Roasted Balsamic Cauliflower

This is my absolute favorite way to prepare cauliflower! It’s super-easy to make, but you have to plan a little in advance since it takes 45 minutes to roast. The end result is worth it though! Beautifully roasted, caramelized cauliflower with tons of flavor! It doesn’t last long in my house 🙂

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1 head cauliflower
3 Tblsp olive oil
2 Tblsp balsamic vinegar
Spices (Salt, Garlic powder, Onion powder, Dried parsley)




Preheat oven to 400 degreesHCV_RoastedCauliflower - 1 (1)
Cut cauliflower into small florets
Toss in large bowl with rest of the ingredients
Spread in roasting pan (use cooking spray first)
Bake for 45 minutes, tossing occasionally



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Enjoy on its own or as a side dish to any meal!

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Tofu Scramble

Soybeans are a great source of protein, and I think they’re best in their truest, least processed forms… to me, this means edamame, tofu or tempeh. You might think that you don’t like tofu… that it’s spongy and flavorless. Even though it might seem boring and bland on its own, this is one of my fool-proof ways to prepare it, and it’s quite easy and delicious! It’s very similar in look and texture to scrambled eggs, but without all the cholesterol! I love to eat this with fried potatoes and/or toast!

1 block firm tofu
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp dry mustard powder
Spices (salt, garlic powder, onion powder)
Veggies such as leaf spinach, chopped mushrooms, onions, potatoes, tomatoes or fresh herbs – whatever you like!

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The key is to press out as much moisture from the tofu as you can. You can put weights on top of a plate to press it, but I usually don’t have the time or patience. Instead, I slice up the block of tofu and then take about half the slices at a time and press them together with my hands over the sink or a bowl. Repeat a few times and you can press out much of the moisture.



HCV_TofuScramble - 1 (5)Once most of the moisture is pressed out, add the tofu slices to a large bowl and crumble with a fork. Add soy sauce, olive oil, turmeric, dry mustard and any other spices. I like to add salt, garlic powder and onion powder.

Now you’re ready to cook it. First, stir-fry your chopped veggies in a skillet in a little oil. I added spinach and mushrooms to this batch. Then add the tofu mixture. Cook for a few minutes, tossing in the pan until everything is heated through. It will turn an even brighter yellow as you cook it!


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Enjoy for
breakfast or any meal of the day!

Bean and Zucchini Veggie Chili

I’ve been eating a plant-based diet for almost twenty years, and have made more variations of veggie chili than I can remember! The real question is… what to use for the base? I’ve tried bulgar wheat, barley, lentils and different types of veggie faux ground meat to name a few. When it was all said and done, I decided that what I liked best as the base for veggie chili was… um, veggies!! In particular, I love lots of diced, sauteed zucchini. I added some diced carrots in this version, but you can also add onions, yellow squash, potatoes, sweet potatoes, corn, etc!

2 cups veggie broth/water
1 can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can chickpeas, drained
1 can beans (kidney, pinto or black), drained
1 large or 2 small zucchini, diced small
2-3 carrots, diced small
Chili seasoning



In a large frying pan, start sauteing the diced HCV_ZucchiniChili3zucchini and carrots (plus any other veggies) in a little oil. (You can add fresh onion and garlic to the saute if you prefer and have time)

In the meantime, in a large pot, add veg broth/water and diced tomatoes (with juice). Add the spices. I add chili seasoning, salt, garlic powder, onion powder and parsley. Add the beans and chickpeas. Bring to a boil.

Once the sauteed veggies are soft (approx 10-15 min), add to the pot with the broth/beans and simmer for a few minutes.
Voila, done!

This is great with chopped avocado, guacamole or some grated Daiya dairy-free cheddar on top! You can also serve with rice or noodles!

Vegetable Thai Red Curry

One of my favorite dishes to order at Thai restaurants is Vegetarian Red Curry. You can use any veggies in this dish, but I picked ones similar to the restaurant version I’ve had, plus they happen to be kid-friendly veggies. Honestly, I have made this dish so many times with many, many different combinations of veggies, sometimes adding tofu as well. You can find Thai chili sauce/paste in the grocery store in the international section. Some brands are spicier than others. The Kikkoman brand is both sweet and mildly spicy (others spicier brands are Thai Kitchen and Taste of Thai). The coconut milk adds creaminess to the sauce and the Thai chili sauce adds some sweetness and spice… Yum!
(Note: You can use the rest of the can of coconut milk in a smoothie!)

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Small bunch broccoli, cut into pieces
3 carrots, sliced on bias
1 small potato (or sweet potato)
1 red bell pepper, cut into pieces
1-1/2 cups green beans
1 small can bamboo shoots (optional)
Steamed white rice


HCV_VegetableThaiRedCurry - 1 (4)Sauce:
1 cup veggie broth
3/4 cup coconut milk (canned)
1-2 Tblsp Thai red chili sauce/paste
1 Tblsp agave nectar (or other sweetener)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp mild curry powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp powdered ginger
1/8 tsp dried basil (or 4-5 leaves of fresh)


Start to cook the veggies in a separate pot or pan the way you like – boiled, steamed or sauteed.

While the veggies are cooking, start the sauce in a large skillet. Add broth, coconut milk Thai chili sauce/paste, and agave nectar. Bring to a simmer and then add spices. (Fresh basil is good too if you have it!)

Lastly add cooked veggies and bamboo shoots to the skillet and simmer a few more minutes. (At this point, if you prefer a thicker sauce, you can add some cornstarch dissolved in a little water. Stir into simmering sauce.)

HCV_VegetableThaiRedCurry - 1 (1)This is another version I made with asparagus, zucchini, carrots and spinach! You can add tofu also…





Serve with steamed rice and enjoy!


Pureed Red Lentil Soup

One of my favorite Italian/Mediterranean restaurants has a pureed red lentil soup that is to die for! I’ve been on a mission to recreate it, and I think I’ve succeeded. Now instead of spending 5 bucks on a cup of soup, I can make a whole pot for the same price!
(Note: Red lentils are much smaller than other types of lentils and therefore, don’t need to be soaked ahead of time. My grocery store carries the Bob’s Red Mill brand and the Goya brand. Also, a hand-held immersion blender is a great investment and the perfect tool for making pureed soups. I also use it for potato-leek soup and squash soup!)
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1-1/2 cups red lentils, uncooked
6 cups veggie broth/water
2 med potatoes, diced
3 carrots, diced
1 small can tomato sauce
1 Tblsp lemon juice (optional)



Bring broth/water and tomato sauce to a boilHCV_RedLentilSoup2
Add red lentils
Add potatoes and carrots
Add herbs and spices (I use salt, garlic powder, onion powder, parsley and curry powder)
Simmer for 25 min.
At the end, add lemon juice (this adds some freshness and acidity)

You can eat this soup at this point (i.e. chunky), or puree with hand-held immersion blender.
(I prefer it pureed, but it’s good either way!)

Enjoy with a green salad or some garlic bread, or both!

Banana Oat “Cookies”

I was going to refrain from calling these cookies since they don’t contain any flour, butter or sugar. What they do contain however, are good carbs, fiber and vitamins! Plus they are sweet and delicious, and great for a quick snack or breakfast! (Note: For convenience, I buy a package of single-serving natural applesauce and use one serving for each batch of these)

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2 ripe bananas
1/3 cup apple sauce
2 cups rolled oats (reg or gluten-free)
1/4 cup almond or soy milk
1-2 Tblsp peanut butter

1/2 cup raisins (or choc chips or 1/4 cup of each)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350.
Mash bananas with fork.HCV_ - 1 (2)
Add appleasauce, almond milk and vanilla.
Stir in peanut butter until smooth.
Add rolled oats and cinnamon, and stir.
Stir in raisins and/or choc chips.

Make small mounds on cookie sheet (use cooking spray or parchment first)
Bake approx 17 minutes. Cool on racks. (Makes 24-28)

Enjoy! These are a guiltless treat!

Sweet Potato, Carrot and Kale Stew with Peanut Sauce

This recipe is so delicious! It has the sweetness of the sweet potato and carrots, offset by the earthiness of the kale, plus the creaminess of the peanut butter. There are only three vegetables and only three main ingredients in the sauce!! This recipe is high in nutrients, such as beta-carotine, Vitamin A, and calcium to name only a few!HCV - 1 (10)

1-2 sweet potatoes, cubed
3 carrots, chopped
1 small bunch of kale, rough cut with tough stems removed
(or you can substitute fresh/frozen spinach)

1 cup vegetable broth
1 can diced tomatoes (incl juice)
3 Tblsp peanut butter

Optional: Crushed peanuts to sprinkle on topHCV - 1 (11)

Start to cook vegetables. I like to boil sweet potatoes and carrots (until tender, approx. 15 min.) You can add kale to the same pot to make it easy, or I like to saute kale separately in a little olive oil and then steam with a little added water or broth.

To make the sauce: Add veg broth and diced tomatoes to a large skillet. Bring to boil and add peanut butter and spices (I used salt, garlic powder, onion powder and a little curry powder).

When vegetables are cooked, add to skillet and simmer a few more minute (Add more broth if needed). Serve with crushed peanuts sprinkled on top!

Not’cho Ordinary Nachos

Nachos are one of my favorite things in the world to eat! They usually don’t have the reputation for being healthy though (especially when ordering out!), and they typically include things like taco meat/chili, cheese and sour cream. Luckily it doesn’t have to be this way! My plant-based version is much healthier and superyummy!
(Note: These ingredients also work for a veggie taco night! Just substitute taco shells.)HCV - 1 (6)

Tortilla chips (healthy/organic brand)
1 can chili beans in sauce
1 small can sliced black olives
1 small can green chilis
Salsa (healthy/organic brand)
Optional: Daiya dairy-free cheese

Lettuce, chopped/shredded
Tomato, diced small
Green onions, chopped small

Make guacamole by mashing avocados with fresh lime juice, salt and cilantro.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Spread tortilla chips on baking sheet
Mash chili beans w/sauce (I use a potato masher) and stir in taco seasonings (or any seasonings or hot sauce you like)
Spoon bean mixture over tortilla chips
Sprinkle with a little shredded dairy-free cheese if you’d like
Bake 10-12 min

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Now everyone can add their own toppings… lettuce, tomato, green onions, black olives, green chilis, salsa, guacamole and fresh lime.


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Tempeh Bacon

If you haven’t worked with tempeh before, it may seem a little strange. It’s a soybean product (or can include other grains too) that you can usually find in the refrigerated section of grocery store next to the tofu (Lightlife is a brand that many stores carry). Tempeh comes pressed in a long flat block. It has a crumbly texture and somewhat nutty taste. It’s very versatile and will take on any flavors you cook or marinate it in, similar to the way that tofu does. One of the great things about tempeh is that one serving has 16 grams of protein! This tempeh bacon is best marinated for a few hours or even better, overnight. It’s delicious on it’s own, part of a healthy breakfast or on BLT’s (especially with avocado… BLTA’s!) It’s salty and smoky, and full of flavor!

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1 pkg tempeh
3 Tblsp soy sauce or tamari
2 Tblsp balsamic glaze (found near balsamic vinegar in grocery store)

1 Tblsp olive oil
1/2 tsp smoked salt (or you can add some liquid smoke)



Cut tempeh in quarters, and each quarter 1_ - 1 (62)lengthwise into 3 slices (12 total). Use a serrated knife since it’s a little crumbly.
Mix rest of ingredients for marinade
Put tempeh slices in flat pan and cover well with glaze
Marinate a few hours or overnight

Pan-fry slices in a little oil for a few min on each side.
Drain on paper towel and serve.

Vegetable Bean Soup

This vegetable bean soup is the best, and it’s so simple to make! It’s great any time of year and you can use any combo of fresh and frozen veggies. It has one can of beans (I like kidney beans) and a tomato broth with spices/herbs. I also love to add rice to this soup (I use a wild rice blend called Royal Blend). I find that kids love this soup and it’s great for leftovers in lunch boxes too! 🙂1_ - 1 (84)

6 cups veggie broth/water
1 small can tomato sauce
Potato, 1 large diced
Carrots, 2-3 diced
Broccoli, cut into florets
Peas, 1/2 cup frozen
Corn, 1/2 cup frozen
1 can kidney beans, drained
Optional: 1/2 cup white, brown or wild rice (uncooked)



Bring veggie broth/water plus tomato sauce to a boil. (if making rice, start in another pot)
Add salt, pepper and dried spices (onion powder, garlic powder, thyme, sage and parsley)
Add potatoes, carrots and broccoli
Simmer for 8-10 min
Add beans plus frozen peas and corn
Simmer 8-10 more minutes
Add cooked rice at end

This soup is great served with garlic bread!