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Michy's Foods

New Video: Veggie Fried Rice & Recipe

Posted on July 30, 2015 by Michelle Della Penna | 0 Comments

Hello there, friends! Did you watch my latest video? My recipe for veggie fried rice is the perfect way to use up some of those fridge essentials. Feel free to use your favorite veggies and nuts (or whatever is on hand). Make the rice ahead of time and this recipe comes together in well under 30 minutes. Let me know what you think.

Veggie Fried Rice

Serves 2-4

2 C cooked brown rice

2 C diced veggies; onions, asparagus, corn, bell pepper, carrots, broccoli etc.

1/4 C tamari, soy sauce, bragg's aminos or coconut aminos

1 14 oz firm tofu; drained & dice to 1 inch cubes

1/4 C nuts; cashews, peanuts or almonds work best

2 tsp sesame oil (optional)

Drain and press your tofu (optional) before dicing. Place tofu in a large bowl and add 2 tablespoons of the soy sauce and set aside to marinate. In a large skillet, warm on medium heat with a tablespoon of vegetable oil. Add your vegetables and saute for a few minutes until soft. Add in your nuts for a few minutes until they start to get some color. Add in your rice and toss together. Press down gently with the back of your spoon for another couple of minutes. Gently toss in the tofu and soy sauce along with an additional 2 tablespoons of soy sauce. Cook for another 2-3 minutes until everything is warmed through. Drizzle in the sesame oil if using and serve. Enjoy!

Posted in 30 minutes of less, 30 minutes or less, better choices, dinner time, easy dinners, easy meal prep, entrees, kid dinners, kid friendly, kid friendly meals, kid meals plant based, low fat, nutritious, plant based, plant good, plantbased, quick healthy meals, quick meals, vegan, vegan comfort food, vegan dr.ornish heart health ucla heart disease, vegan food, vegetarian, Video, whole food, whole foods

Top 5 Fridge Essentials for your Plant Based Kitchen & Miso Citrus Marinade Recipe

Posted on July 17, 2015 by Michelle Della Penna | 0 Comments

Did you see my latest video? It's my top 5 fridge essentials! Below is my recipe for a miso citrus marinade that you can use to top tofu, salads or sauteed veggies. You can also just slurp it up with a spoon, it's that good. I hope like it! Here's what you need:

Miso Citrus Dressing

Yields about 1 C

1/4 C white or yellow miso

3 Tbsp maple syrup

1 Tbsp tamari, soy sauce, bragg's aminos or coconut aminos

1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar

1 clove of garlic, minced

Juice of one grapefruit or orange (about 3 Tbsp)

Mix all of the ingredients together and add 2-4 tablespoons of water until you achieve desired consistency. Enjoy!

*Tofu Quick Tip: For a quick pan fry, remove tofu from container and pat dry with a towel. Gently press down on the tofu to remove some excess liquid or use a tofu press (video on that coming soon). Slice into 1/4 inch slices. Heat up a non stick skillet on medium high heat. Spray with a little non stick spray and then add the tofu. Sear on each side for about 3 minutes, or until golden brown. Season lightly with salt. Remove from heat and use as needed. 

Lentil Mac n' Cheese

Posted on July 06, 2015 by Michelle Della Penna | 0 Comments

Hello again! Here is my recipe for 15 minute vegan mac n' cheese. I guarantee that you will love this dish. It is so simple to make and so nutritious and filling. And, hey! Have you checked out our youtube channel yet? Watch the video for this recipe and more!

Vegan Lentil Mac n' Cheese

Serves 4-6

1 lb pasta; your choice

1 1/4 C cooked, drained brown lentils

1/3 C nutritional yeast

1/3 C non dairy milk

3 Tbsp vegan butter

Cook your pasta according to package instructions. Drain and put back into pot. On medium heat, add your butter, milk and nutritional yeast. Stir until creamy. Add the lentils and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!

Posted in 30 minutes or less, entrees, kid friendly, plantbased, quick meals, vegan, vegan dr.ornish heart health ucla heart disease, vegetarian, whole food

Black Bean Burgers

Posted on June 15, 2015 by Michelle Della Penna | 0 Comments

Here is a super simple and yummy meal that comes together quickly. These burgers will be a hit among vegans and omnivores alike. Enjoy!

Michy's Black Bean Burgers

1 can black beans

1 C cooked brown rice

1/2 small red onion, diced

1/2 C corn

1 pasilla chili, diced

1/3 C oats

1/4 C vital wheat gluten

1 tsp oregano, cumin, corriander & paprika

Makes 4-6 patties

Preheat oven to 375.

In a large stock pot, saute onion and chili on medium heat with a little water and a pinch of salt for 5-6 minutes, or until soft. Drain the beans and add to the pot along with the rice and season with spices and more salt if needed. Turn off the heat. Using a potato masher, gently mash the ingredients together. You don't want everything to become mushy but you want to loosen the beans a little so that it is easier to form a patty. Once you can see some of the beans have broken up add the corn, the vital wheat gluten and oats and mix well. Let sit until totally cool. Using an ice cream scoop, scoop a patty onto a non stick cookie sheet and press down evenly. 

Bake for about 25-30 minutes, turning once, until patties have browned and firmed. Top with your favorite toppings and enjoy!

Posted in 30 minutes or less, black bean burgers, entrees, kid friendly, plantbased, quick meals, vegan, vegan dr.ornish heart health ucla heart disease, vegetarian, whole food

It's been a long time....

Posted on May 15, 2015 by Michelle Della Penna | 0 Comments

Hello folks!

Wow, it's been a long time. I'm sorry to have left you for so long but time flies when you're having fun! The last year has been quite the whirlwind. Last May I was invited to cook with the Dr. Dean Ornish program in Sausalito CA. If you are not familiar with Dr. Ornish's work, I suggest you get acquainted. He is one of the first doctors to prove the link between illness and diet/lifestyle. His work on reversing heart disease was revolutionary. He showed that with a strict vegetarian diet, exercise and stress management, it is possible to reverse heart disease! His research is so revolutionary and important, in fact, that it has been developed into a hospital program as a viable treatment for heart disease. Last June, UCLA hospital became one of the first hospitals to employ this program. It was through my work with the Dr. Ornish program that I got in touch with the UCLA folks. Apparently, they needed help bringing the recipes to life for their patients-insert me here. Over this last year I have had the wonderful opportunity to cook for and conduct cooking classes for these fantastic patients. I've also had the opportunity to get to know the amazing people running this program at UCLA. I absolutely love what I am doing, as evidenced by this picture below. I think I was passionately talking about silken tofu.

It's been an interesting year of self discovery and growth. I've honed my skills and my expertise immensely. And I've found, that what I really love and have always loved doing, is helping people make better choices about their food. Whether it's helping parents get quick and healthy food on the table for their kids, helping people transition to a plant based diet or just talking about how to implement small changes with big impact into one's lifestyle, is what I am really called to do. In fact, that's what I set out to do with my cookies. It was all about showing people that cookies; with whole wheat flour, flaxseed meal and raw sugar could be delicious with out eggs, butter and milk. It's naive to assume that everyone is just going to become plant based over night. It's all about small changes, a game of inches, if you will, that eventually lead to significant gain. And so on that note, I've decided to roll out a web series all about helping people move to a plant based diet in an easy and seamless way. We'll have tips and tricks and recipes and essential kitchen ingredients. There may even be an interview with my 5 year old; I'm just saying! I hope you will watch and give me your feedback. Let me know what topics you'd like to see covered. So, stay tuned. The first video is coming very soon! Here's a sneak peak from the shoot.

Posted in vegan dr.ornish heart health ucla heart disease

Quick & Easy Meal #4: Lentil Bolognese; it's time to get your pasta on!

Posted on March 10, 2014 by Michelle Della Penna | 0 Comments

I love pasta! One of my favorite childhood memories is watching my Nonna rolling out long sheets of homemade pasta from her hand cranked pasta machine.  Over and over again, through and through, until the pasta got just the right thickness; cannelloni, raviolli, fettuccine, spaghetti-you name it, she made it. She would drape the long sheets of pasta over the back of a chair until she was ready to cut them and fill them. It was magical. Once the heaping bowl was placed in front of me, I would eat as much as I could in hopes that I would never forget the taste and smell of my Nonna's kitchen.  Luckily, every time I go home for a visit, there is undoubtebly, pasta waiting for me.

So, it's true that my every day pasta experiences aren't so romantic, but I still do love a good pasta dish.  There are about as many sauces you can put on pasta as the number of pasta varieties, but there is something so comforting about a thick, rich red sauce. I love using lentils as a meat substitute because they are hearty and so nutritious that once mixed with the other flavors, you don't even really know that you're missing the meat.  You can put this sauce on virtually any pasta shape; semolina or gluten free-it will still be delicious! I hope you enjoy it!


Lentil Bolognese

1 lb pasta of your choice; reg or g/f

3 garlic cloves; minced

1 small yellow onion; diced

1 tsp dried oregano

1-28 oz can crushed tomatoes

1-14 oz can brown lentils; drained & rinsed

salt & pepper

olive oil


Fill a large pasta pot with water and set to boil. Heat a dutch oven or medium size sauce pan on medium heat.  Add a tablespoon of olive oil and add onions, along with a generous pinch of salt.  Saute the onions for 2-3 minutes or until translucent.  Add the garlic and cook until fragrant.  Add the oregano, tomatoes and another pinch of salt and stir.  Bring to a boil and reduce to simmer.  Add the lentils and stir together.  Note: if you have any red wine on hand, feel free to add 2-3 tablespoons to the sauce at this point. It will add a nice depth and richness to the sauce and the alcohol will cook out.

Let the sauce simmer together for about 15-20 minutes. Once the pasta water is boiling, add a heavy handed dash of salt.  Remember, your pasta water should taste like the ocean-that's how it gives your pasta it's flavor! Cook your pasta according to package instructions.  Taste your sauce and adjust seasonings if necessary.  Your sauce should have reduced down a little bit and may be a little thick. If you prefer a thinner sauce, add a few spoonfuls of the pasta water to the sauce until you achieve the desired consistency. 

Once the pasta is done, use tongs to gently shake the pasta and put it directly into a pasta bowl-DO NOT RINSE YOUR PASTA, PEOPLE! You will wash away all of the beautiful starch and flavor that work into the sauce! Add the desired amount of sauce to the pasta and enjoy! Sprinkle with a little nutritional yeast or vegan parm!

Posted in 30 minutes of less, better choices, dinner time, easy dinners, easy meal prep, fat free, italian food, kid dinners, kid friendly, kid friendly meals, kid meals plant based, low fat, nutritious, plant based, quick healthy meals, quick meals, Recipe, vegan, vegan comfort food, whole food

Quick & Easy Meal #3: It's Chili Night...

Posted on March 06, 2014 by Michelle Della Penna | 0 Comments

Let me tell you a little bit about this recipe.  A long time ago, about 8 years or so ago, my husband (who was then my boyfriend, soon to be fiance) decided he would make me a special Valentine's dinner.  Admittedly I was a little nervous because the only thing I'd ever seen him cook before was something he could put in the microwave.  But, he had a few tricks up his sleeve.  Apparently he was a master at one dish; chili.  And when you think of Valentine's day, don't you think of chili? Well, I didn't, at first...but, he made me the most delicious vegan chili I'd ever had; complete with rice and cornbread shaped life a heart.  And so, for the last 7 years, we have continued the tradition of a Vegan Chili Valentine's Day.  It's actually so sweet and I look forward to it every year.  Even our little boys get excited about it! And so, without further ado, here is my take on my hubby's chili. Enjoy!


Vegan Chili
1 small yellow onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 14 oz can white beans, drained & rinsed
1 14 oz can black beans, drained & rinsed
1 14 oz can pinto beans, drained & rinsed
1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
1 packet chili seasoning (or use the recipe below*)
2-3 green onions, chopped
1/4 C vegan cheese, grated (optional)
vegan sour cream (optional)
avocado, diced (optional)
In a large dutch oven or pasta pot, warm up a drizzle of oil on medium heat.  Add the onions with a generous dash of salt.  Toss in oil and let cook for about 2-3 minutes or until translucent.  Add the garlic (with another pinch of salt) and toss.  Cook for another minute or so until fragrant.  Add the beans, crushed tomatoes and chili seasoning. Stir well and bring to a boil.  Turn down to a simmer and let cook for about 20 minutes.  The chili will be quite thick, but If you like your chili a little more liquidy, add 1/4c-1/2 C water to loosen it up.  Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.  Top with green onions, sour cream, cheese and a slice of avocado.  Enjoy! 
P.S. If you like your chili a little sweeter, you can add 2-3 tablespoons of any of the following that you have on hand: maple syrup, agave, ketchup or cane sugar.
*Homemade Chili Seasoning
2 Tbsp chili powder
2 Tbsp brown sugar
2 tsp paprika
2 tsp onion powder
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp corriander

Posted in 30 minutes or less, kid dinners, kid friendly, plant good, vegan chili, whole food

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