>green bean cherry tomato salad



i whipped this salad together to go with a spanish potato soup that my husband made for me.  this is a crispy refreshing dish that can be eaten alone or as a side dish.


  • 2 pounds thin green beans cut into 2-inch pieces (4 cups)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 pound cherry tomatoes, halved (2 cups)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp parsley 


In a large saucepan of lightly salted boiling water, cook the green beans uncovered for 7 to 9 minutes or until tender. Drain and rinse in cold water. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, mustard, lime juice and salt. Pour the dressing over the green beans and toss well. Fold in the tomatoes and chopped parsley, then add pepper to taste.
To make up to 2 days ahead, prepare and store separately in the refrigerator: green beans, dressing and tomatoes. Combine up to 3 hours before serving.

>vegan pineapple upside down cupcakes

over the weekend i was in sd hanging out with my family. had a fun time baking pineapple upside down cupcakes with my nieces.


For the batter:
6 Tbs Vegan Butter or Margarine
1/2 cup Vanilla Soy Milk
1 cup Flour (i used whole wheat)
1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1/4 tsp Salt
1/3 cup Applesauce
3/4 cup Sugar
1/4 tsp Vanilla Extract

For the topping:
6 Tbs Vegan Butter or Margarine
3/4 cup of Brown Sugar (but I’m sure you could also use a raw/natural sugar)
6 Cherries
1 (20-ounce) can Pineapple Rings


1) Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray oil in each cup of a 12-cup muffin pan.
2) Melt the butter and milk for the batter in a saucepan over medium heat stirring occasionally. When the butter is melted, remove from heat to cool.
3) Meanwhile, prepare the pineapple topping, by putting 1/2 tablespoon of butter into each cup of a 12-cup muffin pan. Evenly sprinkle 1 tablespoon brown sugar over bottom of each cup. Place pan in oven until butter melts (about 3 minutes).
4) Cut the cherries in half, and cut the pineapple rings in quarters. Place a cherry half, sliced side up, in the center of each cup and lay a pineapple quarter on each side. Press the fruit down gently.
5) In a medium-size bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt, and stir with a fork until blended. In a large bowl, whisk together the applesauce, sugar, and vanilla extract until mixed well. Add flour mixture to the applesauce/sugar mixture, and stir until the flour is incorporated. Add the milk/butter mixture and stir well to make a smooth batter.
6) Poor the batter into each cup of the muffin pan. Bake the cupcakes until they are lightly brown, dry around the edges, and pulling away from the pan – about 25 minutes.
7) Transfer the pan to a rack to cool for 5 minutes. Loosen each cupcake carefully by running a butter knife around the edges. Place a cookie sheet over the top, and invert pan, moving the cupcakes to the cookie sheet (pineapple on top…as is an upside-down cake). Cool completely.

** recipe adapted from http://vegweb.com/index.php?topic=28981.0)

>10 minute "accidental" spinach soup


getting ready for our trip down to sd for the weekend and cleaning up the apt before we leave… i realized that i hadn’t eaten dinner yet and it was already 9pm. my quick and easy go to meals are usually pasta dishes or trader joe fixtures. this is what i usually turn to for dinner during my monthurs work week.

tonight i was craving for pasta. i decided to cook a simple vegan pesto spaghetti. as i was cooking, i wanted to add some veges to the pasta. i noticed i had a bag of frozen spinach in my freezer. i chopped up some garlic and sauteed a half a bag of frozen spinach. instead of adding the spinach to my pasta… i randomly decided to create some kind of spinach soup. earlier this evening i came across a can of tomato paste as i was cleaning out my pantry and figured i can use that as a base. when i walked into the pantry to grab the tomato paste, i saw a can of trader joe’s tomato bisque soup…. perfecto! my accidental spinach soup was born.

3 cloves of minced garlic
1/2 cup of sliced white onion
1 tbl of olive oil
2 cups of vegetable broth
10 oz frozen or fresh spinach
1 80z can of trader joe tomato bisque soup
a pinch of the following- thyme, oregano, red pepper flakes.
salt and pepper to taste
parsley for garnish

1. on medium heat, saute garlic then add spinach.
2. add vegetable broth and the rest of the ingredients. simmer on medium heat for 10-20 minutes.
3. add salt and pepper to taste. garnish with parsley and vegan parmesan cheese.
4. enjoy

* use a can of diced tomatoes or tomato soup instead of tomato bisque.
* add beans, potatoes, carrots, etc. be as creative as you want! this is a pretty versatile soup.

**vegan pesto spaghetti also show in photo**

>korean kalbi tofu & korean mung bean sprout side dish

>when i used to eat meat, i LOVED LOVED LOVED korean bbq and all the different side dishes (banchan) the meal would come with. korean grilled dishes is known as kalbi and is usually marinated beef ribs that are grilled on an open fire. for dinner tonight, i had my version of kalbi. the only thing this dish is missing is kimchee of course!

kalbi ingredients
8 oz of tofu
2 tbs brown sugar
3 tbs shoya soy sauce
2 tbs toasted sesame seeds
1tbs sesame oil
2 tsp minced garlic
1 tbs rice vinegar
2 tbs chopped green onions
2 tbs chopped ginger
1 tsp pineapple juice


  • cut tofu into 1/4 inch slices and place in a large mixing bowl or large zip lock bag
  • Prepare the marinade in a separate bowl. mix together all of the ingredients.
  • pour marinade and evenly cover tofu. leave in refrigerator and marinade for 2-5 hours.
  • cook on a skillet, grill, or pan fry. i usually cook the tofu for about 2-3 mins on each side.

korean mung bean sprout ingredients
4 cups of bean spouts
5 cups of water
2 tbs chopped green onions
1 tbs minced garlic
1 tsp sesame seeds
1 tbs sesame oil
1 tsp kosher salt


  • boil water in a pot. add bean sprouts and cook for 4-5 mins.
  • strain bean sprouts and run through cold water 5 times
  • squeeze out excess water and place in a mixing bowl.
  • add all the ingredients and mix well. i like to use my hands to mix everything all up.
  • chill and serve as a side dish.

Afritada (filipino stew)

Afritada is a Filipino dish that reminds me of a stew. it’s usually made with chicken or beef. after taking a bite out of this dish, you can definitely taste the Spanish influence on Philippine cuisine.

For lunch today I cooked up a Filipino stew called Afritada.  It’s usually made with peas, potatoes, bell peppers, carrots, and meat.  This is my go to meal when I’m craving for Filipino food.  I usually cook this dish with tofu but today, I used Gardein “chicken”.  Rather than your typical tofu protein mock meat, it’s  made with veges. I have to say, Gardein is pretty delicious. I also used a purple potato to add more color to the dish.

>sauteed bok choy

a quick and simple dish that will definitely fill you up.

2 bundles of fresh bok choy
3 gloves of minced garlic
1 1/2 tbl of vegetarian stir fry sauce
2 tsp of peanut oil
1 tbl water
salt and black pepper (you can also use chinese 5 spice)

1) heat peanut oil and saute minced garlic on medium heat for about 30 secs.
2) add bok choy, vegetarian sauce and water. stir fry for about 3 mins. add salt and pepper to taste.

** note**
you can purchase vegetarian stir fry sauce at any asian supermarket. i used the lee kum kee brand.

>szechuan hot and sour soup


last night for dinner i was craving soup. i was looking in my Vegan Planet cook book and hot and sour soup sounded yummy. my meal needed another dish. i figured i’d stick to with the chinese dish theme and cook something easy…sauteed bok choy…yup, quick and simple.

hot and sour soup
** adapted from vegan planet cookbook**


1/2 cup of shitake mushrooms
1 cup of canned or fresh sliced bamboo shoot
4 tsp peanut oil
8 oz extra firm tofu, drained and cut into strips
2 garlic clove
1 tbl minced ginger
4 cups of vegetable stock
2 tblspn soy sauce
2 tblspn rice vinegar
1/2 tsp sugar
2 tsp chili paste (i like my soup spicy)
1 tsp of cornstarch dissolved in
2 tsp of water
1 tblspn sesame oil
2 tbl chopped scallions
1 tbl chopped cilantro
salt and black pepper

1. in a large pot, heat 2 tsp of peanut oil and cook tofu until golden brown on both sides, and set aside.
2. in the same pot, heat the remaining 2 tsp of peanut oil(medium heat) and saute garlic and ginger for 30 secs.
3. add stock, soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, and chili paste. bring to boil over high heat then reduce to medium to simmer.
4. add tofu, bamboo shoot, and mushrooms and simmer for about 5 mins.
5. remove pot from heat and add the remainder of the ingredients- sesame oil, scallions, cilantro, and salt and pepper to taste.

>thai salad with peanut dressing



  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon chopped green onion
  • 1 tablespoon reduced-fat peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon grated peeled fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce (Sriracha Rooster sauce)
  • 1 teaspoon dark sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons dry roasted peanuts

to prepare dressing, combine the first 8 ingredients in a blender; cover and process until smooth. add peanuts; process 10 seconds.


  • 2 cups mixed baby greens
  • 1/2 cup fresh bean sprout
  • 2 tablespoons vertically sliced red onions
  • 2 tablespoons fresh mint leaves
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves

to prepare salad, divide greens and remaining ingredients evenly between 2 serving plates. drizzle each salad with 1/4 cup dressing.

**note: recipe adapted from recipezaar.com**