Spaghetti Cardboard-O-Lognese


There are many kinds of meat substitutes and alternatives. The most common one is Seitan, which is a wheat protein and is the most versatile in its ability to “mock” meat.  It comes in many textures and shapes. The Seitan that looks like ground meat is the easiest type to start with if you want to experiment. It is the closest in texture to ground meat.

I’ve found that there’s an assumption that meat “substitutes” taste like cardboard… but just like animal flesh doesn’t taste good by itself and needs to be flavored with spices and herbs (which come from plants), so does Saiten “meat”. Plus, I’d rather eat cardboard that tastes good and not eat the crushed body parts of a miserable dead cow.

If you haven’t noticed by now, I have a tendency to hide healthy ingredients in my daughter’s food. The “hidden treasure” in this recipe is the mashed acorn squash in the “Bolognese” sauce.  When I made this dish for my daughter’s playdate guests it was a delicious  success! The acorn adds sweetness, blends in perfectly in the sauce and the young vegetable detectives did not catch it. 😉

If you want to learn more about how to start and substitute, watch Colleen Patrick-Goudreau in her funny innovative lecture,


1 pack Spaghetti Pasta

1 medium Onion chopped

3 cloves Garlic minced

1 ripe Tomato

1 can crushed tomatoes

1/2 cup Vegetable Broth

2 packages Seitan (Cubed and Ground, I chopped them both more finely than packaged)

1/2 roasted mashed Acorn Squash (I used the other half from yesterday when I made this Red Lentil Patties recipe; you can use other mashed pumpkin or carrots, or anything that can add sweetness and can “disappear” in the red sauce).

3 Tbsp. Tomato Paste

1 Tbsp. Soy sauce

1 Tbsp. Brown Sugar (Optional)

1 tsp. Adobo Spice Mix (optional,  I stick this stuff everywhere but you dont have to, just season as you like)

Sea Salt

1/2 tsp. Paprika

Olive Oil


Cook the pasta according to package instructions, it’s important to salt the water. Drain the pasta and set aside until sauce is ready.

Start sautéing the onion and garlic in olive oil, add the ground Seitan. Stir occasionally for a few minutes until golden brown.

Add the tomato paste, crushed tomatoes, chopped tomato, the mashed squash, brown sugar and spices. Cook until everything blends well. Add the vegetable broth to “open” the sauce. let it simmer for a few m ore minutes until it all comes together and the sauce has a nice color and you like the consistency.

Pour the sauce over the pasta and mix well let it soak in the sauce for a few minutes before serving.

Spaghetti Ingredients with Watermark

Vegan Spaghetti Bolognese Vegan Spaghetti Bolognese Vegan Spaghetti Bolognese

Vegan Spaghetti Bolognese

Vegan Spaghetti Bolognese





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! 




The Real Happy Meal


One of the challenges I had with cooking vegan food for kids was competing with “classic” kids- menu food like chicken nuggets, Mac n cheese and such. Why is there a kids menu anyway? I’ll get to that in a later post…  But really, when it comes to kids I think it  all depends on the presentation and the consistency of the parent. I would like the food I feed my daughter to be tasty but still healthier and more wholesome than the junk food that surrounds us everywhere. This recipe is my answer to this challenge. Finger food like tempeh nuggets and sweet potato fries served with a coleslaw salad make a kids-friendly happy meal that you’ll be happy to serve your family, and I even have the toy prize. 🙂

These vegan strips are made out of Tempeh. Tempeh is a soy product made from cooked and slightly fermented soybeans. It is a good source of protein and calcium with a nutty flavor. I have tried three types of tempeh: Three grain, Soy, and Flax. My favorite is the three grain type. Some people find the taste of tempeh a bit bitter. The solution to that is to boil it first but I did not try it yet because my family and friends like it just like that. I served it with fiber-rich sweet potato fries, a tricolor coleslaw salad, and organic ketchup. In your face McDonalds!

*Serves about 4 hungry kids

Vegan Nugget Strips


2 Packages Tempeh

For the Marinade:

½ Cup Soy Sauce

1 tsp Mustard

1 Tbsp Water

1 tsp Ground Flaxseed Meal

For the Breading:

1 Cup Bread Crumbs (I prefer the Panko breadcrumbs)

½ Cup Sesame Seeds

1/4 Cup  Corn Flour

1 tsp Adobo Seasoning (or any spice mixture you like)

½ tsp Salt

Oil for frying


Cut tempeh into half inch strips.

In a shallow bowl mix  in the marinade ingredients.

Dip the tempeh strips into the liquid mixture so it is fully submerged . The flax seeds helps the  tempeh stick to the breading.

In another shallow bowl mix bread crumbs, sesame seeds, flour and salt.

Transfer the tempeh into the breading mixture and fully coat.

Lightly fry on both sides until golden brown.



Tricolor Coleslaw Salad


½ Purple Cabbage Shredded

½ White Cabbage Shredded

2 Carrots Shredded

Juice from ½ Lemon

1½ Tbsp Sunflower Oil

Drizzle of Toasted Sesame Oil

Sea Salt to taste


In a big bowl mix all ingredients together.



Sweet Potato Fries


4-5 Sweet Potato

Oil for tossing

Sea Salt


Preheat oven to 450º.

Peel and slice the sweet potatoes.

In a large bowl toss sweet potatoes with oil and sea salt to taste.

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Spread out sweet potato in one layer so it will get crispy.

Bake until golden brown and crispy. If needed turn the fries halfway through baking.

Enjoy and be happy!

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And here is an interesting video to watch about: Tricks to Get Kids to Eat Healthier at Home