Mushroom & Spinach Quiche with Olive Oil Crust


Yield: 1, 9×9 quiche

For the Olive Oil Crust:

-1 cup flour

-1/2 tsp salt

-1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper

-1/4 cup olive oil

-1/4 cup ice water (you can use refrigerated water or put 1/4 cup water in the freezer for a few minutes)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Whisk together the ice water and olive oil until well blended. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, salt, and ground pepper. Gradually add in the wet ingredients and mix until it forms a dough-like consistency. In a 9×9 greased baking pan, mold the dough into the pan and about 1 inch up the sides. Add with quiche filling below prior to baking.

For the filling:

-4 slices provolone cheese

-2 cups fresh spinach

-1.5 cups fresh mushrooms, sliced (or 1, 4 oz can mushrooms)

-5 large eggs, beaten

-1/3 cup milk

-1/2 tsp garlic powder

-1/2 tsp onion powder

-salt and pepper to taste

-1/2 tablespoon  butter

-Parmesan cheese to garnish; optional

In a pan, add the butter and fresh mushrooms. Cook for 3-4 minutes, then add the spinach until all vegetables are cooked well. Let cool just slightly before adding to the egg mixture. Beat the 5 eggs and add the milk, garlic powder, onion powder, and salt & pepper.

Top the uncooked Olive Oil Crust with the slices of provolone cheese so that the cheese covers the bottom of the crust. Top with the quiche filling and put in the oven for about 30 minutes, or until the middle of the quiche is cooked. Top with parmesan if you’d like!

Roasted Pepper & Mushroom Enchilada Bake



-2 poblano peppers

-2 anaheim peppers

-1/2 tablespoon olive oil

-1, 16 oz jar of green chile sauce

-2, 4 oz cans of sliced mushrooms, drained

-12 corn tortillas

-1 cup of shredded cheese (I used cheddar, but you can use whatever you have)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the peppers on a baking tray, drizzle with oil and sprinkle with salt. Roast in the oven until fork tender. Let the peppers cool, then remove the seeds and stem. Chop the peppers into bite sized pieces.

This dish will have 3 layers of corn tortillas. In a casserole dish, line the bottom with 4 corn tortillas. Top with 1/3rd of the green chile sauce, 1/3rd of the peppers and mushrooms, and 1/3rd of your cheese. Repeat this step 2 more times. Bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes, until cheese is melted and the casserole is warmed through. You can serve this with fresh cilantro, sour cream, salsa, and/or lettuce on top. Enjoy!

Quick Refrigerator Pickled Onions & Radishes


Yield: 2 , 16 oz ball jars of pickled goodness

-1 medium/large red onion, sliced thinly

-5 radishes, sliced thinly

-1 and 3/4 cups warm water

-3/4 cup apple cider vinegar

-3 tablespoons sugar

-2 and a half tsps salt

-a few sprinkles of garlic powder

Slice your onion and radishes and evenly distribute between the two ball jars. In a microwave-safe mixing bowl, add the water. Microwave until warm. Add the vinegar, sugar, salt, and garlic powder. Stir until the sugar and salt have dissolved, and pour the mixture on top of the vegetables until submerged. Let the glasses cool completely, then cover them and place them in the fridge. I let mine sit for a day or so before use, and you can use them for the next few weeks. They’re great on salads, burritos, tacos, and burgers. Enjoy!

Mushroom & Broccoli Scrambled Tofu


Serves: 2


-1, 16 oz. container of extra firm tofu, drained

-1 cup chopped mushrooms

-1 cup chopped broccoli

-2 cloves garlic, minced

-2 tsps turmeric powder

-1 tsp salt

-1 tsp cracked black pepper

-hot sauce (optional)

In a non-stick skillet, add the mushrooms, broccoli, and a bit of water until the vegetables are steamed and cooked through. You can add more water until fully cooked if needed. This way, you don’t need to use any added oils or fats.

Add the garlic and cook for another 10-20 seconds. Crumble the tofu straight into the pan, and then add the seasonings. Cook until some of the moisture from the tofu has evaporated; around 2-3 minutes. Taste for seasoning and serve warm. I love putting some hot sauce on top, but serve however you prefer. Enjoy!

Flavorful and Healthy Vegan Cheese Sauce


Yield: ~4 cups of cheese sauce


-2 cups peeled and diced potatoes

-2 cups diced carrots

-1/2 cup-3/4 cup nutritional yeast, based on your preference

-3 cloves garlic

-1 tsp salt

-1 tsp paprika

-1 tsp onion powder

This recipe is so super simple and the cheese sauce can be used in a variety of meals. Since the yield is so big, I used this cheese sauce on top of nachos & then on whole wheat pasta (as pictured). Simply boil the potatoes and carrots in a pot of water until fall-apart tender, and add the ingredients into a blender or food processor. Reserve some of the starchy water to add to the mixture to get it to a cheese-sauce consistency (about 1/2 cup). Taste for salt and seasonings, and serve however you’d like! It can also be used as a cheese dip with veggies or chips, a cheese sauce for quesadillas, or any other thing you can think of. Enjoy!

After a long hiatus: super simple tofu and kale foil packets


So yeah, it has been quite a long time since my last post. Life has changed a lot; but my love of cooking has stayed solid. I thought I’d start back out with a very simple, quick side dish recipe that I love to do on busy week nights or weekends.

Serves: 2


-3 cups kale; chopped

-1, 16 oz package tofu

-2 cloves garlic; minced

-1 tablespoon olive oil

-1 tsp italian seasoning

-1 tsp salt

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Drain excess liquid from the tofu container, and wrap with paper towels. Place something heavy on top of the tofu for 20 minutes, or until water has been adequately pressed out.

Chop kale into bite sized pieces. When tofu has been dried out, cut into 1/2 inch cubes. Toss the kale and tofu with the minced garlic, olive oil, italian seasoning, and salt. Place onto a sheet of aluminum foil and roll up the sides, leaving the center open so that it gets crispy.

Cook in the oven for 20-25 minutes, or until the kale and tofu are crispy. Enjoy!



The Story of Summer, 2016


When my summer was cut short on the last day of July, I realized I hadn’t taken a lot of photographs yet this summer. I kept telling myself “there’s more time, don’t bother with your camera right now.” Unfortunately, I fractured my leg and ankle joint in a freak accident at my best friend’s camp on Lake Ontario. In an instant, summer was over. I didn’t have that slow goodbye that I usually have.  That familiar, month-long period that typically starts at the beginning of August and ends sometime early September, where I reflect on my summer and realize I did a lot more than I thought I did. Then begins the excitement for fall; the changing leaves, the crisp air, the dozens of activities that bring out energy in us that we lost through the summer heat. Summer ending doesn’t feel that bad anymore. But this year, I didn’t have that transition.

What I did have was a metal plate and 13 screws in my leg. I had long nights in the hospital filled with excruciating pain, random moments of panic, tears pouring out of my eyes when I told myself I’d “keep it together today,” and very limited mobility and freedom. That initial shock of what an injury entails; the first moment when your doctor tells you that no, you cannot work for several months at a job you just started, and no, you cannot drive or bear any weight on your leg whatsoever, THOSE were the most difficult moments I have experienced with this injury. Then comes the slow, drawn out pain–the feelings of loneliness, like you are missing out on life, the anxiety that comes from feeling trapped in your own body, and the guilty feeling you get because you are relying on everyone else for things you never thought you would. But then, in between all these variations and hews of pain and sorrow, you experience and witness beauty in so many forms.

I always tell myself that I “know” how lucky I am. But truthfully, before this accident, I really did not know. I forgot how selfless my mother can be; how she puts herself on the back burner time and time again to make me feel loved, safe, and not alone. She spent two nights in the hospital with me; sleeping on a pull out chair. The nurses buzzed in and out to check my vitals, give me more morphine, and see how I was doing. Sleep wasn’t really in the cards. She didn’t complain, she just woke up with the same tenacity in trying to make me smile; make me feel like I had made improvements in my mobility, and hug me when I just couldn’t hold in the tears again. Despite my crabby mood that comes and goes as quickly as summer, she maintains a smile, she maintains her positivity, and above all, she is always on my side.

The outpouring of support has been astonishing to me. People coming over to keep me company and sit with me, a seemingly simple task that means so much to me, my best friend Shannon coming over every few days to help me shower, lift my spirits, and tend to my needs. As she says with a smile, “all I do is work, sleep, and come over to see you!” How did I get so lucky to have a best friend who says that without a tinge of resentment, and with love in her eyes so that I don’t feel any guilt? Friends taking me to/from doctor’s visits–where I sit miserably; my spirit worn down. Yet they still somehow enjoy my company & offer to do it again next week. People come over & bring food, or cook for or with me; keeping my spirits up. Family friends found me a wheelchair that’s more suitable to my needs and brought me their “injury supplies”–like a walker and travel wheelchair. My Dad tucks me into bed and caters to my daily needs throughout the week, my sister gives me special treatment–like a pedicure–and keeps me in her busy schedule, neighbors stop by frequently, friends who moved far away came to visit or sent their condolences & gifts, and so much more. It is because of all of these people (I hope you know who you are), that I really know how lucky I am. Despite people telling me that this is them paying me forward; I can’t wait for the trend to reverse, for the seasons to change, & I can shower them with love and support again.

Now, back to these photos. What I think I WAS able to capture, all in the month of July, was how diverse the landscape is in New York State. We have everything–from large mountains, to sharp cliffs, from rivers and streams, to vast oceans and great lakes. I feel lucky to live here and experience its vastness, its richness, and its range of beauty.

These photos, in order from top to bottom, are from Green Lakes State Park, Woodstock Farm Sanctuary, various spots in the Catskill Mountains, & Chimney Bluffs state park on Lake Ontario. Although I wish I captured more this summer, I am so happy I at least have these. For me, photographs help bring me back to what I was feeling when I was in that moment. Even if they aren’t photographed, I can remember who was right next to me when I was taking the photo. I can hear their voices, recall what we were talking about, what we did right after I stopped to take the photos, and I am transported to that moment; that glimpse in time, even if the people & conversations aren’t captured.

So here I am, still trapped in many ways by my immobility. But my mind is free–able to transport myself back in time to cherished memories, but also carry myself forward to brighter days. As Robert Frost so eloquently writes in his poem titled “Nothing Gold Can Stay,” both beauty and sorrow don’t last forever. We are constantly transforming and changing. And alas, it all passes by, eventually.

“Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf,
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day
Nothing gold can stay.”

With love and immense gratitude,




Gluten Free Peach & Plum Crumble


Serves: 6-8

-6 plums, cut into 1 inch pieces

-3 peaches, cut into 1 inch pieces

-2/3 cup  gluten free oats (I use Bob’s Red Mill)

-2/3 cup ground almond meal (I use Bob’s Red Mill brand for this as well)

-7 tablespoons butter (just about 1 stick)

– 4 tsps ground cinnamon

-1/2 cup water

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

In a large saucepan or pot, melt about 1 tablespoon butter. Add the fruit, 1/2 cup of water, and 2 tsps of cinnamon. Cook the fruit down for about 7-10 minutes on medium/high heat.

In a mixing bowl, stir together the oats, almond meal (which is just finely ground almonds), 2 tsps cinnamon, and 6 tablespoons of melted butter (place into the microwave for about 10-15 seconds, or until melted). Stir well until the mixture is the consistency of wet sand.

In a 8 x 11 oven-safe dish, pour the fruit mixture in. Top it with the crumble, and cook in the oven for about 25-30 minutes, or until the crumble is golden brown. Serve with ice cream or whipped cream if you’d prefer. Enjoy! xx



Vegetarian/Vegan Sloppy Joes with Caramelized Onion


One of my favorite scenes from any movie when I was a kid was the “sloppy joe” scene in It Takes Two with Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen. That scene made sloppy joe’s look like the best, most fun food in the world. If you don’t believe me, check out the clip here! (Looks fun and messy, right?!)

When I became vegetarian at the age of 14, I started playing with variations of the recipe. I remember my mom making a sloppy joe dish with crumbled tofu, which was delicious, but the texture wasn’t just how I wanted it. These MorningStar crumbles work perfectly. It has a similar texture, and I make this dish for meat-eaters, who, unless they’re lying to make me feel better :-), say they can’t tell the difference! I like mine with caramelized onions; although the sauce is already sweet, I love the oniony sweetness paired with the “meat.” I hope you enjoy as well!

Yield: 4 Sloppy Joes

-4 hamburger buns or sandwich thins (your preference)

-1 package MorningStar Farms Grillers Crumbles

-1, 24 oz can of Hunt’s Manwich Sloppy Joe Sauce (or equivalent)

-1 tablespoon BBQ sauce

-1/2 tablespoon fennel seeds (optional)

-2 teaspoons smoked paprika

-1 large yellow onion, sliced into thin ringlets

-1 small purple onion, diced

-2 tablespoons olive oil

In a pan on medium/low heat, add the olive oil and the onion ringlets. Try to break up the onion segments so that they can cook individually. Cook on medium low heat, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes until the onions are golden brown.

While you are caramelizing the onions, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large pan. Add the diced onion and cook for about 5 minutes, or until translucent. Add the crumbles (they can be frozen still, that’s okay) and break them up with a spoon if they are stuck together. Add a tablespoon or so of water if you need to. Cook for about 5 minutes until cooked through, and then add the sloppy joe sauce & the barbecue sauce. Stir all together and add the fennel seeds and paprika (if you choose).

To serve, just top the sloppy joe with the caramelized onions & enjoy! I love serving this dish with a green vegetable to add some texture variation–roasted broccoli is typically what I choose.

Blanched Carrot Salad with Cilantro Dressing


I purchased these multi-colored carrots from the farmer’s market and wanted to use them in a recipe that showcased their beauty. I think this did the trick! Since I blanched the carrots, they held their shape and texture very well. The dressing is light and summery. Feel free to use basil or dill instead of the cilantro (I know some people, like my mother, cannot stand cilantro). It would be just as good and tasty!

Serves: 4

-6 large carrots (I used multi-colored organic carrots, but you can use whatever you have available), julienned like my photo shows

-1 medium onion, minced

-2 cloves garlic, minced

-1 large handful of cilantro (about 1 cup), chopped

-1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

-1 tablespoon honey

-2 tsps red wine vinegar (or the juice of 1/4 a lemon)

-2 tsps salt

-1 tsp pepper

Bring a large pot of salted water to a raging boil on the stove. Lower the heat to medium, and place the julienned carrots in the water for about 4-5 minutes, or until JUST tender but not mushy.

Take the carrots out of the water and place into a large bowl of ice water (blanching!) Drain from the ice bath and place them into a large bowl.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the olive oil, honey, red wine vinegar, salt & pepper. Mix this dressing in with the carrots, minced onion, and minced garlic. Taste for seasoning and adjust if need-be. Toss well & serve either luke warm or at room temperature. Enjoy! xx