Homemade Veggie Chili is one of my favorites. It is my go to soup probably once every two weeks, because most of the ingredients I have readily on hand. It also makes a bunch so we have left overs to last us a couple of days and it is perfect to send along for lunch. Don’t let the long ingredient list overwhelm you, just go ahead and pull everything out before you start.
Typically I use minced garlic, just to make life easier than mincing my own. I purchased an electric can opener after about a year of our new way of eating. My wrist was so sore after preparing Christmas the first year that an electric one was the only way to go. I go through and open all the canned items while my fresh veggies are cooking. Get started draining and rinsing the beans. This is important, not only will it have an effect on the color of your soup but I have heard it can elevate some of the gas that sometimes comes with beans. Once rinsed and drained, put all the beans in a large bowl while they wait their turn to go into the soup. I use a small bowl and get all my seasonings ready ahead of time as well. I’m all about making things easy. Enjoy!
I love this! I picked up this tray from Pier 1 and have been using it as a decorative piece on my coffee table and recently, I looked at it with a new vision. I started by covering the inside with cute pumpkin cloth napkins to protect the wood detail. Moving on, I filled two bowls with The Better Chip brand chips from Gordon Food Services(GFS), I have spinach and kale in the red bowl and Jalapeño (Yes, real Jalapeño and they DO kick) in the green bowl, both are whole grain and vegan. Two types of hummus in the white bowls in the center, roasted red pepper family style from GFS and garlic family style from Costco. A bowl of guacamole, store-bought from Costco..all three of the containers fit into my one bowl, and a plate of veggie sushi from my local Kroger. On the other side a bowl of mixed nuts, a bowl of honey nut clusters (not vegan by all standards), a bowl of olives, and a bowl of dark chocolate covered pretzels. I filled in with lots of fresh veggies, mushrooms, cauliflower, green cauliflower, orange, yellow and red peppers, and carrots. The left over holes on one side got filled in with grape tomatoes and the other side was filled in with grapes. I almost forgot all the Mary’s Gone crackers! We go through box after box of these over the holidays. Costco has them in a 20 ounce box with 2 bags of the original flavor, certified vegan. Such a party hit and so much food. A perfect tray to put out for the holidays! I served this at home, the tray might be a little hard to take somewhere once you have it filled. Let this serve as an example of what you can bring when you’re invited to a get together with friends this holiday season.
My mother in law used to make the most fabulous potato salad, the kind that is so rich and creamy it just melts in your mouth. But alas, it was far from plant-based with its mayo and eggs. So this is the substitute, not as creamy but certainly as tasty. We test made this over the Labor Day holiday weekend, when all my kid’s were home. They are always good taste testers. They agreed it passed and could be added in to those family gatherings where we used to enjoy grandmas potato salad. It’s fairly quick and easy to pull together and best yet, it can sit outside at the family picnic without any worries about whats going on with the mayo sitting in the sunshine. We chose to leave the skin on the potatoes but you can certainly peel them if you want. Potato skins are actually quite healthy. One whole baked potato amazingly has more potassium than a banana. Spuds are also rich in iron, magnesium, and fiber, and fiber my friends is only found in plant food, and is a must have for our bodies to run efficiently. Enjoy!
This past 4th of July my family traveled as we have for many years to my sister’s house on the east side of Cleveland. Her home is nestled in Ohio wine country and we celebrate yearly at Chalet Debonne Vineyards. It’s a joy to visit because she prepares scrumptious plant-based dishes too. This year she prepared a Mac and Cheese, (along with lots of other dishes) that was extra yummy. My hubby even went back for seconds and he was never a Mac and cheese kind of guy before this plant-based adventure. I was initially a little concerned because following Dr. Esselstyn’s prevent and reverse heart disease lifestyle one is supposed to stay away from nuts. I have been avoiding them like the plague. However, at a recent conference, Dr. Esselstyn was asked about nuts and he stated he doesn’t like nuts because no one can stop with just one handful and people end up with nuts in their car, nuts in their desk, nuts in their purse, essentially you can’t stop with just one. So I made the executive decision that I can use them occasionally within a recipe and just keep them out of sight and hidden in my house so they don’t become a go to snack. Over Labor Day weekend I prepared Steff’s Mac and Cheese for the first time. My sister assured me it was super easy. Just toss everything in the Vita-mix. I’m told if you have a Vita-mix you don’t need to soak your raw cashews, however the ones I had were lightly salted so I soaked and rinsed them just to get rid of the added salt. I had to text her photos of my progress several times during the process because I was expecting the sauce in my Vita-mix to be much thicker than it was. She assured me it was perfect. Sticking with Esselstyn I used 100% whole grain elbow macaroni.
This is a recipe I found early on in our venture into heart healthy living. After watching Forks Over Knives on Netflix I discovered the Forks Over Knives Recipe App which was not free but very low cost, like I think around $5. It updates all the time with new recipes and each recipe has a shopping list of ingredients and step by step instructions. The app is great for when I find myself at the grocery and I can’t remember what ingredients I needed for my evenings creations. I open it up and viola, a plethora of whole food plant based recipes at my fingertips. I’ve tweaked the recipe just a bit to fit our family, but the original can be found on the Forks Over Knives Recipe Ap as well as the website http://www.forksoverknives.com
The recipe calls for cooking in a large stock pot, I have also experimented a bit and used my slow cooker. I put everything together but instead of letting it simmer over low heat for an hour, I toss it all in my crock pot and set it on high. Then there’s time to run someone to soccer practice, pick someone up from band practice, zip over and watch someone play a game and come home to a hot homemade dinner.
I came across this recipe called Lentil Enchilada Pasta in the first Forks over Knives Bookazine from 2017. I have made it many times and have tweaked it just a bit to make it my own, and to suit my family. I have dropped the “enchilada” from the recipe name because at my house it was bringing up totally different ideals and somehow they wanted it wrapped in a corn tortilla and that just wasn’t happening. I use 100% whole grain penne pasta, my local grocery “Kroger” brand in the brown box. It comes in a 16 ounce box so I have adjusted the recipe to account for the change from the original 12 ounce box called for in the forks over knives bookazine. Four cups of lentils cooked is approximately 2 cups of dry lentils. This is one of those recipes that gives you that home cooking feeling, no frills, just fills everyone up. The bonus is I typically have left overs to pack for lunch the next day. Enjoy this healthy dinner and remember to ❤️ur❤️.
In a large pot cook pasta according to package instruction, drain. Return pasta to the pot, cover with a lid and keep warm.
To prepare the sauce, in a saucepan, cook onion, celery, sweet pepper, and garlic in the water and the 1/2 cup of veggie broth over medium heat, until the onion and celery are tender.
Stir in the tomatoes, lentils, additional veggie broth, nutritional yeast, flour, chili powder, cumin, sea salt, and paprika. Bring to boiling and reduce heat, simmer for 10 minutes. Season with black pepper.
Add sauce and cilantro to the pasta, toss to coat. Serve topped with additional nutritional yeast if desired.
I must admit that before starting down this healthy path I think I maybe had purchased lentils once and used them in a soup recipe. I certainly would never have walked into a restaurant and been excited seeing lentil soup on the menu. But, my how times have changed. Did you know that there is more than one types of lentils and they each have a subtlety different flavor, I bet you thought they were all the same. Brown lentils are what is commonly sold in the store in a package that states simply, lentils. Red, brown and green lentils are what I use because they don’t end up mushy and are great for most of the dishes I make. Maybe my future holds some experimenting with black, red, yellow etc. but for now I’m happy with red, brown and green.
I discovered a quick and easy trick for making lentils that doesn’t require you to watch them to see if they are boiling or set a timer or anything, my rice cooker! As all rice cookers are slightly different I’ll tell you what works for mine and then you may need to play around with it a bit. I haven’t tried the yellow or black lentils in my rice cooker, actually I haven’t tried them at home at all. It is my understanding from reading about them that the yellow and black can become mushy so I would guess putting them in the rice cooker may not turn out so well. After rinsing brown, green or red lentils, I pop them in my rice cooker and add twice the amount of water, close the top and push the white rice button, and walk away. So for example if I use 1 cup of lentils dried I add 2 cups of water with them in the rice cooker. They will double at least, in size so if you have a small rice cooker be careful not to overload it.
A half cup of dried lentils yields a little more than one cup of cooked lentils. Better to have too much than too little is my motto, so you will tend to find some extra cooked lentils in my fridge at all times. I’m not sure how long they last once they are cooked because I use them within the week. I toss them on salads, on top of pizzas, in budda bowls, not to mention all the tasty recipes they go in, lentil pasta and lentil sloppy Joes, lentil loaf.
The best thing about lentils is how healthy they are for us. They are exceptionally nutrient dense, rich in protein, fiber, calcium, iron and B vitamins. One cup of lentils contains 18 grams of protein, which makes them a perfect chunk of my daily 48 grams of protein. Lentils are little lens shaped legumes and lenses were named after lentils…lens is lentil in latin. Lentils are one of the oldest legumes, dating back to Ancient Greece. Enjoy your healthy lentils! ❤️ur❤️
This recipe is a great way to use up any extra quinoa you may have on hand. If you are making fresh quinoa for this recipe please refer to my previous post and try your hand at making quinoa in your rice cooker. Remember quinoa is gluten-free and packed with protein! I usually have a big bag of regular quinoa from Costco in my pantry. I also have small bags of multi colored quinoa that have found at my local Kroger grocery store. Tabbouleh is traditionally a vegetarian salad made of mostly finely chopped, parsley with tomatoes, mint, onion, bulgur, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. This as you will see is an adaptation of the traditional, absolutely oil free. I am sure there are numerous ways you can play with this recipe and make it your own. For now this is what our family enjoys, however each time I think we tweak it just a little, so tweak away. I serve this cold as a side salad.
If you are using uncooked quinoa, combine the quinoa with the water in a pan and bring to a simmer, reduce heat to low. Cover and cook for 30 to 35 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit covered for 5 min., fluff with a fork and refrigerate until chilled, approximately 2 hours.
Combine chilled quinoa, parsley, cilantro, cucumber, mint, red onion, salt and ACV, mix together and serve immediately or chill.
I have been using a rice cookers for several years and I am currently on my second one. The one I have has two setting, one for white rice and one for brown rice. I have consistently cooked either brown or white rice and nothing else, it does have a steaming basket but I have yet to try it. A few weeks ago my son purchased a rice cooker for his apartment and read the instruction book, something I had neglected to do since mine only had two buttons and I think I can tell if its brown or white rice. He informed me that his rice cooker could also cook quinoa and had a button specifically for that purpose. I curiously went to my stash of instruction manuals and fished out the one for my rice cooker, but there was no mention of quinoa or any other grains that could be cooked in there. Having burned quinoa on my stove top before I was anxious to give my rice cooker a try. Using a 2/1 ratio, 2 parts water to 1 part quinoa, I clicked the white rice button and waited.
Quinoa is a seed related to the beet and chard families that looks and tastes like a grain but packs as much protein as meat. It is versatile and can go almost anywhere a grain can go. It can replace rice in a stir-fry or couscous in a salad. You can even eat it in the morning instead of oatmeal. Quinoa is gluten free and easy to digest. Quinoa is native to Andean cultures and the Incas referred to is as “mother of all grains”.
The light on my rice cooker clicked from red to green indicating that it was finished. Tentatively opening the lid I found to my delight that it was fluffy and steamy, and a success. No longer will I accidentally burn quinoa to the bottom of my pans, my rice cooker has a new purpose.