My favorite healthful meals. This is my list of “go-to” recipes that make eating healthier not feel like eating cardboard, but feel like eating morsels of heaven. Inspired by my friend “Caldeiri” and the infinite other people out there who try to change their eating habits for the better and also try to get their partners or the people around them to do so as well.
If your friend or partner who really loves meat or cheese starts to lose it and starts muttering something about “the evil baby corn”, or something along those lines, don’t make them hate veggies forever! I advise adding cheese or avocado to save the day! Baby steps my friends, baby steps.
- Crock Pot Beans – It’s so easy and cheap to make your own beans. I use this recipe and immediately use some in a soup or salad, and freeze the rest in one cup servings to use in place of canned beans or as emergency bean burritos for lunch when I haven’t grocery shopped. Soak a bag (pound) of beans (black or pinto are my faves) in cold water in the fridge overnight. In the morning drain and rinse the beans. Add them to the crock pot, covered with about an inch or two of water. Add one onion peeled and quartered, two cloves garlic peeled and crushed, two bay leaves, lots of cumin (a few tablespoons). Cook on high all day (6-8 hrs). At the end of the day you come home to yumminess. Serve with rice and cilantro and whatever fits your fancy.
- Butternut Squash Risotto – You can omit the parmesan to make it vegan, but this is my favorite way to use a butternut squash, leftovers are great, wonderful main dish not focused on meat. I also suggest not omitting the white wine or butter, I often use two buck chuck or whatever I have, but if you omit the wine the final product suffers.
- Esalen Kale Salad – I have fallen in love with kale recently. This salad has led to my demise. Lovely the way it is, but is also fine with substitutions. I like to add beans to make it more of a meal.
- Lentil Stew – This stew is a favorite for winter, also freezes well. I found it in a magazine a long time ago, and have been making it for years. My first veggie meal before I even knew what a veggie was.
- White Bean Kale Soup – Just found this one to fulfill my kale obsession. Good and simple and has lent itself well to my “whatever’s leftover from farmers” kind of cooking.
- Khichadi – My favorite easy, healthy, lunch meal. Love it with peas, lemon pepper, feta. Also good with lentils and shows up in a many cookbooks and mulajara or something like that.
- Minestrone – A great basic soup recipe, you could make it with whatever you wanted and I have used this as a template for many variations. I have added veggie sausage, omitted/added pasta, added different beans, veggies, parmesan, avocado chunks you name it. Everyone I’ve served it to loves it too. If you haven’t noticed, I love stews that are more of a meal, like they used to say in Chunky Soup commercials. Screw buying them canned though, homemade is so much better!
- Black Bean Quinoa Salad – (This recipe and the following are from my favorite cookbook ever, the Veganomicon) I use this as a staple recipe. I use whatever beans I have on hand, whatever grain I have on hand (usually rice or quinoa). It’s really simple and tasty. Even better with avocado.
- Mac Daddy – Vegan mac and cheese? Yes. It’s good. Try it.
- Scrambled Tofu – This is actually better than scrambled eggs because it gets better leftover. A few slices of avocado, roasted potatoes, and you’ve got a pretty good breakfast burrito.
- Vegetable Korma – This is a bonus recipe. It’s the best vegetable curry I’ve ever made. It’s not exactly “light” but it’s vegan. So good. Try it if you like Indian food or curry. I’d say it’s more of a weekend meal, it took me 1.5 hours to make it from start to finish, but the leftovers were even better. Great for potlucks.
Comments? Suggestions? What are your favorite recipes, veggie or not?