Vegan Spicy Tofu and Black Bean Tacos

The yummy continues! We recently got a Costco membership… dangerous. A pack of 3 firm tofus… $4.99. Like I said, DANGEROUS. Pretty excited to get healthy food for cheap.

This super hot weather is perfect for tacos and old classics. I recommend this dish with The Slackers.

Once again, this recipe is an adaptation from a recipe I recently found online. Whole Foods posted this delicious recipe!


Ingredients: (recipe below with adaptations)

  • 1 (14 ounce) package extra-firm tofu, drained
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon taco seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  •  corn tortillas, warmed (gluten free)
  • 3 cups shredded green leaf lettuce
  • 2 cups chopped tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 cup shredded cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese (Use Daiya to make vegan)
so fresh!

so fresh!


Put tofu, chili powder, oregano, cumin, coriander and salt into a bowl and mash together with a fork. Set aside.


crumble into small pieces

awesome blend of spices

awesome blend of spices

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and two-thirds of the red onions and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add tofu mixture and cook, stirring occasionally, until most of the moisture has evaporated, 10 to 12 minutes.


Add beans and remaining red onions, stir well and cook until beans are heated through, about 5 minutes more.


Spoon tofu mixture into tortillas, top with lettuce, tomatoes and cheese and serve.


Quinoa Kale Salad

Detoxing is amazing. It is so wonderful to have your body love and thank you for providing it with good nutrients. Additionally I am back at the studio and all is right with the world. It is so critical to consistenly remind ourselves to turn inward and take care of ourselves. When we forget this we loose balance which puts others out of balance as well. I want to create peace for those around me and for myself. Yoga is an essential piece to this peaceful puzzle.


I have had made detox kale salads for dinner and they have been filling and packed with goodness. This recipe is light and wholesome. I adapted the recipe to fit the ingredients I have.

Bluberry and Kale Quinoa Salad



1 tbsp honey
1 tsp soy
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
1/4 c lite balsamic vinaigrette dressing
1 tsp chopped ginger

1 c tri color quinoa
1.5 c chopped kale
.5 grated carrot
1 c blueberries
10 almonds chopped


wholesome ingredients

For complete instructions click here.


Mix salad ingredients in a separate bowl while quinoa is cooking. Keep dressing separate.

Mix all ingredients together once quinoa is cool.

Mix all ingredients together once quinoa is cool.

Gluten Free Chickpea Pita Pizzas

It’s day 5 of the diet and I must say… things are good! I have had only one stomach ache (opposed to 5) which is a big relief!

Pittas are supposed to eat cooling foods. Garbanzo (chickpeas) are one of the foods that are okay to eat. Last week we made these pizzas and they were great. I am glad it aligns to the ayurvedic diet and we can  make it again!

Balsamic Cabbage Chickpea Pita Pizzas


serving: 3


  • 3 gluten free pitas (I found great low calorie ones in the gluten free freezer case at whole foods)
  • 1 bag of 16 oz shredded red cabbage
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 can of 15 oz garbanzo beans- drain and split
  • cilantro
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp goat cheese crumbles


Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.

1. Over medium heat heat 1/2 tbsp of the olive oil in a non stick pan. Place cabbage in pan with balsamic. Mix ingredients, lower temperature a little, cover and let cook for 10 minutes.

2. In a food processor place half of chickpeas, 1 tsp cumin, 2 tbsp of cilantro and mix.

3. Remove cabbage and drizzle with honey, set aside.

4. Clean out the skillet, lightly dust pitas with olive oil and toast each side.

5. On a greased cookie sheet place pitas and spread chickpea mix evenly on pita. Distribute cabbage evenly among each pita. Then top with remaining chickpeas, sprinkle with cumin and goat cheese.

6. Place in the oven for approximately 6 minutes, or until cheese begins to soften and melt.

Protein Pancakes

April is here! I thought about taking a month hiatus from the ol’ blog because of the craziness that will ensue this month, however I just can’t leave! My posts won’t be as consistent this month but I will try my best. Posting recipes keeps me grounded as weird as that may seem. It motivates me to prepare fresh foods which ultimately makes me feel great inside 🙂

This month our business Smarty Pants Yoga Inc. launches, I graduate from yoga school, I am being honored in NYC, and we go to Florida for my sister’s wedding. The day we return we move and my students are competing in a city-wide competition. I am SO excited for all of the madness, and am trying to take each day as it comes.

My month in pictures:

Dottie - Basic Logo

florida_ref_2001 CorePower-Yoga-Logo nfte-silver-anniversary-gala-web1

To get me through I need to make sure I maintain a healthy diet. I am not eating any processed food or sugar and am making meals instead of snacking on nuts or dried fruit (a deliciously bad habit). To kick off the month of healthy everything I present protein pancakes (my new obsession). They are packed with healthy ingredients and super easy to make. Plus they are gluten free! Yay for pancakes!

Protein Pancakes

Image (53)


  • 1/4 c egg whites
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 2.5 tbsp vanilla almond milk
  • 1/2 mashed banana
Image (47)

packed with protein

Toppings: So many options!

  • Berries
  • PB2
  • Sugar Free Syrup

Image (51)Directions:

1. Mash banana in bowl.

Image (48)

Leave no lumps

2. Place all ingredients in shaker cup. Place banana last.

best cup ever.

best cup ever.

3. Shake ingredients until evenly distributed.

4. Grease (coconut oil, PAM) non stick pan on medium heat. Pour mixture into pan. When it begins to bubble flip.

Image (50)

5. Cook thoroughly and serve!

Image (52)

Chicka Chicka BOOM BOOM

Chickpeas! Chickpeas! Chickpeas!

Yoga school is in full swing and my schedule is jammed packed. To help my week easier I prepared some light nutritious salads that can be consumed on the go.

Clearly I get on kicks and use one ingredient to inspire my menu. This week chickpeas were on my mind and hence my salads have chickpeas as the base ingredient. Chickpeas are a great source of protein and fiber. To read more on the benefits of chickpeas read here!

Greek Chickpea Salad

(vegetarian and gluten free)

Image (13)

mix all ingredients and squeeze a tiny bit of lemon juice over top


1/2 c sliced cucumber
5 cherry tomatoes – cut in half
1/3 c diced red onion
4 pitted black olived sliced and chopped
3/4 c chickpeas drained and rinces
1 tbsp low fat feta cheese

greek salad

Israeli Chickpea Salad

(vegan and gluten free)

light and crisp!

light and crisp! mix lemon,cumin, and salt separate and pour over mixture


1/2 c chick peas drained and rinsed
1/2 c cucumbers sliced
1 whole medium tomato, remove insides and dice
1/3 c red onion, diced
1/3 c lemon juice
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp salt


Gluten Free Granola Goodness

I love granola. I actually love being gluten free. I love gluten free granola… go figure.

Recently I have been purchasing a ton of granola for Stephen and I must say it is delicious  However, the brand we like is pretty pricey (6.99 for a small bag). Lets be real… this post isnt about being frugal. I miss making granola, so you guessed it… I made some! I made a batch Saturday night and sadly burned it. I re did the recipe this evening and had much better luck.

In regards the ingredients I need to confess I LOVE chex. I have always been a fan but since I have learned that they are gluten free my love for them has deepened. Naturally I used chex in my granola and as you might have guessed… its the jam.

I feel I should put a disclaimer in. I didn’t really eat ceral growing up because I detested milk. Eating dry cereal is great but it does not compare to the greatness that is soaked cereal pieces in cold milk. I am incredibly biased towards all granola and cereal based foods now. My deprived childhood has led to an adult life filled with cereal addiction. WHEN WILL THE MADNESS END?!!?

Gluten Free Cinnamon and Chocolate Granola (aka Heaven)



6 servings
.5 c= 1 serving
191 calories
31 carbs
5 g fat
4 g protein


2 c cinnamon chex cereal
1 c gluten free oats
1.5 tbsp honey
.5 c organic apple sauce
1.5 tsp cinnamon
100 calorie package of cinnamon almonds
1/4 bar 365 dark chocolate with coconut


  • Preheat oven to 350
  • Place oats and chex in bowl. Mash chex with potato masher. Transfer to baking dish and heat for 5 minutes.
lightly toast

lightly toast

  • Meanwhile in a small bowl mix together honey, cinnamon, and apple sauce.
  • Remove oats from tray and evenly mix honey mixture into batter. *The key is to evenly coat the oat mixture
evenly coat

evenly coat

  • Fold in nuts and chocolate
the chocolate will melt and help conjeal the mixture

the chocolate will melt and help conjeal the mixture

  • Place in oven for 10 minutes- flip mixture- cook for an additional 7 minutes. Make sure to monitor.
  • Remove from oven and place in open air until cool. Place in sealed container and store. YUM!

Great over yogurt, cereal, or as a snack. You can even use this to make bars!

Strawberry Ginger Jam

I am not quite sure why but strawberries have been super cheap as of late. I of course find it necessary to buy a mass amount when I see cheap prices. Recently a giant thing of strawberries was $2.00 which naturally meant I must purchase them.

I love making jam which made for an easy decision. I made strawberry ginger jam with my purchase and the result is a tangy sweet spread.


Strawberry Ginger Jam


  • 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh ginger
  • 1 lb of strawberries (hulled and mashed)
  • 1 packet of pectin
  • 1 c of sugar (I used stevia)- if you like a sweeter jam, add more.91


  1. Prepare canning jars in boiling hot water. Have close to cooking area.
  2. Place strawberries in deep sauce pan and mash with a potato masher.
You can also use the food processor, just depends how fine you want the strawberries.

You can also use the food processor, just depends how fine you want the strawberries.

  1. Toss in ginger, pectin and sugar.
  2. Bring mixture to a boil, stir constantly. Once mixture is boiling immediately transfer to jars.
  3. Clean the outer rim of jar and place in a cool dry place for 24 hours, then transfer to the fridge.
Great with toast or Orange Muffins (recipe to follow)

Great with toast or Orange Muffins (recipe to follow)

Shabbat Shalom, HEY!

Shabbat is my FAVORITE way to spend Friday night. After a LONG week, there is nothing better than going to someones house, singing together, talking with friends, having a glass of wine, and eating great food. If we don’t have an event we need to attend on Friday nights then we opt for Shabbat.

Shabbat Shalom from Skokie

Shabbat Shalom from Skokie

We are so fortunate to have very good “family” here in Chicago that we get to spend our Shabbats with. They always have a great variety of food (usually all very exotic and spicy). This week we wanted to bring something to eat, rather than drink, so I prepared a green curry. It was a great meal to bring to someones house because its easy to share, kosher, gluten free, and vegetarian… a win for all!

I found this recipe on Vegetarian Times website and adapted a bit (mainly because I suck at reading directions). Serve with rice or quinoa, both are great.

Another huge perk of this super falvorful dish… its only 157 calories! Pair it with a 1/2 c of quinoa for a 260 calorie meal!

Thai Green  Coconut Curry with Butternut Squash and Peppers

(vegan and gluten free)

157 calories of balanced nutrition

157 calories of balanced nutrition

Servings: 6
Calories: 157
Carbs: 20
Fat: 8
Protein: 4


1.5 c Green and yellow peppers (chopped)
1 can of 365 light coconut milk
1 container of cubed butternut squash (365 or traders is a great size)
1 shallots (minced)
1 purple onion (chopped)
3 gloves of garlic (minced)
2 tbsp green curry paste
2 cups of fresh spinach
1/4 c basil leaves
1/4 c cilantro
2 tbsp of olive oil


  1. In a large skillet heat oil and add onions and shallots. Let cook for about 4 minutes.
  2. On medium heat add the garlic and peppers. Then add the curry paste. Mix together and let cook for another 2 or 3 minutes.
  3. Pour coconut milk and butternut squash, bring to a simmer, and partially cover for 20  minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, in a blender or food processor combine cilantro, basil, and spinach. Set to the side until mixture if finished simmering.
  5. Add green mixture and combine for one minute. Serve warm and enjoy!

Make Ahead Vegan Chili

Life has been wonderfully insane as of late. I have been going none stop but have maintained balance through yoga and healthy eating  This past Sunday I prepared our meals for the week in the anticipation of the non stop activities of the week. I am not going to pretend that the meals are fancy and elaborate, they aren’t. However, they are delicious and packed with nutrients. They are also easy to make and take little time (wins all around!).

First up is the simplest vegan chili out there. It requires few ingredients (most you probably have at home) and little time.

Make Ahead  Gluten Free Vegan Chili

only 140 calories!

only 140 calories!



  • 1/2 bag of Trader Joes southwest veggie mix (any brand would work)
  • 2 cans of organic kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes with peppers
  • 2 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper

Place frozen veggies in deep sauce pan (have lid handy) and stir for about 4 minutes. Add spices to mixture. Then add beans and tomatoes, stir and bring to a boil. Once at a boil reduce heat and let simmer for 25 minutes. Serve immediately or put in storage for later in the week!

Packaged and ready for the week!

Packaged and ready for the week!

20 minute delicious chili

As stated in a previous post, we recently became subscribed to Vegetarian Times and it is awesome. This past week I made another one of their under 400 quick chili recipes and it was a hit. This recipe took maybe 2 minutes of prep and the rest of the time the ingredients were simmering.  Its simple, easy, and yummy… the perfect busy week combo.

Tempeh BBQ Chili with Slaw 

(vegan and gluten free)

simplicity is key.

simplicity is key.


  • 2 packages of tempeh- crumbled (I just chopped them up)
  • 1.5 c of bbq sauce (gluten free)
  • slaw mix (we purchased the broccoli slaw mix from Wholefoods)
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 2 cans of pinto beans (rinsed and drained)
  • .5 c of water


Place the crumbled tempeh and bbq sauce in a large skillet (have a lid ready). Mix the ingredients on a medium heat and then add beans. Mix in water (as much or as little was you want), cover and let simmer for 20 minutes. YES IT IS THAT EASY.

In a separate bowl mix the slaw and vinegar together and let sit for 20 minutes.

Serve chili layered with slaw and viola!

Note: You could add chopped tomatoes, kidney beans, corn, mushrooms,  and/or onions to the chili!