Bill was in the mood for pasta with red sauce.  I used Trader Joe’s High Fiber Penne pasta (a new family favorite).  The last time I prepared this, Jackson declared it was his new favorite penne pasta.  It is made with traditional durum wheat semolina but also includes oat fiber and provides 25% of your daily fiber needs.

I sauteed organic baby bella mushrooms and onions with a touch of olive oil and water.  I used this on Bill’s pasta with Trader Joe’s Vodka sauce (not sure if this is truly vegan, but it was what I had on hand).  For me, I had the mushrooms over a large arugula salad and a sprinkling of balsamic vinegar (this is another one of our favorite dinners, and I was more in the mood for this than pasta with red sauce tonight.


Red Lentil Artichoke Stew from The Vegan Table

Thought it needed some additional flavor so I added raisins, turmeric and paprika.  Served it over brown rice (frozen pre-cooked from Trader Joe’s) with guacamole garnish and pine nuts.

The verdict – Bill liked it (the first time I have ever made lentils for him) and we actually had the leftovers the next night.  This is big as my husband doesn’t always like leftovers.  This is a definite make ahead and I might try doing it in the crock pot next time.

Bill’s been traveling and we ate out last weekend, so I had a break from trying new recipes, but I have sampled a few for myself this week.

This was yummy

Green Juice Recipe

Makes 3-4 servings

1  bananas

1 pears

1 apple

1/2 cucumber

1/4 – 1/2 lime

Couple handfuls of romaine lettuce

Couple handfuls of fresh baby spinach



1 chopped onion

2 T olive oil

1 bunch white asparagus

6 c veg broth

2 bullion cubes

1 c almond milk

1/4 cup mirin

1/2 lemon juiced

black pepper

Saute onion in olive oil until tender.  Cut tips off asparagus and reserve.  Add chopped asparagus stems to pot and steam for 5 minutes.  Add broth, bullion cubes and pepper and simmer for approx 30 minutes.  Add mirin, lemon juice and puree with immersion blender until smooth.  Add asparagus tips and cook for approx 7 minutes.  Add almond milk and simmer for one minute.  Salt and pepper to taste.


Sprouted Wheat Berry Bread

This was surprisingly easy and delicious, although my daughter wouldn’t eat it.  Can’t wait for the guys to come home and get their verdict.


  • Marinated Tofu from The Kind Diet
  • Collards with Pine Nuts and Raisins from The Kind Diet
  • Trader Joe’s prepared multi-grain pilaf

The verdict – I think the direct quote was “I’m probably not going to love any of this stuff, but it was OK.”  And he said he would eat it again.  I was thrilled he ate the collards without one complaint and ate them all.  That is a success.  This wasn’t necessarily what I would have picked for our first dinner, but I had it all without a special trip to the grocery.

1/3/2012  TVP Tacos

  • 2 cups TVP soaked in 2 cups water in skillet (mix in skillet to reconstitute TVP)
  • 2 T Braggs liquid aminos
  • 2 T oil
  • 1 sliced red or yellow pepper
  • 1 sliced oncion
  • 1 package taco seasoning
  • 1/2 cup salsa
  • cilantro and sliced tomatoes for garnish

The verdict – I used Trader Joe’s taco seasoning and it was really spicy.  I might try a different kind or only half next time.    Used this in whole wheat tortillas with refried beans (to help cut the heat) and fresh cilantro.  I thought it closely resembled ground meat.  No complaints.  I had the leftovers the next day in some sweet potato soup with cilantro and fresh lime juice and it was yummy.

1/4/12  Penne Pasta with Pumpkin Cream Sauce, Sauteed Mushrooms and Toasted Walnuts

  • 1/2 package Penne Pasta
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • sauteed mushrooms
  • toasted walnuts

The Verdict – We both really liked this one.  A definite do again.


  • Trader Joe’s Veggie dumplings
  • Trader Joe’s Garlic Naan
  • Grean Beans and oranges

The verdict – Jackson said the NAAN was the best bread he had ever had (that is saying something!).  It was good so I stocked up on my next trip.  Dumplings were good, but not as good as the shrimp ones we normally get.

1/6/12  Arugula Pizza with Sauteed Veggies

  • I package whole wheat pizza doug
  • 1/2 package Arugula
  • 2 cloves garlic chopped
  • 1 zucchini chopped
  • 8 oz sliced portabella mushrooms
  • 1 small red onion sliced into ribbons
  • Olive oil
  • Balsamic vinegar

Shape pizza dough and cook dough at 400 on cookie sheet for 10 minutes after rubbing olive oil on both sides.  Saute vegetables and garlic until desired tenderness.  Sprinkle cooked crust with salt and pepper.  Spread arugula on dough.  Cover with veggies.  Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

The verdict – I loved it.  Bill said he could have had the salad without the dough, but I don’t think it would have been filling enough.  It’s hard for him to think of pizza without cheese and tomato sauce.

1/7/12 – Roasted Sweet Potato Burritos

Try this yummy sweet potato recipe from Ellie Krieger as a side dish or in  these tacos.  MMMMM!

  • Roasted sweet potatoes using recipe above
  • 1 t cumin
  • 1/2 can of black beans rinsed
  • vegan cream cheese
  • 3T chopped cilantro
  • juice of one lime
  • vegan cream cheese
  • 4 whole wheat tortillas (warmed in oven in foil)
  • guacamole

Warm tortillas in oven during last 10 minutes of sweet potatoes roasting.  Add a smear of vegan cream cheese to each tortilla.  Add 1/2 cup roasted sweet potatoes, 1/4 cup black beans.  Sprinkle with cumin.  Top with cilantro, lime and guacamole.  I served with broccoli slaw, but might have been better with a romaine salad.

The verdict – Yum!  Bill added salsa, I didn’t want to drown out the other flavors.  He would have it again.

On January 1 Bill let me know that he was giving up meat, eggs and cheese for 2012 and alcohol for the next 3 months in an effort to be more healthy.  While this would require major changes for both of us, I was happy to embrace his decision and support him.  He didn’t ask me to give everything up, but I will be trying to follow along closely regardless.  Truth be told, my cholesterol was higher than expected at my last checkup and I could stand to cut back on (or cut out) butter and cheese which are my biggest weaknesses.  If I have to give up some other things I like in the process, so be it.  I also decided to give up coffee for this year.

We went to a New Year’s party at friends house and that was our first challenge, but he held strong despite the smell of pork BBQ wafting through the entire house and greeting us at the door as we entered.  He even ate carrots (there weren’t a lot of fruits and veggies to choose from).  I did have a small bowl of chilli and a beer, bot skipped the cheese and sour cream.  Let’s ease into this…