No Guilt Super Bowl


Hi Friends, The Super Bowl is Sunday and I know I am really looking forward to that game, no wait…those commercials, the half-time show…and most of all the gluttony that is, Super Bowl food!!! Events are not true events for … Continue reading

Tofu’s where it’s at yo.


Tofu, not scary!

I think tofu gets the short end of the stick when we talk about healthy food. Tofu is to food as rap and country are to music. I often hear people say, “I like all music except rap and country (and I live in Nashville). It’s the same with tofu. Rarely do we hear anyone going on about their love of tofu. However, just like rap and country, I think if you give it a try and know what to make, you might really enjoy it.

I think Eminem said it best in the into of his Oscar-winning song “Lose Yourself”

Look, if you had one meal…one recipe,

to seize everyone’s taste buds in one dinner,

would you cook it?… or just get take out? … and the hook…

You better lose the fear of the bean curd, the soy bean.  Just cook it!  It doesn’t have GMO’s.

You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to prove that tofu’s an ingredient that begs to be used!

At least that what I think he said:)

Or that famous country song,”She thinks my tofu’s sexy”?

Anyway…on to the tofu recipes. I used one block of tofu to make all three of these recipes. Make sure you buy organic tofu, it is not expensive, so as to avoid those pesky GMO’s.

The first recipe is a Double Broccoli Quinoa. This meal was fabulous, creamy, hearty, comforting and full of protein, fiber, antioxidants, good carbs…You name it, it’s here.

I am not posting recipes for the next two meals, because they are fairly self explanatory. I had some leftover broccoli pesto and 3/4 of the block of tofu leftover from the above meal. I decided to add to the pesto and make some tofu ricotta (recipe below). I used this tofu ricotta in the next two recipes. The first being a gluten-free white pizza with artichokes, sautéed spinach and the remaining roasted broccoli from the quinoa dish.  Just buy a pre-made whole grain pizza crust or make your own (I used Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Pizza Crust mix), these are easy to find at any grocery store. The next meal was really easy. I made some pasta and dumped the remaining ricotta and all of our leftover pizza toppings into the pasta, it was awesome and took maybe 15 minutes.

I am adding a bonus tofu recipe as well that is sure to please everyone! I call it Tofu Pie, but you should not call it that. Maybe, Chocolate Mousse you’d never know it’s made of tofu but it is, pie? This recipe is beyond easy and has the added bonus of being full of protein.

Broccoli Quinoa

Double Broccoli Quinoa

4 Cups Broccoli Florets

3 Cups cooked quinoa

1 quarter block of extra firm tofu

1/2 cup almonds

juice of half a lemon

1/4 tsp red pepper flakes

3 Garlic Cloves

1/4 cup nutritional yeast (optional, but easy to find at Kroger or Whole Foods)

Salt to taste

Cook Quinoa according to box instructions

Lightly steam half the broccoli

Roast the remaining broccoli at 400 (spray with a bit of non-stick cooking oil and salt) until crispy

Put steamed broccoli, tofu, red pepper, garlic, almonds, lemon juice, nutritional yeast and salt in a blender or food processor and process until smooth.

Taste and adjust seasoning then stir the sauce into the quinoa.

Top with the roasted broccoli and some of the slivered almonds (avocado would be great as well)

This dish is full of protein, fiber and creamy goodness!

White Pizza with tofu ricotta, artichoke hearts, broccoli and spinach.

Tofu Ricotta

1 block extra firm tofu (remove, drain and squeeze the as much water as you can from tofu) crumbled

1/4 – 1/2 cup Nutritional Yeast

1 tbsp lemon juice

1 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp oregano

1/2 tsp basil

1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)

Salt and Pepper

You could also add chopped spinach or fresh basil to this.

Add all ingredients to a food processor, a blender or a bowl and mix. Lightly process if using a food processor or blender until it is the consistency of ricotta cheese. If mixing by hand just use a fork to mash and blend all ingredients together.

I have several friends who have successfully tricked their husbands with tofu ricotta:)

Tofu Pie (AKA, the I can’t believe is has tofu, tofu pie)

Tofu Pie (AKA, you will never guess there is tofu in this pie, pie)

1 Block Silken Tofu (this is the tofu that is in a cardboardish box, not the kind in the produce section)

1 Bag dairy free chocolate chips ( I like Trader Joes Brand)

Melt the chocolate chips in a double boiler

Combine the tofu and chocolate chips in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth.f

Transfer to pie crust and chill in the refrigerator until pie sets.  You could also just eat this as pudding.

You can put this in any crust you desire, I make the one below;

Easy Oat Pie Crust

1 1/2 cups Oat Flour (you can make your own by processing oats in the food processor) – I buy gluten-free oats and oat flour

1/2 tsp salt

2 Tbsp Coconut oil (melted)

4 Tbsp Water

Optional add ins here could be cocoa powder and agave or honey.

Combine all ingredients in a bowl (adding the water as you combine) mix with a fork

Transfer to a pie plate and press it into the mold with your fingers

Poke several holes in the bottom of the crust with a fork and bake for 18 minutes at 350.

I hope you enjoy these recipes while listening to your favorite rap or country music.

Much Love,

Your Vegan Friend

May I speak with the chef?


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Save a Pig, eat some tempeh!


If this is your first time reading, thank you! I would love to see more of you here. If you like what you read, please subscribe, like me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter!

Hello Friends!

When I read the very sad news that we were on the cusp of a national bacon shortage I was shocked, saddened…Oh, the humanity!!! Nope, not really at all what I felt:) However, I had to do something. Give the people what they want, right?

I have been wanting to try and make my own version of tempeh bacon and this was the perfect opportunity.  I had already planned to make a new version of Potato Leek soup, with cauliflower instead of the potato and a “B”LT was just the accompaniment my soup needed.

I could eat soup and soup alone all day,  I love fall, I love that soup can once again rejoin my weekly rotation of food. You will be seeing many soup recipes in the near future. It amazes me that a bunch of ingredients thrown in a pot with some water and seasoning can be so comforting and delicious.  My husband however, needs a sandwich to go with it. Feeding him soup and soup alone makes him very sad and I don’t like to make people feel sad about food!

So, on to the tempeh. Tempeh is a fermented soy product that is high in protein and has a much “meatier” and denser consistency than that other soy staple, tofu. Like tofu, tempeh will take on the flavors you marinade it in. It is inexpensive and very easy to prepare. Now, will this tempeh fool anyone into thinking it’s bacon? He** to the no!! The point is to have a savory, crisp, flavorful alternative. I have said it before, “Tofu, tastes just like chicken!…except it doesn’t”.

My husband loved this sandwich, he could have cared less that bacon was not present. My kids after smelling it baking couldn’t wait to try it and they loved it too. I am planning to tweak this recipe and try adding some liquid smoke and some other flavor combo’s.

As for the soup, I wanted a less starchy way to make a creamy comforting soup. I use cauliflower in place of potatoes quite a bit (Potatoes are a sometimes food) so I thought this could work. You can make a mean mashed cauliflower (this actually has faked my husband and others out on several occasions). This soup is remarkably easy and cheap! Veggies in a pot, seasoned and puree. We also have a good amount leftover for lunch today:)

Here are the recipes:

Tempeh Bacon

I sliced the tempeh in thin strips. Then steam the tempeh for about 10 minutes. You can skip this step but I find that the tempeh tastes a little bitter if you don’t steam it first.

an example of how I slice my tempeh

I prepared a marinade:

1/4 cup tamari (gluten-free) soy sauce

2 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar

1 Tbsp Agave Nectar (you could sub maple syrup or brown sugar)

2 crushed garlic cloves

1 tsp chili powder

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp onion powder

1/4 tsp paprika

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

You could also add 2tsp of liquid smoke ( I didn’t have any on hand, but it would make for that smokey bacon taste)

Add your tempeh strips to the marinade, cover and refrigerate until ready to use (at least 15 minutes), I marinated mine for a few hours.

When ready to bake pre-heat oven to 400 degrees

Spray a baking pan with non-stick cooking spray and add the tempeh to the baking pan. Spray the tempeh with cooking spray.

Bake around 6 minutes on each side but watch closely since oven temps and times vary.

Build your sandwich and enjoy!

“B”LT, I made mine gluten-free by wrapping the tomato and pickle in lettuce.

Cauliflower Leek Soup

1 head Cauliflower

2 leeks (chopped white and light green portion)

2 small carrots, diced

2 ribs celery diced

2 garlic cloves sliced

4 cups Vegetable Broth or water

Salt to taste

Pepper for garnish

(I added a healthy dash of cayenne because I like some heat)

Saute the leeks, carrots, celery and garlic until the leeks are a bit translucent.

Add veg broth or water and the cauliflower and seasoning.

Bring to a boil then reduce to Medium heat. Cook until cauliflower is tender.

Transfer to a blender or use an immersion blender and blend veggies until smooth and creamy.

Creamy, decadent and HEALTHY!!! Topped with some tempeh bacon, of course.

I hope you will try, and enjoy these very pig friendly recipes. If there are recipes you would like to see on the blog or dishes you would like me to “veganize” please comment below or shoot me and email at yourveganfriend@gmail.com.

Once again, thanks so much for reading!

Much Love,

Your Vegan Friend

Delusions of Grandeur


Last night I was inspired. Most of the time my inspirations are fueled by my stomach and this was no exception. My mom and I had gone to the movies and had to pass an Asian fusion restaurant on our way to the car. Even though we had leftover lasagna ready and waiting for dinner, I could not get teriaki out of my head. So I surveyed my pantry and fridge and came up with a plan.

My brain does not work like a normal person’s (at least that is my impression) when I get inspired, I go to extremes. In my head, I do not only imagine the dish I am about to prepare, but the beautiful picture I will take of it, the sounds of my family oohing and ahhing over how amazingly delicious it tastes and my subsequent blog post that will of course, lead to me cooking said recipe on Ellen. Seriously, who does this? ? ?

All was going well, the sauce for my teriaki tempeh smelled amazing and my peanut noodle recipe was well on it’s way. Then, as I shook some red pepper flakes into the pan for my sauteed kale it took a turn. The top came off the spice jar spilling the entire full bottle of very spicy red pepper into the pan of freshly chopped garlic. This led to me frantically scraping out that pan, while my tempeh started to burn and my noodles overcooked. Gone was my beautiful dish and future appearance on Ellen. What I was left with were sticky, soggy noodles that had a weird after taste, mouth searing kale and some slightly crispy yet still edible Tempeh. My husband was now of the expert vegan opinion that, the tempeh sauce would taste much better on tofu and my son was gagging over the noodles. We ate what we could and then snacked on tortilla chips and salsa later:)

I say all of this to say that all of our cooking adventures won’t turn out to look like magazine covers. Our kids (or husbands/wives) may hate some of our food and some of our creations will be just plain duds. I always take pictures of my pretty food, I almost never document the duds, but that does not mean there have not been plenty of them! The point is to try new things, live and learn. Figure out what works and what doesn’t and have fun! I won’t be making those noodles again, I will always hold the top of my spice jars as I sprinkle and I will try the teriaki sauce over tofu next time. However, I won’t stop getting inspired and dreaming big. Tonight I am going to practice warming up leftovers while tap dancing to the oven timer…America’s Got Talent here I come:)!

Much Love,

Your Vegan Friend

Not so picture perfect tempeh over microwaved frozen broccoli.