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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Vegan German Potato Salad

Vegan German Potato Salad PinThis Vegan German Potato Salad recipe tastes a lot like the potato salad my German grandmother made when I was a kid. It’s very vinegary and flavorful.

Traditional German Potato Salad is made with bacon so we simply omitted that and didn’t notice its absence. However, you may be able to simulate that flavor by adding some liquid smoke into the dressing. Bacon gets most of its flavor from the liquid smoke it’s bathed in, so adding a little of it to this recipe might do the trick.

Or you could use some bacon bits, which are vegan because they aren’t made of bacon. They’re not healthy, either, but they do taste like bacon. If you try either of these options, please let us know what you think.

Amelia liked the crunch of the raw celery and green onion, but I would prefer it slightly sautéed so there’s not as much difference in texture between the raw veggies and the cooked soft potatoes. It’s a weird texture thing for me to bite into a soft potato and then hit a crunchy piece of celery. If you’re like me, you might want to sauté the celery and onion in a little veggie broth to soften them up.

This recipe pairs well with any vegan burger, corn-on-the-cob, green beans or your favorite vegan 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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Vegan Butternut Squash Soup

Vegan Butternut Squash Soup PinThis Vegan Butternut Squash Soup recipe is perfect for cold fall days. It’s has a nice savory/sweet flavor and it’s easy to make. A bowl of this hot soup will warm you right up!

Living in Ecuador, we have a very limited selection of squash so when we return to the states for a visit with the family, we load up on butternut, acorn and spaghetti squash when we go to the store.

We were going to make our Healthy Butternut Squash recipe, but Amelia’s mom spotted a butternut squash soup recipe in a magazine and suggested we use the squash we bought for that, instead. It was a great idea because this soup was delicious! The unseasonably cold fall weather here in Atlanta made it even better!

We paired this soup with a large Easy Garden Salad and a bowl of fruit for dessert. It was a flavorful, filling and nutritious 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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Date Walnut Vinaigrette Salad Dressing (Oil Free)

Date Walnut Vinaigrette PinThis oil-free Date Walnut Vinaigrette Salad Dressing recipe is rich and delicious! Most vinaigrettes have oil, but since we’re oil-free plant-based eaters, we used walnuts as the (truly) healthy fat. The dates give it a little sweetness and the balsamic gives it a little tanginess.

Many of the phytonutrients in dark leafy greens and other vegetables are fat soluble, which means you need some healthy fats in your digestive tract at the same time as the veggies to allow your body to extract the most nutrients.

A lot of people still think oil is a healthy fat, but it comes with a lot of extra baggage and lacks all the fiber and many of the beneficial nutrients that come in the whole-food form. Oil is essentially a refined fat that may have some healthy ingredients, but it’s packaged along with several unhealthy ones. It’s far healthier to get your healthy fats from whole foods like nuts, seeds and avocados instead of processed foods like oil.

Date Walnut Vinaigrette

Using 3/4 cup of water in this recipe yields a pretty creamy salad dressing. You can make it even thicker by cutting back to 1/2 cup water, or you can thin it out by using a full cup. It really depends on your own personal preferences.

You can put this delicious Date Walnut Vinaigrette dressing on most of your favorite salads, including our Easy Garden Salad, Spinach Salad or Hearty Side 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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Vegan Curry Vegetables

Vegan Curry Vegetables PinThis Vegan Curry Vegetables recipe was inspired by a recipe in “Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease” by Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn. After I found out my cholesterol was still high after eating a plant-based diet for more than 2 years, I realized vegans can still get heart disease. Dr. Esselstyn’s book had a lot of great advice backed by legitimate research, as well as lots of delicious sounding recipes.

Amelia put me in charge of this one since I found it. I made it the first time following the recipe in the book pretty much exactly, but I thought it lacked some depth of flavor so I modified it the second time around.

Most of Dr. Esselstyn’s study patients were suffering from severe heart disease, so most of the recipes in the book don’t use any salt. Amelia and I both have low blood pressure, so we’re not afraid to use a little salt in our recipes. You can skip the salt if that’s a concern for you.

In addition to salt, I added black pepper and tomato sauce. We eat at an Indian restaurant here in Cuenca, Ecuador called Namaste India and they use tomato in a lot of their curry dishes. It gives it a rich, tangy flavor that we really like.

The jarred tomato sauce we get here in Ecuador is very thick. It’s closer in consistency to tomato paste so you may need to adjust the amount of tomato sauce depending on how thick it is and your taste preference.

We used broccoli and cauliflower in our recipe, but it would be great with some yellow potatoes, too. Some fresh spinach would also be great either blended up in the sauce or added to the skillet during cooking.

This is a great one-dish recipe, but you could also eat it with some naan bread or a side 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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Spicy Avocado Sauce

Spicy Avocado Sauce PinWe made this Spicy Avocado Sauce to go with our Cauliflower Tacos w/ Lentils recipe and it was delicious! It’s so rich and creamy. And the jalapeño gives it a little kick, although this is optional if you don’t like spicy things.

This recipe is also great as a dip, sandwich spread or salad dressing. It almost has a ranch dressing flavor. Several important phytonutrients in salads are fat soluble, which means they need to be consumed with a healthy source of fat like nuts, seeds and/or avocados in order for our bodies to effectively extract all the nutrients.

Avocados have been shown to contain a lot of fiber and many beneficial phytonutrients of their own, and the fat found in avocados also helps our bodies get the most bang for our salad buck.

It doesn’t take much fat for our bodies to harness the power of fat soluble veggies, though. You only need about 1/4 of an avocado in your salad OR five walnut halves to get the benefit from the greens, so don’t load up your salad with a lot of nuts, seeds and avocado or the calories and fat will skyrocket. A little is good for you, but a lot is bad for you.

We like our foods spicier than most, and Amelia likes them spicier than me! If you have a bland palette, feel free to skip the jalapeño.

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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Brown Rice Milk Recipe

Brown Rice Milk PinThis Brown Rice Milk Recipe is a quick and easy, money-saving alternative to store-bought non-dairy milk. It takes just a few cents of cooked brown rice, some water, and optionally your choice of sweetener. We also like to add a little vanilla to ours.

We really like making our own creamy brown rice milk because it saves us quite a bit of money, but it also saves a lot of packaging that either goes in the trash or must be recycled. And it doesn’t have any preservatives or other mystery ingredients.

You can make a quart (4 cups) of brown rice milk for about 50 cents. Compare that to more than $4 for your typical store-bought non-dairy milk and the savings can really add up over time.

We use agave as our sweetener, but you can use your sweetener of choice. Maple syrup, stevia or U-Sweet would also work.

Our friend Rosy from Fratello Vegan likes to add cardamon to her’s and she says her three beautiful daughters love it.

You may want to use more or less water to get your preferred level of creaminess. One cup rice to three cups water gives it a pretty creamy texture.

The key to getting it creamy is to blend it in a mixer for at least 3 minutes. There will still be some settling as it sits in the fridge, but you can shake or stir it to mix it back up. We’re not big milk drinkers so you may prefer the store-bought milks if you want to swig a big glass with your chocolate chip cookies, but this works great for cooking (it thickens as you simmer it) and in cereals like our Rolled Oats Breakfast or Vegan Muesli.

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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Oil Free Grilled Plantains

Oil Free Grilled Plantains PinThis Oil Free Grilled Plantains recipe is exceptionally delicious! Unlike most fried plantains, these are much lower fat due to a little trick Amelia thought up.

We bought some plantains and I was standing there staring at them while Amelia was making some hummus. I was complaining to her that without oil, it’s hard to get the browned look that we take for granted when cooking with oil, especially with traditionally fried items like plantains.

She had reserved the aquafaba from the chickpeas (aquafaba is chickpea juice) and suggested I use that as a browning agent. It was a eureka moment!

So I took 1/4 cup of the aquafaba and put it in a bowl. Then I added some brown sugar, fresh squeezed orange juice, a little water and a little cilantro to the bowl and stirred it up. Then I added the sliced plantains to the bowl and stirred to coat them. When I put it on our electric griddle, it browned just like it had oil on it. It was even crispier than I expected.

Plantains have a lot of calories: over 200 for one plantain. That’s twice the calories of a large banana. So with the added sugar, this isn’t a very low calorie treat, but it is pretty healthy otherwise. If you’re a sugar-phobe, you can try it without the brown sugar or replace it with another type of sweetener. However, the brown sugar did caramelize on the griddle, helping to brown the plantains and seal in the flavors.

Remember, brown sugar in the States is only vegan if it says it on the package, or if it’s organic. Otherwise, it could have a variety of animal derived products in it.

This Oil Free Grilled Plantains recipe works well as a snack (it’s very filling) or as a dessert with some vegan ice cream. You can also use it as a sweet and savory side dish. Yum!!!

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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Ginger Vinaigrette Beets

Ginger Vinaigrette Beets PinWe finally bought a pressure cooker! And this delicious Ginger Vinaigrette Beets recipe was our first creation!

Pressure cookers are great way to reduce the time it takes to cook beans and dense vegetables. Since we eat lots of both, we decided to break down and fork over the dough to buy one. So far, so good.

This recipe was in the manual that came with our Presto pressure cooker (we couldn’t find an Instapot) and it didn’t disappoint. Although, we love beets in just about any form, so we may be a little biased.

The original recipe called for 1/4 cup of sugar. Yikes! We rarely add sugar to recipes, but we decided to add 1 tbsp just in case the vinaigrette was too sour. Personally, I think it would taste fine without any added sugar since the beets are already very sweet. Depending on your taste preferences, you may want more sugar because it is pretty tangy.

These Ginger Vinaigrette Beets would go well diced on your Hearty Side Salad or your Spinach Salad, or as a standalone side dish with your Broccoli Mushroom Stir Fry or Baked Tempeh and Broccoli.

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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Cooked Rolled Oats

Cooked Rolled Oats PinThis Cooked Rolled Oats recipe is a traditional favorite and a hearty breakfast that’s sure to keep you satisfied until lunch. Enjoy topped with your favorite fruit and/or berries.

We like our oats and eat them a lot. We especially like them raw in our Rolled Oats Breakfast, but on a cold winter morning, these Cooked Rolled Oats are hot and satisfying.

Whole grains like oats have gotten a bad reputation from the low carb communities, which may be contributing to the leading cause of death among those who eat very little them: heart disease.

Whole grains, especially oats, have been shown in numerous clinical trials to reduce heart disease, prevent strokes and help with weight control. In fact, eating 3 servings of whole grains per day may be just as effective at treating hypertension as taking prescribed medications.

If you’re still a believer in the low carb fad diets, it may be time to revisit your preconceptions to minimize your risk of preventable disease.

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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