As Cold As Ice? Warm Up With Vegan Chili


As Cold as Ice – Chili

Brrr…it’s freezing cold this time of year and what can warm you up more than a nice, hot steamy bowl of chili. My sister developed this recipe and I can’t get enough of it!  It’s spicy with an earthy, rich taste. Deliciosa any day of the year! 

Did you know? Chili is considered a stew because it is more solid than liquid. Stews only contain a thin layer of liquid, so they are thicker than a soup recipe. A wide variety of different ingredients are often added to Chili to put the makers special spin on it. For example, some may add quinoa, butternut squash, jackfruit, mango or seitan. Or they may skip the beans altogether and make it Texas style.  


My special ingredient is bulgur. I like it because it’s minimally processed. Plus, it adds bulk and a meaty-like texture, so it is a good replacement for ground meat in recipes.  It’s loaded with fiber and is a good source of iron and potassium. 

Paula K’s Fiesta Chili

Servings: 10


  • 1 tablespoon cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ large sweet yellow onion
  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ each of a medium red, green, yellow and orange bell pepper, diced
  • 1 15-ounce can pinto beans
  • 1 15-ounce can kidney beans
  • 1 jar of red pasta sauce*

 OR homemade pasta sauce:

  • 1 large can Italian plum tomatoes
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed or sliced
  • 2 leaves fresh basil
  • ½ teaspoon fresh oregano
  • ½ – 1 small jalapeno, chopped (depending on how spicy you like it!)
  • ½ tablespoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder 
  • 1 cup unrefined bulgur 
  • Optional: fresh cilantro

*Red pasta sauce ideas include: Monte Bene garlic marinara or Rao’s Marinara or Arrabbiata Sauce (a spicy red sauce). 


  1. Drain beans together in a colander and rinse thoroughly.
  2. Heat oil in a large soup pot over medium heat.
  3. Add onion and tomatoes to the pot and sauté for 10 minutes. 
  4. Add the minced garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes.
  5. Next add the bell peppers, beans, spaghetti sauce, jalapeno and spices to the pot. Heat for 3 minutes.
  6. Add the bulgur, reduce heat to low and simmer for 20-30 minutes or until bulgur is soft. This may take longer if you are cooking in altitude.
  7. Scoop out a one-cup serving into a bowl. Top with optional cilantro leaves and serve with vegan cornbread or a warm corn tortilla. Enjoy!

One Pot Meal – Fasolada

One Pot Meal – Fasolada

Greek Weight Loss Soup

I love one pot meals!  You just essentially throw all of your ingredients into one pot, cook them and you’re done.  So simple, so easy!!

Considered the National Food of the Greeks, fasoli is the Greek meaning for the word “beans” and so this a delicious bean soup.  It has a nice kick to it too!!

For those of you starting a weight loss journey in 2022, this recipe is really low in calories. It only has 188 calories per serving. I enjoyed it with crispy, crunchy roasted Brussel sprouts, which really brought it to life! 

It also is a good source of protein, incredibly high in fiber and an excellent source of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, iron and calcium!!

Generally made with dried beans, I opted to use canned beans to save time.  You can also use an instapot to quickly cook dried beans if you prefer to go the traditional route. 

Servings: 8


  • Olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 3 celery stalks, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2-15 ounce cans of haricot beans (cannellini or Navy) – drained and rinsed thoroughly OR 4 cups white beans cooked from scratch. 
  • 1-15 ounce cans of crushed tomatoes
  • 5 cups vegetable broth – low sodium if desired.
  • 3 teaspoons dried Italian herbs
  • 1 teaspoon red chili flakes
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 -2 handfuls of organic spinach.
  • Ground pepper to taste

Optional: Curly parsley, kalamata olives and vegan feta cheese. 


  1. Warm 1-2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil into a pot over medium high heat.
  2. Add onion, celery, carrots and garlic.  Cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. 
  3. Add tomato paste, stir and cook for one minute.
  4. Add beans, crushed tomatoes, broth, Italian herbs, chili flakes and bay leaves. Mix well. Bring to a boil then simmer on low for 30-40 minutes until carrots and celery are soft.
  5. 10 minutes before recipe is done, add spinach leaves and ground pepper. Cook until spinach is wilted. 
  6. Add one serving to a bowl.  Top with optional parsley, olives or vegan feta.  Serve hot!

Immune Boosting Curry

Going into the New Year with a strong immune system can really benefit you during cold and flu season. This recipe contains over 20 immune supporting nutrients including the immune boosting white ones!!  For a full list of nutrients and details, refer to the chart below. 

Servings: 4 – 6


  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons minced ginger
  • 1 small onion, cut into chunks
  • ½ stalk broccoli, cut into florets
  • 1 medium bell pepper, cut into chunks
  • 1 medium heirloom tomato, chopped
  • 1 large carrot, sliced
  • 4 yellow baby potatoes, quartered
  • 1-2 tablespoons (depending on your spiciness preference) organic yellow curry paste. I used the Mekhala brand*
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • Pinch of sea salt x2
  • One 14-ounce can of organic coconut milk
  • ¾ of a 14-ounce block of extra firm organic tofu

Optional: Seed ranch thai green hot sauce, thai basil, handful of curry cashews. 

* A good rule of thumb is to start with mild spiciness and then increase the amount slowly until you reach your desired spice level.  


  1. 1.Cook rice according to directions. 
  2. 2.Add sunflower oil to a medium to large soup pot. Heat over medium heat. 
  3. 3. Add garlic, ginger and onion. Sauté for 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
  4. 4. Add broccoli, bell pepper, tomato, carrots and baby potatoes to the pot. Sauté for another 2-3 minutes.
  5. 5.Add the curry paste and mix thoroughly. Saute for another 3 minutes, stirring frequently.
  6. 6.Add water, maple syrup and pinch of sea salt. Reduce heat to simmer and cook for 20 minutes or until vegetables are soft. To save time, you can cook this in an instapot.
  7. 7.While the vegetables are cooking, dice and saute the tofu in a medium sized pan with a pinch of salt for at least 10 minutes.  Flip tofu once ½ way through.
  8. 8.Add coconut milk and tofu to vegetable mixture.  Simmer for another 2-3 minutes. 
  9. 9.Serve over ½ cup of wild rice, black rice or red rice. 
  10. 10.Top with optional Thai basil, Thai green hot sauce or curry cashews. Enjoy!


Italian Rainbow Cookies


Want to indulge, but not overindulge in a treat this holiday season.  Try this fun-to-make made-over recipe that tastes yummy but isn’t as painful around the waistline. Lots of steps, but easy to make!

A usual Italian rainbow cookie recipe is made with up to 3 sticks of butter, 1 cup of sugar (plus extra found in some of the ingredients), 4 eggs and a lot of artificial food coloring.

To give this recipe a vegan makeover, here’s what I did:

  1. Used only ¾ cups of plant-based butter – replaced the rest with 1 ½ bananas and 1 cup of apple sauce.
  2. Cut the sugar in half and used maple sugar instead of white granulated sugar.
  3. Used organic, unbleached flour.
  4. Subbed out the egg for aquafaba.
  5. Used 100% fruit juice sweetened jam instead of cane sugar sweetened.
  6. Used low sugar oat milk chocolate chips – the closer to zero grams of sugar, the better!
  7. Replaced the artificial colors with natural coloring (e.g. made from beet root).

This recipe contains about 1/3rd of the saturated fat of the non-vegan recipe, has no cholesterol and contains less than ½ the amount of sugar.  

Servings: Makes 36 cookies – serving size is 2 cookies 


  • 3/4 cup plant-based butter
  • 1 ½ – 2 ripened bananas – pureed
  • 1/3 cup maple sugar OR 1/6 cup maple sugar and 1/6 cup turbinado sugar.
  • 7 ounces almond paste
  • ¼ cup soy or almond milk
  • 1 cup unsweetened apple sauce
  • 2 teaspoons almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups organic, unbleached all-purpose flour (or gluten-free flour 1-1)
  • 1/3 cup aquafaba
  • ½ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • Red and green natural food colorings
  • ½ cup 100% fruit juice sweetened raspberry jam
  • ½ cup low sugar vegan chocolate chips 


  1. Add parchment paper to 3 medium size baking sheets.   
  2. Preheat oven to 350° (375°if you live in altitude). 
  3. Put butter, sugar and banana into a large sized bowl. Blend with a hand mixer until the sugar has fully dissolved in the butter. 
  4. Add the butter mixture to a food processor. Break almond paste into pieces and add to the butter mixture. Blend until mixture is smooth and firm. 
  5. Place mixture back into the bowl. Add in dairy free milk, apple sauce, and almond and vanilla extract. Using a hand mixer, blend together until mixed well and smooth. 
  6. Fold in the flour a little at a time until you have a well-blended dough. 
  7. In a small bowl, beat the aquafaba and cream of tarter with a hand mixer until it forms stiff peaks. Fold it into the dough mixture and stir until it is fully mixed. 
  8. Divide the dough evenly into 3 bowls. Add 7-8 drops of red food coloring to one bowl and mix thoroughly. Add 7-8 drops of green food coloring to the other bowl and mix thoroughly. Leave one bowl plain.
  9. Pour the red dough batter onto a baking sheet. Use a spatula or knife to spread the dough until it reaches the edge of the pan.  It will be a very thin layer.
  10. Repeat step 9 with the green dough and then the plain dough.
  11. Place in the oven and bake for 8-12 minutes (8-10 minutes in altitude). Cookie dough is ready when you insert a toothpick into the dough, and it comes out clean.
  12. Allow the sheets to cool for at least 10 minutes. 
  13. Once cooled, cut each dough recipe into two even halves.  Then fold one half over onto the other half (using the parchment paper) and line them up as evenly as possible.
  14. Starting with the green cookie/cake, spread ¼ cup of the jam on top. Carefully transfer the white dough and place on top of the green layer. Top the white cookie/cake with the other ¼ cup of jam. Lastly carefully place the red cookie/cake on top.
  15. Cover the top red layer with parchment paper and place in the refrigerator. Place heavy books on top of it and let chill for 3-4 hours.
  16. Once chilled, remove the books and then remove recipe from the refrigerator. Melt chocolate and spread ½ of it (I used less) onto the red layer cookie/cake. Fully cover the red layer. 
  17. Place back in the refrigerator and chill until chocolate hardens (about 10-15 minutes).
  18. Carefully flip the cookie/cake over and spread the remaining amount of chocolate on the bottom layer. Refrigerate again for 10-15 minutes.
  19. Slice into approximately 36 cookies.  Please note: the chocolate and jam may have dripped over the side, so make sure to cut that off so you can see the vibrant colors. Enjoy!

Tempeh “Neat” Balls

Tempeh is really good crumbled and used as a great substitution for ground beef. This “pseudo” meatball recipe is an excellent of protein and iron and contains a considerable amount of fiber, potassium and Omega 3’s. 

Servings: 5-6


  • One 8-ounce package of tempeh – If you’re not a big fan of tempeh, you can sub out 1 cup of cooked lentils instead. 
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce or coconut aminos
  • 1 teaspoon white miso
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic minced
  • ½ cup Italian style breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley – chopped into tiny pieces
  • 1 tablespoon dried Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 2 pinches of granulated onion, sea salt and pepper
  • ½ teaspoon caraway seeds (optional)
  • Extra virgin cold pressed olive oil  

Recipe adapted from the New Baguette Tempeh Meatballs Recipe. 


  1. 1. Add parchment paper to a medium size baking sheet.  Lightly sprinkle with olive oil. 
  2. 2. Preheat oven to 375°. 400 degrees if you live in altitude. 
  3. 3. Chop the tempeh into tiny pieces. You can even pulse in a food processor to really break it down. 
  4. 4. Add the chopped tempeh to a medium sized sauté pan along with the soy sauce, water and minced garlic. Cook on medium heat until the liquid is evaporated, about 10 minutes. Let it cool slightly.
  5. 5.  While the tempeh is cooking, add the miso and tomato paste to a medium sized bowl and mix them together using a fork. Then add the breadcrumbs, nutritional yeast, parsley, Italian seasoning, granulated garlic and onion, salt and pepper and optional caraway seeds. Mix together thoroughly with a spoon or spatula. 
  6. 6. Form tempeh mixture into balls and place on baking sheet.
  7. 7. Bake for 10 minutes and then flip with tongs to the other side. Cook 10 – 15 minutes more. 
  8. 8. Serve on top of cooked zucchini or spaghetti noodles. Top with your favorite spaghetti sauce. Enjoy! 

Banana Cream Pie

Banana Cream Pie

This veganized version was inspired by the banana cream pie my mom made when we were kids. My mother discovered the recipe in an old Betty Crocker cookbook that was given to her as a wedding present. The recipe was a favorite of my grandfather, my mother and now me! Hope you enjoy this family recipe as much as we do.

Serves: 8

Prep time: 5 hours – much of this time is for the mixture to cool.

Banana Cream Pie


  • Organic pie shell – I used the Wholly Wholesome brand.*  
  • 2 tablespoons organic, non-gmo cornstarch
  • ¼ cup vegan sugar (I used ½ maple sugar and ½ turbinado sugar)
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 ½ cups unsweetened plain organic soymilk
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 ripe bananas pureed
  • One 14-ounce can unsweetened coconut milk
  • 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1 medium banana for slicing once pie is finished

*Time permitting: you can make your crust from scratch using a preferred recipe. 



  1. Bake pie shell according to directions on the package. Let cool.
  2. Prepare pudding by adding cornstarch, sugar and salt to a small saucepan. Whisk in soymilk and banana puree.  
  3. Heat on medium heat until mixture boils. Whisk continuously Then reduce heat to low and cook for another 4-8 minutes (depending on altitude).
  4. Once the mixture forms a thick gel, remove from the heat and whisk in    one teaspoon of the vanilla. Let cool for 10 minutes.   
  5. Once cool, put mixture in a bowl and cover it with a lid. Place bowl in the refrigerator and cool for 2-3 hours. 
  6. At least ½ hour before the mixture is done cooling, whip the coconut cream.  Remove the coconut can from the refrigerator carefully. DO NOT SHAKE. Open can and scoop out only the hardened coconut part on the top.  Discard the liquid part or use it in another recipe. 
  7. Add ½ teaspoon vanilla and maple syrup to the recipe. Whip with a hand mixer until light and airy about 2-4 minutes. Cover bowl and place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. 
  8. Once the pudding is cooled, combine pudding mixture with coconut cream and stir until combined. 
  9. Add combined mixture to the cooked and cooled pie shell. 
  10. Top with sliced bananas. Place back in the refrigerator for at least another ½ hour so that the pie will set. Cut into pie slices and serve. 

Top with extra whipped coconut cream if desired. Enjoy!


An After-Thanksgiving Light Soup to Cleanse and Detox

This recipe is filled with whole and light in calorie vegetables to help you reset after the ultra-stuffing Thanksgiving meals. It also uses a couple of canned ingredients to help speed up the recipe making process. Enjoy!

Serves: 6


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, cold pressed
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, sliced and chopped in half
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 ½ teaspoons dried Italian herbs
  • 1 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • Optional: sprinkle of granulated garlic and onion
  • 8 cups vegetable broth
  • ½ of a large head of cabbage, sliced
  • One 28-ounce can of fire roasted and diced tomatoes
  • One 15.5 ounce can of kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
  • Optional: dried mushrooms to add flavor to the broth


  1. Heat oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add onion, carrots and celery. Cook until the vegetables begin to soften, approximately 6-8 minutes. Add garlic, Italian herbs, salt, pepper and optional spices, stir and cook for 2 minutes more.
  2. Add broth, cabbage, fire roasted tomatoes, kidney beans and optional mushrooms. Bring to a boil over high heat.  Reduce heat to simmer and cook for 15 to 20 minutes.  Remove from heat and stir in vinegar.
  3. Serve in a soup bowl immediately.

TIP TO ADD MORE FLAVOR: Let soup sit overnight so that all the flavors will meld. Enjoy the next day for a light dinner.

Nutritional info: This recipe is extremely low in calories, an excellent source of fiber Vitamin A and C. It is also a good source of folate, calcium, iron and potassium.  

Pumpkin Mousse Chocolate Bombs

Serves: 6


  • 1 can full fat coconut milk
  • 2 cups of fresh baked pumpkin (about 1 ¼ pumpkin) or 1 can (15-ounce) pureed pumpkin (without added sugars or additives or preservatives).
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup of low sugar (4 grams or less per serving) or unsweetened sugar, chocolate chips.


IMPORTANT: The night before preparing the recipe, place an unopened can of coconut milk in the refrigerator.

To prepare recipe:

  1. Take the coconut can out of the refrigerator and open it.  Scoop out the solid part of it and place in a large mixing bowl.  Discard the liquid or use it for another recipe or drink. 
  2. Using a mixer, whip the coconut milk into a cream.
  3. In another bowl, combine the pumpkin, syrup, pumpkin pie spice and vanilla and mix well.   
  4. Gently fold the coconut cream into the pumpkin mixture.
  5. Pour the mixture into six 2 ½ inch chocolate molds and fill them up. Level off the top with a knife. 
  6. Place mold in the freezer and let set for at least 2 hours.
  7. Melt ¾ cup of chocolate chips in a sauté pan over low heat. Brush the chocolate into six additional silicone molds (cover the entire mold with chocolate) and freeze for at least 20 minutes. 
  8. Once set, gently pop out the pumpkin mousse out of the mold and place on a dessert plate. 
  9. Gently pop out the chocolate half spheres and place them over the pumpkin mousse spheres. 
  10. Serve and enjoy!

Give Thanks to Stuffed Squash – Georgia Candy Roaster Squash

“It’s Just Another Meatless Monday” Whoa.. Whoa… 🎵Today’s Recipe brought to you by #AnOunceOfNutrition is #GeorgiaCandyRoasterSquash

Just Another Meatless Monday – Georgia Candy Roaster Squash

Made with Colorado grown Georgia Candy Roaster squash, this recipe will dazzle and amaze your friends and family this Thanksgiving!

This slightly sweet, smooth and buttery taste squash can grow up to 15 pounds, essentially the size of your forearm. Nutritionally, it’s an orange one so an excellent source of Vitamin A! It also is rich in Vitamin C and Fiber. Can’t find this type of squash? Choose acorn or another locally grown squash in your grocery store and follow the instructions for the stuffing below.

Serves: 6
Prep time: 30-45 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes to an hour


1 whole Georgia Candy Roaster Squash sliced in half with the seeds removed

1 tablespoon melted plant-based butter

Salt and pepper

1 cup wild rice

2 cups vegetable broth made from whole vegetables

Extra virgin olive oil – cold-pressed

1 cup chopped celery

½ cup chopped onion

1 tablespoon plant-based butter

2 teaspoons Italian seasoning

1 teaspoon fresh sage

Granulated garlic and onion

½ cup fresh cranberries – you can sub these out for dried cranberries sweetened with fruit juice instead if you don’t like the tart taste of cranberries.

2 tablespoons maple syrup

¼ teaspoon chopped pecans


Preheat oven to 375°.

Add wild rice, veggie broth, a pinch of salt and a splash of olive to a medium size pot. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 45 minutes. Add parchment paper to a large baking sheet. Then lightly brush the cut side of each side of the squash with butter and then add a sprinkle of salt and pepper to them. Brush on some maple syrup if you like a sweeter taste. Then place cut side down on the baking sheet and bake for approximately 30 minutes or until squash is soft but still holding its shape.

If using fresh cranberries, add them to a small sauté pan with maple syrup. Cook on medium-low heat until cranberries pop and absorb the syrup or approximately 20 minutes.

Add butter to a large sauté pan and melt on medium low heat. Add celery and onion and cook for approximately 12 minutes or until celery is soft. Once cooked add Italian seasoning, sage, and a sprinkle of granulated garlic and onion. Remove from heat. Add rice, cranberries and pecans to the celery and onion mixture and mix thoroughly. Turn squash over and scoop out part of the inside in the middle. Add rice mixture to one of the halves. Place the other half on top. Tie with cooking twine to hold squash together.

Serve immediately on a serving plate. Have guests cut off a piece, REMOVE THE SKIN and enjoy!

For extra flavor, top with gravy or cinnamon and nutmeg.

ENJOY! Share a photo of your finished recipe!
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