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

I had made a large batch of pearled barley the other day and after using some of it in a soup, I still had a lot left over and wasn’t quite sure what I could do with it. Since beets are in season right now – and are antioxidant superstars containing compounds that fight inflammation and help neutralize toxins making them easily flushed from the body – I was inspired to create a roasted veggie barley salad. Since I had already cooked the barley, this dish was quick and easy to put together for a weeknight meal.

Notes

  • Recipe Yields: 4-6 servings
  • Prep time: 20 minutes
  • Cook time: 45 minutes

Ingredients

  • 5 cups cooked barley (room temperature)
  • 2-3 beets with stems and greens
  • 1 lb. baby brussels sprouts
  • ⅓ cup chopped walnuts, toasted
  • 2 lemons, halved crosswise
  • 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 2 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil, plus 2 Tbsp. for sautéing
  • Salt & pepper, to taste

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 425° and place a rimmed cookie sheet in the oven while it’s preheating.
  2. Meanwhile, cut the stems and trim the bottoms of the beets, then wrap each beet with foil.
  3. Trim the stem ends of the baby brussels sprouts and pull off any yellow outer leaves. Place in a bowl and toss with 2 tbsp. olive oil, salt & pepper.
  4. Once oven is preheated, turn prepared sprouts out onto the hot cookie sheet along with foil-covered beets and halved lemons, cut side up.
  5. Roast for 20-25 minutes. Beets may need longer depending on size – check for doneness by piercing largest beet with a knife, if it goes in and out with ease—they’re ready, if not—remove sprouts and set aside and continue cooking the beets until done.
  6. While beets, sprouts and lemons are cooking, rinse beet greens and cut the greens away from stems then slice into ribbons. Chop garlic and sauté for about a minute in 2 tbsp. olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the beet greens and sauté until wilted, about 5-7 minutes.
  7. When beets are cooked, let cool slightly and remove outer skin. Dice into bite-size pieces.
  8. Finally, in a large bowl, combine barley, diced beets, sautéed greens & garlic, roasted Brussels sprouts and toasted walnuts. Squeeze roasted lemons over the salad and add salt and pepper to taste.

This entrée salad is delicious served at room temperature and although it may seem slightly involved, if you can get an extra hand in the kitchen it can be ready in no time. I added the leftovers to fresh greens the next day with just a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a squeeze of fresh lemon for a lunch-ready meal!

Happy Fall Eating!

Holly

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

When shopping at my favorite local farm in Austin, I picked up a few baby eggplants and asked one of the farmers for recommendations on the best way to cook these beautiful little gems. She suggested to not cook them at all, but to slice them raw into thin slices to best enjoy they’re sweet, light flavor. Wanting to balance the sweetness of the eggplant, I paired them with quick-pickled onions and arugula for a slightly sour and spicy contrast.

Notes

  • Recipe Yields: 4 servings
  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2-3 baby eggplants, thinly sliced
  • ½ red onion, pickled (see Quick-Pickling recipe below)
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 10 oz. washed arugula
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Quick-Pickling Recipe

  • 1 red onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  • ¾ cup white vinegar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 5 allspice berries (or ¼ tsp. ground allspice)
  • 5 whole cloves (or ¼ tsp. ground cloves)
  • 1 small, dried chile pepper

Directions for Pickling

  1. In a small, non-reactive saucepan, heat the vinegar, sugar, salt, seasonings and chile until boiling.
  2. Add the onion slices and lower heat, then simmer gently for 30 seconds.
  3. Remove from heat and let cool completely.
  4. Transfer onions and liquid into a far and refrigerate until ready to use.

seasonal summer salad eggplantDirections for Salad

  1. Rinse quinoa and cook according to directions. Let cool.
  2. Toss arugula, eggplant, pickled onion (along with 1 tsp. pickling liquid), quinoa and oil in a bowl.
  3. Add salt & pepper to taste.

I made this salad part of a satisfying meal by serving it alongside baked sweet potato fries. For an extra flavor and protein boost, add shavings of parmesan cheese before serving the salad. Using local, seasonal ingredients like eggplant and arugula are a great way to ensure your getting the most nutrition and flavor from your produce, not to mention the environmental advantages of buying local!

If you like this recipe, try our Grilled Sweet Potato and Quinoa Salad.

Happy Eating!

Holly

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

Nothing makes me happier than delicious dessert food that I can eat and know I’m also doing something good for my body. And I have to brag for a second, because I didn’t actually make these, my wonderful husband did! The recipe had been laying on the kitchen counter for a while, so knowing that I’ve been wanting to try them he surprised me by making them for me! So thank you Juan and thank you to The Urban Poser for this recipe—it’s delicious!

Notes

  • Recipe Yields: ~12 2″ round cake balls
  • Prep Time: ~10 minutes
  • Cook Time: None, it’s a raw dish
  • Chill Time: ~30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 large carrots, peeled (~ ½ pound)
  • 1 large tart apple, peeled and cored
  • 1¼ cup dried shredded coconut
  • ½ cup chopped raisins
  • ¾ cup finely chopped pecans or walnuts
  • 1½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground ginger (or fresh grated to taste)
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • pinch of salt
  • 3 Tbsp raw honey
  • 3 Tbsp raw nut butter (almond, pecan, walnut, cashew)
  • Juice from half a lime
  • Raw cocoa nibs for decoration
  • ¼ cup unrefined organic coconut oil
  • 2 Tbsp raw honey (omit for Vegan option)
  • ½ tsp vanilla
  • 7 Tbsp raw cocoa (+ another ½ Tbsp to make a drizzle)

Preparation

  1. Finely grate carrots and apple by hand or with a food processor. Press out as much juice as possible using a fine sieve or strainer.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients from the first section of ingrdients (except cocoa nibs) to the carrot/apple pulp and mix well.
  3. Roll the dough into balls (~1 Tbsp worth of dough).
  4. Chill cake balls in freezer for ~30 minutes and prepare the chocolate.
  5. Start with room temperature (liquid) coconut oil (it’s liquid point is around 76°F). In a small bowl, combine the coconut oil, vanilla, honey and cocoa. Whisk together until the chocolate is well combined, no lumps. Depending on the size of your cake balls and the amount you end up with in the end, you may need to double the dipping chocolate recipe.
  6. Using a wood skewer or dipping fork, dip the frozen cake balls into the chocolate. Let some of the chocolate drip off  than allow the chocolate to harden while you hold the stick (it will harden pretty fast), sprinkle a few cocoa nibs or nuts on the top of the cake ball before the top hardens. Note: if you don’t  take the time to let some of the chocolate drip off you may not have enough chocolate to finish all the cake balls. They still taste great with a thick coating, but you will have to make extra chocolate sauce. It takes some practice to make your chocolate go far. If practice isn’t your thing just make extra chocolate sauce. Also, to minimize cracking, leave some space at the bottom of the cake ball without chocolate. If a crack does happen, it is easy to cover it up when you drizzle the chocolate over it later.
  7. For the chocolate drizzle, make the same chocolate recipe as above, but add ½-1 Tbsp more of raw cocoa to increase thickness. Using a spoon or a ‘candy making’ squeeze bottle, drizzle the chocolate in thin lines over the cake ball.
  8. For best results, store cake balls in freezer and remove ~5 min prior to serving. They should be fine for up to ~15 min before starting to soften too much. At that point, the coconut oil will become liquid (at around 76 degrees) and the chocolate will begin to melt. I actually stored these in the refrigerator because I preferred them a bit softer. They were a bit messy, but I also really like messes. 🙂
 Thank you again to The Urban Poser for this recipe, I highly recommend it!

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

 

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!