April 30, 2016

Mediterranean Three Bean Salad

We're HUGE fans of this salad! It's bursting with bright, fresh flavors and has a little bit of everything. A lemony dressing and fresh herbs to elevate and energize, cucumber and tomato to refresh, and of course a protein punch for some good 'ol plant power! It's such a pleasantly filling meal, and an amazing choice for make ahead picnics, potlucks, and take-along lunches - especially since it tastes even better after it chills. We recently packed the leftovers in a cooler for our mountain picnic and it was fantastic. One big bowl of plant-based goodness to fuel us for our wilderness adventures (while I once again confirmed my favorite smell in the world is without a doubt fresh mountain pine) ;) Hope you give it a try too!

Vegan, gluten-free
Serves about 6 (or 10-12+ as a side)

15 oz. can red kidney beans
15 oz. can garbanzo beans
15 oz. can black beans
3 roma tomatoes
1/2 small red onion
1 cucumber (I use English)
1/2 cup fresh parsley
1/2 cup fresh cilantro

{For the dressing}
Juice from 1 lemon (more to taste)
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp. olive oil (omit for oil free)
Salt to taste

Rinse and drain beans. Add to a large bowl.
Dice tomato and cucumber, finely dice red onion. Roughly chop herbs, stems removed. Add to bowl.
In a small bowl, add dressing ingredients and stir to combine.
Pour dressing over salad and toss well.
Add more lemon juice, vinegar, or salt to taste if desired.
Can serve immediately, but best served after it chills in the fridge.

Keeps covered in the fridge for several days. Stir before serving.
For a milder onion taste, sub green onions for the red.
If you're not a fan of cilantro, use 1 cup parsley (or vice versa).
Get creative and have fun putting your own spin on it - add avocado, bell pepper, kale, hemp hearts, etc!

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Keep the salad party going!

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March 20, 2016

Lentil Kale & Potato Soup

I know I'm a little lentil-crazy right now and just posted this huge round-up in celebration of International Year of the Pulses, but I couldn't resist sneaking in one more delicious soup recipe before the weather warms up. This is actually a remix of one of my most-made recipes: Lentil Spinach Soup. We're getting ready for a cross-country move (Illinois to Arizona - woo!) so I've been cleaning out the pantry and this is one fantastic meal for pantry staples. For such simple ingredients, the flavor and nourishment is awfully impressive. All you need is some garlic, cumin, and smoked paprika to take it to that next level. And I love the addition of kale and potato for extra nutrients and texture. It's easy, healthy, budget-friendly, great for leftovers and packed lunches, and only 10 simple ingredients. Hope you enjoy it as much as we do! :)

Vegan, gluten-free
Serves 6-8

1 onion
3 carrots
4-5 cloves garlic
2 cups dry brown lentils
2 medium potatoes (I use gold)
15 oz. can diced tomatoes
4 cups vegetable broth + 3 cups water
1 small bunch kale
1 1/2 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. smoked paprika
1/4 tsp. salt, more to taste

Dice onion, carrot, and potato.
In a large stockpot over medium heat, saute onion and carrot for about 7 minutes.
Meanwhile, mince garlic and rinse lentils.
Add potatoes, garlic, cumin, paprika, and salt to stockpot. Saute 1 minute.
Add 4 cups broth, 3 cups water, tomatoes with juice, and lentils.
Increase heat and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for about 25-30 minutes or until lentils are tender.
Meanwhile, roughly tear kale into bite-size pieces, stems removed.
Stir in kale during last couple minutes of cooking.
Additional salt to taste if desired.

*Note: I like my soups thick. I you prefer it thinner, reduce lentils (to 1 1/2 cups) or add more water during cooking as desired.

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More soup faves:

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March 6, 2016

50 Amazing Vegan Lentil Recipes

Happy International Year of the Pulses!

Every year, the United Nations observes an issue of international interest or concern. (See the list here - very interesting!) It seems like an amazing thing to help connect and unify the world in a positive way; encouraging us to work, learn, and join together for a greater good. Beautiful. This year, 2016 was declared "International Year of the Pulses". If you're wondering what pulses are, you're not alone. I'd never heard that term before! But funny enough, it turns out pulses are one of my favorite things - a subgroup of the legume family which includes dried lentils, beans, peas, and chickpeas... yum! The international year was declared to showcase pulses as a primary source of protein and nutrients, and increase awareness of their many benefits including environmental and sustainability, high nutritional value, affordability, and potential to address global food security. Please take a moment to check out this awesome infographic - a quick and easy reference that touches on each benefit!

Below I'm highlighting one of the amazing pulses (lentils!) with 50 diverse vegan recipes. I encourage you to get involved and celebrate the international year any way you can. Simply learn more about pulses through the official Food and Agriculture Organization's 2016 IYP website, cook more meals with them, or share your knowledge about health and sustainability with family and friends to continue raising awareness of the power of these wonderful, tiny legumes. Have fun and enjoy the recipes! :)

Soup & Chili
Lentil Spinach Soup (pictured above)
Red Lentil Stew with Sweet Potato
Rustic Lentil & Potato Soup (tastes like veganized beef stew!)
Mexican Red Lentil Stew - Kalyn's Kitchen
African Peanut Lentil Soup - Vegan Richa
Lentil Chili - Whole Foods Market
Curried Lentil Soup - Cadry's Kitchen
Lentil Sweet Potato Kale Soup - My Whole Food Life
Lemony Lentil Soup - Yummy Mummy Kitchen
Lentil Chili with Roasted Red Peppers - Kalyn's Kitchen
Crushed Lentil Soup - Veggie Chick
Middle Eastern Green Lentil Soup - Lands and Flavors
Hearty Chickpea Lentil Stew (Slow Cooker) - The Lazy Vegan Baker

Hearty Salads
Black Bean Lentil Salad with Cumin-Lime Dressing (pictured above)
5-Minute Lentil Tomato Salad
Lentil Salad with Capers and Balsamic-Dijon Dressing
Lentil Taco Salad - Veggie Primer
Lentil Panzanella w/ Herbed Thyme Dijon Dressing - Well and Full
Turkish Lentil Salad - Hurry the Food Up
Lentil and Brussels Sprout Salad - Green Evi
Warm Puy Lentil Salad with Beetroot and Hazelnuts - Rebel Recipes

Red Lentil Dal - Forks Over Knives
Vegan Lentil Curry - Simple Vegan Blog
Red Lentil Kofta - Ceara's Kitchen
Dal Makhani - Elephantastic Vegan

Tacos, Burgers, Sandwiches, & Patties
Black Bean Lentil Tacos (picture above)
Lentil Walnut Taco Meat - Oh She Glows
Slow Cooker Lentil Quinoa Taco Filling - Healthy Slow Cooking
Vegan Lentil Burger - Contentedness Cooking
Chipotle Lentil Burgers - Dianne's Vegan Kitchen
Vegan Lentil Burger with Basil Mayonaise - Vegan Heaven
Sloppy Lentil Sandwiches - Veggie Inspired
Baked Red Lentil Cakes with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce - Cookin' Canuck
Almond Lentil Patties in Tomato Gravy - Vegan High Tech Mom

Pasta & Sides
Vegan Bolognese with Lentils and Mushrooms - Veggies Don't Bite
Sun-dried Tomato & Lentil Bolognese - The Tofu Diaries
Roasted Red Pepper and Lentil Crackers - Vegan Lovelie
Green Lentil Hummus - Vegetarian Gastronomy

Burritos, Wraps, Rolls
Lentil Spinach Burritos (pictured above)
Lentil Spring Rolls - Vegan Family Recipes
Thai Lentil Lettuce Wraps with Miso Sriracha Peanut Sauce - Vanilla and Bean
Vegan Cabbage Rolls - The Minimalist Vegan

Other Savory Deliciousness!
Vegan Lentil Loaf with Roasted Carrots, Onions, and Portobellos - Veganosity
Red Lentil Shepherd's Pie - Tinned Tomatoes
Lentil and Rice Stuffed Portobellos w/ Caramelized Onions - Pumpkin & Peanut Butter
Lentil Roast with Balsamic Onion Gravy - Wallflower Girl
Spiced Tomato Red Lentils - The Viet Vegan
Barbecue Lentil Stuffed Sweet Potatoes - Emilie Eats
Lentil and Vegetable Pie - Vegan Sandra
Cheezy Lentil Pies - Wallflower Girl

Come join me on Instagram and share your pics! I'd love to see how you're incorporating these powerful pulses! :)

More round-ups:

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