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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White Bean Dip or Spread

White Bean Dip Spread PinThis White Bean Dip is great for dipping your veggies into, but it’s also a delicious and healthy spread for your sandwiches. It’s similar in texture to hummus, but it’s made with white beans instead of chickpeas. It’s a great option if you’re tired of regular old hummus (gasp!).

And Amelia says it’s “super easy” to make. You just combine all of the ingredients into a food processor and pulse it until it’s the consistency that you like.

Since there’s no tahini in this recipe, it’s much lower fat and lower calorie than traditional hummus. Thanks to the balance of protein and carbs, it’s a great pre or post workout snack, too.

It has a mild flavor so it tastes great with a wide variety of veggies, especially when used as a spread on veggie sandwiches.

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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Celery and Potato Soup Recipe

Celery and Potato Soup Recipe PinThis Celery and Potato Soup Recipe is creamy and delicious. And with only 44 calories for 1 cup, it’s a great recipe for weight loss!

Celery is highly nutritious, but I’ve never liked eating it raw. Luckily, it’s healthier when cooked! According to Dr. Greger, “Celery contains beneficial antioxidants, enzymes, vitamins, and minerals. Celery actually increases in antioxidant power when it is cooked; therefore, adding celery to vegetable soup, for example, actually boosts the soup’s nutritional value.”

That makes celery a superfood in our opinion, so finding new and creative ways to eat it is a challenge we’re happy to take on!

This soup pairs well with a delicious hearty salad for a nutritious soup and salad lunch, or as a side dish for your favorite main dish.

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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Souper Easy Split Pea Soup

Split Pea Soup PinThis Souper Easy Split Pea Soup recipe comes to us from Kristie Middleton, Senior Director of Food Policy for the Humane Society of the United States. She’s also the author of the widely popular book, “MeatLess: Transform the Way You Eat and Live – One Meal at a Time.”

Amelia and I had the pleasure of meeting Kristie at a Humane League Gala here in Denver, and also at her book signing at the Tattered Cover. Her mission in life and with the Humane Society is to help people transition to a “meatless” diet.

With tons of recipes like this Split Pea Soup in her book, she’s doing a great job of showing people how to eat a more humane diet without sacrificing any of the flavor they’re used to with more traditional, less humane ingredients.

Follow Kristie on Facebook!

We didn’t have Herbs de Provence so Amelia improvised by using a dash of dried oregano, basil, parsley and rosemary. Delicious!


MeatLess by Kristie Middleton

Kristie-Middleton-Meatless_cover_lo A great resource to have in every transitioning vegan kitchen!

This book is loaded with concrete rationale for reducing or eliminating meat from your diet, as well as showing you how to make the transition easier. Kristie provides substitutes for common animal ingredients and dozens of plant-based recipes that will tease the tastebuds of any standard American food eater.

You don't have to sacrifice flavor for compassion. You can have both!


Vegan Lentil Loaf

Vegan Lentil Loaf PinThis Vegan Lentil Loaf is a veganized version of the ever popular meatloaf. The lentils, brown rice and oats make this a hearty and nutritious meal while the generous amount of seasonings give it tons of flavor.

My mom’s meatloaf has always been one of my favorite dishes so after going vegan, it was something I really missed. Thankfully, Amelia figured out how to make a veganized version of meatloaf that tastes a lot like mom’s. That’s one more thing that was easily replaced with a cruelty free, healthy and environmentally friendly alternative!

This recipe pairs well with Green Beans, a Side Salad or Steamed Broccoli for your green dish. To make the meal even more filling without adding a lot of extra calories, try our Easy Polenta recipe, a Vegan Baked Potato or Boiled Potatoes.

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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Healthy Red Beans and Rice

Healthy Red Beans and Rice PinThis Healthy Red Beans and Rice recipe is full of color, flavor and texture. With only 209 calories per serving, it packs 12 grams of fiber, 9 grams of protein, 89% RDV of Vitamin A, 174% Vitamin C and 25% Iron. This traditional Creole dish is a nutrition powerhouse!

Amelia’s mom gave us this recipe that she found in the American Diabetes Associations’ Diabetes & Heart Healthy Cookbook. I think it’s interesting that the original recipe calls for sautéing the veggies in olive oil when several studies suggest that added fat such as olive oil is a leading cause of Type II diabetes. Needless-to-say, we replaced the oil with vegetable broth as we generally do to remove the added fat.

This is a nice one-pot recipe that makes a great stand-alone dish, but it also pairs well with a healthy Side Salad or a slice of multigrain bread for dipping.

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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Lentil and Brown Rice Stew

Lentil and Brown Rice Stew PinAmelia’s mom made this Lentil and Brown Rice Stew recipe for us when we went to visit her. She was very excited to integrate more plants into her diet and made good use of the time she had with us. This recipe was absolutely delicious and the whole family thoroughly enjoyed eating it.

The great thing about this recipe is that it’s very filling, but relatively low calorie with only 257 calories per serving. It’s also high protein and high fiber with 20 grams of each. Adding a tbsp of Vegan Cashew Sour Cream gives it a creamier texture and a lot of extra flavor.

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 Cabbage Soup

Vegan Cabbage Soup PinThis Vegan Cabbage Soup is fantastic for your weight loss goals. It’s delicious, and two cups has 8 grams of fiber and 6 grams of protein, but only 112 calories! It also has 138% RDV of Vitamin A and 78% RDV of Vitamin C. How can you beat that?!

Cabbage is full of nutritional benefits. It’s often used “as a treatment for constipation, stomach ulcers, headaches, obesity, skin disorders, eczema, jaundice, scurvy, rheumatism, arthritis, gout, eye disorders, heart diseases, aging, and Alzheimer’s disease.” [source]

Everyone could use a little more cabbage in their diets and this recipe is a delicious delivery system for it.

To boost up the calories and make it a little heartier, try adding 3 or 4 diced potatoes when you add the cabbage. This soup will also go well with a nice Side Salad or a Vegan Baked Potato.

Vegan Cabbage Soup Cooking Video

Note: We increased the seasonings to improve the flavor after we published the video. We recommend using the recipe instead of the video.

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 Mushroom Stroganoff

Vegan Mushroom Stroganoff PinThis Vegan Mushroom Stroganoff is rich, creamy and absolutely delicious! The portobello mushrooms and the seitan give it a nice meaty texture while the Vegan Cashew Sour Cream lends the richness. No one will know it’s vegan!

Mushroom Stroganoff has long been one of my favorite guilty pleasures. The rich, brown gravy loaded with hearty mushrooms and poured over a bed of pasta is hard to beat.

That’s why I was so happy when Amelia concocted this recipe after months of me nagging her about it. And let me tell you…it does NOT disappoint! Feed this to your non-vegan friends and they’ll never know! Woohahahaha!!!

Remember to make the Vegan Cashew Sour Cream ahead of time.

Corn Starch Trick

Corn starch has long been a pain in the rear in my cooking. It doesn’t seem to matter how you do it. We even looked online for the best way and everyone said the same thing: slowly add the corn starch to your broth mixture over medium heat and whisk continuously to combine. One said to combine it with cold water first and then slowly add the cold water mixture to the broth. Well, it doesn’t combine, dry or wet. It clumps!

I was really unhappy with the clumping and after 10 minutes of trying to break up the clumps, I threw it in the sink and told Amelia there had to be a better way. Here’s what I figured out and it didn’t clump!

Whisk the corn starch into cold vegetable broth before heating it up. The corn starch completely dissolves in the broth so when you heat it, there are no clumps to bust up.

I’m sure someone has figured this out already, however, it doesn’t appear to be the standard way of doing it, but it works 100 times better.

Vegan Mushroom Stroganoff Instructional Video

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 Polenta with Mushrooms and Lentils

Vegan Polenta PinThis Vegan Polenta with Mushrooms and Lentils recipe is colorful, delicious and filling. The sweetness of the polenta combines nicely with the savory mushrooms and tangy balsamic reduction. It’s a party for your taste buds!

While it tastes great, it’s very low calorie so one serving doesn’t make a meal. It has 7 grams of fiber and 8 grams of protein, but only 104 calories per serving. That means you’ll need to eat two servings, or pair it with something else like Oven Roasted Red Potatoes and a Side Salad.

This recipe makes 12 servings. You can cut the ingredients in half to avoid having too many leftovers.

If you have leftover polenta, it makes a great breakfast topped with some fruit preserves and served with a slice of whole grain toast with cashew butter.

Vegan Polenta with Mushrooms and Lentils Instructional Video

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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