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.

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Chunky Tomato Sauce w/ Vegetables Over Pasta

Chunky Tomato Sauce w/ Vegetables PinThis Chunky Tomato Sauce w/ Vegetables is an Amelia special. She threw a bunch of vegetables we had on-hand in a skillet and sautéed them with a little vegetable broth. Then we served them over some whole grain pasta. Delicious and easy!

We used 2 pounds of fresh tomatoes (6 medium sized) that we got at the mercado for the “chunky tomato sauce” part. I cored them and cut X’s on the bottom, then brought them to a boil and let them simmer for about 5 minutes. Then I drained them, added cold water to the pot and let them sit for a few minutes to cool. This makes the peels come right off. Then I chopped them up and handed them off to Amelia.

You can also used canned diced tomatoes to save time and effort, but we really like using fresh ingredients and it only takes an extra 10 to 15 minutes.

We used whole wheat spaghetti for our recipe, but you can use your favorite pasta, including gluten free if that’s your thing. Just try to use a whole grain variety.

This is a great one-dish meal or would pair well with a side salad and some fruit for dessert.

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 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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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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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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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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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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Thai Style Sweet and Spicy Sauce

Thai Style Sweet and Spicy Sauce PinAmelia was making some Jackfruit Crab Cakes and I asked what we were going to use for a dipping sauce since tarter sauce and most crabcake sauces have dairy and/or eggs. In her typical creativeness, she whipped up some of this Thai Style Sweet and Spicy Sauce, and it was great!

This Thai Style Sweet and Spicy Sauce recipe is the perfect sauce for dipping or to add more flavor to your rice, noodle and potato dishes. The combination of sweet and spicy makes for some mouthwatering goodness.

It was very tasty with our Jackfruit Crab Cakes, but we also liked it with our Oven Fried Okra and I love it over plain rice. It’s a great sauce to have on-hand for when you need to jazz up a 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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Vegan Avocado Toast

Vegan Avocado Toast PinThis Vegan Avocado Toast recipe is fast, simple, savory and satisfying! I never had avocado toast before making this, but everyone seems to love it, and now I know why!

Some people thinly slice their avocado and lay the slices on their toast topped with seasonings, but I smashed it up and mixed in some lime juice and seasonings to give it more flavor. The guacamole texture makes it easier to spread on your toast, too. And I topped it with a little red pepper flakes to give it some spice!

If you’re an avocado lover, you’re no doubt familiar with the avocado’s temperamentality. It can go from green to overripe in about 5 minutes. And once you cut it open, it turns dark quickly. However, you can preserve it longer by submerging the unused portion in water. We seal ours in a container and put it in the fridge.

Vegan Avocado Toast

The best way to peel an avocado is to use the knick and peel method. Cut the avocado in half and remove the seed. Then cut the halves in half again making 4 quarters. At the small, pointy end of the avocado, knick the peel and pull it off. This ensures that you get all the dark green goodness closest to the skin. That’s where most of the critical phytonutrients live.

We ate ours with a cup of fruit: bananas, strawberries and blueberries. What an amazing breakfast!

Vegan Avocado Toast Cooking Video

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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 Fajitas (Oil-Free)

Vegan Fajitas PinThese Vegan Fajitas with roasted portobello mushrooms and sautéed onions and peppers is absolutely delicious, and very nutritious!

Three corn tortillas topped with all the fixin’s has 450 calories, 11 grams of fiber and 17 grams of protein. Add to that: 70% RDA of Vitamin A, 315% Vitamin C, 76% Calcium and 24% Iron. And this doesn’t include the optional avocado, brown rice or refried beans!

Looking at these stats for one vegan dish, it’s hard to understand how the protein and calcium deficiency myths gained traction and continue to be two of the most common questions vegans get asked.

We used corn tortillas in our recipe because they’re made with only corn and water. They contain no refined flour or oil. Most flour tortillas we’ve found here in Ecuador have either oil or lard, and we haven’t found any whole wheat tortillas, so we opted for the healthier non-GMO corn tortillas. If you can find oil and lard free whole wheat flour tortillas, feel free to use those instead of corn.

Vegan Fajitas

We like using my Grandpa’s Vegan Dipping Hot Sauce on our vegan fajitas, but you can use your favorite salsa. Just be sure to get a salsa without oil or a lot of added sugar, as most store-bought brands contain one or both.

The avocado, brown rice and Refried Beans are optional since this is already a filling and high calorie meal without them. However, they make great companions for these Vegan Fajitas! These are also fantastic topped with a little Vegan Cashew Sour Cream!

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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