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. 🙂

HCV_YellowPepperPuttenesca - 1 (1)
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)!

HCV_YellowPepperPuttenesca - 1 (4)

Brown Rice Pasta with Roasted Asparagus and Tomatoes

There’s something about pasta with tomato sauce and asparagus that just goes together beautifully! If you haven’t tried brown rice pasta yet, consider trying it as an alternative to traditional pasta. It’s gluten-free and has a wonderful flavor and texture! Another ingredient that’s very versatile in plant-based meals is nutritional yeast. Its name may sound strange, but you can use it like Parmesan cheese and it’s especially great on Italian dishes! (It’s also high in B vitamins.) This pasta dish is super-simple, but very satisfying. While the veggies are roasting, cook your pasta and heat up your sauce, and you’re done! (Also, my local supermarket carries brown rice pasta and nutritional yeast, so they shouldn’t be too hard to find.)


Brown rice pasta (I likeHCV_BrownRicePastaWithAsparagus - 1 (1)HCV_BrownRicePastaWithAsparagus - 1Tinkyada brand)
Tomato or marinara sauce
Fresh tomatoes
Olives oil
Herbs and spices
Nutritional yeast (optional – I like Red Star brand)


Trim tough ends off asparagus and chop into pieces.
De-seed and chop fresh tomatoes.HCV_BrownRicePastaWithAsparagus - 1 (2)
Toss asparagus and tomatoes in olive oil.
Add salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder and parsley flakes.
Bake at 375 for 30-40 minutes, tossing occasionally.



HCV_BrownRicePastaWithAsparagus - 1 (3)Cook pasta (if using brown rice pasta, rinse after cooking).
Heat tomato or marinara sauce.



Top pasta with marinara, and then roasted asparagus and tomatoes.
HCV_BrownRicePastaWithAsparagus - 1 (4)

Sprinkle with nutritional yeast to for some added flavor.



Yellow Rice with Black Beans and Veggies

Turmeric and cumin (plus other seasonings) give yellow rice so much flavor! When making this dish, saute the diced veggies while the rice is cooking, and then add a can of black beans. You can use any combo of diced veggies that you have on hand. Couldn’t be easier… and it’s full of protein and healthy veggies!

HCV_YellowRice - 1Yellow rice:
1-1/2  cups rice (white, basmati, jasmine)
2 cups veggie broth + 1 cup water
1 Tblsp margarine or olive oil
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp ground cumin
Salt, garlic powder, onion powder
Dried parsley
Hot pepper or taco spice (optional)

HCV_YellowRice - 1 (1)1 can black beans, drained
Frozen corn (optional)



Make yellow rice:
Add broth and HCV_YellowRice - 1 (2)water to a large saucepan
Add margarine or olive oil
Add turmeric and cumin
Add other spices
Bring to a boil
Stir in rice and cover
Lower heat and simmer for approx 17 min

While rice is cooking, dice veggies small
(I like zucchini, tomato, broccoli, onion)
Saute in a little oil until soft
Add black beans and saute another minute
(You can also add some corn at this point)

HCV_YellowRice - 1 (4)Combine rice and veggie/bean mixture
Adjust seasoning if necessary

Great served with avocado slices and lime wedge!

Stuffed Peppers with Rice and Veggies

I remember growing up when my mother would make stuffed peppers, and I would love the way they smelled when baking in the oven! This version has a delicious seasoned rice and veggie filling. You can use any combo of veggies that you like! Chopped mushrooms and fresh herbs would be nice additions too. These are so flavorful and so inexpensive to make!

HCV_StuffedPeppers - 1 (1)5 bell peppers (green, red, yellow or orange)
1 cup rice (white, basmati or jasmine)
1 small can tomato paste
2 cups chopped veggies, diced small (I used zucchini,carrots,celery,onions and broccoli)
Herbs and spices



HCV_StuffedPeppers - 1 (2)After the veggies are chopped, heat 2 Tbsp oil in a skillet.
Add veggies and cook saute until soft.
Bring 2 cups water (or broth) + 1 Tbsp tomato paste to a boil.
Add rice, cover and cook approx 17 min.

While veggies and rice are cooking, slice top off of peppers and clean out the pulp and seeds. You may also have to slice a little off the bottom so they sit flat.



HCV_StuffedPeppers - 1 (3)When veggies and rice are cooked, combine both, along with herbs and spices. (salt, pepper, garlic powder, parsley… I also like to add a little spicy taco seasoning)
Fill peppers with rice and veggie filling,
Spread some tomato paste on top of each pepper.
Set peppers in a baking pan.



HCV_StuffedPeppers - 1 (4)Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Pour a little water (1/2 cup-1 cup) in bottom of pan (this will help peppers to steam and cook)
Cover pan with foil and bake 40 min covered, and 10 min uncovered


HCV_StuffedPeppers - 1 (5)
Stuffed peppers are so delicious and kid-friendly! They also re-heat very well!

Penne with Vodka-Tomato-Cream Sauce

Vodka tomato cream sauce always sounds so good, but it’s traditionally very decadent and made with butter, heavy cream and Parmesan cheese. I’m happy to report that it doesn’t have to be this way. This version is super-creamy and flavorful and best of all it’s dairy-free! Instead, it includes “cashew cream”. Cashew cream is a magical thing… it can be added to soups, sauces and casseroles to give a rich, creamy flavor!

HCV_PenneVodkaSauce - 11 can crushed tomatoes
1/3 cup veggie broth
1/4 cup vodka
1 cup cashew cream (see below)
Salt, garlic powder, onion powder
Basil, oregano, parsley
1/2 box penne pasta

Cashew cream: (makes 2 cups)
1 cup unsalted cashews, soaked for a few hours
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 Tblsp lemon juice
1 Tblsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
Garlic powder
HCV_PenneVodkaSauce - 1 (1)
To make the cashew cream, drain cashews. Add to food processor with other ingredients and blend until smooth. (This will make approx. 2 cups, so you can use the other half for another recipe)
Start cooking penne pasta.

In a large skillet, add crushed tomatoes and veggie broth (or you can first saute fresh garlic and onion if you prefer)
Add herbs and spices.
Bring to a simmer and add vodka (alcohol will cook off).
Simmer for a few minutes.
Lastly, stir in 1 cup of the cashew cream.
Add cooked penne to skillet and toss with sauce.

HCV_PenneVodkaSauce - 1 (2)This pasta is rich and creamy, and very satisfying! You can also sprinkle with fresh parsley or red pepper flakes.
Serve with a green vegetable or green salad!

Greek-inspired Bean and Veggie Stew

There are so many elements of Greek food that I love… Kalamata olives, tomatoes, artichokes, spinach and olive oil to name a few! I decided to come up with a stew that incorporates many of these ingredients with a light, flavorful sauce! You can play with the spices and add any combination that you like. In addition to what I used, basil, thyme and marjoram would also be good. I’m looking forward to making this dish again in the summer with fresh herbs from my garden!


HCV_GreekStew - 1

1 large potato (or two med size), peeled and diced
Grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
Fresh spinach
1 can navy (or white) beans, drained
1 can artichoke hearts, chopped
Kalamata olives, pitted
Oil for sauteing
Steamed rice

3/4 cup vegetable brothHCV_GreekStew - 1 (1)
1-2 Tblsp lemon juice
1-2 Tblsp white wine
Spices – Salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, dill, parsley
Saute potatoes (if you like, can also add peppers, onions, garlic) in skillet in a little olive oil or canola oil. Cook 5-10 min.
Add olives, tomatoes and artichokes. Saute a few more minutes.
Add beans.
Mix sauce ingredients and add sauce to skillet. Add fresh spinach and cover.
Simmer for 5-10 min covered until spinach is wilted.
(You can add a little more broth if needed)

HCV_GreekStew - 1 (2)

Serve over rice and enjoy!






HCV_GreekStew - 1 (3)




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!