Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Butternut Squash Risotto

This recipe was gone before I knew it and I didn't get to take a picture.  It tasted great and the butternut squash is SO nutritious.  It is one of the highest sources of vitamin A, which  is a powerful natural anti-oxidant and is required by the body for maintaining the integrity of skin and mucus membranes. It is also an essential vitamin for vision. Research studies suggest that natural foods rich in vitamin A helps the body protect against lung and oral cavity cancers.  There has also been some research linking vitamin A to heart health and decreasing blood pressure.  So, even though I don't have a picture to entice you to try this recipe, the health benefits alone should do the trick...not to mention that it was super yummy!


  • 2 cups cubed butternut squash (you can find this in the produce or the frozen food aisle)
  • 2 tablespoons Earth's Balance buttery spread
  • 1/2 onion, minced
  • 1 cup brown rice, (I ended up adding ~1/4 cup extra to absorb some of the liquid)
  • 5 cups hot vegetable stock, low sodium


  1. Place squash cubes into a steamer basket in a saucepan. Add water, cover, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Allow to steam until the squash is tender (10 to 15 minutes), then drain, and mash in a bowl with a fork or potato masher.
  2. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion; cook and stir for 2 minutes until the onion begins to soften, then stir in the rice. Continue cooking and stirring until the rice is glossy from the butter, and the onion begins to brown on the edges, about 5 minutes more.
  3. Stir in the mashed squash and 1/3 of the hot vegetable stock; reduce heat to medium. Cook and stir until the stock has been absorbed by the rice, 5 to 7 minutes. Add half of the remaining stock, and continue stirring until it has been absorbed. Finally, pour in the remaining stock, and continue stirring until the risotto is creamy. 

Vegetarian Loaf


  • 2 large onions, finely chopped
  • 1 cup chopped fresh mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped green pepper
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 cups grated carrots
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped celery
  • 5 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 cup unsalted sunflower kernels
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 cups soft whole wheat bread crumbs


  1. In a nonstick skillet, saute onions, mushrooms and green pepper in butter until tender. In a bowl, combine the mushroom mixture, carrots, celery, eggs, walnut, sunflower kernels, salt, basil, oregano and pepper. Stir in bread crumbs:
  2. Coat a 9-in. x 5-in. x 3-in. loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray, then line with waxed paper. Transfer vegetable mixture to a prepared pan. Bake at 350 degrees F for 1 hour or until a meat thermometer reads 160 degrees F Let stand for 10 min before slicing.

Vegetarian Enchilada Casserole


Enchilada Sauce
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Small Onion, cubed
1 Garlic Clove, minced
1/2 Tsp Kosher Salt
1 Tbsp Ground Cumin
1 Tbsp Chili Powder
1 Tsp Honey
1-14 oz Can Diced Tomatoes, unsalted
1 Cup Water

1/2 Tsp Onion Powder
1/4 Tsp Garlic Powder
1/2 Tsp Cumin Powder
1/2 Tsp Kosher Salt
1/2 Cup Tofutti soy sour cream
1 Large Egg (I have omitted this and it came out fine in the past)
1 Cup Frozen Corn Kernels
1-15 Oz Can Black Beans, drained
1 Medium Red Bell Pepper, diced
2 Tbsp Fresh Cilantro, chopped
2 1/2 Cups Colby jack blend or vegan cheese, divided
6 Corn Tortillas


1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
2. Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a small saucepan over medium heat and sauté the onions for 4 minutes. Add the garlic, salt, cumin and chili powder and sauté an additional minute.
3. Add the honey, diced tomatoes and water. Stir, bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
4. Allow mixture to cool for 10 minutes then place in a blender, puree and set aside.
5. In a large bowl, whisk the onion, garlic, cumin powder, salt, sour cream and egg (if you choose to use).
6. Stir in the corn, black beans, bell pepper, cilantro and 2 cups of cheese to combine.
7. Pour 3/4 cup of the enchilada sauce on the bottom of a 7×11 baking dish. Cover with 2 corn tortillas.
8. Spread half of the mixture on top of the tortillas and top with another ½ cup of sauce followed by 2 more tortillas.
9. Spread the remaining mixture on top of the tortillas, top with the remaining 2 tortillas, sauce and cheese.
10. Bake for 40 minutes uncovered.

Chickpea Pot Pie


  • 1 cup chickpeas, cooked
  • 2 cups vegetable blend (carrots, corn & peas or any vegetable blend)
  • 1.25 cups onion, chopped and caramelized
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 10.5 ounces cream of mushroom soup - make your own by visiting this link http://onceamonthmom.com/homemade-cream-of-something-soup/
  • 2 tablespoons milk or soy milk
  • 2 9-inch pie crusts


Mix all ingredients, except pie crusts. Place crust in pie plate. Fill pie with mixture. Top with additional crust, slitting to allow steam to release. Repeat for additional pies if necessary. Divide among freezer bags and freeze.
Bake at 425 for 30-40 minutes, until golden and bubbly. Tip: wrap crust edges with foil for the first 15 minutes to avoid burning.

Sweet Potato Spice Muffins

These muffins were gone so fast that I didn't get a picture.  Here is the recipe anyway!

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 0.75 cups brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 0.5 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 0.5 teaspoons nutmeg
  • 0.5 teaspoons cloves
  • 3 jars of sweet potato baby food (the larger jars with only sweet potato & water as ingredients)
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 0.5 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoons vanilla
  • Add raisins and/or walnuts/pecans if you'd like.


Beat eggs, brown sugar, vanilla, sweet potato puree, and milk. Stir in dry ingredients until incorporated. Fold in raisins/nuts if you choose. Bake at 375F in lined or greased muffin tin for 15-18 minutes or until done

Meal Plan 11/13

Sweet Potato Spice Muffins
Chickpea Pot Pie with green beans and baked sweet potato
Enchilada Casserole with tossed salad
Vegetarian Nut Loaf with green beans and baked sweet potato
Butternut Squash Risotto with salad and garlic toast

Onion, 4
Garlic, 3 cloves
Mushrooms, 1.5 cup diced
Red Bell Pepper
Green Bell Pepper
Shredded Carrots
Butternut Squash, 2 cups cubed (can purchase in produce aisle or frozen aisle)
Sweet potatoes, 6 (used as a side dish)
Green beans (used as a side dish)
Salad mix (used as a side dish)

Olive oil
Flour (1.5 cup all purpose, 1.5 cup whole wheat)
Brown Sugar (1 cup)
Baking powder
Cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, vanilla, Italian seasoning, cumin, chili powder, onion powder, garlic powder
Pureed sweet potato baby food, 3 jars (the larger jars, ingredients should just be sweet potato & water)
Chickpeas, 1 can
Vegetable broth, low sodium, 6 cup
Honey, 1 Tbsp
Diced Tomatoes, low sodium, 1 can
Black Beans, low sodium, 1 can
Corn Tortillas, 6
Walnuts, 1/2 cup
Sunflower Seeds, 1/4 cup
Whole wheat breadcrumbs, 3 cups
Brown rice, 1 cup

Eggs, 8
Soymilk, 1.5 cup
Refrigerated pie crusts, 2 crusts
Earth's Balance, 1/2 cup
Tofutti Soy Sour Cream
Shredded colby jack/vegan cheese

Frozen vegetable blend, 2 cups (carrots, peas, corn, etc.)

Friday, November 11, 2011

Live Cooking Demonstration

Check this out!   A FREE live cooking demonstration for a whole foods, plant based Thanksgiving meal!

Thursday, November 17 – FOK Presents a LIVE
Plant-Based Thanksgiving Cooking Show
with Julieanna Hever, R.D.
Join us Thursday November 17th on our Facebook or Livestream page for a live cooking demonstration with Julieanna Hever, R.D. Julieanna will demonstrate a plant-based Thanksgiving meal that will be delicious and healthy. While making the meal, Julieanna will answer questions from the audience.  Questions can be sent in advance to Info@ForksOverKnives.com and also be asked live during the broadcast.

Julieanna is author of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Plant-Based Nutrition and producer/host of the video "To Your Health," both available on the FOK websiteClick here to watch her recent appearance on The Dr. Oz Show.

Join In The Journey

So recently, I have felt very convicted to make my diet more healthy.  After seeing the documentary Forks Over Knives and doing a lot more investigating, I would like to try to gradually switch over to a whole foods, plant based diet.

First of all, I strongly recommend everyone see the Forks Over Knives documentary - the information is nicely presented in an easy to understand format - (you can even check with your local library to see if they have the video or would consider getting it in).  There are a number of other documentaries out there in this genera and I encourage you to watch as many as possible and do the research yourself to come to your own conclusion.  These documentaries, along with more of my own research into the subject has really inspired me to try to pick more healthy recipes to share on this blog.

So, in the next few weeks you will begin to see a few more vegan recipes popping up into the meal plan.  I plan to try a gradual transition by starting with 2-3 vegan meals per week.  Don't be afraid, though!  Just give them a try.  I live in a small community and do not have access to a plethora of exotic ingredients, so the recipes that I will be choosing will have ingredients that I got from my local grocery store (Kroger) unless otherwise specified.  I am not a gourmet chef and I have a toddler at home, so the recipes I plan to choose will be on the time conscious and easy to prepare side, if at all possible.

Come and join me in this journey toward a healthy lifestyle!

Learn more about Forks Over Knives: http://www.forksoverknives.com/

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Southwest Beans and Rice

For some reason, I can't locate the picture that I had for this item.  The recipe was so god, that I decided that I would include it without the picture.  Guess you will just have to trust me on this one :)

This recipe is very versatile.  You can eat it as is, or you an put it in a whole grain flour tortilla - from there you can make a burrito, or top burritos with salsa or enchilada sauce and place in the oven for enchiladas, or you can even make quesadillas.  We had a little bit of everything with this recipe.  I served with a salad and topped the rice and beans with diced tomatoes, sliced avocados, chopped cilantro, and a little dollop of Tofutti (non-dairy) sour cream.


  • 2 cups cooked brown rice 
  • 2 cups black beans, drained and rinsed if canned
  • 1 cup corn (I cut the kernels from 2 ears of corn).
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 0.5 cup salsa 
  • 1-2 teaspoons cumin
  • 0.5 cup shredded cheese (optional or can use vegan cheese)
  • Toppings: avacado slices, diced tomatoes, chopped cilantro, Tofutti (non-dairy) sour cream

In a bowl, mix all ingredients except cheese. Scoop into a baking dish and sprinkle with cheese, if using. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until cheese is melted and rice is warmed through.

Recipe adapted from: http://onceamonthmom.com/southwest-rice-and-beans/

Pasta Primavera with Alfredo Sauce (vegan)

For some reason, I can't locate the picture that I had for this item.  The recipe was so god, that I decided that I would include it without the picture.  Guess you will just have to trust me on this one :)

I served this meal with a slice of whole grain garlic toast and a tossed salad.  We had quite a bit of leftovers, so this recipe fed us for a few meals.

1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup shredded carrots
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1/2 cup red or yellow pepper, sliced or chopped
2 cups cauliflower florets, coarsely chopped
1 bunch broccoli florets, coarsely chopped
1 medium zucchini or yellow squash, sliced
1 box fettuccine pasta (whole wheat), cooked according to package directions
1 cup tomatoes, diced
1/4 cup non-dairy parmesan cheese or nutritional yeast flakes

Alfredo Sauce:
1 package Mori Nu Silken tofu, firm (this tofu is found on the shelf in the organic or international section of the grocery.  It is not refrigerated.)
1 1/2 cups soy milk
1/2 tsp garlic, minced
1 Tbsp olive oil
3 Tbsp non-dairy parmesan cheese or nutritional yeast flakes (both of these items can be found in the organic section of the grocery store.  The vegan parmesan cheese can be found in the refrigerator section.  Nutritional yeast flakes are not refrigerated)
1 tsp salt (optional)
1 Tsp onion powder
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried parsley
1/4 cup prepared pesto sauce (optional)

Alfredo Sauce:
Place tofu, soy milk, garlic, oil, cheese/yeast flakes, salt, and onion powder in a blender; blend until smooth and creamy.
Add basil, parsley, salt (and pesto sauce, optional); stir gently.
Pour mixture into a medium saucepan; cook until heated through on medium heat, stirring occasionally.

Pasta Primavera:
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add ionon, carrot, and bell pepper; cook until softened, about 4 minutes
Add cauliflower, broccoli, zucchini; cook until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally; about 5 minutes.
Add cooked pasta and sauce to skillet; mix gently and cook until heated through. (Or if you prefer, place pasta on plate, top with vegetables, and then top with Alfredo sauce separately).
Top with tomatoes and non-dairy parmesan cheese/yeast flakes.

Recipe taken from: Give Them Something Better by Sarah Frian & Stephanie Howard

Mediterranean Pizza

  • 1
    whole wheat pizza crust
  • 1/3
    cup low sodium spaghetti/pizza sauce
  • 8 - 10
    fresh spinach leaves
  • 1
    cup fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 4
    canned marinated artichoke hearts, quartered or sliced
  • cup shredded mozzarella cheese, lightly sprinkled (or vegan cheese)
    cherry tomatoes, cut in half (about 10)
    sprinkling of fresh or dried Italian herbs (parsley, oregano, basil, rosemary)
Directions:1.Spread an unbaked pizza crust with tomato sauce. Arrange spinach leaves over sauce; sprinkle with mushrooms. Arrange sliced cherry tomatoes and artichoke hearts (chopped and tough leaves removed) over mushrooms. Sprinkle with herbs and mozzarella cheese. Bake as 400 degrees for 10 minutes or until cheese is bubbly around edges. Makes 6 to 8 servings.
Recipe adapted from: www.bhg.com/recipes