TGBTS Cooks: Favorite Vegan Winter Recipes

Dear Friend,

Today I’m sharing the recipes for what we’re eating this season. They are fresh, easy and packed full of vegetables.

I grew up in the convenience foods generation of the 70s. Meaning if it didn’t come from a box, bag, can or the freezer – we didn’t eat it. Even in California families were convinced that soup starters – dehydrated vegetables – from a box made more sense than a fresh onion, celery and carrots. It was a weird time for eating.

So even though we ate at home every night, I didn’t really learn how to cook real food and I wasn’t I wasn’t really excited about food.

That all changed when I was in my 20s living with a roommate who really knew his way around the kitchen. I used to sit on a stool in the corner asking questions about how this whole food from scratch thing worked.

I watched and learned and I’m so happy this fresh food thing has caught on!
In recent years I have found the process of cooking to be almost as pleasurable as actually sitting down with friends and family around the table.

We have a “mixed” family: meaning the husband is mostly a vegetarian, I am severely allergic to dairy and shellfish and we have a 4 year old. All of that is to say we don’t eat a lot of meat, never use cow milk and at least one of us is always yelling about what we’re not going to eat.Below are a few of my recent favorite plant-based recipes found in my newest cookbook:

chloe kitchenartichoke spinachWarm Spinach Artichoke Dip, anyone? Unbelievably delicious and completely dairy-free. Equally tasty with rice crackers, tortilla chips or baguette.

*photo credit: Smith’s Vegan Kitchen – click the link for original photo and recipe

vegan alfredoVegan Alfredo over the pasta of your choice – no milk, no cream, no butter – NO COW. My 4 year old slurped three bowls of this pasta up on Christmas Eve.

*photo credit: Your Vegan Mom – click the link for original photo and recipe

vegan avocado pestoAvocado pesto. I think you only need one avocado, but who am I to tell you what to do?

I realize now I’m sharing all super carb-licious pasta dishes, but that’s what this girl wants to eat in the winter. I’ll share my favorite new soup recipes in a later post.

*photo credit: Chef Chloe’s website – click the link for original photo and recipe

vegan apple pie with caramel sauceVegan Caramel Apple Pie – the only recipe not found in Chloe’s Kitchen. If you’ve got some apples just hanging around, I highly recommend this pie from The Healthy, Happy Life.

*photo credit: Kathy Patalsky of The Healthy, Happy Life – click the link for original photo and recipe

What are your favorite plant-based recipes?

I would love to hear from you, so let me know what you think.

With lots of love and compassion,
Tami xoxo

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Other Posts You Might Like:
8 Reasons Why Private Yoga Lessons Might Work for YOU
Breakfasts I’ll Be Making Again
at More Soup
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Tiny Tips Tuesday: Eat More Soup

tiny tips tuesday eat more soup

Maybe you already eat lots of nutrient-dense soup and need no reminders, but it wasn’t until I started working with an amazing health coach that eating soup became a habit. And once it became a habit, I started noticing how great I was feeling – physically, mentally and spiritually.

From soup?



Turns out, fall (vata season) is a great time to feed yourself warm, dense foods like soups and stews. And when you give your body what it needs, you feel better. Or at least I do.

Below are a list of my favorite soups, some home made and some not. I make sure to fill my thermos every day ensuring at least a couple bonus servings of vegetables. And who couldn’t use more of those?

Old-Fashioned Vegetable Soup – the secret is to add a veggie bullion cube and bay leaf to this recipe.

Vegan Creamy Tuscan White Bean Soup 

Coconut Curry Noodle Soup – the recipe calls for a JAR of curry paste and I use 2 teaspoons. You spice it up as you like. I also added chicken thighs cooked in sesame oil. Pretty delicious.

Pacific Natural Foods vegan soups. For when you want a little variety and are short on time.

My current favorite – Red lentil coconut soup. So warm and nourishing I feel like it is changing my life!

red lentil coconut soup

What are your favorite soup recipes? How do you feed yourself in the fall? Does your diet change with the seasons?

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Image 1: My Instagram

Image 2: Pinterest.

Teach Cooks Edition! Roasted Tomato (Dairy/Gluten Free) Pasta

I feel like I’ve been cheating on life in the best possible way lately.

Dinner so easy it is almost embarrassing.

Except it’s not. It’s brilliant instead.

It is also gluten and dairy free if you choose it to be. Which I choose until I topped it with some pecorino – which means SHEEP in Italian – which means I can eat it! But you don’t have to.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner, it’s what I’ve been eating the last two weeks. Because soon the tomatoes will be gone until next summer.

Last of the Season Roasted Cherry Tomatoes with Brown Rice Pasta

teacher cooks roasted tomatoes pasta


Cherry tomatoes from the farmer’s market – giant bag or several baskets

Olive oil



Whatever else you like spice wise with tomatoes

Foil lined rimmed cookie sheet

Super hot oven

Brown rice pasta – I used a whole bag because that’s how we roll around here. We LOVE leftovers.

What to do:

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

Cook the pasta according to directions on the package.

While pasta water boils and/or pasta cooks, wash the tomatoes and put on the foil lined cookie sheet.

Drizzle with olive oil.

Shake on spices.

Put in oven until tomatoes are bursting open and some are charred.

Try to keep the oven door closed even though it smells divine in your house.

Remove from oven and scrape all the deliciousness from the cookie sheet and mix into the cooked pasta.

Drizzle in more olive oil if you want.

Top with your favorite cheese (or NOT).

teacher cooks pasta

Ready to give it a go? I’d love to hear what you think.

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Teacher Cooks Edition! Homeroom Vegan Mac and Cheese

Do you know what seems like a really bad idea? Bringing your very dairy allergic BFF to a mac and cheese restaurant.

I sorta likened it to bringing your alcoholic friend to a new bar or your gluten intolerant friend to a French bakery or your seafood hating friend to a crab free.


Homeroom, in Oakland, California somehow makes everyone feel welcome. Even the dairy allergic and gluten intolerant.

A few months ago, I had the opportunity to eat a bowl of their vegan mac (trailer style: with cut up hot dogs and crumbled potato chips, natch) and I did not miss the cheese for one second.


I know.

Fast forward a few months and Shutterbean posts about eating at Homeroom and I butt in with loud sighing about how much I love their vegan mac and that I live too far away and blah, blah, blah and BOOM!

She drops the cookbook bomb.

homeroom cookbook

Page 62 Vegan Mac.

People. I can’t even eat Mac and Cheese and I think ya’ll should get this cookbook because if their real mac and cheese is even half as delicious as their vegan mac, you will have to thank me later.

And probably buy new pants.

Vegan Mac

adapted ever so slightly from the Mac + Cheese Cookbook


1 lb of brown rice pasta (My pasta to sauce ratio is VERY different to every cookbook on the planet. They recommend 1/2 lb of dried elbow macaroni.)

1/2 cup water

8 oz firm tofu

1/2 cup canola oil (I used like a quarter cup and put more soy milk in).

1 cup unsweetened soy milk

1/4 cup soy sauce (I used low sodium)

1 cup nutritional yeast (hippie fairy dust indeed)

1 1/2 tsp paprika (I used smoked. I’m fancy like that).

1 1/2 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp kosher salt

vegan mac and cheese

What to do:

Cook the pasta according to directions on the package – less time to make it a bit less than al dente.

To make sauce put everything else in the blender and blend until smooth.

Add sauce to drained pasta and cook a bit together.

Spoon into bowls and try not to eat more than your fair share.

Don’t even miss the cheese.

Ready to give it a go? I’d love to hear what you think.

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Teacher Cooks: Breakfast Recipes I’ll Be Making Again

I have spent a boat load of time in the kitchen recently. There is something about fall that makes me want to spend time making all the yummy things.

Nothing says “yay for me” more than a warm breakfast.

Plus Little Girl LOVES helping, so it is a win, win.

These recipes have all been pretty easy to make and absolutely delicious.

recipes to make again overnight oatsCoconut Mango Overnight Oats from Oh My Veggies

I just warm them up in the morning and my belly is full until snack time.

recipes to make again vegan cinnamon rolls

Easy Vegan Cinnamon Rolls from What Vegan Kids Eat

Seriously easy and seriously delicious.

recipes to make again bagel apple goat cheese honey

Bagel With Goat Cheese (my sub), Apple and Honey from Real Simple Recipes.

What can I say? I love the carbs.

What’s been cooking in your kitchen lately?

If you want to keep up with our weekly menus, you can find them here. I add new stuff to try on Tuesdays and remove them from the board as I make them.

Or if you’d like to see other recipes I’ll be making again, you can find them here.

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Teacher Cooks: TGBTS Green Smoothie Recipe

green smoothie

Today I am sharing my Green Smoothie – sans banana – recipe because a whole lot of people have asked me to share what goes into my almost every day green smoothie glass.

Ingredients to make 2 huge smoothies:

2 cups of water plus more for blending

2-3 big handfuls of washed spinach

half a bag of frozen mango chunks

half a bag of frozen pineapple chunks

1-2 tsp of chia seeds


half a bag of frozen raspberries – turns it from green to purplish brown

1 TBS of nut butter – makes it taste like a PB&J sandwich

vegan protein powder

green super foods powder

honey or agave to sweeten

Blend until smooth, adding a bit more water if needed.


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Other green smoothie resources:

The Ultimate Green Smoothie from Nikki Stern (Mindful Moms Holistics)

Green Monster recipes

From Life Less Bullshit: The Ultimate Green Smoothie Formula


Want a giggle? Here is my lame food confession which started this whole green smoothie conversion.

Part two contains a delicious broccoli slaw recipe.

A berry blast recipe for beginners.

Do you drink green smoothies? 

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Teacher Cooks Edition! Dairy Free Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

One of the biggest losses when giving up dairy has been digging in the sweets tray after dinner or at the holidays. I used to live for cake (cup or otherwise) and if I’m being honest, the frosting, but that all came to a screeching halt when I finally figured out that dairy was poisoning me. Good bye, Freeport Bakery! Good bye birthday cupcakes every day at work!

Not fun.

Sacramento’s vegan sweet treats have proven to be quite limited, so I’ve been exploring options at home.

Without further ado, I bring you Dairy Free Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars.


Recipe is based on the back of the Trader Joe’s chocolate chips bag.

Dairy Free Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

Makes about 40 teeny tiny squares or 4 gigantic ones. It all depends on you.


2 1/4 cups all purpose flour

1 tsp salt

1 tsp baking soda

1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 cup softened earth balance (or coconut oil, so I’ve heard)

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 cup of unsweetened apple sauce

1 12 oz packet of dairy free chocolate chips (I used semi-sweet from Trader Joe’s)

What to do:

1. Preheat oven 375 degrees F. Combine flour, salt, and baking soda in a bowl then set aside.

2. Combine sugars, fat, vanilla and applesauce.

3. Add dry ingredients to wet.

4. Add chocolate chips.

5. Spread mixture into lightly greased 9X13 pyrex glass dish.

6. Bake for 22 minutes.

7. Cut into tiny pieces and try not to eat them all yourself before your spouse comes home from work.


What’s for dessert at your house these shorter, cooler days? 

Not really feeling this recipe? You can always visit the recipe archive for more dinner ideas.

Photo Credit: Me