Quick and Easy Vegan Red Lentil Bolognese

Vegan Red Lentil Bolognese PinAfter my first attempt to make a Vegan Red Lentil Bolognese, Amelia improved upon it. While my version (featured in our Vegan What We Eat In A Day video on our VegansAbroad YouTube Channel) was a little easier and a one-pot bolognese, Amelia’s was more flavorful and closer to a conventional bolognese.

Some people recommend cooking the lentils in the same pot as the sauce, but we weren’t happy with how they turned out. We simmered the sauce with the lentils for about 45 minutes and felt like they still could have cooked longer. So in Amelia’s version, we cooked the lentils in a separate pot for about 30 minutes and that worked much better. We’re at high altitude here in Cuenca, Ecuador, so things take longer to cook here. Red lentils at sea level will probably cook in much less time.

We served our bolognese over regular linguine pasta, but it’s better if you use whole wheat pasta. Whole wheat vegan products can be difficult to find here, so sometimes we’re stuck with the regular pasta.

This recipe pairs well with our Easy Garden 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.

Vegans Abroad YouTube Banner

Vegan Apple Pie Stuffed Apples

Vegan Apple Pie Stuffed Apples PinThis Vegan Apple Pie Stuffed Apples recipe is a real treat and the perfect fall dessert. I spotted this dessert on Delish and decided to surprise Amelia and her family with a veganized version of it. I didn’t tell them what I was cooking, but the delicious aroma of the apples baking in the oven kind of gave it away.

By far the hardest part of this recipe is scooping out the apples. I started out using a spoon, but that was taking too long so I switched to a melon baller, which was much easier.

You start by slicing off the top of the apple. I threw the tops away, but next time I make this recipe, I’m going to save the tops and use them instead of the pie dough lattice.

I didn’t feel like the dough added much flavor…it was just for the visual appeal. It was also hard to find a vegan pie crust as most contain lard. Yuck! We had to go to 3 different stores to find the crust and it was the most expensive part of this recipe. I think using the apple tops will taste just as good while reducing the cost and waste.

After slicing off the top, I recommend coring the apples with an apple corer first before scooping them out. You can go all the way through the bottom to make it easier. I tried to core the apples without piercing the bottom, but it was a real pain and I accidently went through two of them, but it didn’t affect the baking. When you set them in the baking dish, the apple and juices form a seal as they bake preventing the yummy deliciousness from draining out the bottom.

While this dessert is perfect for your fresh, fall apples, you can serve it year-round. There’s absolutely no reason you can’t enjoy this delicious and healthy (sans pie crust) dessert whenever you want to!

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.

Vegans Abroad YouTube Banner

Vegan Zucchini Bread

Vegan Zucchini Bread PinAmelia loves making dessert breads and I love eating them! And this Vegan Zucchini Bread is not exception!

We don’t make breads like this or our delicious Vegan Pumpkin Bread very often because we tend to eat them too quickly. But it’s a nice treat once in awhile, especially when we score some fresh organic zucchini.

Be sure to drain off as much moisture as you can from the zucchini. You can always add extra moisture with almond milk, but you don’t want the batter to be too runny.

This bread makes a nice dessert, but you can also eat it for breakfast with a little fruit or vegan yogurt.

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.
Vegans Abroad YouTube Banner

Healthy Cooked Apples

Healthy Cooked Apples PinThese Healthy Cooked Apples make a great dessert, side dish, snack, or topping for your Vegan Pancakes, Vegan Chia Seed Pancakes or Rolled Oats Breakfast. They’re sweet, decadent and delicious!

Amelia has been pestering me to eat more apples, but I’ve never been a fan of raw apples. The texture doesn’t appeal to me for some reason. But apples cooked up in a pie is a different story altogether. I love apple pie!

So I came up with an idea that makes eating apples my way healthy. That makes Amelia happy with me for eating more apples, and it makes me happy by preparing them in a way that tastes delicious! It’s a win-win!

These apples only have a couple of ingredients, no added sugar and no fat. It’s important to use Granny Smith apples to bring some tartness or they can be too sweet. Leave the peel for the extra fiber. It softens when cooked.

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.

Vegans Abroad YouTube Banner

Raw Rolled Oats Breakfast

Raw Rolled Oats Breakfast Port PinAmelia got this Raw Rolled Oats Breakfast idea from her Plant-Based Certification program. We never thought to eat uncooked rolled oats before, but they’re absolutely delicious! They’re also very filling and last both of us all the way to lunch.

Think of this Raw Rolled Oats Breakfast as a hearty cereal. You wouldn’t cook cornflakes or bran flakes before eating them, and you don’t need to cook your rolled oats, either. We don’t recommend steel cut oats, though. They’re a little too tough to eat uncooked unless you soak them overnight using a recipe like our Vegan Overnight Oats.

We had blueberries, strawberries and bananas on hand, so we used those, but you could also use mango, papaya, raspberries, blackberries, dragon fruit, peaches, apples or your favorite fruit.

Dried fruit like cranberries or raisins are also good additions, especially if you’re out of fresh or frozen fruit. Some chopped almonds, pecans, walnuts or hazelnuts would also taste great. And we also like to add maca powder, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds when we have them.

We use stevia to sweeten our oats because we don’t have a lot of healthy sweetener options here in Ecuador. Applesauce is a rare find. Maple syrup must be imported from Canada so it’s about 4 times as expensive here as it is in the states. Blackstrap molasses is unheard of here. So is U-Sweet. Sometimes we use agave syrup, but it tends to be bitter here, so we’ve started using stevia. We encourage you to use the smallest amount of the healthiest sweetener you can find, or skip it entirely.

We added both ground flax seeds and unground chia seeds. They’re both good plant sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which are really important for vegans to consume since we don’t eat mercury and chemical laden fish. Greger recommends 1 tablespoon of ground flax seeds per day as part of his daily dozen, so you’ll get the whole amount in this one meal.

It’s important to grind the flax seeds or they’ll pass right through you without the nutrients being absorbed. Greger recommends grinding the chia seeds, too. Some studies suggest your body will better absorb the omega-3’s contained within chia seeds if they’re ground. Sometimes we grind them. Sometimes we don’t. You can just add both seeds to your coffee grinder and grind them up together if you want to.

We’ve also started adding amla powder to our oats in attempt to lower my cholesterol. You can read about my ongoing battle in “Can Vegans Get Heart Disease?” Amla powder is Indian gooseberry extract that has been used for thousands of years in India to treat all sorts of ailments. More recently, it has been shown to perform as well as two leading statin drugs at lowering cholesterol so we decided to give it a try. It’s too early to determine if it’s helping, but we’ll keep you posted.

Raw Rolled Oats Breakfast

If you don’t have any non-dairy milk on hand, you can use water or juice. We got this trick from Dr. Esselstyn’s book, “Prevent & Reverse Heart Disease.” Ecuador hasn’t caught up to the states in the non-dairy milk category, so it’s not widely available. When we’ve travelled here, the hotels and B&B’s often have oats, but no non-dairy milk. They do have the most amazing fresh squeezed juice, though. I especially like fresh squeezed naranja, papaya and mango juice in my oats. Yum!

Despite the sheer volume of food contained in one bowl of this Raw Rolled Oats Breakfast, we sometimes still feel hungry after eating it. A glass of water takes care of that, causing all of the oats and seeds to expand in our stomachs, and makes this hearty breakfast last several hours without the need for snacking.

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and it should be the most filling while containing low glycemic foods that slowly release their glucose over several hours. That will keep your hunger at bay and prevent you from snacking before the next meal.

If you haven’t read it yet, we highly recommend reading “Breaking the Food Seduction” by Dr. Neal Barnard. He goes into great detail about the benefits of eating oats for breakfast in terms of weight loss and overall health.

Raw Rolled Oats Breakfast Cooking Video

Subscribe to our YouTube Channel for more cooking videos…

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.

Vegans Abroad YouTube Banner

Vegan Creamed Spinach

Vegan Creamed Spinach PinThis Vegan Creamed Spinach is easy to prepare and absolutely delicious. A great side-dish on its own or a tasty base for your Vegan Sardou.

Spinach is loaded with iron and other healthy nutrients, but it can get tiresome eating it raw all the time. This is a nice alternative that’ll help you add more greens to your daily routine.

This recipe makes about 2 servings and doesn’t reheat well so you’ll want to finish it in one sitting. If you’re cooking for one, just cut the ingredients in half or double them if you’re cooking for four.

Vegan Creamed Spinach 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.

Vegans Abroad YouTube Banner

Pumpkin Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Pumpkin Oatmeal Chocolate Chip CookiesThese delicious Pumpkin Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies are moist and delicious. It’s impossible to eat just one. They disappear in handfuls.

If you’re like me and you love pumpkin, these really hit the spot. While pumpkin is traditionally a fall/holiday ingredient, there’s nothing stopping you from eating pumpkin all year long.

Amelia is the baker in the house, so I beg and plead with her to make delicious pumpkin recipes all the time. I’m sure she’s sick of pumpkin by now, but I’ve loved it all my life and don’t need an excuse to eat it.

A perfect day for me is capped off with a couple of these amazing Pumpkin Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies.

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.

Vegans Abroad YouTube Banner

Cranberry Oatmeal with Green Apples

Cranberry OatmealThis Cranberry Oatmeal with Green Apples recipe is both sweet and tart. With 7 grams of fiber and 4 grams of protein but only 215 calories, it’s also a filling and nutritious breakfast.

We like to use green Granny Smith apples in sweet recipes to add some tartness. If you have a sensitive palette or don’t like your breakfast dishes to be tart, try using regular red Gala apples and let us know how it turns out.

Don’t use instant oats for this, or really any recipe. All of the nutrients have been processed out, which is why they cook so quickly. Steel cut oats are the best. They’re chewier and more filling. Regular rolled oats are the next best, but they don’t stick to your ribs for nearly as long.

Amelia doesn’t have a sweet tooth like I do so she left out the brown sugar. It was way too tart for me (and probably the rest of humanity) so I added a tablespoon of brown sugar to mine. That sweetened it up just enough to balance the tartness.

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.

Vegans Abroad YouTube Banner

Steel Cut Oats Recipe

Steel Cut Oats Recipe PinThis Steel Cut Oats Recipe is a staple breakfast for us. It’s filling and easy to prepare, with lots of healthy nutrients. While they’re almost nutritionally equal, steel cut oats fill us up more than Cooked Rolled Oats and seem to stick with us longer.

Chia Seeds and Flax Seeds are considered by many to be super-foods because of their nutritional density. They have lots of fiber and protein, and they’re also a great source of omega-3s, which are important for us plant-based eaters to get since we don’t eat fish.

The peanut butter thickens up the oats and adds more protein while the fats slow the absorption of the carbs helping to control blood sugar spikes, which can lead to hunger once your blood sugar crashes a few hours later. With the spices and fruit, this makes a delicious and nutritious breakfast.

If you have a sweet tooth, you can add more sweetener. We used stevia because that’s easy to find here in Ecuador while other natural sweeteners are either hard to find or very expensive. Feel free to use your favorite sweetener, or skip it entirely.

Steel Cut Oats RecipeWe suggest consuming some calcium fortified non-dairy milk every day to help ensure you’re getting enough calcium in your diet, especially if you’re a vegan. Some studies show that vegans who consume less than 525 mg of calcium per day suffer increased fracture rates compared to non-vegans and vegans who consume more than 525 mg of calcium per day.

For most brands, 8 ounces (1 cup) of calcium fortified non-dairy milk contains more than 400 mg of calcium so that puts you almost there for the day. You can easily make up the rest of your calcium needs with whole plant foods like kale, broccoli, brussels sprouts, beans, potatoes, etc. All plants have some calcium, but not all is easily absorbable so you just need to eat more of them to get your calcium needs met if you don’t want to drink fortified non-dairy milk.

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.

Vegans Abroad YouTube Banner