I have purchased many vegan cookbooks over the years, and tried quite a few of the recipes. Many lacked flavor, or had ingredients that were overpriced or impossible to find. Thankfully, the plant based recipes and cooking tips below have none of those issues. I have asked friends and family to share one or two of their favorites that are always delicious, kid friendly, quick (mostly), easy,  and nutritious. Enjoy!

Vegan Hot Pot Cooking!

Hot Pot style cooking is fun, easy and delicious. Basically, you create a soup base with water, and veggies of your choice (spices, seasonings, and miso are optional). The soup base is warmed on a hot plate, and positioned on the dinner table where it can be easily accessed. You then place at least 2 leafy greens like Napa cabbage and Chinese broccoli, as well as a variety of veggies, in big bowls around the hot pot (tofu, bean curd, and mushrooms are my favorites). In a piecemeal kind of way, grab what you like with chopsticks, drop it into the soup base, and voila, you are now hot-potting! The dipping sauces are key, so be creative and remember that it is a ton of fun to mix things up. What is great about hot pots is that everyone is involved and happy with their food. Children will enjoy the cooking aspect and making their own dipping sauces (while also getting to choose what they eat). And the Standard American Diet (SAD) types will probably never know that they are eating healthy food! Another reason that I love this style of cooking is that the leftovers and base make for a wonderful soup. I.e., Hot Pot cooking rules!

Turkish Red Lentil Soup

I am not a great cook, but I am slowly improving. This soup can make anyone look like a rock star, and it could not be easier to create. I used a regular blender on my first attempt, and I mostly succeeded in creating a mess. My sister soon hooked me up with a splatter free immersion blender and I was off to the races. I love this soup, and it takes less than 45 minutes from start to finish.  🙂

Blueberry Oatmeal with Frozen/Fresh Berries

This creamy, berry filled, hot oatmeal creation is full of fiber, delicious, and easy to make. I have grown to love frozen organic fruits and vegetables. Nutritionally, the frozen versions are as healthy if not healthier than fresh (and often there is no difference in flavor, and you can’t beat the price & convenience, especially in the cold winter months). Also, rolled oats cook faster than steel cut oats and are about the same nutritionally, although they do contain less fiber. Enjoy!