This is the best plant-based comfort food, perfect on a cold winter day! It doesn’t call for any exotic ingredients, and you can mix and bake it all in the same casserole.


2 1/2 cups No Chicken Broth or Boullion

2 1/2 cups water

1 – 1.5 lbs. fresh asparagus, cut into bite-size pieces

2 Tbsp. melted organic butter or plant-based spread

1 tsp. sea salt

3 cloves minced garlic

1 cup uncooked arborio rice

3/4 cup red lentils

1 small onion, chopped

1/2 cup red bell pepper, diced

2 Tbsp. nutritional yeast


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

You will need a big (3 qt) glass casserole dish or oven-safe pasta bowl.

Place all the prepared ingredients, except the broth and water, in the casserole dish.

Heat broth and water unil hot, and pour over all ingredients in casserole.

Stir well and cover.

Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes. Stir, recover, and bake another 30 minutes.

Check to see if rice is cooked and creamy. If not, stir, recover, and cook for another 10 minutes or until done.

Steamed Vegetable Casserole

This recipe is only a guideline.  You can use whatever vegetables are cluttering your refrigerator.  I usually make it when I have an overabundance of produce and just need more frig. space.  You can also substitute pasta for the brown rice, and it will be just as delicious.

Ingredients for the sauce:

6 cloves garlic, peeled and pressed

2 Tbsp. soy sauce

2 Tbsp. lemon juice

1/4 tsp. black pepper

Whisk the sauce and put it aside.

Ingredients for casserole:

Whatever vegetables you desire.  Fresh broccoli, carrots, and cauliflower work well.  I’ve also added sweet red peppers, zucchini, green beans, or yellow summer squash to the mix — whatever you have on hand. Cut vegetable into one inch chunks (slice carrot chunks in half), do not chop.

2 cups cooked brown rice or pasta

1 – 2 tsp. Old Bay Seasoning

8 oz. grated veggie cheddar cheese

1 – 2 Tbsp. veggie parmesan cheese


Using a steamer pot, bring water to a boil over high heat.  Put the veggies in the steamer basket, cover, and cook for about 5 minutes, gently turning the veggies two or three times.  You want them to be crisp-tender, not wilted (the green veggies should be still bright green); if you see them start to wilt or change color remove the pot from the heat — they are done.

In the bottom of a PAM sprayed oblong glass casserole dish, place the cooked brown rice (or pasta).  Sprinkle half the veggie cheddar cheese over rice.  Spread the steamed vegetables over that and sprinkle reserved sauce over the veggies.   Dust with Old Bay Seasoning, to taste.   Top with remaining cheddar cheese and veggie parmesan cheese.

Cover loosely with aluminum foil, and put in 350 degree oven for just 10 minutes (to melt the cheese).

Beautiful colors — healthy and delicious!

Recipe: Shepherd’s Pie

This is another good way to use Vegetarian Taco “Meat.” It is also an excellent way to use leftover brown rice and mashed potatoes. (I always like to cook large quantities of rice and Taco “Meat” so there is always some in the freezer to use in this recipe). I have served this Shepherd’s Pie to carnivores, and they don’t believe me when I tell them that it really doesn’t contain any meat. It is a hearty, filling meal served with any vegetarian gravy (Hain’s gravy mixes are good in a pinch — just add water, heat, and stir and you have gravy!)


1 1/2 c. Taco “Meat” (see recipe)

1 1/2 c. cooked brown rice

1 small onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 stalk celery, thinly sliced

1 small carrot, diced

1 c. bread crumbs

1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard

2 tsp. each dried parsley and basil

3/4 sea salt, if desired

2 tsp. oil

In a small pan saute the onions in oil until translucent. Then add celery, garlic, and carrot; cover and cook for 5 minutes.

Put vegetables into a large mixing bowl and add bread crumbs, rice, and Taco “Meat.” Add the dijon mustard and spices; mix well. (Add a little water or broth if it seems too dry. It should be the consistency of raw meatloaf).

Place mixture in a lightly oiled 9″ x 9″ baking pan. Spread a thick layer of mashed potatoes on top (I have used prepared instant mashed potatoes when I didn’t have leftover mashed, and they work great).

Bake uncovered for 30 – 40 minutes at 375 degrees. (When done you may want to sprinkle a little rice Parmesan cheese or Gomasio (sesame seasoning) on top just for looks. Serve with vegetarian gravy and a salad.

Recipe: Baked Rice Pudding (vegan)

   This time of year, when the weather traps us inside, I always like to fill the kitchen with the wonderful smells I remember from childhood. Something sweet and creamy, like this vegan rice pudding, is the perfect comfort food for dessert or even breakfast on a cold day. There are only a few ingredients, and it goes together quickly. It does take a long time to bake, but the way the house smells as it bakes makes it worth the time. Everyone who comes in will say, “Yum, what smells so good?”


1/2 cup white or brown rice (brown rice takes a little longer to cook)

4 c. soy milk

2 tsp. vanilla

1 tsp. cinnamon

dash of nutmeg

1/4 c. honey

   Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Mix all ingredients together in a bowl and then transfer to a lightly sprayed, ovenproof, 1 1/2 qt. casserole.

   Bake uncovered for 2 – 3 hours, stirring every half hour, until done. Remove from oven just before rice is completely done because it will continue to cook a little as the rice cools. If you cook until you think it’s completely done the rice may get mushy as it cools, and I think rice pudding is best when each grain of rice is separate and distinct — not one congealed mass.

   Serve warm or cold — it’s delicious either way!

Baked Rice Pudding (vegan)