My Childhood Favorite Meals: Plant-Based

Nostalgic & Nutritious Meal


My Sicilian grandmother was a phenomenal cook and one of my favorite childhood meals was lasagna with her amazing gravy.  I used to love eating the gravy she made on everything, so naturally creating my own plant-based gravy and lasagna was one of my first plant-based meal creations.   I’m excited to share with you my gravy recipe and how I use one batch of gravy to cook two meal. Along with nostalgia, I want all my meals to be delicious, easy to make, and nutritious.



2x Tablespoons of vegan vegetable broth

 3x Cans 28-ounce of tomatoes

1x Onion

4x Garlic cloves

2tsp. Thyme seasoning

Large bunch of fresh Basil (can use seasoning if fresh basil is not available )

Pepper to taste


  • In a large pot, start by sautéing onions and garlic in vegan vegetable broth about 5 minutes on medium heat.
  •  Add the three cans of tomatoes and then add the thyme and basil and stir together. Continue to cook on medium heat until the gravy starts to boil and then reduce heat to low and let simmer for 15 minutes covered.   
  • Add pepper to taste, give gravy a final stir and your ready to serve.
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Once this easy to make gravy is done, I will use this one batch of gravy to make two meals: lasagna and stuffed peppers, and store the remaining gravy in the freezer to use another week.


Need some help making your childhood favorite meals plant-based?


Meal Creations



  • Homemade pasta (semolina flour and water. kitchen aid needed) or packaged whole wheat pasta lasagna noodles or Brown Rice lasagna noodles
  • 3x Sweet potatoes
  • 2x packages of silken tofu
  •  A leafy green of choice- my favorite to use is either spinach or  swiss chard
  • Veggies of choice- my favorites to use are mushrooms, onions, broccoli, and carrots
  • Spices 2tsp of each -oregano, parsley, basil, rosemary, pepper
  • Nutritional yeast (optional)
  • Cashews (optional)
  • Gravy


  • Chop veggies and mix with spices.  Use parchment paper on a baking sheet to bake veggies for 15 minutes 375 degrees. once cooked set aside.
  • Skin on sweet potatoes can be left on or peeled, your choice. I like to wash and leave the skin on. Sweet potatoes can either be baked or microwaved. Once your sweet potatoes are cooked mash them in a bowl and set aside.
  • Start to boil water for the lasagna noodles and cook noodles. Once your noodles are cooked you can start to build your lasagna.
  • In a deep baking pan start with a layer of gravy, then lasagna noodles, more gravy, add your veggies, then crumble the silken tofu (drain as much of the water as you can prior to crumbling over the veggies), add another layer of gravy, add a layer of lasagna noodles, layer of gravy, layer of mashed sweet potatoes, layer of leafy green over the sweet potato, layer of gravy, the last layer of lasagna noodles, and last layer of gravy.
  • Bake for 30 minutes on 375 degrees covered with foil
  • After 30 minutes remove foil and sprinkle nutritional yeast and crushed cashews over the top of the lasagna. Put back into the oven for 15 minutes uncovered.


Stuffed Peppers


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  • 8 x peppers – any color. I typically will buy an assortment of  red, orange, yellow, green
  • Farro (you can use any grain that you prefer)
  • Leafy green of choice (kale, swiss chard, mustard greens, spinach)
  • Veggies-diced yellow zucchini, diced onion, shredded brussel sprouts (you can use any veggies you prefer)
  • Mint leaves 1/4 cup chopped up
  • Spices 2tsp each- oregano, parsley, onion powder, garlic powder, basil.
  • 1x can of navy beans
  •  Gravy- 1 cup
  • Nutritional yeast  (optional)


  • Cook 1 cup of a grain in water or vegan veggie broth
  • While grain is cooking in a large bowl, combine chopped mint, all spices, can of navy beans, chopped up uncooked veggies, chopped up uncooked leafy greens into the bowl and mix together.
  •  Add one cup of gravy and mix again
  • When grain is cooked add to mixture in the bowl and mix again.
  • Add small amount of veggie broth to the cooking pan
  • Stand up peppers in the veggie broth (you may need to very carefully cut a small piece of the bottom of the pepper to make it flat). Add the mixture until pepper is full.
  • If you have left over mixture you can freeze or cook separately in another pan.
  • Bake on 375 degree for 30 minutes covered with foil.
  • Remove foil and sprinkle nutritional yeast on top of each pepper and bake for 15 minutes uncovered.

Ready to eat delicious and nutritious meals?

Meal Planning- Your Key to Success

3 Tips for Easy Meal Planning Success

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Think of the last time you come home from your day hungry, tired and unmotivated to cook only to open the fridge and find no prepared food. Next thing you know you’re eating processed food from a box, getting take out or especially when starting out on your plant-based journey reverting back to animal based foods.

An easy way to stay on track with your plant-based lifestyle is meal planning.
This will be your key to success whether your just starting out or have been living plant-based for years.

Need Support With Meal Planning?

3 Easy Meal Planning Tips

Plan ahead

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Having a plan is the best way to ensure that you will have enough healthy meals and snacks for the week and won’t have to resort to take out or eating processed foods.

Start with picking one day a week to complete your food shopping and cooking. 

Be prepare for food shopping by mapping out your breakfast, lunch, snacks, and dinners for that week. This will make food shopping faster and cheaper.  Roaming around the grocery store without a plan can lead to a full cart of individual items but no actual meals. It can also lead to purchasing extra items that are not needed such as unhealthy snacks or duplicates of what you already have at home.


Keep a stocked pantry

Keeping your freezer full of frozen veggies and frozen fruit and your cabinet full of a combination of canned and dried beans and bags of grains is an easy way to stay on track if your schedule doesn’t allow for you to go food shopping on your regularly scheduled day.  Frozen veggies and fruit are great, just read the ingredients list to ensure that there are no added ingredients, it should just be the veggie or fruit in the bag. A grain, a bean and some veggie will allow you to quickly whip up a healthy grain bowl option.

To ensure all you’re meals are flavorful even when unplanned, play around with adding different spices. I also always keep some flavored balsamic vinegar on hand-my favorite is Sicilian Lemon White Balsamic Vinegar to add some flavor.


Cook in double batches when possible


Not all meals may be best for double batch cooking but soups, stews, lasagnas, veggie burgers and vegan pot pie are just a couple of examples of the types of meals that can be cooked in double batches half for your current week's meal and half to freeze for another time.

When freezing meals, mark the date that you place the meal in the freezer and use the meal within two months of freezing. 


Interested a Plant Based Lifestyle?

Quick & Easy Plant-Based Meals

Plant-Based Meal Ideas

Throughout most of my life I thought cooking was a tedious chore but since adopting a plant-based lifestyle I have found such a love for cooking, trying new recipes and eating delicious foods I never knew existed.

I now even experiment with my own recipe creations! 

However, some days my schedule may not allow me the time to experiment in the kitchen but I still crave the same nourishing and delicious food. So here are some easy to make plant-based meal ideas for when you’re either busy or just wanting to relax.


My favorite quick & easy meal ideas


  • Oatmeal with blueberries (or any other fruit you love), flaxseed, and walnuts


  • Homemade trail mix- pieces of unsweetened dried mangos and raisins (or use your favorite dried fruits of choice), and unsalted cashews.
  • Make sure to look at the back of the dried fruit package to ensure that the only ingredient is the fruit and no additional sugar or preservatives.


  • Hummus sandwich-2 slices of whole wheat bread, hummus (either you can make your own ahead of time or purchase hummus prepackaged from grocery store), uncooked spinach, uncooked arugula, tomato slices, cucumber slices and yellow pepper slices.


  • Kale Salad- kale sautéed in veggie broth & garlic over low heat. Once cooked add chick peas and diced sweet potatoes (sweet potatoes can be microwaved to save time and then cubed into pieces) splash of lemon balsamic vinegar


  • Farro topped with baked veggies- zucchini, mushrooms, broccoli, red onions, carrots (veggies seasoned with 2tsp each of cumin, parsley, oregano) black beans, avocado pieces and salsa (see below for my easy salsa recipe).


  • Fruit salad- 1x kiwi, 1x banana and a handful of raspberries (or assortment of your favorite berries)  

Interested in More Easy Recipes?


Bonus Salsa Recipe

Fresh Salsa

Tools needed: food processor, cutting board and a knife


  • 4x large tomatoes
  • 3 tsp of garlic (minced)
  • ½ tsp of crushed red pepper flakes  (you can omit, add less or more depending on your preference)
  • Large bunch of fresh cilantro
  • Half of a fresh lime


  • Cut tomatoes in half and place in food processor, then add the garlic, red pepper flakes, cilantro and juice of half of a lime.
  • slowly pulse until ingredients are the salsa consistency that you prefer.

Interested in a Plant-Based Lifestyle?

The 4 Most Common Reasons to Adopt a Plant Based Lifestyle

Why a Plant Based Lifestyle?

We spend much of our day eating food yet most people have not taken much time to evaluate why they have chosen their nutrition lifestyle. This can leave us eating a hodgepodge of foods we eat because they are the foods we grew up eating, foods that are fast and easy to make, or somewhere we heard it was healthy for us to be eating it without checking the evidence based research behind the claim.  We are constantly inundated with conflicting and constantly changing information regarding what's healthy and which newest fad diet to follow. It can be very confusing!

What’s not confusing is that the standard America diet high in animal products, fats, and processed foods has caused numerous health problems as shown by an enormous amount of evidence based research. A staggering number of people are diagnosed with one or more chronic disease (such as diabetes, heart disease, cancer, obesity etc.) and take one or more medications to treat their chronic condition. In addition, chronic fatigue, lack of energy, depression, gastrointestinal conditions and autoimmune disorders are on the rise.

Your food choices matters!



It’s very important to carefully choose a nutrition lifestyle that promotes and increases you health -physically, emotionally and mentally!   

A plant- based lifestyle is a simple way to  accomplish all that!



Ready to take the first step?

What you eat:

An abundance of delicious foods! 

  • Fruits- apples, berries, bananas, kiwis...
  • Veggies- lettuce, Kale, broccoli, peppers...
  • Tubers- sweet potatoes, potatoes, carrots, beets...
  • Whole Grains- brown rice, quinoa,  farro, whole wheat, oats...
  • Legumes- black beans, lentils, kidney beans, chick peas...

And these are just a few examples!!

What it Excludes:

  • Meat- including chicken and fish
  • Dairy products
  • Eggs
  • Highly refined foods- bleached flours, refined sugars, oils

The 4 most common reasons to adopt a Plant Based Lifestyle

1. Health

A plant-based lifestyle has been clinically proven to prevent and reverse chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, some forms of cancer, obesity and autoimmune disorders.  Emotional benefits include increased energy, improved mood and increased self- empowerment of taking back control of your health and well-being. Plant-based nutrition also makes maintaining a healthy weight easy-no more counting calories, measuring portion sizes, or feeling deprived. You will be able to maintain your healthy weight while eating an abundance of delicious foods. If your an athlete, plant-based nutrition has been proven to speed up your bodies recovery time between workouts.   


2. Mindfulness

Where does our food come from and what’s in it? We can easily fall into this "out of sight, out of mind" mentality about the journey of our food prior to it landing at the grocery store. However, part of being mindful and present in our lives means being aware of all of our habits and our food choices are a daily habit we don't want to ignore. Food choices are crucial to personal health and the health of all beings: animals and the environment.  Part of mindfulness is understanding that our individual choices have a rippling effect on all beings.


Environmental Factors

Adopting a plant-based diet is the best thing you can do to help sustain our environment. Raising animals for food requires large amounts of land, food, water, and energy. This has caused and continues to cause a devastating impact on our environment through climate change, pollution from greenhouse gas emissions and deforestation to grow food for animals and house animals prior to slaughter. Raising animals for food requires large amounts of water to keep animals hydrated, water to hydrate the food to feed the animals and water to use for the daily operations of the factory farms. Along with land, oceans are also being damaged by commercial fishing methods that upset the natural process of the oceans and bycatch killing of ocean animals not intended to be caught.  Adopting a plant-based lifestyle can drastically reduce your carbon foot print.

Animal Welfare

A plant-based nutrition lifestyle is kind and respectful to all living beings. We go to the grocery store and buy our food without questioning where or how our food was gown. We look at the milk carton or chicken package that we place in our shopping carts as a food product instead of the living and breathing being with a personality and feelings that it actually is. By the time we see our food it is neatly packaged for us with a picture of a happy farm animal on it and a nice friendly word like "organic" or "free range."  However, that is not the reality. There is a great deal of suffering and abuse endured by each animal prior to the animals death. Terms like cage free or free range have become common and may sound nice for marketing purposes but unfortunately paying more for these products doesn’t change the end result of death for the animal or the inhumane treatment throughout their lives.   


Get Clear on Your WHY

As with any healthy lifestyle change, getting clear on your why can help you stay focused and on track when implementing your new daily habits.

Need help implementing a plant-based lifestyle?

The 101 on Plant-Based Lifestyle

Plant-Based Lifestyle: What's it all about?

Curious about a plant-based lifestyle but wondering what it’s all about? Here are your most common questions answered.

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Why do people adopt a plant based lifestyle?

  • Health- Prevents and reverses chronic diseases. An easy way to maintain a healthy weight.

  • Mindfulness- Being aware of how your food choices effect all living beings-your health, animal welfare and the environment.

  • Environmental factors- It's an environmentally friendly & sustainable nutrition lifestyle.

  •  Animal Welfare- It's a kind and respectful nutrition lifestyle to animals as living beings.

Have more questions about why people adopt a Plant Based Lifestyle?

What Can I Eat?

An abundance of delicious foods!!!

  • Veggies- leafy greens (kale, collards..), broccoli, zucchini….

  • Fruit- apples, berries, bananas, kiwis…..

  • Tubers- sweet potatoes, potatoes, carrots, beets…

  • Whole Grains-brown rice, quinoa, farro, whole wheat oats, whole wheat pasta…

  • Legumes- black beans, lentils, chick peas, kidney beans, peas, navy beans…

  • Nuts & Seeds

And this is just a few examples of all the amazing foods included in a Plant based Lifestyle!!

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What It Excludes?

  • Meat- including chicken and fish

  • Dairy products

  • Eggs

  • Highly refined foods- bleached flours, refined sugars, oils

You don’t have to give up your favorite comfort foods. All you favorite recipes can be made plant-based!

What about Dairy?

  • Milk alternatives- coconut milk, almond milk, soy milk, cashew milk, rice milk, oat milk, hemp milk, hazelnut milk, flax milk

What about Eggs?

  • Egg Alternatives- flaxseed, bananas, apple sauce, chia seeds, silken tofu, egg replacer product, aquafaba

What about Protein?

  • Plants have protein!!

  • A plant-based diet consuming a wide variety of grains, bean, vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds will provide you with the proper amount of protein and essential nutrients you will need.

  • Strong evidenced based research has shown that animal proteins cause chronic diseases such as heart disease, autoimmune disorders, diabetes, obesity and some forms of cancer.

  • Strong evidence based research has shown that plant-based nutrition can reverse and prevent chronic diseases such as heart disease, autoimmune disorders, diabetes, obesity and some form of cancer.

Will My Food Shopping Bill Increase?

As with any type of food the ingredients can range from inexpensive to expensive and this is no different with a plant-based diet.

  • GREAT NEWS -plant-based foods are often inexpensive- Beans, potatoes, grains, vegetables and fruits are some of the cheapest foods at the grocery store.

  • Look through your fridge and your cabinets and see what you currently have in your home.  You might be pleasantly surprised that you actually have a lot of plant-based food already there.

  • Meal planning for the week can be a great way to reduce food shopping cost and ensure that you have plenty of healthy and delicious  meals available at home.

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How Do I Dine Out?

  • a great website to locate vegan friendly restaurants.

  • Preview the menu prior to going to restaurant or call ahead.

  • Most importantly don’t feel like your bothering people by asking for accommodations. You are being responsible for your health and wellness.

Giving It a Try!

  • Start by choosing one meal to make plant-based. For example, try plant based breakfast for a week and then the next week add on plant-based lunches etc.

  • Work with a coach- This is a great way to get the information you need and fast track implementing a plant-based nutrition lifestyle with ease.

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Want Support Starting a Plant-Based Lifestyle?

How to Dine out Plant-Based

Dining Out : The Plant-Based Edition!

If your feeling worried about dining out plant-based, fear not! It can absolutely be done.  With a little planning the ordering process will flow smoothly and you won’t get stuck with a side salad.

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Do Some Exploring

Prior to dining out take some time to explore your favorite areas  to see what restaurants are there that offer plant-based options.  Often times we will default to “our favorite place", but you will be surprised at how many amazing restaurants are out there that you may not have been to yet that offer delicious plant-based dishes.

Interested in Learning More about Plant-Based Lifestyle?


Review the Menu Ahead of Time

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With most menus being online, looking at the menu ahead of time will be helpful to get an idea if meals offered can be made plant-based. This will also help you ask more specific questions when ordering.


Call Ahead


When looking at the menu if it doesn’t seem that any plant-based options are available call the restaurant and ask them if they could make a plant-based dish that is not listed on the menu. I have eaten some of my favorite meals this way!


Talk to the Server

I do recommend doing your homework and having a couple of meals in mind prior to ordering but please remember that the server is there to help you have a pleasant dining experience so let them help by nicely explaining to them that you eat a plant-based diet and let them give you some options that are possible.

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This is a great website to search for plant-based friendly restaurants and stores. Being able to search by location is also very helpful if you’re traveling. 


Most importantly, keep a mindset of abundance and possibility. If you believe that there are lots of great plant friendly place to dine, the server is going to be helpful and your plant-based meal will be delicious- it will all happen. Stay focused on the things you want and it will become your reality.  Happy dining!


Want to know more about life changing habits?