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Plant-Based Recipe For Health

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Plant-Based Recipe For Health

finished plant based recipe


This plant-based recipe is a delicious, mouthwatering, and satiating meal, stacked with black rice, black beans, walnut lentil ‘meat’, cheese, lettuce, pico de gallo, olives, sour cream, scallions, and pickled jalapenos. Join Chef Nina Curtis, The Botanical Chef, as she shows us how to make this award-winning meal called, Vitaliz Haystacks, in a flash.




Nina Curtis is the Director and Executive Chef for Adventist Health, Roseville Campus Vitaliz Café, and Culinary Arts department. At the helm of this dynamic culinary division, Chef Curtis continues to be recognized as a leader and trailblazer in the plant-based culinary movement.

As the former Executive Chef at The Ranch at Live Oak, Malibu, the acclaimed seven-day fitness and wellness Bootcamp and the Chief Nutrition Officer for the Ranch Daily, a meal subscription service in Southern California, Nina keeps her finger on the pulse of the wellness and plant-based lifestyle trends.

Nina has been an avid proponent of a plant-based lifestyle for the past twenty years. Her food and beverage background over the years includes working with the Marriot Group, Hilton Hotels, Baxters, Manhattan Beach, the El Caballo, Oakland, Pure Food and Wine in New York, and the Springs Restaurant and Wine Bar, Los Angeles.

Chef Curtis presents lectures and demonstrations on health, nutrition, and whole foods all around the world. She has developed wellness training programs, set up kitchen operations, and has worked closely in conjunction with culinary master gardeners to develop seasonal and gorgeous garden-to-table recipes that are essential to having a delicious plant-strong culinary experience.

An MBA graduate of Pepperdine University, Curtis was also trained at Living Light Culinary Institute, Trinity School of Natural Health, the Natural Gourmet Culinary Institute, and she holds a Plant-Based Nutrition Certificate from the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutritional Studies, Cornell.


Nina Curtis
Nina Curtis



Vitaliz Haystacks are an elevated offering of the traditional Adventist Haystacks, known and loved by a global community and eaten and shared with family and friends alike. This mouth-watering and flavorful dish is often eaten at celebratory gatherings, after church services, and at potluck dinners. Traditionally, the meal is stacked with corn chips, black beans, cheese, lettuce, diced tomatoes or Pico de Gallo, olives, sour cream, scallions, and pickled jalapenos. There’s no real limit to the number of plant-based ingredients that can be used.  So get stacking!


The ingredients used in this recipe.


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finished plant based recipe
The finished recipe, ready to be eaten!


Nina and her Haystack meal
Nina showing off her yummy plant-based Vitaliz Haystacks.


Vitaliz Haystacks

The Vitaliz Café launched Vitaliz Haystacks as a homage to this traditional Adventist dish with a healthier option to the delight of our associates and it’s been a success ever since!
Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine American
Servings 4 people


  • 2 cups cooked organic black rice-served warm
  • 2 cups cooked organic black beans seasoned to taste with sea salt and black pepper-served hot
  • 2 cups shredded organic romaine lettuce
  • 1 cup of Violife grated ‘Cheddar Cheese’ this is a plant-based cheese, (or your favorite cheddar cheese)
  • 1 cup fresh off the cob organic corn kernels approximately two ears of corn 3⁄4 cup small diced red bell peppers
  • 1/4 cup sliced black olives
  • 1/4 cup plus teaspoons thinly sliced scallions
  • Lentil Walnut ‘meat’:
  • 1 cup cooked organic lentils- make sure the lentils are cooked just to tender not too soft 1 cup toasted organic walnuts
  • 1/4 cup rice bran oil
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle powder 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoons sea salt adjust to taste


  • In a food processor pulse the lentils and walnuts a couple of times until you create a crumble consistency. Pour the lentil and walnut contents into a medium size bowl and add all listed seasonings and oil. Mix until the mixture resembles ‘ground beef’ and ingredients are well combined. Just before you are ready to plate, heat the lentil walnut ‘meat’ in a large skillet, as you would ground beef. Serve on the Vitaliz Haystack hot.
  • Toss corn kernels and red bell peppers in a small size bowl and salt to taste. Set aside.
  • Pico de Gallo:
  • 2 cups small diced organic tomatoes, de-seeded, 3/4 cup small diced organic red onion, 1⁄2 cup rough chopped organic, cilantro 1⁄4 cup lime juice, 1⁄2 teaspoons sea salt, 1/8 teaspoon black pepper, Place all the ingredients in a small size bowl and toss together. Set aside.
  • Chipotle Aioli:
  • 2 cups Follow Your Heart Non-Soy Vegenaise, Re-constituted 2 large dried chipotle peppers. Once reconstituted remove seeds to the tame heat. 1⁄4 cup organic apple cider vinegar, 1⁄2 teaspoon sea salt. Place the two chipotle peppers and two cups of Follow Your Heart Non-Soy Vegenaise (or your choice of mayonnaise in a blender. Add apple cider vinegar and sea salt and blend to a smooth consistency. Place aioli in a squeeze bottle. Set aside.
  • Plating:
  • Place 1⁄2 cup of black rice in the center of the plate. Next layer 1⁄2 cup black beans on top of the rice. Follow by continuing to stack 1⁄4 cup of lentil walnut meat, 1⁄4 cup ‘cheddar cheese’, 1⁄2 cup shredded romaine lettuce, 1⁄4 cup corn and red bell peppers, 1⁄4 cup Pico de Gallo, 1 tablespoon Follow Your Heart Sour Cream, 1 teaspoon black olives, 1 teaspoon scallions and drizzle with Chipotle aioli. Place a teaspoon of your favorite brand of pickled jalapeno on the side of the haystack along with a few tortilla chips around the haystack as well. And Voila!
Keyword vegan
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!



Another successful #LunchBreakLIVE with a super tasty and simple recipe most anyone can make.  So I hope you give it a try.  If you do, be sure to take a photo and tag @JaneUnChainedNews on Instagram, and leave a comment here letting us know how you liked it.  If you are looking for more simple vegan recipes to try, be sure to stop by the #LunchBreakLIVE page, where we have a ton to choose from.  Until next time…keep cookin’!



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