Monday, November 21, 2016

Sweet Potato Breakfast Mash

This is one of my new favorite breakfasts. I've been eating it regularly for about 8 months now, but it seems like a great holiday season breakfast to share. The photo doesn't do it justice. You can prepare it to order, or ahead of time, and serve warm or cold. Often, I make it ahead of time, so it all coalesces in flavor, and then microwave it to serve warm. I got this from the Happy Herbivore Meal Mentor Big Breakfast Book. 

1 sweet potato, cooked 
¼ cup applesauce 
ground cinnamon 
4 tsp brown sugar 
1 tbsp chopped pecans 

  1. If you haven't cooked the sweet potato yet, do so.
  2. Mash potato in a bowl and mix with applesauce. 
  3. Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar then garnish with pecans.

  • Serves 1
  • Per serving: 282 calories, 4.8g fat, 58.6g carbs, 6.2g fiber, 36.3g sugars, 5.3g protein
  • You can add raisins.
  • You can sub peanuts for pecans.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Chana Aloo over Rice

This is another omnivore approved meal. My photo is a little lacking, but it will be made again, so hopefully I can update the image.

2 cups (16-oz) vegetable broth 
1 onion, diced 
2 garlic cloves,  minced 
1 tsp ground cumin 
2 carrots, dice 
2 potatoes, diced 
¼ cup raisins 
1 tsp garam masala
dash ground coriander 
15-oz can chickpeas, drained & rinsed 
4 cups fresh spinach 
3 cups cooked brown rice


  1. Sauté onion and garlic for 1 minute. 
  2. Stir in cumin to coat, then add carrots and potatoes. 
  3. Sauté 5 minutes, or until just tender. 
  4. Add raisins and broth. 
  5. Cover, bring to a boil, then reduce to low and simmer 10-15 minutes, or until vegetables reach desired tenderness. 
  6. Stir in 1 tsp garam masala plus a few dashes of ground coriander. 
  7. Turn off heat and rest 5 minutes. 
  8. Stir in chickpeas and spinach until spinach softens and folds in. 
  9. Add more broth or water to thin, if desired. 
  10. Heat over low until thoroughly warm. 
  11. Serve over cooked brown rice. 
Serves 4

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Pumpkin Lentil Curry

This one looked and sounded so good that a friend of mine asked me for the recipe. It was a little thicker than I'd prefer. My friend agreed, it needed to be more soup-y. It probably just needs more vegetable broth added towards the end, but I didn't test it yet so I didn't put a suggested amount in the recipe, other than a (+).

3+ cups vegetable broth 
1 onion, diced 
2 garlic cloves, minced 
2 tsp curry powder 
ground cinnamon or coriander 
15-oz canned pumpkin 
¼ cup applesauce 
1 cup dry lentils 
3 cups cooked brown rice 

  1. Sauté onions and garlic until translucent. 
  2. Add curry powder, a dash of cinnamon or coriander (whichever one you choose) and turmeric (added for color).
  3.  Stir and cook briefly, then mix in pumpkin and applesauce. 
  4. Add 2 cups of broth and lentils. Stir. 
  5. Cover, bring to boil, then reduce to low and simmer for 15-45 minutes, until lentils are tender. 
  6. Add broth as desired to thin out curry. 
  7. Taste, adjusting seasonings as desired. 
  8. Serve over cooked brown rice. 
  • Serves 4

Monday, November 7, 2016

Spiced Vanilla Baked Oatmeal

I am loving baked oatmeal dishes. I first learned about them from Happy Herbivore Meal Mentor. This one is a great breakfast any time of the year, but tasty in the fall.

6 tbsp dry rolled oats 
2 tbsp flour 
¼ tsp baking powder 
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice 
dash of ground cardamom 
dash of ground allspice or cloves 
½ cup unsweetened almond milk 
1 tbsp maple syrup 
1 tsp vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 375F 
  2. In a bowl, combine oats, flour, baking powder, and spices. 
  3. Stir in milk, maple syrup, and vanilla, mixing until well combined. 
  4. Transfer batter to a ramekin or ovensafe dish. 
  5. Bake 20-25 minutes, or until firm.


  • Serves 1
  • Approximately 250 calories

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Butternut Home Fries

This is a single serving as posted. I don't see why you couldn't scale this up, but it's already a lot of chopping. 

2 cups butternut squash, cubed 
1 potato, cubed 
½ onion, sliced 
½ tsp Old Bay Seasoning
salt & pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 400F. 
  2. Line a cookie sheet with parchment. 
  3. Rinse butternut & potato cubes under cool water and shake off excess. 
  4. Toss cubes with onion, Old Bay, plus salt & pepper until well coated. 
  5. Arrange in a single layer and roast until cooked through, stirring and flipping a few times (about 20-25 minutes).


  • Serves 1
  • Approximately 280 calories

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Thai Pumpkin Bisque

While not a shellfish base as traditional bisques are, this creamy pumpkin based soup definitely qualifies. I absolutely loved this dish. You can have it with bread or crackers. It's a lovely fall dish as the weather cools down.

15-oz canned pumpkin  
10-oz lite coconut milk 
1 tbsp red curry paste 
2 tsp low-sodium soy sauce
½ tsp garlic powder


  1. Whisk all ingredients together in a small saucepan.
  2. Heat over medium for about 10-15 minutes, until flavors are well-combined and the soup is warm.


  • Serves 1 (although it served me two servings.)

Monday, October 31, 2016

Baby Churros

Breakfast or Dessert! I made these Baby Churros several times. They could stand to be crispier, since churros have a crispy fried outside with a soft inside. But, if you're craving churros, this is a pretty quick and easy recipe to put together.

1¾ cups flour 
2 tsp ground cinnamon 
¼ tsp baking powder 
¼ tsp salt 
5 tbsp pure maple syrup 
3 tbsp unsweetened almond milk 
1 tbsp raw sugar 
¼ cup applesauce

  1. Preheat oven to 325F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside. 
  2. Whisk together flour, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. 
  3. Make a well in the middle and stir in maple, milk, and sugar into flour mixture and mix well. 
  4. Add applesauce, stirring to combine. 
  5. Take about 1½-tsp of dough and shape into little elongated ball. 
  6. Place the ball on baking sheet and repeat until you have used up all the dough. 
  7. Sprinkle churros with additional cinnamon and sugar. 
  8. Bake 11-12 minutes, or until churros are golden and bounce back slightly to the touch.

  • Makes about 20 churros. 
  • 5 churros/serving

Friday, October 28, 2016

Dessert: Día de Muertos Cake

A few years ago, I took this photo for a contest. It is one of my favorite cakes, and is perfect for the upcoming holiday.

2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
¾ cup granulated sugar
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
¾ cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups unsweeetened milk
2 tablespoons vinegar (apple cider or white)

1/2 cup vegan butter, somewhat softened
2 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1⁄4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 to 4 tablespoons unsweetened milk


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Oil two 8-inch cake pans, or prepare cupcake/muffin tins with paper liners or silicon cups.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, cayenne pepper, cinnamon, salt, and sugar.
  4. In a separate bowl, beat together the applesauce, oil, vanilla extract, milk, and vinegar. 
  5. Add the wet mixture to the dry ingredients, and mix until everything is thoroughly combined. 
  6. Pour the batter into the baking pans or cupcake/muffin tins, and bake for 20 to 30 minutes (cupcakes – 15 to 17 minutes), or until the cake comes away from the sides of the pans and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.


  1. Cream together all the ingredients on low speed until smooth. Increase the speed slowly until the frosting is light and fluffy (about 3 minutes). Add an additional 1 or 2 tablespoons of milk, if necessary.

Yield: Enough for one layer cake or 18 cupcakes.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Pumpkin Muffins

In the spring, I started the Happy Herbivore Meal Mentor program and decided to make these pumpkin muffins for breakfast out of the Big Breakfast Book. My only complaint is that they stick to the wrap a bit.

1 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup applesauce
1 cup canned pure pumpkin
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup pure maple syrup


  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Mix dry ingredients. 
  3. Add remaining ingredients, mix until just combined.
  4. Baked in lined muffin cups for 18-25 minutes.


  • Makes 12 muffins.
  • Per muffin: 102 calories, 0.3g fat, 23.1g carbs, 2.6g fiber, 10g sugar, 1.8g protein

Monday, October 3, 2016

Sweet Potato Sundae

It was strawberry season when I made this, so I used sliced strawberries. You can really use any sliced fruit that strikes your fancy: bananas, strawberries, other whole berries, even sliced pears, peaches, and apples. I like it as a fall dish, just because I think of sweet potatoes as a fall item. I suggest trying it when the fruit is in season since you can get sweet potatoes any time of the year. This recipe has been modified from the Happy Herbivore Meal Mentor.

1 baked sweet potato 
1 tsp ground cinnamon 
1¼ tbsp pure maple syrup 
3 oz vegan yogurt (plain or vanilla) 
½ cup sliced fruit


  1. Smash potato in a bowl or cut in half. 
  2. Sprinkle with generously with cinnamon and drizzle with maple. 
  3. Top with yogurt and fruit.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Slow Cooker Corn Tortilla Soup

It's that time of year, to get out our slow cookers and enjoy some soup as the weather cools. The original recipe came from Happy Herbivore Meal Mentor program. 

8 corn tortillas  
1 onion, diced 
4 cloves garlic, minced 
1 tsp chili powder 
1 tsp dried oregano 
2 tsp ground cumin 
2 cups (16-oz) vegetable broth 
14-oz diced tomatoes 
2-oz diced green chiles, drained 
¼ cup tomato paste 
2 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce 
1.5 cups prepared black beans (1-15 oz can, drained and rinsed) 
1 avocado 
hot sauce, cilantro (optional)

  1. Combine onion, garlic, spices, broth, tomatoes (with juices), chiles, tomato paste and soy sauce in a slow cooker. 
  2. Tear or chop 4 corn tortillas and stir into slow cooker to combine. 
  3. Cook on low 6-8 hours (high 3-5 hours). 
  4. Optional: Once done, transfer half to a blender and whiz until smooth OR use an immersion blender to partially blend. 
  5. Add beans, stirring to combine.
  6. Preheat oven or toaster oven to 350F. 
  7. Place 4 corn tortillas directly on the wrack and until crispy, about 5 minutes.
  8. Crumble cooked tortillas into separate bowl.
  9. Spoon soup into serving bowls and top with crumbled crisped tortillas and avocado. 
  10. Garnish with hot sauce and cilantro. (optional)
  • Serves 4.
  • Per serving: 394 calories, 13.2g fat, 57.1g carbs, 13.7g fiber, 9.8g sugars, 14.7g protein
  • You could add corn to the soup as well.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016


This is a great compliment to an ear of corn on the cob. Recipe is based off a meal from the Happy Herbivore Meal Mentor

liquid smoke
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp pure maple syrup
3-4 oz extra-firm tofu, sliced into 3
2 slices bread
1 cup kale, chop
1 tomato, sliced
2-oz guacamole


  1. Toast bread (optional.)
  2. Spread guacamole on bread slices.
  3. Add 1/4 cup water, a tad of liquid smoke, Worcestershire sauce, and maple syrup to a skillet. Whisk together.
  4. Ad tofu and cook over medium heat, turning regularly, until it starts to caramelize. This is now the "bacon" part of a BLTA.
  5. Make sandwich with kale, tomato slices, and tofu "bacon".


  • Serves 1.
  • Original recipe called for one portabello mushroom stemmed and sliced instead of tofu.
  • Original recipe per serving: 384 calories, 12.5g fat, 58.1g carbs, 12.9g fiber, 15.6g sugar, and 12.7g protein.
  • You can use a gluten-free tortilla instead of bread and make a wrap.
  • You can use hummus instead of guacamole.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Eggplant Falafel Burgers

After becoming vegan, I learned so many new ways to make a burger. So many fun and interesting flavors. I was a little wary of this one because of the onion. I had been ruined as a child when a relative would put nearly as many onions in the burgers as meat. They were nasty. I was pleasantly surprised by these. This particular burger comes from Happy Herbivore Meal Mentor.

1 garlic clove, minced 
¼ small onion 
1 Chinese eggplant, cut into half moons 
¾ cup prepared chickpeas 
1 tbsp tahini 
1½ tsp fresh lemon juice 
½ tsp ground cumin 
½ tsp ground coriander 
6 tbsp breadcrumbs (I used panko)
2 burger buns or tortillas 
Toppings: i.e. lettuce, tomato, hummus, etc per preference


  1. Preheat oven to 400F and line a baking sheet with parchment. Set aside. 
  2. Add onion or garlic and pulse until chopped. 
  3. Add eggplant, chickpeas, tahini, lemon, cumin and coriander, and pulse until coarse and the mixture holds together. 
  4. Transfer to a mixing bowl and mix in breadcrumbs with your hands. 
  5. Form mixture into 2 patties. 
  6. Bake 10 minutes and flip if you can. Otherwise wait 5 minutes more. 
  7. Once flipped, bake 5-15 minutes more, until warm and toasty. 
  8. Place patties on buns and dress with condiments and toppings of choice.


  • Serves 2
  • Per serving (without toppings): 426 calories, 7.9g fat, 73.1g carbs, 15.8g fiber, 9.0g sugars, 17.9g protein
  • Buns in this photo were Dave's Killer Bread Million Dollar Buns.
  • Pickle on the side.
  • You can change out the tahini for hummus in the mixture.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Strawberry Shortcake Cupcakes

These cupcakes are too good to be true. Get yourself some fresh strawberries to top these. I got the original recipe from Happy Herbivore Meal Mentor. They were enjoyed by everybody in the house.

2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour
1 tsp baking powder
½-tsp baking soda
½-tsp fine salt
¼-cup applesauce
1 cup raw sugar
1 cup almond milk
1 tsp lemon extract
sliced strawberries

1 cup powdered sugar
1 tbsp almond milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
red food coloring


  1. Preheat oven to 350F. 
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together. 
  3. In a large bowl, whisk applesauce, raw sugar, almond milk, and lemon extract until well combined. 
  4. Pour dry mixture into wet mixture in 3 to 4 batches, stirring until just combined. 
  5. Bake in lined muffin cups for 15-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. 


  1. Whisk powdered sugar, almond milk, vanilla extract, and a drop of red food coloring in a small bowl, adding more sugar to thicken or more milk to thin it out. 
  2. Once the cupcakes have fully cooled, slather icing over top and garnish with fresh strawberry slices. 


  • Makes 12

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Spinach Strawberry Salad

I LOVE Strawberry Salads!! This one is an excellent salad. It's strawberry season, so enjoy! I got the original recipe from Happy Herbivore Meal Mentor

4 cups fresh spinach 
2 cups sliced strawberries 
1 cored and diced apple
1-2 cups cooked white beans, rinsed 
3 tbsp walnuts

Apple Balsamic Vinaigrette 
¼ cup applesauce 
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar 
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard 
pure maple syrup, to taste


  1. Whisk together until well combined. 


  1. Toss salad ingredients with Apple Balsamic Vinaigrette until well combined.

You can make this as a side salad for dinner, or eat it as dinner, serving 2.
Per serving: 390 calories, 9.5g fat, 62.2g carbs, 18.1g fiber, 20.1g sugars, 18.2g protein

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Thai Taquitos

Wow! These were good. Something I could make regularly. I got the original recipe from Happy Herbivore Meal Mentor. Shown is 1 serving.

12 oz riced cauliflower, thawed
1 onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ cup fresh basil, chopped
2 cooked sweet potatoes, mashed
8 whole-wheat flour tortillas

Sriracha Peanut Sauce
2 tbsp hot water
2 tbsp peanut butter
2 tbsp (1-oz) almond milk
2 tbsp sweet red chili sauce
1 lime (juice)
1 tbsp soy sauce
2 tsp rice vinegar
dash garlic powder
dash ground ginger
1+ tsp Sriracha

Sriracha Peanut Sauce

  1. Whisk peanut butter into 2 tbsp hot water until runny. 
  2. Whisk in milk, chili sauce, lime, soy sauce, vinegar, a few dashes of garlic and ginger, and 1 tsp Sriracha. 
  3. Taste, adding more Sriracha as desired. 
  4. Chill.


  1. Preheat oven to 400F, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 
  2. Sauté onion and garlic in oil until translucent. 
  3. Add cauliflower and basil. Cook until soft. 
  4. Transfer to large bowl, and mix with mashed potatoes until well combined. 
  5. Spread ¼-cup of the cauliflower-potato mixture in the center of each tortilla. 
  6. Roll into tight wraps. 
  7. Place seam-side down, and bake 6-10 minutes, or until crisp and browning. 
  8. Cut in half and serve with chilled Sriracha Peanut Sauce.


  • Makes 4
  • Per serving: 391 calories, 6.4g fat, 72.5g carbs, 12.9g fiber, 12.3g sugars, 14.9g protein

Monday, May 16, 2016

Chocolate French Toast

This was a big hit! Mmmmmm! I modified this recipe from the Happy Herbivore Meal Mentor.

8 oz Mori-Nu silken tofu
¾ cup (6-oz) soy or almond milk 
1 tsp agave syrup
1 tbsp peanut butter 
2 tbsp cocoa powder 
8 slices bread (a little thicker is better) 
¼ cup chocolate chips or chunks
2 tbsp finely chopped peanuts


  1. In a blender, combine tofue, milk, agave, peanut butter, and cocoa powder. 
  2. Puree until smooth, adding more milk if needed.  
  3. Transfer mixture to a shallow bowl. 
  4. Dip bread slices into mixture.
  5. Heat a nonstick skillet and cook a few minutes on each side or until warm and crisping. 
  6. Top with chips and nuts.

  • Serves 4.
  • These can also be baked. Bake at 400 F on a parchment-lined baking sheet, 7 minutes each side.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Samosa Pizza

I really enjoy the "samosa" things that Happy Herbivore Meal Mentor does. This one is supposed to be pizza-like, but I never do the potato quite right to make it like a spread, so it ended up as a wrap. 

¼ small onion, diced 
dash of ground cumin 
¼ tsp garam masala 
¼ tsp mild curry powder 
dash of turmeric 
1 carrot, diced 
½ cup frozen green peas 
1 cooked potato, mashed


  1. Sauté onion until translucent. 
  2. Add spices, stirring to coat. 
  3. Add carrots and cook until carrots are just forktender. 
  4. Stir in peas and cook until warm. 
  5. Spread warmed potatoes on tortilla. 
  6. Top with vegetable mixture and serve, or roll up and eat as a burrito.

  • Serves 1
  • Per serving: 338 calories, 1.6g fat, 71.2g carbs, 12.8g fiber, 9.6g sugars, 12.3g protein

Monday, May 9, 2016

Strawberry Shortcake Polenta

This is another breakfast that could be dessert, depending on your sweet tooth. The original recipe for the Happy Herbivore Meal Mentor served 4, but I made it serve 2. 

1-18 oz tube Polenta
5 oz strawberries, sliced
6 oz yogurt
maple syrup


  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Cut polenta into 1/2" rounds.
  3. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  4. Bake 8-10 minutes until golden in color and crisp (no need to flip.)
  5. Top each polenta with strawberry slices and a dollop of cold yogurt.
  6. Drizzle with maple syrup.


  • Serves 2. To serve 4, double recipe.
  • Per serving: 262 calories, 1.3g fat, 49.8g carbs, 4.0g fiber, 12.1g sugargs, 10.4g protein
  • You can use frozen strawberries instead of fresh for a winter breakfast. In that case, warm the strawberries on the stove or in the microwave before adding to polenta.
  • You could add more fruit or nuts to this. 

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Caesar Taco Salad

This is an everybody-approved salad. It's delicious! I got the recipe from Happy Herbivore Meal Mentor. This is a great salad as a side or main dish.

1 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce 
2 tsp fresh lemon juice 
2 tbsp taco seasoning 
1.5 - 2 cups chickpeas  
2 corn tortillas 
1 head romaine lettuce, chopped 
5-oz cherry tomatoes, sliced 
2-oz guacamole

Caesar Dressing 
½ cup yogurt 
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice 
1 tbsp Dijon mustard 
1½ tsp Worcestershire sauce 
garlic powder

  1. Preheat oven to 375F.
  2. Make dressing by whisking all ingredients together until well combined, adding garlic powder to taste. 
  3. Chill until using.
  4. Combine soy sauce, lemon juice, taco seasoning and chickpeas, stir to coat.
  5. Place on parchment-lined baking sheet, and bake 20-25 minutes, until crispy but not hard. 
  6. During last 5-10 minutes, place tortillas right on the rack and bake until crispy. 
  7. In a large mixing bowl, toss chickpeas with lettuce and cherry tomatoes. 
  8. Pour dressing over top, and toss to coat. 
  9. Crumble corn tortillas over the top. 
  10. Top with guacamole.
  • Serves 2.
  • Per serving: 418 calories, 8.6g fat, 63.4g carbs, 12.7g fiber, 9.1g sugars, 19.2g protein

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Spaghetti and "Meatballs"

The "meatballs" here are perfect! Having a low calorie, homemade meatball that I can use for anything, like a meatball sandwich or pasta, is wonderful. Typically, if I wanted meatballs, I'd buy Gardein's, which I like a lot. This gives me a homemade meatball to use. Putting it on spaghetti squash is probably the healthiest option of spaghetti squash, pasta, or hoagie bun. It's your pick. I got the original recipe from the Happy Herbivore Meal Mentor

¼ small onion, diced 
1 garlic clove, minced 
¾ cup cooked brown rice 
¾ cup prepared white beans 
2 tbsp tomato paste 
1 tbsp Panko 
¼ tsp dried oregano 
1 cup marinara sauce
1 spaghetti squash (or pasta or bun if that is your meal)

  1. Sauté onion and garlic until translucent. 
  2. Remove from heat and transfer to a food processor along with rice, beans, tomato paste, Panko, and oregano. 
  3. Process for 10-15 seconds total, stopping every 3-5 seconds to scrape sides. (Mixture should be slightly chunky.) 
  4. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. 
  5. Cook spaghetti Squash (see below)
  6. Preheat oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper
  7. Form mixture into meatballs and bake for 20 minutes, or until firm to the touch. 
  8. Serve meatballs with spaghetti squash and warm marinara sauce. 

Spaghetti Squash Preparation
  1. Preheat oven to 400F
  2. Slice lengthwise, place in an oven-safe dish face down with 1/2-inch water. 
  3. Bake for 30-45 mins at 400F. 
  4. Remove seedy matter and use a fork to pull away the spaghetti strands. 
  • Serves 2
  • 370 calories, 6.2g fat, 69.7g carbs, 9.2g fiber, 13g sugars, 11.7g protein
  • You can also microwave the spaghetti squash: Poke holes in it with a fork, microwave for 10-15 minutes until fork tender. Then slice lengthwise, remove the seedy matter, and pull spaghetti strands away from sides.
  • Serve with parm. 

Monday, May 2, 2016

Chocolate Lover's Quinoa

Quite frankly, there is no reason this shouldn't be a dessert. I'm serious. If you aren't a big "sweet breakfast" eater, but you like out-of-the-ordinary desserts, this would be a good one. This breakfast came to me from the Happy Herbivore Meal Mentor. I've changed some of the directions because it took me a whole cup of quinoa, ie 4 tries, to get the quinoa cooked without a problem.

1/4 cup dry quinoa
1/2 cup (4 oz) almond milk (or other milk)
1 1/2 tsp cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp pure maple syrup
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp chocolate chips
1 cup strawberries


  1. In a saucepan over medium heat, combine quinoa with milk.
  2. Bring to a boil, then reduce to low, cover partially, and cook until quinoa is fluffy, about 15 minutes.
  3. While quinoa is still hot, stir in cocoa powder, maple syrup, and vanilla until well combined.
  4. Add chocolate chips. When they start to melt, swirl in.
  5. Serve with strawberries on top or on the side.


  • Serves 1
  • Per serving: 295 calories, 7.1 g fat, 52.5 g carbs, 7.8 g fiber, 17.6 g sugars, 8.5 g protein
  • I recommend fresh strawberries, but you can use frozen and thaw them before serving.
  • You can add more chocolate chips or nuts, too.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Sloppy Lentil Joes

I'll admit that my family was a little skeptical of these. The kids turned them down outright because of the green bell pepper. However, they were super easy and quick to make and will be a go-to for me. I got the original recipe from Happy Herbivore Meal Mentor

1 onion, diced 
4 garlic cloves, minced 
1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced 
2 tsp chili powder 
1-2 tsp Italian seasoning 
2 cups cooked lentils 
1 cup salsa 
1 cup marinara sauce 
4 buns or tortillas


  1. Sauté onion, garlic, and bell pepper until onion is translucent and bell peppers have softened. 
  2. Stir in spices to coat well. 
  3. Add cooked lentils, salsa and marinara sauce, stirring to combine. 
  4. Continue to cook over low, stirring occasionally, until thoroughly warm and reduced slightly. 
  5. Spoon onto buns and serve. 


  • Serves 4
  • Per serving: 410 calories, 4.6g fat, 70.9g carbs, 23g fiber, 14.2g sugars, 22.7g protein
  • For a serving for two (pictured one of two servings) use: ½ small onion, diced; 2 garlic cloves, minced; 1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced; 1 tsp chili powder; ½ tsp dried oregano; 1 cup cooked lentils; ½ cup salsa; ½ cup marinara sauce; 4 slices bread
  • Omnivores could throw in a ground meat of their choice as well.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Tomato Basil Rigatoni

I made this for the family and it was a pretty big hit. The main issue was that I overdid the amount of the sauces, and I didn't reduce quite enough, so the sauce was a little more runny than is ideal. My suggestion is to stick with the amounts in the recipe and/or be sure to reduce sufficiently.

14-oz dry pasta (i.e. rigatoni) 
2 cups (16-oz) vegetable broth 
1 onion, diced 
3 garlic cloves, minced 
1-2 tbsp Italian seasoning 
2 tbsp tomato paste 
28-oz tomato sauce 
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar 
½ cup dry red wine (optional, if using reduce broth by ½ cup) 
fresh basil (optional) 


  1. Heat a large pot. 
  2. Saute onion, garlic, and Italian seasoning in oil until onions are translucent.
  3. Add tomato paste, stirring to coat. 
  4. Cook 1-2 minutes, adding a splash of broth as necessary to prevent sticking. 
  5. Stir in tomato sauce, vinegar, wine and remaining broth until well combined.
  6. Cover and bring to a boil.
  7. (This is a good time to cook the pasta according to package directions in a separate pot.)
  8. Once boiling, reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes, or until it reduces slightly and everything is thoroughly warm. 
  9. Stir in fresh basil, if using. 
  10. Serve over pasta or toss together.

Serves 4.
Per serving: 423 calories, 4.1g fat, 79.4g carbs, 15.8g fiber, 12.7g sugar, 20.8g protein

Monday, April 25, 2016

Lava Cake Oatmeal

Another dessert for breakfast. In fact, I could post this just as easily as a dessert. I like oatmeal, I like chocolate, I like cake, I like lava cake. This will do. I got the original recipe from Happy Herbivore Meal Mentor, but I've modified it to be even more chocolatey! 

⅓ cup dry rolled oats 
2 tbsp flour 
1 tbsp cocoa powder 
¼ tsp baking powder 
pinch salt
⅓ cup (2.5-oz) chocolate soy or almond milk 
1 tbsp pure maple syrup  
½ tsp vanilla extract 
1 tbsp chocolate chips or 1 square of chocolate

  1. Preheat oven to 350F and set aside a small ramekin. 
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine oats, flour, cocoa, baking powder, and pinch of salt. 
  3. Stir in milk, maple syrup, and vanilla. 
  4. Mix well and transfer half to the ramekin. 
  5. Place the chocolate chips or chocolate square on top, in the center, so that no part of it is touching the sides. 
  6. Pour the rest of the oatmeal over chocolate, using your fingers to press down lightly and spread the mixture. 
  7. Bake 15-20 minutes, or until the top is slightly firm and dry. 
  8. Let cool a few minutes, but serve warm.
  • Make less chocolatey by using plain/vanilla soy or almond milk. Per serving with plain/vanilla milk:  269 calories, 7.1g fat, 46.4g carbs, 6.8g fiber, 12.5g sugars, 7.8g protein
  • Top with yogurt for an icing. 
  • Made again, and an additional photo!

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Sweet Tomatoes Bowl

This was amazing. I really like lentils, and there is a fabulous flavor combination here. I got the original recipe from Happy Herbivore Meal Mentor

1 zucchini, sliced in half moons 
1-2 tbsp Taco Seasoning 
5-oz cherry tomatoes, or grape tomatoes, or combo of small tomatoes, sliced 
⅓ cup corn 
¾ cup cooked lentils 
¼ cup salsa 


  1. Heat a skillet, and add ¼-cup water. 
  2. Add zucchini and Taco Seasoning. 
  3. Cook for a few minutes, until zucchini is just becoming tender. 
  4. Add tomatoes and cook until the tomatoes start to soften. 
  5. Add corn and cooked lentils. 
  6. Continue to cook until vegetables reach desired tenderness, stirring constantly and adding water as needed. 
  7. Top with salsa and serve. 


  • Serves 1
  • Per serving: 386 calories, 1.7g fat, 72.2g carbs, 27.1g fiber, 11.6g sugars, 24.6g protein
  • You can add hot sauce if you like. 

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Indonesian Stir-Fry Noodles

What's funny about this dinner is that when I said it was what was for dinner, everybody balked. Then I made it, with an add-on of chicken for the omnivores in the family. One child, who is super-duper picky, didn't even try it. But it got whole-hearted yums from the other two people. So much that my son asked how much would be leftovers. And asked if I could make it again ... soon. 

The bowl above serves 4. That's right, 4. When I took my helping, everybody's eyes got wide and said, you get that much? Since I'm trying to watch my caloric intake. I said, I get a quarter of the bowl. Then they said, that isn't even a quarter of that bowl. By the way, I was quite full after eating the portion I served myself.

I got the original recipe from Happy Herbivores Meal Mentor

12-oz dry noodles (i.e. spaghetti) 
6 tbsp teriyaki sauce 
2 tbsp soy sauce 
dash Sriracha (i.e., to taste) 
1/4 cup vegetable broth
1 onion, thinly sliced 
4 garlic cloves, minced 
12-oz broccoli florets 
10-oz cole-slaw mix 
1 bunch kale, stemmed and chopped
water, as needed


  1. Cook noodles via package instructions. 
  2. Drain, rinse under cold water. Set aside. 
  3. While cooking noodles, n a small bowl, whisk teriyaki, soy sauce, Sriracha, and broth together. Set aside. 
  4. Sauté onions and garlic in oil until translucent. 
  5. Add broccoli and cook until bright green. 
  6. Add cole-slaw mix, cooking and stirring so the veggies starts to soften.  
  7. Add kale, stirring to incorporate. 
  8. Continue to cook to desired tenderness, adding water as needed. 
  9. Stir in sauce and cooked noodles. 
  10. Taste, adding more Sriracha or teriyaki sauce, if desired.  


  • Serves 4
  • Per serving: 428 calories, 2.7g fat, 87.6g carbs, 14.8g fiber, 12g sugars, 18.5g protein
  • You can use water instead of vegetable broth. You can use thinly sliced cabbage instead of cole-slaw mix. You can add-on more veggies.
  • If you want to add some meat, chicken thinly sliced and fried in the same sauce (make more) worked well for us. I think pork may also go well in this dish.