It is NOT Soup Season

This recipe has been on my desk since last “soup-season”, and I’m just now getting around to posting it.  Happy 108 degrees today!  Enjoy this some other time…for now, eat some ice cream!

Creamy Vegan Wild Rice Soup
from Life is NOYOKE

–  1 c. wild rice
–  8 c. vegetable broth
–  2 bay leaves
–  1 Tbsp thyme
–  2 tsp salt
–  4 stalks chopped celery
–  1 c. chopped carrots
–  1/2 onion chopped
–  4-6 cloves garlic
–  8 oz. chopped mushrooms
–  1 c. soaked cashews
–  15 oz. can cannellini (white kidney) beans

1.  Soak cashews overnight
2.  If not an option, soak in boiling water for as long as you can
3.  Heat broth (reserve one cup on side)
4.  Add rice, thyme, bay leaves, and salt to the broth.
5.  Put a lid on, and simmer for 45 min.
6.  Chop veggies (except mushrooms) and put in pot with rice for another 30 min.
7.  Drain cashews and beans, cream in Ninja/Vitamix with 1 c. broth for 15 min
8.  Put creamy mixture into pot when timer says 15 min.
9.  Add the mushrooms.  Replace lit.
10. When rice is done, remove bay leaves and ENJOY!


Quick, Easy, Cheap Instant Pot Meal

This meal is one of my go-to meals!  It comes from the My Plant Based Family blog.  She calls it a Mexican Casserole, but it’s really just a pretty basic and very tasty Rice and Beans meal.  I do it slightly different from the link above – 1 8 oz. can of fire-roasted, diced tomatoes.  My kids devour it, I can keep all the dry ingredients in the pantry, if I had one cupboards, I can set it up anytime during the day and set the timer so it’s ready when we get home, and we even take it camping with us when we have hookups!

The blog is linked above.  Here is the recipe:

Instant Pot Mexican Casserole


  • 2 cups uncooked brown rice (Don’t use white rice.  I tried it and it was way too gummy)
  • 1 cup uncooked dry beans
  • 5 cups water
  • 1 8 oz. can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1 tsp garlic
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp sea salt (optional)


  1. Dump all of the ingredients into your pressure cooker and stir once or twice.
  2. Close the lid and cook on manual for 28 minutes.
  3. Once done, allow the pressure to come down and open carefully. If you are in a hurry you can do a quick release.
  4. Stir in some fresh cilantro and a healthy squeeze of lime juice, and top with diced avocado.
  5. Serve with chips!


Penne In Pear Cream Sauce


Penne In Cream Sauce


  • 1 pound Penne Pasta, dry
  • 2 tablespoons earth balance organic spread
  • 2 firm pears (d’anjou or Bartlett), peeled and cut into a ½” dice
  • 2 tablespoons rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon Garlic Powder
  • 1 tablespoon Onion Powder
  • 1 ½  teaspoon Coarse Salt
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 1 ½ cups soy milk
  • 4-6 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 4 handfuls of spinach or kale
  • Ground Black Pepper


  1. Cook penne pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water.
  2. While the pasta is cooking…
  3. Heat the earth balance spread on medium/high in a large frying pan. Add the diced pears, rosemary, and salt, and sauté for 2-3 minutes, or until pear is soft. Pour in the white wine and cook until most of the liquid is evaporated. Pour in the soy milk and bring to a simmer. Add the nutritional yeast, cook, stirring occasionally, for about 8-10 minutes on med, or until sauce has thickened and reduced by half.  Add 4 handfuls of spinach or kale and cook until wilted.
  4. When the pasta is done, drain the water and place back in the pot. Pour the cream sauce over the pasta and toss to coat.
  5. Serve immediately with fresh ground pepper over the top.



Creamy Potato Soup



  • 1 Medium White Onion
  • 2 Medium Carrots
  • 3 Medium Stalks of Celery
  • 4 Cloves of Garlic
  • 3 Medium Russet Potatoes
  • 1/3 Cup Of Vegetable Broth
  • 4 Cups or 1 Qt of Vegetable Broth
  • 3 Handfuls of Kale
  • 1 Cup Soy Milk (or other Unsweetened Non-Dairy Milk)
  • 1 to 2.5 teaspoons salt

Optional Toppings:

  • Coconut Bacon (or any other vegan bacon)
  • Green Onions
  • Vegan Cheddar Cheese
  • Chives
  • Or anything else you like


  1. Roughly chop up the onion, carrots, celery, kale and potatoes and garlic.
  2. Heat a large pot over medium high heat, and add the 1/3 cup vegetable broth. When it is hot, toss in the celery, carrots, and onions. Sauté the veggies, until they start to look a bit caramelized and delicious. Add the garlic and sautee for one minute more.
  3. Add the potatoes, kale, salt and veggie broth. Cover and simmer for about 15-20 minutes. The soup is cooked when the fork easily pierces all the way through the veggies.
  4. Blend up that soup! Use an immersion blender straight in the pot. Blend until it is perfectly smooth. If you don’t have an immersion blender, you can carefully scoop some soup into a standing blender, and blend in very small batches. Remember to not fill your blender up too high or you will have a hot soup explosion!
  5. Stir in the soy milk or non-dairy milk of choice. 
  6. Sprinkle on some delicious toppings.



Way Better Gnocchi

My husband is a miracle worker.  He can walk into a kitchen with almost no food, and ten minutes later, plop a gourmet meal on the table.  Today, that meal was a new take on Potato Gnocchi and it was AMAZING!  Not only that, it doesn’t have any packaged meatless items (saving money, and unnecessary processed food).

So, I share with you, Cameron’s Better Gnocchi:

1/4 of an onion – diced
2 Tbsp minced garlic
6 oz. Edamame (ours was frozen)
5 “grabs” of spinach (you know, where you reach in the container and grab a handful)
2 tsp salt
12.5 oz. sugar-free marinara sauce
1 bag gnocchi cooked according to instructions
Fresh basil

Saute the first five ingredients until soft, add in the marinara, strain the gnocchi and mix it with the sauce.  Stir in fresh basil leaves and serve!

And we know it’s a success when the five year old who hates food says, “Mom, you see these bumps on my tongue? Those mean that I like this food! Um…is that what it means?”


Vegetable Lo Mein

Kids new fave!! And super easy!  I forgot the spinach – oops! This will be one I put the ingredients in broth in bags in the freezer and pull out for a quick easy dinner.

Thanks to this recipe from Raising Generation Nourished.

This feeds the 2 little kids and me just fine with no leftovers, but when everyone is home, we have two adults, one adult child, and two littles, so of course, I doubled the recipe.  Doesn’t work so well – way too much liquid, plus it spews like crazy when you release the steam.  Darn!  To double, we need:

  • 3 cups veggie broth (You can make veggie broth in the IP too!)
  • 1/2 cup Coconut Aminos (or soy sauce)
  • 5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp ground ginger (I use less for a less ginger-spice flavor)
  • ¼ tsp red pepper flakes (this leaves a kid friendly, mild heat – if you like more kick add more!  If you’re like me, you can’t handle any spice, so you can leave it out completely)
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 4 large carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 8 ounces of mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 cup frozen peas
  • 16 oz. (1 lb) pasta of choice (I used udon noodles from Winco)
  • 3 cups baby spinach
  • 1 bunch green onions, sliced on a bias
  1. Put everything *except the spinach and green onion* into the Instant Pot, stir to combine, and seal the lid. Be sure the valve is closed.
  2. Turn your IP on, press manual, and then use the (+/-) button to press the time down to 2 minutes. The Instant Pot will turn “ON” and come to pressure before it counts down the 2 minutes.
  3. When the 2 minutes is done, turn the Instant Pot “OFF”, and set a timer for 4 minutes to let the pot naturally release some of the pressure and finish cooking the noodles through.
  4. After the 4 minutes, release the rest of the pressure, take the lid off, and stir in the fresh spinach and green onion to combine. There will be a little bit of liquid in the bottom that will continue to soak up into the noodles and the starch from the noodles will make it “saucy”. Serve topped with sliced green onion or chopped nuts.

Curried Lentils in the Instant Pot

We love our curried lentil recipe.  I wanted a way to make it in the instant pot, because who doesn’t love ONE pot that doesn’t heat up the kitchen (especially in CA)?  The first attempt following our original recipe.  It was a little bit too runny, so here are the tweaks if you’re making it in the instant pot.

Curried Lentil Soup in the Instant Pot

yield: Serves 6-8


• 2 cups brown jasmine rice
• 1 onion, finely chopped
• 3 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
• 3 ribs celery, sliced
• 2 potatoes, cubed
• 2 cloves garlic (I use minced from the fridge)
• Salt – at least 4 tsp
• 5 teaspoons WF curry powder blend
[• 2 teaspoons curry powder
• 1.5 teaspoon turmeric
• ½ teaspoon ground cumin
• ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
• 1/2 teaspoon black pepper]
• 2 cups red lentils
• 6 cups vegetable stock

• ½ (14 ounce) can coconut milk
• Naan bread, for dipping


– Put all ingredients into iPot.

-Stir and set pot to manual for 18 minutes.

-Quick-release the steam and add in the can of coconut milk

-Serve with warm naan bread, if desired.