It Takes a Vegan Online Village: Two Simple Meals Plus Salad and Dessert

by Maria Theresa Maggi on February 12, 2015

Yellow Split Pea Soup with Yam and Fennel

potato veggie bake and broccolini


January was a tough month around here. As you may recall from my post Before The World Changed, we had a terrible shooting tragedy here in Moscow, followed up by me getting a splendid case of the flu. Both murder and fever wipe a sense of continuity clean. It was hard to know where I left off or where to start again. It’s still hard some days. When I’m down for the count in body and spirit, and just need something to distract and comfort,  I read recipes online. They don’t have to be fancy, they just have to be vegan, the more colorful and healthy the better. Besides being my way of taking a break when life is too much, it also keeps me inspired and trying new things in the kitchen. It’s comforting to know there’s a vegan “brain trust” of recipes out there at times when I have no idea what I’ll make next, or if I’ll ever think of anything to say on the blog again.

So think of this very short post as a public service announcement. Two simple healthy hearty meals for one or two people are just a click away, if, like me, you’re cooking for  yourself and don’t always want to eat the same thing for most of a week. I found these two recipes when I was recovering from the flu, and needed something substantial to eat, but wanted something easy and new. I’ve made them several times since then, often with a few innovations. The first is Kathy Hester’s wonderful Slow Cooker Split Pea soup for Two or Three. In the photo above, I changed the “key” of the recipe by using yellow split peas, yam and  fresh fennel root, but the original, with green split peas, potato and carrot is dynamite as well.  I’ve made it at least 3 times this winter in my little one quart slow cooker. Be sure to check it out. Nothing simpler. And it’s even better the next day, if such a thing is possible. I like having just one day of leftovers to look forward to.

The second one is  sarahsveganvida’s Fat Free BBQ Potato Packs. I’ve been making these at least once a week, using frozen corn, and throwing in some chopped red cabbage into the bake for good measure. Once it’s done, I’ll usually add a sprinkle of whatever beans I have cooked on top, with a side of microwaved broccolini.

When I’m eating the pea soup, either yellow or green, to make sure I get my fistful of greens I make this salad by sauteing some zucchini and mushrooms in a dash of coconut aminos and a healthy sprinkling of garlic granules and putting them on top of some baby spinach splashed with lemon juice. I usually sprinkle some ground turmeric, black pepper and extra fresh garlic on for good measure. (I’ve also been known to use a couple of dabs of store bought fat free dairy free gluten free dressing.)

quick spinach zucchini mushroom salad

And just this week, I discovered Chocolate Covered Katie’s One Minute Chocolate Cake in a Mug. Since I can’t have chocolate and try to avoid granulated sugar, I changed the recipe to carob and used mashed banana instead of coconut oil, maple syrup instead of granulated sugar. I used a version of the carob “fudge” I make for my “Exceptional” Carob Fudge Fingerprint Cookies as the “frosting,” topped with a few slices of  fresh mandarin orange. Oh my what yummy fun. And just enough. Since I’ll be winging Valentine’s Day solo, I think a little cake in a mug will be just the right touch to celebrate my 7th “plantiversary.”

carob cake in a mug

I am so grateful that when I don’t have a lot of energy for cooking or dreaming up new recipes, or even any particularly amazing ideas myself about what to eat for dinner, I can always find delicious and healthy meal ideas in our virtual vegan village by simply “shopping” around. That gives me a little more time to enjoy the old episodes of Northern Exposure I’ve been borrowing from the library. Sometimes a girl just has to take a break. Thanks Virtual Vegan Village, for keeping me fed through thick and thin, and making it easy, tasty and fun. . . but for now. . . back to “The Brick”. . . . .

Maria (moonwatcher)



Leave a Comment

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Nicole O'Shea February 12, 2015 at 6:06 pm

It is amazing the recipes available online, and And you are always contributing to the village! I have to say, Maria, you eat veeerrryy well when making simple meals. 🙂

I am glad for this online community that gives you peace and solace when your energy is on a bit of an ebb, and I am glad for me that it exists, too!




2 moonwatcher February 12, 2015 at 7:18 pm

Thanks for this lovely comment, Nicole, and yes, I am glad for both of us too!! I really do love to cook, and making something that looks and tastes good but isn’t too hard to do is part of how I keep myself on track. I like getting produce that looks good and then figuring out what I am going to do with it, instead of the other way around–or maybe a combination of both. There has to be some adventure in the kitchen, and our wonderful online community is always a great place to explore and try new adventures. 🙂 xoxo


3 Kathy Hester February 13, 2015 at 7:00 pm

I’m always so glad when people use one of my recipes to make things easier. I hope that the year is on the upswing for you.



4 moonwatcher February 13, 2015 at 9:51 pm

Thanks for stopping by, Kathy, and for all the delicious ways you make things easier in the kitchen. I appreciate the kind thoughts, too. Here’s to the upswing. 🙂 <3


5 Veronica February 16, 2015 at 9:30 am

I am amazed at how much is out there, vegan wise! Don’t even get me started on Pinterest… 😉 It definitely helps spark the creative spirit, and get me back in the kitchen if I’m in a lull. I’m glad it helps you, too! The recipes you found sound delicious and satisfying – just what you need after going through some tough times. xoxo


6 moonwatcher February 16, 2015 at 6:36 pm

Thanks Veronica! I agree Pinterest is a labyrinth of delights–though I’m not well versed in it I have enjoyed looking around–such a wealth–glad you and I are both a part of it and can be inspired when we need that. xo


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