Italian Stuffed Mushrooms with Rice and Sausage (vegan)

This recipe combines Italian seasoning and crushed tomatoes with some meaty Beyond sausage and rice. When you pile that mix atop a perfectly baked juice portobello mushroom, it creates something rather magical. Additional bonuses: it’s very quick and easy to make, and it’s pretty healthy for you but it tastes like a cheat meal dish.

What started as a first attempt at making vegan stuffed mushrooms, while simultaneously cleaning out the fridge turned happily into a tremendous culinary success. My husband and I liked it so much we’re bringing it to Christmas Eve family dinner as the “vegan meat” option. I’m making enough for the whole group to try, and I’m confident they will all love it too!

Aside from being delicious, it’s also quite easy and low maintenance (other reason it was chosen for Christmas dinner). We’re going to make the stuffing the day before and quickly bake them off when it’s time to eat.


I used 3″ mushrooms because they were on sale and inspired me to make this dish (breaks down to 2 per person for a full main serving). You could easily turn this into a bunch of little bites for a party using creminis (baby portobellos), or size it up and make 4 giant stuffed portobellos.

I also sampled two “cheese” topper options. The recipe includes some nutritional yeast in the mix, but for toppers, I made 1/2 with more nutritional yeast and the other 1/2 with non-dairy mozzarella shreds. Both were equally delicious. You can use either, both, or your personal favorite. Same effort, same bliss, more options for you.

Servings: 6 | Difficulty: Easy | Prep time: 20 min | Cook time: 30 – 40 min

Calories: 254 | Protein: 18 g | Fat: 7 g | Carbs: 32 g | Fiber: 7 g

Recipe makes:

12 small/medium 3″ mushrooms | 24 small 1″ mushrooms | 6 large 5-6″ mushrooms


  • 12 small-medium portobellos ( 2 – 3 inches diameter  each, and about 16 oz total weight)
  • 2 Beyond Sausages, small dice
  • 2 cups cooked rice (or use Pow lentil rice)
  • 1/4 cup shallot, finely diced
  • 1/2 yellow bell pepper finely diced
  • 1 stalk celery finely diced
  • 1 large garlic clove finely minced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1/4 cup veggie stock no salt
  • 14 oz can tomatoes crushed no salt
  • 1 tsp salt and pepper
  • 2 tsp nutritional yeast
  •  pinch (1/8 tsp red pepper flake)
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley minced



Rice first: Begin by cooking the rice, according to package instructions. (pro tip: use vegetable stock instead of water for more flavorful rice). When rice is done, remove from heat and set aside. I used this green lentil rice because it packs a little extra protein. Use any rice you love.


Sauce next: Finely chop the shallot, celery, and bell pepper. Mince or microplane the garlic. Put a large saucepan or skillet on the stove over medium heat.


When warm, add oil, then celery, bell pepper, and shallot. Let those soften a few minutes, then add the garlic. Stir and cook another minute, then add the dried parsley,  basil, and oregano.

Next, add the sausage and brown up it up (about 2 min). Stir and add stock and tomatoes. Add salt and pepper.  Simmer until cooked. (Don’t forget to taste for seasoning!) Turn off the stove. Add 2 tsp nutritional yeast and 1 tbsp fresh parsley. Then, mix in rice with sauce.


Cook mushrooms: Preheat the oven to 350f. Remove stem and spoon out gills of mushrooms so they create a little “bowl” for the stuffing. Make sure to maintain most of the mushroom, just remove the brown gill part (pro tip: save this because it’s yummy. Add to scrambles, sauteed greens, rice pilaf, or anything you usually add finely chopped mushrooms to.) You can even do this step first and add to the sauce mix with the peppers, shallot, and celery.)


Add empty mushrooms (cap side down) to a baking sheet. Pop in the oven and bake for 10 minutes. If making the day before, I’d only bake 5 min here, then stuff, cover, and refrigerate until ready to bake. On baking day, uncover and pop in a 350 oven until hot and a little bit of juice oozing out the sides (about 25 – 30 min).

Stuff each mushroom with the stuffing, so they’re all about evenly filled. Sprinkle a pinch or nutritional yeast, nondairy shreds, or a combo on top of each mushroom. Bake for another 15 – 18 minutes.


Sprinkle more yeast/cheese shreds and parsley as a garnish and serve. Btw, they paired nicely with yummy Syrah.  Enjoy!





Spaghetti Bolognese Vegan

Sometimes you just want a giant bowl of spaghetti. A few years back I made the classic (aka with meat) version of this dish and my husband loved it! Although I normally cook yummy healthy things, he was happy to know I also had a few more indulgent recipes in my cooking arsenal. Because I love to spoil my man, I wanted to master making the vegan version of this classic, scrumptious dish.

I used Trader Joes Beef-less Crumbles in place of the classic meat choices, but there are quite a few other brands on the market, so use your favorite. If you are omnivorous, you could certainly swap out a meat option, but I encourage you to give this a try. Its authenticity may surprise you. 😉

As for the pasta, I initially went for Pow green lentil pasta to add an extra punch of protein. It tasted fine, and I love this stuff in smaller pasta forms, but as a spaghetti, the texture ended up a bit gummy. We made this again the next evening with classic semolina pasta and voila – spaghetti bolognese perfection! So basically, if you’re gluten-free, or keto, I’d pick the lentil pasta, and if not, do the classic version. And don’t forget the garlic bread friends!!!


Calories below are just for the sauce. If using Pow – pasta per 4 oz dry serving is 400 calories, 28 g protein, and 35 g carbs. If using regular pasta, it’s 422 calories, 14.8 g protein, and 86g carbs.

Servings: 4 | Difficulty: Easy | Prep time: 3 min (+15 to boil pasta water) | Cook time: 30 – 90 min

Calories: 223 | Protein: 16 g | Fat: 1 g | Carbs: 34 g | Fiber: 12 g

Plus 29% of your daily iron needs.


  • 16 oz dry pasta (lentil or regular)
  • 12 oz package beef-less crumbles or your favorite brand
  • 42 oz (3 cans) crushed tomatoes with no salt
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup onion
  • 1 cup mushrooms
  • 2 large cloves of garlic
  • 1 1/2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup veggie stock
  • 1/4 cup red wine
  • 2 tsp sugar (or agave)
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 tbsp dried basil
  • 1 tbsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp salt (add more if you like when you taste along the way)
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp red pepper flake
  • 1 – 2 tbsp vegan parmesan cheese, nutritional yeast, or regular cheese (optional)
  • 1 – 2 tbsp fresh parsley, minced for garnish (optional)


Make the sauce first, because as every Italian grandma will tell you, it tastes better as it cooks and sits. You can cook this for 30 minutes – 2 hours. Or cook for 30 and make new pasta the next night, and be surprised at the enhanced flavor of the sauce on evening two.

For the sauce: Chop up the onions and mushrooms. Mince the garlic. Pop open the cans of tomatoes, stock, and wine. Heat a large pot over medium heat. When hot, add the olive oil, the onions, and mushrooms.  Give them a few minutes to soften, then add the garlic, dried spices, salt, pepper, and tomato paste.

Stir all together, then add the wine to deglaze the pan for a minute. Next add the beef-less crumbles, vegetable stock, and sugar (or agave nectar). Stir together, then add the tomatoes.

Bring to a simmer, turn the temp down to low, and stir occasionally. Taste every 10 – 15 minutes and season accordingly. Should be pasta ready in about 30 minutes, but feel free to keep it simmering away on low for up to two hours.


About 20 minutes prior to desired eating time, heat the water for your pasta. Cook according to directions. Strain and reserve until sauce is ready. Then blend sauce and pasta together, top with nutritional yeast or parmesan cheese and parsley and indulge away.

Pasta love and garlic bread kisses,



Curried Black Lentils

I love a warm hearty curry dish, especially on a cold fall night. This one has both lentils and garbanzo beans along with various veggie friends to create a variety of textures and pack in those vital good-for-you nutrients, fiber, and protein. I also jazzed up the rice for this dish with saffron, cardamom, and lime to create a complex, satisfying flavor profile in every bite.

One of the benefits of curry sauces such as this one is their versatility. I used veggies I had on hand that I felt would create a nice blend of textures and colors, but you could easily swap them out for your favorites, like broccoli, green beans, or eggplant to name a few.  Continue reading “Curried Black Lentils”

Vegan Shepherd’s Pie

I will always be a Cali Girl at heart and upbringing, but I also have strong Midwestern roots, on both sides of the parental aisle. This dish satisfies both entities to a tee! Shepherd’s pie is the epitome of the meat and potatoes meal with a sumptuous gravy sauce to blend all those savory delicious flavors.

This rendition is hearty, savory, warm, and oh so damn comforting you’ll want to curl right up with a giant bowl of this, some fluffy socks, a nice glass of cabernet, and your favorite movie.

Continue reading “Vegan Shepherd’s Pie”

Savory Sweet Potato Boats

I wanted a new fun way to consume the amazing sweet potato, and this new recipe satisfied my quest in spades. It’s stuffed with black beans, mushrooms, and spinach for extra protein and vitamins, and seasoned up with fall savory flavor from garlic, fresh thyme, vegan butter, and olive oil. To add extra creamy and savory, I topped them with a little cashew ricotta.

They look fancy, but they’re super duper simple and quick to make. You can even do most of it days ahead of time. And it is versatile too! I went with beans, mushrooms, and thyme, but these could be mixed and seasoned a dozen ways. Continue reading “Savory Sweet Potato Boats”

Vegan Chinese Fried Rice and Tempeh, Broccoli, Mushroom Stir Fry

Here are two recipes for homemade takeout; vegan fried rice and vegan beef and broccoli. So I’ve pet-named it my oxymoron meal. All oxymorons aside, this meal turned out delicious, and since it is homemade, I control all the ingredients and can declare it healthy and 100% plant-based as well.

Continue reading “Vegan Chinese Fried Rice and Tempeh, Broccoli, Mushroom Stir Fry”

Successfully navigating the “Vegan” conversation (and bonus dining out tips)

As I take my daily social media strolls (or perhaps I should say scrolls) through the vegan forums, I’m often exposed to posts and discussions exhibiting frustration. Frustration interacting in a generally non-vegan world. It’s led me to think a lot about change, particularly dietary change and what drives shifts in our lifestyles and behaviors. And the most and least effective ways we go about sharing our thoughts.

Continue reading “Successfully navigating the “Vegan” conversation (and bonus dining out tips)”

“Beef” and Bean Enchiladas in Red Sauce (Vegan)

These enchiladas are the perfect, mouthwatering, healthy addition to your weeknight repertoire. They have just a few ingredients and can be in yo belly in about 40 minutes! And, per usual, they’re plant-based, but the addition of chili beans and meatless crumbles will fool (and satisfy) even the largest of carnivores in your family.

Continue reading ““Beef” and Bean Enchiladas in Red Sauce (Vegan)”

Vegan Taco Salad Tuesday

This recipe takes the glorious Taco Tuesday theme to a slightly greener (pun intended), and just as tasty place, by putting said tacos atop a bed of lettuce. Spiced up black beans and tofu laced with beets to add some extra color (and healthy goodness), plus all your favorite taco salad fixings and a creamy cashew herbed dressing.

And let’s not forget one of the best aspects of eating a taco salad: the shell! I created some baked tortilla chip strips to contribute that extra salty and crunchy aspect to round out this satisfyingly spicy meal.

Continue reading “Vegan Taco Salad Tuesday”

Sunday Brunch: Veggie Tofu Scramble with Rosemary Sweet Potatoes

Sunday Brunch to me means catching up with friends (preferably seated comfortably around an outdoor patio table) and a hearty, satisfying breakfast. This recipe is perfectly brunchtime patio and friend ready. Tofu scrambled with mushrooms, bell pepper, tomatoes, and arugula with a sweet meets savory side of pan-fried rosemary sweet potatoes.

Continue reading “Sunday Brunch: Veggie Tofu Scramble with Rosemary Sweet Potatoes”