avocado · beans · breakfast · field roast · hummus · lentils · newbie · quinoa · salsa · soup · thanksgiving

Top 5 Vegan Starter Recipes (that’ll leave you full and satisfied)

Salad, not included!
Today, I had a friend ask me for my top 5 vegan recipes.  That question is harder than it looks 
because the answer hinges on who is asking and what they hope to discover. 
If you are a newbie vegan, then it means I have to give my favorites at all 3 meal times so you have a full days worth of food.  If you are a vegetarian looking to cut out cheese and eggs, then I want to include things with cashew cream or flax eggs to make it seem like nothing is missing.  If you are a seasoned vegan looking for meat 
substitutes to grill, then I can get into the nitty gritty of seitan or veggie burgers.  The degree of kitchen skill also plays a role too, as you don’t want to scare anyone off from trying a plant-based diet with complex techniques or obscure ingredients.
My friend today was looking for  my favorite vegan starter recipes.  I thought about this long and 
Stir Fry, not included!
hard and have come up with a list, including 2 breakfasts, a sandwich, a soup and main dish as my top 5.  (Honestly, spinach chickpea salad and stir-fry are my go to dishes for lunch and dinner respectively, but since I make it different every time and there is no wrong way to do it, I didn’t include these in the top 5).  Enjoy!  
THE TOP 5

1.    Kale Strawberry Banana Smoothie
2.    Loaded Oatmeal
3.    Spinach Mushroom Hummus Panini
4.    Lentil Soup (with Field Roast)
5.    Black Bean Brown Rice Bowl

Recipes after the jump…

Picture taken pre-vitamix
Put the ingredients in this order into a blender (Note: if using a vitamix or any other super-power blender, put the ice on top)
·      1 cup water or soy/almond/hemp/rice milk
·      1/2 cup ice
·      Optional supplements (in order of most important for me)
o   1 tbsp ground flax 
o   1 tsp ground chia 
o   1 tsp spirunlina 
o   1 tsp raw maca 
o   1 tbsp goji berries 
o   1 tbsp cocao nibs
·      4 big leaves kale (Note: Spinach might be more palatable to a first timers palate)
·      Banana
·      Handful of strawberries (frozen work the best!!)
·      Optional flavor additions:            
o   1 tbsp nut butter
o   1 pitted date
Blend until smooth.  You may have to adjust the liquid/solid ratio depending on your blender.
Tastes better than it looks! Its all about how full and great you feel after… 
2. Loaded Oatmeal (adapted from Livestrong.com’s meals for vegetarian athletes)
·      1 cup of oatmeal,
·      1 cup water or soy/almond/hemp/rice milk
·      1 tbsp. of flaxseed
·      1/2 cup frozen blueberries
·      1 banana, sliced
·      2 tbsp. of sliced/crushed almonds or walnuts
·      I tbsp peanut/almond butter
·      ¼ tsp cinnamon
Cook oatmeal according to instructions along with flaxseed and blueberries
Stir in cinnamon and nut butter.
Fold in nuts and banana and top with a little more cinnamon.
3. Spinach Mushroom Hummus Panini (adapted from Engine 2)
·      4 tbsp hummus of choice
·      2 slices Ezekiel 4:9 Sprouted Grain Bread
·      1 medium Portabella Mushroom
·      1 1/2 cups Spinach, Raw
·      1 Green Onion, diced
·      Bragg’s Liquid Aminos or soy sauce plus water to sauté
Panini bliss
Sauté the mushrooms on medium heat in a nonstick skillet for about 5 minutes or until soft. (Note: you can sauté in any liquid, so oil isn’t necessary! I like soy sauce for the flavor.  Add water as necessary)
Spread bread slices thickly with hummus. Sprinkle one side with green onions and reserve the other as sandwich top.
Using a slotted spoon to allow any liquid to drain away from the mushrooms, place them on top of the green onions.
Put spinach on top of the mushrooms. Smush it down!
Top the sandwiches with the reserved piece of bread, and press to seal.
Carefully place the sandwich in a nonstick skillet.
Place a heavy casserole dish on top of the sandwich to flatten it. (Note: if you’re locuky enough to own a Panini press, use it!)
Cook the weighted sandwich on one side over medium heat for about 5 minutes, taking care not to let it burn.
Flip sandwich and cook the other side in the same way.
When done, the panini will be quite thin and browned on both sides.
  
Serves 4
A one-pot meal
·      2 carrots
·      2 celery stalks
·      1 medium onion
·      4 cloves garlic coarsely chopped
·      4 cups veggie stock or broth
·      4 cups water
·      1 and ½ cups green lentils
·      Bay leaf
·      3 cups spinach/chard/kale
·      Salt and pepper to taste
·      Optional: 2 Italian field roast sausages
In a large pot, sauté coarsely chopped carrots, celery, onion and garlic in a little water or stock until soft. (Note: no oil needed!) 
Then pour in the veggie stock/broth and water
Rinse and pick through lentils add to the broth and veggies.  
Throw in a couple bay leaves and pepper and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat and simmer about 30 minutes.
If you want, sauté chopped field road for a few minutes until browned and add to simmering soup.
Add the greens to the simmering soup in last few minutes. 
Serve hot!  I like a little sriracha in mine. 
5.  Black Bean Brown Rice/Quinoa Bowl
Serves 2
·      1 cup dry Rice/Quinoa cooked according todirections
·      1 can Black Beans 
·      1 Large Green Pepper
Plant rainbow
·      1 Large Red Bell Pepper
·      1/2 Small Red Onion
·      4 oz. Mushrooms
·      1 cup Canned Corn
·      2 Tomatoes
·      2 sprigs Cilantro, Fresh
·      1 Avacado
·      1 tbsp Chili Powder Generic
·      1 tsp Ground Cumin
·      2 cloves Garlic Clove
·      1 tsp Liquid Aminos/soy sauce
Heat the beans with water or stock, along with corn, green pepper, Bragg’s, cumin and chili powder.
Cook rice/quinoa according to directions with mushroom, red pepper, onion and garlic
To serve, place several big spoonfuls of rice/quinoa onto large plates and ladle beans on top.
Add generous of tomato, avocado and fresh cilantro on top
Add hot sauce and bam!

grilling · quinoa · tempeh · vegan

Kabob Blitz: Tempeh Veggie Skewers with Mango-Black Bean Quinoa

Week 12 Browns vs. Steelers

There is nothing quite like a rivalry game.  There is really nothing like two rivalry games in one weekend.  And winning them both? Unheard of!

These kabobs are dangerously good

After attending the OSU/Michigan game in Columbus the day before, I set out for the Muni Lot in Cleveland for the Browns/Steelers matchup.  The tailgate had to come together quickly as we only had Saturday night to prepare.  I bought of bunch of veggies and tempeh, made a marinade and put together this tasty entree of tempeh kabobs alongside some mango-black bean quinoa.

Kabobs are a unique method of grilling.  The smaller pieces and ability to separate items that cook differently enable you to perfectly grill the food.  For instance, cherry tomatoes can be taken off before they get too soggy, while the tempeh can be left on to get a crisp outer crust. The marinade is best left to soak overnight and the veggies and tempeh really absorb the flavor.  Enjoy!


Kabobs (adapted from Whole Foods)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 1/3 cup tamari
  • 2 teaspoons agave nectar
  • 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • Head of garlic, crushed (use the indispensable garlic press)
  • Wooden skewers, soaked
  • 2 pounds assorted vegetables, cut into semi large pieces (zucchini, yellow squash, assortment of bell peppers, red onion, cherry tomatoes, mushrooms)
  • 1 pound tempeh, cubed 

 Steps:

  1. Whisk together the liquids and spices in a large bowl.
  2. Place vegetables in a large resealable bag or container and tempeh in a separate bag. Divide  arinade equally among the bags (obviously more will be needed to veggies), seal and marinate in the refrigerator, turning occasionally, for about 3 hours, or overnight. 
  3. Soak wooden skewers in water to cover for at least 1 hour. Skewer vegetables and tempeh separately on skewers. (For example, thread only bell peppers on one skewer, only squash on another and only tempeh on the next. Since ingredients cook at varying times, this will allow you to cook individual skewers until the items are cooked perfectly. Discard remaining marinade.)
  4. Prepare a grill for medium-heat grilling. Grill tempeh until beginning to char charred in places, turning often, about 5 minutes. Grill vegetables until tender and slightly charred. Transfer skewers to a platter as done and serve.
Feel free to play around with this marinade
Large freezer bags are a must
“SO HEALTHY”
The final product
Mango-Black Bean Quinoa (adapted from Chandra at the amazing PPK)
Ingredients: 
  • 1 mango, peeled and diced
  • 1 red pepper, seeded and diced small
  • 1 bunch scallions, chopped
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar (white wine or rice vinegar work here too)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa, cooled (The Quinoa Song! by my boy Anders)
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed

Steps:

  1. Combine the mango, red pepper, scallions, and cilantro in a mixing bowl. 
  2. Add the red wine vinegar, olive oil, and salt and stir to combine. 
  3. Add the cooled quinoa and stir until everything is well incorporated. 
  4. Fold in the black beans.
Mangos are a pain to peel and cut, but totally worth it
All the veggies are colorful
Easily transportable and great when cold