Vegan Chana Masala

Vegan Chana Masala Pin

This Vegan Chana Masala recipe (made with chickpeas) was inspired by an Indian cuisine cooking class that we took at Baking Anis in Cuenca, Ecuador taught by two Chilean chefs. It’s such a small world!

The chefs normally sauté with butter, but they made a special batch using oil for Amelia and me (this was before we went oil-free). The Chana Masala was delicious, and I also learned how to make red roses from tomato peels in that class! (I can also make orange roses from peach and nectarine peels. They’re a fancy garnish.)

Amelia made our recipe oil-free and low-fat by sautéing with veggie broth instead of oil. This dish is a nutrition powerhouse with 15 grams of protein and 13 grams of fiber per serving. It’s also a quick and easy one-pot meal (not counting the brown rice, which we make in our pressure cooker).

This Vegan Chana Masala recipe makes 2 servings with 1 cup per serving. We usually eat a Hearty Side Salad with it.

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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Broccoli Chickpea Chipotle Buddha Bowl

Broccoli Chickpea Chipotle Buddha Bowl PinThis Broccoli Chickpea Chipotle Buddha Bowl is easy, fast, oil-free, low-calorie, nutritious and delicious. It’s a great recipe if you’re in a hurry and watching your calories.

Since I stepped up my gym workouts, I’ve been wanting a high protein lunch that’s fast and easy to prepare. I made this one before my workout so it was ready when I got back from the gym. If I don’t plan ahead like this, I find myself eating the first thing I see when I get home instead of the best thing for a post-workout meal.

This is the second Buddha Bowl I’ve created after Amelia encouraged me to take on this Buddha Bowl project. The last one was the Cauliflower Chickpea Buddha Bowl and it was also amazing!

Most Buddha Bowls are neatly arranged with each ingredient placed separately in the bowl over rice, quinoa, barley, greens, etc. But it takes a lot more time (and pots) to prepare everything individually and assemble them when everything is done. I prefer the one-pot variety to save time and generate fewer dirty dishes. Maybe my next one will follow the rules…but I’m not much of a rule follower…

I created this Buddha Bowl with the ingredients we had on hand. We always have onions and garlic, but today we also had broccoli and red cabbage. They add a lot of color and antioxidants.

Red cabbage is one of the best foods you can eat for preventing and fighting cancer. The brighter color a food is, the more antioxidants it has. That means red cabbage has more than green cabbage. Plus, I like the taste of red cabbage better than green, although both are delicious in the right recipe.

I like to sauté my onions and garlic separately so they get a little extra tender, but you can probably put everything in the pot at the same time and cook it all together. That’ll make it a little easier.

Steam frying is the key to sauteing veggies without oil. You need to use a generous amount of vegetable broth, and cover the pan so the moisture doesn’t evaporate. We try to cook without oil as much as possible, and there’s really no need to use it when you’re sauteing veggies. It just adds a lot more calories without much other benefit.

Despite the common myth, your body does not need fat from processed oils. You get all the fat you need from unprocessed plants. Oils may even contribute to heart disease and several kinds of cancer.

If you don’t have any chipotle seasoning on hand, you can swap that out for chili powder or some spicy Thai hot sauce.

You can eat this dish without the brown rice…it’ll just decrease the number of servings. Personally, I love brown rice, and it’s far better for you than white rice. Brown rice has been shown to help with weight loss and type 2 diabetes, while white rice can make both of those worse.

However you decide to prepare this Broccoli Chickpea Chipotle Buddha Bowl recipe, I’m sure you’ll enjoy the variety of tastes, textures and colors. Let us know how it turned out in the comments below!

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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Cauliflower Chickpea Buddha Bowl

Cauliflower Chickpea Buddha Bowl PinThis Cauliflower Chickpea Buddha Bowl recipe was inspired by a trip to a plant-based restaurant in Cuenca, Ecuador. It’s one of our favorite restaurants in Cuenca and they have several Buddha Bowls on their menu.

The co-owner and chef, Paul, backpacked throughout South America and ended up in Montevideo, Uruguay where he got a job as a chef in a plant-based restaurant. He returned to Cuenca with one of his co-workers and they opened their own plant-based restaurant called Café Libre. It’s what I would call gourmet vegan food (except for a couple of items that contain eggs).

Not only is the food delicious, it’s also presented in a way that is sure to draw your phone from your pocket so you can take a picture and share it with your friends on Facebook. It’s that good!

This Cauliflower Chickpea Buddha Bowl recipe is my own creation, made with some of my favorite ingredients and spices. Amelia usually makes our new recipes, but she put me in charge of the Buddha bowls since I love them so much.

We had some cauliflower that needed to be used so that’s where I started. Paul has a chickpea Buddha Bowl on the Café Libre menu and we had a can of chickpeas (garbanzo beans) in the cupboard so that was ingredient number two.

We always have onions, garlic and chili peppers on hand so those were natural choices. I also like to add mushrooms for their chewy texture. Baby bellas are our favorite type and we usually have some of those in the fridge.

Swiss chard is a very nutritious dark leafy green, and recipes like this are a good way to add dark leafy greens to your diet. Kale, spinach or a combination would also be great. You could also skip the swiss chard and pair this with a dark leafy green Hearty Side Salad or a low calorie Spinach Salad.

Most of the time, we sauté with vegetable broth to reduce the calories (1 tablespoon has 120 calories) and also because oil isn’t a whole food. There is also a lot of evidence that oil may be as bad for our health as any other fatty food. Dr. Michael Greger thinks of “oil as the table sugar of the fat kingdom” and Mic the Vegan calls it the Vegan Killer.

From a calorie perspective alone, we think it’s worth avoiding oil if possible. And there’s absolutely no need to sauté with oil when steam frying with vegetable broth (or vegetable bouillon or water or wine) works just as well.

The remaining ingredients give the mixture its flavor and a lot of extra nutritional benefits. Lime is loaded with vitamin C and antioxidants. Apple cider vinegar has been shown to help with weight loss, turmeric has been shown to fight cancer and spices in general are loaded with antioxidants that have been shown to fight aging and all sorts of cancers.

I like a little sweetness to go with my spicy so I added some agave. Normally I would use maple syrup, but we didn’t have any (sniff sniff). You can skip this to reduce the calories and the liquid sugar. You can also skip the salt if that’s a concern (especially if you have high blood pressure or kidney disease), but it helps bring out the other flavors.

This is a great one-pot lunch recipe that you can make ahead of time and eat it cold or heat it up the next day. I made this a two serving recipe, but if you serve it over 3/4 cup of brown rice, you can get 4 servings out of it.

This Cauliflower Chickpea Buddha Bowl recipe is a nutrition powerhouse that’s loaded with healthy sources of protein, carbs and fat. It’ll keep you satisfied and powered until dinner. Enjoy!

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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Peanut Butter Hummus

Peanut Butter Hummus PinThis Peanut Butter Hummus recipe was inspired by a freak weather event in Atlanta. Amelia had travelled back to Denver for her day job and on the day of her return flight to Atlanta, we had 8 inches of snow, which cancelled hundreds of flights.

She was able to fly back the next evening, but the roads were slushy from all the melting snow and the temperatures were predicted to drop below freezing after sunset. Since her flight wasn’t scheduled to arrive until 8PM, we decided to get a hotel room near the airport so we wouldn’t have to drive back to Marietta on icy roads.

Amelia has tons of Marriott points from her years of travelling for sales, so we reserved a room at the Renaissance Hotel. It’s still not easy to eat vegan at hotels (or on airplanes), but they did have a few options for us.

One of them was a version of hummus made from a local culinary favorite: boiled peanuts. We had never heard of boiled peanuts before our stay in Atlanta, but it’s a popular appetizer on area restaurant menus. We ordered some at a restaurant with some friends and Amelia loved them, but I didn’t like them. They were too messy for me. I’d rather eat them as nature (and ballparks) intended…out of the unboiled shell.

Or in delicious hummus! Rather than go through the hassle of boiling peanuts and deshelling them to match the Renaissance Hotel’s Boiled Peanut Hummus, we decided take the easy route by using peanut butter.

Basically, we used our Classic Vegan Hummus recipe and swapped out the tahini with peanut butter, and it’s absolutely delicious! It goes really well with pita chips, apples, celery or your favorite hummus delivery device.

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 Cajun Chickpea Fritters

Cajun Chickpea Fritters PinThese vegan cajun chickpea fritters are delicious adult dinner pancakes chock full of protein and fiber. They’re also gluten free since they use chickpea flour instead of wheat flour. Although, be sure all the other ingredient you use are also gluten free.

They pair well with wilted spinach, a side salad or healthy veggies. Or you can do what we did and eat them straight off the griddle or as a main dish.

We used an electric griddle instead of frying them in a saute pan with oil, which cut down on the calories and fat a little. Plus, we were able to cook most of them at once instead of a few at a time.

We also drizzled our Vegan Ranch Dressing over them, which was yummy.

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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Chickpea Avocado Spread

Chickpea Avocado SpreadThis Chickpea Avocado Spread is perfect as a sandwich spread, but it’s also delicious on crackers, pita chips or as a veggie dip. The chickpeas provide the protein and fiber. The avocado provides the healthy delicious fat. And the lemon and lime juices give it a tasty citrus flavor.

Chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans) have become a staple ingredient in our kitchen. Their mild flavor and high nutritional content make them a great filler in spreads and dips, like our classic vegan hummus and this chickpea avocado spread. But you can also toss them into a salad to increase the protein and fiber content, which makes your salad more filling and nutritious. They’re also very tasty when roasted.

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 Hummus

Vegan Hummus PinVegan hummus is a mainstay on our snack list. You can make a batch and eat it throughout the week with pita chips, bread, carrots, celery, sliced peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, radishes, or any other veggie of choice. It even works well as a condiment for your veggie burgers and sandwiches.

Classic hummus is made with chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans), which are packed with protein and fiber. One serving of this recipe has 9 grams of protein and 9 grams of fiber. When you pair it with raw veggies, you’ll not only get tons of healthy nutrients, you’ll also feel fuller from all of that fiber.

In addition to protein and fiber, hummus is packed with other healthy nutrients like calcium and iron. It has even been shown to lower cholesterol and sugar levels, reduce your risk of cancer, help with weight control, and many other benefits. Check out “15 Health Benefits of Hummus, According to Science (+8 Delicious Hummus Recipes)” over at JenReviews.com for more info on this super delicious food.

Hummus tastes great with pita chips or bread, but if you’re trying to lose weight, you might want to stick with the raw veggies for awhile. In fact, hummus is very high calorie so you might want to skip it until you’ve reached your weight loss goals. This recipe has over 200 calories per serving including the veggies used for dipping.

This vegan hummus recipe is super easy and very tasty, but you will need a food processor.

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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