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I'm Crystal Vaughn

a classically trained chef taking holistic plant-based nutrition on a grand adventure through North America. When I’m not creating in our traveling kitchen, you can usually find me on my yoga mat or a hiking trail.

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Sometimes being a creative entrepreneur (and now blogger) can be difficult.  I feel like I always need to be inspired.  Although, this isn’t always the case.  As I am preparing to launch this website I try to be open to inspiration no matter where I am and what I’m doing.  So the other day I was reading my fiancé's Outside Magazine while sitting in the infrared sauna at my acupuncturist’s office.  I am too scared to take my kindle in there for some reason so I steal magazines instead.  

While flipping through it I came across a recipe and I instantly knew I wanted to veganize it.  The original recipe was created for the U.S. Soccer Team and the cholesterol filled version was served to them during training and their time in Brazil.  I decided to give this recipe a full plant-based makeover and share it with all of you.

I love a good tofu scramble and am always looking for ways to switch it up.  This version with quinoa and hollandaise is a delicious change!

You can start by preparing the quinoa. 

Another way I switched up the recipe is switching from roasted asparagus to a water sauté.  It’s too hot in the summer to have the stove and the oven going at the same time so I try to pick one.  A water sauté is a nice method to learn.  All I do is chop the asparagus and throw it in the sauté pan with a couple of tablespoons of water until it turns bright green.  A great way to cut down on fat from an oil based sauté.

In a large bowl I add the quinoa, asparagus and diced tomato.  Then in the same pan I cooked the asparagus in I add the scramble ingredients: crumbled tofu, tamari, cumin, lemon juice, turmeric, nutritional yeast, salt and pepper.

While the tofu is cooking I like to start mixing up the hollandaise sauce.  This is the best part!

In a small saucepan I add coconut oil, any unsweetened non-dairy milk (I use oat milk or homemade almond milk when it's on hand), lemon juice, nutritional yeast, Dijon mustard and a pinch of cayenne.  I whisk it all together while it's heating up and mix up a little arrowroot slurry for thickening.  Once the mixture comes to a boil I drizzle in the slurry while whisking constantly.  After it starts to thicken the heat gets turned off.

Back to the bowl!  Add the cooked tofu scramble and one cup of hollandaise to the quinoa, asparagus, tomato mixture and stir it all up.  Now it is ready to serve.  I like to plate it up with an additional dollop of hollandaise.  Well, because, why not?  It’s healthy, plant-based and super delicious. 

Please let me know if you give this recipe a try!  You won’t be disappointed.

Quinoa Benedict Breakfast Scramble
Serves 4


1 cup quinoa

2 cups + 2 tbsp water

1/2 a bunch of asparagus (1 heaping cup), trimmed and chopped

1 large tomato, seeded and diced

1 container (14 oz.) tofu, drained well

1 tbsp tamari

1 tsp cumin

1/2 tbsp lemon juice

1 tbsp nutritional yeast

Pinch of turmeric

Salt and pepper, to taste

For the hollandaise:

2 tbsp coconut oil, unrefined

1 1/2 + 1/2 cup non-dairy milk, unsweetened

4 tbsp nutritional yeast

2 tsp Dijon mustard

Pinch of cayenne

1 tbsp arrowroot powder


1. In a medium saucepan bring quinoa and water to a boil.  Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 15 minutes.  Turn heat off and let sit for 5 minutes.  

2. In a sauté pan over medium heat add chopped asparagus and 2 tbsp of water.  Sauté until the asparagus is tender and bright green.

3. Put the quinoa, asparagus and diced tomato into a large bowl.

4. In the same pan the asparagus was cooked in crumble the tofu and heat over medium-low.  As the tofu is heating add the tamari, cumin, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, turmeric, salt and pepper.  Stirring occasionally until combined and heated through.  About 8 minutes.  Add to the bowl with the quinoa.

5. Hollandaise: In a small saucepan over medium heat add coconut oil, 1 1/2 cups non-dairy milk, nutritional yeast, Dijon mustard and cayenne.  In a small bowl mix the arrowroot with 1/2 cup non-dairy milk until dissolved.  Once the mixture comes to a boil slowly drizzle in the arrowroot slurry while whisking constantly.  Once thickened, remove from heat.

6. Add one cup of the Hollandaise sauce to the bowl with the rest of the ingredients and stir to combine.

7.  Serve with an extra dollop of Hollandaise if desired. 

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Jul 23, 2014

If there is one lesson I would like to teach each and every one of you, it would be: read the ingredients!!  There are so many yucky things lurking in the food at the grocery store.  The best way to be aware is to simply read the back of the product.  People have no idea that anyone would ever think to add these things to their food and so they choose not to look.  I was grocery shopping with my dad about a year ago on vacation and, as usual, I was reading the labels and putting almost everything back.  I knew this wasn’t going to be my healthiest weekend ever but I still care about what is going into my body.  He kept asking “well, why did you put that back?”  And I would ask him how many ingredients should there be in orange juice?  The answer is definitely not twelve.  Or is sugar really necessary in beans?  He honestly (like most other people) had no idea about any of this. 

One product that always annoys me when I read the label is veggie stock.  It never fails that there is some ingredient in there I just don’t understand and is completely unnecessary.  Do I really need sugar in my stock?  Or three times the recommended daily amount of sodium?  Don’t get me started on the yucky preservatives and “natural flavor.”  No thank you! 

When the grocery store fails me (as it often does) it is time to get in the kitchen.  Especially when it is something as easy as stock and it’s practically free!

To start all you need is a bag or container that will go in the freezer.  I use (and reuse) a gallon size freezer bag.

I pull out the bag every time I am chopping vegetables and add all the scraps that are appropriate for a stock like onions, garlic, carrots, celery and fresh herbs (full list below) into the bag and then toss it back in the freezer. 

Once it gets about ½ to 3/4’s full you throw it in a large stockpot cover with water and bring to a boil.  Once it’s boiling, turn it down and let simmer for 45 minutes to an hour.  Let it cool and then you can strain and store it.  It will last for up to a week in the refrigerator or you can fill ice trays and once frozen, move them to a container and store in the freezer for up to 6 months. 

It is always nice to have homemade stock around.  It is great to add into recipes in place of water for extra flavor and you know it is all healthy since you know exactly what’s inside!

What to add: onions (peels and all), carrots and celery should make up the largest part of your veggies.  It is also great to include scraps from garlic (peels and ends), parsley, leeks, scallions, fennel, chard, lettuce, potato, parsnip, mushrooms, herbs and even beet greens.

What to leave out:  broccoli*, asparagus*, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower and artichokes.  These vegetables can be bitter and take over the taste of the stock.  Also, do not use any vegetables that are way past their prime.  Nothing spoiled or rotten.

*Note: You can use broccoli or asparagus if you don't mind the end result tasting distinctly like them.  It is best to add these vegetables when using the stock for an asparagus or broccoli soup.

Vegetable Stock
Makes 8 to 10 cups


6 to 8 cups of vegetable scraps (refer to blog post)

10 to 12 cups of filtered water


1. Throw vegetable scraps and water into a large stockpot (around 8 quarts size) and bring to a boil. 

2. Once boiling, turn the heat down and simmer for 45 minutes to an hour.  

3.  Turn heat off and strain the stock.  

4. Store in the refrigerator for up to a week or freeze in ice trays and once frozen, move them to a container and store in the freezer for up to 6 months.

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Jul 23, 2014

Believe it or not, this is better than the real thing.  

Are you familiar with Tempeh?  If not, you are in for a treat.  I’m not going to lie to you; Tempeh is a little odd looking at first.  It took me a while to actually buy it.  I can’t tell you how many times I had it in my cart at the grocery store and then would put it back on the shelf before checking out.  One day, I decided I had to give it a try and I’m so very glad I did.

Tempeh is a cultured soybean product originating from Indonesia.  By fermenting the beans, they release their phytic acid, and it becomes easier to digest all the good nutrients the legume has to offer.  Other ways to release phytic acid from beans, grains, seeds and nuts is to soak or sprout.  Tempeh is sometimes made with the addition of seeds and grains.  They are delicious as well, but for this recipe plain soybean tempeh is preferred.  Tempeh is also very nutritious.  It has high levels of protein, calcium, manganese, fiber and more.  Oh, and always, I mean ALWAYS, buy organic.  If it’s not organic you can bet it is GMO and you do not want to eat it.  I will go into my thoughts on GMOs at a later date but for now back to the tempeh….

For this recipe I prefer to steam the tempeh.  Steaming makes it more tender and also gives it a little milder flavor, which is ideal for this dish.  I just toss it into a steamer basket but you can use any steaming method you prefer.  

While steaming the tempeh mix up the “dressing” or vegan mayo, either description will suffice.  Blend the soaked cashews, water, olive oil, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, agave, garlic, Dijon mustard, salt and pepper until a smooth consistency is reached.

Once, the tempeh has steamed and cooled a bit, cut into small pieces.  Then mix with the dressing and diced red onion. 

Serve on bread as a sandwich or get creative and scoop it inside a tomato or avocado. It is really delicious with the avocado!  Which is why I chose to serve it that way here.

Ever used tempeh before?  Or excited to try a new ingredient?  Please let me know in the comments.  I would love to hear from you!

Tempeh "Tuna" Salad
Serves 4


1 package tempeh (7 oz. / 200 g)

1/2 cup raw cashews

3 tbsp water

1/2 tbsp olive oil

1 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar

2 tsp lemon juice

1 tsp agave

1 garlic clove

1 1/2 tsp dijon mustard (I use coarse ground)

salt and pepper, to taste

1/4 cup red onion, diced small


1. Soak the cashews.  (Overnight is recommended but four hours will suffice)

2. Steam the tempeh for 10 minutes.  Once cooled enough to handle, cut into small cubes, about 1/8 inch cubes.  Set aside.

2. Drain the cashews then add them to a blender or a food processor with water, olive oil, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, agave, dijon mustard, salt and pepper until it has reached a smooth consistency.  

3. In a bowl, mix the tempeh, diced red onion and cashew mixture until everything is thoroughly combined.  

4. Serve on bread, in a hollowed out tomato, scooped on top of an avocado, or on your choice of greens.

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The information on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any health condition or disease. It does not replace medical advice from a licensed professional.