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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Easy Vegan Asian Stir Fry [Oil-Free]

Easy Vegan Asian Stir Fry PinThis Easy Vegan Asian Stir Fry that’s oil-free is one of our staple recipes. We eat this one usually once and sometimes twice per week. We typically serve it over healthy brown rice, but sometimes we eat it plain or over some boiled yellow potatoes.

We almost always have the main ingredients on-hand: broccoli, cauliflower, peppers, mushrooms, onions, red cabbage and garlic. But feel free to use whatever you have on-hand or need to use before it goes bad, like green peas, snap-peas, carrots, sprouts, spinach, etc. Be creative!

This recipe has lots of protein, fiber, iron and enough vitamin C for 3 days RDV. With the soy sauce and salt, it’s a little high in sodium, so feel free to skip the salt and/or use low sodium soy sauce.

Like most of our recipes nowadays, we don’t use any oil in this steam fry. Without the rice, this recipe only has 155 calories, but add 1 tbsp of olive oil and you nearly double that. There’s simply no need to add all those extra calories from a liquid that’s 100% processed refined fat. Besides, lots of evidence suggests oil is “The Vegan Killer.”

Instead, we sauté using our homemade Easy Vegetable Broth from Scraps. It doesn’t add many calories, but it does add a lot of delicious flavor.

Since this recipe is so low in calories, but high in nutrient density, it’s a great weight loss recipe. Skip the brown rice and eat it plain to reduce the calories even more.

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 Black Eyed Peas

Vegan Black Eyed Peas PinThis Vegan Black Eyed Peas recipe is one of my favorite dishes, even though I didn’t like black eyed peas before switching to a plant-based diet. Along with cucumbers, beets and onions, they’ve joined the growing list of foods that I didn’t like before, but love now.

Black eyed peas are loaded with protein, fiber and iron. One serving (about 1 cup) has 18 grams of protein, 10 grams of fiber and 42% RDV of Iron with only 263 calories. That means this recipe is not only nutrient dense and filling, but it’s also relatively low calorie. That makes it a great weight loss recipe, too!

Black eyed peas are a staple in southern cooking. My mom’s side of the family comes from a small Missouri (pronounced Missour-a in my family) town so we know southern cookin’.

When I was a kid, mom always made black eyed peas on New Years day. It’s an old southern tradition that’s said to bring good luck throughout the year. Even though I hated black eyed peas back then, she still made me eat a spoonful…just in case.

Well, now I love them and Amelia is kind enough to make them for me on the regular. We normally eat them with a salad, but they would also pair well with another southern favorite, our Vegan Cornbread.

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 Quinoa

Cauliflower Quinoa PinThis Cauliflower Quinoa recipe is a real palate pleaser. It’s savory and delicious, with lots of protein and other nutrients, but without many calories. One cup is only about 183 calories. That makes it a great weight loss recipe.

Due to its high protein content and nutritional value, quinoa has risen in popularity over the last few years, which has also led to an increase in its price. Quinoa can be quite expensive now, but Whole Foods has a Super Grains blend that’s much less expensive. Feel free to substitute that for pure quinoa.

This is a great one dish meal for lunch, or paired with a soup or side salad if you have a bigger appetite.

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 Potato Soup

Cauliflower Potato Soup PinWe created this delicious Cauliflower Potato Soup with a beautiful head of cauliflower we got at the market. It looked so pretty we hated to cut it up!

We spent most of New Year’s Day 2018 in the kitchen experimenting with new recipes and this was one of them. We also made Ginger Vinaigrette Beets, a Spinach Salad and a failed attempt at Sweet Potato Pie.

Cauliflower is a cruciferous vegetable in the same family as broccoli and Brussel Sprouts. That means it’s one of the best vegetables you can eat. And with only 156 calories, this filling soup is also great for your weight loss goals.

It pairs well with a Hearty Side Salad or Spinach 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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Spinach Salad

Spinach Salad PinThis Spinach Salad is one of our mainstays. With only 48 calories per serving, it’s a low calorie delicious nutritious powerhouse side salad!

Spinach is a good source of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, iron, calcium and folate. It may also help prevent cancer and heart disease, making it one of the most important dark leafy greens you can eat. We try to eat it several times per week, if not every day.

Making a delicious salad like this takes time. That’s why we make enough for 6 servings, eat 2 servings and store the other 4 servings for up to 3 days in a sealable container in the fridge.

We do this with all of our salads to save time. Just be sure to add the vinegar or other liquid toppings when you serve the salad to prevent it from becoming soggy.

We use this recipe as a simple side salad, but we also like to jazz it up with some garbanzo beans, walnuts, pecans, sesame seeds, diced avocado, shaved carrots, celery, dried cranberries or whatever else we have on hand. These ingredients add a lot of extra calories and protein, making them ideal for turning this side salad into a main course.

This salad pairs well with some Broccoli Soup or Celery and Potato Soup for a healthy, low calorie, filling lunch.

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 Chili

Soy Free Vegan ChiliA hot bowl of vegan chili on a cold day is the best way to warm your bones. This vegan chili is a traditional tomato chili with “meat” and beans. The taste and texture of the Beyond Meat Beefy Crumbles is just like ground beef, so you won’t be able to tell any difference.

We used fire-roasted chopped tomatoes for a little extra flavor in our vegan chili. However, you can use regular chopped tomatoes or you can even cut up some fresh tomatoes.

If you’re in a hurry, you can buy a chili seasoning packet, but making your own chili tastes so much better.

It’s a challenge finding vegan crackers, but if you can locate some, they’ll go well crumbled up in the bowl.

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 White Bean Chili

Vegan White Bean ChiliMy mom made this vegan white bean chili for Amelia and me when we went to visit. After a long drive from Denver to Kansas City, it was nice to have a hot vegan meal waiting for us. And it was delicious, too! It was even better as leftovers!

Mom slow cooked this in her crockpot for 10 hours, but you could just as easily cook this on the stove for an hour if you’re in a hurry.

With 151 calories, 6g protein and 5g of fiber, you can’t go wrong with this delicious vegan white bean chili.

Check out our more traditional Vegan Chili for a “meatier” tomato based version.

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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JP’s Italian Salad Dressing

Italian Salad Dressing Pin After realizing the store bought salad dressings are loaded with added sugar and oil, I decided to invent my own Italian salad dressing without sugar or oil. As you can see from the picture, I still use the old glass container that I’ve always used, just without the accompanying packet of mystery ingredients.

When I was a kid, I didn’t like salads. At least not the ones my mom made. But when we went to Villa Capri in Overland Park, KS, I loved their salads. The difference was their house-made Italian salad dressing, which my parents eventually bought so I would eat salads at home.

It wasn’t until just a few years ago that I realized why I liked their salad dressing so much…enough to get me to eat salad as a kid. Their Italian salad dressing has two ingredients that make all the difference: red wine vinegar and crushed fennel seeds. I think these two ingredients are what makes my dressing almost as good.

Like most Italian salad dressings, Villa Capri’s has a lot of oil, but I’ve omitted it. To be honest, I like it better without the oil. It doesn’t leave that oily, filmy residue in my mouth and I can taste the seasoning’s much better. Plus, skipping the oil took this recipe from 90 calories per serving all the way down to 5 CALORIES PER SERVING!

You don’t need the bottle to make your own seasoning. Just mix the ingredients in any sealable container, shake well and serve. The crushed fennel seeds and red wine vinegar give it an extra Italian-y taste and licorice aroma. Let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes before serving to allow the seasonings to absorb the liquid.

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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