Himalayan Chickpea Potato Salad


Himalayan Chickpea Potato Salad

Folks are always askin' me what kind of food I eat and from now on I'm just going to send them the link to this post because THIS IS IT!  I'm always looking for different ways to eat spicy beans and vegetables because they are so nutritious, inexpensive, incredibly versatile, and easy to make! I like bean salads best because you can just shove a tupperware full of it into your purse and eat it wherever you like!  At work, on the beach, waiting in line at Saver's, road trips, your hungover morning walk to your van... just to name a few ;)

The key to being a successful, well fed, and thrifty vegan is to make large meals ahead of time and then enjoy the leftovers all week long. I love this Himalayan Chickpea Potato Salad for this reason because it can be eaten warm, chilled, in a wrap, over greens, or as a side dish to something fun like fried eggplant. Using these variations is a great way to reinvent your leftovers to keep you from getting tired of them.  Enjoy!



  • 1 15 oz can or 1.5 cup cooked chickpeas

  • 1 large russet potato, peeled, diced, and boiled.

  • 1 large tomato, diced

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1/2 tablespoon toasted sesame oil

  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric

  • 1/2 tablespoon ground cumin

  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

  • 1-2 green thai or serrano chiles, seeded and minced (optional)

  • freshly ground black pepper - to taste

  • 1/8-1/4 teaspoon cayenne powder

  • 2 whole green onions - thinly sliced

  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro



  1. Fill a small/medium stockpot with water and place over high heat. Once boiling, add the potato, turn the heat down to medium low and boil until the potato is easily pierced with a fork. Drain, and set aside to cool.

  2. In the meantime, mix the olive oil, sesame oil, lemon juice, spices, chili, salt and pepper in a small bowl.

  3. Place the potatoes, chickpeas, tomatoes, and green onions in a large bowl.

  4. Mix in the sauce and cilantro and serve warm or chilled. I think it tastes best after chilling for a few hours.




Busy Babe Quinoa Breakfast


Busy Babe Quinoa Breakfast

For Champions on the go!

Speaking of Busy Babes, that's been me lately.  Since I've come home from Spain I've been tossed into some big life changes.  Boyfriend and I broke up and are in the process of moving him out of our apartment which is very time and emotionally consuming.  I've also been signing myself up to work as much as possible and finding every excuse to avoid spending time alone in my tear stained abode which also means not typing on my laptop...

Butt fear not!  Here I am with another delicious recipe to help you and me get on with our business.

All of this sadness and upheaval has really done a number on my usually voracious appetite.  I haven't felt much like eating or cooking and when I do, the simpler the better.  I've been very thankful for this delicious and AMAZINGLY SIMPLE Busy Babe Quinoa Breakfast!  Crunchy walnuts and satisfying quinoa provide clean protein and sweet berries deliver cancer-fighting antioxidants!  What more could you want?  It is also easily toted around for a quick snack during a bustling Busy Babe day.  We certainly don't want anyone getting hangry eh?

I originally came up with this recipe while doing Nicholas Schnell's Four Winds Holistic Cleanse.  The diet part of the cleanse is pretty straightforward and involves eating mostly-vegan-non-processed-gluten-free-liver-healing-alkalizing foods. I highly recommend this two week cleanse if you're ready to push the "restart" button or just want to treat yourself to some TLC.  While I was doing the cleanse I wanted something quick and easy to have for breakfast that would keep in the fridge for a couple of days and also function as an emergency snack.  Here's what I came up with!  It is gluten free, uses agave nectar or maple syrup for a low-glycemic sweetener (sugar is forbidden), apple cider vinegar, and some health-ass fruits and nuts.  Nothing but health here, folks.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

WHAT YOU NEED (3-4 servings)

  • 1 cup quinoa - rinsed thoroughly

  • 2 cups water

  • 1 apple (your favorite varietal) cored and diced into bite-sized pieces. (peeling optional)

  • 1 cup blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, black berries, or any combination of your favorite berries.

  • 1 cup walnuts - coarsely chopped

  • 2 tablespoons agave nectar or maple syrup

  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar or red wine vinegar

  • 1 teaspoon fresh squeezed lemon juice

  • Dash of salt (just a lil bit!)


  1. Cook the quinoa by adding the rinsed quinoa and 2 cups of water to a small sauce pan fitted with a lid. Bring to a boil then turn the heat to low and cook until all of the water has been absorbed and the quinoa is translucent.

  2. While the quinoa is cooking chop up the apple and walnuts and place them in a large bowl with the berries.

  3. Mix the agave, vinegar, lemon juice, and dash of salt in a small bowl.

  4. After the quinoa is done cooking, set aside and allow to cool for a few minutes.

  5. Once the quinoa is mostly cooled (it doesn't have to be completely cool, just not hot), mix in all other ingredients.

  6. Taste for flavor. Some folks might like it more sweet or more vinegary so just add more sweetener or vinegar to your tastes.

  7. Enjoy and congratulate yourself eating something other than chips today!

Mediterranean Tempeh Benedict with Basil Hollandaze Sauce


Mediterranean Tempeh Benedict

with Basil Hollandaze Sauce

Num Num Nummmm!!! That's all I have to say about this Benedict. I made this recipe up years ago to try to impress a breakfast date and it was a total success! Now that I've become older, smarter, and a way better cook, I've added this hollandaze sauce to juice up the meal. Serve this to your hungover friends or beaming mother to win their true love and devotion.

WHAT YOU NEED (serves 4)

For the Tempeh Scramble

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 medium red onion, sliced

  • Pinch of crushed red pepper (optional but excellent)

  • 3-4 cloves of garlic, minced

  • 1 8oz package tempeh, cut into small cubes

  • 1/2 tsp marjoram

  • 1/2 tsp tarragon

  • 2 roma tomatoes, diced

  • 1 cup sliced black olives (you can substitute kalamata olives or no olives if you want)

  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste

  • 2 teaspoons tamari or Bragg's

  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

  • 2 cups fresh spinach, chopped

  • 4 English muffins, toasted

  • Fried potatoes, fruit, and mimosas for serving.

For the Basil Hollandaze

2 tablespoons vegan butter/olive oil

  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, finely chopped

  • 1 clove of garlic, minced

  • 1 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk (I used almond. Cashew would be great, too)

  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch

  • 1/8 teaspoon turmeric powder

  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt

  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast

  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

  • 1 tablespoon dry white wine (keep the bottle open for mixing with orange juice!)

  • 1/4 teaspoon light miso (optional)


  1. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the red onion and crushed red pepper and cook until onion is softened and lightly browned.

  2. Add garlic, marjoram, and tarragon and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds.

  3. Add tempeh and saute for about two minutes. Using the back of your spoon, crumble half of the tempeh.

  4. Add tomatoes, black olives, tomato paste, tamari, red wine vinegar,

  5. Stir to combine and add the spinach.

  6. Turn heat down to medium low and allow flavors to combine and the spinach to wilt.

  7. Keep warm on the stove until ready to assemble.

Now make the Basil Hollandaze!

  1. Place the non-dairy milk, cornstarch, and turmeric in a small bowl or measuring cup and whisk with a fork to combine. Set aside.

  2. In a small saucepan, heat the butter/oil over medium heat.

  3. Add the basil and garlic and cook, stirring, for about 1 minute.

  4. Add the milk mixture, turn the heat to medium-high, and bring to a simmer.

  5. Lower the heat and simmer until thickened, whisking constantly to avoid lumps.

  6. Stir in the nutritional yeast, lemon juice, white wine, and miso.

  7. Taste for seasonings.

  8. Keep on the stove on low while you toast the English muffins.


  1. Halve the English muffins and toast them in a toaster or toaster oven.

  2. Place a healthy scoop of tempeh scramble on each half of the muffins.

  3. Top with a dollop of Basil Hollandaze

  4. Garnish with a sprig of something green (parsley, basil, spinach chiffonade etc.)

  5. Serve with mimosas and fried potatoes or fruit!

Tempeh Reuben


The Reuben sandwich – a juicy, hot sandwich consisting of corned beef, sauerkraut, and Swiss cheese slathered with thousand island dressing and stuffed between two sliced of toasted rye bread.  It has always been a St. Patrick’s Day treat in the Vaagen household and is consumed annually along with potatoes colcannon and some sock flavored Guiness (have y’all noticed how gross Guiness is?).  The consistent reappearance of The Reuben on the Irish holiday has always led me to believe that it was Irish in origin but a quick google search has its suggested birthplace as Omaha, Nebraska (same as mine…coincidence?  I think not). There are varying and conflicting reports as to the origin of the Reuben and none of them are even slightly Irish in origin.  It appears to be more likely concocted by a German/Jewish person which is not surprising given the ingredients.

Anyway, it doesn’t matter to me.  A dank sandwich is… well… a dank sandwich and I’ve taken to eating Reubens year round and will continue using St. Patrick’s Day as an excuse to revel in their glory.  My vegan version is not only way better than the original but it is quite easy to make and serves as an excellent base for your St. Patty’s Day booze guzzling.  Here we substitute tempeh for the corned beef, Chao cheese for the Swiss, and make a simple vegan analogue for the thousand island dressing.

You can decide for yourself how safe the green beer is. 


(makes approx 3 sandwiches per 8oz of tempeh)

  • 1 loaf of your favorite rye break – sliced – I prefer the round and fluffly style like the New York Rye loaves by the Ashland Baking Company.  You get what you like.

  • 1 8oz package tempeh – cut into about 1/4″ slices – the thinner you slice the more sandwiches you’ll get

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1 clove garlic – minced

  • 1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds

  • a splash of tamari – probably about 2 teaspoons if you’re the measuring type

  • a splash of water

  • Sauerkraut – as much as you like – be sure to squeeze out excess liquid before adding to sandwich

  • 1 package Chao cheese – original flavor – you can substitute your fave vegan Swiss here as well

    Thousand Island dressing  (makes about 3/4 cup)

    • 1/2 cup vegan mayo

    • 2 tablespoons ketchup

    • 2 tablespoons sweet pickle relish

    • 1 tsp vegan Worcestershire sauce

    • 1 tsp red wine vinegar or fresh lemon juice

    • 2 green onions white and green parts – chopped

    • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Mix the Thousand Island dressing ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.

  2. Heat a skillet over medium heat and add the olive oil, garlic, and caraway seeds.

  3. Once the garlic begins to sizzle, add the tempeh slices and cook until lightly brown on both sides – turn the heat down a bit to prevent the garlic from burning.

  4. When the tempeh is lightly browned, add the tamari and water.  Cover and allow to steam for about 2 minutes then turn heat down to low to keep warm.

  5. At this point go ahead and toast your slices of rye bread.

  6. Place the slices of tempeh on what will be the bottom half of the sandwich.

  7. Follow with as much sauerkraut as you think the sandwich can handle, top with cheese to cover and low broil in oven or toaster oven until cheese has melted – about 2-3 minutes.

  8. Slather with Thousand Island dressing and place the other slice of rye bread on top.

  9. Chow Down – be sure to keep the leftover dressing handy for some extra dank dunks!