Broccimole (aka Broccoli Guacamole)

Who doesn’t like a good guacamole adaptation?!  True, why mess with a good thing, but I was still curious about what adding broccoli would do, and I’m very glad I did.  This is a much lighter alternative to guacamole, and it makes you feel good because there’s broccoli in it.  I thought this would be a kid-friendly recipe, which it’s not completely, but if yours are willing to taste it, they may just love it (or take three bites and realize they don’t yet).  It is definitely husband approved, and he thought the jalapeno would add a nice kick.



makes about 1 1/2 cups

adapted from Malibu Farm Cookbook


1 cup broccoli florets

1/4 cup onion, finely chopped

Jalapeno pepper, chopped and to taste (optional)

1/2 bunch cilantro

2 limes juiced OR 2 tbsp lime juice

1/2 avocado – or more (up to 2), if you want it creamier


Cook broccoli florets in boiling, salted water for 1 minute.  Remove and place in food processor with the rest of the ingredients (except the avocado).  Pulse until all chopped up.  Taste, and if desired, add 1/2 avocado, up to 2 avocados total.  Add salt to taste if needed.  Enjoy with chips.

Easy Falafel Salad

After some busy busy weeks making quick dinners, we challenged ourselves to make some new recipes – finally a reason to try this falafel one!  Truth be told, I’m not a HUGE falafel fan, but my husband is, so I’m always looking for recipes where I can treat him to one of his favorite foods.  I’ve always used canned garbanzos, so it was fun to soak dried ones and see what happens.  The result was a great tasting falafel that is plenty delicious, and lighter tasting than ones deep fried at your local Mediterranean restaurant – the texture and flavor is spot on.  Aside from the time to soak the beans, this recipe is really easy, and can get from kitchen to table in under 45 minutes.  We ate ours on top of a salad, but it can also be enjoyed in an open-faced sandwich or pita.

IMG_4497.JPGEasy Falafel Salad

makes about 14-16 falafel patties

recipe adapted from One Part Plant


1 cup dried garbanzo beans, soaked overnight (or at least 8 hours*) and drained

1/3 cup onion, diced (I used sweet onion because I like the flavor better, though the original recipe calls for red onion)

1/3 cup parsley, chopped

1/3 cup dill, roughly chopped

2 garlic cloves, smashed with a knife

2 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp fresh lemon juice

1 tsp cumin (or to taste – could be less or more)

Sea salt

Cayenne pepper, just a pinch

1/2 tsp baking soda

Canola oil, coconut oil, or olive oil for frying (I like to use canola)

Butter lettuce or romaine lettuce (your favorite for a salad)

Toppings: hummus, tahini, tomatoes, cucumbers, bagaganoush, avocado – whatever you like to top your falafel with!


  1.  Pat the chickpeas dry and let sit for a few minutes.
  2. The falafels taste best warm, so make sure you have all your salad ingredients ready to go.
  3. In a food processor, blend together all ingredients except the baking soda.  Pulse until smooth but a bit grainy.  This will take a few minutes.  Once combined well, add the baking soda and pulse a few more times.  Taste the mixture and adjust seasonings as needed.
  4. In a large pan, over medium-high heat, add some oil to coat the bottom of the pan (about 1 tbsp).
  5. Using an ice cream scoop, form patties with your hand and carefully place each one in the pan, forming a circle of patties around the edge of the pan.  It’s easy to be tempted to add one in the center, but this will overcrowd the pan, and make it difficult to cook them evenly.  After about 2-3 minutes, flip patties over**, so they’re a nice golden brown color.  Repeat until all patties are made – making sure to add more oil for each batch you cook. As patties are finishing, place on a baking sheet lined with paper towels to drain off any excess oil (though there should be not much).
  6. While falafels are cooling, assemble your salad, and top with the falafels.  We like to add a few dollops of hummus and a drizzle of tahini too.  You can also add extra chopped parsley if you like.  Enjoy!

*I left the garbanzos to soak from the morning until evening, when I returned from work, and it worked great.  This is a good option if you forget to soak them overnight!

**I like to use a metal spatula and a stainless pan for this kind of pan frying.  I’ve used nonstick, but it doesn’t always create the crispy outside you want for something like this, and often leaves the insides either dried our or mushy and under-cooked.

Chickpea Salad Sandwich with Crunchy Red Cabbage

In the spirit of open-faced sandwiches, I landed on this recipe for Chickpea Salad (which has many variations if you search) because instead of mixing in a vegan mayo, this recipe calls for mixing in a unique combination of tahini, lemon juice, capers, dijon mustard, garlic, scallions, and cilantro. And, the result?  Delicious!  This recipe is one of the many reasons I enjoy food I make myself versus store bought or even the “best” vegan or non-vegan restaurants.  The sandwich tasted fresh and the perfect balance of flavors.  TBD if it’s a kid-favorite too.


Chickpea Salad Sandwich with Crunchy Red Cabbage

serves 4-6

adapted from Love & Lemons


1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas (or 1 15oz can), rinsed and drained

1 tsp Dijon mustard

2 tbsp tahini

1 garlic clove, roughly chopped

1 1/2 tsp capers

1 scallion chopped

1/4 chopped cilantro, loosely packed

2 tbsp lemon juice, plus a few extra squeezes for the cabbage topping

sea salt and freshly ground pepper

1 cup shredded cabbage

slices of your favorite gluten-free (or wheat) bread

Vegan mayonnaise (I like Just Mayo Light)

Radishes, thinly sliced

Microgreens or arugula


  1. In a small food processor* combine chickpeas, mustard, tahini, garlic, capers, scallion, cilantro, lemon juice and a few pinches of salt and pepper.  Pulse until combined and chunky – texture should be about 2/3 smooth and 1/3 garbanzno beans whole-ish
  2. Remove from food processor and put in a small bowl. Give everything a mix and mash whole beans with a fork until desired texture.  Chill until ready to serve
  3. To make cabbage topping, in a medium bowl, put cabbage and squeeze a lemon a few times (about 1/2-1 tbsp).  Mix in salt and pepper to taste.  Chill for 5 minutes.
  4. Toast your bread.  For an open-faced sandwich, top with a little mayo, microgreens, chickpea mixture, radishes, cabbage, and a little more micro greens.  Enjoy!

last few bites

White Bean Dill Dip + Spread

Thanks to the One Part Plant cookbook, I discovered how much I like hummus-type dips with white beans instead of garbanzos.  I’ve really been enjoying the White Bean Buffalo Hummus I posted last week, and just tried a new recipe, that’s also REALLY great. Technically, it’s a dip, but I’m using it as a spread instead.  It reminds me a lot of Ina Garten’s Herbed Ricotta Bruschette – and without the dairy (yay for me!)  I’m really into open faced sandwiches (we can thank my Grandma for that tip), and this spread is PERFECT for that.  Enjoy!



White Bean Dill Dip + Spread

makes about 1.5 cups

recipe adapted from Love and Lemons

  • 1 ½ cups cooked cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon warm water
  • 2 small garlic cloves
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ cup loose packed fresh dill
  • your favorite bread, lightly toasted (I like this gluten-free one from Canyon Bakehouse)


In a small food processor, or in a small bowl with an immersion blender, blend together the cannellini beans, olive oil, lemon juice, water, garlic, and salt. Puree until creamy, then add the dill and blend until incorporated. Chill until ready to use.

If using on toast, use about 2 tsp per slice of bread.  Spread on warm bread, and top with your favorite veggies.  I like thinly sliced cucumbers, radishes, microgreens, and a little pinch of sea salt.

Favorite Dairy-free Finds

In the past several years, I have tried A LOT of dairy-free alternatives to traditionally dairy foods.  I also don’t eat soy, so that has made the exploration even more interesting.  To save you the work of trying some pretty undesirable flavors, here are my favorites and where I can typically find them.  Send me any you think work trying too!


Kite Hill

Hands down, this is the best dairy-free yogurt I’ve tried.  From what I remember of yogurt, it has a similar texture (albeit a bit thinner), and great taste (read: no aftertaste).  My favorite flavor is Vanilla, though I also think the Peach and Blueberry are pretty good.

Where to buy – Whole Foods (usually cheapest, and they’ll give you a 10% case discount if you buy 12); Ralphs, Gelsons, and some Targets are also now selling, though their prices are about 20 cents more per container.



Kite Hill – Plain Yogurt

I have made several recipes with this now, when it calls for sour cream, and they all turn out great.  I’ve made desserts and main dishes, all equally great.  It also works well as a topping for tacos, or wherever you’d normally use sour cream, even latkes!

Where to buy – same as above



Daiya Cheddar Block

Daiya cheese products can be controversial.  For someone who is used to eating cow’s milk cheese, this tastes completely different.  I haven’t had real dairy for a really long time, so I hardly notice a difference.  That said, I think getting the wedge of Daiya cheddar, and shredding it by hand, produces the best texture and taste, to what I remember of cheese. Especially on tacos, I think it tastes like Taco Bell cheese, but it’s been almost a decade since I’ve eaten Taco Bell – so again, my taste bud profile is skewed.  If you want a more creamy texture when baking recipes I suggest the pre-shredded versions, but know this won’t taste or melt like traditional cheese.  Often too, I end up realizing many recipes don’t even need cheese anyway, if the other ingredients are flavorful enough.

Where to buy:  Whole Foods, Ralphs, Sprouts (I’ve found it cheapest here), Vons



Califia Farms Unsweetened Almond Milk

I’ve tried them all – well a lot of them absent of Flax Milk and Hemp Milk.  I like this non-dairy milk to best because it reminds me of the nonfat milk I grew up on, and also it doesn’t separate in hot liquids, like coffee or tea.  It tastes great in cereal and we always have it on hand at our house. It’s also great in baking recipes where milk is in an ingredient, like frosting.  Though if making vegan frosting for a crowd, I add So Delicious boxed unsweetened coconut milk for my nut-free friends.

Where to buy: Sprouts (usually cheapest price here), Whole Foods, Ralphs, Vons



Sprouts Roasted Garlic Dressing

Many Italian dressings are made with soybean oil and/or parmesan cheese.  I recently found this Roasted Garlic dressing by Sprouts and it tastes like there’s cheese in it.  I grew up loving Mrs. Bernsteins Cheese Fantastico dressing as a treat at my Grandma’s house, and I think this tastes very similar.

Where to buy: Sprouts



Pressed Juicery FREEZE – Chocolate/Vanilla Swirl

Non-dairy ice creams sold in cartons, in stores, are not my favorite.  I’ll eat a little every now and then, but I’ve had weird reactions to many of them, so I just avoid them, which is fine, because I’ve never LOVED ice cream anyway.  I did however, used to love frozen yogurt.  Pressed Juicery FREEZE, chocolate/vanilla swirl is SO good!  It’s soft-serve frozen almond milk – meaning completely dairy free (and soy free!).  Interestingly enough, the chocolate and vanilla flavors are lowest in sugar among the other flavor options like vegetable and fruit juice – which also have no added sugar.  I like to top mine with fresh strawberries.

Where to buy: Pressed Juicery, where FREEZE is available



Earth Balance Sour Cream & Onion Kettle Chips

Food Should Taste Good Kimchi Chips (tastes similar to Doritos)

If you’re switching to dairy-free and miss those sour cream & onion chips or Doritos, not to worry, there are two great replacements.  Earth Balance makes a great Sour Cream & Onion alternative, and I recently read about Food Should Taste Good Kimchi chips, which taste pretty similar to what I remember of Doritos, but not as salty and not quite as cheesy. They won’t leave you with orange fingers, but they are satisfying and a bit addictive too (as are the Earth Balance ones too).

Where to buy Earth Balance Sour Cream & Onion Kettle Chips: Whole Foods

Where to buy Food Should Taste Good Kimchi Chips: Sprouts




Grown-up Beans on Toast

Another great cookbook I’ve been using lately is The Dude Diet.  Along with the great frittata recipe I made awhile ago, we recently made ‘Grown-up Beans on Toast.’  The recipe calls for chicken sausage, but we made without, and it still tastes great – even kid approved!  It’s pretty quick to make – took about 30 minutes start to finish – and, it tastes great as leftovers too.  The author says the recipe makes 2 servings, but I think it can make about 6-10 toasts, depending how much you use to top the bread.  If you eat meat, go ahead and use your favorite chicken sausage.  I’ll list those steps as optional below.  We made ours wheat and dairy-free using gluten-free bread, and Vegan Parmesan shreds.IMG_4052.JPG

Grown-up Beans on Toast

adpated from The Dude Diet

makes about 6-10 toasts


2 tsp. olive oil

2 chicken sausages (sweet or spicy), diced – OPTIONAL

1/2 sweet onion, chopped finely

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 tsp. dried oregano

2 tsp. tomato paste

3/4 tsp paprika

1/4 tsp sea salt

1 15 oz. can cannelini beans (or great white northern beans), rinsed & drained

1 15 oz. can diced or crushed tomatoes

1/4 cup water

Your favorite gluten-free (or traditional) bread, toasted

Chopped parsley, to sprinkle on top

Vegan Parmesan, to sprinkle on top (I like Follow Your Heart, found at Whole Foods)


  1.  In a medium saute pan, heat pan and add olive oil.
  2. [OPTIONAL] Saute diced chicken sausage for about 4-5 minutes, until browned.
  3. Add onion and saute until translucent, just starting to brown.
  4. Add garlic and stir until fragrant.  About 30 seconds.
  5. Add dried oregano, tomato paste, salt, and paprika.  Cook for a few minutes more.
  6. Add drained beans, tomatoes and water.  Heat until boiling.  Then, reduce the heat and cook for another 10 minutes so flavors can combine.  I waited until most of the liquid had evaporated.
  7. Serve warm on toast.  Top with chopped parsley and vegan parmesan.


Buffalo Hummus

In searching for more recipes, I came across a new cookbook, One Part Plant by Jessica Murnane.  After making the Buffalo Hummus recipe, I spent time reading the introduction and was even more impressed. What resonates with me most is her creation of recipes as a result of finding foods that make her body feel better, versus a focused attempt to become plant-based and mostly gluten-free.  Her cookbook is sharing recipes she’s discovered along the way that make her body feel its best.  One of my favorite asides preceding the recipe for a Breakfast Potato Bowl is she got tired of ordering the oatmeal when she went out for breakfast with friends, so she started asking for the breakfast potatoes with the same veggies her friends were getting in omelettes – and the breakfast potato bowl was born!  Anyway, we tried her super easy recipe for Buffalo Hummus, and it’s pretty great.  Because chickpeas can be difficult on some to digest, she makes it with white beans, and adds in some buffalo sauce instead of garlic.  We enjoyed it as she suggests, spread on a warm tortilla and topped with veggies.

Buffalo Hummus

serves 4-6

from One Part Plant


1 15oz can white beans, rinsed & drained (I used Great White Northern Beans, could also use Cannelini)

1/4 cup tahini

1/2 tsp pure maple syrup

2-3 tbsp Buffalo Sauce* (I used this one -PaleoChef Wing Sauce)

2-3 tbsp lemon juice

sea salt


  1. In a small food processor (or high speed blender), place drained and rinsed white beans, tahini, syrup, 2 tbsp Buffalo sauce, 2 tbsp lemon juice, and a pinch of salt.  Blend until smooth.
  2. Taste a little bit.  If you think it needs more “kick” or flavor, add more buffalo sauce – I added 1/2 tbsp at a time, and found I needed 3 1/2 tbsp total to make it taste flavorful, but not spicy.  Add more lemon juice and salt, if needed. (I needed to add 1 more tbsp of lemon juice – 3 tbsp total, and two more pinches of salt).
  3. Enjoy as a dip or spread on a sandwich.  We enjoyed similar to pictured above, on a warmed corn tortilla with thinly sliced cucumbers, a pinch of chopped olives and a pinch of parsley.

*If you can stand more heat, I suggest using a “hot” Buffalo or Wing sauce.  She suggests trying to find a version without wheat, dairy, or eggs.  Tessemae’s is also supposed to be good – I saw it in the refrigerated produce section, near salad mixes, at Whole Foods.


Buffalo Hummus – the final product!

Spinach-Artichoke Enchilada Casserole

For awhile I’ve been curious about a vegan take on the classic spinach-artichoke combo. Once I found this enchilada recipe, I knew I had to make it.  I wish I had my own picture of it, but we ate it too fast, so the picture from the blog where I got the recipe idea will have to do.  A friend told me recently how any enchilada recipe can be made into a casserole, so I went with that, and boy was this a lot easier than rolling enchiladas!  It was also great re-heated, which makes this great for a weeknight meal.  I made it gluten free, using corn tortillas, and vegan using plain almond yogurt and vegan cheese, instead of sour cream and cheese.

Spinach Artichoke Enchilada Casserole

makes 6-8 servings

adapted from Cookie+Kate


2 tbsp. olive oil*

1 red onion, chopped

1/4 tsp salt

4-5 cloves garlic, minced

1 heaping cup artichokes, drained (I like the ones jarred in water)

10 oz. fresh baby spinach

1 15 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained

1/4 cup plain non-dairy yogurt (I used Kite Hill Almond Plain Yogurt**)

12 “street”/”slider” size corn tortillas (I like Mission)

16 oz. Enchilada Sauce (I like Frontera Mild)

3 oz. vegan cheese “cheddar” or “jack”, freshly shredded (I like the Daiya Cheddar Wedge***)

Cilantro, finely chopped for topping


  1. Preheat oven to 400.
  2. In a large skillet, heat olive oil and add onion and salt until translucent, stirring frequently, about 4-5 minutes.  Add the garlic until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  3. Add the artichokes and a few handful of spinach. Cook, stirring and tossing frequently, until the spinach has wilted. Repeat with remaining spinach. Continue cooking, stirring frequently, until the pan is no longer wet with excess moisture.
  4. Remove from heat and transfer the mixture to a bowl. Stir in the drained black beans and yogurt. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  5. In a lightly greased 8×8 glass casserole dish, pour 1/2 cup of the enchilada sauce and make sure it covers the entire bottom.  Place 4 tortillas, overlapping for the bottom layer. Put about half the spinach-artichoke + black bean mixture on top of the tortillas. Layer 4 more tortillas on top.  Pour some enchilada sauce to cover tortillas and sprinkle with some of the Daiya cheese you shredded.  Add the remaining spinach-artichoke+black bean mixture on top of enchilada + cheese covered tortillas.  Place the remaining 4 tortillas on top of the mixture, overlapping, so it covers the entire dish.  Cover with remaining enchilada sauce.  Sprinkle with remaining cheese.
  6. Place in the oven uncovered for about 20-22 minutes.
  7. Enjoy!  Sprinkle each serving with cilantro if you have it on hand.

*I used 2 tbsp of olive oil, but it seemed like a lot, and you could easily use a bit less if you like.  Because of all the spinach, I wouldn’t use less than 1 tbsp.

**Kite Hill yogurt can be found at Whole Foods, Ralphs, and some Targets.  I’ve also only tested this recipe with Kite Hill, and don’t know how other non-dairy yogurts would work.

***In terms of non-dairy cheeses, that also don’t contain soy, I’ve found the Daiya Cheddar Wedge, shredded at home, to melt the best, have the best texture, and taste.  The pre-shredded version doesn’t always melt completely.  Of course, if you can eat cheese, you can use that and traditional sour cream!




Caponata with Eggplant + Red Peppers

In the spirit of recipes I used to make, but haven’t made in awhile, I made this delicious Caponata recipe.  While not my Grandma’s recipe (which is AMAZING!), it’s very, very good – sweet and savory.  The original recipe calls for putting it on a sandwich and melting mozzarella with it in a panini.  In lieu of the cheese, we opted for making gluten-free rye toast, rubbed with garlic, and topped with the Caponata.  It’s the perfect light dinner and even tastes great with mini rice cakes (just found these and they’re delish!)IMG_4017.JPG

Caponata with Eggplant + Red Peppers

serves 6, more as a dip

adapted from this recipe


3 tbsp olive oil

1 celery stalk, chopped

1 medium size eggplant, diced

1 red bell pepper, diced

1 sweet onion, diced

1 15oz can diced tomatoes

1/2 tsp dried oregano

1 tbsp capers, drained

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

2 tsp sugar

sea salt and pepper


In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the celery and eggplant and cook until soft, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the red bell pepper and cook until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, and oregano to the pan. Simmer over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until the mixture thickens, about 20 minutes. Stir in the vinegar, sugar, capers, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper. Season, to taste, with more salt and pepper, if needed.

If serving with bread, toast or heat in the oven.  Once heated, use half a garlic clove and rub over the bread.  Top with caponata and enjoy!  You can also serve as a warm or cool dip with crackers.

Vegan Black Bean + Roasted Zucchini Enchiladas

Several years ago, I used to LOVE making (and eating) these Roasted Zucchini, Black Bean and Goat Cheese Enchiladas.  Now that I don’t eat dairy or wheat, I finally figured out a way to enjoy the same great recipe, just with a few tweaks. I also finally found a great enchilada sauce, making this recipe one of the best I’ve made in a long time.  I will say there’s really no great vegan alternative for goat cheese, but even without that extra creamy layer, this is a great enchilada recipe, that I think even your dairy-loving friends will enjoy!

FullSizeRender (7).jpg

Vegan Roasted Zucchini + Black Bean Enchiladas

adapted from Sprouted Kitchen

makes about 26 mini size enchiladas


2 zucchini, diced into 1/4 inch pieces

1 1/4 tsp lemon pepper

2 tsp olive oil, plus more for brushing enchiladas with (about 1/2 tsp)

15 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained well

1/2 small red onion, finely diced

1/2 cup Daiya shredded cheddar, plus Daiya Cheddar wedge hand grated for top of enchiladas

16 oz. Enchilada sauce (I really like Frontera)

24-26 Mission Street Size Corn tortillas

Cilantro, chopped finely for topping

Avocado, cubed for topping

Lime juice, fresh or bottled (I like Santa Cruz Organic)


  1.  Preheat oven to 425.  In a medium sized baking sheet, lay out chopped zucchini.  With your hands toss with 2 tsp of olive oil and the lemon pepper.  Lay flat in a single layer and cook for about 20-25 minutes.  Once done, let cool.  Reduce oven heat to 375.
  2. While the zucchini is roasting, in a medium mixing bowl, toss together the black beans and red onion.  Gently mix in 1/4 cup of the Daiya shredded cheddar.  Once the zucchini is cooled for about 5 minutes, mix in with the rest of the mixture.
  3. In a large baking dish (9×12) lightly greased with Canola oil*, pour 1/2 cup of the enchilada sauce to coat the bottom of the pan.
  4. Using a warmed griddle pan, carefully warm the tortillas one by one.  The process I like to use is after I warm a tortilla, I put about 3/4 tbsp of the filling on the tortilla and roll tightly, like a taquito.  Place it seam side down in the baking dish.  Repeat until all tortillas are filled.  I got 26 when I made it last.  I also had about 1/2 of the bean mixture leftover.
  5. Once all the enchiladas are rolled, brush the tops of them with the remaining olive oil.
  6. Pour remaining enchilada sauce over the enchiladas to cover them.
  7. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of daiya cheddar shreds over the enchiladas.  Because they melt differently, I also grate some of the Daiya Cheddar wedge on top.
  8. Put enchiladas in the oven for 20 minutes.
  9. When enchiladas come out of the oven, squeeze a lime over the tops of the enchiladas. If using bottled lime juice (I like Santa Cruz Organic), I use a medicine dropper to drip it over the enchiladas.
  10. Serve warm, topped with cilantro and avocado.

*To grease the baking dish I spilled a little bit of canola oil in the dish, and then used a paper towel to spread it all over the dish.  Most of it gets soaked up in the paper towel, but the dish gets oiled a bit to make it less likely the enchiladas will stick to the pan.