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.
Homemade BITCHIN’ Sauce Recipe

Homemade BITCHIN’ Sauce Recipe

Homemade BITCHIN' Sauce Recipe

I love Bitchin' Sauce. A sparky 16-year old vegan named Starr creates several flavors, and all of them are amazing. But lately, store shelves have been empty. Luckily, the list of ingredients is transparent and pure--it reads like recipe. Until stores reopen, try this cheap and easy homemade BITCHIN' Sauce recipe.
Prep Time 5 mins
Total Time 5 mins
Course Sauce, Sides and Snacks
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 8 people

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup almonds soaked if possible--see recipe notes; substitute walnuts or cashews; Nut free? See recipe notes for options
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup yeast flakes optional--it's still great without if you don't have any
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice substitute lime juice or other vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar substitute other vinegar or more lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp. tamari substitute soy sauce of choice or Coconut aminos for soy free
  • 1-2 garlic cloves
  • 1 Tbsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1/4 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 4 ounces canned jalapenos substitute green chilis or chipotle peppers (or 1/4 tsp. chipotle pepper powder or cayenne)
  • 14 ounces canned stewed tomatoes

Instructions
 

  • Blend all of the ingredients except for jalapenos and tomatoes until creamy and smooth. Once it's smooth, add jalapenos and tomatoes and pulse until only small chunks remain. It's okay if you don't want chunks--puree until smooth.

Notes

Why soak?I soak nuts, legumes and grains whenever possible for maximum nutrient availability and digestibility, I buy in bulk (saves money), soak for 12-24 hours and then dry and store in freezer. Then they are always ready to go. Learn more about the importance of soaking nuts and beans.
Nut-free? If you are nut free, substitute riced cauliflower, steamed potato, pumpkin or sesame seeds, tofu or a can of white beans. Depending on your choice, you may not need the 1/2 cup of water. Add water at the end if your Bitchin' sauce is too thick.
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. This recipe is inspired and dedicated to Bitchin' Sauce, made in Carlsbad, CA. Support small businesses doing great things!

Homemade BITCHIN' Sauce Recipe

I love Bitchin' Sauce. A sparky 16-year old vegan named Starr creates several flavors, and all of them are amazing. But lately, store shelves have been empty. Luckily, the list of ingredients is transparent and pure--it reads like recipe. Until stores reopen, try this cheap and easy homemade BITCHIN' Sauce recipe.
Prep Time 5 mins
Total Time 5 mins
Course Sauce, Sides and Snacks
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 8 people

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup almonds soaked if possible--see recipe notes; substitute walnuts or cashews; Nut free? See recipe notes for options
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup yeast flakes optional--it's still great without if you don't have any
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice substitute lime juice or other vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar substitute other vinegar or more lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp. tamari substitute soy sauce of choice or Coconut aminos for soy free
  • 1-2 garlic cloves
  • 1 Tbsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1/4 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 4 ounces canned jalapenos substitute green chilis or chipotle peppers (or 1/4 tsp. chipotle pepper powder or cayenne)
  • 14 ounces canned stewed tomatoes

Instructions
 

  • Blend all of the ingredients except for jalapenos and tomatoes until creamy and smooth. Once it's smooth, add jalapenos and tomatoes and pulse until only small chunks remain. It's okay if you don't want chunks--puree until smooth.

Notes

Why soak?I soak nuts, legumes and grains whenever possible for maximum nutrient availability and digestibility, I buy in bulk (saves money), soak for 12-24 hours and then dry and store in freezer. Then they are always ready to go. Learn more about the importance of soaking nuts and beans.
Nut-free? If you are nut free, substitute riced cauliflower, steamed potato, pumpkin or sesame seeds, tofu or a can of white beans. Depending on your choice, you may not need the 1/2 cup of water. Add water at the end if your Bitchin' sauce is too thick.
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. This recipe is inspired and dedicated to Bitchin' Sauce, made in Carlsbad, CA. Support small businesses doing great things!
Vegan Creamed Spinach Recipe

Vegan Creamed Spinach Recipe

Vegan Creamed Spinach Recipe

This rich, vegan creamed spinach has an elegant Steakhouse-style presentation--sans butter, cream and cheese. Plant-based recipes can be as simple and delicious as their artery-clogging counterparts. Easy prep, and done within 10 minutes. Make this with other leafy greens as well, such as swiss chard, mustard, collard or beet greens and kale.
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 5 mins
Total Time 10 mins
Course Sides and Snacks
Servings 6 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 14 ounce white beans cannellini, navy, garbanzo or or other
  • 1/4 cup cashews substitute walnut or almonds
  • 1/2 Sweet Onion loosely chopped, substitute 2 tsp. onion powder
  • 2 cloves of garlic substitute 2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 2 Tbsp. nutritional yeast flakes
  • 2 tsp. apple cider vinegar substitute lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • pepper to taste
  • dash of nutmeg or red pepper flakes optional
  • 10-15 ounces fresh spinach frozen ok

Instructions
 

  • Blend all ingredients except spinach until creamy and smooth.
  • Transfer cream to a skillet. Turn on low heat. Add spinach by the handfuls, stirring constantly, adding more spinach as each batch wilts. If sticking occurs, either reduce the heat or splash with water. Remove from heat as last batch cooks. If using a cast iron skillet, remove from heat before it's finished as it will continue to cook.
  • Alternately, sauté spinach on low heat in a little water before adding the cream. As the volume decreases, add the cream sauce. Remove from heat.

Notes

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.
The volume of this dish depends on how you cook the spinach. If you use the second method, or substitute frozen spinach, the spinach is evenly cooked. If significantly reduced, you may need to hold back some of the sauce (or add more spinach). This is why I prefer the first method, as some of the spinach leaves remain large and fresh looking. Cooking in cast iron skillets is a bit "touchy."  but it can work. A stainless steel skillet would be easier. Either way, keep the heat low and stir constantly.

Vegan Creamed Spinach Recipe

This rich, vegan creamed spinach has an elegant Steakhouse-style presentation--sans butter, cream and cheese. Plant-based recipes can be as simple and delicious as their artery-clogging counterparts. Easy prep, and done within 10 minutes. Make this with other leafy greens as well, such as swiss chard, mustard, collard or beet greens and kale.
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 5 mins
Total Time 10 mins
Course Sides and Snacks
Servings 6 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 14 ounce white beans cannellini, navy, garbanzo or or other
  • 1/4 cup cashews substitute walnut or almonds
  • 1/2 Sweet Onion loosely chopped, substitute 2 tsp. onion powder
  • 2 cloves of garlic substitute 2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 2 Tbsp. nutritional yeast flakes
  • 2 tsp. apple cider vinegar substitute lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • pepper to taste
  • dash of nutmeg or red pepper flakes optional
  • 10-15 ounces fresh spinach frozen ok

Instructions
 

  • Blend all ingredients except spinach until creamy and smooth.
  • Transfer cream to a skillet. Turn on low heat. Add spinach by the handfuls, stirring constantly, adding more spinach as each batch wilts. If sticking occurs, either reduce the heat or splash with water. Remove from heat as last batch cooks. If using a cast iron skillet, remove from heat before it's finished as it will continue to cook.
  • Alternately, sauté spinach on low heat in a little water before adding the cream. As the volume decreases, add the cream sauce. Remove from heat.

Notes

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.
The volume of this dish depends on how you cook the spinach. If you use the second method, or substitute frozen spinach, the spinach is evenly cooked. If significantly reduced, you may need to hold back some of the sauce (or add more spinach). This is why I prefer the first method, as some of the spinach leaves remain large and fresh looking. Cooking in cast iron skillets is a bit "touchy."  but it can work. A stainless steel skillet would be easier. Either way, keep the heat low and stir constantly.
Spinach Artichoke Spaghetti Squash

Spinach Artichoke Spaghetti Squash

Spinach Artichoke Spaghetti Squash

Spinach artichoke spaghetti squash upgrades the rich and tangy classic into a comforting, plant-based meal packed with fiber and protein. No dairy, oil or added sugar, quick and easy prep.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 50 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Course Main Dish
Servings 6 servings

Ingredients
  

Spaghetti squash

  • 1 spaghetti squash

Spinach artichoke cream sauce

  • 1 cup cashews soaked if possible, substitute/combine with walnuts or almonds
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 Sweet Onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast flakes
  • 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar substitute lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 14 ounce artichoke hearts drained
  • 5 ounces fresh spinach ~4 cups (or use 10 oz package of frozen)
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs OPTIONAL
  • 1/2 cup vegan shredded cheese OPTIONAL

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Remove sticker from squash. Place whole in oven on a baking sheet. Bake 35-40 minutes (depending on size). Err on the side of caution as you don't want to overcook. You want the strands to be firm, not mushy. Remove from oven when it starts to brown on top. Immediately cut open to release steam and stop the baking. Check for doneness using a fork to separate the strands. Return to oven if not soft enough. Allow to cool. Remove seeds and fluff strands with a fork.
  • While the squash is baking, add all of the cream ingredients except the artichoke and spinach to blender. Blend until creamy and smooth. Drain the artichoke hearts and add to blender. If using frozen spinach, add that now and skip the next step. Pulse a few times to chop, but don't puree. Chunks are good.
  • [Only if using fresh spinach], transfer cream to a sauce pan. Add the spinach. Heat on low and stir continuously until spinach is bright green and wilted. Remove from heat.
  • Pour spinach artichoke cream sauce into the spaghetti squash. Stir to blend the layers. Alternatively, you can transfer the spaghetti squash from its skin into a casserole dish and blend in the cream. Sprinkle with optional toppings (bread crumbs and vegan cheese) if desired.
  • Set oven to broil. Broil for 3-4 minutes. Do not walk away—watch it. It goes from bubbly to burned in seconds.
  • Use a sharp knife to cut through the strands. Use a spatula to transfer to plate. Garnish with black pepper and serve.

Notes

If your spaghetti squash is very large, consider increasing the amount of spinach artichoke cream by half or even double.
Cashews are expensive. Walnuts and almonds are too, but less so. Substitute with either. Look for bulk cashews on Amazon. Soak the entire batch overnight. Dry and store in freezer. Then they are always ready to go. Learn more about the importance of soaking nuts and beans.

Spinach Artichoke Spaghetti Squash

Spinach artichoke spaghetti squash upgrades the rich and tangy classic into a comforting, plant-based meal packed with fiber and protein. No dairy, oil or added sugar, quick and easy prep.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 50 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Course Main Dish
Servings 6 servings

Ingredients
  

Spaghetti squash

  • 1 spaghetti squash

Spinach artichoke cream sauce

  • 1 cup cashews soaked if possible, substitute/combine with walnuts or almonds
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 Sweet Onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast flakes
  • 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar substitute lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 14 ounce artichoke hearts drained
  • 5 ounces fresh spinach ~4 cups (or use 10 oz package of frozen)
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs OPTIONAL
  • 1/2 cup vegan shredded cheese OPTIONAL

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Remove sticker from squash. Place whole in oven on a baking sheet. Bake 35-40 minutes (depending on size). Err on the side of caution as you don't want to overcook. You want the strands to be firm, not mushy. Remove from oven when it starts to brown on top. Immediately cut open to release steam and stop the baking. Check for doneness using a fork to separate the strands. Return to oven if not soft enough. Allow to cool. Remove seeds and fluff strands with a fork.
  • While the squash is baking, add all of the cream ingredients except the artichoke and spinach to blender. Blend until creamy and smooth. Drain the artichoke hearts and add to blender. If using frozen spinach, add that now and skip the next step. Pulse a few times to chop, but don't puree. Chunks are good.
  • [Only if using fresh spinach], transfer cream to a sauce pan. Add the spinach. Heat on low and stir continuously until spinach is bright green and wilted. Remove from heat.
  • Pour spinach artichoke cream sauce into the spaghetti squash. Stir to blend the layers. Alternatively, you can transfer the spaghetti squash from its skin into a casserole dish and blend in the cream. Sprinkle with optional toppings (bread crumbs and vegan cheese) if desired.
  • Set oven to broil. Broil for 3-4 minutes. Do not walk away—watch it. It goes from bubbly to burned in seconds.
  • Use a sharp knife to cut through the strands. Use a spatula to transfer to plate. Garnish with black pepper and serve.

Notes

If your spaghetti squash is very large, consider increasing the amount of spinach artichoke cream by half or even double.
Cashews are expensive. Walnuts and almonds are too, but less so. Substitute with either. Look for bulk cashews on Amazon. Soak the entire batch overnight. Dry and store in freezer. Then they are always ready to go. Learn more about the importance of soaking nuts and beans.
Vegan Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Vegan Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Vegan Broccoli Cheddar Soup

My kids love Broccoli Cheddar Soup from Panera (which contains processed cheese, whole milk, cream, butter, flour and fillers). It may be good, but it's not healthy. I reviewed my vegan cheese sauce recipes, researched cheddar flavor and experimented with combinations. The thick and creamy result was taste-tested and approved.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 6 Bowls

Ingredients
  

Broccoli Cheddar Soup

  • 2 heads broccoli substitute 1-2 bags frozen broccoli
  • 2-3 carrots
  • 1 Sweet Onion chopped
  • 6 cups veggie broth
  • 1 cup cashews soaked if possible, substitute almonds
  • 14 oz full fat coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup arrow root substitute tapioca flour for gluten free
  • 4-5 garlic gloves
  • 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp. turmeric

Optional Ingredients:

  • 1 cup yeast flakes
  • 1/2 Tbsp. miso paste
  • 1 tsp. ume plum vinegar

Instructions
 

  • Separate broccoli florets from the stems. Set aside the florets. Loosely chop the stems and carrots.
  • Add stems and carrots to blender or food processor. Pulse until finely chopped. (You can also add the onions if you don't feel like chopping, or want them more minced.)
  • Place chopped broccoli stems, carrots, chopped onion and veggie broth in a stock pot. Turn on medium heat. Simmer for about 10 minutes, until vegetables soften (You'll cook another 10 minutes after adding the cheddar cream, so don't over-cook).
  • For cream sauce, add cashews, coconut milk, arrow root, garlic, apple cider vinegar, tomato paste, salt, smoked paprika and turmeric to the blender. If you have the optional ingredients, add those as well. I highly recommend all of them. But if you don't keep such things on hand, proceed. The optional ingredients add a subtle depth. You'll appreciate them, but you won't miss them. Blend on high until creamy.
  • Add cream sauce from blender to the veggie broth in the stock pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer. Stir continuously and whisk any lumps that form. Soup will thicken in 8-9 minutes.
  • Add broccoli florets about 1 minute before removing from heat. They will soften and turn bright green. Over-cooking will result in pale green, mushy florets. Of course, if that's preferred, let it happen.

Notes

Whenever I cook, I always try to use what I have. I've added cauliflower, greens, peas, corn, cabbage and even zucchini. It all works. 

Vegan Broccoli Cheddar Soup

My kids love Broccoli Cheddar Soup from Panera (which contains processed cheese, whole milk, cream, butter, flour and fillers). It may be good, but it's not healthy. I reviewed my vegan cheese sauce recipes, researched cheddar flavor and experimented with combinations. The thick and creamy result was taste-tested and approved.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 6 Bowls

Ingredients
  

Broccoli Cheddar Soup

  • 2 heads broccoli substitute 1-2 bags frozen broccoli
  • 2-3 carrots
  • 1 Sweet Onion chopped
  • 6 cups veggie broth
  • 1 cup cashews soaked if possible, substitute almonds
  • 14 oz full fat coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup arrow root substitute tapioca flour for gluten free
  • 4-5 garlic gloves
  • 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp. turmeric

Optional Ingredients:

  • 1 cup yeast flakes
  • 1/2 Tbsp. miso paste
  • 1 tsp. ume plum vinegar

Instructions
 

  • Separate broccoli florets from the stems. Set aside the florets. Loosely chop the stems and carrots.
  • Add stems and carrots to blender or food processor. Pulse until finely chopped. (You can also add the onions if you don't feel like chopping, or want them more minced.)
  • Place chopped broccoli stems, carrots, chopped onion and veggie broth in a stock pot. Turn on medium heat. Simmer for about 10 minutes, until vegetables soften (You'll cook another 10 minutes after adding the cheddar cream, so don't over-cook).
  • For cream sauce, add cashews, coconut milk, arrow root, garlic, apple cider vinegar, tomato paste, salt, smoked paprika and turmeric to the blender. If you have the optional ingredients, add those as well. I highly recommend all of them. But if you don't keep such things on hand, proceed. The optional ingredients add a subtle depth. You'll appreciate them, but you won't miss them. Blend on high until creamy.
  • Add cream sauce from blender to the veggie broth in the stock pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer. Stir continuously and whisk any lumps that form. Soup will thicken in 8-9 minutes.
  • Add broccoli florets about 1 minute before removing from heat. They will soften and turn bright green. Over-cooking will result in pale green, mushy florets. Of course, if that's preferred, let it happen.

Notes

Whenever I cook, I always try to use what I have. I've added cauliflower, greens, peas, corn, cabbage and even zucchini. It all works. 
Tomato Cream Soup

Tomato Cream Soup

Tomato Cream Soup

Each serving of Tomato Cream Soup is packed with 10 grams of fiber, 15 grams of protein and tons of vitamin C. There's no dairy—walnuts and lentils blend into a sweet, decadent texture. Ripe tomatoes create a fresh summer flavor (even in the dead of winter). Tomato cream soup is a hearty full meal that will please the whole family.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Course Main Dish

Ingredients
  

  • 10 ripe tomatoes chopped
  • 1 Sweet Onion chopped into small bite-sized pieces
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 bell pepper
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/2 cup walnuts soaked if possible
  • 2 cups lentils cooked; substitute a 14 oz. can
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast flakes
  • 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp. sea salt

Instructions
 

  • Cook lentils according to package directions. I used French green lentils, which boast 15 grams of fiber and 12 grams of protein per serving. I also add a bay leaf and kombu to the cooking water to improve digestibility and add minerals. You can also substitute one can of brown or green lentils. Drain lentils and set aside.
  • Loosely chop the onion. The soup will be pureed, so no need to micro-dice. In a stock pot, caramelize the onion until stringy and brown (8-10 minutes). Splash with water to avoid sticking.
  • While the onion is cooking, loosely chop the garlic and green pepper. Add to the caramelized onion, continuing to splash with water as needed to avoid sticking. Cook for 3-4 minutes, until green pepper is soft (but not mushy).
  • Meanwhile, start quartering the tomatoes, adding them to the stock pot as your cutting board gets full. This allows some to cook longer than others, giving deeper layers of flavor.
  • Once the juice of the tomatoes can mostly cover the mixture, remove from heat.
  • Add walnuts, lentils, yeast flakes, vinegar and sea salt to the blender. Blend on high until creamy and smooth. Transfer mixture to stock pot with the tomatoes. Don't worry to get it all from the blender or to wash the blender. Once you stir the cream into the soup, it's going right back into the blender.
  • Depending on the size of your blender (and if you doubled this recipe, as I did), blend soup in reasonable portions. (Too full, and it will pop the top of your blender and spew everywhere—or so I've been told :). Use a large bowl to hold the excess. Transfer the blended soup back into the stock pot.
  • Taste. I did not over-season this because it's fresh and delicious as is. However, feel free to add thyme, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, or other seasoning. Garnish with green onions, cilantro, parsley, or any other fresh green herb.

Notes

If you want a brighter red color to appeal to your crowd, add a bit of tomato paste. It won't affect the flavor.

Tomato Cream Soup

Each serving of Tomato Cream Soup is packed with 10 grams of fiber, 15 grams of protein and tons of vitamin C. There's no dairy—walnuts and lentils blend into a sweet, decadent texture. Ripe tomatoes create a fresh summer flavor (even in the dead of winter). Tomato cream soup is a hearty full meal that will please the whole family.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Course Main Dish

Ingredients
  

  • 10 ripe tomatoes chopped
  • 1 Sweet Onion chopped into small bite-sized pieces
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 bell pepper
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/2 cup walnuts soaked if possible
  • 2 cups lentils cooked; substitute a 14 oz. can
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast flakes
  • 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp. sea salt

Instructions
 

  • Cook lentils according to package directions. I used French green lentils, which boast 15 grams of fiber and 12 grams of protein per serving. I also add a bay leaf and kombu to the cooking water to improve digestibility and add minerals. You can also substitute one can of brown or green lentils. Drain lentils and set aside.
  • Loosely chop the onion. The soup will be pureed, so no need to micro-dice. In a stock pot, caramelize the onion until stringy and brown (8-10 minutes). Splash with water to avoid sticking.
  • While the onion is cooking, loosely chop the garlic and green pepper. Add to the caramelized onion, continuing to splash with water as needed to avoid sticking. Cook for 3-4 minutes, until green pepper is soft (but not mushy).
  • Meanwhile, start quartering the tomatoes, adding them to the stock pot as your cutting board gets full. This allows some to cook longer than others, giving deeper layers of flavor.
  • Once the juice of the tomatoes can mostly cover the mixture, remove from heat.
  • Add walnuts, lentils, yeast flakes, vinegar and sea salt to the blender. Blend on high until creamy and smooth. Transfer mixture to stock pot with the tomatoes. Don't worry to get it all from the blender or to wash the blender. Once you stir the cream into the soup, it's going right back into the blender.
  • Depending on the size of your blender (and if you doubled this recipe, as I did), blend soup in reasonable portions. (Too full, and it will pop the top of your blender and spew everywhere—or so I've been told :). Use a large bowl to hold the excess. Transfer the blended soup back into the stock pot.
  • Taste. I did not over-season this because it's fresh and delicious as is. However, feel free to add thyme, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, or other seasoning. Garnish with green onions, cilantro, parsley, or any other fresh green herb.

Notes

If you want a brighter red color to appeal to your crowd, add a bit of tomato paste. It won't affect the flavor.
Spicy Thai Lasagna

Spicy Thai Lasagna

Spicy Thai Lasagna

Spicy Thai Lasagna infuses a savory Italian dish with a burst of Indian flavor. The chili garlic and sriracha sauce marinate eggplant, mushroom, tomato and kale. A cooling cashew cream softens the heat—a perfect blend of yin and yang. This unique recipe is an absolute delight to the senses.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Indian, Italian
Servings 10

Ingredients
  

Spicy Thai Sauce

  • 1/2 cup tamari/Liquid Braggs/soy sauce of choice)
  • 1/3 cup tahini
  • 3 Tbsp. chili garlic sauce
  • 3 Tbsp. sriracha
  • 3 Tbsp. rice vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp. sesame oil optional

Veggie Layer

  • 2 Eggplant chopped into cubes
  • 8 oz mushrooms chopped
  • 1 Yellow Onion chopped
  • 4 large tomatoes chopped
  • 1 bunch kale remove stems and rip into small pieces

Ricotta-Like Cashew Cheese Layer

  • 14 ounces extra firm tofu drained
  • 1 cup cashews presoaked if possible
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast flakes
  • 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. onion powder
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1.5 tsp. sea salt

Other

  • 1 package lasagna sheets ready to bake
  • 1 cup favorite marinara sauce
  • 1 package vegan cheese shredded; can also make your own. See recipe notes.

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Whisk together the ingredients for spicy Thai sauce.
  • Chop eggplant, mushrooms and yellow onion. Use about 1/2 of the spicy Thai sauce to coat the vegetables. Bake on a baking sheet for about 30 minutes, stirring periodically. You don't want veggies overcooked, as they will return to the oven for the final bake.
  • Chop the tomatoes and kale and coat with about half of the remaining spicy Thai sauce and set aside. Use the remaining sauce to add a fresh coat to the eggplant, mushroom and onion once they are roasted.
  • Add all of the ingredients for the Ricotta-like cashew cheese layer to a blender or food processor. Blend until creamy and thick. Taste test: add more salt and/or pepper if you prefer. Add a bit of water if it's too thick, but it shouldn't be pourable. This is the base of the lasagna. Thick is good.
  • Pour a little marinara into the bottom of a 9x 13 baking dish. Place first layer of lasagna sheets down, and cover with the cashew cheese.
  • Place second layer of lasagna sheets over the cashew cheese. Lay out the marinated kale. Top with baked eggplant, mushrooms and onion. Press down by adding a third layer of lasagna sheets.
  • Spread a thin coat of marinara over the top layer of lasagna sheets. Add shredded vegan cheese. Bake until cheese is melted and gooey (about 20 minutes). Run a victory lap around the house. Remove from oven and serve!
  • Collect your trophy for Top Chef. Have someone else do the dishes.

Notes

Read more about the importance of soaking cashews.
If you have a small family and don't want such a large lasagna, use two smaller baking pans. Prepare both, but don't bake at the end. Cover and place in your freezer for later use.
If you want to make your own diary free cheese, here's my Vegan Mozzarella Cheese Sauce Recipe. It's thick, gooey and authentic flavor with no fake ingredients. 
 

Spicy Thai Lasagna

Spicy Thai Lasagna infuses a savory Italian dish with a burst of Indian flavor. The chili garlic and sriracha sauce marinate eggplant, mushroom, tomato and kale. A cooling cashew cream softens the heat—a perfect blend of yin and yang. This unique recipe is an absolute delight to the senses.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Indian, Italian
Servings 10

Ingredients
  

Spicy Thai Sauce

  • 1/2 cup tamari/Liquid Braggs/soy sauce of choice)
  • 1/3 cup tahini
  • 3 Tbsp. chili garlic sauce
  • 3 Tbsp. sriracha
  • 3 Tbsp. rice vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp. sesame oil optional

Veggie Layer

  • 2 Eggplant chopped into cubes
  • 8 oz mushrooms chopped
  • 1 Yellow Onion chopped
  • 4 large tomatoes chopped
  • 1 bunch kale remove stems and rip into small pieces

Ricotta-Like Cashew Cheese Layer

  • 14 ounces extra firm tofu drained
  • 1 cup cashews presoaked if possible
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast flakes
  • 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. onion powder
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1.5 tsp. sea salt

Other

  • 1 package lasagna sheets ready to bake
  • 1 cup favorite marinara sauce
  • 1 package vegan cheese shredded; can also make your own. See recipe notes.

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Whisk together the ingredients for spicy Thai sauce.
  • Chop eggplant, mushrooms and yellow onion. Use about 1/2 of the spicy Thai sauce to coat the vegetables. Bake on a baking sheet for about 30 minutes, stirring periodically. You don't want veggies overcooked, as they will return to the oven for the final bake.
  • Chop the tomatoes and kale and coat with about half of the remaining spicy Thai sauce and set aside. Use the remaining sauce to add a fresh coat to the eggplant, mushroom and onion once they are roasted.
  • Add all of the ingredients for the Ricotta-like cashew cheese layer to a blender or food processor. Blend until creamy and thick. Taste test: add more salt and/or pepper if you prefer. Add a bit of water if it's too thick, but it shouldn't be pourable. This is the base of the lasagna. Thick is good.
  • Pour a little marinara into the bottom of a 9x 13 baking dish. Place first layer of lasagna sheets down, and cover with the cashew cheese.
  • Place second layer of lasagna sheets over the cashew cheese. Lay out the marinated kale. Top with baked eggplant, mushrooms and onion. Press down by adding a third layer of lasagna sheets.
  • Spread a thin coat of marinara over the top layer of lasagna sheets. Add shredded vegan cheese. Bake until cheese is melted and gooey (about 20 minutes). Run a victory lap around the house. Remove from oven and serve!
  • Collect your trophy for Top Chef. Have someone else do the dishes.

Notes

Read more about the importance of soaking cashews.
If you have a small family and don't want such a large lasagna, use two smaller baking pans. Prepare both, but don't bake at the end. Cover and place in your freezer for later use.
If you want to make your own diary free cheese, here's my Vegan Mozzarella Cheese Sauce Recipe. It's thick, gooey and authentic flavor with no fake ingredients. 
 

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