Spaghetti with Chickpeas

This recipe is a great way to use that summer time bumper crop of cherry tomatoes and basil from your garden!  I also love throwing chickpeas into a recipe like this, because people don’t know what to do with chickpeas.  I mean, ok, hummus, but other than that how are you supposed to eat them?…

“Chicken of the Woods” Recipe

My family went camping with a group this weekend, and we were very lucky to find a HUGE laetiporus mushroom fruiting from a stump at one of the camp sites!  This is a fairly common edible mushroom.  Most people know it casually as “chicken of the woods,” or “the chicken mushroom.”  It is different than…

Pressed Salad with Toasted Sunflower Seeds

This salad combines the unique flavor of raw fennel with the sweetness of apples and cucumber.  You can throw in any veggies that you happen to have such as finely sliced carrots, napa cabbage, or spring onions.  The recipe below is my favorite combination.  The preparation method interesting as well; have you ever massaged your…

Whole Grain Kamut Salad with Sweet Lemon Vinaigrette

Whole grain salads make me feel like a champion!  Sometimes I crave a big bowl of whole wheat pasta marinara, but sometimes I just want the whole wheat grain itself.  There’s something about it…the springy texture of whole grain Kamut, the sweetness of fresh fruit and carrots, and the lovely tang of a home made…

Baked Potatoes with Broccoli & “Cheese” Sauce

And now for some hot, hearty (not to mention heart-healthy) winter time food: baked potatoes!  Did you know that Russet potatoes derive 9% of their calories from protein?  And broccoli will supply you with 33% of its calories from protein.  Plant sources of protein do not come hand in hand with saturated fat and cholesterol….

Grilled Portobello Mushroom Tacos with Salsa Verde

Since the weather turned cold here in Maryland we haven’t grilled outside much, and boy do I miss it!  I convinced my husband to grill up these marinated portobello mushrooms (since they only take about 4 minutes per side).  He agreed that it was well worth enduring the brief cold for that familiar grilled flavor!…

The Best Vegan Mac and “Cheese” Ever

Of course there is no dairy in this whole foods plant based mac and “cheese.”  Traditional mac and cheese recipes can call for 3, 4 or 5 types of dairy products: various cheese varieties, cream cheese, butter, shredded cheese on top.  When you think of the calorie breakdown of a dish like that, it would…

Asian Slaw

There is a lot of peeling and chopping to be done for this dish, but the fresh flavors are so worth it. The recipe makes a big batch, perfect for taking to a potluck or sharing with family (or having lots of leftovers). Unlike the usual coleslaw recipe, this version has plenty of starchy corn…

Nacho “Cheese” Salad

Whose cheese is it?  Nacho cheese!  Get it?  😉 This yummy black bean salad is topped with a cashew-based “cheese” sauce.  It is creamy.  It is decadent.  It is nut-based, and it is fatty!  Nuts are on the list of plant-based foods that are relatively high in total fat and saturated fat.  Even though nuts…

Thanksgiving in July

It’s summer in Maryland.  It’s hot.  It’s humid.  But by golly I’ve got to have some hearty plant-based Thanksgiving fare–and this stuffing is it!  Try this amazing recipe now and save it for the holidays.  You’ll impress family and friends at your holiday parties this year, since you will have practiced making this dish since…

Millet with Kale & Savory Mushroom Gravy

With all the fresh summer salads and cooled grain dishes I’ve been having lately, I have begun to miss the hearty, hot, savory dishes of winter.  So I made one!  Our garden kale is doing well enough this year for 4 harvests so far.  I chose cremini mushrooms for their flavor and smallish size.  Try…

Brown Rice Salad with Cherries & Apricots

I brought this recipe to a dinner with omnivore friends and it was a big hit!  I love the flavor combination of sweet cherries and apricots with the bite of celery and parsley.  This dish is is “picnic-perfect,” but do try it out for your weeknight dinner.  The starchy whole grains at its center will keep…

Tamales with Mole Sauce

Up for a delicious challenge?  Tamales are incredibly yummy, and totally plant-based.  The corn flour and bean filling is complemented perfectly by a rich mole sauce with the character of roasted poblano pepper.  The reward is great for preparing this dish–which is no easy task.  The preparation begins the night before with hojas de tamal…

Ultimate Lentil Burgers

It’s all in the name for these burgers-this is the “ultimate” lentil burger recipe!  The burgers met with vigorous approval from family, including a formerly carnivorous man.  Every once in a while my husband craves the texture and heartiness of a meat-like meal.  These burgers do the trick!  I recommend spreading avocado on your toasted…

Penne Pasta with Arugula Pesto and White Beans

Traditional pesto is made with basil and parmesan cheese.  The cheese is not part of a plant-based diet (did you know that parmesan cheese is one of the most acidic foods?), and my garden basil plants are not up yet.  Fortunately for me and my family our local farm has arugula harvested in abundance this…

Steamed Baby Bok Choi with Gomashio

I needed a snack this afternoon, so of course I grabbed my camera and started cooking!  I decided on steamed baby bok choi sprinkled with gomashio, a Japanese condiment made from sesame seeds and salt. Gomashio is delicious when made fresh at home (which you can do)!  You will need a suribachi, which is an…

Soba Noodle Soup

Soba noodles are a traditional Japanese noodle with an interesting history.  The area of Edo (now modern Tokyo) during the Tokugawa period of 1603-1867 was inhabited by the wealthy class who preferred to eat white rice over less refined whole grain rice.  The result was an increase in the disease beri beri caused by a…

Coconut Curried Chickpeas with Choi Sum

On the way home from the record store today I thought: what are we having for dinner?  My mental inventory of the kitchen was blank.  Since I have a one year old baby, I really, really did not want to stop at the store on the way home (she was asleep)!  So we bravely ventured…

Mix & Match your Greens, Beans and Grains

This salad, oh man, I can’t even!  It’s so delicious and simple.  Combine equal parts chopped greens, cooked beans, and cooked whole grains.  This salad uses organic kale from our local farm CSA, South American red beans, and brown rice.  Add some cherry tomatoes and avocado, and dress with the zest and juice of 2…

Black Eyed Peas & Spinach Salad

Beans, greens, and grain salads are my new favorite dish.  These ingredients make me feel great, energetic, full, and light.  Beans are well known to be rich in plant protein, spinach is a powerhouse of iron, calcium, and phytochemicals, and whole grain brown rice provides complex carbohydrates to fuel the body.  The vitamin C present…

Black Bean, Arugula, and Brown Rice Salad

I’m thinking of changing my name to either “Beans McGrain” or “Greens McBean,” since my favorite things are beans, greens, and grains!  This salad has all three.  Our farm CSA pickup this week included a huge bag of arugula.  I was thrilled since I now had all the ingredients to make this great grain salad….

Saturday Night Pizza & Cake!

Pizza and cake???  Yes!  It’s getting close to our daughter’s first birthday.  We are having a small party of family and friends for her, and I wanted to test our her birthday cake recipe.  What a treat for a Saturday night.  Why not have a little family pizza party too?  The great thing about eating…

RAW Zucchini and Carrot Salad

I’ve been looking at some “raw food” vegan cook books lately.  Raw food vegans differ from whole food vegans (a whole foods, plant-based diet) in a few ways, the main one being that raw food vegans don’t cook their food.  They may use techniques such as fermentation and dehydration, but they don’t apply heat above…

Rachel Ray Recipe Re-Do

I saw these two “healthy” recipes in the latest Rachel Ray magazine.  Sad to say, Rachel and her team are promoting the Standard American Diet (S.A.D.)!  The magazine features advertisements from USDA-managed industry marketing groups such as the National Egg Board, Beef Producers of America, and the National Dairy Council.  From these advertisements I learned…

Whole Foods, Plant-Based Camping

Our plant-based family went camping in Delaware for 2 nights at Cape Henlopen State Park.  It was really fun!  Our camp site was a 10 minute walk from the beach and the Atlantic Ocean.  It was our baby girl’s first real beach trip and she loved dipping her toes in the water and sitting in…

Curried Kamut Salad

I love grain salads!  Even before our family began eating a whole foods plant-based diet, I always sought out chilled whole grain salads.  They are filling and flavorful, and often spiced with interesting and diverse seasoning.  Curried grain salad comes in at the top of my list since it has a hint of sweet from…

Summer Grilling

It’s summer and that means it’s time for shishkebabs!  No oil or processed foods are needed to make a delicious sweet and savory grilled kebab.  Substitute any of your favorite veggies.  Our local farmer’s market had some pattypan squash available.  They came out great on the grill! Shishkebabs Ingredients: 1 Large red bell pepper, coarsely…

Spinach Farfalle Salad

This dish is a family favorite.  We adapted it to a whole foods plant-based diet by using 100% whole wheat pasta and leaving out the usual olive oil and feta cheese.  Be sure to use olives packed in water, not oil. Ingredients: Box whole wheat bow-tie pasta, cooked according to package directions 2 Pounds fresh…

Soba Noodles in Kombu Broth

This recipe from the “Forks Over Knives Cookbook” is outstanding.  If you want a big bowl of hot vegetables with filling buckwheat soba noodles just like sensei used to make, this is the dinner for you! The key to this flavorful dish is the somewhat hard to find kombu.  It is dried seaweed that can…

Baba Ghanoush Lettuce Wraps with Marinated Tomatoes & Toast

Before switching to a whole foods plant based diet, one vegetable was pretty much a mystery to me: eggplant.  It looks so purple, round, and friendly, but how to eat it?  I had experienced it only in cheesy, mushy eggplant parmesan. Now I love eggplant!  I use eggplant in veggie burgers and “meat”balls.  It has…

Quinoa Cucumber Salad

I’m not usually wild about cucumbers, but this recipe is full of complimentary flavors and I loved the combination!  This dish can stand alone as lunch or be served as a side.  The weather is warming up, so if I get invited to any springtime picnics I think I’ll choose to bring this cool salad!…

Carnival Salad with Black Beans & Jicama

Here’s a colorful bean salad that’s perfect to make in a large batch and have for lunches all week.  It’s a slightly different take on my usual Black Bean Mango salad.  I saw a jicama in the store and grabbed it.  Jicama is like a radish, it’s crunchy, but without the intense radish flavor.  Instead…

Whole Foods Plant Based Salad Dressing

My mother in law is really cool about my family’s switch to a whole foods plant based diet.  We went to her house for dinner this week and she graciously cooked a vegetarian meal for us.  She asked me to provide salad dressing for a mixed greens salad.  I made these two salad dressing recipes…

Friday Night South American Feast

Last night my husband and I needed to fix a quick dinner.  We didn’t have much time before bed, since we decided to do some yoga together and it was almost time for bed (for baby…and, yeah, for us too).  We whipped up what ended up being an enormous South American feast–in less than 30…

Orange, Bean, & Beet Salad

This dish is based on the recipe from the “Forks Over Knives Cookbook.”  I love hearty salads because they are so versatile.  We eat them for lunch or dinner, and the leftovers make for great healthy snacking.  I never feel guilty for eating between meals since we started eating only whole, plant-based foods.  The beets…

Hearty Potato & Asparagus Salad

This potato salad really hit the spot for our weekday lunch.  If you are going to a picnic where you would usually bring a traditional potato salad with mayonnaise, try this version instead.  It’s meat, dairy, sugar, salt, and oil free, not to mention made with 100% whole, plant-based foods. Serves 2 Ingredients: 1 Pound…

Bean & Polenta Mexican Pie

Here’s a little dish I invented for dinner last night.  I did not plan ahead and I actually thought “we have no food in the house!”  Our cupboards and fridge were bare, except for some dried beans, a little leftover corn meal, a pepper and a lonely onion. When eating a whole foods, plant-based diet…

Pasta with Peas and “Alfredo” Sauce

My wonderful husband bought us some cute heart-shaped whole wheat pasta to enjoy for our Valentine’s Day dinner.  I decided to serve it with peas and dairy-free “alfredo” sauce, as well as a side of sauteed spinach.  It turned out great!  While your pasta does not have to be heart shaped 🙂 it should be…

What’s For Dinner? Kimchi Noodle Salad

I love how the cool cucumber in this recipe contrasts with the spicy and tangy kimchi.  Kimchi is a sort of Asian cabbage slaw that is available in the produce section of most grocery stores.  Be sure to check the ingredients list because some brands of kimchi contain shellfish, sugar, added sodium, and other stuff…