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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Simple Ways Not to Lose Your Marbles During the Holidays

Today I took a workshop with Mary Paffard of Yoga Mendocino. She is the beloved teacher of many of my It’s All Yoga teachers. Mary comes to Sacramento occasionally to do workshops.

Today’s topic: The Serene Heart.

Here’s some of the highlights:

1. We (Westerners, Americans, you, me) need to rest more. (HA! I knew it!)

2. Starting the day with a little yoga or meditation can set the tone for the remainder of your day.

3. If the beginning of the day doesn’t work, try a little yoga or meditation at the end of the day before you go to bed.

4. By a little yoga, I mean a little. One or two restorative poses. That’s it.

Maybe a little Viparita Karani (Legs-up-the-wall) or Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclining Bound Angle Pose). I like to set myself up in both these poses and then cover my eyes with a lavender eye pillow and then cover my body with a blanket.

5. Pause, pause, pause. At the sound of every bell you hear during the day, pause. Close your eyes and take a deep breath.

6. Go into nature and observe. We have a lot to learn from the natural world about how we would be better served by slowing down during the cold dark months.

7. You have to give up some thing, to get some thing else. In other words, I have give up some time in order to gain some peace. Seems like a fair trade.

8.  When all else fails, take to your bed. Take a day off from the outside world and hang out in bed. Don’t wait until you are sick to do this. Schedule a pajama day and enjoy it.

Image Source: We Heart It