New Years Black-Eyed Pea Salad

Friday, December 31, 2010

Hey everyone!

Sorry for the long holiday hiatus! Just before Thanksgiving we got the news that we are taking a team to Greece and then we had the holidays, a death in the family, and a lot of things got crazy! But now I'm back and I have an awesome vegetarian treatment for your New Year's "lucky" black-eyed peas.

I'm generally not one to follow such traditions, but I am one to base a weekly menu around whats on sale... and black-eyed peas are on the menu. I thought this recipe would be pretty good... but I was shocked when I sampled it and I tasted BACON. I kid you not, it tastes like there's at least a 1/2 lb. of bacon in this salad!.

note: this bowl was filled to the brim when I started "tasting" it.  :)

Below is the recipe with my notes in parentheses, followed by the link to the original recipe as it appears at

Jamaican "Spinach" Soup

Monday, November 22, 2010

Of course the thing that stood out to me was the "Jamaican" part. :) Although I live in Florida, I've never had any Jamaican food... so I decided to give it a shot! I would conciser this more a vegetable soup than a spinach soup. Either way, it's VERY tasty!

The unusual combination of flavors is what really sets this soup apart. I highly recommend using fresh ginger if possible. I add a little more of each spice than directed. :)

* vegan
* freezes well

Vegetable Korma

Friday, November 12, 2010

After a less healthy lunch yesterday my husband and I were craving some veggies for dinner.  So we had an Indian inspired vegetarian/vegan korma.

I found that the turmeric really adds some complexity to the flavor of this dish. I prepared it with brown rice but I think basmati would be even better. :) Of course you could always adapt the recipe for carnivores by tossing in some chicken. :)

Please feel free to leave a comment! I'd love to get some feedback from you guys!  :)


Hungarian Mushroom Soup (Vegetarian)

Sunday, November 7, 2010

This "szuper finom" soup is perfect for the cold weather months and would be fit nicely at the Thanksgiving table, for those of you in the USA.

*sidenote: I am so excited to see that I have some readers from several different nations! If you think of a dish that you think would work well for this blog, please let me know! I love to experiment with different cultural cuisines!

So back to the soup... This recipe is fairly easy to make and always a crowd-pleaser! It's somewhat comparable to the mushroom soup they serve at Panera's, but I think it's tastier. :) This week I served it alongside some garlic-y beer bread biscuits with honey butter. I think it would pair wonderfully with a spinach salad, too... with steak for the carnivores.

Red Beans and Rice

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

We have black beans and rice quite often -  the Costa Rican version, usually... so I wanted to switch things up and be edgy this week and have red beans and rice. I know... I need to get out more.  :) It was really good though! My husband happily took the leftovers for lunch the next day.

Red beans and rice is a classic dish from the southern United States, especially popular in Louisiana.
Here's my healthier version of the classic. Thanks to a variety of products now on the market, you can make this meal with meat, a meat substitute, or with neither. Also consider making a meatless version and then preparing a lean sausage on the side for the carnivores.

Shake it up!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Today is a vegan day as well as a day that I need to work out, soooooooo I'm having a very yummy, naturally high-protein shake for lunch. It's an adaptation of my favorite menu item at our local smoothie place (but healthier). I love the sweet n' salty taste!

Peanut-butter Banana Protein Shake (Meal Replacement)
 - vegan
 - packs a powerful protein punch w/o powdered supplements
 - perfect for game days and rushed mornings

Tunisian, anyone?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

I love experimenting with international flavors - so when I can across "25 Minute Tunisian Vegetable Couscous" on, I immediately added it to the week's meal plan. 

I made a change to the recipe and made it without the broth and then served it over barley for a more nutritious meal. It has amazing flavor and I know that if it was made by the original recipe the flavors would be absorbed into the couscous and be even more prominent. I really enjoyed making this because the colors were so beautiful and the smell was amazing. It got my husband in the kitchen to see what I was cooking! He loved the final dish, by the way, and commented that he could eat it regularly and not miss the meat.

~Cooking the veggies~

Ricotta-Stuffed Squash

Saturday, October 23, 2010

I found this recipe for yellow squash stuffed with ricotta and spinach on and had to try it this week on one of our meatless dinner nights. It was VERY good! My husband really enjoyed  it too!

I served them with a dash of smoked Spanish paprika and some marinara sauce on the side. I also used part-skim ricotta and it did not diminish  the flavor at all. Next time I think I'll serve it atop a small helping of spaghetti to add a little weight, and when it's not a vegetarian night I'll add a little bacon to the initial onion and garlic saute'.

Mega yum :)

See the recipe here...

BBQ Emergency

Thursday, October 21, 2010

So... last night was one of our vegan nights and I made the mistake of driving by Shane's Rib Shack on the way home. Not a good move.

From then on I was craving pulled pork, mac and cheese, and corn nuggets (my personal favorite).
I had planned on making a meatless chilli... but when I got home the craving was still there so I tried to incorporate some BBQ flavor into our dinner. This was the result. 

 I guess it's a variation of Brunswick stew except meatless, of course, and I didn't have any okra on hand... I'll note that for next time. :)

Got some meat-eaters at the table? Try getting a to-go order of pulled pork from your favorite local BBQ place and adding a portion to their bowls!

Vegan Apple Valley Breakfast

     My family has a tradition of going to western NC every year, and one of my favorite areas to visit is called Apple Valley. After returning from a trip there I was inspired to create a breakfast with the flavors of the area. This sweet and savory, vegan breakfast uses the region's star ingredient (apples of course) and combines it with flavors inspired by the Mexican population in the area. I used soy-based ingredients when creating the meal.

On what will follow...

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


My name is Ash and I'd like to explain my vision behind this blog.

Many years ago my grandfather was diagnosed with some serious heart issues and was told to go home and settle his affairs, but neither he, nor my grandmother, intended to take that advice. They banded together and sought multiple specialists, spend many hours in research, and even more in prayer. My grandfather lived another 7 years on those prayers, his family's support, and a low-sodium diet that was very fruit and vegetable heavy. From then on their table included much less meat and dairy, and salt substitutions like Vegisal and Mrs. Dash appeared. Our entire family ate differently because of his diagnosis.

Today, in an effort towards a healthier lifestyle, my husband and I like to have several v*gan meals a week. We also eat vegan for a month out of every year. I personally do not employ a lot of soy-based products as I am highly sensitive to soy... plus reading all the ingredients on those products scares me a little! I like to stick to simple ingredients and love to experiment with international flavors.

I want this blog to be a resource for transitional v*gan recipes and ideas for anyone cooking for v*gan friends, family members, restrictive diets, or even just wanting to incorporate more v*gan meals into their routine. How ever you came to stumble upon this site, welcome!

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