Cheesy Vegan Broccoli Brown Rice Bake

This recipe was kept pretty true to itself, with the only change of adding more rice because I had leftover and instead of miso I took their suggestion and added soy sauce and rice vinegar instead. This was a great cozy night in meal and was definitely a better vegan cheese sauce than I’ve had before. It gave the rice a creamy texture and came together easily. Josh didn’t love the breadcrumbs on top, but I thought it gave it a mac n cheese like texture. This felt like a delicious casserole, but made plant based so no need to feel guilty about going back for more. I froze the rest so we could have it another time. The recipe I used is below if you want to try!


Super Bowl Food

Buffalo Chickpea Taquitos

Buffalo Chickpea Taquitos

Well it wasn’t the yummiest assortment I’ve ever made, but I tried to come up with some oil free Super Bowl foods that would fit within the starch solution guidelines. Chili was something simple that is healthy and can be made without oil, but I just threw a bunch of beans and diced tomatoes in my crockpot with spices and it was okay..not like my Bad Billy’s Bean Chili. Also, I baked potatoes then scooped the insides out for later in the week and sprinkled the skins with salt and pepper then put them under the broiler to make potato skins. They’re alright, I think oil free potato skins aren’t as crispy but they did have the chewy factor. I put the chili into the potato skins like a boat and topped with scallions.

We went over to my parents for appetizers and drinks and watched the first half of the game, so I brought the appetizers. I last minute decided to make buffalo chickpea taquitos so I made them up as I went and used what I had. I mixed a can of chickpeas with shredded zucchini with garlic powder and buffalo sauce. I wrapped them up in corn tortillas and then baked them on 400 for 20 minutes until crunchy. They would be better with some sort of creaminess that would cut the buffalo, so maybe if I find an oil free vegan ranch or cream cheese to throw in they would be better. Testing is important! I also made oil free tortilla chips (my dad thought they were stale, but you just have to know before you’re not going to get the same texture as a fried chip) by cutting corn tortillas into wedges and sprinkling them with spices then baking them on 400 until crisp. I served them with salsa and TJ’s guacamole.

Overall, not super impressed but at least we had something to eat on Super Bowl that still made me feel guilt free because I stayed in the guidelines. I can work on improving these things in the future. If you want to use the recipes and test them out and add what you want to, feel free!

                                                       Buffalo Chickpea Taquitos

12 corn tortillas, Mission super soft

1 can chick peas, mashed

2 small zucchinis, shredded and squeezed liquid out

4 tbsp Frank’s buffalo sauce

1 tsp garlic powder

  1. Preheat oven to 400* and mix the chickpeas, zucchini, garlic, and sauce together. Lay out the tortillas and put a small scoop on each and tightly roll, try not to crack.
  2. Place them on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes until brown and crunchy then serve immediately.

Easy Bean Chili

1/2 yellow onion, diced

1 tsp minced garlic

2 cans diced tomatoes, no salt added

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed

1 can white northern beans, drained and rinsed

3 tbsp chili powder

1 tbsp cumin

1 tsp onion powder

1 cup water

2 bay leaves

1 tbsp Vegetarian Beef Better Than Bouillon

  1. I dumped everything in the crock pot and turned it on high for about 5 hours. I know, I’m brave to use my crockpot on the same night as the This is Us Superbowl episode..
Bean Chili Boats

Bean Chili Boats


Teriyaki Tofu and Veggie Noodle Bowl

Teriyaki Tofu and Veggie Noodle Bowl

Teriyaki Tofu and Veggie Noodle Bowl

This is one of my favorite meals ever, because I could probably eat it multiple times a week for the rest of my life and be happy about it. There’s something so satisfying about noodle bowls because they’re full of umami flavor and I love the combination of textures. I love eating noodles with my chopsticks and packing an even amount of veggies in with the noodles so it’s full of healthy nutrients as well. It feels like a guilty pleasure because it tastes like take-out, but really it’s veggies, tofu, rice noodles with the only ingredient as brown rice, and a homemade no oil teriyaki sauce. I’ll take two!

I made up this teriyaki to follow the no oil rule in the Starch Solution, but if you’re not trying to do no oil then you can use store made teriyaki. This one was so yummy and easy though, I recommend making it. I also got a frozen veggie medley from TJ’s but I should have gotten the frozen Asian veggies in the plastic bowl because these were a little wimpy. I added the veggies I had on hand to it to bulk it up.

Teriyaki Tofu and Veggie Noodle Bowl

Serves 3-4

1 pack of Lotus Brown Rice Pad Thai Noodles

1 pack extra firm organic tofu, drained and cubed

1 bag frozen Harvest Vegetable Medley, (TJ’s)

3 cups spinach leaves

1/2 cup frozen peas

2 tbsp veggie broth

2 tbsp low sodium soy

1/2 tsp garlic powder

pepper to taste

                                                        Oil Free Teriyaki Sauce

1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce

1/2 cup coconut aminos

1 tsp minced ginger

1 tsp minced garlic

2 tbsp pure maple syrup

1 tbsp cornstarch

  1. Preheat oven to 400* and drain tofu. Cube into 3/4 inch cubes and lay out on paper towels to drain for 30 minutes or longer.
  2. Then marinate tofu in soy, garlic powder, and pepper for 10 minutes.
  3. Spread tofu on parchment on a baking sheet and bake for 30-40 minutes until tofu is crispy and golden brown.
  4. Stir fry frozen veggies in a large saute pan or wok and add veggie broth. Add peas and spinach until cooked through.
  5. In a small bowl, make teriyaki sauce and pour onto the veggies. Keep cooking on low until sauce has thickened.
  6. Boil noodles for 5 minutes and add them to the veggie mixture.
  7. Let tofu cool a few minutes so it doesn’t fall apart, and then add to the noodles.
  8. Stir to combine and enjoy!
Teriyaki Tofu and Veggie Noodle Bowl

Teriyaki Tofu and Veggie Noodle Bowl




Portobello Fajita Tostadas

Portobello Fajita Tostadas

Portobello Fajita Tostadas

It’s a Mexican mashup! I’m not the biggest corn tortilla fan, but I know they’re better for you so I keep trying. My cousin Allison suggested making tostadas with them because having them crunchy makes them hold up and she was right! Their texture was much better and I could have eaten many of them this way. Josh even said we should have these often, because they were so flavorful and the textures worked well together! Portobellos are a great meaty replacement and baking the veggies in the oven is an effort saver and there’s virtually no clean up. Easy meal alert!

Portobello Fajita Tostadas

serves 2

4 Mission corn tortillas, toasted

2 portobello caps, cleaned and sliced

1 large yellow onion, sliced

1 red bell pepper, sliced

1 green bell pepper, sliced

1 tsp cumin, chili powder, garlic powder

1/2 tsp onion powder, salt and pepper

3 tbsp vegetable broth

4 tbsp guacamole, TJ’s is delicious

handful of lettuce

grape tomatoes, halved

1 Persian cucumber, quartered and sliced

cilantro, shopped

salsa of your choice

  1. Preheat oven to 400* and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Add mushrooms, peppers, and vegetable broth to the baking sheet and then add the veggie broth and spices and mix around to coat all of the veggies.
  3. Bake for 30 minutes until veggies are tender. They don’t get as crispy without oil, but they are still tender and flavorful.
  4. I toasted the tortillas in the toaster oven for about 2 1/2 minutes on each side until crunchy and then spread a layer of guacamole on top of each.
  5. Add your veggies, then top with lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, and salsa.
  6. Better get your fork and knife ready! Messy, but so tasty!



Spinach and Tomato Penne

Tomato and Spinach Penne

Spinach and Tomato Penne

Sometimes simple is best. I wasn’t feeling great yesterday and the take out we were planning on eating had a 2 hour wait, so in a pinch I threw what I had together. I wanted something comforting and semi-plain, but the simplicity was delicious. This is by no means gourmet, but it is a good idea for those who just want a fast and healthy meal without a long list of ingredients.

Spinach and Tomato Penne

8 oz Ronzini Penne pasta

Half jar Rao’s Tomato and Basil Sauce

10-12 grape tomatoes, halved

3-4 handfuls baby spinach

1 tsp Italian seasoning

1 tbsp nutritional yeast

1. Cook pasta 2 min less than box instructions tell you and drain.

2. Put pasta back in pan and add tomatoes, spinach, sauce, yeast, and seasoning and cook down until spinach is wilted and tomatoes are cooked through.

Mexican Black Beans and Rice

Mexican Black Beans and Rice

Mexican Black Beans and Rice

I wanted to come up with something new to add to my easy weeknight Mexican repertoire besides burrito bowls or taco salad then I saw a recipe for a Mexican rice dish, so I decided to make something based on that with what I had. We usually have all of these ingredients on hand so it’s something that I can make quickly without too many steps. I added my leftover roasted broccoli/cauliflower mixture to use it up, so you don’t have to include it or you can use whatever veggies you have on hand. As Josh said, “Since when does Mexican rice include broccoli?!” umm “Since we have leftover broccoli!”

It was really filling, and full of flavor. You can toss anything you want to include with the same concept and it’s ready in 20 minutes. You heard me, 20 MINUTES in ONE PAN. What’s better?

Mexican Black Beans and Rice

1 yellow onion, diced

1 red bell pepper, diced

1/2 green pepper, diced

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 can low sodium black beans, rinsed and drained

1-2 cups roasted broccoli/cauliflower

4 cups cooked brown rice

2 tbsp taco seasoning

handful of fresh cilantro, torn

1/2 carton of grape tomatoes, halved

2 scallions, thinly sliced

Toppings: diced avocado, salsa

  1. Cook brown rice by following directions on box or bag.
  2. Saute peppers and onions in olive oil on medium heat until tender, then add black beans and broccoli mix.
  3. Mix brown rice in with veggies and add taco seasoning, tomatoes, scallions,  and cilantro.
  4. Serve and top with diced avocado and salsa of your choice. Lately I’ve been loving the peach/mango salsa and black bean combo. Sweet and savory!


Ratatouille with Roasted Potatoes

Ratatouille with Roasted Potatoes

Ratatouille with Roasted Potatoes

Well due to my puppy eating underwear…AGAIN…it was a very late dinner tonight. After trying to get end of the year tests finished, having 2nd graders crafting parent gifts, throwing the leftover ice at each other at recess, then another trip to the vet, I started slicing to make this dinner even though all I wanted to do was order something and be done with it! Anyone else feel that way some nights? Whew.

Luckily it didn’t take long and was mostly slicing and placing then baking. I used canned San Marzano tomatoes and crushed them with my fingers to have a sweeter tomato sauce and with all of the herbs and spices it was quick and delicious. I couldn’t find Japanese eggplant so I used Italian so they didn’t fit as snug as they were supposed to but I presalted them to excrete some of the bitterness and they worked just fine. I topped this with vegan parmesan before baking for a little more flavor and texture and baked it for an hour or maybe a few minutes longer until the sauce was bubbling and vegetables were tender. This is a great light dinner. Recipe here

On the side I wanted a more substantial vegetable and found these teeny tiny potatoes (TJ’s) and they were too cute to pass up! I cut them in half, and mixed them with olive oil, dried rosemary, salt, pepper, and vegan parmesan and roasted them in the oven under the ratatouille until they were crispy on the outside. These were addicting and too easy to pop!