Party Size Hummus

Original Hummus

Original Hummus

Have you ever wondered about how it would feel to make your own hummus in your own rather than going to a store? What if I told you that nearly all of the ingredients to make this hummus could be bought from an online Food Vitamin, Mineral and Herb store called Vitacost.com. This amazing company not only has a wide variety of options available to purchase, but they have crazy deals and great fast and free shipping on $25+ orders of Vitacost brand products. With this recipe, you’ll be the snack-sation of any party! Feel free to add your own toppings as well to this hummus and get creative, I hope that you enjoy it as much as I do.

Original Hummus

Yields 24 servings


6 cups Vitacost Garbanzo Beans 

3 Tbsp. filtered water

1 cup Vitacost organic tahini 

2 garlic clove, minced

2 tsp. cumin

1 cup lemon juice

1 Tbsp. avocado oil

1-1/2 tsp. Vitacost Himalayan Fine Pink Salt

paprika to garnish, optional


  1. In a food processor, combine the chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and cumin.
  2. Set to high and slowly add the avocado oil and water until the right consistency has been achieved.
  3. Serve with paprika or other toppings of choice. Enjoy with fresh pita or a vegetable platter

Chef’s tip: This recipe makes for a lot of hummus, if you would like to cut it in half or even in quarters, please do so!

This recipe is sponsored by Vitacost.com

Chopped Salad with Homemade Ranch

Chopped Salad

Chopped Salad

Sometimes a big salad paired with homemade ranch is just what we need in life. This plant-based alternative may not have all of the dairy but it sure is not missing out on any flavor. With all of the fresh ingredients, this salad is truly something your entire family will enjoy. Whether you are making this for a lunch or a big family dinner, you can always add your own favorites to make this salad to your liking. Get ready to toss this together because once you taste the flavor this salad packs, you will be craving more with each bite!

Chopped Salad

Yields 2-3 servings


3 hearts of romaine, chopped and diced

1 cup chickpeas, cooked

1 (8 oz.) cherry tomatoes, halved

3 corn on the cob

2 avocado, diced

2-3 Tbsp. hemp seeds

1 cup shredded carrots

Ranch Dressing:

1 cup vegan mayonnaise

1/2 cup vegan sour cream, (optional)

1/4 cup cashew milk

1 tsp. garlic powder

1/4 tsp. onion powder

1/4 tsp. Vitacost Himalayan Fine Pink Salt

1/8 tsp. ground black pepper

1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar

2 tsp. fresh parsley 

1/2 tsp. fresh dill

1/2 tsp. chives

1-1/2 tsp. lemon juice, freshly squeezed


  1. In your blender, add all of the dressing ingredients (except parsley, dill, and chives) and blend until well mixed. Mix in the herbs and set in the refrigerator to allow the flavors to meld together.
  2. In the mean time, prepare the salad by chopping the lettuce and filling a medium bowl. In segments, add the carrots, avocado, tomatoes, and chickpeas.
  3. Top salad with hemp seed and pour dressing on top when ready to serve.

Chef’s tip: To adjust the thickness, add or remove some cashew milk depending on your preference. 

Tofurky and Roasted Vegetable Medley

Tofurky and Roasted Vegetable Medley

Tofurky and Roasted Vegetable Medley

Roasted to perfection, these oil-free potatoes and veggies are the ultimate holiday experience! Using some vegetable broth and lemon, you can actually create a natural oil that will allow your food to not stick. Toss in fresh slices of orange and some herbs from your garden to give you the perfect side dish for any dinner or holiday party. Simply add your roast of choice and allow all of the flavors to meld together until its all done.

Tofurky and Roasted Vegetable Medley

Yields 5 servings


1 Tofurky

1/4 cup vegetable broth

24 oz. potatoes

3-5 small carrots

1 celery stick, cut in 4 pieces

1 small onion, halved and quartered

1 Tbsp. fresh rosemary, chopped

1 Tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped

1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 tsp. Vitacost Himalayan Fine Pink Salt

1/4 tsp. black ground pepper

Tofurky and Roasted Vegetable Medley


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a roasting dish, place the thawed Tofurky on the bottom. Season and coat evenly with poultry seasoning, vegan butter, and thyme.
  3. Place the potatoes, onion, celery, and carrots around the Tofurky.
  4. In a small bowl, mix the rosemary, parsley, lemon juice, and garlic. Pour this mixture over the potatoes and season with the salt and pepper.
  5. Place in to the oven and bake for 1-1/2 hours.
  6. Serve and enjoy

Chef’s tip: You can always add orange slices for extra citrus flavor!

Stuffed Pumpkin with Rice and Mushroom

Stuffed Pumpkin with Rice and Mushroom

Stuffed Pumpkin with Rice and Mushroom

Have you ever tried stuffing a pumpkin and roasting it to perfection? If not, then you should try this recipe! Every Thanksgiving, my aunt makes this stuffed pumpkin with rice, sautéed onions, celery, and lots of sausage…so I took the challenge of re-creating her dish with a vegan twist. Living a plant-based life can be easy and enjoyable; I’m here to show you that all of your favorite foods can still be made with plant-based ingredients. Instead of sausage, I reconstituted dried shiitake mushrooms for a “meaty” texture which gives the dish a wonderful flavor profile!

Stuffed Pumpkin with Rice and Mushroom

Yields 2-3 pumpkins


2-3 pumpkin pie pumpkin (or 1 large pumpkin)

2 oz. dried Shitake mushrooms, chopped and reconstituted (see notes)

4 cups white rice, cooked

1 stick vegan butter

2 cups onion, chopped

1-1/2 cup celery, chopped

1/2 cup red wine, de-glaze

3 Tbsp. Worcestershire, to coat each pumpkin

2 tsp. garlic powder

2 tsp. onion powder

2 tsp. Vitacost Himalayan Fine Pink Salt

2 tsp. pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. To reconstitute the dried shitaki mushrooms, fill a bowl with hot water and soak for 1 hour. Remove the stems once they are all soft and dice the shiitake mushroom into 1-in. Note: Make sure that the mushrooms are soft and well hydrated.
  3. Saute the onion and celery for 5-7 minutes. At this same time, cook your rice according to the package instructions. Remove the onion and celery from the pan and set aside in a small bowl.
  4. In the same frying pan, add butter and reconstituted mushrooms and pan fry for 3-5 minutes. Add the red wine to the mushrooms and cook on high for 2 minutes. Add to the cooked rice, onions and celery mixture, season with salt and pepper to taste, and set aside.
  5. Cut the top off of your pumpkin and remove the top, seeds, and clean the inside out. Brush the inner walls with Worcestershire and add the mushroom and rice mixture.
  6. Place the pumpkin inside of a pan with 1-in” water to steam. Cover the pumpkin with the top and bake for roughly 40-50 minutes. The pumpkin should be soft and the outside should be charred.

Chef’s tip: The darker the pumpkin the better. The

Garlic and Chive Mashed Potatoes

Mashed Potatoes

Mashed Potatoes

This plant-based mashed potato with garlic and cloves is so unbelievably delicious! Not only is this perfect for those Thanksgiving side dishes, but it may even qualify for Christmas. The best combination (in my opinion) are russet and Yukon gold potatoes. They really give you that perfect fluffy and creamy texture that you are looking for. Pair that texture with the fresh herbs, seasoning, and cashew milk and you’ll have yourself the perfect duo!

Mashed Potatoes

Yields 3-4 servings


4 potatoes, peeled and diced

1/4 cup cashew milk

1 Tbsp. nutritional yeast

1/2 tsp. garlic powder

1/4 tsp. onion powder

2 Tbsp. chives

1/2 tsp. Vitacost Himalayan Fine Pink Salt

1/4 tsp. ground black pepper


  1. In a pot on medium-high heat, add the peeled and diced potatoes and cook until you can stick it with a fork and it falls off. Pour into a strainer and add to a mixing bowl.
  2. In the bowl with potatoes, begin to mash with a mixer (or stand mixer) and add the butter. Next add the cashew milk, salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic, nutritional yeast, and chives.
  3. Place potatoes into a serving dish and enjoy

Chef’s tip: If you would like to make these a bit more on the garlic and cheesy side, feel free to add double the amount

Nanas Stuffing

Thanksgiving stuffing

Thanksgiving stuffing

My Nana’s stuffing recipe will complete any Thanksgiving meal or dinner! Here is another favorite of my Nana’s holiday cooking that I am excited to share with you all. Tossing homemade dried bread cubes with celery, onions, butter, and then topped with vegetable broth and baked to perfection. Pouring hot gravy over this stuffing is really what I crave each Thanksgiving, it’s just really that good. Be sure to save some room on your plate this year for this incredibly fresh and moist stuffing.

Thanksgiving stuffing

Yield: 6-8 servings


3 loaves of stuffing bread (or day old bread)

1-3/4 cup vegetable broth

2 sticks vegan butter

1 cup onion, chopped

1 cup celery, chopped

6 Tbsp. Bob’s Red Mill Egg Replacer + 12 Tbsp. filtered water, mixed


2 tsp. poultry seasoning

1 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. pepper

1 tsp. onion powder

2 tsp. fresh dill, chopped or 1/2 tsp. dried dill

1 tsp. paprika


  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
  2. Place the poultry seasoning, paprika, dill, onion powder, salt, pepper in to a small bowl and mix. Set aside.
  3. On a baking sheet, place the sliced bread on to the pan and bake for 15 minutes, and turn bread cubes around. Bake for an additional 15-20 minutes slowly turning the cubes around. Once all of the bread is toasted, put them into a big bowl (you may need to use two).
  4. In a frying pan, add the butter, onions, and celery. Sauté for 5-10 minutes or until the celery is soft. Dump the mixture directly over the bread cubes. 
  5. Then pour the seasoning mixture, egg replacer, and vegetable broth over evenly, mixing until well incorporated. The bread cubes should be wet but not soggy or overly soaked.
  6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  7. In a greased casserole dish, add the bread mixture and bake for 1 hour or until golden brown. 
  8. Allow to set for 5 minutes before serving.

Chef’s tip: Feel free to make this the day before and place it in the refrigerator overnight.

Green Bean Casserole

Green Bean Casserole

Green Bean Casserole

It’s the dish that most of us have been waiting for all year, Green bean casserole! Using cashew milk to recreate a “cream of mushroom” soup is a fantastic way to alter this classic side dish for Thanksgiving. Topped with crispy fried onion and baked to perfection, this plant-based alternative will leave you are your guests mouths watering for more!


4 Tbsp. avocado oil

1/2 cup onion, chopped

1 small shallot, diced

2 lbs. green beans, trimmed

1/2 cup baby Bella mushrooms, diced

2-3 cloves garlic, chopped

1/2 tsp. Himalayan pink salt

1/4 tsp. pepper

1/4 tsp. dried thyme

1/4 tsp. smoked paprika

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1 1/2 cups vegetable broth

1/2 cup cashew milk

1 Tbsp. nutritional yeast

1 Tbsp. tahini

1 1/2 cups crispy french fried onions


  1. In a frying pan on medium-high heat, add the olive oil and onions and allow to cook for 2-3 minutes. Then add in the mushrooms and garlic, sauté for an additional 4-5 minutes.
  2. Next, add in paprika, nutritional yeast, pepper, salt, thyme, and flour. Coat the veggies and add the cashew milk, vegetable stock, and tahini.
  3. Turn heat to medium, and allow mixture to thicken, roughly 2-3 minutes. Set aside in the stove. 
  4. Bring a pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Dice and trim off the green beans ends, slice in half, and place in boiling water. Cook for 2-3 minutes and remove green beans from pot into a bowl of ice water.
  5. In a big mixing bowl, add your cooked & drained green beans and pour the sauce over the green beans. Add about half of the fried onion crisps to the bowl and give a good mix.
  6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  7. In a greased casserole dish, pour the mixture in and top with remaining onion crisps. 
  8. Bake covered for 40 minutes. Remove cover and continue baking until top is browned and bubbling.
  9. Serve immediately.

Chef’s tip: If you do not like mushrooms, you can leave them out of this recipe.

Pineapple Stuffing

Pineapple Stuffing

Sweeten up your Thanksgiving dinner with this decadent Pineapple stuffing! Growing up as a kid, each holiday, my Nana would make this recipe for the family. It is really one of those dishes that you may have to double so that everyone can get enough. This super easy and simply 5-ingredient recipe is buttery with a burst of pineapple flavor with each bite you take. This amazing side dish will only take a few minutes to prepare so don’t worry about making this the day before.

Pineapple Stuffing

Yields 5-6 servings


1 (20 oz can) crushed pineapple

1/2 cup vegan butter, melted

1 cup organic cane sugar

6 slices of white bread, cubed

4 Tbsp. Bob’s Red Mill Egg Replacer +8 Tbsp. filtered water, mix and set aside


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine the melted butter, sugar, egg replacer, and pineapple and mix until well incorporated.
  3. Add the diced bread and fold the mixture.
  4. In a greased casserole dish, pour the bread and pineapple mixture in and bake for 1 hour or until top of golden brown.

Chef’s tip: You can always add Maraschino cherries if you would like.

Pasta Fazool (Pasta e fagioli)

Pasta Fazool

Pasta Fazool

With the weather starting to get colder, I thought now would be a great time to break out one of my favorite family recipes: Pasta Fazool (pasta e frasule)! This dish brings back so many memories of family dinners with my Nana cooking this soup for us all. This old school “peasant” dish has really become a staple in my life as a go-to comforting meal, especially when I want a taste of home. Get ready to break out some crusty bread to scoop up all this soupy goodness! I hope that you all enjoy this recipe as much as my family and I do.

Pasta Fazool


2 cans northern beans (juice in)

2 Tbsp. tomato sauce, canned or homemade

2 cup vegetable broth

2-3 cloves garlic, (sliced)

1/4 cup avocado oil

1 cup onion, chopped

1-2 tsp. oregano, to taste

1/2 tsp. Vitacost Himalayan Fine Pink Salt

1/4 tsp. ground black pepper

2 cans of water for EACH can of beans

1-1/2 to 2 cup Ditalini Macaroni, cooked


  1. In a medium soup pot on medium heat, add olive oil and diced onions. Sauté for 5-7 minutes or until onions are translucent.
  2. Next, add all above ingredients (except for Ditalini macaroni). Bring to a boil and then reduce to medium-low stirring occasionally for 5 minutes.
  3. Slowly add the cooked Ditalini macaroni to the soup. Note: Start by adding 1-1/2 cups and see how the thickens turns out. If you desire a thicker soup, add remaining 1/2 cup macaroni.
  4. After 10-15 minutes of simmering, remove from heat and serve with choice of bread (or my personal favorite: pizza!)

Chef’s tip: the more macaroni you add to the soup the thicker the soup will get.

Southwestern Black Bean Salad

Southwestern Black Bean Salad

Cut the carbs and try this loaded salad for #TacoTuesday today! This salad is filled with fresh fruits and vegetables like red onion, juicy mango and pineapple, cherry tomatoes, and creamy avocados. One bite and you won’t be able to stop! That’s because the reviving taste of the fresh lime juice mixed with the black beans and other flavors will keep you wanting more!

Southwestern Black Bean Salad

Yields 2 servings


16 oz. organic spring mix

1/2 cup black beans

2 Tbsp. hemp seeds

1/3 cup mango salsa

1/8 cup red onion, sliced

1/2 avocado, sliced

1 tsp. fresh cilantro, chopped


1/2 cup avocado oil

1/8 cup agave

1/2 cup lime juice, fresh squeezed

1 tsp, garlic

1/2 tsp. Vitacost Himalayan Fine Pink Salt

1/4 tsp. Spicely Organics Ground Black Pepper



  1. On a large plate, place all of the lettuce down in a big layer. Top with cooked black beans, hemp seed, mango salsa, red onion, cilantro, and avocado.


  1. In a small bowl, mix together all dressing ingredients until well combined.
  2. Top salad with dressing and serve with sides of lime wedges.

Chef’s tip: To spice things up, add 1/4 tsp. jalapeño to the dressing,