How to Overcome Alcohol Use Disorder

How to Overcome Alcohol Use Disorder

Guilty Verdict Leads to Freedom

I quit drinking nineteen months ago. Overcoming alcohol use disorder was both hard and easy. Living with the decision to quit felt better than living with ambivalence. I’d had lawyers arguing inside my head 24/7. They couldn’t even agree that there was a problem, much less what to do about it. I mostly just felt relief that a verdict had been rendered. It was over—whatever it was.

The hardest part of overcoming alcohol use disorder was figuring out what to do with myself. Drinking and thinking (about drinking) consumed a lot of mental energy. I hid my preoccupation with a façade of productivity, worthiness and normality. “No problems over here! I’m happy and healthy! Hashtag Blessed!” After I quit drinking, I had no reason to keep pretending that everything was fine.

Ironically, that’s the first step towards becoming fine.

But “fine” is complicated. I felt well. Positive. At peace. I also felt uncomfortable. My brain was fuzzy. My emotions were unpredictable. It felt like I’d walked away from a bad car accident. There were no obvious injuries, but I was stunned and traumatized all the same–unsure what to do next. Do I stop and cry? Rejoice in gratitude? Just move on? See my doctor? A therapist? Have an existential crisis?

Yes. Yes. Yes–all the above.

Welcome to Recovery

Alcohol had been my go-to for managing anxiety. To borrow a phrase from our grandmothers’ generation, I believed it was the medicine I needed to “calm my nerves.” And so it was. The placebo effect is real. But like any medication, alcohol suppresses the symptoms of dysfunction while also creating new ones. Sadly, for those of us that rely on them, most drugs eventually lose their efficacy. We build a tolerance; side effects get harder to ignore. Alcohol kept me going for a long time. First it was fun. Then it was fine. And then it was neither.

Once I accepted that I was not doing myself any favors, and actually hurting myself, I was able to overcome alcohol use disorder.

Recovery is the process of learning to live authentically—sobriety is just the gateway to self-love and self-care. When I quit drinking at age 46, I was on the cusp of a midlife identity crisis anyway. I had raised four children, experienced divorce, remarriage, stepchildren and multiple careers—including being a “stay-home” parent. My sole purpose in life had been to reflect what the people around me expected. The concept of “loneliness” felt like a joke. How could I be lonely when I have no time for myself? I hadn’t even peed with the door shut in twenty years (at home). In my mind, alcohol was a sacred form of self-care—a hard-earned reward for a job well done (or at least the absence of criminal charges). It helped me cope with the never-ending stress.

Alcohol is the Problem Not the Solution

Unbeknownst to me, alcohol was my number one source of stress. It overshadowed the other problems vying for second place. My belief that only “alcoholics” are addicted to alcohol prevented me from seeing the truth. I thought I drank every day because I wanted to. Granted, the amount I consumed was a source of shame—it wasn’t lady-like. I relied on positive self-talk to reassure myself. Fuck the patriarchy—I can drink like a man–and all that. But trying to function while either intoxicated, hungover and/or distracted became a very high-stress, full-time job.

Alcohol is a serious handicap.

Deciding to “get sober” seemed to require me to stop drinking AND admit I was an alcoholic. Unfortunately, in our intoxicated culture, it’s a step down to go from high-functioning drinker to a sober alcoholic. That’s quite the contradiction considering the balls it takes to admit there’s a problem.

We’ve been brainwashed to believe there’s a difference between normal drinkers and alcoholics. There isn’t. Coffee drinkers experience withdrawals from caffeine when they stop. No one is encouraged to use heroin “responsibly.” Anyone who smokes every day is addicted, yet we don’t refer to former smokers as “cigarette-aholics.” Overcoming an addiction in any other context is viewed as powerful. With alcohol, the path to freedom is marked “powerless.”

Fuck the patriarchy. And all that.

The Sober Revolution

Upgrading my status to “badass” was my first act of self-love as a newly sober person. If people can pick their pronouns, I can reject the “alcoholic” stereotype. “Hi, my name is Colleen. my pronouns are she/her and I am NOT an alcoholic.”

Sobriety isn’t just burning your bra and flying the bird at the cultural hypocrisy. It’s called recovery for a reason. No matter how high functioning you are, drinking takes its toll on emotional, mental and physical health. Alcohol is a drug classified as a depressant. Think about the expectations we have for antidepressants (SSRIs inhibit the reuptake of serotonin). Yet we expect regular consumption of a depressant drug will make us feel better? In reality, alcohol downregulates the natural production of dopamine because the brain comes to rely on the booze. If we don’t drink, we’re left with a dopamine deficiency.

And that’s the cycle of addiction. It’s not that we want to get high. It’s that we feel low without our “medicine.” It’s not unusual or even shameful. It’s simply how drugs work.

The average recovery time for brain chemistry to recalibrate after quitting drinking is fourteen months. As most of us also have a low tolerance for emotional discomfort (because we used alcohol to treat that), it’s easy to understand why early sobriety is difficult. These symptoms are known as post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS). If you don’t understand what’s happening, it’s hard to stay the course. It’s easier to think that life was better when we could at least look forward to drinking. Unchallenged, that thought gets stronger, which is why PAWS is the number one reason we start drinking again.

There are a lot of things you can do to accelerate recovery, but “blah” days are inevitable. I’m now 48 years old, and recovery has taught me that self-neglect is not a function of resilience. There’s no hack around the hard stuff. Whatever we refuse to deal with will eventually bite us in the proverbial ass.

Overcome Alcohol Use Disorder with Self-Care

Self-care is now my top priority. I am challenging the urge to agree to things I don’t actually agree with. I’ve stopped using other people’s opinions of me to calculate my own. I know that self-care is more than just keeping myself pretty and presentable. When I find myself reaching for a substance to control my energy and mood, I stop. Instant gratification leads to long-term deprivation. My needs are no longer negotiable.

Overcoming alcohol use disorder wasn’t easy. But living with it was worse–and pointless. The battle I waged was against myself. I used to laugh as I poured my wine–“No good story starts with a salad!” I now smile as I sip my mocktail. No good story ends with–“she drank every day and lived happily ever after.”

Get help to overcome alcohol use disorder @ Recovery University, my 12-week online sobriety program for professional women looking for alternatives to AA. Register for my free 45-minute webinar to learn the five strategies to achieve spontaneous sobriety and overcome alcohol use disorder.

 

Open Letter to All Facebook/Instagram Users

Open Letter to All Facebook/Instagram Users

If you’re on Facebook, Instagram and/or use Messenger or WhatsApp, you need to read this.

Three weeks ago, I had no sympathy for the people whose accounts were being disabled due to the posting of “dangerous content.” I had no doubt that some were caught in an overcorrection in the fight against misinformation. But at this point, if you decide to post something controversial, the risk is assumed. I have seen “this content is no longer available” posts on friends’ pages and have heard stories of people getting thrown in Facebook “jail” for anywhere from a week to a year. While censorship is inherently problematic, so is rampant misinformation. After former President Trump got bounced, it was clear there was a new set of rules.

That’s not what this is about.

Two weeks ago, I returned from a retreat (I did not check social media or email for 5 days) to discover I was locked out of Facebook, Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp. A hacker gained access to my email account and bypassed the two-factor authentication. After changing my profile information, he/she hijacked my existing Facebook and Instagram ad campaigns to post content that “violated community standards.” I have no idea what was posted or why. I disabled the ads by shutting down my credit card, which also shut down my funnel for new business and removed me from the groups and pages I’ve created to provide content and serve my clients.

Full Stop.

 Two weeks ago, I was five months into a new business. I was spending $1800 a month on Facebook ads and generating 3-4 times that in revenue. I was doing all the things you’re supposed to do to “nurture” my growing community. I was having fun, feeling successful and hopeful. My hard work was finally paying off. The coaching, content and resources I was offering to people about nutrition and recovery from alcohol use disorder was making a difference.

 Game on!

 I did not post, share or even “like” anything close to controversial content. If you searched my accounts, you wouldn’t be able to guess who I voted for or what I think about mask mandates. I used Facebook to “host” my community and to learn from other people that I admire. I have worked HARD to earn every single follower and spent a lot of money and what feels like most of my time fighting the algorithm every day to stay relevant. It was a lot of work. I was doing Facebook lives, using IGTV, posting in stories and trying to figure out reels (has anyone but the urban dance choreographers managed to get anywhere with those?)

Doesn’t matter.

You need to know that contacting Facebook through the Help page when you’ve been hacked (and locked out of your account) is impossible. There is no customer support. After a week of mind-bending frustration using a multi-device/browser/app strategy to circumvent the bots, I finally regained access. Only to find that my account was disabled. The subsequent process to “request a review” was pointless from the start—you can’t submit comments, explanations or evidence of fraud. Nonetheless, it was sucker punch to the gut when the final verdict was rendered: I have been permanently disabled.

 

I now understand that Facebook users aren’t customers—we are resources being harvested for data. This includes those of us with businesses heavily vested in Facebook ads. There is NO help–no people to call. You’d think there would be a support department to investigate fraud. It might take a while, as thousands of accounts are hacked every day. You might have to wait, but surely if you’re patient and persistent, someone at Facebook will acknowledge the oversight. That’s their job, right?

Wrong.

Facebook doesn’t care that I’ve lost my livelihood. Beyond that, I’ve lost my tribe. My people. My friends. I have contacts all over the world that I was in regular contact with via Messenger and WhatsApp. All of that’s gone. I’m gone.

 

Being permanently disabled from Facebook means that I can’t use Instagram, Messenger or WhatsApp either. I’m banned from opening an account on any of the Facebook platforms for the rest of my life. If I wanted to circumvent the system, I’d have to change the IP addresses on all of my devices, start shady email accounts and alter the structure of my face. And cross my fingers. Because any sign of the old Colleen Freeland Kachmann will trigger the Facebook police.

 You’re fired. Again.

 I remind myself that given a choice of problems in life, I’d pick this one in a heartbeat. My children are safe and healthy. My basic needs are met. Coaching isn’t my only source of income. Nevertheless, this IS a big deal and it isn’t just happening to me. There are thousands of people like me who have been permanently banned from the largest world-wide social network through no fault of their own. Social media is being increasingly classified as a “utility”–meaning people need access to function on a level playing field. I’ve been given a life sentence without due process. There is no court of appeals; there is no road to redemption.

This increasingly common circumstance has serious and detrimental impact on mental health and financial stability—not to mention people’s basic ability to communicate. It’s a big damn deal to be permanently removed from anywhere, not just Facebook, especially if you’re not guilty of a crime. And no one seems to care. Advice forums on Reddit and Quora take the same tone as Facebook—this wouldn’t be happening if you weren’t guilty of at least being stupid.

I’m not stupid. And you should care. You could be next.

What can you do? First of all, realize that the pictures, videos, and intellectual content on your pages and groups can be confiscated at any moment. You might “own’ them via copyright or trademark, but Facebook has full custody, and full authority to remove you from your belongings. We’ve been conned into believing that this is a public space–we have a right to conduct legal business (while pretending we have a right to privacy). We don’t! It would be like opening a business in a brick-and-mortar building without a contract and then being surprised to find the doors locked one day and all of your property confiscated. Think about the personal and professional belongings you store on these platforms: what would you do if you had 24 hours to salvage what you can?

Do that.

 After two weeks of fighting with reality, my indignity is losing steam. While I’d like to get my pictures back and reroute some of my contacts, I’m done with Facebook. I’m glad this happened. I feel free. I’m tired of jumping around like a puppet trying to please an algorithm that is literally working against me. Only 7-8 percent of my followers even see the content I spend hours making. Screw that! I’d rather have twenty people that want to hear from me than thousands who “liked” and then lost me in the noise. Being removed from Facebook has restored my time and focus–I didn’t realize how much energy using these platforms was costing me. My stress level has decreased significantly–despite dealing with this stressor! Instead of worrying about “engagement”–99 percent of which is absolutely meaningless, I am figuring out how to build a business (and a life) that doesn’t rely on the toxic grid. I’m finding new ways to stay connected to those I care about and creating an online space that truly belongs to me and serves my clients. All of this feels much more meaningful than all of that. 

Thanks Universe. Buh Bye Facebook.

Please share this article–forward it to friends and post on Facebook (it doesn’t violate community standards–maybe someone at Facebook will see it and help me). You can also download your data from Facebook.

If you think you can help, here is a link to view the evidence of my story and my (former) contact information.

Facebook Account was Hacked

Facebook Account was Hacked

For anyone at Facebook who sees this, thank you in advance for any help you can offer.
Any dangerous content that violated community standards would have been posted after my account was hacked.

The user name for disabled personal Facebook account is Colleen Freeland Kachmann.
Former login was [email protected]
New login established in recovery process is [email protected]
My FB page is /colleenkachmann (Life Off the Label)
My IG page is @LifeOfftheLabel

The IP address used to login to my Yahoo email account on September 29 was located in Indonesia.
My Facebook password was changed on September 30 from an IP address in Pierceton, Indiana.
I was able to access my Facebook account on my phone (in an airport) during the day on October 3, despite the password having changed.
I did not lose access until late evening, Oct 3, when my primary email was changed again at 9:33 pm.
I did not see the notification emails of these events as I was not checking my phone will on retreat.
The ad changes were declined at 9:39 pm.
I received a notice from my bank of fraudulent activity on Oct 4.

How to Heal Loneliness

How to Heal Loneliness

Lonely vs. Alone

The root of loneliness isn’t the absence of other people but a lack of connection with yourself. When you are aware of yourself, you feel grounded and worthy. Having a strong sense of your own identify means you are never really alone, even when no one else is around. To be clear, loneliness is also a form of grief when death, divorce and other traumatic life circumstances leave us isolated. The focus of this article addresses the type of loneliness that accompanies mental health issues such as addiction, depression and codependent behavior.

Loneliness is an internal feeling—not an external circumstance. Loneliness occurs when you’re uncomfortable in your relationship with yourself. Feeling alone has little to do with being alone. Loneliness is not the result of what is (or isn’t) happening around you. It’s a reflection of what’s going on inside of you. The act of being alone is not painful. It’s the story about why and how you’re alone that creates suffering. Loneliness, like all emotions, is the consequence of thought.

What creates loneliness?

We create loneliness when the stories about our life circumstances fail to recognize our unique peculiarities and needs as “normal” and valid. Connection in any relationship (including and especially with our self) requires honesty, acknowledgement and shared identity. We stop feeling lonely when someone else validates how confusing life is, how frightening death is, how painful relationships can be, how disabling anxiety is, how overwhelming regret can feel, how miserable and monotonous everyday life can be, how threatening unexplored potential feels, how disappointing and even embarrassing it feels to age, and how the older we get, the less we know for sure. When we fail to listen and empathize and/or to feel heard and understood, the relationship breaks down.  

 The disconnect with our self occurs when we believe that we “should” or “shouldn’t” feel the way that we do. We make up stories about what we’re doing and how we feel that aren’t true in that moment—not because we are liars, but because we are ashamed of the gap between what we sense in ourselves and what is acceptable to speak of. We present a one-dimensional façade and edit for awkwardness. But the image we project is not who we are. Unfortunately, in order to identify with the image we’re projecting, we must first disconnect from our real self.

Lacking a sense of self, we evaluate and adjust our projection according to the reactions of other people. We believe our identify is located in their reflection. We become who they think we are. For this reason, relationships (especially with partners) fall apart not just because we stop liking who they are, but because we stop liking our reflection within the relationship. Also, we may not even recognize loneliness for what it is if our connections appear solid on the surface. Even seemingly healthy relationships cannot substitute for the basic need for intimacy with ourselves.

 Loneliness often manifests as a dull ache and vague discomfort. The feeling can be denied or ignored; the stories kept subconscious. High-functioning, busy and extroverted people may attempt to avoid loneliness with external distractions (people, substances and/or behaviors). They notice feelings of depression when the chaos recedes but fail to attribute the emotion to the internal disconnect. They continue to search for identity (and comfort) outside of themselves. The cycle continues; the loneliness grows.

Learn how to heal loneliness.

  1. Acknowledge it. Loneliness simply reflects an unmet need–to establish and strengthen our relationship with our self. Why do we avoid this? Because there is pain in our subconscious stories. But the fear of the pain is usually worse than the reality. Our stories can be mined for wisdom. We’re so conditioned to “flinch” and run the other way. Stop flinching. Stop running. Just focus on how you feel. Have compassion. Loneliness feels heart-wrenching, but the physical sensation itself is usually bearable. Observe the sensation and acknowledge the pain. And you can handle it.
  2. Empathize with yourself. Humans need validation. Empathize with yourself the same way you would a friend. By observing your loneliness instead of ignoring it, you’re building a connection to your Higher Self. Say to yourself, “I see you. I feel your pain. You are not alone. I’m here. I’ll stay with you.”
  3. Skip the pity party.Don’t entertain the thoughts about people or circumstances that have let you down. Don’t think about how you’re destined to always be alone because something is wrong with you. Stay out of the story and remain in the present. Just breathe—don’t think. You don’t have to figure anything out. It doesn’t matter why or who or how. The antidote to loneliness is to establish a connection with yourself. Focus on that and the healing will begin.
  4. Make regular time and space for emotional hygiene. Solid relationships require regular investments of time, energy and respect. You can’t expect to have a thriving partnership with someone who neglects and ignores you. Be consistent. Allow yourself to cry. Or scream. Sing, rock, sway, moan. Punch a pillow. Write in a journal. Or just be still. Numbness is a feeling too. In the beginning, it may feel overwhelming because there’s a lot to process. Set a time limit to avoid plunging into a black hole. It’s okay to process in increments. But the more you practice feeling your feelings and exploring your inner world, the easier it gets. It won’t always feel so foreign! This process is as essential as going to the bathroom. Think of emotional hygiene as flushing the toilet. Do it regularly so the system doesn’t get backed up.
  5. Identify your unmet needs. Often loneliness stems from some combination of need for connection, variety, certainty, contribution, growth and significance. Consider how you have been attempting to get these needs met. What expectations have you placed on friends, family, career and activities? Expectations are resentments waiting to happen. If the people and situations you’ve chosen to meet your needs don’t have the capacity, explore other options. Accept the reality, process your disappointment and take responsibility for your own needs.

Loneliness is an emotion that signals an unmet need. It should not be ignored. Humans have a basic need to belong—to matter, to grow and to feel needed. These feelings are rooted in self-awareness and identity. If we cannot acknowledge, validate and care for ourselves, we cannot expect anyone else to understand who we are and what we need. Authentic relationships are built on a strong connection to self.  

Are you struggling with loneliness? Join my Normalize Sobriety Facebook Group to connect with me and others who are learning to be authentic and do the hard work it takes to deal with their feelings.

Honey Garlic Ginger Chicken and Broccoli with Soy Curls Recipe

Honey Garlic Ginger Chicken and Broccoli with Soy Curls Recipe

Honey Garlic Ginger Chicken and Broccoli with Soy Curls Recipe

Most "meat replacement" products are highly processed and full of fillers. Soy curls are a whole food with one ingredient: non-GMO soybeans. Fast and easy to make, they are the perfect substitute for chicken, beef and pork. I've been vegan for 12 years and have only experienced such "meaty" texture in high end vegan restaurants. Soy curl recipes are God's latest gift to the plant-based diet. See notes for where to purchase. Enjoy!
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 5 mins
Total Time 15 mins
Cuisine Asian, Chinese

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup rice
  • 2 cup water
  • 2 tsp. veggie bouillon paste optional
  • 3 cups soy curls (1/2 8 oz. package)
  • 4 cups broccoli chopped; substitute ~10 ounces of frozen
  • 1 cup honey garlic ginger marinade Favorite store brand or see notes for homemade recipe
  • 1 Tbsp. Everything seasoning optional

Instructions
 

  • Cook rice according to package directions.
  • In a mixing bowl, whisk the veggie bouillon into the water to make vegetable broth. Add soy curls. Soak for 10 minutes.
  • Chop broccoli into florets. Set aside.
  • Drain excess liquid from soy curls. Place in large skillet and turn on medium heat. Stir in half of the honey garlic ginger marinade (picture of two great options). Heat 5 minutes until browned.
  • Top with broccoli and remaining marinade. Cook until broccoli is bright green and soft. Top with Everything seasoning. Serve over rice.

Notes

Buy soy curls on Amazon. Purchase directly from Butler Foods (they have reduced pricing for multi-packs and bulk). 
Honey Garlic Ginger Dressing recipe: Blend: 1/4 cup Bragg Liquid aminos, 1/4 cup honey, 1/4 cup rice vinegar, 1 Tbsp. sesame oil, 3 garlic cloves, 1 inch hunk of ginger (substitute 1/2 tsp. powder), 1 squirt sriracha or chili garlic sauce.
Veggie Broth vs. Bouillon: Store bought organic veggie broth can be very expensive. I use Organic Better than Bouillon Vegetable Base, which allows me to make as little (or as much) as I need without paying $1/cup (it's about $0.20 cents/cup).

Honey Garlic Ginger Chicken and Broccoli with Soy Curls Recipe

Most "meat replacement" products are highly processed and full of fillers. Soy curls are a whole food with one ingredient: non-GMO soybeans. Fast and easy to make, they are the perfect substitute for chicken, beef and pork. I've been vegan for 12 years and have only experienced such "meaty" texture in high end vegan restaurants. Soy curl recipes are God's latest gift to the plant-based diet. See notes for where to purchase. Enjoy!
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 5 mins
Total Time 15 mins
Cuisine Asian, Chinese

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup rice
  • 2 cup water
  • 2 tsp. veggie bouillon paste optional
  • 3 cups soy curls (1/2 8 oz. package)
  • 4 cups broccoli chopped; substitute ~10 ounces of frozen
  • 1 cup honey garlic ginger marinade Favorite store brand or see notes for homemade recipe
  • 1 Tbsp. Everything seasoning optional

Instructions
 

  • Cook rice according to package directions.
  • In a mixing bowl, whisk the veggie bouillon into the water to make vegetable broth. Add soy curls. Soak for 10 minutes.
  • Chop broccoli into florets. Set aside.
  • Drain excess liquid from soy curls. Place in large skillet and turn on medium heat. Stir in half of the honey garlic ginger marinade (picture of two great options). Heat 5 minutes until browned.
  • Top with broccoli and remaining marinade. Cook until broccoli is bright green and soft. Top with Everything seasoning. Serve over rice.

Notes

Buy soy curls on Amazon. Purchase directly from Butler Foods (they have reduced pricing for multi-packs and bulk). 
Honey Garlic Ginger Dressing recipe: Blend: 1/4 cup Bragg Liquid aminos, 1/4 cup honey, 1/4 cup rice vinegar, 1 Tbsp. sesame oil, 3 garlic cloves, 1 inch hunk of ginger (substitute 1/2 tsp. powder), 1 squirt sriracha or chili garlic sauce.
Veggie Broth vs. Bouillon: Store bought organic veggie broth can be very expensive. I use Organic Better than Bouillon Vegetable Base, which allows me to make as little (or as much) as I need without paying $1/cup (it's about $0.20 cents/cup).
Easy Vegan Stroganoff Recipe

Easy Vegan Stroganoff Recipe

Easy Vegan Stroganoff Recipe

This easy vegan stroganoff recipe is done in 15 minutes. Traditional flavor and hearty texture create classic comfort food. My kids love this recipe!
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 15 mins
Servings 6 people

Ingredients
  

  • 12 ounces pasta
  • 20 ounces mushrooms sliced
  • 1 onion yellow, red or sweet; sliced
  • 5 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 Tbsp. Bragg Liquid aminos substitute soy sauce of choice or coconut aminos for soy free
  • 1 Tbsp. sesame oil substitute preferred oil or skip
  • 2 cup water
  • 2 tsp. vegetable bouillon paste
  • 5.4 ounces yogurt, plain plant-based, substitute coconut milk with a splash of lemon juice to sour
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes
  • 2 Tbsp. arrowroot powder substitute other thickening flour or corn starch
  • 1 tsp. thyme

Instructions
 

  • Cook pasta according to package directions. [Cook tip: add 1 Tbsp. salt to boiling water with pasta. See note below.] Set timer and remove from water when pasta is al dente (firm, not mushy). Drain.
  • Add sliced mushrooms, onion and minced garlic into a large skillet. Dash with liquid aminos and sesame oil. Saute until soft (~10 minutes). Add a splash of water and/or lower the heat if sticking occurs.
  • In a small bowl or large measuring cup, whisk water and bouillon paste to form vegetable broth. Add yogurt, yeast flakes, arrowroot and thyme to make stroganoff sauce. Whisk until well blended.
  • Pour stroganoff sauce over the mushrooms and onions. Bring to a boil, stir constantly to prevent sticking. Remove from heat after sauce thickens (should not take longer than 1-2 minutes).
  • Pour stroganoff over pasta. Mix well. Serve. Garnish with something green (parsley, thyme, Italian seasoning, green onions, scallions, etc.). Salt and pepper to taste.

Notes

Pasta preparation tip: Add ~1 Tbsp. salt to boiling water with pasta to add flavor. Don’t worry—the salt dissolves in the entire pot of water, and the pasta absorbs a very small amount. No chance of salt overload as you drain the majority of it off. 

Easy Vegan Stroganoff Recipe

This easy vegan stroganoff recipe is done in 15 minutes. Traditional flavor and hearty texture create classic comfort food. My kids love this recipe!
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 15 mins
Servings 6 people

Ingredients
  

  • 12 ounces pasta
  • 20 ounces mushrooms sliced
  • 1 onion yellow, red or sweet; sliced
  • 5 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 Tbsp. Bragg Liquid aminos substitute soy sauce of choice or coconut aminos for soy free
  • 1 Tbsp. sesame oil substitute preferred oil or skip
  • 2 cup water
  • 2 tsp. vegetable bouillon paste
  • 5.4 ounces yogurt, plain plant-based, substitute coconut milk with a splash of lemon juice to sour
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes
  • 2 Tbsp. arrowroot powder substitute other thickening flour or corn starch
  • 1 tsp. thyme

Instructions
 

  • Cook pasta according to package directions. [Cook tip: add 1 Tbsp. salt to boiling water with pasta. See note below.] Set timer and remove from water when pasta is al dente (firm, not mushy). Drain.
  • Add sliced mushrooms, onion and minced garlic into a large skillet. Dash with liquid aminos and sesame oil. Saute until soft (~10 minutes). Add a splash of water and/or lower the heat if sticking occurs.
  • In a small bowl or large measuring cup, whisk water and bouillon paste to form vegetable broth. Add yogurt, yeast flakes, arrowroot and thyme to make stroganoff sauce. Whisk until well blended.
  • Pour stroganoff sauce over the mushrooms and onions. Bring to a boil, stir constantly to prevent sticking. Remove from heat after sauce thickens (should not take longer than 1-2 minutes).
  • Pour stroganoff over pasta. Mix well. Serve. Garnish with something green (parsley, thyme, Italian seasoning, green onions, scallions, etc.). Salt and pepper to taste.

Notes

Pasta preparation tip: Add ~1 Tbsp. salt to boiling water with pasta to add flavor. Don’t worry—the salt dissolves in the entire pot of water, and the pasta absorbs a very small amount. No chance of salt overload as you drain the majority of it off. 
Easy Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese Recipe

Easy Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese Recipe

Easy Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese Recipe

Once the butternut squash is baked, this meal takes 10 minutes--almost as fast and WAY healthier than the store-bought box of crap. Add a bag of frozen peas and top with Italian bread crumbs for a plant-based meal that qualifies as traditional comfort food.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Total Time 55 mins
Servings 6 people

Ingredients
  

  • 1 butternut squash, whole baked
  • 12 ounces pasta (macaroni shapes) look for high protein and fiber varieties
  • 1/4 onion red, yellow or sweet, substitute 2 tsp. powder
  • 1 garlic clove substitute 1 tsp. powder
  • 1 cup nuts, raw cashews, walnuts or almonds
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast flakes optional
  • 2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar substitute any vinegar or lemon juice
  • 1 tsp sea salt

Instructions
 

  • In advance, place a whole butternut squash on a baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for ~45 minutes. Remove from oven once it starts to brown on top and a knife penetrates easily. Set aside and allow it to cool. Store in the refrigerator until ready to use.
  • Prepare pasta according to package directions. Drain and rinse in cold water. [Cook tip: Add ~1 Tbsp. salt to boiling water with pasta to add flavor.]
  • Cut open squash. Use a spoon to remove the seeds. Using a spoon or a peeling knife, strip the squash away from the skin and add to the blender. Do not spend excessive time peeling away every last bit of skin. It's edible and adds fiber. Remove as much as you can and let the blender take care of the rest.
  • Add the remaining ingredients to the blender to make the cheese sauce. Mix on high until creamy and smooth.
  • Pour cheese sauce over the pasta. Mix well and serve.

Notes

My kids love this dish even more when I add a package of frozen peas and top with Italian flavored bread crumbs or croutons.
Sticky Blender Solution: Did you know that your blender will wash itself? Yep. Just fill it 2/3 water and a drop of dish soap. Blend until clean.
Pasta preparation tip: Add ~1 Tbsp. salt to boiling water with pasta to add flavor. Don’t worry—the salt dissolves in the entire pot of water, and the pasta absorbs only a small amount. No chance of salt overload as you drain the majority of it off.

Easy Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese Recipe

Once the butternut squash is baked, this meal takes 10 minutes--almost as fast and WAY healthier than the store-bought box of crap. Add a bag of frozen peas and top with Italian bread crumbs for a plant-based meal that qualifies as traditional comfort food.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Total Time 55 mins
Servings 6 people

Ingredients
  

  • 1 butternut squash, whole baked
  • 12 ounces pasta (macaroni shapes) look for high protein and fiber varieties
  • 1/4 onion red, yellow or sweet, substitute 2 tsp. powder
  • 1 garlic clove substitute 1 tsp. powder
  • 1 cup nuts, raw cashews, walnuts or almonds
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast flakes optional
  • 2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar substitute any vinegar or lemon juice
  • 1 tsp sea salt

Instructions
 

  • In advance, place a whole butternut squash on a baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for ~45 minutes. Remove from oven once it starts to brown on top and a knife penetrates easily. Set aside and allow it to cool. Store in the refrigerator until ready to use.
  • Prepare pasta according to package directions. Drain and rinse in cold water. [Cook tip: Add ~1 Tbsp. salt to boiling water with pasta to add flavor.]
  • Cut open squash. Use a spoon to remove the seeds. Using a spoon or a peeling knife, strip the squash away from the skin and add to the blender. Do not spend excessive time peeling away every last bit of skin. It's edible and adds fiber. Remove as much as you can and let the blender take care of the rest.
  • Add the remaining ingredients to the blender to make the cheese sauce. Mix on high until creamy and smooth.
  • Pour cheese sauce over the pasta. Mix well and serve.

Notes

My kids love this dish even more when I add a package of frozen peas and top with Italian flavored bread crumbs or croutons.
Sticky Blender Solution: Did you know that your blender will wash itself? Yep. Just fill it 2/3 water and a drop of dish soap. Blend until clean.
Pasta preparation tip: Add ~1 Tbsp. salt to boiling water with pasta to add flavor. Don’t worry—the salt dissolves in the entire pot of water, and the pasta absorbs only a small amount. No chance of salt overload as you drain the majority of it off.

Pin It on Pinterest