Red Bean Kofta with Spicy Tomato Dipping Sauce

Nutritional Spotlight: Cumin Passing on meat and dairy does not mean forgoing your body’s need for iron and calcium. The contrary. While it has become an American belief that iron comes from red meat and calcium comes from dairy, the truth is that most people are better able to digest and absorb the nutrients from iron and calcium when consuming plant-based foods like dark leafy greens, beans, and seeds. The cumin seed is a spice often praised for its taste but rarely acknowledged for its nutritional benefits, even though just one tablespoon contains over 46% (yes, nearly half!) of your daily need for iron and 12% of your daily need for calcium. Feeling ready to cook and replenish your body? Go grab some cumin – ground or whole seeds – from the bulk section and store in an airtight container in a cool, dry place. Use often!

Garden Veggie Bisque

The Tuscan White Beans provide a smooth, creamy texture in addition to creating layered flavors that are nutrient dense, especially for those on a plant-based or vegan diet. Legumes are full of plant-strong protein!

Gluten Free Vegan “Crab” Dip

I’ve never really had real crab dip so I had no idea what to expect with this dish but it sounded interesting because I love hearts of palm.

It was a super easy dish to make and between the beans, nutritional yeast, kelp, lemon, onions and hearts of palm, it’s a dish that’s super good for us. You can never find enough reasons to get beans into your diet every day. Read more about that here:,,20886500,00.html#pass-the-beans-0

I found it pretty salty so cut down on the Old Bay Seasoning on the second batch. I think it’s a cool sounding dish but I wasn’t crazy about it, however, everyone else loved it…go figure! I have to wrap my brain around whether or not I want to make dishes that I don’t personally love…what do you think?

Update: I’ve now made this dish several more times and the verdict is IN: it’s a crowd pleaser!

Deviled Tomatoes

Prep time: 30 mins
Total time: 30 mins
Serves: 8 to 10

If you no longer eat eggs but have a craving for the retro classic, deviled eggs, you’ll really enjoy these deviled tomatoes — a completely vegan rendition 

I love bringing delicious, surprising dishes to get-togethers: holidays, parties, networking events, etc. I grew up in a small Midwest town where deviled eggs were the height of “fancy”!

My friend, Suzanne, brought this dish to a little get together and I was smitten…I think you will be, too!

In addition to being beautiful and delicious, every ingredient in this dish is SO GOOD for us. My favorite is the tomato! I LOVE tomatoes and use them every chance I get; I hope you will, too!

The health benefits of tomatoes include eye care, stomach health and reduced blood pressure. They can provide relief from diabetes, skin problems and urinary tract infections. Furthermore, they can improve digestion, stimulate blood circulation, reduce cholesterol levels, improve fluid balance, protect the kidneys, detoxify the body, prevent premature aging and reduce inflammation. Tomatoes consist of a large number of antioxidants that have been proven to fight different forms of cancer. They are a rich source of vitamins and minerals and exert a protective effect against cardiovascular diseases.

The health benefits of tomatoes can be attributed to an impressive amount of vitamin A, C, and vitamin K, as well as significant amounts of vitamin B6, folate and thiamin. They are also a good source of potassium, manganese, magnesium, phosphorous and copper. They have dietary fiber and protein, as well as a number of organic compounds like lycopene that contribute to their health benefits. (source:

I tried making them with both cherry and small roma tomatoes. I liked the texture and size of the romas best. To get them to sit upright, I cut the tips off the pointy ends being careful to not cut through. I saved the insides and used them in a tomato sauce. This is a new favorite of mine! Let me know what you think!

Tuscan White Bean Soup

Simple hearty ingredients make this the perfect soup to warm the soul! Make Tuscan White Bean Soup easily with Better Beans!

Serving Size:

4 medium bowls of soup

Every single ingredient in this recipe is good for you and together, it’s delicious! Super easy! This has become one of my “go to” recipes.

3 Ingredient Baked Cheddar Cauliflower Bites

Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 12 mins
Total time: 22 mins

If you have muffin pan liners go ahead and use them because they will ensure the cauliflower bites don’t stick to the pan.

This recipe is a great way to get cauliflower into your family’s diet. Cauliflower is a member of the cancer-fighting cruciferous family of vegetables

Cauliflower is anti-inflammatory and antioxidant-rich and may boost both your heart and brain health

Eating cauliflower will provide your body with impressive amounts of vitamin C, vitamin k, beta-carotene, and much more while supporting healthy digestion and detoxification

Pretty impressive for a snack, yes?

Five Layer Dip

This is what Better Beans says: “You eat plant-based all week long then it comes book club, or game day or that fancy party you have been planning for for months and you feel compelled to serve meat or cheese. Well, I’m hear to tell you this appetizer will tingle the taste buds of ever your most carnivorous friend! 😉  Stay true to you”

This is a really easy dish that is a crowd pleaser and also so good for us! A couple of notes from trying:

I couldn’t find the cute little cups they used so I tried making them in the plastic slanted cups we use for wine at big parties…not as cute. The next time I made them, I used a big, clear, glass dish and it worked but I’d really like to find the cups they used…

I prepped the dish ahead of time and added the heated cheeze right before I served the dish…big hit! Every layer of this dish is full of health benefits…such an improvement over a traditional dip like this with cheese, sour cream, etc. Here’s what others say about using Heidi Ho instead of dairy cheese:

“This product filled a “gaping hole” in the vegan/vegetarian/lactose challenged products aisle. Most non-dairy cheeses were made with starch, fat, added flavors and other unpronounceable things. This is an organic, natural cheeze with less fat and calories than real cheese.” Yay!

Walnut Cranberry Hummus

I love, love, love this dish! I felt it needed more of everything (garlic, rosemary, salt, lemon, cranberries and walnuts) and the second time I made it, I added all of the above and loved it event more! Already, I’ve decided that this is one of my “go-to” dishes for all parties…super simple yet special and beautiful (way better than that store bought stuff…) AND so good for us!

I’ve talked a lot about the health benefits of beans, garlic and walnuts in other episodes so today I want to mention how beneficial rosemary and cranberries! Rosemary can help to alleviate muscle pain, improve memory and hair growth! Wow! Who knew? Cranberries, of course, really aid in urinary tract health but also may help to lower blood pressure and thus, positively impact our circulatory system. Hard to believe that something this delicious can be this good for us!

I REALLY like it with the red lentil flatbread from earlier in the season!