A few weeks ago Engine 2 (Rip Esselstyn’s baby) announced they would be conducting a recipe contest. The entries had to include at least one ingredient from the Engine 2 line of foods (available at Whole Foods – try them if you haven’t!), be plant-based (duh), oil-free, low-fat and low-sodium. I was familiar with the line of foods they offered and immediately got the idea for a recipe to enter into the contest. It was announced today that my recipe was chosen as the Grand Prize Winner!! http://engine2diet.com/the-daily-beet/ So fun and exciting!
The folks at E2 will be sharing this recipe with their readers, and I am sharing it now with you. It’s very easy, and delicious! Enjoy!
It was lunch time. I opened the fridge and saw fresh green beans I’d gotten from the farmer’s market, and a Japanese sweet potato. Those are the kind with purple/burgundy skin but are white inside. Delicious. Anyway, I thought to myself “what can I do with both those items to make an entree?” This salad, which I ate warm, is what I came up with. Very tasty.
I used my amazing pressure cooker for the sweet potato (cooked 2 mins), and the green beans (cooked 1 minute), but however you want to cook them is fine. This dish is really quick and easy.
I stopped eating them years ago, after I changed my eating ways to low-fat, plant-based. A sad time in a way. I loved my new healthy path, but I also really loved scones. And cookies. And donuts. And cakes. And pastries. I always say “if I could give that stuff up, anybody can!” It’s not like I ate them all the time but I treated myself more than I should have. Vegan treats and baked goods are becoming more mainstream, but they are by no means healthy. The animal products have been removed (win!) but they still have a ton of fat and heavily refined ingredients. Which is why I love creating healthier versions of fattening vegan baked goods. These scones fit right in with that mission. Are they health food that should be eaten all the time? No. But they sure are better for you than most, and satisfy a craving without putting your health at risk and creating a ton of guilt! Enjoy!
I needed something to eat for lunch and the red lentils in the pantry got my attention. I literally threw these ingredients together without a plan, and was SO happy with the result. It’s hard to believe something this easy could be so flavorful. It was so good in fact that I included the dish in an Indian themed feast I cooked this past weekend. It was a big hit along with the Indian Spiced Cabbage, Roasted Aloo (potatoes), brown basmati rice and whole wheat flat bread.
Red lentils are great because in addition to being extremely healthy and low-fat, they are quick-cooking. They can be used in sauces to add fiber and protein, or as the main ingredient along with a few others such as the recipe here. Unlike brown/green lentils they break down easily, blending in with whatever else is in the dish. They also end up being more yellow in color, even though they are called red and start out more of an orange color. At 140 calories per cup (dry), 0 grams of fat, 7 grams of fiber and 11 grams of protein, red lentils are a great addition to the diet.
In this dish I used two different types of curry powder, but you don’t have to. Regular curry is the yellow/orange version you see in most stores. Different brands can taste different from each other, with some more mild than others. Madras curry is another type that is similar to regular but with more spice. Berbere curry is an Ethiopian version, that has a smokier scent/flavor and is much spicier than the others. Feel free to use whatever variety you have on hand, or a combination like I’ve done here. The measurements I used result in a mild dish. As I’ve said before, I’m a spice wimp.
This is a recipe I’ve had on my website for a long time but I revamped it last night and it’s so much better now. I recommend topping with a squeeze of lime, a drizzle of Sour Un-Cream and Cornbread Muffins ((find in Recipes). Make sure to read the NOTES at the bottom of the recipe for important tips.
A friend recently posted a link to a scone recipe. The recipe called for whole wheat flour, and the addition of fruit, making it seem like a healthier version. I opened the link only to find the recipe was anything but healthy. It called for 1 cup whole cream, 1 stick of butter, an egg and and egg white. Yes, whole wheat is better than white, but with all the other unhealthy ingredients still there, it hardly makes a difference changing the flour and adding some fruit. Herein lies the problem with the way so many people eat. Adding a single food or nutrient, or taking it out, won’t really make much difference in health outcomes. We must pay attention to the overall pattern and big picture. As my friend and mentor Dr. Pam Popper says, “the totality of the diet and lifestyle”.
I was determined to “healthify” (not really a word, but I’m going with it) the recipe. I thought I would just be able to sub out good stuff for bad, but ended up basically creating a whole new recipe. I don’t use oil or vegan butter in my baked goods, but I did use a small amount here. Scones are all about fat, and I felt I needed some for them to turn out like anything resembling a scone. Keep in mind these are lighter than traditional scones because they aren’t loaded with fat. The average scone has 20-30 grams of fat (a day’s worth), so you’d have to expect this healthy version, which has about 3, to be a little different. They are still delicious, especially when you know arteries aren’t being clogged, and thighs or bellies aren’t growing during consumption!
NOTE: Use organic strawberries, as conventionally grown strawberries are very heavily sprayed with harmful pesticides. Or, feel free to use a different type of berry.
I’ve been craving lemon lately, which isn’t normal for me. I’m guessing it’s because I associate lemon with spring and the outdoors, which are two things I also crave. Living in SoCal the winters are really no big deal, but it’s still winter, and we have our days of no sun, with plenty of rain and even some cold temps (all relative, I understand). Whatever. I’m over it. However, since I have a ways to go until fairly consistent warmth and sunshine ensue, I will satisfy my cravings with muffins like these. To me, they taste like sunshine. The cardamom flavor paired with the fresh lemon is quite delicious. And the best part is they are healthy, using whole grain flours, no animal products and no added fat. The sun is shining in my kitchen!
Extras: 1) Top muffins with candied lemon zest just prior to cooking for extra lemony goodness. 2) Add 1-2 TBS poppy seeds to batter for Sunshine Poppy Seed Muffins. 🙂
UPDATE 2/12/13: Apparently the cardamom I used the first few times I made these had been around awhile. I purchased fresh (as fresh as you can get in the store) and used it in the recipe yesterday and the cardamom flavor was way too strong for my tastes. If you like it strong, stick with the 2 tsp, but I’m adjusting the amount to call for 1/2-1 tsp. Also, I felt the need to improve texture a bit. I wanted to lighten them a little; do something to help them rise a bit more (always tricky with fat/free, vegan baking). I added ground chia seeds/water and was very happy with the end result. You can grind them in a clean coffee grinder or blender.
Nothin’ fancy about these veggie patties, but they are easy, tasty and satisfying. I ate mine plain, with catsup, but I would love to try one on a whole grain bun with caramelized onions and all the fixins. Yum. Make sure to use certified gluten-free oats and soy sauce (tamari) if you need these to be bona fide gluten-free.