Balsamic Mushroom & Asparagus Spaghetti



  • 1 lb spaghetti
  • 2 containers baby bella, or cremini, mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 15-oz can of chickpeas
  • 10-15 spears of asparagus
  • 4 green onions
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  • 2-3 TBS balsamic vinegar
  • 1 TBS cornstarch
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • nutritional yeast, optional, for sprinkling


  1. Start the spaghetti boiling in a large pot on the stove.
  2. slice the mushroom, cut asparagus into 1-2″ pieces, and chop the green onion into small pieces.
  3. In a large nonstick skillet, add a splash or two of the vegetable broth and bring to a simmer. Add the mushrooms, asparagus, green onion and chickpeas. Season, and saute in broth over medium heat until heated through and just starting to cook down.
  4. Add balsamic, and continue to simmer. In a separate small bowl, combine the cornstarch and cold vegetable broth until smooth. Pour into skillet and heat through until bubbling and slightly thickened.
  5. Drain spaghetti noodles, then divide equally into six bowls.
  6. Distribute mushroom mixture evenly across noodles, sprinkle on some extra green onions and a little nutritional yeast if you wish, and serve.



Mediterranean Buddah Bowls


This dish works great for dinner, or to meal prep for a week’s worth of lunches!

Servings: 4


  • 2 – 15 oz cans chickpeas/garbanzo beans, drained
  • 1 1/2 cups uncooked brown rice
  • 4 cups of spinach and arugula mix
  • 1 cup of radishes, sliced and pickled (soak in apple cider vinegar for 30 minutes)
  • 1 cup of cherry tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise
  • 1/4 cup of red onion, diced
  • 20 kalamata olives
  • Hummus
  • Non-dairy tatziki sauce – click for recipe I used (I swapped in radishes for cucumber because I don’t like raw cucumber)
  • 2 limes
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Start by peeling and slicing the radishes, then put them in a bowl and cover with apple cider vinegar. Set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, cook the rice according to directions. Amount of liquid may vary depending on type of rice, but the kind I used needed 2 1/4 cups of water. Bring rice to a boil, then turn down on low, cover, and simmer until water is gone, stirring occasionally.
  3. While radishes are pickling and rice is cooking, chop all of your vegetables and drain the chickpeas. Prepare tatziki if using.
  4. Assemble by dividing equally among four bowls the rice, greens and chickpeas. On top of the greens, divide and place all of the remaining veggies, including the pickled radishes.
  5. Salt and pepper the bowl, then squeeze the juice of 1/2 of a lime over each bowl. Top with desired amount of hummus and tatziki sauce. I used about 1/4 cup of hummus and a heaping tablespoon of tatziki.
  6. Stir it all up and enjoy!

After growing weary of scrolling through paragraph upon paragraph of chatter to get to the recipe on other sites, I decided to post the recipe first and then talk about it for those who like to read the commentary!

I adapted this recipe from an idea I found on Pinterest. As mentioned in the recipe I don’t like raw cucumber, but I’ve found that radishes give that same cool bite without the flavor I hate, so I now always use radishes instead of cucumbers. If you like cucumber, then simply sub in cucumber for the radish – whether or not you pickle it is totally up to you!

I also left out the feta cheese to keep this recipe plant-based. I’ve been eating much more plant-based lately than I used to because I was finally able to kick the cheese habit. I have three servings of meat or dairy per week to keep my total animal protein intake to no more than 5% of calories. Or in other words, 560 calories or less per week from animal-based sources. If you want the feta, you can definitely add some feta crumbles to this.

Next up on Mediterranean Monday- chocolate donuts that are entirely plant-based – no dairy, no eggs, no oils. They also have an added pop of antioxidants with walnuts and milled flax, making them not only guilt-free, but good for you. Stay tuned!




Sweet Potato Enchiladas

The new year did not have a great start for me, and I will share a small glimpse with you as to why. The holidays were very busy and there was not a lot of down time. Then, just as the new year was rolling out, a family emergency came up on January 2nd, for which I had to leave work and drive three hours to a hospital emergency room to be with my family members. I was there for two days, got home at bedtime on January 3rd, and spent the next three days on an emotional roller coaster.

I will share more on this another time, because this post is dedicated to a new healthy recipe! And so without further adieu, let me get to that!

Sweet Potato Enchiladas



  • 3 small or 2 medium sweet potatoes
  • 8 whole wheat tortillas
  • 1/2 cup cooked brown rice
  • 1 can of beans of your choice (I used pinto, but I love black beans for this)
  • 28 oz can of enchilada sauce, or homemade enchilada sauce
  • 1 TBS ground cumin
  • 1/2 TBS minced garlic
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • green onion pieces for garnish
  • 1 recipe vegan nacho cheese sauce, recipe here


  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Pierce the sweet potatoes and pop them in the microwave for a couple of minutes, until just starting to soften (this helps them cook through in the oven). Once done, peel the skin off and dice them into 1/2 inch or smaller pieces.
  3. While sweet potatoes are cooking, prepare your nacho cheese sauce. For mine I omitted the green chilis and used some pickled jalapenos instead, because my boyfriend likes a little more heat. I also used a couple heaping tablespoons of salsa instead of roma tomatoes, simply because this is not the best time of year for good quality tomatoes. I also like to add a bit of cumin to mine as well.
  4. In a bowl, mix diced sweet potatoes, rice, beans, cumin, garlic, salt and pepper and combine.
  5. Lay out tortillas and spoon about 1/2 cup or so of the mixture into the center, then drizzle on a spoonful or two of the cheese sauce. Wrap up tortillas and place seam side down in a baking dish. If you are not oil free, then feel free to first spray your dish with a shot of olive oil cooking spray to prevent sticking.
  6. Once enchiladas are all wrapped in the dish, pour enchilada sauce over the top evenly, and place the dish in the oven, uncovered. Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until the enchilada sauce is good and bubbly and the tortillas are starting to brown a bit.
  7. Top with green onion pieces, serve with a good spring mix salad and enjoy!

A little life hack for those with picky kids — you can swap out the sweet potatoes in the enchiladas for corn, and instead blend a fully cooked sweet potato (and even a small bit of spinach, just enough to not turn the sauce a funky color) into the enchilada sauce. I have a picky teenager who wouldn’t touch sweet potatoes, but I’ve made enchiladas using this trickery and he ate every bite and didn’t even know he was eating sweet potatoes, or spinach!

Up next: Mushroom and Cauliflower Stroganoff.


Chickpea Gnocchi Soup

Dear Friends,

‘Tis the season for comfort food, and we all know comfort food comes packed with calories and fat…or does it?? I’ve been on a mission to put a healthy spin on some comfort food classics. Another comfort food classic that I grew up on was chicken and dumplings. My grandma makes absolutely amazing chicken and dumplings, but of course it’s lots of refined flour and animal proteins, which are things I try to limit in my diet.

So with chicken and dumplings in mind, I started thinking of a way to get a similar taste and texture, with plant-based ingredients. What I came up with is this chickpea and gnocchi soup — chickpeas in place of chicken and gnocchi in place of traditional dumplings — with some carrots and zucchini for color and a little extra veggie goodness. I did not make this dish vegan, but it can easily become vegan by simply using an egg substitute in making the gnocchi — that is the only animal-based ingredient in the whole pot!

Chickpea and Gnocchi Soup



  • 1 large Yukon gold potato
  • 1 cup of whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup of finely ground oats
  • 1 egg (or use egg substitute to make it vegan)
  • pinch or two of salt
  • 1 15oz can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 1/2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 – 2 whole carrots, diced
  • 1/2 of a medium zucchini, chopped
  • 1/2 TBS cornstarch
  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. To make the gnocchi — peel and chunk the potatoes, then boil until softened. Drain, then mash (no butter or milk!). Combine a cup of the mashed potatoes, the flour, oats, egg and salt, then knead until dough comes together. Roll out into long strips about 1/2″ in diameter, then cut into 1/2″ – 1″ pieces. Boil in large pot of water until gnocchi rises to the top. Remove, drain, and set aside.
  2. For the soup — First, mix the cornstarch and a small amount of either the broth or almond milk in a small cup and stir into small. Then, in a large stock pot (or a crock pot if you prefer), combine cornstarch mixture and all remaining ingredients except for the cooked gnocchi. Bring to a boil, then simmer until carrots and zucchini are tender, and the broth has thickened a bit (you could omit the cornstarch for a more traditional soup texture, but it gives it that thickness that comes with traditional chicken and dumplings).
  3. Add gnocchi to the pot, then the soup is ready to serve!

How easy is that?! The gnocchi is the most time consuming part, and if you really want to you can find gnocchi premade in the store. I just prefer to make my own so I can be sure it doesn’t contain refined flour. But if you’re short on time, buying premade gnocchi is a great shortcut. If you make it in a crockpot, I would just add the gnocchi about half an hour before you’re ready to serve to make sure it gets good and heated through.

I made a double-batch of this for Michael and I each to have for lunch for the week. It’s such a warming and filling lunch, that is great for the body and the soul. I hope you love it too!


Mediterranean Monday: Lentil Curry Stew with Kale and Sweet Potatoes

Dear Friends,

Fall is coming, and soups and stews are going to be a staple in our kitchens again! Last week I really started to buckle down on being more plant-centered after a little dose of reality reminded me why it’s so important. I’ve definitely been much more relaxed over the last couple of years, and slipped a little (a lot) on how much is considered “moderation” for all things meat and dairy.

For years, most of my meals were plant-based, with some poultry, fish, eggs and cheese mixed in about three days per week. In the last couple of years, mostly due to the challenge of appeasing children, I’ve been consuming those things much more regularly, and only my “no red meat or processed foods” seems to have survived the tests of time. Although recently I’ve actually been consuming bacon quite a bit more, and it is definitely the kind that is cured with nitrates…which are a big no-no for me with a family history of leukemia.

So now, I am turning back into that mean mother who makes my poor deprived children eat food that is good for their health, their immune systems, and their waist lines. They are going to hate me for a while, but I know they will thank me when they’re grown and don’t have to struggle with health or weight because they know how to be healthy since they were raised that way. That is what I will keep reminding myself of every time they complain. Or rather when Hunter complains, because he is my picky child. Logan will eat just about anything!

So, back to the food! I have a recipe for kale and white bean soup that I used to make a lot (you know, back before I fell off the plant-centered wagon), and I thought I could use that as a base for something new. I love sweet potatoes and curry together. I also love lentils and curry together. And I had a bag of dried lentils in the pantry needing to be used. From that, this lentil curry stew was born!



  • 1 1/2 cups dried green lentils
  • 2 sweet potatoes, cubed
  • 5-6 large kale leaves, torn
  • 1 1/2 boxes of organic vegetable broth
  • 1 TBS minced garlic
  • 1/2 TBS cumin
  • 1 TBS curry powder
  • salt and pepper
  • hummus and parsley, for garnish


  1. Pour dried lentils into a large bowl and fill with water to an inch above the lentils, then place in fridge to soak overnight.
  2. In a crock pot (or in a large stock pot if you don’t want to slow cook), stir together all ingredients except the parsley and hummus.
  3. Cook on high for 3-4 hours, then turn down to low for another 1-2 hours, or until lentils and sweet potatoes are cooked through.
  4. Serve in a bowl garnished with a dollop of hummus and some fresh snipped parsley, as well as some toasted garlic bread if you wish (I used Ezekiel bread for real whole grains and no sugar).

While I refer to myself as plant-centered (as opposed to plant-based) because I still eat some poultry, fish, eggs and dairy…this dish is completely plant-based and vegan. It’s also delicious and satisfying, and is definitely going on my list of soups to make again! This really is the epitome of what the Mediterranean Diet is all about — total balanced health and wellness, with the meals centered around plants instead of meat. It isn’t the traditional American diet…which is why it’s so darn good for you!

In the words of Hippocrates – “let food be thy medicine”. Happy and healthy eating, friends!