zucchini spaghetti with tempeh marinara sauce

This is a last-minute blog post on a last-minute dinner idea, but it was too good not to share!

Last night dinner was later than usual, 9:30 instead of our early bird special at 5:30!  I was craving comfort food…spaghetti and meatballs!  Two problems here: 1) I don’t eat meat and 2) 9:30 is way too late to indulge in a large bowl of pasta!

Instead, I made “pasta” out of a zucchini and “meat sauce” using tempeh…problem solved!

This meal hit the spot!

zucchini spaghetti with tempeh marinara sauce ~vegan, gluten free~

Zucchini Spaghetti with Tempeh Marinara Sauce

1 zucchini, julienne sliced

1 block tempeh, crumbled

1 cup vegetable broth

1 large tomato, diced

1/4 cup tomato paste

1/2 cup red onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon italian seasoning

salt and pepper to taste

2 tablespoon olive oil (plus 1 teaspoon for zucchini pasta)

Pine nuts and fresh basil for garnish

zucchini spaghetti with tempeh marinara sauce ~vegan, gluten free~

-Make zucchini spaghetti using a mandolin, spiralizer or mini julienne peeler.  Place in a large bowl and toss with a teaspoon of olive oil and sprinkle of sea salt, set aside.

-Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium heat.  Add onion and sauté until translucent.  Add garlic and saute for an additional minute or until fragrant.

-Add crumbled tempeh and sauté for 5 minutes or until lightly browned.

-Add tomato, tomato paste, vegetable broth, italian seasonings, salt and pepper and simmer for 20 minutes.

-Divide zucchini spaghetti among two bowls and top with tempeh marinara sauce.

-Garnish with pine nuts and fresh basil.  Enjoy!

zucchini spaghetti with tempeh marinara sauce ~vegan, gluten free~


kale salad with sweet tahini dressing

Hard to believe but, I never understood the temptation of raw kale salads.  Every time I made one I was dissappointed!  They were too hard to chew and even harder to digest!

Until now!  

I finally figured out the secret to making a palatable raw kale salad!

It’s sea salt!  

Before I would always massage the kale with olive oil but it never broke down the leaves enough.  By adding sea salt the kale becomes very tender, less bitter and easier to eat :)

kale salad with sweet tahini dressing ~vegan, gluten free~

Now, i’m hooked!

 I made it for dinner last night and i’ve been craving more all day!  Kale salads are great to prepare ahead of time as they do not wilt easily.  Make this for dinner tonight and save some for lunch tomorrow!

Kale Salad with Sweet Tahini Dressing

 1 small bunch kale, de-stemmed and broken into bite-sized pieces

½ cup dried cranberries

¼ cup sunflower seeds

1 carrot, shredded

1 tablespoon olive oil

sea salt


¼ cup tahini

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

2 tablespoons miso paste

1 tablespoon maple syrup

¼ cup water

salt and pepper to taste

-In a large bowl, drizzle kale with olive oil and sea salt.  Massage and squeeze kale leaves to make more tender, set aside and let kale “marinate” for a few minutes.

-Blend together all salad dressing ingredients.  Add more water if a thinner consistency is desired.

 -Add dressing to kale and toss to coat.  Top with carrots, dried cranberries and sunflower seeds.


kale salad with sweet tahini dressing ~vegan, gluten-free~

I found that using half the amount of salad dressing was plenty!  


fudgy brownies…sneaky beans!

I know what you’re thinking…gross, brownies made with black beans!!!!

Have I lost my mind???

No, I haven’t lost my mind!  I thought the same thing, gross!

But, don’t knock it until you try it!  These are SO good…gooey, chocolatey, fudgy brownies!!!

And, they’re pretty darn healthy for you too!  Vegan, gluten free, low-sugar and high in fiber, protein and omega 3’s!  I can honestly say I may never go back to making brownies any other way!

I have been wanting to make black bean brownies for a while but, I was too afraid to experiment on my own.  So, I borrowed this recipe from www.minimalistbaker.com

fudgy brownies...sneaky beans! ~vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, paleo~

Black Bean Brownies

1 15 ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained

2 large flax eggs (2.5 tablespoons ground flaxseeds + 6 tablespoons water)

3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted (or sub any other oil of choice)

3/4 cup cocoa powder

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

heaping 1/2 cup raw sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

optional toppings:  walnuts, pecans or chocolate chips

fudgy brownies...sneaky beans! ~vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, paleo~

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2.  Lightly grease a muffin pan (I used spray coconut oil)

3.  Prepare flax egg by combining flax and water in the food processor and pulsing a few times…let rest for a few minutes.

4.  Add remaining ingredients (minus toppings) to the food processor and puree for about 3 minutes, occasionally scrapping down edges.  You want a very smooth consistency, similar to chocolate frosting.  If batter is too thick, add a tablespoon of water at at time….but, do not make it too runny!!!

5.  Evenly distribute batter into muffin tin and add optional toppings.

6.  Bake for 20-25 minutes or until tops are dry and edges pull away from the side of the pan.

7.  Remove from oven and let cool for 30 minutes.  Gently take brownies out of the muffin tin with a fork.  They are very fudgy in the insides, that’s the point!  Don’t worry about them being undercooked, they’re vegan!

8.  Store in an air tight container.

fudgy brownies...sneaky beans! ~vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, paleo~

The original recipe recommended that you pulse the raw sugar in a food processor to create a very fine texture.  I skipped this step and they still came out delicious!  

You’re supposed to get 12 brownies however, I only got 9.   I must have ate too much of the batter, whoops!

These would taste even better with a scoop of vegan chocolate peanut butter banana ice cream!

fudgy brownies...sneaky beans! ~vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, paleo~

Make your weekend even sweeter with a batch of these :)