydrate 12.5 g
Dietary Fiber 4.5 g
Sugars 0.2 g
Protein 5.9 g

Vitamin A 1.8 %
Vitamin B-12 66.5 %
Vitamin B-6 247.4 %
Vitamin C 41.9 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 0.7 %
Calcium 4.8 %
Copper 5.5 %
Folate 39.8 %
Iron 5.0 %
Magnesium 6.5 %
Manganese 11.8 %
Niacin 141.4 %
Pantothenic Acid 6.5 %
Phosphorus 12.1 %
Riboflavin 284.8 %
Selenium 17.7 %
Thiamin 324.0 %
Zinc 12.1 %

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Dec 112011
Last week was my second trip to Jersey for work.
The big plan had been to drive into the city on Wednesday but after a really long work day- the weather, gloomy and rainy-we ended up debating on where to eat locally.
We scrolled through the pamphlet of local restaurants provided by the hotel and settled on an Italian restaurant called Scalini Fedeli in Chatham, NJ.
The two men in the group drove there straight from work and the ladies went back to the hotel to freshen up.
When we arrived at an old house converted to a restaurant, the hostess took our coats before we walked in to find the two guys awkwardly sitting at alternate sides of an eight person table, gripping their drinks in the most manly fashion they could muster.
This was probably because the decor was-shall I say-romantic. Low lighting, candles, “Its interior features high vaulted ceilings, antique pine floors, and a sense of style, which evokes a distinctly Tuscan feel.”, apparently created with a female touch.
We stopped in our tracks to laugh for a minute or two before joining them because they just looked so awkward.  As we opened the menu immediately we noticed there were no prices.
Uh oh.  We aren’t allotted that much for company meal allowance.

Diane said I’m not comfortable with this.
We went back and forth, debating on whether to stay, for what seemed like 15 minutes-meanwhile the poor bread waiter, leaning over me with a basket of fresh, homemade bread and tongs, was asking me if I wanted rye or multigrain.
Um…I’m not sure.  I looked around, eyes darting back and forth as we are still debating.  There aren’t many people in the restaurant so it would be glaringly obvious if we got up and walked out.
Oh jeez. My hand went towards the basket and away from the basket while he looked at me with a, lady, for God’s sake it’s just a piece of bread, look on his face. 
Finally I stammered, Um, can you please just give us a minute?
The bread man looked semi disgusted about my indecision with taking a damn piece of bread, unaware of the debate going on at the table.
Finally, the sales guy in our group, David, convinces us all to stay for the $52 prix fixe menu consisting of a choice of appetizer, main and dessert, reasoning that if we had made it into NYC, it would have been even more expensive.

As soon as the pre-appetizer of a single shrimp in a buttery Dijon sauce with fresh peas came out, we knew it would be worth every penny. We all had to refrain from licking the plate. 
The menu featured fresh pasta, savory sauces and unique desserts-it one of the best meals I have ever had actually.  At the end the waiter asked, most embarrassingly, was it worth it? Why yes it was.
Friday I got home after a smooth flight, completely exhausted and so thankful to be home.  I have to hand it to any of you that have to travel a lot.  It’s just not for me.

Saturday at lunch, the dreaded indecisiveness hit me again. I’m hungry, what the heck should I eat?

I went and opened the fridge door and stared in until it started beeping at me.  

Then I walked over to the pantry and stared in there. 

And back to the fridge I went, finally pulling out what was in front of me.

This time it was broccoli, pigeon peas and some pre-cooked rice pasta as I contemplated what I could do with it to make a meal.  Sometimes the simplest and delicious meal is right in front of you, without a ton of prep work and cooking.  Like this dish of broccoli, pigeon peas and pasta.

Broccoli and Pigeon Peas with Pasta, Sea Salt and Garlic Topping
Serves 2
Gluten Free, Vegan

1 head broccoli
1 cup pigeon peas
1 cup cooked rice pasta (or pasta of choice)
2 Tbsp nutritional yeast (or grated parmesan)
1/8 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp olive oil


1. Steam broccoli and pigeon peas for about 17 minutes or until destired tenderness.

2. Meanwhile, mix nutritional yeast through olive oil in a small bowl.

3. Divide broccoli, pasta and sea salt mixture between two bowls.  Enjoy unshelled peas as you would edammame; biting peas out from shell.
Nutrition Facts
2 Servings
Amount Per Serving

Calories 361.5
Total Fat 7.3 g
Saturated Fat 1.2 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1.1 g
Monounsaturated Fat 3.7 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 294.6 mg
Potassium 1,520.6 mg
Total Carbohydrate 60.6 g
Dietary Fiber 17.7 g
Sugars 0.0 g
Protein 20.9 g

Vitamin A 93.8 %
Vitamin B-12 66.5 %
Vitamin B-6 266.3 %
Vitamin C 472.2 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 27.9 %
Calcium 18.7 %
Copper 21.1 %
Folate 108.3 %
Iron 25.1 %
Magnesium 31.2 %
Manganese 58.4 %
Niacin 160.5 %
Pantothenic Acid 23.9 %
Phosphorus 38.6 %
Riboflavin 306.7 %
Selenium 32.5 %
Thiamin 348.8 %
Zinc 23.7 %

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Nov 092011
I learned something really interesting today from my coworker, Sarah.  Her son, Jake, did a fabulous presentation on plastic.  Have you heard of the Great Garbage Patch? It is this huge garbage mound of plastic in the middle of the ocean that is “roughly the size of Texas, containing approximately 3.5 million tons of trash. Shoes, toys, bags, pacifiers, wrappers, toothbrushes, and bottles too numerous to count are only part of what can be found in this accidental dump floating midway between Hawaii and San Francisco.”

Um WHAT?  I followed the link to Plastic Pollution Coalition and found that “Plastic recycling is not a sustainable solution. Most of our plastic waste is landfilled, downcycled, incinerated or exported to other countries. Recycling of plastic is costly and does not stem the production of virgin plastic product.”

Great, so the fact that I reuse my plastic bag for my snack veggies all week and then recycle it doesn’t make any difference.  I am proud that I have switched to glass containers for my leftovers and to pack my lunches but I think about how much plastic is on everything and it makes my head spin.

Gum.  I buy the three pack of gum.  Not only does it come wrapped in plastic but then each pack is also wrapped in plastic.  WHY is that?  Because gum won’t stay as fresh? Riiight.

Bread.  The brown rice bread I buy my daughter is wrapped in plastic and then placed in a plastic bag. 

Water Bottles. Cases of water bottles are plastic and then wrapped in plastic.

Plastic bags at the grocery. Don’t you love when they put one toothbrush or pack of gum in it’s own bag?  I always refuse and tell them I don’t want to waste the bag.

Precut veggies at the grocery.  Come in plastic bags and then are placed in a plastic bag to leave the store.

The list goes on and on.

This makes me feel even better about my farm share.  A few months ago I got a spaghetti squash. NOT wrapped in plastic. And it sat on my counter for a few months until I came across a fabulous recipe at Biscuit Batches that I had to make immediately. I split the squash open and it was still perfect. No plastic involved, AND it involves pumpkin.  Two of my favorite squashes in one recipe makes me very happy.

Roasted Spaghetti Squash with Kale and Pumpkin Cream Sauce
Inspired by Biscuit Batches
Serves 6
Gluten and Dairy Free, Vegan


2 Tbsp Olive Oil
Spaghetti Squash, cut in half and seeds removed
1 bunch kale, washed, de-stemmed and chopped
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
¼ tsp dried thyme
2 stems fresh rosemary, leaves removed and chopped
¾ cup pureed pumpkin
1 cup plain non-dairy milk (I used coconut milk)
¼ cup nutritional yeast (optional; you can purchase this at health food stores)
¼ tsp pepper
½ tsp salt
1/4 cup chopped walnuts


1. Preheat oven to 375F; place squash, cut side down on a small baking sheet or casserole dish.  Season with a bit of salt and pepper. Pour in about ¼ cup water and roast for an hour.  Let cool then scoop out the inside and place in a medium bowl.

2. Heat 1 Tbsp oil in a pot; add half the onion and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes; add kale, half the rosemary and half the salt and pepper, sauté until leaves become soft and pliable, about 7 minutes (or cook to desired doneness). Remove from pot and set aside in a separate dish.

3. Heat remaining 1 Tbsp oil in pot; add the remaining onion and sauté about 5 minutes, reduce heat and add garlic, remaining rosemary and thyme; sauté about 1 minutes, add pumpkin puree, milk, nutritional yeast and remaining salt and pepper.  Simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes.  Pour over spaghetti squash and toss to coat; top with walnuts.  Serve with sautéed kale.

Estimated Nutrition Info

6 Servings (serving size will vary with size of spaghetti squash and amount of kale)
Amount Per Serving

Calories 178.7
Total Fat 9.5 g
Saturated Fat 1.2 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 3.1 g
Monounsaturated Fat 3.8 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 179.1 mg
Potassium 648.9 mg
Total Carbohydrate 21.4 g
Dietary Fiber 6.8 g
Sugars 5.4 g
Protein 6.8 g

Vitamin A 453.5 %
Vitamin B-12 33.3 %
Vitamin B-6 138.3 %
Vitamin C 99.8 %
Vitamin D 4.2 %
Vitamin E 19.7 %
Calcium 17.0 %
Copper 19.8 %
Folate 24.3 %
Iron 13.4 %
Magnesium 14.9 %
Manganese 47.3 %
Niacin 78.7 %
Pantothenic Acid 8.6 %
Phosphorus 13.6 %
Riboflavin 149.7 %
Selenium 11.1 %
Thiamin 169.6 %
Zinc 10.5 %

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.