Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Summer Goodness Recipes!

Diane K. Smith's health improved a great deal when she started eating a plant-based diet a few years ago. She and I both lost weight when we changed to a plant-based diet, but our main goal was to enjoy better health. 

Diane has created a very informative website where she shares her easy to prepare delicious dishes. Today she has graciously allowed me to share a couple of her fabulous vegetarian recipes with you.

Serves 4
2 1/2 cups chopped romaine lettuce
1 can (15.5 oz) black beans, rinsed and well drained
1 cup chopped tomato or cherry tomatoes
1 cup chopped peeled jicama
1 cup fresh corn kernels, uncooked (or frozen or canned)
3/4 cup thinly sliced radishes
A whole ripe avocado diced
1 red bell pepper, chopped
4-5 corn tortillas

1. Stack 2-3 corn tortillas on a cutting board and cut in half. Then cut into about 1/3" strips. Place the strips on a microwavable plate. Sprinkle or spray with water or apple cider vinegar and lightly salt. Microwave for about 2 minutes. Check for crispness, keeping in mind that the tortilla strips will get crunchier as they cool. Add more time if they aren't crispy enough. **
2. Toss all the salad ingredients except the avocado and tortilla strips in a large bowl.
3. In a separate bowl, mix dressing ingredients. 
4. Pour dressing over salad. Season with salt and pepper to taste and toss. 
5. Top individual servings with avocado and the crispy tortilla strips. 

*NOTE: You can also try microwaving them. It works really well! Just put your cut tortillas on a microwavable dish and let them cook for 3 minutes or so. The more tortillas are on the plate, the longer the cooking. Keep testing them for doneness.


Serves 6
1 package whole grain or gluten-free penne pasta
1 package fresh green beans stems removed and cut into thirds
1 carton cherry tomatoes halved
2 cups packed baby spinach leaves
1 cup packed fresh basil leaves
1 handful fresh mint
2 tsp white or red miso
2 cloves garlic, rough chopped
1 shallot, rough chopped
1/4-1/2 cup vegetable stock
1/3 cup toasted almonds
Cashew Topping: (optional)
3/4 cup cashews
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1/4 tsp salt

1. Heat a large pot of salted water to boiling and add pasta. Cook according to directions on the package, drain and reserve about 1/2 cup of the pasta water.
2. Steam the green beans until crisp-tender. Add them to a large bowl along with the halved tomatoes.
3. In the meantime, make the pesto by adding the vegetable stock to the bowl of a food processor along with the spinach, mint, miso, garlic, shallot, and toasted almonds. Salt and pepper to taste. Process until combined, scraping the sides as needed. Add more vegetable stock if it’s too thick.
4. Add pasta and the pesto to the bowl with the green beans and tomatoes along with enough pasta water to loosen the sauce to the consistency you like. 
5. If topping with cashew crumble, put cashews, nutritional yeast and salt into a small food processor and pulse until finely chopped and crumbly. Don't over process or you'll have cashew butter.


Diane K. Smith is the editor of

Thank you for joining us on this journey through midlife and beyond. The second fifty years are truly the best!

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