About vegansnackums

I like to stick to a plant-strong diet and love to share what I've learned about nutrition, health and fitness. I plan on passing along any information I find online that pertains to recent scientific studies and findings in the health arena, including holistic and alternative medicine. I believe food can be medicine, and eating healthy doesn't have to be bland and boring. I will also share some yummy recipes I've created or found on other websites, and some tips and tricks I've learned on my journey to total health. Enjoy!

Healty, Quick and Easy Food Prep

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Healthy eating doesn’t have to be complicated. Just open a bpa-free can of beans, drain and rinse and put in a to-go container. Pour sauce of choice over it (I chose one of Kroger’s private selection simmer sauces), then spoon it over cooked brown rice and heat it up at work.

I  also baked some whole okra in the oven at 425 degrees F for around 10 minutes with some Mrs. Dash table seasoning blend on it. There’s also microwaving frozen veggies in the bag if you’re in a hurry, then topping with bragg’s liquid aminos and toasted sesame seeds. So good!

It’s easy to have batches of beans, rice and veggies on hand so you can create whatever kind of healthy meals you feel like at the moment. And remember, you don’t have to pair beans and rice in the same meal anymore, just in the same day. I just happen to like them together 😉

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Easy vegan lentil loaf with cauliflower mash and mushroom gravy

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I love comfort food when it’s cold out, so I decided to try my first vegan lentil loaf. I read a couple of recipes online but they all seemed far too involved, so I kept it simple.

Ingredients:

Equal parts cooked GF brown rice (according to package) and cooked lentils of your choice, I chose canned brown ones and I think I did one full can and around half a cup of brown rice at the most.

Button or portobello mushrooms washed and sliced, one quart is plenty

Ketchup, garlic powder, pink salt, and pepper to taste

Onions and garlic if desired

One bag of riced cauliflower

3-4 medium to large sized red or new potatoes, peeled and rinsed

Veggie broth and plant milk

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Cut the potatoes small and thin to cook quicker (I like quick recipes) and put them in a pot of water then turn on and bring to a boil. I used a measuring cup to scoop off the excess starch from the top as it boiled and stirred frequently.

Next, I combined the rice and lentils in a bowl with a squirt of ketchup, a little garlic powder, pink salt and pepper (feel free to add whatever herbs/spices you like with meatloaf here).

Use non-cook spray in a small, square, ceramic or glass container and lightly press the mixture in until all even and flattened, then squirt more ketchup on top and spread around or leave in a design if you like.

Place the lentil loaf in the oven for around 20 minutes or until the top looks a little more done. (Everything is already cooked, so this is just to heat it up and get everything to stick together into a loaf form).

Microwave the bag of riced cauliflower according to instructions then set aside.

In a large mixing bowl add about 1/4 cup of veggie broth, a splash of unsweetened plant milk like almond, pink salt, black pepper, and garlic powder to taste. (I also added Mrs. Dash table seasoning because I’m currently obsessed with it).

Drain the potatoes and then add them and the cauliflower to the mixing bowl. Mash with a potato masher and set aside.

Saute mushrooms in veggie broth until the water is released and they’re significantly smaller and cooked, and the last 5 or so minutes add onions if you like, then the last minute or two the minced garlic if you want, so it doesn’t burn. Salt and pepper to taste.

Putting it all together is the easy part! You know what to do; cut the lentil loaf and plate it, plate a big scoop of the mash then ladle over some gravy and there you have it! A comforting, warm, winter meal that is filling, good for you – and vegan! I ate mine for lunch at work with hericot verts (green beans) dipped in sriracha, and a bagged mixture I sauteed of broccoli, snap peas and broccoli slaw. So good.

Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

Fall Meal Ideas

I love all things Fall. When the leaves start to change and I feel a slight chill in the air, I know it’s soon time for fuzzy sweaters, knee-high boots and delicious Fall meals.

I decided to try something new, and roast some new veggies I haven’t tried yet. I bought a parsnip and purple carrots, both new flavors for me, and I really enjoyed them. I also roasted some onions at the last 5 mins of cooking, on the same foil-lined baking sheet.

voila

Here’s how I made this delicious roasted veggie and quinoa salad with chickpeas:

First you’ll need:

A good-quality cutting board you only cut veggies/fruits on

A good-quality knife to make things easier

A foil-lined baking sheet or tray (or you could spray it if you don’t mind the clean up)

Ingredients:

2 large, organic regular carrots, peeled

1-2 large, organic purple carrots, peeled

1 parsnip bulb, peeled and then top and bottom trimmed so only a white bulb is left

1/2 a small, sweet onion

1/3 of an organic bell pepper or capsicum (I chose red for color and flavor, and they’re high in carotenoids that help save your eyes)

1 cup or so of your favorite kind of quinoa (I like tru roots sprouted or prewashed, and always rinse your quinoa like you do your rice if it’s not already)

1 bpa-free can of organic chickpeas

Some fresh, organic parsley and cilantro leaves to taste (rinse first)

1/2 a lemon or however much you have on hand but no more than half is needed

1-2 tablespoons of liquid aminos, coconut aminos or your fav sauce. I chose coconut aminos and they were delish!

Canola oil spray (EVOO turns carcinogenic at high temps)

Garlic powder

Salt and Pepper (I prefer the pink Himalayan salt grinder and mixed peppercorns pepper grinder for better flavor and minerals)

 

Directions: 

Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees.

Line your baking sheet or tray with foil and use non-stick spray like canola.

Start your water boiling for the quinoa as it instructs on the package, and feel free to add some broth for extra flavor, I added organic veggie broth and salt & pepper.

Get out your trusty cutting board and chef’s knife, and start chopping.

chop your veggies and herbs

You’ll chop the parsnip into smaller chunks, the carrots into medallions and the onions and bell pepper into small squares (no need to be exact). Then finely chop your herbs.

Drain your chickpeas and rinse well, set aside.

drain and rinse chickpeas

Place the parsnip chunks and carrots on the baking sheet and place in the oven for 30 minutes if it’s finished preheating.

Once the timer goes off, add the bell pepper and onion the last 5 minutes, or you can leave them raw if you prefer – totally up to you.

cooked quinoa

Your quinoa should be done by now, so drain it and set aside.

Now it’s time to combine everything! Throw all the ingredients into the bowl and mix well, tasting to see what needs to be adjusted. It gets better over time too, as the ingredients continue to marry in the refrigerator.

mix the raosted veggies and quinoa

I also made a slow-cooker, pumpkin curry chicken dish with just some simmer sauce from my local grocery store and some free-range chicken breasts. Lastly, I sauteed some of that pre-packaged kale and shaved brussels sprouts salad in some broth, liquid aminos and then added toasted sesame seeds on top.

This was such a yummy meal at work!

lunch idea

Feel free to use cilantro and/or parsley in your meals where you can, as they are great at removing heavy metals from the body – kind of like blood purifiers. And they make great garnishes for those Instagram pics!

Enjoy!

Salmon salad wrap

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We’ve all experienced that one coworker who microwaves fish at work. Don’t be that person! The whole office smells like fish for half a day; and customers don’t care for that smell either.

What’s the solution?

A wrap of course!

Simply cook your fav fish, let it cool, then mix with mayo or mustard and some spices you like. Wrap it in a wrap (I used a gluten-free brown rice one), and top with your favorite veggies. I used spinach and red bell peppers – then topped with some sriracha.

You could also use canned salmon or tuna of course. Boom! Easy and healthy and no smell!

Helpful tip – lemon juice makes any fish not so stinky, although if the fish is fresh – it shouldn’t be too stinky 😉

Gluten-free ahi wrap

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This was such a healthy and filling lunch that left me with plenty of energy!

Ingredients:

Food for Life gluten-free black rice wrap

Organic cucumber slices

Organic red bell pepper strips

Organic red romaine leaves

Organic asparagus spears

Organic roma tomato (1/2)

Newman’s balsamic dressing

Squeeze of lemon

Cooked ahi tuna (mashed up like tuna salad)

Horseradish mustard

EVOO

Red pepper chili flakes

Directions:

Wash all the veggies well if you haven’t already, then pat dry.

Microwave the wrap for 30 secs, let it cool (make sit pliable).

Mix the EVOO, lemon, chili flakes, and mustard with the tuna – place in the center of the wrap.

Next place all the veggies on top, then roll up and enjoy!

(I had extra veggies left over, so I made a side salad and that’s what the Newman’s dressing was used for.)

 

Brown rice noodles and veggie stir fry

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What made this so delicious is the sauces I put on it. I am loving honey mustard dressing from kraft of all brands right now, on almost anything!

Ingredients:

Frozen stir fry veggies of your choice, small bag or big, depending on family size

1/2 package of thin, brown rice noodles (these were organic/non-GMO)

Bragg’s liquid aminos or low-sodium soy sauce (Bragg’s has less salt)

Kraft honey mustard dressing

Cooked chicken (optional)

Toasted sesame seeds (so good!)

Directions:

Place noodles in a bowl of hot water and follow directions on box

Cook stir fry veggies in a pan with a little chicken broth, oil or whatever you like

Top with sauces/toppings and serve over drained noodles. Mix well, and enjoy!

Spaghetti squash with meat marinara

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Don’t get me wrong, I love pasta, but it never hurts to eat more veggies – and this healthy swap was so delicious.

All-Organic Ingredients:

Small spaghetti squash (or larger if feeding a family)

1 diced green bell pepper (make sure there are four humps on the bottom for the sweetest taste, and feel free to try the other colors instead if you prefer them).

1/4 sweet onion (to taste)

Italian seasoning, garlic powder, onion salt, and pepper (to taste)

Jar of marinara sauce of your choice (I only used 1/2 of a big jar)

1 pound of ground turkey or your choice of meat or meat substitute (I didn’t use all of the meat)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425 (ovens vary)

Wash the outside of the squash well, then pat dry

Carefully cut it longways from stem to bottom, then scoop out seeds

Line a baking sheet with foil and put around a half a cup of water in the bottom

Place squash face or insides down and bake for around 25 mins, but check it and again, ovens vary. While its cooking, brown meat or meat substitute of your choice with the pepper and onion, and herbs/spices. Add marinara and stir well.

Let the squash cool until you can use a fork to scrap the insides out to look like pasta, from stem to bottom, in long strokes. (You’ll be surprised how much comes out!)

Plate the squash, then meat marinara mixture and serve with your favorite sites.

Enjoy!