sweet potato and peanut stew ~vegan, gluten free~

After a long road, we are finally on our way to building our house (fingers crossed)!!!  While it’s exciting and all, it also means we will be the owners of a mortgage (gulp)

With a pending tight budget, my type A personality has kicked in and I have been counting every last penny for months!  One of our biggest expenses is our grocery bill.  I admit I get a little crazy when it comes to buying food.  Nothing makes me happier than spending hours walking up and down the aisles of Whole Foods gawking at all the beautiful and enticing ingredients.  So long are the days of buying high ticket items just for fun!  I’ve been working really hard to get our grocery bill down and with a little effort it is paying off!  (I will share my money-saving shopping strategy soon!)  One of the easiest ways to put inexpensive, healthy and balanced meals on the table is with beans.  Not only are beans super good for you, they are also really, really cheap source of protein!

Here is a savory and satisfying, protein packed vegan stew to add to your recipe book!

Cinnamon, cumin, ginger, crushed red pepper flakes blended with a creamy, peanutty sauce…

Sweet Potato and Peanut Stew ~vegan, gluten free~ A protein packed vegan stew loaded with antioxidant rich ingredients!

This stew is chock full with antioxidant rich sweet potatoes, carrots, peas and spinach!

Chickpeas were added for protein to provide a perfectly balanced meal.  Serve alone or on top of steamed brown basmati rice.

sweet potato and peanut stew ~vegan, gluten free~
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Vegan
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ cup crushed tomatoes
  • ½ cup creamy peanut butter
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • 1 sweet potato, peeled and diced
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 large handfuls of baby spinach leaves
  • 2 cups frozen peas
  • sea salt to taste
  1. Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the shallot and cook until translucent, add the garlic and sauté for a few minutes.
  2. Add ginger, red pepper flakes, cumin, cinnamon and sauté for a few minutes, until fragrant.
  3. Add crushed tomatoes and peanut butter, stir until well combined.
  4. Add broth, sweet potatoes and carrots. Bring to a boil, turn down heat, cover pot and simmer until sweet potatoes are tender, around 20 minutes.
  5. When sweet potatoes are cooked, add chickpeas, peas, spinach and cook until spinach is wilted. Season with sea salt to taste.
  6. Serve warm and enjoy!

Sweet Potato and Peanut Stew ~vegan, gluten free~ A protein packed vegan stew loaded with antioxidant rich ingredients!

Try serving up this stew for a meatless monday meal!  

I promise even the meat and potato eaters will have full and happy bellies!

collard greens and beans ~vegan, gluten free~

There isn’t much I can say that will make this dish seem extraordinary, but sometimes the best meals are the most simple to make!

Collard Greens and Beans ~vegan, gluten free~

Pretty soon gardens and farmers’ markets will be brimming with collard greens.    I have high hopes for our garden this year, last year was somewhat of a flop!  I don’t have much of a green thumb however, collard greens I can grow!

You can use collard greens a number of ways.  Use raw in place of a wrap for a sandwich, mix into a green salad or sauté with shallots, garlic, lemon and dijon mustard as I did with this recipe.  This dish would make a great side or you can serve over brown rice for a complete and healthy meal!

Collard Greens and Beans ~vegan, gluten free~

collard greens and beans
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Vegan
  • a few gluggs of extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 shallots, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 head collard greens, destemmed, chopped and rinsed (don't pat dry, you want the leaves to have a little moisture on them)
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
  • 1 can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • sea salt and pepper to taste
  1. In a large skillet over medium heat add a few gluggs of extra virgin olive oil.
  2. Add shallots and sauté until translucent, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant, around 2 minutes.
  4. Next, add chopped collard greens and sauté until wilted, around 5 minutes.
  5. In a small bowl, whisk together lemon juice and dijon mustard. Pour over collard greens and stir to combine.
  6. Add cannellini beans and cook until heated through.
  7. Season with sea salt and pepper.
  8. Serve alone or over warm brown rice.
  9. Enjoy!

mum mum’s meatballs ~vegan, gluten free~

Since becoming a vegetarian there aren’t many things I miss.  Except my Grandma Josie’s meatballs!  She was one of the most beautiful souls I have ever known.  In typical Italian Grandma fashion, she cooked with a lot of love!

Grandma Josie and Marie 1943

Grandma Josie and Marie 1943

I never thought I would be able to enjoy her meatballs again.

Until now….

Mum Mum's Vegan Meatballs ~gluten free option~

My mom (mum mum to Noah) created the most delicious vegan meatballs!  I almost spit out the first bite I took because I thought she was playing a horribly mean joke on me!  They tasted legit!

The original recipe uses eggs and parmesan cheese.  To veganize the recipe we used a “chia egg” instead and omitted the cheese.  I will give the recipe for both!  To make them gluten-free, use gluten-free breadcrumbs and gluten-free pasta.  You can use store-bought marinara sauce or make your own.  Here is one of my favorite sauce recipes from Giada.  It is packed with veggies and flavor!

This recipe is a bit involved as you need to prepare the ingredients and let them sit over night.  It’s worth the wait…trust me :)

Mum Mum's Vegan Meatballs ~gluten free option~

Ok, enough talking…here it is!

Mum Mum's Vegan Meatballs ~gluten free option~

mum mum's meatballs ~vegan, gluten free~
Makes 14-16 meatballs
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound fresh white mushrooms, very finely chopped (around 6 cups)
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ cup finely chopped onion
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ cup quick-cooking oats (GF if needed)
  • ½ cup bread crumbs (GF if needed)
  • ¼ cup flat-leaf (Italian) parsley, chopped
  • 2 "eggs" (2 tablespoons chia or ground flax seeds mixed with 6 tablespoons water, set aside for a few minutes so gel can form)
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • ⅛ - ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • (for a non-vegan option, use real eggs and add 1 ounce of shredded parmesan cheese)
  • 4 cups of marinara sauce
  • pasta of your choice
  1. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and season with salt. Cook until golden brown and all liquid has been evaporated.
  2. Add chopped onion and cook until onion is translucent. Add garlic, stir and cook until fragrant. Transfer mixture to a mixing bowl.
  3. Mix in oats (cheese if desired), bread crumbs, parsley, "eggs," sea salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, and oregano. Mix well until combined. If pressed, mixture should hold together.
  4. Cover bowl and refrigerate overnight.
  5. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  6. Measure out 2 tablespoons of mixture and roll into balls. Place on lined baking sheet.
  7. Bake until meatballs are lightly golden brown, around 20-25 minutes depending on your oven.
  8. Bring marinara sauce to a boil in a large saucepan; reduce heat to low. Gently stir meatballs into sauce until coated. Simmer meatballs in sauce until cooked through, 45 minutes to 1 hour. (this step is really important...don't skip!)
  9. Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package.
  10. Serve meatballs and sauce over cooked pasta.
  11. Enjoy!

Mum Mum's Vegan Meatballs ~gluten free option~

We’ve made these a few times and learned a few things along the way…

-Make sure you chop the mushrooms very, very fine.

-Don’t skip the cayenne pepper.  You don’t need to add much, just a hint!

-Bake them until a little crispy on the bottom for a more savory flavor.

-Make a double batch as they disappear quickly!

Mum Mum's Vegan Meatballs ~gluten free option~

This is a perfect way to introduce a plant-based meal to a meat-eating crew on meatless monday!