kris ulland

Your Nutrition Partner

Although the food and recipes on Your Nutrition Partner are vegan and gluten free, most of the posts don’t highlight only veganism. We have the same nutrient requirements no matter what our preferences are and, to that end, I focus on nutrition and lifestyle choices that are good for all of us.

That said, once a year, I do like to challenge you to go vegan for a day, a week, a month (FOREVER!) to see how wonderfully nutritious, satisfying, and environmentally beneficial eating plants can be. Last year I wrote the blog, Million Dollar Vegan. I featured Million Dollar Vegan which was an ad campaign promoting plant-based eating that offered President Trump $1 MILLION to US veterans if he tried to go vegan for the month of January 2020.

Make America Healthy Again was their slogan. They pointed out that a plant-based diet can prevent and even reverse many serious diseases, including some of America’s biggest killers: heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, obesity and certain cancers.

I firmly believe that animals are NOT ours to experiment on, eat, wear, use for entertainment or abuse in any way. Maybe this is the year you decide to take a stand with me. Meatless Mondays? Meatless weekdays? Buy less/no leather goods?  We lose nothing in replacing a cheeseburger with a veggie burger or a leather purse with a fabric one. But beings we exploit lose their lives just for our fleeting fancy.

Vegans believe all beings deserve liberty and respect not because they share the characteristics we admire in ourselves but because they are living beings. We share the same evolutionary origins, we inhabit the same Earth, and we are ruled by the same laws of nature. We are all the same.  Compassion is ALWAYS in fashion!

To help you in your vegan effort, I am focusing on a delicious meal that you can prepare this holiday season.

Sweet & Spicy Roasted Party Nuts

Buy unsalted, raw, preferably sprouted nuts for this recipe. This recipe will keep up to 2 months in a sealed jar. Cashews work but they do not crisp as well as hazelnuts – try different combinations.

  • 2 cups whole almonds
  • 2 cups pecan or walnut halves
  • 1 1/2 cup green pumpkin seeds
  • 2 tablespoons finely snipped or chopped fresh rosemary (optional, but it is REALLY good)
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons vegan butter like MELT or Earth Balance
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon Celtic salt – If you use kosher salt, use less and if you use fine salt, use 3/4 of a teaspoon.
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (reduce or omit if sensitive to spice)


  • Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat so the maple syrup doesn’t stick to the pan. Pour the almonds, pecans and pumpkin seeds onto the pan and set aside.
  • In a small bowl, combine the optional rosemary (try other seasoning that you prefer), maple syrup, melted vegan butter, salt, vanilla, and cayenne (if you are using). Gently whisk until blended.
  • Pour the mixture over the nuts on the prepared baking sheet. Stir well until all of the nuts are lightly coated. Spread the mixture on a single layer across the pan.
  • Bake, stirring after the first 10 minutes and then every 5 minutes thereafter, until almost no maple syrup remains on the parchment paper and the nuts are golden. 20-25 minutes.
  • Remove the pan from the oven and stir the nuts one more time, spreading them into an even layer across the pan. Let them cool. In 10 minutes separate any clumps you find.

Side Dishes Options:

  • Delicata Squash – slice into 1/2 inch rounds, remove the seeds, toss with olive oil, and a variety of herbs (I use rosemary, thyme and oregano), spread out flat and bake on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper at 350°F for 35-40 minutes.
  • Roasted carrots and beets and green beans – wash, dry, cut into even-sized pieces, toss with olive oil and herbs and bake on a baking sheet covered in parchment paper at 350°F for 25 minutes. (The timing will depend on how they are cut – bigger pieces will take longer. I cut the carrots down the middle and slice the halves into quarters and cut the green beans and carrots into two inch lengths. I replicate the beets to match the size of the carrots and green beans. I keep the beets separate and bake them on one end of the baking pan to avoid everything turning red.)
  • Ginger Orange Cranberry Sauce – 3 cups of fresh or frozen cranberries (One 12 ounce bag.), 1 cup coconut sugar (I use both coconut sugar and maple syrup), 6 tablespoons of grated ginger, the zest and juice of two large oranges. Add all the ingredients into a medium pot and cover. Cook on high heat, bringing the cranberries to a boil and then reduce the heat to medium. As the cranberries begin to breakdown, use the back of a wooden spoon to crush them. Simmer the cranberry sauce for 10 more minutes to reduce the liquid. The cranberry sauce will thicken as it cools.
  • Sweet Potatoes – The number will depend on how many you are feeding. Wash, chop (I leave the skins on but you can remove them if you don’t like the texture) and place in boiling water. Option – add 2-3 chopped garlic cloves. When the potatoes are soft, drain the water and smash with vegan butter and salt and two tablespoons of coarsely chopped basil.
  • Wild Rice – 1 cup wild rice (You can use a blend.), 2.5 cups of vegetable broth, 1/3 cup chopped onion, 3/4 cup peeled and cubed sweet potatoes, 1/2 cup pine nuts, 1/4 cup cranberries or currants (Optional add ons: 1 tsp cinnamon, 2 cloves of garlic, 1/2 tsp cardamon, 1/4 tsp ground cloves). In a large pot, add a tablespoon or two of vegan butter or olive oil or vegetable broth for frying. Add onions, optional garlic, sweet potatoes, and wild rice. Fry everything for around 5 minutes. Add the vegetable broth and cook for @30 minutes (a blend will take less time to cook. I soak the wild rice overnight which helps it cook quicker.). Add the cranberries or currants and pine nuts. Season with salt and pepper. At this point add the optional cinnamon, cardamon, and ground cloves and cook for 5 more minutes.
  • Vegan Zucchini Gratin– In today’s Recipe section of the blog.
  • Salad – Head of Boston or red leafy ripped into bite-sized pieces on a plate with sliced pear and a sprinkle of pomegranate seeds. Make a light dressing with Champaign vinegar and a good olive oil, salt and pepper.

For the main course, I like marinated portobello mushrooms. The recipe is in today’s Recipe of the Week. Other options include Tofu Turkey, Vegetable Lentil Loaf, or Vegan Shepard’s Pie. Try Mushroom Bourguignon (January 22, 2020) on the sweet potatoes.

Finish the meal with a delicious Apple Galette or an Apple Crisp.

Vegan Zucchini Gratin

The Minimalist Baker

4 Servings


For the Vegan Parmesan Cheese:

  • 3/4 cup raw cashews
  • 3 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder

For the Gratin:

  • 2 medium zucchini squash (sliced in thin rounds – I used 1 green zucchini and 1 yellow)
  • 1 small bundle asparagus
  • 1/2 medium yellow or white onion cut into thin rings
  • 1 pinch each sea salt and black pepper
  • 3/4-1 cup vegan Parmesan cheese
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder


  • Prepare vegan parmesan cheese by whirling all ingredients together in a food processor or blender until a fine meal or powder is formed. Don’t over-process or it will begin to get clumpy. Set aside. Will keep covered in the fridge for about a month.
  • In a 10-inch cast iron or oven safe skillet, sauté onion in 1/2 Tbsp olive oil over medium-low heat until soft – about 10 minutes – seasoning with a pinch of sea salt and black pepper. Set aside.
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (204 C).
  • Slice zucchini into very thin slices, about 1/8th-inch thick. Use mandolin if you have one, or a sharp knife.
  • Cup off the top 2-3 inches of the asparagus. That’s the only part you’ll be using. Save the rest for another dish. Carefully split the top portion in half so it nestles into the gratin better.
  • Add asparagus and squash to a mixing bowl and top with remaining 2 Tbsp olive oil, 3/4 tsp salt, pinch of black pepper, 1/4 tsp garlic powder (optional), and 2 Tbsp of the vegan parmesan cheese. Toss to coat.
  • Spread the slightly cooled onions around in the bottom of the skillet to create an even base. Top with squash, layering green and yellow as you go. It doesn’t have to be perfect. Just start on the outside and work your way in, keeping them in line as much as possible. Once the squash is arranged, tuck pieces of the asparagus into the layers in a circular motion.
  • Top with an even layer of the vegan parmesan cheese and bake at 400 degrees F for 30 minutes. Then broil on high for the last 1-2 minutes to toast up the top. Watch closely as it can burn quickly. Let rest for a few minutes before serving.
  • This makes an excellent side dish, brunch item, or light lunch or dinner when accompanied with a protein, such as hummus or a chickpea salad.

Portobello Steaks with Lemon Basil Aioli

Making Thyme for Health

4 steaks


  • 4 large portobello caps
  • 4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil or Thrive Culinary Algae Oil
  • 1 tablespoon tamari
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 3/4 cup plant-based mayo (or 1 small avocado)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest + juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 cup packed fresh basil leaves
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • salt to taste


Remove the stems from the portobello caps and wipe each one clean with a damp paper towel. Arrange them facing up in a shallow baking dish then set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together the balsamic vinegar, oil, tamari, oregano, and a pinch of salt & pepper. Pour the marinade on each of the mushroom caps and use your fingers to spread it out to the sides and bottom. Allow to sit for about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile make the aioli by combining the mayo or avocado, lemon zest and juice, basil and garlic in a blender. Blend on high until smooth. Add one to teaspoons of water if needed to thin. Taste test and add salt as desired.

Lightly grease a grill pan or cast iron skillet then warm over medium heat. Add the mushroom caps and cook for 5-7 minutes on each side, until tender. Serve warm with basil aioli and enjoy!

Roasted Portobello Steaks with Walnut Coffee Sauce

Sylvia Fountaine/ Photo credit: Feasting at Home

4 Steaks


  • 4 extra large portobello mushrooms
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • generous pinch salt and pepper

Walnut Coffee Sauce:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 extra large shallots, rough diced ( about ¾ – 1 cup)
  • 4 garlic cloves, rough chopped
  • 1 cup walnuts (raw)
  • 1 ¼ cup black coffee (cold or decaf is ok) or you can substitute broth
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon  GF liquid aminos or tamari sauce
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic

Garnish with an optional drizzle of truffle oil, a spring of thyme or a green herb for color (Italian parsley, scallions, chives) and optional pomegranate seeds.


Preheat oven to 400F

Mix oil and vinegar in a small bowl and brush the portobellos on both sides with this. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and place gills side down, on a parchment lined sheet pan. Bake for 20 -25 minutes until tender. Wrap in foil until ready to use.

While the portobellos are roasting make the sauce.

Heat oil in a medium sauce pan, over medium heat.  Saute the shallots and garlic until fragrant and tender, about 4-5 minutes, stirring often. Add the walnuts and stir for 2 minutes. Add the coffee, scraping up any brown bits. Pour all into a blender, add the salt, pepper, miso paste, balsamic and blend for a while, until silky smooth. Place the sauce back in the pan and heat up gently right before plating.

When the portobellos are done, either slice them and place over the Coffee Walnut sauce in a serving dish, or individually plate them with roasted garlic mashed potatoes.

The Best Vegan Apple Crisp

Minimalist Baker/ Photo credit: Minimalist Baker

6 servings



  • 5 medium-large apples  – use a mix of Granny Smith, Honeycrisp or your favorite organic apples
  • 0.5 lemon, juiced 
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar 
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1.5 Tbsp arrowroot starch or cornstarch (for thickening)
  • 1/4 cup fresh apple juice (or water)
  • 1 tsp fresh grated ginger 
  •  pinch nutmeg (optional


  • 3/4 cup gluten-free rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup almond meal
  • 1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar 
  • 1/4 cup organic brown sugar)
  • 1/4 cup pecans (roughly chopped)
  • 0.15 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup melted coconut oil or olive oil (or mix the two 1/2, 1/2)


  • Preheat oven to 350° F.
  • Peel apples, quarter, remove cores, and use a paring knife to thinly slice lengthwise.
  • Add to a large mixing bowl and top with remaining filling ingredients. Toss to combine. Add to a 7.5 x 10 baking dish.
  • Rinse and wipe out your mixing bowl and add all topping ingredients. Stir to combine, then use fingers to break down any clumps of sugar. Pour over apples in an even layer.
  • Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour (uncovered) or until the filling is bubbly, the apples are very fork tender (especially in the center of the dish), and the topping is deep golden brown.
  • Let rest at least 30 minutes before serving. This is delicious with coconut whipped cream or vanilla bean coconut ice cream.
  • Best when fresh, though leftovers keep covered in the refrigerator up to 3 days, or in the freezer up to 1 month. Reheat in the in a 350° F oven until warmed through.



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