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.

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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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Image of vegan no-oil split-pea soup close up in a bowl.
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Satisfying Split-Pea Soup

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

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.

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.
Nutrition Facts
Satisfying Split-Pea Soup
Amount Per Serving (1 / 8th of recipe)
Calories 306 Calories from Fat 9
% Daily Value*
Fat 1g2%
Sodium 537mg23%
Potassium 1168mg33%
Carbohydrates 59g20%
Fiber 18g75%
Sugar 8g9%
Protein 17g34%
Vitamin A 5985IU120%
Vitamin C 17.6mg21%
Calcium 97mg10%
Iron 6.4mg36%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Wonderful White Bean and Walnut Sauce with Linguine and Asparagus

Oil-Free Vegan Pesto White Sauce for Linguine and Asparagus

It is really easy to go dairy-free these days.  Us vegans are inventing more and more new ways to use healthy plant-based foods in traditional recipes.  Recently found out you are lactose intolerant?  This website is for you!  Look around…

For example, if you would like to have a milk-free sauce for your pasta, or maybe you are trying to lose weight and avoid fat – here is a vegan, creamy fat-free white sauce recipe to add to your bag of tricks.

It has pesto ingredients like basil, garlic, and lemon, but is no-oil, with healthy walnuts instead.   Did you know walnuts slowed the growth of cancer tumours in studies?  White kidney beans make it thick, you don’t need any flour – so it is gluten-free.

Forget about taking time stirring on the stove, this sauce is easier than that, blend the ingredients, and DONE.

This vegan white sauce recipe is better than alfredo sauce, I think you will find it very delicious and satisfying.

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If you are in Canada – I recommend these products for your lemon and pepper, from Epicure.  Click image to view information.

Bring together the wonderful flavours of basil and garlic in a creamy pesto sauce, with fresh linguine, and crispy asparagus, for a healthy taste of Italy!

Image of creamy vegan white sauce with linguine pasta and asparagus on a plate.
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Wonderful White Bean and Walnut Sauce with Asparagus and Linguine

Course: Sauce
Cuisine: Italian
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 340 kcal
Author: Jeanette Whitten

This sauce has a pesto flavour and is simply delicious with basil, garlic, lemon and healthy walnuts instead of processed oil. 

It is so easy to make, and clean up, this vegan white pasta sauce takes only 5 minutes in a blender.

Linguine has more surface area than spaghetti, and will hold more sauce, so works very well and asparagus complements the lemon and pesto ingredients.

Ingredients

  • 375 g whole grain pasta linguine
  • 2.25 pounds asparagus
  • 540 ml white kidney beans
  • 1/2 cup soy milk or other unsweetened non-dairy milk
  • 1 tbsp basil
  • 2 garlic cloves cut in half
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup water hot, from pasta cooking

Epicure Items

  • steamer Available in Canada only. There are many sizes, made from a durable silicone, these steamers are awesome.

Instructions

  1. Boil water and cook pasta according to package instructions.

    Image of linguini pasta boiling in a pot of water on the stove.
  2. Wash, cut off ends, and cut asparagus into 2 inch lengths.

  3. Microwave asparagus in a microwave steamer.  If you are in Canada, I recommend the Epicure steamers. See link in ingredients.

    Image of cut asparagus in a microwave steamer.
  4. In a high speed blender, blend white kidney beans with soy milk, basil, garlic cloves, oregano, salt, walnuts, nutritional yeast, lemon juice. 

    Image of vegan white pesto sauce ingredients in blender, before blending.
  5. Add hot pasta cooking water to warm and thin to desired consistency.

    Image of blended oil free vegan pesto white sauce made from white kidney beans.
  6. Drain pasta, plate with asparagus, and immediately spoon creamy pesto sauce over steaming pasta.  Or, if the pasta has cooled, microwave the sauce first in a small dish, to warm it, then spoon over and serve.

    Image of two plates of vegan creamy pesto linguine with asparagus

Recipe Notes

Serving Suggestions: fresh ground pepper and additional lemon juice.

Nutrition Facts
Wonderful White Bean and Walnut Sauce with Asparagus and Linguine
Amount Per Serving (1 / 8th of recipe)
Calories 340 Calories from Fat 54
% Daily Value*
Fat 6g9%
Sodium 305mg13%
Potassium 739mg21%
Carbohydrates 58g19%
Fiber 8g33%
Sugar 3g3%
Protein 18g36%
Vitamin A 1015IU20%
Vitamin C 8.9mg11%
Calcium 102mg10%
Iron 6.4mg36%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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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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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.

 

Image of vegan coleslaw dressing on purple cabbage, made with vegan mayo base.
Print

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

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

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.

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.

Nutrition Facts
Vegan Mayonnaise - Healthy No-Oil Whole-Foods Plant-Based Mayo
Amount Per Serving (0.25 cup)
Calories 121 Calories from Fat 72
% Daily Value*
Fat 8g12%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Sodium 440mg19%
Potassium 196mg6%
Carbohydrates 8g3%
Sugar 3g3%
Protein 5g10%
Vitamin C 3mg4%
Calcium 22mg2%
Iron 1.4mg8%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Image of a close up of vegan lentil and brown rice soup in a large pot.
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Lovely Lentil and Brown Rice Soup

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Western
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 297 kcal
Author: Jeanette Whitten

Soup can definitely be a meal, and this soup will nourish and delight with it's deliciousness.  

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Add vegetable broth and water to a large soup pot on medium high heat.

  2. Add ingredients in order listed: lentils, brown rice, undrained can of diced tomatoes, chopped onion, diced celery stalk, minced garlic cloves, basil, oregano, thyme, bay leaf, parsley, salt and zucchini.

    Reducing heat to medium once bubbling.

  3. Once all ingredients are added, reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 20 more minutes or until the lentils and rice are both tender.  Remove and discard the bay leaf.

  4. If necessary, thin the soup with additional hot broth or water or ice cubes when serving.

    Serve with fresh ground black pepper, salt to taste, and optionally whole grain crackers.

Recipe Notes

If you don't have zucchini, carrots also work well.

Nutrition Facts
Lovely Lentil and Brown Rice Soup
Amount Per Serving (1 / 8th of recipe)
Calories 297 Calories from Fat 9
% Daily Value*
Fat 1g2%
Sodium 782mg34%
Potassium 901mg26%
Carbohydrates 56g19%
Fiber 17g71%
Sugar 6g7%
Protein 16g32%
Vitamin A 530IU11%
Vitamin C 24.3mg29%
Calcium 90mg9%
Iron 5.4mg30%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

 

 

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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.

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(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? 🙂

 

Image of a vegan whole grain waffle with strawberries.
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Whole Weekend Waffles

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

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!

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.

Nutrition Facts
Whole Weekend Waffles
Amount Per Serving (1 waffle with syrup and fruit)
Calories 441 Calories from Fat 90
% Daily Value*
Fat 10g15%
Sodium 55mg2%
Potassium 688mg20%
Carbohydrates 76g25%
Fiber 9g38%
Sugar 37g41%
Protein 15g30%
Vitamin A 285IU6%
Vitamin C 127mg154%
Calcium 236mg24%
Iron 4.8mg27%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Fiery Maple Sweet Potato Bowl, No Oil

Colorful sweet potatoes, maple flavoured chipotle chickpeas, earthy mushrooms, vibrant greens, creamy avocado and a fiery vegan mayo makes for a spicy and healthful vegan meal.  Use tofu cubes instead of chickpeas, for an equally spicy protein option.

Jump to Fiery Maple Sweet Potato Vegan Bowls Recipe

 

Jump to Fiery Vegan Mayo Recipe

How to make a colourful vegan sweet potato bowl

Start by putting peeled sweet potatoes on to boil.

I recommend you cut them in half, to speed cooking time – I didn’t, and they were a little undercooked.

Second, prepare your mushrooms – dried or fresh.

You can use dried mushrooms, or fresh.  I like to have dried mushrooms in my pantry, they don’t spoil, and I always have some on hand.

Dried mushrooms are so amazingly excellent for flavoring soups.

They tasted great rehydrated in this recipe as well, a bit chewier than fresh though.  The broth you get from rehydrating mushrooms is so flavorful, save it if you can!

I bought this huge container of gourmet dried mushrooms from Costco, and followed the instructions for rehydrating, first in hot water, then boiling.  I used the microwave, thinking it would be faster and easier.  If you use a microwave too, be careful the water doesn’t boil over.  Next time, I think I will use a pot on the stove instead, so I can boil the mushrooms longer and make them less chewy.

If you are using fresh mushrooms,

even better!

See the recipe notes for instructions.

Saute them, with some diced white onions if you have any, in a large skillet.  Remove to a separate dish and use the same skillet for the chickpeas and/or tofu.

Third, make the chickpeas and tofu.

Either / both taste excellent in this recipe, separately or together.

Chop some green onions, add to a large skillet with soy sauce and fresh ground black pepper and add the drained chickpeas or tofu.

Add in the spices, and mushroom broth.  This is where you might use tofu instead.

Here, I am making chickpeas for my husband and I, and plain tofu for the kids – because one of my daughters doesn’t like chickpeas (we think she is crazy for this, but love her anyways).

These spices are going to fire it up whether you use chickpeas, tofu, or both.

 

While my chickpeas saute, I heated up the kids tofu for 3 – 4 minutes in the pot of boiling water for the sweet potatoes.

I could also have done this in the mushroom water, didn’t think of that until later, that would be even better, yum!

First, reserve about 5 cubes of cold tofu for the Fiery Vegan Mayo Sauce, throw them in a small blender instead of the boiling water.

Prepare the fiery vegan mayo sauce.

With tofu, cashews, a touch of lemon juice, chipotle powder or hot sauce, smoked paprika, soy sauce and some non-dairy unsweetened milk.

I use soy milk, cause it’s my fave.

Lastly put the bowls together!

First set down a bed of energy boosting greens, like baby spinach.  I used romaine lettuce for my girls.

Then, create rows of the vibrant orange sweet potatoes, spicy maple chickpeas and/or tofu, dark flavourful mushrooms, bright green sliced avocados and drizzle generously with the fiery creamy sauce.

It’s a fat free sauce after all, and so spicy good, use a generous amount!

 

Each color in the bowl, provides different antioxidants that you need.

With a vegan bowl recipe like this, eating a rainbow of foods is easy and you are going to feel great after this medly of nutritious foods.

A spicy, sweet, beautiful bowl of taste, and health!

 

Image of two fiery chipotle maple sweet potato tofu chickpea mushrooms vegan healthy bowls.
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Fiery Maple Sweet Potato Chickpea / Tofu Bowl

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Western, Whole Foods
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 361 kcal
Author: Jeanette Whitten

Spicy and sweet, a satisfying bowl with chickpeas or tofu, avocado, sweet potato and mushrooms on a bed of greens.  

Serve with Fiery Vegan Mayo sauce.


Ingredients

  • 3 sweet potatoes medium, peeled and boiled
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • 4 tbsp green onions diced, about 4
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper fresh ground
  • 3 cups mushrooms dried or fresh, shiitake, portabella
  • 350 g extra firm tofu or skip and double the chickpeas
  • 540 ml chickpeas drained, or skip and double the tofu
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp chipotle powder smoked jalapeno powder, or hot sauce
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 avocado thinly sliced
  • 8 cups spinach or other dark greens

Instructions

Sweet Potato

  1. Put a pot of water on to boil.  Peel the sweet potatoes and cut in half (to speed cooking time).  Add to the boiling water.  They should take about 10 - 15 minutes to cook.  Test with a fork and when soft, remove them to a cutting board, slice into rounds just before adding to bowls.

Dried Mushrooms (Fresh Mushrooms? - see recipe notes for instructions)

  1. Follow instructions for re-hydrating the dried mushrooms.  I use the microwave.   Add mushrooms to the bowls when you plate them.  No need to saute dried mushrooms, they are flavourful on their own.  Use the broth to cook the tofu / chickpeas.  Reserve extra delicious broth for future cooking.

Chickpeas / Tofu

  1. While the sweet potatoes cook, drain the chickpeas / cube the tofu.

    Reserve some tofu cubes for the sauce.

  2. Add green onions, soy sauce, and fresh pepper to a large skillet on medium heat.

  3. Add chickpeas / tofu, paprika, chipotle powder, and cumin,  and stir to combine.  Saute for 2 - 3 minutes, stir and flip.  Add 1/4 cup mushroom broth to keep from sticking and add flavour.  

  4. Add maple syrup.  Stir and flip tofu cubes until the liquid is gone.  Turn off heat.  

Build the Bowls and Serve!

  1. Place a bed of spinach in each bowl, make rows of sweet potato, sliced avocado, chickpeas / tofu and mushrooms and generously drizzle with Fiery Vegan Mayo sauce.

Recipe Notes

To use fresh mushrooms, slice and saute with 1 - 2 tsp of soy sauce or tamari, and some black pepper, then remove to a separate dish.

You may want to add a diced white onion - if you do: saute until the onion caramelizes and the mushrooms are tender and edges start to brown.

Once the mushrooms are done, use the same skillet to cook the tofu / chickpeas.

Nutrition Facts
Fiery Maple Sweet Potato Chickpea / Tofu Bowl
Amount Per Serving (1 / 6th)
Calories 361 Calories from Fat 81
% Daily Value*
Fat 9g14%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Sodium 219mg10%
Potassium 1250mg36%
Carbohydrates 57g19%
Fiber 14g58%
Sugar 10g11%
Protein 16g32%
Vitamin A 13595IU272%
Vitamin C 18.6mg23%
Calcium 140mg14%
Iron 5.9mg33%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

 

Image of fiery vegan sweet potato chickpea mushroom spinach bowl.
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Fiery Vegan Mayo Sauce

Course: Sauce
Cuisine: Vegan
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 42 kcal
Author: Jeanette Whitten

A fiery smoky sauce that looks and tastes awesome on vegan bowls!  A great sauce like this, changes boring to delicious.  Use tamari instead of soy sauce to make it gluten free.

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup extra firm tofu
  • 2 tbsp soy milk unsweetened
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 3 tbsp cashews
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce or tamari to make gluten free
  • 1/4 tsp chipotle powder or hot sauce
  • 3/4 tsp paprika smoked
  • 3/4 tsp onion powder

Instructions

  1. Add tofu, soy milk, lemon juice, cashews, soy sauce or tamari, chipotle powder or hot sauce, smoked paprika, and onion powder to a small high speed blender. 

  2. Blend until smooth. Drizzle generously over bowls before serving.

Nutrition Facts
Fiery Vegan Mayo Sauce
Amount Per Serving (1 / 6th)
Calories 42 Calories from Fat 18
% Daily Value*
Fat 2g3%
Sodium 179mg8%
Potassium 72mg2%
Carbohydrates 2g1%
Protein 2g4%
Vitamin A 195IU4%
Vitamin C 0.3mg0%
Calcium 12mg1%
Iron 0.6mg3%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
 
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Adding Healthy Plant Based Meals to Your Menu is Easy!

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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

Nutrition Facts
Vegetarian Chili – the BEST SLOW COOKER CHILI for a CROWD
Amount Per Serving (1 / 12th of recipe)
Calories 245 Calories from Fat 9
% Daily Value*
Fat 1g2%
Sodium 860mg37%
Potassium 892mg25%
Carbohydrates 45g15%
Fiber 16g67%
Sugar 5g6%
Protein 15g30%
Vitamin A 1515IU30%
Vitamin C 32.6mg40%
Calcium 89mg9%
Iron 6mg33%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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.

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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.
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Vegetarian Chili – the BEST SLOW COOKER CHILI for a CROWD

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

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.

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.

 

Nutrition Facts
Vegetarian Chili – the BEST SLOW COOKER CHILI for a CROWD
Amount Per Serving (1 / 12th of recipe)
Calories 245 Calories from Fat 9
% Daily Value*
Fat 1g2%
Sodium 860mg37%
Potassium 892mg25%
Carbohydrates 45g15%
Fiber 16g67%
Sugar 5g6%
Protein 15g30%
Vitamin A 1515IU30%
Vitamin C 32.6mg40%
Calcium 89mg9%
Iron 6mg33%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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!

Green Vegetable Medley Pasta Soup (Dad’s Soup)

Green pepper, zucchini, spinach, black beans and corn are some of the key ingredients in this vegan dinner soup recipe.

Plus basil, and oregano and a base of celery, carrots and onions.

Together with a whole grain pasta, this is a satisfying vegan supper, and a great easy vegan dinner idea.

Jump to Recipe

The sweet vegetables balance out the stronger tasting ones very nicely.

It is called Dad’s soup because my husband invented it.  We have a few variations of a vegetable medly soup, this one is the green one.

It is delicious, and as soon as we say “we are having Dad’s soup!” our kids go “yay!”.

This vegan vegetable and pasta soup can look a little intimidating at first,

it’s got a lot of green vegetables in it.  So to get our kids to eat this vegan meal we started by telling them we would eat it while watching a movie.

If they ate their soup, the movie kept playing, if they didn’t eat it we would pause the movie and wait for them to eat.

That worked, and they realized they really like this soup, now it is a meal we can count on them eating.

 

To get this soup started,

first chop an onion, and carrots, with garlic, in a food processor, or by hand.  Slice celery and add those ingredients to the pot.

Chop zucchini next.  Larger cubes work best.

 
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Image of white sweet onion and carrots chopped in food processor.
Image of sliced celery on a red cutting board.
Image of chopped zucchini on a red cutting board, ready to go into a vegan soup.

Add the seasonings, and continue adding the vegetables from my recipe, saute together.

Substitute whatever green vegetables you have in your fridge, they will taste good too.

Get your pasta going.

Add the black beans, and corn.

Hold off on the spinach, so that it doesn’t get over cooked and turn the soup too green.

Image of vegetables cooking in a pot, ready for the soup broth to be added.
Image of cooked whole grain rotini pasta in a strainer.

Add vegetable broth and water,

once the vegetable broth is boiling add the pasta and spinach and cook for 3 mintues more and you are done.

Really easy!

It takes about 35 minutes from start to finish to serve this rainbow of veggie dinner soup.

Sauteing before adding the broth makes sure the vegetables are cooked through.

I hope you decide to try making this unusual and practical soup,

and let me know in the comments below what you think.

We recommend whole wheat crackers crumbled in it and some freshly ground pepper and salt to taste.

It is great as lunch leftovers too. 🙂

Image of vegan vegetable medley soup with vegetable broth in pot.
Image of Dad's Vegan Green Vegetable Soup - with all ingredients including spinach in a big soup pot.
Image of Dad's Vegan Green Vegetable Soup in two bowls with crackers.

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Dad's Vegan Soup with Pasta
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Green Vegetable Medley Pasta Soup (Dad's Soup)

Course: Main Course, Soup
Cuisine: Low Fat, Whole Foods
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 10
Calories: 248 kcal
Author: Jeanette Whitten

If you have never made soup, this one is a no-fail way to start.  

With beans, and pasta, and spinach, and green vegetables, it is always gorgeous - and a hit with the kids.  

Ingredients

Base

  • 1 onion white
  • 3 cups carrots diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, medium, minced
  • 3 celery stalks stalks, diced

Spices

  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 2 tbsp basil dried

Assorted Vegetables

  • 2 zucchini medium, large dice
  • 1 green pepper chopped
  • 12 oz canned corn 341 mL corn, with juice
  • 19 oz black beans can 541 mL, drained but don't bother to rinse
  • 11 oz spinach frozen 300 g, chopped, thawed, not drained

Liquid

Pasta

  • 13 oz whole wheat fusili pasta 375g rotini or penne, or Gluten Free whole grain pasta

Epicure

Instructions

  1. If you are in a hurry, then the food processor is going to be your best friend for this soup recipe.

    Process onions, carrots and minced garlic in your food processor.  Slice some celery and add these all to a large soup pot on medium heat.  

  2. Add salt, basil and oregano and cook for 5-7 minutes until the onion is translucent. Add broth and water a splash at a time if they start to stick.

  3. Chop or process and add zucchini, green pepper to the pot.  Cook for 5-7 more min.

  4. In the meantime, start another medium pot with water for pasta.  When the water boils add the pasta to it and set the timer according to the pasta package directions for al dente - probably for 9 minutes.  Give a piece a cool down and a little chew test before draining.

  5. Add the rest of the broth and water and the can of corn with it's juices to the soup pot. Turn to high until it boils, then reduce to medium low.

  6. Add the drained beans.

  7. When pasta is done, drain and add the pasta to the large soup pot.  

  8. Stir spinach into the soup and cook for 3 minutes until warmed through.

  9. Serve immediately, hot, with whole grain crackers and ice cubes on the side (to cool and so people can get more liquid if they want!).

  10. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.

Nutrition Facts
Green Vegetable Medley Pasta Soup (Dad's Soup)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 248 Calories from Fat 9
% Daily Value*
Fat 1g2%
Sodium 939mg41%
Potassium 617mg18%
Carbohydrates 46g15%
Fiber 10g42%
Sugar 5g6%
Protein 11g22%
Vitamin A 10450IU209%
Vitamin C 24mg29%
Calcium 102mg10%
Iron 2.5mg14%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

 

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!

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

Funny vegan meme with Dr. Evil from Austin Powers laughing. "How vegans react when we see food pyramids."

How to Eat a Healthy Vegan Diet and Be Thin and Active – For Adults and Children

The following recommendations are based on hours of research on the latest scientific findings about human populations and measurable effects of diet on longevity and health, from leading plant based medical doctors.

Plus, we have used trial and error of different types of meals/proportions and recommend this daily eating guide, based on how we feel ourselves, how much energy we have, how much we weigh, and what our kids want to eat.

Image of an active vegan family at a lake.

When we first went whole foods vegan we lost weight very quickly, results are immediate.

You can expect the same.  Greg lost 20 lbs down to 190 lbs and I lost 6 lbs down to 122 lbs in 4 weeks.  I especially noticed weight loss on my upper arms, around my ribs and my legs.  I bet we lost a lot of fat around our internal organs too, fat there is really unhealthy.

Over the last couple years, we started eating a bit too much starch,

my husband had gained weight (even as a vegan) back up to 210 lbs and I was feeling low energy, but still weighed about 122 lbs.

Increasing our dark leafy greens resulted in fast weight loss and higher energy.

In April of 2017 we discovered Dr. Furhman’s recommendations and increased the proportion of the most nutritious vegetables (leafy greens) eating those instead of as much whole grains.

My husband went from 210 lbs to 193 lbs in 4 weeks eating more dark leafy vegetables.

I went from 122 lbs to 115 lbs, and my energy levels went way, way up.

 

Based on our trials and experience since 2013, I share our vegan eating tips with you.

For us the key to staying vegan is to remain focused on our health goals and environmental goals.

It’s really quite easy to stay whole foods vegan because our stomachs feel so much better, and if we eat animal products we don’t feel good.

Use these pie chart proportions to plan the best way to eat vegan, for lots of energy, and to lose and maintain weight without effort.

We are still gradually losing weight eating the following way (unless we get lazy and eat a bunch of restaurant meals, or buy a packaged snack).

I expect I might stabilize around 112lbs and Greg around 185lbs – right at the weights Dr. Furman recommends for our heights for maximum life span.

Studies show skinny people live longer.

Adult Meal = Greens + Fruit or Vegetable + A Little Starch + A Little Protein

Use the percentages in the adult vegan proportions pie chart as a guideline for a single day.

For adults, think about meals as firstly being composed of a vegetable (lunch and supper) or fruit (breakfast), then add a little whole grain starch and some protein or nuts with a no oil dressing/sauce/spices.

If you want to lose weight really quickly, and actually increase your energy, start most adult lunch and supper meals with a plate of dark leafy greens, like spinach. Pile the meal (made of vegetables, starch, and protein) on top.  Have a fruit for a bedtime snack.

Beans are the perfect protein because they are the right amount of protein and carbs.  You can eat vegetables and beans with no starch and get lots of energy.  This makes a great lunch.  Typically we will add a bit of starch at dinner, because it tastes great.

Kids Meal = Starch + Vegetable or Fruit + A Little Protein

Use the percentages in the children vegan proportions pie chart as a guideline for a single day.

For kids, because they need more energy, and can resist some vegetables and resistant to sauces that give calories, think about kids meals as first being composed of a whole grain starch such as potatoes, brown rice, whole wheat bread, whole grain pasta, corn, or quinoa.

Then fill 1/3 the plate with vegetables or fruit and 1/4 with a protein.  Most kids love tofu and plain beans and lemon juice as a sauce.

I get my kids to eat dark leafy greens by including spinach or bok choy in soup, pizza sauce, and spaghetti sauce.  Especially in soup.  We eat soup once a week for supper plus lunch leftovers.  They enjoy plain romaine lettuce, but we are working on salads more than that.  It is a work in progress.

My kids love plain broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes, carrots and cabbage.  They really love plain vegetables.  So they eat vegetables every dinner and most lunches as leftovers.  Our conflicts usually come from the fact that Greg and I want spices and sauces on our meals, the kids don’t.

Our kids eat whole grain cereal (Cheerios, Mini Wheats) with unsweetened soy milk for weekday breakfast, and whole grain waffles with loads of berries on top on weekends.

They like fruit and smoothies and toast with fruit for snacks.

General Guidelines – Follow These to Be a Healthy Whole Foods Plant Based Vegan

Eat only whole plant based foods.

As much as possible, choose “whole foods” – which means not altered from how it grew.

Olives instead of olive oil, an apple instead of apple juice.  Beans instead of protein powder or vegan nuggets.

For pasta, rice, oatmeal, and bread, whole grain instead of refined.  Whole wheat instead of white flour, brown rice, brown pasta, stone ground oats, or quick cooking oats, quinoa, barley, cornmeal.

Whole grains are the whole grain kernel with the bran, germ, and endosperm intact. Refined grains started out as whole grains, but then are processed to give them a finer texture and longer shelf life. During processing, the bran and germ are removed, which also removes dietary fiber, iron, and many B vitamins.

Edamame soy beans are better than tempeh which is better than tofu which is better than soy milk.

Image of Comparison of Calorie Density and volume it takes in the stomach. What 500 calories looks like of oil, cheese, meat, potatoes, rice and beans and fruits and veggies.

Choose a rainbow of colours.

Try for some green and cruciferous vegetables daily.  Start adult lunch and supper meals with a plate of leafy greens. Pile the meal on top.  Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables over the course of a week, and over a month.

 

Image of Hippocrates quote on fresh vegetables: "Let Food Be Thy Medicine and Medicine Be Thy Food."

Choose foods that have the most nutrition per calorie.

This is the secret to high energy.  Vegetables have the highest nutrition per calorie.

Only eat foods that contain fibre.

Animal products contain no fibre. Processed foods with oils added often have reduced fibre.

High fibre ensures wonderful digestive regularity and health, poop once a day, no bloating, no acid indigestion, never diarrhoea, and no smelly gas.

Funny vegan meme, spraying air freshener: "When a meat eater uses your bathroom."

Cook supper at home most of the time.

Eat leftovers for lunch.  Entertain company often.  Our house, our food.

Avoid processed food and drinks.

No soda pop, no candy bars, or candy.  No purchased bags of snacks. Limited juice.

Drink tea.

Especially green tea. Glorious tea.

Do not cook with or use oils, margarine, or any added fats.

All veganEnvy recipes are no oil, fat-free.  Oils reduce arterial function and cause inflammation inside our bodies, plus they clog up our blood vessels leading to heart disease, erectile dysfunction, stroke, alzheimers, obesity and dementia.

Use dried dates/fruit instead of sugars and syrups.

Sugar (even less processed sugar, like brown sugar, honey and maple syrup) cause inflammation, dried fruits repair it.

Eat every two hours and take snacks with you everywhere you go.

Keep your body running and humming by continuously feeding it healthy nutrition filled fibre.  Take an apple, or orange, or yellow pepper or carrots or a banana with you if you run errands.  Have nuts and dried fruit in your desk drawer or whole grain fig newton type snacks for emergencies.  Choose whole fruits as snacks in between meals as much as you can.

Schedule a daily 3:00 green smoothie to stay energized throughout the afternoon and then you won’t get too hungry before dinner.

Image of Vegan meme: "Vegans be like: "It's ok, I brought my own." With many stacked containers full of food.

Eat vegan

Eat no animal products, no dairy, no fish, no eggs, no poultry, no beef.  No cheese, no sour cream, no yogurt.  If came from an animal do not eat it.

Image of bunny with vegan quote: "Animals are our friends, we don't eat our friends."

Don’t stress out about organic and GMO

You don’t need to eat organic or non GMO to get serious benefits and results from a plant based diet.

The health benefits of a diet rich in fruits and vegetables outweigh the risks of pesticide exposure.  We buy much of our produce in bulk at Costco, a good portion is organic, but not all of it.  The highest concentrations of pesticides are in animals, because they eat a lot of plants and it concentrates in them.  You are avoiding that.

Be flexible (go out and have fun!)

Accept that society makes it hard for children to eat vegan, (think birthday parties, school snacks, friends houses, kids menus) we let the kids pick what they eat when they are not in our house.  This usually means they eat animal products once or twice a week.

Eat added oils in restaurants, but try to avoid them.  Research in advance and choose restaurants with better healthy low fat vegan choices.

Drink low to moderate amounts of alcohol.

on some weekends.  Ok, sometimes we drink high amounts of alcohol, but we notice we recover quicker now that we are plant based, so hopefully we aren’t damaging our bodies too much!

Drink soy milk.

We used to drink Almond milk, but I feel more energetic after soy milk,  and I want the kids to get the protein from their drinks, so that is what we drink.

Take B12 and Vitamin D,

but no other supplements.

Exercise daily.

Typical examples for us include walking, Beachbody workout videos, jumping on our trampoline, swimming, watersports.

Practice body alignment exercises daily.

As we got older, we started suffering from aches and pains caused by our computer desk lifestyles.

The Pain Free book by Pete Egoscue gave us a way to simply manage muscular-skeletal issues from toes to top of our head, with simple exercises you can do while watching TV.  Changed my life.

Eat a bedtime snack.

My favourite is a whole fruit (oranges, apples are great) and a glass of low fat soy milk (about 70 calories per cup and 6g protein).  I can wake up in the night if I don’t have some protein (beans, nuts or soy milk) before bed.  If I have my protein snack I sleep soundly through the night.

If I do wake up, I drink a glass of soy milk and it puts me right back to sleep.

The rest of my family just likes fruit as their bedtime snack.  This habit ensures they get fruit every day.

Eat Spices

Use as many different spices as you can on every single meal.  Spices are concentrated plants and we are just learning about all the phytonutrients and benefits spices convey.

For example, 1 tsp daily of ginger powder totally works as a pain killer, especially for headaches and menstrual cramps.  Try it!

Questions?

Please, let me know what you think and if you are confused about any of these recommendations in the comments!

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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.

 
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Adding Healthy Plant Based Meals to Your Menu is Easy!

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Epicure Healthy Tofu Pad Thai (Whole Foods Vegan)

Whole foods no oil brown rice noodles Vegan Pad Thai in Wok

 

This healthy tofu Pad Thai is a low-fat recipe ready in 20 minutes.

Use your own Pad Thai seasonings/sauce, or visit this Epicure website to buy the delicious Pad Thai mix that I used, and bookmark this recipe for later.

I also show you how to make an easy tasty homemade  Sriracha sauce from an Epicure spices mix.

This recipe shows you how to make an oil free vegan Pad Thai with Tofu and Noodles.

All VeganEnvy recipes are whole foods plant based, oil free, fat-free and exceptionally healthy!  I follow the Forks Over Knives recommendations for disease prevention through diet.

Jump to Recipe

 

Back Story

My kids asked if a couple of their friends could stay for dinner.  That is pretty normal at our house.

I said, “We are having vegan Pad Thai – it’s noodles, tofu and vegetables, do they like that?”

The friends said, “never had it, but sounds GOOD!”

I agree, Pad Thai is good!  A mild, slightly sweet comforting noodle dish with garlic and citrus flavours.

Vegan Pad Thai and homemade Sriracha on plates - Whole foods no oil brown rice noodles VeganEnvy.com

I love feeding children vegan food,

especially kids from non-vegan families. They all seem to love tofu, and whole grain carbs, and most like plain vegetables too.

Kids are very open-minded to eating simple vegan food, they see my kids, my husband and I like it, and they join in – especially when their parents aren’t around.

I always test my recipes on children.  If they like it, I know I have a winner.

 

Epicure Pad Thai Spice Mix

I grabbed a package of vegan Pad Thai spice mix from Epicure, because it is a fast, healthy, high quality way to pull a tofu dish together.

It is spices only – no preservatives, fish, oils or additives.

I have used Canadian Epicure products for over 15 years – they are fantastic and I am an Epicure consultant.

Epicure is a great company for vegans.  Unfortunately their products are only available in Canada.

Pad Thai Mix from Canadian Epicure

Carrots, broccoli, green pepper and noodles,

This should take about 20 minutes to pull together.

Sliced green peppers in a wok - VeganEnvy.com
Matchstick carrots in measuring cup - VeganEnvy.com
Package of Lotus Foods Brown Rice Noodles - From Costco

I got started washing and chopping my vegetables, I really take pleasure in cutting them in ways that make them look appealing.

Matchstick carrots, small broccoli, evenly cut green peppers.  Makes them cook uniformly as well.

I learned cutting techniques in the Forks Over Knives Cooking Course.

Sliced Broccoli carrots and green peppers for vegan no oil stir fry in wok

Mix Up the Sauce

While the vegetables were stir frying, I mixed up the Pad Thai spices with water and soy sauce.

This Epicure spice mix is:

  • sweet and tangy with an authentic Thai taste, and has
  • tamarind, garlic and cilantro for true Southeast Asian flavours.
Mixed Epicure Pad Thai Seasoning in measuring cup, veganenvy.com
I decided to use a package of Medium Tofu and a package of Extra Firm Tofu.  The Medium will crumble like eggs (eggs are common in pad Thai) and the extra firm tofu will be solid like chicken or shrimp.
Medium firm and Extra Firm Tofu in packages

Once the vegetables were tender, but still with a bit of a crunch, they were done.

I added the cubes of tofu and stirred them in.

Then I added the sauce.

Vegan Tofu Pad Thai with Epicure seasoning sauce in wok, no oil

I was very careful not to put the noodles in the boiling water until just before the vegetables were done, because the noodles truly only take 5 minutes to cook.

I rinsed the brown rice noodles with cold water to remove extra starch, and added them to the wok.

Vegan Pad Thai - Stir in the Noodles in the wok

Homemade Sriracha Sauce

I also decided to make homemade Sriracha sauce using an Epicure mix, ketchup, and vinegar.

Sriracha sauce really enhances the Pad Thai for adults.

 

Epicure Sriracha Sauce homemade
Squeeze some lime on each plate (or lemon) and serve.  It was really, good, the kids gobbled it up.
Kids enjoying vegan Pad Thai
 
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I forgot to do this for my photos, but add some chopped peanuts to your Pad Thai!  It makes a huge flavour and texture impact.
plates of Vegan Pad Thai with tofu for family and friends

I will work on a Vegan Pad Thai sauce recipe, from scratch

Until I write that recipe, if you are in Canada, please feel free to buy this healthy, oil free, vegan Pad Thai mix from my Epicure website.

The Epicure company is on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada and cannot sell to other countries yet.

I hope you can use this recipe to create your own vegan Pad Thai – with a sauce that you have!  🙂

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Vegan Epicure Pad Thai Mix with Tofu
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Epicure Healthy Tofu Pad Thai - 20 minutes

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Asian, Egg Free, Tofu, Vegan
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 10
Calories: 364 kcal
Author: Jeanette Whitten

This recipe uses a vegan Epicure Pad Thai seasoning mixture, to make a vegan pad thai, with tofu, broccoli, green pepper, carrots, and whole grain rice noodles and without oil.  

Ingredients

Pad Thai Seasoning

  • 1 package Epicure Pad Thai Seasoning Pack or store bought pad thai sauce, sorry I haven't invented my own seasonings yet! Suggest how in the comments!
  • 3/4 cup hot water
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce

Vegetables and Tofu

  • 1 green pepper thinly sliced
  • 3 cups carrots in matchsticks
  • 4 broccoli crowns, about 8 cups chopped
  • 16 oz tofu 454g, medium, cubed
  • 12.35 oz extra firm tofu 350g, extra firm, cubed
  • 19.75 oz brown rice noodles 8 cakes, 560 g
  • 2 tbsp lime juiced, about 1 lime

Toppings

  • 2 tbsp peanuts chopped

Epicure Sriracha Sauce

Instructions

Prepare Pad Thai Sauce - 3 minutes

  1. Stir the pad thai seasoning mix with 3/4 cup (180 mL) hot water and 2 Tbsp (30 mL) soy sauce.

Prepare Vegetables - 10 minutes

  1. On medium heat, stir fry green peppers and carrots for 3 - 4 minutes.  Add 1/4 cup or less of water if they start to stick.  Cover to speed cooking time.

  2. Add broccoli and cover, cook for 7 more minutes, stir frequently, until tender, but still bright green and slightly crunchy.

  3. Add medium cubed tofu and stir in so that it crumbles like scrambled eggs.

  4. Add extra firm cubed tofu and gently combine so that it stays in cubes.

Prepare Rice Noodles - 5 minutes

  1. In a large pot boil water for noodles.

  2. Once the vegetables are almost done, add 12 ramen cakes to boiling water per cake  Try for 2 cups of water per cake.  When noodles begin to unfold, after about 1 minute, separate gently with a fork and reduce heat to a low boil.  Continue to cook for 3 minutes or until the noodles are just soft.

  3. Strain through a colander, and rinse with cold water.

Combine and Serve

  1. Add cooked rice noodles to the vegetables with the prepared sauce, tossing to heat through.

  2. Serve immediately, with freshly squeezed lime juice, sriracha sauce, and chopped peanuts.

Nutrition Facts
Epicure Healthy Tofu Pad Thai - 20 minutes
Amount Per Serving
Calories 364 Calories from Fat 45
% Daily Value*
Fat 5g8%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Sodium 347mg15%
Potassium 1090mg31%
Carbohydrates 66g22%
Fiber 11g46%
Sugar 8g9%
Protein 17g34%
Vitamin A 7975IU160%
Vitamin C 229.1mg278%
Calcium 156mg16%
Iron 2.9mg16%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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.

 

oil-free sweet potato asparagus black bean salad
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Vegan Asparagus Black Bean and Roasted Sweet Potato Salad - No Oil, 30 Minute Dinner

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

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.

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

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.

Nutrition Facts
Vegan Asparagus Black Bean and Roasted Sweet Potato Salad - No Oil, 30 Minute Dinner
Amount Per Serving
Calories 240 Calories from Fat 18
% Daily Value*
Fat 2g3%
Sodium 804mg35%
Potassium 1239mg35%
Carbohydrates 45g15%
Fiber 13g54%
Sugar 6g7%
Protein 12g24%
Vitamin A 8365IU167%
Vitamin C 31.8mg39%
Calcium 143mg14%
Iron 9.3mg52%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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

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Adding Healthy Plant Based Meals to Your Menu is Easy!

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Vegan Lasagna – Tofu & Spinach, Whole Foods Plant Based

Vegan Lasagna

Whole Foods Plant Based Vegan Lasagna With No-Oil (High Nutrition, Low Calories)

This wfpb no-oil vegan lasagna is based on traditional Italian lasagna, but with a vegan cottage cheese / vegan ricotta substitute, made from tofu, basil, and lemon juice.

Fast vegan lasagna recipe that only needs 20 minutes to cook in the oven.

Need a vegan dinner recipe that is great for non-vegans too?

I have served this lasagna many times to non-vegan friends, to rave reviews. Vegetarian lasagna is a dish people are familiar with.

Jump to Recipe

This is the best cheese-free, meatless, vegetarian lasagna recipe!

I make lasagna all the time, it’s one of our family standard meals, when I have 90 minutes.  I’ve tried many, many vegan variations, this one is our favourite.  The reason is because of extra noodles, and the zucchini gives it more bulk.  It’s not runny, but has a perfect sauce consistency.  Using blended diced tomatoes and tomato paste makes a nice dark red, thick, tasty, and healthy, sauce.

Tomato paste is LOADED with antioxidants (fight aging, prevent cancer, reduce inflammation, promote healing).

There was even a study that showed people’s sunburns healed faster when they ate tomato paste daily.

See Preventing Skin Cancer from the Inside Out video.

As long as you have a food processor,

you can cook this healthy lasagna really fast – it is easy to make, think about how you can relax while it cooks in the oven.

If you don’t have a food processor, and you have mad knife skills, please try it anyways, and let me know in the comments how you made out?

Double Pasta Noodle Layers

Watching my kids pick noodles out of lasagna (to eat first) inspired me to use double layers of pasta in this recipe, so that there is more pasta for a satisfying meal and to get a great consistency.  I have added the zucchini to balance out that extra starch, so you are also getting more vegetables.

I am sure this recipe will be popular with kids and your non-vegan friends too.

Lasagna in pan with salad
Plan to have 20 minutes to bake the vegan lasagna in the oven and about 70 minutes to cook your whole grain noodles and assemble the layers.

You can get this lasagna done in 1 1/2 hours – about 90 minutes.

Sprinkle the lasagna generously with almond flour and then salt and garlic powder – looks just like parmesan!

Zucchini whole
This vegan lasagna calls for spinach, lemon, and garlic in the tofu ricotta layer.

Zucchini and tomato paste give the tomato sauce more substance, it is thick, and italian seasoning adds great flavour.

Why Olive Oil Isn’t a Health Food

Most italian recipes call for oil, and most people have heard and read that olive oil is healthy.    In this NutritionFacts.org video, Dr. Greger looks at the research on how olive oil affects artery function.  Check it out.

All oils, including olive oil and coconut oil, have been shown to cause a constant and significant decrease in artery function after meals.

Inflammation increases, and blood vessel flow decreases in your body when you eat any fat, including olive and coconut oils.

Oils hurt our arteries and increase inflammation in our body.  Inflammation leads to disease.

Eating vegetables restores artery function,

since olive oil is often consumed with vegetables – in a salad for example – there can be a positive effect when eating oil, because of the vegetables – despite the oil.

Physicians studying heart disease and plant based diets recommend you skip the oil,

and just eat the vegetables – and you will have much improved arterial function.

 

Eat nuts and seeds instead

These physicians also recommend you eat an ounce daily of whole nuts and seeds to get the oils/fats you need – delivered in a food, not from a factory – the way nature intended!

Walnuts and almonds
lasagna pan rinsed - no soap

Because this lasagna has no oil, no meat and no cheese, there is no grease, no oils when you are done.

The empty pan here is after I simply rinsed it with water – no soap required.  Squeaky clean.

Think how clean this makes the inside of our bodies as well – no clogged arteries, no blocked blood flow to our brains or other important body parts (um, men).

Enjoy this lasagna with your family, it is a great meal to add to your regular routine, and because it has no added oil, it is a good way to keep your arteries clean and functioning well,  preventing heart disease in your children and yourself.

Eat this regularly and your cardiovascular system will be in peak condition for you to run a marathon. 🙂

 

whole grain vegan lasagna whole foods plant based recipe
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Vegan Lasagna - With Tofu, Spinach, Zucchini, and No Oil

Course: Main Course, Pasta
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: dairy-free lasagna, healthy meat-free lasagna, lasagna, tofu dinner idea, vegan, vegan pasta, whole foods plant based lasagna
Prep Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings: 9 servings
Calories: 270 kcal
Author: Jeanette Whitten

This is a great healthy, hearty and delicious, vegan lasagna, with no oil.  

Make in a 9 x 13" open casserole dish (no lid or foil required).

Tofu and spinach make a quick and easy ricotta cheese substitute. It tastes like a traditional Italian lasagna, except it is low fat, high in fibre and cholesterol-free!  

The zucchini makes it so colourful, and so good for you! I stumbled on using zucchini because I was trying to figure out how to bulk up the sauce, and make it a bit more interesting than just plain tomato sauce. It works!

Even if you have never made lasagna, you can succeed with this simple basic lasagna 101 vegan recipe.

Ingredients

Noodles

  • 13.22 oz pasta whole grain 18 lasagna noodles - 6 layers of 3 noodles, to make GF use gluten free noodles

Tomato Sauce

  • 28 oz can diced tomatoes or fresh tomatoes
  • 5 .5 oz tomato paste canned
  • 1 onion small, I use white sweet onions, or use green onions to make this low FODMAP
  • 4 cups zucchini about 2 medium to small, about 4 cups, chopped in big chunks
  • 2 tbsp Italian seasoning Such as Club House brand - it includes salt
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast optional

Tofu Ricatta

  • 12.35 oz extra firm tofu 350 g package
  • 2 garlic 2 small or 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 10.58 oz frozen spinach chopped, thawed and drained
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp sugar a bit of sweet is key to making the vegan ricotta taste like real ricotta
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp dried basil or 1 cup chopped fresh basil

Optional

  • 4 tbsp almond flour or 2 tbsp nutritional yeast, for sprinkling on top. We prefer almond flour, it looks like parmesan.

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F (175° C) on convection bake.  You will need a 9 x 13" uncovered casserole dish.

  2. In a large pot, start water boiling.  Add a pinch of salt, no need for oil.

Prepare the tomato sauce

  1. In a food processor, add the diced tomatoes, with their juice, tomato paste, onion, zucchini chunks, Italian seasoning and nutritional yeast. Process until zucchini is shredded.  Add salt, to taste, if your Italian seasoning is salt free.

  2. Pour the tomato sauce into a medium saucepan on the stove, bring to a simmer. Cover, and cook until the tofu ricotta mixture is ready. Taste test, the zucchini should be soft / cooked.

  3. Rinse the food processor out (no oil means no soap required!)

Prepare the tofu ricotta

  1. Thaw the frozen spinach in the microwave for a few minutes.  You can leave it in the package, put it on a plate to catch any drips. Drain the spinach, a bit of liquid is ok.

  2. This is a good time to add the 18 whole grain lasagna noodles to the boiling water.

  3. In the food processor, add the extra firm tofu, garlic, thawed and drained spinach, lemon juice, sugar, salt, and basil. Blend until lumps are gone.

Assemble the lasagna in this order: sauce, noodles, sauce, double noodles, tofu ricotta, double noodles, sauce, noodles, sauce

  1. Spread 1 cup tomato sauce on the bottom of the casserole dish.

  2. Place 3 noodles (single layer)

  3. Spread 1 cup tomato sauce over the noodles

  4. Place 3 noodkes

  5. Place a second layer of 3 more noodles (double noodle layer).  Kids love this.

  6. Spread all the Tofu ricotta over the double noodle layer.

  7. Place 3 noodles.

  8. Place a second layer of 3 noodles (double noodle layer)

  9. 2 cups tomato sauce

  10. 3 noodles (single layer)

  11. Top with the remaining 1.5 cups sauce and spread evenly.

  12. Spread 4-5 tablespoons of almond flour generously over top, (it looks like parmesan), then sprinkle with garlic powder and salt.  Also you could use my Vegan Parmesan Cheese over top, or nutritional yeast. 

  13. Bake in preheated convection oven for 25 minutes until bubbling

Recipe Notes

Enjoy with a salad!

If using green onions, be sure to dice them up small, as the food processor probably won't.

Nutrition Facts
Vegan Lasagna - With Tofu, Spinach, Zucchini, and No Oil
Amount Per Serving (1 / 8th of recipe)
Calories 270 Calories from Fat 18
% Daily Value*
Fat 2g3%
Sodium 494mg21%
Potassium 984mg28%
Carbohydrates 51g17%
Fiber 5g21%
Sugar 7g8%
Protein 15g30%
Vitamin A 4955IU99%
Vitamin C 29.9mg36%
Calcium 159mg16%
Iron 5.6mg31%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

heart failure

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.

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