Chunky Tomato Sauce w/ Vegetables Over Pasta

Chunky Tomato Sauce w/ Vegetables PinThis Chunky Tomato Sauce w/ Vegetables is an Amelia special. She threw a bunch of vegetables we had on-hand in a skillet and sautéed them with a little vegetable broth. Then we served them over some whole grain pasta. Delicious and easy!

We used 2 pounds of fresh tomatoes (6 medium sized) that we got at the mercado for the “chunky tomato sauce” part. I cored them and cut X’s on the bottom, then brought them to a boil and let them simmer for about 5 minutes. Then I drained them, added cold water to the pot and let them sit for a few minutes to cool. This makes the peels come right off. Then I chopped them up and handed them off to Amelia.

You can also used canned diced tomatoes to save time and effort, but we really like using fresh ingredients and it only takes an extra 10 to 15 minutes.

We used whole wheat spaghetti for our recipe, but you can use your favorite pasta, including gluten free if that’s your thing. Just try to use a whole grain variety.

This is a great one-dish meal or would pair well with a side salad and some fruit for dessert.

If you make this recipe, please let us know your thoughts in the comments below. And please share with your friends to help spread the word about healthy plant-based eating.

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Date Walnut Vinaigrette Salad Dressing (Oil Free)

Date Walnut Vinaigrette PinThis oil-free Date Walnut Vinaigrette Salad Dressing recipe is rich and delicious! Most vinaigrettes have oil, but since we’re oil-free plant-based eaters, we used walnuts as the (truly) healthy fat. The dates give it a little sweetness and the balsamic gives it a little tanginess.

Many of the phytonutrients in dark leafy greens and other vegetables are fat soluble, which means you need some healthy fats in your digestive tract at the same time as the veggies to allow your body to extract the most nutrients.

A lot of people still think oil is a healthy fat, but it comes with a lot of extra baggage and lacks all the fiber and many of the beneficial nutrients that come in the whole-food form. Oil is essentially a refined fat that may have some healthy ingredients, but it’s packaged along with several unhealthy ones. It’s far healthier to get your healthy fats from whole foods like nuts, seeds and avocados instead of processed foods like oil.

Date Walnut Vinaigrette

Using 3/4 cup of water in this recipe yields a pretty creamy salad dressing. You can make it even thicker by cutting back to 1/2 cup water, or you can thin it out by using a full cup. It really depends on your own personal preferences.

You can put this delicious Date Walnut Vinaigrette dressing on most of your favorite salads, including our Easy Garden Salad, Spinach Salad or Hearty Side Salad.

If you make this recipe, please let us know your thoughts in the comments below. And please share with your friends to help spread the word about healthy plant-based eating.
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Spicy Avocado Sauce

Spicy Avocado Sauce PinWe made this Spicy Avocado Sauce to go with our Cauliflower Tacos w/ Lentils recipe and it was delicious! It’s so rich and creamy. And the jalapeño gives it a little kick, although this is optional if you don’t like spicy things.

This recipe is also great as a dip, sandwich spread or salad dressing. It almost has a ranch dressing flavor. Several important phytonutrients in salads are fat soluble, which means they need to be consumed with a healthy source of fat like nuts, seeds and/or avocados in order for our bodies to effectively extract all the nutrients.

Avocados have been shown to contain a lot of fiber and many beneficial phytonutrients of their own, and the fat found in avocados also helps our bodies get the most bang for our salad buck.

It doesn’t take much fat for our bodies to harness the power of fat soluble veggies, though. You only need about 1/4 of an avocado in your salad OR five walnut halves to get the benefit from the greens, so don’t load up your salad with a lot of nuts, seeds and avocado or the calories and fat will skyrocket. A little is good for you, but a lot is bad for you.

We like our foods spicier than most, and Amelia likes them spicier than me! If you have a bland palette, feel free to skip the jalapeño.

If you make this recipe, please let us know your thoughts in the comments below. And please share with your friends to help spread the word about healthy plant-based eating.

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Easy Vegan Artichokes (Oil-Free)

Easy Vegan Artichokes PinThis Oil-Free Easy Vegan Artichokes recipe is super simple and absolutely delicious. It takes about 5 minutes to prepare the artichokes and another 20 to 30 minutes to steam them so they’re a great snack or appetizer to show off to your dinner guests.

Several years ago, long before we went Whole-Food Plant-Based (WFPB), Amelia tried to make some roasted artichokes but they came out tough as vegan leather. Since they were so expensive back in the states, we decided to not ruin any more perfectly good artichokes that someone else could prepare more successfully.

However, now that we live in Ecuador, the artichokes are much more affordable so I decided to give them another try. These artichokes cost us only 28 cents each! We already went back and bought 4 more after we made this delicious recipe!

The prep work is very easy. Just cut a little off the top and bottom of the artichoke, use a very sharp knife to cut them in half, and then scoop out the hairy fibrous material at the center. Steam them for 20 to 30 minutes until they’re nice and soft, then serve with some fresh squeezed lemon juice over them.

Easy Vegan ArtichokesA lot of people don’t know how to eat artichokes prepared this way, so here’s a quick tutorial. Peel off a leaf, hold the pointy end with your fingers and put the flat end in your mouth. Pull off the soft part at the base of the leaf with your teeth and enjoy. Once you get to the center, it’s all edible and delicious!

You can also scrape out all the good stuff and use it to make artichoke dip, but that would be very time consuming. We usually just by them frozen or canned for dip recipes.

Easy Vegan Artichokes Cooking Video

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If you make this recipe, please let us know your thoughts in the comments below. And please share with your friends to help spread the word about healthy plant-based eating.

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Easy Garden Salad

Easy Garden Salad PinI make this Easy Garden Salad every 3 to 4 days. It makes enough for 6 to 8 large salads so it saves a lot of time in salad prep. It’s also highly nutritious and checks off several of Dr. Greger’s Daily Dozen boxes.

We used to make our salads individually, but we found that life often got in the way and we didn’t have time to make them. That’s when I came up with the idea to make a giant salad when I did have time, and store the ingredients in the fridge so they were ready when we wanted to eat them.

Save the scraps in a sealable container that you can keep in the freezer to make your Easy Vegetable Broth from Scraps. We have found that making our own veggie broth not only tastes better than store bought, it doesn’t contain oil or other preservatives, saves the packaging and makes great use of the scraps we were throwing away. We were using at least one veggie broth container per week so it saves us about $20/month.

Until recently, I put the greens and the toppings in the same container, but I found that all the tasty parts migrated to the bottom of the container making it difficult to dish out. To fix that issue, I now store the greens in a separate container from the colorful toppings.

When we’re ready to eat this delicious garden salad, we put a bunch of greens (spinach, kale, swiss chard, mustard greens, arugula, mixed greens, lettuce, etc.) in a large bowl and then scoop out a cup of the rainbow and put that on top of the greens.

Our rainbow usually consists of carrots, cucumber, peppers, corn, beets, red cabbage, artichoke hearts (in water), hearts of palm, garbanzo beans, red onion and tomatoes. We also like Golden Berries (Uvillas or Peruvian Ground Cherries) that we get here in Ecuador. They’re a little yellow cherry tomato sized fruit with a citrus flavor.

Easy Garden Salad

Then we top the salad with nuts, seeds, olives and/or avocado for some healthy fats to help us get at all those fat soluble nutrients in the salad. You can also top your salad with some Tahini Salad Dressing or other nut or avocado based homemade salad dressings, but it’s best to avoid oil-based salad dressings because oil isn’t a whole food; it’s a processed refined fat.

We usually eat our salads with lime juice and some form of vinegar (rice wine vinegar, red wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar, white balsamic vinegar). Sometimes we use soy sauce, tamari or Bragg’s Liquid Aminos.

Then we sprinkle our Easy Garden Salad with a generous amount of oregano and sometimes red pepper flakes and/or fennel seeds to get even more antioxidants.

Try different dark leafy greens, veggies and dressings in your salad to keep things interesting. According to Dr. Esselstyn, Dr. Greger, Dr. Barnard, Dr. Kahn, Dr. Fuhrman and other plant-based doctors, we should all eat at least one large dark leafy green salad — every — single — day. So find things you like and try new things, too.

This recipe pairs well with any of our soups or sandwiches.

Easy Garden Salad Cooking Video on Vegans Abroad

If you make this recipe, please let us know your thoughts in the comments below. And please share with your friends to help spread the word about healthy plant-based eating.

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Vegan Stuffed Eggplant

Vegan Stuffed Eggplant PinAmelia whipped up this Vegan Stuffed Eggplant for us as a low calorie dinner made from veggies we had in the fridge. We wanted to drop a few pounds so she’s been making us some delicious low calorie meals made mostly of fresh veggies, and this is one of my favorites!

Carving out the eggplant is the hardest part of this easy meal. I used a curved grapefruit knife to remove the flesh and that seemed to work well. Then I sliced it up to go with the other veggies that Amelia had prepared.

If you want to lose weight, this is a great recipe. It’s filling with all the fibrous veggies, but very low calorie. In fact, it only has about 140 calories so you can even serve this as a side dish with a Portobello Mushroom Steak. It would also be a really good lunch on a low-cal day or served with a delicious baked or boiled potato.

If you make this recipe, please let us know your thoughts in the comments below. And please share with your friends to help spread the word about healthy plant-based eating.

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Lemony Spring Peas and Zucchini

Lemony Spring Peas and Zucchini PinThis Lemony Spring Peas and Zucchini recipe is a fresh and delicious Amelia special. She concocted this recipe from all of our favorite ingredients: zucchini, garbanzo beans, peas, onion and mushrooms. Adding the Lemon Sauce recipe adapted from the Minimalist Baker makes it all lemony and flavorful.

We tried to spiralize our zucchini, but the spiralizer we bought doesn’t work very well. It works ok for slicing, but the spiralizing blade did a better job of cutting my thumb than the zucchini. As long as the zucchini is thinly sliced, it works just as well.

If you’re using frozen peas, be sure to thaw them first or they won’t cook at the same rate as everything else.

You can substitute spaghetti squash or quinoa for the brown rice. You can also serve it without the rice and pair it with some Balsamic Marinated Baked TofuHealthy Butternut Squash or BBQ Tempeh.

If you make this recipe, please let us know your thoughts in the comments below. And please share with your friends to help spread the word about healthy plant-based eating.
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Vegan Falafel

Vegan Falafel PinThis Vegan Falafel recipe is great by itself with a little Tahini Salad Dressing for dipping, but it’s also a nice companion for your Falafel Salad or Falafel Sandwich.

Falafel is a traditional middle eastern dish that is popular in countries like Egypt. While its origins are very controversial, some think it dates back to the pharaohs! 

This dish is typically deep-fried in oil, but ours is an oil-free falafel. Why add all those extra calories and fat when you don’t need to? If you cook them on a non-stick griddle or skillet, you don’t need the oil. You can also brush them with a little aquafaba (chickpea liquid) to help them brown better on the griddle.

If you make this recipe, please let us know your thoughts in the comments below. And please share with your friends to help spread the word about healthy plant-based eating.

If you make this recipe, please let us know your thoughts in the comments below. And please share with your friends to help spread the word about healthy plant-based eating.

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Homemade Pita Chips

Homemade Pita Chips PinThese Homemade Pita Chips are a delicious, healthy and inexpensive alternative to highly processed, preservative heavy pita chips. We use organic and oil-free pita bread pockets to reduce the calories and fat even more. Look for a brand without preservatives, too.

During Amelia’s Plant-Based Nutrition Certification Program, we realized just how much oil and preservatives are in regular store-bought pita chips. That’s when we decided to start making our own so we could control the amount of oil, sodium and preservatives in one of our favorite snacks.

These are delicious with Beet Hummus or classic Vegan Hummus.

If you make this recipe, please let us know your thoughts in the comments below. And please share with your friends to help spread the word about healthy plant-based eating.

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Sauteed Kale

Sauteed Kale PinEnjoy this delicious and nutritious Sauteed Kale as a side dish with your favorite main dish or bowl of soup.

Kale tops the list of superfoods because it’s loaded with antioxidants, Vitamin A, Vitamin C and a good amount of Protein. It helps fight and prevent some forms of cancer, and it even promotes urinary tract health [source].

Sautéing the kale softens it up and removes the bitterness that some people don’t like. Personally, I could eat kale everyday, sautéed or not. And I don’t like bitter foods. When prepared correctly, it tastes great and your body will thank you for feeding it all that nutrition.

Try mixing up your kale recipes by using Dinosaur Kale or Red Kale when it’s available.

If you make this recipe, please let us know your thoughts in the comments below. And please share with your friends to help spread the word about healthy plant-based eating.

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