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Overnight Oats

Overnight Oats

The perfect breakfast for those busy mornings. Prep the night before and grab it as you run out the door!

In a small mason jar (2 cup/16oz) place 1/2 cup dry rolled oats and 1/2 cup quick cook oats. Add cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon vanilla, and some dried unsweetened fruit (raisins – not Craisins, golden raisins, goji berries, cherries. Pour in enough unsweetened plant-based milk (soy, almond, hemp) to cover the oats plus a little more. Mix with a spoon, screw on the lid, and place in the fridge. Pack some berries or other fresh fruit along with some walnuts, pumpkin seeds, ground flax seeds, chia seeds, or sunflower seeds to mix in. Grab your jar and fruit as you head out the door (don’t forget a spoon). Eat cold or at room temp. Enjoy!

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Herbed Summer Grain Salad

I put this dinner together in a few minutes the other night ( I forgot to take a picture again). I used a recipe by Mollie Katzen from Heart of the Plate as a rough guide.

What you’ll need:

3 cups cooked grains (I used brown rice and quinoa left over in my fridge)
1 large red onion diced
4 garlic cloves minced
1/2 zucchini diced
1 pint grape tomatoes cut in half
1/2 to 1 cup of freshly minced herbs (parsley, thymes, rosemary, sage, etc,)
2 cans of white beans drained and rinsed
1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
White wine
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
Salt and pepper

Place the onions and garlic into a 10 or 12 inch skillet. Add a splash of white wine and a pinch of salt. Turn the heat up to medium and sauté until the onions are soft, stirring often, about seven minutes. Add the herbs and red pepper flakes. Stir and sauté for one minute. Toss in the zucchini and sauté for another five minutes. Splash in some white wine along the way to prevent drying out or burning. Fold in the grains and beans, along with the vinegar. Mix until heated through, about 5 minutes. Finally, add the tomatoes, placing them on top of the grain/bean/veggie mix. Cover the pan, and with the heat on low cook for another 3 to 5 minutes. Serve warm with a side of broccoli or steamed kale. Enjoy:)

Spinach Strawberry Pear and Avocado Salad

I ate the salad before I could took a picture. This salad is a perfect snack. To serve 1 you’ll need:

2 handfuls of baby spinach
1/2 avocado peeled and sliced into wedges
5 strawberries quartered
1/4 to 1/2 of a pear sliced into thin wedges
Raw pumpkin seeds
Balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste

Make a bed of baby spinach on a plate. Toss in the strawberries. Arrange the pear slices around the perimeter and one slice in the middle. Place the avocado in the center. Sprinkle the salad with pumpkin seeds (or other seeds of your choosing). Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle the salad with balsamic vinegar.

Baby Bok Choy and Chickpeas

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This is a quick and tasty recipe from Clean Food.

You’ll need:
6 heads of baby Bok Choy chopped into bite sized pieces
1 inch piece of ginger peeled and grated
1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce or Tamari (gluten free soy sauce)
1 table spoon of mirin (Japanese sweet rice wine) or sherry or white wine
1 or 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
2 cans chickpeas drained and rinsed
1 teaspoon olive oil or coconut oil (measure!)
3 cups cooked brown rice (optional)
1 handful of toasted cashews (optional) or other seeds such as pumpkin or sunflower.

In a large pan or Dutch oven place the oil and ginger. Sauté on medium heat for 1 minute and then add the Tamari, mirin, and chickpeas. Stir the chickpeas frequently until the liquid reduces (about 3 to 5 minutes). Add the Bok Choy and red pepper flakes. Cook stirring often until the Bok Choy has wilted (about 10 minutes). Fold in the cooked brown rice and heat through. Serve hot with a squirt of lemon juice, toasted cashews or seeds, and black pepper.

Kale Avocado Salad

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I got this recipe from the Thrive Cookbook.

In a large bowl toss in: 3/4 head Locitano kale with the stems removed and finely chopped into small strips, 1/2 bell pepper diced, a handful of grape tomatoes halved, juice of 1 lemon, pinch of salt, pinch of cayenne, handful of seeds (hemp, chia, sunflower, and/or pumpkin seeds), and 1 avocado peeled and diced.

Mash it all up with your hands until the avocado is creamy and your done!

It’s been a while . . .

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It’s been several months since my last posting. Life has been hectic. But just because I’ve been too busy to post, doesn’t mean that I’ve been too busy to cook. My wife and I are still preparing whole food plant-based meals everyday for every meal! Sadly though, with all of the hustle and bustle of daily life, we seem to have gotten ourselves into a culinary rut, reaching for the same handful of familiar easy to make meals. So, I’ve hit the book shelves this spring looking for some new ideas, inspiration, and flavors to welcome the warmer weather. I recently purchased six cookbooks in my search for some tasty new dishes:

  1. Superfood Kitchen: Julie Morris
  2. Candle Cafe Cookbook
  3. The Heart of the Plate (Vegetarian Recipes for a New Generation): Mollie Katzen
  4. The Oh She Glows Cookbook: Angela Liddon
  5. Thrive Foods: Brandan Brazier
  6. The Power of Food: Adam Hart

All of the cookbooks except for Heart of the Plate and Power of Food are whole food plant-based and vegan – although vegan options exist for most of the meals. Thrive Foods, Power of Food, and Superfood Kitchen focus on consuming a WFPD (whole food plant-based diet) that incorporates lots of super foods. Super foods are foods that contain an abundance of micronutrients such as leafy green vegetables, quinoa, berries, certain seeds, etc. Some of the super foods can be expensive or hard to find. I’ve incorporated more seeds into my diet as a result of reading those books; notably hemp, chia, and flax seeds sprinkled on salads, oatmeal, soups, etc. The Candle Cafe cookbook features very accessible ingredients and easy to follow recipes – we enjoyed a spring vegetable minestrone earlier this week. Adam Hart’s book Power of Food is a great inspirational read and his recipes are for the most part very easy to follow – the mango pistachio salad was out of this world good. Mollie Katzen’s book contains both vegetarian and vegan recipes and requires some modifications to fit into a WFPD. Pictured below I have a meal with recipes from the Heart of the Plate Cookbook and Superfood Kitchen: Soft cuban black beans and orange rice from HOTP and Tomatillo Chia Salsa from SFK.

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Vegetable Soup/Stew with Carrots, Parsnips, and Potatoes

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Vegetable stew is a warming and comforting meal during the cold winter months. Vary the vegetables and/or spices for an endless variety of tastes. This particular stew/soup was made the day before I was to go food shopping, so I used the vegetables and beans that didn’t make the cut during the week.

What you’ll need:

  • 2 onions diced
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 5 carrots sliced into thick rounds
  • 5 celery stalks diced
  • 4 parsnips sliced into thick rounds
  • 4 small yukon gold potatoes diced
  • 1 28 oz can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 cups of cooked beans (or two cans drained and rinsed)
  • white wine for sautéing

In a large pot or dutch oven, place the onions along with a splash of white wine and a pinch or two of salt. Cover and sauté the onions over medium heat. While the onions are cooking, slice the carrots and place them into the pot; mix well, and then cover. Do the same for the celery, parsnips, and potatoes. Add the garlic along with the potatoes. Sauté all of the vegetables for about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, mix well, and cook for another 10 minutes. Pour 8 cups of water into the pot along with the bay leaf. Bring to a boil over med-high heat and then simmer on medium-low heat until the potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes. Add the beans and cook for another 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve over brown rice, quinoa, or whole wheat or gluten free pasta. Top each dish with some steamed greens like kale, collards, or broccoli. Enjoy!

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