curried bean + brussels stew with roasted squash

Vegan butternut Brussels curry

Hello helloo!  We had a few days of colder snaps at night and a weird day of hail (?!) here so lately I’ve been craving a really warming and comforting one pot dish.  I’ve been meaning to make this recipe for weeks and today was the perfect day.  This stew seriously hits the spot.  It’s creamy, savory, loaded with all kinds of textures, and is a complete meal!  Plus it uses in season veggies: brussels, squash, and kale.  My kids really enjoyed it too!

Curry stew winter Simply Vibrant

The recipe comes from a new cookbook I’ve been absolutely loving lately called Simply Vibrant: All-Day Vegetarian Recipes for Colorful Plant-Based Cooking, by Anya Kassoff (find her on Instagram @golubkakitchen and her blog  The cookbook is just gorgeous, with lots of beautiful photos, seasonal, plant based recipes, many gluten free recipes, and decadent healthy treats.  I especially love that there’s an emphasis on using up every part of something- in this recipe you use the herb stems and bean cooking liquid- for an extremely sustainable and delicious dish.  She honors vegetables in the way there were meant to be experienced- as the star.  There’s something for everyone in this book, and it’s already become a treasured and referenced cookbook on my shelf.  I don’t say this lightly- I hardly own any cookbooks, but this is definitely a gem.

simply vibrant cookbook

photo c/o @golubkakitchen

This recipe has many steps, don’t be put off- they’re very easy, but it does take a bit of time.  A perfect Sunday meal.  If you, like me, are busy during the week, try cooking your beans and roasting the squash on the weekend (what I did) and the whole recipe comes together rather seamlessly.  I hope you enjoy this recipe and many thanks to Anya for letting me publish it!

Simply vibrant cookbook vegan

curried bean and brussels stew with roasted kabocha squash


1 cup dried beans: adzuki, kidney, or cannellini beans (I used giant beans), soaked in purified water overnight

3 to 4 bay leaves

2 to 3 garlic cloves, crushed

2 to 3 fresh thyme sprigs, leaves separated, stalks reserved for cooking the beans

sea salt

1 medium kabocha, kuri, or butternut squash, seeded, cut into bite size pieces (skin removed only if using butternut)

freshly ground black pepper

3 tablespoons melted coconut oil, divided

2 teaspoons cumin seeds, freshly ground

seeds from 5 to 7 cardamom pods, freshly ground

1 tablespoon ground turmeric

pinch of red pepper flakes

1 tablespoon finely chopped ginger

1 large yellow onion, chopped

3/4 cup bhutanese or red rice, rinsed (i had to use arborio and it was fine)

handful kaffir lime leaves (optional)

1 pound halved brussels, hard ends cut away

1 can coconut milk

zest and juice of 2 limes

4 cups baby spinach or 2 cups chopped kale


  1. Drain and rinse the beans, then place them in a large, heavy-bottomed pot and cover with at least 14 cups of water.  Add the bay leaved, garlic, thyme stalks, and cilantro stems, and bring the liquid to a boil over medium high heat.  Skim off any foam with a slotted spoon and reduce the heat to a strong simmer.  Cook for 20 minutes, add a pinch or two of salt, then cook for another 10 minutes or until the beans are tender and butter inside.  Check periodically to make sure the water is simmering.  If the beans are not fully cooked after 30 minutes, continue cooking them until they reach the right consistency-it can take up to an hour or even longer for some beans.  Drain the beans, reserving the cooking liquid in a large heatproof bowl for the base of the stew.  Discard the bay leaves and the stems.  Set the beans aside, and do not wash the pot.

giant beans2.  While the beans are cooking, preheat the oven to 425 F (220 C).  Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

3.  Place the squash on the prepared sheet, add the thyme leave, salt, and pepper to taste, and 1 tablespoon of the coconut oil.  Mix to coat using your hands.  Spread in a single layer, transfer to oven, and roast for 20-30 minutes, stirring at halftime, until the squash is tender when pricked with a knife.

4.  In the same pot you used for cooking the beans, warm the remaining 2 tablespoons of coconut oil over medium heat.  Add the ginger and spices and stir everything around for 2 minutes, until fragrant.  Add the onion and saute for 7 minutes, until it is soft and translucent.

Curry spices

5.  Add the rice, a large pinch of salt, and the kaffir lime leaves, if using; and stir to coat.  Add 7 cups of the reserved bean cooking liquid and bring the liquid to a boil.  Reduce the heat to simmer, cover the pot, and cook for 20 minutes or until the rice is almost cooked.

6.  Increase the heat to medium high and add the brussels sprouts, cooked beans, and a large pinch of salt.  If using kale, add it at this time as well.  Bring the broth back to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer, covered, for another 10 minutes until the brussels sprouts and the rice are tender.

Brussels sprouts winter

7.  Add the coconut milk, roasted squash, lime zest and juice, and more salt to taste.  Bring the broth back to a gentle boil, lower the heat to a simmer, and cook for 2 minutes.

8.  Remove the pot from the heat, taste the broth, and add more salt if needed.  Stir in the spinach, if using.  Serve hot with fresh cilantro leaves and more freshly squeezed lime juice, if desired.  (I added coconut yogurt, mango chutney, and chile flakes too with excellent results.  Yum!)


february meal plan

flowers vegan kid

Happy February!  We’re one step closer to spring!  One of my greatest pleasures through the year is seeing all the seasonal changes through the lens of what produce is available at the farmer’s market.  Right now I’m enjoying earthy blood oranges, bright orange-red tangelos, sweet and juicy navel oranges, crispy fennel, blue-black dino kale, creamy white cauliflower, and vibrant tangy kiwis.  Also, the California avocado stand is BACK at the market, which makes me so happy.  Their avocados come from southern California and are big, super green, creamy and dense.  AND they’re sticker free.  What seasonal veggies have you been enjoying?

plant Based zero waste farmers market california winter

This week, I’ve been craving chiles, cilantro and limey flavors to brighten up wintery foods. We’ll be eating a caldo tlapeño (mexican chickpea and avocado soup with chipotle), a hearty winter bowl with roasted kabocha squash drizzled with a bright green herby mojo verde (green sauce with cilantro, lime, garlic and cumin), hearty enchiladas vegetarianas, and burgers.  Jackfruit tacos to round out the week using up leftovers.  The recipes are slightly more involved this week (mostly just the enchiladas) but so worth it for flavor.  I’m all for quick easy cooking, but I also LOVE to take more time and enjoy the process by creating gorgeous and delicious meals.  It’s all a balance and I find cooking extremely therapeutic- like meditation in action.

Vegan kid winter california

Some of you messaged me asking for super fast dinners with minimal ingredients, so next week I’ll be doing meal plan featuring all very quick “recipes” for healthy dinners in no time at all.  In the meantime, check out this post: a week of meals: time crunch edition.  I’ve included notes for if you’re low on time for what you can prep the night before to make it a little more manageable.  What I try to do is make extras (double the recipe) of things like soups, chilis, veggie burgers, curries, curry paste, breads etc and then freeze the extra portion.  That way I always have something to pull from- I can grab a jar out of the freezer and pop in the fridge that morning, then by dinner its ready to be heated.  Two nights a week I work late, so I rely on 15 minute or less staples those nights.  Excited to share with you.

Enjoy your weekend and be sure to stock up on fruits and veggies no matter what you’re making this week!

weekend prep (optional- if you like to/have time to cook as you go thats great too!)

-soak and cook chickpeas, if using dried

-soak and cook black beans, if using dried: I soak overnight and then drain the next am, place in a pot covered with an inch or two of fresh water, 1 chopped onion, 3 whole cloves garlic, smashed a bit + a big fresh sprig epazote or oregano + a decent amount of salt.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until tender, 1-2 hours.

-optional: toast 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds in a hot dry skillet until popping, store in a jar after they’ve cooled.

-optional:  make pickled onions

– cook the rice on Sunday night for monday’s soup: 1.5 cups of rice brought to a boil with 2.75 cups of water and salt, reduce to simmer and cook 15-20 mins until ice is tender.

weeknight meals

caldo tlapeño

Caldo tlalpeño vegan food soup Mexican

Caldo Tlalpeño is a Mexican soup traditionally made with chicken broth and shredded chicken- I just left this out and it was great.  However, definitely use a great tasting broth since this soup is very brothy.  I used better than bouillon “no chicken” broth (don’t use this much but I ran out of homemade and didn’t have time to make more).

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 small onion. finely diced

4 large cloves garlic, minced

1 sprig epazote (If you can’t find, just omit)

1 large sprig oregano

1 pound of yukon gold potatoes, cut into large chunks

8 cups good vegetable broth

4 small carrots or 2 large, cut into thick rounds

1/2 a head of green cabbage, cut into 1 inch chunks

1 large roma tomato, diced

2 cups cooked chickpeas

for serving:

1 very large avocado, cut into chunks

1 jalapeño, diced

2 limes, halved (1 half per person)

canned chipotles en adobo (amount will vary depending on how spicy you like it, I used 1 whole chile per bowl but for kids this will be too spicy)

2 cups cooked rice

Saute the onion in the olive oil until softened, 5-7 minutes.  Add in the garlic and sauté another 30 seconds or so until fragrant.  Add in the herb sprigs, potatoes, and broth and bring to a boil.  Turn down heat to medium high and cook for 5 minutes.  Add in the carrots and cook another 5 minutes, then test the potatoes for done-ness (should be almost fork tender).  Add in the remaining ingredients and simmer another 10 minutes or so until the veggies are tender.

To serve, ladle into bowls, add a scoop of rice in each bowl, and 1 chipotle chile (I like to add mine whole and break it up with my spoon while eating but you can chop it up too).  Add any remaining toppings like avocado chunks, cilantro, chopped jalapeños and lime- I squeeze the lime in my bowl and then throw the whole thing into the soup too for extra flavor.

“pobrecito” kabocha, rice, black bean bowl with herby mojo verde + coconut slaw

This is a recreation of the pobrecito bowl from Media Noche in San Francisco.  You can cut up the kabocha on the weekend or the night before to trim some time here.

Vegan bowl mojo verde Cuban kabocha squash

Preheat the oven to 400 and cut up a very large kabocha squash into largish chunks (about 1 inch or a little less).  Toss with a little coco oil and salt and pop in the oven for about 30 minutes.  You’ll use the leftover squash (~1 cup) for the enchiladas on another night.

Meanwhile, start the rice.  Chop 1 small onion up finely.  Saute it with a little oil in a wide saute pan with a lid (or dutch oven) until softened.  Add in 2 chopped garlic cloves and 2 cups rice.  Saute for another 2-3 minutes, then pour in 3 cups water, bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer/low, and let cook 20 minutes.

While you’re waiting on the rice, make the mojo verde.  I used this recipe except I added in a tablespoon of fresh oregano, and did 3 whole bunches of cilantro (including stems).

Make the coconut slaw:  this is the recipe I used, which is delicious , but DEFINITELY serves like 8 people (recipe states it serves 4).  Cut it in half for sure.  OR, feel free to simply toss shredded cabbage with a little lime juice and salt and use that instead of making the coco slaw.

Warm up 2 cans or about 3 cups of black beans.

Save about 1 cup of the roasted squash in the fridge.  Toss the rest with plenty of spoonfulls of mojo to coat it.  If you have leftover mojo, we will use it another night as a burger spread.

To serve: pile everything in a bowl and enjoy!

black bean burgers + fries

Preheat oven to 500.  Follow this recipe for the fries and while you’re waiting for them to steam, start this veggie burger.

If you have leftover mojo verde, mix it with a little vegan mayo to spread on the burgers.

Wash and dry some lettuce leaves to wrap the burgers in (or use buns if that’s your thing).  If you have leftover slaw add that too!

black bean burger

To assemble: spread a burger with the mayo, place in lettuce cup or bun, sprinkle over toasted pumpkin seeds, add an avocado wedge or two, and pickled onions (or raw red onions).  Pile some fries on the side and enjoy!

enchiladas vegetarianas

Recipe here.  These were SO good and totally worth the effort.  You can make the sauce on the weekend to make this quicker, sometimes I even do a double batch and freeze the second half for next time.  You can also steam the squash the night before- then its really just rolling and baking.

vegan enchiladas vegetarianas

jackfruit tinga

Jackfruit has a texture eerily similar to shredded meat and when cooked in a rich sauce it takes on all those flavors.  This is a take of chicken tinga, where chicken is cooked in a tomato chipotle sauce with onions.  I used canned from Trader Joe’s and followed this recipe for jackfruit Tinga- except I served in warm tortillas instead of the tostada part.  I haven’t tried myself, BUT i bet you could put this in the crockpot in the am on low to save time????

vegan tinga de pollo

I topped with leftover crema + radishes, cilantro, lime and avocado, and a few pieces of raw onion (use pickled if you made those).

shopping list

dried chickpeas x 1.5 cups OR 2 cans prepared chickpeas

dried black beans x 3 cups or 4 cans prepared black beans

jackfruit x (2)- 20 ounce cans

long grain rice x 3.5 cups

chipotle en adobo x 2 small cans

limes x 8

cilantro x 5 bunches

fresh epazote (optional)

fresh oregano

jalapeño x 1 large

carrot x 3 large

red bell pepper x 1 (only if you’re making the coco slaw)

green bell pepper x 1 (only if you’re making the coco slaw)

radishes x 1 bunch

coconut flakes (unsweetened) x 1 cup

coconut milk x 1 can (only if you’re making the coco slaw)

roma tomato x 5 large

coconut yogurt OR 1 cup cashews (whichever you decide to use for the crema)

kabocha squash x 1 large

yukon gold potatoes x 1 pound

russet potatoes x 2 pounds

green cabbage x 1 head

swiss chard x 1/2 pound or about 1 bunch

cremini mushrooms x 1/2 pound

red cabbage x 1/2 a head or 1 very small (only if you’re making the coco slaw)

onion x 6 yellow and 1 red

garlic x 3 heads

avocado x 4 large

tomato paste x 1 can

raw pumpkin seeds x 1/2 cup (optional)

4 guajillo chiles + 4 ancho chiles OR good quality chili powder

canned tomatoes x 28 ounces

vegetable broth x 10 cups (I used better than bouillon “no chicken” concentrate)

brown sugar

olive oil

ground cumin

sherry vinegar

chickpea flour x 1/4 cup

ground flaxseeds

1 head of butter lettuce OR burger buns (depending on what you will use for burgers)

corn tortillas x 24

vegan mayo or ketchup (optional, for burgers)

enchiladas vegetarianas

vegan enchiladas vegetarianas

When I asked you a few days back on my Insta stories what kinds of recipes you’d like to see, so many of you said vegan Mexican!  (and easy, ultra quick healthy dinners- those are coming next week).

I feel like enchiladas are one of those dishes that get a really bad rap for being complicated, but thats not the case at all.  Sure, it may take a little longer to roll up all the tortillas with the filling, but I always double the recipe and then we have food all week- you can even freeze them.  Or I double the sauce and reserve half in the freezer for next time to make it even faster.  You can even use a good quality canned sauce in a jar or bottle.

Vegan enchiladas chard radish avocado

These enchiladas are flavorful, healthy, naturally gluten free, and vegan, filled with chard, mushrooms, onions, black beans and kabocha squash.  You can use whatever fillings you want- potatoes, spinach, corn, zucchini, really anything.

garden chard zero waste

I highly recommend sussing out whole dried chiles as they will give you a much more tasty result than using chile powder (which usually is stale and has other ingredients added) but if you can’t/don’t want to find them, you can sub 3 tablespoons chili powder- I recommend briefly toasting it in a dry hot skillet for like 30 seconds to intensify the flavor.

dried Chiles ancho guajillo

Instead of the canned tomatoes, you can broil roma tomatoes under the oven broiler until charred and softened and add those.

I’ve added a quick recipe for a cashew based crema to drizzle on top which I feel like is essential to add richness here- you can sub a non dairy yogurt mixed with a little lime juice, zest and salt for a shortcut, or a nice creamy guac would work too.

vegan enchiladas corn tortillas gluten free

enchiladas vegetarianas

2 tablespoons oil

2 onions, chopped fine

chiles guajillos, stems removed

chiles anchos, stems removed

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

5 minced garlic cloves

28 ounces canned tomatoes, pureed (if using chile powder only use 16 ounces or 2 cups)

1/2 pound swiss chard, stemmed and sliced into 1/2 inch wide strips

8 ounces cremini mushrooms, chopped

1 cup steamed or roasted kabocha squash, chopped into 1/4 inch pieces

1.5 cups or about 1 can black or pinto beans

12 corn tortillas

to serve (optional but delicious- do them all, pick one, two, none….your call)

radishes, thinly sliced

quick pickled red onions

chopped cilantro

avocado slices

cashew crema (1 cup cashews, 1 cup hot water, juice and zest of a lime, 1/2 tsp salt, 1 clove garlic, optional chunk of jalapeño whizzed smooth, direction in recipe below)

1 lime, cut into wedges

1 sliced jalapeño


Preheat oven to 450.  If making the crema, throw the cashews in the blender with the hot water and let sit.

Toast the chiles in a dry hot skillet, pressing down with a spatula to flatten- take care not to burn, you just want to toast- only a few seconds on each side.  Transfer to a small saucepan and pour in 2 cups of water, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes.  Turn off heat and set aside, letting them soak further.

Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large saucepan, add half the onions and 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.  If using chile powder (3 tablespoons), add that now.  Add in the cumin, oregano, half of the minced garlic and cook about 30 seconds or until fragrant.  Stir in the tomato, bring to a boil, reduce to simmer, and cook for about 10 minutes.

Drain the chiles and add to the blender with the tomato sauce mixture.  Puree, taste for seasoning and adjust as necessary- you can add a touch of sugar, salt or lime to balance flavors depending on variations in chiles/chili powder.  Keep in mind that it will taste strong because with all the other ingredients added it will be diluted.  Set aside.

chile sauce enchiladas zero waste vegan

Meanwhile, rinse out the saucepan, and add another tablespoon of oil to it and the other half of the onions, the mushrooms, and 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook until reduced and softened, about 10 minutes.  Add the remaining garlic and cook another minute.  Add the chard, cover, and cook until chard is tender, about 5 minutes.  While waiting for the chard to be tender, mash half the beans with a fork in a medium bowl.  When chard mix is tender, add it to the mashed beans, rest of the whole beans, and the kabocha.  Mix to combine.  If it seems dry, add a few tablespoons of the sauce as needed.

kabocha mushroom chard enchiladas

Spread 1/2 cup of the sauce over the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish.  Warm up the tortillas one at a time or in a stack in a dampened napkin in the microwave.  Working with one tortilla at a time, dip into the sauce, spread 1/4 cup of the filling mix across the center.


vegan enchiladas rojas

Roll tightly and place seam side down in the baking dish.  Repeat, for remaining tortillas and filling.  Cover completely with remaining sauce.


Zero waste vegan enchiladas

enchiladas rojas

Bake 15 to 20 minutes (until heated through).  Let cool 5 minutes, then plate, adding a little extra sauce on top as needed/desired.

While waiting for the enchiladas, make the crema:  Add the garlic and lime juice and zest and salt to the soaking cashews and their water.  Whiz until totally smooth.  Set aside (you may need to whiz for a second again before serving if it separates).  Or whisk 1 cup non dairy yogurt with the juice and zest of a lime + 1 tsp olive oil + 1/2 tsp salt (that’s what I did as I ran out of cashews.  I used my homemade coco yogurt).

Vegan crema coconut yogurt lime radish

Drizzle with crema and top with any or all of the suggested toppings.  Serve and enjoy!

use your noodle.

IMG_1856.JPGPeanut noodles are a crowd pleasing, easy meal to have up your sleeve.  Plus, they look so pretty and impressive.  You can really make this with any noodles you fancy: udon, soba, julienned/spiralized carrot, cucumber or zucchini, even spaghetti.  I made this with bucatini I found in bulk at Rainbow Grocery and it was great!  Feel free to adjust as needed- sub almond butter, add tofu to make it more substantial, add crushed peanuts, lime, thinly sliced jalapeños, cabbage etc.  Make it your own!

peanut noodz (loosely based on this recipe)


1/4 cup creamy PB

1/4 cup tamari

1/4 cup unseasoned rice vinegar

1 tablespoon agave nectar or maple syrup

2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped

1/2 inch or bigger chunk of ginger, finely chopped

1/4 cup sesame oil (can sub water or use 2T mirin +2T water for oil free)


8 oz noodles, I used bucatini

5 celery stalks, thinly sliced diagonally

4 radishes, thinly sliced

1 avocado, sliced

2 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted

1/2 cup cilantro leaves

4 green onions, sliced on the diagonal

2 teaspoons korean chili flakes (or sliced fresh chiles, sriracha, other spicy thing)


Start a pot of water boiling for your noodles.

Meanwhile, add the PB, tamari, vinegar, agave, garlic, and ginger to a food processor.  Blend till smooth, then with machine running, drizzle in the oil to emulsify it.

Boil your noodles according to package directions; drain and rinse in cold water.  Toss sauce with noodles and then add in all your other ingredients.

Done!  This recipe holds up well in the fridge for a lunch the next day too, or make a double batch of sauce and keep the extra in the fridge for a quick dressing, dip, or drizzle.




lentil bolognese


This lentil bolognese turned out so flavorful!  I had some lentils lounging in the fridge that needed to be used, so as usual, I planned my meal around them.  I always like to cook a legume on the weekend to have in the fridge to build meals easily- lentils go so well in grain salads, green salads, soups and more.  They are perfect little gems: gorgeous, easy to digest and packed with protein and iron.  Plus they have a nice hearty texture and can hold their own in this sauce.  Crimini mushrooms and tamari add a little umami, and plenty of aromatics make everything pop.  YUMMM let’s get to it.


lentil bolognese (serves 4)


olive oil for sautéing

1/4 cup minced shallot or onion

1/4 cup minced carrot

1/4 cup minced celery

1/2 cup chopped mushrooms

4 cloves chopped garlic

2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning OR 1 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon chili flakes

3 cups tomatoes- you can use chopped fresh or canned

1 tablespoon tamari

1.5 cups cooked lentils- I used French green; you can use any EXCEPT red lentils which will turn to mush

1/4 cup chopped basil or parsley + more for garnishing


Heat the oil in a large sauté pan or Dutch oven.  Add in the shallot, celery, carrot, and mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened- about 7 minutes.  Add in the garlic, dried herbs, and chili flakes and cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute.  Add in tomatoes and tamari, stir, and simmer 20 minutes or until sauce has reduced and thickened.  At this point I pureed half of it before returning it to the pot; my kids prefer a smoother sauce.  You can do that too or leave as is; up to you!  Add in the lentils and basil and let cook minute or two to heat through.  Toss with pasta or zoodles or spaghetti squash, plate, and sprinkle with more chopped herbs and a generous sprinkle of my crumbly vegan parm .  Yum!  Keeps well in the fridge too.  Hope you guys enjoy it as much as we did!  If you make it, I’d love to see!  Tag me on instagram @mamaeatsplants .  Have a lovely weekend friends! xx A.