All Posts in Category: Vegetarian

Delicious, Crave-Inducing, Mushroom, Pesto, & Shallot Tostadas With Olives

I created this delicious recipe when I was craving Mexican food and wanted something healthy. My family now requests it constantly. (Stephen says it is also the “best pizza alternative on the planet.”)

1 pound mushrooms, sliced (combination off cremini, button, shiitake, baby bella… your call. I use 2 pounds because we always will want leftovers to assemble the next day!)
2-3 cloves garlic, minced (again I use more)
4 to 6 shallots or one large sweet onion cut thin in half moons
2 tbl olive oil to cover bottom of pan
Tamari (wheat free soy sauce) to taste
Mirin (sweet rice cooking wine) to taste
1 package sodium free tortillas
home made pesto (see recipe below)
Tofutti’s vegan cream cheese


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Pop in tortillas sprayed lightly with olive oil spray (3 on one rack 3 on another) and bake until crispy. Turn halfway through… finish until all tortillas are crisp…place on a plate and store the remainder once cooled in zip lock bag.

In a sauté pan over medium heat, add the oil and garlic and onions and leave untouched to begin to caramelize. Stir.Next, add the mushrooms.
Once they get a nice sear, stir and add some tamari and mirin for flavor and liquid.Sauté another 3-4 minutes.

Spread the cream cheese lightly onto the crisp tortilla and then a thin layer of pesto. Top with mushrooms saute. Garnish with a few sliced olives.

Broil 3 tortillas at a time under broiler on high quickly until heated &


My family puts pesto on everything so I always have a fresh bunch made and ready to go. We dress up salads, vegetables, steelhead or salmon, egg white scrambles, or as you saw above, even tostadas!


1 huge bunch organic basil (4 cups)
½ cup pine nuts (or more to taste)
¼ cup olive oil
1 to 2 cloves of garlic
dash of sea salt
fresh lemon juice (optional)
*Parmesan cheese to taste if not wanting a vegan/clean version

Puree in food processor and taste, add more olive oil or seasoning or nuts as needed. Try mixing up nuts such as almonds and walnuts for less expensive versions but use at least 1 cup of nuts.Mix basil and cilantro half and half for excellent detoxing benefits.

Bon Appetit & Namaste!

Grilled Polenta with Mushroom Ragu & Egg

This delicious vegetarian dish is a hearty main meal! Polenta is another family favorite so I make twice as much as I need for dinner to have for snacks or breakfast the next morning. Heat up the leftovers the next morning and top with a fried, soft boiled, or poached egg and you will feel like you are eating at a five star resort.

Polenta Ingredients:
3 cups of polenta
6 cups of water or stock
1 tsp sea salt
¼ cup julienne sun dried tomatoes

Mushroom Ragout Ingredients:

Few tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
4 garlic cloves
4 shallots sliced (place in freezer for ten minutes before peeling and slicing to keep your eyes from burning and tearing)
2 pounds wild mushrooms any combo (cremini, button, shiitake, baby bella)
2 tsp marjoram, 2 tsp thyme, 2 tsp parsley chopped fine mix
1/c red wine, chicken stock or vegetable stock
Sea salt and pepper to taste (optional)
Shaved Parmesan (optional)

In large saucepan, bring water to boil and whisk in polenta slowly. Add salt if using. Add sun dried tomato and stir constantly until polenta is thick. Pour into two glass pie plates that have been sprayed with olive oil, cool and place in refrigerator to set two hours.

In large sauté pan over medium heat, coat pan with oil and sauté garlic and shallots 2 to 3 minutes. Add sliced mushrooms and herbs. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cook for two minutes and then add wine to reduce. When mushrooms are soft and sauce has thickened, set aside.

Coat grill or grill pan with olive oil spray. Cut polenta into triangles and grill over medium-high heat until polenta is heated through and grill marks are set approximately 3 ½ minutes per side. Top with ragout, fresh parsley, and shaved parmesan if using.

Bon Appetit & Namaste!

Heart Healthy Lentils With Roasted Red Peppers, Dill, Mint and Feta

This simple vegetarian dish comes together in just 30 minutes, making it a good choice for a protein-rich weeknight dinner.

1 cup brown lentils, picked over and rinsed
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, grated
1 12-ounce jar roasted red peppers, rinsed, drained and chopped into 1/4-inch pieces, about 1 1/2 cups total
*½ cup sun dried tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt (I omitted and added fresh lemon juice for heart health)
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons chopped fresh dill (divided)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint (divided)
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
*Lemon juice

Cook the lentils in a large pot of gently boiling water just until tender, 15 to 25 minutes. Drain.
While the lentils are cooking, heat the oil in a large skillet until it is hot enough to sizzle a piece of onion. Add the onion and cook over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until soft and golden, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the red peppers, salt and black pepper.
Keep warm over low heat.
Add the cooked lentils, 2 tablespoons of the dill and 1 tablespoon of the mint and cook, stirring, until heated through, about 5 minutes. At this point I also added sun dried tomatoes (great for the heart) which added texture and sweetness. Sprinkle with the vinegar and stir to combine. * I also added lots of fresh lemon juice….yummy.
Spoon into a serving dish and sprinkle with the feta if desired. Top with the remaining 2 tablespoons dill and the remaining 1 tablespoon mint.
From “Fresh & Fast Vegetarian” by Marie Simmons
Recipe Published November 8, 2011 in The Oregonian
These delicious lentils are wonderful served with Tuna or halibut baked in parchment with olive oil, capers, red peppers and thyme.
Want to literally keep your heart happy? Eat lentils.

* Lentils, a small but nutritionally mighty member of the legume family, are a very good source of cholesterol-lowering fiber. Not only do lentils help lower cholesterol, they are of special benefit in managing blood-sugar disorders since their high fiber content prevents blood sugar levels from rising rapidly after a meal.

A study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine confirms that eating high fiber foods, such as lentils, helps prevent heart disease.

Lentils’ contribution to heart health lies not just in their fiber, but in the significant amounts of folate and magnesium these little wonders supply. Lentils’ magnesium puts yet another plus in the column of its beneficial cardiovascular effects. Magnesium is Nature’s own calcium channel blocker. When enough magnesium is around, veins and arteries breathe a sigh of relief and relax, which lessens resistance and improves the flow of blood, oxygen and nutrients throughout the body. Studies show that a deficiency of magnesium is not only associated with heart attack but that immediately following a heart attack, lack of sufficient magnesium promotes free radical injury to the heart.
When researchers analyzed this data in relation to the risk of death from heart disease, they found that legumes were associated with a whopping 82% reduction in risk!!
Heres to your heart health!

Try pairing with Grilled or Pan Seared Salmon with Fresh Lemon Juice for a feast for the heart. Also wonderful served chilled.

Adapted from “Fresh & Fast Vegetarian” by Marie Simmons as seen in The Oregonian’s Foodday & Living section.

Bon Appetit and Namaste!