Red Bean Kofta with Spicy Tomato Dipping Sauce

Red Bean Kofta with Spicy Tomato Dipping Sauce

Category: Gluten Free, Recipes, Side Dish, Vegan

red bean kofta


  1. 1 package of Rethought Red Beans
  2. 1 ½ cups cooked brown rice
  3. ¼ cup ground flaxseed
  4. ¼ cup finely chopped fresh mint, packed
  5. 1 tablespoon cumin
  6. 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  7. 1 teaspoon sea salt
    Spicy Tomato Dipping Sauce
  1. 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  2. 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  3. ½ teaspoon crushed red chili pepper flakes
  4. 1 cup tomato sauce
  5. 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  6. ½ teaspoon sea salt
  7. ½ teaspoon cinnamon


Preheat oven to 375 F. Grease two large baking sheets.

In a medium bowl, mix all ingredients until well combined.

Roll the mixture into small balls (about 1 tablespoon each) and place on prepared baking sheet (wet hands, if necessary, to prevent sticking). Bake for 35 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, warm the olive oil over medium-low heat. Add garlic and chili pepper flakes, and sauté for 2 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve warm.

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

Garden Veggie Bisque

Category: Gluten Free, Main Meal, Recipes, Side Dish, Vegan

red bean kofta


    Soup Base
  1. 3 cups organic broccoli florets cut into pieces
  2. 1 medium organic zucchini, rough chopped
  3. 2 medium organic carrots, rough chopped
  4. 1 medium organic white onion, rough chopped
  5. 3 & 1/4 cups low sodium organic vegetable broth
  1. Canned coconut milk for swirling into each bisque portion
  2. Chopped cilantro, basil and/or rosemary
  3. Organic sprouted pumpkin seeds


In a large 8-quart stockpot, over medium heat and using about ¼ cup vegetable broth, sauté chopped onions until they are translucent, about 4-5 minutes.

Then add the remaining chopped vegetables, curry powder and vegetable broth and continue cooking at a low simmer until vegetables are soft.

ALWAYS-when blending hot liquids take extra caution to make sure the lid is fitted securely before blending and place a kitchen towel over the top of lid in case of splatters. I actually blended the NEXT day after so there was NO chance of getting splattered…if you’ve ever seen me in action you know what I’m talking about!

Using a ladle, transfer 1/3 of the (hot) vegetables with broth and about half of the Tuscan White Beans™ into a high-powered blender like a Vita Mix and blend until completely smooth. Place into another clean 8-quart stockpot and cover.

Continue transferring by 1/3rds, including the rest of the beans, into blender to blend smoothly, place in stockpot and cover.

Stir in ¼ cup canned coconut milk and plant-based milk, then heat to desired serving temperature-do not overheat bisque at this step.

Garnish with a swirl or 1 tablespoon canned coconut milk (at room temperature). See notes on canned coconut milk. Top with sprouted pumpkin or sunflower seeds or fresh chopped herbs.

Use this soup within three days or freeze for up to thirty days in glass, BPA free airtight containers. I love using Mason jars to freeze food in. (no, they WON”T break!)

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!

Gia Bombias Momma Mia Minestrone

Gia Bombias Momma Mia Minestrone

Category: Gluten Free, Main Meal, Recipes, Side Dish, Vegan

red bean kofta


  1. 2TB Olive Oil
  2. 1 Medium Onion (chopped)
  3. 1/4 C Fennel bulb, dried
  4. 2 TB Garlic (minced)
  5. 1 tsp Fennel Seed
  6. 1 tsp Rosemary, fresh, minced
  7. 1 tsp Thyme, fresh, minced
  8. 7 C Filtered Water or Vegetable Stock
  9. 2 C Crushed Tomatoes or Chopped Roma Tomatoes
  10. 1 C Garbanzo Beans, cooked
  11. 1 C Kidney Beans, cooked
  12. 1 C Red Potatoes (1/2" cubes)
  13. 1/2 C Celery Chopped
  14. 1/2 C Parsnip Roasted (1/2" cubes)
  15. 1/2 C Carrots Chopped
  16. 1/2 C Zucchini Chopped
  17. 1/2 C Summer Squash
  18. 1/4 C Shoyu, or to taste
  19. 2 TB Tomato Paste
  20. 1 C Elbow Pasta or Rotini (wheat-free)
  21. 2 TB Italian Parsley, minced
  22. 1 TB Basil minced
  23. 1 TB Balsamic Vinegar
  24. 2 tsp Nutritional Yeast
  25. 2 tsp Oregano minced (or 1 tsp dry)
  26. 1 tsp sea salt
  27. 1/2 tsp Black Pepper


Place oil in a large pot on medium heat. Add onion, fennel bulb, garlic, fennel seed, thyme and rosemary, cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally

Add filtered water or stock, tomatoes, beans, potato, celery, parsnip, carrot, and squashes, cook until vegetable are just soft, approximately 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add tomato paste, pasta & herbs and cook until pasta is done, approximately 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

45 Minutes Prep
40 Minutes Cooking
8-10 Servings

Gluten-Free & Vegan Mushroom Stroganoff

Gluten-Free & Vegan Mushroom Stroganoff

Category: Gluten Free, Holiday, Recipes, Vegan

red bean kofta


  1. 12 ounces large Portobello mushrooms
  2. 4 ounces Shitake mushrooms
  3. 3 tablespoons olive oil, use divided
  4. Kosher or fine sea salt and black pepper
  5. 1 medium onion, chopped
  6. 3 cloves garlic, minced
  7. 2 tablespoons gluten-free soy sauce
  8. 2 tablespoons sherry, cognac or dry vermouth (all optional)
  9. ½ cup vegetable broth
  10. 1 cup frozen baby onions, thawed
  11. 1 cup vegan sour cream 2 tablespoons flat leaf Italian parsley, minced


Remove the woody stems from the mushrooms and cut the Portobellos into chunks about 1 inch square and the Shitakes in half.

Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until almost smoking hot.

Add the mushrooms and cook for about 5 minutes or until they are browned and have released some liquid.

Add a large pinch of salt and pepper and remove the mushrooms from the skillet and set aside.

Heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in the same pan, add the onions and cook until they soften and start to brown, about 5 minutes.

Add the garlic and cook for another minute.

Season with a little pinch of salt and pepper and stir to combine.

Add the mushrooms back (along with any juices that have accumulated) into the pan then add the soy sauce and sherry or cognac or dry vermouth if you choose to use alcohol. 

Cook stirring until the liquid has evaporated.

Add the vegetable broth and baby onions and cook for 3 or 4 minutes to heat the onions and reduce the liquid to about half.

Lower the heat to low, add the vegan sour cream and heat through, stirring occasionally.

Garnish with minced parsley.

Serve over gluten-free pasta, rice sticks or steamed rice.

Source for recipe:

Growing up in a small Midwestern town, I really didn’t know what stroganoff was. It sounded fancy and exotic but I never had a chance to have it and then I started learning more about nutrition and realized that traditional stroganoff dishes are full of fat and gluten. I really didn’t give it another thought until I came across this recipe on this website. I’d like to give it a few more tweaks and serve it over some fresh gluten free pasta but overall, it IS a fancy and exotic dish! I’m not crazy about the baby onions left whole…I think I would try them cut into quarters next time.

Nutrition “factoids”:

One major difference between these two mushroom types is nutritional value. While Portobello mushrooms are high in iron, potassium and vitamin D, no one ranks them as highly as the Shiitake variety for health.

Cultures around the world prize Shiitake mushrooms for their health benefit. Advocates of Shiitake mushrooms say ingesting these mushrooms prevents heart disease by lowering bad cholesterol levels. Further, animal tests have shown that a compound in the Shiitake called lentinin has anti-tumor and immune system-boosting benefits. In human studies, lentinin was beneficial in prolonging life of patients with stomach and colon cancers. Wow! Who knew? Here’s a link to other health benefits of mushrooms:


The Best Darn Lasagna Ever (Vegan & Gluten Free)

The Best Darn Lasagna Ever (Vegan & Gluten Free)

Category: Dinner, Gluten Free, Holiday, Recipes, Vegan

red bean kofta


  1. 1(10 1/2 ounce) package firm tofu, well-drained
  2. 8 ounces vegan cream cheese (I like Kite Hill)
  3. 1(10 ounce) box frozen chopped spinach, thawed, well-drained
  4. 1 large white onion, chopped
  5. 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  6. 2 teaspoons  basil (dried or fresh)
  7. 2 teaspoons  parsley(dried or fresh)
  8. ground pepper
  9. salt
  10. 9 gluten free lasagna noodles, cooked (you can also use the “no boil” kind but I’m not a fan…)
  11. 20 ounces  tomato sauce (I like to use Arrabiata)
  12. 12 ounces frozen faux beef crumbles (I like Beast Burger)
  13. 2 cups  mushrooms, chopped
  14. vegan parmesan cheese (optional)


In olive oil, sauté chopped onions and garlic, Stir in mushrooms, basil and parsley and sauté for a few more minutes.

In a bowl, combine sauté pan contents with well-squeezed/drained tofu and vegan cream cheese.

Add well-drained spinach to sauté pan and heat briefly to remove any remaining moisture in spinach, Incorporate into "cheese" mixture, salt and pepper liberally.

Cover bowl and let sit in fridge for at least 30 minute, preferably over night-The longer it sits together, the better the flavors meld, (This is also nice because you get 1/2 the prep done the night before and can throw your lasagna together in minutes the next day).

Heat the faux beef crumbles in pan with some of the tomato sauce, about 1/2 to 1c.

Cook lasagna noodles according to package (usually 12 minutes), Add oil to salted boiling water to keep noodles from sticking to one another.

Spray 9x13 dish w/ non-stick, Layer 3 noodles, layer half remaining tomato sauce, layer half of "cheese" mixture, 2nd layer noodles, layer all "ground beef" mixture, layer second half of "cheese" mixture, 3rd layer noodles covered with remaining tomato sauce. Sprinkle top liberally with vegan parmesan cheese.

Cover with foil and bake at 400°F for 30 minutes, and uncovered for another 10 minutes.

Let sit for 5+ minutes before serving. Its even belter the next day, stores well in the fridge and freezes well.

This has become one of our family’s favorite dishes! Someone gave me a stained, torn copy of the recipe. I later discovered it on I love making it before the holidays because it feeds a hungry house with something very different than we will be having for the holiday! It stores well and provides a hearty lunch, dinner or snack for the whole brood. I’ve also used the filling in my Eggplant “Cannelloni. The filling itself also freezes well.

I can’t say that EVERY ingredient is a health food but most of them are and using gluten free noodles and faux cheese and meat make it a much healthier option that traditional meat and cheese lasagna. There are many faux cheeses and meats on the market that are actually quite nutritious: made from nuts and plants. These are the brands that I choose.

Spinach, mushrooms, onions, tomatoes, garlic and tofu are superfoods that I love getting into my diet as often as possible and putting them into a dish as delicious as this lasagna makes it a no brainer! I won’t lie, this is a time-consuming dish to make, but so worth it. The biggest tip I can give is to make the filling one day and assemble it the next. I hope you love it as much as we do!

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!

Tuscan White Bean Soup

Category: Main Meal, Recipes, Side Dish, Vegan

red bean kofta


  1. 1 tablespoon oil
  2. 2 carrots
  3. 2 stems of celery
  4. 5 cloves of garlic
  5. 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  6. Chile Flakes to taste
  7. 5 leaves (or more) of curly kale
  8. 1 can BPA-Free diced tomatoes
  9. 2 ½ cups water
  10. 1 cube / spoonful of vegetable boullion
  11. 1 tub of Better Bean’s Tuscan White Beans
    Optional Toppings
  1. Faux Parmesan Cheese
  2. Gluten Free Garlic Bread
  3. Gluten Free Toast


Wash carrot & celery. Dice both into ¼ inch pieces.

In a medium pot, heat 1 tablespoon of oil over medium heat. Sautee carrot and celery stirring frequently for 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Add garlic and rosemary. While carrot and celery are sautéing mince garlic. De-stem and roughly chop rosemary leaves. Continue to sauté for 2 minutes. Add more oil if necessary.

Wash, de-stem then roll up kale leaves and cut into ¼ inch ribbons. Cook for 3 minutes.

Add tomatoes to pot plus 2 ½ cups water. Bring to a boil.

Add boullion. Stir well and let simmer for 5 minutes or longer for more tender greens.

Once kale is tender, add Tuscan White Beans. Cook an additional 2-4 minutes for flavors to mix.

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.

Silky Smooth Pure Chocolate Pudding

Chocolate Pudding

Category: Dessert, Gluten Free, Recipes, Vegan

red bean kofta


  1. 3 medium bananas
  2. 1/2 avocado
  3. 1/4 C Heidi Ho Pure Ne Chevre
  4. 4 tbsp cacao powder, + more to taste
  5. 1 tsp vanilla extract + more to taste
  6. pinch of sea salt
    Optional Toppings
  1. Coconut whipped cream
  2. 1/4 C almonds, slivered and toasted
  3. 1 tbsp raspberry jam


Mix all pudding ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth, scraping down sides and adjusting the cacao and vanilla as necessary.

Blend mixture until silky smooth and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Transfer to serving bowls and enjoy!

I’ve tasted lots of faux puddings over the years…especially ones with avocados…they have all been TERRIBLE! This one is NOT!! So delicious! Possibly my favorite recipe of all my Cook With Joy episodes. I definitely recommend the “extras” coconut whipped cream, almonds and raspberry jam…so good. Let’s talk about the health benefits: Avocados, bananas, and cacao powder…3 super foods for a “super dessert”! You gotta try this!!!!

California Barley Bowl w/ a Lemon Ne Chevre Sauce

California Barley Bowl

Category: Gluten Free, Lunch, Main Meal, Recipes, Vegan

red bean kofta


  1. 1 1/2 cups cooked barley, still warm
  2. 1 cup mung bean sprouts chopped
  3. 1/4 cup almonds, toasted
  4. 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  5. 1 small ripe avocado, peeled, pitted, and sliced
  6. Freshly ground black pepper
  7. 1/2 C fresh chives
  8. 1 tbsp plant-based butter
  9. 1 tbsp gluten free flour
  10. 1 cup veggie broth
  11. 3 oz Heidi Ho Pure Ne Chevre
  12. 1 small lemon
  13. 1/2 tsp salt
  14. 1/2 tsp black pepper


In 4 separate serving bowls divide the barley evenly, followed by your bean sprouts and

toasted almonds.

Start your sauce by whisking your plant-based butter and flour together in a small sauce pan

over medium heat. Continue to cook for about 5 minutes, then slowly add the broth to avoid

clumping. Turn the heat to high and bring to a boil. Continue to boil and whisk in your Heidi Ho

Ne Chèvre and lemon juice until sauce is smooth. Remove from heat and set aside.

Divide your avocado evenly between the 4 bowls and top with a couple spoon-fulls of the

Lemon Ne Chèvre Sauce.

Finish Each bowl with freshly ground black pepper, chives and salt if desired.

Great idea…so many great health benefits (avocado, mung bean sprouts, almonds, etc) but probably the worst recipe of Season 2. #1 Didn’t taste great, #2 Barley is NOT Gluten free! Yikes! How could I not know this. HOWEVER! You could make this with any gluten free grain AND, with some tweaks, I think it could actually taste good! I’d love to hear what you do with this recipe!

Smoky Squash Gnocchi With Pesto

Smoky Squash Gnocchi With Pesto

Category: Main Meal, Recipes, Vegan

red bean kofta


  1. 1 large acorn squash, seeded
  2. 3 tbsp coconut oil, divided
  3. 1 tbsp fresh sage, minced
  4. 2 tbsp fresh sage leaves
  5. 1 tsp salt
  6. 1 1/2 C gluten free flour
  7. 1 pkg Smoky Chia Cheeze.
  8. 1/2 C pepitas
  9. 1 C Fresh Basil
  10. 1/2 C Fresh Parsley
  11. 3 tbsp of Heidi Ho Pure Ne Chevre
  12. 2 cloves garlic
  13. 1/4 tsp salt
  14. 1 tbsp lemon juice
  15. 3 tbsp oil


Preheat oven to 400° and line a baking sheet with parchment paper

Slice squash in half and remove seeds. Brush the insides with oil and sprinkle with a little salt

and pepper. Place sliced side down on the baking sheet and bake for about 30 minutes or until

the insides are soft throughout.

Let the squash cool and scoop out the flex into a mixing bowl and mash into a puree. Measure

out about 2 cups of the flesh and put it into a large mixing bowl, if there are any leftovers you

can freeze them for later.

Add in the minced sage, a tbsp of oil and your flour. Mix until a dough forms, the dough the

should still be a little sticky but not too wet.

Dust your work surface with flour and scoop dough onto the surface. Dust the top of the dough

with more flour so the entire surface is covered. Flour your hands and roll dough into a thick

log and slice into 4 equal parts. Roll each part into a 1/2’’ thick log and slice into 1’’ pieces and

place them on a lightly floured baking sheet or plate.

Bring water to a boil in a pot with a steamer basket on top. Place gnocchi into the basket in

batches. lower heat to simmer and cover. Steam each batch of 7 minutes.

While your gnocchi is steaming prepare a skillet over medium heat with 2 tbsp of oil with a few

fresh sage leaves.

Remove gnocchi from basket and place in the pan with sage and oil. Fry each side until golden

brown and place on a paper towel to drain excess oil. Add more Sage leaves with every batch

of steamed gnocchi.

Warm up some Heidi Ho Smoky Chia Cheeze in a small saucepan over medium heat.

Place gnocchi on a warm plate and add a drizzle of Heidi Ho Smoky Cheeze over everything

followed by your favorite pesto (optional) and garnish with remaining sage leaves

In a small skillet over medium heat, toast your pepitas until they start to pop and become

fragrant. Place in a blender or food processor.

Add basil, parsley, Heidi Ho Pure Ne Chèvre, garlic, salt, lemon juice and oil and process until

smooth, scraping down the sides as necessary.

If pesto is too thick add more lemon juice little by little until desired consistency is reached.

Enjoy right away and refrigerate any leftovers.

Okay, so I won’t lie…this was a super complicated recipe but SO worth it! Love, love, love it! Squash, pumpkin seeds, sage, basil, garlic and lemon are all super foods…how exciting to have them in one delicious dish…Wow! This dish is wonderful…you might want to double it and freeze some of the gnocchi for a second meal. I do like it with pesto…try it both ways and share your results!

Five Layer Dip

Five Layer Dip

Category: Recipes, Side Dish, Vegan

red bean kofta


  1. Heidi Ho Creamy Chia Cheeze (I’ve also used the smoky variety)
  2. Corn (I like it with fresh, but you could use canned, too)
  3. Better Bean Cuban Black Beans (I just used their regular black beans because the stored didn’t have this variety. I’ve now made it with multiple flavors and I like all of them!)
  4. Guacamole (fresh or pre-made)
  5. Salsa
  6. Cilantro
  7. Tortilla Chips


Warm your Heidi Ho chia cheeze until it becomes smooth and creamy (medium-low on the stove top).

Start with Better Beans as the base. You can heat them or serve chilled.

Add Guacamole

Layer in corn of your choice

Add in the slightly heated chia cheeze

Top with salsa and cilantro.


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!