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

Did you like this? Please click the link here to make sure you don’t miss any updates in 2015 –  get email updates (it’s FREE).

Other Posts You Might Like:
8 Reasons Why Private Yoga Lessons Might Work for YOU
Breakfasts I’ll Be Making Again
at More Soup
est Damn Granola EVER

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.

If you enjoyed this post, get email updates (it’s FREE).

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

Teacher Cooks Edition! Pasta with Baby Broccoli and Lemon Garlic Sauce

It’s a good thing I’ve got morning walking dates with friends this fall because I am loving all the pasta and bread and the delicious fall foods intending to fill in my fall clothes.

My husband pretty much went vegetarian a couple months ago and my kid is completely uninterested in chicken, so I’ve been experimenting with all sorts of meat free (and dairy free – allergic, yo!) dishes.  My Food Finds Pinterest board is full of ideas you’ll see here this season.

This week’s dish was brilliantly simple and delicious. I would eat it every day if I wouldn’t have to buy new pants.

Without further ado, I bring you Pasta with Baby Broccoli and Lemon Garlic Sauce.


Recipe is so close to the one from The Yogic Kitchen, click over there to see what’s up.

Pasta with Baby Broccoli and Lemon Garlic Sauce

Serves 4

Ingredients Notes:

I used Earth Balance vegan “butter”

I wasn’t sure what Italian seasonings she meant, so I used 21 salute from Trader Joe’s – 2 handfuls plus a couple of shakes of red pepper flakes.

I juiced the lemon and added it to the sauce as well. Who wants a zested lemon just laying around the house? Put that sucker to work!

Those little “ear” pastas crack me up.

What to do:

Add parmesan cheese if you want, but I had it without and it was delicious! I have rosemary bread crumbs that I should have added. Hmmm, guess I’ll have to make it again next week.


What’s for dinner 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

Teacher Cooks Edition! Vegetable White Bean Soup with Israeli Couscous

It’s fall on the calendar and damn it, I will eat soup even when it is 90+ degrees! Maybe it is cool at your house.

Funny thing is that I am not much of a soup person so it’s no wonder I keep adding couscous to all my soups and basically turning them into something that tastes like soup, but you chew it. In any case I’m a fan of all the adding couscous to soup action happening around here.

Maybe I just like the extra calories. Hmmmm.

Without further ado, I bring you Vegetable White Bean Soup with Israeli Couscous.


Recipe is based on the one from Regina’s Vegetarian Table.

Vegetable White Bean Soup with Israeli Couscous

Serves 6-8


1 TBS olive oil

1 1/4 cups of white beans, rinsed { I used 2 cans of white beans, rinsed}

1 onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 cups vegetable stock

2 to 3 quarts of water

2 tomatoes chopped (I used one 14 oz can with the juice}

2 stalks of celery, diced

2 carrots, sliced

2 small squash, sliced (I used zucchini}

3/4 tsp group cumin

3/4 tsp chihi power

1/4 tsp seasoned salt

pinch of fines herbes or Italian seasoning

salt and pepper

1 box Israeli couscous – about 1 1/4 cups

What to do:

Prepare the beans if using dry by soaking them in water over night or at least 2 hours. I used canned so I drained and rinsed them well.

1.  Saute onions and garlic in olive oil until tender.

2.  Add vegetable stock, water, beans, and all the vegetables.

3.  Add spices and the couscous then simmer over low heat for 3 to 4 hours or over night in the slow cooker.

All of us enjoyed this with multigrain crackers because we love carbs.


What’s for dinner 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