Monday, October 28, 2013

Hoff's Veggie Stir-Fry

Hoff's Veggie Stir-Fry
Yields: 6 servings
meat-free, dairy-free, egg-free, oil-free, gluten-free

Stir-Fry Ingredients:
  • 2 cups Jasmine Rice
  • 3 cups Water
  • 4 tbsp. Nutritional Yeast
  • 1 package Tempeh (chopped) (optional)
  • 1 head Broccoli (chopped)
  • 1 cartoon Mushrooms (sliced)
  • 1 cup Lima Beans/Edamame
  • 1 cup Sauerkraut/Shredded Cabbage
  • 1 cup Carrot Matchsticks (chopped)
  • 1 Red Pepper (chopped)
  • 1 small-medium Sweet Onion (chopped)
  • 1 tbsp. Cashews (crushed)

Sauce Ingredients:
  • 1 Zucchini (chopped)
  • 1 Lime
  • 2 Garlic Cloves
  • 1/3 cup Almond Butter
  • 4 tbsp. Bragg Liquid Aminos
  • 2 tbsp. Mustard
  • 2 tbsp. Rice Vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. Mirin (optional)
  • 2 tbsp. Honey
  • 2 tsp. Chinese 5 Spice (optional)
  • 2 tsp. Ground Ginger
  • 1 tsp. Onion Powder
  • 1 tsp. Garlic Powder

  1. In a large pot, bring Water to a boil, reduce to simmer, stir in Rice & Nutritional Yeast, cover & cook for 15 minutes, fluff Rice with fork when done
  2. Meanwhile in a large non-stick frying pan/wok, saute Onions, Red Pepper & Mushrooms until softened
  3. Add remaining ingredients, except Cashews, heat through
  4. If using any frozen ingredients, run under cold water in a colander until thawed before adding to pan
  5. Meanwhile, in a mini food processor, combine all Sauce Ingredients and blend until thoroughly combined
  6. Once everything is heated through and liquid has cooked down, add Veggies & Cashews to Rice, mix in Sauce & thoroughly combine

Hoff Thoughts:  This is one of those dishes where you can just go crazy - add more veggies, take some out, clean out the fridge, use what you love!  If there is too much liquid remaining in your veggies, your sauce will lose its flair; pour off any excess liquid before combining with rice.  The zucchini acts as a thickener to the sauce and will also to add volume.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Hoff's Chik'N Paprikash Soup

Hoff's Chik'N Paprikash Soup
Yields: 10 cups
meat-free, dairy-free, egg-free, soy-free

  • 4 cups Veggie Broth
  • 3 1/2 cups of Water + 1/2 cup of Water
  • 1 cup Jasmine Rice
  • 8 oz. Seitan
  • 1 15 oz. can Tomato Sauce
  • 1/2 cup Cashews
  • 1/2 Lemon
  • 1 medium Sweet Onion (chopped)
  • 2 Garlic Cloves (chopped)
  • 2 tbsp. Arrowroot
  • 1 tbsp. Paprika
  • 1 tsp. Sea Salt

  1. In a large stock pot, sautee Onion, adding Garlic at the very end to prevent burning
  2. Meanwhile, cut Seitan into bite size pieces & add to pot to brown slightly
  3. Blend Cashews & 1/2 cup of Water, juice from Lemon in a Vitamix or high power blender to create "Sour Cream"
  4. Add Veggie Broth, 3 1/2 cups of Water, Tomato Sauce, Rice & Seasonings to pot
  5. Bring to a boil, reduce to low heat
  6. Dissolve Arrowroot with a little cold water & add to soup
  7. Stir in Sour Cream
  8. Cook on low & covered for 15-30 minutes or until Rice is cooked

Friday, October 25, 2013

Penzeys Spices - The Best Spices!

My latest haul
When it comes to vegan cooking, flavor is everything and without top notch spices, you're not going to be a happy camper.  Yes, you can easily buy your spices at the grocer, but there's a problem with that - spices typically only last for 6 months, after that, they start to lose their potency.  Well, do you have any idea how long your spice was sitting on the shelf before you got your hands on it?  And lets be honest, are you really going to use it up in 6 months?  For that reason, I hit Penzeys Spices because I am guaranteed a fresh spice every time.  That and I swear on a Oprah's "Favorite Things" show she said Penzeys Spices was her go-to spice shop.  I can't argue with Oprah.

You can't beat Penzeys variety; with over 250 spices, herbs and seasonings, they always have what I'm looking for!  My must have spices are: Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, Cumin, Italian Seasoning, Cinnamon and Pumpkin Spice.

Their prices are very reasonable too - anywhere from $3.99 for a 1/4 cup jar of Cinnamon up to $28 for a whole pound (that's a lot of cinnamon).

I love that their spices come in glass bottles and that you can also buy in bulk, skip the bottle and use your own containers - if you don't recall, check out my kick ass spice drawer!

Plus they are always giving something away for free!  Even when I forget to use a coupon, they send me something extra.

If you're looking for a unique gift for the aspiring chef in your life, they have a variety of gift sets for all types of budgets!

While I typically order online, Penzeys has brick and mortar shops across the country.  Including our very own Cleveland Westside Market (United Bank Bldg, 2000 West 25th Street)!

Request their catalog or download one!

Check'em out!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Hoff's Pumpkin Soup

Hoff's Pumpkin Soup
Serves: 6
meat-free, dairy-free, egg-free, oil-free, gluten-free

  • 4 cups Veggie Broth
  • 1 cup plain Almond Milk
  • 2 15oz. cans Pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup Cashews
  • 1/2 cup Nutritional Yeast
  • 1 medium Sweet Onion (chopped)
  • 2 Garlic cloves (chopped)
  • 2 tbsp. Braggs
  • 1 tsp. Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • 1 tsp. Paprika
  • 1 tsp. Cumin
  • 1 tsp. Onion Powder
  • 1 tsp. Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp. Sea Salt
  • Dash of Cayenne Pepper (optional)

  1. In a large stock pot, sautee Onion until softened, add Garlic at the very end to prevent burning
  2. Add Veggie Broth & Seasonings (except Cayenne), bring to a boil
  3. Reduce to simmer
  4. Stir in Pumpkin, Cashews & Yeast
  5. Carefully pour soup into a Vitamix or high speed blender, blend briefly until smooth or use an immersion blender
  6. Return to pot & stir in Milk
  7. Cook on low heat until heated through
  8. Garnish with Cayenne

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Hoff's Pumpkin Pasta

Hoff's Pumpkin Pasta

Yields: 4 servings
meat-free, dairy-free, egg-free, oil-free, soy-free

  • 1 package Whole Wheat Pasta
  • 15 oz can packed 100% Pure Pumpkin
  • 1 1/2 cups Veggie Broth
  • 1 small Onion (chopped)
  • 2 cloves Garlic (minced)
  • 3 tbsp Nutritional Yeast
  • 1 tsp Ground Ginger
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp Onion Powder
  • 1 tsp Sea Salt
  • Pepper (to taste)

  1. Cook Pasta according to directions on package
  2. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, sautee Onion until browned
  3. Add Garlic for a few seconds, then stir-in Pumpkin, Broth, Nutritional Yeast & Seasonings
  4. Heat until smooth and hot
  5. If the sauce is too thick, add a little more Water
  6. Combine Pasta, Sauce & enjoy!

Hoff Thoughts: Serve with some crusty bread for a perfect Fall meal!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Hoff's Couscous Squash

Hoff's Couscous Squash
Yields: 4-6 servings
meat-free, dairy-free, egg-free, oil-free, soy-free

  • 2 cups Israeli Couscous
  • 2 1/2 cups Water
  • 1 can Chickpeas (rinsed & drained)
  • 1 can diced Tomatoes (seasoned)
  • 1 12 oz. box frozen Cooked Winter Squash
  • 1 small Sweet Onion (chopped)
  • 1/3 cup Almond Butter
  • 1/3 cup Nutritional Yeast
  • 1 Lime
  • 2 cloves Garlic (diced)
  • 2 tbsp Pine Nuts (smashed)
  • 2 tsp Ginger
  • 1 tsp Cumin
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp fine Sea Salt

  1. Bring Water to boil in large pot, reduce to simmer, add Couscous & Nutritional Yeast, cover & cook for 10 minutes
  2. Add Nutritional Yeast to the cooking water of Couscous, fluff with fork when done
  3. Meanwhile in a large non-stick pan over medium-high heat, sautee Onions & Garlic until softened
  4. Add Chickpeas, Tomatoes & Squash, cook about 20 or until Squash is heated through
  5. Turn off heat, add Couscous, stir in Almond Butter, Pine Nuts, Seasonings & juice from Lime

Friday, October 18, 2013

Play With Your Food

May these horrifically healthy treats inspire your vegan Halloween!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Dining Vegan With Other Cultures

When it comes to healthy eating, American cuisine is not where it’s at. All you have to do is look at the native people of China, Japan and India to realize that you have to venture outside our typical diet and explore cultures who naturally follow a whole-food, plant-based diet. When it comes to dining out, you are going to have greater success at an ethnic restaurant than you ever will at say Outback or Fridays when trying to keep it vegan.

Here are a few ideas to get you started:


You can’t go wrong with vegan sushi, don’t be afraid of the seaweed salad (I love it!), and always go for steamed rice (brown rice is better) with a side of steamed broccoli/veggies. Try some miso soup; make sure the broth is not animal based. Confirm that the veggie egg roll wrappers don’t contain egg (many do). Check out Seoul Garden – Parma’s not just about pierogis, we’ve got the best Korean joint in Northeast Cleveland! My go-to dish is Bi Bim Bop, a traditional Korean dish served in a hot stone, with rice, finely julienned veggies and mushrooms, just be sure to request no egg.


Traditional Greek cooking is based on fresh seasonal vegetables, fruits, grains, legumes, herbs, spices, and olive oil (no one’s perfect) - great for vegans! Go for hummus, baba ghanoush, falafel, spanakorizo (spinach & rice casserole), yemista me ryzi (meatless stuffed vegetables), dolmades (grape leaves stuffed with rice and herbs), fassolakia freska me domata (green bean & tomato casserole). Just make sure none of these dishes contain dairy.


Indian cuisine tends to put veggies in the spot light, making these types of restaurants a safe haven for vegetarians. However, Indian food can rely on a lot of dairy (ghee is butter & paneer is cottage cheese) so ask lots of questions. Seek out dishes with lentils and beans, chana (chickpeas), bhindi (okra), naan (flatbread – verify no dairy). Most dishes are served with rice. Try Cuisine of India in Parma one evening.



Pure and simple pasta and sauce, just ask if the pasta contains egg, most fresh pastas do. Who can say no to pizza? Omit the cheese, double the sauce, load up the veggies (peppers, onions, mushrooms, tomatoes, fresh garlic, jalapeƱos, etc.)!


The heart-healthy Mediterranean diet emphasizes healthy fats, legumes, fruits and vegetables and olive oil. It’s actually because of the focus on fruits and vegetables that makes this diet heart-healthy, not the inclusion of olive oil. Check out Aladdin’s Eatery – opt for veggies and hummus, an array of vegan pita wraps and soups/chili’s or my favorite – Jasmine’s Favorite: steamed rice, beans, potatoes and an array of herbs.


No, not Taco Bell - you need an authentic Mexican restaurant to have it your way. Go for veggie fajitas, tacos or burritos! Ask if the refried beans were cooked in lard. Most restaurants make their refried beans from scratch, which means they have whole beans – ask for those instead. Don't forget the guacamole & fresh salsa!


Lots of veggies, rice and noodle dishes – confirm there is no fish sauce in your dish; these restaurants tend to add this to everything and forget this is not a vegan ingredient. Plenty of tofu here!

Keep it Healthy!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Hoff's "Pasta Alfredo"

Hoff's "Pasta Alfredo"
Serves: 6-8 servings
meat-free, dairy-free, egg-free, oil-free

  • 13oz - 16oz of Pasta
  • 1 15 oz can Diced Potatoes(rinsed & drained)
  • 1 tbsp White Miso
  • 2 tbsp hot Pasta Water
  • 1 cup plain Almond Milk
  • Juice of half a Lemon
  • 1 clove of Garlic
  • 2 tbsp Cashews
  • 1 tbsp Nutritional Yeast
  • 1 tsp Onion Powder
  • 1 tsp Sea Salt
  • Pinch Ground Nutmeg
  • Pepper to taste

  1. Cook Pasta according to directions
  2. Remove 2 tbsp cooking Water & mix with Miso until dissolved
  3. Put Miso & remaining ingredients into Vitamix & blend on high until creamy (about 2 minutes)
  4. Drain Pasta, return to pot, mix in "Alfredo Sauce"
  5. Enjoy!

The more Pasta you use, the less saucy this dish will be - go with your taste. Take this to the next level by adding some sauteed Onions & Mushrooms!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Shout Out Your Cruelty Free Halloween!

It's that time of year when little people raid your house in search of tricks or treats, ok, mostly treats.

If you're going to the cruelty-free route this year, let the little treaters know by showing your vegan pride with this cool window/door sign!

Or spread the education with vegan or fair trade treat cards or just let the ghouls & goblins know their treats are vegan with these super cute cards!

Looking for treat ideas? Check it out!

Happy Halloween!

Momentary Musings

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Hoff Hit: Go Freeze Your Nuts - Really!

Buying nuts in bulk?  Stick whatever you're not using in the freezer.  This will keep them from going rancid before you're ready for them.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Working Out & Runny Noise, What's The Deal?

Every time I hit the courts for a game of tennis, my nose start running like it's the height of cold and flu season! 

Turns out, this is quite common.  The heavy breathing typically experienced during a quality workout causes larger amounts of air to enter the nasal passages.  If outside, that means sucking in greater amounts of irritants like car exhaust, pollution and pollens.  If inside it could be mold or pet dander.

Sneezing and a runny nose are the bodies natural defense of keeping these irritants from reaching your lungs. 

So, a runny nose in this case is actually a good thing.

Someone pass the Kleenex.

Source: Shape September 2012

Monday, October 7, 2013

Hoff's Autumn Gnocchi

Hoff's Autumn Gnocchi
Serves: 2
meat-free, dairy-free, egg-free, oil-free

  • 1 package store bought Whole Wheat Gnocchi
  • 1 package 10 oz. frozen Cooked Winter Squash
  • 1/2 Onion (diced)
  • 2 cloves of Garlic (chopped)
  • 1/4 cup Milk Alternative
  • 1/4 cup Veggie Broth
  • 1 tbsp Bragg Liquid Aminos
  • 1/2 tsp. Nutmeg 
  • 1/2 tsp. Cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 tsp. Onion Powder
  • 1/2 tsp. Sea Salt

  1. Add Gnocchi to a put of boiling water for 2-3 minutes or until they float
  2. In a small sauce pan over medium heat, thaw Squash
  3. Meanwhile, in a small non-stick skillet saute Onion & Garlic until softened
  4. Once Squash is heated through, mix in Milk, Broth, Onions, Garlic & Seasonings
  5. Pour over Gnocchi & serve!

Hoff Thoughts: Since this dish is pretty sweet, pair it with a savory autumn side like Brussels Sprouts, Lima Beans or Sauteed Cabbage & Onions.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Do What With My Toothbrush?!?

Toothbrushes aren't just for teeth anymore.  Check out these 5 double duty things your toothbrush can do for you (but make it a spare toothbrush).

  1. Exfoliate chapped lips
  2. Spray with hair spray to tame flyaways
  3. Unstick stuck eye lashes
  4. Buff away deodorant marks
  5. Diffuse a hickey (brushing fades bruising)

Keep It Healthy!

Source: Cosmo September 2012

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Event: The Wellness Forum's 17th Annual Fall Conference

The Wellness Forum's 17th Annual 
Fall Conference 

"Meet some of the most knowledgeable health care professionals helping to change the world in positive ways; spend time with people who value optimal health, practice healthy habits; and enjoy some of the finest gourmet vegan food available!"

Scheduled Speakers:
  • Dr. T. Colin Campbell - author of The China Study and Whole: Rethinking the Science of Nutrition. This new book landed on the New York Times bestseller list within days of its release!
  • Dr. Alan Goldhamer - founder and owner of True North Health in Santa Rosa, CA. True North is THE premiere water-fasting facility in the world. Dr. Goldhamer and his staff have helped thousands of people to recover their health!
  • Dr. Joe Keon - author of Whitewash, an incredible expose about the milk industry and the terrible consequences of including cow's milk in the diet.
  • Laura Theodore - star of the award-winning PBS series Jazzy Vegetarian and author of the Jazzy Vegetarian Cookbook series.
  • Chef Del Sroufe - Executive chef, co-owner of Wellness Forum Foods and author of the Forks Over Knives Cookbook
  • Dr. Pam Popper - founder of The Wellness Forum and author of the new book Food Over Medicine

When: November 8-10, 2013
Where: Crowne Plaza Hotel: 6500 Doubletree Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43229
Time: Friday: 5:30pm - 9:30pm, Saturday: 9am - 10pm & Sunday: 9am - 12pm
Cost: $219 per person
(Ticket price also includes three meals - dinner on Friday & lunch and dinner on Saturday)
(Room Rate: $85 per night - use group code: WLF)
Registration: Call 614 841-7700

Click here for more details! 

Friday, October 4, 2013

Hoff's Pumpkin Power Bar

Hoff's Pumpkin Power Bar
Yields: 15 bars
dairy-free, egg-free, oil-free, soy-free

  • 3 cups Whole Oats
  • 1 15 oz. can Pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup Vegan Chocolate Chips
  • 1/2 cup dried Cranberries
  • 1/2 cup Almond Butter
  • 1/2 cup Maple Syrup
  • 1/2 cup Cashews (smashed)
  • 1 tbsp. Ground Flax Seed
  • 1 tsp. Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Sea Salt

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
  2. In a large mixing bowl combine Oats, Chocolate Chips, Cranberries, Cashews, Flax Seed, Pumpkin Spice and Sea Salt
  3. In a small sauce pot over medium-high heat, stir Almond Butter & Maple Syrup until silky and shiny (about 4 minutes)
  4. Remove from heat, thoroughly combine with Oat mixture, add Pumpkin
  5. Press mixture into a 9x13 glass baking dish
  6. Bake for 20 minutes or until firm
  7. Cool before cutting
  8. Store in the fridge

Hoff Thoughts: I never chop nuts, I simply place them in a Ziploc bag and using the end of a sturdy glass, smash them into bits - easier, faster, more therapeutic.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Soup Season!

I hate to see summer go (living in Ohio, I really hate to see summer go), but with the autumn winds & changing leaves comes Soup Season!!!

Everybody loves a steaming bowl of homemade soup on a brisk, bleak day.

Here are some of my favorite recipes to help you pass the time until winter, when things get even worse; I mean spring, when people are actually happy again, comes...  (Shut up changing season people, you know you only like it for a week or so and then you're miserable like the rest of us sun lovers.)

Healthy Hoff's Top 10 Favorite Soups:

  1. Hoff's Broccoli Cheddar Soup
  2. Hoff's Creamy "Clam" Chowder
  3. Easy Pea & Pesto Soup
  4. Hoff's Split Pea Soup
  5. Cream of ... Soup
  6. Hoff's Glorious Greens Soup
  7. Hoff's Lentil Soup
  8. Hoff's Minestrone Soup
  9. Hoff's Udon Noodle Soup
  10. Hoff's Corn Chowder

I guess what I'm saying is embrace the changing season, we can't stop it, so might as well enjoy the perks of it.

Get your soup on!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Hoff's UnStuffed Cabbage

Hoff's UnStuffed Cabbage
Yields: 6-8 servings
meat-free, dairy-free, egg-free

  • 1 cup prepared Brown Rice
  • 3 Morning Star Vegan Veggie Grillers
  • 16 oz. shredded Cabbage
  • 1 cup Sauerkraut
  • 1 15 oz. can Tomato Sauce
  • 1 11.5 oz. can of V8 Juice
  • 1 medium Onion (chopped)
  • 2 -3 Garlic Cloves (minced)
  • 2 tbsp. Italian Seasoning
  • 1 tbsp. White Sugar
  • 1 tsp. Onion Powder
  • 1 tsp. Garlic Powder
  • Sea Salt to taste

  1. Bring a large pot of Water to boil, add Cabbage & cook for 10-15 minutes or until soft & drain
  2. In a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat, sautee Onions, adding Garlic just as the Onions start to brown, add a pinch of Salt
  3. Meanwhile, microwave the Grillers to take the chill off & chop into tiny pieces
  4. Place Cabbage back in large pot with a pinch of Salt, stir
  5. Add Onions & Garlic with a pinch of Salt, stir
  6. Add Kraut & Burgers with a pinch of Salt, stir
  7. Add Tomato Sauce & V8 Juice, Seasonings & thoroughly combine
  8. Heat through and enjoy!

Hoff Thoughts:  I developed this recipe, because I love stuffed cabbage but lack the desire & patience to bother with the actual wrapping of it.  Plus, I wanted to get all those vital nutrients from the Cabbage, after all, it is a Green.  While I do know how to chop cabbage, I chose a shortcut for this recipe instead and bought a bag of Cole Slaw mix or Shredded Cabbage if you will.  Serve with a side of Mashed Potatoes!