Explore Plant-Based Recipes from the Food Heaven Dietitians

During this year’s Black History Month, we’re partnering with dietitians Wendy Lopez, MS, RDN and Jessica Jones, MS, RDN of the popular inclusive wellness brand Food Heaven Made Easy. Jessica and Wendy’s cookbook, 28 Day Plant Powered Health Reboot, features a month plant-based recipes that can be followed during February for Black History Month. Ready on for a few of their favorite recipes! 


Mangu with Barbeque Tempeh  

“Simply put, mangu is mashed plantains. The dish is a national favorite in the Dominican Republic and is typically enjoyed for breakfast with fried cheese, eggs, and salami. It goes without saying that we had to remix things a bit to create a more veg-friendly version. This mangu will be topped with a sweet and savory barbeque tempeh. Tempeh is an excellent source of plant-based protein, and also provides iron, calcium, magnesium, and other essential minerals!” – Wendy Lopez, MS, RDN 

Yields 1 serving  

For the tempeh:  

  • 3.5 oz tempeh (1 serving)  
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste  
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder  
  • ½ teaspoon maple syrup  
  • ½ teaspoon apple cider vinegar  
  • ¼ teaspoon soy sauce  
  • 1 tablespoon water  
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil  

For the mangu:  

  • 1 medium green plantain  
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder  
  • 2 teaspoons butter  
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste  

For the topping:  

  • ¼ medium onion, sliced  
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar  

We’ll get started by preparing the barbecue sauce for our tempeh. Cut your tempeh into 2 pieces, and place those in a bowl. In another bowl, whisk together the tomato paste, garlic powder, maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, soy sauce, and water. Drizzle the sauce onto the tempeh and let that marinate for at least 20 minutes.  

In the meantime, we will get to the mangu. Peel your plantain, and chop into 4-5 chunks. Then bring a medium pot of water to boil, and cook the plantain for 35-40 minutes, or until the plantain is soft and tender. Once that’s done, we’ll get to mashing! Drain out most of the water from the pot, leaving about 3-4 tablespoons behind for mashing. Using a pestle or the bottom of a cup, mash up the plantains well with the remaining water, and add the garlic powder and butter. Continue to mash, until a smooth consistency has been reached. Next, you’ll scoop the mangu into a bowl and season with salt and black pepper, to taste.  

Now we’ll cook the tempeh. Add olive oil to a pan over medium heat, and add your tempeh slices. Cook for 3 minutes on each side. Once done, add the barbeque tempeh over the mangu. We’ll finish this off by adding the onion slices to the same pan the tempeh was cooked in. Add the balsamic vinegar to the pan as well, and cook for 2-3 minutes, over medium heat. Top the dish with your onions, and you’re ready for a mouthwatering meal!    


Whole Wheat Pecan and Banana Pancakes  

“We love pancakes. (I mean seriously, we have never met anyone who doesn’t). These are perfect for a weekend breakfast because they are warming to the soul and will have your kitchen smelling like fall in a box. So… get ready. The great thing about using the spices cinnamon and nutmeg in your cooking is that you can add oodles of flavor with possible health benefits. In fact, some research suggests that spices like cinnamon and nutmeg have actual health benefits, blood sugar stabilization, and antibacterial properties, respectively.” – Jessica Jones, MS, RDN 

Yields 1 serving  

  • ½ cup of whole wheat flour  
  • ¾ cup of unsweetened almond milk  
  • ½ teaspoon of baking powder  
  • ½ tablespoon of vanilla extract  
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon powder  
  • 1 teaspoon of ground nutmeg  
  • 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil  
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup  
  • ¼ cup of pecans halves  
  • ½ banana  

This recipe is super easy to make. We’ll begin by by mixing all dry ingredients together. Then add almond milk, oil, and syrup, and mix well until you achieve an even consistency. Toss in pecans and mix until they are evenly dispersed throughout batter. Use non-stick pan or coat your pan with cooking spray – heat on medium heat. Cook pancakes for 2 minutes on each side. This should make about 3 pancakes. Top pancakes with ½ of a banana and additional syrup, if desired. We like to layer the sliced banana in between each pancake, but have fun with it!  


Creamy Kale Butternut Squash Salad in a Jar 

“This creamy kale butternut squash salad is perfection, bottled up in a jar. It’s made with nourishing ingredients that shine even brighter when enjoyed together. The butternut squash provides a rich source of vitamins A & C. We’re also getting protein and complex carbohydrates thanks to the hummus and quinoa. Salads don’t get any better than this!” – Wendy Lopez, MS, RDN 

Yields 1 serving  

  • ¾ cup water  
  • ¼ cup uncooked quinoa  
  • ¾ cup butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1” chunks  
  • 2 cups kale, chopped  
  • ¼ cup hummus  
  • 1 small tomato, cubed  
  • ¼ small onion, chopped  
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil  
  • Salt and cayenne pepper  

For this salad, we’ll start by cooking our quinoa. In a small pot, you’ll want to bring water to a boil, and add the quinoa. Cook for 15-17 minutes with the lid on, over low heat. Once your quinoa is soft and fluffy, add salt to taste and allow it to cool. While the quinoa is cooking, let’s get started on the butternut squash.  

Simply boil the butternut squash chunks in a pot of water with the lid on for 20 minutes. Once you can easily stick a fork through the squash, you’ll want to remove it from the heat, drain the water, and allow the squash to cool. In a bowl, combine the kale, hummus, tomato, onion, and olive oil. Using your hands, massage all of these ingredients together. Add salt and cayenne pepper to taste.  

Now let’s assemble our salad jar. Start by adding quinoa to the bottom of the jar, then butternut squash, and then the ingredients in the massaged kale bowl. Repeat these steps until all of the ingredients have filled your jar. Let the flavors marinate for at least an hour before enjoying. You can also do this the night before, and pack it up for lunch the next day!  


Thai Inspired Coconut Curry Tofu Noodle Soup  

“The secret to everything Thai is red (or green) curry paste. Seriously. This little magic ingredient is jam packed with flavor and super easy to incorporate into many dishes. This Thai Coconut Curry Tofu noodle soup will make you feel all warm and fuzzy on the inside, especially in the cold winter months. We also made sure to add a little heat to this recipe by adding a dose (you decide how hot you want it) of red crushed red pepper flakes. Research suggest that these little buggers may be helpful in fighting inflammation, relieve pain, and protect the heart. Some people even find that chili pepper are great for clearing congestion when they have a cold.” – Jessica Jones, MS, RDN  

Yields 1 serving  

  • ½ cup of baked tofu  
  • 1 cup of cooked udon noodles  
  • ½ cup of lite coconut milk  
  • 1 cup of water  
  • 1 teaspoon of thai red curry paste  
  • 1 teaspoon of curry powder  
  • Crushed red pepper flakes  
  • 2 tablespoons of chopped cilantro  
  • 2 tablespoons of chopped green onion  
  • Salt to taste  

You should still have some leftover baked crispy tofu leftover from previous recipes. Get that out and measure out ½ of a cup, then set aside. Next we’ll cook the noodles according to package directions. Typically you bring 4 or so quarts of water to a boil, then add noodles and let it continue cooking until water reaches a boil again. You’ll want to cook the noodles for an additional 8 to 12 minutes.  

While the noodles are cooking, wash and chop green onion and cilantro. Add the coconut milk and water to a pot on medium-high heat. After that has heated up, go ahead and add the red thai curry paste, crushed red pepper, and curry powder. Mix thoroughly. Follow up by adding the cooked tofu and noodles. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 10-15 minutes and your soup is ready to go!