I used to scratch my head a lot because I was unsure of what to make. Keeping it simple is best at first. These are recipes that everyone in my family will eat. I make them on a rotating basis. As you get better at cooking these, branch into the "other recipe" section. They are more involved but so worth it!
Sweet Potato, Bean, Quinoa Burgers
Serves 6 (2 burgers per person)
1 cup uncooked quinoa (about 2 + 1/2 cups cooked)
1 medium organic sweet potato (abut 8 ounces)
1 cans (15.5 ounce each) black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cans (15.5 ounce each) pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1/3 cup panko crumbs (Japanese bread crumbs)
1 large onion, quartered
2 cloves garlic, rough chopped
1 can green chiles, with juices
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 t smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh black pepper
Rinse the quinoa well in a wire strainer and cook according to package directions. Fluff with a fork and let cool.
Steam sweet potato.
Add to food processor the sweet potato, panko crumbs, onion, garlic, red pepper, green chiles, chili powder, cumin, salt and black pepper. Pulse together until just combined, scraping down the sides if needed.
Scoop it out into a medium mixing bowl and add the cooked quinoa and the beans you set aside. Mix with a spoon until well combined. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 1/2 hour.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Scoop up slightly rounded 1/2 cups of the bean mixture and use your hands to form into patties. Pack them together good.
Place an inch apart on the baking sheet. Bake 25 minutes.
Slice onions into large rings
Broth saute until translucent
Add some really good balsamic vinegar and reduce
Easy Yummy Veggie Burgers
1 can organic black beans
1/2 cup oats (not steel cut)
1/4 cup bread crumbs (I use Ians gf, but you can use any kind)
1/4 cup salsa (drain off liquid if it is at all runny)
Spray oil to spray pan. I like Trader Joe’s spray coconut or olive oil
4 burger buns
Toppings: Just Mayo Chipotle Mayo (my personal fave), ketchup, BBQ sauce, mustard, mayo, onion slices, fried onions, avocado, pickles, lettuce, tomato, balsamic onions (see recipe above).
Pulse beans in food processor until still forces but mashed (not too mushy!!!) Or you can mash in a bowl with a fork or potato masher.
Add the remaining ingredients, except the oil, and pulse some more. Let it stay chunky. If you’ve done it by hand then combine it all gently
Depending on how liquidy your salsa is, you may need to add more . Add it 1 tbsp at a time if needed, mixing after each addition. Likewise, if your mixture seems dry, add 1 tbsp more of salsa at a time, mixing after each addition.
Divide mixture into 4 sections. Form each section into a patty and place on a large plate.
Refrigerate plate of burger patties for about 20 minutes. This step is OPTIONAL, but I suggest you do it if you can. It's so much easier to form the burgers
Heat spray oil in pan on medium heat.
Pan fry each burger patty for 3-4 minutes each side until lightly browned and crispy on the outside.
Assemble burger on bun with your favorite toppings and enjoy!
Rikki's Veggie Bowl
My sweet neighbor and her husband switched to a whole food plant based diet 6 months ago after learning he had brain cancer. He has had surgery and is recovering amazingly well. She had us over for dinner and made this bowl which is to die for. I have made it for dinner parties and it is delish.
4 large beets cut into bite sized pieces
1 butternut squash cubed
6 medium sized yukon gold potatoes
1 lb broccolini (baby broccoli- you can use regular broccoli crowns) - cut into bit sized pieces
2 red peppers cut into small 1/2 inch pieces
2 c farro
2 T olive oil
1 pack of Beyond Meat Beefy Crumble
savory sauce - recipe from the Spot in Hermosa Beach. sometimes I will just go there and buy it!!! It's nice to have some frozen and ready for next time too.
Cut all veggies into bite sized pieces.
I historically had roasted veggies that were pretty drowned in olive oil, but avoid that now. Sometimes I make roasted veggie with no olive oil at all and instead experiment with adding a bit of broth to the baking pan. I have also added balsalmic and tamari. Experiment and see how you like them best
Start cooking farro according to directions. It takes a while so get it going first
Take beets, butternut squash and toss with 1/2 T olive oil, 2 T tamari salt and pepper. Roast at 425 degrees until tender and the bottom is a bit brown. About 25 - 30 mins
Roast potatoes tossed in 1 T olive oil and 1 t dried thyme on a separate tray because they take longer... about 45 mins.
Roast broccolini and red peppers tossed in 1/2 T olive oil and bit of veggie broth just to wet them for about 15-20 mins until some have crisped up a bit.
Once you take broccolini and beets/squash out, add the the Beyond Meat on a cookie sheet to the oven and keep stirring it until it has browned.
Potatoes should be done around the time the Beyond Meat is done.
Make savory sauce. Make extra and freeze some so you have it for next time.
Toast cashews on a pan until they are golden brown
Add farro to bowls, add veggies, and beyond meat, drizzle with a bit of the savory sauce, throw in a few cashews, and enjoy!
Asian Veggie Noodle Bowl
I made this last week and my whole family was scraping the bottom of their bowls trying to get every last drop
pack of soba noodles or brown rice/quinoa spaghetti
4 c chopped broccoli - cut into small pieces - about 1/2-3/4 inch florets
2 carrots chopped into matchsticks
1 c sugar snap peas cut into 1/2 inch pieces
2 red peppers diced into 1/2 inch pieces
1 8 oz package of sprouted tofu drained and cut into 1/2 inch pieces (optional)
1 small can water chestnuts cut into small pieces (optional)
1/4 c cashew pieces
1/4c + 3 T low sodium tamari
3-4 T rice wine vinegar
1/4 t ginger
1/4 t red pepper flakes (more if you want a kick)
1 t toasted sesame oil
Cook the noodles according to the directions then drain.
Broth sauté the broccoli, peas and peppers then after a few minutes the carrots until they are tender but still a bit crisp (not soggy). Here is a water sauté demo if you don’t know how to broth sauté. GREAT technique to know!!! He uses water but I like to use veggie broth or stock. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xH7nzsAFUE4 . JD never believed veggies would taste good without oil and now he doesn’t like them with it.
Toast your cashews on a hot pan until they are light brown. I have also used already toasted cashews.
Coat a pan lightly with spray coconut oil and heat your tofu until it has a bit of a brown sear on it.
Combine tamari, rice wine vinegar, ginger, red pepper flakes and sesame oil. You can definitely play around with this sauce. I have added more rice vinegar and more ginger depending on the mood I'm in. Also more red pepper flakes if you want more of a kick.
Add noodles, tofu, and water chestnuts to veggies and pour sauce over. Gently combine and heat up until everything is coated with the sauce. Next add the tofu and continue to combine gently so it doesn’t fall apart. Add the cashews right at the end.
Play around with the veggies. I have added cauliflower, and napa cabbage and it was amazing. If you like green onions throw them on there as well. We are not big fans, so we don’t but go for it if you are!
Lentil Oat Meatballs
I have been working on making good vegan meatless balls for a good 5 years now. These are IT!!!! We are loving them! Finally!
1 c brown or green lentils
2 c veg broth
1/4 c bread crumbs
1/2 c oats
1/2 c shredded carrots
1/2 c diced sweet or yellow onion
1 3/4 t tomato paste
1 t dried oregano
1 t dried basil
3/4 t salt
1 T olive oil
1 - 2t minced garlic
Egg replacement equaling one egg (I use Bob’s Red Mill)
Rinse lentils and pick out any ones that look weird, then put in pot with 2 c of veg broth. Rapidly simmer for a few mins then gently simmer for about 3 mins. If you need to add more liquid so they don’t dry out please do. Do not let them dry out all the way. You can always drain off excess liquid. Remove from heat when done and put in a separate bowl. Do not over cook the lentils. They should not be mushy! Start checking them out about 20 minutes.
Heat the olive oil in a skillet and add the onions and cook until they’re clear and light brown. Should take about 8 minutes. Stir in the carrots and cook those until they are soft which should take about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and stir it for about another minute.
Place the oats and the breadcrumbs in a food processor and pulse to break up the oats to about the consistency of bread crumbs . Add the cooked lentils, onions, carrots, tomato paste, oregano, salt and pepper and pulse again a few times until mixture is starting to combine well. Add the egg replacement and again pulse until they combine but aren’t getting too sticky. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours. You don't HAVE to refrigerate... but I find they are much easier to work with and just come out better if I do... In a pinch, you're ok not doing this though.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and line with parchment paper and spray lightly with cooking spray. Roll the “meatballs” into balls that are anywhere between 1 inch to an inch to 1 1/2 inches around. If you have kids have them do it. Totally say because there’s no animal products in here and kids love it. Bake for 10 minutes until browned, then flip them over and cook for about another 10 minutes until they’re slightly crispy.
Serve over pasta with your favorite sauce or make a meatball sandwich. Mangia! Mangia!
Stuffed Peppers - A family favorite!!!!
3 red and 3 green peppers halved lengthwise
4 cups cooked quinoa (1 c dry)
small bunch basil
1 c Rao's Marinara sauce
about 1/ 2 c bread crumbs
Roast peppers middle side down at preheated 450 degrees until they are soft are just starting to brown a bit (about 25 mins). While they are roasting prepare the quinoa. I like to use1 c quinoa and 1 3/4 c c broth. Broth saute the finely chopped zucchini until it is soft and fully cooked. Finely chop 8 basil leaves. Add the zucchini and basil to the quinoa when it is done then stuff in the peppers so the mixture is on the top (like a pepper boat). Top with a couple T of bread crumbs and 1 t melted earth balance. Put back back in the oven for about 15-20 minutes until browned a bit on top. You can add more veggies and lentils to the quinoa mix if you wish.
No Boil Brown Rice Noodle Veggie Lasagne
14-oz. pkg. firm organic tofu, well drained.
½ cup chopped fresh basil
2 t oregano
2 cloves garlic, peeled (I don't use, but do if you like garlic)
2 Tbs. lemon juice
1 tsp. salt
3 T nutritional yeast
½ tsp. red pepper flakes
4 medium-size zucchini, cut into 1/4-inch slices (about 3 cups) (I use a mandoline and do it lengthwise)
1 very thinly sliced large eggplant (mandoline best here as well)
4 c spinach leaves
4 cups marinara sauce (use a good sauce, it makes a difference. Make sure it does not have too much sugar or oil...)
Package of brown rice lasagna noodles (I get these at whole foods)(9 oz.)
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a deep 13×9-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Combine tofu, basil, oregano, garlic, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, salt, and red pepper flakes in food processor; blend until smooth and similar to ricotta in texture.
2. Spread 4 Tbs. marinara sauce over bottom of prepared deep baking dish. Cover with layer of noodles, overlapping slightly, half of tofu mixture and layer the zucchini, spinach, and eggplant. Top with another layer of noodles, tofu, eggplant, spinach and zucchini, and 3/4 cup sauce. Finish with another layer of noodles, veggies and cover with sauce (about 1 c) then you can sprinkle the top with Daiya cheese. Drizzle 1 cup water over the lasagna. It stays moist and you ensure that the noodles and veggies cook through.
4. Cover tightly with foil, and bake at 350 for 1 hour. Sometimes it takes longer. I like the noodles a bit crisp on the edges so I usually go longer and take the foil off for a bit at the end of baking it. Keep checking to make sure the noodles are getting nice and soft. After removing from the oven, let rest 10 minutes before serving. I like refrigerating and serving the next day. It tastes even better. It freezes amazingly well too.
5. I like to serve topped with Rao's marinara sauce. Just a few tablespoons really give it a great taste. I don't use it in the whole lasagna because there is a lot of sugar and oil in that sauce. Trader Joe's has an organic marinara which is quite good.
Organic corn taco shells or any type of soft taco shells. I don't get toto crazy here because my kids won't eat the sprouted kind. I stick with organic so it is not GMO.
All the below are options in a "make your own taco bar" - of course you can get creative and come up with some of your own!
sauteed onions (see instructions below)
sauteed green and red peppers
roasted potatoes (see instructions below)
roasted squash or other veggies (great for the night after you have roasted some veggies leftover)
roasted pumpkin seeds sprayed with Bragg Aminos or tamari (after toasting)
veggie broth for broth sauteing
pinto or black beans
chopped tomatoes and shredded lettuce
pickles ( I LOVE pickles on my "beef" and roasted potato tacos!!!)
beyond mayo chipolte mayo (SO good)
vegan sour cream (homemade from 1 c soaked cashews, 1 t lemon juice 2 t cider vinegar and 1 T nutritional yeast) or buy store bought
Beyond Meat Fiesty crumbles (optional... I sometimes do these for my older son who isn't a bean fan)
Cube peeled potatoes into 1/2 inch cubes and take a bit of oil (1 T is usually enough for a whole tray) and drizzle over them in a bowl then mix with salt, pepper and a bit of mexican seasonings (or just paprika). Roast at 450 until they are crisp and delish (about 25 mins) (hide from your family or there will be none of these to go into the tacos!! )
Broth saute, onions, peppers, and carrots. Add a tiny bit of broth to pan until it sizzles, then add veggies. Slowly add broth as the veggie soak the broth.
Beyond Meat (which I get at Whole Foods) is not quite a "whole food" but it is a great meat free product. It's made from pea protein. It has the consistency of ground beef if you do not cook it that long. I learned the hard way a couple times when I overcooked it and it got pretty mushy. Just cook it til it is warm and it comes out really good. You could take the fiesta and add some tomatoes and salsa to it and heat til just hot.
Create your tacos from all of these ingredients and they are the best!
Easy Lentil soup
4 chopped carrots
1 T olive oil
1 c brown or green lentils (not split lentils)
4 celery ribs chopped celery
1 chopped onion
1 T fresh chopped thyme or 1 t dried thyme and 1 t dried basil
1 /2 can tomato paste
5 cups broth
Add olive oil to a pan and heat, add onion celery and carrots and cook at low heat adding broth when they get too dry. Slow cook until they are just starting to get soft. Add one and a half cup lentils, tomato paste, thyme and 3 cups of broth. Simmer for about 20-30 minutes covered checking on the lentils stirring occasionally. I will sometimes add zucchini to this soup as well. Thickens once refrigerated so can be eaten as a stew over brown rice the next day or add broth.
1 T olive oil
1 large yellow onion, finely diced
1 Tbs. ground coriander
1 1/2 T curry powder
1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
3/4 tsp. ground turmeric
1/2 tsp. cayenne
1 Tbs. tomato paste
2 cups lower-salt chicken broth or vegetable broth
1/2 cup light coconut milk
Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 small cauliflower, broken into 1-1/2-inch florets (about 4 cups)
1 lb. yellow or red potatoes peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes (about 3 cups) Can use sweet potatoes in addition or in lieu of these potatoes
2 medium tomatoes, cored, seeded, and coarsely chopped (about 1-1/2 cups)
2 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch-thick rounds (about 1 cup)
One 15-1/2-oz. can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
4 oz. baby spinach (about 4 lightly packed cups)
2 Tbs. fresh lime juice
1 tsp. finely grated lime zest
2 Tbs. chopped fresh cilantro
savory organic tofu or regular cubed tofu(optional)
In a 5- to 6-quart Dutch oven or other heavy-duty pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until beginning to brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Add water if you need to in very small amounts of pan becomes dry. Reduce the heat to medium (or medium low if necessary) and cook until the onion is richly browned, 5 to 7 minutes more. Add ginger; cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the coriander, cumin, curry powder, and turmeric. stir for 30 seconds to toast the spices. Add the tomato paste and stir until well blended with the aromatics, about 1 minute.
Add the broth, coconut milk, 1 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium low or low and simmer for 10 minutes.
Add the cauliflower, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, and carrots. Raise the heat to medium high and return to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium low, cover, and simmer until the vegetables are tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Discard the cinnamon stick.
Stir in the chickpeas, tofu (I like to sear it in a tiny bit of sunflower oil before adding it) lime juice, and zest; cook until the spinach has wilted, about 3 minutes more. Season to taste with salt. Serve garnished with the cilantro.
Veggie "meat" Sauce over Pasta
1/2 of a jarred sauce of your choosing. We like Raos... it does have a lot of oil and sugar in it but we only use 1/2 a jar (and add lots of chopped tomatoes and basil... see below)
2 finely grated zucchini
2 c fresh chopped tomatoes or crushed tomatoes in a jar (all canned have BPA because tomatoes have a lot of acid and would eat through the can )
handful of torn basil
Beyond meat beefy crumbles
Heat tomatoes in sauce and add basil after this cooks for 15 minutes. Cook for a few minutes then add Beyond Meat beefy crumbles just until "meat" is hot. Over cooking makes Beyond meat mushy and "gross" according to my kids.
Serve over brown rice, or whole grain pasta of your choice. My kids prefer plain ol pasta so I use that for them.
I also make this with gold potatoes, and sometimes I add spinach... about 4 cups. I also use the Savory Tofu from Trader Joes in here. Add it when you have about 10 mins of cooking time left.
Chrissy's Very Famous Lentil Soup
We have this once a week. Such a great meal and I send it with my son for lunch the next day
1 chopped medium sized onion
3 carrots chopped into 1/2 in pieces
1 large potato cut into 1/2 inch cubes
3 celery stalks chopped same as carrot
1 1/2 c split red lentils
6 c good veggie broth
2 heaping T tomato paste
1 can chopped tomatoes
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 t thyme
1/2 t cumin
1/2t smoked paprika
salt and pepper to taste
Lemon wedges for serving
Avocado chunks for serving
Take chopped onion, carrots and celery and cook until slightly tender (about 5-7 minutes) in veggie broth adding just a bit at a time to keep the pan from burning. If pot becomes dry, add a little broth until they are slightly tender and onions are translucent. . Add tomato paste and chopped tomatoes and mix together with veggies. Add herbs. Add broth and simmer for 20 minutes. Add lentils and potatoes and cook until the lentils are done. About 15 minutes. The lentils are split so they cook fast. Turn the heat off as soon as they are tasting done or they can get mushy.
Play around with what veggies you put in. Can add potatoes, zucchini, tomatoes.... Whatever you are in the mood for. I sometimes add more cumin and lemon, and/or some hot sauce for a little zing.
Stuffed Acorn Squash with Cherries and Walnuts
6 acorn squash - so 4-6 servings
1/2 c dry quinoa
2 T Earth Balance organic margerine
3 3/4 c broth (you may need to add more as it's cooking)
3/4 c dried cherries
15 walnut halves that have been halved (so 30 walnut quarters, I guess. math! yay!)
Cut the acorn squash is in half lengthwise and scrape out the seeds. You can save them and roast them with a little tamari or bragg aminos and they are delicious. Put the squash facedown on a cookie sheet that has been drizzled with water. I usually just have some water floating around on the sheet. Not completely covering the bottom. Bake at 425 for about 30- 40 minutes. The squash should be soft and ready to eat when it comes out of the oven.
After the squash goes in, prepare the quinoa with the broth. I usually use just shy of double the liquid as the amount of quinoa. Occasionally I'll have to add more liquid but I don't like it mushy. I cook it until there is just barely some liquid left and the quinoa is the consistency that we like it and shut it off. It absorbs the rest once it is off.
In a separate little pot put the walnut quarters and cherries in with 1 tablespoon of Earth balance margarine. Heat and stir until the walnuts and cherries are coated and heated up thoroughly. Add this to the quinoa and fold it all in well. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Add 1/2 t earth balance to each squash then stuff the quinoa mixture into the squash (which should come out and cool a bit first) with the mixture and throw back in the oven at 425 for 5 minutes or until the top of the quinoa crisps a bit.
I like this because you can roast the squash way early on in the day and make the quinoa early on, and then stuff it in the back in the oven when you are ready for your meal. You can also play around with the quinoa stuffing and add some brown sugar, nutmeg, and/or pumpkin pie spices. My kids like it plain so this is the way I usually make it but I have made it the other way to and it is delicious.
I usually serve this with a salad of some sort and it is the PERFECT meal and looks so pretty.
I'm always adding more recipes..... check back!