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!!

Sunday Funday Meal Prep: Spicy Thai Stuffed Peppers & Smokey Mushroom & Caramelized Onion Tacos

I recently tweaked my knee in a backcountry ski accident, putting a real damper on my weekend adventure plans. Any skiing, backcountry tours, mountain shenanigans are put on hold – at least for the time being. So, that means I spent the weekend at home, trying to stay off my knee. Trying being the operative word.

Boulder International Film Festival

So, this weekend I managed to do a bit of yard work, listed my rental property back in Conshohocken, went to Longmont to see Frantz (a film that’s part of the Boulder International Film Festival) with my mom & sister, and spent a lot of time hobbling around the kitchen. For Sunday Funday, I decided to make two dishes to prep for the week: Spicy Thai Sweet Potato Stuffed Peppers and Smoky Mushroom & Caramelized Onion Tacos.

 

Sunday Funday

Spicy Thai Sweet Potato Stuffed Peppers

Stuffed Peppers Ingredients
2 peppers, cut in half & de-seeded (I used green)
2 sweet potatoes cubed
1 cup of cooked brown rice

  1. Put cubed sweet potatoes in a bowl with a cup of water. Microwave on high for 5-8 minutes (until sweet potatoes are soft).
  2. Put halved peppers in a oven-safe dish.
  3. Mix rice & sweet potatoes together & pile into pepper halves.

 

Thai Sauce
2 tablespoons of coconut oil
2 garlic gloves
2 green onions, chopped
1/4 cup of water
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
3 tablespoons amino acid
1/4 cup of full fat coconut milk
1 tablespoon of corn starch mixed with 2 tablespoons of water
1 tablespoon of red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon of chili paste
1 tablespoon sriracha

  1. Melt coconut oil in a sauce pan. Add garlic and onions. Saute on medium-low for 2 minutes.
  2. Add pepper flakes & chili paste. Saute another 2 minutes.
  3. Add apple cider vinegar, water & amino acids. Stir for 2 minutes.
  4. Add in the coconut milk, sriracha and corn starch mix. Stir well and turn down heat. Let simmer for 2-4 minutes.
  5. Sauce will thicken with time, so continue to stir until it’s almost gravy like. Turn off heat
  6. Pour sauce on top of the peppers.
  7. When ready, heat over to 375 and cook for 20 minutes.

Stuffed Peppers

Smoky Mushroom & Caramelized Onion Tacos

Ingredients
10 button mushrooms, sliced
1 1/2 cup of spinach
1 onion, sliced into slivers
2 cloves of garlic
1 tablespoon of coconut oil
6 tortilla wrappers or corn tortilla (You can also use lettuce to cut the carbs)
1/2 cup of cilantro for garnish

Marinade Ingredients
1/4 cup of water
3 tablespoons of liquid smoke
1 teaspoon of garlic powder
1 teaspoon of paprika
2 cloves of garlic, minced

  1. Combine all marinade ingredients in a plastic bag. Add the sliced mushrooms into the bag. Set in the fridge for 15 minutes.
  2. Melt the coconut oil in a pan. Add the two cloves of garlic and onions. Cover with a lid for 6-10 minutes, stirring every few, so they brown, not burn.
  3.  Once the onions are browned, add the mushrooms, with the marinade, to the saute pan. Saute mixture for another few minutes.
  4. Add spinach to mixture and turn off heat, stirring until the mixture is covered with the marinade.
  5. Scoop the mixture into the tortillas.
  6. Wrap them up and put into a baking dish & top with cilantro. When ready to eat, heat over to 350 and cook for 15 minute.

Smoky Mushroom Tacos