Thursday, March 31, 2016

Firefly Sweet Potato Chowder

I love potato soups, so I was excited to give this a try from Happy Herbivore Meal Mentor. I've adapted it a bit. Great as a side or an entree.

1 onion, diced 
2 sweet potatoes, baked
1 quart vegetable broth 
1-15 oz can corn  
½ cup (lite) coconut milk 
2 cups prepared chickpeas 
8-oz guacamole 
1 bunch green onions, sliced


  1. After baking potatoes, dice one and puree the other with some water in a blender.
  2. Sauté onions in oil until translucent. 
  3. Add pureed sweet potato, 3 cups broth, and corn. 
  4. Cover and bring to a boil. 
  5. Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes. 
  6. Stir in coconut milk and  chickpeas. 
  7. Use and immersion blender to make creamy.
  8. Stir in diced sweet potatoes. 
  9. Add remaining broth to thin as desired.  
  10. Cover and heat over low until fully warm. 
  11. Ladle into bowls. 
  12. Top with guacamole and green onions.

  • Serves 4
  • Per serving: 410 calories, 14.9g fat, 57.1g carbs, 12.2g fiber, 4.9g sugars, 17.4g protein
  • Great served with crackers or baked tortilla chips.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Sweet Potato Chilaquiles

I was surprised at the flavors of this. Be careful picking your salsa and guacamole. I got this meal from Happy Herbivore Meal Mentor

2 corn tortillas 
1 sweet potato, diced 
2-3 tsp Taco Seasoning 
½ small onion, diced 
2 garlic cloves, minced 
15-oz can pinto beans, undrained 
1 cup (9 oz) salsa 
2-oz guacamole

  1. Preheat oven to 375F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside. 
  2. Place tortillas right on the rack and bake until crispy, 5-10 mins. Crumble into chips. Set aside. 
  3. Place cubed potatoes in a colander and rinse under cold water, shaking off excess water but leaving potatoes damp. 
  4. Toss potatoes with Taco Seasoning. 
  5. Spread out on baking sheet and bake 15-20 minutes. Flip, and bake another 10-20 minutes, or until fork-tender. 
  6. Sauté onion and garlic until translucent. 
  7. Add beans (with their liquid). 
  8. Turn off heat and mash beans well using a fork or potato masher. 
  9. Add Taco Seasoning to taste. 
  10. Cook until it thickens and reduces a bit. 
  11. Spoon into bowls and top with potatoes, salsa and guacamole. 
  12. Crumble corn chips over top. 

  • Serves 2
  • Per serving: 408 calories, 7.6g fat, 69.8g carbs, 18.2g fiber, 9.7g sugars, 18.1g protein
  • You can add corn or black olives.

Monday, March 28, 2016

PB&J Oatmeal

This is probably one of the simplest and most obvious breakfasts of all time. I have Happy Herbivore Meal Mentor to thank for it. 

½ cup dry rolled oats uncooked 
¼ cup applesauce 
jam or jelly 
peanut butter


  1. Cook oats in ¾ cup water (or more). 
  2. Stir in applesauce until well combined.
  3. Top with jam and peanut butter. 


  • Serves 1
  • Per serving: 284 calories, 6.7g fat, 49.9g carbs, 5.6g fiber, 17g sugars, 7.6g protein, provided you limit jam to 1 tbsp and peanut butter to 1 1/2 tbsp

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Green Bean-Potato Salad

If you do Meatless Mondays, how about Salad Mondays? I am such a fan of Happy Herbivore Meal Mentor salads. I put salads as sides, because that's how many folks think of them, but this could be eaten as an entree, which is what I did.

½ cup corn 
1½ cups fresh green beans, cut into 1” pieces 
½ cup dry couscous or 2 1/2 cups cooked quinoa
2 cooked potatoes, diced 
1 tomato, diced 
½ cup fresh basil, chopped 
1 tbsp fresh oregano, chopped 

Lemon Dressing 
2 tbsp vegetable broth 
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice 
1 tbsp red wine vinegar 
garlic powder 
½ tsp agave nectar
salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Make Dressing: Whisk ingredients together. Taste, adding more garlic as desired plus salt and black pepper.
  2. Warm or thaw corn if frozen. Set aside. 
  3. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add green beans and cook 5 minutes or until tender but still crisp. 
  4. Pour ⅔-cup of the hot water over couscous in a mixing bowl and set aside. 
  5. Drain green beans and immediately rinse under cold water, until they're cool.
  6. After 5 minutes of soaking couscous in hot water, fluff couscous. 
  7. In a large bowl, toss fluffed couscous with potatoes, green beans, tomatoes, corn, basil, and oregano. Toss with dressing until well mixed.


  • If serving as entree, serves 2.
  • Per serving: 380 calories, 1.4g fat, 81.9g carbs, 11.3g fiber, 6.3g sugars, 12.8g protein
  • Can add white beans or chickpeas. 

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Baked Lasagna Wraps

When I saw this recipe, I was very excited to give it a try. It sounded so good; and it was! I wanted to half the recipe because it makes 4, and I didn't want a ton of leftovers because I have lots of fresh meals to make, but now I'm kind of happy I didn't. I got the recipe from Happy Herbivore Meal Mentor, but I altered it to fit my tastebuds.

10-oz frozen spinach
15-oz extra firm tofu, drained
1 tsp lemon juice
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
2 tbsp Italian seasoning
1/4 tsp garlic powder
2 cups marinara sauce
vegan parmesan
4 flour tortillas (burrito size)


  1. Preheat oven to 425F.
  2. Cook spinach according to package directions, squeezing out excess liquid.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, crumble tofu.
  4. Mix in lemon, nutritional yeast, Italian seasoning, and garlic powder until well combined.
  5. Fold in spinach and 1 cup marinara.
  6. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add more Italian seasoning or garlic if desired.
  7. Spread mixture onto tortillas and roll up.
  8. Place crease side down on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  9. Bake 15-20 minutes.
  10. Warm remaining cup of marinara and drizzle over wraps.
  11. Sprinkle with parmesan and serve.


  • Serves 4.
  • Per serving: 424 calories, 13.7g fat, 51.8g carbs, 12.0g fiber, 12.6g sugars, 28.0g protein
  • For just cooked wraps, heat the filling (or serve cold), and do not bake. Serve with warmed marinara.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Banana Bread

Prior to learning I was allergic to bananas (the hard way), we used to collect banana bread recipes that we thought were especially good. I don't know where this one came from; we've had it for over a decade. Note that when it says bundt pan, it means bundt pan. I lost my bundt pan, so I tried to make it in bread pans. That doesn't work. You must use a bundt pan for this one.

2 sticks butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp sugar
3 eggs
2 ripe bananas, mashed
4 cups + 2 tbsp flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 cup sour cream
non-stick cooking spray or butter and flour


  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Spray bundt pan with non-stick cooking spray or grease and flour the pan.
  3. Cream butter and sugar together in a stand mixer.
  4. Add eggs one at a time, beating for a few seconds after each addition.
  5. Add mashed bananas and beat.
  6. Combine dry ingredients in a separate bowl.
  7. Add dry ingredients and sour cream alternately to the banana mixture in the stand mixer. Beat well until all combined.
  8. Transfer dough into bundt pan.
  9. Bake for 1 hour 10 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  10. Invert onto a cooling rack, and allow cake to cool slightly before slicing and serving.


  • You really do have to use a bundt pan. 
  • I would have shown you an actual slice, but my kids were eating them already.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Cinnamon Roll Oatmeal

It's no secret that I love Cinnamon Rolls. I'm not sure making it as oatmeal is particularly healthy, but probably a little better than actual rolls. I got the original recipe from Happy Herbivore Meal Mentor.

1/2 cup dry rolled oats
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
dash of ground nutmeg
1 tbsp brown sugar
pinch of salt
3/4 cup almond milk
1/4 tsp vanilla extract


  1. In a saucepan, combine oats, cinnamon, nutmeg, brown sugar, and salt. 
  2. Add milk and vanilla extract.
  3. Over medium, bring to a light boil. Turn heat to low, and cook to desired consistency, stirring often.
Serves 1
Per serving: 219 calories, 4.7g fat, 38.5g carbs, 5.5g fiber, 9.4g sugars, 6.2g protein

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Bangkok Rice Salad

This salad was pretty awesome. I ate it as an entree. It is great as a side, too. I got this from the Happy Herbivore Meal Mentor

2 cups cooked brown rice 
1 carrot, shredded 
1 cup napa cabbage, sliced thin 
¼ cup frozen shelled edamame (thawed) 
3-oz mango, diced 
2 green onions, sliced

Bangkok Peanut Sauce 
2 tbsp peanut butter 
1½ tsp agave nectar 
1½ soy sauce 
1½ tsp rice vinegar 
2 tbsp warm water
ground ginger

Bangkok Peanut Sauce 

  1. Whisk peanut butter, agave, soy sauce, rice vinegar, and a light dash of ground ginger together with warm water until well combined.


  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine rice, carrot, cabbage, edamame and mango. 
  2. Toss with Bangkok Peanut Sauce until evenly coated. 
  3. Garnish with green onions and serve.


  • Serves 2
  • Per serving: 393 calories, 10.5g fat, 65.6g carbs, 5.7g fiber, 15.6g sugars, 11.3g protein
  • Could add cold chicken, chopped peanuts, or more veggies.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Tuscany Risotto

About 5 years ago, I discovered risotto. I love risotto. Imagine my delight when Tuscany Risotto showed up about 1 month after I started getting meal plans from the Happy Herbivore Meal Mentor. The above photo is one-half of one serving. The serving was nearly as large as my big plate, but it wasn't particularly pretty for the photo. I submitted this photo on Instagram as a part of the March Madness challenges. 

1 1/2 tbsp tahini
1 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tbsp miso paste
12-oz riced cauliflower (available from Trader Joe's in frozen section)
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1 small onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups cooked brown rice
2 cups kale
2 tbsp almond milk
garlic powder
black pepper


  1. In a small bowl, whisk tahini, nutritional yeast, and miso together. Set aside.
  2. Heat a large pot over medium-high heat, heat oil. Saute onion and garlic until translucent.
  3. Stir in riced cauliflower and cook a couple minutes, adding splashes of broth to prevent sticking and stirring occasionally.
  4. Add tahini mixture plus remaining broth and cooked rice, stirring to combine.
  5. Cover and simmer for a few minutes.
  6. Uncover and stir in kale until it softens.
  7. Continue to heat over low, stirring, until kale incorporates and excess liquid cooks off.
  8. Add milk to cream it up, adding more as desired. 
  9. Let rest a few minutes.
  10. Top with a dash of garlic powder and black pepper.


  • Serves 2
  • Per serving: 404 calories, 8.4g fat, 71.9g carbs, 9.7g fiber, 6.5g sugars, 15.1g protein
  • Add in some steamed carrots.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Apple Crisp Muffins

These apple crisp muffins are so good! I had a couple, one child had a couple, and someone else had at least half dozen. I got them from Happy Herbivore Meal Mentor, which is a whole foods plant-based no oil meal plan. It's not a diet. All the same, I was told, "These don't taste like diet muffins." And I was asked to make them again. 

1½ cups flour (white whole-wheat or GF) 
½ cup dry rolled oats, uncooked 
2 tsp baking powder 
1 tsp baking soda 
2 tsp ground cinnamon 
¼ tsp ground ginger 
dash of ground nutmeg 
¼ tsp salt 
½ cup raw sugar 
¼ cup brown sugar 
1 cup applesauce 
¼ cup pure maple syrup 
1 red apple, diced

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. 
  2. Mix dry ingredients together. 
  3. Add remaining ingredients, mix until just combined. 
  4. Spoon into lined muffin cups. 
  5. Sprinkle with additional oats and brown sugar, if desired. 
  6. Bake for 18-25 mins.

Makes 12 muffins.
Per muffin: 124 calories, 0.4g fat, 28.8g carbs, 2.4g fiber, 15.4g sugars, 1.8g protein

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Kung Pao Lentils

A great dish that can be a side or entree. There is some time in the prep, so it would be great to have a rice cooker. There's some other kitchen appliances that cook lentil, which might also be helpful. I got this meal from the Happy Herbivore Meal Mentor.

1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 cup cooked green lentils
2 cups cooked brown rice
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 1/2 tsp cornstarch
2 tsp agave
1 tsp rice vinegar


  1. Cook rice and lentils according to package (or internet or appliance) directions.
  2. Make Kung Pao Sauce by whisking the soy sauce, cornstarch, agave, and rice vinegar in a bowl.
  3. Heat a couple tablespoons oil in a skillet and saute peppers until tender.
  4. Add cooked lentils and Kung Pao Sauce, mix until well combined.
  5. Reduce heat to low, cover, and heat until everything is warm.
  6. Let rest a few minutes.
  7. Served over the cooked brown rice.


  • Serves 2.
  • Per serving: 413 calories, 2g fat, 80.8g carbs, 17.2g fiber, 7.3g sugar, 18g protein.
  • Add additional veggies or peanuts. 

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Tomale Pie

If you know me and my family, you might be as surprised as I am for something called "Tomale Pie" to make it onto the Codex. It was one of the meals from the Happy Herbivore Meal Mentor. I changed some of the measurements to be less spicy.

6 tbsp fine cornmeal
1/2 small onion, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp ground cumin
15-oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
3/4 cup corn
1 tbsp diced green chilies
7-oz diced tomatoes


  1. Make polenta: Bring 3/4-cup water to a boil. Reduce to low. Slowly whisk in cornmeal, stirring to break down clumps. Add more hot water (about 1/4-cup) to thin out. Salt to taste.
  2. Preheat oven to 375F and set aside a square 8 or 9-inch glass casserole dish.
  3. Heat a large pot over medium heat. Add oil and saute onion and garlic until translucent.
  4. Add spices, stirring to coat well, and cook another minute.
  5. Add beans, corn, green chilies, and tomatoes.
  6. Mix well and cook for a minute or so, then transfer to the casserole dish. 
  7. Spread polenta mixture on top and bake 30 minutes, or until polenta is firm.
  8. Allow to cool for 15 minutes while the polenta firms. 


  • Serves 2.
  • Per serving: 387 calories, 3.8g fat, 70.1g carbs, 15.6g fiber, 6.7g sugar, 19.5g protein.
  • If you like spice, double the chili powder to 1/2 tsp, and add as much as 2-oz of diced green chilies. You can pour hot sauce on top, too.
  • Top with guacamole or sliced olives for more flavor.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Un-Birthday Cake Baked Oatmeal

This was amazing! It takes a little long for a regular weekday breakfast, but I think I'll be having it fairly regularly for a weekend breakfast. It came from the Happy Herbivore Meal Mentor Big Breakfast Book. I submitted this photo as a part of the March Madness Challenge on Instagram. This might be fun to make several of these during a brunch.

6 tbsp dry rolled oats
1 tbsp oat flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp pure maple syrup
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp applesauce
3-4 tbsp almond milk
3 oz yogurt


  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. In a small bowl, combine oats, oat flour, baking powder, and baking soda.
  3. Add in the maple syrup, vanilla, applesauce, and 2 tbsp milk.
  4. Stir and add more milk until batter forms. The mixture should be wet, but not runny.
  5. Transfer mixture to a ramekin.
  6. Bake for 17-20 minutes, until the top is set and golden.
  7. Top with yogurt and sprinkles.
  • Serves 1
  • Per serving: 271 calories, 3.9g fat, 46.9g carbs, 4.1g fiber, 20g sugar, 9.8g protein
  • Add a side of fruit.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Broccoli Rice & Cheeze

I got so many likes on Instagram for this photo and a comment about how good it looked. (Okay, over 20 likes and one comment, which is a lot for me.) 

First, I need to step up my food photography game for this blog again. Unfortunately, I am taking photos with my cell phone under low light conditions so I can Instagram them. Sometimes the Instagram filters can help make the image look better. This is an unfiltered photo.

Second, I probably should have added the broccoli on top rather than stirring it in. 
Finally, this is a Happy Herbivore Meal Mentor meal, adjusted to my taste. For me, it is an entree, and it might be a good lunch. I'm putting it as a side in the food blog because I think for most people, it might serve best as a side.

1¼ cups (10-oz) soy or almond milk 
3 tablespoons nutritional yeast 
2 tbsp cornstarch 
1 tsp onion powder 
1 tsp garlic powder 
½ tsp smoked paprika 
¼ tsp turmeric 
2 tbsp miso paste 
1½ cups cooked brown rice 
2 cups broccoli florets, steamed


  1. Whisk milk with nutritional yeast, cornstarch and spices until combined. 
  2. Bring to a near boil then reduce to low. 
  3. Cover and simmer, allowing the sauce to thicken slightly, stirring occasionally. 
  4. Whisk in miso until well combined. 
  5. Stir in cooked rice and top with broccoli.
  6. Salt and pepper to taste.


  • Serves 2
  • Per serving: 389 calories, 6.4g fat, 66.1g carbs, 12.6g fiber, 3.5g sugars, 22.9g protein
  • It is a little bland, as is. I would add additional paprika or a dash of chili powder, or something else to give it a little kick. 
  • You can add beans ore more broccoli.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Potato Verde Tacos

This is a meal from the Happy Herbivore Meal Mentor. It is one serving pictured. I make changes to the original recipes to fit my tastebuds.

olive oil
up to 1 cup vegetable broth 
½ small onion, diced 
1 garlic clove, minced 
½ tsp ground cumin 
1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced 
1 cooked potato, diced 
5-oz fresh spinach 
½-1 tbsp nutritional yeast 
¾ cup refried beans (warmed) 
6 corn tortillas 
½ cup salsa 


  1. Sauté onion and garlic until translucent. 
  2. Add cumin, stirring to coat.
  3. Add bell peppers and cook until almost tender, adding broth as needed. 
  4. Add potato pieces, cover and simmer, cooking until potatoes and peppers are very tender and potatoes have taken on broth coloring. (Add more broth as needed during cooking). 
  5. Turn off heat and add spinach, stirring to cook down and incorporate. 
  6. Season with salt and pepper, then sprinkle with nutritional yeast. 
  7. Mash potatoes partially (optional). 9
  8. Stir to combine and set aside.  
  9. Spread warm refried beans on tortillas and top with potato mixture. 
  10. Spoon salsa on top or on the side.
  • Serves 2
  • Per serving: 412 calories, 4.5g fat, 79.8g carbs, 17.7g fiber, 7.6g sugars, 19g protein
  • Add corn or guacamole