Category Archives: Vegan

Dairy-Free / Dinner / Fall / Gluten-Free / Pescatarian / Savory / Soup / Stay Healthy / Vegan / Vegetarian

Soup Recipes for Rainy Evenings

December 3, 2014

Just like I go crazy for salads during the summer, I love making a giant pot of soup when the weather gets cold in the fall and winter.  Soups are so wonderful because they generally require fairly little effort, and have a big payoff with enough food to cover more than one meal.  Plus, it’s an awesome way to get a crapload of veggies into your body (always helpful when trying to fend off the plague when you ride BART).

I’ve posted a lot of my favorite soup recipes on here already, but thought a recap post might be in order (I always like to have a one-stop-shop for the “what am I going to make for dinner” dilemma).

Sooo, here we go!  (Just click on the name of the soup to link to the recipe.)

Vegetarian Tortilla Soup with Black Beans and Butternut Squash

Vegetarian Tortilla Soup with Black Beans and Butternut Squash

You guys, this soup is the business.  It doesn’t make a TON of soup like some of the other soup recipes, but it’s so delicious and easy to make — perfect for a weeknight meal.  And trust me: you shouldn’t skimp on the toppings!


Split Pea Soup

This is a great, basic recipe for split pea soup; and it’s another nice option if you don’t want to be eating the same soup for the next 7 meals (it makes about 6 generous servings).


Not Your Mama’s Chicken Soup

This soup is a little more time-consuming than some of the others, and makes A LOT of soup.  But it’s awesome if you or someone you know is feeling a little under the weather.  Maybe whip up a batch and give half of it to your neighbor who isn’t feeling so hot.

Lentil Soup

Lentil Soup

This soup is so delicious and comforting — perfect for a cold, rainy night.  I like it with some Grana Padano grated over the top and a big hunk of sourdough bread.  (But really, I like most things with a big hunk of sourdough bread…)


Potato Leek Soup

This soup is so crazy-easy to make.  And it’s just a little indulgent (not quite as veggie-full as many of the others on this list).  It’s so delicious though, and awesome to make for a crowd.

Winter Minestrone

Winter Minestrone

This is my go-to soup during the fall and winter months.  It makes a ton of soup and is overflowing with all kinds of good-for-you ingredients.  Grate some fresh parmesan on top and have at it.

Butternut Squash Soup

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

I made up this recipe after being dissatisfied with butternut squash soups that were either lacking flavor or wayyy too sweet.  This soup is a good balance of salt, spice and sweet.  It tastes rich and creamy, but it’s actually full of veggies.  Yum!

Spicy Tomato Soup 4

Customizable Spicy Tomato Soup

This tomato soup is great for picky appetites — there’s a million and one ways to modify it.  Make it upscale with spices and some coconut milk, scale it down and make it basic — whatever your little heart desires.  Just don’t serve it without the grilled cheese if you’re making it for me.  🙂

Dairy-Free / Dinner / Gluten-Free / Savory / Stay Healthy / Vegan / Vegetarian

Double-Duty Spicy Roasted Veggies

August 25, 2014

I make an effort to make dinner during the week.  Tackling dinner while holding down a full-time job can be challenging (and tiring — let’s just be honest).  I’ll be the first to admit that I get stuck in the rut of making the same couple of salads over and over when I’m feeling particularly overwhelmed with life.

Our CSA box has helped a bit in pushing me outside of my normal cooking repertoire (because, like what the hell do you do with kohlrabi?)

This week’s box inspired me to whip up a bunch of spicy roasted veggies which I decided would be perfect for both breakfast burritos one night and tacos the next.

Nothing like cooking once for two meals, eh?

These vegetables are a great end-of-summer blend of things you probably have sitting in your fridge right now (and, frankly, are so easy and delicious, there’s really no reason not to make them.)

Double-Duty Roasted Veggies

Double-Duty Spicy Roasted Veggies

  • 2 medium squash, diced (I used round zucchini, but any summer squash works here)
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 2 large bell peppers (any color you like — I used a mix of green and red)
  • 1 cup corn kernels (cut off the cob or frozen)
  • 2-3 tsp. cumin
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 – 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (to taste)
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 425°.
  2. Place all veggies onto a large baking sheet.  Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and add all the spices (feel free to just eyeball the amounts — it doesn’t need to be exact, by any means).  Toss everything together until evenly coated, then spread out the veggies so they’re in a single layer on the pan.
  3. Bake 15-20 minutes, until desired done-ness is reached (I wanted a little bite left in mine, so I just did 15 minutes).

Double-Duty Mexican Style Roasted Veggies

Post on our breakfast burritos and taco feast coming up!

Cocktails / Dairy-Free / Drinks / Gluten-Free / Happy Hour / Sweet / Vegan / Vegetarian

Bourbon Blackberry Smash Cocktail

August 6, 2014

Bourbon Blackberry Smash Cocktail

Given that it’s the middle of the week, I thought a cocktail post might be in order.  Sometimes a Wednesday night calls for this sort of thing, y’know?

This cocktail is a summery twist on the classic whiskey-ginger, and is perfect for mid-week drinking (given that it takes almost zero effort and brain cells in order to make.)  The recipe is also highly adaptable, so feel free to sub in a different berry and/or herb if you feel like it.

Bourbon Blackberry Smash

makes one cocktail

  • Bourbon
  • 2 large, ripe blackberries
  • 4 mint leaves, torn
  • Ginger beer
  • Ice
  1. In a rocks or double old-fashioned glass, muddle together the blackberries and mint leaves.
  2. Add 1.5 ounces bourbon.
  3. Fill glass with ice and top with ginger beer.

Notes and Modifications:

  1. I used Woodford Reserve, but feel free to use any whiskey or bourbon you like here.
  2. Cherries or blueberries would be a nice alternative to the blackberries, if you’ve got them on hand.  If your berries are more on the tart side, add a little sugar during the muddling step.
  3. Feel free to try basil in place of the mint.
  4. I used Cock & Bull ginger beer.  If you find the cocktail too sweet (as different types of ginger beer will add different amounts of sweetness) add a squeeze of lime.

I mean, it’s pretty much rocket science, right?  Maybe I’ll recreate this around the holidays with cooked cranberries and rosemary.  I think that might be quite a treat!

Dairy-Free / Dinner / Gluten-Free / Meals for Two / Salads / Savory / Stay Healthy / Vegan / Vegetarian

Raw Beet Green Salad with Lemon-Tahini Dressing

April 8, 2014

Raw Beet Green Salad 2

First off, I did think about titling this dish: Roasted, Toasted and Goat-ed Beet Green Salad, because there’s roasted beets, toasted sunflower seeds, and goat cheese in it.  But then I thought that was a little bit annoying, even for me.  I also thought that there was a very solid chance that this salad was going to be awful when I made it.  It’s pretty, sure, but beet greens?  RAW beet greens?  Not to mention that the spring onions I used were so freaking onion-y that it was all I could smell when I was putting this together…

I’m doing a good job selling this recipe to you, huh?  Totally.

I really don’t want you to think that I’m some kind of healthy-eating mutant who loves eating raw kale and chia seeds on the regular and would die before allowing red meat into her body.  Cuz I’m not.  I mean, go ahead and think that if you want to — your choice.  It sounds sort of nice to be thought of as some kind of crazy health ninja — completely inaccurate, but nice.

But no, I like junk food.  I love a big greasy burger.  And french fries?  Don’t even get me started.  I may or may not have a very trashy relationship with the McDonald’s drive-thru.  (PS: Did you know you can ask for your fries “fresh” there?  Yeah, it means they fry them up fresh for you and serve them to you so hot they burn your mouth off.  WORTH IT.)  But that’s not what this is about.  This is about everyday life where I make the conscious choice to not eat an entire jar of peanut butter in one sitting (and believe me, that’s a legit choice right there, because it could very well be reality), and instead work vegetables into some semblance of deliciousness.  And especially because I’m turning 30 this week (!) I did make a decision at the beginning of this year to get my healthy eating back on track so that I could ring in my 30’s wearing my skinny jeans.*

So, because of that and because our CSA has been giving us beets lately (sooo many beets), I decided I should try something new.  I roasted the beets like usual, but then opted to use the leafy tops of the beets as the base for this salad.  The beet tops are mild in flavor and a little more tender than raw kale.  However, these are still a pretty hearty green, so feel free to add the dressing to your salad and let it hang out for awhile.  If you end up having leftovers, this is even a salad that will hold up well in the fridge for a couple days.

Raw Beet Green Salad with Lemon-Tahini Dressing

Raw Beet Green Salad with Lemon-Tahini Dressing

serves 2 as a meal, 4 as a side

For the salad:

  • 1 bunch beets with fresh-looking greens attached (I used 2 large golden beets and 1 large striped beet, but red beets would also work just fine here)
  • 4 spring onions (scallions), white and light green parts thinly sliced
  • 1 cup cooked and cooled quinoa
  • 1/4 cup toasted sunflower seeds (just place them in a dry pan over low heat for a few minutes, tossing regularly until fragrant)
  • 2 oz crumbled goat cheese*

For the dressing:

  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • 1-2 tsp agave nectar (start with 1 tsp, then taste and add until desired sweetness is reached)
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh chives (optional)
  • hefty pinch of salt and pepper
  1. Remove beet greens from beets and roast the beets.  Once cooled, remove the skin and chop the beets.
  2. Remove beet leaves from the stem and tear or chop into pieces.  Rinse leaves and spin dry, then add to salad bowl.
  3. Add chopped spring onions, beets, quinoa, toasted sunflower seeds, and crumbled goat cheese.
  4. Whisk together all ingredients for the dressing (add a little water if the dressing is too thick), then add to salad and toss to combine.

*To make this salad vegan or dairy-free, feel free to sub in avocado for the goat cheese.

Raw Beet Green Salad 3

*Um, I should probably note that I did follow up this salad with half a dozen mini Cadbury Cream Eggs.  Real life, y’know.

Dairy-Free / Dinner / Gluten-Free / Savory / Vegan / Vegetarian

Homemade Veggie Burgers with Creamy Bleu Cheese and Sweet & Spicy Slaw + Oven Fries

March 5, 2014

homemade veggie burgers with creamy bleu cheese and chili garlic slaw + oven friesLongest.  Title.  Ever.

Anyhoo, given that it’s still the beginning(-ish) of the year, and because my 30th birthday is rapidly approaching, I’m still on the “hey, let’s eat healthy!” bandwagon (even on weekends, which is sometimes mildly depressing).  This does not mean that I’m some kind of alien being who looooves cooking every night and never craves a pizza/cheeseburger/allthecandyintheland.

However, given that I’m doing my best to be a mindful eater, I’ve decided to take my cravings and make them work for me.  This means that when I’m craving pizza, I have it.  I’m not ringing up Round Table though, nay nay — I’m making pizza myself.  (Hello — homemade dough + you-pick-the-toppings = less calories and less guilt than the local pizzeria.  Right?  Right.)

With that in mind, I recently had a craving for a burger, which is weird, because I don’t usually crave burgers; but I was reading a blog I like, and the author had posted a recipe similar to this one and I decided that I had to make it.  I opted to make my version with a veggie patty (mostly because I have butternut squash coming out my ears these days, thanks to the CSA box), and decided to pair it with some oven fries to make the whole deal very “diner authentic.”

What, you don’t order the butternut and black bean veggie burger at your local burger joint?  Weird.

Either way — this recipe comes together in a pinch, and it’s perfect as a meal for 4 people.

And hey, if you want to make it vegan, cut out the bleu cheese and replace it with something vegan-y.  Yep, totally a word.

If you’re g-free, use a gluten free bun or wrap this up in lettuce, protein-style.  Get crazy.

Black Bean and Butternut Squash Veggie Burgers with creamy bleu cheese and chili garlic slaw2Butternut and Black Bean Veggie Burger Patties

makes 4 patties

  • 3 scallions, white and green parts cut in thirds
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup cooked butternut squash (I cubed mine and boiled it for about 20 minutes, then wrapped it in a paper towel and set it in the fridge til I was ready to make these)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup rice, cooked and cooled (I used brown jasmine rice)
  • 15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed (you could sub other beans in as well)
  • 2 tbsp ground flaxseed
  • 1/3 cups ground oats or flour of your choice (use gluten-free oats or flour if you’re making these g-free)
  • additional olive oil for sauteing
  1. In a food processor, combine scallions, garlic, squash and olive oil, then pulse to puree and mix.
  2. Add spices, salt, rice, and half the black beans.  Pulse until just combined.
  3. Add flaxseed and flour and pulse until just combined.
  4. Add remaining black beans and pulse once or twice until just incorporated (you want these to be not fully pureed).
  5. Store in fridge until ready to cook.
  6. Divide mixture and form into 4 patties, and cook in a drizzle of olive oil over medium-high heat until crispy and warmed through (about 3 minutes per side).*

*You could probably cook these in the oven as well, like falafel.

Black Bean and Butternut Squash Veggie Burgers with creamy bleu cheese and chili garlic slawSweet & Spicy Slaw

  • 1/2 large head green cabbage, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp Sriracha
  • 1 1/2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 lime
  1. In a large skillet over low heat, add olive oil, cabbage, garlic, salt and pepper and sauté 1 minute.
  2. Add chili powder, Sriracha, and sugar, and toss to combine over the heat, another minute.
  3. Remove from heat, transfer into a bowl and squeeze lime juice over slaw and toss to combine.
  4. Keep in fridge until ready to use.

Creamy Bleu Cheese

  • Bleu cheese, crumbled
  • Greek yogurt (I use Fage 2%)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Olive oil
  1. Combine bleu cheese with some yogurt, salt and pepper, mixing and mashing with a fork.  Add a little olive oil as needed to thin out the mix.*

*Obviously, this isn’t an exact recipe by any means, so just use your judgment here — the mixture should be pretty thick, so estimate using about equal amounts of bleu cheese and yogurt + a minimal amount of olive oil.

Oven FriesOven Fries

  • 2 medium russet potatoes, scrubbed clean and cut into sticks (you choose the size — the thinner they are, the quicker they’ll cook and crispier they’ll be)
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, scrubbed clean and cut into sticks
  • olive oil
  • sea salt*
  • paprika
  1. Preheat oven to 425°.
  2. Place cut potatoes into a big bowl of water until you’re ready to cook.  (Soaking them ahead of time is necessary, but it doesn’t need to be a very long soak — even just 5-10 minutes should be sufficient.)
  3. Remove potatoes from water and pat them dry them with a clean towel.
  4. Place fries in a single layer on a baking sheet and coat with olive oil, salt and paprika, toss to combine.
  5. Bake until crispy, tossing every 10 minutes.  (Cooking time will depend on the size of your fries — start with 20 minutes and go from there.)
  6. When crispy and cooked through, remove from baking sheet and season with more salt as needed.

*I used Maldon flake salt for mine because I like a coarser salt on fries, but any type of sea salt would be good with these.