Popeye’s Pasta Bake

I love spinach.  Like a lot.  I put it in almost everything.  I usually buy those big tubs at Costco and throw handfuls of it in everything!  I also used to love watching Popeye when I was a kid.  Maybe that’s the reason I love spinach so much.  Who knows!  Either way, this one is dedicated to Popeye!

Popeye’s Pasta Bake
(Print this recipe!)

8 oz. whole wheat penne, cooked and drained
1/2 onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 bag (16 oz) baby spinach
1 jar of your favorite pasta sauce (or a big can of crushed tomatoes)
2 carrots, shredded or grated
1 tsp Italian seasoning
Daiya mozzarella style cheese



Preheat oven to 350 F

Sauté onions in a little EVOO over medium heat until tender.


Add shredded carrots and sauté until tender.


Add garlic and spinach and let the spinach wilt down.


Add your pasta sauce and simmer on low for 5 minutes.


Fold in your drained pasta.


Pour your pasta mixture in a pan.


Sprinkle with cheese.


Bake for 35-40 minutes until it’s bubbly and cheese is melty and starting to brown on top.


Cheesy.  Spinachy.  Pasta-licious!



Smokey Portabella Burgers

You are going to fall in LOVE with this one!  This is just amazingly easy to make and so very tasty!  My husband loves these and always asks me to make them.  Back  in the day when I used to eat dairy (eww!) I used to make this with a smoked Gouda cheese.  Now I make them with Daiya mozzarella style vegan cheese (Daiya should really pay me for this, haha- I love their stuff!) and I think they taste even better!  I’m going to go ahead and apologize for my picture quality- I was making this really late at night so I couldn’t get any grill shots and we were starving so I really rushed through the picture taking!

Smokey Portabella Burgers

(Print this recipe!)

BBQ Rub(recipe follows)
Portabella mushrooms (the number will depend on how many you are wanting to make)
Daiya Mozzarella style cheese
Burger Buns
BBQ sauce
Whatever burger fixings you like


Fire up the grill and clean up your mushrooms (I like to scrape the gills out because I think they’re oogey, but you can leave them in if you like)

Rub your shrooms with a little olive or canola oil so that the rub will stick

Sprinkle them with your BBQ rub and massage it in a bit.


Grill on both sides until mushrooms are soft.

Sprinkle the gill side with your cheese and let it get all melty.

Serve on a bun that has been slathered in BBQ sauce with your favorite burger fixings- sometimes I like to smother in caramelized onions- yummmm!


We also served this with baked sweet potatoes.





(Print this recipe!)

2 Tablespoons light brown sugar
2 Tablespoons smoked sweet paprika (this is the KEY to the whole rub!  It’s essential!)
1 Tablespoon ground black pepper
1 Tablespoon coarse sea salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper


Combine all ingredients in small container.

Mix well.

This will make quite a bit!  Store leftovers in refrigerator.






What’s for dinner tonight?

Last nights dinner was amaaaaaaazing!!  So I’ll get right to it, cause you’re gonna want to come right over and give me a big kiss right on the lips!

Eggplant lasagna bake with garlic cheesy biscuits!

Eggplant lasagna bake

2 eggplants
a big pile of mushrooms (sorry I didn’t measure, haha!)
1 clove garlic
a jar of your fav pasta sauce
your fav vegan mozzarella cheese
vegan parmesan cheese (optional)





Slice your shrooms and sauté them with a clove of garlic.

IMG_2384 IMG_2387


Add your pasta sauce, cover with a lid, and turn it down to low to let it simmer while you work on your eggplant.



Slice a little piece off of your eggplant to give it “feet”- it won’t roll around while you’re trying to slice it, so you won’t have to worry about cutting yourself.




Slice it very thin (you’ll be using these eggplant slices instead of lasagna noodles, so slice them as thinly as you can)



Time to start layering!  Start with sauce, then eggplant, more sauce, then a little cheese.  Continue until you have used all of the eggplant slices.



The top layer should be sauce, lots of cheese, and a sprinkle of vegan parmesan.



Bake in a 400 F oven for about 30 mins (till the cheese is all melty and brown on top)


We served it with garlic cheesy biscuits(recipe follows) and a kale salad dressed with lemon juice, olive oil, and a little sprinkle of salt and pepper.



And now the garlic cheesy biscuits! 


Garlic Cheesy Biscuits

1 cup AP flour
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
5 tsp baking powder
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tsp fresh parsley
1 tsp dried rosemary
1/2 tsp salt
3 Tbsp Earth Balance
3 Tbsp Earth Balance Shortening
1 cup almond milk
1 cup Daiya Cheddar Style vegan cheese

Preheat oven to 450 F.

In a large bowl mix together flours, baking powder, garlic, parsley, rosemary, and salt.



Cut in the shortening and earth balance until it’s crumbly.  You can use a fork or a pastry cutter, but it works best if you just use your fingers!



Stir in the milk and Daiya.



Drop by big spoonfuls onto a sprayed baking sheet or a baking stone.



Bake for 15 minutes until lightly brown on top.

Combine a Tablespoon of earth balance, a clove of minced garlic, and a teaspoon of parsley(you could also use dill for this- it would be amazing as well).  Brush over the tops of the biscuits.



And voila!  The finished product!



I had to really restrain myself from snarfing the whole batch down!  Oh. My. Word.  These are amazing!!!


Well, I’ll leave you to it!  We’re iced in again today.  Sad smile

But mama pea posted a recipe for toffee bars that look freaking amazing so I think I’m going to get my bake on today!

Have a good one!





Hatch Chili Rellenos

It’s that time of year again!  Hatch Chili time!! 

What the heck is a Hatch Chili you say?  Well, I’m glad you asked!  A Hatch Chili is a seriously delicious chili pepper that is grown in Hatch, New Mexico.  It is kind of like an Anaheim pepper(which is actually bred from the Hatch chili).  They are harvested once a year- right NOW!  And if they don’t come from Hatch, New Mexico they AREN’T Hatch Chilies!!  So go and get some (might I suggest Central Market?  We’re having our Hatch Chili Fest right now!  I work there, can you tell?  haha!) and stock up that freezer- because they won’t be around for much longer!!

This recipe is some of the BEST rellenos that you will ever eat!  I’m not kidding.  This is better than any relleno that I’ve had at a Mexican food restaurant.  AND it’s VEGAN!  I don’t normally fry stuff, but once or twice a year I do and this is one of those times!  It just won’t get the same results if you try to bake it.  So splurge and give this a try!!

Here ya go…

Hatch Chili Rellenos

(Print this recipe!)

1 1/2 cups flour, divided
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
12 ounces beer
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2- 1 cup Daiya Vegan Cheese, cheddar style 
6 Hatch Chilies, charred and peeled
Canola oil, for frying


Combine 1 cup of the flour, baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt in a large bowl. Gradually add the beer, whisking until the batter is smooth. Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Make an incision the length of each chile and remove the stems and seeds. Stuff the Daiya cheese into chilies, and close with a toothpick.

In a large deep skillet, pour oil until half full. Heat over medium heat until hot.

Dredge chilies in remaining flour, shake off excess, dip in batter, and fry until golden, approximately 1 minute per side. Drain on paper towels and season with salt.

Try not to pass out because they’re so amazing!



Favorite vegan products, part I

Sorry for the unintentional hiatus!  I started a new job and between that and summer classes I’ve been SLAMED!!

I thought it might be fun to go through a few of my favorite vegan products just for anyone who might be curious.  There will be many parts to this new segment, so stay tuned for more!

First and foremost my top two favorite vegan products are FRUITS and VEGETABLES!!  That being said, let’s move on!


I love it because it tastes just like mayo but doesn’t contain any animal products!



SO Delicious coconut milk creamer.

SO much better than soy creamer!  It adds a wonderful texture and flavor to your morning coffee.



Silk Almond Milk.

I love it because it is DELICIOUS!  WAY better than soy milk!!  It’s creamy like whole milk (not watery like soy) and it tastes amazing straight up in a glass.  And almonds are so very good for you!  



Whole Soy and Co soy yogurt. 

6 grams protein, low fat, great source of calcium!  Beats the PANTS off of every other soy yogurt out there!!  Soy yogurt can be hit or miss and this one is definitely a hit!  Favorite flavors so far are peach and blueberry.




This has been my best find so far- it makes amazing mac and cheese, is perfect for pizza, and makes one heck of a grilled cheese!  Best vegan cheese hands down!



Maple Syrup

Love this stuff!  Amazing in oatmeal (and of course on pancakes!), but is also a good natural substitute for sugar.



Agave Nectar

Oh how I love thee!!  It tasted just like honey.  It’s wonderful in tea (hot or cold), smoothies, cereal.



Animal Cookies!

LOVE whole foods animal cookies!!  Most animal cookies have butter and/or milk in them (eww!), but not this brand- and they’re so yummy!



Whole Foods hamburger buns

One of the only burger buns I’ve found that are vegan.  They’re awesome too!


And last on the list for today…


Justin’s chocolate almond butter

Oh.My.Gosh.  This is waaaay better than Nutella!!  Way better for you too!  Enough said,


Hope you enjoyed part one!  More favorites coming soon…