Tag Archives: vegan

Watermelon & Tomato Salad

Holly Clegg's healthy and easy to make Watermelon & Tomato Salad at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com

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Chef, the movie and Grilled Ratatouille with Bulgur Salad

Grilled Ratatouille with Bulgur Salad at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com

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Gluten Free Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

Easy to make Gluten Free Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp at  This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com

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Kale Salad with Fruity Vinaigrette

Kale Salad with Fruity Vinaigrette at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com

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Heart healthy Citrus Hummus

Heart healthy Citrus Hummus at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com Continue reading

Spicy Celery Root & Carrot Slaw Salad

Spicy Celery Root & Carrot Slaw Salad at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com

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Marinated Vegetables with Tofu cooked three ways

Marinated Vegetables with Tofu cooked three ways at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com

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Cookbook Week cont’d: Teen Cuisine New Vegetarian and a #MeatlessMonday recipe for Bite-Me Chili

Cookbook Week cont’d: Teen Cuisine New Vegetarian So much for Cookbook Week being only one week. Between Spring Break and more cookbooks arriving at my door, I didn’t have a chance to get to more than last week’s Food: Vegetarian Home Cooking and  Homemade with Love reviews. My apologies!

Let’s start this week off with a cookbook that was sent for me to review that’s perfect for all of you with vegetarian teens or kids who want the family to participate more in Meatless Monday. It’s Teen Cuisine: New Vegetarian, a finalist for the 2013 International Association of Culinary Professionals Cookbook Award in the Children’s, Youth and Family category.

Teen Cuisine: New Vegetarian features 50 delicious recipes arranged into chapters such as “Smart Starts,” “Party Hearty,” “Bowl Me Over” and “Just Desserts.” There’s even a special sushi section along with an “And On the Side” chapter on pickles, relish and other homemade condiments. The recipe format is perfect for those new to the kitchen, since each recipe features step-by-step instructions in a On Your Mark, Get Set, and Cook! format. Each recipe also features helpful tips and gorgeous photographs. This would be a wonderful cookbook to give someone as a high school graduation gift or as a way to keep them busy in the kitchen during summer break.

Here’s a sample of one of the recipes from Teen Cuisine: New Vegetarian. I’ve included the original formatting so you can see how recipes are laid out.

A #MeatlessMonday recipe for Bite-Me Chili from Teen Cuisine New Vegetarian

Bite-Me Chili

Vegetarian or Vegan

A bowl of chili is a thing of beauty. So what’s wrong with a triple dose of heat in your chili? This recipe combines three types of chilies into one big bite of zippy flavor and satisfying chili goodness. Read the chef’s tip below to find out how to adjust the heat level.

Serves 4

  • 1 pound tempeh, any flavor
  • 1 medium-size white onion
  • 5 to 6 sprigs flat-leaf parsley
  • 5 to 6 sprigs cilantro
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 to 2 jalapeno or Serrano chilies
  • 1 to 3 dried Ancho, negro, or Pasilla chilies, depending on taste
  • 1 14.5-ounce can fire-roasted or regular chopped tomatoes
  • 1 10-ounce can Ro*Tel brand diced
  • tomatoes and green chilies
  • 1 15.5-ounce can red pinto, great Northern, or black beans
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive or safflower oil
  • 1 4-ounce can chopped mild, medium, or hot green chilies
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked or regular paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1 cup water, plus more as needed

Chili Fixings

  • Chopped scallions
  • Chopped white or red onions
  • Cheddar cheese or vegan cheddar, grated
  • Monterey Jack or vegan Jack cheese, grated
  • Sour cream or vegan sour cream
  • Plain whole-milk yogurt or soy yogurt

On your mark . . .

  • Cut the tempeh into medium-size pieces and put into a 2-quart saucepan. Cover with cold water and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes. Drain in a colander and set aside.
  • Peel the onion, chop into medium dice, measure out 1 cup, and set aside.
  • Wash the parsley and cilantro, shake off any excess water, and dry by rolling in paper towels. Remove the leaves and discard the stems. Coarsely chop the parsley and cilantro together and set aside.
  • Slightly crush the garlic by laying the flat side of a chef’s knife on the clove and pressing firmly to break open the skin. Remove the skin, cut off the root end, and discard. Coarsely chop the garlic and set aside.
  • Slip on a pair of latex kitchen gloves. Remove the stem from the fresh chilies and cut in half lengthwise. Rinse under cold water and scrape out the seeds with the tip of a spoon. If you like the chili a bit hotter, leave in the seeds. Chop into small pieces and set aside. Rinse, dry, and remove the gloves.

Get set . . .

  • Break the stem from the dried chilies and discard. Shake out any seeds, tear the chilies into small pieces, and place in a bowl. Add 1/2 cup hot water and set aside to soften. Wash your hands.
  • Combine the tomatoes, including the liquid, and the tomato-and-green chili combination. Measure out 3 cups and set aside.
  • Drain the canned beans in a hand strainer or colander. Rinse under cold water and set aside to drain.
  • Coarsely chop the tempeh and set aside.


  • Drain the dried chilies in a hand strainer or colander and pat dry.
  • Heat the oil in a 4- to 6-quart pot (with lid) over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking.
  • Add the onion and dried chilies and sauté for 4 to 5 minutes, until the onion is soft and translucent.
  • Add the garlic, tempeh, canned green chilies, chopped fresh chilies, chili powder, paprika, salt, cayenne pepper, if using, and the chopped parsley and cilantro. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent sticking, until the tempeh has browned.
  • Add the 3 cups tomato mixture, beans, and water. Bring to a boil, decrease the heat to low, and simmer for 45 minutes with the lid slightly ajar.
  • Stir occasionally to prevent sticking. Add water if the chili becomes too thick, but avoid making it soupy. Taste the chili and correct the seasoning.
  • Serve hot, passing the scallions, onions, grated cheeses, sour cream, and yogurt on the side.

Chef’s Tip

  • If you like your chili very hot, use the full amount of cayenne pepper listed. You can reduce the heat to a less fiery level by omitting it altogether.

Pictures and recipes used with permission.

Meatless Monday: Tofu Chili #vegan #glutenfree

Meatless Monday: Tofu Chili #vegan #glutenfree

Between the finches visiting our bird feeders and the trees starting to blossom, spring is certainly in the air here in northeastern Georgia. We’ve even managed to eat a couple of dinners outside on the deck, though we had to wear light jackets and sweaters. Even though it’s warming up, there’s never a bad time for a hot bowl of chili, especially on Meatless Mondays when you can substitute healthy tofu and beans for ground turkey or beef.

This vegan chili recipe from the folks at House Foods is high in protein and low in fat. With the extra vitamin C from the chili pods and the capsaicin revving up your metabolism, House Foods’ Tofu Chili is packed with both flavor and health benefits. House Foods Premium Tofu is non-GMO verified, made from certified organic soybeans grown in the US, kosher-verified and gluten free.

While great on its own, try serving the tofu chili on brown rice or quinoa.

Tofu Chili

Recipe by House Foods


  • 1 package House Foods Tofu Extra Firm, drained and cubed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3/4 cup onion, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic (1 large clove)
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1  16-ounce can kidney beans
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 can low sodium tomato sauce
  • dash paprika


  1. Heat olive oil in a large pot.  Add onion and garlic and sauté until tender. 
  2. Add vegetable broth, bell pepper, jalapeno, chili powder, cumin, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce and kidney beans, stirring to combine.
  3. Add tomato sauce and simmer for about 30 minutes or until kidney beans and peppers are cooked through.
  4. Add cubed tofu and cook additional minute or two.  Serve and enjoy!

Recipe and photo provided by House Foods and used with permission.

Healthy Peanut Butter Caramel Popcorn

Peanut Butter Caramel Popcorn at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com

In its infinite wisdom, my daughter’s school scheduled the Daddy Daughter Dance on Valentine’s Day. So Paul and I won’t be going out on Thursday, but may take in a dinner and a movie at The National in Athens, Georgia if the movie at The Ciné is something I actually want to see. (All the movies I do want to see are done after the 14th, darn it!)

However for many of us, going out to eat for Valentine’s Day is a total pain. First of all, this year it’s on a Thursday and who can stay out late when you have to get kids ready for school and head out to work early in the morning? Second, depending on where you like to eat, you may have to make reservations weeks in advance. Third, between babysitters, drinks and a nice meal, and a Valentine's Day present for your sweetie, it’s expensive!

Why not stay home and fix a nice Valentine's Day meal instead? Afterwards, put the kids to bed – early if possible. Then start a romantic movie on Netflix, open a bottle of sparkling wine, and have a delicious but healthy snack that won’t spoil your diet too badly, like Peanut Butter Caramel Corn from Cooking Light's The New Way to Cook Light: Fresh Food & Bold Flavors for Today's Home Cook. Leftovers will make a nice after school snack the next day, too!

I bet this would be good with almond butter, as well. If you have nut allergies or sensitivities, try sunflower seed butter (Trader Joe's brand is awesome!) instead of peanut butter and pine nuts (which are seeds) for the sliced almonds. You could also substitute your favorite vegan buttery spread instead of using butter, too.

Peanut Butter Caramel Popcorn at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com

Healthy Peanut Butter Caramel Popcorn


  • Cooking spray
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1/2 cup unpopped popcorn kernels
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup light-colored corn syrup
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.
  2. Line a jelly-roll pan with parchment paper; coat paper with cooking spray.
  3. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add popcorn; cover and cook 4 minutes, shaking pan frequently. When popping slows, remove pan from heat. Let stand until popping stops. Uncover; add almonds.
  4. Combine sugar, syrup, butter, and salt in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil. Cook 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.
  5. Add peanut butter and vanilla, and stir until smooth. Drizzle over popcorn; toss well.
  6. Spread mixture into prepared pan.
  7. Bake at 250 degrees F for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Cool completely.
Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Cook Time: 1 Hour
Total Time: 1 Hour 20 Minutes
Servings: Serves 20
  • Serving size: About 3/4 cup
  • Calories: 155
  • Total Fat: 7.4 g
  • Saturated fat: 1.8 g
  • Unsaturated fat: mono 3.5 g, poly 1.6 g
  • Sodium: 108 mg
  • Total Carbohydrates: 21.3 g
  • Fiber: 1.4 g
  • Protein: 2.6 g
  • Cholesterol: 4 mg

Recipe and photo used with permission of Cooking Light.

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