We are all adjusting to the COVID-19 pandemic and for most of us that means staying home and cooking at home. For those of you who are interested in fixing healthy meals for you and your family without meat – you’ve come to the right place! It’s been a while since I’ve posted – but I’ve been trying a bunch of new recipes that I’m anxious to share with others. We’ve been eating vegan for going on 3 years now – and have enjoyed many health benefits including a stronger immune system.
This delicious recipe from The How Not to Die Cookbook with recipes by Robin Robertson, uses 5 fresh vegetables, but you could use canned or frozen if you don’t have fresh. I served it over warm quinoa in bowls – but you could use brown, red or black rice. Just make sure to start cooking your grains before starting on the main entree. You could also substitute any veggies that you don’t have with some of your favorites.
1 red onion (I used a white onion)
1 carrot, chopped (you could use canned)
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 garlic clove, minced (1/2 tsp)
1 1/2 tsp minced fresh ginger (I use ginger paste in a tube – found at Aldi)
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1 1/4 inch pie fresh turmeric, grated (or 1/4 tsp ground turmeric)
1/8 to 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, or to taste
2 cups vegetable broth
1 cup green beans, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 cups diced mushrooms
1 1/2 cups cooked or 1 15.5 oz chickpeas (or garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
2 Tbsp minced fresh cilantro or parsley (I used 2 tsp dried parsley)
2 tsp blended peeled lemon (I used lemon juice)
1 Tbsp raisins or minced dried apricot (optional – I did not use)
Begin preparing quinoa, rice, or pasta (make enough for 4 servings)
Heat 1/4 cup of water in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, and bell pepper. Cover and cook for 5 minutes – string often.
Stir in the garlic, ginger, tomato paste, cinnamon, cumin, paprika, turmeric and cayenne.
Add the broth, green beans, mushrooms and chickpeas and bring to a boil.
Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes (stir often).
Stir in the cilantro, lemon and raisins (if using) and cook 5 minutes longer. Taste to adjust the seasonings and serve hot.
I will try my best to post more “Healthy at Home” recipes while we are in quarantine.
This is my new summer favorite vegan dish! It is simple and quick to make – and it uses some of my favorite ingredients: avocado, quinoa and black beans. It is perfect for hot summer nights when you don’t want to cook over a hot stove. It is great for left-overs too (in fact, I like it cold). Again, all these ingredients can be found at Aldi which makes this a reasonably priced and quick vegan meal that your whole family will enjoy!
This dish can be found on page 44 of “One Dish Vegan” and it serves about 4. It usually takes me about 20 minutes or less. For mine I like to substitute black beans for the pinto beans. Enjoy!
1 1/2 cups of water
1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed and drained
1 1/2 cups cooked pinto or black beans or 1 (15.5 oz) can of pinto or black beans – rinsed and drained
1 cup tomato salsa (our favorite is Newman’s Own Peach Salsa)
2 ripe Hass avocados, pitted, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch dice
3 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro (opt)
2 scallions, minced (opt)
Juice and zest of 1 lime (about 2 Tbsp. lime juice)
Freshly ground black pepper
Torn mixed salad greens for serving (opt)
Place water in a saucepan, add 1/2 tsp salt, and bring to a boil. Add the quinoa, return to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover and cook until the quinoa is tender and the water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and let sit for about 5 minutes, then transfer to a large bowl to cool. (I like to pop the bowl into the refrigerator until the other ingredients are ready to add).
Add the beans and salsa to the the bowl, and toss to combine. Add the avocados, cilantro, scallions, lime juice and zest, and salt and pepper to taste. Toss gently to combine. Taste and adjust the seasonings if needed.
If serving as a salad: arrange the salad greens on plates, top with the quinoa-bean mixture and serve.
It’s the middle of summer and the past few weeks have been HOT and muggy – definitely too hot to cook! So I found this great salad that we made last summer that earned a rare a 5 star rating. It uses fresh ingredients that are easy to find at my local Aldi store (for you cost conscious people like me out there). This recipe is Thai inspired and found on the Forks Over Knives website and was created by Jessica Nadel. It is super easy (takes 15 minutes) and serves 4 – 6 people. It is gluten free (depending on what you serve it over) and full of color and fresh crunchy flavor! Give it a try and let me know how you like it.
3 cups of fresh green beans or Asian long beans (I like to cut them into 1 – 2″ pieces before cooking)
2 slightly underripe mangos
1 cup cherry, grape or calamari tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup fresh cilantro – trimmed (opt. – my husband hates cilantro so I left it off)
3 creen onions, sliced
1/4 peanuts, crushed
Optional: Cooked rice (we used Simply Nature Seven Grains which warms up in 90 seconds in the microwave)
2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
1 Tbsp gluten-free tamari
1/2 tsp unrefined cane sugar (I used Sugar in the Raw)
1 fresh Thai Chili, minced (optional
Optional: 1 Tbsp Pad Thai Sauce
Bring a 3 qt pan of water to a boil. Add the green beans and cook for up to 2 minutes, until bright green and tender-crisp. Drain, then plunge them into a bowl of ice water to halt the cooking process. Drain again. (Optional: trim the ends and slice the beans in half lengthwise). Place them in a large bowl and set aside.
See and peel the mango and slice into long, thin strips. Add Mano to the green beans, along with the tomatoes, cilantro, onion and peanuts.
Wish together the lim juice, Tamara, cane sugar, and chili in a small bowl. Pour over the salad, toss and serve. The salad can be made and dressed ahead of time and left to chill and marinate in the fridge for up to 3 hours.
Quick Tip: This salad can be served alone or on a bed of rice, quinoa or other grains. We used the Simply Nature Organic Seven Grains from Aldi which adds 8 grams of protein to this meal.
I prepared this delicious and colorful dish for supper last night and served it over quinoa. This easy to prepare dish is from “One-Dish Vegan” by Robin Robertson and is packed full of antioxidants and protein from all veggies! It is soy and gluten-free depending on what you serve it over (couscous, rice, pasta, quinoa, or warm flatbread). It took me about 30 minutes to prepare and it serves approximately 4.
1 Tbsp olive oil or 1/4 cup water
1 medium (or half large) yellow onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced (2 tsp)
1 large or 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch dice
1 1/2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 (14.5 oz) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes, undrained
1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas or 1 (15.5 oz) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup vegetable broth or water
6 t0 8 cups chopped stemmed kale, spinach or chard
Lemon wedges, for serving
2 cups of cooked quinoa, couscous, rice or pasta (enough for 4 servings)
Cut up the onion, sweet potato and spinach (spinach needed last).
Follow directions for cooking about 2 cups of couscous, rice, pasta or quinoa.
In the meantime, heat the oil or water in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook for 3 to 5 minutes to soften, stirring occasionally, Add the sweet potato, coriander, paprika, thyme, cumin, red pepper flakes, and salt and pepper to taste.
Add the tomatoes with their juices, chickpeas, and broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes.
Add the kale (or spinach/chard), stirring to wilt. Simmer until all the vegetables are tender – about another 10-15 minutes. Serve hot over couscous, quinoa, pasta or flatbread and top with a squeeze of lemon.
Today’s Bonus Tip:
Eating a plant-based diet is great for your health – but we need to be mindful of toxins from the environment (chemical pesticides and fertilizers) found on our fruits and vegetables.
Every year, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) publishes a list of the “Dirty Dozen,” or the fruits and vegetables the nonprofit claims have the highest amount of pesticides when grown conventionally versus organically.
The EWG has compiled the list annually since 2004 based on internal data that’s not peer-reviewed. Using 40,900 samples for 47 different types of produce, the EWG found these twelve had the most pesticide residue:
The 2019 Dirty Dozen Foods List:
Strawberries rank number one for the fourth year in a row, and the rest of the list looks similar to years past with one exception: Kale made the top 12 for the first time in a decade.
If you’re concerned about pesticides, the EWG also publishes a list of the “Clean 15,” a.k.a. the produce from conventional growers that generally had less residue in the group’s tests. This year they are:
Asparagus is in season now and can often be found on sale at most food stores (I found mine at Aldi). When I was a girl I hated asparagus, but I think it was either over-cooked (mushy) or under-cooked (chewy). This super easy recipe, taken from Taste of Home (Feb/March 2013 edition), earned the coveted 5 stars from my husband! As a side dish I added a bag of quinoa and kale, found in the frozen section at Aldi. It only takes 15-20 minutes to prepare plus another 15 – 20 to bake (30 – 40 minutes total) and serves 3-4 people as a main dish or up to 8 as a side dish.
1 1/2 lbs. fresh asparagus, trimmed
1 1/2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
3 Tbsp. pine nuts
3 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
2 garlic cloves, minded (1 tsp)
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese (omit for vegan)
1 tsp. grated lemon peel (opt)
Put asparagus, tomatoes and pine nuts on a foil-lined 15″ x 10″ x 1″ baking pan. Mix 2 Tbsp olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper; toss with asparagus.
Bake at 400 degrees for 15 – 20 minutes or until asparagus is just tender. Drizzle with remaining oil and lemon juice; sprinkle with cheese (if using) and lemon peel. Toss to combine. Serve with quinoa and kale mix (available frozen from Aldi’s – see below).