Healthy Pesto Options

There are plenty of healthy pesto recipes out there. I use these two on a regular basis and they taste great, way better than traditional “oil soaked” pesto. My favorite use is on homemade “Greek” pizza, no cheese! Use the pizza dough recipe here:
Top with the Engine 2 pesto, red onion, artichoke, sun dried tomatoes, kalmata olives and bake at 400 for 15 to 20 min.
The other pesto goes great with pasta, artichoke, spinach, kalmata olives, red onion, sun dried tomatoes, or whatever veggies you like!

Here they are:

Engine 2 healthy pesto:
3 cloves garlic
1 cup home-toasted walnuts
3 bunches fresh basil, or 2 packed cups
1/2 cup of milk alternative (I use unsweetened almond milk)

Just add all the ingredients to a blender or use a food processor and blend/process until a nice smooth consistency is achieved, spread, mix, serve and eat!

This one I got from Veganomicon, but substituted the oil with unsweetened almond milk:
2 loose cups fresh basil
1 loose cup cilantro
1/2 cup sliced almonds
2 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1\4 cup unsweetened almond milk

Follow the same directions above to blend/process all ingredients. If the consistency isn’t quite right, just add a little liquid until the desired consistency is achieved.

You can add seasonings to the pesto like pepper, onion powder, red pepper flakes, if you need a little more flavor.

47 Scott Stuffed Bell Peppers

This is a great recipe, I’ve been to 47 Scott here in Tucson a few times and my wife and I love this dish. After searching the web I found a recipe that is pretty close to taste. Here is the direct link:
Here it is in case the other website goes away… with slight mods.

1/2 yellow onion, chopped
2 jalapenos, seeded and diced
2 C water
1 C quinoa
1 15oz can of black beans, drained
5 T gluten-free tamari, or soy sauce
1.5 C walnuts, crushed
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 C chopped cilantro
1/2 t cayenne pepper
4-6 bell peppers, cut in half and seeded assorted seasonal vegetables, diced

1. Sauté the yellow onion and jalapenos with broth or water until the onions turn a golden color.
2. Boil the 2 cups water and add quinoa. Cook for 12-15 minutes. Drain the quinoa. Preheat the oven to 350.
3. Mix the black beans, tamari/soy sauce, walnuts, garlic, cilantro, and cayenne. Put all the ingredients into a food processor with the yellow onion, jalapenos and quinoa and blend until mixture is reduced almost to a firm paste, but leave some texture to the quinoa. Mixture can be stored up 2 days.
4. Flash sauté or grill the bell peppers for a little char on the skin until the peppers soften slightly. Stuff the pepper with the mixture and bake for 10 minutes or so. Serve with sautéed seasonal veggies or baked broccoli.


Healthy Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

This is a quick and easy way to make oil free healthy hummus to add to your sandwiches, wraps, or just use as a healthy snack, don’t use regular chips! Bake some corn torts, use your favorite veggies, get some whole wheat crackers, use some whole wheat baked pita chips, be creative and use a healthy dipper, otherwise what’s the point!

For those of you looking to keep the fat low, don’t use tahini, add some low sodium veggie broth instead, now it’s fat free!

Just a quick note on recipes, you can always tweak them to make them fat free, or free of added fat. Broth is a great substitute for oil when sautéing. You can use a milk alternatives or broth to add moisture to dishes where the recipe calls for oil. You can use unsweetened applesauce in place of oil for baking. Be creative and there is no need to add empty fat calories to your meals in the form of lard, butter, or oil (I don’t care where the oil comes from it is still the most calorie dense, nutrient void food)!

I got this one from, here is the direct link:



1 (15 ounce) can garbanzo beans, drained

1 (4 ounce) jar roasted red peppers

3 tablespoons lemon juice

1 1/2 tablespoons tahini

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley


1. In an electric blender or food processor, puree the chickpeas, red peppers, lemon juice, tahini, garlic, cumin, cayenne, and salt. Process, using long pulses, until the mixture is fairly smooth, and slightly fluffy. Make sure to scrape the mixture off the sides of the food processor or blender in between pulses. Transfer to a serving bowl and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. (The hummus can be made up to 3 days ahead and refrigerated. Return to room temperature before serving.)
2. Sprinkle the hummus with the chopped parsley before serving.


Vegetarian Moroccan Stew

This is a great recipe I got from, here is the direct link:

The spice mix is what brings about the flavor so it is important to get all of the spices, don’t worry this will become a favorite and you will make it again and again! You can go to grocery stores like Sprouts that sell the spices in bulk, so you can get just what you need. If you don’t like the sweetness of the recipe then omit the honey if it is still sweet then omit the nectarines, I do not recommend this as the nectarines add some well needed nutrients and taste.



1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric

1/8 teaspoon curry powder

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 sweet onion, chopped

2 cups finely shredded kale

4 (14 ounce) cans organic vegetable broth

1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained

1 tablespoon honey

4 large carrots, chopped

2 sweet potatoes, peeled and diced

3 large potatoes, peeled and diced

1 (15 ounce) can garbanzo beans, drained

1/2 cup chopped dried apricots

1 cup dried lentils, rinsed

1 teaspoon ground black pepper, to taste


1. Combine cinnamon, cumin, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, turmeric, curry powder, and salt in a large bowl, reserve.
2. Cook the onion until soft and just beginning to brown, 5 to 10 minutes you can add moisture to the pan while sautéing with veggie broth or water. Stir in the shredded kale and reserved spice mixture. Cook for 2 minutes or until kale begins to wilt and spices are fragrant.
3. Pour the vegetable broth into the pot. Stir in the tomatoes, honey, carrots, sweet potatoes, potatoes, garbanzo beans, dried apricots, and lentils. Bring to boil; reduce heat to low.
4. Simmer stew for 30 – 45 minutes or until the vegetables and lentils are cooked and tender. Season with black pepper to taste.


Whole Grain Pasta Salad

English: Israel couscous also known as ptitim ...

English: Israel couscous also known as ptitim or פתיתים אפויים‎ in Hebrew. Prepared by myself and photographed for ptitim & couscous articles on English wikipedia. עברית: פתיתים אפויים‎ (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This is an easy meal for any occasion, serve warm or cold. You can make this yours, add, change, subtract any veggie or green you like. Variety is the key to a successful whole food plant based diet, so change it up from time to time.

The only ingredient that may be hard to find is whole wheat Israeli couscous also known as pearled couscous. So you can easily substitute this for whole wheat orzo pasta, or you can get any variety of whole wheat, brown rice, quinoa pastas and break them into smaller pieces to get the pearled couscous like size.


  • 1 lb whole grain pasta (whole wheat pearled couscous)
  • 1 red bell pepper chopped
  • 1 cucumber skinned in stripes and de seeded, quartered and chopped
  • Kalmata olives chopped
  • 1 bunch or box of spinach chopped
  • Optional veggie ideas….zucchini, kale, cherry tomatoes, black olives, avocado, etc…


  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • If the initial amount is not enough, double it at the same ratio, or add half as much at the same ratio

Simply cook the pasta to your desired consistency, now you can cool the pasta or simply rinse it with hot water and add all remaining ingredients. Have the veggies chopped and ready to go while the pasta is cooking. Mix all the vinegars together with the sugar and allow the sugar to dissolve. Mix all the ingredients together and serve. Enjoy!

quick plant based whole food tostadas

This is a quick and easy meal with lots of flavor. So here is a list of what you will need.

  • 1 pack corn tortillas
  • 1 can vegetarian refried beans
  • 1 bunch of spinach
  • 1 small can black olives
  • 1 tomato or pack of cherry tomatoes
  • 1 avocado

Salsa mix:

  • 2 15 oz. can Ro-Tel or diced tomatoes with green Chile
  • 2 sprigs of green onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 jalapeño (seeded)
  • 1/4 – 1/2 bunch of cilantro

Ok so now onto the assembly, start by toasting the corn torts. Place them on a cookie sheet and throw in the oven at 425 degrees for 7 – 8 min per side, just keep an eye on them. If you want to speed up the process you can broil them for a short time, just be careful, it is easy to overdue it. While those are toasting you can start the beans, just put them in a small pot and heat on medium-low. Now prep the salsa, add all the salsa ingredients to a blender or food processor and blend. Onto the toppings: chop the spinach, dice the tomato or cut the cherry tomatoes in half, drain and dice the black olives, and slice the avocado.

Once the torts are crisp and browned start with the beans and add a layer, then top with spinach, olives, tomatoes, avocado, and salsa. Enjoy!

Potato Kale Enchilada Caserole

This is an easy and delicious recipe I got from the Veganomicon recipe book. I changed it up to ditch the added extracted fat ingredient otherwise known as oil and made it a little less labor intensive.

So here are the ingredients:

The Sauce:

  • 1 Onion Diced
  • 2 Small Cans Diced Green Chile
  • 2-3 Teaspoon Chile Powder
  • 1 1/2 Ground Cumin
  • 1 Teaspoon Marjoram
  • 1 28 oz. Can Fire Roasted Diced Tomato
  • 1 Teaspoon Sugar
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoon Salt

The Filling

  • 1 Lb. Yukon Gold or Red Potatoes
  • 1/2 Pound Kale Trimmed and Chopped Finely
  • 5 Cloves Garlic Minced
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Cumin
  • 1/4 Broth or Water
  • 3 Tablespoon Lime Juice
  • 1/4 cup Toasted Pumpkin Seeds or Sunflower Seeds Toasted and Chopped
  • 1 1/4 Teaspoon Salt
  • 12 – 14 Corn Tortillas

The Sauce:

Sauté the onion until it starts to look translucent then add the garlic and sauté for 2-3 minutes. Then add the can of tomatoes and seasoning, lower the heat and cook for 5 min. Remove from heat and allow to cool for a few minutes. You will add this mix to a blender or food processor until blended thoroughly, once it cools for a few minutes. While it is cooling, prepare the filling.

The Filling:

Before starting the sauce, bring enough water to boil for the potatoes and cook until soft, you will cut them into small bite sized pieces and use them later. In a medium to large sauce pan start to sauté the garlic for 2-3 minutes over medium heat, then add the kale, seasoning, and toasted seeds. To toast the seeds, you can add them to a small sauté pan and heat until golden brown, mixing constantly. Once the Kale has wilted and cooked down 5-6 minutes you will add the potatoes and mix. Once the sauce and filling are ready you can assemble the casserole. In a medium sized baking pan spritz the bottom and sides with a trace amount of oil to keep the tortillas from sticking. Layer the bottom with 1/2 of the corn tortillas, then add a thin layer of the sauce. Pile the filling on and spread out evenly, then cover with the remainder of the tortillas. Poor the remainder of the sauce over the top and cook in the oven at 350 degrees for 15 – 20 minutes until the sauce thickens. Serve with some of your favorite sides and enjoy!