Roasted Chickpeas and Butternut Squash

You know those kind of recipes you discover that are so special and delicious they stay with you for years? Well, this is one of those. The sweetness of the squash and the crunch of the chickpeas keep you going back for more. And it's so simple to make you have no reason not to.


Roasted Chickpeas and Butternut Squash

1 lb butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 3/4 inch pieces.  
1 1/2 cups chickpeas
1 medium onion, cut into 1/2 inch dice  
3 Tbs. olive oil
1 1/2 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. smoked paprika
salt to taste  

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Meanwhile put squash, chickpeas, and onions on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Drizzle oil over veggies, then sprinkle with spices. Toss with hands to mix.

2. Roast for 20 min. Stir. Increase temp to 425 degrees and roast until squash is tender, stirring veggies occasionally.

Thanksgiving Pot Pie and the Perfect Vegan Gravy

This Thanksgiving Pot Pie recipe won in Vegetarian Times's recipe contest when I was working there. I remembered it fondly, and finally remade it about a month ago when I was craving pot pie. The filling, even without the last 4 ingredients (and the addition of green beans), ended up divine, and my meat-loving husband devoured each and every serving I gave him.

Serves 8


2 medium potatoes, diced (2 cups)
2 large carrots, sliced (1 cup)
3 Tbs. olive oil, divided
1 16-oz. pkg. firm tofu, drained and cut into cubes
¼ cup plus 2 Tbs. San-J Tamari Soy Sauce, divided
½ tsp. granulated garlic, divided
¼ tsp. cayenne pepper, divided
2 cups sliced button mushrooms
1 large onion, diced (2 cups)
1 cup chopped broccoli florets
2 cloves garlic, minced (2 tsp.)
¼ cup all-purpose flour
2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
½ cup plain soymilk
3 Tbs. red wine
1 Tbs. chopped fresh thyme
1 Tbs. chopped fresh sage
1 tsp. hoisin sauce
½ tsp. vegan Worcestershire sauce

1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
½ tsp. salt
½ cup nonhydrogenated vegetable shortening
1 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary
1 tsp. chopped fresh sage

To make Filling:
1. Cook potatoes and carrots in large pot of boiling salted water 10 minutes, or until just tender. Drain, and set aside.

2. Heat 1 Tbs. oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Add tofu, and cook 5 minutes, or until tofu begins to brown. Stir in 2 Tbsp. tamari, 1/4 tsp. granulated garlic, and 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper, and cook until all liquid has evaporated.

3. Heat 1 Tbs. oil in skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add mushrooms, and cook 2 minutes. Add onion, broccoli, and garlic, and sauté 6 to 7 minutes, or until onions begin to soften.

4. Push veggies to side of Dutch oven. Add remaining 1 Tbs. oil to bottom of pot. Stir flour into oil with fork to make roux; stir until smooth. Stir roux into vegetables.

5. Stir broth into vegetables. Once gravy is smooth, add tofu, potatoes, carrots, soymilk, remaining 1/4 cup tamari, and wine. Stir gently, then add thyme, sage, hoisin sauce, Worcestershire sauce, remaining 1/4 tsp. granulated garlic, and remaining 1/8 tsp. cayenne. Remove from heat, and set aside, or transfer vegetables to large casserole dish.
To make Crust:

6. Preheat oven to 375°F. Mix together flour, salt, and shortening with fork or pastry blender until mixture is crumbly. Stir in up to 4 Tbs. cold water, if necessary, for dough to stick together. Gently knead rosemary and sage into dough, and shape dough into ball. Place dough ball in plastic bag, and push out from center of ball to shape dough to size of Dutch oven or casserole dish. Remove dough from bag, and lay over vegetable filling in Dutch oven or casserole dish. Poke holes in dough to allow steam to escape. Bake 45 minutes, or until Crust is golden brown. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Also, if you are craving gravy this Thanksgiving try this awesome vegan recipe from Bryant Terry. It is delicious!

Avocado Pasta Sauce

The sad news is my days of dairy have come to an end (it seems I have developed a dairy allergy). The good news: because of it I discovered this glorious pasta sauce. And I promise it is as yummy as it is pretty. In the picture above I served it over fusilli with corn.

5-6 cashews, soaked to soften
1 ripe avocado, pitted and peel removed
1 clove garlic, pressed
1 lime, juiced
3 Tbsp. milk of choice
1/2 tsp. salt

1. Soak cashews in water for at least 3 hrs.

2. Put all ingredients in a food processor, and process until smooth. Scoop out and mix into warm pasta and veggies.

Quick Yummy Soup

When you're crunched for time, but still want a health, hearty meal try this simple satisfying soup. The red lentils act as a broth thickener and add a wonderful protein boost.


Lentil Cauliflower Soup

4 servings

1 Tbs. olive oil
2 small leeks, chopped
4 cups veggie broth
1/2 cup red lentils
1/2 head cauliflower, cut into bite-sized pieces
2 carrots, chopped
1/2 tsp. coriander

1. Heat oil in a soup pot and saute leeks until soft, about 6 minutes.

2. Add everything else and bring to a boil; then simmer for about 25 minutes. Serve with bread.

Corn Avocado Lime Chowder

A good corn chowder is a true tummy pleaser when it is cold outside. Try this one for dinner, kids and parents alike will love it.


Corn Avocado Lime Chowder

4 cups veggie broth
2 ribs organic celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1 bay leaf
2 Tbs. olive oil
1 small onion, peeled and diced
¼ cup flour
1 lb. organic potatoes, diced (4 cups)
3 1/2 cups frozen corn kernels
1 pkg. vegan turkey slices, cut into squares
3 tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and diced
1-2 avocados, diced
¼ cup coarsely chopped cilantro
1 lime, juiced

1. Place broth, celery, garlic, bay leaf in medium pot. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer 10 minutes. Take off heat and set aside.

2. Heat oil in soup pot over low heat. Sauté onion 8 minutes, or until translucent. Add flour gradually, stirring constantly. Cook until flour mixture is smooth and begins to dry. Discard bay leaf, and add broth gradually until blended with flour. Stir in potatoes. Raise heat to medium-low, and bring to a simmer. Cook 15 to 20 minutes, or until potatoes are tender, stirring occasionally.

3. Add corn and vegan turkey, reduce heat to low, and cook 7 to 10 minutes more, stirring occasionally.

4. Stir in tomatoes, avocado, cilantro, and lime juice. Note: if not eating the entire soup in one night, feel free to add avocado and cilantro to individual bowls, so that you can add both fresh each time.

Halloween Art


Carved Window Pumpkin Art

What You Will Need:

2 large sheets black construction paper
1-2 large sheets orange tissue paper
glue stick
stencil(above) or do a design freehand
clear tape, preferably packing tape

1. Use pencil to trace your desired pumpkin face on one piece of construction paper. Put second layer under it, securing with paper clips if you'd like, and cut out traced face with scissors.

2. Open cut construction paper like a book. Use glue stick to glue one side of the cut construction paper, then place a piece of tissue paper down on glue (making sure it covers all cut holes), and press down to ensure stick. Repeat on other side if using two pieces of tissue paper. Then add glue one more time so that the construction papers can stick together (closing like a book.)

3. Lastly, trace the outline of a pumpkin on one side of the black construction paper, and then cut out for the finished project. Hang in window using clear tape.

Homemade Tortillas

A good tortilla can make all the difference, which is why everyone should try to make their own at least once. These homemade tortillas are deliciously simple—no tortilla press needed, and your family will love you for them.

Recipe: Homemade Tortillas

makes 5-6 5 in. tortillas

1 cup masa
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. sugar
3/4 warm water
1/2 large lime, squeezed for juice

1. Mix masa, salt, baking soda, and sugar in a medium bowl. Add warm water and lime juice and mix with your hand until combined.

2. Heat a cast iron pan and spray with oil. Meanwhile roll out first tortilla by getting a ping pong sized ball shape of dough and putting it on a piece of wax paper. Roll into a 5 in. circle using a rolling pin. Put on cast iron pan and cook both sides until golden. Meanwhile, roll out the next tortilla when the first one cooks. Repeat cooking and rolling until dough is gone.