Vegan Shepherds Pot Pie

Instead of enclosed in a flaky crust, this pot pie is topped with mashed potatoes.

Plant-based, hearty, and delicious!

8 large potatoes, diced

2 large yellow onions, diced

3 large carrots, peeled and diced

3 cups frozen peas

3 cups frozen corn

3 cups frozen broccoli

6 tbsp tapioca starch

3 cups vegetable broth

1/4 cup nutritional yeast

salt/pepper to taste

  1. Dice and boil potatoes until fork tender. Drain, return to pot, and mash with a masher.
  2. In a large skillet, saute the onions and carrots for 7 minutes, until soft. You can add splashes of water or broth to keep from sticking if necessary.
  3. Add in the peas, corn, and broccoli and cook until heated through, another 5-7 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, combine the tapioca starch and vegetable broth in a bowl. Whisk until combined. Add to veggies along with the nutritional yeast, and stir well.
  5. Transfer the veggie mixture to a 9×13 pan. Spoon the mashed potatoes on top. Bake for 10-15 minutes at 400.

Roasted Veggie Pasta

If you haven’t watched the documentary Forks Over Knives yet, you should. It is an extremely informative documentary explaining in easy to understand (and scientifically backed) terms why plant-based eating is the way to optimal health and wellness. Whatever nutrients you are looking for from animals, you get them from plants. And they are actually more bio-available, meaning easy for humans to absorb and digest, coming from plants than they are from animal foods.

This recipe is inspired by one of their recipes. I made some minor changes to make this gluten free as well as plant based.

1 pound gluten free pasta

1/2 large red onion, diced

2 medium carrots, cut into matchsticks

1 pint grape tomatoes, halved

1 medium zucchini, spirialized

1 pound eggplant, skin on, cut into cubes

1/4 tsp Himalayan seat salt

2 1/2 tbsp dried thyme (or chopped fresh thyme leaves)

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 tbsp lemon juice

3 tbsp balsamic vinegar

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and pour back into the pot.
  2. Preheat oven to 425.
  3. In a large bowl add all the veggies and salt and mix everything together. Place mixture on a large baking sheet.
  4. Roast for 20 minutes.
  5. While veggies are roasting, in a small bowl mix the thyme, garlic, lemon juice, and vinegar.
  6. After 20 minutes, pour the seasoning mixture on the veggies, stir around, and roast for another 10 minutes.
  7. Add the roasted veggies to the cooked pasta. Stir well to combine. Adjust seasoning to taste, if you wish (more garlic or thyme, maybe a pinch of salt and pepper).

 

Raspberry Vinaigrette

If you are one who prefers a more vinegary-sweet salad dressing, this raspberry vinaigrette is for you. You can make it in minutes and it stores well in a covered jar in the refrigerator for several days.

6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 pint fresh, mashed raspberries

2 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice

2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

1 tsp raw local honey

pinch of salt (optional)

  1. Mash the raspberries. Add the raspberries and the remaining ingredients to a jar and shake well until combined.

Cinnamon Raisin Granola Bars

Soft and chewy. Wholesome and delicious.

With my growing young boys I need to always have a good supply of healthy snacks that contain a good amount of whole food fats and proteins. This is one of their favorites.

The coconut oil and the natural peanut butter (or almond butter) provide healthy fats and protein. The coconut oil also helps add sweetness, along with the little bit of maple syrup and some raisins.

And did you know that cinnamon is more than just a little brown spice? It has great benefits, too! It’s actually one of the healthiest spices on the planet. It can lower blood sugar levels, reduce heart disease risk, is loaded with antioxidants which fight against free radical damage (free radical damage leads to chronic inflammation which is at the root of all chronic diseases including cancer). Cinnamon even reduces insulin resistance!

These bars are the snack that gives back! It gives back your health!

1 1/2 cups quick oats

1/2 cup oat flour (which can be made by grinding oats in a food processor until a fine powder/flour forms)

2 tsp cinnamon

2 chia eggs (2 tbsp chia seeds + 6 tbsp water, let sit for 1-3 minutes)

1/4 cup melted coconut oil

1/2 cup natural peanut butter or almond butter

1/3 cup maple syrup

2 tsp vanilla extract

3/4 cup raisins

  1. Grease a 9×9 baking dish with coconut oil.
  2. In a medium bowl whisk together all the dry ingredients.
  3. In a large bowl whisk together all the wet ingredients.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Mix until combined.
  5. Fold in the raisins.
  6. Pour into baking dish and spread out in an even layer using the back of a spatula, pressing down until it is tightly packed and smooth.
  7. Let sit for 1 hour at room temperature until set. To speed the process along, you could place it in the refrigerator.

Gingerbread Energy Balls

Keep healthy alternatives around for snacks and you’ll never miss the pre-packaged varieties of who knows what with an entire list of ingredients you can’t pronounce. These energy balls are sure to be that sweet snack you reach for when you need something sweet without the damaging effects of processed sugars. And since there is no sugar added (the sweetness comes from the dates) there will be no crash later. The natural sugars from dates give your cells all the whole-nutrition energy they need.

Dates are jam packed with fiber which alleviates digestion issues. The potassium in dates can treat upset stomachs and diarrhea. It can also help “move things along” when you are constipated. Dates are also rich in magnesium, manganese, and selenium. These minerals are needed for keeping bones and blood strong and healthy. What is really amazing about dates is that the potassium in them reduces your risk of stroke and can lower cholesterol.

Can’t say all that about bags of chips and cookies! You get a snack AND a health boost at the same time.

This recipe also has buckwheat groats. If you have never used them before you’re in for a treat. They add such great taste and texture. Buckwheat is actually gluten free despite the name. They are a relative of rhubarb. Buckwheat contains all eight essential amino acids, low glycemic and high in fiber. Studies have also shown buckwheat can be beneficial in the management of blood sugar levels, this is especially important if you are dealing with diabetes.

1 1/2 cups pitted dates

1/4 cup almond flour

1/4 cup buckwheat groats

3/4 cups quick oats

1 tbsp cinnamon

1 tsp ginger

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/4 tsp vanilla

1/4 tsp ground cloves

  1. Blend all the dry ingredients in a food processor until a fine flour forms.
  2. Add in the dates and process until combined. It will seem loose, but you will be able to squeeze it together and form balls. (If not, add more dates)
  3. Roll the dough out into balls about an inch thick. You could also flatten them after rolling and make them cookies if you chose to.

Gluten Free Egg Free Bread

This is another delicious bread option. Great for those with egg allergies. I also omitted xanthan gum in this loaf because I know some people have an intolerance to that as well.

This bread stands up as a great alternative to sandwich bread when you want to ditch the gluten filled white or whole wheat breads. And since you are using wholesome ingredients (and chia seeds!) it is much more filling. I never hear an “I’m hungry” 30 minutes after my kids have a sandwich using this bread.

I love that this is so simple, too. No painstakingly kneading while your hands and arms get an intense workout. Just simply mix the ingredients together and let it rise before popping it in the oven to bake.

It might seem like a lot of different flours to use, but don’t let that deter you. You can make a double or triple (or more) batch of this blend to keep on hand as a gluten free flour mix. It stores well in a glass jar.

Wet Ingredients

1 packet of yeast

1 cup non-dairy milk, warmed (I have used cashew, almond or oat and all work great)

2 tsp raw local honey

1 cup warm water

5 tbsp ground chia seeds

3 tbsp coconut oil, melted

2 tsp apple cider vinegar (with “the mother”)

Dry Ingredients

1 cup oat flour (I grind 1 cup of oatmeal in a food processor for this so I can keep it course, not fine)

1 cup millet flour

1/2 cup potato starch

1/2 cup tapioca starch

1/4 buckwheat flour

1 tsp aluminum-free baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

  1. In a medium bowl add the nondairy milk and yeast, and allow to proof until foamy (about 10 minutes).
  2. Add the remaining wet ingredients and let sit for a few minutes to allow the chia seeds to expand.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients.
  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix with a wooden spoon until combined.
  5. Pour batter into a greased loaf pan and place in non-drafty area to let rise until it reaches the top of the pan (40-60 minutes).
  6. Preheat oven to 350.
  7. Place loaf pan in oven on middle rack and bake for 60 minutes. Allow to cool briefly in the pan before turning out on a wire rack to finish cooling.

Lentil Soup

In parts of the world where peoples diets are high in curcumin, there is a significant  lower incidence of cancer rates.

I have been making recipes lately that are higher in curry, cumin, and turmeric because the research is just astounding at how beneficial these spices are for targeting disease. Just read this short article by Dr. Michael Greger.

If all I have to do to reduce my risk of disease is eat insanely delicious food and stay away from disease promoting food then I will do it!

This soup will not disappoint. It is absolutely heavenly.

6 cups vegetable broth

2 cups onions, diced

2 large carrots, diced

2 large cloves of garlic, minced

1 tsp coriander

1 1/2 tsp ground cumin

3/4 tsp turmeric

3/4 tsp paprika

3/4 tsp cinnamon

1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes

1 1/2 cups dry red lentils

1/3 cup fresh chopped parsley

1/3 cup fresh chopped cilantro

  1. Heat 1/4 cup vegetable oil in a large soup pot and saute the onion, carrot and garlic. Add additional broth only as needed to prevent vegetables from burning. Once vegetables are translucent, add the spices and allow to bloom for 1-2 minutes.
  2. Add in the remaining vegetable broth, tomatoes and lentils and let simmer covered on medium heat for 20-30 minutes, until the lentils are fully cooked.
  3. Add the parsley and cilantro, stir to combine and serve hot.

 

Fudge Brownie with Chocolate Glaze

You’ll never find a brownie more ooey-gooey than this one! It is flour-less yet packed with nutrition. And, my favorite, easy to make!

The bulk of this brownie (really it is more like fudge) is made of dates.

The power of dates is pretty awesome. They are full of fiber which has far-reaching and health-promoting effects on the body. The obvious benefit of fiber is aiding in healthy digestion. Fiber will make it’s way through the digestive tract and grab hold of everything that needs to be sent out as waste. But fiber is also great for heart health by lowering cholesterol, reducing your risk of stroke and diabetes, lowering your blood pressure, and encouraging a healthy weight (so that ticker doesn’t have to work so hard!). Dates are rich in magnesium, too. Magnesium is a wonderful anti-inflammatory which can reduce your risk for diseases such as arthritis, Alzheimer’s, and cardiovascular disease.

All that just for enjoying  a sinfully delicious treat?! Sign me up!

I added walnuts to these as well. You could add (or omit) any kind of nut you like. I like adding walnuts because of their healthy fat content as well as having vitamins and minerals that promote a healthy heart and circulatory system. Walnuts are a powerful anti-inflammatory, and what is really awesome is they have nutrients to boost brain power and improve memory!

2 1/2 cups dates, pitted

 11/2 cups walnuts

6 tbsp cocoa powder

2 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup water

  1. Blend all ingredients in a food processor. Press into an 8×8 pan.
  2. Pour on the chocolate glaze and spread with the back of a spatula.
  3. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours. (Keep these refrigerated)

Chocolate Glaze for the top:

1/4 cup cocoa powder

1/4 cup syrup

2 tbsp coconut oil

1 tsp vanilla extract

  1. Mix all ingredients in a small bowl.

 

Pepperoni-less Pizza

We love pizza in my house. But when we changed our diet to a plant-based diet, that meant no more getting pepperoni as a topping. Now, I never liked pepperoni so that wasn’t a problem for me. But for others in my household, it took some getting used to.

But it is very important to keep that pepperoni OFF your pizza. No matter how “good” you think it tastes. Why is pepperoni so bad? Pepperoni, and all processed meats, are manufactured with a carcinogenic ingredient called sodium nitrite. It’s used as a color fixer to give it that pink-red hue. Unfortunately, that ingredient is not benign. It results in the formation of cancer-causing nitrosamines in the human body. This leads to a sharp increase in cancer for those who eat them.

What else is sodium nitrite in?

** Beef jerky

** Bacon

** Sausage

** Hot Dogs

** Sandwich meat

** Frozen Pizza with meat

** Canned soups with meat

** Sandwich meat used at restaurants

** Nearly all red meats sold at public schools, restaurants, hospitals and theme parks

Keep the processed meat off your pizza and try new ways to enjoy your favorite foods with a healthy twist. Clean eating isn’t deprivation. It’s eating in ways you’ve maybe never tried before. All the while doing your body good!

 

Pizza Dough

1 large potato

paprika

garlic powder

onion powder

turmeric powder

Himalayan sea salt

pepper

basil, chopped

sauce (you can use this or the marinara sauce in this post)

  1. Using a mandolin slicer (or a steady hand and a sharp knife), slice the potato about 1/4 inch thick. Season the potatoes with paprika, garlic powder, onion powder,  turmeric powder, sea salt, and pepper.
  2. Bake the slices in the oven at 450 for about 15-20 minutes, until fork tender.
  3. While the potatoes are baking, prep the pizza. Roll out the dough and top the dough with garlic powder and onion powder. Spread sauce over the dough.
  4. Once the potatoes are done, spread them around the pizza evenly then top with chopped basil.
  5. Bake pizza in oven at 400 for 20 minutes, until the crust is golden brown.