Lentils are mentioned in the Bible in Genesis, in the story of Esau who gave up his birthright for a dish of lentils. (Genesis 25:30-34)
We were enjoying a lovely lunch the other day at Chick P in Brooklyn, when I happened to remember a Greek cookbook a friend gave me years ago. The falafel deluxe sandwich was incredible as was the lentil soup. I couldn’t wait to get home and see what kind of plant-based treasures from Greek grandmas I could discover in that long forgotten book. I was not disappointed, there are lots of recipes I plan on trying. The first to get a little WFPB makeover was this Barley and Lentil Soup. I made it for just my husband and I and it has taken us a week to eat it all, so it really does serve 8.
Barley Lentil Soup
- 5 to 6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 cup onion, chopped
- 3 to 4 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
- 1 celery stalk, chopped
- 7-8 cups vegetable broth (divided)
- 1 1/2 cups button mushrooms, sliced
- 1 cup lentils, rinsed
- 1/2 cup pearl barley
- 1 Tbsp. tomato paste
- 1 1/2 tsp. thyme
- 1 tsp. curry powder
- 1/4 tsp. of each turmeric, ginger, cumin, coriander, and cloves
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 Tbsp. parsley, finely chopped
- 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp. salt (optional)
- 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
- Cook garlic and onion a splash of water (to prevent sticking) in soup pot. Sauté 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add carrots and celery. Sauté 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add 6 cups vegetable broth, mushrooms, lentils, barley, tomato paste, and seasonings from thyme to parsley. Bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat and simmer 60 to 70 minutes or until the lentils and barley are tender, but not mushy.
- Add in remaining broth, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper. Stir to combine.
- Remove bay leaf and serve. Enjoy!
As I scrolled through my Facebook the other day I came across this sweet potato toast recipe. The post actually stated that sweet potato toast is the new avocado toast. I’ve never had avocado toast, in fact until recently I’ve only eaten avocados in guacamole and occasionally had some chunked in my salad. So being always on the lookout for new and interesting ways to eat healthy I checked it out. This is the link in case you would like to check it out too, it comes with a video sweet potato toast. I changed the recipe just a bit because we try and follow the Esselstyn diet as much as possible, so no oil and no dairy.
I started with a large sweet potato and had a rather difficult time slicing it
into 1/4-inch slices…note to self I need a new knife or a better way to cut sweet potatoes length wise. I prepared my cookie sheet along with my non stick mat. Instead of the 1 Tbsp of olive oil I substituted 1 Tbsp of apple sauce. This made the mixture that was to be brushed on the slices of sweet potato thicker than my liking. I decided on 2 Tbsp of applesauce, I used gogo squeeze organic appleapple applesauce. Since I was doubling the applesauce, I decided to double the paprika and cinnamon, leaving the sea salt at 1/4 tsp. I don’t have a toaster oven but found that a 375 degree oven for 10 minutes does the same job.
For the topping I used Silk dairy free plain soy yogurt, along with walnut pieces and apple slices.
Sweet Potato Toast
A quick, healthy, warm breakfast.
- 1 sweet potato
- 2 Tbsp. apple sauce
- 1/2 tsp. paprika
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. sea salt (optional)
- Silk dairy free plain soy yogurt
- walnut pieces
- apple slices
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
- Slice the potato into 1/4″ slices, lengthwise.
- Mix the applesauce, paprika, cinnamon and optional sea salt.
- Brush the applesauce mixture on both sides of the sweet potato slices.
- Place slices on prepared baking sheet, and bake for 10 minutes, until they are just tender when poked with a fork.
- Garnish with silk yogurt, walnuts and apple slices.
Engine 2 Lasagna
This veggie lasagna has been a hit several times with my family. It’s an easy dish to make ahead and keep in the refrigerator until you are ready to heat and serve. I use Kroger brand 100% whole wheat lasagna noodles, and Kroger brand Simple Truth Organic Marinara Sauce with Mushrooms. (This sauce is one of the few that doesn’t contain any oil) I begin by cleaning and cooking the sweet potatoes in the microwave while I sauté the rest of the vegetables. I usually substitute fresh spinach sautéed in the liquid from the veggies in place of the frozen spinach used in the Engine 2 version. We are on the Esselystyn diet which means we skip the cashews on the top, and we avoid any oils. This recipe completely fills a regular size 9 x 13 pan to the top, so it’s the perfect dish for feeding a crowd. The last two times I’ve made it the pan has been almost over the top so I am currently looking into a deep dish lasagna pan. www.engine2diet.com/recipe/raise-the-roof-sweet-potato-lasagna
Engine 2 Lasagna
A hearty pasta dish very reminiscent of Grandma's lasagna.
- 1 onion chopped
- 1 small head of garlic, all cloves chopped or pressed
- 8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
- 1 head broccoli, chopped
- 2 carrots, chopped
- 2 red bell peppers, seeded and chopped
- 1 can corn, rinsed and drained
- 1 package firm tofu
- 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp. oregano
- 1 tsp. basil
- 1 tsp. rosemary
- 2 jars pasta sauce
- 2 boxes 100%whole grain lasagna noodles
- 2 cups fresh spinach (engine 2 says 16 oz. frozen)
- 2 sweet potatoes, cooked and mashed
- 6 roma tomatoes, sliced thin
- Optional: 1 cup raw cashews, ground
- Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F
- Press the tofu in a tofu press and set aside to drain.
- Cook and mash sweet potatoes and set aside.
- Sauté the onion and garlic on medium heat for 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook until the onions are limp. Put aside in a large bowl, leaving the juices in the pan.
- Sauté the broccoli and carrots for 5 minutes and then add to the bowl with the mushrooms.
- Sauté the peppers and corn and then add them to the vegetable bowl.
- Sauté the fresh spinach and set aside separately from the vegetable bowl.
- Break up the tofu in the vegetable bowl, add the spices and combine.
- Cover the bottom of a 9×13 casserole dish with a layer of sauce. Add a layer of noodles. Cover the noodles with sauce.
- Spread the vegetable mixture over the sauced noodles. Cover with a layer of noodles and another layer of sauce.
- Add the sautéed spinach to the second layer of sauced noodles. Cover the spinach with the mashed sweet potatoes. Add another layer of sauce, the final layer of noodles, and a last topping of sauce.
- Cover the lasagna with thinly sliced Roma tomatoes. Cover with foil. Bake immediately or refrigerate until ready.
- Bake in the oven for 45 minutes.
- Remove the foil and (sprinkle optional ground cashews) return to the oven for 15 minutes.
- Let sit for 15 minutes before serving.
WFPB Chocolate Chip Cookies
Being on such a strict diet means there aren’t very many options for sweet indulgences. These cookies are great to have sitting around, and my husband loves them! || I adapted @susanffvk’s Banana-Maple Oatmeal Cookie recipe from her fat free vegan blog blog.fatfreevegan.com . I added nutmeg in addition to the cinnamon for flavoring and used chocolate chips in place of raisins in Susan’s original recipe. Tip: Make sure you flatten the cookies before putting them in the oven because they won’t change shape during baking. I love using the silicon mats I purchased at Costco in place of parchment paper. These cookies can easily double as a quick breakfast when you are on the run, or a healthy exercise snack at the gym.
WFPB Chocolate Chip Cookies
A healthy snack for any time of day.
- 2 tsp. ground chia seeds
- 4 Tbsp. water
- 2 cups quick oats
- 2 cups white whole wheat flour
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp. salt
- 2 tsp. cinnamon
- 2 tsp. nutmeg
- 1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips ( I prefer Enjoy life semi-sweet mini chips)
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1 cup maple syrup
- 2 bananas, mashed
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- Preheat oven to 375℉
- Combine ground chia seeds with water and set aside.
- Mix the oats, flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg in a mixing bowl. Add the vegan chocolate chips.
- Mix the maple syrup, vanilla, mashed bananas, and lemon juice. Mix in the ground chia seeds. Pour into the dry mixture and stir well.
- Drop by heaping teaspoons onto a baking sheet lined with a silicon mat or parchment paper. Flatten each cookie slightly with a fork. Bake for 8-12 min. or until bottoms are lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack before serving.