Tuesday, March 8, 2016

20 New Recipes

Well, well, well.  Here we are. Almost 2 years after the site became a resource only and I still have people looking at recipes and liking the facebook page (both of which delight and surprise me!).  I am so thankful the blog is being used and hopefully helping families eat a little more plant based. 

I haven't added recipes like I said I may, but I'm changing that.  I'm adding about 20 recipes that we love.  These recipes are ones I've either stumbled upon (and tweaked) or created over the last two years that we keep coming back to.  I hope you enjoy them.  They are all without pictures -- I'm sorry, but I figured you all would rather have solid go-to recipes rather than none.

And who knows, maybe this Spring I'll upload some of the favorite summer salads we make all. the. time.   There's a challenge for me, huh?

So without further adieu, here's the list of new recipes with their links.  Recipes have also been added to the Recipe Index. 

Monday, March 7, 2016

Sweet & Sour Lentils

This is a very easy weeknight meal to throw together.  I have even served it to guests, believe it or not! My boys love this dinner.  Both may or may not have anything to do with the "sweet" part of the dish, considering it is just lentils and veggies and rice -- but the 5-Chineese spice really is what sets this dish apart from being just hum-drum!

Sweet & Sour Lentils 
serves 6
  • 1 1/2 cups dry lentils, picked over and rinsed + 3 cups water -- cook
  • 1 can water chestnuts, chopped
  • 2 cups each: chopped carrots, red bell pepper, cauliflower (can sub celery for cauliflower)
  • 1 can pineapple tidbits in juice, drained
  • 3-4 TBLS each: soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, maple syrup or brown sugar (depending on how "saucy" you want it -- easy to start with 3, taste, and add more if desired)
  • 1 TBLS fresh grated ginger or 1/4 tsp dry
  • 2 tsp minced garlic or 1/2 tsp powdered
  • 1/4 tsp 5-chinese spice
  • cilantro, to taste, for topping
  • 3 cups cooked grain
-- Combine sauce ingredients and add to cooked lentils. 
-- Stir in all the chopped veggies and serve (warmed or room temp) over rice with cilantro on top. 

Can also top with chopped mushrooms, or serve over a bed of spinach or lettuce.  :D

Summer Bean Salad

Here's an insanely easy weeknight meal.  We eat this a ton in the summer, but I've been known to serve it with a side of pureed vegetable soup, too, in the cooler months.  This salad is best if it's had all day to sit.  We eat this in pitas or wraps, or over rice.

Summer Bean Salad makes 12 cups.
  • 1 can each: black, kidney, great northen beans, rinse and drain
  • 4 cups corn, thawed if using frozen
  • 2 colored bell peppers, diced
  • 1 large cucumber, diced
  • Dressing: 1 small red onion
  • 1/3 c balsamic vinegar
  • 1 TBLS lemon or lime juice
  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • cilantro to taste
-- Combine chopped ingredients in a large bowl.  Puree dressing ingredients together and pour over.  Best after sitting a few hours. 

3 Bean Pantry Chili

This is one of my favorite go-to pantry meal.  I always have everything for this chili on hand.  It's so simple, but we love it.  I will often times throw in some zucchini if I have it laying around, or put an extra can of diced tomatoes in it with 3-4 cups cubed sweet potatoes. It's a very versatile recipe.  In the summer, I omit the liquids and drain the tomatoes and use it as a burrito filling, or serve it over baked sweet potatoes or rice! I was hesitant to put it on the blog, but a friend told me you can't ever have too many chili recipes, so...here you go!

3 Bean Pantry Chili
serves 6
  • 1 can each: black, kidney, great northen beans, rinse and drain
  • 2 cans fire roasted tomatoes, with juice
  • 2 cups frozen corn
  • 6 oz can tomato paste
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2-3 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 TBLS brown sugar or molasses
  • 1 TBLS dried cilantro or oregano
  • 1/2-1 cup broth
  • Opt: 2 cups frozen bell pepper or zucchini
  • 1 TBLS red wine vinegar at end
-- Combine all and heat through. 

Lemon Lentil Soups

There are 2 recipes here to suit different fancies.  I like both of these, my husband dearest isn't a huge lemon fan (much to my chagrin!) so he likes the curry version more, but if you're looking for a nice spring-time, lemon-infused soup, you may have found what you're looking for!

Lemon Lentil Soup
serves 6-8

  • 2 cups diced onion
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped celery
  • 1 TBLS garlic
  • 4 cups chopped zucchini or yellow squash
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 cup red lentils (can use brown, too)
  • 2 cans great northern beans, rinse and drain
  • 4 cups broth + 4 cups water
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
-- Saute onion, celery, garlic and zucchini 10 minutes.
-- Add the rest, minus the lemon juice, and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, cover and simmer 30 minutes until the lentils are cooked. 
-- Rough puree and add lemon juice
-- Season with salt and pepper to taste

Crockpot: Dump, high for 3-4 hrs.

Curried Lemon Soup 
  • 2 cups diced onion
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped celery
  • 1 TBLS garlic
  • 2 cups chopped carrots
  • 1 can diced tomatoes, with juice
  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 T curry powder
  • 1 cup red lentils (You can play with the lentils and beans, keeping them as is, or omitting the beans and upping the lentils to 2 cups dry -- suggest using brown lentils here)
  • 2 cans great northern beans, rinse and drain
  • 4 cups broth + 4 cups water
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 3 TBLS lemon juice

Method is the exact same, just don't puree. 

Tuscan White Bean Vegetable Soup

If there was one soup that was perfectly fitted for spring, this would be it.  There is just something about it that I love.  I actually love it so much, I served it for Easter last year and everyone loved it.  The way the flavors meld together is lovely and I find that people can't get enough of it.  We serve this with some fabulous rosemary infused bread, which really enhances the rosemary in the soup itself -- I highly recommend it!

Tuscan White Bean Vegetable Soup
serves 4-6
  • 1 1/2 cups diced onion
  • 3 cups chopped zucchini or yellow squash
  • 2 cups diced carrots
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 TBLS minced garlic
  • 2 cans white beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can diced tomatoes, with juice
  • 4 cups broth + 2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 tsp rosemary
  • 1 1/2 tsp rosemary
  • 1 tsp sage
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika (opt)
  • 2 cups packed chopped kale
  • 1 TBLS white wine vinegar
-- Saute onion, zucchini, carrots, celery and garlic 10 minutes until soft.
-- Add remaining, bring to a boil, reduce and cover.  Simmer 30 minutes. 
-- Add vinegar at end and season with salt and pepper to taste.

To make it more "soupy" just up the broth to 6 cups, or add another can of diced tomatoes
Crockpot: Dump, high for 3 hrs.

Moroccan Bean Stew

The warm spices of this soup make it perfect choice for a cool night.  The guys in my sweet family really enjoy the flavors from Morocco, so this soup is a good fit for us.  I have made this for non-vegans who have left asking for the recipe.  (For guests, you can serve roasted figs on top -- or plain chopped)

Moroccan Bean Stew
serves 6-8
  • 1 3/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • 1 TBLS minced garlic
  • 3-4 cups cubed sweet potato (1 lb)
  • 1 can black beans, rinse and drain
  • 1 can white beans (great northern, cannellini, chickpea), rinse and drain
  • 1 cup dry red lentils
  • 3 cups broth
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 1/2 TBLS grated ginger
  • 2 cups packed finely chopped kale
-- With a little water or broth, saute spices 1-2 minutes until really fragrant
-- Add chopped onion and garlic and saute 8-10 minutes, stirring constantly to avoid burning
-- Add potatoes, beans, lentils and broth/water.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer 20 minutes.
-- Add ginger and kale and heat until wilted

Crockpot: Dump all.  High for 3 hrs. 

Sauerkraut Soup

Now before you go and snub this soup, you have to know that neither of my boys like sauerkraut, but they love this soup.  It's so different, I know, but it's worth a try.  Make it for St Patty's Day and consider it your "Irish" contribution for the day!  It does make a whole lot, so make up some soda bread and invite your sauerkraut-loving neighbors over.

Sauerkraut Soup
serves 8-10
  • 8 oz box of mushrooms, chopped
  • 1/2 lb leek, fine diced, or 1 large onion
  • 1 1/2 cup fine diced carrots
  • 1 1/2 cups fine diced celery
  • 1 1/2 TBLS garlic
  • 3 cups cubed potatoes, white, or white sweet
  • 3 cups small chopped cauliflower florets
  • 8-10 cups broth
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1/2 tsp all spice
  • 1 1/2 tsp caraway seeds or dill
  • 4 tsp oregano
  • 32oz jar of good sauerkraut with juices
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 2 can white beans, rinse and drain
-- Saute mushrooms through garlic 10 minutes. 
-- Add remaining, bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer 30 minutes.

Crockpot: combine all, high for 4 hours.

Simple Vegetable Soup

Everyone needs a standard vegetable soup recipe, right?  Well, I didn't.  I have soups with vegetables in it, sure, but a simple carrots, green bean, peas & corn type soup that you have when you're not feeling great?  Nope.  Didn't have one.  This is one I came up with and fell in love with.  While I do make it when we're not feeling well, it's a great soup any night of the week!

Simple Vegetable Soup
serves 8-10

  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 tsp minced garlic
  • 3 cups diced carrots
  • 1 1/2 cups diced celery
  • 4 cups small diced white sweet potato
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes, with juice
  • 8 cups broth
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 cups each, frozen: green beans, peas, corn
  • 1 tsp each: thyme, basil, oregano
  • opt: 2 cans beans (white and red are best), rinse and drain with an extra 2 cups broth
  • opt: 8 oz chopped mushrooms
  • salt and pepper to taste
-- Saute onion, garlic, celery and carrots 10 minutes
-- Add potatoes, tomatoes, broth and spices and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, cover and simmer 20 minutes until potatoes are tender. (add mushrooms in this step if using)
-- Add frozen veggies (beans and broth if desired) and heat through. 

Crockpot: half recipe.  high for 4 hours. 

Winter Vegetable Stew

Yes, I have an Autumn Vegetable Stew AND a Winter Vegetable Stew.  What can I say...  We like our stews!  This stoup (stewish soup) is deep in its flavor and ever so satisfying on a cold winter night!  Use your biggest stockpot and beware (or just half it the first time to make sure you like it and don't end up making a mess like I did on my first go around!)  Hearty bread is a must for us with this stew, but you could easily serve it over your favorite whole grain or leave it as it.

Winter Vegetable Stew
serves 8-10

  • 1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onion
  • 1 TBLS minced garlic
  • 3 cups chopped carrots
  • 6-8 cups cubed butternut squash (1 1/2-2 lbs)
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes with juice
  • 1 6oz can tomato paste
  • 2 cans white beans, rinse and drain
  • 1 cup brown or red lentils (red lentils for a creamier texture, or if you're not used to lentils)
  • 1 cup rice (optional) -- add 2 cups broth if you add the rice
  • 8-10 cups broth/water depending on if you want more of a soup or a stew
  • 10-12oz frozen chopped spinach or kale
  • 2 tsp each: basil, oregano, thyme
  • splash of red wine vinegar at the end
-- Saute onion and garlic 10 minutes.  Add everything else.  Bring to a slow boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer 30-45 minutes until lentils are cooked and vegetable are soft. 

Autumn Vegetable Stew

This savory vegetable stew is a crowd pleaser to be sure.  It uses wonderful autumn vegetables and the complex flavors will keep you (and your guests!) coming back for more.  It makes quite a bit, so be sure to invite friends over to help you enjoy it.

Autumn Vegetable Stew
serves 8
  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • 2 cups chopped carrot
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped celery
  • 1 TBLS minced garlic
  • 1 TBLS grated ginger
  • 1 1/2 TBLS paprika
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 TBLS dried basil
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 8 cups broth
  • 1 lb (3-4 cups) cubed butternut squash
  • 1 lb (3-4 cups) cubed white sweet potato
  • 1 15oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 cans white beans, rinse and drained
  • 2 pinches of saffron + 1/4 cup warm water, soaked 15 minutes
  • 2 TBLS fresh chopped mint (or 1 TBLS dry)
-- Saute onion, celery, and carrot 10 minutes.
-- Add garlic and spices and cook 3 minutes.
-- Add broth, squash, potatoes, and tomatoes.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer 30 minutes until vegetable are soft.
-- Add saffron and mint and cook 10 minutes.

Barley with Kale and Roasted Butternut Squash

This dish is light and spring-y and can be made as a main dish, or as a stew, depending on what you're in the mood for.  We always double this if it's just the main dish, but quite honestly, we prefer it as a stew so that's what we do most often.  Just an FYI: the non-stew version is very pretty when plated and appropriate for guests with a nice salad on the side.

Barley with Kale and Roasted Butternut Squash
serves 4-6
  • 1 cup barley + 2 1/4 cups broth, cook
  • 1 lg red onion, chopped
  • 1-2 tsp minced garlic, to taste
  • 1 large bunch kale, cleaned, destemmed, chopped fine
  • 4 cups cubed butternut squash
  • 2 TBLS white wine
  • 1-2 cans white beans (if I need to stretch this, or I'm serving it to men, I use two cans)
Roast the squash (or microwave it if you don't have the time)
When barley is close to being done, saute the onion until soft, add garlic and cook another 2 minutes. 
Add kale and roasted squash and cook until wilted. 
Add white wine and beans and gently stir.  Serve over barley.

Stew version:
Don't roast squash.  Double recipe (use only 1 1/4 cups barley) in a dutch oven or crockpot and add 8 cups broth.  Instead of kale, you can use a 1 lb bag of chopped spinach.   Crockpot: high for 4-6 hrs.

Beef-less Stew

Since going plant-based, there are very few meals we long for or miss.  Truly, even the classic Beef Stew is not on that list, but on a cool night this chunky Beef-less Stew is a dish I crave.  It does remind me of the old classic, just oh. so. much. healthier.  And therefore satisfying.  If I can remember in time, we love this with a homemade loaf of crusty bread and salad.  Mmmm....

Beef-less Stew
serves 8
  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • 4 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 cups chunked celery (3/4in)
  • 2 cups frozen peas (12oz pk)
  • 3 cups chunked carrots (3/4in)
  • 2 8oz packages of mushrooms, quartered (baby bellas are my favorite for this)
  • 4-5 cups chunked white sweet potatoes (3/4in)
  • 2 cans beans, rinse and drained + 2 cups water - puree!
  • 6 cups beef-flavored broth (vegetable works, too, but the vegan beef broth really makes this stew)
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1 TBLS various Italian herbs -- basil, oregano, thyme, rosemary...
  • 1 tsp rosemary
  • 1 TBLS paprika
  • salt and pepper to taste
-- Saute onion and garlic in large stock pot until tender.  Add everything else, bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, cover and simmer 30-45 minutes until everything is tender.  Take 2 cups of soup out and puree it, then add it back it. (Or use an immersion blender to just thicken the stew a little)
-- Crockpot version: dump it all in.  High for 4 hrs. 

Curried Barley Lentil Soup

This soup is packed with flavor.  If you love curry, then you'll love this thick and creamy soup -- it's become one of our all time favorites. 

Curried Barley Lentil Soup
serves 6 (12 cups)

  • 1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onion
  • 1 TBLS minced garlic
  • 1 TBLS crushed ginger
  • 3 TBLS tomato paste
  • 2 TBLS curry powder (Indian)
  • 1 1/2 cups lentils (red or brown or a mix <-- favorite="" li="">
  • 3/4 cup barley
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 2 cups diced carrot
  • 1 tsp coconut extract
  • 8 cups water/broth mix
-- Saute onion and garlic and ginger 5 minutes, add tomato paste and curry and cook another 2 minutes.
-- Add remaining, bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer 35-45 minutes until barley is tender. 
-- Add more water if needed to gain desired consistency.
-- Crockpot: Dump it all in and set on high for 4-6 hrs

Scotch "Broth"

There is nothing brothy about this traditional Scottish stew.  It's thick and hearty and total comfort food.  It makes a ton, so it's easy to freeze or half.  I know it looks amazingly simple, but the flavor combination (especially with the addition of the liquid smoke) is surprisingly deep.

Scotch "Broth"
serves 8-10 (16-18 cups)

  • rounded 1/2 cup each: barley, red or green lentils, split peas
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 TBLS minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped celery
  • 1 1/2 cups grated carrot
  • 3 cups cauliflower florets (or a 12oz bag frozen)
  • 3 cups cubed white sweet potato (or regular white potato)
  • 9-10oz frozen chopped spinach or kale
  • 8-9 cups water/broth mixture
  • optional: liquid smoke to taste (a few shakes)
  • salt and pepper to taste
-- Soak barley, lentils, and split peas 1 hour in a large bowl covered with water.  Drain and rinse.
-- Combine everything in a large pot, bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer 30-45 minutes.
-- Crockpot: combine everything.  High for 4 hours.

Crockpot Lentil Bolognese Sauce

I love crockpot dinners.  Not only are they incredibly easy, but for meals like this, the slower cooking method actually produces a better dish that is more flavorful.  If you're looking for a hearty pasta sauce, you may want to give this one a look!  We serve this over a pasta or gnocchi -- but we've also eaten it warm with some thick bread for lunch.  Easy to freeze and thaw, I normally double it and save half for later.

Crockpot Lentil Bolognese Sauce
serves 6-8
  • 1 small onion, rough chop
  • 1 cup rough chop celery
  • 1 cup rough chop carrot
  • 1 TBLS minced garlic
  • 1 cup brown lentils
  • 2 cups broth
  • 8-12 oz chopped mushrooms, any variety, but baby bellas are my personal favorite
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 28 oz  petite diced tomatoes with juice
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1 TBLS Italian seasoning (1 tsp each: basil, oregano, thyme)
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 TBLS red wine vinegar at end
-- Pulse onion, celery, and carrot in food processor until small bits (or fine dice them if you don't have a food processor)
-- Combine everything in the crockpot and cook on high for 4-5 hours
-- Stir in vinegar
-- Season with salt and pepper to taste
-- Serve over 1 lb pasta or 2 lbs gnocchi

Vegetable Ratatouille

I didn't know I even liked Ratatouille until I tried some last summer at a friends house.  Her variation had chunks of chicken which I politely avoided in my sampling, but oh. my. goodness.  I went home and wrote out a plant-based version and made it the next night.  And three more times that same summer.  I restrain myself to only make this during the summer months since it uses so many garden-friendly veggies, but it's one of my all-time favorite meals.  Drizzled with balsamic glaze (reduction). eaten warm over polenta or pasta, or cold with a chunk or bread (my personal favorite), it's delicious.  It makes a ton, so be prepared to have a party or eat it for lunch for the week (fine by me!).  It really is BEST the day after...just sayin'.

Vegetable Ratatouille
serves 8-10

  • 8 cups cubed eggplant
  • 2 cups cubed yellow squash
  • 2 cups cubed zucchini
  • 1 orange bell pepper, chunked
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, chunked
  • 1 large red onion, chunked
  • 1 1/2 TBLS minced garlic
  • 2 cans white beans, rinse and drain (can use 1 red, 1 white)
  • 1/4 cup red wine
  • 1 cup broth
  • 2 cansfire roasted tomatoes, with juice
  • 2 6oz cans tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 TBLS brown sugar (opt)
-- Dump everything into a large crockpot, minus the beans, and cook on low for 6-8 hours.  You can cook it on high, but time is the key here, so low and slow is best if you have the time.  Alternately, you can saute the onion and garlic and all the rest to a stock pot and simmer, but that takes a much more watchful eye...
-- Add beans near the end and make sure they're heated through

Kidney Bean & Lentil Dahl

Our family loves Indian food -- there's something about the saucy stew-like dishes that you sop up with bread or let soak into rice that speaks comfort to us.  Add in some fresh ginger and those curry spices and we all come running to the dinner table.  The original recipe came from my Let Them Eat Vegan cookbook by the wonderful Dreena Burton -- I have tweaked it to the point I forget what was hers and what is mine, but this is what I do, along with a slight variation.

Kidney Bean & Lentil Dahl
serves 6

  • 1 medium sweet onion, chopped
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup broth
  • 1/2 cup orange juice, or more broth
  • 1 can petite diced tomatoes, with juice
  • 1 TBLS minced garlic
  • 1 TBLS minced ginger
  • 1 can red kidney beans, rinse and drain
  • 1 cup red lentils (or just another can red kidney beans)
  • OPT: 8-12 oz chopped mushrooms and/or 3-4 cups chopped cauliflower. 
  • OPT: replace all dry spices with simply 1 TBLS cumin and 1 TBLS garam masala
-- Saute onion 2-3 minutes, add spices and cook 5 minutes until fragrant
-- Add broth and juice, cooking 1-2 minutes, then add remaining.
-- Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer 20-25 minutes until lentils are cooked through and beans are soft.
-- Serve over 3-4 cups steamed rice with a salad on the side.

CROCKPOT: Dump everything in, high for 3 hrs, low for 6. 

Tuscan White Beans with Sun-dried Tomatoes

This is one of Scot's favorite Spring-time meals.  I don't know why it seems Spring-y, but it does.  I serve it over some creamy polenta, but it would do just as well over your favorite pasta or even on top of some crusty French bread.  It's very flavorful and does even better after sitting for a day!

Tuscan White Beans with Sun-dried Tomatoes
serves: 6
  • 1 large red onion
  • 4 cups thin sliced zucchini or yellow squash (or a mix!)
  • 1 TBLS minced garlic
  • 4 cups (9oz) fresh spinach, rough chopped (or frozen in a pinch)
  • 1 3oz pack sun dried tomatoes, chopped
  • 3 cans white beans, rinse and drain (great northern or cannellini)
  • 1 cup broth
  • 1/2 tsp sage
  • 1/3 cup fresh chopped basil, or 2 TBLS dried
  • 1 TBLS dried thyme
  • 1 TBLS white wine
-- Sauce onion 5 minutes in a large skillet.  Add zucchini and garlic and cook another 5 minutes.
-- Add remaining and cook over medium at a simmer for about 15 minutes.
-- Serve over polenta or pasta with some fresh pepper

Veggie & Lentil Salads

Just because it's a salad doesn't mean this is a summer-time meal!  In fact, these warm lentil salads are the perfect weeknight meal paired with a chunk of hearty bread and a salad or a pureed vegetable soup.  With two variations, you can't go wrong on these simple staples.  (Our personal favorite it #1)

Pictured: Option #1 with zucchini instead of brussel sprouts

Veggie & Lentil Salads
serves 6

1 1/2 cups lentils + 3 cups broth + 1/2 tsp garlic powder -- cook


  • 1 medium red onion, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups celery, chopped
  • 1 lb Brussel sprouts, fresh or frozen
  • 1 lb carrots or parsnips, chopped
  • 3 TBLS Dijon mustard
  • 1 1/2 TBLS balsamic vinegar
  • 1 1/2 TBLS white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 TBLS honey or agave
  • 1 tsp each: sage, oregano, basil
  • 1 medium sweet onion, chopped
  • 2 cups carrots, chopped
  • 3 cups zucchini, chopped
  • 1 large bell pepper, red preferable, chopped
  • 2 TBLS Dijon mustard
  • 1 TBLS white balsamic vinegar
-- With either variation, cook lentils first. 
-- Saute or roast veggies until tender. 
-- Mix dressing together and combine everything in a large bowl.
-- Serve warm or room temp.

Simple Shepherd's Pie (vegan)

Now, my favorite Shepherd's Pie is this one, with the Brussel sprouts.  But I have a kid who doesn't love it, so I sought out a different "Shepherd's Pie" free of sprouts (sad day, I know!).  I happened upon this one and we all fell in love.  It makes a ton, so feel free to cut it down by a quarter or half (or freeze the leftovers!)

Simple Shepherd's Pie
serves 6-8
  • 8 cups cubed sweet potatoes (2.5 lbs)
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 cup each, fine diced: onion, celery, carrot (use the food processor if you want!)
  • 1 TBLS minced garlic
  • 4 cups cooked lentils (2 cups brown lentils + 4 cups broth)
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes with juice
  • 2 TBLS soy sauce or tamari
  • 1 heaping TBLS fresh cut basil, or 2 tsp dried
-- Cook sweet potatoes (in a pot or in the microwave) until soft.  Add garlic powder and up to a half cup water and mash until smooth, adding water (or milk) as needed.
-- In a large skillet or pot, saute veggies and garlic 10 minutes until soft
-- Add cooked lentils and cook 3 minutes
-- Add tomatoes, soy sauce, and basil and cook 10 minutes or so until nice and thick
-- OPTIONAL: if you have a handful or two of spinach, it's really nice to take about a cup of chopped spinach here and throw it in!
-- Transfer lentils to a 9x13, top with mashed sweet potatoes, and bake uncovered for 30 minutes at 350.  Top should be toasty brown (may need to broil for desired visual effect)

Curried Ginger Lentil Spread or Salad

This meal is originally supposed to be a spread used in pitas, with crackers, or vegetables -- kind of like a thick lentil-based hummus.  We love it so much I that I often make it as a salad so we can eat it year round!  The spread-version is more of a simple summer side, but the salad can be eaten warm in pitas or tortillas, or with a simple pureed vegetable soup!

Curried Ginger Lentil Spread or Salad
serves 4-6
  • 1 1/2 cup dry lentils (brown) + 3 cups water or brother
  • 1 TBLS curry powder (Indian)
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder or 2 tsp raw minced
  • 3 TBLS brown sugar or maple syrup
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 3 TBLS lemon juice (more if needed to thin)
  • 1 tsp fresh grated ginger
  • 1 TBLS apple cider vinegar
  • rounded 1/8 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/8 tsp salt
-- Spread: Cook lentils.  Put everything in a food processor and puree until smooth. 

-- Salad: Do not puree.  OMIT: water and sugar.  Reduce lemon juice to 1 TBLS.  Everything else the same.  ADD: 2 cups each: corn kernels, fine dice carrots, fine chopped kale (opt)

Northern Indian Kidney Bean Stew

This is a really easy and versatile meal -- add in chopped mushroom, cauliflower, eggplant or spinach to your liking.  Serve it over 3 cups rice, barley, or with some naan or hearty bread.

Already mixed in with the rice-- not as pretty, but you get the idea

North Indian Kidney Bean Stew
serves 6
  • 3 cans dark red kidney beans, rinse and drain
  • 3 TBLS minced garlic
  • 1 large jumbo red onion, chopped
  • 1 1/2 TBL minced ginger
  • 1 TBLS dried basil
  • 1 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 2 15oz cans crushed tomatoes
  • 2 TBLS lemon juice
  • 3 TBLS chopped cilantro
-- Combine everything in crockpot, low for 6 hours.  Add lemon juice and cilantro at end.
-- Stovetop: Saute onion with garlic and ginger.  Add dry spices and cook another 2-3 minutes until very fragrant.  Add in tomatoes and beans and simmer 30 minutes until heated through and beans start to break apart.  Add lemon juice and cilantro at end.