Plant-based Nutrition

Spring Vegetable Soup with Walnut ‘Parm’ Crumble.

My ode to spring! This light, seasonal dish offers a mix of nutrient-dense vegetables, and different textures – providing energizing nourishment, without overloading your digestive system. The fermented miso also provides probiotic benefits, supporting the gut/body during the seasonal transition. As we move into warmer weather, and away from heavy winter meals, we can start incorporating more fresh, and lightly cooked whole plants into our diets – like this! These vitamin, mineral, and fiber-rich foods are immune supporting, that are especially supportive during ‘allergy season’. Eating (somewhat) seasonally, allows us to rotate our diets – obtaining a wider spectrum of nutrients, and making our meals more varied and interesting!

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Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups with Salt. 3-Ingredient Dessert.

This sweet and salty single-serving dessert, is my healthier take on a childhood classic. Created for a PB and dark chocolate-loving friend, on her birthday – this is a fun and special edible gift to make for your loved ones! While store-bought peanut butter cups have plenty of added refined sugars, processed milk products, and chemical preservatives – this recipe is made from just three ingredients – dark chocolate, pure peanut butter, and a touch of salt. Peanuts are a great source of protein and healthy unsaturated fats, Vitamin E, B vitamins, calcium, magnesium, and fiber. While dark chocolate is not a ‘health food’, it does contain nutrients in the form of iron, magnesium, calcium, zinc, Vitamins K, B vitamins, and fiber.

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Quinoa & Roasted Beet Salad with Seeds & Basil Dressing.

This nutrient-dense and satisfying ‘complete meal’ salad is rich in earthy, nutty flavors, and multiple textures. The quinoa, almonds, and pumpkin seeds – provide protein, good fats, and fiber. Along with the leafy greens, which offer plenty of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants – the juicy sweet cherry tomatoes, and hearty roasted beets, create a hearty dish. Everything is brought together with the fresh, aromatic basil dressing! I suggest preparing enough of each component, to enjoy for 3 days worth of meals – saving time in the kitchen!

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Smoked Carrot ‘Lox’ & Silken Tofu ‘Cream Cheese’ on Seedy Crackers.

My whole food plant-based version of smoked salmon and cream cheese, featuring carrots and silken tofu! This light and tasty healthy snack, or appetizer provides a balance of fiber-rich complex carbohydrates, plant-based protein, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. It is also simple and easy to prepare! The shaved carrot ‘lox’ requires a quick marinade, using hickory liquid smoke, fresh lemon juice, salt and pepper. This mixture tenderizes the root vegetable, and provides a smoky, briny flavor. The soft silken tofu is blended in a food processor with ‘cheesy’ nutritional-yeast, and umami-rich white miso – offering a smooth and savory schmear. Mary’s crackers serves as the base of this recipe, made from a handful of wholesome, nutritious ingredients – this is one of the few packaged products I recommend. However, one can also use another whole grain, unrefined cracker or bread instead. Classically paired with ‘smoked salmon’, the fresh dill is an important component to this recipe (not just garnish), as it brightens the dish and brings all the flavors together!

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Dark Chocolate Dipped Almond-Stuffed Dates with Pistachio & Orange.

Sweet and sticky dates are nature’s ultimate candy! Wonderful on their own, and even more delicious when jazzed up like this. Stuffed with crunchy toasted almonds, dipped in slightly bitter dark chocolate, coated in nutty pistachios, bright orange zest, and sea salt – this plant-based recipe is rich in flavor and nutrients. Naturally ‘packaged’ in individual-sized portions, these stuffed dates are a small, yet satisfying treat – composed of wholesome ingredients. To me, it is perfectly healthy to enjoy a homemade plant-based dessert like this on occasion – as part of a balanced diet!

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Savory Turnip Tart with Sweet Red Onion & Fresh Dill.

Inspired by a potato and dill dish my Eastern European grandmother used to make, I decided to recreate this comforting childhood recipe using lower glycemic turnips instead of starchy potatoes – for balanced blood sugar. Thinly slicing the turnips, and slowly baking them, helps to release their natural sweetness, and cut the subtle bitterness of this seasonal root vegetable. While my grandmother’s bake contained plenty of vegetable oil and margarine, I lightened up the dish by using just a couple tablespoons of heart-healthy olive oil. Incorporating sweet red onion was another adjustment I made to the recipe – for additional flavor, texture, and nutrients. The fresh dill is what really makes this recipe reminiscent of my grandmother’s version, offering aromatic freshness and savoriness!

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Double Peanut Oatmeal Cookies. A Healthy Plant-Based Dessert.

These delicious and nutritious cookies are made from whole unrefined ingredients, with no added processed sugars, oils, flours or animal products. The rolled oats and peanuts provide plant-based protein, fiber-rich complex carbs, and good fats – for steady energy. Instead of using processed sweeteners, I used whole dates and a little maple syrup – both optimally healthy options. Creating your own ‘flour’ using whole rolled oats and peanuts, offers more nutrition, and results in a lower-glyemic dessert. No need for added oils in this recipe! just natural peanut butter, which is packed with nutrients and rich flavor. While these cookies are meant to be enjoyed as a special dessert, these cookies ARE healthy enough to have for breakfast or as a snack. They may taste indulgent, but they are much healthier than any store-bought cookies!

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Whole Roasted Spiced Celeriac with Pomegranate & Parsley.

This whole food dish is my plant-based take on a classic holiday roast! Celebrating celeriac – a delicious and nutritious root vegetable that is often overlooked. Seasoned in warming spices, and topped with fresh parsley, and bright sweet pomegranate seeds – this is a satisfying, flavorful, nutrient-dense seasonal winter recipe! Ingredients: – Soy sauce (Braggs […]

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‘Gado Gado’ Rolls With Crispy Tempeh & Peanut Sauce.

This whole food, plant-based recipe was inspired by the flavorful cuisine of Bali, Indonesia – where I had the pleasure of visiting last year. Indonesia is the home of Tempeh – a protein-packed fermented soybean ‘cake’ with a distinct texture, and slightly nutty, umami flavor. It is found in many regional dishes, including Gado Gado – a salad made with blanched vegetables including cabbage, green beans, bean sprouts, hard-boiled egg, fried tofu, tempeh, and peanut dressing. My ‘winter version’ of summer rolls aka rice paper rolls, this recipe is composed of mostly cooked, warming ingredients instead of raw. Seeing as cabbage is significantly more nutritious than rice paper wrappers, these rolls are an even healthier choice!

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Cashew Butter, Maple & Lemon Glazed Raw ‘Donuts’

While not actually made with traditional ‘dough’, these whole food, plant-based ‘donuts’ are a delicious AND nutritious treat! Using nuts and dates as a base, one can create many different raw sweets – of all shapes and flavors. As a lover of lemon, I was inspired to make a lemon-infused dessert, that would bring brightness and tang to the almonds and dried fruit. Including fresh ginger, cinnamon, and cocoa, also makes these ‘donuts’ more flavorful. With no refined sugars or oils, you can feel good about enjoying this no-bake healthy dessert!

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