Pantry Staples + Recipes

Post by Olivia Blodgett, Registered Dietitian

Having a stocked pantry is more important than ever these days but before I say much more I just want to remind everyone not to start hoarding food! Just get what you need plus maybe a little more but leave some for others in need.

I compiled this pantry list for a vegan client several years ago and thought that it may be helpful to share. If you are not vegan, this list should still be useful but feel free to add some meats and fish that you can freeze and/or eggs as they tend to have a fairly long shelf life. The recipes that I included will be easy to pull together if you have some of the items on the list. As with any recipe, feel free to make modifcations based on what you have. Please stay home, stay safe and healthy and remember that consuming nutritious food is one of the best ways to boost your immunity!

Vegan Pantry Staples

Canned and Dried Beans

  • Chickpeas
  • Black Beans
  • White Beans
  • Lentils (Red and Green/Black)
  • Edamame (frozen)

Grains

  • Polenta (grains or tube)
  • Flour (whole wheat, whole wheat pastry, almond, all purpose)
  • Oats (steel cut and rolled)
  • Quinoa
  • Brown Rice
  • Sorghum/Millet/Amaranth
  • Pasta
  • Popcorn

Dried Fruits

  • Dates
  • Figs/Apricots/Mangos

Nuts

  • Cashews
  • Almonds
  • Walnuts
  • Pumpkin Seeds
  • Hemp Seeds
  • Chia Seeds
  • Flax Seeds
  • Nut butters (almond/peanut/cashew)

Plant Milks

  • Coconut Milk
  • Almond/Hemp/Cashew Milk

Pickles/Preserved Vegetables

  • Capers/Olive
  • Sun Dried Tomatoes
  • Kimchi/Sauerkraut

Sauces/Condiments

  • Tahini
  • Miso
  • Dijon Mustard
  • Tamari
  • Vegan Mayo
  • Miscellaneous Sauces: Yum Sauce, Curry Sauce etc.

Oils/Vinegars

  • Olive oil
  • Coconut Oil
  • Vegan Butter
  • Toasted Sesame Oil
  • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Rice Vinegar
  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Red Wine Vinegr

Miscellaneous

  • Soy Curls
  • Nutritional Yeast
  • Veggie Broth
  • Canned Tomatoes/Tomato Sauce
  • Ready to eat foods: Veggie Burgers, Tasty Bites, Amy’s Frozen Meals
  • Hummus
  • Tofu (Shelf-Stable)
  • Tempeh

Fruits/Vegetables

  • Hearty Greens (kale, arugula, spinach, mustard, chard, collards)
  • Carrots
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Celery
  • Potatoes and Yams
  • Squashes (acorn, butternut, spaghetti, zucchini)
  • Avocado
  • Mushrooms
  • Fresh Herbs (parsley, cilantro)
  • Seasonal Fruit/Frozen Fruit
  • Bananas
  • Ginger

Sweeteners

  • Black Strap Molasses
  • Pure Maple Syrup
  • Brown Rice Syrup
  • Organic Cane Sugar

Herbs/Spice (Buy in Bulk, store in small airtight jars)s:

  • Black Pepper
  • Cayenne
  • Chili Flakes
  • Chili Powder
  • Cinnamon
  • Cumin
  • Curry Powder
  • Dill
  • Dry Mustard
  • Garlic Powder
  • Ginger
  • Cardamom
  • Nutmeg
  • Onion Powder
  • Oregano
  • Paprika and Smoked Paprika
  • Sea salt
  • Thyme
  • Turmeric

Sweet potato black bean burgers

(Adapted from cookieandkate.com)

Makes 5-6 large burgers

INGREDIENTS

1½ pounds sweet potatoes (smaller potatoes cook faster)

⅓ cup uncooked millet or quinoa (or 1 cup cooked)

1 cup old fashioned oats

1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained

½ small red onion, diced

1 clove garlic, grated or minced

1 teaspoons cumin powder

2 teaspoon chili powder

1 teaspoon chipotle powder or smoked hot paprika

½ teaspoon cayenne powder (optional, to taste)

½ teaspoon salt

Avocado oil for cooking burgers (or coconut oil, if you don’t mind the coconut taste. Olive oil may burn)

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Roast the sweet potatoes: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Slice the sweet potatoes down the center lengthwise. Place the sweet potatoes cut side down on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast until they yield to a gentle squeeze, 30 to 40 minutes or longer. Once the sweet potatoes are cool enough to handle, remove the skin (it should pull off easily) and roughly chop the insides. Set aside to cool completely.
  2. Cook the millet: In a small saucepan, bring 1 cup of water to boil. Stir in the millet, reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, until tender (about 20 minutes). Drain off any remaining liquid and set aside to cool. OR cook the quinoa: Rinse the quinoa in a fine mesh colander, then combine with ⅔ cup water in a small saucepan. Bring the mixture to boil, then cover and reduce heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Simmer for 15 minutes, then remove from heat and let the quinoa steam with the lid on for 5 minutes. Then drain off any excess water and set aside to cool.
  3. Grind the oats: Use a food processor or blender to grind the oats until the flakes are broken up, but not as fine as flour.
  4. Mix the burgers: In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of your electric mixer, combine the cooled sweet potatoes and millet, black beans, onion, cilantro, cumin, chili powder, chipotle or paprika, cayenne (optional, add to taste for spicier burgers) and salt. Use a potato masher, big mixing spoon or the paddle attachment of your mixer to mix really well. It’s ok if the black beans get smashed in the process.
  5. Mix in the oats: Sprinkle the ground oats over the mixture and mix well with a big spoon until the mixture holds together when you shape a portion into a patty. If possible, cover and refrigerate the mixture for 20 minutes.
  6. Shape the burgers: Use a measuring cup to measure out ½ cup of the mixture. Gently shape it into a patty about 3½ inches in diameter. Use your hands to gently flatten the burgers and smooth out any jagged edges. Repeat the process for each patty; you should end up with 8. If you would like to toast your hamburger buns, preheat the oven to 350 degrees now.
  7. Pan fry the burgers: Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large cast iron or non-stick skillet over medium heat. When it’s hot, place several burgers in the pan, leaving enough room to flip them. Cook each patty until browned and heated through, about 3 to 4 minutes per side. Add 1 tablespoon oil to the skillet for each pan of burgers you fry.

SWEET POTATO BLACK BEAN ENCHILADAS

Makes 10-12 enchiladas

Ingredients:

1 cup sweet potato, peeled and chopped small

1 Tbs olive oil

1 red onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 bell pepper, chopped

1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed

2 ½ cups Enchilada Sauce (recipe below)

1 Tbs fresh lime juice

2 tsp chili powder

1 tsp cumin

½ tsp salt

10-12 small corn tortillas

Enchilada Sauce

1 Tbs olive oil

2 cans tomato sauce

1 Tbs tomato paste

1 tsp chili powder

½ tsp cumin

Pinch of cayenne pepper (Carefully, it’s spicy!)

Pinch of salt

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Place sweet potatoes in a saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-high and simmer for 5-7 minutes, until fork-tender.
  3. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, and bell pepper. Sauté for about 8 minutes. Season with salt, pepper, cumin and chili powder.
  4. Add cooked sweet potato, black beans and stir to combine and warm through, about 2 minutes.
  5. Turn off heat. Add ¼ cup enchilada sauce, lime juice and more salt, if needed.
  6. Spread 1 cup enchilada sauce over the bottom of a 9 x 13” pan. Scoop ¼ cup of the filling into a warmed corn tortilla and roll it up. Place seam side down into the pan.
  7. Pour the rest of the enchilada sauce over the enchiladas to cover. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Enjoy!

White Bean burgers

Ingredients

1 can white beans

1 cup rolled oats

1 Tbsp. chili powder

1 Tbsp chopped fresh rosemary

Olive oil

Salt and pepper

Spinach for serving

Sliced avocado for serving

Preparation

Put white beans, oats, chili powder, rosemary and salt and pepper in a food processor.

Pulse, stopping occasionally to scrape the sides as necessary.   Let mixture sit for 10 minutes to firm up.

Taste; if it’s too dry, add water; too wet, add more rolled oats, a tablespoon at a time.

Divide the mixture into four even patties and cook them in olive oil until nicely browned each side. (Turn carefully.)

Serve on a bed of spinach with avocado slices on top.

Spinach and Chickpea Stir Fry

Ingredients

2 teaspoons coconut oil

1 small yellow onion


4 large cloves garlic, peeled and minced


1 tablespoon grated ginger, from a 3-inch piece


1 large lemon, zested and juiced (about 2 tablespoons juice)


Dash of red pepper flakes 


15-ounce can chickpeas, drained


1 pound baby spinach


14-ounce can coconut milk


1 teaspoon salt, or to taste


2 cups cooked brown rice

Preparation

Heat the oil in a large, heavy pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook for about 7 minutes, until softened. Add the garlic, ginger, lemon zest and red pepper. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring frequently.

Add the chickpeas and cook over high heat for 5 more minutes.

Toss in the spinach, one handful at a time, waiting for each handful to wilt. Add the coconut milk, salt and lemon juice. Bring to a simmer then turn down the heat and cook for 10 minutes or until the chickpeas are warm through. Taste and add more salt and lemon juice, if necessary.

Serve hot over brown rice.

Green Dream Smoothie

Preparation: Blend the cashews and water for 1 to 2 minutes to make cashew milk. Add in the other ingredients, except coconut water, and blend until rich and creamy. Blend in coconut water to reach desired consistency.

Chocolate Protein Smoothie

1 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder

1 Tbsp hemp seeds

2 medjool dates, pitted and chopped

1 small frozen banana

1 ½ cups almond milk

1 cup spinach

1 Tbsp almond butter

Blend all ingredients together until smooth.

Mango Mint Monster Smoothie

Preparation: Place all ingredients in a blender and puree until completely uniform in color and all the bits of green are pulverizeed. Serve immediately.

Good morning green smoothie

Preparation: Place all ingredients in a blender and puree until completely uniform in color and all the bits of green are pulverized. Serve immediately.

Summer Vegetable Tacos with Avocado Cream

Ingredients

8 small corn tortillas

Avocado Cream:

½ tsp ground cumin

2 ½ Tbs fresh lime juice

3 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil

1 large ripe avocado

¼ to ½ tsp salt

¼ tsp Dijon mustard

1 clove garlic, minced

¼ to ½ cup water

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Pinch red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper

Filling:
1 cup black beans, cooked

2 ears fresh corn, kernels cut off cob, or 1 cup canned or frozen corn

1 medium zucchini or other summer squash, diced

1 red bell pepper, diced

Salt to taste

Preparation

Blend all avocado cream ingredients in a food processor or blender until smooth. Start with ¼ cup water and add more if too thick.

Marinate the beans and corn in ½ of the dressing for at least one hour but up to 8 hours in the refrigerator.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet and sauté zucchini and red pepper until softened, about 7 minutes.

Warm tortillas on stove with a small amount of olive oil in the pan.

Fill with corn-bean mixture and sautéed vegetables

Top with remaining dressing and serve.

Kale, Lentil and Beet Salad

salt and pepper

In a large salad bowl, combine the kale, beet, lentils, apple and cucumber.

For the dressing, pulse everything in a food processor or blender, with salt and pepper to taste, until the garlic is smooth.  You can also whisk everything together in a small bowl.

Pour the dressing on the salad and toss well to coat. Garnish with toasted almonds.

*To toast almonds, lay them in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet.  Bake in a 375 degree oven for 7-10 minutes, checking to make sure they don’t burn. 

Creamy Avocado Pasta with Chickpeas

Ingredients

Preparation

Prepare soba noodles according to package directions.

Meanwhile, make the sauce by placing the garlic cloves, lemon juice, and olive oil into a food processor. Process until smooth. Now add in the pitted avocado, basil, optional chili flakes and salt. Process until smooth and creamy.

When noodles are done cooking, drain and rinse in a strainer and place into a large bowl.  Add chickpeas and toss to warm through.  Pour on sauce and toss until fully combined. Garnish with lemon zest and black pepper. Serve immediately.

Spring Green Overnight Oats

Serves:2

Ingredients:

2 medium bananas, mashed with a fork

2 Tbsp chia seeds

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 cup rolled oats

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 ½ cups light coconut milk

2 tsp hemp seeds

1 pear, diced

2 Tbsp walnuts, chopped

 

Directions:

  1. In a small bowl, mash the banana until almost smooth. Now stir in the chia seeds and cinnamon until combined.
  2. Stir in the oats, coconut milk, and vanilla.  Cover and refrigerate overnight, or a minimum of 2 hours.
  3. In the morning, stir the oat mixture to combine.   Put half of the oats in a bowl, top with 1 tsp hemp seeds, ½ pear and 1 Tbsp Walnuts.  Repeat the following morning.

Egyptian Edamame Stew

(adapted fromeatingwell.com)

Makes: 2 servings

Ingredients

  • 1/2 10-ounce packages frozen shelled edamame, thawed
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 medium zucchini, diced
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • 1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice

Preparation

  1. Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Add edamame and cook until tender, 4 to 5 minutes or according to package directions. Drain.
  2. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until starting to soften, about 3 minutes. Add zucchini and cook, covered, until the onions are starting to brown, about 3 minutes more. Add garlic, cumin, coriander and cayenne and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in tomatoes and bring to a boil; reduce heat to a simmer and cook until slightly reduced, about 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in the edamame and cook until heated through, about 2 minutes more. Remove from the heat and stir in cilantro (or mint) and lemon juice.

Thai Green Curry with Spring Vegetables

(adapted from CookieandKate.com)

Serves: 2

INGREDIENTS

    1/2 cup brown basmati rice, rinsed

    2 teaspoons coconut oil

    1 small yellow onion, diced

    1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh ginger

    2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

    Pinch of salt

    ½ bunch asparagus, tough ends removed and sliced into 2-inch long pieces

    2 cups green beans, trimmed

    2 tablespoons Thai green curry paste

    1 can (14 ounces) coconut milk           

   ½ cup water

    2 cups packed baby spinach, roughly chopped

   1 can chickpeas

    Juice from 1 lime

    1½ teaspoons tamari

    Garnishes: handful of chopped fresh cilantro and/or red pepper flakes

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. To cook the rice, bring a large pot of water to boil. Add the rice and continue boiling for 30 minutes, reducing heat as necessary to prevent overflow. Remove from heat, drain the rice and return the rice to pot. Cover and let the rice rest for 10 minutes or longer, until you’re ready to serve.
  2. Warm a large skillet with deep sides over medium heat. Once it’s hot, add a couple teaspoons of oil. Cook the onion, ginger and garlic with a sprinkle of salt for about 5 minutes, stirring often. Add the asparagus and green beans and cook for 3 more minutes, stirring occasionally. Then add the curry paste and cook, stirring often, for 2 minutes.
  3. Pour the coconut milk into the pan, along with ½ cup water.  Bring the mixture to a simmer. Reduce heat as necessary to maintain a gentle simmer and cook until the green beans and asparagus are tender and cooked through, about 5 to 10 minutes.

Once the vegetables are done cooking, stir the spinach and chickpeas into the mixture and cook until the spinach has wilted, about 30 seconds. Remove the curry from heat and season with rice vinegar and soy sauce. Add salt and red pepper flakes (optional), to taste. Divide rice and curry into bowls and garnish with chopped cilantro and a sprinkle of red pepper flakes, if you’d like

Protein Power Balls

Makes: About 10 1 inch balls

Serving Size: 2

Ingredients:

1/2 cup walnuts

2 Tbsp chia seeds

2 Tbsp hemp seeds

1/2 cup pumpkin seeds

pinch of salt

pinch of cinnamon (optional)

2 Tbsp almond butter

1/2 cup dates 

1/2 tablespoon coconut oil, more if needed

Instructions:

Throw the dry ingredients  in your food processor and pulse. Then add the dates, coconut oil and almond butter and process until everything it starts to stick together. If too dry, add more dates or coconut oil.  Form into balls and refrigerate for up to 1 week.

 

Roasted Broccoli Edamame Bowls with Kimchi

Adapted from naturallyella.com

Serves:2-3

INGREDIENTS

1 bell pepper

½ pound broccoli

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 tablespoons grapeseed oil

2 tablespoons tamari

2 tablespoons rice vinegar

Red pepper flakes, to taste (optional)

½ bag frozen edamame

1 jar of kimchi

1/2 cup uncooked quinoa

1 cup toasted cashews

Chives, roughly chopped for topping

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Slice peppers and cut broccoli into evenly sized pieces. Place vegetables in a medium sized roasting pan.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, garlic, tamari, rice vinegar and red pepper flakes. Then pour on top of broccoli and peppers. Stir until everything is coated and well combined. Roast for 20 to 25 minutes until the vegetables are tender.
  3. While vegetables are roasting, cook the quinoa. In a medium pot, bring to a boil cup of water and a pinch of salt. Add quinoa then cover and reduce heat to a simmer. Let cook for 12-15 minutes until quinoa has absorbed most of the water. Turn off heat and let sit, covered, 5 minutes more.
  4. Bring another pot of water to a boil and cook edamame until tender, 4-5 minutes.
  5. Divide cooked quinoa into two bowls. Remove vegetables from oven. Then, spoon vegetables and edamame over quinoa. Pour any remaining sauce over quinoa.  Scoop desired amount of kimchi onto bowl. Sprinkle with toasted cashews and chives before serving.

Miso Tahini Dressing

1/4 cup tahini

2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar

1 tablespoon mellow white miso

1 tablespoon Tamari

Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes

1/4 cup water

Add all of the dressing ingredients to a small bowl and whisk until smooth, or use an immersion blender or food processor to blend. Taste and adjust seasonings if desired.

CREAMY CHICKPEA SALAD

Ingredients

1 cup quinoa

3-4 cups water to cook quinoa

2 15-oz cans garbanzo beans, drained

1 English cucumber, diced

1 red bell pepper, seeds removed and diced

3 stalks celery, diced

1 carrot, diced (about 1 cup)

1/2 bunch green onion, diagonally sliced

1/3 bunch parsley, chopped

DRESSING:

1/2 cup mayonnaise (or vegan mayonnaise)

2 Tbs lemon juice

2 Tbs apple cider vinegar

1 tsp dried dill

1 tsp sea salt

1 tsp dried basil

1 tsp minced garlic

Preparation

  1. Bring quinoa to a boil in salted water.  Boil for about 15 minutes. Drain.
  2. In a large salad bowl, mix together the dressing ingredients.
  3. On top of the dressing, mix together the cooked quinoa, garbanzo beans, diced cucumber, green pepper, celery, carrots, green onion and chopped parsley.
  4. Stir to combine and serve!

VEGAN “HUEVOS” RANCHEROS

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

8 Small corn tortillas, warmed in foil in oven at 250 degrees

1 can Black beans or refried black beans, heated

1 cup Enchilada Sauce

Tofu Scramble

Ingredients

1 Tbs olive oil

½ onion, chopped

½ red bell pepper, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

½ zucchini, quartered and sliced

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp coriander

¼ tsp turmeric

2 tsp reduced sodium tamari or soy sauce

1 tsp salt, or to taste

16 oz firm tofu, crumbled

Preparation

  1. Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Sauté onion and bell pepper until softened and starting to brown, about 8 minutes.
  2. Add garlic and zucchini and sauté for about 3 minutes, stirring.
  3. Add cumin, coriander, turmeric and salt. Stir to combine
  4. Add crumbled tofu and tamari, and stir until heated through.

Assemble

  1. Place beans on top of warm corn tortilla
  2. Layer tofu scramble on top.
  3. Top with enchilada sauce.

Chana Masala Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

(from dishingupthedirt.com)

Serves:4

4 medium sweet potatoes, rinsed and scrubbed

1 1/2 tablespoons coconut oil

1 small yellow onion, diced

1 clove garlic, minced

2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger

1tablespoon garam masala (use more or less depending on spice preference)

1 teaspoon paprika

Salt and pepper to taste

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1 (14 ounce) can diced tomatoes

1 can chickpeas

1 cup full-fat coconut milk

1 small bunch fresh cilantro, minced

Preheat oven to 425ºF.

Prick the sweet potatoes several times with a fork and place on a baking sheet. Roast for about an hour, until tender.

While the sweet potatoes cook, add the coconut oil to a large pan over medium-high heat. Stir in the onions and cook until they begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, garam masala, paprika, salt and pepper. Cook for about 1 more minute, stirring often. Add the tomato paste, canned tomatoes and chickpeas. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Pour in the coconut milk and continue to simmer for 5 minutes more. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed.

To serve, slice open the sweet potatoes and scoop a healthy portion of the chana masala into each. Garnish the potatoes with the minced cilantro.

Protein Power Goddess Bowl

 

Adapted from Protein Power Goddess Bowl, which was adapted from The Coup Cookbook.

Yield: 4 servings; 1/12 cups each

Ingredients:

1 cup uncooked green lentils (yield 2 & 3/4 cups cooked)

1 cup uncooked brown rice

1/2 tbsp olive oil, for sautéing

1/2 red onion (~1 & 1/3 cups), chopped

3-4 garlic cloves, minced

1 red bell pepper, chopped

1 large tomato, chopped

3 cups spinach or kale, roughly chopped (I used Lacinato kale)

1/2 cup fresh parsley, minced

1 batch of Lightened Up Tahini-Lemon Dressing (recipe below)

Kosher salt & black pepper, to taste

Lemon Wedges & lemon zest, to garnish

Directions:

Cook lentils and rice according to package directions. You can do this the night before to save time. Drain and set aside.

Prepare the Lightened Up tahini-Lemon dressing in food processor (see below for recipe).

In a large skillet over low-medium heat, add your olive oil and sauté the chopped onion and minced garlic for a few minutes, being careful not to burn. Now add in the chopped red pepper and tomato and sauté for another 7-8 minutes.

Stir in the chopped kale or spinach and sauté for another few minutes, just until tender. Stir in the full batch of tahini-Lemon dressing, the cooked & drained grains and lentils, and simmer on low for another few minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the minced parsley. Season with salt and pepper to taste and garnish with lemon wedges and zest.

Lightened Up Tahini-Lemon Dressing

Yield: Just under 1 cup of dressing

Ingredients:

1/4 cup Tahini

2 garlic cloves

1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (about 2 lemons)

1/4 cup Nutritional yeast or a bit more, to taste

2-4 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil, to taste

1 tsp kosher salt + freshly ground black pepper, or to taste

3 tbsp water, or as needed

Directions:

In a food processor, add all ingredients and process until smooth. Makes just under 1 cup.

The Mexican Bowl    Serves 1

Ingredients

4 slices prepared polenta

1/3 can black beans

1 cup spinach

Salsa, Slices of Avocado

Preparation

Bake polenta according to package directions.  While polenta is cooking, warm black beans in a small saucepan.  Once beans are warmed through, stir in spinach until wilted (1-2 minutes).  In a bowl, layer polenta rounds, black bean spinach mixture, salsa and avocado.

Zucchini and Polenta Lasagna

INGREDIENTS

Basil-Cashew Cheese

  • 1 cup unsalted cashews
  • ½ cup water
  • ¼ cup fresh basil leaves
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt

1 jar tomato sauce (no sugar added)

Zucchini Lasagna

  • 6 medium zucchinis
  • Coarse salt
  • Fresh basil, for garnish
  • 1 tube polenta, sliced in ½ inch thick rounds

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Basil-Cashew Cheese: Soak the cashews in a bowl of water for 30 minutes. Drain and rinse well. Add all the ingredients to a food processor or blender and process/blend until smooth.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Slice each zucchini into ⅛-inch thick slices lengthwise. Salt the zucchini slices heavily and set aside for 20 minutes to drain the water out. Squeeze as much water out of the zucchini slices as possible.
  3. Spread a few tablespoons sauce on the bottom of a casserole dish. Lay 4-5 zucchini slices side-by-side on the bottom of the dish. If you’re slices aren’t long enough for the entire casserole you can add another vertical row or place some slices horizontally to fill the space. Top with a layer of sliced polenta.
  4. Top the slices with ½ cup sauce and ¼ cup cashew cheese. Repeat with the remaining ingredients, ending with a final layer of sauce and cheese. Garnish with more fresh basil and a drizzle of olive oil
  5. Bake, covered, for 30 minutes and then bake, uncovered for 20-25 minutes or until the top of the lasagna is golden brown. Let the lasagna sit for 15 minutes before cutting and serving.

Power Green Salad

Serves 4

Ingredients:

3 cups ribbed and chopped kale

handful of chopped parsley

1 cup cooked black lentils*

1 green apple, diced

half an english cucumber, diced

1/2 cup toasted pepitas

dressing

1 Tbsp. honey

1 Tbsp. dijon

juice of one lemon

1/3 cup pumpkin seed oil or extra virgin olive oil

salt and pepper

Preparation:

Place salad ingredients together in a large bowl.  Mix together dressing and drizzle over salad.  Toss to combine.

*to cook lentils bring 1 cup lentils and 2 cups water to boil in a medium saucepan.  Reduce heat and simmer for about 25 minutes.  You can also purchase pre-cooked lentils at Trader Joe’s.

Coconut Red Lentil Soup

Serves: 6

Ingredients:

1 cup / 7 oz  yellow split peas


1 cup 7 oz  red split lentils

7 cups water


1 medium carrot, cut into 1/2-inch dice


2 tablespoons fresh peeled and minced ginger


2 tablespoons curry powder


2 tablespoons olive oil

8 green onions (scallions), thinly sliced (green part only)


1/3 cup golden raisins


1/3 cup tomato paste


1 14-ounce can coconut milk


2 teaspoons fine grain sea salt


one small handful cilantro, chopped

Preparation

Give the split peas and lentils a good rinse – until they no longer put off murky water. Place them in an extra-large soup pot, cover with the water, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and add the carrot and 1/4 of the ginger. Cover and simmer for about 30 minutes, or until the split peas are soft.

In the meantime, in a small dry skillet or saucepan over low heat, toast the curry powder until it is quite fragrant. Be careful though, you don’t want to burn the curry powder, just toast it. Set aside. Place the olive oil in a pan over medium heat, add half of the green onions, the remaining ginger, and raisins. Saute for two minutes stirring constantly, then add the tomato paste and saute for another minute or two more.

Add the toasted curry powder to the tomato paste mixture, mix well, and then add this to the simmering soup along with the coconut milk and salt. Simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes or so. The texture should thicken up, but you can play around with the consistency if you like by adding more water, a bit at a time, if you like. Or simmer longer for a thicker consistency. The thicker this soup got, the more I liked it.  Top soup with remaining onions.

Mongolian Soy Curls

Ingredients

Serves: 4

FOR THE SOY CURL “BEEF”

  • 2 C soy curls
  • Boiling water (enough to cover soy curls)
  • 1 TB olive oil or melted coconut oil

FOR THE SAUCE

  • 1 TB cornstarch mixed with 1 TB of warm water
  • 1/4 C tamari or soy sauce if not gf
  • 1/2 C veggie broth
  • 2 cloves of garlic , minced
  • 1/2 Tsp gincer , minced
  • 1 TB maple syrup
  • 1/2-1 TB red pepper flakes (depending on how hot you like it)

For serving: Cooked brown rice and steamed broccoli

Instructions

  1. Soak soy curls in boiling water for 10 minutes (or until fully rehydrated).
  2. Preheat oven or toaster over to 375 degrees.
  3. Drain soy curls and press all the water out of them. I usually rinse them with cold water then wring them out with my hands. You want as much water out of them as possible. 
  4. Cover baking pan with oil so soy curls do not stick to it. 
  5. Add soy curls to baking pan and bake for 15 minutes, turning a few times so that nothing is sticking to the pan.
  6. While soy curls are baking, mix sauce ingredients together, add to sauce pot and heat to a boil. 
  7. Once boiling, turn down heat and cook for a few minutes until sauce thickens just a bit. 
  8. Pour over soy curls, brown rice and broccoli and enjoy!

Cashew and Red Lentil Burgers

(from Color Me Vegan by Colleen Patrick Goudreau)

Serves: 6(Leftovers freeze well!)

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups water
  • 3 carrots, diced
  • ½ cup red lentils, rinsed and picked through
  • ½ tsp salt plus more to taste
  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp curry powder
  • 1 cup oats, ground into flour in the food processor, or store-bought oat flour
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste

Directions:

Combine water, carrots, lentils and ½ tsp salt in a saucepan.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low and cover and simmer until lentils are tender and broken down, 12-14 minutes.  Drain in a colander, pressing out the excess liquid.  Transfer to a bowl and cool for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, toast the cashews in a small dry skillet over medium heat, shaking the pan often to prevent burning.  Remove from heat when golden and fragrant.  Let cool.

Heat 1 Tbsp oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat.  Add the onion and cook, stirring until softened, about 7 minutes.  Add the garlic and curry powder and cook, stirring for one minute.  Remove from heat and let cool.

Place the cooled cashews in a food processor until finely chopped.  Add the lentils and the onion mixture and pulse until the mixture is cohesive but still somewhat textured.  Transfer to a bowl and add enough oat flour to create a consistency that enables you to form cohesive patties.  Season with salt and pepper and form into six patties, ½ inch thick.

Add the remaining 1 Tbsp oil to a large sauté pan over medium heat and cook the patties until evenly browned and heated, about 4 minutes per side.

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