Quick Vegan Pho

PHO! Is there anything better than slurping up a big bowl of delicious brothy noodles? The answer is no. Soupy, slurpy, full of gorgeous flavours from star anise, cloves, cinnamon, garlic and ginger, topped with basil, mint, cilantro, and all sorts of other goodness. A total bowl of health. This baby will make colds run away in horror.

Quick-Vegan-Pho

Traditional pho is supposed to take several hours to make, but let’s be honest, I ain’t got time for that.

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So I figured out a cheaters way (aka brilliant way) to make it in just 30 minutes. Not only that but you get to be all sorts of lazy and just toss everything in a pot and let it simmer.

I totally have time for that!Pho is all about the broth, and the broth is all about the right flavours. Pho’s unique flavours can be attributed to the spices: star anise, cloves, and cinnamon. Often used as a sweet combination, but pair them with onion, garlic, and soy sauce, and oooeeee is that the yummiest savoury, aromatic soup ever!

Then just decorate your pho with an endless combination of toppings. I love serving all the toppings on a large cutting board or in individual pretty little bowls, and then letting everyone top their pho to their own taste preferences. It makes for a great dinner party or just an easy weeknight meal.

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To make quick vegan pho, just quarter an onion, roughly chop the garlic, and slice the ginger into coins. Add the broth, onion, garlic, star anise, whole cloves, ginger, and cinnamon to a large pot and bring to a simmer. Cover and let simmer for 20-30 minutes. Yes, you will have large chunks of stuff floating around, thats how it should be.

In the meantime bring a big pot of water to a boil and cook your rice noodles. Follow the package directions or if there are none, cook until al dente, about 3 minutes. Drain, and rinse with cold water to stop the noodles cooking.

Chop up your toppings, and sauté the mushrooms or tofu if you are using either. Now I am pretty sure you know how to fill a bowl of soup, so I really don’t need to do a step by step photo guide on this one, but just look how pretty it is…Ahhhhhhhh…. This is the stuff of love.

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Feature Ingredient: Star Anise! 188 days, 69 Recipes to go.

Bon Appetegan!

Sam

Jackfruit Tikka Massala

Originally Published on www.Bosh.tv

Jackfruit Tikka Massala

We teamed up with the lovely Grace from SpiceBox to make this utterly delicious Jackfruit Tikka Massala.

Seriously, she’s mega talented – this is one of the best curries we’ve ever eaten.

Ingredients

Jackfruit Marinade

1 cup silken tofu
1/4 cup water
3 cloves garlic
2 inches ginger
1 tsp garam massala
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp salt
1/2 lemon (juiced)
1 tin young green jackfruit in water

Curry Sauce

3 tbsp vegetable oil
2 bay leaves
4 cardamon pods
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 onions (finely chopped)
3 cloves garlic (minced)
3 inches ginger (minced)
2 green chillies (chopped)
2 tbsp tomato puree
5 tomatoes (chopped)
small bunch cilantro stalks
1 tsp garam massala
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 can coconut milk
1 green pepper (chopped)

To serve

Basmati Rice
Pickled red onion (garnish)
Fresh coriander (garnish)

Method

1.Put the jackfruit marinade ingredients in a food processor & whizz them up in to liquid.

2.Pour the jackfruit into a bowl & “pull” it with two forks.

3.Add the marinade to the bowl, mix in the jackfruit & make sure it’s well covered.

4.Let the Jackfruit marinate, ideally for 2 hours or more.

5.Put the marinated jackfruit on a baking tray & bake it for 20 minutes at 240℃ (464℉).

6.Warm the vegetable oil in a pan & add the bay leaves, green cardamom pods & cumin seeds & mix them around until the aromas are released.

7.Add the onion & stir it until it’s translucent.

8.Add the garlic, ginger & green chillies & mix them in to the onions.

9.Add the tomato puree & mix that in too.

10.Add the tomatoes & the cilantro stalks & mix them into the onions.

11.Add the garam masala, paprika, ground coriander, turmeric & stir it all round so the spices are dissolved & mixed in nicely.

12.Add the coconut milk & mix it in to the sauce & let it reduce slightly.

13.Add the jackfruit & the green peppers, mix them round until the pepper has softened slightly.

14.Serve immediately over basmati rice, garnish with cilantro & pickled red onion.

Liberation From The Kitchen

How would you feel with some extra free time?  It’s easier than you think.

Let’s look at the current situation.  Many men and women work full time jobs.  After they get off work, they have to get home and figure out dinner for themselves and maybe their families.  Not sure about how many people feel about cooking dinner after working at least 8 hours, but it can be exhausting and that’s not exactly the first thing you feel like doing.

So how do you deal with this feeling of not wanting to cook?  Many people decide not to cook and instead go to their favorite take out or restaurant and buy dinner.  Not only is this pricey but most of the packaging comes in plastic.  Hopefully you grab something healthy for your body.  But if not then you bought something bad for one’s body and is bad for the planet as well.

How about thinking about a new solution?  I know this is not a new idea but actually a very old idea.  So maybe you have a good friend that is in the same situation as you.  So before you cook dinner you give them a quick call and say, “Hey friend, I’m making some mushroom soup and salad.  I cannot eat it all.  Would you like to stop by on your way home from work and pick some up on your way home?  Bring your own container and we’ll save the planet.”  Your friend is not only grateful but she replies, “Thanks so much!! I made some almond meal cookies and I’ll bring you some.”

The next night the cookie making friend calls her making friend and says, ” I made some quinoa with pesto sauce would you like me to bring some over?”  And they were both fed happy and they had the strength to carry on another day.

So if everyone started to do this, it would just create a world where people are sharing, caring and being fed.  It would be really great for the planet, families wallets and it would allow people to share some time together instead of being in the kitchen.

You can also try new and different food and if you like to cook, then someone to tell you how awesome your food is.  Also there’s nothing wrong with just giving food to someone with no expectation in return.  As you give, so shall you receive.  This is how we will transform our planet.  One small gesture of sharing at a time.  Let’s start the cycle of giving and receiving.

About the Author:  Valerie is a Health and Wellness Coach and Yoga Instructor.  Her dream is to see all people healthy and happy.  She shares with you healthy recipes, Anything good for Mother Earth as Mother Earth is in need of healing. As you Heal Yourself, You heal the planet.

Take the Fruit and Vegetable Challenge

Originally Published on OnHealth.com on June 21 2017, By John A. Daller

Take the Fruit and Vegetable Challenge

19 easy ways to get your 9 servings a day

By Elaine Magee, MPH, RD

WebMD Weight Loss Clinic

Reviewed By Brunilda Nazario, MD

If you thought getting five servings of fruits and vegetables a day was tough, get ready for nine! That’s the latest recommendation from the new dietary guidelines released by the departments of Agriculture and Health and Human Services. Nine servings translate to about 2 cups of fruit and 2 1/2 cups of vegetables every day.

We all know fruits and vegetables are good for us, but how do we go about getting nine servings every day? Most of us had a hard time working in five.

And what about people who don’t even like veggies? Many of us can even picture our mothers urging us to “eat our vegetables” at the family dinner table — or even refusing to let us leave the table until we choked those veggies down. (In fact, some researchers believe that bad experiences with vegetables from our past can affect how we feel about these vegetables now, says Karen Collins, MS, RD, CDN, nutrition consultant to the American Institute for Cancer Research.)

If this sounds like you, eating 2 1/2 cups of vegetables a day probably sounds next to impossible. But it’s a goal that’s so important for your health.

“The best nutrition minds in the country made these recommendations after studying the research that show fruits and vegetables can help reduce the risk for heart disease, type 2 diabetes, some cancers, and high blood pressure,” says Christine Filardo, MS, RD, a spokeswoman for the Produce for Better Health Foundation. “Fruits and vegetables can also help fight the obesity epidemic.”

According to Filardo, the most common reasons people give for not eating more fruits and vegetables are that they often aren’t convenient, and people don’t know how to prepare them.

So what does it take to get into the nine-a-day habit? According to experts:

  • It takes constantly reminding yourself to eat fruits and vegetables.
  • It takes having fruit and veggies available at every turn — at work, at home, in restaurants.
  • It takes making it easy for yourself, because most people today are beyond busy.
  • If you haven’t been accustomed to eating much produce, it takes starting small — maybe going for one serving a day at first — and staying the path.

With all this in mind, here are 19 surefire ways to get you on the road to enjoying fruits and vegetables several times a day.

1. Make fruit salad.

Fruit is much more appealing if it is cut, washed, and assembled into a colorful salad. A couple of times a week, clean out your produce bin and make a beautiful fruit salad.

2. Make a bowl of fruit part of your decor.

Wash whatever fresh fruit you have at the moment and set a big bowl of it on your table or desk. As you pass by or talk on the phone, you’ll find yourself munching on this awesome snack food.

3. Toss some fruit into your breakfast.

Throw some fresh, frozen, or dried fruit into your breakfast, whether you’re having a smoothie, pancakes, French toast, or hot or cold cereal.

4. Throw some veggies in the skillet.

Making an omelet or frittata? Fill it with chopped tomatoes, onions, mushrooms, green peppers, chili peppers, broccoli florets, or whatever you have on hand. Any or all of these veggies can also be tossed into any potato skillet dish.

5. Crunch on a green salad.

Eat a crisp, green salad almost every day. It’s a cool and refreshing way to work veggies into your lunch, dinner or snack. Load your salads up with as many raw veggies as you can: cucumber, grated carrots, zucchini, broccoli florets, green beans, onions, radishes, jicama, tomato, etc. And try using high-nutrient raw spinach or romaine instead of iceberg lettuce. For a sweet twist, add fruit to your green salads. Strawberries, pears, grapes, orange segments, mango, and papaya all work well.

6. Pair fruit with cheese.

Enjoy some fresh fruit with cheese for a nice (and portable) dessert, picnic, or snack. The fruits that best lend themselves to pairing with cheeses are pears, apples, and grapes.

7. Munch on dried fruit.

Dried fruits make great snacks! They don’t go bad or get bruised, and you can carry them in your briefcase or car (or store them in your desk) for a pick-me-up any time of day. Try dried apricots, pears, peaches, nectarines, prunes, raisins, dates, cherries, blueberries, and more.

8. Add veggies you like to dishes you love.

Spaghetti is one example of a dish that can be secretly supplemented with veggies. Just add finely chopped zucchini, mushroom, onions, eggplant, or yellow squash to a flavorful spaghetti sauce. The smaller you chop the veggies, the less likely you are to notice they’re there.

A few more examples:

  • Layer zucchini slices into your lasagna.
  • Stir broccoli florets into macaroni and cheese.
  • Toss a few chopped vegetables into an omelet.
  • Slide some veggies into a cheese quesadilla.

9. Spoon up some soup.

Have soup as a snack or with a meal, at home or in a restaurant. Choose soups that are bursting with vegetables. You can embellish canned soups with extra veggies, too. Just stir them in while you’re heating or cooking the soup.

10. Drink your vegetables (and fruits).

Some people are just more likely to drink their fruits and vegetables. V-8 or carrot juice equals a serving of vegetables. Or try blending some carrot juice with a fruit juice you enjoy (maybe orange or tangerine juice) and you’ve got a fruit AND a vegetable serving.

11. Vegi-fy your pizza.

If you like pizza, top it with some vegetables. Try any combination of tomato, onion, bell pepper, mushroom, zucchini, and artichoke hearts.

12. Toss some on the grill.

After you take your meat or fish off the grill, don’t waste the hot coals. Throw some fruits and/or veggies on the grill while you’re at it. You might be surprised at how great they taste!

Often, you can use the same marinade you’re using for your meat. (Just marinate your fruits or veggies separately from the meat or baste them with marinade that hasn’t touched the meat, so they’re not exposed to raw meat juices.)

You can make a veggie kabob with chunks of vegetables (eggplant, carrot, bell pepper, mushrooms, zucchini and other squash). Soft vegetables won’t need precooking, but firm vegetables like sweet potatoes, carrots, or broccoli, will benefit from steam or microwave cooking before they hit the grill.

13. Get them at the drive-through.

You can even get your vegetables at many fast-food chains, as long as you like salads. Wendy’s, for example, offers a Caesar side salad (with 70 calories and 4 grams of fat, not including dressing) or a side salad (35 calories, 0 grams fat, not including dressing). Ask for the fat-free French, low-fat honey mustard, or reduced-fat creamy ranch dressing. Use half the packet and you’ll add around 50 calories and from 0-4 grams of fat, depending on which dressing you choose.

14. Dress up your dinner plate with fruit.

Borrow a trick from restaurants, and add a beautiful fruit garnish to your dinner plate. It adds color and texture to your meal. Try orange wheels or wedges, sliced kiwi, a small branch of grapes, or a wedge of melon.

15. Drizzle on some cheese sauce.

Pour a little cheese sauce or grated cheese over a pile of broccoli spears or cauliflower, and suddenly it’s a whole different ballgame. You can make a lower-fat cheese sauce using reduced-fat cheese, fat-free half-and-half, and no butter or margarine.

16. Serve your veggies raw.

Raw vegetables are sometimes more appealing than their cooked counterparts. When you have a platter of assorted raw vegetables and some delicious low-fat dip in front of you, the vegetables just seem to disappear! Try raw cauliflower or broccoli florets, cabbage, or spinach, along with the usual carrots and celery. Use a light ranch or Italian dressing as a dip, or make your own and keep it ready to go in your refrigerator.

17. Keep fruit in heavy rotation.

TV chef and radio show host Bridget Kelly says that as a mother of two, she’s no longer interested in “sneaking” fruits and vegetables into her family’s diet — she goes for the all-out attack! To make sure fruit is appealing to her family, she has a trick: She serves the most perishable types soon after she returns from the grocery store and saves the hardier types for later. That means oranges and strawberries today (strawberries first because they have the shortest shelf life), bananas and grapes tomorrow, apples and mango the next.

18. Have prepared fruits and veggies ready to go in the fridge.

As soon as Kelly gets home from the store, she rinses all the fruit and puts some out for immediate consumption. The rest goes into easy-access clear plastic bags or containers. Then, when her family shows up hungry, she can toss them the fruit before they go rummaging around for chips.

19. Try a little salt.

Kelly encourages folks, if they’ve never done this, to boil their fresh vegetables in lightly salted water. “I can’t believe how many people aren’t aware of this simple flavor enhancement trick — it can make the difference between your child hating and loving broccoli,” she says.

9-a-Day Recipes

If you’re one of those folks who’s not sure you know how to prepare fruits and vegetables, here are a few simple recipes to get you started.

50/50 Fruit Salad (or Fruit Dip)

Journal as: 2 medium pieces of fresh fruit

Remember those 50/50 orange-and-cream bars? They were the inspiration for this recipe.

1 package (1.4 ounces) sugar-free and fat-free instant vanilla pudding mix

1 1/2 cups low-fat milk

5 tablespoons frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed

1/2 cup fat-free sour cream

2 cups melon cubes or balls (honeydew, cantaloupe, watermelon, etc.)

2 bananas, sliced

2 apples, cored and sliced

2 oranges, peeled and broken into segments

2 peaches, nectarines or pears, cored and sliced

Put pudding mix, milk, and orange juice concentrate in mixing bowl and beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Beat in or mix in sour cream.

Serve the orange dip with prepared fruit. Or, make a dressed fruit salad by adding all the fruits to a large serving bowl. Pour orange dressing over the top and toss gently to blend. Serve immediately, or cover and keep in refrigerator until ready to serve.

Yield: 8-10 cups of fruit salad.

Per cup of fruit salad and dip (if 8 cups per recipe): 162 calories, 4 g protein, 37 g carbohydrate, 1 g fat, 0.4 g saturated fat, 2 mg cholesterol, 3.5 g fiber, 35 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 6%.

Tropical Fruit Salad

Journal as: 1/2 cup canned fruit in juice + 1 medium piece of fruit

Bring a taste of the tropics to your fruit salad with this recipe.

20-ounce can pineapple chunks canned in juice

2 kiwi, peeled, halved and sliced

2 cups strawberries, quartered

1 large banana, sliced

1 papaya or mango, peeled and cubed (or substitute an 11-ounce can of mandarin oranges, drained)

1/2 teaspoon finely grated lime zest or peel

2 tablespoons lime juice

1 1/2 tablespoons honey

1/3 cup unsweetened or sweetened shredded coconut (optional)

  • Drain pineapple chunks, and reserve 1/4 cup of the pineapple juice.
  • Add pineapple chunks, kiwi, strawberries, banana, and papaya or mango to large serving bowl.
  • Put 1/4 cup pineapple juice, lime peel, lime juice and honey in a 2-cup measure and whisk together until nicely blended. Drizzle over the salad, and toss to coat the fruits well. Sprinkle coconut over the top before serving, if desired.

Yield: About 7 cups.

Per cup: 101 calories, 1.2 g protein, 25 g carbohydrate, 0.6 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 3 g fiber, 4 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 5%.

Vegetable Garlic Saute

Journal as: 1/2 cup “vegetables without added fat” + 1/2 cup “vegetables with 1 tsp. fat”

Substitute any vegetable you like for any of those listed below.

2 1/2 cups Brussels sprouts with loose outer leaves removed, cut in half (about 1/2 pound)

2 1/2 cups yellow squash or zucchini, cut into 1/4-inch slices (about 1/2 pound)

1 large tomato (or 2 small), diced

4 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1 tablespoon shredded or grated Parmesan cheese

Put Brussels sprouts, squash, and a couple of tablespoons of water in a microwave-safe dish and microwave on HIGH until vegetables are lightly cooked. Drain well.

Add oil and garlic to large nonstick frying pan or skillet and heat over medium heat for 1-2 minutes. Stir in the Brussels sprouts, squash, and tomato. Saute for a few minutes, or until vegetables reach desired doneness. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese over the top and serve.

Yield: 4 servings.

Per serving: 94 calories, 4 g protein, 11 g carbohydrate, 5 g fat, 0.8 g saturated fat, 0.6 mg cholesterol, 5 g fiber, 26 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 44%.

Vegan Taco Meat Recipe – Cauliflower & Walnut Meat

Originally Published on ARespectfulLife.com on January 15, 2018 By RespectfulLiving

Vegan Taco Meat Recipe Cauliflower & Walnut Meat
I love this Vegan Taco Meat Recipe made from Cauliflower and Walnuts because I can make it in batches, portion it, freeze it, and take it out for a taco salad, a taco, lettuce wraps, or burrito! I have used this recipe for a taco bar at a graduation party and the guests did not know that it wasn’t ground beef!

The images below are some ideas on how you can use it:

Vegan Taco Meat Recipe Cauliflower & Walnut Meat_2

Vegan Taco Meat Recipe – Cauliflower & Walnut Meat

Ingredients

2 Cups Raw Walnuts (unsalted)
1 lb. Cauliflower flourets
2 TBSP olive oil (Optional)
3 Medium Garlic Cloves Minced or pressed
2 TBSP Low Sodium Tamari
1 TBSP Chili Powder
1 & 1/4 TBSP Ground Cumin
1 tsp Oregano
1 tsp Paprika
1/2 tsp Onion Powder
1/4 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
3/4 tsp Black Pepper
2 tsp Marmite (optional – will give it a little meatier taste but it is hard to find in the U.S. and has salt))

  1. Instructions

1. Add 2 cups of walnuts to food processor and chop until you have small particles (see picture), remove from food processor and place in mixing bowl.

Vegan Taco Meat Recipe Cauliflower & Walnut Meat_3

Add 1 lb. of cauliflower florets to food processor and chop until you have small particles that are smaller than ‘riced’ cauliflower, (see picture), put in bowl with walnuts.

2. Add ALL other ingredients into cauliflower/walnut mixture and mix thoroughly with your hand, squishing the mixture together until well mixed

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4. Place mixture on a baking sheet with parchment paper, keeping it pushed together so that it is 3/4 inch thick.

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5. Bake in oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and turn mixture over and then bake for an additional 15 minutes. When it comes out of the oven, it looks and tastes just like taco meat!

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6. A quick note on Marmite: It is readily available in the UK but difficult to find in the US. Is CAN be ordered on Amazon, I would suggest ordering more than one when you do!

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How To Make Natural and Antibacterial Mouthwash

I did try this mouth wash and I do like it.  It obviously has a different feel than store bought mouth washes.  But I feel like it definitely works very well and it’s so inexpensive and eco friendly that it’s definitely worth it.  Thanks for caring enough about Mother Earth to make your own mouth wash.  You’re a Rock Star. XOXO Valerie

Originally published on DiyNatural.com By Betsy Jabs

How To Make Natural and Antibacterial Mouthwash

Ever watched the clock hoping you could endure the burn of your mouthwash for a full minute? I have never been able to stand the harsh burn of commercial mouthwash, so after reading about beneficial properties of peppermint essential oil I did what any creative DIY’er would do… set out to make my own.

Natural and antibacterial homemade mouthwash

We strive to create recipes that are easy to make, inexpensive, and effective – this mouthwash is all that and even has antibacterial and antifungal properties to help keep bad breath at bay. Here’s all you need to make mouthwash:

A container – I use a small mason jar
½ cup filtered or distilled water (find the best water purification systems here)
2 tsp baking soda
2 drops tea tree essential oil (find 100% pure essential oils here)
2 drops peppermint essential oil

Baking soda will settle to the bottom of the jar when not in use, so be sure to shake mouthwash before each use. Swish about 2-3 teaspoons of this homemade formula in your mouth for a minute or two. As with any mouthwash, try to avoid swallowing this while gargling.

Feel free to double this recipe for a larger batch. Making really big batches is not recommended because the oils will continue to blend over time and flavors can change.

Matt and Betsy are passionate about living naturally and building a like-minded community focused on the sustainable lifestyle.

DIY Natural is about rediscovering the traditional value of doing things yourself, doing them naturally, and enjoying the benefits. Welcome to the movement!

Save money and get better mouthwash

A few years ago we paid $3.50 for a liter (nearly 34 ounces) of generic Listerine, and that’s about the lowest price you’ll find. If we divide $3.50/34 we get approximately $0.10/ounce for the store bought mouthwash. Our mouthwash recipe above yields 5 ounces with raw ingredients that cost approximately $0.03/ounce.

If you were to make a liter of this homemade natural mouthwash it would cost you approximately $1.00 which is $2.50 less than the store bought.

Homemade mouthwash delivers us a savings of approximately 250%.

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Xylitol mouthwash and other optional ingredients

Xylitol is a natural sweetener proven to have a positive effect on tooth and gum health. It is recommended by many natural dentists and is now a popular ingredient in natural toothpaste, gum and mouthwash. It is not a necessary ingredient for this natural homemade mouthwash but it will improve the taste and even the effectiveness. About 1 teaspoon is recommended if using in this recipe.

Matt just ran out of toothpaste and is whipping up a new batch that will include a bit of Xylitol and possibly even some coconut oil for better texture. (Purchase quality coconut oil here.)

Warning: Xylitol can be extremely toxic to dogs. It is best to keep any Xylitol products or items sweetened with Xylitol stored safely away from dogs.

How To Make Natural and Antibacterial Mouthwash_3Matt and Betsy are passionate about living naturally and building a like-minded community focused on the sustainable lifestyle.

DIY Natural is about rediscovering the traditional value of doing things yourself, doing them naturally, and enjoying the benefits. Welcome to the movement!

THE ULTIMATE VEGETABLE LENTIL LOAF

Originally Published on Simple-Veganista.com THE ULTIMATE VEGETABLE LENTIL LOAF
After a few attempts (five to be exact) at making this lentil loaf, I have finally come up with a veggie version that tastes pretty darn good and is extremely filling. I wanted to keep this easy with ingredients you may already have in your pantry. After doing a little digging I was able to piece this together from a few resources like the one from Made to Create which is wonderfully simple and also had good reviews from when I shared it on my Facebook page! And also this one from Oh She Glows which is a walnut version using apples and raisins but I wanted one with all veggies (Hers looks delicious and I will be trying it too). Last but not least, I referenced this recipe at My Vegan Cookbook.

I especially love the glaze for the top of this loaf. You could serve some extra on the side, or double the amount if you like and put a little extra on. And if you like spicy, you’ll love the ground chipotle pepper in this recipe with the glaze, such a nice combo of sweet and spice! I found the higher amount of chipotle listed below to be just perfect for myself, adjust to your liking starting with the smaller amount if you’re not a fan of spice. Be prepared, one slice will most likely fill you up, it does for me! I’m not kidding when I tell you this is one hearty and filling lentil loaf. Leftovers make for great sandwiches. Store the loaf in the refrigerator for up to a 5 – 6 days. Sub in other veggies if you like. Some have left comments of adding in zucchini for the bell pepper. You get the idea, you can adjust to what you have on hand or prefer. Now on with the recipe…make a loaf and share the love!

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THE ULTIMATE VEGETABLE LENTIL LOAF

A wonderfully flavored lentil loaf for the whole family to enjoy. The leftovers make for great sandwiches too!
Ingredients

Loaf

  • 1 cup dry lentils (use green/brown)
  • 2 1/2 cups water or vegetable broth
  • 3 tablespoons flaxseed meal (ground flaxseeds)
  • 1/3 cup water (6 tablespoons)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil or steam saute using 1/4 cup water
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 1 small red bell pepper, finely diced
  • 1 carrot, finely diced or grated
  • 1 celery stalk, finely diced
  • 3/4 cup oats (I used GF oats)
  • 1/2 cup oat flour or finely ground oats (any flour of choice will work here too)
  • 1 heaping teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 heaping teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon each garlic powder & onion powder…for good measure!
  • 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon ground chipotle pepper, optional
  • cracked pepper & sea salt to taste

Glaze

  • 3 tablespoons organic ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup

THE ULTIMATE VEGETABLE LENTIL LOAF

Instructions

Rinse lentils. In large pot add 2 1/2 cups water/broth with lentils. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 40 minutes, stirring occasionally. It’s ok if they get mushy, we are going to roughly puree 3/4 of the mixture when cooled. Once done, remove lid and set aside to cool (do not drain), they will thicken a bit upon standing, about 15 minutes is good.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In small bowl combine flaxseed meal and 1/3 cup water, set aside for at least 10 minutes, preferably in the refrigerator. This will act as a binder and will thicken nicely upon sitting.

Prepare vegetables. In saute pan heat oil or water over medium heat. Saute garlic, onion, bell pepper, carrots and celery for about 5 minutes. Add spices mixing well to incorporate. Set aside to cool.

Using an immersion blender or food processor, blend 3/4 of the lentil mixture. For me this was an important part, I tried it other ways and this worked to help as a binder. If using an immersion blender, tilt your pot slightly to the side for easier blending. Alternately, you can mash the lentils with a potato masher or fork.

Combine sauteed vegetables with the lentils, oats, oat flour and flax egg, mix well. Taste, adding salt and pepper as needed, or any other herb or spice you might like. Place mixture into a loaf pan lined with parchment paper, leaving it overlapping for easy removal later. Press down firmly filling in along the edges too.

Prepare your glaze by combining all ingredients in a small bowl, mix until incorporated. I recommend making each tablespoon heaping so you have plenty of this great sauce on top. Spread over top of loaf and bake in oven for about 45 – 50 minutes. Let cool a bit before slicing.

Serves 8.

NOTES:

You may like to double up on the glaze, having some to put on the loaf after it’s removed from the oven.

If you don’t care for a little spicy heat, omit the chipotle powder.

I do not recommend reheating the entire loaf at once. It will most likely become too dry, as the heat will take to long to reach the center. I recommend cutting slices and reheating. If you need, you can make your lentil loaf the day before and store uncooked until ready to heat, bring to room temperature and heat according to instructions above.

Your work is done…except for the dishes…maybe you can delegate that to someone else. 🙂

 Did you make this recipe?

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How to Make Homemade Almond Butter (in One Minute)

Originally Published on DownShiftology.com on January 18, 2017 By Lisa Bryan

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Homemade almond butter is healthy, delicious and super easy to make. My version only has one ingredient – almonds (with no added oils) – and takes one minute to make with a Vitamix. Watch the video to see for yourself!

Homemade almond butter (or any nut butter for that matter) is a staple do-it-yourself recipe. Just like homemade nut milks. But I still remember the first time I made almond butter in a food processor and thinking, “sheesh, this is taking a really long time.”

20-minutes to be exact. Because everything I’d found on the interwebs said that the best way to make almond butter was in a food processor. So that’s what I did, for several years. Then, I got my first Vitamix and the homemade nut butter clouds parted ways to show me the light.

Watch this quick video for my Almond Butter recipe:

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Are you ready for the light? You can take 15-20 minutes (depending on the size and strength of your food processor) to make homemade almond butter in a food processor. And it works, no doubt about it. Or, you could take one minute to make homemade almond butter in your Vitamix – for rich, creamy, super smooth almond butter. Which would you choose?

Because there’s so much incorrect information out there that says it’s difficult to make almond butter in a Vitamix, I whipped up a video to show you just how easy it is. I’ve also timed it for you with my Ascent 3500 blender. Yep, no smoke and mirrors around here. Just one minute to blend almonds into delicious almond butter.

Make homemade almond butter in one minute with your Vitamix. Super easy and delicious – watch the video!

How to Make Almond Butter

In order to make the best almond butter possible, it’s important to know a few things about nuts. Namely, some nuts have more natural oils than others, which affects how easy they are to churn into butter. Peanuts, cashews and macadamia nuts have more natural oils (fatty acids) so they turn into nut butter quite easily. Almonds have a bit less oil.

Therefore, the easiest way to make almond butter is to 1) add a little oil (I like avocado oil) to raw almonds while blending to help them churn easier, or 2) roast the raw almonds first which helps to release their natural oils. I usually opt for the latter – and that’s what I show you in the video above.

If you roast the almonds, there’s just one important step to not forget – let them cool to room temperature. You do NOT want to put hot nuts in your plastic Vitamix container or it may ruin/melt it. Vitamix containers can definitely take hot liquids and make hot soups (I do it all the time), but hot nuts are concentrated oils which then get even hotter when blended. So remember….roast, cool, then blend.

Whether you roast the almonds or not is up to you. I personally like the flavor of roasted almond butter – it’s so darn good! But if you’re in a hurry, just toss raw almonds with 3-4 tablespoons of neutral-flavored oil into your Vitamix. Then, turn your blender on high and use the tamper to push down on the almonds. Pushing the almonds into the blades quickly turns it into almond butter. And one minute later you’re done.

Homemade almond butter without a food processor.

How to Make Homemade Almond Butter in One Minute_2

For more healthy basics recipes, make sure to check out my homemade Tahini, Cashew Milk, Mayonnaise, Hummus and Coconut Whipped Cream.

How to Make Homemade Almond Butter (in One Minute)

Yield: 2 cups almond butter

Total Time: 1 minute

Prep Time: 1 minute

Cook Time: 0 minutes

This homemade almond butter recipe is healthy, delicious and super easy to make. Watch the video above to see how quickly it comes together!

Ingredients

  • 4 cups raw almonds

Optional

  • 3-4 tbsp neutral flavored oil (I use avocado oil)

Directions

1. If roasting your almonds, preheat the oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit.
2.Place the almonds on a parchment lined baking tray and roast for 10-13 minutes. Let the almonds cool completely, to room temperature. Then transfer the almonds to your Vitamix container.
3.If not roasting the almonds and using additional oil, add the oil to your Vitamix container, then the nuts.
4.Place the lid on your Vitamix and remove the cap. Insert the tamper through the lid. Turn the Vitamix on high and use the tamper to continuously push down on the almonds, particularly in the corners. After one minute, you’ll have almond butter.

5. Transfer the almond butter to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator.

Lisa’s Tips

I use these raw organic almonds and this avocado oil (when not roasting).

The almond butter will stay good for several weeks in the fridge (if not longer). I always store it in my favorite Le Parfait Jars.

Keep in mind that all ovens cook at slightly different temperatures and you may need to cook your almonds a minute or two longer, if they’re harder to blend without using oil.

If you soak and dehydrate your nuts, you definitely need to add oil (and likely more) as you’ve now removed some of the natural oils within the nuts. Roasting alone simply won’t work.

Nutrition Information

Yield: 2 cups almond butter, Serving Size: 1 tbsp

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 96 Total Fat: 8.2g Saturated Fat: 0.7g Carbohydrates: 3.7g Fiber: 1.8g Sugar: 0.5g Protein: 3.7g

Sinless Samoas – Girl Scout Cookies Made Healthy

Originally Published on EatingBirdFood.com By Brittany Mullins

Samoas cookies made healthy with only 6 ingredients. These sinless samoas bites are filled with caramel flavor from the dates, studded with chocolate chips and coated in toasted coconut. Vegan and gluten-free.

I don’t remember the last time I ate a real Girl Scout cookie, but growing up Samoas (aka Carmel DeLites) and Thin Mints were my favorites and I would get excited when my mom would buy them each year.

Sinless Samoas – Girl Scout Cookies Made Healthy

Nowadays I try my best to stay away from packaged cookies and other processed foods, but I love the flavor combination of Samoas so I thought I would come up with a healthy version that I could feel good about eating. These little bites/balls totally fit the bill. They’re sweet, but not too sweet and the toasted coconut makes them really taste like Samoas.

I’ve made similar balls, that were rolled in regular dried coconut before (remember my Heady Goo Balls?) and I must say that the toasted coconut lends a rich flavor that definitely makes these little guys seem more decadent.

Sinless Samoas – Girl Scout Cookies Made Healthy_2

So if you’re craving Girl Scout cookies this spring, just whip up a batch of these. Your sweet tooth will be cured with a treat made of only six ingredients and without any high fructose corn syrup, artificial coloring or hydrogenated oils.

Sinless Samoas – Girl Scout Cookies Made Healthy_3

 Description

Samoas cookies made healthy with only 6 ingredients and about 10 minutes. These sinless samoas bites are filled with caramel flavor from the dates, studded with chocolate chips and coated in toasted coconut. Vegan and gluten-free.
Ingredients

  • 1 cup pitted dates (about 12)
  • 1/2 Tablespoon almond butter
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut (divided)
  • 1 Tablespoon mini vegan chocolate chips or dark chocolate pieces (divided)
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon vanilla

Instructions

1. Pre-heat oven to 400°. Spread all the shredded coconut onto a baking sheet for toasting. Place in oven for 5-10 minutes, until coconut is a light golden brown color. Make sure to stay in the kitchen watch the coconut, as it can easily go from toasted to burnt.
2. Place dates, almond butter, 1/3 cup of the toasted coconut, 1/2 Tablespoon mini chocolate chips, sea salt and vanilla into a food processor or mini chopper. Process until the mixture turns into a dough ball.
3. Work “dough” with clean hands to add in the other 1/2 Tablespoon of chocolate chips. Pinch off small amounts of the dough (about 1.5 teaspoons full) and roll into 12 balls. Roll balls in remaining 1/3 cup of toasted coconut.
4. Store in fridge.

Nutrition

Serving Size: 1 ballCalories: 80Sugar: 5GFat: 5GCarbohydrates: 8GProtein: 1G

Mama eats plants

Originally Published on MamaEatsPlants.com  on April 5, 2018 By A.

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trash free, plant based lifestyle

manicotti + simple marinara

When I saw gluten free manicotti shells at my co-op, I knew I had to take them home with me! The ones I used are these ones by Jovial Foods. The box is recyclable and the plastic looking window is certified home compostable wood pulp! Plus, they taste amazing- they’re my hands down favorite brand of gluten free pasta- they cook al dente without gummy texture or off flavors.

To fill them, I knew I wanted something creamy (which is where I usually turn to cashews) but I needed to cut it with something to make it less heavy and more nutritionally dense. I remembered a lasagna recipe in one of my favorite cookbooks, Vegan For Everybody, which uses cooked cauliflower blended with the cashews to add bulk and creaminess without getting too heavy. I wasn’t sure if it would taste just right stuffed in the manicotti- I haven’t had these since going vegan- and sometimes Italian recipes which rely heavily on gluten and animal products can be hard to replicate well. To my delight, the texture and taste was perfect, gluten free, vegan and all.

Mama eats plants_3
So many of you asked for an exact recipe after I showed them in my Instagram story (I saved it to my highlights so you can still watch it!) that I thought I’d write it up here for you to reference back to if desired. My marinara is super basic and relies heavily on good ingredients, so search out good canned tomatoes and good olive oil. I can my own tomatoes every summer with my mom (ever since I can remember) and it’s so worth it for the rich flavor all winter long- it’s not hard but does take a full day of work. We use a pressure canner and go off the instructions in the booklet it comes with- it’s not scary or complicated at all. Often farmers will sell their “seconds”- bruised or oddly shaped tomatoes- but the case at the market to you. San Marzano store bought canned Italian tomatoes are the closest thing to the flavor of home canned.

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plant based manicotti

for the marinara:

2 x 28 oz cans whole tomatoes

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

4-6 cloves garlic, chopped

a palm of fresh oregano (about 2 tsp chopped)

chile flakes (optional)

salt to taste

whiz the tomatoes and their juice for a few seconds in a blender or crush with your hands well to break them down into small pieces.

Add the olive oil and garlic to a pan and start the heat on medium high. When the garlic starts to sizzle and become fragrant- about 30 seconds, pour in the tomatoes (don’t let the garlic burn or color, stir around if necessary) and the oregano and chile if using. Reduce to medium low and let simmer, stirring occasionally, while you make the filling.

for the ricotta filling:

8 ounces (approx 2.5 cups) cauliflower, cut into 1/2 inch pieces

1.5 cups raw cashews, chopped if whole

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

s+p

1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley or basil

Boil cauliflower and cashews in a large pot with 3 quarts of water and 2 teaspoons kosher salt until cauliflower is very soft and falls apart easily when poked with a fork, about 20 minutes. Drain mixture in colander and let cool slightly, about 5 minutes.

Process cauliflower mixture, 3 tablespoons oil, and 1/4 cup water in processor until smooth, scraping down sides of bowl as needed, about 2 minutes. Season with plenty of salt and pepper to taste. Pulse in basil or parsley for just a few seconds to combine. Mixture can be made up to 3 days ahead.

assembling:

1 box manicotti noodles or other stuffable pasta (12-15 pieces), cooked according to package directions

Preheat oven to 375 Fahrenheit.

In a baking dish, spoon some sauce to cover the bottom of the dish. Working with one manicotti at a time, use a butter knife or a pastry bag to fill each shell. I used a butter knife and packed it in half from each end. Don’t worry if theres a few blank spots. I wasn’t perfect about it but they all turned out fine after cooking. Layer the filled ones in the dish. Spread the remaining sauce over the top.

Cover dish with a lid or aluminum foil. Bake for 40 minutes. Remove from oven and plate. I sprinkled extra chopped parsley and spooned leftover cashew ricotta that I had in the fridge over the top in little dollops (this recipe) but it would be delicious on its own too; or hold back some of the filling and dollop on top.

We served it with a simple fennel citrus salad- just toss together:

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1 large fennel bulb, thinly sliced

1/2 a small red onion or fresh spring onion, thinly sliced

1 orange, cara cara, or grapefruit, pith removed and fruit sliced

1/2 cup fresh whole parsley leaves

a few handfuls mixed lettuces

juice of 1/2 a lemon

generous drizzle good extra virgin olive oil

salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste

chili flakes to taste