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Thai Peanut Crunch Salad

1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
2 Tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 Tablespoon Bragg’s Liquid Aminos or low-sodium soy sauce
2 Tablespoons maple syrup
2 1/2 Tablespoons coconut palm sugar (or any kind of unrefined sugar)
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 Tablespoons fresh cilantro

Combine all ingredients except for cilantro in the blender until smooth. Add the cilantro and pulse chop a few times. Set aside.

4 cups shredded raw coleslaw mix
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 small cucumber, seeded and chopped
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh chives
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Combine all salad ingredients in a large bowl and toss. Add dressing when ready to serve! 

We host healthy living, plant-based cooking classes at 5 of our properties. These classes are free to our residents and are full of fun, food, and building relationships with your neighbors! Here is a collection of recipes that have been featured at our classes.

BBQ Tofu (and/or Tempeh)


Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cooking Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 3-4 servings (per package)


Main Ingredients:

8 oz pkg extra-firm tofu in water [I freeze the package, thaw, then squeeze to get as much water out as possible.]
[OR] 8 oz pkg tempeh

BBQ sauce of your choice



Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Slice the tofu/tempeh into 6-8 pieces, to your desired size and thickness.
Pour a thin layer of BBQ sauce in the bottom of a casserole dish.
Add tofu/tempeh and baste with additional sauce.
Bake for 20 minutes, or to your liking.

Chickpea Salad Sandwich

Ingredients for the tofu mayo:

2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard

2 teaspoons white vinegar

1/8 teaspoon lemon juice

1/8 teaspoons agave nectar

12 oz silken tofu, extra firm

Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor.

Salad ingredients:

2 cans garbanzo beans (rinsed)

1 stalk celery, diced

4 scallions, sliced, or ¼ cup red onion, diced

1 ½ teaspoons finely chopped fresh tarragon or dill

2 Tablespoons fresh parsley

Salt and pepper to taste

Add garbanzo beans and mayo to bowl. 
Mash garbanzo beans and mayo together until you reach desired texture. 
Add rest of ingredients and stir together. 
Serve on wheat bread with crunchy lettuce.


Kale and Cannellini Bean Stew


1 large yellow onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups vegetable stock or water
2 tbsp dry white wine
2 large potatoes, peeled and diced
2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
salt and pepper 
8 cups kale (1 bunch), chopped
3 cups cooked cannellini beans or 2 15 oz cans, drained and rinsed

Add a few teaspoons of broth or water to the bottom of a large stock pot and turn on medium high. Add onions and garlic, cover and stir a few times until softened. Add stock, wine, potatoes, bay leaves, red pepper flakes and salt and pepper. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally until the potatoes are soft, about 20 minutes.

Add the kale and simmer until tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in the beans and simmer until heated through, about 5 minutes. Taste to adjust the seasoning, remove and discard the bay leaves, serve.

Serves 4-6 

Rice Paper Bacon


3 Tablespoons soy sauce

3 Tablespoons nutritional yeast

3 Tablespoons water

½ teaspoon liquid smoke

Rice paper sheets


Whisk up marinade (all ingredients except rice paper).
Cut sheets of rice paper into strips, dip them quickly in water to soften and stick them together, and then generously coat them in the marinade
Bake at 400 degrees for 8-10 minutes, until brown and crisp.Type your paragraph here.

Coconut Chai Cake


1 cup strong chai tea
1/3 cup uncooked quick (not instant) oatmeal
1 ½ cups white whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ginger
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 tbsp vinegar
1/2 tsp almond extract
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup flaked coconut, 2 tbsp reserved



Prepare the chai ahead of time by steeping two teabags in one cup of boiling water until cool.
Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease an 8-inch square baking pan or line it with parchment paper.
Combine the dry ingredients (oatmeal through sugar) in a medium-sized mixing bowl. Add the chai, applesauce, vinegar, extracts, and all but 2 tablespoons of the coconut. Mix well, and pour the batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle with the reserved coconut and bake for about 25 minutes, or until a tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Cooking time (duration): 30 minutes

Number of servings (yield): 9

Tofu Scramble


1 teaspoon nutritional yeast
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon water
Pinch sea salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
Olive oil spray
1 scallion, finely diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 package firm tofu, very well drained
1 tablespoon very finely chopped parsley


In a small bowl, mix together nutritional yeast, turmeric, cumin, paprika, water, salt, and pepper. Set aside.
Mist a frying pan with olive oil and place it over medium heat. Once hot, add scallion and garlic, and saute until fragrant, about 2 minutes.
Crumble tofu into the pan, breaking it up with your fingers. Pour seasoning over tofu and mix well, trying to color as much tofu as possible. Cook for 2 minutes or until tofu is hot throughout.
Toss in parsley and continue to stir for another 1 to 2 minutes.
Once cooked, serve with favorite sides and toppings, such as sliced avocado, whole-grain crackers or toast, sliced tomato, veggie bacon, salsa, and/or hot sauce. 

Lentil Chili

        8 cups low-sodium vegetable broth, divided

        1 medium yellow onion, chopped

        1 large red bell pepper, chopped

        5 cloves garlic, finely chopped

        4 teaspoons salt-free chili powder

        1 (16 ) package brown lentils (about 2 1/4 cups lentils)

        2 (15 ) cans no-salt-added diced tomatoes

        1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Heat a large pot over medium-high heat.
When hot, add onion and bell pepper; cook, stirring frequently, until vegetables brown and begin to stick to the bottom of the pot, about 6 minutes.
Stir in 3 tablespoons of the broth and continue to cook, stirring, until onion is soft and lightly browned.
Stir in garlic and chili powder and cook 1 minute, stirring constantly.
Add lentils, tomatoes and remaining broth.
Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, partially covered, 30 minutes or until lentils are almost tender.
Uncover and cook 10 minutes longer. Stir in cilantro and serve.

Avocado Pesto Pasta with Coconut Bacon

Serves 2


1 package of fettucine pasta

1 avocado

1 cup chopped spinach

½ cup minced kale

1 T nutritional yeast

½ cup nuts of any kind (optional)

1 t salt

5-6 basil leaves

½ squeeze of lemon

1 clove garlic

2 T olive oil

1 package coconut bacon



Cook the pasta according to package directions.

Place slices of bacon on a cookie sheet and bake in 350 degree oven until brown and crispy.

While the pasta is cooking, make the sauce. Throw everything in a food processor. The garlic, basil, spinach and kale, nuts (optional), spices, olive oil, and lemon juice, then add the avocado. Pulse until smooth and add additional lemon juice or olive oil to achieve the desired consistency.

Let the pasta cool a little bit, then toss in the pesto and top with crumbled bacon. Garnish with basil leaves (optional). here.

Classic Noodle Soup

Makes about 8 cups.



4 large carrots, sliced (about 1 ½ cups)

4 large celery stalks, sliced (about 1 ½ cups)

½ of a large white onion, finely chopped (about 1 heaping cup)

2/3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

3 small red potatoes, cut into 1 inch cubes

6 cups vegetable broth

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 teaspoon fine sea salt

2 cups whole wheat noodles

Optional: 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast



Chop all your veggies and set aside.
Add broth to a large pot and bring to a boil. Immediately add all veggies, thyme, salt and nutritional yeast (if using). Stir well and bring back to a boil. Once boiling, turn down to lowest heat, cover and simmer 20 minutes.
Add the pasta and bring back to a boil. Once boiling, turn down to medium heat and cook uncovered for 10-15 (until pasta is tender but still firm). Turn off heat, let cool slightly and serve.

Layered Vegetable Enchiladas

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cooking Time: 15 minutes

Yield: 4 servings


2 cups frozen corn, thawed
1 red bell pepper, cut in thin strips
3 Tbl lime juice (1-2 limes)
1½ Tbl chili powder, divided
1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
4 Tbl cilantro, chopped
1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes
8 ounces baby spinach, rough chopped
8 small tortillas
¾ cup shredded vegan mozzarella cheese (optional)


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
In a large pot, combine corn, bell peppers, 2 Tbl lime juice, 1 Tbl chili powder, tomatoes and greens and cook over medium-heat until liquid is almost evaporated – about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, mash beans with 2 Tbl cilantro and remaining ½ Tbl chili powder and 1 Tbl lime juice.
Arrange 4 tortillas on a large parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Spread bean mixture evenly on tortillas. Top each with about ½ cup of the vegetable mixture and some cheese. Top with remaining tortillas, vegetables and cheese.
Bake for 15 minutes, or until cheese is melted.
Garnish with remaining cilantro and lime (optional) and serve.

One Pot Italian Pasta

1 package whole wheat spaghetti noodles
4 1/2 cups vegetable broth
2 heaping handfuls fresh baby spinach
1 14.5 oz. can of Italian style diced tomatoes (do not drain)
1 cup diced onion
4 cloves chopped garlic
2 teaspoons salt free Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Fresh cracked black pepper (to taste)

Nutritional yeast (optional) for garnish

Throw everything except the vegetable broth and spinach into a large stock pot. (I always break my spaghetti noodles in half, but you don’t have to.)

Pour the vegetable broth on top of everything and stir well.

Cover pot and cook on high until it starts to boil. Reduce heat, simmer covered, stirring every few minutes to prevent sticking. After 10 minutes, add fresh spinach. Stir the spinach in, cover, and cook an additional 2 minutes. Remove from heat, stir well.

Sprinkle each serving with nutritional yeast before serving, if desired.

Lentil Shepherd’s Pie with Parsnip and Potato Mash

Prep Time: 15 minutes, Cook Time: 60 minutes
Servings: 6-8


2½ lbs (about 4 large) russet potatoes, peeled and quartered

6 parsnips, peeled and roughly chopped

1 cup non-dairy milk

Salt and pepper, to taste

4 Tbl olive oil, divided

1 large onion, diced

2-3 cloves garlic, minced

2 large carrots, diced evenly

2 ribs celery, diced evenly
1½ cups lentils, dry
1 cup vegetable broth
1 tsp dried rosemary
¼ tsp dried thyme


Place potatoes and parsnips in a large pot and submerge in water (at least 1 inch over the vegetables). Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer, allowing to cook for 25-35 minutes, or until both vegetables are very fork tender. Drain, return the vegetables to the pot, add 2/3 cup milk, 2 Tbl olive oil, and salt and pepper. Mash well with a potato masher. If you need more milk, add the remaining 1/3 cup. Set the mashed potatoes and parsnips aside.
While the potatoes are cooking, bring 1½ cup lentils and 3 cups water to a boil. Reduce and simmer until lentils have absorbed all the liquid and are soft (30-35 minutes). Set aside.
Heat 2 Tbl olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and cook until onions are translucent and golden (10 minutes). Add the carrots and celery and cook till both vegetables are tender (8 minutes). Add the lentils, rosemary, thyme and ½ cup of vegetable broth. Simmer, stirring well to incorporate the flavors. Add more liquid as needed – you don’t want too much at the bottom of the pan, but you want it to be quite moist. Season with salt and pepper.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Layer the lentil and veggie mixture in a casserole dish. Spread the mashed potatoes evenly over the mixture. Bake for 20 minutes, or until potatoes are browning.

Spinach and Mushroom Lasagna


1 package whole wheat lasagna noodles

2 pounds extra firm tofu

2 tsp lemon juice

1/2 cup nutritional yeast

1/2 tsp garlic powder or 1 tsp minced garlic cloves

2 tbsp Italian seasoning

1 tsp yellow miso paste

1/2 tsp onion powder

1 package baby spinach

1 package sliced mushrooms

2 jars marinara sauce

Salt and pepper, to taste



Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Prepare lasagna noodles according to package directions, or if you are using no-boil noodles, you can skip this step.
Make tofu ricotta – rinse and drain tofu, then pat dry. Crumble tofu into a mixing bowl. Mix with nutritional yeast, lemon juice, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, miso, onion powder, salt and pepper. Set aside.
Pour a thin layer of marinara sauce into bottom of lasagna pan.
Place a layer of lasagna noodles in pan. Spoon a layer of tofu ricotta on top and top with more marinara. Add a layer of spinach and mushrooms.
Add another layer of lasagna noodles, and continue to layer ricotta, marinara, spinach and mushrooms this way until you reach the top of the pan. Pour a generous layer of marinara on top to finish it off.
Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 45 min.
Remove foil and cook for another 10-15 minutes, until top is brown.
Remove from oven, let cool for 5-10 minutes, cut into squares and serve!

nessel green life

Delightful Date Truffles

1 cup raw almonds or walnuts

20 large dates, pitted

1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder

Zest from 1 medium size orange

2 tablespoons agave nectar

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon salt

Cocoa powder for rolling




Grind almonds in a food processor until fine. Add dates, cocoa powder, orange zest, agave nectar, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt, and process until mixture forms a ball. If mixture doesn’t stick together, add more agave nectar.

Form 30 small balls out of mixture. Roll in cocoa powder, and serve on a pretty candy dish. They also store well in the refrigerator and freezer.

YIELD: 30 servings


Mashed Cauliflower


1 1/2 pounds cauliflower,
cut into large florets (about 8 cups)
3 garlic cloves, peeled
2 (14-ounce) cans lower-sodium chicken broth
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives


In a large saucepan, combine cauliflower, garlic, and broth. If cauliflower is not completely covered by broth, add water to just cover. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until cauliflower is tender, about 12 minutes.

Reserve 2 tablespoons of the cooking liquid, then drain cauliflower and garlic. Transfer cauliflower and garlic to the bowl of a food processor and process until smooth, pulsing in some or all of the reserved cooking liquid, if necessary, to moisten mixture. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Just before serving, stir in chives. Serve warm.

Makes 4 (1 Cup Servings)

Banana Oatmeal Peanut Butter Cookies


3 ripe bananas, mashed
1 tablespoon vanilla
¾ cup natural chunky peanut butter
3 tablespoons maple syrup
2 cups old fashioned oats
½ cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt (optional)
½ cup non-dairy chocolate chips or raisins



Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Prepare a cookie sheet with parchment paper

Mix bananas, vanilla, peanut butter and maple syrup into a creamy consistency in a large bowl

In another bowl, combine oats, flour, baking powder and salt

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until they are well combined -the batter should be slightly sticky

Fold in the chocolate chips or raisins

Place rounded, heaping tablespoon-sized balls of the batter onto an ungreased baking sheet

Bake for 15-18 minutes

Gobble these up while they are still warm.Type your paragraph here.