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Hey, I get that the big guy, is, uh, the BIG guy – but he still needs to make it down the chimney and have enough energy to visit us all! Here’s a cookie he and his waistline will love—and it’s healthy enough to start off your day, too! Makes about 16 cookies. Ingredients: 1 […]

Two nutrition dynamos in one! Cauliflower, a cruciferous vegetable known for its many health benefits, is paired with turmeric, renowned for its powerful anti-inflammatory properties, which adds not only a vibrant yellow hue but also a rich depth of flavor. Serves 4 as a side dish, 2 as an entrée. Ingredients: 1½ pounds of cauliflower […]

This is a staple Alfredo-type sauce for our family. Poured over some noodles or drizzled over a sweet potato topped with lightly steamed broccoli, no matter how it’s used, it will be gobbled up in a blink! Kids aren’t eating their veggies? Now they are! Makes 3 cups. Ingredients: ½ cup cashews, soaked for 2 […]

This comforting soup offers complex layers of flavors, yet still remains a simple recipe to batch cook and eat all week. This is the best of mid-week cooking, delivering a gourmet flavor! Generously serves 6-8. Ingredients: 1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced 1 shallot, thinly sliced 1 pound Brussels sprouts, quartered 3 cloves garlic, minced […]

There is nothing more satisfying than eating a big plate of manicotti and never feeling that pasta bloat. The fresh basil, beautifully sweet tomatoes, and creamy bechamél sauce makes this holiday dinner party-worthy. You’ll win anyone over with this dish! Serves 6. Marinara ingredients: 1 28-ounce can of no-salt-added, whole, peeled tomatoes 1 14-ounce can […]

Indulge in this delightful and wholesome breakfast of whole-grain toast topped with a vibrant medley of flavors, including creamy avocado, fresh tomatoes, and basil. The balsamic reduction and lovely edible flowers take it to the next level of flavor and beauty! Serves 4. Ingredients: 4 tablespoonsbalsamic vinegar, reduced as instructed below 4 pieces of organic, […]

Step aside, rolled oats! There’s a new breakfast powerhouse in town! This little oat kernel contains all its phytonutrients to help you power through your day with no crashing and no hunger for hours. Think you already know oats? Try this recipe, and you’ll never go back to the rolled version! Makes 8 one-cup servings. […]

Caryn Dugan
Caryn Dugan

Caryn Dugan adopted a plant-based diet in response to tragedy: in 2008, cancer took her father at an early age and, ten weeks later, tried to take her. In response to her diagnosis, she searched for an answer and found one in the growing body of literature supporting a whole-food, plant-based diet to bolster our natural immune system.


In her 15 years advocating for more plants on plates, Caryn, known as the STL Veg Girl, has spearheaded many successful plant-based events in St. Louis. Most recently, she opened the nation’s first plant-based nutrition and culinary education center, the Center for Plant-Based Living, near St. Louis, MO. The Center also serves as the studio where she and her medical director, Dr. Jim Loomis, film episodes of the popular YouTube series, The Doc and Chef. Find more at

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