Easy Vegan Kale & Cashew Pesto Recipe

Pesto is one of those delicious and versatile Italian condiments that can brighten up any dish, from sandwiches and wraps to pastas and soups. This vegan Kale & Cashew Pesto is flavorful, easy to make, and packed with healthy ingredients! The classic pesto recipe calls for pine nuts and parmesan cheese. I’m one of those people who doesn’t tolerate pine nuts very well, so I was pleasantly surprised to see that raw cashews make a great substitution for pine nuts while adding to the creaminess of the final product. As for parmesan cheese, I didn’t miss it at all in this recipe. I used to be a huge fan of cheese even though dairy made my stomach misbehave and my skin break out pretty bad. Switching to a vegan diet about six months ago helped me overcome all of those issues as well as recalibrated my taste buds. No cheese … Read the rest of the post

Mushroom, Kale and Tofu Lasagna – a Basic Vegan Lasagna Recipe

Lasagna is the ultimate Italian comfort food for a lot of us. Multiple versions of vegan lasagna recipes can be found online, and if you’ve switched to a plant-based vegan diet a while ago, you’ve probably tried at least one or two of them. Vegan lasagna recipes can vary in their level of difficulty, so today I’ve decided to share a fairly simple lasagna recipe that I came up with not long ago. Like most of my recipes, this version of lasagna has a lot of vegetables and no added oil. I was born in Uzbekistan (a country that used to be a part of the Soviet Union) and grew up in Russia, and for a very long time we had little to no idea about Italian cuisine. Obviously, Italian people were not that eager to move to the Soviet Union and teach us the tricks of Italian cooking! Growing up, I heard … Read the rest of the post

Black Bean-Potato Stew with Kale

Just before we left Alabama, I made this black bean and potato stew on a night I was craving something warm and comforting with no added oil. This dish turned out to be one of those one-pot wonders that don’t require a lot of attention an can be prepared well within an hour. I usually add kale to soups and stews in the last couple minutes of cooking (or even as I take the pot off the stove) because I don’t want it to wilt too much. If you prefer your kale more wilted, feel free to add it 5-7 min before the dish is done. You can also use other leafy greens instead of kale, bearing in mind that more tender varieties like spinach will take even less time to wilt. You may have noticed that I use very little oil – or omit it completely – in my recipes. … Read the rest of the post

Vegan Minestrone Soup with a Twist!

Another heartwarming healthy vegan soup is on today’s agenda: this time it’s minestrone, a classic Italian vegetable soup. This version of plant-based minestrone is relatively simple and quick (don’t be scared by the long list of ingredients!), and you can customize it by using different vegetables and their amounts. FYI: In modern Italian language, there are three words that relate to the English word ‘soup’: zuppa, which refers to tomato-based soups or fish soups; minestra, referring to a more substantial vegetable soup or ‘dry soup’ such as pasta; and minestrone, which denotes a very substantial or large soup or stew. While there is no set recipe for minestrone soup, cooks agree that a classic version should include beans, pasta, and an array of vegetables, such as potatoes, tomatoes, celery, onions, zucchini, etc. Non-vegan versions often call for bacon, meat, or some kind of meat-based stock, but they are unnecessary if you want to … Read the rest of the post

Classic Vegan Pizza with Grilled Eggplant and Zucchini

Rejoice pizza lovers who recently switched to a vegan diet! The painful choice between healthy plant-based cooking and sinful deliciousness is resolved! And I’m not even talking about stepping away from the wholesomeness of fresh ingredients towards highly processed stuff – for this pizza, we’re even making the dough ourselves! Vegan pizza oftentimes can turn into a high-maintenance disaster. Even if it tastes okay, it might still call for too many processed or store-bought ingredients that can contain too much sodium or traces of dairy/eggs. if you never liked vegetables on your pizza before you turned vegan, you might be in for a disappointment: vegan pepperoni can be just as bad for you as the non-vegan stuff, and vegan cheese pizza… well, it just defies the whole purpose of going vegan! So how can we make a healthier pizza? Here are a few steps: – make your own whole-wheat dough … Read the rest of the post

My (Almost) First Track Workout, and a Swamp Monster Breakfast Smoothie!

Today on the agenda: a track workout I did this morning, and my favorite vegan breakfast smoothie recipe! You know that feeling when you complete something you didn’t know you were strong enough to do? And the feeling of accomplishment that immediately follows? Well, that’s just what I feel today! Here are my immediate reasons: – got up early: at 4:50 am to be exact, long before the sunrise! – left the house when the sun still wasn’t up, and ran towards my gym (1.2 mi) to – meet up with a couple local runners; – ran with them towards our high school track (1.1 mi) to do a quite grueling but very satisfying running workout of 8 by 400 m ( 400 meters of hard running followed by 400 meters recovery jog; repeat eight times – 4 miles total); – ran back to the gym (1.1 mi) and got … Read the rest of the post

Kale and Cannellini Bean Salad

I just love the combination of kale and beans, and find it extremely versatile, both for cold and warm dishes. They can be combined (along with other ingredients) in soups, stews, pasta dishes, salads – whatever your imagination suggests! Today I’d like to share a recipe for this lovely salad that I mentioned the other day. I like to eat it for lunch every now and then: This salad is chock-full of superfoods: the combination of kale, avocado, ginger, and miso paste can make wonders for our bodies! Also, the dressing doesn’t involve any added oil, which is exactly what the big-time plant-based diet advocates suggest. It’s also highly customizable: add or subtract just about any kind of vegetables you want, and you’ve got a new salad! The dressing adds a nice Asian twist to the flavor. PrintKale and Cannellini Bean Salad Prep Time: 15 minutes Yield: 1 as main … Read the rest of the post