Spiritual Musings, Creative Inspiration, and Simple Vegan Recipes


Black Bean Zucchini Lasagna (Gluten free, Vegan, No Noodles!)

Abundant Life Vegan 008This summer healthy and yummy casserole satisfies the craving for a comfort food casserole with no cholesterol, lots of veggies, and best of all delicious! Makes about 9-10 servings.


3 cups grated Zucchini (about 2 medium)

1 ½ cups grated carrot (1 large peeled carrot)

3/4  cup Nasoya Nayoniase (or your favorite vegan mayo!)

2 cups cooked black beans

2 cups Daiya Cheese (or your favorite vegan cheese!)

12 ounce jar of salsa (I used Trader Joe’s Tomatillo Roasted Yellow Chili Salsa)

Preheat oven to 400. Line a 9 x 13 pan with foil and spray with cooking spray. Combine grated zucchini, carrot and vegan mayo in large mixing bowl. Spread into the tray and press down with the spatula. Cook for 25 minutes (just the veggies) until they look brown on top.

Next spread black beans, salsa, and finally cheese onto the cooked veggies and bake again for 35-40 minutes until the top is bubbly.

Allow to cool 10 minutes before serving. Seriously good!

Adapted from: http://www.loveveggiesandyoga.com/2012/09/vegetable-lasagna-casserole.html


1 Comment >

This turned out great!  My husband loves it, has asked me to make it many times. (Once a week for about a month now!!!) This was also our family dish for Easter this past weekend, and the whole family loved it and went back for seconds.

This sauce would also be awesome for a healthy mac & cheese…

You will need:

2 Tbsp vegan butter (non-soy, I like Earth balance)

2/3 cups uncooked brown rice (I have also used the same amount of quinoa with good results)

2 cups chickpeas (I have successfully subbed black beans and black eyed peas in this recipe)

1/4 cup millet flour

1 cup vegetable stock

3/4 cup water

1 Tbsp olive oil

2 leeks, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

3 cups (or more) broccoli florets

1 Tbsp liquid aminos

1 tsp dried oregano

1/2 cup nutritional yeast

1 tsp lemon juice

salt and pepper to taste


Cook brown rice according to package instructions. I like to use a rice cooker to save stovetop space.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

While the rice is cooking, melt the butter into a saucepan.  Add the flour and cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring constantly.  Add the veggie stock, soy sauce, oregano, salt and pepper.  Bring to a simmer until it begins to thicken.  Stir in nutritional yeast and let simmer for a few minutes.  Stir in the lemon juice, and add a bit more water, salt, and pepper as needed.

In a skillet or wok, heat the olive oil and add the onions and garlic.  Cook until softened.  Add the broccoli and continue to cook for a few minutes just until the broccoli begins to take on a brighter shade of green.

Dump the cooked rice and chickpeas or other beans in with the broccoli mixture and stir.  Pour into a glass baking dish and cover with the sauce.  Cook in oven for 25-30 minutes.

1 Comment

Musings on Mindful Eating


“When you are truly here, contemplating the orange, breathing and smiling, the orange becomes a miracle. It is enough to bring you a lot of happiness. You peel the orange, smell it, take a section, and put it in your mouth mindfully, fully aware of the juice on your tongue. This is eating an orange in mindfulness. It makes the miracle of life possible. It makes joy possible.”- Thich Nhat Hanh

I haven’t posted much in quite some time, frankly because I have been rather overwhelmed  way too busy and imbalanced! I am working full time as a therapist, and teaching yoga in several different locations—including my new fave—a donation based class on Sunday mornings in a local downtown brewery.

I love teaching yoga, and in fact, I find it the most fulfilling and energizing practice in my life. Seriously. I love it that much. But I found myself teaching so much (6 days a week!)—that I was not practicing the very first principle and practice of yoga, which is “Ahimsa.”

Ahimsa is translated in a few different ways, most often as non-violence, but also as non-harming, and even compassion. With all of these practices and principles of yoga, we must start with ourselves. Practicing compassion, love and non-violence towards oneself may seem very easy if we are a person who generally has good self-esteem and believes we take care of ourselves and our health.

One of the biggest reasons I started to eat a vegan diet and practice a vegan lifestyle, was because I felt so profoundly in my life the connection between myself, and the food that I eat. I knew I had to begin my practice of ahimsa by changing my food choices, and making the conscious and ethical choices I felt were best for me.

Recently, I have realized that even though I may eat a compassionate diet that does not harm animals and has as small a toll on the planet as possible, I am harming myself. Not because of the foods that I am eating, but how I am eating. Rushed, with little awareness, and with more fear, stress and anxiety about the events of my life and my day than gratitude for being nourished.

Today is the first day of a new month, and I love new beginnings. I am declaring April the month of mindfulness, not just in my eating, but I am going to start there and return to the first principle of yoga as I do so. We are all worth this compassion and this return to connection.

If you need help in learning to eat mindfully, I encourage you to read further from Thich Nhat Hanh’s writings, and practice his meditations on mindful eating. You can find more here: http://www.chetday.com/mindfuleating.htm

Take the time to savor and know that we are nourished by more than food. Namaste.Small Buddha_Banana_by_papamook