Reuben Sandwich

I love a good Reuben. Really I just love any excuse to eat sauerkraut! This version hits nearly all the flavors of a Reuben. My mom left half of hers on the counter and lost it to my carnivore dad, so that says something.

I used very thinly sliced portobellos for meat, left out the cheese, and made a plant based thousand island dressing. A real reuben is pretty fatty, which is why the sauerkraut works so well to cut through the fat and balance the flavors. My first version of this sandwich I liked, but felt was missing some balance. It was the fat, I had too much vinegar flavor, so I added some avocado the second time and it balanced much better.

Reuben Sandwich


Makes: 2 | Difficulty: Medium



  • 4 medium portobello mushrooms
  • carrot dog marinade found here

Thousand Island Dressing found here

Rye Bread
Grill mushrooms, let cool a little, then very thinly slice and add to marinade for 30 minutes to three hours.

Lightly toast rye bread and smear with avocado.

Pat mushrooms very dry. Pat sauerkraut very dry. Heat mushrooms and kraut until warm. Add mushrooms, then sauerkraut to bottom slice of bread. Drizzle with dressing and top with other slice of bread.

If you don’t toast the bread this would also be a great grilled sandwich.

Chickpeas Rice and Gravy

When we were growing up, we would take these excruciatingly long road trips from Houston to south Louisiana to see my Mom’s family. As a reward for enduring my brother’s proud farts the whole way there, my Mawmaw and Pawpaw would cook each of our favorite meals. Mine was always Chicken Rice and Gravy which was my simplistic name for Chicken Stew. It’s a roux and cajun trinity based stew with dark meat chicken (skin on!). I would also request this meal for most birthdays. My brother, who has mastered many of the family’s cajun specialities (despite his atmospheric assaults), will make it for me as my Christmas present. And it’s a fact-based family joke that whenever my mom makes it, I sneak into an empty room to have some alone time with my Chicken Rice and Gravy.
This weekend, I woke up with a craving for biscuits and gravy but didn’t want it bad enough to go out for a cheat, so we made the Happy Herbivore version. While the biscuits need a lot of research and development, the gravy was awesome! We found ourselves making mashed potatoes that night just so we could eat more gravy. It reminded me of chicken stew so much that it spawned an idea – Chicken-pea Stew. I adapted the gravy recipe to work with a trinity, thinned it out, and added chickpeas.
As I right this, the Cheatgans are texting me to say how good it is (even my Dad!).
This recipe makes a ton. I suggest cutting it by at least half if it’s only for a couple people.


Prep Time: 20 mins | Cook Time: 45 mins | Makes: 15 | Difficulty: Medium


  • 1.5 c whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1.5 c nutritional yeast
  • 10 c vegetable stock
  • 3/4 c soy sauce
  • 6 cups total of equal parts onion, green bell pepper, and celery (our HEB sells a pre-chopped mix of cajun seasonings that we use)
  • 2 T minced garlic
  • 1/4 c minced parsley
  • 2 cans chickpeas, drained
  • Liberal amount of black pepper
  • Cooked brown rice


Get the onions, bell pepper, and celery going in a pot over medium heat until they are soft. Keeping it covered with help prevent burning.

While that’s happening, gather the rest of the ingredients and measure them out. You’ll need it ready because you won’t be able to do much else for a while.

Add the flour and nutritional yeast to a big pot. Put it on medium low heat and stir almost constantly until it’s a light peanut butter color (it will burn very easily). This seems to take forever but it’s probably about 20-25 minutes, depending on how high the heat is. I like to use a whisk for this part.

Add all the other ingredients, bring to a simmer, turn it down and cook about 20 minutes.

Serve over brown rice.

Source: My Brain

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This dish was inspired by my parent’s love of the Amy’s frozen black bean enchiladas dinner.

It’s kinda of a complicated recipe so make it for a special occasion. I’ve also come up with an easy version of this that I’ll post after a little more research and development.

The trick to this recipe is the sauce. You can make your own but then it would really get involved and dirty a lot of dishes. I was able to find an oil free sauce at Central Market and we ordered a case of it from Amazon.


Prep Time: 30 mins | Cook Time: 25 minute(s) | Makes: Number of servings:4


  • 1 medium onion, chopped fine
  • 2 cloves garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup red bell pepper, chopped
  • 12 ounces patty pan, zucchini, or yellow summer squash, diced (about 2 medium squash)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon Ancho chile powder (or mild chili powder)
  • 1/8 -1/4 teaspoon chipotle chile powder (or to taste)
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked black beans, well rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • 2 teaspoons lime juice
  • Amy’s Refried Beans
  • Happy Herbivore Nacho Cheese sauce
  • Casa Corona Red Enchilada Sauce (or 10 ounces homemade sauce)
  • 8 corn tortillas
  • chopped green onions, for serving


1. Saute the onion in a medium-sized saucepan until it begins to caramelize. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Stir in the bell pepper and squash and cook, stirring, for about two minutes, until squash is just beginning to become tender. Add the cumin, chile powders, black beans, and salt. Simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the nutritional yeast and lime juice. Check seasoning and adjust to taste.

2. Preheat oven to 350. Lightly spray one large rectangular baking dish or 4 individual baking dishes with olive oil. Place a thin layer of enchilada sauce on the bottom of each dish, reserving most of it to go on top. Microwave the tortillas for about 20 seconds to soften them. Place a tortilla in front of you coat with refried beans and arrange about 1/4 cup of the bean mixture across the center. Roll up and place seam-side down into the baking dish. Repeat with remaining tortillas and beans. Pour the remaining sauce over the top and drizzle with nacho cheese sauce.

3. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until hot and bubbling. Sprinkle with sliced green onions and cilantro to serve.

Nutritional Info:

Yield: 8 enchiladas

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Miraculous Roasted Chicken Mashed Potatoes

Miraculous Roasted Chicken Mashed Potatoes


Prep Time: 20 mins | Cook Time: 15 mins | Makes: 6 | Difficulty: Easy


These mashed potatoes are miraculous because they somehow smell like roasted chicken?!? And they are crazy good!

I chalk it up to the magical umami powers of caramelized onions and walnut butter.

There’s no need for gravy, and if you still think of mashed potatoes as just a side dish, try a big bowl of this and see if it changes your mind.


  • 5lbs russet potatoes
  • 1 lg yellow onion
  • 2c unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/4 c walnut butter
  • 3 T nutritional yeast
  • 1 T kosher salt (or to taste)
  • Liberal Black pepper
  • Dash of Worcester sauce (optional)
  • Cilantro (optional)


Boil potatoes, drain, and mash. (Leave the skin on or off. For a super silky texture, peel the skin and use a ricer instead of mashing.)

Caramelize onions. Add remaining ingredients to onions and heat through, don’t boil. Pour most of this liquid onto potatoes and mix (but don’t over mix or the texture might become gummy). You might want to hold back some liquid if you’re serving them right away. But if your planning to refrigerate and reheat, add all the liquid. They will be a little wet but will dry out when refrigerated and reheated.

Mix with some cilantro for a bit of freshness (optional).

Eggplant Green Curry

Eggplant Green Curry

Notes: I love me some coconut milk! It’s been the last unhealthy fat I’ve given up. But I was able to do a lot of experimenting over the last few weeks and I think I’ve found a suitable replacement for SOME applications. Making a cashew milk, and adding coconut extract, works great with this curry application. It does NOT work great when making coconut rice! That was a total fail, but one I’m still trying to figure out. This dish is one of my all time favorites, and I’m SO glad I was able to adapt it (it’s not the exact same as using coconut milk but it hits the spot)! It requires several hard to find ingredients (kaffir lime leaves and fresh lemon grass) but they are well worth tracking down because the flavor just isn’t the same without them. In fact, what inspired me to make this dish this week was the fact that Central Market happened to have fresh kaffir limes, which I had never seen before! They were perfect squeezed on top of this dish. Kaffir lime leaves might be in the freezer section. If you find them fresh, freeze the leftovers for next time. The lemon grass needs to be fresh. I’ve tried a few jarred and paste versions of lemon grass and they all sucked.

A note about extracts: extract flavors and strengths can vary wildly. Start small, you can always add more as it’s cooking.

The fish sauce in this recipe is totally optional. It’s the only animal product I still keep around because of one recipe I make where the flavor can’t be duplicated. But in this recipe, you won’t miss it if you want to leave it out.

★★★★★ Prep Time: 15 mins | Cook Time: 30 mins | Makes: Serves 2-3 | Difficulty: Medium

Ingredients: 2 Japanese eggplants, cut into bite-sized pieces 1 red bell pepper, seeded, sliced into half sticks 1 can of bamboo shoots (optional) 1-2 tablespoons green curry paste (depending on brand and spice level preference) 2/3 c cashews water 1-2 c almond milk (depending on how saucy you like it) 2 t coconut extract (depends on extract strength) 3 kaffir lime leaves 1 lemongrass stalk, cut into three pieces and bruised 1 tablespoon fish sauce (optional) 1 tablespoon brown sugar 1/4 cup Thai Basil or Sweet Basil leaves 1 lime (kaffir lime if you can find it) Cooked brown rice


Put cashews in a two cup measuring cup and add water until you reach two cups. Soak cashews anywhere from 20 minutes to overnight (if soaking 20 minutes use warm water). Blend cashews, water and coconut extract in food processor or blender until very smooth.

Place a wide bottom pan over high heat. Add eggplant and cook until it becomes charred brown and blistered. Almost all the eggplant needs to touch the bottom of the pan, if your pan is too small, cook in batches. You need the flavor from charred eggplant not steamed eggplant.

Now it’s time to bloom the curry. Start by opening some doors and windows and turn on all your fans, then evacuate young children and non-essential personnel! If you’re using a good curry paste, the fumes created by this process will leave everyone coughing! Push eggplant to the sides of the pan. Add the curry paste to the center and saute for about 30 seconds (it will stick to the pan but it’s ok). Add the faux coconut milk and scrape the pan. Mix curry with milk until smooth then mix in the eggplant.

Add the lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, fish sauce, brown sugar, 1 cup almond milk, and bell pepper. Cook on low, covered, until softened to desired level, adding more almond milk as it dries out. Serve over rice with basil and lime wedges on the side.


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Savory Swiss Chard Pie

Savory Swiss Chard Pie

Notes: A few tips: – it doesn’t “set” like you’d think but it tastes great – in retrospect I’d add a little lemon juice to the greens

★★★★★ Prep Time: 20 minute(s) | Cook Time: 40 minute(s) | Makes: Number of servings (yield) 4 | Difficulty: Medium

12 ounces ( 340 g) chard
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
12 ounces (349 g) lite firm or extra-firm silken tofu (1 package Mori-Nu), drained
1/4 cup (60 ml) plain soy milk
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 tablespoon potato starch or cornstarch
1 heaping tablespoon (1/2 ounce or 15 g) raw cashews (optional)*
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/8 teaspoon turmeric
3/4 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
1 pinch nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves (or 1 tsp. dried, optional)

Preheat oven to 375F. Spray a 9-inch ceramic pie pan lightly with non-stick spray.

Wash the chard but do not dry. Remove the center stem from each leaf. Set the leaves aside and chop the stems into small pieces.

In a large skillet, sauté the onion and chard stems until softened (about 5 minutes), adding a tablespoon of water if necessary to prevent sticking. Meanwhile, cut the chard leaves into bite-sized pieces. Add them to the pan along with the garlic, reduce heat, and cover. Cook until all chard is wilted. Remove from heat. If any water has accumulated, drain it; then spread chard in bottom of prepared pie pan.

Place tofu and remaining ingredients in a blender, and puree until very smooth. Pour over the chard in the pie pan. Use a spoon to gently open holes through the chard so that the tofu mixture penetrates it. Smooth the top so that tofu layer is even and covers all the chard. Bake for 30 minutes, or until center is set. Remove from oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

Preparation time: 20 minute(s) Cooking time: 40 minute(s) Number of servings (yield): 4


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Okra and Tomatoes

Okra and Tomatoes

Notes: Add white beans for protein. Trimming okra just means cutting off the stem close to the rim.

★★★★ Prep Time: 30 min | Cook Time: 30 min | Makes: 4 to 6 servings | Difficulty: Easy

1 pound okra, rinsed and trimmed
1 chopped onion
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon minced garlic
5-6 chopped roma tomato
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 teaspoon freshly ground or black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 can white beans (optional)

Cut each okra pod in half lengthwise and set aside. If there are any pods longer than 4 inches, cut them in half crosswise and then lengthwise.

Heat onions along with the salt and cook until they begin to soften. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute longer. Add the tomatoes and bring the mixture to a boil. Decrease the heat to low and add the ginger, pepper, cardamom and okra. Stir to combine. Cook, covered for 20 minutes. Remove from the heat, taste and adjust the seasoning as desired. Serve immediately. If adding beans add them about halfway through the cook time.


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Grilled Zucchini and Red Onion with Lemon-Basil Vinaigrette

Grilled Zucchini and Red Onion with Lemon-Basil Vinaigrette ★★★★ Makes: Serves 4 to 6 | Difficulty: Medium


1 large red onion, peeled and cut crosswise into four 1/2-inch-thick rounds

3 medium zucchini (about 1 pound), ends trimmed, sliced lengthwise into 3/4-inch-thick planks

extra virgin olive oil spray

Kosher salt and ground black pepper

1 small garlic clove, minced or pressed through garlic press (about 1/2 teaspoon)

1 teaspoon finely grated zest from 1 lemon

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil leaves

Directions: (from cook’s illustrated) WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS: Our perfect grilled vegetable recipe would have to produce charred-on-the-outside, tender-on-the-inside veggies with great smoky flavor and a lively dressing. Matching the vegetables in pairs doubled up our recipe’s flavor, while cooking them over moderate heat for 20 minutes gave us a great result, both inside and out. To finish our grilled vegetables recipe, we drizzled them with a quick vinaigrette while they were still warm, which boosted their flavor without overpowering them. The vegetables can be served hot, warm, or at room temperature. After about five minutes, faint grill marks should begin to appear on the undersides of the vegetables; if necessary, adjust their position on the grill or adjust the heat level. 1. Thread onion rounds, from side to side, onto 2 metal skewers. Spray onion and zucchini lightly and evenly with olive oil and season with 2 teaspoons kosher salt (or 1 teaspoon table salt) and pepper to taste. 2. Whisk remaining 2 tablespoons water, garlic, lemon zest and juice, mustard, and ½ teaspoon kosher salt (or ¼ teaspoon table salt) together in small bowl; set aside. 3. Grill vegetables over medium heat, turning once, until tender and caramelized, 18 to 22 minutes (move vegetables as needed to ensure even cooking). Transfer vegetables to platter; remove skewers from onion and discard any charred outer rings. Rewhisk vinaigrette and pour over vegetables. Sprinkle with basil and serve.


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Coconut Curry Kale

Notes: My one year old loved this. Add tofu or beans for protein. We use full fat coconut milk because it’s mostly for the baby.

★★★★ Prep Time: 0 hr 0 min | Cook Time: 0 hr 0 min | Makes: 2-3 main course servings | Difficulty: Easy


  • 1 onion 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 t ginger, grated
  • 2 t curry seasoning (can be curry powder, garam masala, Thai curry paste, etc)
  • .5-1 c vegetable stock or water (less stock if kale is still wet)
  • 1 14 oz can low fat coconut milk
  • .5 t salt
  • 2-3 bunches of kale
  • 1 can chickpeas or tofu (optional)
  • Toasted coconut flakes


Soften onion in Dutch oven (leave the lid on or add water to keep from burning). Add garlic, ginger, and curry. Cook one minute. Add salt, stock, milk, and half of kale. Let kale wilt then add the rest.

Add beans. Cover and cook on medium low for about 20 minutes (or until kale is as done as you like) stirring a few times and checking kale. Remove lid, turn up to medium high and cook until liquid reduces to desired consistency and kale is cooked to desired level.

Season with salt and pepper. If kale is too bitter, add a little honey by making a well in the center if the pot and incorporating it into the liquid before stirring the pot.

Top with toasted coconut flakes. We toast ours in the toaster oven until they are the color of bran flakes. You could also top with toasted nuts or seeds. The recipe also calls for topping it with a splash of lime but I didn’t have any.

Source: Cooks Illustrated

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Celery Root Salad with Apple Caraway and Horseradish

Notes: I’m not much of a salad person but lately we’ve found some winners. Here’s the latest. I’d never cooked with celery root before and I don’t know why. It was so nice to have a new vegetable, especially one with such a nice, light, herbal flavor. I adapted this recipe from a Cooks Illustrated recipe. Next time I’ll try adding a toasted nut or seed. Maybe pumpkin seed? I know the Veganaise is cheat. You could use soy yogurt if you wanted.

Celery Root Salad with Apple Caraway and Horseradish ★★★★ Prep Time: 0 hr 0 min | Cook Time: 0 hr 0 min | Makes: 4 | Difficulty: Easy


2 T lemon juice

1.5 T Dijon mustard

1.5 t horseradish (more to taste)

.5 t table salt

3 T water

3 T Veganaise (or soy yogurt)

1 medium celery root (13-14oz), peeled and shredded

1/2 medium tart apple, cored

2 scallions, sliced thin

2 t minced fresh parsley

2 t minced fresh tarragon

.5 t caraway seeds

Directions: Wisk dressing together. Grate celery root and apple using food processor or course side of box grater. Mix with dressing and additional ingredients. Let sit covered with plastic wrap in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, preferably a couple hours (makes a huge difference!). Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Enjoy!

Source: Cooks Illistrated Sent from Paprika Recipe Manager

Cashew Pesto Stuffed Mushrooms

Cashew Pesto Stuffed Mushrooms


Prep Time: 0 hr 0 min | Cook Time: 0 hr 0 min | Makes: 12 | Difficulty: Medium


1-2 slices bread, toasted (almost burnt) and ground in the food processor

2 cloves garlic, grated

12 “stuffing” mushrooms, stems removed and reserved (or 24-36 small mushrooms)

1/2c raw cashews pieces, ground very fine or until a butter consistency

salt, pepper, onion powder, to taste

2 handfuls spinach, ground fine

1 handful fresh basil, ground fine

1/2c nutritional yeast

Lemon juice to taste

Lemon zest to taste

Red pepper flakes to taste


Preheat the oven to 350°.

Process each ingredient in the food processor (except mushroom caps) and combine everything in a big bowl. Drizzle with enough olive oil to moisten or use water.

To stuff the shrooms, form a ball with about 2T stuffing and cram it right into the caps! Layer the stuffed shrooms on cooling rack on top of a cookie sheet (you can do it directly on the cookie sheet but this method helps the mushrooms dry out and concentrate their flavor).

Bake for 15-20 minutes. You can serve them right out of the oven or at room temperature (you don’t even have to bake them, they’re good raw too).


These are great for parties. The stuffing is fantastic on pasta too!


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