Plant Based Recipes & Tips for Healthier Living

The Coriander Lady’s

Vegan Primer

❤ Boost Your Immune System
❤ Reduce Inflammation
❤ Achieve Healthy Weight
❤ Increase Fiber
❤ Save Our Planet
A Grocery List
Vegan Staples
85 Savory Recipes
Breads! Desserts!
and so much more >
Vegan Cookbook- Tablet Cover Art

a Labor of Love

to my granddaughter Ella.

To support her and her dance company…

  • The funds would go to costumes, shoes, competitions, conventions and then nationals in Anaheim in the summer.
  • She started dancing when she was 3 taking tap and gymnastics at Rita’s in Liberty, IN.
  • This is her 3rd year on the RCDA (River City Dance Academy) competition team and has been with that studio for 4 years.
  • She takes jazz, theater, hip-hop, ballet, and pointe classes and is also a teacher assistant.
  • She is at dance for 10.5 hours a week, not including weekend practices when needed.
There is no greater joy for a grandparent than to see the smile on the face of a grandchild who loves what they are doing. For me, it is seeing my granddaughter Ella’s sense of achievement in pursuing her talents in dance. It’s a wonderful way for her to express herself! She’s become so poised and self-confident because of all her years of dance instruction!

For that reason, I decided to share my knowledge of a plant-based lifestyle to support Ella in her love of dance. It’s been a long road compiling and producing this cookbook – but my desire to see this child flourish helped me to complete a project started over two years ago. I hope it also brings you joy and healthier life. Thank you so much for helping me to support Ella through each purchase!

ella 2021 dance pic for blog Ps
ballet shoes

Why Vegan?


Boost Your Immune System

The vitamins and minerals, phytochemicals, and antioxidants in plants help to keep cells healthy and the body in balance so that your immune system can perform at its best. Plants certainly contain powerfully essential nutrients that you cannot get from other foods.

“Plants give your body what it needs to help fight off infection,” says Andrea Murray, MD Anderson, health education specialist. “A plant-based diet strengthens your immune system to protect you against germs and microorganisms.” A healthy immune system is essential for reducing your risk for cancer because it can recognize and attack mutations in cells before they can progress to disease.

Reduce Inflammation

Plants’ essential nutrients work to resolve inflammation in your body. The same tiny phytochemicals and antioxidants that boost your immune system also go around your body, neutralizing toxins from pollution, processed food, bacteria, viruses, and more.

“Antioxidants in plants grab all these so-called free radicals that can throw your body off balance,” says Dr. Murray. “To reduce inflammation, it’s important to eat plant-based and to listen to your body’s signals for how foods work for you.” If you suffer from inflammation over a long period, it can damage your body’s cells and tissue. Inflammation has also been linked to cancer and arthritis. A diet devoid of animal products may be the best way to protect you because it takes away the triggers to these diseases.

Achieve and Maintain a Healthy Weight

Achieving and maintaining a healthy body weight for your frame is a very important way to reduce your risk for cancer because obesity triggers inflammation and hormonal imbalance in the body. When you exceed your healthiest weight, your risk is much higher for many different types of cancer, including colorectal, postmenopausal breast, uterine, esophageal, kidney, and pancreatic cancers. If you are mostly eating plant-based foods and reducing or eliminating animal products, you are eliminating many of the foods that lead to weight gain! Combine that lifestyle with exercise and you are on a healthy path toward weight loss!

Increase Fiber

Fiber is present in all plant foods that are not highly processed foods and is what makes up the structure of the plant. You access a whole host of benefits if you eat more of it. For example, eating a plant-based diet improves the health of your gut, so you are better able to absorb the nutrients from the food that support your immune system and reduce inflammation. In addition, fiber can lower cholesterol and stabilize blood sugar, and it’s great for good bowel management. Finally, fiber is very important for reducing your cancer risk, especially for the third most common cancer, colorectal cancer.

The benefits of eating mostly plants are not limited to reducing your cancer risk. A plant-based diet also has been shown to reduce your risk for heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and some mental health illnesses. I have successfully managed my diabetes and high cholesterol solely with a plant-based diet and exercise since I cannot take diabetes medications because of pancreas issues. (See My Story)

Save Our Planet

According to a report from the United Nations Environment Program states that a worldwide transfer to a plant-based diet could reduce mortality and greenhouse gases caused by food production by 10% and 70%, respectively, by 2050. The report went on to say “animal products, both meat, and dairy, in general, require more resources and cause higher emissions than plant-based alternatives.” The World Health Organization states that “Reducing livestock herds would also reduce emissions of methane, which is the second-largest contributor to global warming after carbon dioxide.” A plant-based focus not only helps the individual but the world as a whole!

What’s Inside

Take a look at the Table Of Contents and everything inside the cookbook!

the Vegan Basics

Grocery List
My Favorite Vegan Ingredients
My Favorite Kitchen Tools
Oil-free Thickeners
Egg Replacements In Baking
Creating Egg-free Custards
Tips For Using Vegan Box Mixes

The Staples

Best Way To Cook Dried Beans
Preparing The Perfect Quinoa
All About Lentils
Best Way To Roast Garlic
Homemade Veggie Broth
Faux Chik’n Bouillon Powder
Faux Beef Bouillon
Creamy Mayo
Tangy Sour Cream
Flax “Eggs”
Plant-based Parmesan
Good For You” Cheez Sauce
Queso On A Weekday
Rich Ricotta
Amazing Mozzarella
My Favorite Spice Blend
Cajun Seasoning Blend
Taco Seasoning Mix
Fruit Vinaigrette
Mustard Vinaigrette
Oat Milk
Apple-mango Chutney
Mexican Lentils
Meatless Italian Meatballs

In The Beginning

Crispy Oat Waffles
Quick Saturday Morning French Toast
Upside-down French Toast Casserole
Breakfast Sausage Gravy
Norma’s Sesame Seed Biscuits
Overnight Hearty Oats (Oven)
Overnight Hearty Oats (Refrigerated)
Tofu Scrambled Eggs
Breakfast Scramble
Protein Breakfast Cookie

The Soups & Salads

Blustery Day Tomato Soup
Classic Chickpea Soup
Potato Corn Chowder
Mushroom Barley Soup
Rainy Day Lentil Soup
Tuscan White Bean Soup
Veggie Soup With White Bean Balls
Kris’ Rustic Autumn Chili
Simple Black Bean Soup
Faux Chik’n Noodle Soup
Split Pea Soup
Holiday Cranberry Salad
Karole’s Taco Salad
Connie’s Cajun Potato Salad
Waldorf Salad
Cranberry-broccoli Slaw
Kale-mango Salad
Roasted Corn Salad


Chickpea “Chik’n” Salad
Carrot Doggies
Grilled Cheez Sandwich
Cajun Kidney-quinoa Burgers
Cajun Mustard Sauce
Greek Pita Wrap
Greek “Feta” Dressing
Cucumber Tzatziki Dressing

the Main Event

Kris’ Spinach Lasagna
Black Bean And Corn Enchilada Casserole
Easy, Creamy Red Lentil Chickpea Curry
Brown Gravy
Mom’s Potato Cabbage Casserole
Chik’n And Dumplings
Kris’ Kung Pao Stir-fry
Fiesta Pastry Ring
Savory Pot Pie & Biscuits
Vegan Buttermilk Biscuits
Mediterranean Flatbread Pizza
Quick Flatbread Dough

Supportive Sides

Incredible Mashed Potatoes
Sweet Potato Souffle
Mom’s Cornbread Pudding
Cozy Scalloped Potatoes
Creamy Polenta

for The Love Of Bread

Easy Multi-seed Artisan Bread
Garlic Sourdough Toast
Sweet Cornbread
Garlic Naan

Sweet Stuff

Kaitlin’s Chocolate Cake (Low-fat Version)
Perfect Pumpkin Pie
Mocha Coffee “Nice” Cream
Caramel Sauce
Autumn Cider Donuts
Versatile Easy Cake Mix
Gingerbread Cake With Caramel Spiced Apple Topping
Pineapple Upside-down Cake
Chocolate Chippers
Triple Berry Crisp
Cranberry Apple Crisp
Quick Peach Crumble For One
Holiday Cranberry Nut Bread
Bodacious Banana Bread
Apple Cinnamon Streusel Muffins
Pumpkin Spice Muffins
Maple Spiced Icing


Roasted Chickpeas
Oil-free Hummus
Plant-based French Onion Dip
Seasoned Tortilla Chips
Oil-free Caramel Popcorn
Chris’ Party Balls

Cold Day Refreshments

5-minute Hot Chocolate
Vegan Nog
Pumpkin Spice Latte

My Story: Becoming Vegan

Are you interested in learning more about becoming a vegan? Perhaps, you are curious about what kinds of recipes might be “out there” that are interesting enough to try, or maybe you would like to replace one or two meals a week with a plant-based recipe? Of course, everyone comes to the table for different reasons (pardon the double entendre).

The collection of recipes that you find in this book result from nearly three years of discovery, precipitated by pancreatic and diabetes issues that were severe enough to require a week in the hospital and several visits to the emergency room afterward.

The doctors concluded that an adverse reaction to conventional diabetes medication, along with a lifetime of a fatty midwestern diet, were the catalysts. Sadly, my food choices, in the past, were made merely by what tasted good to me or based on what I’d learned in home economics classes growing up.

In the future, I wanted to avoid taking insulin or relying on other forms of medicine as treatment, especially after the reaction I suffered. So, I decided to resolve my health conditions by making better, informed food choices, and in doing so, I stumbled upon the enormous benefits of adopting a vegan diet.

Kris Enders - Author Vegan Cookbook

Kris Enders

‘Coriander Lady’
Author of the Vegan Cookbook & Primer

I met an excellent endocrinologist who gave me the name of a book, “Reversing Diabetes,” written by Dr. Neal Barnard (2007, published by Rodale).  That book changed my life!  Within 24 hours of reading this book, cover to cover, I excitedly adopted the vegan lifestyle and never looked back; that was over four years ago now.

I won’t pretend it was easy. Becoming vegan came with some challenges, but I found they were not insurmountable, and I enjoyed the discoveries along the way! Nonetheless, the initial dilemmas were multifold, and I hope to help smooth the course for you.

At first, “unlearning” something so deeply ingrained in you from childhood about “good food and healthy eating” was daunting.

My favorite foods were all cast into doubt, or I discovered them to be outright dangerous to my conditions, yet it all tasted SO good! I had collected years of recipes, either handed down or shared by friends and family.

Each Recipe was tweaked to perfection over the years, and now they were off-limits!  Or were they? One definition of comfort is to “inspire hope and restore physical ease and bring peace.” Comfort food, for me, is food that nurtures your body – and Soul. I’ve enjoyed those wonderful meals with traditional comfort foods, and those are the kind of meals that you long to sit down and enjoy with family and friends repeatedly.

They bring back such sweet memories that it was hard to let them all go by eliminating them. But where did I begin? How could I reconstruct those old favorites to keep them on the menu in a healthier version?

Change can be scary – or it can become a great new adventure – it is up to you, and this is how I proceeded! Unfortunately, the first attempts at learning how to create substitutions for ingredients in recipes of my old favorites were frequently bland or downright inedible!

Finding replacements for dairy and eggs required countless hours of research and cooking flops before the right ingredients with the correct measurements could yield the same wonderful flavors I loved.

Also, I have discovered numerous new spices and herbs that enhance flavors and have opened a new world of culinary delight that I would never have known otherwise.

I found terrific ethnic seasonings that marvelously enhance a meal and excite the taste buds. Recipes in this cookbook result from many hours of experimenting with proportions and combinations of flavors, reproducing recipes to include in this cookbook.

While some recipes may seem complicated at first, you will discover that having a well-stocked pantry, a few handy kitchen appliances, and a variety of fresh, colorful vegetables and fruits on hand makes the process more doable.

I also learned to gather and prep ingredients beforehand to prepare the dish quickly and efficiently to get the meal on the table. I can keep my blood sugars normal and keep my pancreas healthy with this vegan lifestyle.  Tom and I have lost 83 pounds collectively by living a plant-based lifestyle and walking 30-60 minutes a day.

Live your best life, too, whatever that might entail, by fueling your body with nature’s absolute best product. Some of these new dishes may become your new favorites, too!

I think you will find that your omnivore friends and family will not be able to tell the difference in many of the recipes as far as taste and texture go!  I tried to eliminate as much fat as I could in these recipes, but if you prefer to use vegetable oils or other plant-based fats (such as avocado) as a cooking ingredient, add them minimally, according to your taste.

Adjust the spices to your liking if you are sensitive to or dislike the amount of the seasoning or spice selections.

We have discovered that seasoning and spices are the magic that takes food from boring to bliss!

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Vegan Grocery Staples List

A compilation of my oft-used ingredients and links to find out where to get them.

Commonly Used Animal-Based Ingredients In Our Food

A list of the more common animal or insect-based ingredients that may surprise you!

A Note From the Author

This cookbook, being a primer of sorts, is a compilation of all the things I learned when I was first transitioning to a plant-based lifestyle. What I learned about substitutions for things like eggs, mayo, sour cream, milk, oil (for reducing fat), meat substitutions etc. I am taking all the legwork away for newbies so they have one book to refer to that gets them off to a good start.

The front two chapters of the cookbook speak of the tools, subs and replacements products that are out there that I have found and liked. I wish I had had all that in one place when I was first starting this journey! Instead I had to research for months to pull together recipes we liked and that helped us feel we could sustain this lifestyle indefinitely; FOREVER, actually, and quite happily! The book also contains recipes that we have loved as a family but we have made plant-based (not relying on any animal product at all) to make them just as tasty.

One tip though that I handover here and now is that while lots of the flavors we love are still there in these recipes – I also came to realize, that with time, I forgot the old and starting craving the “new”. But I put aside animal product right from the start and never, knowingly, put any of it in my mouth again after July 4, 2016. So we have come to embrace the food we eat now as the food we have always eaten. I have a plant-based version of all the beloved things and that makes me happy and maintain my healthiest weight for almost 5 years now!