Recipe: Shredded Broccoli Salad

This recipe is one of those mystical, magical gems that is both easy to make and addicting.

Ingredients

1/2 red onion
1 head of broccoli
1/2 c dried cranberries
1/2 c sliced almonds
1/2 c sunflower seeds
1/4 c Organic Vegenaise
1 T lemon juice
1 T rice vinegar
1 T sugar
1 t sea salt
black pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Using the grater disc in a food processor, shred onion and broccoli, including the stalks.
  2. In a large bowl, toss together shredded mixture, cranberries, almonds, and sunflower seeds.
  3. Whisk together Vegenaise, lemon juice, vinegar, sugar, sea salt, and pepper.
  4. Pour dressing over broccoli mixture and stir to combine. For flavors to mingle, allow salad to sit for at least 30 minutes in the fridge before serving.

Adapted from Shredded Broccoli Salad.


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Recipe: Mango Salsa

Hello! Today I bring you a simple recipe. It is raw and vegan with a kick of spice balanced out by the sweetness of mango. Bonus: Rick the meateater loves this highly nutritious salsa. But first, there’s something I want to share.

Last semester I had a classmate who came to class one day not their typical, smiling self.

I asked them in private if everything was okay, and they responded, “Yeah, I’m just sad.”

“Oh! I understand that,” I said, familiar with the feeling. “I’m sorry,” I concluded, nodding with a soft smile. I turned my attention back to my own business and continued unpacking my belongings for class.

Later I realized how refreshed I was by their candor and admittance to simple sadness. I think so often we try to “fix” things for people or point out the silver-lining, but it’s so important to allow ourselves and each other to experience our full range of emotions without hindrance. Sadness is our minds exorcising something, and in that way I think it’s necessary to feel sad sometimes.

With that being said, I should be clear that sadness is not depression, but in the same vein as the situation described above, how cool would it be if we lived in a society where someone could ask a depressed person how they are and they could simply tell the truth without stigma, pity, or someone swan diving into their life to try to get them to “cheer up”?

Something to ponder…

Now, mango salsa:

Ingredients

2 ripe mangos, diced
1/2 orange bell pepper, chopped
1/2 c red onion, chopped
1/4 c packed fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
1 jalapeño, seeded and minced
1 large lime, juiced
1/2 t sea salt, more to taste

Instructions

  1. Combine ingredients into a bowl.
  2. Eat with chips, in cucumber boats, in tacos, or on salads.

Will keep in the fridge for about a week.

Adapted from Fresh Mango Salsa.

Recipe: Cauliflower Queso

Howdy! If you’ve visited or hail from the great state of Texas, you know that queso is a Tex Mex staple. If you don’t know, queso is Spanish for cheese and is also a liquidy, cheesy heaven of a dip. I’m here with a cauliflower(!) version so you can indulge your craving without guilt.

Ingredients

1/4 c raw cashews, soaked in hot water for one hour
2 T organic Earth Balance
1 yellow onion, diced
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
2 jalapeños, seeded and minced
1 large cauliflower head, chopped
1/2 c vegetable broth
1/3 c + 2-3 T coconut milk
2 sun-dried tomatoes
1/2 c nutritional yeast
1/2 t cumin
1/2 t chili powder
1/4 t turmeric
1/2 t sea salt, more to taste
tortilla chips or crudité for serving

Instructions

  1. Poor boiling water over cashews and allow to soak for one hour. Drain, rinse, and set aside.
  2. In a large skillet heat butter over medium heat. Add onions, garlic, and jalapeños and sauté for about six minutes, stirring occasionally. Then, remove about half of the onion/jalapeño mixture and set aside.
  3. Stir cauliflower and vegetable broth into the remaining half of onion/jalapeño mixture, cover, and reduce heat to low. Cook for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until cauliflower is tender.
  4. Add cauliflower mixture to a food processor or high-powered blender along with remaining ingredients, including cashews. Blend mixture until smooth. If too thick, add additional milk 1 T at a time until desired consistency is achieved.
  5. Taste queso and add more sea salt, if desired.
  6. Transfer queso to a large bowl and stir in remaining onions and jalapeños. If desired, top with fresh jalapeños or cilantro.
  7. Serve immediately with tortilla chips or crudité.

This recipe creates a vat of cauliflower queso. I advise freezing most of it in small portions and, when ready to eat, move from freezer to fridge 24 hours in advance and then reheat on the stove. Consume unfrozen queso (or incorporate it into another recipe calling for cheese sauce) within one week.

Super into cauliflower? Buy too much cauliflower for this recipe? Try one of these recipes:

Spiced Cauliflower with Feta
Roasted Garlic Cauliflower

Adapted from Vegan Cauliflower Queso.


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Recipe: Shepherd’s Pie

Special Announcement! Meat-eating Rick has released a statement to the media (me) that this is his new favorite recipe of mine, even trumping his beloved lasagna. He does not ~dish~ out compliments regarding my cooking liberally, so this is notable.

This recipe has some veggies but I think of it as vegan junk food because it has substitute products galore. I feel like vegan substitutes for animal products are great in a pinch or to satisfy a particular craving but aren’t great for day-to-day eating. The closer you can get to simply eating whole, plant-based foods the better, but everybody needs a comfort meal sometimes.

Ingredients

5 russet potatoes, peeled and diced
1/2 c vegan mayonnaise
1/2 c coconut milk
1/4 c + 2 T olive oil
3 T vegan cream cheese
2 t sea salt
1 large yellow onion, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1/2 c frozen peas
1 tomato, chopped
1 t Italian seasoning*
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 t black pepper to taste
~14 oz package vegan ground beef
1/2 c vegan shredded cheddar cheese

*The dry mix from my Crack Italian Dressing recipe works here, too.

Instructions

  1. In a large pot, cover potatoes in cold water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Turn heat down to medium-low and continue to boil the potatoes until tender, about 25 minutes. Drain potatoes in a colander and then replace them in the pot.
  2. Stir mayonnaise, milk, 1/4 c olive oil, cream cheese, and sea salt into the potatoes, mashing with a potato masher until smooth and fluffy. Set potatoes aside.
  3. Heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in onion, carrots, celery, peas, and tomato until mixture softens, about ten minutes.
  4. Stir Italian seasoning, garlic, and pepper into vegetable mix.
  5. Preheat oven to 400° F and lightly oil a two quart baking dish. Set aside.
  6. Reduce vegetable mix heat to medium-low and add vegan ground beef crumbles. Stir and break up the crumbles until mixture is hot, about five minutes.
  7. Spread meat / vegetable mixture into the bottom of the baking dish and top with mashed potatoes. Then, top mashed potatoes with cheese.
  8. Bake 20 minutes.

This recipe is super filling and hearty. Enjoy!

Serves 6-8.

Adapted from Traditional Style Vegan Shepherd’s Pie.


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Recipe: Roasted Tomato Basil and Rice Soup

Normalizing psychiatric care is vital and there are some things everyone should know. I’ve previously discussed stigma and today I wanna address…

Accessibility and Connectivity

Finding a psychiatrist you connect with is like dating, only the stakes are higher. Not only are you looking for someone you get along with personally, you’re searching for the right fit medicinally. You want to be in someone’s care who takes more than 20 minutes every 4-6 months to understand the inner-workings of your mind and know what meds would best compliment your brain chemistry. The consequences of faulty prescription can be lethal.

Couple this ideology with the fact that a new psychiatrist = a fresh emotional upheaval. You’re having to hash out and essentially relive everything that may be helpful for a doctor to know in order to assess your mental health needs. This requires a verbalized excavation of traumatic experiences and it is draining. If the psychiatrist isn’t a good fit, or you move away, or your financial situation changes, or anything happens that causes you to change psychiatrists, the cycle has to start all over again.

Another disconnect that, to me, causes an egregious margin of error is the psychologist / psychiatrist team up. This model has a patient seeing a psychologist frequently who then communicates their thoughts to a psychiatrist who then prescribes you meds. Psychologists cannot prescribe meds and are often cheaper and therefore more accessible. It’s most certainly better than nothing, but to me this kind of one-two punch care leaves too much room for poor communication and faulty, insufficiently monitored RX prescriptions.

The current mental healthcare situation in the United States is dire. Receiving adequate care is a privilege, even a luxury, and that is so, so wrong. Have mercy towards those struggling with mental health issues in the U.S. The system is not currently equipped to support those of us who do, and it is extremely disheartening for folks just trying to live their best life like anyone else.


Stay warm with this delicious, hearty, and healthful tomato soup.

Ingredients

1 1/2 c cooked brown rice
4 1/2 lb plum tomatoes, quartered
10 garlic cloves
3 T olive oil
~1 1/2 t sea salt
1 t black pepper
1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 T cane sugar
4 c vegetable broth
1 t thyme
~1/2 c basil leaves

Instructions

  1. Prepare brown rice.
  2. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  3. Arrange tomatoes cut side up onto two large, foil-lined baking sheets and drizzle them with two tablespoons of olive oil. Using your hands, stir tomatoes around to coat them well. Sprinkle tomatoes with sea salt and black pepper and place garlic cloves in between them.
  4. Roast the tomatoes for 50 minutes, until browning and juicy. Remove from oven and set aside.
  5. Heat remaining olive oil in a large pot over medium. Add onions, a big pinch of sea salt, and the cane sugar to pot and sauté for about ten minutes, until the onions are golden.
  6. Add roasted tomatoes and garlic (along with all their juices), the vegetable broth, and the thyme to the pot. With a potato masher, mash the tomatoes a bit to help release their liquid.
  7. Bring mixture to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Uncovered, simmer for 15 minutes.
  8. In batches, transfer soup to a blender or food processor. Add basil, and puree until smooth.
  9. Return soup to pot and taste. Add extra sea salt and black pepper to taste, if desired.
  10. Finally, stir in rice.

Serves 4-6.

Leftover soup will keep in the fridge for up to five days or freezer for up to two months.

Adapted from Roasted Tomato Basil and Rice Soup.


Today’s my brother’s birthday, and I like him a bunch. Here’s a touching photo of the love we share, featuring approximately one mullet.


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