Sweet potato stew: vegan



1 shallot sliced thin
2 garlic cloves chopped
1 tbsp olive oil

2 sweet potatoes cut in semi circles

1 small can chopped hatch chili peppers
1 jar salsa (at least 12 oz)
1 cup veggie broth

3 cups of raw baby spinach


In a large sauce pan sauté shallot in olive oil, until lightly browned, then add garlic and stir for a quick minute.

Add the sweet potatoes, stir and let it get coated with the shallot and garlic, then add the chili peppers, salsa and broth.

Bring to a boil, then simmer until potatoes are soft, about 30 minutes.

The sauce might seem watery at first but will boil down a bit and become thicker. Stir every few minutes and add a little hot water if it is too thick to simmer any longer.

Turn off the fire and add the spinach stirring until it wilts down.

Serves 4: 125 calories per serving. 500 calories for whole dish.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

These are not large servings so if you are hungry eat two. You can also serve this with rice or pasta to add more substance.

Adding chili powder or cumin will give the dish a spicier flavor if you like.


Waffles: vegan or vegetarian



1 c flour
1 egg
1 c milk
1 tbsp sugar
2 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp oil or melted butter
pinch of salt


Mix all ingredients with a whisk until you get a fairly smooth batter.

Turn on your waffle maker to heat up as directed by the manufacturer. Spoon into waffle maker and cook by the directions on your machine.

Makes 10 small waffles: 80 calories per serving. If you are using large waffle maker the whole batter is 800 calories.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Each waffle maker is different. We had one cast iron pan that you heated on the stove and actually had to turn over half way through.

Now we have an electric mini waffle maker. It’s much easier with this one.

No need to add extra butter to these. I like then with jam and Jake prefers maple syrup. Any way you like, they are pretty yummy.


Spinach goma-ae: vegan



12 oz of raw baby spinach
1 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp tahini
1 1/2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 tbsp vinegar
1 tbsp white wine

sesame seeds


Sauté spinach in olive oil till wilted. Turn off heat.

Mix the rest of the ingredients well and pour over sautéd spinach.

Garnish with sesame seeds

Serves 2: 142 calories each serving. 

I love to get this in Japanese restaurants, but there are not many who carry it near me, so I learned how to make it.

Traditionally it calls for you to crush your own sesame seeds, but why do that when there is tahini available?

Also, most recipes call for you to boil the spinach and squeeze it dry. You can do that if you like, then add the sauce.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Coconut bread: vegetarian (or vegan)



2 1/2 c flour
3 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp kosher or sea salt
1 1/2 tsp instant yeast
200 ml coconut milk
45 ml water
2 tbsp melted butter or coconut oil


Mix flour, sugar, salt and yeast in a large bowl. Add coconut milk, water and melted butter. Stir. Let rest for 15 minutes covered. Knead dough for 5 minutes then place in a clean container, cover with plastic wrap and let rise for an hour. Remove dough and knead again for just a few minutes, cover with a kitchen towel and let rise for 15 minutes.

Shape the dough into a long cylinder shape and cut into 9 even pieces. Roll each piece into a ball and place in a 9×9 inch buttered baking pan in a 3×3 pattern. Let rise covered with plastic wrap or a cover, for another hour.

Uncover and bake in preheated 350˚ oven for 20 minutes, the top should be a golden brown.

Remove from baking pan and cool on wire rack.

Serves 9: 210 calories each serving. 

This bread comes out of the oven with a soft chewy inside and a soft crust. It’s so temping to eat as soon as you take it out of the pan. So go for it.

This is a variation of coconut breads I tried on youtube. A lot of them call for coconut oil, which to me is inconsistent, so I would rather use butter. That makes it not vegan, so you can try other oils/fats to suit your needs.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Thea Tasia’s macaroni or Greek pastitsio: vegetarian



2 large onions diced
box of veggie crumbles
1/2 stick of butter

6 eggs
3 cups milk (I use 2%)
1 stick of butter
3 tbsp flour

1 lb macaroni (tubular pasta) cooked and rinsed in cold water
16 oz of grated parmesan cheese 


Sauté onions until brown in 1/2 stick of butter, add veggie crumbles and just mix until they are slightly browned. Set aside.

Cook macaroni just one minute short of instructed timing and rinse with cold water. Set aside.

For creamy topping: in a medium sauce pan mix milk, 1 stick of butter and three egg yolks. Save the whites for later. Stir until milk is just starting to heat and butter is melting, then mix the flour with a couple tbsp of water to a thick paste getting out all the lumps, and stir into the milk mixture. Cook stirring pretty constantly until it thickens on medium to low heat. Once it starts to coat a wooden spoon you can turn off. 

Heat oven to 350˙

Put the macaroni, egg whites, three other whole eggs, parmesan cheese and cooled onion/crumble mixture into a large casserole pan. Stir until all ingredients are throughly mixed. 

Carefully ladle on top the creamy sauce making sure you get some on every inch of the macaroni. 

Bake uncovered for 1/2 to 1 hour depending on how deep your pan is and when the topping should get some lightly browned areas. 

Let rest for 10 minutes and serve. 

Serves 9: 698 calories each serving. 

This recipe originally calls for 1 lb. of ground beef in place of the veggie crumbles. If you are a meat eater, go ahead and make it with beef, but for vegetarians, the crumbles are very delicious and give the right mouth feel and texture. 

This is definitely not a food for dieting. It’s dense in calories and fat, which is what makes it so delicious. 

It was my favorite meal at my Thea Tasia’s house and this is her recipe turned vegetarian.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Rice and peas: vegan



1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion cut in small chunks
1 c rice
2 cloves of garlic chopped

8 oz can of tomato sauce
2 c water
bag of frozen peas

1 jar of roasted red peppers sliced into ribbons
micro cilantro or regular cilantro chopped
salt and red pepper flakes to taste


In a large sauce pot sauté onions, garlic and rice in olive oil till onions start to turn translucent.

Add tomato sauce, water and frozen peas, stir and bring to a boil covered. Lower the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes. Stir, turn off the heat and let sit for another 10 minutes.

Dry the roasted red peppers with some paper towels and add them to the mixture. Serve topped with the micro cilantro. Add salt and red pepper flakes to taste.

Serves 4: 327 calories per serving.

This dish is perfect on a cool weather day, it’s hearty and you get a lot in one serving.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Pasta: vegetarian



2 c flour
2 c semolina
pinch of salt
6 eggs
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp water

Note: I bought my pasta maker from Williams Sonoma and I am very happy with this machine. Here is a photo from their website to help you see what it looks like.


You can make this in a bowl, but traditionally you mix semolina, flour and salt on a table, mound it up into a mountain shape, make a deep hole in the center, like a volcano, then add the rest of the ingredients slowly, while mixing gently with a fork. If the sides of the mountain start to collapse, don’t worry, just push the flour around and keep stirring. Mix until all ingredients are combined. Add more water if dough is feeling dry.

A lot of cooks stop here and let the dough rest. I am too impatient, so I just keep moving on.

Cut into 4 pieces and sprinkle with some semolina, start by flattening the piece with your fingers until you can fit it into the pasta maker slit. Take the dough and run it through the largest section on the pasta maker.

It helps to have a partner. One person feeds and one gently guides the pasta out.

Continue with each piece, switch to next smallest section of the pasta maker and repeat. If pieces of dough start to seem sticky sprinkle with semolina. keep table sprinkled too so pieces don’t stick to it. You will need a lot of room for this. I have a long table out in my yard where I make the pasta. If the piece you are rolling through get too long, just cut it in half.

Once I get to two notches from the end, I stop flattening and attach the spaghetti cutter. Run each piece through the cutter and lay the spaghetti flat to dry a little. Sprinkle again with semolina. If you are going to make this right away, just boil your water and cook the pasta for about one or two minutes.

Otherwise, roll it into a swirl and save in a container to make later or the next day. Or if you have a drying rack, dry the pasta on the rack.

Serves about 12: Total calorie count is 2690. A cup of cooked pasta is about 200 calories give or take your generosity with your measuring.

There is nothing better than fresh pasta with just some sauce and parmesan cheese for me.

This is a tricky recipe to make as the dough has to be just right or it will either split apart as you try to flatten it in the pasta maker, or it will be mushy and stick to the rollers. You’ll have to experiment until you find the right consistency. But I have to say, each time I make it I have to fuss with it a bit to get it right.

You can also make this pasta without a machine. Just roll thin and cut it with a scissor or sharp knife. you can use wide noodles for lasagne or any other width you like.

I am attaching this video link, he makes his pasta differently but he uses the same pasta maker that I have, so I thought it would be helpful to watch.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Spanish rice: vegan



2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion cut in large chunks
medium bag of small peppers cut into fourths
1/4 c white wine

2 c water (or appropriate amount for 1 c uncooked rice)
1 c rice

large package of grape tomatoes halved
one can of kidney beans drained and rinsed


Sauté onions and peppers in oil till browned and then deglaze with wine.

add water and bring to a boil, add the rice, simmer for 10 minutes, turn off and let sit for an additional 10 minutes.

Mix in the tomatoes and beans and serve.

Serves 8: 311 calories per serving.

I learned how to make this recipe in home-economics class in high school and it has continued to be a favorite since. I do vary ingredients and I have to admit the original recipe was made with ground beef instead of beans.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Puff pancake: vegetarian



2 tbsp butter

1/2 c milk
2 eggs
1/2 c flour
2 tsp sugar
ground nutmeg
pinch of salt

optional toppings:
confectioner’s sugar, blueberries and lemon juice
maple syrup and strawberries


Turn oven on to 425˙ and in an 8 inch cast iron (or heavy skillet) put the butter, place in oven and let melt.

Mix all other ingredients till smooth, open oven and pour into skillet. Close oven and bake for about 16 minutes, until pancake puffs up and browns slightly on edges.

Remove from skillet to a large plate.

Serves 2: 335 calories per serving.

This is an old recipe I got from a photographer friend in New York, it’s been a favorite ever since.

I really love it with the lemon juice and blueberries, but it’s pretty ok just with some lemon and sugar too.

To make a serving for 4, change the eggs to 3, the milk to 3/4 c and the flour to 3/4 c. everything else can remain the same. Use a larger skillet.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Zucchini caponata: vegan



4 tbsp olive oil
1 onion cut into bite-size pieces
4 garlic cloves chopped
4 zucchini cut into bite-size pieces
4 to 5 small tomatoes cut into bite-size pieces

4 tbsp capers
24 pitted black olives

salt and pepper to taste


Sauté onions in olive oil till just transparent, add garlic and stir for about a minute till garlic flavor is released. Add zucchini and keep cooking until zucchini start to break down and get soft. Add tomatoes and keep cooking uncovered to release the liquid it forms, and cook on simmer till mixture gets a soft and very mixed texture, like a very soft stew. This could take about an hour all together.

Turn off heat and add the capers and olives. Salt and pepper to taste.

Serves 4: 248 calories per serving.

I had extra zucchini this week and was tired of my other methods to cook it, so i thought, why not make what is traditionally eggplant, using zucchini? And it worked.

We ate this on pasta (an additional 200 calories per cup) one day and with crusty bread the next. It’s even good cold.

Rating: 5 out of 5.