Vegan Spaghetti and “Beyond Meat (R)” Sauce

When I was a kid one of my favorite things was watching my mom make meat sauce. I couldn’t see in the pot but I did get to taste test with pieces of white bread. I think I would eat about a half of a loaf of white Wonder bread by the time my mom was done cooking down the sauce. I would wash it all down with some good ol’ vitamin D “red” milk and a big orangey smile. Now that I am a grown up and a vegan… well… this isn’t on my list of things I can do. But I can try to recreate that taste. The only change to my moms sauce is really the meat. The rest was already vegan. So with that, I began my attempt with the use of the new Beyond Meat Crumbles. The only reason I attempted this recipe is because of these crumbles. They have the right flavor and texture and cook the same as regular hamburger would. This was always a problem with other crumbles; they either dried out or got mushy. Not Beyond Meat! So I was so confident making it I made it for dinner without even testing. Just to let you know… they didn’t let me down it, came out perfecto! I love Beyond Meat so so much. You should too. Also, this recipe is super duper simple and low ingredient. It is virtually error proof! Eat up!


2014-05-22 19.24.29


Spaghetti with “Beyond Meat” Sauce


  • 1 Extra large can of Crushed Tomatoes
  • 1 Extra Large Can of Tomato Puree
  • 2 mini cans of Tomato Paste
  • 1 package of Beyond Meat Crumbles
  • Olive Oil
  • Kosher Salt
  • Seasoned Salt
  • Dried or Fresh Basil
  • Granulated Garlic



Cooking the Meat!

  1. Add a small amount of olive oil to an extra large sauce pot and when warm toss in Beyond Meat crumbles and a few pinches of kosher salt.
  2. Cook until heated and ready to eat.


Making the Sauce!

  1. Add all canned tomato products to meat.
  2. Sprinkle in Granulated Garlic, Basil, and Seasoned salt to taste.
  3. Add a little olive oil if you want now.
  4. Cook down stirring frequently over medium heat until slightly dense. Takes about 30-45 minutes.
  5. Keep the top on to avoid splatter!
  6. Serve over pasta of your choice. I prefer ziti with lines or angel hair. Enjoy!




Food is Love. The Hippie Gypsy.


Springtime Ingredients and Curried Chicken Salad Recipe

Today is the first day of spring and with so many new ingredients hitting the produce and farm stands, my mouth is already watering. I am thinking of warm pasta dishes with sprinkles of green veggies and herbs. It is almost too much for my little brain to handle!

The weather is warming up over here in the Northeast and with a gray, rainy day today with a mild 37 degree temperature this morning, one cannot help but dream of the plants pushing their stems through the ground and smell the steaming artichokes, peas, and asparagus that will be waiting on our Easter Tables. So lets talk about what is in season and drop some ideas on how to prepare it for a spring brunch or even Easter!


What is Fresh?

pumpkin soup 5


  • Apricots
  • Artichokes
  • Asparagus
  • Beets
  • Carrots
  • Cherries
  • Fava Beans
  • Fennel
  • Green Garlic
  • Green Onions
  • Leeks
  • Lemons
  • Lettuces and Greens
  • Mint
  • Morels
  • New Potatoes
  • Parsley
  • Peas
  • Radishes
  • Ramps
  • Rhubarb
  • Scallions
  • Spinach
  • Strawberries
  • Sweet Onions
  • Turnips


What are some awesome vegan spring recipes in which to prepare these fresh spring ingredients?



Apricots: Make a Curried Vegan Chicken Salad with sliced almonds and diced dried apricots (recipe below), or a Moroccan Grain Salad, or roast the apricot and serve it as a dessert just like I did with peaches here!

Artichokes: I am a HUGE fan of artichokes! I roast, steam, or just plain old toss them into so many dishes. Add them to a marinara or a cashew cream sauce with sum sundried tomatoes and they are amaxing. Or go all out for a party and make this awesome Spinach Artichoke Dip!

Asparagus: I rarely eat asparagus but when I do they have to be fresh and either steamed and then drizzled with oil, balsamic and salt (served cold) or roasted with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Keep it simple!

Beets: Beets are an amazing food. Try golden beets steamed or roasted with a balsamic vinegar drizzle. Heaven on earth!

Carrots: Everyone loves carrots. They are in cans, fresh, and come in every color. Purple is the original color of a carrot though. Try something new with this spiced carrot spread recipe from Martha Stewart!

Cherries: Cherries are such a wonderful ingredient that can be made savory or sweet. Try making a traditional cherry pie or some cherry chocolate brownie cupcakes to indulge!

Fava Beans: Try a twist on the average soup or standard fava bean salad with this Sopa de Habas from Saveur!

Fennel: I love roasting fennel with other veggies and making it almost herbaceous to the dish. Check out my roasted veggies from the holidays here!

Green Garlic: Green Garlic is similar in use to Green onions. I support this unusually garlic by dicing it thin and tossing it in a salad with asian dressing, dried fruits, and sliced almonds. You can even rub the oils from it around the inside of the bowl to help bring out the taste.

Green Onions: I love green onions in two particular dishes (1) is the Dragon Potatoes at the Cantina in San Diego’s Pacific Beach (you can get the recipe and cookbook here), and (2) when sprinkled over a peanut satay noodle dish like this recipe which includes lots of the other items on here. Mix it up and enjoy!

Leeks: Leeks are similar to onions. I like them for soups. Try making a simple traditional potato leek soup at Easter.

Lemons: When I was a little girl we lived in the San Jose area of California. I would sit on the railing of the back deck overlooking our pool and eat lemons with my brother. When I met my husband one of the first things I found out is he still eats lemons and LOVES them. There are a million lemon recipes out there both savory and sweet. My favorites are Lemon Blueberry Breakfast Bundt Cake and Lemon Meringue Pie though.

Lettuces/Greens: We all know how to use lettuce to make a salad but what else can you do with it? Try seasoning it and grilling it. Not sure what kind of lettuce to use. Get a free trial to Cook’s Online Cooking School and learn with videos and recipe lessons how to make them perfectly! I just did the lettuces version this past week and learned quite a bit about what flavors are in each type and when to use them and how to use them! I pay $20/ a month but more serious folks can do the $40 a month program and get feedback from America’s Test Kitchen Chefs!

Mint: I like mint in dessert but I am not much of a fan in savory dishes although it is used heavily in the Mediterranean and middle eastern cooking recipes. So try something totally different and make a mint tea with mint, sugar, and water!

Morels: These mushrooms are so rich and can be made into almost anything! Check out this website and recipe guide that is dedicated to them and start experimenting! Also look at Martha Stewart’s Morels 101 !

New Potatoes: Roasted New Potatoes tossed in olive oil, salt, pepper, and herbs are a staple. The only spring change I would make… add some edible flowers and Herbs de Provence!

Parsley: I re-blogged a great recipe that had a wonderful use of parsley the other day here with Roasted Potatoes and Avocado. Or try a Parsley Walnut Pesto for a hot or cold salad (swap the parm for Galaxy Foods Vegan Parmesan) or fun bruschetta!

Peas: My father hates peas but I grew up with them on my plate at least a few times a week. From the can with butter and salt. Yum. However with them so fresh try a variety of types and ways to make them! Steam some fresh snow peas or sugar snaps and toss in a stir fry with some tofu. Or perhaps make a minty pea dip or Pea Guacomole!

Radishes: Radishes are inherently a mexican topping. You add them raw and sliced to the top of any taco and it is instant heaven.

Ramps: ramps are a food that many are not familiar with but are part of that green onion/scallion style of food. But here on the east coast they are more common so we pickle them, put them in bread, and even toss them in the fryer! Check out some recipes here.

Rhubarb: My husband is a sucker for a Strawberry Rhubarb Pie from the baked section of our Grocery Store. My mom buys them for him all the time. But when i was little my grandfather used to recite a rhyme to me every so often asking me if the “rain would hurt the rhubarb” and I thought that rhubarb was the same as rebar that was on the cement pillars of the ski lift so I would be rolling my eyes like “No they are always covered in snow”. I laugh at my 4 year old logic. However does the rain hurt the rhubarb?  The answer is apparently no, but it is obviously a common question! That being said eat some of its sweet and sour flesh in a pie (just sub the dairy for non-dairy items)!

Scallions: Scallions grew like weeds in the backyard of my childhood home. I hated the smell but now it is nostalgic. They are great on almost everything so I wanted to find an out of the box recipe for you guys. This is what I found: Avocado, Celery, and Scallion Bruscetta with Mache! Also take a look at Martha Stewart for more inspiration on Ramps, Scallions, and Green Onions!

Spinach: I use spinach mainly in salads or steamed with vinegar on them. How do you cook spinach? Also there is always the Spinach Artichoke Dip above!

Strawberries: I love strawberries. Doesn’t everyone? But its actually not a berry. Although, Pineapples and Bananas are. Make a strawberry chocolate pie for Easter by tossing strawberries with tapioca pearls and sugar and then putting them in a vegan pie crust and pouring chocolate chips in the crevices. It is really that easy. check out Magnolia Bakery’s recipe! Also I love my chocolate dipped strawberry cupcakes. They are fun and easy for kids to make too!

Sweet Onions: I could use sweet onions all day. Onion rings, purree, or in a bread. Yummy Yummy! Try my onion bread recipe!

Turnips: I have never cooked turnips. Ever. So I will rely on some experts on some interesting recipes. Here they are: RECIPES . I must say the Maple Carrot Turnip Mash and the Turnip Slaw look awesome! Some of that slaw over my BBQ Seitan Pretzel Sandwich Recipe sounds devine!


Curried Vegan Chicken Salad with Apricots and Sliced Almonds (Made for 1 person)


  • 6 pieces of Beyond Meat Chicken Lightly Seasoned
  • (1-2) tbsp of Vegan Mayonnaise like Just Mayo by Hampton Foods
  • 2 tbsp of Balti Curry Spice from Penzey’s
  • 1 dried apricot
  • 2 tbsp of sliced almonds
  • Pinch of salt
  • Optional: Sliced Bread, green salad

Dice chicken strips into tiny pieces. Toss with mayo, then season, and stir until combined. Dice the dried apricot and toss into mixture with almonds, toss lightly, and serve cold immediately. You can put it on a salad or in a sandwich as well! Enjoy!


The great thing you may have noticed is that many of the recipes use multiples of these ingredients together. That is the beauty of cooking seasonly. The flavors always jive well together. Plus you are helping save the planet by not getting your produce shipped in from a million miles away. Try buying seasonally and locally. It is pretty delicious! Happy First Day of Spring everyone!

Food is Love.

The Hippie Gypsy

Creamy Pesto Sauce over Whole Wheat Pasta

I love pesto. I love everything about it. The strong smell of herbs, the creamy texture, the sharp cheesiness, and the fatty oils. I used to get that Bertolli pesto in the small hummus like container and just indulge. However, that container has a whole lot of Parmesan cheese and olive oil in it. Don’t get me wrong I love olive oil and Parmesan is the world’s top cheese supposedly but I am vegan and I need to start eating less oil and more whole foods so this weekend I tried to make a new pesto recipe and decided to add some protein and make it a nice creamy version of my favorite since I already have a classic pesto recipe on here. So please make some, add a few of my optionals, and indulge in a delicious creamy pesto pasta on this cold, snowy Meatless Monday!




Oil Free Creamy Pesto Sauce

  • 1 container lite silken tofu
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 cup frozen basil
  • 1 tbsp pinenuts (pignolias)
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp granulated garlic

Optional: (1) Add raw sliced almonds to the processor for a little texture. (2) Top with bruschetta tomatoes and a balsamic drizzle for a fresh twist. (3) Eat with American Flatbread Company’s new Farmer’s Tomato Pie instead of garlic bread or crusty bread.





Place all ingredients in a food processor or blender and blend until well combined and then when you drain your pasta place the sauce in the pot over medium or medium low heat stirring often until bubbling. Add pasta and toss. Serve hot with bread or Tomato Pie!


IMG_3080     IMG_3083


Serves 4.



Food is Love.

The Hippie Gypsy

Cheesy Veggie Stuffed Bread

I must say that I am in LOVE with the onion foccacia bread that is prepared at Whole Foods. I buy it all the time. I use it in my recipe for chicken pot pie. It is borderline amazing for any purpose. I just adore it. That being said I thought to myself after the holidays were over, “Wow I ate a lot of stuffing but I didn’t stuff it INTO anything”. Then I turned that on it’s head and wondered why not stuff a bread instead of stuff an animal. It is obviously healthier and less gross so let’s give it a whirl. Out came an amazing and delicious treat I have even served my guy friends at a recent dinner with a side of pumpkin curry soup. Enjoy! (they definitely did).


Veggie Stuffed Bread



  • Onion Foccacia Square from Whole Foods
  • Sliced Green and Yellow Squash
  • Fresh Green Beans
  • Daiya Havarti (1/2) Block
  • Olive Oil



  1. Preheat oven to 430 degrees.
  2. Slice out a one inch section of the center of the bread so that it is hollowed out but still has some bread on top and bottom. Do not cut complately through like a sandwich though so that you can fold it shut after filling.
  3. Drizzle bottom interior of bread with olive oil then stack with sliced squash.
  4. IMG_2709
  5. Crumble cheese on top and in between squash. Layer with Raw Fresh Green Beans.
  6. IMG_2711
  7. Sprinkle with the rest of the cheese. Fold top shut.
  8. IMG_2710
  9. Bake for approximately 20 minutes or until cheese is melted.
  10. Enjoy!


Food is Love. 

The Hippie Gypsy

Vegan Chicken and Rice with a Savory, Creamy, Sage Pumpkin Sauce

When you are a kid in any part of the world it seems like “chicken and rice” is a staple type of food. How those components are dressed is different depending on time of year, climate, and culture but all those aside we can all agree we kinda love the simplicity of this dish. It is fall and I had a few friends show up unexpectedly at my house last night. I literally had NO idea they were coming with their two kids and fairly large German shepherd – coyote mix (Ryder) who is my tiny 9 lb rat terrier – chihuahua mix’s (Lola) best friend (I know it’s odd but adorable. Pics of Lola are posted below). That being said I had to make up food in a snap for an all omnivore crowd with one child that is citrus and citric acid intolerant. That means no tomatoes or lemon or orange or lime. Which, oddly, I use quite a bit. So I figured a nice chicken and rice dish with a pumpkin cream sauce sounded easy enough. I grabbed my steamer and away we went. I steamed Rice Select Royal Blend with Red Quinoa on the brown rice setting of my steamer/rice cooker with water salt and earth balance per the cartons instructions and then went off to make my pumpkin sauce.

The upside? They brought a raw vegan pumpkin pie that was sooo delicious. Thanks guys!


(Lola and Ryder having dinner at Ryder’s house a few months ago)



Chicken with a Creamy Sage Pumpkin Sauce


  • 1 Container Beyond Meat Chicken-less Strips (lightly salted)
  • 1 can Pumpkin
  • 2 tbsp dehydrated onion
  • 1-2 tbsp Salt
  • 2 pinches Ground Pepper
  • 4 tbsp ground sage
  • 1-2 tsp Thyme
  • 2 tbsp granulated garlic
  • 1/2 cup Daiya Mozzarella
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup Nutritional Yeast
  • 1/2 cup Soy Creamer
  • 1/4 cup Pacific Natural Foods Hazelnut Milk




  1. Place medium to large sauce pan over medium heat.
  2. Add all ingredients to sauce pan except chicken.
  3. Dice chicken set aside.
  4. Stir ingredients until mozzarella melts into the sauce.
  5. Add chicken. Simmer covered for 15 minutes.
  6. Serve over or beside rice.
  7. Garnish with parsley and unsalted raw chopped pecans.



Serves: 6.

WW Points for Chicken and Sauce: 4


Food is Love.

The Hippie Gypsy

PHOTO of MY DOG LOLA with my Husband and I:

IMG_2605   IMG_2604

Vegan Baked Macaroni and Cheese

I really really love Mac and Cheese. I love Amy’s new vegan rice mac and Daiya cheeze. I love my own vegan bacon mac and cheese. I love that whole foods squash casserole mac and cheese that I make with the stuffing topping. I mean I love anything even Mac and Cheese related. It is such a wonderful comfort food that I think anyone can relate. When I was detoxing off omnivore food after my surgery I remember crying in a CVS full of exiting hormones telling my husband I needed the instant mac and cheese in the cup and I was probably going to have a melt down if I didn’t get some. Yea it was dramatic. And no he didn’t leave me, he just ushered me out. I remember thinking I am acting like a pregnant woman with these hormones. Well thankfully I am no longer going through the detox period of becoming vegan and I also can make mac and cheese (vegan) anytime I want. This recipe is how I feel I would best be able to mimic the baked macaroni and cheese I made back when I was not vegan. This is not your 1980’s blue box macaroni and cheese. This is the real stuff. I think this is the best way to think of “homestyle” or “comfort” food recipes. These are not meant to be the most healthy but are generally far healthier than their omnivore predecessors. I hope you love the ooey, gooey yumminess as much as I did.



Baked Macaroni and Cheese

Ingredients for Sauce:

  • (1) block Daiya Cheddar   IMG_2528
  • (1) cup Soy Creamer   IMG_2531
  • (1) stick Earth Balance Buttery Sticks   IMG_2532   IMG_2533
  • 1/4 cup Nutritional Yeast (”nooch”)   IMG_2529
  • 1/4 tsp Turmeric powder   IMG_2539
  • 1/2 teaspoon Yellow Mustard   IMG_2537
  • 1 tablespoon Thyme   IMG_2534
  • 4 tablespoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic   IMG_2535
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour

Ingredients for Bake:

  • 2lbs of elbow macaroni (I use whole wheat)   IMG_2536
  • 1 bag Daiya Cheddar Style Shreds   IMG_2548
  • 1 cup or more of Panko Flakes (breadcrumbs)   IMG_2549

Prepare Sauce and Macaroni:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large pot bring salted water to a boil. Add elbows and cook until al dente. Drain and Set aside.   IMG_2540

In a sauce pan place all sauce ingredients except flour in a pot and stir until well combined and a little thick. It will be salty but this is good because you will need that to season the pasta.   IMG_2538      IMG_2541

Add flour last. The sauce should be pretty thick but pourable at this point.  IMG_2543   IMG_2545


Spray a casserole pot with oil and then add macaroni.

Pour sauce over macaroni and mix until well infused.

Add Daiya Shred and mix in until well incorporated. They will melt during baking.   IMG_2547   IMG_2546

Next top with panko and a few pinches of salt if you want (I even give a few quick sprays of oil to ensure browning).   IMG_2557   IMG_2556

Cook for 10-15 minutes. If you want it more brown cook 30 minutes but double the sauce recipe in order for the recipe not to dry out.  IMG_2555

Let Cool 5-10 minutes. Serve hot and Enjoy!   IMG_2550       IMG_2560   IMG_2562 IMG_2563

Serves 10-12.

Side Note: When reheating this dish from leftovers always place some water in the bottom of the bowl. This will ensure the pasta does not dry out in the microwave and the cheese can remelt. You can also add more cheese with the water. I do the Daiya Havarti to add some spice!

WW Points: 11pts for 15 servings. 14 for 12 servings.

Food is Love.

The Hippie Gypsy.

Vegan Cheesy Tomato, Pasta, and Lentil Bake

I learned how to cook lentils last year from a girl who was born and raised in Ethiopia, Africa. She made the most delicious garlicy tomato infused lentils I had ever eaten with this flatbread made of Teff. I thought I had died and gone to heaven.  It was at a vegan cooking demonstration on a Friday night in the hall of a church in the Fenway area of Boston that we all call “The Fens”. I had somehow persuaded my otherwise unwilling husband to attend. I knew he would probably want to skip the whole thing but luckily he was loving me enough that night to suck it up and attend. He ended up leaving happy because he liked most of the food and met another omnivore there dragged by his wife as well. After that I decided I must learn to cook lentils and incorporate them in my diet. They have so many good qualities and I am a sucker for a bean of any sort. So In my steamer I dumped water, salt, garlic, and tomato paste and started cooking my lentils. They take a while and I have learned to pick through them for stones and soak them in water to soften them. But my new favorite thing to do is take them and layer them in pasta or lasagna or any sort of casserole. It adds protein and heartiness without any strange new flavors or weird textures. Even the kids like them and the youngest is pretty much against all bean varieties except canned green beans. So this was the biggest hit of the summer in terms of my use of lentils: Vegan Cheesy, Tomato, Pasta, and Lentil Bake. I think even the mixture over rice would go well but I will try that at Christmas break 🙂



Cheesy Tomato, Pasta, and Lentil Bake

Lentil Mixture

  • 1 Bag of Lentils (Green French Lentils or Plain Lentils Work Well)
  • 1-2 cans of Tomato Paste
  • Water
  • Salt
  • Granulated Garlic Powder


  • (2) lbs of Rotini Pasta (I use the vegetable kind)

Cheesy Tomato Sauce Layers:

  • 4 cans diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup of Daiya Mozzarella
  • 1/8 cup of Galaxy Foods Parmesan
  • 1/2 block Daiya Havarti
  • Salt
  • Ground Pepper
  • Granulated Garlic Powder


  1. Preheat Oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Boil Salted Water for Pasta. Add pasta at rapid boil. Cook until Al dente, Drain and set aside.
  3. Open all Tomato cans.
  4. Fill Steamer with lentils after rinsed and picked through. You can presoak them for 30minutes to aid in the cooking process.
  5. Add water, a healthy amount of salt, and several shakes of garlic to the mixture. Place on Brown Rice setting and begin steaming. You may need to add additional time so check on the lentils for softness and mix 2-3 times during steaming. It may start to get thick so add extra water if needed.

Layering the Pasta Bake!

  1. Once your lentils are prepared and pasta is cooked. Spray a casserole pan with Pam or Olive Oil Spray.
  2. Sprinkle bottom with salt and layer with pasta, 2 cans of diced tomatoes*, sprinkle on a layer of parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, and garlic, then lentils.
  3. Picture 005
  4. Top with Havarti broken into small crumbled pieces like a feta cheese would be.
  5. Then repeat but top with mozarella.
  6. Picture 006


  1. Bake at 425 degrees for at least 30 minutes but no more than 45 minutes. The top should brown slightly.
  2. The layers will have meted together and form a yummy cheesy sauce.
  3. Serve hot! Feeds 8-12.

*Optional: Add chopped zucchini or Beyond Meat Chicken Strips to the layers before or after the tomatoes.


Food is Love.

The Hippie Gypsy

Vegan Lasagna

Let me just start by saying that when I was NOT vegan, I hated lasagna. More specifically I hated Ricotta Cheese. I am not sure if it was the flavor or the weird goopiness of it all (and yes that is now a word because I said so), but it was definitely not my cup of tea. Fast forward to me as a vegan. The first vegan dish I ever made for my stepdaughters was lasagna. They were fresh off the plane visiting my husband who was just my boyfriend at the time in our 3rd floor walk up in East Boston. It was a humble apartment with high ceilings and a city view and mice and fleas and a heart shaped burn on the family room floor that made me find it charming and oh-so-urban.  We ate in our small dining room with built in china cabinet just off our oversized kitchen complete with a broken dumb waiter. I loved that place. I loved that meal because the kids gobbled it up. Since then I have made some minor changes depending on what I have in the house so I will explain those modifications as “options” but give you the base recipe. It’s yummy and not runny and delicious and healthy and all kids of good things. Eat up!


Vegan Lasagna

Vegan Ricotta Ingredients:

  • 1 package of very firm tofu
  • 1/8 cup Garlic Powder
  • 1/8 cup Nutritional Yeast (“Nooch”)
  • Kosher Salt
  • Fresh Ground Black Pepper
  • 2tbsp+ of Olive Oil
  • Basil
  • 1 can of chickpeas drained and rinsed

Marinara Sauce Ingredients (or just use Rao’s Marinara):

  • 1 small can of tomato pastePicture 077
  • 1/2cup of olive oil
  • 4 regular sized cans of crushed tomatoes
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes (get the kind with chiles for a kick!)Picture 004
  • !/2 cup of dehydrated onion or 1 onion cooked down and pureed
  • Kosher Salt
  • Fresh Ground Black Pepper
  • Basil
  • Pasta Sprinkle (I use a shake or two of this from Penzey’s)

Pasta: I use (1) package of Lasagna Noodles that are no precook and egg free which are super easy to find in any grocery market.

Cheese: Use Daiya Mozzarella and Daiya Havarti to layer and top the lasagna

Options: Sometimes instead of my vegan Ricotta I use just veggies and Daiya Havarti for the layers and mozzarella on top. Recently I layered in diced zucchini and eggplant with the havarti and it was a huge hit and lower calorie/fat. I have also just added chopped veggies as a layer on top of the sauce adn that is always a winner to. Again I stick with zucchini and eggplant. But feel free to add peppers or whatever you like!



  1. Mash all ingredients of the Ricotta in a mixing bowl with a potato masher until the crumbled texture of ricotta. I use at least 2 tablespoon of olive oil and a good amount of garlic powder, salt, “nooch” (nutritional yeast), and pepper. Basil is very important to this mash. Add it last.
  2. Place all marinara ingredients in a large sauce pan and mix until boiling. Simmer and allow to set for at least 45 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven to 425degrees.

Begin layering:

  1. Spray a large lasagna pan with Olive oil/Canola oil/Pam and start with a layer of sauce then noodles then cheese/vegetables and continue. Top wth mozzarella, sprinkle with salt and garlic powder, and drizzle some olive oil over it before placing in oven. I like to use seasoned olive oil from time to time and that is the same as teh pizza oil I use in my pizza recipe.


  1. Bake for at least 30-45 minutes. Or until you can see the cheese melting and browning on top.


  1. Allow to cool and set about 5 minutes so that the cheese is not liquid lava on your tongue. Serve hot and Enjoy!


*Note: I will post more pictures soon. I have to download them!


The Hippie Gypsy

Vegan Boeuf Bourguignon Stew – Just like Julia’s

One of my favorite cookbooks of all time is Julia Child’s “The Art of French Cooking”. It is sticky and covered in sauces and oil and butter and flour. I used to use that and my favorite mexican cookbook so religiously that they looked like they had been dipped in the foods rather than utilized to make them. There is one recipe I knew by heart and is obviously a huge fan favorite for the carnivore and omnivores out there: Boeuf Bouguignon. It is a Braised beef dish similar to a beef stew in essence. I decided to attack this dish head on because my vegan world isn’t the same without it. I know the flavors and the essence I want to create so making it vegan is actually easier than one may think but remember, if you want it just like Julia’s you do need to put in the time to make it and of course the butter (the earth balance butter that is).

I would like to make note that I initially made this without tasting it. My mother an omnivore had to taste test because I had ruptured my esophagus a few nights before. She loved it and I caught her going back for “extra tastes” later on. I can say that the beef in the oven covered in flour and crisco and pureed onions made my house smell like heaven though. It was hard not to just throw doctors orders out the window and face the throat pain just for a little taste. But I didn’t. I tasted it last night though and it is divine. Please try out the recipe and I promise this will become a warm comforting favorite you can’t believe you lived without.



Vegan Boeuf Bourguignon

(2) tablespoons Crisco

1 tablespoon Liquid Smoke

(1) Onion

(2) sticks Earth Balance Buttery Sticks

Kosher salt

Fresh Ground Pepper

(2) packages Gardein Beef

1/4 cup Flour

(1) Package Baby Carrots (diced)

(1) package of white button mushrooms

(3)  Medium Yukon Potatoes

1 tablespoon thyme

1 tablespoon frozen minced garlic

(3) Cups Cabernet Sauvignon Red Wine

(3) Cups Water

(2) tablespoons Vegetable Bouillion

(1) Small 6oz can of Tomato Paste

2-3 bay leaves

2-3 tablespoons parsley (fresh preferred)

1/2 cup flour (to make paste)


  • Rough Chop onions.
  • Dice Carrots and mushrooms.
  • Chop Potatoes into cubes.
  • Place extra large sauce pan or dutch oven on medium low heat with crisco, liquid smoke, and at least 1-2tablespoons salt.
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  • Preheat oven to 350degrees.
  • Get out a small food processor or immersion blender and several spoons. You will want to check the salt/seasoning level throughout.

Begin Cooking:

  • Once the crisco melts at onions and stir onion, oil, salt, smoke misture until onions are golden.
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  • Take onions out leaving a small amount of oil in the pan.
  • Puree onions in the food processor then return mixture into the pan.
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  • Add (2) packages of Gardein Beef Tips. Cook until slightly soft and seared about 3-5 minutes.
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  • Sprinkle on 1/4cup of flour and stir until meat is covered in the onion flour mixture.
  • Place beef cubes on a cookie sheet and place in warm oven approximately 30 minutes.
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  • Take 1 stick of butter place in pan and scrape the bottom bits up. Add Garlic.
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  • Add carrots and cover in melted butter. Add mushrooms next. Add salt and pepper while tossing.
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  • Add vegetable bouillion, water, thyme. Mix well until everything is combined. Start to simmer.
  • After the sauce is simmering add tomato paste and wine.
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  • After the sauce has cooked down about 30 minutes and the meat is crusty and firm on the outside, add the potatoes and meat back into the stew.
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  • Stir in 2-3 bay leaves and parsley.

Finishing it Off:

  • Last, after another 30 minutes. Remove 1-2 cups of the broth, a few carrots, mushrooms, and potatoes and place in a small sauce pan (my immersion blender has a little pot to puree in so I use that). Add 1/2cup of flour and make a paste with an immersion blender.
  • Add last stick of butter to stew pot and then stir in paste with the immersion blender until creamy and combined.
  • Cook for at least 30 more minutes. It will be nice and thick and the wine will have cooked down at this point. Your home will also smell like heaven.
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  • Serve hot with some crusty bread on a blustery fall or winter weekend.
  • It also keeps for about a week in the fridge or for months in the freezer! Enjoy!

Total servings 12. Serving Size is approximately 1 cup.



The Hippie Gypsy

Creamy Broccoli Cheese Soup

When I wasn’t vegan and I was applying to law school I worked at a law firm in Quincy, MA near a Panera Bread. My favorite lunch was always a bowl of their signature Broccoli Cheese Soup and a toasted Asiago bagel and an apple.  The soup was so decadent and the sharp Asiago smothering the bagel made me just fall into a million pieces. I would’ve eaten this over a filet mignon or fancy lobster dinner (mostly because I never liked either but also because it was that good in my mind). So when I was beginning my ideas for this next week of blogging on soups, stews, and chowders I thought that I really must start off with Broccoli Cheese Soup. I have eaten the broccoli cheese soup in Chef Chloe’s cookbook and it is very good and very healthy but I wanted to make a truly decadent creamy creation that reminded me of that soup near the law firm. So with that I present my version.

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Creamy Vegan Broccoli Cheese Soup


6 tbsp olive oil

1/2 cup flour

1/2 tsp granulated garlic

1 tbsp vegetable bouillon paste (I use Penzey’s)

1 1/3 cup Daiya Mozzarella Shreds

(1) White Onion

(2) Heads of Broccoli

(6) Small or Baby Carrots

1 qt of Soy Creamer

1/2 cup soy milk

1 cup of water

1/4 cup Tofutti Better than Cream Cheese

1/4 cup Tofutti Sour Supreme Sour Cream


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Prepare the Base:

  • Put (2) tablespoons of oil in a pan with salt and (1) onion chopped into rings.
  • Sweat the onion on medium heat until very soft and light golden brown. They will naturally start to separate as they heat up, so continue stirring.
  • Take 1/2 of the onions out and place in an extra large sauce pan. Add broccoli and 1 tbsp oil and place on medium heat,
  • Toss oil, onions, and broccoli and sprinkle with salt. Leave on medium heat.
  • Take remaining onions in the frying pan and add 3 tablespoons oil and flour. Stir until it forms a paste.

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Cooking down the soup:

  • Pour creamer into large sauce pot with broccoli and onion mixture.
  • Bring to a simmer.
  • Add all remaining ingredients and oil/onion paste except for carrots.
  • Stir until broccoli is soft and well combined. The sauce should be thick now and form a film on top if not constantly stirred.
  • Take an immersion blender and place in pot allowing the blender to chop and puree the broccoli. You can reserve a few small pieces if you want it a little chunkier.
  • Then shred the carrots with a peeler or making matchsticks with a sharp knife and add a few minutes before serving. These should be cooked but slightly crisp.
  • Serve hot and Enjoy!

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Serves (7). 1 cup servings. WW Points 11.



The Hippie Gypsy