Tag Archives: healthy

Hot pot!

When Brent and I are feeling particularly lazy but still want to eat something healthy, we make hot pot. This is an East Asian fun thing that can be enjoyed by small groups of friends or just your family. We use a simple electric wok that’s resistant to tipping over and fill it with our favorite kind of broth. It’s a great way to use just about any vegetables that are available in our refrigerator – broccoli, green beans, baby corn, bamboo shoots, water chestnuts, bean sprouts, tofu, tofu skins, mushrooms, snow peas, broccoli, carrot, cauliflower, noodles (we use thin rice noodles and konjac noodles). Napa cabbage, spinach and Romaine lettuce are favorites.

After that, all you need is some fresh veg chopped into bite sized pieces and maybe some dipping sauces. Our broth recipe is as follows
1-2  liters of water

1-2 cubes of bouillon (we use “chicken” or mushroom)

1 tbsp of Szechuan peppercorns (we like spicy, what can I say)

2 star anise pods

15-20 goji berries

10-15 scallion onions, chopped into 2 inch pieces

2-3 cloves of garlic, minced

a pinch of ground cumin

2-3 pods of allspice

1 coin size slice of ginger (optional)

juice from 1/2 lemon (optional)

1 tbsp chili or garlic flavored canola oil

salt and pepper to taste

I combine everything but the scallion onions in my pot and boil for 30 minutes or more until it’s fragrant and steamy. Then I add the spring onions and take the pot to our table. You put the veggies into the soup pot and wait for the liquid to return to a boil. Then we remove the vegetables without chopsticks, wait for them to cool or dip them in sauce or not (I like a home-made chili-lime-peanut sauce, Brent prefers a garlic chili sauce) and DEVOUR! Just be careful that the hot liquid doesn’t splash anyone and that the contents don’t spill onto anyone. It’s HOT (hence the name *hot* pot)! This might not be a dish for the faint of heart, but it is for the hungry, adventurous and lazy. Just put down a towel for all the drips and splashes.

As versatile as this particular dish is, there’s something for everyone. Just don’t get hurt when you realize someone ate your mushroom.

This is Christie, signing off!

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The Lazy Vegan: Sweet Sunday Breakfast

When I think about family meals, I find myself being truly grateful that my parents and siblings and I always ate at the table, together. My parents would cook, we would set the table, get our drinks, and then it would just be us and our meal. There was never any radio or TV or smart phone to distract us. Sunday mornings were especially nice: my parents would sometimes cook what I would now consider to be an extravagant breakfast consisting of eggs and sausages and pancakes, etc. Or, we would stop at Dunkin Donuts on the way home from church and have a junky breakfast together.

Fast forward to today. I woke up alone and wanting something comforting but healthy and easy for breakfast. This meal using items I always have in my kitchen met my criteria and was perfectly satisfying! It’s also a great meal for kids.


Lazy Sunday Morning Waffles w/ Peanut Butter and a ‘Nana

1 frozen Van’s waffle (I love these. There a several varieties, many are gluten-free, and I can find them in any of my usual grocery stores)
1 banana
1-2 tbsp of Peanut Butter & Co. Dark Chocolate Dreams (again… awesome product from a vegan company that I can find in any of my usual grocery stores)


Toast or bake the waffle according to the directions on the box.

Spread the peanut butter on the waffle.

Slice up a banana.

Put it all on a plate.



As easy as it was to make this, I found it to be so comforting. Today is one of those days when a meal can make or break my day. This definitely makes me feel more ready to face my day! –Melissa

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Sounds funny, tastes delicious… This is a simple cold summer soup that is loaded with good nutrients and packed with flavor. It should be a staple in your diet whether you’re vegan or not. Ours is made from the following ingredients:
2 bell peppers, stems and seeds removed (I like 2 different colors, in this case yellow and red)
1/2 cup of cilantro stems
2 cucumbers
juice from 1 lemon
5 tomatoes, stems removed
1 jalapeño (optional for the brave)
6-8 scallion onions, chopped just as the bulb turns green, stems diced
4-5 strawberries (optional)
hot sauce and salt to taste

Brent cut up the vegetables into sizes that fit easily in our food processor. The skins can be left on the cucumber for a richer flavor if they’re organic, otherwise I remove most of it if not all.

The tomato, cucumber, peppers, strawberries, lemon juice, scallion bulbs and cilantro stems all went into the processor and was blended until smooth. Afterward I added salt and hot sauce to taste, garnished with scallion onion (you can use cilantro too, if you like). and served with grilled cashew cheese sammiches. It hit the spot after a day in the muggy Florida heat. Let me know what you think!

This is Christie, signing off!

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Buffalo Cauliflower!

It was a holiday weekend and something decadent and reminiscent of junk food was an order. Most people are BBQ and Buffalo wings. We had Buffalo cauliflower. You’ll need the following:
1 head of cauliflower, chopped into bite sized pieces
1 cup of flour (we used garbanzo bean flour)
4 tbsp onion powder
1 pinch paprika
1 pinch garlic salt
1 cup of almond milk (you can use soy if you’ve got a nut allergy)
1 1/2 cups of your favorite vegan Buffalo sauce
corn oil spray
For the batter, combine the flour, milk, garlic salt, paprika and onion powder and mix well. Coat all the cauliflower with batter and place it into a lightly oiled glass baking dish. Cover it with a baking sheet so the cauliflower won’t touch the cover.


Bake at 450F/230C for 20 minutes. Remove the lid, toss the cauliflower, spraying lightly with corn oil and bake for 5 more minutes. Now toss to coat it with Buffalo sauce and bake for 10 more minutes. Watch it closely in case it starts to blacken around the edges.


This is a much lower calorie alternative to Buffalo wings and it’s great with vegan sour cream (or the creamy cilantro lime sauce we make) and celery. If you get to try it, let me know what you think!

This is Christie, signing off!

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Tempeh Fajita Wraps

So we’re still on a wrap kick and so Brent decided to marinate some tempeh in some tamari, garlic and flake red pepper.
I sauteed up with some purple onion, jalapeño, poblano pepper and a bit of corn oil.I like poblanos because they’re lightly spicy and don’t get bitter when cooked like bell peppers do.


As the onion and pepper began to soften I added in the tempeh and stirred it all up until it was steamy and hot. I added the rest of the marinade too: it helped season the onion and pepper as well as providing some liquid to steam the veggies and keep them from scorching.


Brent was busy making some saffron rice while I was doing this. We used a store bought baggie of Vigo saffron rice that cost us $1.89. It’s delicious all by itself.


We chopped up some cilantro, red bell pepper and avocado to decorate our delicious fajitas with and ended up with a highly nutritious meal that was packed with flavor.


Brent added some Daiya to his and I included some flake red pepper.

This is Brent and Christie, signing off!

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This post is about making stock for soup, mashed potatoes, French Onion soup, gravy, risotto or whatever you would normally use soup stock for and it’s crazy simple. Even if you like to compost (or have bunnies to ‘process’ your leftover veggies) this is a great way to get more out of your veggies before you throw them in your bin. Get yourself a big old freezer safe storage container. Every time you peel the skins off onions or garlic, cut the ends of carrots or celery, stems from parsley and other herbs, stumps from mushrooms or broccoli… really anything. I add lemon peel from time to time for certain recipes like pho and orange peel for zesty soy curls. Dump it into the container (I like to use a freezer bag) and store in your freezer.

When your container is full of veggie scraps, dump the contents into a pan, cover with water and simmer for at least 2 hours. Strain the liquid into a container and freeze for whenever. Now the veggies are extra mushy for composting or your sink disposal.

The stock will have no added fat or sodium and full of flavor. I like to store the stock in zippered freezer baggies too. If the bag is full enough for about 1/2 inch thickness when lying on its side, then you’ll be able to thaw it quickly.

This is Christie, signing off.

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Simple Black Bean Chipotle Burritos!

Brent and I wanted something simple and delicious as we were recovering from our flu and this was it. One of the bigger issues with our love of Texan and Mexican cuisine is the lack of a suitably large soft tortilla to wrap Tex-Mex delights in. Fortunately we recently discovered that gluten-free wraps exist!
These babies are about the size of your typical wrap and are pliable, unlike their corn counterparts (which often must be fried in order to bend without breaking). You’ll need the following:
6 large soft tortillas
1 tin of black beans, drained
1 tin of diced tomatoes (seasoned with chilis and/or lime works well, I like Muir Glen)
1 package of crumbled tofu (Marjon is great) or 1 cup of reconstituted TVP
1 cup of your favorite chipotle, mole, ranchero or enchilada sauce
1 large onion, sliced
flake red pepper to taste
Daiya (optional)
corn oil
I sauteed the onion until it was soft. Then I added the tofu crumbles (use seitan if you’ve got a soy allergy), beans tomato and sauce. I stirred it until it was a good burrito consistency, adjusted the seasonings and the let Brent at it.
We plopped a generous amount of the burrito filling onto our new favorite wraps and then microwaved them (on top of a paper towel so they don’t get soggy) to melt some pepper jack Daiya we sprinkled on top. We added spinach after melting the cheese but we ate them before I could get a picture. Cilantro would have been good too!
It was spicy, hearty and packed with good nutrients for recovering invalids need. I suspect that’s just an excuse and we’ll do it again soon. YAY!

This is Christie and Brent, signing off.

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Pasta a la Fauxlognese

As a kid, spaghetti bolognese was a favorite. It’s a rich meaty sauce wth lots of tomato and onion served with whatever pasta you tend to fancy. In this case, we’re using shirataki noodles and no meat. Shirataki noodles are great for those who are concerned about gluten and calories. If you use regular noodles, your fauxlognese will be more attractive than ours but just as tasty. You’ll want the following

1 onion, diced

3.4 cloves of garlic, minced

1 tsp oregano

1 16oz tin of diced tomato

1 cup of TVP (reconstituted with water) or soy crumbles (Marion tofu crumbles work well here), chopped mushrooms can be substituted for those sensitive to soy

1 cube of “beef bouillon”

1 tsp Italian seasoning

1 tsp coriander

1/2 tsp cumin

salt and flake red pepper to taste

olive oil


Add a dash of olive oil and the onion and garlic to your pan and saute until the onion starts to carmelize, stirring occasionally. Add the tofu crumbles or TVP and the dry spices.


When everything is hot and fragrant, add the tomato. Mix it all up, stirring occasionally until hot and adjust the seasonings to your taste.


Your sauce should look deceptively meaty. Top with some vegan parmesan, shredded basil or Daiya or just serve as is.


This is a very kid friendly preparation of vegan fare, tasty and healthy to boot. I hope you get to try it!

This is Christie, signing off!

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Tempeh Cacciatore

Not long ago I got a request for cacciatore from fellow blogger, VeganMonologue. How can I resist!? I took a slab of tempeh and cut it in half. I did it at an angle to satisfy my love of the rhombus. Add that to the list of things nobody needs to know about me. You’ll need the following:

1 package of tempeh
1 pinch salt, plus more to taste
1 pinch freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
olive oil
1/4 red bell pepper, chopped
1/4 green bell pepper, chopped
1 onion, chopped
4-5 garlic cloves, sliced
1/2 cup dry red wine or 1 cup of dry white wine
1 28oz can diced tomatoes with juice
3/4 cup veggie bouillon
3 tablespoons drained capers
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
1/2 teaspoon dried cumin
1 pinch nutmeg
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil leaves

I added it to a pan with some rosemary infused olive oil (regular olive oil is fine) and a pinch each of salt and cracked black pepper. I sauteed until it was lightly browned on each side. I transferred the tempeh to a plate with some fabulous wooden tongs that my sister got me.

Then I added a chopped onion, 1/4 of a chopped green bell pepper and 1/4 of a chopped red bell pepper. I sprinkled in some chopped parsley and slivers of garlic and sauteed until the onion became translucent.

I added the white wine (I used a pinot gris and kind of wished I’d used a merlot. If you try that let me know how it goes.), 1/2 tsp of dried oregano leaves, 1/2 tsp of cumin and a pinch of nutmeg and simmered until the wine was reduced by half.

Then I added a half cup of vegetable bouillon, a tin of tomatoes, 2 tablespoons of capers and a pinch of cracked black pepper. I stirred it a few times to mix and then added the tempeh back to the pan, covered it with tomatoes and allowed it to simmer for another 20 minutes.

Brent made some guinoa while we waited because it was what we had but I think this would be better with pasta or mashed potatoes.

After 20 minutes, the tempeh should have taken on some of the characteristics of the broth. Put the tempeh on your quinoa, potatoes, pasta, whatever and spoon generous helpings of the remaining deglazing/reduction. I sprinkled mine with some fresh basil leaves. This is a hearty meal, full of savory and herbal flavors all brought out by the acid and sweetness of the tomatoes. This would also work with chickpeas or seitan instead of tempeh for those with a soy allergy. It’s a surprisingly healthy crowd pleaser.

A note for the health conscious: don’t be afraid of soy. There’s a lot of propaganda out there that says soy isn’t good for you for one reason or another. A word from your vegan scientist: the data suggest that soy is better for you than meat, dairy and eggs by a long shot, particularly if you’re worried about cancer (particularly colon cancer) or cardiovascular disease.

This is Christie and Brent, signing off!

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I was browsing at ‘rhymes with Schmole Broods’ today and came across SaviSeeds by Vega. There were small packages, perfect for tasting, so I grabbed the Oh Natural and Cocoa Kissed pouches. I ended up staying late at work and was highly caffeinated, very much needing a snack as I waited to meet up with my sister for dinner. So I grabbed the Oh Natural bag and decided there was no better time than right then to try them out.

I have never heard of sacha inchi seeds before. They mostly remind me of peanuts, but the more I ate, the more I found them to be a giant, hearty seed — which is exactly what they are. The Oh Natural version is seasoned only with sea salt. These seeds were delicious and easily tied me over.

These guys are gluten-free and have 6 grams of Omega-3 (according to the package, they are the richest plant-based source of Omega-3) and 9 grams of protein per serving. AMAZING!

Here is a photo of the sacha inchi. Totally rad, right? I think I have found my perfect on-the-go snack! –Melissa

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