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Gluten Free/Vegan Polenta Chili

I have been missing in action BIG TIME….so sorry!

Adult-ing isn’t always easy and at the kate & kale home front we have faced some major life changes over the last couple of months.  The number one life change – my husbands mother is now living with us.  Well, sometimes you have to turn those lemons into lemonade! Right?  Hello world of gluten free cooking!

I am ALWAYS up to a good challenge!  With Fall right around the corner (not as fast as I’d care for) I have been in the mood for chili!!  I have a new found love of polenta and I knew I HAD to incorporate it in to my chili recipe!

What is polenta?

I myself have only just discovered polenta about a year ago.  Polenta comes from Italy as a comfort food. Basically, polenta is made from ground cornmeal (corn), much like grits from the American South. It can be served creamy, chilled and cut into squares and then baked or fried. AND…you can buy it pre-made in a tube. Gotta love that lol!

I have used it several different ways, but I prefer the quick and easy like in my recipe below.  The first time I went to buy it I had NO idea where to find it in my grocery store.  Duh…it was with the pasta and pasta sauces lol.  I might have walked the whole store several times looking for it.

This dish is as tasty as it is beautiful!

Gluten Free/Vegan Polenta Chili

Gluten Free/Vegan Polenta Chili

Print Recipe
Serves: 6 Cooking Time: 30 minutes


  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 medium Onion, diced
  • 1 Red Pepper, diced
  • 2 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 8 oz. Mushroom, diced
  • 2 tsp Chili Powder
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • ½ tsp Black Pepper
  • 1 (14-ounce) can Diced Tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 (14-ounce) can Red Kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (14-ounce) can Chili Beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 Jalapeno, seeded and diced
  • 1 (16-ounce) tube Polenta
  • 1 cup shredded vegan Cheddar Cheese, optional
  • Fresh cilantro for serving, optional



Preheat oven to 375 degrees.


In a large skillet heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the diced onion, jalapeno and red pepper and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.


Add the mushrooms, chili powder, salt, and pepper, and cook, stirring about 5-8 minutes. Add the tomatoes, beans, seasonings and simmer for 15 minutes or until heated through then remove from heat.


Cut the polenta in half lengthwise then cut into ½" half circles.


Using a large pie pan carefully pour in the chili mixture.


Layer the polenta over the top of the chili, and cook for 30 minutes.


Top with cilantro and serve.


Optional - add vegan shredded vegan cheddar cheese before placing the polenta slices.

Thank you from Ryder!

Ryder Fundraiser

A HUGE thank you for donating to Ryder’s Go Fund Me account!  If you donated when we offered the free tee shirt, they are shipping out this week.

It has been almost one month since Ryder had his leg amputated and he is recovering amazingly well!!  He is back to being a puppy!!  His new mom couldn’t be happier….as are we!  Again, thank you!


Keep it happy & healthy!

XO Kate

Grilled Balsamic Tofu and Asparagus
healthy vegan Vegan Main Meals

Summer Grilling – Grilled Balsamic Tofu and Asparagus

Summer is coming!

Grilled Balsamic Tofu and Asparagus

Grilled Balsamic Tofu and Asparagus

Which calls for more grilling!!  When it’s way too hot to cook inside I am always looking for easy dinners to grill up in the backyard, and this Grilled Balsamic Tofu and Asparagus recipe is one of my go-to recipes!  The balsamic tofu mixed with the cool cucumber and avocado just go hand-in-hand for the perfect warm weather meal.

This recipe is quick, easy and good hot or cold, makes great leftovers!

Tofu Grilling Tips

My husband and I are obsessed with grilling tofu and have discovered a few tips along the way:

  • Use Extra Firm Tofu for the best outcome
  • The longer you marinade your tofu the more flavor it will adsorb
  • To avoid your tofu from sticking to the grill, use a heavy duty tin foil and spray with cooking spray to cook your tofu on
  • Add some of your marinade as grilling by drizzling on top of your tofu
  • Grill tofu to your liking, we like ours more done and crispy on the outside
Grilled Vegan Roasted Carrot Sandwiches
vegan Vegan Main Meals

Hello June & Grilled Vegan Roasted Carrot Sandwiches

Hello June

Hello June

Hello June!

Feels like this year is just FLYING by!  I mean really, it’s June already?!  When did that happen?

With June now here it’s that slap in the face saying, “ummm…hello it’s bathing suit season!” Ugh, those three little words every woman hates: bathing-suit-season.

Soooo, time to clean up the diet, brush off my shoulder injury and get back to Barre and healthy eating!  My husband wasn’t too interested in a “carrot sandwich,” but I got him to try it and…. he loved it!!  He was shocked a “carrot sandwich” could actually taste good lol!

What makes this sandwich so good is not just the roasted carrots, but the hummus, avocado, arugula and then to top it off -> grilling it!  Delish!

Benefits of Carrots

Carrots are one of the healthiest veggies out there you can eat.  AND you can pretty much always find them at any grocery store, gotta love that.  Want to know what else is great about carrots?

Vegan Tomato Soup - Just like mom made!
Blog Vegan Main Meals

Vegan Tomato Soup – Just like mom made!

Tomato soup WITHOUT milk or a milk alternative?  YES!

When IVegan Tomato Soup - Just like mom made! decided to start eating a vegan diet one thing I most missed was creamy tomato soup.  Nothing says love like tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches.  Just ask my kids, they would agree!

I played around with several recipes, but hated using Almond or Soy Milk.  It just never looked right or tasted creamy.

Then one day I read an article about Cauliflower and how it’s used so many different ways, AND could be used for a “creamy” like texture.

Hello?!? Was cauliflower the answer to my dreams?!?

Vegan Tomato Soup – Just like mom made was born!

I can seriously could live off of tomato soup and grilled cheese and now -> I CAN!

Vegan Spicy Zucchini "Meat"balls & Pasta
Blog Vegan Main Meals

Vegan Spicy Zucchini “Meat”balls & Pasta

I am ZERO Italian, just confessing this up front.  In fact, I remember my childhood and my dad making spaghetti and meatballs with a side of MASHED POTATOES.  I kid you not!  How I ended up loving the food I do now?….I have no idea.  Pretty sure I never had a Zucchini during my entire childhood either!

However, fast forward and I’m still not Italian BUT I think my Vegan Spicy Zucchini “Meat”balls & Pasta way outdoes my father’s idea of “Italian” LOL!

The Spicy Zucchini “Meat”balls have a great texture and hold up amazingly.  Of course you can serve this with the pasta of your choice, we just happen to love Ancient Harvest Organic Quinoa Pasta….and it’s what my husband bought at the grocery store.

Zucchini I heart YOU

Did you know, Zucchini squash is one of the most popular summer squashes in Americas and Europe?  Zucchini is one of the very low-calorie vegetables; provide only 17 calories per 100 g. It contains no saturated fats or cholesterol. What’s not to love about that?  Zucchinis can be available all around the year, but they are at their best during late spring and summer seasons.

Zucchinis make great appetizers (served with hummus), used in stir-fry, served over an eggless chickpea omelette, used in bread recipes or even in brownies! Oh, zucchini i do “heart” you!

Pulled Sweet Potato and Mango Slaw
Blog healthy vegan Vegan Main Meals

Pulled Sweet Potato and Mango Slaw

Hello Pulled Sweet Potato!

Before going to a vegan diet I use to love pulled pork, or maybe it was just the sweet BBQ sauce that did it for me!  I thought my BBQ loving days were over until I came up with this little beauty!

This can be served a little fancy like mine or old school pulled BBQ sandwich style.  Perfect for Spring family BBQ’s!

Pulled Sweet Potato and Mango Slaw

Pulled Sweet Potato and Mango Slaw

There are four parts to this recipe:

  1. Homemade BBQ Sauce (you can use store bought if you’d rather)
  2. Mango Slaw
  3. Pulled Sweet Potato
  4. Authentic Italian Chickpea Flat Bread (or other options from below)

The sweet of the pulled sweet potato, tangy BBQ sauce and spicy/sweet mango slaw all topped on the chickpea flat bread – just go together like PB&J!! Pure heaven!

Options for serving the Pulled Sweet Potato and Mango Slaw – of course you can use a bun, you could serve over a bed of lettuce or even on crackers.  I love BREAD, but it’s one of those things we try not to eat.  I found this recipe for Authentic Italian Chickpea Flat Bread from In Pursuit of More. It is quick and simple to make while your Pulled Sweet Potato is cooking.

The BBQ sauce can be made up to a week before and stored in the refrigerator.  I almost think sitting for a couple of days really enhances the flavor.

Blog Vegan Main Meals

Vegan BBQ Chickpea Sweet Potato Pizza

I “Heart” Sweet Potatoes – I Admit it!!

My homemade Vegan BBQ Chickpea Sweet Potato Pizza is the perfect balance of sweet and spicy in every bite!  If you are looking for a protein packed pizza – this is it and it will NOT  disappoint. Normally I use my Sweet Potato Crust recipe with my Buffalo Chickpea topping (recipe coming soon), but had this crazy idea of making it more of a BBQ style pizza.  Seriously, I love sweet potatoes and spicy together, the mixture just goes hand in hand.

Vegan BBQ Chickpea Sweet Potato Pizza

A tip when making the crust – the warmer the potatoes when mixing the ingredients together, the better.  It helps make it super creamy and spreads really nice.  You can make your own vegan ranch or purchase, but you HAVE to top your pizza with it, you’ll be drooling before you take your first bite I promise!

Here is my simple recipe for Vegan Ranch (note: I just used dried herbs and it turns out perfect, but you can use fresh if you have on hand) ->

Vegan Ranch DressingVegan Ranch Dressing

  • 1 cup Vegan Mayo
  • 1/2 cup Non-Dairy Milk (Original Unsweetened Almond Breeze is my go to)
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Onion Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Black Pepper
  • 2 tbsp dried or fresh Chives
  • 1 tsp  dried or fresh Parsley
  • 1/2 tsp dried Dill

Mix all ingredients together and chill in refrigerator until ready to serve.

Blog vegan Vegan Main Meals

Homemade Vegan Black Bean & Roasted Pepper Tamales

What a great rainy weekend here in Arizona. It was the perfect excuse for making Vegan Black Bean & Roasted Pepper Tamales.  I normally only make tamales once or twice a year. They really don’t take that much work, it’s just all of the steaming that takes time.  Note to self: buy a larger pot for steaming tamales!!

Vegan Black Bean & Roasted Pepper Tamales

Roasting Peppers

You don’t have to roast the peppers, you can cook the diced peppers with the onion, but I love the taste and smell of roasted peppers.  This year I was excited to actually use peppers from MY garden.  If you don’t care for spicy food add as little of the peppers as you’d like.  I love spicy food, so the more the better!

When roasting you want the peppers to blacken and blister, trust me you’ll feel like you’re burning them, but it’s all part of the process. The key is after they roast and you put in a bowl, cover with tin foil, WAIT for that 30 minutes!  It makes it much easier to pull the blacken skin off.