Posts Tagged ‘soy-free’


It has been quite a while. (Sorry, Alva!)I have no excuse, but to say absolute laziness has taken over, and I haven’t taken any pictures of the food I’ve made. Believe me when I say I have made some awesome food. Soups, cookies, stews, bread… All sorts of yum. To be honest, I have thought a lot about the blog, and thought a lot about taking more pictures, and making more blog-worthy food, but thinking and doing are two very different things! But tonight’s dinner was delicious, and to give myself just one more reason to procrastinate on other things, I will blog about it.

Tonight’s dinner featured my two favorite things, well three actually.. no four, yes four of my favorite things: Sweet Potatoes, Black Beans, hot peppers, and cornbread. The last one was accompanying our meal, but still..

Black beans and Sweet Potatoes make the most wonderful combination. I invite you to create new ways to use these together. I have put them in everything, usually with a southwestern twist, but they have found their way into burritos filling, enchiladas, soups, stews, casseroles… I wish I could tell you the list goes on, but it stops there.. Believe you me I am thinking of ways to put them into just about anything.

I guess my love of black beans and sweet potatoes goes back to when I was first learning to cook vegetarian and a pan of sweet potato-black bean enchiladas made my family swoon. For the record, I am the only known vegan in my family, and I am also the cook of the family. So when I decided to go veg, so did my family (at least when I am doing the cooking). I have tried all sorts of recipes on them, some great, some not so hot.. But those enchiladas were and continue to be the most requested meal I make. So, in order to mix it up a bit, I like to take that combo to different degrees. Tonight I feature them in a soul-satisfying chili.

We recently received quite a winter snow storm, and soup was definitely on my mind. Something to warm the belly after a long day of play. But with winter storms comes icy roads, crazy drivers, and low visibility… Translation: Gotta work with what I got. Luckily, I had made a huge batch of black beans earlier and I always keeps sweet potatoes on hand. So Chili was born.

Sweet Potato-Black Bean Chili

1 purple onion, diced

1 carrot, chopped

2 celery sticks, chopped

2 medium sweet potatoes, chopped

3 cloves garlic, or more to taste, minced

1-2 dried chili peppers, to taste, minced

5-6 cups vegetable stock

4 cups black beans, or 3 cans, drained and rinsed

2 cans diced tomatoes, with liquid

1 TBSP cumin

1 tsp Cayenne

1-5 shakes liquid smoke, optional, to taste

Salt and Pepper, to taste

Garnish with a dollops of Tofutti sour cream and chives

In a large soup pot, saute onions in a bit of oil or veg broth until translucent. Add carrots, celery, sweet potato, garlic and chili pepper, heat, stirring occasionally, until carrots lose some crispness, about 5-7 minutes. Add vegetable stock, tomatoes, black beans, cayenne, cumin, stir to combine and cover. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Let the pot simmer for about 45 minutes or longer. Really it can be 30 minutes, but I like to have all the flavors combine and allow the beans and potatoes to give off some starch and thicken the sauce a bit. In the last 20 or so minutes add liquid smoke. This gives it a bbq flavor and just another level of depth. If you do allow it to simmer for a while, make sure to add more stock or water if it becomes too thick. The chili is done when the sweet potatoes are soft and the broth is a bit thicker. Serve with sour cream and some skillet cornbread. YUM! This recipe makes a big ol’ pot of chili, enough for dinner, and then leftovers(x2).. OR, invite over some friends and enjoy it together. But, This recipe is even better the next day!

A note about Cornbread:

I love cornbread. It is my favorite, and whenever I make it, I can’t stop eating it. Tonight I make skillet cornbread by using my go-to cornbread recipe, which is the consistency of pancake or cake batter, and pouring it into a piping hot cast iron skillet. I heated the skillet in the oven while it was preheating to 425 and then I melted 1/2 TBSP earth balance in said mini iron skillet. Placed it back in the oven to make sure it was good and hot, then took it out, poured the batter in, and put it right back in the oven. The hot skillet creates a crust on the bottom of the cornbread so it is crunchy and delicious, much like a really thin crouton layer.. Always a welcome surprise.

This recipe is satisfying and healthy to boot.. I leave you with that! Stay warm!

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Sorry for the brief hiatus. I know I should’ve posted, but life sometimes gets in the way and blogging falls second. I am back for the last day of MOFO with some seasonal cranberry-pumpkin muffins with NO fat added! Sweet! I love muffins, but HATE them when they taste like cupcakes minus the frosting. Call me crazy, but I like my muffin to taste delicious, but not like dessert. For this recipe, I was inspired by the first sightings of cranberries at Trader Joe’s, and of course pumpkins! This recipe is fast, coming together in less than 15 minutes, with a cook time of about 15-20 minutes. Perfect for a quick brunch, or something to munch on while heading to work. Or, if you are like me, anytime of the day, because I can’t stop eating these!

Cranberry Pumpkin Muffins

Cranberry-Pumpkin Muffins

1 1/2 cups flour (I used whole wheat)

2/3 cup rolled oats

1 tsp Baking Soda

2 tsp Baking Powder

pinch of salt

2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 nutmeg

1/2 evaporated cane juice

1/2 agave nectar (amber)

1/2 cup applesauce (I used my pearsauce)

1/2 cup pumpkin puree (Not pumpkin pie puree)

1/8 cup non-dairy milk

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup fresh cranberries

1/4 cup granola, optional

Pre-heat oven to 350*F

In a large bowl combine flour, oats, baking soda, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Next, add applesauce, pumpkin, sugar, agave, milk and vanilla extract to dry ingredients. Stir until just combined, if the batter doesn’t come together, try adding a bit more milk to the mix! The batter should be thick, but not dry. Add, cranberries and stir to combine. Spoon into greased muffin tin, or paper liners. If desired, sprinkle granola on top of muffins before baking. This adds a nice, sweet crunch to the top! Bake for 15-20 minutes or until muffins have firmed up, and a toothpick comes out clean!

Inside of the Muffin

These muffins are super moist and have all the flavors of Fall! It’s a muffin you don’t feel guilty eating, and something you want to share with friends and family! Oh and I know I said I had a mean cookie recipe to share, but that’ll be next week! Happy Halloween!!

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With Fall coming in full force here in Nevada, the nights are getting a lot colder, and the need for comfort food is rising. Making my weekly meal plan, I find myself wanting easy, no fuss food that warms the belly and fills the house with yummy aromas! Lasagna was on the menu, and boy was I glad! I am not a huge pasta eater (gasp!), but I do love a nice plate of pasta from time to time. This lasagna is inspired by The Vegan Table‘s Spinach Lasagna. I am a student and I work, so sometimes there isn’t a whole lot of time in the day to prepare food. Lasagna is one of those dishes that so many people think requires a lot of time. I am here to tell you that is not true! Much of the time with lasagna is inactive.. the oven is doing all the work. Below I will show you my quick version of this awesome recipe. Ready, go!

lasagna 2

Weeknight Lasagna

1 box, or nine lasagna noodles ( I use whole-wheat)

1 jar organic tomato marinara sauce, about 4-5 cups

4 cups, or 2 cans white beans

1 cup, packed basil leaves

juice of 1 lemon

1 16oz package organic frozen spinach, thawed

1 T agave

5 garlic cloves

1/3 c non-dairy milk

Salt, to taste

Pre-heat oven to 375*F.

While getting ingredients together, put bag of spinach in the sink with warm/hot water to thaw. You could certainly do this in a microwave, but I don’t have one, so the sink it is. Bring water for pasta to a boil. While the water is heating up, place garlic with lemon juice in a food processor or blender and mince. Next, add white beans, milk, basil, agave, and salt, blend or process until smooth. You may want to add the basil with the garlic to puree it a bit more before the addition of the remaining ingredients. By this time, the water should be boiling, salt water, and add pasta. While pasta is cooking, transfer bean mixture to bowl. Remove spinach from package, and press it with paper towels, or a dish towel to remove excess water. Mix together bean mixture and spinach, making sure to taste and season accordingly. I think I used about 1/2 t salt. Make sure to check on noodles, if done, drain, and lay noodles on a sprayed cookie sheet to cool slightly. In baking dish, spread about 1/2 c sauce on bottom. Add first layer of noodles. Top noodles with half Spinach-bean mixture, and then 1-1 1/2 cups pasta sauce. Place next layer of noodles, followed by spinach-bean mixture, and then pasta sauce. Place final noodles on top. If you have remaining bean mixture, smear that on the top, followed by remaining pasta sauce. Bake at 375* for about 45 minutes, or until the edges are darker, and sauce is bubbling!


The cooking time is a while, but putting it all together is a snap. Take the extra 45 minutes to make a salad, have a glass of wine, and relax!


This recipe is quick, easy, and soy free (depending on the milk and noodles). Served with a salad, it’s healthy too!  You could easily do what the original recipe calls for and use tofu instead of beans, but I really liked the fact that this was a soy-free recipe!

Bonus, since it’s just the two of us, we had this for dinner, then a lunch later in the week, and then dinner again! I think it may have even been better the next day! One quick night of cooking and we got to enjoy it for a few days!

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