Author Archives: lstrachtman

About lstrachtman

As a culinary school grad and yoga enthusiast, I am very seriously into eating good healthy food and sharing creative, easy ways to prepare it. When I'm not cooking, I love teaching yoga, talking about yoga, reading about yoga and doing yoga. And I believe the more you live it, the more you find yourself wanting, even craving, clean wholesome food.

Overnight Breakfast Puddings + Oats



Welcome to my new favorite thing: overnight breakfast pudding and oats. Why is it my favorite thing? Well. let’s start with awesome. This is awesome!!! It’s super easy. Just put a few ingredients in a jar, stick it in the fridge before your go to bed and wake up to a yummy satisfying breakfast treat.

I’ve been playing around with chia pudding for a while. Chia seeds are really good for you and soak them in coconut milk and they expand and turn into heaven. Chia is a great source of fiber, calcium, protein, omega-3 fatty acid and more. So what better way to start your day, than with this kind of manna.

Oats are a personal favorite of mine. I like them raw or slightly cooked. I’m not a fan of mushy oatmeal. This overnight version is perfect. I added some cashews and cashew milk for this recipe. It’s pretty darn amazing!

I also came up with a version that combines chia, oats and hemp seeds with some cacao powder for a chocolate breakfast concoction. Why not?

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Cinco de Mayo Tortilla Soup


Cinco de Mayo Tortilla Soup

This is one of those recipes that I’d made for years and sort of forgot about. I’m glad I remembered it, because it’s so darn easy. And as a bonus, my kids completely devoured it last night for dinner. So it’s definitely a winner!

Oh so long ago I picked up a Nordstrom cookbook. Sounds a little weird I know, but they have a cafe and the food is actually really quite good. The book I have is more than 10 years old. It’s the Nordstrom Friends and Family Cookbook and I’ve adapted many recipes from it. It’s not a vegan book, so I’ve had to be a little creative…which I like to do.

Their recipe for tortilla soup is outstanding. It calls for chicken, but I just add more vegetables instead. It’s awesome!

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Maca Maple Cashew Granola



I’m a yogi and I make granola…a lot. This is a stereotype that I wholeheartedly embrace. I’ve posted several granola recipes in the past two years, but this one is extra special to me.

It’s a standout for two reasons: first, it’s CLUMPY and second, it has MACA.

I have been trying for so long to come up with a tasty-not too sugary-clumpy-chunky granola recipe. It’s harder than you’d think. Well, this recipe has the clumpy thing going on and I love it. So while it’s still great as breakfast in a bowl with let’s say cashew milk (oh, man), it’s also just an awesome snack that you can put into a little wax paper bag and be on your way.

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“Get Your Protein On” Bean Salads

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Curry Chickpea Salad, Italian White Bean Asparagus Salad + Black Bean Avocado Salad

Recently, I’ve had several conversations with people about how to make sure you get enough protein following a vegan diet. Honestly, this is the most common conversation that I have about eating vegan. The answer for me is by eating a healthy variety of whole plant-based foods that includes beans, nuts, nut butters, seeds, tempeh, tofu and some whole grains like quinoa.

I’m not big on tracking this kind of thing and I don’t count calories, but for a nutrition class I took while I was in culinary school I was required to track my food intake for two weeks. What I found is that my vegan diet met all of my protein needs perfectly. So I don’t sweat this too much. My focus and energy is directed toward holistic wellness and I trust that my healthy lifestyle will always support me.

Matt Frazier, an ultramarathoner and author of the book No Meat Athlete says “If you’re eating enough for your activity level and consuming a variety of whole foods, you will get all of the protein you need.” He explains that for his weight and activity level he needs about 2,500 calories per day and shoots to get about 10% or 250 calories from protein.

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Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes + Salted Caramel Frosting


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I don’t make things like this very often any more. But my hubby turned 50 last week and well, the man deserved a decent dessert to celebrate his big day. We spent his birthday weekend hiking and listening to live music in and around San Antonio. If you go, I recommend Government Canyon for some outdoor time. Beautiful scenery and well marked trails. For the music part, we went to Floore’s Country Store in Helotes and the iconic honkytonk, Gruene Hall in Gruene. Both are so fun and very Texas-y!

Ah, back to the cupcakes. I adapted a recipe from Chloe Coscarelli’s new cookbook: Chloe’s Vegan Italian Kitchen – which is an awesome book, btw. Her recipe is Raspberry Tiramisu Cupcakes and what I made is nothing like it. I will try out the full recipe at some point, but what I had in mind was a little more scaled back.  So I just made the vanilla cupcake portion of the recipe and it is perfect. Tasty. Moist. Light. Perfect.

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Slow Roasted Carrot Ginger Soup



This is for all my friends living in colder climates. A little liquid sunshine just for you. A little spice to warm you up on those chilly nights. A little comfort food to let you know that you are going to be okay. And a little reminder that Spring is just around the corner.

Carrots are perfect for a pureed soup. They have just the right texture, sweetness, taste and the most beautiful color. Slow roasting the carrots brings out even more depth of flavor. I love this technique, one that I borrowed from the New York Times’ Mark Bittman.

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Not Your Momma’s Sloppy Joes


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When I was a kid, growing up in the 70s, easy-to-prepare food from a box or can was the rage (well, it still is really). But back then, processed food was sort of newer and kind of exciting. So our family dinners often consisted of things like Hamburger Helper, Stovetop Stuffing and of course, Manwich Sloppy Joes.

It wasn’t until i graduated from college that I started to explore the world of fresh vegetables (not green beans from a can) and other whole foods. I got my first vegetarian cookbook in 1989 and I have been preparing plant-based meals ever since. A few years ago I came across a recipe from the Skinny Bitch: Ultimate Everyday Cookbook for vegan sloppy joes and it took me right back to my 10-year old self.

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Savory Chickpea Pancakes


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I know I have friends who plan meals ahead of time. Maybe even pre-cook for an entire week. I think that’s awesome. But for me it’s just so not how I typically operate.  I’m a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants, let’s-see-what’s-in-the-fridge, totally-wing-it cook.

That’s just how I roll. And sometimes inspiration strikes and I end up making a meal like this one. First, I made a big pot of curry butternut squash soup and wanted something to go with it. So I thought I’d try making chickpea pancakes as a side dish. Oh man, these are great. Super easy and really tasty.

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Roasted Vegetable Salad with Pomegranate


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I guess you know you’re a grown up when you can say with a straight face that you like brussels sprouts. Because I’ll tell you, even just a few years ago, I would have never even wanted to try them. Now I love these little guys so much…especially roasted.

Discovering the wonderful world of vegetables has been such a fun process for me. I started this journey about 15 years ago when I decided not to eat meat anymore. I haven’t missed it a bit. But for years, I still ate eggs and dairy and many of my meals centered around cheese.

Then about 5 years ago, I thought I’d try eating a vegan diet for health reasons. I have never felt better in my life and now I can’t wait to try new veggies whenever I get the chance. And luckily for me, there are so many more choices available at restaurants for vegetarians and vegans today.

The idea for this recipe came from a lunch I had recently with my friend Missy at True Food Kitchen. The concept behind this restaurant (which has locations in Texas, California, Georgia, Colorado, Arizona and Virginia) is an anti-inflammatory menu based on the work of Dr. Andrew Weil. The omnivore menu changes seasonally and identifies items that are vegan, vegetarian and gluten free.

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Festive Cranberry Wild Rice Salad



Tis the season for hosting gatherings, sharing meals and savoring moments. I brought this simple salad to a holiday party recently and it was a hit. I knew I wanted to use fresh cranberries, but honestly didn’t really know how it was going to turn out. Well, it worked and I was asked by several guests for the recipe, so here you go.

I cooked some Lundberg Countrywild rice according to the package directions, but you could use any wild rice really. Then while the rice was still warm, I added chopped fresh cranberries so they would soften but not be too cooked. I chopped celery, apple and pecans to add. The whole thing was pulled together with a simple cranberry vinaigrette. I found the most amazing cranberry vinegar here in Houston at an oil and vinegar store called Vom Fass. If you can’t find that flavor, simply use a plain balsamic vinegar.

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