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.

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.

Cauliflower Steak

Cauliflower SteakYaYa’s is one of our favorite places to eat in Denver. They have a vegan cauliflower steak that is absolutely amazing and if you call ahead and tell them you’re vegan, they’ll go out of their way to take care of you.

This cauliflower steak is very hearty and flavorful. We baked it whole until it turned a nice golden brown, but you could also slice it ahead of time and then bake it or grill it. Cooking it whole means all of the flavor is on the edges so if you slice it before cooking, you can spread the seasonings more evenly.

One head of cauliflower makes about 4 steaks, 2 larger and 2 smaller.

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.

Eggplant Fries

Eggplant FriesThese delicious eggplant fries are shaped like fries, but they have the taste and texture of Calamari. If you dip them in marinara sauce or vegan cocktail sauce, you might not know the difference. You can eat them plain, but we ate them with leftover Vegan Ranch Dressing.

Eggplant is a good source of fiber and potassium, as well as Vitamin B6. According to the National Institutes of Health, “Vitamin B6 in coenzyme forms performs a wide variety of functions in the body and is extremely versatile, with involvement in more than 100 enzyme reactions, mostly concerned with protein metabolism.”

We used half the eggplant for these fries and the other half for our Grilled Eggplant Sandwich. We ate the sandwich for lunch and the fries as a side dish with dinner. Nothing goes to waste in our house!

These eggplant fries pair well with our Chickpea Kale Salad Sauté.

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.

Vegan Gluten Free Lasagna (Overnight)

Vegan Gluten Free Lasagna PinSimply amazing, guilt-free vegan gluten free lasagna. This lasagna tastes like the real thing without any meat or cheese. The only difference is you won’t have the typical post-lasagna gut bomb. You’ll want to trick your non-vegan friends with this one.

This is the easy way to make lasagna. By assembling everything in a baking dish and placing it in the refrigerator overnight, you don’t have to boil the lasagna noodles. And that saves a lot of time and hassle.

To make it even easier, use two 26 oz jars of marinara sauce instead of making the sauce from scratch. That saves a TON of time! Sometimes, I let the sauce cook down too much and we run short so I make up the difference with a jar of marinara sauce. It’s also good to heat up some marinara on the stove to ladle over the top of the lasagna when you serve it (as shown in the pictures).

We used rice noodles in this recipe to make it gluten free, but you can use whole-wheat lasagna noodles if you like. It works the same either way.

We also used Beyond Meat Beefy Crumbles as the ground beef substitute. It adds some good flavor and texture without saturated fat. However, it does contain oil, so you can skip it or try using cooked and mashed brown lentils instead. If you skip the cheese and the Beefy Crumbles, this is an oil-free recipe.

We made another version of this recipe called our Easy Vegan Lasagna using lentils and tofu ricotta. It tastes just as good but it’s a lot cheaper (tofu is much less expensive than 2 cups of cashews) and completely oil-free.

Prepare the Vegan Cashew Cream 2 to 4 hours before you’re ready to assemble the lasagna. You’ll use this to make the Cashew Ricotta Cheese.

This vegan gluten free lasagna recipe was inspired by an old family friend, Helen Breitenstein, who passed away back in 1993. She was a tiny Irish woman with a huge personality. She made this lasagna the typical way with conventional meat and cheese, but I’ve veganized it for your ethical eating pleasure. I’ve included her “hints” below the recipe.

Vegan Gluten Free Lasagna

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.

Italian Tomato Mushroom Sauté w/ Fresh Green Beans

Italian Tomato Mushroom Sauté PinThis oil-free Italian Tomato Mushroom Sauté w/ Green Beans is a fast and easy side dish that pairs well with Italian dishes like our Vegan Alfredo Pasta. You can whip it up in a few minutes while your pasta is cooking and it’ll add a lot of extra color and flavor to your meal.

We needed something to go with our Alfredo Pasta so Amelia threw this together one Saturday afternoon with spare parts from the pantry. She’s amazingly talented at making use of spare veggies, and this dish is a delicious example of her creativity.

When Amelia made this recipe the first time, she sautéed it in olive oil, but that was before we thought of oil as a processed food. Now that we know oil is a refined fat like sugar is a refined carb, we no longer cook with it. Instead, we typically sauté in veggie broth or water, and sometimes wine. The key is to cover the pot to trap the moisture, which is commonly referred to as steam frying. It works great and adds additional flavor without the calories and endothelial damaging oil.

This side dish wouldn’t as be good warmed up so we recommend only cooking what you’ll eat with your meal.

Italian Tomato Mushroom Sauté

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.

Vegan Pizza

Vegan PizzaThere’s nothing like a delicious Vegan Pizza on Friday night to kick off your weekend!

We made the pizza sauce from scratch, but you can always buy ready-made pizza sauce to save time. Of course, then you’ll get all the added sugar that comes with it (and everything else they throw in). When you make your own sauce, you’ll know what every ingredient is, and it only takes a few extra minutes to prepare.

This recipe makes enough for 2 to 3 vegan pizzas depending on how much sauce you like on your pizza. You can cut the ingredients in half by reducing the serving size to 8 slices, or you’ll have leftover sauce.

You can get really creative with vegan pizza toppings. You really can’t go wrong. Some other toppings to consider: tempeh bacon, beefy crumbles, peppers, olives, roasted garlic, sliced tomatoes, etc.

The serving size is based on the traditional pie shaped pizza slice, but Amelia, being from Chicago, likes to cut them into squares. You’ll get about 16 pieces when you do it Chicago-style.

You can make your own pizza crust, too, but that takes a lot of extra time. We chose to buy a pre-made whole wheat crust from Whole Foods. You can buy whatever type you like, but it may change the nutritional facts.

Skip the vegan cheese to make it oil free. Use a gluten free crust to make the recipe gluten free.

Enjoy this with a delicious side salad for a little extra leafy green roughage.

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.

Vegan Spaghetti Sauce on Spaghetti Squash

Vegan Spaghetti SauceI used to be a jarred spaghetti sauce guy. I doctored it up to taste better, but it took less time than making my own. However, once I realized how much added sugar is in a regular jar of spaghetti sauce, I decided it was time to make it from scratch. After lots of trial and error, here’s my delicious Vegan Spaghetti Sauce.

We prefer spaghetti squash since it’s much healthier and lower calorie than regular pasta, and it tastes really good. Just be sure to cook it long enough or it’ll be crunchy. It should be al dente but not crunchy.

You can also substitute Tofu Shirataki Spaghetti for real pasta. This looks and tastes like pasta, but it only has 10 calories and 3 grams of carbs per serving. It’s also gluten free and has been eaten for centuries in Asian countries. You can usually find it in the vegan cold foods section near the tofu. It’s in a plastic bag filled with water and noodles.

Enjoy your Vegan Spaghetti Sauce on Spaghetti Squash with a delicious side salad for some extra leafy green roughage.

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.