Saturday, November 29, 2014

Dr. Fuhrman's Healthy Chocolate Cake


1 2/3 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 teaspoons baking soda
3 1/2 cups pitted dates, divided
1 cup pineapple chunks in own juice, drained
1 banana
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 cup shredded beets
3/4 cup shredded carrots
1/2 cup shredded zucchini
3 tablespoons Dr. Fuhrman's Cocoa Powder or other natural cocoa powder
1/2 cup currants
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 1/2 cups water
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup raw macadamia nuts or raw cashews, unsalted
1 cup vanilla soy milk
2/3 cup pitted dates
1/3 cup brazil nuts or hazelnuts
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix flour, baking powder, and baking soda in a small bowl.
Set aside.
In blender or food processor, puree 3 cups of the dates, pineapple,
banana, and applesauce.
Slice remaining 1/2 cup dates into 1/2 inch thick pieces. In large
bowl, mix sliced dates, beets, carrots, zucchini, cocoa powder,
currants, walnuts, water, vanilla and flour mixture.
Add the blended mixture and mix well. Spread in a 9.5" X 13.5"
nonstick baking pan.
Bake for 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted into the center
comes out clean.

Using a high powered blender*, combine all icing ingredients until
smooth and creamy. Place a dollop over warm cake and serve. If desired,
you may spread on cooled cake instead.
* A food processor may be used to combine icing
ingredients but the icing will not be as smooth.


Friday, November 21, 2014

Pasta Fagioli with Cranberry Beans and Kale

Using a pressure cooker cuts the time it takes to cook dried beans by about half, but I’ve also included regular cooking directions at the end of the recipe.


  • 2 cups dried cranberry beans, borlotti beans, or pinto beans (soaked for at least an hour–see step 1)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 ribs celery, chopped
  • 7 cloves garlic, minced and divided
  • 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, minced (or 1/2 tsp. dried)
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 26 ounces chopped tomatoes, canned
  • 3 teaspoons dried basil leaves, divided
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons salt (optional or to taste)
  • 2 cups small pasta, whole grain or gluten-free preferred
  • 10 ounces kale, stems removed and leaves chopped (4-6 cups chopped)
  • 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • freshly-ground black pepper, to taste


  1. At least an hour before cooking: Check the beans for rocks and other debris and rinse them well. Then do a quick soak by placing the beans in a pot or pressure cooker, covering with 2 inches of water, and bringing to a boil. Boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat and let stand for at least 1 hour. Drain well and rinse. Set aside. (Alternately, soak overnight, drain well, and rinse.)
  2. Heat your pressure cooker (use the Sauté or Brown button on electric PC’s). Add the onion and a pinch of baking soda (optional) and cook until it begins to soften, adding water by the tablespoon if necessary to prevent sticking. Add the celery, half of the garlic, the rosemary, and the red pepper flakes and cook for another 2 minutes.
  3. Add the tomatoes, 2 teaspoons of basil, 1 teaspoon oregano, and the smoked paprika. Heat, stirring, until hot.
  4. Add the drained beans, 6 cups of water or vegetable broth, and salt, if you desire. Lock the lid in place, bring to high pressure, and cook at high pressure for 10 minutes. (Electric PC’s: select Manual and set the time to 10 minutes.) After 10 minutes at high pressure, remove from heat or turn off electric cooker and allow the pressure to come down naturally for 15 minutes. Release all pressure using a quick release. Carefully open the lid and check the beans. If they are not all completely softened and cooked, replace the lid and bring to high pressure for another minute or two. Quick-release pressure and check beans again. Do this until the beans are all tender.
  5. Once the beans are done, add the reserved garlic, basil, and oregano and check to see if additional salt is needed. Add the pasta and return to medium heat (electric PC–use Sauté or Brown setting). Cook, stirring frequently, until the pasta is almost al dente–just a touch undercooked. Stir in the kale, turn off the heat, and cover the cooker. Allow the kale to cook in the residual heat for about 5 minutes. Check kale and pasta for tenderness and add more time if needed. Stir in nutritional yeast and freshly ground black pepper to taste and serve.

I always cook the pasta separately on the stove.  After the soup is done pressure cooking, I add the kale, let that wilt, and then add in the pasta, nutritional yeast, and black pepper.


No Pressure Cooker Directions:
Follow the directions in steps 1 through 3, using a large, heavy pot. Then add the dried beans, salt, and 8 cups of water or broth. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until beans are tender, adding more water if necessary. Allow 1 1/2 to 2 hours for beans to cook.
Uncover the pot and bring back to a boil. Add the pasta and reserved seasonings and check the liquid level–there should be enough to cover the pasta completely; if not, add more. Cook until pasta is al dente. Add the kale, cover the pot, and cook on low for 3-5 minutes. Add nutritional yeast and black pepper to taste.
Preparation time: 15 minute(s) | Cooking time: 1 hour(s)

Number of servings (yield): 8
Nutrition (per serving): 329 calories, 14 calories from fat, 1.6g total fat, 0mg cholesterol, 817.5mg sodium (including 2 tsp. salt), 937.2mg potassium, 61.7g carbohydrates, 15g fiber, 3.7g sugar, 19g protein.

Recipe from here:

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Chef AJ's Overnight Muesli

1/2 cup gluten-free oats
2 Tablespoons currants
1 Tablespoon chia seeds
1/2 teaspoon apple pie spice (or cinnamon)
2 ounces apple juice
2 ounces unsweetened almond milk
1 teaspoon alcohol-free vanilla (optional)
fresh apple

Place gluten-free oats, currants, chia seeds and apple pie spice into a mixing bowl. Add apple juice and unsweetened almond milk. Add alcohol-free vanilla (optional) if using. Grate fresh apple over the top of the bowl. Mix. Place in refrigerator overnight.

Cauli-power Fettucine Alfredo (from Oh She Glows)


  • 4 heaping cups cauliflower florets (1 small/medium cauliflower)
  • 1/2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic (from 2 med/lg cloves)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened and unflavoured almond milk (or non-dairy milk of choice)
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt, or to taste (optional)
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon pepper, to taste
  • Fettuccine pasta of choice
  • Fresh parsley, for garnish
  1. Add cauliflower florets in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a low boil. Once boiling, cook for another 3-7 minutes until fork tender. Drain.
  2. Meanwhile, add the oil into a skillet and saute the minced garlic over low heat for 4-5 minutes until softened and fragrant, but not browned. (or water sauté)
  3. In a high speed blender, add the cooked and drained cauliflower, sauteed garlic, milk, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Blend until a super smooth sauce forms. If using a Vitamix use the tamper stick as needed. The key here is to get a really smooth sauce so don't be afraid to let it run for a minute or so. Set aside.
  4. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add your desired amount of pasta and boil for the time instructed on the package. Drain pasta.
  5. Add cauliflower sauce into the pot (you can use the same pot!) and add the drained pasta. Heat over low-medium until heated enough to your liking. Salt again to taste (the pasta dilutes the flavour).
  6. Serve with fresh minced parsley and black pepper. Feel free to add in your favourite sauteed or roasted vegetables. I think peas, spinach, mushrooms, or broccoli would work very nicely!
Notes: 1) To make this pasta sauce extra decadent-tasting, add a tablespoon or two of vegan butter into the sauce. 2) To make this dish gluten-free, use gluten-free pasta. 3) To make this nut-free, use a nut-free non-dairy milk such as soy milk instead of almond milk. Be sure to use unsweetened and unflavoured milk.

Recipe from:

Blueberry Muffins

Ingredients 12 Medjool dates, pitted and chopped (about 1-1/2 cups or 8 ounces)
1 cup non-dairy milk
1-½ cups old fashioned rolled oats
¾ cup millet
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon ground cardamom
½ cup applesauce
1 teaspoon lemon zest, packed
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries (if frozen, do not thaw first)
½ cup roughly chopped walnuts

1. Preheat oven to 350. In a small bowl, cover the chopped dates with the non-dairy milk and set aside (so the dates may soften).

2. Grind oats and millet into a flour in your blender (a high-speed blender will do a finer job) and place into a mixing bowl. Add the baking powder and cardamom to this and stir with a fork.

3. Place the dates and non-dairy milk into a blender and blend until smooth. Add this date mixture to the bowl of dry ingredients along with the applesauce and lemon zest, and mix with a spoon until all the dry ingredients have disappeared.

4. Gently fold in the blueberries and chopped walnuts. Spoon the batter into a silicone muffin pan or parchment muffin papers in a metal pan, filling each muffin cup about 3/4 full. (Since the batter has no oil, I have found that regular cupcake papers tend to stick to the muffins).

5. Bake for 30 minutes. The muffins will be done when the tops have begun to brown and cracks appear, and when a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for at least 15 to 20 minutes before removing.

Preparation: 30 minutes
Cooking: 30 minutes
Makes: 1 dozen muffins

Recipe from:

Chef AJ's Yummy Sauce

1 - 15 ounce can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained (or 1.5 cups of cooked beans)
Juice and zest of one organic lemon (if the lemon does not yield 1/4 of a cup of juice, then add more lemon juice)
1/2 cup water
2 Tablespoons salt-free mustard (I use Westbrae Stoneground)
3/4 ounce pitted dates (approximately 3 deglet noor dates)
1 clove garlic

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. If you are using a high-powered blender, you can make this sauce warm to serve over rice and veggies. It is also delicious cold massaged into shredded cabbage for "Yummy Slaw".

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Chef AJ’s Red Lentil Chili


2 14.5-ounce cans salt-free diced tomatoes (fire roasted preferred)
1 6-ounce can salt-free tomato paste
1 pound red bell pepper, (approximately 2 large),
8 cloves garlic
3 ounces of pitted dates (approximately 12 Deglet Noor dates or 6 Medjool)
4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

7 cups water (heated) (if using the crockpot you don’t need to heat it)
10 ounces chopped onion (approximately one large)
1 pound red lentils
1-1⁄2 tablespoons dried parsley
1-1⁄2 tablespoons dried oregano
1-1⁄2 tablespoons salt-free chili powder
2 teaspoons smoked paprika (different than regular paprika)
1⁄2 teaspoon chipotle chili powder (or more to taste)
1⁄4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (or more to taste) (I actually leave this out as I don’t like spicy and let people add this or hot sauce to their bowl)
scallions (for topping at the end)

Preparation:  place canned tomatoes, tomato paste, red bell peppers, garlic, dates, and apple cider vinegar in Vitamix and blend until smooth.

In Instant Pot, put in 7 cups of water, onions, red lentils, mixture from the Vitamix, and all the spices.  (I don’t stir this until it’s finished cooking) Cook for 10 minutes at high pressure.  You can either use manual release or natural release.

If using a crock pot:  Put in water, onions, red lentils, mixture from Vitamix, and spices.  Stir and cook on low for 6-8 hours.

This chili can be served over a baked potato, brown rice, or quinoa.  You can top it with the chopped scallions and sprinkle on some vegan Parmesan that you can make yourself or buy already made (Parma! makes a good one).  

Link to the YouTube video Chef AJ made:



Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Engine 2 Meatloaf

2 stalks celery, chopped
½ onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
10 ounces firm tofu, drained (I just used a whole package)
¼ cup walnuts, finely ground
1-1/2 cups cooked brown lentils OR 1 package of vegan crumbles
1 ¼ cups quick-cooking oats
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons ketchup (additional for topping)
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons dried parsley
½ teaspoon each thyme, sage, and rosemary
Ketchup, to taste
Pre-heat oven to 350
Spray loaf pan (or use non-stick silicone bake-ware)
Sauté celery, onion and garlic on high heat in skillet with a little water or low sodium vegetable broth for 5 minutes until tender.
Remove from heat and cool.
Mash tofu in large bowl.
Stir in cooked mixture and remaining ingredients, and combine well.
Spoon mixture into loaf pan. Top with a layer of ketchup.
Bake for 55 to 60 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.



Friday, August 1, 2014

Barbecue Beans and Greens

This was so yummy and filling.  I listed it as a side, but I pretty much made it my meal I ate so much!
This is from the Forks Over Knives web site:

water to sauté
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 entire bunch of greens (kale, chard, collards), chopped into bite-size pieces
1 can cooked pinto beans (or 1-½ cups), drained and rinsed
1 can cooked white beans (cannellini or white Northern) (or 1-½ cups), drained/rinsed

¾ cups water
5 dates, pitted and chopped
1 can (6-ounce) of tomato paste
1 can (8-ounce) of chunked pineapple, including juice (in juice, not corn syrup), or ½ cup each of juice and diced pineapple
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon granulated onion
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon ground paprika (plain or smoky flavor)


Place the pitted and chopped dates into a blender with the ¾ cups water to soften.

In a large soup pot or skillet, sauté the onion in a tablespoon or two of water, just enough so that it does not stick, for 2 minutes until soft. Turn heat to medium-low, and add the chopped greens and beans, and cook for a 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.

In the blender, add to the water and dates: the tomato paste, pineapple and juice, apple cider vinegar, mustard, granulated onion and garlic, and paprika. Blend until smooth, about 30 seconds.

Add the sauce to the pot of onions, beans and greens, and stir until evenly mixed. Cook on low for 5 to 10 minutes to incorporate the flavors, then serve.

Chef’s notes:

Spice it up: If you like a hot and spicy sauce, add ½ to 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or other hot-n-spicy blend of your choice.

Baked Beans: You may also transfer the finished recipe into a baking dish for “baked beans.” Bake covered for 30 minutes at 375ºF



Saturday, July 19, 2014


This recipe was found on Esther's Kitchen FB page
 by Esther's Executive Chef Deb Gleason

 Dip your spoon into this delicious dish and taste the raspberry explosion. Chia seeds are loaded with Omega 3s and fiber and they make awesome Esther Approved pudding possible.

 1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries
 1 cup plant milk (rice, almond, soy etc)
 Juice of 1/2 lemon
 4 large fresh dates (eg Medjool) or 3 Tablespoons maple syrup
 5 Tablespoons chia seeds


 Blend everything except for the chia seeds in a blender or food processor (I used my Vitamix) until smooth. Pour into a bowl, stir in the chia seeds and allow to sit overnight or at least 4 hours in the fridge.


I have no idea where I found this recipe.  I'll give credit if I can figure it out.

1 tablespoon olive oil (optional)
6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 bunch of red chard, rough stems removed, chopped well (about 4 cups) OR spinach
2 teaspoons dried oregano

1 pound extra firm tofu
1 tablespoon tamari or soy sauce
1 teaspoon wet mustard (whatever you have)
1/4 teaspoon turmeric (I add a bit more)
several dashes fresh black pepper
1/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes (I add a bit more)
salt to taste (I omitted)

Preheat oven to 400 F.

Preheat a large heavy bottomed pan over low-medium heat.  Add oil (or a bit of water) and garlic and cook for about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. (add a bit more water as needed if not using oil).  What you're doing is "blonding" the garlic; it's ready when it's turned a light amber color.

Add chard or spinach, oregano, and turn heat up to medium high (add mushrooms here if using).  Sautee for about 5 min., until chard/spinach completely wilted.  Add splashes of water if needed to get chard/spinach to cook down.  Turn heat off.

While the chard is cooking, prepare your frittata base.  Give the tofu a squeeze over the sink to remove a little of the water.  Use your hands to crumble and squeeze it in a large mixing bowl, until it has the consistency of ricotta cheese (about 3 min).  Add the remaining ingredients to the tofu and mix well.  When your chard is ready, incorporate it into the tofu.  Be sure to get all of the garlic, but if there is any moisture in the pan try to avoid adding it to the tofu.  (Add sundried tomatoes to the mixture if you desire)

Lightly grease an 8-inch pie plate and firmly press in your frittata mixture.  Bake for 20 minutes until firm and lightly browned on top.  Let cool for 3 minutes and then invert onto a plate and serve.

NOTES:  You can add mushrooms to the chard/spinach when it is cooking.  You can add in some sundried tomatoes to the tofu mixture if desired.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Easy Vegan Garlic Scape Pesto

Inspired by Kalyn’s Kitchen.

  • 3 garlic scapes, rinsed and chopped a few times to break up
  • 1.5 cups of my 3-minute parmesan cheeze   (I made a different version and didn't use the whole 1.5 cups) You will be adding the vegan cheese in 1/2 cup at a time.
  • Juice of 1/2 a fresh lemon (approx 2 tbsp)
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • handful of fresh spinach

Directions: Put into processor garlic scapes and fresh lemon juice and process until fine. Add the vegan parmesan slowly in 1/2 cup increments, alternating with the extra virgin olive oil. Process until smooth or desired consistency. As a final step take your rinsed spinach and throw in and process. It will turn into a lovely green colour. Serve and enjoy! Makes 1.5-2 cups.

Read more:

Monday, June 9, 2014

Creamy Cauliflower Alfredo

A creamy, dairy free sauce that's perfect over noodles or vegetables.

2 teaspoon olive oil or coconut oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 head of cauliflower, cut up into florets
2 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
black pepper to taste

1. Saute the minced garlic in the oil in a small saucepan over low heat.  Allow to cook for a few minutes, until the garlic is tender and fragrant, but not browned.

2. Add 2 cups water to the saucepan along with the cauliflower and bring to a boil (the water will not cover the cauliflower...that's ok).  Once boiling, reduce heat to simmer, cover the pot for 8-10 minutes until cauliflower is fork-tender and very soft.

3. Transfer the entire contents (I allowed mine to cool a bit) into a blender or food processer and season with salt and pepper.  Process until very smooth and creamy. (Always be careful when blending hot liquids-the steam pressure can blow the lid off your blender!)

4. Season with additional salt and pepper if desired and serve hot.

Notes:  Keep in mind that this sauce will need additional salt if served over pasta or steamed vegetables as the flavor will get diluted. (This is a note from the original author.  As I'm not a big salt person, I didn't add extra).

After making this the first time, I thought adding some parsley in would be a nice touch.  I'll try that next time.


Thursday, March 27, 2014

Vegan Crockpot Lasagna


1 container soft (silken) tofu
1 container firm or extra firm tofu
1/4 cup soy milk (I used almond milk)
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
2 tbsp. lemon juice
3 tbsp. fresh basil, chopped
1 tsp. salt
2 - 10 oz. packages frozen spinach, thawed and patted dry
4 cups tomato sauce (I used more)
1- 10 oz. box lasagna noodles

1. In food processor or blender (I used Vitamix), combine the two kinds of tofu, non-dairy milk, garlic powder, lemon juice, basil, and salt.  Process until smooth.
2. Add spinach to mixture.
3. Place about a cup of tomato sauce in bottom of crockpot.
4. Place 1/3 of noodles on top of sauce and 1/3 of tofu/spinach mixture on top of noodles.
5. Repeat layers, being sure to end with sauce on top.
6. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or until noodles are soft.

Makes 6 servings

NOTE:  The first time I made this it looked like a disaster, but it turned out very good!

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Tuscan White Bean Soup

1 pound white navy beans
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 leeks, white and tender green parts, cleaned well and chopped
1/2 onion, diced
5 celery stalks, diced
3 carrots, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
5 cups water
5 teaspoons vegetable base (such as Better than Bouillon brand), or bouillon cubes
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, minced
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
juice of 1/2 lemon
minced fresh rosemary, lemon wedges, and grated fresh parmesan cheese, for serving (optional)

Sort the beans and place them in a medium heavy pot.  Add enough water to cover the beans by two inches.  Bring to a boil and cook for 1 minute.  Turn off the heat and let the beans sit for 1 hour.  Drain and rinse the beans; set aside. 

In the same pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat.  Add the leeks and onion and cook for 5 minutes, stirring often.  Add the celery, carrots, and garlic and cook for 10 minutes more, stirring often.  Add the beans and water.  Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes.  Add the vegetable base, rosemary, and pepper, and cook for 40 minutes more, until the beans are soft. 

Carefully transfer 3 cups of the soup to a blender.  Puree and return to the pot.  Stir in the lemon juice.  Add salt and pepper to taste. 

Sprinkle each bowl with a pinch of extra rosemary and serve with a lemon wedge. 

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Roastless Pot Roast

From: The Protective Diet web site (


•1 large onion sliced

•1 box – 4 cups vegetable broth

•2 Tablespoons Tamari

•1 teaspoon poultry seasoning

•Fresh ground black pepper to taste

•3 Tablespoons cornstarch + 3/4 cup water

•8-10 small potatoes cut in half or 4-5 large potatoes cut in quarters

•3-4 large carrots cut into 2 inch pieces

•1 red bell pepper cut into large pieces

•1 rib of celery cut into 2 inch pieces

•1 cup of fresh parsley chopped

I also add garlic, shitake mushrooms, and kidney beans



1.Preheat oven to 425 degrees

2.Using an oven safe pan like Corning Ware, Cast Iron Dutch Oven shown above or stainless steel with a lid.  On the stove top add onions to a dry pan and cook on high until golden brown

3.When browning is achieved immediately add vegetable broth to stop the browning process before burning begins

4.Stir to incorporate browning from pan into the broth

5.Add Tamari and poultry seasoning

6.Continue heating broth until it comes to a boil

7.Dissolve cornstarch into 3/4 cup of water and whisk into boiling broth

8.Broth should thicken within one minute

9.Remove from heat and add potatoes, carrots, bell pepper, celery and parsley

10.Stir to coat all the vegetables with gravy,  some of the vegetables will be sticking out of the gravy.

11.Cover baking dish and bake for approximately 1 hour or until potatoes are tender



 This recipe is best suited for oven roasting. The use of a slow cooker or pressure cooker will steam instead of roast the veggies and won’t have the flavor of a Pot “Roast”

Place a baking sheet under the pan to catch any gravy that may bubble over when roasting. It will save you from having to clean your oven.