Author Archives: jessica37

Quesadilla Casserole

A delicious, easier to eat and less messy version of my quesadilla recipe.  The cheese sauce is made in a high powered blender and comes together pretty quickly.  (I often make double/triple batches of the cheese sauce and freeze the extra.)  Once that’s made, it’s easy.  You can serve topped with salsa or guacamole if you wish.



  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
  • 4 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/3 cup unsweetened original almond milk or other unsweetened original non-dairy milk of your choice
  • 3 Tbsp miso paste, optional
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 3 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 cup roasted red pepper (easiest if you get out of a jar)
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • cayenne pepper, to taste (optional – I skip if serving with spicy salsa)


  • 4 cans pinto beans
  • 1 tsp salt (if pinto beans are unsalted)
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 tsp garlic powder


  • 6 large (burrito size) whole wheat tortillas, all cut in half
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro


Preheat oven to 350.

Combine cheese sauce ingredients in a Vitamix or high powered blender and blend until smooth.

Smash pinto beans with a potato masher (or pureé) with spices and mix well.

Grease the bottom of a 9×13 casserole dish.  Arrange 4 half tortillas (2 whole) on the bottom by putting their straight edges against each of the 4 sides.  Spread about half of the bean mixture on top.  Pour on a little less than half of the cheese sauce.  Sprinkle some of the cilantro.  Again place a layer of 4 half tortillas, followed by the rest of the beans, and almost all of the sauce.  Top with the last 4 half tortillas and the remainder of the sauce.  (Save the remaining cilantro for topping once baked.)

Bake for 20-25 minutes.  Top with cilantro and cut into squares to serve.  Top with salsa and/or guacamole, as desired.


Sweet Potato Peanut Soup

This easy soup is one of my daughter’s favorites (even though she doesn’t like sweet potatoes).  Serve with bread and a salad or veggie and you have a nice meal!  I like doubling this and freezing the extra.


  • 1 medium/large onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons peeled and minced fresh ginger
  • 1 red pepper, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 2 medium carrots, diced (about 1 cup)
  • half a pinch cayenne pepper
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cubed (a little over 1 pound)
  • 3 cups veggie broth
  • 1 lb tomatoes, chopped or 1 small can diced tomatoes (with juice)
  • 1/3 cup creamy natural peanut butter

Sauté the onion until soft and translucent.  Add garlic and ginger and sauté a few minutes more.  Add all remaining ingredients and bring to a simmer.  Simmer into everything is soft.  Pureé using an immersion blender or in batches using a container blender.  I like the smoothness by blending in my Vitamix and I often make this soup in the morning and then blend when cool at dinnertime.


Thai Sweet Potato Coconut Salad

My daughter loves going to Modern Market and ordering their Thai Coconut Salad with Mango Peanut Dressing (without chicken).  Here’s my version that we make at home, which she luckily loves just as much!


  • 1 head lettuce, washed, and chopped (or 12 oz mixed greens)
  • 1 cucumber, sliced
  • 2.25 lb sweet potatoes, peeled
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut


  • 3 heaping Tbsp peanut butter
  • 3 heaping Tbsp almond butter
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp ginger powder
  • 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp lime juice
  • 4 chunks (about 1″) frozen mango
  • 6-10 Tbsp water

Poke peeled sweet potatoes several times with a fork and microwave for 3 minutes.  (This makes them a little softer and easier to shred.)  Shred the sweet potatoes.  Microwave shredded sweet potatoes for another 10 +/- minutes or until fully cooked/tender.  Place in fridge (or freezer) to cool while preparing the rest.

Combine dressing ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth, adding water to reach a pourable thick dressing consistency. Place in fridge (or freezer) to cool while preparing the rest.

In a bowl, combine lettuce, cucumber and shredded coconut.  Add cooled sweet potato shreds.  Either dress the entire salad all at once, or if saving some for leftovers, dress just what you are serving and store the salad and dressing separately in the fridge for the next day.  Enjoy!

Coconut Curry Soup

This delicious soup goes wonderfully paired with some homemade bread.  Add a salad and you have a very complete, satisfying and delicious meal!  Next time, I will double this for sure, as it only makes about 4 dinner sized portions.IMG_4122

  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 5 carrots, chopped
  • 5 celery stalks, chopped
  • 3 cups veggie broth
  • 1 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 Tbsp ground ginger
  • 1 Tbsp curry powder
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 cup red lentils, rinsed well
  • 1 can coconut milk

Sauté onion until soft.  Add garlic and sauté a few minutes more.  Add everything else except red lentils and coconut milk and simmer for about 25 minutes or until carrots and celery are mostly tender.  Add red lentils and coconut milk and simmer until lentils are very soft.  Enjoy!

Inspired by a One Green Planet recipe.

Chickpea & Soy Curl Curry

IMG_4114This is a delicious vegan twist on Indian Butter Chicken inspired by a Vegan Richa recipe.  The chicken is replaced by soy curls, which have a creepily similar texture to chicken.  Creaminess from the cashew cream replaces the butter.  This is currently one of my 9 year old’s favorite meals!  Serve over rice, quinoa, or with indian bread.

  • 6 roma tomatoes
  • 8 cloves garlic
  • 2 Tbsp fresh ginger
  • 1 green pepper, stem and seeds removed
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • pinch cayenne
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 5.5 oz soy curls
  • 2 cans chickpeas
  • 2/3 cup cashews
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp more garam masala for later
  • 1/2 tsp ground mustard
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped

Purée tomatoes, garlic, ginger, green pepper and water.

In an InstantPot, pressure cooker, or soup pot, combine purée, spices, soy curls and chickpeas.  Cook in InstantPot or pressure cooker for 11 minutes or cook on stove until soy curls are tender.

While that is cooking, puree cashews and water.

Once the soy curl/chickpea mixture is done, add in cashew cream, additional garam masala, ground mustard and green pepper.  Cook until heated through (use sauté feature if using InstantPot).  Serve over rice or quinoa and garnished with cilantro.

Roasted Tomatillo & Chickpea Curry

This was a surprise favorite of everyone in the house, even the skeptical 8 year old.  Tastes like an Indian dish – maybe I should call it Chana Tomatillo.

This was a fairly easy dish that we served over rice (1 cup brown rice to go with this amount) with a side of sauteed kale.  This made 3-4 servings.  Next time I will double this for more yummy leftovers.

Modified from a chef de home recipe.

  • 1 lb tomatillos, husk removed and washed, whole
  • 1 anaheim/poblano/other pepper, whole
  • 1 onion, chopped into 8ths
  • 1/2 cup cilantro
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp salt (1/2 tsp if your chickpeas are salted), or to taste
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp curry powder
  • 3/4 cup coconut milk
  • 2 cans chickpeas (I used unsalted), somewhat mashed if desired
  • 1/4 cup water

Prepare a baking pan with foil and turn the oven broiler on high.  Place whole tomatillos, whole pepper, and onion chunks on the pan.  Broil for about 10 minutes, flipping everything over halfway through.  Cool and then remove charred skin, stems, seeds, etc.

Combine roasted tomatillos, pepper, onion, cilantro, oregano and salt in a blender or food processor and pulse until the consistency of a well chopped salsa.

In a dry sauce pan, roast curry powder over medium heat for a minute.  Add tomatillo salsa mixture, coconut milk, chickpeas, and water and simmer for 5-10 minutes.

Serve over rice and enjoy!

Roasted Tomatillo & Black Bean Tacos

A delicious new take on tacos for us…  we tend to get in a taco (or burrito) rut and make the same old things every time.  This was a wonderful way to change it up!  And two thumbs up from the 8 year old, too.  Inspired by a Vegetarian Times recipe.


  • 1 lb tomatillos, husks removed and washed, but whole
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled, whole
  • 1 red pepper, whole
  • 1 onion, chopped into 8ths
  • 1 anaheim/poblano/other pepper, whole
  • 1/4 cup cilantro
  • 10 corn tortillas
  • 2 cans black beans (warmed)
  • salt (3/4 tsp if beans unsalted, 1/4 tsp if salted)
  • 1 avocado, chopped
  • 1/2 cup corn (warmed if frozen)
  • 1 tomato, chopped

Turn oven broiler on high.  Prepare a baking pan with foil.  Place tomatillos, garlic, red pepper, onion, and spicy pepper on the baking pan and broil for about 10 minutes, flipping everything over halfway through.  After cooled off, remove charred skin, stems, seeds, etc, from all the veggies.

In a blender or food processor, combine: tomatillos, garlic, onions, spicy pepper & cilantro.  Pulse until the consistency of salsa.  Mix with the warmed black beans.  Salt to taste.

Fixins:  Chop the roasted red pepper and put in a bowl.  Other fixins for the taco include: avocado, corn and tomato.

Serve tacos on warmed corn tortillas and enjoy!