Easy Spinach and Mushroom Pasta

Everybody loves pasta, but gluten-free pasta can leave a lot to be desired. Whether it’s the texture or mouth feel, some pastas are a cut above the rest. After trying numerous types during these last two years, my absolute favorite is bright yellow box of Ronzoni Gluten Free 4 Grain pasta, a mix of white rice, brown rice, corn and quinoa. We used a Penne Rigate and Gardein crumbles to make this delicious recipe.

1 box of gluten free pasta
2 Tbsp. olive oil
10 ounces sliced mushrooms
1 6oz bag spinach, fresh or frozan
1 can diced tomatoes
1 jar gluten free pasta sauce
2 Tbsp. nutritional yeast
Gardein meat crumbles
OPTIONAL : Violife Parmesan


Cook pasta as instructed. Add olive oil to pan and heat on medium high. Add mushrooms and spinach. Saute until cooked about 5-7 minutes. Add can of diced tomatoes and stir. Add pasta sauce and mix. Add nutritional yeast. Add package of meat crumbles and stir all thoroughly. Once fully mixed, add pasta, mix together, season with salt and pepper and serve. Optionally, you can shave Vegan Parmesan onto dish.

Vegan Meatloaf and Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes

I will admit this is the most expensive meatloaf we’ve ever made, but it is absolutely worth it. We modified the recipe and used Beyond Meat Beyond Burgers, that despite the current Beyond Meat shortage, found at NutritionSmart. We paired with a mix of boiled cauliflower and potatoes to make a very filling meal. You do need to cook the meatloaf twice because Beyond Burger tends to be a little mushy. The first time cooks all the ingredients together; the second time remove from pan, cut two inch slices and place on greased baking sheet to remove the moisture. Anyone who likes leftover meatloaf sandwiches will be quite happy with this recipe.

2 packages Beyond Meat Beyond Burger Patties
2 Vegan eggs  (We use Namaste Foods Egg Replacer) 2 tsp egg replacer, 4 tbsp warm water
2/3 cup breadcrumbs
4 tbsp dried onion
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 clove garlic
1 tsp dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried basil
2 tbsp whole grain mustard
2 tsp vegan Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 tbsp ketchup
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

¼ cup ketchup
2 tbsp yellow mustard
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp brown sugar

Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes:
1 large cauliflower, chopped into florets
4 large potatoes, cut into pieces
¼ cup dried chives, chopped
1 cup vegetable broth
2 cloves of garlic (or more!)
2 tsp nutritional yeast
2 tbsp vegan butter
1/2 tsp dijon mustard
1/4 tsp truffle oil (optional, but so good)
Dash of nutmeg
Dash of cayenne
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper

Meatloaf and Glaze:
Preheat oven to 375°F.  Add all ingredients and gently mix everything together without smashing the meat. Place the mixture in a small loaf pan. In a separate bowl mix all glaze ingredients until blended. Spread the glaze on top. Bake for 1 hour uncovered. After 1 hour, take the meat loaf out of the oven and slice up into 6-8 pieces about 2 inches thick. Place on a greased baking sheet and bake for another 20-30 minutes at 375°F to reduce moisture.

Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes:
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Cut up potatoes into small pieces. Place potatoes in a large pot and fill with just enough water to cover. Bring the water to boil and then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until tender, about 10-15 minutes. Chop the head of cauliflower into small florets. Place cauliflower in a second large pot and fill with just enough water to cover the florets. Bring the water to boil and then reduce the heat to medium-low. Steam until tender, about 6 minutes. Drain the cauliflower and place in a large bowl. Drain potatoes and add to the same bowl. Add vegan butter, chives, garlic, nutritional yeast, Dijon mustard, truffle oil, nutmeg, and cayenne and puree with immersion (stick) blender or put in food processor. Add up to cup of vegetable to make smooth. Seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.




Weird Veggies and Why You Should Try Them – Part 2

Kohlrabi. Until a few month’s ago, I didn’t know what this vegetable was, much less how to spell it correctly. It sounds like a new medication – side effects include…. But seriously, this little odd-looking veggie is packed with nutrients and minerals like copper, potassium, manganese, iron, and calcium, as well as vitamins, such as vitamin C, B-complex vitamins, Beta-Carotene vitamin A, and vitamin K. It’s typically seen in Europe and India. It’s alleged health benefits include improved digestion, aids in weigh loss, boosts energy, regulates bp, helps prevent anemia, improves bone strength. I was introduced to kohlrabi as a “steak” at Seasons 52 on their veggie plate. It was grilled and quite flavorful, so Ken and I went on a quest to find this elusive cabbage-like plant and finally discovered at the Publix on North Dale Mabry. Ken brought out the panini maker and we added this interesting-looking veggie to our list of quick and easy favorite meals.

1 tablespoon Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper
Your favorite spices

Peel kohlrabi, taking off leaves and green outer skin.
Slice into 1/2 inch steaks and rub with olive oil.
Put slices in panini maker and grill approximately 20 minutes or until fork tender.
Season with salt, pepper and your favorite spices. Enjoy.






Weird Veggies and Why You Should Try Them – Part 1

Brussell sprouts have gotten a bad rap. Closely related to kale, cauliflower and mustard greens, they are low in calories but high in antioxidants, fiber, vitamins and minerals. If your grandma was anything like mine, she would broil boil brussel sprouts until they were a pile of mush, sitting unappetizing on your plate. Until watching Food Network and Ken made these in a completely different way, I would never have agreed to try them. Now I’m addicted.

4 cups Brussels sprouts, halved
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
salt and pepper, to taste
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar glaze


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Wash and cut brussels sprouts in half. Mix them with oil, onions, garlic, salt, and pepper. Spread onto a baking sheet in a single layer and bake for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until browned on the outside and fork tender. Remove from oven and toss with balsamic glaze. Put back in oven for 5 minutes or less, until brussel sprouts are sticky. (Don’t go over 5 minutes as glaze can burn.) Serve warm and enjoy.

Gnochi with Spinach and Mushrooms

DeLallo Gluten Free Gnocchi
10 oz. Baby bella mushrooms, sliced
1 Tbsp. Olive oil
3 Cloves Garlic, chopped
1 cup Almond milk
1 cup Vegetable broth
3 tablespoons Corn starch
tablespoons Nutritional yeast
1 tsp. Lemon juice
6 oz. Spinach, fresh
Salt and pepper to taste

Cook gnocchi as instructed on package. Add the olive oil to a cast iron skillet and heat on medium high. Now add the mushrooms and garlic. Saute until the mushrooms are fully cooked about 5-7 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Mix together the veggie broth, almond milk and corn starch in a bowl. Whisk until fully combined and corn starch has dissolved. Add mushrooms. Reduce to medium low and simmer for about 5-10 minutes until it has thickened. Add the nutritional yeast and lemon juice. Whisk. Season with salt and pepper. Now add the spinach and stir, just cook until the spinach has wilted. Reduce heat to low. Taste and adjust seasoning. Mix together and serve.



French Fry Potato Salad

3 cups potatoes
oil (for frying)
salt and pepper

1 cup chopped celery
1⁄2 cup relish
1⁄2 cup chopped red onion
3⁄4 cup Vegan mayonnaise
1 teaspoon Tumeric powder
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon Yellow mustard
2 tablespoons cup Sam’s Choice Dill mustard
2 tablespoons Apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon garlic powder


Fry the potatoes (in batches if necessary) in hot oil until brown and crispy.
Drain on paper towels and season with salt and pepper.
Combine remaining ingredients in large bowl.
Gently fold in warm potatoes and coat with mixture, being careful not to break the potatoes.