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This recipe is gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, vegetarian and vegan. Oh and very delicious!

Notes

  • Recipe Yields: ~2-4 servings (depending on whether you’re using it as a main dish or a side dish)
  • Prep Time: ~10 minutes
  • Cook Time: ~30 minutes
  • You could actually cook everything in one skillet if you would like

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Cremini mushrooms
  • 2 Tbsp. Vegan butter, split into two skillets
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 cup uncooked Arborio rice
  • ⅓ cup dry white wine
  • 2½-3 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cups organic, fresh chopped spinach
  • salt and pepper to taste
Fresh chopped spinach

Preparation

  1. Heat 1 Tbsp. butter in each large skillet over medium heat (2 T total).
  2. Rinse, dry and chop mushrooms and add to the first skillet. Add onions and garlic and cook for about 5 minutes, until the onions are translucent.
  3. Add rice to second skillet and cook, stirring continuously, coating the rice with butter, for 3 minutes.
  4. Add wine to rice and continue stirring until the liquid is completely absorbed, about 1 minute.
  5. Add broth to rice ½ cup at a time, stirring continuously until all the liquid has been absorbed. The mixture should get creamier as you stir.
  6. When rice is cooked al dente, turn off the heat and stir in spinach and combine the two skillets into one.
  7. Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately.

Risotto is a great source of complex carbohydrates. It will super charge your energy levels and will definitely fill you up! It’s also a great “comfort food” meal if you’re in the mood for something creamy and healthy! This is one of my favorite recipes. Enjoy!

So I totally have to echo Holly’s post. I really love her writing for Live Whole Be Free, we feed off of each other so well! No pun intended!

People always ask me “what I am.” Am I Vegan, Vegetarian, Paleo, Raw, Gluten-Free, Soy-Free, Dairy-Free? The answer is yes, no, all of those, none of those and a combination. What I “am” doesn’t have a name. I eat clean, that is for certain, which means no (or limited) processed foods. I eat organic so that I can be sure my fuel (food) isn’t laced with chemicals, pesticides and other things that would modify it from its original state. But as far as everything else goes, I eat a rotation diet.

I eat fresh, organic vegetables and fruits, lots of lentils, beans, brown rice, nuts and seeds in order to meet my daily protein, fiber and carbohydrate requirements. Those are everyday staples for me. I eat organic, free-range/cage-free, hormone-free eggs a couple of times a week, not more. I eat wild-caught fish and on extremely rare occasion chicken as long as it’s organic and hormone/antibiotic-free. I try to stay away from corn and soy, but I don’t let it rule my life. I love sushi, so occasionally—I have sushi (enter soy sauce). I then make sure that a week or two goes by before I indulge in any type of soy again.

I try to stay away from gluten as much as possible, but again, I don’t let it rule my life. If I start to feel I’ve been indulging too frequently, I take a month and go entirely gluten-free. It’s like hitting “restart” on your computer.

How did this all start? Well, it didn’t all start at once and it was never planned. It just sort of happened. About a year and a half ago, I gave up red meat. At the time, I had no reason. I just didn’t have a taste for it anymore and I strongly felt that my body was trying to tell me something. It was after that when I started to do my  homework, reading books and watching documentaries. I’m proud of my body for being so smart. Do I think that eating meat is okay? Sure. It’s just not for me at this point in my life. However, I believe it needs to be grass-fed, hormone/antibiotic-free and the animal should be treated humanely.

About six or so months ago, I gave up dairy. I blame the documentaries. But, my stomach has been thanking me ever since. Now it’s very minimal dairy for me. I find that if I eliminate something from my diet entirely for too long, the next time I have it, I get sick. This is what the rotation diet is all about. It keeps things in your system to some extent so that your body doesn’t treat it like a foreign substance the next time you have it. So on rare occasion, I will have a very, very small amount of dairy… for instance, a tiny bit of cheese cooked into some eggs. I was actually quite shocked—growing up on milk I assumed eliminating dairy would be nearly impossible. On the flip side, it was one of the easiest things to eliminate. Again, my body’s pretty smart, it was definitely telling me something!

As far as corn goes—it’s genetically modified, near impossible to digest—I just try to stay away. I increase the amount of raw foods and carbohydrates I consume at least a few weeks prior to a big race/athletic event. Eating raw gives you TONS of energy, but is difficult to maintain.

So there it is, in a nutshell, of how I eat. At least that’s what it looks like today. Six months from now could be completely different. That is part of the joy of constantly learning and evolving as a person! How do you eat? I encourage you to experiment in order to find what works best for your body. Just be sure that whatever you do, you feed your body the nutrients it needs to function optimally!

Peace, love and whole eating,

Melissa

 

I decided to change the way I eat about five months ago and incorporate a mostly plant-based diet. After watching the movie Forks Over Knives (as well as other influential books and movies), I was not only inspired, but also a little shocked to discover such a different point of view when it comes to the “healthy” food I thought I had been eating all these years (i.e. low-fat dairy and lean meats).

Once I realized that I didn’t have to have all of my protein and nutrients come from animal-based products, I began my search for plant-based recipes and foods. It was exciting and fun for the first few months. I felt challenged to create new dishes and staple meals that incorporated all of the nutrients and ingredients needed to be a healthy Vegan.

However, a few weeks ago I hit a food slump. I love food and using fresh, simple ingredients in my cooking, and I realized that I was no longer cooking for love, I was cooking for fuel.

Being 100% Vegan takes a lot of dedication and time, especially if you try to avoid things like soy.  Then there are the really hard-core Vegans that don’t even use honey or oil (with the exception of coconut oil)! Anyway, it was starting to frustrate and exhaust me. The ingredients lists were getting longer and longer just to create a variety of meals that were not only delicious, but that also included the nutritional value I needed.

Then I read Melissa’s bio again and her words really hit home, “…the more “whole” I try to live, the less stressed and more “free” I feel.”

Bingo – that’s it! I’m striving to make good, well-informed decisions every day, starting with what I put into my body to spending time with family and friends, and that is what really matters when all is said and done. For me, that means incorporating a mostly plant-based diet, but also enjoying some of the simple, non-Vegan foods and flavors that I love so much. If and when I do stray from plant-based foods, I make sure that I am still eating responsibly and ethically – a smattering of fresh, creamy goat cheese from my neighborhood farm spread over a piece of warm, crusty whole wheat artisanal bread topped with the sweet, complex flavors of sliced purple, green and red heirloom tomatoes.

Now that’s a compromise I can live whole and be free with.

This recipe is gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free, nut-free, vegetarian and vegan.

In the hot summer months, I try to avoid using the oven at all costs. However, the other day I had a really strong craving for a homemade baked goodie and wanted to incorporate the sweet potatoes in my pantry for a sweet, yet savory treat. I went looking for recipes and came across several Sweet Potato Biscuit variations. I wanted to make them Vegan (or at least mostly Vegan) and use ingredients I had on-hand.

The following recipe was adapted from the Happy Herbivore’s Whole Wheat Sweet Potato Vegan Biscuits recipe.

Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Notes

  • Recipe Yields: About 12 biscuits
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Notes: I used a thawed, previously frozen banana, which added a little more moisture to the dough.
  • Notes: For a savory version, omit the sugar, honey and cinnamon and add a pinch of salt and a 1/4 cup of chopped fresh rosemary, dill or thyme.

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp Extra virgin olive oil (optional, omit for vegan)
  • 1 Tbsp honey (optional)
  • 1 whole sweet potato
  • 1 cup whole wheat or gluten-free flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • a dash of cinnamon (optional)
  • 1 whole banana, cold

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 425°. Rinse, peel and cube the sweet potato, then toss in a bowl with olive oil and honey (skip the honey if you want Vegan biscuits). Turn out onto a baking sheet and roast for about 20 minutes or until fork-tender.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl or mixer, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, brown sugar and optional cinnamon.
  3. Mix in the banana until dough starts to form, then add about 3/4 cup of mashed, baked sweet potato.
  4. Once dough is ready—should be wetter than most pizza dough, but dryer than cake batter—stretch out onto a lightly floured surface to about a ½ inch thickness.
  5. Use either a biscuit cutter or a half-cup metal measuring cup to cut biscuits. Transfer onto a cookie sheet and bake at 425° for 5-10 minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out clean and edges are turning golden brown.

These make a satisfying, yet healthy, after-dinner treat with a drizzle of honey or maple syrup, or as a  “grab-and-go” breakfast item.  The whole-wheat flour provides complex carbohydrates to fuel your body, while the sweet potato is rich in anti-oxidants and fiber.

This recipe is gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, vegetarian and vegan.

I’m a big fan of natural energy/granola bars, but I’m not a fan of paying high prices for them. The ones I like the best—the ones that are the healthiest and taste the best, seem to be so pricey at the store! Especially when you eat one every day. $3-4 a day for an energy bar? No, thank you. So I decided to start making my own. I can now control the ingredients and the specific amounts of those ingredients, really making these bars something that I think are delicious, while providing my body the nutrients it needs for pre- and post-workout snacks. All without spending a bajillion dollars!

I was paying $3-4 per bar when I purchased them at the store. By making my own, I now spend less than $1 per bar. Much better! I even started cutting them into bite-sized pieces, making them last even longer! I have several different versions of these bars—this is the first of many!

Notes

  • Recipe Yields: ~8 bars (depending on size)
  • Prep Time: ~10 minutes
  • Notes: Feel free to experiment with ingredients

Ingredients

  • ~18 organic Medjool dates, pitted
  • ½ cup gluten-free rolled oats
  • ¼ cup walnuts
  • ¼ cup almonds
  • 1 Tbsp raw almond butter
  • 1 tsp virgin coconut oil
  • ⅛ cup sunflower seeds (raw, hulled)
  • 1 Tbsp ground flaxseed
  • 2 Tbsp almond meal
  • 2 Tbsp coconut flakes
  • 1 tsp brown rice syrup (or agave nectar)
  • ¼ cup organic raisins

Preparation

  1. Remove pits from dates, add to food processor.
  2. Add rolled oats, and process for just a few seconds to combine the ingredients without over-processing.
  3. Add walnuts and almonds, process for a few seconds.
  4. Add almond butter and coconut oil, process for a few seconds.
  5. Add ground flaxseed (yay for fiber and omega 3s!), almond meal and coconut flakes, process.
  6. If “dough” seems dry, feel free to add in additional almond butter or brown rice syrup/agave nectar.
  7. Stir in raisins by hand.
  8. Remove “dough” from food processor and flatten by hand (or use wooden roller) onto a cutting board. Cut the bars into desired size (either “bars” or bite-sized pieces), and store refrigerated in tupperware container. Wax paper can be used to separate layers of bars inside the tupperware, to keep them from sticking together while refrigerated.

I hope you enjoy these energy bars! They will keep in the refrigerator for about a week, but feel free to store them in the freezer as well! I prefer to eat them when they’re a bit softer, so I’ll take them out of the refrigerator in the morning, leave them out during the day and eat them before my evening workout! They’re also great for breakfast, or for a quick pick-me-up snack during the day! Heck, they even make a good dessert! They are rich in natural sugars, protein, fiber and omega 3s. Enjoy!

This recipe is gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free, soy-free, vegetarian and vegan.

I’ve grown quite fond of lentils lately. In fact, I am now searching through (and testing) every possible lentil recipe on the planet, and I will post the best ones. I made this simple lentil dal last night and was very impressed with it! Thank you One Green Planet for this recipe.

Notes

  • Recipe Yields: ~4 servings
  • Prep Time: ~10 minutes
  • Cook Time: ~30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tsp fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 c yellow lentils (I used red here)
  • 1 c green lentils
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cinnamon stick (or a dash of ground cinnamon)
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste (buy from a glass jar, not a can)
  • 4½ c vegetable broth (low sodium, organic)
  • cilantro (optional, for garnish)
  • salt and pepper to taste (optional)

Preparation

  1. Add olive oil to a pot over medium heat. Add onions and sauté for ~2  minutes.
  2. Add garlic and ginger, sauté for another  minute.
  3. Sift through lentils, removing any debris. Then rinse lentils, drain water and add to pot.
  4. Add bay leaf, cinnamon stick, turmeric, cumin, tomato paste and broth. Bring to a boil then lower heat to simmer.
  5. Simmer for 20-30 minutes, until lentils are tender.
  6. Remove bay leaf and cinnamon stick, garnish with cilantro and serve warm. Enjoy!
One Green Planet has amazing recipes and other articles to help you live a greener life. Check them out here!

Thank you Chef Chloe for this delicious recipe! I can eat the stuffing by the spoonful it’s so good! This recipe is gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, vegetarian and vegan.

Notes

  • Recipe Yields: 6 stuffed mushrooms
  • Prep Time: ~40 minutes
  • Cook Time: ~30 minutes
  • Notes:  The lentil stuffing can be made up to 3 days in advance and stored covered in the refrigerator. The mushrooms can be stuffed and assembled on a baking sheet the day before. Bake and finish the stuffed-mushrooms right before serving.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup cooked brown rice (or quinoa, or grain of your choice)
  • 1 can lentils (rinsed and drained) or cook your own lentils (about 1½ cups)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil (plus extra for brushing)
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup gluten-free breadcrumbs
  • ½ vegetable broth (organic, low sodium)
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves (plus extra for garnish)
  • 6 Portobello mushrooms (remove stems and gills)
  • 1 tomato, sliced into thin rounds
  • Sea salt
  • Fresh ground pepper

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F
  2. Cook brown rice and lentils (separately) as their packages instruct.
  3. In a large skillet, heat 2 tbsp oil over medium heat. Add onions, cashews, season with salt and pepper, and sauté until onions are soft and lightly browned. Add garlic and cook a few more minutes.
  4. In a large bowl, combine onion/cashews, brown rice, lentils, breadcrumbs, vegetable broth, basil and thyme. Mix together and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  5. Brush both sides of mushroom caps lightly with olive oil and place top-side-down on a lightly oiled cookie sheet pan. Stuff mushrooms with ~½ cup of the lentil stuffing, finish with a tomato slice on top.
  6. Bake for ~30 minutes, or until the stuffing is browned and mushrooms are cooked through.
  7. Garnish with extra fresh thyme if desired and enjoy!
Thank you, Chef Chloe, for this amazing recipe. For more delicious vegan recipes, please check out her web site! I also made these with a side of roasted brussel sprouts and green beans. Yum!

This recipe is gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, vegetarian and vegan, with a nut-free option available.

After several months of being dairy-free, there really wasn’t much I missed about it… until I read this recipe on ChefChloe.com, and I realized that I wanted Mac and Cheese. Badly! So I thought I’d give this vegan recipe a try and see if I couldn’t curb my craving without giving in to temptation. Luckily, it worked, and it is now one of my new favorite recipes!

Notes

  • Recipe Yields: ~4 servings
  • Prep Time: ~5 minutes
  • Cook Time: ~20 minutes
  • Notes: Can use regular pasta instead of gluten-free if you’d like

Ingredients

  • 1 pound gluten-free pasta (I used brown rice shells)
  • 3 cups broccoli florets
  • ¼ cup vegan margarine
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour (or gluten-free all-purpose flour, or any other type of GF flour)
  • 3 cups almond or rice milk (I used almond)
  • ½ cup nutritional yeast (the cheese!)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon agave

Preparation

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add pasta and cook according to directions on package, adding the broccoli for the last 5 minutes of cooking, cook until tender.
  2. At the same time, in a medium saucepan, whisk margarine and flour over medium heat for 3-5 minutes. Add milk, yeast, tomato paste, salt and garlic powder to the saucepan, and bring to a boil, whisking frequently.
  3. Reduce heat to low and let simmer until sauce thickens.
  4. Adjust seasonings to your heart’s desire and stir in lemon juice and agave.
  5. Drain noodles/broccoli, add to sauce and serve immediately.
  6. Enjoy delicious mac and cheese without consuming any animal products! Hooray!
Thank you, Chef Chloe, for this amazing recipe. For more delicious vegan recipes, please check out her web site!

This recipe is: Raw, gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, vegetarian and vegan.

 

Oh. My. Gosh. So… a friend posted this recipe on her Facebook page last night. The moment I read it, I got up from the computer, went directly to the kitchen, and 10 minutes later, I had these ridiculously fabulous brownies in my mouth. Words really can’t explain how delicious they are, you have to try them for yourself! Want even more good news? They’re made with all-natural, healthy ingredients! No refined sugar added, no butter, no shortening and best of all—no baking! Enzymes are left in tact for easier digestion! Hooray!

Notes

  • Recipe Yields: 20 servings, but I suppose that all depends on how large your servings are.
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes, if that!
  • Cook Time: None, it’s a raw dish!
  • Freeze Time: Optional, a couple of minutes if you’d like.
  • Notes: Adding some of the optional ingredients will alter the allergen labels.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups walnuts
  • 2 1/2  cups Medjool dates, pitted (Organic if possible)
  • 1 c raw cacao
  • 1 c raw almonds (chopped)
  • 1/4 tsp. sea salt (optional)
  • A squirt, ~1/2 tsp, of agave nectar (optional)
  • ~1/2 tsp. vanilla (optional)

Preparation

  1. Place walnuts in food processor and blend on high until the nuts are finely ground.
  2. Add the cacao and salt, pulse to combine.
  3. While the food processor is running, add the dates one at a time, through the feed tube. You should end up with a mix that appears like cake crumbs, but when pressed, sticks together easily. If your mixture is not sticking, add additional dates, one at a time.
  4. In a large bow, or in the pan or tupperware you plan on storing the brownies in, combine the brownie mix and chopped almonds by hand.
  5. Press into a lined cake pan, or tupperware. Place in freezer or fridge until ready to serve, store in an airtight container.
  6. Enjoy the best brownies you have ever eaten, and share the healthy love!
Thank you, My New Roots, for this amazing recipe. If you’d like additional information on the health benefits of the ingredients in these brownies, please check out the original post!

This recipe is: Raw, gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, vegetarian and vegan.

This recipe is DELICIOUS! Feel free to make them in rammekins instead of tart tins. Also, these are very similar to the Raw Fruit Tart, but the cashew cream filling has a lighter consistency, since the cashews are soaked longer. Enjoy!

Notes

  • Recipe Yields: 4 servings
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Soak Time: Overnight
  • Freeze Time: A couple hours

Ingredients

Cashew Cream Ingredients:

  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • ¼ cup agave nectar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup filtered water

Walnut Crust Ingredients:

  • 1 cup walnut pieces
  • 2 medjool dates
  • ¼ tsp pink Himalayan salt (or sea salt, or no salt)
  • 1 heaped tsp coconut oil

Toppings:

  • handful of fresh blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, or any fruit of your choosing

Preparation

  1. Place the cashews in a bowl and cover with filtered water. Cover the bowl and allow to soak overnight.
  2. Place the walnuts and salt in a hand blender or food processor and blend. Add the dates (remember to remove the pits) and coconut oil and blend until a fine rubble is formed, scraping down the sides with spatula as you go.
  3. Evenly place the mixture into tart tins or rammekins (about 4), and create a cup-like shape. (The cream filling will sit within this cup. Place in the freezer for several hours.
  4. Drain and rinse the cashews, place in a food processor with a quarter cup of filtered water, the agave and vanilla extract and blend until completely smooth. Again, scrape down the sides using a spatula ensuring there are no bits in the mixture. Keep blending until it is super smooth, adding a little more water if necessary – not too much, remember you can always add more but you can never take away!
  5. Transfer the cream to a Tupperware dish and refrigerate for several hours.
  6. Remove the walnut cups from the freezer and allow to slightly thaw for a few minutes before running a knife around the edge (I found a butter knife works best) and carefully easing out each cup – the coconut oil will ensure they won’t stick to the muffin molds.
  7. Spoon several tablespoons of cashew cream into each cup and top with sliced kiwi and a few fresh blueberries – or any fruit of your choosing.