Cook rice according to package directions (I like the five minute kind for busy days).
2. Cook quinoa according to package directions. I like to make a batch of quinoa at the beginning of the week, that way it’s ready for whatever I decide to throw together (like a quick salad, quinoa + veggie bowl, or it works in various dinner recipes). I follow this recipe from Wholefully and it comes out perfectly every single time!
3. Chop cabbage into medium sized bites, put in to a large cast iron (or other) skillet with about a third of a cup of vegetable stock or water. Turn heat to medium, cover with a lid (it’s okay if it’s open a little), and cook until cabbage is slightly browned and translucent. Stir to cook evenly. Add more stock or water to prevent from burning to pan.
4. Once cabbage is cooked, set heat to low and add the garlic (to taste) and onion. Add oil and stir all together.
5. Add tomatoes, stir. Add pasta sauce, stir well.
6. Continue to stir on low heat for about two minutes, or until everything is mixed and heated through.
Serve in a bowl, top with nutritional yeast (or Parmesan cheese) on top, and vegan/gf garlic bread (or regular) on the side.
What ingredients are in your jar of peanut butter? Do you know without looking?
Most popular brands have labels that look something like: “Peanuts, Sugar, 2% Or Less Of: Fully Hydrogenated Vegetable Oils (Rapeseed And Soybean), Mono And Diglycerides, Salt.”
When I think about healthy habits and making the right decisions for my body, mono and diglycerides isn’t something that comes to mind first. Or ever. I Googled what exactly this ingredient is (because who even knows) and it’s something that helps the oil (added ingredient) mix with water. Helpful, sure, but what happens when this stuff gets inside the body?
According to Medical News Today, “the FDA classifies monoglycerides as ‘generally recognized as safe’ as food additives and ingredients, meaning that they do not pose an immediate health risk”
Actually the more I research this the more grossed out I get.
What we put into our bodies makes a difference in how we feel now and in the long term! There’s not an immediate health risk, but if you continue to put this into your body over and over for 30 years, then what? And it’s in a lot of packaged foods, not just peanut butter.
Here are my solutions: Read the labels on peanut butter (and everything). My favorite brand is Teddie because it has basic ingredients: peanuts, salt. They even have an unsalted version so it’s literally ONLY PEANUTS! Yes you have to stir these kinds when you open them the first time, but then put it in the refrigerator and when it’s cold it’s like any other junky peanut butter! But better for you! It costs a little more money than the more popular brands, but a little extra now is worth it for your health. Am I right!?
Check your ingredients!
Another option is to make your own, and it’s way easier than you’d think. Start with a cup of peanuts (your choice – unsalted, salted, honey roasted, etc.- just be sure to check those labels too!) and put into a food processor, coffee grinder, or a good blender (I use a Ninja blender) and pulse. Peanuts will first turn into a powder, but keep pulsing and soon you’ll see your peanut butter taking form! Use a rubber spatula to scoop it into a mason jar or other sealed container (perhaps an old peanut butter jar?) and voila! you made your own peanut butter.
I love to make my own to share with my dogs. It’s one of their favorite treats, and knowing it’s not full of junk for them makes me feel good about giving it to them too ❤
Here’s a vegan treat I made for Valentine’s Day using Teddie Peanut Butter + dairy free chocolate. These didn’t last long in my house! Crisp chocolate outside, soft peanut butter inside; I’m drooling thinking about it. Find the recipe on Teddie’s Instagram page.
Let me know, will you make the switch to better peanut butter? Will you make your own? Will you make the truffles!?
I always have frozen vegetables on hand because there are always days that are extra busy or sometimes I just don’t feel like cooking. This recipe is so easy and takes less than 30 minutes.
Ingredients I used:
Barilla Protein+ Spaghetti
Sunflower/Olive Oil blend
1 fresh carrot, chopped
1/2 medium onion, sliced
2 garlic cloves
Frozen: peas, brussels sprouts, broccoli
Everything Bagel Seasoning
I don’t measure what I use I just visually decide how much of each ingredient might be enough. Let me know in the comments if you prefer measurements.
1. Start by cooking the spaghetti according to the package directions. Any pasta can be used here; sometimes I use gluten free, sometimes I use ziti or rotini or whatever! It’s all about preference or what you have available.
2. Warm about a tablespoon of oil in a large skillet on medium heat. Add the chopped carrot, garlic, and sliced onion. When the onion + garlic become fragrant, cover skillet partially with a lid to help the carrots cook. After a few minutes carefully poke carrots with a fork to check how soft they are. You want slightly soft but not mushy carrots- they’ll cook a little longer with the next few steps.
3. Add the frozen Brussels sprouts to the skillet, cover with lid to let them steam and get softer. When they start to soften, I cut them in half (carefully!) because they are usually huge.
4. Lower heat. Add frozen broccoli, and again add the lid to let them steam until they start getting softer.
5. Add frozen peas last because they won’t take long to heat up. No need to add the lid at this point.
6. Let all the veggies cook together for 2-3 minutes; I like when they start to brown slightly. If needed, add a tablespoon or more of water to the pan so the veggies don’t get too dry.
7. Add noodles to serving bowl, next veggies, then liquid aminos + Everything Bagel seasoning on top. Maybe add a little hot sauce if you like that kind of thing. Serve.
I started by cooking the rice and the lentils, separately, in small saucepans. Each takes two cups water to one cups dry ingredient. Cook until water is absorbed.
While the rice and lentils cook, I prep the jalapenos (with gloves to avoid juices getting all over, lesson learned the hard way) by slicing in half and cleaning everything out of the inside. Lie in baking pan and drizzle with olive oil and place in 400 degree oven to let peppers start to soften.
Rough chop the cabbage into bite sized pieces, cook in cast iron skillet with a little oil until soft.
Season lentils with taco-like spices; I used salt & pepper, cumin, garlic powder, crushed red pepper and crushed chipotle peppers. Stir all together and set aside until jalapenos can almost be pierced with a fork.
Pull jalapeno dish from oven, spread rice all over jalapenos, then scoop lentils on top, followed by rinse canned black beans, and frozen or canned corn kernels. Add soft cabbage and put dish back in the oven and bake until jalapenos are easily pierced with a fork.
Drizzle on Franks Buffalo sauce and Primal Kitchen Ranch dressing and sprinkle Chipotle hemp hearts on top. Of course, you could omit the hot sauce if you don’t like super spicy, but I think it’s a great way to get a little extra water intake for the day.
Put some oil in a large frying pan on low-medium heat, add garlic and onion and cook for a couple minutes, until it becomes fragrant. Add in chopped cabbage and a little more oil and stir around until everything is mixed. Stir frequently. Cook until cabbage is soft and to desired color. I like to let it cook a while, until it’s a nice crispy brown. I love this recipe because it is short and sweet and tastes so good with any meal. You could even omit the garlic and onion and still have a great dish! Ready in no time and can be added to rice or gluten free noodles for a more filling meal.
This is how I prepare avocado and I call it guacamole, but call it avocado with spices if you’d rather. I almost always have these ingredients on hand so I can make it for a quick snack when hunger strikes.
1/2 small onion, chopped into small pieces
Franks Red Hot hot sauce, to taste
salt & pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp chipotle pepper or to taste
Mash avocado in a bowl. Mix in chopped onion. Mix in spices and add hot sauce last. Mix well. Enjoy right away or put in the fridge for 15 minutes, until cold; my preference! Serve with your favorite gluten free tortilla chips.
***Recipe + photo updated Dec ‘20. Still calling it lasagna even though I didn’t use lasagna noodles this time around. Can be made gluten free by using gluten free noodles.
I am new to most vegan products and had always been afraid to try tofu because the texture seemed weird and I never knew how to prepare it or what to expect as far as taste. So the first time I bought it I decided to try it in way that was similar to something I already knew; ricotta cheese. So I found this recipe and added it to this lasagna and it turned into one of my favorite recipes!
Cook noodles according to package directions. Mix ingredients for tofu ricotta, set aside.
In a large cast iron skillet, add olive oil and chopped onion and garlic. Cook for a few minutes then add whole jar of pasta sauce. Add in noodles. Mix all together and let simmer on low heat for a few minutes.
Next, add in tofu ricotta a spoonful at a time, followed by can of tomatoes. Stir together with a fork to mix well. Let flavors blend for a few minutes on low heat, stirring frequently.
Spices: cumin, garlic powder, chili powder, paprika, chipotle pepper
Chop each sweet potato in half and cook in boiling water until fork pierces all the way through, but potatoes don’t fall apart. Let cool. Skin should peel off easy, chop into smaller pieces.
Chop cabbage into bite sized pieces and cook in a little boiling water, covered, until soft.
In a large pot, cook peppers in a little oil until they start to soften, then add onion. Add black beans, corn, tomatoes, stir.
Add in cabbage and all spices. Use a fork to mix everything together really well and let cook on low temp for a few minutes. Finally, add in cooked sweet potato and stir carefully to make sure they don’t get smashed if they are extra soft.
I needed a good meal after the gym and came up with this awesome dish. I had a half serving of rice and half of an acorn squash in my bowl, trying not to go overboard on carbs. Also I used more of a deep plate, but I’m still calling it a bowl!
Red, green, yellow bell peppers
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Cut squash in half starting at the stem then scoop out the seeds. Place squash face down in baking dish with just enough water to cover bottom of dish and bake for about 30 minutes or until skin can be pierced easily with fork.
Cook rice according to package. Chop peppers and onion and cook in cast iron skillet until soft and slightly browned.
I had guacamole already made, but it’s super easy. Avocado, salt & pepper, garlic powder, chipotle pepper, Franks hot sauce. Done!
Scoop squash from skin into bowl and add peppers, onion, rice, guac, hemp hearts, and hot sauce.
Pictured is everything together in my bowl, but then I mixed it all up to eat it (not as pretty).
While I was still working in an office and had no idea what a healthy diet was supposed to look like, I would buy lunch from the pharmacy in the building. That included foods like Ramen noodles, salt & vinegar potato chips, chocolate covered pretzels, or some kind of microwavable Chef Boyardee or Campbell’s product. I didn’t know how to read a nutrition label or even think about looking at an ingredient list, and I’m positive not one thing was clean or macro friendly. Fast forward five years and now I have my own version of the classic canned SpaghettiOs.
This recipe was a happy accident that happened when I needed to go grocery shopping, but didn’t feel like it so I used pretty much the only things I had in the house: gluten free noodles and tomato soup.
I had no idea what creation I was about to make, but I cooked the noodles according to the package directions (I used this) and added the noodles back to the pot after drained. Next, the tomato soup (this) is added to the pot with the noodles and heated until everything is warm. At this point the recipe could be done, or you can add some of your favorite spices to kick it up a notch.
This is a great alternative to the canned version of SpaghettiOs, even if it isn’t technically ‘spaghetti’. You can use any type of pasta and any brand of tomato soup and have the same result. I use whatever I have on hand at the time and it always tastes the same. Just make sure to check your labels if you want your dish to be clean!