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Category Archives: vegan

Homemade Hummus Is Easy

Homemade Hummus Is Easy

healthy-hummus-recipes  This is such a delicious hummus you’ll want to eat it plain with a spoon, or at least lick your fingers taking out of the blender. We did1 (Watch those blades though!)


  • 1 can of chickpeas (or even better, dried chick peas, aka garbanzos. If you use dried soak them over night, or at least 12 hours and then cook up before use) – about 2 c
  • ½ c of good quality extra virgin olive oil (always, but always use extra virgin, first cold pressed, and if possible organic – this is worth the extra expenditure.)
  • Juice of 2 organic lemons
  • 3-4 garlic cloves (4 is very garlicy, I use 2 smaller cloves and 2 big cloves)
  • Sea salt – a few grinds, can be pink Himalayan sea salt for best nutrients
  • ½ tsp of cumin
  • Sprinkle a shake of red pepper flakes (optional)
  • Splash (1 tbs at most) of apple cider vinegar – (The best and most healthful is Braggs organic unfiltered raw with the mother). A bit unconventional I know, but just a splash gives a nice enhancing dimension.


Rinse the chick peas well in a strainer, make sure they are all good and there are no stones. If you don’t rinse them in cold water before you use them they tend to give you gas.

Put all of these ingredients into a blender and pulse until blended, and we like it a little chunky. If you prefer totally smooth, you may need to open the blender up and give a stir or two before you finish the blending.

Then, I like to add a finishing drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and enjoy with your favorite raw veggies like cucumbers, carrots, sweet peppers, celery. Other great accompaniments – olives, nice toast, pita triangles, whatever you prefer!

Bon appetite!


Chilled Broccoli Soup

Chilled Broccoli Soup

Chilled Broccoli Soup

I don’t usually like gazpacho, but this chilled soup is pretty delish and refreshing if I do say so.

The inspiration came from a Instagram post that I never found again, so I improvised as I usually do. A little leftovers and some fresh organic produce in season, voila a new creation is born! That’s my favorite way to cook. Here’s the recipe–


2 bunches of broccoli (washed and cut into med-small pieces, don’t discard the stems – steamed)

2 handfuls of baby spinach

homemade vegan pesto* – about 2-3 Tbs

white beans (canned ok, 1 can)

extra virgin olive oil

turmeric (1/4 tsp)

sea salt & black pepper

vidalia onion (1/8 of medium onion – sautéed)

coconut milk (in carton for drinking, not canned – 2 c)

filtered water (1 c)

coconut milk yogurt (plain, unsweetened – garnish on top with a scoop, to taste)

*Vegan Pesto

3-4 small cloves of garlic

small handful of fresh basil leaves, (I didn’t have enough for it to be officially pesto, but it was still excellent on gf pasta, and in this recipe. You can also add in parsley if you have available.)

1/2 cup pine nuts

1/4-1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil (as needed)

1/4 c Daiya mozzarella “cheeze” (optional)

sea salt to taste (if you use the Daiya, you won’t need to salt much)

Blend in a food processor or blender, pulsed into a coarse meal first and then slowly add the EVOO and puree until like a spreadable paste.


Cut up the broccoli, including peeling the 2/3 of the two stalks (from florets down towards base) with a peeler and then slicing those into chunks. No need to waste these. Do discard the bottom 1/3 of the base, it’s more woody.

Slice up your vidalia onion, I like thin semi circles.

Steam the broccoli, and while it’s steaming, rinse the white beans until water runs clear. You don’t want to use straight from the can, they’ll be really gas producing, trust me. 😉

Start the sauté pan with a little EVOO (1-2 tbs), onions, pesto mixture, and add in your turmeric with a grind or two of black pepper to activate. Give a few stirs to spread it evenly and when the onions and become translucent and fragrant add in the white beans. Stir it all with a spatula. No need to cook this long, 3 mins beans until are nicely coated and warm.

By now the broccoli will be done as well, rinse under cool water for a brief moment to “shock” and stop the cooking, this keeps it nice and green. Put broccoli into your blender with the bean pesto mixture and pulse to blend a bit.

Add coconut milk, blend more.

Add handfuls of baby spinach last with water, and blend thoroughly.

S&P to taste, and top with coconut milk yogurt.

Bon appetite!

Not your Mama’s Pasta e fagioli

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It’s raining today so I thought I’d make a twist on pasta e fagioli. I always like a hearty soup when it’s inclement weather, don’t you? Of course it’s #glutenfree, and this one isn’t vegan, but it can be easily.

2-3 tomatoes roughly chopped

1 medium onion finely chopped

2-3 tbs of extra virgin olive oil

pinch of rosemary, basil, savory, tumeric, sea salt, black pepper, cayenne

1/2 a large sweet red pepper roughly chopped

chicken broth 2 c

chick peas 3/4 can

lentils 1/8 c (I didn’t have many, you can add more, or other beans)

pasta (gluten free) – I used thin spirals of rice pasta, whatever small pasta you like – 1/2 a package

canned tomatoes 16 oz. (with liquid if you have whole canned tomatoes, if crushed version then add 1-2 c of water – as needed)

baby spinach – a few handfuls

Here’s the recipe —
Sauté onions in extra virgin olive oil with some yummy herbs and spices. I chose rosemary, basil, savory, turmeric, sea salt, cayenne and black pepper.

Next add in some fresh chopped tomatoes, and cook them down a bit.

Add your rough chopped red sweet peppers sauté some more, then some liquid. I would usually add whole canned tomatos with the liquid, squeezing the tomatoes so they’re lovingly squooshed and also chicken broth (or easily substitute veggie broth to keep it vegan). However, today I didn’t have the whole canned tomatoes, I had crushed, so I did just half the 32 oz. can, and then a 16 oz can of chicken broth. If you have your own homemade broth, even better.

Note: If you’re using dried beans, these should come before the pasta, I had some dried lentils which went in when it started boiling about 5 mins prior to the pasta.

Then the pasta, which can be whatever shape you like – best if it’s smaller pasta, I chose skinny spirals (GF).

After boiling for 8-10 mins I added my chickpeas which were canned, rinsed first. (Kidney beans or white northern beans ok here too).

Cook on a steady medium heat simmering for a few more minutes to allow the flavors to meld.

Last I add some fresh leaves, today it was baby spinach, if the leaves are tougher, like a kale or swiss chard, you add them a bit sooner with your canned beans, or slice them very thinly before adding.

Remove from the heat and leave the lid on for a few minutes before serving. If you’re not vegan, parmasean cheese grated on top is traditional and crusty bread – gluten free folks can improvise here.

Bon appetite!

Veggie Saute

veggiesauteSauteed veggies are a common dish for me to prepare with whatever tasty vegtables are available and seasonal at the time.

Brown rice 1 cup

Italian Tuscan Kale 2 leaves

3 cherry tomatoes

2 button mushrooms

2 cloves of garlic

1/8 of an onion

sprinkle of tamari (GF)

1/4 tsp of turmeric

1/4 tsp of ginger

I always start the saute the same way, with some olive oil and thinly sliced garlic or onions.  Once they start to become fragrant and translucent I’ll add in some spices – like turmeric, oregano and cayenne.  [Note: It’s best to use turmeric with black pepper also because it amplifies the effectiveness of it’s active anti-inflammatory nature by 1000-2000%!]  Shortly, I’ll add the next batch of veggies – in this case it was button mushrooms and cherry tomatoes roughly chopped (could be also with zucchini, bell peppers). I like to let these cook for a short while, a few minutes stirring occasionally so they get soft and the flavors start to marry with each other.  You can add any type of grain you like next (quinoa is also nice), here I’ve got some cooked brown rice, which I added about a cup to the pan with a little extra olive oil (about a TB). Stir the rice to coat and allow it to absorb the flavors already in the pan.  I chopped up some ginger super finely, about a 1/2 tsp and add to the pan, with a sprinkle of tamari (gluten free) stirring as I add.  And finally, in a few more minutes, add your leaves – whatever green leafies you like best – here I’ve added 2 leaves of dino kale (Italian Tuscan kale). Here I’ve omitted the stalks, as I didn’t blanch it or steam it first and the stalks are a bit tough. I always add the leaves last – it could be spinach, arugula, or swiss chard easily as well.  Voila! Super healthy snack or meal.

Superb Spaghetti Squash Lasagne

ImageThis recipe was totally inspired by a close close friend in Florida.  He regularly would cook for me and was quite the excellent chef.  Our last meal together before I headed out west was a spaghetti squash dish, so the other day I spied these amazing yellow veggies in the store and had to take one home.

It’s a nice light summer alternative to real pasta.  For anyone watching their carbs, it’s a terrific treat when paired with tomato sauce.  This is a creative variation for all of you who, like me, like to play in the kitchen.

What you’ll need:

spaghetti squash

1/2 small vidalia onion (or yellow)

5 garlic cloves

1 28 oz. can of crushed tomatoes

1/2 a medium box of non-GMO tofu (or 1 whole tofu small box)

2/3 cup of black beans (canned ok)

olive oil

Daiya cheese

tumeric, cayenne, oregano, sea salt and pepper to taste

How to prepare:

– Pre-heat the oven to 350

– Slice the squash in half the long way and scoop out the seeds. Season the scooped out side with sea salt, pepper and drizzle liberally with olive oil.

– Place scooped side down on a cookie sheet and bake for about 45 minutes.  You can do this a day prior.  While the squash is baking, prepare your sauce.  Using homemade tomato sauce is simple to make and always a pleasure to eat.

– Slice up about a 1/2 of a vidalia (or yellow) small onion into semi rounds and smash and chop 3 gloves of garlic

– Add these to a couple Tbs of olive oil on medium heat and add in a generous sprinkle of tumeric, black pepper, cayenne, and oregano is nice too. Saute til they are fragrant and translucent.

– When I’m in a hurry I use chopped tomatoes in a can with basil. If I can take my time, I use whole peeled tomatoes in a can and squeeze them into the pot by hand.  I buy the 28 oz. size so there’s always left overs for another dish if you’re cooking for 1-2 people.

– Simmer on a medium-low heat for about 15 minutes with a lid stirring occasionally, and then turn down to very low for another 5 minutes til all the liquid is gone.

– In another pan saute another chopped 2 garlic cloves in olive oil and slice up your tofu. This is going to form your “cheeze” mixture, like a ricotta consistency.

– Add your slices of tofu and 2/3 cup of black beans (already cooked) to the pan.  Stir and mash together a bit over medium heat.  You may add more olive oil and salt and pepper to the mixture until tofu and beans and garlic are nicely combined into a chunky mixture.

– Once your spaghetti squash is done and tender, you use a fork and scrape it all out of the outer skin.  It should come out very easily.  Put it all into a roasting pan, combine tomato sauce generously with the first layer of squash.

– Add the second layer of squash on top, and then add your tofu and black bean mixture, top with more tomato sauce and last sprinkle liberally with Daiya mozzarella shreds /cheeze (it’s gluten free, vegan, soy and casein free and delicious and melts well)…  then bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, plus an extra 5 minutes on broil to be sure the cheeze is very melted. (You may use any other type of cheese, however, this is a very excellent complement.)

Bon appetit!

Serves 4 – 6