Portobello Mushroom ‘Cheesesteak’ Sandwich (Vegan)

They are probably one of the worst, processed crappy foods you can eat, but when I ate meat, I did enjoy a cheesesteak every now and then.  It’s the combination of all of the flavors and the melty cheese that I loved so much..oh and the warm toasted bread.  This re-created vegan portobello cheesesteak version hit the spot on a cold snowy day.  My husband, who does eat vegan-mushroom-cheesesetakmeat, gave it the thumbs up!

I adapted this recipe from FoRealsLife.com

Ingredients (this made two large sandwiches for my husband and I)

*Use organic ingredients whenever possible

  • 4 portobello mushroom caps
  • 1  red bell pepper
  • 3 cups baby spinach
  • 1/2 of a vidalia onion or 3 shallots (that’s the kind of onion I personally prefer but I had to use shallots)
  • 1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp liquid smoke
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Daiya shreds in pepperjack or mozzarella (I used pepperjack for a little kick)


Slice mushrooms very thin. Heat them in a nonstick pan and stir them around for a few minutes, dry.  After they brown a little and soften, add in the soy sauce and liquid smoke.  Stir around for another minute or so then set mushrooms aside in a bowl.  Preserve some of the liquid in the pan to add flavor to the rest of the ingredients.

Add the sliced onion and peppers to the pan. Stir in oregano and salt.  Cook until soft.  If they start to stick to the pan, add a tiny bit of water and stir.  Once soft, transfer to a bowl.  Reserve the liquid for the spinach.

Finally add the spinach to the pan and cook on low-med heat until spinach wilts down.

Slice bread open but not apart.  Add a little vegan mayo to the top if you want and assemble onions, peppers, spinach and mushrooms on the bottom portion of the bread.  Sprinkle with the Daiya shreds and place in the oven under the broiler (on low) for about 30 seconds just to melt the cheese.  Don’t leave it in there for two long or else your bread will burn.  Almost happened to me 🙂

We topped ours with ketchup.  Add any other fixings you like and enjoy!

Follow me on Instagram for more yummy vegan recipes as well as  occasional dog and cat pics! @naturalnutritionist

Vegan Lasagne with Tofu Ricotta and Cashew Creamed Spinach

You’ll also need:

  • 1-2 boxes lasagna noodles of choice ( I used whole wheat. Buy two boxes just to be safe…I used a very large lasagna tray when I made mine so I would have plenty of leftovers)
  • Your favorite marinara sauce (I use Wegman’s tomato basil flavor bc it is vegan)
  • 1 package Daiya mozzarella shreds or Follow Your Heart vegan mozzarella

vegan-cream-spinach-lasagnaTo Make the Sun dried tomato tofu ricotta:

  • 1 container firm or extra firm tofu, drained
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp powdered garlic
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 3-4 tablespoons (depending on how much you like the flavor) sundried tomatoes

Put everything in your food processor, pulse until all combined. Set aside and make the cream spinach.

For the cream spinach:

  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cashew nuts, blended with 1/2 cup of water until very smooth and creamy and then set aside. (tip I let my cashews soak in very hot water for about 10 minutes before blending–makes them easier to blend)
  • 8 ounces of frozen, chopped spinach, thawed in the microwave
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Heat the oil in a saucepan and add the onion and garlic. Saute over medium heat until the onions turn translucent. Add the flour. Cook, stirring, about two minutes until the flour glistens. Add the cashew cream and stir well. Add the thawed spinach and continue cooking about two minutes. If the mixture is too thick, add some water. Add salt and ground pepper.

To assemble the lasagna:

Start by pouring sauce all over the bottom of your lasagna tray and make sure it is covered nicely.  Then, add your noodles until the bottom is covered.  Add marinara sauce on top of those noodles, then add 1/2 of the sundried tomato tofu ricotta.

Add more noodles on top of that.  Then add 1/2 of the cream spinach mixture. (no sauce on this layer)

Add more noodles on top of that.  Add marinara sauce then the other half of the tofu ricotta.

Add more noodles then the other half of the cream spinach.

Add more noodles then cover the top layer with sauce completely. Cover your tray tightly with tin foil and bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes, then remove the tin foil and add your shredded cheese to the top and bake another 15-20 minutes until you feel the noodles have softened.

That’s it 🙂

Vegan Arugula Basil Walnut Pesto Recipe

vegan-arugula-basil-walnut-pestoTurn any simple pasta dish into a colorful and flavorful entree in minutes with this amazing, vega Arugula Basil Walnut pesto recipe.  The greens provide life enhancing, cell-protecting antioxidants and the walnuts provide a beautiful dose of healthy fat, protein and vitamins.  This pesto will make you glow from the inside out.

Serve over any pasta dish, use as a dip for raw veggies or jazz up cooked veggies.  It’s so versatile with multiple uses. I also mix in sun dried tomatoes and whatever green veggies I have in the house.

Vegan Arugula Basil Walnut Pesto Recipe

In a food processor pulse together:

3 cups fresh arugula
3/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/3 cup fresh basil leaves (or more if you want more basil flavor to shine through )
1.5 teaspoons minced garlic (or 3 fresh cloves)
3 tsp grated lemon zest (pain in the ass but worth it)
6 tablespoons water

After it’s all incorporated slowly pour in 6 tablespoons olive oil. Taste. Add salt and pepper as needed. (I do about 1/2 – 3/4 tsp salt.

10 Awesome Reasons to Go Vegan

There is a huge misconception out there that following a vegan diet is very limiting, depriving and extreme.  It’s actually just the opposite!  There is TONS of amazing things to eat on a vegan diet, you won’t feel deprived in any way shape or form AND when you compare the overwhelming statistics about heart disease caused by a western diet…I don’t think it’s extreme at all!

There is absolutely no disputing the fact that our country’s rising death rates from heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes and other illnesses is directly related to the diets we follow that are heavy in animal products.  The countries that eat the least amount of meat and dairy have the lowest rates of heart disease.  Period.

When people become sick, they will spend any amount of money on prescription drugs that cause awful side effects.  Even undergo invasive surgeries.  And following a vegan diet is extreme????  A diet centered around plant based foods is good for you, good for the environment and good for animals.  Here are ten awesome facts about a vegan diet: (these facts were compiled by theflamingvegan.com)

  1. Grain that is used to feed livestock for meat production could feed 1.3 billion people. Think of all the world hunger problems that could solve!
  2. Following a vegan diet could help put an end to drought problems and provide more clean drinking water in poverty stricken countries. It takes 2,500 gallons to make just one pound of meat. On the other hand, it only takes 25 gallons of our valuable water to grow one pound of wheat.
  3. Most cases of food poisoning (up to 80%), are due to infected meat.
  4. Reports that vegans are healthier are not myth-based. According to the American Dietetic Association (ADA), people who follow a vegan or vegetarian diet tend to display lower blood cholesterol, lower blood pressure, less chance of getting colon and prostate cancer, and a decreased rate of Ischemic Heart Disease.
  5. Shockingly, every hour in the United States 500,000 animals are killed for their meat.
  6. Although we are consuming far too many antibiotics for our own health, (about 3 million pounds annually in the U.S. alone), animals receive even more. Livestock are fed up to 17.8 million pounds a year, and this number could actually be less than what is really being given to them since farmers are not required to report this number. The antibiotic tainted flesh and fluids from these animals end up on our plates and in our cups.
  7. Acres upon acres of forests can be saved with a vegan diet. Forests are wiped out so that the land can be used for crops to feed animals…not humans! Every year, just one person who sticks to a vegan or vegetarian diet will save an entire acre of trees.
  8. By not eating meat, you’re also helping to ease the problem of pollution. The global livestock industry produces more greenhouse gas emissions than all cars, planes, trains and ships combined!
  9. A vegan diet can prevent and reverse heart disease as bad cholesterol only comes from animal products.
  10. Vegan foods are frequently lower in calories which means you can generally eat larger portions for less calories.

Start The New Year with Our 7 Day Vegan Cleanse

There’s more at the end of your fork than just that bite of meat. Every time you sit down to a plate of chicken, eggs, beef, or dairy products, you are consuming mass produced antibiotics, arsenic, synthetic sex hormones, carcinogens, bacteria such as E.Coli, campylobacter, listeria, dioxins, and a host of other toxins that can cause serious health problems in humans.

This January, let’s start to wipe the slate clean and flush our cells of these harmful agents.  Instead of waiting to see what 2017 has in store for you, take control of your own health and be proactive to ensure you do whatever is necessary to preserve your health.

7 Day Vegan Detox Cleanse

vegan-detox-cleanseOur 7 day vegan cleanse is your starter kit to living a life with less dependency on tainted animal products.  Can you imagine feeding yourself, your spouse or your child arsenic?  How about a mouth full of synthetic sex hormones?  Drugs, antibiotics and artificial hormones are administered to factory farmed animals and their flesh and bodily fluids ultimately end up on your plate/in your cup with the same.  Many people shy away from a vegan or even vegetarian diet because they think it will be too restrictive, boring, expensive, complicated or just don’t know where to start.  That’s where our holistic nutritionist, Stacey Albert, steps in.

Stacey’s 7 Day Vegan Cleanse will provide you with a map for 7 days with a minimum of 3 options for each meal (breakfast, snacks, lunch and dinner).  You will always have a ‘simple’ option for every meal. A simple option means there is VERY LITTLE prep work to make the meal.  No fancy recipes to follow.  On the other hand, you will also have the option to cook delicious recipes and explore a new way of preparing food without the use of animal flesh.  That means no worries of salmonella, listeria, or E.Coli on your countertops, hands or in your sink.  All fresh food made from plants that provide protein, vitamins, minerals, nutrients, and most important of all….TASTE!

So what happens when you purchase the cleanse?  Stacey will email you the 7 day meal plan that also includes your shopping lists and recipes.  You will have around the clock support from Stacey to help you with the process.

To purchase the 7 Day Vegan Cleanseclick here.

Questions? Fill out the form below and Stacey will contact you.

Contact Us!

Vegan Tempeh Bolognese Recipe


Vegan tempeh bolognese in a pink cashew cream sauce with garlic toast.

A hearty, protein packed vegan version of Bolognese that uses the goodness of plant protein from organic, non GMO tempeh.  This sauce goes one step further to add the creamy goodness of cashews to create a tempeh bolognese in a pink ‘cream’ sauce.  Everyone that has tried it has absolutely loved it.  I received the recipe from an amazing vegan chef, our friend Phil Martinez.  I altered it slightly by using crushed tomatoes instead of pureeing the tomatoes myself with an immersion blender.  Below is the slightly revised recipe:

For the cashew cream sauce:

  • ½ cup raw cashews (soak in a covered container in very hot water for 10 mins)
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 cup filter water

For the tempeh sauce:

  • 1 med onion diced (1cup)
  • 1 carrot peeled and diced (1/2 cup)
  • 1 celery stalk washed and diced (1/2 cup)
  • 4 cloves of garlic rough chop (or 2 teaspoons minced garlic from the jar)
  • 1 pkg organic non GMO tempeh
  • 1 can 28oz crushed tomatoes (look for jars that say ‘BPA Free’)
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 1 ½ tsp sea salt

1 pkg 16 oz pasta


While your cashews soak, dice the onion, carrot and celery and sauté in a tablespoon of olive oil until softened, about 3-5 minutes. I use a large pot so when I add the tomatoes and cream sauce I have room to fold and stir.   Add garlic. Sauté another minute.

Cut tempeh into large chunks and add to food processor.  Pulse a few times until you have the desired consistency for your ‘chopped meat.’  Add to the pot. Alternatively, if you don’t have a food processor, just take the tempeh into your hands and crumble it with your fingers right into the pot.

Fold everything together and sauté another 2 minutes.  Add your can of crushed tomatoes, salt & pepper, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.  Stir often to blend all flavors.

While that is simmering, take your cashews, nutritional yeast and water and add to your high speed blender.  Blend until it is all smooth.  About 1 minute or less.  After 20 minutes, stir the cashew cream sauce into the large pot.  Heat for two minutes and serve over your choice of pasta.


Vegan French Toast Recipe

vegan-french-toast-recipeA simple and quick recipe to whip up some vegan french toast.  This recipe is good for about 6 slices of toast. I purchased fresh baked tuscan bread from Wegman’s but you could use any bread you like.

This recipe is from the amazing Seed to Sprout!


  • 4-6 slices of bread
  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 1/4 cup agave (sub maple syrup if you don’t have)
  • 1.5 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt ( optional)
  • 1.5 cups water


  • Place the cashews in a bowl and cover with very hot water.  Place a cover on top of the bowl and let sit for 5-7 minutes.
  • Drain cashews after they have soaked.  Place cashews and 1.5 cups water, agave, cinnamon, vanilla and salt in a high speed blender.  Blend until completely smooth. If you’re blender is not a very powerful blender this could take up to one minute.
  • Heat a pan or griddle to medium heat. Spray with non stick cooking spray. Dip pieces of bread in batter and cook about 3 minutes per side or until golden.
  • Serve with favorite toppings.


Cashew Mac And Cheese – Vegan

vegan-cashew-mac-and-cheese-recipeMy husband said it was the best [vegan] mac and cheese I ever made. I have to agree.  I have made all the others…nutritional yeast based sauce, Daiya based cheddar cheese sauce with a roux, sweet potato, carrot & onion based sauce…this by far is the best, the easiest and the creamiest.

You do need a really good high speed blender. I have a vita-mix.  It’s worth every penny if you’re serious about adopting a plant based diet or even just incorporating more plant based meals into your diet.

I got the recipe from one of the best recipe bloggers, the Detoxinista, but I also put the recipe below for those of you that don’t like to hop around to multiple websites.  I have to say though, it’s worth a trip to her site to see her recipe collection.

Vegan Creamy Cashew Mac N Cheese Recipe

  • For the cheese sauce:
    1 1/2 cups raw cashews ( she did not say to soak them but I soaked mine in hot water for about 10 minutes, covered)
    3 T. fresh lemon juice
    3/4 cup water
    1 1/2 tsp. sea salt
    1/4 cup nutritional yeast
    1/2 tsp. chili powder ( I only used about 1/4 tsp)
    1/2 clove garlic
    pinch of turmeric
    pinch of cayenne pepper ( I omitted)
    1/2 tsp. mustard (dijon or yellow)

To make the cheese sauce, toss all of the ingredients (drain the cashews obviously) into your high speed blender.  Add a little water as needed to get the sauce to your desired consistency. I like mine really thick and creamy.  I had to stop the blender every now and then and mix the ingredients around with a spoon since it was so thick.

Boil up 16 ounces of your favorite pasta, I used cellantani.

Once your pasta is done boiling, simply drain the pasta, add it back to the pot and mix in your cheese sauce. This dish is best served immediately.  As you store it the noodles absorb a lot of the sauce and it becomes less creamy.  If that happens, add some warm water and mix it up before you re-heat it.

By choosing a plant based mac and cheese, you eliminate saturated fat, heart attack causing cholesterol, harmful lactose, casein and other dairy proteins, butter, etc.  In return, cashews provide heart healthy unsaturated fat, loads of vitamins, minerals and disease preventing anti-oxidants.

Enjoy 🙂

Vegan Black Bean Burger with Sriracha Mayo

Vegan black bean burger with Sriracha mayo and avocado.

Vegan black bean burger with Sriracha mayo and avocado.

Probably the tastiest yet easiest black bean burger I have ever made.  All simple ingredients, comes together very quickly and cooks up even faster.  I prefer my burgers mildly spicy, with just a hint of spice. If you like more spice, increase the sriracha to 1.5 tablespoons.  Taste the mix as you go.

Serves 4 if you make each patty with a 1/2 cup measuring cup.    You’ll need a food processor.


  • 1/2 yellow onion roughly chopped
  • 1 TBS sriracha (or more depending on your tolerance for spice)
  • 1.5 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 can black beans, drained
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 TBS oats (I use quick oats)
  • 1 green onion, thinly sliced (omit if you don’t have)
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp curry powder
  • (**don’t add to food processor) 1/4 cup panko bread crumbs


Pulse the onion, sriracha and garlic in the food processor. Just about 5-6 pulses.  Then add the rest of the ingredients (NOT THE BREADCRUMBS) and pulse again about 5-7 times again.  You want the mixture rough – not pasty – so don’t over process.

Cover the mixture and let chill for about 30 minutes (the longer the better).  Then, add in the bread crumbs and mix all together.  Use a 1/2 cup measuring cup to scoop out your burger patties.  Cook about 5 minutes the first side and only about 2.5 minutes the second side.  Keep your eye on them.  If you’re using a higher flame the 5 minutes will be too long.  I used a low-medium flame.

For the sriracha mayo, I mixed together 3 TBS Earth Balance mindful mayo with 1.5 TBS sriracha.  Again, more sriracha if you like really spicy.  Enjoy!

Artichoke Sunflower Burger

One of my favorite resources for vegan recipes is OneGreenPlanet.org.  They have an amazing collection of recipes that are fairly simple to follow and typically very consistent in terms of my satisfaction with them.  The Artichoke Sunflower burger is no exception.  This is a huge hit with everyone I make it for.  The recipe is below but first please read some facts about what you’re putting into your body (and your family’s) when you choose beef, poultry or turkey over plant based). One can promote cancer and

Vegan artichoke sunflower burger served with vegan macaroni salad and mixed greens.

Vegan artichoke sunflower burger served with vegan macaroni salad and mixed greens.

heart disease while the other protects against both.

Let’s break down some burger fats:

Typical beef or turkey meat is likely contaminated with staphylococcus bacteria and e.coli (more than 50% of meat tested from supermarkets is!).  Plus animal meat contains artery clogging saturated fat and cholesterol (leads to our number one killer- heart disease), antibiotics that were administered to the animal that will now make their way into your body, synthetic hormones, and cancer promoting IGF-1.

Now let’s take a look at some of the ingredients in the artichoke sunflower burger.

Organic brown rice for low glycemic energy.  Sunflower seeds offer vitamins E and B-1, as well as copper. Plus those who consume nuts and seeds on a regular basis enjoy a lower risk of developing cardiovascular disease or type 2 diabetes, according to the Linus Pauling Institute. Artichokes are packed with phytonutrients such as quercetin, rutin, gallic acid, and cynarin, all working to protect against many health risks including cancer, heart disease, liver dysfunction, high cholesterol, and diabetes.

For me the choice is clear.  I’m going to do everything I can to keep myself and my family healthy.  Thanks for your interest in the Sunflower Artichoke burger by OneGreenPlanet.org.  Here is the recipe:


  • 2 cups artichoke hearts (I used canned, quartered artichokes in brine)
  • 1 ½ loosely packed cups cooked and cooled brown
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast
  • ¼ cup sunflower seeds
  • ¼ loosely packed cup fresh Italian parsley (see note)
  • 1 tablespoon mild miso (ex: chickpea or brown rice)
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • ½ rounded teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 medium clove garlic (I use minced garlic. 1/2 tsp= 1 clove)
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 cup rolled oats


In a food processor pulse all ingredients together until sticky.  Don’t over process.

Chill in fridge for an hour for best results. It helps the burgers stick together better when cooking.

Heat a skillet and cook for about 5-7 minutes the first side then about 3 for the second side. I personally prefer my burger patties to cool before eating them because the cooling process firms them up a bit.  But if you can’t wait dig right in 🙂

This recipe is from OneGreenPlanet.org.

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