At age 27, Betsy Ochoa has been a vegan long before it was trendy or cool. It started with a love of animals. Later, when she equated her dad’s diabetes to his poor eating habits, she began to see and understand the relationship between food and the body and became adamant about keeping herself in good health. Health benefits aside, Betsy doesn’t believe in sacrificing taste for feeling great and has made it her personal mission to spread the word by cooking for as many people as possible, including family, co-workers and friends. She just really loves cooking. “It’s kinda my thing,” she said, and as corny as she admits that it might sound, she considers cooking healthy meals for others as gifts of love and is happy to share her easy-to-make, deliciously healthy recipes. 




Betsy’s Gluten-Free, Vegan Recipes

Chocolate Hazelnut Spread

Course Snack
Keyword sauce, spread, sweet


  • 1/4 cup coconut milk plus an additional 2 tbsp
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 cup raw cacao powder* or cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp alcohol-free vanilla extract
  • 5.5 oz hazelnuts


  1. Roast 5.5 oz hazelnuts in the oven at 350° for 12 minutes. Remove and wrap in a kitchen towel for one minute. Rub off skins and let cool completely.
  2. In a food processor, combine roasted hazelnuts, coconut milk, coconut oil, maple syrup, sea salt, raw cacao powder (or cocoa powdeand vanilla extract and process completely.

Recipe Notes

(makes approximately two cups)

Chocolate Hazelnut Smoothie

Course Snack
Author Betsy Ochoa


  • 1/2 cup sliced frozen bananas
  • 2 tbsp homemade Chocolate Hazelnut Spread
  • 2 tsp maca powder*
  • 2 tsp coconut shreds
  • 1 tsp cacao powder
  • 2 tsp chia seeds
  • 1 - 1 1/2 cups almond milk


  1. In a blender, combine all ingredients, except 1 tsp chia seeds. Add almond milk as needed.
  2. Serve with sliced bananas & remaining tsp chia seeds.

Gluten-Free Hazelnut Brownies

Course Dessert
Keyword brownie, chocolate, hazelnut, nuts, organic


  • 3/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/2 applesauce
  • 2/3 cup Bob's Red Mill® gluten-free flour 1-1
  • 1/3 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/3 cup organic cane sugar
  • 2 tbsp cacao powder or cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp alcohol-free vanilla extract or pure vanilla extract
  • 1 - 2 tbsp water
  • 2/3 cup organic dairy-free chocolate chips
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup homemade Chocolate Hazelnut Spread
  • 1/4 cup chopped roasted hazelnuts
  • 1 tsp salt


  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. In a double boiler (glass bowl over a pot of boiling water, ensure the water does not touch the bottom of the bowl), melt 2/3 cup organic dairy free chocolate chips, constantly stirring.
  3. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
  4. In a large bowl, combine applesauce, coconut sugar, organic cane sugar, melted coconut oil, vanilla extract, and melted chocolate chips.
  5. Combine dry ingredients in a separate bowl and add slowly to wet until combined, adding water to help combine.
  6. Oil an 8x8” pan and line with parchment paper (oil helps parchment paper stay in place).
  7. Pour batter into pan, marble 1/2 cup homemade Chocolate Hazelnut Spread into batter and top with chopped hazelnuts.
  8. Bake for 22-25 minutes or until toothpick is inserted and remains clean.
  9. Let cool and then store in fridge for at least 4 hours.

Roasted Garlic & Red Pepper Hummus

Course Snack
Cuisine Mediterranean


  • 4 cups cooked garbanzo beans or two cans rinsed & drained
  • Pre-roasted red bell pepper
  • 1/2 head pre-roasted garlic
  • 1/3 cup tahini sesame seed butter
  • Juice of two lemons
  • 1/2 tbsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 4 tbsp olive oil


  1. Pre-roast garlic and red pepper in oven at 425° for 25 minutes or char over a gas grill.
  2. Peel excess skin off garlic head, chop head about 1/2 from top, cover with aluminum foil.
  3. Peel skin off pepper once completely cooled and remove seeds.
  4. In a food processor, combine all ingredients and add in 4 tbsp of olive oil while processing. Blend until smooth.

One Pan Roasted Vegetable Dinner

Course Main Course
Keyword vegetarian, vegan, vegetables, rice, beans
Author Betsy Ochoa


  • 2 cups wild/brown rice white rice or quinoa are good alternatives if you do not like brown rice
  • 2 cans garbanzo beans 4 cups
  • 2 tbsp & 2 tsp olive oil
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cauliflower head
  • 2 broccoli heads
  • 1/2 zucchini squash
  • 1/2 yellow squash
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin kernels
  • 1/4 cup sunflower kernels


  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Chop one cauliflower head, two broccoli heads, yellow and zucchini squash.
  3. Line a baking pan with aluminum foil. Toss and coat veggies with 2 tbsp olive oil, 2 tsp salt and 1 tsp black pepper and roast for 10 minutes.
  4. Rinse and dry (completel2 cans garbanzo beans (4 cups).
  5. Remove veggies from oven and toss to ensure cooking evenly.
  6. Add garbanzo beans to corner of pan and toss with 1 tsp cumin powder and garlic powder.
  7. Increase oven temperature to 400°. Return pan to oven for 30 minutes, pulling out to toss veggies and garbanzo beans once more while cooking to ensure even roasting.
  8. Prepare 1/4 cup pumpkin kernels and 1/4 cup sunflower kernels in a separate bowl with 2 tsp olive oil and 1/2 tsp salt. Add seeds to a corner of the pan and continue roasting for another 10 minutes.

Chopped Kale Salad

Course Salad
Cuisine Mediterranean
Keyword chopped, kale, salad


  • 1 cup chopped kale
  • 1 cup shredded red cabbage
  • 1 cup chopped spinach
  • 1 cup chopped romaine lettuce
  • 1/4 cup sliced cherry tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup spiralized carrots or carrot ribbons made with a peeler
  • 1/4 alfalfa sprouts
  • 1/4 cup sliced radishes
  • 1/4 cup spiraled beets
  • 4 tbsp hemp seeds
  • 2 tbsp sliced kalamata olives or your favorite olives
  • 1/2 - 1 sliced avocado
  • Juice of one lemon


  1. Chop kale and romaine lettuce, massaging greens with lemon juice (lemon juice helps release the phytonutrients in kale and helps break down your greens for better digestion and better texture).
  2. Massage greens with about 2 tbsp of garlic thyme dressing or to taste.
  3. Top salad with cherry tomatoes, radishes, carrots, beets, olives, sliced avocado, hemp seeds, or other seeds (toppings for salad are up to you; remember, you eat with your eyes first! Vibrant veggies will make your salad more appetizing and add different textures).
  4. Mix and serve.






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