Taco Tuesday: Tofu Tacos!


It’s taco Tuesday! These tofu tacos are super easy to put together and pack a big flavor punch. What else can I say, really. Tofu. Tacos!

The only thing you really have to make is the tofu and it takes just a few minutes. And the corn can either fresh off the cob if it is in season or frozen or my favorite, from a can!

Makes 6 tacos

1/2 block of tofu
2 tablespoons chickpea flour
1 cup of corn, fresh, frozen and defrosted, or canned
3 scallions
2 teaspoons sunflower oil, or more to cook the tofu
6 corn tortillas

Taco seasoning
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon coriander
1/4 teaspoon paprika

Guacamole (1 avocado, the juice of 1/2 lemon or lime and a pinch of salt)
Lettuce, shredded
Kite Hill ricotta

Press the tofu for as long as you have time for. Cut it into cubes.

Coat the tofu with the chickpea flour.

Heat the oil in a nonstick pan and add the tofu. Combine the taco seasonings and then sprinkle over the tofu (or shortcut and just sprinkle right over the tofu in the pan and toss around.)

As the tofu starts to turn golden, slice the scallions and add to the pan. Add the corn. Toss around to coat with the seasonings.

Heat the tortillas over the open flame until charred.

Add the filling to the tortillas and top with guacamole, shredded lettuce and a sprinkle of ricotta. Enjoy!

Blue Plate Special #60: Noochy Baked Tofu with Broccoli & Mixed Mashed Potatoes


I got the idea for baking tofu coated with nutritional yeast from someone on Instagram. What an easy and great idea. It’s literally just nooch. That means no oil, no gluten and no hassle. It is great with anything on the side or even in a sandwich. Today, I made mashed potatoes and broccoli because we pretty much eat that combo about 3 times a week. But this noochy tofu has become a regular staple in my kitchen!

1/2 block extra firm tofu
1/4 cup nooch, or more

Press the tofu for as long as you have time for. Cut it into 6 slices. Pour the nooch onto a flat plate and roll the tofu in the nooch to coat it as best you can. Don’t worry if there are empty spots.

Bake in a 350 oven for 10 to 15 minutes.

Serve with mashed potatoes and steamed broccoli or whatever else you have on hand. Enjoy!

Marinated Portobello with Spinach & Creamy Mashed Potatoes


I love mushrooms, especially portobellos. My husband doesn’t eat mushrooms so I usually make this for myself or for when I have a friend over for lunch.

Note: Oven safe glass containers are great for this recipe. Marinate and bake in the same dish!

Serves 1

Marinated Portobello
1 portobello mushroom
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic
The juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 tablespoon tamari
1 small clove of garlic, pressed

1 cup fresh spinach
1 small russet potato
1 scallion
Plant milk, as needed
Vegan butter, as needed
Vegan cream cheese, as needed
Salt, a pinch

Take the stem off the portobello. Use a spoon to clean out the “gills”. Whisk the marinade together. Pour the marinade over the portobello and be sure to coat the whole thing. Marinate for 30 minutes (up to 24 hours!)

Bake the mushroom at 350 for about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, peel, chop and boil the potato. When it is done, drain the water and mash with enough plant milk, vegan butter and a dollop of vegan cream cheese to the texture you like. Thinly slice the scallion and mix into the mashed potatoes. Save some scallions for garnish.

Steam the spinach.

Use tongs to lift the mushroom out of the baking dish. Pour whatever is left of the marinade over the portobello. Fill the cavity of the mushroom with the spinach and top with the mashed potatoes. Sprinkle with a few extra scallions and enjoy!

Carrot “Lox”


Disclaimer. This is not lox. But, it’s something! I am calling it lox because that is what it looks like and it is an all natural, unprocessed, fun vegan facsimile for something to put on a bagel with cream cheese.

I never really liked lox growing up but it was around so there is some sort of comfort feeling when I see my little pile of carrot lox atop my bagel and Kite Hill cream cheese at my family brunch.

I’ve never seen or had carrot lox but read about it in this article on Toronto Life. I thought it was such a great idea, but being a home cook, I don’t have the volume nor the equipment as the guy in the article has, so I had to come up with my own version.

My first thought was that I wanted thin slices because any other cut would be too much. I don’t have a mandolin – too dangerous for me – so I decided to use my vegetable peeler to make thin slices like ribbons. I marinated them in a combo of smoked salt, coconut sugar and freshly ground black pepper (just like in the article) and then steam-roasted them in aquafaba (magical bean water!) for 25 minutes.

Voila! Carrot lox. After steam-roasting, the carrots become soft and glossy. The flavor is kind of peppery and smoky. This lox is kind of perfect and slightly addicting. It’s so easy to make, it tastes great, and let’s face it, it photographs really well!

Makes enough to pile high atop 6 bagel halves.

2 large carrots
1 teaspoon smoked salt
1 teaspoon coconut sugar
1/2 teaspoon fresh black pepper
6 tablespoons aquafaba

Cut the ends off the carrots and peel the outer layer. Discard. Use the peeler to make nice, long slices. Turn the carrot after a few peels and peel again. Turn again and peel and turn again and peel. It will appear to have 4 sides. Keep peeling as the slices get nice and wide. There will about 2 cups of carrots at this point. You don’t need to go all the way. Save for a salad later.

Sprinkle with salt, sugar and pepper. Toss and place in a glass container with a lid and marinate in the refrigerator for 24 hours.

Take out of the refrigerator and bring to room temperature. Pour into a strainer to drain any excess water.

Preheat the oven to 350.

Whisk the aquafaba until foamy. Add the carrots and use a fork to mix around and coat all of the carrot slices.

Set a piece of foil on a baking dish and carefully pour the carrots and the liquid onto the foil. Fold it up into a tight packet and bake for 25 minutes.

Take the carrots out and let them steam in the packet for another 5 minutes. Open the package and place the carrot lox into a container. Store in the refrigerator until ready to use. Serve with bagels, toast or crackers. And of course vegan cream cheese. Dill, capers, and red onions work too. Enjoy!


Vegan Cookbook Giveaway: Defensive Eating with Morrissey & Comfort Eating with Nick Cave!!!


You guys! There is nothing more fun than opening the mailbox and finding two of the coolest little cookbooks! Check this out.

Automne Zingg is a writer, illustrator, musician, and video artist based in LA. She has a bit of a dark sense of humor and while drowning her sorrows after a breakup, she started to draw. She came up with all kinds of funny, zany, crazy illustrations while listening to Nick Cave and Morrissey and as they became weirder, she started to feel better! A zine was born.

Then, she partnered with Joshua Ploeg who is a founder of the queercore movement and a traveling vegan chef. He came up with some really clever and creative recipes to match up with Automne’s illustrations.

The books are small, slightly snarky (which I love!), and to the point. The illustrations alone make these books a must have but the recipes are equally as amazing and you will see why in a sec.

Comfort Eating with Nick Cave: Vegan Recipes to Get Deep Inside You is an ode to Nick Cave who has produced over 15 albums and continues to tour and record. He also does film work. This book has recipes for chili, frosting, burritos, the most awesome baked ziti recipe I have ever seen (recipe below!), cinnamon rolls, mac ‘n cheeze (of course!), hoagies, ranch dressing (which I am going to say right now is one of the all time best recipes out there and will be a staple in my house from now on) and so much more!

Defensive Eating with Morrissey: Vegan Recipe from the One You Left Behind is for the man himself, Morrissey. You know him, right? Madison Square Garden went vegan when he played there. With and without The Smiths, has sold millions of albums, including Meat is Murder. He is an outspoken vegan and political commentator. This book has recipes for asparagus, beans, Devil’s food cake, cookies, disco fries (recipe below!), tapas, “Both” which is strawberry spread and chocolate spread (and OMG, now you can have both!) and even a recipe for leftovers which just shows just how clever these books are.

I am telling you, I get vegan cookbooks all the time and I usually have a hard time finding one, let alone ten recipes, I want to make. Both of these little books are winners!

I am giving away 3, that’s THREE, of each cookbook! Isn’t that exciting? 

To enter the giveaway, send me a note at lisasprojectvegan at gmail dot com by October 15th and tell me why you should be one of the owners of these books.

US and/or Canadian residents only!

And here is why you will want these books! I’m including the art from the books but also below I have the text for the recipes! And this is just the tip of the iceberg. Both books are filled with this amazing art and creative r


Polenta Cupcakes


I have a thing about making polenta in the morning and then storing it in a cupcake tin until I’m ready for dinner. When we are ready to eat, I sprinkle the tops with nutty parm and bake them. Then we have crispy on the outside, soft on the inside polenta cupckes!

These are super easy and family friendly and a great make ahead item for a busy weeknight meal.

Makes 9 cupcakes using a 3 tablespoon ice cream scooper

1 cup polenta
2 cups water
1 teaspoon garlic powder
Salt, a pinch
Nutty parmesan, for baking

Add the polenta, water, garlic powder and salt to a pot. Bring to a boil as you whisk the polenta. When the water is completely absorbed, the polenta is done.

Scoop the polenta into the cupcake tins and let cool. Store covered either on the counter or in the refrigerator but bring to room temperature before baking.

Sprinkle with nutty parmesan and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the tops are browning. Enjoy as a side dish or even a snack!

Book Report: The Healthiest Diet on the Planet by Dr. McDougall + Bonus Recipe


Dr. McDougall has done it again! You know who he is, right? A pioneer in the field of plant-based nutrition, prolific author, and the director of a 10 day residence program that helps people get off their meds, get healthy, and change their lives. He is an inspiration!

In his latest book, Dr. McDougall lays out “the healthiest diet on the planet.” And, no it’s not paleo (please.) All you have to do is read the subtitle and you will understand: Why the Foods You Love – Pizza, Pancakes, Potatoes, Pasta, and More – Are the Solution to Preventing Disease and Looking and Feeling Your Best!

So bring it on! Bring on the pasta, potatoes, rice and bread because a high starch diet is the key to good health, to living longer and to losing weight. This is why eating a vegan, plant-based diet is so amazing! Because I have permission to eat, wait for it, CARBS! And I have to say that I always feel a little sad for people who avoid bread and pasta because they think it is “bad” but happily eat animals. They have it totally backward!

Here it is, the healthiest diet on the planet:

  • 70 to 90% starch (pasta, potatoes, rice, bread)
  • 10 to 20% non-starchy vegetables
  • 5 to 10% fruit
  • 0% meat, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy, and vegetable oils

Pretty straightforward. But if you need a visual, there is a red light/yellow light/green light section that explains what to eat, what to eat in moderation, and what not to eat. And in case you need a big reminder about what to avoid, the red light section is pretty explicit: say no to foods that are poison. That’s animal products.

Plus, there are 64 recipes by Dr. McDougall’s wife Mary including Almond French Toast, Baked French Toast (which is covered and refrigerated overnight so breakfast is super easy!), all kinds of bowls, soups, salads, cheezy baked macaroni (there is always mac ‘n cheese in a vegan/plant-based book!), and chocolate fruit fondue.

I love this book because because it’s simple. It’s for anyone who has health issues, anyone who is suffering from a disease of affluence like heart disease or diabetes, or anyone who wants to lose weight and feel great. Dr. McDougall is one of the originals in this movement, a pioneer, and a great teacher. This book is a candid, really useful tool and would make a not-so-subtle gift for someone who needs to know how to change their diet and get healthy!

I got permission to post this recipe for Harlequin rice. It is full of vegetables – the rainbow – and super simple to make.

Harlequin Rice
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 4

2 1/4 cups vegetable broth
1 onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cup chopped green onion
1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
1 cup uncooked brown basmati rice
1 (4- ounce) can chopped green chilies
1 (4- ounce) jar chopped pimientos
1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 cups packed chopped spinach
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Place 1/4 cup of the vegetable broth in a large pot with the onion, bell pepper, green onion, and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables soften slightly, about 3 minutes. Add the remaining broth, the rice, green chilies, pimientos, corn, parsley, and cumin. Cover, bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for about 45 minutes, until rice is tender. Stir in the remaining ingredients and cook for 2 minutes longer.

Excerpted from “The Healthiest Diet on the Planet” by Dr. John McDougall and Mary McDougall, reprinted with permission from HarperOne, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. Copyright 2016.

Rosh Hashanah: Date Caramel Mini Apples


I love traditions but sometimes you just have to change them up a little bit! On Rosh Hashanah it is tradition to dip apples in honey for a sweet new year. But of course, we are vegan so honey is not optimal. But another tradition are caramel apples. So, I combined the two!

I use my melon baller to make little apple balls. And then use lollipop sticks to make them dippable. And then we all get one and dip into homemade date caramel for a sweet new year!

Note: I use divine caramel flavored Sukkari dates from Royal Dates. When I make caramel out of Medjool dates, I usually add lucuma and maca powder. But these dates are out of control caramelly!


Date Caramel
12 Sukkari dates
1 cup homemade cashew milk

Pit the dates and place into the Vitamix. Add the cashew milk and process until the caramel is creamy and perfect. Store in a jar in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Macintosh apples, enough for how ever many people you are having

Use the melon baller to make little apple balls. Stick lollipop sticks into the apples. Dip into the caramel. Enjoy and happy new year!

Almond “Tuno” Salad


Is there anything better than a great sandwich? I was inspired by someone on Instagram to try to make my own almond “tuno” salad, get it? “Tuno?” That would be a tuna like salad minus the tuna. No fish. No harm. Just great texture for a great salad!

I have to say I am pretty surprised how great this is. If you soak the almonds for at least 4 hours, they get soft enough to process and turn into a consistency that works. For this version I added all of the herbs I happened to have on hand but I have also made it with capers, relish, red onions like my chickpea salad.

This is a cruelty free, oil free, plant based sandwich that will knock your socks off! Use your favorite bread and top it with lettuce and big, ripe tomato for the perfect lunch.

Makes enough for 2 sandwiches.

1 cup almonds, soaked
1/4 cup filtered water
The juice of 1 lemon
1 carrot
1 stalk of celery
6 chives
Handful of fresh dill
Handful of fresh parsley
Dollop of mustard
Salt, to taste

Pour the almonds into a bowl and cover with filtered water. Soak for at least 4 hours. Drain the water and drop the almonds into the food processor with 1/4 cup new filtered water and the juice of one lemon. Process until it looks kind of mixed up and soft. There will still be pieces of almond but you can process it for as long as you want!

Shred the carrot. Dice the celery. Thinly slice the chives. Mince the dill and parsley.

Mix everything together in a big bowl and season with salt and a dollop of mustard. Taste and adjust. You may want to add more lemon juice, more mustard, more salt or more herbs.

Enjoy on toast with lettuce and tomato!


Fresh Tomato Tomato Sauce


My niece runs an urban farm in the middle of Bridgeport, CT. She is doing some amazing work – raising crops, managing the both the working farm and the community farm plots, running the farm stand in the middle of the longest standing food desert in the country, and educating the local community. It is pretty amazing. We brought our drone to take some fun pictures for the farm’s website too!


She and her team have grown over 2 tons of food this season. When we went to visit the farm last weekend, we harvested cherry tomatoes, kale, rainbow chard and ground cherries. I also got to bring home some beautiful zinnias that I cut myself! As we were leaving, my niece handed me 2 lbs. of fresh Roma tomatoes that were just harvested that morning.

As I have been doing all summer, when I have too many tomatoes, I turned them into sauce. I can’t believe I haven’t posted this sooner!

Note: In order to make this sauce work, I use my Foley Food Mill which is one of the best kitchen tools ever. When I run the sauce through it and “foley,” I can get all of the skins off without losing a drop of saucy goodness. If you don’t have a Foley mill, you can take the skins off before cooking the tomatoes by blanching them, shocking them, and then peeling tem.

2 lbs. fresh Roma tomatoes
2 tablespoons good olive oil (enough to cover the bottom of the pot)
1 big clove of garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt

Coat the bottom of a heavy pot with olive oil. Add the tomatoes. Press the garlic right over the tomatoes and add the salt.

Bring the heat up to medium and when you start to hear the tomatoes sizzling, stir around. Then lower the heat just a touch and cook down until the tomatoes are all popped and it looks saucy and delicious.

Run the sauce through the food mill and then use immediately or store for when you are ready for some saucy sauce!