Category Archives: Recipes

Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai

Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai

Pad Thai is a very popular Thai dish traditionally made with rice noodles. This recipe replaces the rice noodles with spaghetti squash, replacing refined grains with a nutritious vegetable. Spaghetti squash also has about 5 times less calories than most noodles or pasta! This recipe is based off of an authentic Pad Thai recipe from Basil Cookery School in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

 

Here are some possible substitutions. You can use more authentic ingredients if you can find them – check international markets:

  • Use rice noodles instead of spaghetti squash – but it won’t be as healthy! Or replace 1/2 of the spaghetti squash with rice noodles
  • Use oyster sauce instead of tamari/soy sauce
  • Use 2 tablespoons of tamarind paste instead of lime juice and brown sugar. This is a very unique flavor that is critical to authentic pad Thai.
  • To make this dish vegetarian, substitute the fish sauce for tamari/soy sauce or another fish sauce alternative and do not substitute oyster sauce for tamari/soy sauce.
  • To make this dish vegan, make it vegetarian (above) and omit the eggs.

Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai

Serves 4
Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 50 minutes
Total time 1 hour
Dietary Diabetic
Meal type Main Dish
Adapted from an authentic Pad Thai recipe from Thailand, this recipe replaces rice noodles with spaghetti squash, which has about 5 times less calories!

Ingredients

  • 1 spaghetti squash
  • 14oz firm or extra firm tofu
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
  • 2 tablespoons shallots, minced
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup carrots, shredded
  • 1 cup bean sprouts
  • 1/4 cup reduced sodium tamari or soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar

Optional

  • 1/4 cup green onions, sliced
  • crushed peanuts
  • lime wedges

Directions

Step 1
Preheat oven to 400°F. Cut spaghetti squash in half and scoop out the seeds with a spoon. Brush with 1 tablespoon oil and roast on a baking sheet, cut side down, for 35-45 minutes, or until tender. Set aside to cool.
Step 2
Meanwhile, drain tofu and cut in half lengthwise. Place slices between towels and place a heavy item such as a cast iron pan on top to press out excess moisture. Let sit for 10-15 minutes.
Step 3
Once spaghetti squash has cooled, use a fork to shred the flesh into strands. Set aside.
Step 4
Heat a wok or large skillet over medium heat. Add remaining oil, then shallots and garlic. Cook until fragrant, 30-60 seconds.
Step 5
Add tofu to pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until most sides are browned, about 8 minutes.
Step 6
Push tofu to one side of the pan and crack eggs into the open space. Stir until cooked, then add spaghetti squash, carrots, and bean sprouts. Stir and cook for 1-2 minutes or until sprouts start to wilt.
Step 7
Mix tamari or soy sauce, fish sauce, lime juice, and brown sugar. Add to pan and stir to coat everything. Remove from heat and add optional garnishes.

Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai

2-Ingredient Crispy Rice Bars

2-Ingredient Crispy Rice Candy Bars | Healthier gift, vegan, vegetarian, plant-based, gluten-free, dairy-free

These bars make a fun and healthi-er gift. They are very easy to make – all you have to do is melt chocolate and stir in cereal. They can be made vegan and/or gluten-free if you check the ingredients on the chocolate and cereal. If these need to be made gluten-free, be extra careful to check the cereal as some rice cereal is sweetened with malt syrup, which is made from barley, a gluten-containing grain.

2-Ingredient Crispy Rice Bars

Serves 12 - 14
Prep time 5 minutes
Cook time 5 minutes
Total time 10 minutes
Dietary Gluten Free, Vegan
Meal type Dessert
Misc Child Friendly, Freezable
These 2-ingredient candy bars are very easy to make and can be made vegan and gluten-free. They make a great edible gift!

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1 1/2 cup crisped brown rice cereal

Directions

Step 1
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
Step 2
Melt the chocolate in a double boiler, stirring constantly until melted. Alternatively, heat the chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl in 30 seconds increments, stir, and repeat until melted.
Step 3
Gently stir in cereal and mix until all of the cereal is coated.
Step 4
Pour the cereal mixture onto the prepared baking sheet and spread into a square in an even layer. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes or until firm.
Step 5
Place the parchment paper and bars on a cutting board. Cut the square in half and then cut into smaller bars. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

 

There are many options for ingredients that you may use, but if you’d like to know the exact brands used in these photos, see below.

2-Ingredient Crispy Rice Candy Bars | Healthier gift, vegan, vegetarian, plant-based, gluten-free, dairy-free

I used Barbara’s Organic Brown Rice Crisps cereal, which was labelled vegan and gluten free (“Verified to contain less than 20 ppm gluten”) at the time I bought it. It contained 1g sugar per 1 cup serving and was sweetened with organic fruit juice concentrate (pear or apple).

For the chocolate, I used Pascha Organic Dark Chocolate Chips, 55% Cacao, Semi-Sweet. It was “allergen-friendly,” vegan, and gluten-free.

Eggplant Lasagna Rolls (from Minimalist Baker)

Eggplant Lasagna Rolls | Healthy, vegan, vegetarian, plant-based, gluten-free, dairy-free

This recipe is straight from Minimalist Baker, an amazing recipe resource. People that dislike both tofu and eggplant have said they liked this recipe. You will be amazed how much the tofu tastes like ricotta. This recipe is much healthier than typical lasagna, which is made with refined grains (noodles), lots of dairy (cheese), and not much vegetables. With this recipe, you get at least a couple servings of vegetables along with some plant-based protein. It is also easier to make (and eat) rolls rather than a whole layered eggplant lasagna.

 

Eggplant Lasagna Rolls (from Minimalist Baker)

Serves 4
Prep time 30 minutes
Cook time 45 minutes
Total time 1 hours, 15 minutes
Dietary Diabetic, Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Meal type Main Dish
Website Minimalist Baker
An easier approach to lasagna made of vegetables. Completely plant-based and free of refined grains!

Ingredients

  • 2 eggplants, sliced into 12 1/4 inch slices lengthwise
  • 2 lemons, juiced (about 1/3 cup)
  • 12oz extra firm tofu, drained and pressed for 10 minutes
  • 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 3-4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2-3 cups marinara sauce

vegan parmesan (Optional)

  • 1/4 cup raw cashews
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • pinch garlic powder

Directions

Step 1
Preheat oven to 425°F.
Step 2
Salt eggplant slices and let sit for 15 minutes to release the bitter juices. Rinse and lay to dry between two towels with something heavy on top to press out excess moisture.
Step 3
Arrange eggplant slices on 1-2 baking sheets in a single layer and bake for 13-15 minutes. Set aside and lower oven temperature to 375°F.
Step 4
To make vegan parmesan, pulse cashews, nutritional yeast, salt and garlic powder until the cashews are finely minced.
Step 5
To make tofu ricotta, combine tofu, 1/4 cup vegan parmesan (optional), nutritional yeast, basil, lemon juice, oregano, olive oil, salt and pepper in a food processor. Pulse until it resembles ricotta cheese. Adjust flavors if necessary.
Step 6
Pour about 1 cup of marinara into a casserole dish. Scoop about 1/3 cup of tofu mixture into each eggplant slice and roll up. Place into the casserole dish seam side down and repeat with remaining eggplant. Pour more marinara over the top.
Step 7
Bake for 15-23 minutes or until sauce is bubbly and eggplant is starting to brown. Serve with optional extra vegan parmesan and fresh basil leaves.
Eggplant Lasagna Rolls | Healthy, vegan, vegetarian, plant-based, gluten-free, dairy-free

 

Grilled Portabello with Avocado Chimichurri

Portabello Steaks with Avocado Chimichurri | Healthy, easy, no added sugar, vegan, vegetarian, plant-based, gluten-free, dairy-free | Guess Who's Cooking

This recipe is adapted from Minimalist Baker, which has tons of truly amazing recipes! Chimichurri is a flavorful Argentinian sauce typically served with grilled beef. This completely plant-based recipe pairs a healthier “steak” with this healthy topping. The sauce can also be prepared in a food processor for a smoother result.

Grilled Portabello with Avocado Chimichurri

Serves 4
Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 10 minutes
Total time 20 minutes
Dietary Diabetic, Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Meal type Appetizer, Side Dish, Starter
Occasion Barbecue
Region South American
This recipe is adapted from Minimalist Baker, which has tons of truly amazing recipes! Chimichurri is a flavorful Argentinian sauce typically served with grilled beef. This completely plant-based recipe pairs a healthier "steak" with this healthy topping. The sauce can also be prepared in a food processor for a smoother result.

Ingredients

  • 4 portabello mushrooms (stems removed)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Chimichurri

  • 1 cup avocado (cubed)
  • 1 cup fresh parsley (minced)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon garlic (minced)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Directions

Step 1
Toss mushrooms with olive oil and salt. To broil: place mushrooms gill side up on baking sheet and place under broiler for about 5 minutes on each side, or until tender. To grill: place mushrooms gill side up on preheated grill and grill each side for about 5 minutes or until tender.
Chimichurri
Step 2
In a medium bowl, combine avocado, parsley, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt, pepper, and red pepper. Top mushrooms with chimichurri and serve.

Portabello Steaks with Avocado Chimichurri | Healthy, easy, no added sugar, vegan, vegetarian, plant-based, gluten-free, dairy-free | Guess Who's Cooking

 

 

Portabello Steaks with Avocado Chimichurri | Healthy, easy, no added sugar, vegan, vegetarian, plant-based, gluten-free, dairy-free | Guess Who's Cooking

 

Grilled Peaches and Pineapple

Grilled Peaches and PineapplePhoto credit: Peter Ma

Grilling fruit caramelizes it for a crisp and sweet outside and a warm and tender inside. It also brings out the natural sweetness, so no added sugar is required! Try it as an appetizer, a side dish, or a dessert with your next barbecue.

Grilled Peaches and Pineapple

Serves 6
Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 10 minutes
Total time 20 minutes
Dietary Diabetic, Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Meal type Appetizer, Dessert, Side Dish
Misc Serve Hot
Occasion Barbecue
Grilling fruit caramelizes it for a crisp and sweet outside and a warm and tender inside. It also brings out the natural sweetness, so no added sugar is required!

Ingredients

  • 4 peaches
  • 1 pineapple
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil

Optional

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

Directions

Step 1
Preheat grill. Meanwhile, cut peaches in half and remove the pit. Cut the peel off the pineapple and cut into spears.
Step 2
Toss peach halves and pineapple spears with canola oil. Optional: Toss pineapple with cinnamon.
Step 3
Grill peaches and pineapple on both sides, until there are golden brown grill marks. Serve warm.
Step 4
Optional: drizzle balsamic vinegar over the peaches.

 

Grilled Peaches and Pineapple
Photo credit: Peter Ma

Vegan Bananas Foster

Vegan Bananas Foster | Guess Who's Cooking | Healthier, vegan, plant-based, low sugar, dairy-free, gluten-free

This lower-sugar and vegan version of bananas foster maintains the most satisfying part of the dessert – warm bananas over a creamy and frozen dessert. To make it more authentic, you could use more oil and sugar to make more sauce. A mixture of sugar and molasses could be used in place of brown sugar. Banana liqueur would also be a nice touch – add when you add the rum.

Most recipes call for 1/4 – 1/2 cup sugar for the bananas, not to mention the sugar in the ice cream. This recipe has only 1 tablespoon of added sugar total, or 12.5-25% of the sugar of a typical recipe (again, not including the sugar in the ice cream).

If possible, use over-ripe bananas for the “ice cream” and under-ripe bananas to cook.

 

Vegan Bananas Foster

Serves 2
Dietary Diabetic, Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Meal type Dessert
This recipe is a lower sugar and vegan version of a delicious dessert. Frozen bananas can be kept in your freezer to make this quick recipe anytime.

Ingredients

  • 4 bananas
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil (or other cooking oil)
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons dark rum
  • 1 cup unsweetened soy milk (or other milk alternative)

Directions

Step 1
Slice 2 bananas and place in a single layer on a plate. Freeze overnight or until almost frozen solid.
Step 2
Slice remaining bananas in half lengthwise, then crosswise. Melt coconut oil and sugar in a small nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Add bananas. Cook, stirring occasionally, until bananas are caramelized and tender. Add rum and let simmer, or flambe by carefully lighting with a long-reach lighter or tilting towards a gas stove flame.
Step 3
In a small blender, blend frozen bananas with soy milk, starting with 1/4 cup, adding more soy milk 1 tablespoon at a time, until it is well blended and smooth.
Step 4
Divide frozen banana mixture into two bowls and top with warm banana mixture and serve.

Tahini Cucumber Noodles

Cucumber Tahini Bowl

Put a twist on traditional salad and enjoy it in the form of “noodles!” With all the components of a salad (raw vegetables, dressing, and a healthy protein), this recipe is hearty enough to fill you up but light enough to keep you from feeling sluggish. It is a perfect meal to make ahead and bring to work or school for lunch.

Recipe inspired by Inspiralized.

Tahini Cucumber Noodles

Serves 4
Prep time 20 minutes
Cook time 30 minutes
Total time 50 minutes
Dietary Diabetic, Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Meal type Lunch, Main Dish
Misc Pre-preparable, Serve Cold
Website Inspiralized
Put an exciting *spin* on traditional salad and turn it into "noodles"! Simple combine cucumber, carrots, tofu and a delicious creamy dressing for a tasty lunch or dinner.

Ingredients

  • 1 14-ounce package firm tofu, drained
  • 2 tablespoons reduced sodium tamari or soy sauce
  • 3 English cucumbers (about 6 cups)
  • 2 carrots, peeled (about 1 cup)
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 stalks green onion, sliced (for garnish)

Directions

Step 1
Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Step 2
Cut tofu into 3 slices and place between two towels. Place a heavy object such as a cast iron skillet on top to squeeze out the moisture and let sit for 15 minutes, if possible.
Step 3
Cut tofu into cubes and toss with tamari. Let sit for 15 minutes, if possible. Place tofu cubes on baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes, turning once, or until slightly crisp on the outside.
Step 4
Meanwhile, use a spiral slicer to cut the cucumber and carrots into noodles. Alternatively, use a julienne peeler to cut vegetables into long strips.
Step 5
In a small blender or food processor, combine remaining ingredients to make the dressing. Add more water, 1 tablespoon at a time, if necessary, to reach desired consistency. The dressing should be thin enough to pour but not too watery. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Step 6
In 4 bowls, divide the cucumber, carrots, and tofu. Toss with dressing and serve cold. Garnish with green onion (and sesame seeds if desired).
Step 7
If making this recipe ahead of time for individual meals, portion out the vegetables and tofu into containers. Before serving, pour out any excess water that has been released from the cucumbers. Store the dressing separately and combine just prior to serving.

Cucumber Tahini Bowl

Cucumber Tahini Bowl

Lemon Garlic Zucchini Noodles

 

Lemon Garlic Zucchini NoodlesThis quick meal can be whipped up in about 15 minutes. Other than a spiral slicer, you could also use a julienne peeler or the grater attachment on a food processor. This recipe is completely plant-based without any animal products, but the combination of vegetables, beans and healthy fat will satisfy your appetite.

Optional additions include pine nuts, sauteed spinach, or cherry tomatoes.

Lemon Garlic Zucchini Noodles

Serves 4
Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 5 minutes
Total time 15 minutes
Dietary Diabetic, Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Meal type Lunch, Main Dish
This plant-based entree can be ready in about 15 minutes. It contains no refined grains, no animal products, and doesn't contain any of the top 8 common allergens.

Ingredients

  • 6 cups zucchini, spiral sliced (2-3 zucchinis)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 3/4 cup white beans (or 15 ounce can, rinsed and drained)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Step 1
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Step 2
Add zucchini and cook for 1-2 minutes or until just tender, stirring often. Stir in beans and remove from heat. Add lemon juice, lemon zest, salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

Bulgogi Mushrooms

Bulgogi Mushrooms

Traditional bulgogi is a popular Korean dish of thinly sliced marinated beef that is usually grilled, but often stir-fried in home cooking. This simple recipe replaces the meat with vegan-friendly yet meaty-textured portabello mushrooms.

If you need this recipe to be gluten-free, be sure to use tamari or soy sauce that says gluten-free on the label. If you do not use reduced sodium soy sauce, use about 2 tablespoons instead of 1/4 cup and add an extra 2 tablespoons of water, or else it will taste way too salty.

 

Bulgogi Mushrooms

Serves 4-6
Prep time 2 hours, 10 minutes
Cook time 5 minutes
Total time 2 hours, 15 minutes
Dietary Diabetic, Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Meal type Main Dish, Side Dish
Traditional bulgogi is a popular Korean dish of thinly sliced marinated beef that is usually grilled, but often stir-fried in home cooking. This simple recipe replaces the meat with vegan-friendly yet meaty-textured portabello mushrooms.

Ingredients

  • 1lb portabello mushrooms (sliced)
  • 1/4 cup reduced sodium soy sauce or tamari
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 2 green onions (thinly sliced)
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon gochujang
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 4 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 teaspoon ginger (minced)

Directions

Step 1
Combine marinade ingredients and add sliced mushrooms. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours.
Step 2
Heat a skillet over high heat. Drain the sauce from the mushrooms, reserving leftover sauce, and place mushrooms into the pan. Stir occasionally until tender, about 5 minutes.
Step 3
If desired, use leftover sauce as a dipping sauce for another dish. Serve in a lettuce wrap, in a taco, or with Korean side dishes.

Zucchini Breadsticks

Zucchini Breadsticks | guesswhoscooking.com | Healthy, vegetarian, dairy-free, low carb, cheesy without cheese, and can be made gluten-free

Craving cheesy breadsticks? Although this recipe won’t fool anyone, it is a fun and tasty way to dip something bready and even somewhat cheesy into marinara sauce. It is made with whole, real foods, including vegetables, whole grains or nuts (depending on your choice of flour) and eggs. It is free of refined grains and dairy, and can be made without gluten or grains by using almond meal.

Zucchini Breadsticks

Serves 4
Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 27 minutes
Total time 37 minutes
Dietary Diabetic, Vegetarian
Meal type Appetizer, Bread, Side Dish, Snack, Starter
Swap out the flour for summer squash to make cheesy-tasting breadsticks that are much lower in calories and starch. A very tasty way to eat your veggies!

Ingredients

  • 4 yellow crookneck squash or zucchini
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup almond meal or whole wheat flour
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

Directions

Step 1
Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and brush with olive oil.
Step 2
Cut the squash into 1 inch chunks, which should yield about 6 cups. Place half the squash into a food processor and pulse until it is finely chopped, but not mushy. Transfer to a large bowl and repeat with remaining squash.
Step 3
Squeeze some of the liquid out of the squash. When finished, it should yield about 4 cups of squash. Whisk eggs and add to squash. Add flour, nutritional yeast, salt, and garlic powder.
Step 4
Spread squash mixture onto prepared baking sheet and form into an even, thin layer, about 1/4 inch thick. Sprinkle with oregano. Bake for 25 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Move pan to top rack and broil for about 2 minutes or until top is golden brown.
Step 5
Place a large cutting board on top of the baking sheet and carefully flip it over to move the breadsticks to the cutting board. Cut in half lengthwise, then cut into 1-inch strips. Serve with warm marinara sauce.

 

Zucchini Breadsticks | guesswhoscooking.com | Healthy, vegetarian, dairy-free, low carb, cheesy without cheese, and can be made gluten-free
After pulsing in the food processor, squash should be finely chopped but not too small
Zucchini Breadsticks | guesswhoscooking.com | Healthy, vegetarian, dairy-free, low carb, cheesy without cheese, and can be made gluten-free
Form into an even layer before baking

 

Zucchini Breadsticks | guesswhoscooking.com | Healthy, vegetarian, dairy-free, low carb, cheesy without cheese, and can be made gluten-free