recipes that are part of my plant based diet

Crock Pot Lentil Spaghetti Sauce (Vegan)

I created this recipe because I had an idea for how I wanted a spaghetti sauce to be but I couldn’t find a recipe out there that was what I wanted – that isn’t to say there isn’t one like this – I just couldn’t find it – so I decided to create what may be my first original recipe.

Two things I had in mind – I wanted the sauce to be thick and also to have a bit of a meaty texture – this required two different kinds of lentils – red lentils (that break down when cooked and would give the thickness) and brown lentils that would stay somewhat solid and give that meaty texture I was looking for.  Also, I wanted this to be the kind of recipe where you just add everything to the crock pot without having to brown anything first.

So this is what I came up with – feel free (of course) to add additional seasonings that you like in your spaghetti sauce – I don’t like thyme for instance so I don’t have that as part of the recipe.  Also, you could use an Italian seasoning blend to simplify things 🙂


Crock Pot Lentil Spaghetti Sauce

1 diced onion

1 diced green or red pepper (I used red)

3 cloves garlic (minced)

1/2 cup red lentils

1/2 cup brown lentils (green would probably work too)

3 cups veggie broth

3 cups tomato sauce or pasta sauce (I used a garlic flavored tomato sauce that was 680 ml – so not quite 3 cups)

1 tbsp dried parsley

1.5 tsp dried oregano flakes

1 tsp dried basil

1 bay leaf

4-5 tbsp tomato paste

1 tsp salt (optional)

1 tbsp raw cane sugar or other sweetener (i.e. agave, maple syrup etc) (optional)

Add all ingredients to the crock pot except the tomato paste, salt and sugar.

Cook on low setting for approx 8 hours (I used high for the first hour while I was at home and then switched to low when I left the house).  Approx 30 min before serving (i.e. when you start the water for your pasta) stir in the tomato paste and taste to see if salt and sugar are needed.

Serve over your favorite pasta!!



Attayya’s Spinach Curry


1 chopped onion

1 -2 cloves of garlic, crushed

1/4 tsp cumin seeds

1/4 tsp brown mustard seeds

1 chopped green chili pepper (I use jalapeno)

1 chopped tomato

1   11oz / 312 g package of fresh spinach

1/2 – 1 tbsp indian chili powder

1 tsp salt

1 heaping tsp tamarind concentrate dissolved in 3/4 cup of warm water (to make tamarind water)


Fry the following for about 5 minutes:

(I use very little oil when cooking, I mostly water saute and spray with a tiny bit of olive oil while cooking) – but if you don’t mind using oil using approx. 1 tbsp should work well

chopped onion

crushed cloves of garlic

cumin seeds and brown mustard seeds

chopped green chili pepper

Add chopped tomato and continue cooking the mixture for 5 more minutes.  (I usually peel my tomato using a serrated peeler)

Add one package of spinach –  I chopped it slightly with a serrated knife before adding it to the pan – cook for 10 minutes or until the spinach is completely wilted –  put a lid on your pan to let the steam help with the cooking.

Add 1/2 to 1 tbsp or indian chili powder (this is different than the chili powder used to make chili) – indian chili powder is very spicy and is made mostly from red chili peppers – if you can’t  locate any you can probably use cayenne pepper – either way go on the lighter side to be on the safe side the first time you make it – i typically use about 1/2 tbsp of the indian chili powder that i have

Add  salt and tamarind water (tamarind concentrate can be found in an indian grocery store or the international section of a supermarket)

Cook until the water is gone.

Serve with naan bread and or basmati rice.

Chocolate Chip Chickpea Cheesecake

I take no credit for this recipe. The original recipe was posted here:

The reason I am posting this is that I did make a number of changes to the original recipe – granted they are small ones but rather than trying to explain all of them before I shared the recipe on my Facebook food page “Plant Based Plate” I thought it would be easier to just make the adjustments to the recipe itself.

Essentially I omitted the vegan margarine from the crust (wasn’t needed and saved a few calories and fat), I replaced the kahlua with soy milk and added some vanilla and almond extracts, and I also made it in a 9 inch spring form pan which to me makes for a more authentic cheesecake presentation.  Also I baked mine for 10-15 minutes longer than was originally recommended.

While this is not healthy by any means, the fact that there are chickpeas in it somehow makes me feel better 🙂


Chocolate Chip Chickpea Cheesecake


  • 1 Oreo Crust: 12 – 15 Oreo cookies (yes icing and all)
  • 1 15 oz can low sodium chickpeas (my can was 19oz – I took out about ¼ – 1/3 cup and used the rest in the recipe)
  • 2 tablespoons soy milk (or other non-dairy milk)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract + ½ tsp almond extract
  • 3 tablespoons corn starch
  • 1 container vegan cream cheese
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 – 3 tablespoons water (if needed – I didn’t need it)
  • 8 – 10 smashed Oreo cookies (I ground these up slightly in my Vitamix but they could be done with a rolling pin or just broken up by hand)
  • 1 cup dairy-free chocolate chips


  1. Warm your oven to 350° F.
  2. While you’re waiting for the oven to heat, prepare your crust by adding 12 – 15 Oreo cookies in a food processor. Pulse for several seconds until well combined and the crumbs are all about the same size (I ground mine to a fine crumb).  Press this mixture in the bottom of a 9″ springform pan.
  3. To prepare the cheesecake part of this recipe, place chickpeas, soy milk, vanilla and almond extract  in a food processor. Pulse for several seconds until chickpeas are mostly smooth.
  4. Add the vegan cream cheese, sugar, cornstarch and pulse for several more seconds until everything is well combined and running smoothly. If you feel the mixture is too thick at this point, go ahead and add a little water, one tablespoon at a time, pulsing between each until you get a desired texture. (mine was fine without the water)
  5. Add the smashed Oreos and chocolate chips and  pulse for one or two more seconds just to get everything mixed together.
  6. Pour the cheesecake batter into the prepared crust and bake for 35 minutes – the middle still may look a little soft – that’s OK – if you aren’t sure then cook it for another 5 minutes.
  7.  Remove from oven and allow to cool completely, then refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.  (I placed mine in the freezer for a couple of hours after it cooled to get  it nice and firm and then kept it in the fridge but removed it an hour or so before serving)



Facebook page – Plant Based Plate

Hi everyone

If you have somehow reached my blog through a means other than my Facebook page, I just thought I would create a quick blog post to mention my Facebook page – it’s called Plant Based Plate.

On this page, I post reviews of various recipes that i have tried and also have links to articles about the benefits of planted based diets.

Check it out 🙂



Chewy Chocolate Chip Granola Bars

The recipe originally came from a site called Your Vegan Mom.  I have modified it slightly by taking out the oil and replacing it with almond butter and also changing the sweetener to brown sugar insead of rice syrup (I don’t usually buy rice syrup).

Chewy Chocolate Chip Granola Bars
2 cups rolled oats
1 cup whole wheat flour (or spelt flour)
1/4 cup flax meal
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup pecan pieces (optional)
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup almond butter (or canola oil)
1/2 cup brown sugar (or natural cane sugar)
1/4 cup agave nectar (or maple syrup)
2 teaspoons black strap molasses
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 cup water

Heat the oven to 350 and grease an 8 x 8 inch baking pan.  In a large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients (the oats through salt).  Make a well in the center and pour in the wet ingredients (all the rest).  Stir to combine and spread this mixture out in your prepared baking pan.  Bake for 20 minutes or  until the edges are just turning brown.  Remove from the oven.  Let cool for 5 minutes before cutting into bars.  Store in an airtight container for several days or freeze for longer storage.  

Curried Coconut “Chicken” in Wonton Cups

Curried Coconut “Chicken” in Wonton Cups

The original recipe comes from a cookbook called Grazing by Julie Van Rosendaal.  I have substituted vegetarian “chicken” breasts to make this suitable for vegetarians and vegans.  The filling would also be delicious served over basmati rice.


24 wonton wrappers

1 tsp oil

1 small onion

2 garlic cloves crushed

1 tbsp grated fresh ginger

2 cups chopped vegetarian “chicken” breasts (3 or 4 pieces)

1 tbsp of curry paste (or use curry powder to taste)

1/2 cup light coconut milk

1/4 cup apricot or peach jam (or mango or peach chutney)

juice of 1/2 lime

salt to taste (approx 1 tsp)

1 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro (optional)

To make the wonton cups, press fresh wonton wrappers into mini muffins tins, pressing folds firmly to the sides and bake at 350 degrees for 5-10 minutes (watch carefully because they will burn quickly).  They should be a pale golden colour.  6 minutes usually works perfectly in my oven.

To make the filling, heat oil (if using) or water saute the onions, garlic and ginger in a medium non-stick saucepan.  Cook for approximately 5 minutes.

Add the “chicken”, curry paste, coconut milk, jam, lime juice and salt.  Cook, stirring often, until bubbly and thickened.   Cool slightly or chill before spooning into wonton cups.  Sprinkle with cilantro if using.

Nearly No Fat Fudge Brownies

Nearly No Fat Fudge Brownies

1 cup non-dairy yogurt (almond or soy – I used vanilla flavoured almond yogurt)

½  cup semi-sweet chocolate chips melted and cooled slightly (I melted them on low in the microwave)

½ cup granulated sugar

¾ cup all purpose or whole wheat flour

½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

¼ tsp baking soda

½ cup water

1 tsp vanilla


In  a large bowl, whisk together yogurt , melted chocolate chips and sugar until combined well.

In another bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder and baking soda.  Stir into yogurt mixture until just combined.  Add water and vanilla; stir until mixture comes together.  Pour batter into an 8 inch square or 8 inch round pan that has been lightly oiled.

Bake in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until tester inserted in centre comes out with a few moist crumbs and top is set.  Let cool completely before cutting into squares.

Makes 16 pieces.

Red Lentil Coconut Soup

Last fall I started making this soup and brought it to a few potluck dinners in my crockpot.  I had many requests for the recipe and I’ve since had some of these people tell me that they have made the soup themselves and love it 🙂

So here is the recipe, modified a bit from the original that I can’t seem to find the link to anymore.

adapted from 101 Cookbooks


  • 2 cups red split lentils
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper cut into 1/2 inch dice
  • 1 fresh jalapeno or serrano chili, finely chopped, including seeds
  • 1 tablespoon fresh peeled and minced ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder or
  • 1 tablespoon curry paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/3 cup tomato paste
  • 7 cups water
  • 1 can unsweetened light coconut milk
  • 1 15-ounce can of chickpeas
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
  • fresh cilantro and lime wedges for serving


Water saute the onions, bell pepper and hot pepper adding small amounts of water as necessary to prevent sticking until the vegetables have softened (5-7 minutes). (or use 1 tbsp of oil for this) Add the garlic, ginger, spices, curry paste and tomato paste and continue to cook for 2-3 more minutes until the mixture is toasty and fragrant.  Add the water, coconut milk, lentils and chickpeas and cook uncovered for 20 to 25 minutes adding the lime juice at the end of cooking.  Taste and adjust with more salt or more lime juice if desired.  Serve the soup topped with a sprinkling of fresh cilantro and some extra limes on the side.

Holiday Gravy

The original inspiration for this recipe is from the Vegetarian Times Magazine (December 2012 issue).

The magazine recipe was a little more involved than my version and involved making your own vegetable broth to start.  I skipped that step and just used pre-made veggie broth from a carton.  It tastes great and is the best vegan gravy I have tried so far – I have tried cashew gravy, chickpea gravy and a few others but they did not taste like the gravy I was used to back in my meat eating days.  This is pretty close.


1 carton vegetable broth (use low sodium if you can find it) 900 ml

1 tbsp tomato paste

1/4 cup red wine

1 tsp summer savoury

1 tsp dried parsley

1 tsp onion powder

1/2 tsp pepper

2 bay leaves

1 large russet potato – peeled and cut into chunks

Place all ingredients in a pot and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat but do not cover.  Keep a strong simmer going for approximately 30 minutes until volume is reduced by approximately half.  Blend liquid with potato in blender or using an immersion blender.  Strain gravy through a fine meshed sieve if it is not smooth.

Taste and adjust seasonings if needed. Mine was a bit salty (but still delicious)  so I added a tsp of sugar to distract from the saltiness.


Peanut Butter Cookies with Dark Chocolate

This recipe is an adaptation of a recipe from the Forks Over Knives Cookbook.  The original recipe is called “Lunch Box Chocolate Chip Cookies”.


Peanut Butter Cookies with Dark Chocolate

1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce

1/3 cup peanut butter (I use natural peanut butter)

1/2 cup dry sweetener (I use natural cane sugar but white sugar or brown sugar will work fine)

1 tbsp ground flax seeds

2 tsp vanilla extract

1 1/3 cups oat flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 cup whole wheat flour or sorghum flour

sugar for rolling

1 dark chocolate bar (no dairy) divided into small squares


Preheat oven to 350 and line cookie sheet with parchment paper.

In a large mixing bowl , use a strong fork to beat together the applesauce, peanut butter, dry sweetener and flaxseeds.  Once relatively smooth mix in the vanilla.

Add in the oat flour, baking soda, and salt and mix well.  Add the whole wheat flour and mix well.

Roll approximately 1.5 tbsp at a time into a ball and then roll the balls  in white sugar.  Place on a cookie sheet and flatten slightly with your fingers so that the dough resembles thick discs  (they don’t spread much during baking). Bake for 8-9 minutes at 350 degrees.

Remove from oven and immediately press a square of dark chocolate down into the centre of the cookie.  Move cookies to wire rack after they have cooled for a few minutes on the cookie sheet.





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