Chickpea Salad Sandwich



This delicious recipe for mashed chickpea salad came from The Simple Veganista.

  • 1 can of chickpeas, drained, rinsed and mashed with a fork or potato masher
  • 1/2 cup celery, sliced
  • 1/2 cup carrots, diced
  • 1/4  cup scallions, sliced
  • 1/4 cup or so hummus or tahini (any vegan mayo works too)*
  • 1 – 2 tablespoons mustard (stoneground or dijon)
  • sea salt & cracked pepper, to taste
  • dash of garlic powder
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • small handful pepitos (pumpkin seeds), optional
  • paprika/smoked paprika, garnish

Mix all ingredients in a bowl, scoop onto your favorite bread, and enjoy! (This would taste equally good atop a bed of lettuce!)


Vegetarian Chili


Try this meatless version the next time you are in the mood for chili and you may be surprised at how hearty and tasty it is. Oh, and it’s loaded with protein, fiber, and vitamins AND almost completely fat free!  Of course, I must give credit to my friends over at Forks Over Knives for the inspiration to make this dish. To get your vegan inspiration, please check out this amazing cookbook: Forks Over Knives, The Cookbook!

Ingredients (about 6 servings):

  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 1 cup celery, chopped
  • 2 bell peppers, chopped (You can use any color. I used one green and one red.)
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 Tbs chili powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne (if you prefer your chili a little on the spicy side)
  • 2 cups lentils ( I use an even mixture of red and green)
  • 1 box crushed tomatoes
  • 2 cups cooked red kidney beans
  • zest and juice of 1 lime
  • salt and pepper to taste

Saute the chopped vegetables and garlic in 1 cup of the vegetable broth until soft. Add the seasonings and continue to cook for a minute or two. Add the lentils, beans, and tomatoes, cover and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for about 45 minutes. Add the salt and pepper to taste and the lime zest and juice.

If you would like to keep this dish vegan, you can top with chopped green  and red onions, guacamole, and maybe even some shredded “cheese.” I recommend the Daiya brand as it melts very nicely.

Otherwise, top with your favorite chili toppings and enjoy!

End-of-Summer Marinara Sauce

All of the hot weather we had  up until this week in the mid-Atlantic has given our Summer gardens a few extra weeks to flourish. A friend and I did a little picking yesterday and this was our incredible harvest! (Minus the apples, which will became an apple crisp )


What else could we possibly do but make up a couple of batches of sauce?


This is a VERY simple marinara, using about 18 fresh tomatoes, a chopped onion, a couple of tablespoons of olive oil, 3 cloves of chopped garlic, a bay leaf, a handful of chopped fresh parsley, and sea salt to taste. The trick is to let it simmer for hours and hours and to saute the garlic and onion for several minuted before adding the remaining ingredients. We decided that we wanted a less “chunky” sauce, so we put the peeled tomatoes in a blender to puree before cooking. Incredibly yummy!

Leeks in Olive Oil (Pirasa)


This traditional Turkish dish from the Black Sea region is a beautiful side dish or main course. My husband informs me that it is usually served cold, topped with lemon juice, and he loves it served with breaded and fried mackerel or grilled chicken. Pirasa can also be served hot and is good in all seasons.


  • 3 leeks, cut in 1/3 inch rounds
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped in rounds
  • 1/4 cup brown rice
  • 1/3 cup unfiltered olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp agave nectar (in place of sugar)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Heat the olive oil in a pot and saute onions until they turn clear. Add carrots and saute for a few minutes. Add leeks and stir for a couple more minutes. Add water, agave, salt and pepper. When the water boils add rice and lemon juice, cover, and simmer until the rice is cooked.
Pırasa is best when it’s served cold with a little lemon juice on top. Enjoy!

Spinach Cupcakes

Adapted from the Weelicious recipe for Spinach Cake Muffins. These muffins are so yummy and a great way to add some greens into your kiddos’ diet. In an effort to reduce the amount of refined sugar that we eat, I substituted the white sugar in the Weelicious recipe for agave nectar. You could also use brown rice syrup. The trick is to know the conversions – see here. I also made my own applesauce from scratch instead of using store bought. See my applesauce recipe here.


Homemade Applesauce

This is a quick and easy way to whip up some healthy, sugar-free applesauce. It tastes delicious all by itself or it can be used in recipes.


  • 4 apples (I use whatever variety happens to be in my fruit basket)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup agave syrup
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon (Optional)

Peel, core, and chop the apples. Place all ingredients in a pot and cook over medium heat for about 15 minutes, or until apples are soft. For a more chunky consistency, mash with a fork. If you like a smoother applesauce, use an immersion blender to mix. Enjoy!






Homemade Granola Bars with Almonds, Pumpkin Seeds, and Cranberries


This is a filling, healthy snack or addition to a lunchbox and a great way to welcome Fall!


  • 2 1/2 Cups Rolled Oats
  • 1 Cup Sliced Almonds
  • 1 Cup Pumpkin Seeds
  • 3 Tbs Unsalted Butter
  • 2/3 Cup Honey
  • 1/4 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1/4 tsp Sea Salt
  • 1 Cup Dried Cranberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix oats, almonds, and pumpkin seeds and spread on a large cookie sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Remove from heat and put in a large bowl.

In a saucepan, heat honey, brown sugar, vanilla over medium heat for a minute. Pour over oat mixture. Mix in the cranberries.

Line an 8 x 13 in baking pan with parchment paper and spray with non-stick spray. Pour in the mixture and press into pan.

Bake for 25 minutes. Allow to cool completely and cut into rectangles. Enjoy!

Oatmeal Banana Cupcakes with Blueberries


Adapted from

Ingredients (12-15 servings):

  • 3 mashed bananas
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbs baking powder
  • 3 cups rolled oats
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups blueberries (you can substitute chocolate chips for the blueberries for a richer treat!)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl.

Line muffin pan with cupcake liners and spray with non-stick cooking spray.

Divide batter into 12-15 cups.

Bake 20-30 minutes (until the edges start to brown).

115 calories, 21g carbs, 3g fat, 4g protein




Garden-Fresh Marinara with Whole Wheat Spaghetti

My daughter loves to go out to the garden and pick whatever is ripe.  Right now, that happens to be tomatoes. She came in the house the other day with bags loaded with tomatoes – Roma, Cherry, Celebrity, Champion. I had no idea how I was going to use all of those beautiful tomatoes. One can only eat so many salads and sandwiches!  So, my husband and I decided to make a batch of homemade marinara sauce. We were able to pull a couple of onions out of the garden and we had some fresh garlic from a neighbor’s garden handy. We also have three beautiful basil plants as well as a parsley plant on the deck. Here’s what we threw together, and, as you can imagine, our house smells like a Tuscan kitchen in summer time!

  • 10-12 tomatoes
  • 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 3 small onions, chopped (if you are using a conventionally-sized onion, use about 1/2 – 1 onion)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • sea salt, to taste
  • fresh-ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, torn or chopped
  • 2-3 Tbs fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 cup unfiltered olive oil


First, immerse your tomatoes in rapidly boiling water for one minute. Have a large bowl filled with ice cubes and water ready. After your tomatoes have boiled for a minute, use tongs to place the tomatoes in the ice water bath. Remove the tomatoes from the ice water. The skins should peel off easily now.

Peel the tomatoes and remove the seeds. You can either place the tomatoes in a blender (I used my NutriBullet) or chop them up. We did a mixture of about 3/4 pureed and 1/4 chopped.

In the meantime, chop the onions. Place about 2 tbs of unfiltered olive oil in a pot and warm over medium-high heat. Saute the onions until they turn clear. Be careful not to brown the onions. Add the tomato sauce.

Add the chopped garlic, salt, pepper, basil, and parsley and lower heat to low setting. Let cook for several hours (the longer the better!). We added olive oil as the sauce cooked, because it thickens up a lot.

Cook your pasta per package directions and enjoy!