Category Archives: vegetarian

Vegetable Pot Pie

I love Pot Pie and being vegetarian, I normally just pick out the chicken when I make this for my family, but this week we didn’t have chicken on hand and I thought I’d just add in some extra veggies and make a veggie pot pie. It was so yummy! My kids liked it too, though one mostly ate the potatoes and one mostly ate the crust…eh, it’s all good. I think this dish is more about the gravy, potatoes and the pie crust anyway! I even found a whole wheat pie crust at the store so this dish was pretty easy to put together.

This is what I put in my pot pie, but you can use a variety of veggies depending on what you have on hand. As you can see I used a little fresh and frozen. I think next time I’ll add in some cauliflower, too.

I made my homemade vegan gravy as the veggies boiled, and then I mixed veggies and gravy together and put them in the bottom of my mostly unbaked pie crust (You bake it for 5 minutes prior to adding in the veggies).

I placed another unbaked pie dough on top, pinched the edges, cut a few slits in the top to let the steam out and then placed it on a baking sheet (in case some gravy dripped out while cooking; I hate cleaning ovens) and put it in the oven.

Vegetable Pot Pie (vegan)
Serves 6-8

1 c diced carrots
1 russet potato, peeled and cubed
2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
1/3 c white or yellow onion, diced
1 c frozen green peas
optional: 1 c diced cauliflower, 1 c corn, etc
2 c gravy (CLICK HERE for my favorite gravy, and it’s vegan)
two 9-inch unbaked pie crusts (I used a whole wheat version but can use gluten-free or regular pie crust)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a jelly roll pan or baking sheet with silicone or foil to keep any filling from dripping and burning in your oven. Place one 9-inch pie dough crust in a pie pan and bake for 5 minutes and then set aside. In a medium saucepan, combine carrots, potatoes, onions and celery(or whatever optional chopped veggies you choose). Cover with water, bring to a boil and cook until the potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. During the last 3 minutes, add the frozen peas. Remove from heat, drain and set aside. While that’s cooking if you haven’t yet made gravy, do so now. Mix the gravy and cooked vegetables together and pour into the partially baked pie crust. Top with the second unbaked pie crust, pinch the edges together and cut a few slits in the top with a knife so the steam can release. Bake for about 25 minutes or until crust is golden. Allow to sit for 10 minutes before serving. Cut into 6-8 slices and serve.


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Vegan Sweet Potato Enchiladas

While taking my whole foods plant based nutrition class( aka WFPB, which I recently finished!!! Woot, woot!!), I searched our library and checked out various “China Study Cookbooks” …a total of 5. All of these cookbooks are WFPB which basically means the recipes not only vegan with no animal products, but also no processed foods including oils, refined sugars, and flours. I’ve been experimenting with the recipes and so far we’ve found a few keepers, one of which, is this recipe for Sweet Potato Enchiladas, which I adjusted some. My husband wasn’t too excited about the idea of having enchiladas without cheese, but he gave them a try and during dinner he commented a couple of times on how good they were, and afterwards he suggested we hold on to this recipe :). So, into my blog it goes because this is where my collection of our favorites are and I love that anyone in my house, can look up the recipe and make it, without mom!

You’ll want to make sure you’ve baked your sweet potato ahead of time. I prick the potato before cooking, put it in a 9×13 pan lined with foil, and cook it in the peel, without washing for about an hour at 400 degrees. You’ll know when it’s done because some of the juice will start seeping out of the holes from where you pricked it. Allow it to cool before peeling the skin so you don’t burn yourself.

Start off by preheating your oven to 350 degrees. In a large skillet, saute onions, garlic, cumin and coriander in vegetable broth over medium-high heat until the onions are light brown. Add the coconut aminos/soy sauce and spinach. Cook for a minute or two until spinach wilts. Remove from heat. Fold in sweet potatoes, black beans and salt.

Place a couple tablespoons of the mixture into the center of each tortilla and roll. Place the enchiladas, seam-side down, in a 9×13 baking dish.

Pour salsa on top and cover with aluminum foil. I like my food with a bit of spice so we used a Medium-heat salsa. I like this La Victoria Brand, and also Pace or Picante. Bake the covered enchiladas for 25 minutes.

Serve warm with sides. We love brown rice/quinoa, black beans, greens, corn and guacamole or chopped avocados.

Sweet Potato Enchiladas
*Serves 6

3/4 c diced onions
4 garlic cloves, minced (or 2 tsp minced garlic)
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
2 Tbsp vegetable broth
2 Tbsp coconut aminos (or soy sauce or braggs liquid aminos)
1 c chopped spinach
1 c baked sweet potato, mashed
1 c cooked black beans (or canned black beans)
1/4 tsp sea salt
14 corn tortillas
2 c favorite salsa (I love the medium heat La Victoria or Pace)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large skillet, saute onions, garlic, cumin and coriander in vegetable broth over medium-high heat until onions are light brown. Add soy sauce and spinach. Cook for a minute or two until spinach wilts. Remove from heat. Fold in sweet potatoes, black beans and salt. Place a couple tablespoons of the mixture into the center of each tortilla and roll. Place the enchiladas, seam-side down, in a 9×13 baking dish. Pour salsa on top and cover with aluminum foil. Bake 25 minutes. Serve warm with a side of brown rice/quinoa, black beans, corn and guacamole.

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Lentil Vegetable Soup

Lentils are high in protein, iron, fiber, folate and magnesium(read heart healthy), and they improve digestion so they are something I always have on hand and I try to cook them for the familiy here in there, usually in the form of soups. This is a recipe most of the family likes; like 5/7 of us which is good in my opinion…we have a couple picky eaters who will only eat the allotted 3 bites we ask them to try, but honestly they do that with anything besides burritos or pizza.

Start off with chopping up your veggies: onion, carrot and celery. You don’t need much, just a half cup of each. Then warm your olive oil in a large pot (I use a soup stock pot), and once it’s warm, add your veggies and cook them til they’re tender, about 5 minutes. Add in your garlic, and Italian seasoning, stir for a minute, then add in the lentils, vegetable stock, water and tomatoes. Bring this to a boil and then turn the heat down to low and allow it to simmer, uncovered for about an hour. No need to stand right next to it and stir, I just grabbed a book and sat and read, and helped kids with homework til the buzzer rang. Once done, add in the salt, pepper and spinach and stir to combine; the spinach will wilt which is perfect. And that’s it! Easy, healthy and so yummy and warming! Enjoy!

Lentil Vegetable Soup
*serves 8

1 Tbsp olive or coconut oil
1/2 c yellow onion, chopped
1/2 c carrot, chopped
1/2 c celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced (1 tsp)
2 tsp dried Italian seasoning
2 c dry lentils, rinsed (I used red but any will work)
4 c vegetable stock
4 c cool, filtered water
2 Roma tomatoes, chopped
1/2 c baby spinach, rinsed
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

Pour oil into a large soup pot, over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot and celery and cook for about 5 minutes, until tender but not burned. Add garlic, Italian seasoning and cook another minute. Add lentils, vegetable stock, water and tomatoes. Bring pot to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer uncovered for about 1 hour. Add spinach, salt and pepper. Stir until spinach is wilted and serve.




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Filed under gluten-free, Soups, vegan, vegetarian

Tikka Masala (paneer, chicken or vegan option)

My friend Jaya, who is from India gave me an amazing Tikka Masala recipe! All through dinner my husband and I were going back and forth on how wonderful it was and came closer to the restaurant style Tikka Masala than any other we’ve tried, and we’ve tested quite a few recipes. I was surprised to find out that the sauce didn’t have any dairy! Which is even better as dairy is mucus forming so I try to not do too much, especially in winter months when there seems to be more head colds going around. I deleted one of my other Tikka Masala recipes from this blog as this one is SO much better, but I’m keeping the crock pot Tikka up for now…but if I try this in the crockpot and it works, I may be updating that as well.

Here are your ingredients, and notice I’ve already created the marinade for the paneer (or you could do chicken) and it’s resting while I chop the other veggies.

Here’s a close up of a couple of the spices. I buy mine from Sprouts, but a lot of grocery stores should carry them on their spice/baking aisle, or if you have an Idian grocery store close by, head there because you’ll also find your Indian Green Chile there as well.

In a frying pan over medium heat add 2 tablespoons oil. Once it is hot add the chopped onions and cook until translucent about 5 minutes.

Add the chopped green chili, 1 tablespoon chili powder, 1 teaspoon turmeric, 1 teaspoon garam masala, a pinch of salt and stir to combine. Cook for one minute; this will help release the flavor in the spices and you’ll smell a wonderful aroma. Add the chopped tomatoes and 1/2 cup water. Cover and let Cook 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, grill or pan fry the paneer (or chicken). Add any extra marinade to your tomato mixture.

Take this tomato mixture and transfer it to a blender and blend until smooth.

Once blended put the sauce back in your pan on the stove and add water a tablespoon at a time to thin it according to your preference (I usually add 1- 2 tablespoons) once this is simmering add your grilled Paneer and Cook for five more minutes. Serve over brown basmati rice (or whatever rice you like) and garnish with chopped cilantro.

Paneer Tikka Masala(chicken and vegan option)

1 c cubed paneer (or chicken, tofu, chopped veggies, etc)
1/4 c plain yogurt (or could use full fat coconut milk)
1 T chili powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp garam masala
pinch of salt
juice from 1/2 lemon
1 T melted coconut oil (or other oil)

For the Sauce:
2 T coconut oil
2 medium white onions (yellow is too sweet)
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp garam masala
3 large Roma tomatoes (romas are better for sauces, more meaty)

1/2 c water
1 indian green chile, chopped (these are smaller and thinner than a jalapeno; if you don’t have an Indian market nearby and you can’t find this at a store, I would try doing 1/2 a jalapeno…if it’s not spicy enough, once the sauce is all made, you could add in more)

1/2 can Thai kitchen coconut milk
cilantro for garnish

Marinate the paneer in 1/4 cup yogurt, 1 tablespoon chili powder, 1 teaspoon turmeric powder, half teaspoon garam masala, half of the juice from a lemon, and 1 tablespoon oil and a pinch of salt. Allow it to sit for at least 10 to 15 minutes.

In a frying pan over medium heat add 2 tablespoons oil. Once it is hot add the chopped onions and cook until translucent. Add the chopped green chili, 1 tablespoon chili powder, 1 teaspoon turmeric, 1 teaspoon garam masala, a pinch of salt and cook for one minute. Add the chopped tomatoes and 1/2 cup water. Cover and let Cook 10 to 12 minutes.

Meanwhile, grill or pan fry the paneer (or chicken). Add any extra marinade to your tomato mixture. Take this tomato mixture and transfer it to a blender and blend until smooth.

Once blended put the sauce back in your pan on the stove and add Thai coconut milk; once this is simmering add your grilled Paneer and cook for five more minutes. Serve over brown basmati rice (or whatever rice you like) and garnish with chopped cilantro.

*If vegan, you could totally do this without the paneer or the chicken. You could just serve this sauce plain over brown basmati rice or add any of these: firm cubed tofu, cashews, golden raisins, chopped veggies including potatoes, peas, carrots etc

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Wild Rice Salad


All the kids are back in school! My elementary kids started back Monday and our 8th grade daugther started back today which means the house is super quiet! There are definitely pros and cons to that, but as it’s our first day, I’m going to be honest and say that it’s very nice :). But it’ll only be that way for a few hours each morning as our youngest is in AM kindergarten this year. This will ease me into an all-day quiet home for next year :).  I hope you all had an enjoyable summer, I know we sure did and I soaked up all the time together with all five kids. On top of camps and family vacations (WA to see my family), we did a sort of homeschool type schedule in the morning where we studied, cleaned, exercised, practiced instruments etc and were usually done around 1pm so they had several hours in the afternoons to play and swim and explore. This schedule meant that I was even more busy than most summers as I did a lot of supervising and tutoring during the day and once play time rolled around I wanted to play with them, so I did! And now we’re back!

There were a couple of recipes that I’ve made lots over the summer that I realized were not posted here on this blog, so I am going to share one of them with you today: Wild Rice Salad. I found this recipe in the cook book Run Fast. Eat Slow.  and lightly adapted it. It is packed with nutrition with it’s kale, radishes, green onions, wild rice and edamame (soy beans), and the homemade creamy dressing (creamy from the tahini) pairs perfectly with this salad. I usually serve this along side a dinner entree, like Italian or American, though I personally always end up eating this as the main entree, while the rest of my family has it as a side. And the leftovers are just as good, if not better, from marinading all night. My husband is not normally a kale fan but I think with the homemade dressing and the kale being finely chopped, he doesn’t mind it at all. In fact whenever I make it he mentions how much he likes this salad, and he takes the leftovers to work! Here are the ingredients for the apple cide vinaigrette dressing:

Sometimes I slice my radishes and then cut them in half, and sometimes I cut them in quarters or dice them even smaller. Any way you like is fine.

Typically I grate my carrots into the salad with my potato peeler because I like how thin you can get them, but you could also slice them with a knife if you like  them to be a little thicker. I hope you enjoy this as much as I do!

Wild Rice Salad- lightly adapted from Run Fast. Eat Slow.

Apple Cider Vinaigrette Dressing:
2/3 c extra virgin olive oil
1/2 c apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp minced garlic
2 Tbsp minced onion (or 1 tsp onion powder/dried onion)
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
4 Tbsp tahini (sesame seed paste/butter)

Combine all ingredients in a mason jar with a lid and shake vigorously for a few seconds. (Can be used immediately or keep in fridge for up to a week so it can be made in advance.)

For the salad:
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 c wild rice, rinsed
Apple cider vinaigrette dressing (above)
6 radishes, diced
3 c loosely packed, finely chopped kale, stems removed
3 carrots, grated
6 green onions, sliced
1 c edamame, cooked and shelled
salt and pepper, to taste

Bring 4 cups of water and the salt to a boil in a large saucepan. Add the rice and reduce the heat, cover and simmer until the rice is soft and chewy, about 35 minutes. Drain the rice, tranfer to a large salad bowl and immediately toss with half the dressing. Allow the rice to cool in fridge while you cut up veggies. Add them to your rice and toss until combined. Add more dressing and salt and pepper to taste. Let the salad marinate in the fridge at least 30 minutes prior to serving. This is also great the next day as leftovers. If you don’t use all the dressing(I usually have some leftover), you can save it in the fridge to use on other salads during the week.

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Watermelon Sticks

I’ve been experiencing some technical difficulties with my photos/camera/laptop, and I’m not quite out of the clear yet, but I think I’ve figured out how to still make things work for now, it’s just a little extra work on my part. On top of that, my kids are out of school for the next couple of months and I am trying to soak up all the extra time with them, so my posts may be a little less frequent during the Summer months.

I got the idea to cut the watermelon into sticks, from my mom and I love it! Most often I cube it, removing all of the rind, and sometimes we do triangles, but this is a fun and pretty way to serve it and still be able to hold onto a bit of the rind as you eat. It’s an easy, inexpensive, fresh snack to have on the counter for kids to grab, or to bring to a BBQ to share with friends.

Start by slicing your watermelon in half, right down the middle of the fat part (not the long way, the shorter way). Lay the cut side down on your cutting board and then cut vertical lines about 1-2 inches apart across the entire watermelon. Then do the same thing but making horizontal cuts.


The edge/corner pieces don’t have as much melon on the rind, and don’t look as pretty, so I just cut the melon off of those and we eat them right away and don’t put them on our serving dish.

So pretty and fresh! Perfect for summer!

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Filed under Snacks/Sides/Appetizers, vegetarian

Mexican Kale Quinoa Salad

I can eat quinoa in so many ways, I throw it in stir frys, chili’s, in place of brown rice, but my husband doesn’t love quinoa, and will always go for the brown rice instead of quinoa. But this recipe is an exception. I think all the mexican foods, kale and the lime juice, masked the flavor and texture.He told me twice during dinner that he really liked this salad, and the next morning he had it for breakfast with some scrambled eggs on the side! If you’re looking for a good way to use this superfood, that contains all 9 essential amino acids, give this one a try!


Mexican Kale Quinoa Salad
Serves 6-8

1 c dry quinoa
1 1/2 c water
1/2 tsp sea salt, divided
3 c loosely packed, finely chopped kale, stems removed
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped (include seeds if you like spice)
1/2  red onion, chopped (if you don’t love onion, try soaking in cold water for 10 min, drain then add to salad)
1/2 c chopped cilantro leaves
1 1/2 c cooked black beans (or a 15 oz can, rinsed and drained)
1/3 c lime juice (about 3 limes)
1/3 c extra virgin olive oil
1/2 c Feta cheese, crumbled (chopped olives work too)
1 avocado, sliced
1/2 c toasted pepitas (toast on cookie sheet in 350 degree oven for about 5-8 minutes)

In a medium saucepan over high heat, bring water, quinoa and 1/4 tsp salt to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for about 15 minutes until water has been absorbed. Transfer to a large salad bowl and fluff with a fork. Set aside to cool. Once cool, add the kale, bell pepper, jalapeno, onion, cilantro, back beans, lime juice, oil, Feta cheese and remaining 1/4 tsp sea salt to the quinoa and toss to combine. Chill in the fridge until ready to serve. Just before serving, top with the avocado slices and pepitas.

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Filed under Dinner, gluten-free, Lunch, Salads, Snacks/Sides/Appetizers, vegan, vegetarian

Quick Veggie Stir Fry

I love stir fry! I often eat them for lunch and I love that I can take whatever random leftover veggies I need to use from my fridge, throw them into a pan with some already cooked brown rice, a little sauce and some cashews and I have a healthy, yummy meal in very little time! I make brown rice in my rice cooker about once a week and make enough that I’ll have some leftover for this very reason. Another way to make this meal even faster is to chop up your veggies before hand and just have them ready in your fridge. Usually when I make dinner, if a recipe calls for part of a pepper/onion/broccoli etc, I will just cut up the whole thing which saves time later because I don’t have to get my cutting board and knife out again and wash them etc.

This is the sauce I use when I make this quick stir fry recipe (I also have a recipe for a sauce I make from scratch that I’ll share another time). I either use the coconut aminos or the teriyaki flavored coconut aminos, both taste great, and you could also use soy sauce or braggs liquid aminos.


Here’s a picture of another stir fry I made with some fresh pineapple I had on hand. I love that you can play around and add in whatever you like. Sometimes I’ll throw in a 1/2 cup of quinoa too.


Veggie Stir Fry

1 Tbsp coconut oil
1/2 white or yellow onion, sliced
1 bell pepper, sliced
1 small package sliced mushrooms (white or cremini)
1/2 c raw cashews
optional: tofu, tempeh, broccoli, carrots, pineapple
2-3 Tbsp coconut aminos  (could use braggs liquid aminos or soy sauce)
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
2 c cooked brown rice

Melt coconut oil in a wok over medium/high heat. Add vegetables and allow to cook until softened and onions are translucent, adding 1 Tbsp water at a time, if necessary, to prevent sticking and burning about 3-5 minutes. Add cashews, coconut aminos, pepper flakes and brown rice and stir to combine. Turn heat to low and allow to cook for 2 more minutes. Serve immediately.

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Avocado Egg Salad Sandwich

If you like egg salads and avocados, you’re going to love this! This is a great way to use hard boiled eggs, which is something we often have on hand. This recipe serves one because I usually make this just for myself for lunch, but feel free to double or triple the recipe if you’re having lunch with a friend (or if you just want more :))


Avocado Egg Salad Sandwich
*makes 1 open-face sandwich

1 hard boiled egg
1/4 medium avocado
1 Tbsp plain greek yogurt
1 Tbsp chopped green onions
salt and pepper to taste
1 slice whole grain bread
6-10 baby spinach leaves

Mash avocado in a small mixing bowl. Peel and chop the egg and add to the avocado. Add the yogurt, green onions, salt and pepper and stir together. Toast bread, add a layer of baby spinach and then top with the avocado egg salad. Eat immediately. Makes 1 sandwich.

241 calories: 10 g fat, 30 g carbs, 7 g protein

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Filed under Lunch, vegetarian

Tomato, Avocado and Bean Wrap




Life is busy these days, whether you work, go to school or are a stay at home mom (like me with my five kids!) and I’m always looking for ways to save time, and that includes with food. But at the same time, I am not willing to sacrifice my health or the health of my family for convenience. Since we’ve been eating healthy, whole foods for the past 6 or so years, I’ve learned a few things about making quick and healthy meals. Planning ahead and being prepared is important because when I’m hungry and needing to eat, I’m not going to wait for something to cook for very long, and I’m not going to take the time to chop up a million different things. For example, I make my crock pot of black beans once a week, freeze half, and now I’ve got fresh and yummy home made black beans all week long that I can use for dinner or throw in my salads at lunch. And my crock pot black beans literally take 5 minutes to prep. Black beans are not expensive either, so now you’ve got healthy, quick food on a budget. I do the same thing with my quinoa and brown rice. I usually make one batch a week and just store it in the fridge and then it’s ready to grab and go for a quick meal.

I also find it helpful to cut up an entire head of lettuce, chop up a whole onion, cucumber, bell pepper, tomato or whatever produce I’ll be using at one time, that way I only have to take out, wash, and then clean up after this whole chopping process once and then they’re  all ready to go. I am SO much more likely to have a big salad for lunch when things are all ready pre-cut (and cooked like my black beans) because I’m so busy that I’m usually feeling very hungry by the time I can even think about food and if I have to take out all my separate produce items and wash them and cut them etc, I just end up doing something faster and easier. So, planning and prepping is important. And do it on a day/time that’s not super busy for you.

I often have salads or leftovers for lunch, and sometimes I’ll change up my salad by putting everything in a wrap. You can use whatever kind you like. If I have homemade whole wheat tortillas left over then I’ll use those, but I don’t like the store bought wheat tortillas so I’ll sometimes get these Teff wraps from Sprouts when they’re on sale. I like to warm up my wrap for about 30 seconds before I put all my toppings inside so that it’s nice a pliable. 2016-10-27-12-19-26There is no particular way of doing this, and you really can use whatever veggies you like or have on hand, but I will almost always use either avocados or hummus for creaminess, I love to use black beans and sometimes I’ll put some quinoa in there(both of those things make it so much more filling and add a ton in nutrition), and I love tomatoes and red onions and greens or sprouts etc.  I pull out my containers from the fridge with all my chopped veggies and I can throw this wrap together in one minute. Bam, done! And it’s healthy! I make this faster than I do my daughters PB&J (natural pb of course, and I get the fruit juice sweetened jelly).





Tomato, Avocado and Bean Wrap

Tomato, chopped
Red onion, chopped
Avocado, cut in cubes
Black Beans
lettuce, chopped
cucumber, diced or julienned
Wrap/Tortilla of choice (I like the Teff wraps better than most store-bought whole grain tortillas; warm it up for 30 seconds then add your toppings)

Warm up wrap for 30 seconds in microwave. Spread on a spoonful of hummus, then add whatever toppings you like. Roll up like a burrito, cut in half and it’s ready to eat!


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Filed under gluten-free, Lunch, vegan, vegetarian