January 21, 2015

Red Lentil Stew


I'm a BIG fan of lentils. These little beauties are so nutrient-dense with tons of protein. Red lentils are especially high in protein, with one dry cup carrying an amazing 50 grams! That's incredible to me every time I hear it. Possibly the best part? They're inexpensive. Scratch that. They're downright cheap! I can buy a pound of lentils for well under $2. I'll stop myself from rambling any further - you get it - I love lentils ;) On to ze stew! This is similar to my Lentil Spinach Soup, but I love the addition of sweet potato and making it into a thicker stew, which red lentils are great for. Plus this time I got to use these gorgeous carrots from Trader Joe's! Ah!


Vegan, gluten-free
Serves about 6-8

Ingredients
1 onion
3-4 carrots
1 large sweet potato
3-4 cloves garlic
15 oz. can diced tomatoes
1 1/2 heaping cups dry red lentils
4 cups vegetable broth
2 cups water
2 tsp. cumin
1 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
Salt to taste
Optional: spinach

Directions
Dice onion and carrot.
In a stockpot over medium heat, saute onion and carrot for about 7 minutes.
Meanwhile, mince garlic and dice sweet potato.
Add cumin, paprika, garlic, and sweet potato to stockpot. Cook 1 minute.
Add diced tomatoes, vegetable broth, water, and lentils. Increase heat to med-high.
When it begins to boil, cover, and reduce heat to low.
Simmer for about 20 minutes or until lentils are cooked. If adding spinach, stir in at the end.

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More lentil love:
Lentil Quinoa Salad

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January 20, 2015

Vegan Black Bean Queso


Ohhh you guys. I'm SO excited about this recipe because: football food!! And also, we love it so much we literally have trouble walking away. It keeps drawing us back, begging to dunk another chip. Hence the less than stellar photo quality - I rushed through the pictures so I could continue stuffing my cheeks with the deliciousness :) Which in my book is totally fine because nutrition-wise, this knocks "real" queso dip right out of the park. Cashews, nutritional yeast, and black beans form a powerful nutritional force that help give us the energy to cheer on our teams all day long. I was originally planning on using tempeh as the meat replacement, but opted for black beans because it's more readily available. I think tempeh would work just as great - or you could even try a combo of black beans and tempeh. It's really a versatile recipe you can make your own. Try adding bell pepper, diced tomatoes, salsa, jalapenos, green chiles, or even chipotle for a smoky kick! We love ours topped with tomatoes and green onions.


Vegan, gluten-free
Cheese sauce adapted from Vegan Military Wife

Ingredients
1 small onion
3 cloves garlic
15 oz. can black beans

{For the cheese sauce}
1 cup raw cashews
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
2 cups vegetable broth
1 tsp. smoked paprika
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. turmeric
2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
Salt to taste

Directions
Soak cashews for at least an hour (or overnight). Drain and rinse.
Make the cheese sauce: place all sauce ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
Dice onion, mince garlic.
In a large skillet over medium heat, saute onion for about 7-8 minutes or until soft.
Add garlic, cook for 30 seconds.
Add black beans and cheese sauce. Heat over med-low for about 8 minutes, stirring often, until sauce has thickened.
Best served warm.

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More dips!

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January 14, 2015

Super Seed Granola


It's no wonder why granola is so popular. It's the perfect, healthy, fast food for breakfast, lunch, or an energy-packed snack. For some reason I didn't get the memo until recently, but am so glad I did because it immediately became a staple in our kitchen. For that I can thank Kare, from Kitchen Treaty, who posted an amazing tutorial for homemade granola. It's basically my equivalent of those yellow tutorial books - you know, like "Granola For Dummies" ;) She broke it down so simply and gave me the spark of confidence I needed to venture into granola-land. I love that it's so EASY to make! My mind immediately took off running with potential combinations. I wanted to do a "super seed combo" with hemp, flax, sunflower, and chia - packed with protein, omega-3's, fiber, and nutrients to help keep us powered throughout the day. It's a family favorite from toddler to husband, and awesome time-saver when we need a quick meal. Be sure to visit Kare to check out the full tutorial in all it's glory! --> How To Make Granola


Vegan, gluten-free (with gf oats)
Adapted from Kitchen Treaty
Makes about 5 cups granola (can easily double - it keeps for a month!)

Ingredients
2 1/2 cups rolled oats
1 cup walnuts, finely chopped
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup hemp seeds
1/8 cup chia seeds
1/8 cup flax seeds (ground or whole)
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup coconut oil (or vegetable oil, etc.)
1 1/2 Tbsp. vegan butter (or more oil)
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup dried cherries

Directions
Preheat oven to 325.
In a small saucepan over low heat, add maple syrup, oil, and butter. Heat until butter is melted, stirring occasionally. Add vanilla.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, add oats, walnuts, hemp, chia, sunflower, and flax. (Note: dried fruit is added after baking!)
Add liquid from pan to the oat mixture and toss until thoroughly combined. Salt to taste if desired.
On a large rimmed baking sheet, place parchment paper. Spread granola evenly on the pan.
Bake for 30-35 minutes, stirring about every 10 minutes, until granola is golden brown.
After granola cools, add dried cherries.
Stores in a sealed container at room temp for about a month.

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