After much research and thought I have decided a whole food plant based diet is the best choice for me. Here are some recipes I use and I hope you enjoy! Most of my recipes will focus on whole food animal product free meals. I do like to bake some vegan pastries from time to time though they are not intended to be healthy but to provide a treat while maintaining a plant based diet. If you have any questions or comments feel free to ask away!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Quick and Easy Chili

This is something we throw together when we don't have the energy to cook something a little more time consuming.  It's not fancy but it really tastes great.  And it's easy on the wallet too!

1 can garbanzo beans
1 can black beans
1 can kidney beans
1 can Busch's Vegetarian Baked Beans
2 cans diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon chili powder

Throw everything except chili powder in a big pot and place on medium heat on stove.  Add chili powder.  Stir occasionally.  Season to taste.  I love to add a bunch of hot sauce to my chili and a bunch more chili powder but my kids don't enjoy that much so I have to season my chili separately.

Serves 4-6

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Soft Pretzels

These take while to make but are very much worth it.  Once you get the hang of it it's not that much more difficult to make a few batches at a time.  And once your done you have a quick and easy vegan snack that is also delicious and healthy!  These go very well with your favorite mustard or dip or just by themselves.

  • 4 cups whole wheat flour (you may need more/less for dusting/achieving the right dough texture)
  • 1 envelope, about 2 tsp active dry yeast
  • 2-3 tbsp agave syrup or organic sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1/2 cup rice milk
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp thyme
For Brushing
  • Olive oil
  • Lemon juice
For Topping
  • Coarse sea salt

In large bowl, combine 2 cups flour, salt, thyme.  Set Aside.  Combine warm water (about 120 degrees) and yeast to bowl.  Stir for about a minute.  Add to the yeasted water the olive oil, lemon juice, agave syrup (or sugar) and warmed rice milk.  Mix all liquids together.  Slowly fold the liquid mixture into the flour mixture.  Add the remaining flour into the mixture, until a nice ball of dough is formed.  Knead on floured surface for 5 minutes.  Add a swipe of olive oil to the large mixing bowl and re-place the kneaded dough in the bowl. Cover with a clean dish towel and place in a warm (high) spot to rise.  Allow to rise according to time on yeast packet.

Retrieve dough.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Punch the dough once, then transfer it to a floured kneading surface.  Knead for about 2 minutes.  Split the dough into 6-8 equal parts and roll each part into a long snake-like piece. Form a pretzel.  Best way I found to do this was to create a tear drop, twist the top once, then fold the top down to touch the bottom of the tear drop.  It may take a few tries to get it right.  
Place formed pretzels on a piece of parchment paper-on a baking sheet.  Brush each pretzel with a mixture of 2 Tbsp olive oil and 1 tsp lemon juice.  Sprinkle the brushed pretzels with a bit of course sea salt.  Cover pretzels, and allow to rest for 5-10 minutes. 

Bake pretzels in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for 20 minutes.  Remove from oven, brush again with olive oil mixture.  Sprinkle with salt again if desired.  Return to oven and bake for 10-20 minutes or until browned and crisp on top.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

African Bean Soup

I got this recipe from my store manager at Starbucks and it has quickly become a family favorite.  Thanks Emily!  I really enjoy the complex spicy and creamy flavors and velvety textures.   Equally delicious over a bed of quinoa or by itself.


  • 8 cups vegetable stock/broth
  • 2-3 Zucchini chopped into bite sized pieces
  • 2 sweet potatoes or 2 summer squash chopped into bite sized pieces.
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic or 2 teaspoons garlic salt
  • 2 cans garbanzo beans rinsed well
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 3 cups salsa (or a 24 oz jar)
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • cayenne pepper to taste
  • 2 1/2 cups quinoa (optional)

If you decide to eat your soup with quinoa (I love it) start with cooking the quinoa.  Then place the vegetable stock in very large pot or crock pot over medium heat.  Chop vegetables and add to stock.  Add the rest of the ingredients.  Heat until your sweet potatoes are cooked through or squash is the desired texture.  Serve and enjoy!  At my house we leave the cayenne pepper on the side for those who enjoy it a little hotter.

Friday, January 27, 2012


This is easy, tasty and quick.  What more could you ask for?


  • 2 cans organic diced tomatoes
  • 1 can organic tomato paste
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 can black olives
  • 1 package whole wheat spaghetti noodles
  • 2-4 cups of your favorite fresh vegetables cut up in bite size pieces.  I enjoy zucchini, broccoli, brussel sprouts, and spinach and my kids love peas.
In a large pot get your water to boiling for the whole wheat noodles.  Cook the noodles per instructions on package.  In a pot over medium heat combine diced tomatoes, tomato paste, water, brown sugar and Italian seasoning, then stir.  While this is heating up start slicing your olives and preparing your vegetables.  How many and what kinds are up to you to decide as everyone enjoys something different.  Have fun with it!  Add the vegetables once the sauce starts to simmer.  Only leave over the heat for a few minutes once the vegetables are in just to warm them up.  The fresh taste and texture of the vegetables is important to the overall flavor.  Once the noodles are done strain and rinse under hot water.  Serve and enjoy!  

Feeds 6-8

Monday, January 23, 2012

Sweet and Spicy Veggie Quinoa

This is one of my favorites!  At my house we simply call this "Chinese".  It's also very easy to fix.  Let's get to it!

  • 2 1/2 cups quinoa
  • 10 cups of your favorite vegetables chopped in bite sized pieces fresh or frozen (I like broccoli, cauliflower, sugar snap peas, chestnuts, and baby corn)
  • 3 cups juice  (Apple for sweeter, lighter flavor, orange for more tart, or try something exotic!)
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/8 cup corn starch
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 4 teaspoons hot sauce (I use Frank's Red Hot)
  • 2 teaspoons seasoning organic seasoning mix (I use an organic blend that is mostly dried onion and garlic)

Start cooking the quinoa first in 5 cups of water, I use a rice cooker with the setting on white rice though it's easy to use a stove top as well.  Start stir frying the vegetables over medium heat in either a wok if you have one or a non-stick frying pan with just a little extra virgin olive oil.  Keep watching the vegetables and stir as needed while you start on the sauce.  In a separate pan or shallow pot over medium heat combine the juice and the soy sauce.  In a small bowl mix the corn starch with just enough water to completely dissolve it stirring with a fork vigorously.   This prevents you from getting lumpy sauce.  Add this to the juice and soy sauce and mix well.  Next add the molasses and the hot sauce continuing to mix well.  Then add the seasoning.  As soon as your sauce starts to bubble turn to simmer and stir occasionally until thick.  When your vegetables are done turn heat to simmer and drain any excess water.  Add the sauce.  Usually by this time your quinoa is done.  Enjoy!

Serves 4-6

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Vegan Frosting


  • 1 stick Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup rice milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Let the Vegan Buttery Sticks soften a bit, either in the microwave for a few seconds or leave on the counter.  Beat in mixer very well until creamy.  Add the rice milk and vanilla, then the powdered sugar and continue beating until smooth and creamy.  Frost away and be happy!

You can also add 2/3 cup cocoa powder before adding powdered sugar for chocolate frosting.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Vegan Sugar Cookies

A great treat and easy way to impress doubters!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.


  • 5 cups unbleached flour
  • 4 tsp aluminum free baking powder
  • 2 cups sugar (I like organic dried cane juice)
  • 1/2 cup rice milk
  • 1 tbs vanilla extract
  • 3 1/4 sticks (13 ounces) Vegan Buttery Sticks (my favorite butter substitute though I'm sure others will do)

In a heavy duty blender beat the Vegan Buttery Sticks and sugar together until very well mixed and fluffy. Mix in baking soda, then the rice milk and vanilla.  Slowly add the flour one cup at a time but be gentle.  Do not over mix.

Grease cookie sheet with extra virgin olive oil or line with parchment paper.  Take golf ball size chunks or slightly smaller and roll into ball, then flatten with hands until about 1/2 to 1/3 inch thick and place on cookie sheet.  If you don't intend to frost you can sprinkle some sugar over the top of the cookies.  Bake for 15 minutes.  Let cookies cool before moving them.  Makes 3 dozen.  Enjoy!

Vegan Frosting coming next!