Tom Yum Soup with Tofu and Mushrooms

One of my favorite Asian vegetarian restaurants serves the best tom yum soup! It has a delicious lemongrass-infused broth with just the right amount of heat. It also has sliced mushrooms and cubed tofu (great for protein!) in it. This is my attempt to capture the same flavors in my homemade version! Lemongrass can be found in Whole Foods, Asian or specialty markets.
(Note: You can also add 1 cup coconut milk at the end for a creamier soup!)

hcv_tomyumsoup-1-14 cups veggie broth/stock
2 cups water
1/2 med onion, minced (or 1/2 tsp onion powder)
2-3 cloves garlic, minced (or 1/4 tsp garlic powder)
1″ piece ginger, peeled and minced (or 1/4 tsp powdered ginger)
2 cups white mushrooms, sliced
2 Tblsp olive oil
3 Tblsp
Thai chili sauce/paste
5 stalks lemongrass, chopped in 1-2″ pieces
1/2 block extra-firm tofu, pressed and cubed
1 tsp salt
Cooked white rice (optional)

Lime wedges
Fresh cilantro

hcv_tomyumsoup-1In a soup pot, hear 1 Tblsp olive oil and add onions, garlic and ginger.
Saute a few min until soft.
Add another 1 Tblsp olive oil and sliced mushrooms.
Saute 5-10 min until mushrooms are cooked and slightly browned.
Add veggie stock and water.
Add chili paste, lemongrass and salt.
Bring to a boil and simmer for 12-15 min.
Add cubed tofu piece and simmer 5 min.
(Stir in some cooked white rice at end if desired!)

Garnish with lime wedge & fresh cilantro –
The fresh lime juice really brightens the flavors!


Mom’s Stuffed Peppers

Let me just say, as far as comfort food goes… I love stuffed peppers! They are very easy to make vegan, and I’ve stuffed them with all types of fillings made from ingredients like beans, tofu, lentils, rice and veggies. But back when I was growing up, my Mom would make them the traditional way, stuffed with ground meat and rice. As much as I’m not a huge fan of faux meats, I really enjoy some of the Beyond Meat products, including their Beefy Crumbles (found in the frozen food aisle). They are soy-free, gluten-free and non-GMO, high in protein, and have great texture and seasoning. They are very versatile and can be added to all kinds of dishes! (Note: If you don’t want to use Beefy Crumbles, you can substitute 1 cup cooked lentils) 🙂


3-4 large bell peppers (any color)
1 cup of rice (any style), uncooked
2 cups veggie broth
1 pkg white mushrooms, chopped
1 med onion, chopped
1 small can tomato paste
1 cup (or approx 1/2 bag) Beyond Meat beefy crumbles
Seasonings: Salt, onion powder, garlic powder, dried parsley



Pre-heat over to 350 degrees.
Cut peppers length-wise and clean.
Arrange cut side up in baking pan.

Bring veggie broth and seasonings to a boil and add rice.
Cover and simmer according to type of rice (usually 15-17 min for white rice)


hcv_stuffedpeppersbeefycrumbles-1-1While rice is cooking, heat oil in a frying pan.
Add onion and mushrooms and cook until tender.
Add beef crumbles and saute a few more minutes.




hcv_stuffedpeppersbeefycrumbles-1-3Add saute mixture to rice and combine well.
Spoon rice mixture into pepper halves.
Top each pepper with some tomato paste.
Add 1/4″ water to bottom of baking pan and cover with foil.



Bake at 350 for 40 min covered and 10 min uncovered.
(Btw, they smell heavenly in the oven!)







These are great served with a green veggie or salad!


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 whisk  (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!

HCV_PolentaWithMushroomsAndAsparagus - 1 (5)

White Bean, Mushroom & Kale Soup

I was trying to come up with a soup with bold, deep flavors, and this fits the bill! The combination of the white beans, mushrooms and kale lends a rustic earthiness to this soup. Plus this soup is loaded with protein, B vitamins and minerals. I used a wild rice blend in my version, but any grain (like white rice, brown rice or barley) can be substituted. Also, you can add any dried herbs that you like… Italian herbs, parsley, thyme, sage, etc instead. This recipe serves four, but can be easily doubled!

HCV_WhiteBeanAndKaleSoup - 1 (1)2 cups veggie broth + 2 cups water
2 cups cremini (babybella) mushrooms, cleaned and chopped
2 cups kale, tough stems removed, and chopped
1 can navy beans (or cannellini beans)
1/2 cup wild rice blend (or white/brown rice, or barley)
2 Tblsp tamari or soy sauce
Onion powder, garlic powder, powdered ginger
Dried herbs

HCV_WhiteBeanAndKaleSoup - 1 (2)Saute mushrooms in 1 Tblsp olive oil or vegan margarine.
Saute 5 -10 min.

Start cooking rice (or any other grain you like) according to directions.

In soup pot, add broth, water and tamari/soy sauce.
Bring to boil.
Add chopped kale.
Add navy beans.
Add sauteed mushrooms.
Add spices and herbs.
HCV_WhiteBeanAndKaleSoup - 1 (3)Simmer 10-12 min until kale is tender
Add cooked rice and adjust seasonings if necessary.
Simmer a few more min.



This soup is great served with a green salad and some crusty bread!

HCV_WhiteBeanAndKaleSoup - 1 (4)

White Chili

This is another version of veggie chili that I really love. It’s much lighter in color due to the navy beans, chickpeas and mushrooms, but delivers just as much flavor! It’s high in protein due to the beans and chickpeas, and high in B vitamins and minerals due to the mushrooms.This is great served over rice and very kid-friendly. 🙂

HCV_WhiteChili - 1 (1)2 cups veggie broth
1 can navy beans (or any white beans)
1 can chickpeas or garbanzo beans
1 pkg cremini (baby bella) or white mushrooms, cleaned and chopped small
1 small can tomato sauce
1 large potato, peeled and diced small
2-3 carrots, peeled and diced small
1 cup rice
Seasonings – salt, pepper. garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, chipotle powder
Toppings/garnish (optional) – Shredded vegan Daiya cheese, chopped onion, fresh herbs

HCV_WhiteChili - 1 (2)

Start to cook rice in a separate pot.


Combine veggie broth and tomato sauce in pot and add any chili seasonings that you like. Bring to a boil and add diced potatoes and carrots.
SImmer 8-10 min.

In the meantime, saute mushrooms in a little oil.
When mushrooms are soft and cooked through, add to chili.
Drain navy beans and garbanzo beans and add to chili.

HCV_WhiteChili - 1 (3)

Simmer 5-7 more min.
Adjust seasoning if necessary.




Serve over rice and garnish with vegan cheese, onions or herbs!


HCV_WhiteChili - 1

Vegetable Udon Soup

If you’ve never had fresh udon noodles (Japanese noodles made from wheat flour) before, they are definitely worth seeking out! You can usually find them in the refrigerated section of any Asian market. If you don’t have access to an Asian market, fear not… the dried variety work well too! Or if you would like a gluten free option, rice noodles are excellent in this soup! This version has all vegetables, but I also like to add cubed firm tofu to this soup sometimes for added protein!

HCV_UdonSoup - 13 cups veggie broth
3 cups water
I package udon noodles (fresh or dried)
1 small bunch broccoli, cut in florets
2-3 carrots, sliced
1 pkg sliced cremini (baby bella) mushrooms
1 small can sliced water chestnuts, drained
1 can baby corn, drained and chopped bite-size pieces

2 Tblsp soy sauce or tamariHCV_UdonSoup - 1 (1)
Spices – garlic powder, onion powder, powdered ginger
Sliced green onions (optional, for garnish)



Start sauteing sliced mushrooms in a little margarine or oil.

HCV_UdonSoup - 1 (3)Start cooking noodles according to package directions.

While mushrooms and noodles are cooking, add broth and water to a soup pot. Add soy sauce, garlic powder, powdered ginger and any other spices you like. (You can also saute fresh chopped onion, garlic and ginger in a little oil first)
Bring to boil and add carrots and broccoli
Simmer for 5-7 min
Add water chestnuts, baby corn and mushrooms
Simmer another 5 min
Adjust seasoning if necessary
Lastly, drain noodles and add to soup

You can garnish with sliced green onion if desired!

HCV_UdonSoup - 1 (2)Enjoy! Just a side note… a ceramic soup spoon and chopsticks work great when eating this soup! 🙂


Creamy Potato Leek Soup with Smoky Shiitake Bits

This potato leek soup is healthy and delicious… no butter or heavy cream needed! And it’s topped with salty, smoky mushroom bits that you can make while the soup is cooking! I highly recommend investing in an immersion blender. They are inexpensive and come in so handy with dishes like this!

CreamyPotatoLeekSoup - 1 (6)5 cups veggie broth or water (I use half of each)
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
4 large potatoes, peeled and chopped
2 leeks, cleaned and sliced
2 Tblsp olive oil
Spices – Salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder
Herbs – Dried parsley, ground thyme, bay leaf

Mushroom bits:
1 pkg shiitake or cremini mushrooms, cleaned and sliced thin
1 Tblsp tamari or soy sauce
1 tsp olive oil
1/8 tsp smoked sea salt

CreamyPotatoLeekSoup - 1 (2)Clean leeks by first cutting off tough dark green parts and bottoms
Slice in half lengthwise and run under cold water, being careful to clean out any dirt or sand in the layers
Chop white and light green parts
Saute in 2 Tblsp olive oil until soft and slightly caramelized

While leeks are sauteing, bring veggie broth/water plus herbs and spices to boil
Add chopped potatoes and cook approx 15 min until tender
Add sauteed leeks
Simmer 5-10 more min
CreamyPotatoLeekSoup - 1 (3)Puree with immersion blender or in food processor
Stir in unsweetened almond milk

Mix sliced mushrooms with other ingredients listed for mushroom bits
Heat 1 Tblsp of oil in a skillet and saute mushrooms for 10-12 min, tossing occasionally
Drain on paper towel



CreamyPotatoLeekSoup - 1 (5)Serve soup topped with mushroom bits and dried/fresh parsley or chives!

Lentil and Veggie Shepherd’s Pie

Shepherd’s pie is definitely comfort food, and this one is so healthy, with lentils and familiar veggies that kids love! Lentils add protein and fiber to this dish, and you can use any combo of vegetables that you like. Mushrooms provide a nice texture with the lentils, but you can leave them out if you wish, or replace with sauteed, diced onion, zucchini, etc. A can of diced or crushed tomatoes is also a nice addition to the lentil and veggie mixture for the base. The key to making this is in the timing. While the lentils are cooking, saute any other veggies like mushrooms or onions, and also make mashed potatoes!

(Note: Smaller lentils like French lentils or red lentils will cook faster than the larger ones that are light brown in color.)

HCV_VeggieShepherdsPie - 11 cup dry lentils (If possible soak lentils the night before or at least a few hours – they will double in size and also cook much faster)
2 cups veggie broth
1 cup frozen mixed veggies (i.e. corn,carrots,peas,green beans)
1-2 cups mushrooms, chopped small
4 med potatoes, peeled and chopped (for mashed potatoes)
Spices – Salt, onion powder, garlic powder
Herbs – Parsley, sage

HCV_VeggieShepherdsPie - 1 (1)Bring veggies broth plus herbs and spices to boil. Rinse and drain lentils and add to broth. Cook until soft (approx 20-45 depending on type of lentils)
Add extra broth if necessary – should be a little soupy

In the meantime, start making mashed potatoes. Boil water (add salt) and add potatoes.
When potatoes are soft, mash with salt, pepper, 2 Tblsp margarine and 1/2 cup unsweetened almond or soy milk


Saute chopped mushrooms in a little margarine or oil.HCV_VeggieShepherdsPie - 1 (2)

When lentils are soft, add mushrooms and mixed veggies and cook 10 min longer.


Put layer of lentil mixture in pie dish (spray with cooking spray first)
Spread layer of mashed potatoes on top
Cook 350 degrees about 40 min and then broil 5 min to brown top


Enjoy! This is also great for leftovers and can be easily reheated in the microwave!

HCV_VeggieShepherdsPie - 1 (9)


Asian-style Quinoa and Veggies

Here’s another one of my easy Meatless Monday ideas with only 4 main ingredients!! Quinoa with veggies and Asian-style sauce. (One serving of quinoa has 8 grams of protein! You can find it in most supermarkets, as well as Trader Joe’s) You can substitute or add other veggies as well!
1_ - 1 (85)
 1 cup uncooked quinoa, well-rinsed
 2 cups Veggie broth/water

2 Tblsp soy sauce or tamari
2 tsp rice vinegar
1 tsp toasted sesame oil (or olive oil)



Bring veg broth/water to boil.
Add quinoa, return to boil, cover and simmer 20 min until quinoa is translucent.
While quinoa is cooking, cook broccoli & mushrooms (boil, steam, stir-fry or saute) I like to boil/steam broccoli & saute mushrooms.
Mix quinoa, broccoli and mushrooms together
Mix sauce ingredients and add to mixture (plus some garlic powder and powdered ginger)

There you have it! Enjoy!