favorite vegan tomato soup

favorite vegan tomato soup

Simple yet delicious tomato soup.  Pair with a salad,  sandwich or eat solo.

  • 1 large can crushed tomatoes 
  • 3 cups of vegetable broth
  • 1 small onion finely chopped
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic finely chopped 
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 2 bay leaves 
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon of pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon of sugar

In a large pot, saute onions and garlic for about 5 minutes in olive oil.  Add the crushed tomatoes, vegetable broth, bay leaves and salt.  Bring to  boil and then cover soup and lower temperature to simmer for 20 -30 minutes. Add sugar and pepper. Too add a little more flavor and a slightly creamier texture, add 1 tbsp butter which would make  it non-vegan but still vegetarian.  Sometimes a little extra touch goes a long way in taste.

Soup goes great with a spring mix or spinach salad  topped with chickpeas for plant-based protein.

Favorite canned crushed tomatoes


Favorite vegetable broth



flaxseed meal for egg substitute

flaxseed meal for egg substitute

Flaxseed meal is an excellent substitute for eggs in baked goods. Recently, I was making whole grain banana and pumpkin bread for holiday gifts and was out of eggs.  I subsituted flaxseed meal for the eggs and it was delicious and ended up being 100% vegan too.  flax-seed-egg-replacer-2

For each egg, combine  1 tablespoon flaxseed meal in 3 tablespoons of water, mix and allow to sit for about  5 minutes until thickens. Add to recipe for an egg substitute.

Bob’s Red Mill flaxseed meal is one of my favorites.  Available at health food stores, Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods and most grocery stores. Be sure to refrigerate once packaged is open.

favorite whole grain flatbread 

favorite whole grain flatbread 

I recently came across this delicious Middle Eastern flatbread from Bonterra Market, located in Egg Harbor Township, N.J.  I have used it for wraps, as a base for homemade pizza and also just toasted plain on the side of a salad or for dipping with hummus.

What I like about it:

  • Whole wheat ingredients
  • Minimal number of ingredients 
  • Can pronounce all of the ingredients
  • The taste
  • Variety of uses
  • Can be frozen 
  • The price ($2.79 for 4 large flatbreads)
  • Passed the 3 kids tastebuds taste 

    Flatbreads and tortilla wraps are great for sandwiches, soups and salads, but so many have lots of unhealthy ingredients. Give this one a try. When choosing a flatbread or tortilla wrap look for one with whole wheat or whole grain as main ingredient and just a few other ingredients that  you can pronounce. 

    june tip: swap in almond milk

    june tip: swap in almond milk

    This month, if you have not tried almond milk, give it a shot.  My favorite almond milk is Califia Farms Pure Vanilla Almond Milk.  It is very creamy with a subtle sweetness and only has 3 grams of sugar for 8 ounces.  It is also non GMO verified and carrageenan free. The safety of carrageenan has been questioned over the years so while the debate continues I prefer to play it safe and avoid it.almonds

    Why swap in plant-based milk? Cow’s milk has  been linked to elevated body inflammation, mucous production and digestive issues.  Research has shown that animal dairy has little or no benefit for bones. Regardless of all of the controversy surrounding dairy, I personally feel better when I am dairy-free and that is enough proof for me.

    So for the month of June, try almond milk with your steel cut oatmeal or add it to a fruit smoothie and consider the brand Califia.

    may tip: skip the fish oils & swap in flaxseed 

    may tip: skip the fish oils & swap in flaxseed 

    With all of the hype about the benefits of salmon, many people take fish oil capsules to  reap the benefits.  Yes, salmon is an excellent source of omega 3 essential fatty acids BUT an awesome plant- based source is flaxseed meal. 1-2 tablespoons per day provides enough omega 3’s PLUS fiber and lignans.  Lignans are an amazing phytohemical that fight inflammation in the body.  Chronic inflammation is linked to diabetes, heart disease, autoimmune diseases and certain cancers. 

    Skip the fish oil supplement which is a processed source of omega 3’s and swap in  flaxseed meal, a natural source. Bob’s Red Mill flaxseed meal is my favorite. If use flax seeds, be sure to ground  before consumption for digestive purposes and refrigerate. 

    Ideas to add flaxseed meal to food:

    1. Add to a Smoothie
    2. Sprinkle on a mixed  green salad
    3. Top Oatmeal
    4. Sprinkle on Cereal
    5. Mix in with a stir-fry
    6. Top steamed veggies
    7. Mix in with brown rice and beans  
    8. Add to baked goods

    chickpea & broccoli pita sandwich

    chickpea & broccoli pita sandwich

    My favorite recipe blog, Cookie & Kate, posted a new recipe this week which I absolutely love.  Lemony broccoli, chickpea & avocado pita sandwich.  I have already prepared it twice in the past 2 days. Some of the ingredients include broccoli, chickpeas, tomatoes, lemon, garlic and red onion.  Of course fresh beans are preferred but to save time, canned beans are a great second option. I prefer the brand Eden Organic for canned beans.   The beans taste fresh, are very low in sodium and the can is BPA free.

    This recipe is so simple to prepare and perfect to bring to lunch for work.  My IMG_1220-0sandwich looked so good it actually looked ALMOST  (not exactly, but close, haha)  like the photo below Follow this link for the recipe:  Lemony broccoli, chickpea & avocado pita sandwich.


    Asian soba noodles with shredded veggies & recipe

    Asian soba noodles with shredded veggies & recipe

    Recently tried Explore Asian soba noodles sautéed with shredded red & green cabbage, kale, carrots and green onions  and thought it was quite tasty. So simple to prepare with pre-shredded vegetables. I purchased a crispy cole slaw and kale mix from Whole Foods, but any pre-shredded cabbage, broccoli slaw, etc. from the grocery store will work. 



    4 ounces soba noodles

    4 cups plus of shredded cabbage,  carrots, etc.

    1 Tablespoon of low- sodium Tamari

    1 teaspoon of sesame oil

    1 tsp minced garlic

    1 teaspoon of sugar dissolved in 1 tablespoon of water

    1 tsp of olive oil ( or can use veggie stock or water to sauté veggies)

    Few toasted sesame seeds 

    Cook soba noodles and set aside. Mix soy sauce, sesame oil and sugar dissolved in water and set aside. Saute’ Olivia oil and garlic preferably in wok and add shredded veggies.  Lightly Saute if preferred crispy. Add cooked soba noodles, and soy sauce mixture.  Toss gently, top with a few sesame seeds and serve.  1-2 servings.