Happy Herbivore Recipes
Cheater Pad Thai
Serves 2 | I call this “cheater” because it’s ridiculously easy and quick to make and also because this recipe uses 1 tbsp of peanut butter, so it’s not fat-free.
1/4 lb thick rice noodles
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp smooth peanut butter
1 tbsp sweet red chili
1/4 tsp granulated garlic powder
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp hot sauce, or to taste
3 oz bean sprouts
Prepare rice noodles according to package directions.
In a small bowl, whisk 2 tbsp of warm water, soy sauce, peanut butter, chili sauce, garlic powder, ginger, and hot sauce together until combined. It may appear too runny at first, but it’s not.
Taste, adding more hot sauce if desired.
Using tongs, toss prepared noodles with your newly created pad Thai sauce until all noodles are evenly coated.
Plate and top with bean sprouts.
Garnish with chopped raw peanuts and a lime wedge if desired.
Chef’s Note: Letting this sauce rest for a few minutes is a great way to intensify the flavor.
Lower-Calorie Pad Thai: For a lower carbohydrate and lower-calorie pad Thai, substitute 2 cups of thinly sliced blanched cabbage for half of the rice noodles.
Vegetable Pad Thai: Double the sauce; Cook 1 15-oz package of frozen stir-fry veggies according to package instructions and toss with sauce and noodles.
Calories 283; Calories from Fat 38; Total Fat 4.3g; Cholesterol 0mg; Total Carbohydrate 55.0g; Dietary Fiber 2.7g; Sugars 4.1g; Protein 7.9g
Serves 4 | Tortilla soup is a California comfort food. Thickened with corn tortillas instead of cream, tortilla soup is filling but also slimming! Make sure to use low-sodium soy sauce and no-salt added or low-sodium vegetable broth in this recipe.
1 large sweet onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp dried marjoram or oregano
2 tsp ground cumin
2 c vegetable broth
1 15-oz can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
1 4-oz can diced green chilies, drained
1/4 c ketchup
2 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
2 corn tortillas, chopped
hot sauce, to taste
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste
1/4 c fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped
Crispy Tortilla Sticks
Line a medium pot with a thin layer of water.
Add onion, then cook over medium heat for 2 minutes.
Add garlic and continue to cook until onion is translucent and most of the water has evaporated.
Add chili powder, marjoram or oregano, and cumin, stirring to cover the onion and garlic with the spices, then continuing to stir until all the liquid has been absorbed and the spices are fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Add broth, tomatoes with their juices, and chilies, stirring to combine.
Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer over low heat for 15 minutes.
Transfer half of the mixture to your blender and whiz until smooth, or use an immersion blender to slightly, but not completely, puree the soup.
Return to the pot, add ketchup, 1 cup of water, soy sauce, and corn tortillas.
Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to medium, and cook over medium heat until tortillas have fallen apart and thickened the soup, about 5 to 10 minutes.
Use a whisk to help incorporate if necessary.
Add hot sauce, salt, and pepper if desired. Let souprest 5 minutes.
Stir in cilantro and ladle into bowls. Top with Crispy Tortilla Sticks and serve.
Calories 157; Calories from Fat 15; Total Fat 1.7g; Cholesterol 0mg; Total Carbohydrate 33.5g; Dietary Fiber 5.7g; Sugars 8.9g; Protein 4.7g
Makes 6 burgers | I love a good black bean burger, but I find kidney beans lend themselves better to a true “burger” flavor and have a better consistency. Serve these burgers on a whole-wheat bun with all the fixin’s.
1/4 c quinoa
1/2 c water
1 15-oz can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
2 tbsp barbecue sauce
2 tbsp ketchup
2 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
1 tbsp yellow mustard
1 tsp onion powder (granulated)
1 tsp garlic powder (granulated)
1 tbsp Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp paprika
1/3 c vital wheat gluten
In a small saucepan, combine quinoa with 1/2 cup of water, cover and bring to a boil.
Once boiling, reduce heat to low and continue to cook until fluffy and all water has evaporated, about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, mash beans with a fork in a mixing bowl until the consistency of refried beans.
Add remaining ingredients in order, plus cooked quinoa, and stir to combine.
Preheat oven to 450°F and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or use a greased cookie sheet.
Break mixture into 6 equal segments. Roll each into a ball, flatten it, and shape it into a patty using your hands.
Bake for 8 minutes, flip, and bake for 8 more minutes, then flip again for 5 minutes, but only if necessary.
When the burgers are brown and crisp on the outside, they are done.
(1 burger) 316 Calories, 2.1g Fat, 53.7g Carbohydrates, 11.6g Fiber, 4.6g Sugars, 22.4g Protein
Pineapple Sponge Cake
Serves 9 | I’m always getting requests for sugar-free desserts, and decided to try my hand at it here. All the sweetness in this cake comes from pineapple juice, making this a wet cake, sometimes called sponge cake or pudding cake.
1 15-oz can pineapple rings (in 100% juice)
1 c whole-wheat pastry flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
3 dashes of ground ginger
1 tsp vanilla extract
orange zest (optional)
extra juice for serving
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease an 8- or 9-inch cake pan and set aside.
Drain pineapple juice into a small bowl and set aside.
In a mixing bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and a few dashes of ground ginger together.
Add vanilla extract and zest (if using) and set aside.
Chop pineapple rings really well, or send through your blender until they have the consistency of crushed, minced pineapple (but not puree).
Mix pineapple into flour mixture, stirring to combine.
Add pineapple juice, starting with 1/4 cup and then adding a tablespoon at a time, until the batter is just combined and wet (about 6 tablespoons total).
Transfer to pan and bake for approximately 20 minutes.
Pour leftover juice, plus additional juice, over the top immediately before serving. You want the cake to be wet and nearly falling apart.
Chef’s Note: Make sure the pineapple rings you buy come in 100% juice and not syrup.
Chef’s Note: If you prefer a sweeter dessert, 1/4 to 1/2 cup of raw sugar can be added.
74 Calories, 0.2g Fat, 15.9g Carbohydrates, 1.7g Fiber, 5.1g Sugars, 1.3g Protein
Serves 2 | There are two ways to make this delicious Mughlai dish. One is creamy, like a curry, and the other is more reminiscent of traditional dry Indian dishes such as Aloo Gobi or Aloo Matar
¼ onion, sliced
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp ground coriander
½ tsp ground cumin
cayenne pepper,as desired
¼ tsp turmeric
1 potato, skinned and diced
2-3 carrots, skinned and sliced
½ c tomato sauce
½ c frozen peas
¼ tsp garam masala
For the curry version:
½ c nondairy milk
1⁄8 tsp coriander
½ tsp ground cumin
cayenne, to taste
Line a medium pot with a thin layer of vegetable broth and sauté onions and garlic over high heat until the onions are translucent, garlic is tender and the liquid has evaporated — about two minutes. Add more broth to reline the pot, plus potato and carrots. Sauté for another three minutes, then add coriander, cumin, cayenne as desired, and a couple dashes of turmeric, stirring to combine. Add tomato sauce, bring to a boil, and reduce to low. Cover and simmer until vegetables are fork-tender, adding additional broth as necessary, about five to ten more minutes. (You always want a thin layer of wetness on the bot¬tom. Keep the coating around the veggies wet). Add peas, stir to combine, and heat for another minute or two to warm up the peas. Add 1/4 tsp garam ma¬sala and stir to combine. Add salt to taste if desired. Taste, adding more garam masala or more cayenne (if you want it HOT) and serve.
For a creamy curry, stir in 1/2 c nondairy milk, plus 1/8 tsp coriander and 1/8 tsp cumin, and more salt or cayenne (or garam masala — I tend to add another 1/4 tsp) if desired.
Per serving: Calories 170, Total Fat 0.7g, Carbohydrates 35.6g, Dietary Fiber 7.3g, Sugars 8.2g, Protein 6.6 g
Curry version per serving: Calories 180, Total Fat 1.4g, Carbohydrates 36.1g, Dietary Fiber 7.5g, Sugars 8.2g, Protein 6.8g
Makes 12 | After my first year of law school, I spent a portion of my summer in Maui, staying with a friend and her Hawaiian family. I fell deeply in love with fresh pineapple and mango while visiting and rediscovered the delicate taste of both tropical fruits while living in St. Maarten. These muffins celebrate pineapple’s delicate yet complex, sweet flavor. I make them anytime I need to be transported back to paradise, if only in my mind.
2 c white whole-wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp baking powder
1 20-oz can crushed
1 – 2 tsp lemon zest
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ – 1 c raw sugar
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a muffin tin or use silicone cups and set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk all dry ingredients together until well combined. Add pineapple, lemon zest, vanilla, sugar, and a pinch of salt if desired, stirring until just combined. Gently spoon batter into muffin cups and bake 15–20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Chef’s Note: I find these muffins get sweeter and more flavorful as they cool.
Per Muffin: Calories 125, Total Fat 0.3g, Carbohydrates 28.8g, Fiber 2g, Sugars 13.8g, Protein 2.8g
Extra Sugar: Calories 158, Total Fat 0.3g, Carbohydrates 37.1g, Fiber 2g, Sugars 22.1g, Protein 2.8g
Gluten-Free | Soy-free | Budget | Under 150 Calories
I’m always looking for ways to slip more vegetables into my diet (particularly at breakfast) and these tacos hit the nail on the head: greens, beans, and sweet potatoes before lunch? I can feel good about that! Bonus: they are really filling and leave me satisfied for hours. I tend to make these tacos for breakfast when I have leftover cooked greens and sweet potatoes from the day before.
3 corn tortillas
1 sweet potato, cooked
½ c cooked black beans
½ c cooked greens (e.g., steamed kale or collards)
2 green onions, sliced
nutritional yeast (optional)
Warm corn tortillas if they’ve been in your fridge. I like to heat each side over a low flame for 10–15 seconds on my gas stove, but a few seconds in the microwave covered with a damp paper towel also works. Mash sweet potato with a fork (you can mix in spices like ground cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, and cayenne if you like, or even a basic fajita or taco seasoning with a splash of nondairy milk) and spread into the center of the tortilla. Top with beans, greens, and green onions, plus hot sauce, salsa, nutritional yeast, and guacamole as desired (I overflow my tacos so they are really filled). Enjoy!
Chef’s Note: Make a “taco bar” and serve these for brunch when you have a big crowd.
Per Taco: Calories 145; Fat 1.3 g; Total Carbs 29.1g; Fiber 5.6g; Sugars 3g; Protein 5.2g; WW Points 4