Delicious, fresh, and easy to prepare, A Plant-Based Life contains lifestyle strategies and over 100 recipes from Micaela Karlsen and other leaders in the field of plant-based nutrition. Please enjoy this sample!
Breakfast: Everyday Oats and Apple-Lemon Breakfast
Soup & Salad: Simple Split-Pea Comfort Soup, Guacamole Salad, and Salade Niçoise
Main Meals: Interstellar Lasagna
Dessert : Pioneer Gingerbread
learn more at:
For many years my standard breakfast was
cooked oatmeal, but in the summertime the
appeal of warm oatmeal dwindles. At some
point I tried soaking the oats overnight and
eating them cold, which creates an interesting
raw oats experience, but thanks to my
husband’s preference for super-fast
preparation in the morning and his childhood
love of muesli, we’ve gradually transitioned to
straight-up oats as our major breakfast cereal.
The beauty of raw oats, beside super-fast
preparation, is that you can eat a lot of them,
which means you’ll easily feel full well into
• 1 to 1½ cups thick rolled oats
• Blueberries, raspberries, or sliced strawberries
• Raisins or dried cranberries (optional)
• Dried dates or figs, chopped (optional)
• Walnuts, almonds, or pecans, chopped
• 1 tablespoon chia seeds or ground flaxseeds
• ½ to 1 cup plant milk, such as oat, soy, almond,
hemp, hazelnut, or rice milk
1. Pour raw oats in a bowl.
2. Add various toppings, as desired.
3. Top with plant milk, and enjoy! Serves 1.
Rebecca Michaelides, former course instructor
and instructor team leader for the T. Colin
Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies, is my go-
to source for healthy raw cuisine. When I was
first getting to know Rebecca, exactly what she
did eat was a little mysterious to me. I knew she
didn’t rely on loads of nuts in her everyday diet,
but that was the only kind of raw food diet I was
familiar with. She’s always been kind enough to
satisfy my curiosity, and I’m very grateful to her
for expanding my ideas about what raw cuisine
can look like and showing me how fresh, light,
and delicious something as simple as apples can
become. This my version of an everyday raw
breakfast based on Rebecca’s tutoring.
• 4 to 5 medium apples, any variety
• 5 to 6 dates, pitted
• Juice of 1 lemon
• ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
• 2 tablespoons walnuts (about 6 walnut
1. Core the apples and cut into large pieces.
2. Place dates, walnuts, half of the lemon juice,
cinnamon, and three quarters of an apple in
a food processor. Puree until finely ground.
You may need to scrape down the sides of
the bowl a few times and restart.
3. Add the remainder of the apples and lemon
juice and pulse until the apples are shredded
and the date mixture is evenly distributed.
Serves 1 or 2 if you’re eating something else
Simple Split Pea Comfort Soup
Curl up on the sofa with a good book and a
great split pea soup to stay warm. The world
offers many delicious versions of split pea soup
to try, however this comfort coup is absolutely
delicious as is. However, if you’re feeling
adventurous, you can use this as your basic
starter recipe and branch out in any number of
interesting directions. Soup doesn’t get any
simpler than this.
• 1 cup split peas
• 1 medium onion, diced
• 1 medium carrot, diced
• 1 medium celery rib, diced
• 1 medium potato, diced
• 1 tablespoon Better Than Bouillon
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper to
1. Soak your split peas for 4 to 6 hours, or
even longer, if possible, to ensure a shorter
2. Drain the split peas, and place them in a
large pot in 8 cups water without salt.
Cook over high heat for 15-20 minutes or
until boiling. Reduce heat to a simmer,
partially covered, for 20 minutes or until
peas are tender.
3. Add remaining ingredients and return to a
boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, partially
covered, for 15 or until vegetables are
tender. Serves 2-4.
This is the salad version of fresh guacamole.
Using two lemons makes the dressing wetter,
more lemony, and less sweet than if you were
going for a more solid, stand-alone guacamole,
so the optional syrup can temper that a bit if
you’re looking for a more balanced flavor. I
actually enjoy the strong flavor of lemon—it is
refreshing and kind of zesty. You’ve got to try
this for dinner!
• 1 20-ounce package mixed greens
• 1 bunch parsley
• 1 ripe avocado, pitted
• Juice of 2 lemons
• 1 tablespoon brown rice syrup or maple
• 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
• ¼ red onion, minced
• 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
1. Chop the greens and parsley together,
either by hand or in the food processor.
Transfer to a large bowl.
2. In a small bowl, mash the avocado with the
lemon juice and then mix in the rice syrup (if
desired) as well as the cilantro, onion, and
3. Toss the avocado mixture in the greens.
Serves 2 for dinner, or 6-8 as a side salad.
This traditional French salad typically centers
around anchovies and hard-boiled eggs. In this
recipe, hearts of palm, potato, and avocado
take center stage, but it stills has certain classic
elements, including the green beans, cucumber,
tomatoes, and olives. I like to chop my greens
to make them easier to eat and mix with the
• 1 20-ounce package mixed greens, chopped
• 2 tablespoons capers
• 2 tablespoons Dijon or yellow mustard,
• 3 tablespoons brown rice syrup or maple
• 3 tablespoons red wine or apple cider
• 1 14-ounce jar hearts of palm, sliced
• 1 cup green beans, steamed
• ½ medium cucumber, peeled and sliced
• 2 red potatoes, boiled and in 2-inch cubes
• ½ avocado, pitted and sliced
• 1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
• 1 14-ounce can artichoke hearts
• ¼ cup kalamata olives, pitted and sliced
• 3 ½ ounces smoked tofu (optional)
• Salt and pepper to taste
1. In a large bowl, toss the mixed greens and
capers with the mustard, rice syrup,
2. Arrange the rest of the ingredients on top
of the bed of greens in sections. Salt and
pepper to taste. Serves 2 for dinner, or 6 to
8 as a side salad
I finished perfecting this recipe the week that NASA’s Kepler
Mission found a new Earth-like planet, 452b, so I named it in
honor of the discovery. If I were an astronaut on a years-long
space mission and could only bring one food with me, this
lasagna would definitely be a top contender. Other great
features of this recipe? Neither the noodles nor the filling
need to be precooked—after some quick chopping, which
you can do in a food processor, this dish will be ready to pop
in the oven.
• Layer 1: 1 medium onion, 1 16-ounce package firm tofu
(drained), 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 ½ teaspoons
white miso , 1/3 cup nutritional yeast, 1/3 cup packed
fresh basil leaves
• Layer 2: 1 medium onion, 1 10-ounce package cremini
mushrooms (stems trimmed), ½ cup frozen spinach, ¼
cup pine nuts, 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning, salt to
• Additional components: 1 10-ounce box whole-grain
lasagna noodles and 3 to 4 cups of your favorite
tomato sauce (or try Chef AJ’s Quick Sun-Dried Tomato
• Toppings: 1 medium tomato, sliced thinly, 2
tablespoons nutritional yeast, Salt to taste
1. Preheat the oven to 375ºF.
2. Make layer 1: Place the onion in a food processor, and
pulse until it is finely chopped. Add the tofu, garlic
powder, miso, and nutritional yeast and blend until
everything is evenly mixed. At this point the mixture will
be like a dry puree—grainy and not too wet. Add the
basil leaves and pulse until the basil is chopped into
small bits and evenly distributed in the mixture. Transfer
the contents of layer 1 to a medium bowl.
3. Make layer 2: Place the onion in a food process and
pulse until it is finely chopped. Add the mushrooms,
spinach, pine nuts, Italian seasoning, and salt and blend
until everything is evenly mixed.
4. Assemble the lasagna: Divide your noodles into three
equal piles, to correspond with the three noodle layers
in the final dish. Cover the bottom of a 9 x 13–inch glass
pan with ¾ cup tomato sauce and ½ cup water. Use a
spoon to mix the two and evenly distribute the liquefied
sauce. Place one layer of lasagna noodles on top of the
sauce-water mixture. Cover the noodles with 1 to 1 ½
cups tomato sauce, using a spoon to evenly distribute
it. Add the mixture for Layer 1 to the pan. Cover layer 1
with the second layer of noodles. Add the mixture for
Layer 2 to the pan. Cover Layer 2 with the third/top layer
of noodles. Cover the noodles with 1 ¼ to 1 ½ cups
tomato sauce using a spoon to evenly distribute it.
5. Add the toppings: Place tomato slices on top of the
sauce evenly around the pan. Sprinkle each slice with a
bit of salt for added flavor, if desired, then sprinkle the
nutritional yeast evenly on top of the tomatoes.
6. Cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake for 35
minutes, then remove cover and bake an additional 20
to 25 minutes or until the top surface has developed a
skin. Serves 6-8.
As a child I was a big fan of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s
Little House on the Prairie series, and some of my
favorites parts of those books are the
descriptions of what they ate. Almanzo’s
childhood culinary recollections in Farmer Boy
are particularly vivid. It sort of sounds like a
nonstop year-long dinner party! A few years ago
I was fortunate to come across on the Internet a
letter Laura, at that time in her 90s, sent to a
friend in 1953, enclosing her recipe for
gingerbread. It’s been a labor of love to create a
healthier version of this pioneer treat that still
does justice to the original flavor, but leaves out
the eggs and lard.
• 3 cups whole-grain flour (I like spelt)
• 1 tablespoon each of: baking powder,
baking soda, ginger , cinnamon , and
• ½ teaspoon each of: nutmeg , cloves, and
• 1 cup maple syrup
• ½ cup applesauce
• ¾ cup molasses
• 2 tablespoon white vinegar
1. Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Whisk the flour,
baking powder, baking soda, ginger,
cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, cloves, and
salt in a medium bowl.
2. Put maple syrup, applesauce, molasses,
and white vinegar in a second medium
bowl. Bring kettle of water to a boil. Once
boiling, remove from heat and add 1 cup
hot water to the wet ingredients, and stir.
3. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet
ingredients while mixing, but be careful to
not over-stir. The mixture should be quite
4. Transfer batter to a 9 x 13–inch glass pan,
and bake for 35 minutes.
5. Serve as is, or, for the traditional
gingerbread experience, top with Stacy’s
Coconut Dream Whipped Cream. Serves 10