Beans, Kale, Mushrooms, Soups

Minestrone With Pesto


1 large onion, diced
1 cup peeled and coarsely chopped garlic
2 celery stalks, diced
2 carrots, diced
1 small turnip, diced
1/2 cup white wine or no-salt-added vegetable broth
1/2 pound mushrooms, sliced
1 tablespoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons dried basil
1 teaspoon dried marjoram
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried sage
3 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste
10 cups no-salt-added vegetable stock
4 cups chopped tomatoes
1/2 cup tomato paste (see note)
1/4 cup no-salt seasoning blend adjusted to taste
1 1/2 cups cooked garbanzo beans or 1 (15 ounce) can no-salt-added garbanzo beans, drained
1 1/2 cups cooked kidney beans or 1 (15 ounce) can no-salt-added kidney beans, drained
1 small head Napa cabbage, shredded
8 ounces peeled pearl onions
1 pound frozen kale, collards, mustard greens or a mix
1/2 pound fresh green beans, topped and tailed and cut diagonally into 1 inch pieces
1 zucchini, diced
2-3 tablespoons aged balsamic vinegar
2 cups fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup pine nuts
4-6 cloves garlic or to taste
unsweetened soy, hemp or almond milk, as needed
2 tablespoons lemon juice or to taste
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
freshly ground black pepper
Steam/saute the onions, garlic, celery, carrots, parsnips and turnips in the white wine in a large covered pot over medium-high heat until lightly browned, about 15 minutes. Add the mushrooms and saute for 5 minutes, then add the spices and saute for another minute. Then add the stock, tomatoes, tomato paste, MatoZest and garbanzos and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Next, add the kidney beans, Napa cabbage, pearl onions, greens, green beans and zucchini. Continue to simmer for 15 more minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Stir in the balsamic vinegar, remove form the heat and let sit 20 minutes before eating.

To make the pesto, process the basil, pine nuts, and garlic in a food processor with an S-blade until a fairly smooth, thick paste forms. With the machine running, pour in the non-dairy milk until you achieve a smooth sauce. Add the lemon juice, nutritional yeast and black pepper, to taste and process until a very smooth consistency is achieved.

Serve soup topped with a spoonful of pesto.

Note: Choose tomato products packaged in glass or cartons. These materials do not contain BPA.

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Dressings and Sauces, Mushrooms

Brown Mushroom Gravy

brown mushroom gravy.jpg

You don’t have to miss gravy on your mashed potatoes anymore. 

Makes about 2 1/2 cups of gravy


8 oz pkg of mushrooms (white or cremini), cleaned and roughly sliced
1/2 cup red onion, diced very small
1/2 cup carrot, diced very small
2 cloves of garlic, minced or pressed (let sit 10 minutes before using in recipe)
1 tsp poultry seasoning (or 1/4 tsp each: sage, basil, oregano, marjoram)
1/2 cup cooked brown rice
2 cups no sodium vegetable broth
1 TBSP reduced sodium soy sauce 

Add onion and carrot to a dry pan heating over medium-high. When they begin to brown, add a few tablespoons of broth, stir and continue to cook for a 1-2 minutes.

Add mushrooms and cook until soft.

Add garlic and poultry seasoning, cook for 1 minute before adding cooked rice, rest of the broth and soy sauce.

When carrots are tender, puree mixture in blender, until gravy is very smooth.

Serve right away or return to pan to keep warm, if needed.

The recipe  can easily doubled, if you are feeding a crowd or want to put some into the freezer (it will separate when thawed, but put it all into a pan and whisk while reheating).

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Amy holds a Plant-Based Nutrition Certificate from T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies and eCornell

Be Strong, Be Well and Be Green!

Main Dishes, Mushrooms, Recipes

Spinach Stuffed Mushrooms


1 small onion, chopped
12 large mushrooms, stems removed and chopped
1 clove garlic (or more to taste), minced
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 cup no-salt-added vegetable broth
5 ounces fresh spinach
2 tablespoons raw almond butter
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
1/4 teaspoon black pepper, or to taste


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large pan, heat 2-3 tablespoons of water and water sauté chopped onion for 2 minutes, add mushroom stems, garlic and thyme and continue to sauté until onions and mushrooms are tender, about 3 minutes.

Add mushroom caps to pan, along with vegetable broth, bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes.

Remove mushroom caps from pan and place on a lightly-oiled baking sheet.

Add spinach to onion mixture remaining in pan and heat until wilted.

Remove from heat and stir in almond butter, nutritional yeast and black pepper.

Fill mushroom caps with spinach/onion mixture and bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.

Note: If desired, 1/2 cup of whole grain bread crumbs may be added to stuffing mixture.

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