Saturday, August 31, 2013

Hoff's Glorious Greens Soup

Hoff's Glorious Greens Soup
Yields: 10 cups
meat-free, dairy-free, egg-free, oil-free, gluten-free

  • 4 cups Veggie Broth
  • 4 cups Greens Water
  • 1 bunch Kale
  • 1 bunch Swiss Chard
  • 1 15 oz can Tomato Sauce
  • 1 15 oz can diced Potatoes (rinsed & drained)
  • 1 15 oz can Cannellini Beans (rinsed & drained)
  • 1 medium/large Sweet Onion (chopped)
  • 2-3 cloves of Garlic (chopped)
  • 2 tbsp Bragg Liquid Aminos (optional)
  • 2 tbsp Italian Seasonings
  • 1 tsp Onion Powder
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp Sea Salt

  1. In a large stock pot over medium-high heat, bring Veggie Broth & Water to a boil
  2. Meanwhile fill a Vitamix with Kale, add enough water to cover the Kale; turn blender to high & immediately bring to low & turn off; strain chopped Kale with a wire mesh strainer, reserving water for soup
  3. Repeat with Swiss Chard
  4. Add all remaining ingredients to the pot & cover
  5. Reduce to simmer & cook for 1 hour

Hoff Thoughts: Experiment with this soup by switching out various Greens & Beans.  The glory of this soup, is that while vital nutrients from the Greens leach into the liquid, none are lost as you eat the whole soup!  A great way to get your Greens in!

Thursday, August 29, 2013


Eggs are good or bad?

Is Mediterranean the best diet?

Should I take this new supplement?

We are inundated with health advice every day from well-meaning friends and family to media “experts.” One day something is good for us, the next day it isn’t. It’s enough to drive you crazy.

This barrage of health & wellness advice will never stop, but there is one thing you can do to cut through the noise. Align yourself with an expert such as a doctor and then filter new information through their ideology.

Pick someone who you fundamentally agree with, look up to, respect. Then whenever you get the latest and greatest information, ask yourself, “What Would X Do?

My mentor is Dr. John McDougall. He is a well-respected, longstanding general physician who believes in and practices medicine through diet & lifestyle changes, turning to medication and surgeries as a last result. I believe and trust his approach to health & wellness. I have read many of his books, have seen him lecture and have even had one-on-one consultations with him. I admire and respect him, so whenever something new hits the presses, I ask myself, “What Would McDougall Do?

Luckily for me, McDougall is a rather outspoken health & wellness proponent and has commented on just about everything you can think of and continues to do so.  So, I never have to wonder long about a topic.

Next time you’re confused about the latest and greatest health advice, ask yourself, WWXD?

Keep it Healthy!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Hoff's Banana Milk

Hoff's Banana Milk
Yields: 2 cups
dairy-free, egg-free, oil-free, soy-free, gluten-free

  • 2 Bananas
  • 1 1/2 cups Water
  • 2-3 pitted Dates
  • Dash of Vanilla
  • Pinch of Cinnamon
  1. Place all ingredients in a Vitamix or high speed blender
  2. Blend until smooth, a few seconds
  3. Drink immediately

Sunday, August 25, 2013

"BBQ Pulled Pork"

Believe it or not, you can turn Asian fruit, Jackfruit into something that resembles the texture and taste of BBQ.  I'm not kidding - as Axl Rose would put it, "all you need is a little patience."

BBQ Pulled Pork
Serves: 2
meat-free, dairy-free, egg-free, oil-free, soy-free, gluten-free

  • 20 oz. can of Young Jackfruit in Brine (salt & water)
  • 1/2 cup BBQ Sauce

  1. Rinse Jackfruit several times to remove the Brine
  2. In a medium sauce pan over medium heat, heat the Jackfruit pieces for 3-4 minutes
  3. Reduce to a simmer and add BBQ Sauce, stir to coat Jackfruit
  4. Cover and simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally and adding more Sauce if needed
  5. The Jackfruit is ready once the pieces can be easily shredded with two forks to resemble pulled pork pieces
  6. Now the hard part, let the "Pulled Pork"marinate in the fridge over night (very important step)
  7. Heat through the following day & enjoy!

Hoff Thoughts: You can find Jackfruit in an Asian Supermarket.  If you fail to marinate overnight, you're not likely going to enjoy this dish.  Allowing the BBQ to infuse into the fruit and overpower the Brine flavor is key.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Hoff's Pasta Primavera

Hoff's Pasta Primavera
Serves: 2 + leftovers
meat-free, dairy-free, egg-free, oil-free, soy-free


  • 16 oz Pasta of choice
  • 24 oz Prego Light Smart Spaghetti Sauce
  • 15 oz can of Tomato Sauce
  • 8 oz container Mushrooms (sliced)
  • 1 bunch Asparagus (chopped)
  • 4-6 Brussel Sprouts (chopped)
  • 1 head Broccoli (chopped)
  • 1 Zucchini (chopped)
  • Rice Vinegar
  • 1 tsp Italian Seasoning
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp Onion Powder 
  • 1 tsp Sea Salt
  • Nutritional Yeast

  1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Prepare the Pasta according to package directions
  3. Meanwhile heat Sauces together on simmer, season with dashes of Italian Seasoning, Garlic Powder & Onion Powder
  4. Toss all Veggies with Vinegar & Seasonings on a parchment paper lined baking sheet
  5. Bake for 30-40 minutes, tossing every 10 minutes until cooked through
  6. Combine everything together & garnish with Nutritional Yeast

My2Cents: Try to make all the veggies pieces the same size so they cook evenly.  Experiment by using the freshest veggies for the current season.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Cotton Candy Grapes Are Here!

Yes, you're reading the title correctly.  Those wacky farmers in Cali have developed a grape that tastes like cotton candy!

No GMOs here!  These seedless grapes are the natural result of plant-breeding - created by cross pollinating wild grape species.  A happy little accident if you will.

I finally got my hands on some this past weekend at the Heinen's in Middleburg Heights, Ohio.  The lure of a cotton candy tasting grape won out over the $7.99 price tag!  While I can pick up on a faint smell of cotton candy, these grapes don't taste like cotton candy to me.  They are however, more mellow and less sweet than normal grapes, which actually suits my palette just fine.  But unless these babies drop in price, I probably won't be indulging again anytime soon.  Don't get me wrong, they are good grapes, but the price is extreme; especially if I'm not getting the cotton candy effect.

Don't be deterred by my experience. Plenty of people can taste & even smell the cotton candy.  So, I encourage you to seek these babies out and come to your own conclusion. 

Check it out!

Monday, August 19, 2013

My New Kitchen Island!

Yep, I did it again!  But, instead of picking up the latest kitchen gadget to catch my eye, I purchased furniture!  A kitchen island to be exact.

I totally needed it.  You see, my kitchen is small and was slowly being consumed by whole foods.  While it's great that my diet includes a lot more fresh produce, the lack of work area and increase in counter clutter was getting on my nerves.

I searched high and low, explored buffets, cabinets, tables and finally settled on something that I consider to be a multi-tasker.

With this kitchen island on wheels, I can not only store things, but I can also use it's top as a spare counter area for prep work and such.  For dinner parties, I can park it next to the table for buffet style meals.  And when not in use, it displays my bounty beautifully.

With all my gadgets, I could have easily loaded this baby up, but I opted instead to keep it minimal - storing only my fresh fruits and veggies in glass bowls that I adore on top, along with my other latest find from Sur La Table. Down below are my dark loving veggies - potatoes.  As well as my latest adventure, Homemade Alcohol-free Vanilla Extract!

While I thought a kitchen remodel was in my immediate future, all I really needed to do was get a little crafty and spread out a little.

Innovate, don't renovate!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Easy Pea & Pesto Soup

This is my version of Nigella Lawson's Pea and Pesto Soup.

Easy Pea & Pesto Soup
Yields: 4 servings
meat-free, dairy-free, egg-free, oil-free, gluten-free

  • 3 cups Veggie Broth
  • 3 cups frozen Peas
  • 2 Scallions
  • 1 tsp. Sea Salt
  • 1/4 cup Oil-Free Pesto
  • 1/2 tsp. Lime Juice
  • Nutritional Yeast to taste

  1. Bring Broth to a boil
  2. Add Peas, Scallions & Salt, boil for 7 minutes
  3. Discard Scallions
  4. Pour soup into a blender, add Lime Juice & Pesto
  5. Blend until smooth
  6. Served topped with Nutritional Yeast

Hoff Thoughts: A little prep-work is required on this one as you'll want to prepare the Pesto ahead of time or not... Be careful when blending hot liquids, do not fill the blender more than halfway, blend in batches if need be to prevent a volcano incident.

Alfredo Sauce

Alfredo Sauce
Yields: 3 cups
meat-free, dairy-free, egg-free, oil-free

  • 6 oz Firm Tofu
  • 1/2 cup Almond Milk
  • 1/3 cup Cashews
  • 3 tbsp Nutritional Yeast
  • 1 tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 1 tbsp Whole Flax Seed
  • 1 tbsp White Miso
  • 1 Garlic Clove
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp Onion Powder
  • 1 tsp Sea Salt
  • Pinch of Nutmeg
  • Black pepper to taste
  1. Place all the ingredients in a Vitamix and blend for 6 minutes 

Pair with 1 pound whole wheat pasta or an array of veggies.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Homemade Alcohol-Free Vanilla Extract

Homemade Alcohol-Free Vanilla Extract
dairy-free, egg-free, soy-free, gluten-free, alcohol-free, sugar-free


  • 8-10 Whole Vanilla Beans (sliced along seam)
  • Food-grade Vegetable Glycerine
  • 1 large glass Jar/Bottle with tight fitting lid

  1. Fill Jar/Bottle with Food-grade Vegetable Glycerine 
  2. Add Vanilla Beans
  3. Seal the Jar/Bottle and keep in dark place for 6 weeks - 2 months
  4. Shake from time to time
  5. Pour some of the Extract into a smaller Jar/Bottle for everyday use
  6. Top off the bottle with more Glycerine to keep the process going
  7. When you sense your Extract is getting weak, switch out the Vanilla Beans

My2Cents: I use my favorite go-to storage vessels, a quart & pint Mason Jar.  I got the Vanilla Beans & Food-grade Vegetable Glycerine from Amazon.  This Extract will never go bad and the longer it ages, the better it gets.  MUCH cheaper than buying Vanilla Extract at the store!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Hoff's Chickpea Salad

Hoff's Chickpea Salad
Yields: 6-8 sandwiches
meat-free, dairy-free, egg-free

  • 1 15 oz. can Chickpeas (rinsed & drained)
  • 1 Pickle (chopped)
  • 1/3 cup chopped Sweet Onion
  • 3 tbsp. Vegenaise (vegan mayo)
  • 1 tbsp. Lemon Juice
  • 1 tbsp. Mustard
  • 1 tsp. Braggs
  • 1 tsp. Kelp

  1. Mash Chickpeas using a potato masher until all Chickpeas are smashed
  2. Combine all ingredients in a bowl
  3. Allow to chill in the fridge before spreading onto toasted Whole Wheat Bread

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Hoff's Caramel Corn

Hoff's Caramel Corn
meat-free, dairy-free, egg-free, oil-free, soy-free, gluten-free

  • 3/4 cup Corn Kernels
  • 1/2 cup Brown Rice Syrup
  • 1/2 cup packed Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 cup White Sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees, removing top rack and adjusting lower rack to accommodate a large, tall metal stock pot
  2. Using an air popper, pop corn and place in large, tall metal stock pot
  3. In a heavy 2 quart saucepan, over medium heat, stir constantly Brown Rice Syrup, both Sugars & Salt until boiling
  4. Boil for 5 minutes without stirring
  5. Remove from heat
  6. Stir in Baking Soda & Vanilla
  7. Pour Syrup over Popcorn
  8. Stir to coat
  9. Bake for 20 minutes in stock pot, stirring after 10 minutes
  10. Spread Caramel Corn over parchment paper until cooled
  11. Break apart & store in airtight container

Monday, August 12, 2013

Super Easy Vegan "Pulled Pork"

Super Easy Vegan "Pulled Pork"
Yields: 4 sandwiches
meat-free, dairy-free, egg-free, oil-free

  • 4 Whole Wheat Hamburger Buns
  • 1 lb Seitan (rinsed & drained)
  • 1 cup BBQ Sauce
  • 1/2 medium Sweet Onion (chopped)

  1. Cut Seitan into thin strips
  2. Lightly toast Buns
  3. Meanwhile in a large non-stick frying pan, sautee Onions until slightly brown
  4. Add Seitan to pan and stir periodically until slightly browned, 3-5 minutes
  5. Reduce to a simmer
  6. Mix in BBQ Sauce
  7. Simmer for 10 minutes
  8. Divide "Pulled Pork" equally among 4 Buns

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Knowing This Could Save Someone's Life

 Five Sudden Symptoms of a Stroke
  1. Sudden Numbness or Weakness in the face arm or leg on one side of the body
  2. Sudden Confusion or trouble speaking or understanding
  3. Sudden Trouble Seeing on one side
  4. Sudden, Severe Dizziness, difficulty walking, or loss of balance or cooridination
  5. Sudden, Severe Headache with no known cause

Three Step Test For A Suspected Stroke 
  1. Ask the person to smile
  2. Ask the person to raise both arms
  3. Ask the person to speak a simple sentence

If you see any of these symptoms or the person has an difficulty performing these tests, regardless of the person's age, dial 911 immediately.

"Clot-busting drugs make it possible in some cases to stop a stroke in progress and even reverse damage. But the crucial element is time. If given within three hours of onset, the drugs improve outcomes by about 30 percent."

By knowing these simple things and acting quickly, you could make a huge difference in someone surviving a stroke.

Be The Difference!


Friday, August 9, 2013

Hoff Hit: Sugar Substitute

Substitute 1 cup of Maple Syrup for 1 cup of White Sugar.  Be sure to reduce the liquid in the recipe by 3 tbsp for each cup of Maple Syrup used.

Source: Cornell Sugar Maple Research & Extension Program

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Fresh Fork Market Presents a Raw Vegan Dinner

Recently, I attended a Raw Vegan Dinner put on by Fresh Fork Market.  While I am vegan, I am far from a raw vegan.  But I was very intrigued by an all raw meal.  So, I grabbed my friend, Yo, and off we went on our raw vegan adventure!  By the way, Yo is not raw or vegan, but was such a great sport & she loved it!  I was also surprised to learn that the participants weren't necessarily all vegan or even vegetarian either.  I felt a certain sense of comradery nonetheless.

The event was held in Ohio City at the Transformer Station, a very cool re-purposed building, currently used to display contemporary art.  For our viewing pleasure was a collection of photographs by Todd Hido, on display through August 24, 2013.

The meal was prepared by Nicole Tuzzio, chef at Root Cafe and soon-to-be independent chef-owner of the "Grazing Place." A Grazin' Place, opening maybe Octoberish will be a vegan marketplace, juice bar and learning center in Lakewood, Ohio!  I can't wait to check that out!

Enough with formalities, let's get to the good stuff!

The Raw Vegan Meal!

As we sat down to long tables adorned with edible decorations (flowers, corn on the cob, leeks, berries, etc.) we were treated to a starter course of "Nacho cheese" marinated Kale Chips.  As a hater of Kale, I was converted!

Next a Corn Chowder with eggplant "bacon," cabbage and cherry tomatoes.  To my surprise & delight, it was not a cold soup, but rather slightly above room temperature.  Made possible by the fact that raw food can still claim it's rawness as long as it has not exceeded 110 degrees.  While I never did detect the "bacon," it was delicious!

Then the salad course, a Cucumber Salad in a creamy red wine vinegar dressing and herbs.  You all know my feelings on salad, so I was less then crazed about this dish.  Made worse by Yo questioning the extreme creaminess of the dressing, in which I promptly dropped my fork for fear I was consuming dairy.  To my utter relief, the creaminess was the result of ground cashews...

Main course time - Garden Lasagna made with Swiss chard, fennel, sun-dried tomato marinara, hazelnut/macadamia nut pesto, cashew "ricotta," pine nut rawmesian and greens. IT WAS AWESOME!  The only problem, it was whisked away while I was too distracted with making new friends.  I almost cried.

On to a palette cleanser - a lemony sorbet that had many guessing if it contained pepper, ginger, melon or all three.  Not bad, but I had my fork ready for dessert!

Our last course of the evening was a Lemon Chz Cake with a blueberry and blackberry maple sauce.  It was so creamy and AMAZING!  I didn't let Yo get into my head about it being made with dairy as she eyed up my slice.

Quite frankly, had I not known that this was a raw dinner; I highly doubt I would have suspected anything.  It was not a all what non-raw foodies would expect: crudite, salad, gazpacho, sorbet, etc.  So good, that I can't wait until my next raw meal (made by an expert chef of course, um Nicole open soon!).

As far as I could tell, the event was sold-out, which meant 40 Clevelanders spent the evening dining with strangers on raw vegan food.  Not at all typical for Cleveland.  It was quite a unique experience to be a part of and made me think of the pop-up restaurants trending up in New York City currently.  We need more events like this in Cleveland!

Nicely done Fresh Fork & Grazin' Place!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

The Healthy Hoff Cookbook!

Hot Off The Presses!

Cooking With The Healthy Hoff: Quick, Easy Meals, Fueled by Plant-Based, Oil-free Whole Foods!


This fun, easy & sometimes funny, cookbook features 21 of my favorite plant-strong recipes!  

From breakfast to dessert, I've got something awesome for all your meals.  I'll show you how to make old school oatmeal super quick & tasty.  Put a new spin on the traditional salad, with my 5 Day Salad.  Blow you away with my OMG! Broccoli Cheddar Soup.  I didn't forget that vegans love Mac & Cheese too!  And I don't even know which is better; the Pretzel Bark or I Can't Believe It's Not Dairy Chocolate Shake!"  All this and many more will have your friends & family taking back what they said about vegan food being tasteless & boring!

Even Morticia makes a guest appearance in the book!

Available now on Amazon!

Check it Out!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Event: The Living and Eating Green Expo

(will be in conjunction with the Journey Expo Cleveland 2013)

Two Expos for the price of one!

Many vendors representing the various facets of living a healthy lifestyle such as; nutrition, ecoliving, and sustainability will be there to give you information to increase your knowledge and will also have products.

The Living and Eating Green Expo will also feature several mini-lectures to help spark some seeds to enhance your health and the health of the planet.

Also, there will be also be The Great Vegan Cooking Show will be on Saturday and Sunday featuring many Vegan and Vegetarian friendly restaurants and caterers.  Attendees will get samples of the delicious specialties for the cost of admission.  Admission will also get you into the main exhibit hall and the free mini–lectures for The Journey Expo and The Living and Eating Green Expo.

When: September 6-8, 20132
Where: Lakeland Community College: 7700 Clocktower Drive, Kirtland, OH 44094
Cost: $5 - $275

Purchase Tickets!

Monday, August 5, 2013

Hoff's Mushroom Stroganoff

Hoff's Mushroom Stroganoff
meat-free, dairy-free, egg-free, oil-free, soy-free

  • 1 lb Pasta
  • 16 oz Mushrooms (sliced)
  • 2 tbsp Coconut Aminos or Braggs
  • 1 Sweet Onion (chopped)
  • 1 cup Cashews
  • 2 cups Almond Milk
  • 2 Garlic Cloves
  • 1/2 Lemon
  • 2 tsp Sea Salt
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp Onion Powder

  1. Cook Pasta according to directions
  2. Meanwhile in a Vitamix, blend Cashews into a coarse powder
  3. Add Milk, Garlic, Juice of Lemon & Seasonings
  4. Blend for 6 minutes
  5. Meanwhile in a large non-stick, frying pan, sautee Mushrooms & Onions in Coconut Aminos until caramelized
  6. Combine Pasta, Sauce, Mushrooms & Onions

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Hoff's Tofu Cheese Sauce

Hoff's Tofu Cheese Sauce
Yields: 2 cups
meat-free, dairy-free, egg-free, oil-free, gluten-free

  • 12 oz. Silken Tofu
  • 1 Red Pepper (rough chopped)
  • 1/2 cup Nutritional Yeast
  • 2 tbsp. Honey Mustard
  • 1 tsp. Sea Salt

  1. Place all ingredients in a Vitamix
  2. Blend for 6 minutes
  3. Serve

Hoff Thoughts: If using a standard blender, blend until smooth & then heat sauce separately.  Use this sauce as a veggie topping - baked potato, broccoli, cauliflower, etc.

The Börner Mandoline

My latest gadget find is the Börner Mandoline by Swissmar.  German made Börner V-Slicers are world renowned for their durability, precision, quality and safety.

I have purchased many mandolines in my time, all with utter disappointment, all shoved to some distant corner in my kitchen. The fault, predominately mine.  I simply refused to pay the pretty penny that this tool tends to solicit.  Instead always opting for some cheapo $20 or less model, that couldn't slice it's way out of a paper bag.

Then, I stumbled upon the Börner!  Priced under $50 bucks, with glowing reviews, I was lured in once again by the call of paper thin slicing.  This time, I was not disappointed!  It slices, it dices, it juliennes, shreds & cubes with trivial effort - thanks to the three different blade attachments.  Any size pieces your heart desires, with the push-button, 4 blade thickness setting.  I love how easy it is to change out the blades and adjust the thickness.  I love the ease in which this baby slices - super sharp.  I love the rubber feet that prevent sliding and how all the pieces fit together for convenient, compact storage.  I love even more, the quick, easy clean-up!

I have been busily slicing fine potato slices for potato chips, sweet potato chips, lime potato chips, scalloped potatoes & larger pieces for French Fries.  But this gadget can handle a lot more than just potatoes; any veggie that needs cut down to size is no match for the Börner Mandoline!

If your knife skills aren't what you'd liked them to be, give this mandoline a chance, you won't be disappointed.

I only wish it came in fuchsia....sigh.

Check it out!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Hoff's Scalloped Potatoes

Hoff's Scalloped Potatoes
Yields: 4-5 servings
meat-free, dairy-free, egg-free, oil-free, soy-free, gluten-free


  • 4-5 Baking Potatoes (peeled)
  • 1 can Diced Potatoes (rinsed & drained)
  • 1 cup Veggie Broth
  • 4 tbsp Nutritional Yeast
  • 2 tbsp Cashews
  • Juice from half a Lemon
  • 2 tbsp Yellow Mustard
  • 1 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
  • 2 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp Onion Powder

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. Using a Mandolin on the thinnest setting, slice Potatoes
  3. Meanwhile add the rest of the ingredients to a Vitamix and blend for 3 minutes
  4. In a 8x8 glass cooking dish, spread one layer of Potato slices, top with about 1/2 cup of Sauce
  5. Create about 4-5 layers
  6. Cover dish with parchment lined aluminum foil
  7. Bake for about 1 hour or until Potatoes are cooked