Almost Home-Made Vegan Pesto Tomato Pizza


It took me more time to take the pictures than to actually prepare this beautiful Pizza, which was about 5 minutes. There, I said it! You can call The Martha Stewart Police on me… guilty as charged… If I can make a Vegan Wholesome Pizza that is healthier than a frozen Pizza and quicker than a Vegan Delivery Pizza than I’m choosing the easy-healthier-quick one. I wish someone will see the potential and open a Vegan Pizzeria close to me already! :). Some super moms, somewhere, are probably making the whole thing from scratch. Not me, I love time saving short cuts that lets me keep the good quality ingredients without compromising on taste, especially on days where I don’t have the time to do rocket-science recipes.

There are a few things to keep in mind / have in advance:

1. I try to keep a good quality tomato sauce handy for quick recipes like this one.

2. I used the Fresh Pesto Sauce from a day before, but even if you choose to make it the same day, it’s super quick to make as well (you can use a store-bought vegan pesto if you’d like).

3. For the crust, I found this organic great whole grain ready-made crust. If you can’t find it where you live, use any crust you like or even make it on an Indian Naan bread or pita bread (make sure to check the ingredients since some of them are made with dairy).

4. I also keep shredded mozzarella Daiya cheese which is the invention of the century for vegans… but there are other kinds of vegan cheese that you could use (Trader Joe’s has one that really melts good).


One 12″ Pizza Crust (I used Rustic Crust Organic Great Grains)

Tomato sauce (Marinara or basic Pizza sauce)

5 Tbsp Pesto sauce

1 Cup Shredded Mozzarella style Vegan Cheese (I used Daiya)

a bunch of heirloom tomatoes, thinly sliced

a few Sliced olives and fresh basil leaves for topping


Pre-heat oven to 425°

Spread a layer of the pesto sauce on the crust first, spread the tomato sauce over it than sprinkle with the shredded “cheese”.

Add the sliced tomatoes, olives and decorate with basil leaves.

If you want to get fancy, add some crushed pistachios mixed with nutritional yeast for a “parmesan- ish” twist.

Bake for 8-12 minutes. Cool for 3 min. before cutting into slices and serve.


Reading the ingredients list on the Pizza crust, happy I found it!IMG_5085IMG_5062


Vegetable “Rainbow”, Pineapple, Cashew and Tofu in Peanut Coconut Curry Sauce


A few years ago, I traveled to Asia. One of the exotic places I was lucky to be in was Thailand. Picture beautiful beaches, white sand, turquoise water, friendly people and great food. Life was so easy back then… drinking coconut water straight from its shell, so many tropical fruits right from the tree, fun in the sun and no responsibilities. That was a long time ago. Lots of coconuts fell off the trees and lots of pineapples were cut-open since my days of freedom in the sun 🙂 Good thing, I can always go back there in my mind with the help of  memories and Thai food.

I once heard that the “secret” of Thai cuisine is in its right balance of flavors: savory and sweet, spicy and sour all together in harmony. This dish, I think, has it all: Beautiful colors, flavors and textures. The peanut curry sauce here is a sauce that can upgrade any vegetable stir fry dish, as long as you have peanut butter, coconut milk and spices at home. Usually I like to add Thai curry paste to give it a spicy kick. Feel free to add it if you like the “heat”, but even without it, this sauce will get you hooked!. The main work here is really just to chop the vegetables.

If you’re not going to use the Thai curry paste, you could use just the curry powder (I like both). Traditionally curry blend is made from “the five C’s”: Chili, Coriander, Cumin, Cinnamon, and Cardamom. I like to make my own from Coriander, Turmeric, Cumin, Cinnamon, Mustard powder, Garlic powder and Hot Paprika.


1 Large Sweet Potato/Yam

1 Fresh Pineapple or 1 Can of Pineapple Chunks

1 Pack of Tofu

Handfull Cashews

1 Pack of Mushrooms

¾ Cup Chopped Carrots

1 Red Bell Pepper

1 Cup Green Peas

5 Cloves of Garlic

1 Cup Organic Vegetable Broth

3 Tbs Sunflower Oil

For the Sauce:

1 Can of Coconut Milk

1 Inch Ginger

2 Tbs Peanut Butter

Curry Powder or Thai curry paste

Cilantro or Thai Basil (if you can find it)





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Chop all the vegetables and dice the tofu and pineapple.

Mince the garlic and ginger.

Add the oil to a heated pan and start by sautéing the sweet potato.

Gradually add all the vegetables and tofu, starting with the hardest .

Let that cook on medium heat for about 20-25 minutes.

Add the vegetable broth slowly as needed so the vegetables will not get dry while cooking.

Add the pineapple and cashews towards the end.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl make the curry sauce.

Combine the ginger,garlic with coconut milk, peanut butter, spices and salt.

Mix well until you have a thick yellow sauce.

Pour the curry sauce over the vegetables and let cook for a few more minutes on medium-low heat.

Serve with jasmine or basmati rice.

Garnish with Thai basil or cilantro and enjoy!






Black Eyed Peas, Carrot and Kale Minestrone Soup


A lot of things I learned about cooking came from people along the way. I was inspired by friends’ mothers, cooking shows, my own mother and my own imagination. One of them, a dear lady ,told me once: “if you want kids to like your food you’ve got to add sugar to everything”. Of course I rather not use sugar and I love to discover something sweet that is actually good for you. In this soup a secret surprising ingredient adds the sweetness- dates! Everybody likes this soup and it is my favorite for winter but it’s good any time you feel like you need a warm hearty comfort food.

Usually, Minestrone soup has pasta in it, I did not add it this time. Its “rich” enough for me the way it is, I mean have you seen the purple and yellow carrots? I’m always fascinated when I see unique, rare colors in the vegetable kingdom. Whenever I see them I have to try them. Purple asparagus, yellow beets and here these beautiful carrots. I recently learned they’re called Heirloom, How interesting…

This soup is a meal by itself. It has the protein, the carbs, the vegetables, a hint of sweetness from the tomatoes and the dates, and the Megastar Green… The kale!

I served it with a freshly baked Ciabatta bread and it was gone before you could say Minestrone…!


1 large Onion, diced

3-4 Carrots, diced

2 Celery Stalks, diced

1 Bunch Kale, chopped

5 Medium Tomatoes, Crushed (In a food processor or store bought Can)

1½ Cups Black Eyed Peas, drained and rinsed

2-3 Medjoul Dates, chopped

2 Cups Vegetable Broth

5 Cups of Water

2-3 Tbsp olive Oil

1 tsp Italian dried Herb Mix (Basil, Thyme, Oregano, Rosemary, Parsley)

1 tsp Sea Salt and Black Pepper






1. In a large pot, sauté  the onion in olive oil until translucent.

2. Add the celery and carrot and cook for a few minutes until soften.

3. Stir in the beans, crushed tomatoes, vegetable broth, water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer for 10-15 minutes.

4. Add the chopped Kale , dates and spices and cook until tender -about 20-30 minutes, add water and adjust the spices if needed.

Serve with freshly baked bread and stay warm!