You may have heard of the KISS principle.... Keep it simple, silly... Yes, that's my motto most days. I wanted to use up what we had on hand and that was potatoes and green beans. As I was preparing the dish, I thought that really, this plant-based way of eating is just preparing side dishes to be the main course most days. You just want to make them the star. Add some tofu or tempeh if you must, but why not just eat the veggies. It surprising to know, but vegetables have protein, too. A medium sized potatoes contains 2.1 grams of protein, not to mention it's other qualities, about 620 mg of potassium (that's more than a normal sized banana), 1.3 grams of fiber from the skin, and no fat. Green beans have about 2 grams of protein in 1 cup.
There seems to be some confusion or misinformation out there about just how much protein we need... to quote Dr. McGougall, who is a firm believer in a plant-based diet for health and wellness and has a clinic devoted to turning people's lives around (you can check it out here: Dr. McDougall's Health and Medical Center)...
"Our greatest time of growth—thus, the time of our greatest need for protein—is during our first 2 years of life—we double in size. At this vigorous developmental stage our ideal food is human milk, which is 5% protein. Compare this need to food choices that should be made as adults—when we are not growing. Rice is 8% protein, corn 11%, oatmeal 15%, and beans 27%. Thus protein deficiency is impossible when calorie needs are met by eating unprocessed starches and vegetables." So enjoy your veggies and don't worry too much about protein.printable recipeRoasted Potato & Green Bean SaladServes 4Ingredients3 medium sized potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks1-2 yams, peeled and cut into chunks3 cups green beans, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2" pieces1/2 red onion, sliced thinly1/2 cup chopped celery1/2 cup Kalamata olives, sliced (optional)1/3 cup balsamic or red wine vinegar1 Tbl. grainy or regular mustardSalt & pepper to tasteMethod:1. Steam the green beans for about 10 minutes until tender and roast the potatoes in a 400 degree oven 10 minutes until tender. To keep from sticking to the pan, you can add a little non-stick spray.2. Mix the beans and potatoes together with the red onion, celery, optional olives.3. Prepare the dressing and pour over vegetables. Mix to combine, adding salt and pepper to taste.
Easy as pie - although pie is not very easy to make .... Anyway, here is a quick salad topped with plant-based goodness - yams, onions and mushrooms. Although the yams and onions are roasted, the mushrooms are sautéed with water. Yes, you can sauté mushrooms with water and they turn out great. Unless you really like the flavor (and the calories and the health risks) of added oil, use this technique instead! I love this and use it with all the vegetables I sauté. Use plain water or a little broth or add liquid aminos or a little soy sauce. As the liquid goes down, add a little more - easy as that. And, if you think that olive oil is good for you, you might want to read this article, Dispelling the Myths about Olive Oil
. Enjoy this hearty salad.printable recipeRoasted Yam, Onion and Mushroom Salad
1/2 head of romaine lettuce, torn into bite-sized pieces
2 yam, peeled and cut into large chunks
1 onion, peeled and cut into large chunks
1 8 oz. box os mushrooms slicedDressing:
1/8 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tsp. jarred mustard
2 tsp. maple syrupMethod
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Place chopped yam and onions on a non-stick cookie sheet and into the preheated oven. Roast for about 20 minutes or until tender.
3. Saute mushrooms in water or broth until tender.
4. Put lettuce, yams, onions and mushrooms into a large salad bowl.
5. Mix all of the dressing ingredients in a small bowl and pour over the salad ingredients, toss and serve.
I found Susan's Power Porridge at her Fifty Not Frumpy blog and I'm hoping it does the trick. That is, keep me full for a longer period of time. Although I changed it up a bit, I think you'll find this recipe a real winner. It is super delicious and it doesn't really need any sweetener, at least for my taste. It's so full of goodness that I've contacted my friend and nutrition guru, Susie Phillips (who also owns Advance Body Solutions), to break down the nutritional value of this powerhouse meal. I am so excited to have discovered this recipe. Lentils and almond milk up the protein and the seeds and nuts add fiber and vitamin E. But let's see what else Susie has to say. This is a dynamite way to start the day. Eat your Power Porridge and you'll be powering all day. According to her blog, Susan was ably to shed many pounds by following Dr. Fuhrman's book, Eat to Live. Oh, and you also might be interested in Susan's great take on style and clothing. printable recipe
2 cups almond or oat milk
1 T. lentils
2 T. steel cut oats
2 T. oat bran
1 T. Kasha (buckwheat groats, toasted)
1 T. flax seeds, ground
1 T. chia seeds
1 T. sunflower seeds
2 T. walnuts, rough chopped
1 T. pumpkin seeds, raw
4 large dates, rough chopped
1 T. raisins
fresh or frozen berries and/or bananas
sweeten if you need to with honey or maple syrup or try the new sweetener Monk FruitMethod
1. Heat almond milk to a boil add lentils, then add grains, seeds and oats stir, turn down the heat to simmer, stirring occasionally. Simmer for about fifteen minutes until the lentils are tender. You may need to add more almond milk to keep the consistency creamy.
2. Add the nuts and dried fruit, stir and cover to simmer only until the dried fruits have warmed. Cut fresh fruit to add on top. Put in a bowl then drizzle honey over all.
I've been on a soup kick... I guess it's the cold weather and the storms - even here in Southern California. I hope you don't mind... I think you'll really love this one. It's a recipe from Julie Marie Sterner over at plantpurity.com and I didn't change a thing. I think it's awesome. And the cool thing is - it has no dairy! Instead, it uses a milk substitute (soy or almond) and nutritional yeast. Now if you've ever bought nutritional yeast, you know that it usually comes in a rather large container and can take a while to use. But this dish, uses 1 1/4 cups :) And, if case you've forgotten, if you're not eating meat, you'll need a good source of Vitamin B12. Nutritional yeast supplies 150% of your daily supply of it in 3 Tbl. What exactly is nutritional yeast, you might ask? It is yellow in color with a nutty, cheesy flavor and is made from an inactive yeast. It is a source of protein and vitamins, especially B-complex and is a complete protein. It is also naturally low in fat and sodium and free of sugar, dairy, and gluten. If you're interested you can read more about it at here.printable recipeCreamy Potato and Kale Soup
Serves 4 Ingredients
1 box organic vegetable broth (32 ounces)
1 medium onion diced
1 large carrot diced
1 rib celery diced
1 cup of parsley chopped fine
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 clove garlic pressed or chopped fine
2 medium potatoes diced
3 large leaves kale cut into thin ribbons
1 box unsweetened soy milk (32 ounces)
4 tablespoons cornstarch
1 1/4 cups nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon caraway seeds (optional) Method: Soup Base
1. In a stock pot combine vegetable broth, onion, carrot, celery, 1/2 parsley, sea salt, pepper, garlic, potatoes, kale and caraway seeds.
2. Bring to boil until ingredients are tender. Creamy Sauce
3. In a sauce pot bring soy milk to a boil.
4. Incorporate cornstarch with 3/4 cups water
5. Add liquified cornstarch to boiling soy milk. Whisk thoroughly until thick
6. Turn off heat and add yeast.
7. Once potatoes are tender remove soup base from heat. Add cream sauce and remaining parsley. Stir to incorporate.
This is absolutely one of my favorite soups and so easy to make. It's warm and comforting while providing a great burst of plant-based nutrition with cauliflower, yams, red peppers and garbanzo beans for a little protein. The coconut milk kicks it up a notch and adds the creaminess. Enjoy this satisfying soup with a large bowl of salad greens or munch on it as a snack when you get that afternoon urge. This soup is easily made in the slow cooker, too.printable recipeCreamy Curried Cauliflower Soup
1/2 lb. potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 1/2" pieces
1/2 lb. yams peeled and cut into 1 1/2" pieces
1 large head of cauliflower cut into about 1 1/2" pieces
1 1/2 cups sliced carrots (3 medium)
3/4 cup coarsely chopped red pepper (1 medium)
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 15-oz can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
3 tsp. curry powder
2 tsp. grated fresh ginger
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. crushed red pepper
4 cups vegetable broth
1 14-oz can unsweetened light coconut milkMethod
1. Combine potatoes, cauliflower, carrots, sweet pepper, onion, and beans in a large pot.
Sprinkle curry powder, ginger and red pepper and salt over vegetables and beans. Pour broth over all.
2. Bring to a boil, cover and cook on low-heat for about 1 hour or until vegetables are tender.
3. Stir in coconut milk and heat through.
Note: If using a slow cooker, set on high for 4 hours or low for 8.
You have probably had buckwheat pancakes, but did you know that buckwheat can be served like rice? And, actually, buckwheat is not a grain, it's a seed, just like quinoa is. And, it's gluten-free. You may have heard of Kasha and this is buckwheat groats that have been toasted or roasted and are quick cooking. We're using those in this recipe. And, to makes things more confusing, there is also Kashi (with an "i") which is the breakfast cereal and is puffed. For today, I'm presenting buckwheat "meatballs." Buckwheat is high in rutin, a flavonoid that protects against disease by strengthening capillaries and preventing blood clotting. Coupled with its high levels of magnesium (one cup cooked provides over 20 percent of the Daily Value), which lowers blood pressure, buckwheat is truly a heart-healthy food. These are easy to make and are from a yummy recipe by Heather Nauta at healthyvegetarianrecipes.net
.printable recipeBuckwheat "Meatball" Spaghetti with Spinach & Carrots
1/2 cup toasted buckwheat, aka kasha (dry measure)
1 cup water
pinch sea salt
2 Tbl ground flax or chia seeds
1/4 cup water
2 Tbl tomato paste
1 Tbl stone ground mustard
2 Tbl tamari (soy sauce - use wheat-free/gluten-free if needed)
1 Tbl mixed dried herbs
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp paprika
1 egg (optional, but it does make them stick together better)
1-2 cups frozen leaf spinach
2 carrots, sliced
Pasta sauce of your choice
Pasta of your choiceMethod
1.Put the buckwheat in a small pot with the water and pinch of salt, and bring to a boil. Turn down to simmer, covered, for about 5 minutes. Note: If you use untoasted buckwheat, it will take more like 20 minutes to cook after boiling.
2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
3. Mix together the ground flax with the 1/4 cup water and leave to sit.
4. Mix together the seasonings in a large bowl, then add the cooked buckwheat, tomato past, and soaked flax and stir to combine.
5. Add the egg if you're using at this time.
6. Shape spoonfuls of the mix into small balls, burger patties or a loaf, and put in the oven. As balls, they take about 30 minutes to bake. Burgers will take a bit longer, and a loaf even longer.
7. Once the meatballs are done, take them out of the oven, and let them cool for a few minutes before handling them.
8. Cook the pasta in salted water, drain.
9. Add pasta sauce to a pan along with the spinach and carrots and cook until carrots are just tender. Add the buckwheat balls and heat through. Serve over the noodles
Beets from the garden.
Hearty Tomato, Carot, Brussels Sprout Soup with Low-Fat Broccoli Salad.
about a raw diet vs cooked here
. In the meantime, make the hearty vegetable soup from what you have in the fridge. Although I have Dr. Fuhrman's book, Eat for Health
, and I love the recipes, I don't always have everything that's called for. So, I improvise with what I have. It's hard to fail with most soups and easier to use up what you have around. For this recipe, I had carrots, onion, brussels sprouts, lentils, beans, and home-grown beets. And, I accidentally used tomato sauce instead of diced tomatoes. It turned out great. Many of Dr. Fuhrman's recipes call for carrot juice and I did use that here, but it adds sweetness and if you don't like that in a soup, use water or veggie stock instead. I love a bit of it, myself. If you don't have everything you need for this hearty, plant-based soup use what you do have and up your nutrient density for the day. Mix match with these main ingredients, liquid: stock, water, carrot juice, vegetables: any combo will do, but you can keep it in the cruciferous family or mix it up. Carrots and onion are always good and don't forget yams or sweet potatoes. Beans: lentils, split peas or any bean. Fat: chopped or ground nuts or nut butters. Enjoy!printable recipeTomato, Carrot, Brussels Sprout Soup
1 onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 carrots, cut into rounds
1 large beet, cup into 1/2" cubes
3 cups brussels sprouts, cut int half or fourths
1/3 cup green lentils
1/2 cup red lentils
1/2 cup kidney beans
1, 8 oz. can tomato sauce
2 cups carrot juice
1/3 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp. garam masala
2 T. almond or peanut butter
Salt and pepper to tasteMetod
1. Bring 4 cups water to boil and add the green and red lentils. Cook for a few minutes until they start to soften.
2. Add the remainder of the vegetables, juice, tomato sauce, beans, spices and nut butter.
3. Simmer soup, covered for 30-45 minutes until the vegetables are crisp tender and the lentils are soft.
I was inspired to make this dish from our home grown eggplant and peppers after enjoying an eggplant dish recently at the restaurant, P.F. Chang's. This recipe has been floating around my kitchen for many years and is one of my favorites from the cookbook, Make it Easy in Your Kitchen,
published in 1982.
I've been cooking for quite a while... This version, here, is updated to cut out the oil and has added red peppers and mushrooms. If you're like me, you want your eggplant cooked until soft and this dish does the trick. A delicious and great way to serve eggplant.printable recipeEggplant Szechwan-Style with Peppers & Mushrooms
1 medium eggplant, unpeeled and cut into 1" cubes
1 medium red pepper, cut into 1" cubes
1 pkg mushrooms, sliced
1/4 cup veggie stock or water
1 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 1/2 slice ginger, finely minced
2 T. soy sauce
2 tsp. sugar
1 1/2 tsp chili paste
4 tsp. rice vinegar Method:
1. In a small bowl, make broth mixture by adding veggie stock or water, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, sugar, chili paste and vinegar.
2. In a large skillet, saute eggplant in 1/4 cup water until soften just a bit and then add peppers and mushrooms and continue to sauté for about 3-4 minutes.
3. Add broth mixture to eggplant, bring to boil and stir. Cook for a few minutes until mixture has reduced a little.
4. Serve over steamed rice.
I've been on a roll with potatoes. Since my local store only sells organic potatoes in a bag, I have a lot right now. And, as you may know, chard and kale are some of the most nutrient dense foods out there. Add a little light coconut milk and your on the way to Thai heaven... Protein worries? One medium potatoes has about 4.5 grams, 2 cups cooked chard, 6 grams. All veggies have some protein. Enjoy this tasty plant-based meal :)printable recipeThai Curried Potatoes with Chard
1 large onion, sliced
3 large potatoes, peeled and cut into 1" pieces
1 can diced tomatoes
2 bunches swiss chard, stems removed and rough chopped
2 tsp. red curry paste
Salt & pepper to taste
1/2 -3/4 can light coconut milkMethod
1. Saute onion in a small amount of water for a few minutes
2. Add all of the potatoes and the diced tomatoes, the red curry paste and about 1/4 cup water so the potatoes don't stick. Cover and continue to cook for around 5 minutes until potatoes start to soften.
3. Add the chopped swiss chard and continue to cook until chard wilts and softens, using a spatula to flip the potatoes over the chard.
4. Add the coconut milk and cook until potatoes and done and the sauce has reduced a bit.
Roasted without oil.
It doesn't sound possible, right? But, this recipe from fifteenspatulas.com
absolutely does the trick at making crispy roasted potatoes WITHOUT oil! And, I also added red peppers and onions to the mix. Delish! Since potatoes are back on the menu, (see here
) I'm looking for ways to use them without any added fat. I like steaming instead of boiling them since it keeps more of the nutrients in the potato. If you have a non-stick cookie sheet and use a little non-stick spray, clean-up should be easy.printable recipeNo Oil Roasted Potatoes
2 russet potatoes and 2 yams, peeled and cut into 1" pieces.1 pepper, any color, cut into 1" pieces
1 red onion, cut into 1" pieces
2-3 T. flour
Salt & PepperMethod
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
1. Place the potatoes, onion and peppers in a large saute pan with a little water and once water is boiling, steam for about 5 minutes until the potatoes are crisp tender. Drain the potatoes, return the pieces to the pot (don't put the pot back on the heat), and sprinkle the flour over. Put the lid back on the pot, and shake it vigorously for a few seconds. You are marring the edges, which will facilitate the crunchiness of the potatoes later on.
2. Dump the potatoes onto a sheet pan lightly sprayed with oil and make sure they are in a single layer (don't crowd the potatoes, or the edges won't get crispy). Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
4. Roast for 30-45 minutes at 450 degrees F, turning after half way done, but watch them carefully so as not to burn.