West African Peanut Soup with Potato and Collard Greens

West African Peanut Soup with potato and collard greens

4 cups vegetable broth or water
3/4 cup unsalted, creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup tomato paste
1 tbs Sriracha sauce (or more, to taste)
1 tbs fresh ginger, peeled and minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 – 1/2 red onion, chopped
1 potato or sweet potato
collard greens, chopped
rice (1/2 – 3/4 cup, dry)
peanuts (optional)


1. Cook the rice and collard greens together, following the rice cooking instructions.

2. Make the soup by mixing in a pot: vegetable broth/water, peanut butter, tomato paste, sriracha sauce, ginger, garlic, and onion. Heat until boiling, then lower to a simmer. Add more or less broth/water until soup is a consistency you like.

3. Slice the potato and place in boiling water for 5-10 minutes, or until soft.

4. Serve by placing potatoes and rice-collard green mixture in a bowl, then topping with peanut soup. Sprinkle peanuts over the top (optional).

Mushroom Stroganoff (Vegan)

Vegan Mushroom Stroganoff

Pasta (egg noodles are traditional for stroganoff, but any vegan pasta will work. Choose a tagliatelle if you want the shape of egg noodles.)
Mushrooms (any kind – I used button), sliced
1/4 onion, chopped
1-2 clove garlic, chopped
1 cup soy or almond milk
1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup vegan sour cream (I like Tofutti brand. Or try these alternatives.)
Olive oil for cooking


1. Boil the water and cook pasta according to instructions.

2. While pasta is boiling, cook chopped onion and garlic in some olive oil. Add the chopped mushrooms and cook until tender.

Vegan Mushroom Stroganoff

3. Add flour and soy/almond milk and continue stirring until sauce thickens.

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Vegan Mushroom Stroganoff

4. Once the pasta is cooked, drain the water. Pour the mushroom sauce over the pasta and add the sour cream. Mix well. Serve.

Try topping it with some kale or spinach!

Vegan Mushroom Stroganoff with Kale

One Pot Veggie Mac And Cheese

One Pot Veggie Mac And Cheese

uncooked pasta
chopped veggies – I used: mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, asparagus
shredded cheese – I used: cheddar, monterey jack, parmesan
1 clove garlic, chopped
1-2 cup whole milk 1-2 cup vegetable stock
2 tbs flour
olive oil


1. In a large pot, saute the mushrooms and chopped garlic in some olive oil until garlic is fragrant and soft.

2. Add all other ingredients to the pot. Start with 1 cup milk and 1 cup veggie stock. Add more if needed – pasta should be fully submerged so that it can boil.
One Pot Veggie Mac And Cheese

3. Stir well, bring to a boil, then cover and lower heat to a simmer. Cook until pasta is done (about 15 mins). IMG_6485

One Pot Veggie Mac And Cheese

4. OPTIONAL: If you’re anxious to dig in, you can eat it at this point and it’s delicious! Or you can take the extra step to bake it. Scoop pasta mixture into a baking pan, top with some extra cheese, and bake at 400 until the cheese on top is melted (about 7-10 mins).

One Pot Veggie Mac And Cheese

Green Chile and Cheese Enchiladas

Green Chile and Cheese Enchiladas

6 corn tortillas
3 cups shredded monterey jack cheese
2 4 ounce cans diced green chiles, do not drain
2 cups sour cream
1/2 small yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin
cilantro leaves, chopped (optional)
vegetable or olive oil


1. Preheat oven to 425. In a bowl, mix sour cream, green chiles, cilantro, onion, garlic, and cumin.

2. Separate out about 1/3 of the sour cream mixture. This will be used later to top the enchiladas. In the remaining 2/3, mix in the cheese. This will be the enchilada filling.


3. Flash-fry the tortillas by heating the oil in a pan, then placing the tortilla in the oil for about 3 seconds, then flip it and fry the other side for about 3 seconds. Stack the flash-fried tortillas on a paper towel.


4. Put some of the cheese mixture into the middle of a tortilla and roll the tortilla around the filling. Place in a greased baking pan. Finish filling and rolling all tortillas.

Green Chile and Cheese Enchiladas

5. If there is any remaining cheese mixture, top the enchiladas with it. Then top with the sour cream mixture that was set aside in step 2.

Green Chile and Cheese Enchiladas
Green Chile and Cheese Enchiladas

6. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until the cheese is melted.

Green Chile and Cheese Enchiladas

Green Chile and Cheese Enchiladas

Vegetable Ramen with Poached Egg

Vegetable Ramen with Poached EggSeveral months ago we got backyard chickens! Only one of our ladies has started laying so far, but even just one egg a day is enough to where I’m already trying to come up with different ways of using them. This ramen was perfect with a poached egg!

Two of our girls!

Two of our girls!

4 cups vegetable broth
2 tbs soy sauce
2 cloves garlic, pressed
2 packages instant ramen noodles (flavor packets discarded)
bok choy shitake and/or oyster mushrooms
sweet corn (frozen or canned)
green onion


1. Mix the soy sauce and crushed garlic into the vegetable broth and bring to a boil.

2. Add bok choy, mushrooms, and corn. Boil for 4 minutes.

3. Add the ramen noodles. Boil for 2 minutes, stirring to separate them.

4. Reduce heat to low. Carefully crack eggs into the pot. Cover the pot and poach the eggs for 3-4 minutes.

Vegetable Ramen with Poached Egg

Artichoke, Pesto, Tortellini Soup

I’ve said before that one of my favorite combos is spinach, tomato, artichoke. I used that combo in this awesome tortellini soup. This soup is so great because it’s light, yet filling.

Artichoke, Pesto, Tortellini Soup

1 package refrigerated cheese tortellini
6 cups vegetable broth
3 tbs pesto
2 tbs olive oil
3 garlic cloves
1 tbs all-purpose seasoning
1/2 yellow onion
3 roma tomatoes
1-2 cups fresh spinach
1 can artichoke hearts


1. Boil a pot of water. (NOT the pot you’re going to use to make the soup in.) Once the water is boiling, drop in the roma tomatoes. Remove them once the skin has split open. If the skin does not split, take the tomato out, cut a small “X” on the end of it, then put it back into the water until the skin begins to peel away. Remove tomatoes from water and set aside to cool.


2. In the pot where you will make the soup, heat chopped onion, chopped garlic cloves, pesto, olive oil, and seasoning.


3. Once the onion is cooked and fragrant, add the vegetable broth and bring it to a boil. Once boiling, add the tortellini and boil according to package directions (usually 7-9 mins).

4. While tortellini is boiling, chop the tomato and artichoke. Add the artichoke, tomato, and spinach to the pot and boil just for a minute or two. Turn off the heat. (You want the veggies to stay fresh!)

Artichoke, Pesto, Tortellini SoupIMG_5910


Cheesy Zucchini and Squash Bake

This is the easiest thing to make and it’s so good!

Eggplant (optional)
Shredded mozzarella cheese
Olive oil
Seasonings, like dried basil or all-purpose seasoning (optional)


1. Preheat the oven to 350. While oven is heating, chop the zucchini, squash, eggplant, and tomato.

2. In a baking pan, mix the chopped veggies with 1-2 tbs olive oil, some seasonings, and some mozzarella cheese. Stir it up well. Then top it all with a little more mozzarella cheese.
Cheese zucchini and squash bake

Cheese zucchini and squash bake

3. Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes, or until cheese is melted and veggies are cooked through.

Cheese zucchini and squash bake

Cheese zucchini and squash bake

Sweet Potato and Kale Empanadas

Kale and sweet potato is such a great combination! The bitterness of the kale and the sweetness of the sweet potato compliment each other perfectly. I also used this combo in these quesadillas.

Sweet Potato and Kale Empanada

Dough – you can use nearly any kind of dough for empanadas – pizza dough, biscuit dough, pie crust dough, etc.
1-2 sweet potatoes
2 tbs ricotta cheese (or vegan tofu ricotta)
2 tbs parmesan cheese (or vegan parmesan)
olive oil


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bake the sweet potato. I used the microwave to speed it up (~5-7 mins in microwave, or ~1 hour in oven).

2. While sweet potato is baking, roll out the dough into thin sheets. Use a bowl to cut the dough into circles (a diameter of around 4-6 inches works well).

3. Chop the kale into small pieces (using clean scissors is great for this). Once the sweet potato is baked, cut it in half and scoop out the flesh. In a bowl, mix sweet potato flesh, chopped kale, parmesan, and ricotta.



4. Spoon sweet potato kale mixture on to a dough round. Top with a second dough round and press the edges closed with a fork. Cut a small slit in the top of the empanada to vent.

Sweet Potato and Kale Empanada

Sweet Potato and Kale Empanada

5. Place empanadas on parchment/wax paper, brush tops with some olive oil, and bake at 400 for about 10 minutes, or until the tops begin to brown.

Sweet Potato and Kale Empanada

You can also freeze these! Just place wax paper between each uncooked empanada before putting them into the freezer. Then you can take them out and heat them in the oven from frozen! They’ll need to cook a little longer than 10 minutes this way (~15-20 mins).


Quinoa, Kale, Mango Salad with Jalapeno Dressing

Quinoa, Mango, Jalapeno Salad

1 jalapeno
1 mango
1 avocado
1/8 – 1/4 onion
1 lime
1 tbs apple cider vinegar
2 tbs olive oil
sunflower seeds (optional)


1. Cook quinoa according to directions. While quinoa is cooking, chop all ingredients: mango, avocado, jalapeno, cilantro, onion, kale, and halve the lime.


2. Make the dressing by mixing chopped jalapeno, onion, cilantro, lime juice, vinegar, and olive oil. Mash the jalapeno pieces with a fork a little bit to give the dressing more of a jalapeno kick!


3. Once quinoa is done cooking, combine cooled quinoa with kale, mango, and avocado. Top salad with dressing and sunflower seeds.

Quinoa, kale, mango salad with jalapeno dressing

5 Things To Change Your Views on Eating Animals

1.Try to imagine how many animals are killed for food.

In the US alone, over 10 billion (with a ‘B’) land animals and over 53 billion marine animals are killed for food every year. That’s over 63 BILLION animals killed per year for food in the US alone. Can you even comprehend that number? No, you can’t.

Every second, 300 living beings are slaughtered for food in the US. Americans consume a million animals per hour.

The average American meat eater is responsible for about 200 animal deaths per year. Over a 79 year lifetime, that’s 15,800 slaughtered animals per meat eater. That’s a really huge number. Think about it.

2. Understand that heart disease is entirely preventable (and reversible).

Heart attack is the number one killer in the US. In other words, heart attack is the most likely reason you’ll die.

Yet, heart disease is ENTIRELY PREVENTABLE! Heart attacks are caused by arterial blockage, which is caused by cholesterol. Cholesterol is ONLY found in animal products (meat, fish, dairy, eggs). Plant foods do not have cholesterol. None.

clogged-arteries1Research indicates that a cholesterol level below 150 will essentially make you heart-attack-proof. The average American’s cholesterol level is 200. The average vegetarian’s cholesterol level is 161. The average vegan’s cholesterol level is 133.

Twice as many people die from “silent heart attacks,” or heart attacks with no warning, than those with angina, or chest pain, to warn them. You can stop and even reverse arterial blockage by not eating animal products. Change your diet before it’s too late.

3. Stop wondering where vegans get their protein.

The way Americans talk about protein, you’d think protein deficiency was the number one health risk! Guess what? It’s not. In fact, it’s not even on the list of ailments doctors are worried about in any country where basic caloric needs are being met. You’d have to be suffering from starvation (or be on a really terrible crash diet) to acquire a protein deficiency.

The official government-recommended daily amount of protein is 46 grams for women and 56 grams for men. The average American consumes twice this amount daily, which actually puts most Americans at risk for diseases caused by over-consumption of protein. Dr. Alona Pulde & Dr. Matthew Lederman who speak in the documentary Forks Over Knives said, “We’ve never treated a single patient with protein deficiency; yet the majority of patients we see are suffering from heart disease, diabetes, and other chronic illnesses directly resulting from trying to get enough protein.”

Nearly all unrefined foods contain protein (even fruit) and vegans have no trouble acquiring the recommended daily amount. This website shows a sample vegan menu and how easy it is to get daily protein on a vegan diet.
vegan protein

4. Give a damn about our planet.

Meat is one of the worst things we’re doing to this planet. The livestock industry is responsible for more greenhouse gas emissions than the entire world’s transportation industry combined! Researchers at the University of Chicago found that going vegan is more effective in countering climate change than switching from a standard American car to a Toyota Prius.

If every American ate meatless for just one day per week, the effect would be the equivalent of taking 8 million cars off the road. The Live Earth Global Warming Survival Handbook states that “refusing meat is the single most effective thing you can do to reduce your carbon footprint.”

carvmeatAmericans eat more than double the global meat consumption average. At about 5% of the world’s population, we raise & kill nearly 15% of the world’s livestock total.

Compared with buying a Hybrid vehicle, or buying Energy Star appliances, or installing insulation in your house to reduce heating leakage, or making a tedious commute on the bus or bike every day, or basically any other green thing you could possibly do, eating pasta on a night when you’d otherwise have made fajitas is pretty much the easiest, and it could have the largest impact if you did it just once a week! Given that eggplant parmesan, bean burritos, and vegetable stir-fry are all delicious, this is not the world’s most onerous commitment. For the sake of the planet, don’t ignore the impact of what’s on your plate.

5. Stop telling yourself that there’s a difference between the animals in your home and the animals on your plate.

We balk at the thought of eating dogs, cats, or horses. But why is it ok to eat pigs, chickens, and cows?

Pigs are as smart as dogs (some scientists even say they’re smarter than dogs, chimpanzees, and 3 year old kids). They learn tasks very quickly. They are social animals that form close bonds with each other and they love cuddling.

_46706100_pigcat Cows have best friends and get stressed when they are separated from them. They cry for days when their babies are taken from them (as happens in the dairy & meat industries). And they get excited when they learn something new!

2237878968_0d35634851Chickens have out-performed human toddlers on tasks involving counting and self-control. Chickens are very social animals and show empathy for their chicks. They have a complex language with up to 30 different chicken calls, that we can distinguish, that each have specific meanings.

450Your dog or cat is no different than a pig or cow or chicken in terms of their intelligence, their ability to bond, and their emotional capability. All animals have the capacity to feel pain, suffering, and fear. Slaughtering pigs, cows, chickens, sheep, goats, fish, or any animal, is no different than slaughtering dogs or cats. It’s just not.