Erica Willemsen - Undergraduate Student at Oakland University


In general, I’ll make a quick bowl of old fashioned oatmeal with fresh fruit before I have to get to an early class. But if I have more time, I would prefer to have more of a leisurely breakfast and enjoy making either waffles or a toasted almond butter and jelly sandwich (below).

No Oil Waffles (recipe from: Happy Herbivore Abroad; using a nonstick waffle iron)


  • ¾ cup of oat flour

  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon

  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg

  • 2 tsp baking powder

  • ¾ cup of nondairy milk (I like to use Unsweetened Coconut Milk by So Delicious)

  • ¼ tsp vanilla

Mix all ingredients together (dry ingredients first); once the waffle iron is fully heated, pour desired batter into hot iron, and let cook. Repeat until all batter is gone.

I like to add berries or a banana on top of my waffles or just simply eat them alone.

Toasted Almond Butter and Jelly Sandwich


1 tbsp of unsalted and unsweetened almond butter (I like to use Barney Butter Bare)

1 tbsp of jam or jelly of your choice (I like to use Smucker’s Sugar Free Raspberry Jam or Blackberry Jam)

2 slices of bread (I use Ezekiel 4:9 Low Sodium bread—MY ABSOLUTE FAVORTIE)


I always add fruit to my breakfast as a rule; however the choice of fruit varies on the season.




In general, I typically enjoy a large field green salad (romaine, radicchio, spinach, and kale with cucumber, tomatoes, carrots, and parsley) with either no salt added kidney or cannellini beans (I like to get my beans from Whole Foods). For the dressing, I combine red wine vinegar, olive oil, dried parsley, and a variety of no salt seasonings (Bragg Seasoning is AMAZING), or I also enjoy making black bean corn salads (recipe below). On the side, I typically have unsalted pretzels, pita bread, salt-free Melba toasts, or unsalted tortilla chips, and a piece of fruit or berries.

Black Bean Corn Salad


  • 1 cup black beans (no salt added)

  • 1 cup tomatoes (chopped)

  • 1 cup frozen corn

  • ½ cup red pepper (chopped)

  • ½ cup cucumber (peeled and chopped)

  • 1 cup fresh cilantro

  • 3 tblsp lime juice

  • 2 tblsp balsamic vinegar

Mix all ingredients together, and serve with your favorite tortilla chips or pita bread!


My snacks include either fruit (apples, oranges, or berries) or hummus with unsalted pretzels, pita bread, or vegetables. At night I love snacking on Kashi Berry Fruitful Shredded Wheat or making homemade hot cocoa with raw cacao powder and coconut milk.


I definitely try to make a new recipe every night to enjoy for dinner. However, I do have my favorite recipes of course. These include: Vegan Chili, Vegan Lentil Stuffed Cabbage Rolls, Homemade Vegan Pizza with brown rice pizza crusts or Portobello Mushroom Fajitas. In addition, I love making fresh tabouli with pita bread. I have over fifty vegan and plant-based cookbooks and frequently visit Pinterest for more recipe ideas!

Kathleen and Michael Willemsen-

Kathleen Willemsen- Full-time Elderly Caregiver

Michael Willemsen- CPA (Certified Public Accountant)



For breakfast, we typically enjoy a hot cup of coffee with a splash of unsweetened soymilk, and a warm bowl of oatmeal. In particular, we enjoy Rip’s Engine 2 Oatmeal with unsalted, raw walnuts and fresh berries, or old-fashioned oats with natural peanut butter and banana.


Our favorite lunch is leftovers from our dinner from the night before. But if there are no leftovers, I’ll make us either a fresh greens salad with avocado, no salt added beans, vinegar and oil. In addition, we enjoy hummus wraps or avocado wraps with fresh salsa and tortilla chips.


Dinner is always fresh, exciting and YUMMY! In particular, we enjoy Lentil Bolognese with kamut pasta, Coconut Curry or African Peanut Curry, Eggplant Parmesan, Tortilla Casserole, or Homemade Pizza with brown rice crusts!


As for snacks, raw, unsalted nuts are always a go-to with fresh fruit. Also, coconut milk yogurt, granola, and hummus with chips and vegetables are always a favorite option. In the morning, Michael and I enjoy a plant-based smoothie with fresh and frozen fruits, fresh ginger, parsley or spinach, unsweetened soymilk, chia seeds, and Green Vibrance Powder. At night, muesli or shredded wheat is the go-to snack, and occasionally a plant-based dessert like avocado chocolate pudding!