Category Archives: Recipes

Acorn Squash Baked Oatmeal – It’s YUMMY!

Squash in my oatmeal? you say. Yes, believe it or not this squash adds nice moisture to the baked oatmeal, but doesn’t impact the flavor too much. (Plus, you can trick your kids into eating vegetables by hiding it in their oatmeal. We like it so much that I make it almost every week and then store it in individual portions in the fridge for quick delicious morning breakfasts!

You can definitely get creative and add in additional fixings if you like. We use nuts and occasionally some Craisins too.

Acorn Squash Baked Oatmeal

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


1 acorn squash

2 1/4 cups rolled oats

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt (I use sea salt.)

2 1/2 cups milk of choice (I use unsweetened almond milk)

1/3 cup pure maple syrup

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Nuts (optional) – to taste (We use a lot of nuts and I use walnuts, sliced almonds and pecans)

Craisins or Raisins (optional) – to taste


  1. Preheat oven to  400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Stick the acorn squash in the oven and let it bake for an hour. A knife should easily go in the squash when it is done.
  3. Wait for the squash to finish baking before starting to prepare the oatmeal. Once it’s done, set aside to cool down a bit so you don’t burn yourself.)
  4. Lightly grease a large 2.5 quart/10 cup baking dish (I used a glass casserole pan) and set the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  5. Get out two good size mixing bowls. Place all of the dry ingredients (oatmeal, cinnamon, baking powder and salt) into the large bowl and mix.
  6. Combine all the wet ingredients in the other bowl. Pour in the milk, maple syrup, and vanilla.
  7. Now, remove the peel and the seeds at the squash’s center. Mash the squash up and add it to your bowl of liquid ingredients. (Note: It is important to mash the squash well – otherwise you will have chunks of squash in your oatmeal.) Mix the liquid ingredients well.
  8. Add the liquid mixture to the dry bowl and mix well.
  9. Pour the mixture into the prepared dish. Sprinkle the nuts and Craisins on top.
  10. Bake in the oven for 32-37 minutes until lightly golden brown along the edge.
  11. Let the oatmeal cool for 10 minutes before serving. Serve as you wish – you can add more syrup, use whipped cream, etc. Use your imagination!
  12. Leftovers should keep about a week. I imagine it would be fine to freeze the cooked oatmeal for later recipes – but we usually eat it all within a few days to a week.

This recipe is my own but it is heavily based on two other recipes. The first is another Baked Acorn Squash oatmeal The second is the Heavenly Carrot Cake Baked Oatmeal (which was I enjoyed, but it was a lot of work grating those carrots and the rest of my family wasn’t in love with it) Oh She Glows – Carrot Cake Oatmeal.

Tagged , , ,

Yummy Vegan Burger Sandwich

This is probably my favorite meal so far on our new whole food, plant based diet.

It is simple and easy to make, yet flavorful and filling.

I use Dr. Prager’s kale & quinoa burgers from Costco (also available at health food stores). If you are doing a pure Engine2 or Esselstyn diet you will need to find a substitute as these burgers do have a bit of oil.

I also love Dave’s bread. Also from Costco. It is not only whole grain, I find it delicious!

Here is the sandwich step by step:


Tagged , , , , ,

Braised Broccoli and Tomato Pasta

Important Note: This recipe was inspired by and based on: Serious Eats – Braised Broccoli and Tomato Pasta. I changed the recipe based on what I had available in my house and omitted the oil to make the recipe Engine 2 and Dr. Esselsytn diet friendly.



Braised Broccoli and Tomato Pasta

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


8 cloves of garlic, diced

1/2 tsp crushed red pepper

1 tsp dried oregano

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves (garnish)

1/4 cup lemon juice + 1/4 cup water (or 1/2 cup dry white wine)

1 12 or 16 oz bag frozen broccoli (or)  1 head of fresh broccoli (cut into 1/2 to 1 inch florets)

2 cans of diced tomatoes (normal size cans – 14.5 oz each)

1 1b pasta – such as rotini or ziti

1 tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)

Sea or Kosher Salt


1. Reserve 10 florets or so for later, place remaining broccoli in a large pot (so you can mix pasta and sauce in one pot later) and cook on medium. (If using frozen broccoli, no need to add water or oil.) If using fresh broccoli, add some water and cook, stirring occasionally, about five minutes.

2. Add the crushed red pepper, oregano and garlic to the pot and stir. Cook until fragrant – about 30 seconds. (I forgot to stir and left it on for two minutes and mine turned out fine – careful though, you don’t want the seasonings to burn.)

3. Add the lemon juice water mixture (or dry white wine) to the pan and stir. Cook to slightly reduce – about 2 minutes.

4. Pour in your diced tomatoes and give it a stir. Turn up heat and bring to a boil. One the sauce boils, turn the heat down to a simmer. Cover and cook for about 1 hour. Season with salt to your taste.

5. Make pasta according to package directions. Drain and add to sauce.

6. (optional) Add reserved frozen broccoli to the pot and allow to pot to continue to simmer for a few minutes (until broccoli is slightly tender.) This step creates better color and another dimension of texture – slight crunch. (You may want to steam fresh broccoli before adding it in.)

7.  Season to taste (add more salt if needed) and add nutritional yeast. Stir. (The nutritional yeast takes some of the heat out and makes me feel like I am adding cheese.)

8. Add chopped parsley leaves as a garnish according to your taste and preference.

Tagged , , , , , ,