Healthy Vegan Cranberry Cake – Whole Wheat No-Oil, No-Sugar, WFPB

Healthy Vegan Cranberry Cake – Whole Wheat No-Oil, No-Sugar, WFPB

Healthy Vegan Cranberry Cake/Bread Whole Wheat No-Oil, No Sugar, WFPB

This is a yummy, healthy and satisfying plant-based vegan dessert.  Or maybe you would eat it as an after school snack for kids, bedtime snack for yourself, or mid-day treat. Whatever you prefer, so many options!

Looking for healthy vegan recipe ideas to make with whole wheat flour and cranberries?  Try this recipe.

To make a healthy moist rectangle cranberry cake, from which you can cut cranberry squares.  This recipe is whole-foods plant-based, uses dried coconut soaked in water instead of oil, and uses frozen bananas instead of sugar.

These substitutions create a healthier delivery package – a small amount of whole coconut – complete with fiber and other phytonutrients, plus a nice mild flavour (if you even notice it). Instead of a traditional cake recipe that uses oil.

Other healthy tasty vegan dessert or snack recipes to try (these use apples):

Apple Crumble

Apple Cake

 

Buy Cranberries in Season and Freeze them for Healthy Cranberry Breads and Cranberry cake.

I buy bags and bags of fresh cranberries from Costco before thanksgiving, rinse and freeze them, so I can bake with cranberries all year.  I also enjoy putting these frozen cranberries on my hot oatmeal in the morning. 

Cranberries are tart, and this cake has no sugar, so it is more like a bread, but still tastes nice.

When baking it, you can taste the wet ingredients mixture, to be sure you like the flavour, and sweetness.  

My kids liked this cranberry cake, so things don’t always have to be sweet to be a success. The cranberries are juicy and tasty, and the spices add complex flavour.

Whole Wheat Flour Cakes and Baking

We are loving my baking with whole wheat, it is such a satisfying snack.  They are a bit ugly, but so nice to eat.

Maybe it’s the extra fiber, or nutrients, but we feel so good after eating this cake.

Whole wheat does make the cake more dense, and lumpy looking on the top, but also more filling, without that blood sugar spike and fall you get from white flour.  

This cake is quite low calorie and is full of whole foods that will feed your microbiome, and have been shown to prevent cancer.  Have some cake and be slim too!

 Whole Foods Compared to Traditional Desserts = Better Gut Health

A quick mention here about a book that made it so I can eat this cake happily.

The advice in this book about gradually exercising your gut, by eating a little bit more of a diverse range of plants, especially whole grains like whole wheat is just spot on. Rather than avoiding them.

I’ve realized my IBS goes away when I eat a little bit of the food that is bothering me for a few days in a row.

This book explains why, based on your microbiome changing to be able to digest what you eat.

Eliminating foods is actually the opposite of what we should do.

Following the advice in this book, has really made my IBS go away

It’s been an amazing read for me.

My digestive system has never felt better.

Now I can eat wheat and lovely cakes.

If you ever struggle with bloating or reactions to some plant foods (like wheat) or if you know someone who does, this book may solve that problem for you and them!

So I thought I would share. 🙂

Healthy Vegan Whole Wheat Cranberry Bread / Cake - Oil Free, Sugar Free, wfpb

Makes one 9” x 13" rectangle cake, can be cut into squares.

Course Dessert, Snack
Cuisine American, Vegan, Whole Foods
Keyword cranberries, eggless cake, healthy cranberry bread, oil free cake, sugar free cake, vegan birthday cake, wfpb cake, wfpb dessert, wfpb snack, whole wheat baking, whole wheat vegan, whole wheat vegan cake
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 20 pieces
Calories 164 kcal
Author Jeanette Whitten

Ingredients

First, Mix the Following Dry Ingredients in a Large Bowl

  • 3 cups whole wheat flour Or half whole wheat and white.
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda Ensure is well mixed throughout the dry ingredients.
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 3 tsp cinnamon try swapping 1 tsp of the cinnamon for ground cloves.
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Second, food processor the following on high, until smooth, to aerate

  • 1/3 cup dried coconut Soaked in water: microwave for 30 seconds with 1/3 cup water, and let sit a few minutes, then add to the food processor.
  • 2 tbsp ground flax Whisked with 6 tbsp of water, then let sit for a few minutes, to make 4 flax "eggs"
  • 1 1/2 cup banana Use ripe frozen bananas instead of sugar. Makes more of a bread, than a cake (less sweet).
  • 1 1/2 cups apples Chopped, peel on is ok. These will be turned to liquid. Or use applesauce.
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup optional
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract

Third, add and process nuts first to make into pieces, and then add and process cranberries on medium speed to cut most in half.

  • 1 1/2 cups pecans Or walnuts.
  • 4 cups cranberries fresh or frozen

Fouth, pour and mix wet ingredients into the dry

Fifth, spoon batter into cake pan

Sixth, bake at 350 for 40 - 50 minutes, until a toothpick comes out very clean

Instructions

More Detailed Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F (175° C)

  2. Place wax or parchment paper on bottom of 9x13 glass cake pan, to avoid problems getting the cake out later.

Mix Dry Ingredients Together in Large Bowl

  1. In a large bowl, mix the whole wheat flour, baking soda, baking powder, spices, and salt.

Mix at High Speed in Food Processor until Smooth - for about a minute to aerate / add bubbles to the cake.

  1. Frozen banana (slightly thawed, so you don't damage the food processor)

  2. Apples (or applesauce)

  3. Maple syrup

  4. Vanilla

  5. Soaked coconut

  6. Soaked flaxmeal / ground flax

Add Nuts to the Food Processor and Chop on Medium, until nuts are half their previous size.

  1. Nuts

Add Cranberries to the Food Processor, Chop on Medium until many are halved, some should still be whole.

  1. Cranberries, chopping the cranberries a bit will help them release moisture when cooking. It's fun when eating to get some whole tart cranberries too.

Mix Wet into Dry

  1. Stir with a spatula in the large bowl, to get the wet and dry well mixed.

    The dough will be very thick, but don't worry, because the cranberries will create juices when they bake.

Spoon vegan batter evenly into a rectangular cake pan

  1. To make the cake easier to get out later, first line the pan with parchment paper, wax paper, or aluminum foil and then spray lightly with oil (optional, makes paper easier to peel off).

  2. Lightly smooth the batter mostly flat with your spoon. It should be thick, not runny, but all the flour should be mixed in.

Bake for 40 - 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

  1. Bake in a preheated 350-degree oven. Check center is cooked, by waiting until a toothpick comes out clean.

  2. Remove from oven, cool in the dish for at least 10 minutes. Pop the cake out, upside down, peel the paper off, and continue cooling on a wire rack or towel.

  3. Turn right side up, you can put the cake back in the baking dish.

    We put a towel over it and keep it on the counter for snacking for about a week.

Recipe Notes

Sweetness: To make the cake sweeter, without adding sugar, consider adding 1/2 cup water to the wet mix, then stir 1/2 cup raisins in when you add the wet to the dry.

 

 
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Rhubarb Strawberry Crisp, low-fat, vegan, gluten-free, low FODMAP, healthy dessert

Rhubarb Strawberry Crisp, low-fat, vegan, gluten-free, low FODMAP, healthy dessert

Healthy Rhubarb Strawberry Crisp – gluten-free, low FODMAP – With Oats and Pecans

Our family loves fruit crisps and fruit crumbles, they are naturally vegan, and here is a method to make rhubarb crumble, with no-added-fats, but healthy nuts instead.  

Mmmm mmm!  In this easy recipe, I used rhubarb and strawberries on the bottom, quick cooking oats and ground pecan nuts on top, with no-butter, no-oil.  The topping is crispy, not soggy, and the ground up nuts make it healthier, while adding flavour, depth and fibre!

So delicious with the warm, juicy, soft, sweetened fruit, slightly spiced, and the crispy oat topping.  

Lemon juice makes the topping stay together, and adds a wonderful delicious zing.  I was worried that lemon wouldn’t work with rhubarb, since rhubarb is sour, but the lemon/light sugar mix in the topping tastes soooo good!  It’s like rhubarb lemonade!

You can use a food processor or blender to mix the oats, lemon, nuts and sugar together to make a crumbly, crispy, tasty rhubarb strawberry fruit gluten free crisp topping.

This recipe has garam masala spice in the rhubarb, it’s lovely.  Allspice also works.  Or just cinnamon and nutmeg would too.  

Why garam masala with the strawberry and rhubarb?  Typical garam masala contains cardamom pods, black peppercorns, cumin, coriander seeds, cinnamon sticks, and cloves.  These spices complement rhubarb, with a warmth that is still welcome on a summer day.  Also, according to my research, the taste of strawberries is enhanced with pepper. Ok, great!

I hope you enjoy your rhubarb in this delicious healthy dessert or satisfying snack!  It’s easy to make a homemade strawberry rhubarb crisp that is gluten-free, plant based, vegan, healthy, and low fodmap (see IBS notes below)!

 
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Healthy Rhubarb Strawberry Crisp/ Crumble, Gluten-free, Low FODMAP, Vegan, Dessert

This healthy rhubarb strawberry crisp recipe is incredibly simple to make, and very tasty.  The crumble on top uses nuts instead of oils (whole food), and is slightly crispy, it is pleasurable to eat the crunchy topping with the soft fruit.

For this recipe, I added frozen pre-sliced strawberries. Fresh would work also.

Rhubarb is sour like a lemon, and strawberries are naturally sweet and together they transform into a comforting and delicious dessert or healthy snack. 

Course Dessert, Snack
Cuisine American, Western
Keyword crisp, crumble, gluten free dessert, healthy dessert, healthy gluten free rhubarb crisp, low fat, low fodmap dessert, Plant Based, rhubarb, strawberries, vegan, vegan dessert, Whole Foods
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 10 servings
Calories 266 kcal
Author Jeanette Whitten

Ingredients

For the Fruit Filling:

  • 7 cups rhubarb diced
  • 3 cups strawberries frozen or fresh, sliced
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon garam masala spice mix (or allspice, or cinnamon and nutmeg)
  • 1/4 cup sugar or dry sweetener of your choice: white sugar also works well.

For the Crumble Topping:

  • 3 cups rolled oats quick cooking
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar I use brown sugar in the topping for the color.
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon or allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cup pecans
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice fresh or bottled, or orange juice

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F

Prepare the Fruit Filling

  1. Wash and dice rhubarb into evenly sized , 1/2 inch (1.5cm) approx slices.  Wash and slice strawberries.

    Rhubarb Strawberry
  2. Place fruit into a 9x13 ungreased baking dish.

  3. In a small bowl mix cornstarch, filling spices (garam masala or your substitute), and sugar until well combined and lump free.  Sprinkle evenly over the fruit. 

Prepare the Oat Crumble Topping

  1. In a food processor, on high speed, blend oats, spices, sugar, pecans and salt.  

    Once the nuts are finely ground, while processing on medium, slowly add the lemon juice to make the mixture crumbly.  

    Do not over process, or the mixture will form into balls/ be too mushy.

  2. Sprinkle oat topping crumble over the fruit.  Use a spoon to break up chunks first. 

  3. Bake for 30-40 minutes. The crisp is done when the fruit is bubbling and the topping is light brown in the center.

    You can opt to brown the top by broiling on low for 3 minutes, I didn't.

Recipe Notes

If you have less fruit, adjust the amount of oats to be less as well. 

Fresh lemon juice seems to burn more easily, watch your topping for burning if you used fresh. 

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Butternut Squash Apple Galette – Whole-Foods Plant-Based

Butternut Squash Apple Galette – Whole-Foods Plant-Based

Whole-Foods Plant-Based Galette with Whole-Wheat Pastry – Creamy Tofu, Apple, Fennel Filling

Are you looking for a whole-foods plant-based butternut squash galette recipe?  I couldn’t find one, so I created this for us to enjoy.

This vegan galette recipe has butternut squash, sliced and roasted, then layered beautifully over a soft filling made from food processing, or blending a fennel bulb (or dried fennel), crabapples (or regular apples), extra firm tofu, and yummy sage, rosemary, nutmeg and other fall flavours.

All snugly embraced in a galette dough pouch, for a cozy harvest meal.

Basic vegan galette dough:

Whole-wheat whole-grain flour, almond flour (healthy unprocessed fat, replaces margarine), non-dairy milk, nutritional yeast, and some seasonings.   Made in a food processor.

The dough is easy to handle, rolls out fine, but was a little tough right out of the oven – due to lack of oil I expect, and potentially I cooked it too long.

The pastry softened up in the fridge and was nicely tender as leftovers.

  • Next time I’ll blend 3-4 dried prunes into the dough for moisture.
  • I’m confident prunes will make it great, because I use prunes in my oil-free pizza crust and it is really fantastic,

BUT I haven’t tested prunes in the galette dough yet.

I’m posting the version I did test, next time I’ll add prunes and update the ingredients.

Think of a galette as a lazy pie, or a lazy quiche.

I was surprised how easy it was to roll out the dough, spread the ingredients on it, wrap it gently and pop it back in the oven.

I used a large oven safe wok, which shaped the sides nicely.  An extra-large skillet would also work, as would a baking sheet.

We got easy to pack galette leftovers, perfect for school and work lunches.  I can see how little mini galettes would make great individual servings.

Butternut Squash Dinner Idea That is Vegan

This galette is wonderful at the end of summer, since you make it with autumn harvest vegetables, helping you use up that butternut squash on your counter.

I will definitely be making this again throughout the winter. 🙂 

Vegan Butternut Squash Galette - Whole-Foods Plant-Based

With butternut squash, and a savoury tofu filling with fennel, and crabapples (or regular apples), this galette is simple, satisfying, and a great way to use up food harvested from your backyard.  

The soft creamy tofu filling is delicate and tasty, the pastry complements the ingredients well.  Butternut squash is the perfect not too sweet, firm colourful topping.

Let this vegan galette cool slightly before slicing and serving.

Course dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Egg Free, French
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 8 servings
Calories 217 kcal
Author Jeanette Whitten

Ingredients

Pastry

  • 1 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour or other whole grain flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast optional, adds flavour and nutrition
  • 1/3 - 2/3 cup soy milk or other non-dairy milk

Filling

  • 1 butternut squash peeled and sliced, see instructions
  • 1 1/2 cups fennel bulb small sized, sliced
  • 2 cups apples crabapples, cored and sliced
  • 340 g extra firm tofu
  • 1 teaspoon sage dried
  • 1 tablespoon rosemary fresh, or 1 tsp dried
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice freshly squeezed

Topping

  • 1 tbsp almond flour
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp salt

Instructions

Bake the Filling (Squash, Apples, Fennel)

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.  Take out an extra-large oven-proof skillet with high sides or a wok.  A baking sheet can work too.

  2. Peel the entire squash, you can roll and peel lengthwise.   Then cut the squash into two pieces to separate the bottom rounder part from the narrower top section. 

    Cut both parts in half and remove any seeds. 

    Cut all four pieces into 1/4-inch-thick slices. 

    Core and slice the apples, slice the fennel into small pieces (it will be food processed anyways).  Note: if you are short on time, you could add the apples raw to the filling in the food processor instead of baking.

    roast butternut squash no-oil
  3. Spread sliced squash, apples, and fennel on baking sheets.  Place the apples and fennel together, you will scoop them up with a spatula to move to the food processor. 

    I didn't line or oil my sheets, some of the squash edges stuck, but was easy to scrape off.  

    Bake until the squash, apples, and fennel are tender, about 25-30 minutes. 

Prepare the Pastry (Food Processor)

  1. While the squash is baking, put the flour, almond flour, nutritional yeast (if using), and salt in a food processor. 


    Pulse to combine.  Add 1/3 cup of the non-dairy milk, process, it should still be floury.  Add additional non-dairy milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the dough sticks together (to test, remove the top and gather the dough in your fingers. If it sticks together without crumbling, it’s ready). I ended up using another full 1/3 cup of milk.

    Be careful not to over mix once it is doughy, it makes it tough. 

    Soak or clean the food processor, you will need it again to finish the filling.

    whole-wheat fat-free galette dough
  2. Transfer dough to a lightly floured board or counter, and shape the dough into a disk. 

    With a rolling pin, roll out the dough into a very large circle about 1/4-inch thick. 

    Transfer dough into the large skillet, baking sheet, or wok, let the dough hang over the edges if necessary, you will fold it over the ingredients.

Prepare the Tofu-Filling (Food Processor)

  1. Add extra firm tofu, sage, rosemary, salt, nutmeg, pepper and lemon juice to the food processor.  You could also add the apples raw at this stage if you chose not to bake them, say maybe because you ran out of time to slice them :o.  

  2. When the vegetables are done baking, scoop the apples and fennel with a spatula and add them to the food processor with the extra firm tofu.  It's fine/better if they are still hot.  Blend until well mixed. Taste test and adjust seasonings.

Assemble the Galette

  1. Spread the apple-tofu (ricotta) mixture over the top of the pastry, leaving a 1-inch border. 

    Arrange the squash prettily, in a spiral pattern, over the apple-fennel-tofu-ricotta mixture and fold the edges of the pastry toward the center of the galette. 

    whole-foods plant-based galette
  2. Sprinkle almond flour, garlic powder and salt over the center of the galette and optionally onto the crust.

    vegan whole foods plant based galette
  3. Bake until the crust is crisp and golden brown, about 20-25 minutes. Let cool slightly before slicing and serving.

    vegan butternut squash galette fennel apple whole-wheat crust

Recipe Notes

Serve with a bright green salad, also goes well with steamed brussels sprouts.  

 

 
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Garam Masala Baked Acorn Squash – Stuffed With Cranberry Rice

Garam Masala Baked Acorn Squash – Stuffed With Cranberry Rice

Vegan Stuffed Acorn Squash With Cranberry Rice & Garam Masala

Oh acorn squash – how I thought you were disgusting when I was a child, and, now I know what it takes to make you delicious!

Many adults aren’t squash fans, probably because their family didn’t serve it very well.  This recipe can change all that.

Healthy Vegan Baked Acorn Squash – No-Oil, Whole-Foods Plant-Based

Most people don’t know how to stuff vegetables, do they?   The ones I know anyways, are wowed when presented with a flavourful rice filled acorn squash.

No need to be impressed folks, because this stuffed acorn squash recipe is a dead easy meal to make.

Downright relaxing for the cook actually.

Jump to Recipe

Roasted With Wild Rice, Dried Cranberries, Garam Masala, Spinach and Black Beans

This whole-foods plant-based (wpb) oil-free roasted and stuffed acorn squash is extra deliciously complex, because the whole grain wild rice (any nice healthy whole grain rice should do) has extra scrumptious dried cranberry bits in it, plus the east Indian dessert pepper spice Garam Masala.

You can buy Garam Masala in the ethnic section of your grocery store.  I have a large bag of it, it goes nicely with fruit as well, like apple slices before bed, or on oatmeal.

Garam masala, cranberries, and acorn squash are a great combo.  Very romantic.

Plus, I’ve stirred some spinach ribbons, and optionally black beans, through this sticky sweet, spicy, rice, making things very much more interesting.

Can You Eat the Skin of Acorn Squash?

I looked it up and people said that the skin of acorn squash is edible if cooked long enough, so I announced this to my family, when serving them, they promptly all said “no thanks”.

Then I proceeded to try some of the skin on my squash, spit it out, and declared it was much too tough.

“Told you so” my husband said.

I would not encourage others to enjoy eating the skin.

Do enjoy the rest though. 🙂

FODMAP rating – without the black beans this recipe is Low FODMAP.  With the black beans, be sure to used canned, eat 1/4 cup or less of the canned beans and it is moderate FODMAP.

Garam Masala Baked Acorn Squash - Stuffed With Cranberry Rice

Stuffed acorn squash presents well at any family gathering or dinner party, such as Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter.  The warm, peppery and sweet seasonings pair perfectly with fall and winter weather.

I can't over-emphasize how easy this dish is to make, but makes you look like a fairly accomplished cook.  As long as you have time to cook rice, it will come together 5 minutes after the rice is done.

This vegan no-fat version has dried cranberries, rice, spinach and optionally black beans, so it can easily serve as your entire meal.  

Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine Indian, Western
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 568 kcal
Author Jeanette Whitten

Ingredients

  • 2 cups wild rice or other healthy whole grains, like short grain brown rice, brown basmati rice, or quinoa
  • 4 cups water or as per rice package instructions
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 tsp garam masala
  • 1 cup dried cranberries I use Craisins (sweetened)
  • 2 acorn squash small, or 1 large, washed and halved
  • 5 cups spinach finely chopped
  • 398 ml black beans, can small can, optional - if you are serving as a meal rather than a side dish

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400F

  2. Add rice, water, salt, garam masala and cranberries to a pot on high heat.  Bring to a boil, immediately reduce to low simmer, and cook for 45 minutes, or as per rice package instructions.  Check and stir often, to prevent the cranberries from burning.   If the rice is not soft once the water is gone, add more water and cook longer.  The dried cranberries can absorb liquid the rice needs.

  3. Break stem off acorn squashes (if there is one).  Cut in halves.  Scoop out the seeds and strings.  Sprinkle with pepper and salt, place cut side down on a baking sheet and bake for 30 - 45 minutes (timing will depend on the size of the squash).    

  4. Once the rice is done, turn off the heat.  Stir chopped spinach into the rice so it 'melts'.

  5. If using, drain and rinse black beans, add to rice mixture.  Let sit for a few minutes to warm the beans.

  6. Once done, remove acorn squash from the oven.  The squash should be soft all the way through.

  7. Spoon spinach, black bean, cranberry, rice mixture into squash, you should be able to pile it quite high, serve warm.

Recipe Notes

Omit the black beans to make this recipe a side dish. 

Goes well with lentil loaf at holidays.

Cut large squash into quarters before serving.

 

 

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Italian Cornmeal Zucchini Polenta – 20 minutes

Italian Cornmeal Zucchini Polenta – 20 minutes

Easy Vegan Zuchinni Cornmeal Italian Polenta

Turn a Bag of Cornmeal into Italian Creamy Zucchini Polenta, FAST – with Savoury Seasonings

I’d never made polenta from scratch before.  Have you?

I didn’t know you could make a vegan, fat-free, polenta (think corn porridge!) using cornmeal, for dinner, and that it would only take 15 – 20 minutes.

It’s really easy and very yummy when you add some seasonings and zucchini to it.  The zucchini keeps it moist and stops it from hardening as much, as it cools.

Jump to Recipe

Cornmeal polenta is faster than pasta, easier than potatoes, speedier than quinoa, quicker than rice, and seriously lip smacking good.raw cornmeal for vegan polenta

If you do know how to make polenta, then you probably agree, making creamy vegan cornmeal polenta is really easy, and naturally tastes great as a no-oil gluten-free whole-grain plant-based quick easy vegan side-dish.

Simple Creamy Vegan Polenta

Boil water, add seasonings and extras (if any), add cornmeal, wait a few minutes, done!

My kids probably would have preferred if I left out the seasonings and extras.

But… I still had 4 zucchini squash from my neighbours and aunt taking up most of my counter ledge.

Must. Use. More. Zucchini. Autumn harvest and all.

So I created this shredded zucchini polenta recipe that turned out wonderfully.

Simple Creamy Vegan Polenta with Zucchini and Italian Seasonings

Boil water, food process a generous sized zucchini (mine made 4 cups), add salt, Italian seasonings like oregano, and rosemary, with generous pepper, add zucchini to the water, stir in cornmeal, wait 5 minutes, voila!

Savoury, vegan, fat-free, gluten-free, low FODMAP (for us folks with IBS), Italian style polenta.

Feeding Vegan Children – Skip the Green Bits

My kids were disappointed that the polenta had the seasonings, and the green bits of zucchini skin.

If you are feeding vegan children who are picky about mixed in green things, like mine, I would suggest you peel the zucchini and make the polenta with just salt, pull the kids portions out, then quickly add remaining seasonings for the non picky eaters.  Serve broccoli or something else green on the side, full transparency kids.

Fast

I say quickly, because cornmeal thickens up real fast in boiling water, I was very surprised, and pleased by this.  It is why I suggest adding the spices before the cornmeal in the recipe below, otherwise it is tricky to stir them into the thickness.

I ended up with lumps, and discovered they are very tasty, so don’t worry about those.  What a great easy carb for a supper on a busy night.  Polenta weekly from now on?!

Mmmmm Kind of Texture

The polenta is such a comforting texture when it is warm, like thick porridge, but more smooth, sophisticated, and appropriate for dinner.

Is this what grits are?  I really don’t know.

As soon as I find out, I will share my knowledge with you, it’s my mission.

To make vegan families the norm.

FODMAP rating – low FODMAP.  For people with IBS, no onions in this dish, and cornmeal is low fodmap, yay!

Vegan Italian Cornmeal Zucchini Polenta - 15 minutes - Fat-free

Take water, a bag of cornmeal, a zucchini, oregano, rosemary, salt and pepper and turn it into a filling, lip smacking, yummy, warm, vegan comfort food, that comes together so fast and tastes wonderful.

Whole-grains, gluten-free, plant-based, no-oil.  Tastes a bit like thanksgiving.

Use a food processor to prepare the zucchini, peel it first if serving picky children, throw it in some boiling water with the seasonings, add cornmeal, stir and wait 5 minutes for the cornmeal to cook.  

Very simple.  Very cozy.  Very smooth and full of taste.

Great recipe to try on a night you are running late and looking for a fast, easy, simple, vegan carb/starch side-dish for your supper.

Course Side Dish
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 177 kcal
Author Jeanette Whitten

Ingredients

  • 3 cups water
  • 3 cups zucchini approximate, coarsely shredded in food processor, or grated. One large zucchini.
  • 0.5 tsp salt
  • 0.25 tsp black pepper or to taste
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast optional, truly, you won't miss it
  • 0.5 tsp oregano dried, or 1/2 tbsp fresh
  • 0.5 tsp rosemary or thyme, dried, or 1/2 tbsp fresh
  • 1 cup cornmeal cornmeal

Instructions

  1. Grate or food process zucchini. Peel first if serving to picky children, or picky adults.  Add zucchini and water to a large saucepan, stir to combine and bring to a boil.

  2. Add salt, pepper, oregano, rosemary, and nutritional yeast, if using.

  3. With water / zucchini and spices bubbling, add cornmeal in a thin stream, stirring with a wooden spoon to incorporate.  

    raw cornmeal for vegan polenta
  4. Turn heat to low.  Keep stirring over low heat for at least 5 minutes as the cornmeal cooks and loses it's raw taste. It thickens into polenta very quickly, which is why it is important to have the seasonings in the liquid before the cornmeal. Otherwise it is tricky to stir it all together.

  5. Taste test (blow on it, don't burn your tongue!) and adjust seasonings to your preference.

  6. After the cornmeal has been cooking, it should get thick, turn off heat, let it sit 5 more minutes, then it should be ready to serve.  The longer the polenta sits, the thicker it will get and the herbs will mellow out.  Oregano can be quite strong, I find it tastes better the longer it sits, and is really nice as leftovers.

    Creamy fat-free vegan zucchini cornmeal polenta
  7. Snip green onions or chives overtop when serving, some people like this with freshly squeezed lemon as well, or cranberry sauce.

    vegan no-oil cornmeal polenta with zucchini

Recipe Notes

Stir in black beans before serving if you are looking to add a vegan protein.

Serving ideas, with:

carrots sautéed in water, add spinach and fresh dill when carrots are almost done.

kidney beans or chickpeas and canned mushrooms microwaved in a steamer dish, seasoned with cumin or chili powder and freshly squeezed lemon.  

a nice dark leafy greens salad.

cranberry sauce.

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Green Tomatoes Chickpea Avocado Edamame Rice Salad

Green Tomatoes Chickpea Avocado Edamame Rice Salad

Mix Avocado, Fresh Green Tomatoes, Chickpeas, and Edamame Beans for a Creamy Vegan Spread or Salad Bowl

Use up fresh green tomatoes in this creamy avocado, edamame, chickpea, whole-foods plant-based green goddess recipe.

Put it on rice, quinoa, or other grains with some greens, like a bed of spinach.  No-oil needed, it’s fat-free but full of natural omega fats to keep your body glowing.

Also try smashing this green spread on toast or as a filling in a lettuce wrap.

Hard to go wrong, and very easy to go right, with avocado and edamame, some frozen peas, and optionally green tomatoes.

Create yourself a super vegan creamy mixture and delight.

FODMAP rating – medium low amount of FODMAPS.  Monash recommends eating less than 1/4 cup of chickpeas, and less than 1/4 cup of thawed peas in a sitting.  If you proportion more grains and spinach and less of the filling, IBS sufferers should be able to enjoy this recipe.

 

Chickpea Avocado Edamame Rice Salad

This has a green goddess appeal when you use green tomatoes fresh from your garden or local farmer's market.  Fresh and green, with creamy avocado, edamame, the tomatoes add a light citrus.

Red tomatoes also work, or omit the tomatoes.

On toast, on rice, in a lettuce wrap how else can we use this delicious filling, spread and smash?

Course dinner, lunch
Cuisine Vegan, Western
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 530 kcal
Author Jeanette Whitten

Ingredients

  • 2 cups brown rice or a brown rice, quinoa blend
  • 1.5 cups edamame beans, frozen
  • 1 avocado
  • 540 ml chickpeas canned, drained and rinsed
  • 1.5 cups green tomatoes diced, optional
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp dijon mustard or more to taste
  • 1 cup peas frozen
  • 2 tbsp green onions as garnish, discard the white parts of the onions to make this recipe low FODMAP
  • hot sauce to taste
  • 4 cups spinach
  • 2 red peppers

Instructions

Cook Grains

  1. Cook grains, I used a rice quinoa mix.  Set aside to cool.

Prepare Edamame, Avocado, Chickpea Mix

  1. Microwave edamame in a microwave steamer to cook, as per package directions.  Usually 5 minutes. 

  2. Add avocado, drained chickpeas, green tomatoes, salt, and dijon mustard to a medium/large bowl.  Taste and adjust amount of mustard to your preference.

    vegan green tomato avocado chickpea salad
  3. Add edamame to the bowl.   Mine were in their shells still, so I microwaved them in their steamer bag and then shelled them into the bowl.

    Chickpeas, avocado, edamame smash
  4. Mash with potato masher until desired consistency.

    Edamame, Avocado, Chickpea Filling
  5. Stir in frozen peas, still frozen, they will cool it down and then you don't need to refrigerate.

Recipe Notes

To Assemble Salad:

Line a bowl or plate with fresh baby spinach or romaine lettuce.

Add rice/grains, and then the edamame, avocado, chickpea mix.  

Top with sliced red peppers, use scissors to cut green onions on top.

Add hot sauce.

 
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Green Bean Casserole

Green Bean Casserole

Green Beans and Lentil Casserole with Homemade Toasted Bread Croutons

I asked my mother the other day, what is the best way to cook green beans?  They can be tough and chewy if you try to steam them in the microwave, but can be limp, soggy, and watery if you boil them on the stove.  She agreed.  We weren’t sure.

How about baked green beans in a vegan casserole?  Sounds like a great dinner idea.

Apparently green bean casserole is a thing.  I needed to try it, and after testing it out, green beans in a casserole is my favourite way to cook green and yellow beans.

First you blanch the beans in salted boiling water for 5 minutes, then bake them in the casserole for 20-25 minutes in a rich savoury bubbling lentil gravy sauce.  The result?  Tender, flavourful green beans, really nicely done.  Sprinkle them with toasted croutons and almonds before baking, and you get a combo of crunchy, soft, and creamy textures, plus flavours of a holiday meal like Christmas or Thanksgiving.  Quite a delight.

Because of the homemade toasted bread croutons, and the rich lentil gravy base, this classic Thanksgiving side dish could be a light main course on a regular night, lots of protein here.  But, if you are like us, you probably will crave more carbs, so consider serving it with mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce, or my tomato parsley quinoa salad.

I think you should try making a warm and nicely textured green bean casserole too, the beans will be not too tough, and not too soggy, they will be just right.

Hopefully you choose this whole-foods plant-based green bean casserole recipe to try first. 🙂

FODMAP recipe rating – this is a low FODMAP recipe except for the croutons – use wheat free bread to make low FODMAP croutons.

 

Green Bean Casserole With Croutons

Turn a classic Thanksgiving side dish, into a wfpb main dish, with lentil gravy, crispy croutons and no heavy cream.  The sauce is my 10 minute gorgeous vegan gravy.

This recipe is easily adjusted to be low FODMAP by using gluten free bread.

Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine Vegan, Western
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 7 servings
Calories 135 kcal
Author Jeanette Whitten

Ingredients

  • 24 oz green beans fresh or frozen
  • 4 cups Brown Lentil Gravy prepared, see recipe
  • 8 slices wheat bread or gluten free bread
  • 1 tbsp green onions chopped fresh or chives
  • 1 tsp sage chopped, or dried
  • 1 tsp thyme leaves chopped, or dried
  • 1 tsp rosemary chopped, or dried
  • 3 tbsp almond flour or blended or crushed almonds
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper freshly ground

Instructions

  1. Heat the oven to 375 degrees F.  Take out a large sized casserole dish, no lid required.

  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil with a large pinch of salt to season the beans nicely; add the green beans. Cook for about 5 minutes, the beans should still be crisp, they will be cooked more in the oven. 

    Blanched Green Beans
  3. Prepare a batch of my 10 minute lentil Gorgeous Vegan Gravy.

    Low FODMAP Lentil Vegan Gravy
  4. Drain and put the green beans into the baking dish, pour the lentil gravy over top and stir to cover the beans.  

  5. Prepare topping: in a small bowl, combine chives, sage, thyme, rosemary, almond flour, pepper, and salt. 

  6. Prepare croutons: Toast whole grain bread, pile on a cutting board, and cut into medium sized squares, with a long bread knife.   Bread with seeds or crunchy bits in it adds another lovely texture element if you have any.  Use wheat free (low FODMAP) or gluten free bread if desired.

    Homemade Croutons
  7. Top beans with the croutons, and sprinkle the herb mix overtop. 

  8. Bake uncovered, until everything is hot and bubbling, about 20 to 25 minutes.

    Vegan Green Bean Casserole Topping

Recipe Notes

Fresh herbs add amazing flavour, but dried herbs work also!

Adapted from Tyler Florence.

 
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Creamy Coleslaw Vinaigrette Salad Dressing

Creamy Coleslaw Vinaigrette Salad Dressing

Sweet Tangy Rich Creamy Healthy Dressing – Perfect for Coleslaw

This sweet tasting dairy-free no-oil healthy dressing will make your vegan coleslaw shine!  With dates, rice vinegar, tofu, lemon and pecans it is also going to keep you from getting hungry.  Eat healthy unsaturated fats from whole nuts and not processed oil.

How often can you say your salad dressing is high fibre and sugar-free?  With this vinaigrette you can!

Jump to Recipe

 

Creamy Coleslaw Vinaigrette Dressing

A sweet and tangy egg-free, dairy-free, dressing made with tofu, rice vinegar, lemon, dates and pecans.  Plant-based oil-free dressing that complements coleslaw and keeps you from getting hungry.  Contains healthy fats from nuts rather than unhealthy fats from processed oils.

I recommend my Cranberry Apple Coleslaw recipe to go with this dressing.

Going to a pot luck or a party?  Try wowing your friends with Crowd Pleasing Chili recipe, it's amazing.  Don't forget dessert!  How about some White Bean Brownies or Peanut Butter Cookies?  No one will know they are eating healthier than they ever have...

Course Salad, Sauce
Cuisine Dresssing
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Calories 84 kcal
Author Jeanette Whitten

Ingredients

  • 1 cup tofu soft or medium (I use medium because I can always add a non-dairy milk to make it thinner)
  • 1/2 cup soy milk or almond milk, or hemp milk
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 6 dates pitted
  • 4 tsp lemon juice freshly squeezed
  • 1/2 cup pecans optionally toasted - Toasting nuts like pecans results in a more intense flavor.

Instructions

How to Toast Pecans - 3 Methods Broil, Bake, or Skillet

  1. You don't have to toast the pecans, but if you do, you are going to get a more intense and rich flavoured dressing.  I recommend toasting, and it is really easier than you might think.  Often I have the oven going anyways, and I just spread nuts on the sheet beside whatever else I am baking for a few minutes and then take them out again.

  2. Broil: Spread pecans in a single layer on a baking sheet.  Place in oven under Broil in oven on the "broil" setting for 2 - 4 minutes to toast.  Bake: Preheat oven to 350. Place in oven for 10 - 12 minutes.  Skillet: Heat a pan to medium on the stovetop, add pecans. Stir for 3 - 5 minutes with a spoon continuously so they will cook evenly and not burn. 

  3. Regardless of method, remove when they begin to smell toasty and turn dark. Do not burn.

Blend Dressing

  1. While pecans toast, add tofu, non-dairy milk, rice vinegar, dates, and lemon juice to a high speed blender.

  2. Add toasted pecans and blend.

    healthy vegan coleslaw dressing low-fat
  3. Pour over Cranberry Apple Coleslaw.  Or other coleslaw of your choice.

    vegan healthy salad dressing vinaigrette
  4. Mix, and serve.

    creamy vegan apple cabbage coleslaw

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What's Special About VeganEnvy Recipes?  

VeganEnvy recipes are easy, low-fat, whole-foods, plant-based and nutrition rich.  Real food my family eats, and techniques we use to cook.

I choose ingredients that are proven to prevent and reverse disease, based on scientific studies, such as those reviewed on nutritionfacts.org and findings published by whole-foods plant-based (WFPB) experts featured in the Forks Over Knives (FOK) and What the Health documentaries FOK trailer.

Eating VeganEnvy recipes will make you lose weight, look better, feel better and live longer.  PLUS spend your money to cruelty free food systems, cut your environmental impact, and likely increase your compassion for, and awareness of, lives other than your own.

Sweet Zing Orange Thyme Dressing

Healthy OIL-FREE vegan dressing with a SWEET ZING from green onions, apples, and dried cranberries. AWESOME on quinoa and lentils pilaff, and is delicious on BRUSSELS SPROUTS.

Easy Vegan Chocolate Bean Brownies (Oil Free with Dates)

Easy, moist, fudgy, VEGAN, whole-foods, gluten-free, BEAN brownies. Use white beans, cocoa powder, blended oats, dates, and fruit, in a food-processor, for perfect, chocolate, healthy, rich, brownies everyone will love. FAT-FREE, HIGH FIBER, HEALTHY, DAIRY-FREE, EGG-FREE, AWESOME!

Tahini Roasted Broccoli – Whole-Foods Plant-Based

Toss broccoli in a vegan and gluten-free mixture of tahini, lemon juice, minced garlic, soy sauce, and pepper, then bake for 10 minutes.  
It’s crispy and creamy at the same time.  

Epicure Healthy Tofu Pad Thai (Whole Foods Vegan)

Dinner in 20 minutes. A fast oil free, whole foods vegan Pad Thai recipe with tofu, noodles, and a homemade sriracha sauce, using Epicure Spice mixes. Easy healthy plant-based fat free meal.

Lazy Vegan Frittata with Spinach, Tofu, Potatoes, and Chickpeas

HEALTHY VEGAN COMFORT FOOD. Vegan Lazy Frittata – Potatoes, Chickpeas, Tofu, Spinach, Peas, Mushrooms – combined in a OIL-FREE creamy mess that is satisfying, NUTRITIOUS, and delicious. FAST vegan meal – dinner recipe is 30 minutes to make.

Cool as a Cucumber Vegan Tzatziki – Fat-Free

Use Tofu and apple cider vinegar as a YOGURT SUBSTITUTE to make a dairy-free, no-oil, fat-free, healthy vegan dill and cucumber Greek Tzatziki dip that is refreshing and delicious.

Irresistible Peanut Butter Cookies

PERFECT LITTLE CROWD PLEASERS, vegan and gluten free oat cookies, but packed with BIG PEANUT BUTTER FLAVOUR! Healthy, no-oil, fat-free, whole-foods plant-based easy fast coconut sugar.

Zesty Caesar Salad With Croutons – No Oil

HEALTHY FAT-FREE EASY VEGAN CAESAR SALAD with croutons. The ZESTY garlic, and BRIGHT lemon FLAVOURS SHINE in this RECIPE, that is what makes Caesar dressing taste awesome.  GARLIC AND LEMON!

Whole Weekend Waffles

It’s EASY to make VEGAN WAFFLES from a box mix. Follow these simple steps to healthy whole grain dairy-free and egg-free waffles.

Satisfying Split-Pea Soup

With PERFECT SEASONINGS, potatoes, barley, and carrots it’s a SO GOOD, fat-free VEGAN SPLIT-PEA SOUP. Better than what you ate as a child! Full of IRON AND VITAMIN A, HEALTHY WHOLE-FOOD PLANT-BASED recipe, LOSE WEIGHT, feel and LOOK FANTASTIC.

Brussels Sprouts, Quinoa and Lentil Pilaf – Orange Cranberry Apple Sauce

Easy Vegan Quinoa and Lentil Pilaf with Brussels Sprouts and Orange Apple...

Rhubarb Strawberry Crisp, low-fat, vegan, gluten-free, low FODMAP, healthy dessert

Healthy low-fat gluten-free strawberry rhubarb crisp. Delicious low-fodmap dessert, suitable for IBS Diets.

Vegan Asparagus Black Bean and Roasted Sweet Potato Salad – No Oil, 30 Minute Dinner

Ready in 30 minutes, this colourful, healthy, vegan dinner salad has roasted sweet potatoes, regular potatoes, asparagus, black beans and a tangy lemon, dijon, green onion, dill dressing. It is a complete meal and will leave you and your loved ones feeling satisfied and full of energy to be your healthy best.

Gorgeous Vegan Gravy

This smooth, brown, fast, fat-free lentil based vegan gravy reminds us of Thanksgiving dinners, stuffing, and good times at family gatherings. A traditional brown gravy colour, with savoury flavour. Ready in 10 minutes, in the microwave.

Green Vegetable Medley Pasta Soup (Dad’s Soup)

Our family’s FAVOURITE VEGAN green vegetable medley DINNER SOUP with PASTA, a wonderful meal soup – combination of green peppers, zucchini, SPINACH, corn and black beans, with basil and oregano, in a hearty, whole foods, no oil, vegetarian dinner soup. Fat free.

Indian Palak Paneer (Spinach, Tofu and Eggplant) Side Dish

15 min easy AWESOME healthy Indian SPINACH side dish recipe using FROZEN OR FRESH, fast FAT-FREE vegan dinner idea, DAIRY-FREE, tofu paneer substitute/replacement, cook eggplant, tasty onion, fresh tomato, garlic, ginger, SPICES. Serve meal with rice or potatoes.

Green Bean Casserole

Turn a classic Thanksgiving green beans side dish, into a delicious low-fat dairy-free whole-foods vegan dish, with lentil gravy, crispy homemade croutons and perfectly cooked green beans.

Chocolate Banana Green Smoothie

DELICIOUS, vegan, HEALTHY, sugar-free, DAIRY-FREE, smoothie recipe with COCOA POWDER, banana, dates, spinach, pineapple and soy milk or almond milk or other non-dairy milk. Cocoa powder is full of antioxidants and is iron rich.

Healthy Aqua Faba Vegan Chocolate Birthday Cake: Fat-Free, Whole Wheat

PLANT-BASED WHOLE-FOODS! Tall, light and fluffy, awesome and delicious, oil-free, CHOCOLATE layer cake, with a vegan frosting filling. Uses whole-wheat flour and zucchini, low-fat, dairy-free, perfect for birthdays, KIDS LOVE THIS CAKE, tasty and moist. wfpb

FAST No-Rise Healthy Whole Wheat Pizza Dough (oil-free vegan)

Make FAST, FAT-FREE, WHOLE WHEAT FLOUR, HEALTHY, NO-RISE, VEGAN PIZZA DOUGH, in your food processor. Perfect, crispy and soft. Roll out, place toppings, and bake in 10 minutes. Fat-free, healthy, moist, no-oil, THE BEST. KIDS LOVE THIS CRUST!

Green Tomatoes Chickpea Avocado Edamame Rice Salad

Mix Avocado, Fresh Green Tomatoes, Chickpeas, and Edamame Beans for a Creamy Vegan Spread, or Rice Quinoa Salad Bowl. Whole-foods plant-based green goddess recipe. No-oil needed, it’s fat-free but full of natural omega fats to keep your body glowing.

Fiery Vegan Mayo Sauce, No Oil

DELICIOUS VEGANSAUCE. SPICY CHIPOTLE OIL-FREE VEGAN MAYO! Spicy, smoky, dairy-free, eggless, egg-free, chipotle, HEALTHY, fat-free vegan mayo recipe.

Healthy Vegan Apple Cake – Whole Wheat No-Oil WFPB

Looking for healthy low-fat vegan recipe ideas to make with apples? This moist apple cake is wfpb and quite tasty.

Ginger Pear Fruit Crisp – Whole-Foods Plant-Based

Pears make a delicious healthy vegan fruit crumble when baked with oats, almond flour and ground cashews. Try this TASTY whole-foods plant-based kid friendly fat-free no-oil recipe with a ginger lemon twist!

Cream of Cauliflower and Potato Soup (with Tofu)

EASY, DAIRY-FREE CREAM OF CAULIFLOWER soup WITH SILKEN TOFU AND POTATOES. Make in 45 MIN. Healthy vegan dinner, without oil. Whole foods, plant based, so nutritious!

Butternut Squash Apple Galette – Whole-Foods Plant-Based

Whole-foods plant-based Butternut Squash Galette with no-oil. Whole-wheat pastry made with almond flour. Delicious creamy tofu filling with sage, fennel, and apple.

Creamy Coleslaw Vinaigrette Salad Dressing

This dairy-free no-oil healthy dressing will make your vegan coleslaw shine!  With dates, tofu, rice vinegar, lemon and pecans it is also going to keep you from getting hungry.

Low FODMAP Healthy Salad Dressing – Creamy Orange Vinaigrette – No-Oil

Spicy, with oranges and pumpkin seeds, or peanuts. A low fodmap salad dressing you can make at home, sweet, creamy, healthy and satisfying.

Meatless Marinara Sauce With Protein

Healthy Vegan Italian Tomato Pasta Sauce with Whole-Foods Plant-Based Protein and No-Oil. Modernize your marinara by using lentils and chickpeas in a no-oil meatless version that replaces traditional spaghetti sauce.

Lovely Lentil and Brown Rice Soup

Vegan lentil and brown rice soup with tomatoes, basil, oregano, onion, garlic, thyme, and zucchini. So easy to make, and clean up, a one pot meal. Aromatic and delicious blend of complex flavours in a hearty and satisfying comforting soup.

Super Summer-Time Pasta Salad

Fast HEALTHY best vegan fat-free PASTA SALAD with BLACK BEANS, corn, green onions, tomatoes, frozen peas and BLACK OLIVES. Low calorie, high vitamin C, HIGH IRON, so GOOD FOR YOU! Families and KIDS love to eat this whole-foods plant-based (wfpb) quick meal.

Anti-Inflammation Smoothie – Ginger and Turmeric

Ginger and turmeric have demonstrated significant impacts on reducing pain and inflammation in multiple studies, try them in a vegan green smoothie!

Healthy Vegan Cranberry Cake – Whole Wheat No-Oil, No-Sugar, WFPB

Healthy whole wheat vegan cranberry cake, delicious but has no sugar and no oil. Whole foods plant based snack or dessert!

Wonderful White Bean and Walnut Sauce with Linguine and Asparagus

If you would like to have a DAIRY-FREE VEGAN WHITE SAUCE for your PASTA, or maybe you are trying to LOSE WEIGHT – here is a WHITE BEAN PESTO SAUCE, it’s a HEALTHY WHOLE-FOOD PLANT-BASED, CREAMY, FAT-FREE recipe.

Garam Masala Baked Acorn Squash – Stuffed With Cranberry Rice

Deliciously complex, tasty, healthy baked, stuffed acorn squash. Cranberry rice and spinach stuffing, Garam Masala East Indian dessert peppery spice. UNIQUE!

Easy Crustless Tofu Quiche (Whole Foods Vegan)

REAL VEGANS EAT QUICHE! EASY eggless, dairy-free, baked, vegan brunch, breakfast or dinner casserole. Firm tofu as a vegan egg substitute, best healthy no crust, oil-free, egg-free, whole foods quiche, smells and looks and tastes wonderful.

Italian Cornmeal Zucchini Polenta – 20 minutes

Mmmmmm, a bag of cornmeal, a zucchini, oregano, rosemary, and salt and pepper turn into a filling, stick to your ribs, healthy vegan comfort food, tasty polenta plant-based, no-oil, side-dish, so fast, quick, and easy, and tastes wonderful. Best fast vegan dinner side-dish idea!

Vegan Lasagna – Tofu & Spinach, Whole Foods Plant Based

Healthy simple vegan whole-foods plant-based lasagna that kids and families love, with no-oil, it uses tofu and spinach as a quick and easy ricotta cheese substitute.

Fiery Maple Sweet Potato Bowl, No Oil

COLORFUL sweet potatoes, MAPLE CHIPOTLE chickpeas or tofu, EARTHY mushrooms, VIBRANT greens, CREAMY avocado and a FIERY sauce makes for a SPICY and HEALTHFUL VEGAN MEAL BOWL IDEA!

Vegan Healthy Slow Cooker Summer Potato Corn Chowder No-Oil WFPB

Plant based whole foods slow cooker summer chowder. You can time this vegan soup to be ready when you are.  The longer it cooks the thicker and more delicious it gets.

Bok Choy Silken Tofu Noodle Soup (Source of Calcium!)

Bok choy, tofu, carrots, spaghettini noodles, and ginger combined, make an easy, quick, simple, and healthy hearty vegan soup recipe for dinner.

*Sweet* Sweet Potato Fries – wfpb no-oil

People think you need to coat OVEN FRIES in oil, but THEY DON’T KNOW… try this recipe and you will learn better.  Moist heat escapes and ACTIVATES the seasonings, your fries will be CRISPY, oil-free and full of HEALTHY LOW CALORIE FLAVOUR.

Vegan Parmesan Cheese

Fast and easy delicious vegan parmesan cheese replacement uses nuts, garlic, and nutritional yeast. It is the best dairy-free, and lactose-free cheese sprinkle substitute I have found.

Healthy Cucumber Sandwich Rolls with Hummus

Hummus, and cucumber idea to make sandwich roll ups. Plant based protein lunch idea for kids!

Healthy Apple Crumble (Apple Crisp, Apple Cobbler) Whole-Foods Plant-Based, Vegan, Gluten Free Dessert

Use pecans, or cashews in the oat topping, instead of butter or margarine, and you get 10x the health, better flavour, and a topping that won’t go soggy!

Creamy Tofu Pasta Sauce with Garlic, Zucchini & Tomato

FAST, CREAMY, DAIRY-FREE tofu pasta sauce recipe, with soft silken tofu as a milk substitute to make a high protein, nut free, low fat and tasty zucchini, tomato penne pasta sauce.

BEST SLOW COOKER CHILI for a CROWD

This SMOKY VEGAN CHILI recipe LOOKS LIKE IT HAS MEAT, but tastes even better. TAKE THIS TO A PARTY, it is so good, with the best chili spices recipe.

Cranberry Apple Coleslaw

Apples, carrots, celery, cranberries, and cabbage are beautiful to look at and are a wonderful combination as well. Making coleslaw in the food processor is so fast and easy.

Healthy No-Oil Vegan Mayonnaise – Salad Dressing and Dip Substitute

Egg-free Oil-free Vegan Mayo Make dressings and creamy dips This is my go-to...

What Is Tofu? | All About Tofu, Nutrition, Benefits, Protein, Types, Ingredients, Health

ALL YOUR TOFU QUESTIONS ANSWERED – learn about tofu taste, nutrition, what tofu is made of, protein content, fiber, benefits, controversy, GMO, soybeans, calories, fat, and is tofu healthy. Plus how to choose, buy, press, and prepare soft, silken, and firm tofu.

Great Tofu Recipe Ideas For Dinner

Looking for fast, simple, easy, and the best tofu recipe ideas for dinner? Here is a list of healthy, family friendly tofu recipes with soft, silken, medium, firm and extra firm tofu options that taste delicious, and are great healthy, no oil, vegan meals.
Eating these tofu recipes will make you and your loved ones lose weight and fight disease – guaranteed.

Eating Nuts Daily Did Not Cause Weight Gain – It Caused Weight Loss!

Did you know that adding nuts didn't make people gain weight? In over 20...

What my IBS Symptoms Were Like – Before I Went Vegan

As an omnivore, my IBS symptoms included alternating diarrhea and constipation, acid indigestion, doctor’s tests, depression, stomach and intestinal pain, fatigue and weight loss.

How to Stir, Use, and Store Natural Peanut Butter – and Why It is SO MUCH BETTER

Natural Peanut Butter What is natural peanut butter?  It is peanut butter that...

How to Eat Vegan for Energy and Weight Loss – For Adults and Kids

RECOMMENDED PRINCIPLES of the VeganEnvy DIET AND LIFESTYLE – how to eat whole foods plant based healthy vegan without oil TO LOSE WEIGHT, stay skinny, have great skin, and be FULL OF ENERGY, and how to move to STOP BACK PAIN and keep your ENTIRE body feeling great.

That Meat is Not Giving You Muscle

Getting protein from animal products isn't as satisfying as you think Many...

What You Need to Know About Seaweed and Iodine for Vegan Nutrition

Iodine – how much do you need and how should you get it? Everyone needs iodine, but it’s especially important for vegans. Find out how much iodine you need daily to prevent goiter/goitre and the best sources in foods.

Why No Oil on a Whole Foods Plant-Based Diet?

We haven’t used oil in our kitchen since 2013 and I recommend you don’t either, starting now. This post outlines the reasons.

Mission Statement for VeganEnvy

I created VeganEnvy to be a fun, relevant, engaging, social and helpful place for you to belong.

Eating Whole Foods Plant-Based Vegan With IBS

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*Sweet* Sweet Potato Fries – wfpb no-oil

*Sweet* Sweet Potato Fries – wfpb no-oil

Easy, Simple, Fast, Best, Delicious, Healthy, Fat-Free, Sweet Potato Oven Baked Fries

People think you need to coat oven fries in oil, but they don’t know… try this recipe and you will learn better.  Moisture leaves the sweet potatoes as they bake, and activates the seasonings. Your fries will be crispy, oil-free, and full of flavour.

I recommend Epicure seasoning mixes, I used this Cajun spice to make mine tonight.  It was spicy!  Epicure seasonings are amazing high quality spices, with high nutritional value, and no artificial ingredients like MSG or gluten fillers.

If you are in Canada, you can conveniently order spices and seasoning mixes from my Epicure site online catalogue and ship them to your home.

My kids had no seasonings, they dipped their fries in ketchup.  You can also use whatever spice blends you have around the house, like chili powder, or salt and pepper and garlic powder.

Back to oil – One gram of oil is 9 calories… empty, empty, harmful calories.  13.6 grams of oil (a tablespoon) is 120 calories.  One serving of these sweet potatoes without oil is only 89 calories!  When you add oil, you are adding calories that are nutrition poor.  You do not need processed oil to live.  We have been cooking oil-free since 2013.  If you think you need it…. what is something bad that happens to people who don’t eat oil?

Skip the oil.  Why no-oil cooking?

Jump to Recipe

Sweet potatoes have many health benefits, they are a super-food.

Like what benefits?  Well, much of the following information was conveniently provided on a paper that came with my bag of 6 sweet potatoes – let’s learn together, ok?

High in Fiber

Sweet potatoes are a good source of dietary fiber, which lowers your risk for constipation, diverticulitis, colon and rectal cancer, heart disease, type two diabetes and obesity.

The fibre in sweet potatoes provides a feeling of fulness and satisfaction, which makes you eat less!

High in Antioxidants

Antioxidants play a role in the prevention of heart disease and cancer, and sweet potatoes supply plenty of the antioxidants vitamin E, and beta-carotene.

Antioxidants are essential for good brain functioning and delay the effects of ageing on the brain. Vitamin E is found mainly in high fat foods such as oils, nuts, and avocados.

Only sweet potatoes provide vitamin E without fat and calories.

Vitamin A

One serving of this recipe is 285% of the vitamin A required for a person following a 2000 calorie diet.  BAM!

If you are short like me that is like 400% vitamin A… I don’t count calories, but I know from before I went vegan (when I stressed about calories ALL THE TIME) that I need about 1100 – 1200 calories a day to maintain my 5’2″ frame.  Now that I eat whole-foods plant-based I don’t need to stress…. if I notice I’m getting some extra flab, I eat more greens and it goes away.  Serious.

Low Glycemic Index

A low glycemic index is desirable and is characterized by slow absorption, a modest rise in blood glucose, and smooth return to normal. This is especially important for people with diabetes, whose good health is dependent upon stable blood glucose levels.

Diabetics and others wanting to avoid glucose highs and lows can turn to sweet potatoes, which have a low glycemic index.

Excellent Source of Potassium

Potassium plays a major role in maintaining fluid and electrolyte balance and cell integrity. Fresh fruits and vegetables are the best sources of potassium, and sweet potatoes are among the top three richest sources. Naturally low in calories and high in nutritional value.

Ways to Include Sweet Potato Fries in Your Diet

Some ideas for using these nummy, nummy fries that you can consider while they are baking, or while you are peeling and chopping them.

  • Take sweet potato fries for lunch, topped with cinnamon flavoured applesauce
  • Add leftover sweet potatoes to your next stew or soup.  That’s going to be fast…
  • You can even eat raw sweet potato fries with your favourite dip (I read this on the sweet potato marketing literature that came with them, I have never actually tried this).
  • Eat sweet potato fries for vegan breakfast with scrambled tofu and pancakes.

Let’s dig into some sweet sweet potato fries!

 
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*Sweet* Sweet Potato Fries The Whole-Foods Plant-Based Way

Don't buy frozen fries, make them fresh, and use orange sweet potatoes to get more antioxidants, potassium, and fibre, from a fat-free, low-glycemic index super-food!

Peel the potatoes, cut into sticks, spread on your baking sheet, sprinkle with seasonings, bake, enjoy.

See full instructions and pictures here!

Course Side Dish
Cuisine Vegan, Western
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 5 people
Calories 89 kcal
Author Jeanette Whitten

Ingredients

  • 4 sweet potatoes medium size
  • oven fry seasonings such as chili powder, cajun, seasoning salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425° F.  Use a foil or silicone lined baking sheet or stoneware.  No-oil required.

  2. Peel the potatoes.

  3. Cut in half or quarters, place on the round side, slice down 2-3 times to make 1 inch lengths.  Set in a pile on the flat side, cut into sticks.

  4. Spread mostly in a single layer, some overlap is fine.  No-oil required.  Really jam the sticks together, they will shrink quite a bit.  Pack as many on the sheet as you can, because I think you are going to eat these up really quick-like and be sad if you don't have enough.  In fact, I wish I had put a lot more on my sheet here. 🙁

    sweet potato fries in sticks ready for baking
  5. Sprinkle with seasonings like seasoned salt, chili powder, or cajun seasoning from Epicure.  If you have a convection oven, then fire up two sheets and cook those babies at the same time.

  6. Bake for 30 - 40 minutes.  Remove if fries start to burn.

    baked healthy sweet potato fries no-oil
  7. Serve!  In this case we had them with beet greens (with fresh squeezed lemon) and vegan chicken fingers.  It was honestly a great combo.  Spicy cajun fries, salty lemon beet greens (they are naturally salty), sweet ketchup veggie fingers - it was all really good, and pretty good for us too, right?

    cajun sweet potato oven fries with ketchup

Recipe Notes

Serving suggestions:

With Ketchup mixed with cajun seasoning, or cranberry sauce, or lemon juice.

 

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Meatless Marinara Sauce With Protein

Meatless Marinara Sauce With Protein

Vegan Italian Tomato Pasta Sauce with Whole-Foods Plant-Based Protein and No-Oil

Cover your Spaghetti and other favourite pastas with my family’s best healthy vegan fat-free marinara sauce.  Lentils and chickpeas make it thick, and full of iron, fibre and phytonutrients.  Add some spinach (fresh or frozen) to get a darker color, and more nutrition.

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Jump to Recipe

School is out here, and I just fed this sauce as leftovers for lunch to my daughters and their friend.  The friend made a point of complementing me about how tasty the sauce is.  Thanks for the feedback kid!  Now I share it with the internet…

This is a great whole-foods plant-based wfpb recipe for kids!

Please enjoy!

 
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Meatless Marinara With Protein - No-Oil, Vegan, Tomato Sauce and Pasta

With lentils and chickpeas this no-oil vegan Italian tomato based spaghetti sauce recipe replaces a traditional meat based pasta sauce, with bold flavour!   I've tested it on many non-vegans and they don't even realize, except wonder why it is so fat-free and lean.  

Use this simple recipe as a dependable base and add additional items if you like, such as mushrooms or green peppers.

Course Main Course, Pasta
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Calories 354 kcal
Author Jeanette Whitten

Ingredients

  • 375 g whole grain pasta whole wheat spaghetti is our favourite for this sauce
  • 540 ml can chickpeas drained
  • 540 ml can lentils drained
  • 2 garlic cloves medium
  • 796 ml can diced tomatoes with juice, or whole fresh tomatoes
  • 1 tsp oregano dried
  • 2 tsp basil dried
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 sweet onion white, medium, in chunks
  • 130 g frozen spinach thawed, nuggets work great
  • 156 ml tomato paste can

Instructions

  1. Put a large pot of pasta water on to boil.  No salt or oil are necessary.  No oil cooking, go!  Read more here about why we cook with no-oil.

  2. Drain canned lentils and chickpeas.  Consider reserving the juice (called aqua faba) in the fridge as an egg replacement for future baking - like for my VeganEnvy.com amazing chocolate birthday cake recipe.

  3. In a food processor - add drained chickpeas, drained lentils, garlic cloves, canned diced tomatoes (with juice), oregano, basil, onion powder, salt, onion chunks, and thawed spinach nuggets.  Blend on high until beans are no longer recognizable.

  4. I like to use frozen spinach nuggets, so I can easily portion out a little if I want - I always have some on hand in my freezer, like these ones.  I got them a Wal-mart.

    Frozen Spinach Nuggets
  5. Empty sauce into a medium sized pot on medium heat.  This sauce will splatter once it starts to bubble, so be prepared to cover it to protect your stove and yourself.  

    Blended lentils and chickpeas in vegan no-oil tomato sauce.
  6. Once the sauce is bubbling, reduce heat to low, stir, cover and let simmer for 5 more minutes so that the onion is cooked through.  

  7. In the meantime, add whole grain spaghetti to the boiling pasta water.  Set timer to cook according to directions, usually about 10 minutes.

  8. Once the the 5 min on the sauce is up, while the pasta is cooking, stir the tomato paste into the sauce.  The tomato paste makes the sauce thicker, so there is no excess liquid.  It also adds a lovely rich red color and taste.  Simmer a few more minutes or until pasta is ready.  

  9. Drain pasta and serve piled with generous portions of this delicious sauce!

    Plates of spaghetti with meatless vegan healthy tomato sauce.

Recipe Notes

Serving Ideas

Sprinkle with vegan parmesan cheese.

Vegetable side suggestions: steamed frozen peas and corn, broccoli, or Brussels sprouts.
Salad suggestion: spinach salad and balsamic dressing.

Bon Appetit!

 

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Vegan meme: Government recommends reducing consumption of meat to avoid cancer continues to subsidize meat industry.

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With PERFECT SEASONINGS, potatoes, barley, and carrots it’s a SO GOOD, fat-free VEGAN SPLIT-PEA SOUP. Better than what you ate as a child! Full of IRON AND VITAMIN A, HEALTHY WHOLE-FOOD PLANT-BASED recipe, LOSE WEIGHT, feel and LOOK FANTASTIC.

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Easy Crustless Tofu Quiche (Whole Foods Vegan)

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Wonderful White Bean and Walnut Sauce with Linguine and Asparagus

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Fiery Vegan Mayo Sauce, No Oil

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Satisfying Split-Pea Soup

Satisfying Split-Pea Soup

Vegan Smoky Split-Pea Soup, No-Oil

Get energized from one tasty bowl, with easy and delicious vegan fat-free dried green pea soup.  Potatoes, barley, and carrots, create a cozy, comfy, cheerful soup.  Like pea soup you may have eaten as a meat-eating child – but better!

Powered by healthy dried peas and potatoes, lots of iron, energy, fibre, and vitamin A, get ready to feel and look fantastic.

Veganized food usually tastes better than non-vegan, doesn’t it?  We vegans spend time to figure out which spices and vegetables make a meal delicious, and don’t rely on animal fat for taste.

Two special ingredients in this recipe, if you can find them: imitation bacon bits, and smoked paprika.  Both make the vegan pea soup taste smoky, and like you used a ham bone (I hope it is not offensive to any vegans for me to say that).

The imitation bacon bits swell up like pink meat crumbs, so be ready for that!  It was a little shocking for us, as non-meat-eaters. If you don’t like soy bacon bits, the soup will still taste great without them.  I didn’t figure out to add them until recently.

This fast, easy, and simple, best, split-pea soup, will be ready in just over an hour, rather than the more traditional two.

Jump to Recipe

 

Beauty

The dried parsley gives it a nice green colour, but this vegan split-pea soup’s beauty, is not from the way it looks, but, from the satisfying taste, and chewy texture.

Like your body on whole-foods plant-based no-oil recipes – beautiful on the healthy inside.  Oh, wait, you will be gorgeous on the outside too… and you are being beautiful to living creatures. That’s gorgeous too.

Barley

My nutrition calculator classified barley as a health food – health food? – barley was a staple of european diets, why did people stop eating it?  I don’t have time to research that now (got more recipes to publish)… I’m curious though.

Barley bread apparently was common in the British Isles dating back to the Iron Age, that’s over 3000 years ago.  Barley is a natural, unprocessed, whole grain.

Barley contains gluten, so if you’ve had a positive gluten blood test result, then swap it for long grain brown rice (cooks faster than short grain), or more potatoes.

If the blood test was negative (like mine was) consider that you might just be gluten sensitive because you eat too many low fibre and inflammatory animal products.  That’s what happened to me; before going vegan cured my IBS and gluten sensitivity.  Try increasing your fruit and veggies, skip the animal and processed foods, and when your gut is healthy the gluten sensitivity disappears.

Back to Basics

I always think of that nursery rhyme/song when I cook this:-

Pease porridge hot, pease porridge cold,

Pease porridge in the pot, nine days old;

Some like it hot, some like it cold,

Some like it in the pot, nine days old.

and I think, yes!  Soup made from dried peas, potatoes, and barley, what people lived on for centuries!

We are getting back to healthy basics here.

In our house this soup never lasts nine days though, it has disappeared sooner than that. 🙂

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Satisfying Split-Pea Soup

This soup is a favourite in our family, and we have been eating it for years.  Pot barley is such a chewy, tasty addition, but the soup is still great if you don't have any.  

This recipe allows you to cook the soup as you chop and add the ingredients in the order specified. Make sure it is bubbling the entire time, and you will be finished in 1 hour and 15 min instead of 2 hours. 

If it gets too thick, add hot water, a cup at a time.

Course Main Course
Cuisine Western
Cook Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Calories 306 kcal
Author Jeanette Whitten

Ingredients

  • 4 cups vegetable broth store bought cartons work great
  • 8 cups water
  • 2 cups green split peas dried
  • 1/2 cup barley dried, pot (hulled) barley is less processed than pearl barley. Substitute long grain brown rice if you want.
  • 1/4 tsp celery seed
  • 1/4 tsp thyme or 2 bay leaves, discard before eating
  • 4 cups potatoes cubed, skin on, 1 1/2" diced
  • 1 onion sweet chopped
  • 2 cups carrots chopped
  • 2 celery stalk thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp parsley flakes
  • 1 tbsp basil
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika use smoked! Replaces the taste of smoked ham.
  • 1/4 cup imitation bacon bits vegan, ours are made of soy and paprika
  • salt to taste
  • pepper fresh ground, to taste

Instructions

  1. Bring broth, water, celery seed, bay leaves, rinsed peas and barley to a boil in a LARGE soup pot. Reduce to a simmer. 

  2. Dice and add potatoes, raise heat to high, once bubbling, lower heat again.

    Image of chopped red potatoes on a cutting board.
  3. Chop onions and carrots, add to soup and raise heat to high, once boiling, lower heat again. Tip: I like to food process the onion alone into small pieces, then add carrots, and slowly process until the carrots are in larger pieces than the onion. Takes 45 seconds this way. 

    Image of chopped onion and carrots in a food processor.
  4. Add the sliced celery, parsley, basil, smoked paprika, vegan bacon bits and salt.

    Image of vegan split-pea soup ingredients in pot before cooking.
  5. Cover and simmer on low for 15 more minutes.  Total time since the peas started boiling should be at least 75 minutes.  

  6. Taste test, and if the peas are soft, serve in bowls, with salt, whole grain crackers, and freshly ground pepper.

    Image of vegan no-oil split-pea soup close up in a bowl.

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Healthy No-Oil Vegan Mayonnaise – Salad Dressing and Dip Substitute

Healthy No-Oil Vegan Mayonnaise – Salad Dressing and Dip Substitute

Egg-free Oil-free Vegan Mayo

Make dressings and creamy dips

This is my go-to vegan mayo substitute, it’s the best one I have found so far. With tofu, and cashews, it is a whole-foods plant-based, eggless, oil-free mayonnaise that has a nice range of flavours from lemon juice, a touch of sweetener, salt, and onion powder.

This healthy lower-fat vegan mayonnaise replacement works well as a base for creamy salad dressings, like coleslaw, or anytime a recipe calls for mayo.

Image of vegan mayo on purple cabbage.

Fat from cashews is more natural, anti-inflammatory, cancer preventing, and health promoting, than mad-made oil from a bottle.

Combine this vegan mayo with one of these many Epicure Dip Mixes to enjoy with veggies, and serve at parties.

Image of 3 onion dip with mayo.

 

Vegan Mayonnaise - Healthy No-Oil Whole-Foods Plant-Based Mayo

Vegan mayo is a great base for creamy salad dressings, like coleslaw.  This vegan mayo has a nice flavour profile from cashews, lemon juice, tofu and onion powder.

Course Salad
Cuisine Dresssing
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Calories 121 kcal
Author Jeanette Whitten

Ingredients

  • 340 g Silken Tofu use soft
  • 1 cup cashews
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 TBSP maple syrup or agave syrup or sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp onion powder

Instructions

  1. Place all ingredients in blender, and blend for at least 1 minute until silky smooth. 

  2. Chill to thicken.

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