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This recipe does contain vegetables, but overall is not so healthy. However, it is a-delicious and b-can make stubborn kids eat veggies. My mother used to make it when I was a kid and I have yet to meet a person who didn’t like it. Butter makes it taste great, but coconut oil is a pretty yummy healthier option. Olive or other vegetable oil doesn’t work here. Gluten-free breadcrumbs are a good option.

Take one head of cauliflower and divide it into florets.Put it in a cast-iron skillet with 1/2 cup of water, cover it up with the lid and let simmer until the water evaporates. Then, add about 1/3  stick of butter and enough breadcrumbs to cover the whole thing. Turn the flame up to high and mix periodically, while cooking. Cook until the crumbs turn darker, but not too dark (4-6 mins. )

I also like to add broccoli florets to this dish.


This amazing potato looks impossible to resist. This post is a reprint from Chicho’s Kitchen:

Ingredients (serves 4):
4 medium potatoes, scrubbed (leave skin on)
4 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
3 tbsp of olive oil
pinch of smoked paprika
2 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
chopped chives for garnish
Preheat the oven to 425˚F (220ºC).
Slice each potato crosswise at 1/8-inch intervals, cutting to within 1/4 inch of the bottom.
Be careful not to slice all the way through. The potato will fan out a bit as it bakes.
Combine olive oil, garlic, salt, smoked paprika and parmesan cheese in a small bowl.
Lay the potatoes on a baking sheet. Carefully insert pinches of this mixture in between the slits of the potatoes. Rub the outsides of the potatoes with residual oil.
Bake for about 40-45 minutes. The inside should be cooked through and the outside of the potato should be a bit crispy.
Garnish with additional parmesan and chives!

The original Paradise Casserole from Candle Cafe has ingredients like millet, miso and beans one needs to slowly cook. I like quinoa better than millet, as far as flavor and as far as being a complete protein. As a busy mama, I also don’t have more than 20 minutes to cook, but still want my family dinner to be healthy and delicious.

I like to assemble this dish, stick it in the oven and do bath time. By the time we are done (30-40 mins,) the dinner is ready. The sweet potato and the quinoa layers can also be prepared two-three days ahead, making it an excellent dish to creatively utilize leftovers. Serve the casserole with kale chips or a simple salad, topped with roasted pumpkin seeds for an extra-nutritional punch.


4 Large sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 Tablespoons Bragg’s Liquid Aminos

2 cans of spicy  black beans

2 garlic cloves, minced
1 yellow onion, chopped
1/3 cup  olive oil
3 cups cooked quinoa (see package instructions.)

Oil for pan

8 inch square glass pan, or equivalent volume baking pan.

Preheat oven to 350F.

For the sweet potato layer: Put the sweet potatoes in a pot, cover with water and let simmer until they get soft (test with a fork.) Strain the water.  Mash in a mixing bowl, adding  1/4 cup of olive oil. Season lightly with salt, if desired.

For the bean layer: Heat the remaining olive oil  in a skillet over medium-high heat and add the onion. Sautee for three minutes, then add the black beans. Cover and let simmer for about 4-5 minutes, stirring occassionally.  Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds more. Remove from heat.

Assembling the dish:

Oil baking dish of your choosing. Place quinoa in the bottom of dish, packing it tightly in a uniform layer. Spoon the black beans over the quinoa. Top with the mashed sweet potatoes, smoothing the top with the back of a spatula. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until lightly browned around the edges. Let stand 10-20 minutes before serving.

image: cameraphone vegan


for 6-8 people:

I made this casserole for dinner tonight. It’s a hearty, naturally sweet-tasting dish, that can be used both as an entree    or as a side dish. If used as an entree, a nice salad with an emphasis on bitter greens can complete your meal and     accentuate the sweetness of the casserole. Babies of nine months and above love this dish, too! You can freeze the    leftovers in the ice cube tray and gradually thaw them, feeding your baby this dish for a while.

As in all of my recipes, there is a lot of room for creativity and substitutions:  you can make the same dish seven different ways, therefore making seven different dishes! Babies love this dish as well!

Butternut squash, cubed  -3 cups

( You can use another squash or carrots or sweet potatoes instead of the squash .Or, you can use the mix of any of the above.)

Parsley, diced – 1/2 cup

( You can do without the parsley, but it won’t be ideal)

Onion, diced  -1 large

(You can use one large leek instead)

Mushrooms, sliced -2 cups

( If you don’t have them or don’t like them, you don’t have to use them. Or you can use two cups of cubed plain or smoked tofu instead.)

Cooked brown rice – 4 cups

(You can also use barley or quinoa or buckwheat or millet or any mixture of leftover grains)

Roasted pumpkin seeds – 1 cup

( You can try sliced almonds instead, but only if you don’t have the pumpkin seeds, because the pumpkin seeds really make this dish unique, in my opinion.)

Veggie or meat-based stock – 2 cubes

( You can forgo the stock and the water and make two and a half cups of fresh stock. Alternatively, you can use some hot water with a bit of olive oil, parley and curry.)

Olive oil 1/4 cup

Braggs Amino acids or soy sauce to taste.

Diced garlic cloves -3

Paprika to taste

Curry (optional)

Hot water -2.5 cups

You can also add other vegetables to the dish. Broccoli and green peas are marvelous.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

Sautee the onion in olive oil and Bragg’s, add the mushrooms or the tofu and sautee for about three more minutes. Add the squash or the other orange vegetables. Add the parsley. Dissolve the stock in the  hot water and add to the vegetable mixture. Close the lid and let simmer for about 7 minutes, or until the squash is soft, but not mushy. Mix in the garlic and the spices. Mix in the rice and 3/4 of  the pumpkin seeds. Transfer the mixture into a lightly oiled up casserole dish, sprinkle with the remaining pumpkin seeds. Bake for 35-45 minutes, or until the edges begin to turn crispy.

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