The perfect summer lunch plate – Confetti Slaw, Black Bean Quinoa Salad, and Roasted Carrots – was inspired by a Purple Carrot recipe (Chipotle Roasted Carrots with Confetti Quinoa Salad, Black Beans, and Cumin Yogurt).
I’m a big fan (and subscriber) of Purple Carrot TB Performance meals (high in protein, gluten-free, and plant-based) but I prefer little or no added oils and no creamy yogurt or vegan mayo sauces. So, whenever I start to cook one of these meals, I figure out ways to reduce, eliminate, substitute, and/or add other ingredients so as to not give up flavor. Read more
A few years ago two middle-aged friends were driving south in a Ford F-150 truck filled with household items for their casita in Mexico. At the US and Mexican border crossing, the customs officer asked them what they had in the truck so they read off a list of items and then jokingly added, “and some baby bok choy.” That’s all the customs officer had to hear.
The word “baby” to someone trained in trafficking raises a red flag. He demanded they get out of the vehicle and then searched the whole truck looking for who knows what (my friend thought maybe he was looking for a Chinese baby). They realized the customs officer didn’t know what baby bok choy was so they pointed to the cooler that held the baby bok choy and diffused the situation. Read more
One of the things I love about the Purple Carrot (a plant-based meal prep delivery service) is that the recipes inspire me to make something different from the usual fare. But, my favorite thing to do is to take the recipe and figure out how to keep the flavor but reduce or eliminate the oils or fats that don’t come from whole foods, and add more vegetables.
The following recipe is a variation of the Purple Carrot recipe for Mole Enfrijoladas. I eliminated the oils, jalapeño and garlic (but feel free to add these ingredients if you prefer a hotter, spicier meal) and nuts but added mango, sweet Marzano tomatoes, cilantro, pumpkin seeds, and more onion to make a super tasty enfrijolada (a tortilla drenched in pureed black beans) on a bed of spinach with an Avocado Mango Citrus Salad. Read more
Rainbows are in short supply in the wintertime so instead of looking outside turn to the kitchen for an updated version of the spinach salad. I call this salad a Rainbow Spinach Salad because of the array of colors: red, yellow, light green, orange dark green, and deep purplish black. Although beautiful to look at, the Rainbow Spinach Salad is a feast to savor with only one caveat: you must like fresh beets because there are two types (both yellow and red) and they are a substantial part of this easy-to-make salad. Read more
Making soup is super easy, especially if you start with Frontier Minnesota Heartland 11-Bean Soup Mix: a blend of dried beans, peas, and lentils along with parsley and a spice packet that contains no added salt, preservatives, or MSG. The mix provides a great foundation for a thick, hearty soup filled with legumes, lots of vegetables (carrots, tomatoes, onion, and spinach), herbs and spices to add flavor, and pasta to make the soup more substantial.
Consider making this soup on a cold afternoon when the wind is blowing and the temperatures are low. Somehow a big bowl of steaming, hot soup is the perfect answer.
Roasted Vegetable Cannellini Lasagna is a hearty main dish filled with an assortment of roasted vegetables, greens, and cannellini beans in between layers of noodles and sauce. Inspired by the recipe for Roasted Vegetable Lasagna in The How Not To Die Cookbook by Dr. Michael Greger, MD, the following recipe uses lots of Portobello mushrooms (instead of eggplant) to give the dish a meaty texture (but use whatever vegetables you prefer).
Delicious out of the oven, Roasted Vegetable Cannellini Lasagna is even better the next day (just like the traditional dish). Somehow that day of settling brings out the flavor of the vegetables and beans in this variation of the classic Italian dish. Read more
The base of most homemade soups starts with chopped onions, carrots, and celery along with water or broth. These days, most supermarkets, including Trader Joe’s sell containers of fresh diced vegetables which makes it easy to make a batch of soup in a jiffy. But, if you want to add some pizzaz to a homemade soup, consider adding a 1/4 to 1/2 cup of dehydrated vegetables made by Harmony House Foods. Read more
Ordinary tacos or bowls can become ho-hum so when it’s time to spice things up a bit, consider making soft tacos or bowls with black beans, kale, and plantains. Add the usual toppings – chopped, sweet multi-colored tomatoes and chunky guacamole – for flavor, color, and pizzazz and consider sprinkling pumpkin seeds on the tops of the bowls or tacos for an added crunch (I use activated sprouted salted pumpkin seeds but some people prefer the unsalted variety and that’s just fine). Read more
There are days when we just don’t have 30 minutes to make lunch or dinner and, yet we still want something healthy and delicious. We want protein, fiber, greens, vitamins, minerals, and flavor and to get these, we need to keep two products on hand: canned soup in our pantry and greens in our refrigerator. Combining these two ingredients in a large soup pan and cooking for 3-5 minutes results in a meal in minutes. But not just any meal: a wholesome, nourishing, hot flavorful meal! Read more