Follow Me on Instagram


Follow Me on Pinterest

don't miss dairy

Emily Stokes
I'm a lady who loves cheese, sour cream, & ice cream, but I recently became lactose intolerant. My key focus in recreating dairy recipes is taste, but I try to be as health conscious as possible. Some of my recipes are low lactose rather than dairy free. I'm also a writer, teacher, nanny, dog mom, housewife, native Yinzer, current Californian, and social organizer extraordinaire.


Vegan Butternut Squash Pasta with Battered Sage Leaves

Butternut Squash Pasta with Batter Fried Sage Leaves from
Sage leaves frying in a pan of olive oil is one of the best smells in the WORLD.

Batter frying them is so simple, you’ll wonder why you haven’t done it before! They are a perfect addition to anything with butternut squash or pumpkin, but they can also stand alone.

Batter fried sage leaves from

Dipping sage leaves in flour and water batter.

Batter fried sage leaves from

Frying battered sage leaves in olive oil.

I’m just going to warn you, fried sage leaves taste so incredible you’re going to be sad if you don’t make more than this recipe calls for, and you’re going to want to eat them before your pasta’s ready. I highly suggest making some extra to snack on.

Batter fried sage leaves from

I was so excited to make butternut squash pasta when the winter squashes started arriving in stores. Luckily they can sit on your counter for weeks and still be in great condition, because life has been so busy in November that I haven’t had many chances to cook or post.

Butternut Squash Pasta with Battered Sage Leaves from
I saw an amazing looking recipe in a magazine for butternut squash pasta made with bacon, but I wanted to keep this one healthy, vegan, and as simple as possible. I combined a few different recipes to get what I wanted, plus added my own touch.

One of my favorite pasta dishes in the world is Il Fornaio’s  Walnut Butternut Squash Ravioli. They pour on a brown butter and tomato sauce and add battered sage leaves. I wanted to replicate this without the added process of making fresh pasta–I groan at complicated recipes–and of course, I needed to make this dairy free. Instead of cream and tomato for that acidic touch, I used Moscato. It pairs perfectly with this pasta dish.

So here it is, a restaurant worthy dish made simple, healthy, and vegan. The recipe makes four servings of pasta, but you can easily double it for a family or dinner party. Just use the whole squash, the whole onion, a pound of pasta, an 1/8 teaspoon of nutmeg, and double everything else.

Butternut Squash Pasta with Battered Sage Leaves
Serves 4
Write a review
Total Time
50 min
Total Time
50 min
  1. 1/2 butternut squash
  2. 1/4 cup sweet white wine
  3. 1 tablespoon Smart Balance Light
  4. 1/2 yellow onion
  5. 1/2 tsp salt
  6. 1/2 tsp pepper
  7. 1/2 lb pasta (I used gemelli)
  8. dash nutmeg
  9. 1/2 cup crumbled walnuts**
  10. Parmigiano reggiano*
  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Cut squash in half lengthwise, carefully. Scoop out seeds. Pour 1/4 cup water into a large glass casserole dish. Add squash to dish. Bake for 30 minutes or until squash is soft enough to be pierced with a fork.
  3. While the squash is baking, fry batter dipped sage leaves in oil.
  4. When squash is tender, allow to sit and cool for 10 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, start to cook pasta according to directions.
  6. In a large saucepan over medium heat, cook yellow onion in Smart Balance for 10 minutes or until translucent and beginning to brown.
  7. Scoop preferred amount of cooled squash from the skin and place into blender.
  8. Puree with 1/4 cup sweet white wine, such as Moscato, but don't over process to leave some texture.
  9. Add butternut squash puree to the saucepan of onions, along with nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Cook for 5-10minutes, until heated through. Wine or broth can be added to make a thinner consistency if needed.
  10. Add cooked, drained pasta to the saucepan and toss in butternut squash sauce until evenly coated.
  11. To serve, sprinkle with crumbled walnuts,* parmigiano reggiano,**and top with fried sage leaves.
  1. This recipe is halved for the convenience of cooking for two. If you are cooking for a family, it's very easy to double. Use the whole squash, the whole onion, and 1 lb. of pasta.
  2. *optional
  3. **To crumble place in Ziploc bag and run over with rolling pin.
don't miss dairy
Fried Sage Leaves
Write a review
  1. 1/2 cup flour
  2. 1/4 cup water
  3. 10-15 big sage leaves
  4. 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil for frying
  5. sea salt
  1. Wash the leaves and dry them on a paper towel.
  2. Whisk the water and flour together until the batter becomes smooth.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a nonstick skillet over medium low heat (not too hot or it will burn). Dip the leaves in the batter and let the extra batter drip off.
  4. Fry the sage leaves about 1 minute each side until crispy and a light golden color.
  5. Place them on a paper towel and sprinkle them with a dash of sea salt.
don't miss dairy

Butternut Squash Pasta with Battered Sage Leaves from
Butternut Squash Pasta with Battered Sage Leaves from

Pin on PinterestShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on TumblrEmail this to someone

Guacamole Pasta

I was inspired by a recipe from the blog Oh She Glows, which I found on Pinterest. Maybe you saw it? It was called Creamy Avocado Pasta. I tried it out and loved it, then decided to take it a step further with some of my favorite pasta ingredients. I had a fresh bag of avocados and had recently made a delicious batch of guacamole.

Most of my usual pasta toppings are also in guacamole, so they’d go perfectly well with avocado pasta, right? That was my hypothesis. I collected materials and then experimented in my lab (kitchen). My conclusion? A work of art both in taste and appearance. I was satisfied. It’s an excellent comfort food if you love avocado. Next time I might add a bit of Toffuti Sour Cream to make it creamier, as the dish loses some of it’s creamy texture when adding all those other ingredients. I bet it would go well with gluten free corn and quinoa pasta–like chips and guac!

Dice the grape tomatoes after cooking at your preference. I like my grape tomatoes whole and bursting with juiciness in every bite, but this recipe would be great with the tomatoes a little more blended. It doesn’t store for very long since it’s avocado, but the acidity of the tomatoes should help preserve it a little. Store in a super airtight container if you must store it, but this dish is best eaten right away.

1/2 lb. uncooked pasta
1 package grape tomatoes or two cans diced tomatoes (drained)
1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 avocado
dash lime juice
fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped (for topping)
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Add onions, whole grape tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, sea salt, and black pepper in a medium size casserole dish (I used a glass loaf dish). Mix well, then place in oven cook for 30 minutes.
2. Timing this perfectly so your pasta is ready when your sauce is ready, cook your pasta according to package directions. While your pasta is cooking away, cut your avocado in half, remove the pit, and scoop out the creamy green fruit into a large mixing bowl, mashing it a bit. Add a dash or two of lime juice.
3. When your pasta is cooked, drain it and then toss immediately into the soft avocado. Also add the oven roasted tomato sauce. Make sure you add all that hot, garlicky olive oil! Mix thoroughly until the pasta is evenly coated. Serve and top with cilantro, sea salt, and black pepper. Superb said the herb.
Pin on PinterestShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on TumblrEmail this to someone

30 Minute Tomato and Kale Pasta for Two

I love this dish not only because it uses all my favorite super fresh vegetables, but because it is so easy! You just throw all the ingredients into a dish and put it in the oven. It’s absolutely delicious comfort food.

I used a cute curly pasta to go with my dish, but you can use whatever you have on hand. This is better for the summer when all the ingredients can be at their freshest. Sprinkle with Parma before serving! If you can find it, it’s a parmesan cheese imitation topping made from sea salt, walnuts, and nutritional yeast.


2 cups uncooked pasta
1 package whole cherry tomatoes
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 large kale leaves, stems removed and leaves shredded
1/4 cup yellow onion, chopped
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon dried basil


1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit  Add whole cherry tomatoes, garlic, kale, and onion into a small glass casserole dish and toss. I used a loaf dish.

2. Drizzle olive oil on top, toss to coat. Add salt, pepper, oregano, and basil and stir to coat evenly.

3. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes. While the sauce is cooking, start your pasta according to the directions so that it’s hot, fresh, and ready as soon as the tomato and kale sauce is done. I hope it becomes your go-to comfort food!

Pin on PinterestShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on TumblrEmail this to someone