Semi-Important Things


So, this is the new newsletter vibe on Substack (I moved from Mailchimp). A little different, aka bare bones. And also temporary. I’m working on a new site with this amazing design duo - and when it’s all finished, I’ll be incorporating the new look here. In the meantime, I’m sorta enjoying the bare-bones feel here.

Also, as you can see, I renamed this letter Semi-Important Things. Because sometimes it feels weird sharing silly, fun, and happy things when a lot of things around us don’t feel all that silly, fun, and happy. That new title lets you know that I know that these things aren’t exactly as “important” as the bigger issues we’re facing. But I still think we need some fun things. Ok, you get it.

Gonna keep this short and sweet and let you get to the goodies below!
Sending lots of love going into next week.


LASAGNA SOUP from The Friendly Vegan Cookbook

This new book made my day when it arrived this week. It’s written by two friends, Toni Okamoto and Michelle Cehn. Throughout the book, there are photos of Toni and Michelle laughing, cooking, and sharing meals together. Made me smile a lot and also feel super nostalgic for pre-covid times…when I used to laugh, cook, and share meals with friends, too.

I’m not sure when that will be happening again, but this book has made me appreciate those times more and has me really excited to do lots more of it when we can again. Toni and Michelle let me share this recipe from the book. I made it last night (with the tofu option) and it was so good!

Serves 4

-1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
-1 medium yellow onion, diced
-3 medium cloves garlic, minced (or 1 teaspoon garlic powder)
-1 red bell pepper, sliced into strips (or 1 cup frozen sliced bell peppers)
-1 teaspoon dried basil
-1 teaspoon dried oregano
-4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth (or equivalent amount of vegetable bouillon and water)
-2 cups marinara sauce (store-bought or from the recipe on page 228)
-7 lasagna noodles (standard size)
-8 ounces (half of a 16-ounce block) extra-firm tofu, drained (or 1 cup sliced vegan Italian sausage)
-2 cups packed baby spinach
-Salt and pepper, to taste

1. In a large soup pot over high heat, heat the olive oil. Add the onion and garlic and sauté for 2 minutes.

2. Lower the heat to medium, add the bell pepper, basil, and oregano, and sauté for another 10 minutes.

3. Add the vegetable broth and marinara sauce and bring the soup to a boil.

4. Once the soup is gently boiling, add the lasagna noodles. Roughly break the lasagna noodles into bite-sized chunks by hand into the pot. Crumble the tofu directly into the pot using your hands (or add the sliced vegan sausage or vegan beefy crumbles) and then reduce the heat to a high simmer. Simmer the soup until the pasta is cooked through, stirring frequently to prevent the lasagna noodles from sticking together. The time will vary depending on the type of lasagna pasta you chose, so cook according to the directions on the package and taste for doneness.

5. Once the pasta is cooked, add the spinach and stir to wilt.

6. Season with salt and pepper.

The Thing That Freaked My Week

This week, I also got my hands on my friend Claire’s new book, Living Ayruveda…and it is the THE prettiest book I have seen this year. The photos! The bronze foil (I am a sucker for an embossed foil cover)! The recipes! It’s unreal how special Claire made this book.

A little bit about the book from Claire…

Living Ayurveda weaves together the ancient wisdom of Ayurveda and Yoga in a modern, accessible way to provide a season-by-season guide for living a vibrantly rich year. Part cookbook, part lifestyle manual, each chapter includes simple vegetarian recipes, seasonal rituals, and self-care practices to cultivate your inner wisdom and feed your body, mind, and spirit.

Whether you’re a Vata, Pitta, Kapha, or have no idea what any of those things mean, this book feels like a giant calming hug. I’ve had the opportunity to have a real-life hug from Claire - and this book comes very close to the real thing. It’s a really beautiful gift idea to send to someone who needs a little extra love right now.

Go check it out!

So Many New Podcasts…

I know I always say it…but this is probably one of my favorite seasons ever. We’re covering topics I’ve wanted to cover for awhile but hadn’t found the perfect guest for them. These woman are those perfect guests. Hope you’ve been able to listen or get a chance to catch up on these episodes soon.

Episode 162: Transracial Adoption with Angela Tucker
Episode 163: Explaining Unexplained Weight Gain + Loss with Dr. Tolentino
Episode 164: Vagina Problems with Lara Parker
Episode 165: The Climate Emergency with Margaret Klein Salamon, PhD

The podcast will be on break next week because, you know, it’s a big week. But the following week, I’m bringing back Dr. Elizabeth Stanley to help us navigate the results of the election and process the stress/trauma of this past year. Fun! But really, we need to talk about this stuff…so I’m bringing back the best person to do it.

Good Food Cooking School Holiday Recipe Bundle!

This year, I’m not able to do Thanksgiving with friends and fam…but I’m still determined to make it special. And because this year is going to be so different, I thought I’d mix it up with some different recipes. Buuuuut, I didn’t really feel like searching online/through my cookbooks for new ones…I just wanted it to be easy. And Heather Crosby came to my rescue (again)!

Heather just released a new Holiday Recipe Bundle that has 22 plant-based, gluten-free recipes. Four mains, a soup and salad, a spread, baked goods, eight side dishes (!), and three desserts. I’m so excited to mix up my menu with these dishes.

And when you sign up for the recipe bundle, you get two bonuses:
1.) 12 months of membership to YumUniversity
2.) Beyond-the-Menu Support for people who want to celebrate this year with a little less stress.

Early Bird pricing for this bundle ends tonight at 8PM!

Check It Out!
*Heather has a pretty extensive tour of all the recipes and what’s included in the bundle. If you want to see more, go here.

Sometimes I receive affiliate commissions from links I share. And I only share things I love/have tried myself.