You Made It! The 6th Week of the Meatless (secretly vegan) Challenge

vegan breakfast cookies

Wow! We are already at week #6 of the 6 week challenge! Time flies when you’re eating healthy plant-based food and feeling better, doesn’t it?

These recipes reflect my confidence in your ability to think outside the fast food bag, so I hit you with some kick ass food to wrap this up.  And speaking of wrap… will be wrapping up your meals for lunch and dinner this week!

Lots of photos folks!! (because this food was sooooo pretty)

Breakfast is that beautiful cookie in the top picture.

Lunch is Veggie Qunioa Sushi


And dinner is delicious Spicy Black Bean Burritos with Nacho (not yo) Cheese



Let them eat cookies!  I mean, you’re an adult, you can do whatever you darn well please.  And that includes eating cookies for breakfast.  OK call it a “breakfast cookie” if you must, but this is one delicious way to start the day.  The advantage here is that you can make a batch and it will last you through the week.  It’s a quick-grab breakfast that will fill you up without weighing you down.

breakfast cookie

Adapted from the “I heart Trader Joes Vegetarian Cookbook by Kris Holecheck Peters, this light but satisfying treat breakfast is quick and easy to make.


  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup white/wheat flour
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp aluminum-free baking power
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 very ripe banana gently mashed but still a bit lumpy
  • 1/2 cup almond butter
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil (you can sub applesauce here, but the cookies will be a bit dry)
  • 4 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup raisins, chopped walnuts, dried cranberries etc….your choice!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Side note: parchment paper is great because your items cook evenly and the bottom doesn’t get greasy from spraying. Parchment paper is not waxed paper.

In a small bowl, combine oats, flour, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt.

vegan breakfast cookies

In a large bowl, combine banans, almond butter, maple syrup, oil, and vanilla until smooth

vegan oatmeal cookies

Take your banana peels and bury them in your potted plants to make them happy and healthy too!

The peels will feed your plants perfectly!

The peels will feed your plants perfectly!

Add the dry to the wet and mix until dough is uniform. Add the walnuts, raisins, or whatever “stuff” you want.

cookie dough vegan

Spoon out dough in large scoops (about 2 tablespoons) and flatten slightly onto baking pan.

vegan oatmeal cookie

Bake until set…about 16-18 minutes until brown on the edges. Let cool for about 10 minutes before handling.

oatmeal cookie

You can make regular sized cookies and bake for 10-12 minutes if you want.  You won’t believe how good breakfast can be.

Makes 8 cookies.

Nutrition per cookie: Calories: 305 Protein:5.5  grams Fat: 16 grams Fiber: 2.3 grams (more if you add in nuts or raisins)

Contains 10% of your iron for the day.

Lunch: Thinking outside the box.

C’mon…you’re ready for something fun this week.

Vegetable Quinoa Sushi!

Vegan sushi

Vegan sushi


  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp agave nectar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup black beans
  • 1/4 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp soy sauce
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 sheets of nori
  • bamboo sushi mat or parchment paper
  • veggies (I used cucumber, carrots and red cabbage)

Mix qunioa and broth together in a saucepan and cover. bring to a boil, then lower heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes.

Shred approx 1/2 cup veggies and set aside.

Mash black beans with a fork. Add sesame oil, soy sauce, and salt. mix well.

When quinoa is done, fluff with a fork.  Then transfer to a flat container and spread the qunioa out.  Mix rice vinegar, agave and salt together and sprinkle over hot quinoa.  Mix gently to combine and keep mixing until quinoa is cooled. (You can fan it with a magazine or paper plate)

vegetable sushi

Place the sushi mat shiny side down and place one sheet of nori with lines vertical.

veggie sushiThen, after the quinoa is cooled, spread a thin layer of quinoa on the nori.


If you like spicy, place a thin layer of wasabi across the middle of the quinoa. I like sweet, so I used plum sauce.  then place a thin line of black bean mix across the center.


Then arrange a thin layer of veggies across.


Now comes the fun part….Keeping everything in the roll, start to roll the sushi away from you using the mat.  Keep rolling and squeezing to pack the roll together.



As you can see, I used a bit too much quinoa and it squeezed out the sides.  no big deal…


Rinse the knife before you make each cut so it glides smoothly across the sushi roll.

A dab of soy sauce and you’ve got a perfect lunch.  I would pair this with some stir fry veggies or a simple salad.

This will make 2 complete rolls…about 14 pieces.


Spicy Black Bean Burritos

You can use your own cheese sauce, or if you want to keep it totally plant-based you can try this amazingly creamy and tastes-just-like-nacho-cheese plant-based sauce.

Nacho  Cheese

  • 2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup raw cashews soaked for al least 1 hour (or overnight)
  • 4 ounces of jarred roasted red peppers
  • 1 cup nutritional yeast
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch OR 4 tablespoons of tapioca starch
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt or to taste
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin

Pu everything in a food processor or blender and process the crap out of it until smooth.  it will be very watery.

Transfer to a saucepan and on medium-high heat, whisk constantly for about 8 minutes until the sauce thickens.  It will thicken more when it cools slightly.

vegan cheese sauce

You can use this cheese sauce for dipping chips or veggies too. It’s great! Makes 2 1/2 cups.

Serving size is 1/4 cup and has about 55 calories and 3 grams fat.

Roasted Corn Salsa (while I eat very little corn due to the high Omega-6 fats and the fact that most corn is GMO, this little bit in this recipe is fine for me if I find organic corn)

  • 1 large ripe avocado
  • the juice of 2 limes (about 3 tablespoons)
  • 4 ears of corn
  • 10 cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sugar or honey (optional)

Set cleaned ears of corn in a baking dish and cover with the juice of 1/2 lime (1-2 teaspoons). Season lightly with salt and pepper. Roast corn for 12-15 minutes under the broiler turning every few minutes until browned. Set aside to cool.

roasted corn salsa

Meanwhile chop avocado and tomatoes and crush garlic and place in a bowl with chopped cilantro if using.

This is what a prefect avocado looks like. it's dark green on the outside and gives when squeezed.  You should not feel any pockets of air under the skin or see any grey areas on the skin.

This is what a prefect avocado looks like. It’s very  dark green on the outside and gives when squeezed. You should not feel any pockets of air under the skin or see any grey areas on the skin.  Store green ones on the countertop until ripe.

Wash avocado and cut all the way around.  Twist to open.  Cut criss cross and scoop out with a spoon.

When corn is cool enough to handle, cut kernels off cob and place in bowl.  (You could use canned corn, but the flavor from the roasted corn is so worth the effort)


Mix vinegar remaining lime juice and sugar well in a small bowl.  Pour over everything and mix well. This also goes great on a salad!

I don't like cilantro so I left it out

I don’t like cilantro so I left it out

For burrito:

  • 1 small sweet potato (about 1 cup) soft cooked
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 1/2 cup cooked black beans (see below)
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa (1 cup quinoa plus 2 cups vegetable broth simmered for 15 minutes covered)
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 4 burrito sized flour tortillas

The best way to cook a sweet potato is to wrap in foil and place in oven 350 degrees F for 90 minutes.  (you can do this the day ahead) If you can’t wait, you can peel and cut potato into 1 inch chunks and steam for 20 minutes)

Dice the onion and saute for about 8 minutes in a pan (preferably cast iron) sprayed with olive oil.

Place all ingredients in a bowl and mix well.

Black bean vegan burrito

Now assemble:

Heat tortilla in 200 degree oven for 1-2 minutes so it is bendy-er.  Place burrito on table and fill with 1/4 of the filling that’s in the bowl. Pour 1 tablespoon of cheese over bean mix.

vegan burritos

Fold the sides in

vegan burritoThen start rolling from the bottom until you’re done.

DSC_0103 2

I like to heat these in the oven, covered at 300 for 10-15 minutes to let them get nice and hot.  Then I top with the warm cheese and cold salsa.

vegan bean burrito

A word about black beans: (OK several words)

Canned anything sucks.  The can liners contain BPA, a plastic by-product (linked to cancer and many other diseases) that leach into your food.  A recent study showed that those who ate canned soup had over 1000% (yes one thousand) more BPA in their urine than people who didn’t eat canned goods.

The convenience of having freezers makes it easy to cook your black beans and still have them on hand for recipes.  Here’s how:

Rinse dry beans in a strainer.

Take 2 pounds of black beans and put in a large sauce pot covering well with water. Bring to boil, boil for 2 minutes, then turn off heat and let sit for 1 hour.

Strain and rinse.

Fill pot with new water and place water and beans back on stove.  Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer about 90 minutes with lid tilted stirring once or twice but gently so you don’t make mush.  Strain and rinse well under cold water.

Fill your re-usable containers when cooled and freeze.  Take out of the containers when re-heating to avoid further plastic exposure that sometimes occurs with heating.

This is 2 pounds of black beans ready for the freezer

This is 2 pounds of black beans ready for the freezer

Beans of any kind are a staple of my vegan diet.

Easy peasey Mr Sneezy.

Please post any changes or thoughts about the meals this week and…….

CONGRATULATIONS! on completing the 6 week Meatless Monday Challenge!

certificate copy

Here’s your certificate! We are very proud of you!  We hope that we’ve exposed you to some way of eating that you may not have thought of before.  Our hope is that you’ll take what you’ve learned and expand on it to further your health and wellbeing.

Here’s to your healthy and happy life! Cheers!

Categories: health, healthy cooking, healthy recipes, vegan cooking, vegan recipes, vegetarian recipes

Tags: , , , , ,

4 replies

  1. You had me at Vegan sushi. I think I will try it with some of the Seitan I am preparing for the a few recipes in the next week.

  2. Each of these recipes looks delicious 🙂 I’m intrigued by your quinoa sushi. I’m going to pick up a bamboo mat and give it a try!

    • Thanks so much for taking the time to comment! I have to admit I was a bit intimidated by the whole sushi thing, and the first mistake I made was putting too much quinoa on the nori. but It was really fun and I liked that I could choose anything to put in the middle. I think I would try sesame tempeh next time.

So whaddya think?

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