Week 2 of the #eatplants Challenge

This weekend, we’re spending time in South Carolina, visiting family…and I’m bringing them some plant-based goodness! Our third niece, Charlie, was born almost 2 months ago and what better way to visit and help out then meal prepping delicious, plant-based meals for a family that now has zero time for much other than babies!

I decided to test out some recipes for the 2nd week of my #eatplants challenge – today we went shopping for the following (and then later, we went to Low Tide Brewery):

  • Cauliflower & Spinach Manicotti
  • Spicy Broccoli & Garlic over Thai Noodles with lentil & mushroom wontons
  • Lentil Loaf with roasted sweet potato
  • For lunch I cooked the farro bowls from week 1 (but left out the butternut squash, as the grocery store in South Carolina didn’t have any).

Here are the ingredients for these meals (assuming you have some things from week 1):

  • 3 sweet potatoes
  • Tub o Spinach
  • 2 onions (white)
  • 1 can of tomato paste
  • Balsamic vinegar (don’t buy any special if you have it)
  • Bag of green lentils
  • Steel cut oats
  • Button Mushrooms
  • Rice noodles (Brown Rice if you’d like)
  • 2 heads of broccoli
  • Head of garlic (if you don’t have any left over from last week)
  • Head of Cauliflower
  • Package of manicotti
  • 1/4 cup of nutritional yeast
  • Wonton wrappers
  • Spicy chili & garlic sauce

Today, I made the lentil loaf for my sister & brother & law to eat sometime next week. I’ll post the rest of the recipes tomorrow – after I make them!

Lentil Loaf 

  1. Mince whole onion. Saute in 1 tablespoon of olive oil for 5 minutes (with salt & pepper).
  2. Cut mushrooms into little pieces, then add to the pan with the onions. Take 3 cups of spinach and add to the pan. Cook until spinach has begun to wilt a bit. Turn off heat.
  3. Cube the 3 sweet potatoes. Add 3 tablespoons of olive oil, salt & pepper and bake at 375 for 20-30 minutes.
  4. Cook 2 cups of lentils – in 4 cups of water.
  5. Put 1/2 cup of steel cut oats to blender. Pulse for 10 times or so.
  6. Add 2 cups of cooked lentils to cuisine art (or blender). Blend.
  7. Take the mixture of oats & lentils and add the spinach, onion mixture into a bowl. Add with an additional 2 cups of cooked lentils, mix together.
  8. Grease a loaf pan with coconut oil. Stuff the lentil mixture into the pan.
  9. In a separate bowl mix tomato paste, 3 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar, 1/4 cup of water, 2 cloves of minced garlic, salt pepper for the glaze.
  10. Top the loaf with the tomato glaze. Bake at 375 for 25-30 minutes – cover the loaf with tin foil, remove for the last 10 minutes.

Hope you’re all enjoying the #eatplants challenge….any questions!? Let me know how you’re doing!

Enjoy!

Week 1 of the #eatplants Challenge

Here in Colorado, a new season is upon us! The spring skiing is in full swing, mountain bikes are being polished and tuned, and I’m kicking off a 30 day #eatplants challenge.

Starting April 2nd, I’m committing 30 days to a plant-based diet and a holistic approach to health…more veggies, less processed foods, more movement. I’ll be posting recipes & grocery lists on my blog for all those wanting to follow along. Below is the grocery list for next week’s meals (I’m posting 3 recipes and the grocery list that coincides with those meals – feel free to eat completely plant-based for all meals – there are plenty of recipes on this blog).

Hope you join – and feel free to comment below!

Things you may want to have in your pantry

Nuts, Oils & spices

  1. Coconut oil or Avocado oil – both have high heat indexes (olive oil will work too!)
  2. Salt, pepper
  3. Cumin
  4. Bay leaf
  5. Garlic (whole)
  6. Walnuts, almonds, cashews
  7. Amino acids (similar to soy sauce, so that would work too)

Week 1 Meals

  1. Farrow bowl with sweet potatoes, spinach, butternut squash, lemon/mustard dressing
    1. Cook the farrow as directed (use 1/2 water, 1/2 veggie broth for more flavor!) – usually I cook about 1 cup – which is enough to feed 2. Cook more if you’d like leftovers.
    2. Cube sweet potatoes. Toss with butternut squash in 1 1/2 tablespoon oil (avocado is what I use), pepper & salt, and bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes – until tender (may need a few minutes more)
      1. If you bought a whole butternut squash, cut it in half, scrape the seeds out and roast separately, with a bit of coconut oil rubbed onto the meat of the squash, at 375 for 25-35 minutes. Let cool & peel the skin off. You can find butternut squash already cubed in the grocery store – so much easier!
    3. Make the dressing – squeeze the juice from the entire lemon into a small bowl, 1 tablespoon of mustard, 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil, salt & pepper. Mix.
    4. Once the farrow is done & sweet potatoes and squash are roasted, put about a cup of farrow into a bowl, top with spinach & the sweet potatoes and squash, then top with dressing! Enjoy!
  2. Black Bean & Spinach quesadilla with caramelized onion & avocado (chipotle aioli optional)
    1. Slice the onions into long slivers. Toss with 1/2 tablespoon of oil & garlic. Saute on med-low for about 10-15 minutes, until translucent and a bit brownish.
    2. While the onions are sauteing, rinse the cans of beans and put into a pot. Add some garlic, chili powder, and pepper. Once they get a bit warm, mash them a bit with a fork.
    3. If you’re going to make the aoili, I use veganaise – a vegan mayo, and add pepper & chili powder with a squeeze of fresh lime.
    4. Warm up the tortillas (in the microwave or oven) and slice the avocados.  Top the tortillas with the beans, onions, avocado & aioli. Top with hot sauce! I often top with spinach. Feel free to make a side of brown rice too!

3.Baked Cauliflower wings & sweet potato chips – with a side salad

  1. Wash the cauliflower & cut into florets. Lay on a baking sheet (sprayed with a bit of oil, so they don’t stick) and bake at 400 for 15 minutes. Take out, toss in a bowl with the hot sauce, put back into the oven for another 15 minutes.
  2. Slice the sweet potatoes as thin as possible. Toss with salt, pepper, garlic and 1 tablespoon of oil. Bake at 400 for 15 minutes. Take out, flip the chips over and bake for another 15 minutes (keep an eye out on the really thin ones so they don’t burn).
  3. Top with extra hot sauce if you wish & serve with a side of veganaise (add 1 tablespoon of almond milk to thin it out a bit & some garlic powder or dill for flavor)- to dip the cauliflower wings in – and a side salad!

Grocery List

Week 1 grocery List

  1. Veggie broth
  2. Baby carrots – big bag should last 2 weeks
  3. Onions – 2
  4. Lemon
  5. Avocados (2)
  6. Spinach – big bucket
  7. Butternut squash
  8. Farrow
  9. Sweet potatoes – 3
  10. Head of Cauliflower
  11. Cilantro
  12. Can of organic black beans
  13. Tortillas (I usually get whole wheat or spinach)
  14. Hot sauce (cheapest one that has the most simplistic ingredients you can find)

 

Have any questions? Feel free to ask them in the comments below. Enjoy!!

Chick Pea & Cauliflower Masala

Happy November!!!

Meal prep

I’ve been ramping up my work-out game in preparation for ski season, so have been in a healthy mindset lately and have been better at meal prepping on the weekends. This past weekend was extremely busy – last week was nuts at work, we went on a big hike, had a Halloween party to go to, and went down to Colorado Springs to visit a girlfriend and watch the Broncos. Not a ton of time to prep for the week!

When you don’t have a ton of time, use it effectively and realistically – and soup, chili or stews are great ways to maximize the food prep! While Mike made chili (he makes the best chili!), I  made a Chick Pea & Cauliflower Masala. We had a ton of garden grown tomatoes to use up too, so it was a win win!

Both chili and masala can be slow cooked, allowing for other chores around the house to be done while you wait. Below is the recipe I used for the masala – super easy, super delicious – and I actually prepped this for a weeknight meal, allowing the flavors to marinate before diving in. We ate this last night and it was amazing – so much so, I didn’t even get a picture of the finished product!

Enjoy!

Tomatoes

Ingredients

2 tablespoons Curry Powder
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 teaspoon of minced ginger (fresh)
1 teaspoon of paprika
Pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon of chili powder
1 handful of small tomatoes & two medium tomatoes, blended together (I used a little mixer with an immersion blender attachment – Cuisinart or a blender would work too!)

1 onion cut into small pieces
2 tablespoons coconut oil

1 small head of cauliflower
1 can of chick peas
1/2 cup of water

1 can coconut milk (I used a can of Sprouts organic full fat)
1 tablespoon cornstarch

 

Directions

  1. Add oil to a big pot, heat, then add onion. Saute on medium heat for 5-8 minutes
  2. Mix first 7 ingredients in a bowl, making sure it’s mixed as a paste.
  3. Add chickpeas to the paste, coating thoroughly.
  4. Add the cauliflower into the pot with the sauteed onions, mix thoroughly and cook for 2-4 minutes.
  5. Add the chickpea mixture to the pot. Stir so onions and cauliflower are coated. Cover and cook for another 5-8 minutes.
  6. Mix together the can of coconut milk with the tablespoon of cornstarch. Then add to the vegetable mixture.
  7. Stir the pot, turn the heat to low and simmer for 10-12 minutes. Serve over rice!

I meal prepped this on a Sunday, then re-heated and ate on a Tuesday night. The flavors were amazing, having soaked for two nights, so I recommend prepping and letting sit for sure!

 

Happy Cooking!