Veggie Chili with Lentils and Kale

I’m always looking for new ways to make veggie chili! Veggie chili one of those meals that’s so versatile and it’s really hard to mess it up. This time, I wanted to incorporate greens, so I came up with a version that includes steamed kale. You could also use spinach, collards or chard instead of the kale. Also, red lentils are smaller than other lentils and cook quickly with no soaking required! To me, this is a perfect way to get plenty of protein and vitamins in one pot! It’s also super-yummy! ๐Ÿ™‚

HCV_ChiliWithLentilsAndKale - 1 (4)2 cups veggie broth/water
1 small can tomato sauce
1/2 cup red lentils, dry
1 can kidney beans, drained
1 can cannellini (or navy) beans, drained
1-2 carrots, diced small
1/2-1 cup steamed/cooked chopped kale (or other leafy greens)
1/2 pack chili seasoning (or your own blend)
Salt, garlic powder, onion powder, dried parsleyHCV_ChiliWithLentilsAndKale - 1


Bring broth/water and tomato sauce to a boil.
Add chili seasoning and other spices and herbs.
Add lentils and carrots and simmer for about 10 min.


HCV_ChiliWithLentilsAndKale - 1 (1)Add both cans of beans and simmer 5 more min.

Add steamed kale (or other cooked greens)
Adjust seasonings and add a little more broth/water if needed!



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Serve over rice or noodles, or just eat by itself!
You can also top with vegan cheese, vegan sour cream or fresh herbs!

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Pasta with Yellow Pepper Puttanesca Sauce

I always enjoy fresh sauces for pasta during the warm weather, when many vegetables and herbs are in season! This is a simple puttanesca sauce with olives, garlic, capers and red pepper flakes, but it uses yellow bell peppers as the main ingredient, instead of only tomatoes. The sweetness of the peppers and tomatoes balances the saltiness of the olives and capers, and the red pepper flakes give it a little heat! You can adjust the amounts of these other ingredients to your individual taste. ๐Ÿ™‚

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2 yellow bell peppers, cleaned and diced
1 large tomato, seeds removed and diced
1/2 onion, diced small
1 Tblsp olive oil
1-2 cloves garlic

1/2 cup veggie broth
1-2 Tblsp white wine
1/2-1 cup black or kalamata olives, HCV_YellowPepperPuttenesca - 1halved
2 Tblsp fresh basil, chopped
1-2 Tblsp capers
1/8-1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
Spices – salt, parsley, oregano


Heat olive oil in skillet, add onions, garlic and peppers and saute about 5 min.
Add tomatoes and continue to saute another few HCV_YellowPepperPuttenesca - 1 (2)minutes.
Add the broth and wine bring to a simmer.
Lastly, add the olives, capers, fresh basil and other spices.



Serve over any type of pasta (or even rice or grains)!

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Polenta with Mushrooms and Roasted Asparagus

Polenta is so easy to make and is a nice change from rice once in a while! The sweetness of the polenta and its creamy texture pair perfectly with the earthiness of the mushrooms and roasted asparagus. This dish would work well with any other roasted veggies, like zucchini, tomatoes or eggplant. This dish is also nice topped with a fresh ingredient like microgreens, herbs or watercress!!

3 cups broth or water (I use half and half)
1 Tblsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
1 cup cornmeal (medium or coarsely ground)

1 bunch asparagus, trimmed and cut into pieces
1 Tblsp olive oil
Seasoned salt, garlic powder, onion powder

1 package baby bella (cremini) or white mushrooms
1 Tblsp olive oil or vegan margarine
1/4 cup veggie broth
1-2 Tblsp white wine
1/4 tsp seasoned salt
1/4 tsp dried parsley

*Microgreens or herbs to garnish (optional)

HCV_PolentaWithMushroomsAndAsparagus - 1To roast asparagus:
Toss asparagus with olive oil and seasonings.
Spray baking pan with cooking spray and add asparagus.Bake in oven at 375 for 35-40 (or until roasted), tossing occasionally

To make mushroom sauce:
Heat oil or margarine in skillet.
Saute sliced mushrooms on med heat until the become soft and slightly browned.
Add veggie broth, wine and seasonings and bring to a simmer.
Simmer until sauce reduces a little.

HCV_PolentaWithMushroomsAndAsparagus - 1 (1)To make polenta:
Add broth/water, olive oil and salt to a saucepan and bring to boil.
Slowly add cornmeal in a steam into pan, while continually whisking.
Continue to whiskย  (or stir) for a few minutes until polenta is thick and creamy.
You can spoon from pan into serving dish when ready, or spoon into a greased pan.
If using pan, the polenta will firm up and you can cut into squares and re-heat when ready.

HCV_PolentaWithMushroomsAndAsparagus - 1 (2)Assemble dish:
Place polenta on serving dish.
Add roasted asparagus on top of polenta.
Top off with mushroom sauce.
Garnish with micro-greens or herbs.


Voila! So delicious!

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Baked Pasta with Tofu-Cashew Ricotta

This non-dairy ricotta is very versatile and so good in many Italian-style dishes! Other than a baked ziti type of dish like this, you can also use it for lasagna, stuffed shells, manicotti or eggplant rollatini. Make sure you press out as much moisture as you can from the tofu (you can use a weight or apply even pressure holding over sink). The texture of the ricotta is perfect with the combination of cashews and tofu! Plus the lemon juice and vinegar make it slightly tangy. (You can also make a day or two ahead of time and refrigerate it. ๐Ÿ™‚ )

This dish is similar to a baked ziti… There are four components that you need:
– One package of any type of dry pasta (penne, ziti, spiral, etc)
– 2-3 cups tomato/spaghetti/marinara sauce (homemade or store-bought)
– 1 cup cooked spinach (or any other veggies you like)
– 1 batch tofu-cashew ricotta

Start to cook pasta while you make tofu-cashew ricotta.

HCV_BakedPasta - 1 (1)Tofu-Cashew Ricotta: (makes approx 1-1/2 cups)
1/2 block tofu, moisture pressed out
1/2 cup cashews, soaked for a few hours (or boiled for about 10 min)
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk (or other unsweetened non-dairy milk)
1 Tblsp lemon juice
1 Tblsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
Garlic powder


HCV_BakedPasta - 1Make tofu-cashew ricotta:
Add all tofu-cashew ricotta ingredients to food processor bowl except for tofu.
Blend on high until smooth.
Add tofu and blend a few seconds more.
The consistency should resemble ricotta cheese. If needed, add a bit more almond milk.

In large mixing bowl, mix cooked (drained) pasta, cooked spinach, tofu-cashew ricotta and approx 1-1/2 cups tomato sauce, depending on how saucy you like it.

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Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Spread 1/2 cup tomato sauce in bottom of 9×13 pan.Add pasta mixture and spread evenly.
Spoon 1/2 cup tomato sauce on top.
(Sprinkle nutritional yeast or shredded vegan cheeseon top if desired)
Cover with aluminum foil and bake 40 minutes or until heated through and bubbly.


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