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

Whole-Foods Plant-Based Apple Crisp / Crumble No-Oil, Nuts Instead of Butter

This is a yummy, healthy and satisfying plant-based vegan dessert, after school snack for kids, bedtime snack for yourself, mid-day treat… Whatever you prefer, so many options!

To make an apple crumble / apple crisp recipe that is more whole-foods plant-based, this recipe uses nuts instead of butter, in the oat topping.

With pecans, or cashews, you will still get that mouth feel, and satisfaction, that fat gives, but in a healthier delivery package (the natural whole nut).

Nuts have antioxidants, fiber, and nutrients that margerine, oils and butter do not have.  Plus, nuts are crunchy, a great texture for a crispy apple oat topping. 

 

How Do You Get the Apple Crumble Topping to Stay Together Without Butter?

Lemon juice.  Fat free lemon juice.  Use a food processor, oats, spices, nuts, sugar, and lemon juice.  So easy, and if you don’t over process them, you’ll get a healthy vegan crumble fruit dessert that’s  just right.

The lemon in the topping and spices on the apples, help this last for days on the counter, natural preservatives I suppose.  Lasts longer in the fridge, the topping stays firm.

If you use freshly squeezed lemon juice, you are again increasing your antioxidants and other nutrients.

What Kind of Apples to Use in Apple Crisp?

You can use peeled apples, or leave the peels on your apples (will result in a drier fruit filling, but still tastes good).  You can use green apples, or red, or crabapples.  Each type of apple will taste a little different.  

If you make apple dessert often enough, you might start to adjust the sugar content lower, or higher, when you know the apples are sweeter or more tart.

Cornstarch Makes it Gluten Free

To thicken the apple filling, follow the instructions to sprinkle the cut apples with a lovely blend of warming spices, cornstarch, and a small amount of your favourite sugar. Makes for a decent consistency, rather than being too juicy, and cornstarch is gluten-free.

Oats are naturally gluten free as well.  If you are super sensitive, you can buy some that are also labelled gluten free – meaning they have not been processed in a facility that processes grains with gluten.

Whole Foods Compared to Traditional Desserts 

This recipe won’t taste as sweet, or as buttery, as a traditional apple crisp, but it allows you to gently enjoy the natural taste of the apples.  

Also you won’t have a sugar crash, or regret eating this vegan dessert.  It should make you feel really good in your tummy, and in your body, after eating! 

 

Healthy Apple Crisp (Apple Crumble) Gluten Free, Vegan, No-Oil

Incredibly simple to make, and very tasty! This low-calorie, healthy, gluten-free, oil-free, no-butter apple crisp / apple crumble recipe has an oat crumble topping that is crisp, not soggy, and is held together by lemon juice and enhanced by nuts (without butter or margarine).

For this recipe, I often use crabapples from my apple tree, but green apples and red apples work as well.  

A touch of cornstarch in the filling ensures your apple crisp is not watery, it will thicken, and  have a consistency like apple pie, but be gluten-free.

Even sour tasting apples transform into a delicious healthy dessert, or snack, without much added sugar. The nuts taste so good, you won't miss the butter at all!

Course Dessert, Snack
Cuisine American, Canadian, Plant Based, Vegan, Western
Keyword apples, crisp, crumble, gluten free, gluten free dessert, gluten free snack, healthy dessert, healthy gluten free apple crisp, no-oil, nuts, oats, pecans, Plant Based, quick, vegan, vegan dessert, Whole Foods
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 12 servings
Calories 238 kcal
Author Jeanette Whitten

Ingredients

For the Apple Filling:

  • 9 cups apples Green or crabapples work well. Sliced (I use an apple slicer) peels on or off. A large apple yields approx. 1 1/2 cups. Better to use more apples than not enough.
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup sugar white sugar mixes in well, that's what I prefer

For the Oat Topping:

  • 3 cups oats rolled, quick cooking
  • 1/3 cup sugar or dry sweetener of your choice. Lately I use brown sugar (packed), for the color, white also works.
  • 1 1/4 cup pecans I keep my pecans in the freezer.
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice fresh squeezed or bottled, about 2 lemons.
  • 2 tbsp water if needed - see notes about how to process the topping for the consistency you want.

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F, take out a 3 Qt, or 9 x 13 casserole dish, no lid required.  

Prepare the Fruit Filling

  1. Peel and cut apples, into evenly sized cubes, or thin slices.  The smaller you cut the apples, the juicier it will be. Also it will cook faster.

    Time saving tip: You can push a slicer through each apple to make 6 or so pieces, then cut each slice lengthwise in half.  

    Option: leave the peels on. Note: It will take longer to cook this way.

  2. Spread apples evenly into the casserole baking dish, with love. 🙂

  3. Use a fork, in a small bowl mix: cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg and sugar until well combined and lump free.  

    Sprinkle evenly over the apples.

    No stirring required.

Prepare the Crumble Topping

  1. Process Dry Ingredients: In a food processor, on med-high speed, blend oats, sugar, pecans, cinnamon, and nutmeg just until mixed, the pecans should still be a bit chunky. About 15-20 seconds.

    You aren't trying to turn the nuts into flour.

  2. Add Water to Lemon Juice: While processing on medium, or low, slowly add the lemon juice and water to make the mixture crumbly, sticky, and moist. The mixture should start climbing the walls.   About 1-2 minutes on low.

    Important: stop processing before it gets too lumpy / stuck together, or it will be too wet to sprinkle easily.

    Moisture content of your nuts / oats makes a difference, so this takes some technique and adjustments here!

    To make the topping lumpy (I like clumps, but my kids don't), process longer on fast speed, with more liquid, and it will form into little balls.  

    To make the topping more even, process less and don't add any extra water.

    You are in control of your topping consistency!

  3. Spread the oat topping crumble evenly over the apples.  If you did over process, don't worry, you can break up any lumps with a large spoon, in the food processor, then spread it over. It will still taste great!

  4. Bake for 30-40 minutes, uncovered.

    Check at 20 minutes, and every 10 minutes after, to make sure the topping isn't burning. I think fresh lemon juice might burn more easily than bottled lemon juice. Still testing this out...

    The apple crisp is done when the fruit is bubbling and the topping is light brown in the center. 

Recipe Notes

I'm learning, the smaller / thinner the apple pieces are cut, the more juicy it will be.  

One time I used old apples (had been in my fridge for about 8 weeks, yes a little embarrassing, but this happens to me).  They were dried out, and didn't produce enough juice to mix with the sprinkled cornstarch mix.  I ended up adding about 1 cup water in the bottom of the dish and finished it in the microwave.  Lesson learned - don't use dried out apples!  Or put water in if you do.

We don't mind it being a little different each time!  Always gets all eaten up!

 
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Tahini Roasted Broccoli – Whole-Foods Plant-Based

Vegan Roasted Broccoli – Whole-Foods Plant-Based – Crunchy Side Dish Delight with Tahini, Garlic, and Lemon

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.  

Tired of steamed and boiled broccoli?  Try crisping your broccoli in the oven.  It’s a very fast and simple way to make broccoli interesting as a side dish.  Whole-foods plant-based vegetables done right.

A lemon garlic infused side dish, broccoli with a citrus twist.

Add some hot sauce for fun!

SERVE WITH: Lazy Vegan Frittata – minus the spinach and peas.

Tahini Roasted Broccoli

Broccoli roasted with tahini, garlic, and lemon becomes crispy and creamy.

I loved how quick and easy this was to make, and also how delicious it was. 

I recommend this recipe for someone searching for a more interesting take on roasted broccoli.

Try serving with my Lazy Vegan Frittata - minus the spinach and peas. 

Course Side Dish
Cuisine Mediterranean
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 7
Calories 102 kcal
Author Jeanette Whitten

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons tahini well stirred
  • 2 tablespoons almond butter or peanut butter
  • 6 tablespoons lemon juice fresh, plus more to serve
  • 3 garlic cloves large, minced
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • Several grinds black pepper
  • 10 cups broccoli cut into bite sized florets

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 450° F. 

  2. Place all of the ingredients except for the broccoli in a large bowl and whisk to combine. 

    Roasted Tahini Broccoli coating recipe vegan
  3. Add broccoli and toss well to thoroughly coat. 

  4. Scatter on a sheet pan and bake for 10 minutes. 

    Serve hot for best flavor, squeezing a little extra lemon juice on top.

    Goes great with Lazy Vegan Frittata.

Recipe Notes

In case you don't have tahini in the refrigerator, I think that miso and Sriracha, or peanut butter would be good, too.

 
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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

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 6 servings
Calories 232 kcal
Author Jeanette Whitten

Ingredients

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

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 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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Gorgeous Vegan Gravy

Fast Vegan Microwave Gravy – Fat-free

Being able to make a quick healthy vegan gravy will expand your plant-based cooking options. Not only is it delicious, but gravy can serve as the protein for your meal.

Look how much iron is in one serving of this gravy, and it contains 28% of your daily protein needs too, with zero fat and cholesterol.

This smooth, brown, thick gravy reminds us of Thanksgiving dinners and stuffing, and good times at family gatherings.   It is the perfect traditional brown gravy colour and has savoury flavour.

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Fat-free Vegan Lentil Gravy in 10 minutes

In under 10 minutes you can make smooth, perfect, plant-based, fat-free gravy, in the microwave.  You will get almost 4 cups, of smooth warm lump-free gravy.

I like to blend most of the lentils into this vegan gravy, and serve the rest of the lentils whole on the plate, or stirred into the gravy so people see they are getting legumes too.  

If you are using this gravy as the protein of your meal, one 540ml can of lentils for every 2 people should ensure there is enough gravy and lentils for everyone. 

This gravy recipe is also the sauce for my Green Bean Casserole, a classic and very tasty Thanksgiving type side dish.

Course gravy, Main Course, Sauce
Cuisine Western
Prep Time 4 minutes
Cook Time 6 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 7 servings
Calories 194 kcal
Author Jeanette Whitten

Ingredients

  • 1.5 cups water room temperature
  • 1.5 tbsp cornstarch or flour
  • 1/4 tsp poultry seasoning Adjust the seasonings to your taste. This amount makes for a mild flavour.
  • 1/2 tsp salt Adjust to taste
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder optional, omit to make low FODMAP for IBS diets
  • 1 tsp nutritional yeast optional
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 38 fl oz canned lentils 2 medium cans, drained and rinsed

Instructions

  1. Add water to a 5 cup or larger microwave safe bowl that is large enough to handle a hand blender.  I use a glass Pampered Chef 4 cup batter bowl because it has a rim to prevent boil-overs, a lid for storing, and a spout. 

  2. Whisk in the cornstarch, poultry seasoning, salt, optional onion powder, optional nutritional yeast, and pepper so there are no lumps in the water.

  3. Microwave for 2 minutes, whisk to combine well, microwave for 2 more minutes, whisk.  Your gravy should be fairly thick at this point.  Microwave longer if it isn't yet in one minute increments.  Microwave power varies.

  4. Stir in 1 1/2 cans (770ml) of the drained lentils, reserve 1/2 can of lentils.  Blend with a hand blender until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings to your preference.

    Lentil Vegan Gravy
  5. If you have a large enough bowl, stir half of the set-aside lentils right into the gravy.  I like to reserve some plain lentils for anyone (small daughter!) who declines gravy, so they can still have lentils.

  6. Microwave 1 minute, stir and test the temperature. 

    Vegan Brown Gravy in Microwave
  7. Add gravy to a gravy boat, and serve hot.  Spoon reserved lentils on or beside the mashed potatoes, people can pour gravy over top.

Recipe Notes

Customize your gravy by trying other dried powdered herb combinations.  All of these can produce delicious results:

sage, rosemary, parsley, celery powder, seasoned salt, marjoram, thyme.

Spoon the lentils onto or near your mashed potatoes, and pour hot gravy overtop. goes great with steamed vegetables - like broccoli and carrots, brussels sprouts, with a cob of corn as well as something green. It's been a real hit.

Stir leftover lentils into the gravy for the next day.

 

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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.

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

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Adding Healthy Plant Based Meals to Your Menu is Easy!

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Super Summer-Time Pasta Salad

Healthy Vegan Black Bean Pasta Salad

We eat this salad on days I have waited too long to start supper.  If I want to feed my family food in 15 minutes, this will do!  My kids favourite food is pasta, so they love it.

Try this great no-oil whole-foods plant-based meal salad for a pot-luck, party, or BBQ. Get your plant-based protein from beans and whole grain pasta.  People will ask you about the dressing, surprise them by saying “it’s only dried herbs and lemon!”.

With frozen peas, cucumber, canned or frozen corn, green onions, tomatoes, whole grain pasta and black olives this simple vegan dinner salad is fast, fresh, and easy to put together.

Jump to Recipe

Hot pasta thaws the peas, activates the seasonings

While the pasta cooks, gather the vegetables, stir them together, still frozen.  Add the drained pasta and the heat cooks the peas a touch, the pasta cools, things get juicy, the dried herbs release flavour, and your meal is ready to serve in minutes.

Why whole grain pasta?  Read How To Judge the Healthiness of Grain Products to learn more about why whole grain pasta is going to help your gut microbiome, prevent cancer, and help you lose weight.

Olives make this salad so satisfying

Olives are better for you than olive oil – filled with a small amount of healthy unsaturated fat – the way nature intended us to eat fat, packaged with fibre and phytonutrients.

Canada’s food guide is being revamped, I just gave my input, and was pleased to see they recommend we limit saturated fats and instead choose unsaturated fats.  Good news!

Olives cause your brain to signal “yup, we are satisfied and full here!”  You get that mouth oil feeling, olives curb cravings.

Vegan meal salad that kids love

Simplicity means kid friendly, and most kids really enjoy pasta.  I call this pasta salad, and focus on the pasta when serving it to my kids, more than the vegetables.  Once they taste a few bites, they gobble it all up, making us all happy.  🙂

Vegan Meal Proportions

See my article, How to Eat Vegan For Energy and Weight Loss I talk about the proportions of beans, greens, veggies and starches to eat to keep up your energy and lose weight!  Tip: eat this salad on a bed of spinach or other dark greens, if you want to feel extra energy.

 

Vegan Healthy Pasta Salad Fat-free Italian
5 from 1 vote
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Super Summer-Time Pasta Salad

This salad is a meal, a 15 minute vegan fat-free plant-based protein pasta salad dinner!  Black olives, cucumber, whole grain rotini pasta, frozen peas, corn, tomatoes, green onions plus Italian seasonings and lemon juice make an extraordinary delicious high fibre FRESH healthy pasta salad.  

Assemble the vegetables - including the frozen ones - add the drained pasta, stir and the temperature will become perfect to serve.  The peas will melt, even cook a bit, the pasta will cool, it's awesomely fast.

We are always surprised by how tasty this simple combination is.  It's just perfect.  Kids love the sweet peas, salty seasonings, and the pasta!

Course Main Course, Pasta, Salad
Cuisine Italian, Western
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 10 servings
Calories 351 kcal
Author Jeanette Whitten

Ingredients

Pasta

  • 375 g whole wheat pasta rotini

Vegetables

  • 3 cups cucumber diced, 1 large is about 3 cups
  • 2 cups tomatoes cherry quartered, or large diced whole tomatoes
  • 4 green onions sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups corn frozen, or canned
  • 398 ml black olives pitted canned, whole, no-oil, add a splash of olive juice to the salad, then drain the rest.
  • 1080 ml black beans can drained
  • 2 cups peas frozen

Dressing

  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp basil dried
  • 1 tbsp oregano dried
  • 1 tsp salt depending on how salty your canned items already are
  • 6 tbsp lemon juice fresh squeezed for vitamin C if you can!

Instructions

  1. Heat water for pasta.  We like whole grain rotini for this, the rotini shape holds the seasoning well and doesn't get soggy as leftovers.  Once water is boiling, add the pasta, stir.  Cook to be firm - al dente, following package directions, don't overcook.

  2. While the water heats, dice the cucumber, tomatoes, green onions and add to an extra large bowl.

  3. Open the cans of black beans, corn (if using canned) and black olives.

    Add corn with it's juice (max 1/3 cup) to the bowl, I like to splash some of the black olive juice into the salad bowl too.  If you are using frozen corn it will create some juice when it hits the hot pasta, so don't worry.

  4. Add the drained black beans and olives. 

  5. Add frozen peas - it is important that they are frozen at this point because they cool the pasta.

  6. Add seasonings and lemon juice to a small bowl or measuring cup, stir to combine, taste test and adjust to your preference, pour over salad, and stir  through.

    Easy Healthy WFPB Bean Tomato Cucumber Pasta Salad
  7. Once pasta is done, drain pasta well, while it is still hot add the pasta to the vegetables and dressing.

  8. Stir to combine. Wait a couple minutes for the herbs to release their flavours, and serve!

Recipe Notes

 

Variations: 

Sub herbs for a dried Italian seasoning purchased mix.  Store mixes usually contain salt, so don't add any extra salt.  Read the label, choose a mix that doesn't contain added oils.

Sub cucumber for orange and yellow peppers, zucchini, or romaine lettuce.  As long as you keep the peas, corn, tomatoes and olives other vegetables work well.

Omit the Pasta: This tastes great without the pasta as well, as a bean salad, serve with toast, pitas, or rice, or just with spinach.

Vinegar: I'm curious if a vinegar would make this even nicer.  Afraid to try, because my kids aren't into vinegar much yet and we've got something here that works.

If anyone tries adding vinegar, please let me know!!  Personally, I'd use a balsamic.

 

 

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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

Ginger Pear Fruit Crisp – Whole-Foods Plant-Based

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

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Fiery Maple Sweet Potato Bowl, No Oil

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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.

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!

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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.

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Cream of Cauliflower and Potato Soup (with Tofu)

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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.

*Sweet* Sweet Potato Fries – wfpb no-oil

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*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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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.

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.

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.

Eating Whole Foods Plant-Based Vegan With IBS

Fix, cure, and treat IBS with a whole-foods plant-based vegan diet, what to do if you still have IBS and you are vegan, or a vegan diet makes IBS worse, eat a low-FODMAP vegan diet to successfully treat IBS.

How to Judge the Healthiness of Grain Products

Trying to decide what kind of bread is healthiest to buy?  What granola bar, cookie, snack food, or what pancake mix is best? Use these 2 tips to increase your resistance to diseases like cancer. Learn what to look for on the nutrition label.

Adding Healthy Plant Based Meals to Your Menu is Easy!

Help others learn – share on social media!

Whole Weekend Waffles

Vegan Whole Grain Waffles

Do you like to have big hearty waffle breakfasts on the weekend?  My kids sure do.  For us waffles are always topped with a large colorful juicy pile of delicious fruit.

The ones in the picture above, have some homemade fruit jam between the layers as well.

You can easily make fat-free vegan waffles from a store-bought box pancake mix!

This recipe describes how to veganize a pancake or waffle mix, to make awesome vegan waffles!

Jump to Recipe

I also give tips about using hemp seeds, picking the healthiest waffle mixes, and some info about whole grains vs. refined grains.  

 

Store bought pancake mixes can save you time and mess.

Somehow, when I take a bag of regular flour out, I get it on the floor, and all over the counter.  The flour package is just awkward to get into, and proofs little clouds of slippery flour dust.

Pancake mix boxes are easier to use.

Here is one of our current favourite store-bought waffle / pancake mixes.

It is in Canada – from Superstore – one of their Blue Menu healthy items.

We also like a brand called Coyote, in a reddish bag.  Both use whole grain whole wheat flour, with few additives, and are very tasty.

If you aren’t in Canada, can you find a similar one where you live?

Look for simple unprocessed ingredients – meaning nothing good has been stripped out and nothing bad has been added.

Many mixes have milk powder or oil added.   No need for those!

We could do without the sugar, but at least it isn’t the first ingredient – everyone knows ingredients are listed in order of most to least, right?

The package is probably going to tell you to add milk, oil and eggs.

I promise you, dairy milk, oil and eggs are unnecessary.

You can make totally delicious waffles with non-dairy milk, without oil, and definitely without eggs.

The waffles don’t fall apart, they are moist, they are tasty, you might notice they aren’t as oily – this is a good thing!

Instead of eggs/oil use hemp seeds

Hemp seeds taste great as a satisfying healthy touch of fat.   Ground flax seeds work also, but I find flax has a strong flavour and goes rancid too quickly, so I prefer hemp seeds.

Hemp seeds are more of a nutty taste, and last longer than ground flax in the fridge.  The hemp does have a green bit on each seed, so the waffles look a little different, but covered with fruit and syrup no one has complained!

How to tell if your pancake mix is healthy.

Make sure it says “whole grain” and, apply the 5-to-1 ratio test.

I’m talking about the carbohydrate grams to fibre grams ratio.  Carbs divided by fibre should be 5 or lower.

For a full description of the 5-to-1 ratio test see my post about judging from a label, whether grains are healthy.

For example, the Blue Menu pancake mix has 21 g of carbohydrate and 5 g of fibre.  21 g / 5 g = 4.2 carbs to fibre ratio – the ratio is 5 or less and is low enough to be considered healthy.  If the carbs were higher, or the fibre lower it would be less healthy and probably not whole grain, or has a lot of added sugar.

An Aunt Jemima mix has 27 g of carbs to 1 g of fibre = a ratio of 27.  That’s bad.

For more tips like this, check out Dr. Gregor’s How Not to Die book.

I highly recommend this book.  He addresses the top causes of death in our society, like Heart Disease and Cancer, and then presents evidence about foods that prevent those diseases.  Spoiler alert – it’s always plants that prevent disease.

Warning, it becomes addictive to start tweaking your meals to include the foods that studies have shown increase lifespan.  Reminds me, I need to eat more beets…

How Not To Die: Discover the Foods Scientifically Proven to Prevent and Reverse Disease

This book has a great deal of science based information about foods that have been proven to prevent and reverse disease.

(Canada link) (US link)

Back to making your waffles.

Wondering whether to use a pancake mix that is fortified with vitamins?

Not required.  Remember, we are getting all the nutrition we need from our whole plant foods, and personally I trust nature, more than I trust man-made (potentially cancer causing) additives and supplements.

Here’s how to make vegan waffles from a box of pancake mix:

Mix 1/3 cup mix and 1 tablespoon of hemp seeds for each waffle.  You want 4 waffles?  Use 1 1/3 cups of mix and 4 tbsp of hemp seeds.

Add slightly more than 1/3 cup of non-dairy milk per waffle.

Try adding the extra milk a tablespoon at a time.

We like to use soy milk for the extra protein.   Almond milk, rice milk, or water will also work, I have tried them all.

The mix should be a thick soup consistency, not runny.

The runnier the mixture, the thinner, drier, and crispier the waffle will be because it spreads out more on the waffle iron.

Lightly spray the top and bottom of the waffle iron, to prevent sticking.  Our waffles stick if we don’t.  This small amount of oil is better than 1/4 cup or whatever the recipes usually call for.

Use about 3-4 heaping tablespoons of mix per waffle.

Our favourite topping is thawed frozen fruit

About 1 1/2 cups of fruit per waffle…

Like sliced strawberries or whole blueberries.  We always have a few bags of frozen fruit in the freezer.  Costco is our favourite place to buy frozen fruit.

When we are starting to stir up the waffle mix, we pour frozen fruit in a big bowl and microwave it for a few minutes, until just thawed. When the waffle is done we generously spoon fruit over each waffle before serving.

Lastly, add pure maple syrup, or agave syrup, over the top if you like, we use enough for moisture and a bit of sweetness.

Make sure to drink something,

when you eat whole grain foods, because whole grains are full of fibre and are going to suck moisture out of your body if you don’t have liquids in your tummy too.

Often the kids will have a glass of soy milk as well with their waffles, this ensures they are getting vitamin B12 that day plus, some more healthy fats, and protein too.

To find out how we feed our family vegan on a daily basis check out this post, How to Eat Vegan for Energy and Weight Loss, it includes a breakdown of the amount of proteins and grains that we aim for.

 

We like waffles on sleepy mornings

because they are fast and difficult to mess up.  Pancakes take a bit more skill, don’t you find?  Pancakes can get burned, or may end up too soft on one side and too crispy on the other.

It wasn’t that long ago that we would cut waffles up for our girls.  Now they can do it themselves.

I’m realizing here, we have made vegan waffles every weekend, for more than a year.

I guess we don’t get tired of eating them!  Do you? 🙂

 

Whole Weekend Waffles

Use whole grain pancake mix to make low fat, and much more awesome, plant-based waffles, serve with fruit, and get your day off to a high fibre, energetic start!

Course Breakfast
Cuisine Western
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 3 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 1 waffle
Calories 441 kcal
Author Jeanette Whitten

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup whole wheat flour waffle/pancake mix make sure the mix has no added fat or milk products
  • 100 ml soy milk or other low fat non-dairy milk
  • 1 tbsp hemp seeds
  • 1 1/2 cups strawberries frozen sliced or other fruit
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup

Instructions

  1. Measure the waffle mix and hemp seeds into a small bowl.

  2. Add non-dairy milk and stir with a fork, the consistency should be a thick soup.  

  3. Lightly spray a waffle iron.  Add mixture to the centre.

  4. Close and cook on med-high, until the waffle almost stops steaming.

  5. Microwave the fruit while the waffles cook.

  6. Remove waffle to a plate, spoon generously with thawed fruit and juices, drizzle with pure maple syrup or agave syrup.

Recipe Notes

In Canada I like the Superstore Blue Menu whole wheat pancake mix.  

Also at Superstore and other grocery stores, there is a "Coyote" mix in a dark red bag that is whole grain and has no added milk products.

If you buy a mix with added flax, then reduce the hemp seeds some.  I still recommend you add hemp seeds because they add a lovely nutty flavour and often the amount of flax added is not very significant.

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BEST SLOW COOKER CHILI for a CROWD

Vegan Simple and Easy Slow Cooker Chili with a smoky, spicy taste.

Simple and easy vegan chili in a crock pot.  A smoky tasting vegetable chili, with kidney and black beans, lentils, green and red peppers, onion, corn, mushrooms, and diced tomatoes.

The best vegetarian chili you have ever had.

I have been creating whole foods plant based vegetarian chili recipe variations since 2013, and this is the current champion!

This vegetarian chili has a perfect mix of my custom chili spice blend with just the right mix of spices, heat, and chili powder.

Kids and adults both like it.

Make this chili for a party, or make it for yourself.  You can adjust the servings on this page and the recipe will recalculate for you.

Jump to Recipe

Smoked paprika

This oil-free whole foods plant based (wfpb) chili recipe uses smoked paprika for the smoky flavour, so if you haven’t tried smoked paprika before, run out and get some!

We found our smoked paprika at Costco and use it all the time in many of our meals, most grocery stores and supermarkets carry it.

No fake food in this recipe.

Chili doesn’t need any fake vegan meat to taste awesome, I’m not dissing on fake meat here – I use it occasionally – but, this chili is pure wholesome whole foods.

It may be vegan chili, without oil, but it looks like it has meat in it.

The key is choosing dark lentils, darker lentils will look like ground beef.

We use a lentil trio from Costco – I will link to it in the recipe ingredients – it has nice dark coloured lentils in it.  I find canned lentils are usually too light in color.

These dried lentils only take 8 minutes to cook!  If they are a bit chewy when you put them in the slow cooker, that is good, because they will absorb liquid and make the chili thicker.

It is worth it to caramelize your onions before adding them to the crock pot.

Really, it doesn’t take much longer to saute the onions in a bit of water on the stove (no oil required), because you need to dice the peppers anyways.

Food processor, or chop your onions, put them in a frying or metal saute pan, then, at the same time as they cook, dice the peppers.

Be triple efficient – start your lentils cooking first!  Remember, these lentils only take 8 min to cook.

 

Here is the chili before being cooked.

 

 

The spice mix is perfection.

When we make this deluxe vegan chili for a crowd, we make extra spice and save it for smaller batches later 

 

Here is the chili after being cooked.

 

 
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Wherever you are feeding a large crowd, consider making this party food chili recipe.

Take this chili to work, pot-luck lunches, family events, functions, any gathering of hungry people is going to be well served by this vegan dish!

Everyone who likes chili, loves this delicious smoky bean filled chili, it is great for non-vegans.

A vegan party spread with this chili:

 

Serve your chili with some whole grain buns, and some dips and spreads:

like homemade guacamolehomemade salsa, and vegan onion dip, that I made here.

See my irresistible peanut butter cookies and no sugar chocolate bean brownies on this table too?  Try them too!

Get your party on!

How about taking this vegan chili to your next social gathering?

 

Greg, my husband, took this vegan chili to his office, for a work pot-luck lunch.

He had the chili in a slow cooker, people started commenting how good the chili was smelling at 10am!

 

By lunchtime those non-vegans couldn’t wait to dig in.

Greg is totally casual, so he doesn’t mention when something is vegan.

So people at his work are eating this chili and loving it, and someone comments how the chili is vegetarian (’cause some people know Greg is vegan).

Someone else is like “really, there is no meat in this?!”  just stunned, “like wow, how is that even a thing?”

Then of course, people ask “why no meat?” and Greg gets to explain how he is vegan, and he wants to avoid cancer, and heart disease, and he feels awesome, and blah, blah, and he usually ends up converting a man to eat more plant-based by the end of it.

JOIN the VeganEnvy.com Community 

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People Exploring Plant Based Eating

I’m simply going to post this recipe now, and you let me know in the comments whether you agree that it is the best!

 

Image of the Deluxe VeganEnvy three bean chili after being cooked, it looks like meat.
4.5 from 4 votes
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Vegetarian Chili – the BEST SLOW COOKER CHILI for a CROWD

This vegan chili, without oil, looks like it has meat in it. The key is choosing dark lentils, they will look like ground beef. We use a lentil trio from Costco – see the link to it.

Recipe yields a full 5 quart (4.7 litre) crock-pot / slow cooker. You can update the Servings number to recalculate the recipe if you want to make more or less.

Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 15 minutes
Servings 12 people
Calories 245 kcal
Author Jeanette Whitten

Ingredients

  • 1 cup dried lentils prepared, slightly undercooked, choose dark coloured lentils like the ones in the link - these are the exact lentils we love. They only take 8 minutes to cook!
  • 1 green pepper diced
  • 1 red pepper diced
  • 1 onion sweet, white
  • 1080 ml diced tomatoes can drained
  • 341 ml corn kernels, canned
  • 284 ml mushrooms can
  • 540 ml black beans
  • 540 ml kidney beans

Chili Spice Mix

  • 4 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne powder
  • 1 tsp oregano dried
  • 2 tsp paprika smoked
  • 2 tbsp ground cumin
  • 3 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp pepper fresh ground, or double the amount of powdered pepper

Instructions

  1. Turn slow cooker to high.

  2. Cook lentils in a small pot following the package directions, until just undercooked. They will finish cooking and absorb liquid in the chili.  On the stove my lentils take 7 minutes of simmering in water, plus 4 min of sitting with the heat off, then I drain and add the lentils to the slow cooker.

  3. Meanwhile, add diced onions to a saute or frying pan and cook on medium heat 5 - 9 minutes to caramelize.  Add small amounts of water to prevent sticking.  No oil required.  Bits of brown are tasty.

  4. While the onions are getting flavourful, drain your cans of diced tomatoes as much as possible, really get the liquid out, and add to the slow cooker.  

  5. Large dice the green and red peppers into bite sized pieces. Throw them into the slow cooker so they can start warming up.

  6. Mix up the spices in a separate dish, there will be extra - we aren't going to use it all. 

    Stir 4 heaping tablespoons of spice mix into the slow cooker now before it gets too full.  Reserve the rest of the spice mix for taste testing and adding later or to future chili.

  7. Add all remaining vegetables, lentils, and beans, to the slow-cooker / crock-pot, and stir well to combine.  

  8. Cook on high until bubbling (about 2 hours for my old, very full crock-pot).  It will be faster if your crock pot is less full (see notes).   You can serve the chili at this point, but if you reduce to low and continue cooking for a few hours longer, the chili is going to get tastier and more thick and more brown looking.

Recipe Notes

Cooking time will vary, depending on the size of your slow cooker and how much chili you are making.

Slow cooker manufacturers recommend filling the pot at least half full and no more than two-thirds full.

Your dish might cook more quickly and burn around the top if filled less than half full, and if over-filled, it will take longer to heat up to temperature and cook.

 

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.

Adding Healthy Plant Based Meals to Your Menu is Easy!

Help others learn – share on social media!

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

Vegan Sweet Potato Asparagus Salad

Whole-Foods Plant-Based, Sweet Potato, Asparagus, Black Bean Salad

A 30 minute, delicious, healthy, vegan, meal salad, with asparagus, sweet potatoes, dill, green onions, Dijon mustard, and black beans.  Salad with a high proportion of nutrients (vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytonutrients) to calories.

My husband and kids really enjoyed it.  It’s got some regular potatoes in there too, which taste great and make it more familiar.

You should make this recipe because it is a simple but sophisticated roasted potato salad.  It has unique flavours and different textures, made from common foods you probably eat regularly.

Jump to Recipe

Use Chia Seeds Instead of Oil to Thicken your Salad Dressings

This whole-foods plant-based salad dressing uses chia seeds, water, and tahini (sesame seed paste) instead of oil to make a nice thick delicious, lemon juice based, salty, citrus salad dressing.

Sweet Potatoes vs. White Potatoes – Which are Healthier?

See what the Cleaveland Clinic says: Sweet potatoes vs. white potatoes.  Sweet potatoes win over white potatoes.

Both types of potatoes pack a powerful nutritional punch.  But, sweet potatoes contain way more vitamin A.

Sweet potatoes also have more vitamin C, fewer calories, more fibre and fewer total carbs than white potatoes.

The Positive Health Wellness website also has some great info about sweet potatoes:

Sweet Potatoes 101: Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits

Why High Nutrient Density – Have You Heard of Eat to Live?

If you want to learn more about why nutrient density matters, Dr. Joel Fuhrman MD is an amazing physician resource for disease preventing foods – he invented the “Nutritarian Diet“.

I recommend Dr. Fuhrman’s book: Eat to Live: The Amazing Nutrient-Rich Program for Fast and Sustained Weight Loss to help you choose what to eat.  My mom gave it to me to read, and it changed the way I choose my plant based foods.

Here are links to look and buy the book on Amazon.ca and Amazon.com.  Highly recommend!

A formula he recommends in his book, that I use when I plan my meals is:

Health = Nutrients/Calories, or H=N/C.

In Eat to Live, Nutritarian Diet Dr. Joel Fuhrman recommends:

  • you should eat mainly nutrient-dense, natural plant foods: vegetables, fruits, beans, nuts, and seeds. Have a variety. Aim for foods with high nutrient-per-calorie density.
  • Eat few, if any, animal products (a few servings per week at most)
  • No oil
  • Eat no or almost no foods that are empty of nutrients or toxic to the body, such as sugar, sweeteners, white flour, processed foods, and fast foods.
  • Low calorie, low protein, very low-fat
  • Super foods that you should include in your diet every day: G-BOMBS – greens, beans, onions, mushrooms, berries, and seeds.

Dr. Fuhrman presents a lot of compelling evidence that our food choices control our health, can extend our lives, and prevent disease in ourselves, our children, and other loved ones.

What a gorgeous rainbow of salad!

Done in 35 minutes.

 

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

Bring a complete meal to the table with this roasted sweet potato, bean, and asparagus salad with a tasty and zingy dressing.  No need to cool the salad, serve warm potatoes fresh from the oven.  Have a healthy, no oil, vegan meal on the table fast and easy in 35 minutes.

Course Main Course, Salad
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 240 kcal
Author Jeanette Whitten

Ingredients

Roasted Sweet and White Potatoes:

  • 3 sweet potatoes medium, 1" cubed, skins on
  • 4 potatoes small, 1" cubed, skins on, I used red potatoes
  • 1/2 tsp salt 2.5 mL
  • 1/8 tsp pepper freshly ground
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder 2.5 mL

Dressing:

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 tbsp tahini 22 mL sesame seed butter)
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds 15 mL
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice 80 mL freshly squeezed if you can! about 2 lemons
  • 1/3 cup water 80 mL the water should equal the amount of lemon juice
  • 1 tsp salt (5 mL)
  • 3 tbsp Dijon mustard (45 mL)
  • 1 1/2 tsp agave syrup (7.5 mL) maple syrup or agave syrup or other sweetener, I like agave
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper (2.5 mL) freshly ground
  • 1 1/2 tsp dill dried (2.5 mL) finely chopped (sub 2 tbsp fresh)
  • 10 green onions bunch, sliced

Steamed Asparagus

  • 3 lbs asparagus 3 450g small bunches, see picture, ends cut off and chopped into 1” pieces

Beans

  • 19 oz black beans can 540 ml drained and rinsed

Canada Links

  • tahini (sesame seed butter) amazon.ca
  • chia seeds amazon.ca
  • Dijon mustard amazon.ca
  • agave syrup amazon.ca

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425F.  

Prepare Potatoes

  1. Scrub and large dice the sweet and white unpeeled potatoes into 1" cubes.  

  2. Spread over two baking sheets lined with parchment or non-stick mat or made of stoneware. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Convection Bake for 30 minutes.

    cubed white and sweet potatoes wfpb

Prepare Dressing

  1. While the potatoes bake, work quickly to prepare the dressing. In a 4 cup measure or medium bowl mix all dressing ingredients: garlic cloves, tahini (sesame seed butter), chia seeds, lemon juice, water (the water should equal the amount of lemon juice), salt, Dijon mustard, maple / agave syrup or other sweetener, freshly ground black pepper, dried or fresh dill, and green onions.

    whole-foods plant-based salad dressing Dijon mustard, green-onion chia-seeds dill lemon

Prepare Asparagus and Beans

  1. When there is 15 minutes left on the potatoes, cut and steam the asparagus in a microwave steamer for about 8 minutes with about 1/4 cup water, until tender and still a bit crunchy, not mushy. 

    how to steam asparagus in the microwave wfpb
  2. When the asparagus is done, drain in a colander with the rinsed beans.

Combine

  1. Pour the dressing over the salad.

    Dijon Mustard Dill Lemon Chia-seed Tahini wfpb salad dressing
  2. Mix the potatoes, asparagus, beans, and dressing together in a large salad bowl and season to taste. Serve immediately, warm.

    sweet potato asparagus wfpb salad with black beans

Recipe Notes

Eat cold or warm as leftovers.

Initial inspiration for this recipe came from: Oh She Glows Asparagus and Potato Salad

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.

I changed, just like that

JOIN the VeganEnvy.com Community 

VeganEnvy.com Facebook Group

Click here to EXPLORE

People Exploring Plant Based Eating

Adding Healthy Plant Based Meals to Your Menu is Easy!

Help others learn – share on social media!

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