How about bean pastas?

fettuccine with pesto

I love to try various pastas…looking for an enjoyable taste, attractive color and interesting texture. Well today my quest turned out marvelously – Fettuccine made from edamame and mung beans fit the bill!

Edamame and Mung Bean Fettuccine
Edamame and Mung Bean Fettuccine

For those who are trying to cut back on eating wheat products or for gluten-free eaters, today there are many choices. Pick up some of these specialty pastas which normally are found in the organic section of the grocery store. Note the apropos name of this product, “Explore Cuisine”.

The dish that I made with this fettuccine turned out to be delicious. I boiled the noodles for  about 6 minutes. I poured on whole food, plant-based spinach/basil pesto then added garden fresh vegetable – red and orange cherry tomatoes, yellow peppers, kale, and sprinkled red pepper flakes on top. We had a sip of wine and a slice of whole grain bread. Oh yes, Tom made a beautiful salad but I was too full so it will become my evening snack. We definitely will buy this pasta again, try it, you’ll like it! Any type of contrasting red pasta sauce would look lovely on this green fettuccine too!

Edamame & Mung Bean Fettuccine with Pesto
Edamame & Mung Bean Fettuccine with Pesto

Make cooking and eating healthily an adventure. Try new plant-based products, fruits, veggies and grains. Besides the taste, note other features about food like their shapes and textures, you will start to appreciate the uniqueness of Mother nature in each piece. Take your time, be aware of all the senses which are invoked while eating, enjoy the little “bites” of life.  


Chilled Three Bean Salad

Three Bean Salad

Easily whip up this colorful and delicious salad to take on picnics or potlucks!

Serves: 10 (1/2 cup)
1 (14.5-ounce) can kidney beans, no added salt, rinsed
1 (14.5-ounce) can garbanzo beans (chick beans), no added salt, rinsed
1 (8-ounce) package edamame shelled soybeans
1/2 red onion, diced
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 lemon (juice)
1 teaspoon rice cooking wine or maple syrup
1 teaspoon honey mustard
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt substitute
dash pepper and salt

Drain and rinse canned beans. In a medium bowl, add beans, cooked edamame soybeans and diced onion. In a small bowl, mix remaining ingredients together until smooth. Pour dressing over the beans, toss the salad. Chill for 2 hours.

Nutritional Facts:  Amount per Serving
Calories 127 Calories From Fat 14,Total Fat 1g, Sodium 17mg,Total Carbs 13g, Dietary Fiber 5g, Sugars 2g, Protein 7g 

Coach BJ's Three Bean Salad
Coach BJ’s Three Bean Salad

Black Bean and Mushroom Loaf

CoachBJ's Black Bean and Mushroom Loaf

This “hearty” loaf will become a favorite!  Here’s a fun loaf for a main entree or to use in sandwiches.

CoachBJ's Black Bean and Mushroom Loaf
CoachBJ’s Black Bean and Mushroom Loaf
Serves: 8
1 large onion
2 cloves garlic
4 ounces (1 cup) Portabella Mushrooms
1 tablespoon fresh parsley
1 stalk celery
1 (15 1/2-ounce) can black beans, lo sodium (drain, reserve broth)
1 cup oat bran
2/3 cup farina (quick cooking cream of wheat or use cream of rice for gluten-free), uncooked
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce, lo sodium
1/2 teaspoon hickory liquid smoke
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 1/2 teaspoons salt substitute
2 teaspoons basil
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce, lo sodium
For Hot Tomato Glaze:
1 (15 1/2-ounce) can stewed tomatoes
1 clove garlic
2 teaspoons hot pepper sauce
Note: If you don’t like it spicy, just substitute with your favorite topping (ketchup, barbecue sauce, etc.).

Preheat over to 350° F. In a food processor, dice onion, garlic, mushrooms, celery and parsley. In large bowl, mash beans then add oat bran, farina, yeast, spices and herbs. Add diced vegetables, mix well. Add reserved bean broth and tomato sauce, as needed, until the mixture can be formed into a nice moist loaf. In a non-stick loaf pan, form the mixture into a loaf. Top the loaf with the hot tomato glaze. Cook for about 40 minutes. Serve hot or cold.

To Make Hot Tomato Glaze:  Drain tomatoes. In food processor, puree tomatoes along with garlic clove and hot sauce.


Calories 171 Calories from Fat 9, Total Fat 1g, Saturated Fat 0g, Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium131mg, Total Carbohydrate 35g, Fiber 8g, Sugars 4g, Protein 9

A Touch of Blue Cornbread

Plant-Based Blue Corn Bread

A lovely look with flecks of blue and a lovely taste!

A Touch of Blue Plant-Based Cornbread
Coach BJ’s A Touch of Blue Cornbread
1 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk
1/3 cup water
1/2 lemon (juice plus 1 teaspoon zest)
1 cup white whole wheat flour
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
1/2 cup blue cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoon date paste or maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons flaxseed meal
3 tablespoons aquafaba (chick pea brine)
1/2 cup blueberries (wash and pat dry)


Preheat oven to 375° F. In a small bowl measure non-dairy milk and water, add juice and zest from 1/2 lemon into this liquid. Set aside. In a medium size bowl mix these dry ingredients – flour, corn meals, baking soda and baking powder. To the wet ingredients add sweetener, vanilla, flaxseed meal and aquafaba then whip this mixture. Combine wet ingredients into dry ingredients. Pour batter into non-stick loaf pan; top with blueberries. Bake for about 30-35 minutes. Cool before slicing.

Nutrition Facts
Calories 120 Calories from Fat 13, Total Fat 1g, Saturated Fat 0g, Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium108mg, Total Carbohydrate 24g, Fiber 2g, Sugars 3g, Protein 2g

Apple Cherry Crumble

Cherry Apple Crisp

Apple Cherry Crumble:  Apples and Cherries together make this a wonderful dessert. The difficulty is trying not to eat the fruit before you make the crumble. The colorful beautiful presentation is a bonus for this healthy crumble delight!

Cherry Apple Crisp
Coach BJ’s Cherry Apple Crisp
Serves: 6 || Prep Time: 20 minutes || Cook Time: 25 minutes5 baking apples (5 cups), peeled and cored, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 medium lemon (juice and 1 teaspoon zest)
3/4 cup fresh or frozen cherries (no need to thaw)
1-2 tablespoon date sugar or maple syrup (to taste)
5 (3-inch) pieces crystallized ginger, minced
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup granola


Preheat oven 350°F. Prepare apples then place into a non-stick ovenware dish. Add remaining ingredients (except granola); gently combine. Crumble the granola over the top, bake for 25-30 minutes. Serve warm or cold.

Nutrition Facts
Calories 154  Cal from Fat 9, Total Fat 1g, Saturated Fat 0g, Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 8mg, Total Carbohydrate 35g, Fiber 4g, Total Sugars 23g (includes 11g added sugars), Protein 2g

Peas and Beans Soup

Peas and Beans Soup

We like it, packed with protein and warms the heart!

Serves: 8 || Prep Time: 20 minutes || Cook Time: 30 minutes on stove top
1 medium carrot, sliced
1 celery stalk, sliced
1/4 cup shallots, sliced (2 small)
2 cloves garlic, slices
3 cups vegetable stock (homemade or low sodium)
4 cups water
1 (28-ounce) can Italian plum tomato (low sodium)
1/3 cup green split peas, rinsed, sorted
1/3 cup yellow split peas, rinsed, sorted
1/3 cup lentils dried, rinsed, sorted
2 cups cabbage, shredded
1 medium apple (no need to peel if organic), cored and chopped
1 (14-ounce) can pinto or adzuki beans (low sodium), include brine
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 lemon (juice)
1 teaspoon dried basil (1/4 cup fresh)
1 teaspoon mild chili powder
1/2 teaspoon dried savory
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt


In a large soup pot, sauté carrots, celery, shallots and garlic until the shallots are translucent. Add all other ingredients into the soup pot. Heat to a boil, simmer for about 25 minutes or until vegetables are cooked to your liking. Serve over leafy greens.

Nutrition Facts
Calories 204 Calories from Fat 4, Total Fat 0g, Saturated Fat 0g, Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 183mg, Total Carbohydrate 36g, Fiber 14g, Sugars 8g, Protein 13g

Peas and Beans Soup
Coach BJ’s Peas and Beans Soup

Gingerbread with Pumpkin Whipped Cream

Piece of Gingerbread Cake

Bites of crystallized ginger make this Gingerbread cake a favorite! Add Pumpkin Whipped Cream Topping to satisfy your sweet tooth.

Gingerbread Cake
Coach BJ’s Gingerbread Cake
Serves: 10 || Prep Time: 30 minutes || Cook Time: 40 minutes
For Pumpkin Whip Cream Topping:
1/2 (14-ounce) package firm tofu, drained and pressed
1/3 cup pure pumpkin, drained
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ginger powder ground
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1-2 tablespoons maple syrup (to taste)
Optional:  Add unsweetened non-dairy milk by spoonfuls as needed for consistency
For Gingerbread:
3/4 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk
1/2 lemon (juice and zest)
3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup white whole wheat flour
1/4 cup oat flour
1 tablespoon arrowroot
2 tablespoons flax seed meal
2 1/2 teaspoons ginger powder ground or more if you want it extra spicy
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon gum xanthan
9 pieces (1/2 cup minced) crystallized ginger, minced
1/3 cup water (or cool coffee)
3 tablespoons aquafaba (chick pea brine)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup molasses

Prepare Pumpkin Whip Cream Topping before preparing the Gingerbread.
To Make Pumpkin Whipped Cream Topping. Press excess liquid from tofu. In a blender, blend all listed pumpkin topping ingredients until smooth. Refrigerate as least an hour before serving.
To Make Gingerbread. Preheat oven 350°F. In small bowl, add lemon (juice/zest) to non-dairy milk, set aside. In large bowl mix dry ingredients including flours, arrowroot, flaxseed, ginger powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, gum xanthan and minced crystallized ginger. To the non-dairy milk/lemon, mix in water or coffee, aquafaba, vanilla and molasses; add these liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients. Blend all ingredients together. Pour batter into non-stick cake pan or one lined with parchment paper. Bake for approximately 40 minutes or until a toothpick pierced into the cake top comes out clean. Cool before removing from pan, then frost with Pumpkin Whipped Cream Topping.

Nutrition Facts
Calories 149  Cal from Fat 14, Total Fat 3g, Saturated Fat 0g, Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 125mg, Total Carbohydrate 29g, Fiber 3g, Total Sugars 12g (includes 8g added sugars),  Protein 5g

Chili – No Chop Black Bean Chili

No Chop Black Bean Chili

This chili is just so easy – ingredients are canned, frozen and dried. I call these easy-peasy dishes NO CHOP, but it’s your choice to chop or not. From start to finish, this simple throw-together chili can be on the table in less than 30 minutes. [On the other hand, if you want a more complex Chili recipe, turn to the one in my book Enjoy Cooking Whole Food, Plant-Based ENTRÉES with Coach BJ

Chili – no chop black bean

Serves: 8 || Prep Time: 15 minutes || Cook Time: Pressure cooker (4 minutes). Stove top (20 minutes).
2 cups homemade vegetable stock
1 1/2 cups frozen onions and peppers
1 cup frozen carrots
1/2 cup dried corn or 1 cup frozen corn
1/2 cup fresh parsley or 2 tablespoons dried parsley
1 tablespoon celery flakes
1 leaf bay leaf
1 (28-ounce) can plum tomatoes, no added salt
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 -1 tablespoon hot pepper sauce, to taste
1/2 -1 tablespoon chili powder, to taste
2 teaspoons minced garlic or 1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
2 (14-ounce) cans black beans and brine, no added salt
1/2 lemon or lime (juice)


Pressure Cooker:  Place all ingredients, except pre-cooked black beans, into pressure cooker (no need to thaw frozen veggies). Pressure cook on medium pressure for 4 minutes. Move pressure cooker off the hot burner and let rest for 10 minutes, then quick release. Add black beans, stir. Serve with whole grains and leafy greens.

Stove Top:  Place all ingredients into a large pot (no need to thaw frozen veggies), bring to a boil; simmer for about 20 minutes. Serve with whole grains and leafy greens.

Nutrition Facts
Calories 181  Calories from Fat 3, Total Fat 0g, Saturated Fat 0g, Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 100mg, Total Carbohydrate 29g, Fiber 9g, Sugars 6g, Protein 8g

Chili - no chop black bean