As much as I complain about not enjoying cold weather and shorter days, I must admit the food that is most often consumed during those months, i.e., soups and stews, is my most favorite! I made this soup in the crock pot recently on a rainy Saturday. Perfect! I really like lentils so a soup that calls for two kinds – even better!
A delicious spin on basic hummus. Make sure to use fresh basil! Dry just won’t give you the same, wonderful flavor. Hummus is so easy to make – there’s really no need to ever buy pre-made, especially considering how much fat is in most store-bought varieties.
This recipe comes from Lindsay Nixon’s cookbook Happy Everyday Herbivore. This is the basic version; feel free to experiment by adding potatoes, spinach, peppers, anything you’d throw in with scrambled eggs. It calls for Himalayan black salt, or Kala Namak. You can find this product on Amazon. I couldn’t believe when I opened the jar! Smelled just like eggs! So strange…and cool! Try it!
This recipe for baked tofu is one of the first things I made when we switched to a plant-based diet. I found the recipe in Dreena Burton’s Eat, Drink & Be Vegan, which has great recipes. I made a few adjustments but Dreena gets all the credit for the dish.
Why are they called red lentils when they are pink, and become yellow once cooked? Weird. All I know is they make an amazing soup! Unlike other types of lentils, these cook and break down quickly, and end up soft, almost as if they have been pureed. The first few times I made this soup it was on the stove, but recently I used the crock pot and it was even better. There really is something to slow cooking, allowing the flavors to build and grow. Either way, it’s an easy, delicious meal, any time of year. One of our favorites!!
I realize hummus recipes are a dime a dozen, and store-bought versions are widely available. However, the one thing they all have in common is a lot of fat. The average prepared hummus contains 4 grams of fat for 2 tablespoons. I don’t know about you, but I could eat that much in a few bites! Most varieties contain oil, which as I’ve said before, is not a health-promoting food. It’s concentrated fat and calories (14 g of fat for just a tablespoon), and truly unnecessary in a dish like this. Prepared hummus also contains tahini, or sesame seed paste. My recipe does too, but only 1-2 tablespoons for the whole batch, which is much less than other recipes or store-bought versions. Use 1 if you want a really low-fat version, or 2 for a little more fat. You’ll see I list truffle oil as an optional addition. You don’t need it but it adds wonderful flavor. I like mine on the lemony side so I use 3 tablespoons lemon juice. Also, the amount of water you add is dependent upon how thick/thin you want the hummus. I always have a batch made up and ready to go. Recently, I spread about 2 TBS on a piece of whole grain bread, laid sliced tomatoes and sweet onion on top, drizzled with balsamic, and sprinkled with basil and pepper. I broiled it for 6-7 minutes. DELISH! See photo below.
2/21/13 UPDATE: I’ve always known cooking your own beans, as opposed to using canned, was a nutritionally superior way to go but I didn’t fully grasp how much better a dish would taste!! Oh my. I recently got a pressure cooker (best. thing. ever.), and after soaking my chickpeas during the day (8 hours), I cooked them with water in the PC for 14 minutes. Then I made my hummus. SO creamy and flavorful. I really had no idea there would be such a marked difference. You don’t need a PC to make your own beans, but you do need to plan ahead. The forethought and time is worth it, trust me. If you use your own beans, use about 2 cups cooked for this hummus.
This recipe is from Dreena Burton’s Eat, Drink & Be Vegan, an excellent book, written by a great lady. I omit the oil when I make this dish because I just don’t think it needs it. We’ve been making these for years and it’s become a standard snack in our house. So good!!
Chili. Not the most creative dish, and almost everybody knows how to make it. There are a gazillion recipes out there, and I’ve tried many of them (the ones without meat, of course). For whatever reason, I’ve never been completely satisfied with any of the chili dishes I’ve made, whether I followed a recipe or made it up myself. I always felt like there was something missing, and I couldn’t describe or figure out what that something was. Also, I always made it too spicy, and as I’ve said many times, I’m a spice wimp. All this changed last night. Finally!
The mushrooms and cauliflower may sound like strange additions but trust me, they work. You can’t really taste them but they add a nice texture and I’m sure contribute to the overall flavor. The real secret in the great flavor, I believe, comes from the baked beans and liquid smoke. The fresh corn is a great addition, especially now when corn is in season. Add more chili powder and maybe some cayenne if you like your chili spicy. Try it and let me know what you think.
Never have I made these when they weren’t loved by all. When I first created them, I couldn’t decide if they should be called burritos or enchiladas. Ultimately I decided they were a combination, hence the name “enchilito”! Several of the ingredients listed are brand specific but I’ve no doubt these would still be delicious regardless of the brand.
Since I advocate a primarily whole-foods diet, I’ve listed the meat (Soyrizo) and cheese (Daiya) substitutes as optional. While these foods are tasty, they are processed and contain oils. Use them sparingly, if at all, and save them for situations in which you’re serving to a meat-eating crowd or if you yourself are slowly attempting to move towards a more plant-based diet. This dish is plenty flavorful without those ingredients, but for the transition process, small amounts of mock meats and cheeses can be helpful.
I’ve been sitting here racking my brain trying to think of what to write for my first blog post. I mean, let’s face it, bloggers are a dime a dozen these days. Actually, I don’t even want to refer to myself as a blogger. I blog. Occasionally. Posting recipes is the main goal here but I also want to share thoughts, tips, articles, and anything else I think you may find even the slightest bit interesting, as it relates to food and health (I won’t be sharing sad stories of my dog who’s lost her mind, how much I love my kid, my favorite TV shows or my thoughts on politics – no way, definitely not going there!) Some blog posts go on for what seems like days, resembling a journal or diary, with every thought in the author’s head no longer a mystery. I don’t want to replicate that here. I also don’t want to hammer you with posts 8 days a week. I know the marketing gurus would say it’s important to really put yourself out there, but who cares. Less is more, that’s how I see it. Bottom line is this: I love food, and what I know healthy food does for the body (from first-hand experience, as well as what is clearly shown in the scientific literature). Hopefully I can impart some of my passion and knowledge on to you! Following is one of my favorite recipes. Enjoy!
NOTE: Some brands of chipotle in adobo sauce contain a little wheat flour. Make sure to check the label. If you are on a strict gluten-free diet, use chipotle powder or chipotle hot sauce instead to make it officially gluten-free.