Bob Red Mill Dark Rye Flour

So I had this bag of Bob’s Red Mill DARK RYE FLOUR and wasn’t sure what I was going to do with it. Don’t you just love their products. Didn’t want to make bread. I turned the package over and there it was… a recipe to make Rye Crackers! But of course it wasn’t whole foods, plant-based. No sweat, this was a simple one to revise. 


Here’s how I revised their recipe to make it WFPB:

  • Subbed Whole Wheat All Purpose Flour for white flour
  • Less salt and less sugar
  • Subbed Peanut Butter for margarine/butter
  • Used Almond Non-Dairy Milk, needed to add a bit more to be able to form into a ball   
  • Because I didn’t roll really thin, it needed more bake time

Here are the crackers with a dab of our homemade apple butter…they were so yummy! 


Roasting Red Bell Peppers


Roasting red bell peppers without oil results in delicate pepper pieces full on nutrients. Use in salads, hummus, sandwiches, pastas and you name it. Roast the peppers until the skins wrinkle and the peppers are charred as shown below.


How to Roast Red Bell Peppers:
 Preheat oven 400° F. Thoroughly wash red bell peppers, place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Roast the peppers in the oven for about 40 minutes (depending on size), turn several time during roasting. After roasting, place peppers in a bowl, cover the bowl with a dish for 10 minutes to steam (so the skins can easily be removed). Strain and save off juices. Remove and discard the core, seeds and skin. Don’t wash peppers, at this point, or they lose much of the nutritional value. Wipe remaining seeds out with a paper towel and strain juices.

Now they are ready to use – make a lovely sammy or enhance various recipes. We freeze some in zip lock bags, then add to marinara sauce. So yummy!



ColeSlaw with Fruit


One of my favorite sides – coleslaw with fruit! It’s easy to make tasty plant-based coleslaw with pre-packaged coleslaw mix or, of course, you can make your own slaw. To add visual interest and ramp up the taste, just add various fruits. In this case golden raisins, Granny Smith apples and colorful grapes. The bottom line…it is nutritious, easy on the eyes and fabulous tasting!

Serves: 8

  • 1 (12-ounce) package coleslaw mix
  • 1/2 onion, quartered
  • 1 clove garlic, quartered
  • 1 cup golden raisins (divide)
  • 1/3 cup raw cashew nuts (soak overnight or microwave)
  • 1/3 cup water (to be used for cashew soak)
  • 1 Granny Smith apple (core and cube with skin, soak in lemon juice)
  • 1/2 lemon juice 
  • 1 tablespoon Stone-ground or Dijon style mustard
  • 1/4 cup or, as needed, non-dairy milk 
  • 1/4 cup (or more ) black or red seedless grapes, halved 
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery seeds (sprinkle on top) 

Pre-soak:  In the 1/3 cup water, soak 1/3 cup cashew pieces overnight or soften in the microwave for a few minutes.

Dressing:  In a food processor, puree pre-soaked cashews with onion, garlic, lemon juice, 1/4 apple with skin, 1/3 cup golden raisins and mustard. Add non-dairy milk, as needed, for desired consistency. Blend in food processor until dressing is smooth.

Combine Dressing with Slaw:  Place slaw in a large serving bowl. Mix the prepared dressing into the slaw. Add remaining 2/3 cup raisins, 3/4 cup cubed apples and grape halves to the slaw; toss gently. Sprinkle celery seeds on top. Refrigerate a few hours so that the flavors meld.

COLE SLAW with FRUIT: Turn simple coleslaw into an adventure for your eyes by adding fruit. It’s easy to make CoachBJ’s tasty plant-based coleslaw.




Pumpkin Peanut Butter Soup


Sugar Pumpkin as shown below, a type of winter squash, or your favorite squash can be used as the base for this decadent curry soup. Next add fresh roasted peanut butter or almond butter and various spices…oh my! A small cup full goes a long way to satisfy your peanut butter taste buds found in this tasty smooth soup. As someone told me, “it reminds me of a dessert”.

Sugar Pumpkin
Sugar Pumpkin
Serves: 7 || Prep Time: 15 minutes || Cook Time: 15
1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin or 2 cups precooked pumpkin or squash
1/3 cup peanut butter or almond butter
3 cups vegetable stock homemade or commercial, no added salt
2 cups water
1 small onion, diced
3 tablespoons coconut flour
2 teaspoons mild curry powder(or to taste)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon coriander
1 clove garlic, sliced or 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons ginger root, grated or 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger powder
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flake (or more to taste)
1//2 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk

Mix all ingredients in a soup pot, except non-dairy milk. Heat to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Blend soup in pot until smooth with an immersion blender. Add non-dairy milk until you reach desired consistency, stir. Serve warm or cool.

Nutrition Facts
Calories 128  Calories from Fat 63, Total Fat 7g, Saturated Fat 2g, Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 123mg, Total Carbohydrate 10g, Fiber 6g, Sugars 3g, Protein 5g


Pumpkin Peanut Butter Curry Soup
Pumpkin Peanut Butter Curry Soup

Hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do!

Irish Stew

Irish Stew

IRISH STEW:  This dish is simple yet hearty. It requires the sacrifice of a good stout such as Guinness but it is well worth it in the end. We serve with Irish soda bread and homemade apple butter. Turn on some Irish tunes and you’d think you’re in Dublin.

Serves: 4 || Prep Time: 30 minutes || Cook Time: 90 minutes (stove top) or 5 minutes medium pressure (pressure cooker)

1 bottle 11.2 fl oz Guinness Stout
1 cup water
1 cup vegetable stock
2 onions or leeks, coarsely chopped
4 stalks celery, sliced
6 carrots cut into 1″ chunks
6 yellow potatoes, do not peel, cut into large chunks
4 cloves garlic, sliced thin
2 (14 1/2-ounce) cans black beans, low sodium, include brine
1 tablespoon parsley flakes or fresh
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Optional:  If needed, use flour to thicken (make a roux by mixing a bit of the stew broth and a few tablespoons of flour – add the roux to the pot of stew and wait about 10 minutes to thicken)

Stove Top:  Prepare all vegetables. Place all ingredients into a soup pot, stir and cover. Simmer on medium heat for about 90 minutes until vegetables have softened.  If the stew needs to be thickened, for desired consistency, add flour  by the tablespoon to a small about of stew broth, stir, add roux to the pot.

Pressure Cooker:  Prepare all vegetables. Place all ingredients into a 5 quart pressure cooker. Cook on medium pressure for 5 minutes, take cooker off the hot burner and let rest until pressure is released. The stew will likely need to be thickened. Make a roux  by adding a few tablespoons of flour to a small amount of stew broth, stir, add this roux to the pressure cooker and wait about 10 minutes for stew thicken.
Whole wheat soda bread is a nice companion.

Irish Stew with Soda Bread
Irish Stew with Soda Bread

Nutrition Facts
Calories 480  Calories from Fat 1, Total Fat 0g, Saturated Fat 0g, Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 446mg, Total Carbohydrate 90g, Fiber 22g, Sugars 4g, Protein 22g

This is one of Tom’s favorites and we love the leftovers even better than the first plating.



Cornbread topped with Cranberries


I revised my basic cornbread recipe to accommodate my extra cranberries this winter. It’s been so much fun photographing cranberries…they are colorful and beautifully translucent. During those chilly days it was uplifting to spend time in my studio photographing these lovely fruit dishes.  The warm sun coming through the windows was marvelous! One bonus was enjoying the cornbread after the photo shoot. 

CORNBREAD TOPPED WITH CRANBERRIES: Simple healthy corn bread with fresh Cape Code cranberries.
 1 cup cranberry sauce – see recipe – (make before preparing 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 cup yellow 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)


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 meal, baking soda and baking powder. To the wet ingredients add sweetener, vanilla, flax seed meal and aquafaba then whip this mixture. Combine wet ingredients into dry ingredients. Pour batter into non-stick loaf pan. Place cranberry syrup on the top of the batter.  Bake for about 30-35 minutes. Cool before slicing.

Nutrition Facts (without cranberries)
Calories 120 Calories from Fat 13, Total Fat 1g, Saturated Fat 0g, Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium108mg, Total Carbohydrate 24g, Fiber 2g, Sugars 3g, Protein 2g

CAPE COD CRANBERRIES – Beautiful fresh cranberries are full of antioxidants for a healthy heart.

Enjoy adding cranberries to your winter baked goods especially when they are fresh from Cape Cod, can’t be beat!

How to Make Nicely-Shaped Veggie Burgers

When people see my veggie burgers inevitably they mention how nicely shaped the burgers are and they want to know how to make similarly shaped burgers. Somewhere along the line, I forget where,  I learned the following method which I’m showing pictorially. I know, it would be nice if Tom made a video but time is running short here and editing Tom’s videos is very time consuming. So this is what you get tonight…

VEGGIE BURGERS: Baked veggie burgers, ready to eat or freeze!
VEGGIE BURGERS: Baked veggie burgers, ready to eat or freeze!

My tips to make a nicely shaped veggie burger:  After mixing the ingredients, roughly divide the mix into similar sizes depending on the number of burgers you’re making. For each burger, roll the mix around and around in the palms of your hands, shape doesn’t have to be perfect. 

The next steps are shown and explained in these images and captions:

MAKING BUCKWHEAT GROATS and BLACK BEAN BURGER #1: With the palm of your hands, roll the burger mix into a round shape. Then flatten a bit in the palms of your hands. Next and very important, use your thumbs to flatten out the outside edges of the burger by moving the burger around in a circular motions, around and around, until the edges are smooth.
MAKING BUCKWHEAT GROATS and BLACK BEAN BURGER #2: Set the edge of the burger on the Silpat or parchment paper.
MAKING BUCKWHEAT GROATS and BLACK BEAN BURGER #3: For this step, roll the edge of the burger back and forth on the Silpat until the edge is flat and smooth.
MAKING BUCKWHEAT GROATS and BLACK BEAN BURGER #4: This step is the last step – flattening. With your finger tips, mash the burger to make it the thickness that you like. 

That’s IT, easy!

You can use this method on any of our burger recipes. CoachBJ’s delicious whole food, plant-based burgers are created to be firm, keep their shape after baking and they don’t fall apart! Today we made Buckwheat Groats and Black Bean Burgers from my EASY MEALS eCookbook.


ENJOY Cooking Whole Food, Plant-Based EASY MEALS with Coach BJ



NEW! Delicious EASY MEALS made from Whole Food, Plant-Based ingredients. Quick, easy-to-make recipes are offered by food coach – COACH BJ. My mission is to help you to make meals to fit into your tight schedule.  I hope to make your journey easier as you join my team by cooking these delicious nutrient packed recipes.

The 31 EASY MEAL recipes are beautifully presented with a total of 30 attractively photographed images. Recipes include African Style Chick Peas with Freekeh, Angel Hair Pasta and Spinach with Pesto, Baked Beans with Barley and Cabbage, Black Bean Soup, Chili, Marinara Sauce, Pasta Primavera, Polenta with Sauce and Veggies, Roasted Cauliflower and Pasta, Sloppy Joe Lentils  and more – all with a healthy twist. Let’s get back to basics and stay healthy by cooking vegan dishes without adding oil, see how to use less processed foods, enjoy low salt options and cut down on added sugar. Enjoy delicious Plant-Based Recipes to put you at the top of your game! Coach BJ’s recipes are made with the home cook in mind. Nutritional facts are listed. By joining Coach BJ’s team, we can help you reach your healthy eating goals! Create meals made with healthy whole food, plant-based ingredients! Quick online purchase and download, check it out here…  ENJOY COOKING WHOLE FOOD, PLANT-BASED EASY MEALS with COACH BJ.  Easily purchase this eCookbook for $2.99, you can download and have recipes handy to view or print from your digital devices.

In the following gallery, view some of my delicious easy meals featured in ENJOY COOKING WHOLE FOOD, PLANT-BASED EASY MEALS with COACH BJ !