Tag Archives: Recipe

PLANT-BASED: Heart Healthy Easy Kale & Potato Dinner

I saw a version of this on Facebook one day and it got me thinking. This person had it for dessert … I wanted dinner, not dessert. I needed savory and filling … I found my solution.

Heart Healthy too!
Heart Healthy too!

So one of the biggest things that I learned when I attended Plant-Stock last August, is that leafy greens (like kale) when mixed with balsamic vinegar will help enhance nitric oxide within the body therefore dilating the heart’s arteries allowing blood to pump more freely. That my friends, is a GOOD thing.

So in an effort to create more nitric oxide, I purchased an array of infused balsamic vinegars. Bema and Pas was the vendor at Plant-Stock and they have the biggest most amazing selection of QUALITY infused vinegar I have ever tasted. While there, I ordered two and have been using them faithfully (and incidentally, I need to order more!).

So here is what I created using my Bema and Pas vinegar.

Heart Healthy Sweet Potato & Kale 

  1. Pre-Heat the oven to 450 degrees. When ready, add 1 sweet potato per person to a cookie sheet and bake for 1 hour while you prep the rest and/or decorate your house, bath your kids etc.
  2. Next, take some homemade veggie broth and add about an inch to a pot.
  3. Over medium high heat, throw in quite a few handfuls of shredded kale (I buy mine bagged from Trader Joes – love it) – I filled the pot – add the lid.
  4. Steam the kale in the broth for 5 minutes.
  5. When 5 minutes is up, drain off the liquid into a bowl – Note: depending on how many people you are serving will determine how much liquid you will need.
  6. To the  broth liquid, stir in nutritional yeast and Mrs. Dash Salt Free Garlic and Herb seasoning until it begins to thicken. Note: when I made this for myself at lunch, I didn’t need much liquid or much nutritional yeast, when I made this for Vans and myself, I needed quite a bit more. This is your “broth-cheese.”
  7. When the sweet potatoes are done, remove the skin, scoop out the insides and add to the top of the steamed kale.
  8. Add the “broth-cheese” to the top of the kale/sweet potato combo.
  9. Drizzle with Bema and Pa’s Garlic Cilantro Balsamic Infused Vinegar (or any other vinegar of your liking).
  10. Voila, a super easy heart healthy lunch or dinner is served!

Believe it or not, this is incredibly filling especially if you have a good size sweet potato.

Just so you know, sweet potatoes are full of vitamin A, potassium, fiber, magnesium, vitamin C and a ton of other amazing things.

Kale is full of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Calcium, Iron, Vitamin B-6, magnesium and a million other amazing heart healthy properties.

Nutritional Yeast is full of potassium, all the B-Vitamins (if fortified) and protein. I usually buy mine from Amazon (I buy this brand here).

And there you have one of my super fast easy and heart healthy meals.

I would appreciate feed back in the comments as to what you think about these recent recipe posts. Would you like to see more? Less? Maybe as they flow into my brain? 🙂

I do have a big few weeks coming up so this may be my last for a little bit. I have this certain little marathon on the horizon that is consuming my brain these days. Come Sunday afternoon of this week though, all will be over and I can focus on trails and recipes! Two of my favorite things. 🙂

Happy Holidays to you all! I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving (grrrr, that reminds me, I need to do a post about that too! ha!). 🙂

Happy Trails!


PS: Happy Birthday to JD! Our Canadian friend! Enjoy your last year before hitting the bit 4-0 JD! 🙂 



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PLANT-BASED: Cauliflower Pizza Crust

If you follow me on Instagram (click here)*, then you may have seen a recent post about a cauliflower pizza crust that I made the other night. While this isn’t typically a food blog (honestly I have no idea what kind of blog this is), it has been probably my most requested recipe to date.

Cauliflower Pizza - YUM!
Cauliflower Pizza – YUM!

*If that Instagram link above doesn’t work, then search for trailmomma on Instagram. I post a lot of food pics there and on Facebook

So here goes …. first and foremost, I am not skilled at creating my own recipes. Often times, I take recipes that I find online or in books and I tweak them to make them plant-based and gluten free. That is what I did with this recipe. I have made this so many times, and every time, I tend to do something a little different.

This time around, I pre-made some plant-based mozzarella cheese. Normally we don’t even use any “cheese” on our plant-based pizzas but I found this recipe and I decided to try it. To be clear, I thought it would melt and be very “cheesy” on the pizza. It didn’t melt. It tasted surprisingly like real mozzarella cheese but it didn’t melt. At all.

Vegan Mozzarella Cheese
Vegan Mozzarella Cheese

But here is the way I typically make my Cauliflower Pizza Crusts. Please note, you can’t slice the pizza and expect to hold it like a big-ol-slice of pizza … it is more of a eat with a fork kind of meal.

Take one whole head of cauliflower and remove the florets and throw into a food processor. I find that one head of cauliflower makes two perfect individual size pizza crusts.

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

Next, in a small bowl, take 3 tablespoons of ground flaxseed meal and mix with a 1/4 cup of boiling/hot water OR veggie broth and set aside.

Then process the cauliflower until it looks almost like rice. Throw it all in a large bowl and then add the following ingredients:

3/4 cup of oat flour (I have also used garbanzo bean flour with success as well as almond flour)

1 tsp of ground garlic powder

1 tsp of ground onion powder

1 tsp oregano

3-4 tbsp of nutritional yeast

Add your bowl of flax seed (it should look like it absorbed the water)

Remove any rings from your fingers, (trust me on this one) and using your hands dig in and mix, mush and combine away. I typically try and combine and then I separate the mix into two separate “balls” to make two separate pizzas.

Warning, it is going to be sticky messy and kinda weird. Okay, very weird and you’ll totally have a mess on your hands afterwards.

Take one ball and put it on the cookie sheet you have lined with parchment paper. Flatten and shape as best you can. It won’t be perfect. I try and make a “crust” by curving up the edges.

Repeat the same with the other ball of “dough” and bake both crusts for about 15-20 minutes.

Clumps of Vegan Mozzarella Cheese
Create your pizza!

When 15-20 minutes is up, remove your pizza and begin adding whatever veggies you like.

Now I have done this two ways. I have cooked my veggies in a skillet and then added to the pizza prior to baking and I have put raw veggies on the pizza and baked it that way. Since I am lazy and prefer not to wash  more than I have to after a meal, I usually opt for just adding raw veggies.

Here is what I usually do (keep in mind, this is entirely our preference)

Add tomato sauce (I use any oil free tomato sauce I can find i.e. Engine 2), add some oregano, basil, garlic powder to the sauce that is on your pizza. Then I add kale and/or spinach and usually things like red pepper, broccoli, onion, olives and top with fresh chopped garlic. Sprinkle the top with some nutritional yeast if you like (Vans does).

Bake again for 15-20 minutes. To be honest, we are usually doing a million things at once while this is baking so many times, I’ll turn off the timer (after it buzzes), turn off the temperature on the oven and then let the pizzas sit in the oven while we finish bathing the kids, packing lunches or (ahem) opening wine … or whatever the situation may be that night.

Before serving, I usually sprinkle with more garlic powder and copious amounts of red pepper flakes (that’s the Jersey Girl in me).

Moving the pizza from the pan to the plate does take some skills as usually the middle of the pizza can be a bit soft. I use a large spatula and kind of slide it over.


And that’s it! Voila. There is my fancy Cauliflower Gluten Free Plant-Based Pizza. It takes some perfecting and it is a very filling meal.

I know today is Thanksgiving so this is my gift to all my readers. Thank you for following me. And whether you comment or not, like my posts or not, I truly appreciate you and the motivation you give ME in life.

May your day be spent with your family and involve many hugs … some time spent outside and perhaps, a nice glass of wine or tea.

Happy Trails!


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This past Saturday I did something I have always wanted to do, yet always stopped from myself from attempting ….

Veggies and Jalapeno Cilantro Hummus
Veggies and Jalapeno Cilantro Hummus

I hosted a Plant-Based 101 workshop out of my kitchen. For a while now I have had people tell me that I should do this. A few times I attempted to try and pull something together but for some reason or another, it just never happened.

One of the biggest road blocks I guess is that I am not a huge fan of having to talk in front of other people, even if it is something I am passionate about. The other reasons were time, lack of interest or more or less, just never the gusto to get.it.done.

A few months ago I decided that I had to make this happen. I told Stonegate who was immediately supportive and encouraged me 100% to just do it.

Over the past year or so, I have helped Vans’s Debbie the Great Aunt and Uncle transition into an almost meatless diet with great success. My boss at work has been mostly meat free for almost a month now and recently has taken up running after a 30 year hiatus! Stonegate herself transitioned about a year ago and has had stellar running results that she attributes to her plant-based diet. I like to think that in a small way, I helped encouraged their improvement (they did all the hard work though).

So sucking up my fear and seeing if there was an interest for people to learn more about a plant-based diet was something I had to find out for myself.

Low and behold, there was!
Low and behold, there was!

So I posted something on Facebook asking who would be interested in attending a class. The initial reaction was pretty dismal to be honest. I almost gave up then and there but I stuck with it. A few emails later and I had a date on the calendar and about 9 or 10 people who were planning to show up at my house! EEEK! Game on!

In my head I had already drawn out a rough run down of what I wanted to cover. It involved (gulp) a lot of talking.

And showing off my messy cabinets
And showing off my messy cabinets, I mean spices

So many times I hear that people cannot eat this way because it is too hard to maintain. So I basically tried to teach everyone how someone who is as busy as I am with my full-time job, long commute, two kids, ultra-running hobby and overall life-gets-in-the-way-in-a moment’s- notice lifestyle tackles, conquers and lives a plant-based diet.

First I talked about my background, my certifications and my reason for doing this. Then, I introduced the logical side of things like our body and its inability to digest meat. I brought up science and the fact that meat has been proven to cause Cancer, Heart Disease and Type 2 Diabetes.


Next I showed them tips and tricks to make meals happen and to not leave anything to the last minute. And if they do, it’s okay. I showed  them a way around those hurdles. That old saying, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail” could not ring truer in the plant-based meal prep world.


In the end, I showed them one of the easiest plant-based meals to prepare that would surprise their taste buds (and I think it did!).

Cooking plant-based doesn’t have to involve 100 steps. I don’t have time for that. I want 30 minutes or less, as few dirty pots and pans as possible and a 100% nutritious whole food meal on the table for my family.

Dinner is served!
Dinner is served!

The whole thing lasted just over two hours. I had people ask questions before, during and after. I welcomed the questions especially during the demo because it put me at ease and got my mind off of my set timeline and agenda.

Everyone seemed interested and it seemed like they appreciated the info I had to share. For some, it was not entirely new information as they may already be eating this way so I hoped that some of the cooking tricks I showed them or talked about made the night worth it in their eyes. Others, I think were just curious and are not entirely sure how to even get started. For them, I hoped I gave them motivation.

I told them, much like the Standard American Diet, you’ll repeat some meals and find the ones you like and that’s OK … eventually you will get brave and you will branch out and try new things but if the difference is between the same meal and good health versus starting a downward spiral of bad food and illness, go with the repeat meals every time! Your body will thank you.

Since hosting this, I have heard from a few people on Facebook and on Instagram that they too would love to attend my next one. I have people at work who have said the same. I guess the interest is there after all. Maybe people needed it to happen and materialize as much as I did to get the ball rolling.

I will be forever grateful to my test participants. They were super kind in letting me do this for them and for myself.

My attempted craftiness - Thank You gifts
My attempted craftiness – Thank You gifts

I want to say thank you to Vans for all his support, patience and criticisms 🙂 . Thank you to Stonegate and Burning Girl for all their motivation and encouragement – most of the photos in this post are from Burning Girl by the way. Thanks to TiggerT who gave me many pep talks on our runs together over the years and thank you to those who are actually still reading this! 🙂

For you, I leave you with a recipe actually created by me – which is rare. I am great at adapting recipes but not so much at creating them from scratch. 🙂

Enjoy & Happy Trails!

~ Trailmomma

Kitchen Sink Soup with Rosemary & Thyme Biscuits
Kitchen Sink Soup with Rosemary & Thyme Biscuits


Kitchen Sink Soup 

This soup is a great way to use up all the “almost done / never going to survive the week” vegetables in your fridge.

I sautéed (in homemade veggie broth) onions, celery, carrots, bell pepper, garlic and a jalapeño (yup didn’t want to waste it). I added 2 Bay Leaves, Italian Seasonings and a pinch of Cumin while sautéing.
Then I added a frozen precooked bag of homemade chickpeas (about 2 cups) and all the homemade veggie broth I had on hand until it looked soupy enough.

I tested the veggies and beans to make sure they were cooked or on their way and then added some left over pre-cooked rice that I had in the fridge, some Braggs liquid aminos and some nutritional yeast followed by heaping handfuls of spinach (NOTE I would advise removing bay leaves BEFORE adding spinach otherwise you will be searching for them  🙂 trust me).

That’s it.

The Rosemary and Thyme Oat Biscuits
Pre-heat oven to 450
Take 1 cup of #glutenfree oat flour
1 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
Some dried Rosemary, Thyme and Nutritional Yeast – whisk together.
Then add:
1/4 cup applesauce
1/4 cup almond milk
Mix together until a dough ball forms
Drop by spoonfuls onto a pan covered in parchment paper (I was able to get about 6 biscuits) and bake for 10-13 minutes. Voila.

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