Lemon Pesto Risotto w/ Roasted Chickpeas & Cherry Tomatoes

Lemon Pesto Risotto w/ Roasted Chickpeas & Cherry Tomatoes

Cook and Prep Time: 40 minutes

Serves: 5-6

You Need

For the Rice

  • 1 ½ cups Brown Arborio Rice
  • 1 Yellow Onion, diced
  • 6-8 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 5 cups Vegetable Stock
  • 3 T Nutritional Yeast
  • 3-4 cups Baby Spinach
  • 1 Lemon, juiced
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

For the Oven

  • 3-4 cups Cherry Tomatoes, Halved
  • 15 oz. Chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 T Dried Oregano
  • 1-2 t Dried Thyme
  • 1 T Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Salt & Pepper, to taste

For the Pesto

  • 2 cups Leafy Greens (Kale, Spinach, Arugula, etc.)
  • 1 cup Basil
  • 1 cup Roasted Almonds
  • ½ cup Nutritional Yeast
  • 4-5 cloves Garlic
  • 1 Lemon, juiced
  • 1-2 tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil (optional)
  • 2-4 tbsp. Water (or add water as needed)
  • Salt & Pepper, to taste

For Garnish

  • Nutritional Yeast
  • Lemon Wedge
  • Chopped Parsley

DIRECTIONS

  1. Rinse and chop the produce accordingly.  Preheat your oven to 425˚F and line 1 baking tray.
  2. Add the chickpeas to one side of the baking sheet, and the tomatoes to the other.  Season and toss in olive oil.  Roast 20-25 minutes, until the chickpeas are crispy.
  3. Make the risotto.  Add the stock to a small pot, and bring to a gentle simmer.  Meanwhile, in a large skillet, add the onion, and cook until translucent, 4-5 minutes.  Then, add the garlic and cook for 1 additional minute.  Then, add the rice, and cook for 1 minute before adding about ½ of the vegetable stock at a time.  Stir often.  As the pan become dry, add another ½ cup of stock.  Repeat the process until all of your stock has been used, or until your rice is al dente.  Then, turn off the heat and add in the spinach.  Stir and cook until wilted.  Season to taste.
  4. Make the pesto.  Add all of the ingredients to a food processor and pulse until smooth.
  5. Serve the risotto, and top with pesto, chickpeas, tomatoes, and your favorite garnishes.  Enjoy!

Smoky Baked Beans

Smoky Baked Beans

Cook and Prep Time: 60-70 minutes

Serves: 6-8

You Need

  • 2 28oz. cans Black Beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 Yellow Onion, diced
  • 6-8 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper, diced
  • 1 T Chili Powder
  • 1-2 t Dried Oregano
  • 1 t Ground Mustard
  • 2 t Ground Cumin
  • 2 t Smoked Paprika
  • 1 T Miso Paste
  • 2 T Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 2 T Maple Syrup
  • Salt & Pepper, to taste
  • Vegetable Stock or 1-2 Extra Virgin Olive Oil, for sautéing

DIRECTIONS

  1. Rinse and chop the produce accordingly.  Preheat your oven to 350˚F.
  2. Set a Dutch oven or large, oven-friendly pot to medium heat.  Once hot, add the onion, pepper, and garlic.  Cook for about 5 minutes, until the onion is translucent.
  3. Add the spices (ground mustard, chili powder, dried oregano, ground cumin, smoked paprika), and cook for 1 minute, until fragrant.
  4. Add the miso paste, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, and black beans.  Add just enough water to cover the beans.  Stir to combine.
  5. Transfer your pot to the oven, and bake for 50-60 minutes, until the sauce has thickened.
  6. Serve with tacos or as the side at a barbecue.  Enjoy!

Golden Spring Curry

Golden Spring Curry

Cook and Prep Time:30-35 minutes

Serves: 5-6

You Need

  • 28oz. Chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 bunch Asparagus, chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • 3 Potatoes, cubed
  • 1 bunch Spinach, chopped and stems removed
  • 1 Onion, diced
  • 6-8 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1-inch piece Ginger, grated
  • 2 Tomatoes, diced
  • 1 T Chili Powder
  • 2-3 t Ground Turmeric
  • 1 T Curry Powder
  • 2 t Cinnamon
  • 1 T Ground Coriander
  • 2 t Ground Cloves
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 3-4 cups Vegetable Stock, plus more if needed
  • 5 oz. can Coconut Cream
  • Salt & Pepper, to taste
  • Vegetable Stock or Water, for sautéing
  • 1 Lime, juiced

For Serving:

  • Brown Rice
  • Roasted Potatoes
  • Chopped Cilantro
  • Sesame Seeds

DIRECTIONS

  1. Rinse and chop the produce accordingly.
  2. Set a pot medium-high heat.  Once hot, add onion, garlic, and ginger.  Cook until onion is translucent, 4-5 minutes. 
  3. Add tomatoes and ground spices.  Cook until aromatic, adding water if needed to avoid burning, 2-3 minutes.
  4. Add the chickpeas, potatoes, asparagus, and cook for 2-3 minutes more.
  5. Add vegetable stock and bay leaf, then bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to a simmer.  Cook for 20 minutes.
  6. Add the coconut cream, spinach, and stir to combine, and cook for 5 more minutes. Add lime juice, and season to taste.
  7. Serve with roasted potatoes, rice, or quinoa.  Garnish with lime wedges, sesame seeds, and chopped cilantro.  Enjoy!

Pea, Basil, & Mint Spread

Pea, Basil, & Mint Spread

Cook and Prep Time: 10-15 minutes

Serves: 8

You Need

  • 2 cups Peas
  • 2 Shallots, minced
  • 3-4 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 2 T Tahini
  • 1 Lemon, juiced
  • 1 Lemon, zest
  • ¼ cup Basil, chopped roughly
  • ¼ cup Mint, chopped roughly
  • 1 T Water (plus more if needed)
  • Salt & Pepper, to taste

DIRECTIONS

  1. Rinse and chop the produce accordingly.
  2. Set a small skillet to medium heat.  Once hot, sauté the garlic and shallots for 4-5 minutes, until the shallot is translucent.
  3. Add all ingredients to a food processor, and pulse until smooth.
  4. Top with chili flakes, lemon zest, or fresh basil leaves.  Enjoy!

Chili Sweet Potato Fudge

Chili Sweet Potato Fudge

Cook and Prep Time: 45 minutes
Serves: 8-10 squares


You Need


• 4 cup Mashed Sweet Potato
• 1 c Cocoa Powder
• 2 T Maple Syrup
• 2 T Dairy-Free Milk
• 1 Flax Egg
• 1 T Nut Butter of Choice
• 2 T Tahini
• 2 t Chili Powder
• 2 t Cinnamon
• ½ t Vanilla Extract
• Salt, to taste
• Red Pepper Flakes, to taste (optional)


DIRECTIONS

  1. Make the sweet potato puree. Halve the potatoes, and place them flat-side down on baking tray. Add them to a preheated oven set to 400˚F for about 45 minutes, until soft. Remove them from the oven, and let cool for 5 minutes. Then, mash the potatoes with a potato masher, or pulse them in a food processor.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the sweet potato puree, flax egg, maple syrup, nut butter, vanilla extract, and tahini. Stir to combine.
  3. Then, add the cocoa powder, salt, cinnamon, and chili powder. Whisk to combine.
  4. Add batter to a lined baking dish. Top with walnuts and chocolate chips.
  5. Then, bake at 350˚F for about 30 minutes. Then, let cool for about an hour.
  6. Enjoy!

Tempeh & Three Bean Chili

Tempeh &Three Bean Chili

Cook and Prep Time: 45- 60 minutes

Serves: 4-6

You Need:


• 1 Yellow Onion, diced
• 1 head Garlic, chopped
• 3-4 Carrots, chopped
• Olive Oil or Vegetable Stock, for sautéing
• 1 block Tempeh, broken into smaller pieces
• 1 15 oz. Black Beans, rinsed and drained
• 1 15 oz. can Kidney Beans, rinsed and drained
• 1 15 oz. can Pinto Beans, rinsed and drained
• 1 Bell Pepper, diced
• 1 large (28 oz.) can Diced Tomatoes
• 1 small (15 oz.) can Corn
• 2 cups Vegetable Broth or Water
• 1 tbsp. Dulse Flakes
• 1 tbsp. Cumin Powder
• 1 tbsp. Chili Powder
• 1 tbsp. Smoked Paprika
• 2 tsp. Oregano
• Salt, to taste
• Black Pepper, to taste
• ¼ cup Cilantro, chopped
• 1 Lime, cut into quarters


DIRECTIONS

  1. Rinse and chop the produce accordingly.
  2. Set a large pot to medium heat. Once hot, add 1 tbsp. olive oil (or vegetable stock). Add onion and carrots to the pot and cook for 4-5 minutes, until translucent.
  3. Add bell pepper, and cook for 2-3 minutes. Then, add garlic, cooking for about 1 minute more, until fragrant.
  4. Add tomatoes, tempeh, and spices. Cook for 2-3 minutes, until fragrant.
  5. Add all ingredients, except cilantro and lime, to your pot. Stir to combine. Bring mixture to a boil. Once boil, cover, and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for 20 minutes minimum, stirring occasionally. Season to taste.
  6. Serve chili in bowls. Then, garnish with lime and cilantro and serve with chips. Enjoy!

Vegan Berry & Apple Crumble

Winter is the time of year for warm and cozy foods.

But that doesn’t mean they can’t be nutritious AND delicious!

So this week, we’re going with an Apple & Berry Crumble.

This is one of my favorite desserts ever! The stewed fruit brings so much flavor to the table, and the crunchy topping really brings it all together!

I hope you give this one a try! You won’t be disappointed!

Vegan Berry & Apple Crumble

Cook and Prep Time: 35 minutes

Serves: 8 servings

You Need
  • 5 cups Frozen Berries
  • 5-6 Apples, sliced thin
  • 1 tbsp. Cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp. Maple Syrup
  • Water, as needed
For the Crumble Topping
  • 2 cups Rolled Oats
  • ½ cup Oat Flour
  • 2 tbsp. Maple Syrup
  • 1 tbsp. Coconut Oil
  • ¾ cup Pumpkin Seeds

Garnish with coconut yogurt, fresh fruit, cinnamon, mint, or other favorite toppings.

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat your oven to 350˚F.
  2. Stew the fruit. To a pot set to medium heat.  Add the berries, maple syrup, and cinnamon.  Toss to combine, and stir until thawed and softened, about 10-15 minutes.  Add water as needed to avoid burning.  Remove the fruit from heat and allow it to cool before step 4.
  3. Meanwhile, make the crumble.  Add all the crumble ingredients to a large bowl, and toss to evenly combine and coat.
  4. To a deep baking tray, add the fruit.  Then, top evenly with the crumble topping.  Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes, until the top is brown and crispy.
  5. Allow the crumble to cool before serving.  Garnish with your desired toppings.  Enjoy!

Sweet Chili Brussel Sprouts

These sprouts are great for this time of year!

If you’re looking for something sweet, spicy, and tangy, then look no further!

Simply put the sauce together as you roast your sprouts, and you’ll be wondering why you didn’t buy more veggies to roast in the first place!

Enjoy!

Sweet Chili Brussel Sprouts

Cook and Prep Time: 35 minutes

Serves: 6

You Need

  • 2 lbs. Brussels Sprouts, halved
  • 1 bunch Scallions, chopped, greens and whites separated
  • 3-5 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 ½ inch Ginger, grated
For the Sauce
  • 1 tbsp. Cornstarch + 1 tbsp. Water
  • 2 tbsp. Tamari
  • 1 tbsp. Sriracha
  • 1 tsp. Sesame Oil
  • 1 tbsp. Maple Syrup
  • 1 ½ tsp. Rice Wine Vinegar
  • 2-3 tbsp. Water

DIRECTIONS

  1. Rinse and chop the produce accordingly.  Preheat your oven to 400˚F.  Line 1 baking tray.
  2. Roast the sprouts.  Place the sprouts on your baking tray.  Season with salt and pepper, and toss to coat with 1 tsp. of olive oil.  Roast for 30 minutes, flipping halfway.
  3. Make the cornstarch slurry by combining cornstarch and water, and whisk to combine. Set this aside for later. 
  4. Make the sauce.  Combine the rest of the sauce ingredients, and whisk to combine. 
  5. Set a pan to medium heat.  Once hot, add scallion whites, ginger, and garlic.  Cook until fragrant and golden, 2-3 minutes.  Then, add the sauce and bring it to a simmer.  Once simmering, add the cornstarch slurry, and simmer until the sauce has thickened, 2-3 minutes more.
  6. Once thickened, add the sprouts, and toss to combine in the sauce.
  7. Garnish with scallion greens, cilantro, and sesame seeds.  Enjoy!

Butternut Squash Soup | Vegan Butternut Squash and Carrot Soup | Favorite Holiday Soup Recipe

The holidays are right around the corner, and it is my favorite time of year as far as I’m concerned when it comes to food!

The family of winter squash highlight the next few months, and at the top of that pyramid lies the butternut squash.

There are a litany of different ways to utilize butternut squash, but for me it has always come back to a soup.

The texture, sweet notes, and creaminess of a butternut squash is pretty unmatched.

So today, I’d like to share one of my favorite takes on this soup.

Enjoy!

Carrot & Butternut Squash Soup

Cook and Prep Time: 60 minutes

Serves: 6

You Need

  • Cashew Cream
    • ½ cup Cashews, rinsed and drained
    • 1 tbsp. Miso Paste
    • 1 ½ cup Water
  • 1 Butternut Squash, peeled and chopped
  • 5-6 Carrots, chopped
  • 5-6 cups Vegetable Stock OR Water (add more if needed)
  • 1 Yellow Onion, chopped
  • 1 head Garlic, chopped
  • 2-inch piece Fresh Ginger, grated
  • 1 bunch Scallion Whites, chopped
  • 1 15 oz. can Pinto Beans, rinsed and drained (or more
  • Salt, to taste
  • Black Pepper, to taste
  • 3 tbsp. Curry Powder
  • 1 tbsp. Cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp. Cloves
  • 1 tsp. Olive Oil or Vegetable Stock, for sautéing
  • 1 bunch Scallion Greens, for garnish

DIRECTIONS

  1. Rinse and chop the produce accordingly.  Line 1 baking tray and preheat an oven to 400˚F.
  2. Roast the squash.  Add the squash to a baking tray.  Season with salt and pepper and toss with 1 tsp. of olive oil.  Roast for 40 minutes, or until tender, flipping halfway.
  3. Set a large pot to medium heat.  Once hot, add olive oil or vegetable stock.  Then, add onion, carrots, and ginger.  Cook for 4-5 minutes, until onion has softened, stirring occasionally to avoid burning.  Add garlic and cook for 1 minute more.
  4. Add the roasted butternut squash. cannellini beans.  Toss to combine and cook for 2-3 minutes. 
  5. Add vegetable stock.  Add enough liquid to cover all the vegetables. 
  6. Add spices and bring mixture to a boil.  Once boiling, cover and reduce to a simmer.  Cook until all vegetables can be cut with a fork, 25-30 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Make the cashew cream.  Add ingredients to blender, and pulse until smooth.
  8. Remove soup from heat.  With an immersion blender, blend the soup thoroughly.  Add ½ of the cashew cream and stir to combine, saving the other half for garnish.  Alternatively, you can add portions of the soup to a blender, and pulse until smooth.
  9. Plate soup.  Garnish with scallion greens, the remaining cashew cream, cilantro, or sesame seeds.  Enjoy!

Advice for a Beginner Home-Cook

When shopping at your local grocery store, it is imperative to understand why foods are labeled and packaged the way they are. Many packaged products have very appealing imaging in an effort to draw the consumer’s eye. The graphics and color schemes used are designed to get the attention of potential consumers. If you only take one thing away from this book, let this be it: when it comes to shopping for food, always look at the ingredient list. If it has something in it you can pronounce, you should stay away from it.

Again, I want to stress it is of great importance to shift to a whole foods-based diet, focused on cutting out fillers and processed sugars. That being said, labeling is still used with enticing phrases, and they may not be telling the whole truth. The only way to really understand what is in the foods you buy is to read the ingredients list and make smart choices from there.

Many people find meat selection confusing. With all the labeling and plays on words, it is hard to figure out what is good for you and what is not. For example, while it may state on a label that chickens are raised on organic feed, it still may not be not ideal. By nature, chickens are insectivores. They do not eat grains by choice. Similarly, all cows do eat grass at some point in their lives, but that does not necessarily mean all or the majority of their diets were made up of grass. Most likely, especially in America, the livestock was raised in a feedlot, fed mainly a diet of corn and grains. While this trend is beginning to turn, and there are farmers who are reverting back to more traditional ways to raise livestock, it is still a major issue in the meat industry and buyers should be made aware of where their food comes from.

All in all, the message here is to be aware of what you are buying. None of these labels are inherently bad on face value, but it is important for the consumer to understand why they may stand out to such a degree. The point is these key words that trigger “healthy” in the minds of consumers when that is not the case. In fact, many of the additives and preservatives used in foods have negative effects. While these negative effects are known to some degree, more research is needed to truly appreciate all the harm they can cause to the body.

The simplest advice would be to get to know your local grocery stores, farmer’s markets, butchers, and fishermen. If you can’t develop a relationship with them personally, then go to your local market and ask where they source their food from. The best case scenario is to cut out the middleman as often as possible as long as the farming practices are safe, responsible, and as close to wild living as possible. You should strive to be as close to “farm-to-table” as you can get.

Food Preparation Techniques:

Preparation Method: Explanation:
Raw Minimizes loss of nutrients in fruits and vegetables Sometimes makes food a bit harder to digest
Boiling Adds water and removes minerals Makes certain foods more edible
Steaming Adds water and does not leach nutrients Makes certain foods more edible
Sautéing or Stir-Frying Seals in nutrients and softens fiber content for easier digestion Requires only minimal oil
Broiling Browns food quickly Requires little oil
Baking / Roasting Reduces some water-soluble nutrients Enhances other nutrient absorption Makes other components of the food easier to digest
Frying Reduces nutrients in the food High in bad fats Often aggravates or triggers health issues
Pickling / Fermenting Extra enzymes, vitamins, and nutrients are created Food is digested with greater ease

If you pay attention to your food pairings, you can easily get all the amino acids you need, while also getting much needed vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Here is a list of some common pairings that allow you to get all the essential amino acids:

• Cauliflower and red peppers

• Rice and beans

• Lentils and carrots

• Broccoli rabe and wild rice

• Lentils and almonds

• Tofu/tempeh and brown rice or soba noodles

• Lima beans and carrots

• Mustard greens and chickpeas

• Cork and black-eyed peas or black beans

• Chickpeas and tahini (hummus)

With all these vegetables and beans, you may want to know how to make them taste good. There are a variety of tricks you can use to enjoy beans and veggies.

There are a variety of tricks you can use to enjoy beans and veggies. Once you get comfortable cooking beans and vegetables, you will be able to have a great deal of fun with it.

• If you are steaming or boiling vegetables, finish them with olive oil, salt, and other spices and herbs.

• Herbs and spices are your friend! Try all of them: garlic powder, onion powder, turmeric, cinnamon, paprika, cumin, oregano, fennel seeds, rosemary, allspice, sage, thyme, black pepper, red pepper flakes, chili powder, and many more! Use them all and find combinations you like!

• Sauté your vegetables with garlic and/or onions.

• Use a slow cooker. Slow cooking prevents nutrient breakdown, but also softens foods. It also allows you to cook in bulk and prep ahead of time.

• Quickly stir-frying or sautéing vegetables is another great way to preserve nutrients and add flavor.

Now with that said, here are some actionable basics I give all of my patients as a starting point in my clinical practice.

THE BASICS:
• STOP with the DIETING! If diets worked, we wouldn’t have obesity and diabetes epidemics. It is time to ditch the false belief in quick fixes, and start to focus on gradual, long-term lifestyle improvements. Focus on sustainability and something you can add to and improve upon over time.
• Eat whole, unprocessed foods, with at least 70% of each plate being vegetables.
• Adopt a plant-based approach (90-95% plant-based, 5-10% animal based), primarily made up of vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, and healthy fats, with an occasional animal protein or broth.
• Beans and legumes are the hallmark of all the longest-living populations in the world. Highlight them in your meals (especially lunch and dinner).
• Choose small portions (palm or first-sized) of pasture-raised, organic, grass-fed, and/or wild animal meats and fish a 1-2 times a week at most.
• Try to have a small portion of nuts every day.
• Eat an assortment of different-colored vegetables and fruits (eat the rainbow).
• Drink clean water.
• Eat fermented foods to balance your gut flora, like kimchi, miso, and sauerkraut.
• Cut out inflammatory foods, like simple carbohydrates, sugars, processed foods, and candies.
• Eat until you are 80% full to avoid overeating.
• Look for foods that are high in fiber (whole foods) and low in sugar.
• Eliminate all packaged foods, if possible.
• Be sure to read ALL ingredient labels.
• Never eat out of a box or bag.
• Eat greens at least twice per day.
• Choose organic whole foods as often as possible.
• 80% of the time eat right, allowing yourself 20% “wiggle room.” (Ideally this would be followed 100% of the time, but sometimes “real life” gets in the way).
• Listen to your body!

Hope this helps!