Smoky Black Eyed Peas

Hey!!  Hope everyone had a wonderful Easter weekend spend with friends and family!  I spent a lot of time thinking about what Easter was really about and it had nothing to do with bunnies and chocolate eggs.  I thought a lot about sacrifice, hope, and blessings that I’ve received and in no way deserve.  I also spent time thanking Jesus for his sacrifice for me.  That’s what Easter is about.

We spent part of the day with family- my brother and his wife and my brand new little niece!! My parents and my sister in laws wonderful family was there and we had some serious chow for Easter lunch!  We had two types of grits, spinach salad, asparagus, biscuits, and these black eyed peas! (also I think there was ham there, but honestly I pay absolutely no attention to meat).  We also had really great seats at the Rangers game and watched them whoop up on the White Socks!

These black eyed peas are pretty amazing over grits or you could serve them with some corn bread and a big ole mess of greens!  The key to the deliciousness of this dish is the smoked paprika, so don’t skimp on it! (tip: in grocery stores that have bulk spices smoked paprika is super cheap- we’re talking 50 cents versus the $5 you’ll pay for it in a bottle!)

Smoky Black Eyed Peas

(Print this recipe!)

by Sarah Collins Chapman

Prep Time: 5-10 min

Cook Time: 30 min




  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 poblano pepper, diced
  • 2 t chili powder
  • 2 t smoked paprika
  • 1/2 t ground cumin
  • 1 t garlic powder
  • 1/2 t salt (or to taste)
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 2 (15 oz) bags frozen black eyed peas


Saute diced onion and poblano over medium heat in a little olive oil or cooking spray in a large saucepan until onions are translucent.

Add chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, garlic powder, and salt. Cook for 1 minute.

Stir in tomato sauce and vegetable broth.

Reduce heat to low, cover and let simmer for 30 minutes stirring occasionally. During the last 10 minutes of cooking uncover your pot and so that the sauce will thicken and some of the liquid will evaporate.

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Hope you love this as much as I did!


Meatless Monday: Soyrizo and Potato Tostadas

Hi friends!  It’s time for another Meatless Monday!




Have you ever tried soyrizo?


I know what you’re probably thinking, but it is really really good.  My carnivorous brother actually told me that I needed to try this because it is amazing.  He insisted several times that I try it, so I finally did.  And he was totally right!  He says that it tastes just like chorizo.  I’ve never had chorizo, so I’m just going to take his word for it.

I try not to do too too many processed soy products, but this is one that I do have occasionally because I love it.  And I almost always make tacos or tostadas with it.


Soyrizo and Potato Tostadas (yield: 8 tostadas)
(Print this recipe!)

1 medium potato, cubed
1 small onion, diced
1 package soyrizo
8 corn tortillas
Cooking spray- a few spritzes
topping suggestions: non-dairy cheese, shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes, avocado, salsa, sour cream

First, prepare your tostada shells.  Preheat oven to 300 F.  Spritz a baking pan with cooking spray, place tortillas on pan and spritz top of tortillas with cooking spray and sprinkle with a little salt.  Bake tortillas until crisp on each side, flipping tortilla halfway through.  Time will vary- watch them closely so they don’t burn!  Set aside until you’re ready to top them.



Next add cubed potatoes to a medium stock pot, cover with cold water and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium and simmer until potatoes are fork tender.  Drain potatoes and set aside.




Sauté onions in skillet over medium until tender (I like to sauté in a little veg broth- it adds an amazing flavor to your vegetables and no extra fat!).

Add soyrizo to the onions and break up with your spoon.

Add potatoes and stir until the potatoes are incorporated.  It’s okay if the potatoes mash into your soyrizo mixture a little, but don’t stir too much because you still want chunks of potato.






Time to top your tostadas!

Layer your tostadas however you choose- I used a little Daiya Pepperjack cheese, as much lettuce as I could get on there, tomato, and salsa.


And I served it with black beans on the side.



So. Good.


Meatless Monday: Giveaway Winner + The Perfect Spaghetti Squash

Happy Meatless Monday! 

I have a giveaway winner!  The winner is entry number 25, so the 25th entry(skipping my own comments about your favorite meals of course) is Lindsay from The Lean Green Bean!





See, those extra twitter entries really helped!  I’ve already emailed you, Lindsay.  Let me know if you didn’t get the email!!

On to the spaghetti squash!

Have we all had Spaghetti Squash before?  If not, you should most definitely try it!!

Spaghetti squash is a winter squash, and when it’s cooked the flesh falls away in strands that look like spaghetti.  And it clocks in at only 42 calories per cup!

I’m about to give you THE perfect way to cook a spaghetti squash. 

Are you ready?  I mean really get ready, because this will possibly blow your mind…


Take your spaghetti squash…



And cut it in half widthwise, NOT lengthwise (this is where my tutorial differs from others!). 




Scoop out all of the seeds and the stringy things.  Place both halves on a plate and cover with saran wrap.




Place in microwave and cook for 10-15 minutes until you can easily pierce through it with a knife. (depending on the size of your spaghetti squash it may take a little longer)

Let cool for a few minutes until you can handle the squash, then carefully scrape out the strands with a fork.




My favorite way to eat spaghetti squash is with steamed veggies (usually broccoli) and covered in my favorite spaghetti sauce!  And with a big hunk of bread on the side of course!!




I know what you’re possibly thinking right now.  But every other tutorial on spaghetti squash says I should cut my spaghetti squash in half LENGTHwise!  And to that I say no no no!

Here’s why you should cut your spaghetti squash in half widthwise instead of lengthwise…

  • you’ll get longer prettier strands!!  (look at the inside of a spaghetti squash- have you ever noticed that the strands don’t run lengthwise?  They run in a circle around the width of the squash)
  • it’s easier to cut in half when you cut it this way.
  • it cooks faster (when I cut it lengthwise it takes me around 30 minutes to cook it, this took me 10!)
  • you can cook both halves in the microwave at once! (you can’t really do that when you cut it in half lengthwise- unless you have a really big microwave)


We eat spaghetti squash like it’s going out of style around here!  So much food for so few calories- I can totally get on board with that!!

What does everyone else top their spaghetti squash with??


Meatless Monday: My Favorite Vegetarian Cookbooks + GIVEAWAY!

I’m not going to lie- the recipe I was hoping to have for this week’s Meatless Monday was a total fail.  It needs some major tweaks, but hopefully I’ll have it for next week!

In the meantime, how about a giveaway??  Keep reading to find out the deets!

I’m a bit of a cookbook hoarder.  When I went veg I actually got rid of quite a few of them that I knew I would never use again.  But I still have a lot.  Some are not vegetarian, but are fairly veg friendly or easy to make the recipes veg with a few simple substitutions.

But let’s talk about my favorite vegetarian cookbooks!  I get asked that question a lot- besides “where do you get your protein?!”, this is the most asked question I get… “what are some good vegetarian cookbooks?”

I am SUPER picky about my cookbooks.  They have to include a simple ingredient list.   I prefer cookbooks with pictures, but I’ll make exceptions for this if it’s gotten really great reviews.  They also have to have ingredients that are accessible to me and easy to find- NO obscure items that I would have to order online!

Here are a few of my faves that have passed the test!

All my veg cookbooks (I have many more that are not totally veg though…).




My favorite vegan dessert cookbooks…



I use this one time and time again- it has never failed me!  It’s worth buying just for the apple cake and cinnamon roll recipes alone.  To. Die. For.



This one is fantastic, but honestly I prefer my own cupcake and buttercream recipes.  I do always come back to this book for inspiration and ideas though!


My absolute favorite overall veg cookbooks…


Want a cookbook that’s PACKED with nutrition and some seriously delicious and simple recipes??  These are the cookbooks for you!  I can’t say enough about both of them. They’re both based on the findings of Dr. T. Collin Campbell and Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn’s research and the book “The China Study”. (Also, I really encourage you to see Forks Over Knives- it’s available on Netflix!)  P.S. don’t be fooled by the word “diet” on the engine 2 cookbook.  It’s not a “diet”.  I promise.



I have made many many recipes from this book (including a holiday meal!) and it has never lead me wrong!  LOVE it, and love the author!



This one is my newest obsession!  I have a major crush on Mama Pea and I just love this book.  This book is SO perfect for vegetarians and meat eaters alike.  It’s great for someone that’s just wanting to add a few more vegetarian meals to their arsenal!  I’ve tried several recipes from this cookbook and haven’t been disappointed yet!


And now for the GIVEAWAY!

I’m giving away a vegetarian cookbook of your choice!  It does not have to be one that I listed above- the sky is the limit! 

Is there a cookbook that you’ve been wanting to try but you weren’t sure you wanted to spend the money on it?  Are you wanting to try more meatless recipes but aren’t sure where to start?  Well, here’s your chance!

This giveaway will be running from the moment I hit publish until 5:00 pm CST on Friday September 16th! 

Also, this giveaway is limited to the United States and Canada only because of shipping expenses.

To enter the giveaway:

You can get up to three entries in this giveaway. 

  1. Simply leave a comment below stating your favorite meatless meal! 
  2. Tweet about this giveaway or facebook it if you don’t have twitter (and then leave a comment here telling me that you tweeted/facebooked it)
  3. Link to this giveaway in a blog post (and then leave a comment here with a link to your post)

That’s it.  No games to play, no hoops to jump through (don’t you hate it when there’s a giveaway on a blog and you have to jump through hoops just for one entry?  So silly!)

Good luck!!!


Buffalo Baked Tofu Wraps

It’s no secret that I love anything spicy or covered in hot sauce.  I have freely admit that many many times here.  I especially love the buffalo sauce flavor.  Even when I ate chicken I really only ever got buffalo wings for the sauce.  No lie.

So when I got this bottle of Buffalo Marinade in the mail from Foodbuzz as part of the tastemaker program I knew exactly what I wanted to do with it!


The marinade was great, but if you can’t find this specific brand, honestly you can use any brand or even make your own buffalo sauce to marinate in.  I’ve tried the Franks Red Hot brand of buffalo sauce and it’s fantastic as well!  And you’re especially lucky today because you’re also getting a ranch dressing recipe!

Buffalo Baked Tofu Wraps with Ranch Dressing (makes 4 wraps)
(Print this recipe!)

1 package of extra firm tofu, pressed (I like the kind that comes already pressed- the Wildwood Organic is my fave)
1 bottle of your favorite buffalo sauce (you’ll only use about half of the bottle)
4 Whole wheat wraps of your choice
ranch dressing (recipe follows)

Slice your tofu into 8-10 slices (depending on how big your block of tofu is)


Place sliced tofu into a ziplock bag or Tupperware container and pour half the bottle of marinade in.

Let the tofu hang out for at least 30 minutes in the refrigerator.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spritz a baking sheet with nonstick spray.

Take tofu out of the marinade and shake off the excess marinade before placing each slice in the pan.

Place into oven and bake for 7-10 minutes on each side.


Slice or cube each plank of tofu so that it will fit better into your wrap.

To assemble your wraps, take your tortilla and top with lettuce, a drizzle of ranch dressing, your tofu slices or cubes, and top it off with a drizzle of the leftover buffalo sauce marinade (it’s okay- it’s not meat so you don’t have to worry about food poisoning from this. In fact, you can keep the leftover marinade in the fridge and reuse it!)



Wrap and roll!!!



And here’s the ranch dressing recipe for your wraps! (you can use bottled if you want, but I promise this is WAY better!)

Ranch Dressing
(Print this recipe!)

1 cup low-fat Vegenaise (or you can use yogurt)
1/3 cup non-dairy milk
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
big pinch of salt, to taste
big squeeze of lemon juice (about 1 Tablespoon)
1 teaspoon chopped fresh dill
1 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley


Place all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth.

If you want your dressing a little thinner, add a little more non-dairy milk.  If you want it a little thicker, add a little more vegenaise.



I hope you enjoy this as much as I did!  And P.S. the leftover buffalo tofu makes a wicked salad- just toss on top of your fav salad with a few spoonful’s each of the ranch and the buffalo sauce!  NOM!