Thanksgiving Inspired Buddha Bowl


What is a Buddha Bowl?

I guess there is no one definition of a Buddha bowl, also known as a “glory bowl” or a “hippie bowl.” I think of it usually as a hearty, one-dish meal including layers of greens, roasted vegetables, beans, grains and toppings such as nuts, dried fruits, seeds and dressings. Buddha bowls may be raw or cooked. Or–my favorite–they may be a combination of raw and cooked food. They are typically vegan or at least vegetarian.

During the holidays, I love a one-dish meal, that’s for sure! (This is what I might serve one of the nights leading into Thanksgiving rather than on the actual Thanksgiving DAY. I’m going all out for that! You may do what you like, and more power to you if you have the strength to be THIS super healthy on the Thanksgiving holiday!)

I tossed the following dish together using green beans instead of legumes, which I would normally use. (Chickpeas are a typical favorite of mine in a Buddha bowl.) I let Thanksgiving tradition guide me. (I let a VEGAN Thanksgiving tradition guide me, that is.) Try it! And then arrange yourself in a crossed-legged position on your meditation mat, hold your bowl close up near your heart and shovel your face full of food!

Thanksgiving Inspired Buddha Bowl

(Serves 4)


Two cups chopped romaine lettuce
Four cups washed kale pieces
Three cups raw, shredded Brussels Sprouts
One cup washed, chopped green beans
Two cups cooked wild rice
One small chopped onion
One cup diced mushrooms
One teaspoon salt, divided (1/2 teaspoon, 1/4 teaspoon, 1/4 teaspoon)
One-half teaspoon pepper
Three-quarter cup chopped, roasted walnuts
One-half cup dried cranberries
A little olive oil for roasting green beans and crisping the kale chips


Two tablespoons grainy prepared mustard
Juice of one lemon
Two tablespoons olive oil


Early in the day:

  1. Wash and chop the romaine.
  2. Wash the kale and rip it into bite-sized pieces. Spread the washed kale out onto paper towels to dry, or place the kale with a few paper towels into a plastic baggie and place in the refrigerator until later.
  3. Wash and then shred the Brussels sprouts either using a large knife or a food processor.
  4. Cook the wild rice according to package directions.
  5. Wash and chop the green beans.
  6. Chop the onion and the mushrooms into medium-sized pieces.
  7. Chop the walnuts and place them in a small frying pan on medium-high heat. Allow the walnuts to roast for a few minutes. Keep an eye on them! You will smell them if they begin to burn!
  8. Prepare dressing. Place all ingredients in a small, lidded jar. Place the top on the jar and shake to combine.

Store all of the above in the refrigerator, either in small plastic containers with lids or in baggies, keeping the ingredients separate until you assemble them later on. (The rice will go into the salad cold.)

Later in the day (about 45 minutes before dinner time):

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Toss the green beans with a little olive oil and a quarter-teaspoon salt. Arrange them on parchment paper on a baking sheet in a single layer.
  3. Toss the kale in a little olive oil and a quarter-teaspoon salt. Arrange kale on parchment paper on a baking sheet in a single layer.
  4. Place the green beans and the kale into the oven. The kale will come out of the oven after 12 minutes. The green beans will come out of the oven after 20 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile place a few tablespoons of water in a frying pan with the chopped onions and mushrooms. Add one-half teaspoon salt and one-half teaspoon pepper to the pan. Cook on medium or medium-high heat until the vegetables begin to soften, about five minutes.
  6. Assemble the bowls layering first with romaine, then cooked kale chips, Brussels sprouts, cooked green beans, rice, hot mushroom/onion mix, chopped walnuts and cranberries, dividing everything evenly among the bowls. Top with dressing.


Crabapple Chutney for Your Thanksgiving Feast

I wrote this post for Weaver’s Orchard, one of my favorite local stops for fresh fruit and gourmet food!

Whenever I think of crabapples… Wait a minute. Let me back up. I hardly ever think of crabapples. Nevertheless, there are times when crabapples briefly cross my mind, and when they do, I think of ornamental, flowering crabapple trees. We had two such trees in my yard when I was little. I remember these blooming …

Source: Crabapple Chutney for Your Thanksgiving Feast

The Ins And Outs Of Almond Milk: A Simple Recipe

I’ve been making my own almond milk a lot lately! I’m amazed at how simple it is.

Behind soy milk, almond milk has become the second most popular plant-based milk and substitute for cow’s milk. Why? Almond milk has many nutritional benefits, including vitamins, calcium and anti-oxidants, without the calories, cholesterol or saturated fat found in cow’s milk. And while almond milk contains less protein than cow’s milk (one gram per serving of almond milk vs. eight grams per serving of cow’s milk), as a vegan I find I don’t rely on milk for protein anyway. I tend to rely on vegetables, legumes and grains. (Yes, there’s plenty of protein in a plant-based diet!)

Still, I use plant-based milk in baking, in my morning oatmeal and (rarely) in some sauces and soups.

One of the reasons I like almond milk is because it’s very simple to make at home. A basic recipe includes almonds and water. That’s it!

For more information about where to buy safe, raw almonds, see this article.
For more information about almonds, drought and water use during farming, see this article.

You need a few tools…

…a bowl for soaking the almonds, a regular strainer, a high-speed blender, a nut milk bag and a pitcher.

You may use cheesecloth instead of a nut milk bag, but fold it over so the holes are smaller. It’s MUCH easier to order a nut milk bag online and use that instead. It makes the job a snap!

Almond Milk

(Serves 2)


One cup raw almonds
Water for soaking
Two cups filtered water (in addition to the soaking water)


  1. Soak the almonds in water overnight, or four hours minimum.
  2. Strain the almonds.
  3. Place the almonds and the two cups filtered water in a high-speed blender. Blend the ingredients at medium or high speed for about a minute.
  4. Rest the nut milk bag in a pitcher, folding the top over the rim, and hold it lightly in place. (It helps to choose a pitcher whose mouth opening approximately matches the opening to the nut milk bag. If you use a pitcher with a very narrow opening, ingredients will spill over.) Pour the blended ingredients into the nut milk bag. Squeeze excess liquid from the nut milk bag into the pitcher.
  5. Reserve the almond pulp for another use such as muffins, smoothies or cookies. It will keep for up to three days in the refrigerator.
  6. Reserve the milk in a covered container for up to three days.

Poached Pears, Pear Ice Cream, Pair Nicely

You’ll want to break out your paring knife for this one!


Poached Pears

(Recipe from Mark Bittman)

(Serves 4)


Two and one-half cups sugar
Five cups water
One-half vanilla bean, split lengthwise and beans removed
One, three-inch cinnamon stick
Four pears

Note: I used ripe but still relatively firm, bosc pears, which I bought locally. However, you may use any pear variety, and you may even substitute apples or peaches. If the fruit is slightly unripe, never fear! The cooking will help with softening and developing the sugars.



1. Combine the sugar and vanilla or cinnamon with the water in a medium saucepan (allowing space to accommodate the pears). Bring it to a boil. Using a paring knife, peel the pears, leaving the stems on. Core by cutting into the blossom end with a melon baller, spoon, or paring knife.

2. Lower the pears into the boiling water and adjust the heat so that the pot simmers gently. Cook, turning the pears every five minutes or so, until they feel soft when prodded with a thin-bladed knife, usually 10 to 20 minutes. Turn off the heat and allow to cool in the liquid.

3. Transfer the pears to serving plates. You may cover and refrigerate the pears for up to a day and bring to room temperature before serving, or you may serve immediately. After pears are removed, reduce the poaching liquid to a syrup (a cup or two, depending how syrupy you like it), then spoon a little over each pear before serving.

As an accompaniment, try gourmet vegan pear ice cream! (I may not be an actual gourmet, but this ice cream made me feel like one!)

Vegan Pear Ice Cream

(Based on a recipe from Better With Lemon)

(Serves 2)

Note: The key is to use FULL FAT coconut milk for ice cream. Do not shake the can before opening. Open the can and DRAIN OFF THE COCONUT WATER. Use only the remaining, thick coconut cream. Save the coconut water for another purpose. 


One, fourteen-ounce can coconut milk (unsweetened, full fat)
One large, ripe pear, peeled, cored and diced into quarter-inch pieces
One-half cup sugar
Pinch of salt
A drop or two of almond extract
One teaspoon of Cointreau (or another orange-flavored liqueur)


  1. Open the can of full-fat coconut milk and drain off the coconut water, reserving it for a different use.
  2. Pour the sugar into a large saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon until melted. When the sugar is caramel brown, mix in the diced pears. The caramel will harden, but keep cooking and stirring for about ten minutes, until the pears soften and the sugar dissolves.
  3. Remove mixture from the heat and stir in half of the coconut cream. Once incorporated, mix in the rest of the cream, salt, almond extract and Cointreau.
  4. Cool to room temperature, and then blend in a mixer until smooth.
  5. Chill the mixture in the refrigerator until cool (one or two hours) and churn in an ice-cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions.


Vegan Fall Mushroom Risotto (With Edemame)

This morning I woke up, warmed my hands with my coffee cup, looked out of the kitchen window and thought, “Why are zombies in the Zombie Apocalypse never wearing mini skirts?”

It’s always the long skirts.

This is just one example of the many thoughts I have while watching “The Walking Dead” on Netflix. But that’s the way with mythology. The rules are arbitrary. For example, why killing by a strike to the head rather than a stake in the heart, as with vampires? Why are zombies sluggish and not lightening-bolt fast like the little girls of Japanese horror movies? You make up the myth. You make up the rules, I guess.

Pete and I spent the weekend at the lake, where it’s very rural and quiet. It was also Halloween weekend, and the surroundings matched the holiday, I thought.

Halloween began with a  mysterious and beautiful fog across the lake:



It was chilly too! Our first morning of the season below freezing:


Generally speaking, this part of Pennsylvania is the perfect place for zombies, I think. We may have taken our lives in our hands, but we ventured out for a walk.

Things were quiet and slightly overcast:



We saw two deer prance across the road, but I missed the shot. I found these guys, though:


No, these aren’t zombie Portuguese Water Dogs. They just need a bath and a haircut!

There COULD be zombies around here, but we didn’t see any.

Just creepy trees:

To stay safe, we stuck close to the lake.

And we saw nothing but fall beauty all around.


AND we made it back alive!

Which is a good thing, because we were in time to enjoy this recipe. I made it with fresh edemame, which I found already shelled in the produce section. You may use peas if you like.


Vegan Fall Mushroom Risotto

(Serves 4)


Eight cups vegetable stock (See Note)
One tablespoon Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Spread
One medium white onion, chopped
Three cloves garlic, minced
Two cups sliced mushrooms, shiitake, portabello or a combination
One cup edemame (or peas, fresh or frozen)
Two tablespoons lemon juice
One teaspoon lemon zest
One tablespoon fresh, chopped marjoram (or oregano)
Two tablespoons fresh, chopped parsley
One tablespoon olive oil
Two cups Arborio rice
One teaspoon salt
One-quarter teaspoon pepper
Garnish with parsley

Note: For my broth, I used a combination of three-and-a-half cups water, four cups prepared vegetable stock and one-half cup white wine.


  1. Heat vegetable stock in a medium-sized pot and keep it simmering on the stove.
  2. Heat the Earth Balance in a deep stock pot or pan and sauté onion, garlic and mushrooms until softened. Add the lemon juice, lemon zest and herbs. Stir everything to coat.
  3. Add rice until you hear some sizzling and zapping. Stir.
  4. Keep the pot on a medium or medium-high heat, lowering the temperature as time goes by to ensure mixture does not stick to the pan bottom. Add the stock, one cup at a time, allowing the liquid to absorb and cook down before adding the next cup. Cook for about thirty minutes or until rice is cooked to your liking. You may not use all the liquid and the cooking time may vary. Add the edemame toward the end of cooking, allowing five minutes to heat through.
  5. Add salt, pepper and parsley.


(No zombies or humans were hurt in the making of this risotto.)

Chickpea and Vegetable Curry In The Slow Cooker


This recipe boasts loads of healthy ingredients. They literally go directly from the cutting board to the slow cooker after chopping. This is a great recipe for a busy afternoon when you have work and running kids around to after-school activities. Everything will be bubbly and warm upon your return home.

A typical curry recipe includes coconut milk, which is delicious but fatty. I cut the fat in two by substituting pumpkin puree for half the normal coconut milk amount. The result is fantastic! You’ll love the taste and the texture.

The weather is chilly, but you can warm yourself up with this nutritional powerhouse recipe!


Chickpea and Vegetable Curry In The Slow Cooker

Based on a recipe from The Kitchn

(Serves 8)


One white onion, diced
Two medium yellow potatoes, cut into one-and-one-half-inch pieces (skins on)
One tablespoon minced, fresh ginger
Three cloves garlic, minced
Two cups vegetable broth
Two cups dried chickpeas (no advance preparation)
One green pepper, diced
One red pepper, diced
One regular-sized head cauliflower, cut into bite-sized pieces
One twenty-eight ounce can diced tomatoes (including juices)
One tablespoon brown sugar
One and one-half teaspoon salt
One-quarter teaspoon black pepper
One tablespoon curry powder
One-eighth teaspoon cayenne pepper (or to taste)
One-half cup pumpkin puree
One bunch broccoli rabe, de-stemmed and cut into bite-sized pieces*
One-half cup light coconut milk

*You may substitute spinach, kale, bok choy, celery or any other green vegetable you like.


  1. Place the onion, potato, ginger, garlic, vegetable broth, chickpeas, green pepper, red pepper, cauliflower, diced tomatoes, brown sugar, salt, pepper, curry, cayenne and pumpkin into a slow cooker, cover and cook on high for four hours.
  1. About 20 or 30 minutes before cooking time is up, add broccoli rabe and coconut milk.
  2. Adjust seasoning to taste. If you like spice, crank it up. This is just the right place for extra cayenne or an added pinch of crushed red pepper!