Brownie Bite Muffins

Made with no oil and whole wheat flour… these healthy little gems are moist and chocolaty.  I bake them in a silicone muffin pan and they pop right out.  This recipe is quick and easy to prepare and makes about 8 muffins.  They are so good in right out of the oven, warm and gooey.  I also enjoy them in the morning with coffee or in the evening with a cup of tea!  You are gonna love them! Non vegans love them too.

Preheat oven to 350 and assemble dry ingredients in a mixing bowl.

1 1/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa

1/2 cup sugar

a dash of fine salt

a dash of cinnamon

1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1 snack cup of unsweetened applesauce (or 1/3 cup)

1 cup non-dairy milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup vegan mini chocolate chips

After assembling the dry ingredients add the wet and stir until just combined.  Don’t over mix it.  Stir in the mini chocolate chips.  Spoon the mixture into the muffin pan (3 quarters the way full) and bake at 350 for 15 minutes.  Check with a toothpick and if the toothpick is not clean… leave them in for another 1 to 2 minutes.  You do not want to over cook these.  When they are done take them out and let them cool down on a cooling rack.




Roasted Brussels Sprouts 

These sprouts are super easy.  I made mine in my air fryer but you can make them in the oven!

The recipe is not exact…it depends on the amount and size of your sprouts.  When you get them cut off the rough end and peel off the nasty leaves.  Cut the sprouts in half and put them in a mixing bowl.

Cover the sprouts with a couple tablespoons of real maple syrup and low sodium soy sauce. If you are avoiding salt and sugar… a good balsamic vinegar works well too.  Toss them until they are coated adding more as needed so that they all have a little sauce on them.  Sometimes I add a little cayenne pepper for a spicy kick.

Line a baking pan with parchment and spread the lightly coated sprouts on it cut side down.  Bake at 375 until they start to brown and get a little crispy.  About 20-30 minutes.  Keep a close eye so they do not burn.

You can air fry them… time and temp will depend on your particular air fryer.


Easy Crock Pot Black Bean Soup

Do you want an easy crock pot meal?  This black bean soup is healthy and delicious and so easy.  You can make it mild to hot depending on your tastes.  I like mine a little spicy!  Top it with salsa, sliced avocado and chopped cilantro if you want to be fancy pants!  It’s good with cornbread or warm crusty whole grain bread or tortilla chips.  Just put all the ingredients in the crock pot and cook on high for 8 hours… you will have an awesome meal when you get home.

RECIPE: Serves 6

2 cups dry black beans

6 cups of water

1 150z can of diced tomatoes (fire roasted add extra flavor)

1 can of diced tomatoes and green chili peppers (I use medium Rotel and it is spicy!)

1 Tablespoon dried onion flakes

1 Teaspoon garlic powder

1 Teaspoon chili powder

1 Teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 Teaspoon chipotle powder

1 Teaspoon smoked paprika

Combine all ingredients in a slow cooker. Cover and cook on high for 8 hours.  If the beans soak up too much of the liquid… be prepared to add a cup of water or vegetable broth before serving.  All beans and all crock pots are different.



No Nuts Mac and Cheese 😍

I don’t miss cheese… but I love me some Mac and No Nuts Cheese.  Several no dairy cheese recipes contain nuts for creaminess and nuts just have too much fat and calories for me.  This mac and cheese is made with brown rice elbows and this yummy cheese sauce.  You can use this sauce on tacos and burritos or dip some chips in it! It is good on potatoes and veggies!  Use it anyway you would use a cheddar like cheese sauce. Stir in a little of your favorite salsa and you have nacho cheese sauce!

While your noodles are cooking (I use a 16 oz package of Tinkyada brown rice elbows cooked slightly al dente.

Cheese Sauce:

Combine the following ingredients in a sauce pot and use a whisk to stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly… then turn off heat or it will scorch.

1 cup non dairy milk

2 Tablespoons of cornstarch

2 Tablespoons of miso paste

1/3 cup of nutritional yeast

1/2 teaspoon each onion powder and garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon turmeric

A good dash of paprika or smoked paprika (what you like best)

When the pasta is done drain it and give it a quick rinse and add it back to the cooking pot.  Stir in the cheese sauce.  Not gonna lie… not exactly like cheese but delicious.  I love it with a little ketchup!   Try it!




Baked Mushrooms

These mushrooms have so much flavor and they are baked in the oven.  This dish is so easy to prepare and so delicious. I love mushrooms so  I could eat the whole pan myself!  They are great alone, in a wrap, on top of rice or with mashed potatoes.  They are a really pretty side dish.  No oil or liquid is needed because the mushrooms make their own juice.

RECIPE: Preheat oven to 375 and bake for 30-45 minutes (check for desired texture at 30 min)

Enough sliced mushrooms to fill a 9 by 11 glass baking dish (they shrink up)                                     White button or baby bella work best

1/2 sweet white onion chopped

2 cloves of garlic finely minced or pressed (spread evenly over the top)

very thin lemon slices (about 1/2 small lemon)

1 Tablespoon dried parsley flakes or 2 Tablespoons of fresh parsley

Salt and black pepper to taste

Assemble in order and bake for 30-45 minutes.  I like mine well done but it depends on how thinly sliced and the size of the mushrooms you use.

If you are going to salt them… they need 1-2 teaspoons of salt or 2 Tablespoons of low sodium Tamari. If you are salt free, just omit it.  The lemon does give a lot of lemony flavor so if you do not like lemon you may leave that out also.  A good shake of dried red pepper flakes adds some heat if you like things spicy.


Red Pepper Relish 

I am a snacker and I love small bites. This salsa like relish is a great topping for hummus. It is amazing in wraps or on salads.  It’s good on nacho chips and veggie tacos too.  It is super easy to make.  The one pictured was made by my BFF and has chopped English Cucumbers in it.  You can customize this relish to your liking.  Below I will give you the base and ideas for add ins.  Choose a vegetable add in or two and a herb/spice or two.  Play around with flavor combos!


1 Jar of roasted red peppers in water, drained and chopped

4 Tablespoons of quality balsamic vinegar

Vegetable add ins: (chop small like the red peppers)

Diced English cucumber

olives (your favorite no added oil)

Green onion (scallions)

red or sweet white onion

Chopped cherry tomatoes

Chopped bell pepper

Spice/Herb add ins:

Fresh or dried basil

Fresh or dried oregano

Fresh chopped parsley

Mrs. Dash garlic and herb

Italian seasoning

Hot red pepper flakes

Lemon zest or lemon pepper

Salt and Pepper to taste

Mix salsa ingredients and let sit for 15 minutes to marry flavors.  If adding cucumber it may get watery after sitting too long but still good.



Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease and a recipe for Hummus Salad Dressing

We learned a lot at the prevent and reverse heart disease conference.  Heart disease remains the number on killer of men and women.  It is a disease that need not exist.  There are countries where heart disease is nil and these countries eat plants not animals.  The key to making your self heart attack proof is to protect your endothelium, which is the lining of all of your blood vessels and to keep your cholesterol below 150.  Your endothelium will either be like Teflon or like Velcro.  You can only guess that when you are talking vessels and blood flow that Velcro is the way to be.

What destroys your endothelium and makes your blood vessels like Velcro and your blood sticky?   Any animal product (meat, dairy, eggs), any oil (olive, canola, coconut, etc) caffeinated coffee, refined grains and sugar.

Wow… that’s a lot!  Do I have to give it all up?  YES

But what can I eat?

You can eat every kind of fruit and every kind of vegetable, WHOLE grains, legumes and you may have water, tea, and alcohol in moderation.

If you have established heart disease you will need to avoid nuts, seeds, and avocados also.

You can read all about it in the PREVENT and REVERSE HEART DISEASE book by Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr., M.D.

The conference was great and we had a delicious salad of kale, napa cabbage, mango, blueberries, and edamame!  The secret was the dressing and here is the recipe!  YOU WILL NOT MISS THE OIL!

This recipe is one serving of HUMMUS SALAD DRESSING from the ESSELSTYN FAMILY

2 Heaping TBSP Hummus (with not oil or tahini)  

2 TBSP quality balsamic vinegar (olive tap brand is bomb)

1/2 Tsp of quality mustard (I prefer dijon)

Whisk it together and pour it on your favorite salad!  




Harvest Chili 

This chili is amazingly good with a surprise… Pumpkin Puree! Pumpkin is a nutrient dense vegetable…full of vitamins and minerals but low in calories! WIN WIN

I used canned beans but you can make your own.  I also cooked this in my instant pot electric pressure cooker for 10 minutes with natural release.  You can make it in a slow cooker on low all day or on the stove top!  This chili is a good consistency to serve over rice, pasta or a baked potato.  It is also good to crumble some homemade oil free cornbread into… my mouth is watering!

1 onion chopped

2-3 cloves minced garlic

1 bell pepper chopped

1 stalk celery chopped

1 carrot peeled and chopped

1 jalapeno chopped

3 cups vegetable broth or water

1 15 0z can fire roasted tomatos

3 cans of rinsed beans – I used kidney, black and garbanzo

1 15 oz can of pumpkin puree

1 tsp cumin

1 Tbsp smoked paprika

2 Tbsp chili powder

1 tsp oregano

Saute the 1st 6 ingredients (the veggies) in a little broth or water til softening about 5 minutes.  Add the rest of the ingredients to pot or crock pot. If crock pot… cook on low all day or on high for 3-4 hours.  If on the stove… bring to a boil turn to low and cook about an hour stirring occasionally so that the flavors blend together.  I have thought about adding fresh mushrooms and corn … maybe next time!

Even better the next day!


Eggplant Meatballs (minus the meat part)

I love eggplant.  These eggplant balls were delicious and pretty easy to make.  I served them atop brown rice pasta and oil free marinara.  They would make a great meatball sub.

I served them for Sunday supper!  My plant based oil free family thought they were amazing!

I like simple meals.  I do go all out on special occasions or when I am feeling fancy, but meals that taste great and come together quickly are what I treasure.  This comes together pretty quick and you will find it very tasty!

I cooked the eggplant in my scanpan non-stick fry pan.  Preheat oven to 350

1 medium eggplant peeled and diced 

1 small yellow onion diced fine

2 cloves garlic minced

1 cup veggie broth

1 tsp Italian seasoning

2 tbsp nutritional yeast

1/4 cup tomato paste

1 cup chickpea flour

1-2 cups whole wheat oil free panko bread crumbs

In your nonstick fry pan pile up your eggplant and onions and garlic and add a little broth and cook over medium heat. Keep stirring and adding broth as the eggplant breaks down.  Continue stirring and adding all the broth until the eggplant is all mushy and the broth is

all soaked up.  Add the Italian seasoning, nutritional yeast and tomato paste and stir until combined.  It will look like a ooey gooey paste with small chunks of eggplant.  Let this mixture cool.

When it is cool stir in the chickpea flour to make a pasty mixture.  By a spoonful roll into a ball and in the panko til coated.  Place on a parchment lined sheet pan and bake at 350 until crisp about 20 minutes.

Cover with your favorite sauce and serve with pasta or on a bun!

My family loved them…hope yours will too!


Creamed Peas and Carrots

I am always looking for creamy sauces to put on my baked and mashed potatoes.  I think this would be good on brown rice pasta also.  Add some chick peas and it would be a good pot pie filling or topping for biscuits.  This is really easy and really delicious.

1 cup vegetable broth

1/3 cup + 1 tbsp chickpea flour

1/4 tsp onion powder

1/4 tsp garlic powder

1 tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)

1/4 tsp tamari or soy sauce (may use low sodium)

a pinch of italian seasoning

1 15 oz can of peas and carrots

ground black pepper

Whisk in a sauce pan all of the ingredients except the can of peas and carrots and black pepper.  Whisk over medium heat until bubbling and thick.  Turn off the heat and stir the can of peas and carrots with the liquid.  This should thin the sauce a bit.

Serve over your favorite potato and top with black pepper!

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