Vegetarian Awareness Month, presented by Lightlife & Nasoya!


October is a month of fall trends, an abundance of pumpkin spice and other seasonal favorites. But did you know that October is also Vegetarian Awareness Month?

While I am not a vegetarian, I first want to disclose that I regularly consume animal protein on an every day basis.

There are many levels of vegetarianism that people adopt as part of their diets and lifestyles. Some are semi-vegetarians (diets that consist largely of vegetarian foods), vegetarians (diets that do not include meat, fish and poultry), ovo-vegetarians (diets that include eggs but no other dairy products), ovo-lacto-vegetarians (diets that include eggs and dairy products), and it goes on an on…

Me on the other hand, I would consider myself a carnivore-semi-vegetarian. There are days where my diet consists of animal protein, and there are days where I like to dedicate them to being “meatless.”

Vegetarians choose these diets for many reasons: health, those against consuming animal protein, and some who just like to “eat clean.” Exploring new recipes and ingredients that contain vegetarian ingredients and plant-based protein is top on my list. If I can make a meatless burger, or great healthy vegetarian dishes, I am all for it!

To commemorate this month-long foodie event, I am partnering with Lightlife and Nasoya brands to share vegetarian products and recipes. Stay tuned as there will be some delicious [and healthy] giveaways!

Pleased to share some savory and sweet vegetarian recipes below!

Lightlife’s Pumpkin Rice Bowls with Maple Balsamic Tempeh

What you’ll need:

16 oz (2 packages) of Lightlife tempeh
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons avocado or olive oil
3 Tablespoons tamari
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tablespoon avocado or olive oil
steamed broccoli
hemp parmesan, for topping

Pumpkin Rice:
1 cup light coconut milk
1 cup vegetable broth
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1 cup white rice
pinch of sea salt

How to make it:

Remove tempeh from package and chop into small triangles by cutting the tempeh in half width-wise. Cut each half in a star pattern to get 16 mini triangles per package of tempeh, 32 triangles total.
In a small bowl combine maple syrup, balsamic vinegar, tamari, 2 teaspoons oil and minced garlic. Add tempeh triangles into a shallow dish with a large surface area, pour maple balsamic marinade over the tempeh, toss to coat and let tempeh marinate in the fridge for 1 – 24 hours. Stir the mixture a couple times while marinating, if possible.
Once tempeh has marinated, start cooking the rice by combining the coconut milk, vegetable broth, pumpkin, rice and sea salt in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Allow rice to simmer until the liquid is completely absorbed and rice is tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. Once cooked, stir, cover and set aside until the tempeh and broccoli are ready as well.
While the rice is cooking, pan-glaze the tempeh by heating 1 Tablespoon avocado oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once oil is hot, add the tempeh (without pouring the marinade in) and cook until golden brown on each side, allowing 4-5 minutes per side. Pour the maple balsamic mixture into the pan with the tempeh and simmer another 5-7 minutes, or until the sauce has reduced creating a glaze on the tempeh. Toss the tempeh a couple times during this process.
Steam broccoli and compile bowls by starting with a base of pumpkin rice. Top each bowl with pan-glazed tempeh and steamed broccoli. Season with salt and pepper to taste and top each bowl with hemp parmesan, if using.

Ambitious Kitchen’s Scrambled Tofu Breakfast Tacos

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 package super firm Nasoya Tofu
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 corn tortillas (can also use small whole grain tortillas)
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • 1/2 cup grape tomatoes, quartered (can also sub 1 diced roma tomato)
  • Optional: 1/2 cup goat cheese crumbles
  • Optional: Hot sauce & cilantro, to garnish


  1. Add oil to a large skillet and place over medium heat. Add diced red pepper and garlic and saute for 2 minutes. Next crumble the tofu with your hands and add to the pan. Sprinkle in spices and salt & pepper. Cook for 5 minutes; stirring frequently. Taste and add more salt and pepper if necessary.
  2. Divide tofu scramble between tortillas, then top with avocado, tomatoes and goat cheese. Garnish with your favorite hot sauce and cilantro. Enjoy! Makes 8 tacos total. Serving size: 2 tacos per person.

Ambitious Kitchen’s Vegan Dark Chocolate Tofu Cheesecake with Peanut Butter Pretzel Crust

  • For the peanut butter pretzel crust:
  • 100 pretzels, gluten free if desired (about 4 heaping cups or 6.5 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup creamy natural peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil (or vegan buttery stick), melted
  • 1 tablespoon coconut palm syrup or maple syrup
  • For the filling:
  • 1 package (1 pound) Nasoya organic silken tofu
  • 12 ounces vegan dark chocolate (72% is great)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons of fresh coffee (to enhance chocolate flavor)
  • Optional: 1-2 tablespoons pure maple syrup, to enhance sweetness, if desired


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In the bowl of a food processor, add in pretzels and pulse until they are finely ground and resemble a crumbly flour, about 1 minute. Next add in creamy peanut butter, melted coconut oil and coconut palm syrup. Pulse again for 30 seconds until well combined. Dump into a 9-inch spring foam pan and use your hands to spread crust evenly towards the sides, pressing firmly as you go.
  3. Once your crust is ready, bake for 10 minutes. Allow crust to cool while you make the filling.
  4. First melt the chocolate in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring frequently until smooth and completely melted. Set aside.
  5. Make the filling by adding silken tofu, melted chocolate, vanilla and coffee to a clean bowl of a food processor or high powdered blender. Blend until creamy and smooth. Taste and add maple syrup if necessary to enhance the sweetness. Pour over crust, spread evenly towards the sides and smooth the top. Cover and refrigerate for 1-2 hours, or overnight. Cut into 12 slices. Enjoy with fresh berries and coconut whipped cream!