Pita Pockets with Black Beans, Brown Rice and Sweet Potatoes

Looking for a quick lunch idea? Here is an easy one………

Pita Pockets with Black Beans, Brown Rice and Sweet Potatoes

(Inspired by my daughter, Natalie 🙂

Makes 3 or 4 Pitas


2 c. choice of greens

1 sweet potato, cooked and cut into small cubes

1 cooked brown rice bowl (see picture below)


1 can black or pinto beans

favorite brand of pita pockets (I love Trader Joe’s whole wheat)


Place a 1/4 of the greens and sweet potato in the pita. Add salsa, beans, brown rice and I like more salsa. I love it. Enjoy!

Chipotle Black Bean Sweet Potato Burgers

My daughter shared this recipe with me last week and I made them on Saturday when we had a barbecue with family. Since we have been on the whole foods plant based diet, I have needed to make adjustments for us when eating with my meat eating friends. 😜 Needless to say, I did not miss the regular beef cheese burger and this is much better for our healthy heart :).

I tripled this recipe so I would have patties to freeze.

Chipotle Black Bean Sweet Potato Burgers

Prep Time: 50 min. Or make them the night before and keep them in the refrigerator overnight.

Cook Time: 20 min.

Serves 4


1 med. (1 lb.) sweet potato

1/2 c. Frozen or canned corn kernels

1 15 oz. can black beans

1 whole chipotle pepper in adobo sauce

1/2 c. cornmeal

1/2 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. cumin

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 bunch cilantro (optional)

1-2 T. vegetable broth if using frying method of cooking

4 medium thin sliced whole wheat buns

1 medium avocado

1/4 c. Just Mayo


Wash the sweet potato well and poke it several times with a fork so steam can escape while it cooks.

To cook it in microwave: wrap it loosely with a paper towel, set it on a microwave safe plate and microwave in high for 5 min. Carefully squeeze the potato to make sure it is soft all the way through. It may need a couple more min to cook.

To cook in oven: heat oven to 400 degrees and place the potato directly on the rack or on a baking sheet. Bake the potato for 45-60 min or until it is soft all the way through. This is my preferred method. I like the texture better when it is cooked in the oven but maybe I’m weird. Haha.

While the sweet potato is cooling, prepare the rest of the ingredients. Place the corn in a large bowl after draining it, if you use canned corn. Drain and rinse the black beans and let the excess water drain and then add them to the bowl with the corn. Roughly chop the cilantro (if using. I did not) and add to the bowl. Add 1/4 c. of the cornmeal, garlic powder, cumin and salt. Take one chipotle pepper out of the can, mince it, and then add it to the bowl along with about 1 tsp. of adobo sauce from the can. When I tripled this recipe I added 3 chipotle and 2 tsp. sauce from the can.

Once the sweet potato is cool enough to handle, scoop out the flesh and add it to the bowl with the rest of the ingredients. Stir everything together and then either use a potato masher or the back of a fork to slightly mash the beans. Cover and chill mixture overnight or for 30 min to allow the cornmeal to absorb some of the moisture. I made some patties after having them refrigerated for 30 min and then I had some of the mixture left over to make the following day and I found that having them refrigerated overnight made them easier to handle.

Divide the mixture into 4 patties or if you would like smaller patties divide into 6 equally sized portions. Shape into a patty with your hands until they are approximately 3/4 inch think. Use the remaining 1/4 c. or more cornmeal here to coat the outside of the patties. I found it was easier to pat this mixture on each side of the patty rather than dredging it. This will provide a nice crunch to the burger.

Methods of cooking:

Broil (my preferred method)–preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line the baking sheet with a splat mat or parchment paper. Bake for 10-12 min then CAREFULLY turn and bake for another 10-12 min or until they are golden brown on both sides.

Cook patties in a skillet. Heat nonstick pan on med high heat and put 1 T. vegetable broth in pan, place in patty and cook for 10 min on one side and then CAREFULLY turn and cook 10 min on the other side until golden brown. You may need to add a little more broth but don’t add too much or you won’t get the crispness.

Grill: place patty on med high heat grill and cook for 10 min on med high and turn cook the other side for 10 approx.

Spread 1 T. just mayo on bun and top with sweet potato patty. Slice avocado and place 1/4 of the slices on top of each burger. We also used barbecue sauce and that was delicious too instead of the mayo.


I Can’t Believe It’s Not Hamburger Burrito!!

This is a MUST TRY recipe. Seriously, I know I have posted about cauliflower tacos in a previously, but this is one AMAZING burrito! My husband said it gets a definite TEN! It’s that good! Give it a try and tag me in your post. I always love it when you share the recipes from my blog. It’s my kind of pay day 😆.

This recipe is adapted from Chuck Underwood’s recipe–Amazing Cauliflower Tacos, but I made them burritos. Call them what you want but I call them SCRUMPTIOUS! Even the pickiest of eaters will LOVE these. I like to double the recipe and freeze some for later. It works great!


Cook time: 30 min. Prep time: 15 min. Total time: 45 min.


1 small head of Cauliflower

4 oz. Mushrooms

1/2 c. Walnuts (use less if watching fat intake)

2 T. Soy Sauce

1 tsp. Chili Powder

2 tsp. Ground Cumin

1/2 tsp. Garlic Powder

1/2 tsp. Onion Powder

1/2 tsp. Pepper

1/4 tsp. Salt

Uncooked flour or corn tortillas, cooked on a griddle.


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Lightly pulse mushrooms in food processor until you have a nice consistency.

Pulse or chop walnuts to the same consistency and mix in a large bowl.

Remove the core and leaves of hour cauliflower and cut into small pieces.

Pulse cauliflower in food processor to a nice consistency and add to bowl.

Now you should have cauliflower, walnuts and mushrooms in the same bowl. Mix together well.

Add soy sauce and mix.

Stir in spices and mix well, making sure everything is mixed thoroughly.

Spread mixture onto a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 30 min, stirring after 15 min. Mixture should resemble lower pic.

Put mixture in flour tortilla, add black beans or pinto (see recipe below), salsa, avocado, lettuce, vegan sour cream,

For the Beans:


2 cloves garlic

1/2 jalapeño

1/2 c. Onion

1 tsp. Cumin

1/2 tsp. Chili Powder

Salt to taste

2 cans Black Beans (or 1 can pinto and 1 can black)


Sauté garlic in a tiny bit of water until fragrant and then add onion, jalapeño, cumin, chili powder and salt (start with 1/2 tsp).  Sauté until fragrant.  Add beans and you can leave them as is or you can smash them a bit, either way is delicious.



Chinese Braised Mushrooms and Tofu

When I talk to most people about tofu their reaction is–EWWWWW GROSS, but you’ve got to try this recipe and that EWWWWW will turn into a YUMMMM!!  The marsala, the mushrooms, the garlic chili sauce all combine to make a delicious combination of flavors that disguises the tofu and is oh, so good!  Seriously, you’re going to LOVE this recipe. My DH gave it a 9.5 and I did too!  Yes, it was THAT good!  A 10 is reserved for those special over-the-top recipes–this one is close :). The original recipe is from eatingwell.com.  I have adapted it a bit though.  And just a side note, my dining room light went out last week, so while the new one was in the works, we ate by candlelight. LOL romantic, right? (see pics below 🙂  Enjoy this recipe.  It’s a definite keeper!

Chinese Braised Mushrooms & Tofu


Source: eatingwell.com

Course: Main Course

Prep Time: 30 min

Total Time: 30 min



  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger (optional)
  • 3-4 c. mushrooms of choice or a combination, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons dry marsala
  • 1 tablespoon chile-garlic sauce (see above bottle, buy at any grocery store)
  • 1 14 cups mushroom broth or vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1 14-ounce package firm tofu cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 c. raw cashews coarsely chopped if you like, but I just left mine whole


  1. Heat some of the broth in a large saucepan over medium high heat. Add garlic and ginger and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add mushrooms, sauté for about 5 min or until water has cooked out of mushrooms, add cornstarch and stir for about 1 min until its mixed well with the mushrooms.  Stir in marsala and cook until alcohol burns off (about 2 min) and add chile-garlic sauce, stir and cook for one min and then add remaining ingredients.
  2. Cook, stirring occasionally and adjusting the heat as necessary to maintain a simmer, for 10 minutes to blend flavors.  Serve with brown rice and enjoy!

The candlelight dinner 🙂 and the new light fixture that I LOVE!!  A special thanks to my DH for installing it :).

Creamy White Wine Lemon Alfredo Sauce with Roasted Tomatoes and Linguine

During the holidays, I made this recipe and it was fabulous.  Rich, quick, creamy and dreamy and a definite comfort food.  This is definitely in my book of favs (seems like I’m saying that a lot lately LOL).  You could serve this with any pasta of your choice, but I served it with linguine and it was divine.  In fact, while my daughter and I were eating this, we both commented, “Can you believe this is vegan?”  Loved it!

Creamy White Wine Lemon Alfredo Sauce with Roasted Tomatoes and Linguine


Source: pastabased.com

Course: Main Course

Prep Time: 10 min

Cook Time: 35 min

Total Time: 45 min

Yield: 4 servings

Serves: 4 Scale


  • 1 lb grape tomatoes
  • 12 cup raw cashews
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 14 cup nutritional yeast
  • 14 cup dry white wine
  • 1 medium yellow onion diced
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 12 tsp salt
  • 12 tsp pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 425F
  2. Wash grape tomatoes and cut in half. Place on baking pan and drizzle with vegetable broth, salt and pepper. Roast in pre-heated oven for about 20 minutes.img_9933
  3. If you don’t have pre-soaked cashews, use the quick method by placing the cashews in a small pot, covering with water and bringing that to a boil. Once boiling, remove from heat and cover for 15 minutes, until cashews are soft. Drain when done.
  4. Meanwhile, heat a skillet on medium heat. Add your diced onions and sauté until slightly soft, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add 1/4 cup white wine and sauté until all the wine has evaporated, about 5 minutes.
  5. Then, in your food processor or blender, add vegetable broth, cashews, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, salt, pepper, and your garlic and onion sauté. Blend on high for 2 minutes or until creamy.
  6. Serve over pasta.


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Mushroom Bourguignon SOOOOO GOOOOOOD!!

I hope you all had an amazing Christmas. We had 1 out of 5 kids home this year and it was a quiet, but a very nice holiday! We made this amazing recipe for Christmas Eve and it was so incredible. My sister-in-law, Tami, said this recipe was amazing and so I decided to give it a try for a nice holiday dinner. This recipe is a must! Seriously! If you have not made a vegan recipe yet, please try this one. It is a top notch comfort food that will leave you so satisfied that you won’t even miss the meat!


Taken from veganosity.com


• Remember Julia Child’s famous Beouf Bourguignon? Well, we’ve taken that cozy winter dish and made it vegan, and it’s fabulous, if we do say so ourselves. Portobello mushrooms take the place of the beef, because they’re thick and chewy with just the right umami flavor.

• It takes a bit of time to simmer the vegetables and sauce, but it’s not difficult.


• 2 tbsp (30 ml) olive oil, divided (I omitted the olive oil and used a bit of vegetable broth)

• 2 lb (907 g) mushroom caps (we prefer baby Portobellos), stems off and sliced thick

• 6 large carrots, peeled and sliced into 1 inch(2.5 cm) circles

• 1 large yellow onion, peeled and diced

• 1 large shallot, peeled and sliced thin

• 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced

• 2 cups (480 ml) vegetable broth

• 1 ½ cups (360 ml) red wine

• 1 tbsp (15 g) tomato paste

• 2 tsp (5 g) ground sea salt, or to taste

• 2 tbsp (5 g) fresh thyme leaves, plus extra for garnishing

• 2 tsp (1 g) dried Italian seasoning

• Black pepper to taste


1 Fill a pasta pot with water and heat on medium to warm the water.

2 Heat a large skillet on medium heat and add 1 tbsp (15 ml) of olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the mushrooms and a pinch of salt, sauté for approximately ten minutes or until browned. Remove from the pan and set aside.

3 Add the remaining olive oil and the carrots. Sauté until they begin to brown then add the onions. Cook the onions until they become translucent then add the shallots. Cook until they are browned and caramelized, approximately 5 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for one minute.

4 Add the vegetable broth and wine to deglaze the pan. Stir and loosen the pieces of onion and shallot that may have stuck to the pan. Add the tomato paste and stir until it liquefies. Add the salt, thyme, Italian seasoning, and pepper, stir to combine and reduce the heat to a low simmer. Cover and cook for twenty minutes. Add more seasoning if you prefer a stronger flavor.

5 In a small bowl, mix the flour (or corn starch if you want to make it gluten free) and water together until the flour breaks down and the mixture resembles a thick milky substance. There shouldn’t be any dry flour or lumps in the mixture. Add it to the wine sauce and stir well to combine. Add the mushrooms and stir to incorporate within the sauce. Cover and simmer on the lowest temperature for twenty minutes. The sauce will thicken into a stew. Be sure to lift the lid and check to make sure it’s not sticking to the pan or evaporating. That shouldn’t happen if the temperature is low enough, but if it does add a small amount of broth or water and stir.

6 Turn the heat for the pasta water to high and bring to a boil.

7 Twelve minutes before the sauce is done, salt the pasta water (approximately 1 tbsp (15 g)) and add the fettucine to the water. Cook according to the directions on the package.

8 Divide the fettucine by four and make a nest in the center of each plate. Spoon the mushroom Bourguignon on top of the fettucine. Garnish with a sprinkle of fresh thyme leaves.

Enjoy!! Also, I want to thank all of you for visiting my blog and referring your friends. I’ve been receiving some very sweet, encouraging notes and I’m so grateful. This Christmas my sweet neighbor wrote me a card thanking me for my blog and gave me this amazing vegan cookbook that I can hardly wait to try.

Look at that carrot cake!! I am thrilled and can’t wait to make and share some recipes! Again, thanks so much for visiting!

Peg’s Three Bean Soup

This time of year makes me crave some good soup! The other night I came home from work and started throwing some deliciousness in a pot thinking that it wouldn’t be all that great, BUT it was so so good! Enjoy!

Sauté together:

1 yellow onion

1/2 jalapeño

3 garlic cloves

1 teas. cumin

1/2 teas. chili powder

Salt and pepper

A little vegetable broth for sautéing.

After the onion is translucent, add the following:

1 large 25 oz can pinto beans

1 15 oz can garbanzo beans

1 15 oz can black beans

4 c vegetable broth

1 15 oz can diced tomatoes

1 15 oz can of sweet corn or you can use frozen corn as well

Simmer for approxima 30 -40 min and serve with Costco uncooked Tortillas, cooked of course :), avocado, vegan sour cream, and fresh green onion on top.  You may want to add more cumin and salt and pepper as well to taste.


FRIEND FRIDAY GUEST–Bonnie Weeks!!! @carrot_bowl_bonnie

My guest this week is an amazing yoga & crossfit instructor, cook, mom, wife, friend to my daughter, Bri …… and me :).  Whenever I get to Portland to visit, I love it when Bri and I can have some Bonnie time in her yoga class.  Seriously, the best! If you don’t follow her on Instagram @carrot_bowl_bonnie, you’re missing out because her posts are BOMB!!  This pic was taken after an awesome yoga class. I have to admit, at first I was a bit star stuck with her because she really is so amazing.  She is a beauty through and though.


Just a sample of Bonnie’s Instagram posts.  Not only are her pics brilliant, but the captions are inspirational.  We all love our daily carrot_bowl_bonnie :),,,,,, and those arms—so rrrrrrrrripped!!  I can hardly wait to make this recipe she is sharing with us today! Vegan Cashew Cream Enchiladas!!  Delish!  Here’s Bonnie!

For fun, here’s a list of 10 random things about me:

  1. I have more than 100 plants in my house. They make me happy. I just made a living plant wall and love it!
  2. I grew up in Montana and the sound of meadowlark’s singing in the field always made me feel at home. At our current home, the sound of robins and bullfrogs have replaced that.
  3. One summer when we were camping, we went to the local grocery store and my parents told me I could get whatever I wanted as a treat. I found the biggest tomato I’d EVER seen…I chose that over anything else.
  4. A couple years ago, I thought I wanted to be a food blogger.
  5. I could never do the splits as a child but can now in my mid-30’s.
  6. My favorite drink right now is Kevita, a probiotic drink like Kombucha, but less vinegar flavor.
  7. When I met my husband, Tyler, in college I immediately wrote him off because I thought he was too short. Apparently he tried to talk to me after that more times than I can recall. Woops! But his persistence paid off and I realized that he WAS taller than me and I actually liked him.
  8. I always thought my mom was the coolest because she was always in the middle of the fun. She always knew what was going on and knew how to be 100% who she was regardless of what anyone else thought of her.
  9. I’ve always loved to write poetry. When I began posting my yoga practice on instagram, I didn’t know it would become a place to begin writing again. Practicing yoga + writing changes my life daily.
  10. I think it’s amazing that there are things we continually find out about ourselves. I didn’t know I’d love yoga. I started practicing about 3 years ago. I hope that everyone finds some movement practice that reminds them of how powerful they are.

Instagram: @carrot_bowl_bonnie (a name remnant of my food blogger days, although I mostly post yoga)
Website: bonnieweeks.com (videos, bio, contact, blog)

Okay, let’s eat! If there’s something that makes me do a happy dance, it’s the perfect combo of good flavors. I love these enchiladas and think you will too!

Cashew Creme Enchiladas

2 1/2 cups raw unsalted cashews
1 roasted pepper (use poblano, serrano, or pepper of choice)
3/4 – 1 cup water (adjust to make creamy, may need to add more)
1 tsp diced garlic
1/4 cup diced onion
3 – 4 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp salt (to taste)
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 diced onion
1 diced sweet pepper (red, orange, or yellow)
1 jalapeno, diced with seeds and ribs discarded
1 sweet potato, peeled and diced in 1/4 inch chunks
2 tsp diced garlic
1 – 2 tsp cumin (depending on how much you love it)
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp salt
2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can corn, drained
1 small can green chilies
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
12 corn tortillas
Prepared salsa
Avocado or guacamole
1. In a bowl, cover the unsalted cashews with water. Let soak overnight OR 20 minutes (cover them with water, heat them in the microwave for 2 minutes, and let the food processor or blender run extra long to make them smooth).
2. Roast the pepper under the broiler for about 20 minutes. Pay attention until it starts to burn and blister. Remove from oven and immediately place in a covered bowl for 5 minutes. Take from the bowl and peel off the skin from the pepper.
3. Place drained cashews, roasted pepper, water, garlic, onion, lemon juice, and salt in your food processor or high-speed blender and puree. Adjust seasonings as needed.
4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
5. In a large pot, sauté onions, peppers, and sweet potato in olive oil until just soft. Add garlic and spices, cooking for another minute. Add corn, black beans, green chilies, and cilantro. Combine together. Adjust seasonings if needed.
6. In the bottom of a 9 x 13 pan, spread 1 cup of salsa. Take one corn tortilla, scoop some cashew cream onto it and top with a scoop of the filling. Fill the tortillas with as much as they can hold – no holding back. Roll carefully and place, folded side down, on top of the salsa. Repeat until all tortillas are used up. Place foil on top of pan and bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 5-10, just until you see the tortilla edges start to brown. Remove from oven, spread remaining cashew creme on top, layer with more salsa, and sprinkle with cilantro. Serve with avocado or guacamole.
Cashew Creme Enchiladas


Vegan Kung Pao Broccoli Lo Mein

This recipe is definitely a keeper! Enjoy :). 

Vegan Kung Pao Broccoli Lo Mein

Prep Time:  15 min.     Cook Time:  15 min.    Total Time:  30 min. 

1/3 C. Soy sauce

1/3 C. Rice wine vinegar

1/3 C. Water

1/4 c. Agave or Honey if you’re not vegan 

2 Tbsp. Corn Starch

1 Head Broccoli, cut into florets

1/2 Red Pepper

1 Tbsp. Sesame oil, omit if you don’t use oils

6 Green onions, chopped in large pieces

4 Cloves Garlic, chopped

2 Tbsp. Ginger, grated

1/4 tea. Cayenne pepper

1 tsp. Hoisin sauce, vegan (I actually made my own, recipe below)

1 Box. Lo mein noodles

1/2 C. Peanuts, roasted and salted, chopped

Start boiling the water for the lo mein and cook according to package instructions.

Make a marinade for the broccoli and red pepper. In a shallow mixing bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, water, agave and corn starch until fully combined and the corn starch has dissolved. Now add the broccoli to the bowl. Stir to coat and make sure the broccoli is fully covered by the marinade. Set aside to marinate for about 5 minutes or so. Stirring every minute or so.

Now in a wok or large non stick skillet, heat the sesame oil on medium high. Add the green onions, garlic, ginger, and chilies. Saute for 1-2 minutes, until the garlic and ginger are soft. Reducing heat as needed.

Now add the broccoli and the marinade to the wok or skillet. Saute until the sauce has thickened. 1-3 minutes. Now add the hoisin sauce and half the peanuts. Toss together.

Once the lo mein noodles are done, drain and add to the wok. Toss the noodles to coat with sauce. Serve immediately topped with the remaining peanuts and more chopped green onions.

Hoisin Sauce

Recipe from geniouskitchem.com

4 tablespoons soy sauce

1 tablespoon black bean paste (can sub peanut butter)

1 tablespoon honey or 1 tablespoon molasses or 1 tablespoon brown sugar

2 teaspoons white vinegar

1⁄8 teaspoon garlic powder

1⁄8 teaspoon onion powder

2 teaspoons sesame oil (I omitted and it was great)

20 drops chinese hot sauce (or habenero or jalapenos)

1⁄8 teaspoon black pepper


Blend in vitamix.

Note 1: May need to increase peanut butter/black bean paste to taste. Use no more than 2 tablespoons, but please, start with one tablespoon.

Note 2: Can sub 1 toe fresh garlic for powdered. Work with mortar and pestle the fresh garlic and jalapeno until it forms a paste.

Tofu & Vegetable Teriyaki Bowls

This recipe was a keeper! We have eaten tofu for years, but now we are eating more and it’s a great source of protein for us since we have gone plant based. I used brown and white rice cooked together, but you can also use quinoa, either works great. I prefer rice with teriyaki.

Tofu & Vegetable Teriyaki Bowls

Brown & white rice cooked together

1 package Tofu, firm or extra firm, cut in half lengthwise, and cut into a checkerboard

2 carrots cut into thin slices

1/2 onion, coarsely chopped

1/2 green and red peppers, thinly sliced

1-2 c. mushrooms

1/2 teaspoon sea salt, (optional)

1 package of edamame, cooked according to package directions

sliced green onions, for garnish

Peanuts for garnish

Teriyaki Sauce:

6 tablespoons liquid aminos, or tamari

2 tablespoons pure maple syrup

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1 teaspoon minced ginger

Mix teriyaki marinade together and gently toss over cut up tofu. Set aside.

Sauté the onion, peppers, carrots. Salt and pepper. Cook for approx. 7 minutes or until tender. Instead of using oil, I sautéed the veggies just a few min then added a tiny bit of water so they wouldn’t burn. It works great and much healthier.

Add tofu and teriyaki sauce to veggies. Cook approx. 5-7 min or until tofu is heated through. And that’s it! So quick and so easy!