Easy Vegan Lasagna (Overnight)

Easy Vegan Lasagna Overnight PinThis overnight Easy Vegan Lasagna was inspired by our other overnight Vegan Gluten Free Lasagna recipe, but with a few changes to make things easier and cheaper. However, you can mix and match the main ingredients depending on your taste preferences and the amount of work you want to put into it.

Lentil Ground “Beef”

Let’s start with the “meat” mixture. Our original recipe uses Beyond Meat Beefy Crumbles as the meat substitute. This meat sub is tasty, but it’s not available everywhere and it’s also a processed food with added canola and sunflower oil. If you’re an oil-free eater, this won’t do.

Amelia made us a delicious Vegan Lentil Loaf awhile back, so that gave me the idea to use lentils as the ground beef substitute. And they work great! I cook them in our pressure cooker, but you can also boil them on the stove.

Our pressure cooker instructions say to cook them for 9 minutes, but we’re at high altitude so I cook them for 12 minutes. They need to be slightly overcooked and a little mushy so you can mash them into a ground beef texture. Then I stir fry them without oil or liquid in a large skillet to smash them up more and dry them out a bit to give them more of a ground beef look.

Our pressure cooker instructions also call for 1 tbsp of vegetable oil to keep the lentils from frothing too much and clogging the steam vent, but we never do this and haven’t had any issues. To keep this recipe oil-free, we recommend skipping the oil. You just may need to clean your pressure cooker steam vent more often.

Tofu Ricotta

Now for the Tofu Ricotta. Our original recipe uses Cashew Ricotta made from our Vegan Cashew Cream recipe. While this is less processed than tofu, cashews are also a lot more expensive. You can buy a package of organic tofu for less than $2, but it’ll cost you about $8 to buy enough cashews for this recipe. If you’re soy-free, you can swap the Tofu Ricotta with the Cashew Ricotta.

This recipe has quite a bit of salt so if you have heart disease or high blood pressure, please omit the salt. Salt substitutes are also best to be avoided if you have these health issues or kidney disease.

Tomato Sauce

Now for the sauce. Our original lasagna recipe uses our homemade spaghetti sauce for the lasagna sauce. This sauce is delicious, but it also takes quite a bit of extra ingredients and time to prepare. To keep things cheap and easy, we’re using jarred of spaghetti sauce in this new recipe. We recommend using a fat-free variety like Prego’s Lower Calorie Light Smart Traditional sauce. But you can always make your own sauce from scratch if you want to.

The Easy Vegan Lasagna Part

Finally, we made our original recipe gluten-free by using rice lasagna noodles, but we just used regular wheat noodles for this recipe. We prefer a whole-grain noodle, but those options are limited here in Ecuador. To make it gluten-free, just swap the noodles for your favorite gluten-free variety.

Since this recipe doesn’t use vegan cheese (which is mostly oil), it has more than 100 fewer calories per serving than our original recipe. It’s also oil-free since we’re using lentils instead of the beefy crumbles.

Easy Vegan Lasagna

Like our original recipe, this one is also “overnight” so you don’t have to cook the noodles. It only takes about 15 to 20 minutes of actual work to prepare this Easy Vegan Lasagna, which is nothing compared to a conventional, non-overnight lasagna. It makes 8 servings so you’ll have lots of leftovers (unless you’re feeding the whole family).

It’s also a great option to take to a friend’s house since you prepare it the day before and just pop it in the oven for about an hour before you’re ready to eat.

Enjoy with a simple side salad and some Vegan Garlic Bread. Save some sauce and heat it up on the stove to pour over the lasagna just before you serve it. We didn’t do that this time, but we will the next time we make 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 Mushroom Stir Fry

Broccoli Mushroom Stir Fry PinAmelia whipped up this delicious oil-free Broccoli Mushroom Stir Fry recipe so we could use some shiitake mushrooms we found on sale. Since they’re usually so expensive, we rarely buy them, but we love them oh so much! If you can’t find any that are affordable, you can just use whatever mushrooms you have available.

We used a spicy Chinese red chili sauce to give the recipe a little extra spice. Feel free to use your favorite spicy hot sauce or try different ones.

Based on recommendations from some of our favorite nutrition doctors, we try to avoid oil whenever possible, even olive and coconut oil. While oil does lend a richness to food, its long-term harmful effects to our arteries and the weight gain associated with such a dense source of calories sour the taste a bit.

That’s why most of our stir fry recipes use vegetable broth instead of oil to “steam fry” our veggies. The key is to cover the pot between stirs to trap the moisture so the veggie broth doesn’t evaporate and your veggies don’t dry out.

This is a good one dish recipe, but you can also serve it with some delicious Vegan Miso Soup.

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 Shepards Pie

Vegan Shepards Pie PinFeatured On NutritionStudies.org…

This Vegan Shepards Pie Recipe is a savory and satisfying dish for a special occasion or Sunday dinner. It pairs well with green beans or roasted broccoli.

Timing is important so the lentil mixture and Vegan Mashed Potatoes are finished at about the same time. When you’re ready to bake the Shepards Pie, it works best if all the ingredients are close to the same temperature.

You can also prepare the ingredients ahead of time and refrigerate until you’re ready to bake it. You’ll need to remove the casserole dish from the refrigerator about an hour before you’re ready to bake to let it warm up a little. That makes this a perfect dish to take to a friends house.

For even more flavor, top it with some Vegan Brown Gravy.

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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Coconut Curry Lentil Soup Recipe

Coconut Curry Lentil Soup Recipe PinThis Coconut Curry Lentil Soup recipe is a delicious Indian dish that will fill your kitchen with the savory aroma of curry. We love Indian food, and it’s one of the easier types of cuisines to eat at restaurants since they typically have lots of vegan/vegetarian options.

But if you’re craving some curry, you don’t have to go out to eat. Now you can make your own!

We served it over brown rice to make it a little more filling and to spread out the delicious flavor, but you can eat it plain without the rice to save calories.

If you’re watching your saturated fat intake, you can also skip the coconut milk, but it won’t be as creamy or flavorful. We tried it without, but that seemed to be the missing ingredient.

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 French Fries

Vegan French Fries PinThese Vegan French Fries are made with very little oil, but they taste delicious. We use just enough oil to coat the fries and make the spices stick. This keeps the calories and fat down, but still delivers a tasty french fry.

This recipe was inspired by the french fries we ate on our trip to Ecuador. Several of the restaurants in Cuenca served french fries that were a lot different than those in the US. They were thick-cut, with a little salt and cooked in very little oil. They didn’t have that greasy texture and flavor of American french fries. We absolutely loved them!

You can easily make this a plain french fry recipe, but we like to add some additional flavor with chili powder and smoked paprika. The smoked paprika gives them a BBQ chip flavor that has always been one of my favorites. We’ve also made them with chipotle seasoning, which gives them a real kick.

They’re delicious plain, or you can dip them in some homemade ketchup or your favorite dipping condiment.

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 Garlic Bread

Vegan Garlic Bread PinThis Vegan Garlic Bread recipe doesn’t get much easier. Slice up a baguette, spread some vegan butter on the slices and sprinkle with a little garlic salt and dried parsley. It’s fast, simple and delicious.

If you’re looking for a oil-free option, Dr. John McDougall recommends coating the bread with fat-free Italian salad dressing instead of vegan butter. We haven’t tried it this way, and usually avoid prepackaged salad dressings, but a lot of people swear by it. Here’s a video that shows you how to make it.

You can also use aquafaba in place of vegan butter for a low-fat whole-food alternative. Aquafaba is the juice from your can of chickpeas. Make some Vegan Hummus as an appetizer and save the juice to baste on your bread. We use this technique for grilled sandwiches and our Oil Free Grilled Plantains, too.

For a cheesy flavor, sprinkle with some nutritional yeast before baking.

Vegan Garlic Bread goes well with our Vegan Spaghetti Sauce with Spaghetti Squash, Vegan Tomato Cream Sauce Spaghetti with Kale or as a simple appetizer.

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 Peppers

Vegan Stuffed Peppers PinThese Vegan Stuffed Peppers are amazing! Thanks to the lentils, the look, taste and texture are almost identical to traditional stuffed peppers made with ground beef. I bet you can fool people if you don’t tell them it’s vegan.

Stuffed peppers are loved around the world with slight variations in the recipes. If you come from an area that uses cheese, you can melt some Daiya on top of the peppers or sprinkle with some Nutritional Yeast.

You can also make these with Beefy Crumbles from Beyond Meat instead of using lentils. However, Daiya and Beyond Meat are both processed foods so they’re not as healthy as the whole plant alternatives.

This recipe calls for Grandpa’s Vegan Dipping Hot Sauce and Vegan Cashew Cream so you’ll either need to make these ahead of time or substitute them with a prepackaged alternative.

You can make a meal out of these, but they also pair well with Healthy Butternut Squash, a Side Salad, a slice of Whole Grain Bread, Steamed Broccoli or your other favorite side dishes.

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 Lentils

Easy Lentils PinThis Easy Lentils recipe takes only a couple minutes to prepare, but it’s delicious and a great source of protein. This is a staple in our refrigerator that we use as a side dish or topping for our Boiled Potatoes or Vegan Baked Potato.

Lentils are a member of the legume family, and are a critical source of nutrition for those on a plant-based diet. According to Dr. Greger at NutritionFacts.org, “Lentils have the second-highest antioxidant content (behind black beans) among all tested legumes and offer significant levels of protein, iron, zinc, and folate as well. A diet rich in lentils and other legumes may help reduce cholesterol, hypertension, and the risk of prediabetes, fibrocystic breast disease, and prostate cancer proliferation. Lentils and other legumes may offer significant anti-inflammatory effects as well.”

We used green lentils in this Easy Lentils recipe but you can use other types of lentils. Try the other types to add some variety to your meals. Cooking times vary so pay attention to the cooking instructions on the package. Brown and red lentils only take 20 to 30 minutes to cook while these green lentils take about 45 minutes.

If you’re concerned about your sodium intake, replace the garlic salt with garlic powder and add a little black pepper, lime juice, balsamic vinegar or tabasco sauce.

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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Roasted Squash Seeds

Roasted Squash Seeds PinThis Roasted Squash Seeds recipe is a great use for your pumpkin, acorn, butternut and other squash seeds. We used to throw them out! Now we enjoy them as a healthy snack!

Pumpkin seeds are the best because the seeds are larger and there’s more of them in a regular sized pumpkin. However, you can roast seeds from any type of squash.

Most recipes call for oil, but you don’t need oil to roast these. Just stir in your favorite seasonings while the seeds are still damp and bake them on a Silpat or baking sheet until they’re crunchy.

This is a simple recipe using only garlic salt and chili powder. But we also like them with garlic powder instead of garlic salt, onion powder, turmeric and cayenne pepper. They would be great with chipotle seasoning if you have it.

Check out our Baked Acorn Squash Breakfast or Vegan Tacos with Acorn Squash and Black Beans for a couple delicious squash recipes.

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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