Macaroni and Cheese Surprise

Who doesn’t love a good macaroni and cheese? It’s the quintessential comfort food. This macaroni and cashew cheese doesn’t have the same neon orange color of the food of my childhood, but it’s way more delicious. The surprise is that not only is it tasty and comforting; it’s also healthy, with cashews offering the creaminess of cheese. You can use whatever vegetables you have on hand, but bright green broccoli makes a nice contrast. This recipe appears in my book, MeatLess: Transform the Way You Eat and Live — One Meal at a Time, published by Da Capo Press, 2017.

Serves 4
Time: 20 minutes

1 pound of your favorite pasta (macaroni or shells work great)
1 head broccoli, cauliflower, or your favorite vegetable, cut into florets or small pieces

Cheese sauce ingredients:
1-1/4 cups raw cashews (if you have time to prepare in advance, soak them for an hour to overnight for a creamier sauce)
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1-1/2 cups plain, unsweetened soy or almond milk
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/8 cup yellow miso
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon paprika


Prepare the pasta according to package instructions. When 5 minutes remain in cook time, add in broccoli, cauliflower, or other vegetables. Drain, rinse, and pour into a casserole dish. Set aside.

Meanwhile grind the cashews into a powder in a high speed blender or food processor. Add the nutritional yeast, onion powder, salt, and garlic powder and blend thoroughly.

Add the soy or almond milk, oil, miso, and lemon juice and blend until smooth, scraping sides to ensure it’s thoroughly combined.

Toss cheese sauce over pasta and veggies and sprinkle with paprika. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

Pro-Tip: Crumble crushed walnuts or panko bread crumbs over the top before baking for a fancier mac.

How to Get Vegan Options At Your Dining Hall

Are you a college student frustrated with your dining experience? A parent paying for a meal plan that’s being unused due to a lack of options? I can help! Here are some simple suggestions for getting more vegan options on your school’s menus.

5 Tricks to Stick to Healthy Eating | Life Hacks

Making any kind of diet changes can be tough. In MeatLess: Transform the Way You Eat and Live–One Meal at a Time, I address common obstacles to eating more plant-based meals and how to overcome those obstacles. Here are my five top tips to help you stick to healthy eating.

Summer Peach Cobbler

Photo: Michelle Cehn

This easy dessert takes me back to my childhood summers at grandma’s house. Buttery and decadent, you won’t believe how simple it is. While peaches are my go-to cobbler filling, you could swap them out for apples and cinnamon, blueberries, blackberries, or even pitted sour cherries. This recipe appears in my book, MeatLess: Transform the Way You Eat and Live — One Meal at a Time, published by Da Capo Press, 2017.

Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes; 15 minutes active


8 tablespoons (1 stick) dairy-free margarine, like Earth Balance, melted

1 cup all-purpose flour

1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup unsweetened plain soy or almond milk

2 cups fresh sliced peaches (you can use frozen, thawed peaches, or fresh or thawed, frozen berries, apples, etc. if you prefer)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. I generally put my margarine in a large casserole dish and stick it in the oven while preheating to melt.

In a medium bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Add soy or almond milk and mix together with a whisk.

Carefully remove your casserole from the oven and pour the batter over the melted margarine. Pour fruit over the mixture.

Bake for one hour until the top is golden brown and the crust has risen over the fruit. Best when served warm (with a scoop of vanilla dairy-free ice cream).

Noodles With Peanut Sauce | Easy Recipe

This is a go-to recipe in my house for when I’m in a hurry to make dinner, but want a meal that’ll fill me up and also provide plenty of nutrients. Nutty peanut butter and salty soy sauce combine with a little sweetness plus hot sauce for an explosion of flavor. Packed with protein and ridiculously easy, this dish is a hit with kids for the taste and with parents for its ease. Adjust spice as your family likes it.


MeatLess: Transform the Way You Eat and Live–One Meal at a Time

Aimed at the countless individuals contemplating a more plant-based diet, MeatLess offers concrete reasons for reducing meat consumption – to look and feel better, have a lighter eco-footprint, or to help animals – and simple strategies, recipes, swaps, and shopping advice to help people on their way. Check out this quick video and order your copy today!


Golden Country Biscuits and Gravy

I grew up in the South. Biscuits and gravy were one of my grandmother’s specialties (among many) and a wonderful comforting Sunday breakfast. This easy recipe will become one of your family’s favorites too.

Make 6 biscuits

Time: 30 minutes

Biscuit ingredients

1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
4 tablespoons dairy-free margarine
1 cup soy or almond milk


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Combine all dry ingredients then using a fork or pastry cutter, cut in margarine until crumbly and pieces are no larger than a pea. Add soy or almond milk and stir until mixture is just thoroughly combined and all dry ingredients are mixed in, being careful not to overwork dough.

Transfer dough to a floured surface, and pat out dough to about 1/2 inch thick. Using a biscuit cutter or tumbler, cut out 6 biscuits and place on a nonstick baking sheet. You may need to reform dough and press out again to make all the biscuits.

Bake for 15 minutes or until tops are golden brown. While the biscuits are in the oven, make the gravy.

Gravy Ingredients

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons all-purpose or whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1/2 teaspoon dried powdered sage (optional)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper, more to taste
2 cups vegetable broth
1 teaspoon salt if using unsalted vegetable broth
1/2 package meatless sausage crumbles (optional)


In a large skillet, toast flour and nutritional yeast in olive oil on medium heat for 2 minutes or until it starts to brown. Lower heat and slowly add broth, using a fork to crush any lumps that may form. Add pepper, and sage, salt, and crumbles, if using. Return heat to medium until gravy begins to bubble and thicken. Allow to simmer for 3-5 minutes, stirring regularly.

Place biscuits on plates and spoon gravy over them.

Delicious Deli Reuben

The sauce in this delicious reuben is so easy you won’t believe it. And it’s so delicious you’ll want to put it on all of your sandwiches.

Serves 4
Time: 20 minutes active, 1.5 hours to allow time to marinate (or see pro-tip for a 10-minute version)


1 package tempeh
1/4 cup dill pickle juice
1/8 cup soy sauce or tamari
1/2 red onion, cut into half-moons
8 slices sandwich bread, or 4 wraps, your choice

1/4 cup egg-free mayonnaise, like Just Mayo
2 tablespoons ketchup
2 tablespoons pickle relish

Sauerkraut, to taste
Dairy-free cheese, optional


Make the marinade: combine the pickle juice and soy sauce or tamari. Slice the tempeh lengthwise and place into a shallow container. Pour marinade over and allow to soak for 30 minutes to an hour. The longer the better.

Meanwhile, make the sauce: combine the mayonnaise, ketchup, and relish in a small bowl and stir until fully combined.

Make the tempeh: After your tempeh has sufficiently marinated, add water to a pan to cover the bottom. Steam fry the onion in the water until translucent. Add the tempeh and the marinade and cook for ten minutes, flipping occasionally and adding small amount to ensure it doesn’t stick.

Assemble the reubens: Spread 1/4 of the spread on 4 slices of bread sandwich or wrap, add cheese, if using, and sauerkraut then the tempeh. Toast in a 350 degree oven for 10 minutes.

Pro-tip: If you’re short on time or just don’t like cooking, skip the tempeh and the marinade (pickle juice, tamari, and onions) and pile a sandwich high with your favorite plant-based deli slices, i.e. Tofurky or Field Roast. You can enjoy this delicious classic sandwich in a fraction of the time.

Hearty Lentil Soup

This hearty lentil soup is quick and easy enough for a weeknight meal or makes a perfect Sunday night meal paired with some homemade cornbread.

Serves 2-4 (2 large bowls, 4 cups)
Time: 35 minutes


1/4 cup water
1/2 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 carrots, chopped
2 potatoes, diced
1 can of diced tomatoes
4 cups of water, plus one cube vegetable bouillon or 4 cups vegetable broth
1 cup frozen mixed vegetables (or fresh vegetables)
1 tablespoon fresh chopped oregano (or 1 teaspoon dried)
1 teaspoon fresh chopped thyme (or 1/2 teaspoon dried)
1 cup dried brown or green lentils
salt or pepper to taste


Warm the water in a large pot over medium heat and add the onion to steam until softened and turning translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, carrots, potatoes. Cook for one minute, stirring, so the garlic doesn’t brown. Pour in the remaining ingredients. Raise heat and bring the mixture to a boil, then partially cover the pot and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for 25-30 minutes, or until the lentils are tender. Add salt and pepper to taste.